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Author Topic: No Solution ?  (Read 4762 times)
Marsupilami
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« on: November 27, 2006, 05:02:33 AM »
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Hello !

From my passion to do landscape work and inspired by an exhibition here in Vienna I started to look again at digital solutions which bring me the highest quality possible. Funny thing is, that compared to the good old field camera approach in 4x5 there seems to be no solution with the same versatility. I have looked at all manufacturers but the only offer lightweight shift cameras, but for some of the most dramatic effects in landscape work, tilt is very useful, if not to say necessary. But there seem to be no real solution for outdoor work. There is the Linhof 679cc and Arca Swiss Misura both with 2,8 kg not too heavy but still.....   With the 39 Mp backs available and the Mamiya 645 AFD or H1-3. Why are there no shift+tilt options available similar to Canon TS ? There might be one, the Hartblei super rotator 45mm, but I have doubts, that the optical performance is good enough for 39 MP backs. With three shift/tilt lenses like in the canon range they medium format could make a big step forward in terms of versatility. But maybe it is just not possible to make good tilt/shift lenses for Medium format. You can see the limits clearly at the canon TS lenses, while they are usable, they are more the limiting factor than the sensor and that at the 12-16 MP range.

Any solutions I missed ?
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 05:28:39 AM »
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Michael Reichman gave the Hartblei good review once - I have no experice - might not be that bad

Smallest tilting option seems to be Silvestri

In terms of 'compact' solutions giving rise/fall ALPA , Horseman and Cambo

And mamiya a do(did?) a risefall 55 manual that will 'work' on the ADF2 and ZD (maybe)

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Carl Glover
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 06:05:43 AM »
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Also Schneider's 55mm T/S for Rollei. I've used it for landscape stuff - It's better than the Canon T/S 24mm which I also use. It is rather large, however.

Like yourself I'd like to see more T/S lenses for medium format - they are rather useful.
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pss
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2006, 03:56:25 PM »
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best solution for front movements and DMF might be the Fuji GX 680 with the capturegroup adapter and oneshot....heavy, yes....but works just like any MF system....obviously T/S and R/F are avaiable with all lenses...the fuji lenses are phantastic and with the Dbacks only the sweet spots are used....

capturegroup also makes a stiching adapter for the 680, but only for hassV Dback mounts...the standard rotating adapters are available in all mounts (mamiya, contax, hassV and H)...

just out of curiosity: which exhibition was that? who is the photographer? are the prints inkjet? is it digital capture?
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ericstaud
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2006, 04:16:11 PM »
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The GX680 would work for this.  Keep in mind that critical focus cannot be acheived on the groundglass (in my experience).  You will likely have to check focus on the computer or on the digital back itself.  The ease of checking focus on different areas of the image using a DB screen might factor into your choice of which DB to buy.
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AndrewDyer
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2006, 05:29:17 PM »
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Have you considered the Hasselblad Flexbody?
Forgive me if you have and you consider it not good enough for you.
I have yet to use mine outdoors - as I bought it mainly for studio product photography - but I am keenly looking forward to trying it for landscape too.
Maybe you did look at it as an option and discarded it because it is no longer made and support is an issue? or some other reason? I think the Zeiss lenses are still good enough for High Res backs.
I just had an Aptus 75 looking through them and was very happy with the results.
Just thought I would check with you to see if you had considered this.

Regards
Andrew
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pss
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2006, 05:34:43 PM »
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Quote
The GX680 would work for this.  Keep in mind that critical focus cannot be acheived on the groundglass (in my experience).  You will likely have to check focus on the computer or on the digital back itself.  The ease of checking focus on different areas of the image using a DB screen might factor into your choice of which DB to buy.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87596\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

you cannot get critical focus with the 680 through the finder? is this a problem with the capturegroup
adapter?
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ericstaud
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2006, 05:51:27 PM »
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you cannot get critical focus with the 680 through the finder? is this a problem with the capturegroup
adapter?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87607\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

When shooting tabletop still life it is very difficult to nail shallow focus images with swings and tilts.  The 645 image is small in the angled viewfinder.  I am using the Beattie split screen which is a huge improvement.  This is my experience in a studio with one other photographer and two assistants who all had the same problem.  The difference between tack sharp and not was a miniscule turn of the focus knob.
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2006, 05:56:10 PM »
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I am using the Beattie split screen which is a huge improvement.  This is my experience in a studio with one other photographer and two assistants who all had the same problem.  The difference between tack sharp and not was a miniscule turn of the focus knob.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87609\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
[/quote]


What I find is that it's very common to have a minuscule misalignment of the ground glass, just enough to affect the focus. I could not shoot without Life Video for final focussing.

Edward
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pss
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2006, 06:06:09 PM »
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When shooting tabletop still life it is very difficult to nail shallow focus images with swings and tilts.  The 645 image is small in the angled viewfinder.  I am using the Beattie split screen which is a huge improvement.  This is my experience in a studio with one other photographer and two assistants who all had the same problem.  The difference between tack sharp and not was a miniscule turn of the focus knob.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87609\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
thanks eric...i understand, i thought there was a general problem with the set-up....i find focussing Dbacks is very hard on any system...never had these problems with film....maybe one downside of having perfect crisp files at our fingertips within seconds? i can't imagine that focus checked with polaroids was as relyable...is there still such a thing as "acceptable focus"? i guess not....and i guess there is no excuse with live preview anyway....no more "was the film flat in the holder" either....
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MarkKay
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2006, 07:02:53 PM »
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Was the GX680  discontinued? I seem to have read that somewhere

Quote
thanks eric...i understand, i thought there was a general problem with the set-up....i find focussing Dbacks is very hard on any system...never had these problems with film....maybe one downside of having perfect crisp files at our fingertips within seconds? i can't imagine that focus checked with polaroids was as relyable...is there still such a thing as "acceptable focus"? i guess not....and i guess there is no excuse with live preview anyway....no more "was the film flat in the holder" either....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2006, 09:01:16 PM »
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Perhaps it is the result of me using Nikon and Mamiya platforms for which there no useful T/S lenses, but I have been using DoF stacking recently, and one can usually get very good results in PS.

My view is that this technique probably open more doors since it can be used with any lens.

One recent sample. In this example, I overlayed 2 exposures, one perfectly focuses on the rocks in the foreground at f16, the second one focused on the rocks in the middle of the frame also at f16. I could have taken a 3rd one for the distant mountains, but I decided to leave them slightly blurred to give more depth.



Proceeding this way makes it possible to stay in the sharpest range of the lens (typically f16 for the Mamiya 35 mm).

The downsides are:

1. Since 2 or 3 exposures are taken, the conditions cannot be changing too fast,
2. Since the actual focal lenght of a a lens changes with the focal distance, the framing changes slightly. This can sometimes be a problem, sometimes not like in the present image where it is completely seemless.

Regards,
Bernard
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Marsupilami
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2006, 03:12:41 AM »
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just out of curiosity: which exhibition was that? who is the photographer? are the prints inkjet? is it digital capture?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It was the photo adventure, a trade fair here in vienna, where the couple Popp-Hackner was showing her photographs, all made with 4x5  with toyo 45 aII cameras. The pictures where huge (more than 1 meter long side) printed on canvas with epson inkjet and very beautiful. The interesting thing is that they are really making their income only with photography (so no rich uncle available) and they seem to do well. Their archive has aprox. 20 000 pictures.

[a href=\"http://www.popphackner.com/]http://www.popphackner.com/[/url]

Thanks for all the good advice so far. I did look at a lot of solutions, so far the only suitable I found are the Silvestri cameras like the Bicam. But I think one of the major drawback is the small focusing area if you go the digital route. Now I am checking all options, even solutions where pictures are stacked via software for more depth of field like "combine Z". At the moment I am struggling with the decision where to go with my photography. My studio here in a small town is not going all too well, stock is  going tougher every year and taking pictures in school is still bringing good money but you need good nerves ! But as I like to stay versatile on outdoor trips (one moment landscape, the next birds or macro) I do not like the classical 4x5 cameras so much, as they are very limited in use, mainly perfect for landscape but not much else. As I do a lot of work in Northern Europe (Iceland) while hiking the equipment should be as lightweight as possible too.

I have writen this hiking guide for Iceland:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Iceland-Rother-Wal...e/dp/3763348026

While I am very satisfied with my Canon equipment for action, school, studio or wedding pictures, I found out that the 5D together with the wide angle zooms like the 24-70L or the 17-40 L is not a good performer. I will try to make a different posting later to show you what the problems are, but to put it short even at f 8 to 11 the pictures are kind of blurry specially in the corners. Not very nice if you shoot landscapes.

Thanks for your help !

Christian
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eronald
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2006, 05:58:47 AM »
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While I am very satisfied with my Canon equipment for action, school, studio or wedding pictures, I found out that the 5D together with the wide angle zooms like the 24-70L or the 17-40 L is not a good performer. I will try to make a different posting later to show you what the problems are, but to put it short even at f 8 to 11 the pictures are kind of blurry specially in the corners. Not very nice if you shoot landscapes.

Thanks for your help !

Christian
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87659\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As ths is a 35 mm issue, let me respond - many photographers find that the Canon bodies are excellent, but the wide-angle lenses are not sharp enough for their landscape work. In particular the zooms are really soft. The "standard" solution is to use an adapter ring to mount a manual-focus lens from a third-party.

The Schneider 28mm shift lens has a reputation for sharpness when mounted on Canon, as has the old Contax Zeiss Distagon 21mm which is widely considered (pun intended) the best wide angle lens ever made in its focal range.  Although these two lenses are expensive, there are lots of wide-angle designs cheaply available off ebay, or even any used camera shopping area, which have been reported as excellent. As examples, Olympus (Zuiko) designs, old Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogons etc.

The biggest difficulty to getting started is purchasing the adapter rings, but you will find sources on the net. Canon cameras can focus to infinity with a variety of lenses from other manufacturers.

Edmund
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2006, 07:47:30 AM »
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While I am very satisfied with my Canon equipment for action, school, studio or wedding pictures, I found out that the 5D together with the wide angle zooms like the 24-70L or the 17-40 L is not a good performer. I will try to make a different posting later to show you what the problems are, but to put it short even at f 8 to 11 the pictures are kind of blurry specially in the corners. Not very nice if you shoot landscapes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87659\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There have been rumours going around for quite some time that Canon would release better quality wide zooms together with its next generation high end body. Let's hope that this can technically be done at reasonable cost and does happen soon.

In the mean time the options are:

- third party lenses on the 5D,
- stitching with less wide primes on the 5D,
- using an APS sensor body like the 30D or the Nikon D2x,
- moving up to medium format digital. The Mamiya ZD is probably the best deal at the moment.

Regards,
Bernard
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