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Thread: The "Weldon Challenge"

  1. #1
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    The "Weldon Challenge"

    Hi,

    I got and interesting challenge from Weldon Brewster. The challenge is to take photograph the new town hall and "landshövdingens residens" in Nyköping where I live.

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...tml#post686939

    I see it as long term challenge. I have made my first shots today, shooting with both the Hasselblad 555/ELD P45+ combo and the Sony A7rII. The Sony gives me T&S and zooms which I don't have on the Hasselblad.

    The first images are posted here: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Ar...ldonChallenge/

    Observations on this first day:

    - Keystone correction manually in LR on the P45+, using shift on the Sony more predictable.
    - Some image on the Sony have very short exposures to protect the sky. Quite OK according to camera histogram.

    Two of the P45+ images below:





    Best regards
    Erik
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 3rd April 2016 at 14:06.

  2. #2
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    Re: The "Weldon Challenge"

    Good job Erik. Glad that it's a long term project. Would love to see it in the early morning sunshine. Next weekend, I'll go photograph the City Hall here in Pasadena, CA with my Phase and my Sony. I can show why each is equally important for different reasons.

    I like this, it's more of a practical than theoretical discussion of cameras. Till next week.
    Weldon

    weldonbrewster.com
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  3. #3
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Installment #2

    Hi,

    I have planned a "Weldon Challenge" shoot for this morning. Today weather was bright, temperature nice and sun shining from the wrong direction. I was shooting with my Hasselblad and also with the Sony. On the Sony I was trying out a Yashica/Contax 35-135/3.3-4.5 zoom that I essentially bought for tilt work, mostly because it has a manual aperture. That lens is a gem and it is quite OK. It can give a few mm of shift, but to little to really matter.

    Sun was shining from the wrong direction, so I went to the back side. The townhall in Nyköping used to be controversial as it is a modern architecture building in an environment that much older. Most inhabitants see it as a monster.

    I had a decent shot like this one with the P45+:


    The shot with the Sony was cropped to tight, it was OK from the beginning, but after adjusting for keystone there is no air above the spire of the building on the right. With zooms it is easy to crop, but it is also easy to crop to much.


    On the other side of the square we have the Conty Governors Residence, that was in good light. I made a pano with the Hasselblad and moved on:



    On the back side I found a nice but tight view on the old building and the townhall in the background. It was a very wide angle shot, which I tried with the 24/3.5 TSE on the Sony, a stitched image. Images this wide need cylindrical projection, but it still turned out OK:


    Another nice building, with the P45+:


    The red building also had a nice portal, shot it with the Hassy/P45+/Distagon 40, something like this:


    On the Sony I hade the 24/3.5 TSE and could do a shift pano:


    So, what did I learn today?

    • With a zoom it is easy to crop to tight. Even with shifts there may be need for some keystone correction or adjustment of horizontals. Best to leave some little room for crop.
    • EVF much more usable than OVF in bright sunlight. Need a goo eye cup. The eyecup on the cameras is not a good one.
    • Shift panos are neat. They work very well. Rotational panos are mostly just fine but can be a bit more tricky.


    Here are all images posted: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Ar...ldonChallenge/

    BTW, how did that Contax 35-135/3.3-4.5 work out? Well, quiet OK. The Canon 24-105/4 is probably a bit better at the focal lengths I used today. I bough the Contax mostly for tilts, and that was not needed today.

    Bst regards
    Erik
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 10th April 2016 at 13:54.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Installment #2

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    • Shift panos are neat. They work very well. Rotational panos are mostly just fine but can be a bit more tricky.
    Hi Erik,
    We are all different, and for every case of "I like doing shift panos" there will be another "I like both," and a third "I like rotationals." I completely agree with you. I enjoy doing shift panos, mainly because they are simple and quick, and if PS messes it up you can always go in and manually align them without too much trouble. I especially like the fact software isn't messing around with the perspective. No stretching or morphing required. Something in my psyche likes the fact that with a back shift (not a lens shift), the perspective of each image is the same since the lens didn't move.

    On another note, I agree with what Jerome_M posted in the other thread. I am not positive what Weldon's intent was, but I think you would get more out of both systems if you tried this challenge with only one camera each time you went out. As an engineer myself, I can see how doing that in the name of "comparison" is fraught with problems. But I don't think that was the intent of the challenge. I think it was more to the point of learning the nuances of each system, and diving into what each is really good at. Then ultimately finding out how those good things can translate into better photos. This isn't a "which is better" exercise; it is a "what is each really good at" exercise.

    Here's the thing: if you have both systems, you will look for opportunities that can be shot with both. If you carry only one, you will concentrate on that one system, and your photos will reap the benefits of that concentration. Obviously different photographers "see" differently. While cameras don't "see", I don't think it is a stretch to say different camera systems excel at different things, and therefore specific systems enable photographers who "see" a specific way. What we are all really after is a system that works well with the way we "see." Of course for any photographer that can be subject or situation dependent!

    I went to Iceland recently and took three camera systems with me: Monochrom, a7rii, and the Alpa. At each stop I tried to make an assessment of the situation and decide which system would work best for me. For example, the first day in Reykjavik I walked around the city with the Monochrom. That was the only time on the whole trip I used it. At Iceberg Beach where there were lots of people, waves crashing and bergs moving, I chose the Sony. Blinding snowstorm - Sony. Many other times I chose the Alpa (sometimes incorrectly).

    I would struggle terribly if I took two systems with me. Perhaps that is just me, and certainly there are some who welcome multiple systems at the same time (usually there is a crew involved though). But my guess is most MF shooters relate to what I am saying.

    I think you should include some outings to this location where you restrict yourself to one system.

    Dave
    How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir

    davechewphotography.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Installment #2

    Hi,

    I don't think it really matters. Both systems are capable of taking the same images. The difference is that the Sony has zooms and TS.

    The way I usually take pictures is that I look for a vantage point, pretty much decide composition, after which I pick the gear. Today I shot a lot of panos, and it was an interesting observation that shifted panos stitched more easily in Lightroom, while rotational panos could have weird projections. I could fixed that in Autopano Pro, but the shifted stuff worked out directly in Lightroom. The posted images have three rotational panos and one shifted one.

    I have done rotational panos for something like ten years, but I only had the TSE since september. So I like both, but found some interesting insight.

    I can agree that Weldon talked about needing one camera. But it is me taking the pictures…


    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Hi Erik,
    We are all different, and for every case of "I like doing shift panos" there will be another "I like both," and a third "I like rotationals." I completely agree with you. I enjoy doing shift panos, mainly because they are simple and quick, and if PS messes it up you can always go in and manually align them without too much trouble. I especially like the fact software isn't messing around with the perspective. No stretching or morphing required. Something in my psyche likes the fact that with a back shift (not a lens shift), the perspective of each image is the same since the lens didn't move.

    On another note, I agree with what Jerome_M posted in the other thread. I am not positive what Weldon's intent was, but I think you would get more out of both systems if you tried this challenge with only one camera each time you went out. As an engineer myself, I can see how doing that in the name of "comparison" is fraught with problems. But I don't think that was the intent of the challenge. I think it was more to the point of learning the nuances of each system, and diving into what each is really good at. Then ultimately finding out how those good things can translate into better photos. This isn't a "which is better" exercise; it is a "what is each really good at" exercise.

    Here's the thing: if you have both systems, you will look for opportunities that can be shot with both. If you carry only one, you will concentrate on that one system, and your photos will reap the benefits of that concentration. Obviously different photographers "see" differently. While cameras don't "see", I don't think it is a stretch to say different camera systems excel at different things, and therefore specific systems enable photographers who "see" a specific way. What we are all really after is a system that works well with the way we "see." Of course for any photographer that can be subject or situation dependent!

    I went to Iceland recently and took three camera systems with me: Monochrom, a7rii, and the Alpa. At each stop I tried to make an assessment of the situation and decide which system would work best for me. For example, the first day in Reykjavik I walked around the city with the Monochrom. That was the only time on the whole trip I used it. At Iceberg Beach where there were lots of people, waves crashing and bergs moving, I chose the Sony. Blinding snowstorm - Sony. Many other times I chose the Alpa (sometimes incorrectly).

    I would struggle terribly if I took two systems with me. Perhaps that is just me, and certainly there are some who welcome multiple systems at the same time (usually there is a crew involved though). But my guess is most MF shooters relate to what I am saying.

    I think you should include some outings to this location where you restrict yourself to one system.

    Dave

  6. #6
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    Re: The "Weldon Challenge"

    I'm packing for Tokyo/Singapore but I wanted to quickly respond. My intention was to offer Erik some positive encouragement to get out and shoot particularly with his P45+. Yes, I would have gone out with just the Hassy 40mm but everyone approaches things different. I think it's great that he went out to go shoot and share the images. I encourage other people to do the same. I think we all love looking at images more than reading the long discourse As soon as I get back I'm going to take up the challenge myself.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Absolutely not related…

    Hi,

    This is not at all related to the Weldon Challenge, but it is an image I shot yesterday, sort of an illustration to what I really like to shoot. It also illustrates the use of a tilted focal plane, what is often called the Scheimpflug effect.



    Using Scheimpflug is not as easy as it sounds. The focal plane tilts but it still just a plane and anything outside that plane is going out of focus. In this case it is not possible to have both the foreground, cliffs in the water and trees in the background in proper focus. First time I tried this rocks were dead sharp but the trees really fuzzy.

    So, yesterday it was a reshoot. I even bought a new lens with manual aperture ring. Having manual aperture is a great advantage in this kind of shooting. This time I tilted the focal plane so trees and foreground were in decent focus, ignoring the cliffs. Also I used f/11 and smaller. The resulting image had both focal points OK, but cliffs were quite fuzzy, so applied some extra local sharpening to cliffs. Light was tricky, so I did quite a lot of local adjustments, all in Lightroom.

    I actually have something called Hasselblad Flexbody, that can do this kind of stuff, but I feel it is to cumbersome for use in the field. A technical camera with a sliding back would be more usable. On the Flexbody you dismount the back, mount a focusing adapter, do focus and tilt, remount back. It is cumbersome.

    This was shot on the A7rII with my HCam Master TSII using a Contax 35-135/3.3-4.5 at around 60-70 mm (I guess) and aperture f/11. I use peaking to find a decent level of tilt and magnified live view for accurate focus.

    Best regards
    Erik

  8. #8
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Jumping conclusions

    Hi again,

    Did little progress on the Weldon Challenge in latest week, due to an accident in my family. I have a small observation from instalment #2 that I wanted to share.

    Look at the two images below:


    We may conclude that the image on the left is quite a bit sharper than on the right. In this case the left image was taken with Canon's 24-105/4 and the one on the right with the Distagon 60 on the Hasselblad. Hmm...

    Looking at the images I recalled that I had problems focusing the Sony/Canon combo in spite of using magnified LW. I tried to focus on the yellowish wall behind the trees.


    Here we can see that the Distagon is very sharp while the Canon/A7rII combo is lacking in sharpness. So the difference is caused by difference in focus. These images were shot at around 45/8 mm on the Sony and at 60/11 on the Blad.

    So, what are my conclusions?

    • Even using magnified live view, focusing may fail. I need to elaborate on my focusing technique. Would AF work better?
    • Even shooting at moderately long distance with lenses of "normal" focal lengths at medium apertures focusing is critical.
    • It is far to easy to draw quick but erroneous conclusions.


    What about that image? The cropped image is shown below:


    Best regards
    Erik

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