Leica Store Miami
The OP is looking for a landscape/outdoor camera. Tethering is not going to be a problem.
I doubt the Hasselblad mirror is better, but the mirror "slap" thing is really overstated and stating to reach myth status. The 645D mirror is really well dampened where I can handhold the body at 1/10s. I am sure Leica has a well dampened mirror.
Also we do have some reviews here to look at to help fill in the puzzle but not one source will always be dead on you need to do your homework and do it well. Lot of money at stake here and you don't want to make a mistake by not having all the facts straight not myth.
With regard to mirror clunk the Hasselblad H4D seem very noisy, far more so than the Pentax.
Sometimes I wonder if I should not have given the Pentax a try before getting the S2. The problem was that I read to many mixed reports about the lenses.
I am totally fine with the S2, but allways wonder if I might have been maybe as happy with the Pentax for 1/3 of the money.
All those MF systems seem to have pos and neg points, but IMO the Pentax really stands out price wise.
And then I sometimes miss the rendering of the Rollei lenses and the color of the dalsa sensor sensor and the WLF of the Hy6...
one thing to keep in mind..do you ever might want to use a tech cam? Thats the disadvantage of the integrated cameras.
Sorry I want to drag this old horse back into the race and by old horse I really mean "thread" and by race, I really mean "discussion" :P
I've been scouting back and forth, reading a lot of the thread and postings about these different MF systems, and eventually when I am ready, I will pony up for one and before that I hope to test some. However, I still trying to get as much info from you seasoned pros as possible!
To me, so far, the S2 and H4d are complete (closed) systems, with the S2 being somewhat behind (limited choice of lenses but growing with adapters etc.), simply because it one of the newest additions in MF cameras. This isn't to say the IQ or PhaseOne isn't a complete system, but whenever I hear someone mention an IQ back, that's exactly what I think of, and also feel it's one of the advantages as well. Now, that is because I hear a lot of people using it with their techcams for Landscape or architectural photography.
For myself, I'm first considering going into MF with closed system, although it may not be completely accurate, but will help this discussion and eventually focus my question at the end. I think in GetDPI, we've already established that different people like different brands and use different systems because of their shooting preferences etc. However, I am hearing less and less about PhaseOne with their 645DF/AF camera and how well it performs within it's own system. So rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd expand my question here. I know four new Schneider Kreuznach lenses have been announced, so I guess not so much testing as of yet, but how about the camera?
Hasselblad has Truefocus, S2 and its crosshair AF and SLR handling, but how is the PhaseOne today and more specifically the 645DF, and are you IQ back photogs simply skipping up on this because of how good the backs are and how you simple want to or prefer to use them on ALPAs and CAMBOs (Okay, ARCA SWISS...okok, I don't want a long list now).
I just want a clear idea where we are today, because I find myself heavily going siding for the S2 or H4D. Although clearly (my 'feelings' only) the IQ backs (Again I'm thinking back only) is equally as strong if not better for image resolution as far as choice and dynamic range and very importantly it has the best LCD screen! The only reason I am not siding with PhaseOne although I can point out its strengths, because I feel the 645DF/AF is dated and as a whole doesn't live up to its IQ backs or S2 or H4D in handling. Am I wrong and how far off am I?
Sorry to make you guys sound like broken records, a lot of older comments are simply that, and I know you guys have grown with systems through usage and the manufacturers are making updates, both firmware and hardware!
Honestly if you are heavily siding towards the S2 or H4D, I simply would not leave out the Pentax 645D, it has a lot going for it and not just the price. It is at least worth trying out, nothing to lose and perhaps a lot to gain. I too am a M9 user so I know a lot about Leica glass, and now I'm learning about Pentax glass.
Now it's a cavernous Volvo SUV to carry all my lighting and camera gear to locations ... not to mention my wife's steamer trunks full of clothes and accessories for her and her Chihuahua
I only have two lenses at the moment the 75 just mentioned and the new 55mm – both seem sharp to me, for landscape I tend to use them at around F8. I have used both a Leica S2 and a Hassy H4D50. I think I prefer the handling of the Pentax over the Leica. Both the screens on the Pentax are a revelation in clarity.
But I'm no 'camera/lens tester' I gave that up long ago because of the impossibility of controlling all the variables.
Thanks for the detailed response Jeff. I found the S2 files vs M9 to be in the same boat, better DR, and better resolution, but the difference didnt really knock my socks off. The M9, for its size/convenience is a great piece of kit. Having said this, WB and colour ooc on the S2 was in a different league. I am going to try out the Aptus 12 and IQ tomorrow. Now just need to figure out if I'm going to break the news to the wife over dinner or jewellery
The other important aspect is understanding the ramifications of moving from a 35mm DSLR kit to MFD ... some of which don't reveal themselves until you live with the system for some time.
There are lot of MFD detractors in the 35mm DSLR ranks who "tried and died" because they never could tell the difference in the first place, or couldn't master the gear's potential. The eye of the beholder, and all that.
My personal criteria immediately rules out the Pentax, but it may not for you. Others have criteria that crosses off the S2, and would eliminate it even if it was 1/2 the price it is. I ruled out Phase One because I wanted ALL of my lenses to be Leaf Shutter ... (this commitment to the H system was well before Phase begin their relationship with Schneider ... however, my criteria still stands.)
How a camera handles depends on who's hands it is in. I did not take to the Mamiya 645, but others find it just fine. The S2 fits my hands and the ergonomics are superb, but Guy Mancusio found it difficult to hold in his hands. It is all very personal and requires actual direct handling.
If you are after absolute, undeniable IQ that is pretty future proof no matter what the 35mm DSLR companies bring out ... then consider skipping the crop frame 40 meg cameras altogether and jump to 60meg FF 645 from Hasselblad, Leaf or Phase One ... or 80 meg from Leaf or Phase One. I wouldn't worry to much about the Phase One camera ... they already have said it is being redesigned, so it is just a matter of time. Being totally modular, one would hope you could just get the new body, and keep the current one as a back-up.
However, keep in mind that ... with greater resolution comes greater responsibility to learn how to realize that resolution ... patience Grasshopper, patience.
The only 40ish meg camera I would consider today based on my personal "People Shooting" criteria is the Leica S2 ... not just for the beautiful camera (which I think is typically over-priced), but for the lenses which have already become my favorite MFD optics ever. However, for roughly the same cash, you can get a higher resolution solution.
My 2¢ regarding 4,000,000¢ solutions
Does this mean, absence of LS lenses, no tethering, (except eye-fi?) quality of Pentax lenses, no separate DB or other features? I'm working on the assumption that the OP is interested in a camera for landscape. It is true however that I am new to MFD so I accept that my views could be biased. Even saying that the Pentax seems such a great camera, for the price.
Agree with Marc here but need to remember the parts that really count are the glass and the sensor. The body is really just a connection between the two. You buy a system some parts maybe great and some are workable. BTW as one of the owners I could spout off why I like Phase but than I would be tagged bias and the reality is I am not but I don't do that and many owners don't always get into that stuff either on all sides of the fence. This is not a canon/Nikon type war here. We just don't do that here at GetDPI. MF owners here are very smart with lots of experience but we all know very well these are all great systems. Not one of them is a clear winner over the other and that's a good thing.
I'm detecting a minor reprimand here. I just feel that Phaseone and Hasseblad and their associated companies and Leica are getting a great deal of coverage here and the new digital boy, the Pentax is not.
I don't think that at all. The issue really at hand is exactly what you just said the new boy and it's lack of being in the MF market with history and sales,service, repair, parts behind it as compared to the established systems. I said this a bunch of times on the S2 when it came out. It simply needs to mature, it's the same with Pentax. It's new it needs to grow both as a system and with MF shooters. It's got a great start but for many Pros it's missing some things and it needs to grow. There is nothing sinister in that at all. I will not buy it just like I will not buy it until I'm comfortable with it's growth. That's me and others have different criteria as well. Honestly for a lot of people it just comes down to getting to be a mature system , more new lenses made and so on and so forth. But I will say it has a great start and the more folks buy it the more it will get established in the market. For many the price is not a criteria at all and I think many folks think that price alone will get it's foot in the door. Wrong that is not the case but the growth is. For
Pros these are write off items and cost yes has bearing but more important buying a established system with everything behind it in place simply is more important for many. I say this as a general comment as some Pros have bought in which is great but there criteria maybe different than others.
Also when Pentax came out with the D645 most useres here had allready a MF camera and therefore would not switch systems.
Personally I was close to buy one but at this time (I even allready bought a used 75mm lens which I still have-any body interested in a used 75mm Pentax 645 AF lens) there were mixed reports out there about lenses. Plus I had the chance to play for a couple of days with a S2 which just made me want the S2.
Now one year later there are more guys who seem quite happy with the 645d and the lenses and who knows how I would decide today.
One doubt regarding Pentax would be my experience with 2 K5 bodies-where I did not get the AF accurancy I hoped for. I think the 645D is supposed to have the same AF (however the AF points are smaller in relation to the sensor-so it might behave different).
The images I saw in the Pentax 645 thread are beautiful, it is besides the S2 the only weather sealer MF camera, and it is the only one with multiple AF points.
Guy, when the Leica S2 came out you gave that an impressive review, what about doing the same for the Pentax, if they will lend you one of course.
Jeff I would love to do a review on it. It's a great start for many in the MF market especially those coming from 35mm or maybe better said stealing from that market. Which is wonderful for the MF world. I see it as a very important product in our industry and somewhat a game changer. Look at the S2 today it's changed it got better , new firmware more lenses and so on. Let's hope Pentax stays with it and makes it grow. Honestly I love my Phase gear but this is good for the industry which I dearly care about more. We need innovative products for our future growth. Just that simple. I have enjoyed being in digital since the very beginning, I can't even describe how much it has grown from than. I never dreamed of 80mpx backs. And who would have thought of a 10k MF system years ago. Awesome stuff
However, when I told my wife I wanted to get a $2P and all four lense$, I was wearing a football helmet and a sports cup, removed all immediate objects that could be used as a weapon. To my shocked suprize, she just replied that I "had worked hard all my life and deserved it." I'd marry this gal all over again
I waited well over a year after first testing the S2 before considering it again. It simply wasn't ready for prime time use for my needs and applications. In that time, and since then, it has continued to develop and get better and better. Hopefully that will continue ... and Leica's service and continued updates leads me to believe it will.
Just remember, many MFD users here have been in it for a very long time and have built their systems to meet a lot of their diverse needs.
Best of luck!
In the true-er sense, what I foresee myself shooting isn't all that clear yet, I learnt this in my current profession, and it's somewhat fruitful to me, I'm just not in love with it. If you ask me what I want to be shooting it's as wide as it is varied. In my dreams I would answer commercial fashion photography and Landscapes. Clearly different enough and Oh sure I may end up with more MF cameras, just like I have FF 34mm. My question is about what to go for first and what makes sense, seriously I love the size and look of the S2, it's sexy!
The H4D is a Bentley to me. It's bigger and comes with other lush accessories. I can't as of yet define for myself what the IQ backs are yet, because I cannot connect it to it's camera. I feel it's the seductress who has many others and goes behind your back! :P Thus I cannot gauge it clearly yet, and was asking for your help here.
On that note I guess i will sell my DF immediately.
Well the Pentax may not be the most beautiful looking camera in the world, its body shape is directly descended from their previous film cameras. But in essence it is the same shape as the Hasselblad, without the modular build and aerodynamics. And in the hand it just works. I'm not a pro photographer, just an experienced and still enthusiastic amateur. There was an interesting comparison over on LULA a while ago.
One thing I find curious, no one has chimed in on the IQ140...
Do I hear a bong?
How much you want me to brag about that sensor. LOL
I owned the P40+ which is the same sensor , its awesome but no one believes me. LOL
Frankly the IQ series is the best back you can flat out buy. There I said it. Now waiting for my handcuffs to send me to the crazy house. I own the IQ 160 and I have absolutely not even a glimmer of being dissatisfied and NO I don't make a nickel saying it. And i love the glass, software and my images are kick ***. See I can't go around saying this or i will get shot in the back at 40 paces and no one believes me anyway. See I can't win even on my own forum. ROTFLMAO
Hope you all realize i am kidding around here but the IQ 140 is a very very good back or I would have never bought the same sensor twice. I just bought the FF size this time.
Guy, do you have a live view with that back and how does it work in the field?
Actually I do have live view on the IQ 160 yes. Works good I would not call it stellar but it does work very nice inside for sure on a tripod. One thing I noticed outside was i had moving cars going through the frame so it never settled down. Now the real question is do I use it often not outside but inside I do sometimes. One nice thing is you can focus at 100 percent and that was pretty cool but it does like batteries. For me maybe the least used feature but focus mask, 100 percent zoom are my most used features not to mention the ball for leveling. I use a tech cam like a polaroid by 3 shots I got a final. I use no rangefinder and no laser either. I also have not missed yet either. Now i have only got as long as a 43mm too. But I seem to be doing very well with it and quick. I have not hit that slow wall using it. This makes my day as i am not a slow pace shooter. The quality is amazing.
its funny here how to say "my back is the best" without saying it directly
Agree Tom. LOL it is a crack up. As a owner here i can't get that far out there and hopefully everyone realizes i was joking around otherwise Jack would be plugging me full of holes. LOL
I'm all about the format and that is what counts end of day. I would take anyone of these system gladly.
Guy, so I might as well ask it here now: I'm in the US, San Francisco to be exact, so does it matter where my dealer is here in the US?
I'm sure you can add to the importance of a dealer in your answer you see fit!
Also, I see now Hasselblad now has their own online store, what are the pros and cons shopping direct and dealer?
I'm sure most of us are supporters of private/family businesses, that's a given! You can PM, unless you think it's info others can benefit from too.
Last edited by pophoto; 20th September 2011 at 22:15.
I could take an IQ-back for my Artec, and I would also like to sometimes use some Rollei glass - so a Hy6 or AFI would be usefull as well.
What for those days when we want multiple AF points? We need a Pentax, and then for the days with strobes and true-focus ...Hassy. What else did I forget?
In the US, the best dealer is the good one who is a short drive away, in another state! Do not underestimate how much sales tax can be on a 10-40,000 dollar purchase!
In any case, I went through these rounds myself, and chose an S2. I bet I would have been happy with a Pentax as well, but I preferred the handling of the S2, as well as the fact that it integrates perfectly with my M9, which is my current primary camera. There is a large benefit in having a single workflow! I only use Lightroom for RAW conversion, and the M9 and S2 files share a family look that makes it easy to deal with them and get the most out of them. I am also on the professional service at Leica already and have contacts there, which means that I am very confident about service and support. I am used to the general "brand ergonomics", so I don't need to learn a new tactile language to be at ease with the camera. All these things are worth considering when getting into a new system...it is certainly not as simple as saying that TODAY (because things change quickly) Brand X has a ___ Megapixel sensor with Awesome View and Super Bokeh Vision™, while Brand Y's camera is only ___-1 Megapixels, no Awesome View and only Great Bokeh Vision™. Ok, maybe that was not so simple, but the point is that sheer technical features alone are not the only thing to consider, though they are certainly among the most important!
P.S. Super Bokeh Vision™ is pretty awesome...
P.P.S. Freud would have a field day with some of the sensual descriptions of cameras in this thread...
We don't need more gear sluts here, we need a couple of shrinks ... no wait, they probably have two S2s, an IQ, a Leaf 54, a H4D/200MS and sixty seven Pentax 645Ds ... one for each lens mention above.
Buying direct from Hasselblad is probably set up to handle accessories more than systems ... I'd bet an on-line system purchase is attributed to the dealer in your region who does the follow through.
While I needed a walk through for the H when I first got it, it wasn't really needed for the S2 since it is very similar to any 35mm DSLR only bigger/better.