I Constructed a Digital Technical Digital camera, and Sure, It is Barely Ridiculous

I am not one to obsess over gear; I’ve by no means suffered from GAS. Frankly, the seemingly countless discussions round cameras, lenses, and varied bits of equipment that simply maintain multiplying 12 months after 12 months, could not curiosity me much less. And now that I’ve stated that, I will write about gear.

The Digital camera

When you’ve made it this far, likelihood is you are not less than considerably intrigued by the headline and lead picture. You may need even requested your self, “what the heck is that factor?!” Truthful query, and now I will let you know.

It is a “frankencamera,” constructed from three several types of digicam programs: digital 35mm, massive format movie, and medium format movie. Particularly, it is a Nikon D850 physique (serving as a digital again), a Cambo SCX monorail (the technical digicam), and Mamiya lenses from their traditional RZ67 system.

Sure, it is ridiculous. Sure, I exploit it each day in my skilled work.

As you may think, this factor is not precisely “turnkey” and I needed to do a whole lot of modifications to make all of it work. Going by way of all of these modifications would fill a small e book, and I am not going to write down that a lot, so as a substitute, here is a picture gallery with descriptions.

What is the Level?!

Is that this an answer searching for an issue? Why would anybody even do one thing like this? It is all in regards to the potential to execute sure varieties of actions.

In business product images, you are typically confronted with sure technical challenges that simply cannot be adequately addressed with an everyday direct-mount lens/digicam setup. Traces have to be saved straight, issues have to be totally in focus, entrance to again, and an entire host of different points. A technical digicam is what addresses all of these issues. Tilting and swinging the entrance normal permits me to govern the aircraft of focus, which might in any other case be restricted to solely being perpendicular to the sensor aircraft.

Tilting and swinging the rear normal modifications perspective the identical means as simply tilting or panning an everyday digicam would. Then, the rise and fall of the requirements permits me to alter perspective with out creating converging/ diverging traces. That is most frequently utilized in architectural images, however can be widespread in product images. Shifting the requirements left or proper does the identical as rise/ fall, and is beneficial once you need to, say, transfer your digicam out of view of a reflective floor. Ever surprise how mirrors are photographed with out having the digicam in there? It is the shift!

However, certainly there is a commercially accessible system on the market that does the identical factor, proper? Sure, there’s! Cambo makes the unimaginable Actus XL 35, and if I had the cash I might in all probability use it, however my setup does the identical factor at roughly 1/tenth of the price. And that is simply good enterprise. Maybe extra importantly, although, I get pleasure from tinkering, and I get satisfaction from having the ability to say that I constructed my system, versus simply shopping for it. And, as a bonus, extra individuals are beginning to get concerned about this type of system. I would not go so far as saying there is a neighborhood but, however with folks like Scott Choucino within the sport, it in all probability will not be lengthy!

As for outcomes? Properly, I am going to let one other picture gallery do the heavy lifting.

Within the above examples, the primary picture employs entrance normal tilt. The focal aircraft follows the stem of the roses. Now, on the distance and aperture I used to be working, DoF remains to be shallow sufficient that focus stacking will nonetheless be wanted. Nonetheless, by using tilt on this state of affairs, I can use far fewer photographs for my stack, which is vital because the roses are positively transferring and can create issues if I am unable to get by way of the stack shortly.

Within the second picture, no tilt is employed, and you may see that the stems and the roses have a lot much less space in focus. It is going to take many extra photographs to get by way of a stack on this case, and motion within the roses shall be an issue.

The third picture reveals the resultant composited stack. I did not get the very entrance fringe of the forward-most rose within the stack, however you get the purpose.


Anyway, that is my digicam! Is it for everybody? Undoubtedly not. But it surely does what I want it to do. As I stated earlier than, I exploit it every day, and it has greater than paid for itself. It is even type of moveable, and not too long ago made the trek to Atlanta for some shopper work. Heck, I would even make one other one!

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