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Author Topic: Lens for 35mm copystand work  (Read 1956 times)
BobDavid
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« on: January 30, 2013, 08:06:16 AM »
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I am currently using a Sony a850 and Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro lens. I used to use a Hasselblad CF39 multi-shot rig with Scneider glass, so I have first-hand experience with the best equipment available. However, My biggest beef against the Sony system is that the Sony 50mm f/2.8 has some distortion issues (it is sharp) and that it is not practical to shoot tethered with the Sony.

I am wondering if it would be smart or stupid to migrate to a Nikon D800 and get a Zeiss macro lens--or get a Zeiss macro for the Sony and wait and see what kind of FF body Sony introduces in 2014.

Live view would be a great option, but it is not totally necessary. I do not want to go down the medium format road again.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, especially from those that do copy work professionally.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 11:54:04 AM »
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The D800 or D800E should be a terrific solution to your problem.

Optically I'm not sure a Zeiss Makro would add a great deal over a similar focal length Micro-Nikkor once you've stopped down to  the f/5.6 to f/11 range. However for very precise manual focusing the Zeiss lenses have a definitive edge over the autofocus Nikkors.

Live view should not be discounted for very precise manual focusing.
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Ellis Vener
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BobDavid
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 12:36:02 PM »
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How would you describe the usability of live view on the D800?
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bjanes
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 01:08:44 PM »
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The D800 or D800E should be a terrific solution to your problem.

Optically I'm not sure a Zeiss Makro would add a great deal over a similar focal length Micro-Nikkor once you've stopped down to  the f/5.6 to f/11 range. However for very precise manual focusing the Zeiss lenses have a definitive edge over the autofocus Nikkors.

Live view should not be discounted for very precise manual focusing.

I have the Nikkor 60 mm f/2.8 G and have found it to be an outstanding lens with the D800e. Diglloyd has reviewed the lens and concurs; he compares it to the ultimate macro, the Costal Optics 60mm f/4 Apo (which costs over $4000). He also reviews The Zeiss 50 mm f/2 MakroPlanar and gives it glowing marks. Any of these lenses would likely meet your needs, and the Nikkor is more cost effective.

I use the Nikkor with live view using Nikon Control for tethered shooting. If the camera is elevated on the copy stand, it is difficult to use the viewfinder without a 90 degree eyepiece. With the tethered live view, one can view the image at high magnification on the computer screen and focus by wire with high precision. This option would not be available with a manual focus lens. One can also adjust the camera settings remotely. The camera controls can be hard to reach if the camera is elevated on the copy stand.

Regards,

Bill
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 01:56:05 PM »
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How would you describe the usability of live view on the D800?

Extremely good. The LCD is high resolution and large for a DSLR. It is far more useful than on previous generation Nikon or Canon bodies.  I set the D800 up so that a touch of the  the button in the middle of the multi-selector (the navigation control on the back of the camera body) takes me from a full frame to a 100% pixel to pixel view of the center of the frame (Custom function f2) I can then navigate across the frame or change the magnification with the playback zoom buttons.

An alternative to working tethered is to use the new CamRanger system and control the camera from an iPhone, iPad or (now in beta) MAc OS computer. I understand that they are working on Android and Windows 8 software as well.  http://www.camranger.com 

The suggestion of the manual focus Zeiss lenses comes from my  assuming you'll have the camera pointing down and a well damped manual focusing helix is more optimum than autofocus for this orientation. However it will require touching the camera and lens obviously whereas an autofocus lens will not, especially with the CamRanger
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Ellis Vener
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 02:28:26 PM »
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Hi,

Just a few comments.

I use a Sony Alpha 900 and also Alpha 99.

I would not be upset about distortion. Yo could see if you could find Adobe lens profiles for your lens, or make your own. I sometimes shoot tethered with my Sonys when testing, using Sony's software. What is the problem? It works fine for me.

The great advantage of the Sony Alpha 99 is the articulated display. It is very nice in many situtations.

I would believe D800E is champ in resolution.

Best regards
Erik


I am currently using a Sony a850 and Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro lens. I used to use a Hasselblad CF39 multi-shot rig with Scneider glass, so I have first-hand experience with the best equipment available. However, My biggest beef against the Sony system is that the Sony 50mm f/2.8 has some distortion issues (it is sharp) and that it is not practical to shoot tethered with the Sony.

I am wondering if it would be smart or stupid to migrate to a Nikon D800 and get a Zeiss macro lens--or get a Zeiss macro for the Sony and wait and see what kind of FF body Sony introduces in 2014.

Live view would be a great option, but it is not totally necessary. I do not want to go down the medium format road again.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, especially from those that do copy work professionally.
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bjanes
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 02:53:42 PM »
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An alternative to working tethered is to use the new CamRanger system and control the camera from an iPhone, iPad or (now in beta) MAc OS computer. I understand that they are working on Android and Windows 8 software as well.  http://www.camranger.com 

Ellis,

I looked at their web site and the linked demo on utube. The unit looks very interesting. It is not inexpensive, but for what it does it looks very reasonable. Have you used it? I do see that they have return privileges for a small restocking fee.

Does anyone have experience with this device?

Regards,

Bill
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BobDavid
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 08:28:10 AM »
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My phone is an Android. So, from what I gather, I can use live view and focus by wire, tethered. My copystand column is 9 feet. Is there a way to shoot tethered at such a length (camera to computer about 11 feet).
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 11:59:45 AM »
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Ellis,

I looked at their web site and the linked demo on utube. The unit looks very interesting. It is not inexpensive, but for what it does it looks very reasonable. Have you used it? I do see that they have return privileges for a small restocking fee.

Does anyone have experience with this device?

Regards,

Bill

I have been using one for about a month now with a 1D X. 

So far I am very happy with it so far. The best range I've gotten indoors (in a building with lots of metal and electronics including other wireless networks and devices of various sorts) is roughly 50 yards. This was with an iPhone 4 as controller. That was as far as I could get from the camera/receiver. It is possible  the maximum range may be greater. 

Recently I learned that if you turn off the histogram , the Live View refreshes faster. One thing I've been a little baffled with is that you apparently cannot change modes (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual. etc.) remotely. There is a new firmware update that I am about to install and that may be addressed. I'll be trying it over the next week or so with a Nikon D800.
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Ellis Vener
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bjanes
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 05:16:21 PM »
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I have been using one for about a month now with a 1D X. 

So far I am very happy with it so far. The best range I've gotten indoors (in a building with lots of metal and electronics including other wireless networks and devices of various sorts) is roughly 50 yards. This was with an iPhone 4 as controller. That was as far as I could get from the camera/receiver. It is possible  the maximum range may be greater. 

Recently I learned that if you turn off the histogram , the Live View refreshes faster. One thing I've been a little baffled with is that you apparently cannot change modes (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual. etc.) remotely. There is a new firmware update that I am about to install and that may be addressed. I'll be trying it over the next week or so with a Nikon D800.

Ellis,

Thanks for the information. I would be using it with the iPad retina and a Samsung Android phone and the D800e, so if you have a chance please update us on how it works with the D800.

Regards,

Bill
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 05:38:14 PM »
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Hello,

For my copy work I use a Horseman VCC and Rodenstock Rodagon and Apo Rodagon lenses with excellent result.

I used to attach a Mamya 645 AFDII with a Leaf Aptus 75 back but I am now using a Nikon D800E.

http://www.harperphotos.com/art-reproduction/

Ciao

Simon
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 05:39:47 PM by HarperPhotos » Logged

Simon Harper
Harper Photographics Ltd
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BobDavid
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 02:26:08 AM »
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I went ahead and ordered the d800 and the AF Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D. I figure that if the lens isn't up to task, I can return it and ante up for a Zeiss manual focus macro planar. I know the Nikkor is sharp--I am looking for dead-on accurate geometry. If I can achieve that through an ACR lens profile, I will be satisfied.

I opted for the d800 over the d800e as I figure that if I need to eke out a slightly "crisper" image I can get away with sharpening the K channel in LAB. I am curious to see how well the camera renders color. I suspect it is probably a bit better than the Sony a850. I have the tools to create a profile for copy work. Fortunately, the work that I will be using it for requires "pleasing color" over "accurate color." As far as achieving accurate color out of the camera, the multi-shot Hasselblads are unsurpassed, I think.

I made a conscious decision to get out of the fine art reproduction business over a year ago. My two corporate accounts ended and I got tired of servicing individual artists. I sold the Blad and haven't looked back.

I will also be using the Nikon for photographing dogs. (http://topdogimaging.net/dog-photos.html) I'll end up mostly using the 24-70 f/2.8 Nikkor for those assignments. I am hoping that the autofocus will be a tad bit faster than the Sony a850/CZ 24-70 combo that I have been using over the past three years.

My walkaround camera is an Olympus Pen EPL1. I absolutely love that little camera--warts and all.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 02:30:05 AM by BobDavid » Logged
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2013, 09:19:42 AM »
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"I will also be using the Nikon for photographing dogs. (http://topdogimaging.net/dog-photos.html) I'll end up mostly using the 24-70 f/2.8 Nikkor for those assignments."

Sounds like fun! Ifyou already know how to use the AF micro adjust tools, you should be set.
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Ellis Vener
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 12:37:50 PM »
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I am currently using a Sony a850 and Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro lens. I used to use a Hasselblad CF39 multi-shot rig with Scneider glass, so I have first-hand experience with the best equipment available. However, My biggest beef against the Sony system is that the Sony 50mm f/2.8 has some distortion issues (it is sharp) and that it is not practical to shoot tethered with the Sony.

I am wondering if it would be smart or stupid to migrate to a Nikon D800 and get a Zeiss macro lens--or get a Zeiss macro for the Sony and wait and see what kind of FF body Sony introduces in 2014.

Live view would be a great option, but it is not totally necessary. I do not want to go down the medium format road again.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, especially from those that do copy work professionally.

There are no Zeiss Macros for Sony (yet), they are all Sony/Minolta designs.

Can you describe the distortion? I use that lens a lot on APS-C with good results. Of course I am not doing rectilinear copies. Mild barreling? Pincussion? Some other aberration?
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BobDavid
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2013, 01:15:21 PM »
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There are no Zeiss Macros for Sony (yet), they are all Sony/Minolta designs.

Can you describe the distortion? I use that lens a lot on APS-C with good results. Of course I am not doing rectilinear copies. Mild barreling? Pincussion? Some other aberration?

You should be getting excellent results with an APS-C camera. This lens shows anomalies only at certain distances from the subject. And, those irregularities are towards the edge. For an APS-C camera, I think the Sony macro is excellent.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 03:05:47 PM »
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Hello Bob,

I had the Nikon 60mm D lens for a number of years but since getting the Nikon D800 and D800E I sold it for the Nikon 60mm G version which in my opinion is superior to the D model.

Ciao

Simon
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Simon Harper
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BobDavid
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 03:16:09 PM »
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Thanks for the heads-up, Simon. I read Ken Rockwell's critique and got myself in trouble. Just out of curiousity, what is better about the G?
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 03:39:13 PM »
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Hi Bob,

For me the G has superior corners and a flatter field compared to the D which was designed back in the days of film. The G lenses from Nikon are designed for digital and when attached to a Nikon D800 I believe a necessity.

When it comes to shooting works of art the set up I go for is my Horseman VCC system.

The Rodenstock Apo Rodagon 80mm, 105mm and 120mm lenses are particular favourites when shooting oil and water colour paintings.

These old enlarging lenses are just stunning.

Ciao

Simon.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 05:25:01 PM by HarperPhotos » Logged

Simon Harper
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 06:39:53 PM »
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I can vouch for the the two zeiss macro planars. Especially the 100mm MP. It has a very flat field and good sharpness into the corners. The 50MP has slight drop off in the corners.

D
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BobDavid
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 03:16:13 PM »
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Just ordered the 60 G Macro. The silent wave motor will be a good feature. But I will test it against the D to see how both perform on the copystand. I wanted a 60mm macro. I will post my results soon. I'll bet Simon's observations will prove correct.
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