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Thread: MF observations

  1. #1
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    MF observations

    What one thing i have noticed immediately with MF is the lack of DOF coming from crop sensors and the bokeh produced from it is quite outstanding. You no longer need 1.4 lenses although that would be fun but what i am finding and this brings back memories from shooting Hassy and film years ago is that nice falloff you get in MF. Something about it just is completely different than anything else in smaller formats . Yes you can great bokeh and falloff but what i think I am seeing more is the more gradual tone. Than again i could be having a flash back, who knows . But i know one thing even a cheap lens like the Mamiya 150 3.5 does amazingly well here. i shot this at 3.5 handheld at 1/80. Now as I play more with this system i am really getting it with regards to handling. Folks this is just a weird size DMR for me with a much bigger file and viewfinder. It honestly is no different and feel very confident I can shoot almost anything with it. I guess it has been so long since i shot medium format i forgot how easily it is to handle. Okay my lenses are pretty light and small but still it just fits me really nice. One thing to that credit is i rigged up a hand strap to it and i am a hand strap freak. Another strange thing is my ability to hand hold this well. i don't know what it is but I am pretty deadly to 1/30 of a second , ow the M8 i do better but i was expecting i really need to get on a tripod all the time. Not my favorite thing in the world but i can still nail stuff at slow speeds. My only biggest issue is review the ZD is a 4 to 5 second wait on review , slow let's face it but here is the thing if you forget about that and just shoot than you never notice it and it is pretty darn fast.

    Now the ergonomics are a little odd for me and I will get the Mamiya AFD III when it comes out since it looks like they smoothed the front side down a little. I have short fingers so the reach is sometime tough but anyway I am just rambling here on m feelings but i am really digging this . The files are awesome and may not always need that punch but it's there for me. Some of the things I am seeing and i have been in digital since the beginning is the Macro detail and Micro detail plus the DR in these images i have not seen before in smaller formats. Don't get me wrong i loved the DMR and the M8 and there pretty close but this is another step up and frankly just thrilled at what I am seeing so far. i also notice some vignetting that seems pretty natural and maybe because i am wide open here but even stopped down i am seeing more 3d looking. maybe I'm nuts but there is something different here i really like. Just my Friday afternoon observations.

    Oh and here is Drake my bokeh test dog. LOL
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    Re: MF observations

    I guess here is my point even a crappy subject matter like this looks really good. It's the look
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Welcome to the REALLY slippery slope Guy <BIG GRIN> I've been wondering for a couple years now when you would finally make this move, and see just what you have been missing all this time.....

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    Re: MF observations

    All the more reason to hope larger sensors arrive sooner than later (48x48 or 56x56 as has been hinted at).

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I guess here is my point even a crappy subject matter like this looks really good. It's the look
    Guy, that is definitely as fine a picture of a spectacularly prosaic subject as one could ever hope to find on the forum.

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    Re: MF observations

    Well it is down right ugly. Who said i always shoot pretty pictures. LOL

    But seriously that would even look worse

    Chuck better catch me my friend i am sliding quick down the slope.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well it is down right ugly. Who said i always shoot pretty pictures. LOL

    But seriously that would even look worse

    Chuck better catch me my friend i am sliding quick down the slope.
    hehe, i see you buying rolleiflex in six months

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    What one thing i have noticed immediately with MF is the lack of DOF coming from crop sensors and the bokeh produced from it is quite outstanding. You no longer need 1.4 lenses although that would be fun but what i am finding and this brings back memories from shooting Hassy and film years ago is that nice falloff you get in MF. Something about it just is completely different than anything else in smaller formats . Yes you can great bokeh and falloff but what i think I am seeing more is the more gradual tone. Than again i could be having a flash back, who knows . But i know one thing even a cheap lens like the Mamiya 150 3.5 does amazingly well here. i shot this at 3.5 handheld at 1/80. Now as I play more with this system i am really getting it with regards to handling. Folks this is just a weird size DMR for me with a much bigger file and viewfinder. It honestly is no different and feel very confident I can shoot almost anything with it. I guess it has been so long since i shot medium format i forgot how easily it is to handle. Okay my lenses are pretty light and small but still it just fits me really nice. One thing to that credit is i rigged up a hand strap to it and i am a hand strap freak. Another strange thing is my ability to hand hold this well. i don't know what it is but I am pretty deadly to 1/30 of a second , ow the M8 i do better but i was expecting i really need to get on a tripod all the time. Not my favorite thing in the world but i can still nail stuff at slow speeds. My only biggest issue is review the ZD is a 4 to 5 second wait on review , slow let's face it but here is the thing if you forget about that and just shoot than you never notice it and it is pretty darn fast.

    Now the ergonomics are a little odd for me and I will get the Mamiya AFD III when it comes out since it looks like they smoothed the front side down a little. I have short fingers so the reach is sometime tough but anyway I am just rambling here on m feelings but i am really digging this . The files are awesome and may not always need that punch but it's there for me. Some of the things I am seeing and i have been in digital since the beginning is the Macro detail and Micro detail plus the DR in these images i have not seen before in smaller formats. Don't get me wrong i loved the DMR and the M8 and there pretty close but this is another step up and frankly just thrilled at what I am seeing so far. i also notice some vignetting that seems pretty natural and maybe because i am wide open here but even stopped down i am seeing more 3d looking. maybe I'm nuts but there is something different here i really like. Just my Friday afternoon observations.

    Oh and here is Drake my bokeh test dog. LOL
    So, Guy ... I slid my chair back ... leapt to my feet spontaniously ... and burst into the "I told you so" dance

    "I told ya so, I told ya so ... I told ya ... told ya ... told ya so."

    Other than the M8 and a few key lenses, and maybe a DSLR with fav optics for a few applications and lower light work, AND as you get your technique down, you will increasingly turn to your MFD camera as the solution. Superior IQ is the addiction, especially for a lot of the stuff you shoot.

    Tripods, mirror up, cable release are nice to really squeeze everything out of a file, but a hinderence to be sure. I favor a Monopod when needed ... but, like you, am a great fan of hand straps for more spontanious shooting.

    My Prediction : this set up will take on a greater role in your business ... you will move to a second digital back like an Aptus 75 or maybe a Phase One P45 with-in a year or so ... but keep the Mamiya ZD as your back-up. Other stuff will began gathering dust and you'll sell it to feed the addiction.

    The slope isn't just slippery, you have already slipped, are on your *** doing 100 MPH down the slope, Mamiya in hand snapping as you go ...

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by BJNY View Post
    All the more reason to hope larger sensors arrive sooner than later (48x48 or 56x56 as has been hinted at).
    Gentlemen, start your wallets.

    Veroooom, veroooooom, sputter, sputter, gasp, choke ...

    Interestingly, not one pro I've discussed this with is clamoring for a larger, even more expensive sensor. They are far more interested in improving what exists to get better ROI on the money they've already invested. Better lenses, tilt/shift options, even more improvements in AF, better software and firmware, improved signal to noise performance, less expensive Multi-Shot abilities, more sophisticated Moiré suppression, and so on.

    I'd love a 48X48 or 56X56 back for my V cameras or RZ, and I'm sure the Hy6 folks would be targets ... but the question would be price to actual need ratio ... $40K+ a pop would induce me to love the one I'm with even more.

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    Re: MF observations

    Here's a thread discussing larger sensors:

    http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...howtopic=17745

    Guy will love post #70

  11. #11
    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Interestingly, not one pro I've discussed this with is clamoring for a larger, even more expensive sensor.
    I have seen one or two in the forums, asking for a large square sensor, but they are a very small minority, and it seems they have no grasp of the reality of how much it would cost to fabricate sensors that large in such small numbers.

    All I really miss from the back is high ISO performance. The rest is just 'nice to have', like higher frame rate etc.

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    Re: MF observations

    I doubt 36x48 sensors costs the digital back manufacturers the same as it did 2-3 years ago. Digital backs with larger physical sensors should occupy the current $33K MSRP/MAP price slot, with existing backs sliding down in price accordingly (happening already).

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by BJNY View Post
    Here's a thread discussing larger sensors:

    http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...howtopic=17745

    Guy will love post #70
    Funny every report made it is a Leaf 22mpx sensor in the ZD. Not sure i buy the grading system myself. They only thing I can imagine is if a sensor or chip coming off the factory floor has hot pixels or something like that , they may sell it to a non photographic source. Even so and it is true this ZD is pretty darn good today. I would expect myself to upgrade to the new AFD-III for sure. I can't in my heart buy Contax bodies. I know but it is a dead system is the bottom line and no improvements will be made and that bugs me and any gear head likes techy crap coming on a normal basis. Mamiya , Hassy and Sinar are really in my mind the only players to move forward in technology with camera's. Honestly don't know if Leaf is making bodies or not have not looked into that. The backs are different with several players but entry point is the cheapest with Mamiya on the bodies and lenses. i would expect from there i will pick a back to match the Mamiya and hopefully in San Juan , Lance is bringing a bunch of backs and gear to demo and i can get a better feel for other options.

    You just don't buy this stuff you have to try it first and if move up i am going to try everything including the Sinars and Hassy stuff. But i am so happy just to be in the door . I waited actually too long to jump.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    So, Guy ... I slid my chair back ... leapt to my feet spontaniously ... and burst into the "I told you so" dance

    "I told ya so, I told ya so ... I told ya ... told ya ... told ya so."

    Other than the M8 and a few key lenses, and maybe a DSLR with fav optics for a few applications and lower light work, AND as you get your technique down, you will increasingly turn to your MFD camera as the solution. Superior IQ is the addiction, especially for a lot of the stuff you shoot.

    Tripods, mirror up, cable release are nice to really squeeze everything out of a file, but a hinderence to be sure. I favor a Monopod when needed ... but, like you, am a great fan of hand straps for more spontanious shooting.

    My Prediction : this set up will take on a greater role in your business ... you will move to a second digital back like an Aptus 75 or maybe a Phase One P45 with-in a year or so ... but keep the Mamiya ZD as your back-up. Other stuff will began gathering dust and you'll sell it to feed the addiction.

    The slope isn't just slippery, you have already slipped, are on your *** doing 100 MPH down the slope, Mamiya in hand snapping as you go ...
    Ah **** just been waiting for you to pounce on me. Okay i owe you a steak dinner. LOL

    Marc seriously though I have been reading your posts for years and I have the upmost respect for you and you know that. So your influence in this area has not gone unnoticed . I just had to revamp my thoughts on what each system brings to me. The M8's were the only system and i love them still but they just can't do it all and needed a DSLR. So I got the D300 a fine capable machine and when I went into Camera West with hard cold cash to purchase a D3 I really got to thinking what am i really buying here. Not much to be honest ,maybe a slight gain over the M8 and a better file over the D300 but not a leap and bounds thing ( image quality only is my goal). Don't get me wrong the D3 is a amazing machine and still like to get one no doubt but the ZD presented itself with a much bigger jump up. I pondered it for 2 days after trying it maybe one . And the funny thing is i was going to sneak out at a lunch break with Jack and everyone heard we were going again and the whole gang went too. It was funny and everyone got a kick out of it and they bought more gear too. It's a drug man. LOL

    Anyway thanks my friend and love to see you and your wife sneak off to San Juan and join us. This will be a great shooting op.


    BTW i was just thinking last night about the monopod would be a excellent tool for this.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Guy,
    If you go the monopod route, one thing you might consider is to mount an RRS plate to the bottom of you Mamiya, and get a RRS lever release mount to screw to the top of the monopod. Though most recommend the thumbwheel over the lever release for monopods, I have been using big heavy glass with the lever release without any issues, and it is so nice to be able to quickly pull the rig off the monopod. If you are going to walk around with the camera on the monopod, leaning it over your shoulder for carry, then I would suggest the thumbwheel mount instead to allow an even tighter grip. It is slower to attach and remove, but would not have any chance of slip. (I had RRS adjust my lever releases on my monopods to be be tighter when they clamp down, but as is, they could be a bit loose with heavy gear. My long lens and body weigh about 16 pounds and my rig does not slip when carried.)

    Sorry for the sidetrack, but shooting on a monopod is not all that hard, and can make a big difference when you get down to slower shutter speeds. It all felt uncomfortable for me at first, but it is so much easier to work with than a tripod for anything other than fixed shooting. Take a look at the tilt arrangement RRS has on their site also. That may be you ticket for being close to working like a ballhead on tripod, but so much faster to move around for shooting.

    LJ

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    Re: MF observations

    Ahead of the game finally. I have a RRS plate on the Mamiya right now and a BH-25 head sitting on the Monopod. I may just get a receiving plate though because of the weight , but I did try the BH-25 on the tripod since I am waiting for my BH-55 to come and it actully held the Mamiya pretty well but you need to really tighten it down.

    My biggest issue is the RRS plate on the Mamiya and the hand strap . There is no slot for the hand strap so i have it wedged on a pin to hold it , makes me nervous though and I may see if I can find someone to cut a slot in the plate for me. Or I have a D3 camera plate that has the slot but the curved sides need to be cut off. Looks like I need a machinist to get the strap correct. If anyone has idea's on this they would be most welcome. i should check with Kirk on this
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    This maybe better since i can go through a slot

    http://www.kirkphoto.com/newplate5p.html
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Not to butt in, but I have a gitzo carbon fiber monopod with a RRS clamp on it that I never use. I would sell it to you for a very good price.

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    Re: MF observations

    Thanks Stuart I actually have a Gitzo myself the G15 which I really like. But you should post it , someone here will buy it.

    I may need the clamp though. Lever or screw if you sold it seperate
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Guy,
    Using a ball head on a monopod can work, but it is a real PITA since you have too many things to fiddle with and getting the ball tight enough is always an issue. The monopod permits you to swivel and tilt any way you like as is, so a more secure connector of camera to stick is all you really need.

    I do not know what the handstrap attachment points require, so cannot really help there, but RRS may even have an option for you there also. I would give them a call.

    To work more as a walkabout, I even use a monopod pouch hanging from my gear belt. That allows me to shorten the monopod, tuck the end into the pouch, and be able to get a pretty steady platform almost anywhere. Not quite as stable as if the end were on the ground, but it is not bad if you are walking and shooting, like on the street or trail or something. It does not get in anybody's way. With my big glass, I use a neck strap tether to the lens, so that it does not get away from me if I accidently let go of things. That arrangement even allows me to let the rig lean forward so that I can view things on the camera back using both hands, or even to show others when chimping ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: MF observations

    FWIW, I figured a really slick way to mount the hand strap using my Kirk L bracket on the M645. I simply filed a thin notch in the plate where the plate meets the body. It is just slightly wider than the strap and slightly less deep than the doubled strap is thick. I then essentially pinch the strap between the plate and body and have one of those plastic rings on the inside to keep it from slipping through. Picture worth 1000 words on this, so give me a minute to add one
    Jack
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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Guy,
    Using a ball head on a monopod can work, but it is a real PITA since you have too many things to fiddle with and getting the ball tight enough is always an issue. The monopod permits you to swivel and tilt any way you like as is, so a more secure connector of camera to stick is all you really need.

    I do not know what the handstrap attachment points require, so cannot really help there, but RRS may even have an option for you there also. I would give them a call.

    To work more as a walkabout, I even use a monopod pouch hanging from my gear belt. That allows me to shorten the monopod, tuck the end into the pouch, and be able to get a pretty steady platform almost anywhere. Not quite as stable as if the end were on the ground, but it is not bad if you are walking and shooting, like on the street or trail or something. It does not get in anybody's way. With my big glass, I use a neck strap tether to the lens, so that it does not get away from me if I accidently let go of things. That arrangement even allows me to let the rig lean forward so that I can view things on the camera back using both hands, or even to show others when chimping ;-)

    LJ
    Yea this leads me more towards a L bracket instead. This way i can just flip the body . I think this maybe the best route and a receiving plate on the monopod. i actually like using monopods . My 180 apo and DMR got a lot of use together.

    Yes sometimes i stick the monopod in my gut to get some support
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Not to butt in, but I have a gitzo carbon fiber monopod with a RRS clamp on it that I never use. I would sell it to you for a very good price.
    Stuart,
    Which model Gitzo do you have, and is that a lever release clamp or a standard screw release clamp on it? I may be interested. I have two Velbon carbon fiber monopods that I use all the time now, but the bigger one (Neo Pod 7) is finally having some leg section problems after several years of very hard use. I need something fairly tall for my standing work, since I am 6'4", hence the big Velbon. But a taller Gitzo may work for me also. PM if you care.

    LJ

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    FWIW, I figured a really slick way to mount the hand strap using my Kirk L bracket on the M645. I simply filed a thin notch in the plate where the plate meets the body. It is just slightly wider than the strap and slightly less deep than the doubled strap is thick. I then essentially pinch the strap between the plate and body and have one of those plastic rings on the inside to keep it from slipping through. Picture worth 1000 words on this, so give me a minute to add one
    Okay big fella sell me on it. LOL
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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yea this leads me more towards a L bracket instead. This way i can just flip the body . I think this maybe the best route and a receiving plate on the monopod. i actually like using monopods . My 180 apo and DMR got a lot of use together.

    Yes sometimes i stick the monopod in my gut to get some support
    This is why I suggested the lever release clamp, it allows very rapid change from landscape to portrait mode, but you do need the L-bracket for that. I can flick open the lever with my thumb and pull the rig, re-orient and snap it back down very quickly, versus sliding it out of a regular screw clamp and doing all that part. Either will work very nicely. Just have to be sure the lever clamp gets tight enough, and that is where it is important to watch for mixing the Kirk and RRS stuff. Although both are Arca-Swiss dovetail mounts, they are not exactly the same width/thickness, so things may be loose or tight. Check this out carefully, and I do suggest the neckstrap as a safety ;-) (Also, get a pouch to hang off your belt rather than using your gut. Weighs nothing, does not get in the way, does not look too dorky, and it is much, much more secure.)

    LJ

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Stuart,
    Which model Gitzo do you have, and is that a lever release clamp or a standard screw release clamp on it? I may be interested. I have two Velbon carbon fiber monopods that I use all the time now, but the bigger one (Neo Pod 7) is finally having some leg section problems after several years of very hard use. I need something fairly tall for my standing work, since I am 6'4", hence the big Velbon. But a taller Gitzo may work for me also. PM if you care.

    LJ
    LJ -- It is a Gitzo G1568 mk2 with a manfrotto 3232 head (only goes from side to side...it just flops over to one side or the other), and a RRS screwclamp.

    If that sounds like something you would be interested in, let me know.

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Okay big fella sell me on it. LOL
    Here's the pics. Sorry for the crappy P&S jpegs, but I recently sold off all my studio lighting:
    Jack
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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    LJ -- It is a Gitzo G1568 mk2 with a manfrotto 3232 head (only goes from side to side...it just flops over to one side or the other), and a RRS screwclamp.
    That's the exact set up I have --- works great, but I never use mine anymore either. Used to use it with long glass on my Canon when shooting sports.
    Jack
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    Re: MF observations

    Hmmm you dog I like that. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    That's the exact set up I have --- works great, but I never use mine anymore either. Used to use it with long glass on my Canon when shooting sports.
    I bought it thinking it would help me, but it's not really my shooting style. I am either fully on a tripod, or fully off. If I did sports or wildlife, It would be ideal.

  31. #31
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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    LJ -- It is a Gitzo G1568 mk2 with a manfrotto 3232 head (only goes from side to side...it just flops over to one side or the other), and a RRS screwclamp.

    If that sounds like something you would be interested in, let me know.
    Stuart,
    That sound like it is right between my Velbon Neo Pod 6 (60" tall) and Neo Pod 7 (66" tall) as the newer model Gitzo GM2540 at (63" tall). With the Bogen piece you probably get an extra 1-1.5" height. That may just make it for my standing use with my 400mm f2.8 lens. Hmmm....now you have me thinking.

    LJ

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    Re: MF observations

    Jack,
    That is a pretty clever innovation, and it looks like it would do the job nicely for using the handstrap. I think L-brackets are great....bit bulky until you need to quickly swap directions on a tripod especially, and they beat the ballhead flop by a long run. The handstrap is also a superb addition for camera handling. You have a simple and somewhat elegant solution here. Guy, you need to think about this ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: MF observations

    Guy,

    Are you forgetting that I have a complete machine shop, (mill, lathe, surface grinder, blaster, welding, buffers, sanders, saws, and measuring equipment) about 40 minutes down the road from you in Chandler?

    Give me a call and stop down. We can modify your plates.

    If you bring the Mamiya, we can shoot those product shots in the studio for a direct comparison to the D3. The only problem is that I'm afraid of falling off the same slippery slope.

    Best,

    Ray

  34. #34
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF observations

    Yes i was forgetting sounds like a good idea. i will call you this week
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  35. #35
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    I think L-brackets are great....bit bulky
    Agreed, but FWIW this Kirk plate for the Mamiya 645 is tucked in very nicely along the side and you don't really even notice it's on the camera...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  36. #36
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF observations

    Yea just spend more of my money. Geez
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  37. #37
    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Re: MF observations

    Jack my wife thanks you for showing me the Arca Swiss head. I have been obsessing over it since we got back from the workshop.

  38. #38
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: MF observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ramos View Post
    Jack my wife thanks you for showing me the Arca Swiss head. I have been obsessing over it since we got back from the workshop.
    Yes, I'm SURE she is "thanking" me

    (Bit of an inside joke folks. At our Carmel printing workshop I showed Joseph my Arca Cube head. Being another qualified gear-hound, Joseph is now toast with any other head. If you still don't understand, check out the price of the Arca Cube -- it's painful, and unfortunately worth every penny... )
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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