Mamiya AFDII + ZD back single buffer
I have now done three studio shoots with this back/body combination.
None of them have been tethered, but, I now have that set up on PC at home, and if I can find the right cart/stand, I will bring that kit to the next shoot. I believe that with the small screen on the back, that is essential. I find it very difficult to even check basic posing an composition on the tiny low res screen. At the same time, I have a feeling, that is why all the backs allow tethered shooting, and the I-pad aps are starting to become useful. As I get my studio workflow refined, even though the screen does suck, I don't think it will matter than much.
How the system did at the most basic level was at best good enough. If I were a pro who was making my living with this system, it was no where good enough. The buffer is not deep enough, and at least once, but more often twice in a shoot, I have had to pop the batter pack out of the back, and reboot the whole mess. It has never been such a problem that the system did not work, but on the other hand, it does not inspire confidence. Both Pocket Wizards, and Paul Buff triggers, the flash has never misfired. ( This is not true of a Sony A700 and Some Canons 40D(?) that other photographers have used at the same shoots, my Nikon has never misfired )
As to the IQ, at ISO 50, and ISO 100, I'm simply very impressed. With both the zoom 55-110 and the 80mm, I'm very happy. My next lens will either be the 105-210 or the 210 tele, I have not finalized my choice yet, but I need the longer focal length for tight head shoots without having to be on top of the model.
I have been looking at on screen crops, and when I do get all the bits right, the quality is exceptional. This echos what I read all over the web, the issue with this back is not IQ at base, but ISO performance and robustness. I read all of Frank Doorhoufs (spelling) blog on this back, and he was spot on. I will be sending some of these off to print soon, and will post results when I get them.
The more important question is relative quality .... I'm still not quite sure about this. Some of the high key shooting that I did with Athena, I simply don't think that the Nikon D300 could have held up to the dynamic range needed. As to a D700 or D3x, that is kind of moot as I chose the ZD over the D700. If any one can comment to that, I'd certainly appreciate it.
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Any comments or questions about the system/lighting etc are welcome.
C&C is appreciated.
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