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Thread: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

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    Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Hi there!

    My name is Paul and I'm a student interested in all kinds of photography. I live in Switzerland. I stumbled upon your website because of the wealth of medium format information here ... which is amazing to read!

    I've been lurking around here for a long time ... and I am humbled by all the great photos shown around here!

    I decided to finally post something because I'm in dire need of advice! I'm considering getting a new Hasselblad camera (I've been saving for ages) and saw that there are some amazing deals around specifically those pre-owned CPO cams. Here too, in Europe.

    On the other hand I already got a P30 system and am annoyed a little by the crop factor.

    So I have two options now: a) trade in for a h4d-50 which will cost me about 22k $ or get a pre-owned 39MP for about 12k $ and still sell my p30. I guess there's a 15k $ difference in money here. I could use some of it to get a few lenses. On the other hand I would like to own new gear that is cutting edge.

    So, from functional point of view ... do you think it is worth it going for the h3d-50?

    Is this a huge difference between these two systems (excepting the h4d body improvements such as true focus) ?

    Phase one is even more crazy, it have to lay down about 24k for a p45+ set.

    To me something seems terribly chaotic about the price landscape in MF world ...

    Regards and thanks for your thoughts!

    Paul

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    If I read you right, you are prepared to spend $15-25k on being "a little annoyed" with the crop factor? That is an awful lot of money. Is there something else you hope to get from it?

    Hasselblad lenses are generally much more expensive than Mamiya lenses second-hand. Take a look around to get an idea of what the total system-change would cost, not just the back and camera.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul – The P30 is capable of stunning images regardless of the crop. I shot landscape with a P30+ using as wide as 28mm and as long as 300mm and was very pleased. The sole reason I no longer have the P30+ is that I moved to a technical camera and needed a back that could accommodate it. While I shoot solely landscape, there are others here who have made a decent living shooting fashion, portrait and life style with a P30/P30+ and who just recently moved to the P40/P65.

    Carsten also has a valid point in his response.

    Best of luck and welcome to the forum.

    Don
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    You didn't mention how many lenses you currently already have for your existing system, nor what camera your P30 is mounted on ... assuming it is a Mamiya body, which one? Lenses? If Mamiya, what quality level are they (older versions verses the new D type from Phase One)? If minimal, or just the 80/2.8, then swapping systems is no big deal ... if they are D type and you have a decent lens collection, then swapping can become a bit more of financial concern.

    The Hassey H4D/50 will improve resolution over the H3D-II/39 (that currently is selling for about $18,000 new with lens from Hasselblad ... at least per Hassey's current USA H3D-II Promotion ... as existing stock is purged for the new H4D versions). But the IQ improvement between the 39 and 50 will not be great ... slightly finer detail and less Moiré will be the benefit over the 39. The difference between the H4D and H3D-II camera is also evolutionary except maybe for the two new main benefits: the True Focus innovation and a 3" LCD with double the resolution of the 3" H3D-II LCD.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul,
    If your a true artist and purchase based on feelings, emotions and you love cameras then it is the H4D-50 for you and nothing else. If you are a business man then I recommend you sell that p30 and get out of MFD and come back in about two years when MFD switches over to CMOS. The prices on current MFD tech is going to tank then and lots of perfectionists like you are going to get creamed (unless your independently wealthy).

    MFD is for working professionals who need the resolution and for perfectionists with money. If you don't fit that description you are always going to be second guessing yourself and feeling like your never going to be as good as the forum people you look up to. All the romance with MFD that gets posted is posted at web resolutions which is a real waste of the format. Your falling in love with a Bugatti Veyron that can only do its top speed for 30 minutes then it runs out of fuel.

    If my post is offensive to you please forgive. On your journey it is always nice to run across a critical post as it helps to bring the best out in you. Good luck on finding your ideal camera.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Carsten, Don, thank you for your advice. Among other things, I would like to own a "full frame" back so that I have all options available - such as shooting with a technical camera. Also, I'm not so happy with the Mamiya body. I find it horrible still having to use old-fashioned batteries for the AFD II body. Even when I recharge them fully - just one or two days later they are discharged. From what I gather, the Hasselblad cameras have li-ion batteries that are more practical.

    Regarding the lenses: You're right, mamiya is cheaper. What is the consensus, are both manufacturer's lenses in the same ballpark in terms of quality?

    Yes, I know, it's crazy. It's not rational anymore. But practically speaking - the difference between a h3d-39 and h4d-50 is almost not visible, am I right? I mean doesn't it just come down to a few more inches I would be able to print using those 10 more megapixels?

    Or said differently: If I owned a 39 MP back now, would there be any good reason to upgrade to a 50 megapixel back? If there was a 39 MP back and an 80 MP back the difference would be clear - but in this case?

    Thank you for your thoughts,

    regards

    Paul

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    PCunite, I just saw your post. It's not offensive at all. Maybe I need such clear-cut analysis to see what it is all about. Thinking of it, I well may be the irrational perfectionist. Irrational, because I'm not wealthy ...

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Hi Paul, and welcome to GetDPI!

    Here's my take...

    I understand the crop factor issue --- if you are a "wide" style shooter then the crop can be somewhat limiting if the available selection of lenses isn't wide enough for you.

    That moves you to a full-frame solution, and your question now becomes which one. The 39MP choice you indicate is going to be a 6.8 micron sensor back, the 50MP option a 6 micron sensor. Two issues here as I see it. First is absolute file size -- the big difference between these files is going to be enlarge-ability to same net detail in the print, and then secondly, crop-ability of the file after the fact and still maintaining adequate image quality for the desired print size. Second issue is technical advantages in the newer back. The 39MP back is "older" technology, and depending on which back can be 1 or 2 generations older, so may not have some features that the newer 39MP back or the newest 50MP back does.

    Let's deal with the second issue first since it's relatively easy --- Does the 39MP solution you're considering limit you in any way technically compared to what the newer back does? (Only you can answer this for the type of shooting you intend to do, so study the spec sheets and ask specific questions as they arise .)

    Now back to pixel pitch and total file size. Having owned both a 39MP 6.8 micron back and a 60MP 6 micron back, I can tell you there is a difference in net file detail assuming your lenses are up to capturing it. Let me explain more what it is though. If I take a 39MP file and print it native -- meaning no resizing -- at 360PPI, I get a 15x20 inch print. If I do the same with a 50MP file, I get a 17x23.5 inch print -- not a lot of difference, not a "full" jump in print size, but 15% or so of crop-ability to tune the final composition and maintain the same net image quality. If I print both out to 24x32 inch prints, I'll need to put a loupe on the print to see the detail advantage in the 50MP print. OR, if I take both up to 36x48 inch prints, I'll have visibly superior fine detail in the 50MP print using my unaided eyes. So the real question here becomes one of convenience in the crop-ability, and one of desired maximum print size.

    Oh, and I should make clear that unless you have the 50MP 36x48 print next to the 39MP 36x48 print to compare them directly, you won't see the differences!

    Hope this helps,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    PS: I assumed you already owned Hassy H given your initial comments, but now that you've clarified that, I will add some comments on the Mamiya.

    The AFD2 body is a good body, but a leap behind the newest DF body in performance. I would say that right now, the DF body can compete head-to-head with the Hassy H body on most relevant levels, Hassy's new focus features not withstanding.

    Glass -- Virtually all of the Mamiya glass I own performs as well or better than my current sensor, which is another way of saying it is excellent glass.

    Note here I am not bashing or claiming superiority for either platform. It is my honest opinion they both offer state-of-the-art performance with each having their own sets of benefits and deficits and are capable of producing the best images possible. Again, I view this as personal choice based on features and breadth of lens choices. Moreover, if a hassy H shooter with an H60 back mounted were standing next to me with my DF body and P65+ back and we shot the same image with the same focal length lens, then printed them up to 36x48 for you to compare, I suspect only the two photographers could pick with certainty their own prints, and only then because they worked up the raw file for the final print

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Wow, Jack, you must be a scientist from the way you break it down! Where nice. Thank you. Then, if I may ask, what was your primary motivation to upgrade?

    With regard to technical aspects: Are there any documented improvements in sensor quality? From what I know the 50MP sensor in the h4d-50 is just the same technology as the 39 MP sensor but with a smaller pixel pitch. Both are Kodak sensors. Phase One at least incorporated new technologies in every new sensor generation. First there were the +backs with longer exposure capabilities and then the sensor plus technology.

    But Hasselblad is only innovating with the True Focus technology considering their previous product, the H3d-39, am I right?

    ...

    Regards

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Jack, do you as well experience heavy battery consumption with the Mamiya DF body?

    Regards

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul:

    First off, my primary reason for upgrading is because I am a gear whore, plain and simple! Seriously, there were two main reasons I upgraded. First was I preferred the "look" from the P65+ file. It is Dalsa chip and has a smoother appearance than the Kodak sensor. Mind you this is a very subtle difference, so subtle it's difficult to explain or demonstrate, but basically anybody who's shoot a lot of MF can see it and will agree. Second reason I upgraded was for enhanced features in the newer back, mainly superior battery life and pixel binning -- the latter gives me a very usable 15MP of ISO 1600 or 3200. Third reason was crop-ability convenience in manipulating the larger file. Forth and not insignificant reason was Phase had an incredible upgrade deal at the end of the year that was just too good to pass up -- and by taking advantage of the incentives, I ended up recapturing a lot of the depreciation hit I took on the older system, and hence a far better residual value on my gear balance sheet!

    DF body. Yes, the power consumption is GREATLY improved -- like batteries last two or even three times as long as they did in the AFD2 or 3 body. Serious improvement here. Other improvement is AF speed -- maybe 2x as fast -- and accuracy, as well as much shorter shutter lag.

    And these latter two enhancements combined with the pixel binning/high ISO on the newer back gave me the ultimate incentive to upgrade --- with them, at least for my style of shooting, meant I had little need for my DSLR kit anymore and was able to sell it. (And I just did that after confirming the new MF combo would indeed perform adequately in that arena for my needs.) Thus, at the end of the day, my cost to "upgrade" to the bigger back and newer body was covered by the DSLR gear I was able to sell.

    Re sensor technology -- I did not mean to imply the base Kodak 6 micron sensors had some superior technology over the base Kodak 6.8 sensors. What I meant was the newer BACKS that incorporate them have some onboard technical improvements that may or may not be important to you, like improved noise handling, better high ISO, faster write speeds, larger buffers, better battery life, etc. In my case the Dalsa sensor did offer up the ability to pixel-bin, which the Kodak sensor does not. In the case of Phase (not sure on Hassy), the Kodak sensor offers up the ability to do a 60 MINUTE exposure, longer if it's cold out, while the Dalsa is limited to 2 minutes under ideal conditions, 1 minute under normal conditions.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul – While Mamiya’s lenses are less expensive however their image quality is just as good. If I were buying Mamiya lenses today I would only buy the newer “D” lenses as they are what I had been while using the Phase One AFDIII and they proved themselves to me.

    My suggestion is to listen very carefully to what Jack said as I doubt anyone could have said it better.

    Don
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Yes, Jack really said it very well. I take from it that if money is an important factor the price differential isn't really worth it. This is a great insight.

    Still there are some huge differences withing the Mamiye lens lineup with regard to price. Are the D lenses new optical formulas or is there also some marketing hype to it with the corollary that I will fare as well buying older lenses on ebay? I read a post from Guy where he lauds the new 150 mm; it's also a faster lens, and apparently it is sharper wide open. But what about the 45 D for example, is it any better? I'm asking, since the going price for one of those old designs in this focal length seems to be around 500$ ... whereas the D version costs at least 4 times as much ...

    Finally, do you all shoot with 6 rechargeable batteries? Why doesn't produce Mamiya a li-ion pack just as all 35mm dslrs? I find this really awful.

    Regards

    Paul

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul,

    This is a dangerous forum to be asking for guidance on how to spend your money....

    The P30/P30+ really is in a sweet spot as a MFDB---very capable, nice files right out of the box. Not too taxing on the computer. Btw, my old computer handled P30 and P45+ files with no issues---it had a cow when it saw the P65+ files....and I had to spend much more on a new computer. The second thing to consider is that P30 crop factor can also be a blessing in disguise. The slight crop effectively gets rid of softness in the corners that you may experience with earlier Mamiya lenses, and even a new D series lens such as the wide angle 28mm. Buying into a higher resolution sensor may also mean limiting yourself more to the newer D series Mamiya/Phase lenses at a much higher cost. And, there is no cheap entry to the D series glass, except maybe for the 80 D that comes with the Phase 645AF/AFDIII body. No marketing hype---the D series lenses are that good.

    Carsten's advice is probably the most rational---but when spending large amounts of money on toys, er tools, being rational has no place in the medium format forum...

    Seriously, though, at the MF Digital level----all of the backs produce stunning quality images. Asking the right questions will steer you into the right platform and MFDB for your needs. Jack and I were just talking yesterday, there just aren't that many options in the MF realm.

    ken

    p.s. I have found that the *trick* to long battery life in the Mamiya/Phase camera bodies is to use the Energizer Ultimate Lithuim AA batteries. Lighter weight too.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Finally, do you all shoot with 6 rechargeable batteries? Why doesn't produce Mamiya a li-ion pack just as all 35mm dslrs? I find this really awful.

    Regards

    Paul
    Rumor has it a "grip" for the DF body is coming that will use the same Phase Li-ion batteries, to power the body.... I won't believe anything until it is released, but adding a grip has got to make the body that much more of a heavy monster....

    I'll stick the to Energizer Ultimate Lithiums AAs.....

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    If there is not a commercial reasononing behind it, then it is for happiness with the result, right?

    My take on it is, that if you are not 100% certain that you really need this upgrade you will end up frustrated afterwards. With this amount of money you can so many things.

    After all, these decisions you should not do with your mind -do them with your heart. The mind is easily fooled believing in numbers. 50 MP only look great in comparison to 30 MP or lesser. However, they look miserable in comparison to 100 MP.


    good luck and be easy with it, otherwise it is not worth it.

    Tranquil

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul,

    Yes, the "D" lenses are superior, at least in the case of the 45 and 80 -- most notable is corner performance and wide-open performance are vastly improved. As for the other D lenses, the 150/2.8 and 75-150 are new designs and "D" only. The only lens I'm not sure the "D" means a lot is on the 120 Macro -- it was an excellent lens before, except showed some weirdness wide open, so perhaps the 120 D is better wide open, just not sure there.

    The 150D is totally usable wide open at f2.8, but DoF is so paper thin that in a normal head-and-shoulders portrait you'll have your model's eyeball in sharp focus and her eyelashes will be out. The 75-150 D is quite good at f5.6 and excellent by f8. The 45D is the biggest improvement -- I never found a 45 I was happy with as they had horrible corners -- until the latest D model, which only loses it at the very extreme corners on my P65+ back. 28D is very good, but needs to be stopped down to f16 to really shine on the full-frame backs.

    Batteries: I am using NiMh rechargeables in my DF body. To put it in perspective, I would usually get a day of shooting per charge with my AFD3 body. I have had the DF for 2 weeks now and taken it on 6 shoots. I am still running on the second set of rechargeables, and the first set was the partially used set I pulled from the AFD3 body! So yes, I repeat, battery life out of the new DF body is EXCELLENT!
    Jack
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    The most I could find on the 120mm D is that it has the "extra pins" to allow better/faster cpu communication. I could find nothing on any differences on the glass itself over the previous generation. The D series 120mm might be the better choice if you have the P40+ or P65+ to take advantage of the electronic connections...

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul, one piece of advice I have heard a few times elsewhere is that since you already have a really capable kit, perhaps upgrade to the DF, and then spend the rest of the money on a huge trip, or studio equipment and a few top models, or whatever in that vein. You will see a much bigger difference to your photos and your career than from a small step up in resolution.

    Unless you print absolutely massive prints all the time, and the P30 come up short

    One other minor point that I didn't see anyone address, when you say "full frame", I presume you mean "Hasselblad Full Frame v1.0", i.e. 48x36mm sensor, right? This isn't full frame 645. Only the Hasselblad H4D-60, Phase One P65+ and Leaf AFi-II 10 come close to 645 full frame, yet none of them quite reach it (differences on the order of a couple of percentage points, so I am being pedantic, yes). Meanwhile, even Hasselblad doesn't call 48x36mm full frame, so "Hasselblad Full Frame v2.0" is now 645 (or is it 40,2×53,7mm?").
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul:

    Jack makes many good points always offers and a lot of experience and well thought out discourses that I think we all draw upon. I would add a couple of minor points based on my own beginning evaluations of changing systems.

    Some perspective first. I am primarily a landscape shooter, occasionally also doing interior and portrait shoots. I currently use a Mamiya AFD2 with a Leaf 75s back (also a Dalsa sensor). I would agree with Jack and that the Dalsa sensors do render differently than Kodak sensors. There is something more "natural" looking to the images. Smoother, but not less detailed. Skin tones, maybe better, in general, compared to Kodak sensor based backs...but then software can generally remedy any issues there.

    I briefly played with the new Phase One 645DF and I must say, first gut impressions...lighter, more modern looking, just as solid feeling, natural to hold in the hands. I was amazed at the difference in AF speed compared to the AFD2. It felt as satisfying as a pro dslr (Nikon, Canon)....fast, and absolutely no hunting around in dimly lit corners of rooms. Shutter release felt nearly instantaneous, as fast as my Nikon D3. I now feel that I can dump my Nikon gear if replaced with the new Phase body. The other thing is that the shutter in the DF is so much better damped compared to the AFD2. My AFD2 feels like it actually jumps a little while hand holding, thus explaining why I can't get clean shots on a tripod with a 300mm lens at shutter speeds under 1/30 sec. The DF does not jump at all in my hands, and I believe Guy has posted images taken with his DF and 300mm lens at slow shutter speeds showing much less blurring compared to his previous AFD3.

    I have not ever used a Hasselblad so I can't comment nor compare. I have owned and used Nikon and Canon pro dslrs, and with the DF, I do not feel like I would be missing anything except high frame rates for those rare times I need that.

    You didn't state your preferred photographic genre. So one other thought. If you are shooting landscapes and plan on ever stitching with a technical camera, consider getting the widest possible sensor in a medium format back you can afford. Performing single row stitches with a 54 or 56 mm wide sensor in portrait orientation vs. 48 or 49 mm wide sensors can actually yield a true 6x7 frame. This can be accomplished with many of the newer Rodenstock and Schneider digital lenses available now for tech cameras. Very large files, YES, but that yields the capability to print really large too without interpolation, if you should so desire.

    Those are some of my thoughts as I am going through, somewhat the same evaluation you are. Hope that is of some help.

    Cheers, Jeff
    Jeff T.
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Jeff,

    Good points on the DF body that I forgot to mention! I'll elaborate -- with a 300mm lens and MLU, the AFD2/3 bodies were almost useless at 1/15th second due to shutter bounce, even with MLU and delay or cable release. 1/8th and 1/30th were usable, but a slight amount of shutter bounce was still visible. I can confirm that 1/15th still appears to be the worst speed on the DF body, but the effect of bounce is visibly less than it was on the prior bodies even at 1/8th -- and in fact, actually quite usable. However, for very critical work, I still would recommend avoiding 1/15th with long lenses -- 1/8th and 1/30th are totally usable now though, IMO.
    Jack
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...t=12551&page=2 Post 78 shows the little test on shutter speeds with the DF.

    Also read this on impressions of the new DF body . http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13379

    Also maybe not mentioned the new Hassy 50 may have much better higher ISO than the current 39. This I am not sure on but my guess is it is.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    ...and Paul, one more point. The collective experience offered here has always been very useful for me personally. And if it isn't quite obvious, there is a considerable Mamiya/Phase bias in the posts thus far in this thread. Not that it is a bad thing. Just consider other possibilities that may fit you better.

    The only way to tell what is a good fit for YOU is to actually use the equipment. Don't use this advice to make a purchase, but use it to guide your setting up of actual demos of the equipment, and absolutely, "test drive" the equipment in the shooting venues you frequent so you can see if a piece of gear is really going to serve you well.

    Purchasing something this expensive in the beginning of your career, and not getting the best fit for you will be infuriating. I think most of the rants on any forum regarding digital medium format comes from those who did not thoroughly test equipment to make sure the fit was the best possible for themselves. And then, we only have ourselves to blame.
    Jeff T.
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Would not really call it bias on the Phase just that is what most folks own on the forum. Also myself very much included most will not speak of other systems that they are not totally sure about with regards to specs and such. i know I certainly fall in that area with Hassy but by no means I don't like that system as well. Just hate to put something out there that I am not 100 percent sure on in regards to other systems and most folks fit in that area as well. Frankly as it should be in some cases, often too many times something is said that is not accurate on systems and that causes confusion. When I have a Hassy question I call on David from Hassy or other members here to correct me or to expand on a area that I am not sure of. My only bias is it better freaking work in my hands or I WILL toss it out a window.

    But I totally agree on getting these systems in your hands and trying them out and BTW i wish there where more Hassy users here so spread the word. EVERYONE is welcome here
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Sorry Guy, was not intending to come off as critical. I prefer Mamiya/Phase myself as well, but wanted Paul to make as informed a decision as possible. Bias is also not a bad thing. Those of us using Mamiya/Phase are biased because of our good experiences using the equipment. Hasselblad may actually fit Paul's style of shooting better, I don't really know, though.
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Hi there!

    My name is Paul and I'm a student interested in all kinds of photography. I live in Switzerland
    Paul, my advice would be to buy a film camera.

    Keith

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner View Post
    Sorry Guy, was not intending to come off as critical. I prefer Mamiya/Phase myself as well, but wanted Paul to make as informed a decision as possible. Bias is also not a bad thing. Those of us using Mamiya/Phase are biased because of our good experiences using the equipment. Hasselblad may actually fit Paul's style of shooting better, I don't really know, though.
    No Jeff did not think you where but was explaining maybe the lack of Hassy info. here on there latest systems. We just have few people that will delve into the whole Hassy system.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Paul: Lots of good advice/info in this thread but I didn't see this one tidbit mentioned that may help your battery life in the interim (my apologies if I missed it above): Always store your AFD II with the battery holder out of the grip. This includes, in my case, in the field if my camera is in my pack/bag. The AFD II has a leak and will drain batteries constantly. This is not the case with the AFD III, and it seems the newest DF goes "forever" on one set of batteries.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Glad I did not offend Guy; it certainly is never my intention. This has got to be one of the most polite and helpful forums on the web for photographers.
    Jeff T.
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Yes, definitely go try it all out first. And yes, as Jeff points out, there is definitely a bias for Mamiya/Phase One posted here.

    Personally I used both systems for a number of years (but not the new Phase Body which is very recent). I ditched the Mamiya because it didn't fit my needs ... didn't focus as well, viewfinder was dimmer, required 2 sets of batteries including AAs for the camera, as well as there was no waist level finder for the Mamiya 645 (and there still isn't that option).

    But, as Jack points out some of that has been dealt with in the new Phase One body ... so trying a Phase One Body may be the easiest and most rational path.

    For me, the newer H4D is my choice as far as upgrades to functionality ... for the way I shoot, True Focus with APL (Absolute Position Lock) is a big deal and of more value than most any other attribute I can think of ... the other not often discussed H function is the Ultra Focus AF Micro Adjust feature that uses lens data and f-stop selected to assure optimal focus at any given f-stop.


    FYI, the H3D-II 39, and H3D-II/50 digital back IQ improvement over the H3D/39 were in the area of superior sensor cooling for lower noise, a superior AA filter and a larger LCD along with minor ergonomic operational improvements (many of which were retro applied to previous H cameras via firmware.)


    In addition to the True Focus APL AF and new, high resolution LCD with improved viewing angle, the H4D has improved the AF assist lights for low light work (WaHoo!), increased read-write performance on Sandisk Extreme Pro cards. The H4D/60 will also use the Dalsa sensor.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Ken brings up a good suggestion with the Energizer Ultimate Lithium’s. I used these batteries in my AFDII on my Alaska trip with great results. I also used them in my AFDIII the short time I used it prior to selling all my Mamiya lenses and body and going completely with a technical camera. I can specifically pin point the reason however I’ve never been a huge fan of rechargeable AA’s; I am on the other hand a huge fan of Ultimate Lithium’s.

    Also wanted to add that when or if I ever decide to start shooting MF with something other than a technical camera I wouldn’t hesitate in the lest with going with the newer DF body and picking up “D” lenses all over again. I’ll readily admit being partial to Phase One and Mamiya glass simply as I have a history with them and have gotten great results.

    Jeff T. said it best; you need to fit the system to your own wants and needs. I tried a Hassy at the very beginning and found within the first couple hours it wasn’t “right” for me; a lot of it has to do with how it fits and feels in your hands and how it works when it’s up to your eyes. There’s a wealth of information here with little to no bias – just straight talking points. My recommendation is not to be fixated on “brand” rather go with what fits you the best and what will help you grow as a photographer.

    If you haven’t done so yet it would be great to see some of your work as well.

    Don
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    If I had a 39MP back I would not change because of 11MP more - never.

    If I would change I would go for 60MP - H4D60.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    I have a 39MP back and would not be upgrading for the 11MP. I would be upgrading for:

    1) The better AF of the H4D.
    2) Upgrade single shot 39MP to a multishot H4D50MS
    3) Upgrade to the larger sensor 60MP.

    BTW I somehow got the idea that the newer great Mamiya glass was getting in a pretty similar price range as the H glass?

    Would be nice to put the costs of glass side by side to compare?
    Last edited by Dustbak; 23rd January 2010 at 12:36. Reason: Post improvement

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Well I changed from the 31mpx to 40 MPX ( P30+ to P40+) so Mpx numbers is not that much . Maybe i can help with this some as to why I did upgrade. First it was the technology of the newer 6 micron Dalsa sensor. No micro lenses and ability to use on Tech camera. Also I was after better higher ISO which at full resolution I did gain some here but was really after Sensor Plus but that don't count here for the OP so much.

    One thing to consider besides the technical end which i had to face but it was more the value of my system as the P30+ used prices kept sliding and the P40+ as a new back in the market with the newer technology would hold it's value better. Not that it may mean a lot if you held onto a back for quite sometime it may not matter but I am on my 4th back in 2 years which is not considered normal. But I also kept going up and either increasing the value of my system or increased the usability of my system.

    I guess this is something also to consider in the Hassy 39 going to the Hassy 50 which is very much like the P30 to P40 as to different sensors and maybe more usability in the Hassy 50 or even a different look. Not sure this helps but thought i would throw it in there as some reasons to upgrade. Some of this may not be applicable to your situation but some things i thought about and finally made the push up. One a technical side you need to compare the two backs in question and see what the upgrade path actually does on the technical side . This goes for anyone or anything on upgrades and that is to figure out what value you place on that upgrade. In the end for me it was a good move up and made a lot of sense. Now coming from a guy that is own his 4th back in 2 years one may think i just like new toy's. Actually very far from it even though my title of gear slut is fully in place, I never do anything like upgrades without FULL investigation and homework which i seriously have to justify as a Pro shooter and business owner. It may sound very light footed but really these are tough calls to make and it has to make sense. Also I did a lot of testing on the P40+ on two different workshops that we did just to be sure as well. Not always a option in some cases and i consider that to be somewhat lucky to have that chance but it is worth a demo at least to a upgrade back in any flavor to compare the files.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Guy, very good points on the reason(s) for upgrading; I upgraded from a P30+ to P45+ primarily due to the change in systems (645 body to technical body). Had the P40 been around and available I might have gone with it. Currently my upgrade path would be to a P65 however after much soul searching I’ve come to the conclusion that for now it just isn’t worth it for me. Speaking just from the technical side, the cost of my upgrading to the P65 would net me ½ of the total cost as I don’t normally need the full technical upgrade offered. In other words I’d be paying thousands of dollars and only using ½ or less to get the extra pixels for my technical camera. Besides, I'd rather invest in lenses.

    I shouldn’t be considered “normal” as all I shoot is landscape – I simply have no desire to do anything else.

    Don
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    I have the H3DII-31 and purchased because of the price and better high iso capabilities and performance at the time both the 39 and 31 were released. However, I find that the cropped sensor is sometimes limiting and have considered upgrading to the 39. I then said why not the 50. But I have to say that some of Paul's initial points are the exact thoughts that I have agonized over. The price differential between a demo 39 and a new or demo 50 is quite substantial, and I just cannot justify it at this point. Then i go back and think about how much i will gain by going from the 31 to 39. Then i consider some of Guy's comments about dropping values. I also wonder once the H4D-60s are shipped, if the price of the 50s will fall since Hasselblad had the promotion through the end of Dec --buy a 50 and get a 60 when available for no extra charge. Nevertheless, in the end, the crop factor is clearly the issue for me. For landscape shooting, I am not sure how important the new AF system will really be, and I agree with Marc Williams and Jack Flesher and others about the relatively small increase in detail resolution between 39 and 50.

    I do not agree with the comment comparing MF vs 35mm DSLR shooting being similar. To get the full advantage of the detail rendering, one needs to use a tripod (for most applications) and with IS technology, it is sometimes much easier to grab a shot with the 35mm DSLR technology.

    One thing I have learned is that when working quickly with changing light sometimes I can cover more ground using a 35mm DSLR than my MF gear.

    So i find there are a number of tradeoffs, which for me as an amateur may be different than the working pros. I have considered selling all my MF gear and waiting for the canon 1DsmkIV. I realize it will likely not rival the DR and overall IQ of the MF--- it may get a bit closer.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    In case I came across as having a bias, I use a Contax 645 with a Sinar back, so my bias between Hasselblad and Phase One is none. I simply think that with a P30 in hand, the best choice for most situations, especially for a student, is not to upgrade, maybe just perfect and put the money more directly into the career.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    I thought I made it pretty clear I don't have a bias either, other than I chose Phase for *MY* needs. In fact, I think I pointed out the H4's new focus features as one area that the DF body can't compete.

    /rant
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    I have a bias towards BMW's since i just spent 35k on one last week , it better last 5 years or I will be pissed.

    Other than that when it comes to cams i owned them all or shot them all and really they are just a means to a end for me. If it had Shirley on the name plate I could care less. I'm happy with what I have right now and that is what counts as many folks are happy with there purchases.

    What really makes me mad right now is my freaking DVD burner is NOT working and i need to deliver DVD's monday. Might just be Toast as in the software
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I have a bias towards BMW's since i just spent 35k on one last week , it better last 5 years or I will be pissed.

    Other than that when it comes to cams i owned them all or shot them all and really they are just a means to a end for me. If it had Shirley on the name plate I could care less. I'm happy with what I have right now and that is what counts as many folks are happy with there purchases.

    What really makes me mad right now is my freaking DVD burner is NOT working and i need to deliver DVD's monday. Might just be Toast as in the software
    are you bias with dvd , toshiba, sony or panasonic?

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    I don't think anyone meant personal bias Jack ... more that there are tons of Phase users here on this specific forum, and the bias is toward more info on one verses the other.

    The difference between a Hassey 39 and 50 isn't the same as Guy's example because there aren't micro lenses with either Hassey back ... so the difference isn't as great in terms of application on a tech camera.

    Personally, I skipped the 50 upgrade as it didn't offer a substantial enough difference from the H3D-II/39 I have now. Like Jack, the upgrade to the newer H4D body and 60 meg sensor is a different story ... made more attractive because of the Hassey trade in promotion that ended Dec. 31st.

    BTW Mark, the promo wasn't get a 50 and they'll just give you a 60 ... as far as I understood it, the difference was $8,000. more, and the H4D body upgrade was part of that. But I admit that it's hard to keep track of the promotions, so I may be wrong here.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I have a bias towards BMW's since i just spent 35k on one last week , it better last 5 years or I will be pissed.

    Other than that when it comes to cams i owned them all or shot them all and really they are just a means to a end for me. If it had Shirley on the name plate I could care less. I'm happy with what I have right now and that is what counts as many folks are happy with there purchases.

    What really makes me mad right now is my freaking DVD burner is NOT working and i need to deliver DVD's monday. Might just be Toast as in the software
    My DVD burner didn't work either after moving to Snow Leopard and I had to upgrade Toast.

    Then I discovered that my Epson 3800 wouldn't print properly either and had to order a new DVD from them which takes 5 days ... meanwhile you can use a 15 day demo download that only has 5 or 6 paper profiles ... so you have to load those separately ... all while I've got a deadline looming ... big PITA.

    -Marc

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Thanks Marc it was working before LA fine but maybe in transit it got messed up. I will order a new one I guess although I really want to get away from DVD's all together. i will just give the client a 16gb thumb drive Monday. The job I had to do was pretty funny. It was all about flooding and a disaster relieve program here in Phoenix. What is funny is we get 14 inches a year of rain. But the recent storm that just hit was about 8 inches in 4 days and we flooded like crazy. Got some interesting stuff but the whole project just makes me laugh since we live in a DESERT. LOL

    Sorry I went OT

    BTW If you think we are gear sluts trust me we are nothing compared to the car collectors at Barrett Jackson. Been watching it for the last couple hours. How is this for ya, a 1968 Mustang Bose 429 for a mere 260,000.00

    People spent 11 million today only on cars.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Just to put some relevance on why not upgrading from 39MP to 50 BUT rather to 60MP:

    The upgrade price for both H4D50 and H4D60 from a H3D39 or H3DII39 is €13.000.- here in Europe. So there is absolutely no eason to "just" upgrade to 50MP.

    Not sure why Hasselblad makes these upgrade decisions, but this is the way it is. Obviously they want to start selling 60MP versions for the high end.

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks Marc it was working before LA fine but maybe in transit it got messed up. I will order a new one I guess although I really want to get away from DVD's all together. i will just give the client a 16gb thumb drive Monday. T

    Sorry I went OT
    Keeping it OT : -) ... yeah Guy, I've also been giving Wedding clients Thumb Drives as a promo item, along with the DVDs which are those Gold Archival type. Most of my commercial ad agency clients now have their own FTP sites or the art director brings a HD which are cheap as dirt these days.

    On-T:

    If the OP has the money then it's his decision to move up. However, the advice to stick with what he has is not all bad since there will be so many unknowns as he starts his photo career. Quite frankly, not a lot of assignments require more than a P30. Yet, without specifics as to the OPs photographic intent and actual applications, we can all speculate until the cows come home.

    I agree that the Hassey upgrade paths are odd and sometimes confusing ...like the similar trade differences between getting a H4D/50 and H4D/60 mentioned. Just as odd is that a H3D and H3D-II trade value is the same. I have a very low count H3D-II/39 which yields the same trade value as an older H3D/39 with 100,000 shots on it

    Side note: anyone with a H3D-II/50 can have the body upgraded to a H4D in Denmark for $1,500. If they offered that on my 39 I might have given it serious consideration.

    In the end, the only other competition (other than the H4D/60) for my upgrade path from my H3D-II/39 ... is to a H4D/50 Multi-Shot. Not much difference in trade price. The Multi-Shot 50 would be quite a studio camera, and can still be used as a single shot.

    Have to go ... my GSA (Gear Sluts Anonymous) supporting sponsor is calling with a threat of enacting a full blown intervention

    -Marc

  47. #47
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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    I agree that the leap from the previous bodies to the 645DF is significant. My 645AFD decided to die this past week so I took the plunge on Fri and got a 645DF. Lag and autofocus speed and accuracy are very much improved. This is the camera Mamiya should have had years ago but I guess it's better late than never.
    One problem I ran into was my 105-210mm AF ULD lens was not recognized by the body though it works well on all Mamiya AFD (I, II, III) and PhaseOne AF bodies. It seems the firmware in my lens was 33 and the newer lenses have firmware 34. My dealer is looking into it. Any of you have experienced something like this?

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Hi Guys
    Posting between shots so I'll be brief. To answer the original question there is certainly a difference between the 39 and 50MP BEYOND the 11MP gain. I was just talking to a user of the 39 and the 50 and he is super pleased with the improvements in colour and tonal rendition of the 50.
    Nick-T

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Wow, Jack, you must be a scientist from the way you break it down! Where nice. Thank you. Then, if I may ask, what was your primary motivation to upgrade?

    With regard to technical aspects: Are there any documented improvements in sensor quality? From what I know the 50MP sensor in the h4d-50 is just the same technology as the 39 MP sensor but with a smaller pixel pitch. Both are Kodak sensors. Phase One at least incorporated new technologies in every new sensor generation. First there were the +backs with longer exposure capabilities and then the sensor plus technology.

    But Hasselblad is only innovating with the True Focus technology considering their previous product, the H3d-39, am I right?

    ...

    Regards
    Hi Paul,

    The 50MP sensor is a totally different design to the 39MP. Briefly..

    - It delivers the data faster, so shooting to a CF card is a little quicker and much improved tethered to a computer.

    - The Color filters on the sensor have been improved and users who have taken 39 -> 50 upgrades always comment that they prefer the tonality, colour rendition and general look of the 50.

    - Also on the H4D we have added not only the True Focus system, but also a some other body features... which I can't mention yet! ;-)

    So even though it is only 11MP difference, that is not really the difference! True if you held up a couple of large prints, could you tell? But as I say above everyone who I have come across who has upgraded is extremely pleased with the result of the 50.

    David

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    Re: Advice needed: Why would I buy a 50 MP back instead if 39 MP?

    Might add here you are also going to a 6 micron sensor over a 6.8 which i did myself and there is less Moire on the 6 micron. I can only go by my Phase switch but i do have more DR better tonal range and more pleasing color. Sounds like Hassy has maybe that same effect as well in the 50.

    I would suspect here also and I don't know as fact on the Hassy 50 but I would think like the Phase you maybe getting better higher ISO's as well. Someone from Hassy needs to confirm that
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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