Best landscape camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Policar, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Policar, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I'm taking a trip out west and I'm planning on ditching the 4x5 and shooting some landscapes on my 5D III with TS-E lenses.

    But the Mark III has vastly worse image quality. So... Are there any affordable rental systems that have tilt shift lenses available? The Pentax D645? Hasselblad? I'd be renting for three weeks.

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    NZed

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    #2
    Why 5D with 4x5 lenses and not EF lenses?
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

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    The 5DIII is one of the best FF DSLRs made. Put some L glass on the front and you should be good to go. Recommended L glass:

    17-40 or 16-35 (16-35 if you need faster than F4)
    24-105 or 24-70 (personally I prefer the 24-105 for handheld walk around use)
    100-400 (hard the beat the combo of quality and range at a relatively low cost)
    100 or 180 macro (also excellent for portrait work)
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    #4
    ++1, esp. for landscapes. Terrible IQ? LOL
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    #5

    I think he means relative to the 4x5, not other DSLRs. Actually, when I saw the thread title, my first thought was "Linhof" but I guess that's not the answer the OP was looking for.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    fcortese

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    #6
    Agree totally. I've not had any problems with landscape photos using my 5DIII and L lenses.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Hasselblad make a tilt/shift adapter which works with most (but not all) of their H lenses. I've hired it and it does a cracking job. I'd recommend the Hassey H System for landscape or any seriously considered photography. Some landscapers have moved to the Leica S2 as it has better weatherproofing but I don't think they have a tilt/shift adapter for it and I'm not sure the Hasselblad one will fit.

    You'll get better answers to this question over at Luminous Landscape
     
  8. macrumors 68000

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    Rent a D800 (for landscapes you definitely want its 2.5 stops more d-range and the higher detail compared to the 5D) and attach a 45mmPCE to it (or the 24PCE if you need ultrawide).
    Then shift all the way left, make a photo, shift neutral, make photo, shift all the way right, make photo and stitch the result.
    With the 45mm it will combine to a 60mpixel 30mm shot, with the 24mm you will have a 60mpixel 16mm shot. The quality is better than most mid-size camera's can offer.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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  10. Policar, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    My bad! Dumb typo. I meant TS-E lenses to emulate 4x5's movements.

    I like 150mm and 300mm on 4x5 so I'm going for similar fields of view. That would be about 45mm/50mm and 90mm.

    I'm sure the L lenses are all very good, but I need tilt and shift and the 24mm TS-E II L is way too wide.

    I was bummed because the 45mm TS-E is poor optically (but better than Nikon's version; the D800E may be amazing but Nikon's tilt/shift lenses are poor). The Schneider looks interesting, however. Is it available for F mount? That and the D800E could be a fun combo. I'd rent both if it's available. Any word on its performance? It looks impressive but Schneider is kind of a second rate Zeiss.

    If it's not available to rent for the D800 I'll just rent it for my 5D III. Thankfully DR is less important to me than it is to most because I try to shoot scenes with a DR of five stops and under, which I know is weird, but that's the style I'm working toward. But the Nikon clearly is superior in this regard, whereas I prefer the skin tones on Canon cameras.

    How expensive is the Hasselblad H system to rent? While I imagine the IQ is much better in general, since everything will be deep focus and near diffraction-limited anyway for me (and skin tones don't matter) I'm not sure the step up from D800E to Hasselblad would be as big as it normally would be.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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  12. macrumors 6502a

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    I was going to suggest a Nikon D800e and a PC-E Nikkor, but your post eliminated the 5D Mk.III on account of its 'vastly worse' image quality, so I would also advise against the D800e too.

    If the 5D3 won't cut the mustard, then the D800e probably won't be good enough either. Maybe I'm mistaken, but the last time I tried the 5D III with the new 400mm F/2.8 Canon, the images were pretty decent, so I don't know what quality you expect.

    Personally, I love the D800e and for me it produces fine images but you should focus on only medium format on account of the requirements you've given.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    [/COLOR]
    Not trying to be a snob, just want to try some nice gear out and maybe make some big prints. I think there's a significant difference between the Mark III and the D800E for landscape, and a big difference between the D800E and drum scanned 4x5. Your work looks great, btw, certainly better than what I'll come up with.

    I think I'll rent the D800E and Schneider T/S lenses. Seems like it'll be about $1000 rental for three weeks, cheaper than shooting 4x5 and getting drum scans.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

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    Oh, don't mind my work - I barely take many photos these days, which is kind of ironic. That will change once things settle down at work I think (or hope). :(

    The D800e is a great camera for landscapes - but if I may offer a suggestion - get some extra batteries for it. It goes through its battery very quickly in my experience.

    Watch out for mirror slap too, this can cause blur in the image which is made even more obvious by 36.3mp. You can use Live View to get around that, or even M/UP mode. Live view is quite practical for landscape shots. Other than that, not much else to say. It does the job pretty well. :)
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

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    #15
    For shooting landscapes, first use a tripod. The turn on mirror lockup and use the 2 second timer to let the camera settle down before the shutter opens. On my Canon bodies I program those settings and others (ISO 100..etc.) in to C1 for use with landscapes or other still life. My C2 configuration is for wildlife and C3 is similar (but faster) as it is for fast moving subjects (birds in flight).

    In the field rotating between C1, C2, and C3 can definitely get you shots that you would miss in you have to reconfigure a body setting by setting.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

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    The 5DIII, along with the 17mm and 24mm TS-E lenses in your bag will give you some great results if you're able to grasp the tilt/shift feature.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Just to clarify things a bit, the OP has experience with a 4x5 view camera, and the implementation of what is called Tilt/Shift in digital is a crutch compared to what the large format will give. You have complete control of both axis on the lens and film planes as well as elevation up front. I love my dslr and it gives me great images, but there are things I did with my view camera that I won't even waste money trying with digital.

    Dale
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    To be fair, my experience with 4x5 is mostly just a lot of frustration and giving up. Though I took like one really gorgeous shot that was technically excellent. But I'm not too worried about T/S lenses presenting any long term technical confusion. Once I figure the mechanics out it should be a cinch compared with using a view camera.

    It looks like my favorite field of view (45mm on 135) is also the weakest for every manufacturer. To the extent that the D800E might not promise a significant increase in resolution. So I might just rent the Canon 24mm, 1.4 converter III, 45mm, and 90mm TS-E lenses for a month and use my 5D. Or buy a 45mm TS-E II, as is rumored to come out.

    I'm back to my crummy 'ol 5D III yet again! I knew it was good for something.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

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    The Leica X1 has a fixed 24mm (35mmg equivalent) lens. Not terribly fast but adequate. Small and very portable to carry around all day.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

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    The 1.4X won't mount on Canon lenses under 70mm, and not all lenses over 70mm either.
     
  21. macrumors member

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  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Thanks, I'll check that article out.

    Fwiw, the TS-E lenses do work with teleconverters (unofficially), but EXIF data is screwed up I think.

    Anyhow, I've settled on renting 45mm and 90mm TS-E lenses for my 5D Mark III and keeping my view camera and two lenses (135mm and 210mm) and shooting mostly 6x12 with it (Velvia is still available in 120 and more affordable than Velvia 100 for 4x5). I'm not shooting very well with digital for whatever reason (just poor compositions) and 6x12 is a nice format.

    My view camera work still suffers from technical issues. Occasionally I won't get everything in deep focus (hard to know where to place focus and how far to stop down) and sometimes my exposures are way off. Anyone have any advice on fail proof techniques? For very simple shots (infinity focus and minor swing and rise) should I even worry about exposing longer to compensate for lens movements? Is it worth checking exposure on a dSLR, and if so, how fast would you rate the dSLR? I rate Velvia at 40 ISO recently but still get the occasional underexposure. I usually rate highlights so they're no brighter than 1.5 stops over and shadows so they're no darker than 1 stop under with a spot meter, but usually that leads to me overexposing way beyond what my incident meter suggests, but the scene is still a little dark. Maybe I just shoot dark scenes.

    Anyone recommend any good cheap drop cloths? I'm using the hood of an old jacket atm.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #23
    I assume you mean dark cloth. Cheap is a relative term to photographers...:D

    Harrison Dark Cloth at B&H

    Spot metering is an art that I'm not good at. When I shoot manual I get my exposures off a grey card (mine's a pop out thing with white balance on one side and a grey screen on the other). It seems to help in digital.

    Dale
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Yeah. That teaches me to post before I've had coffee.

    Since I shoot everything in deep focus with almost no rise or swing, I usually just assume I won't have to compensate for anything exposure-wise, but that might be why I get underexposure. When I shoot portraits I compensate.

    I'm going to try shooting with priority on the shadows, letting them get no darker than one stop under 18% gray, and then allowing the highlights to just barely clip (no brighter than 2 stops over anywhere, no brighter than 1.5 stops over where I want to guarantee detail).

    I usually use swing to try and get the closest object and farthest object in focus, then guess how far I'll have to stop down by how far I have to focus forward and backward to get the rest in focus. Then I stop down that far. Totally inelegant. Is there established technique for this kind of thing? I want everything to appear in focus but to avoid diffraction. I usually shoot between f22 and f45. I should just read my old book on this.
     
  25. macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #25
    IMO, there really isn't enough movement in most small format fixed T/S lenses to make up for a view camera. They're fine for perspective control for architecture and large monuments, but not for selective Scheimpflug focus. Unless you have a lot of wind movement, I think you're better off focus stacking and stitching to get what you want. That also gives you the advantage of staying away from diffraction limiting apertures.

    Paul
     

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