Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Medium Format / Film / Digital Backs and Large Sensor Photography => Topic started by: Alex Waugh on May 16, 2018, 12:23:58 am

Title: Do any of the tech camera viewfinders offer accurate composition when shifting?
Post by: Alex Waugh on May 16, 2018, 12:23:58 am
Hi everyone,
I've been travelling for work a lot recently and enjoy shooting architecture work on film in my spare moments. I've simply been using an EOS - 1V and my canon TSEs which has been good enough. I'd like to shoot 120 film eventually and have been looking through the usual Cambo / AS / Alpa options as well as most medium format film systems and there doesn't seem to be a good, compact system anywhere.

The widest SLR lenses I can find are 75mm on 67 so thats out.

While cool little systems do exist such as the Arca Factum, Alpa STC and the Actus / Universalis of this world they all rely on groundglass focussing which I find fairly difficult without carrying a loupe & dark cloth - not to mention you start to run into things like sliding backs etc if you dont want to be constantly switching out attachments. All of the manufacturers offer various seriously expensive viewfinder/mask kits but I'm a bit wary of how accurate these could be when shifting. The Arca-Swiss one looks the best with the slidable mask but can it accurately mirror the shifts on the camera? Are the markings fine enough? I know how the focussing works with a Disto / HPF rings and I'm fine with that, its composition that worries me.

I do understand that I'm essentially asking for view camera benefits without carrying the required equipment but I feel like thats what these niche forums are for!

If nothing exists ill just keep shooting 35mm HP5 no dramas.
Title: Re: Do any of the tech camera viewfinders offer accurate composition when shifting?
Post by: JoeKitchen on May 16, 2018, 02:24:05 pm
I use a Kapture Group sliding back that was specifically made for the Area Swiss RM3Di.  It is pretty light weight and the ground glass is designed to accept a collapsible Hassy V loupe.  The V loupe is not powerful enough to nail the focus, IMHO, so I do carry a small 15x loupe, but often I also check focus on the back.  I also know my lenses by now, and rely a good deal on the numbering on the body. 

Kapture Group is now out of business/retired, so you will need to find one on the used market. 
Title: Re: Do any of the tech camera viewfinders offer accurate composition when shifting?
Post by: asf on May 17, 2018, 10:33:26 am
Silvestri made one you may be able to find used

Check out Plaubel Proshift (I use them, may have an extra I could let go)
Title: Re: Do any of the tech camera viewfinders offer accurate composition when shifting?
Post by: Graham Welland on May 18, 2018, 06:34:06 am
TBH I gave up on ground glass focusing when I transitioned to a CMOS digital back. The difference in accuracy was dramatic. I tried using the CMOS backs (IQ160/260) but their focusing capabilities in live view were barely usable.