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Phase One XT: The First Modern Field Camera (and X-Shutter and new firmware)

stngoldberg

Well-known member
It is appropriate for me to say to both Doug and Steve how much I appreciate their candor and obvious integrity while they both point out the merits of their newest product
Stanley
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
That was included in the price already ;)

One should probably compare the XT more to the rm2d.

At the end you are correct, it depends on what you need.
The RM2D is no longer available which is a shame as I thought it was a great balance on the flexibility-vs-size/weight spectrum.

In any case, I think we both understand and agree with each other on the points you raised.
 

Christopher

Active member
I think the major problem for me is that's it a early system, and we have NO CLUE what Phase One will actually do. I love my Arca Swiss system and it makes some good money. So I would love to get the new XT, but should I give up all the befits and flexibility of my Arca System? If we knew there would come an XT XL, or that XF lenses could be used one day, or Tilt would come one day... If we know a rough schedule for the 90 and 138... Oh man hard choices.

(I know there are no real answers to m rambling questions :OT:
 
[*]More capable shutter vs Copal 0 and/or sensor electronic shutter
Dave
For faster shutter speeds, yes. But over 1s it looks like it reverts to the ES of the back. Since at least half of my exposures are 1s and above and on city streets or in architectural work, I don’t want to use the ES. Really hope that this can be changed in firmware, or maybe that the ES can be speeded up. Copal shutters still have their uses.
 

Ben730

Member
I miss the spirit levels.
Did I overlook those very important tools?
Where is the hot shoe or the tapped holes?
I want to mount a flash trigger, a lens shield etc. on the camera.
Regards,
Ben
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
I miss the spirit levels.
Did I overlook those very important tools?
Where is the hot shoe or the tapped holes?
I want to mount a flash trigger, a lens shield etc. on the camera.
Regards,
Ben
Might I suggest the Phase One XT Animated Walkthrough. Scroll down own until you see the compendium bellows.

https://phaseonext.com/an-animated-walkthrough-of-the-phase-one-xt/

That same port is where a cold shoe can be mounted.

DT also makes (exclusively) an alternative compendium mount that doesn’t take up that accessory port. Read more here: https://phaseonext.com/suggested-accessories-for-the-phase-one-xt/
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
For faster shutter speeds, yes. But over 1s it looks like it reverts to the ES of the back. Since at least half of my exposures are 1s and above and on city streets or in architectural work, I don’t want to use the ES. Really hope that this can be changed in firmware, or maybe that the ES can be speeded up. Copal shutters still have their uses.
Good catch, all I could find was the shutter speed of the X shutter listed from 1/1000 to 60 minutes, which implies the actual X shutter can handle all those speeds.

Paul C
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
For faster shutter speeds, yes. But over 1s it looks like it reverts to the ES of the back. Since at least half of my exposures are 1s and above and on city streets or in architectural work, I don’t want to use the ES. Really hope that this can be changed in firmware, or maybe that the ES can be speeded up. Copal shutters still have their uses.
Can you help me understand your need for the X-shutter to be used (rather than sensor based ES) at speeds slower than 1 second?
 

Ben730

Member
Might I suggest the Phase One XT Animated Walkthrough. Scroll down own until you see the compendium bellows.

https://phaseonext.com/an-animated-walkthrough-of-the-phase-one-xt/

That same port is where a cold shoe can be mounted.

DT also makes (exclusively) an alternative compendium mount that doesn’t take up that accessory port. Read more here: https://phaseonext.com/suggested-accessories-for-the-phase-one-xt/
Thanks Doug
So I only miss the spirit levels. I find the built in spirit level of my IQ1 50 (not IQ4 150) a joke.
It has to be calibrated after every transport and how to calibrate it in the field?
Maybe the one in the IQ4 is better?

Where and when can I buy your DT LCD Shade for the Phase One IQ?

Ben
 

alatreille

Member
Car headlights running from left to right across a frame would be one thing that comes to mind.
I've been trying myself with the ES, but you need to guess when the car is going to enter the frame.
With the X/Copal as soon as you open it it's recording.

Does that make sense?

Can you help me understand your need for the X-shutter to be used (rather than sensor based ES) at speeds slower than 1 second?
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
Car headlights running from left to right across a frame would be one thing that comes to mind.
I've been trying myself with the ES, but you need to guess when the car is going to enter the frame.
With the X/Copal as soon as you open it it's recording.

Does that make sense?
Yes, it does and it’s great feedback. Can I ask if you’ve seen this issue in real shooting or only in theory? If you have some real-world example files to share I think they would create a very compelling case for me to make that the X-Shutter max mechanical time should be lifted to several seconds (after which, statistically, the chance of the roll on/off being a problem would seem to be negligible.
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
This is confusing as in the actual Phase One download for the X shutter, they are showing 1/1000 to 60 seconds, under the X shutter details. which implies the X shutter can go to speeds longer than 1 second? See below copy from Phase One Brochure.

X shutter.jpg

X - Shutter
Shutter type Electro magnetical
Shutter speed 1/1000 - 60min
Durability Tested to 500.000+ captures
Shutter blades Carbon fiber
Helical focus drive Ultra fine manual focus
Focusing clamp Optional reposition or detach with 2 screws
Aperture module 5 blades (curved blades)

Paul C
 

rsinclair

Member
Yes, it does and it’s great feedback. Can I ask if you’ve seen this issue in real shooting or only in theory? If you have some real-world example files to share I think they would create a very compelling case for me to make that the X-Shutter max mechanical time should be lifted to several seconds (after which, statistically, the chance of the roll on/off being a problem would seem to be negligible.
Hi Doug,

How about this? Shot last week, screenshot at 100% for each image in C1: IQ4/Factum/Rodie 40mm/f11/Lee Little Stopper for the 2 longer exposures (different light conditions)/No filter on the 1/15. With a mechanical shutter at 2s the water would be silky/smooth and not have horsehairs.

Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 9.32.03 PM.jpg

Cheers,
Robert
 

alatreille

Member
I could easily go and make one - as I likely trashed all the other images to save on disk space. I think I have a job next week where if work time and light allows I will endeavour to do so.

Before we got the cable link up to our copals in March (I think that was when it was) I had a job and it took about 4-5 goes to get the headlights running right through. It was trial and error, because I had to start the ES before the car was at edge of frame so that by the time the ES got 2/3rds of the way down it was recording. There was also had the variability of the car speed...which you always do.

Is there any reason it shouldn't have a 'bulb' function?

Yes, it does and it’s great feedback. Can I ask if you’ve seen this issue in real shooting or only in theory? If you have some real-world example files to share I think they would create a very compelling case for me to make that the X-Shutter max mechanical time should be lifted to several seconds (after which, statistically, the chance of the roll on/off being a problem would seem to be negligible.
 

Abstraction

Active member
For faster shutter speeds, yes. But over 1s it looks like it reverts to the ES of the back. Since at least half of my exposures are 1s and above and on city streets or in architectural work, I don’t want to use the ES. Really hope that this can be changed in firmware, or maybe that the ES can be speeded up. Copal shutters still have their uses.
Why is ES problematic with long exposures and static objects?
 

Pemihan

Well-known member
I have had a good nights sleep and have pondered over this a bit more.

Yes the XT looks like a really great camera but I find it very hard to believe that P1 couldn’t include some of the XT features into the IQ3 backs. They are integrated and can communicate with and control much of the XF so it shouldn’t be to hard to at least include things like aperture control and the ability to fire the X shutter from the back, actually IMO with a firmware update that would be very simple. The IQ3 can power the XF so surely it can be setup to power the X shutter as well. Anyway that is a (IMO bad) business choice P1 has made in order to get people to upgrade if they want the XT.

I bought my IQ3 Achromatic less that a year before the IQ4 came out and now it’s in some ways already regarded as obsolete. Not a nice way to treat loyal customers that have spend a small fortune on their system!

Bottom line the XT is not for me and as I don't intend to upgrade to IQ4 it wont be. I will stick to my trusty Cambo WRS system which have always served me well and will continue to do so. I enjoy to shoot with it every time it come out of the bag and on the positive side I save a nice chunk of money :)

Peter
 
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Thanks, this is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. Also people walking across the frame, water, waves moving, clouds in skies, especially towards dusk. As soon as there is a polariser on the front, 1-5s exposures are normal.

Car headlights running from left to right across a frame would be one thing that comes to mind.
I've been trying myself with the ES, but you need to guess when the car is going to enter the frame.
With the X/Copal as soon as you open it it's recording.

Does that make sense?
 
After some further thought I also conclude it is too expensive for what it does. It is well marketed, but just not that massive game changer it is made to look.

First price: I know the dealers argue: "But hey, look at this list of Alpa accessories you would need to buy to get the same, incl. the back adapter which costs USD1000, etc.", but this in my view is the wrong way to look at it.

Firstly, as a potential customer I look at it in terms of absolute value and not relative value. Alpa is kind of overpriced or lets say highly priced in the market as evidenced by prices of certain very simple products (back adapter for USD1k is kinda ...) and clearly P1 spent a lot of time pricing out the XT system assuming that they will be able to sell it to people at a similar price level given benefits such as the new shutter, etc. I would have appreciated a good absolute value, not something clearly prized to max out profits. Here then it becomes a much harder choice as customer, especially if you are already invested in another system. And let's be honest, incl. dealer margins trade-in values will be not good and any way you slice it the XT system is incredibly expensive and only very few businesses can make it work economically considering the amount of total professional photographers.

But P1's pricing - it is just business. The problem with medium format HW is that the audience is relatively small and by lowering prices just a bit - lets say 10%-20%, demand will not increase sales massively to the point to potentially offset the lost revenue. Ie if you sell 5k-10k high priced units to a die hard MF audience ... not sure you will sell 15k by lowering prices by 20%. ... so it won't happen except if the barn really starts to burn in the sense of dramatic sales drops.

On top of that a lot of people bought into these systems at a high price point and if you pay 30k for a back and you see it going for 15k 18 months later you become angry. So they are a bit in a difficult situation marketing wise in terms of introducing lower price point. Whenever a new product is introduced they have a chance to set the price bar, but here it has been set on a very high level. So in sum I think high sticker prices will stay (not saying what happens in terms of trade-in), especially with dealer margins also priced in.

Then the whole marketing stuff is annoying. Every little thing is blown up to be a massive game changer, the product is described in the most favorable terms and all sales tricks are used. Shift is very limited - but still it is sold as 24mm. Automatic LCC is not there, but effectively the only change the XT does is automatic metadata file writing and the control of the shutter directly through the back.

Sorry, although this is nice, this is not a massive game changer. And Alpa can also control via Silex the shutter / aperture. Maybe a cable less and a little more comfort in sorting files.

XT looks like a quick side project done with Cambo to increase sales a bit, but in terms of technology they could have done a lot more:

1. Automatic LCC
2. Autofocusable Rodenstock lenses
3. Proprietary lenses
4. New mirrorless system with EVF and tech cam compatibility
5. Shutter, aperture control in the XT body

Instead we got a rebranded cambo and a new proprietary shutter system and a very high price, no?

Happy to discuss.
 
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