TrueWide Sliding Back Camera (digital)

TrueWide Sliding Back Camera

TrueWide Sliding Back Camera

Above is the Front side of the Truewide camera by Kapture Group, Inc . . .  (This camera was discontinued September 2010) and sold for $2995.00 at that time.  This was a very interesting camera that melded parts from Large Format (Shutter), Medium Format (Back Adapters) and 35mm (various lens mount adapters) Canon, Nikon & Leica R mounts where common.  Mine is in Nikon Mount which was a modified PK-11A ring re-machined to fit into the Large Format Copal No. 3 Shutter which was mounted to a pair of machined sliding metal plates which held a focusing screen and interchangeable mount plate for (Hasselblad-V (Universal), Contax 645 or Mamiya 645AF mount types) or a digital back that would fit those mounts.  I plan to write a bit more about this camera and how I use it.  I have found very little info on the Net and have not found any Manual or literature, not that it is needed as the camera requires very minimal maintenance and all components and their operation is straight forward.  The only problem I have read about has been people purchasing incomplete units, most missing the OneShot cable releasewhich can still be purchased separately from Kapture Group, Inc  . . this is required to trigger a digital back when the shutter fires.   I use mine with various wide angle and 28mm and 35mm Perspective Control (PC) lenses as well as Tilt Shift lenses such as the 85mm TC Nikkor  . . It cannot be used with the newer E type Tilt-Shift from Nikon as it has no electronics to drive the electronic apertures in these newer lenses.
Here are some of the main parts of this camera . . .

One Shot cable

One Shot cable

This gets the signal from the PC connector on the Shutter.

Copal No. 3 Shutter

Copal No. 3 Shutter & modified PK-11A lens mount

The lever on the left is the manual shutter open/close lever used when composing and focusing the camera, the lever to the right is the shutter cocking lever, and the Shutter speed dial with speeds from 1 Second to 125th Second with B & T . . lastly the modified PK-11A which also allows the lens to rotate 90 Degrees which is helpful if using a wide angle Lenses with non removable lens-hoods.

Lets take a look at the rear of the camera, in the following view you can see the square interchangeable mount (Hasselblad-V), that little tab at the left is the mount release, and lastly the Shutter.  There isn’t much room between the lenses and the digital back RFFD (the Rear Flange Focal Distance) . . . Each camera has it’s own RFFD depending on lens mount used. I have talked about (Flange Focus Distance) in an earlier posting.

Rear Mount

Rear Mount

So once the digital back is mounted you slide it to the left and use the built in focusing screen with a loupe or focusing eyepiece (this was before digital backs had Live-view), as seen below.

Rear view

Rear view

The focusing screen can be see on the right, with framing marks for use with either 645 or 6×6 format.

I use a high end Focusing eyepiece (a Hasselblad Chimney style from a flex-cam)


Focusing Eyepiece

This last photo has a 35mm PC lens mounted, you can take a photo, rotate 180 degrees and then stitch them later in post for a shot that is roughly equal to using a 6 x 12 format back (think high definition panorama), the Digital back has such latitude that multi-shot HDR isn’t necessary.

Lastly the shot below shows the camera system in use on an Sunrise shoot at Morro Bay, California

Click on the photo above to visit an earlier post about shooting the TrueWide . . . It is complex and takes time to produce a single shot, but it is really fun and the final shots are knockouts . . . yup . . ALL Manual, you have to use your mind and old tools like light meters and such.  So whats the pay off?  shots I can hang on my wall, that are . . . well . . . wall sized …

Yep, today you can get 24MP dSLR cameras, but these have only been recently introduced, the drawback with the new dSLR’s is you don’t slow down, it’s to easy to make a gazillion mediocre shots with little to no thought.  I like it that it makes me slow down and think the shot through, compose and then make the picture.  Using the TrueWide It is as different as driving and walking.

If you want to know a bit more about the TrueWide then click here Kapture Group, Inc   I will add another post later on using this camera in the field . . .
get up off your butt and go take a picture.

TrueWide with 85mm Tilt/Shift

TrueWide with 85mm Tilt/Shift


One thought on “TrueWide Sliding Back Camera (digital)

  1. Pingback: I Adapt | digipainters blog

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