One of my main photographic purposes and one central field of interest is the depiction/mapping of the very complex structures of modern urban environments (cities). Another one is human portraits and identities.   

In order to map architectural structures, I have opted for a „wide-angle“-vision and methodology. Although „Tele“-Visions could also provide some very interesting approaches to urban photography. 

Currently, I am in the initial state of my CINESCAPES / CITYLAB project. I am just using cameras to make shots under various conditions. My goal is yet not clear and the theoretical framework of the project even more diffuse but I have a strong intuitive direction ... 

This entry is basically a report of my first experiences with my new 6x9 medium format PLAUBEL 69W camera. 


first experiences/results by shooting with the Plaubel Proshift 69W a medium format 6x9 analog camera.  



Last month I added to my arsenal a new dedicated camera with a wide-angle lens. The PLAUBEL PROSHIFT 69W. The Plaubel 69W ProShift is 6 x 9cm format camera with an ultra-wide-angle lens fixed to, manufactured by Plaubel, W. Germany.

The most noteworthy feature of this camera is that camera movements are enabled on this in spite of 6 x 9cm format camera.

The lens fixed to the camera is "Schneider Super Angulon f5.6/47mm". This lens is multi-coated, and consists of a four-group, eight-element lens. And image circle of this is 123 mm. Converting this lens into the one for a 35mm camera, the focal length of 47mm is about as well as that of 21mm.

On camera movements, the lens (lensboard) can be shifted up to 13mm - optical axis of 15 deg. - to the left, and rise up to 15mm - optical axis of 17.5 deg., and the sports finder (and also the optical direct-view finder when attached to the camera) couples with lens movements and compensates visual field.

In the optical direct-view finder, there is the Albada bright frame. It shows parallax correction marks for closer distance and also compensated visual field for camera movements.

Film transportation is by two-stroke winding of the film wind lever with double-exposure prevention. This camera adopted the roll film holder for "Mamiya Press", which has a grip on its side, and the shutter release button and the film wind lever is also on it. The shape of this grip is designed very well so that it makes it possible to photograph with this camera without using a tripod.

The shutter employed in the lens is Copal #0 of which flash synchronizes all the shutter speeds.The actual picture size of this camera is 56 x 83 mm. Eight exposures can be taken on 120 roll film and 16 exposures on 220 roll film. In addition, levels are built-in for the vertical and the horizontal.

Utilizing an ultra-wide-angle lens, together with camera movements that require a full length of image circle decreases the light at each end of a picture. To solve this problem, Plaubel provided "Center Filter" which decreases the light in the center of a picture to balance the light overall. The filter diameter of this is 52mm, but using other filter attached to this when working on camera movements vignettes a picture due to its frame. So the adapter ring "AR-1" belonged to this to extend the filter diameter from 52mm to 77mm.

(view guide to classic cameras). 

1st roll of film with the PLAUBEL 69W

I  am very positive and enthusiastic about the camera! Very solid build quality with superior optic! The operation of the camera is a little bit tricky. It needs effort and concentration.  I shot one roll of expired AGFA APX400 handheld. I forgot to apply the center filter and I have done some mistakes by looking through the viewfinder and tilting accordingly the camera body, which resulted in exaggerated deformation of the architectural forms. I developed the film with a JOBO CPE-2 Plus rotation machine and I scanned the negatives with an EPSON V750 Pro flatbed scanner. 

The image quality is superior. I am impresed! Definitely, this camera would become a basic tool of my CINESCAPES project! 


PLAUBEL PROSHIFT 69W - 6x9 medium format

A few more experiments with the PLAUBEL PROSHIFT 69W

In the following weeks, I shot a few more rolls of MF Black and White and Color film rolls with the Plaubel 69W. This time I used the center filter in all shots. One roll was shot completely directly against the sunlight. I for the first time ever Ilford FP4 Plus 125 BW film, one roll was in color Kodak EKTAR 100. 

Even after this second experiment, I was not able to manage to handheld the camera completely vertically when using the shift function, so there are some "converging lines" visible. 

Hamburg Cityscape Plaubel 69W 6x9, Kodak Ektar 100

Hamburg Cityscapes Plaubel 69W 6x9, Kodak Ektar 100

Hamburg Cityscapes Plaubel 69W 6x9, Ilford FP4 Plus 125. 


After several trials and experiments, I started to understand the way the camera works ... Now the way is open towards the development of a more personal style. This is easier said as done but here are some examples. 


In the last months, I have done some experiments with various wide-angle cameras, lenses, and formats.  I used for example a Mamiya C330 with a 55mm lens (6x6), a PENTAX 67 with both 45mm and 75mm PC lenses, a dedicated 6x17 DAYI panoramic camera and various pinhole cameras with wide or even ultra-wide focal lengths. Here are some examples from those early experimentations with wide photographic formats. 

BERLIN (DAYI 6x17 panoramic camera)

BERLIN (6x9 wide-angle pinhole camera)

HAMBURG ( Mamiya C330 55mm 6x6 )

HAMBURG (photographic sketches with various analog cameras). 


Hamburg Cityscapes Plaubel 69W 6x9, Ilford FP4 Plus 125. 

Plaubel Proshift 69W 6x9 Medium Format Camera


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