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Thread: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Marc,
    Like Canon, Nikon and others have figured out that both microlenses and reducing the space between pixels really helps a lot. Yet as you point out, while the results are really pretty decent on the 35mm digital front, they still are not coming up close to the MF front, which appears to be poised for more gallops forward soon. (Sorry, could not resist the horsey thing.)

    LJ
    Most of the Pros I have contact with are less interested in even more pixel count (maybe top out at 55 or 60 in a true full frame 645 sensor) ... and far more interested in solutions to moire', more speed, tilt-shift lenses and other practical working needs.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Getting back to the original intent of the thread here's my "Pie-In-The-Sky" wish list ... mostly based on working needs blended with a pure wish list.

    A 6X6, 40 to 50 meg digital back with larger pixels ... that fits on a 6X6 leaf shutter camera ... AND fits a smaller 645 focal plane shutter camera with rotating mount for landscape or portrait orientation. Select fast APO lenses for the 645, and an array of specialty lenses for the Leaf shutter camera ... like some T/S optics, macro, etc.

    An AF camera with a viewfinder 4 corner array similar to that of the Contax N; Built-in Pocket Wizard 4 channel sender; Live view LCD with 10X ability like the Canon and Nikon ... (IMO, this belongs on studio cameras more than the DSLRs). Built in wireless transfer for studio work.

    The name for this system would be the "Marc-O-Matic.

    : -)

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Most of the Pros I have contact with are less interested in even more pixel count (maybe top out at 55 or 60 in a true full frame 645 sensor) ... and far more interested in solutions to moire', more speed, tilt-shift lenses and other practical working needs.
    Tend to agree with you on this. More pixels sometimes is just more pixels. I was thinking more about some of the software advances when I made the comment. In the shorter term, I would rather seen clean ISO bumped a bit more, and more lens feature options with less cumbersome adapters. Asking for a lot, but maybe not. Tilt-shift would be nice also, as would faster write times to reduce time between frames. In this last case, more pixels works against that as it means even bigger files to clear faster.

    LJ

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Getting back to the original intent of the thread here's my "Pie-In-The-Sky" wish list ... mostly based on working needs blended with a pure wish list.

    A 6X6, 40 to 50 meg digital back with larger pixels ... that fits on a 6X6 leaf shutter camera ... AND fits a smaller 645 focal plane shutter camera with rotating mount for landscape or portrait orientation. Select fast APO lenses for the 645, and an array of specialty lenses for the Leaf shutter camera ... like some T/S optics, macro, etc.

    An AF camera with a viewfinder 4 corner array similar to that of the Contax N; Built-in Pocket Wizard 4 channel sender; Live view LCD with 10X ability like the Canon and Nikon ... (IMO, this belongs on studio cameras more than the DSLRs). Built in wireless transfer for studio work.

    The name for this system would be the "Marc-O-Matic.

    : -)
    Marc,
    Glad that you clarified this and even named this new "fantasy camera"

    My original thoughts were more about assembling kits from what we know exists or may be coming to market soon. Not complaining, as this does start to show some line separation that I had mentioned earlier.....Hasselblad thinking "full frame" means 48x48, while Sinar was thinking 56x56. Neither is your 60x60, but Sinar looks a bit closer. Now, will Dalsa or Kodak be able to build this at some affordable cost? Time may tell.

    I do like the idea of the PW inside the camera for triggering strobes, rather than stuff hanging off the outside. Could drive all set-ups from the menu system.

    You missed mentioning ability to work things up in any RAW conversion software, and having all camera correction info ported with files to trigger some new plug-ins that will do the job in whatever processing app you want.

    Ah, so much to dream about.....back to reality for me for a bit....

    LJ

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    My MF kit:
    Based on Hasselblad CFV because of the availability of lenses, bodies and finders. PRICE! CF lenses are less than $1000 per for good copies, 150s can be had for $499, 50s for $550. Bodies, 500 C/M to 503CW are good to go with the CFV, you can go exotic with modified FP bodies, 200 series. Weight, my Hassey kit weighs about the same as my Nikon kit, BUT I would probably need to always use a tripod for best results. Simplicity, the 500 series is mechanical, no circuits to go out and no additional batteries.
    The setup:
    Older SWC (non Multicoat)
    50 CF
    80 CF
    110 F
    180 CFi
    2000FCW
    500C/M
    CFV back
    The SWC is great for a "walk around" camera, the 2000 FCW can be used on flash sync at less than 1/60th with the 110 F and the entire package costs less than $11K I love my M8 for travel work but I really need to have an SLR for other types of work, the MF solution is by far the best quality to utility solution that I have found.

    Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Marc,
    Glad that you clarified this and even named this new "fantasy camera"

    My original thoughts were more about assembling kits from what we know exists or may be coming to market soon. Not complaining, as this does start to show some line separation that I had mentioned earlier.....Hasselblad thinking "full frame" means 48x48, while Sinar was thinking 56x56. Neither is your 60x60, but Sinar looks a bit closer. Now, will Dalsa or Kodak be able to build this at some affordable cost? Time may tell.

    I do like the idea of the PW inside the camera for triggering strobes, rather than stuff hanging off the outside. Could drive all set-ups from the menu system.

    You missed mentioning ability to work things up in any RAW conversion software, and having all camera correction info ported with files to trigger some new plug-ins that will do the job in whatever processing app you want.

    Ah, so much to dream about.....back to reality for me for a bit....

    LJ
    Yeah, you're right LJ, I went off the deep end for a minute. Back to reality.

    In essence, based on what's available today, the here and now and much study, I have my ideal MFD set-up for the spectrum of work I do. Hasselblad H3D/39-II, full range of H/C lenses from 28mm to 300mm + 1.7X + extension tubes, CF adapter and full range of the Zeiss 500 series optics from the Fish Eye to 350, all E type extension tubes, and 1.4X & 2X E extenders; Metz flash systems including a powerful digital potato masher type; Hasselblad Image Bank for CF back-up. Rollei Xact-II 6X9 with a H mount Kapture Group sliding adapter for the H3D/39 back, range of Rodenstock digital APOs from 28/2.8 to 210/5.6.

    Rationale':

    High sync speed is very important to me. For some mobile commercial location work, and most all outdoor event assignments I use flash ... mostly as fill. 1/125th top sync doesn't cut it. It's why in the days of film, the Hasselblad 500 (and all of the knock-offs that followed) was the weapon of choice. Now, a 1/800th top shutter speed can be limiting when shooting using bright ambient light with a fast H/C lens like the 100/2.2 ... however in practice the H3D/39-II allows an ISO 50, and it is a rare time indeed that I'm shooting in light so bright that ISO 50 doesn't get me to 1/800th @ f/2.2 if I want it. ON those rare occasions I either use a B+W-MC ND, or Polarizer... which is a lot easier than carrying a whole second system just for a few shots.

    When in studio the 39 back mounted to the Xact provides access to optics that out perform anything made by anyone for MF cameras.

    Caveat:

    I do appreciate the use of focal plane shutter cameras. My prior experience was many years using a Contax 645AF & Kodak ProBack 645C ... then more recently a Mamiya 645AFD-II with a Leaf Aptus 75s. Using adapters, both of these cameras provided access to the full range of Zeiss FE lenses I already owned. There is something to be said for 1/4000th top shutter speed when using the 110/2FE @ f/2 ... though in practice, depending on the ISO, I rarely needed 1/4000th.

    Again, in practice, the Contax had to be supplemented with another ProBack for use on my Leaf Shutter RZ. The Mamiya 645/Aptus simply fell into disuse, however the Aptus did fit the RZ ... so one back filled the dual application for leaf shutter & focal plane shutter cameras.

    Conclusion:

    Now, over the years, I've simply come to the conclusion that I don't like maintaining all these MF systems, various propriety sync cords, battery chargers, proprietary camera & digital back batteries, proprietary adapter plates ... and I really don't like supposedly mobile cameras with batteries hanging off the digital back, nor care for stop down metering with dumb adapters, nor anything requiring a Rube Goldberg sync cord connection ... my experience has been that the more stuff you add the more it gets in the way of shooting, and the more that can go wrong. As the saying goes: "**** happens", the more **** you add, the more that **** happens.

    Addendum:

    The one non-rational thing I would still consider is a Sinar back for my beloved Hasselblad 203FE system. Strictly personal. There is absolutely no reasoning in a business sense, none. I would be just for me. But I doubt I'll blow that kind of money on a personal indulgence in the current economic climate unless I could find a nice used or demo unit ... but I don't even know where to look for one. A mobile CF 22 meg Sinar back would do it for me.
    Last edited by fotografz; 12th April 2008 at 03:03.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Marc,
    I would say you are probably teetering between my "Heavy Lifting" and "No Holds Barred" categories for sure. Your rational and gear selection make sense for the variety and kinds of work you do, and your images display that. Your comments about the leaf shutter capabilities also make a lot of sense. Again, not ruling out focal plane, as it does have its place also.....sort of like my appreciating the 1/8000th top end shutter speed on the M8 when shooting with the Noticlux outdoors at times ;-) This is still one of the things I think about with respect to more casual shooting in brighter light, but there are ways to mitigate things. If the shooting has mostly flash, even as fill, as you mention, then the leaf shutter with higher sync may be preferred. I still need to think through uses myself on this point.

    Appreciate your comments about the hassle of maintaining too much disparate stuff. Honestly, THAT was the part that started to sound more daunting than practical. Folks still have their fav glass and a variety of options, so I am sure some of it is needed, as well as those that may not be working under time and budget deadlines for some shoots. But is seems that there some more "practical" routes for those solutions also, and that is good to hear and know.

    Adding that Sinarback to your 203FE will probably tip the balance to "No Holds Barred" for your kit, at least until the "fantasy camera" comes along ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    My MF kit:
    Based on Hasselblad CFV because of the availability of lenses, bodies and finders. PRICE! CF lenses are less than $1000 per for good copies, 150s can be had for $499, 50s for $550. Bodies, 500 C/M to 503CW are good to go with the CFV, you can go exotic with modified FP bodies, 200 series. Weight, my Hassey kit weighs about the same as my Nikon kit, BUT I would probably need to always use a tripod for best results. Simplicity, the 500 series is mechanical, no circuits to go out and no additional batteries.
    The setup:
    Older SWC (non Multicoat)
    50 CF
    80 CF
    110 F
    180 CFi
    2000FCW
    500C/M
    CFV back
    The SWC is great for a "walk around" camera, the 2000 FCW can be used on flash sync at less than 1/60th with the 110 F and the entire package costs less than $11K I love my M8 for travel work but I really need to have an SLR for other types of work, the MF solution is by far the best quality to utility solution that I have found.

    Al
    Al,
    Thanks for sharing your selections and kit build. Your rationale on price, weight and availability of components is not lost, and your selection of things looks to cover a lot of ground for a fairly compact kit.

    May I assume that your target use is more personal, plus having the ability to contract work as needed? Not that this is prying or critical, but sometimes it helps to understand selections by knowing what folks are shooting or are planning to shoot. Your gear sounds light and portable enough for travel and easy use, as you mentioned the SWC as a good walk around tool. I recall wanting that camera when it first came out. At the time, I was heavy into shooting Nikon professionally, and had just unloaded my Hasselblads that I used in the studio. My "love affair" with the SWC never really died, I guess.

    Sounds like you are comfortable with your choices also, and that is good to hear.

    LJ

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    why cant the 300/ 2.8 (and 1.7) be used?? I assumne you are talking about the $25,000 system. it is just another V lens, so the adapter should work, yes? ...
    Victor
    Victor, the Hasselblad 300/2.8 lens will work for you, but not for Peter. This lens does not use a leaf shutter, so it will only work on the Hasselblad 200 series cameras or any camera with a focal plane shutter that can accept the Hasselblad V mount via an adapter (like Contax 645 or Mamiya 645).

    The Hasselblad H series cameras are limited to lenses with leaf shutters only, even with their CF adapter. And, to be fair the Hy6 is also limited to leaf shutter lenses only.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    LJ,

    I think we can all agree that no one camera does it all. I think you have to prioritize what are the most important features for you to have on your system, and list them linearly or at least grouped linearly, with the intent of trading off "lower" groups for "higher" groups. For example, your main festures could be (in random order here):

    Shutter speed range (and possibly granularity, like 1/3 stop?... 1/10 stop?)
    Max Flash Sync (and flash capabilities in general)
    Autofocus capability (including focus confirmation of manual lenses)
    Lens selection (e.g., 28mm a must? 300/2.8 a must? APO lenses? ...)
    Adaptability for alternative lenses (e.g., Hasselblad V on Contax 645...)
    Format (6x6 or 645)
    Viewfinder selection (Waist Level Finder availability?)
    Mirror Lock-up (or Mirror Pre-release?)
    Technical movements (e.g., bellows, t/s lenses, t/s adapters)
    Size, Weight, Hand-hold ability
    Cost

    I explicitly left out MFDB considerations. This is because I believe that ultimately a photographer interacts with his environment/subject through the lens. It is how he chooses to render that moment in time, whether it be freezing the action or creating a sense of motion or narrowing the DOF to emphasize a particular subtlty....etc. The selection of a MFDB should follow and support your choice of how you wish to capture your images.

    In some sense, it is similar to film choice. I don't know of anyone who first decided on a film choice, and then built their camera system around that.
    These are only my opinions of course. In reality, economics may force you one way or another. But at least, you should have a vision of where you would like to be.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    I really need to read this thread but at first glance great stuff folks.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    LJ,

    I think we can all agree that no one camera does it all. I think you have to prioritize what are the most important features for you to have on your system, and list them linearly or at least grouped linearly, with the intent of trading off "lower" groups for "higher" groups. For example, your main festures could be (in random order here):

    Shutter speed range (and possibly granularity, like 1/3 stop?... 1/10 stop?)
    Max Flash Sync (and flash capabilities in general)
    Autofocus capability (including focus confirmation of manual lenses)
    Lens selection (e.g., 28mm a must? 300/2.8 a must? APO lenses? ...)
    Adaptability for alternative lenses (e.g., Hasselblad V on Contax 645...)
    Format (6x6 or 645)
    Viewfinder selection (Waist Level Finder availability?)
    Mirror Lock-up (or Mirror Pre-release?)
    Technical movements (e.g., bellows, t/s lenses, t/s adapters)
    Size, Weight, Hand-hold ability
    Cost

    I explicitly left out MFDB considerations. This is because I believe that ultimately a photographer interacts with his environment/subject through the lens. It is how he chooses to render that moment in time, whether it be freezing the action or creating a sense of motion or narrowing the DOF to emphasize a particular subtlty....etc. The selection of a MFDB should follow and support your choice of how you wish to capture your images.

    In some sense, it is similar to film choice. I don't know of anyone who first decided on a film choice, and then built their camera system around that.
    These are only my opinions of course. In reality, economics may force you one way or another. But at least, you should have a vision of where you would like to be.
    David,
    All good points, and I agree with the prioritization concept. I also agree that the glass, and how it renders things is very important. The harder part may be knowing those various nuances among the various lenses, just as it is with the Leica lenses. Since most of the glass is pretty decent already, the issue may be more of really figuring compatibilities.

    I understand what you are saying about the backs not driving the choices in systems, but this is getting back to some of my other questions about what some systems are now delivering through firmware and software, and that may or may not be translated to some backs over others. The case in point is HC lenses on a Hasselblad body going to a Sinar or Phase back. If all the data goes to the files, then it could be extracted and used. If it does not, some of the advantages of the camera/lens may be lost. This is the part where I think the film analogy breaks down, since the backs are now a more integral part of the system and also have their own thing going on. This is the part that it really not clearly spelled out anywhere, but folks with experience know from using things. (Hasselblad, by closing its H3DII system has really brought this point to mind, and its Phocus software looks to underscore that. Not saying it is good or bad, just that all of that earlier interchangeability is coming into question a bit more.)

    This is a very helpful discussion and train of thinking.

    LJ

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Al,
    Thanks for sharing your selections and kit build. Your rationale on price, weight and availability of components is not lost, and your selection of things looks to cover a lot of ground for a fairly compact kit.

    May I assume that your target use is more personal, plus having the ability to contract work as needed? Not that this is prying or critical, but sometimes it helps to understand selections by knowing what folks are shooting or are planning to shoot. Your gear sounds light and portable enough for travel and easy use, as you mentioned the SWC as a good walk around tool. I recall wanting that camera when it first came out. At the time, I was heavy into shooting Nikon professionally, and had just unloaded my Hasselblads that I used in the studio. My "love affair" with the SWC never really died, I guess.

    Sounds like you are comfortable with your choices also, and that is good to hear.

    LJ
    LJ,
    My use is personal, and my intent was to have the highest quality output at the best price. Weight was a consideration in this kit, as mentioned, my Nikon set, D1x, 20, 70-200 VR, 85TS, 17-55, is very heavy. When the M8 came out, it replaced the Nikon as my travel set.
    While I love the image quality from the M8, a range finder is not made for macro applications. So when evaluating a higher resolution solution, the low prices of the Hasselblad lenses and adaptability of the V system to various MFDB companies was very appealing. Now that the prices of the MFDB backs are more inline with high end 35 DSLRs, I felt that it was a time to switch.

    Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Probably been covered already but the choice of camera is a factor which can impact which system you choose. I found the menu driven Hasselblad less to my liking than what I considered the less complex Contax. Sort of like the difference between the Leica and the Nikon D3. I've gone nuts looking for the D Lighting selection in the Nikon menu and that's on a camera where you can actually see the screen. Even with a screen shade I find the Aptus unreadable for anything but the histo if I'm outdoors in sunlight.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    ".. H series cameras are "limited" to lenses with leaf shutters only, even with their CF adapter. And, to be fair the Hy6 is also limited to leaf shutter lenses only..."

    yes and what a limit it is ..a bunch of crappy glass for sure - totaling how many CF/CFE lenses? oh and then the equally crappy H series lenses totaling how many lenses?

    People should remember to consult their DOF charts to understand that even an f3.5 'wide open' aperture delivers a very very thin focal plane on even a 150mm H series lens used as close as ten feet...this reality is made worse in some ways ( two edged sword) by teh resolving power of the backs..any slip up in technique and you will pay for it..
    Last edited by PeterA; 12th April 2008 at 16:55.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Probably been covered already but the choice of camera is a factor which can impact which system you choose. I found the menu driven Hasselblad less to my liking than what I considered the less complex Contax. Sort of like the difference between the Leica and the Nikon D3. I've gone nuts looking for the D Lighting selection in the Nikon menu and that's on a camera where you can actually see the screen. Even with a screen shade I find the Aptus unreadable for anything but the histo if I'm outdoors in sunlight.
    This is obviously a highly subjective area of discussion and there can be no right or wrong, best or worst ... only preference based on experience.

    IMO however, one needs the experience to make any declarative call concerning operational and functional capabilities.

    How much experience have you had shooting with an H camera David?

    It's actually quite a simple camera to master. All of the most used functions are button based and located for control with the right thumb (exposure control) and index finger (flash control and AF selection) . I can adjust exposure mode, exposure compensation, flash compensation, AF mode and lock AE, or any function I've assigned to the user button ... without removing my eye from the viewfinder. For these operational functions I never look at a menu ... it's all in the viewfinder and visible in any light bright or dark. It takes about 20 minutes to get it all down pat.

    The more complex grip menu based functions are for less used stuff the Contax 645 doesn't even offer and never will ... like altering mirror delay, strobe delay functions and the like ... plus anything else they decide to add via firmware updates later.

    As far as digital is concerned, if you put a digital back on a Contax, you are into menu control anyway ... so it depends on the back you chose.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    My experience with the H camera was limited to about an hour of testing during which time the back wasn't functioning properly due to a recent firmware upgrade. It was unfortunate timing since all those issues have been subsequently resolved and Hasselblad has come a long way in the past few years. There's no question in my mind that the H camera can do everything the Contax can... and more. The point I was trying to make is that they do it differently. As far as the menu system on my Aptus back, the only thing I use it for is formatting and changing the ISO.

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    Re: The MF kit...ideas and reasons...

    THANKS to everyone for a truly GREAT thread
    filled with intelligent, thoughtful comments
    and without axes to grind, and blind brand-loyalty.

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