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Author Topic: The best camera is...  (Read 19685 times)

Captian Light

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The best camera is...
« on: August 01, 2012, 11:04:29 AM »

Hello!

I've spent probably 50 hours this week on LL, reading so many different opinions that my head is spinning. I'm tired on the mediocre quality images that come from Canon vs Nikon, and 35mm in general; just seems like something is missing. Medium format just seems to envelop the viewer in the photograph. So what is the best setup for landscape photography? Is it a 645 w/ a Phase One back? Is it a Blad H4D, Leica S2? What the heck is that Alpha TC looking contraption?

Besides the atmospheric aspect of medium format photography, I need a system that has the least distortion, the most sharpness, and usable in the outdoor environment. Now before someone jumps at me as say "the best camera is the one you have with you", I've gone down that route, and it's just not the right answer for me. The best camera, is the one that does what I need it to do; and that is capture the essence of my environment. I've saved my money wisely and have a maximum budget of $50K. Hope to get some sense out of all the information presented on LL, and ultimately reach photographic nirvana. Thanks in Advance!

CL
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FredBGG

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 11:28:57 AM »

You need to state more about what focal lengths you like...
Do you want tilt and shift...
Film or digital....
Are you considering stitching...
What level of weather sealing do you want...
Water housing....? 

How important is redundancy and reliability.... do you travel to the point that one camera is not enough?
MFD is not as reliable as one would expect from the prices.
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Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 11:51:19 AM »

You need to state more about what focal lengths you like...
Do you want tilt and shift...
Film or digital....
Are you considering stitching...
What level of weather sealing do you want...
Water housing....? 

How important is redundancy and reliability.... do you travel to the point that one camera is not enough?
MFD is not as reliable as one would expect from the prices.

Hi Fred, thank you. Reliability is important, as I may only be able to afford one digital back.

As far as focal lengths go, I'm not well versed on how they would translate to MF, but to reference 35mm sensors, I like 35-50mm, sometimes 24mm, but that is really wide for my liking. This would be a great example of focal length I like: here

Digital just seems like a better option these days, doesn't it? Why spend all that extra time and money on developing when you could do it on a beautiful monitor.

I don't like stitching at all. I just want to be able to take my time composing one single photograph at a time. Edge sharpness in a lens is very important. From what I've read, it doesn't seem to be much of an issue with MF, compared to 35mm.

I would like to be able to take the camera to Iceland and maybe Antarctica. I wouldn't dream of taking any camera in white out conditions, I would like the equipment to be able to handle cold temperatures well, though.

Many thanks!
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 11:53:57 AM »

Oh, no! Yet another "rich dentist" looking for nirvana in all the wrong places :(

Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 11:59:56 AM »

Rich dentist? No sir, you have it wrong. I work in Apple's corporate retail sector. ; )
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DanielStone

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 12:25:53 PM »

get an H4D-50 and a 35-90mm zoom, and be done with it :)

The 50/80/120mm(macro) prime are all very sharp too, but I used the 35-90 zoom on a friend's H4D-60, and was very impressed at how sharp it was(not as much as the primes IMO, just a tad less) compared to the 35/50/80 primes. But on prints 16x20 and under, I'd probably not be able to tell the difference.

Personally, I use an H2 with film, it really kicks ass! I still optically print in the darkroom w/ black+white film(Tmax 400), but for color(neg/chrome) I drum scan it and send the edited files to a pro lab for printing on their lightjet.

-Dan

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Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 12:41:29 PM »

get an H4D-50 and a 35-90mm zoom, and be done with it :)

The 50/80/120mm(macro) prime are all very sharp too, but I used the 35-90 zoom on a friend's H4D-60, and was very impressed at how sharp it was(not as much as the primes IMO, just a tad less) compared to the 35/50/80 primes. But on prints 16x20 and under, I'd probably not be able to tell the difference.

Personally, I use an H2 with film, it really kicks ass! I still optically print in the darkroom w/ black+white film(Tmax 400), but for color(neg/chrome) I drum scan it and send the edited files to a pro lab for printing on their lightjet.

-Dan


Thank you for the insight.

What would one lose (besides megapixels) in the H4D-31 compared to the H4D-50? I'm assuming one could purchase either 31 or 50 DB and place them on a H4D, I think.

Good to hear you're shooting with film. I would love to got that route, unfortunately the demands of my job take a lot of my time up.

CL
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KLaban

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 12:43:20 PM »

The best camera is...

...The best camera, is the one that does what I need it to do; and that is capture the essence of my environment.

Let's be clear, you are looking for a camera that will capture the essence of your environment, the set of attributes that make your environment what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses identity?

Good luck.
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Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 12:50:08 PM »

Let's be clear, you are looking for a camera that will capture the essence of your environment, the set of attributes that make your environment what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses identity?

Good luck.

Hah, nicely put. I'm not being unreasonable. I've spoken with medium format photographers, they're not all crazy, and will testify that MF provides a certain photogenic quality to landscapes, that others do not. Be it DOF though a larger sensor, the level of detail, and aspect ratio. I'm not looking for a bag of lenses, backs, and bodies; one back, one body, one lens, and something that will handle colder, humid temps.
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DanielStone

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 12:52:28 PM »

Thank you for the insight.

What would one lose (besides megapixels) in the H4D-31 compared to the H4D-50? I'm assuming one could purchase either 31 or 50 DB and place them on a H4D, I think.

Good to hear you're shooting with film. I would love to got that route, unfortunately the demands of my job take a lot of my time up.

CL


Well, if you're looking to "save time", use a lab to process your film. Same with scanning. A Mamiya 645, or a Mamiya 7II rangefinder w/ a few lenses will set you back MUCH MUCH less $$$-wise than an H4xxx.... Quality drum scans usually run $75-125 for larger scans, $50-75 for smaller ones(like up to 16x20" or so). At least that's what I charge my friends, and they aren't balking ;).

If you're looking for a digital solution, and feel like dropping a crapload of cash, look at the Pentax 645D. Its been out for a while now, the latest AF lenses are super high quality, the build-quality of the body is quite robust, and accessories are quite plentiful! Not to mention you can get 40MP in  a smaller package :)

just another option

-Dan
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alban

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 12:52:48 PM »

isn't there an app for this ?

In any case the Mamiya 7II is a good start .
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 12:55:18 PM »

Hi,

Contrary to your view, I'm very happy with Image quality from DSLRs. The impression I have is that a technical camera with a high end digital back is the ultimate way of achieving maximum image quality. But it also seems that if you care about image quality, convenience and cost the D800E may be the optimal solution.

Best regards
Erik



Quote from: Captian Light link=topic=69334.msg548889#msg548889 date=1343833469

 I'm tired on the mediocre quality images that come from Canon vs Nikon, and 35mm in general; just seems like something is missing.

KLaban

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 01:11:58 PM »

Hah, nicely put. I'm not being unreasonable.

Unreasonable?

If you imagine a camera, any camera, can deliver "the essence of your environment" then you're certifiable.
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Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 01:17:33 PM »

Hi,

Contrary to your view, I'm very happy with Image quality from DSLRs. The impression I have is that a technical camera with a high end digital back is the ultimate way of achieving maximum image quality. But it also seems that if you care about image quality, convenience and cost the D800E may be the optimal solution.

Best regards
Erik




Not crazy about the closed system of the Pentax. I've tried the D800/E, and I don't care for Nikon's quality these days.
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Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 01:18:16 PM »

Unreasonable?

If you imagine a camera, any camera, can deliver "the essence of your environment" then you're certifiable.

Perhaps, you're thinking a bit too literally. : )
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Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2012, 01:26:16 PM »

isn't there an app for this ?

In any case the Mamiya 7II is a good start .

Hmm, interesting. What would be the differences between the Mamiya 7II and a Alpa TC?

What would the lens options look like? Are we still in Hasselblad quality territory?

Thanks to everyone with helpful responses. I didn't realize this would become such a volatile thread.
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KLaban

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2012, 01:28:26 PM »

Perhaps, you're thinking a bit too literally. : )

You think?
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kers

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2012, 01:32:04 PM »

the best camera still is :

the 8 x 10 inch film camera

(in a way)





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Captian Light

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2012, 01:33:24 PM »

the best camera still is :

the 8 x 10 inch film camera

(in a way)


For colour?
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The best camera is...
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2012, 02:04:39 PM »

I am really not sure what would be more bothersome: that it turns out you are a troll or it turns out you are serious.
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