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Messages - sanj

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Appeal of Nikon Df
« on: December 13, 2013, 02:03:59 AM »
My vote is #1

So much so that a photo of this camera is my desktop image these days.

The Nikon Df seems like it would appeal to that still shooter looking for the 35mm character. With the cost falling in the same range with the Nikon D800/800E, it definitely has a novelty price tag associated with it and without features such as an integrated GPS, WiFi or video capture, it certainly dings the future-proofness of the Nikon Df.

I think a good first place to start is to consider the following:

- 16.2MP
- No video capture
- No integrated GPS

Another interesting aspect of the Nikon Df is that the top pentaprism box is not metal alloy as the rest of the body, in-line with F-series design cues. So why not integrate GPS?

Canon employed a polycarbonate reinforced fiberglass material in the the 6D – to permit WiFi and GPS. You’d think that this would be a great opportunity for Nikon, seeing how they’re using a material that could pass GPS through to employ an integrated GPS into the Df... : (


Different needs for different people I guess. 16.2 mp is fine for me for this camera, my needs are high ISO.
I do not shoot video and do not need GPS.

Btw love your photos on your website. :)

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 13, 2013, 01:31:27 AM »
Thank you guys. Again. Keeping everything in mind...

We were considering a professional telescopic crane I use in motion pictures. Will make a test..

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 12, 2013, 03:42:01 AM »

You always underestimate yourself when you are one of the best photographers I've seen. They picked you because of your great portfolio. Relax.

Just call the client and tell them you want to make sure you provide them with the files they need. Ask to talk to whomever is doing post-processing and find out how they envision accomplishing this. (They'll probably be so amazed that a photographer actually talked to them before the shoot that they'll love you forever.)

You can explain that you see several possible approaches and you want to talk about how he or she envisions the final product. Personally, I'm not comfortable with the ND filter approach because it's kind of a one shot, roll the dice sort of thing and the risk of getting "ghosts" is really strong. (See the first ever recorded picture of a human being: Niepce's Paris Street Scene, where the guy getting his shoes shined shows up because he was standing still while the rest of the people on the street were moving)

I've never tried the approach recommended by Martin Evening, but it seems to me that would be a lot safer provided the person doing the processing understands what they are doing.

Honestly, I'm a little worried about not knowing their expectations. It's very possible that the only post-processing they intend to do is converting and tweaking the images for CMYK. He/she may have a heart attack if you give them 50 or 60 files that need to be merged without talking to them first.

As far as cameras, any full frame will be more than adequate. Heck, you could probably shoot it on a 7D and be fine. Remember, the major limiting factor is going to be the output resolution, not the capture resolution.

Thank you so so much for your kind words and advice.

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 12, 2013, 03:38:34 AM »
There are many considerations for this task and here are a few observations I would ponder while planning a similar job.

First off, I print decent sizes from 135 format images and I have shot for artists art books, most of the time they are OK but in many conditions a medium format capture will wipe the floor of 135 with regards detail, tonality and DR, even in modest sized prints, especially in challenging light (like early mornings). But it can be very subject and style dependent, without knowing the post processors style it is impossible to say whether MF is a better approach for this specific image.

Second, if you are shooting at Varanasi from a boat stitching isn't a practical option. I have done it.

Third, if you intend to use shift, nodal/entry point stitching is not an option, well I have never managed it, all I ever got was some weird projection anomalies.

Fourth, if you intend to do a traditional stitch with a 135 format TS-E 24 to get a 35mm fov then you'd need to use a 2XTC, and whilst the TS-E 24 is a sublime lens you cannot fail to take an IQ hit. If "Best Possible IQ" truthfully is the goal that is not the way to get it.

Fifth, MF is not that steep a learning curve, you will need a laptop with lots of RAM and HDD space, and shooting tethered really helps. If you have methodically shot landscapes etc then there are no real gottchas to worry about.

Sixth, shooting MF opens up a plethora of exotic very high quality lenses that will give you 80MP of detail and massive DR in one shot.

Seven, if you do go the 135 format route the best way to shoot for a 2:1 aspect ratio is a TS-E 24 + 1.4 TC and do a four shift "rotation" stitch. That is four diagonally shifted images, this method gives good overlap and enough cropping distance to lose the corners closest to the image circle.

Eight, email Roger over at LensRentals, he loves a challenge like this and will tell you straight what body, lens and software combo would be most effective.

These are just a few things I'd mull over in preparation. As a first thought, with "Best Possible IQ" in the brief, it would take an awful lot to make me drop rented MF to even consider 135 (and I am a huge 135 format fan), the differences are not just pixel numbers, but AA filters, DR and tonality.

Thank you so much. So much valuable information. You are the rare one who says medium format will look better even in small size prints. :)

We intend to get a sturdy crane which will go out about 10 ft into the river and improve the angle of photo. I am not looking at a stitch option, the job requires several photos taken at quick succession to later remove people and create an 'empty' shot.

When we rent stuff like MF in Bombay it comes with a guy who knows the camera technically.

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 11:52:58 AM »
I may go ahead with 5d3 on this one, but I have made a promise to myself that I am going to test out the medium formats personally in the near future and judge for myself.

For the life of me I cant figure out why so many of you are saying there will not be an IQ difference on a coffee table book if shot on a 35mm 23mp camera vs a larger 60mp sensor....

Must get to the bottom of this!

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 10:57:05 AM »

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 09:59:59 AM »
Well, I have to admit, reading more of the comments and seeing the location has changed my view a bit.

1) If you've never used a medium format digital system, this is probably not the best time to test drive it. Even accomplished photographers will have some measure of learning when changing formats. Not saying it can't be done, I just wouldn't dive into it blind. If you have a week or so ahead of the shoot, extending the rental would be hugely beneficial for practice. (I'm assuming you're already a competent and accomplished photographer.) I'd also get input from the rental company's representative as to the best system and lens for this particular shoot.

2) As mentioned in prior posts, I'm a medium format guy, but if I'm in your position, I wouldn't use it for this. It's just not needed, and I have my doubts that your client will notice the difference. Remember: IQ doesn't necessarily follow image size. 60-80MP are awesome to have, but most images in coffee table books weren't shot using that kind of gear.

3) As for the scene, I think you'll have trouble isolating or removing all the people. That's a tricky move that will require careful planning and a number of exposures. Also, I think shift movements are important given the proximity to the buildings, but that is based on the look you'd like to achieve.

Recommendation: 5D3 + TS-E 24 II (with or without movements, it's a brilliant lens)

I think I am going to forget large/medium format. :(

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 09:50:36 AM »
Recommendation: 5D3 + TS-E 24 II (with or without movements, it's a brilliant lens)

Seconded.  Just like with MF, if you've not used a TS-E lens before, getting it a day or two before you need to use it is important for practice (especially if you'll be using tilt for more DoF at wider apertures, although it doesn't look like that would be needd based on your example shot, and shift is easier to use).  Same for a pano head (you'll want time to find the 'nodal point' of the lens you'll be using, too).

Looks like the example image that was attached was shot with a Fujji X100 - that means a FF-equivalent FoV of ~35mm.  Depending on the needed aspect ratio, you could shoot 2-3 shots in portrait orientation (need a L-bracket) with a TS-E 24L II, using shift to correct the keystoning.  That would give you plenty of resolution in the stitched image, excellent IQ, etc.

I have had the 24 ts with me for a while and love shooting with it although I am not up to speed with tilt/shift concepts to the fullest.

BUT what I want to know is how on earth did you know it was shot from Fuji x100? :)

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:40:02 AM »
You want "the best", or "the best within budget"?
For backs, there's the IQ180, but there's also the new IQ280. The main advantage of the 280 over the 180 is that the 280 doesn't crap out on long exposures, get one of them for 1min+.
Going the Hasselblad route, there's the H4D200MS, it's a 50MP sensor that shifts itself by 1/2 a pixel in between 4 shots and stitches them internally to a 200MP image.
Or there's the Leica S2 and Pentax 645D. Both are 'only' 40MP, but for anything less than A2 size you can just as easily use a 35mm 20MP sensor.

Bodies, there's the Mamiya / Phase One 645DF, or any Mamiya 645 with a D in its name (ie all but the 645AF). If you're tripod-mounted you probably won't need any of the functions that come with the newer bodies.
Or there's the Alpa 12FPS, a camera designed to have higher IQ by having less shutter-induced shake (less than even a leaf shutter).
Hasselblad, Leica, and Pentax you're stuck with the bodies that you get.

Lenses, the Leica S2 has Leica quality glass. 'nuff said.
Hasselblad, you're getting their name-brand stuff too (used to be made by Zeiss, now by Fuji, either way, it's damn nice).
Phasemiya, there's the 28mm LS which is very sharp but possibly too wide for you, the 'new digital' 35mm I haven't tried but I definitly wasn't impressed by my 'C' copy of the old version.
Alpa, you can use their extremely nice (with pricetags to match) LF 'alpagon' lenses (rebadged Rodenstock Apo Sironar HR). Or you can get it with any mount you like, even EF.
And on all of those bodies you can use lenses with a longer flange via adapter, like Hassy V, Pentacon 6, Bronica, Rollei 6000, Pentax 67, etc etc...

Or realistically, a 6D with a 24mm TSE or 35mm Sigma/Zeiss is going to be more than enough for a simple book that doesn't cost $5 per page to print at stupid resolutions...

ps, a 25-35mm lens on 'FF' (24x36mm) equates to a 38-55mm on '645' (56x37mm once it's cropped, I'll presume you're cropping more panoramic than 3x2).
But don't forget digital 645 sensors aren't as big as 645 film, depending on the sensor you get you may have to get a wider lens to account for a smaller sensor...

Phew! Thx.

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:37:35 AM »
Thank you all for the valuable insights. I have learnt a lot. Still bit confused, but clarity is coming in.

Am attaching a photo of roughly where I will be. Not exactly here but similar situation.

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:35:12 AM »
Let me see if I've got this right...It's a coffee table book and the client is doing all the PP work.
Stitch the tripod mounted images using what you have, insuring spot-on camera settings, and move on.
You don't need to make a huge production out of it...when he finishes, you probably won't even recognize it anyway.

Yes, I will not recognize it I am sure. There is complete transparency here. He will clone out people, add sky etc.

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:33:56 AM »
...Stitching will not work as I need to hold the camera steady and then take multiple photos of the same shot every two minutes so the client can delete people that are moving around in the frame and create an empty shot of the place.

For what it is worth, Martin Evening has a tutorial in his "Adobe Photoshop Ultimate Workhsop" book (at least he did in the CS4 version) on using multiple images to remove tourists from the "bean" in Chicago. You might check with your client to see if this is the sort of thing they are contemplating. (He actually shot about 100+ images over an hour and stacked them in Photoshop to remove the people)

Thank you, will check. This is exactly what needs to be done. The question now is, should I shoot this on format better than my 5d3 or not? Would not a larger format help in cleaner post? :)

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 35 f/1.4L II to Finally Arrive? [CR1]
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:07:23 AM »
still CR1? ... this thing better make good coffee, deliver pizza, and give good B... I better not say that


My choice is FE2 with 23 f1.4. Better high ISO. Great for when I go out to dinners. And I can detach the lens and put camera in one pocket and lens and other.

Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 10, 2013, 08:16:48 AM »
A friend of mine have the latest 80MP Phase One. He made some shots in the Pyrenees this fall, which I saw in high quality 1mx1.5m prints. Incredible dynamics, resolution, color, the lot.

I'll second this. Phase One and Leaf make huge sensor medium format digital backs. I'd say it's probably worth renting that kind of system for the shoot if your budget allows. Truth is, for a magazine spread you don't need 80MP, or anywhere near it, but it will yield the most headroom for post work.

Thank you both. So I will look up Phase on and Leaf. Are these complete cameras? I do not know what 'back means'. And yes headroom in post work is what is required for this job. I am allowed to rent whatever I want, so why not the best? The rental will be perhaps not so much compared to other expenses: Flights, hotels, etc.

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