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Thread: A down to the line decision

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    A down to the line decision

    Good evening everyone!

    As some people might know I've not had a happy ride with my Phase One gear and after several rocky road episodes that I won't re-hash here, my dealer has sensibly offered me a refund (I asked for either that or a swap with cash adjustment for a Hassy HD39 plus 28mm + TS adaptor) on the basis that the hassy TS adaptor is still a horizon rather than an event.

    Firstly let me make my needs clear: I mostly 'do' fine art work with a landscsape or 'architectural landscape' bent. Anyone with the time or inclination can see specific examples at

    http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/p203936640

    What I need is:

    * The ability to do tilt AND shift
    (hopefully for long night exposures sometimes too)
    * Lots of large pixels for large prints with fantastic quality
    * A setup which is as light as possible given the aim of the exercise. In other words hopefully avoiding carrying a digibody alongside a tech/field body.
    * A setup which avoids, if at all possible, dark cloths, sliding adaptors, upside down composition using loupes on ground glass, central graduated ND filters etc.


    It seems to me that Phase have been quoted here as agreeing that their new TS lens, on which most of my hopes were pinned, is kinda blurry at the edges. Now this is a huge shame because the images from my P45+ back are amazing. And it does incredible night shots. Really amazing. But it's the glass that's troublesome.

    So should I wait for the Hassy TS, buy an HDII 39 or 50 now and then strap on the adaptor? Or should I stick with the Phase for its night ability and bear the (back) pain of adding a Silvestri Flexicam and putting up with the general grief of the extra body, weight and fiddle?

    I want to make images printed to the largest exhibition sizes in fantastic detail with corrected verticals and enhanced DOF. I'll lug light-meters and tripods and so on uphill and dale if I have to, but what do people think of the potential difference in quality of let's say a 60" x 45" print taken on a hassy with their 28mm F4 and the T/S adaptor, versus the Sivlestri/Phase combo, in a sort of 'I'm willing to trade of a little bit of ultimate image quality at the furthest margins in exchange for a lot more convenience, but only a little for a lot' kind of a way...

    Tim

    ps my dealer suggested Horseman or Cambo with the Phase - but they're all tilt and no shift! And I do realise that few people have seen the Hassy TS results in action in the field rather than a studio...
    Last edited by tashley; 13th January 2009 at 15:06.

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Depends on how you look at life really , sell the Phase system at a loss. Or spend a little extra and get a Silvestri and actually there maybe other solutions to the T/S solution The Hassy 28mm and the T/S adapter are not exactly cheap either but nor is the Silvertri but anything over 30 seconds than Phase backs really shine there. Personally switching systems is not the answer IMHO and any 28mm Hassy or Mamiya lens will not be as good as a tech lens. Although I love my 28mm mamiya but this serves many purposes and i can shoot fast with it. The way I look at it instead of taking a 6 k loss on selling the current system given the times i would instead add to it because even the Hassy will not buy you a wide T/S either. Seriously switching systems is not buying you any extra quality Hassy and Phase are great systems and very much alike in many ways. Adding to either system if you have a special requirement actually makes more sense and also gives you better glass than both plus the ability to go very wide and long even with the Silvestri with T/S. The TS sounds very nice from Hassy no question and a useful accessory but still can't get wider than a 42mm or so
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    I think you need to do three things before deciding:

    1) Do you need more than 30s exposures? Then the Phase is the only back for you.

    2) Decide how large you mean with printing large, how much stitching you are willing to do to get there, and choosing the minimum resolution you can, while still getting what you need.

    2) Rent the various systems before committing.

    Unless you are made of cash, I would say that making do with a 39MP over the massive outlay for the 50/60MP backs makes much more sense. Even the 33MP of the Sinar 75LV is probably enough for large prints, depending on how large you need.
    Carsten - Website

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Doesn't Leica have a tilt/shift lens coming for the S2? It was either 30mm or 35mm. I know how much Tim likes Leica 35mm lenses

    Is there still a Leica/Phase relationship. In other words, are there going to be any Leica lenses for Phase?

    Robert
    Last edited by robsteve; 13th January 2009 at 16:13.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Agree with Carsten.

    Remember that the native size of the 39 Mpx files from either hassy or Phase are 22x32" Given my printer (Epson 7880) that just about does it. If you are into really large prints then you will have to stitch or uprez, your choice. Again though, the files come from the same Kodak sensor for either Hassy or Phase. The cooling approach from Phase allows the 1 hour limit as compared to the 60 second limit for the Hassy. Neither is really long enough for star trail work but the Phase certainly gets you closer.

    If your dealer is willing to refund all of your money I personally would take and then follow Carsten's advice. Rent until you have been able to totally understand both systems. That way, when you finally buy again you will be a happy guy because you understand the benefits and trade-offs with each.

    Just my thoughts

    Woody

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    It's all been said:

    1) If you need more than 60 second exposures, your current back is the highest resolution of the few options available.

    2) If you don't need long exposures per #1 above, test out the Hassy AND the software before selling your Phase --- if you like it, you are done.

    3) Only other viable option for *tilts* is your P45+ back and a view or tilt camera of some sort, but IMO *any* of them will require a sliding back for convenience -- no other convenient way to set compositions, movements and focus, then doing the back and forth with confirmation exposures...

    3a) An ancillary option I'd explore for adjusting PoF is focus blending; I am thinking it may be superior to tilts since you can get more than one plane of subjects in focus at a time -- but then that's me and I am pretty darn happy with my Phase/Mamiya outfit.

    4) All that said, coupled with your disastrous Mamiya history, I think you should go Hassy. I mean it can only be better unless you are cursed, and you seem so disillusioned with Mamiya now I doubt you can ever be happy with it.

    5) On the upside, I suspect you will be able to sell your P45+ in Mamiya mount pretty easily.

    Best,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  7. #7
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Thanks To Everyone Guys!

    What a bunch of really helpful and considered reactions that has been - and also thank you to those who wrote me privately with alternative suggestions.

    When I originally chose the Phase over the Hassy I assumed that both would soon have functional, easy ways of achieving TS with existing bodies so my choice was made more on the basis of a philosophical preference for an open system, a desire to achieve longer exposures and a preference for the lighter smaller lenses of the Phamiya range with their 'no leaf shutter' design. I also preferred the higher shutter speeds of the Phamiya body and since I have never needed high sync speed flash (I don't do studio work) I wasn't giving up anything for that advantage.

    Those preferences remain and I would like to make it really clear that I think the Phase One P45+ back is an incredible piece of kit. I have got over (either solved or ceased to care about!) all my other frustrations and teething issues with glass, chargers, flash and so on: it's just this danged TS issue that remains.

    I could give up the things I like about the Phase system, take a Hassy now and accept the bigger lenses, slower shutter and more limited long exposure range on the basis that the TS adaptor will be good. Or I could keep the Phase setup, which by now I do at least know pretty well and for which I have purchased additional glass and accessories, and add something like the Silvestri to it.

    Doing that would make surprisingly little difference to weight. If you add the weight of a Silvestri plus lens up and compare it to a Hassy TS adaptor plus, for e.g. 28mm F4 lens, you're probably lighter with the Silvestri gear! And from what people have said, that is the way to ensure ultimate (and most importantly known) quality. It will also cost in the same ballpark and will offer a far wider range of movements, probably more than I need. But it will also be much more of a hassle!

    So it's a tough call. I'm going to have to think this one through in detail. In truth I have so far shot very few frames at over 1 minute exposure but those I have, I've loved.

    Hmmmm. Hmmmm... Hmmmm............

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Personally I cut losing bets fast - that minimises the 'sunk cost ' argument...and therefore future pain. You sound like a tripod guy - so really the body shouldn't fuss you too much anyway. So if you are looking for a solid reason to get out of Phase/mamiya and into H series system with blad - it is an even money call..

    thats how they suck people in and lock 'em in - BARRIERS TO EXIT.

    PS - I own and shoot with both systems.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    if you're dealer is offering a full refund and you're even thinking of getting out, what is the downside?

    Prices are going nowhere but down, so even if you move back to Phase in x months you lose nothing. The Hassy T&S is still un-tested as yet so why move to Hassy NOW with the inherent possible loss if the TS doesn't deliver what you want? If you wait and then decide to bail from Phase, that refund offer may not still be on the table.

    Personally, take the refund, thank your dealer, do some more testing and then buy back in to the game via your dealer at that point.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    The other alternate plan is return the Mamiya stuff keep the P45 plus back and get a Silvestri with various lenses and only shoot the Tech camera. If this is ALL you do than like many interior shooters this is all they need or have.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  11. #11
    dwdmguy
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Not true, the Leaf backs will do 60 min.

    Have you looked into the DL28?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I think you need to do three things before deciding:

    1) Do you need more than 30s exposures? Then the Phase is the only back for you.

    2) Decide how large you mean with printing large, how much stitching you are willing to do to get there, and choosing the minimum resolution you can, while still getting what you need.

    2) Rent the various systems before committing.

    Unless you are made of cash, I would say that making do with a 39MP over the massive outlay for the 50/60MP backs makes much more sense. Even the 33MP of the Sinar 75LV is probably enough for large prints, depending on how large you need.

  12. #12
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    That is a Aptus-II-6 back with a Dalsa sensor. I don't know any Dalsa sensors that will do 60 minutes. If you have specs that say differently please let us know.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by dwdmguy View Post
    Not true, the Leaf backs will do 60 min.

    Have you looked into the DL28?

    The maximum long exposue for all Leaf Aptus backs is 32 seconds, not counting the new Aptus II 10 which states up to 60 seconds.

    With the exception of the P65+, all of the Phase One Plus series (p20+, P21+, P25+, P30+, P45+) will expose for up to 1 hour as has been noted.

    The P65+ does use a Dalsa sensor, developed with Phase One involvement. All the other Plus series are Kodak sensors.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Thanks Steve for confirming that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    That is a Aptus-II-6 back with a Dalsa sensor. I don't know any Dalsa sensors that will do 60 minutes. If you have specs that say differently please let us know.
    You are correct Guy. My understanding is that Dalsa chips can currently only do 60 second exposures. I found the DL28 spec sheet, but it doesn't mention anything about exposure times.


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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Clawery View Post
    You are correct Guy. My understanding is that Dalsa chips can currently only do 60 second exposures. I found the DL28 spec sheet, but it doesn't mention anything about exposure times.


    Chris Lawery
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    The Leaf/Mamiya DL-28 maximum exposure is 32 seconds.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Tim,

    I'm sure size and weight are a consideration for the camera you are looking for, but have you considered 6x9 cameras? Arca-Swiss, Cambo and several other manufacturers make some nice systems. Below is a brochure on the Ultima 23 system.



    Chris Lawery
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Hi Chris,

    All I can say to that is Wow, do you get a free truck with it??

    Seriously, I spent some time at the dealer today and we talked through a variety of options. He's expecting a delivery of Hartbee/Phase TS lenses imminently and he's going to test for his own edification and I've agreed that if by some quirk he gets an ultra good one I'll take it. Otherwise he's going to arrange for me to try the Silvestri Flexcam with slidign back setup and if that's not suitable he'll switch me into Hassy, so I now have a great action plan that covers my bases pretty well. My preference is to stick with the Phase back IF I can find a way round the T/S issues that doesn't break my back or my bank, because of the long exposure issue and the fact that I've spent on accessories already.

    Thanks again to everyone for their help! If anyone has any experience with the Silvestri it'd be very interesting to hear it. It looks and feels good.

    Tim

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Sounds like you've got yourself a great dealer - looking fwd to seeing how things work out.

  20. #20
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Sounds like you've got yourself a great dealer - looking fwd to seeing how things work out.
    Thanks Rob! I have to say that our relationship has come under some strain through no fault (I hope) on either side but today he was really very helpful and accommodating in helping come up with an action plan. The refund option was gratefully received but I do want to bust a gut to spend the cash with him!

    Tim

  21. #21
    Howard Cubell
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Good evening everyone!

    As some people might know I've not had a happy ride with my Phase One gear and after several rocky road episodes that I won't re-hash here, my dealer has sensibly offered me a refund (I asked for either that or a swap with cash adjustment for a Hassy HD39 plus 28mm + TS adaptor) on the basis that the hassy TS adaptor is still a horizon rather than an event.

    Firstly let me make my needs clear: I mostly 'do' fine art work with a landscsape or 'architectural landscape' bent. Anyone with the time or inclination can see specific examples at

    http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/p203936640

    What I need is:

    * The ability to do tilt AND shift
    (hopefully for long night exposures sometimes too)
    * Lots of large pixels for large prints with fantastic quality
    * A setup which is as light as possible given the aim of the exercise. In other words hopefully avoiding carrying a digibody alongside a tech/field body.
    * A setup which avoids, if at all possible, dark cloths, sliding adaptors, upside down composition using loupes on ground glass, central graduated ND filters etc.


    It seems to me that Phase have been quoted here as agreeing that their new TS lens, on which most of my hopes were pinned, is kinda blurry at the edges. Now this is a huge shame because the images from my P45+ back are amazing. And it does incredible night shots. Really amazing. But it's the glass that's troublesome.

    So should I wait for the Hassy TS, buy an HDII 39 or 50 now and then strap on the adaptor? Or should I stick with the Phase for its night ability and bear the (back) pain of adding a Silvestri Flexicam and putting up with the general grief of the extra body, weight and fiddle?

    I want to make images printed to the largest exhibition sizes in fantastic detail with corrected verticals and enhanced DOF. I'll lug light-meters and tripods and so on uphill and dale if I have to, but what do people think of the potential difference in quality of let's say a 60" x 45" print taken on a hassy with their 28mm F4 and the T/S adaptor, versus the Sivlestri/Phase combo, in a sort of 'I'm willing to trade of a little bit of ultimate image quality at the furthest margins in exchange for a lot more convenience, but only a little for a lot' kind of a way...

    Tim

    ps my dealer suggested Horseman or Cambo with the Phase - but they're all tilt and no shift! And I do realise that few people have seen the Hassy TS results in action in the field rather than a studio...
    Tom:
    Based upon your needs and lack of comfort with the logistics and workflow of working with a technical camera in the field as a second camera to your "main" camera, the preferred solution seems clear. The Hasselblad H3D with the HTS. However, that presupposes that the image quality with the HTS is first rate and it is not a dog like the Phase T/S lens appears to be. The initial reports are "promising" from those that have played with it, but until it ships and you have your own opportunity to try it out in the field with your type of work, who knows? So, take the cash refund on your system and wait and see whether the HTS delivers. Of course, if the technical camera option is just not a desirable option for you(as it is not for me), then the proper comparison is not between the HTS and a technical camera but between the Hasselblad with the HTS and the Phamiya with no tilt/shift capability to extend depth of field. Put differently, even if the use of the HTS entails "some" loss of performance in the HC lenses at the same lens aperture, are you still better off because of the extended depth of field it offers(and perhaps the ability to use a larger aperture)?

  22. #22
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Tim, as for the options you listed, how far does your budget stretch? The Cambo is offered with a Hasselblad back mount (SLW-89), so in theory, you could have both systems, side-by-side, and simply move the back to the camera you need it on. This would allow you to use each camera in its area of strength. The savings on the HTS would go far towards the Cambo, and hopefully you could find a way of traveling with both. The HTS is about the same size as the Cambo WRS 1000, without lens, and the Cambo is only 500g heavier. With the Cambo, however, you will be able to go much wider with no performance penalty. No tilt though.
    Carsten - Website

  23. #23
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Iíve been following this thread for sometime now and decided to add my 2 cents worth. As many of you know I shoot landscape with the occasional wildlife thrown in; with many of my landscape images panoramas in the 30x60 range.

    I have been hesitant in adding my thoughts here as I like many others bring a certain amount of bias whenever we discuss the ďultimateĒ kit to capture our images, but what the heck; I thought Iíd plunge in anyway.

    I had a Canon T/S when I was shooting landscape with my 1Ds and found that for whatever the reason I just didnít use it that much, the reason could have been my style or more simply put what I was looking to accomplish. Shortly after switching to MF I brought a Hartblei to use and found I used it a total of one trip (Sequoia National Park) selling it as I was making my switch to the Cambo RS.

    Another reason Iíve stayed off this thread is that I simply do not shoot architectural type photography. I wonít stand here and say Iíve never had a need for tilt as I have; the times Iíve needed it or just could of used it have been rare and in each case software fixes have saved me.

    I wanted to include the above information to provide what might be considered my bona fides.

    If I were to make the next move into a system that will provide all the movements that the RS has and add the ability to tilt/shift (and hereís where my bias is showing) Iíd go directly to the Cambo Ultima 23. Yes, the 23 is a tank (weighs in at over 11 lbs) but look at what you get Ė complete movements using large format lens Ė the ability to have a sliding back (something that would be nice to have on the RS).

    So there Iíve said it.

    don


    Just a comment of lens:

    I have a Mamiya 28mm lens which has turned out to be an excellent copy (no I didnít sell it after all) however I believe the 35 and 72mm lens I have along with my RS is stunning compared to anything Iíve seen taken with normal medium format. I truly believe the lens used in technical cameras out perform any other lens.

    Edited:
    I just looked at the current message and see that youíve accepted the offer for the return of your money. I wish you well and good luck on what you try next hopeful youíll find the perfect solution to your needs and will be willing to share it with us.
    Don Libby
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  24. #24
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    (snip)


    I’d go directly to the Cambo Ultima 23. Yes, the 23 is a tank (weighs in at over 11 lbs) but look at what you get – complete movements using large format lens – the ability to have a sliding back (something that would be nice to have on the RS).

    So there I’ve said it.

    don


    Just a comment of lens:

    I have a Mamiya 28mm lens which has turned out to be an excellent copy (no I didn’t sell it after all) however I believe the 35 and 72mm lens I have along with my RS is stunning compared to anything I’ve seen taken with normal medium format. I truly believe the lens used in technical cameras out perform any other lens.

    Edited:
    I just looked at the current message and see that you’ve accepted the offer for the return of your money. I wish you well and good luck on what you try next hopeful you’ll find the perfect solution to your needs and will be willing to share it with us.
    Hi Don,

    Actually, because I need a solution and because my dealer is willing to help find one, for now at least I'm not taking the money back: the dealer's going to see if a decent Phase/Hartblei turns up in the first batch (seems unlikely but Michaeil Reichmann at least did have a good one) and assuming that doesn't happen we're going to give the Silvestri Flexcam a go with the Phase back. This weighs about a kilo but has well calibrated front tilt/swing/shift and a sliding back. It's smaller than the Phamiya body too and will allow those great lenses you talk about...

    But I suspect that reverting to black cloths, loupes, upside down composition etc might be too much of a retrograde step so I do have the option, if it does feel that way, of going straight into the Hassy system.

    I know prices are largely going one way (except for the factor of the weakness of £) but I am loath just to take my money back and run because I do feel that the dealer is making good efforts and that it would be cynical to take advantage of that...

    All the best

    Tim

  25. #25
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Tim, as for the options you listed, how far does your budget stretch? The Cambo is offered with a Hasselblad back mount (SLW-89), so in theory, you could have both systems, side-by-side, and simply move the back to the camera you need it on. This would allow you to use each camera in its area of strength. The savings on the HTS would go far towards the Cambo, and hopefully you could find a way of traveling with both. The HTS is about the same size as the Cambo WRS 1000, without lens, and the Cambo is only 500g heavier. With the Cambo, however, you will be able to go much wider with no performance penalty. No tilt though.
    That's what I'm planning with the Silvestri, which is the smallest, lightest field/tech type cam I can find with a good range of movements: it's really importnat to me to keep the weight down. Travelling with gear these days means an M8 and capsule lens collection, a P&S and MF so to have to carry two MF bodies is a pain, literally, that needs to be minimised! Don't forget, seperate bodies also means extra glass to carry whereas the Hassy T/S doesn't just add TS functionality, it also gives you a 1.5x converter so if you carry a 28 and an 80 you should have a serviceable 42 and 120....

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post

    If I were to make the next move into a system that will provide all the movements that the RS has and add the ability to tilt/shift (and here’s where my bias is showing) I’d go directly to the Cambo Ultima 23. Yes, the 23 is a tank (weighs in at over 11 lbs) but look at what you get – complete movements using large format lens – the ability to have a sliding back (something that would be nice to have on the RS).
    I *have* to comment on the Ultima...


    What many of you may not know about me, is I shot with 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras of all sorts before stepping down to direct MF digital capture. In that fray were bouts with Arca F-Metrics, Ebony's, Sinar P2's, Calumet, Toyo, Horseman and yes, even the Ultima in 23 form for use with my Canon 1Ds2...

    Here's what I can tell you about using a film-designed view camera with smaller sensor digital: It sucks. The biggest issue with the Ultima is not its weight, nor its size -- in fact the mass of bulk helps to steady a view camera. However, one area often overlooked is the ability to lock the standards without having anything move. The Ultima's focus lock is a simple pressure pin on the rail next to the geared focus knob, and when you tighten it, the focus standard shifts slightly as it nestles into its track -- maybe 1/2 a mm or less, but enough to screw up focus, especially on smaller formats. Focus-shift tolerance goes down geometrically with sensor size; minor movements that would go unnoticed on 4x5 film will ruin an MF DB capture.

    To put this in perspective, when I was shooting with my Betterlight scanning back, the realtime software had electronic focus confirmation. And the digital resolution allowed for instant and critical, 100% pixel view review of the captured image. With a 210mm lens at f11, a shift of 0.5mm on the focus standard would move precise focus from 30 meters to over 300 meters away(!) I never could "see" this viewing a 4x5 film image with an 8x loupe on a light box, or if I did, simply assumed I blew the precise focus...

    Right now, having used most all of them, I think the Rollei X-Act and Linhof 679 are probably the most digital friendly view cameras avaialble. Also, I am confident this is why Sinar, Arca and Silvestri are making their newer dedicated MF tilt/shift camera designs.

    Me, I'm waiting on either the Arca RM3D or the Silvestri Bi or Flexi cam as I see them as being the closest to ideal MF configurations for my needs -- assuming they lock down without anything moving.

    ~~~

    Topic #2: how often do I really need tilt.

    The simple answer is less often as I go shorter on focal length. With 4x5 and larger formats, it was used in almost every shot; with smaller formats, the added DoF from diminished format size seem to carry the day for many images. IOW, I wish I had it from time-to-time on a 45mm or longer MF lens, but rarely would feel the need on a 35 or 24mm MF lens.

    The other side of this coin is that tilt can only maintain focus in a single plane of focus (or more accurately wedge of focus), which does not often help in an image where we want to extend DoF throughout the entire frame. With digital, we have the benefit of being able to exploit focus blending. I am no expert in this, but my first trials with it are very promising. While it doesn't completely replace the need for tilt, it does offer a solution that accomplishes the same task for maybe 90% of my images that would need tilt in the first place.

    Sorry if I took up too much space in this thread, and should probably have started another thread on the merits of camera movements with the MF digital back...

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Total Weight: 3 lbs. (2lbs. without PC-Mutar)
    Size: 6.75in x 6in x 4.5in (H x W x D)
    Lens and Back mount: Hasselblad V
    Tripod mount: Arca-Swiss

    Lenses: 30CFi - 350CFE (all Hasselblad V lenses with leaf shutter)
    With PC-Mutar: enlarges image circles to 113mm for 30,40,50,60, 80 lenses, and to 96mm for 100 lens)

    Rear rise/fall: +/- 14mm
    Rear tilt: +/- 28 degrees
    Front rise/fall: +/- 16mm
    Front shift: +7mm / -3mm (+23mm / -19mm with PC-Mutar rotated)
    Front swing: +/- 15 degrees
    Extension: -2mm / +24mm
    Last edited by David Klepacki; 30th June 2013 at 21:29.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post

    Sorry if I took up too much space in this thread, and should probably have started another thread on the merits of camera movements with the MF digital back...

    Cheers,
    Jack, I found that incredibly useful. I too have shot large format film but not tried to use an MF back on such a beastie. I was attracted to the Silvestri (have you handled one BTW? they are very small and cute) for tis size rather than anything else so when I trial it I will be careful to see how sensitive the focus is. It runs on a knurled knob and feels quite sensibly damped but it may be a 'settler'

    As for DOF. Hmm. Interesting. I generally prefer (with the exception of graduated filters!) to do as much in camera as possible so focus blending seems to me un-Tim-like and I'm convinced (with no evidence whatsoever!) that I'd be able to 'see the join' even if subliminally. And I agree that with shorter focal lengths, for landscape work, tilts will rarely be used. In fact Phase and my dealer suggested a shift-only solution with a Cambo or Horseman. But I think that if I'm going this way, there's nothing to lose by getting the Silvestri and retaining the ability to shift even if used only rarely...

    T

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    Total Weight: 3 lbs. (2lbs. without PC-Mutar)
    Size: 6.75in x 6in x 4.5in (H x W x D)
    Lens and Back mount: Hasselblad V
    Tripod mount: Arca-Swiss

    Lenses: 30CFi - 350CFE (all Hasselblad V lenses with leaf shutter)
    With PC-Mutar: enlarges image circles to 113mm for 30,40,50,60, 80 lenses, and to 96mm for 100 lens)

    Rear rise/fall: +/- 14mm
    Rear tilt: +/- 28 degrees
    Front rise/fall: +/- 16mm
    Front shift: +7mm / -3mm (+23mm / -19mm with PC-Mutar rotated)
    Front swing: +/- 15 degrees
    Extension: -2mm / +24mm
    Nice. Why oh why isn't there one for Phamiya (assuming it works!)?

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Tim:

    I have not yet handled the Silvestri in person, thus my comment about waiting on it. I have seen other Silvestri cameras and the build quality while very good, is not as refined as say Arca or Linhof.

    I *hope* to have a demo Sivestri FLexi sample with us in Moab in a few weeks. In the meantime, I am pretty sure there is a Silvestri dealer in the UK -- Linhof House or something similar? -- that stocks them, so might be worth you looking them up?

    ~~~
    A note on the Hassy Flex... David, that is a superb concoction! However, I have some concerns for my needs... The 30 is a fisheye, so the shortest usable rectilinear focal is the 40. Without the Mutar, IIRC the IC is 80mm, so about 10mm of free IC in any direction, correct? With the Mutar, the IC increases, but so does the focal by a factor of 1.4, so your 40 becomes a 56... Looks like a *GREAT* little device, but does not appear to solve two of my main needs -- a hyper-wide rectilinear at 24mm or thereabouts and a sharp 35 focal with enough IC for 10mm - 12mm shifts...

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Nice. Why oh why isn't there one for Phamiya (assuming it works!)?
    Yeah, it works beautifully with a few test shots indoors. Right now, I am a little snowed in, but as soon as I get out, I can test its utility outdoors as well. It sure beats the heck out of lugging a monorail system around, and easily fits into my smallest pack.

  32. #32
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    Another alternative...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Hi Don,

    Actually, because I need a solution and because my dealer is willing to help find one, for now at least I'm not taking the money back: the dealer's going to see if a decent Phase/Hartblei turns up in the first batch (seems unlikely but Michaeil Reichmann at least did have a good one) and assuming that doesn't happen we're going to give the Silvestri Flexcam a go with the Phase back. This weighs about a kilo but has well calibrated front tilt/swing/shift and a sliding back. It's smaller than the Phamiya body too and will allow those great lenses you talk about...

    But I suspect that reverting to black cloths, loupes, upside down composition etc might be too much of a retrograde step so I do have the option, if it does feel that way, of going straight into the Hassy system.

    I know prices are largely going one way (except for the factor of the weakness of £) but I am loath just to take my money back and run because I do feel that the dealer is making good efforts and that it would be cynical to take advantage of that...

    All the best

    Tim
    Hi Tim,

    You ought to look at the Fuji GX680 III system with a rotating plate adaptor!

    I recently went down the same road looking for a T&S solution for my Contax 645 setup and like you wanted something simple and light to use. After a lot of research I ended up with an Arca Swiss 6x9 F Line, very light and compact and after talking to them I opted out of the Metric and Orbix versions. Its a great camera but you have to deal with the pain of inverted images, sliding backs, loupes, etc., etc. that you mentioned so I continued looking and came across the Fuji. It might be what you're looking for, its a very complete slr camera system with wlf and prism finders and wonderful, sharp lenses. Its even more compact and lighter than the 6x9 Arca with many great samples readily available on e-bay.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    The GX680 is an outstanding system with great glass, but again the shortest lenses are the limitation -- 65mm for that system IIRC
    Jack
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    The GX680 is an outstanding system with great glass, but again the shortest lenses are the limitation -- 65mm for that system IIRC
    Actually the widest Fuji GX lens is 50mm and if you check you'll see that there are very few view cameras which can take anything wider. In practical terms, even if you have one of these cameras, focusing a 24mm or even a 35mm ultra-wide without LiveView and a nice computer screen isn't exactly that easy. In the field its panos and stitches when you need wider!




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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Tim:

    I have not yet handled the Silvestri in person, thus my comment about waiting on it. I have seen other Silvestri cameras and the build quality while very good, is not as refined as say Arca or Linhof.

    I *hope* to have a demo Sivestri FLexi sample with us in Moab in a few weeks. In the meantime, I am pretty sure there is a Silvestri dealer in the UK -- Linhof House or something similar? -- that stocks them, so might be worth you looking them up?
    My dealer has them but currently only in Hassy V fit. He's getting a Mammy fit in for me to try. But I've had a good look at one in the flesh and I like it very much.

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    Re: Another alternative...

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Hi Tim,

    You ought to look at the Fuji GX680 III system with a rotating plate adaptor!

    I recently went down the same road looking for a T&S solution for my Contax 645 setup and like you wanted something simple and light to use. After a lot of research I ended up with an Arca Swiss 6x9 F Line, very light and compact and after talking to them I opted out of the Metric and Orbix versions. Its a great camera but you have to deal with the pain of inverted images, sliding backs, loupes, etc., etc. that you mentioned so I continued looking and came across the Fuji. It might be what you're looking for, its a very complete slr camera system with wlf and prism finders and wonderful, sharp lenses. Its even more compact and lighter than the 6x9 Arca with many great samples readily available on e-bay.

    What's the back fitting for it? Sounds interesting...

  37. #37
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    Re: Another alternative...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    What's the back fitting for it? Sounds interesting...
    You can get a Mamiya/Phase plate or anything else that you want from Kapture Group, http://www.kapturegroup.com/phase/phase.html#fujilink

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Actually the widest Fuji GX lens is 50mm and if you check you'll see that there are very few view cameras which can take anything wider. In practical terms, even if you have one of these cameras, focusing a 24mm or even a 35mm ultra-wide without LiveView and a nice computer screen isn't exactly that easy. In the field its panos and stitches when you need wider!
    Cool on the 50 for the GX, I stand corrected

    Also, understand the limitation with the stated lens standards on view cameras, but be advised 3rd party vendors offer more deeply recessed lensboards for many of those cameras that do allow for mounting shorter lenses.

    Notwithstanding, the dedicated MF tilt/shift cameras can use lenses as short as 23mm (virtually no movements unless focused closer than infinity due to IC), and offer pretty healthy movements in the 35 and up focals.

    My current favorite, the Silvestri Flex, appears basically like the Hassy Flex shown above, but for use with normal mount view lenses and a variety of back attachment options, so in that it solves all of my main criteria and is quite compact. As an option, one can use it with or without a sliding back, offering even more flexibility.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  39. #39
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Cool on the 50 for the GX, I stand corrected

    Also, understand the limitation with the stated lens standards on view cameras, but be advised 3rd party vendors offer more deeply recessed lensboards for many of those cameras that do allow for mounting shorter lenses.
    Yes, but you're left on your own to find out which boards really work with which camera and how much t/s if any you have at infinity; and more likely than not you'll need live view using these boards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Notwithstanding, the dedicated MF tilt/shift cameras can use lenses as short as 23mm (virtually no movements unless focused closer than infinity due to IC), and offer pretty healthy movements in the 35 and up focals.

    My current favorite, the Silvestri Flex, appears basically like the Hassy Flex shown above, but for use with normal mount view lenses and a variety of back attachment options, so in that it solves all of my main criteria and is quite compact. As an option, one can use it with or without a sliding back, offering even more flexibility.

    Cheers,
    I guess since I don't do any serious architectural and only use the camera outdoors along with a lot less experience I probably have much less stringent needs than you Jack, I'm learning from these exchanges. The Silvestri sure looks interesting but you still face the same focusing issues with the widest lenses and you can't stitch with their sliding back when using longer lenses.




    PS. The more I learn about large format and MFDBs the more I realize that film is going to be with us for quite a while longer!
    Last edited by ddk; 15th January 2009 at 12:52.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Just finished reading Jackís message pertaining to technical cameras and medium format and wanted to say once again Thank-You! This is yet again an excellent example why wherever Iím near a computer with internet I come to GetDPI (sometimes before checking email).

    don
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    A note on the Hassy Flex... David, that is a superb concoction! However, I have some concerns for my needs... The 30 is a fisheye, so the shortest usable rectilinear focal is the 40. Without the Mutar, IIRC the IC is 80mm, so about 10mm of free IC in any direction, correct? With the Mutar, the IC increases, but so does the focal by a factor of 1.4, so your 40 becomes a 56... Looks like a *GREAT* little device, but does not appear to solve two of my main needs -- a hyper-wide rectilinear at 24mm or thereabouts and a sharp 35 focal with enough IC for 10mm - 12mm shifts...
    The Flexbody has several problems:

    1) the tilts and shifts are on the rear. Okay for shifts, but for tilt, that is exactly opposite of what you want. If the tilts are on the front, you preserve your sensor/film-to-subject alignment. On the rear, you lose it, for example with buildings, so if you want focus on the ground, you get converging verticals... If the shifts are on the rear, as Don mentioned in another post, the nodal point stays in the same position.

    2) The Hasselblad lenses mostly don't have large image circles, especially apparently the 120 Macro, so you can't shift much.

    3) The wide angle, as Jack mentioned.

    The Hasselblad Arcbody is a bit more interesting. Instead of using Hasselblad MF lenses, it uses LF lenses, so larger shifts and wider lenses are possible. It has shift on the rear, but introduces another problem: it only shifts up (actually, back shifts down). To shift sideways, turn the device sideways. To shift down, you need an adapter. Hasselblad did the best with what they have, but it doesn't work all that well. Michael Reichmann has a review here:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re.../arcbody.shtml

    Go for the Silvestri. Personally, I want the Sinar P3
    Last edited by carstenw; 15th January 2009 at 13:06.
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Carsten

    Very good points on the nodal point of the lens; the more it moves the more chance of distortion. As much as I used and liked the RSS ultimate pano gear it still was hit or miss on finding the ďexactĒ nodal point of the lens I was using. At least now using a technical camera where all the movements are on the back and the lens stays still as it should the problems of nodal points are in the past. Iíve been very surprised and pleased at the usable image files Iím getting in my stitching.

    Jack also address very good points are regarding the relationship between focal length and tilt. Thereís been several articles written by architectural photographers on the ease of use with various systems all of do not have tilt.

    don

    Iíll find the article(s) I made reference to above and post links Ö

    Edited:
    Jeffrey Totaro uses a Cambo Wide DS
    I like his take of camera placement particularly camera height.
    http://www.phaseone.com/upload/cs_totaro_100907.pdf
    Last edited by Don Libby; 15th January 2009 at 13:28. Reason: added link
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Yes, but you're left on your own to find out which boards really work with which camera and how much t/s if any you have at infinity; and more likely than not you'll need live view using these boards.
    Not really -- the boards are manufacturer specific and you can use a combination of rear standard movements with front tilts or swings to re-center the IC as needed. Since they are LENS boards and mount on the lens standard, you won't need live view anymore than you would with any other solution.

    Note that full front and rear standard movements are a major benefit of sticking with a dedicated technical view camera option --- the Fuji 680, Hassy Flex, Silvestri and most other MF specific styles usually only allow movements on one standard, or a different movements on a combination of standards...

    I guess since I don't do any serious architectural and only use the camera outdoors along with a lot less experience I probably have much less stringent needs than you Jack, I'm learning from these exchanges. The Silvestri sure looks interesting but you still face the same focusing issues with the widest lenses and you can't stitch with their sliding back when using longer lenses.
    Re stitching with the dedicated MF solutions, you are faced with what is referred in the view camera world to as "bellows vignetting." This would be the biggest tradeoff for allowing the use of shorter focals. One option is to do a spherical or pan capture and correct the assembly in post. And this method works better as lenses get longer

    The Silvestri sheet you linked to is an older one I think. The new flex camera 2 supposedly works directly with the 24 in a focus mount. Since it offers no movements, that is not a big deal. Also note that Rodenstock now offers a retrofocus 23mm HR lens with larger IC.

    PS. The more I learn about large format and MFDBs the more I realize that film is going to be with us for quite a while longer!
    There is still a lot to be said for working with 4x5 or larger film to be sure, especially if you know what you're doing. The other *huge* issue with movements on the DB's is the color shift and requirement for the associated LCC white correction frame. However, digital's instant review and processing convenience are compelling.

    The economics for Large Format film isn't horrible either. Even if you already own the DB, quality 4x5 technical cameras and lenses are dirt cheap right now and can be had for far less than the equivalent cameras and focals for the MFDB use. Of course then you need to process and scan the larger sheets, which can be costly on a per shot basis...
    Jack
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    A note on the Hassy Flex... David, that is a superb concoction! However, I have some concerns for my needs... The 30 is a fisheye, so the shortest usable rectilinear focal is the 40. Without the Mutar, IIRC the IC is 80mm, so about 10mm of free IC in any direction, correct? With the Mutar, the IC increases, but so does the focal by a factor of 1.4, so your 40 becomes a 56... Looks like a *GREAT* little device, but does not appear to solve two of my main needs -- a hyper-wide rectilinear at 24mm or thereabouts and a sharp 35 focal with enough IC for 10mm - 12mm shifts...

    Cheers,
    Jack,

    The 30mm Fisheye actually works with the PC-Mutar. Of course, you get the full distortion without the 180 degree fisheye effect, but I have shot with it for kicks and it works. I only mention it, because it can be "de-fished" as easily as defishing the fisheye without the PC-Mutar, but I really do not use this lens personally.

    Without the PC-Mutar, the smallest IC for Hasselblad lenses is indeed 80mm. However, most of the lenses have somewhat larger ICs (e.g., the 120 and 150 each have about 100mm ICs). The common misunderstanding is that the focal length increases with the PC-Mutar. This is not really true. The PC-Mutar enlarges the image circle by about 1.4X. So, shooting the same 56mm x 56mm frame, you would be cropping out this center of the image circle, making it look like an effective increase in focal length (similar to what a cropped digital sensor does to full frame lenses). In actuality, this is not the case, and it is still a 40mm focal length, but with an image circle increased to about 113mm. The same story would hold true with large format lenses having similar larger image circles....if your sensor is smaller than the image circle of the lens, then it always would be "cropped" relative to its image circle with an "effective" increase in focal length (it is the FOV that is actually effected).

    I just did some quick tests. Using a 36x48 sensor, without the PC-Mutar, I am able to get +/- 16mm of shift in the short direction and +/- 14mm in the long direction with the 40IF lens without any vignetting. With the PC-Mutar, I am able to get +/- 28mm of shift in the short direction and +/- 26mm in the long direction without any vignetting (and a little more if I am willing to tolerate some vignetting in the corners). So, I think this satisfies at least one of your criteria. It is very close to a 35mm FOV. It is a VERY sharp lens, and it has PLENTY of shifting ability, with or without PC-Mutar.

    For ultra-wide imaging, I prefer stitching as the resolution requirements become higher with wider focal lengths in order to retain more details. Stitching is trivially easy with this setup, and will produce an image with much more resolution than a single shot image with the same FOV and back.
    Depending on aspect ratio, the 40IF with PC-Mutar can achieve a FOV to a little over 100 degrees, which is the equivalent of a 15mm lens in 35mm format.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    Just finished reading Jackís message pertaining to technical cameras and medium format and wanted to say once again Thank-You! This is yet again an excellent example why wherever Iím near a computer with internet I come to GetDPI (sometimes before checking email).

    don
    My pleasure Don -- been there, done that with most of them, and happy to share my experiences.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    Jack,

    The common misunderstanding is that the focal length increases with the PC-Mutar. This is not really true. The PC-Mutar enlarges the image circle by about 1.4X. So, shooting the same 56mm x 56mm frame, you would be cropping out this center of the image circle, making it look like an effective increase in focal length (similar to what a cropped digital sensor does to full frame lenses). In actuality, this is not the case, and it is still a 40mm focal length, but with an image circle increased to about 113mm.
    You're going to have to give me the math or pictures that prove this one... I do not understand how optics that impart an effective 1.4x magnification as with a teleconverter does not increase the effective focal length of the lens attached to it
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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    The Flexbody has several problems:

    1) the tilts and shifts are on the rear. Okay for shifts, but for tilt, that is exactly opposite of what you want. If the tilts are on the front, you preserve your sensor/film-to-subject alignment. On the rear, you lose it, for example with buildings, so if you want focus on the ground, you get converging verticals... If the shifts are on the rear, as Don mentioned in another post, the nodal point stays in the same position.

    2) The Hasselblad lenses mostly don't have large image circles, especially apparently the 120 Macro, so you can't shift much.

    3) The wide angle, as Jack mentioned.

    The Hasselblad Arcbody is a bit more interesting. Instead of using Hasselblad MF lenses, it uses LF lenses, so larger shifts and wider lenses are possible. It has shift on the rear, but introduces another problem: it only shifts up (actually, back shifts down). To shift sideways, turn the device sideways. To shift down, you need an adapter. Hasselblad did the best with what they have, but it doesn't work all that well. Michael Reichmann has a review here:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re.../arcbody.shtml

    Go for the Silvestri. Personally, I want the Sinar P3
    Hi Carsten,

    First, I (heavily) modified the Hasselblad Flexbody. It is no longer the stock camera, and I have remedied most of the issues that surrounded it.

    1) I have added swing movement to the front. The camera can be rotated on tripod in order to get tilt in the front when needed. Contrary to what you say, I find tilt extremely useful at the rear, although not for architectural purpose.

    2) From this comment, you actually have not used one. The 120 is perhaps one the most ideal lens for this camera. It has a larger than average image circle, as far as Hasselblad lenses go. With a 36x48 sensor, I can get +/- 20mm of shift in either direction.

    3) Regarding wide angle, I have used the PC-Mutar to increase the image circle of the wide lenses. While it does not give the same FOV as a 24mm lens with one shot, it does give me more technical movements and as mentioned above, allows me to create higher resolution images with a few easy stitches.

    David

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    You're going to have to give me the math or pictures that prove this one... I do not understand how optics that impart an effective 1.4x magnification as with a teleconverter does not increase the effective focal length of the lens attached to it
    All teleconverters behave this way. The whole image circle is actually enlarged, but then is typically "cropped" by the film/sensor plane.

    It is really no different than putting a full frame (eg, Nikon FX) lens on a much smaller digital sensor, resulting in the so-called "crop factor increase in focal length"....it is this "cropping" that is the basis for the magnification.

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    First, I (heavily) modified the Hasselblad Flexbody. It is no longer the stock camera, and I have remedied most of the issues that surrounded it.
    Yes, yours is a lot more interesting. The Frankenflex (or Flexenstein?)

    1) I have added swing movement to the front. The camera can be rotated on tripod in order to get tilt in the front when needed. Contrary to what you say, I find tilt extremely useful at the rear, although not for architectural purpose.
    Right, we are in agreement. Architecture was my example.

    2) From this comment, you actually have not used one. The 120 is perhaps one the most ideal lens for this camera. It has a larger than average image circle, as far as Hasselblad lenses go. With a 36x48 sensor, I can get +/- 20mm of shift in either direction.
    I have not used one, but have read the report of one user whose opinion it was that the 120mm Macro didn't have enough image circle to handle his product shoot requirements. Perhaps that is not right, or perhaps that is only so for specific uses.

    3) Regarding wide angle, I have used the PC-Mutar to increase the image circle of the wide lenses. While it does not give the same FOV as a 24mm lens with one shot, it does give me more technical movements and as mentioned above, allows me to create higher resolution images with a few easy stitches.
    Right, you have not increased the focal length, as you mention above, but you *have* increased the *effective* focal length, as Jack mentions above. This means that you *have to* stitch, to get wide coverage. There are cases where stitching does not work well, such as moving subjects, so this is a solution which can work only for some uses.

    Yours is a very neat solution, but still has some limitations, so it cannot work for everyone.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: A down to the line decision

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    All teleconverters behave this way. The whole image circle is actually enlarged, but then is typically "cropped" by the film/sensor plane.

    It is really no different than putting a full frame (eg, Nikon FX) lens on a much smaller digital sensor, resulting in the so-called "crop factor increase in focal length"....it is this "cropping" that is the basis for the magnification.
    Agreed, but the magnification also serves to INCREASE the *effective* focal length -- including DoF, aperture change, and all -- no getting around that, so you do not have the use of a lens that behaves as a 40mm any more. In the above example, your 40mm f4 lens is now effectively a 56mm f5.6
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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