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Author Topic: Ultimate vs FunkyCam  (Read 4214 times)
jmccart
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« on: March 08, 2006, 07:38:30 PM »
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Where can one go to get each end of the digital spectrum all in one week.
My only question is, "How many pairs of shoes does the ultimate equal?"
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 08:31:37 PM »
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That topic has (fortunately) not been broached.  

Michael
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concertworks
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 09:55:05 PM »
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no mention of costs for insurance and maintenance.  international professional insurance usually runs 5% per annum, maintenance is ?? depending on the useage though could eventually be averaged as a cost per exposure.  the post production costs don't show up either; they cold be averaged per meg...

field cameras are just that - made for the field.  is the ultimate a field system?  i shudder to think of the set-up and tear down involved.  even with the best of conditions, never mind below zero, drizzle, wind, mosquitos, sand flies, dust, wind and on and on.  doesn't it seem like outdoor studio conditions are pre-requisite?

i can imagine there are a lot of situations where a publisher needs massive files to attain image quality levels the readers and advertisers expect but not that many that are field related.  hauling around an elephant gun to shoot mice is boring.  the (my) first rule of planning a shoot is determining how little gear can i make do with - not how much!  minimalist art isn't dead - but it sure is starting to smell funny.

digital is great for shot varitaions and brackets, results preview and confidence.  film is great for developing the ultimate photographers skills of being selective and precise by instinct (4/5 particularly).  two different approaches.  and that is what it comes down to for i see no advantage the ultimate digital system has over film based (say a wisner technical field, folding, wood, weatherproof, simple as hell and beautiful to look at!)

in case it isn't obvious by this point it is my very strong belief that the equipment has as much chance to inhibit the creative vision as it does to enhance it.  after all, shiny stuff isn't necessarily better, it's just shiny.

as they say, different strokes...

PRz
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michael
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 03:09:30 AM »
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Thanks for the lecture, but your points are off the mark.

As I pointed out in another thread a few minutes ago, HERE, my P25 has been used in snow, rain and blowing sand for over a year, with no problems whatsoever. No reason to imagine that the P45 should prove otherwise.

Insurance is insurance. What's the point?

The Linhof is less expensive than a Canon 1Ds MKII (a pro staple) and less than a Hassy H1 with Fuji lenses, again a pro staple. The Rodesnstock lenses cost about the same as Canon L series zooms.

The Linhof with its LF lenses and Copal shutters are about as simple and rugged as a camera can be. Far more so than any SLR. Field mainteneance is done with gaffer tape and a lens wrench. I can swap shutters between lenses in the field in about 3 minutes. Try repairing your Nikon's shutter in the field.

I can take a view camera out of the backpack and have it operational in less than 60 seconds, since it packs set-up. Just attached the back. Slower to use, yes, but such is the nature of the beast. As I wrote, if I need "fast" I've got my DSLRs.

Your observations simply don't resonate with reality, at least as I experience it.

Michael
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schaubild
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2006, 05:24:20 AM »
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What I wonder is: with this type of viewcam you have approximately 6 geared mechanisms between lens and sensor. A gear means tolerances, any additional gear tolerance adds to the others. Conclusion: you'll never get the sensor plane precisely enough adjusted.
I have to admit is that of the actual professional viewcams the Linhof seems to have the best adaption to digital requirements (precision wise), with Sinar P3 coming in a close second and Arca Swiss ranked third.

But when I look at the work it took to calibrate a digital back to a viewfinder camera, I had to adjust with a precision of 1/100mm, otherwise you could see the focus issues in the print, how is it possible to focus such a view camera precisely enough to take advantage of the impressive number of pixels? And will you be able to get to this setup repeatedly in the field, even after adjusting the camera?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 05:31:49 AM by schaubild » Logged
Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2006, 07:39:23 AM »
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Michael
Can I loan you my personal trainer before you go to Namibia? It seems to be a heavy and bulky setup. Personally, I am looking forwared to seeing the results. I'm sure I speak for most LL "voyeurs" when I say we're envious but admire your gumption on this odyssey to find the ultimate resolution of a digital picture. Hope you have upgraded your Mac to handle these files. I'm sure it will expose the fact now the printer is the weak link  
Ken
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michael
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2006, 08:04:56 AM »
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As I pointed out in the update to my article, which I just posted, the Linhof / P45 system actually weighs a few pounds less than my Contax 645 outfit, and fits in the same bag.

Since I've backpacked this around the world several times I see no reason why things should be any different now.

At age 61 I can still backpack a 30-35 pound system much of the day. Maybe in another 10 years I'll start doing landscape work with a Funkycam to lighten my load somewhat.

Michael
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jani
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2006, 08:13:01 AM »
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Quote
At age 61 I can still backpack a 30-35 pound system much of the day. Maybe in another 10 years I'll start doing landscape work with a Funkycam to lighten my load somewhat.
Or maybe you'll just send an MMS or the equivalent from your ancient 22 megapixel cell phone ...

(Jeez, Samsung just announced a 10 megapixel camphone.)

Personally, I think I prefer seeing the results of more ... meticulous work.  I hope that your health holds for at least another 20.  Years, not megapixels ...
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Jan
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2006, 09:03:40 AM »
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I think it's a great outfit; people have been hauling LF equipment into the woods for 150 years, and I can't believe that a digital back is that much heavier than a dozen LF film holders. I would suggest that Michael take a look at the Kata Teddy-2 backpack, though, especially for the Africa trip.

There's an article this month in View Camera magazine about using the Linhof M679 as a digital set-up, and View Camera people are not indoors sorts, so this is being done by others, as well.

My biggest questions don't have to do with either the outfit or the purpose, but how you travel with back-up? I've hauled a Nikon system around the Middle East, but if you're taking a view camera, tripod, and then a Canon-system back-up, you're gonna have to buy a plane ticket for a mule...

There's also a line in the Ultimate article that caught my eye, about lenses as good as the best 35mm lenses. I wonder if the enthusiasm for Leica's DMR has as much to do with lenses working with the chip, as with the chip itself? Is it possible that the Leica lenses are simply making up for ground that is lost by Canon lenses, even though the chip is not as capable?

And did I understand that Michael's Zeiss/Contax is history?

JC
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DaveW
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2006, 12:17:48 PM »
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This is what I love about this site - from cheapo near disposable digital cameras to the top end of current technology at prices that I couldn't afford even IF my wife would let me buy them


Reading about the cameras is alwasy fun - but it's nice to be reminded that in the end, it's about the image
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concertworks
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2006, 10:17:27 PM »
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“Thanks for the lecture, but your points are off the mark.” Lecture?  What a friendly thing to say.  Disagree, sure, fine, but the sarcastic condescension is uncalled for.  To suggest a counterpoint is (in part) what a productive discussion is about – unless of course one is expected to agree with another or say nothing…

“Insurance is insurance. What's the point?” The point?  What was the point of doing a cost comparison with film 4/5?  The context should make the point obvious; a $40k system will cost ten times more to insure than a $4k system.  At 5% (roughly) of equipment value for international professional insurance the difference per year between the two is $1800.  Or, in terms of film and processing @ $5 per frame, 360 frames… whatever the precise numbers they are surely not so insignificant as to merit no mention.

“Field mainteneance is done with gaffer tape and a lens wrench. I can swap shutters between lenses in the field in about 3 minutes. Try repairing your Nikon's shutter in the field.”
I was kinda sticking with 4/5 so, unless you refer to a Nikon LF lense that is a redundant thing to say and misses another point (am I that vague??).  Let me explain a little: I have worked with CCD’s for 19 years a an endoscope repair technician (colonoscope, gastro, bronch etc.) and have seen first hand what can go wrong with a CCD and what it can cost to repair.  Things like fluid invasion, wafer separation, static electricty blow-outs and so on.  Do you think the digital backs are maintenance free?  Don’t you do even a rough annual budget that includes maintenance?  Having never owned a digital back I can’t say what the deal is but would tend to err on the side of possible equipment failure.  Generally the point was that a folding wooden view camera film system has the advantage of being maintenance-free (that is unless you are really hard on the film holders).

As the 2 update paragraphs seem to directly address some of the other things I wrote may I respond in kind?

“Immediately upon publication of this article I heard from several people questioning the field-worthness of a system like this. My guess is that these questions are from people that have never shot with a large format or technical camera, and / or who have never used medium format digital”.  In other words such people should be quiet ‘cause they don’t know… not much of a communicator are you?  Is it not possible to disagree amicably?  I have shot 35/6x12/6x6 and 4/5 and have done so since 1976.  So what?  If an idea or suggestion has some merit it can be discussed regardless the source.  Practicality isn’t so esoteric that you have to get your hands dirty to understand it theoretically.  Again, why be condescending about it?  Not having had aspirations to shoot digital LF I can humbly say I am a neophyte in that regard and would hope to learn from reasonable responses to valid questions.


“There have also been several emails from people expressing their dismay that equipment such as this somehow gets in the way of, or is a substitute for creativity. My response – rubbish!”  Here I get to quote myself: “in case it isn't obvious by this point it is my very strong belief that the equipment has as much chance to inhibit the creative vision as it does to enhance it”.  

Can’t say I’d be much surprised that somebody could actually be “dismayed” by another’s way of thinking.  Each to their own.  However, since I did explicitly say that it may be possible the equipment can affect a shoot or creative vision it’s not unreasonable to assume you were addressing my reference as above.  I merely suggested a possibility with both positive and negative implications.  What you think is that it is not possible - “rubbish” … well, sir, my response to that is similar.  How can you think so narrowly and call yourself creative at the same time?  Or communicate so arbitrarily and call yourself a teacher?  There is nothing abstract in anything I write.  Nor eccentric.  Or is there?  Maybe I’m being argumentative or contrary ‘cause I’m envious or embittered.  But, no... sometimes you get into a thread in the hopes of hearing some original thought, stimulating the big muscle a little, learning something.

Constructive criticism is a good thing.  I remain hopeful you can understand that concept Mr. Reichmann and not be so personal in your replies as will I in a reciprocal manner.  We are after all just talking about photography… right?

PRz
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