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Thread: More MF Questions (resolution)

  1. #1
    Shelby Lewis
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    More MF Questions (resolution)

    In line with my previous posts about lenses and all... I'm interested in some anecdotes from all you guys who shoot various mf and 35mm systems... and this request is driven solely by budget, lol.

    I've shot canon for a number of years, as well as a sony a900 for about 6 months, and now canon 5d mark II's for the studio I shoot weddings for. I'm almost onboard as a general creative director for a small clothing company I've shot for (meaning I'll be shooting, laying out the catalogs, designing the website, running the blog, getting everyone coffee )... and we're looking to improve the equipment we're shooting with.

    I'm presently on track towards a p30/-30+... but have recently seen that original p45 backs go well below $9K and p25 backs at around $5-6K. With those prices, we might actually be able to upgrade the on-location computers as well....

    So, speaking in terms of resolution, how do the 22mp backs fair against the canons/nikons/sony ... and is there a huge difference between the 22 and 31 mp backs? I think the 22mp would be sufficient for us, but I fear moire would be a problem since I shoot fabrics (even though they aren't woven fabrics). Ultimately, the p30+ (or original p45) looks like the best bet, but man the current used back prices are very compelling.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    I'm using a P30+ now. Before buying into MFDB, I spent some 2 years watching and waiting for the "right" time. In the course of my research, I've come to the conclusion that if you are shooting subjects with fine fabrics often, then you would want to avoid the P25 / P25+. If what you are shooting requires a lot of wide angle shots, then perhaps the P45 / P45+ would be better. If you are shooting weddings, my own preference would still be P30 / P30+. Using the P30+ means I avoid moire which can show up more often in the P25 backs. P30+ also has a crop factor of 1.3 so I'm not affected as much by lenses that are weak in acuity at the corners. The only limiting negative point is you'll be limited to a FOV of about 24mm (in 35mm equivalence) since the widest lens is around 28mm at the moment.

    I recommend you go for it and buy into MFDB but keep your Canon system until you no longer find you pick it up over your MFDB.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    What Henry said -- and since you'll be shooting clothing, I'd definitely be concerned about moire... Plus the "plus" backs have some significant advantages. Moreover, the P30+ has microlenses which acts like a sort of very mild AA filter, mitigating moire even a bit more over the same pixel-pitched P45+... P40+ is theoretically even a bit better still.
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  4. #4
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Thanks all... you guys said what I thought you would. I'll not be using the camera at weddings. I would, for sure, but the guy I shoot for is a canon nut and only uses lightroom (actually he subs out his post processing). If I handed him a card with some .iiq files, he's send it off to datasavers to get it "fixed"

    This is only going to be for the clothing and for my personal art projects. I'm basically shutting my own studio down and am only going to shoot "serious" art portraiture and the occasional high school senior that's willing to pay for something different.... the rest of my time will be in fashion (and hopefully coming out to workshops .

    The more I repeat the above paragraph to myself, the more the p30+ looks to fit the bill. I shot the p40+ last week in birmingham as well... VERY nice, but out of my budget.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Shelby, you've already gotten great info here, but I'll add a voice for emphasis. I shoot the P25+ (which is going up in value every day – due to rarity ) but I try my hardest to avoid subject which include fabrics... um that sounds wrong. I mean that I'm not shooting clothing catalogs or weddings, senior portraits (although I did last weekend) etc. Moire' does come up with the P25+ in certain shots such as those including roofs or some fabrics. I've been lucky regarding fabrics, but I'd not want to stake my business on it.

    While a P45+ or possibly a P65+ would be great for stuff I like to shoot, it seems that the P30+ is an ideal mix for the work you've shown and described.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Shelby, you don't mention which camera system you are looking at. Make sure that you get the back in the right mount, since it can otherwise be 1) expensive, 2) burn up a mount-switch option, and/or 3) take a lot of time to get the right mount.
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Well, all precedent arguments are true. I do shoot a P25+ with Schneider Digitar lens, and my main subject is landscape.
    I have to say that the resolution given by the lens + sensor is really good, and in fact the P25+ have really gorgeous colors (9 micron pixel seems to do the job). So it's true that this 22mp sensor is still something people are looking after.

    The big issue here is the moiré, wich can occurs as said before.

    I don't own a modern DSLR with big resolution to compare, but I did compare the files with a M8 and know with a M9 (it is 18MP) and the lens+phase sensor did the job, it is still better.
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Shelby:

    You are right on target with P30+ for your work. Best for fabrics outside P65+.Plus has more internal ram buffer so shooting tethered and faster without buffering will be worth the upgrade to Plus. And it has better high ISO so you can do your other work with it. Not to mention the resell value down the road when you want to trade up. P40+ would be even better as far as resell value.

    If you shoot fabrics, woven or not woven, stay away from any 22 MP camera with 9 micro pixel size. This is a morie waiting to happen. I work with a large number of people who shoot for catalogs and they extra retouching and problem solving morie reduction will kill your production. Even blue jeans very hard to shoot on figure without some morie work to be done in post. P1 morie filters good but sometimes you cannot get rid of all of it without cloning.

    Full length shots or 3/4 will have more of this unless you can really compress it when shooting with long lens. I remember when P1 brought the proto type LP to show me and several of my customers before it was released. The President at P1 at the time was a hands on guys show the camera and taking pictures. Very refreshing. He wanted to use a longer lens for all the test 120mm Macro and even a 150mm. Those longer lenses would compress the image and not show as much morie as a 80mm lens. Something I learned 12 years ago from him. Color Aliasing is also reduced when using longer lenses.


    Good Luck


    PS. I hear that Leica S2 is astounding on morie. No one has been able to get the Leica S2 to morie even with many different fabrics or textures. That is very impressive.





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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    In line with my previous posts about lenses and all... I'm interested in some anecdotes from all you guys who shoot various mf and 35mm systems... and this request is driven solely by budget, lol.

    I've shot canon for a number of years, as well as a sony a900 for about 6 months, and now canon 5d mark II's for the studio I shoot weddings for. I'm almost onboard as a general creative director for a small clothing company I've shot for (meaning I'll be shooting, laying out the catalogs, designing the website, running the blog, getting everyone coffee )... and we're looking to improve the equipment we're shooting with.

    I'm presently on track towards a p30/-30+... but have recently seen that original p45 backs go well below $9K and p25 backs at around $5-6K. With those prices, we might actually be able to upgrade the on-location computers as well....

    So, speaking in terms of resolution, how do the 22mp backs fair against the canons/nikons/sony ... and is there a huge difference between the 22 and 31 mp backs? I think the 22mp would be sufficient for us, but I fear moire would be a problem since I shoot fabrics (even though they aren't woven fabrics). Ultimately, the p30+ (or original p45) looks like the best bet, but man the current used back prices are very compelling.

    Guy, wanna let me borrow yours... I promise I'll bring it back

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalcameraman View Post
    Shelby:
    --snip--

    PS. I hear that Leica S2 is astounding on morie. No one has been able to get the Leica S2 to morie even with many different fabrics or textures. That is very impressive.


    Chris Snipes
    Phase One Reseller Florida
    www.imageproduction.com
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    That is disappointing, perhaps it has not been shot on-tripod or they have not yet got the lenses right.

    I am really hoping that it is capable of moire, otherwise it will not support the sharpness expectations of the Leica fan-base due to an over-strong AA filter, or if they are killing it with firmware, then it won't be delivering the resolution that I hope the lenses might deliver.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Bob, you need to look at the samples available. Sharpness will not be an issue. They results are shocking in their detail.
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Bob, you need to look at the samples available. Sharpness will not be an issue. They results are shocking in their detail.
    My point was relative to moire.
    It must be capable of moire if it is sharp, or the illusion of sharpness was created with in-camera processing.
    -bob
    Last edited by Bob; 25th September 2009 at 08:34.

  12. #12
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    My point was relative to moire.
    It must be capable of moire if it is sharp, or the sharpness was created with in-camera processing.
    -bob
    ... or maybe it resolves beyond the ability to produce moire on the computer screen/print. Who knows. I'm with carsten in that the examples I've seen are scary sharp.

    Funny how Leica always has the ability to spin threads into off-topicville

    Thanks everyone for confirming what I was already suspecting. As far as mounts, I'm really looking at the mamiya system. A week or so ago, I met with some of the CI guys and tested a phamiya body and an h1 and really liked how the phase body felt in the hand compared to the hassy. I have smallish hands and the sharper contouring of the hassy was really uncomfortable.

    The ONLY thing I don't like about the mamiya system is that I'd like to shoot the rz67 as well, and in order to do so I have to get the ProII D body in order to use a mamiya-mount back on both cameras. That's a minor concern though.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    I have heard that the extra abilities of the ProIID body over the plain ProII can actually get in the way, so you might save some money there. I forget the details, but given the heads on this forum I am sure someone will have the proper answer in a few minutes.
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Shelby for the money the P30+ is the best way to go, no question. I would like to move up to the P40+ and sell my P 30+ for more the speed of the back also Sensor Plus is a advantage for me. And I may just go this route since the S2 is still a ways out for me if I went that direction but my issue is the cost difference between the the P30 and P40 and since it is so new hard to find a P40+ demo but when I see Dave at the workshop will see what direction makes sense for me. But on the same token the P30+ has not let me down in any way either. I'm in gear flux on what I want now. But I am not unhappy in the slightest, I just been sitting very quietly on the buy button for a long time and I just may get thrown out of the gear slut club at any moment. But I have a nasty itch right now. LOL
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    ... or maybe it resolves beyond the ability to produce moire on the computer screen/print.
    Folks, it absolutely *HAS* to produce moire if it sharp -- it's a property of optical physics as digital sensors approach their Nyquist limit that you cannot argue with. (In fact, you can use the presence of such patterns as CONFIRMATION of perfect focus!) While it is possible the frequency patterns tested in the fabrics photographed with the S2 so far remained were all above the Nyquist limits of the S2 sensor, it is extremely unlikely that is the case.

    A few added comments on "sharpness" ... Keep in mind there are two types of sharpness -- actual ability to resolve high-frequency detail as measured in LP/mm. However, that measurement also usually includes some standardized minimum contrast ratio to keep comparisons in line. The second is perceived sharpness, which is almost totally a function of contrast. So a lens/camera system can generate higher apparent sharpness if contrast is exceptionally high. If you present an image form a lens capable of rendering 20 LP/mm of very high contrast next to the same image taken with a lens that renders 40 LP/mm but is of lower contrast, 99% of humans will chose the 20 LP/mm image as the sharper one when it is not. Note too that the two optical properties of contrast and resolution are at odds in lens design -- as you increase a lens' contrast with special coatings, it's ability to resolve is lowered. Coatings actually REDUCE resolution.

    Here's the nit: Historically, Leica has chosen resolution over contrast in their lens designs. If the moire claim is in fact accurate -- and I am not suggesting it is -- then that would indicate that Leica has altered their philosophy on designing lenses to favor contrast and transmission over resolution...
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Pro II v Pro II D body: Main difference is the D's ability to shoot WITHOUT a cable running form the lens' PC port to the back and getting camera exif data into the file. Otherwise you can use the P backs on an old RB or any other system that has a flash PC port on the lens...
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  17. #17
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Shelby for the money the P30+ is the best way to go, no question. I would like to move up to the P40+ and sell my P 30+ for more the speed of the back also Sensor Plus is a advantage for me.
    I was waiting on this reply

    I shot the p40+ a few weeks ago on a phase body. It was really nice. Speedy... and the resolution was just scary. There is (rightfully so) a bunch of hype about the s2 system... but as far as resolution goes (in real world instances)... I think phase is already there. I can't see needing more unless you are doing ULTRA high end landscape work. And even then, I wonder.

    The S2 seems to me to be more about integration, usability, and the "look" from the Leica glass... at the expense of cost and interchangeability. I know it'll be a great system.

    Thanks for the anecdotes... they are helpful indeed. PM me if you want to talk about selling in the future (again, lol).

  18. #18
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Pro II v Pro II D body: Main difference is the D's ability to shoot WITHOUT a cable running form the lens' PC port to the back and getting camera exif data into the file. Otherwise you can use the P backs on an old RB or any other system that has a flash PC port on the lens...
    Yeah... but if I understand correctly (probably not, lol), the ProII takes a v-mount phase back whereas the ProIID works with an afd-mount phase back. Can the ProII actually use the mamy plate + a cable?

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Shelby for the money the P30+ is the best way to go, no question. I would like to move up to the P40+ and sell my P 30+ for more the speed of the back also Sensor Plus is a advantage for me. .... I just been sitting very quietly on the buy button for a long time and I just may get thrown out of the gear slut club at any moment. But I have a nasty itch right now. LOL
    It sounds like Guy needs to sell his P30+ to Shelby, and then give CI a call....

    Don't let your fellow gear sluts/whores down, Guy. We're here for your support and encouragement...


  20. #20
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Don't let your fellow gear sluts/whores down, Guy. We're here for your support and encouragement...


    now... THAT was funny.

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Shelby

    Allow me to throw my two cents worth in, not as an MFDB owner (though I have had a somewhat morbid fascination with them albeit a financially unjustifiable one for a long period of time) but rather as a user of virtually all of the Nikon pro DSLR's since the classic D1 and the Betterlight scan back. Having photographed a plethora of product catalogs dealing with all sorts of fabrics from cordura, pack cloth and various clothing garments over the years, often acts of technical desperation needed to be implemented.

    Putting camera gear of all sorts aside for a brief moment, please understand eliminating moire at the camera level is only part of the battle. Moire can also occur during pre press depending on a number of factors such as angle of screen, stochastic screening vs line screen, the "pattern frequency" of the cloth being screened, and the size of reproduction for garment or product will all come into play. Years ago we shot a well known backpacking companies product catalogs on 4x5 and MF film but the drum scans/screening wreaked moire havoc with the packcloth. The offset printing industry at the time apparently had not quite dialed in the stochastic screening method. Even downsizing for web usage can create moire patterns where it did not even exist before. I have had this happen on numerous occasions with canvas paintings photographed with the Betterlight, go figure.

    Back at the camera level one method I have learned to virtually eliminate all moire when it crops up with my Nikon cameras including the D3 (9 micron pixels) is to stop way down with an aperture in the neighborhood of F22. It never ceases to amaze me what cloths will or will not moire for a given sensor and sure enough this week while photographing some cloth products we immediately had a colorful zebra pattern to deal with. Curiously it came from a very unsuspecting cloth. Using the D3 with an 85 macro T/S lens I moved in closer cutting the shooting distance in half, stitched two frames together (via PS merge) and stopped down to approximately F22, and virtually if not completely eliminated all moire.

    To my surprise the loss in resolution or detail due too diffraction loss with such a small aperture was not to noticeable in this case. I see no reason why the same would not hold true with an MFDB system either.

    Sorry for the long winded post but hope this helps.

    Rob

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post

    ...I'm almost onboard as a general creative director for a small clothing company I've shot for (meaning I'll be shooting, laying out the catalogs, designing the website, running the blog, getting everyone coffee )... and we're looking to improve the equipment we're shooting with.

    I'm presently on track towards a p30/-30+... but have recently seen that original p45 backs go well below $9K and p25 backs at around $5-6K.

    So, speaking in terms of resolution, how do the 22mp backs fair against the canons/nikons/sony ... and is there a huge difference between the 22 and 31 mp backs?...


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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Yeah... but if I understand correctly (probably not, lol), the ProII takes a v-mount phase back whereas the ProIID works with an afd-mount phase back. Can the ProII actually use the mamy plate + a cable?
    I *think* you can use a generic adapter plate like the one from LEAF and it will work, but best to check with Doug at CI first though -- he knows this compatibility stuff inside and out.
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    PS: The stopping way down is a great tip and one I'd forgotten -- the diffraction at small apertures does act like an AA filter of sorts.
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  24. #24
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Hi Shelby,

    Coming from a different place that others, let me add my 2˘ to the mix, it might be helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    So, speaking in terms of resolution, how do the 22mp backs fair against the canons/nikons/sony ... and is there a huge difference between the 22 and 31 mp backs? I
    Depends on what you mean by resolution, if its a matter of sharpness and detail, then I'd have to say no, they're similar. The difference for me is in the nuances; DR, tonal range/depth and general rendition, things that depending on the type of work aren't always apparent nor always important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    This is only going to be for the clothing and for my personal art projects. I'm basically shutting my own studio down and am only going to shoot "serious" art portraiture

    I shot the p40+ a few weeks ago on a phase body.
    You should be aware that P40+ has a Dalsa chip which has very different color and tonal character to P30+'s Kodak. Its actually closer to Leaf dbs which I ended up buying last year after lengthy comparisons with Phase. I found the skin tones more to my taste and the tonal depth/range superior. I'm bringing this up since you mentioned fine are projects and high end portraiture. I can't comment on the moire problems with the 54S or 75S, most of my subject don't wear clothes and personally I haven't seen any issues with lace and underwear. Leaf's P30+ equivalent is the P65S. I think that you can get even better deals on the Leaf backs these days.

    Another little tidbit, I find that ACR does a great job with Leaf files, so your LR situation isn't necessarily bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    As far as mounts, I'm really looking at the mamiya system. A week or so ago, I met with some of the CI guys and tested a phamiya body and an h1 and really liked how the phase body felt in the hand compared to the hassy. I have smallish hands and the sharper contouring of the hassy was really uncomfortable.
    I realize your rz67 issue but for pure feel you ought to try the Contax 645, although out of production, mint examples are still easily found; and if you liked your Sony/Zeiss glass, you're going to love the Contax lenses!

    If you're ever in NYC, I can lend you my gear and set you up with lighting and location.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Jack:

    The Phase One Mamiya RZ adapter only works with V mount camera backs with RZ, RZ II cameras body.

    The new Phase One/Mamiya AFD interface is designed to work only with AFD mount camera backs with RZII D camera body.

    Best option if you already have a Phase One or Leaf AFD mount camera back is to get a Mamiya RZ II D camera body and use your RZ lenses. This allows you to use on RZ IID and P1/Mamiya AFD bodies too.



    Chris Snipes
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    Phase One Test Studio Florida
    www.imageproduction.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I *think* you can use a generic adapter plate like the one from LEAF and it will work, but best to check with Doug at CI first though -- he knows this compatibility stuff inside and out.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Sorry one other detail. The Leaf interface plate does not work with the P1 backs very well. The Leaf camera back does not need a wake up call. The Phase One backs (Kodak chips) all need a wake up call and the interface plate from P1 provides this wake up call. I had several people buy the Leaf version but lost interest when they released it did not work correctly from the release button. If you shoot people, no way to work. Technically you could get a P1 or KG one shot cable to do the wake up and then release but not very fun at all. There also needs to be a small amount of machine work to get P series backs to mount properly on Leaf adapters I have seen on RZ.


    Chris Snipes
    Phase One Reseller Florida
    Phase One Test Studio Florida
    www.imageproduction.com
    [email protected]


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I *think* you can use a generic adapter plate like the one from LEAF and it will work, but best to check with Doug at CI first though -- he knows this compatibility stuff inside and out.

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I just been sitting very quietly on the buy button for a long time
    Yeah, that P30+ must have been sitting in your bag for all of what, a couple of months now, since you moved up from the P25+? LOL!
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    One step up at a time. LOL

    I have had my eye on the P40 the whole time. LOL
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalcameraman View Post
    Sorry one other detail. The Leaf interface plate does not work with the P1 backs very well. The Leaf camera back does not need a wake up call. The Phase One backs (Kodak chips) all need a wake up call and the interface plate from P1 provides this wake up call. I had several people buy the Leaf version but lost interest when they released it did not work correctly from the release button. If you shoot people, no way to work. Technically you could get a P1 or KG one shot cable to do the wake up and then release but not very fun at all. There also needs to be a small amount of machine work to get P series backs to mount properly on Leaf adapters I have seen on RZ.


    Chris Snipes
    Phase One Reseller Florida
    Phase One Test Studio Florida
    www.imageproduction.com
    [email protected]
    Hmmmm.... It was over a year ago and I am getting older so may be mistaken, but I am pretty sure I put my P45+ on my buddy's Mamiya RZ Pro 1 with a generic, "no pins" mamiya 645 adapter plate and connected the lens PC to my back's port with the Kapture Group wake-up cable, set latency to long and IIRC, it worked fine...
    Jack
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    I said it would work technically but not very elegant for a high end digital camera back solution. I wasworking just today with that same setup P45+ V on P1 Mamiya RZ adapter RZII Pro.

    You may have Jack but I think anyone that would have to use a release trigger like that to shoot people is going to miss shots and get misfires. It is very easy to get misfires when waking up this kodak CCD with this cable.
    This is very accepted when using technical cameras and wide angle devices that use copal shutters. But I confirmed with P1 DK back then that the P1 adapter plate facilitates waking up the camera with an electronic signal as opposed to an manual release that uses a micro switch.

    When I had a customer buy one 4 years ago, he had to machine an area to get this P25 to mount and when he discovered that he needed to use a wake up cable release, this put the speed at which one can focus and shoot at a crawl. It was a deal breaker. He purchased that plate from Calumet as a Leaf part. ECCO from I think Singapore also makes an adapter for the H1 back as well. That back must be machines and same thing, no one designed it for the P1 backs which need that wake up call.

    if you look at the front of the Mamiya adapter you will see as mall box that houses this wake up switch. Generic plates like the ones above were made to use Dasal CCD based camera backs that do not need this wake up call. Nor does the new P40+ or P65+ backs because they do not need a wake up call.



    Chris Snipes
    Image Production, Inc
    Phase One Reseller Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Hmmmm.... It was over a year ago and I am getting older so may be mistaken, but I am pretty sure I put my P45+ on my buddy's Mamiya RZ Pro 1 with a generic, "no pins" mamiya 645 adapter plate and connected the lens PC to my back's port with the Kapture Group wake-up cable, set latency to long and IIRC, it worked fine...

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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    Got it, thanks
    Jack
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  32. #32
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    cool.... great info everyone.

    David... can you (or anyone else) talk some more about contax 645? I'll be honest here, I've always favored either contax or (get this) rollei as the systems that turn me on the most... as cameras, especially Rollei. The drawing style of the schneider/zeiss lenses has always fascinated me, as has those funky 6008 bodies. I'm not as familiar with the contax line... If I were to head that way, I'd be looking at the 80/2, the 140/2.8 (120 macro later), and the 210/4 to start. That's a much larger investment than similar lenses in the mamiya line. I just don't have a contax system nearby to try out. Maybe the guys at CI might have one.

    I'm not worried about the system being "dead". I don't see it as that way (and that argument is for another thread)... but I'd be interested in being directed towards examples of how the contax glass performs. I LOVED the zeiss rendering on the a900... the 135/1.8 was fantastic.

  33. #33
    ddk
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    I don't know what information you're looking for, but I promise, if you ever fondle one you're going to have a very hard time putting it down.

    As a system, ideally you'd want to get the grip, but not a must. As far as lenses go, they're light and beautifully made. I recommend a different 3 lens setup than the one you mentioned. In your shoes I'd go for the 55mm, 120mm macro and the 210mm.

    A lot of rental houses used to carry the Contax, I think that both Adorama and Sammy's still have them and they'll ship across the country.

    As far as purchasing goes, they come up regularly on ebay. Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding the system.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    The Contax is a great system, solid build, nice lenses and good ergo's --- I owned three of them back in their heyday.. But it is now a dead system -- not in itself horrible, but noteworthy as you should calculate in a back-up body and favored lenses. My final nits -- the AF is SLOW relative to the newer Mamiya or Hassy AF bodies, the lens line-up is a little thin relative to Mamiya or Hassy.
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    ... thin, perhaps compared to the whole Mamiya lineup, but the lenses in the Contax lineup are pretty solid, and I don't feel that there are any holes. There are also a few real pearls of lenses, like the 35/3.5 and the 120/4 Macro, both of which are among the very best in MF, even today.

    I also find the classic Hasselblad, Rollei and Contax systems the nicest, and ended up with a Contax on this basis. I don't think I would buy into the Rollei system if I were living in North America, though. Too expensive and rare. However, I am not a pro, and do this only for enjoyment. I don't need to buy backup stuff in advance, just in case something dies, irreparably. There are people who repair Contax cameras, and I think Zeiss still takes care of the lenses, but it is not as easy to get done as with Mamiya. I cannot imagine that someone would buy the Contax and regret their decision *system-wise*, but Jack of course has a good point: the system is no longer current, and repairs would be more time-consuming.
    Carsten - Website

  36. #36
    tetsrfun
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    Re: More MF Questions (resolution)

    David... can you (or anyone else) talk some more about contax 645?
    *******
    If you are considering dead or dying systems....There are always Hasselblad "V" variants...The introduction of the CFV39 digital back for $13,995 (new) has injected new life in the V system.

    Steve

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