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Thread: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

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    Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    I have an H4D 60 on order, but the new 40 has got me wondering. I have an H3D II 39 now and the 60 is a because I can thing rather than any necessity. I also have an A900 with Zeiss glass which I use mostly for people shots, particularly grandchildren.

    While having time to ponder before the 60 arrives, it appears that the 40 has a lot to offer. It can do 4 minutes, good ISO 800, and with a 100 could probably beat the A900 with an 85 hands down.

    I can buy the 40 for a bit more than the 60 upgrade so I would then have one body that can do long exposures and high ISO and another that would produce better image quality with less flexibility. I would then be able to sell the A900 and end up with a single system, and a backup body.

    I have yet to touch a 40 but the image quality looks great at high ISO. I would welcome your thoughts.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    I can't speak for the Hassy 40 but for the Phase 40+ with DF I eliminated anymore thoughts of a 35mm. At full res i get awesome 800 just like the Hassy will give you. Also I get the speed of camera and AF from the DF. Let's assume the Hassy HD4 is right there in the same category than that dividing line starts getting very blurred. Obviously this will depend on the work you do. I will shoot anything that pays from events to full blown ad campaigns than stage work. I simply have eliminated 35mm in my workflow. I would think given what I have read and know from my system the Hassy should be very close in speed and such. Serious improvements have been made to these new sensors and new bodies
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Thanks Guy. I agree that the lines have become very blurred. I will try to get my hands on a 40. Every time I use the A900, I know that I am going to be disappointed because I am used to the H3D files, and the Sony is a long way from that quality. Interesting times!
    Cheers,
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Jeff read this even though it is about the Phase it follows some of the same path. Difference is sensor plus with a smaller file but it's all the same thought pattern when you have shooting speed and high ISO it all starts blurring the lines more

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13379
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    I have an H4D 60 on order, but the new 40 has got me wondering. I have an H3D II 39 now and the 60 is a because I can thing rather than any necessity. I also have an A900 with Zeiss glass which I use mostly for people shots, particularly grandchildren.

    While having time to ponder before the 60 arrives, it appears that the 40 has a lot to offer. It can do 4 minutes, good ISO 800, and with a 100 could probably beat the A900 with an 85 hands down.

    I can buy the 40 for a bit more than the 60 upgrade so I would then have one body that can do long exposures and high ISO and another that would produce better image quality with less flexibility. I would then be able to sell the A900 and end up with a single system, and a backup body.

    I have yet to touch a 40 but the image quality looks great at high ISO. I would welcome your thoughts.
    EXACTLY the thought process I am going through right now Jeff. Moving from a H3D-II/39 to a H4D/60 ... and eyeballing the H4D/40.

    The unknown factor is just how much better the AF of the H4D is compared to the H3D-II/31 it replaces. Apparently, they have improved the focus assist light on the 4 which could help in lower light ... especially with the HC100/2.2. And the True Focus is something I have to experience to see how quickly you can implement it compared to moving the focus point around in the A900 viewfinder.

    Now assuming the new Phase One camera and the H4 are close in AF abilities, we can take a hint from Guy as he has offed all 35mm DSLR gear and has concentrated on just MFD 40 meg capture ... and he shoots some pretty diversified types of work. Maybe he'll chime in here with a thought or two about AF speed and handling. I think Jack has recently done the same with his Canon DSLR gear now gone, and his focus on the P65+ kit.

    Bet a dollar to a donut that the H4D/40 will shoot pretty good ISO 1600 with a bit of help from Nik Define 2 ... print size to print size ... as good as, or possibly better, than the A900 I'd wager.

    However, the A900 is lighter even with a 85/1.4 ... and the 24-70 is pretty convenient.

    BTW, check with your dealer, I'm pretty sure you can get a H4D/40 sans the 80/2.8 lens for some savings. My quote for the H4D was a bit less than the 60 trade.

    -Marc

    P.S., I see Guy already weighed in while I was typing. Either he never went to sleep or he is up VERY early

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    I slept a little. In Palm Springs getting ready to go scout for the workshops at the Salton Sea. I having bag nightmares this morning.I have like 6 bags in my room for shooting and can't decide what I want to play with today. LOL

    Glad I am not a women with 200 pairs of shoes, what stress that must be.LOL

    Certainly in Jacks and my case was the DF how much the improvement is in real life not the paper specs. The AF got much faster , shutter lag is basically gone and shooting speed of the backs got so much better and also our backs can do much better higher ISO than say your H39, P45+ backs so if your just short of doing sports work than you really have to wonder about 35mm and frankly if your still holding on for kids and personal get a little M4/3 system which have more gismos on them than a space ship. It came down to weighing your real needs and if I need a 35mm system I'm basically 10 minute drive time from renting and a hell of a lot cheaper to rent a 5DII and a few lenses than a MF system

    I just shot this 3 days ago corporate meeting stuff than a reception all at ISO 800. It's BS work but it's money
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    This stuff is the 35mm world. Now that has been elevated to MF. Do i need this type of file , hell no but I don't need another system and that is more my point. I can still get this stuff done than turn around and shoot the real work that I need a 40 mpx system. These are sensor plus but even so a bigger file to deal with on the Hassy these have gotten faster to process this stuff. Phocus 2 I hear is pretty good
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Similar thoughts from my side as a A900 plus Zeiss glass owner. And an owner of a H3D39.

    Even with the H3D39 I am already thinking of getting rid of my A900 system. Simply never used it since I have the Hasselblad. And I could imagine that the H4D40 is much faster and also gives reasonably good higher ISO, for sure comparable to A900 higher ISO.

    As "always with me" camera I have now the EP2 and I was wondering if I should sell my A900 system and stay only with Hasselblad and M43 or even add a kind of APSC DSLR like the new Nikon D300s with a single lens like the 18-200 VR, which would give me a handy but cheap but also very capable and fast DSLR system. And maybe - if really needed for wildlife photography - I could add another relatively cheap longer telezoom, even the Sigma's are pretty good today and for the number of times I use it more than enough.

    But I guess with those new generations of MF systems a high end DSLR becomes more and more unnecessary. Or other way around, a high end DSLR could also replace a MF system if handled right. Now my decision was clearly towards a MF system, so why keep a high end DSLR system?

    Another thought - if you have a Leica M system (like I do) I could also use the M9 as a high end DSLR replacement, but a compact one. Not the fastest system I admit, but for my purposes a good one.

    There are definitely many options today
    Last edited by ptomsu; 27th February 2010 at 04:11.

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    IMO MF and manual focus works pretty well for many things.
    You can shoot kids with a M9 and I took many great images.
    However a fast SLR with good servo AF allows you to take action and spontanious shots which are difficult to take with other cameras.

    The other thing is higher ISO- 800 ISO are fine today from many backs (including my 75LV) but still MF has less DOF, so a MF camera is still not an available light camera IMO.

    Third point is the flexibility of zooms and the use of tele lenses, MF just doesnt offer this flexibility.

    IMO today one can shoot many things with MF and I see the advantage (simplicity) of using just one system for everything.
    However I believe one needs to accept that certain things are nearly imposible with MF.
    Now I m sure it depends a lot what you photograph mainly.

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    EXACTLY the thought process I am going through right now Jeff. Moving from a H3D-II/39 to a H4D/60 ... and eyeballing the H4D/40.

    The unknown factor is just how much better the AF of the H4D is compared to the H3D-II/31 it replaces. Apparently, they have improved the focus assist light on the 4 which could help in lower light ....
    Now assuming the new Phase One camera and the H4 are close in AF abilities, we can take a hint from Guy as he has offed all 35mm DSLR gear and has concentrated on just MFD 40 meg capture ... and he shoots some pretty diversified types of work. Maybe he'll chime in here with a thought or two about AF speed and handling. I think Jack has recently done the same with his Canon DSLR gear now gone, and his focus on the P65+ kit.

    ....

    -Marc
    Marc,

    My bet is that the H4 will be pretty close in AF ability that the new Phase DF is---I just don't see one camera platform really cleaning the others clock right now. I tried the 645DF in the Basilica at the Carmel Mission, which is a dark beautiful venue for weddings. The 645DF locked on in very dimly lit areas, where my 5DII (center focus point only) would have hunted for a bit. I'd say AF on the 645DF was just a bit behind what my 1DS Mark III would do. Now just a bit of a disclaimer---I used the 80mm Schneider LS and the Phase 150mm D f/2.8. These lenses are smoking fast to lock focus. Frankly, I was surprised at how good the AF is on the 645DF---quite a leap over the 645AF.

    The smaller files of the Sensor + can be an advantage. Low light, higher iso, and better AF capabilities make these later generation MFDB systems much more flexible and capable, but if shooting a lot of weddings and events, I'd still hang onto a good DSLR system as being better suited. If I didn't shoot weddings, I would be following the exact path that Jack is with his P65+....

    ken

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Thanks for all the feedback, folks. I think the A900 is for the shove. I could never get the hang of the Leica M8. It just didn't do it for me, and no AF is a real challenge for old folks like me.

    The 40 is very appealing. I will get my hands on one, if I can only stop travelling every week. I think the 40 is a real game changer. I suspect that I will soon only own Hasselblads and my DLux 3.

    I really value this forum. I think that is the only place around these days where questions like this can get straight, civil answers with no BS. Thanks Guy and Jack. Long may you prosper.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Jeff, it's my understanding that you won't get long exposure with the H4D60. The 40, as you note, does up to 4 minutes. You will be very happy with the results as well. And there is no dark calibration shot required, so a 4 minute exposure is just 4 minutes.

    Kind regards,
    Derek

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    That's the conclusion that I am coming to, Derek. I must have died and gone to heaven, and there's even high iso. I wonder if auto-iso will ever happen?
    Last edited by Jeffg53; 27th February 2010 at 17:14.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    That's the conclusion that I am coming to, Derek. I must have died and gone to heaven, and there's even high iso. I wonder if auto-iso will ever happen?
    You haven't died but if this is heaven, it's not the change I had counted on (a US joke).

    What cost are you looking at for the trade in?

    I also agree, this forum is very good for straight answers and nice guys - no BS.

    Kind regards,
    Derek

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Derek,

    I can't remember at the moment but, from memory, it looks like the 40 would be a few k more than the trade to a 60. The two body solution would give me long enough exposure, and great high ISO. There don't seem to be a lot of negatives. I can forgo the extra MP for the other advantages. I would also pick up some extra cash by selling my A900 and Zeiss glass.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Man I envy you guys getting these new beast MF systems. I'm sitting here spotting and colour correcting 54 LF and MF scans and the process is driving me bananas.

    If only Mamiya would release a digital Mamiya 7 type camera. Then my Mastercard would really be in trouble!

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Derek,

    I can't remember at the moment but, from memory, it looks like the 40 would be a few k more than the trade to a 60. The two body solution would give me long enough exposure, and great high ISO. There don't seem to be a lot of negatives. I can forgo the extra MP for the other advantages. I would also pick up some extra cash by selling my A900 and Zeiss glass.
    I too would want the 60mp but I tried to subtly hint to you over at Nick's that you won't get the long exposure [with the 60] that you have wanted. I'm quite satisfied with the 39mp and my large prints on the 9800 are good enough for my customers, so a 60mp is vanity for me right now. What I'm saying is that you shouldn't feel shorted by the fewer mp's - unless you're printing larger. It's a good upgrade.

    Kind regards,
    Derek

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    IMO MF and manual focus works pretty well for many things.
    You can shoot kids with a M9 and I took many great images.
    However a fast SLR with good servo AF allows you to take action and spontaneous shots which are difficult to take with other cameras.

    The other thing is higher ISO- 800 ISO are fine today from many backs (including my 75LV) but still MF has less DOF, so a MF camera is still not an available light camera IMO.

    Third point is the flexibility of zooms and the use of tele lenses, MF just doesn't offer this flexibility.

    IMO today one can shoot many things with MF and I see the advantage (simplicity) of using just one system for everything.
    However I believe one needs to accept that certain things are nearly impossible with MF.
    Now I m sure it depends a lot what you photograph mainly.
    As I was preparing new wedding images for a website makeover ... I studied them to determine if I could jettison my 35MM DSLR kit and just use a H4D/40 and Leica M9.

    For some of my fast and spontaneous style of shooting ... I think not.

    Probably still need a DSLR and at least a 24-70 ... I also use a 70-200 + 1.4X when in the church and relegated to the rear or a balcony (but rarely use it after that and leave it in the SUV).

    But for some of the shots that I like to be ready for, even an updated MFD may not cut it ...

    like the "Bouquet Beat-Down" tryptic attached ... "Let's get ready to Rumble!"

    (absolutely nothing left of the flowers)

    -Marc

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    That's hilarious, Marc. A lot of guys would have missed those shots and just order another pitcher of beer.

    Nice composure in getting the shots. I'll bet the participants and guests loved them.

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    what would have prevented getting those shots with the H 40?

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Going faster than 1.25 seconds per image. But that would be about all. Flash still needs to recycle that fast anyway. i should add to get that fast recycle you need a good high ISO cam to do it since less power on output of flash.
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    DSLRs for weddings---you have a better range of lenses than in MF. For Marc's images above, a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS makes for short work easily with the zoom. I don't have anything in my MF gear-slut closet that I'd feel comfortable using in this type of situation (weddings) on a consistent basis. The Phase 75-150 D is good, but not nearly as good as the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 here; and for action shots, my short little legs can't shuffle back and forth that quickly using fast medium format primes like the 150mm D....

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    you could crop a 40m image quite a bit and compensate for the lack of zoom compared to a 20m image

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    you could crop a 40m image quite a bit and compensate for the lack of zoom compared to a 20m image
    True. But there comes a point when you're "working too hard" just to make an image work.

    For the occasional need, the new flexibility/capabilities (AF speed/higher iso) of recent MFDB technology is great. But if doing a lot of wedding work, fast paced receptions with sweaty wrestling bridesmaids, I'd still reach first for the 1DS Mark III.....


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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    what would have prevented getting those shots with the H 40?
    Actually I'm not sure it couldn't ... but it was a Nikon D3 which no MFD can match for AF speed. Plus, it was a 14-24/2.8 zoom: no such animal in MFD land. Maybe would have still had time to just get the whole sequence with a H4D/40, but it's a no-brainer, sure thing for a D3.

    D3, manual exposure @ 1/125th, f/5.6 SB900 on camera with a diffuser ... all of which could probably be done with a H4D/40 and a 28/4 and cropping the bigger file ... which I do anyway with the 35mm DSLR shots.

    Still, a 35mm DSLR is more suited to this stuff in almost every way.

    Now, this proposition isn't new to me ... I've used a H3D/31 and H3D-II/31 at weddings before and for the most part it was fine ... in fact it did excel when the lighting was tough sledding for the 35 DSLRs ... like shooting stuff midday in the open where a white wedding dress gives the 35s fits ... when I know I'll be facing light like that, I prefer MFD.

    Like for this shot attached where direct sun challenged the 35 cameras, which tended to blow the dress highlights if we tried to hold any shadow detail at all. Lots more leeway with a MFD in circumstances like this:

    -Marc

    Available light, H3D/31 ISO 100 @ 1/750th ... HC/100/2.2 @ f/4.6

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    I am sure there are many things where you could make MF work but the question is how hard is it to achive and for what reason.
    There are areas where I believe in the advantages of MF but there are also areas where I would rather rely on the fast AF and exp metering and lexibility of DSLRs.

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I am sure there are many things where you could make MF work but the question is how hard is it to achive and for what reason.
    There are areas where I believe in the advantages of MF but there are also areas where I would rather rely on the fast AF and exp metering and lexibility of DSLRs.
    As a wildlife guy, I strongly agree. MF for landscapes for sure, but even with Sensor+ on my P1 DF, the lack of anything beyond 300 mm (great tho' that APO lens is) means I turn to a DSLR for real telephoto work.

    Here's what I mean...just can't do this with MFDB.

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Here's what I mean...just can't do this with MFDB.
    H3DII39 - 300mm + 1.7x (500mm) - manual focus:



    With respect, I disagree. Perfect practice makes perfect.

    Kind regards,
    Derek Jecxz
    www.jecxz.com

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    So it all comes down to applications and how much you do in those applications.

    I don't mind "stretching" any given format, if it's only once in a while ... which is what Guy's point is I think.

    I've shot quite a few commercial "action jobs" with a H3D/31 and 39 and rarely missed a shot. I needed the big files for the end use. Now the H4D sounds even more capable.

    But I don't shoot very many sports jobs and virtually no wildlife requiring super teles. 300/4 is my longest MF HC lens (however, I sure can crop in on those files : -) I shoot kids all the time, and the H AF is no problem ... on the other hand, I'm sure not going to use a $30K MFD rig to shoot my little Chi that runs around like a Jackrabbit.

    Horses for courses.

    -Marc

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I am sure there are many things where you could make MF work but the question is how hard is it to achive and for what reason.
    There are areas where I believe in the advantages of MF but there are also areas where I would rather rely on the fast AF and exp metering and lexibility of DSLRs.
    Quote Originally Posted by jecxz View Post
    H3DII39 - 300mm + 1.7x (500mm) - manual focus:



    With respect, I disagree. Perfect practice makes perfect.

    Kind regards,
    Derek Jecxz
    www.jecxz.com
    Derek,

    I stand partly corrected! Let's say that I get many more keepers of wildlife with fast autofocus and 5 fps! And birds in flight....well...

    Great foxy face, though!

    Best,
    Bill

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Derek, I stand partly corrected! Let's say that I get many more keepers of wildlife with fast autofocus and 5 fps! And birds in flight....well...
    100% Correct. It's a lot more effort to do the some types of 35mm work with an MF camera. Be well.

    Kind regards,
    Derek Jecxz
    www.jecxz.com

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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    I think if your any good you could use any camera system. Just tell your customer that is what you need and they don't care (unless they are a closet photographer). In any event the march of progress will level the playing field on prices to where you will use MFD or 35 based on what you need and not based on price. Discussions and arguments about what people need will be more realistic and believable then.

  33. #33
    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: Can the H4D 40 replace an A900

    SLR vs MF for wildlife is an interesting topic; but several factors

    1. How big! :-) (Ahmm; fox vs cardinal?)
    2. Portable?
    3. Final print size

    I have experimented with:
    Leica Modular (up to 1600mm) with DMR, P65+ (with sliding back) and even M8!
    Contax 350mm and 1.4x with P25 to P65+
    Leica 400/6.8 with DMR, Viso-M8 and Pentax K-7
    Schneider 300/2 with Hassey adapter and Contax
    350mm SA Zeiss with P65+

    The most satisfyng yields overall?

    fixed; 350mm SA (or Contax) with P65+ unbelievable detail on a tripod with Better beamer flash!
    mobile 400mm/6.8 and DMR (though recent experments with K-7.. really neat! stabilized 400mm)

    its fun, but Doug just proves one thing; we are ALL focusing on the wrong thing-equipment.
    HE can get close enough to tickle their tailfeathers while we are lucky to get into the same county!

    Victor
    Last edited by gogopix; 4th March 2010 at 04:08.

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