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Author Topic: Do digital proofing backs exist?  (Read 1574 times)
tribedude
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« on: May 14, 2010, 09:54:35 AM »
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I love my hasselblads, and I love shooting nice transparency film with them. I don't like polaroid backs so much though. Messy, slow, clunky, and an additional expense

I have not made the jump to a digital back yet, and I know I will in due time. But in the meantime, I am wondering if a digital proofing back exists.... Something low cost and low rez that can be used like a polaroid back, just to check lighting a composition quickly on the back itself, ideally including a histogram.


Just wondering if such a thing exists....
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alexd
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fredjeang
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 10:13:10 AM »
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Hi,

Low cost you said?


To date, I've never seen something cheap in MF world, much more expensive than in film age, and not easy at all for
a student for example to have acces to it.
The proof back you mentionned like the old good Polas seems first a nice idea, but I'm afraid it does not exists.
They did not want to sell us motorcycles but cars.

But with digital it does not make a lot of sense. The devellopement cost of the back is high, so a kind of proof back is out of question IMO.  I wish they did a better job with the displays resolutions and live view implementation.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 02:16:26 PM by fredjeang » Logged
ondebanks
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 05:44:07 AM »
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Quote from: tribedude
I love my hasselblads, and I love shooting nice transparency film with them. I don't like polaroid backs so much though. Messy, slow, clunky, and an additional expense

I have not made the jump to a digital back yet, and I know I will in due time. But in the meantime, I am wondering if a digital proofing back exists.... Something low cost and low rez that can be used like a polaroid back, just to check lighting a composition quickly on the back itself, ideally including a histogram.


Just wondering if such a thing exists....

It doesn't really exist - I'll outline some options but you'll see that they don't really match your wishlist.

All the "cheap" options lack a built-in display and limit you to operating tethered to a PC or more commonly a Mac. You have either 35mm-crop, single-shot colour backs (like the H10); or full-frame, scanning backs (like the Betterlight), some of which I've seen in Hasselblad V mounts. All are older, used gear.

To become fully portable and get an image & histogram display on the back itself, you move up to less cropped digital backs which are at least double the price (2k+, even used) and which make images that are at least as good as scanned 6x6 transparency film. This kind of defeats the purpose of using them as mere proofing backs!  

A separate, small, used APS DSLR with a matching-FOV (zoom) lens would be the cheapest and best option for "digital proofing". It covers metering, lighting, and composition...but not DOF, or bokeh rendering - only the Hasselblad's own lens can deliver those aspects.

BTW, the reason "it doesn't really exist" is that large-area film sensors like Polaroids are only marginally more expensive to produce than smaller ones, whereas large-area silicon sensors are exponentially more expensive to produce than smaller ones. Their resolution is not hugely significant in cost terms; it's all about the area in contiguous square mm. Kodak produces a large CCD with chunky, low-res 24 micron pixels, but it costs about as much as their similar-area high-res chips with ~10 times the megapixel count. Scanning backs offered a way around this - very long but very narrow CCD arrays.  A battery-operated scanback with a built-in LCD display would have been the ideal Polaroid replacement (Polaroid developing time being replaced by scanning time), but AFAIK they don't exist - they are an idea I just came up with!  
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tribedude
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 09:37:48 AM »
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Quote from: ondebanks
A battery-operated scanback with a built-in LCD display would have been the ideal Polaroid replacement (Polaroid developing time being replaced by scanning time), but AFAIK they don't exist - they are an idea I just came up with!  

You would think, with all the billions of sensors produced for now obsolete consumer grade DX cameras that are really cheap, one would be able to re-purpose them and geek together 8 DX sensors side by side. 2.5" TFT LCDs are cheap enough for the display. A rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, some ram to hold the shot on the back, and voila!


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alexd
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boesgaard
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 08:34:05 AM »
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Or maybe a back with a focus-screen, and a fixed focus compact camera built together.
So the compact-camera snaps a photo of the image projected onto the focus-screen.

This could be a fun project. I'm not sure the result would be that good though - but probably easier to work with than a small polaroid.

The blad would be put on bulb, and the CompactBackCamera (CBC-unit) would trigger the flash-system.

For lightloss, compensate with an extra stop or two of ISO.


/thomas
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michaelnotar
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 01:58:00 PM »
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digital polaroids...its called another exposure  last i checked a polaroid took like 60 secs min, while a big capture would only be 1/4 at most.

just erase it. capture one has a composition mode where it deletes the previous shot for test shots.

shoot 1 test or 100 and erase, its not like shooting $4 polaroids, which i shot by the box full.
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LiamStrain
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 05:52:05 PM »
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Quote from: michaelnotar
digital polaroids...its called another exposure  last i checked a polaroid took like 60 secs min, while a big capture would only be 1/4 at most.

He's still shooting film, and was just wondering about a (less expensive and hassle than pola) digital option for proofing.
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