Well as I promised early on when getting the 160 that i had my semi annual gig to shoot with sensor plus. Seems like I have a new back every NY show so why change now. This time I had the back i have been after is the new IQ series 160 and shooting sensor plus at 15mpx is just about perfect for me and after a week of shooting with it, the DSLR 35mm cams seem to be even more remote in having. Now I came from the P40+ which was and is a awesome back but obviously it does not give me the feedback that the IQ series does with the new focus mask and other LCD features.
Here this time with the IQ I had everything on the back. I always had the focus mask on at all times but left the highlight warning tool off the main preview window and just in the tools. This way i could only see image with focus tool on in the main preview window. This was just a awesome combination as my images where almost instant to pop on the LCD and the focus mask followed it immediately. Now I am going out of a limb here and just flat out say it. This maybe the fastest sensor plus back I have shot to date including my smaller P40+, the IQ 140 no doubt will be even faster. I know that is a big claim but as you will see in the images the space a model had to walk the runway I could with a 300mm lens on my monopod actually shoot about 5 frames off with almost instant previews and focus mask.
Now this is pretty much unheard of with MF as most of us know and for me I do not shoot machine gun style and settled in on about 2 or 3 frames per model. Also with the 300mm using the continuous focus mode which I have done before really keeps up quite well and I missed very few images.
Admittedly and not to boast I am a very good shooter and have been down this road before so I know exactly what I am doing in this situation but even so my takers where many and my misses where very few and being able to watch the focus mask the whole time was simply amazing to watch and see exactly my pinpoints . On the 300mm lens I had my focus mask setting at about 51 which gave me just enough focus points without overpowering the screen and enough to know I was nailing it. Now all the 300mm shots are pretty much at ISO 800 since the lighting crew under my direction ( i run the production booth too) gave me just enough stage wash and runway lights without overpowering the stage to keep things at ISO 800 at around 1/250 at F7.1 working off a monopod this seemed to give me enough speed and enough DOF to cover my needs quite well. Now i wanted to get to about F7.1 to make up for the bigger sensor I have now. With the P40+ I could get away with 5.6 or so. So yes you do have to take it on the chin a little as you get into the FF sensors with DOF. Knowing that going in I had the lighting crew fine tune me right in where I needed to be..
Now on the first part of the show and images you will see first I am actually handheld the whole time with 55, 80 and 110 LS glass and shooting at ISO 1600 because here with this section of the show the light varies a whole bunch as it is not stage wash or runway lights on a constant basis but movers and tungsten lights going on at different times. So many times the light is very low and going to 1600 is the only choice you have. One may ask right now would a Canon/Nikon help here. Sure you could get to ISO3200 but as far as shooting the cams not a chance and not much different in holding a DSLR over a DF and this is where many folks just don't understand that in truth the MF DF is actually easier to handhold. Reason being is I have a much wider base under the camera for my left hand for support. In a sense it is actually balanced better. Now some may argue that point but go try it is my suggestion. With the lenses i am working with they are relatively short and the balance is more on the body than the lenses, so in essence the weight gets pushed towards the back which a big area underneath actually helps with balance.
Obviously still need to keep your shutter speeds up there to match your lens focal length or faster but it can get done and done well. Now all these images the WB is set to Tungsten which we all know is the worst culprit with regards to noise and really not much difference than my P40+ although my files are bigger but ISO 800 is just extremely good and 1600 even in the deepest shadows holds up extremely well and if there is any noise it would be here in that area but areas that are well exposed and lit well it does a excellent job with the high ISO 1600 images. i did not even try ISO 3200 but fom test I would call it okay nothing to write home about unless you used some special noise software to correct things which in this case i have no time for that and everything processed in C1 with the ISO 1600 images Luminance at 25, Color at 55, Single pixel at 27, Surface Grain at 25 seemed to work well here. For 800 I went with more default numbers.