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Thread: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

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    Smile How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    Hi,
    For some time I've been thinking about buying an Alpa STC or an Arca 3rdmi. I used to own an Arca 4 x 4 F metric.

    Ok, aside from the outrageous cost of digital backs (I'm hoping Pentax will separate their new 50mg back from their new MF camera), here are key issues holding me back.

    Composition, focus and tilt.

    At age 54 tilting and focusing such a postage stamp image on ground glass is not going to work for me. About two months ago I attended a live view demonstration of a Phase IQ180 back. Frankly, it was a joke at best. Delay and noise were bad enough, but then the battery depleted in about 45 minutes. We tried reading tilt off the Phase back and it was very cumbersome due to live view drag and any sunshine made the back hard to see. Setting the costly 250 aside, really, why pay more for live view if it does not work? Seriously.

    I've read that many users are disappointed with the Arca and Alpa viewfinders. And I understand the digital backs don't sync or tether with an Apple iPad. I understand Alpa has an HPF ring that attaches to lenses in an effort to bring in rangefinder reading of depth of field off the lens. I understand Arca has their disco/barrel/table methodology. Once you get past this, how are you computing tilt? And if you forego a pancake camera with tilts and shifts then you are unable to shift, which aside from tilts, are essential (to me). And there is substantial discussion about high f stops to maximize sharpness, but that seems to conflict with the artistry of inducing a narrow depth of field and the great bokeh that comes with shooting a Schneider or Rodenstock at low f-stop or when inducing narrow DOF through tilt contrary to Schiemflug. I have tried correcting perspective in Photoshop and it often creates a weird residual distortion. So many things to day are over promised and under delivered. Last, I rented a Canon with a shift lens and it felt very cumbersome, to me.


    Whew, that is my rant. I'd love to hear from those who feel like they have an elegant, user friendly and reliable solution for lets say not more than about $18,000 for camera, back and one lens.

    What is the closest equivalent in pancake Arca or Alpa setup that is closest to working with a Leica rangefinder - but with shift and tilt options? Or, is my question just ridiculous?

    Should I wait to see if Pentax decouples its upcoming 50mg digital back from its medium format camera?

    I enjoy photographing landscape and architecture. Thanks again for reading my combined question and rant.

    Warm regards,
    Jeff

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    Making an approximate composition using a sports finder or similar, and focusing high precision focusing rings (accessory for Alpa and Cambo, default for Arca) either to hyperfocal or to a specific distance measured with a laser distance meter seems to be the standard tech cam procedure for those not using ground glass. Tilt you set from a table, but I think pancake users in general have a shooting style that use tilt less often than view camera users do. To refine the composition you fine adjust with shifts and look at the result on the back. As you generally do a test exposure to find the right exposure too, the trial-error on composition usually don't take you any extra time. I think you could get used to this way to work.

    I don't think there is any system with a rangefinder type of focusing mechanism for modern tech cams.

    I use myself a Linhof Techno with the bright ground glass and a 20x loupe, it works fine but my eyes are okay and I don't shoot wider than f/11.

    To get down to $18,000 including digital back will require you to buy second hand, at least the back.

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    1. Focusing: Most Schneider and Rodenstock 'wide' lenses are optimised to shoot at F8-F11 and at these apertures you have pretty much everything from a 2 meters to infinity in 'acceptable' focus. In real world shooting 'focus' is relatively easy because with a little practise you can estimate quite well the distance at which what you want in sharpest focus to be is at. If you are totally anal and lack the ability or inclination to 'guestimate' shoot pixel peep and reshoot if required - then you can buy a Leica distometer or similar employ focus ring add ons and 'anal'yse to yoru heart's content.

    2. How much to pay for a digi back? This is a hot topic . The world is divided into elephant gun shooters who are willing to put up with weird colour caste issues that no amount of mucking around with LCC will deal with - and 'void' the use of extreme wides like the magnificent Rodenstock 23/28 or Schneider 24 - versus the non elephant gun shooters who are happy to stop @ 33-40 megapixels and allow themselves to use a full range of teh lenses and put up with far less hassle regarding colour caste etc etc

    Of course those who have paid for 60 and 80 megapixels will never admit that they are actually shooting with FAR LESS tech capable systems as far as tech camera shooting with wides is concerned.but that is another story.

    You can buy a 30-40 megapixel camera used for <$10k significantly less if you shop around. you wont feel like Tarzan - but then again most Tarzan's shoot like Janes...

    3. Camera or Mounting System If you want movements you can use all sorts of weird and wonderful devices from Alpa/Arca and Sinar.

    I use an Alpa for hand held no movement shooting with a 35 digitar and a Sinar Artec for when I need a tripod shot employing tilt/shift and swing. Each of these systems has its strengths and weaknesses. You can get set from Sinar with a smaller artec and a 28mm Rodenstock for sub 10K - you choose your choice of mount.

    Final thought: Alpa have a very interesting mount out for a coupel of years now - allowing you to use all sorts of lenses from all sorts of makers - use a digi back and a 35mm tilt shift or MF lenses from lost of makers - worth exploring.

    Good Luck
    and remember it is supposed ot be fun not a P****ing contest.
    Pete
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    If you go for a 33 megapixel system, you get incredible value for money if you find a good second hand deal of an Aptus 75 (the back I'm using), which should be around $5k these days. Slower GUI, but same sensor and same image quality as Aptus-II 7. That leaves you with $12k for the camera system, I'd suggest that you try to get some parts second hand there as well.

    Silvestri have lower cost bodies if you buy new, but I'm not sure if they can be combined with a high precision focusing ring.

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    i use geared action rise/fall in most shots, maybe a little L/R, but usually just rotate the camera. tilt sometimes, usually less than 3-4 degrees. so far i have used hassy CFV backs, Phase P20, and now the IQ160. the earlier than IQ backs had quite pathetic LCD's, and since you typically shoot and peep, the significantly better IQ display with touch screen magnification quickly becomes a necessity. i rarely (never) use live view. also looked at the IQ250, and from the point of view of live view, they nailed it, and probably will improve it even more via software, but it comes with compromises and high cost

    i also use the laser disto and/or the leupold spotting scope (surprising how off your guess can be), but the final limitation is setting the helicoid focusing scale. Here the Alpa high def rings are quite useful (they fit some Schneider and Rodenstcok lenses, not all, and they don't have to be Alpa mount)

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I think there will always be compromises in some form or another, mainly because there will never, imho, be a camera system that really can do it all, and everyone's personal subjective tastes in cameras, how things perform, different approaches, styles, etc will always be the main factor. And I don't think that's a bad thing.

    With a good base system, a little creativity or ingenuity can go along way.

    That being said, when I bought my Cambo WRS, I too had concerns about composition, focus, etc. But with the IQ series of MFDBs, with its large viewing screen, those initial concerns haven't been a problem at all. But it doesn't mean that I'm not searching out options or keeping flexible when conditions call or allow for it.

    I have recently explored what I think is a "game changer" when it comes to composition, focus, tilt, etc. in a relatively compact, easy to use tethering option: Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, running a fully featured version of C1 Pro 7 DB to view full resolution raws on location. It does require a MFDB with USB3 capability, which means Phase IQ series or Leaf Credo.

    I still don't think true Live View is the panacea that everyone seems to clamor about. I think it's probably pretty fair to say that most photographer's that can afford a higher-end MFDB solution, are in their forties or older---which means older, tired, aging eyes. True live view is still limited by the physical dimensions of the camera back screen; it's a compromise and hence my workaround.

    You can see my write-up on tethering with the Surface Pro 2 tablet here: Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2: A Game Changer for Phase One IQ Series and Leaf Credo Medium Format Digital Backs | Kendoophotography's Blog

    I'm still testing the Surface Pro 2 combination and so far I like it---and hope to do more at this weekend's CI in Carmel.

    Jeff, I hope this provides you with more options to consider for your workflow and entry into technical cameras and digital backs. Btw, you may find more economical (ha ha) solutions with the lower end IQ140 or Leaf Credo line if you do pursue a USB 3 option.

    ken
    Last edited by kdphotography; 19th February 2014 at 10:50.

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    [QUOTE=ibear88;568953]Hi,
    For some time I've been thinking about buying an Alpa STC or an Arca 3rdmi. I used to own an Arca 4 x 4 F metric.

    Ok, aside from the outrageous cost of digital backs (I'm hoping Pentax will separate their new 50mg back from their new MF camera), here are key issues holding me back.

    I think that's exceedingly unlikely. But the Credo 40 Promo gets you in that ballpark pricing wise and also includes an SLR body/lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    Composition, focus and tilt.

    At age 54 tilting and focusing such a postage stamp image on ground glass is not going to work for me. About two months ago I attended a live view demonstration of a Phase IQ180 back. Frankly, it was a joke at best. Delay and noise were bad enough, but then the battery depleted in about 45 minutes. We tried reading tilt off the Phase back and it was very cumbersome due to live view drag and any sunshine made the back hard to see. Setting the costly 250 aside, really, why pay more for live view if it does not work? Seriously.
    You might retry with an ND filter, but there is no question the non-250 live view is not in the same league as the 250.

    That said it can still be very useful for composition and for focusing in many (if not all) situations). I'd say roughly a third of our IQ/IQ2 (non 250) clients use live view frequently.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    And I understand the digital backs don't sync or tether with an Apple iPad.
    The IQ2 does feature capture/review on an iPad.

    It's been a bit of tough going as the iOS7 update zapped the code they used to make this work, and the workaround is only recently been released and I've not had a ton of time to evaluate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    I understand Alpa has an HPF ring that attaches to lenses in an effort to bring in rangefinder reading of depth of field off the lens. I understand Arca has their disco/barrel/table methodology.
    They also have the eModule which gives you an exact distance and can replace a disto for measuring distance (you sould try both the eModule and disto methods to see which you prefer). Notably the eModule gives you the near and far focus points as well as "current point of focus" which is based off your digital back's pixel size (and therefore is infinity more useful than the film-based DOF guides on a Schneider/Rodenstock helical or HPF.


    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    Once you get past this, how are you computing tilt? And if you forego a pancake camera with tilts and shifts then you are unable to shift, which aside from tilts, are essential (to me).
    Tilt on an Arca can be accomplished via:
    - Ground glass focusing (with or without sliding back)
    - Preset measured at a controlled test and then replicated in the field (with notes on the tripod height)
    - The Iterative Focus Mask technique I developed for IQ and IQ2 backs
    - Rules of thumb (e.g. 1 degree for every 30mm of focal length assuming tripod height at chest level)
    - 100% review after capture

    Each of those has pros and cons.


    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    And there is substantial discussion about high f stops to maximize sharpness, but that seems to conflict with the artistry of inducing a narrow depth of field and the great bokeh that comes with shooting a Schneider or Rodenstock at low f-stop or when inducing narrow DOF through tilt contrary to Schiemflug. I have tried correcting perspective in Photoshop and it often creates a weird residual distortion.
    Also, try C1's perspective correction - it incorporates more math than just trapezoidal disfigurement. I don't recommend this as your only solution - in camera is almost always better. However, when you have a scene which you cannot possibly capture with pure-rise it can be useful to combine moderate rise with moderate post-perspective-correction-in-C1.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    What is the closest equivalent in pancake Arca or Alpa setup that is closest to working with a Leica rangefinder - but with shift and tilt options? Or, is my question just ridiculous?
    You can check the tech camera overview page we have for a comparison of range of movements, weights, etc.

    The Factum and STC are the smallest in their respective lines. The factum will have a larger advantage than it normally does if you want tilt as it has tilt built into the body and requires no separate adapter or specially mounted lenses. How close this is to working with a Leica M is up for debate. In lens quality: absolutely. In ease of spot focusing: no. In ease of hyperfocal/sweeping focus: even better than an M.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    Should I wait to see if Pentax decouples its upcoming 50mg digital back from its medium format camera?
    Im obviously very very biased. But I think if you wait for that you will be waiting for a very long time.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    A perfectly reasonable set of requests, but …. not achievable without some adjustments. Which ones are up to you. Personally, I think Torger is right about the s/h back (although I'd go for the Aptus II7, which can even be found with a rotating sensor, very desirable). Then you can take your time to figure out the camera/lens combination. I'd rent a few, try a few. Its not uncommon for people to jump too fast and pick the wrong camera setup. It takes time to adjust to this different way of working, and each approach (pancake vs. view, high focus accuracy vs. not, GG) has its pros/cons.

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    [QUOTE=dougpeterson;569027]
    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    ....
    That said it can still be very useful for composition and for focusing in many (if not all) situations). I'd say roughly a third of our IQ/IQ2 (non 250) clients use live view frequently.....
    Really? A third of IQ users use live view frequently?

    I find it hard to believe that so many would use "live view," as CCD-based live view is quite limited even under the best conditions, with or without ND filters. Sure it's nice to have as one of the tools in the quiver and use if opportunity presents itself, but I'm also not afraid to call a turd a turd. Ok, so that's my exaggeration.

    Now using focus mask or simply tap/zoom to check---you bet.

    ken

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    About two months ago I attended a live view demonstration of a Phase IQ180 back. Frankly, it was a joke at best. Delay and noise were bad enough, but then the battery depleted in about 45 minutes. We tried reading tilt off the Phase back and it was very cumbersome due to live view drag and any sunshine made the back hard to see. Setting the costly 250 aside, really, why pay more for live view if it does not work? Seriously.
    The one thing live view can work for is composing. But I do not at all find it useful for focusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    I've read that many users are disappointed with the Arca and Alpa viewfinders.
    When I ordered my system (Alpa), my dealer tried to convince me to not buy the viewfinder. He said it would be a waste knowing I would almost always be on a tripod. I thought he was nuts and bought it anyway. I never use it. [Note many people do, however!]

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    I understand Alpa has an HPF ring that attaches to lenses in an effort to bring in rangefinder reading of depth of field off the lens. I understand Arca has their disco/barrel/table methodology. Once you get past this, how are you computing tilt?
    I use Jae Moon's Nuvo_TILT calculator. It is the one calculator I found that inputs what you know (subject position(s) relative to the camera, f-stop); and outputs what you don't know (tilt angle and desired focus setting). All the other portable calculators I found input tilt angle and focus setting, then output what will be in focus. That is of little help if you think about it.

    So here's what I do, with Leica Disto D5, Alpa HPF rings:
    1. Set up the camera and compose as desired.

    2. Measure the important distance(s) with the disto.

    3. If I do not think tilt is required, set the HPF ring to the disto reading and shoot.

    4. That's it.

    You eventually get pretty good at knowing your system's DOF based on your individual requirements. For example, my most-used f-stop is 11+1/3. At that f-stop, my "safe" DOF is just about 5 degrees (one major / 5 minor tick marks) each side of the focus point on the HPF ring. Not too much...

    5. Upon review, if I need tilt, then pull out the iPhone and plug in distance(s) and the f-stop I want to use into Nuvo_TILT.

    6. Set the tilt angle and focus setting from Nuvo_TILT's outputs. Recompose if necessary due to the tilt effects.

    7. Shoot and review.

    The back LCD is actually pretty reasonable for post-shot reviewing and focus evaluation.

    Dave
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    The one thing live view can work for is composing. But I do not at all find it useful for focusing.
    I use Live View for composing frequently. I have the rm3di with the sliding back, so typically I use the ground glass for initial composition, then fine tune quickly with live view (on occasions where I am doing a single image. Since I shoot panos with the tech camera much of the time, things are loose enough I can just use the ground glass).

    As far as focusing, I set up each lens and find the focus point for infinity wide open which lets me determine the offset from the arca focusing chart for that lens. I then then test at .25 increments on the arca dial until I get to where I feel infinity becomes unacceptable at f/8 and f/11, dial that back a little so I have a setting for maximum hyper focal distance. I plug the offset into a spreadsheet which then shows all my focus settings and I highlight the hyperfocal settings, and output to a PDF to my iPhone.

    Most of the time this allows me to dial in focus quickly since the majority of my images include infinity. Basically I start at the hyperfocal number and using the corresponding chart on my iPhone I can move closer to infinity, approximating the distance to the near point, always leaving a little wiggle room.

    I’ve also found Live View for focus is workable when needed. I use a cokin adaptor ring on each lens with a cokin snap on lens cover. I have a variable ND filter mounted to a cokin thin holder that pops onto the lens. I can open up the lens, dial the filter until the density is acceptable, then zoom into 100% on the back. I then use a hoodman with the optional 3x magnifier on the back. I’ve gotten decent at critical focusing for those occasions where I need it. ( I usually use the hoodman on the ground glass to get focus close then fine tune with LV.)

    I know there is some criticism of the sliding backs and the fact they may get “loose” or not be accurate, but to me it seems when using hyperfocal points it wouldn’t matter, and of course focusing with live view also it doesn’t matter. But I do feel the sliding back speeds things up - I like the setup much better than when I was using the alpa and trying to change out the ground glass.

    However, I haven’t had much luck using the same technique for tilting, so as of yet I haven’t done much of that. I may give Jae’s charts a try for that.
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    [QUOTE=kdphotography;569081]
    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Really? A third of IQ users use live view frequently?
    *shrugs* maybe a fourth? I don't think it's as low as a fifth or as high as half.

    Keep in mind IQs are used by several kinds of shooters. Live View usage is quite high among product/still-life/macro IQ shooters; in such use it works quite well. Nearly zero fashion/portrait IQ users use live view; it works poor-to-horrible in such cases.

    Landscapers will more often use it for composition than focus (though some use it for the latter).

    Don't get me wrong - I'd be the first to say that live view is only useable for landscape focusing if you're using an ND filter, and even then only works post sunrise and pre sunset, and even then only in the functional sense (i.e. you can functionally use it to focus but it ain't pretty). And even then YMMV.

    (IQ in this case meaning all the IQs other than the IQ250)
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I tried live view more than once, much more hoping that it would solve problems with comp and focusing but found it almost worthless on one and near impossible with the other. The killer was the refresh rate.

    The solution for me as a landscape photographer on a Cambo WRS is to do one of the following. Shot then check the screen of my 160 checking focusing mask as well double tapping while at the same time checking for composition. Much like hunt and peck. Not perfect but good when I have to work fast. The slower method which actually has turned out quite good for me is the use of the new ground glass and magnifier that allows me to see what I about to capture and works well for focus and composition. The downside is its slow the upside is the number of keepers. Takes a lot of the doubt out of the process.

    I've talked with Ken Doo at length about his new process using a combination of a Surface Pro with C1 tethered to his 180 and feel that may well be a game changer in that it increases the screen size to 10" to better see and view the image file.

    In the end I've all but given up on live view as it fails to work for me in my working environment.

    Don
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I'm allergic to distometers and hyperfocal scales, so my method with a tech camera has been to use the Hasselblad Rmfx viewfinder on the Alpa ground glass holder. I had the viewfinder modified to snap in and out of the holder. This I use for initial composition and focus. But the focus through the gg is just approximate and can't be trusted.

    I then put on the iq back and do some trial and error, checking different parts of the image at 50 to 100% and with focus mask (as a sometimes useful aid). This method is no problem with really wide lenses. With medium-wide and longer, it gets more difficult. In these cases I use trial and error followed by live view. Determining focus with live view on the IQ is only for the very patient and maniacally determined, but it can be done!

    I also use focus stacking with great success (Helicon Focus) on static subjects.
    Last edited by wwc; 20th February 2014 at 10:38.

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I too use a ground-glass with my ALPA Max, but not the original one I purchased which is the current offering I believe (purchased from ALPA in 2010). I eventually purchased an ALPA Back Adapter HA for the Hasselblad V interface and a Hasselblad 41050 Ground Glass Back Viewfinder Adapter Focusing Screen made for the SWC line of cameras, because it is much brighter (AccuMatte Screen). I knew going into using a tech camera it was going to be like shooting a 4x5," but smaller. My viewfinder back appears to be shimmed for my digital back because the focus I do through a reflex finder attached to the screen, does not need to be fiddled with for my back. I achieve sharp images every time (fingers crossed).
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I compose blindly and like the process. No live view, no ground glass, no viewfinder....
    By doing this for a long time I have learnt pretty well what will be covered with my different lenses in any given scene. I level the cam, aim at a centrepoint and visualize were the edges are with any of my lenses.
    Using 28 or 35 I only use D5 to measure distance if object is closer than 6-7 metres. 72, 90 and 120 I use D5 from close to around 20-25 metres and thereafter a longdistance metre.
    Fall and rise movements when needed is also pretty straightforward and easy to see beforehand but tilt can be tricky. I also use tilt blindly, which I suppose will get a few of you to wonder of my sanity, but what I do is that I only use tilt in typical scenes and I have conducted thourough tests at camheight, all used f stops, what distance used. So in other words, I have dummies for a typical scene. (If it gets more complicated, closer to the ground and so forth then I too use ground glas)
    Thing is, it sounds incredibly slow, but in fact it isn't. I am pretty close. After the first exposure I check that composition is what I want, that focus is correct and ofcourse correct amount of light (guessing) has reached the sensor. A few corrections is the norm but done in seconds and the final image most of time is there on second exposure!
    I'm comfortable with this process.
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I think what we've all shown here is that there all sorts of ways to focus and compose and they all work to a degree.

    I remember worrying about the ability to focus and compose just before and shortly after I got the Cambo but quickly learned my more worrying aspects were remembering to cock the shutter and remove the lens cap!

    Don
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I love Dan's method. Compare what he says to the posts about the eModule and Arca's precision helicoil.

    The proof is in the pudding.
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    I use Eye-Fi + iPad solution. Under the sun or bad weather condition, sometimes even an iPad is not clear enough to view.

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...mage-view.html

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    A perfectly reasonable set of requests, but . not achievable without some adjustments. Which ones are up to you. Personally, I think Torger is right about the s/h back (although I'd go for the Aptus II7, which can even be found with a rotating sensor, very desirable). Then you can take your time to figure out the camera/lens combination. I'd rent a few, try a few. Its not uncommon for people to jump too fast and pick the wrong camera setup. It takes time to adjust to this different way of working, and each approach (pancake vs. view, high focus accuracy vs. not, GG) has its pros/cons.
    The R series from Arca-Swiss also is the only camera with an available rotation back mount for almost all lenses in the digital realm. Exceptions are the 28mm 5.6 Schneider and some other, older, very short Schneiders. Any Rodenstock can use the Rotamount plate.
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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    This is a little like a Sunday morning talk show with polite people. Nobody agrees, but everybody is civil (which is good).

    What is a focus mask and do the lesser digital backs, Aptus for example, have it?

    It sounds like only a couple people are using the viewfinder aka rangefinder technique? Why are the viewfinders so unpopular? Do they not have composition lines within them? Is it because the composition is small? (I had a Mamiya 7 and liked it.) Or is it like live view where they are over promised and under delivered (250 excepted)?

    Most users seem really keen on higher f-stops and hyper focal focusing to maximize depth of field. Sometimes I want narrow depth of field, like a Leica at f2. Is that possible with these back and lens combinations? Again, like a super rangefinder.

    Do any of the viewfinders automatically correct for rise/shift? (I know they don't do tilt).

    If live view does not really work, then what would be the advantage of the IQ140 versus an Aptus 7 or 8?

    I think I'd like use it like a rangefinder with rise/shift and a depth of field indicator much of the time, with the option of using tilt on a tripod. Dan is super talented. Is it too high an expectation for me?

    For you architectural fans, do you find the rise and shift is adequate with something like the 35mm to 40mm or do you find you run out of image circle with anything over 3 stories tall and you have to go to photo merge/panoramic?

    I can see I should rent an Arca and an Alpa. And it sounds like I'll need to rent the viewfinder and rent a 35mm to 45mm lens.

    Thanks for your help will all my newbie questions. Jeff

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    re: Arca

    Rod,
    Must you remove the back to rotate it?

    Thanks, Jeff

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    As far as the Alpa viewfinder goes, it is heavy, very expensive and is not a precise way to compose an image. It does look very cool though... I think it's main use might be for handheld.

    I can't imagine using it for tripod work. Much better to view through the ground glass.

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by wwc View Post
    As far as the Alpa viewfinder goes, it is heavy, very expensive and is not a precise way to compose an image. It does look very cool though... I think it's main use might be for handheld.

    I can't imagine using it for tripod work. Much better to view through the ground glass.
    Wwc, is it not precise because it does not accurately align with the ccomposition? It is not sharp? The image is too small?

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    Re: How do yo focus? Except CMOS250 maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibear88 View Post
    Wwc, is it not precise because it does not accurately align with the composition? It is not sharp? The image is too small?
    None of the above. It IS cool looking and it is useful for handheld and approximate framing so long as you aren't then applying shifts etc. That pretty much applies to all of the optical finders with the possible exception of Arca who have a moveable mask.

    As mentioned by folks earlier, you will quickly find that you can quickly compose by eye and then shoot / review / adjust to refine it. Personally, I will use an iPhone with the eFinder app to do this without setting up anything and then approximate the image view by setting up the tripod/camera to match where I visualized the shot. If i expect to use tilt I now use the ground glass and get the focus right with a real LF loupe and dark cloth/GG shroud. Once that's done I will apply any rise/fall for composition and then mount the MFDB and shoot/review.

    If I don't expect to tilt I will do the above but instead of using the GG I will now more often than not use fuzzy noise view (Phase calls it live view) to compose the image and adjust it to taste.

    I think it actually takes more to describe this stuff than actually to do it after a few months.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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