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Thread: Arca Rm3di

  1. #51
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    This discussion is very interesting, I looked to see if I could change the title to reflect the points being discussed but couldn't find a way.

    Jae & Torger's diagrams and points have left me wondering why Arca haven't implemented these ideas and maths into the E-Module which would make it a very attractive purchase. Why give you a tech cam with hyperfocal distance confirmation/settings via it's E-Module without taking tilt into account during the design of this product. I imagine this may well be a future upgrade!?

    Wait, hold that thought... Usable live view is around the corner!

    I need to get my hands on the RM3Di to asses the pro's and con's of focusing using tilt on the ground glass. I also think Jae's use of the Disto 5 along with an app sounds interesting. It may sound like it's all a bit much but in practise I doubt it will get in the way of creativity. Knowing your focus is nailed would surely give you more creative freedom.

    Each to there own I guess. Some may prefer the GG, some live view, others may prefer an app such as Jae's. Two of those are ready available, live view isn't too far way. I'm in the market now though and can't wait around for improved live view, I will consider that option when it arrives.

    I haven't quite got my head around Jae's math and how I would use the Disto 5 should I decide on purchasing one vs the E-Module though. I think further explanation for my ageing grey matter is required (hint hint) :-)

    In the mean time I will be trying to wrap my head around f8orbust's maths for working out tilt which I'm sure will help me understand Jae's maths as they are essentially the same thing... I know I have read this by Harold Merklinger but it was some time ago and think I need to read it again, at least for my own sanity!

  2. #52
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    We have been using our own in-house focusing system for the RM3Di for some time now. It is amazingly fast as well as accurate. And, there is no eye fatigue that builds up over a long day's work as when we were previously trying to judge focus using loupes and ground glass.

    I have attached some pics of the system. It consists of hardware that quickly attaches a Disto on/off the RM3Di using its own accerssory interface (typically used for the eModule). It has a rotating collar that allows the Disto to fluidly rotate up and down as well as lock into place (great for measuring tall buildings and tree tops, or for when shooting downwards from higher vantage points). Of course, our adapter fixes the measurement distance to the same focusing plane at the sensor for consistency. You can use this to finely calibrate your lenses for very high precision and consistent focusing accuracy with the RM3Di.

    The software part is a smartphone app (iphone/ipod or Android device) that calculates optimal tilt angle and focus setting for a desired distance or DOF. A sample screen shot is attached below (btw, minus one is used to represent infinity distance). We also have adapters that convert the Arca-Swiss accessory mount to either Alpa or Cambo accessory mounts. This allows us much greater freedom in choosing accessories for the RM3Di. Shown below is an example of using our Alpa iphone adapter on the RM3di, and another image of what our Cambo adapter looks like.

    If enough people are seriously interested, we can make it available commercially.
    Last edited by David Klepacki; 30th June 2013 at 21:27.
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    David, that looks fantastic! Will you be making it commercially available?

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    The software part is a smartphone app (iphone/ipod or Android device) that calculates optimal tilt angle and focus setting for a desired distance or DOF. A sample screen shot is attached below (btw, minus one is used to represent infinity distance). We also have adapters that convert the Arca-Swiss accessory mount to either Alpa or Cambo accessory mounts. This allows us much greater freedom in choosing accessories for the RM3Di. Shown below is an example of using our Alpa iphone adapter on the RM3di, and another image of what our Cambo adapter looks like.
    David:

    It looks fantastic!! I am specially impressed how your Disto mounting bracket works, it is perfect that the Disto sensor can be located along the lens axis and at the DB sensor plane. I want to order one if the bracket fit on Rm3di.

    I have several technical questions. (The grey matter between ears want to know )

    1. Does the program assume the Plane of Sharp Focus be always on the reference plane (=ground), or you have another input screen which takes (x,y) positions of both Near and Far Objects?
    2. Does the program allow the tilting down of camera in calculating the lens tilt angle and focus distance?
    3. The focus distance that the program calculates, does it include the effect of lens tilt, or just based on lens focal length, Aperture, Coc, Far and Near Distance?

    If camera manufacturers neglect to meet the needs of their customers, maybe we, the customers should take charge and develop better solutions.

    Jae M

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    David, that looks fantastic! Will you be making it commercially available?
    If I can get a minimum number of people (ideally 50+), then I will make a production run of the parts and sell to others who can appreciate it. Otherwise, it is hard to justify the costs, and mostly my time. I put a huge amount of effort into this over the last year or so. The problem is that I demand perfection, even when I know it is not realistic. I have to work closely with the machinists here. I have rejected parts several times, when it was not exactly right, sometimes being less than a mm off. As another example, the coatings I use are a teflon compound since the standard anodization was not smooth enough for me, etc, etc. It took me a while to find people who are skilled at what they do and have the precision equipment to do it. And, it is US labor, so the costs are not competitive with what can be made in China, but frankly I don't care. But, I can honestly say that I am very happy right now, and it was worth all the effort.

    I think the best way to proceed is to put this project up on kickstarter.com and see what happens. Unfortunately, I am in the middle of another project right now, but I will try to get to it with in the next two weeks.

  6. #56
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jae_Moon View Post
    David:

    It looks fantastic!! I am specially impressed how your Disto mounting bracket works, it is perfect that the Disto sensor can be located along the lens axis and at the DB sensor plane. I want to order one if the bracket fit on Rm3di.

    I have several technical questions. (The grey matter between ears want to know )

    1. Does the program assume the Plane of Sharp Focus be always on the reference plane (=ground), or you have another input screen which takes (x,y) positions of both Near and Far Objects?
    2. Does the program allow the tilting down of camera in calculating the lens tilt angle and focus distance?
    3. The focus distance that the program calculates, does it include the effect of lens tilt, or just based on lens focal length, Aperture, Coc, Far and Near Distance?

    If camera manufacturers neglect to meet the needs of their customers, maybe we, the customers should take charge and develop better solutions.

    Jae M
    The bracket will fit any Rm3di, so am not sure of your concern. In fact, it will fit any of the R-cameras that have the slot to hold the eModule, since that is what I use.

    To answer your other questions:

    1. Right now, the program assumes a common reference plane, since that is how we shoot. And, it removes a lot of complexity for the photographer, since otherwise he/she would have to enter (x,y) locations for the planes of near and far focus. Our method of using a common reference plane like the ground, makes it a lot easier and does not sacrifice any accuracy at all. We have been shooting this way for many months now. But, we use primarily tilt as opposed to swing. For swing, it is a little harder to visualize a common reference plane, and I will probably end up adding the option to specify (x,y) locations.

    2. Right now I assume a level camera, because that is how we shoot. However, all calculations are based on a local coordinate system that is aligned with the optical axis. It would be very simple to add the geometry to allow for a tilted camera.

    3. Oh, of course! That is the whole point of constructing this tilt calculator. You correctly point out that the proper selection of focusing distance must be calculated using the tilt angle. You cannot use distance focusing tables generated for zero lens tilt. If you do, you will get images that are out of focus or soft at best.

    As for you last comment, I am just grateful that such a camera exists like the Rm3di. For a precision fanatic like myself, it is a dream camera. Yes, there was a lot of work that needed to be added in order to extract its highest image quality, but at least we have the tool to do it.
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  7. #57
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    David - really interesting to see what you've done. Given that distos are generally bomb proof, it looks like a really robust system suited for landscape photography; one that could easily be adapted to a number of camera platforms (e.g. Alpa, which has a really precise/fine-grained method for setting tilt angles).

    The only question I have is to do with how you set the tilt angle accurately on the RM3D/i once you know what it is? Other than '0' which has a detent, I couldn't really set a tilt with a greater accuracy than 0.5 degrees(ish). In fact, I could never be 100% certain what, exactly, the tilt angle I set was. With a wide angle lens, even a small change (0.1 degrees) in the tilt angle can have a fairly dramatic effect on where the plane of focus falls.

    Jim

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    you might try this:

    there is an I-phone app for level, so if you hold the phone against the lens, it will measure degrees off plumb. haven't tried it, just thought of it.

    just tried a few, not all will work
    spirit level does and reads to 0.1 degree. you hold the phone vertical with the side against the lens. if the camera is tilted, you could measure the back and the lens and figure it out

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post

    To answer your other questions:

    Q. Does the program assume the Plane of Sharp Focus be always on the reference plane (=ground)?

    A. Right now, the program assumes a common reference plane, since that is how we shoot. And, it removes a lot of complexity for the photographer, since otherwise he/she would have to enter (x,y) locations for the planes of near and far focus. Our method of using a common reference plane like the ground, makes it a lot easier and does not sacrifice any accuracy at all. We have been shooting this way for many months now.
    Thank you for your quick reply. I may be totally wrong since I am trying to understand what your program is doing based on your post and lots of my assumptions . But I would like to ask a question.

    Since you are calculating lens tilt angle and focus distance based on the reference plane (horizontal ground or table top, for example), why do you need the user input of Near and Far Object distances? The lens tilt angle with a reference plane can be calculated with two variables; the hinge point distance (camera height in your case, either from the ground or from the table top) and the lens focal length. And also, the focus distance can be calculated with two variables; the lens tilt angle and the hinge point distance.

    For those who still can remember high school geometry,

    alpha = arcsin (f/J), where alpha is tilt angle, f is lens focal length in mm, and J is Hinge point distance in mm (or camera height in this case)

    Fd = J/sin (alpha), where Fd is calculated focus distance.

    What am I missing?

    Jae M

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    David - really interesting to see what you've done. Given that distos are generally bomb proof, it looks like a really robust system suited for landscape photography; one that could easily be adapted to a number of camera platforms (e.g. Alpa, which has a really precise/fine-grained method for setting tilt angles).

    The only question I have is to do with how you set the tilt angle accurately on the RM3D/i once you know what it is? Other than '0' which has a detent, I couldn't really set a tilt with a greater accuracy than 0.5 degrees(ish). In fact, I could never be 100% certain what, exactly, the tilt angle I set was. With a wide angle lens, even a small change (0.1 degrees) in the tilt angle can have a fairly dramatic effect on where the plane of focus falls.

    Jim
    Here is what we use: Digi-Pas | Pocket-Size Digital Level | DWL-80Pro

    You just need to be creative with some velcro and maybe a small support to temporarily attach it to either the lens or the R mount itself. Yes, it is a little tricky (not to mention ugly) with the shorter "pancake" length lenses, but not really a problem with lenses like the Rodenstock 32W. We are actually thinking of making a support ring to attach it rigidly to the R mount (the strongest piece that offers the most stability). The 80Pro has a precision of .05 degrees, but if you try to hand hold it while measuring, you will get nowhere near this kind of precision.

    As Jae has mentioned, this is the weakest aspect of the Rm3di design. I too would like to see a newer model with vernier fine tuning of the tilt angle. But until that day comes, this is what you need to use. The good news is that this device is not only cheap but is so small and lightweight that you really don't mind. And, it has an integrated carabiner, which makes it easy to carry and attach to things (like your belt).

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jae_Moon View Post
    Since you are calculating lens tilt angle and focus distance based on the reference plane (horizontal ground or table top, for example), why do you need the user input of Near and Far Object distances? The lens tilt angle with a reference plane can be calculated with two variables; the hinge point distance (camera height in your case, either from the ground or from the table top) and the lens focal length. And also, the focus distance can be calculated with two variables; the lens tilt angle and the hinge point distance.
    The reference plane need not always be the ground. In fact, the distance from the lens to the hinge line (J) is often below ground level. The problem is that this distance, J, is an unknown variable that is basically determined by the desired DOF that the photographer wishes to have. In other words, you do not know J without first knowing where you want your DOF to be located (by DOF, I mean relative to the sharp plane of focus, which is tilted in this case). If you choose to guess at J, then you are also guessing at where your DOF will be too (i.e., from the equations you show, how else would you know exactly what J should be without knowing your tilt angle?). Since I am not interested in guessing, I simply take J out of the equation and use what the photographer wants, namely DOF and its location.

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederic View Post
    Oh well... don't you think pancake camera users, as buyers of quite expensive gear, have done their homework and selected the equipment that suits their needs best too?
    Sure. My intention is not to question any person's choices, but rather present my thinking to give those that have not made their choice yet something to think about. It might result in some slight "gear bashing" , but that's not the same as questioning the people that has chosen to use it. A photographer is not the gear he/she is using.

    The Techno is one of the most bashed systems out there by the way, just by being a view camera attempting digital, and what I do here is to present the reasons why a digital view camera indeed can work for a photographer, assuming certain conditions and values which I have described. There's a lot of FUD coming from the pancake camera camp concerning various aspects of precision which disqualifies view camera use, and I'm just trying to balance it out a bit

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Might as well design a new camera from scratch, we clearly know better than the current crop of manufactures, when I say we, I mean you lot ofc ;-)

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by JGR View Post
    Might as well design a new camera from scratch, we clearly know better than the current crop of manufactures, when I say we, I mean you lot ofc ;-)
    I've thought about it...

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    If I can get a minimum number of people (ideally 50+), then I will make a production run of the parts and sell to others who can appreciate it.
    i'm one of those who are interested!

    in this app too...
    www.thomasebruster.com
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  16. #66
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Sure. My intention is not to question any person's choices, but rather present my thinking to give those that have not made their choice yet something to think about. It might result in some slight "gear bashing" , but that's not the same as questioning the people that has chosen to use it. A photographer is not the gear he/she is using.

    The Techno is one of the most bashed systems out there by the way, just by being a view camera attempting digital, and what I do here is to present the reasons why a digital view camera indeed can work for a photographer, assuming certain conditions and values which I have described. There's a lot of FUD coming from the pancake camera camp concerning various aspects of precision which disqualifies view camera use, and I'm just trying to balance it out a bit
    Anders has put himself out on a limb here, but its not without good reason. There are two main approaches to use of digital and movements - the pancake camera and the view camera. The pancakes have their virtues, but they also have their limitations, as do new ranges of view cameras, now smaller and more precise for use with digital backs.

    The differences between these two camera types are well understood, but not often discussed: the users are quite different. If you need major movements, a view camera setup is better. If you need some movements, but want a more rigid and defined setup, then the pancakes are a better choice.

    Into this fray enters the Techno, something in-between. Not without its own issues, it is not something that takes the best of both worlds and results in a magical solution that does everything better. Rather, it assumes the use patterns of the view camera world, with some limits imposed based on Linhof's understanding of how the camera will be typically used. If you like to use view cameras, its a pretty simple transition to using a Techno. Its a digitally-oriented, small field camera, made in low volume, and simple to use. While some pancakes can be configured to provide more extensive movements, the basic Techno generally has more movements overall, although not as much as a full view camera.

    It is part of a well-established Linhof tradition of tailoring solutions to a particular type of user, something Linhof has done for years with some of their less-well known cameras. They have a willingness to make small production runs, and the ergonomics of the Techno are fairly straightforward and well-considered. Their cameras (lest anyone forget) have been around for many years - these are not amateurs, but rather seasoned folks who know a bit about how to make cameras and their use.

    As a "tweener", the Techno raises a very important question about how much precision is needed for digital work. Its rigid enough to provide the necessary parallelism, so this question is more limited to focusing. Some may question the use of conventional lens boards and whether the lenses are sufficiently well located, but for the moment, lets put that aside and just address the focusing issue.

    Anders point is that the "precision argument" may be useful and required for some uses, but not necessarily for all. For example, shooting landscapes at f11 provides enough focal range and does not require a precise focus point to be identified. He also suggests that focusing on the GG is possible with higher magnification lupes, and as a final resort, field use of 100% review.

    In general, he has been advocating use of digitally-based view cameras for creative work, and the goal of "good enough" instead of "absolute". This should be understood in the way in which it is offered - not as a compromise or diminution of standards, but rather as a plea for a more measured response. Surely we all recognize there are times when the pursuit of the image is more important than the exact focus point. In this era of pixel peeping and super-precision, I find myself in agreement with him. As a Techno owner, I find the camera encourages trying different things - and that is something to be cherished.
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by photomgraphy View Post
    i'm one of those who are interested!

    in this app too...
    + 1 for me, and + 1 for a friend of mine !

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    The Techno is one of the most bashed systems out there by the way...
    I've often wondered why this is - it seems completely unwarranted IMO. Sadly, the digital aspect of Linhof's business is hardly represented on any forum - in North America, Arca, Alpa and Cambo dominate, in terms of owners who post here and dealers who sell these brands, and heavily defend, support and promote them. Thus, when someone starts slinging mud, there's no one (such as Bob Salomon on APUG) to respond - and so myth inevitably flirts with fact. I suspect that most of those that do criticise compact view cameras have never used one - they just don't like the concept and need constant reassurance what they own is 'the best / most precise / most advanced' for some odd reason. Or maybe they have, but with a technique more suited to a large format camera (e.g. 4x loupe), and so they failed to grasp the required methodology. There are plenty of great photographers out there using the Techno, and just as many happily working away with the Arca Swiss ML-2 (a similar concept to the Techno) … with little negative to say. It's just a shame they don't post on forums such as this and so help to counter the unwarranted negativity that seems to exist in the minds of a few. Is the Techno or the ML-2 the 'easiest' cameras to work with straight out of the box - probably not, especially if what you look forward to is measuring distance with a disto, looking it up on a little chart and setting it on a lens - but the truth is there are many situations you encounter that will not be solved by an iphone app or a look-up table. What happens if your iphone breaks, disto batteries run flat or you lose the table of distances? You will need skill and experience to get the most out of the Techno (as with any camera come to that), but if you are prepared to put in the time and effort, you will be rewarded - superb results without the clutter of iphones, tables of distances, disto's, sonic or optical eClouds, rangefinders etc. I sincerely believe that the fewer gadgets between you and the subject of your photograph, particularly in landscape photography which naturally requires a degree of contemplation and reflection, the fewer distractions there will be to thinking about what you are doing in artistic terms, which almost invariably results in a stronger image.

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    A brief apology to those who wonder how we got from an Arca Swiss thread to a discussion of the Techno. Both are fine pieces of gear - just very different in how they get you from here to there.

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by JGR View Post
    This discussion is very interesting, I looked to see if I could change the title to reflect the points being discussed but couldn't find a way.

    The current Tech Camera users and 'soon to be' need many more detailed technical discussion concerning the use of camera, away from 'brand' based discussion. Focusing is a Tech Camera issue not ALPA's or Linhof's, Tilting properly is a Tech Camera issue not A-S's or Cambo's.

    I posted my penny's worth of opinion to share the challenges I faced and the solutions I found so it could be an input to anyone who are considering to buy one, not to promote or to bash any specific camera. There are enough members who have financial interest to promote one gear over other, which is perfectly OK as long as it is done in open. Doug Peterson and Steve Hendrix are fine examples and I really appreciate their posts.

    I have/had Hasselblad 500, H2, Leica M6, Canon 1Ds, Canon 5D2, A-S F-Metric Compact 6x9, and Rm3di. In my case, I sold 1Ds to get into MFDB and got myself H2, H2 with P45 was a mistake just because it was too heavy to carry around with few lenses, Leica M6 was past its time since I decided to go digital, A-S F-Metric 6x9 was a mistake just because it was beyond my patience to work for me even with my built-in Asian Calmness . Rm3di worked ok from the beginning but took a while until I develop the programs for me to feel good about my workflow and the results. Rm3di is not a perfect camera by any measure, and I listed 4 of my main complaints in previous post.

    Many will make great images with the cameras I considered mistakes and others will not be happy with a Rm3di. Torger (Ander?) is happy with his Techno since he knows how to use it and it met his expectation, I am happy with Rm3di for the same reasons, I have tools to use it properly and it met my expectation.

    The cliché of 'Ansel didn't do this, Weston wouldn't do that' doesn't do anyone any good, first of all, we don't know what they will do if they were here now; second, we are not Ansel or Weston, they didn't but we need any help we can get; and third, we all are in the pursuit of the image whether we talk about focusing, dynamic range, diffraction, etc. in this or other threads.

    Would anyone mind if I start a new thread, titled 'Talking Technical on Tech Camera' ?

    Jae M
    Last edited by Jae_Moon; 1st April 2013 at 06:21.
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jae_Moon View Post
    The cliché of 'Ansel didn't do this, Weston wouldn't do that' doesn't do anyone any good...
    It doesn't necessarily do anyone any harm either - "The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it" (Ansel Adams)

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    The software part is a smartphone app (iphone/ipod or Android device) that calculates optimal tilt angle and focus setting for a desired distance or DOF. A sample screen shot is attached below (btw, minus one is used to represent infinity distance).

    If enough people are seriously interested, we can make it available commercially.
    david, is the software already available commercially?
    would like to purchase it...

    btw - will it calculate the focus distance you have to dial in on the helical?
    www.thomasebruster.com
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    Arca Rm3di|RS90|SK43|RS28|CFV-50

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    A New thread 'Talking on Tech Cameras' is started.

    Jae M

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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by photomgraphy View Post
    david, is the software already available commercially?
    would like to purchase it...

    btw - will it calculate the focus distance you have to dial in on the helical?
    It will be available in the app store soon for iphone/ipod.

    Yes, it calculates the focus distance, showing both the number and color band to dial in. It is designed to be both fast as well as accurate to use in the field.
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    It will be available in the app store soon for iphone/ipod.

    Yes, it calculates the focus distance, showing both the number and color band to dial in. It is designed to be both fast as well as accurate to use in the field.
    great, can't wait to try it!
    www.thomasebruster.com
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    Arca Rm3di|RS90|SK43|RS28|CFV-50

  26. #76
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    Great tought, to fix the Disto this way..

    What the Ipad app, realy nice, but actually guys all you need to make it yourself ( better than for instance the "tilt" calculator app) is:

    - Excel ( or openoffice in my case),
    - A freshening up of your Pythagoras rule
    - A freshening up of your Sinus , Cosinus and Tanhens rule.
    - 4 x A4 papers to make a drawing, and to work out your algebra.
    - A schoolbook one got at photography school about tilting sheimpflug .

    - A spreadsheet where you first put all you can know
    - same spreadsheet all your calculations of hengepoint, and Plane of sharpfocus angles ( watch out, you first have to make your calculations in radians and then transform them with the spreadsheet into degrees)

    - a Iphone spreadsheet editor like: Sheet2,

    load your fresh spreadsheet into your iphone via Sheet2, and just use it...

    Perfect

  27. #77
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    180
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    Re: Arca Rm3di

    May I ask what the name of the App is?

  28. #78
    Member
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    Oct 2012
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    USA
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    Arca Swiss Rm3di | XF | P1 IQ380 |

    http://www.awolfphotography.com/

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