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Author Topic: New IR MF Digital Back Unveiled... And quickly sold at NH Workshop  (Read 3295 times)
Williamson Images
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« on: October 09, 2011, 09:50:39 PM »
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I just finished up instructing at the Master Series Workshop in NH put on by Capture Integration.  Leaf has partnered with Dave Gallagher to introduce the first ever IR MF Digital Back that has the unique ability to shoot in BOTH full (regular) color or full IR at the quick switch of a front lens filter and white balance change.  A true 'tour de force' on a technical camera.  Amazing images that I will try to post shortly.  This first IR back that Leaf brought to the event is an Aptus II 33 mp.  One attendee gravitated to the back during our testing and arranged to purchase it on the spot - he was so impressed with the flexibility and quality of the large files.  I've been told that this conversion can be performed in the US on existing leaf backs or purchased as an option on new backs (read that more mp) for sale.  I'm not sure anyone, especially landscape photographers would opt out on this one given the option.  Great stuff.  Give Dave or Doug Peterson a call if you are interested in more specifics.  The new owner has some mad skills and I'm sure you will see his work with the back out and about.  I will try to post some shots later tonight.  It was easy and fast working with my cambo. 

Happy Columbus Day. 

Robb Williamson
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Robb Williamson
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Williamson Images
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 10:36:44 PM »
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See sample images from the New IR Leaf back.

Photos by Robb Williamson

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Robb Williamson
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Williamson Images
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 10:45:28 PM »
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See sample image from the New IR Leaf back.

Photo by Amr El-shafei with Robb Williamson
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 03:18:49 AM »
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Any idea on pricing?
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Williamson Images
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 02:47:21 PM »
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I believe the new IR 33 backs are 16,990 USD.

There will also be a program to update backs to this feature.

This is Leaf's first IR back.  It may not be the first of this type.  I will let the historians list any comparable products that can shoot in both ranges easily. 

Robb
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 09:35:01 PM »
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I believe the new IR 33 backs are 16,990 USD.

There will also be a program to update backs to this feature.

This is Leaf's first IR back.  It may not be the first of this type.  I will let the historians list any comparable products that can shoot in both ranges easily. 

Robb


Correct on the pricing  - $16,990. It is the only currently shipping medium format digital back that can be configured this way.


Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
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ondebanks
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 06:14:23 AM »
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So can you please clarify if I've got this right: it's a regular Aptus II 33 mp sensor and DB, with the IR filter absent at the rear, and the sensor plane moved slightly forward to compensate for the optical path difference (in air vs. the IR filter glass)? And you put an IR blocking filter over the lens to shoot in visible light, and an IR-passing filter over the lens to shoot in IR?

Ray
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yaya
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2011, 06:29:04 AM »
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So can you please clarify if I've got this right: it's a regular Aptus II 33 mp sensor and DB, with the IR filter absent at the rear, and the sensor plane moved slightly forward to compensate for the optical path difference (in air vs. the IR filter glass)? And you put an IR blocking filter over the lens to shoot in visible light, and an IR-passing filter over the lens to shoot in IR?

Ray

Almost...the IR cut filter is replaced with a "plain" glass from the same manufacturer and the back gets checked and calibrated in case there is any focus compensation needed (usually not)



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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2011, 08:10:45 AM »
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Almost...the IR cut filter is replaced with a "plain" glass from the same manufacturer and the back gets checked and calibrated in case there is any focus compensation needed (usually not)





Yair,
It's fantastic idea !! History shows that the most simple things are brilliant  Cool
Good luck
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Peter Devos
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2011, 08:43:20 AM »
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How does the image from the leaf back differ from my mamiya ZD back with IR filter ( the optional IR filter that allows to make IR images with a ZD back). I really love IR, do a lot with my Kodak Proback without any filter but was wondering...
My mamiya ZD-IR back does not get out that often as i relly love the square kodak format.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2011, 09:13:40 AM »
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Almost...the IR cut filter is replaced with a "plain" glass from the same manufacturer and the back gets checked and calibrated in case there is any focus compensation needed (usually not)

Hi Yair,

That makes sense. However, replacing the IR rejection filter with one on the lens does potentially have a different effect. It becomes mandatory to also make an LCC shot, because the IR-mirror, or IR absorption, varies with the angle across the FOV (especially on wider angle lenses). The non-uniform color cast needs to be addressed.

Cheers,
Bart
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yaya
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 09:23:45 AM »
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How does the image from the leaf back differ from my mamiya ZD back with IR filter ( the optional IR filter that allows to make IR images with a ZD back). I really love IR, do a lot with my Kodak Proback without any filter but was wondering...
My mamiya ZD-IR back does not get out that often as i relly love the square kodak format.

I guess it differs in the same way that an image from a new regular Aptus-II 7 differs from an image from a regular ZD or a regular Proback...

33MP vs 22MP/ 16MP, 16bit Vs 14bit and obviously being a current, in production model with full support, warranty, robust workflow/ software, tethering options etc. etc.
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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 09:32:03 AM »
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Hi Yair,

That makes sense. However, replacing the IR rejection filter with one on the lens does potentially have a different effect. It becomes mandatory to also make an LCC shot, because the IR-mirror, or IR absorption, varies with the angle across the FOV (especially on wider angle lenses). The non-uniform color cast needs to be addressed.

Cheers,
Bart

So far we're not seeing this. In any event on the Aptus-II you can have a calibration file stored on the CF card for each of your lenses so you do not need to perform an LCC shot in the field. This addresses it for SLR cameras but can also work with view cameras
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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2011, 10:36:33 AM »
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That makes sense. However, replacing the IR rejection filter with one on the lens does potentially have a different effect. It becomes mandatory to also make an LCC shot, because the IR-mirror, or IR absorption, varies with the angle across the FOV (especially on wider angle lenses). The non-uniform color cast needs to be addressed.

I don't dispute this in theory. However our testing (separate from Yaya) also does not show any evidence of this.

All of our shots on the tech cameras showed minor color casts and required LCCs - which is normal (i.e. you would need an LCC for a standard digital back).

All of our shots on the DF did not.

We will have a unit available for rental if you would like to experiment further. I've shot a large variety of IR systems (film and digital) and they all have a learning curve. This was the most enjoyable system I've ever used for IR as well as producing stunning quality.

Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 10:46:21 AM »
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To clarify the sales issues -

The only digital backs than can be ordered as IR digital backs are:

Leaf Aptus-II 33IR - $16,990

Leaf Aptus-II 22IR - $9,990

These can be ordered through Capture Integration and delivered in about 4-5 days. The purchase of these units comes with CI instruction on IR photography, in general and using the above IR systems with regard to capture, focus, composition, which filters to use, and how to process the images.

In addition, if you have an existing Leaf 22MP or 33MP digital back, you can order this same IR modification through Capture Integration for $2,500. Turnaround is generally in the 2 week range. The following listed units cover the range of 22MP/33MP legacy and current Leaf models that are eligible:

22 Megapixel Legacy & Current Models:
Aptus 22
Aptus 54-S
Aptus-II 5
Aptus-II 22
DL-22
DM-22

33 Megapixel Legacy & Current Models:
Aptus 75
Aptus 75-S
Aptus-II 7
Aptus-II 33
DL-33
DM-33


Orders can be placed starting......now.


Steve Hendrix
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ondebanks
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2011, 11:48:26 AM »
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How does the image from the leaf back differ from my mamiya ZD back with IR filter ( the optional IR filter that allows to make IR images with a ZD back). I really love IR, do a lot with my Kodak Proback without any filter but was wondering...
My mamiya ZD-IR back does not get out that often as i relly love the square kodak format.

Me too (Kodak Proback 645M & Mamiya 645AFD). That's why I had to ask exactly what the design is, as I was wondering just how special or novel this Leaf dual IR/vis camera back is. It's been 10 years since the original Kodak Pro Back for Hasselblad/RZ, with the click-on, click-off removable IR filter...(My Kodak back tethers fine, BTW.)

This summer I was hoping to go one better than the Leaf, and match the Mamiya ZD. As Bart has said, the best place optically for the IR blocking/passing dielectric filters is back near the sensor. (Having the IR-passing filter at the back also means that you can SEE through the viewfinder when you are shooting in IR). I have a spare (damaged coatings) rear IR-blocking filter for my Proback, which I was going to have stripped to bare glass, then recoated as an IR-passing filter with an 820nm cutoff, so that I would have equal IR response in all pixels (this being a feature of the Kodak chips), and the image would not need de-Bayering. I never got around to it unfortunately, but still intend to, once I find a suitable optical house to do the work.

No doubt the Leaf 33MP back gives a better visible light file...at a price of course.

In the IR, I'm not sure any of the Leafs listed just now by Steve will be outstanding. Let me explain why.

There is an old joke here in Ireland: a lost tourist sees a farmer coming towards him, so he stops his car to ask for directions to his destination. The farmer replies: "Well first of all, if I was going there, I wouldn't start from here!".

In the same vein, if I was going to make a back for IR, I wouldn't start from here; here being a Leaf, Dalsa-chipped back (or for that matter, the Mamiya ZD, Dalsa-chipped back).

The attached graphs show the spectral response of the Dalsa sensor in the Leaf 33MP back; and a carefully overlaid comparison by me of the Dalsa sensor in the ZD 22MP back and the Kodak sensor in the Kodak 16MP Proback series (Dalsa traces are thin R/G/B lines; Kodak ones are thick R/G/B lines).

Both the Dalsa sensors exhibit
- near-zero response above 700nm, from the Green and Blue pixels
- the 1-in-4 Red pixels, which are carrying almost the entire IR effort, are themselves on a sharp decline to low response.
- there might possibly be some recovery past 800nm, but Dalsa didn't see fit to show it, do the rational conclusion is that it continues to decline towards zero between 800nm and 900nm.

The Kodak sensor (and its other Kodak MFD brethren are all pretty much the same) exhibits
- a resurgence in response above 700nm, from the Green and Blue pixels; they soon converge up with the Red
- a response in Red which is systematically higher than the Dalsa, and which (along with the Green and Blue) doesn't begin to decline until over 100 nm further into the IR.
- equally high response in Red, Green and Blue pixels above 820nm - the Bayer pigments become completely transparent - which makes a perfect B&W monochromatic IR image possible, without interpolation!

So the Kodak is a high-ISO back in the IR. You can handhold IR pics easily, and compose them in the normal visible-light viewfinder. The degree of luminance interpolation required is far lower (indeed, none at all past 820nm), so the per-pixel sharpness can be much higher.

What we need are more Kodak-sensored backs to be built in the way that this Leaf back has been built.

Ray
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2011, 12:43:53 PM »
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No doubt the Leaf 33MP back gives a better visible light file...at a price of course.

In the IR, I'm not sure any of the Leafs listed just now by Steve will be outstanding. Let me explain why.

There is an old joke here in Ireland: a lost tourist sees a farmer coming towards him, so he stops his car to ask for directions to his destination. The farmer replies: "Well first of all, if I was going there, I wouldn't start from here!".

In the same vein, if I was going to make a back for IR, I wouldn't start from here; here being a Leaf, Dalsa-chipped back (or for that matter, the Mamiya ZD, Dalsa-chipped back).
Ray



Nonetheless, seeing the images firsthand from the Leaf Aptus-II 33IR, the images are outstanding. We'll post downloadable samples within a few weeks and anyone can see for themselves. It certainly satisfied the attendee who forked over $17K and took it home. What we have done with Leaf is create a solution that is here right now, does not break the bank, and offers maximum flexibility with both IR and RGB options.

I might finish the story of the Irish farmer where he concludes - "But now that you're here, you'll have a magnificent drive and be at your destination in 5 minutes. There is another route, but if you take that way, I don't know how long it will take, and in fact I don't even know if you'll ever get there. Oh, and you can only see straight ahead when you drive, but it is a beautiful drive."


Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2011, 06:35:46 PM »
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Ray,

These IR backs are not new and have been proposed by Sinar since ages, starting with the 4 MPx Loral sensor, then the 6 MPx, 11 MPx, 16 MPx and 22 MPx sensors.
In fact many museums and research institutes have or still are using those IR backs for their sensitivity to Ir and gives them the results they need to see e.g. "through" a painting.
You are probably right that these backs are not outstanding in the IR area, nevertheless used over the years with good and usable results.

Thierry



In the IR, I'm not sure any of the Leafs listed just now by Steve will be outstanding. Let me explain why.
Ray

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