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Author Topic: Large format obsolete???  (Read 4490 times)

Laminarman

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Large format obsolete???
« on: October 23, 2017, 04:22:08 PM »

For the hobbyist that is.  I immensely enjoy shooting with my Leica M2, Hassy, and Nikon D810.  The Leica and Hassy obviously with film, but I have them scanned and do processing in LR or PS.  However, "back in the day" I used to shoot with a 4x5 or 8x10 view camera, and I either used them while in school at RIT or borrowed one.  Now in advancing middle age I find the idea appealing again.  Landscape for my own enjoyment, nothing commercial.  My basic question is this: are tilt/shift lenses on a high MP DSLR replacing view cameras for hobbyists?  I have never used one so don't know how effective they are.  I don't have access to borrow one and see they are quite expensive, but may be less than setting up a large format system.  While I would love to do film large format, I just don't see having the time to set up a darkroom and do my own processing.  My free time is just not that free  : )   Any advice is appreciated. 
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BobShaw

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 05:18:14 PM »

I would say for the enthusiast too!
Tilt shift lenses are awesome. They can't do everything though.
The only time I wold consider a tech camera now is product work in the studio.

You should be able to get film processed. There are still places doing it.
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Laminarman

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 07:57:28 PM »

Thanks Bob.  I wish I could use one of these.  I'll be in NYC in a few months I'll go handle one in BH.  I was wondering just how much tilt/shift they have. 
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Herbc

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 10:48:52 AM »

Absolutely go for it.  I used to develop 8x10 negs in the bathtub- get a big roll of gaffers tape, tape up the door, get some trays, put a pillow down to kneel on, and go for it. Once you have the negs, you can contact print. Lodima is the equivalent of AZO silver chloride, which gives wonderful blacks. Edward weston did not own an enlarger, occasionally going up to 11x14, but mostly 8x10.
(my bathtub workwas when I was 60, now I have a darkroom)
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 01:53:59 PM »

Hi,

I don't think tilt and shift options on DSLRs can match a high end back combined with a high end Rodenstock HR lens costing 9000$US on a technical camera.

On the other hand, I use HCamMaster TS on my Sony A7rII, that gives me 10+ shift with many lenses. I also use it as tilt system with a 35-135/3.3-4.5 Zeiss/Contax zoom that allows a lot of tilt but just a few mm of shift.

These images were shot with that kit, shown at full size:





Best regards
Erik
For the hobbyist that is.  I immensely enjoy shooting with my Leica M2, Hassy, and Nikon D810.  The Leica and Hassy obviously with film, but I have them scanned and do processing in LR or PS.  However, "back in the day" I used to shoot with a 4x5 or 8x10 view camera, and I either used them while in school at RIT or borrowed one.  Now in advancing middle age I find the idea appealing again.  Landscape for my own enjoyment, nothing commercial.  My basic question is this: are tilt/shift lenses on a high MP DSLR replacing view cameras for hobbyists?  I have never used one so don't know how effective they are.  I don't have access to borrow one and see they are quite expensive, but may be less than setting up a large format system.  While I would love to do film large format, I just don't see having the time to set up a darkroom and do my own processing.  My free time is just not that free  : )   Any advice is appreciated.
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Laminarman

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 09:07:26 PM »

Stunning images Erik!
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 11:26:49 PM »

Thank you!

Some small comments...

Large format cameras often have advanced movements. A small device like the HCam Master TSII I carry is not that flexible. It has +/- 15 mm shift and 10 degree tilt. Tilt and shift are perpendicular. Movements on HCam Master TSII are not geared, but it is an affordable pocket size device. Very few lenses can utilize the +/- 12 mm shift, but I seldom use shift on longer lenses. For me, long lenses are tilt territory.

Using large format film may have advantages. I never used large format film, just a Pentax 67 and used it with a CCD based film scanner, I don't think the results was as good as from 24MP digital, I was scanning at 3200 PPI. I had some 6000 PPI drum scans from Velvia and Ektar 100 and I was not impressed, but I have been told by Tim Parkin (owner of OnLandscape) that the drum scans I got were not optimal.

It is possible to use digital backs on view cameras. You probably need a sliding back. Modern CMOS based backs may have great live view.

Using tilts with live view is very easy:

  • Open up lens for minimum DoF
  • Switch to magnified view and focus on center line of image
  • Move magnified part of the image on foregound detail, adjust tilt until it's in focus. Recheck centrum and far
  • Stop down and shoot

Peaking available on modern cameras can be a bit of help, but it is not accurate enough for critical focus unless used in connection with magnified view.

Here is a good link on using LF cameras on digital:
https://www.ludd.ltu.se/~torger/photography/linhof-techno-review.html

Here is another sample using tilt:
Full size image: https://photos.smugmug.com/Travel/Dolomites-2017-2/i-7Kh55HR/0/17d91424/O/20170619-_DSC0300-Redigera.jpg



Best regards
Erik

Stunning images Erik!
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Erik Kaffehr
 

matted

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 11:28:33 AM »

There is something about the process of using a proper view camera, and to a similar extent a technical camera that I find incredibly appealing. Of course I can take the time to carefully meter, compose, and focus while using a tripod using any small format camera, but once tools of convenience are present it is hard for me to fully ignore them.

Large format (and tech cameras) are not just about movements for me.... but they are certainly handy. Some shift was used for this shot to exclude the bridge I was standing on and maintain the perspective.
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Laminarman

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 06:23:11 PM »

I appreciate all the advice.  Thank you!
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Laminarman

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 12:44:32 PM »

Bit confused on the HCamMaster TS setup.  Would any of the Nikon PC or PC-E TS lenses work pretty well?  Got my eye on that 19mm or 24mm.  Unless I'm reading the website wrong the HCamMaster TS is only available for Canon? 
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 12:52:48 PM »

Hi,

It is a bit possible to use Nikon lenses on the HCam TSII adapter. They need to have mechanical stop down.

The Canon mount has short flange distance, so it is possible to adapt Nikon, Contax RTS and other lenses to the Canon mount. But you need some mechanical aperture and focusing.

My favourite lenses on the HCam master TSII are the Zeiss Contax 28-85/3.3-4 and the 35-135/3.3-4.5.

Sometimes I use the canon 16-35/4 for shift work. It is not very convenient as it needs to be stopped down on a different camera but it works...

Best regards
Erik




Bit confused on the HCamMaster TS setup.  Would any of the Nikon PC or PC-E TS lenses work pretty well?  Got my eye on that 19mm or 24mm.  Unless I'm reading the website wrong the HCamMaster TS is only available for Canon?
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Erik Kaffehr
 

nma

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 03:42:53 PM »

Please be gentle. Just an uniformed thought expressed as a question: Could the use of focus stacking offer performance comparable to tilt/shift on a view or dslr?
What are the limitations of that approach?
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 07:47:43 PM »

Hi,

Yes and no. It works for many things.

In my experience it would not work great for things like this:


Best regards
Erik



Please be gentle. Just an uniformed thought expressed as a question: Could the use of focus stacking offer performance comparable to tilt/shift on a view or dslr?
What are the limitations of that approach?
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Laminarman

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 08:46:35 AM »

Erik, I meant specifically using the Nikon lens without the Hcam master, is it a decent landscape lens?  I don't do architecture.  Thx.
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BrownBear

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 08:52:27 AM »

We just finished a couple of weeks in assorted parks in the Southwest.  I'm pleased to report that I saw view cameras in use in each of them.  It truly made my wife and I regret leaving ours behind. 

You could usually spot the users before the view cameras were unlimbered. They were the people sitting back enjoying a scene rather than dashing about clicking and moving on.  Just waiting for the light or sorting the visual puzzle before going through the setup drill.  That's our preferred pace, making one, two, three, or maybe no exposures in a day.  As much as we prefer the slow pace with more time for enjoying our surroundings, the lure of the SLR beats it every time.
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Two23

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Re: Large format obsolete???
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 10:21:49 PM »

My first post.   For awhile ~10 years ago I was only shooting digital, but I missed film.  I sold my older 4x5 and bought a sexy Chamonix 045n 4x5.  I love it!  I think that everyone above is concentrating on lens movements etc. and is missing the two most important factors for me.  First, using a 4x5 requires a long tree of decisions and much more hands on operation.  The camera can do nothing unless I adjust it.  There is a lot of touching the camera and thinking things through.  The result is I am much more involved with the result (image) than I normally feel with digital.  Second (and this one is HUGE), I can use a lens from any age, even the very dawn of photography!  I have a set of four modern lenses--Copal shutter and multicoating, but I generally only use them for night shooting.  I also have a small collection of lenses made ~1905--1925 that I very much enjoy learning about and using.  But that's not all.  I also have about eight lenses made between 1845 and 1865.  Two are from the 1840s and six are from the 1850s.  It is so thrilling to use something like these and consistently be able to take a photo!  Think of it--a lens made 172 years ago (while Talbot and Daguerre were still on the cutting edge) is still on the job making images.  I marvel that it's possible for someone like me to even own something like that!  For me, I'm more concerned with the "look" of the photo more than the technical details.  Using these historic lenses from different periods also gives me a feeling of connection to the photographers who have owned them down through time.  Actually, I just think of myself as the current user more than the owner.

Attached photo:
General Custer at Ft. Sisseton
Chamonix 045n, c. 1845 Ross Petzval, Efke 25



Kent in SD
(South Dakota)
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 10:27:17 PM by Two23 »
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