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Thread: Strategy Advice

  1. #1
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    Strategy Advice

    Here is my scenario. I have canon gear, a leaf aptus 65 digital back, hassy H2 system, and Rollei x act-2 both the medium format cameras are of the H mount.

    I have decided to sell the Rollei because I just do not have the time to use the view camera. However, I do like the ability to have tilt-shift options.. mostly shift for landscapes. I realize that over the last year, I have used my Hasselblad/aptus mostly for landscapes. Of course at this point there are no real PC or shift options for the hasselblad and with them going to a closed system, it is not going to happen. I really do love the image quality obtained from the leaf back. I am supposed to hear from Leaf about the cost of a various upgrades in the next week or two. . If the cost of the upgrade is within reason, I have considered switching to one of the Mamiya systems but have not gotten great reviews from a few who have tried this route. The Hy6 is a great system but the lenses are cost prohibitive. The other problem with the MF system is the loss of portability (when traveling) or fast action shooting for birding.

    So this is what I have considered---- Keeping or upgrading the Leaf back, selling my complete hasselblad system, and getting an Alpa 12SWA, for landscapes, and keeping some canon gear for traveling and wildlife shooting--perhaps the 40D or 1DmkIII and keeping the 5D. In regards to the Leaf back, I would prefer a less cropped sensor (e.g. the 75) but would perhaps not need the 75S since i would not need a fast frame rate for my purposes.
    Any thoughts about this strategy? I am not sure what the Alpa would cost with the required accessories and perhaps 3 or 4 lenses to allow me to use the Leaf back but guessing about 16K and by selling the hasselblad and a few other items I probably would no longer need, I might be able to swing this. Mark

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark it really comes down to use and it seems your mostly doing landscape than the Alpa maybe a good choice. Less bulk also. Now the Canon gear your keeping for wildlife than maybe all you really need is the 1dMKIII 1.3 crop will help with distance. Personally i think some of us just have to much and i don't mean that in a bad way but it is just not getting you the investment or use out of it. Hell I'm down to one system and i may not have enough elsewhere. Would love to have a MF system
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    The Alpa is good for wide angle shots - I use a 12WA and 12TC with an Aptus 75 - the Alpa is best on a tripod - but it is a light system to carry around, I use a 24 and a 35 with he 35 getting most of the use - in my mind the weak link being the battery system on the MF digi back, I am looking at after market long charge battey pack. I like the low crop factor of the Leaf 75 and I dont need the speed of the 75s.

    I also have a pretty comprehensive Canon system of L series lenses and a 1dsmk11. This system is now redundant for my purposes as I find I use the M8 for general shooting. I will be selling Canon as buy back into Leica R over time.

    I am asking myself do I really need a MF system based on Rollei and Schneider glass to replace the H series Hasselblad? The answer for an amateur enthusiast is probably not.

    So for me I have resolved the issue by using Alpa for wide. M8 for candid work.

    This leaves Canon and Haselblad H - as big weighty non used things sitting on shelves....I think Haselblad may be the first to go in order to pay for some pretty exotic R glass I have in mind - or maybe Canon or both...LOL -

    My ambiiton is to end up with Alpa for (wide and large sized prints) and Leica M and/or R as my 35mm systems - the Synar/AFi will have to offer something really special for me to buy into an expensive new lens system.

    I dont need the constant upgrade cycle that Canon like to lock people into - and apart from the 85/1.2L I dont need any piece of glass that Canon make either.

    My only caveat on Canon is that if you liek shooting super tele - then they DO make excellent glass WITH autofocus. - i dont really have any use for this stuff currently - nad If I did - Leica make some exotic beauties...

    good luck there are no correct decisions - have fun.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Guy and Peter

    THanks for the comments. Peter have you tried using a longer focal length on the Alpa 12WA? I think i am leaning towards selling my hasselblad and keeping the Canon and getting an alpa/aptus set up. I am going to think through this more..

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    The Alpa is good for wide angle shots - I use a 12WA and 12TC with an Aptus 75 - the Alpa is best on a tripod - but it is a light system to carry around, I use a 24 and a 35 with he 35 getting most of the use - in my mind the weak link being the battery system on the MF digi back, I am looking at after market long charge battey pack. I like the low crop factor of the Leaf 75 and I dont need the speed of the 75s.

    I also have a pretty comprehensive Canon system of L series lenses and a 1dsmk11. This system is now redundant for my purposes as I find I use the M8 for general shooting. I will be selling Canon as buy back into Leica R over time.

    I am asking myself do I really need a MF system based on Rollei and Schneider glass to replace the H series Hasselblad? The answer for an amateur enthusiast is probably not.

    So for me I have resolved the issue by using Alpa for wide. M8 for candid work.

    This leaves Canon and Haselblad H - as big weighty non used things sitting on shelves....I think Haselblad may be the first to go in order to pay for some pretty exotic R glass I have in mind - or maybe Canon or both...LOL -

    My ambiiton is to end up with Alpa for (wide and large sized prints) and Leica M and/or R as my 35mm systems - the Synar/AFi will have to offer something really special for me to buy into an expensive new lens system.

    I dont need the constant upgrade cycle that Canon like to lock people into - and apart from the 85/1.2L I dont need any piece of glass that Canon make either.

    My only caveat on Canon is that if you liek shooting super tele - then they DO make excellent glass WITH autofocus. - i dont really have any use for this stuff currently - nad If I did - Leica make some exotic beauties...

    good luck there are no correct decisions - have fun.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Dear Mark
    I have tried some 'range focusing' with the 35mm on alpa 12TC and it works quite well-Digitars well calibrated
    I an anxious too to try the long FL

    Victor

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    I was looking at these at Badger the TC looks very nice. Wondering though how is shifting with the backs these days. i remember there was some serious shifting problems with these backs I was think a cheap way to get into it with a 35 lens and maybe a used 22 back. Than do stitching for the wide stuff.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I was looking at these at Badger the TC looks very nice. Wondering though how is shifting with the backs these days. i remember there was some serious shifting problems with these backs I was think a cheap way to get into it with a 35 lens and maybe a used 22 back. Than do stitching for the wide stuff.
    now, I got my 12TC at Badger, then two weeks later, Guy is handling them...

    anybody see M8's on the B&S


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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Guy - Shifting with digi backs and wides has issues. Also dont mean to be a kill joy - but I wouldnt use anything less than an (almost) full frame digi chip with the Alpa - why pay for the glass you are going to hang off it , only to not get the benefit.?? dont even think about it. That said if you can get a 22 megapixel veersion of a 1.1x crop factor back - go ahead.

    As for longer lenses unless you are in a stusio environment - how are you going to focus like you are used to with your MF or 35mm gear...remember this is your eyes only focus technique with hyperfocal DOF delivering for you...

    If I didnt have the Leaf back - there is no way I would look at Alpa the digi back allows you to scope out proper aperture and speed and to some extent focus - you can also shoot tethered via Alpa in a studio - but again no real advantage over a MF or decent 35mm outfit here - and the MF digi back on a proper camera with tilt and shift will do a much better job.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Peter do you mind if i can email you some specific questions.. i am markayAT stanford DOT edu

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark - no problem - email me at Peteyga at gmail.com

    ( I believe our emails are under our profile)?

  11. #11
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Thanks Peter had a feeling you were going to say exactly that. because you really need the big sensor here
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark, it seems to me that if you are used to working with a 6X7 view camera, then the ALPA should represent the same sort of deliberate work flow in the field without the weight and bulk. However, it depends to what degree you use T/S and to what end.

    I'm using a Rollei Xact with large coverage Rodenstocks for studio table-top ... mostly for depth-of-field control and selective focus using live view directly on the computer screen ... verses perspective correction. The back is a H3D/39 using a calibrated Kapture Group sliding back. The thought of dragging that outfit on remote location gives me back cramps.

    Of interest to current 645 users is the Hartblei T/S lenses which I've seen in action and am considering for my Mamiya 645 with Aptus 75s mounted. Take a look ....

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...rtblei45.shtml

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    BTW, here is the Hartblei site. There is an interesting 120/2.8 Super-Rotator T/S for 35mm. And a 80/2.8 S/R T/S for Canon EOS and Leica R ... which could be interesting for select focus portraits.

    http://www.hartblei.com/lenses/general_info.htm

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Guy,

    FWIW, I've spoken to a gal in NY who does landscapes, and an architect in Boca who does his own images, both of whom use the Alpa with Phase One. They're using the 12 SWA and using shift with great success. When you really get serious about an Alpa (later today!! LOL!), email Thomas Weber one of the owners. Nice guy and very honest about what it will OR won't do. Just my 2 cents worth. Still doing my own homework...read stashing cash !

    Cheers,

    Jim

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Hey all thanks for the great comments and the email discussions. I am of course even more confused than ever.. LOL.. just kidding.. just no perfect solution and many options. I did talk to a Alpa dealer today... pricey is all i can say

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Well i just added up the cost of the Alpa 12SWA, and minimum accessories and 3 lenses, 24XL, 47XL, and 80mm in alpa mount--- 16,500. i am going to have to start selling organs now too.... wow.. i guess i underestimated.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark,

    At least you have an in to harvest them !! LOL!

    Jim

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    LMAO.. i guess i could ask my colleagues to do the harvest at a discount.... or even trade for an L lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Stone View Post
    Mark,

    At least you have an in to harvest them !! LOL!

    Jim

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Hey Mark, you only need one eye to focus. Can't you get big bucks for a working eye?

    16 grand is pocket change ... I just dodged the Hy6 bullet ... Leaf AFi w/Aptus 75s, prism finder, and 4 Schneider AF digitally optimized lenses = $61,864.

    Not gonna happen.

    So, maybe the ALPA is a possibility !!!!! Think of all the money I'll be saving ... LOL !!!

    QUESTION FOR THE ALPA GURUs:

    I have some digital lenses for my Rollei Xact. Schneider Digitar 28/2.8 L-92 degree, Rodenstock APO-Sironar-digital 45mm, and a Rodenstock APO Sironar-digital 90/5.6 ... all
    in Copal 0. All three of these have good coverage for T/S ( where some digital view lenses don't).

    What accessories are worth the investment?

    Also, where do you guys shop for this? (I know what dealer you use can be very important).

    Can these lenses be used on the ALPA ... and which model ALPA would you recommend for the most versatile applications? Probably would use the Aptus 75s with Mamiya mount.

  20. #20
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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Marc i noticed Badger Graphics sells the Alpa gear, yea i erased my bookmark in fear of buying. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark1958: - re $16,500 cost - why do you 'need' 3 lenses - I can guarantee you that once you have tried the 24 and the 35 - and compared them against any other - you will just shoot these two. Think of the Alpa as an SWC - except you can get that same quality ( if not better) in various wides. You don't need a lot of wides. You dont need a 12with shift either unless you are into architectural photography - You only 'need' a 12TC and either a Schneider 24mm or 35 mm and their viewfinder with a appropriate mask- If you have a digi back then total cost should be far less than $10K - check Badger prices.

    Marc W: You have to use lenses mounted in Alpa helical mount from Alpa or made for Alpa in Alpa helical mount by Schneider or Rodenstock - everything is bought through Alpa dealers.
    re dealer help : there is nothing technical to get to know about Alpa - it is the anti gearhead camera really cos there is nothing to know - slap digi back on one side using mounting plate from Alpa which matches your back and lens on the other - really simple mounting system.

    one caveat -

    You may like to get your dealer to make any fine shim adjustments with your back mounting plate - once this is done you have a system which will maximise the potential of your digi back or film back and choice of lens.

    I have to get one of those white tent/bags you use to shoot product shots in and then I can do a pictorial walk through via photos of the Alpa system and how it all fits together and why I like it....
    Last edited by PeterA; 21st November 2007 at 04:19.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Thanks a LOT Guy ... I was safe not knowing where to buy ... now I'm sunk : -)

    Gotta re-read this whole thread to figure out what to get. I think I answered my own question about the lenses .. it looks like all new ones are mandatory.

    You are ALL pushers ... a Drug Lord would be envious : -)

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    A pusher with pictures ... just what I need : -)

    God, this forum is so good it's bad.

    Lalalalalalalalala ... I can't hear you.

  24. #24
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Damn this stuff is sexy looking
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Checking body parts all i have left are bad knees. wonder what i can get for that. Starting to want one of these. This is REALLY BAD
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Okay so who has the biggest sensor size. This is really starting to get me in trouble. So go with TC and a 35mm digitar but what back for cheap. i want LCD so i can see what i am getting
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Alpa 12SWA Body Price: $3,797.00



    Alpa 12TC Body Price: $1,581.00


    Alpa Apo-Alpar 4.5/35 mm Price: $2,990.00

    So a TC and Lens= $ 4571
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Did not see the 24mm which actually maybe perfect

    Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/24 mm XL


    Price: $4,075.00

    SKU: 160025020
    Size: 5.6/24m
    Medium Format Lens: Schneider Copal 0

    Qty:



    Email a Friend. No don't e-mail a friend they will hate you in the morning
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Damn this stuff is sexy looking
    Exactly, very handsome. My wife thinks so too! Thank god I do not need a system like this. This is way over my head and abilities as a photographer. But it is certainly very very cool looking.

    Guy, here is the Alpa website for more info:
    http://www.alpa.ch/index.php

    How many of these will you have in Moab? hehehe

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Strategy Advice

    I would really like to have one to try for all the attendees to have a shot at it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Wow.. a lot of responses so early in the morning.. at least it is here on the west coast.

    To comment on a few things, the camera is 4K, viewfinder, ground glass, and mount for the digital back are all extra. This brings the cost of the camera and min. accessories to about 7K. Then there are the lenses.

    My current schneider digitars can be converted to the helical mount for 1000 to 1400 each. Probably not worth it.. Better to sell those and start new.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    One idea.... ask my oldest to forgo a year of college... not a big sacrifice.. LOL

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark



    Look what u started !! LOL !! Log on to see Guy already buying the system. A REAL surprise ! He might beat me to it and a month ago didn't think I should ! How about an Alpa workshop ? Seriously, like Guy, which back has the largest sensor AND user friendly software ? Just lost my Phase One contact so am REALLY wide open !

    This is an expensive forum!

    Jim

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark,
    I've been considering the Alpa as well and was originally put off by the price, but I was probably pricing more gear than I need. I think an upgrade to the Aptus 75 from your 65 (for crop factor reasons) coupled with the Alpa TC and the 24 will give you most of what you are looking for at a "reasonable price". I believe there are workflow issues with regard to lens cast which you should look into before making the plunge. Lots of talk about this on various forums. The other alternative, which is what I'm doing, is stitching. I'm using the Contax on my 75S and find stitching with the Contax 35 3.5 Distagon (or the Hassy 40 4.0 CFE IF) is a piece of cake. I've stitched 3 rows high and 7 across with no problem (other than the size of the file!!!) with amazing results.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    David.. I have been hearing about the cast problem as well and truthfully there is a magneta or red cast to some of my shots with the Leaf back. I noticed when i compared a shot from the 5D and leaf Hassy when i printed a comparison. The 40CFE IF is an incredible lens but with the CF adapter that would be another 6K or so plus back upgrade. To be honest, I might just take delivery of the 1DsmKIII for now and see how much real difference there is compared to my hassy H2 and aptus 65. For my prints that are usually no larger than 16x24 the differences are not great. In some respects perhaps the Phase back is a better back.
    However, i could use the money from the sale of my MF to get the best 3rd party lenses for the canon although I have a few like the 21mm distagon and 35mm COntax PC, and leica 100mm macro..

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Mark,
    I've been considering the Alpa as well and was originally put off by the price, but I was probably pricing more gear than I need. I think an upgrade to the Aptus 75 from your 65 (for crop factor reasons) coupled with the Alpa TC and the 24 will give you most of what you are looking for at a "reasonable price". I believe there are workflow issues with regard to lens cast which you should look into before making the plunge. Lots of talk about this on various forums. The other alternative, which is what I'm doing, is stitching. I'm using the Contax on my 75S and find stitching with the Contax 35 3.5 Distagon (or the Hassy 40 4.0 CFE IF) is a piece of cake. I've stitched 3 rows high and 7 across with no problem (other than the size of the file!!!) with amazing results.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    I'm not totally sure about this but I think the Leaf sensor is made by Dalsa which has not typically had IR problems so this is a bit of a mystery. What are the forums saying as to cause and remedy? I am thinking about going the ALPA route myself for my landscape work so am very interested in what is out there.

    Woody Spedden

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Sinar and Leaf use Dalsa chips - even though Leaf is owned by Kodak...go figure -

    hmmm I thought I was a rare bird regarding exotic camera gear..good to be in such enthusiastic company! LOL

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    : Strategy Advice

    Woody

    Not you too !! Welcome to the Alpa craze. Now we can really get a quantity discount. I'm thinking about a PhaseOne back but that is still to be determined. Keep us posted on your back search.

    Jim

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark,
    As I wrote to you in details, I love the Contax 645 system for its great value and its incredible optics and camera functionality. But if you go with the back with adapter platform like the Sinar back then perhaps consider both the Contax 645 and Hy6 system.
    -Son
    ALPA (MAX, STC, TC) | CAMBO (Actus DB2, WRS-AE) | CONTAX | HASSELBLAD | LEICA | DB (CFV-16, CFV-39, IQ180, IQ360, IQ3100, P45+) | Lens (Canon, Fujinon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Rodenstock, Schneider, Zeiss)

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    I think my biggest mistake was selling my contax 645.. I got worried about it being an unsupported system.. so went with the hasselblad H2--- and look where that is now.

    I have appreciated the advice in this thread. Nonetheless, I am sitting tight at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    Mark,
    As I wrote to you in details, I love the Contax 645 system for its great value and its incredible optics and camera functionality. But if you go with the back with adapter platform like the Sinar back then perhaps consider both the Contax 645 and Hy6 system.
    -Son

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    I think my biggest mistake was selling my contax 645.. I got worried about it being an unsupported system..

    I have appreciated the advice in this thread. Nonetheless, I am sitting tight at the moment.
    Not sure what the big mystique is about the Contax 645. Nice camera system for it's time, even ahead of it's time ... but abandoned by Kyocera before they even backed out of the camera business. The promised leaf shutter lenses never materialized, The power issue was never fixed, and it was useless for AF in anything less than perfect conditions. If they had stuck around and the 645-II had made it to market, that would've been nice. But they didn't.

    Not sure what this means "so went with the Hasselblad H2--- and look where that is now."
    Hasselblad has gone on record concerning supporting that camera for a decade to come. It appears that those that want a 3rd party back will drive the value of the H2 nothing but up. I now wish I had kept my H2 ... but I didn't.

    BTW, after all the hype I'm not impressed with the Hy6, at least not $50,000. worth that's for sure.

    So, I think the concept of "sitting tight" and actually using what we have to make photos is a wise course of action in a very volatile market.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Marc reason i just not have jumped in yet. i would love to have that power for certain jobs but I'm a scared rabbit with MF on what shoe will drop next.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Smart thinking actually Guy. But I wouldn't hesitate if you can make money with a MF back. That in truth, is what it's really all about. ROI. If you spend more money, can you make more money?

    I could care less about the pissing contest of which MF system is better. They all work to deliver what the commercial market demands ... and that has become primarily digital. Whether it's MF digital depends on the work that needs to be done.

    I guarantee more shoe's will drop. The problem, it seems, is that the top brand "shoes" are getting more expensive, not less ... making it more difficult to realize that ROI.

    As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing in the current crop of the latest MF cameras/backs that represents any kind of true advancement that's worth the money ( and that includes the Hy6 at the price they're asking). Just incremental little improvements that anyone would be hard pressed to detect in the final product. The only thing that will change that is if sensor technology changes in a significant way. Like a 6X6 sensor of something like that.

    So IMO, the real value is in the previous models which have the same damned sensor as the latest greatest ... I just saw a P-45 with a one year guarantee from a reputable re-seller for $17,800. ... That was a $30,000. back just a year or so ago. Bet that P-45 shoots just as good as it did a year ago : -)

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    And that is the big issue is the ROI, big money has just gone south in many ways. In my mind i would have to create 50 k in one year to justify it just for that system alone not counting other gear related ROI like the M8 system I currently use . I could probably do it but it still makes me gun shy to invest that much. Your examples says one guy got a bargain and the guy selling it lost his shirt . Now if I sold all my M8 gear today , i would lose almost nothing in that type of comparision. Maybe only 5 k would be the loss on my 30 k buy in on the M8 and a 13k loss on that MF system just on the back. The MF back is the biggest loser, the system itself lenses and such will hold up pretty good, so you than go okay what MF will hold there value and really none of them will hold. I agree from what i have seen between Leaf and Phase is marginally different, so that war or battle is really flipping a coin to see what works best for you. There will always be features better on one than the other but a compromise somewhere else
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Marc let me explain what I meant... The contax system did not cost me a fortune compared to the Hasselblad H2 system. So what i meant is that I could have kept my Contax system and perhaps put more into the back or just saved the money. The point was that I went to the Hasselblad expecting that they were the most likely to develop this system with further technology --- better wide angle lens and a series of PC lenses as an example. So now the issue is that these new tools are coming out (e.g. 28mm wide angle) but for me to use it I have to spend another fortune, sell my existing system etc. So this is why I am not pleased with Hasselblad.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Not sure what the big mystique is about the Contax 645. Nice camera system for it's time, even ahead of it's time ... but abandoned by Kyocera before they even backed out of the camera business. The promised leaf shutter lenses never materialized, The power issue was never fixed, and it was useless for AF in anything less than perfect conditions. If they had stuck around and the 645-II had made it to market, that would've been nice. But they didn't.

    Not sure what this means "so went with the Hasselblad H2--- and look where that is now."
    Hasselblad has gone on record concerning supporting that camera for a decade to come. It appears that those that want a 3rd party back will drive the value of the H2 nothing but up. I now wish I had kept my H2 ... but I didn't.

    BTW, after all the hype I'm not impressed with the Hy6, at least not $50,000. worth that's for sure.

    So, I think the concept of "sitting tight" and actually using what we have to make photos is a wise course of action in a very volatile market.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark, that's a valid point. Yet imagine if you were doing the same but with a Mamiya 645 AFD-II and wanted a 28mm ... it's $5,000 !!!! 5 grand for a Mamiya 645 lens? I didn't pay much more than that to upgrade my H2 to a H3 PLUS the H/C 28 bought on Hasselblad's loyality promotion last year.

    Tilt/Shift is another matter. Contax never had one, and I never heard of plans to make one either. Rumors of one for the H camera continue, but that remains to be seen. I've yet to see a fully functional T/S lens that comes close to using a view camera anyway. Most everyday P/C applications can be accomplished with a 35 and today's software. I have a Mamiya RZ T/S adapter I've used for DOF control, and a buddy of mine uses a Buick big Fuji for the same reason ... but they are limited compared to my Rollei Xact with the 39 meg back.

    I had a complete Contax system including 2 cameras and all the lenses. When I picked up the H camera at a demo and it focused in light I knew the Contax would struggle with ... that was it for me. They're all flawed in some way or another .... but AF was the one area I didn't want to compromise on. So, it comes down to what's more important to each shooter.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    I do see your points and I do agree that none of these systems are perfect. What did you have to give hassy to go from an H2 to a H3D/28mm for 5K? Did that include the digital back.. ? That would be a fantastic deal. I would make that move in a minute if it were offered to me. I qualify for their HERO program too.

    I have to say on my MF shooting, I almost always manually focus albeit there are times having accurate AF is critical. I agree that the contax sometimes fell short there. i guess I was spoiled by the speed and accuracy of the Canon AF system. I will just hold back and wait to see what the trade in offers are and then decide. I really want to compare the 1DsmkIII with my current MF. WHile i realize that the DR and overall IQ will be better with the medium format set up-- it is a matter of degree for me. I did some printing of similar shots i took with the canon 5D and Hassy H2 and at 16x24 prints-- the differences were very marginal at most. With pixel peeping can see bigger differences.
    Hey next time i make it up to visit my grandmother, I will let you know.. You two are neighbors..


    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Mark, that's a valid point. Yet imagine if you were doing the same but with a Mamiya 645 AFD-II and wanted a 28mm ... it's $5,000 !!!! 5 grand for a Mamiya 645 lens? I didn't pay much more than that to upgrade my H2 to a H3 PLUS the H/C 28 bought on Hasselblad's loyality promotion last year.

    Tilt/Shift is another matter. Contax never had one, and I never heard of plans to make one either. Rumors of one for the H camera continue, but that remains to be seen. I've yet to see a fully functional T/S lens that comes close to using a view camera anyway. Most everyday P/C applications can be accomplished with a 35 and today's software. I have a Mamiya RZ T/S adapter I've used for DOF control, and a buddy of mine uses a Buick big Fuji for the same reason ... but they are limited compared to my Rollei Xact with the 39 meg back.

    I had a complete Contax system including 2 cameras and all the lenses. When I picked up the H camera at a demo and it focused in light I knew the Contax would struggle with ... that was it for me. They're all flawed in some way or another .... but AF was the one area I didn't want to compromise on. So, it comes down to what's more important to each shooter.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Do you guys know if the Mamiya ZD back can be used with the Alpas? I've been eyeing the SWA and a 35. Looks like Camera, back, and lens can be had for about $13k, assuming they work together.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Mark, my H2D was in the words of my re-seller "possessed by demons" so I got quite a deal on the H3D move ... plus Hasselblad upgraded the warranty to a 3 year hot swap for free. The 28mm was a one time "Loyalty" promotion and cost me something like $2,300. if I recall (my dealer also includes a quantity store discount for all the stuff I've bought, and the clients I've sent to him). Hey, we all gotta work the system : -)

    I've run a number of controlled tests between my now sold Canon 1DsMKII and various MFD cameras, and it couldn't even match my old 16 meg Kodak Pro Back, let alone the H3D/39 ... I've ordered the 1DsMKIII for fast paced, low light wedding stuff, but in terms of image quality I'm not holding my breath hoping it'll perform anywhere near a 39 meg 645 sized sensor. It's just physics.

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    Re: Strategy Advice

    Hi Mark,

    Along with DavidK, Son, Victor and others, I am one of the happy campers with a Contax 645. It is a mistake to fear buying/re-buying into this system just because it is no longer being manufactured. The manufacturing quantities were huge, and availability of parts or repair is not really an issue. I have experimented with all of the MF systems, including the Hasselblad H/V, Rollei 6008, X-Act and Hy6, Mamiya 645AFD/II, RB/RZ, Pentax 67, and Alpa TC. While all of these systems have their merits, I found the Contax 645 to cover almost all situations. In fact, the only real weakness (which is true for most other systems as well) is for wide angle under 40mm, in which either the Alpa or a camera with movements will give better results (... but I guess you went down that path already).

    Actually, I am writing a series of articles on just how powerful this system really is, especially in comparison to the "newer" MF camera entries. Here are just a few of the reasons why I stick with the Contax system, and which other alternative systems have not been able to improve upon:

    1) Unsurpassed portrait lenses (with Hasselblad V adapter). For portrait work, the IQ from the Hasselblad FE 110/2 and FE 300/2.8 lenses are unsurpassed by anyone. Rollei has a version of the 110/2, but it is huge to accommodate a leaf shutter (and leaf shutter lenses will have a limited future...more on that later). Ironically, the Hasselblad H cameras are unable to use these lenses.
    2) Unsurpassed mirror damping. Although the Mamiya 645 can accept the Hasselblad FE lenses as well, its damping mechanism is absolutely horrible. Even the newest Hy6/AFi camera is nowhere near that of the Contax 645 in terms of vibration damping. The Contax 645 can be hand held with high resolution down to 1/15 before seeing any blur in 8x10 print, which is impossible with the other cameras. Of course, I guess this depends on how much coffee you drink. For me, the Contax 645 is like having a MF camera with Image Stabilization.
    3) In-camera TTL flash meter. This is probably the least known advantage of the Contax 645. This produces "spot" on flash results, every time, with any lens.
    4) Unsurpassed macro performance (APO 120). For genuine macro, 1:2 or smaller, the Contax APO 120 is the finest lens for use without bellows. However, this lens does flare at larger scales (like ALL other such lenses).
    5) TTL Ring Flash (compact and affordable). The Sunpak DX-12R supports the Contax 645 in TTL mode for all lenses up to 77mm filter size. This is an incredible tool for the 120 macro and even lenses like the Hassy 110. There is no other portable and inexpensive TTL ring flash option for the other MF cameras.
    6) Unsurpassed AF Zoom lens (45-90). The focal length range is just right, size and weight just right, etc. The IQ from this lens is same or better than primes. In fact, at 70mm (where distortion is basically non-existent), few primes can compete with it (see MTF charts). And, at 90mm, you can get 1:4 macro as well.
    7) Tilt/Shift options. For cityscapes and general perspective control, the Hasselblad 40 CFE IF + PC-Mutar so far has yielded the best IQ. I am not an architectural photographer, so this suits most of my landscape/cityscape needs. (An interesting side effect of this setup is for close range, where the 40 IF lens uses floating elements to correct distortion; the PC-Mutar can be used at this close range and its shifting ability to stitch images.) If you need to go wider, or need more perspective control, then you need to go to LF...which does not seem to be your cup of tea, via your experience with the Rollei X-Act. From what I hear, you would be much happier with the Hassy 40 IF + (optional) PC-Mutar.
    8) Waist level finder. I heard Hasselblad may now offer this on their H3 cameras, but this is still not an option for the Mamiya 645 cameras.
    9) Vacuum Film back. When you need to use film, this option is the only one available for film flatness, to give you the best corner-corner resolution.

    Regards,

    David
    Last edited by David Klepacki; 12th December 2007 at 14:03.

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