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Thread: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

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    Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Spent a week now reading and re-reading. Scoured the forums, been all over the web sites of many dealers.

    A week later i am more confused then educated. So looking for a bit of insight from those who have set up a MF back on the platforms i am looking at.

    Today i have zero equipment - starting from scratch again, so can buy into any system i want.

    I earnt my living off photography for 14 years but gave it up in 97 so i've been around the block a few times in regards to equipment - i owned a Bronica SQ 6x6 and ETRS 6x 4.5 and ETRSi 6x4.5 , Cannon New F1 and a slew of lenses and a set of Elinchrom studio lights. All that stuff got sold off when i moved to the other side of the world to do other things in life. So i do have a good idea of the equipment involved.

    So now i want to get back into photography - not commercially this time. I want to spend a few years hiking around the bush where i live taking pano landscapes on a MFD back.

    So i know what i want to do - i just dont know how to get there.

    I have 2 goals - get a MF camera setup (or 2 or 3 - because i would like to mess around with some studio gear for a bit of fun) and i would like to get an Alpa FPS system.

    I have always LOVED Rollie so want to get a Rollie system and those lenses are to die for iirc. Having done extensive research in the last week it looks like the Hy6 mod 2 is the way to go. Having read extensively on the Alpa FPS system i see i can get a back plate for various MFD backs and Alpa have a lens adapter for Rollei lenses.

    Sounds simple enough....... Ha! Seems nothing is simple when it comes to MFD!

    So the problem is this - the Rollie system can only take Leaf or Sinar backs. I think it is the AFi mount. The Alpa has a back plate for a Leaf AFi back. Plus the Alpa can mount the Rollei lenses. All sounds good so far.......

    Except that the Phase backs have a killer feature i really would like to have..focus mask! So if i go for a Leaf back i dont get this feature.

    If i go Phase back i can mount the back onto the Alpa but cant use the Rollei Hy6

    To make it all more complicated, I see a very good deal right now on a new with full warranty and support Aptus II 10 56MP back but in MAMIYA mount only. Such a good price - but the mount is wrong for a Hy6 and i dont get the focus mask feature.

    Have i summed this up the right way ? AM i missing something? It seems like there is no way to get what i want - Phase back with focus mask that can be mounted on the Alpa FPS and on a Hy6

    The systems i am interested in getting into are the Alpa FPS, Rollei Hy6, Fuji 680 III, Mamiya RZ II - i am interested in adapting a MFD to the Fuji and RZ systems - i would like to setup a small studio again with a new set of modern lights - things have come so far in the last 17 years !!.

    I am interested in collecting lenses and so want to mess around adapting lenses to the Alpa, so the Rollei and RZ glass could be cross used here - i may be way out on the RZ glass on the Alpa - not sure on that yet - i do see a Mamiya adaptor for the Alpa system, so this may work? I have fond memeories of RB and RZ setups from the 80's and 90's and the RZ lenses were pretty good. My thoughts on this are that the RZ glass would have a pretty big image circle and this would be good for movements on the Alpa with sensor sizes being where they are at around 60MP.

    So given all this i cant figure out a way forward.

    Any thoughts that might help me here ?

    Thanks

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Except that the Phase backs have a killer feature i really would like to have..focus mask! So if i go for a Leaf back i dont get this feature.

    If i go Phase back i can mount the back onto the Alpa but cant use the Rollei Hy6

    To make it all more complicated, I see a very good deal right now on a new with full warranty and support Aptus II 10 56MP back but in MAMIYA mount only. Such a good price - but the mount is wrong for a Hy6 and i dont get the focus mask feature.

    Have i summed this up the right way ? AM i missing something? It seems like there is no way to get what i want - Phase back with focus mask that can be mounted on the Alpa FPS and on a Hy6.
    You're asking on the forum for your wallet. The only acceptable answer here is to get a P1 IQ260 for your tech camera and a separate Credo 80 AFI for your Hy6 .

    JK... I'll reply back with some serious thoughts in a second.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Spent a week now reading and re-reading. Scoured the forums, been all over the web sites of many dealers.
    As it turns out a weeks worth of internet research is probably worth less than an hours worth of shooting. While I'll give some feedback on your comments from my (biased* though experienced) point of view the real test is your own hands-on evaluation of the relevant products. It's not at all uncommon to see people walk through our door absolutely convinced via research they are going to go one of two directions only to end up going with a third. I had the same experience when I bought my car; thought for sure I wouldn't want the GXP edition with more kick, but it took all of five seconds in a GXP edition to know that I had to have it.

    I earnt my living off photography for 14 years but gave it up in 97 so i've been around the block a few times in regards to equipment - i owned a Bronica SQ 6x6 and ETRS 6x 4.5 and ETRSi 6x4.5 , Cannon New F1 and a slew of lenses and a set of Elinchrom studio lights. All that stuff got sold off when i moved to the other side of the world to do other things in life. So i do have a good idea of the equipment involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    So now i want to get back into photography - not commercially this time. I want to spend a few years hiking around the bush where i live taking pano landscapes on a MFD back.
    You should do some internal consideration on how literally you mean "hiking". If you mean backpacking then you might rethink the FPS which adds a lot of weight relative to something like a Alpa STC (+/-18mm of movement) or Cambo RC400 (+/- 20mm of movement).

    Likewise a back which works well with Schneider wide angles rather than Rodenstock wide angles will save you consider pack weight/size - this eliminates the 80mp models.


    [QUOTE=young'ee;574390]I have always LOVED Rollie so want to get a Rollie system and those lenses are to die for iirc. Having done extensive research in the last week it looks like the Hy6 mod 2 is the way to go. Having read extensively on the Alpa FPS system i see i can get a back plate for various MFD backs and Alpa have a lens adapter for Rollei lenses.

    The Rollei lenses are absolutely to die for. But then again so are the Schneider LS lenses and Hassy HC lenses and even Mamiya RZ lenses - there actually aren't many modern medium format systems that have anything less than "very good" lenses.

    In my opinion nostalgia is not a good reason to jump into a platform. Now there are many very very good reasons to jump into the Hy6 platform - unique ergonomics, good lenses, sync speed, vertical shooting is very pleasant, etc. But just before you invest heavily in a system I think it's worth spending at least a few minutes with each of the major systems to make sure that your love of Rollei is because of it's great positive attributes and not because of a brand association left over from your work two decades ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    So the problem is this - the Rollie system can only take Leaf or Sinar backs. I think it is the AFi mount.
    Correct. Must be an "AFi mount" or "Hy6 mount" back to fit on there.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Except that the Phase backs have a killer feature i really would like to have..focus mask! So if i go for a Leaf back i dont get this feature.
    Focus mask is really useful. But I find it most useful when doing Scheimpflug movements. So if you're using a system like the Arca R that doesn't require separate adapters and specially mounted lenses to do tilt then focus mask is - in my opinion, vital. On a Hy6 body I would rely more on the nice viewfinder, live view, and 100% review than on focus mask.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    To make it all more complicated, I see a very good deal right now on a new with full warranty and support Aptus II 10 56MP back but in MAMIYA mount only. Such a good price - but the mount is wrong for a Hy6 and i dont get the focus mask feature.
    This is a very different back than the Credo or IQ. It has some advantages (tilting screen, rotating sensor, manual metadata entry) but some major drawbacks (dimmer, lower res screen, much slower image review, less review features). Please please don't decide between them because you see a specific "good deal" - this is a large investment. First determine what's right for you THEN look for a deal - not the other way around.


    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Have i summed this up the right way ? AM i missing something? It seems like there is no way to get what i want - Phase back with focus mask that can be mounted on the Alpa FPS and on a Hy6
    A Credo 60AFI with a Surface Pro (see recent threads with Ken Doo) would technically give you Hy6, focus mask, and tech cam compatibility all in one unit, at the cost of carrying around a surface pro.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    I am interested in collecting lenses and so want to mess around adapting lenses to the Alpa, so the Rollei and RZ glass could be cross used here - i may be way out on the RZ glass on the Alpa - not sure on that yet - i do see a Mamiya adaptor for the Alpa system, so this may work?
    RZ lenses don't have a focusing helical. So any adapter would need to incorporate a helical.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    I have fond memeories of RB and RZ setups from the 80's and 90's and the RZ lenses were pretty good. My thoughts on this are that the RZ glass would have a pretty big image circle and this would be good for movements on the Alpa with sensor sizes being where they are at around 60MP.
    Personally I'd go with an IQ260, RZ Pro IID, and an Arca R. But the reason there are so many options is because each one is the best choice for someone!

    Now get out there and TRY them!!!

    *See my signature; since you're new here I want to make sure I'm clear my opinion is biased - even if I make every effort to try to take a broader perspective.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    The FPS is a totally different proposition to any other tech camera.

    Disingenuous in the extreme to try to sway someone away from it simply because you don't sell it.

    Read this again:
    "I have 2 goals - get a MF camera setup (or 2 or 3 - because i would like to mess around with some studio gear for a bit of fun) and i would like to get an Alpa FPS system."


    You should do some internal consideration on how literally you mean "hiking". If you mean backpacking then you might rethink the FPS which adds a lot of weight relative to something like a Alpa STC (+/-18mm of movement) or Cambo RC400 (+/- 20mm of movement).
    So, discount it purely based on weight. Nothing else even mentioned. As we will see, discount it based on weight in a comparison with two cameras that you're not even going to end up recommending.

    Because in the end...

    Personally I'd go with an IQ260, RZ Pro IID, and an Arca R.
    FPS - 735g
    Arca R:
    Factum - 640g
    RM3Di - 1150g
    RL3Di - 1500g

    FUD, bait, switch.

    Still, got a link in for the Arca R on a thread talking about completely different cameras, so I'm sure that's another point scored on the SEO gaming.
    Last edited by gerald.d; 17th March 2014 at 20:29.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    If you decide on a RZ ProII-D e-mail me, I have an entire system with a brand new camera that I had intended to equip with a Leaf back, then went a different direction. It's yours for cheap.

    - Marc

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Hi, I have handled a Hy6, Leica S / S2, Phase DF+ and Hasselblad H4D / H5D.

    If you like to use manual focusing the best viewfinder / focusing screen is the one in the Leica S. It is just superb. The Leica S build and feel is just a cut above ANY camera avilable today. The sensor / image quality is good but not the best. The latest phase / Leaf backs are significantly better. The lenses are superb though.

    The Hy6 has a more traditional feel but with a modern AF and grip. Felt good in hand but being designed for 6x6 film it might feel a bit awkward when using a crop digital sensor back. The lenses are great.

    The DF+ feels good in hand and the viewfinder is good and the AF is competent. The lenses are good. Phase is fully committed with this system so you will have great support and it is easy to buy or sell used.

    The Hasselblad system is very very nice. The lens line is awesome. They have a 24mm available. The bodies feel nice. It was my choice although I chose a Phase IQ back because of the image quality / software and the superb lcd screen in the IQ backs which is unmatched (the Leaf Credo is identical). The IQ backs feel fast when in use even untethered. Image review is quick. Feels like a very modern system unlike the P+ backs and older Leaf backs.

    Regarding tech cameras there are a lot of good choices from Arca / Cambo and Alpa. It is best to work with a dealer and schedule a demo. Each system has is idiosyncrasies so it is best do see and or use them beforehand.

    I used Digital Transitions to get my Arca RM3Di / Rodenstock lenses and IQ160 back and am very happy with the system.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the replies.

    Pleased to have the debate pro and con - its what i asked for, and well, i got it :-)

    OK so Doug - you are very right - a week of intense reading (and i do mean a week of INTENSE reading) does not equal an hour of hands on with all this new kit for sure. Problem is i am in the Middle of Africa - no dealers here I'm afraid.

    First thing to understand is i am doing this on a whim - nothing more. Its purely for kicks to go out in the bush and take landscapes - something i dream't about back in the day but paying the rent, staff, my Kodak bill etc would not allow. (Anyone remember Kodak ? i had a 22.5% discount on my Kodak account - and if you know anything about Kodak accounts from the 80's and 90's you will know how hard it is to get that discount level - we were turning over serious amounts of Kodak product). So this is just for the joy of it - no need to make any money out of it or to be trying to make a photo business work. That gives me a lot of latitude.

    When i left photography we used to use film - not sure if anyone here is young enough to remember that stuff? I used to process it too - i owned a prolab so did much C-41, E6, EP2, P3 then a bit later on as things changed RA2 and P3x processing etc. Cant tell you how relived i am to NOT have to go there again Ahh the memories....just typing this out takes me back to things i have not thought about in nearly 20 years ! I had a Devere 5x7 auto everything enlarger that i did countless hours on in the dark all day long, a Lucht package printer in another dark room...anyway going off topic.......... my point with this off topic rant is, i have never used a digital anything! So really starting from scratch here....really!

    This makes it very hard to chose a platform from afar - i cant travel as i run a network here that i need to be close too - i can get away for a day but i sure cant be gone for a week. So this makes it somewhat hard to go out to the real world and test things out..... unless Doug wants to bring a slew of gear out to Africa for the trialling

    So about all i have to go on is experience from the trenches 2 decades ago and the Internet.

    My thoughts on this are to invest in some lower cost gear just because i would love to get an RZ system because i have such fond memories of them. Then i want to get a Fuji 680 system with a full set of lenses for studio work - again for no other reason then i would love to do it.

    Then put the serious money into some high end tech camera gear. Why Alpa? I had never come across or heard of Alpa before - until reading these forums - then i came across all the tech cam pron. I mean Swiss anything cant be bad right? Is this rational ? No of course not! But then if i were listening to my head and not my heart i wouldn't be dropping money into a digital back in the first place. When i read through the threads here on tech cams, i go weak at the knees and my heart misses a beat when i see the Alpa's on show here. Love is never rational.

    So upon researching Alpa i came across this lovely lovely system called FPS. Its brand new to me - never seen it before. But having seen it there is nothing else for me.

    The thing about Alpa FPS is the way you can add all sorts of lenses to it - this scratches another itch - i want to collect old lenses - just because i love lenses! So much better if could actually use them sometimes as well.

    I think you are right about most all MF lenses being good. But there is something about Rollei - The main thrust for the Rollei is the 90mm - is there a better MF lens out there? I have never used a Hy6 of course - but it looks like a solid bit of kit. Really. My use for that body would be for more casual stuff and perhaps some studio work as well - if the focus setup is as good as they say, well thats a good thing for what i want to photograph in my studio (that i am yet to build, but build it i will).

    So my use of the FPS would be purely for landscapes. But not just plain landscapes - i want to get right into pano's. Very serious about this and really want to get the right gear for this. I just love the wide look. Again going off topic but...... check out Ken Duncans book - Australia Wide. I used to work in the prolab that printed all of the original Australia Wide shots to Cibachrome's. Been a convert to wide ever since. So need the right kit for this.

    So two things to solve - be able to use lots of different lenses for the kick of using lots of different lenses. And to be able to stitch. I think from what i have read so far, FPS combined with an Alpa 12 STC is the way to go. The main problem i see is focusing. Yeah an IQ 250 would be great for that........

    Weight is not a problem hiking. I wont be carrying it. I live in Africa and live a colonial life style. I have a cook, 2 maids, 4 garden boys, 2 drivers and a receptionist. No shortage of staff - here there is a man for every task. Well got a new job opening coming up....... sherpa! oops , wrong continent but you get the idea. So its no hardship to carry lots of gear into the bush. Weight in this case is irrelevant. And before someone jumps down my throat for my attitude - it provides employment and they are thankful and grateful for it in a country where we have 80% unemployment and my back is also grateful for the arrangement!

    So thats a number of the boxes ticked.

    I agree that nostalgia is not a good reason to invest in any system - but i do know the Rollei 6008 system - if the Hy 6 is half of that body then i cant be going in the wrong direction. I look at the Mamiya bodies and the variants of them and just cant get excited about them - sorry. The Contax is another story....... If Alpa would just bring out an adaptor to mount Contax glass to the FPS..i'd buy a boat load of Contax glass in a heart beat!

    From experience, i know i really like a waist level finder - just the way i like to work. Which other modern digital control MF body is out there that provides this? It seems to me that the Hy6 is the way to go. But it does present difficulties with the only back going on it being leaf Afi mount. And this is my dilemma.

    I would like to get a Hy6 and a FPS as the serious bodies to work with. Sure, a Leaf back in Afi mounts to both - but then i miss the focus mask on the Phase back. So i guess it all comes down to choosing the focus mask back and losing the Hy6 -OR- go the Hy6 route and lose the focus mask.

    Have I got this right? After all the reading and research i have done that's my take on it - but i might be missing a vital piece of the puzzle somewhere??

    Re the back - i am not ready to dive in at the deep end just yet. Having zero experience on these backs i thought something a bit tamer to start off with - the threads on fat pixel backs look interesting - so looking at getting a P25+ for that. Not very expensive these days so no biggie there at all. I think 60MP makes the most sense , hence looking at the Aptus II 10 - although i would REALLY prefer the R version.

    Can the Aptus II 10 be converted to an Afi R version?

    If i spend big on a back i think it will be for an IQ250. When push comes to shove, the FPS camera is what its all about - so i might have to settle for a lower end back on the Hy6 and go the top end back on the FPS....maybe this is my only choice?

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Gerald,

    Thanks for your input. I have been reading all your posts this last week. I would love to know all about the FPS - this looks to be a fantastic system!

    My main purpose of the tech cam is for landscapes in pano format. From what i have been able to understand, on the Alpa system the way to get this is to use the FPS as a shutter and the STC as the stitch mechanism. Is this correct?

    The concern is, if i needed to go that way to get stitch (and my understanding is i do) then do we lose the ability to mount all sorts of lenses?

    The charm to me (at least at this point) in the FPS is to be able to mount many different lenses.

    However a very decent pano system comes first on my list.


    I just dont know enough about Alpa and where i live there is zero chance of getting my hands on one.

    Thanks

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Fotografz - lets talk - definitely in the market for an RZ II-D system.

    You say an entire system? Is that ALL lenses for this system?

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Hi Ken,

    Yeah an S2 - never even considered that. Definitely like-a-Leica

    Ahhhhhhh ! So many choices - but i guess thats only a good thing.

    Re the Hassy stuff - i've been put off by all the talk of the closed system.

    I wonder if Alpa have plans to mount the S2 lenses?

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Re the Hassy stuff - i've been put off by all the talk of the closed system.
    The only thing that is closed about the Hasselblad system is that the cameras do not accept third party backs and even that is less true with the new H4x. You can use the Hasselblad backs on technical cameras, if this is your question.

    (I am just a happy Hasselblad H3D user, I don't sell cameras.)

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Geesh Gerald, grumpy this morning? That's a rather unwarranted attack on my character. As the OP notes the weight you gave for the FPS would not include the shift needed for traditional shift-stitching with a tech lens. Add an STC for shift and a TS adapter for when tilt is desired and the system is - relative to other tech cameras including the STC by itself - more to carry around. Whether this is an issue for the OP is entirely up to him - some very good photographers carried 8x10 cameras and film holders across mountains (then again, I suspect if given the choice at the time of a smaller but equally capable system they would have gladly used it) and there are some workaround options including rotate-and-stitch and using Canon TS glass (or other TS glass) to do the shift. Perhaps with your extensive Alpa experience you could spend more time helping the OP and less time attacking me?

    FPS is a nice concept and a great solution to some problems. I wish Arca/Cambo had a similar unit in addition to Alpa/Hartblei.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    I just dont know enough about Alpa and where i live there is zero chance of getting my hands on one.
    Where do you live? Maybe a forum member lives nearby - stranger things have happened. Or do you ever travel? Whether to Berlin, New York, LA, Hong Kong or any other major international city there should be ways to get your hands on the gear being discussed - I really think hands on is the only way to evaluate your options fully.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Doug,

    I think you are right - to get the stitch i want i need the STC - i covered this in a post i wrote to answer your reply to me - it was a mini novel reply so it looks like the GetDPI GODs must not have liked a 10,000 word reply .......

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Doug,

    I am in Africa. Right in the middle. South of Congo, North of Zimbabwe.

    Dont tell me there is a C.I in the Jungles of Africa ?
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Or do you ever travel? Whether to Berlin, New York, LA, Hong Kong or any other major international city

    Yeah - i go to Lubumbashi all the time :-) That's in Katanga Province of Congo DR - hairy place though - I've been held up by cops there once or twice - no joke!
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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    what i did:

    IQ160: for the screen, 60mpx, focus mask, C1 integration, SurfacePro tablet with C1 for tethering
    H back so i can use it with my hasselblad H2 for SLR work
    Cambo WRS for shifts both ways, with T/S lenses, for tilt and swing.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    jlm - got you on that - quickly coming to the realization that several backs may be the way to go. Its all Phase ones fault - if they just did the phase back in Afi mount all would be well.

    I am after a fat pixel back as well as a 60MP back so this is a way around the problem - until i want the 60 on the Hy6 for a shoot. Or the other way around.

    Takes time for all this to sink in - i don't have the luxury of having worked my way up through the DB's to know all the in's and out's

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Did not like the Hy6 at all functionally. I hit every wrong button on that thing just holding it. What I'm reading though through the several systems your after and putting more empathize on the Alpa FPS as your main setup it sounds like you at least want a Mamiya mount. I also see you want a RZ which frankly eliminates the other DSLR bodies. Maybe think PFS as you tech cam stitching pano solution and the RZ for the DSLR body. If you stay in Mamiya mount you could always switch that out or add a DF+ body as well. I'm partial to Phase backs I had 5 of them and C1 as my software. I would start with the back and build out from there. Either the IQ 260 or new IQ 250 depending on need than get into your FPS system which is supposed to be nice but I never tried it yet. I like the regular tech cams like the Cambo or Alpa pancake bodies both great for stitching and panos. I had the Cambo which I really liked since it gave you all the movements but Alpa is really sweet as well. But I would think along those lines with a Mamiya mount but I maybe bias on that Hy6 as I really did not like it at all feel and function wise. You do need to try these somehow or at least get it down better and maybe you can rent and have it shipped in and rental fees goes towards purchase. Many dealers will do that as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Doug,

    I am in Africa. Right in the middle. South of Congo, North of Zimbabwe.

    Dont tell me there is a C.I in the Jungles of Africa ?
    I actually work at Digital Transitions (DT) now. I formerly worked at Capture Integration (CI). Both good companies, but neither has offices in Africa. Perhaps CI might be willing to do a shipment to you - DT only does a limited number of international shipments (mostly existing clients); you'd have to ask them. But that does't solve the problem of seeing the gear before you decide which way to go.

    We do have many clients visit NYC as a working vacation (visit for a few days, see the sites, try some cameras, if they like them - leave with the cameras). It's a great place to visit in the spring. But I can see that would be a challenge for you - 18 hours of travel to go from Lubumbashi to NYC, not counting the time to get to Lumbumbashi!

    You could try the South Africa dealer perhaps – I have no experience with them. But even they are a flight away.

    Your best bet is if anyone reading this on the forum is from your neck of the woods, or travels there frequently enough to arrange to meet you. I tried searching the forum but the closest I could find is a user that posted one picture one time from your area - and that user is no longer a member. Perhaps you could search for place names with your much much much better knowledge of your local area. I searched like this.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Fly me in. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    You'd need to fly in some gear as well. Though meeting Guy is itself valuable, it might not resolve all your camera questions.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    One problem with the Hy6 was more so in the US than over in Europe was we really never had any real sales support here in the US so that turned some folks off. That has changed some recently as someone I forget the guys name but nice guy opened a shop here in the states but the HY6 was just more popular over in Europe than here so our responses on it maybe a little jagged. At least for me when I made my purchases it was not even a thought as it seamed to small a player. That was my feeling back than. Of course we have Hy6 folks that love the systems. But Phase makes some nice lenses too as well as Hassy.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    You'd need to fly in some gear as well. Though meeting Guy is itself valuable, it might not resolve all your camera questions.

    I can get anything I want in my hands if I needed too. That's not a issue.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    The hard part here is figuring out want mounts fit these camera systems the best. Since the back is the most expensive item. For instance a Contax mount will fit a Contax body and most of the tech cams but I'm not sure you can get a Contax mount for a FPS same with the Hy6. This is something you have to look into. Mamiya mount for instance goes to just about everything a DF,RZ, All the tech cams including the pancakes and the FPS. Guess the point here is really figuring out your mount first and what systems you want to plug that on. Hassy limits itself on the body but still can be used on a tech cam. So just need to watch your choices on the mount than the functions on the backs. Lots of homework here
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    I am in Africa. Right in the middle. South of Congo, North of Zimbabwe.
    Do you work in mining?

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Satellite Communications - i have a lease on a transponder on a satellite over Africa and provide services to mining companies among others

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    I'd really love to try some systems........but the mere mention of Africa usually sends them running a 100 miles an hour the other way. I don't expect anyone is sending gear into Africa on a proof of concept trial.

    Guy, i was the bloke trying to buy the 19mm Leica off you - remember? It was late at night here when i saw your add, i replied via email - you replied almost immediately via email then i replied etc - it was so late here that i had to go to bed and when i got up in the morning to pull the trigger i got your email saying it was sold. Not that it matters at all.

    The thing that got me into this mess is the Sony A7r - some innocent Sunday morning reading about the Sony turned into this ;-) your review did little to help me out here :-) Then i decided to hell with it, i am going to go all out here and not going to mess with the little stuff - the Sony A7 provided the spark to set of the latent fire within and now i want to get back into MF , and well the rest is history.

    So yup - i'm up for this. The whole Rollei thing is because in Sydney where i am originally from, Rollei was a big name a. I used a 6008 at a studio i contracted too. I just love the Rollei lenses. I guess you cant really compare lenses from those days to new designs out now, but i used a Hassy 503CX, Mamyia, Bronica, Rollei

    What else is out there these days? S2, Hassy and DF+ Out of those i'd take the Rollei. But no argument that it seems to be locked out of all the fun. Shame.

    Re the tech cam - i blame YOU MISTER !!! (Guy that is) You are the one who started the "show us your tech cam"

    No going back now - committed to a tech cam. Ready to pull the trigger on this now now- the Alpa is such a beautiful work of art - really. The way of working with a tech cam really appeals to me.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Lol damn did not recognize your name here. Too funny
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    I woul simple go into this in a simple manner . Sure spend the money on the right back but you just might want to think pancake like the STC to start and you can always add the FPS if this really starts to work in your favor. The pancakes are simple devices that put more emphasize on you and they are simple operate with amazing results plus they are small to shoot which is nice on you.

    You could start with a 3 or 4 lens kit and really that maybe all you need. Now if you want to do more handheld stuff than you can add the DSLR style body to work with the back or just use a dang Sony for that fun stuff. If I had life my way it would be a tech cam several lenses and a Sony and call it a day. Tech for the landscape stuff and Sony for everything else.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    No not difficult at all - expensive yes! But its all a business expense so no worries on that.

    Now hanging onto this gear may be another story - this time last year we got held up by bandits here at home - 12 homes in our area ( we are on a farm ) got hit by various gangs. I have an assortment of weapons in the house ready for next time - .45, .38, .32 hand guns and pump action shot gun/s plus a few i wont mention ;-)

    But not much different to living in America i guess.
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I can get anything I want in my hands if I needed too. That's not a issue.
    Whoa, Guy. Doesn't your wife read the GetDPI forums on occasion? Just trying to protect you buddy....


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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Given where you are located, I wouldn't dream of buying a Hy6, unless I could afford 2 or 3 bodies. The company that manufacturss the Hy6 is a very small operation, and that's an understatement. They are simply not geared up to provide fast turn around, and the reality with all of this equipment is that it fails and needs to be serviced. My experience, hard won, is that the Phase backs are the most reliable, but even they can have issues. If I were you, I personally would get myself a Phase back with 2 or 3 Hassy H2 or Phase DF bodies. Then, pick the tech camera and lenses. I have read that the FPS is prone to shutter vibration, so I would look into that carefully.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Guy,

    I hear you. There is a lot to be said for simple. The tech cam is easy because that is what i REALLY want to do - pano landscapes are the big thing.

    The other interest i really have is wanting to collect lenses. I think i saw a post from you somewhere saying you were a lens whore - i get this because i am a lens harlot! The more lenses the better. So i want to get a nice collection of the classics together to mess around with - just for fun.

    I plan to build a studio on my plot of land up by Lake Tanganyika. I have a 120 meters of coast line on my property (ie, my back yard is a beach along the shore line) and I do a lot of scuba diving up there and want to collect the fish from the lake and photograph them in aquariums - so i plan to setup a full blown studio for this. Its a great excuse for getting back into the game after so many years out of it.

    So this gives me the need for a studio camera hence the RZ and Fuji 6800.

    There is no money motivation for any of this - its all for kicks - that's all. Some may ask why - to which i would say, because i can.

    So i just want to get geared up with the cams i know form yester - year - i know these cameras and know what they can do and they are things of beauty to me. Given they are so cheap these days - why not?

    But the tech cam - thing - ALL YOUR FAULT BUDDY ! Hey some of those setups in the show us your techcam are mouth watering to say the least - the bug has bitten.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    I think reading and picking up on your tastes----I'd go with an Alpa STC to start. The Alpa is simply a beautiful camera (this coming from a Cambo shooter). You can always add the FPS later, and I would be pulling on Gerald's ear here for advice later. You may simply be happy with the Alpa STC all by itself.

    The Fuji 680 is probably more headache than it's worth to cobble together to make it work with your MFDB. You'll have a much easier time with the RZ Pro II D. You can probably just about get a Phase DF included when you purchase a new MFDB, which will be nice to have a smaller platform than just the RZ.

    Add a RRS TVC 3 series tripod and an AS Cube and you're set....for now.

    ken

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Okay than here is a thought those older RZ bodies and lenses have a great look to them so if you want the look they are a great choice to have. I say this because most modern day tech cam lenses are clinical in look . Great for most type of landscape work , so this actually gives you a choice in the field as well with the same back you can do both as the RZ in the field would be fun for more classic looks. Plus have the RZ in the studio. Than if you really want to experiment with old glass than the darn Sony is a ton of fun for that as you can just about bolt anything on it as you have seen in the Sony forum. Now this gives you two systems although different for more classic look. Problem though as you can see is the tech cam stuff it's much harder to get that classic look in them since they are more modern lenss designed for maximum resolution and man do they do that the best. Nothing can really touch these lenses in that area of quality but with that comes more clinical look. Now a MF back helps here since it has wonderful color transitions and color depth. So you get a smoother looking file but still have maximum resolution . On the other hand you have the RZ glass that can give you more a classic look. Nice combination here. Than if you still want to get crazy with really old glass than the Sony offers you the best option as all you need is adapters which there are tons of them in every flavor which in MF much more difficult to take old lenses as there are not many adapters to bolt on them. Just some thoughts but I'm liking this idea.

    Notice you still are down to one back here without getting too crazy but your in Mamiya mount which gives you even more options in a DF kit.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Just saw Kens post and I tend to agree . Start with a STC than go from there. Agree Gerald and Graham plus other Alpa folks can help you on the Alpa gear. I agree they are beautiful products.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Hi hcubell,

    Ok not heard that about the FPS. I need to bone up on the FPS - but hard from here - i only have the Internet to help me - and you guys of course!

    Re the Hy6 - doesn't really matter if it goes down - none of this is for profit or business - its all for fun. So nothing lost if it all goes wrong - apart from time in turnaround time.

    The whole Digi back thing is what complicates this. As Guy says, with a Phase Mamiya mount i can access the FPS, the RZ, and the phase cameras - if i should want to go that way - then i can get the focus mask i desire. I lose the Hy6. But this may not be the end of the world. However i REALLY want to use Rollei lenses on the FPS but need more info on that because from what i have been able to dig up it seems that the Rollei glass needs an external controller or something to fire the shutter?


    So none of it is simple unless i stick to phase and Mamiya mount - which is no disaster i guess.

    I'm actually looking at this from another perspective - put the money into the tech cam (thats the big money - its over 25K for the tech cam gear alone) and start with a P25+ as i do want a fat pixel back. Then after a bit of playing around with that, see what back i really want. That sorta works because i can get different back plates for the tech cam for any back.

    So i think what this really comes down to is, which MF body am i happy to live with. I cant tell you how many rolls of 120 and 220 i put through my Bronica's over many years as a photographer hack ( i ran my own prolab as well as contracted to many studios, did school photography, had contracts in major hospitals around Sydney doing new born photos, did 100's and 100's of weddings, portraits - did most of it over the years)

    So to me , unless i have this wrong, the DF+ is the same style of shooting as the Bronica ETRSi ?

    I much prefer 6x6 with a waist level finder.

    The RZ is just because it will be fun to try adapting a MFD to it and mess around with it - really i cant believe how cheap these things are these days ! Plus that RZ glass is no slouch either

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    The bad part here is I just don't know enough about the FPS so I'm a little at a loss for its abilities with different types of glass that can be bolted on it. I do know some Rollie glass is the same formulas as others in different mounts. This would take some research on that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    KD,

    Yes sense in what you say. My plan was to order the FPS, the STC, most of the adapters and spacers etc then go looking for a good selection of lenses to bolt onto the front of the setup. Thinking P25+ fat pixel as the fat pixel thread has me fascinated. From there - i dont know what back to go with at this stage. Was going to pull the trigger on the Leaf Aptus II 10 purely because its such a good price right now - marked down from 22K to 11K - whats not to love about that?

    Frankly i feel very calm and easy about investing in the tech gear - no worries at all. Its 25K+ but a well invested 25K i feel. The RZ and 6800 are so cheap that it does not matter. 6800 lenses are cheap cheap and RZ glass not a whole lot more - so that side is simple enough.

    The backs are the worry - these things don't hold value do they ! I'm comfortable to 20K on a back ( i mean the big guy - not the little fat pixel guy - he is for cheap)

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    No they don't hold there value extremely well so you have to be careful. A P25+ is a easy choice and a nice back plus money output is maybe tops 6k so really not a big deal in the scheme of things. Maybe a good choice get your feet wet see if it is something you really enjoy than grow from there. Now as far as backs going forward there is not one that will not produce great images thats a given they will all do a great job from 22mpx to 80 mpx they all have there place in the market and all will produce. Some will have better DR as the P25+ maybe the lowest DR on the market but thats what also gives it its charm. it just has a lot of punch. But the more modern ones will mostly come down to functions and of course software that goes with it. Here i am very bias towards C1 but thats me and I admit it out of the gate. I also like Phase backs more than the rest but again thats me. But i feel they are very reliable, strong and have the best functions for me. So thats why I like them. And the fact I may have my best images from them makes me lean that way. So again a little bias. Does not mean they rest are bad or anything like that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Guy, the more i study the FPS the more in awe i am. This is just the most incredible camera!

    I've got to get some quotes - i've got Linhof studio in UK researching some stuff on the FPS for me and will be getting a quote on a full system in a few days.

    I would like to cross check pricing with another dealer - don't know who since i am only now coming back to this field after so many years away. Exciting times!

    And just to put this into perspective - i won an ebay auction for an Angenieux lens - i intend to collect the full set of Angies. I also bought some Leica R glass to kick my Leica collection off. (lost a 19mm Leica - wont mention any names) Also after the RZ glass set and the 6800 glass set. Thinking of picking up all the Contax range just so i have them. In Rollei i want the Schneider's, particularly the 90mm. Thats a lot of classic's.

    As for the tech cam, i want to get the old glass on the front of it to play around with "looks"

    This is all very interesting and fun! A few bucks for sure - but i'm getting old and i cant take it with me.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Honestly I would go to New York and spend a few days there testing and checking out the different options. At the very least you'll come back with some nice pictures and some good memories

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    sounds like $ is not an issue, so be sure to look at at the new CMOS phase back, hard to beat it for studio use due to the live view feedback for judging focus with tilt, for example. biggest drawback is the "cropped" sensor size will ultimately limit your wide angle FOV

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Guy, the more i study the FPS the more in awe i am. This is just the most incredible camera!

    I've got to get some quotes - i've got Linhof studio in UK researching some stuff on the FPS for me and will be getting a quote on a full system in a few days.

    I would like to cross check pricing with another dealer - don't know who since i am only now coming back to this field after so many years away. Exciting times!

    And just to put this into perspective - i won an ebay auction for an Angenieux lens - i intend to collect the full set of Angies. I also bought some Leica R glass to kick my Leica collection off. (lost a 19mm Leica - wont mention any names) Also after the RZ glass set and the 6800 glass set. Thinking of picking up all the Contax range just so i have them. In Rollei i want the Schneider's, particularly the 90mm. Thats a lot of classic's.

    As for the tech cam, i want to get the old glass on the front of it to play around with "looks"

    This is all very interesting and fun! A few bucks for sure - but i'm getting old and i cant take it with me.
    Im coming to hang with you, you'll have all the fun toys. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    In the USA there are three Alpa dealers. Fotocare in NY, Dodds camera in the Mid West and my dealer capture integration based in Atlanta. Headquarters that is they have other branches. Might want to contact with them also.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Gerald,

    Thanks for your input. I have been reading all your posts this last week. I would love to know all about the FPS - this looks to be a fantastic system!

    My main purpose of the tech cam is for landscapes in pano format. From what i have been able to understand, on the Alpa system the way to get this is to use the FPS as a shutter and the STC as the stitch mechanism. Is this correct?

    The concern is, if i needed to go that way to get stitch (and my understanding is i do) then do we lose the ability to mount all sorts of lenses?

    The charm to me (at least at this point) in the FPS is to be able to mount many different lenses.

    However a very decent pano system comes first on my list.


    I just dont know enough about Alpa and where i live there is zero chance of getting my hands on one.

    Thanks
    Hi -

    OK, as I see it, you have two totally distinct requirements here from a tech cam perspective (I'm not going to comment on the reflex camera requirement because I have no knowledge whatsoever on the Hy6)

    1. You want to shoot panos.
    2. You want the FPS because of the versatility of the lens mounts.

    The unanswered question is - what lenses do you want to shoot panos with?

    Depending on what the answer to this question is, will determine whether or not the FPS even enters into the pano-shooting game.

    Caveat - I'm assuming you're only interested in shift-stitching panos here. If you're interested in/happy to shoot by spinning the camera around the nodal point, then that opens up a whole other world of opportunity.

    Do NOT write off nodal point stitching. It is just as good a - and in many instances, actually better - proposition than shift-stitching.

    But I'll park that diversion here and we can come back to it if you want to.

    So, back to the lenses.

    It's the lenses that you want to shoot with that will determine what you will end up buying. Start with the glass, and everything will follow pretty much automatically from there.

    ...Alpa have a lens adapter for Rollei lenses.
    I'm assuming you're talking about this -

    ALPA of Switzerland - Manufacturers of remarkable cameras - ALPA lens adapter Rolleiflex 600x/Hy6 / Sinar Hy6 / Leaf AFi

    This is NOT an adapter to be able to use the lenses with the FPS. To the best of my knowledge you still need the Rollei Lens Control S in order to use the lenses on the ALPA 12 cameras.

    If you want to shift-stitch with these lenses, then you won't be using the FPS at all. I'm not familiar with the adapter, but it clearly has a flange distance designed to only work on the "regular" 12-series ALPA cameras.

    Now, whether there is any other way to use those lenses with the FPS, I don't know - I'm not familiar with them. ALPA only provide Canon, Nikon, Mamiya and Hasselblad (V-mount) lens adapters (in addition of course to the regular "ALPA-mount" Rodenstocks and Schneiders).

    So, in order to use any of the lenses with the FPS, first you need to find out whether you can use an interim adapter to one of those mounts. If so, that's the flange distance sorted out. Then, you need to know whether the lenses can be used manually. I assume these lenses have shutters - you'd need to bypass that shutter and use the FPS's focal plane shutter. Next, you need to be able to focus them manually, and finally, you need to be able to set the aperture manually.

    IF you can meet all the above requirements, then IF you're going via either the Mamiya or Hasselblad ALPA lens adapters, then you will be able to use an STC, SWA, Max or XY in the mix to do shifts. (If you can go via the Hasselblad adapter, then you can do swings/tilts as well.)

    There's a lot of "if's" in the above.

    The FPS is a remarkably versatile camera though, and who knows what might be round the corner. Conceptually, I can't see why the FPS wouldn't be able - in the future - to take the place of the Rollie Lens Control S. A shorter adapter, and you'd be good to go. Whether this is physically realistic, and even if it were, whether there was actually sufficient demand to justify creating such a solution is a whole other matter though.

    The guys at ALPA are extremely helpful - drop them a line and ask.

    OK, long winded I know, but I think the answer is clear - you're not going to be using your Rollei lenses with the FPS at the moment.

    Next - the FPS Mamiya adapter.

    This is for Mamiya 645 mount lenses. Not RZ.

    Same story again. Is there an adapter to go from RZ to any of the ALPA adapters (Canon, Nikon, Mamiya 645, Hassy)?

    HCam do one -

    HCAM RB/RZ-645 Adapter

    Stefan is on the forum - drop him a line and I'm sure he can fill you in on the necessary details, but it looks at first glance as if this is an option.

    You could go RZ mount - HCamRB/RZ>Mamiya 645 adapter - ALPA FPS Mamiya adapter - ALPA 12 series camera for the shifts - ALPA FPS.

    So that gets a tick.

    Next. Fuji GX680.

    No way that I know of to use these on ALPA. Would it be interesting? Yes. Could it be hacked together somehow? Almost certainly. Would it be worthwhile? Who knows.

    OK - that's I think dealt with the lenses and systems that you wanted to use. Once I've had a bit of a breather, I'll post more generally about the FPS and ALPA 12 system and my experience with it over the last couple of years.

    Kind regards,

    Gerald.
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  48. #48
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Gerald thanks for this info as it does help me as well. So the bottom line TODAY is we have this available in your quote here

    ALPA only provide Canon, Nikon, Mamiya and Hasselblad (V-mount) lens adapters (in addition of course to the regular "ALPA-mount" Rodenstocks and Schneiders).

    So lets say one can play quite a bit with older lenses and or look lenses in these mounts. As we all know there are a ton of older Hassy V and Mamiya 645 lenses to play with. Given that maybe the RZ may not be worth the effort.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    Thanks for the heads up on dealers - i will give them a shout.

    As for getting to New York - i'd love to - last time i was there was in 1999. Unfortunately i am a prisoner here - i run a large many $$$$ satellite network here that i cant leave - i have to be in country 24/7/365 as part of the contract.

    Example - while i have been here all day slacking off - a call came into the office from a big client of ours - they got hit by lighting this afternoon and the whole IT stack got wiped out - i am heading out at 05:00 tomorrow morning to go fix it - its right on the Congo DR border. So if i were in New York playing with cameras i would lose this contract - we never know when i will get a call out to dash off to some far flung corner of Africa. Some one has to do it.

    As for the money - anyone can come out here and get into something that has $$$ attached - there is money to be made out on the frontier. But you have to be prepared to rough it and endure the hardships in the bush at times. I could write a book on the things i have been through here. Example - i worked right through Xmas and New years restoring a network that went down - my Xmas day was spent in the bowls of a server room and New Years eve i got a great view of fireworks - from the roof of a 7 story building repairing a large satellite antenna.

    But yes, the rewards are there if you do. You do have to dodge the occasional bullet. I've had a bullet through the back window of my Land Cruiser. I've been caught in riots that spring up from nowhere. I once had to run down the runway of a major airport to try to jump on board a Russian AN12 turbo prop - i managed to scramble in as the plane was taking off - it goes on and on. The cops are corrupt as hell in some countries - in fact in Congo the cops are worse then the bandits.

    Not many will take all this and most don't last long out here. I've been at it for 16 years. I reckon i deserve an Alpa !
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  50. #50
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sanity Check on a MFD setup - starting from zero

    LOL Damn right you do. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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