Cambo Actus Fuji GFX50s Panorama

Cambo Actus Fuji GFX50s Panorama

Fuji GFX50 panorama

Following on from our review we are now going to show the Cambo Actus Fuji GFX50s Panorama. This blog will show the process of how we stitched the images. The software we will be using is RAW File Converter v2.0 powered by SilkyPix. This will pull out the data required to prepare the files for stitching in Photoshop CC2018.

The SilkyPix software will give you full control over the exposure bias, white balance, sharpness, tone, saturation and lens aberration to produce  TIFF or JPEG files. This is of course dependent on the output or display required i.e. high quality print or website images.

Why are we blogging the Cambo Fuji combination?

First this is not a comparison of cameras; Fuji, Canon, Nikon etc or digital backs Hasselblad Phase One etc. The point is to show the compatibility of a system to enable photographers to use a technical camera with movement, in this first instance shift, rise and fall to capture an image produced by the lens image circle.

Secondly, there is an advantage using a mirrorless system. As the sensor is further forward you will be able to use wider angle lenses. A DSLR with a mirror box is restricted to 60mm.

Third and finally, this whole exercise is to show how accurately you can stitch images with a high quality technical camera as the digital plane (aka film plane) is parallel, hence the stitch will be exact (providing you have no tripod or shutter shake.)

Image Circle?

You may have read my previous articles about image stitching, showing how you can move the sensor around this circle thus capturing multiple images that will enable you to produce a much larger picture. To refresh check this link Fuji XT1 where you can see the basic principles.

Creating the Panorama

Wherever possible it will make your life easier to shoot at the correct exposure, in some cases bracket so that you can pull detail from the sky or highlight areas. Don’t rely on the software as this will never produce a better result as the file will be pulled in noise terms and pixel stretching can also be a problem. It’s better to have too many images, than not enough and a failed shoot.

We captured 9 images within the image circle. However there was plenty of overlap to create the final stitched result. Working on my trusty MacBook Pro (4 years old now) it took 4 minutes to process to full TIFF files generating a file 146.3Mb. The total stitch via Photoshop CC2018 took 6 minutes creating a 492.6Mb file (2.1Gb editable layered document.)

Fuji GFX50 vignette

The GFX50s body was pushed to the maximum and as you would expect there is vignetting as the image circle is 75mm. This image measures 16473(w) x 10452(h) pixels at 300 ppi.

When stitching in PSCC2018 there is an option you may wish to consider; Content-Aware fill which takes care of the edge mis-alignment if you experience tripod shake. Checking the Vignette option has no affect on the image as we are at the extremities of the lens.

Considering we have stitched 9 images, there is a huge amount of additional image when compared to the original file. The total stitch at 16473 x 10452 requires cropping as the vignette area is unusable.

129+ MILLION PIXELS

Having cropped the vignette area, the file is reduced to 13926 x 9284, 369.9Mb 300ppi versus an original file 8256 x 6192, 153.5Mb 300ppi. The red crop is the original file size produced by the GFX50s. As you can see the pixel gain is MORE THAN 2.5X

Stitched (Useable) 13926 x 9284 = 129,288,984 pixels, print output 117.91 x 78.6cm 300dpi.

Original 8256 x 6192 = 51,121,152 pixels, print output 69.9 x 52.43cm 300dpi.

You will probably appreciate the increase in image capture area more when we display the red crop vertically.

Fuji GFX50 crop

The larger the image circle, the more you can move the sensor to capture data. However, bear in mind the quality of the lens and resolution will determine the final result.

We have shown you the best way to capture the maximum image information from the lens circle. This will vary depending on the lens used. For a true panorama image and effect, I would crop the top and bottom, of course the final decision is the photographers. And here is the stitched image.

Fuji GFX50 Panorama

For further information about the Actus GFX and lens combinations contact your local Cambo dealer, or contact Cambo by email with your enquiry.

Don’t forget to subscribe – as we have more interesting reviews for 2018!

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Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018 from all the Cambo employees and associates.

Don’t forget to subscribe to be the first to read about our new products for 2018!

HappyNewYear2018

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Cambo Laptop Table

Cambo Laptop Table

Cambo Laptop Table CT-460 can be fixed to any light stand or tripod with a 16mm spigot mount, 1/4” or 3/8” screw thread.

Cambo CT460 laptop table

Cambo CT460 laptop table

The table measures 49cm(w) x 27cm(h) and weighs 1.4kg including the fixture mount.

Cambo CT460 Laptop Table

Cambo CT460 Laptop Table

This is a particularly useful item to have in the studio when shooting in small spaces and you wish to tether your camera system to a laptop. Equally, its ideal for when you wish to shoot on-location as its portable and easy to pack away.

The CT460 is available from you local Cambo dealer, to find your dealer check the map or contact Cambo by email with your enquiry.

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Cambo Actus GFX and Fuji GFX50s Camera review

Cambo Actus GFX and Fuji GFX50s Camera review

It makes sense for Fujifilm to have a medium format camera system, as there is space in the market for photographers to invest in a good quality system – and its also mirrorless which adds a few advantages to this system.

The equipment we used in the test was; Cambo Actus GFX, Fuji GFX50s body, Cambo Actar 60mm lens with standard bellows and Genesis tripod.

The video below covers the set up and capture process. If you prefer to read about the review then my commentary is detailed below the video.

When mounting the camera to a tripod there is a choice of attaching the rail as this is Arca Swiss compatible, there are several ball heads available with this fitting. Or you can screw the camera rail direct to a tripod with 1/4” or 3/8” thread.

The Actus GFX comes complete with the Fuji GFX camera mount. This mount is a new type that can be quickly swapped out by releasing the locking lever. As the GFX50s is mirrorless it will focus with lenses wider than 60mm. DSLRs cannot do this due to the mirror box, the rear element is too far from the sensor.

Once the camera is fitted you can change the camera from horizontal to vertical position by simply flicking the lever on the left side, there is a positive click when the camera has completely turned.

The lens is fitted at the front into a location stop and locked into place using the lever on the left of the camera. There are many lens mount options available, the one we are using today is a Copal 0 style, the Actar 60mm lens is permanently fitted into this mount.

Fitting the bellows is a simple process. There is a locating pin which clicks into the rear of lens mount and a magnetic plate fixes to the camera plate.

You will find two types of movements on the front standard; Tilt and Swing. There is a total of 19º Tilt, +10º and -9º. Although the Swing rotates 360º, sensibly 10º Swing right and 10º Swing left. Check out my previous video to discover why the Front rotates a full 360º.

On the rear standard there is Rise and Fall (also known as Vertical Shift) +12mm and -15mm. Horizontal Shift 20mm left and 20mm right. The amount of rear shift movement enables us to capture more from the lens image circle. We’ll talk more about this later.

The Fuji GFX50s is an electronic camera and when you take off the lens the camera body will not fire. There is a setting to override this enabling you to use a technical camera platform such as the Actus GFX. In the Fuji menu go to Menu>Setup>Button Dial Setting > Shoot without Lens> Select ON to enable the shutter release. Now you can use GFX50s on the Actus GFX.

Before shooting its important to find the lens infinity point. To do this turn the focus knob so that the arrow aligns to the infinity symbol and lock this focus movement. Then move the complete rear standard until you see the horizon image displayed by the camera pull into focus. Now you must lock up this full rear standard movement and unlock the focus knob. Your focus scale is now set for this lens and will stop at infinity.

Now zero the camera, by resetting the swing, tilt and shift movements  back to the zero position. You now have the default and this will be your starting point.

We have already set the infinity point of the lens. To focus the camera I chose to use the “Red” peaking effect from the menu in the GFX50s. This is particularly useful when using the screen display and makes it easier to find the focus point. Remember though peaking works by calculating the contrast so you are reliant on how much light can be read by the sensor. You will notice a black flashing area in the sky, this shows that the highlights are blown out.

We have the option to capture an image “as is” (without any movements applied) producing a RAW uncompressed file. The ratio is 4:3, measuring 4000 x 3000 and 8256×6192 (51.4MP) This is the maximum resolution this camera can produce and if necessary we can always reduce the image later within our Photoshop workflow presets. Its handy to have the option to capture a JPG at the same time so you can quickly flick through the images and also deliver on-screen shots for your client or for catalogue page inserts.

Capturing a single image in a studio environment with tilt or swing applied would show the advantage of using a technical camera. We’ll show this in another video blog soon. However for this exercise we are going to shoot multiple images and stitch them together. This will require additional work at the capture stage and also when stitching at the post production stage. Once you have used a technical camera and created panoramas the whole process becomes second nature.

Every photographic lens produces an image circle, this will determine how much movement and shift can be applied. In our example we will use the vertical and horizontal shift to produce the panorama. Three horizontal shots for a nice wide panorama and nine shots for the maximum capture area.

The Actar 60mm lens has an image circle of 75mm, if you shift beyond the circle you will get cut off at the edges. I tend to go beyond the image circle and crop to print size in post production. Again, after you’ve done this a few times you can work out your own capture process.

From previous experience, when I shot with the Sony A7R and shifted 19mm left and right. In the video above you’ll see I’m pushing it to 23mm and then I’ll crop for print later. The GFX50s sensor size is 43.8 x 32.9mm we’ll round this up to 44x33mm. If the image circle is 75mm and the long edge of the sensor is 44mm we’re capturing approx 1.7x the sensor size.

The final results will be posted here shortly with an overview of the image processing and workflow.

The Actus GFX is available from you local Cambo dealer, to find you dealer check the map or contact Cambo by email with your enquiry.

Posted in ACTUS, Architecture, Landscape, Technical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

Seasons greetings from Cambo.

Cambo Christmas card

The Cambo factory will be closed over Christmas, please contact your local Cambo dealer or you can email Cambo for delivery times and operating hours.

Posted in General | Tagged

Cambo Actus Focus Rail Extension

Cambo Actus Focus Rail Extension

We have yet another mistake made by our Youtube friends or should I say reviewers. Unfortunately they don’t use technical cameras or have little experience using different lenses and camera combinations.

It’s important to point out these mistakes so that they don’t mis-guide you and influence your next camera purchase.

One reviewer asked “Why does the front standard rotate 360 degrees? Is it for 360 degree photography?” Quite simply the answer is “No, it’s not!” 

So the question is, why does it rotate?

It’s quite simple really and relates to the digital camera and lenses you wish to use.

Some longer lenses may not focus and the lens may have to be further away from the sensor.

So Cambo very cleverly designed a way to extend the front of the focus rail by 45mm without adding extra length to the Actus camera.

This is done by simply rotating the front standard 180 degrees, by doing this the lens panel is moved to the front and this is where you gain the extra 45mm.

Once the front is completely round, making sure you zero the movements, take the lens out and reverse it. Now you can see the lens panel has moved forward by 45mm. 

Another very useful function, now that the lens protrudes further forward, is that you can add a filter system with a holder, as it is positioned away from the front standard enabling you to add  more tilt.

The lens in the video measures 22mm depth, a filter holder is 15mm, this extra 37mm gives you more tilt to play with without the filter touching the front standard of the Actus. This is especially useful if you are using a graduated filter longer than 100mm.

More information about the Cambo Actus system and accessories contact your local Cambo dealer or you can email your questions directly to Cambo.

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Cambo Actus Focus Stop

Cambo Actus Focus Stop

We see many Youtube type reviews, some good and some not as well informed about the features the Actus system provides.

One blog that I recently viewed suggested the lens would hit the sensor should you be using a Digital Back. It’s wrong and let me tell you why.

The Actus system is modular and can be used with several digital systems. The Actus Mini designed for DSLR and mirrorless, Actus GFX and XCD for Fuji and Hasselblad.

When is comes to using a Digital Back from Phase One, Mamiya Leaf and Hasselblad the Actus DB2 is designed slightly different as there are a multitude of lenses that photographers already own and want to adapt them to their camera system.

To prevent the rear element of the lens from hitting the digital back Cambo include a Lens Stop or Focus Stop which is marked with the most popular Schneider and Rodenstock lenses. Simply slide the Stop to the lens being used and lock into place. That’s it!

Here is a video showing the Actus-GFX and an image showing where the Stop would be when using an Actus DB2.

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