I currently use either of the following for capturing super-wide views, particularly for architectural interior shots in cathedrals and other massive structures:
1) 10.5mm Nikkor fisheye lens on my D300 digital camera (DX sensor - not full frame)
2) 4x5 pinhole camera with a 25mm focal length, shooting at f/138 or thereabouts
The pinhole camera gives me rectilinear imaging and infinite depth of field, but I also get blurring at the edges of my super-wide view, plus, at f/138, my exposure times are usually around 40 MINUTES.
The fisheye lens allows me to take dramatic photos with short exposure times, but I have "curved edges" in my photos, and I'm limited to 12 megapixels (I'm thinking really huge enlargements here), since the 10.5mm fisheye is really like a 15mm lens on a "fulll-frame" digital camera.
So, I've been wondering about these two possible FUTURE options, to hopefully give me super-wide shots without "curved edges" along with shorter exposure times:
1) 14-24mm Nikkor lens (I have this lens already), that offers a 14mm focal length at full-frame, on a Nikon D3 ($5,000). This would give me a non-curved perspective, plus a very wide view (14mm focal length) and short exposure times (less than 40 MINUTES, at least!). The down-side is the expense of the D3, and, it being a digital camera, will rather quickly become outmoded in the following years, by newer models, and 5 grand is a lot to spend on something with a shorter lifetime of usefulness relative to newer technologies.
2) Fotomann 4x5 camera with a Schneider 47mm large format lens, shooting on 4x5 b/w film at high f-ratios, like f/22.
My question is, will the 47mm lens on a 4x5 camera give me a wider view than the 14mm lens on a D3 (pretty much a 35mm frame, as far as I know)? If it were AT LEAST as wide as 14mm on a D3, then I would prefer the 47mm lens on the 4x5, since I could get the dynamic range of b/w negative film, plus the HUGE scanning resolution with 4x5 negatives (even with my pinhole camera, I get great 40 megapixel scans).
I've considered the Fotomann 4x5 camera since it would be relatively compact and easy to maneuver with inside a cathedral, potentially with lots of tourists beside me, etc. It also allows shooting with really short focal length lenses. I already have a Crown Graphic for doing 4x5 shooting with some basic camera motions, so the lack of such capabilities on the Fotomann wouldn't be an issue.
From an artistic perspective, my basic approach is to provide very dramatic and surreal views of large interior structures (like cathedrals, temples, etc) without going for "pure architectural realism".
As an example of the kind of photography I'm "aiming for", here is my latest 35 minute pinhole exposure from inside National Cathedral in Washington DC, using my Zero Image 4x5 pinhole camera on Fuji Acros-100:
Any basic thought on this would be appreciated.