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A view camera for still lifes

Well, Covid-19 has put a crimp on my street photography. I am in an at risk group so I have been taking extra precautions which means I don't get out much. So I thought I might try something that I've wanted to do for a long time and that is still life photography.

And what better camera to use than a view camera. I put this kit together over a period of a couple of years about 10 years ago but haven't used it for some time. After rummaging through various boxes it's all together again. The camera in the center is a Toyo View D45M. These were made between 1969 and 1977. Solid as a tank with geared rise and fall and geared shift. It is very much a modular camera. The rear standard is for a 4x5 back which is in front of the camera. To the left of the camera is a 5x7 standard and back. To the right is an 8x10 back which was built by Glenn at glennview.com. In front of the camera is the 4x5 back. The 4x5 and 5x7 backs have all the movements. The 8x10 only has swings. In front. on the left is a 4x5 adapter for the 5x7 back. On the right in front is a sliding back for roll film backs and backs for 6x6, 6x7, and 6x9 120 roll film. To the right of the camera is an extension rail that gives a total of around 800mm of bellows extension. The lens is a 180mm lens. I have lenses from 50mm to 355mm. 355mm is a normal lens for 8x10.

This is the sliding back for 120 roll film. It's in the taking position. After taking an image you slide it up until the ground glass is in place for focusing.

The 4x5 back with a 4x5 sheet film holder.

The 5x7 back with a 5x7 sheet film holder. 5x7 is my favorite large format format. (Yes, format twice is not a typo.) 

The 8x10 back with an 8x10 sheet film holder. I tried some 8x10 ten years ago and I'm not sure if it is for me. Maybe for some applications. Generally I prefer the 5x7.

I set up for some tests on how close I could shoot. This also will be a test of shooting with  an incident light meter. That is a Weston Master V. It's my favorite light meter but I've only used it as a reflective meter. This is a perfect application for an incident meter so I have an Invercone on it. This will also be a test my reciprocity app.

This is the set up with the rail extension and using both the 4x5 and 5x7 bellows with the middle standard holding them together. 800mm of bellows extension. Macro work with a view camera. The bench is where we inspect and trim the leather hides for gordy's camera straps and where I do my product photography for the gordy's camera straps website. 

 This is on the 6x9 (2 1/4"x 3 1/4") 120 roll back. A quick shot with my phone camera. It is about twice size. The lens is wide open at f5.6, which is fast for a large format lens. It makes it easier to focus. It will be stopped down to shoot.

 With the 4x5 back.

And with the 5x7 back.

Now to load some Portra 400 in the 6x9 back and see how this all works.


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  • Paul Wilhelmsen on

    Love it! Looking forward to more.


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