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Author Topic: which is best: view camera vs ts-e lens vs 17mm + photoshop  (Read 28513 times)
JoeKitchen
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2009, 02:19:21 PM »
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Quote from: abdul10000
How many mm of shift does a view camera give you? 11mm on a 24mm horizontal frame is almost a half frame shift. I know its not as relatively large of an effect when in vertical view.



I can't work without gels, how do such photographers color correct their pictures, correct each part of the picture separately?

The amount of shift in a view camera depends on the lens and the camera itself.  Most digital view cameras will give you 25 mm up, 15 mm down, and 20 mm left or right,  like the Alpa 12 max (my choice).  But some, like the Alpa 12XY, will give much more but they are larger and bulkier.  

Alpa will also mount the lenses on their boards 4mm offset in one direction (if you want) giving 8mm of additional shift.  

Now most lenses do not offer this much movement though.  For instance, the Schneider 35 digitar has an image circle that is 90mm in diameter which means as long as the sensor stays in that circle you are fine, but as soon as you move out of it you get dark/black conners on that side.  This gives you about 18 mm (I think) of lateral shift with a p45+x back.  Usually the wider the lens, the smaller the circle.  The Rodenstock 23 HR only has a image circle of 74 mm giving you only 4/5 mm of shift (this lens in like a 15 mm on a full frame DSLR), whereas the 70 HR has a 110 mm circle.  Schneider is releasing a new 28 mm lens with a 90 mm circle this winter which is amazing, although the thing is huge, at least 5 inches in diameter.  Image circles also increase in size as the lens is stopped down but with digital sensors, due to how they record the light, you can only stop down so far till the quality starts to decrease.  

Resolution decreases as you get closer to the edge of the image circle so something else you need to look at on these lenses is the line-pair resolution.  There some lenses with huge circles, but the line-pair res at the edge is around 40/50 per mm.  For the modern backs though you need around 90 lines per mm.  

The thing I like about view cameras verses t-s lenses is that you can shift on both axis at the same time.  Also, the optical sharpness of these lenses is amazing.  

When it comes to working with gels, I am finding a lot of photographers around my age (I am 27) are just digitally correcting the light and getting results that are "good enough."  I am highly critical of my work and often loose sleep for something wrong in an image that is so small that no one but me notices.  But I guess it is good to be more critical then your clients.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2009, 02:21:17 PM »
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Quote from: abdul10000
I can't work without gels, how do such photographers color correct their pictures, correct each part of the picture separately?

I have a case full of gels that I have not used in years. With digital I find it more interesting to work with mixed light-as by playing with the white balance I can judge whether the mix works or doesn't, but also "cleaning up the color" or adjusting the mix sometimes with either strobe or halogen fill.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 02:22:32 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2009, 02:32:36 PM »
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Quote from: MHFA
What I explained is my experience. I am working as a teacher for architectural students and I often tried to find out why I am really working better with this kind of equipment. Before digital I also worked better with my Technika 5x7" than with a Hasselblad SWC. Doesn`t matter wether I needed to shift or not. That some photographers have lost their own language with their change from 4x5 to DSLR is not only my opinion.

Michael

I too teach architectural photography at the university level. View cameras and DSLRs are just tools which do not control the photographers aesthetic unless one allows it to. IME it is worthwhile to teach DSLR use with a view camera work ethic, always using tripods, leveling the camera etc. forcing students to slow down and think about the space and slow down. Even with a DSLR, architectural photography can become a contemplative experience just as it was with a view camera.
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« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2009, 02:39:31 PM »
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As a long time view camera user I have to agree with Kirk here. dSLR's can be great tools for arch photography.
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2009, 05:41:05 PM »
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Quote from: asf
As a long time view camera user I have to agree with Kirk here. dSLR's can be great tools for arch photography.


I agree with the fact that you can not let the type of camera dictate how you work and DSLRs can be a good resource for architectural photography, only I wish that they did away with the tilt and made shift shift lens.
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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2009, 10:15:16 PM »
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Very thorough and informative feedback, thanks for posting.


Quote from: JoeKitchen
The thing I like about view cameras verses t-s lenses is that you can shift on both axis at the same time.  Also, the optical sharpness of these lenses is amazing.


What is the advantage of horizontal shift? The main advantage of vertical shift is keeping the camera level with the ground while covering something above or below the camera as if tilting. Horizontally, there is no tilting just rotation, so how does shift in this orientation work?
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« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2009, 10:21:16 PM »
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Quote from: Kirk Gittings
I have a case full of gels that I have not used in years. With digital I find it more interesting to work with mixed light-as by playing with the white balance I can judge whether the mix works or doesn't, but also "cleaning up the color" or adjusting the mix sometimes with either strobe or halogen fill.


To be specific I think tint gives me more trouble than white balance. Green and magenta stand out in such a way that I find a gel the only way to fix the problem. With white balance (blue and yellow) I see more room for mixing.
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2009, 10:56:12 PM »
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Quote from: abdul10000
What is the advantage of horizontal shift? The main advantage of vertical shift is keeping the camera level with the ground while covering something above or below the camera as if tilting. Horizontally, there is no tilting just rotation, so how does shift in this orientation work?

T/S lenses will shift either vertically (called rise and fall on a view camera) or horizontally and any combination in between. I use the horizontal shifts primarily for flat stitching, but sometimes at say 10:00 and 2:00 when I need some rise with the shift on a stitch. It works extremely well. I find few practical limitations with DSLR T/S lenses vs. a view camera.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 10:57:07 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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MHFA
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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2009, 04:01:40 AM »
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Quote from: Kirk Gittings
I too teach architectural photography at the university level. View cameras and DSLRs are just tools which do not control the photographers aesthetic unless one allows it to. IME it is worthwhile to teach DSLR use with a view camera work ethic, always using tripods, leveling the camera etc. forcing students to slow down and think about the space and slow down. Even with a DSLR, architectural photography can become a contemplative experience just as it was with a view camera.
I never said that MFDB are better than DSLR. Its only my personal experience that for my work MF is better and even when I tried to explain it to students I was not really able to find a scientific reasons. The best way to improve architectural photography in my opinion is to learn more about architecture. I wrote a book for students and there is about 90% relation between architecture and photography and only the other 10% about techniques.
In my opinion this is the correct relation.

Michael Heinrich
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rainer_v
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« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2009, 05:50:20 AM »
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I never said that MFDB are better than DSLR. Its only my personal experience that for my work MF is better and even when I tried to explain it to students I was not really able to find a scientific reasons. The best way to improve architectural photography in my opinion is to learn more about architecture. I wrote a book for students and there is about 90% relation between architecture and photography and only the other 10% about techniques.
In my opinion this is the correct relation.

Michael Heinrich
i.m.o. good  architecture photography has much to do with an understanding of the relation object and room, means perspective and image composition.
therefor real estate photography often has not much to do with architecture photography as i understand it, cause the motifs often are overloaded with chairs, plants, toys, people. the intent in this is to create atmosphere, not to show space or architecture, at least not construction aspects of it.

nowadays, with the existence of the new 17 and 24tse lenses from canon, it might be possible to use these lenses in a similar way than shift cameras  as the alpas, artecs, cambos and s on ... but before  architecture wide angle photography with 35m lenses was a very abstract way to get good images.
one had to stitch with 645 lenses and shift adapters or to correct electronically in ps. i.m.o. all ( except the olymus 24 ) the older shift lenses from schneider/canon/nikon in the wide end have been simply unusable for distortion and for sharpness decrease if shifted, so this was either a very complicate and abstract way to get good shots, or a way which implicated very lo quality. i personaly have made some of my best shots with 35m cameras, but i had experience to see and visualize motifs even without camera, this way to work i learned in the 4x5 film days. i would suggest this to everyone who wants to start in arcitecture photography, work with 4x5" to get a feel for the speed of shooting, which should be a very lo one if the desire is to get great shots.

i would not say that the budgets are higher with mf, because no one cares usually with wich camera the shots are done, people care about the results.
my workflow is faster and more intuitive with the artec and the emotion back together with exposure and lightroom, than with the canon,
thats why i prefer to work with mf.
but still about 50% of my shots are taken with the canon, either because i want to shoot details with very long lenses or i use the canon as "problem resolver"
if i dont go wide enough with the rodenstock 23mm.


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« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2009, 06:21:02 AM »
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MFDB


Got tired of reasding that abrevation not knowing what it stands for. Did a little search and few clicks later I stumblled into this thread which discuss the same topic and has Kirk contributing too!

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/for...6309&page=2
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2009, 07:10:30 AM »
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Quote from: abdul10000
Very thorough and informative feedback, thanks for posting.





What is the advantage of horizontal shift? The main advantage of vertical shift is keeping the camera level with the ground while covering something above or below the camera as if tilting. Horizontally, there is no tilting just rotation, so how does shift in this orientation work?

Just like shifting vertically keeps the vertical lines of the building from converging, horizontal shifting does the same thing but for the same thing for those lines.  Now 60 % of the time I am fine with the horizontal lines converging, but if I the angle I am looking at a building or space is only a little off from a direct view, I often want to correct the horizontal perspective as well.
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Joe Kitchen
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2009, 07:25:01 AM »
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I have to agree with Reiner in that if you want to get into the medium, you should spend some time working with a 4x5 view camera using film.  It really makes you think about what you are doing.  Also, its takes away some of the luxuries of digital like being able to see what your picture looks like right there and the ability to correct things in the photo separately in PS.  When shooting with film, you really have to be comfortable with your camera and lighting, especially when working with positives and the only way to get that is to work slow and careful.  

You should be able to get a cheap army surplus 4x5 with a decent lens and a film holder; I see them all over the place.  If you decide to go this route, it might be good to get some film balanced to daylight and some balanced to tungsten as well; I don't think it is advisable to go out and get a color light meter and a set of correction filters for an exercise in view cameras.
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Joe Kitchen
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« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2009, 09:21:42 AM »
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Just like shifting vertically keeps the vertical lines of the building from converging, horizontal shifting does the same thing but for the same thing for those lines.  Now 60 % of the time I am fine with the horizontal lines converging, but if I the angle I am looking at a building or space is only a little off from a direct view, I often want to correct the horizontal perspective as well.

So basically if I stand facing a wall and rotate the camera to the left side of the wall, the lines will converge at the left side because they are further away from the lens. Got to try correcting this one day with photoshop.


Quote from: JoeKitchen
You should be able to get a cheap army surplus 4x5 with a decent lens and a film holder; I see them all over the place.  If you decide to go this route, it might be good to get some film balanced to daylight and some balanced to tungsten as well; I don't think it is advisable to go out and get a color light meter and a set of correction filters for an exercise in view cameras.

well if I was still in Chicago I would probably do that, but since I moved to the Arabic World getting such a camera is would be a luxury, and getting films process would be next to impossible.
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« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2009, 11:40:23 AM »
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Quote from: MHFA
I never said that MFDB are better than DSLR. Its only my personal experience that for my work MF is better and even when I tried to explain it to students I was not really able to find a scientific reasons. The best way to improve architectural photography in my opinion is to learn more about architecture. I wrote a book for students and there is about 90% relation between architecture and photography and only the other 10% about techniques.
In my opinion this is the correct relation.
Michael Heinrich

Michael, Nor did I say you said that?? I basically agree with you about the value of architectural knowledge....from a different point of view though. The classes I have taught at The University of New Mexico and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (about 20 years combined) were/are jointly offered by the photography and architecture departments. Usually about 2/3 of my students are from architecture departments. The architecture students (usually 3rd or 4th year or graduate students) of course have a rich background in architecture. My best and most successful students have come from architecture, perhaps because of their knowledge, but I believe because knowledge leads to motivation ie their passion for architecture becomes the driving force. Photo students, even in art schools, tend to look at AP as a lucrative, interesting, challenging, perhaps easy, way of making a living, which is far different from being passionate about architecture and wanting to learn how to illustrate it. Unfortunately in a one semester class there is so much technique to teach that (far more than one can get to in one semester, hence many repeat my class) that it consumes my efforts. So at SAIC we designed a class that is team taught with myself and Tim Wittman, an architectural historian. The combination works very well.

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I stumblled into this thread which discuss the same topic and has Kirk contributing too!

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/for...6309&page=2
Abdul

Abdul, that site, The Large Format Photography Forum,I am a moderator there and it is a great resource with nearly 500,000 posts and there is much more on that site related to architectural photography which you can access through searches. But IME this site attracts the most knowledgeable practicing professional architectural photographers.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 12:26:02 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2009, 03:24:38 PM »
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Hi, Abdul... I have been away and could not find any wireless internet coverage.
If you point the camera horizontal, and the bottom of the subject is level with the lens, the shift you will need will be half the width or height of the sensor.
Quote from: abdul10000
What do you mean by that, especially the bold part? I get that shooting with the lens level to the ground and the frame starting from the bottom of the object (e.g. building) you need half the width or height to achieve straight lines?
Keeping he sensor parallel to the subject keeps the verticals vertical, shift just gets the subject's image on the sensor.

The more offset you have, the more shift you need to keep the subject image on the sensor, in the simple example, the whole subject (e.g. building) is above the horizontal, and the whole image is below the horizontal, so you shift by half the sensor size.

Tilt angle is asin(f/J), where f is the focal length, and J is the distance from the lens, parallel to the sensor, to the plane of sharpest focus. (see Merklinger's "Focusing the view Camera").

So, in an extreme example, if the arm of the sofa in the foreground gave you a value of J=1000 mm, and you were using a 150mm lens, you would need 8.6 degrees of tilt... I do not think any of the modern compact medium-format view cameras give you anything like that much tilt, but with shorter lenses and bigger Js, you would need less tilt, and with a 50mm lens you would need 2.8 degrees.
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asin? I am dividing f/j (150/1000) and getting .15
asin or arcsin or is the trigonometrical ratio that is the inverse of sine, so arcsin .15 is the angle whose sine is .15, which give 8.6 degrees.
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Canon TS-E lense provide 11mm shift and 8 degrees tilt, should they not be sufficient for the example above?
Using a 17mm lens on a 24 * 36mm sensor...

2* 17 = 34, so you would almost be able to accommodate the first example vertical, and easily do it horizontal.

In the second example f=17mm J=1000mm arcsin(f/J)= 0.97 degrees.

With larger formats and longer lenses (and narrower depth-of-field) you need much more tilt.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 03:25:59 PM by Dick Roadnight » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2009, 09:40:17 PM »
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Thanks everybody for the help. I found a very nice book that answers so many basic question about architectural photography and I recommend it for anyone new and interested in this topic. Its only weakness is a very short section on interiors.

I have the book reviewed on Amazon: Architectural Photography: Composition, Capture, and Digital Image Processing
« Last Edit: November 14, 2009, 09:43:36 PM by Abdulrahman Aljabri » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2009, 07:33:55 AM »
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« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 07:34:46 AM by marc gerritsen » Logged

CBarrett
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« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2009, 08:52:50 AM »
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Interesting, Kirk.  I gave a lecture at the University of Madison and the event was coordinated by both the Architecture and Photography departments.  Also, last year I gave a talk at SAIC to Cindy Coleman's Architecture class.  When I work with architects, they almost always carry cameras and seem to understand the vision more so than clients from any other genre.  Recently I've been thinking about going back to school and I think I'm going to take some architecture classes.

Format debate.  I would advise anyone starting out as an architectural shooter to buy the Canon with T/S lenses.  That said, my view camera will always be my first choice.  I always shoot tethered and on tripod.  Given that, dslrs actually slow me down.  With the way you have to rotate the lens to implement shift and rise together, I find composing very frustrating. I can't even imagine trying to stitch images when shifted diagonally so.

Lighting.. Rainer is more of an Architectural Photographer, while I am honestly more of an Interiors Photographer.  I think this is where you see so much division in opinion.  When I'm shooting buildings or large public spaces, I'm just as likely to use little or no lighting.  For interiors though, my client's product is as much materials and finishes as it is the geometry of the architecture.  If I tried to rely upon ambient light to accurately describe the textures of fabrics and reflective qualities of many materials, the results would be unacceptable for the high end designers I work for.  In the end, I think it's kind of silly for us to argue the validity of our own specific approaches when our work and our clientele are so varied.

And now pancakes, bacon and coffee!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 08:53:42 AM by CBarrett » Logged
Jeffreytotaro
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« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2009, 10:24:48 AM »
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Why I choose Medium Format Digital over DSLR:

Emotional reasons:

I fell in love with photography after I began using a large format camera (4x5 & 8x10).
I never liked the proportion of 35mm, too panoramic for most of my work.
I hate looking through a small viewfinder all day, I prefer to see the shot with 2 eyes (Hence the term View Camera, seen with 2 eyes)
Working with a slower (however not bigger in the case of the Alpa SWA) camera will improve anyones work.  More time spent with each shot will make it a better shot.

Technical reasons:

35mm lenses (all SLR, MF too) have too much distortion, yes it can be corrected but it adds time and aggravation.
CA/Purple fringing on the lenses, yes correctable but another step.
Again for me wanting to crop the 2:3 aspect to 4:5 or 4:3 takes away resolution.
HUGE ISSUE:, no lateral shift in combination with vertical shift, yes you can shift T/S or PC lenses in a similar way but its not the same control
Image quality and sharpness of the P45+ with Schneider Lenses (+ one Rodnestock 23HR which does need distortion correction sometimes but is easy with Alpas new software.)
When needing something wider than 24 you'd need to do perspective correction.  Now the 17TS is available which sounds great but was not available when I made my decisions.  I cannot see spending the time or effort on site to correct perspective in order to fine tune whats in frame or out or to show it to the client.

These are just my reasons since the original poster was asking about why one system over the other I thought I'd share my experiences.   No judging here.  I do have a 5D system with PC and TS lenses that I use as back-up or second system for doing two shots at once, but I'd rather use the Leica M8 if I didn't need the perspective control.  Better lenses.  

Everyones workflow is different and whats important to them is also different.  If you never worked with 4x5, switching to MFD might seem very awkward if you're not used to the pre-visualization process required for view camera work.  "Seeing" the image often comes first in your mind and then is translated by choosing the right camera height and lens.

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