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Author Topic: med format film user adding digital slr...  (Read 6651 times)

smthopr

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med format film user adding digital slr...
« on: November 20, 2007, 10:54:08 pm »

I've been shooting with a pair of fuji gw690 cameras and scanning for the last few years...

I may have a job coming up this winter that requires international travel and I'm thinking I'll be better off shooting digital than trying to take all that film with me with the x-rays and all.

I'm not that familiar with the current (or past!) digital SLR cameras as I haven't really used them but I have a "wish list" of things I might want to do with a new DSLR:

1. Shoot in very low light, hand held.

My thinking here is that I would like a combination of image stabilization and a fast normal/wide/modest tele lens or prime lenses.

2. shoot time lapse movies.  I'm thinking that this may require an old manual iris lens to keep the iris dead consistent fame by frame.  It will also require an intervalometer for the camera to shoot a frame every 5 minutes or so...

3. I'd like the image quality to match that of the old fuji GW690 cameras scanned on my nikon scanner.

5. I'd like to keep the price below $5000.00 US  

So I humbly ask for any suggestions from all the experienced digital shooters out there. Many thanks in advance.

-bruce
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Roskav

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med format film user adding digital slr...
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2007, 09:48:00 am »

You could get a Nikon dslr with some zeiss lenses.  As well as being manual lenses they give a lovely feel to the image which is closer to the fuji than some others ... (A full frame dslr might be good also .. the fuji I used (6x9 90mm) has a lot of light fall off towards the edges of the image.. which in this case is not necessarily a bad thing.)

Ros
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 09:48:32 am by Roskav »
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Anders_HK

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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 02:06:01 am »

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5. I'd like to keep the price below $5000.00 US   
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Bruce,

If you are willing to spend up to 5000 USD I would advise you to do much research before spending it. Shooting film and digital is very different. You will find that many (especially online) are hooked to digital and the digital technology. I shoot both digital and film. I simply do not wish to give up on film. Film and digital are two different medias. My subjects are landscapes, scenery and people living traditional lives on travels and living different countries.

Jumping into digital means a steep learning curve. It requires learning of new technology same time as you learn of digital processing etc. Early last year I stepped "up" (or was it down...) from Nikon F100 and Fuji Slides to a D200 (also had D50 for two months). I am honest very disappointed with Nikon digital cameras. I do not like crop sensors or their sensors and their capabilities. I did like 135 slides but that is nowadays a too small format for me. Full frame digital sensors seem better, but still smaller than the format you are used to from a Fuji GW690.

Some say digital beats film. I am unconvinced. For my shooting they are different medias. I now shoot Mamiya 7II and ZD camera.

Perhaps also consider the weight of camera. The Fuji GW690 is light to carry, is it not?

Regards
Anders
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ChrisJR

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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2007, 11:51:36 am »

The more recent higher-end Canon SLRs perform superbly at high ISOs and up until the new D3 have had much cleaner images than Nikon and all other 35mm slr manufacturers. My current digital camera is a Canon 1d mk3 and I've found ISO 1600/3200 to be comparable to ISO 400 film.

As with yourself, I was and still am a medium format film user (Hasselblad 503CW) but found the learning curve quite easy, but this is slightly decided by which brand of camera you use. I really don't like the handling of Nikons and find Canon much more intuitive (personal preference, nothing wrong with Nikon though).

Really you should try to visit a shop if possible and handle the different cameras. Well within your budget is a 5D with either 24-70 f2.8 lens or better still the 24-105mm f4 IS (you lose 1 stop but much more versatile and with IS). Better image quality still is the 1d mk3 but also more cost, weight, bulk etc.

As with Anders_HK, I am also unconvinced digital beats film but I would say the 5D/1D come close to colour neg quality, but for certain types of photography well off the quality of say Velvia 50. Good luck with your choice.
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mcbroomf

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med format film user adding digital slr...
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2007, 11:54:18 am »

I used a GW690III for some time together with LF and now use FF Canons.  You don't mention what size you print, and this can make a difference to the number of pixels you need to start with.  My prints are 16x20 and higher and I think the 5D and 1ds2 can give me equivalent results.

Having said that I'd recommend a Canon 5D and something like a 24-70/2.8L for wide to normal.  If you want a few more pixels go for a used 1sd2 but that leaves little money for more than 1 lens.  If you really require IS consider the 24-105L.  I wouldn't consider the 1ds for high ISO shooting.

If you need wider than 24mm the new 16-35/2.8L Mk II is reputedly better than the Mk1 and faster than the 17-40L.  I can't comment on tele zooms but I have the 135/2L and it's an absolutely stunning lens.

Just beware that Canon lenses do have QC issues, so ensure you test any lens for image quality quickly after you buy it and either return it or consider sending it to Canon for adjustment.

Good luck,

Mike
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geotzo

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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2007, 12:27:02 pm »

As said above I would too recomend the 5D, which paired with some good glass will not disappoint you against your 6X9 film scaned on a Nikon as you say. Consider all the learning you have to go through plus some serious expences you will have to do on computers and everithing else that moving to digital requires and if you feel ready for it, go for the 5D or maybe a used 1ds MKII.
George
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smthopr

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med format film user adding digital slr...
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 03:19:16 pm »

Thanks for all the replies!

I did go to the big local camera store here in Los Angeles thinking that the sales people would be pretty up on this stuff. Alas, they had many contradictory opinions about the capabilities of various cameras. They also couldn't understand my desire for a manual lens for time lapse movies. They seemed to believe that the iris would close down to the exact same spot for each exposure. I guess I had some pretty unusual requests for them...

I did look at the new Sony 12mp camera as it has sensor IS and can take old minolta manual lenses. But with the crop factor, it wouldn't be a good choice for time-lapse with wide lenses anyway. There are however some fast sony and/or ziess prime lenses for the camera that I thought might be good for very low light IS shooting. The drawback to this is that the salesman and the sony rep who was there said that I would see little benefit to the IS with wide to normal lenses, maybe 1/2 - 1 stop. The sony mount prime lenses are also quite expensive as well. In the end the sony rep recommended the canon 5d for my purposes    

 I guess I will strongly consider the canon 5d camera based upon this and the recommendations I've received in this thread. And fortunately (?), though I appreciate the concerns voiced about my shooting digital for the 1st time, I'm actually quite comfortable with it as I've been doing all my "darkroom" work on the computer for the last 8 years. I've also had extensive experience shooting movies in HD digital, which is like shooting all jpeg in 8 bits. It leaves very little room for error and requires most color correcting in camera and very accurate exposures    

I do have one more question regarding committing to Canon full frame DSLR:  I've heard that it may be possible to use an old nikon manual lens (or maybe a new ziess manual lens) with an adapter on the camera/lens.  Is this really possible? Can one focus to infinity? Will a wide lens hit the mirror? Anybody know?

Thanks again everyone.

-bruce
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mcbroomf

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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2007, 04:22:07 pm »

Yes, many old manual lenses can be used on the Canon bodies as it has the shortest flange to film/sensor distance.  The thickness of the adapter is critical to ensure the lens will still get good focus at infinity.  Nikon, CZ, Leica and Olympus, all 42mm screw lenses will fit on Canons, just beware of mirror clearance.  If you want more info on this I suggest going to the Fredmiranda website and looking at the alternative gear and lenses forum.  Note that with these lenses metering is manual and usually off.

If you are in manual mode I agree with the sales guys, you'll get the same exposure, aperture and speed every time.  

Mike
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djgarcia

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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007, 06:10:30 pm »

I would modify the above statement to say "manual and aperture preferred automation", both of which need to be set while stopping down. Myself I haven't used manual in a long time, even though I use foreign lenses exclusively on my 1DsII, relying instead on AE and exposure bias to nail my exposure.
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Anders_HK

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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2007, 08:15:53 pm »

Bruce,

You received some good advise in above. I researched also Canon before stepping over to Mamiya from Nikon. For good user reviews check here http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/ and for Nikon on Canon check here http://www.camerahacker.com/Novoflex/EOSNIK.shtml. The last works in stopped down metering only. Do bear in mind that buying a quality adapter since some made in China or Hong Kong may not have perfect tolerances on required distance between lens and camera mounts.

Do bear in mind that Canon is anticipated to replace its 5D next year with a rumoured 16-17MP camera. As far as lenses, in my considerations for Canon I was interested in the 24-70 f/2.8 or 24-105 f/4 together with 135 f/2, and from what I read they are very excellent lenses. The 16-35 II sounds good but alternative could be Nikon 17-35 f/2.8 or even a Nikon 20mm f/2.8 to put in your pocket! The new Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 sounds super sharp but it does not have an aperature ring which would need to be solved somehow...

Personally I prefer the ergonomics of Nikon cameras to Canon. Also Nikon controls with dual scroll wheels and dedicated MUP. However, when comes to lenses, althuogh Nikon has some good ones, comparing to medium format Canon has more choices in regards to more shallow depth of field and thus better ability to isolate subjects by out of focus blur.

Best of luck.

Regards
Anders
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smthopr

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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 08:22:48 pm »

Quote
If you are in manual mode I agree with the sales guys, you'll get the same exposure, aperture and speed every time. 

Mike
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Thanks Mike.

Actually the sales guys said that I'd get the same aperture and exposure using the auto focus new lenses, which I strongly doubt...hence my question about the adapters

-bruce
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