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Thread: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Is the Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable system even though Contax has been gone for some time now?
    Just curious
    Thanks

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Sure it's viable -- great camera. Main issue is AF is slower than more modern cameras, and lens line is limited, but if what it is happens to be enough for your needs, you're set.

    However, I personally would probably not invest in one right now as a "new" system unless it was a screaming deal. If I already owned an extensive C system and loved it, then for sure I'd keep using it.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    I shoot the Contax 645 (via adapter) on my Sinar back and like it quite a lot. Finding accessories, etc., can be a bit of a hassle but it still has it's supporters. Not sure I'd pick that combo if I were starting from scratch unless I got a really super price on it. Lot of great glass at pretty reasonable prices available for that system. Just waiting for Victor to chime in here

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    would 15K sound like a good deal for a Contax 645, 45,80, and 140mm lens and a P45+ back with 6 months left on the warranty?

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    would 15K sound like a good deal for a Contax 645, 45,80, and 140mm lens and a P45+ back with 6 months left on the warranty?
    Sounds too good to be true. Be careful.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    doug thats what i thought also just checking
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    15K for that whole kit sounds good, but not overly so -- basically getting the camera and lenses for $2-3K or so.
    Jack
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    DougDolde
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Things are going cheap on Ebay now. It's the economy. I just saw an Aptus 75S go for 8K slightly used from Calumet.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Sounds not "too good to be true" to me.
    You can find a Contax Kit (incl. prismfinder + 80mm lens) ~1000 - 1200,-
    and the 45mm + 140mm ~600,- each (+/- 200,-)

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Chime, Chime.....

    Well, since David INSISTS

    The 15k seems reasonable and prices for good lenses in Contax 645 still dropping. There are 35, 45, 55, 80, 120, 140, 210 and 350mm
    not exactly limited..
    Then of course you have ALL the Hassey V lenses and focus confirm...

    Lots of float..I have gone thru several "should I swap to..

    hassey H2
    H3
    Mamyia
    S2

    in all, I just don't see any advantage over my system (I have ALL options including grips and bellows... yes even the elusive auto bellows 645)

    I don't even think about it
    I have had it since it came out with film, the kodak, then p25, 45 45+ now 65+ witha P30 along the way rented from CI (I have aLPA W c645 MOUNT)

    go for it

    regards
    Victor

    PS Can't comment on repair; touch wood, never needed it

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Jack is right, the AF is slow, but it is accurate. Everyone who says that the Contax is a dead-end system is also right (it isn't truly dead as long as people use it), but there are places to get service and repairs done.

    I use mine with the 35, 80 and 120, as well as Hasselblad FE lenses: 50/2.8, 110/2 and 250/4, and find the Contax a really nice camera to work with. Logical, old-fashioned controls, nice haptics, solid construction, flexible (WLF, prism, grip, flash bracket, ...).

    If I were to switch to another system, I wouldn't know which to choose. The Hasselblad is a solid system, but doesn't appeal to me. The Phase is missing the WLF, which I love using. The AFi/Hy6 is really nice, but until someone gets behind it 100%, I cannot imagine shelling out so much money on it. The Leica S2 would do the trick, once the lens lineup fleshes out. It has no WLF, but offers some pretty compelling other advantages. It is too much money for me though.

    So I stay with the Contax, and I am happy with it. I use it both with high-res B&W film and a Sinar eMotion 54LV back. My current long-term project is with Adox (Efke) CHS 25 and the 35/120 pair, although I will be switching to 4x5 soon for this.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    Things are going cheap on Ebay now. It's the economy. I just saw an Aptus 75S go for 8K slightly used from Calumet.
    Indeed, I also just watched an H3D II-39 with only 1700+ clicks, mint condition not get a single bid on ebay. There have been many other such auctions as well. Its a buyers market right now if you have the funds and are willing to part with them.

    Rob

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    Sounds not "too good to be true" to me.
    You can find a Contax Kit (incl. prismfinder + 80mm lens) ~1000 - 1200,-
    and the 45mm + 140mm ~600,- each (+/- 200,-)
    FWIW, I prefer both the 35mm and 55mm (hard to find) to the 45mm. The 45mm is one of the few lenses for that system that I've owned and decided not to keep.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    FWIW, I prefer both the 35mm and 55mm (hard to find) to the 45mm. The 45mm is one of the few lenses for that system that I've owned and decided not to keep.
    understandable. Regarding IQ I much prefer the 35mm as well. However, since about 25 years now, my most used field of view is that of the 45mm (28mm on 135 format). The 80mm and the 45mm may be the "weakest" links in the Contax line - however I'd never give away one of those two. And "weak" doesn't mean "weak" ... they are just not that outstanding as e.g. the 3.5/35 or the 120 macro.

    FWIW: I've looked at quite some S2 samples of those that are available online.
    I'm not sure about absolute sharpness itself (I'd have to make a side by side comparision) - but the sharpness falloff of the Contax 2.0/80 stopped down is definitely less than the sharpness falloff of the S2 70mm stopped down. This goes for the 2.0/80 on a crop 1.1 sensor... on a crop 1.3 sensor falloff is probably totally a non issue.
    So - prices and workflow beside - I still don't know why I would swap plattforms. If my Contax' would die I'd probably go for Hasselbald (if 645 again at all - I think I'd rather expand my tech camera line then). I actually don't like the H bodies that much, but I definitely like the exachangable and bright, big finders. This is more important to me than the color of the body. I'd miss the vertical grip of the Contax then... on the other hand I need it rarely (at least currently... but that may change). Too, I'd miss the aperture ring on the lens. But in the end that's peanuts - you get used to those things quicker as you might think. Too, the MS option of the H backs is something seriously to consider if it works for the things you shoot.
    Last edited by thomas; 4th February 2010 at 07:45.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    WIth a P45 and using the 80mm lens at f8-11 what is the sharpness falloff on the Contax?
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    WIth a P45 and using the 80mm lens at f8-11 what is the sharpness falloff on the Contax?
    I don't know what you mean with "what" is the sharpness falloff.
    At f11 I never apply additional corner sharpness.
    At f8 occasionally (depending on the subject) slightly... I don't know, maybe 10% more or so? ... just little.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    BTW: a Contax and a Phase back are like made for each other...
    This should not imply that other backs don't work well on a Contax.
    It's just that the Phase back is somehow like the regular filmback. Just smaller. And integration is fine.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Thanks for all the responses everyone.
    Not to start the DSLR vs MF debate yet again.....
    Im on the fence though.
    I like shooting with my D3x and I shoot it mostly vertical in the 4x5 crop mode i don't like the way 3:2 looks vertical when i print and yes my shooting style is very precise.
    Tripod, MLU, remote release, manual focus using live view etc.

    So I guess the question I ask myself is how much more detail and over all IQ would I see on my prints from my HP3200PS printed at 20x30 would I get from going to MF 39mp over 21mp I get with my D3x?

    or do I really need to go MF + tech view camera to really get the benefits MF

    hmmmmm....
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    the deal is a good one, if you can argue him down another $500 thats great. P45+ seem to go about $11,500 or so on eBay right now, which is painful.
    great choice of outfit, AND you can upgrade to P65+ at the moment for $14k more I believe, which means your're getting a P65+ for ~$26-27K. amazing as they were 40k only a year ago, and a new one on its own would still be what - $35k?

    the AF on the Contax is slow, but accurate as others say. it also eats batteries, and the viewfinder is dim compared to modern ones. but its bulletproof. I switched to Phamiya, and those break down/ lock up a lot more. Never had a single issue on the Contax.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post

    So I guess the question I ask myself is how much more detail and over all IQ would I see on my prints from my HP3200PS printed at 20x30 would I get from going to MF 39mp over 21mp I get with my D3x?
    Look at one single properly focused and exposed file and you'll immediately see for yourself. Detail will be notably more, but not hugely so at normal viewing distances --- the MF detail will appear more natural and less digital looking. In re overall IQ, to my eyes it is huge, mostly in color and tonality.
    Jack
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    As a former owner/user of the C645, I can say the set as listed is a very useable kit. Even though I had every lens they made for that camera, those 3 lenses were the most used by far, (depending on your personal intent and applications). $15K seems about right in this crappy economic environment, IF the kit isn't in "beat to death" condition (which makes newer offerings seem outrageously expensive ).

    If I did that deal, I'd immediately look for a second C645 body to protect the investment longer term and set it aside for future ... the P45+ back is interchangeable.

    If you depend on AF for your type of work, the C645 AF is no-where near the performance of your Nikon. To get closer "usable" performance (but still not equal), you'd need one of the more modern MFD cameras. It was the main reason (maybe the only reason), I opted out of the Contax system in favor of the Hassey H. Slow, but accurate is not how I would describe the C645 AF ... in any slightly challenging light where the fast aperture Zeiss lenses came into their own, it hunted like crazy ... and I had 3 different bodies ... all performed the same. I found the viewfinder a bit to dim to use Manual Focus well in those type conditions, even with a Bright Screen installed. But in good "fat" light, it performed okay, not fast, but well enough.

    If Kyocera had continued developing the C645, and utilized advancements in AF sensor technology among other modern developments, IMO, they would be the market leader, Hassey would be scrambling, Phase One probably would have hooked up with Contax leaving Mamiya to fend for itself ... and personally, I would be shooting with a Contax 645/MKIII and Phase One P65+ back

    As a former Nikon D3X shooter using the best optics Nikon now produces (AFS 14-24, 24-70, 100/2.8 Macro VR, 200/2 VR with nano coatings and all that), I'd fully agree with Jack's assessment of the difference between a top pro DSLR, and a MFD 39 meg back (which I also use). The caveat to that would also be dependent on the shooting conditions you tend to face in terms of high ISO response. But at base ISOs for pure IQ there is no comparison IMHO ... everything we technically look for in a photo is improved: DR, tonal gradations, color, minute detail, blah, blah, blah ... and the more you crop or enlarge, the more the differences become apparent. MF files are also more data rich for further creative manipulations and applications in post.

    -Marc

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Slow, but accurate is not how I would describe the C645 AF ... in any slightly challenging light where the fast aperture Zeiss lenses came into their own, it hunted like crazy
    I'd like to second this.
    Sometimes even in critical light the AF might work okay - but sometimes not.
    Too, I am finding the tolerances of the AF are a bit too high for a high res back like the P45. So all in all the AF of the Contax is not really good enough to rely on.
    Now... without spilt image screen (I use 3 different split image screens but no MFS-2 or clear screen) I'd feel like blind with the Contax. With the prismfinder magnification is not really great; with a magnification eye piece it's much better. The waist level finder helps a lot here due to the brighter and larger finder image.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    The one thing that is really missing on the Contax are P/C Lenses.
    Forget about shooting table top, architecture and things like this, where you such lenses.
    Also, I have to say it: Digital backs are really not competetive. Yes, IQ is better. General 'look' is a lot different. But thats it. They loose the contest in about every other department to DSLR.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    ...there is the Hartblei in Contax mount. I have mine listed in the B&S if anyone is interested.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    I'd like to second this.
    Sometimes even in critical light the AF might work okay - but sometimes not.
    Too, I am finding the tolerances of the AF are a bit too high for a high res back like the P45. So all in all the AF of the Contax is not really good enough to rely on.
    Now... without spilt image screen (I use 3 different split image screens but no MFS-2 or clear screen) I'd feel like blind with the Contax. With the prismfinder magnification is not really great; with a magnification eye piece it's much better. The waist level finder helps a lot here due to the brighter and larger finder image.
    I am not sure how are you using the AF, but the one thing that makes it different for me is when you point the center section on verticals if you hold the camera normal, and if you point it to horizontal target lines if you hold the camera in portrait orientation.
    Like this I have no hunting AF, except in really low light situations.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    Also, I have to say it: Digital backs are really not competetive. Yes, IQ is better.
    OMG ... but if this is exactly what you are up to... you won't even think about a DSLR.

    Too, I think this recompose AF thing Hasselblad just introduced is very competetive compared to multiple AF points of DSLRs (if it's working fine).

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    ...there is the Hartblei in Contax mount. I have mine listed in the B&S if anyone is interested.
    Yes, but that is a wide lens. How do you do when you need a normal or light tele?

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    I am not sure how are you using the AF
    I'm not using it at all
    I know what you are talking about however this is not always practical. I much prefer split image + microprism screens and fine adjust manually.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    OMG ... but if this is exactly what you are up to... you won't even think about a DSLR.
    That is why I do bother to find a digital back.
    The strength of the Contax are in its lenses, the look of 'liquid sharpness' and the vivid colour rendition.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    That is why I do bother to find a digital back.
    The strength of the Contax are in its lenses, the look of 'liquid sharpness' and the vivid colour rendition.
    That's a nice thing about the Contax - you can use almost all digital backs, except of Hasselblad. So you really have the choice. And you'll have a Kit that is - within the above mentioned limitations - still up to the task (especially due to its lenses) but at really affordable prices.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    So I guess the question I ask myself is how much more detail and over all IQ would I see on my prints from my HP3200PS printed at 20x30 would I get from going to MF 39mp over 21mp I get with my D3x?
    I have compared 20x30 prints, both inkjet & Durst from the D3x and P45 (not +).
    The P45 files were cropped to 3:2 to match the D3x.
    The differences in print at that size were not huge. The P45 print was better but marginally.
    looking at the D3X prints on their own it would be hard to ask for more really. And at about a viewing distance of 30 inches there was nothing in it.
    I think if i had your lens lineup (as listed on your sig) and didnt plan on printing larger, i would keep the 15 grand!

    (what an unjust world though where Contax dies and Mamiya lives- just kidding mamiya users!)

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    I'd like to second this.
    Sometimes even in critical light the AF might work okay - but sometimes not.
    Too, I am finding the tolerances of the AF are a bit too high for a high res back like the P45. So all in all the AF of the Contax is not really good enough to rely on.
    Now... without spilt image screen (I use 3 different split image screens but no MFS-2 or clear screen) I'd feel like blind with the Contax. With the prismfinder magnification is not really great; with a magnification eye piece it's much better. The waist level finder helps a lot here due to the brighter and larger finder image.
    Yep, I also used the flip-magnifier on the C-645 ... the factory stock Contax one was pretty squinty and liked to break frequently ... I don't know if Bright Screen makes one of their excellent Accurfocus versions for the C645 ... but they are pretty pricy.

    All this reminds me why I moved on for my type of work ... ... others may find it just fine for what they do. I didn't.

    -Marc

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    I have a Contax body which I use with lens mount to shoot V lenses with - unecumbered by the clumsy CF adaptor on my H series Body.

    I am in a mind to sell it - there is NO comparison in functionality between the H and Contax body - none - nada ..but it is a fine camera body in its own right.

    It all boils down to individual preference - all these bodies are capable of using various backs from various manufacturers and all the glass is good enough to make great shots...

    why the H preference? - boils down to the best viewfinder by far - only waist level finders like my Hy6 or 200 series cameras vaguely compare and even then - it is I suspect the 6x6 size that fools the eye here..I am not a fan of the H series waist level finder for example - and I think the Contax waist level finder is no better ..

    Cameras are like Golf Sticks - one persons great five iron - is another persons shank pony.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote: "Cameras are like Golf Sticks - one persons great five iron - is another persons shank pony. "

    Please stick to car comparisons, that I can follow. No idea about golf rackets.

    BTW, lenses are best compared to microphones, but that is problematic as well, cause there are few who can share.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    FWIW, regarding the viewfinder:
    Now it sounds here as if the viewfinder of the Contax is the most horrible event since the launch of the APS format. To put it into perspective, I have to say that focussing the 5D with Canons manual focussing screen is still more challenging than focussing the Contax with the standard screen, for me at least.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    I quite like the viewfinder of the Contax, and use manual focus even with my AF lenses, but it is a little dim, yes. I don't get many OOF images though.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    There has been some excellent advise given here by folks who have owned way more gear than I. Allow me to offer up yet another possibility which might be a viable option for you. FWIW I have sweated bullets making the same decision you are going through and for the most part have not been completely convinced of the MFD advantage... until just this week. But my conversion comes with a substantial caveat.

    Currently I am demoing a new Leaf Aptus II-5 22 mp back with the older Phase/Mamiya 645 AF. Let me tell you in no uncertain terms the back is fabulous, with exceptional image quality especially at ISO 25, which I just love. Makes me feel like I am working again with Kodachrome II/25... sort of. The camera and Leaf software, well that's another story altogether. So for me the question is what do you put this thing on in order to have the same warm and fuzzy feeling I have with my Nikons. I feel like the kid getting ready to say his bedtime prayers, "lord if you just let me... I will never ever complain about my Nikons again"

    What I am about to say next will most likely offend those who own this camera, and will sincerely apologize to them right up front for doing so. Understand its meant to send a message to the MF camera manufacturers (not that they are listening) to get their act together and produce Nikon/Canon pro body equivalents, and not as a way of offending the end user. To the point this camera is a cruel joke compared to the D3/D3x, no idea how it compares to the Contax. If it were not for getting the picture taken there would be very little to rejoice about with this camera for me. The newer AFD is supposed to be much better.

    Back to the fun stuff. To the point I have a hard time believing D3x would equal the image quality of the Aptus II-5 back, short of stripping the AA filter off and using the absolute best glass for the D3x. The Aptus 5 files are incredibly smooth with very natural looking detail and textures. The least digital like I have personally experienced short of my Betterlight scan back. Combine this back with a tech camera, Rodenstock/Schneider glass and stitching capabilities and it would be all over but the song and the dance, even though the MP count is much less than the P45+ you are considering.

    The Aptus 5 back appeals to me on many levels, first are the fatter pixels at 9 microns, smaller files for those times when you don't need the extra data and then end up downsizing by large margins anyway, ISO 25, very wide dynamic range, a sensor which does not put nearly as much stress on the lens as the smaller pixel pitch sensors do, and last but certainly not least is the ability to stop down to smaller apertures before hitting diffraction issues, very important for landscape work. On several test I ran at F16-22 with some quick backyard shots the image quality held up quite nicely, excellent in fact. Also shot some 30 second twilight exposures @ F11, cars with headlights passing & dark towering spruce trees and the highlight to shadow detail from those car lights and shadowed tree trunks left my jaw agape. Perhaps the D3x could equal this, but I have some serious doubts.

    And just for grins and giggles I upsized a table top image yesterday to 150% which is equal in file size to my scan back shot at 100%. Normally I am not in favor of interpolating files up but figured what the heck lets see how far I can push the envelop on this critter. The file quality was certainly not in the same league as the scan back but was amazed how how good it looked and would have no problems making large prints this way. My D3 certainly would not have held up as well to a 150% bump in size. And all this for $8 grand list. If only one could hook up this back to my Nikons, woo hoo!

    Hope this helps.

    Rob

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Hey Rob, anyway I can get my hands on some of the raw files from your Leaf Aptus II-5?
    Woud love to see one.
    My other thought was to go tech view camera so I still have access to shift and tilt was looking at a used silvestri bicam
    Funny you mentioned about removing the AA filter from the D3x, I was considering doing that for $450.00 I know one person who did it and he said it's about 5-10% sharper. hmmm

    Steven
    ps. where are you demoing the leaf aptus from?
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Funny you mentioned about removing the AA filter from the D3x, I was considering doing that for $450.00 I know one person who did it and he said it's about 5-10% sharper.
    I would tend to recommend against that. I'm not sure if the AA is the same as the Sony or just the sensor, but I get some mild moire with sony on pinstripe fabrics. The Leica DMR doesn't have an AA and I never had moire issues there.

    Just FYI.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Rob,

    I have considered the Aptus II 5 as well, but have not got a demo yet. Did you check ISO 100, 200, 400 as well ? Did you try to use live view?

    Would you like to tell a little more about it?

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Hey Rob, anyway I can get my hands on some of the raw files from your Leaf Aptus II-5?
    Woud love to see one.
    My other thought was to go tech view camera so I still have access to shift and tilt was looking at a used silvestri bicam
    Funny you mentioned about removing the AA filter from the D3x, I was considering doing that for $450.00 I know one person who did it and he said it's about 5-10% sharper. hmmm

    Steven
    ps. where are you demoing the leaf aptus from?
    Steven, be glad to. In fact when I am done with my demo had planned on posting a few images, and will probably upload a couple of hi res to my server, then send a link... if it does not get to overloaded.

    Thus far most of what I have done with the camera is fairly pedestrian. And unfortunately its snowing again right now which might dampen my chances to get out do some decent landscape work. Hang on a few days. I have to send the kit back on Monday.

    Regarding your comments about tech cameras, my attitude exactly. At this point I seriously doubt I would do the Phase/Mamiya cam kit though it is a fairly good value if you can accept the camera for what it is.

    I am working with Optechs Digital in Seattle currently with this demo. Paul Slotboom has been excellent to deal with so far. I would also recommend the folks at Capture Integration too, as so many on this forum have expressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    I would tend to recommend against that. I'm not sure if the AA is the same as the Sony or just the sensor, but I get some mild moire with sony on pinstripe fabrics. The Leica DMR doesn't have an AA and I never had moire issues there.

    Just FYI.
    Bill I don't know much about the DMR but would be inclined to think this might have more to do with a smaller pixel pitch of the Lecia DMR than the AA filter.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    Rob,

    I have considered the Aptus II 5 as well, but have not got a demo yet. Did you check ISO 100, 200, 400 as well ? Did you try to use live view?

    Would you like to tell a little more about it?
    I have done some pedestrian studio work at ISO 50 & 100 but not 200 or 400. ISO 50 is really pretty clean, however with very dark items on ISO 100 noise does start to creep up a bit. For instance I laid out my Nikon D3, the PC 85 lens, passport card and my Zone VI with polished brass/gold hardware for a simple table top shot which would obviously require a huge amount of dynamic range. Due to the DOF needed I stopped down to F20-22 and while everything was held in check value wise, not an easy feat, the black lens cap area (somewhat shaded by the 85 pc lens) on the D3 was showing a bit of noise but nothing I would have balked on. ISO 200 in this case might be pushing it. Hard to say for sure. Understand I could probably count on one hand, two max the number of times in the last 25 or so years I have used ISO 400 either digital or film. In fact I would prefer if Nikon had some ISO 50 cameras.

    I would like to reiterate this back is capable of outstanding image quality at 25 and 50, truly impressed! Might one complaint thus far about the back itself, its poorly aligned. By that I mean compared to the viewfinder the sensor itself is titled a few degrees clockwise and shifted a few mm to the right. A bit frustrating when trying to do something with any precision, ie Architecture, and interiors or copy work. Looking at the sensor with the back removed you can visibly see this misalignment too. I also don't care for the cooling system, seems to be fan driven. ok two complaints.

    Rob

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    Might one complaint thus far about the back itself, its poorly aligned. By that I mean compared to the viewfinder the sensor itself is titled a few degrees clockwise and shifted a few mm to the right. A bit frustrating when trying to do something with any precision, ie Architecture, and interiors or copy work. Looking at the sensor with the back removed you can visibly see this misalignment too.
    You should check if it's really the sensor or the finder (if you can really see it with your eyes looking at the sensor the misalignment must be huge). If it is the back I'd send it to service.
    My P45 (refurb) was misaligned as well (tilted, swinged, rotated) - since recalibration it is perfectly aligned. But back then that was within warranty time and of course I didn't have to pay anything.
    Last edited by thomas; 6th February 2010 at 08:05.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Rob,
    Thanks for all the information on the Leaf, Does it have some kind of "Live View" mode on it? Can you actually do critical focus on the back of the back if you were using like a hoodman magnifier?
    How do you think this back compares to the P25+??

    Steven
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Jack,
    A little off topic
    are the SCHNEIDER APO Digitar XL 35,47, and 72mm lenses any good for use with a P25+ DB with some shift?

    Steven
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Rob,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    You should check if it's really the sensor or the finder (if you can really see it with your eyes looking at the sensor the misalignment must be huge). If it is the back I'd send it to service.
    Yeah its definitely the back, like I said this is easily visible upon removing the back from the camera. But it is just a demo, not one I own. I will report this to the vendor though.

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Rob,
    Thanks for all the information on the Leaf, Does it have some kind of "Live View" mode on it? Can you actually do critical focus on the back of the back if you were using like a hoodman magnifier?
    How do you think this back compares to the P25+??

    Steven
    I am not a big user of live view for a couple of reasons, even though it is there on my D3, the only time I have used it was for the novelty more than its usefulness. To my way of thinking the way live view works is to take many low res multi shots of the scene, which builds up heat, the last thing you want with a CCD sensor. So with this in mind if one were using it extensively to dial in a capture by the time you actually got around to taking the real picture it would seem noise would have built up excessively. Perhaps some other MF users who have had more experience with this than I could extrapolate on this issue. That said I have found manual focus to be very predictable on the setup with double the size viewfinder, and if you have enough light auto focus is not that bad. However, unlike the D3/x one has no idea where the focus points are within the viewfinder, as in they don't light up. For that matter for all I know there is only one FP. Auto focus on this camera is nothing like the sophisticated system Nikon or Canon have, not even remotely close.

    Nothing that I am aware of compares with the ergonomics of the pro Nikon cameras, ie live view, lcd monitor, various button controls etc. While the monitor on the Leaf is really quite large (6x7) and useful, make no mistake it is NOT the thing of beauty that the D3 & x have. The time or two I zoomed into an image to check focus left a lot to be desired by comparison, not only for its image quality but also the clumsy and slow method of moving around the image. Hardly worth the effort. OK now I got 3 complaints about the back. But FWIW, honestly I don't even use this function but rarely on my D3.

    Regarding the P25+ vs the Leaf, hard to say since I have not worked directly with the P25+ other than downloading some files provided at different places around the internet. However, and this is a somewhat unfair call due to my previous statement from what I have seen so far the Leaf-22 seems better in every way with the one exception of extremely long exposures. Others have stated the different and better look of the Dalsa sensor, and with my limited experience would concur wholeheartedly. As initially stated image quality is soooo smooth, yet very detailed and done so in a very natural non digital sort of way.

    Bottom line is you buy one of these critters not for its ergonomics because they all take a back seat to what you are used to, but rather its image quality.

    Hope this helps.

    Rob

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    are the SCHNEIDER APO Digitar XL 35,47, and 72mm lenses any good for use with a P25+ DB with some shift?
    excellent!

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Jack,
    A little off topic
    are the SCHNEIDER APO Digitar XL 35,47, and 72mm lenses any good for use with a P25+ DB with some shift?

    Steven
    I have not used the 47 or 72 personally, but by all accounts they are equal to the 35 which I have used and that one is very good. I would give the HR Digirons a very slight nudge over the Schneider for pure resolution on a 6 micron sensor, but I doubt you'll see any difference on a 9 micron senor and probably not even see it on a 6.8 sensor. Moreover, I tend to prefer the rendering of the Schneider's as they tend to be just a bit smoother. So it's choose your poison: tad better resolution, and a tad harsh rendering (Rodie HR APO), or a tad less resolution and a tad smoother rendering (Schneider APO) -- but we're talking very subtle differences here. Image circle then comes into play too, as do net range of focal lengths... To my mind, a 35, 47 and 72 on a FF MF sensor would be pretty close to an ideal trio.

    ,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Rob,
    you rock thanks for all your help.
    I guess I need to decide now on whether to go MF SLR like a Contax or go tech view camera, On my D3x, I use shift all the time for composition as opposed to tilting the camera up or down, and sometimes use tilt for DOF. If I go MF SLR like the contax then I pretty much loose shift all together, unless I buy a used Hartblie 47mm lens.
    I assume I would "have" to buy a arca cube then also or..
    go tech view

    Can't decide which way to go
    I guess I should do some more test shots with my D3x and compare doing shifts as opposed to just tilting the camera up and down for composition

    I attached a shot I took while in Hawaii with my D3x and 85mm PCE lens probably with 3-4mm of shift

    Steven
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    Re: Contax 645 + Phase One P45+ still viable mf system?

    Thanks for all the info Jack,
    Those 3 Schneider lenses are part of the kit that I am looking at also if I decide to go tech view over a MF SLR body.


    Steven
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