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Thread: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    ...guess who didn't order a Sync cable...

    Purchased all the STC kit from UK dealer Linhof Studio, Paula is very helpful but when it arrived and I realised the one thing I need but don't have and with a holiday weekend ahead, I called Brian at Dtek and he had one in the post to me within minutes, next day delivery, for which I am hugely grateful.

    The STC kit looks and feels great. The Rodie also looks pretty cool, if quite large - so the whole setup with an IQ180 on it is quite large and heavy. The engineering seems really nice though I am not convinced by the HPF ring, it took quite a while to fit and is very apt to slip off the collar on which it needs to sit as you try to adjust it to infinity.

    I also think it's funny, maybe quite naively sweet, how the very few instructions that come with the kit (and there are IMHO not as many as there could be) seem to be scissor cut photocopies. None the worse for that I suppose but it is a counterpoint to the premium feel of the materials and construction.

    So now I just need to get that darned sync cable and start shooting. I purchased a new Capture One Complete LCC kit which seems quite neat (though possibly a little off-white?) and am all ready to rock.

    As a little mess around, I stuck the back on the camera (had to use the little back mount shim 0.3mm to stop it wobbling around) and tried live view on a tripod: it seems quite possible to compose and even focus that way - or am I being overly hopeful?

    Any tips'n'tricks from other STC/Rodie/IQ180 users most welcome. I will report back once I get shooting and may even share an image or two if I capture anything worthwhile!
    Last edited by tashley; 24th May 2013 at 16:23.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Tim,

    Your IQ180 shouldn't be loose. You may need either the Alpa 00 or 000 plate depending upon your back. There was some variety in the fitment of the backs with some requiring a Leaf plate whilst other's were ok with the Phase One plate (my IQ160 fits snug on this).

    You might find this useful:
    IQ180 loose on Alpa? - The GetDPI Photography Forums
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    They come with small shims now - not the square mask shims for focus tuning, but a small one about four cm long and 1/5 cm wide that just fits into one side of the back adaptor plate. You get four in different sizes and mine is now nice and snug...

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Congratlations btw on the outfit. Regarding the shims and adapters it's obviously all change at the top these days
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    If the HPF focus rings are installed correctly, they should not slide at all. Did you use the supplied O-rings to prevent it from slipping? I'm sure you did, just asking....... :-)

    Congratulations on the outfit, it's a good choice.

    Cheers, -Peter
    Alpa TC STC | IQ140 | 24XL 35XL 120N-ASPH
    www.peterlomdahl.com

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Hi Peter,
    As per the rest of the kit there were no significant instructions so I looked at the Alpa website video guide and it said that the O rings were only for the Schneider lenses and not for the Rodenstocks. I got it right in the end without an O ring but it took about 45 minutes...

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Oh, you'll need that sync lead. Just know with the back on Zero Latency, it eats batteries, so be sure to carry multiple spares.

    Once you are happy with your outfit, you'll have to 'invest' in a single shot cable, either by Alpa or Kapture Group (are there others?). Then you can work on Normal Latency, and have much less battery needs.

    Kapture group one is a bit ungainly but great for tripod work - about $250
    The Alpa one is good for walkabout press button use, and tripod, and altogether a neater package but is about $900.

    Welcome to the world of Alpa where they wash each component in Unicorn tears.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    I will probably get the Alpa one - I had the Kapture on my Cambo and thought it ungainly and unreliable. But my re-entry into MFDB world is intended to be slow enough such as not to burn up all my cash in one go, hence the cheapo approach until I see what the lens and sensor can do... ;-)

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    But my re-entry into MFDB world is intended to be slow enough such as not to burn up all my cash in one go, hence the cheapo approach until I see what the lens and sensor can do... ;-)
    Yeh right, now that makes me laugh!

    Hope you find your Zen in the Alpa Tim.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Welcome back, the water is merely boiling here. (Dante)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    +1 on the Kapture group cable. Works great, for me much more accurate with Copal shutters than the Phase wake up cable and cable release (2 step approach). if you get one, look into the one with the longer sync cable (I believe it's the one called the standard, not the wide angle).

    Cost in U.S. is now $295.00, they have dropped the price $100.00

    Paul Caldwell

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    For those interested in the new back adaptor system here is the PDF
    http://www.alpa.ch/dms/products/back...s_20120716.pdf

    However for my money there is some confusion in explanation of the two different types of shim, being 1) to make the back fit snugly on the mounting plate
    And
    2) to change the flange distance so as to get the sensor positioned correctly relative to the imaging plane

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    I think shimming back adapters to correct flange distance cannot be the right way to do it! Users should not accept that a digital back costing tens of thousands of dollars to have problem in alignment, and as far as I know the backs do have internal shims so if they just care at the factory they can be as precise as they should be. The back should be sent back to the factory and be corrected, or else the manufacturers may get sloppy :-)

    (Then there's the mystery of the design of back mount, H-mount as I have while better than the film-mount V-mount I does not exactly feeling like high precision to me. I would want it to be some screw fastening that press the back snuggly to the camera, rather than some sloppy spring-loaded mechanism. And no long-exposure light leaks please.)

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Bucking the trend here. Hated I mean hated the Kapture group cable. I went zero latency on my 160 carried 5 batteries never got past 3 all day shooting . I just made it a habit of turning off the back after a series of shots. Never ran into heat issues and it was far less cumbersome. Just used a cable and separate sync cable to back. I also never shimmed my Cambo. The mounting plates do have some shims for mounting a back to. I did calibrate my lenses though when I used the HPF rings. On the SK its three little screws and I tethered shooting for infinity mark and tightened it down and it was fine.

    Frankly no offense but the whole Alpa shimming thing is just some marketing . Problem is if your shimming the camera for one lens what about your other lenses do they fall into place. I shimmed my lenses once I had the mounting plate correctly shimmed to hold my back nice and tight. This way all three of my lenses where correct.
    Ill put in here YMMV.

    Bottom line there is zero difference between a Alpa and Cambo in this regards they both work essentially the same when it comes to shimming. Cambo actually has four mount screws that you can shim with. Never did that as I felt getting each lens correct was the way to go. My 35XL was way off too.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Frankly no offense but the whole Alpa shimming thing is just some marketing.
    Hmm. This doesn't look like marketing to me - this looks pretty tangible.

    ALPA of Switzerland - Manufacturers of remarkable cameras - News

    Problem is if your shimming the camera for one lens what about your other lenses do they fall into place.
    I think the idea is that the lenses are calibrated and optimised with regards their mounts, as are the other things between the lens and the back?

    As I see it, ALPA are in complete control with regards to the tolerances of every thing they sell - lens mounts, adapters, cameras, and back mounts. The only thing they have no control over is the back itself. IF (and I accept that it's only an "if" without independent testing) the tolerances of the kit ALPA sell is controlled, then there is no reason to suppose that if you shim your back with one lens, then it's the good for all of them.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    I am totally with Guy on the shooting mode - shot this morning for the first time with zero latency and as long as you switch the back off when doing your aperture and shutter and so on, it doesn't get hot and the batteries last just fine.

    Am loving the new gear so far - the Rodie is usually (not always!) quite good to focus just using guess'n'thenLiveView and the ergonomics of the back and the camera are great. I had forgotten what a pleasure the IQ180 interface is.

    The files are no longer a knockout after using a D800 for a year - but at that's at 100%. At 50% they are great and that's what counts, even if the Phase shadows aren't quite up to Nikon standards.

    The PITA is going back to Capture One. I don't like its sharpening, it's shadow and highlight method and I really really hate that whatever folder I tell it to output TIFF to, it keeps using one I specified 18 months ago. It may be capable of perfect results in some hands, to me it feels unfinished and unintuitive.

    But here's a (not at all creatively interesting) shot (50% size here) that I took this morning using LV to focus in bright sunlight at F8. I can live with this ;-)



    LCC seems to work very well but I do notice that the LCC shot picks up the subject colour bias (shoot in spring forest and the LCC is very green) and that using it to white balance isn't a great idea. I need to work that one through. Probably best answer is to shoot blank grey sky with the same movements through the LCC sheet, and to shoot a whi bal card for the scene itself. I need to experiment. Any thoughts on this?

    I am having fun!

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    i'm with guy, sold my capture group cable, adjusted each lens to system (by tweaking the focus ring to get inf focus when at the inf stop) not back to body

    re C1:

    the way mine works is i open a new session for each shoot labeled "year-month-day=notes" and import raws to it. it automatically creates an "output" subfolder, when i process, tiffs go there.
    i used to select the "Tethered" option when importing as it would create and load the imported files into a "Captures" subfolder, but with v 7, i have not been doing this

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Hmm. This doesn't look like marketing to me - this looks pretty tangible.

    ALPA of Switzerland - Manufacturers of remarkable cameras - News



    I think the idea is that the lenses are calibrated and optimised with regards their mounts, as are the other things between the lens and the back?

    As I see it, ALPA are in complete control with regards to the tolerances of every thing they sell - lens mounts, adapters, cameras, and back mounts. The only thing they have no control over is the back itself. IF (and I accept that it's only an "if" without independent testing) the tolerances of the kit ALPA sell is controlled, then there is no reason to suppose that if you shim your back with one lens, then it's the good for all of them.
    That same argument can be said for Arca and Cambo. Arca uses offsets to make those corrections and Cambo does have that adjustability as well. The real question is what is off if there is something off the body, the lens or the back. I know we can argue this till the cows come home but from what my experience is once I had my back on the mount correctly I found my 35MM XL to be off my 60MM XL to be on the money the 90mm off slightly. Im not buying that every Alpa lens in there mount is absolutely correct to there bother or sister lens in a different focal length. I also dont buy the fact I buy 3 exact Alpa lenses and each one is EXACTLY like the other. Alpa makes wonderful gear dont get me wrong but they use the shimming as a marketing tool as well. Not saying it is not effective but how can you really tell if it is. A HPF ring at 10ft has some play in it, It still is a analogue based system with a focusing ring. There really is no way to actual measure it in a accurate digital fashion. Does this really matter at the end of the day, not really as DOF usually masks it anyway. I agree being as close to perfect as possible is a good thing. But really if anyone has it dead on than I would give it to Arca's setup. Once you have the offsets figured out than your golden.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    LCC seems to work very well but I do notice that the LCC shot picks up the subject colour bias (shoot in spring forest and the LCC is very green) and that using it to white balance isn't a great idea.
    I'm using RawTherapee generally so I'm not 100% sure how Capture One does LCC correction (flat field correction), but I would guess that it only corrects for the deviations from the average, so the actual overall color (white balance) of your LCC shot does not matter. Possibly one can choose to use it for white balance too (you can't in RawTherapee, and it's is usually a bad idea anyway so I haven't missed it), but I would guess that is not the default? Some C1 power user could explain I'm sure.

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    But really if anyone has it dead on than I would give it to Arca's setup. Once you have the offsets figured out than your golden.
    Alpa's HPF rings is not that high resolved so I would guess that there is some small focus placement error that Arca RM3Di does slightly better. It would be interesting to test. On the other hand I think the Arca has entered overkill territory making the focus ring unnecessarily slow/cumbersome to work with. The Alpa/Cambo seems to have a nice tradeoff. I think it should be standard with HPF ring pre-mounted on all lenses though, I think being able to set exact focus distance in the blind is one of the key features of a pancake camera.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Alpa's HPF rings is not that high resolved so I would guess that there is some small focus placement error that Arca RM3Di does slightly better. It would be interesting to test. On the other hand I think the Arca has entered overkill territory making the focus ring unnecessarily slow/cumbersome to work with. The Alpa/Cambo seems to have a nice tradeoff. I think it should be standard with HPF ring pre-mounted on all lenses though, I think being able to set exact focus distance in the blind is one of the key features of a pancake camera.

    The Arca is very nice but I agree with you, first I'm not a math major and reading cheat sheets setting up offsets and all that stuff takes me away from being a shooter. Also Alpa/Cambo are the focusing style we done for years. Bob and Jack love playing with that stuff on the Arca. I find it boring and a PITA but it does work. I'm just not a fan of it. Rather shoot the Alpa, Cambo setups.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Agree on the HPF rings built into the lens itself. It's pretty sloppy as it is today without them.

    In all this I waited for the IQ back since it gave me more confidence with focus mask and 100 percent zoom to really feel like I nailed the shot with a tech cam. You spend a load of money on this and your still guessing. LOL

    In all that I miss the **** out of not having one.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Agree on the HPF rings built into the lens itself. It's pretty sloppy as it is today without them.

    In all this I waited for the IQ back since it gave me more confidence with focus mask and 100 percent zoom to really feel like I nailed the shot with a tech cam. You spend a load of money on this and your still guessing. LOL

    In all that I miss the **** out of not having one.
    You coulda had mine sooo cheap Guy - but not any more

    It is a night and day difference after the SK35XL experience. Even without calibration a lot of files look OK, even some with 10mm rise. WTF?!

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    On the other hand I think the Arca has entered overkill territory making the focus ring unnecessarily slow/cumbersome to work with.
    To the outsider that may appear to be the case. While discussion about the Arca generally talk about its focusing accuracy there in more to it. Regardless of how utterly over the top accurate you can be with the Arca focusing (a good thing IMO) just ask yourself, why do we continually feel the need to quickly adjust focus with more traditional focusing methods? I would say paranoia that we have the shot in focus as we move between shots.

    With the Arca's large focusing dial, unless you continually shift focus in your shots (I don't using hyper focal), you dial in the distance and it stays put. I set the focus once and rarely touch the focusing dial, safe in the knowledge that nothing has drifted between shots. I would go further and say, once calibrated, all that is required is a subject distance referenced to the lens scale and CLICK, focus on the first shot nailed. Non of the focus fudging, live view or 100% preview stuff needed. In my eyes this makes focusing the Arca much faster than any Alpa or Cambo with their low res focus rings and 100% image review.

    I spent last week shooting building exteriors and have never felt the focusing ever got in the way of the flow of the photography. LCC however is a different story........ what a PITA!

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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Well said on the focus with the Arca Gareth. Once I have my hyper focal figured for each lens I rarely change focus. I am only using wides and if I ever got a 120mm or longer then things might change.

    Paul Caldwell
    Last edited by Paul2660; 25th May 2013 at 18:15.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Interestingly enough of all of the challenges of technical camera shooting focus is pretty low down the list for me at least. HPF rings help with transcribing measured distance to the lens regardless of system.

    My personal challenge is still tilt vs stack ... well, more accurately stacking isn't any challenge but the other is. I know that one day it'll all come together and be second nature, as it was with LF, but for now it's less than easy in the absence of perfect live view, big bright ground glass or lens nodal tilts that don't require contant reframing. I'm slowly working towards that Aha Eureka moment

    Regarding the shims, well I think that discussion has probably been done to death. Trust me, if you want infinity accurate as a benchmark then it works, although it does rely on all Alpa calibrated lenses to be to a constant. You can argue whether that is the case or not .. admittedly even Leica don't seem to manage it but everything I've ever witnessed from Alpa is that they do seem to live up to their precision and consistency claims. That said, you can adjust all of the systems one way or the other as folks have stated here. I don't drink the Alpa superiority KoolAid but I do like their gear.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: The STC and Rodie 40 have arrived but...

    Congratulations Tashley! You have a great camera there!!!

    As to focus accuracy, my five Alpa lenses are all dead on the money for accuracy. I trust them blindly and love the working process of shooting.
    Alpa FPS MAX TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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