Glad to have your experienced input. It's one thing for reviewers and "gurus" to give pages of reports/ Experience in a specific professional use of a camera, lens or software is vastly more valuable to us. So thanks!
For those who do not know Leonardo's work he is a fine artist, a painter, an experienced war photographer with compelling images taken at great live fire personal risk and hard wild terrain living. He is now in New York and specializes in museum quality fine artwork photography for leading galleries.
This requires being able to image efficiently a whole exhibition, deliver files on time that are color perfect for that work of art. The latter might be flat, hyper-reflective with specular highlights or have colors that challenge the gamut of photography. So Leonardo's ideas and hints are reliable.
Leonardo, I have split up your post by headings since it's rich and covers a lot:
Phase One RAW Conversion
......... I only use C1 3.7.8 (C1 4 light is not good for me since I work tethered). I like C1 so much that when I have to do something in Photoshop I feel like going back in time (the feeling of having to manually open a car window, you know?). What happens with C1 is that you set the white point, hue and color temperature in a non destructive way, after that, the rest of the color is done with profiles. I have a few custom profiles that I use to bring difficult colors and other Phase One canned profiles for other situations. For example: when I do an installation shot at a gallery where the lighting is mixed available hot lamps I use something called "EASY GREY" profile from Phase. This profile was developed to help product photographers that use white seamless background and produces perfect white walls while maintaining the color of the artwork.
I understand color temp. But how do you
measure it. Do you use a Minolta color meter for color temp? Or do you use a WhiBal™ in one step for for color temp, hue and setting the white point? Can you show examples of a typical image with a standard then an "Easy Grey" profile?
Custom Lens Profiles or else select lens from several lenses:
I would suggest that getting a custom profile might be worthwhile or else carefully checking lenses against color charts and photographs of grids to see if aberrations are really corrected for that lens. You may ask why?
Unfortunately a lens, even a very expensive lens may not be assembled properly! It may be out of alignment so the corrections and assumptions will not match your particular lens. How bad could that be? Very bad! I cannot disclose which MFR, but paying for a costly lens does not mean a the optics match the specs.
New Combo wide camera:
The other interesting development is the new Combo wide camera designed for digital backs that will be much smaller --and maybe even cheaper -- than the current one... probably a must-have companion to the Hy6 owner...
..and other digital backs I expect? I'd like to hear more. When is it availalble and any price?
Stitching is becoming increasingly practical and advantageous in architectural, vehicle and other photography requiring extreme wide angle. Sometimes we simply do not possess a wide enough lens. Here in the Yacht picture, how far back can one go? Not much for sure. 40mm may not be wide enough. The next lens may be too distorted or expensive or else not available to rent.
Matching images with lens distortion:
The problem I have sometimes with stitching is finding that the two images don't match because of lens distortion, but probably what happens is that I use my 35mm when doing so. Now that I see your work I want to try to see if with my 45mm the procedure will be easier since that lens is more "normal".
This is a common problem even with the very best lenses. For example the famous Contax Zeiss 21mm Distagon, MM, has "moustache" distortion, so it's a challenge to stitch. One way of dealing with this is to overlap much more and crop away the lateral 10% before stitching. That means needing more images. However, the extra work will pay off. If one has very good lens distortion testing software then maybe one could use the un-cropped images.
Thanks again Leonardo,
I remember I owe you a lot for sharing some of your secret locations in New york and your artwork.