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Thread: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Having assembled a decent kit bag (P45+, Phamiya, Cambo WDS with Schneider 35 XL, 28D, Hartblei 45, 80D and 150 F3.5) I packed it all up with cable release, LCC card, tripod etc. and a bagful of M8 stuff and headed off for Iceland.

    I have a show early next year that I need to start thinking about but this trip was really intended to get more closely acquainted with the Phase stuff whilst maybe getting towards some ideas for the show.

    As it was, I somewhat screwed up, mostly my own fault but largely useful learning experience material. As a result my acceptable shots are mostly from the M8 rather than the Phase gear but I am now fairly confident that I have the issues nailed. In summary:

    1) Always take a few spare cable releases. One managed to self-unscrew on a glacier while I wasn't looking, the other snapped its snout off in my Phamiya shutter release when it's tail got caught in a tripod's legs when I snapped them together for carrying. Lazy me. But Reykjavik had ONE purchasable release to offer so after the lost one and the broken one I was out of luck and couldn't properly use the Cambo.

    2) Know that unless your tripod is heavier than most people want to travel with, you can't shoot a 150mm lens at less than about 1/125th without shake. I lost a lot of shots, some I'd kill to have kept, by shooting at 1/40th thru 1/80th on the 150mm and even some on the 80mm and this with tripod, MUP and cable in not high wind. On the other hand, I got sharpish shots from a moving vehicle handheld on the 80mm lens at 1/200th.

    3) Bizarre moment: red/orange High Viz clothing blows the P45+ sensor's red channel if developed in C1 but if exported to LR as TIFF or just opened in LR it is recoverable.

    4) For very best quality, the 80mm, 150mm with faster shutter but most of all the Schneider 35XL can give amazing corner to corner sharpness. Under no circumstances can the 28D do this.

    5) The Phamiya is no action cam. It has terrible and seemingly unpredictable shutter lag that seems randomly to come and go.

    6) Never try to use a tech cam at minus 8 in a 50mph wind with a Kapture Group release thingie. It will serially misfire to p*ss you off and the back will give you helpful error messages to dismiss before your forzen fingers can try again.

    7) Never try to use tilt on a Hartblei with parameters you have not already exhaustively tested elsewhere. You can't tether on a glacier and you can't judge Scheimpflug focus TTL. Obviously.

    8) NEVER EVER EVER stay in a hotel which offers Nomadix as its internet access provider. Just don't. For the sake of your sanity.

    Err, that's about it.

    At times I wished I had traded in everything I own for a D3X, D700 and a bag of lenses but what I have learned is that this MF stuff takes a looong time to get to know well enough to rely on. I hope I am now up to speed for my next trip to the amazingly interesting Iceland!

    The results are here: http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/p184200...8501#h106cc9c6

    Best

    Tim



    Attachment 13396
    Last edited by tashley; 11th March 2009 at 17:17.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Interesting results Tim! If you are still here, let me know, we should get a drink. What hotel had Nomadix? I've never heard of it...I would say 90% of internet connections here are either Siminn, Vodafone or Hive...
    And where did you try to buy the cable release? I would be surprised if they did not have a bunch at Beco. I bought an electronic one for Nikon there today...

    Anyway, great photos! We have been really lucky with the weather lately, you picked a perfect time to come.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Very sorry to hear about the trials and tribulations. Always thought that the mechanical releases were simple/reliable 'cave-man tech' but never thought about what would happen if the sucker snapped off internally. Nice to have a $10 piece of glorified bicycle cable put a uber-camera on the disabled list.

    Like you say, lessons learned. Looking fwd to seeing what shots you did managed to secure.

    Any changes you'll make to your kit as a result of the trip?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Interesting results Tim! If you are still here, let me know, we should get a drink. What hotel had Nomadix? I've never heard of it...I would say 90% of internet connections here are either Siminn, Vodafone or Hive...
    And where did you try to buy the cable release? I would be surprised if they did not have a bunch at Beco. I bought an electronic one for Nikon there today...

    Anyway, great photos! We have been really lucky with the weather lately, you picked a perfect time to come.
    Hey Stuart!

    It would have been great to have met up but I got home yesterday - though I have a feeling I might well return soonish...

    Beco were closed til 10am when I went there (and I had a schedule taking me out of town) and both the places on Skipholt were out of stock... and grumpy.

    The hotel was Reykjavik Centrum, which is otherwise really really good, but Nomadix is a very annoying thing indeed IMHO.

    Lucky with the weather?! You would not have said that at 7 pm last Wednesday when our vehicle was stuck off road near the Myrdalsjokull. Or on Monday as we tackled the mountain passes of Snaefellsnes in high winds and drifting snow... or maybe you're a hardier soul! But it was gorgeous some of the time and I must say that people who do it in August are pussies!

    ;-)
    Last edited by tashley; 11th March 2009 at 17:33.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Very sorry to hear about the trials and tribulations. Always thought that the mechanical releases were simple/reliable 'cave-man tech' but never thought about what would happen if the sucker snapped off internally. Nice to have a $10 piece of glorified bicycle cable put a uber-camera on the disabled list.

    Like you say, lessons learned. Looking fwd to seeing what shots you did managed to secure.

    Any changes you'll make to your kit as a result of the trip?
    Hi Rob,

    Yup, I really learned to appreciate the 'weakest link' theory! I tend lazily to screw a release in and leave it there as I hoik the camera around on the tripod. Somewhere in Thingvellir, seat of the world's oldest parliament and meeting place of the European and North American tectonic plates, is my old cable release...

    The shots I got are at http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/p184200...8501#h106cc9c6

    Changes.... Hmmm... Ideally I'd ditch the Phamiya, switch the Cambo WDS for an RS or an Alpa Max with a 35 and an 80 and then a DX3 with some glass. Much as the M8 was amazing, as ever, it's getting long in the tooth sensor wise.

    Oh, and I'd add a shovel for getting vehicles out of snow. Icelandic drivers seem not to have thought of this!

    ;-)

    T

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Tashley - wonderful shots - Stuart has already convinced me that a trip to Iceland is a MUST via his shots , your shots reinforce my motivation. What a beautiful beautiful environment - I want to surf the shore break you photographed and swim in the hot springs

    I have to agree with you on tripods..it isnt a trivial matter to get a truly sharp shot with a 150 or longer lens in any weather Also yes - Schneider 35XL is an awesome lens is it not?

    Also your observation regarding the M8 pound for pound - the best travel kit one could possibly ask for - just make room for an XPan and some film as well!

    thanks for posting.

    Pete

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Tim, like Pete, Iceland is on my list of places to visit. Your images help to re-enforce that idea. Thanks for posting the link to your gallery.

    BTW: I've not found problems with getting sharp images with the 150 and 210 (or 120 macro) on a 3 series Gitzo CF leg set with B-55 head (plus gear bag on the tripod). Were you traveling with a lighter tripod rig than this? Just curious what you found to be a bit too light so that I don't fall into the same trap. Thanks.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Hey Stuart!

    It would have been great to have met up but I got home yesterday - though I have a feeling I might well return soonish...

    Beco were closed til 10am when I went there (and I had a schedule taking me out of town) and both the places on Skipholt were out of stock... and grumpy.

    The hotel was Reykjavik Centrum, which is otherwise really really good, but Nomadix is a very annoying thing indeed IMHO.

    Lucky with the weather?! You would not have said that at 7 pm last Wednesday when our vehicle was stuck off road near the Myrdalsjokull. Or on Monday as we tackled the mountain passes of Snaefellsnes in high winds and drifting snow... or maybe you're a hardier soul! But it was gorgeous some of the time and I must say that people who do it in August are pussies!

    ;-)
    Last Wednesday I was standing in a gale taking this!

    I was wearing a wool shirt, a fleece zip up, a fleece outer jacket, and a waterproof shell over that...a pair of glove liners covered in a pair of wool fingerless gloves (that turn into mittens). I wore a light wool hat with another wool hat on top of it, then my jacket's hood over that. Jeans with thermal underwear and hiking boots with heavy wool socks. That was good enough to be outside for a few hours. Wind was dead calm on the south side of the fjord, 60mph on the north side. And blowing snow...

    But it was beautiful. I guess beautiful for me means not raining and able to see the sky and landscape. The only time it gets depressing here is when you can't see the landscape--as long as you can, it takes your breath away.

    It certainly is beautiful in the summer, but I have spent the last two winters here and have really come to appreciate the beauty of it. Just don't let go of your tripod though. Just because it is a Rollei 6008 and 180/2.8 (at 3 metric tons total weight) doesn't mean the wind won't toss it over like an empty paper cup.

    Anyway, sorry to hear about the places on Skipholt...Ljosmyndavorur doesn't really carry very much and Fotoval is kind of a disaster...Beco is generally pretty good, though things are so expensive there. It really does pay to bring backups of everything from B&H...probably cheaper to just buy an extra there than to risk having to find it on short notice here...

    Next time though, shoot me an email if you have any problems. I would probably have something like that to lend you in an pinch.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Hi, Tim,

    Great post, thank you, and sorry to hear about the issues you had.

    Some very dramatic images you captured--nicely done! My advice: try not to worry too much about the ones you missed--celebrate the ones you got! (I know--it's hard) The ones you got are indeed wonderful!

    I spent some time in Iceland last er, um, well, August (I guess that makes me a pussy) and found medium format to be challenging, but worth the struggle!

    I had a Hy6 at the time, and had a few different issues as well. In the end, it's really hard to find the "right" system--patience is going to help.

    You can see some of my Iceland work at http://gibsonphotographic.com/Iceland.

    I too hope to return before long. It was spectacular.

    Best,
    Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 11th March 2009 at 18:30.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Beautiful work Tim!!!!!

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Tim - Lovely work - thanks for posting it.

    On the technical issues in my experience this was about an average week of shooting a large, complex MF system.

    Regards,

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    inspiring series, very enjoyable

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Great images - for some reason didn't notice the link in your OP.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Tashley - wonderful shots - Stuart has already convinced me that a trip to Iceland is a MUST via his shots , your shots reinforce my motivation. What a beautiful beautiful environment - I want to surf the shore break you photographed and swim in the hot springs

    I have to agree with you on tripods..it isnt a trivial matter to get a truly sharp shot with a 150 or longer lens in any weather Also yes - Schneider 35XL is an awesome lens is it not?

    Also your observation regarding the M8 pound for pound - the best travel kit one could possibly ask for - just make room for an XPan and some film as well!

    thanks for posting.

    Pete

    Pete, you may think that surfing there is a joke but there's a lake in Thingvellir, the bottom of which is lower than sea level (making it really very very deep) that apparently really freaks out the scuba divers who dive in it because the water is so pure that they can see all the way to the bottom. No mention was made of how cold it is but it was the only lake I saw that wasn't frozen...

    The M8 really was a star and I found myself repeatedly reaching for it and thanking God that I hadn't risked a 5DII, which is apparently not so good with temperature and moisture fluctuations.

    Best

    Tim

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Tim, like Pete, Iceland is on my list of places to visit. Your images help to re-enforce that idea. Thanks for posting the link to your gallery.

    BTW: I've not found problems with getting sharp images with the 150 and 210 (or 120 macro) on a 3 series Gitzo CF leg set with B-55 head (plus gear bag on the tripod). Were you traveling with a lighter tripod rig than this? Just curious what you found to be a bit too light so that I don't fall into the same trap. Thanks.
    I was using a Gitzo aluminium GT2330 with Manfortto 322RC2 ball head - a combo I chose for weight, apparent sturdiness, and the fact that it packs into my suitcase. The strange thing was that nearly all shots at between 1/25th and 1/80th were lost, regardless of wind conditions, whereas some at 1/4 second survived. I did lose one rubber foot somewhere so the footing maybe wasn't so great, and the base was often snow or fine volcanic sand so maybe those were issues - but I have a sneaky feeling that there's some kind of oscillation in the rig, even with MUP and release, that comes purely from the shutter...

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Last Wednesday I was standing in a gale taking this!
    That's a very nice shot indeed Stuart!

    Talking of camera-and-tripod rigs blowing away like paper cups, try a Cambo WDS, which is tall and flat like a sail. I had to hold onto that baby on your harbour front last Sunday, let me tell you! It kept just lifting off - all of it!

    As for gloves, I use leather driving gloves because you can operate cameras without taking them off. They're not warm enough but they are convenient.

    When I come back I'll PM you - it'd be great to have a beer.

    Best

    T

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Hi, Tim,

    Great post, thank you, and sorry to hear about the issues you had.

    Some very dramatic images you captured--nicely done! My advice: try not to worry too much about the ones you missed--celebrate the ones you got! (I know--it's hard) The ones you got are indeed wonderful!

    I spent some time in Iceland last er, um, well, August (I guess that makes me a pussy) and found medium format to be challenging, but worth the struggle!

    I had a Hy6 at the time, and had a few different issues as well. In the end, it's really hard to find the "right" system--patience is going to help.

    You can see some of my Iceland work at http://gibsonphotographic.com/Iceland.

    I too hope to return before long. It was spectacular.

    Best,
    Brad

    Ok, ok, now I've seen your Iceland gallery I want to go in August too! I particularly love the horse shot but a lot of the semi-abstracts are really really nice too.

    I do think that whilst it's undeniable that an MF system will give the best results, a D3X would have given many more of them and at the same or better quality up to a certain print size (higher DR according to DXO and certainly better higher ISO) so I think that in a way taking MF was allowing the best to be the enemy of the good. But it was very icy, cold and blowy. In summer I'd certainly take MF again.

    Best

    T

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    Tim - Lovely work - thanks for posting it.

    On the technical issues in my experience this was about an average week of shooting a large, complex MF system.

    Regards,
    Phew, I thought it was just me being a Klutz!

    I did try to check focus by chimping in the field but it's cumbersome, inaccurate and the screen is too small. If I did winter again, I'd take a laptop in the vehicle and upload every sub-shoot to check it. Some of the scenes were too good to miss and I missed them!

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Tim -- I used to use one of those grip ballheads, and did not find it to be very stable. I switched to Really Right Stuff and never looked back. The BH-40 is tiny, but very very steady. The BH-55 is certainly even more stable, but I have never had an issue with the BH-40 and even quite heavy camera systems. They are expensive, but they are the kind of thing you buy once and never have to buy again. If you are going to be shooting medium format digital, I think it is worth the extra bit of cash to get a stable platform. The way of working is much better too -- dedicated plates you can leave on the camera all the time (or just opt for a general plate) and are more stable on the camera, and working with them is really nice -- they are extremely smooth when open, and they lock down easily and very securely.

    Anyway, I am not sure if the tripod is the issue here, but it's just something to consider.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Stuart, I am close to ordering a BH55, but I would love to save a little on size (and money), if it doesn't compromise image quality. Like you, I will not be doing the 1-hour exposures that Phase One owners regularly do, and the longest lens I am likely to use in the near future is a 210mm Contax, with the possibility of a 350mm at some distant time.

    What have you done with your BH40?
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I was using a Gitzo aluminium GT2330 with Manfortto 322RC2 ball head - a combo I chose for weight, apparent sturdiness, and the fact that it packs into my suitcase. The strange thing was that nearly all shots at between 1/25th and 1/80th were lost, regardless of wind conditions, whereas some at 1/4 second survived. I did lose one rubber foot somewhere so the footing maybe wasn't so great, and the base was often snow or fine volcanic sand so maybe those were issues - but I have a sneaky feeling that there's some kind of oscillation in the rig, even with MUP and release, that comes purely from the shutter...
    This reminds me of something:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mclp9QmCGs

    Like Stuart, I suspect your ballhead, but a little wind can do freaky things. Changing the weight or height of the tripod setup could change the harmonic frequency, and thus potentially avoid problems. The trick is to detect the problem. I guess a laptop is the way to go, since the image banks don't understand Phase files.

    Interestingly, two aspects of the S2 design may have avoided this problem. First of all, the screen is much higher res than the other MF screens, coming close to a D3x, and secondly, the file format is DNG, so it is possible that image banks could view the photos, giving you a closer look at the results on a larger screen, without carrying around a laptop. Food for thought.

    Care to post a sample image which was ruined by vibration?
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Just a thought: how long did you wait after mirror lockup before releasing? Michael Reichmann discusses this in his P65+ article, and found that he had to increase the delay from 3s to 6s.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    I have done quite a bit on it. I have not noticed any problems with it. I think if you are going to use the BH-55, you should get a heavy enough tripod (3000 series or more for gitzo) in order for the tripod not to be too top heavy. On a light tripod, the BH-40 will hold it as solid as the legs can hold....I think the weak point is more often the legs than the head.

    Anyway, your experience may be different, but for me, I have never noticed that the BH-40 was not up to the task. The biggest and heaviest lens/camera combo I have is the Rollei 6008 with 180/2.8 and 1.4x TC. It worked for that.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    I suppose it also depends on the tripod, as you say. The Gitzo carbon tripods have a great reputation for strength and light weight, but they are rather expensive, and don't score nearly as well in vibration tests as something like a Berlebach. Does anyone have any experience with travelling with a Berlebach, perhaps something like this one:

    http://www.berlebach.de/?bereich=details&id=8
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Tashley,
    thanks for thispost which is fun to read.
    On my last winter location I brought both the Hy6 system and the D3x and I have to agree with you. I even sometimes carried both systems with me (I can do this because I can put one big bag on the "Kinderwagen"
    There were some situations where the D3x just allowed me to reliable take images where the Hy6 was just not doing it.
    Example: we visited a glacier where you could go into the ice - pretty crowded, dim light, people would come and go and it was very tight. No place where you want to build up a tripod.
    With the D3x just go to ISO 1600 and shoot at f2.8 and you are fine.
    Sometimes it is nice to slow down using the MF system.
    But sometimes its also good to be fast, have AF, higher usable ISO, a little bit more DOF at comparable f-stops, and maybe even a zoom lens.
    Specially if it is cold, or if the light changes quickly, or if the subject is moving.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Hi Tim:

    Re number 3: Which camera base profile did you use and then which base curve in C1?

    (PS: This choice can and often does make a significant difference in how C1 renders the final )

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Got to run to a all day job. Real simple on the AFDIII body . Mirror lockup set self -timer to 3 seconds or more . Hit the shutter the self-timer goes and you got a shot. Now I get excellent results with all my lenses with this technique. The only time was high winds in Sedona with my 300mm the wind was gusting around 25 miles and hour and very low light. My 150mm I have gone minutes with no issues. No cable releases needed when using the self timer and that goes all the way to 30 seconds with camera after that and longer times I go to the electronic release. This has been with a 2 series Gitzo. I did order a 3 series just waiting for it to come. But my issues have been very rare and BTW the Phase back screen you can tell on the LCD if your sharp or not. You DON"T need a 3 inch LCD to check this or a laptop. I do this everyday with a Phase one back. Also the S2 is not higher res LCD than anything else in MF from my understanding just bigger. Need to check the specs but I think a Nikon has a bigger pixel count.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Carsten - image banks do not support the M8's DNG's, so I would not assume a S2's files would be supported (ie - viewable) either. With both the M8 and ZD I shoot RAW+their basic JPEG and use an Epson P5000 afterwards. Reviewing images at the end of day won't change what was already shot. But it does help me adjust (if needed) for the next day.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Guy, the S2 has a 460.000 dot screen, which compares to the Nikon's 920.000 dots. This makes it higher res than anything except the latest Nikons and Canons.

    John, I wasn't thinking of a product called Image Bank, in case there is something like that, but rather, about the general product. For example, the Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA apparently even has support for some medium-format file types, like Leaf MOS:

    http://www.hyperdrive.com/HyperDrive...-UDMA-s/64.htm

    Maybe it even supports Phase One files? This device is getting rave reviews and I am considering picking one up.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Carsten: Ability to resolve detail is about the size of the dots, not the total amount of dots; IOW a smaller screen may not have as many dots as a larger screen, but the smaller screen could have smaller dots and thus render absolute detail more finely.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    I think all the screens are 3" now, aren't they, except MF which are 2", 2.2" and maybe a few 2.5"? The S2 has the same resolution as the iPhone, so there is a quick way to get an idea. I'll have to do some calculations to see what the dpi is of the Phase screens compared to the S2. Hmm. Anyway, if the size of the dots is too large, can't you just move your head back? I still think that the screen size is important to judge focus, simply because you need enough context to judge it.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    This reminds me of something:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mclp9QmCGs

    Like Stuart, I suspect your ballhead, but a little wind can do freaky things. Changing the weight or height of the tripod setup could change the harmonic frequency, and thus potentially avoid problems. The trick is to detect the problem. I guess a laptop is the way to go, since the image banks don't understand Phase files.

    Interestingly, two aspects of the S2 design may have avoided this problem. First of all, the screen is much higher res than the other MF screens, coming close to a D3x, and secondly, the file format is DNG, so it is possible that image banks could view the photos, giving you a closer look at the results on a larger screen, without carrying around a laptop. Food for thought.

    Care to post a sample image which was ruined by vibration?
    You might be right but i have used that ballhead (which is built like an tank and has a really stiff grip) on my frotto tripod with much longer lenses (450 equiv) with no issues and in more wind but on 35mm sensors.

    Here's a 100% crop from one of the shots I've posted on my Zenfolio - it looks OK at small sizes only for obvious reasons!
    Attachment 13426

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Tim, you had lots of "home work" this a.m. with all those replies. Thanks for replying to my post.

    Like others have suggested (and you surmised) it sounds like you were a bit under-gunned for support. I'll know not to chicken-out and go too light now, thanks.

    Also, not sure how much tripod stuff you do, but I have found that some rigs (maybe most rigs) have a "weak spot" at which certain shutter speeds challenge the setup more than others vis-a'-vis vibration. It's often in the 1/15 to 1/30 second range, but dead weight on the rig usually fixes it. My Mamiya, even with mirror up, has quite a "whack" upon shutter release so I try to weight the rig when shooting at slower speeds. That's part of why I like a robust head and heavier leg-set.

    I appreciate you sharing your experiences. It's a good reminder for me not to go too light, or take shortcuts (not that you were doing that), which I can tend to do if I'm impatient.

    Thanks.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Tim, that crop is interesting. It doesn't look like general softness, but rather like a two-position blur. The "one large whack" theory seems to gain some credence here. Can you repeat it now? Does it fix it if you set the release to go off after 6 seconds?
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    That photo definitely looks like it could be mirror or shutter vibration -- it appear to be exactly in the vertical direction, rather than from some sort of stability issue, which will generally be less perfectly up and down. I am sure every bit of stability helps, but this may be a camera/lens thing. It would be worth exploring with that camera/lens/tripod/head combination again in the studio or at home to see if you still get the same vibration in a controlled environment. If so, you have probably found your culprit.
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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    In studio I have seen similar vibration (with close-up and macro), but I now hang sandbags from the center, beneath the camera/head, and on all three legs. This has stopped this "chop" looking vibration. In fact, with one combo I used to place a sandbag right on top of the camera because it was stubborn.

    We see this in photomicroscopy much more, and weighting over a super-stable floor is mandatory. We often resort to steel plates and weights all around the setup.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Tim -- I used to use one of those grip ballheads, and did not find it to be very stable. I switched to Really Right Stuff and never looked back. The BH-40 is tiny, but very very steady.

    Thanks Stuart, I'll take a look at it: in the meantime I'm going to try my Frotto 405 pro geared head with the tripod. I think it's the tripod.

    Best

    t

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Just a thought: how long did you wait after mirror lockup before releasing? Michael Reichmann discusses this in his P65+ article, and found that he had to increase the delay from 3s to 6s.
    That was my other plan on reflection... I think the mirror slap doesn't damp quickly on an aluminium tripod rig so longer is better.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Tashley,
    thanks for thispost which is fun to read.
    On my last winter location I brought both the Hy6 system and the D3x and I have to agree with you. I even sometimes carried both systems with me (I can do this because I can put one big bag on the "Kinderwagen"
    There were some situations where the D3x just allowed me to reliable take images where the Hy6 was just not doing it.
    Example: we visited a glacier where you could go into the ice - pretty crowded, dim light, people would come and go and it was very tight. No place where you want to build up a tripod.
    With the D3x just go to ISO 1600 and shoot at f2.8 and you are fine.
    Sometimes it is nice to slow down using the MF system.
    But sometimes its also good to be fast, have AF, higher usable ISO, a little bit more DOF at comparable f-stops, and maybe even a zoom lens.
    Specially if it is cold, or if the light changes quickly, or if the subject is moving.
    I can sense the inevitability of a Dx... ;-)

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Hi Tim:

    Re number 3: Which camera base profile did you use and then which base curve in C1?

    (PS: This choice can and often does make a significant difference in how C1 renders the final )

    Cheers,
    Hi Jack,

    Tried flash and daylight and all the curves - the red channel is just blown but it's OK because it exports into LR as a tiff and can be cleaned up adequately there. It's the extreme reflectivity in bright sunlight of Icelandic fishermen's high vis jackets and trousers that does it!

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Sounds like a fashion faux pas to me.


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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Got to run to a all day job. Real simple on the AFDIII body . Mirror lockup set self -timer to 3 seconds or more . Hit the shutter the self-timer goes and you got a shot. Now I get excellent results with all my lenses with this technique. The only time was high winds in Sedona with my 300mm the wind was gusting around 25 miles and hour and very low light. My 150mm I have gone minutes with no issues. No cable releases needed when using the self timer and that goes all the way to 30 seconds with camera after that and longer times I go to the electronic release. This has been with a 2 series Gitzo. I did order a 3 series just waiting for it to come. But my issues have been very rare and BTW the Phase back screen you can tell on the LCD if your sharp or not. You DON"T need a 3 inch LCD to check this or a laptop. I do this everyday with a Phase one back. Also the S2 is not higher res LCD than anything else in MF from my understanding just bigger. Need to check the specs but I think a Nikon has a bigger pixel count.
    Hi Guy,

    I do that for some subjects but for many it just doesn't work: if you're trying to catch a scene with a wave breaking in a certain place, or a beam of sunlight sweeping through cloud to illuminate a particular landscape feature etc, you need to prep by MUPing and then select the exact moment with the cable release... which I find you can only do by switching to MF having AF'd first...

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Tim, you had lots of "home work" this a.m. with all those replies. Thanks for replying to my post.

    Like others have suggested (and you surmised) it sounds like you were a bit under-gunned for support. I'll know not to chicken-out and go too light now, thanks.

    Also, not sure how much tripod stuff you do, but I have found that some rigs (maybe most rigs) have a "weak spot" at which certain shutter speeds challenge the setup more than others vis-a'-vis vibration. It's often in the 1/15 to 1/30 second range, but dead weight on the rig usually fixes it. My Mamiya, even with mirror up, has quite a "whack" upon shutter release so I try to weight the rig when shooting at slower speeds. That's part of why I like a robust head and heavier leg-set.

    I appreciate you sharing your experiences. It's a good reminder for me not to go too light, or take shortcuts (not that you were doing that), which I can tend to do if I'm impatient.

    Thanks.
    It's so tempting, especially with the spine of an ex-rower and compulsive computer user! Also, Icelandair charge 7 per kilo excess baggage one way (nearly three times what I paid per pound of my own flesh for the ticket!)

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Tim, that crop is interesting. It doesn't look like general softness, but rather like a two-position blur. The "one large whack" theory seems to gain some credence here. Can you repeat it now? Does it fix it if you set the release to go off after 6 seconds?
    I saw it in so many shots: I tend to press once for MUP and then pretty quickly (three seconds or maybe a tad less) press again to shoot but in a lot of shots where I was waiting for a wave, I actually had to re-press because the MUP timed out and I still got similar blur. The more I think about it the more I think it's likely to be a sympathetic vibration in the rig from the shutter, rather than the MUP reverb, but I will test the hypothesis... as indeed I test everything!

    ;-)

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Carsten - I understood what you meant. My point was that Leica tweaked the DNG format in such a way that none of DNG portable storage / viewers can read the embedded JPEG in the DNG file. This topic has come up before. I think there is one device that does, but its rendering time is painfully slow (like 60 seconds per image). It's likely Leica will follow a similar approach with S2 DNGs (assuming they are DNGs), so it's safer to assume the S2 will NOT be supported by portable storage devices.

    For reviewing images on site, if possible a laptop is vastly superior IMO. I like the portable storage devices, but a laptop offers much more.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    In studio I have seen similar vibration (with close-up and macro), but I now hang sandbags from the center, beneath the camera/head, and on all three legs. This has stopped this "chop" looking vibration. In fact, with one combo I used to place a sandbag right on top of the camera because it was stubborn.

    We see this in photomicroscopy much more, and weighting over a super-stable floor is mandatory. We often resort to steel plates and weights all around the setup.
    My feeling is that you're right and that in the end this is not practical for use in the field where the shooting spot is cold, windy and reached via a foot hike. So I need to use one stop higher ISO and one stop wider aperture, both of which are do-able most of the time, and then I'll have the shutter sweet spot of 1/125th where the effect is absent. Luckily the shutter in the Cambo/Schneider combo allows 1/30th of a second even with wind and so on... and gives such great results.

    Or get a DX...

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Sounds like a fashion faux pas to me.

    The dudes had just landed nearly 100 tons of cod. They can afford haute couture!
    Attachment 13431
    Last edited by tashley; 12th March 2009 at 10:07.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Another option if carrying a tripod is possible is the Really Right Stuff Hi-Capacity monopod support. I use one with my ZD dSLR and it has done wonders for the keeper rate. Generally I don't the shutter speeds drop below 1/80th, so a monopod is usually sufficient my needs. The RSS MH-01 is very nicely made and equally nice to use. The only downside is that the camera is permanently in the landscape orientation unless you're using a L bracket.

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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    My feeling is that you're right and that in the end this is not practical for use in the field where the shooting spot is cold, windy and reached via a foot hike. So I need to use one stop higher ISO and one stop wider aperture, both of which are do-able most of the time, and then I'll have the shutter sweet spot of 1/125th where the effect is absent. Luckily the shutter in the Cambo/Schneider combo allows 1/30th of a second even with wind and so on... and gives such great results.

    Or get a DX...
    Tim, I agree. In the field we make all sorts of compromises and adjustments. I do a lot of "back country" stuff, hike in on foot, climb to awkward locations, etc. When I remember, I nearly always place weight on my tripod and often very gently place my hand over the prism of the camera to help absorb or dampen vibration. Working (or playing) in the field is different than studio or comfy "low-land" work.


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    Re: An Icelandic Saga (learning from my mistakes!)

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Hi Jack,

    Tried flash and daylight and all the curves - the red channel is just blown but it's OK because it exports into LR as a tiff and can be cleaned up adequately there. It's the extreme reflectivity in bright sunlight of Icelandic fishermen's high vis jackets and trousers that does it!
    I am confused because you said that C1 could not handle it, but C1 can still output a 16-bit TIFF, so I do not see what the benefit of exporting to LR has over say adjusting highlight levels in C1?

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

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