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Any Landscape photogs shooting Hasselblad digital

Strange (to me), but it seems like the entire medium format digital marketing strategy is aimed at the commercial, wedding and portrait photographers. Not that I have anything against you guys at all, but it does seem that Hasselblad and other manufacturers would at least mention the potential for medium format in the field once in a while. Maybe they know most of us can't afford the backs!
Elizabeth Carmel, who Hassleblad voted as one of the top 12 photographers of 2006, is the absolute only person I have ever heard of who is shooting nature/landscape with an "H" system digital camera.
I've shot nature/landscapes with a "V" system since 1972, and for many reasons (some mentioned in Marc Williams' thread on the "CFV 1.5..."), I just haven't converted yet. While I'm sure the major expense of a digital back has a lot to do with it, I still find it curious as to why there aren't many, if any, medium format digital shooters doing landscapes? Granted, there's no wide angle shooting with the CFV, but wide angles are no issue on the CF backs. Who knows, maybe all the former medium format landscapers just went to Canon when converting to digital. Believe me, the thought has crossed my mind too, but I've come to love the square format, and do not want to give it up.
Michael H. Cothran
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Michael

People , who have to earn their money with photography in sports , journalism , event , studio , fashion , wedding and other branches , which require a fast result in our modern times , shoot digital .
And there is a high demand for extreme quality (for low prices) . If you are a photographer for any of the mentioned branches , you have to go digital . Otherwise you are lost .

Landscape photography is fascinating . But it is very hard to earn money with it .
Unless you produce a book like Elizabeth Carmel did with her fascinating book :
Brilliant Waters . I have that book in front of me , and i think , she has done a very good job .
Stunning images required a lot of walks into nature and a deep sensetivity for nature .
I do believe , that the invested time to shoot all these image does not stand in any relation , to what she would earn with that book . But she has done it , and I am glad about this .

I am rather new to digital and will do landscape shooting , as I have always done .
But my work in the past was mainly B/W , and having a CFV back today , I have discovered colour . Funny , isn't it ? .
Colormangement is not perfect yet in my workflow , but I am working hard on it .
All very new experiences I have to make here .

Live is exciting , photography as well , but without that excitement , its nothing .
 

carl_sanders

New Member
I will give this a try, wide angle is not a problem on the CFV digital back, we will do a panoramic and stich it together. Do not hold your breath though, we do not want hospital cases, best wishes, Carl
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Carl

Which kind of equipment are you going to use for the panoramic shots ?
I find the NOVOFLEX heads , I have seen on the roadshow , not solid enough for MF cameras .
The MANFROTTO gear does not look much better .
So , what type of gear are you using ?
 
I'm no stranger to stitching, having done it on a regular basis since Photomerge appeared in CS. The first issue is assuming you can pan & stitch the subject at hand. Oftentimes it is neither convenient nor possible to pan a particular image. I've done as many as a mosaic of 16 images, 4 rows of 4 images each, from a 35mm DSLR. I have a pretty good routine established for working this way with my 35mm DSLR - in essence, if you shoot as many rows as you do panned images, you will maintain a 2:3 image ratio. I normally shoot 2x2 or 3x3 images this way.
Square works well, and is absolutely no problem with the CFV, or any digital back for that matter. Two pans with a 25% overlap will provide you with 3:4, 2:3, or 1:2 image proportions, depending on the amount of your cropping, matching a 28 mega pixel back, and yielding a file size about 84 mega bytes. 4 pans with 25% overlapping will equal a 6x17 image. You can also easily shoot a square mosaic of 4 images (2 across, 2 down) with the CFV. Assuming a 25% overlap, your stitched square file will represent a 52 mega pixel back @ 156 mega bytes. Slightly less than what I get from a scanned and slightly cropped 6x6 neg.
Stitching scanned film is entirely different, and represents the second major issue. The issue with stitching scanned film is squaring up the individual images - making sure that rows of pixels on one image are parallel with rows of pixels on the other images - no small feat for anyone. The only way I've been successful here is to scan 2 or 3 6x6 images from uncut film. My Nikon LS9000ED scanner will allow a film strip up to 3 6x6's, so that's the maximum I can stitch. Since the film is uncut, all the involved images will be the same angle to each other, so that rows of pixels from each image will match.
There's a Hasselblad forum on Yahoo, where I was able to retrieve all the nodal point measurements for V lenses. I use a large Gitzo pan head for all my panos, which allows me to adjust the camera/lens so that its nodal point rests directly above the pivoting point. The farther from "level" I am, the more difficult it becomes with Photomerge to match the images. I'm sure other third party pano programs will work better here.
Michael H. Cothran
 

mr_orange

New Member
Michael, you sound like a man with experience in stitching, so I was wondering, what in your opinion is the best way to stitch digital files (in my case I'm looking at stitching architecture images). I have recently started using cs3 which seems pretty sweet, but not perfect, but looks like one of the best programs out there. If there is a better program out there I would like to know, so I can start learning it, cheers.
 
Paul, thanks for the vote of confidence, but I've only used Photomerge in CS. I know there are plenty of pano software out there, and from what I've read, many pano programs can perform some pretty hi-tech magic. Photomerge does fine with me, and I've never really wanted more. There is a another great Yahoo forum about panoramic photography, including stitching, aptly called panoramic photography. Here is a link to it -
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My initial panning/stitching stemmed from a desire to achieve bigger and better quality files from a smaller mega pixel camera, and as such I do mosaics rather than the common wide panos. I only pan with the Hasselblad V if there's no way to make a square composition out of what's in front of me. However, as I stated before, I always have to be sure to keep the pans at 3 or less, since I have to scan all the images on uncut film. For all I know, there may be some pano software out there that can line up or square up the files when scans are not perfectly registered.
Here are some great links -
My favorite is Max Lyons site. Go to it, and read and look at every single screen. He's very inspiring -
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Here are some others -
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Hope these help.
Michael H. Cothran
 

mr_orange

New Member
Thanks for all the info Michael, looks like there's a lot of programs out there, and some talented people. I always thought that images had to be taken on a tripod for stitching, looks like I was wrong.
 

carl_sanders

New Member
Jurgen, will be using a Gitzo 1326 tripod.

Michael, thanks for info and the addtional links, will look forward to browsing.

cheers, Carl
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Thanks Michael , for the very good information.

Using the MANFROTTO 405 geared head and my ARCASWISS 6x9 (with CFV ATTACHED) I would not need to buy any further "panorama head equipment" .
I believe , that the square format makes everything much easier .
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Thanks Carl .

My combination is the GITZO G1349 (carbon) and the MANFROTTO 405 geared head .
As the ARCA has a long rail , on which you can move the camera forth and back , it should not be difficult to find the precise nodal point . I will have to check if the middle of the rail matches the center of the panorama turning point .
 

fotografz

Active Member
"People , who have to earn their money with photography in sports , journalism , event , studio , fashion , wedding and other branches , which require a fast result in our modern times , shoot digital .
And there is a high demand for extreme quality (for low prices) . If you are a photographer for any of the mentioned branches , you have to go digital . Otherwise you are lost ."

Jurgen, I'm not sure digital has turned out to be all that great for wedding photography. Far from being "lost", there are a good number of wedding shooters still using film BTW.

Based on what I now know, I am pretty sure that if I didn't need digital gear for other more lucrative commercial photographic work, it would have been better to stick with film for weddings. Really, the only cost difference is film and processing. The prints cost the same. However, the digital post processing is a crushing load at times, no matter how fast I get at it.

Plus, in a frank and honest evaluation of the past 4 years worth of weddings (about 50,000. images), a vast % of the very best shots were on film. A revealing number considering that film made up less than 20% of the total shots. May have something to do with the shooting ethic of film ... as well as the greater latitude that lessens post work.

Back on Panoramic subject: it seems there should be a device that would allow lateral movement of a bubble leveled camera. Something like a 16" rail with a geared transport ... which combined with a 100/3.5 could be cranked from one end to the other.
 

agripix

New Member
<May have something to do with the shooting
ethic of film ... >

Marc:

My thoughts exactly! :)

I think that pretty much the same thing happened when the 'masses' got motor-wind and auto-focus. Techno-rush, I call it. Until 'they' realised "there ain't no substitute for horsepower" - in this case basic skills and knowledge, and thoughtful shooting.

Cheers,

Colin
 

fotografz

Active Member
Colin, unfortunately so many people have gulped the Cool-Aid that labs are closing down like the Plague was in town.
 

agripix

New Member
Marc:

Yup. Too bad. The sad thing is that many of the Cool-Aid drinkers never heard of Barry Thornton and DiXactol and home processing of film. I hope enough of the flat-earthers survive to make it feasible for a few film makers to stay in business. It was good to see Rollei get into the fray.

Colin


About DiXactol see:
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jotloob

MFF-Patron
Marc

No , digital has not turned out to be that great for wedding photography . True enough .
I have a very good friend . She is a wedding photographer , and most of her clients insist that she will shoot the whole session on digital . And they expect to see all taken shots next morning . Here is what I mentioned . If time is an important factor , you are damned to shot digital .
So she got a digital NIKON (don't know which model) , and since then , her HASSELBLAD 503CW is banned to sit in cupboard .
 
"Back on Panoramic subject: it seems there should be a device that would allow lateral movement of a bubble leveled camera. Something like a 16" rail with a geared transport ... which combined with a 100/3.5 could be cranked from one end to the other."
FYI -
Really Right Stuff offers a variety of rails. Although none are gear-cranked to my knowledge, the mounted camera can be manually shifted left & right. I believe I remember there being rails up to 28" in length. Here's a link -
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I've thought about RRS rails like these myself for lateral panos, as the physical stitching would be a breeze, since the camera/lens combo simply moves laterally, or even vertically, with no nodal panning involved. One can also achieve the same affect if you own any kind of shift lens, or have a LF camera with Shift and Rise/Fall capabilities. Of course, with shift lenses, I suspect you would be more limited in your "pano" range.
Michael H. Cothran
 

gjames52

New Member
unfortunately so many people have gulped the Cool-Aid that labs are closing down like the Plague was in town.>

Ironic. Last week Kodak laid off another 3,000 employees, after losing $346 million on sales of $7.7 billion on digital and $5.6 billion on film. Hollywood accounting for most of the film sales, which has been the historical norm.

And they expect to see all taken shots next morning .>

If pictures are on their minds: I expect their marriage will fail.

Regards:

Gilbert
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Carl

>> wide angle is not a problem on the CFV digital back , we will do a panoramic and stitch it together <<

That sentence made me think over and over again .
Many of us have been dreaming of a bigger sensor , like 49x49 up to 56x56 . Me too .
Thinking over your sentence again , we all could come to the conclusion , we could also dream of better stitching mechanics and better stitching software .
That would not require extremely expensive WA lenses nor extremely expensive new backs .
Just precise sliding adapters and the required software and better panoramic hardware .
And in addition to that , it would be much cheaper .

The HASSELBLAD H-SYSTEM is not open to a bigger sensor . The HY6 will be . So , what will the future bring ? Bigger sensors or better stitching techniques ?
 

carl_sanders

New Member
Jurgen, not sure that bigger sensors are needed, the 16MP gives a huge file and having a computer background it may be that some photographers think they need it but they do not.

Unless photographers are progressing huge poster c&aigns it is not seen why they need to go any further than the general magazine format. Then there is the quality of information within that format given with a medium format camera. The techniques are already here for stiching photographs together.

cheers, Carl
 
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