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Thread: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Smile Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Well, I've been drawn back to square format, and decided to take it to the next level. Rather than relying on my gridded focus screen to frame for square, I actually removed the screen and put black electrical tape on it to mask of a square completely. It works like a charm, and I may never go back! Now, if Hasselblad would just make a fullframe square back for my V's, I'd be all set

    Here are some from the last few days with the A900. I believe they are all with the 50 1.4, except for the first one, which was the ZA 85. Just my lovely wife, some abstracts, and some walking around:















    Last edited by douglasf13; 13th December 2009 at 01:05.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    and a few more:












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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    These all look quite nice. I'm a big fan of square format...I just haven't mastered really good square composition. It's nice with the A900 because you are still left with a big file.

  4. #4
    apras
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    great idea, and great pictures too.

    i think i will follow your path. never used a square format before.

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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    I like it, and such a simple solution.

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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Douglas,
    Thanks for posting your pictures, I like all of them and think that your appoach to using a square format is very creative.
    Now I need to try and get out of my box and try something new.
    Regards, Jerry

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Thanks everyone. I was really missing my Hasslblads, so this square mask is helping to suppress my need to shoot film I should say "do this at your own risk. " I did have to cram the masked screen in there a bit due to the extra thickness from the tape, but evrything seems fine.
    Last edited by douglasf13; 13th December 2009 at 09:05.

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Douglas, does this have any impact on the metering for exposure?. I can understand the need to visualise square composition rather than 24 x 36 and crop after the fact. I've been toying the idea of a 203/205 & CFV II, this may save me the expense save a focus screen. Neat idea.
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    In my brief tests, I didn't notice a difference between the metering of my regular screen and blocked off screen when I tested both in multi-segment mode. I don't believe the multi-segments extend to the edges of the A900, anyways, but I can't find a picture to confirm this. Either way, spot metering works fine, and I haven't tried center-weighted, but that may be a good compromise between the two. To tell you the truth, I was pretty shocked how well this square thing is working! I wouldn't shut up about it to my poor wife.

    p.s. I should mention that I put the electrical tape on the "top" side of the focusing screen, not the "bottom" side that faces the mirror. Using a gridded screen made it easy to line up the tape correctly. Also, I did some quick equivalency lens tests, and 80mm at f2.8 on my Hasselblads is the near equivalent to ~40mm at f1.4-f1.6'ish on the square format A900. So, my 50mm lens on the A900 square is a bit of a tele.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    btw, more A900 square shots welcome!

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Very nice shots, Douglas!

    I have always been a fan of the square format. Too bad it is not often used as is, and cropped after the fact. I wonder if any manufacturer would make a square sensor, perhaps 30x30mm or even 36x36mm. I'm sure the image circle of most 35mm lenses should be able to cover it adequately.

    This said, I am not going to put any stinking tape inside my camera
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Yeah, a native square sensor would be cool, but probably the more realistic thing would be an LCD focus screen like Nikon uses that has a 1:1 crop mode built-in.

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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    the hasselblad cfv39 has a rectangular sensor, but the back has a menu choice of sq, and that displays sq on the back's LCD

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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    The micro 4/3 cameras have a square format and that is what you see in the EVF or LCD for framing.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    the hasselblad cfv39 has a rectangular sensor, but the back has a menu choice of sq, and that displays sq on the back's LCD
    Yeah, but you have to crop to square mode, which changes the equivalent focal lengths all around. I used to have a rectangular digital back, but I hated the crop factor when cropping for square. Also, once I received the A900, the idea of spending $10K+ or more on a digital back became harder to swallow. I fortunately sold my last Leaf back RIGHT before the prices on it fell 50+%. Whew!!

    Terry, I love that m4/3 has so many framing options. Very smart. I'm waiting a bit longer for one of those cameras, because what I want isn't quite out yet. Essentially, I want the GF1 and it's good responsiveness, but with the EP1's image stabilization. Either way, shooting the A900 with just a 50mm 1.4 isn't all that bulky or heavy.

  16. #16
    panyawong
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Nice square images Douglas. I'm just curious if your masking cause any focus difference as you see them versus when the image turns out as you are using shallow depth of field.
    -panya

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Wonderful square images Doug and a very innovative solution! There is a very good square format group on Flickr, if you haven't been there yet. I need to get out more with my Mamiya TLR and Hasselblad's..square is good.

    Maybe someday a full frame square digital back will come......probably around the time Leica releases the FF digital R10. :-(

    Well, we can always hope and dream.

    Gary

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Thanks! Panyawang, everything seems to be fine with both focusing and metering so far. Who would have thought how much I'd love two tiny pieces of tape! lol.

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Yeah, but you have to crop to square mode, which changes the equivalent focal lengths all around.....
    Douglas or jlm,

    The CFV-39 has a rectangular sensor which can be cropped to 36.7 x 36.7 which is the same as the CFV-II back. Do I understand correctly the CFV-II is only a square sensor @ 16Mp and the CFV-39 is 29Mp in the same format but 39Mp in full rectangular mode.

    Also any idea what the correct crop factor is in square mode and what effect it will have on focal lengths?. Say I want an 85mm in 35mm format equivalent for a 203FE shooting 36.7mm x 36.7mm what focal length should I be looking at?.

    TIA
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Diagonal is 73.4 so you'll need around 135mm lens.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    The CFV II is essentially a 1.5x crop in square mode. To give you an idea about what the crop is like, here is a Hassleblad V focus screen that has the CFV square marked off in it:



    Here is the screen for the CFV II rectangle with the square marked inside of it:


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    Member Arjuna's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    "Also any idea what the correct crop factor is in square mode and what effect it will have on focal lengths?.Say I want an 85mm in 35mm format equivalent ..."

    When I was looking at the 1.5 crop factor backs, I decided that the combination of the medium format equivalence plus the crop factor meant that the lenses ended up matching their 35 mm lengths: e.g. an 80 mm lens on 6x6 has a horizontal angle of view of 38 degrees, which corresponds approximately to a 54 mm lens on 35 mm format, 54 x 1.5 = 81!

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    That makes sense, because the old 1.5x crop rectangle MFDB sensors were actually 24x36mm. In other words, they were 35mm sensors stuck on the back of a medium format camera. So 80mm = 80mm. The crop of the CFV II square is just SLIGHTLY different, since it's 36.7mmx36.7mm. Even though I'd have to rethink my lens lengths (a 50mm f4 would be the fastest standard lens on the CFV II in square mode,) I'd certainly love a CFV II, but not for $14K.


    Here is a fun equivalency chart:
    http://lensn2shutter.com/35mmchart.html
    Last edited by douglasf13; 14th December 2009 at 08:30.

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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    used as a sq format, the CFV 39 is really a CFV-29, or similar to the phase 30mp backs, squished into sq. then you have the added ability to go to rectangular and 39mp.

    the bigger problem is the V bodies never needed to go to "portrait" mode so the ergonomics of that are troubling

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Edward, Douglas & Arjuna, Thanks for the replies, now I'm embarrassed to say you've lost me. I was never good at the whole crop thing with 35mm and quite frankly never liked the results with regard to depth of focus at given apertures with various focal lengths. I guess that's why I've really come to enjoy my a900 and 85 & 135 lenses. At last an 85 is an 85 and 135 is ..... sublime.

    Don't worry though, it's only been a thought running through my mind, I've seen a few CFV-II's pop up for very reasonable money over the past few months and fantasy has taken over . I'm beginning to think a CFV-II with a 203FE and 85 & 110 FE's won't give me much more than I have already with the ZA 85 & 135 on the a900.

    I've always wanted to try MF and in particular Hasselblad V/FE. I've sworn to myself never to return to film under any circumstance, so digital MF with crop is the only alternative. I wonder if the CFV-39 is the last of breed for the V's?.

    Thanks again everyone
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    i shot with the CFV-I, 16mp and loved it. widest lens I had was a 40. when you need wider stitching is an easy alternative, if conditions allow

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    jlm, I certainly think the CFV's are great camera backs. Outside of the money, my biggest issue with the 1.5 crop back that I used to own was with difficulty in getting a shallow depth of field with a standard lens. A standard 80mm lens of a 6x6 system at f2.8 gets you about the same depth of field as a standard lens on the A900 "square" at f1.4. However, when you use the crop CFV square, Hasselblad 50mm lenses become the standard lens, and they are only f4. So, in essence, the A900 in square mode with an f1.4 standard lens will get around 2 stops or so shallower dof than the CFV square with a 50mm f4 standard lens. Whether or not that's a big deal depends on your shooting style. Once a fullframe, square MFDB is available, using the 80mm 2.8 lens as a standard lens again will alleviate this issue for me.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    i can only get the flickr image unavailable message on all of the ones at the beginning.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Weird, I don't know what happened. I'll have to check out my flickr page. Thanks.

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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Well, I guess I have to upload these pics again. Odd:




















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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)




















  32. #32
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    fantastic work douglas....

    I'm about 2 weeks away from chucking most of my canon gear and coming back to sony... these fantastic pics make me want to hurry all the more!

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Hip to be square (A900 pics)

    Thanks, Shelby. I apologize to everyone for posting so many of the picks at once, as I rarely have the chance to post anything. I tell ya what, I've been really enjoying the Sony 50mm 1.4 and using it the majority of the time over the last several months, and, now that I'm shooting square, it's even better due to the lopped-off corners. It is doing good at f1.7 and above, and, by f2.8, it is OUTRAGEOUSLY sharp across the whole square frame.

    Great to here you're coming back to Sony, Shelby, although I think we all know that you're shots are wonderful regardless of the system used.
    Last edited by douglasf13; 14th December 2009 at 21:14.

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