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Thread: Advice about digital close up setup

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    Advice about digital close up setup

    I am trying to create a setup for professional digital close up photography, I was hoping I can get some advice here. The objects are mostly around 1", sometimes up to 1'.

    Currently I am using Canon 1Ds3 with 100mm L macro lens, with very nice results, mostly around f/22. Several problems with that:
    - DOF sharpness - can't get beyond f/22 on Canon, must combine several shots with different focus points
    - AA filter fuzziness - not a huge problem but still
    - Some diffraction already at f/22

    I tested Mamiya 36X48 sensor with the new Mamiya Digital Macro lens, and the results were very good up to f/32. Appeared to me much better than the Canon.

    I am also looking at Rodenstock 120mm f/5.6 Apo-Macro-Sironar digital combined with Horseman LD View Camera for Canon EOS, which should give me a low cost solution with low diffraction at f/22 and full movements to tackle DOF sharpness.

    I've tried Hasselblad V system with Phase One back and 135mm Macro lens, and it was not satisfactory - it is my impression that there is no point in even testing any lens which was not especially designed for digital.

    Any insights and experience wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    I am trying to create a setup for professional digital close up photography, I was hoping I can get some advice here. The objects are mostly around 1", sometimes up to 1'.

    Currently I am using Canon 1Ds3 with 100mm L macro lens, with very nice results, mostly around f/22. Several problems with that:
    - DOF sharpness - can't get beyond f/22 on Canon, must combine several shots with different focus points
    - AA filter fuzziness - not a huge problem but still
    - Some diffraction already at f/22

    I tested Mamiya 36X48 sensor with the new Mamiya Digital Macro lens, and the results were very good up to f/32. Appeared to me much better than the Canon.

    I am also looking at Rodenstock 120mm f/5.6 Apo-Macro-Sironar digital combined with Horseman LD View Camera for Canon EOS, which should give me a low cost solution with low diffraction at f/22 and full movements to tackle DOF sharpness.

    I've tried Hasselblad V system with Phase One back and 135mm Macro lens, and it was not satisfactory - it is my impression that there is no point in even testing any lens which was not especially designed for digital.

    Any insights and experience wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
    Some use the 90mm TS/E for the Canon and say it works fine with tubes for macro. I have not used it myself.

    What does not work well is to put a DSLR on a view camera if you intend to work with it, using the digital lenses from Rodenstock or Schneider. Reason is that the mirror box of the DSLR is spacing the sensor away from the lens and you may not get your objects focused. This also limits the movements of the view camera considerably. If you go this way dont use a lens shorter than say 100mm and it may work depending on the setup. However, if you plan also to get infinty focus with this setup and wide angle lenses than forget about it. A digital back is the only solution then.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    What kind of objects, and how are the final results being viewed, and at what size?

    The answers to these questions will help determine advice.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    jewelry and products for internet and print

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Your 1" to 1' size requirement puts your needs into the "specialized" or at least "dedicated" macro category IMO... I would look seriously at a Mamiya with a bellows unit. The newest Mamiya bellows has an electronic interface cable to allow for adjusting aperture and focus confirmation communications to the body, as well as accommodating lens reversing rings -- and reversed lenses perform better at sub 1:1 magnifications. Also, I would consider adding the older manual bellows as well. Th main benefit to it is it has some limited tilt, swing and shift movements. Both have built-in focusing rails. The downside to the older version is it requires manual lenses so you can set aperture, but the older manual 120 macro is still quite excellent on digital sensors. It is even very easy to adapt dedicated digital macro lenses like the Schneider or Rodenstock 120 by drilling out a body cap to mount the lens in, and a 120 mounted that way on the Mamiya bellows will focus to infinity.

    FWIW, the other option for really decent close macro is stacking lenses. If you start with say a zoom, then reverse an 80 on the front of that, your magnification ratio is the focal length of the main lens divided by the focal length of the reversed lens, so an 80 reversed on front of a 150 is almost a 2:1 magnification.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    For a 35mm solution: Nikon D3X and 85/2.8 T/SE Macro (unlike the Canon T/S version, the Nikon is a macro, and is optimized for close focusing).

    For a straight MFD Macro: Contax 645 and Zeiss 120/4 Macro with a Phase One P45+ back ... and backing the camera/lens off from the subject to increase DOF (although for internet and smaller print it would still be over-kill IMO).

    I'm now using a Hasselblad H4D/40 and a HTS Tilt-Shift unit with a 100mm HC lens for most professional table top macro ... but some of these shots are used quite large for trade show display, etc.

    The ultimate in capturing detail from a MFD kit would be a Mutlishot from Hasselblad or Sinar. Strictly a studio set up.

    The best is a view camera like the Rollei Xact II or similar and a HD 120 macro from Schneider or Rodenstock using most any Medium Format back. But that would also be substantial over-kill for the applications ... unless you are talking about really big print applications.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    What does not work well is to put a DSLR on a view camera if you intend to work with it, using the digital lenses from Rodenstock or Schneider. Reason is that the mirror box of the DSLR is spacing the sensor away from the lens and you may not get your objects focused. This also limits the movements of the view camera considerably. If you go this way dont use a lens shorter than say 100mm and it may work depending on the setup. However, if you plan also to get infinty focus with this setup and wide angle lenses than forget about it. A digital back is the only solution then.
    So if I understand you correctly, a 120mm lens with close focus will not be a problem?

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    The downside to the older version is it requires manual lenses so you can set aperture, but the older manual 120 macro is still quite excellent on digital sensors.
    I have tested the old and new version of Mamiya 120mm with a digital 36x48mm sensor, and there is a very significant difference in sharpness. Based on my testing of various lenses, any lens that might have been considered great in the firm era, is no match to a lens designed with today's knowledge of how to accommodate digital sensors.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    So if I understand you correctly, a 120mm lens with close focus will not be a problem?
    The 120 should focus with that set-up. However, if you plan on sticking with a DSLR, I would in fact use the Nikon 85 PC macro on a high-res body and be done with it...
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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    The 120 should focus with that set-up. However, if you plan on sticking with a DSLR, I would in fact use the Nikon 85 PC macro on a high-res body and be done with it...
    I understand it might be pointless to match this lens with a 35mm body.

    I can find decent price used digital backs, but I am having some difficulty finding a movement body with a digital back sliding adapter for under $4500.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    I understand it might be pointless to match this lens with a 35mm body.

    I can find decent price used digital backs, but I am having some difficulty finding a movement body with a digital back sliding adapter for under $4500.
    The Mamiya Manual bellows with movements is about $500 on eBay. All you need after that is a basic AFD1 body since you'll be working off a tripod with mirror up and no automation, also about $500 used for a really good one -- so now you've spent $1000 and have a MF body with movements AND close focus capability AND a built-in macro focusing rail (that also does X-Y)!

    Next is the lens -- either the 120 digital or a 120 Mamiya manual macro to start -- maybe a little over $500 for the Mamiya lens. You can drill a Mamiya body cap and mount a 120 digitar in it to use on the bellows arrangement (sand the outside surface of the body cap flat first) -- I've done this before and it works great.

    Now all you need is a Mamiya mount DB, and could even use a Mamiya ZD back which is really cheap used, like under $3000 for 22 MP nearly full-frame, and really clean ISO 50. Entire set up with Mamiya macro lens still under $5000, or just at $5K with the 120 digitar...

    Or you could buy the D700 and the 85 PC.
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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    The Mamiya Manual bellows with movements is about $500 on eBay. All you need after that is a basic AFD1 body since you'll be working off a tripod with mirror up and no automation, also about $500 used for a really good one -- so now you've spent $1000 and have a MF body with movements AND close focus capability AND a built-in macro focusing rail (that also does X-Y)!
    I thought if I wanted to get full movements function I would need a LF body with two plates. With AFD, the sensor is behind a box like a Canon, so the movements will be limited - what am I missing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Next is the lens -- either the 120 digital or a 120 Mamiya manual macro to start -- maybe a little over $500 for the Mamiya lens.
    I could not find a Mamiya 120mm digital for less than $2200. From what I could make out the ones for $500 are non digital.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    You can drill a Mamiya body cap and mount a 120 digitar in it to use on the bellows arrangement (sand the outside surface of the body cap flat first) -- I've done this before and it works great.
    Do you mean Schneider 120mm f/5.6 Apo Digitar M?

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    I thought if I wanted to get full movements function I would need a LF body with two plates. With AFD, the sensor is behind a box like a Canon, so the movements will be limited - what am I missing?
    You are not missing anything, it is the same problem. The improvement is that you now have a better chip, but anyway you will be limited to longer lenses to work with. That is ok as long as you really need only close focus and have smaller objects and close working distance.
    Then again, imagine you want to take a large group shot, you will need to step back a long way ...

    Probably the TS lens path for either Nikon or Canon is the safest. Put the rest of the money into excellent light. Any MF view camera solution will be big bucks for sure if you want to do it right.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    I thought if I wanted to get full movements function I would need a LF body with two plates. With AFD, the sensor is behind a box like a Canon, so the movements will be limited - what am I missing?
    You are missing the fact that lens IC's are much larger relatively at close focusing distances (the lens is extended much further forward than for normal infinity focus), plus the fact the movements on the Mamiya bellows are at front of the bellows on the lens flange -- so these two combined mean the cosine "box" effect does not render the same amount of cut-off as with a DSLR mounted on the rear of a view camera.


    I could not find a Mamiya 120mm digital for less than $2200. From what I could make out the ones for $500 are non digital.
    You don't need a "D" version, just one of the older manual focus versions. In fact, you cannot use a newer version with electronic aperture as you have no way to stop it down on the manual bellows. All of the 120's are the same basic optical formula and quite excellent. There is also an older 80mm Mamiya macro that is very good and inexpensive, and would add flexibility to your kit. Finally, via an adapter, you can mount a Hassy/Zeiss CF 120 Macro as well, another very highly regarded optic for not an unreasonable sum -- though in reality tests between this and the Mamiya 120 show a virtual tie in IQ.

    Do you mean Schneider 120mm f/5.6 Apo Digitar M?
    Yes, that or the current Rodenstock APO Macro Sironar Digital counterpart -- both are excellent.
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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    One problem with Nikon PC-E Micro 85mm is that it is only 1:2 - not a full 1:1 macro.
    Also with a full res D3X the cost comes up to over $9000, and for that I can get a decent MF/LF setup.
    I can test this with a cheap Nikon body, but if I want to charge I would need the 24MP body.

    Questions:

    - ZD camera vs. AFD+ZD back?

    - Rodenstock, Schneider or Mamiya 120mm digital?

    - Putting a LF lens on a Mamiya bellows: is there any information that needs to be passed between the camera and the lens or do I set them up separately every time?

    I tested Mamiya 120mm digital and non digital, and the results for that one test were conclusive in favor of the digital. Maybe the copies were off, but I would not feel comfortable delving into my wallet for a lens that is not marked digital.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    then I'll bow out and leave you to your own from here on out. Good luck on whatever route you choose!
    Jack
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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    You are missing the fact that lens IC's are much larger relatively at close focusing distances (the lens is extended much further forward than for normal infinity focus), plus the fact the movements on the Mamiya bellows are at front of the bellows on the lens flange -- so these two combined mean the cosine "box" effect does not render the same amount of cut-off as with a DSLR mounted on the rear of a view camera.

    .
    I am sure you are right since you have tested it already. The larger image circle however will only account if he takes a larger chip.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    then I'll bow out and leave you to your own from here on out. Good luck on whatever route you choose!
    Thanks for your help.

    I apologize if I said something wrong.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    One problem with Nikon PC-E Micro 85mm is that it is only 1:2 - not a full 1:1 macro.
    Also with a full res D3X the cost comes up to over $9000, and for that I can get a decent MF/LF setup.
    .

    9000 for a decent MF/LF setup including camera, DB, lens, is pretty optimistic I would say. If you buy used factor in that not everything will work as you may have imagined from the day one. You may miss a cable here or any stupid accessoire there that is hard to come by. Those little things can drive you nuts. I talking experience here.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    I am sure you are right since you have tested it already. The larger image circle however will only account if he takes a larger chip.
    No offense intended here at all, just education. The problem with trying to understand all the ramifications if you've never studied the use of cameras with movements is it's easy to "overlook" certain significant optical traits. For example, once you impart any angular movement at the lens-plane (tilt and/or swing on the front standard), the outer edges of your IC are vectored toward sensor center far more rapidly than with any corresponding shift movement, and thus larger IC's become a significant consideration.

    Cheers,
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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    9000 for a decent MF/LF setup including camera, DB, lens, is pretty optimistic I would say. If you buy used factor in that not everything will work as you may have imagined from the day one. You may miss a cable here or any stupid accessoire there that is hard to come by. Those little things can drive you nuts. I talking experience here.
    1) He is shooting studio only (from my quick read) so a H25 (no LCD, not easily portable) would do a great job at a very low entry price.

    2) Buying used piece by piece on eBay may cause frustration like that. But if you buy from a dealer like us then you either don't have the issues - or in the very least you have someone to hold up to the fire to make things right :-).


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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    For clarity, it might be worth taking a half step back here. It seems to me there's a general question buried in Shlomi's original post, which perhaps has gotten obscured a bit by the discussion of specific products.

    What do you do when DOF with a 35FF DSLR setup with macro lens at optimal aperture is inadequate for a three-dimensional object you need to photograph and would like to have completely sharp through its entire depth?

    * Stop down further and accept the IQ loss to diffraction?
    * Get a T/S lens or bellows with movements and try to position the plane of focus so that the ill effects of inadequate DOF are minimized?
    * Move to medium format and stop down further?
    * Stick with the original setup, recognizing that you can't always get what you want?

    Practical experience with film teaches that especially in macro work, moving to a larger format is not always helpful when you want higher IQ but insufficient DOF is your main problem. Are the "sweet spots" and optimal tradeoffs different when the capture medium is digital rather than film? What would those of you who do lots of digital macro work say, based on your experience?
    Last edited by Oren Grad; 17th April 2010 at 20:12.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    1) He is shooting studio only (from my quick read) so a H25 (no LCD, not easily portable) would do a great job at a very low entry price.

    2) Buying used piece by piece on eBay may cause frustration like that. But if you buy from a dealer like us then you either don't have the issues - or in the very least you have someone to hold up to the fire to make things right :-).


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    +1

    In addition, what the OP may not realize is that there are MFD solutions for studio that are strictly for tethered work and can be had for less expense.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    +1

    In addition, what the OP may not realize is that there are MFD solutions for studio that are strictly for tethered work and can be had for less expense.

    -Marc
    What are they?

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    For clarity, it might be worth taking a half step back here. It seems to me there's a general question buried in Shlomi's original post, which perhaps has gotten obscured a bit by the discussion of specific products.

    What do you do when DOF with a 35FF DSLR setup with macro lens at optimal aperture is inadequate for a three-dimensional object you need to photograph and would like to have completely sharp through its entire depth?

    * Stop down further and accept the IQ loss to diffraction?
    * Get a T/S lens or bellows with movements and try to position the plane of focus so that the ill effects of inadequate DOF are minimized?
    * Move to medium format and stop down further?
    * Stick with the original setup, recognizing that you can't always get what you want?

    Practical experience with film teaches that especially in macro work, moving to a larger format is not always helpful when you want higher IQ but insufficient DOF is your main problem. Are the "sweet spots" and optimal tradeoffs different when the capture medium is digital rather than film? What would those of you who do lots of digital macro work say, based on your experience?
    I shoot a ton of commercial close-up work, and as an executive art director commissioned 20 tons more. From jewelry and speciality items for high end premium catalogs, fashion accessories, watches, rare coins ... to electronic components and industrial parts, to fabric samples for the auto industry.

    "Buried" in my initial questions to the OP and subsequent answer was my take on your final question above:

    It all depends on the final application ... where it will be used and at what final size. The OP answered half the question: "internet and print" ... but didn't specify reproduction size in print ... which is a critical piece of missing information. There is a big difference between shots for a catalog, or for full page in a large format fashion magazine, or use for large retail display that will be viewed close up.

    These are the practical considerations that are taken into consideration when any commercial photographer is charged with producing a final image of close work with everything in focus front to back.

    For example, simply back off a medium format camera/lens for more DOF ... or use a shorter lens on a T/S view camera with a higher meg medium format back for more effective DOF ... the image may be smaller on the sensor than being right on top of the subject with a macro lens, but the results are still greater in resolution than any 35mm digital camera. In this case, size matters. I often use a 90mm Rodnestock to this end rather than my 120 macro. The back used was a 39 meg which can be had used now for less than a high meg DSLR. The lenses themselves are also a contributing factor to the final quality compared to even the finest MF lenses.

    There are also limits which cannot be breached in one shot no matter what solution is employed. Not an overly frequent need, but it does happen.

    In these cases either the layout has to be altered, or one must employ other special digital processing techniques that were not practical with film or didn't exist at all ... such as blending multiple shots with slightly different focus points ... as one example of this:Focus Stacking using Helicon Focus software: A one year demo license is only $30. to give it a try.

    http://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconfocus.html

    Or read this to do it yourself in Photoshop CS4:

    http://davidsaffir.wordpress.com/200...epth-of-field/

    The world of digital photography is truly amazing

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    From jewelry and speciality items for high end premium catalogs, fashion accessories, watches, rare coins ... to electronic components and industrial parts, to fabric samples for the auto industry.
    This is exactly what I need - all of it, not just one of the cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    It all depends on the final application ... where it will be used and at what final size. The OP answered half the question: "internet and print" ... but didn't specify reproduction size in print ... which is a critical piece of missing information. There is a big difference between shots for a catalog, or for full page in a large format fashion magazine, or use for large retail display that will be viewed close up.
    I can't be completely specific as I have different customers with different needs. If I would average it I would say A4 print.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    In these cases either the layout has to be altered, or one must employ other special digital processing techniques that were not practical with film or didn't exist at all ... such as blending multiple shots with slightly different focus points ... as one example of this:Focus Stacking using Helicon Focus software: A one year demo license is only $30. to give it a try.
    Blending focus points is what I do now. I am not very happy with it. I couldn't find an automatic software that does it well enough. I have my graphic artist blend manually but I would like to avoid that.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Some are backs made for tethered work in the studio and do not have the rear LCD: and I only mentioned them IF one is trying to limit costs ... obviously the ultimate would be a P65+ or H4D/50 Multi-Shot if money were no object.

    Like the actively cooled Sinarback eVolution 54H or the newer 75H:

    http://www.sinar.ch/en/products/digital-backs

    As an art director, I have shot with many commercial photographers that use Imacon 4 and 16 shot backs like ixpress 528c

    http://www.globalimaginginc.com/equi..._132_528.shtml

    I believe there were Leaf backs for just studio use also.

    Not a solution for everyone, but a practical consideration for studio work ... one I am now actively considering myself to supplement my H4D/40 camera which I use to shoot people and location work.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    I have tried Helicon a few years ago and the results were unacceptable.
    I tried them today after your post and the results were very good.
    I guess they improved their algorithms.
    I will buy it and work it into my workflow.

    Some of the cameras you mention are tremendously expensive for me (P65+!)

    As a buyer - how much of a difference does it make if the images comes from Canon/Nikon or MFDB?

    It seems like a possibility to consider is that the new and advanced DSLRs such as 1Ds3 and D3X are almost as good as the 22MP MFDB.

    Is there really much of a point in getting a 36x48 based rig, or is it more about feeling good about your equipment and impressing the customers?

    22MP is all I can afford and also all I need. I have various possibilities - H25, Aptus, ZD.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    This is exactly what I need - all of it, not just one of the cases.



    I can't be completely specific as I have different customers with different needs. If I would average it I would say A4 print.



    Blending focus points is what I do now. I am not very happy with it. I couldn't find an automatic software that does it well enough. I have my graphic artist blend manually but I would like to avoid that.
    Then I think a view camera/digital lenses with a sliding back and the best digital back you can afford is in your future.

    Do not discount the advice that you can back off the camera, or shorten the focal length, to increase DOF ... combined with tilt/shift movements it is the most practical solution for extreme depth of focus needs. My tech dude is constantly reminding me of that fact. If you rarely output bigger than 24" X36" poster format and have enough quality light to shoot at ISO 50, these more modern backs will do the job even heavily cropped.

    BTW, if you are involved with heavy production numbers then I'd also suggest automated shutters for the view lenses.

    One other gain you will get with MFD is greater tonal gradations and less sensor bloom than with most 35mm solutions. I once tried to do a jewelry catalog with a Canon 1DsMKII to lessen production time, and just could not control the specular highlights in the Diamonds as well as with a MFD back ... I never tried that again.

    Plus, some MFD solutions now have live view on the computer screen when shooting tethered, and software "focus assists" to make focusing with a view camera much easier. On some critical jobs I've use the audio feed-back focus assist on my Hasselblad set up.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    1Ds3 is 14 bit while 1Ds2 was 12 bit - so the color response is much better now.

    I'm sure the current backs are still ahead of the current DSLRs.
    The question is the back I can afford at <$5000 - H25, ZD etc. would they still be much better.
    I can spend $6000 on a new setup with a good digital lens and a decent back from >5yrs ago.

    What I'm afraid of is to spend the money and then have two 22MP systems with not so different image quality.

    I'm very annoyed by the 3:2 ratio and AA filter in the Canon, but the customers are not complaining - at least not to my face.
    And of course the movements which I've never tried, but seem to make a lot of sense.
    And the German tech lenses which is very hard for me to estimate how much better they will be.

    Sliding back adds $2500 to the equation.
    ZD for instance is only 14 bit, and can't be mounted on a view camera as I understand since it lacks the shutter connection to the lens.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    I have tried Helicon a few years ago and the results were unacceptable.
    I tried them today after your post and the results were very good.
    I guess they improved their algorithms.
    I will buy it and work it into my workflow.

    Some of the cameras you mention are tremendously expensive for me (P65+!)

    As a buyer - how much of a difference does it make if the images comes from Canon/Nikon or MFDB?

    It seems like a possibility to consider is that the new and advanced DSLRs such as 1Ds3 and D3X are almost as good as the 22MP MFDB.

    Is there really much of a point in getting a 36x48 based rig, or is it more about feeling good about your equipment and impressing the customers?

    22MP is all I can afford and also all I need. I have various possibilities - H25, Aptus, ZD.
    IMO, 22 meg is enough when you consider that you can mount it on a view camera for full movements. I have used the following and can say that a 22 meg back will still outperform all of them in the studio: Canon 1DsMKIII, Nikon D3X and a Sony A900. I used none of them in the studio for product work. Frankly, I'd use a 16 meg DB before any of them in the studio. I shot hundreds of chrome wheels for GM using a 16 meg CVF that I could print up to 24" X 24" without loss.

    Someone on this forum just bought a H3D/39 for $6,500. that works great. A brand new Hasselbald CFV/39 is only $12,000 new so used one will start showing up for under $10K. There are Phase One solutions that are similar. Same for Leaf and Sinar. All of these backs will work on a view camera.

    The tech lenses are relative bargains for what they do and you really only need two of them for your applications. Nothing in 35mm or MFD lenses even come close. Think about it ... there are no moving elements and subsequent compromises. Focusing is done with the view bellows not the lens.

    But in the end we all have to weigh cost against gain. It's just business

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The tech lenses are relative bargains for what they do and you really only need two of them for your applications.
    Why 2 lenses and not one? Which two lenses?

    I will accept your premise that a tech lens is better as it does make sense from an engineering point of view.

    Still it was suggested here to mount a tech lens on a MF bellows with MF body and back.

    If I spend $5000-6000 on a back and a lens, what do I put in the middle, as I don't have much money left.

    I saw the option for Horseman LD for $4500 - too expensive for me.
    Linhof body for $500 - OK, but then sliding back adapter for $2500 - again the numbers start to climb out of my reach.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    Why 2 lenses and not one? Which two lenses?

    I will accept your premise that a tech lens is better as it does make sense from an engineering point of view.

    Still it was suggested here to mount a tech lens on a MF bellows with MF body and back.

    If I spend $5000-6000 on a back and a lens, what do I put in the middle, as I don't have much money left.

    I saw the option for Horseman LD for $4500 - too expensive for me.
    Linhof body for $500 - OK, but then sliding back adapter for $2500 - again the numbers start to climb out of my reach.
    For your purposes a view camera is the more practical studio solution because it provides the greatest range of movements and close-up possibilities.

    I suggested 2 tech lenses so you have the option of a shorter lens to increase DOF when needed. I primarily use a 90 and 120. But that is up to you.

    If you buy any of this stuff new it will all be out of your price range. Astute shopping saves a LOT of money. People change their shooting application needs and dump entire systems that have been depreciated over a few years so they are far more reasonable. Most view cameras are tough as nails and are barely broken in when sold used. A huge amount of digital backs are sold used with a very low amounts of shots on them as people upgrade to the next version.

    But as I said, it all depends on income verses expenses ... especially these days. Only you can determine that. I was just answering your inquiry on how to achieve something. Sometimes that cost more money.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    1) He is shooting studio only (from my quick read) so a H25 (no LCD, not easily portable) would do a great job at a very low entry price.

    2) Buying used piece by piece on eBay may cause frustration like that. But if you buy from a dealer like us then you either don't have the issues - or in the very least you have someone to hold up to the fire to make things right :-).
    There is some wisdom in it to follow the wisdom of those who have more experience and offer their service. However, one must be able to afford it.

    An H25 may have a "very low entry price" but this very low entry price is not really that low when you compare it to the latest products in the digital market. With all the inconveniences an H25 has today, again compared to the latest, plus the fact that it is device many years old, very limited warranty etc. - I do not really consider it a bargain or anything close to that.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    If you compare a properly captured and processed file from that 'ancient and inconvenient' H25 back mounted on an equally ancient and inconvenient 10 year old view camera behind a relatively recent digital lens, to the best file you can get from any of the best current crop of DSLRs with the best lens that manufacturer offers, the H25 is indeed going to seem like the bargain of the century...

    However for *MY* uses, I agree with the inconvenience part and would pay the extra few bucks for the P25 version's added conveniences (and actually would pay for the P25+ simply to get the added long exposure benefits, but that's me). But to be fair to the H25, for the above-described tethered, studio situation, the end result file would not be any different...

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    But with a P25+ back you can certainly put that back in service as a real cam in the field and shoot a lot more than just studio work. Bottom line your not going to walk in cheap and expect miracles either. I would never buy a one trick pony and always go for how versatile a system is. It certainly pays to be thrifty no question but I always recommend to anyone is how much can you do with it that counts and how far you can take a back with options on the system, tech cam , regular Cam for field use and the ability to add more to the system as you need. The real question is your future and how often are you going to keep increasing the value and versatility of that system as you grow into other area's of work. For me I go for a system that fits my needs today but will still fit my needs 3 years from now. Personally i would by a real back like the P25+ as that maybe the best system to buy into for tech and cam work, plus it is reasonable inexpensive and can work on any solution you can come up with and trust me those 22 mpx will blow anything away in 35mm. Been here done this.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    There is some wisdom in it to follow the wisdom of those who have more experience and offer their service. However, one must be able to afford it.

    An H25 may have a "very low entry price" but this very low entry price is not really that low when you compare it to the latest products in the digital market. With all the inconveniences an H25 has today, again compared to the latest, plus the fact that it is device many years old, very limited warranty etc. - I do not really consider it a bargain or anything close to that.
    Compared to what latest products in the digital market? The OP has already stated he can't afford the latest, thus the alternative suggestions.

    However, I wouldn't discount previous digital backs like those suggested if all the user wants is studio capture. There are all kinds of professional shooters out there still using them.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    I just bought a sliding back V adapter, and we'll see what happens next.

    I'm not going to invest over $10000 in this at this point, as I'm not really sure what the outcome will be.
    I'm going to keep my Canon rig alongside in any case, so flexibility is not paramount.
    My aim is a studio only setup - LCD screen and ISOs are not interesting to me.
    I would sure love a real time view without having to slide, but seems that would cost me a lot.
    I'm definitely not going to lug a 4x5 along in the field for the rare cases I need it.

    I believe I will set something up with the cheapest parts I can find, and if at some point I'm convinced that this will become my main rig, I will make the >$10000 investment.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    If you compare a properly captured and processed file from that 'ancient and inconvenient' H25 back mounted on an equally ancient and inconvenient 10 year old view camera behind a relatively recent digital lens, to the best file you can get from any of the best current crop of DSLRs with the best lens that manufacturer offers, the H25 is indeed going to seem like the bargain of the century...

    However for *MY* uses, I agree with the inconvenience part and would pay the extra few bucks for the P25 version's added conveniences (and actually would pay for the P25+ simply to get the added long exposure benefits, but that's me). But to be fair to the H25, for the above-described tethered, studio situation, the end result file would not be any different...

    ,
    I do not question the end result of a back like the H25.
    But when we talk about value, I look around what is up to date - especially with any computer related things.
    CI has the H25 for 4.400 last time I looked - a new Aptus II 5 is 8000.
    How does this compare? A new back, live view, warranty, screen and more connectivity to choose from than an x-year old back.

    The H25 may say good by after the six month warranty is over, the OP has put all his money (he doesnt seem to have lots of it) in and then?

    He will be there with a load of equipment good for nothing. This is not a smart business decision. With such tight budget the only reasonable advise is to go for safety - buy a DSLR and a PC lens.

    But who am I to give advise ?

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    I just bought a sliding back V adapter, and we'll see what happens next.

    .
    Next thing that will happen is that you probably find out it is useless for your coming shopping decision and put it back on the big auction site.

    Don't mind, just trying to cheer you ......

    Make a plan and have a strategy.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    But who am I to give advise ?
    One problem with forums is we all tend to self-reference whenever we give advice; it's natural . The more difficult part is to try and help solve the problem for the OP while staying inside their parameters, when you would choose an alternate path for yourself...
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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    My decision is 4x5 with V back and Rodenstock lens.
    I found a bargain on a sliding adapter, now I just need to find a low price V back - I think that will be possible.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    One problem with forums is we all tend to self-reference whenever we give advice; it's natural . The more difficult part is to try and help solve the problem for the OP while staying inside their parameters, when you would choose an alternate path for yourself...
    Yes, for sure it is not easy.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Why is P30 cheaper than P25?

    Is it because of the 33x44mm area?
    P30's seem to go for pretty low prices - maybe it is something I should consider?

    "Wide angle and large
    format tilt and swing
    positions may produce
    a coloorcast in the
    image." (P30)

    Why?

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    P30 has micro lens.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    It is long thread to read now, so i will read it later another time, i also interested to do some closeups and production photography but the problem will be the sharpness and the DOF and colors to get accurate as final result, i was not sure if i can use 35mm digital or MF or go for view camera, i saw many Jewelry and watches shots that i like but i don't know what they did use and how.
    Once i was in Hasselblad and Profoto event in my area and they were presenting H4D-50MS [or maybe H3DII-50MS] and the results were amazing as details and sharpness, but i forgot which lens also didn't see how many lights was used.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    here are a couple of watch shots I took this afternoon...I was due to be on my way to Germany, but the Icelandic volcano had its own ideas, so am at home...

    Shot with the HC 4/80 and either 52mm tube on its own or in combination with 28mm. H3d-39 on a Manfrotto macro focussing rail, on Photoclam Multiflex head on Gitzo 3541LS, lighting is one Profoto 600R, on umbrella, but light diffused by transluscent perspex sheet between umbrella and subject.





    and a 100% crop.



    I am also quite keen to see how the HC 4/120 macro compares.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    A question - you state that DOF is too limited. One way to get more DOF is to move to a smaller sensor, whereas moving up to a MFDB will actually give you less DOF. Just for reference, have you tried shooting with a compact camera with a tiny sensor?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    By the principles of physics you are correct.
    But in a real world situation other factor weigh in.

    I've compared 24x36 @f/22 to 36x48 @f/32.
    Of course when you compare f/22 to f/22 the DOF will be smaller in the large sensor - but not by that much.
    But the large sensor gives results which I considered acceptable at f/32 when the small sensor absolute limit is f/22.
    And the f/32 on 35x48 gave much better DOF than f/22 on 24x36 and also better sharpness.

    Why that is is a good question.
    Perhaps it's the star digital lens from Mamiya that made the difference.
    I believe at the end of the day a lens optimized and well made for the specific application is the biggest difference maker.
    Also a larger pixel size may have an effect is lessening diffraction.
    My experience with sensors smaller than 24x36 has not been great and I am very reluctant to go there.

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    Re: Advice about digital close up setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    By the principles of physics you are correct.
    But in a real world situation other factor weigh in.

    I've compared 24x36 @f/22 to 36x48 @f/32.
    Of course when you compare f/22 to f/22 the DOF will be smaller in the large sensor - but not by that much.
    But the large sensor gives results which I considered acceptable at f/32 when the small sensor absolute limit is f/22.
    And the f/32 on 35x48 gave much better DOF than f/22 on 24x36 and also better sharpness.

    Why that is is a good question.
    Perhaps it's the star digital lens from Mamiya that made the difference.
    I believe at the end of the day a lens optimized and well made for the specific application is the biggest difference maker.
    Also a larger pixel size may have an effect is lessening diffraction.
    My experience with sensors smaller than 24x36 has not been great and I am very reluctant to go there.
    One more time just to be irritating ... MOVE BACK A LITTLE BIT!

    These sensors are so big you can afford to move back a bit when needed and still have a capture area bigger than a 35mm ... AND they are CCD sensors, NOT CMOS sensors with varying degrees of AA filtration.

    Marc

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