Digital and Architecture - What is being used today?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by michael_j._kravit|1, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. I was wondering what type of equipment the top architectural
    photographers are using today?

    I suspect some may be using 4x5 with scanning backs, or perhaps the
    P25 Phase One back?

    Or perhaps they are still shooting Fuji Astia for its superb whites
    and drum scanning?

    Inquiring minds want to know?
     
  2. For architecture my first concerns in a digital camera or back would be moir� and aliasing. That pretty much rules out my Nikon D2H for serious photography of architecture.

    Fortunately, there are many examples of how various dSLRs and backs for medium and large format cameras demonstrate handling of moir� and aliasing on dpreview, luminouslandscape and a few other sites.
     
  3. Really depends on the photographer. A lot of pros are shooting with Canon (D)SLRs and TS-
    E lenses. Some still use view cameras.

    Nowadays clients are often demanding digital files an fast turnaround, which pretty much
    rules out drum scanning.
     
  4. jbq

    jbq

    I'll argue against Lex that it's very easy with a simple rule of thumb to stop down a lens just enough so that the diffraction will avoid aliasing without significantly eating into the sharpness.

    Assuming a Bayer matrix, use an f-stop that's about 1.5x the pixel pitch in microns. That's about f/11 on a 1DsII.

    That's just a rule of thumb, just like the shutter-speed-and-focal-length one.
     
  5. I can't imagine digital capture being used for wide angle architectural photography considering the cost of wide angles which give good results on digital (and are still wide). But I've been known to be wrong before ...

    Those who I've met use 4x5, don't know if they've recently managed to get digital backs. It would have to be extremely high volume to justify the cost vs. shooting film. And there is really no reason to scan 4x5 with a drum, a high end flatbed gives excellent results in a fraction of the time to set up drum scanning.
     
  6. Well, it doesn't have Scheimpflug movements, but the E Zuiko 7-14 sure gives a wide view!
    I'm really quite taken with it for interior photography.
     
  7. ACtually, there are various full movement bellows available for the Canon EOS system. Those bellows can be used with Schenider, Rodenstock and others.

    Horseman, Novoflex are two that come to mind.
     
  8. EOS bodies and Canon TS-E lenses are a likely choice. First of all, Canon offers three TS-E lenses (24mm, 45mm and 90mm) and, probably just as importantly, Canon also offers full frame high resolution DSLR bodies to use them with. I have the 24mm and 45mm TS-E, which have recieved very little use since I went to digital because of the digital crop factor of my Canon digital bodies. Maybe I'll get more use out of them if or when I get a full frame 35mm digital body.
     
  9. EOS bodies and Canon TS-E lenses are a likely choice. First of all, Canon offers three TS-E lenses (24mm, 45mm and 90mm) and, probably just as importantly, Canon also offers full frame high resolution DSLR bodies to use them with. I have the 24mm and 45mm TS-E, which have recieved very little use since I went to digital because of the digital crop factor of my Canon digital bodies. Maybe I'll get more use out of them if or when I get a full frame 35mm digital body.
     
  10. Jean-Baptiste, aperture has made no difference on my D2H with a 28mm f/3.5 PC-Nikkor. Moire and aliasing appear about the same.
     
  11. jbq

    jbq

    Lex: interesting... On my 10D (7.4u pixels, smaller than the 9.5u pixels on the D2H), there's definitely a visible difference between f/5.6 and f/11 when shooting with my 50/1.4, with extra impovements to be had by stopping down further, at the cost of overall sharpness.

    There may certainly be differences due to the different pixel size and possibly a different anti-aliasing filter. test pictures shot with Kodak's 14MP cameras show how much difference the AA filter makes. It's quite possible that the AA filter on the D2H is less strong than that on my 10D, based on the camera's intended use, and that consequently you may have to stop down relatively further to avoid aliasing issues, maybe as far as f/19 or f/22.
     
  12. Lex: have you tried shooting raw and using different conversion apps? On a D70, one can get moire unless raw is used along with a good converter.

    IIRC, Ellis Vener has mentioned using digital backs lately. Sinar launched a new camera designed for digital capture some time ago and Rodenstock and Schneider have had lenses designed for digital for some time, so I'd bet on a mix of digital backs and film (DSLRs often have too little resolution and are too limited in terms of lens selection and movements possible).

    Now if we'd only get solid opinions of some pros here instead of mostly guesstimating...
     
  13. "On a D70, one can get moire unless raw is used along with a good converter."

    Oskar,

    I use a D70 to create large stitched files but moire has always been a problem using the PS
    raw converter. What raw
    converter app can recommend for the D70 to cure this?
     
  14. ACtually, there are various full movement bellows available for the Canon EOS system. Those bellows can be used with Schenider, Rodenstock and others.
    It doesn't make sense to use a tilted bellows with a 1.6X crop sensor because:
    1 . . . It's too small a target to get much effective shift
    2 . . . When you use a tilt/shift lens you need to stop way down to keep the whole film plane in focus and you can't stop down very far with a camera like that before you become diffraction-limited.
    If you want to do architectural photograhy digitally, the right way to do it is with a MF digital back. It's more expensive but so what? Serious professionals don't compromise on tools (amateur wannabe's do), the pro's come up with the scratch to buy the right gear. I'm an amateur studio dance photographer - I get pretty good results with a 20D - the two pro's I've studied under get STUNNING results and shoot Hasselblads with digital backs.
     
  15. "Really depends on the photographer. A lot of pros are shooting with Canon (D)SLRs and TS- E lenses. Some still use view cameras."

    I don't know of any "top" architectural photographers who have completely switched to d-SLRs; the quality simply isn't there -- between sensor and lens limitations -- compared to a scanned 4x5.

    That's still a couple of years off, from what full-time architectural photographers seem to say at lfphoto.info (the sensors will probably get there before the lenses do).

    This thread may be of interest (an architectural photographer's observations about a renowned architectural firm):

    http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/502927.html
     
  16. Roger, I have gotten much better results by using PS raw than with jpeg, but I understand that Nikon Capture produces even better results. I remember seeing some relatively recent comparison of raw processors, it might have been on dPreview.

    On Canons with bellows, wouldn't the lens mount limit the maximum amount of movement? And the lens mount being about 40-50 mm from the film plane, that would limit the use of focal lengths quite much. And one would be focal-length limited, with much more wideangled lenses available for 4x5" with movements (think Schneider's 47 mm or 56 mm) than for small-format cameras.
     
  17. Thanks Oskar - I've always shot raw but wondered if there was some 'magic bullet' out there I
    wasn't aware of.
     
  18. >>It doesn't make sense to use a tilted bellows with a 1.6X crop sensor because<<

    Because NO professional I know uses 1.6 cameras for interior shoots. HAving said that, the f/stop depends on the focusing method used. If you go solely by visual then, you may well end up with a small f/stop. If you employ a metric scale and judicious use of the principles involved it's a different story. Same for DOF...

    Clearly, having the choice a digital back for medium format camera is better but, the 1Ds and later, the 1Ds MKII have found their uses in these type of shoots. Equally, and more so, the new 1Ds MKIII will continue the trend. That is why Horseman, Novoflex and others are making T/S bellows for such cameras. Same for product photography and other commercial work.
     
  19. Nikon Capture produces the best D70 NEF conversions and using it minimizes moire.
     
  20. I shoot NEFs/JPEG-Fines simultaneously for most purposes, including these kinds of comparisons. So far I've compared moire and aliasing using Nikon Capture 4.x, Bibble and a few other programs.

    I know moire and aliasing weren't strong suits of the D2H when I bought it. A couple of knowledgeable folks who'd tested it didn't recommend it for critical shooting of architecture, fabrics or fashion.

    Picture Window Pro and a couple other programs offer utilities for minimizing either moire, aliasing or both but I haven't experimented with 'em.

    No big deal. I'd still shoot film for architecture anyway. My architectural photography is for a personal project or purely artistic purposes. I don't have any deadline or workflow pressures to meet so I don't have to shoot digital.
     
  21. i've been shooting film-based LF architectural work for the past 15-20 years, and i dont have a single client left who asks for film/CTs any more. my colleagues all use at least 50% digital these days, and i know several pros who have abandoned LF entirely for digital, mostly for canon 1Ds and 1DsmkII, and one who uses the nikon D2x. a couple of those guys use the canon TS24mm, but the others will not use the shift lenses because of CA problems with shifting due to the extreme angle with which the light hits the sensor, and prefer to correct perspective in PS. the nikon guy swears the cropped sensor is a better way to go for WA work, since it uses the sweet spot of the lenses better, and has no light fall-off problem like the FF sensors. i've been filling the gap with scanned MF CTs when clients dont want to pay for 4x5, but it is only a matter of time before i go all digital also, probably the nikon with the 18-55mm and image factory perspective plugin for PS. i dont know anyone who uses LF with MF digital backs, but there are probably some out there who do that - sure seems bulky and awkward for field work to me, and i'd rather keep shooting film and scanning it and wait for a better solution. the image quality of the new crop of DSLRs is adequate for every application i can think of, and in a couple more years i would guess that we will get to a balance point of price and image quality that will be the end of film based photogrpahy in the commercial world.
     

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