I have been shooting artwork for local artists and art grads for 5 years now and my setup has gradually evolved from 35mm slide to a Canon 5D and now a 1DSMKIII. I briefly owned a betterlight setup, but found both it requirements for light and vibration too strict for practical application shooting in artist studios shared with machinery or near construction. I know 35mm is not the norm for repro, so I apologize in advance if its mere mention offends! However, by adopting a strict workflow, primes (corrected for light falloff, distortion), zig-align, Colorchecker SG, Monaco Profiler for Input Profiles, and custom lights using Philips CRI 98 bulbs I have just about reached the extent this setup has to offer, and while it does what its intended very well, I know its limits and I want to offer my clients more, even if I don't have the budget of a Museum or full-time Art Repro Shop.
My price range is in the 10k range, plus a bit for lens or other required gear. I'm not sure what makes the most sense at this point, retrofitting my Linhof Kardan RE body, a Mamiya RB67 Pro S that I inherited, or skipping both and getting a technical type camera. Of the 3 the technical seems the most attractive but I do own the Kardan already and can zig-align the front-rear standards to get enough lens to sensor plane precision (in theory, but it is one more thing to do on each shoot, kind of want a more elegant solution). Movements are not really important, just really great sensor to lens parallelism, and a view finder bright enough that I can check focus and setup the zig-align hassel-free (with the 1DS I live by Live-View).
I need about 50mm or a little wider and something with macro, around 100mm is fine (all 35mm equivalents).
In the Rodenstock realm I believe this would be a 105mm f/5.6 Apo-Sironar or perhaps just a 120mm f/5.6 Apo-Macro-Sironar. I'm not sure what I should go with if a MF body solution is more practical.
MF Back & Software:
Thinking about Multi-Shot, but modern backs out of my price range, would have to buy something from 2002 era and that makes me squeamish (I think this would be a Sinar 43h or 53m). I am really drawn to the "purity" of a 100% RGB recording, but I have never seen side-by-side comparisons to know just how much better it is for what I do, and if the results were so stunning at the pixel level that my clients would swoon
I should note that I rarely shoot fabric, so it wouldn't be for moiré, I just want to make the most pure color calibration profiles from the camera that I can, apply them in RAW before export (which I can't do at present without running C1), and get un-interpolated pixels so that fine detail look much better at the pixel level. I have also read briefly on the forum that many who use multi-shot also use broncolor strobes for consistency. I don't have that luxury, but I do have exceedingly high CRI rated bulbs, and if the ballasts are stable enough wouldn't they work just as well? To make my case I know of betterlight users who use the same tubes, and if there were problems with consistency their camera would definitely find it. Anyways, if not Multi-shot then a used P45 or Leaf counterpart?
For Exposure Reference this is what I generally shoot at:
Lighting: Philips CRI98 Fluorescent bulbs, Cross-Polarized, exposures range 2-3 seconds @ ISO 100, f8
Monaco Delta CMC Error with current setup, 1.2 unpolarized, 2 with polarization.
What are others using in similar situations? Thanks in advance!