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Automatic stacking with the IQ4 150 and Cambo Actus XL

Boinger

Member
First, my apologies for replying to this thread after over a year, but I just saw this today.

I have an almost identical system - IQ4 back, Cambo DB-XL, Rodenstock 105 floating element macro. Your automated focus stacking setup looks terrific.

I'm curious about how you attached the servo to the fine focus adjustment on the rear standard. It looks like you have some kind of bracket attached to the rear standard and some kind of replacement for the knob? Were those custom machined or off the shelf parts?

Thanks!
Take a look:

https://blog.cambo.com/2017/10/04/cambo-focus-stacking-solution/
 

gerald.d

Well-known member
Hi Gerald,

Sorry for the delay, it is hard to speak about a comparison with a lens I don't own. What I can say is that I am very happy with the 105mm Rodenstock. One of my first reasons to buy it was that my dealer tould me that the lens was developed as a "cost no object" lens for control of the quality of the output of sensor wafers and after that was published as the ultimate macro lens. The ring on the lens is used to adopt an element inside the lens to the actual magnification of the object inside the picture. I compose my picture, then I hold a ruler published by Rodenstock (http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/messkarten.pdf) inside the liveview of the viewer and read from the ruler the best setting for the lens, adapt it and make my sequence of pictures. Hope it helps:).

Kind regards

Wolfgang
Since the thread has been bumped, probably worth a little update on this aspect.

I ended up getting the 105 float and had a custom adapter manufactured so that I could mount it to the CAPcam.

The difference in image quality between this lens and the Schneider 120 in the macro range is absolutely enormous. Just staggering.

The cool thing about using it on the CAPcam is that the software that controls the camera tells you the exact magnification that you are working at, so once the shot is composed, I just dial that in on the lens to ensure the floating element is at the right position to maximise image quality.

Anyone shooting at magnifications for which this lens is optimised really should check it out.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

cjl

Member
How does one achieve critical initial focus with such set-ups? Do you rely on the back’s display and focus peaking display? Does the IQ4 display offer a higher degree of accuracy than those less costly systems such as the GFX (which can be confusing with busy subject matter).

Since the thread has been bumped, probably worth a little update on this aspect.

I ended up getting the 105 float and had a custom adapter manufactured so that I could mount it to the CAPcam.

The difference in image quality between this lens and the Schneider 120 in the macro range is absolutely enormous. Just staggering.

The cool thing about using it on the CAPcam is that the software that controls the camera tells you the exact magnification that you are working at, so once the shot is composed, I just dial that in on the lens to ensure the floating element is at the right position to maximise image quality.

Anyone shooting at magnifications for which this lens is optimised really should check it out.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

gerald.d

Well-known member
How does one achieve critical initial focus with such set-ups? Do you rely on the back’s display and focus peaking display? Does the IQ4 display offer a higher degree of accuracy than those less costly systems such as the GFX (which can be confusing with busy subject matter).
The CAPcam swings and tilts (and shifts/rises/falls) controlled by software.

A typical shot will be of the order of a few hundred microns depth of field (up to maybe 1.5mm at lower magnifications), so it's pretty impractical to even attempt to nail the plane of focus simply by looking at the back. I actually shoot with a Panasonic S1R attached to the CAPcam now, tethered, with the feed from the camera going via USB to the tethering software, and by HDMI to a 55 inch display.

So it's a case of getting close using the S1R's pixel peeping, shooting, looking at the result, and then tweaking the focus points (the CAPcam has several ways of focusing, but the most intuitive to me is by telling it the distance to three points on the image) - this tweaking is typically of the order of 100-200 microns. If you need to stack, this can be done perpendicular to the focal plane, with the camera automatically adjusting tilt and swing angles as the focal distance changes, to maintain the same angle of focal plane to sensor plane.


Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

cjl

Member
Thank you. My use case is very different as I work outdoors with landscapes. I have been intrigued by the idea of moving from digital MF cameras to ‘full’ medium format backs on an actus type rig for the superior IQ and camera movements, but cannot see how you can adequately manage focus of very high megapixel sensors without an integrated EVF. This would seem to confirm that MF back systems are still not quite up to that task.

The CAPcam swings and tilts (and shifts/rises/falls) controlled by software.

A typical shot will be of the order of a few hundred microns depth of field (up to maybe 1.5mm at lower magnifications), so it's pretty impractical to even attempt to nail the plane of focus simply by looking at the back. I actually shoot with a Panasonic S1R attached to the CAPcam now,
Gerald.
 

Boinger

Member
Thank you. My use case is very different as I work outdoors with landscapes. I have been intrigued by the idea of moving from digital MF cameras to ‘full’ medium format backs on an actus type rig for the superior IQ and camera movements, but cannot see how you can adequately manage focus of very high megapixel sensors without an integrated EVF. This would seem to confirm that MF back systems are still not quite up to that task.
It's actually quite easy.

You can zoom in to a specific part of an image in live view and focus like that. I would recommend tying up with someone that has a back so you can see it in action.

I also do landscapes and focusing on the cmos backs is very simple.
 

Mexecutioner

Well-known member
Thank you. My use case is very different as I work outdoors with landscapes. I have been intrigued by the idea of moving from digital MF cameras to ‘full’ medium format backs on an actus type rig for the superior IQ and camera movements, but cannot see how you can adequately manage focus of very high megapixel sensors without an integrated EVF. This would seem to confirm that MF back systems are still not quite up to that task.
I don't see what the problem is, you can focus quite accurately without an EVF regardless of the subject matter you are shooting, whether you are stacking or not. Zooming in on the back of the IQ4 while in live view offers more than enough information to determine if the subjects are in focus. Some people like tethering to a laptop on the field as well. I personally don't, but can totally appreciate the advantage of that method.
 

Phase V

Member
That´s an impressive camera setup for sure, but is it that much better than
the Novoflex Castel solution which seems to me much more lighter and
smaller, though you have the same lens and back.
 

vjbelle

Well-known member
Thank you. My use case is very different as I work outdoors with landscapes. I have been intrigued by the idea of moving from digital MF cameras to ‘full’ medium format backs on an actus type rig for the superior IQ and camera movements, but cannot see how you can adequately manage focus of very high megapixel sensors without an integrated EVF. This would seem to confirm that MF back systems are still not quite up to that task.
I have yet to find an EVF that matches the resolution I can get from the LCD with 100% live view and a loupe. Medium format is more than up to the task.....

Victor B.
 

gerald.d

Well-known member
Thank you. My use case is very different as I work outdoors with landscapes. I have been intrigued by the idea of moving from digital MF cameras to ‘full’ medium format backs on an actus type rig for the superior IQ and camera movements, but cannot see how you can adequately manage focus of very high megapixel sensors without an integrated EVF. This would seem to confirm that MF back systems are still not quite up to that task.
As others have rightly mentioned, for landscape use, live view on the digital back would work fine. For what I do I don't have any option other than to shoot tethered (software on the Mac controls the camera), so the performance of the LCD on the digital back (I used to shoot with the IQ3 100) isn't really relevant. I can just sit in a chair and control everything from there.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

cjl

Member
Thanks for everyone’s advice on focusing on MF back LCD screens outdoors. I admit that my experience with this is limited to use of the LCDs on prior generation DSLRs using Hoodman-style loupes, which I always found a PITA. The advent of mirrorless cameras, especially those with the recent vintage EVFs, strike me fundamentally as a better solution, especially in bright sun or rain. The Fuji GFX 100 works well this way. However, I clearly need to fish out my old Hoodman and go test one of the new IQ series (price be damned ;-). Thanks again.
As others have rightly mentioned, for landscape use, live view on the digital back would work fine. For what I do I don't have any option other than to shoot tethered (software on the Mac controls the camera), so the performance of the LCD on the digital back (I used to shoot with the IQ3 100) isn't really relevant. I can just sit in a chair and control everything from there.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

Boinger

Member
Thanks for everyone’s advice on focusing on MF back LCD screens outdoors. I admit that my experience with this is limited to use of the LCDs on prior generation DSLRs using Hoodman-style loupes, which I always found a PITA. The advent of mirrorless cameras, especially those with the recent vintage EVFs, strike me fundamentally as a better solution, especially in bright sun or rain. The Fuji GFX 100 works well this way. However, I clearly need to fish out my old Hoodman and go test one of the new IQ series (price be damned ;-). Thanks again.
I have a hoodman loop that I do use with the LCD if needed. It really depends on the amount of light hitting your screen on the digital back. In my use case I didn't use the loop that much but it was handy to have if there was a lot of glare. The screen is decently bright for most normal use. In fact in my case I made a mistake when I first got the DB, I had the brightness set so high that it was actually causing me to underexpose all my shots by quite a lot. So whatever that information is worth there you have it.

In terms of focusing an EVF MF camera vs a DB MF camera, I think the DB MF is easier to focus manually than a GFX 100 but that is my opinion other's may vary.
 

vjbelle

Well-known member
Thanks for everyone’s advice on focusing on MF back LCD screens outdoors. I admit that my experience with this is limited to use of the LCDs on prior generation DSLRs using Hoodman-style loupes, which I always found a PITA. The advent of mirrorless cameras, especially those with the recent vintage EVFs, strike me fundamentally as a better solution, especially in bright sun or rain. The Fuji GFX 100 works well this way. However, I clearly need to fish out my old Hoodman and go test one of the new IQ series (price be damned ;-). Thanks again.
I highly recommend that you try a loupe made by Schneider or Peak if you can find one. The Hoodman is truly inferior to a high quality loupe. The visual experience is very dramatic. I rely so heavily on my loupes that I have spares. Most of my loupes are 4X power and very clear.....

Victor B.
 

Kuky

New member
Hi Gerald,

Sorry for the delay, it is hard to speak about a comparison with a lens I don't own. What I can say is that I am very happy with the 105mm Rodenstock. One of my first reasons to buy it was that my dealer tould me that the lens was developed as a "cost no object" lens for control of the quality of the output of sensor wafers and after that was published as the ultimate macro lens. The ring on the lens is used to adopt an element inside the lens to the actual magnification of the object inside the picture. I compose my picture, then I hold a ruler published by Rodenstock (http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/messkarten.pdf) inside the liveview of the viewer and read from the ruler the best setting for the lens, adapt it and make my sequence of pictures. Hope it helps:).

Kind regards

Wolfgang
Hi,
Trying to resurect this old thread. I have almost the same setup: Actus-XL (upgraded from Ultima D) + Cognisys stepper motor + Rodenstock 105 macro. Questions:

1. The ruler you mention is this one Rodenstock Ruler ?? The one you linked does not exist anymore.
2. Do you know the value of Dist/Rev in Cognisys module so distance is correct when focusing?
 

Kuky

New member
Hi,
Trying to resurect this old thread. I have almost the same setup: Actus-XL (upgraded from Ultima D) + Cognisys stepper motor + Rodenstock 105 macro. Questions:

1. The ruler you mention is this one Rodenstock Ruler ?? The one you linked does not exist anymore.
2. Do you know the value of Dist/Rev in Cognisys module so distance is correct when focusing?
Reply to myself, if somebody with a similar system sees this maybe you can send me a message.

For the moment I am using

Dist/Rev = 16.00mm
Backlash = 0

Seems to be working quite precisely, if I will change them I will post it here.
 
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