Thank you, Woody.
I totally agree, Woody.
Over the years I've supplied files ranging in size from thumbnails to 84" wide, to agencies, agents, magazine publishers, book publishers, camera manufactures, Uncle Tom Cobley and all...and not one client has asked me what format I use, let alone what camera I use*.
Frankly, this thread is a nonsense.
*I lie, a camera manufacturer asked me to confirm that I used their camera.
A photographer/artist in Colorado who is in the process of opening a new art/gallery center was reviewing a lot of my fine art prints.....16X16, 16x20, and some smaller. He came to a few black and white prints and he stopped and said something to this effect....wow, what did you shoot this with?" (it was one of children's old clothes hanging on a line, South Park City series)..... It actually was shot with my first digital back, a Phase P25, but it had that "something extra" one can see in medium format digital...kind of a liquid smooth tonal feel to it. So yes I have been asked. Eleanor
And the P25 delivers . I had a P25 Plus and there is just something about those 9 micron sensors. Actually Eleanor jack started a thread on this awhile back if interested
And to clarify, I wasn't suggesting that nobody ever asks about one's gear, especially gallery folks. My comment was simply intended as a mini-distraction from the tone that the thread had taken. I was hoping to suggest that taking photos and sharing positive, constructive ideas among friends is more important that bickering about camera companies, etc. And let's not forget the value of the image content over the equipment used to make it.
Dale..and others, I guess the point I was trying to make and maybe didn't say it clearly, was that medium format in general, (for those of us who shoot both 35mm and medium format digital) has a certain "look" to it if you know what to look for...whether it's a Hasselblad back, a Phase back, Sinar or whatever. I used a print from my P25 as an example and the reaction of an educated viewer to that print).
I don't think there are any bad digital backs...Personally I prefer the Phase backs but with a Hasselblad camera and lenses. Others prefer a different choice. Eleanor
This thread has gotten a little off track. But here's my philosophical 2 cents anyway:
I have an H3d(not II) 39 and related gear. I generally don't care what Hasselblad's strategy is or what announcements they make because I don't plan on upgrading - at least to any of their current or projected offerings. What I like about Hasselblad is the ability to use the brilliant legacy Zeiss glass, and the gigantic, deep, flexible files that the back produces. I don't need more resolution - my current printer setup maxes out at 24"x36" and the 39 meg back covers that area at native resolution. (If you're printing full size on a 44" printer there's a good case that you need a 60 meg back.) On the rare occasions when I need bigger files I can stitch. I've also found that Hasselblad's service is excellent - keep the original box, send whatever has a problem to them, and it comes back fixed in about a week.
So that's what I like about Hasselblad. What i don't like is the ergonomics - I probably wouldn't like the Phase either - the only MF cameras that I've ever owned that I actually liked in this respect were the twin lens Rollei 2.8F and the Mamiya 7. I realize that I'm peculiar in this respect. And I really don't like traveling with the Hasseblad because of its size and weight. No new offering from Hasselblad is likely change in these respects so I have no compelling reason to upgrade.
What I like about HB is their representation in Austria (VERY friendly) and their service and their competence - much better I would rate than Phase (although I do not want to blame this on single people, but the whole org of the representations).
WRT print size I can tell you that I did excellent prints from 40MP up to 60" so you actually do not need 50 or 60MP for this size, although it will be of course a benefit.
For me buying into one system or the other will be based on a great offer - either refurbished H3D2 with 39MP or Phase with P45+. If this is not coming available, then I most probably will go with the H4D50, as it has the most attractive price and will give me the resolutions I need for the next years, plus it allows me to use the most mature lens lineup with some of the lenses best fitting my needs (like 35-90, 28, 110 etc.)
Time will tell
I have been using the C1 and Phocus since their early versions until the present editions. I like both software.
For me the difference is that C1 can process a lot of different camera files, while Phocus works with only Hasselblad files.
Other than that, I think Phocus has become very stable, and dependable in the last few upgrades. And works wonders with the HB files. I have not seen any capability issues or user interface problems, except that the places for various sliders may be different. It's a matter of getting used to, as in all software. That's why I have written, because your generalized comments sound as if there is an already agreed verdict.
As a user, I wonder where you have problems related to Phocus. HB has asked users for ideas in their forum, and some people have reported sort of a wish list. I'm sure HB will listen to these as well as your comments, if any.
Have a good day
The more Hasselblad develops Phocus the more it bears a resemblance to Light Room in work flow ... which is great IMO.
My one and only wish is that corrections including DAC could migrate when converting to DNGs for cataloging and non-destructive work in LR.
my request for phocus would be to structure export destinations just like they do for capture destinations, with the default being the same location as where your imports reside. change export destination by right clicking a folder in the browser and choosing export destination. i did mention this on nick's forum and to P Claesson as well
what you state is definitely right! My issue is that I am a user of C1 since 6 years now and so I really got used to it and its functionality. As Phocus (or former Flexcolor) was always only HB specific, I never got used to it. So maybe this has been a very clever strategy of Phase (C1) to support all (most) camera RAW files, because then once you get ready for MF you just want to stay with what you are used to.
I am using many different SW packages in my professional life and also in my photography life which is my passion. So I am very much used to different SW packages, different GUIs etc. etc. But this is maybe the main reason WHY I got so tired about this. I want to stay with the SW I am used to and not waste my time retraining and optimizing a new workflow again and again. And BTW I of course know this is just a dream, but at least I want to minimize any hazel on it.
So I am still waiting to see what Phocus 2.0 will be, I was really not convinced of the possibilities of current Phocus. What I am convinced is the quality of HB H system (body and lenses) in general, although as I already said again and again I am not the biggest lover of the H3D2 ergonomics and this will for sure not become a different story with the H4. And same is true for Phase cameras unfortunately.
So for me it is rather seeking the minimum in bad things about a MF system and if that can be combined with a great price then I am ready to jump and decide (for maybe the rest of my life).
And I must say that the H3D2-50 covers a lot of what I like - and also the slight crop of the 50MP back is ok, as I have all the wonderful HCD lenses. And I could not care less about any other camera system being really FF or not
The more Hasselblad develops Phocus the more it bears a resemblance to Light Room in work flow ...
Now that Hasselblad seems to have a working relationship with Adobe, why continue to put resources into a "full featured" software product?
I do not really know wether Hasselblad or Phase, I am kind of thrown back and forth between these 2 vendors. As I said HB reps in Austria are somehow more friendly and supportive and this makes a BIG part of the whole choice.
Time will tell .... it can only get cheaper
I met a couple of Hasselblad reprentatives today at Hotwire's workshop in Atlanta and I must say that they are very friendly, informative and fair people. As was John Williams. I think there is way too much angst in here towards different systems, programs and marketing strategies. The bottom line, to me, does the equipment do the job it is designed and advertised to do? if so, I am good to go. No system can do everything and any system is only as good as the people and support behind it. I came away very impressed with Hasselblad's representatives.
Fix these two issues and Lightroom workflow works for me anyway.
The DAC data can sit in a separate data block in the DNG file, and as long as the tag describing it isn't one of the standard ones, it will be ignored by other programs. I don't recall, but I think there is a way to mark a block so that it is carried along by programs which don't understand it, although the default is to strip out such data when the DNG is modified.
I don't quite see a use for treating the file with a program which *doesn't* understand the DAC corrections, and still want to keep them around for later. They should be the first step, i.e. they will be applied by the first program, or thrown away. There is no guarantee that the DAC application would still be valid if some other program gets there first.
Anyway, my guess is that the DAC info in the raw file is minimal, and that the actual data needed to apply the corrections lies in Phocus, so this is all a bit hypothetical. In this case I guess no one cares whether the files are in DNG or 3F (is that right?) format out of the camera. IIRC, the issue is whether Phocus can export a DNG with the DAC applied, or is that wrong?
Carsten I think that in reality DNG is basically another extension of the standard RAW format, which is also why Adobe products, quite easily open RAW files from many cameras without needing any special R&D work.
Some out-of-the-camera RAW files may carry specific tags that DNG cannot carry, such as DAC (David can confirm but I think in that case it's the lens's spec which Phocus can use and Adobe cannot). DNG also cannot carry an embedded ICC input profile.
The only "manufacturer" software (AFAIK) that can modify the raw data is Leaf Capture 11 with the lens calibration (colour cast and vignetting) and moire removal tools. These two will allow one to correct and save a new RAW file that can be then converted to DNG or go straight into Adobe, archived etc.
Leaf Capture also stores the input profile inside the RAW file so that if the file goes onto a machine that never saw that profile, it'll still open "as shot" and the profile will be put into the colorsync folder.
Different approaches maybe, but it partially explains why DNG after so many years still has not become a standard in the industry
A few years ago Hasselblad actually made an H2D/22 that produced DNGs from the camera. I had one. But as things progressed they were forced to abandon the idea because it was to slow as sensor size increased and more of the integrated system software corrections came on line which further supports Yair's point.
Currently, all Phocus corrections are applied to tiff or jpg conversions. All that I am asking is that they be applied to DNGs so Lightroom/Photoshop can be used. While it would be great if all Phocus corrections could migrate as DNGs, I'd accept it if the Phocus corrections could NOT be altered in LR/PS. There are other lens correction tools in P/S if needed, but once the DAC is applied I don't need to do it again. The point is to get the full benefits of the integrated system with all other RAW controls remaining intact for centralized nondestructive work in the much more sophisticated and speedy Adobe Lightroom product. For most critical jobs or select images, I store the untouched proprietary RAW files on a back-up disk anyway.
I can do this now by loading the tiffs with basic DAC, and Moiré corrections applied converted in Phocus into Lightroom and then save them back out as DNGs ... which adds two time consuming steps to the process. Make it direct Hasselblad ... please.
It will be interesting to see how Leica does using DNGs with the S2.
The S2 is supposed to have a powerful on-board processor, but I don't know if this is meant to do any RAW data modifications (besides NR) or if it is there for creating JPEGs.
The DNG format (a slightly modified version of TIFF) can carry whatever data you want to write into it. There is provision for arbitrary data chunks as well as manufacturers private notes, and so on. The real issue is what data is described by the standard, and can therefore be handled by any conforming DNG reader. I guess this is why Hasselblad and others are reluctant to support DNG, because even if they packed all their custom data into a DNG, most programs would still not be able to interpret some of it. The danger I suppose is that some people would use other programs to read the files anyway! This would mean inferior results, and the blame would surely land at the feet of Hasselblad et al.
In general the DNG format is well thought out, but as long as companies have proprietary data, this is not going to be a replacement for manufacturers' raw developers. I don't know why people are so excited about cameras which write natively in DNG, since there is always data which can only be interpreted by programs with inside information. This was the case with both M8 and M9, although to be fair to Leica, the amount of proprietary information is minimal, related to guesstimated apertures and such (the blue dot).
The interesting (off-topic) question is what Leica will do with the S2. If Lightroom is the official solution, then I would expect that Adobe will insist that the information in the DNG is all conforming, meaning that the camera will have to do all custom processing before writing the DNG. This may be yet another reason why Leica makes the optical designs as perfect as possible, because they simply won't have the opportunity to do proprietary corrections in software, like Phocus and C1 do. This approach is both a strength and a weakness. The strength is of course that photographers may use their favorite software. The weakness is that the proprietary data that Phase One and Hasselblad use to their advantage has to be abandoned, and other solutions developed. Additionally, the lenses will be larger and more expensive, although Leica is in a perfect position to do something about the former. I presume that the Maestro chip will do vignetting correction, and I don't think that any other corrections will be applied.
It would be great if a plugin format for DNG readers would be developed, so that one could use one's favorite DNG raw developer, and download the 3F or whatever plugin from Hasselblad, for example, to do the DAC corrections. This would give the best of both worlds, and just might convince more manufacturers to support DNG and abandon the multitude of custom formats out there, thus helping to improve the future outlook of reading all this data.
Carsten getting the manufacture to support DNG has been the impossible task. Nikon, Canon, Olympus and others have been fighting this one for several years now and if you google this you may see all those discussions on this topic. It's pretty interesting, I did not get that involved with it at the time but WWWIII type stuff about DNG. So really it was a lot more of the major players in this battle than the Hassy and Phase folks. Also we don't truly know what Leica is doing on the S2 and all we get is perfect optical formula's we don't need outside software. Obviously it was directed squarely at Hassy in those marketing materials. My guess is a lot of processing going into the Raws and making corrections before it even hits a raw processor . Look at Oly and Pana today with Micro 4/3rds there lenses distort like crazy . They have corrections built into there files that correct the distortion when brought into a program that can read it . So it is being done and actually done well. No doubt the Leica S2 lenses will be great but I think there is some over exaggeration on some of that corrected glass talk as well. Of course we will never hear about any of that and honestly we never will and that is fine because to them it will be intellectual property. Let's see how that works in the real world than on paper.
as announced by Adobe on 24 June 2009. The following is a summary taken fm dpreview on that date.
Wouldn't this mean that with the DNG upgrade, Phocus may include the additional information necessary for DAC etc, during conversion of files to DNG.
The summary follows:
Adobe has updated its DNG digital negative specification to allow a series of image corrections to be embedded in the file. Version 1.3 of the non-proprietary RAW file format allows a series of 'corrections and enhancements', which Adobe is calling opcodes, to be defined in DNG files. These opcodes include the ability to specify corrections for lens aberrations such as geometric distortion and lateral chromatic aberration that should be made to the RAW data when it's processed.
Adobe has this to say about opcodes:
"DNG 1.3 now includes opcodes, a defined list of operations and their parameters for performing complex activities in the raw file conversion process. These activities include corrections and enhancements that are beneficial when performed prior to the demosaic process but are difficult due to a camera's limited processing power. They also include corrections and enhancements that can only be performed after the demosaic process such as lens correction. By utilizing opcodes, photographers can maintain the advantages of raw mosaic data, giving them increased opportunity to improve their photographs with the maximum amount of image data preserved. The DNG SDK has also been updated to reflect the changes to the specification."
Have a nice weekend.
Well Seyhun, if that is true then I WILL have a nice week end!
Let's see if Hasselblad read that announcement ...
As I recall some of the older discussions when DNG was being rolled out, what Carsten is commenting on is correct. The DNG file format can hold whatever the camera maker wants it to hold, with respect to both the RAW file and any other notes and information, even proprietary stuff that the manufacturer wants to include. That is sort of where the sticking point comes in. In order to make use of any of that proprietary information contained within the file, there has to be something to decode, read and apply it. Essentially, that means the camera makers would need to provide how their recipes for processing are to be handled in the larger DNG world, otherwise, you just get the same RAW file as you do now with a more generic conversion. To me this has always been the problem of the design. As Marc points out, the only way to get to a more universal use is for the camera makers to have all of their secret sauce corrections done in the camera and written to the RAW file that is then just held in the DNG container in a format that is readable by a one size fits all DNG converter. That is about the only way it can work.
This is sort of the way folks are trying to use it now....do the processing with all the corrections and then embed that more final version into a DNG container for longer term storage and more "universal" access. Problem is that does not really work that well. Programs like Phocus from Hassy that have built their own corrections that may be lens and camera specific, can only apply those corrections after the RAW file is converted, but before it is output. If the corrections could be made before the RAW version is written, such as in the camera, a DNG file would be easy to produce, since it would just be a more universally readable RAW file.
As it now stands, there are so many different iterations of RAW files from so many manufacturers, that it is hard to keep up with. The basic algorithm for reading and converting the file is really not that complex.....IF the RAW file is written to DNG and contains all of the corrections and adjustments from the start. The easiest way to do this would be to have the camera write a RAW file into a DNG format that already makes all the corrections. The problem there becomes larger lookup tables and faster processor needs built into the camera to accommodate those corrections before the file is written.
In the case of the S2, as is mentioned, the size of the lookup tables needed to make the corrections is very small right now, since there are few lenses involved. In the case for others, where there are lots of different lenses needing different adjustments that are easy to do in software with a bigger computer, the requirements to stuff all of that into the camera are less attractive. The only other option would be for the camera makers to somehow supply their proprietary processing adjustment data to anybody wanting to put out a RAW development algorithm for more universal file conversion use. That would mean Hassy, Leica, Phase, Nikon, Canon and the rest supplying a continuously updated proprietary processing formula to anybody that asked for one in the DNG program group, so that their files could be read and converted properly. The more corrections the camera makers start to introduce, the more complex that becomes. It is far easier for them to build their own software and supply and update just that, even if it is not ideal for workflow. They then have the freedom to build in the more complicated changes and correction needs into their app, rather than having to supply that information, even if proprietary, for use in all DNG conversions by others.
This is how I have grown to understand the entire DNG problem. When DNG was first proposed by Adobe, there were almost no exotic tweaking of things as we have today. The general RAW conversion algorithm pretty much worked for all files, only needing camera specific profiles to make things correct with respect to colors and stuff. Things have gotten a whole lot more complicated and demanding now with the plethora of cameras, versions, lenses, and contant tweaking and updating by manufacturers as new tech and methods become available. The basic RAW conversion algorithms have not changed a whole lot from the start, but all the potential sauces that can be used have grown nearly exponentially. How and when those sauces get applied has now become the bigger issue. As mentioned above, the best place to do that for the most universal file usage is in the camera at the time the RAW file is being written, but that requires more horsepower in-camera.
We are actually probably closer to a point now where things like that are more possible, but almost all camera makers already have their own software divisions that are easier to control and make updates on their own on the fly, than to be constantly releasing stuff for all DNG program subscribers to incorporate into their stuff. I still think the best way is to write all the corrections to the RAW file at time of capture, but that can create problems beyond just in-camera processing needs. It would not permit any minor user preference adjustments as is now possible in many apps. It might also cause some file distortion that could not be undone if so desired. Things like that.
Bottom line from how I see things now....DNG is a very good concept, but things have advanced quite a bit since its inception. The information needed now to get the best results are not as easily incorporated and could compromise some of the "competitive advantage" that some camera makers now have over doing the best conversions for their files. Most of this could have been avoided had more manufacturers really signed on and helped push DNG from the start, but the security and uses at that time were very unknown and questionable. The advances in in-camera processing are making it now possible to do a lot more to files before they are written, but do not permit much user adjustment if needed yet. This is all evolving in ways that few could have really predicted when DNG was introduced. The entire transition to digital is not directly comparable to how film was shot and processed, where one had a few film types and their favorite processing labs that could soup things the way they preferred, yet that seems be the model that DNG is trying to follow....one universal development formula that could be tweaked a bit with some proprietary input. Things are much more complicated than that at this point.
Anyway, just a few thoughts on this before I have that next espresso ;-)
Marc, have a nice weekend anyway
I think the problem is that, even if manufacturers include the additional information in the DNG files, would LR or ACR be revised to perform these operations, and that is in the hands of Adobe. I think only if "willing" parties want to collaborate, this may happen.
ACR still sucks with my Ricoh GRDII raw files.. And it's DNG.
Thanks for posting that bit of info. That is essentially what is needed, but had been lacking, and camera makers have not been pushing DNG hard enough to really make it work the way it could. Will be interesting to see if more of this continues, or if camera makers continue to opt for just putting more horsepower into their cameras instead.
There is one other way to handle it. I doubt that the manufacturers will ever give up the code to their secret sauce, so one way is DNG plugins which hook into the central decoding algorithm, but the other one is an import plugin for popular programs. These plugins would be called by the importer and would handle the secret sauce, resulting in an image which could be stored in a DNG. This image might then have to already be flattened, i.e. no more Bayer matrix, but a full image, meaning that some scope for sharpening etc. control would already be lost.
The problem is quite complex, and cannot succeed as long as the manufacturers insist on keeping secret sauce secret, other than possibly with plugins for the raw processing.
Well put LJ, thanks for taking the time,
Carsten regarding "secret sauces" I know that at least Canon and Leaf provide a free SDK for anyone wishing to work with their cameras/ files. For example Iridient's Raw Developer gives you an option to use Leaf's own icc input profiles and develop curves with Leaf files.
Apple's concept with Aperture was to allow 3rd parties to build plug-ins, however for whatever reasons Aperture has not become a mainstream raw converter...
Yair, the SDKs don't give access to everything, as far as I know. The most infamous example is Nikon's encrypted white balance, which I believe can only be used by Nikon own raw developer.
Aperture is nice, but Lightroom's workflow is in general a little nicer, and also more efficient. I evaluated both at v.1 and Lightroom was a *lot* faster, and stored the files in a normal file system. Aperture stored the files in a bundle, meaning for example that backups would always copy everything. Meanwhile Aperture also stores in a normal file system, and many prefer the raw conversions, but LR is still more straight-forward to use and faster.
I feel that LR has gradually been slipping in the wrong direction, and Apple as usual improves their product in every version, so perhaps one day I will switch.
Have used LR1.1 and Aperture 2 and must say I like AP2 much more. Only thing missing for me are Curves adjustments.
Having said that C1Pro in its current incarnation is soooo much better still. And I expect that the next version will be another big step forward.
And frankly I doubt that Phocus will be able to come close - unfortunately!
I'm not a Lightroom user, but having said that (and having a little experience with the app. since beta), I wouldn't judge LR by version 1.1. I'm not advocating for LR, but just saying that v2.5 is considerably improved over v1.1.
Which functions do you mean?
In my experience, LR can do much more, but C1 is better at WB, noise and sharpness.