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Author Topic: Alpa, Arca, Cambo, Sinar, ... ? Hassy H or phase one ?  (Read 2275 times)
esox
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« on: January 21, 2013, 02:25:02 PM »
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As I said in another discussion, I'm switching from Hassy V/ Sinar F silver film MF to digital MF. I have a good opportunity to have for a very reasonable price a P45+ or a P65+ Phase One back. The P65+ is great but the P445+ can do long exposures.  With few shots. It will be in mamyia/phase one mount. I need now to make up my mind for the "engine" ahead of the back. It will be for architecture photography, landscape, mainly, wide angle with perspective correction; A tilit/swing would be great but I'm not sure the angle proposed by those tech camera is enough to do a full Scheimplung (they usually propose 5°). I also have a Sinar F2 monorail view camera but it is to difficult to carry it ouside the studio (the time you set it up, 3 lenses are already stollen...). The camera has to be able to do handheld shootings and light enough to preserve my back (not the digital, the real one...).

I never used such equipment.

What are the minus/plus of those different camera ? Alpa 12 stc or WA is beautifull and is very seriously built and adjusted. Arca is made in France (my country...) and seems to be also very seriously built, but more complicated with this stuff about focusing with ultrasound or laser beam. Maybe more expensive also ? Cambo also make such stuff, there a used one at reasonable price with a digitar 5.6 / 35.

With those backs, there is also a 645DF/80mm body for very cheap (I mean not as cheap as a Lomo, but almost given with the back). I loved Hassy V and hits lenses, but I'm interested in the fact that Ph/one has schneider lenses. And can also do lense shutter up to 1/1600 sec. Hassy H doesn't do that. Ph/one also has a focal plane shutter for higher speed shutter. As the backs I saw are on phase one mount, I will almost fore sure choose that solution. Except if it is obvious that Hassy H is far more better than Ph/one.

Any information and experiences using those equipment is welcome !
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esox
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 12:48:14 PM »
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Nobody has a clue ?
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Don Libby
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 01:21:47 PM »
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I've had both the P45+, P65 and now a IQ160.  My main landscape camera is a Cambo WRS which I supplement with a Phase DF.

I always thought I liked the P45 until I got the P65 - there's differences between the two mailing the P65 is not a cropped back.  Then there was the long exposures of the P45 which I felt I'd be giving up and to a degree I did.  However since I never really used very long exposures the move was worthwhile. Then the IQ160 came along and put both of these to shame.  The IQ back is made for shooting on a tech camera.  Don't take me wrong here.  My opinion is that the IQ is so much better on a tech cam than any previous Phase back.

There are lenses available offering tilt/shift for use on a Mamiya/Phase body.  I believe there are more available for use on a tech body. 

And you can handhold either body.

Others will of course have their own opinion this is just mine.


Don
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 05:24:09 PM »
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mhm i am using arca Rm3di, because they have a sliding back Smiley and i feel its more dynamic than the Sinar variant ( artec) as i can interchange with a normal Arca camera, Actually the sliding back was the deciding factor for me ( over buying an Alpa, that does not have a sliding back) i need to see on a matt glass to compose..
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esox
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 10:49:51 PM »
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Thanks for the answers. don, why is the IQ160 better for tech cam than P65+ ? Is your cambo able to do precise enough focusing ? isn't it too heavy to carry on your back ?

Julianlanoo, what would male the difference for you between arca Rm3di and alpa 12stc ? Is the aca Rm3di something you can carry on your back for lôg walks ? Can you shoot´handheld ? Whatnback do yoûuse with it ?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 11:04:46 PM »
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Hi,

You don't mix up Alpa and Arca? I thought Arca was Swiss?

I don't know about Arca but Alpa solutions allow exact focusing based on distance measurement. Mark Dubovoy uses the Alpa and so does Michael Reichmann, I think.

The IQ160 is said to have some kind of live view. I don't know how well it works. The Alpa FPS seems interesting, but at this time I would look at the Hartblei H-Cam as it has a sliding back which I think you cannot have on the FPS.

There is a lot of good info on all those camera here on LuLa. You can search the main site.

Best regards
Erik

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esox
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 01:11:51 AM »
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Erik, in fact Arca is ARCA-SWISS. It's a former swiss company now based in Besançon in France, very closed to swiss. But not in Swiss. Some parts are made in Swiss but AFAIK then tend to do everything in France now.
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 04:09:05 AM »
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Doesn't realy matter for what you buy,
they are all godo camera's, depend on what you are most comfortable with ..

I chose an Arca Swiss,
because of : The sliding back, The focussing system build into the camera ( same ring for every lens), electronic focussing system, and the tilt build into the camera and the possibility to use the same accessories on a "real" full sized technical camera ( in studio etc etc)..

I almost bought the Alpa, the only thing missing was the sliding back, and that was my deal breaker..

Also the Linhof Techno was in the running, but luckely LL made clear the wide angle focussing is extremely difficult on that

I didn't take the Cambo because the people at Cambo were very impolite and rude on photokina 4 years ago, and i am a very unforgiving man for those things... There's also an other reason, I am originally a Belgian, and business between Dutch ( cambo) and Belgians is always a bit "Hot" :p:p

I didn't take the Sinar, because, to my big regret the artec is not a system that integrates into their complete Sinar Line..

but All camera's are good cameras
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Don Libby
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 10:00:33 AM »
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Thanks for the answers. don, why is the IQ160 better for tech cam than P65+ ? Is your cambo able to do precise enough focusing ? isn't it too heavy to carry on your back ?

Julianlanoo, what would male the difference for you between arca Rm3di and alpa 12stc ? Is the aca Rm3di something you can carry on your back for lôg walks ? Can you shoot´handheld ? Whatnback do yoûuse with it ?

A few things I particularly like about the IQ backs and why I feel they are better for tech shooting include, larger lcd, double tap for 100% enlargement allowing to focus checking, focus mask, slight better level checking,  hell there's more I just can't think straight right now and need more coffee. 

I can state for a fact the WRS/back and lens is suitable for hauling around on your back as I've done just that hiking several miles over rough terrain to get into cliff dwellings located in the Southwest.  And I'm in my mid 60's....

To echo what Julien said - doesn't really matter in the end which body you use as they all offer great things.  What you'll need to do is find one that suits your working personality. 

Don
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esox
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 11:08:13 AM »
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Julian, I was in your country just before Xmas. I was frozen... I'm coming from Marseille, south of France. Quite diffrent climate ! But beautiful lights on the Nord See coast.

What you say reassures me no bad news with those equipements, the choice will be question of feeling, I like that. Now I need to tuch and feel in my hands the Arca. I plan to do a little trip between Switzerland and Besaçon in France to see both Alpa and Arca company.
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esox
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 04:14:41 PM »
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So I think that the best thing to do is to rent those different equipments to see what fits the better to my habbits.
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 04:37:05 PM »
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It seems like the best way to focus the Arca Rm3di is using the cloud module. It's my understanding that you can configure the type of MFDB and size of COC to determine how the module calculates hyperfocal distance. How well does this work in practice ?

I'm also curious about the type of ground glass one can use.  I've read that the wide angle Schneider lenses can be really hard to focus with ground glass. Would the Hasselblad Rmfx finder + Acute matte D (which is really bright on a SWC/M) be a good option ?

Paul
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esox
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 03:53:57 AM »
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In fact I answered to the question las friday : I had an offer for a nice package, used but mint backs P45+ and P65+ (6000 shots), six month warranty and a brand new Phase One 645DF+ with the 80mm LS, for 13000 euros. Thats quite some money but very good deal for the 2 backs + camera + lense. I added 1 Phase one 28mm (non LF) et one Schneider 150mm LS...

Now time has come to start rodeo with those oceans of pixels. The conversion from silver film Hassy and 4x5 Sinar is gonna be fascinating. Why the two backs ? because the P45+ is discontinuated and is the only one accepting long poses. If I don't need it, I still can sell it again, I had it far less than what I can see on resellers propositions. But I don't think I will do that.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2013, 04:02:54 AM »
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Hi,

This may be a good read if you want to make best use of your investment: http://www.josephholmes.com/news-sharpmediumformat.html

Best regards
Erik


In fact I answered to the question las friday : I had an offer for a nice package, used but mint backs P45+ and P65+ (6000 shots), six month warranty and a brand new Phase One 645DF+ with the 80mm LS, for 13000 euros. Thats quite some money but very good deal for the 2 backs + camera + lense. I added 1 Phase one 28mm (non LF) et one Schneider 150mm LS...

Now time has come to start rodeo with those oceans of pixels. The conversion from silver film Hassy and 4x5 Sinar is gonna be fascinating. Why the two backs ? because the P45+ is discontinuated and is the only one accepting long poses. If I don't need it, I still can sell it again, I had it far less than what I can see on resellers propositions. But I don't think I will do that.
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 07:26:18 AM »
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the cloud isn't out yet, ...
as i haven't recieved mine, and Martin says it still has to be assembled
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Paul2660
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2013, 09:33:16 AM »
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With a rm3di I have found the the best way to focus is a combination of things.  With the wides, 28 35, you can spend a few hours and figure out the hyper focal distance.  I used a parking lot since it allowed me to have a nice set of graduations.  Once you have it, you really don't need to worry about focus, unless you are working on a shot where you have a critical element within 5 feet of the camera.  In my work, with wides, I rarely have this.  Each lens will be different and I found the 28 Rodenstock to have the best hyper focal, about 11 feet to infinity at F8.  The rodenstocks will also do better in the f8 to F5.6 range, whereas the Schneiders seen to like the F8 to F11 range.  I am a big note taker and I have found that most of my focus solutions work across multiple landscape scenarios. It's still a much slower process than working with say a DF body and AF lens, but with time it's gets much easier as you start to figure out the process. 

Arca gives you a focal card with each lens, this makes it very very easy to dial into the correct focal range.  So you always have that option for each lens.  You will need some from of distance metering, I use a very simple range finder from "optictechs" and you can find a lot written about the different brands.  I did not opt of the Leica due to cost and after working with the rm3di now for over a year, I find I rarely even need to check my focus distance unless I have on the 60mm or 105mm. 

As for the cloud module, personally I would not wait on a camera for the cloud to be delivered.  The original e module was announced over 2.5 years ago, and it never shipped as far as I know.  When making the decision to switch to a tech camera, the issue of focus was one of my biggest issues, but after working with the system, I find it's not as big an issue as I felt.  However without a IQ back, where you can do the 100% zoom and get a totally accurate gauge of focus, this would be a different story.  The LCD is still very hard to read in normal to bright outdoor light, but I carry a hood for this.  If I was still shooting with a P45+, focus would be a totally different story as it's very hard IMO to gauge anything from the LCD of the P45+ and when zoomed into 100%, it's a very cumbersome process to move around the image.

Each of the tech solutions have advantages/disadvantages, if possible it's always best to demo them. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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esox
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2013, 09:37:24 AM »
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Hi,

This may be a good read if you want to make best use of your investment: http://www.josephholmes.com/news-sharpmediumformat.html

Best regards
Erik



Thanx a lot for that link. I'm printing it to study it more confortable.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2013, 09:51:19 AM »
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One other note, the link to the Joseph Holmes article, is very dated.  He was working with P45 non Plus cameras and the P45+.  It's a great read for sure and it is apparent he had alignment issues on several different backs.  For sure you will find out pretty quick if your sensor is out of alignment with a tech camera since there is no room for error.  However I never found this to be an issue with either my P45+ or IQ160.  The job Phase does on the alignment is very good.   I have not read many issues from other users like the problems that Joseph found with his Phase cameras so I feel it's safe to say their QC is very good. 

To be honest, the biggest issue I have seen is the center folding problems.   This seems to show up more with certain tech camera lenses and specific backs.  Centerfolding is when you pick up the segment line in the image.  The P65+ and up have the sensor divided into 8 segments.  I have been told that this is coating and not actual join lines, but I don't know the answer.  The lines are there and can be picked up in the image.  Camera firmware/raw converter software should remove this, but sometimes the back has to be tweaked.  The effect of center folding, when visible in a image can ruin a file especially if it's in a sky where it can be very hard to blend out the line, even with content aware in CS. 

Paul Caldwell
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2013, 10:30:08 AM »
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Hi,

The article I referred to is much more about focusing and finding good lenses than about alignment. There is another article discussing alignment issues.

The original poster is moving from 4x5" film to digital and I think the experience Mr Holmes had may be quite relevant.

Best regards
Erik


One other note, the link to the Joseph Holmes article, is very dated.  He was working with P45 non Plus cameras and the P45+.  It's a great read for sure and it is apparent he had alignment issues on several different backs.  For sure you will find out pretty quick if your sensor is out of alignment with a tech camera since there is no room for error.  However I never found this to be an issue with either my P45+ or IQ160.  The job Phase does on the alignment is very good.   I have not read many issues from other users like the problems that Joseph found with his Phase cameras so I feel it's safe to say their QC is very good. 

To be honest, the biggest issue I have seen is the center folding problems.   This seems to show up more with certain tech camera lenses and specific backs.  Centerfolding is when you pick up the segment line in the image.  The P65+ and up have the sensor divided into 8 segments.  I have been told that this is coating and not actual join lines, but I don't know the answer.  The lines are there and can be picked up in the image.  Camera firmware/raw converter software should remove this, but sometimes the back has to be tweaked.  The effect of center folding, when visible in a image can ruin a file especially if it's in a sky where it can be very hard to blend out the line, even with content aware in CS. 

Paul Caldwell

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esox
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2013, 01:41:13 PM »
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Another good consequence of your post Erik, is that I didn't know Jospeh Holmes. I discovered his works. That is really beautiful images.
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