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Author Topic: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?  (Read 24881 times)
Chris Barrett
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« Reply #100 on: March 17, 2013, 12:44:45 PM »
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When we shot interiors with 4x5 film, I carried 8 lenses and used all of them.  Nowadays I carry 4 lenses with my Rm3d.  I also keep the 5d2 + 17mm TS-E on hand for extreme wide scenarios which are very rare.  I carry an adapted Leica zoom which is nice for little details, too.  I have another 3 (longer) lenses for the view camera that only come out on furniture shoots.

So, even though I actually have several lenses, as Joe suggested, I shoot about 80% of my work with just one (in my case the 43mm).  When you have a high MP back, cropping in 15% or 20% is not an issue and allows bigger focal length gaps.

I don't find the Nikon particularly suitable for architecture.  Mind you I actually prefer Nikons and really miss my D3... but you just don't don't have the tilt/shift capabilities.  They have no 17mm and what lenses they do have constrain the tilt to a single axis.  Lame.  Canon's 17 & 24 with their independently rotating tilt and shift are far more useful and that 24 is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever seen.

Yada yada, etc, etc...
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David Eichler
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« Reply #101 on: March 17, 2013, 01:08:39 PM »
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.. why add to them by pointing out your own limitations, before you know what the actually budget or logistics are.

In a previous comment someone mentioned small client budgets as a reason that they don't use supplementary lighting. I am trying to say that no budget is too small (at least anything that is even worth considering shooting for) that someone can't bring a few small flashes or inexpensive halogen lights for at least occasional use.
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #102 on: March 17, 2013, 01:15:27 PM »
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When we shot interiors with 4x5 film, I carried 8 lenses and used all of them.  Nowadays I carry 4 lenses with my Rm3d.  I also keep the 5d2 + 17mm TS-E on hand for extreme wide scenarios which are very rare.  I carry an adapted Leica zoom which is nice for little details, too.  I have another 3 (longer) lenses for the view camera that only come out on furniture shoots.

So, even though I actually have several lenses, as Joe suggested, I shoot about 80% of my work with just one (in my case the 43mm).  When you have a high MP back, cropping in 15% or 20% is not an issue and allows bigger focal length gaps.

I don't find the Nikon particularly suitable for architecture.  Mind you I actually prefer Nikons and really miss my D3... but you just don't don't have the tilt/shift capabilities.  They have no 17mm and what lenses they do have constrain the tilt to a single axis.  Lame.  Canon's 17 & 24 with their independently rotating tilt and shift are far more useful and that 24 is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever seen.

Yada yada, etc, etc...

Chris, what case do you use to carry everything?  Is it a Pelican 1510? 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
"Try not to be just better than your rivals and contemporaries, try to be better than yourself."  William Faulkner
Yelhsa
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« Reply #103 on: March 17, 2013, 01:30:06 PM »
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In a previous comment someone mentioned small client budgets as a reason that they don't use supplementary lighting. I am trying to say that no budget is too small (at least anything that is even worth considering shooting for) that someone can't bring a few small flashes or inexpensive halogen lights for at least occasional use.
Lost in translation, David - I was actually agreeing with you, and just adding to it Smiley
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Chris Barrett
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« Reply #104 on: March 17, 2013, 01:30:41 PM »
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Pelican 1600's for hotlights and grip  Cheap and decent protection and weight.
Versaflex MU 1724's for strobe and HMI  Like Lightware on steroids.  Awesome protection.

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Chris Barrett
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« Reply #105 on: March 17, 2013, 02:06:05 PM »
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I really need to start looking into cargo vans... but we have become most adept at minivan Tetris

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Willow Photography
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« Reply #106 on: March 17, 2013, 02:37:16 PM »
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Thank you for keeping this thread alive  Smiley.

One question:

does a Contax 645 35mm distort more than a tech camera 35mm??

anyone??

« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 04:05:19 PM by Willow Photography » Logged

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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #107 on: March 17, 2013, 03:32:46 PM »
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I really need to start looking into cargo vans... but we have become most adept at minivan Tetris



I'm really ready to dump the minivan and get a cargo...like the Nissan NV

http://www.nissancommercialvehicles.com/nv?tool=global.nv.link

I've whittled it down to strobe, I need to leave the hot lights at home....

« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 03:34:59 PM by Craig Lamson » Logged

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« Reply #108 on: March 17, 2013, 03:36:07 PM »
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The rest

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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #109 on: March 17, 2013, 03:59:28 PM »
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Chris, I should have been more specific.  I meant what case do you use for your camera?
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
"Try not to be just better than your rivals and contemporaries, try to be better than yourself."  William Faulkner
Chris Barrett
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« Reply #110 on: March 17, 2013, 04:09:50 PM »
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I use the case that came from Phase One with the 645DF.  Put some thick dividers in there from my LightWare cases.  It's a Storm case and pretty much the same as the Pelican Rollaboard (1510).
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #111 on: March 17, 2013, 04:11:50 PM »
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I really need to start looking into cargo vans... but we have become most adept at minivan Tetris



Man that roller stand looks like a great "spear" on a hard stop or crash....
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 05:30:26 PM by Craig Lamson » Logged

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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #112 on: March 17, 2013, 06:20:31 PM »
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does a Contax 645 35mm distort more than a tech camera 35mm??

A Schneider 35xl has *very* near to zero distortion, even when shifted.

So in absolute terms it has less distortion than a contax zeiss 35mm.

But I think the more relevant question is "will the level of distortion of the zeiss 35mm cause me significant issues?" Given the (relatively) low level of distortion (though "relative" is a dangerous term - relative to what?) and the availability of easy lens correction in capture one (assuming you're using a mamiya leaf or phase back) is very likely no.

Another relevant question is do I need rise/fall/shift/tilt/swing? Or further, will the sacrifices in some aspects of shooting (namely TTL composition and autofocus), be worth it to me for the gain of movements and great lens quality?
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #113 on: March 17, 2013, 06:24:58 PM »
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Although it would be great to have  5 or 6 or 8 lenses, realistically you will fall in love with one of them and shoot almost everything with that lens.  I remember once reading an essay by Jock Sturges where he said that for most shoots, he only brings one lens and one film type because it forces him to concentrate on the composition and light more.  Having too many lenses or film types only takes time away from composing the image because you now have to think about what lense should I use?

I think two lenses is more than enough to start with.  As long as you have a decently wide lens, no client is going to get annoyed.  None of my clients have a camera that even gets close enough to the width of a 35mm on a MF system, so they never complain that the shot is not wide enough.  Plus I hate going wide (or that wide) most of the time. 

I'd say somewhere around 1/3rd of our clients who are starting a system starting with owning 1 or 2 lenses. Part of the assumption is they will acquire more as budget allows and rent as needed until then.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Ken R
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« Reply #114 on: March 18, 2013, 04:14:02 AM »
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In a previous comment someone mentioned small client budgets as a reason that they don't use supplementary lighting. I am trying to say that no budget is too small (at least anything that is even worth considering shooting for) that someone can't bring a few small flashes or inexpensive halogen lights for at least occasional use.

Thats true. If you have the time, you can add some supplemental lighting for very little money and inconvenience. I do it sometimes. But when the budget is low and time is very limited in a space or building and the client wants many shots then generally available light and a DSLR with shift lenses is king.

Regarding Camera / Lenses.

I would love to use medium format, mainly for the sometimes superior optics, color and dynamic range but I find that I use the 14-17mm focal length range quite a bit on interior spaces and I just don't know if there are some viable alternatives for those lenses in a MF Digital body or a technical camera with an MFDB. Phase One / Mamiya has the 28mm which on the largest MFDB sensors is about an 18mm equivalent on 35mm full frame and Hasselblad has the new 24mm which is about a 17mm equivalent. I have seen samples of the Phase / Mamiya 28 and its ok but not great and I have not found much info on the Hasselblad 24mm. But, the Canon 17 and the 24 have shift and are really good lenses. I love to use shift on a lot of the images I make to maximize the use of the sensor.

Now the D800e is also in the mix. not much because of its resolution but forits amazing low iso dynamic range which is a huge asset in architecture photography if you wish to deal with high contrast scenes with single image capture.

Also, there is the unique Hartblei HCAM. I do not have much info on this camera but looks like an amazing option.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 04:45:42 AM by sneakyracer » Logged
MHFA
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« Reply #115 on: March 20, 2013, 03:38:41 PM »
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Winter isn`t the best time for architectural photographers in Europe so I tested automatic stitching hardware (Seitz Roundshot).
100MP, 200MP, 400MP up to 1000MP.
There is no end...doesn`t matter how much pictures you take the stitch is perfect.
My MFDB with the best german lenses seems to be a point and shoot camera if you compare it to a stitch of 80 Canon 5D (2005!!) pictures.
(using a 200 100mm lens....)

I think technical quality doesn`t matter anymore...



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MHFA
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« Reply #116 on: March 20, 2013, 03:49:27 PM »
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Why should we use the best equipment if we have to shoot architecture like this...
Soory, Craig it is a picture from your Homepage, a very good picture, but the architecture .......
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #117 on: March 20, 2013, 03:54:07 PM »
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Why?  Because the person who designed that may have had perimeters that could not be over come.  Maybe it was not his choice to have the project end up like that.  Maybe he wants to eventually get to the point were he has the high end projects.  If we careless about shooting his lower beginning projects and show no enthusiasm, should we expect him to hire us when he does get a awesome project.  Don't think so.  

Not to say this was a bad project, just going along with the theme. 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
"Try not to be just better than your rivals and contemporaries, try to be better than yourself."  William Faulkner
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #118 on: March 20, 2013, 04:16:06 PM »
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I agree Joe. I try to give every client and every project 110%. No one hires me to critique their design, but to make their project look its best. To do that I have to find something I can be enthusiastic about-not always easy to do-but I can always find some motivation in the clients intent. I decided long ago that life is too short to be an arrogant ahole, looking down your nose at your clients sincere efforts.
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Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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Chris Barrett
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« Reply #119 on: March 20, 2013, 04:29:22 PM »
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Pulling someone's work off their website, posting it on a public forum and criticizing their client is not cool.  I mean, we all shoot work that we would never want anyone to see.  Hell, my clients will usually say "I'm sorry.  It's awful, I know.  We just need a couple shots because..."  We smile, we make the best photographs we can for them and we take their money.

But, honestly, please don't ever do that again.  Seriously not cool.

CB
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