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Author Topic: Part 2: "Becoming A Great Arch. Photographer  (Read 69916 times)
rainer_v
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2009, 07:30:48 AM »
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Quote from: Lust4Life
Rainer,


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

i dont ask for the needs to pay the bill i ask for an optimum of quality and workflow.

i am not a man of compromises, therefor appeared the brumbaer software as it finally was, exposure with the batch correction
of white shadings and the artec itself. i simply wanted a working hi end solution and was in the contact to exchange this need
with some clever software and hardware constructors.  

BUT its a question of creativity to select and to use convenient tools for your work and more so how to use these in a professional and practical sense.
also the camera system has a big impact HOW to compose an image, this is by far more important than 14 real against 16 claimed bits.
there is so much bs., fault of knowledge and missinfprmation in the election of gear, its incredible. and too many people believe that the camera
is making the shots or delivering results the clients might like more, and therefor one will get more work or money. thats bs. i repeat : bs.
the clients like the images and above a certain level of work its absolutely basic that the image quality is top notch, noone ask therefor,- its simply clear
if one gets that assignments. its not that MY clients are content with 14bit images and that there might be any other client in the world who will not be
satisfied by them, because i work already at the hi end of this profession in america, europe and asia.
also i work since years with mf, but i am not blind enough to think that THIS gives me an real advantage. this are other factors, and there would be the money better invested than in too expensive gear,- ( except money isnt such big factor, but we are photographers not dentists ) .
as JR always claims: rent good models for your book ( so i`d advise you to rent maybe a crane or buy a simple ladder and a high tripoid for getting better view points- if you take this better perspective with a g10 and render the shots patiently and good your client and everyone else might like the shot more than your artecalpacambop65e75a10 shot taken from a worse view point and maybe rendered badly,- i promise you that  )  and work with tools which actually work and which dont hinder you in terms of workflow, softare or simple unresolved technical defects.
i know too many colleagues who have left behind with more or less unusable gear from all the mf companies, independent of its bit depth and its price. it was not for fun that i asked stefan to write a working and practical usable software to correct centerfolds and color shifts and later to convince sinar to make a camera as the artec is. i did that because i couldnt find ANYTHING in the market i liked and which had let me to work in a similar creative way than with 4x5" groundglas and film.
there is so much nonsense still in the space about gear and its capacities, its hard to read and i am a bit tired to discuss it again and again.
as this 16bit nonsense.
( btw  the M9 was since long time the first and only camera who wrote REAL 8 bit files , many of exactly the same group of "16bit" people have been excited with
its clarity and quality ..... )
its so often claimed and written, but people want to believe what they want to believe. maybe it makes the life easier for some but not for me.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 08:07:36 AM by rainer_v » Logged

rainer viertlböck
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Edmund Sumner
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2009, 07:44:30 AM »
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Quote from: rainer_v
i dont ask for the needs to pay the bill i ask for an optimum of quality and workflow.

i am not a man of compromises, therefor appeared the brumbaer software as it finally was, exposure with the batch correction
of white flow and the artec itself. i simply wanted a working hi end solution and was in the contact to exchange this need
with some clever software and hardware constructors.  
BUT its a question of creativity to select and to use convenient tools for your work and more so how to use these in a professional and practical sense.
also the camera system has a big impact HOW to compose an image, this is by far more important than 14 real against 16 claimed bits.
there is so much bs., fault of knowledge and missinfprmation in the election of gear, its incredible. and too many people believe that the camera
is making the shots or delivering results the clients might like more, and therefor one will get more work or money. thats bs. i repeat : bs.
the clients like the images and above a certain level of work its absolutely basic that the image quality is top notch, noone ask therefor,- its simply clear
if one gets that assignments. its not that MY clients are content with 14bit images and that there might be any other client in the world who will not be satisfied by them, because i work already at the hi end of this profession.
also i work since years with mf, but i am not blind enough to think that THIS gives me an real advantage. this are other factors, and there would be the money better invested than in too expensive gear,- ( except money isnt such big factor, but we are photographers not dentists ) .
as JR always claims: rent good models for your book ( so i`d advise you to rent some cranes  for getting better view points- if you take this better perspective with a g10 and render the shots patient and good your client might like them more than you artecalpacambop65e75a10 shot taken from a worse view point and maybe rendered badly,- i promise you that  )  and work with tools which actually work and which dont hinder you in terms of workflow, softare or simple unresolved technical defects.
i know too many colleagues who have left behind with more or less unusable gear from all the mf companies, independent of its bit depth and its price. it was not for fun that i asked stefan to write a working and practical usable software to correct centerfolds and color shifts and later to convince sinar to make a camera as the artec is. i did that because i couldnt find ANYTHING in the market i liked and which had let me to work in a similar creative way that with 4x5" groundglas.
there is so much nonsense still in the space about gear and its capacities, its hard to read and i am a bit tired to discuss it again and again.
as this 16bit nonsense.
its so often claimed and written, but people want to believe what they want to believe. maybe it makes the life easier for some but not for me.
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Edmund Sumner
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« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2009, 07:53:07 AM »
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Hi All

I hope I don't come across like a party pooper but the whole conversation on how to come a great Architectural photographer seems to be missing the most important thing, that is to say ones understanding and knowledge and appreciation of architecture and ones ability of to contextualize a scheme in its environment. Sure you need some decent kit and the basics are a perspective control kit and full rage of lenses say from 38-240 but its is as important what you shoot (and why) as how you shoot it.

I suggest you allocate some budget and subscribe to the main magazines such as Architectural Review, Domus, Architectural record Wallpaper etc and study what Architects are building who is generally shooting this and how (and possibly why) this is being shot in the manner that it is

For the record I use a leaf kit on an Arca Swiss with lenses from 38-480

Edmund Sumner
www.edmundsumner.co.uk
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rainer_v
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« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2009, 07:54:09 AM »
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Quote from: Edmund Sumner
Hi All

I hope I don't come across like a party pooper but the whole conversation on how to come a great Architectural photographer seems to be missing the most important thing, that is to say ones understanding and knowledge and appreciation of architecture and ones ability of to contextualize a scheme in its environment. Sure you need some decent kit and the basics are a perspective control kit and full rage of lenses say from 38-240 but its is as important what you shoot (and why) as how you shoot it.

I suggest you allocate some budget and subscribe to the main magazines such as Architectural Review, Domus, Architectural record Wallpaper etc and study what Architects are building who is generally shooting this and how (and possibly why) this is being shot in the manner that it is

For the record I use a leaf kit on an Arca Swiss with lenses from 38-480

Edmund Sumner
www.edmundsumner.co.uk
signed.
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rainer viertlböck
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2009, 07:59:04 AM »
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Quote from: rainer_v
signed.


word!
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michaelbiondo
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« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2009, 08:45:24 AM »
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This is what I am shooting with....

Cambo ultima 35 with a canon 1ds mark III in the back and hasselblad 50, hasselblad 80 and schneider 28 mm digitar.
Shooting sometimes to a card and sometimes tethered to a macbook pro.
all gitzo carbon fiber tripods an a manfrotto 400 geared head.


I am using the canon as a capture devise because I like high ASA, Live view, and of course the thing is build like a brick shit house.
I like the technical camera set up for rear rise/fall & shift stitches along with front tilt & swings for focus

It all does feel a bit like a compromise, the 28 mm is  weird lens with distortion on the edges, the hassi glass is ok but the highlights seem a bit fuzzy.
And the 1ds file quality is not as good as a top of the line MFDB.

Having said that, I am getting great files with some work done in PTGui and CS3.

On a shoot last winter, shooting outside just as the sun was setting temp was 20 degrees F and the wind was blowing a good 15 mph, I was up on top of a 16 foot ladder working very fast creating a pano with this setup, downloading the files my assistant was shaking her head saying that her leaf back could never had taken that kind of abuse and made the shot at the high ISO I was shooting (800 ASA). I think she was right.

Two things I use a lot...I dug out my old schneider loupe and use it on the rear screen of the 1ds in live view mode zoomed in 10X, nice for critical focusing
and
A solid werner multi ladder with a tripod head bolted to an accessory tray

in a perfect world I would switch to an Arca Swiss o2 with an arca cube head, still use the 1ds as a capture devise until I see a MFDB. with a great LCD screen on the back (with live view) and high ASA capability. New  glass, perhaps test out the Rodenstock line...

That's my story and I an sticking to it (for now)


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gwhitf
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« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2009, 01:04:09 PM »
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Quote from: GBPhoto
My most important:
Alarm clock to get my ass out of bed in time.

Good one! My list:

1. Double alarm clock.
2. No caffeine after noon, the day before an early call.
3. Pepcid AC in every bag.
4. Extra eyeglasses in EVERY camera bag and every personal bag. (My biggest fear of all, having to have my assistant shoot the job, and me standing beside him, looking like Mr. Magoo, squinting my eyes, and trying to tell him when to shoot: "Now. Now. Now. Is it sharp? Now. Now. Now. Is the talent still on set?".
5. Make sure and shave that weird hair that grows out of my ears, the night before the job, if a client is there.
6. Make sure to set iPhone alarm to check in to Southwest flight exactly 24 hours before flight time, to get "A" boarding group.
7. No burritos the night before an early call, (if I know we're shooting in a remote location).
8. Write down the agency people's names, and the clients' name, and their titles.
9. Spend time to create Shot List Cheat Sheet to keep in back pocket of jeans, because once I walk out onto the set, I forget half the stuff I had planned.
10. Backup MacBookPro; backup H2; backup 5d2.
11. Always hire one extra assistant, more than you really need, in case one of them oversleeps or flakes out or gets lost or gets sick.

You think I'm kidding, but that's my Fear List.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 01:53:17 PM by gwhitf » Logged
michaelbiondo
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« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2009, 10:38:49 AM »
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classic, I thought I was the only one who would lose his glasses & forget the clients names....
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rainer_v
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« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2009, 11:15:21 AM »
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Quote from: michaelbiondo
classic, I thought I was the only one who would lose his glasses & forget the clients names....

i broke my glasses on a job this spring, very good that i had my backup glasses with me.
after the glasses had been repaired my car was broken in and the second glasses have been robbed.

another advise above cannot be valuated enough:
to create a good relation with facility management and everybody who is helping on site from the building stuff. if one appears here as arrogant or stressfull thhe shooting might become a nightmare,- in no one an architecture photographer depends more on site than on this people.
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rainer viertlböck
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www.tangential.de
CBarrett
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« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2009, 11:31:50 AM »
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Quote from: rainer_v
another advise above cannot be valuated enough:
to create a good relation with facility management and everybody who is helping on site from the building stuff. if one appears here as arrogant or stressfull thhe shooting might become a nightmare,- in no one an architecture photographer depends more on site than on this people.


True that!  I used to assist a shooter with terrible people skills, when he would start to argue with security or facilities people, I would step in between them and use my Jedi Voice.

*waves hand* "You don't need to see his identification... these aren't the photographers you're looking for... he can go about his shooting....  move along...."
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Lust4Life
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« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2009, 04:38:09 PM »
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Calculating the cost of image capture gear alone (no lights, etc.):
Given - starting with an H3DII-39 and a 28mm, 80mm and 150mm lens
Cost of entry into Arch. work considering just the value of the H3DII-38 body and back:

Price and configuration updated 11/10/09 at 4PM EST:
Alternative I:
Arca Swiss RM3d Body   $5,500
Adapter Plate to Hasselblad   $700
Rotoslide   $2,300
28mm Rodenstock HR Lens   $6,500
Rodenstock 60mm   $3,200
Rodenstock 70mm Digitar   $2,800
Leica Laser   $400
Total with 28mm and 60mm Lenses   $18,600
Plus prior Cost of H3DII-39 Camera with default 80mm lens   $20,000
Grand Total:   $38,600

Alternative II - Gear as suggested by Rainer:
Canon 5D Mark II - USA Warranty             $2,700
Canon 17mm/f4 L TS-E -USA Lens     $2,500
Canon 45mm/f2.8 L II TS-E USA Lens     $1,300
Canon 90mm/f2.8 TS-E Lens USA Lens     $1,250
Canon 1.4Tele II USA                           $   325
Canon 100-400 L IS USA                      $1,680

Total of the above Canon gear     $9,755

Still trying to get cost of Sinar arTec gear in USA $'s to give a comparable toolset as the Arca-Swiss.
I've been waiting two days now for a response from SinarBron - we'll see if I ever hear from them.
Will update this post when prices can be confirmed.

From a capital investment viewpoint, and plugging in prior comments posted on this thread, the Canon solution looks very modest in expenditure.  Considering the state of the world economy, and the impact of the profession of Arch. Photography, the Canon seems to be the more prudent direction.

Thoughts?
Jack
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 03:01:03 PM by Lust4Life » Logged

CBarrett
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« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2009, 05:36:59 PM »
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It IS a scary proposition, Jack.

Last October I left the studio I'd spent the previous 17 years with and started my own business in the worst economy of my life.  I then went out and spent about $75k in gear.  I'm a big gear junkie, though, with expensive tastes.

I love my Digi back and my view camera.  The lenses are all Rodenstock Digital and they are superb.  I feel like I'm finally achieving the quality I've been chasing all my career.  The stuff is good!

That said... I'm pretty confident in saying that every one of us could switch to 5D2's with T/S lenses and still make very similar pictures and our clients would never notice the difference.

I would notice the difference, and I wouldn't be happy with the results, but I could do it...



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asf
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« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2009, 05:46:33 PM »
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"Still trying to get cost of Sinar arTec gear in USA $'s"

One of Sinar's problems here in the US, no one wants to sell it. I tried to get info on buying the arTec after it came out, SinarBron had no idea and could not have cared less. Shame.
Is there anyone in the US who has bought an artec from a US dealer?

Before you decide on the Arca RM3 make sure you can actually get all the parts you want and when (firm ETA) you can get them. Try to talk to a real person who owns the camera, lenses and accs.
Arca has been showing this camera at shows for 3 (4?) years, does it exist beyond prototypes? At least there are many european photogs using the artec.

"Canon wins hands-down, if you are talking about taking pictures and are concerned about the state of the World's economy"

Not sure what this means, but there is absolutely no reason "great architecture photos" cannot be made with a Canon. And you don't need the 1dsIII, get 2 5dmkII, some gaff tape if you're worried about sealing (been around the world with mine, never had 1 problem), and put the savings into a 24tse.
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« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2009, 05:53:27 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
I wouldn't be happy with the results, but I could do it...

You wouldn't be happy with the results because the gear was inferior?

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CBarrett
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« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2009, 06:19:19 PM »
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Quote from: asf
You wouldn't be happy with the results because the gear was inferior?


Because the camera files are just not as sharp, don't have the same tonal width, or color fidelity and tend to exhibit too much distortion... at least with what I've seen from the 1DS, 5D and D3.

But again... will the client notice on prints or at web size?
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2009, 06:22:25 PM »
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Quote
You think I'm kidding, but that's my Fear List.

I know your not kidding. That's not much different than the list I would make.  I don't wear glasses, but I bring backups or doubles for every single electronic device I rely on, every cord, camera, battery, twice the strobe I think I will need, etc. Why? because if things can happen eventually they will. I also rely on companies like Calumet and Freestyle who if they promise something next day-it is there the next day. This was more crucial shooting film on the road, but is very important with digital too. Allot of my work is not in major metropolitan areas that do not have well stocked camera stores. I rarely bring an extra assistant though but insist that the architect lends us someone from the office who has worked that job. They oftentimes have the contacts and clout to get things done that would take us too long or be to distracting while I need to concentrate on shooting. generally I try to minimize my distractions or creativity will suffer. I rely on my long time assistant to shield me from allot of crap that would take me out of the zone.
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Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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Lust4Life
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« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2009, 08:38:19 PM »
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I think there is merit to your approach - stitch multiple frames and at least you'll get the res of a MFDB.  Other elements will be missing BUT with judicious use of CS4 and LR you can get darn close.

Perfect, no - but the delta in cost is dramatic!

Jack


Quote from: GBPhoto
Heh, it seems like whenever I've said "Screw it, the client's never gonna notice...", that's when some unforseen, ultra-high-quality use comes up for that image.  

Now, even on low-budget dslr jobs, I shoot a stitch sequence of any important shots.  That way I have high-res material in the bag if another $$$$ use comes up.  Especially if it's a difficult-access or unique situation.
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rainer_v
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« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2009, 03:08:57 AM »
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Quote from: Lust4Life
Alternative I:
Arca Swiss RM3d Body   $5,500
Adapter Plate to Hasselblad   $700
Rotoslide   $2,300
28mm Rodenstock HR Lens   $6,500
Rodenstock 60mm   $3,200
Rodenstock 70mm Digitar   $2,800
Leica Laser   $400
Total with 28mm and 60mm Lenses   $18,600
Plus prior Cost of H3DII-39 Camera with default 80mm lens   $20,000
Grand Total:   $38,600

Alternative II:
Canon 1DsMkIII-USA Warranty   $6,200
Canon 17mm TS-E Lens   $2,500
Canon 45mm TS-E Lens   $1,300
Canon 90mm TS-E Lens   $1,250
Total with 17mm and 90mm Lens   $9,950

Jack
your lens list looks a bit strange to me  
i will give an alternative list, the lenses with* are for a bigger setup, without are the basics i.m.o.

for mf format:
shift camera of your choice ( i´d take the  artec  --  )

23mm HR (*)

28mm HR

35mm HR or schneider (*)

45mm rodenstock or schneider

70mm HR or equivalent schneider

90 or 100mm HR or schneider (*)


in any case an additional 35mm camera  :

canon 5ds2 ( not 1ds3 for weight   )
long lens for details.
( i use the 100-400L zoom which is excellent for details,
since canon corrects this lens so perfet in DPP.   )

or alternatively only a 35mm canon system with:

17mm TS-E
24mm TS-E
1,4 extender (yes it works fine! )
45mmTS-E
90mm TS-E (*)
same long lens, preferable a zoom (for weight and space )

the canon system is a fine backup system too, if you have the luxury to have both systems.
about backup systems is to say that the canon is perfect for this, cause you still can bring it
 together with the mf system and one laptop in the hand luggage in planes, which is quite
important for me. in any case i carry with me a second mf  back if travelling.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 05:10:18 AM by rainer_v » Logged

rainer viertlböck
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Lust4Life
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« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2009, 10:46:30 AM »
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Rainer,

Interesting menagerie of lens choices you have presented - extensive and I can see where the collection of both MFDB and SLR would be the "ideal".

As you are accomplished in the industry, and I must admit to being one of the chaps who's work I admire and aspire to reach, I can see the need, and financial ability, for you to have such a great assembly of tools - both MFDB and Canon.

What I'm trying to assemble is a set of gear that covers the MAJORITY of needs yet does not break the bank.

Thus, the first decision for a chap like myself is deciding between a MFDB or a Canon/SLR based system, since I do not want to allocate funds for both.

That given, my thinking AND budget are moving me away from the MFDB and on to the Canon approach.

I know there will be an adjustment in image quality that I've become accustom to in my landscape work with the H3DII-39 when moving to a Canon based system.  Yet from these threads on this topic, I see that folks have built a fine business on the Canon platform, albeit with some finesse and compromise.

Now, considering I could sell off my current H3DII-39 (with only 2,000 clicks on it) and 28mm, 80mm and 150mm lenses (none of this gear being well suited to doing arch. work), then purchase the full list of Canon gear you suggest, and still have thousands of dollars left over from the sale of my MFDB for marketing and other equipment.  Where to pursue the MFDB route will take the ADDITIONAL expenditure of tens of thousands more cash (as I do not believe in debt).

I feel that in order to minimize the financial pressure that comes with starting a change in focus, from landscape to architectural, this is a sacrifice that a prudent person would make.  Once I prove myself in the market and build a client base, would that not be the wisest time to compliment my SLR system with MFDB?

Question:  Assuming going ONLY with an SLR, would you still choose the 5Ds2 over the 1DsMkIII?
Reasons other than weight/cost delta?

As always, your thoughts and guidance are respected and appreciated by all of us.

Jack
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 03:23:28 PM by Lust4Life » Logged

Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2009, 12:42:07 PM »
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Quote
canon 5ds2 ( not 1ds3 for weight rolleyes.gif )
long lens for details.
( i use the 100-400L zoom which is excellent for details,
since canon corrects this lens so perfet in DPP. laugh.gif )

or alternatively only a 35mm canon system with:

17mm TS-E
24mm TS-E
1,4 extender (yes it works fine! )
45mmTS-E
90mm TS-E (*)
same long lens, preferable a zoom (for weight and space )

A well thought out list. My POV, It is always important when shooting professional level AP with a DSLR to minimize any cropping, stretching and interpolation etc. You have to really work at and be conscious of maintaining file quality. My few differences for the list-I use an Olympus 35PC with a Canon adapter to fill the gap between 24 and 45. I don't own the 17 (I may buy it someday) as I am happy right now flat stitching if I need wider. For details I have 70-200 and a 135 prime. Also I find a good solid tripod with a geared head to be essential for thoughtful, well composed, maximized file use, work.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 12:43:10 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
Architecture and Landscape Photography
WWW.GITTINGSPHOTO.COM

LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)
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