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Thread: Super-wides in MF land

  1. #1
    Member Hauxon's Avatar
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    Super-wides in MF land

    Hi this is my first post here, been a lurker for a while but feel now is time to speak up. I'm an amateur/semi-pro nature photographer. I mostly shoot landscapes With my Canon 1Ds II and Olympus 18mm f/3.5 Zuiko. I'm pleased with the combo but have been thinking that MF might have something for me. I'm on limited budget, the whole worth of my current gear does probably not exceed $10.000 but I've been able to sell enough prints to cover most of my equipment cost to date. If going the MF route it would have to be the ZD back or something not much more expensive than that.

    Now for the dilemma. I think it's hard to evaluate if a 28mm MF lens and a 22mp back would make significant impact on my images instead of my current kit. Unforunately it's not possible to rent MF gear here in Iceland so I can't make comarisons myself.

    During the winter light is very low here in Iceland and the back would preferably have to handle long exposures well. My feeling is that the ZD back is not very good at this. The P1 + series is supposed to somewhat better but it's 3x more expensive than the ZD and double the value of all my current gear. Maybe I should wait 1-2 years for used/refurb models to hit ebay??

    I know MF gear is not an option for wildlife and would keep my 400/5.6 L and get a used 1DII or 40D to use for birds.

    I'm not completly new to medium format since I had a Mamya RZ67 and few lenses but sold it because I felt 50mm were not wide enough on 6x7 (and not wide at all with digital) and didn't have patience for film processing, scanning, printing.

    Please share your wisdow!

    Best, Hrannar

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by Hauxon View Post
    Hi this is my first post here, been a lurker for a while but feel now is time to speak up. I'm an amateur/semi-pro nature photographer. I mostly shoot landscapes With my Canon 1Ds II and Olympus 18mm f/3.5 Zuiko. I'm pleased with the combo but have been thinking that MF might have something for me. I'm on limited budget, the whole worth of my current gear does probably not exceed $10.000 but I've been able to sell enough prints to cover most of my equipment cost to date. If going the MF route it would have to be the ZD back or something not much more expensive than that.

    Now for the dilemma. I think it's hard to evaluate if a 28mm MF lens and a 22mp back would make significant impact on my images instead of my current kit. Unforunately it's not possible to rent MF gear here in Iceland so I can't make comarisons myself.

    During the winter light is very low here in Iceland and the back would preferably have to handle long exposures well. My feeling is that the ZD back is not very good at this. The P1 + series is supposed to somewhat better but it's 3x more expensive than the ZD and double the value of all my current gear. Maybe I should wait 1-2 years for used/refurb models to hit ebay??

    I know MF gear is not an option for wildlife and would keep my 400/5.6 L and get a used 1DII or 40D to use for birds.

    I'm not completly new to medium format since I had a Mamya RZ67 and few lenses but sold it because I felt 50mm were not wide enough on 6x7 (and not wide at all with digital) and didn't have patience for film processing, scanning, printing.

    Please share your wisdow!

    Best, Hrannar
    Yes. It would make a significant difference ... if you print larger than 11"X14"

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    I have to check how long you can go with a ZD back. But the ZD is a great entry point into MF at low costs . I also know Jack maybe selling his also but I know 30 seconds would be okay because i have gone that long when I had mine. Phase Plus backs can go one hour according to the specs. I have yet to try that with my P25 plus. But if not a ZD but maybe a P25 non plus used could be the answer. I don't know how long the Aptus backs and Hassy backs can go . Let's not forget the Sinar also
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Member Hauxon's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    As I understand it the Sinar backs perform best at lower ISO, 50 and 25, witch is fine for studio but a drawback for what I do. Don't know too much about the Leaf backs, how they are in dusty and humid conditions etc. Phase One marketing has at least been trying to reach us nature guys.

    I think I see some kind of extra three dimentiality with MF and LF compared to my 35mm SLR but it might be an emperor's new clothes syndrome, in theory I should be able to get very similar results with my 50mm f/1.2 as 80mm f/2.8 of MF. I was always planning to make comarisons between my 1DsII +50L and RZ67+110/2.8 but never got to it. Too thin dof might also be a drawback with landscapes.

    Guy, can you email me a raw file from the 28mm lens? Preferably an f/11 or f/16 one. ( [email protected] )

    fotografz:
    Are you sure the resolution increase would be noticable by significant margin? The long side of my 1DsII is 4992 pixels and the long side of Phase One P25+ is 5436 pixels, only 444 pixels more. That would make 388dpi for the P25 at 14" print and 356dpi for the 1DsII. If we look at what size we get if we print at 200dpi 1DsII gives you 25" print and the P25 would print 27". I know the gap is wider for the short side but to me it's still doubful if this is really significant, right? MF has a lot more to offer than sheer resolution but resolution is of course important to us landscape photographers. A lot of my prints go up to 40-50 inches but that's usually on canvas witch is easier on resolution.

    Is there any direct comparison of the 28mm Hasselblad and 28mm Mamiya? If you have any liks to comparisons/reviews I'd be very thankful.

    Best, Hrannar
    Hrannar Hauksson
    http://www.hauxon.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    The one thing you can look at also is a stitching back . I have a Horseman SWdII with a Rodenstock 35mm digitar . You can do a three vertical stitch with it on a P25 plus or a ZD back and get a huge files. BTW the pixels stuff is a bunch of bull. Major difference between 35mm and MF is just short of amazing . Big fat pixels from these backs are just so much better. The detail is one thing but the DR is amazing and they just kill any DSLR out there in almost all respects . I have a link here to the raws from a 28mm and 35mm Mamiya . There a ton of files for you to process . If you have C1 Version 4.1 so much the better but ACR or Lightroom can also process them. There files extension is .tif for the raws.Now the 28mm and 35mm are very nice lenses but you need to stop them down to get good corners the 28mm is awesome but i would call it a 30mm lens because on critical corner sharpness you may want to crop a little. Very hard to make super wides for MF . Reason these sliding backs with the digitar lenses are very popular for wide angle work. There some of the best lenses made. My Horseman will be back up and running tomorrow , I had a lose lens issue that the folks at Capture Integration replaced for me but there are a few threads on these sliding backs Cambo and Horseman make them. Now when you download the files look at the Exif data in them becuase it was mostly a test but i did shoot a bunch of shots . There is also a thread on the Mamiya 28mm that has the same images check this thread out http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2103

    Link to files from this test go here and look for Jack download here folder http://idisk.mac.com/guymancuso-Public?view=web
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    I dont understand the 50 1.2L reference ( great lens just sold mine along with every other Canon L series lens and a 1dsmk11 as well) Why would you shoot wide open for landscape work?

    You want a super wide angle lens right? Then you need a Schneider 24 or a Rodenstock 28 - thats as wide as you can go, the quality you get from these between F8-11 is unmatchable by puny MF lenses and all their complicated bells and whistles.

    Maybe better still for landcape work is a scanning back from Bettelight - or dare I mention a film camera like one of the exquisite Lihnhoff Technoramas - probably the single most used landscape system for fine art shooters .

    MFD isnt the answer for everyone and if you want to play with the very best available tools - you have to pay. Yesterday's shooters did very well with far less than we have today.

    Good Luck - and I envy your landscape opportunities living in Iceland - but not your weather!

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    The other advantage of a stitching back is that you make your lens wider so you don't need to spend the extra on a 28mm, a 35mm might do, you can also buy a lesser megapixel back and still get loads of resolution.

    I shot in Iceland in the summer and was using pretty long shutter speeds for iso 100 and f22, was a problem with my noisy 1Ds at the time for exposures over a second even. I think that this may be your biggest problem.


    Landmannalaugar at midnight, 4 seconds at f22 iso 100 with polariser. No one believes the time or the colours but you will know I wasn't cheating!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Ben this was exactly part of my thinking when I bought the P25 plus . I figured if i really need the bigger file i could just do a stitch and pull out a very high res file for the times i may need it and not being able to get the P45 this was some saving grace for me. So now if need i can pull the rabbit out of that hat and produce a huge file for a client. I think 35mm is wide enough myself on these sliding backs. Not a very big image circle on the 24mm so only small movements there. I know Jim has been talking about getting some longer ones for his Horseman like a 50 and 80mm also.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Another thread to look at with the sliding backs that Woody started

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2110
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Can you use longer lenses on these sliding backs? The Horseman site doesn't seem to say so.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Let's see what Jim has to say on this . He has looked into it I would assume
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    The 24mm lens unit in combination with a 38 x 48mm image sensor gives you the same wide angle as a 17mm lens with the 35mm format. You will find this super wide angle especially useful in interior architecture and landscape photography, but other applications abound.



    The Horseman SW-D II Pro lens units come quipped with German Schneider and Rodenstock digital lenses. The shortest focal length, the Schneider Apo-Digitar XL24, is one of four available lens units that include Rodenstock Apo-Sironar digital lenses of 35, 45 and 55mm focal lengths. What's more, Horseman SW series (originally for film cameras) lenses can also be used.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Can you use longer lenses on these sliding backs? The Horseman site doesn't seem to say so.
    The Horseman SWD-II will take the 24, 35, 45 and 55mm lenses, all of which are 'digital' (either schneider or rodenstock digitar lenses). It can also take the lenses that the film SW can use, which are the 65, 90 and 135mm lenses.

    The 24mm has very little room for movement. The 35mm has about 105mm image circle, so you can use quite a bit of movement with the lens (but will need to stop down to use the full shift). The rest have image circles large enough to shift fully with no bad corners.

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    The 55mm looks useful to me
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Image circle is the reason I decided to start with the 35.
    -bob

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Yup, Ben now it's 24 hour daylight here. What we get is the golden daypart instead of a golden hour. Great opertunity for lovely colors and dramatic lanscapes. :-)

    The 50L is not much of a landscape lens. I did just mention it because you should be able to get very similar looking images from a MF camera and a 35mm one. Shooting a 50mm at f/1.8 on a 35mm camera should almost give you almost the same image as an 80mm at f/2.8 on a 645 camera, same angle of view and sam amount of dof. The 35mm will be more forgiving in natural light but harder to obtain thin dof in studio. But yes, has little to do with landscapes

    Stiching back does not look too sexy to me. The light changes shiftly here in Iceland and might be very different in frame 1 to frame 6. I also like getting the effect of moving skies, running water, tides, startrails witch are tricky or impossible with a stiching back. I could also just get a panoramic head for my 1DsII to make megapixelpanoramas.

    Improved dynamic range and nicer shadow rendering is a big plus for the MF systems. The 35mm Mamiya lens is pretty cheap but it's equivalvent to 25mm on 35mm systems and realy not wide enough for my taste. The 28mm however is a 20mm equivalvent with a 1.1 crop back nad it's fov more to my liking. The $5000 price is very steep though. Sadly I missed one on Ebay recently witch went for $3200.

    It just seems like rather few of us landscapers actually use digital MF gear and reports of reliablilty of the backs in harsh conditions are few if any. I know Andy Biggs has been using a ZD back but don't know if he's been shooting waterfalls or in icy conditions etc.
    Hrannar Hauksson
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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by Hauxon View Post

    It just seems like rather few of us landscapers actually use digital MF gear and reports of reliablilty of the backs in harsh conditions are few if any. I know Andy Biggs has been using a ZD back but don't know if he's been shooting waterfalls or in ice etc.
    Charlie Cramer (http://www.charlescramer.com/ ) has been using his P45+ for quite a bit now, with no problems.

    another one with the P45+.. Elizabeth Carmel ( http://www.elizabethcarmel.com/ )
    Last edited by JimCollum; 5th June 2008 at 08:05.

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    Member Hauxon's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    Charlie Cramer (http://www.charlescramer.com/ ) has been using his P45+ for quite a bit now, with no problems.
    Danke!
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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Hi Hrannar, nice to see you here. Remember that you are not just getting more megapixels but also igher quality files which can take more post work. Perhaps that's of interest.

    As others have mentioned already, it is easy to use a 40mm lens and stitch a few shots together for a super wide angle and even higher resolution.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Now that is one very cool shot!



    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    The other advantage of a stitching back is that you make your lens wider so you don't need to spend the extra on a 28mm, a 35mm might do, you can also buy a lesser megapixel back and still get loads of resolution.

    I shot in Iceland in the summer and was using pretty long shutter speeds for iso 100 and f22, was a problem with my noisy 1Ds at the time for exposures over a second even. I think that this may be your biggest problem.


    Landmannalaugar at midnight, 4 seconds at f22 iso 100 with polariser. No one believes the time or the colours but you will know I wasn't cheating!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Image circle is the reason I decided to start with the 35.
    -bob
    Ditto!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by Hauxon View Post

    fotografz:
    Are you sure the resolution increase would be noticable by significant margin? The long side of my 1DsII is 4992 pixels and the long side of Phase One P25+ is 5436 pixels, only 444 pixels more. That would make 388dpi for the P25 at 14" print and 356dpi for the 1DsII. If we look at what size we get if we print at 200dpi 1DsII gives you 25" print and the P25 would print 27". I know the gap is wider for the short side but to me it's still doubful if this is really significant, right? MF has a lot more to offer than sheer resolution but resolution is of course important to us landscape photographers. A lot of my prints go up to 40-50 inches but that's usually on canvas witch is easier on resolution.

    Is there any direct comparison of the 28mm Hasselblad and 28mm Mamiya? If you have any liks to comparisons/reviews I'd be very thankful.

    Best, Hrannar
    Hrannar, I have had the Canon 1DsMKII, and now the 1DsMKIII. In no way does either compare to even my 16 meg MF back, let alone a 22 meg or 39 meg version.

    The sensors are huge on these MF backs compared to a full frame 35mm DSLR. It's not just the amount of megapixels, it's the size of them. A 22 meg back has 9 micron pixels. The tonal gradations, detail and sense of depth is significantly improved over the Canon images.

    If that weren't true, what commercial photographer would pay that kind of money for a digital back if a Canon 1DsMKII would be just as good?

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    Charlie Cramer (http://www.charlescramer.com/ ) has been using his P45+ for quite a bit now, with no problems.

    another one with the P45+.. Elizabeth Carmel ( http://www.elizabethcarmel.com/ )
    I took a printing class from Charlie last year and he is a genius! He did the most rigorous analysis of MFDB in conjunction with Bill Atkinson and they both ended up with 645/P45 rigs as a result. Charlie's conclusion was that film trannies may still be a hair better than the p45 (not the plus) but the immediacy and simplicity of dealing with digital files compare to scanning trannies pushed him over the edge. I had the opportunity to compare prints he made from both media and for some I preferred the film but for most there were little differences. JMHO

    Woody

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Now that is one very cool shot!

    Not as cool as this one, an 18X12" of it hangs above my desk, I find it calming! Have to admit that all my pics from Iceland that made it were shot with the 70-200, just my way of shooting landscape I guess.

    Seljalandsfoss
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    That one looks familiar Ben.

    ,
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Why Jack? I got the idea from a picture shot by MR but his was radically different. I hope it's not too cliched a shot of that site, what I liked about Iceland was that there wasn't much that was cliched about it photographically.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Member Hauxon's Avatar
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Ben I love Seljalandsfoss it's great fun to walk behind it and shoot of course. The nearby Skógarfoss waterfall is also a popular stop and somewhat 'cliched'. I do not worry too much anymore if my images look like a postcard, most of the times it means I did pretty well. Familiar places put more demand on you to think about angles, light etc. It ca be incredibly hard to get unique looking images from these places but not impossible. Then like you said Iceland has plenty of great spots that are more than 100m from the highway and not much travelled by turists or locals.

    Here's a shot I did for VW Sweden. Seljalandsfoss and VW Tiguan. Made with a 10 stop B&W ND filter. Not too happy with the colour from it, it's not neautral at all, at least the water looks smooth.

    Last edited by Hauxon; 6th June 2008 at 04:27.
    Hrannar Hauksson
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    I didn't know that Hrannar, I saw the waterfall in a travel/photography report, knew what I wanted to do with it and that's what I did when I got there. Oh well, it still speaks for me and hey, at least it's not as cliched as every single photos of the American midwest!

    Here's another photo from near Krafla at dawn, never liked enough to do anything with it but I tried cropping it to 2:1 this morning and I think it works, needs more work this was more or less straight out of RAW with the sky burnt in.

    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 6th June 2008 at 05:36.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  29. #29
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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    It works very nicely!

    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    ... never liked enough to do anything with it but I tried cropping it to 2:1 this morning and I think it works.

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    Re: Super-wides in MF land

    Limited budget, low-light/long exposures, landscape, specialized use: sounds like you should experiment with a 903SWC and a film back to me. You can put the rig together for a lot less than $5,000 and they hold their value so you can resell it easily if it doesn't work out for you. If it does, you can add a cfv back down the road. (Make sure it's a "I" because apprently the new "II" won't work with the flex or swc.)

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