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Author Topic: Pro Gear  (Read 3268 times)
trevarthan
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« on: July 23, 2014, 12:03:55 PM »
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I just bought a D810, because as far as I know, it's the highest resolution DSLR on the market, short of the digital medium format and large format stuff. It's fairly inexpensive compared to those other cameras, though I'm sure most people new to photography cringe at the price. I cringe at the price too, but I've owned a D3S since 2010 and I've shot enough events and weddings to know that I really don't enjoy that sort of thing. I want to work on my landscape skills because that seems to be what I enjoy.

I'm aware of film 4x5 field cameras. My plan at the moment is to practice a lot with the D810 and my 24mm PC-e and 85mm PC-e. Maybe I'll submit some stock photos (knowing that they probably won't sell well). Then, when I feel like I've "got it", and my process, style, etc has solidified a bit, I'll go buy a 4x5 film field camera and reshoot the scenes I like for sale in galleries and such. It's a long term plan because I think I've got a ways to go before I'm ready to drop $10 per 4x5 film sheet (or however much they cost today) plus development and scanning costs.

How is this for a plan? Am I right in assuming that I won't be taken seriously in galleries with D810 resolution?
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Paul2660
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 07:18:59 PM »
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Not sure of the galleries you are worried about.  What sized prints are you looking to print?  You should easily be able to be up to a 36 x 72 from your D810, and if you need larger then consider stitching.  You have the TS-E lenses which will help out also. 

36 x 72 is the largest print I place in a gallery.  I have sold several triptych's from 3 and 4 36 x 72's which were made from Canon 1ds MKII stitched and Phase One P435+ stitched images. 

Galleries tend to value their wall space so you may be starting out with 20 x 30 or smaller, and again the D810 can handle that with ease. 

Enjoy the D810, and remember that with modern software you have ability to uprez your D810 files to considerably larger sizes than the native output at 300dpi.

Paul

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David Anderson
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 08:35:10 PM »
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The D800e does easy A2 for me and with the range of lenses available would be a better bet for landscapes IMHO than the 4x5 film camera.
(haven't tried the 810 yet.)

The idea of a 4x5 film camera probably has a lot of feel good factor, but in my experience, shooting with one is a pain in the ass.
If you're after absolute quality one of the medium format digital systems would be far more workable from pressing the button to printing.
That said, MF digital is expensive to get into.

I bet if Ansel Adams had the choice of an 810 or his film cameras he would have gone digital.. Wink
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 08:51:12 PM »
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... I bet if Ansel Adams had the choice of an 810 or his film cameras he would have gone digital.. Wink

The choice would be 810 or 8x10 Smiley

It is a safe bet, by the way, given that Adams switched to Hasselblad toward the end.
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jferrari
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 08:22:55 AM »
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I want to work on my landscape skills because that seems to be what I enjoy.

In this day and age Landscapes = Stitching. Your gear is just fine. Galleries don't give a crap about what tools you use. They only care that your finished product is marketable.    - Jim
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trevarthan
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 11:05:39 AM »
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Well, gee. That's good news. Cheesy
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BobShaw
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 11:23:22 PM »
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Ken Duncan has a Phase One and I think it's 80MP, but he still shoots film. Most of his iconic images were shot on a $250 camera. If he had to go back and reshoot because he got a better camera then he probably would not be able to get into some of the areas he shot like the Twelve Apostles or in the outback due to restrictions and the scene would not be there.

Depends what you are trying to achieve, but at the end of the day, a D800 is still a 35mm camera. Do the best with what you have but I would not plan on living your life twice.
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 11:47:59 PM »
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I'm aware of film 4x5 field cameras. My plan at the moment is to practice a lot with the D810 and my 24mm PC-e and 85mm PC-e. Maybe I'll submit some stock photos (knowing that they probably won't sell well). Then, when I feel like I've "got it", and my process, style, etc has solidified a bit, I'll go buy a 4x5 film field camera and reshoot the scenes I like for sale in galleries and such.

Well, not a lot you'll learn shooting your D810 will translate to film & 4x5...sure, the basics but handling film exposure vs digital is totally different...shooting film will cause lots of dynamic range issues as well as depth of field for 4x5 (much narrower with 4x5). The lenses (good lenses) will be pretty expensive (if you have ANY thoughts of also shooting medium format digital in a tech/view camera).

Then you have the problem of getting a really good film scan-you aren't really gonna not scan and use Photoshop, right? Hasselblad sells a nice scanner for up to 4x5: Flextight X1 Scanner for about $13,500. I've use the predecessor the Imacon and it's a great scanner but you'll soon find out that scanning film is slow and tedious to do it right...

If you aren't gonna scan and print digitally, you know that pro photo labs are a dyeing breed, right?

Personally, I think you are under-thinking this whole process...with proper technique digital captures far exceed film captures in many/most areas–even resolution. If you use a tripod and are careful with the capture technique, you can upsample 2X easy and perhaps more based on the media you are printing on.

Size doesn't matter (past a certain point). It's really all about the image...
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 03:21:26 AM »
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Agreed with the team here.

A single D810 images optimally shot with a good lens will not be very far from Imacon scanned 4x5 in the first place. This is the result of first hand experience and I have recently gotten rid of my Imacon Flextight III. I frankly don't regret it, removing dust from scans is easily the most boring thing I have ever done. I believe that the X1 and X5 now come with dust removal capabilities, but they are very exensive. Wink

Shooting slide films is a nightmare in terms of DR in all but the most amazing light. Shooting negatives is easier but then scanning becomes more of a problem. Plus there are no more Quickloads these days, which makes even loading film sheets cumbersome.

Indeed, if you factor in stitching, then your D810 will outdo both 4x5 and 8x10 easily in terms of image quality at a fraction of the cost, with 10 times more convenience and universality. Nowadays, stitching with software such as Autopano Pro or PTgui Pro is so easy and applicable to such a broad range of scenes that I don't know why anybody serious about image quality wouldn't add the technique to one's tool kit.

Stitching is also a means to carry fewer lenses in the field. I typically work with a 55mm and 180mm MF lenses only on most trips these days. No more wide angle.

Cheers,
Bernard
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trevarthan
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 08:26:55 AM »
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Indeed, if you factor in stitching, then your D810 will outdo both 4x5 and 8x10 easily in terms of image quality at a fraction of the cost, with 10 times more convenience and universality. Nowadays, stitching with software such as Autopano Pro or PTgui Pro is so easy and applicable to such a broad range of scenes that I don't know why anybody serious about image quality wouldn't add the technique to one's tool kit.

Stitching is also a means to carry fewer lenses in the field. I typically work with a 55mm and 180mm MF lenses only on most trips these days. No more wide angle.

Cheers,
Bernard


Ok. That's an interesting take. Aren't panos extremely limiting though? The sky changes on most of my shoots over the course of a single 30 second exposure. I can't imagine getting anything useful from five or ten 30 second exposures.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 09:02:32 AM »
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It is a safe bet, by the way, given that Adams switched to Hasselblad toward the end.

That was due primarily to physical limitations as he got older.

Re: the OP, I really thing it's a bad idea to get too focused on resolution. Super-sharpness will not save a poor photograph, and less-than-perfect sharpness will not spoil a great one. Some of my best landscapes were taken with a 12 MP Nikon D70 and its kit lens.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2014, 09:40:38 AM »
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That was due primarily to physical limitations as he got older...

Arn't we all? Just look across the LF landscape: most of the diehards (well, at least the famous ones) are switching to digital. They are getting older and digital is getting better.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2014, 10:25:02 AM »
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The D70 was a 6mp camera.  I shot some images I'm really proud of with the D70.  I bought the D70 when I was still shooting the F5.  It doesn't seem that long ago.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2014, 06:13:37 PM »
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Ok. That's an interesting take. Aren't panos extremely limiting though? The sky changes on most of my shoots over the course of a single 30 second exposure. I can't imagine getting anything useful from five or ten 30 second exposures.

Panos don't apply to all images, that's true. Not knowing what kind of images you take needing 30 sec sky exposure I don't know whether your photographs are eligible or not.

For what it is worth, here are some examples of images I captured with panoramic stitching:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/72157600916381270/

Cheers,
Bernard
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trevarthan
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2014, 06:17:19 PM »
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Panos don't apply to all images, that's true. Not knowing what kind of images you take needing 30 sec sky exposure I don't know whether your photographs are eligible or not.

For what it is worth, here are some examples of images I captured with panoramic stitching:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/72157600916381270/

Cheers,
Bernard



Wow. You've got some impressive skies there. Do you use an automated panoramic system, or do you use a manual rail system on a tripod, or something else?
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Schewe
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2014, 06:26:49 PM »
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Do you use an automated panoramic system, or do you use a manual rail system on a tripod, or something else?

I can't speak for Bernard but in my experience, stitching these days is really pretty easy. I've done 15 shot panos handheld...I've even done a pano of Bryce Point where I had to move the camera three times around the point with prolly 15 feet between moves (I'm talking about picking up the camera/tripod and moving the hole camera).

Yes, the better you capture the easier the stitching is gonna be. There would be an issue with long exposures and moving clouds...but a potential easy fix would be to capture the sky separately and strip it back in. It would help to know what sort of shots you are doing with these long captures.
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trevarthan
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2014, 06:30:43 PM »
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Just getting started, but I intend to do more like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevarthan/14562711778/

Is there a rule about what mm length is good for panos? 45mm and up? or can you use wides too?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2014, 07:15:18 PM »
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I can't speak for Bernard but in my experience, stitching these days is really pretty easy. I've done 15 shot panos handheld...I've even done a pano of Bryce Point where I had to move the camera three times around the point with prolly 15 feet between moves (I'm talking about picking up the camera/tripod and moving the hole camera).

Yes, the better you capture the easier the stitching is gonna be. There would be an issue with long exposures and moving clouds...but a potential easy fix would be to capture the sky separately and strip it back in. It would help to know what sort of shots you are doing with these long captures.

+1

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2014, 07:23:58 PM »
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Just getting started, but I intend to do more like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevarthan/14562711778/

Is there a rule about what mm length is good for panos? 45mm and up? or can you use wides too?

That image may be doable with stitching, but it is a risky case because of the possible impact of wind on the trajectory of the water jets. If there is a little dispersion due to a slight breeze, then it should work. If you have irregular wind patterns, it will probably not work.

I would for sure back it up with a single shot to be sure.

Stitching can be done with any focal length, but be aware that there are limitations to the angular coverage that can be projected to a plane. Let's say it corresponds to a 12 mm non fisheye lens on FF. So if you stitch with a wide lens, let's say a 24mm, then you will only be able to do a 3-4 images stitch in vertical orientation. Beyond that you get into angular coverage that cannot be projected to a plane, which means that you will have to use a cylindrical projection that doesn't protect the linearity of elements, lines will be displayed as curves.

In other words, the longer the focal length, the more images you will be able to cover a given view angle with. The plus side is more resolution, the minus side is more time to capture, more risks if you have moving elements larger than one tile in your composition and a bit more work in post-processing.

I typically stitch with 55mm, 100mm and 180mm lenses depending on the type of scene. For your water jets, I guess that you must have used a 35mm lens for this shot? I would try it with a 50-60mm lens, probably 2 rows of 3 images. Keep the exposure relatively short, no slower than 2-4 seconds.

I would use PTGui to do this stitch. Make sure to output the result as a layered psd file so that you can edit the masks in PS to correct possible small issues.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2014, 08:18:34 PM »
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Is there a rule about what mm length is good for panos? 45mm and up? or can you use wides too?

+1 to what Bernard said but I would add I almost always shoot vertical when doing stitches because it easier to deal with the optical distortion that way. So, pick a focal length that gives you the height you what and then break it down into how many shots it'll take to get the width you want. You also need to learn to shoot loose because stitching tends to waste parts of images. What you loose by shooting loose you gain by increasing the resolution you gain by stitching.

In your example image, I don't think that the fountain would be difficult to stitch, it's the moving clouds that might cause an issue. I've actually been really surprised by how well moving water can be stitched...
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