Well it's finally here and I managed to get in 75 shots on two bodies (DF and WRS) and five lenses (Mammy 28, Phase 80 2.8, Schneider Kreutz 110 LS, Hartblei 45 TS and Schneider 35 XL) and so far, so really quite good.
The Mammy 28 won't do and will have to go. I think I have a good sample, but as a lens design it has never really convinced me and its weaknesses aren't artistically interesting.
The Phase 80mm is very good
The Sch/Kr 110 LS is as excellent as ever
The Hartblei is just mental, and anyone who thinks focus mask is truly useful in a tight corner should try iterative Scheimpflug with it. But I can forgive the Hartblei's being now officially out of its depth because it's errors are exciting and to my eye beautiful. It is also extremely sharp on centre when correctly focussed and I love it's saturated colour rendition.
The 35XL manages to excel as it always has: set it to F16 on a good tripod and a Cube, focus at around 5 metres, and all is good. But so far I have not tried shifts on it , and that will be the true test. However, at ISO35 and with correctly done LCC using the technical wide angle function in C1, I am not seeing any problems unshifted other than a bit of noise in the far reaches when I have underexposed (in order to avoid blowing a bright white sky).
I am going to get a CF if for the 35XL if it fares reasonably with moderate shifts. I hope that will allow, happily, the upcoming Live View to work without further ND filters.
I LOVE the artificial horizon. Cube bubble levels are their only inaccurate feature and the IQ180 version is lovely.
The screen is a joy and helps, rather than gets in the way of, the process of taking a photo. I don't know if it's worth all the extra cash but for me it might make the difference between staying in and getting out of MF.
I am initially unimpressed with Sensor+... at anything over ISO1600 I'd rather have a 5DII - but I need to work with it a lot more before I firm that opinion up.
General speed and consistency and UI are great BUT on a lens like the Hartblei with MF and manual aperture, using MUP leads to failed fires about half the time, for no apparent reason, and you have to turn the camera on and off (sometimes twice) before it will unlock the mirror for another try. I am almost certainly doing something wrong but I don't know what.
Anyhoooo... so far so good. A lot more testing to be done before I know what I can and can't make it do but me likee.
ps thanks a LOT to Doug Peterson at CI for all the PM help he has given me: he has nothing to gain from it (I am in the UK) but his passion, commitment and general very nice guy-ness shine through regardless. He is the man. Add him to all the helpful people here, especially Jack and Guy, and I feel in very competent advisory hands as I explore the new tech.