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Thread: tail worth more than dog?

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    tail worth more than dog?

    Is it true that digital interface systems like sliding adapters and plates to mount MF digital backs and focus actually cost more than high quality LF cameras like the Cambo Master that can be brought for peanuts compared to what they cost a few years ago -- or am I just looking in the wrong place?

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    Re: tail worth more than dog?

    It depends if you are comparing used Cambo vs new sliding adapters.

    In any event, it is a supply and demand scenario.

    Several years ago, I was offered a complete Linhof RC system for a pittance. I did not buy it because the shipping charges (Germany to Holland) were a few times that of the asking price (it is a heavy beast!).

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    Re: tail worth more than dog?

    Beyond supply and demand, even the most precise large format film systems were never designed with the tolerances required by a 5.2 micron digital back.

    As you tighten tolerances manufacturing costs (materials, labor skill, time, % of rejects, cost of machines required) go up very fast. Want to make something within 1mm? 0.01mm? High res digital backs need tolerances measured in microns (1 micron = 0.001mm).

    And as noted above used large format film cameras are in great supply and weak demand while digital accessories to make them viable digital cameras are in moderate supply and moderate demand.

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    Re: tail worth more than dog?

    I was specific about the Linhof RC because it is one precision carved beast. It sold for more than some of BMW cars of its time.

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    Re: tail worth more than dog?

    Thanks for this understandable explanation.

    Same seems to go for MF. Do LF systems require tighter tolerances for use with MFDB than Hasselblad V, Contax 645, Mamiya RB67 or any other MF camera system that was designed for film?

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    Re: tail worth more than dog?

    I went through that exercise a while ago.

    The answer is yes.

    Quite simply because regardless of what you hang in front of a medium format digital back (especially the current ones with dense pixels), it still becomes a medium format imaging system.

    With the larger area scan backs, the situation is slightly different but due to the scan nature, they would still require even more stable and precise set ups.

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    Re: tail worth more than dog?

    It really is a supply and demand sort of thing with the demand coming from folks who have large budgets. The tolerances are really not an issue--I get perfectly sharp images from my Linhof M679 which is a great camera, buy no superhuman tolerances compared to other high-end view camera systems. And as you point out, many MF film systems work very well with MFDB and a reflex system needs higher tolerances than a non-reflex system. And the tolerances for a 5.6 micron spot designed for optics used at f/5.6 (the most common open aperture for a view camera lens) is +/- 0.029mm (or +/- 29 microns) and current manufacturing can exceed that and cameras can be focused for that.

    Make no mistake, these backs and adapters are not cheap to manufacture. But photographic manufacturers can meet the tolerances.

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    Re: tail worth more than dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Beyond supply and demand, even the most precise large format film systems were never designed with the tolerances required by a 5.2 micron digital back.

    As you tighten tolerances manufacturing costs (materials, labor skill, time, % of rejects, cost of machines required) go up very fast. Want to make something within 1mm? 0.01mm? High res digital backs need tolerances measured in microns (1 micron = 0.001mm).

    And as noted above used large format film cameras are in great supply and weak demand while digital accessories to make them viable digital cameras are in moderate supply and moderate demand.

    Doug Peterson
    Yes, Doug... but the very fine tolerances are really only necessary for Wide-angle photography, and, if you focus with the sensor (using live view), you can get away with sloppy standards, as long as you do not want to use multiple exposures for stacking stitching etc., and you do not breathe between checking the focus and taking the picture.

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