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Thread: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

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    Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    When the IQ3 100MP was released some of us believe that with the Schneider 35mm LS blue ring we could get rid of the technical cameras and just rely on keystone correction in post processing.

    There are advantages of technical cameras, such like size and weight. Below shows the Schneider 35mm LS blue ring vs Rodenstock 40mm HR-W blue ring side by side:

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    And this is a comparison of camera sizes among Alpa 12 STC, Phase One XF+ and Nikon D810A:

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    The DSLR style cameras are heavy and bulky, but more durable (weather resistant, solid), with auto-focus.

    What's the image quality difference?

    Below shows a comparison between the two following setups from the same location (both shot at f/8 with the IQ3 100MP):

    Left: Schneider 35mm LS blue ring (35LS) shooting upwards with keystone correction in post processing;
    Right: Rodenstock 40mm HR-W blue ring (40HR) shifted 12mm with LCC correction in post processing.

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    Region (1) is at the center of the 35LS image circle, but a bit far away from the center of the 40HR image circle. The 35LS is a tad sharper here (Left: 35LS; Right: 40HR):

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    Region (2) is near the edge of the 35LS image circle, and near the center of the 40HR image circle. The 40HR is a tad shaper here (Left: 35LS; Right: 40HR):

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    Region (3) is at the edge of the 35LS image circle, and at the edge of the 40HR image circle. Due to pixel re-sampling during keystone correction, the 35LS is softer in the top corner (Left: 35LS; Right: 40HR):

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    I have no doubt that the DSLR style cameras such like the XF+ system can produce satisfactory results for almost all clients. For tech geeks the technical cameras still have an edge for corner sharpness.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Gotta love the energy. Another day, another sky is falling thread.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    You aren't comparing a camera with shift to a non shift camera though are you? You are comparing post shot processing between one type of lens and another...



    *apologies - I just noticed that you do state that you used 12mm shift ...
    Last edited by PeterA; 18th July 2016 at 14:03.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    I guess we've moved on to yet another Phase One issue. Wake me up when he starts talking about the camera strap or did I miss that one ?
    Don Libby
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Damn what a toy box !

    The ones shot with the HR 40mm do look more detailed to me.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Tech cams don't need straps.

    That's what makes them cost competitive.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Voidshatter may express himself in a more provocative way than this forum can handle, but fact is that he does provide us with very interesting and relevant test results and I'm very grateful for that.

    That tech cams may be obsoleted by cameras like the XF is not that provocative, I've even seen it hinted by Phase One dealers. The thing is of course that the new CMOS has 1) so high resolution that cropping and keystone correction becomes more feasible than it was with lower resolution sensors, and 2) the tech cam lens compatibility leaves things to be desired. Additionally, Schneider has discontinued their Digitar lens line, Copal shutters have been discontinued for some time and many of us believe that Rodenstock have made their last tech lens. Making lenses as much retrofocus as the new CMOS really requires I think will make the lenses unreasonably large and will require focal plane shutter or new tech leaf shutter, or they will need to simplify optical design making them perform no better than Phase One XF lenses, or probably worse if you don't have lens corrections applied.

    So it's not uncontroversial to expect that there will be a move from tech cameras to systems like the XF and Hasselblad H in the coming years. This makes a test like Voidshatter's here extremely interesting.

    I've seen the opposite too, users that say their own gear is oh so excellent and never complain about a thing, and suddenly they're using some other system and selling off their old gear and we never got to know what the reason was. I think a main aspect about a forum like this is to share technical aspects about camera gear so we can make informed decisions. Of course we will have different opinions on what's important and what's right for me is not necessarily right for you, but when someone like Voidshatter shares the hard data like here we can see for ourselves.

    And from the data we still see that the 40HR has a clear edge for pixel peepers, but we also see that the keystone option is not that bad and provides a real alternative to anyone that can accept that type of post-processing workflow.

    To me, a key thing about tech cams is to be able to create the image in a traditional photographic way and use my digital back just as a drop-in replacement of a film back. I want to minimize post-processing work. That is I have an interest in how the creative process is, not just the end result. This means that I would prefer using a tech cam even if the result would be slightly less sharp. The small and light lenses is also an important factor to me as I'm carrying many lenses as I prefer not having to crop much, that is be as close to the end result as possible when I look at the ground glass.

    I also know from data shared in this forum that the IQ3 100MP is not for me, as tech cam lens compatibility is not satisfactory to me, as color stability/fidelity, symmetrical lens support and movement flexibility is more important to me than megapixels, dynamic range, high ISO, long exposure and live view (which indeed is much better on the CMOS). Thanks to data shared I know exactly what trade-offs I'm making, and using dealers for that where I live (the closest dealer is 1000km away and knows nothing about tech cams) is simply not feasible. So please let people share valuable information without getting a flood of negative comments.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    I actually think this is an interesting comparison. A 40HR with 12mm shift VS the new 35mm LS with no shift but keystone corrections applied.

    To my eye the 40HR looks dramaticlaly better on points 2 and 3 but slightly worse (minimal) on point 1. It'd be interesting comparing the RS 32mm HR to the 35mm LS, all be it cropping the former to match the later this time. Seeing this however, it seems pretty clear to me that using a tech cam with excellent lenses produces significantly better results than relying on software. But we're talking about 100mpx captures here. You can afford to throw away some pixels!

    I think this kind of test is interesting because sometimes, despite loving what I'm using, I do wonder if I'm beating a dead horse or am some kind of photo-masochist.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Awww guys, give him a break.

    I don't seen him bashing Phase in this thread, if anything he is saying it may be just as good or better to use it compared to a tech camera. If you can get by with software correction instead of using TSE then it opens up a lot more opportunities with so many camera systems. I find this a very interesting post, and IMHO quite useful.

    And yes, he does seem to have a lot of energy and passion for what he believes in. That is not such a bad thing is it?
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    I think this is far more interesting than the whole 3100 has an issue because it won't do 30 min exposures without dark frame very well. I have always considered the use of a tech cam to correct perspective etc. at the time of capture to be far better than stretching pixels in post, something has to give if you are doing large corrections, it doesn't actually look too bad but as has been said, with 100mp you have plenty of latitude for reducing if necessary and still having an excellent file.

    I think that for people with a tech cam then it's a non issue, for those without, it's interesting to see the differences, I don't think anyone would spend the money needed for a decent tech cam kit if they already own an XF and 3100 with a 35mm but for those with lower mp backs, I feel the tech cam still has a lot to offer.

    Mat

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    The most interesting question in my mind is really what the technical camera makers and Rodenstock as sole surviving tech lens maker will do from here. Considering current pixel / sensor architecture I'd say something has got to give.

    Perhaps we'll see XF / H mount SLR TS lenses soon? If the sensor stays the same and pixels keep getting smaller, what other options are there for the last of us die hard tech users?

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Film!
    http://matrichardson.com/
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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Thanks for the post, I'm not sure any of this is a new revelation but nice to see how well the 3100 handles the shift. In reality these images could be made much closer (both ways) with post processing. The issue in my mind is not the 3100 but the 3150 or 3200, eventually something is going to give. I've used extreme shift for stitching and the LCC correction on the edges gives a much worse smudging problem for me than the issues brought on by panning.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    No, with photography, It's always better and easier to do things that the time of capture.

    If you do keystone correction in post production you have to deal with all these problems.
    -more time spent in post production
    -Much sharper corners
    -what you see, is not what you get. (If you get the framing wrong, it destroys your photograph)
    -all your lenses are longer because you have two allow for Keystone correction.

    Is MF Digital + Alpa better that Canon or Sony a7 with Canon TS-E lenses? Is the Alpa worth the extra money? That's probably different for every photographer.
    Last edited by Thomas Erskine; 18th July 2016 at 06:05.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Ed, you beat me to it, thanks to Void for taking the time to do this, and it does show @ 12mm the 40mm HR-W can do a very good job on shifting, cleans up very nicely.

    A few other thoughts.

    1. I like the picture comparisons, with the 35LS and 40 HR-W, the 35LS is a great lens, but it's heavy and add to an already heavy XF, and you have quite a bit of camera to carry all day. Optically as shown in Voids testing however it's a great piece of glass. I sure would have liked Phase to add weather sealing to both the XF and the Blue ring lenses.

    2. The amount of softness on the 35LS, more than likely would sharpen right back up with Picture + or similar software, enough that I don't feel it would show in a print.

    IMO an excellent comparison. I agree keystone correction in post can take a while and it took me longer than it should have to learn it in C1, but once you understand the logic it does a great job. LR's newest tool set makes this much faster.

    Paul C

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Obsolete in the sense that it been replaced by something better?
    I don't think I can agree with that - not yet, at least.

    Post processing tools have improved but there is certainly a cost. Throwing away pixels to do keystone corrections means:
    (a) a wide angle lens becomes not-so-wide
    (b) throwing away resolution that we paid $$$ for.
    Personally I am unwilling to do that and do not think that is better.

    I agree they are on an end-of-life path based on facts Anders Torger already stated but I don't think technical cameras are *obsolete*.
    Last edited by Jamgolf; 18th July 2016 at 07:05.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    My technical camera allows rise and fall, shifting as well as tilt (in my opinion the most important feature) with a variety of focal lengths.
    I really value this combination of features.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    @OP - great post - no idea why some folks jumped on you - this is a useful test that no one else has done (AFAIK) and that no dealer is going to do publicly (for obvious reasons).

    'Obsolete' is a bit harsh right now, since as someone pointed out there's still a thing called film (though most folks getting into that are shooting LF or ULF). But, in terms of 'digital' it's not far off the mark; a couple more generations of (almost) unshiftable DBs, compounded by a couple more generations of mirrorless MF, compounded by S/K (and R/S?) stepping aside ... yes, I can see the appeal (and thus availability) of this type of camera declining significantly.

    Interesting that Linhof & Studio in the UK have decided to sell the X1D...

    Jim

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Perhaps we'll see XF / H mount SLR TS lenses soon?
    Considering how large the 35mm blue ring is already, what beasts would those TS lenses be?

    If my dream of changing my profession to architecture photography in the future, i will still go the tech cam route for sure.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    Considering how large the 35mm blue ring is already, what beasts would those TS lenses be?

    If my dream of changing my profession to architecture photography in the future, i will still go the tech cam route for sure.
    A while back, did a similar kind of test with a Leica MM. Local dealer lent a 28PC Schneider (from the R series, via adapter) to be compared with his newer 21 SEM lens. The 28PC was shifted 11mm on the diagonal, to compare with a cropped-to-match image from the 21. In a 17 x22 prints, there was very little difference. I'd guess in larger prints, loss of resolution would have been an issue for the 21.

    This falls under the "crop with newer lenses and with more resolution" for PC, vs. shifting an older PC lens. Note the 28PC is subject to variations in quality - this one seemed pretty good, but its not equal to a good view camera lens shifted. OTOH, the 21 is a real gem. Can post images if interested.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    This just reinforces the notion of using the proper tool for the application. If you need rise/fall tilt/shift and no such lens is available for your camera (XF & 35LS) then you need to either suck it up and try to accomplish what you want/need in post or better yet use the more appropriate tool which would be a tech camera.

    I used the same tech camera (a Cambo WRS) for a little over 8-years augmenting with a DF then XF. I sold the Cambo as I found I really had no need for the movements my Rodenstock gave me in a landscape application. I sold the tech camera and brought into the XF lock stock and barrel using the 35LS as my widest and have not regretted. Again this is doing what I do and I caution it may not work for others.

    I also have used the DF/XF in shooting wildlife using the 240LS both as a stand alone and with the 2x. Again it works well for what I was doing.

    If I wanted or needed movements I'd use a tech camera - just common sense.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Hi,

    The question the OP raises is a good one. There is a trend to pixel designs that don't work well large beam angles. The wide angle designs having small beam angles ten to be large.

    Personally, I feel that keystone correction in post is OK, but it is also a bit tricky. Expect missing low corners.

    I also feel there are no good alternatives to Scheimpflug. The stacking option in the XF may be a good thing, but traditional stacking is not always successful.

    It may be possible to design reasonably small wide angles with decent beam angles: Loxia 2.8/21 | ZEISS International . That is not MFD, but I would guess an MFD version would be pretty small. But, Zeiss is pretty much out of MFD now…

    The lens mentioned above is a Distagon type device, that is retrofocus, but is still not very large.

    A couple of Canon ultra wide zooms, like the 11-24/4 and the 16-35 work well on HCam Master TS and give generous amount of shift and tilt and work well with 44x33 mm Sony sensors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDCC...=ChieJoongkeun

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    You aren't comparing a camera with shift to a non shift camera though are you? You are comparing post shot processing between one type of lens and another...
    Yes that is what he did ...

    "Left: Schneider 35mm LS blue ring (35LS) shooting upwards with keystone correction in post processing;
    Right: Rodenstock 40mm HR-W blue ring (40HR) shifted 12mm with LCC correction in post processing.”

    so he corrected the 35mm LS in post processing, but used shift to get a correct image with the tech camera.

    I think his point was to compare whether using post processing can alleviate the need for making corrections via shifts.

    To me the results are what I would expect, and the choice would be based on the quality needs of the photographer and the client. I think if I were an architectural photographer I would stick with the tech.

    Many landscape photographers don’t really correct things like this too often, because the result isn’t obvious or even visually disturbing. An example is horse shoe bend. To shoot that the camera has to be tilted down dramatically. If using maximum shift you can’t correct for it, you still have to tilt the camera down quite a bit. But the resulting images normally look great.

    Personally I still use the tech camera more than the XF, for a couple of reasons. Mainly because it’s lighter and easier to hike with. Also because I tend to use shift for stitching quite often.

    I don’t believe he intended the title to be controversial, and I didn’t really read that into it.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Erskine View Post

    Is MF Digital + Alpa better that Canon or Sony a7 with Canon TS-E lenses? Is the Alpa worth the extra money? That's probably different for every photographer.
    For making a living, no. For satisfaction as a gear faggotry, yes! Even the crop factor 44x33 50mp back defeats the Canon 50mp 5DSR.

    Below shows a comparison between the 5DSR+17TSE vs IQ250+23HR. Note that the Alpa wins the corner sharpness, but desaturation happens for heavily shifted images.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    @OP - great post - no idea why some folks jumped on you - this is a useful test that no one else has done (AFAIK) and that no dealer is going to do publicly (for obvious reasons).

    'Obsolete' is a bit harsh right now, since as someone pointed out there's still a thing called film (though most folks getting into that are shooting LF or ULF). But, in terms of 'digital' it's not far off the mark; a couple more generations of (almost) unshiftable DBs, compounded by a couple more generations of mirrorless MF, compounded by S/K (and R/S?) stepping aside ... yes, I can see the appeal (and thus availability) of this type of camera declining significantly.

    Interesting that Linhof & Studio in the UK have decided to sell the X1D...

    Jim

    Jim, what is the obvious reason a dealer wouldn't share results from such a test? I've already shot some comparative images with the same lens combination and shared them with clients. I found the results extremely close. I think the development of the SK 35LS certainly presents an option for users to consider not using a tech camera that didn't exist at the same level previously.

    Does the development of medium format wide lenses that rival Rodenstock quality pose a threat to technical camera makers? I think it is a factor for them to take into account. I've certainly seen some clients move away from their technical camera and adopt a fixed movement/post process workflow - with the SK 35LS inspiring that direction.

    Personally, I value technical cameras for more than just having the option of extremely high quality wide lenses, and correcting perspective. I find technical cameras a superior framing device over medium format cameras, I prefer arranging the capture at the time you're in front of the subject, and yes, there is something about not using an SLR camera that produces a different experience and sometimes a different result.


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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Something else to consider is that if you are going to apply the keystone corrections in post production is that you really really need to think ahead about shooting wider.

    I have both the 35LS and the 32HR and whilst the 35LS is awesome enough that I bought one, I'm often shooting with my 28D and correcting in post to achieve what I would normally shoot with the 32HR. The results obviously don't match although as others have mentioned, technical perfection can be overrated in a real print.

    I don't see myself giving up movements with my Cambo / Alpa FPS anytime soon but I really do appreciate the outstanding quality of the 35LS. If Phase One can release wider lenses with the same edge to edge capabilities of the 35LS I can see myself buying into more LS lenses for my XF.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Those are both great lenses no doubt. I have the 35LS and it's fantastic. To your question, "Technical camera obsolete?" With a tech camera you can make photographs that are not possible with anything else. Shifting independently on the x and y axis you can create shapes that are not possible with a regular camera even with a TS lens.

    I.e. There's a light pole in front of a building so you move the camera to one side then add a shift to keep building parallel then add a rise to get top of building. End result, no light pole. Even moving a TS lens on a diagonal is pain to get the same composition. (I'm an architecture shooter so it may be more important to me than others.)
    Weldon

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Hi Weldon,

    I see your point. I absolotely think that a camera with full movements is much more flexible than a T&S lens or a T&S-adapter.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by weldonbrewster View Post
    Those are both great lenses no doubt. I have the 35LS and it's fantastic. To your question, "Technical camera obsolete?" With a tech camera you can make photographs that are not possible with anything else. Shifting independently on the x and y axis you can create shapes that are not possible with a regular camera even with a TS lens.

    I.e. There's a light pole in front of a building so you move the camera to one side then add a shift to keep building parallel then add a rise to get top of building. End result, no light pole. Even moving a TS lens on a diagonal is pain to get the same composition. (I'm an architecture shooter so it may be more important to me than others.)

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by weldonbrewster View Post
    Those are both great lenses no doubt. I have the 35LS and it's fantastic. To your question, "Technical camera obsolete?" With a tech camera you can make photographs that are not possible with anything else. Shifting independently on the x and y axis you can create shapes that are not possible with a regular camera even with a TS lens.

    I.e. There's a light pole in front of a building so you move the camera to one side then add a shift to keep building parallel then add a rise to get top of building. End result, no light pole. Even moving a TS lens on a diagonal is pain to get the same composition. (I'm an architecture shooter so it may be more important to me than others.)
    You sure have nailed it! I can't imagine shooting without having access to movements. Its the main reason I don't own an XF.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Technical cameras are about movements (rise, fall, shift, tilts, swings), and a host of other personal reasons, including image quality, size, weight, and photographic enjoyment. Far from obsolete and much more drama than necessary. The sky is far from falling, imho. It is simply about choices. And what a great time to have choices in medium format digital.

    I've always like the Phase 35mm D focal length and years ago pined for a much better quality 35mm lens, and of the opinion that even if it were extremely expensive, would be worthwhile for many photographers, and probably sway many away from entering the technical camera arena. Now that the SK LS 35mm is actually here, I'm sorta surprised that I find myself struggling to find justification to buy the lens. The 40-80mm that I have is excellent on the XF and I love the HR40 on the Cambo. The XF is great for most all my work, but far too heavy to take for landscapes imo, and the Cambo wins every time. Again, it's great to have choices!

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Just to echo a few of the other posters- Clearly the OP's testing shows the Rodie 40 to be superior in that specific scenario- though the gap is certainly closing. However- Technical camera use goes beyond just image quality. For me personally, tech cam use is half about the process, and half about image quality. I love the light weight of the technical camera, the vast versatility it grants me with tilt/swing lenses, stitching, and its time consuming approach. I find myself more "in the zone" using a technical camera because of its complete lack of automation. Its my responsibility to get it right, not the camera's. And when everything works together and I do my job right- I'll have the best image quality I could ever hope for.

    What it all boils down to is: there aren't too many images that can really ONLY be made with a technical camera- corner sharpness aside. Does that make technical cameras obsolete? I don't think so. The SK35 LS is certainly an amazing lens, and perhaps it will persuade potential tech cam buyers to stick with the DSLR style XF over adding a technical camera combo to their kit. But for those that want extreme versatility, light(er) weight kit, rear stitching, and appreciates a zen approach to image making, Technical Cameras are still very relevant.

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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZndrsonMPD View Post
    I find myself more "in the zone" using a technical camera because of its complete lack of automation. Its my responsibility to get it right, not the camera's.
    ...
    But for those that want extreme versatility, light(er) weight kit, rear stitching, and appreciates a zen approach to image making, Technical Cameras are still very relevant.
    Very well said.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    If all of us tech camera users sat in a room with a beer and you asked us if we use it because 1) we have to to get a specific result, or 2) it is because we want to, there would be a lot more hands up for the second reason.

    I can see them becoming obsolete for specific image-necessity reasons, but all the other reasons will be around. I actually see the X1D being more of a "threat" because of its size.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    A still life perspective: Even if the lenses were perfect and the sensor 300mp it still wouldn't replace a camera with movements. The problem with keystone correction and shooting still life is it changes the shape and relationship between different parts of an object in a different way to pure camera movements plus parts of the background are lost. You may not notice these things with some landscapes but you do with product.

    All the time there are high quality lenses available and sensors in boxes there will be a need for the bendy bit in between.

    I guess it's not quite so important for scenic landscape.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    A still life perspective: Even if the lenses were perfect and the sensor 300mp it still wouldn't replace a camera with movements. The problem with keystone correction and shooting still life is it changes the shape and relationship between different parts of an object in a different way to pure camera movements plus parts of the background are lost. You may not notice these things with some landscapes but you do with product.
    Perspective (shift) can be replicated to 100%, all information is there. I think you need more advanced software than a simple keystone correction though, like "DxO viewpoint". Haven't tried these softwares personally, but from a scientific standpoint the only thing that matters is where you have placed the camera (lens) and that it's wide enough to capture all you need. It's camera placement that decides which object that is in front of another. Rectalinear, fisheye, shifted up or down etc can be reprojected to 100% in software. If there actually is software that does it 100% correct I'm not sure, but as said DxO viewpoint would be a good place to start looking.

    Actually I think one can do it with open-source software Hugin too when I think about it, but it's quite messy to work with.

    Tilt cannot be replicated though, but you can focus stack.

    In the future it would be possible to make a tech camera which has a single fixed ultra-wide lens and a super-high resolution sensor, and then you could do all shifts and crops virtually in the back.

    For tech cams to survive in the longer term, I think there needs to be a large enough interest to shoot in a more traditional way, like using film. Leica M is still alive and kicking despite range finder camera is hopelessly "obsolete", just because some people like that traditional way of shooting and Leica finds it worthwhile to maintain. In the same way I think tech cams can survive into the future, but I think it will require some interest from manufacturers too, as the user interest will, even if large enough, be so small so you can make more money doing other types of camera gear.

    I'm very disappointed on Schneider that pulled out from both large format film and digital tech cams. Their company is surely large enough to be able to carry those lens lines for traditional/cultural purposes even if they weren't making any money to speak of from it.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    In the future it would be possible to make a tech camera which has a single fixed ultra-wide lens and a super-high resolution sensor, and then you could do all shifts and crops virtually in the back.
    Some would argue that this is a justification for a 100mp MFDB. You have so much native resolution that you can afford to crop as needed. Why bother cropping in the back? Just provide a preview function perhaps in live view in order to visualize what you are after, then save the 'crop' as metadata and let you then either use or override it later in the raw converter.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    "Perspective (shift) can be replicated to 100%, all information is there”

    i’m talking about instances where you place the lens where you want it. for example when shooting bottles there is a particular viewpoint usually 3/4 of the way up where you hide the camera in the label and have a particular shape to the bottom of the bottle with a slight curve (or not dependent on focal length) then shift the back to fit the bottle in your frame. i find placing the lens where you want it then tilting the camera to get it in frame means that correcting the perspective changes the shape of the bottle and you lose some of your background.

    if the object has 3d shape and form the relationship between parts of the object changes as you move the lens. lets take a teddy bear or doll for example, as you move the lens around the feet and hands spatial relationship changes. a lens with good coverage means you can freely move your viewpoint to where you want it with the ideal perspective and then shift to fill your frame with the subject. stretching a shot in photoshop always seems to look wrong especially if the object is a complex shape.

    I’m sure there is some optical/physics explanation behind it that is beyond me but thats what i have found when shooting tabletop still life with and without movements. movements always win and make the workflow easier.

    i may be totally wrong on the optical theory but for me it’s all about the workflow, ease of use and quality of output. that means a cambo actus and digitars. as for stacking/swing/tilt i usually often end up doing all 3 to get the results i need.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    I need to be humble on the perspective stuff as I haven't worked that much with software perspective control, but in terms of how rays enter the lens pupil only lens placement matters, not how it projects on the sensor, so it should be possible to get the perspective exactly the same.

    However, I would not be surprised if perhaps noone has yet made such software, so maybe it's not possible to do today with the current software packages.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Some would argue that this is a justification for a 100mp MFDB. You have so much native resolution that you can afford to crop as needed. Why bother cropping in the back? Just provide a preview function perhaps in live view in order to visualize what you are after, then save the 'crop' as metadata and let you then either use or override it later in the raw converter.
    Yes indeed, it would be best if the back would only visualize a certain crop and shift, and store it in the EXIF data, but you could retrieve the original uncropped/unmapped file in the raw conversion if desired.

    When working with crop/keystone today one problem is that it's more difficult to visualize the end result, and one can make mistakes in the framing etc. With perspective support in the back the workflow in the field would become much easier.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    If all of us tech camera users sat in a room with a beer and you asked us if we use it because 1) we have to to get a specific result, or 2) it is because we want to, there would be a lot more hands up for the second reason.

    I can see them becoming obsolete for specific image-necessity reasons, but all the other reasons will be around. I actually see the X1D being more of a "threat" because of its size.

    Dave
    Probably true, Dave. However, I still see a lot of purists hanging on to tech cams for very specific kind of images where you could process in post, but the end result may not be to their own satisfaction.

    Most of what we do (what I do certainly) is to reach and surpass my own standards and as I have progressed in my own journey into photography I've found that the goalposts have shifted each time I thought I had reached where I wanted to be. I am in many ways my own worst critic (aren't we all) and I am constantly trying to do better. Of course this means developing a better eye for composition, color, contrast, subject matter and all that. It also means that having the best equipment helps.

    So for those looking for perfection in their images be it still life, particular landscapes or architecture, I expect tech cameras will continue to be a part of their gear.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Shooting with a tech cam vs perspective corrections in post is similar to building a website in a WYSIWIG editor vs coding HTML in Notepad, IMO.

    I have no tech cam, but I do have a 50mm shift lend and I absolutely enjoy working with it. I could probably get the same results by shooting with the 35mm and correcting in post, but I'd rather not.

    Plus, with the shift lens, I end up with a 60-80MP image vs <30 when I correct a wider shot.

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Probably true, Dave. However, I still see a lot of purists hanging on to tech cams for very specific kind of images where you could process in post, but the end result may not be to their own satisfaction.
    I agree. What I mean is we do things a certain way with a technical camera because we choose to. And yes, perhaps in our mind we have to.

    Some of my quirky examples: I like to stitch, but only by moving the back, not the lens. In fact when I merge in PS I much prefer to do it in steps where I manually align the layers so Photomerge does not auto-warp anything. I know, kinda weird, but we all have our preferences and things that are the "nails on a chalk board" that others wouldn't give a rat's a$$ about.

    It's one of the reasons I think it is a great time to be a photographer. You can work with any tool and workflow you love and get almost limitless results!

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Something else I don't believe has been mentioned, and surely OT, is the focal range available is so much greater with the XF than the limited choice of tech cam primes.

    With 35mm-300mm coverage with 4 lens, I have so much more flexibility. Granted I miss the tilt on my cambo but I am now able to make images that would not have been effectively accomplished. The difference in weight from the 32-150mm cambo kit was only 2 pounds, less total weight if I compromise to 40-300mm.

    Surprisingly, at 300mm and 100MP, I can crop and still have more resolution than my d810 and 600mm prime.

    That is just too much flexibility to pass up.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    Indeed tele lenses is not been a strong point of tech cameras, and zooms are missing.

    However with a field view camera and nowadays discontinued Schneider Digitars one can get a quite compact and very flexible system. I carry a Linhof Techno with 35, 47, 60, 72, 90, 120 and 180mm lenses, and as the lenses are small and compact and all lenses use lens boards rather than barrels I end up with about 6 kilos (14 pounds) net (camera, back and lenses), and that includes a sliding back. Tilt, swing, and shift in all directions for all lenses. With tripod, head, extra batteries, water bottle etc and the backpack itself it adds up to say 10-11 kilos to actually carry around, but I think that's not too bad.

    That flexibility suits my shooting style very well, although it does happen that I would like even longer reach. I've chosen to not get the 210mm though (which is the longest possible in the system) as it's a considerably heavier lens than the 180 and not so much longer. With roughly 30% spacing between the primes I don't really miss a zoom.

    Unfortunately digital back development killed the small compact symmetrical lenses, and ground glass was too difficult to use to many so this type of system is legacy now. Had modern live view backs supported symmetrical lenses better and manufacturing continued it would have been a really nice field system for landscape photography.

    A camera like the XF must support wide apertures and must have retrofocus lenses and thus they become very large and heavy. A tech camera doesn't need wide apertures and historically did not need to have retrofocus lenses and therefore had its special niche. But since all backs after the microless-free and pixel-shielded Kodaks have required retrofocus lenses it couldn't thrive, and now I think we've reached a point where the customer interest that actually existed for this niche has strongly weakened and people are looking to the other solutions.

    I think the key selling point has not been flexibility but always been image quality, and when the majority don't see that they get a relevant image quality improvement over the more integrated standard camera systems the genre is in trouble. Personally the traditional/tactile large format style shooting experience is a key selling point so I can actually live with even a bit lower pixel peep image quality, but I think that view is rare.

    Anyway, tech cameras are great for landscapes, and to anyone that's thinking about getting one I think it's sort of a "now or never" situation, so do get one and enjoy while it lasts.
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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    On the subject of tech camera's, does anyone have an opinion on the advantages over a LF style camera like the Linhof Techno or Arca F line? I'm interested in moving into digital medium format and am trying to figure out if a tech camera is the way to go or a more traditional LF style camera.

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    Re: Technical camera obsolete? (keystone correction vs. shift)

    I have a Linhof Techno. I discuss pros and cons in my review of it. Review: Linhof Techno

    The weakness is ground glass focusing if you don't have live view, and less rigid. Advantages are the flexibility in movements and compactness of longer lenses. For pure architecture work I'd choose a pancake camera, for landscape I love to have my Techno, but do consider your own shooting style before making your decision.

    The F-line is not comparable to the Techno. The LF style digital field cameras are more rigid. Look at Universalis to compare. The Techno is more rigid than the Actus too.

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