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Thread: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

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    Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Forum Members,

    I have a few questions regarding Tech Cams. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    A little background:

    I used to shoot panoramic shots on a Fuji GX617 and absolutely loved it. However, I decided to move on to digital while my camera still had some value. I sold the system. I purchased an IQ180/645DF setup. I've had tiling issues with the IQ180 but after a return to the mother land in Europe, it is fixed. The 645DF thing is another issue. I haven't been too pleased with the camera in general as I know a lot of people are. I know that it might get replaced this fall at Photokina but am now considering a switch to a Tech Cam for the tilt/shift options. I am not sold on focus stacking either as I just don't want to head down that road now.

    So here are my questions:

    First, with OpTechs now out of business, where can you purchase an ALPA STC or any ALPA stuff in the States?

    I really want to achieve the 617 format. When I used the Fuji GX617, I really only used one lens even though I had more. If I were to only buy one lens to stitch with the 12 STC and get the 617 format with around 90-115 degrees of coverage, what is the right lens to get?

    With the LCC profiles for these wide angle lenses, has the lens above been proven with the IQ180? I have heard that some have serious issues with color cast.

    Does anyone know anything about the improvements ALPA might introduce at Photokina?

    Thanks for reading and the advice.

    Mark

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    Forum Members,
    I used to shoot panoramic shots on a Fuji GX617 and absolutely loved it. However, I decided to move on to digital while my camera still had some value. I sold the system. I purchased an IQ180/645DF setup. I've had tiling issues with the IQ180 but after a return to the mother land in Europe, it is fixed. The 645DF thing is another issue. I haven't been too pleased with the camera in general as I know a lot of people are. I know that it might get replaced this fall at Photokina but am now considering a switch to a Tech Cam for the tilt/shift options. I am not sold on focus stacking either as I just don't want to head down that road now.
    If tilt is going to be a major tool in your workflow you might consider one of the tech cameras like the Arca RM3Di that can use tilt at ANY focal length and with any lens, rather than a system like Alpa for which you can only use certain lenses with tilt, and only then with additional accessories.

    I can also give you many reasons why you'd want to select Arca or Cambo over Alpa, but I'm not in a neutral position to do that since my company does not sell Alpa. Just make sure before you spend many thousands on a tech camera system that you start your search with an open mind as to which brand will suit your needs/priorities/future-expansion best.

    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    First, with OpTechs now out of business, where can you purchase an ALPA STC or any ALPA stuff in the States?
    Fotocare in NYC would be my recommendation for an ALPA dealer. Capture Integration (my former employer) and Digital Transitions (my current employer) are two great places to look for the other two main tech camera brands Arca Swiss and Cambo.

    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    I really want to achieve the 617 format. When I used the Fuji GX617, I really only used one lens even though I had more. If I were to only buy one lens to stitch with the 12 STC and get the 617 format with around 90-115 degrees of coverage, what is the right lens to get?
    I developed a Visualizer to help visualize focal lengths in different formats. Here is a link to the beta. We'll be releasing a final version which will include 6x17 as an option (the beta does not) and in the future we hope to release a version which also supports visualizing what stitching will look like. In the meanwhile I'd be happy to create custom visualizations for you at various focal lengths with and without stitching, just contact me by PM or at my email in my signature.


    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    With the LCC profiles for these wide angle lenses, has the lens above been proven with the IQ180? I have heard that some have serious issues with color cast.
    The IQ180 does not work, at all, with the Schneider 24XL and 28XL. It works in a limited manner with the Schneider 35XL and 43XL. There are some minor limitations on the Schneider 47XL. With the longer Schneiders there are no issues at all.

    So for wide-angle work the Rodenstock lenses (23HR/28HR/32HR/40HR) are worth considering as alternatives. It largely depends on how much movements you need and the trade off of usable image circle vs. cost and physical size of those lenses.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    For 6x17 with a 90-115 horizontal field of view, you'd be looking for something that gave you a 30-40 (ish) vertical field of view.

    Two options - either shoot portrait, or shoot landscape.

    If you choose to shoot portrait, you'd want a lens in the 80mm range (4-5 shot stitch, depending on overlap), if shooting landscape, something in around 60mm would do it (3-4 shot stitch).

    (this is assuming of course that you want to create your 6x17 format from a single row of stitched images)

    Regards,

    Gerald.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    If you are looking for Alpa then there a number of dealers in the US.

    In addition to Fotocare that Doug mentioned in NYC there are also:

    Bear Images in Palo Alto, CA
    Bear Images (Seattle) replaced Optechs in Seattle with Ted Pedersen who used to work for Paul Slotboom.
    Dodd Camera in Cleeveland, OH
    Samys in LA

    You can find the details at:
    ALPA of Switzerland - Manufacturers of remarkable cameras - Representatives

    As regards tech cameras and Alpa in particular, tilt isn't the be all and end all for creating great images ...

    You may be interested in Alpa's recent announcements in this area as there are now tilt/swing solutions for lenses from Rodenstock 32mm up though to SK 250mm:
    ALPA of Switzerland Newsletter

    I'm unreservedly biased (since I shoot one) but I personally think that the Alpa is a wonderful, if traditional, technical camera system and delightful robust engineering.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    All great information. Thank you for the help.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    For 6x17 with a 90-115 horizontal field of view, you'd be looking for something that gave you a 30-40 (ish) vertical field of view.

    Two options - either shoot portrait, or shoot landscape.

    If you choose to shoot portrait, you'd want a lens in the 80mm range (4-5 shot stitch, depending on overlap), if shooting landscape, something in around 60mm would do it (3-4 shot stitch).

    (this is assuming of course that you want to create your 6x17 format from a single row of stitched images)

    Regards,

    Gerald.
    ¿I assume that you are talking about angles of view, in degrees?

    ¿You could be talking about stitched effective format size in mm?

    The two options are shift-and-stitch or pan-and-stitch, and, for shift-and-stitch, with a 100mm image circle diameter and a 36 * 48mm sensor, you could get 36 * about 90mm, so an aspect ratio of about 6:17 is achievable.

    You can get a stitched effective format size of 36*108mm with the SK 47XL.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Hi Doug

    I've tried to access the link for your visualizer and after giving my contact info all I get is a blank white screen - happened more than once.

    Any ideas? Thanks

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    ¿I assume that you are talking about angles of view, in degrees?

    ¿You could be talking about stitched effective format size in mm?

    The two options are shift-and-stitch or pan-and-stitch, and, for shift-and-stitch, with a 100mm image circle diameter and a 36 * 48mm sensor, you could get 36 * about 90mm, so an aspect ratio of about 6:17 is achievable.

    You can get a stitched effective format size of 36*108mm with the SK 47XL.
    Yes - the requirement was specified with regards a horizontal angular field of view, and the sensor in question is an IQ180.

    Given those parameters, I believe my figures are correct.

    Regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyPtak View Post
    Hi Doug

    I've tried to access the link for your visualizer and after giving my contact info all I get is a blank white screen - happened more than once.

    Any ideas? Thanks
    The Beta does not work well with Internet Explorer. If that's what you're using I'd suggest accessing it using Firefox, Chrome, or Safari in Windows, or any (modern) browser on Mac.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    So, a 6x17 frame is 56mm x 168mm giving a diagonal of 177mm. For your IQ180, an equivalent format would be 40.3mm x 121mm giving a diagonal of 127.5mm.

    So, now you can figure out equivalent angle of view. A 90mm lens on a 617 camera has an angular magnification of 0.5X (90mm / 177mm format diagonal). So to get an equivalent for your IQ180, take the diagonal and multiply it by the angular magnification--127.5mm x 0.5X = 63.75mm. So you need a 65mm lens to get what a 90mm lens does on a 6x17.

    BTW, you will need to shift your lens 33.5mm left and right to get your 1:3 frame with an IQ180. You will also need an image circle of 127.5mm, preferably larger.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    I've always liked your method of comparing different sensor sizes Sashin, but can I just ask why you chose to use a 90mm lens for this comparison?

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    90mm is about as wide as you can go on a 6x17 camera and is fairly common for Linhof, Fuji, Horseman, Art Panorama, and some Chinese 617 cameras, although Linhof and Horseman do have a 72mm. The OP had a Fuji 617 camera and it seemed like a relevant focal length.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Actually, an easier way would be to set up a crop factor from the format diagonals--121mm / 177mm = 0.69X. So simply multiply the 6x17 lens focal length by 0.68X to get the new IQ180 stitch equivalent.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    90mm is about as wide as you can go on a 6x17 camera and is fairly common for Linhof, Fuji, Horseman, Art Panorama, and some Chinese 617 cameras, although Linhof and Horseman do have a 72mm. The OP had a Fuji 617 camera and it seemed like a relevant focal length.
    Ahh ok.

    I've got the 72XL for my Walker 5x7 along with the Canham 6x17 motorized back. Lovely little set-up but it just sits on the shelf these days.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    What ever happened to Dr. Gilde and his 6x17 film/digital solution?

    Sigma SD14 and Fuji S5 Pro Videoblog

    Gilde Camera

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    So, a 6x17 frame is 56mm x 168mm giving a diagonal of 177mm. For your IQ180, an equivalent format would be 40.3mm x 121mm giving a diagonal of 127.5mm.

    So, now you can figure out equivalent angle of view. A 90mm lens on a 617 camera has an angular magnification of 0.5X (90mm / 177mm format diagonal). So to get an equivalent for your IQ180, take the diagonal and multiply it by the angular magnification--127.5mm x 0.5X = 63.75mm. So you need a 65mm lens to get what a 90mm lens does on a 6x17.

    BTW, you will need to shift your lens 33.5mm left and right to get your 1:3 frame with an IQ180. You will also need an image circle of 127.5mm, preferably larger.
    Is this calculation relevant in the real world?
    Are there any digital wide angle lenses with an image circle greater than 113mm? (SK Apo-Digitar 47XL).

    ... of course you could use a 5 * 4 LF lens, but that would me a waste of the res of a high res back.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Is this calculation relevant in the real world?
    Are there any digital wide angle lenses with an image circle greater than 113mm? (SK Apo-Digitar 47XL).

    ... of course you could use a 5 * 4 LF lens, but that would me a waste of the res of a high res back.
    Schneider 60XL (wicked sharp even at 5.2 microns) has an image circle of 120mm. Not quite there, but very well may be close enough.
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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    ... of course you could use a 5 * 4 LF lens, but that would me a waste of the res of a high res back.
    Not really. Their are 4x5 lenses that would have plenty of resolution as well as the focal length and image circle.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    BTW, you will need to shift your lens 33.5mm left and right to get your 1:3 frame with an IQ180. You will also need an image circle of 127.5mm, preferably larger.[/QUOTE]


    Is there a tech camera and lens that is capable of moving 35.5mm to the left and right?

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Seems to me that this would clearly require pan-stitching to get the best possible quality image (assuming you'd want to maximise the potential of the size of the IQ180 sensor).

    I've been meaning to start a thread on this very subject for ages. Hopefully will get around to it in the next day or so

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Is this calculation relevant in the real world?
    Are there any digital wide angle lenses with an image circle greater than 113mm? (SK Apo-Digitar 47XL).

    ... of course you could use a 5 * 4 LF lens, but that would me a waste of the res of a high res back.
    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Schneider 60XL (wicked sharp even at 5.2 microns) has an image circle of 120mm. Not quite there, but very well may be close enough.
    Yes, Doug, I was aware of the SK Apo-Digitar 60mm (and it is on my wish list) but is is a standard lens, not a Wide Angle, as the focal length is about the diagonal of most MFD formats.

    ...there is, of course, nothing to prevent you producing 3:1 aspect ratio pictures with any focal length, including the 180mm and 210mm SK Apo-Digitars which also have 120mm image circles.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Yes, Doug, I was aware of the SK Apo-Digitar 60mm (and it is on my wish list) but is is a standard lens, not a Wide Angle, as the focal length is about the diagonal of most MFD formats.
    It would be a wide for what the OP intends for it, which is to make stitched panoramas at a 3:1 aspect ratio with an IQ180.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    BTW, you will need to shift your lens 33.5mm left and right to get your 1:3 frame with an IQ180. You will also need an image circle of 127.5mm, preferably larger.
    Is there a tech camera and lens that is capable of moving 35.5mm to the left and right?
    Perhaps this is where the 5 * 4 based MF view cameras (like my Sinar P3s converted from P2s) earn their keep?

    Sliding stitching backs would help if anyone made one for large chips and large image circles.

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    Re: Questions on Medium Format Tech Camera Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Biggs View Post
    What ever happened to Dr. Gilde and his 6x17 film/digital solution?

    Sigma SD14 and Fuji S5 Pro Videoblog

    Gilde Camera
    Hello Andy,

    I have tried to find Dr. Gilde in the phone inventory of his home town but didn't succeed. I am curious if he still runs his camera business. Crazy stuff!!!


    Here is a video of a German photographer using the system for fine art:
    http://https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZKL-SUhD0

    I have also stumbled over one of his crazy cool cameras used, maybe it is of interest for you pano shooters: http://https://www.fotopartner.de/in...ruestung?c=307

    Best regards,
    Helge

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