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Author Previous Topic: The Gallery: February 2009 Yards & Sidings Topic Next Topic: Real Antique Photography
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Crew Chief

Posted - 02/28/2009 :  11:01:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a very informative thread! Thank you all.

Bob, I must work somewhat like you do. When I think, "Wow, a photo at this point would be great," I next realize that probably the rest of my chunk of spare time will be spent clearing things away, getting the backdrop set right, setting up the lights, etc. So I skip the photo! Then, much later, I usually wish I had taken the time to capture that point in a model's construction ...

The cameras themselves are not the only place you "don't get something for nothing."


It's a great day whenever steam heads out into the timber!

Country: USA | Posts: 870 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/28/2009 :  1:45:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris...by interesting coincidence I am currently fabricating the very same device illustrated in that old RMC article.

While others have pointed out a few of the problems associated with the device, I'd like to add another significant one. If one examines the model photos in RMC it is quickly appreciated that there is a strikingly large depth-of-field to the images, i.e. they are in-focus virtually throughout, in spite of the fact that the nearest parts of the model are almost on top of the camera. Such images are not really possible using any standard lens, or Macro setting, on today's digital cameras. What is needed is either a pin-hole lens system or to use an image combining program like Helicon.

As I recall, the author of the old RMC article was also a promoter of the use of pin-hole lenses in model photography, as am I. Below is an image of mine similar to the RMC photos, shot with a 35mm f/55 pin-hole lens system from a low angle.


Edited by - cnj999 on 02/28/2009 1:50:15 PM

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Posted - 02/28/2009 :  3:32:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit railphotog's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey that's a great photo! My pinhole equipped lens is an old Vivitar manual focus 28mm. Worked really great with my film cameras, but with the 60% crop of the image with my digital camera, the resulting images aren't very good. The Vivitar takes a 62mm filter, meaning it is quite large. That was one of the discouraging reasons why I never did make the mirror device, I would have needed quite a large piece of front surface mirror and a resulting large box to hold it. Nice to see someone has been able to make and use the device for digital.

Bob Boudreau
My model railroad photography website:

Country: Canada | Posts: 4027 Go to Top of Page

Jan Kirkwood
Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 02/28/2009 :  3:48:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks all of you for your instruction

Country: USA | Posts: 852 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard

Premium Member

Posted - 02/28/2009 :  5:28:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the answer, Bob. I agree on "you don't get something for nothing". There's still the Helicon program, but it's not easy to take a series of shots with the camera on the rails modifying slightly the DOF and yet not moving the camera...
John, your pinhole shot is really wonderful.

Country: France | Posts: 17652 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/28/2009 :  10:26:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit railmus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think dollar store "locker mirrors" are first surface mirrors so you might check there.

Country: Canada | Posts: 2005 Go to Top of Page
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