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Author Topic: Wide Angle lens advice  (Read 8599 times)
brivard
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« on: March 18, 2009, 12:01:20 AM »
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I have been debating whether it is a wiser decision to:
a) Save up enough to buy a Canon 5d plus 16-35 2.8 or 17-40 4.0
or
 Buy a Canon 10-22 3.5-4.5 for my Canon 20d
or
c) Any other possible combinations you can think of
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 12:20:18 AM »
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Quote from: brivard
I have been debating whether it is a wiser decision to:
a) Save up enough to buy a Canon 5d plus 16-35 2.8 or 17-40 4.0
or
 Buy a Canon 10-22 3.5-4.5 for my Canon 20d
or
c) Any other possible combinations you can think of

Both options are fine.  Without knowing your needs or value system we have no way of picking.
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AndyS
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 02:34:15 AM »
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I currently have the 10-22mm on a Canon 20D, and have been delighted with it.

Was worried about vignetting with filters, but use the Lee 100mm system with a wide-angle adaptor with no problem (even at 10mm).

I hopefully intend to purchase a 5DII in the near future, and will probably then sell the lens on - second-hand values seem to stay quite high.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 02:39:42 AM »
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Buy the 5D, 17-40 and DxO
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 08:26:37 AM »
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I would forget the Canon 10-22, sigma 10-20 is at least as good and cheaper

10-20 sigma: http://www.lozeau.com/product.aspx?nav_id=963&lang_id=E

But it is evident that if you can afford to buy a 5D MkII with either the 16-35 or the 17-40 that would be the best choice

5D: http://www.lozeau.com/product.aspx?nav_id=9175&lang_id=E

16-35: http://www.lozeau.com/product.aspx?nav_id=6288&lang_id=E

17-40: http://www.lozeau.com/product.aspx?nav_id=1174&lang_id=E
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LightMiner
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2009, 02:01:37 PM »
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Are you looking to buy the 5d for wide angle photography?  There are other options that are considered better if you are wide-angle focused.  If you are saying 'I want a 5d and what wide angle lense should I get' then all comments above are on the right track.  But there are wide-angle focused cameras that you could also consider.  How many wide angle shots per year do you think you will take?  If less than 200 or so then you might consider film rather than digital, film is still king for wide angle, and then you can get into 6X7 and 6X9 technical cameras, and perhaps with shift or even tilt abilities.  (Wide angle produces particular challenges to digital.  Microlenses and the such all help, but its still a tough problem.)  For standard nature photography or not-too-intense architecture the main thing you will want from movements is between 5 and 15 degrees of 'rise' - the rest of the movements are useful but not critical.  Many of the 6X7 or 6X9 cameras will offer this (i.e., 10d or 15d of rise only), and some have all movements.

You could even get a SLR type camera just for your wide angle needs without any movements and get amazing results compared to 5d/35mm lenses.  For example, a Mamiya 645afd (not afdII or afdIII to save cost) and a single 28mm lense.  That would be around 6k total, and would give you 102 degrees diagonal shooting range and a 645 piece of film.  Drum scanned, those end up around 100 megapixel depending on various factors.  The 6X7 and 6X9 drum scan to much higher resolutions.

Also, if you do go 5d consider the Zeiss lenses.  I don't know what your wide angle experience is, but there is less focusing than you might think (the Zeiss is manual focused if I remember right.  Only Sony will support autofocus Zeiss on 35mm format.)  Often you just put the lens at infinity and use f-stop to control how close in objects you want in focus to be, and sometimes you rotate the barrel a little keeping infinity inside the fstop range you are using to get more foreground, but all that to say either the focus point is at infinity, or a little inside.  Autofocus not required - easily done by hand.

If you are wedded to digital also consider the M8.2.  I believe the Leica rangefinder wide's are better than all listed above (easier to build a wide angle lense when no mirror to take into account).  

Oh - one more option.  You could try a Zeiss Ikon Wide Angle 35mm film camera and Biogon T 21 or Distagon 18.  I think you will be shocked with what you will see on that using Ektar 100 or Velvia 50 film versus a digi and compromised lenses.  Note that the M8.2 is closest to this in digital.  And the price for Zeiss Ikon wide + 1 lense is a lot lower than 5d + decent lense.

LightMiner
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« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 02:05:00 PM by LightMiner » Logged
LightMiner
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2009, 02:33:28 PM »
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One more note: Also, if you go Zeiss Ikon WA for now and get either the 18 or 21 mm lense or the more expensive but quite amazing (and makes a great travel lense) Leica Leica 16-18-21mm f/4 Tri-Elmar ASPH then if you like what you see you can wait a few years, save more money, and then get the M8.2 (or potentially expected full frame from new version) so there is nice upgrade path there.  

Note the Zeiss Ikon WA and 18 is only 2k!  Very good entry point to some of the best wide angle optics that exist...   (The Tri-Elmar is a whole different story, it costs 4k, but remember that it is the equivalent of 3 lenses.  So, it would be 5k total for Ikon+Tri-Elmar.)

Another similar option: The Mamiya 7II with 43mm lense (used around 2k as well for both - and by used I mean basically new but has been sitting around for a while, dusty box  ) gets you to 92 degrees of view and is one of the best lenses in medium format - and that is 6X7 film is insane resolution.  That lense is basically 0% distortion.  I think it is 0.04% or something.  Not 4%, 0.04%.  It is a copy of a famous Hasselblad design.  And the 7II is extremely portable - the most portable of the large film options.

Thanks,

LightMiner
http://photo.net/photos/LightMiner/
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 02:35:22 PM by LightMiner » Logged
brivard
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2009, 03:00:42 PM »
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Thanks Light Miner. That is really useful information. I think I will have to do some research on the different film sizes and cameras you mentioned above, because I have done little to no research on medium format photography. Though I know I will take many more than 200 wide-angle shots a year.
Which of the cameras you mentioned are 6x7 and 6x9? Im not sure I know the exact benefits of larger film sizes....
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2009, 05:24:09 PM »
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Why not stitch panoramas in photoshop or PTGui?
Marc
[attachment=12433:Observat...Panorama.jpg]
[attachment=12434:The_Casi...ustralia.jpg]
[attachment=12435:Rice_Pady_Bali.jpg]

5D/24-105is
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 10:11:19 PM »
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Quote from: brivard
Thanks Light Miner. That is really useful information. I think I will have to do some research on the different film sizes and cameras you mentioned above, because I have done little to no research on medium format photography. Though I know I will take many more than 200 wide-angle shots a year.
Which of the cameras you mentioned are 6x7 and 6x9? Im not sure I know the exact benefits of larger film sizes....

The benefit of medium format film is that can print large and still maintain quality. The Mamiya 7II has exceptionally sharp lenses. If you research them you will see that they are the highest rated of almost all lenses. I have a 12' x 14' print on my living room wall made from a 6x7 tranny shot on my 7II.

Fuji made two interesting rangefinders with exceptional lenses: the GW690 90mm and GSW 65mm. These shoot 6x9, which is 600% larger than 35mm. The size of the film equates to 100+ MP sensor. I have the 90mm for sale here, but if you do wide angle you will want to get the 65mm. The camera is known as the 'Texas Leica'.

That being said, stitching with a Canon 5D and a Zeiss ZF prime lens will also produce stunning quality. You will need a good quality adapter. I recommend Cameraquest.

So many choices! Do your research.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2009, 05:43:21 AM »
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Don't forget to factor in the recurring costs of film, processing and drum scans. The drum scans alone might cost more than anything else. Unless you process the film and scan yourself you lose being in command of those critical steps (very important consideration). I learned the hard way with 4x5 and ended up with a Mamiya 645 AFDII/P30 and a Canon 5DII with better results! Canon L lenses are the equal of Contax/Zeiss lenses in image quality and are compleatly functional, I also learned this myself testing the zeiss 45mm, 35-70 and 24-80 against my lowly 24-105is and the Canon came out equal to or better when prints were reviewed by others. So again be careful! You will not go wrong with a good DSLR, a few good lenses, a good tripod/head and stitching when you want a wider view.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2009, 07:17:47 AM »
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I printed several photos taken by 5D and 1DsIII, most of them taken by 24-105 and 16-35, all are amazing [the size were either A3 or A2], and i have 2 prints [A1 or A0 i think] from my 30D with 10-22 shots from Switzerland, i got amazed because the results was good enough even not excellent because i found that all both shots were at ISO 640 for landscapes, my mistake.
Now i will try to use my MF for landscapes and see what i can get.
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AlanG
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2009, 10:16:39 AM »
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I have been an architectural photographer for more than 30 years. I've used a view camera for most of that time. I currently own a Linhof Technikardan S 4x5 and ten lenses for it.  I used to shoot a lot of my interiors on 6x9 and 6x12 film using this camera. The wides I have and had for that format are the 35mm Grandagon, 47mm XL Super Angulon, 58mm XL Super Angulon, 65mm 4.5 Grandagon, 75mm 5.6 Super Angulon, 90mm 4.5 Grandagon, 65 mm f5.6 Super Angulon, 47mm non-XL Super Angulon, 115 f6.8 Grandagon, plus longer lenses.  It worked very well for interiors and exteriors. I usually used center filters with the wide angles.

Do you know what? Since I bought the 1Ds 6 years ago, I have not used the view camera at all. And I shoot thousands of interiors and exteriors a year.  I use the 16-35 (first one) a lot as well as the 24TS-E, 45 TS-E and my Nikkor 35 PC. In my tests the 16-35 series II at 16mm had sharper corners than the first model, but in from the corners, the first one was sharper. The series II produces much longer "star like" effects from point sources such as candles and small spot lights that might be in a scene than does the original model. The lens is far from perfect, but with help from DXO, I get great results on my 5D and 5DII.

Stitching is a great way to go if the subject is still and you need more coverage or more resolution.  I do that a lot.  Shooting film is very last century for this work.
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Alan Goldstein
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photodan
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2009, 12:34:51 PM »
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Quote from: AlanG
... I get great results on my 5D and 5DII ... Stitching is a great way to go if the subject is still and you need more coverage or more resolution.  I do that a lot.  Shooting film is very last century for this work.

Alan - I'm interested in using stitching to get more resolution with my 5DII for some photos. I'm not interested in panoramas. That is, I wish I could afford a medium format digital camera. I used to shoot 4x5 and 8x10 and  there's no way I'll be getting close to that quality in digital anytime in the next few years unless I win the Lotto and buy something like a Phase One P65+. So,  I'm going to try to get more resolution with my 5DII at least. I'm thinking of turning the camera vertical, shoot about 3 shots with a 50mm lens, to try to simulate a higher res version of a 35mm focal length shot (approx).

The thing is, there's a bunch of stitching software out there - everything from Canon's photostitch, to PTGui, and many more. I'm interested in high quality more than ease of use, but I don't want something that's a pain to use. What would you recommend?

Thanks.
Dan
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brivard
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2009, 01:51:45 PM »
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Stitching isn't a bad option, but I honestly hate using computers. It sounds wierd that I shoot digital but hate computers... But the computers hate me back! Can anyone give me a good reason not to switch to medium or large format film? And do my own developing?  
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flash
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2009, 08:27:32 PM »
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Quote from: brivard
Stitching isn't a bad option, but I honestly hate using computers. It sounds wierd that I shoot digital but hate computers... But the computers hate me back! Can anyone give me a good reason not to switch to medium or large format film? And do my own developing?

Too be honest I'm struggling to come up with a really good reason to choose film.

1. You have to purchase film. On going cost
2. You need to develop film. Time waiting and Ongoing cost.
3. You can't make an exact copy for backup and off site storage.
4. You need to store it.
5. If you print it yourself it will take time, money, patience and space for a darkroom and significant skill. Tou may have all of these.
6. If you send it out you'll need to pay to have it scanned and you will loose control over the final product.
7. The stitching in Photoshop CS4 amazing. Certainly faster than you can make a print.
8. There's no LCD on a film camera to check composition/focusing etc in the field. Digital is like carrying a Polaroid everywhere you go.
9. How many rolls of film wouyld you need to carry in place of an 8GB card. The single use of film would cost more, be more prone to damage, take up more space and you'll need to reload ever 12 shots.

I could go on..

Gordon
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AlanG
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2009, 09:23:24 PM »
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Quote from: photodan
The thing is, there's a bunch of stitching software out there - everything from Canon's photostitch, to PTGui, and many more. I'm interested in high quality more than ease of use, but I don't want something that's a pain to use. What would you recommend?

Thanks.
Dan

I use Autopano Pro. It is pretty incredible what you can do with it. And it is very easy. But it is also packed with features and power should you have the time and inclination to really get into it.  It has a "smart blend" mode where if something is different in two images that are to be stitched - such as a person walking, it will separate that person instead of combining him with the background.  If you imagine that technology applied over an entire picture, it  really helps to pull out detail.  

I know CS4 can do a lot too , but since I've used Autopano for a couple of years, I haven't spent any time looking into it.

For precise hi res work, you should use a pano head. I use the Nodal Ninja NN5L and it is great. The less expensive and lighter NN3 model would probably be fine with a 5DII and typical lenses.  If you just want resolution, and don't care about panoramas, these heads let you use longish lenses and shoot several rows.   You can get away with not using a pano head if you are pretty careful and you don't have important subject material too close.  But a Pano head actually can make shooting this very fast.  And the Nodal Ninja models are small and light.

Recently I have been shooting very wide interiors and stitching them. As many know this leads to a curved cylindrical or spherical image instead of a rectilinear (planar) image, as Planar only seems to work on up to about 100 degrees or so.  So I go into CS4 and use the Transform - warp tool to make correct the photo. This works surprisingly well and achieves results that can't be made in any other way.

In my opinion, MF cameras (film or digital) are not nearly as useful for wide angle work.  And MF digital in particular does not have such wide lenses and is very costly.

I just saw another post praising Microsoft ICE stitching software so I'm going to look into it.

Regarding MF film. I hate to discourage anyone from trying new things, as it might appeal to you, and maybe you like challenges. But I shot film for many years and I don't personally get anything out of it any more. I see very few advantages to shooting MF film and a lot of disadvantages. Especially for static subjects.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 10:46:51 PM by AlanG » Logged

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brivard
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2009, 01:59:27 AM »
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Quote from: flash
Too be honest I'm struggling to come up with a really good reason to choose film.

1. You have to purchase film. On going cost
2. You need to develop film. Time waiting and Ongoing cost.
3. You can't make an exact copy for backup and off site storage.
4. You need to store it.
5. If you print it yourself it will take time, money, patience and space for a darkroom and significant skill. Tou may have all of these.
6. If you send it out you'll need to pay to have it scanned and you will loose control over the final product.
7. The stitching in Photoshop CS4 amazing. Certainly faster than you can make a print.
8. There's no LCD on a film camera to check composition/focusing etc in the field. Digital is like carrying a Polaroid everywhere you go.
9. How many rolls of film wouyld you need to carry in place of an 8GB card. The single use of film would cost more, be more prone to damage, take up more space and you'll need to reload ever 12 shots.

I could go on..

Gordon



Well I could definately use the 700 bucks it would take to purchase CS4 and get started with film, but I think I will save for a 5d II and 16-35. I suppose that combo is well worth the wait of saving the money. Any objections to that?
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flash
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2009, 03:55:21 AM »
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I'm probably being to harsh. It took me a full two years after I last used them to sell my Mamyia 7II and Hassleblad Xpan. I wanted to keep using them but every time I picked up a digital body.

Currently I'm cropping a 5D2 to letterbox format and printing nearly as big as I was with the Xpan. Stitching results in ridiculously printable files.

I think you'd be happy with your choice.

Gordon
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LightMiner
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2009, 06:47:19 PM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
Why not stitch panoramas in photoshop or PTGui?
Marc
5D/24-105is


I do do this, I use PTGui.  Sometimes, when there are nearground elements, it introduces wierd persepective distortion, what is right in front of you is out of shape with what is in the corners.  Your third image may possibly show this, but I wasn't there, so not sure.  If the info in the image are farther away, then this effect goes to zero.

Also, with stitching if there is wind or things are moving sometimes it can't work.  In my gallery on photo.net, the wide yosemite image is stitched with PTGui (http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=6756438).  I also have Linhof 617 images - I far prefer what happens when it all comes in on one image.  It is so much better to get everything you can get right in the image at once if possible.

Okay - ignoring stitching now, there is another issue.  For wide angle lenses: Small Format SLR < Small Format Rangefinder < Medium Format < Large Format (i.e., Schneider Digitar).  If you look at the MTF and distortion values you'll see that at 90+ degrees field of view the Schneider and Rodenstock wide's are really king, with Medium Format wide's coming next.  If I understand correctly, the Hasselblad/Zeiss Distagon T*40 CF IFE, the new Mamiya 28mm lense, the Mmaiya 7II 43mm, the Hassy 28mm for their digi system, these are all tons better than the wides available in 35mm, film or digital.  The Zeiss/Contax/Leica rangefinder lenses come in next - and if someone wanted to argue that they are equal/better than the MF lenses, I can see that perspective.  I don't think anyone disputes that the Schneider/Rodenstock wides, especially the new digi wide's, are by far best of breed.  Compare MTFs and distortion curves!!!  Almost no comparison on distortion.

You'll note there is a bit of resurgence in film...  Film companies are releasing new films, and sales are going up.  Not to turn this into film vs digital, but in particular because the rays of light come in at a stark angle for wide angle film is still king.  The sensors don't like it coming in at those intense angles.  Very modern wide angle lenses designed for digital, like the new Mamiya or Hasselblad 28mm try very hard to minimize that as a design goal, but it is hard to get around.

Note, however, there doesn't have to be such competition!!!  For example, if you get a Zeiss Ikon WA with single superwide lense as mentioned above, or with the Tri-Elmar, then shoot film for a year.  Drum scan the images you really like, and find a lab that scans with a Hasselblad Flextight for a less costly but still great scan for the rest that you still want to blow up.  After a year or two, you can get a Leica M8.2.  Also, many of the 6X7 or 6X9 film cameras support digital as well.  Start with film and then perhaps rent a digital back and see if you like it.  

For example:

Cambo Wide DS and 6X9.  Schneider 47 lense.  That gets you around 102 degrees (width!  diagonal degrees would be even more) angle of view.  (How do you get 102 degrees of view on digital SLR?  Unless you do fisheye/alter in computer or stitch, I don't think you can)  Then wait a year or two, (or 6 months  ) and then rent a digital back for a weekend.  Some of them are coming down to the 10k or 7k range, so its not impossible to buy one, and three years from now as prices keep coming down, it might be 5k.  You'd want to add a Schneider 24 or 28 or 34 or something as your back will be smaller so to get very wide angle you pretty much have to get the widest angle lenses available.

Another really simple example is to get a Mamiya 645afdIII.  You can add the Mamiya digital back after a few years if you want.  So in the short term you get an amazing camera, and with that 28mm lense, an *amazing* wide angle lense.  Then go digital if you shoot tons of images or just like the digital workflow in future.

You asked what some of the 6X7 cameras are, there are Mamiya  RZ, Mamiya 7II, there are others, but the MF industry is sort of standardizing on Mamiya and Hasselblad who are more focused on 6X45.  Historically the Pentax 6X7 was a great camera, for example.  And then the tech cameras, which can get very expensive can all do 6X7 and 6X9, but one that isn't so expensive is the Alpa TC.  And the Cambos.  Other tech cameras are Sinar ArTec, Linhof Techno, etc.  They can get extremely expensive, though.  Horseman makes some great less-expensive tech cameras.  Their site seems down right now so can't get specific numbers, I know their 6X12 is quite popular.

The abilty on the Alpa TC, for example, to throw on a digital back or a film back is great.  And with the Leica 8.2 there is a similar option with the Zeiss and Leica lenses - the Zeiss Icon WA is *so cheap* compared to high-end digital SLR, start with that shoot film for a year or two, and then go Leica.


Oh - if you stitch don't use wide angle lenses.  They don't stitch well, especially if from a digital SLR because the high distortion inherent in those lenses makes them harder to join well.  There is some computer-based distortion correction and that can help but I've found it can add distortion to some objects depending on what is in the image.  When I stitch I use a 35mm (equivalent in 35mm, its really 55mm) lense oriented in portrait as that lense in the Mamiya 645afd line has almost no distortion.  If I used the 28mm equivalent or 21mm equivalent, the images would be harder to join.  By going less wide angle, shoot in portrait, and take more images, they come together on the computer better.



Have fun searching!


Thanks,

LightMiner
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