Can I focus on infinity? - Yes, of course you can focus on infinity with all medium-format and digital lenses mentioned in our PDFs. Normally a good range of possible camera movements remains, and so, for example, you can photograph a landscape with controlled selective focusing. With normal large-format lenses you can focus on infinity with focal lenghts of 100-120mm or longer, depending on the type you use.
What is the shortest usable focal lenghts ? - Technically the lens with the shortest usable focal lenght is the Digitar 2.8/28 L (Schneider Kreuznach). But the shortest focal lenghts we can recommend in good conscience is the Hasselblad Distagon 4.0/40. It is a Zeiss lens, delivering a very good image quality and a good range of possible adjustments. To put it bluntly: instead of using the 28mm Digitar with a view camera, we would recommend using a normal shift lens mounted directly to the DSLR. The image circle of the Digitar is not wider, and so, even adapted to a view camera, you can not shift more than the usual 11mm.
How about the range of possible adjustments? - With a full-frame DSLR and adapters from just together you can shift up to 35mm - for the photographers daily work, the range of possible adjustments should be sufficient. Using a DSLR with a cropped sensor, the range of adjustments is huge and you might not make use of it. Some knowledge: shifting a full-frame DSLR for 35mm - this is one image lenght - perspectively has the same result, as shifting a 4x5" slide for 5 inches. If you try that, you might notice, what this means... Using large-format lenses with longer focal lenghts increases the range of possible adjustments. Using the Scheimpflug principle is possible with all mentioned lenses without considerable restrictions.
As a rule, while using medium-format lenses, the following can be said: using a full-frame DSLR in landscape position, you can shift vertically for at least 17mm without any vignetting. Perspectively it is like shifting a 4x5" slide (landscape position) for about 3 inches. With a DSLR in portrait position you can shift for at least 20mm without any vignetting. If you continue shifting up to 35mm, you will start noticing the shadow of the mirror-box of the DSLR, which appears like a black line on top or bottom. If you cut it away, you will receive a portrait format with an aspect ratio of 3:4 without any vignetting (look at the downloadable packshot). Perspectively this is like shifting a 4x5" slide for 5 inches. Common digital backs have an aspect ratio of 3:4 as well.
Detailed specifications about all possible shifts and tilts, can be found in our downloadable datasheets.
Is it a disadvantage that the DSLR sensor lies behind the actual image plane of the view camera? - No, in practice this is no disadvantage. It's a fact, that the image “wanders” a bit when panning if the sensor doesn’t lie directly on the rotational axis of the view camera, but the professional knows that the rear standard is practically never tilted in professional use, since this distorts the picture perspective. If as an exception you want to deliberately introduce such a distortion, the arrangement remains straightforward, since you retain complete control over the self-locking drives of the view camera. On the lens side, our recessed adaptors for middle-format or enlargement lenses fit optimally into the system.
Mounting the DSLR directly over the joint unit, with the sensor closer to the rotational axis, is basically fine, but it shouldn’t be done at the cost of mounting the DSLR exactly on the optical axis or having the sensor exactly parallel to the lens plane. These are the expected professional requirements which our products fulfill through the principle of the bayonet attachment.
Is a mounting or centering aid required? - No. With your studio camera you have a expensively constructed, costly tool for everyday professional use, with the standard of precision that you take for granted. Our principle of adaptation supports this approach. If for example you work with a joint unit camera with zero contacts, these zero positions naturally work in conjunction with our adaptors. This is of course also true for having the sensor plane exactly parallel to the lens plane, which in our approach must be defined so as to leave no room for doubt, as it indeed is with our system. Therefore mounting and centering aids are not an issue with our adaptors.
Can’t this all be done with TS-lenses too? - Unfortunately not. Every professional photographer knows that a view camera has unsurpassable advantages for product photography which can only be copied to some degree with other solutions. The decisive differences are for example the wider range of adjustment, for example when shifting, but particularly also the ability to take all shots in the image plane. When using the Scheimpflug principle for example, the possibility of cropping with the rear standard is almost indispensable. As a result there are no limitations to the creative process – and therefore no headaches!
Aren’t view cameras to big for a DSLR? - A good 4X5” camera is a solid structure for taking lenses and DSLR-bodies. Some bigger lenses may even require a camera of 4X5” size in order to be able to be attached. High-quality view cameras have self-locking drives which perfectly support precise work with the DSLR as a digital back.
just together - achitecture photographers best friend? - Sorry, not really. The main attention of our system is directed to the photo studio, and in that case we can recommend it in good conscience. Photographers of architecture normally need shorter focal lenghts, and so, we prefer calling a horse a horse.
Possible to use MF lenses with short focal lengts? - Yes. Regarding the usable Hasselblad- or Mamiya lenses, the distance between the back side of the lens (lens mount) and the sensor does not depend on the focal length and is the same, wether it is a wide angel or tele lens. So you can shift, tilt and focus on infinity with a 40mm lens as well as with a 150mm lens.
A 135 large-format lens compared to a 135mm SLR lens - is it another angle of view? - No. What matters to the angle of view is just the focal lenght counted in millimetres. So, regarding a 135mm large-format and a 135mm SLR lens, the angle of view is the same.
Is there any connection between the DSLR and the lens? - A connection between the DSLR and the lens is not necessary. The right aperture has to be set directly at the lens, or, during focusing, the aperture has to be opened up. The shutter of the DSLR has to be used.
How do I focus best? - If the DSLR offers a life view mode, you just zoom to the appropriate part of the image and focus very rapidly, confidently and precisely. Without this, you do it, like you are used to, directly on the screen. Moreover an angle viewfinder and a special screen, designed for manual focusing, can still make it easier. Nikon DSLRs, even though while using them as a digital back, maintain the function of the focusing indicator lamps.
... to be continued...