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Thread: Help getting into technical cameras

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    Help getting into technical cameras

    Hello,

    I'm looking to get into technical cameras on a budget (laughable I know ) and have come across an ad on ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/372643434993 that looks promising though it is missing several details. I have asked the seller if they could tell me what back specifically it is but have so far not heard back. As for the lenses I think I could use them on a view camera but would have to have them remounted to be used on a tech camera correct?

    Basically I'm looking for information about the back and lenses or any view camera you would recommend before I move to a tech cam.

    Thanks,

    Duke

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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Just because you can attach it, doesn't mean you should.

    The money that is spent "finding out" could easily be spent on a more worthwhile and workable technical camera system, albeit maybe a generation or two older, depending on your budget.

    If you are set on a "tech camera," consider the MFDB, lenses, and tech camera as a system in its entirety---in making your selections.

    ken

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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Duke,
    I just went down this road of buying a technical camera, lenses and digital back. I by no means profess to be an expert in this area, I think I fall more into the "intelligent ignorance" category, I now know that I do not know very much. This forum is a great resource, there are some very knowledgeable people here. You may be much more knowledge than I was or am, but if not, if I was going thru this process again here is what I would do. Move slowly, decide on your budget, ask lots of questions, ask for advice on what your best options are that fit your budget. The members here were so helpful to me and I love the system I wound up getting.
    Best of Luck!
    Greg
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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    You're probably right, just looking for a good deal

    So far I think I'm looking for either a cambo wrs1600 or an arca rm3di (like the idea of having tilt and focus integrated). As for lenses how difficult is it to retrofit lenses into the appropriate lensboards/helicals, is it worth it or should I look for lenses ready to mount whichever camera I choose?

    Thanks again,

    Duke
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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Haag View Post
    Duke,
    I just went down this road of buying a technical camera, lenses and digital back. I by no means profess to be an expert in this area, I think I fall more into the "intelligent ignorance" category, I now know that I do not know very much. This forum is a great resource, there are some very knowledgeable people here. You may be much more knowledge than I was or am, but if not, if I was going thru this process again here is what I would do. Move slowly, decide on your budget, ask lots of questions, ask for advice on what your best options are that fit your budget. The members here were so helpful to me and I love the system I wound up getting.
    Best of Luck!
    Greg
    And then double your budget, it is a slipper slope...
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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukegoulden View Post
    You're probably right, just looking for a good deal

    So far I think I'm looking for either a cambo wrs1600 or an arca rm3di (like the idea of having tilt and focus integrated). As for lenses how difficult is it to retrofit lenses into the appropriate lensboards/helicals, is it worth it or should I look for lenses ready to mount whichever camera I choose?

    Thanks again,

    Duke
    My impression is that either of those cameras would be on most peoples short list. I went with the Cambo wrs1600 but seriously considered the arca rm3di, those were the 2 I had narrowed down to as well. Regarding your lens question, I will let someone more knowledgeable than me speak to that.
    Good luck,
    Greg

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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexecutioner View Post
    And then double your budget, it is a slipper slope...
    It is indeed!

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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Regarding lenses for Cambo/Arca, I would definitely find natively mounted lenses vs picking up a naked lens and sending it to Cambo/Arca to be mounted. You might save some money getting a used lens re-mounted but these folks are not known for low cost or rapid turnaround for these types of things.

    So if you decide to go Arca, find Arca mounted lenses. Likewise for Cambo, Alpa etc.

    Depending on your needs, you might also consider a mini-view camera such as the Cambo Actus DB/G. Not for everyone as it's a rail based camera with bellows and really requires a CMOS digital back with great live view, but it does open up the ability to use pretty much any lens if you want to.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    The World is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page ...
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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Another path to go, without sinking lots of cash (this is relative), to find out if you like using technical cameras would be to use a smaller format camera with a Cambo Actus. You can used a whole bunch of cameras on it and if you decide you like it, you can upgrade the Actus for a digital back.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    Agreed - lots of DSLR/mirrorless options with the Actus. I use MFDBs but there are a lot of other options to get started on the technical camera journey.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    The World is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page ...
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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    One big advantage with the RM3Di is the ability to focus without the need for live view. You can focus very accurately with a laser rangefinder and charts for each lens. Add the Lumariver DOF app and you have very accurate understanding of DOF for each shot.
    This was a key deciding factor for me when I bought the camera as I did not have the budget for a MFDB with usable live view. I have a P45+ and have found it to be good to work with. The image quality is fantastic but the LCD screen is very poor compared to modern cameras. On a sunny day, it can be challenging to see what is on the screen. At best, it will give you some feedback on framing and it will show you the histogram. That's about it.

    That said, I do wish I had a back with good live view! It is a slippery slope indeed.

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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    When I first considered purchasing a technical camera---choosing among the main three of Alpa, Arca, and Cambo---the focusing options offered by the RM3Di were attractive to me, at least on paper. This is a situation where personal subjectivity (individual choice) really becomes developed more by actually using the cameras offered by Alpa, Arca, and Cambo. Live View was not a practicable option with the MFDB that I had at the time.

    After actually trying different cameras, the Arca fell into "third place"----hardly a criticism as cameras from all three makers are exceptionally well made, and truly, you can't go wrong with anything from Alpa, Arca, or Cambo. For me the Arca focusing advantages disappeared in actual use (my personal usage). I really took a liking to the Cambo and haven't looked back. I stay away from Alpa, despite support and encouragement from Dante.

    If you can, meet up with a dealer or photographers that have technical cameras and try out the options.

    Don't forget your checkbook.



    ken
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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    I personally would choose Arca over Alpa and Cambo. If on a tight budget you might look at Cambo as they were a little cheaper, however, wehn looking at their new lens prices the difference isn't really there anymore.
    Christopher Hauser
    http://www.chauser.eu

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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    I think each system offers unique advantages. There is little questioning the Arca's super fine focus and built in tilt as a plus for Arca. I bought into the Arca system for its extraordinary modular design and compatibility within other components within the R camera family. I've not been disappointed. If you want super small without as much shift I'd gov for the Factum. The RM3di offers vertical and horizontal shift at the same time for a little more size and weight. The Factum can been built using most of the RM3di parts....the front and rear and so you only need to buy the FAC frame...brilliant design on Arca's parts. I also agree...if you can test drive each that is within your budget that's ideal.


    Robert B

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    Re: Help getting into technical cameras

    I like to think of the technical camera segment as one that provides for excellent solutions from multiple companies, and each solution can allow you to arrive at a similar level of quality, but there are aspects regarding the path by which you get there that are unique to each manufacturer. Often the choice come down to extremely subjective preferences. So yes, being able to put one in your hand and try it is a very effective consideration for resolving your choice.


    Steve Hendrix/CI
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Authorized Reseller Digital Cam: Phase One | Fuji | Leica | Hasselblad
    Authorized Reseller TechCam: Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar
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