Digital Large Format

Last Update: 25.03.2013 ! Please check all sub-menus

Here, I will report about my project, modifying a Sinar F 4×5 inch monorail camera in order to use it with a DSLR for architecture, panorama and macro Photography.

Sinar F1The idea to go really large came after several more or less successful tries getting distortion free panorama photographs or architecture projects done. A medium format lens with a shift-adapter was already some improvement, but still not what I considered the optimum solution. After some research, I decided to try and find a monorail view camera and modify the rear standard in a way that would allow to attach a DSLR instead of the classic film holder.

What started as some crazy idea became a real working tool for me. In case you are now interested to see what you need, how things play together and what image quality you can expect, feel free to browse through the sub menus from the menu above. It’s not a quick ‘out of the box’ and start shooting camera – You will need time, creativity and the will to solve those little problems you will run into. The reward is your very own custom made large format camera that will be used as what I call a Hybrid-Camera. The classic monorail camera (made for 4×5 inch sheet film) will be put together with a modern DSLR to replace the film. That’s it in a nutshell.

Me and my SINAR F 1 monorail large format camera

Me and my SINAR F 1 monorail large format camera

The first part covers the technical details about the camera itself.

The next part is giving some insight into the operation of the camera.

Next comes PostProduction – or how to get a 200 MegaPixel image.

Let images speak – Samples.


48 thoughts on “Digital Large Format

  1. Dear Jeff,

    I updated the article, including an image of the adapter with the DSLR mounted. Don’t hesitate to ask any further questions you might have.

  2. Hey I am interested in what you are doing with the LF & Digital. I am thinking about doing a similar set-up. I was wondering how the “focus to infinity” issue is delt with on shorter focal lengths? Have you seen Schneider digitars?

    1. Hi James,

      The tricky part is, that the minimal distance between chip and center of the lens you plan to use is defininy your focal length. For me a Schneider Angulon Super 121mm is doing fine for infinity focus. My 90mm works only as a “macro” … In any case there is only “trial and error” as e.g. this center of the lens thing does not really always work in mathematical terms … Don’t hesitate to ask further questions !



  3. @Markus I get your drift on where you were going there. I often think of my past and use it as a means to analyze where I am and where I want to get to. Where I struggel is balancing it all out. How do you guys balance things out?

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