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Thread: A decision already made

  1. #1
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    A decision already made

    The leasing contract of my P45 was coming to an end. So what to do?
    Suddenly I found that I had a large number of possible directions to walk...

    Today I am using my Mamiya 6 cameras a lot. I am building up a analogue lab in my place. This stuff is more or less free. People give it away if I come and pic it up. Or they ask a symbolic sum. An professional enlarger that ones cost about 7 000 € cost now 50€. And I have an almost perfect set up of Mamiya RZ pro ll and Pro llD with different film backs. Plus a Chamonix 4x5 system.
    So regarding analogue system I am quit good set up.

    But what to do digital?

    I received an very good offer from my Phase one agent for an upgrade to a new P45+ back.

    The price was more or less in line with the cost for the new Pentax digital camera (including the last cost for the old P45). And that is an valid option as I have 3 lenses for this system:
    Pentax 645 FA 35mm f3.5

    Pentax 645 SMC-A 55mm f2.8

    Pentax 645 SMC-A 150mm f3.5
    + (Zörk PSA shift adaptor (Tripod Mount version) in Pentax 645/Canon EF mount)
    I bought this set up from “hubsand” at the 16:9 site. He had cherry picked this lenses for best performance. So I already had a good lens set up to start with.

    And I guess that there is a Canon 1Ds mark4 in the pipe line in the not so far away future. Ant the cost I suppose will be as previous models, more or less. And I have already some lenses for this system so...

    But in the end I went for the P45+ back!
    When I go trough all my photos the pictures from my Mamiy RZ and the P45 is special. So I am not finished with this system yet. It is a bit of a pain to carry. My normal set up weights about 17 kg, the tripod not included. But still, often I bring it with me... And it is outstanding in the studio!

    So the Pentax lenses will be put up for sale because I can not predict that I will leave the RZ- system in the future of 2-3 year ahead. And it also is a factor that my Phase One agent is extremely good to deal with. I had enough of bad dealers in the past...

    End of rant! Now it is your turn to tell me all wrong decision I have made
    Ray
    Last edited by Grayhand; 8th June 2010 at 13:36.

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    Not wrong at all. The P45+ is a outstanding back. I would have done the same if the trade up was at a nice price which you mentioned it was. The Pentax is intriguing for sure but a totally unproven system yet. We simply do not know yet what it can do but we certainly know what a P45+ can for sure. It's a great back and depending on timing and such it sounds like waiting with lease ending not really a option so in the end a perfectly good buy.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  3. #3
    Super Duper
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    Re: A decision already made

    Guy said it all as far as I'm concerned then again I too am shoot with a P45+.

    Congratulations!

    Don
    Don Libby
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    Thanks for your answer!
    Well I must admit that I was not that worried that my decision was completely wrong :-)
    I think this is one of those situation when 1 + 1 = 3,14, the combination of the RZ-system and P45, so switching to P45+ might be close to 3,5...

    But I wonder what users of the P45+ consider to be the maximum ISO if no noise reduction is to be applied? And if you use noise reduction, can you increase the ISO by two steps?

    Studio and nature photo differ, so I personally accept one stop higher ISO for nature than for studio, but ymmv.

    Ray

  5. #5
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    P45+ ISO 400 is tops and depending on your personal taste for noise 400 maybe too much. Obviously C1 will work the best here with Phase files as far as noise as well. Have yet to this day found a better raw processing better than C1 for Phase files and I know I never will either. After processing there are some good noise programs as well that will help also.

    Ray really the best answer on this is doing a few noise tests and see what level of tolerance for noise you have. I have done several tests involving the P45+ against the P30 and P40 Plus backs and these will be better at the higher ISO levels also need to remember when I run those tests it usually is the worst light around tungsten is the biggest culprit of noise. Here is a test that gives you some clues on the P45+ now it is not the best out of the three backs tested but it still holds it's own at the lower ISO. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8090
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  6. #6

    Re: A decision already made

    Well, i have a P45+ and they will have to take it from my cold dead hand...
    Just to be sure, have you asked a deal for a P65+ upgrade from your p45? Just wonder about the price difference.
    I don't let touch my file from CaptureOne. For me is too much aggressive, give a try to camera raw 6.0 or lightroom 3 (beta 2) They are simply amazing!!!! They made a huge step up. I don't know if i can get the same results from captureone, but camera raw is simply great, the colors are not as good as capture one, but i run a lot of retouching, so no problem. Up to 200 iso it's all ok, but with 400 and 800 you can see huge loss of color details in the shadow... so for the very best results it's better don't go over 200 iso...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    Thanks Guy for the link, I had missed that one...
    But looking at the noise test I have a feeling that ISO 800 with some light noise cancelling will work in print for many situations. And the colours of P45+ is good!

    Regarding the price different between P45+ and P65+, there was a substantial different, about 3.5 times, so I did not consider the P65+ a realistic option for my needs.

    Raw converters. A religious issue... But I think Capture One is outstanding with my P45 and Canon files. For me there is only one other that I use at special occasion when I want the maximum resolution out of a RAW file, and that is RAW Developer. (Only for Mac) The interface maybe not the smoothest but the result in resolution...

    Ray

  8. #8
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    I agree Raw developer will do a nice job on Phase files. I honestly hate LR with my Phase files but I do wonder about the aggressive comment on C1 though, maybe we can help in that regards.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  9. #9

    Re: A decision already made

    I understand it's not easy to think that camera raw is better then capture one. But i spent many hours trying to get a result as good as camera raw 6.0 with captureone. No way. Later i'll post an example at 200 iso...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    Interesting if Camera Raw 6 is better than Capture One.

    I am very pragmatic regarding tools, it is the end result that I care for.
    But I think to make it a fair test you should use a non-commercial photo that you also could include the original RAW-file with the file of your end result. Than we could all have ago at it and test what we mean by superior

    If you dont want to give away any RAW-file I could offer two P45 files, one nature and one studio, that could be used for a test. A cheap prise if I learn some thing new!

    Ray

  11. #11
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I understand it's not easy to think that camera raw is better then capture one. But i spent many hours trying to get a result as good as camera raw 6.0 with captureone. No way. Later i'll post an example at 200 iso...
    You can turn down all settings on C1 to zero, or no effect, so I simply cannot understand your "too aggressive" comment as C1 is only going to be so if you set it to be. I can certainly understand it maybe didn't work for you at default settings, but I'd also expect that some instruction on how to use C1 is in order. Granted that LR has localized adjustments available, but when used properly, nothing can make Phase files sing on color, detail, noise and total DR like C1.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  12. #12
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    Re: A decision already made

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Well, i have a P45+ and they will have to take it from my cold dead hand...
    Just to be sure, have you asked a deal for a P65+ upgrade from your p45? Just wonder about the price difference.
    I don't let touch my file from CaptureOne. For me is too much aggressive, give a try to camera raw 6.0 or lightroom 3 (beta 2) They are simply amazing!!!! They made a huge step up. I don't know if i can get the same results from captureone, but camera raw is simply great, the colors are not as good as capture one, but i run a lot of retouching, so no problem. Up to 200 iso it's all ok, but with 400 and 800 you can see huge loss of color details in the shadow... so for the very best results it's better don't go over 200 iso...
    Sound like you and I have similar aesthetics.

    Default noise reduction in Capture One for P45+ at ISO400 and 800 files is too high for my tastes.

    However you can change the defaults in a few seconds and with luminance noise reduction set to 0-5 and the color noise reduction turned down a wee bit from defaults (per your taste) I think you'll find the rendition is excellent.

    I'd take another look. LR3 certainly has taken a step forward in raw conversion quality, but once you tune C1 to your needs it is very likely you'll find it preferable.

    Of course we all need to remember that at the end of the day a lot of this is personal preference so there is no absolute right or wrong answer, but given my personal experience and the experience of the vast majority of our many many customers I would encourage you to give C1 another look (especially after modifying the default noise reduction settings).

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    Just a thought about noise, or maybe a question?

    When you say that you dont go over ISO 200 on the P45+ because of to much noise in the picture, what end use are you then considering?

    I do not make make photos for the screen, I only make them for print. And there is a world of different between what the picture look on the screen and how it look in print.

    So what output medium do you consider when you set your ISO limit?

    You = any who have an idea on this subject

    Ray

  14. #14
    Super Duper
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    Re: A decision already made

    My main thought/concern is aways the end result being what's going to be best for print, screen output is secondary and I really never think about it.

    Don
    Don Libby
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  15. #15
    Super Duper
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    Re: A decision already made

    Added thought regarding ISO. My default ISO is 50 and I very rarely ever go beyond 100. Then again that's for landscape.

    Don
    Don Libby
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  16. #16

    Re: A decision already made

    Eh eh First of all, i think capture one is a very good software. It's one of the resons i choose phase one. When i shoot tethered it's a rock. I spent lot of time fine tooning my preferences, but with camera raw 6 i get out of the box a very clean and film look like file. Now, this is my taste. I run lot of postproduction, so the colors are not a problem for me, i now capture one does a better job on it, but i prefer the results i can reach from camera raw 6.0. Note that with the older camera raw versions i cannot get the same results! I do mainly advertising, not fine art prints. By the way, i'm arranging a folder in my server with raw files taken this morning in my garden. 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 iso from P45+. I'm going to leave the folder for about a week so be fast!
    Here i attach a sample that speaks for itself. 400 iso with settings that are the best i can get of both software. But please, download the raw files and if you can, download photoshop CS5 if you don't have it. Take a look at it. Now, i'm using captureone for tehtering and camera raw for developing
    As soon as the upload finish i'll post the data for connecting to my server

  17. #17

    Re: A decision already made

    oh, the first photo is from camera raw 6, the second one is from captureone 5

  18. #18

    Re: A decision already made

    Ok, i hope you all know how to use a server ftp. So, here the data:

    hosting: michelesecchi.it
    user: getdpi
    password: 12345

    The preview in the forum are too bad, but you can download the files and post some crop...
    Oh, my server is not very big, so please just download the files and don't upload anything!
    My best
    michele
    By the way, this discussion is very interesting, perhaps i can learn something very very useful

  19. #19
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    My problem, Don, is that I some time shoots in rather dark places, and often there is wind.
    So if I dont want to have all that moves in the wind soft , I must increase ISO. And to retain some depth of field,
    I have to work with rather small aperture. So I am left with high ISO...
    Maybe a technical camera were I can place focus as I wish. I have my Chamonix 4x5, but is not a friend of windy places...

    Very nice to make those RAW-files available, I have down loaded them and will look at them.
    I will se what result I end up with

    Ray

  20. #20
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    OK, this is a quick test of the ISO 400 file.
    The cut-out is about your size and the size of the file is more or less the same, so we will suffer from the same amount of compression.
    Then there is, as always, the question about how good the screen calibration is...

    On my monitor, your white flowers looks slightly grey, I prefer them white.

    It is, more or less, in the vicinity of your Camera Raw file (at least in my opinion )

    I do not understand the big difference between your two examples, maybe you have some strange things going on in your copy of Capture One, Or maybe it is the normal difference between Windows and Mac
    I you use Windows...

    Ray
    Last edited by Grayhand; 11th June 2010 at 09:09.

  21. #21

    Re: A decision already made

    The difference between captureone and camera raw6 is that with camera raw the files are much more clean then captureone... you won't see that amount of noise and you can actually use 200 iso... give a try to camera raw, develop the 400iso with both system, tell me if you see differences... of course can be my eyes, but i see a better looking file.
    I use mac, and an Eizo weekly calibrated monitor. No way i'm in the wrong side of the road... I'm glad you enjoy the files i shared, it's a very good way to play with files from a P45+. They can help you in your decision alredy made

  22. #22
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: A decision already made

    Well I must agree with you that there is some differing between the files. And your favourite is not bad looking

    I have been working some more with C1 and thing that I have a slightly better file. I was first more focused on colour than noise on the wall.
    If I look at the ISO 50 file, then it is clear that the wall has some kind of yellow tint, so it is not all a result of colour noise at 400 ISO.
    So I wonder if you have not “cleaned up” a bit to much in your C1 file

    But for this kind of pixel peeping of grey concrete walls I normally use Raw Developer.
    Then I normally can squeeze a little bit more resolution out of the file. I have tried it a bit and it looks promising.
    But my biggest problem here is to convert the file into jpg...

    It is not the same picture after the conversion as what I started with. I normally never convert to jpg, I print from tiff-files.
    So maybe some one better at handling the conversion would get a better result than me

    But I doubt that much of this difference will be visible in a print of the full picture?

    But it is good pictures to try out the P45+

    Ray

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