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Thread: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

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    MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Hi guys.

    I've been struggling recently when out shooting with my Mamiya 7ii because I am requiring the use of movements, in particular rise and fall. I'm wondering what systems, that accommodate both film and digital backs, are most recommended by Getdpi members. I ask it to be compatible with both mediums because at the moment the digital backs in the spec range I want are out of my price range, especially if factoring in a new body and lenses. Plus I'd like an upgrade path to digital as I can afford it.

    I just checked out the Alpa system web page to see what the fuss is about, and wow! Great system, but those prices are huge! As I understand by reading the web documentation, the 12 TC doesn't allow movements? And the 12 Max is the body I'd need to be looking at? Also, I'm not sure how you can see the movements when using the Max. Do you have to use a GG attachment and a loupe? I'm assuming the viewfinder doesn't have markings to show movements.

    What are the other systems out there? I'm specifically after compact units. If I had the money I'd just get a Hasselblad with the TC adaptor, but beggars can't be choosers! Anyway, any discussion surrounding MF multi format compatible cameras with movements is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    And the 12 Max is the body I'd need to be looking at?
    You might want to check out the Alpa SWA model for rise/fall movements. It has a built in front rise but the camera body can be mounted upside down on a tripod making it possible to do a fall movement. It's also a very comfortable camera to hand-hold.

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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    You mention the Hassy with the TC adapter and then the cost factor -- and Alpa's are in that same league by the time you get a couple of lenses. What about the Hassy Flexi for V lenses and backs? There was also the ArcFlex that used V backs and Rodenstock lenses and either could be used with an appropriate digital back in Hassy V mount.
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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Hi Tim:

    To answer some of your questions regarding the Alpa 12 Max, yes, you swap out the digital back for a ground glass (GG) and flexible hood with loupe. Alpa, unfortunately, does not manufacture a sliding back to quickly and safely switch between GG and back. Their stated reasons for not manufacturing such a device is the difficulty in maintaining exact parallel alignment of the digital sensor plane to lens plane. I don't know about this as there are many people successfully using the Arca Rotaslide or Phase sliding back adapter. Perhaps over the long term maintaining adequate tolerances is difficult as the sliding back is used repeatedly. So you do have to be very present when you are changing the digital back for the GG and back again so that you minimize the risk of dropping either.

    You didn't mention a need for tilt, but if you decide that you need it, the Alpa system is a tad limited only allowing either tilt or swing, but not both, and with 90mm lenses and above.

    Other options to look into:
    Arca-Swiss Rm3D
    Cambo Wide RS
    Silvestri
    Jacks's list above

    I am sure there are others.

    Regards, Jeff
    Jeff T.
    Jeff Turner's Emerging Light Photography
    http://www.EmergingLightPhotography.com

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    Member JSK Rangefinder's Avatar
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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Jeff, is it possible to use Arca Rotaslide with ALPA 12 Max?

    or perhaps convert it?

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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Even if you could mount the Rotaslide on the Alpa, you would then have to correct for the extra thickness added that displaces the digital back further from the lens flange. In the case of wide angle lenses in Alpa mount, the lens flange is very close to the camera body leaving little to no room for compensation. In this case you would lose infinity focus. With longer lenses there would of course be plenty of room to move the lens flange closer to the body.
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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Makes sense.. Thanks

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    Member Jeff Turner's Avatar
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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Alpa did make a limited number of this prototype camera with an integrated sliding back (looks much like the Sinar Artec). I think I remember reading somewhere where an Alpa employee stated that production was never undertaken of this prototype due to inability to produce it with consistent tolerances up to Alpa standards.
    Jeff T.
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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner View Post
    Alpa did make a limited number of this prototype camera with an integrated sliding back (looks much like the Sinar Artec). I think I remember reading somewhere where an Alpa employee stated that production was never undertaken of this prototype due to inability to produce it with consistent tolerances up to Alpa standards.
    Very impressive! Speciality Cameras are such a small World, I wish manufacturers would agree on having at least the same lens mount so that we don't have to buy 28HR today in order to sell it tomorrow or waste another $1000 to just convert it to a different mount..

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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    You mention the Hassy with the TC adapter and then the cost factor -- and Alpa's are in that same league by the time you get a couple of lenses. What about the Hassy Flexi for V lenses and backs? There was also the ArcFlex that used V backs and Rodenstock lenses and either could be used with an appropriate digital back in Hassy V mount.
    Hi Jack,
    yeah, I know the Hassey H4 etc is comparatively pretty expensive. I like the idea of the Hassey system because in theory it could handle all of my shooting needs. I like too that the TS adaptor in integrated with software in order to cut out a lot of the PP work when dealing with movements. In reality the Hassey idea falls apart when I realize I couldn't buy in to the system in stages and migrate as money permits to a fully digital MF workflow. I'd have to go the whole hog all at once. So Cambo, Alpa and the products you mention seem better bets.

    Honestly, I don't really know what products are out there in this category. I've never been into LF or technical cameras other than occasionally borrowing my works Horseman 45FA when I need perspective control for odd jobs. I'd just get a 4x5 field camera if it weren't for it being prohibitively expensive to buy and develop colour sheet film in NZ. Then there's the cost and inconsistency of drum scanning. I don't really need 4x5 kind of resolution, either.

    T

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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for your list of cameras. Do use one of these cameras yourself? I'm wondering what type of work you do with yours and how you like using it.
    Thanks again,
    Tim

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner View Post
    Hi Tim:

    To answer some of your questions regarding the Alpa 12 Max, yes, you swap out the digital back for a ground glass (GG) and flexible hood with loupe. Alpa, unfortunately, does not manufacture a sliding back to quickly and safely switch between GG and back. Their stated reasons for not manufacturing such a device is the difficulty in maintaining exact parallel alignment of the digital sensor plane to lens plane. I don't know about this as there are many people successfully using the Arca Rotaslide or Phase sliding back adapter. Perhaps over the long term maintaining adequate tolerances is difficult as the sliding back is used repeatedly. So you do have to be very present when you are changing the digital back for the GG and back again so that you minimize the risk of dropping either.

    You didn't mention a need for tilt, but if you decide that you need it, the Alpa system is a tad limited only allowing either tilt or swing, but not both, and with 90mm lenses and above.

    Other options to look into:
    Arca-Swiss Rm3D
    Cambo Wide RS
    Silvestri
    Jacks's list above

    I am sure there are others.

    Regards, Jeff

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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    PS: Just looked at your site - I didn't notice the link before. I'm interested in how you deal with swapping backs out in the field, especially with digital MF. I'd be paranoid about exposing the sensor in some of the environments you shoot in!

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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    This question touches on one of the holy grails - MF, digital, with movements, compact. Good luck - not readily found. Two options you might consider - although both don't fit your needs.

    1) some sort of PC lens - either for a Hassy V system, maybe a Bronica or Rollei. The lenses are limited, and big, but the results (on a tripod) are quite good, and the price can be right.

    2) as long as you are on a tripod, the most cost effective way is film on a 4x5 or 2x3 body, and then scan it. Not what you asked for, but it really works for movements, and has a modest "buy in" price. With 4x5 - use either readiloads or 120 film - the 6x12 is a fun format.

    A fully integrated, compact MFDB setup with shifts: Silvestri, Alpa, Calumet, you know the rest. None are cheap, compact, and easy to use. If you find one that is - let me know.

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    Member Jeff Turner's Avatar
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    Re: MF setup with rise and fall, film and digital.

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    PS: Just looked at your site - I didn't notice the link before. I'm interested in how you deal with swapping backs out in the field, especially with digital MF. I'd be paranoid about exposing the sensor in some of the environments you shoot in!
    Hi Tim:

    I do own the Alpa 12 Max and am using it for a variety of work from landscape (the major reason I bought it), interiors, and portraiture. During my research and trial of various cameras, I tried the Cambo and the Alpa. The Arca was not available here in the US at the time and the Sinar was far too large for my needs.

    Certainly swapping the back out for the GG does open you up to increased risk for dropping one of them. I simply have forced myself to follow the same routine for changing with no distractions. So far, so good. My tripod has a hook under the tripod head mounting platform for adding weight and I instead hang my pack from this hook making it very accessible for equipment swapping. Alpa also makes a rear lens mount cap that also fits the back adapter. I switch them out quickly to minimize exposure of the sensor to dust. I have actually had very little problem with sensor dust and certainly no more than with the Mamiya AFD or RZ67.

    Jeff
    Jeff T.
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