Isn't the party over for technical cameras in this digital age? I enjoyed using them long ago, and would like to think there may be some life left in the old gal in spite of my empirical conclusions to the contrary. But honestly I have no recent firsthad experience, and am ready to be corrected.
Download the JPG of the IQ180 with a 32HR at the link below. Open it, compare it to any wide angle for a Canon or Nikon or Phase or Hassy body and then tell me if you think the party is over. https://digitaltransitions.com/blog/dt-blog/28mm-32mm-test
Our tech camera sales are up year over year for the last three years. The live view, 100% review, focus mask, and now wireless review of the newer generation of Phase/Leaf backs have made them a more practical/enjoyable/fool-proof solution than with past backs.
If you're in NYC at any point you're also welcome to come play with a modern incarnation of tech cameras to get more hands on experience from which to judge.
Tech cameras are used by various kinds of photographers for various reasons:Lens Quality
: (likely to hold true as long as Nikon/Canon/Hassy/Phase SLR bodies have a mirror box - see about wide angle lens design constraints
on (nearly) all lensesTraditional/tactile physical interface:
large knobs, mechanical dials and a very direct connection to the imaging process (personal preference of course)Flash sync speedLighter/smaller
when compared to an SLR (obviously only applies to the small body/lens combos like the RC400+35XL)
It's not a solution right for everyone. In fact it's surely one of the more narrowly applicable tools out there. That's one of the reasons I love them; they are designed to excel at a narrow range of applications (landscape, architecture, interior, street) rather than do pretty well at everything.
What backs are you considering?
The table is based on extensive personal, professional, and consultative experience with Leaf Aptus II, Credo, Phase One IQ, and IQ260 backs. Results for other brands/models are likely to be very similar when comparing non-micro-lensed backs of similar pixel size, but you'd want to consult with experts in those other systems or do your own testing to be sure.
We have seen examples here of digital back fails from rather modest lens twiddling
Indeed, a 28XL and IQ180 for instance show problems even with no movement. Hence that lens/back combo is listed as a "no" for compatibility.
But this is an issue of very specific combinations. If you use a bad combination of lens and back (namely Schneider wide angles with an 5.2 micron back) you will get very poor results. All other combinations work extremely well. That's one of the main goals of this chart is to show which combinations are not recommended, and which combinations will be movement-limited compared to their stated image circles.
, and there is this in the article which I sense may be a little understated...
DB Compatibility: Smaller pixel sizes (in microns) cannot accept light from strong angles. The IQ180 with 5.2 micron pixels, for instance, does not work well with the Schneider 28XL or 35XL. "Limited" means you cannot use the entire image circle - when doing large shifts/rise/tilt/swing/stitching you may encounter severe color cast. When using a combination marked "limited" it is very important to use a center filter wherever practical.
I don't see what's understated. We've clearly listed the lens/back combos which are limited or incompatible. If you feel one of the lens/back combos is not correctly listed please say so here or email me and I'll be glad to reconsider. But I think this is a very fair breakdown (based on many dozen hours of my own testing, and working with many tech camera customers over several years).
If anything I think this listing is overly conservative in that it lists the 35XL as "no" for compatibility with an IQ180 when you can use it with movements up to around 10mm. But I figured it was better be conservative in the chart and have a conversation on a client-by-client basis about what expectations/priorities/needs they have. A street shooter using an Cambo RC400 with no need for movements for instance would be better off (in my opinion) with the smaller, lighter, less expensive 35XL than the Rodenstock 32HR (in contrast an architectural shooter would likely be better off with a 32HR budget allowing).