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Thread: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

  1. #51
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I also learned that 645DF cameras with 75-150mm lenses on them are big and heavy and if there's a way to slip out of a tripod head QR that's not quite tight enough it'll find it. Don't ask how I know that ...
    My ears still hurt.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    My ears still hurt.
    645DF's make a reassuring THUD sound. The Mamiya / Tiffen tinkle sound wasn't so reassuring ... and ... expensive.

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    Personally, as much as I love the quality of MF, there is no way I would tackle a modern senior session where I'm expected to capture hundreds of images.

    I don't do much portrait work anymore, but for individuals I still opt for the canon over the p65+.
    Wayne,

    I use camera stand or tripod outside with my 5dmk2 (and have to remember to turn off IS or use my non-IS lens) so it's just the post production that takes the time really. If Hassie had ability to produce a small jpg for viewing and selecting at time of download, or even if I could just shoot jpg full size in studio (it's a nice controlled atmosphere that's metered even if the digital output of strobes is same as always for that background or set-up).

    Did a family session Saturday. 226 images, but mfd is worth the workflow slow down because it's the right tool for right job with a group.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Good comments Mark.
    +1

    BTW, great thread, Guy.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schneider View Post
    Wayne,

    I use camera stand or tripod outside with my 5dmk2 (and have to remember to turn off IS or use my non-IS lens) so it's just the post production that takes the time really. If Hassie had ability to produce a small jpg for viewing and selecting at time of download, or even if I could just shoot jpg full size in studio (it's a nice controlled atmosphere that's metered even if the digital output of strobes is same as always for that background or set-up).

    Did a family session Saturday. 226 images, but mfd is worth the workflow slow down because it's the right tool for right job with a group.
    David, take a look at the new Phocus Quick. It let's you select Jpeg Large, Medium or Fast Preview ... or DNGs if preferred ... while also loading back-up fff RAW files. It's on the Hasselblad site under downloads.

    -Marc

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Like many here, it's been getting to grips with the shallower depth of field, and the unforgiving nature of focus errors in MFD that have proved to be the biggest lessons to learn - after coming from 5x4 film and MF film I thought my technique would be up to the task - WRONG! But being able to read on this forum that you're not alone with these issues has been very heartening, and the threads on tripods have helped me select one that is much more suited to MFD (the ubiquitous Gitzo GT 3541 XLS - couldn't run to the ArcaSwiss C1 Cube, so a Manfrotto 405 does for me instead) and my hit rate is improving! Mind you, when I look back at my 5x4 and MF trannies, I "discover" that my focussing wasn't as good, or depth of field as large as I remembered it as being... But then, I do print much larger now than I used to (rarely went to 16x20, mainly 12x16) (currently coveting a 24" printer, but my "spend controller" will kill me if one of those turns up without me selling off some darkroom kit first - there's no room for one thing!) and never looked at scanned files at 100% as I do regularly now when examining my 50MP images in Phocus. I'm still struggling to get the best out of the HTS 1.5, but when I get it right, it simply blows anything else I've yet done out of the water!

    Many thanks to all the regular contributors for your thoughts and experiences - it certainly helped me on my path to MFD nirvana!

    Henry

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Thanks Henry that means a lot to many folks here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    David, take a look at the new Phocus Quick. It let's you select Jpeg Large, Medium or Fast Preview ... or DNGs if preferred ... while also loading back-up fff RAW files. It's on the Hasselblad site under downloads.

    -Marc
    Marc,

    THANKS. Will take a look. Seems like what I'm asking for.

    By the way, have any idea why I can't get image in Viewer section of Phocus. My thumbnails are all there.

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryDove View Post
    Like many here, it's been getting to grips with the shallower depth of field, and the unforgiving nature of focus errors in MFD that have proved to be the biggest lessons to learn
    Henry,

    I'm wondering if that "unforgiving nature" has caused many us (me included) to slow down a bit, look a little harder, and become better photographers while taking a smaller quantity of images. Using mf again seems to have helped my visualization skills and I can see a little better than before what I want the image to be before the lights are set or pose is struck.

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    So far it only helped to make the choice--but when the choice will have arrived next week , I am sure it will also help to make the choice work. Great resources here and I very much appreciate the willingness of folks to chime in on all sorts of questions. Good fun too, because with a few exceptions people don't pontificate but engage in genuine discussions.

    Georg

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I've learned that it is next to impossible to use telephoto lenses from around 200-250mm and up on focal plane shutter medium format systems in available light and achieve a critical, top quality result.

    The shutter vibrations (not mirror slap), even at 1/focal length rule, cause substantial blur and often we don't even have *that* much light...

  12. #62
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Only a few weeks' experience here, but I've found a few things that have struck me...

    For one, focusing is INDEED a task that takes great care. In 35mm, I shot fast primes exclusively (1.4 and faster)... and I'll admit my keeper rate isn't much different with MF. The difference is that I shoot about a 10th the number of frames. I've been looking through a session from pre-christmas that was shot with my 5Dii. Slight OoF was everywhere....

    With my MF gear, I find that I generally set composition, then manual focus, then shoot. Manual focusing is really pretty easy if you take your time. It's had two very positive effects: 1) I don't cull as much due to bad composition and 2) It's slowed down my shooting immensely and consequently the quality from shot-to-shot is MUCH higher.

    A monopod is now my best friend . The need for higher shutter speeds in tandem with the lower ISO and "Slower" glass can be a real whammy for handholding.

    This next one may seem silly... but the tripod socket on the afdIII takes a larger thread, and my passable (but heavy) tripod has a non-removable head with a smaller thread size. I can't currently use my tripod! I can buy an inexpensive thread adapter, but I can already see that what worked for my light-ish 5d isn't going to pass for the mamiya/leaf... so, add one more expense to dante's account as I now begin shopping for a better tripod/head arrangement.

    Shutter lag. TBH, I can't tell what is "lag" and what is just design differences... but even at 1/1000th the huge shutter/mirror assembly just sounds slow. This really takes some getting used to. Even at VERY high shutter speeds, the camera doesn't have the reassuringly compact "chick, chick" of a smaller camera. More like a howitzer.

    Finally... the aspect ratio is much more in line with the aesthetic that I prefer. I don't crop the edges off of frames much at all... daddy like!

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    Member Frits's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Hey, following years of shooting with a DSLR I am happy to be a "Newbie" again .

    I have been a Nikon DSLR shooter since years, my latest being the D700 - truly the best DSLR I ever owned and an awesome performer.

    A little over a year ago I gave in to a long time craving and got myself a Hasselblad 500 C/M, just for nostalgia sake. After only a short while I got a digital back for it (Phase One P21) and I have been in love with MF ever since.
    So much so, that I have stepped up to a Hasselblad H1 / Phase One P25+.
    The step up in IQ is awesome. I print a fair bit at 13 X 19 and the increase in especially DR is great. The inherent (shallow) DOF of the format makes for very pretty renditions also.
    I mostly like to shoot people and landscape (travel also) and there is no turning back here.
    I will hang on to my Nikon gear for a while, but I may well let it go altogether (I have a nifty Olympus E-PL1 M 3/4 for easy walkabout backup).
    Frits

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Another thing I'm learning and I haven't even made the switch yet: The value of a good dealer. For years I've just been buying stuff at B&H. I think that works for 35mm equipment. But for this stuff, the dealer is a critical. Knowledge, testing, rentals, and just kicking around options.

    Invaluable.

    Dave

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I too started off the hard way searching the internet. Most searches lead me here. Compared to the DSLR world where every accessory is listed, but maybe not described, you cannot find what is available. So figuring out what adapter plate one needs is an exercise in futility. Again to beat that dead horse:

    1. Get a good dealer
    2. Get a good dealer
    3. Understand what you want to do with the gear
    4. The equipment is not a jack of all trades
    5. You most likely will have more than 1 system, be it a uber compact, M9, or a DSLR
    6. Dante is now your best friend
    7. You will cringe every time you see an image from your other system and wonder how you could use your MF gear to cover that use case

    On the technical end:
    1) DOF is still narrow
    2) Manual focusing is still as hard as it was 30 years ago but our eye sight has gotten worse
    3) Modern technology will really tell us when we messed up #2. Looking at the negs from when I owned a 500C/M, only for a year, my focusing with my RZ is about the same. When you nail the focus, OMG the images are delicious and addictive.
    4) Expect to re-learn your work flow.

  16. #66
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Thanks for that interesting thread Guy, just saw it late. Finally a MF topic without a versus or an against.

    Working (assisting) in high-end commercial, I'm working with Canons and Blads. Strictly talking about MF, focussing models is a sort of "unsecure" experience compared to the Canons at first but I learned to take some marks on the ground. With experienced models focussing is not an issue at all (because an experienced model hardly move), I must say that my rate of keepers increased with practise even on faster actions.

    On the plateau, I must admit that like my boss, I hate tether. Don't get me wrong. It's not that tether is bad, is that it is very distracting. Actually we don't tether with the Canon because of that but shoot on cards. It is horrible to hear the third assistant screaming "you're spot-on", "you're too far" etc...but the most distracting is that stylists and make-up artists are not watching the talent but the computers. The Apple gadgets, although usefull have multiplied the distracting. I'm fed-up to see everybody talking about the new iphone gadget in the pauses and bringing back them to work while they should be concentrated on the plateau is a real task. Since that, I don't count the number of times people stepping on cables, not noticing a reflect or a tear on the eyes because of the lightning etc...that never happens in a non tether session.

    I'm not a Phase users and can't comment on that, but I find the Hasselblad files extremely solid, they really handle severe post-prod without problems.

    Commercialy, in the kind of photography I'm immerged, MF is not sailable or necessary to clients. So the choice of shooting MF has more to do with looking for a certain render or simply a personal pleasure towards quality. The cost of the equipment is what is, I don't find it expensive or cheap in the context of a professional activity but the coast is in way a "lost cost", I rarelly saw an example where MF was the deal. If I was in arquitecture it would be completly different.

    Having said that, the results in terms of IQ is no way comparable to what dslrs can give, and I will never end to be surprised and fed-up with those silly thread over the internet trying to compare dslrs with MF or trying to discredit MF users with stupid arguments.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by GASC View Post
    Having said that, the results in terms of IQ is no way comparable to what dslrs can give, and I will never end to be surprised and fed-up with those silly thread over the internet trying to compare dslrs with MF or trying to discredit MF users with stupid arguments.
    Completely agree!
    Frits

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Having said that, the results in terms of IQ is no way comparable to what dslrs can give, and I will never end to be surprised and fed-up with those silly thread over the internet trying to compare dslrs with MF or trying to discredit MF users with stupid arguments.

    You won my member of the week award. Well said
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Actually this is a older thread , glad to see it back to life and a good time for it as well. Some great reading material here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Guy,

    I was surprised I miss this thread when I was doing my homework so thought it would good to kick it up to the top. Maybe down the road in another 6 months or a year someone else will find it and do the same.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I may just stick it too. I did
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I may just stick it too. I did
    I missed it too - good thread - lots of interesting ideas and information. Soon I may be the only person still shooting 35mm!

    Just this guy you know

  23. #73
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I missed it too - good thread - lots of interesting ideas and information. Soon I may be the only person still shooting 35mm!
    Well... if there is a 35mm camera out there that competes with MF on image quality, it's the M9. It's like taking all the good things of MF and compacting them for the M user... and those lenses, oh those lenses.

    I say stay with Leica, Jono... you really, really make it sing in your "in the moment" kind of way (and I mean that as a high compliment). We've talked about working style, and you've mentioned that your best work tends to be spontaneous and reactive... as an MF newbie, I think you'd lose that quality in your work were you to go MF. If anything, it has made my working method slower and more deliberate.
    Last edited by Shelby Lewis; 17th February 2011 at 17:47.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Well... if there is a 35mm camera out there that competes with MF on image quality, it's the M9. It's like taking all the good things of MF and compacting them for the M user...
    I completely agree. I'm sure part of that is due the fact that the M9 essentially has a MF sensor in it too. I find it a perfect complement to medium format, and based on the number of M9 shooters at the last GetDPI workshop I noted that ~50% choose the Leica and the remainder chose the Panasonic m4/3rds systems for their secondary camera choice. I'm sure that this is no accident!

    Jono: if it's not broken, don't fix it. You seem to be doing just fine with your M's ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mvirtue

    I too started off the hard way searching the internet. Most searches lead me here. Compared to the DSLR world where every accessory is listed, but maybe not described, you cannot find what is available. So figuring out what adapter plate one needs is an exercise in futility. Again to beat that dead horse:

    1. Get a good dealer
    2. Get a good dealer
    3. Understand what you want to do with the gear
    4. The equipment is not a jack of all trades
    5. You most likely will have more than 1 system, be it a uber compact, M9, or a DSLR
    6. Dante is now your best friend
    7. You will cringe every time you see an image from your other system and wonder how you could use your MF gear to cover that use case

    On the technical end:
    1) DOF is still narrow
    2) Manual focusing is still as hard as it was 30 years ago but our eye sight has gotten worse
    3) Modern technology will really tell us when we messed up #2. Looking at the negs from when I owned a 500C/M, only for a year, my focusing with my RZ is about the same. When you nail the focus, OMG the images are delicious and addictive.
    All very true with the exception of (7), depending upon what your other system is of course. The DoF difference is still the one that bites me when I return to MF. I go from oodles of DoF when shooting 35mm to narrow DoF with MF and kick myself when I forget to compensate or focus stack when shooting landscapes.

    The exquisite look of the files is intoxicating though, especially in print.

  25. #75
    Senior Member MaxKi▀ler's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Well being a newbie to photography and MFD, I guess it's about time to contribute to this thread...

    First of all, I'm constantly learning something new. Of course I know the basics but whenever I go out and shoot I discover some way to improve my capturing. It's just amazing and later I'm getting more skilled in PP. At least I hope so! It's an interesting process I'm in, in which I'm developing my "view". Processing that "correct" WB and how to compose appealingly etc. is also part of that process...

    Now the main reasons (not in order of priority) for me to abandon my 35mm gear and go MF were:
    -Narrower DoF - which I find very very beautiful.
    -12 stops of DR to get that 3D-look (true DR, not what the poeple of "dxomark" think... )
    -Sharper images
    -Better IQ
    -The opportunity to use film

    I find it much more challenging to work with medium format. Focussing especially with an open aperture often results in really beautiful images when I'm doing portraits and it reminds me to think of what I'm doing and not just point and shoot.

    I guess I just prefer working slower to get better results. A friend of mine uses a 35mm dslr and takes 10 times as much images as I do but in the end we both have about the same keeper rate...

  26. #76
    GASC
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKi▀ler View Post
    Well being a newbie to photography and MFD, I -12 stops of DR to get that 3D-look (true DR, not what the poeple of "dxomark" think... )

    I guess I just prefer working slower to get better results. A friend of mine uses a 35mm dslr and takes 10 times as much images as I do but in the end we both have about the same keeper rate...
    Oh yes, those DxO...I think that the day they invented that (on an inocent attempt) they did not realise they just dropped an hydrogen bomb on the photography forums.

    It has became a reference for discrediting MF gear, a sort of scientific proof for the week-end engineers and alimentates the hot and useless debates like "my gear is better than yours".

    With DxO, now the pentax K7 matches the P65+ . We are living on a nice imaginary disneyland planet.

    There is a thread on the Luminous Landscape that's worth to mention, in the very line of the DxOers. It's called 645D vs D3x (you knew there was a versus didn't you). This never ending topic full of graphics, "proofs" of all kind has reached so far 150 repplies from members and the incredible number of 7153 views at the time I write this...and it keeps going.

    If you have the time to read it...:sleep006:

    As you see, a lot to do with photography, sorry, doxography.

  27. #77
    Senior Member MaxKi▀ler's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    An interesting thing I forgot to mention: The longer I use my gear, the better it gets. Sounds weird, but somehow that's how it is. My ZD Back for instance. I was told that exposures longer than 3 seconds were extremely noisy. I experiance that I could expose up to 15 seconds without visible noise and even 30 seconds are quite usable. Then my 45mm Mamiya lens, it used to show greenish CAs if if not stopped down. Now they're gone, when it's used wide open.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by GASC View Post
    Oh yes, those DxO...I think that the day they invented that (on an inocent attempt) they did not realise they just dropped an hydrogen bomb on the photography forums.

    It has became a reference for discrediting MF gear, a sort of scientific proof for the week-end engineers and alimentates the hot and useless debates like "my gear is better than yours".

    With DxO, now the pentax K7 matches the P65+ . We are living on a nice imaginary disneyland planet.

    There is a thread on the Luminous Landscape that's worth to mention, in the very line of the DxOers. It's called 645D vs D3x (you knew there was a versus didn't you). This never ending topic full of graphics, "proofs" of all kind has reached so far 150 repplies from members and the incredible number of 7153 views at the time I write this...and it keeps going.

    If you have the time to read it...:sleep006:

    As you see, a lot to do with photography, sorry, doxography.
    Hahaha you are right, a disneyland it is (or was it dxoland?)! Thanks for the info, I'll check it out. This whole dxo-nonsense thaught me one thing and that is: compare the results of whatever you want to compare with your own eyes without knowing which is which. This way you are more likely to find what is most appealing to you.

    Ohh wait, I guess it thaught me one more thing: Just don't compare apples with oranges...

  29. #79
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Well the one thing I am learning with MFD, is one can go broke...LOL! A slippery slope it most definitely is! Although I had dabbled with MFD for a brief time when the H2D was first released (having shot with the Pentax 67 for years). I've recently been working with a Pentax 645D camera/lenses to see what it's capable of vis-a-vis, its strengths and weaknesses for a variety of applications.

    Graham wrote--->>> "I completely agree. I'm sure part of that is due the fact that the M9 essentially has a MF sensor in it too. I find it a perfect complement to medium format, and based on the number of M9 shooters at the last GetDPI workshop I noted that ~50% choose the Leica and the remainder chose the Panasonic m4/3rds systems for their secondary camera choice. I'm sure that this is no accident!

    The exquisite look of the files is intoxicating though, especially in print."<<<

    Agree to both these points. The M9 seems to be a perfect complement to MFD, occasionally as a travel companion to the MFD system, but more often as a alternative when the M9 is a more appropriate camera to work with under certain shooting situations. The quality of the files is sufficiently high enough that the regret of not having the MFD on hand is often molified. Prints from both are extremely satisfying and that is ultimately the goal for my particular shoots. Whther the MFD/rangefinder combo can completely suplant the DSLR...thats been a difficult question for me to personally answer at this point...but it doesn't seem to be the case.

    GASC Wrote--->>>"There is a thread on the Luminous Landscape that's worth to mention, in the very line of the DxOers. It's called 645D vs D3x (you knew there was a versus didn't you). This never ending topic full of graphics, "proofs" of all kind has reached so far 150 replies from members and the incredible number of 7153 views at the time I write this...and it keeps going.

    If you have the time to read it"<<<

    I recently read that entire thread. No doubt there is some ligitimacy in some of whats posted. For myself personally (and I'm sure for some others), the quility of output to large format prints is the taletale differences that I look for when shooting different systems. As good as the D3x camera is, I personally have found the the Penatx 645D can most definitely surpass it in a good number of ways when the print size itself is sufficiently large. This of course were comparisons made with some of Nikon's and Pentax's finest lenses. I believe it was Graham who suggested in one of the postings on that LL thread, that it might be interesting to compare a Max Max converted D3x with lenses such as Nikon's 24 T/S and others. I agree, it would make things very interesting.

    One aspect that I find is acutely evident, is selection of good performing lenses seems on the whole more of a crap shoot when it comes to comparing the Pentax 645D MFD system to say the rangefinder or even the DSLR. This may be more of a consequence of the offerings of Pentax legacy AF 645 lenses on the 645D, which were all (except for one) designed in the film era. Performance varies tremendously for most, even among samples of the same lens. This same sort of situation evolved when Pentax released it's very first DSLR (which was at a time that put it years behind the curve). They had some incredibly expensive "high end" performing pro SLR lenses that when interfaced with Pentax's DSLR's (for the 1st few generations), performed poorly in a great many situations and were reduced in performance to being no better than low end consumer lenses. In some respects, although not all, there is sort of a repeat of history...having a good body ready without the testing and support of some basic but important lenses in the most often used focal lengths. Pentax is well aware of the situation, but the solution requires major $$ investment fro them.

    Each system (MFD, rangefinder, DSLR, 4/3ths etc.) will always have its strengths, whether strictly for file size/quality, shallow depth of field, stealth/portability, or for applications (sports, wildlife) where particular attributes make it a natural for tackling the job. As is often said, picking the right tool for the job is what's important.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 19th February 2011 at 15:39.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Well . . . I've learned that a noctilux and a 24mm summilux is small change

    Just this guy you know

  31. #81
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    LOL, well not necessarily, even when compared to MFD...all depends on the system. I envy that Noct. you have Jono and can dream at this point of aquiring one...although knowing your your abilities with the M9, it will go to fantasic use in your hands.

    Dave (D&A)

  32. #82
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I agree that the M9 is the perfect complement of MF users. To me the M9 files are the best 35mm available to date, probably because of the lack of AA, the good job Leica engineer did on electronics and the Leica glasses. (I couldn't care less about the DR stuff wich is always enough IMO in any high-end gear)

    Ps: Even today in print, the now old Leica DMR for the R system would not be ridiculous at all in front of modern Canikons.

  33. #83
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by GASC View Post
    I agree that the M9 is the perfect complement of MF users.
    Well, yes and no. Maybe true for you and if it is, that's great. But some of us need to use a 400mm lens and ISO 6400 on the sideline of a night soccer/football game. Or 15mm fisheye or 12-24mm at a wedding. Or prefer the sweet spot of the 160-185mm range of a 70-200mm. These are things my Hassie H3d2-39 can't do, nor can an M9.

    So it depends on what type of photography you do. If what you do can't be done with mf, but can with M9, then it's perfect for you. If it can't, it isn't and that takes nothing away from either mf or M9.

  34. #84
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schneider View Post
    Well, yes and no. Maybe true for you and if it is, that's great. But some of us need to use a 400mm lens and ISO 6400 on the sideline of a night soccer/football game. Or 15mm fisheye or 12-24mm at a wedding. Or prefer the sweet spot of the 160-185mm range of a 70-200mm. These are things my Hassie H3d2-39 can't do, nor can an M9.

    So it depends on what type of photography you do. If what you do can't be done with mf, but can with M9, then it's perfect for you. If it can't, it isn't and that takes nothing away from either mf or M9.
    David, That's why I wrote in my post (a few posts above)...the following --->>> "Each system (MFD, rangefinder, DSLR, 4/3ths etc.) will always have its strengths, whether strictly for file size/quality, shallow depth of field, stealth/portability, or for applications (sports, wildlife) where particular attributes make it a natural for tackling the job. As is often said, picking the right tool for the job is what's important."<<<

    Although I think the M9 is a great complement to MFD...I also wrote above that I'm finding the 35mm DSLR almost indispensable for just the kinds of shoots you mentioned. Thats why I find it personally difficult to switch completely over for some of us and in that regard I completely agree with you.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKi▀ler View Post
    Hahaha you are right, a disneyland it is (or was it dxoland?)! Thanks for the info, I'll check it out. This whole dxo-nonsense thaught me one thing and that is: compare the results of whatever you want to compare with your own eyes without knowing which is which. This way you are more likely to find what is most appealing to you.

    Ohh wait, I guess it thaught me one more thing: Just don't compare apples with oranges...
    I said I'd check out the thread on the LL forum, right? It actually took me two entire minutes of my life to realise that I've got more important things to waste my youth on...

    Regarding DR, I guess I just continue thinking that CCD sensors have 12 f-stops and CMOS 7 f-stops of DR and leave it well enough alone.

  36. #86
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    We agree. But you said "the perfect complement" and that's different than "a great complement." It could be perfect for the right photographer depending on his needs, especially for a non-professional. Absolutely.

    MF has lots of warts and baggage. But it unquestionably produces better images in most situations for many photographers than any smaller format. But rare is the mf owner who doesn't have a smaller format camera system at the ready. And conversly, common is the photographer who believes his dlsr produces images that are of high resolution, tack sharp, and feels no need for a camera system that produces higher quality (in most situations).

  37. #87
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    IMO the M9 is a great complent for MF IF it is about size and weight.
    However if it is about functionality and flexibility and higher ISO I would say a DSLR complements a MF Kit even better, because it offers faster(er) AF, weather sealing, zooms, flexible flash system, long Tele etc.

    IQ wise the M9 and MF might be closer to gether, but also restriction wise they are closer together, besides size and speed of lenses.

  38. #88
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schneider View Post
    Well, yes and no. Maybe true for you and if it is, that's great. But some of us need to use a 400mm lens and ISO 6400 on the sideline of a night soccer/football game. Or 15mm fisheye or 12-24mm at a wedding. Or prefer the sweet spot of the 160-185mm range of a 70-200mm. These are things my Hassie H3d2-39 can't do, nor can an M9.

    So it depends on what type of photography you do. If what you do can't be done with mf, but can with M9, then it's perfect for you. If it can't, it isn't and that takes nothing away from either mf or M9.
    I agree absolutly. My post was not very precise. I had in my mind, refering to the perfect complement, only the file's types or render that IMO is the closest to what MF delivers but having said that I fully agree with what you point here.

    Cheers.

  39. #89
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    My problem with the M9 which I agree is a great compliment to MF since it has no AA filter , great lenses and produces images very similar to MF is the limitations on the system itself and i tried with the M8 for awhile as my only system. In the end it could not be done and still need that DSLR 35mm versatility. But I agree it is a great compliment IF you can get away with the limitations.

    Now having said all that let me get into my thinking with MF and Sensor Plus and here this solved a big issue with not buying a DSLR 35mm as it gets you higher ISO and i do mean higher as ISO 1600 is deadly good and you do get a little speed boost as well in shooting and I used this setup a lot shooting runway, PR stuff and a lot of stuff one would normally use there 35mm system on and it does work very well. I got away with this for quite awhile and looks like I maybe going back to get my new IQ back but right now I have been using the Sony 850. Frankly the biggest reason I have is not so much for shooting something easier which it does BUT it has more to do with using my Phase system so much and wearing it down and lets be honest i am a little nervous about it getting stolen or damaged. Reason being is sometimes when on a gig my bag may not be anywhere near me and under a table or something like that while I am shooting and someone could walk off with the rest of my gear. I have really no issue losing a couple Sony lenses or maybe better said it is a 5k investment over a 25k investment in your bag with some risks shooting. I know many don't have this issue but for me it is a concern sometimes and also on some gigs I really don't care so much about the best IQ for the job since it maybe web stuff and so on. But these are all considerations one has to take into account. I could easily go right back to shooting the Phase with sensor plus and really not miss a beat over the versatility over the 35mm cam.

    Now I know some may say they can't do that as they need the 35mm for some things what a Phase sensor plus can't do and totally understand that comment since it would be hard for some things. But in my mind in all honesty I could sell the Sony tomorrow and not miss a beat going back to Phase only. I did the other night shooting handheld with studio lights shooting some fashion stuff. With low modeling lights and difficult focusing for the cam I had a huge keeper rate and no Sony or Nikon/Canon would have beat that rate by much if any at all and I shot full res the whole time. No maybe not everyone could do as well as me with going MF only but I will say some of these limitations folks put on MF without even trying to shoot them in these situations. Hate to say it since I am a partner in this forum but don't believe everything you read as too we can't do this or that, most of that comes from non MF shooters or lazy shooters that have not REALLY tried hard to get it done. One reason I bought the P40+ was for sensor plus and these situations and believe me even at 10 mpx sensor plus it acts like a 15 mpx cam at the end of the IQ chain. BTW this is a very revealing thread on sensor plus and worth a read http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13379
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Guy Wrote--->"Now having said all that let me get into my thinking with MF and Sensor Plus and here this solved a big issue with not buying a DSLR 35mm as it gets you higher ISO and i do mean higher as ISO 1600 is deadly good and you do get a little speed boost as well in shooting and I used this setup a lot shooting runway, PR stuff and a lot of stuff one would normally use there 35mm system on and it does work very well. I got away with this for quite awhile and looks like I maybe going back to get my new IQ back but right now I have been using the Sony 850. Frankly the biggest reason I have is not so much for shooting something easier which it does BUT it has more to do with using my Phase system so much and wearing it down and lets be honest i am a little nervous about it getting stolen or damaged. Reason being is sometimes when on a gig my bag may not be anywhere near me and under a table or something like that while I am shooting and someone could walk off with the rest of my gear. I have really no issue losing a couple Sony lenses or maybe better said it is a 5k investment over a 25k investment in your bag with some risks shooting. I know many don't have this issue but for me it is a concern sometimes and also on some gigs I really don't care so much about the best IQ for the job since it maybe web stuff and so on. But these are all considerations one has to take into account. I could easily go right back to shooting the Phase with sensor plus and really not miss a beat over the versatility over the 35mm cam."<<<

    Guy, Interesting post of yours and I can certainly identify with a lot of it. Earlier today I had a shoot at a large venue (major dance and orchestral production) which I normally shoot with 35mm DSLR's. I was seriously considering putting the MFD through its paces and felt for certain it could supplant the 35mm DLSR for part of the production and would actually have been an advantage for a some of the dance/song numbers. This would be especially true for the entire stage finale, which would have been shot from the back of the venue. Unfortunately with my having to leave much of the equipment in one shooting location (coming back to change lenses etc.) while I shoot from a great variety of vantage points, I felt leaving much of the MFD out in the open (with a large crowd nearby), would have been too much of a risk and loss. The video/TV/sound board guys are close by...but they have too much of their own work to focus on. There are also ways to address this issue to a degree, but until I implement this (possibly next time), I chose to stick with the 35mm DSLR,. From a technical standpoint, I would love to replace some or most of it (the 35mm DSLR) with the MFD system, eventually. So your words rang true...all too true. The loss of parts of the 35mm DSLR system would have been unfortunate (hasn't happened yet)...but it's a more manageable situation as opposed to loosing some of the MFD.

    Dave (D&A)

  41. #91
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    One thing I've learned as a Phase One shooter, and this will no doubt get me banned from the Phase One fan club, is that they make great digital backs but their (and Mamiya) camera bodies are pretty darned unreliable. Unreliable enough that I couldn't stick with just the MF DSLR outfit for everything I want to shoot.

    On the recent GetDPI workshop there were seven 645DF shooters. At least three of us had random camera system lock ups with the bodies that needed power off, battery out, back power off and reset to continue. These happened at the most inopportune times in the field. One other shooter had a complete camera system failure that could only be resolved by shipping in a replacement camera body. in my view that's not impressive as far as a reliability sampling is concerned. There were no back failures or shenanigans which is a testament to Phase One's core competency.

    So, for me, the great complements to medium format digital are still my M9 and Nikon DSLR outfits. I seriously contemplated moving out of the Nikon system and investing further in my Phase One DSLR outfit but for now the Phase One system lacks reliability - for me at least. I honestly couldn't take along the Phase One system and know that it absolutely positively wouldn't hang up on me - something that my Nikon DSLRs have never done on me since I started shooting digitally from the days of the D1 all the way through to the D3x & D3s today.

    Btw, this isn't my first rodeo with Mamiya & digital backs - I used to shoot with the AFD / AFD II & Kodak 645M about 6-7 years ago and went back to Nikon back then after the frustration of that system randomly greeting me with a clunk and DB error indications at just when I didn't need it to. Not much changed between then and now for me ...

    So for me, the current experience with medium format digital is that the backs are bullet proof and work fabulously. Both my P40+ and Leaf Aptus 65 have never missed a beat and produce images limited only by my abilities. My mechanically beautiful and reliable Alpa & lenses has been utterly dependable with both MFDBs. My 645DF very nearly ended up being tossed into the Grand Canyon after the 3rd or 4th battery out reset on a couple of cold mornings ...

    So, Leica S2 & Hasselblad users who post here about their MF camera woes ... You're not alone after all.

    (btw, I really really would like to consolidate just to the Phase One system as there is a lot to like with the automation and glass.)
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 21st February 2011 at 02:18.

  42. #92
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    No Graham your still in the fan club. LOL If there is one

    But Graham is correct we had one persons DF have a complete failure. I actually have it sitting here for him ready to ship out. But sometimes with the bitter cold a lot of flair ups are happening with batteries and bodies at least on our last workshop 2 weeks ago. Funny thing is Jack and I our camera's worked fine except for me hitting the focus switch. But a few had to do what Graham described. Backs and lenses never hardly ever a issue. But the body needs a refresh and one that is not film based anymore. Hopefully soon. As always one should have some backup. Actually our bad that we did not have one on site, lesson learned.
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  43. #93
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Guy Wrote--->"Now having said all that let me get into my thinking with MF and Sensor Plus and here this solved a big issue with not buying a DSLR 35mm as it gets you higher ISO and i do mean higher as ISO 1600 is deadly good and you do get a little speed boost as well in shooting and I used this setup a lot shooting runway, PR stuff and a lot of stuff one would normally use there 35mm system on and it does work very well. I got away with this for quite awhile and looks like I maybe going back to get my new IQ back but right now I have been using the Sony 850. Frankly the biggest reason I have is not so much for shooting something easier which it does BUT it has more to do with using my Phase system so much and wearing it down and lets be honest i am a little nervous about it getting stolen or damaged. Reason being is sometimes when on a gig my bag may not be anywhere near me and under a table or something like that while I am shooting and someone could walk off with the rest of my gear. I have really no issue losing a couple Sony lenses or maybe better said it is a 5k investment over a 25k investment in your bag with some risks shooting. I know many don't have this issue but for me it is a concern sometimes and also on some gigs I really don't care so much about the best IQ for the job since it maybe web stuff and so on. But these are all considerations one has to take into account. I could easily go right back to shooting the Phase with sensor plus and really not miss a beat over the versatility over the 35mm cam."<<<

    Guy, Interesting post of yours and I can certainly identify with a lot of it. Earlier today I had a shoot at a large venue (major dance and orchestral production) which I normally shoot with 35mm DSLR's. I was seriously considering putting the MFD through its paces and felt for certain it could supplant the 35mm DLSR for part of the production and would actually have been an advantage for a some of the dance/song numbers. This would be especially true for the entire stage finale, which would have been shot from the back of the venue. Unfortunately with my having to leave much of the equipment in one shooting location (coming back to change lenses etc.) while I shoot from a great variety of vantage points, I felt leaving much of the MFD out in the open (with a large crowd nearby), would have been too much of a risk and loss. The video/TV/sound board guys are close by...but they have too much of their own work to focus on. There are also ways to address this issue to a degree, but until I implement this (possibly next time), I chose to stick with the 35mm DSLR,. From a technical standpoint, I would love to replace some or most of it (the 35mm DSLR) with the MFD system, eventually. So your words rang true...all too true. The loss of parts of the 35mm DSLR system would have been unfortunate (hasn't happened yet)...but it's a more manageable situation as opposed to loosing some of the MFD.

    Dave (D&A)

    Dave this is exactly why I bought the Sony. I did a couple of gigs that where coming up that I did not want to risk my larger investment. Also not just shooting but hotel rooms without safes and one for me was a cruise ship. So yes the Phase setup would have worked just as easily ( maybe some sore arms ) but the risk factor was there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Graham Wrote--->>>"something that my Nikon DSLRs have never done on me since I started shooting digitally from the days of the D1 all the way through to the D3x & D3s today."<<<

    Yes, that's what amazes me too (and was just discussing this the other day with someone else)...from the very first Nikon D1 to the present day D3x & D3s, those cameras have never once locked up or failed on me in any set of conditions. You have to give credit where credit is due. Those cameras may not always have all the attributes one is looking for...but they are as reliable as all heck. Now if we are discussing the strange NTSC color space (video?) that the original D1 used to achieve all those lovely magenta skin tones...thats another issue....LOL!

    Recently I've been putting the Pentax 645D through its paces and by virtue that it's a fully intergraded MFD...that may help in eliminating some of the issues one might see with a seperate camera/back set-up. Time will tell of course. This is aside from the apparently slow processor and other assorted issues the Pentax 645D system might have.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    For cold weather and Mamiya I
    found this to solve the above
    'frustration of that system randomly
    greeting with a clunk and DB error.'

    Mamiya - External Battery Case PE401
    Link: http://www.mamiya-usa.com/645afd-iii...ase-pe401.html

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    While we're on the topic of reliability and medium format systems, for Hy6/AFi shooters out there, you may have noticed that on occasion your camera reboots intermittently.

    This happened a fair bit with my Sinar Hy6/e75LV and was disturbing enough to be one of the reasons I sold it. The camera would quietly reboot, and come back with the shutter speed and aperture settings that were last saved when it was last properly powered off. So if I'd moved to a new environment and was shooting away, unless I was chimping (which was too slow for my liking with that back) I would be shooting a sequence of horribly over or under exposed images--just a terrible situation.

    I didn't know this at the time, but apparently the cause of the mystery reboots is a slight incompatibility with some pre-AFD lenses. If you're experiencing this, contact DHW--I've been told that the lens can be fixed so this issue does not occur.

    Beyond that, the system (now an AFi) has been so reliable for me that I'm preparing for some winter wildlife photography in Japan next month and am comfortable not bringing a backup (limited weight & space). I will report back on any reliability issues related to weather, cold, or otherwise.

  47. #97
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schneider View Post
    Marc,

    THANKS. Will take a look. Seems like what I'm asking for.

    By the way, have any idea why I can't get image in Viewer section of Phocus. My thumbnails are all there.
    Sorry David, I just saw this question. I'm assuming that you are talking about use of Phocus when tethered ... right?

    If not ... when working from a CF card and card reader, the images all come up in the Phocus browser for editing out bad shots, but aren't loaded into Phocus yet. Just like Lightroom, you have to Import them before you can use the Viewer to adjust each image.

    If tethered ... not sure how you are set up in Phocus. That choice is made upon opening Phocus in the initial selection window. My set up is customized and I just hit "Skip" and it loads my custom set-up.
    I have a folder on my desktop titled H Scratch Pad. It is the folder I shoot images to. I use a dual screen set up with one 30" monitor hosting the Browser, and the other one is the full screen Viewer which is opened by selecting it in the top menu > Window > Viewer in separate window. Also in the top menu go to >View > Show new captures in Viewer ... so as you shoot the last shot appears in the Viewer window.

    -Marc

  48. #98
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I just took the time to re-read this entire thread. Glad it was made a "sticky"

    While not exactly a MFD newbie, in many ways you never lose that title with MFD ... there is ALWAYS something to learn ... or occasionally re-learn. Been shooting MF for about 40 years, moved from analog film to scanned film, then to MFD with a Hasselblad 500 camera and the original 16 meg, 12 bit Kodak ProBack which revolutionized mobile MFD shooting ... sort of (it was a lot of stuff, and restricted to ISO 100). But as "old" as that rig now seems ...

    We all have to remember that MFD as we know it, is itself a relative "Newbie".
    My personal trek has seen countless MFD iterations that tracked with new technological developments ... and a few things become apparent with that experience that can be valuable to other newbies:


    Impatience is often rewarded with malfunctions, frustration, and expensive gear swapping ... often resulting in "the carpenter blaming the hammer".


    Before you do anything, do your homework ... which can take weeks and weeks, even months and months ... in the case of my last foray into MFD land it took over a year. "Immediate Need Gratification" is just another term for "Impatient" ... (see above).


    I've learned that many folks asking questions in angry frustration never bothered to FIRST read the manual. Been there, done that myself. After a heavy dose of blaming the hammer, you DO eventually learn


    You will also eventually learn that this gear is more akin to your computer than that great Nikon F or Hassey V you once used. If something doesn't work, indiscriminate pressing of buttons, etc. can turn a simple one car derailment into an all day train wreak ... and the gear gets to go on an expensive vacation to Europe instead of you going


    Your dealer is your best friend. It is the one person you should be totally honest with if you screw up. Immediately write down what exactly happened in sequence and call him/her the minute something is amiss, and please don't try to operate on the patient yourself (see above).


    Lots of folks do not even know the full capability of the gear they bought.. and long for features or functions they already have ... read the freaking manual, and take your time doing it to fully grasp what you already have in hand. Plus, buying from big box stores robs you of "features" expertise you get with a dedicated re-seller. One of the most important areas of discovery is the proprietary dedicated software ... where many of the "systems" features are realized ... another area of "Impatience" that defies the craftsmanship inherent in these tools.


    If you are heavily dependent on this gear, man-up and buy the hot swap warranty. Otherwise don't whine about the gear being gone for what seems a lifetime.


    I also agree with Guy in that this gear can do more than most give it credit for. If using it for other work, apply the same standards you'd apply to smaller formats ... a snap-shot of the kids shouldn't be blown up to 40X60 proportions and pixel peeped like with a studied landscape image done on a tripod using a cable release ... it's apples-to-apples, not apples-to-watermelons.


    Lastly realize your own limitations and standards, and that they do not apply universally to everyone. Some can hand hold this gear and get amazing results and some cannot. Razor sharp from toe-tip to China isn't everyone's goal. etc., etc., etc.


    -Marc

  49. #99
    Member Frits's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Well, here I am a few months after getting my H1 / P25+ (and this after almost a year with a 500 C/M / P21).
    Up first: I am totally in love with MF and the IQ is something to behold. I like to print big and those who keep saying that the new generation DSLR's (Ó la Nikon, Canon, Sony etc.) produce the same IQ just have not shot MF. I get a thrill out of each time I shoot with it.
    That said....
    Let me be very frank: I am not entirely sure whether I did the right thing going MF (I have no professional need for it, just the desire of a spoiled advanced amateur).
    Coming off a Nikon DSLR system (which I still have), I must say that I miss its portability at times. MOST times I will be fine with MF and I know I will love it but I somewhat fear that the odd time that I would appreciate less bulky gear will eventually get to me.
    Maybe getting a D3x to replace my D700 would have been the better thing to do, at this time I HONESTLY don't know...
    I love my MF gear to death. I know the resolution of a D3x would be good enough for me, although I would take a hit in other aspects of IQ (especially in DR, which is sooo sweet and the beauty of the overall shallower DOF).

    The next few months will tell whether I will stick with MF (I want to!) or whether I will let it go in favor of a D3x (my only other option, as I am quite invested in Nikon gear and like it a lot).
    Last edited by Frits; 23rd February 2011 at 04:07.
    Frits

  50. #100
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I'm going to add on one very important fact of life with MF. Folks this is real work, like strapping on your tool belt and go banging some nails. This is not pick up the camera and let it do your mindless thinking when you shoot where the camera does it all for you. Far from it although many things are very good like AF and metering and such but think of it this way take a 8x10 view camera and blend it with a 35mm Nikon. You will get some automation but you better be prepared to work at getting images and putting your mind to work. Some may say it is slower working, I kind of don't like that description myself. I would prefer if folks said they are out working deliberate images.
    The reality is this you are thinking more and working to get the best you can from it's abilities. This takes some time and if you get frustrated than just give it more time as MF can take a couple months to really get the hang of working differently but a lot smarter. I love it and I love the challenge.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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