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Author Topic: Silvestri Flexicam experience?  (Read 13931 times)
mshea
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« on: March 08, 2008, 05:22:59 PM »
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Hi Folks,

My first posting here. I'm quite interested in the Silvestri Flexicam as a possible solution for a lightweight, backpackable view camera to be used with a digital back, and I gather an adaptor is also available for Canon EOS bodies. I'd also use it for simple interior/exterior architectural work. Do any of you have experience with the Flexicam? The whole view camera world is new territory for me, so there may be other lightweight models out there which might fill the bill. In that regard, I've read here that there's a new lightweight Cambo that will be released soon.

Thanks for any info you can provide!

Merrill
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jing q
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2008, 06:48:09 PM »
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Hi Folks,

My first posting here. I'm quite interested in the Silvestri Flexicam as a possible solution for a lightweight, backpackable view camera to be used with a digital back, and I gather an adaptor is also available for Canon EOS bodies. I'd also use it for simple interior/exterior architectural work. Do any of you have experience with the Flexicam? The whole view camera world is new territory for me, so there may be other lightweight models out there which might fill the bill. In that regard, I've read here that there's a new lightweight Cambo that will be released soon.

Thanks for any info you can provide!

Merrill
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180091\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm using a Bicam with Flexi Maxi Bellows now. the Flexicam's a more compact version of that with a smaller sliding back and different attachment system

It's been really enjoyable using my Bicam although the shift from left to right could benefit from going beyond 15mm...
lovely to be able to use swings and tilts on the front standard too.

I focus using the standard 4x magnifier which is ok, and I have an 8x square loupe also just in case.

The bayonets for the Flexicam are surprisingly pricey though, compared to the Bicam

I'm not sure if they have a shift sliding back for the Flexicam but it seems to be more worthwhile to get that if it only costs abit more...compared to just a standard sliding back

btw, using a rodenstock 45mm f/4.5 and a rodenstock 35mm HR and I have no problems using all the movements with both lenses
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 06:50:14 PM by jing q » Logged
jonstewart
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 05:01:53 AM »
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Just remember, the rear standard is fixed, isn't it?

(I was playing with one for a while at a show, couple of weeks ago.)

However, it is a very compact solution compared with others.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 05:02:36 AM by jonstewart » Logged

Jon Stewart

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tom_l
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 05:06:55 AM »
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My flexicam arrived already a few weeks ago... but i'm still waiting for the f...ing adaptor to put my Zeiss lenses on it. They send the wrong one, there's  a long adapter for the bicam and a short for the flexicam. It's really difficult to get answers about the flexicam, maybe the best thing is to phone Silvestri in Italy.
Not sure if the Flexicam allows to put Canon bodies on it, maybe the Bicam does.

What to say about the Flexicam, it really well built, as much as my old Flexbody was. I did some tests with a 35mmXL, which i will only buy next year, and i was quite amazed. Still have to find out if i can put a 120mm on it for tabletop, or if i have to get a 105mm.


tom
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jonstewart
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2008, 07:37:18 AM »
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Yes, my interest was mostly studio, so had sort of decided to go with a full view camera where I can control both front and rear standards. It's lovely and compact though,     compared with any of the more normal view camera solutions, and I might still buy it.

As regards putting a Canon body on it, don't know, but Cambo do the X1, which would provide similar functionality for a dSLR body.
J
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 07:39:13 AM by jonstewart » Logged

Jon Stewart

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2008, 09:41:01 AM »
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the f...ing adaptor[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180180\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As in Nikon F,   I am interested in reprots of that in use

S
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jing q
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2008, 12:32:41 PM »
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My flexicam arrived already a few weeks ago... but i'm still waiting for the f...ing adaptor to put my Zeiss lenses on it. They send the wrong one, there's  a long adapter for the bicam and a short for the flexicam. It's really difficult to get answers about the flexicam, maybe the best thing is to phone Silvestri in Italy.
Not sure if the Flexicam allows to put Canon bodies on it, maybe the Bicam does.

What to say about the Flexicam, it really well built, as much as my old Flexbody was. I did some tests with a 35mmXL, which i will only buy next year, and i was quite amazed. Still have to find out if i can put a 120mm on it for tabletop, or if i have to get a 105mm.
tom
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[a href=\"http://www.silvestricamera.it/eng/news_eng/news.htm]http://www.silvestricamera.it/eng/news_eng/news.htm[/url]
There is an adapter for Canon cameras.
105mm is the maximum extension but you can add a longer bayonet that allows more extension I believe

Silvia Silvestre is the person to talk to, she knows her stuff.
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tom_l
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2008, 03:10:24 PM »
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http://www.silvestricamera.it/eng/news_eng/news.htm
There is an adapter for Canon cameras.
105mm is the maximum extension but you can add a longer bayonet that allows more extension I believe

Silvia Silvestre is the person to talk to, she knows her stuff.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180233\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for the clarification.

As soon as i have the lens adapter and the camera is working, I'll give some news.


tom
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shutay
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2008, 08:08:07 AM »
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I've been looking very closely at it too, with the additional benefit that the local Hasselblad dealer here also has it in stock. I plan to rent it soon to try it out.

My observations/thoughts:
- The horizontal shift is on the front standard, while the vertical shift (+/- 23mm) is on the rear standard.
- There is a Live View adapter, Nikon & Canon EOS back adapter, and sliding back adapter. The one on the display/rental unit I saw was the sliding back adapter. As far as I know, there isn't a stitching back per se for either digital back or Nikon/Canon EOS body. But... you could combine the +/- 23mm vertical shift and the sliding back's horizontal movement to serve in this function IF you can live with reduced shift convenience, imprecise horizontal positioning in the stitching. Can you live with this? There is a measurement scale on the vertical shift movement, but none on the sliding back, so you would either have to do some testing and mark the different positions yourself, or make a hard card or wooden or plastic ruler that would help you understand how much you have shifted the sliding back left or right.
- Using a Canon EOS or Nikon body on a camera like this has the same problems of using one on any view camera - I don't know the exact measurement for a Canon EOS body, but a Nikon body is some 43mm deep, from lens mounting flange to the CCD sensor focal point. As a consequence, it is often not possible to use lenses shorter than 90mm with a Canon or Nikon body, unless you don't mind not being able to focus to infinity.
- If you plan to shoot multiple shots on the Canon/Nikon body across the lens' image circle and stitch together, there is no recessed ground glass to you that can help you compose first, that will have the same depth as the Canon/Nikon body, so this will be another, inconvenient, challenging aspect. If shooting with a digital back, you don't have this problem.
- If you main purpose is to use a Canon body, have you had a look at http://www.camerafusion.com/?
- Have you read the review of the Horseman LD on this site? It might give you some insight into using a view camera adapter with a 35mm type SLR.

I'll try to put together as much as I can into a sort of a review when I rent the Flexicam. I just don't have a firm date when I'll do that yet.

shutay
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jonstewart
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2008, 12:41:39 PM »
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Thanks for the input there, and I/we'd appreciate your thoughts when you've used it a bit.
J
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shutay
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2008, 03:58:53 AM »
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Just to stir things up and to add a purty picture to this thread (don't you prefer a book with pictures in it? ).

It's a Silvestri Flexicam with Sliding back and Hasselblad H-mount, with digiBellows mounted over the ground glass. The lens is a Rodenstock Apo-Sironar Digital 4.5/45mm lens. Tripod is a Gitzo as you can see for youself...

The shot is a crop taken out of a shot taken using a Kapture Group Truewide using my Ixpress V96C and a Zeiss ZF 50mm f/1.4 lens. As far as I could tell, the Zeiss lens image circle covered the entire 6x6 ground glass focusing screen.
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BJNY
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2008, 04:07:13 AM »
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Is the Flexicam able to work with 120mm Macro for still life requiring longer rail & bellows?
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Guillermo
shutay
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 10:52:39 AM »
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Is the Flexicam able to work with 120mm Macro for still life requiring longer rail & bellows?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180559\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have not had the chance to try any of this, but there is a Hasselblad V actuator in Silvestri bayonet mount. The idea is that it enables one to use Hasselblad V lenses on the Flexicam. The actuator itself has a certain depth and provides a means to cock the lens shutter mechanism and trigger it. I would imagine that combined with the depth of the actuator along with the built-in focus rails, the required depth is available make normal use of V-system lenses. As far as I can tell, it is not possible to extend the focus rail to make it longer than the standard supplied length. But you would have the benefit of being able to use tilt and swing in addition to the close focus of the 120 Makro-Planar lens. Full extension of the focus rail is 90mm, together with the depth of the Actuator, means that it should even provide the effect of a certain amount of extension tube as well if fully racked out. But once again, I have neither seen nor touched this Actuator.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 10:53:48 AM by shutay » Logged
BJNY
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2008, 11:06:04 AM »
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Thanks, shutay.

The Silvestri Flexicam shows interesting potential.
If V lenses can be used with their Actuator, imagine if somehow HC lenses could be mounted and controlled, too.
I suppose Rollei lenses could be used as well since Alpa is already offering their solution:
http://www.alpa.ch/index.php?path=products...ens_adapters_i_
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tom_l
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2008, 07:53:49 AM »
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The lens actuator/adapter arrived finally. Workflow is the same as with the Flexbody, the recock lever has two positions: Recock, trigger(shutter close), activate the back, trigger again to expose.

I just took a few minutes to put my 60/80/120 mm CF(e) on the flexicam to get an idea how this works.
Lenses up to 105mm are offcially supported, but no idea if they mean LF lenses or Zeiss lenses.
So, yes, the 120mm seems to work fine, but i looks huge on the small flexicam. Would i put a twice as heavy 180mm on it? No way, better not.
 What can the flexicam do? For my kind of work it can probably replace a big Sinar P on location. It has swing/tilt on the front standard as well as lateral/side shift. Shifting up and down is done on the rear standard.
Not sure if all the little tiny buttons are on the right place, the small button to unlock the actuator from the body is impossible to push with normal fingers.

Tom
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BJNY
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2008, 08:03:11 AM »
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THANK YOU, Tom.
Is the Flexicam holding up from all the weight/torque?
Billy
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Guillermo
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2008, 08:09:38 AM »
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Paul, Thierry & Yair,
I hope you're taking notice
how this mini-view camera would an interesting option
IF HC and Rollei-mount lenses were to be usable on it.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 08:56:01 AM by BJNY » Logged

Guillermo
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2008, 09:21:53 AM »
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Tom,

How is the screen on the Silvestri sliding back? Their screens have typically been fairly dark. If you are working tethered it may not matter that much.


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The lens actuator/adapter arrived finally. Workflow is the same as with the Flexbody, the recock lever has two positions: Recock, trigger(shutter close), activate the back, trigger again to expose.

I just took a few minutes to put my 60/80/120 mm CF(e) on the flexicam to get an idea how this works.
Lenses up to 105mm are offcially supported, but no idea if they mean LF lenses or Zeiss lenses.
So, yes, the 120mm seems to work fine, but i looks huge on the small flexicam. Would i put a twice as heavy 180mm on it? No way, better not.
 What can the flexicam do? For my kind of work it can probably replace a big Sinar P on location. It has swing/tilt on the front standard as well as lateral/side shift. Shifting up and down is done on the rear standard.
Not sure if all the little tiny buttons are on the right place, the small button to unlock the actuator from the body is impossible to push with normal fingers.

Tom
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182089\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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jing q
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2008, 10:03:50 AM »
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The lens actuator/adapter arrived finally. Workflow is the same as with the Flexbody, the recock lever has two positions: Recock, trigger(shutter close), activate the back, trigger again to expose.

I just took a few minutes to put my 60/80/120 mm CF(e) on the flexicam to get an idea how this works.
Lenses up to 105mm are offcially supported, but no idea if they mean LF lenses or Zeiss lenses.
So, yes, the 120mm seems to work fine, but i looks huge on the small flexicam. Would i put a twice as heavy 180mm on it? No way, better not.
 What can the flexicam do? For my kind of work it can probably replace a big Sinar P on location. It has swing/tilt on the front standard as well as lateral/side shift. Shifting up and down is done on the rear standard.
Not sure if all the little tiny buttons are on the right place, the small button to unlock the actuator from the body is impossible to push with normal fingers.

Tom
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182089\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

tom:how are you working with the sliding back for vertical positioning?
my sliding back can't clear the tripod head in vertical position
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tom_l
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2008, 10:26:43 AM »
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THANK YOU, Tom.
Is the Flexicam holding up from all the weight/torque?
Billy
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Yes, it seems so,
these Zeiss are quite heavy, but i seems all fine for me, my 120mm being the heaviest i have. I will get a 160 or 180mm some day, but these are probably too heavy.
I good tripod is a must here, not really because of the weight of the body/lens, but because to manipulation of the sliding back, maybe I just have to get used to it


Tom
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