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Author Topic: Do I go for Canon TS-E 24mm II or look at cambo/arca or... dare I say MFDB?  (Read 13729 times)

Jim2

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I love shooting landscape and at this stage still learning and enjoying it very much. My current gear are 1ds mk3 + 24-105. I've been wondering about getting a canon 24mm TS lens but also wondering whether I should bite the bullet and get cambo x2 or the new arca m line 2, or even go with mfdb, taking aside price consideration for a moment.

My only concern about going cambo / arca or even mfdb gear is the weight. I am ok carrying my current gear + tripod but I'm wondering how much more hassle it would be to lug the bigger stuff around because not only the hiking weight to consider but also the ability to carry them on the aeroplane with my laptop as well.

On the other hand I'd love to be able to print big and hoping to capture some nice stuff - it's all part of learning and the joy of photography. I currently only have a 24" printer but eventually might get a bigger one, one day.

Thanks for the advice / thoughts on the matter.
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stevesanacore

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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 11:55:51 pm »

Quote from: Jim2
I love shooting landscape and at this stage still learning and enjoying it very much. My current gear are 1ds mk3 + 24-105. I've been wondering about getting a canon 24mm TS lens but also wondering whether I should bite the bullet and get cambo x2 or the new arca m line 2, or even go with mfdb, taking aside price consideration for a moment.

My only concern about going cambo / arca or even mfdb gear is the weight. I am ok carrying my current gear + tripod but I'm wondering how much more hassle it would be to lug the bigger stuff around because not only the hiking weight to consider but also the ability to carry them on the aeroplane with my laptop as well.

On the other hand I'd love to be able to print big and hoping to capture some nice stuff - it's all part of learning and the joy of photography. I currently only have a 24" printer but eventually might get a bigger one, one day.

Thanks for the advice / thoughts on the matter.


I've been shooting landscapes with the 5D, then 1DsMk3 and 5D mk2. With the best lenses, I have fabulous 30x40, and 40x60" prints. I have even printed up to 8' wide for one client. For many of these I used Leica R lenses with adapters although some of the newest Canon L lenses are now showing great quality. Now although I have had good results with this setup, I don't think it would be as good as a MF 40-60MP back on a Hasse or Phase with good optics. The problem for me is; I have felt that both the Hasse and Mamiya cameras are just not as good as my old MF gear and the cost is ridiculous. I have thought about a small view camera with a Phase back but just can't justify the expense and trouble it would be to shoot with.

You may want to wait and see just how good the Leica S2 is. It may just be the perfect answer to many of us looking for a MF system with the quality of the old Hasse or Contax etc. For a 24" printer, the Canon 1Dsmk3 should be fine with the new 24mm Shift lens and a few other of the newest Canon L lenses. You may find that mastering Lightroom and Photoshop to bring out the best in your images will be more important than a larger sensor.

Not sure if that answers your question but it's my thoughts on the matter.


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Jim2

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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 12:58:47 am »

I'm interested in playing with / using tilt shift ala view cameras, mainly to get better front to distant focusing without stopping down. The images I've seen from the "masters" using 8x10 are just breathtakingly amazing! Granted it's not just the camera, but I doubt if a similar 'wow' effect can be achieved with slr?
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stever

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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 01:04:21 am »

i don't think the 24-105 is the best landcape lens - although i've used it as such with the 5D2 for prints to 17x25.  The 50 1.4, 100 Macro, and other primes will give significantlly results, and if you have static subjects you can stitch to whatever resolution you want.  I'd be very reluctant to give up the flexibility and low light capability of the 5 D2 for MF.
.

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Paul Sumi

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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 01:33:08 am »

Quote from: Jim2
I'm interested in playing with / using tilt shift ala view cameras, mainly to get better front to distant focusing without stopping down.

With specialized lenses like the T/S's, you may want to borrow or rent one to try out before buying.  A lot of landscape photography can be accomplished without using one.

Also, keep in mind that landscape is not just about wide-angle vistas - telephotos also play a big role, often to pick out and isolate details.  

Paul
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JeffKohn

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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 12:24:25 pm »

Quote from: Jim2
I'm interested in playing with / using tilt shift ala view cameras, mainly to get better front to distant focusing without stopping down. The images I've seen from the "masters" using 8x10 are just breathtakingly amazing! Granted it's not just the camera, but I doubt if a similar 'wow' effect can be achieved with slr?
A tilt/shift lens can allow you to increase DOF, and the shift can also be used to correct perspective in some compositions. I think they're definitely a useful tool for DSLR landscape and architecture shooters.

But to get that large-format look with the in-your-face foreground and massive depth, you're going to have a hard time because those LF guys are using rear tilts to get that effect. Front tilts have very little affect in perspective, but the same is not true for rear tilts. Tilting back the rear standard really emphasizes the foreground and makes it loom. If you ever get a chance to play around with a view camera give it a try and you'll see what an advantage they have for that type of composition.

Unfortunately even a lot of the "digital" view cameras sacrifice rear tilts in the name of size/weight and precision. For instance the Arca-Swiss M-Line 2 only has front tilt/swing and rear shift/rise/fall. Which is still much more flexible than a tilt/shift lens on a DSLR, though.
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Misirlou

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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 12:37:20 pm »

I also find SLR tilt/shift lenses to be just as difficult to use as real view cameras. SLRs benefit from a bright, erect image, but it's a tiny image that is difficult to magnify. Live View can help, but it's still a bit of a struggle to fully exploit those lenses. And as per the other posters, none of the T/S lenses are as capable of full control as a true view camera. But, the results can be terrific if you do the grunt work.
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Jim2

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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2009, 12:41:31 pm »

Quote from: JeffKohn
A tilt/shift lens can allow you to increase DOF, and the shift can also be used to correct perspective in some compositions. I think they're definitely a useful tool for DSLR landscape and architecture shooters.

But to get that large-format look with the in-your-face foreground and massive depth, you're going to have a hard time because those LF guys are using rear tilts to get that effect. Front tilts have very little affect in perspective, but the same is not true for rear tilts. Tilting back the rear standard really emphasizes the foreground and makes it loom. If you ever get a chance to play around with a view camera give it a try and you'll see what an advantage they have for that type of composition.

Unfortunately even a lot of the "digital" view cameras sacrifice rear tilts in the name of size/weight and precision. For instance the Arca-Swiss M-Line 2 only has front tilt/swing and rear shift/rise/fall. Which is still much more flexible than a tilt/shift lens on a DSLR, though.
Wow thanks for this info. What about Cambo Ultima 35?
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JeffKohn

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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2009, 12:46:41 pm »

Quote from: Jim2
I love shooting landscape and at this stage still learning and enjoying it very much. My current gear are 1ds mk3 + 24-105. I've been wondering about getting a canon 24mm TS lens but also wondering whether I should bite the bullet and get cambo x2 or the new arca m line 2, or even go with mfdb, taking aside price consideration for a moment.

My only concern about going cambo / arca or even mfdb gear is the weight. I am ok carrying my current gear + tripod but I'm wondering how much more hassle it would be to lug the bigger stuff around because not only the hiking weight to consider but also the ability to carry them on the aeroplane with my laptop as well.

On the other hand I'd love to be able to print big and hoping to capture some nice stuff - it's all part of learning and the joy of photography. I currently only have a 24" printer but eventually might get a bigger one, one day.

Thanks for the advice / thoughts on the matter.
I think it depends on what you want. If you just want the resolution to print big, stitching might be a good place to start. It doesn't cost much and resolution can go pretty much as high as you want.

If you want tilts to control DOF and shifts to control perspective, something like the 24 TS-E might be a really good choice. I have a couple of the t/s Nikon lenses and really like using them. They don't give you as much flexibility as the full range of movements on a view camera, but they do open up new possibilities for DSLR shooters.

LF digital is the ultimate in some ways, but does carry some compromises: namely size/weight and price. The cameras are also a lot less versatile than DSLR's if your shooting isn't entirely tripod-based landscapes. For me personally, the MFDB guys need to figure out how to implement high-quality LiveView without tethering before LF digital will really be attractive to me for field work.

I'm actually considering the DSLR version of the M-Line 2 (currently researching lens compatiblity and a few other things). This would give me the option of shooting LF-style, but still being able to use the DSLR without the M-Line 2 when I want to.
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Jeff Kohn
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JeffKohn

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Do I go for Canon TS-E 24mm II or look at cambo/arca or... dare I say MFDB?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 01:07:52 pm »

Quote from: Jim2
Wow thanks for this info. What about Cambo Ultima 35?
I hadn't seen that one before. I knew about the Cambo X2 Pro, but had no interest in it since it seems to only have front-standard movements. Without rear-standard shift/rise, flat stitching isn't really practical and that's one of the things I'm interested in.

The Ultima 35 appears to have the full range of movements, which is definitely appealing. Unfortunately there's not much info on their website, they don't even list size/weight specs. I have a feeling this camera could be quite a bit heavier than the M-Line 2. You'll note that lens compatibility is an issue. They only list one lens wider then 72mm as being compatible (the Schneider Digitar 28mm). They also have an adapter for Mamiya MF lenses; but I'm not sure what the availability and optical quality is for those lenses though. The Arca-Swiss guys seemed to think the new Rodenstock 40mm and 50mm HR-W lenses might be retro-focal enough to work with this type of camera, but hadn't yet tested to find out. That's one of the things I'm waiting to hear back from them on.

Since this is such a niche market, there's not much available information out there on these cameras and their capabilities, quirks, and incompatibilities. It'd be nice if there was detailed enough information (including user reviews) to determine how the M-Line 2 and Ultima 35 compared with regards to size, weight, construction, precision, etc.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 01:08:29 pm by JeffKohn »
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JeffKohn

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Do I go for Canon TS-E 24mm II or look at cambo/arca or... dare I say MFDB?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 01:33:28 pm »

I found some specs for the Ultima 35 on Calumut's site. At 11lbs I think this camera is much heavier than the M-Line 2, which if I recall correctly is less than 5lbs.
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BrianWoolf

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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 02:38:23 pm »

I used a Cambo Ultima a few years ago. My first impression, unpacking it was "Man, this is really heavy!" and that was the base and rail only. I would guess the weight closer to 15lbs. This is really a good studio camera but not to hike with.

There are no real good options in the larger size cameras, there might be one for you but finding it might prove difficult. The Cambo Wide DS and the Alpa 12 type cameras have limited tilt and shift options compared the a normal 4x5. It is very possible that they have these limited tilt and shift because the closeness the the lens and digital back will not allow large movements that older 4x5 cameras are capable of. If you stick a MFDB on a 4x5 Ebony(some one has done this), I am not sure what that cameras limits become. In other words it might not do exactly what you wish it to do.

Good Luck,
Brian Woolf
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Tyler Mallory

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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 02:50:35 pm »

One of the dslr's major advantages for outdoor shooting is its weather resistance.
Also, think of the relative simplicity and efficiency of the dslr, when you need to move quickly.

uaiomex

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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2009, 03:35:46 pm »

Jim:
Post the same in Large  Sensor MF back and let's read a different story (I guess)

I'm thinking on acquiring both new 24,17Ts and 35L. Expensive glass but a true bargain teenager ride compared to investing into digital MF.
Eduardo
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jland

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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2009, 05:57:29 pm »

Quote from: JeffKohn
But to get that large-format look with the in-your-face foreground and massive depth, you're going to have a hard time because those LF guys are using rear tilts to get that effect. Front tilts have very little affect in perspective, but the same is not true for rear tilts. Tilting back the rear standard really emphasizes the foreground and makes it loom. If you ever get a chance to play around with a view camera give it a try and you'll see what an advantage they have for that type of composition.

"Rear tilt" can be accomplished using a camera that only has front tilt. Tilting the rear standard on a view camera simply changes the angle between lens and image planes and between the image plane and the ground. On a camera that only has front tilt you can angle the image plane relative to the ground using the tripod head, and then apply front tilt and downward shift to put the lens plane and axis where they would be as if you had rear tilt. The amount of tilt and shift you have at the lens may limit how much "rear" tilt you can apply, though.
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Jim2

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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2009, 10:19:18 pm »

So at the end of the day there are only two ways to go about this:

1. Get the canon ts lens and be happy with it knowing that it isn't necessarily the best possible system and the images won't be the best possible (yeah even an LF / MFDB in the hands of an amateur can never beat a beautifully shot dslr image done by someone who knows what they're doing).

or

2. Go all the way and get LF 8x10 or MFDB + arca / cambo. Bear the weight and try your best to take the best photos

Someone once told me though (and I'm quoting it very inaccurately here... you get the idea I hope) that Mozart won't be as good as he was had he just been playing on a crappy piano and never ever really got to use the grand piano.

I OFTEN hear people say - just get X (some cheaper version of things) first, learn with it and upgrade later. I hear it time and time again - golf clubs, tennis rackets, camera, piano, etc. I think it's more of a hindrance when using an inferior tool to learn a craft.

So... catch 22. Any thoughts or pearls of wisdom regarding this?
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Paul Sumi

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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2009, 01:26:04 am »

Quote from: Jim2
I OFTEN hear people say - just get X (some cheaper version of things) first, learn with it and upgrade later. I hear it time and time again - golf clubs, tennis rackets, camera, piano, etc. I think it's more of a hindrance when using an inferior tool to learn a craft.

So... catch 22. Any thoughts or pearls of wisdom regarding this?

One thought - don't confuse "basic" or "less expensive" for "inferior."  By that logic the first car of a person just learning to drive should be an F1 racer, not a Toyota Camry.  You're not going to learn much about street driving if you have to push 100mph just to warm up the F1's tires so they can grip the road.

OTOH, one area where I agree with you that one should start with the best one can afford is camera support - a solid tripod and tripod head.  My Gitzo is now supporting its fourth generation of DSLRs and I expect to continue using it for years to come.

Paul
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DaveCurtis

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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2009, 03:33:20 am »

If you did go with the Canon plus the ts-e. It's not like you have to keep them forever. I'm sure the 24mm ts-e would hold it's value reasonably well if you decided to sell up to go to a MFDB.

Currently I'm deciding on the 24mm ts-e II  or wait untill the Zeiss 21mm ZE is released. Both are big improvements on my 24 -105mm.

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Dick Roadnight

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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2009, 05:28:27 am »

Go all the way and get  MFDB + Sinar F3

The Sinar F3 folds flat, and I think I could get one in my briefcase with my 17" Mac laptop.

The P3/F3 lensboards take up little room, and the Apo-digitar lenses are tiny compared to my Hassy zoom.

And when you do not need light weight kit, you can use the same lensboards on a Sinar P3, with geared movements!
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Jim2

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Do I go for Canon TS-E 24mm II or look at cambo/arca or... dare I say MFDB?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2009, 07:14:13 am »

Quote from: Tyler Mallory
One of the dslr's major advantages for outdoor shooting is its weather resistance.
Also, think of the relative simplicity and efficiency of the dslr, when you need to move quickly.
I am unfamiliar with the MF gear with view camera. Are they not weather resistance? e.g. rain / snow / humidity
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