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Author Topic: Paging all users of Leaf Live Video/ re. focussing  (Read 3276 times)
Fritzer
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« on: December 02, 2006, 09:07:58 AM »
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A few days ago, I purchased an Aptus 75 DB.

I am a still life photographer, using Sinar cameras and tungsten lighting; focussing can be a bit of a struggle, as the small sensor size and misallignment of ground glass and chip surface make it kind of a challenge.

My dealer let me try the Live Video dongle for a few days, and I have been less than impressed by the jerky, high contrast and low-res B/W image I got on a Macbook Pro/ Leaf capture 8.4.4 .

Also, the high sensitivity of the device requires some workarounds like ND lens filters or dimming the lights, but that I can deal with in the studio.

So I am wondering, what are your experiences and procedures with the Leaf back and focussing on a large format camera ; do you consider the Live Video feature any helpful ?

On a related note, and this is just some wild speculation, with Phase announcing Live Video for their upcoming '+' backs, and Leaf possibly making the feature a free upgrade, do you consider the high priced Leaf Dongle a worthy investment ?
After all, it merely unlocks an already implented capability of the Aptus DBs.

Thanks in advance,
Tom
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khwanaon
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2006, 09:50:33 AM »
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A few days ago, I purchased an Aptus 75 DB.

I am a still life photographer, using Sinar cameras and tungsten lighting; focussing can be a bit of a struggle, as the small sensor size and misallignment of ground glass and chip surface make it kind of a challenge.

My dealer let me try the Live Video dongle for a few days, and I have been less than impressed by the jerky, high contrast and low-res B/W image I got on a Macbook Pro/ Leaf capture 8.4.4 .

Also, the high sensitivity of the device requires some workarounds like ND lens filters or dimming the lights, but that I can deal with in the studio.

So I am wondering, what are your experiences and procedures with the Leaf back and focussing on a large format camera ; do you consider the Live Video feature any helpful ?

On a related note, and this is just some wild speculation, with Phase announcing Live Video for their upcoming '+' backs, and Leaf possibly making the feature a free upgrade, do you consider the high priced Leaf Dongle a worthy investment ?
After all, it merely unlocks an already implented capability of the Aptus DBs.

Thanks in advance,
Tom
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88245\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Tom,

if you are a Sinar user, you surely know that Sinar has implemented the live video o all their studio backs. All you need to add to your camera is a LC shutter in front of your lens, and you live will be perfect. I can promise you that you won't go back to your groundglass once you have used it. it is much preciser than focusing with the eyes on the groundglass, there is even an in-focus indicator. I am using it daily and would not like to miss it anymore. And it is in colour.

I don't know yet the phase live video feature, but was told by some friends having seen it, that it is pratically un-usable for precise studio work

Aon
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2006, 12:03:29 PM »
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So I am wondering, what are your experiences and procedures with the Leaf back and focussing on a large format camera ; do you consider the Live Video feature any helpful ?


Hi Tom,

I'm a still-life photographer too and I could not live without the Live Video. You need it for fine focussing.

The Live Video on the Leaf is, to my knowledge the best there is at the moment, apart from having the Sinar shutter with their expensive, extremely bulky and heavy appendage that you attach to the front of the camera (at least that what it was like when I last saw it, it may have changed).

The Live Video is considerably, I mean considerably better than on the Hass cameras in my opinion, and the frame refresh rate is not too bad. However, I haven't seen it on the Hass 39 series backs as it was not implemented yet when I had the demo three months ago, so check it out for updates.

You just need to get used to how the Leaf Live Video works. You can get quite a nice and smooth monochrome image if you have exactly the right amount of light and contrast, but they are always extremely sensitive to light, so we use either ambient light, or just the light in the room, or a very dimmed modelling light, and it works. However, it needs to be diffused light.


If you are shooting high contrast, as for example a small item surrounded by a lot of white background, or a bright subject on black, you are going to have problems and you may need to shield some of the white (or black background) with a medium contrast piece or paper or picture, anything medium contrast, even an adjacent object or maybe a small colored box so that the area of high contrast occupies momentarity less of the frame.

Complicated? Well, to be honest, it's c*rap, but it is possibly the least c*rap of all there is, so you better get used to it!

I am told by someone who has seen the Phase Live Video that it's really primitive, but to be fair, I don't have first hand experience and things could be better, though don't hold your breath.

Given a workable software, (and I don't really like any of the software solutions for tethered) I would go for any camera back that offers an excellent Live Video, as it's so essential for still life. I think you will probably find that the Leaf one, once you get used to it, will do the job... The dongle addition is a joke, it should all be part of the camera, they are expensive enough as they are, without having to pay for these little extras, particularly since you still can't use it with LC10 (but hopefully soon you will) but that's another question.

But I'd like to hear whether Sinar has actually improved on their shutter, or whether it still is that heavy monstruosity that I saw, which, together with view camera, back, etc, made the whole system weigh more than a small child!

Edward
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 12:29:23 PM by E_Edwards » Logged
Fritzer
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2006, 01:56:00 PM »
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Thanks very much for your elaborate reply, Edward, it's much appreciated !

Indeed I managed to get a decent preview image after adjusting the lighting to the sensivity of the Leaf live video, yet still found it lacking of detail, especially in the shadows. Also, the magnification controls appear to be quite clumsy.
Needless to say, the Dongle came without instructions, and only a Google search provided me with the information needed to actually get it up and running.

For the record/ forum archive --->
Quote
Go to Applications > Leaf Capture 10 > Utilities > aksusb Installer. It should acivate the dongle for Leaf Capture 8.
.
Courtesy of an anonymous poster on RG's ; it worked for me with a MacbookPro and a G5 Powermac, with both LC 8.4.4 and 10.0.4 installed.

Best,
Tom
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2006, 02:15:32 PM »
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Also, the magnification controls appear to be quite clumsy.

The good news is that the upcoming upgrade (the Alpha version that I saw) has improved the magnification control. You can navigate through the picture by using the normal Navigation window with its little green rectangle, this will make focussing at 100% on various points in the video image much quicker. Plus a few other Live Video tweaks that, if implemented, would be a step in the right direction.

Edward
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yaya
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 02:42:08 PM »
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The OSX driver for the dongle is also available from Aladdin:

Aladdin HASP dongle driver OSX
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pixjohn
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 03:49:16 PM »
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I also use the live video. You definitely have to work around all the quirks with the live video. I do have to say  its a joke we have to pay so much for the use of something that should be included. I will definitely have a few words if they start giving it away.

I also use ND filter over the lens to use the live video outdoors. Leaf and my dealer always said you can't use live video outdoors. It took me about a min to think and say why not just put a filter over the lens (Just another clueless dealer without any knowledge of the product).
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Fritzer
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2006, 05:15:31 PM »
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Thanks again, sound advice !

I'm still hesitant to spend the money, it's just not right I think to pay a premium to unlock this somewhat imature feature.
Even more so since it is not working in LC 10. I'll try the old ground glass for the time being, and wait for Leaf's reaction on the Phase + backs.

Best,
Tom
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