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Tethering with the Surface Pro 2: Enabling with the Phase IQ Series + Credo MFDBs

jlm

Workshop Member
when you eventually want to get your C1 session off the Surface Pro to your studio computer, you can use the USB3 CF (Lexar) reader to dump onto a CF card
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
General photos of my tethering set-up with the Cambo and SP2 are on my blog: Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2: A Game Changer for Phase One IQ Series and Leaf Credo Medium Format Digital Backs | Kendoophotography's Blog

I have found that the best USB3 cord length is 1.5 feet. I had tried to use a left angle USB3 adapter and a 1 foot cord, but tethering wasn't working well, and file sent to C1 Pro inconsistent (cheap adapter I surmise). It's too bad because that was really a nice sharp clean setup! I use a 3 foot USB3 cord when I need to work in portrait orientation and turn the MFDB adapter.

Photos of the sun shade are up above---about a dozen postings. I can provide more details if you need....

ken
 

narikin

New member
I've been working tethered to a Surface Pro for a year now. IQ180 via USB3 of course. works great, and you get a 100% accurate 'Retina' display view of your image to check focus/depth of field, etc. I stitch with Alpa, so find it very helpful to work this way, and it's relatively lightweight.

Hesitated to post about it, as you usually end up with the Apple crowd chirping up with silly comments about Windows, etc. But until Apple release an iPad 'Pro', this is a truly excellent solution for IQ series backs.

You do need your IQ 1 series to be Revision 2, ('About' on menu) as the Rev1 USB internals were not really up to the protocols. Phase upgraded mine under the 3 years warranty, and I would encourage others to get that done while covered, if you have an earlier IQ back.

Be sure to write to the internal memory of the Pro, not to an SDXC card in the Pro's card slot, as that's slower. I guess that card could be configured as a backup copy if it was mission critical. I just transfer the images + C1 proxies onto a superfast USB3 memory stick (Patriot 128Gb Supersonic Magnum USB3, about 200mb/s) when I'm done, and pull it all into the workstation, etc.

It should also be mentioned that the original Surface Pro '1' works perfectly and is incredible value on eBay now. Less $ than an iPad. It has less battery time than the Pro 2, but the screen, etc are the exact same. All this begs the question: why on earth spend $15,000 to upgrade IQ1 to IQ2 for wireless tablet viewing, when a $8 cable will link you to a Pro tablet with full C1 on it?
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
It really should not devolve into an Apple Mac vs Windows issue. (I don't like the Win 8 interface either, but it's easy enough to change with Classic Shell). I don't think anyone would really want to use the SP2 as their full-time C1 Pro image processor anyway, so it doesn't really matter if you're Mac or PC, imho. Just simply copy your files over to your PC workstation or to your Mac and process as usual with C1 Pro.

The SP2 is just a great viewing platform and focus and composition tool. This is not to say the IQ screens aren't great---they are the best on the market. It's just that the SP2 USB3 tethering option is such a great tool for aging eyes, and it is so easy to use.

ken
 

subrata1965

New member
All this begs the question: why on earth spend $15,000 to upgrade IQ1 to IQ2 for wireless tablet viewing, when a $8 cable will link you to a Pro tablet with full C1 on it?
IQ260 also has advantage of long exposure up to 60 min, if you need that.

Is it worth of spending $15,000 for up to 60 min long exposure? That is a personal decision.

I personally decided to use high mp 35mm DSLR for long exposures and long lens work simply for cost reason. But I don't get 60MP image either from 35mm DSLR.

Subrata
 

subrata1965

New member
It really should not devolve into an Apple Mac vs Windows issue. (I don't like the Win 8 interface either, but it's easy enough to change with Classic Shell). I don't think anyone would really want to use the SP2 as their full-time C1 Pro image processor anyway, so it doesn't really matter if you're Mac or PC, imho. Just simply copy your files over to your PC workstation or to your Mac and process as usual with C1 Pro.

The SP2 is just a great viewing platform and focus and composition tool. This is not to say the IQ screens aren't great---they are the best on the market. It's just that the SP2 USB3 tethering option is such a great tool for aging eyes, and it is so easy to use.

ken
+1

In this scenario, iPad is simply not an option. So SP or SP2 or any windows based tablet with USB 3 interface wins.

I'm not expecting any iPad from Apple w/ USB interface either. In addition, we will be needing more than a run time OS.

Subrata
 
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narikin

New member
Windows 8 is not so bad once you get over the learning hump. I took 'Start 8' off in the end, and the 8.1 free upgrade returns the Windows button to the corner. Right clicking on that (or Win + X keys) gives you plenty of admin control options.

Regardless, this is indeed an excellent solution that swung me over to tethering too. I had little interest in it before, but a real true 100% accurate view of focus, exposure and composition is simply great on location. If you are doing anything more complicated, like tilt-shift, then its truly essential. The past year I have nailed all my images for focus, which on a tech cam is not as easy as it might sound. Modern tech cam lenses are at their optimum wide open or just one stop down, and diffraction comes in fast after 2 stops, so accurate focusing and smart use of the restricted DOF is imperative.

Personally I don't bother with laptop-tripod clamps, and just sit the Surface Pro on my camera bag, which is slung bandoleer style with the bag to the front (its empty by this point, as the camera is on the tripod). You end up with a nice little work platform and the SP tablet directly to hand/eye sitting at your chest.

If you have an IQ1 or 2 series I would highly recommend it. As Ken says, you get a powerful full featured laptop included, and on longer trips can process/correct the files, apply LCCs etc, in the evening, while on the road. Capture One Pro DB edition is of course free, and you can't beat that price.
 
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Don Libby

Well-known member
Leaving Jackson Hole in the morning stopping off along the way at Valley of Fire where I hope to shoot Fire Wave with this setup. I'll be posting more later on.

Don
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
What makes the Surface Pro 2 with USB3 unique as an on-location tethering device is that it has a 4th gen Core i5 processor with 8GB RAM, running Windows 8 (nice touch screen capability to mimic the IQ MFDB screen's double-tap to zoom 100%)---it is basically a fully powered laptop in tablet form.

It's not merely tethering for viewing---it's viewing a full resolution 40/60/80 megapixel RAW file, and not a down-sized JPEG with jaggies. You can actually zoom in up to 400% on the Surface Pro! You see and work with your actual full res image file. Even tethered Live View is better, if nothing but for being able to use a larger screen.

C1 Pro 7 (I use the free DB version here) requires Intel Core 2 Duo or better, 4GB RAM minimum, 10GB storage minimum, and a "real" computer o/s such as Win 8. I don't think a "normal" tablet with an atom processor and 2GB of memory will work.

There are very few hybrid tablets with laptop power/features. Imho, the features of the Surface Pro 2 make it uniquely situated as the best portable tethering device for IQ and Credo MFDBs without compromise.

As technology improves, we may see a thinner and lighter Surface Pro option, but until then, I can find space for this 2lb package in my pack.

:)ken
 
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narikin

New member
Exactly. This is not really a tablet like any other - it is a full powered laptop in touchscreen tablet form.

No tiny tablet processor that can't handle anything photographic, but a high powered Intel processor with a full version of Windows installed, that can do everything any laptop/Macbook Pro can do. This means you can put all your screen calibration programs on it, Photoshop, Lightroom, the whole Adobe works if you want. Personally, like Ken, I just run Capture One on it, and screen calibration, but it does double as my laptop (with a rip-off keyboard) when I'm traveling. And as I'd always travel with some kind of laptop/tablet, it may as well be this.

It is not without its bugs and issues, but is a great device for photographers working with MF digital. Much better than a wireless jaggie jpeg to preview your images. I got the first version the week it was released in Feb last year, and have never looked back.
 

narikin

New member
Very interesting! Has anyone tried a lighter/smaller/cheaper win8/usb3 tablet like the asus transformer book? ASUS Transformer Book T100 Convertible Notebook Tablet, Specs & More
A smaller screen, atom processor and only 2gb ram, but maybe sufficient as a single-purpose device for tethered live view?

Nice tablet, but not powerful enough for driving C1 Pro. You need a full Intel mobile processor, not an atom one.
The Asus 'Taichi' is more aligned with this, but its heavier, bigger, always attached keyboard, 2 screens (?!) etc. The Surface Pro seems a better option to me, but YMMV.
 
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gebseng

Member
You need a full Intel mobile processor, not an atom one.
Do you know if C1 refuses to even start with an Atom processor and 2GB RAM, or will just show sluggish performance?

The ASUS TransformerBook is NOT a WindowsRT tablet with an ARM type processor, but runs regular "Intel x86" Windows 8.

I tried the Surface with an IQ140 in December, but was not too convinced of the Surface Pro V1 (I used a setup with a Leaf Aptus 75S and a tethered 11" Macbook for some years for outdoor stuff, and the Surface seemed no improvement in weight or battery life compared to that).

The Transformer book, apart from costing only € 370,-, is only half the weight of the Surface Pro, and claims to have better battery life also. But if C1 really won't start on it...

best,

geb
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
....
I tried the Surface with an IQ140 in December, but was not too convinced of the Surface Pro V1 (I used a setup with a Leaf Aptus 75S and a tethered 11" Macbook for some years for outdoor stuff, and the Surface seemed no improvement in weight or battery life compared to that).
If you're concerned about battery life and performance, the Surface Pro 2 has a dramatically improved battery life over the SP1, something like a 75% improvement as I recall reading, and a subsequent firmware update bumped battery performance another 20%. This, in addition to a faster Intel Core i5 chip and 8GB of RAM for more performance.

ken
 

GrahamWelland

Subscriber & Workshop Member
Absolutely correct about the battery life. However, I could also buy 2-3x Surface Pro tablets for the price of an equivalent Surface Pro 2 :poke:
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
When tethered, how does the viewing of images work.

I assume each time you fire the shutter the image will be displayed on the surface pro 2. But how does if handle looking back on images shot earlier in the day can you browse? Or do you have to copy all the files to the hard drive of the surface pro and look at them in a C 1 session? I have never worked tethered.

Does this approach work for browsing like Capture Pilot does with a wifi connection i.e. You can pull over a group of images and view them at 100%? I realize that these are not the actual raws but jogs but you still get an idea if the image has good focus.

Thanks
Paul
 
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