Too bad the website broke for me...
Exciting! But broken--beyond 56mm x 36mm and 56 megapixel , I got a broken link as per jdbfreeheel, above.
We broke their website with too many hits <g>
Before their site eats it again:
It’s a wide world. Capture it with True Wide Frame. The True Wide Frame (TWF) 56x36 mm, 56 megapixel digital imaging sensor in the new Leaf AFi 10 camera system takes you to the edge of the medium-format frame. With best-of-class Schneider lenses, the Leaf AFi system can fully realize the power of 56 megapixels, delivering images of unsurpassed quality. Together with the new Leaf ‘Verto’ technology, the TWF sensor can be rotated internally, giving you the control and flexibility to shoot the way you want to. Just imagine.
‘True Wide Frame’ (TWF) sensor
The new Leaf TWF sensor restores lenses to their full angle of view. Together with DALSA Corporation, Leaf designed the exclusive new 56x36 mm TWF sensor to deliver 56 megapixel resolution across the entire width of the Leaf AFi 10’s 6x6 sensor area. TWF sensor technology in the Leaf AFi 10 imaging module and Aptus 10 camera back is also compatible with over 80 large-format cameras, maximizing their capture area.
Leaf Verto internal sensor rotation
Leaf Verto internal sensor rotation technology means no more turning the camera, or even the imaging module with the Leaf AFi 10. With one finger you can flip the sensor from landscape to portrait and back, giving you the power to quickly capture 56mm resolution in both landscape and portrait orientations.
Thanks for the link. Very impressive. The internal rotation looks very tempting!
This does look interesting. Like the Verto Sensor rotation concept. If it keeps the sensor in register, that makes for a very nice use option. Looks good with the 45-degree viewfinder.
O.K., have to ask the other question......is this a newer, higher res LCD also? Like the size, and am hoping it has indoor/outdoor readability with high resolution.
O.K., so this new 56MP sensor is 56mm x 36mm compared to the Phase 65+ at 53.9mm x 40.4mm. That adds some width, but loses some height in the format, if that matters to folks, making it a bit more rectangular than squarish. Good for wides, if they can deliver across the entire frame.
The pixels are 6x6, so that is essentially the same, and provides about the same ISO range of 50-800.
Wonder what the other details are going to be? This looks interesting.
One of the thoughts behind this new 14:9 size is the Golden Ratio and the opportunities is can lead to.
Please don't forget that we've been working closely with DALSA (previously Philips) since 1998 (which is when we came out with the revolving sensor as well), while Phase "missed" the 17/22/33/28 MP sensors on which this new sensor bases some of its features on...
I was not criticizing Leaf, nor propping up Phase. I merely was looking at the dimensions and limited available specs for comparison only. I am sure that Leaf is bringing its own features to the party, much as Phase does for it stuff, and Sinar, Mamiya and others do for their things.
I think it is great to have some of this variety, and time will tell which options are most useful. The concept of the rotating sensor is a great one. The 14:9 format is interesting, and can have some nice applications (landscapes, vertical architecture shots, full length portraits, automobile shots, product shots, etc.).
Just waiting to hear about other things that may be coming....from Leaf and others. There is a brewing feeling that some important things are being missed or overlooked in some of the recent product announcements. This may go as much to which group(s) are the target buyers for some of this new gear. Looking forward to more announcements, projected deliveries and prices on some of this stuff.
I did not take your comment as criticism, not at all!
It's only because on a public forum you have to assume that not all viewers are tech savvy or have all the knowledge about digital developments in the last 16 years (when the first array-chipped Leaf back came out).
So when I can, I share as much background info as possible, trying to be too aggressive to others...
There are more good things coming and there is certainly a positive vibe about high-end capture right now.
Now this got my attention. I loved my Leaf back ... which Jim Collum now puts to good use.
If they offer the Leaf 10 back with internal sensor rotation separately in other mounts, it'll solve the 6X6 non-rotating back issue. Love to see the 40CFE IF with this sensor : -)
All these MF folks are on the ball. Good to see.
The sensor rotation concept sounds great. Good to see Leaf making innovative changes.
Thanks for posting this Yair. It is interesting to see how the medium format digital companies are sorting things out. It seems that Hasselblad is sticking with Kodak, while both Leaf and Phase have "exclusive" sensors that they have developed with DALSA. As the product lines become more proprietary (Hasselblad with their own backs, Phase with Mamiya and Leaf and Sinar with F&H), the makers now seem to be more directly involved with the sensor manufactures by having them create things that better suit their product lines. I think it can be a good development. Now that the back makers all have a "native" system of bodies and lenses, they can tailor their sensors and backs to fit them better. Obviously Leaf is taking advantage of the AFi/Hy6's 6x6 film/sensor area by having a full width sensor that can be rotated. This type of sensor would not be possible on a camera smaller than 6x6 (well, at least not with rotation).
It will be interesting to see if Sinar also embraces this newer "tailored" approach to sensor design. I suppose we will see by Photokina.
Thank you Stuart, the responses we're getting so far (less than a day...) are quite overwhelming!
Surely a new format for some people may sounds like an awkward choice, but this 56mm, 14:9 sensor, in my opinion, opens up some interesting visual opportunities.
On 56mm bodies (645, 66, 67) you get to practically use the actual focal length of the lenses.
Shooting a 4:3 image, you still get approx. 50MP
For Large format users (product, architecture, landscape) it give more coverage with wide lenses and more stitching options, either for panoramic views or for square 56mm (think about a 56mm square image shot with let's say ALPA MAX and a digitar 47XL. 3 stitched images and we're already in 6X7 territory...
There are more technological innovations on this sensor that will be revealed at photokina, which are going to make it even more attractive.
7 weeks to go:-)
For the Aptus and Valeo backs we could do it on the RZ and RB bodies via a rotating adapter - still viable but not as neat as rotating the sensor
The AFi body has given us the commercial "excuse" and the ability to do it properly and in doing that to allow all technical camera users to enjoy it.
There's some more technical info and images available HERE
Thanks for the info, maybe you can help with some questions. I have been MF digital since 1999 so I've seen a lot of backs come and go. Started with Leaf, switched to Sinar and went back to Leaf, currently Aptus 75 on an H1. I shoot everything, studio, still life, people, locations, everything. I held the Leaf AFI when it first came out but had issues with lens availability and the fact I had H lenses and especially 120 macro AF. I use Sinar x large format reluctantly when I have to but have been inquiring with everyone for years about tilt shift MF, not that I ever believed it was possible. When H3 came out with a 28mm I was disappointed I couldn't use it on my H1 Leaf system. Now they have the HTS 1.5 tilt shift for 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 80mm and 50 million MP. This looks like a perfect system except for one thing, I don't think the current Hassy chip image quality is as film like as Leaf, but of course, I have not tested the 50 mp's of either, that test is yet to come.
Honestly, when I heard Hasselblad had a 50MP coming with this amazing $5,300 tilt shift gizmo I thought it was my dream come true, not only super wide 28mm and 50MP but tilt shift also, and on 4 lenses! Goodbye forever Sinar X you clunking slow monster. Plus I get to keep and use my H1 lenses. But here is the problem, I love my leaf back and don't want to give it up. But I also have some very tough questions.
So now you have a 56MP rotating back afi 10, that's great. But some of the issues still remain. The lens availability and the tilt shift component for 2 big ones. It seems there is no afi lens that can match Hasselblad 28mm and there is no afi tilt shift ability, and no afi 120 macro AF. The lens list issue is still very unclear on the Leaf website.
Here is what needs clearing up:
1. A list of all lenses available now for the AFI 10, and a list of what's coming and when.
2. Is there a super wide lens like the H3 28mm now or coming.
3. Clarity on what Leaf means by "digital" schneider lenses. Does this mean they are sharper or better digitally than all Rollei lenses, none of which were built with digital in mind, all Rollei are film lenses. I know they are Zeiss but are they digital and do they stand up to schneider? If the digital schneider is "the" lens for the afi10, why are there so few lens choices compared to H? Remember I said I was digital since 99, well I use to use my rollei 6008i and zeiss lenses with the sinar and it was good, but the day I put it up against the H1 with it's digital lenses the H1 lenses blew it away; the rollei lenses did not hold up in so many ways.
4. Is there or will there be a 120 macro AF like the H1 120 macro AF?
5. Is there or will there be a tilt shift mechanism like the HTS 1.5?
I know these are tough questions, but the irony is, I probably wouldn't be asking them if the H3 did not have a 50 MP, AF 120 macro, 28mm AF and tilt shift on 4 lenses, but it does. I know this is a lot of stuff, but here's another, I know from the specs, that the new Hassy 50mp has a 3" very sharp HD type view screen; the current leaf 75 is big, but very poor quality compared to a Nikon D3 for example, and terrible in the sun. If the afi 10 had a killer screen, it would go a long way in it's favor. What about it?
Thanks for th info!
A wise man once told me that questions can be tough only if you cannot give straight answers...
I usually try to answer as straight as I can avoiding only disclosure of confidential information. I do have my personal opinions, though, and would at times choose to mix them into my answers, it sometimes makes others uncomfortable but I hope this is OK with you.
I recently got hold of an H3DII-39 and held it for 2 months of extensive testing alongside the AFi7 and an Aptus 75S on an H2. This gave me an opportunity to explore the differences in handling, optics and image quality between these backs and lenses combinations. Unfortunately I could not test the HC28 on the Aptus, but I did have an ALPA XY on hand with a Schneider Digitar 24mm.
1. These are the Rollei-Schneider AFD lenses currently available for purchase through Leaf:
PQS means 1/1000 sync, PQ is 1/500
AFD Super Angulon 50 f/2.8 AFD HFT PQS
AFD Xenotar 80 f/2.8 PQS
AFD Tele-Xenar 180 f/2.8 AFD PQ
AFD 60-140 Variogon AFD PQS is a available in small quantities as production ramps up, we can still supply the AF version.
AFD Tele-Xenar 150 f/4 AFD HFT PQS Will be available later this year. I don't have a date for it right now.
35mm Flektagon is expected as a prototype at Photokina and is supposed to be AF, no further info is available at the moment.
Note that the new AFD lenses can only be ordered through Leaf and Sinar
Manual focus lenses there are as many as 40 odd of them available new or used, we carry mainly the following and can order most of the others:
Schneider 40mm f/3.5 Super Angulon FLE HFT PQ
Schneider 90mm f/4 Macro (1:2) Apo-Symmar HFT PQS
Zeiss Makro Apogon MF 120 mm f/4 HFT PQS (replacing the Makro Planar)
Zeiss 110mm f/2 Planar HFT PQ
Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar HFT PQS
2. The coming 35mm with the 56mm sensor should give an FOV which is very similar to what the HC28 gives with the 49mm Kodak sensor (only a side by side test will tell since the H3DII has a 48mm mask on the focusing screen). The Aptus 10 with the HC35 (my least favourite HC lens) should give the same FOV.
3. "D" essentially means that on the manufacturing/ assembly line the glass is being picked more carefully and is assembled and tested to tighter tolerances and a higher lpm measuring tool - this I can attest after visiting the F&H factory and seeing it myself. This also means that the aperture ring was taken off as the aperture control is now done via the dials on the handgrip or in Leaf Capture 11.1.
When using a non D lens, the aperture ring needs to be set to Auto
Rollei lenses are all made by Rollei, the raw chunks of glass and the "calculations" come from either Zeiss or Schneider, depending on the specific lens.
My tests showed that the Aptus with the H glass was sharper with more detail than the H3D back with the same glass.
The AFi, with some of the lenses was better (in general). showing less CA and distortion. We are not talking huge differences but with the new 6µ sensors I expect these differences to grow.
With the Digitar 24mm the differences in clarity, CA and edge sharpness where more obvious - this is related to the different sensors mostly and the better handling of colour casts done by the Dalsa sensor and LC11.1
4. Not as far as I know. There's a big debate about "specialised" lenses (Macro and WA) having the added complex of AF elements and the risk of these element not being consistently aligned with the other elements. I tend to agree. The Mamiya 28mm is a good example as you can test 10 of them and you'll hardly find 2 that are similar in the corners.
A good test would be the Zeiss 120 on the Contax compared to the above Zeiss Makro Apogon as they use a more-or-less similar glass with the added AF elements in the Contax.
Another good example is the Mamiya 120mm Macro which in my opinion is the best macro lens money can buy and I worked with quite a few of them.
To those who are after an AF solution in that focal length, I would recommend trying the 80mm AFD with the 1.4X converter and with or without an extension tube. It may not sound too elegant but it works really really well and saves buying another lens.
5. The HTS 1.5 is supposed to work with the H1, H2 and H2F bodies as well as with the H3D except for when you use the HC28 (which becomes 45mm according to its spec sheet.
I think it is best to wait and test this adapter since on the the face of it it seems to be an overly complicated device (8 elements in 6 group).
I'm also curious as to why they have chosen to go this route and not with something that can use the back mounted directly on the adapter, like the FlexBody or ArcBody....
The Schneider 55mm PCS lens with the 56mm sensor will give a similiar FOV to the 28mm (45 with the HTS) and the 49mm sensor.
If used with the 1.4X converter it'll become 77mm, similiar to the HC50 with the HTS so that's 2 of the focal lengths covered by a true T/S lens plus it can be used with extension tubes for macro work.
Now for the screen...I know this may upset quite a few people and will cause and argument, but in my experience, when it comes to checking focus, out of all the cameras that I've worked with, the only 2 that trust for focus check are the Aptus/ AFi and the D3. I encourage you to test the H3DII alongside your Aptus and I trust that you will agree.
This has less to do with the quality of the screen and more to do with the way the preview is being generated. I won't go into technical detail but on the Aptus/ AFi we actually show you a 100% preview generated directly from the raw file, with or without sharpening (depending on how you have set it up).
In practice this means that subjects that looked sharp in Phocus/ FlexColor, looked soft on the 3" screen.
I 100% agree about visibility outside. The current solution is a hood made by Camera Bellows in UK and distributed in US by Lee Filters. They make one for the Aptus and one for the AFi.
This subject is being under constant development, which I cannot give any further details about, for now.
Sorry for the long reply but I hope I've managed to cover all you questions.
I owned and used an Aptus 75 and 75s along side my H3D and H3D-II for a lot longer than 2 months. I also did a direct comparison test in studio with the AFi being run by the Leaf regional rep.
Both are tremendously excellent systems. I understand Leaf Capture as well as Phocus and Flexcolor. I shot a ton of real jobs under all sorts of conditions with both backs. The Leaf was on a Mamiya AFD-II ... and importantly on an RZ using APO lenses.
Except for some creative differences in look from the two backs, which is strictly opinion (I like both) ... I found zero focus issues with either and both were equally sharp. Functionally, the H3D-II LCD is far more useful in the real world ... but I DID have the Lee shade for the Aptus which helped a lot ... however, it does add to the over-all size even in the collapsed stage, and is unwieldy to use.
If there was CA in your H3D-II/39 tests, it makes me wonder if Phocus DAC was employed? In my experience it eliminates CA even at 200% enlargement.
In the end, I sold the Aptus 75s ... not for any IQ reason what-so-ever ... but because the differences were next to none ... unfortunately, my almost new 75s back could not be used on the Afi, and the trade up math was literally insulting ... just to get the SAME back I already had but on the new AFi camera. It left me no where to go except to maintain redundant systems which was getting increasingly expensive.
I tend to agree concerning the Hasselblad T/S solution ... in that we'll have to "wait and see."
I do like the new Aptus 10 back in concept. Were it 56X42 I'd be all over it. That would offer a "usable" real world difference to what I now work with. As it is now, I'd wince every time I cropped off the extra part I paid for
All these backs are really excellent. Innovations like Leaf's rotating sensor are truly useful functions. But trying to slam this compared to that is an unfortunate method of selling. Wouldn't it be better to promote the strengths, and let others decide based on those merits and their specific needs and applications?
nickr, I see this is your first post, and a heck of a good one too, so let me say welcome to the forum. It's clear you've been around the MF block more than once and it's great to have guys with real world experience around.
Yair, thank you for the very informative response. Of particular interest to me was the suggestion of using the 55 PCS with a 1.4x converter and extension tube. I will have to try that when I get my 55 back from service. Like Marc I was quite happy with my Aptus 75S, in my case using the Contax 645. Like Marc, Leaf's trade-in/upgrade policy to the Afi is one of the main reasons I am now (quite happily) shooting with the Sinar Hy6/e75L kit. My experience with the Aptus regarding focus confirmation supports your claim of accuracy but to mention it in the same sentence as the D3 doesn't quite sit right with me. With the Lee hood attached (and extended so that the screen could be seen) I found it quite awkward to use the touch screen with the stylus especially with the camera set low on a tripod. Checking focus on the D3 with the buttons and zoom is much, much faster and accomplished without the need for a hood to shade the screen. The first back manufacturer that comes to market with a screen comparable to the D3 will have my serious attention. In fairness, the huge bright viewfinders used on the Hy6 and Afi go a long, long way in obviating the need to check for accurate focus.
I can confirm that the 55mm pcs works quite well with extension tubes and the 1.4x or any combination. You can use it up to magnifications that put the subject right on the front element. The 2x is not quite as good optically but naturally also works similarly.
Hard to sometimes see where the plane of focus is with a lot of extension and tilt so live view would really help with that.
1. When will the 35mm schneider be available (cause I kind of need it now)?
2. I still see no 120 macro schneider D lens solution; I must have a 120 macro D lens or I can't use the AFI 10 system
3. I didn't understand or see your answer to this question: Are the Rollei lenses as sharp and as "digitally" perfect as the Schneider D lenses that are made for the Leaf AFI 10? This is so important because I suspect they are not, I mean, why would you offer a line of Schneider D lenses if the Rollei's were as good? And, like I said, I tested the Rolleis on a Leaf back against the H1 lenses and they didn't hold up.
4. The schneider 55 PC lens you mention hardly seems to measure up to the Hassy tilt shift system; does it even tilt at all, or just shift? My question really was, does Leaf afi 10 have a tilt shift solution at least as good as the Hassy HTS 1.5 and it seems you didn't answer this question; so does that mean the answer is no?
5. The view screen on the leaf has been poor resolution for a long while. I guess I feel that a new $40,000 56MP system with a new camera should have at least as good a view screen as a $3,000 Nikon D700; wouldn't you agree with that concept? So, will it be as good as the D700? I really hope so.
Thanks, Yair, I hope my questions are not getting tougher, like I said, I love my Aptus 75.
35mm Flektagon is expected as a prototype at Photokina and is supposed to be AF, no further info is available at the moment.
So you CANNOT have it NOW. A prototype at Photokina is likely to mean another 3-4 months before it ships.
2. The new 120 macro is designed by Zeiss, not Shcneider. So no there is no Schneider 120 macro (D or not)
3. I thought I was clear but maybe I wasn't: All the lenses are made, assembled, calibrated and tested by F&H, using glass and calculations that come from either Zeiss or Schneider. Older lenses were branded Rollei and used glass and calculations from Zeiss. Some of the newer lenses (D or not) use Schneider glass and calculations and are branded as Schneider.
So following the "picking" process I described above, a Xenotar AFD Schnieder 80mm is going to be sharper than a Xenotar AF 80mm Rollei and a Zeiss Planar 80mm MF Rollei and so on.
4. The 55mm is a T/S lens:
Special wide-angle lens with extra large image circle of 104mm and sophisticated lens mount enabling vertical/ horizontal shift for control of image perspective as well as up and down tilt of optical axis (Scheimpflug). Floating elements automatically provide consistently high image quality over the entire focusing range down to 0,5 m. Through electronic transmission, all automatic functions are retained. For still life photography involving perspective accuracy and sharpness criteris which is otherwise the domain of large-format photography.
Two members of this forum use this lens and can provide real world experience with it (something you cannot get from any HTS user right now)
The HTS is going to offer a unique solution (good or not is theirs to prove). The AFi system is not planned to offer a similar solution but this may change in the future.
5. The screen subject has been discussed to death on a few forums. In short, a company such as Nikon can order 200-300,000 screens at a time from Sharp/ Toshiba/ Samsung/ LG (likely the ones making the screen) and can spec it to their requirements. MFDB companies for obvious reasons (regardless of the cost of the back) cannot order these numbers and therefor have to settle for an off-the shelf product. So no, I do not agree to this concept but I do agree that we (MFDB) need to improve our screens. I do not expect any new screens to be as good as the D700 ones.
Nick; Since none of the 50+ MP cameras/ backs is going to be shipping in quantities this year (same goes for the HTS), you have some time to weigh your options. Testing an AFi 7 with "D" lenses alongside your Aptus/H1 can give you an idea of possible differences in lens quality as well as.
Once the Aptus 10 ships and the HTS is ready, maybe you should then look at this combo for your H1 as it'll allow you to use your current lenses and still enjoy the T/S solution.
Not to contradict Yair with respect to the AFD lenses, but you may want to read this thread:
I know that when I tested them versus my 80mm AF lens, I did not notice a single difference in performance. I cannot say if it is just that I got a particularly good sample of the 80mm AF Xenotar, but be aware that the optical formulas for most of the lenses have not changed, it is just that the quality control is said to be tighter. To be honest, if you found the lenses lacking before (which I find a bit surprising...the rollei lenses are pretty fantastic), I would suggest testing again with a different camera system, in case the ones you tested were out of alignment. But, your list of requirements seems to indicate that the Leaf AFi is not the camera for you.
No, I don't believe it does either, except for the part where you said that the AFD was going to be sharper than an AF 80mm. It MAY be, assuming the 80mm AF is one of the lower spec'd samples of the lens, but everyone I know of who has compared the two seems to be unable to see the difference. I am happy to be shown an example where the AFD comes out of on top, if you can provide one.
I am not trying to nitpick, I just think potential buyers should have a clear understanding of how these lenses differ from the earlier AF models. They are optically identical, but subject to more stringent quality control. So a "good" sample of the older lenses will perform just as well as the new lenses (it is even conceivable that a particularly good older AF lens will be better than a lower spec'd AFD lens), but the difference is in QC, not lens performance. Regardless, the thread is very informative and does articulate the real advantages of the newest AFD lenses, such as more accurately compensating for the exact sensor plane and being more reliable from sample to sample. You can be guaranteed that you will get a superior copy, rather than just being reasonably assured.
Assuming that the HTS1.5 will actually work (no reason to assume otherwise), then you will be able to trade your Aptus 75 for a new Aptus 10 that will fit your H1.
The AFi 10's imaging module (the digital back part of the AFi10 kit) fits on other cameras such as ALPA, Cambo, Sivestri, Arca-Swiss via adapters made by these companies and on most 5X4 cameras and Mamiya RZ via adapters made by Leaf.
(sent you a PM BTW)
The HTS 1.5 will "work" with the H1/H2, but there are two limitations. First, the HTS 1.5 has multiple electronic sensors built into it that pass along information on tilt, shift, etc. to the digital file and allow for optimazation of the optical performance of each lens used with the HTS 1.5. These sensors only work with an H3D(not sure about an H2D) and when the file is processed in Phocus, Hasselblad's raw converter. Second, the Hasselblad 28mm lens only works with the H3D cameras, and that will be true with the HTS 1.5.
From Post #22: "A good test would be the Zeiss 120 on the Contax compared to the above Zeiss Makro Apogon as they use a more-or-less similar glass with the added AF elements in the Contax."
Yair: The Contax 120mm APO Makro Planar T* is a manual focus lens. The new Zeiss Makro Apogon MF 120 mm f/4 HFT PQS will be a strong addition to the Leaf AFi system if it is comparable to the Contax. I am one of many who have been in the Contax camp for this lens - I own three of them myself. Please post details of the new lens when available. Thanks, - Christopher
For the Leaf/Sinar/Rollei system, people should also note that there are three other macro lenses available: the original Zeiss 120 Makro Planar, the very highly regarded 90mm APO-symmar, and the extraordinary 150mm f/4.6 APO-symmar. The 150mm APO-symmar is the best of the lot, though it requires a bellows or variable extension tube. Macro was always a strength of the Rollei system given its TTL metering and excellent macro lens and accessory line up. For true macro work, AF is not necessarily a useful addition -- it reduces the precision in the focusing mechanisms and is not of much use in the macro range, where focusing and recomposing is not possible due to the depth of field effects. If you just want a very sharp autofocusing telephoto with good performance in the near range, the 150mm f/4 Tele-Xenar AF(d) is unlikely to disappoint. It is an extremely sharp lens with great close up performance.
Howard, thanks, if you use an HTS 1.5 on an H1 or H2 body and you say electronic image optimization will be lost, what does that mean? Does it mean extra steps in post, or does it mean inferior imaging? In other words, can you get around this problem and use it well or does an HTS 1.5 on an H1 mean your image will malfunction in some way that can't easily be corrected?
Stuart, you mention a couple of 120 macros that would work on a Leaf AFI 10 but they are not digital lenses, are they? So, if you use them are they as digitally optimized as the new Schneider D lenses built for the AFI? Or is like using an older large format schneider 210mmm large format lens with my Aptus 75 on a Sinar X, because that lens is inferior, I need to use a 210 Digital lens for optimal performance; older film lenses are inferior. Is this the same problem with 2 1/4 film lenses? I would think it would be, thus why new digital lenses are being made now.
The images shot through an H1 or H2 will presumably not be as good as those shot with an H3D that have the benefit of software based optical correction of certain distortions that are byproducts of the tilt/shift functions. Without a direct comparison of images shot with and without the benefit of the software based corrections, it is impossible to know how much of a difference they will make. You presumably cannot compensate in post for whatever you lose in not using the Hassy H3D system with Phocus. So, in theory, it means inferior images, but who knows by how much.
Nick -- digital lenses are more or less a marketing ploy. Lenses are lenses...they can be optimized for one thing rather than an other, but a good lens is a good lens. The concept of digital lenses evolved from large format studio shooters in the earlier days. They were using lenses like the 210mm APO-symmar that you are describing, but they were using it for 24x36mm sensors. The 210mm apo symmar will cover 8x10 inches, and it is optimized for 4x5 -- clearly, it is way too large to be dealing with a 24x36mm sensor, or even a 48x36mm sensor. The lens makers like Schneider and Rodenstock noticed the disparity in the market, so they started to design lenses like the 28mm digitar, 47mm digitar, 150mm and so on -- they were designed specifically with digital in mind -- they had a smaller image circle, but arranged for the light rays to hit the sensor more evenly (normally, large format wide angles had rear elements very close to the film plane -- they are easy to design with high performance on film, but digital sensors do not work as well with them).
But when we come to SLR's, the Rollei lenses for example are already designed to cover 6x6, and the "digital lenses" still need to cover about the same amount. Since it is an SLR, the lenses' rear elements are already fairly far from the film/sensor, so the retrofocal issue that plagued large format lenses is not an issue. Basically, the idea of a "digital" rolleiflex lens is just a marketing idea. This is not to say they are not better, it is certainly possible that they make better lenses and call them "digital", but there is nothing inherent in the design of the old film lenses that makes them unsuitable for digital.
As I said before, the Rollei macro lenses are superb -- so good in fact that they don't need updating as "digital lenses", where the old Mamiya 645 lenses for example needed revamping. The Hasselblad H lenses are of course designed after digital, so their basic design already takes it into account.
I guess my long winded point is that there is no reason to design "digital specific" lenses for a 6x6 SLR -- the image circle for digital is the same size as it was for film, and since it is an SLR, the lenses are already retrofocal enough to avoid the need of a lens redesign. While it is always possible to make better lenses, there is nothing about the current lens line that makes it unsuitable for digital use.
Just adding in a bit more info on options for macro and definitely agree the system is very good for macro work. Besides the lenses mentioned, the Rollei M39 shutter adapter allows the use of any number of different optics. I've got several apo rodagon enlarging lenses that make awesome taking lenses and also have a schneider 80mm makro-symmar industrial lens which is just wonderful and has completely surprised me with its incredible performance. I have both the Rollei 90mm and 120mm macro lenses and both are good, but the 90mm is more versatile. It will focus closer with out extension, equally great both close up and at a distance, and is very light weight. The 120 has a different look completely. Reminds me of my 50mm leica sumicron, but is really sharp at like portrait distance and closer.
Yair my friend, this looks like exactly what I need to shoot the stuff I am today. Now, all you need to do is help me find a decent buyer for my Aptus 75S & Contax kit, and I am there...
The real driver for this was large format lenses and the popularity of 6X9 tech cameras for use with digital backs. The smaller image circle, usually APO design "digital" lenses do perform better ... in fact in my experience to date, outperform anything else. Use of these lenses are the real test of a digital back ... and dispell the myth that this back or that back is "sharper" than another. Put a well aligned back on one of these cameras and the truth is quickly apparent ... they're all wickedly capable.
Last edited by fotografz; 3rd August 2008 at 00:18.
Thanks for the replies everyone. It seems though, the two key questions for me will need to be carefully tested once the Leaf and Hassy 50+MP backs are available.
One is, will the Zeiss Makro Apogon MF 120 mm f/4 HFT PQS shot on the Leaf AFI 10 be as sharp and as digitally perfect as the Hassy 120 mm macro shot on the coming Hassy H3 50 MP?
The other is, will the Hassy HST 1.5 work perfectly on the H1 with Leaf AFI 10 or will it only work perfectly on the coming H3 50 MP?
For me, these two questions are the critical reasons why I would stay with Leaf 10 on my H1 or switch my entire system to all Hassy H3 50 MP.
Can you be more specific, if you shoot an HTS on an H1 what exactly is missing, how and in what visual way is the image inferior to an HTS shot on an H3? What do you lose when you lose DAC?
Also, you say the HTS will perform better when DAC corrections are performed; so, what do you mean by "better"; and do you also mean that somehow in post or whatever that DAC corrections can eventually be performed when originally using the HTS on an H1, or are you saying DAC corrections can never be achieved with an HTS on an H1?
This means that on an H1 or H2 the HTS will work but without the benefit of DAC so you might see chromatic aberration (colour fringeing) with the HTS on an H2 where you would not see it on an H3D.
Hope that makes sense
BTW, someone should tell Hasselblad to try nicely finished metel knobs instead of plastic ... at least make it look like the price it will cost