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Thread: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

  1. #1
    johnlafond
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    Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I am just new in the forum. I actually own a 5D Mark II and a linhof 617. I mostly make panoramic landscapes and i am thinking of selling my 5d for a MF.

    Its been a few days i am reading about medium format gears and my doub is about what to choose :-)
    the only thing i am sure is that i want to be able to produce good panoramics either with the Technical cam or the 645.

    So what is best for panoramic? Tech or 645? The tech gives me flat images for good quality pano without having to crop too much but its sounds like its very limited as we can only shift 2cm from left and 2 cm from right. The 645 is more flexible but you need to crop more.

    Anyone has experience on the matter?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I've been reading about pano camera options too. The Linhof 617 was too big for my needs, and the Linhof 612 seemed a little over priced. The pre-shift in the Linhof 612 is intriguing though. I started reading about the Ebony SW45, with a roll film holder. Again, I want something I can pack and carry easily, but the ability to use Rodenstock or Schneider lenses was more important. This search led me to the Horseman SW612P, with the ability to use horizontal and lateral shift, DOF is very generous, so no tilt needed for me. It also can use the 6x12, 6x9, 6x7 film options, and Rodenstock/Schneider lenses. An extra bonus is NO batteries! I've used Hasselblad H4's and Phase DF's, but choose film for gallery images. The DF has a reputation for locking up when using MU, that should be noted. Have a look at the Linhof Techno or Cambo digital options. The good thing is there's a lot of good camera gear available, but my suggestion would be to keep the 5D (reliable camera) and consider many of the other mirrorless cameras for pano's

  3. #3
    johnlafond
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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I am only new to the linhof 617 but i get some crazy shots out of it! but its heavy and very expensive! 4 pictures a roll i spent 60 rolls in 6 days in new york so i spent 600 euros. Yes i got great pictures but i wonder if i could get the same shooting with the IQ180 or the Leaf Aptus 12.
    The thing is you can shoot and shoot as long as you want and make sure you get the right shots with the digital back.

    I am also worried about the film existence!for how long i will be able to get those fuji velvia 50 120 ????who knows

    Why your choice of film for gallery images? I am thinking of opening a gallery in Barcelona and expose my pictures at 80" size.. but i am not sure due to the really bad situation i Spain..

    "The DF has a reputation for locking up when using MU" you mean the mirror up? see this video from phase one 645 DF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSPOD...layer_embedded

    Check the NY fotos attached to it!

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I have done lots of pano work with a Horseman SW612, Widelux F8, and Pentax 645D.

    If you are looking for a flat-field type camera, a tech camera and shifting the back is the closest. The pano is limited by the shift/image circle.

    If you are looking for a very flexible system both in terms of the angle of view and the projection, then either camera will do that for you as you can rotate the camera and stitch. I am actually having fun with the freedom the Pentax 645D gives me in making panos. I can make them look like that are out of a Linhof or Widelux and I don't have any limit with angle of view or even focal length. I am also having fun with the options in camera operation with the 645D--the Horseman and Widelux are very manual.

    Now if you are using this for documentary work that has a lot of motion in the scene, then you need a really wide lens and crop.

  5. #5
    johnlafond
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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    Did you try to shift with the tech and then rotate the camara for larger pano?

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    BTW, I use a very simple and light setup for a nodal rail for my Pentax 645D--an Arca Swiss P0 ballhead and a Manfrotto macro rail. The P0 has a panning head on the top of the ball mechanism.

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    John, a pano with the Pentax 645D and the 120mm macro (for making small things big, right). This is a cylindrical stitch and so gives the same effect as a rotating lens pano camera that is pointed down--the horizon is curved, or as some say when viewing the 12' print I made from this file, the Earth is curved . Plus two crops. A five frame stitch.

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    Here is one from Boston shot through the hotel window. Same setup and projection, but with the longer focal length, you do not get the curved look as a Widelux would give you. I find I don't crop as much with a cylindrical projection as with a perspective projection.

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    Here is one from Tokyo, but I was going out with family and used a tabletop tripod and 1600ISO, but it was for fun...

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlafond View Post
    Did you try to shift with the tech and then rotate the camara for larger pano?
    No, I use a Pentax 645D, but rotating and stitching can be done with any camera. So a tech camera would give you more choices (shift/stitch or rotate/stitch). Since you used a Linhof, you won't have any problems with a tech camera.

  11. #11
    Super Duper
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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    Hi John and welcome to the forum.

    I am basically a landscape photographer who likes to print large panoramas 60x30" (152.4cm x 76.2cm) and larger. I've shot with a Canon 1Ds, 1DsII and 1DsIII and was never able to achieve the finished result I wanted no matter the additional gear. So I switch to medium format. I began using a Mamiya 645 and while I got a better file I still didn't get the entire image file I wanted. Bottom line it was all circular stitching and it showed in processing.

    Then I added a technical camera to the mix. I've been using a Cambo WRS1000 now for over 3-years and getting great results. The tech cam I use allows for movements both horizontal and vertical which most all tech cams use. Since the digital back move behind the lens you get a flat stitch and a much larger file size.

    You'll find you'll have greater movements depending on the lens and digital back you use. There's also been a lot written here regarding the use of a technical camera in panoramic shooting.

    I'd recommend a tech cam over a 645 body for most landscape work especially dealing with multiple image stitching. I'd still recommend a 645 for landscape where you need faster working conditions and not stitching. I have and use both a tech cam and Phase DF body (having just sold all my Leica M9 gear).

    Good luck on your journey you picked a great forum to gather your information from.

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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  12. #12
    johnlafond
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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I love the picture from Paris ;-) thanks for sharing!

    So with both camaras we can make good panoramas!
    Regarding the lenses, are the tech lenses better than the 645 df lenses even the 645 Schneider LS lenses?

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I agree with Don, if you like a flat-field panos (within the limits of the shifts and focal length), the tech camera is the way to go. I have found stitch with the 645D very liberating, but you need to understand how the projections are going to work. I also have done lot with rotating lenses panoramic cameras and so I don't mind the cylindrical projections.

    All of this is a process and you need to figure out what is going to work for you. Can you contact a dealer or rental house to try some of these systems for yourself. There really is no substitute for first-hand experience.

    I am glad you like my Paris shot. If you look carefully, you can see that other Parisian landmark, Big Ben.

  14. #14
    johnlafond
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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I tried with my local dealer a sinar Artec with a 33 MP leaf back last week. I found it a bit bulky and the shifts are a bit short (2cm each side). You get a clean panoramic but not very long. Next week i will try a mamiya 645 with leaf aptus II 80 MP. The other doubt i have is about the exposure time limit 32s. I found this very short for golden hour pictures.. the IQ180 is about 2 minutes but its also much more expensive :-)

    Happy christmas!!

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    John, I was very worried about 32s, but in reality it doesn't effect you that much. No reciprocity failure with digital and optimal aperture is 5.6/8.0. I might get up to 15s. If you're using ND filters for special effects, then even 1 or 2 minutes might not be enough; the only choice being the P45+.

    It's impractical to stitch golden hour shots at more than a couple of seconds (or even late afternoon with long shadows) as you need to work so quickly to get the stitches with light/shadows all in the same place or at least similar colours. That's the real concern. A 1 shot pano has many advantages on longer exposures.

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    I have done exposure up to five minutes with my Pentax 645D and I know other that have done longer. Still, 32 seconds is long from most situations, especially urban situations. In the countryside during a partial moon, than you can run exposures much longer than that. I have never tried a stitched pano at night and I wonder if I would have problems with star trails and moving clouds.

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    Re: Tech camara or 645 DF for panoramic

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlafond View Post
    I tried with my local dealer a sinar Artec with a 33 MP leaf back last week. I found it a bit bulky and the shifts are a bit short (2cm each side). You get a clean panoramic but not very long.....

    Happy christmas!!
    hello and welcome to the forum

    Very few lenses will allow for a 20mm shift in any direction on a tech camera. However you can also incorporate a siding rail as well as nodal positioning rail (in cross axis) attaching any camera to your tripod. In this way you can;

    1. combine both shift in any direction up to the maximum image circle allowed for then;

    2. shifting whole camera ( as in SLR type shooting) to then repeat process;and

    3. as long as you have defined your nodal point you wont be too far from a flat perspective when combining say 3 sets of shifted and moved shots

    Depending on your needs and viewing distances of the panorama (not to mention subject matter) any digi back used in this manner will deliver outstanding results - given a good workflow.

    Pete

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