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I wonder what members' opinions are on a comparison of the old Leitz copy stands. How does BOOWU and its smaller cousins BEHOO and BELUN, for example, stand up to the very different STARE? I have used a BOOWU-M a lot this year, reproducing aerial photographs with an M9, and found it extremely portable and easy to use. With a Rigid Summicron head the results were excellent.

 

I also like the idea that I can use BOOWU without the aid of the close-up filters, ELPRO, ELPIK and ELPET. My reasoning is that the less glass I put in front of a lens, the better, but in this case it is purely an assumption, never having used ELPRO etc before. Are tubes and rings better than filters, or the other way around? I imagine having to use these filters naturally means I have to stop using the Rigid Summicron, and go back to the Elmar.

 

In theory, the greatest downside of the BOOWU seems to me shadow interference cast by the stand's legs. But in practice it was not hard to move lamps a bit and find ways around this. I note also that some people are happy using BOOWU with three legs, attaching a tripod-head as a counterweight (though I never really saw the need to try this).

 

Being limited to copying a maximum of A4 size is another possible downside of BOOWU. Can STARE handle A3 size or larger, for example? Is it easier to center originals under one stand than the other? Presumably the centering weight FLOTH works equally well with both...

 

Finally, STARE holds the camera in a totally different way, of course: not by the lens or lens mount, but by the camera's tripod bush. Perhaps having to hold the entire weight of the camera plus lens puts too much stress on the base plate? I don't know. Is the setup similarly stable against camera-shake, or even more so than BOOWU?

 

If there is strong feeling that STARE is the superior copy stand, I would think seriously of giving it a go! On the other hand, as far as I know the chronology, it might be a design superseded by BOOWU et al., in which case my life with a Leitz copy stand can't get any better!

 

So many questions... thanks in advance for any answers or helpful insights! :)

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I don't have a STARE, but I suspect that the problem of shake you quote is (was) its real limit : you have more flexibilty in term of size to reproduce, but being based on a SINGLE column I think that its stability, compared to the legs of BOOWU, is by definition more critical... of course, with modern lamps and the high ISOs than one can enjoy with a digital M (unthinkable values at the times of STARE... :cool:) the issue can be not so significant.

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Ok for the OMEXO (which endured also in the '50s - maybe '60s)... but from the (few) pictures I saw about the STARE, it seems to me it wasn't provided with the two additional extensible legs that can be seen in the OMEXO set... (Crescenzi has a STARE set currently displayed on his site) : could they be fitted to the STARE as addons, provided that one can mount on the STARE a proper focusing set (like OORES - OOZAB) so that is possible to fit the legs in the upper location ?

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Hi Al,

 

I have always liked the idea of owning a STARE but have not used one. I have however used BOOWU and BEHOO a huge amount, with an Elmar 5cm with great success. As you point out, three legs are pretty stable if the fourth gets in the way. I find these so easy to use: always in focus, just screw together and away you go!

 

If you don't need the portability, how about buying a cheap VALOY and a camera attachment? But then you're into the land of non-automatic focussing that you enjoy with BOOWU! The instructions in the Hove reprint gives STARE going from life size to 10:1 reductions (360mm x 240mm)

 

At A3, I wonder if the 35mm neg would give very good results if copying aerial photographs. When I was working at the Ordnance Survey nearly all our vertical aerial sorties were flown using nine inch wide film, although there was a move to five inch film and oblique shots were taken with the special Hasselblads. There is just so much information there, our diapositive copies were contacts on sheet film.

 

Best wishes,

 

Susie

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Thank you, Luigi, JC and Susie.

 

My preference is for portability and ease of use, so BOOWU with its automatic focus is perhaps the best option. Being limited to A4 is perhaps not so bad, especially when using the stand with a digital Leica, given the excellent 'stitching' that can be accomplished with Photoshop.

 

Another advantage of the BOOWU, with its fixed reproduction ratios (for example, for the aerial photos I used the 1:9 reduction of 35mm from A4 consistently), is that I can always re-establish the exact dimensions of the original, and keep the photograph to a particular scale.

 

I am, however, curious about STARE and OMEXO as possibly more flexible devices, where you don't have to forego the portability. An OMEXO on sale at the Leicashop caught my eye for this reason:

OMEXO Copy Device outfit - Copy Equipment - LEICA Accessories - Leica

What do you folks think of this outfit?

 

My understanding, however, is that STARE uses an Elmar fitted with ELPRO etc (plus constant reference to tables), whist OMEXO uses a Focoslide. If true, then the simplicity of BOOWU, automatic focusing using a very good lens (the Rigid Summicron) becomes very compelling.

 

I attach an example of what I have been doing with BOOWU-M and M9 The original was taken during World War II over the harbour of the island of Salamis, next to Athens, on an 8 x 10 inch negative. You see an enlargement of the centre of the photo, measuring about 10 cm across, with a scale of 1:13,000. Some of the ancient harbour installations appear quite distinctly, and (on the left hand side of the middle promontory) so does a fifth-century tumulus, thought by some to have contained the bodies of the Greek dead in the famous battle against Persia in 480BC. I find that with these digital files, I can push the copy to the limits of detail that the original negative can yield. Occasionally there were bigger negatives that could not be accommodated in an A4-size field, so I had to resort to stitching.

 

Anyway, thanks again for your input.

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Edited by M9reno
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I am, however, curious about STARE and OMEXO as possibly more flexible devices, where you don't have to forego the portability. An OMEXO on sale at the Leicashop caught my eye for this reason:

OMEXO Copy Device outfit - Copy Equipment - LEICA Accessories - Leica

What do you folks think of this outfit?

 

Anyway, thanks again for your input.

 

Looks a fair price and you get 2 item in more than the straight OMEXO

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Thank you, JC. But do you happen to know what those extra 2 devices are (and what for)? Presumably one then needs to get a Focoslide to get OMEXO working as intended... ? Finally (and pardon my deep ignorance) - what kind of lens does one use with a Focoslide, any 50mm, and how would you characterise the advantage over BOOWU? Thank you again! :)

Edited by M9reno
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Ah! - I see from the description that the two "extras" are the ASPUL and VALOO. I am familiar only with the latter, which I have used as a hood and aperture-dial on my Elmar 50mm.

 

Thanks to JC's link above, which I had failed to follow, I can now answer much of my own series of questions. What is missing from the OMEXO set is a focusing stage, and here I admit to being quite confused. Which of the several stages would one use, for example, with an M9 + Summicron? OUTGU plus VSPOO?

 

I imagine the main advantage over the BOOWU is continuous (non-automatic) focusing over the full range of scales, in theory from 1:1 to 1:60?

 

Portability is still a concern - if anyone here has carried one of these in airplane hand-luggage, I'd be curious to know your experience.

 

Thanks!

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OUTGU is working with my M8, VSPOO helps for sure and with the viewfinder on the OUTGU you can control what you want to reproduct...

with the BOOWU-M you can't

 

You found by yourself that the ASPUL is for loading film cassettes.

Edited by jc_braconi
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