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Thread: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

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    Smile MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Thought this would be a interesting discussion as almost daily we have folks jumping in to the MF world and a lot of us existing users here try and help guide folks along this path. BTW we enjoy a plentiful amount of members that help folks make decisions here and I think it would be nice to hear from new buyers what they have learned from others and how they applied it to there purchases. But also it would be nice to hear after all the decisions are made and you have it in your hands what are your thoughts now. Surprised , relived, excited or going back to 35mm. Okay the floor is open and hopefully we can gain some knowledge from the new users on there thoughts.

    Let it rip folks.
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    The biggest adjustment for me has been adaptation to the more narrow depth of field and need for higher shutter speeds (relative to 35mm) to achieve critical sharpness due to the higher resolution. That is a double whammy because as you stop down to gain depth of field you loose shutter speed. Add in the generally poorer high ISO performance of digital MF and you have a challenge. I like it though, because it forces me to pay more attention to what I and doing.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Oh, I forgot to mention - the image quality is intoxicating. The only problem with that is that now I find myself turning into an IQ snob whether I really need the IQ/resolution or not. As a result, I don't use my other cameras unless i need their niche features such as long telephoto, speed, (dSLR) or small compact size (X1).

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Good comments Mark.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    The overall community is great - gives a good broad perspective and is vastly supportive. Without it, I'd never have made "the jump".

    Generally, the advice is to slow down, think more about what you want and what you are doing. And that is good advice. Can one make the call that MF digital is a bit like a hand-held 4x5 camera: intoxicating results when you get it right, yet brings its own requirements to the table. THat analogy might not work for other folks (its fraught with mixed messages), but if you've shot 4x5 film on a tripod vs. faster and easier rigs, you may remember how you had to really step back, take your time, think to get it right. Once done, it provides tremendous results.

    One thing on the forum: some folks are getting MFDB to work as more general cameras. how do you deal with camera movement? Do you lose shots, and just shoot enough to find one that is good - or is your technique just really disciplined?

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I have learned that loosing $10k a year in equipment value is a normal thing.
    Is it?
    Frankly in the beginning I had a Mamiya ZD integrated camera and some used Mamiya lenses. As much as I like my Hy6 and Sinar back I sometimes wonder if I should not just have stayed with the Mamiya ZD for 1/5th of the money and have accepted the higher ISO noise and the smaller display.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    The overall community is great - gives a good broad perspective and is vastly supportive. Without it, I'd never have made "the jump".

    Generally, the advice is to slow down, think more about what you want and what you are doing. And that is good advice. Can one make the call that MF digital is a bit like a hand-held 4x5 camera: intoxicating results when you get it right, yet brings its own requirements to the table. THat analogy might not work for other folks (its fraught with mixed messages), but if you've shot 4x5 film on a tripod vs. faster and easier rigs, you may remember how you had to really step back, take your time, think to get it right. Once done, it provides tremendous results.

    One thing on the forum: some folks are getting MFDB to work as more general cameras. how do you deal with camera movement? Do you lose shots, and just shoot enough to find one that is good - or is your technique just really disciplined?
    AS most know I use mine for PR work and many jobs that a 35mm would most likely be easier to work with. With that more care is needed with regards to shutter speed and DOF working handheld in all of those situations. Sensor Plus helps me here since I can bump the ISO pretty darn well but even with a 45mm at F8 it still is shallow so it takes more care on focusing on your focus plane and getting what you need. This will take time and also something I don't do very often but can be used here is stepping back a step or two and getting more in the frame to increase the DOF than crop in some. You have plenty of a file engine here to get away with that.

    Also the use of a monopod sometimes is invaluable. As soon as I get to a 150mm I start thinking monopod. Don't always use it but the thought is there which triggers the shutter speed awareness in your head as you are working. Now someone that works fast like I do this takes concentration and knowing your gear. Obviously this takes time and folks should really not evaluate yourself and your gear to hard until about 3 months pass or a lot of shooting time involved.
    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

    BTW some great comments here. Please keep this up . Obviously will help others know what to look for.
    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 Mark Gowin View Post
    The biggest adjustment for me has been adaptation to the more narrow depth of field and need for higher shutter speeds (relative to 35mm) to achieve critical sharpness due to the higher resolution. That is a double whammy because as you stop down to gain depth of field you loose shutter speed. Add in the generally poorer high ISO performance of digital MF and you have a challenge. I like it though, because it forces me to pay more attention to what I and doing.
    Same for me. I was used to the Nikon base ISO 200. Monopod is now my third leg I thought I was going to miss the focal plane shutter, but thanks I now need to use smaller apertures I've never needed it (so far).

    Something that I don't hear often as a MFD plus is the larger FOV. I'm really happy to be able to shoot a group of people with a 50mm (with no distorted heads or legs, thanks to Phocus lens corrections also) instead of a 31mm that I would need to use in 35mm terms, that adds a lot of flexibility in small spaces.

    Loving the extreme shallow DOF. A friend of mine uses a Canon 5d Mark II + 85 1.2... I found that combo comparable to my H4D-40 + 100 2.2, but I've found the Canon 1.2 wide open is kind of soft at the focus plane. I'm really impressed with MFD wide open (the HC 100 at 2.2) the part that is focus is really sharp and the out of focus trasition is really pleasing to the eye...

    Talking about retouching, I love the resolution I have now. It's not the same trying to retouch a group of people where each face is 300 * 300 pixels instead a face made of 800 * 800 pixels.

    I haven't hear this point on favour of MFD often: When you retouch or make a comp (I'm also a graphic designer, and I make a lot of comps often), more resolution IS ALWAYS BETTER. Try to insolate a person from a 10 MP image, and try to do it from a 40 MP image, the 40 MP mask always look better... it's a fact for retouchers.

    Also, the extra resolution and sharpness has been a blessing and a curse so far... blessing when working with models with nice skin, but when you shoot a portrait of a bride with no so good skin genes it take a little more time than usual (but not that much).

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Oh make no mistake Guy, this site was pivotal in my decision to go MFD. I just have to get there financially and not have my wife contract a hit on me.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    After a while...your MF system will sit on the shelf gathering dust as you reach for your M9 or CaNikon to get the happy snap. After more time - you wont waste time shooting with a MF camera - you will instead use the back on an Alpa or similar tech camera spend a fortune on a few Schneiders or Rodenstcks - and then watch them sit on a shelf gathering dust as you reach for your M9.
    Then you will lust for movements - figure out that a tiny MF chip isn't a piece of 4X5 or 8X10 no mater how much you try. at which point you buy a larger format camera - only to realise sooner..that it is such a hassle - and then you reach for your M9 again. Then..they bring out a new more megapixel chip and the value of your back halves and then halves again..but you are saved by a generous 'upgrade' path - which starts the whole cycle again...you do this for one or two iterations..like groundhog day..until yo remember you had the Xpan in the back of the closet ..buy some film an rediscover real photography again - until....you stop souping up your film because you haven't go the time..and then..you reach for the M9 again

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    We do provide protection services from spouses. ROTFLMAO
    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 PeterA View Post
    After a while...your MF system will sit on the shelf gathering dust as you reach for your M9 or CaNikon to get the happy snap. After more time - you wont waste time shooting with a MF camera - you will instead use the back on an Alpa or similar tech camera spend a fortune on a few Schneiders or Rodenstcks - and then watch them sit on a shelf gathering dust as you reach for your M9.
    Then you will lust for movements - figure out that a tiny MF chip isn't a piece of 4X5 or 8X10 no mater how much you try. at which point you buy a larger format camera - only to realise sooner..that it is such a hassle - and then you reach for your M9 again. Then..they bring out a new more megapixel chip and the value of your back halves and then halves again..but you are saved by a generous 'upgrade' path - which starts the whole cycle again...you do this for one or two iterations..like groundhog day..until yo remember you had the Xpan in the back of the closet ..buy some film an rediscover real photography again - until....you stop souping up your film because you haven't go the time..and then..you reach for the M9 again

    Your working too much Peter need to get out more.
    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
    Your working too much Peter need to get out more.
    Guy - (sadly) you hit the nil on the head..

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I know me too and all that has been going on around my house the last 6 months i have not gone out to shoot for me just clients. But things are starting to settle down.


    For the hobbyist though and we have touched on this is sometimes you just have to force yourself to get back into the swing. Happens all the time get busy and things collect dust with all hobbies. My golf clubs have caked on dust.
    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 PeterA View Post
    Guy - (sadly) you hit the nil on the head..
    nil or nail?

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    After a while...your MF system will sit on the shelf gathering dust as you reach for your M9 or CaNikon to get the happy snap. After more time - you wont waste time shooting with a MF camera - you will instead use the back on an Alpa or similar tech camera spend a fortune on a few Schneiders or Rodenstcks - and then watch them sit on a shelf gathering dust as you reach for your M9.
    Then you will lust for movements - figure out that a tiny MF chip isn't a piece of 4X5 or 8X10 no mater how much you try. at which point you buy a larger format camera - only to realise sooner..that it is such a hassle - and then you reach for your M9 again. Then..they bring out a new more megapixel chip and the value of your back halves and then halves again..but you are saved by a generous 'upgrade' path - which starts the whole cycle again...you do this for one or two iterations..like groundhog day..until yo remember you had the Xpan in the back of the closet ..buy some film an rediscover real photography again - until....you stop souping up your film because you haven't go the time..and then..you reach for the M9 again
    Cracked me up!
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I had my Df for a few weeks.

    The biggest challenge is the focus. I need to use auto for fashion shoot. I keep missing critical focus due to slight movement (hand held). I have to really pay attention about how to shoot now and probably need to use a tripod.

    Second biggest complain is the LCD. I cant see a damn thing outside. For a 40K system, it is not fair for the user

    I wish the new DF camera will have great autofocus with more focus points while the new back has larger n better resolution LCD/OLED


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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Dan two things may help. On the DF you can set all three focus points as activated. I use this myself. Actually you can set camera to C mode continuous for focusing and hell one more thing maybe the best of all a monopod. Pick up at least two shutter stop speeds if not more. Try those out or at least one or two and see if it helps. And biggest key of all give it some time , even seasoned Pro's these things take time to get used too. I'm shooting runway all next week and will post some results.


    LCD . Your not going to get a argument from me. LOL
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Thanks Guy. I used the 3 points with AF set in fast in that shoot but they dont help.

    Should I put into accurate? which one better central focus or all 3 points in your opinion.

    I usually focus into the model face at f11-f16 then compose the image (usually full body or 3/4).


    -Dan

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Yes I like accurate better but sounds like some movement on recompose
    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

    I'm into my second MF system, the first was the Contax 645 and Phase P30+ system; my current system is the Phase DF and P40+ system. I've learned so much about MF digital in these two years since moving from a full frame Canon system, it's hard to pinpoint the primary lessons I've learned. I'm sure there will be more, but here are a few of the biggest lessons learned:

    When you buy into a MF system, you are buying into the SYSTEM. Any shortcomings in what has been created for the system will become apparent rather quickly and will turn into a major dissatisfier. You'll likely find stuff that you want that you never dreamed of before. So investing the time to research before you start buying anything is very important. The look/drawing the glass produces is very important. The ability of the software to extract the very best from the image file is also incredibly important.

    I've learned that there is a very real difference in the quality of the files produced in MF as compared to other cameras and formats even when using very good technique with very good exposures with smaller formats. I am consistently struck by what I can do with my MF files and what I would never try doing with other files. It is, in my opinion, like night and day.

    I've learned that investing in MF equipment has decreased my anxiety about what a client wants me to do with a file. I was constantly anxious when I shot with a full frame 35mm sensor, as I knew the limitations of the file itself. Frankly, I think 35mm equipment is better than the files that it ultimately produces, again, even when I did everything right.

    It is important to know exactly what you will be shooting with the gear you acquire, and that the gear you acquire is well-suited for that work. MF gear is capable of helping you produce beautiful images, but it is simply not useful in all circumstances. MF is a wonderful but highly specialized tool.

    There's significantly more room for error in MF work than with smaller formats, especially with technique. The quality of the equipment is so good and so unforgiving that it has forced me into becoming a much better photographer with much better technique, and without regular practice, the technique is actually lost, quickly. I have to constantly remind myself to do it all right from start to finish. Depth of field is very short compared to working with smaller sensors, and this can be a big limitation, I have had to focus on learning the distances my lenses like best to give me the look I like best. In many ways, I've had to "unlearn" 35mm photography. MF likes a lot of light. Without a lot of light, you raise the likelihood of technique error due to camera shake. Rest assured, MF will point out mercilessly what you need to improve. The feedback is immediate.

    It is imperative to do business with someone you can trust and who will be there when you have questions and problems, which you most certainly will have. It is also important to be a member of a community where you can learn from one another and from others' mistakes and learning. The knowledge being regularly shared on this forum every single day has been simply invaluable to me. People here are incredibly generous with what they have learned. This has allowed me to get up to speed on the systems/equipment way more quickly and efficiently than if I didn't have this community. Frankly, if I didn't have this community, I wouldn't be into MF gear.

    It is important to look at the equipment as a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is important to remember that the equipment is being used to make photographs.

    Enough rambling. I'm sure there will be more later but this is what comes to mind right now.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    In many ways I'm not qualified to add to this discussion. I've only shot with an S2 for several days, and not in nearly enough varied situations to give a really informed opinion. What I can say is that I totally agree with what Ray has written. Especially with regard to the extreme precision needed on the photographers part to get the best out of the extra resolution. In my time testing the S2 I found out the hard way how hard it is to achieve critical focus and sharpness using my (sub?)standard technique. I'm used to using a Mamiya 7 system and Nikon DSLRs. The whole focus and recompose issue, especially with 80mm and longer lenses, can be seen on the Mamiya 7 negs when you look hard but the film grain does a good job of hiding small focus errors. The S2 was brutal in this regard. Shooting at f2.5 was near on impossible for me when hand holding at medium to close distances. Also, I'd forget trying to hand hold with speeds slower than 1/250th if you desire "sharp" results. I'd also want to keep ISO speeds at 320 and below because noise can be an issue, especially if you accidentally underexpose.

    All in all, I learnt from testing that I'd need to really up my game if I was to take the dive into medium format land.

    Quote Originally Posted by RayM View Post
    I'm into my second MF system, the first was the Contax 645 and Phase P30+ system; my current system is the Phase DF and P40+ system. I've learned so much about MF digital in these two years since moving from a full frame Canon system, it's hard to pinpoint the primary lessons I've learned. I'm sure there will be more, but here are a few of the biggest lessons learned:

    When you buy into a MF system, you are buying into the SYSTEM. Any shortcomings in what has been created for the system will become apparent rather quickly and will turn into a major dissatisfier. You'll likely find stuff that you want that you never dreamed of before. So investing the time to research before you start buying anything is very important. The look/drawing the glass produces is very important. The ability of the software to extract the very best from the image file is also incredibly important.

    I've learned that there is a very real difference in the quality of the files produced in MF as compared to other cameras and formats even when using very good technique with very good exposures with smaller formats. I am consistently struck by what I can do with my MF files and what I would never try doing with other files. It is, in my opinion, like night and day.

    I've learned that investing in MF equipment has decreased my anxiety about what a client wants me to do with a file. I was constantly anxious when I shot with a full frame 35mm sensor, as I knew the limitations of the file itself. Frankly, I think 35mm equipment is better than the files that it ultimately produces, again, even when I did everything right.

    It is important to know exactly what you will be shooting with the gear you acquire, and that the gear you acquire is well-suited for that work. MF gear is capable of helping you produce beautiful images, but it is simply not useful in all circumstances. MF is a wonderful but highly specialized tool.

    There's significantly more room for error in MF work than with smaller formats, especially with technique. The quality of the equipment is so good and so unforgiving that it has forced me into becoming a much better photographer with much better technique, and without regular practice, the technique is actually lost, quickly. I have to constantly remind myself to do it all right from start to finish. Depth of field is very short compared to working with smaller sensors, and this can be a big limitation, I have had to focus on learning the distances my lenses like best to give me the look I like best. In many ways, I've had to "unlearn" 35mm photography. MF likes a lot of light. Without a lot of light, you raise the likelihood of technique error due to camera shake. Rest assured, MF will point out mercilessly what you need to improve. The feedback is immediate.

    It is imperative to do business with someone you can trust and who will be there when you have questions and problems, which you most certainly will have. It is also important to be a member of a community where you can learn from one another and from others' mistakes and learning. The knowledge being regularly shared on this forum every single day has been simply invaluable to me. People here are incredibly generous with what they have learned. This has allowed me to get up to speed on the systems/equipment way more quickly and efficiently than if I didn't have this community. Frankly, if I didn't have this community, I wouldn't be into MF gear.

    It is important to look at the equipment as a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is important to remember that the equipment is being used to make photographs.

    Enough rambling. I'm sure there will be more later but this is what comes to mind right now.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    - the image quality is intoxicating. The only problem with that is that now I find myself turning into an IQ snob whether I really need the IQ/resolution or not. As a result, I don't use my other cameras unless i need their niche features
    I felt this comment from Mark was so on point it warrated repeating. I may not always need the IQ, but it is definitely addictive!
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thought this would be a interesting discussion as almost daily we have folks jumping in to the MF world and a lot of us existing users here try and help guide folks along this path. BTW we enjoy a plentiful amount of members that help folks make decisions here and I think it would be nice to hear from new buyers what they have learned from others and how they applied it to there purchases. But also it would be nice to hear after all the decisions are made and you have it in your hands what are your thoughts now. Surprised , relived, excited or going back to 35mm. Okay the floor is open and hopefully we can gain some knowledge from the new users on there thoughts.

    Let it rip folks.
    Well Guy,

    even so I have been a 35mm shooter for over twenty years, when recently I was first introduced to MF, here, kinda of pushed to by you and your gear slots friends I purchased a MF system form Steve and just was mazed that for all this years I have seen the world so small, looking thru the VF of a MF is an other story all together, and I'm not talking about comparing going form the 1D to the 1Ds, I'm talking about HUGE difference, then you load the pic on the 30" monitor, and filled up with just one eye..LOVE AT FIRST SITE!!

    Going back to 35mm, NEVER!!

    Still using 35mm YES, but for only limited work.

    Now that I'm about to start my Global travel photographic journey, I look to purchase the best MF available for the Job, and take the 1D IV to tag along, for some particular shots, but I intend to shoot 90% of everything I do form now on with the MF system.

    I was waiting foe my RED Epic 645, but since RED is now about to ship only the S35 version, I decided that I will buy an Hassy H4D, and fully embrace MF capturing astonishing images from every corner of the Globe, were the detail produced by MF is simply untincable with any 35mm, even if you stich as many pics as you want to cheat resolution, as if you want to cheat resolution I will then simply steach files with the MF system as well, and get absurd Gigantomongus images.. (not sure this is a real word but you get my point

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Well, i am not that type of guy where i really need any high end gear or work into photography to go larger, but i love photography so that i never stop myself to go to better or larger gear whatever the need of it, i started with a P&S, didn't spend long time with it at all and rapidly bought a DSLR, after my first DSLR i bought several bodies with lenses ofcourse within 2-3 years ago, and overtime i upgrade or buy new body i feel impressed about the IQ, then everything happened suddenly and i went with MF, not because of this site but because i was hearing a lot that fashion and commercial using medium format, i didn't know what is medium format, then i saw few pics of medium format system on the net [Hasselblad, Mamiya...], then i started to read about it and check some photos, i saw how high resolution of those MF but i was not sure how much difference than 35mm DSLRs, then by sudden again i found a dealer of Hasselblad in my country, simply i went to him, tested i think H3DII-31 first, check the file was really nice and i loved it but it wasn't a good test, later i went to him again, this time i tested H3DII-39 and 120mm lens, not so long until i bought H3DII-39, and i fight to get 120 which i did about 2 weeks ago, started with 80mm and then 28mm, now i rarely use my 35 DSLRs, at the end i found myself to trade-in my H3DII-39 for H4D-60 and got it, the problem is that i brokeup all my money, and spent too much on it or on photography in general but still much less than you and at the end i found myself now that i really don't need anything that many, just because of you i got upgraded and i think i will never stop because of you not because of me, but good that i've got my H4D-60 now and i am one of the first people in my country to get it, so it will hold me for a while and i just wish to get paid one day, otherwise i better stop coming on the net and stop photography before i lose all my money just for fun and addiction.
    Tareq

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    Well, i am not that type of guy where i really need any high end gear or work into photography to go larger, but i love photography so that i never stop myself to go to better or larger gear whatever the need of it, i started with a P&S, didn't spend long time with it at all and rapidly bought a DSLR, after my first DSLR i bought several bodies with lenses ofcourse within 2-3 years ago, and overtime i upgrade or buy new body i feel impressed about the IQ, then everything happened suddenly and i went with MF, not because of this site but because i was hearing a lot that fashion and commercial using medium format, i didn't know what is medium format, then i saw few pics of medium format system on the net [Hasselblad, Mamiya...], then i started to read about it and check some photos, i saw how high resolution of those MF but i was not sure how much difference than 35mm DSLRs, then by sudden again i found a dealer of Hasselblad in my country, simply i went to him, tested i think H3DII-31 first, check the file was really nice and i loved it but it wasn't a good test, later i went to him again, this time i tested H3DII-39 and 120mm lens, not so long until i bought H3DII-39, and i fight to get 120 which i did about 2 weeks ago, started with 80mm and then 28mm, now i rarely use my 35 DSLRs, at the end i found myself to trade-in my H3DII-39 for H4D-60 and got it, the problem is that i brokeup all my money, and spent too much on it or on photography in general but still much less than you and at the end i found myself now that i really don't need anything that many, just because of you i got upgraded and i think i will never stop because of you not because of me, but good that i've got my H4D-60 now and i am one of the first people in my country to get it, so it will hold me for a while and i just wish to get paid one day, otherwise i better stop coming on the net and stop photography before i lose all my money just for fun and addiction.
    I ran out of breath before I finished reading that one sentence - I think this concept of image size must be contagious...

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
    I ran out of breath before I finished reading that one sentence - I think this concept of image size must be contagious...
    Thank you for reading my post.
    Actually, we can't hide some feelings we have when we look at some large size images, and when looking at the quality of high end images on good monitors, our breathings are running out
    Tareq

  29. #29
    Senior Member symbolphoto's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I've been a 35mm shooter for about 7 years now. I loved it, i ate Canon up. Whenever they introduced something new, i bought into it. I thought the quality was just the very best.

    Until now. I took a few test shots the other night on the H3DII-31 and it's downright jaw-dropping what can be attained. And that's only the 31 and handheld!

    However, some other interesting points....

    Viewfinder. I don't think it's as big and bright as some folks make it out to be. Perhaps coming from the 5DMKII, it's not as much a difference? I don't know. I haven't been in MF previously, so maybe folks mean it's better than previous models. I don't know... What i do like - I press the power button and it's ready to go.

    Lenses. I got the HC35 and it's MUCH bigger than it looks in photos. I'll have the 100 2.2 coming next week and i assume that's going to be huge also. If people familiar with MF are complaining about the 50-100 being big/heavy, i can't even imagine how big that sucker is.

    But when i initially opened the box, it exceeded my preconceived notions about what Hasselblad was. When you took everything out of the box and put things together, you could easily tell this is real quality. Unlike most 35mm gear. My 5DMKII's almost feel like toys now. I used to put them on a pedestal. NO more.

    Also, i purchased from B&H, not a local dealer. So i don't really have that Network of support. I bought the H3DII-31 lensless kit. Which B&H had back ordered. So i call up Redmond office and they say they have it in stock. Without asking, they decided to ship it overnight to me. I was hooked. Great Great service. It really makes a difference.

    The thing i was most excited to try out was tethering. Now this is sort of a love/hate relationship, I was on a PC laptop with Firewire Expresscard and couldn't get it to work. As of next week, i've decided to switch over to a Macbook Pro for the native FW800 port and the overall quality of the body. I'll be running bootcamp with Windows7, so it's not a HUGE jump for me. I'm more than happy to upgrade. However, if i get the MBP and it still isn't functioning properly, i'm going to be pissed.

    But so far, the system works as expected and more(Besides tethering). For me - it's a specialized tool. With a high of 1/800 and a low of 32sec it won't be my most versatile kit, but, for the bulk of our specialized portraiture and wedding bridals, it's going to fit the bill quite nicely. We do a LOT of retouching for our shots to make brides look naturally beautiful and have perfect skin. So this resolution and quality in the gradations of shadows will really help us have more flexibility in post processing. Which is 50% of what i bought into MF for.

    The second half of why i bought into MF is the high Sync Speeds. Sure it's a fad these days to darken the sky with strobes and such, but it still brings in money for those not in the know. I accustom it to people who see shallow DOF photos and think you are a genius or that's the best photo ever. They can't quite put their finger on it, but they know they like it. And having the flexibility of shooting in strong midday sun with our Elinchrom gear and setting a mood with the ability to turn day into night really helps us.

    So it's ironic, but i think to sum it up, while MF bodies have limitations, the output files give us more quality and flexibility to deal with things in photoshop. So it was a no-brainer for us.

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    the 100/2 is not much bigger that the 80
    i gave up using Phocus for PC and simply went mac-pro/macbook pro
    software/firmware upgrades via the hasselblad site are very useful and no extra cost

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

    One of the first things I learned was so much gear so little money ....

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    One of the first things I learned was so much gear so little money ....

    That too, hehe.

  33. #33
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    My First Post. Hi Everyone!

    My thing the past few years is stitched panos using 1ds III and long lenses, like 200mm f/2.0 or 300mm f/2.8. I also use a motorized pano head from Rodeon.

    On Thursday, my new P65 plus 4 lenses arrived in a nice, sturdy rolling case.

    Ease of deployment. That's one of the things I'm enjoying most. This morning, I grabbed the roller case in one hand and coffee in the other and headed for the SUV. (tripod stays in the vehicle). In the past I would load up the vehicle with a couple of roller cases, 2 or 3 lens cases, motorized head, motorcycle battery for head, etc. Maybe 4-6 trips to load vehicle.

    Then, setup and shooting takes about 1/10 the time with the new system. Using the Cube and P65 instead of Rodeon, I'm getting the picture in 3-5 shots instead of 18. I will be one of the rare cases where it's actually easier to use MF instead of 35.

    I think this is going to work out nicely.

  34. #34
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Hi Bob and welcome to GetDPI! And congrats on your new system too!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  35. #35
    Bob Davis
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Hi Bob and welcome to GetDPI! And congrats on your new system too!
    Thanks Jack. I've had a total mind-meld with this new camera. Now, I just have to re-shoot every decent picture I've taken in the past 30 years.

    Bob

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    You don't have to be a newbie to learn something new regarding MFD.

    I've learned that money is not infinite, and if I keep at it, I'll be spending my golden years alone in a double-wide, smack in the middle of tornado alley.



    Marc

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Davis View Post
    Thanks Jack. I've had a total mind-meld with this new camera. Now, I just have to re-shoot every decent picture I've taken in the past 30 years.

    Bob
    Man do you have that right. I want to go back so bad to reshoot a lot of stuff that I did even three years ago with MF
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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

    What a good thread.
    I was about to buy a ZD just at the time Guy bought his . . . two years ago?
    Instead, as I had some weddings to do I bought a D3 . . .then I watched the increasing conversations with respect to tripods and Cubes and cables and gradually realised that it ain't for me.

    Even using my A900 with the Sony/Zeiss lenses (the d3 Didn't last long) seems to sap away my sponteneity. . . . . . . so I reach for the M9.
    that remark with respect to Peter

    Sometimes I want more resolution . . . in which case I do a bit of stitching with the M9 files. . . . . . .sometimes I'm jealous of those great big lovely MF files, then I remember that I can shoot a festival using my leica bag as a pillow, that I can carry it without issue when skiing, and when walking the Cretan hills in 40 Centigrade. Then I look at a 36x24" print and think . . . do I really need more?

    Of course, I realise that like many of you I could HAVE BOTH, but then I too would be addicted to that resolution, and I'd be forced to carry around 20kg kit with me and set up a tripod every time I wanted to take a shot.

    Then of course, when I wonder if I should pay up for the new 35 'lux i realise what peanuts it is compared to what I might otherwise be spending.

    That's what I learned . . . . but I sure have a good time watching and reading!

    Just this guy you know

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

    I learned:

    1. My tripod became my friend together with my remote shutter release.

    2. MFD is a whole different approach in that great imagery is created by careful attention to the process, and shooting is a lot more controlled.

    3. HC 100 2.2. has a really shallow DOF and I have to triple-check on location whether everything is in focus.

    My 2 cents

    Regards

    Paul

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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I think a thread on user technique would be a worthwhile 'sticky'. OR maybe a challenge shoot thread once every while . whereby each person makes a shot describes how they did it (in detail) and then how they post processed and then how they printed - total workflow.

    A lot of focus on cameras - but really push comes to shove - it is how the equipment is used that matters. The total workflow has always been my personal hobby horse - and often is the difference between this or that system.

    FAT light | steady camera | and knowing what you are doing in post processing all the way through to print.

    I can't recomend a good workshop highly enough for people who wish to get the best out of their equipment - the learning curve is steep and frustrating at times - so a good course is the best piece of software you can buy*

    *shameless plug for Jack and Guy with no pecuniary inrterest involved.

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

    Thought I would chime in as being a former workshop attendee and a recent owner of a H3D39.

    After going from a Sony A900, D700, D3x, all btw are great systems, I sold everything a picked up a used H3D39, and 3 lenses, Since then there has been no turing back.
    I have been doing some 16x24 prints on my HP Z3200 PS 24" printer and all I can say is wow.. Detail, detail, detail.
    As much as I wanted to obtain the same results from my D3x, when i compare prints at similar sizes there is a noticeable difference, forget about viewing images at 100% on my gorgeous NEC monitor, looking at prints there is for sure a difference.
    The funny thing is shooting my H3d, takes no longer then it use to take me with my D3x,
    Since I am always on a tripod, mlu, cable release, setup time is almost the same. The only difference is the weight, So I got a good back pack.
    The only thing I miss from shooting my D3x is Live View, and being able to take the D3x out in bad weather, light rain, drizzle, snow, etc. I don't think I will take my H3D out in bad weather.

    Steven
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  42. #42
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Just came across this thread. Good read!

    One thing I'm working on is getting a workflow that's reasonably OK for doing, say, 4 high school senior session of about 200 images each in a day. Probably the first 45 consecutive images of the session need to be viewable immediately after the session. (For high school seniors we select a yearbook pose before they leave the studio.) Trying to decide if using my H3d2-39 is practical for such sessions or just stay with Canon. Or just use MD for longer sessions that generally have higher sales. Or just use for parts of sessions. It all comes down to workflow and I don't have a handle on it. This is different from dslr where there are several workflows to use, like shooting raw+sm jpg and just using those jpgs for yearbook selection. Or just using raw files.

  43. #43
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    David,
    remember that Phocus 2.6 is due any moment now and that will give you remote viewing capabilities on an iPad. Shoot tethered to your main system and let the customer view on your/their iPad.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  44. #44
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Carlos,

    That sounds interesting! Not sure I want clients to see too many images for fear of slowing down session though.

    (By the way, in my Phocus, for some reason I can't get an image in the Viewer section! Images are in Thumbnail section. I've set it on Standard View. Got any ideas?)

  45. #45
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    The biggest adjustment for me has been adaptation to the more narrow depth of field and need for higher shutter speeds (relative to 35mm) to achieve critical sharpness due to the higher resolution. That is a double whammy because as you stop down to gain depth of field you loose shutter speed. Add in the generally poorer high ISO performance of digital MF and you have a challenge. I like it though, because it forces me to pay more attention to what I and doing.
    I agree with Mark's statements that the narrow depth of field and slower shutter speeds adjustments have been the greatest adjustments. I also agree that the IQ has been intoxicating and I would never want to go back. The adjustments have been good for me in the long run. This is a good thread and I hope it has a long life. I came to medium format from a Nikon D3x and as great as that camera has been, I recently sold it and have no plans to leave medium format. The detail in my prints on a 24" HP Z3200 are stunning and people are amazed at that detail.

  46. #46
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    Quote Originally Posted by cs750 View Post
    I agree with Mark's statements that the narrow depth of field ....
    If I had a $ for every shot where I've missed critical foreground focus ... at least compared to what I've always managed with 35mm full frame. The narrow DoF is the one that bites me the most of anything relating to medium format digital (and I know it's my issue - not the equipment!). The rest of the workflow is otherwise pretty simple.

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

    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. A 5dmk2 with the 70-200 f/2.8 stabilized lens and lightroom is just too easy and plenty of quality (unless your normal customer wants a 30x40 or larger). Give me the ability to handhold, fast autofocus, stabilized lens, and better quality high ISO for this type of fast shooting.

    I don't do much portrait work anymore, but for individuals I still opt for the canon over the p65+.
    wayne
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  48. #48
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I've learned a lot of little things here...

    Microlenses, shutter speed awareness, differences in leaf shutters between Hassy and P1...

    I'm excited to -hopefully- see some MFDB gear at WPPI next week. Their booths are sort of small so I hope they have some products there that I can play with and get a feel for at least a little bit.

  49. #49
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    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 ...

  50. #50
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    Re: MF digital newbies, so what have you learned

    I'm in the process of making the leap to MF. One of the things I learned this weekend is that figuring out what lenses I want is not as simple as doing the math from what I was used to in 35mm. A 50mm is a 50mm. The image might encompass a wider scene in MF, but the perspective is the same.

    I guess that's obvious, but it was a great eureka for me. I never personally enjoyed shooting really wide before. A 35mm lens was my preferred wide angle because I didn't like the tiny stuff thrown way off in the distance. MF doesn't do that near as much. I thought I would target a 50mm in MF, but now I'm looking at something like a the 40HR (on a 54mmx40mm sensor).

    Dave

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