Friday, April 27, 2012

Using the Schneider 35 XL lens on a Cambo WRS

October 2008 I tested and bought my Cambo WRS.  The lens I was sent to test the system with the Cambo was the Schneider 35 XL which I also bought.  Fast-forward 36-months and I still have the very same Cambo and lens the only difference is an upgrade from the Phase One P45+ to a P65+ digital back.  36-months brought me from testing at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to using it in Jackson Hole WY. 

It's now 6-months after the Jackson Hole trip and I want to share my ongoing love affair with the Cambo WRS and the lenses I use ,beginning with the 35mm.  

Nothing is ever perfect all the time and that includes the camera gear I use.  One must remember there's downsides to everything; the tripod I use to capture landscapes with the WRS is a heavy beast; the flipside of the coin is it's very sturdy.  Likewise the WRS has both pros and cons however for the life of me I can't really decide on a con to describe.  Lets talk about the lenses and in particular the Schneider 35mm.

I quickly found I needed to use a center filter on the lens and vaguely remember buying it within 60-days of the lens and has never been taken off since.  I also found there's a limitation to the amount of shifts I can get by with when using the 35mm.  Normally I'll go just a little beyond that point as I intend to resize the image later and I'd rather have slightly too much than slightly not enough.  I've found that while 5mm shifts are good I can "get by" going slightly longer at say 10mm. 

Side note:  I also have the Schneider 72mm and the shifts on that lens are good to 15mm while the Schneider 120mm go all the way to 20mm.

The Achilles' Heel to the 35mm is the corners.  However, once you understand that you can work to correct it.

I hope to use the following images to better describe what the 35mm is capable of when used with the Phase One P65+.  The images have been processed using a combination of C1 Pro, and CS5.  LCC's were taken and analyzed using C1 Pro technical wideangle option.

These two image fresh out of C1 Pro after LCC applied.

Initial shot lens shifted 10mm up
(f/11 1/125 ISO100)
25x18.7 (8984x6732)
Second image 10mm down
25x18.7 (8984x6732)

Image merged in CS5
25x21.3 (8997x7675)

100% crop lower left
6x9 (2160x3240)

100% crop lower right
6x9 (2160x3240)

100% crop center
9x6 (3240x2160)

36x24 (12960x8640)

Resized 100% crop
6x9 (2160x3240)

Resized 100% crop
6x9 (2160x3240)

Before - After
Side by side comparison of lower left crops

Images are different in that the bottom corner was deleted in the cropping process thus shifting the lower left corner up several inches. The same for the lower right corner. 

Before - After

Final image after processing and resized to 24x36

I'll write more about the 72 and 120mm lenses if there's feedback on this.
Thank you for visiting and remember your comments and suggestions are always welcome.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Macro Images and the Phase One DF and P65+

An early test and outdoors
f/11 1/250 ISO50

Inside a hotel room using a flasklight
F/11 1/60 ISO800 

Same setup as above

3-images stacked
f/11 1/60 ISO800
By this time I was driving Sandy nuts...

According to Wikipedia, Macrophotography is nothing more than close-up photography, usually of very small objects; furthermore, it can be considered one in which the size of the subject on the negative is greater than life size, it also refers to a finished image where the subject is larger than life size.  A good starting point for more information can be found here.  Macrophotography can be fun and very challenging at the same time which is one reason I like doing it.   

f/8 1/60 ISO100

f/11 1/125 ISO50 w/flash

f/11 1/350 ISO100

f/13 1/125 ISO50 w/flash

Cheating with a 100% crop from above.  You just have to love the P65+.

Almost as soon as I switched back to using the Phase One DF body I began considering macro images.  While there are several options available I decided on the Mamiya Macro 120mm f/4 manual focus lens.  The 120mm offers a maximum f/stop of f/4 and a minimum of f/32, it also offers a magnification ration of 1:1.  Somewhat lightweight and very easy to focus this lens has turned out to be great not only for macro but normal focal length as well.  I want to thank my friends at Capture Integration for helping me find the right lens.

Going from one extreme to another which shows just how well the 120mm can perform.

Matilda from White Sands National Monument
f/8 1/250 ISO50
This isn't a crop

Another test of the Metz flash
f/11 1/125 ISO100

I picked up the lens last month while in the Everglades with Dave Gallagher and have been using both as a mid telephoto and macro.  This is the only overlapping focal length I have between my Cambo WRS technical camera and Phase One DF.

f/11 1/125 ISO100

f/11 1/125 ISO100 with flash

f/11 1/125 ISO100 with flash

Sometimes you just get lucky and end up with this.

The lens shade almost touched
f/11 1/125 ISO100 with flash

f/8 1/125 ISO100

I began testing not only the lens but myself as well shortly after receiving the lens and while I feel the lens is more than up to the task I'll need more work.  The images included here include the early tests as well as more recent.  Some are single images while a few are the result of stacking multiple images.

And finally,

f/8 1/125 ISO100 with flash

This is the result of initial testing, testing the lens, testing of the photographer, and in many ways testing of the digital back used.   What I've learned so far is the lens is more than capable of giving me what I want.  Likewise the Phase One P65+ will give me the image files that are more than large enough to contain the information captured; sometimes in a single capture and most of the times to crop in at 100%.  I've also learned than this is not a fast procedure and the success or failure rests solely on the photographer.
The post processing used is the result of Capture One Pro in each image, Photoshop CS5 is a few and Nik HDR Efex Pro in one.
I'm barely scratching the surface of the subject and will post more as I grow. 
Thank you for allowing me a chance to share and as always welcome comments, and suggestions.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Going outside the box

Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/180 ISO200

Canon 1DsIII 24-70 (55mm) f/8 1/400 ISO100
The Illustrated Man is a 1951 book by Ray Bradbury.  It's also a 1969 film based on 3-short stores from the same book starring Rod Steiger.   While Don never read the book he remembers seeing the film and the fact that the main character Carl played by Steiger is heavily tattooed.  While Carl's body is heavily tattooed his face wasn't.

Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/250 ISO200

Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/250 ISO200

Which brings us to Mr. Daniel Tavarez of Alamogordo NM.   We met Daniel last month in Alamogordo as we were having breakfast and asked him for permission to photograph his ink. 

Anyone who knows us knows we go out of our way not to photograph people.  Our preferred photography is landscape, nature and wildlife;  however every once in a while you need to go outside the lines and do something unusual.  
Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/500 ISO200

Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/500 ISO200

Daniel met us at the hotel where we were staying at and posed.  We found him to be a very kind person despite the outward appearance.   We want to share the results of that shooting and wish Daniel and his family all the best.

Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/250 ISO200

While showing Daniel the images on our laptop he remarked that it was the very first time he had a good look at the back of his head.

Again many thanks to Daniel for allowing us to capture his ink and share it with others.
Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome.

Sandy & Don

The images were all processed using Capture One Pro including the black & white conversion.

Monday, April 9, 2012

White Sands National Monument Part II

 43mm f/11 1/200 ISO50

24mm f/11 1/200 ISO50

24mm f/11 1/200 ISO50

24mm f/11 1/200 ISO50

25mm f/11 1/200 ISO50

Don laying down on the job
24mm f/11 1/200 ISO50

We want to share the images Sandy took on our return trip to White Sands.  Sandy decided to use just one lens on both days and these are samples of what the Canon 1DsIII along with the EF 24-70 f/2.8 is capable of producing.

70mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

58mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

As noted earlier we enjoyed ourselves so much in White Sands we decided to stop there again on our return home.  We arrived late Sunday morning to find great skies and shoot for several hours before leaving to check into our hotel. 
White Sands is unique in that in visiting, you're likely to see kids of all ages using a plastic disk to slide down the hard packed sand.  We noticed this during our first visit and again this time.  We had also seen an area set aside for those who might want to bring their horses.  What we weren't expecting was to see a camel.

Matilda and her fans

70mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

70mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

We met a very nice couple who brought their 2-dogs and camel to the dunes for exercise.  This is truly a sight you don't see everyday.  Matilda, is a 10-year old female camel the couple has had since it was born.  As you might expect Matilda quickly drew a crowd with the owners being kind enough to share their knowledge.  It also turns out that camel hair feels very similar to that of buffalo.  Go figure...

70mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

55mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

70mm f/11 1/320 ISO50
We think Matilda enjoyed seeing herself in the camera lens.

70mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

We left the park shortly after meeting Matilda to check-into our hotel.  Checking the weather forecast for the following day we found the morning should be a repeat of the day with mostly cloudy yet way less wind.  Perfect conditions for a sunrise shot.

55mm f/8 1/200 ISO125

40mm f/8 1/200 ISO100

28mm f/8 1/200 ISO50

28mm f/8 1/200

24mm f/8 1/200 ISO100

50mm f/8 1/200 ISO100

Waking up the next day we drove the 14-miles to the park entrance to wait for the opening.  We entered the park shortly after 7 a.m. with sunrise expected close to 7:30.  While not certain what to expect we nevertheless weren't disappointed.  

24mm f/8 1/320 ISO100

A study of wind patterns in the sand.

32mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

40 mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

24mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

24mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

27mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

27mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

25mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

Anyone else see feathers?
24mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

40mm f/11 1/320 ISO50

The images were all processed using Capture One Pro.

Thank you for allowing us to share and remember your thoughts, comments, and questions are always welcome.
Stay tuned for more...
Sandy & Don