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02-14-2019, 07:01 PM   #1
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Any large format users? Intrepid 4x5 Mk iii

GAS victim here. I've purged most of my Pentax gear to put toward a business venture (unrelated to photography) and recently that trajectory has moved - just about in-line with my luck really. So, I decided that medium format > full frame > APS-C > M43, etc (I know I'm generalizing here). If I go bigger, it'll be better, right?


The price was the primary reason to jump on this particular brand/model. Especially since I have zero experience with large format systems. I just received it literally today...and I feel let down.

I had to chase the (tripod) mounting threads with taps (both 1/4-20 and 3/8-16) as I couldn't get either Manfrotto plates attached at first. Minor issue really, but the initial perception doesn't help.


The 3-D printed pieces seem decent but not faultless (clearly FDM process-made). I can accept that for the low price.

The adjustments are problematic (keeping standards normal/true; doesn't seem to want to stay).

But the biggest concern at the moment is the light leaks between the rotating back and rear standard. That's not a minor thing obviously. Not sure I can cure this...

Z

02-14-2019, 08:31 PM   #2
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Have you done film before? If not, quite the jump to LF, it's a very, very slow way of making photos (but I do enjoy it so.)

I thought about getting one of these - they are incredibly cheap for a LF cameras so some faults are to be expected.

Light leaks - are you seeing them in your prints?
02-15-2019, 06:32 AM   #3
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Yes. 35mm, 6x4.5, 6x7 and 6x9. For maybe 10 years aside form a 110 camera when I was a kid. So no issues with film.


As I said, chasing threads and the trouble keeping things in place without over-tightening things is to be expected per se, as it is very low cost. But I consider light leaks a deal breaker. I haven't loaded film just yet as I was checking everything over and it just arrived yesterday. But my preference is to minimize wasted film, especially with sheet format (I also have a roll back for 120 film to try out).

Z
02-15-2019, 06:49 AM   #4
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Doesn't sound good. Is it that you can see external light hitting the ground glass? If they offer any kind of guarantee I would make a test exposure; if there are indeed light leaks making it to the film I would try to get it replaced. There seem to be many satisfied users of these cameras, so I would think it's possible to get a good one. I'm just curious if putting a film holder in the camera "solves" the light leak.

02-15-2019, 07:08 AM   #5
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Maybe some photos of it would help? I've checked out light leaks in my 4x5 by putting a film holder in, taking the lens board off and shining a bright flashlight both inside and out.

If I were you, I'd totally run a few sheets through it to see how they turn out.

My old bender 4x5 has a slight leak along the film holder plane... Hoping to resolve soon, I get a small leak on one corner, very annoying. Hope to resolve it soon, I can't gaffer tape it but I hope I can add some more felt or something.



Fun stuff... what len(s) do you have for it? :^D

I've been eyeing the intrepid for a while as a travel friendly version of my bender, can't decide between it, a Shen Hao, or trying to find a used field camera.
02-15-2019, 07:47 AM   #6
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I will post images or a video of the light leak a bit later. I was doing exactly that - a flashlight around it to test for leaks. Front standard is ok with board and lens mounted. And honestly, I can put some tape around the rear to seal it up for my purposes but it really wouldn't take much for them to make it light tight upon assembly. If I thought it wasn't light tight, I would not have purchased it.

My 6x9 is a Kodak Volenda 620 folder inherited from my Grandfather just as an FYI. Love that camera.


I picked up a Nikkor-W 210 f5.6 for the Intrepid. And I have two Toyo film holders as well as one Fidelity film holder. Finally, a Singer Graflex Roll Holder for 120 film (approx 2.25x3" negative).


Z

---------- Post added 02-15-19 at 07:48 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
Doesn't sound good. Is it that you can see external light hitting the ground glass? If they offer any kind of guarantee I would make a test exposure; if there are indeed light leaks making it to the film I would try to get it replaced. There seem to be many satisfied users of these cameras, so I would think it's possible to get a good one. I'm just curious if putting a film holder in the camera "solves" the light leak.
The film holder setup makes no difference on the light leak. I'll post pics later to show the issue.

Z
02-15-2019, 09:04 AM   #7
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Ok, here are several pics and a video.








Sorry for that last pic...

Looking in thru the front standard, no flashlight test; Toyo film holder in place:



Same but with "bonus" light...from flashlight centered between the rotating film plate and rear standard



https://photos.smugmug.com/Lagniappe/i-bpnG6DN/0/b04a136d/640/RIMG0661-640.mp4
02-15-2019, 09:25 AM   #8
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You should contact them... but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. A lot of people buy and use these cameras and make fantastic images. You'll get it working soon, I'd say the glass is mostly full here. If this is just a matter of something needing gaffer tape... I'd just tape it and move on to the fun stuff.

02-15-2019, 09:27 AM   #9
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Already sent an email last night. No reply as of yet. I plan to use it, and adopt a tape solution for now.
02-15-2019, 10:27 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by HomeMadeSin Quote
Already sent an email last night. No reply as of yet. I plan to use it, and adopt a tape solution for now.
Dealing with light leaks with gaffer tape is pretty common. Good luck with the 4x5! Hope you get some good images. Through no fault of the camera, I screwed up a bunch of film at first, either leaving the lens open and opening a dark slide, forgetting to remove a dark slide, etc.

You should check out this forum for some LF inspiration or see if other people had the same issues.

Large Format Photography Forum
02-15-2019, 06:27 PM   #11
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Ok, had a little fun installing the film into the holders. There aren't many options for dark places in the house to do this and I feared a portion of the bathroom would be compromised by someone needing to use it while I'm fumbling around with this exercise. So I chose my office closet (at night). My mini-fridge is there, so easy to grab the film directly.


Well, after turning off lights, computers and such in the office, I shut the door and covered the gap at the bottom, I let my eyes adjust. It wasn't long before the first 'duh' moment...I have a computer in there that was off but the LED light from the motherboard was still on. So I had to kill the power strip. But then I noticed another obscure source of light that I couldn't place. Turns out I had an old Denon remote with glow-in-the-dark buttons....'duh' number two. Number three appeared yet higher up. On a whim years ago I bought a spool of glow-in-the-dark PLA plastic for FDM-based 3D printing. Never used, but It was glowing...

So after tossing those out and getting situated again, I loaded 6 sheets of Kodak Ektar 100 into the 3 film holders I own. If I don't screw this up too bad, I 'll pick up at least two more holders so I can use a 10 pack evenly. I was surprised how thin the film felt and how easy the loading 'felt'. We'll see how it goes when I get it developed.

Z
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