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Author Topic: digital options for landscape photos?  (Read 3457 times)
paraskopic
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« on: January 05, 2007, 10:00:16 PM »
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Hi all,

I am planning to shoot in Australian semi-arid and Outback environments this year for up to a month at a time..think hot and lots and lots of flies!

What medium format digital options do I have for landscape work, preferably in the 6x7 format. I would want prints capable of A1 size (23x33 inch) with fine detail (of grass in foreground, trees in background etc).

I'm seeking a relatively portable digital system which will setup quickly on a tripod (so I don't end up chewing on all those flies even before I compose/focus). I would also like a system which is particulary capable of wide-angle close focus (but telephoto also).

Is the Mamiya RZ67 an option? If so, what type of digital back is most compatible? What costs are involved if I can find some equipment used? What laptop setup would cope with large files for viewing whilst on location?

The 1dsII plus Leica R lenses would be a better option in terms of portability and price. But would it be compromising on image quality in comparison?

Any ideas?

Thanks.
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2007, 10:24:31 PM »
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Most people doing professional landscape work here (for sale, exhibitions, books etc) still use film. 6x17 is very (some might say too) popular.
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paraskopic
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2007, 10:34:58 PM »
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Most people doing professional landscape work here (for sale, exhibitions, books etc) still use film. 6x17 is very (some might say too) popular.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94020\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I prefer 6x17 as well as I currently have an Xpan and love the format.

But how do people cope with those large files from 6x17 scans...the computer setup in terms of RAM and HD must be phenomenal to cope with the raw scan, let alone adding layers to PS. How do people get around these issues?

I was originally going to purchase a Fotoman 6x17 but 6x7 format seemed more practical for scanning..so I thought why don't I just purchase MF digital as it may cost the same as a Fotoman +Imacon Scanner.

Any thoughts?
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2007, 10:47:01 PM »
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Yes, I prefer 6x17 as well as I currently have an Xpan and love the format.

But how do people cope with those large files from 6x17 scans...the computer setup in terms of RAM and HD must be phenomenal to cope with the raw scan, let alone adding layers to PS. How do people get around these issues?

I was originally going to purchase a Fotoman 6x17 but 6x7 format seemed more practical for scanning..so I thought why don't I just purchase MF digital as it may cost the same as a Fotoman +Imacon Scanner.

Any thoughts?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94022\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't shoot 6x17 but do scans (on a Flextight 848) for others that do. You should be able to find someone to do comparable scans for you ... or I could do them :-). The maximum scan size from 6x17 tops out at over 1GB but half this is plenty for the print size you're talking about. A fast machine with 4GB is adequate for files this size.

If you're planning a big trip, I'd stick with what you know. At least bring your Xpan as backup.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2007, 12:24:45 AM »
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If you're planning a big trip, I'd stick with what you know. At least bring your Xpan as backup.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94023\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I totally second that advice.

Otherwise:

- The largest sensors currently available on one shot digital backs are 36*48 mm. The top contenders in terms of resolution are the Leaf 75, Phase P45 and Hassy H2D39/H3D39. If you need wider, then scanning solutions from Betterlight on 4x5 are basically the only solution, but it comes at a price in terms of convenience,

- I find A2 prints (17x22) made from a 22 MP back (Mamiya ZD, Phase 25, Leaf 22, Sinar 22,...) to be difficult to distinguish from Imacon scanned 4x5,

- A problem sometimes seen with 35 mm DSLR - and still present to some extend with higher end digital, is the rendition of the sun edges or other transitions to very bright areas. Digital backs are not totally free of that, but are significantly better than 35 mm DSLR,

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
froesner
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2007, 06:37:16 AM »
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Two options if you want to go digital:

1. Alpa XY (www.alpa.ch) - that is my recently purchased setup: Leaf Aptus 22 / Alpa XY / Schneider 35 / 47 Digitar - with the XY and  the image circle of those lenses you can easily stitch images with enough resolution for your needs

2. Take a look at http://www.roundshot.ch/xml_1/internet/de/intro.cfm

Hope that helps

Frank
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2007, 07:37:57 AM »
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I was about to post the same thing!

I'll be in Switzerland next week. Will try and see one of these if I can. It's the most groundbreaking camera to be released for many years.
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Graham Mitchell - www.graham-mitchell.com
marcwilson
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2007, 09:58:43 AM »
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I do think that looking at files to give constant quality of up to A1 size and possibly beyond is pushing the limits of digital systems..mainly because shooting landscape prints mean people will be looking at them in very close detail and with images like these the quality really is paramount .

In non digital terms a mamiya 7 will provide wonderfull transparancies to scan and print from as would a horseman sw 612 that gives you the option of 67/69 and 612 shooting..as well as shift movements on the 612P body. They also make a 617 version.
And of course the alpa's giving rise and fall if you want or ultimate portability in the Tc body...but all 69 maximum.
There also as you say the fotoman 617 option but I think they just shoot 617 and that may be quite restrcitive unless you are speciafic ally and ONLY shooting a 617 format panoramic project.

In digital tems, I have shot on a 1dsmk2 with zeiss and leica lenses and although good the images produced are nothing like those from drum scanned 67 film in comparison when anything over A3 is being printed.

For landscapes, something like the alpas or the horseman swd with top large format lenses and a 30+mp back are very portable and would also do it..from large prints I have seen..but at some cost!

I really do believe that unless money is no object, and perahps even then on qualtiy issues, for large format landscape prints drum scanned velvia 100 (or 50 if it is out again before you leave) is still the way to go.

If the shots are worth it they are worth the computer processing power, time, scanning hassle, etc..if shot on digital and of not high enough qualtiy what can you do?

Marc
« Last Edit: January 06, 2007, 10:00:19 AM by marcwilson » Logged

benedmonson
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 10:24:47 AM »
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I second the 6x12 film format. When my job calls for any landscape work i opt for my Ebony SW45, Nikon 90mm F4 lens and a Horseman 6x12 roll film back. This is an unbeatable easy to use lightweight combo. I've packed it all over North & South America for years. It's just too easy to shoot chrome and have it scanned on a high end drum or Imacon scanner. I have gallery prints up to 7' tall and the detail at 6" away is incredible. Best thing is I've got less than $2500.00 USD in the entire kit less filters and tripod.

Cheers,

Ben Edmonson
www.benedmonson.com
« Last Edit: January 06, 2007, 10:25:47 AM by benedmonson » Logged
paraskopic
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2007, 03:58:43 PM »
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Thanks for your comments.

I'm going to have to reconsider my options if I am to use film.

The Mamiya 7II (or 6) may be a good option or alternatively I purchase the Fotoman and become (another!) 6x17 format photographer.

I'll give it some more thought.

Your advice has been helpful.

Cheers.
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