My first post here on these forums. I've been lurking for a while and reading many fascinating threads - you guys are a wealth of information!
I need some help with some equipment choices because I seem to be going around in circles. My clients and agencies demand digital but I am no longer satisfied with the quality of my Canon 1Ds MkI and some clients are requiring larger files.
I could buy the 1Ds MkIII or the new 5DMkII but I'm not convinced that Canon's wider lens are good enough. I could buy the new Zeiss glass, but this will deepen my financial commitment to a system that I do not particularly enjoy. I feel this is a good time to leave DSLRs behind. I love WLFs, large focusing screens and revolving backs. I shoot 99% of the time with a tripod and like vertical images. Manual focus lenses are fine and I like distance scales. I shoot scenics, cityscapes and buildings. I leave studio and people photography to others.
Previously, I shot 6x7s with a Mamiya RB and have a brace of the latest lenses. I just love this camera and if I could shoot wide, and digital, with it, I'd be laughing. A Leaf or Sinar is my ideal camera from todays offerings but they are out of my budget, at least buying into the whole system is.
I'm looking seriously at a Mamiya ZD back on a AFDII which seems the cheapest entry point into the MFDB world (£5700 in the UK, roughly US$10500, for camera, back and 80mm lens). The camera does not excite me, but I think that I will have to make compromises here. I've read the back is not the best but I'm thinking it would be a huge step up from the 1Ds and an improvement again over the 1DsMkIII/5DMkII options. Am I right? Having the best or biggest is not necessary for my work, but I need better than I have with the Canon.
I have some other gear that may or not be useful to me using a digital back and I'm planning on selling what I cannot use. I have a Silvestri S4 (shift camera), an Ebony SW45 and 6 lenses - Schneider 38XL, 47XL, 58XL, Super Angulon 75, Apo Symmar 135 and a Nikor M 200mm. I also have helicoil mounts for three of the Schneiders. I know that I can mount a DB on a 5x4 camera but are my lenses any good? Are there any smaller and lighter bodies that can take some of these lenses and a DB? Using the S4 or Ebony is an option but not as my main camera, it's just too slow for me.
Thats probably enough questions for now!