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Worried about lack of tilt... Phase One XT vs. Arca RM3dii

MGaillard

New member
Hi everyone,

I just joined because I'm curious if there is anyone out there who has made the jump from a tech camera with all the movements of a LF camera to the XT. I am considering making the switch from my RM3dii to the XT for my IQ4, but I definitely am concerned about the absence of tilt.

My hope is that there are those of you out there who had the same concern but made the switch anyway, and then found that it wasn't nearly as big of an issue as anticipated.

I'm also wondering about any other comments those of you who own the XT might have about your experiences with it and how it compares to earlier tech cameras in the field.
 

MGaillard

New member
Mostly for landscapes to maximize DOF. Focus stacking is cumbersome and not always effective with landscapes as you may know. I switched from an 8x10 a while back, so I’m very attached to movements, especially tilt.
 

Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Well-known member
I didn't "switch" because I didn't own a modern tech camera - I learned swings and tilts on a wooden "Full Plate" camera about 50 years ago. When the XT was announced, I decided I could really use shifts in my landscape work (to keep trees vertical in wide-angle shots but mostly for panoramas) but was disappointed at the lack of tilt. So I didn't buy it.

Then a year later I made the mistake of talking to my dealer who showed me the image quality of the Rodenstock lenses in prints. (His name isn't Dante, but should have been.) Despite my misgivings about tilt, I bought. Now, to answer your question, I find I really don't miss it as much as I feared. Here's why.

In making large prints, typically in the 24 by 48 inch category, I cannot tell the difference between shots at F11 (normally my smallest aperture) from shots at F16 or even F22. In other words, focussing with live view gives me perfectly good sharpness IN PRINT. I emphasize that because I can certainly see evidence of diffraction on screen, even after using Capture One's diffraction "correction" - but I'm very hard pressed to see it in print.

Of course, you can still do focus stacking though not as easily as with the XF.

I'd be interested in others' views on the relevance of diffraction limitations when printing with a pigment ink printer. May be different from dye-based printers which produce more DPI.
 

MGaillard

New member
That’s very helpful, Bill. Thank you. I, too, never use an aperture smaller than f11 (and almost always at between 8 and 11) for fear of negating the precision I sought in the first place. I use a Rodenstock 70... what do you use?

I do make prints up to 63 on the short dimension, so perhaps it would start to be noticeable. But maybe not.It sounds as though it might not.

All in all, a positive and enthusiastic review for the XT? Any cautionary tales or specific advice?

Thanks for your time!
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
Mostly for landscapes to maximize DOF. Focus stacking is cumbersome and not always effective with landscapes as you may know. I switched from an 8x10 a while back, so I’m very attached to movements, especially tilt.
I know exactly what you mean. When I left my 4x5 behind, I was unwilling to leave the movements behind. I use tilt and swing more than I use shift, and often need tilt and swing simultaneously. Focus stacking is not an option most of the time for what I do.
 

MGaillard

New member
I know exactly what you mean. When I left my 4x5 behind, I was unwilling to leave the movements behind. I use tilt and swing more than I use shift, and often need tilt and swing simultaneously. Focus stacking is not an option most of the time for what I do.
I feel this need to get it as though I’m really missing something, but it seems the biggest bonus is the absence of cables and some of the fiddly stuff. Not needing to do LCC’s seems helpful, too.
Do you have an XT? I’d love to hear about your experience.
 

rsinclair

Member
Hi everyone,

I just joined because I'm curious if there is anyone out there who has made the jump from a tech camera with all the movements of a LF camera to the XT. I am considering making the switch from my RM3dii to the XT for my IQ4, but I definitely am concerned about the absence of tilt.

My hope is that there are those of you out there who had the same concern but made the switch anyway, and then found that it wasn't nearly as big of an issue as anticipated.

I'm also wondering about any other comments those of you who own the XT might have about your experiences with it and how it compares to earlier tech cameras in the field.
Hi,

Like you, tilt is my friend in some of my landscapes, although not always (think within forests and trees) and I love my Rm with the Rodie 40 and 90; the 40 practically lives on the body. And like you, I'm not so much a focus stacker, although have had to resort on occasion. And also like you, when the XT was announced, I was concerned about the lack of tilt and had to ponder that pretty hard. But, at the time it was announced I was headed out a few months later on a month-long winter project in the high Arctic (Svalbard) and knew the winter conditions, in particular, could be challenging even with the most efficient of gear. But the additional consideration I had is that with the XT I could both extend the range as well as fill in my Rodie lenses with the 23/32/70, giving me a kit that would have the 23/32/40/70/90. So I made the leap while still keeping the Rm.

My experience with the XT in the extreme cold and windy conditions sold me on it. I can't imagine having to deal with the cables and fussing with the settings on the lens on the Rm at -30C and 40MPH winds! But as mentioned, the quality of the lenses produces remarkable images. With the wide lenses (23/32), much of the time I can get sufficient DoF without tilt and diffraction that my old eyes can perceive in a print. The 70 not so, but then I might pull out the 90 on the Rm and do a stitched image to get the necessary field of view.

So I didn't so much "make the jump" as extend and/or expand my kit and am glad I did. At this point, if I'm working out of the car, then both bodies and all the lenses are in the Pelican and I have both the IQ4 and the IQ4 Achro so both are loaded and ready to shoot. If working out of a backpack, I can still fit both bodies in the ThinkTank and just limit the lenses and backs.

Hope this helps.

_Robert
Website
 

Mexecutioner

Well-known member
You could get the Cambo lenses with tilt and the X-shutter, one small, apparently robust cable will have to fo to your IQ4, but that's about it.
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
I feel this need to get it as though I’m really missing something, but it seems the biggest bonus is the absence of cables and some of the fiddly stuff. Not needing to do LCC’s seems helpful, too.
Do you have an XT? I’d love to hear about your experience.
No, I don't have an XT. I went a different route. I wanted to balance three things: cost (modest budget), movements (everything I had with my 4x5 view camera), and flexibility (ability to use the imaging device on or off the view camera). https://www.robdeloephotography.com/Pages/Toyo-VX23D-and-Fuji-GFX-50R
 

Steve Hendrix

Well-known member
Hi everyone,

I just joined because I'm curious if there is anyone out there who has made the jump from a tech camera with all the movements of a LF camera to the XT. I am considering making the switch from my RM3dii to the XT for my IQ4, but I definitely am concerned about the absence of tilt.

My hope is that there are those of you out there who had the same concern but made the switch anyway, and then found that it wasn't nearly as big of an issue as anticipated.

I'm also wondering about any other comments those of you who own the XT might have about your experiences with it and how it compares to earlier tech cameras in the field.

You could get a pretty good idea of what life without tilt - as well as limited shift - would be like with your RM3Di. Simply don't use tilt for a bit and restrict yourself to 12mm maximum shift, and you'll have a good idea of the physical limitations and whether you can live with them or not. Outside of that, I would take the experience of shooting with the XT Shutter over any other digital tech camera experience ever.

I have to say that all these years I have only tolerated having to go back and forth between the back and front of the camera - often multiple times, depending on which digital back and which shutter system I was using, and because there was no alternative. Having complete control from the digital back interface allows me to maintain my focus in the scene in front of me, rather than the front and back camera controls. (except focusing, but that I can do from behind the camera)


Steve Hendrix/CI
 

med

Active member
It should be noted that as long as you have an IQ4-150 back, then some of the benefits mentioned in this thread are already available with the RM3Di, but with some caveats. Namely:

1. LCCs, or lack thereof... is a function of the BSI sensor in the IQ4-150 and is a benefit on any tech camera it is used with.

2. Cable-free, and lack of fussing about both in front of the camera... as long as you are using the electronic shutter in the IQ4, then you don’t need a cable or any opening/closing of the shutter in front. Just control of the aperture. Of course if you need to use flash or have any motion in the frame then you will need a shutter in the lens and this is where the XT really shines.

As an owner of the RM3Di and IQ4-150, as long as I’m using ES then the only things I’m missing from the XT are a shutter button, movement metadata, and a slightly more compact and sleek body. But I gain more shift ability and tilt....
 

Shashin

Well-known member
I'd be interested in others' views on the relevance of diffraction limitations when printing with a pigment ink printer. May be different from dye-based printers which produce more DPI.
The effects of diffraction are overstated. I have no problem using f/16 or f/22 on my 33x44 sensor. And when compared with film where making unsharp masks was a huge undertaking, using sharpening with digital files gives so much control. And cognitively speaking, viewers are more attracted to sharpness than resolution. And even with my 40MP camera, a 40" print can't really show all the detail in the file.

Long story short, I agree that simply stopping down works well for digital images. Just because you can see the effects of diffraction when making comparisons to other images at 100% monitor view, does not mean diffraction is significant.
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
The effects of diffraction are overstated. I have no problem using f/16 or f/22 on my 33x44 sensor. And when compared with film where making unsharp masks was a huge undertaking, using sharpening with digital files gives so much control. And cognitively speaking, viewers are more attracted to sharpness than resolution. And even with my 40MP camera, a 40" print can't really show all the detail in the file.

Long story short, I agree that simply stopping down works well for digital images. Just because you can see the effects of diffraction when making comparisons to other images at 100% monitor view, does not mean diffraction is significant.
I routinely shoot at f/16, even when using tilt or swing to put the plane of focus where I need it. I'll even use f/19 or f/22 (depending on the lens) if that's what the image needs. So I'm with you on this. It's much more important to me that features I wanted acceptably sharp are -- rather than that others are resolved in maximum detail.

On a related point, Adobe just released ACR with "SuperResolution" -- same idea as GigaPixel AI, in other words, uprezzing based on machine learning. The function doubles X and Y dimensions, so my 50 MP GFX 50R file is 200 MP when it's done. I was curious to see how it compared to uprezzing using the built-in "dumb" algorithm in Lightroom. I fed SuperResolution an f/22 file because I wanted to see what it did with a soft image lacking fine detail. This is at 100%. The SuperResolution version is at left; Adobe Lightroom's uprezzed version is at right.

Welcome to the future of photography. The details you see in the SuperResolution version are invented, which bothers me a lot but bothers most people not at all.

Sample 1.jpg
 
Correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe all the Rodenstock lenses for the XT camera come in a TS configuration, if you are willing to pay the extra cost.
 
I see. Just curious; does anyone know why the TS lenses need a cable, while the regular X shutter version of the same lens does not need the cable?
 

Mexecutioner

Well-known member
I see. Just curious; does anyone know why the TS lenses need a cable, while the regular X shutter version of the same lens does not need the cable?
There are no contacts on the lens panel of the TS version, I imagine there was a design limitation there
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
Yes, but they need a cable:

The XT body encoding (rise/fall/shift in the metadata) does not work for TS panels or any other lens panel connected using the cable rather than native XT lens panel pins and the blue shutter release no longer works.

So on the XT you can have tilt/swing or you can have body encoding and built-in shutter release, but you can't have both (at least, as it stands today).

I'm not passing judgement on which of those is more valuable – that is up to any given user and may well vary based on the lens focal length (e.g. some users may find tilt more valuable on longer lenses where DOF is a more frequent challenge; others may disagree).
 
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