Michael Scarbrough

Michael Scarbrough

Bainbridge Island, Washington

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  • Michael Scarbrough
    Michael Scarbrough
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    Posts: 2
    Field Techniques for Technical Cameras – Lenses and Accessories
    on: May 1, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks so much Dave for your thoughtful and detailed reply. Even though I have extensive experience with multiple large format film cameras, each with its own system to optimize perspective and depth-of-field, I can’t assume that experience will translate directly to “tech” cameras with their many differences from traditional large format cameras, and thus am most grateful for your insights, sharing your experience with this series of articles.

    I currently use a Phase One XF system and greatly miss the ability to creatively manage depth-of-field and perspective, but am reluctant to give up a reasonably good viewing and focus system for the alternatives available with a tech camera. My use case, similar to yours, is primarily landscape photography in wild places, often in rain here in the Pacific NW. The small LCD screen on the IQ4 is a big compromise in my estimation, and alternative viewing/focus aids for tech camera users are not field friendly either – battery consumption, etc. The fact that many users like yourself find a way to make it work and have chosen this approach suggests I can to, but I’d have no incentive to accept the compromises necessary except for movements, and perhaps weight. In addition, the precision demands that a 150 MP back requires from a camera and other limitations that bellows systems struggle with lead me to remain on the sidelines for the moment as I sort through options. There is no perfect camera, so we adapt to the best tools we have available. It’s about the image, not the camera.

    One of the dilemma’s a prospective user of a tech camera has is making an informed choice with very limited access to the short list of dealers capable of providing a hands on side-by-side comparison. For most of us, and I live near the Seattle area, there are no local dealers who can do this. I’m a fan of Capture Integration in Atlanta; Steve Hendrix and Brad Kaye have served me well in providing information and servicing my Phase One XF system and IQ4 back. But short of making a trip to Atlanta or spending a significant sum renting all systems simultaneously, it’s challenging to make that choice. You’ve been down that road, so thanks again for sharing your knowledge! Great articles, Dave!

    Michael

     

    Michael Scarbrough
    Michael Scarbrough
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    Re: Field Techniques for Technical Cameras – Lenses and Accessories
    Reply #1 on: April 3, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Dave, terrific article with a wealth of information. I especially appreciated the equipment journey you described, past equipment used, and how you’ve arrived at your current gear selection.

    Will your upcoming article(s) include any discussion regarding tech camera choices?  My personal background is in large format film. Having used Sinar, Linhof, and Arca Swiss cameras in 4×5 and 8×10, I  developed a preference for some version of an on-axis lens tilt, but would love to hear your thoughts on the factors leading to your camera choice. Looking at the differences between Cambo, Alpa, and Arca Swiss tech cameras, a significant difference seems to be how they each provide for tilt/swing, whether base tilt or axis tilt, and the unique focus system for Arca Swiss. While personal choice will ultimately determine what provides the best workflow for each user, can you provide feedback on the considerations that ultimately led to your choice and what may be applicable for others considering purchase of a tech camera?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience and wonderful images!

    Michael