and there is the aptus 12, 80 mpx, ( $12k cheaper than the IQ180) and av very nice platform with the perks of a rotatable sensor and tilting LCD (for one of the versions)
and there is the aptus 12, 80 mpx, ( $12k cheaper than the IQ180) and av very nice platform with the perks of a rotatable sensor and tilting LCD (for one of the versions)
It's like saying you're going to train to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and you're investing in a good pair (or 6) of shoes and a personal trainer.
If you're going to put considerable time (the most valuable asset we have), effort, and emotion into a hobby it makes sense to place a similar (monetary) investment in equipment and training that will increase your enjoyment of the hobby either by
- increasing the maximum performance you can achieve (e.g. coming as close to that max still being on you and your skills/effort/hard-work)
- making the activity more pure/true/tactile/viscerally enjoyable (e.g. a scuba diver buying the best dive-mask for the clearest view of the wild-life)
- allowing you to spend more of your time doing the part of the activity you enjoy rather than the part of the activity you don't enjoy (e.g. renting a golf cart so you spend more time hitting balls and drinking and less time going from point A to point B)
Of course that financial investment has to be relative to your overall disposable income.
To me part of the joy of shooting landscape with a tech camera is the WAY you shoot. The slower, more methodical, more mechanical, older school, precise and tactile shooting that comes with a tech camera is part of the fun for me. As a profession it would be a point-of-question: you can't produce as many shots/day with a tech camera as a dSLR - so is the increased quality and flexibility and decreased time in front of the computer later worth it to your business? But as a hobby it's a very different question - in many ways who cares how many shots you can accomplish per day. The greater question is how good will those shots be (to you) and how much will you enjoy creating them at the time, and viewing/sharing them after the fact.
Another way of saying this is that in professional photography the capture of the image is often reduced to a means to an end - the delivery of an image to a client who will pay for it. In hobby photography the journey - the process of capturing the image - is just as important as the process.
Some hobbyists will prefer a camera which is the easiest to get an ok image. But to me that's like saying a hobby runner should forgo actually running the miles and just jump in their car and drive to the finish line. I prefer a camera which is more an extension of my body and allows me to interact with the landscape rather than just frame it up and snap a shot. I feel more involved in the making of the image with a tech camera than I do looking through a live-view on a 5DII and doing things like pan-and-stitch and focus stacking on the computer later on. Getting a great image on a tech camera is more challenging, more engaging, and is slower than with more automatic and general-purpose cameras, but that makes it very satisfying to me - the fact that it produces the best possible quality is just a bonus.
It's the same reason that when I print cyanotypes using a 160 year old recipe of chemistry and sun-power rather than use photoshop and an inkjet. It's just more enjoyable to me.
Now to be clear I am openly biased as we (Capture Integration) make our living by selling the equipment you're talking about as solutions including training/support/advice for photographers both professional and hobbyists. But my bottom line is if you have your basic needs met, have a reserve for the unforeseen, cared for your family, contributed toward the well-being of your community, and you still have money to spare then you should spend your excess in whatever way you think will bring you the most enjoyment (assuming it isn't harming others) and not worry too much about what other people think or what other people can afford.
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To the OP
for me, as a hobbyist, I have a nice prudent reserve, save for retirement, contribute to cub scouts, and my local religious affiliation, ( does not really matter which one ) ..... due to good education and hard work, I have a surplus, some goes to home improvements, others on camping gear and such, and with what's left, it's mine to spend. Even then, I am prudent, I have to rent a studio, pay models and such .... all that said, I'm working with one of the dealers on this board to get a back that FITS MY NEEDS! I print a vanity book once a year, and some 16X20s. I can tell the difference between a D3X and my lowly ZD, if the thing worked as well as a phase, there would be no need to upgrade. However, after a year of shooting, there are just some things it does not do. So, with that surplus, I will upgrade. NB .... I shot MF film, then a really cheap DB for a year, and then upgrade, for my prudent nature a 80meg back is off the deep end, even if you do have several million laying around. However, it's still cheaper than falling off a Harley!
Of course it's justifiable if you want it and you've got the dosh - no question.
On the other hand, if you're moving from a Canon or Nikon FF camera there is really a lot to learn.
The real reason I haven't gone to MF is that my time is limited, and I'd rather spend that limited time in taking pictures with kit I understand rather than learning how to use new kit.
On this basis, if I did decide to go MF I'd be more likely to get something like the S2, which would be familiar territory (but that's a different question).
But my caveats are all about time resources - not about money. If you want it - then go for it
Just this guy you know
Late into the post, but if it is the resultant effects that you are after (probably more likely the case) then go for it. Hobbiest or pro the only difference is the latter gets (in theory) their money back or earn income from it. The former, 100% pleasure and joy of taking photos with a beautiful conclusion to admire upon by all without worrying how to pay it off or whether it gets payed off or not!
If one is asking the quesiton then one shouldn't.
All the answers are other people's thought bubbles reflecting (quite naturally) their own dispositions.
If what other people are using to make images really matters - then I suggest the less money spent the better.
I agree with Peter, and would add that if you can't decide for yourself, asking strangers their opinions isn't the best way to make a decision. As a died in the wool gearhead, I find that I only ask for people's opinions when I'm looking for a reason to justify what I already want to do. If you've already decided to spend the money, you've come to the right place for advice.
I upgraded my H3DII-39 to H4D-60 last year, i found out that upgraded saved me a lot than i upgrade my H3D to even H4D-40/50 after one year or 2.
i'm with peter and stephen; ask for gear advice, not moral opinions
1. Rent out a system for say one month. Use it thoroughly.
2. If you must have a NEW System, get an inexpensive 40 MPIX system - Pentax, Hasselblad, Phase. The price of acquisition will be 10K - 24K max.
If MF works for you you can buy/upgrade, if not you have lost much less than the depreciation on a 55K system.
One more word of caution, there was a thread where the steep learning curve of Digital Technical Camera was discussed. The reason being an unsatisfied new comer to MFDB world.
I would do a thorough research followed by real life experience via a rental route, even if money was of no consequence, just to ensure that MFBD on a Tech camera was my scene. Though all of us welcome converts from DSLR to MFDB, none want to see a disillusioned and/or disgruntled user.
FYI ..... I'm not retired, in fact, not even close, still got a good 25 years in front of me. Prudent does not mean dull! Spend 15 years overseas as an expat, and that put me on a pretty solid footing. Did grad school while working, and came out with no debt!
Is buying a 55K camera justifiable... in the name of hobby?
yes if your hobby is spending money
Is buying a 55k camera justifiable.. in the name of hobby?
Most definitely - if you can afford it. I do agree with others which recommend you try the digital MF options before you buy. It is more technically demanding than a typical dSLR, but good technique is rewarded.
You probably wouldn't even ask yourself this question if you were thinking of buying a boat, airplane, vehicle, etc. It's all a matter of perspective.
If Phase ever gets around to releasing some more T/S lenses then it would be a very good all around system and I would for sure probably sell my Pentax 645D, which is all I could afford and have to work around all the limitations of MF, shallow DOF, Soft corners when shooting wide angle, etc. Yet at the same time what a camera for 10K, Now if they would only release some more digital optimized lenses, which I am starting to believe is that is a "marketing term" Manufacturers should really call them, Lens tested and verified to work with Digital, "Tested" meaning each lens tested before it gets shipped out to dealers and avoid the "bad copy" syndrome.
For whatever it's worth, my understanding is that Steiglitz didn't really differentiate between hobbyists and professionals. He considered that their primary motivations and intentions towards the medium were similar and that led them to make compromises. He felt that they tended to make photographic decisions based on practical aspects like money, convenience (today we might call it workflow) status, or leisure. The fine arts could certainly influence them in some way but were not considered their primary influence, therefore, they could not claim that producing art was their true motivation. He considered the photographers that were attempting to become Fine Artists as being motivated by factors that were different from the "kodakers" or "camera clubs" or commercial photographers.
The point I'm trying to get at is if money is a motivating factor then it's not practical for a hobbyist to spend a small fortune on a camera system. However, if working to the highest level of craftsmanship in an effort to become a better artist is the primary motivating factor, then there is no limit to the resources that could justifiably be spent to achieve the goal.
The way I see it is that if you are agonizing over it, and if you are needing justification, then you probably should not buy it.
From what I have seen, people who buy big ticket items such as this for pure enjoyment usually don't care how much it really cost. The price of it is nothing more than an afterthought. These guys will laugh about losing 50k on a single bet in Vegas. They will lit up numerous 100 dollar bills just for amusement. I know it is sickening, but that is how much money they happen to have.
Now, if you think that investing that 50k is a possible option, then you need this money. You should invest it. I am almost certain that you will have a buyer's remorse.
Sorry to be a buzzkil, but trying to be a devil's advocate here for a change.
Last edited by Nubi; 12th April 2011 at 15:50.
Ha! I was reading Wikipedia on "Buyer's Remorse" and Cognitive Dissonance. This one came from the latter:
And this one is also interesting, on the other side of the coin:Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Experience can clash with expectations, as, for example, with buyer's remorse following the purchase of an expensive item. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence. This bias gives dissonance theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and destructive behavior.
A classical example of this idea (and the origin of the expression "sour grapes") is expressed in the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BCE). In the story, a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he surmises that the grapes are probably not worth eating, as they must not be ripe or that they are sour. This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it.
Post-purchase rationalization is a phenomenon whereby someone who purchases an expensive product or service overlooks any faults or defects in order to justify their purchase. Expensive purchases often involve a lot of careful research and deliberation, and many consumers will often refuse to admit that their decision was made in poor judgement. Many purchasing decisions are made emotionally, based on factors such as brand-loyalty and advertising, and so are often rationalized retrospectively in an attempt to justify the choice.
I'm 25 myself and could not have jumped to MF had it not been for a used h3dii-39.... Image quality alone is amazing when jumping from a 1ds III or 5d II.... Although I didn't have 55k to spend, it would have been spent buying the lesser of the backs i.e IQ140 and just building up the lens arsenal, as I can personally say from experience that lenses retain value while the price of a sensor keeps going down and down.
- not buying anything (might also regret this decision)
- get the ultimate IQ180
- get the P65+
- get the IQ140 (same price as P65+ but the IQ seems to be more pleasurable to use - heck how often would one need to check focus... every time? film ppl didn't use to be able to check focus / exposure / anything)
-P45+. 1:1 crop with 39MP and tech camera friendly and can be picked up as cheap a chips now. Many using P45's on here for landscape with tech cameras.
And while you considering P backs you should also check out used P40+ now the IQ140's have been launched. There should be quite a few turning up shortly and they use the latest Dalsa chips as in the IQ140. Just have a look in the "Fun with MF images" topic on this forum at some of the shots Guy has taken with his P40+ and Alpa to see how stunning this combo can be.
If you have not done so already, reckon on spending a substantial amount on a workstation, monitor, printer, colour management system, tripod + head etc. This forum and the Mac Performance Guide will show you how to drop a lot of money on the peripherals ;-)
An untethered tech camera suffers from a number of disadvantages as a platform for landscape work. No ability to precisely frame the composition, no ability to "see" the perspective of the lens by looking through the lens(and the wider the lens, the more difficult it is to "see" that way), no ability to focus through the lens, no autofocus, no internal metering. What do you gain? The use of slightly sharper lenses that give you the theoretical possibility of slightly sharper images, which is very difficult to achieve in the field, particularly if you want to shoot multiple frames for focus stacking. And really, how many images would you take with a Phase DF where you would say that one of your images would really have been compelling if only you had a bit more sharpness?
tech camera uses less batteries than 1ds
- Framing / composing - will I use live view or ground glass (yes for the reason you mentioned - the ability to see through the lens). It was suggested that the View Finder is really good but I am sceptical about its framing accuracy, in fact sure that it won't be accurate - the solution is take the shot, adjust, retake, review on back, adjust, repeat.
- The usability in highly dusty and windy environment (slot canyons, dunes / desert with blowing sand, beaches with salt water vapour and sand blowing, misty waterfalls, slight rain). I remember while in the slot canyons and other sandy areas... my ears and nose were full of sand! Sand got into my 'weather sealed' canon L lens and a lot got onto the 1ds3 sensor too.
- Related to the above: using ground glass whether it is by taking off the back and putting on GG and taking it off and putting the back on - or by using a sliding back - would make the sensor or the sliding back mechanism to catch those dust / salt water vapour etc. The only solution I think is to 'seal' the back onto the camera using some sort of duct tape, and use live view for composing and focusing. This is one thing that I am REALLY REALLY wondering about.
I am starting to sound like a sour grape already
Dropping 55K on a camera is very different to buying a luxury car. I know for sure that there won't be much going wrong with a luxury car and that almost everything about it will be a joy to experience.
But yeah I might add P45+ into my consideration thanks!
My suggestion for what it is worth since you want to jump in to MF than I can offer this up since I have a lot of experience shooting ALL of the Phase backs. If you really want to go new and really want to use a tech cam than my immediate thought would be the IQ 140. Its a great step in with the new tech and you can really see what your doing shooting with a tech cam. I would also buy it as a package which you get a DF and a 80 for a few bucks more. Worth it to buy like that and you have a regular cam if the tech cam bugs you and you can go long. Lets get down to facts it is half the price of the 180 and with that savings you could buy a Alpa 3 lenses and still have change left over.
2 things can happen . You hate a tech cam , very easy to sell a Alpa STC on this forum with the 3 lenses if all turns to hell in a hand basket and you don't like shooting this way. A lot of folks don't as it maybe too slow with working with it. Trust me I have taught 14 workshops and I see everything. Second regardless your still in MF with the 140 the latest tech with a DF and 80 which you can build on for not too much money buying lenses.
3rd I added one you actually have 2 separate systems sharing the same back which gives you many shooting options.
Okay now for the down and dirty order it today through one of our site sponsors with DF and 80 and you get a P40+ DF and 80 today to use until the 140 is delivered. Double check with your dealer on this. If you do the math at the end of the day you may just have two complete systems with several lenses for each and still have change in your pocket plus you get the tech which is the same tech as the 180 just in a smaller package. Now you have to take my word for this the P40 sensor will blow anything away in 35mm PERIOD. I have had the P25+,P30+ and P40+ with 16k in actuations on it. Nothing comes close except for the 60 and 80 mpx sensors and also there is ZERO difference between the P65 and P40 except sensor size and more detail of course. Lets add another dimension here have you priced a Alpa system out . 3 lenses and a STC will hit you for about 15k . Really need to put pen to paper and get the math done. Now not to say do not buy the 180 which is freaking awesome BTW. I have shot it twice now and pretty extensively as a Prototype and it smokes anything out there.
First do the math than buy whatever YOUR comfortable with. If you go wrong it may not be as big as a issue since everything you bought is the latest tech and much easier to sell. I'm a Phase shooter and i tried them all and there is not one back I would not recommend given the shooting style. Obviously tech cam stay away from the P30+ since it has micro lenses. All the IQ's will be fine so take your pick but just because a 180 is twice the price of the 140 does not mean it is twice as good. You really paying for the making of larger chips which is expensive. Sure it is better no question but how much money do you want to throw out to find out.
Now for the real brass tax. I'm a 35 year working Pro and when it comes to buying gear I leave my bloody ego at the door and let my practical side speak( and i am the biggest gear slut here). You do NOT have to have the absolute best as your neighbor, it will not make you any better than anyone with less expensive gear. I teach workshops and our attendees have better gear than me. And good for them and happy they do but it means nothing in the field unless it actually helps make the process of shooting better. The IQ will do that especially with a tech cam. It will with a DF also as you can confirm everything your doing. Do NOT get caught up in having the most expensive gear will make you better, your wasting your money thinking that but getting stuff that works and frees your mind is a good thing. Starting out I believe the IQ will be extremely helpful.
Mac Pro: 7-9K
Eizo monitor: 5.5K
i1 Pro: 3.5K
24" printer (no doubt high MP will mean bigger printer): 4K
Ink: 1K per set for refill
travel expenses: 6-8K/month (motel, car rental, fuel, food) - multiply this by 5-6 per year: 48K/year
travel tickets: 2K per trip on average (long haul, inter-continental flights)
Photography "workshops": $2-6K / workshop
Other sundry expenses: xxxx
disto meter: 0.5K
value added warranty: 4K (for phase one)
Insurance for the camera: (haven't asked yet)
Last edited by Jim2; 13th April 2011 at 05:58.
LOL I am available, my wife would love for me to have a real job. I know I am very good at this stuff and they should hire me but I do believe in the product and that is number one for me. I help a lot of folks as well as Jack does and we take our advice and suggestions very seriously as we always want to be honest and help folks. We both get a lot of e-mails and PM's on this everyday and neither one of us makes a nickel on it. But seriously I would not mind having a job with them. Anyone listening. LOL
Forget sales manager; hire Guy to come along on your photo trips, point out what you want photographed, and voila: photos.
It'll save a ton of money, and you'll have someone to drink with.
we do have a workshop
The reality is this: If you're a hobbyist, you can only justify expenses relative to the intangibles you gain from immersing yourself in said hobby. If it relieves stress, it may lengthen your life and make you more enjoyable to be around -- how much is that worth in dollars? If it eliminates the need for you to visit a psychoanalyst that charges $400/hour every week, then it may pay for itself over time. Also, high end camera gear is not usually a "sunk" cost -- it usually retains some value should you decide to bail. (Some gear, or exceptionally good copies of lenses, can even increase in value!) OTOH, if it's going to mostly sit in the closet while you only talk about it in an online forum, then you probably ought to look for another hobby!
Of course my vote is get all that gear, then come on a workshop to learn how to use it!
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
Maybe I should go check out Pentax 645D vs Phaseone P40+ threads. Maybe for a hobbyist, a Pentax 645D is good enough, gives me the pleasure of taking photos and ability to print big-ish, either way, a significant step up in quality from 1ds3........... and at $15-$20K (with lenses) - relatively a pocket change compared to P40+, rm3di and lenses (28K). I guess I need to think through the lenses combinations here.
The advantage of pentax being its weather sealing, great battery life, hand holdability, a lot less 'surprises'/unknowns (to me) than Phase system. Except that I'll have to use auto focus instead of manual focusing that I'm used to. eeek!
And why don't you add Hasselblad H4D option there? there is also Leica S2 if this will not suit you as well, i may understand why Phase One, but if you added Pentax 645D then you better add other MF brands, in fact i think you should think about Phase One vs. Hasselblad more than P1 vs. Pentax.
Well i think the song changed here. Where we not talking about a tech cam. If that is the case than it is either Leaf, Phase or Hassy. The Pentax and S2 are not candidates for a tech cam.
Would you feel better spending half as much on a system and the other half on philanthropy?
If you don't have the Chedda, ya can't buy something betta.
(I first shot this with a S2 and 120 Macro lens BUT couldn't get enough DOF to get it all in focus without moving back ... so I shot it again with a H4D/60 and HTS tilt-shift adapter and 100/2.2 with a 13mm extension tube @ f/41 and it's all in focus without moving back or cropping to fill the frame. That's my version of a "Tech Camera" these days Take it off, and it's a regular camera again.
Frankly, if I were going 100% pure tech camera, I wouldn't even consider anything but a Phase One IQ ...
I agree Marc the IQ is the king of the road for a tech cam. It actually answers the real question of the day. Did I get it and that is the one everyone walks away from taking there shot ask. Those little clouds that pop off your head like hope I nailed the focus, I hope i was square, i hope I shot what I thought I was shooting. I know all the tech cam folks are going YUP
Just read through the whole thread again.
On reflection, I think the answer is much like the response given a customer who asked the price in a Ferrari dealership, "If you have to ask the question, you shouldn't buy the car."
Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
Marc can I borrow that C note to ad to my o' **** upgrade piggy bank