Hello Dave :-)
I wish I could say that the primary explanation is the former, but in fact, it's mainly the presence of my adorable, lovely newborn. I just haven't had time to devote to photography itself or discussing it of late. Amusingly, it has proven to concentrate the mind on what matters most in those spheres - I ended up saying in two lines what I would previously have said in an essay (which just goes to show I didn't have much of consequence to say!) ;-)
That said, I have enjoyed scanning everyone else's thoughtful and insightful contributions. It's clear that this camera has shaken things up before it has even been launched. Let's hope it continues to do so once it has (though my bank manager may not agree!).
All the best,
Ed, one of the most facinanting things is yet to come....the merging of two wonderful worlds. As you little one grows day by day, the desire to photograph every moment also grows...so that your love of photography combines with the love of capturing every wonderful minute with your new little one. It truly doesn't get better than that! Of course when they ask to borrow the keys to the car...that will become a different story....LOL!
That is certainly true. And it's an arena in which high ISO and multiple AF points will be advantageous ;-)
Not to mention 3fps
Now the Live View on the IQ250 showing focus peak - well that does sound like something that we'd hope that they could manage at some point.
We cannot forget that the lingering effects of a struggling economy bring a certain level of "reality" to all this. Pro or advanced amateur, money talks. Paying 10X more for a Phase One is a sobering consideration to say the least. Even 3X more for the Pentax (plus new lenses) is no small matter for many these days.
Conditions in life have a nasty habit of changing. Based on my anecdotal experiences with friends, colleagues, and some folks here on GetDpi (including myself), when life butts in financially, the first thing to photographically go is the MFD system.
To me this says it is a luxury for some (maybe even many), not a dire necessity.
Or the "necessity" has changed.
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It is unfortunate that the whole economy has moved in this direction- but that is a subject for another forum- I do see and feel that photographic community which used to be a solidly middle to upper middle class group who could afford very good medium format film gear and Lf film gear which lasted for decades has now shrunk and is struggling under a flat middle economy.
While there are opportunities to take vendors in-house (digital printing, bookmaking retouching etc) enabled by digital, the big loss has been in the affordability of mf gear.
The mf manufacturers are not dummies and have their market research in hand, and just like cars, watches, etc, other luxury goods, the support is growing at the top not in the middle.
Whether or not that continues is another question. If Phase was publicly traded I would not own their stock nor Hassy etc. no matter that I like their products.
So even tho we have a kind of moore's law equation going on with increased performance each generation there is not much trickle down because the mf companies would risk profits to sell at lower margins. Kind of a monkey/banana/bars problem. Dropping the product price by half would not I don't believe grow the market that much considering that prosumers might only top out at full frame dslr prices, and even that market is shrinking.
So they probably are doing the right thing by keeping margins healthy and banking the cash for stormy weather.
I think there's more money to earn with volume. Mf will be a niche due to the very high quality possible with smaller formats, but I think the niche is kept unnecessary small due to the current business model. I also think Phase One and Hasselblad are too small to be able to change. They will succeed in price insensitive markets or go under.
Anyway the success or failure of the new Pentax will tell us if more affordable MF works or not.
If when you're in financial trouble you sell your MFD, I think it means you're not a pro.
If this is the system that makes you money, it doesn't make a lot of sense to sell it. I don't think moving to 35mm will grow anyone business.
It would seem Pentax made a very nice camera.
But is there a complete super high quality eco system?
From what I've read (yes, now please tell me that only those who've had the thing in their hands are allowed to comment on it) - from what I've read I understand most of the glass is not up to par with P1/H. Does Pentax have the resources or the inclination to complete the system with competitive quality glass? Time will tell. I think they will not, I think they plan to be above 35mm and below P1/H.
Very very good glass seems like a requirement for someone making an investment in a pro system.
I believe we will see more people dipping their feet in the MFD pool and churning 50mp images for a Canon like investment. But as long as the glass is behind, I don't think it will affect the high end business very much.
The galavanting billionaire enjoys his gold-plated ALPA.
The sweaty pro needs his images to pop.
I think it will take a bigger chunk from Canon/Nikon than from P1/H.
A camera doesn't make you money, your images do.
You don't necessarily need 80 megapixels to make strong images, and if you don't reducing equipment cost can be a smart move.
If you need your images to pop - learn post-processing.
The camera is the least important component for successful image making, unless your genre is very special, like art reproduction.
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You clearly didn't meet the client who counts the pixels, or the client who compares the sharpness of your files to his previous project.
You can find plenty of strong images on instagram - that doesn't mean anyone's paid for them.
Torger, if my memory serves me correctly, you are an amateur.
Do you make most of your living from photography?
What makes you think the "strong image" is what pays the bills?
A camera system is a work tool, or a fun tool, depending on who buys it.
If you give your clients photoshopped files from inferior glass - do you really think they will come back and send their friends?
I'm not sure volume is the way to salvation for photographers these days. I think maybe diversification is.
More and more volume production situations are being brought in-house by manufacturers, and now even smaller to mid-size ad agencies are looking at cataloging type work as a potential profit center because they are also being squeezed. Trust me, they do not pay their photography staff very much considering what it'd cost to use a more experienced shooter.
In past, a studio could pay the over-head with the production work and allow solicitation of higher end jobs with facilities to service that type of client.
Personally, I never shelled out very much capital for MFD equipment. When commercial work transitioned from film to digital, it was common to charge a digital capture fee as a line expense for each job. Usually the equivalent of renting the gear needed. This was actually a bargain for clients because the cost of film, processing and scanning could be $40 to $70 a shot … a 100 piece catalog could easily run them $5,000+.
On average, those fees paid for my MFD kit in about 2 years (sooner for others), then I'd upgrade, and apply the fees against that.
That business model has all but disappeared as photographers cut each other's throat to get work. Only the top shooters get away with it now or bake it into their usage fees, and often actually do just rent the gear.
It's tough out there.
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Me being an amateur does not mean that I lack the ability to observe, and I both observe and discuss with professional photgraphers. I dare to say that the client that count pixels is a minority, but I'm sure they exist and obviously you meet them, so you probably need MFD then and the clients can surely pay for that cost.
However for most it's about general printing needs, and those printing needs have not changed much since the best MF were at 22 megapixels not many years ago.
As an example I know of a very successful Swedish architectural photographer that has MFD tech cam (Sinar Artec), but it sits on a shelf as the D800 with tilt-shift lenses reached the quality level needed for his professional work and he found the workflow to be more convenient, and his artistic work is mostly made on large format film rather than digital.
Many instead use MFD from personal reasons, they appreciate the quality themselves, but actually don't need it for satisfying their customers. And then there are different personalities, some want the best because they just like to use the best, and some don't want to spend more money on (any type of) gear than needed and instead get more profit. The same can be seen when it comes to picking a car for professional tasks, some pick the most cost effective alternative that does the job, others pick something extra because they know they will be driving it and like to have something extra. I would not call the more economical person the less professional one... some are just more gear junkies than others
There's also the special feature needs though, if you're used to high sync speed and use it all the time, you probably want to keep that, and that you happen to have 80 megapixels is because you followed the upgrade path for the system, not that you actually need that level of sharpness. Resolution aside, there are still aspects of the Hassy and 645DF systems that this Pentax can't do.
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NEVER had a problem with my S .... am on my second body. The M digitals were a bit rough ... not so with the S.
And with service plan that supplies a loaner overnight in most of the Western world if I did it would be covered.
And while it may not be 80 MP it meets and exceeds most needs....
Just wish they made a removable back in addition to the unibody.
Capture fees are still pretty common, as are equipment rental fees. When rates don't go up ya' gotta make it somewhere
But seriously I've always felt they reflect real value, the time of prepping files, storage, backup, archiving, balancing exposures, wb, etc. to present to clients and that rental fees reflect the suitability of the equipment to the job at hand- lower fees for dslr's and higher for mf. Calling them "rental" fees was a bit of dodge since you did not have a separate company but I think charging a fee for equipment is completely justified as separate since the creative fee is for the talent, and the usage fee is for the usage.
BTW, I never called them rental fees … the fees were based roughly on what it would have cost to rent comparable equipment in order to justify it to the cost consultants who's mission in life is to question every nickel and dime on an estimate.
Last edited by fotografz; 24th April 2014 at 03:37.
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Oh and what about the wonderful Phamiya 645/DF, a true workhorse (sarcastic smilie).
IMO, the system is what let's the wonderful Phase backs down so I don't think you argument about the Pentax has at weight.
The body doesn't affect image quality very much, in a controlled environment for still objects. In a non controlled environment with fast moving objects, I would not take a P1.
Regarding the glass - for me, coming from Canon, all the Mamiya D glass was a huge improvement.
120AF seems to me one of the best macro lenses made.
80D is super sharp all over with no problems I've seen.
Pretty much the same for 45D.
35 is not great, but still better than Canon.
I don't do a lot of wide work, so I will take the word of those who say LF lenses do a better job there.
I don't know the Schneider LS lenses very well, but it seems like a consensus they are as good or better than D generation.
I don't think its fair to say Phase One lenses are sub par.
What is the par? Leica? Rosenstock HR?
I didn't say P1 lenses are the best in the world in every category, but as a lineup, it is easily in the top 5 IMO.
Last edited by shlomi; 24th April 2014 at 02:49.
"If when you're in financial trouble you sell your MFD, I think it means you're not a pro."
This may be a bit harsh. In this dog-eat-dog financial environment the photography landscape has changed considerably for any number of hard working pros … and it is littered with the bleached bones of those who didn't adapt.
I have a close friend who's studio had 9 MFD stations working 24/7 on a large food account. He did it for years and dedicated a great deal of resources to that end. Recently at the corporate level they decided to pull it in-house, and gave him a week's notice. He'll likely replace part of that, and was smart enough to financially prepare for that eventuallity … but it will take time. Meanwhile, he has a crushing over-head to maintain. Reduction of that overhead is clearly the professional thing to do.
Our fearless, ever positive, always professional Guy Mancusio had to adapt due to life throwing up some serious road-blocks.
If no has noticed, advertising has seriously shifted to web based presentations … how much resolution do you need for a sub-one meg., sRGB image? Count those pixels.
Heck, even the wedding photography industry has been gutted by lower demand and less discriminating clients who just want something on their FB page, and rarely order income producing prints or albums anymore. Sure there are still high end weddings to be had, and I get my share … but that is a shrinking pie with a lot more "forks" digging into it.
I'm super happy about sliding into retirement … couldn't have picked a better time. Me and my Leica S2 have earned some fun
I sold all my Hasselbald gear (H4D/40 and H4D/60) and used the money to treat myself to a Lexus for my S2 to ride in
Soon I can proudly call myself an amateur again … (except for a few long time loyal clients).
Best of luck to all those still in the fray!
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This is not a forum for Professional photographers (over used term today) but for people who wish to share their love of PHOTOGRAPHY.
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We've sold quite a few of the Credo 40 promo in the last month and I expect to sell several more before the promo ends.
If anything I think the interest/publicity/awareness of the 645z to *increase* those sales. We might lose some fraction of people for whom the 645z better fits their needs (eg high ISO at an entry-level price) but most of those people wouldn't have bought a Credo anyway. And we will (based on historical precedent and activity in the last 2 days) more than make up for it by the increase in total interest in higher-end-than-commodity cameras. Our problem is not selling a camera to someone who tries it out; our problem is getting someone who shoots e.g. a 5d3 to try something more when they assume they have the best there is or that they won't care about the difference. So we materially benifit anytime a camera raises awareness and discussion about cameras that are built for image quality. Hence sales have gone up after the d800 launch, up after the 646d, and I expect up after the 645z. And this has been true of our higher-end products and entry-level products. - dougpeterson
Extolling the virtues of Phase One/Leaf in a Pentax 645 thread speaks volumes to me about the new 645z. At least you never have to advertise as long as other cameras makers keep releasing new models, but we're still waiting for the new DF...aren't we?
What always starts as a new camera thread turns into a "flat earth" mentality from the usual, whose camera has to be the best. Like most in journalism, this isn't about facts anymore, but more about entertainment...like a side show carnival to create distraction.
The Pentax 645 models have something to offer many photographers at a reasonable price, what's not to love? Many cameras are enclosed systems for the specific reason they don't need tech movements or want the planned obsolescence of MFD.
Many of our customers are like this. They end up with an IQ180 or similar as a result of a "gateway" system (D800, Pentax 645, entry-level p1 back) which whets their pallets for better image quality. -dougpeterson
Doug, this seems to be a rather obvious contradiction to your above comment about getting others to try Phase One/Leaf products.
Is it possible to just have discussions about other new products without the sleazy feel of distraction or the constant comparisons to the Leica S? It's because of all this that many are intrigued about this new Pentax.
Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 24th April 2014 at 13:10.
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Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
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I think his responses were reasonable given that … but more importantly on GetDpi, not personally insulting.
Good luck with your new Pentax 645.
What I meant to say is that I surmise that most of those who downsize their equipment are those for whom the equipment is for fun rather than for work.
I believe healthcare should be a civil right provided by the government same as law enforcement, and I guess I'm always surprised to hear those stories out of America.
MFD is a choice NOT a requirement of entry as it was 10 years ago. I've just had my best year since starting my studio 5 years ago and I sold my MFD equipment at the end of last year. I've raised my prices because of the workload not lowered them.......Go figure.
The Pentax opens doors to everyone (working and non working photographers) and I personally think that is wonderful. Let the flood begin!
No worries I knew you did not mean this kind of stuff but I will say as Marc mentioned a lot of Pros have downsized for many reasons. Economy is certain line of them and list clients. However with tech advances to 36 mpx it does give 35mm a huge bonus to the Pros. Depending in work we can cheat better now to get closer to MF quality. For me giving up my MF kit was devastating but at the time it was a easier drop in quality to move on to a Nikon d800e without a tremendous drop in quality. Other factors are real needs some shooters never need anything past a double truck ad or less. One big factor that no ones talk about much is the general lack in clients to just take anything handed to them under budget. Better said the quality standard has dropped to iPhones and these smartphones really did no one any favors in our business. Everyone is a shooter now in some clients minds. In the corporate world major changes have happened and external items like photography are non existent now. It's a real challenge to survive.
On health care The US sucks and I'm totally with you on it being free to its citizens. Case in point you go out of your insurance network and they charge LIST price on services. They can't even get those fees from insurance companies but they can sure rape you over coals if your out if network. I got killed here and it's simply not fair to any citizen.
Typos I'm on iPhone sorry
MFD became a passion/hobby and an unnecessary requirement. MFD residuals have dropped through the floor and upgrade programmes less favourable so why keep hold of an ever devaluing asset in your business if you don't need it.
As far as the market it naturally undergoes fundamental changes as the circumstances do. The "strong image" as someone said here, obviously doesn't need a professional camera or even a professional photographer. Just look at any of the image sharing sites and you will see an amazing plethora of quality. Literally billions have become photographers overnight, and by the laws of numbers some of them ought to be good. There is no more monopoly on photography. But I find there are many industrial clients who want clean tech images, and they have no problem paying for it $1000-2000 a day. The days for $5000 per 100 image catalog are over, that's true, as it just does not make sense any longer in the current ecosystem. The market requirements are different, but I feel the market is only getting bigger. Almost any business requires online presence and that includes images. The short tail of the fancy photographers with their fancy billing has been replaced by a more practical approach.
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I can sell my MFD now, but I will get 50c on the dollar in a good scenario.
Then if I would buy a full top of the line Canon setup, it will cost me not that much less.
And the quality of my deliverables deteriorates, by much or not that is debateable, but by some for sure.
That doesn't make much sense to me.
If I'm working and MFD is right for me, then I will not sell it.
I will sell it if I am not working, or if it turns out to be not right for me.
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I haven't purchased a Pentax...yet, but i am intrigued. After owning the H4D's, The DF, and Leica S, not one has my loyalty. Go film!
Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 24th April 2014 at 13:14.
What you say is good about the software developers and hardware developers being able to have direct access to each other.
But at the end of the day, I have run my IQ180 files through Lightroom and Capture One and I prefer Lightroom's interface where everything is in the develop tab vs capture one, white balance is in a different area than other color editing options.
I am pretty reliably able to get good results from the files out of both editors.
I have compared it to stacking with photoshop and its really no contest, helicon is way better.
@Guy - I am curious why you think canikon is dying. I purchased a d800e after selling my IQ180 and its a great little(i use this term loosely) camera. Is it medium format? Nope but it is flexible enough for me to do more with it than I could the IQ180.
Don't get me wrong I would really love to have another IQ160 or 180 but the price is just too much for me right now.
120MF was not redesigned, but three generations of the lens showed distinct improvements every time - I've meticulously tested this one.
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In C1 you can add any tool to any tab, and reduce the number of tabs as aggressively as you wish. The default interface rarely is the ideal interface for any user, but the ability to (in a minute or two) radically rearrange the interface is one of it's strongest suits. If you'd like any help on that (e.g. if you'd otherwise prefer C1 for other strengths but this is a major obstacle to using it) I'd gladly step you through it via screen sharing.
Here for instance you can see an interface I've customized to have White Balance and the Color Editor in a dedicated tab by themselves, which is accessible by keyboard shortcut. In the second screen grab I've customized to have (my personal) frequently accessed tools all in the same tab accessible by keyboard shortcut. If you have enough screen real estate you can have every tool open, some of them floating, some of them docked, some of them on a second screen etc.
You can add tools to any Tab. Just righ click on it and you'll see Add Tool option. Add whichever you want. I use Quck Tab (Q sign) to add all the tools I need under one Tab.
Ok, Doug was quick.
Billy it seems both of them and Canon is worse that no real updates in there systems. Sure we see all these lower level cams but Nikon is going on 3 years I believe on the D800e and nothing seems to be hitting the market. Sony on the other hand seems in financial woes but it's not the camera division so they are taking aggressive steps to keep adding product to support the company. There sensor division is now supplying the whole CMOS MF market now with Hassy, Phase and now Pentax with there CMOS chips. So I feel Sony is on a serious path to get market share . It seems pretty obvious almost monthly something new announced. But this train needs to keep rolling from all of them and some seem glued to the tracks. I hope that don't last long either. We as users need choices not one completely dominating the market.
I would expect to see something from them around the 3 year mark, but they have already announced the D4s if i recall correctly?
Sensor wise I dont know what else they can do though, a modest MP update is negligible when you have 36.
If you look at the integrated MF DSLRs from Pentax and Leica, similar in concept to the ZD but more successful in the marketplace, both these cameras are respectable high ISO and long exposure performers...with microlensed Kodak CCDs.
So if the ZD had used the slightly smaller, but still Pentax 645D-sized, 18MP Kodak KAF-18000, with about 3x the quantum efficiency (in part thanks to microlenses) and lower noise levels, Mamiya might have had a winner. This is the same sensor used in the P21+ back. The ZD2 could have followed up with the KAF-31600 (P30+, H3D-30), and the ZD3 with the KAF-40000 (Pentax 645D, H4D-40). Ah, what could have been...
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