Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Budget Medium Format Possible?  (Read 3882 times)
ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« on: January 27, 2013, 09:52:57 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi. I'm an avid amateur. After spending about ten years with an Arca Swiss 4x5 camera, I decided to sell it and go digital. I saw some of the digital work on this and other websites and I was very much impressed, especially with the eye popping resolution, color correction and perspective results. Then, I was floored by the cost of cameras and backs in this new era of digital.

My photography includes landscape and architecture (and a little table top). I've enjoyed inducing distortion with swings and tilts to achieve great selective bokeh effects as much as using swings and tilts to achieve depth of field at larger apertures. I don't print much anymore, but when I have it has been up to 40" x 60".

OK, it appears the essential kit attributes include fine alignment of lens and sensor planes to achieve high resolution, say 30mm of rise and shift and the ability to dial in fine focus. It seems like tilts and swings would be nice, but all the talk about focus difficulty, color fringing and image circle with digital lenses and backs is troublesome to me.

Question: Can you recommend a kit of camera, one digital lens in about the 35 to 45mm range, and a digital back for about $5,000 to $6,000 (used prices)?

Question: Practically speaking, how are digital users working with or around tilts and swings?

Thanks for pondering my comments and questions.
Jeff
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 7307


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 10:49:46 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

This article discusses some of the issues: http://www.ludd.luth.se/~torger/photography/mfdb-guide.html .

I don't think your requirements are easy to match.

One alternative to consider could be to use a DSLR with a T&S adapter for MF lenses. Some MF lenses can be had dirt cheap.

I have two tilt adapters from ARAX, one is for Pentacon/Kiev lenses the other for Hasselblad C. There is a company in Germany called Mirex who make a functional T&S adapter for Mamiya and Hasselblad C-lenses.

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/73-sonnar-150-cb-on-dslr-using-arax-tilt-adapter?start=5

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/29-handling-the-dof-trap?start=3

The Sonnar 150/4 I have is not usable outdoors without a lens shade, and I couldn't get one yet. So I have no outdoor samples.

Best regards
Erik


Hi. I'm an avid amateur. After spending about ten years with an Arca Swiss 4x5 camera, I decided to sell it and go digital. I saw some of the digital work on this and other websites and I was very much impressed, especially with the eye popping resolution, color correction and perspective results. Then, I was floored by the cost of cameras and backs in this new era of digital.

My photography includes landscape and architecture (and a little table top). I've enjoyed inducing distortion with swings and tilts to achieve great selective bokeh effects as much as using swings and tilts to achieve depth of field at larger apertures. I don't print much anymore, but when I have it has been up to 40" x 60".

OK, it appears the essential kit attributes include fine alignment of lens and sensor planes to achieve high resolution, say 30mm of rise and shift and the ability to dial in fine focus. It seems like tilts and swings would be nice, but all the talk about focus difficulty, color fringing and image circle with digital lenses and backs is troublesome to me.

Question: Can you recommend a kit of camera, one digital lens in about the 35 to 45mm range, and a digital back for about $5,000 to $6,000 (used prices)?

Question: Practically speaking, how are digital users working with or around tilts and swings?

Thanks for pondering my comments and questions.
Jeff

Logged

ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 10:59:25 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks, I'll check out the luth article/link.
Logged
ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 11:00:42 PM »
ReplyReply

Am I asking for too much at this budget?
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 7307


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 11:18:38 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

Yes, I think so. I have seen some posts that Hasselblad digital cameras can be had quite cheap a bit to my surprise. But, Hasselblads would not have tilts or shifts.

Some poster my come up with decent proposal, you never know.

Best regards
Erik

Am I asking for too much at this budget?
Logged

FredBGG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1651


« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 11:38:03 PM »
ReplyReply

IF you are looking for a MF option with tilt shift the Fuji gx680 is a good option.

All the lenses are tilt shift and there is a kit that lets you put a digital back on it.
There is even a shift adapter back that lets you shift the back giving you a virtual
sensor twice the size while still doing your composition on a full 8x8 focusing screen.
You can also go wider that a two frame stitch by also using lens shift to go a bot further.

The Fuji gx680 is also inexpensive, but it is rather big.

However the widest lens is a 50mm. That is very wide on a 6x8 negative, but not that wide on a digital back.



If you are interested in more info on the GX680 I can send you PDF files of the manuals and brochure/catalog.
PM me your email and I can send it to you.

As far as your budget goes you would get quite close with a Fuji GX680.

The version I of the Gx680 does not cost much and there are many nice cameras on ebay.

There is a gx680 with 100mm lens and back going for $ 399.

You could get a nice Phase One P25 back for around $ 4,000. Nice simple back.

The adapter kit is about $ 800 with the control box.

Some 4x5 film photographers have gone to D800E and tilt shift lenses.
Well known landscape photographer Jack Dykinga has switched from 4x5 view camera to a Nikon d800e and all three Nikon T/S lenses.
http://www.dykinga.com/gear. That would fit your budget and smaller than the Fuji gx680.

Also here is an article where the D800E is compared to the largest MFDB and the article talks about large prints.
You should find it interesting because the lens used on the Nikon is a 24mm tilt shift lens.

http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/





« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 11:59:14 PM by FredBGG » Logged
ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 12:17:00 AM »
ReplyReply

Yes, the 680 is a bit bulky for me. I'll check out the JD link.

After reviewing the sales forum, it looks like you are on the money in that a good back starts at a minimum of about $4,000.

I wonder how well that would work on something like a used Linhof Technika 23 or Technikardan 23. That would avoid the cost bump associated with the proprietary lens mounts. Does that genre of camera have the precision to make best use of a back like the Phase P21 or P25?
Jeff
Logged
Gel
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


Excuse me while I bust a cap


« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 01:41:08 AM »
ReplyReply

GX680 III's are to be had cheap along with their lenses.

Heavy camera though. You can get a Tilt shift adapter for the H series bodies also but they don't have the range of movements of the GX680.

If you're intending to use digital I would give preference to a used Hasselblad however, a GX680III with lenses will set you back less than $1000, for many that's pin money, buy one, enjoy it, sell it if you need to.

I did the same with my RZ67, I hardly use it, but it's there for the summer and the last rolls of Astia I have in the freezer.
Logged

Chris Giles Photography
tho_mas
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1696


« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 02:32:43 AM »
ReplyReply

I wonder how well that would work on something like a used Linhof Technika 23 or Technikardan 23. That would avoid the cost bump associated with the proprietary lens mounts. Does that genre of camera have the precision to make best use of a back like the Phase P21 or P25?
I guess it will be very hard (most likely impossible) to find a complete kit for your budget.
However

Due to the tolerances most large format cameras designed for film are not really suited for use with digital backs since it's nearly impossible to adjust the rear standard to the required parallelism.
This is why "pancake" cameras with "digital" large format lenses (Schneider Digitar / Rodenstock Digaron & Sironar) are pretty popular amongst digital large format users. Brands to look at are for instance Arca Swiss (Rm3d line), Cambo (WRS line), Alpa (Max).
These cameras offer 4-way shift on the rear standard and - depending on the model - some kind of tilt/swing on the lens.
Arca Swiss features a Tilt/Swing panel on the camera (it can be tilted in one direction - so you can only use tilt OR swing for a given shot). As the T/S panel is built into the camera it is available for all lenses. Alpa offers a tilt/swing adapter but it's only suited for somewhat longer lenses (starting at 80mm I think not quite sure, though. info can be found on their website). Cambo offers lens panels in fixed mount or in tilt/swing mount for almost all focal lengths (starting at 28mm - info can be found on their website). The TS lens panels can do tilt and swing at the same time. So Cambo is the only camera with 4 way shift on the rear and full tilt/swing function on the lens panel.
There's also the Sinar arTech which features lateral shift on the rear and vertical shift on the lens; in addition tilt AND swing (at the same time) on the front panel. The arTech is limited to Rodenstock lenses, though.

I think a Cambo WRS with a Schneider Digitar 47XL in TS mount would be a great kit to start with for your purposes. The 47XL has been replaced by the newer 43XL therefore the 47XL maybe can be found for a very good price (and it's still an excellent lens). Then again such a kit is clearly not within your budget.

As to the digiback: you have to look for a DB without microlenses. Microlenses will introduce strong color cast and uncorrectable light falloff with movements. The P21 does feature micorlenses but due to the large pixel pitch it is suited for use with digital large format lenses and movements. Movements are limted though with the P21.

Maybe this is a starting point for further research ...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 02:36:24 AM by tho_mas » Logged
Gigi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 416


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 10:32:44 AM »
ReplyReply

I wonder how well that would work on something like a used Linhof Technika 23 or Technikardan 23. That would avoid the cost bump associated with the proprietary lens mounts. Does that genre of camera have the precision to make best use of a back like the Phase P21 or P25?
Jeff

Yes and no. The post about the Cambo WRS is on the money - but a DS would be cheaper yet. You see them for $1-2k, plus a lens and mount... and well, its over the budget but not too bad.

I tried a stitching back on a wooden 4x5 camera, and found that while everyone was right about lack of precision, it was still possible to get a sharp image with that camera and enjoy movements. There are issues, to be sure, and its not a flawless recommendation, but it is more possible than one might think. A decent rigid 2x3 or 4x5 with a solid back mount might well last the OP for a year or two, while the bank account gets recharged. In the land of purists, this isn't the path, but sometimes.... well, try it out?
Logged

Geoff
FredBGG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1651


« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 11:34:32 AM »
ReplyReply

GX680 III's are to be had cheap along with their lenses.

Heavy camera though. You can get a Tilt shift adapter for the H series bodies also but they don't have the range of movements of the GX680.

If you're intending to use digital I would give preference to a used Hasselblad however, a GX680III with lenses will set you back less than $1000, for many that's pin money, buy one, enjoy it, sell it if you need to.


The Hasselblad TS adapter costs $ 5,500 so it is already over the budget for ibear88. Does not work with all the lenses.
Logged
Ed Foster, Jr.
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 218


WWW
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 11:51:02 AM »
ReplyReply

The Hasselblad TS adapter costs $ 5,500 so it is already over the budget for ibear88. Does not work with all the lenses.

That's the new price, Fred. Though the used can be pricey too and may be over budget.

Ed
Logged

Ed Foster, Jr.
www.edfoster.net
ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 03:15:53 PM »
ReplyReply

The Cambo DS sounds interesting (as does the D800e).

The Cambo (and Arca and Alpa) movements are smaller than those of a view camera? Is it the small size of the sensor (compared to 4x5) that enables the user to obtain good results with reduced movements?

Are you satisfied with the more limited movements of Cambo/Arca/Alpa?

Are many users trading tilt/swing for focus stacking to eliminate the need for expensive tilt/swing lens boards? Do you like focus stacking as an alternative?
Logged
tho_mas
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1696


« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 03:40:14 PM »
ReplyReply

The Cambo (and Arca and Alpa) movements are smaller than those of a view camera? Is it the small size of the sensor (compared to 4x5) that enables the user to obtain good results with reduced movements?
exactly: smaller "film" plane requires less movements.

Quote
Are you satisfied with the more limited movements of Cambo/Arca/Alpa?
absolutely! The movements actually are not the the limiting factor. The image circle of the digital large format lenses is the limiting factor. The 47XL I've mentioned above has a huge image circle. You can use the full movements of 20mm 4-way and end up with a field of view that equals a 27mm lens when stitching (this goes for the sensor size of a P25/P45, which is ~49x37mm). The very edges will be a bit soft at those large movements but still "usable".

Quote
Are many users trading tilt/swing for focus stacking to eliminate the need for expensive tilt/swing lens boards? Do you like focus stacking as an alternative?
I think this ddepends on the shooting conditions... mabye also on shooting preferences. I use fixed lens boards and do some focus stacking when required (but I rarely need to).

Quote
The Cambo DS sounds interesting (as does the D800e).
The Nikon D800e is a completely different style of shooting but of course it offers more resolution than a P25, much better high ISO performance and also higher dynamic range. All that for a much better price. But as you are coming from 10 years of experience with a view camera I would try to get my hands on a Cambo WDS (or WRS, if affordable) in conjunction with, say, a P25 ... and first then decide which one to buy.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 03:53:25 PM by tho_mas » Logged
Doug Peterson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2765


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 03:50:53 PM »
ReplyReply

At this range of budget I agree a Cambo Wide DS and a P25, Aptus II-5 are good options.

Both would have to be used and even so you may need a few more k. But as a general range it does fit.

Normally I'd say a this price point it's better to save longer for a higher budget or go with a dSLR, but your intended usage (wide angle with traditional movements and a general desire to use a system more similar to your previous system) the medium format route makes sense to me.

If at all possible it would behoove you to visit a dealer or beg/borrow/steal a medium format digital system and a d800 to see how each suits you. As Thomas says they are about as different as two cameras can be.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 03:54:17 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
Cell: 740.707.2183
Phase One IQ250 FAQ
ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2013, 04:10:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Do the digital monorail cameras, like the Arca M-2 or Linhof 679 digital, have problems with parallelism between lens and sensor standards?

Test driving is a great idea. Recently, I test drove the Fuji xe-1, and while I've seen great photos from others, it did not feel like my cup of tea.
Logged
ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2013, 04:12:47 PM »
ReplyReply

How much do images suffer using a non-digital lens Schneider or Rodenstock?
Logged
Doug Peterson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2765


WWW
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2013, 04:17:19 PM »
ReplyReply

How much do images suffer using a non-digital lens Schneider or Rodenstock?

Dangerous to over generalize but as a general rule the older macro and mid-long lenses are pretty good, the older wide angles (as defined by a 645 sensor) are not.

A p25/aptus5 would not be as demanding on pretty-good older glass as, say, and iq180 would be. So you're working with an advantage from that point of view.

If at all possible budget wise of aim for a recent lens when going below around 50mm. Schneider 47xl and 35xl are probably your best bet on a budget.
Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
Cell: 740.707.2183
Phase One IQ250 FAQ
ibear88
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21


« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2013, 05:18:35 PM »
ReplyReply

On the cost benefit curve, it is sounding like the sweet spot may be something like a Cambo DS, a 47mm Schneider digital lens and a P21+ or P25+.

Does that sound about right?

Is there something for a little more money (as long as I've got to junk my budget) that would significantly improve upon the above combination, or do we get into diminishing returns where incremental quality improvements require significantly more spending?
Logged
tho_mas
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1696


« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2013, 05:53:41 PM »
ReplyReply

On the cost benefit curve, it is sounding like the sweet spot may be something like a Cambo DS, a 47mm Schneider digital lens and a P21+ or P25+.

Does that sound about right?
in general... yes. I wouldn't go for the P21+. The sensor is smaller (44x33mm) and - more importantly - it is equipped with microlenses, so movements are limited. The P21+ also has less resolution (18MP).

Quote
Is there something for a little more money (as long as I've got to junk my budget) that would significantly improve upon the above combination, or do we get into diminishing returns where incremental quality improvements require significantly more spending?
I'm not sure about the prices but maybe you can get a Leaf Aptus II 75 for a similar price as the P25+. Sensor size is 48x36mm and res. is 33MP: http://www.mamiyaleaf.com/products_aptus27.asp
Or save some money to buy a tilt/swing lens panel for the 47XL on the DS (because T/S is what you've initially been interested in).

Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad