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Thread: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

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    Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Hi -

    I'm looking at a selection of backs at the moment, amongst them the 10 and 12.

    I'm aware that on these Leaf backs, the battery attaches to the bottom of the back, and so would hang below the bottom of the camera.

    One use for the back that I will be getting will be for shooting large panoramas. Ideally, to do this, I need to attach a rail to the base of the camera, such that the back of the rail is level with the back of the back.

    See here for how the rail attaches to a DSLR:

    VR Drive

    (check the bottom left image in the main graphic towards the top of the page, and the requirement will become clear)

    Now, it's not absolutely essential that I am able to attach the rail in this way, but it would be preferable.

    I'm assuming that with the battery attached, this would not be possible.

    Is there an alternative (portable) way of powering these backs without needing to attach the battery to the base of the back?

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Hello Gerald, you can power the back via FireWire, the included cable has a "L" shaped head to it should be out of your rail contraption's way. This way, you'll also get tethered shooting, which might help for the kind of shooting where you'll need the panoramic rail system.
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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Thinking out loud here. How about tethering to a laptop? Or another option, maybe a spacer such as something like mamiya tripod spacer for using a polaroid back on the 645 series cameras?

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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Vieri, Carl -

    Many thanks for your feedback.

    I'm trying to avoid tethering because I plan to shoot full spherical 360x180 degree panos with this set-up. If you refer to the images of the VR Drive, this means that on the vertical axis, the camera direction will range from +90 degrees (pointing straight up), to -90 degrees (pointing straight down), and on the horizontal axis, the entire head will rotate through 360 degrees multiple times.

    If I were shooting tethered, the implication is that the cord to the computer would keep on wrapping round and round, and that would cause a few issues.

    Ideal solution would be an external battery that I could mount near the junction of the X and Y axis of the VR Drive (basically, the corner of the "L" of the unit).

    That spacer that you link to Carl looks like it could well be an acceptable "plan B". The only slight issue is that it would mean the centre of the lens would be further out from the vertical motor, but as long as it wasn't too far, I can compensate with where I lock up the horizontal axis.

    Does anyone know whether that space is deep enough to get the tripod socket below the level of the battery mounted on the back?

    Many thanks,

    Gerald.

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Gerald,

    sure thing, glad I could help. About the circular pano & tethering, if you will move around while shooting (not to be in the frame, I assume) then you could move your laptop with you and the cable problem will be solved.

    About adding a spacer, I just measured the battery for you, it protrudes 1.5 cm off the back's bottom, so it wouldn't create too much of a parallax error I assume, and adding one more Arca-style camera plate would probably be enough to fill the space - maybe plan B would be the most effective solution after all
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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Thanks Vieri -

    Parallax shouldn't be impacted by this. If you imagine the camera pointing vertically down, as long as the lens axis can be centered on the rotational axis of the head, then all's good on that axis. The only parallax challenge is when you can't mount the nodal rail on the Y axis where you want because the camera/lens combo would foul on the X-axis as it rotates.

    If that makes sense!

    1.5cm doesn't sound too bad at all, and it looks as if that spacer would compensate sufficiently.

    Walking around the unit isn't always an option - sometimes the whole set-up is clamped to a bit of scaffolding on a building, such as in this example

    Virtual Tour generated by Panotour

    Kind regards,

    Gerald.

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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    You can use a quantum turbo 3 connected to your back via the SD16 cable. For my Leaf AFi I have also a spacer that allow you the connection of the body to any head and leave the possibility to use either battery or external power. Tell me if you need more info. Cheers Jean-Luc

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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Hi -

    I'm looking at a selection of backs at the moment, amongst them the 10 and 12.

    I'm aware that on these Leaf backs, the battery attaches to the bottom of the back, and so would hang below the bottom of the camera.

    One use for the back that I will be getting will be for shooting large panoramas. Ideally, to do this, I need to attach a rail to the base of the camera, such that the back of the rail is level with the back of the back.

    See here for how the rail attaches to a DSLR:

    VR Drive

    (check the bottom left image in the main graphic towards the top of the page, and the requirement will become clear)

    Now, it's not absolutely essential that I am able to attach the rail in this way, but it would be preferable.

    I'm assuming that with the battery attached, this would not be possible.

    Is there an alternative (portable) way of powering these backs without needing to attach the battery to the base of the back?
    That links leads to a bracket that is made for DSLRs and looks flimsy for use with a high resolution medium format camera that requires to be locked down solid or held superbly steady.

    I current use 80MP Leaf AFi back and prior used 28MP Leaf Aptus. For the 80MP (Aptus II 12) I can tell you that I envision that setup on bracket to with 99% certainty be a NO NO. It will not be suffice stable for the high resolution. Also for the 28MP I would not recommend use it.

    If you are after high megapixel and high image quality it is far better to consider a technical camera for flat stitching. Or, to rotate on a panoramic head rather than bracket.

    Regarding Leaf Aptus-II 10 vs. 12 there is a significant step up in image quality to the 12. I looked at both and found it "worth" the extra $ to go with the 12.

    Best regards,
    Anders

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    Re: Leaf Aptus-ii backs - power options

    Hi Anders -

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I'm not after high megapixel images with this set-up. I'm after high gigapixel images.

    Weight wise, the VR Drive will take a Phase One system with ease. It is rated to around 25kg I think.

    Here it is testing out a Red EPIC:

    http://08.ae/imgs/photo.JPG

    I have used this with a Canon 1D Mk IV and 300mm f/2.8, which is significantly more demanding than what I have planned with the Phase One (probably no more than a 90mm lens, and I ended up going for the IQ180 in the end).

    Here are some progressively zoomed images from a 60 gigapixel panorama created with the VR Drive and the 1D/300mm combo:

    #Photos from a new world record indoor 360 panorama.

    (please note that these are screenshots of images created from compressed jpg image pyramids - the original TIFFs are of course higher quality)

    I'm not saying it could handle absolutely everything, but even a Canon 800mm f/5.6 only weighs around 5 kilos.

    It might struggle with the Canon 1200mm f/5.6 though. I hope to be able to test it out with one of these in a month or so. Just for a laugh though really - I wouldn't seriously consider shooting panos with one of those.

    I have a spreadsheet that I knocked up that allows me to calculate the number of pixels an image will move across a sensor for any given combination of sensor, focal length, and speed of pano head movement. I've run the numbers for the Phase One set-up through it, and it won't be a problem.

    Incidentally, there is no questioning the build quality of this thing.

    After all, it's made by the same people who build Alpas.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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