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Author Topic: Question for the Still Life guys. What view camera  (Read 6735 times)
E_Edwards
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« on: November 26, 2006, 02:57:47 PM »
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I'm looking to buy a small, light and practical view camera to shoot on indoor locations. It will go through airports and I will carry it as hand luggage all folded flat if possible.

Currently we use Sinar P cameras in the studio, with Leaf backs attached to sliding backs. These work very well, contrary what some people say, you just have to be careful when focussing and do it very gently, but once you get used to it, they are absolutely fine. However, they are big and bulky, no good for travelling from country to country.

My requirements are:

-A high percentage of relatively close up work (almost 1 : 1 sometimes). Unlike architecture guys, I don't need wide angle. I normally shoot with 100 to 180 mm lenses.

-Self lockable friction knobs on all movements, like the Sinar. I definitely don't want to lock anything, it always tends to move the focus in doing so.

-Good amount of shift and tilt on both front and rear standards, all self lockable and capable of bearing the digital back weight without sliding.

-Small and lightweight  and beautifully made. Made to last.

-Maybe with asymmetrical tilts like the Sinar for quick focussing, even though the Sinar axis are not meant to work  with sliding backs and small chips. However, I've used Sinars for 20 years, I haven't known anything else, except some Cambo in the distant past, the focussing was a pain by comparison with the really quick Sinars.  I'm not familiar with centre axis focussing, I guess it's very similar, will I have a problem in adjusting?



I've been considering the small Arca, they just look beautiful, even their leather bellows are a work of art. Arca also makes a sliding back that  allows rotation of the back without removal.

There is also a Silvestri camera coming up. I found  the Linhof 6x9 nice, but perhaps too heavy.

Any recommendations from the still life guys?

Thanks.

Edward
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rethmeier
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2006, 08:38:42 PM »
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Edward,
I would suggest the Rollei X act 2 or the Linhof M 679cc.
Regards,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2006, 09:57:49 PM »
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I use the rollei x act 2 and overall like it. It is especially good with movements using lenses 80mm and up.   The only consideration for me is that since i am more of a field shooter, I would prefer to move to the arca swiss since it weighs less. So I have considered selling it.  The rollei is smaller and lighter than the Linhof (I believe).  I use a rollei lens controller and you can buy an extension tube for the lenses that I use often for macro with my 80 and 120mm digital lenses.  

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Edward,
I would suggest the Rollei X act 2 or the Linhof M 679cc.
Regards,
Willem.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 03:58:18 AM »
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-What about getting P3 standards and keeping it in the family of your current gear

-I think a linhof technicarden (69) folds very flat and small

------

OT:  in terms of the sinar P2 Idont think its useability with digital for macro has really been questioned

In terms of mine It is fine for 'table top' but challenging with a wide like a 47


SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2006, 06:15:08 AM »
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I found  the Linhof 6x9 nice, but perhaps too heavy.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87197\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Remember the Linhof 679cs has built in movements to replace the need for a tripod head, making overall system weight lower than one thinks if one deducts the tripod head weight...
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Axel Bauer
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2006, 06:37:20 AM »
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Thank you for your replies so far.
I must take a look at the little Linhof again. It folded very flat in their own atache case and it was built like a tank! I friend of mine who has one says she would've liked a little more movement in the front standard, I will have to investigate that as well.


I am not sure about the XActo II, I think the one I saw was the version I that a rep brought in years ago and I remember thinking it was horrible, I kept on comparing it to the Sinar. Maybe the version II is much improved.

As for using the current Sinar standards, I may as well not do anything, the difference in weight between the 5x4 and 6x9 square frames can't be that much, it's the standards that carry the heavy weight.

I would really like to hear from those who have the little Arca, the 6x9 or even the little Arca Misura as it seems to me it's the sort of camera you fall in love with...

Edward
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robert zimmerman
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2006, 10:49:50 AM »
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I have an Arca Swiss F-Metric and just received my Leaf Aptus 22 for still life in the studio. I'm in love.

I came from using Sinar cameras and wanted something that had the Sinar simplicity, quality and system witout the size and weight. The Arca F-Metric has that same beautiful precision in a small, light package. It's a truelly marvelous camera. Very, very precise movements, very easy to work with and has all the system components I need.

All in all it's quite similar to the Sinar, but IMO better thought out. The way everything fits together is just a bit smoother and easier to work. And the craftsmanship is second to none.

It's definitely a camera worth trying out if your looking at Sinar, Linhof and co.
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 11:15:27 AM »
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Kipling, your recommendation is very encouraging.

Are you talking about the 6x9 F-Metric? I always find it very confusing with Arcas, all these Metric and Micrometric Orbix, etc.

I need to find out if their sliding back actually fits on the 6x9 or whether it's just made for the 5x4.

Edward




Quote
I have an Arca Swiss F-Metric and just received my Leaf Aptus 22 for still life in the studio. I'm in love.

I came from using Sinar cameras and wanted something that had the Sinar simplicity, quality and system witout the size and weight. The Arca F-Metric has that same beautiful precision in a small, light package. It's a truelly marvelous camera. Very, very precise movements, very easy to work with and has all the system components I need.

All in all it's quite similar to the Sinar, but IMO better thought out. The way everything fits together is just a bit smoother and easier to work. And the craftsmanship is second to none.

It's definitely a camera worth trying out if your looking at Sinar, Linhof and co.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87368\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: November 27, 2006, 11:16:16 AM by E_Edwards » Logged
afremiotti
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 11:52:26 AM »
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I have the 6x9 fmetric as well with an aptus 75 it is very nice and well made. A couple of recomendations:

Don't get the fmetric compact to use for still life, or close up photography the center rail is to small to use with long bellows.

Also don't buy the 50 cm extension bellows it sags to much and will come into frame with rear rise, get two 30's and a third standard, wish I had done that. My longest lens is a 120, with a one 180 like you mentioned you'll probably want longer than standard bellows

The sliding back is very nice and works well, it is also a stiching back for horizontal panorama's. If you are going to use it outside a lot and stiching is not important I would look at kapture groups sliding back. It is cheaper and smaller I believe. The Arca is pretty long. I am also having a minor focus problem between the ground glass and digital back. It's very predictable so easy to adjust for and can probably be fixed with shims.

I would also definately recomend the geared orbix on the front standrard, I was told by Arca they would not mount it on the rear standard. Also the reflex hood is great.

I'm not sure which case you should get to carry on. I tried a tenba attache case but it wasn't nearly big enough. I finally got a pelican 1620 with padded dividers to carry it around in. No way you could carry that case on, but I think it should fly OK, as long as you use extra wraps for the lenses and stuff and pack the body in carefully.

I am currently looking for a small back pack that could carry the body and a couple of lenses if anybody has any ideas.

Hope this helps
« Last Edit: November 27, 2006, 11:54:27 AM by afremiotti » Logged
robert zimmerman
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 12:44:51 PM »
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I have the F-Metric with Orbix (works like Sinars tilt), the 4x5 (coming from film) with the Graflock adapter for a Contax mount Aptus 22.

The sliding back comes for the 4x5 AND the 6x9.
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RicAgu
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 01:10:16 PM »
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There is no better bag out there than the Think Tank Photo Airport Security.  It is spectacular, this is an intown and travel to metropolitan areas roller.  But no Airline has turned me a way.  THey also make some back packs with out the wheels but I have not tried them.  If they are 1/100th of the quality of the Aiport Security then they are perfect.  You can see the different gear at www.thinktankphoto.com .

Best of luck




Quote
I have the 6x9 fmetric as well with an aptus 75 it is very nice and well made. A couple of recomendations:

Don't get the fmetric compact to use for still life, or close up photography the center rail is to small to use with long bellows.

Also don't buy the 50 cm extension bellows it sags to much and will come into frame with rear rise, get two 30's and a third standard, wish I had done that. My longest lens is a 120, with a one 180 like you mentioned you'll probably want longer than standard bellows

The sliding back is very nice and works well, it is also a stiching back for horizontal panorama's. If you are going to use it outside a lot and stiching is not important I would look at kapture groups sliding back. It is cheaper and smaller I believe. The Arca is pretty long. I am also having a minor focus problem between the ground glass and digital back. It's very predictable so easy to adjust for and can probably be fixed with shims.

I would also definately recomend the geared orbix on the front standrard, I was told by Arca they would not mount it on the rear standard. Also the reflex hood is great.

I'm not sure which case you should get to carry on. I tried a tenba attache case but it wasn't nearly big enough. I finally got a pelican 1620 with padded dividers to carry it around in. No way you could carry that case on, but I think it should fly OK, as long as you use extra wraps for the lenses and stuff and pack the body in carefully.

I am currently looking for a small back pack that could carry the body and a couple of lenses if anybody has any ideas.

Hope this helps
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 02:38:23 PM »
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I would also definately recomend the geared orbix on the front standrard, I was told by Arca they would not mount it on the rear standard. Also the reflex hood is great.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87384\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



Thank you for your replies, they are very helpful.

I am slightly confused about your comment regarding the Orbix addition only available for the front standard.

Well, I don't really understand what the Orbix does, I guess I'll have to see it with my own eyes, but if I understand correctly, it allows you to choose where you want to place the tilt axis, is that right?
I now have the Arca brochure but I'm none the wiser.

Also, for my type of photography, which involves pretty miniature sets (generally no bigger than 20x30 cm), I always use the rear standard for focussing, that is, after setting the initial plane of focus on my front standard. If the Orbix is only in the front standard, won't this make it really awkward for me?

I realise it's very difficult to answer these questions and obviously there's nothing like trying it out for real.

Lastly, you mention the Orbix is geared, does it mean that if you can't get the Orbix for the rear standard, then your rear movements aren't geared?

Here is the Orbix bit of the brochure, (if the attachment works!)

Edward

[attachment=1251:attachment]
« Last Edit: November 27, 2006, 02:43:47 PM by E_Edwards » Logged
afremiotti
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2006, 03:05:48 PM »
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The orbix adds yaw free tilt to the front standard. Without it the standards tilt from the base and are not yaw free. The way I work with this setup is find my angle and then use the main, non orbix, tilt to level the standards or get them basically where I want them. Then use the orbix tilt on the front to set the plane of focus and focus with the rear standard. The other geared movements are rise and fall, and shift. Swings and basic tilt are not geared.

You can't mount the orbix to the rear standard because it protrudes from the base of the standard in the front to allow for yaw free movement.

It didn't take very long for me to get used to this way of working. I thought I might not like not having fully geared movements but the weight saved is worth it. Also the movements are very smooth and easy to set even without gears and can be locked down very tight. I shoot a lot of table top with this setup on small sets where focus is critical, and have no trouble. But if all geared movement are necessary then you are looking at getting an arca monolith which are larger and I haven't used.
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2006, 03:26:38 PM »
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Thank you for explaining this. I can't imagine life without geared tilts and swings, but I'm not ruling anything out until  I see how I get on with the real thing.

Edward
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2006, 04:40:41 PM »
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Another vote for the Arca F-Metric with Orbix, but it is not self-locking on focus and *does* have a concentric focus-lock knob.  But FWIW,  mine doesn't change focus at all when locked and this is confirmed with live focus using a Betterlight scanning back.

I am pretty sure neither the Linhof 679 nor the X-Act will have enough bellows to shoot close with the 180...
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2006, 05:14:48 PM »
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Another vote for the Arca F-Metric with Orbix, but it is not self-locking on focus and *does* have a concentric focus-lock knob.  But FWIW,  mine doesn't change focus at all when locked and this is confirmed with live focus using a Betterlight scanning back.

I am pretty sure neither the Linhof 679 nor the X-Act will have enough bellows to shoot close with the 180...
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I guess it's what you're used to...

Actually, the bellows extension needed is not as long as it seems for my type of work. Today I was shooting objects around 30 cm tall maximum, using a 100mm lens for overhead shooting and I was stepping on a small stool to barely reach the top of the camera (and I'm 6'1"). The objects (Scottish sporrans!) were at normal table top height. The extension was with the standards at almost the closest to each other, with a bag bellows.

I often use lenses to control subject-to-lens distance more than anything else.

My standard lenses are 135 and 150 digitars, the (bag) bellows extension is usually around 18 to 24cm. Camera to subject distance about 1 metre. This gives me just about enough depth of field at f16 and allows me to pop my head in to adjust the subject.

I find most digital lenses get noticeably softer after f16.


Edward
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MarkKay
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2006, 08:56:35 PM »
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I can get pretty close with the 180 on my Xact2.  If it is important i can measure.  I have an extension tube that costs about  100 or 150 dollars and i can do very close macro with the 180mm if needed.

Quote
Another vote for the Arca F-Metric with Orbix, but it is not self-locking on focus and *does* have a concentric focus-lock knob.  But FWIW,  mine doesn't change focus at all when locked and this is confirmed with live focus using a Betterlight scanning back.

I am pretty sure neither the Linhof 679 nor the X-Act will have enough bellows to shoot close with the 180...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87429\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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robert zimmerman
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2006, 03:53:12 AM »
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With the F-Metric standard rail, 40cm rail extention, wide angle bellows and the 50cm bellows I can focus anything up to 240mm. The 50cm bellows comes with a bellows supporter that keeps it from sagging into the frame. I don't see the need for the standard 30cm bellows or a third standard, which was a necessity when I was using Sinar.

As far as the sliding back is concerned, this is something I haven't decided on yet.

Can anyone here comment on using them? What are  the advantages? Is it a big time saver?
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2006, 05:18:53 AM »
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As far as the sliding back is concerned, this is something I haven't decided on yet.

Can anyone here comment on using them? What are  the advantages? Is it a big time saver?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87506\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I use Linhof sliding backs. Having used ground glass focussing all my working life, I didn't want to simply rely on the Live Video, so I use the sliding back for quickly framing the subject on the ground glass, apply the right tilts and focus. I find nothing can match the instant view on the ground glass, though many people have got used to Video only and they seem to get on well, so maybe I should try for a week or so without it and see if I can live without the ground glass.

If you shoot items that require minor tilts and shifts and not too many demands on getting good focus all across the image on various planes, I guess The Live Video is all you need.

You always need to check final focus on Live Video anyway.

Edward
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afremiotti
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2006, 09:23:15 AM »
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The 50cm bellows comes with a bellows supporter that keeps it from sagging into the frame.
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If it is not too difficilt to find could you please tell me the part number or what this support looks like. My bellows didn't come with one and I would like to ask my dealer about it.  Thanks
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