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Thread: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

  1. #101
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Wow Jack, that is one of the best exposure about technical cameras I have read in a long time. Interesting and I could apply almost 99% of everything you said for my future needs...Thanks!

  2. #102
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Finally
    - The rosewood grips have improved my self esteem, my car runs better on cheaper fuel because of them and I swear I am luckier whenever I rub them. It must be due to their natural energy.[/QUOTE]

    LOL

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    The camcom prototype is a bellows camera with electrically-adjustable multi-link arms that would ensure rigidity while maintain all the assets of a full-blown bellows camera with tripod head and sliding back

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rafaelrojasphoto View Post
    Wow Jack, that is one of the best exposure about technical cameras I have read in a long time. Interesting and I could apply almost 99% of everything you said for my future needs...Thanks!
    My pleasure -- though it's the whole point of our forum in general, and this thread specifically as it relates to tech!
    Jack
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Very interestimg discussions, and fueling my desires to go the tech camera route.

    I do have some questions. Most of my bread and butter work is in high resolution macros (of high end mechanical watches), but my personal work is in landscapes, cityscapes and portraits.

    I can see the values and benefits of the Rodie HR lenses for wide...I do like wide...love my HCD4/28 but to justify the expense, will any of the tech cameras be a good solution for 2:1 macro? I currently use a H3d-39 with the HC4/120 macro plus extension tubes.

    Lens for macro could be the Caldwell 120 Apo/macro. Or perhaps Rodenstock or Schineider has alternatives. I can start by using my H39 back, and think of upgrades later.

    Any opinions?

    Btw. Have considered HTS,but wanted to access better optics than Hasselblad lenses...good as they are.
    Last edited by P. Chong; 11th September 2011 at 02:18. Reason: Added HTS was considered.

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Peter,
    The Alpa certainly has extension tubes and a dedicated macro lens, the SK120. Also the tilt/swing adapter allows up to 12' of tilt. The macro lens has an extra long helical so it covers all magnifications across the range of extension tubes.

    Something similar to the Linhof Techno is an excellent choice as you don't need anything extra.

    -Paul

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Re macros: Paul Slotboom of Optechs Digital, has a video on the use of the ALPA for macros, here: http://www.optechsdigital.com/Videos.html

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    Senior Member Thierry's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    All can be found and is explained here:

    ALPA Macro Session

    and here:

    Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/120 mm M (macro)

    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    Peter,
    The Alpa certainly has extension tubes and a dedicated macro lens, the SK120. Also the tilt/swing adapter allows up to 12' of tilt. The macro lens has an extra long helical so it covers all magnifications across the range of extension tubes.
    -Paul
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  9. #109
    smei_ch
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Not to forget that only Alpa has the 120mm mounted in a Linhof focusmount which, thanks to it's 18mm lift, allows much closer focussing even without macro adapters.
    Last edited by smei_ch; 11th September 2011 at 09:26. Reason: Typo

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Linhof Techno for me. When I started thinking about a digital tech cam, my needs where:
    - ability to use lenses from 23/28 to 210/250 mm;
    - at least 20 mm movement on both the horizontal and vertical axis, better if at least 40 on the vertical;
    - vertical movements on both front and rear standards;
    - at least 5' tilt & swing;
    - sliding back adaptor for stitching.

    Basically, the Techno is the only camera that does this neatly (without having to get tilt adapter for each lens, without having to get huge contraptions/extensions to use longer lenses, has enough movements in a small & light enough package without having to get a "full fledged studio tech cam", etc.), except of course the Silvestri which I got as a cheaper entry to Tech cameras before getting the Techno. Compared to the former, the Techno is built like a tank, has more precise movements, supports longer lenses, has more movements... so for me is was a no-brainer to upgrade to the Techno after getting used to the Silvestri, which I loved and which gave me a lot of great images and sales: the Techno is just better, and even more of a pleasure to use.

    In the end, the Techno is somewhere in between a wide angle camera with limited or no movements and a full fledged studio camera; the package is much lighter and smaller than a studio camera, and not much heavier than a WA camera (though a bit bigger, and especially the L-shaped body can be a PITA to store in a bag - though one finds a way eventually ) ). Use of the camera is very straightforward as well, if one is used to focus/compose via a ground-glass with magnifier, and the sliding back adaptor is just wonderful to quickly move from composing/focussing to shooting without any dust problem and without any risk of seeing the back falling due to one back removal too many. Plus it offers out-of-the-box panoramic capabilities without having to struggle with nodal points, panoramic contraptions etc.

    I use it with a P65+, after deciding NOT to upgrade to an IQ 180 for the moment being; the UI improvements, which I would have loved - no, LOVED to have, weren't enough to justify the (considerable) expense and the added problems that the 80 MP create. To me, 60 MP for the moment is about the sweet spot for a 645 sensor - if only Phase would have made side-grading feasible!

    In the end, I am very happy with the Techno for what my needing is - however, as we know it is always horses for courses, and much more when it comes to such specialized tools as these.
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Linhof Techno for me. When I started thinking about a digital tech cam, my needs where:
    - ability to use lenses from 23/28 to 210/250 mm;
    - at least 20 mm movement on both the horizontal and vertical axis, better if at least 40 on the vertical;
    - vertical movements on both front and rear standards;
    - at least 5' tilt & swing;
    - sliding back adaptor for stitching.

    Basically, the Techno is the only camera that does this neatly (without having to get tilt adapter for each lens, without having to get huge contraptions/extensions to use longer lenses, has enough movements in a small & light enough package without having to get a "full fledged studio tech cam"
    You are forgetting the Arca Swiss M-Line 2.

    Does all the above with the addition of it being a system camera meaning many of the parts from different Arca camera platforms are interchangeable. Very importantly its also exceptionally well made.

  12. #112
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    You are forgetting the Arca Swiss M-Line 2.

    Does all the above with the addition of it being a system camera meaning many of the parts from different Arca camera platforms are interchangeable. Very importantly its also exceptionally well made.
    Hey Gareth, no, I am not forgetting it - while being a great choice, it is a studio camera though, and being much bigger and heavier than the Techno I didn't consider it for my needing and for the category of "between a WA camera and a full fledged studio camera"...
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Are the Techno and M line "tech cameras?"

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Are the Techno and M line "tech cameras?"
    It would probably depend on which of the thousand hair-splitting definitions and categorizing you chose to adopt. However, a quick search on the net returns:

    "What is a technical camera, you ask? Quite simply, they are cameras which provide solutions for technical situations. Some of these cameras offer movements for perspective control, however, they also provide solutions to a wide range of other obstacles and vary considerably in features & abilities." (Bear Images website)
    "Linhof Techno compact technical camera introduced - The TECHNO is a compact technical camera offering all practical adjustment facilities for extreme short to longer focal lenses." (Linhof press release)
    "Press and technical cameras are true view cameras, as almost all of them have a ground glass integral to the film-holder mechanism that allows critical focus and full use of the sometimes limited movements. " (Wikipedia)
    etc etc.

    In my view, and to keep definitions simple, we can say that a technical camera is a camera with movements, possibly on both standards - a view camera. Limited versions of technical cameras are the so-called wide-angle cameras (i.e. Cambo DS), the Techno is a more developed version, so is the M-2 as I can see from web info, to end up with the classic studio view cameras (i.e. Linhof 679 and similar).

    So yes, the Techno and the M-2 are, for all intent and purposes, technical cameras.
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    All very interesting. The Alpa STC with extensions and the TS adapter with the SK120 looks very nice and elegant. Um, actually drop dead georgeous. But the support issue is a big question here in Singapore. It is not even possible to demo the Alpa at the AD, which is one of the largest commercial camera/photo supliers in the country.

    This makes the Linhof also looks interesting. Shriro carries the brand, but at the present moment no possibility to demo the camera as there is no demo unit. I might try and get a demo session when I am in Munich in Nov. Any recommendations on where to do so?

    The Techno also appeals because the lenses are less expensive. Though views about difficulty focussing wides scare me a bit. Anyone tried mounting a helicoid like the Arca's on a Linhof lens board? Any Linhof gotcha's?

    Are the Techno's stadards parallelism accurate enough for precise and repeatable movements? Would the M679 be more rigid?

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    Senior Member Thierry's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Peter,

    you should actually contact "David Toh", from Cathay Photo Store Ltd.
    They are the Alpa representaties for Singapore and should be able to demo and support you.

    Please contact me, should you have any problem.

    Best regards
    Thierry


    [QUOTE=P. Chong;350125]All very interesting. The Alpa STC with extensions and the TS adapter with the SK120 looks very nice and elegant. Um, actually drop dead georgeous. But the support issue is a big question here in Singapore. It is not even possible to demo the Alpa at the AD, which is one of the largest commercial camera/photo supliers in the country.
    [QUOTE]
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Thanks Thierry. I will try and contact David. I have visited Cathay, they don't have a demo unit at the store.

    P.s. I visited Thomas and Ursula Carpaul in Zurich some 10 years ago, and came away quite impressed. I still have an original limited edition Alpa pinhole camera which they gave me as a momento of the visit...takes 120 roll film..:-) if I manage to find it in my store, i take a photo just for grins.

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    Senior Member Thierry's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Peter,

    why not taking the opportunity during your planed visit in Europe next November to visit us again?

    You seem to know already the kind of welcome one gets in Zürich, when visiting Alpa and meeting with Ursula and Thomas.

    You are welcome anytime, but please inform in advance of your visit, should you wish.

    Best regards
    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    Thanks Thierry. I will try and contact David. I have visited Cathay, they don't have a demo unit at the store.

    P.s. I visited Thomas and Ursula Carpaul in Zurich some 10 years ago, and came away quite impressed. I still have an original limited edition Alpa pinhole camera which they gave me as a momento of the visit...takes 120 roll film..:-) if I manage to find it in my store, i take a photo just for grins.
    Thierry Hagenauer
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    I second the Linhof Techno. Coming from a 4x5 camera, besides some adjusting to digital workflow, it didn't take me much time to get familiar with the Techno. I love mine and look forward to using live view with it.
    Yat

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Thanks Thierry. I will be in Geneva in Jan. Maybe its good for a visit then. Will let you guys know.

    Yatlee, are the beautiful HKG photos in the Linhof catalog yours? How do you like focussing with wide angle lenses on the Techno GG? Have you tried macro with the camera?

    Also wondering if Arca's RM2d or rm3 will fit the bill...any views?
    Last edited by P. Chong; 14th September 2011 at 23:45.

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    It would probably depend on which of the thousand hair-splitting definitions and categorizing you chose to adopt.
    SNIP
    In my view, and to keep definitions simple, we can say that a technical camera is a camera with movements, possibly on both standards - a view camera. Limited versions of technical cameras are the so-called wide-angle cameras (i.e. Cambo DS), the Techno is a more developed version, so is the M-2 as I can see from web info, to end up with the classic studio view cameras (i.e. Linhof 679 and similar).
    First off, I have no real issue with any of the assorted definitions, and agree that any camera with movements is a technical, but then so is any camera in a box designed to withstand 1,000 degree heat, or an old finderless Leica MX designed specifically for microscopy. So I do think it is perhaps a valid discussion to have a set of definitions that distinguishes the current crop of tech cameras.

    They used to distinguish "Press" from traditional "View" cameras by whatever means of external focusing aid they had, whether it be a cammed rangefinder or a simple distance scale, yet they both allowed for movements and had bellows extension bed focus mechanisms.

    I would propose a similar convention to make distinctions in digital tech cameras, since each basic format has operational and technical advantages and disadvantages. How about if you need to directly view a ground-glass to focus it, it should fall into one main group; if you don't need a GG -- meaning it has a direct scale on the bed or some form of helical -- it should fall into another. For example, I'd call an Arca M-Line 2 a "view" camera even though there are marks on the rails that would allow me to repeat various distances with a given lens once I had them, but I'd call an Arca RM camera with built-in helical a "tech" camera because I can get a direct focus distance for any lens without ever mounting a GG. Similarly, I would refer to a Linhof Techno and Silvestri Bi-Cams view cameras, and the Alpa series and Cambo W's as tech cams. We can perhaps choose a better word than "tech", since indeed they are all technical to a certain degree. What do you think?
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Hate to be late to a dying thread -

    Despite some anxiety about the Arca RM3Di after demo-ing with the Cambo I made the leap. The overriding considerations were reproducibility / precision of focus point and tilt capbilitities. The Arca focus mount subdivides the helical like no other making precise selection of a focal point possible. This allows maximizing DOF via hyperfocal calculations / tables as well as expanding that with tilts.

    Sttich capability was important for me - easier with the sliding back that also keeps the digital back on the camera for maximum protection, but are manageable without one. I have no experience withthe Alpa but have found the tilts necessary for near / far comps even with the 35mm Schneider to avoid helicon stacking, so being limtied to 80mm or longer was a non starter. Both offered that option.

    The Cambo - I came so close to pulling the trigger - but looking at the helical - if you needed to set - says 27 feet focus point for needed dof - how could you? not subdivided enough to do so. so hyperfocal is from infinity to the near hyeprfocal limit instead of infinity to 1/2 ths distance FROM the hyperfocal point. Depends on the type of scenes you shoot, and the flexibiity you require.

    For a field photographer doing landscape always on a tripod the ARca was the one that made the most sense - the deeper i get into it the happier i am that was the choice I made.

    On a recent shoot i found I missed focus and had to go back to redo a preset - shooting test images tethered turned up using different setting than expected - shooting at a falling away receeding plan apparently changed the Scheimpflug enough to screw up the 1st shoot. The geometry can get complicated. When tilted your "cone" of sharp focus is like a flashlite beam pointed away form the camera - how wide a beam is influenced by many facotrs - its another story - suffice to say the "beam" wasnt pointed down quite enough Whew -- Can't hook up the laptop everytime - saving nickles for the IQ 160 - hope the screen is as good as it is said to be.

    Feel free to PM if this ramble is too confusing.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by nyesimmons View Post

    The Cambo - I came so close to pulling the trigger - but looking at the helical - if you needed to set - says 27 feet focus point for needed dof - how could you? not subdivided enough to do so. so hyperfocal is from infinity to the near hyeprfocal limit instead of infinity to 1/2 ths distance FROM the hyperfocal point. Depends on the type of scenes you shoot, and the flexibiity you require.
    Congratulations on the new rig!

    Regarding the focusing accuracy I note that some folks are using the Alpa high precision focusing rings on their Cambo mount lenses. With wides in particular it certainly is tough to accurately set the focus to a fixed point up close unless it's one of the preset distances on the lens. The HPF rings help with this, particularly if you're focus stacking.

    However you look at it and regardless of camera system choice, we're blessed with a nice assortment of excellent alternatives at the moment.

    As regards the IQ focus mask for setting the lens, it works pretty well although so far I've found that it is somewhat scene dependent (it relies on local contrast) but definitely still a quantum leap over what we've had before without tethering.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Thank you very much again for the posts!!!
    Tareq

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    I need to add an addendum. I have been receiving a few emails and PM's specifically asking about my choice between the Cambo WRS and Arca RM3Di as somebody having shot with both, but that isn't a dealer selling either. Here is my answer as simply as I can state it:

    They are both great systems, and at present the only two I would consider because of tilt movements on wider lenses. Note I have never owned the Cambo, only tested a demo model. I also demoed the RM3D first, and do now own it. The net final differences for me are:

    * Cambo: Has Swings and Tilts, and is more readily available than the Arca. However, tilt and swing are limited to lenses 35mm and LONGER, so not an option for the 23, 24 or 28, and someday I expect to own something in the 23 to 28 range. Cambo does NOT have a sliding back option for a convenient Ground Glass focus and sensor swap, so if you have a back without focus confirmation you need to do the remove GG and mount DB for every image, definitely less convenient.

    * Arca is perhaps a little more refined mechanically, but the differences are not worth arguing about -- both are excellent quality. Arca allows tilt or swing, not both, but allows it for any lens mounted. Arca also has an elegant sliding back option, though it will not work with the 23 or 24, not sure on the 28's. I know it will work for 32 and up. Arca has a little more total rise and fall, but a little less side shift than the Cambo in normal form. However you can swap the Arca around to get the rise/fall movements to be shift, gaining more total shift than the Cambo while still allowing tilt or swing, making it somewhat more flexible.

    * Price. Cambo base cost is less, especially for lenses not in tilt/shift mounts. However, at least at present, by the time you get two or three lenses in Cambo T/S lensmounts, the cost equals or exceeds the Arca with the same lenses.

    * For me. I had used Arca view cameras or years and was very familiar with them, and the RM's movement controls are similarly employed. Only very rarely do I need tilt and shift together, and I preferred the Arca control layout and implementation over the Cambo. Other thing is Arca makes a small view camera called the M-Line 2. The RM lenses can be mounted directly to it via an adapter. Not sure I'll ever need it, but I like the option of using my existing lenses in their existing mounts on a view camera if ever needed.

    * But I'll repeat that Arcas are in short supply and I waited several months to complete a three lens kit. With Cambo you can probably have everything in a few weeks. Arca has stepped production up, so this situation will hopefully change in the near future...

    ** A sidebar note regarding the Sinar ArTech. I have never demoed one, but it is another choice that allows tilt and swing. My issues with it were simply the permanently attached sliding back adds pretty significantly to overall size, and it is a feature I do not need with the focus confirmation technology in my particular back. However I mention it because I feel it is a valid choice for those wanting a tech cam with tilts, and the sliding back is a welcome feature if your back has no reliable focus confirmation options.

    Hope that clarifies my opinions!
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    small detail: I believe the arca tilts from the base, whereas the Cambo tilts on the lens centerline

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    small detail: I believe the arca tilts from the base, whereas the Cambo tilts on the lens centerline
    John,

    To clarify, the Arca tilts and swings are on the lens centerline too. The mechanism tilts the entire helical assembly through it's center. Swings are accomplished by rotating the helical standard 90 degrees in the frame, so swings are centerline as well.
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    * Cambo: Has Swings and Tilts, and is more readily available than the Arca. However, tilt and swing are limited to lenses 35mm and LONGER, so not an option for the 23, 24 or 28, and someday I expect to own something in the 23 to 28 range. Cambo does NOT have a sliding back option for a convenient Ground Glass focus and sensor swap, so if you have a back without focus confirmation you need to do the remove GG and mount DB for every image, definitely less convenient.

    Actually on my Cambo price guide they do have TS in both the SK 28 , Rodie 32,SK 35 as well. Than just about every lens up in Rodie or SK
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    To further clarify I am looking at Euro pricing and the difference between a TS and Non TS for the same lens is 900 to 1200 Euros depending on lens from what I can make of this. Certainly check with a dealer to get a more refined price.
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Hmm, No love for the Sinar arTec??
    What gives? I love mine, yeah they are over priced but if you can find a used one like I did, I think it's a very nice system and has tilt on the body not the lenses which makes things very simple to use or swing by rotating the front mount, very easy to do.
    Personally I like having the option to use a ground glass for accurate composistion and focusing with a Rodenstock view finder, and if you use any of the Leaf rotating sensor backs, you have the best of both worlds. You never have to remove the DB for orientation change. Lens selection is good on the wide side, I which they offered something longer than a 135mm, yet overall I really enjoy the system.

    Steven
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  31. #131
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Steven is there a dealer in the US that actually sells them.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  32. #132
    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Dodd Camera
    http://www.doddcamera.com/
    Yes I admit Sinar in the USA is a challenge, but I purchased 2 lenses from Dodd and they gave me a pretty good deal on two lenses.
    I paid about 7k total for both the Sinaron Digital 5.6/70 CEF and the Sinaron Digital 5.6/135 CEF about in line with Arca. I already had the Sinaron Digital HR 4.0/35 CEF which came with my arTec.
    So they for sure can order arTecs. In the USA, everything Sinar comres from Bron Imaging.



    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Steven is there a dealer in the US that actually sells them.
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  33. #133
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Great to know and thank you. They also sell Alpa I believe as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    thanks Jack, another myth de-bunked!

  35. #135
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Great to know and thank you. They also sell Alpa I believe as well.
    Yeah, they are going for formal Alpa training in October. They have two websites. The one Steven quoted is their consumer site. They have another site geared to professionals: http://www.doddpro.com

    Dave

  36. #136
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Hmm, No love for the Sinar arTec??
    What gives?
    Steven,

    Please read my double asterisked note above in post 125...
    Jack
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    ** A sidebar note regarding the Sinar ArTech. I have never demoed one, but it is another choice that allows tilt and swing. My issues with it were simply the permanently attached sliding back adds pretty significantly to overall size, and it is a feature I do not need with the focus confirmation technology in my particular back. However I mention it because I feel it is a valid choice for those wanting a tech cam with tilts, and the sliding back is a welcome feature if your back has no reliable focus confirmation options.

    There is no doubt that the artec has a larger footprint than other choices. The larger size delivers a sliding back and as pointed above the ability to focus via glass before sliding the back over to make the shot. On a tripod the difference in size I would suggest is irrelevant.

    What I like about the artec

    It is beautifully engineered and provides all the movements one could ask for.
    You can order the camera in V, HC, Phase, Sinar/Leaf afi/hy6 mounts and you can have the mount changed if you need to by sending it back
    It comes with a selection of excellent accessories from Sinar for those who like hiot rodding their gear

    What I dont like

    It IS more expensive ( perhaps unecessarily so) but the CHF/US exchange rate is punishing
    Sinar only mounts Rodenstock glass ( apparently they do ensure that the mounted examples of teh Rodenstock - rebadged as Sinar CFV are good examples ) - but you pay more
    The camera was designed so that it isn't nodal point centered over the tripod mount - so you need to use two sliding brackets ( RRS) to achieve nodal point panorama shooting - I dont do this so no biggie for me

    What may be frustrating about Sinar and the US buyer - and irrelevant for non US buyers Clearly judging from comments - their distribution system in the US hasn't done them any favours.

    So it is hardly surprising that the forum(s) in the US dont have much to say about the artec or in fact Sinar in general - which is why non US photographers sometimes scratch their head when discussions like this about technical cameras make little or no mention about what is probably the best tripod mounted system out there.

    After all if you can't test someting or try something and support is non existant or difficult...well it is for all intents and purposes a non existant 'choice'.

    Finally - I dont understand the whole issue of 'checking focus' most backs I own or have use allow for zooming in after a shot to check ( for field use) - in fact I rarely use the glass to focus anyway as I am shooting at f11 with the 23mm and F8-F11 for the 70mm lenses on my artec and for landscape work most focussing distances are closer to infinity than not - tilt and aperture looks after th eplane of focus for teh typical near and far - another rock another tree type shot ( ARAT)

    Pete

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Jack, Missed your ** asterisk. I agree once you have a sliding back it does add to the size, but for me I still find it quit compact and very well built. The slide works very well as does the integrated viewfinder. A real pleasure to work with.
    Even though after reading yours and many other reviews of the new IQ back with the much improved display, just to name one of many enhancements, I hear it is still hard to see in sunlight yet I may be wrong, either way I do love the articulating screen on the Leaf Aptus II AFI back. To bad the whole AFI thing never really caught on.
    Steven Kornreich
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  39. #139
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    I would agree with everything Pete has to say about the arTec 100%
    Since I am an amateur who does not make a dollar from photography, I just do it because I happen to love photography, technology, and can appreciate great quality when I see it.
    Unfortunately most of the time I can't afford it but when I stumbled on to the arTec I purchased I felt it was a really good deal and a quality product I couldn't resist, had to sell all my gear to raise the funds, and so far I have no regrets, except maybe selling my M9. Oh well hopefully there will be another M9/M10 in the future for me. IMHO the Leica is hard to beat.
    Steven Kornreich
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  40. #140
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    sorry - posted in the wrong thread!
    Vieri Bottazzini
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    But the effect is done. I will seek out the Techno to demo in Munich this Nov. Thanks.

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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    It seems that we have a fair representation on the three big ones (i.e. Cambo, Arca and Alpa). How about linhof Techno?!!
    I will get mine in few weeks.

  43. #143
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Just finished rereading this thread and wanted to throw another body/system out for discussion. The Cambo Ultima.

    I had the chance to try this camera out a short time after getting my WRS and the memory haunts me. I'd truly love to use this camera if only I were 20-years younger or had an 20-year old assistant to lug it around for me. The specs say this weighs 11 pounds if it does then it's the heaviest 11 pounds I ever felt.

    The weight was the sole reason I never bought it. The system I tried had a sliding back with 2-lenses and groundglass. I used it for a trip I did in Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods and loved everything about it - except the weight. I quickly figured there was no way I'd feel like packing this beast along with the tripod and Cube for a mile hike so the WRS won out in the end.

    Every once in a while I still think about....
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  44. #144
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Don - how well did you get on with focusing? I'm intrigued by the Techno myself the more I've looked at it and discussed with Amr. My concerns with these true tech cameras has always been with achieving decent focus - my experience with the small GG is so different to what I've been used to with 4x5.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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  45. #145
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Graham, This is all from several years ago and too many brain cells have past over the river since then so it's a little hazy...

    My first problem (besides the overall weight factor) was using the groundglass. Remembering this was in my very early stages of using the WRS so my technique was still in its infancy. What I remember was using the sliding back was much easier than I thought and little to no learning curve. Open the lens wide look through the GG to set the image and focus, slide the back over and capture. While I didn't do any extreme imaging such as very close in I remember being pleased overall with the end results. I might be wrong here however I feel the GG was slightly larger than the WRS GG thus easier to use. I do remember feeling it was easier to use than on the WRS.

    Just writing about it makes me think about it all over again. Then there's the Techno and so little has been written about that. Looks like a small version which could be very manageable in hiking several miles to say a cliff dwelling. Then again I can do that with the WRS....

    Don
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    i had a nice gg swing in adapter for the Rollei Xact, hated using it (had a slightly cropped hasselblad db at the time. also had a horseman with a clip-in gg (shifts only). had dreams of the old 4x5 gg experience, but nothing doing, it isn't at all the same

    too tiny an image, grain was a problem using a loupe, as well as light falloff

  47. #147
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Just my .02, but for those looking for a full-featured view cam with bellows and extended movements, the Arca M-line 2 is pretty compelling. In addition to being rigid enough for high res imaging, it is relatively lightweight and compact. It is NOT hand-holdable though, but then nor were most filed view cameras when we shot 4x5. Recessed lensboards available for very short lenses, and special adapter boards so you can use your RM mounted lenses directly on the M-line. As a plus, you can replace either standard on the M-2 with the RM3Di camera body. This gives you added flexibility and movement capability. One of Arca's key strengths for years has been its modular approach.

    *The Technar may be as versatile and adjustable as the Arca M-2, I just have never used one so cannot comment directly.

    FTR, I have owned or used:

    1) Cambo Ultima. IMHO it is not rigid or precise enough -- when you lock the standards down they move, rendering it almost useless for medium to short lenses. It is heavy.

    2) Rollei Xact. Great camera, very solid. Could not use lenses shorter than around 60mm on it and it was heavy, like 9 pounds or almost 4 kilos. Excellent studio/product option.

    3) Plaubel. Also impressive design, extremely rigid, very nice geared movements everywhere, but even more restricted in short lenses than the Xact and weighed even more than the Xact! Could use Rollei electro-shutter lenses. Another excellent studio/product option.

    4) Silvestri Bi-Cam. Lighter in weight than any of the above. Adjustments were relatively crude and imprecise, was not very rigid -- even worse than the Cambo.
    Jack
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  48. #148
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    Re: Tech Cams: the choices, which one and why ?

    Jack - glad to hear I'm not the only one who thinks the Ultima heavy...
    Don Libby
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