Hi everyone, I mostly photograph landscapes and architecture, and after lurking in this forum for a while, I decide to register a forum account and ask your ideas about joining this club.
I have been shooting with a Nikon D800E. I am not satisfied with the corner sharpness and the chromatic aberration of the Nikon 14-24mm lens. When I saw the pictures taken by the Rodenstock 23mm and 35mm lens I was astonished by the corner sharpness. As a fanatic pixel peeper of wide angles I am now deeply fascinated by the HR lenses.
However I have some concerns moving into such an expensive system:
a) The only option for 645 fullframe digital is CCD (e.g. IQ280 and IQ260), not CMOS (e.g. IQ250 and IQ150). It means for pictures that must be done in a single exposure (when stitching is not viable), I will always get narrower angle of view with a CMOS back.
b) The dynamic range of CCD (e.g. IQ280 and IQ260) is noticeably inferior than that of the SONY CMOS sensors (e.g. D800E and IQ250), especially for long exposures of seconds to minutes. This could be an issue if I attempt to photograph sunrise and sunset (by shooting directly into the sun) should I choose to go with the CCD routine, since there are always complicated scenes where a Graduated ND filter do not fit.
c) I don't think there is a bright future for CCD. SONY is the game changer now. Hasselblad, Phase One, Pentax and Leaf all use SONY CMOS. Even Leica S has moved to their own CMOS. This could be an issue for the current Rodenstock lenses. If I have done my research correctly, the Schneider wide angles (e.g. 28XL) are KODAK-friendly (e.g. P45+) and the Rodenstock wide angles (e.g. 28HR) are DALSA-friendly (e.g. IQ260). I think the SONY sensors will eventually "kill" the current Rodenstock wide angles, just like how the DALSA sensors "killed" the Schneider wide angles.
d) I am interested in the Rodenstock 23mm and 40mm, but that means I will have to stick with the IQ260 or IQ280, since there are crosstalk issues with the IQ250. Even if a 645 fullframe CMOS sensor is announced next year, I will still be unable to upgrade to CMOS, unless I dump the current Rodenstock lenses. SAR rumors have confirmed that a new SONY sensor (36x24mm size) of 46-54mp will be announced in 3 months. Eventually there will be a smaller CMOS sensor "killing" the IQ260 and IQ280, just like how the D800E "killed" the 33mp digital backs. I am not sure for how many years could the IQ260 and IQ280 hold their advantages.
e) Should Rodenstock announce a yellow-banded wide angle lens that is CMOS-friendly, my bet is that the (super retrofocus design) lens will be heavier and bigger and more expensive, and there will be no guarantee that it will work correctly with the microlens offset of the SONY sensor (c.f. IQ250, A7R) when shifted to the extreme. If an era of 645 fullframe CMOS and yellow-banded CMOS-friendly Rodenstock wide angles comes, how much can I sell the Rodenstock 23mm and 40mm for by then? What is the current second-hand price for the discontinued 28XL?
f) The Canon 17mm TS-E and the Canon 24mm TS-E are great, but still not as excellent as the Rodenstock HR lenses. I am not convinced to invest expensive digital backs for the Canon TS-E lenses, since I am not fascinated with the distortion control and corner sharpness. Should I have to choose the Canon lenses I might opt for a SONY A7R instead of an IQ250 via ALPA FPS. Also it is a pain to get appropriate filters for the 17mm TS-E (look at the size of the Fotodiox filters!).
Any advise would be appreciated!