Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    44
    Post Thanks / Like

    Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Hi, I am a keen amateur. I've owned both the Ebony RSW45 and Mamiya 7 in the past, but subsequently sold them.

    What I liked most from each system was

    (i) the Ebony's movements, i.e., it only really had front rise & fall (Front: Rise 60mm, Fall 25mm), but i found it immensely useful with a Schneider 110mm Super-Symmar XL given I did a lot of city architecture images. I sold it, mainly after Fuji discontinued Quickloads;

    (ii) the Mamiya 7's amazing resolution off 120 film. Its lenses had a reputation of resolving approx 120 l/mm, and I found that 350mb drum-scanned 120 film (e.g., Acros 100 or especially Adox CMS 20) looked amazing off it, and not dissimilar to the output from the 4x5 camera. 120 film was also much easier to use and mail for development compared to non-Quickloaded 4x5. But the Mamiya 7 obviously lacked movements, and I missed that more than I expected.

    I'm now wondering if the world of Tech Cam's (or other MFDB cameras) can provide a mix of the above aspects that I liked from both camera systems? Initially -- it would be for use with a film back, BUT with a view to using the same system for a high MP digital back in future years

    For example, can an
    (i) Alpa or Cambo provide a similar flexibility of Front movements that I attained with the Ebony + 110mm Super Symmar XL (if so, what camera and lens combo would you recommend that could emulate what I had before in the world of 4x5?), and
    (ii) achieve AT LEAST the same (very high) lens/system resolution that I enjoyed with a Mamiya 7? -- i.e., in order to extract as much resolution as I can off 120 film (initially), with a later goal of using that same platform for a MFDB?

    Budget is flexible -- by avoiding the cost of a digital back (for now) means I'm more willing to spend a lot to attain a camera body + lens system that is manufactured to the tightest tolerances (and resolving power) to extract the very most possible from 120 film, whilst also wanting to make it "future proof" with any megapixel MFDB going forward.
    Last edited by Jon Warwick; 2nd November 2014 at 10:52.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    This is exactly what I did, in that I used a Mamiya 7ii kit and Linhof Technika V with 4x5" sheet film. I thought long and hard about buying an Alpa and film back to somewhat replicate my Mamiya 7ii workflow, but ended up with a Linhof Techno and film back to get closer to my 4x5" workflow. I only use two lenses, being the 55mm APO Sironar-Digital and 90mm HR W (blue band). Both give absolutely brilliant results, although I'm hesitant to say they are as good as my old 50mm Mamiya 7 lens – that one was truly stunning. I originally thought It'd be a quick progression to DMF capture, but I very promptly bought an Imacon 949 and kind of gave up on thought for a bit. Two years later, I'm again researching digital.

    The problem you will face is finding lenses that both give you the movements you need with 6x7cm film AND are up to the task of digital capture. Both of the lenses I have are fine for digital up to 60mpx. The 90mm is the better lens and can do this easily, although the 55mm is probably considered pretty average at that resolution. Alpa lenses require the helical mount, which is really expensive. Same with Cambo and Arca R series. This is another reason I went with the Techno, which only requires a lens board.

    If money were no object for me at all, I would have probably bought an Alpa STC setup, but I'm not sure I would have been totally happy with it. I'm one of the few people who actually love using a ground glass, but also enjoy the more comprehensive movements offered by my Techno.

    Good luck!
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  3. #3
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Spain & Sweden
    Posts
    1,196
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    I would go Alpa MAX with a Schneider 60 XL, tiltadaptor, groundglas and 6x7 filmback. That would be lika a 28 in 24x36 terms and with 115 imagecircle at f11 you are probably good for maxing out the 25mm movement of the Max with a CF mounted. Plenty of resolving power to clip on any DB of today and most probably also next generation DB.
    A serious onelens setup that works perfect in architectural cityscapes as well as out in the wild
    Alpa FPS MAX TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  4. #4
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    3,275
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    An Arca RL3Di accepts up to 4x5 film.
    An Arca RM3Di accepts up to 6x9 film.
    Both can share a lens mount with an Arca view camera such as the new Univeralis.

    All three are also excellent for digital (some lenses can handle both film and digital, others are only suitable to one).

    All three offer options to focus using a coupled distance finder, and provide real time feedback on near and far point of depth of field at each aperture, as well as providing the option for a sliding back with ground glass.

    Ton more info here: Tech Camera Information

    *bias alert since you're new - we sell Arca and Cambo both with backs and stand alone, but only sell the Alpa as bundled with a Phase One back.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,069
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    83

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Why not get an older back? A ~30MP back can be had for less than 5K, and a film back is still going to set you back 2-3 K for a tech cam. You'd of course have to add processing/scanning costs to this.

    When you're ready for the new MFDB, the trade in value will more than offset of the full cost you paid as well.

    On the camera body, I went with Arca, mostly for the helical focussing system. The integrated tilt/shift was also quite attractive. For the overall size of the body, the shift/rise/fall movements on the RM3Di are also quite generous.

    The compatibility of Arca parts also gives you the option of picking up a used field camera having all kinds of flexibility.

    With CMOS backs now coming in, the helical capability may not be such a big deal.

    I have also played with different ALPA bodies, and I will admit that ergonomics, especially if you want to do anything hand-held are ahead of Arca. They are also beautifully made. You'll find however that, you need all kinds of bits to get the same movement capability as the RM3Di. If the lens mounts weren't fixed, I'd likely have ended up with both Arca and Alpa

    Good luck, and don't forget you are with Dante on this forum!

  6. #6
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Carmel/Tucson
    Posts
    2,355
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Cambo Photographic Industry

    WRS-1068 is a roll film adapter for use with the Cambo WRS technical cameras.

    ken

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    I tried the 60XL on 6x7cm film. It performed very, very well, providing I kept within the IC. Problem was, the IC isn't all that larger than the 6x7cm film format. I got okay movements, but it was a bit restrictive. The colour and detail it rendered were stunning, mind you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,069
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    83

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Are you referring to the new SK60XL? On my IQ180, I can shift it 30mm on either side, which amounts to approx 115mm of very usable IC. With 6x7 film this should mean decent movement (not sure of total movement given the vertical is 20mm taller than the IQ180) on either side in landscape orientation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    1,538
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    6x7 film is 56x70mm. The SK60XL has ~120mm image circle at f/11, which gives you 18mm sideways and 21mm vertical if in landscape orientation, in percent of the 90mm image diagonal you have about 20% movement. It's about the same you get with a 645 on 90mm image circle.

    I think it's a bit on the low side (I like the older and smaller 48x36/49x37mm sensor size because of that), but it's not unusually small.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    To clarify my post above regarding the SK60XL, I meant to say that while the image circle is indeed big enough to allow for movements, those movements are relatively moderate. Adequate for a good two thirds of what I do, but more is preferable. It's a really, really great lens though and well worth the price premium. Seems also to perform okay on the newer CMOS backs, all be it with only moderate movements again. So future proofing with this lens seems okay. I don't think Rodenstock make a 70mm with as large an IC?

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    44
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Many thanks indeed for all your replies, it is much appreciated. Some of the comments have made me think, including that of why not start with a 30mp MFDB. Given the stitching features on some of these bodies, it seems that boosting file size (off say a 30mp back) might be pretty feasible, even if it takes me away (to some degree) from the zen simplicity of a "one click" shot. I think my initial goal of a film back partly reflected my ongoing attraction to film (and as an antidote to my "digital" Leica rangefinder), whilst wanting to build that film experience into a more precise tool than the never-perfectly-aligned standards and film/ground glass on a 4x5 that could sometimes ditch some of LF's resolving ability ...... but indeed a 120 back does seem a bit tight for many tech cams.

    With that in mind, for those with Alpas, is a key difference between the Max and the STC mostly to do with the latter being limited to a single row stitch (one row of say 3 files) whilst the Max facilitates multi row stitching (say, 2 rows of 3 files in each). The movements in a given direction, eg, for front rise and fall look pretty comparable?

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    I just took a look at the MAX on Alpa's website. I've not seen one in person, but it seems the best thing about it is that you can employ vertical and horizontal shifts on the back at the same time. In this sense, you can stitch on one axis AND employ perspective corrections, or do, for example, an epic 9 shot stitch. The STC only allows for stitching OR perspective control on one axis. Not ideal, in my book. On the other hand, the MAX looks pretty massive for what it does.

    If you are to consider the newer CMOS live view backs and envisage you will work solely on a tripod – not everyones cup of tea, for sure – then I'd strongly recommend looking at the Linhof Techno with the new rapid stitching slide. This slide allows you to stitch on one axis, employ back rise and / or fall plus all lens movements simultaneously. This is one of the main reasons I am looking into a CFV-50c back.

    PS: With CCD backs, the Techno requires the use of a sliding back which is quite big. This, and the need to focus using a ground glass. I like using a ground glass, but a lot of people are allergic to it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    984
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    ... the MAX looks pretty massive for what it does.

    Actually the Max is quite small and lightweight. Mine is about 7" x 8" x 1/2". It weights about 2.5 pounds without a lens, back etc. It is the easiest camera to transport and store that I have owned and I have owned many different types of cameras from Linhof, Arca Swiss, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Ebony and more. Get an ALPA if you can afford it; you will not regret it.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    I've always lusted after an Alpa... "Slumming" it with Linhof! :-)
    Last edited by tjv; 5th November 2014 at 00:34. Reason: Spelling mistakes!

  15. #15
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    984
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I've always listed after an Alpa... "Slumming" it with Linhof! :-)
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Haha, I realised I spelt "lusted" wrong in my last post! Silly iPhone auto correct!
    Anyway, in all seriousness, the Alpa cameras look amazing. Beautiful, even. I'm positive I made the right choice for my way of working with the Linhof, but there's always going to be a little part of me that will want to plonk down a ton of money on an SWA!

  17. #17
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    984
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Haha, I realised I spelt "lusted" wrong in my last post! Silly iPhone auto correct!
    Anyway, in all seriousness, the Alpa cameras look amazing. Beautiful, even. I'm positive I made the right choice for my way of working with the Linhof, but there's always going to be a little part of me that will want to plonk down a ton of money on an SWA!
    It is your statement: "Slumming it with a Linhof" that made me LOL. That is one classy slum!

    I too like the SWA and the WA and plan on picking one up when I can find either one in all black and used for a fair price. I love the black synthetic handles on my Max and wish they made them for the SWA/WA, but it seems it is all wood for those babies. I find the ALPA cameras are so well engineered that they have a feel all their own. I stay in MF for the glass and if it was not for that, I'd be out of the slum.
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Yes, it's a pretty classy slum with lovely beer and very good company. That's the thing with this level of gear; there really isn't a bad choice, just better choices depending on ones individual taste.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    44
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Thanks for all the great advice. I thought I'd drag up this old thread again.

    I am narrowing down onto an Alpa STC, which has 18mm rise / fall. It seems the image circle of the 60XL lens is above average in size and would allow this full rise / fall when using a 6x7 film back, but only just (it's tight). The 60XL would of course presumably be excellent on MFDB too if I want to use both film and MFDB.

    So, 1st question - with the above set-up using the 60XL, am I likely going to get perfect edge-to-edge sharpness in max rise if I am eating into the entire image circle available? I use high resolution film (Adox CMS 20), and print very large to 50" wide, so flaws would be apparent even though it's "just film".

    The other choice is a less wide Analogue lens that has a hugely comfortable IC (ie, 200mm+) like a Super Symmar XL 80mm (I need to get confirmation if new ones that are randomly available at some dealers can still be retrofitted by Alpa, or if I'd need to look for a used one already Alpa-mounted) ..... Do you think that Analogue lens would provide any benefit for 6x7 film use over the Digital 60XL by having an IC that is comfortably in excess of the max 18mm rise that an STC offer? The disadvantage of the 80mm Super Symmar XL is presumably not as future proof with MFDB?

    Thanks again for you help!

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    Have you thought about the Rodenstock 55mm APO-Sironar Digital? I use this on 6x7/9 film and it's a great performer. I also use the Rodenstock 90mm HR-W (last model, blue band) which, aside from needing to always use a hood to stop flare, is brilliantly sharp, right to the edge of the IC.
    Would still recommend an Alpa MAX over the STC, but that's just me.

  21. #21
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,803
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    If I were looking at a technical camera today I'd be seriously considering the Cambo Actus MF DB solution. It's somewhat akin to the Linhof Techno, in so far as you get the movements on a universal body and there are cheaper choices for lenses since you don't need the helicoids.

    I've been considering getting another Alpa MAX for a while but to be honest I'd actually rather get the Cambo and an Alpa adapter from John Milich for my Alpa lenses to use on it.

    With respect to using a film back, this is very doable depending upon the lens image circles and the results are truly excellent. I'll sometimes shoot my Alpa with the MFDB and then swap over to shoot a few frames with my film back (44x66mm). The resulting film images off of the digital tech lenses are truly superb to the degree that even my film processor has commented on their acuity before. The downside if you don't have a digital solution is that you'll need the ground glass unless you're just shooting with zone focusing and loose with a viewfinder.

    Btw, you've got to love a thread where Linhof is called the 'slumming it' camera!! I find all of these cameras superbly made, just some are more 'superb' than the others.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?



    Just to be clear, I absolutely love my Linhof Techno. I think it's the most underrated platform out there, esepcially now that we have CMOS live view.

    Anyway, Alpa cameras are absolutely beautiful. I wouldn't say no to an SWA or MAX, for sure!

  23. #23
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: Tech Cam - but with 120 film back to start with?

    my actus has the hasselblad V back adapter; so i can pop on the lovable 6x6 blad backs any time (assuming i can figure out how to advance the film...) that cmos thing becomes a live view viewfinder and a focus aid

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •