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Thread: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

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    Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Leaf seems like the best option for getting the most for my money and it appears like they are compatible with a lot of different cameras so...

    I will be shooting mostly in the studio with strobes. Product, fine art and jewelry will be my main focus. I'm curious if anyone has any recommendations as far as cameras and lenses go. I'm assuming primes are the way to go for this type of work.

    I'd appreciate any feedback anyone has to give.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    To my thinking, product photography essentially demands a camera with shift and tilt capability; so I'd reco a tech cam, probably a Cambo or Arca over Alpa since you can tilt shorter lenses on them.
    Jack
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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    If not shooting ultra-wide, there are also the rail-based view cameras from Arca, Sinar and Linhof if you were serious (foolhardy?) enough to consider something with front and rear movements in combination with a digital back. I use an M679cs myself, although I know of some photographers who are now using the Phase with Schneider TS120 or Nikon/Canon with TS lenses for product work.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Haven't seen it, but I'd also consider the Hartblei Hcam....

    ken

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by cng View Post
    If not shooting ultra-wide, there are also the rail-based view cameras from Arca, Sinar and Linhof if you were serious (foolhardy?) enough to consider something with front and rear movements in combination with a digital back. I use an M679cs myself, although I know of some photographers who are now using the Phase with Schneider TS120 or Nikon/Canon with TS lenses for product work.
    Any week now, when it come on the market, THE camera for product photography will be the CAPcam... I believe it has tech-cam-autofocus and auto-focus-stack which will make it "must have" for product work and jewellery, and auto-hex-stitch for added res, all built in to the standard camera.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Never heard of the CapCam? Google doesn't seem to know either, what is it?
    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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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Any week now, when it come on the market, THE camera for product photography will be the CAPcam
    They actually releasing this? I thought it was just a proof-of-concept. Will be amazing to see it in action. Will definitely make movements for tabletop work a lot easier.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Never heard of the CapCam? Google doesn't seem to know either, what is it?
    They do not want too much mass hysteria about it before they are ready to market it, so don't tell anyone:

    GFAE CAPcam Robotic View Camera | Popular Photography

    GFAE CAPcam - focussing accuracy - YouTube

    http://www.gfae.ch/ViewCameras/CAPcam.html

    (But they did announce it at Photokina)

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    They do not want too much mass hysteria about it before they are ready to market it, so don't tell anyone
    Well, the cat's out of the bag now.

    Thanks for the links.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Mamiya RZ is a classic camera for all three of those applications. There is a tilt-shift adapter for jewelry/macro, waist level viewfinder and leaf shutter lenses useful for fine-art, anda workhorse of reliability.

    But features/specs are only half the battle here. Ideally you want to narrow down to 2-3 bodies based on features/specs/recommendations and then get your hands on each. That way you can get the "X factor" of ergonomics - it's impossible for someone else to tell you how you'll feel about the camera in your hands. We help a lot of photographers through that process with rental evaluations that count 100% towards purchase. That's the route I'd (selfishly) suggest.

    BTW, the RZ33 is the most popular RZ kit that we sell, but you can buy a bundle of RZ+Leaf+Adapter for any of the backs (22-80mp).

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Has anyone gotten their email newsletter or does anybody know of their planned distribution channels aka distributors.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by bab View Post
    Has anyone gotten their email newsletter or does anybody know of their planned distribution channels aka distributors.
    I made an enquiry, and got an email from Charlie Gfeller (the designer/MD) back mid November:

    "Dear Mr Roadnight
    Many thanks for your interest in the new CAPcam ViewCamera. We have noted your address and you will be informed about the current status of the camera and the dealer information in UK within a few weeks.

    Best regards
    Charlie Gfeller - GFAE ViewCameras"

    I have exchanged emails with the obvious choice of UK importer, and it seems that no decision has been made.

    When we have more info - like a ship date - we can start a dedicated CAPcam topic.

    I have sent Charlie Gfeller an e-mail requesting an update.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Product, fine art and jewelry will be my main focus...

    i will go with an arca M line 2... unless you need really wides !

    Christopher Barrett - Photographer: Blog : Arca Swiss M Line Two


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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Wow! Thank you for all the responses! I thought I had subscribed to this thread so I'm just now realizing I got all of this feedback.

    I do think I'll be getting a tech camera since there seems to be a lot of adaptors available and tilt shift should come in handy. I also like the fact that I can get another camera that's more portable on the used market for a reasonable price.

    Cameras on my tech list:
    - Arca Swiss M Line Two
    - Hartblei Hcam
    - Linhof M679cs
    - Sinar X

    and while the CAPcam looks nice, I'm afraid it's going to be unattainable for me.

    Cameras on my portable list:
    - Mamiya RZ33
    - Mamiya 645
    - Contax 645

    I will definitely try and demos these once I've narrowed it down. Thanks again for the suggestions. This will get me started.
    Last edited by nashphotog; 11th February 2012 at 04:08.

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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    I use a Linhof M679 in the studio and it is very nice, very solid. I understand the Arca Swiss tech camera body can be used on the M-Line monorail as the frame on the front standard. That would be an interesting combination.

  16. #16
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    Re: Settled on a back, now I need camera and lens recommendations

    Nash
    I use a old Leaf Valeo 17wi attached to an old sinar p, with bag bellows, film era lenses and a Phase flexadaptor sliding back, to photograph product and fine jewelry traditional images. It produces excellent images and am still amazed how good the files are. The movements of the sinar p are much greater than any tilt/shift lens can achieve and combined with the image circles of the older film era lens. like a 150mm Schneider Symmar, a 72mm Super Angulon xl, I have never been limited by shifts or tilts.
    Focusing is not a problem as I have a technique that works with all studio camera with 'self-locking knobs', like my sinar. I use a loop on the groundglass for the first focus. Take an exposure and in Leaf Capture, I use the small 100% window to check my point of focus. Lets say I am photographing a soda bottle, so that would be the middle, most forward part of the bottle. If it looks a touch soft, then I move the 100% window on the same exposure to the edge or side of the bottle. If that is sharper, I have back focused and then i would turn the focusing knob on the camera back by the smallest amount (like 1/4 of a degree), just slightly moving it and do another exposure and check both spots again. Often I achieve focus that easily. If the side was more out of focus than the front that would mean that I have front focused and move the focusing knob forward ever so slightly. This is so simple and quick compared to opening the lens and sliding the groundglass into position and refocusing that I never do that anymore. I have a Live View dongle with the Leaf and it is faster and easier than that. Sometimes it might take few more adjustments than one but even that is not that much trouble but you should start with a reasonably focused image. It doesn't work very well with a completely out of focused image. If doing a page of jewelry, after getting the center in focus, I would use the 100% window to check the four corners. Overall, on a product that has been produced, I am in focus when I can clearly see the dot screen of the printing of that product.
    Brian

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