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Thread: If you had to buy...

  1. #1
    Shelby Lewis
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    If you had to buy...

    ... only one lens for a tech camera (for landscape work), what would it be?

    I hate to say it... price is a consideration.



    I'm doing a bunch of hiking/backpacking this next year and am thinking of picking up a super-minimal tech camera kit with which to shoot some roll film (when I leave the digital at home). Leaning towards alpa TC (used?). We're talking body/lens/roll-film back/MAYBE a viewfinder, but probably just a ground glass. No more. This would be similar to days when I was a kid and would only take my dad's pentax me-super and a single 28mm prime. fun stuff.

    We're talking a "best value" lens, lol.

    (later re-purposed on a digital back would be great... although I think I'm going to be 75 when I'm finally able to buy a back )

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    A 90mm Apo-Sironar-Digital, for a view slightly wide of normal on 6x9cm. I actually own one - despite the name, it's a very fine lens for film too. Expensive new, but in the current economy they've sometimes been turning up used at very substantial discounts.

  3. #3
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    What film format are you using?
    Carsten - Website

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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Shelby don't forget that on top of buying the lens you will have to get it fitted into a helical mount, adding a few 100's $$$, if you want to use it on a pancake camera.

  5. #5
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Thanks all for the thoughts.

    As far as formats... I'll probably default to 645 or 6x6 (even though I love the shape of 6x7). I like the idea of 645 due to the fact that if I were to go digital in the future with the camera, I wouldn't have to change the way I pre-visualize with it.

    Thanks Yair for the reminder about the helical mount. Can you tell this is a new thought-thread for me... brought on by my plans to do some longer hikes this year? Much to learn about these cams for sure.

    On an alpa/cambo, what would be the equivalent FOV of a 20mm or 24mm on a FF 35mm system? Is there some sort of conversion factor... assuming a 645 capture? I'd assume the same as the standard mf equipment?

    So a 35mm on a pancake would be pretty wide?

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    "So a 35mm on a pancake would be pretty wide?"

    A 35 with a P25/45 would be about like a 21mm on a FF Leica.

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    If not using T/S and backpacking it, I'd use a Mamiya 7II for 6X7 and get the 43mm WA which is a stunningly good optic.

    But that's me : -)

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    My thoughts:

    If you are going to shoot rollfilm, then I'd go 6x7 minimum for the added image area. Unfortunately, a single lens choice is dictated by format chosen since that determines effective FoV, so you need to decide that first before we can recommend a body and lens.

    That said, by far and away my most used focal for landscape is moderately wide or normal, or around 32mm or 45mm in 35SLR terms. On 6x7 this would be a 65mm or 80mm lens. On 645 this would be roughly a 50 or 65.

    If you have to have a camera with movements, then I'd look at a Cambo Wide DS since it can actually take digital backs, MF rollfilm backs of any dimension up through 6x12 and even 4x5 sheet film with appropriate back adapter. But it's relatively large and heavy and somewhat complex to use.

    So, all this a long way around to agree with Marc's suggestion -- get a Mamiya 7! Here, if I could only have one lens, it would probably be the 80 (rough 35 equivalent of 40mm). However, I would opt for 2 minimum and they would probably be the 50 and 80 pair. Advantage over the tech camera is light-weight and shooting convenience. Disadvantage is no movements, but... Also, if you are shooting 6x7 with the 43, you basically have a moderately wide 645 frame with a bit of room for rise or fall built in -- and IME that is about all you ever need for landscape. And yes, the Mamiya 7 lenses are as good or better than any dedicated tech lens designed to cover MF film, the 43 and 50 and 80 are all stellar performers.
    Jack
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Jack,

    I agree with you but I would opt for the 43 and the 65 as the latter is wonderful with a moderately wider view than the 80 and as such a great walkaround lens...very nice for environmental portraiture. Whatever that is....

    After living for some time with a Mamiya 7 I opted for the Alpa TC with 36 and 45 lenses ... digital back and 6x7 6x8 and 66x44 film backs. Think Mamiya with a factor of ten...both build quality and expense.


    Bob

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Bob, I would not argue with any of that at all, I totally get where you are coming from!

    The fact is, it would be a tough call for me on the 43/65 pair or the 50/80 pair -- I could be very happy with either. Actually, the 43/65/80 would probably be where I ended up

    Re tech camera, also no argument. I personally would choose that route today simply because I do have a digi back and have no real desire to go back to shooting film with the associated scanning and processing.
    Jack
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  11. #11
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    No contest for me at this point. My Hasselblad 343 is a desk ornament at the present time as the 39 meg back and Schneider/Rodenstock lenses image so well. After scanning for a couple of years (Nikon 4000 then the H343) it will be very hard for me to go back.

    The 343 will probably show up on the buy sell list when I get organized this winter...along with the film backs.

    Bob

  12. #12
    tetsrfun
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Another light weight MF for back packing is one of the Hasselblad SWC series. The SWC weighs in at ~ 950 gms and the 120 film back at 450 gms.

    Steve

  13. #13
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    wow... great thoughts.

    I think the mamiya II is out. I really think it is a great idea, but I've been digital from the beginning... and I think I want this cam to be digital-ready.

    I know you guys think one lens is nuts, but that's all I could even begin to justify in the near future. I'm making some changes to my regular money-making gear and this purchase will be "fluff" of sorts. In the real world, I only shoot with two primes most of the time anyway, so a minimal lens kit doesn't bother me.

    So... with that in mind, think ultra-minimal... pancake. Alpa 12tc (or cambo equivalent, if there is one), one lens. My query is more about lens quality and affordability (funny, huh ). Which (not-so-crazy-expensive) wide-normal and wide lenses have been a pleasant surprise?

    If it helps... in 35mm speak, I like the 24mm to 35mm focal ranges for outdoor work.

    Thanks all... sorry if I'm driving everyone crazy.

  14. #14
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Then the simple answer is the Alpa TC since I don't think the Cambo Wide Compact body accepts film backs, only digital backs. Here I only assume the TC can accept a film back, so double check this...

    Lens is now easier. If you end up shooting 6x6 on the TC, then I'd get the Schneider 47 or 58 lens. Only issue here is the Rodenstock HR digital specific 40 and 60 lenses are better for digital capture, but won't cover the full film format.

    Here's a used Alpa SWA kit all ready to go, but hang onto your wallet! https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=3095
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Cambo Compact is like the Alpa TC and I think 1200 for the body. Search calumet for it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    4k body 47mm lens ready for a Mamiya mount or you could go Hassy film back .

    http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/CB0529K2/
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    This kit comes complete with the WDC-M645Afd with the Mamiya 645 Afd interface (non-rotating) and the WDS-556 Lenspanel with Digitar 47mm XL Lens.

    Add film back and shoot
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  18. #18
    tetsrfun
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Not a pancake but "minimal"...38mm Biogon ~24mm "35"mm equivalent. (spending other people's money is kinda fun :>)

    Steve
    Last edited by tetsrfun; 1st August 2010 at 18:30.

  19. #19
    tetsrfun
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Here's a used Alpa SWA kit all ready to go, but hang onto your wallet!
    ********
    Yikes!!!!

  20. #20
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    How about Silvestri? Their Bicam is very well made, light, accepts digital & film backs, has a sliding adaptor (Cambo doesn't, you have to focus with a ground glass & replace it with the digital/film back every time), accepts all Schneider & Rodenstock lenses.

    Lens-wise, if you want only one lens I would suggest you get the 35 mm or the 47 mm; they are cheaper than the wider angles (28, 24) and they are probably wide enough for what you said you need it for, and if you want wider stitching is a breeze.

    I went with Silvestri against all the others because of the far better flexibility & inter compatibility of all the pieces in the system, from a full view camera to the wide-angle cameras you are asking about, everything is exchangable, lenses included. It seemed to me that no other brand offered all that Silvestri did

    (usual disclaimer applies: I don't work nor get paid for Silvestri, I wish, I am just another happy customer).
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    I have bought ....twice in fact .....

    With the limited amount of this kind of shooting that I do, I choose one of the Fuji fixed lens medium format cameras, and horror of horror film ..... When properly scanned, slide film has very good IQ.

    You can choose your format, 645,6x7,6x8,6x9. You can have AF and zoom in the 645 versions. I have used a Fuji GA645i, and a GA645ZI, and they are excellent. You can also choose lens versions from wide to normal in fixed, or with the ZI, wide to slight tele.

    I do only have a Nikon D300 but even with my lowely Epson V700, I get excellent images when compared tot he Nikon.

    Light, cheap, and rudged, perfect for dragging along!

    YMMV

    Dave

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    If not using T/S and backpacking it, I'd use a Mamiya 7II for 6X7 and get the 43mm WA which is a stunningly good optic.

    But that's me : -)
    +1

    Woody

  23. #23
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    I just found this thread so I guess it shows I've been away for too long.

    Shelby - here's my take on your original question taking in account you want a kit that will work with film today and digital when you turn 75. And this is from (somewhat) personal experience...

    You may want to consider the Cambo WDS. Why? It allows for growth into digital. And yes I know other kits will do the same however I can only speak from my experience with the Cambo line. The WDS allows you the freedom of using film backs as well as digital and offers great movements.

    One lens for landscape? I'd say you have a choice of either a 35mm or 47mm. Either lens will give you a large enough image circle for movements as well as limited reach. You might also want to consider a 72 for the same reason. I have Schneider lenses; 24mm, 35mm, 72mm, and a 120mm. I'm also considering a 47mm.

    A viewfinder might be okay however it can be costly and a PIA much the same as a groundglass (which I have and use). While I don't have a Cambo viewfinder I do have a director's viewfinder which I just pickup and it does look promising.

    WDS kits are available out there and they are cheap so you should consider looking at them with the idea of future growth in mind.

    What ever you decide on buy smart and buy once otherwise....

    Again sorry for the delay in adding my 2˘ worth.

    Don
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    My newest, most wanted chunk of gear: Cambo WRS with new Rodenstock Digiron HR 40mm in the Cambo TS mount, with a P65+ out back . Next addition would be the 70 HR Digiron in TS mount -- and I could be very happy with just that kit. Though possibly a 120 would be a consideration later.
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Tempting Jack.

    I'm more tempted to a 47 TS than the P65 then again I can better afford the 47.

    I did a vignetting test of my Schneider 120 for Chris and was able to go out to 20 x25mm shift and raise without encountering problems.

    Then again that P65 looks awful good.

    Ultimate gear slut - Pick up the P65 and have my P45 converted to IR

    Don

    Now if I can only get NatGeo to call me to do a shoot....
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    One big advantage to the P65+ over the P45+ on a tech camera -- more accurately the Dalsa sensor over the Kodak sensor -- is Dalsa is more tolerant of lens movements than Kodak, requiring less LCC correction. This is one main reason I just sprung for the upgrade deal...
    Jack
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  27. #27
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    ok guys, you all are talking wwaaaayyyyyy outside my budget, but please keep on talking. Functionally, I'm a minimalist... but inwardly I'm a total gear slut, lol.

    One thing I didn't mention is that I am keeping my 5dmkii kit (of course). I get ok results with it. This possible purchase is one that I want build upon later on... thus the single lens to begin with.

    l'll look into the wds. As it stands I think I'm looking at the 47 as a starter.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    One big advantage to the P65+ over the P45+ on a tech camera -- more accurately the Dalsa sensor over the Kodak sensor -- is Dalsa is more tolerant of lens movements than Kodak, requiring less LCC correction. This is one main reason I just sprung for the upgrade deal...
    Jack

    Congratulations on that!

    Might go next year for the H4D 60 upgrade, which is actually the same sensor.

    One question - why do you prefer Rodenstock lenses, here in Europe the thinking is that Schneider glass is better. I personally have absolutely no idea nor preference but am interested as I might go a similar tech camera path with the Cambo WRS.

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Erm, in my part of Europe *cough* the Schneiders and Rodenstocks are both meant to be excellent, the newer Rodenstocks should be be sharper from wide open, whereas the Schneiders need stopping down a little, as a rule of thumb.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    ok guys, you all are talking wwaaaayyyyyy outside my budget, but please keep on talking. Functionally, I'm a minimalist... but inwardly I'm a total gear slut, lol.

    One thing I didn't mention is that I am keeping my 5dmkii kit (of course). I get ok results with it. This possible purchase is one that I want build upon later on... thus the single lens to begin with.

    l'll look into the wds. As it stands I think I'm looking at the 47 as a starter.
    The Canon with one of their new tilt shift lenses is quite capable of delivering outstanding results at a fraction of teh price ofthe stuff the guys are quoting. Also the added advantage of live view

    Check out this dude who uses a 35mm set-up...

    www.chrisfriel.co.uk

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    ok guys, you all are talking wwaaaayyyyyy outside my budget, but please keep on talking. Functionally, I'm a minimalist... but inwardly I'm a total gear slut, lol.

    One thing I didn't mention is that I am keeping my 5dmkii kit (of course). I get ok results with it. This possible purchase is one that I want build upon later on... thus the single lens to begin with.

    l'll look into the wds. As it stands I think I'm looking at the 47 as a starter.
    How about a nice xPan. ;-)

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    The X-Pan is very cool, and I almost decided to buy a nice one at a good price, but in the end, I decided against it and will order a 50/2.8 FE and 250/4 FE.

    Marc, in case you are reading, I have switched my choice back; I want to know what this lens is like, and the 180 I was considering can wait until I decide I need one, and then I will get the CFE180. The extra reach, and the promise of a nice look to this lens, as opposed to the unusual sharpness of the 180 were what tipped the scales. I also saw more favorable comments on the 250/4 on hasselbladinfo, which helped me get over my fear here
    Carsten - Website

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Erm, in my part of Europe *cough* the Schneiders and Rodenstocks are both meant to be excellent, the newer Rodenstocks should be be sharper from wide open, whereas the Schneiders need stopping down a little, as a rule of thumb.
    Another difference is, when considering ultra-wides, in the image coverage vs lens size; Schneider lenses are generally much smaller & lighter, but do cover a smaller image circle - Rodenstock 23 vs Schneider 24 mm, Rodenstock 28 vs Schneider 35 mm, Rodenstock 50 mm vs Schneider 47 mm are good examples of this.

    Also, Rodenstocks are generally slightly faster than Schneiders; last, while Schneiders are generally very consistent quality-wise, the last Rodenstock seem to suffer of a bit of QC problems when it comes to element alignment/misalignment. You can find reports on this on the net, on my part I can add that I had a Rodenstock 50 mm to try and, while very sharp WO overall and with a very high IQ, it was affected by a soft lower right corner.

    At the end, comparing features & for my needing, and because I am not set on getting all lenses from the same manufacturer, I ended up with:
    - 28 Rodenstock (image coverage is very much necessary for me for camera movements, I can sacrifice portability here);
    - 47 Schneider;
    - 90 Schneider;

    Still waiting on the first two, which I will get at the end of next week; the 90 is a great optic as far as I could see so far.
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post

    One question - why do you prefer Rodenstock lenses, here in Europe the thinking is that Schneider glass is better.
    When doing LF-style lens comparisons a lot depends on the series, so you need to pay attention to that... I would agree that the Schneider Digitar line is generally better than the Rodenstock Digital series. However, the newest Rodenstock Digiron HR line, are phenomenal performers. Most of the Digiron HR "S" series have smaller IC's than their Schneider counterparts, however the HR "W" series -- like the 40 and 70 I mentioned above -- have large image circles, as does the 23 compared to the 24 Schneider for example.

    Note that image circle is not only important as it respects ability to shift, but also as it respects ability to tilt, and especially as it respects the ability to both at the same time...
    Jack
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    I like the Schneider lenses I have and choose them over the Rodenstock due to their apparent better quality. That said Rodenstock offers some very good lenses and would certainly consider them if they offered a 47 T/S

    Don
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  36. #36
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    How about a nice xPan. ;-)
    Dave – All kidding aside the XPan was an excellent little camera. What a great combination if it were to come back to life as a digital!

    Don
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  37. #37
    tetsrfun
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    I decided against it and will order a 50/2.8 FE and 250/4 FE.
    *******
    The 50/2.8 FE is also good for improving physical fitness...it weighs ~1330 gms. :>)

    Steve

  38. #38
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    The Canon with one of their new tilt shift lenses is quite capable of delivering outstanding results at a fraction of teh price ofthe stuff the guys are quoting. Also the added advantage of live view

    Check out this dude who uses a 35mm set-up...

    www.chrisfriel.co.uk
    This is something I struggle with. I think I mentioned in another thread how I really haven't cared for the 5dii as a people camera... but I'm really liking what I see from a landscape perspective. Live view is incredibly helpful for me... so, yeah, i do keep the idea of staying all canon in the back of my head.

    Have you seen this guy? His long exposure work is very similar to what I have in mind and he shoots a 5dii... but i've only seen his work on the web. What i do worry about is printing really large. I'd like to. I'd bet the 5dii files will handle it pretty well... but I just don't have enough experience in landscape work to know. I do know they don't have much "bite", as pretty as they are.

    Lastly... to get the quartet of canon t/s lenses (if you go with the two new ones) would set you back almost as much as a basic cambo kit and a used DB (p25 or similar).

    I have to admit... this whole inquiry is also about the general look of the files from LF lenses/tech cameras. As with anything, we can argue about whether it's real or not, but I personally love the "look".

    Tough call. Luckily, my pocketbook is willing to let me wait (as always )

  39. #39
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    When doing LF-style lens comparisons a lot depends on the series, so you need to pay attention to that... I would agree that the Schneider Digitar line is generally better than the Rodenstock Digital series. However, the newest Rodenstock Digiron HR line, are phenomenal performers. Most of the Digiron HR "S" series have smaller IC's than their Schneider counterparts, however the HR "W" series -- like the 40 and 70 I mentioned above -- have large image circles, as does the 23 compared to the 24 Schneider for example.

    Note that image circle is not only important as it respects ability to shift, but also as it respects ability to tilt, and especially as it respects the ability to both at the same time...
    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    I like the Schneider lenses I have and choose them over the Rodenstock due to their apparent better quality. That said Rodenstock offers some very good lenses and would certainly consider them if they offered a 47 T/S

    Don
    I think you two need to meet in Tombstone and just have a shoot out.

    Getting boring around here today.


    Better explain that story to our international friends.
    Tombstone Arizona is home to the well known shoot out at the Ok Corral back in 1881 . Very famous historical place and time plus several movies about it

    http://www.ok-corral.com/
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  40. #40
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Sounds like fun! And just to make it easier on Jack – I’ll be returning to Yosemite late February we can meet there …

    Of course we'll need Guy and Ken standing by as seconds
    Don Libby
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  41. #41
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    BTW... how many of you actively employ shift/tilt in your landscape work? And how many are content to use tools like helicon focus. I do realize that you can't really replicate shift in post without loss of quality/perspective change...

    I ask this from the standpoint that the original post also sought to keep the actual camera set-up to a minimum for weight savings on extended backpacking trips (multi-day)... thus the alpa TC or cambo compact. I'm being picky and counting ounces here.

    Vieri, I'm glad to here you speak of lens size... as this also impacts my future plans (to backpack/hike).

    Plate.Lens.Back.Tripod... that's about it if possible (ok, I know there are other things as well, but I'm speaking of the backbone of the kit).

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Shelby – Great question on T/S and the answer at least for me is that I haven’t used it since I switched to the WRS. That said I am seriously considering picking up a 47 T/S sometime soon.

    I’ve also been using helicon focus with good results. One of my most favorite images using helicon focus is a piece I call “Twisted”. We’re currently in negotiations for usage rights of this image.



    Keeping a minimal pack for multi-day trips in the field I think is going to be very hard unless you have someone else who will be packing the other essentials. Camera body, lens, film back(s), cables, extra film, filters, sturdy tripod and head are all going to add weight and mass in your backpack.

    Don
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    BTW... how many of you actively employ shift/tilt in your landscape work? And how many are content to use tools like helicon focus. I do realize that you can't really replicate shift in post without loss of quality/perspective change...
    Great question.

    With MF, the need for tilt to alter Plane of Focus (PoF) is probably less significant than it is when shooting Large Format (4x5 or larger) due to the net loss of DoF as you go larger in format. OTOH, the latest high-resolution MF backs have small enough sensor sites that DoF becomes more important as by default our CoC essentially corresponds to sensor site diameter. So going forward, tilt is likely going to become a more desired feature again.

    Enter Helicon Focus. I use it and like it, but it requires a minimum of 4 and more like 8 or 12 frames of differing focus points for a good blend in the typical landscape with a strong foreground. And anytime you utilize multiple exposures, you have the issue of subject movements to contend with -- most notably are clouds, leaves and water, all of which are common compositional elements in landscape images. So as good as HF is, it isn't an ideal solution for landscape, and tilt now becomes more of one.

    Shift with MF digital is a double-edged sword. You gain compositional freedom, but with conventional lens designs on digital sensors you get a color shift across the sensor as you shift. This color shift then needs to be corrected by taking a white-frame or Lens Cast Correction (LCC) shot. The good news is subject motion is for the most part an irrelevant concern since the main image frame is still a single capture, so the only real issue is the hassel factor of taking the LCC frame. However, color casts are not much of an issue with longer lenses OR retrofocus lens designs common to DSLR TS lenses, so here the DSLR has a decided advantage in simplicity of capture. But still, to get the most from high resolution digital capture MF is the solution, so here we are...

    >>>Sidebar comment >>> The above paragraph brings up another significant point: One reason I expressed a preference for the Digiron HR lens line over the Schneider Digitar line, is Rodenstock added more retrofocus to the Digiron designs specifically to help counteract color cast. Combined with the fact Dalsa sensors are more friendly to color shift than Kodak sensors to color shift, completes the main reason I chose the P65+ upgrade path to begin with.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    Sounds like fun! And just to make it easier on Jack – I’ll be returning to Yosemite late February we can meet there …

    Of course we'll need Guy and Ken standing by as seconds
    Jack and Guy---check your calendars for February 18-21 (close to PMA too!)

    More later....

  45. #45
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by tetsrfun View Post
    I decided against it and will order a 50/2.8 FE and 250/4 FE.
    *******
    The 50/2.8 FE is also good for improving physical fitness...it weighs ~1330 gms. :>)

    Steve
    Well, then I am going to get really fit, because in a week or so I will have two of them! I am buying an FE, but saw an F go for almost nothing today, and jumped in to snap it up. Now I have to figure out what to do with them both. I might just keep the F as a backup, or try to trade it against something more useful to me.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    Sounds like fun! And just to make it easier on Jack – I’ll be returning to Yosemite late February we can meet there …

    Of course we'll need Guy and Ken standing by as seconds
    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Jack and Guy---check your calendars for February 18-21 (close to PMA too!)

    More later....
    Good ting Ken quoted you Don, I totally missed it the first time around! Will definitely try to make something happen while you're out in February -- and calendar is duly marked
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  47. #47
    tetsrfun
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Well, then I am going to get really fit, because in a week or so I will have two of them! I am buying an FE, but saw an F go for almost nothing today, and jumped in to snap it up. Now I have to figure out what to do with them both. I might just keep the F as a backup, or try to trade it against something more useful to me.
    For what it's worth, the Lenscoat Hoodie Medium lens cap provides added protection to the front 1/2 of the lens. The one that I bought was in Ex. cond but I did notice two small dents on the lens shade/filter ring. I suspect that the heavy weigh and 100mm diameter of the lens makes this area especially vulnerable to impact. Hopefully the added neoprene hood will give additional protection.

    Steve

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Thanks for the tip, Steve, I will take a look at it.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Shelby,

    I've followed your posts on your backpack kit with some interest. I used to do a lot of backpacking, climbing, etc., but it's mostly not my M.O. these days. But I've been eyeing a couple of trips for this next spring if certain things fall into place, so I appreciate your dilemma: weight and size vs. image quality and usability.

    Tilt/shift is a very handy tool for landscape, but this also depends on one's photographic style, at least part of the time. Many stunning images can (of course) be made without it. With medium format the shallower DoF definitely is a challenge, but with practice and careful consideration one can achieve more favorable results than what might first be apparent in one's early efforts of using MF. As Jack mentions, it's not nearly so rough as 4x5 or larger.

    Using Helicon Focus is an option, and maybe even a requirement for some images without the use of movements, but using it adds another element to the process that one needs to consider. Jack mentions the concerns of subject movement from frame to frame, and this can be very real in landscape work. Getting things to settle down (or more accurately, waiting and praying for breezes to stop) can be enough of a concern. What isn't mentioned very often with regard to Helicon is the personal feelings about the process. For me, shooting landscape loses a great deal when shooting for use with Helicon. I'm referring to the personal experience and feeling while shooting. This is why I say one needs to look at it beyond the idea of simply "can it work". For product type work it doesn't feel bad (or good) to me, it's simply a tool to record the item favorably.

    I wrestle with the use of Helicon because the capture process sucks to me and the assemblage process feels counter to what I derive joy from: a single capture (other than the occasional pano), carefully composed, requiring no crop and minimal post (beyond traditional darkroom-type). (I'm definitely not suggesting that I always achieve that, but that's my goal and what makes me happy with an image.) Of course, many others feel quite the opposite about Helicon or HDR, etc, and that's great too. I suspect that the process of shooting for Helicon or HDR is what some people enjoy. There is no "correct" way for this. But I mention it in case one was to invest in a process because they're told it is possible, only to find out they lose some personal enjoyment from the process.

    We're fortunate that we have so many options, and the beautiful work shared here and elsewhere shows that there are many ways to skin the cat. And those options make our outfitting process all the more complicated as we find our own personal paths.

  50. #50
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: If you had to buy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    ... I appreciate your dilemma: weight and size vs. image quality and usability.
    Yeah... there's always a tradeoff it seems. Luckily, backpacking gear has gotten lighter and lighter and if you're willing to do some homework (as well as lose a bit of comfort), you can easily hike with almost half the weight people generally hiked with 10-15 years back.... so I'm using some end-run logic to say that if I'm at the weight (with the camera) that most people hiked with 10 years ago (w/o a camera) then I'm doing fine

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    (snip)...I wrestle with the use of Helicon because the capture process sucks to me and the assemblage process feels counter to what I derive joy from: a single capture (other than the occasional pano), carefully composed, requiring no crop and minimal post (beyond traditional darkroom-type).
    This really speaks to me, Dale. It didn't really hit me until I read this that so far I've overwhelmingly aimed for a single capture experience. I've done quite a bit of HDR stuff as well as some stitching and it just doesn't align with my style. I think it's why I'm so interested in a pancake camera as well... there's a simplicity to it that speaks volumes to me. I think it's why the 5dii, although I'm enjoying it's output for the most part, just doesn't meld with me. It's a computer with a lens (a good one at that).

    I relate to simplicity and minimalism the same way Guy does to his "MF or die" work ethic. It sounds funny, but I'd rather go out with a simple camera and one or two lenses and "make it work". I swear, just like with my wedding work, the limitation almost forces me to be better... or go down in flames trying.

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