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Author Topic: Help me choosing medium format camera! 20 - 25K  (Read 14595 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #80 on: February 13, 2013, 07:56:25 PM »
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There is one element I would seriously take into account... and that is weather sealing.

My experience doing winter camping in temps close to -20C has told me a couple of things:
- It is real demanding stuff and days are busy between moving, ensuring one's own saftety, shooting, maintaining a shelter, melting water, cooking, managing clothing and accessories,... you can't really afford to waste time baby sitting the camera, everything has to work perfect all the time,
- Condensation is often an issue because the temp inside the tent can be above freezing temperature, whaterever you do, cameras and lenses often end up being soaked and then refrozen and the re-soaked,... This is much worse than rain exposure because every square millimiter of the camera gets wet. There are ways aronud that, but that is back to the baby sitting comment above.

I would personally not risk valuable images opportunities to a system that is not reasonably weather sealed, or at least I would try first to ensure that things are OK.

By the way, the Antartica expeditions of Michael appear to be performed in much milder conditions than typical winter camping in Northern hemisphere. If I recall, temps were around freezing or so.

Just my 2 cent.

Cheers,
Bernard
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #81 on: February 13, 2013, 08:10:06 PM »
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Natilie
I'm sorry I first answered your post with a well intentioned recommendation based on my experience with both the IQ180, tech camera, Rodenstock lenses, phase One DF, Mamiya AFDII, Canon 5DII, Nikon D800e, Nikkor and Leica lenses. It seems this thread has wandered away from good advice. You set a budget $20-25k and a use, photojournalism, that if it were me I would recommend a D800. If your budget was $80-100k I would recommend the IQ digital back, a P1 DF camera a technical camera Rodenstock lenses D800 and Nikkors. But you set a budget and a time frame and a use. I'm wondering what MFD system you will end up with in one months time on your budget? When I go out on Landscape treks I pack both the tech camera for the wide shots and the DSLR for the long shots but again you set a budget.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
FredBGG
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« Reply #82 on: February 13, 2013, 09:24:42 PM »
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Perhaps in your one hour of looking at tech cameras you missed that one of the primary ways users focus a tech camera is rigid presets: ie.. you don't have to focus. A single preset focus point and shooting aperture on a body like an Arca Factum or RM3Di holds the same perfectly-hyperfocal point with zero effort. As I said, the only thing I expect her to do in the field is recock the lens between shots and rotate the shutter speed dial.

If she wants to do isolated-focus shots wide open then this would not be a good approach. If she wants to do sweeping landscape shots it is an even better approach than live view on a dSLR.

No I did not miss that. I have shot large format for years and know perfectly well about the use of hyperfocal focus setting.
Reportage involves a lot more than shooting acceptably sharp at infinity with the camera set to hyperfocal point.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #83 on: February 13, 2013, 11:33:25 PM »
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Hi,

I moved this discussion to a new thread:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75223.0

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 11:33:06 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

torger
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« Reply #84 on: February 14, 2013, 04:03:28 AM »
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There are some special accommodations that can be made regarding the oil/grease used throughout a tech camera system, that would provide more fluid mechanical operation at very low temperatures.

That would be kind of cool... but I guess one would have to change to winter oil and then to summer oil, so it would be a bit messy :-).

Another thing I've noted is that some of my Schneider push-on lens caps change size depending on temperature. Sits a bit loose when its warm, and tight when cold. I will probably replace that one with a standard spring-loaded lens cap. I hope the metal in the lenses is a bit more temperature stable :-).
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Ed Foster, Jr.
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« Reply #85 on: February 14, 2013, 05:57:11 AM »
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Hi,

Sorry for going off topic.....

If you have to apologize for going off topic, then why do it? Maybe it would be better to present your scientific data research in a new thread?

« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 08:00:33 AM by Ed Foster, Jr. » Logged

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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #86 on: February 14, 2013, 08:51:57 AM »
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1) If you calculate hyperfocal distance the calculation will assume some CoC. What I have seen, critically sharp images would require a small CoC. In my experience I would say that setting the CoC equal to pixel pitch is needed for optimal sharpness.

At 100%? Erik, DoF and hyperfocal distance is an angular resolution problem in the viewer, not a linear resolution one on the image. Nor is it about "critical" sharpness, but acceptable sharpness. CoC is based on format, not pixel pitch-you are not going to get less DoF in a format because it resolves more--no one ever used film resolving power in DoF calculations, the same applies to sensors.
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torger
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« Reply #87 on: February 14, 2013, 09:15:05 AM »
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At 100%? Erik, DoF and hyperfocal distance is an angular resolution problem in the viewer, not a linear resolution one on the image. Nor is it about "critical" sharpness, but acceptable sharpness. CoC is based on format, not pixel pitch-you are not going to get less DoF in a format because it resolves more--no one ever used film resolving power in DoF calculations, the same applies to sensors.

With traditional viewing distance average-eyesight based calculations all we need is a 4 megapixel camera or so. All extra resolution is wasted because we cannot see it if we stand at a nice-behaving viewing distance and have average good eyesight.

However, the more resolution we get in our landscape photography camera sensors, the more desire we get to resolve more detail (we like nosing prints!), and therefore many of us digital photographers have abandoned the traditional way of looking at CoC and instead base it on how much detail the sensor can resolve, regardless of format size. I prefer connect CoC to diffraction airy disk size (as diffraction is a key tradeoff factor in deep DoF photography), others connect it to pixel pitch. In doing so we can make better tradeoffs concerning aperture and focus distance, and make images as sharp as the situation allows rather than "sharp enough for standard viewing distance". With this way to look upon CoC and DoF we see that the more resolution we got, the tougher it is to make use of it all. Some focus stack to get around it.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 09:19:51 AM by torger » Logged
theguywitha645d
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« Reply #88 on: February 14, 2013, 10:08:17 AM »
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Setting a CoC does not limit the detail in your image. The CoC is simply a way to model the perception of sharpness a viewer may experience. Smaller and sharper details can be in the image regardless at what value I set the CoC. That is why the term "acceptable sharpness" is used with DoF and CoC--it is not defining the sharpness at the plane of focus.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #89 on: February 14, 2013, 12:05:50 PM »
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Hi!

If I may reflect on what has been said:

Marc McCalmont suggests that D800 covers the requirements Natalie listed best. He uses IQ180, too and feels the IQ180 is superior for detail. Personally he carries both.

Guy Mancuso suggests  AFDIII and P65+. He says that the body and back are built like a tank. Guy also says that the AFDIII works with film backs, which is important for the OP.

BC is as usual very honest/serious. He suggest Phase, Pentax 645D or Hasselblad although I think he mostly uses Contax. The Pentax 645D is interesting in being fully weather sealed.

Honestly, those suggestions make most sense to me.

To that I would add my own observation. Buy from a decent dealer and test the stuff you buy, regardless of make, used or new. bad samples slip trough sometimes and it is best to find out ASAP.

Personally, I guess that if I would go for an arctic trip I would take the equipment I have experience with. On the other hand I may upgrade to the latest stuff. I would not go with a single camera.

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 12:11:27 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #90 on: February 14, 2013, 01:55:02 PM »
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Hi!

If I may reflect on what has been said:

Marc McCalmont suggests that D800 covers the requirements Natalie listed best. He uses IQ180, too and feels the IQ180 is superior for detail. Personally he carries both.

Guy Mancuso suggests  AFDIII and P65+. He says that the body and back are built like a tank. Guy also says that the AFDIII works with film backs, which is important for the OP.

BC is as usual very honest/serious. He suggest Phase, Pentax 645D or Hasselblad although I think he mostly uses Contax. The Pentax 645D is interesting in being fully weather sealed.

Honestly, those suggestions make most sense to me.

To that I would add my own observation. Buy from a decent dealer and test the stuff you buy, regardless of make, used or new. bad samples slip trough sometimes and it is best to find out ASAP.

Personally, I guess that if I would go for an arctic trip I would take the equipment I have experience with. On the other hand I may upgrade to the latest stuff. I would not go with a single camera.

Best regards
Erik

AFD iiii because it can do both film and digital
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #91 on: February 15, 2013, 11:48:34 AM »
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Also I suspect a major driver in the selection of cameras for the space station is the ability for one body to serve many purposes.

I'd be the first to suggest a dSLR if you told me that you wanted a jack of all trades system that could shoot with very long lenses, shoot at crazy ISOs (that link is ISO12800), do snapshots of crew life, do macro shots for scientific research/fun, and maybe even video (speculation only). Especially when you told me it cost US$10k to bring a pound of payload to the station and that you had specialized multi-million satellites at your disposal should you wish to shoot anything "out there" that required extreme image quality.

Medium format is the epitome of specialization. A tech camera would make for an entirely useless system for runway photography. It covers on a narrow range of use (architecture, interior, landscape, zone or hyperfocal focused street photography) but it does it better than anything else can. Only the original poster could say if that range covers what they want to do.

So yeah, if the OP was asking for a camera to go the moon with I'd actually recommend a Canon/Nikon. But somehow I don't find a national agencies needs for general purpose photography in space to be a very close analogy for an individual art photographers search for a suitable camera for their journeys down here on earth.

For the heck of it I contacted NASA and received the following reply:
 
Quote
[Q: Any idea if the pool of tested cameras (for inclusion in the space program) includes the modern incarnations of the medium format bodies that went to the moon like those from Phase One and Hasselblad?]
No they are not.  The medium format cameras have much larger file sizes than the servers on ISS or communications can handle on a regular basis.  Also, traditionally, the medium format cameras do not have as long of lenses available as do the 35mm format cameras which are essential for a variety of tasks.  Now if NASA decides to return to the Moon, Mars, or travel to some other celestial body, then we will relook at using the medium format cameras.

So the reason medium format is not on the space station: too big of files and no long lenses (presumably a combination of absolute lengths and the aperture/speed of lenses available on both).
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:52:38 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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FredBGG
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« Reply #92 on: February 16, 2013, 05:40:25 PM »
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So the reason medium format is not on the space station: too big of files and no long lenses (presumably a combination of absolute lengths and the aperture/speed of lenses available on both).

That is a ridiculous over simplification of what is involved with working on the space station and modern space exploration.

First of all the cost of one man hour of research on the space station is over $ 10,000,000.
Time is very very valuable. Cameras with advanced functionality are far more important than MP count.
Also recording motion image with the same equipment.

As far as future space exploration goes it will not be manned. That stupid cold war bullshit is over.

As far as producing high resolution images the mars rovers used 2MP cameras and advanced stitching techniques.
The cameras used will have more of a background from scientific and military use.

In space with high contrast light dynamic range is far more important than MP count. For that reason space exploration cameras will be
built around advanced custom sensors, not old technology MF sensors.

Also as far as future exploration goes it will be robotic with the need of remote control. This wil be done with propitiatory custom equipment.
It will be far more along the lines of modern technology in Nikons and Canons that already have quite advanced remote control, even consumer products are available with wireless control and wireless live view.

I also doubt that any space program would put themselves in the hands of current mfd companies that don't have the
financial solidity that would be required to be a supplier. They will either go with technology giants like Canon, Fuji, Zeiss, Nikon or Teledyne
or one of the many other industrial imaging giants that have experience and products that go beyond the visible spectrum.


« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 12:34:17 PM by FredBGG » Logged
Chris Livsey
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« Reply #93 on: February 17, 2013, 02:46:18 AM »
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As far as future space exploration goes it will not be manned. That stupid cold war bullshit is over.


Stupid yes but it brought in the money. The public, who pay, will only back the big bucks if a manned mission is on the cards. How many remember the first man made object to reach the moon surely THE milestone ? ( Luna 2 (E-1A series) in 1959 was Soviet. ). Logically the robots are the answer but since when has logic won out? How many will remember the Mars Rover after a maned landing?

Apologies for now going so far OT, about 238,857 miles actually  Grin
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FredBGG
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« Reply #94 on: February 17, 2013, 12:23:22 PM »
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Logically the robots are the answer but since when has logic won out?

As far as interplanetary exploration goes.... logic has won out for the last 40 years.

My neighbor worked on the Mars rovers. Currently two are still working. Two of the last three rovers have
continued working long after the original planned mission duration.

The space Shuttle has been canned. It has been replaced by the much smaller Robotic x-37b.
Manned missions to the space shuttle rely on older more conventional rockets.

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yaya
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« Reply #95 on: February 17, 2013, 01:33:43 PM »
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For the heck of it I contacted NASA and received the following reply:
 
So the reason medium format is not on the space station: too big of files and no long lenses (presumably a combination of absolute lengths and the aperture/speed of lenses available on both).

Also 35mm shoot JPEG which is what the space guys use (for the same reason...limited bandwidth). Worth noting that all Mars Rovers to date incorporate DALSA CCD Imaging sensors image capture and navigation, predominately for their low-light capabilities...
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FredBGG
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« Reply #96 on: February 17, 2013, 02:07:29 PM »
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Also 35mm shoot JPEG which is what the space guys use (for the same reason...limited bandwidth). Worth noting that all Mars Rovers to date incorporate DALSA CCD Imaging sensors image capture and navigation, predominately for their low-light capabilities...

Yup Dalsa sensors, but sensors that have nothing to do with MFD sensors. Very different sensors with very low MP count.

Both Mastcams on the Rovers are fully custom designs. Fixed focal length. 2MP and 10fps video capability.
Both cameras are telephoto with 5.1 and 15 degree angle of view. Stitching is used to produce wider angles of view.

Some interesting background here:
http://msl-scicorner.jpl.nasa.gov/Instruments/Mastcam/

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #97 on: February 17, 2013, 02:09:23 PM »
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Hi,

Mars is not like earth. We don't need much radiation hardening for instance, because we have van Allen belts shielding most of the cosmic radiation from earth.

My impression was that Natalie would shoot on earth without having a space suit.

Best regards
Erik


Also 35mm shoot JPEG which is what the space guys use (for the same reason...limited bandwidth). Worth noting that all Mars Rovers to date incorporate DALSA CCD Imaging sensors image capture and navigation, predominately for their low-light capabilities...
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