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Hard to decide the right tech cam setup... still fighting

usm

Member
This would be my first tech cam. I worked with a Leica M and a 28mm Shift lens; +- 11mm shift.
I have a Hasselblad CFVii50c - 33x44 Sensor. I was close to buy a Factum from a forum member, but sadly the deal didn't work. So I also missed a HR 35mm lens deal.

Now I have time to rethink about the opportunities:

First
: Weight and size is an issue for me, I take this setup with me for high mountain walks and city walks. So no car parking shots.
Second: How much rise?
Which is more useful: 35mm with 15mm rise or 40mm with 23mm rise?
I know about the Focal Length Visualizer: Vertically the 35mm +-15mm is kind of equal to 40mm +- 20mm which matches my old 28mm 24x36 setup.
I am not sure about the 15mm shift of the Factum - is it enough for architecture?
The Cambo WRC 400 has a 20mm movement and is as light as the factum (I still find the factum is nicer looking but I can "rethink" this).
The Alpa STC is just to much money.

How much rise is really needed? Is, as much as possible, always good?
The PhaseOne XT is limited to 12mm - I am sure they know why 12mm is enough...

Also I am not sure about the lens: since no of the Schneider lenses would work with my sensor I have to stick with the Rodenstocks.
I don't need a lens wider den 30mm.
The HR 32 is to heavy and to expensive.
The HR 35mm is my favourite - light but limited movements (there are tests that 15mm are possible). This lens would give me the same as my Leica M 28mm shift setup.
The HR 40mm gives me more shift but the Factum is limited - so I have to change to a Cambo WRC 400.
This will be +- the same wight - the Cambo is 100g lighter, the lens is 100g more.
But the HR 40mm lens is very close to my XCD45p without movement of corse.

For later on, if I decide to buy another lens (something between 60mm to 80mm) it would be better to have more movements.
For example the HR 70mm with a 100mm IC would give me 39/35 mm shift.
May be I can upgrade to a Rm3di from the Factum by buying just a "half" Rm3di?
There is no "upgrade" for Cambo.

Another thought was the Hasselblad Flexbody with a Distagon 40mm lens:
This setup is very heavy, the 40mm IF lens alone is around 1000g + Flexbody + H Adapter.
It has also limited movements.
And I can use the aperture mode of the 907x?!

What about a HTS 1.5 + 0,8 Converter + 24/28mm lens?
I guess it's heavy and expensive.
But does it record the lens, shift settings to focus?
And I can use the aperture mode of the 907x?!


About the Schneider lenses: Are they all not good for the 33x44 (Hasselblad, Fuji, Sony) Sensor?

Last thing:
Important for me is the "out of focus" rendering of the lens.
How sharp a lens is, is easy to find out but to find the "out of focus" rendering of a lens wide open is hard.
So I am looking for the "other side":
HR 35mm 4.0 wide open with closest focus possible pointed to a house, street, what ever.
HR 40mm 4.0 wide open with closest focus possible pointed to a house, street, what ever. (I have one)

THanks for reading.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Why do you need a tech cam? You can control for perspective in post. If you need to travel light, as you are finding, these will not be the lightest systems. Since you don't seem to want tilt/swing, that is simple. The other option is simply a shift adapter for medium-format lenses with a camera like a Fuji GFX. That will be lighter and more flexible as you can use the camera with native lenses like a regular camera as well.

Also, the lenses designed for tech cams a) do not have large maximum apertures as smaller formats and b) are not designed to work at their maximum aperture. That does not mean they cannot be used at maximum aperture, but there are better lenses on "regular" cameras for that. Medium-format lenses from Hasselblad, Mamiya/Phase, Pentax, etc., will give better wide-open performance and be faster.

Are you going to use this camera handheld? Most tech cams are designed for tripods. That does not mean you can't, I used a Horseman SW612 and 4x5 flatbed handheld, but you should think about that. Obviously, cameras like the Cambo WRC are going to be better for that than a monorail like the Cambo Actus. But a monorail will give more movements.

You should look at getting your hand on one of these cameras and seeing their reality. They can be really great tools, but they are not going to be like a regular camera. You as a photographer are going to have to do more work to get these cameras to work for you. But when you do, they can be very rewarding.
 

dchew

Well-known member
The only thing that bothers me about the 400 is tripod mounting adapter design. In order to switch from horizontal movement to vertical, you need to either unscrew and move that adapter or get two of them and permanently mount them. That makes the camera take up a lot more space in the bag. The one thing the Alpa STC has going for it is the working size (size with tripod adapters / handgrips and whatever else you need in the field) isn't much bigger than the camera itself. It is expensive, but isn't it about the same price as the Factum? Not sure where you are and VAT effects:
Factum at Arca-shop
STC at Alpa.swiss
(Alpa is in CHF, Arca in Euros - 1.08:1 right now)
It seems like you are doing a good job thinking about the tradeoffs; just remember to factor in everything you need to make your images the way you want.
Factum:
  • Tilt for every lens built in w/ no additional cost or weight
  • Integration with Rm3d
  • Limited to 15mm +-
  • Not sure how stable that L-bracket is for horizontal stitching
  • Unique helical for fine focusing; this may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your needs and how you work
Cambo 400:
  • Best value out of the box
  • Best movement @ 20mm +-
  • Need tilt-swing mounts for all lenses; added cost/weight for each lens
  • Size with tripod mounts (?)
Alpa STC:
  • Probably the most expensive (?)
  • Most compact and simple to swap rise/fall to horizontal stitch
  • Tilt needs one adapter for all lenses and will not work with SK lenses wider than 60xl
  • Reasonable movement @ 18mm +-
I really like the Cambo 400. If I was not constantly switching between horizontal stitch and rise/fall I probably would have gone that route. I do both frequently, so for me the STC was the best option. If panoramas are not of interest, you might never need to swap over to the horizontal orientation.*

Will brings up a good point especially if you want great out of focus bokeh. A simple Sony a7riv with adapters for shift lenses can probably go a long way. However, you already have the digital back, so I assume you want a solution for that.

Obviously how much movement you need is wrapped into what you shoot and which lenses you choose. I used the STC for 10 years, but ultimately added the 12+ so I could move in two dimensions at once 20mm+-. However, when I go in the mountains it will always be with the STC. If you intend to add another camera soon down the road, the Factum 15mm limit may be perfectly fine.

Dave

*Edit: the other thing horizontal stitching allows you to do is blend two images together with the back oriented vertically, but stitching horizontally. With your 44x33 back, a 13mm shift gives you a 44x58.7 blended image, and a reduced equivalent focal length of 0.75x (expanded FoV).
 
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Paul2660

Well-known member
The 35mm HR and HR-S have a 70mm IC. Not ideal for shifts or other movements. With a 50MP sensor you will get about 10mm of shift before you start to see the hard IC indicator built into the lens. This will create a hard black vignette that can’t be corrected as the IC indicator is blocking out the image. You may also see a faint white band especially in shots where you have a blue sky, before the black which can also create a problem. This is true for the 23mm and 28mm and 35mm all with 70mm IC (image circle). These lenses all have a pink/light magenta band on the barrel. You can expect a bit more rise maybe 12.5mm before you see this same thing.

The 40mm HR-W has a 90mm IC and will produce much cleaner movements past 5mm. You will not hit the hard indicator with a 50mm back until around 25mm of shift or rise. Great lens and usually available on used market however I would still make sure you can return it as I am not a big fan of shipping these lenses around even the 40mm can be damaged by careless packaging or careless freight handling.

As for tech camera each has their advantage and disadvantages and all are highly expensive. Key again is working with a dealer or reseller that can backup the camera with service. Getting these type of units serviced is not an easy deal. None of them offer direct user warranty work at least Arca doesn’t. Cambo might along with Alpa but the preference is through a dealer.

Paul C
 
If you are looking at the Cambo 400, I would also look at the Cambo WRS-1600, which has a rotating back. This is my current camera. For me this is an indispensable function- not wanting to take the digital back off and on in the field (or as Dave mentioned, having two tripod mounts- had not thought of that!). The new Phase XT camera is a slightly more streamlined version of the same camera, also with a rotating back. The difference is that the XT is limited to 12mm of shift, I am debating switching to the XT, to save some size and weight when hiking in the field, but the XT is considerably more expensive.
 

algrove

Well-known member
If Alpa out of the question then cannot help. I love mine and the basic kit with IQ4150 and 6 batteries is about 10 lbs with 3 lenses (HR40, HR70, S-K150). Have you tried used. Call CI.
 

usm

Member
The 35mm HR and HR-S have a 70mm IC. Not ideal for shifts or other movements. With a 50MP sensor you will get about 10mm of shift before you start to see the hard IC indicator built into the lens. This will create a hard black vignette that can’t be corrected as the IC indicator is blocking out the image. You may also see a faint white band especially in shots where you have a blue sky, before the black which can also create a problem. This is true for the 23mm and 28mm and 35mm all with 70mm IC (image circle). These lenses all have a pink/light magenta band on the barrel. You can expect a bit more rise maybe 12.5mm before you see this same thing.
In this Thread the maximum rise is 15mm with a 33x44 sensor.

It was this lens in that comparison:

This is important for me, to know how much shift is in real possible.
I also wrote an email to Rodenstock, they confirmed the 15mm. But on the official sheets is just 9/11 mm written.
So what is true or are there different HR 35mm lenses called Digaron?


Trying to answer the great post from Dave:
The horizontal shift is in my mind for interior shots where I would use 24 or 21mm lens. I did this with the tiny Super Elmar 21mm.

What is the size/weight of a WRC 400 with two tripod mounts?
Since I will use this setup just with a tripod L don’t need any grips.


How stable is the L-Bracket from the Factum? This is a good question, does someone know? I used an Arca L-bracket on my Leica M and now on 907x50c.
I preferred the Factum, but it is hard to find and maybe hard do sell if I want to.
The Factum would also fit in my P60 Hybrid Head I already have.


The Cambo WRC is the only one I can think about to buy new and also the after market seams to be better. I have to find out the size an weight with the two mounts. I could turn the p60 head for horizontal shots, but again I don’t know how stable this is.


The Alpa was always to expensive but if I can found a used one and lens.
I asked Alpa about the cost to fit a HR 35mm lens to there szstem. It was around two time what Arca is charging. I like the STC but have to find a good deal.


About the out of focus thing:
It is not about the Bokeh like my Summilux 50mm is doing.
I have to know how much blur a image can be. For example Amy 28mm/2.8 shift lens on a 24x36 was nice. Also the 45p/4.0 on the 907x50c is good. The 30mm/3.5 is not blur enough. So, how does a HR 35mm/4.0 look like?



Should mention that you can also rent any of these cameras for a week from Capture Integration- a good way to trial.
Well, I am in Austria, so no Capture Integration or renting stations.


Thanks for reading.
Mario
 

usm

Member
About the costs: A Hasselblad Adapter from Alpa is about 980 €, from Arca 585 € and from Cambo around 360 €.

To buy used is the way to go.
I found an interesting deal for an already Alpa mounted lens. In this case I have to found a used STC. If not it’s waste of a lot of money.

Best would be to find a right set of camera and lens together.

But first l have to clear two things:
The real max. rise and the “defocus” rendering on a HR 35mm lens.

Greetings.
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
If you have an IC of 70mm you will not get 15mm of shift or rise with a Rodenstock lens due to the internal IC indicator without a hard vignetting at the corners. I have used both the 28mm HR and 35mm HR on the smaller 33 x 44 sensor and about the max clean movement is 10mm maybe 12mm in a pinch. The 35mm HR is limited to a 70mm IC. Great lens. Very sharp but not the greatest for movements.

Paul C
 

f8orbust

Member
Buying used / ex-demo etc. is definitely the way to go ... if you can, but this sort of gear doesn't come up for sale that often so don't expect to see it in your local camera store. Plus, some brands - e.g. Alpa - can retain value amazingly well.

I don't think there's much to choose between Cambo, Arca-Swiss and Alpa technical cameras in terms of functionality. On a budget, Cambo is probably your best bet. In terms of system size Alpa and A/S have a lot to offer, with Alpa winning it by a nose for me because of their great customer support (A/S don't even have a website).

A bit OT: Many have predicted the death of medium format digital over the years, but NOTHING compares to the image quality of a medium format digital back paired with the quality glass you can use on these cameras. Even digital backs from years ago (think P25, P30 etc.) are capable of producing mind blowing image quality, and can be picked up now for a fraction of their original cost. Also there's process - the tactile joy of using one of these mechanical camera bodies / lens combos to craft an image. It's difficult to describe if you haven't shot medium or large format film before, but it's an entirely different way (or attitude) of shooting which puts the craft of photography front and centre. It's just something that (IMHO) doesn't happen with digital-SLR-whizz-bang-autofocus-do-it-all-take-lots-of-frames-and-chimp-chimp-chimpity-chimp cameras (even if you shoot them in manual mode with all the bells and whistles turned off).

Jim
 
If you have an IC of 70mm you will not get 15mm of shift or rise with a Rodenstock lens due to the internal IC indicator without a hard vignetting at the corners. I have used both the 28mm HR and 35mm HR on the smaller 33 x 44 sensor and about the max clean movement is 10mm maybe 12mm in a pinch. The 35mm HR is limited to a 70mm IC. Great lens. Very sharp but not the greatest for movements.

Paul C
Paul, do you use lens cast correction (LCC) with your images? Alkibiades posted some good lens-cast-corrected images of the 35mm HR with 15mm rise/fall (using a 33x44mm sensor). The hard vignette didn't occur until around 18mm rise/fall.
 
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Paul2660

Well-known member
Yes. Always had the LCC after the original shot. Mainly due to the color cast issues the sensor had. The LCC seemed to process this very well.

I have looked for my testing shots but they have been lost.

I mainly shoot landscape outdoors. What I tended to see with the 70mm IC on the cropped sensor was the distracting white band that appeared before the hard vignetting. This was not really fixable even with the LCC on a solid subject like sky but did not cause problems when there were traditional landscape features involved like trees or water etc.

The 35mm HR is a great lens. And probably has less distortion than the 40mm HR-W.

Seems that 15mm of movement (at least with shift) is possible based on the examples that you have so it would be a good possibility.

I was using the IQ150 when I tried out the lens.

Paul C
 

usm

Member
Got an answer: They said that the 70mm IC are theoretical (I think at every aperture).
A test setup shows a useable IC at around 77mm (I think the lens is full open).

Is the IC getting bigger when the lens is set to 5.6 or 8?

20210127_120937.jpg
 

Jeffrey

Active member
Of course the decision is subjective. There's no substitute for test shooting the cameras, lenses and backs. I have a TON of fun shooting the XT, IQ4-150 achro back, and the 32mm Rodie lens. A super easy work flow that then leaves the decision of which IR Cut filter to use with each image. Experimenting and shooting the same image using different IR Cut filters is just plain fun. The other consideration is the total weight of the gear. At this stage in my life I prefer to have a backpack that doesn't weigh anywhere near what I used to lug around. One body, back, lens, a few filters, and a spare battery. I wish you good luck in your decision making process and great shooting afterwards!
 

usm

Member
I am referring to this threat:

Form me, as a starter in MF and tech cam, it is always a mystery which lens fits to which sensor (Sony, Dalsa, what ever...)
I have a Hasselblad CFVii50c, for that sensor I have the feeling non of the Schneider lenses are good.

Is there a list or who can explain me which lens goes with which Digitalback?
Or which lenses are good for the CFVii50c?
Also important would be which lens can be remounted on which tech cams like Alpa, Arca Swiss R... or Cambo Wide....

Because I am still trying to decide between Alpa STC and Arca Swiss, the range for the prices of the lenses are so wide:

LensAlpaArca Swiss
Rodenstock HR Digaron W 4,0/70 mm€ 4763€ 3530
Rodenstock HR Digaron W 4,0/40 mm€ 6447€ 4885
Rodenstock HR Digaron SW 5,6/90 mm€ 7294€ 6225
Rodenstock HR Digaron S 4,0/35 mm€ 6351€ 4915
Rodenstock HR Digaron S 4,0/100 mm-€ 4070
Schneider Apo-Digitar 4.5/90 mm SB34€ 3075-

I am still looking for a reasonable solution for a 90-100 mm lens with a good IC vor landscape and Macro/Repro use!

Thanks.
Mario
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
If you can find a used copy of the older Rodenstock 90mm, either the HR with magenta/pink band around lens or the HR-W blue band around lens you should do fine. Optically both are close to each other.

The 90mm HR-SW is newest and has a yellow band. Much heavier than either of previous models. Is a symmetrical design not sure if the older versions are retro focus or symmetrical. The HR-SW needs a back extension on most mounts. Just adds a bit of complexity. Optically a stellar optic but carries an extreme price.

HR version can have a ghosting flare problem.

Paul C
 

vieri

Well-known member
I am referring to this threat:

Form me, as a starter in MF and tech cam, it is always a mystery which lens fits to which sensor (Sony, Dalsa, what ever...)
I have a Hasselblad CFVii50c, for that sensor I have the feeling non of the Schneider lenses are good.

Is there a list or who can explain me which lens goes with which Digitalback?
Or which lenses are good for the CFVii50c?
Also important would be which lens can be remounted on which tech cams like Alpa, Arca Swiss R... or Cambo Wide....

Because I am still trying to decide between Alpa STC and Arca Swiss, the range for the prices of the lenses are so wide:

LensAlpaArca Swiss
Rodenstock HR Digaron W 4,0/70 mm€ 4763€ 3530
Rodenstock HR Digaron W 4,0/40 mm€ 6447€ 4885
Rodenstock HR Digaron SW 5,6/90 mm€ 7294€ 6225
Rodenstock HR Digaron S 4,0/35 mm€ 6351€ 4915
Rodenstock HR Digaron S 4,0/100 mm-€ 4070
Schneider Apo-Digitar 4.5/90 mm SB34€ 3075-

I am still looking for a reasonable solution for a 90-100 mm lens with a good IC vor landscape and Macro/Repro use!

Thanks.
Mario
Hello Mario,

A quick note on the price differences: Alpa lenses do come with an helical to focus them, while with the Arca-Swiss system the helical is built in the bodies, hence the price difference in the lenses (at least, that should explain part of it).

Another note, about the Phase One XT & shift: since you can use the camera only with the newest generation of backs with larger sensors, and given the Rodenstock HR lenses offered by Phase with the XT, you would benefit from more than 12mm shift only using the 70mm and 90mm Rodenstock. With all other lenses, 12mm is enough to use pretty much the full image circle, even when stitching in two directions for multi-row panoramas. As well, keeping shift to 12mm allowed for the system to be much smaller and lighter than any comparable alternative, while offering shift on both axis. If interested, see my review of the camera, with graphics visually showing this: https://www.vieribottazzini.com/2021/02/simply-revolutionary-phase-one-xt-review.html. Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Vieri
 
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