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High resolutions, infrared and panoramas: The all-in-one scanning back for large format camera by Mark S Tierney

4/20/2015 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Watch South Carolina landscape photographer MS Tierney (website) demonstrate his use of a large format camera and a Betterlight  (website ) scanning back in making images at two of his favorite locations in the scenic South Carolina Lowcountry; historic Sheldon Church Ruins and in the Great Swamp.

Better Light scan backs have been the camera of choice for some of the most successful advertising, commercial, industrial, art repro and archival applications in the photo industry, providing a combination of large, high-resolution files, extraordinary detail, and superb control of color and tones,

The technology used by Better Light is totally different from the single-shot digital capture cameras using area array sensors (CCD and CMOS). Our scan backs gather the information for the image in one continuous scan as the light is collected by three, individually filtered rows of pixels – this is called a tri-linear CCD. Since it moves across the “film plane” capturing light one row of pixels at a time, it will take several minutes to complete a large file.

On the other hand, no other camera is gathering such a huge population of pixels (often 144 Megapixels or MORE) over such a large format area of nearly 3”x4”—that’s 5X the physical area of most array sensors! And, all of the pixels are PURE, true RGB color, not interpolated color by the camera software. (text via )

"Like the world really needs another shameless self promotional video; well since nobody else was going to do it I figured I take fate into my own hands, ha ha ha....."

Cameras used were Canon 70D and 5Dmk3, Technicolor 'cinestyle' picture style, Zeiss ZE 35mm and Zeiss ZE 50mm. Homemade jib, Kessler Stealth slider. Edit/CC in FCPX.

No alligators were harmed in the production of this film, but I can't say the same thing for some mosquitos.....


Today I use a Canham traditional 4x5/5x7, a Shen Hao 4x5 IIA with a selection of Rodenstock or Schneider Kreuznach lenses from 75mm to 360mm or a Mamiya 645 AFD II with a Phase One P30+ and Mamiya lenses.

Large format color images are captured using a Betterlight HS 6000, usually at 16 bit depth RGB. I use an Xrite 24 patch Color Checker in the field to balance prior to capture. I edit the files on an Eizo CG243W monitor profiled with i1 software.
Prints are from an HP Z3200, 44" printer. Color prints are on Hahnemuhle Museum Etching, 320 gms. Black and white prints are printed on Hahnlemuhle Bamboo, 290 gms or Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl. -said Mark-

Text, images and video via Mark S Tierney

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