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Author Topic: Part 2: "Becoming A Great Arch. Photographer  (Read 80241 times)
Lust4Life
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« on: November 05, 2009, 04:21:57 PM »
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OK, the first part of this thread was GREAT.  Some excellent input from a worldwide group of photographers.
(http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=38404)

At this point, I'd like to continue the dialog of the initial thread by breaking it into different threads:
Part 2 (this thread) = GEAR AND EQUIPMENT;
Part 3 (future thread) =Setting your price/Marketing/Getting the Job.

From the input of my initial thread, I'm leaning toward as much "Naked Light" as possible, accepting the fact that on occasion I may have to fill selective areas with lights.  This reflects best with my vision, and will be adopted as my "style".  Yes, I know there will be jobs I'll not get as a result of my decision, but so be it. (Worst case I'll move to Switzerland and shoot with the Europeans.   )

Thus, let's get started with Part 2:
Now, let's say a chap or lass has decided to pursue AP work.  Here are a few of the initial issues that relate to hardware which must be addressed.  (Seems wise to have all gear ready with plenty of test/practice shots mastered before seeking you first job.)

Assuming we start with a Hasselblad H3DII-39MP camera with the 28, 80 and 150 lenses (which is what I own).

What gear (let's keep it digital) have you used with success, or wish you could use?  Tech Pan camera?  HTS adapter?  Artec? etc.
What did you find to be the advantages and disadvantages of your digital capture gear?

Lights - by type/application in a scene:  Brands, models, watts, etc. that have worked well for you.

Misc. hardware that I'm not even aware of needing for a shoot.

Hopefully, this thread will generate as much excellent dialog as the last one did.  I know hardware discussions can bring out strong opinions in each of us but I ask that prejudices be set aside and suggestions be based on logic and success you have personally experienced from your gear - that which you have kept and that which you have discarded.

Thanks,
Jack
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 04:53:23 AM by Lust4Life » Logged

archivue
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 05:12:27 PM »
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if you wants :
focusing precision
tilt with all lenses
ground glass composition
very precise focusing ring
shift and rise on the back
flare proof body
and a camera that can be used without tripod if require

then, it's going to be an arca swiss RM3D with a rotaslide

otherwise, it depends on your priority... Alpa SWA, ALPA MAX, ALPA XY, CAMBO wide RS, Sinar Arctech...


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rainer_v
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 05:15:27 PM »
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what i use now is the artec with 23/28/35/45/70 + 90 mm lenses with emotion e75 backs and sinar exposure software which creates dngs only,
which i process in lightroom.

and a canon 5dmk2 with 100-400mmzoom for close up details and  (new now ) the 17/24/45 tse lenses, together with 1,4 extender.

there are no disadvantages with both setups.
the canon is lightweight and this new shift lenses are fantastic, even the 24 used with the 1,4 extender is still great.

i like the slower style of work with the artec, but the canon in terms of image quality is top notch too.
on the other hand the preparation of the motifs and/ or the waiting for the right light takes long time so  the
faster speed the canon allows is not often important for my work and has zero impact on the production times
and also not on the number of images i deliver, so i choose mainly the system which workflow/ results fits better.

i use gitzo carbon tripoids, very large, medium and small.
no lights. i often use cranes or truck based lifting platforms.
i work usualy with one assistant on site.

i have a macbookpro on location with 6gb ram and 50gb ssd drive as temporary disc
and i send a calibrated eizo monitor to my hotel rooms ... sometimes an epson 3800 printer too.

i would not go on working with mf if the camera wouldnt be perfect for my style of working,
means i wouldnt use any mf camera without a complete set of shift lenses or a camera body without a sliding back.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 05:25:46 PM by rainer_v » Logged

rainer viertlböck
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archivue
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 05:24:20 PM »
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Quote from: rainer_v
there are no disadvantages with both setups.
the canon is lightweight and this new shift lenses are fantastic, even the 24 used with the 1,4 extender is still great.


i have a 5D II and an aptus 22, and for me, for architectural photography i've found that they are not in the same league at all... a question of taste maybe !

I think it depends on your shooting style as well...
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rainer_v
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2009, 05:28:12 PM »
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Quote from: archivue
i have a 5D II and an aptus 22, and for me, for architectural photography i've found that they are not in the same league at all... a question of taste maybe !

I think it depends on your shooting style as well...
maybe a question how you postpro your files and how much you stitch and layer and so on.
cant see why taste impacts images in terms of technical quality, except you want to imply that you have "better" taste or my quality needs are lower, which i dont believe.
working with mf files is mostly easier in post ( if the base files dont show color cats and so on ).
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 06:58:53 PM by rainer_v » Logged

rainer viertlböck
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asf
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2009, 06:07:13 PM »
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GBPhoto has asked the appropriate question. You won't know what you what you need until you find something you want to do but can't.

If you want your images to look like someone in particular then you can use similar equipment.

Use what you have and develop your style, then get what you find you need.

Perhaps rent the HTS since you have corresponding equipment. Scout your location before the shoot and see if you need lights or not.

Rent, rent, rent

And I agree with Rainer (except for the 1.4x with the ts-e's), using 5d2 and aptus, both are extremely capable if used properly, both during shoot and in post.











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rainer_v
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2009, 06:57:02 PM »
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Quote from: asf
And I agree with Rainer (except for the 1.4x with the ts-e's), using 5d2 and aptus, both are extremely capable if used properly, both during shoot and in post.

did you try the 1.4 together with the new 24 ts-e?
i did it after arrival of the lens tuesday, so maybe i am wrong, but first shots looked simply surprisingly well.

i used some years ago the kodak slr, canon 1ds2 and the 5d a lot together with olympus24 shift and the zoerk/pentax645 lenses and it was much of work to get good shots with enough resolution and no visible distortion, but it was possible and a good school for digital work.
later, after the gottschalt and than the artec were in my hands i only used 35mm systems for details.
this might change now again, although the completed canon system is to fresh as i could say how i will use it in my work.
i will play around a lot with it to get a feel where are the limits and than i`ll see how and when and for what i will use it, but all feels very good as far i can say it now. but my new impressions of the canon "system" are based on maybe 50 shots done in the last 3 days,
and this was no working assignment, i did for myself.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 07:06:55 PM by rainer_v » Logged

rainer viertlböck
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2009, 07:06:19 PM »
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I did and found the distortion a bit too much. Also introduced some chromatic aberration. But I only tried one 1.4x and it wasn't an extensive test. If you've seen decent results I'd be prepared to try again with another copy of the 1.4x ... I can see having one and it being convenient, on the other hand stitching 2 with the 45 would give a similar view.

Canon, please make a 32 tse on par with the new 24. Every arch shooter around the world will buy one. Well, maybe there will be the odd exception.

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rainer_v
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 07:09:19 PM »
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Quote from: asf
I did and found the distortion a bit too much. Also introduced some chromatic aberration. But I only tried one 1.4x and it wasn't an extensive test. If you've seen decent results I'd be prepared to try again with another copy of the 1.4x ... I can see having one and it being convenient, on the other hand stitching 2 with the 45 would give a similar view.

Canon, please make a 32 tse on par with the new 24. Every arch shooter around the world will buy one. Well, maybe there will be the odd exception.
i bought yesterday the 45tse too,- i think CA with the 24tse together with the 1,4 is less than the 45 shows.
sharpness is very good, probably because this combo use only the inner image circle.


i sign your petition for a 32 or 35tse, and i would welcome too a new 45 and 90tse, and maybe a 60 in the middle.
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rainer viertlböck
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haefnerphoto
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2009, 07:11:40 PM »
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I just received a 17mm tilt shift and will be using it Sunday on an assignment.  The Canon I use is still the 1dsmk2, so unless I can find a 5dmk2, the resolution will not be the best (although adequate).  The primary camera and lens I use is the Mamiya 645 and their 28mm with a P45 back but there's been several instances where I could use a wider shift lens and thus my purchase of the 17mm.  Also, the 1dsmk4 is rumored to take a 32megapixel capture which would certainly be adequate for my clients.  Jim
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asf
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2009, 07:25:22 PM »
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Thank you for signing my petition. Let's scrap it and I'll sign yours, as I prefer that spread. The 90 tse may be good enough as is though (no need to double the price of a very good lens).

Yes, the 45 shows unbelievably bad chromatic aberration. But I've swallowed that pill and will run them through DPP or manually correct in LR. After correction all looks quite good.
The good news is I tested 5 new ones and all were very sharp and the tilt/shift mount felt nearly on par with the new 24 and 17 (older ones I've had/tested were always a bit iffy).

So, Canon - do what Rainer says.

And L4L, shoot with what you have, find your style, find your niche, buy as you need. Unless you're loaded, then buy a lot and keep some of the salesmen/reps here employed. Get and ArTec and 2 Alpas (people with money should all have an SWA). Run the Sinaron/Rodenstock lenses on the ArTec and Schneider on the Alpa (don't ask why). Then your covered. Oh, and have them drop a 5d2 in there as well, you'll need/use it.
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rethmeier
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 07:31:45 PM »
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Yes,
please Nikon give me a Nikkor  35 PC-e!

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Willem Rethmeier
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Lust4Life
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2009, 08:48:06 PM »
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Here in Naples, we have numerous beautiful Condo's right on the beach.
I've tried to practice on them, exterior, and find the lack of rise and tilt is a major drawback.
No way to resolve the parallax issue elegantly with CS4.

This file is an HDR from 5 exposures and 4 images (each an HDR) stitched together in PTGui.
Then did best I could in CS4 to try to resolve the building falling over backwards - not good enough:
http://www.shadowsdancing.com/sp%20arch%20...20exposure.html

Would the HTS resolve this issue - hummm - hate to loose the 28mm with the 1.5 factor of the HTS.

Jack
Quote from: GBPhoto
What limitations has your present gear imposed on your style?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 08:55:33 PM by Lust4Life » Logged

Lust4Life
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2009, 09:01:59 PM »
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Reiner,

IF you were restricted to only ONE of the two systems you have to use for the MAJORITY of your assignments, which would it be and why?

Thanks,
Jack
PS:  Dang Rainer, the capital investment in the Artec is substantial, even frightening to a mortal like myself!

Quote from: rainer_v
what i use now is the artec with 23/28/35/45/70 + 90 mm lenses with emotion e75 backs and sinar exposure software which creates dngs only,
which i process in lightroom.

and a canon 5dmk2 with 100-400mmzoom for close up details and  (new now ) the 17/24/45 tse lenses, together with 1,4 extender.

there are no disadvantages with both setups.
the canon is lightweight and this new shift lenses are fantastic, even the 24 used with the 1,4 extender is still great.

i like the slower style of work with the artec, but the canon in terms of image quality is top notch too.
on the other hand the preparation of the motifs and/ or the waiting for the right light takes long time so  the
faster speed the canon allows is not often important for my work and has zero impact on the production times
and also not on the number of images i deliver, so i choose mainly the system which workflow/ results fits better.

i use gitzo carbon tripoids, very large, medium and small.
no lights. i often use cranes or truck based lifting platforms.
i work usualy with one assistant on site.

i have a macbookpro on location with 6gb ram and 50gb ssd drive as temporary disc
and i send a calibrated eizo monitor to my hotel rooms ... sometimes an epson 3800 printer too.

i would not go on working with mf if the camera wouldnt be perfect for my style of working,
means i wouldnt use any mf camera without a complete set of shift lenses or a camera body without a sliding back.
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leuallen
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2009, 09:28:00 PM »
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Lust4Life,

Is this better? A very quick fix. You had the verticals correct on the left but not the right. You probably used the perspective option in Transform or Distort->lens.
That is usually not best because if the camera is not absolutely horizontal, the adjustment required on each side will be different. Use vertical guide lines and the
Distort option in Transform. This will let you 'pull out' each side by different amounts, matching each side to its guide. Pull the nodes horizontally or you will introduce
some new distortions. Note when you change one side by pulling over horizontally, the other side may require some readjustment. Back and forth til correct.

With perfect verticals and a very tall building, the effect will look unnatural. The top will look too large. In that case do not correct for perfect verticals, leave some
convergence so that it look natural. Your building does not fall into that category.

Learning to use PS is a whole lot cheaper than than buying new equipment to solve a problem! <g>

I am familiar with this because many years ago as a manual board draftsman, I drew perspective illustrations and had to know the theory.

Larry
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CBarrett
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2009, 02:30:18 AM »
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Jack,

In the shot above (that Larry attached) you've got quite good light on the building.  You really shouldn't need to do any HDR.  With the DSLR you've got, what, 10 stops of latitude?  I spent a dozen years shooting this stuff on chrome which only had 6 stops (more like 5 for Velvia).  HDR can be a great tool, but like any great tool, it doesn't come out of the toolbox every time.  The shot feels highly unnatural, as though the building were crudely cut and pasted onto a painted backdrop.  Just trust what is naturally happening... good light + good camera = good picture.  I wouldn't do any more to the file than maybe open up the shadows (judiciously) with P'Shop's Highlight/Shadow adj (which is quite good).

Actually, when I really need more tone than the P65+ can capture, I'll take a single RAW, process it at +1.5 and -1.5 (well within the pushability of these files) then merge them in Photoshop as layered masks.  This guarantees no ghosting in the image and exact alignment.  Here is an approach I often employ..

Best,

Chris

and... excuse me if I'm preachy... It's 2:30 am, I'm about to drive to Indianapolis to catch the morning light for some exteriors and I don't have an ounce of coffee in me yet.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 02:43:48 AM by CBarrett » Logged
stevesanacore
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2009, 02:41:23 AM »
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Quote from: Lust4Life
Reiner,

IF you were restricted to only ONE of the two systems you have to use for the MAJORITY of your assignments, which would it be and why?

Thanks,
Jack
PS:  Dang Rainer, the capital investment in the Artec is substantial, even frightening to a mortal like myself!


That's easy. It would be a the Canon 1Ds Mk3 with a set of new shift lenses which should cover all your architectural needs. Quick, lightweight and easy to use. You can spend your time an energy on perfect composition instead of technical issues. But of course, you clients won't be as impressed as they would if you dragged out a digital view camera and 30x40" prints may not look as good. Personally I would never want to go back to the days of composing and focusing on a ground glass.
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rainer_v
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2009, 03:19:37 AM »
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Quote from: Lust4Life
Reiner,

IF you were restricted to only ONE of the two systems you have to use for the MAJORITY of your assignments, which would it be and why?

Thanks,
Jack
PS:  Dang Rainer, the capital investment in the Artec is substantial, even frightening to a mortal like myself!
having both as i do i still would choose the artec, thinking in architecture/ landscape / design photography only.
having to buy them new it would depend on how filled my agenda would be with hiend work and how much taxes i actually have to pay the next years.
my clients rarely ask which camera i use, if they do they are impressed that sinar and i designed the artec together, but i wouldnt have had one job less working with the canon. anyway in practice thats only the half truth, the canon system is very capable just NOW after the release of the 17&24tse , before it was too complicate and too much work intensive to get professional results with it.
 the canon lenses are quite new for me, so i will give a better answer after having the canon with its tse setup a half year in use...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 03:24:00 AM by rainer_v » Logged

rainer viertlböck
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Lust4Life
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2009, 05:18:22 AM »
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Rainer,

Few years back, I purchased a 1DsMkII with two of the tilt/shift lenses shortly after it was introduced.  I also had the H2 with a Leaf P45+ on it at the time.   A pro I know, Jamie Cook, highly recommended the camera and I parted with the cash to give it a shot.

Wow, what a disappointment the Canon was for me.  Besides finding the lenses (all L class) to be dramatically less is optical quality that what I was used to on my Hassie or Ebony 4x5 with Schneider/Rodenstock glass, the real killer for me was the ramp difference by not being 16 bits deep.  I rarely hear this issue discussed on this site but to me it makes a dramatic difference and gives the advantage to MFDBs.

Now, I see Canon has re-engineered their TSE lenses, but we still have the 14 verse 16 bit issue.
Apparently this has not been a concern for you or your clients?

I also noted that a landscape photographer whose work I respect (Elizabeth Carmel) used the new Nikon on a trip to Italy and left her Hassie at home.  From exchanges I've had with her, she was not delighted with the results.  I attribute her issues with the images from the Nikon primarily as a function of the bit depth.

But I'll be open minded - if it meets the needs of the chap paying the bill, so be it.
Jack

Quote from: rainer_v
having both as i do i still would choose the artec, thinking in architecture/ landscape / design photography only.
having to buy them new it would depend on how filled my agenda would be with hiend work and how much taxes i actually have to pay the next years.
my clients rarely ask which camera i use, if they do they are impressed that sinar and i designed the artec together, but i wouldnt have had one job less working with the canon. anyway in practice thats only the half truth, the canon system is very capable just NOW after the release of the 17&24tse , before it was too complicate and too much work intensive to get professional results with it.
 the canon lenses are quite new for me, so i will give a better answer after having the canon with its tse setup a half year in use...
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ThierryH
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2009, 05:53:26 AM »
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Quote from: Lust4Life
Now, I see Canon has re-engineered their TSE lenses, but we still have the 14 verse 16 bit issue.

But I'll be open minded - if it meets the needs of the chap paying the bill, so be it.
Jack

Dear Jack,

The issue 14 vs. 16 bit should not be of any concern in respect to raws and final image quality: although 16 bit, the last 2 bit do not contain any information, respectively are "empty", if I can speak so. If you see a difference in quality between DMF and DSLR, then it has to do with other factors (not in order of importance: DR, CMOS vs. CCD technology, cooling, A/D converter, RAW in-camera processing, proprietary software, ... to speak about the most obvious ones).

But forget about 14 vs. 16 bit, it is simply BS.

Best regards,
Thierry
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