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Thread: The dreaded question...

  1. #1
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    The dreaded question...

    So... Today I received in the mail a brochure / magazine from Hasselblad. In it there is a test comparing what seems to be (matching specs and lens used) a 1Ds MKIII with 50mm f1.2L and a H3DII31.
    Here is a link to the online comparison: http://www.hasselblad.com/media/1664...rthebetter.pdf

    So, my totally stupid and mundane questions is this: Is the difference really that dramatic? The 1dsIII shot looks terrible, really smeared detail and CA through the roof. The lens used is not exactly known to be a stellar performer, in technical terms at least, so I'm sure that has something to do with the poor showing, but really? I'm pretty sure I get better files out of my D700.

    Stupid question end... :sleep006:

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    I'll offer a knee-jerk reaction... having viewed the linked document... I'd be embarrassed if I were a Hasselblad rep. Now mind you, I fully appreciate the superiority of MF over 35mm for certain jobs, including the type presented here, but the obvious bias in treatment is... well... ridiculous. Or more accurately, "marketing".

    In my opinion, many of the weaknesses seen in the 1Ds image could have been avoided if a bias was not present with regard to desired outcome. Come on, we're looking at a PDF file... on line!... in which differences should be nearly nil if properly executed. Look at the upper-left area of the Canon image. That's garbage.

    To be clear, I know that the Hasselblad kit will trump the Canon kit in this comparison. My 22MP Phase One/Mamiya kit trumps the Canon in this type of comparison (except for moire' ). But still... the initial image from the Canon is absurd. One needs to address files with a strong AA filter differently than those without such a filter. And let's be sure to pick an image with obvious CA in the highlights to emphasize our point. Hasselblad's job is to sell Hasselblads, but this comparison is lame IMO. Sadly (but realistically) this brochure shows little respect for its audience.
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 17th November 2009 at 23:58.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    The dreaded question, part II:

    http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...howtopic=39318

    Now this guy (Christopher Barrett; I forget if he is a member here) didn't try to get the same image, but the same pixel-level, to compare the performance of the pixels. Still, a little stitching, and voila, comparable image.

    The question here is what would happen in the shadows if he exposed higher and pulled the shadows up, or if he used tungsten lighting, but to be honest, he pulled a really decent file out of the D3. Yair found the blue channel in the D3 file to be at the limit, so there isn't much flexibility left, but the image stands as it is.
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Carsten: I read the thread on LL (Chris is a member here too) and found it rather different from the marketing bit in the PDF file linked above.

    Chris' comparison wasn't scientific in nature, but showed one perspective. The Nikon file hosed the draperies and showed "more difficult" contrast in the yarn balls IMO, but again, we were looking at online JPEGs. Yair's observations were meaningful, but that's still off-topic here. Chris didn't "sabotage" his Nikon files, but we have all seen pros deliver the goods with the 1Ds mk-X, and Hasselblad didn't really offer a bias-neutral comparison. (To be clear, I'm not saying the Canon is equal.)

    IMO these comparisons are not only "dreaded", but stupid. (sorry to be so blunt) Marketing has its purpose, but in so many cases there is just too little fact and integrity attached. When we shoot it we can see it. The exaggerated differences are nonsense (and disrespectful IMO).

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Agreed, they are stupid. This one seemed so stupid I was sure I was missing something! I've never shot a 1DS MKIII but I was positive this comparison was tripe. I've yet to see a real meaningful comparison between a high res 35mm system and a 31mp MF back (or any other MF back for that matter.) Ie, the same scene, same lighting, same framing etc with proper post processing instead of the usual stupid "exact same settings in C1" nonsense.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Well I can asure you that a 1DsMk3 does better as does my 5Dmk2, but why should hassi admit that, they don't want to help canon they want to sell their stuff.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Christopher,

    I couldn't understand. Do you mean that 1DSMk3 and 5DII takes better (whatever it means) photos than a H3DII, or do you mean that the Canon takes better photos than the ones in the Hassy site.

    Seyhun

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Well I can asure you that a 1DsMk3 does better as does my 5Dmk2, but why should hassi admit that, they don't want to help canon they want to sell their stuff.
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Well yes my sentence wasn't fully completed. I meant does better than what shown by hassi.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    agreed. thanks
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    This big difference is in res up or res down. If you take a hassey and res down to canon size, MAYBE a little sharper. If you resup the canon, no different than going to 120 or 130% zoom-always obvious, esp when you are 1:1 for pixels (after 100% there is NO new info, so there is an IQ cliff.
    The images seem exactly what I expect

    so is the text! LOL

    Regards
    Victor

    PS If you now stitch say 4 canon shots (say to 60-70 MP equivalent) , and resup the hassey, as Carsten says, the hassey will look worse.
    Then there's the LENSES. There, I will give it to Hasselblad.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    One other thing, "flipping" an image horizontally introduces artifacts -- interesting they chose to flip the 1Ds3 file and not the Hassy file...
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    About 2 weeks ago I borrowed a H3DII-31 and shot it side by side with a 1Ds Mark III. The 1Ds Mark III of good lenses such as the new Canon 100L Macro, 135L, 85L II, Zeiss 28/2 ZE and Canon 50mm F2.5 Macro. Pixel for pixel the 1Ds3 and H3DII-31 were quite similar. For outdoor shooting the H3DII-31 had nice color, tone and DR, but lost overall due to the weight (it's a heavy SOB) and the max shutter speed of 1/800. There were number of times where the H had to be stopped down to F11 to get the shutter speeds down. In the studio for catalog shots, somewhat to the H3DII-31's owner's dismay, we were getting better images from the 1Ds3. In post production the 1Ds3 files via C1 were starting out closer to a finished product. The H3DII-31 had the resolution edge via its 31 MP vs the 1Ds3's 21 MP. Though, I was surprised to still see false color and moire artifacts; I thought the micro lenses would make that a non-issue. Having shot with many different 22 MP backs, I'm hyper-sensitive about moire and false color artifacts. I'll assume that those can be managed in post, but all the same, I was surprised to see it at the raw level.

    Long story short, the H3DII-31 owner is planning to sell his H3DII-31 and buy a 1Ds Mark III. We agreed the H3DII-31 had lovely quality, but it lacked flexibility and ease of a dSLR. For his catalog work he could see advantages in using the H3DII-31, though, he was skeptical about the differences being relevant after the CMYK separation/printing. The deciding factor (IMO) for him was cost of ownership. He could (and is) selling the H3DII-31 with the same dollars can buy a used 1Ds3, 85LII, 100L, 24-105L, 50mm Macro and still have money left over.

    My opinion on the H3DII-31 was great looking files, but I didn't now like the H3DII-31 body - specifically the weight and top shutter speed. If I was buying that sensor, a 645AFDx body and Phase One P30+ would be my choice. I think Hasselblad has a very good engine in the H3DII-31. If they could squeeze that package down to a S2 sized camera with a focal plane shutter, I'd be quite interested. They'd also need light lenses too. The HC lenses were significantly heavier than the L lenses.

    As a side note, we also compared the ZD and H3DII-31. IMO the ZD can go head to head with the H3DII-31 at base ISO. The ZD's 22 MP were competitive with the H3DII-31 MP - which were as crisp (at a pixel) due to the micro lenses. The H3DII-31 has very good ISO - even 800. Whereas the ZD doesn't.

    It was an interesting week. I like Kodak's 31 MP sensor - very flexible. It just needs the "right" body. That sensor in a ZD "II" would be my S2.

    One comment - I've read time and time again the H bodies feel cheap and plastic'y. The outside is metal - the thing felt very strong and was creak free. there are a couple plastic trim pieces, but everything is metal including the lens barrel and hood. Downside was the weight. I could not imagine carrying the H for personal use. Very nice camera, just not the right one my needs.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Interesting. You don't by any chance have any of the files to post do you? I'd be interest to see them side by side, 100% without upresing etc.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    It's not my H3DII-31. Before loaning the camera, he made it clear the files were not to be distributed.

    I wouldn't choose a 1Ds3 / H3DII-31 based on file quality. My decision is based on shutter speeds, lens options, system weight, portable flash, LCD, ergonomics, etc. If you're seriously considering an H system and haven't handled/used one in person, I highly suggest investing the time to find a local dealer where you can spend 30 minutes handling H3DII camera.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    When are we going to stop this nonsense of comparing different platforms? In "most" cases a 1DSIII will look better than say a G9 or G10 just as "most" any medium format will look better. I think the proper comparison should be made with the same platform; apples to apples and not apples to watermelons.

    I'll also admit that I didn't take the time to read the link since as soon as I read it was a comparison of cross-platforms I immediately lost all interest.

    One other comment is that I'd give a hell of a lot more weight to an independent doing a comparison and reporting on it rather than a manufacture since the independent in most cases won't have a dog in the fight as far as sales goes.

    This has been my knee-jerk reaction and my 2. I'd also like to add that I'm always put off whenever a company bad-mouths a competitor....


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    Re: The dreaded question...

    I remember a number of years ago --- there were two medium format platforms being compared-- Leaf and I think Phaseone. There were two pamphlets -- one i got online and one i got from a dealer-- both were published by the respective manufacturer --- as expected both came to the opposite conclusion... with lots of visual examples.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    -- both were published by the respective manufacturer --- as expected both came to the opposite conclusion... with lots of visual examples.


    My point exactly!

    At least it wasn't a cross-platform comparison....
    Last edited by Don Libby; 18th November 2009 at 16:18. Reason: fat fingers
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    It's not my H3DII-31. Before loaning the camera, he made it clear the files were not to be distributed.

    .
    That seems strange. I wouldn't think it mattered - they should be YOUR files (unless he claimed copyright as camera owner.

    is he a Hasselblad dealer? Even Leica is letting people keep and distribute their S2 files...

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    I think in the age of such rapidly developing technology it's good to know how much closer or further the gap has become between the technologies. Most agree MF is still better at lower ISO's and for certain slower work, and everyone agrees there are strengths and weaknesses with 35mm and MF systems, but hardly anyone has actually illustrated the technical end points effectively. For someone like me who chooses to work slower, MF has always been my film format of choice. Going the digital MF way wouldn't be a change in shooting methods for me. Problem is that while I could go out and shoot a 1ds MKIII within ten minutes, I'd have to fly to the opposite side of the country to try a digital 'Blad or Phase system. I'm genuinely interested in how a MF digital of 31 - 39mp performs, in technical end image, compared to the high end 35mm systems with the best lenses attached. And I'd love to see images to illustrate it. In the end, I know nothing beats hands on experience so at some point I'll need to get on that plane, but in the mean time I'd like someone to point me in the right direction on the net so I have some light bed time reading!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    When are we going to stop this nonsense of comparing different platforms? In "most" cases a 1DSIII will look better than say a G9 or G10 just as "most" any medium format will look better. I think the proper comparison should be made with the same platform; apples to apples and not apples to watermelons.

    I'll also admit that I didn't take the time to read the link since as soon as I read it was a comparison of cross-platforms I immediately lost all interest.

    One other comment is that I'd give a hell of a lot more weight to an independent doing a comparison and reporting on it rather than a manufacture since the independent in most cases won't have a dog in the fight as far as sales goes.

    This has been my knee-jerk reaction and my 2. I'd also like to add that I'm always put off whenever a company bad-mouths a competitor....


    Don

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Where are you located.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Doesn't matter what the companies say, or even any 3rd party test where I wasn't there to see it done ... LOL!

    I had a 1DsMKIII and Hassey H3D-II/31 ... I got the Canon hoping it'd replace the H camera. First job shooting jewelry relegated the Canon to just shooting weddings and portraits ... horrible specular highlight handling by the Canon using every freaking' lens in my L arsenal.

    But for quick location stuff the Canon did pretty well, so the H3D-II/31 wasn't a big enough difference to warrant lugging it around.

    Then Sony displaced Canon with better optics and in-camera IS for the location stuff and weddings.

    So, both cameras are now gone.

    If I'm going to shoot MF it'll be 60 meg. or a completely different approach to higher IQ.

    -Marc

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I wasn't there to see it done ... LOL!
    Exactly! It does matter who shot it, how they shot and most importantly, how they processed it.

    Speaking for myself, I shoot the 1Ds3 and process in C1. Compared to my P45+ back -- a measly 39 MP -- the 22MP Canon pixels render about the same level of detail; admittedly the new C1/5 does an excellent job of clearing the AA effects. However, that's where the story ends. Tonal range, DR, color fidelity, and overall file look from the P back is a full level up from the Canon, not to mention generating a physically larger file to work with.

    That said, the Canon file is very good, and where portability is a concern the P kit gets left in the cabinet and the Canon is the one hanging from my shoulder. And if I could only have one system for everything I shoot right now, it would be the Canon.

    My .02 only,
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    I'm a pig . I shoot only the P30+ go big and never go back, is my shooting motto. Obviously there are some sticky points to this. If I NEED a 35mm than I will rent. But i do agree with Marc and Jack certainly in principle. I just refuse to shoot 35mm again so I picked the best compromise between 35mm shooting and MF shooting a back that can do all that I require from it. But I am a rare breed of shooter and my choice would not be considered normal in a lot of circles.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    I'm in the south pacific.
    What Jack says is interesting to me, that there is approx the same pixel level detail but dynamic range, tonal range and colour fidelity is better. In technical terms, is this because of higher end components like true 16bit A/D converters more than anything? I'm assuming that the bigger sensor helps with extreme enlargements because the enlargement factor will never be as big as with 35mm, and obviously pixel counts are bigger. How else does MF achieve larger DR etc when, in essence, it uses the same sensor technology? I just find it interesting, more than anything. It's an amazing world we live in and I'm constantly amazed at what new technology brings. I wonder if the next big step will be true 16bit A/D converters (or even better) or something else in 35mm to increase dynamic range etc. Surely the noise issue and speed with 35mm is now a rather moot point?

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    I'm luckier than most then again I've got a lot invested.

    That said I have a choice of a Canon G-9 and G10 to shoot with. Likewise I have a Canon 1DsII and 1DsIII although the MkII is now fulltime IR. Then again I have a Phase One P45+. So I have seen the differences between the three different platforms. If I want to shoot just for our blog we use the G's. Sandy owns the 1DsIII and gets remarkable images. I went for several years without touching the 1DSII until just recently after I had it converted, I now use it for infrared work. I use the P45+ Cambo WRS exclusively for my serious landscape work.

    The best quality image work as far as I'm concerned comes from medium format and the P45+. Prior to the P45+ I used the P30+ and would have called it that way. This is not to say the IQ of the 1DsIII isn't good or usable as it certainly is. There are several times when Sandy and I shoot side by side and the resulting image while close in quality aren't better than the P45+. The bottom line as far as I'm concerned is that there simply no way a 35mm will stand up to medium format. Different 35mm will produce different results just as different medium format cameras will. So again as far as I'm concerned people need to compare the formats separately. and not against one another.

    Guy also brings up a good point. "Go big" I guess I fit the bill of not being normal as well as my hands down go to or with camera is the Cambo WRS/P45+ combination.

    Bottom line is that I'd respect a comparison when done within the same platform and by an independent reviewer and not the manufacture.

    Again the caveat of this being my 2 worth.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    You also need to consider the difference in sensors between 35mm and MF.
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Test:

    A. 1Ds3 + 50/1.4

    1.


    2.


    3.



    B. H3DII 39 + 80/2.8

    1.


    2.


    3.


    What do you think? Forget how is the exposure between 2

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Well, tough to say since the exposures are different and both files have been jpegged, but to my eyes on my monitor, the H file looks to have cleaner definition, more differentiation in colors and more tonality.

    This is but one of the *huge* issues when doing camera comparisons -- from capture through output it is basically impossible to keep all of the associated exposure and processing variables aligned.
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Well, tough to say since the exposures are different and both files have been jpegged, but to my eyes on my monitor, the H file looks to have cleaner definition, more differentiation in colors and more tonality.

    This is but one of the *huge* issues when doing camera comparisons -- from capture through output it is basically impossible to keep all of the associated exposure and processing variables aligned.
    I really don't understand?!!! sorry

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    For this kind of comparison, to me it is more like an "eye-exam"

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Well, tough to say since the exposures are different and both files have been jpegged, but to my eyes on my monitor, the H file looks to have cleaner definition, more differentiation in colors and more tonality.

    This is but one of the *huge* issues when doing camera comparisons -- from capture through output it is basically impossible to keep all of the associated exposure and processing variables aligned.
    Not meant as a criticism but with camera gear at this "level" are web JPEGS of any value for evaluation? Seems about as much value as JPEG "screen shots" with HT projectors.

    Steve

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Quote Originally Posted by tetsrfun View Post
    Not meant as a criticism but with camera gear at this "level" are web JPEGS of any value for evaluation? Seems about as much value as JPEG "screen shots" with HT projectors.

    Steve
    That was my point. Along with lighting, exposure, capture techniques and processing that all went on BEFORE the file got sRGB jpegged...
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Thanks for the post.
    The H file is definitely "better" in terms of sharpness and detail in this test. Do I also see some Moire? When the money is closer to being saved in the bank, I will have to do these tests myself. Nothing would beat hands on experience but this is good to see.
    Thanks again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    Test:

    A. 1Ds3 + 50/1.4

    1.


    2.


    3.



    B. H3DII 39 + 80/2.8

    1.


    2.


    3.


    What do you think? Forget how is the exposure between 2

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    The problem about the exposure in the both shots above is that i used a studio strobe one head with softbox for both shots at same power, so the lighting power and source was fixed, and i didn't change the subject as well which is that Banknote, i just changed the camera and lens, and both shots were on tripod and i put the same setting in camera on both, but seems it is still not scientific or not complete comparison test to your opinions, in all cases i don't think there will be any logical tests even you do 1000 tests on same subject between 2 or 3 cameras only in fixed environment for exposure, DR, color temperature, WB,...etc. i have feeling everyone will say something about any comparison test even done by experts and highest top master professionals.

    At the end, it will never happen that 35mm can be a medium format, or a medium format can be a large format, about quality of image even i don't know are people talking about sharpness or resolution or DR or tone or what? some said it is all those factors, fine, there is no perfect ultimate camera, and who can afford an expensive camera lucky him, if he can't then many 35mm DSLRs are the most popular in the world with some P&S and no need for many many comparison tests to make a P&S to be in same league of highest top 35mm DSLR or best 35mm can beat or surpass and blown away high end new top MF or even LF, i never saw one test online that is making a clear end or clear winner of overall, MF has about 50% of IQ [higher mp, better DR,...] and those DSLRs has another 50% of image quality [Faster AF, higher ISO,....], the best solution that i did and i will keep doing is to buy all different camera systems [from compact to LF, film & digital] and never look back to those most personal tests that their owners making it like the final judgment about the quality in Photography.

  35. #35
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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    I'm luckier than most then again I've got a lot invested.

    That said I have a choice of a Canon G-9 and G10 to shoot with. Likewise I have a Canon 1DsII and 1DsIII although the MkII is now fulltime IR. Then again I have a Phase One P45+. So I have seen the differences between the three different platforms. If I want to shoot just for our blog we use the G's. Sandy owns the 1DsIII and gets remarkable images. I went for several years without touching the 1DSII until just recently after I had it converted, I now use it for infrared work. I use the P45+ Cambo WRS exclusively for my serious landscape work.

    The best quality image work as far as I'm concerned comes from medium format and the P45+. Prior to the P45+ I used the P30+ and would have called it that way. This is not to say the IQ of the 1DsIII isn't good or usable as it certainly is. There are several times when Sandy and I shoot side by side and the resulting image while close in quality aren't better than the P45+. The bottom line as far as I'm concerned is that there simply no way a 35mm will stand up to medium format. Different 35mm will produce different results just as different medium format cameras will. So again as far as I'm concerned people need to compare the formats separately. and not against one another.

    Guy also brings up a good point. "Go big" I guess I fit the bill of not being normal as well as my hands down go to or with camera is the Cambo WRS/P45+ combination.

    Bottom line is that I'd respect a comparison when done within the same platform and by an independent reviewer and not the manufacture.

    Again the caveat of this being my 2 worth.

    Don

    Don, I fully agree with your views.

    For me, the only comparison that matters is a (say) 24 by 36 inch print, because that's what I shoot to produce. I have many 1DsII shots that look good at that size; I have Sony a900 shots that look better at that size, and P45+ shots which are the best at that size.

    (And comparisons using 72 dpi jpegs are useless in judging image quality IMHO.)

    Bill

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Agreed. It's all about output size.

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    Re: The dreaded question...

    Yes, too bad that i printed mostly at 17x22 and few at 24x36, to my eyes all the prints from MF were better than my 1DsII/1DsIII shots at all sizes, even i did shoot myself with MF and 1DsIII and printed them on passport photo sizes, to my eyes many people including me choose that one done by MF, it was even different look even i did both shots at the same time under same lighting, so i ended up that i will use all the cameras and my top favorite no doubt is MF.

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