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Thread: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

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    A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    What I'm seeing from my new Arca-Swiss M-Line Two and Rodenstock Sironar Digital lenses on my AFi-II 10 digital back is nothing short of astonishing.

    I am new to the world of view cameras, and am spending the first several weeks getting control of my tilts and swings. Jack, thank you for your practical post on using tilt and swing. It was a little counterintuitive at first, but there's no arguing with those results!

    I've also read a copy of Harold Merklinger's Focusing the View Camera to help me understand the key concepts of how changing tilt, swing and focus move the plane of focus in space.

    I am currently on extended travel, and am getting a chance to put all this knowledge into practice almost every day.

    So first of all, a thank you to you, Jack, and everyone here at GetDPI for getting me turned on (figuratively and literally) to technical/view cameras.

    I began the quest to achieve this level of image quality in 2005. After having owned just about every major brand of camera and lens in medium format was still finding myself disappointed with image quality; I was about to throw in the towel, but my stubbornness came through for me this time, as I decided to give my digital back a try on an Arca-Swiss M-Line Two.

    I chose the A/S M2 over a technical camera because I wanted larger movements, and to retain compatibility with 4x5 film. (I recently saw a large print by Jock Sturges, and it was stunning. The print was from scanned 4x5 film).

    So here I am, 8 years on, with all the sharpness I could hope for, movements, light weight, effective freedom from artifacts.

    I'd like to share a couple of the images I've taken over the past week to show you what I mean. These are not fine art--these are imaging exercises to allow me to get to know my new dance partner. All images developed with Capture 1 DB v7 with default settings + WB. No additional processing performed. With that said:

    Here is the field captured with the Rodenstock Sironar Digital 55mm f/4.5 on a Leaf AFi-II 10 digital back (56mm x 36mm sensor):


    Despite the distance of the bridge, individual suspension cables can be easily resolved, as can the pattern in the guardrails. Of particular note is the lack of artifacts around the light-dark transitions of the vertical suspension cables (100%):


    Further torture test of the optical system; note the lack of fringing/blooming in the specular highlights on the water. A superb result (100%):


    In a different scene, I was practicing tilt to achieve sharpness from near to far (bottom to top) in frame (frame 1 of a 3-frame stitch). This taken with the Rodenstock 150mm f/5.6 Apo Sironar Digital:


    How many markings do you see on the crosswalk? If you're puzzled by this question, don't worry. It's right here, see it?


    No? Me neither at first. It was only as I was zoomed in to 100% to check focus was I blown away to be able to count the 16 painted strips on each side of the road miles away through the haze. Looks like focus was spot on! (100%):


    The system is delivering shot after shot like this. It seems I've got a good working mental model of the Scheimfplug and Merklinger principles, allowing me to control my depth of field. Seeing each image open is a little like Christmas again; it's been a while since I've been so pleased by the results of my camera system. It reignites my passion and my imagination to be able to make photographs which are simply renditions of my vision with gobs of faithful detail (apparently) delivered effortlessly.

    Thanks to everyone here contributing to make this a helpful and informative community--I wouldn't have made it here without your help!

    A note to any Retina Display users out there (like myself): the 100% renderings are suffering in apparent quality because your web browser is (probably) not Retina-Display aware. If you'd like to see the original file, here is the raw file for the Akashi bridge. Check it out in C1 7 or Photoshop CS 6+ (both are Retina Display aware) to see it properly.

    Over the coming weeks and months I look forward to posting artistic works created with this setup.

    All the best,
    -bRad
    Brad Gibson
    GibsonPhotographic.com
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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Wonderful. Congrats on finding a happy place and a good dance partner.

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Congrats Brad on the M2. I have had one in my studio for a few years. It is a nice camera, but not one I carry outside. I am a petite female, maybe that makes a difference. Anyhow, enjoy and I look forward to your upcoming posts.

    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Brad,

    Glad you've finally moved to a proper view camera. The photos remind me of our time in Kobe. We lived in Momoyamadai, a few kilometers from Maiko, where the Kobe side of the bridge starts.

    Kumar

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Bradley Stunning! That is some combination, could you be so kind as to put the other raw file up too please?

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    wait until you get some fat light and clear air!

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Hey, everyone, thank you. I hope that maybe my experiences may help someone contemplating the jump from small format to medium format, for as I'm sure most of you know, sadly, most folks return to small format after a year or so.

    Perhaps a tech or view camera is an option for some folks that will allow them to stay in the medium+ format arena.

    Thanks, Geoff! As you know, it has been a long (and expensive) journey for me to get here. The AFi back with the tilting touch screen and internally rotating sensor is amazing with the A/S M2.

    Darr, that makes sense--despite the advertised weight of 2-ish kg, and the two diminutive lenses, my bag doesn't seem lighter than it was with my Canon kit or my Rollei kit. I must be carrying a lot of little extras that are adding up.

    Thank you Kumar! Yes, my wife's family lives about 20 minutes from there, so we're in the neighborhood, so to speak.

    Ced, yes, it's really amazing! And apprently these lenses aren't even Rodenstock's best (!). They have a generous image circle, though, and so seemed to be the right compromise. Regarding the other raw file, sure--I'd be happy to. Right now we are on Yoron Island just north of the main Okinawan island (https://www.google.co.jp/search?hl=e...n+island&btnG=). There's no WiFi, and my rigged-up connection is a little over 300x slower than normal. If I get a good connection, I'll upload the other raw file.

    jlm - We were were kayaking and on a glass-bottom boat looking at sea life today. I didn't think there would be an opportunity to use the gear, so I left it behind. But boy was I wrong. We made it to the sandbar and spent some time walking around there--the light was gorgeous!!--I would have loved to have had the kit with me. Two things: 1) that won't happen again and 2) know any software that will take an iPhone picture and make it the same quality as a view camera shot??

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Hi, Ced,

    We're on the main island today with a good connection. I have posted the other raw file for you here.

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the image quality, once you've had a chance to take a look!

    All the best,

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Great to hear you are enjoying the camera!

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    These images are superb Brad. Big thanks for posting the raw files! Its so great to have a look at those pixels in CO7. The quality in those is beyond anything I've experienced with a medium format slr camera, most notably the absence of CA and fringing - wonderfully clean, even around strong highlights, as you say.

    If you happen to capture any shots with a lot of colour in the field of view, please do share, as I'm really interested in how these lenses render colour tones, (and also out of focus depth of field actually, though I see no signs of dof in your photography, haha)

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    Re: A/S M2, Rodenstock Sironar Digital + AFi-II 10 = Holy #@?!

    Slurm,

    I've been shooting MFD for 7 years now, and you're right--I've not seen anything like these results--the freedom from artifacts and overall quality is incredible!

    I've recently returned to Seattle, so I'll look for an image of a colorful scene for you. As for DoF, I do tend to use it in some of my images (http://GibsonPhotographic.com), but I am working to master the Scheimfplug/Merklinger principles at the moment. I may have a reverse tilt example, which should provide plenty of opportunity to evaluate bokeh. Spoiler: it's as gorgeous as the rest of the lens' performance.

    Stand by,
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 20th May 2013 at 07:29.

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