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Thread: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Unhappy Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    You know how some days are great, some are good, some are kind of average and then there are those ones you'd jus rather forget? Well, Friday was one of the latter.

    Got some nice shots of the sunrise and perfect reflection at Oxbow Bend (Grand Teton NP) this morning. I noticed some dust on the sensor so decided to give it a quick clean and then slipped when putting the back on to the camera ... it turns out that Alpas really ARE solid despite what some would seem to suggest here.

    Don't do this:



    It's now off on it's way to Paul @ Optech and then Leaf. Hopefully it's just the cover glass which isn't outrageous to get replaced and essentially refurb'd at Leaf whilst it's there. Paul graciously offered me a loaner Aptus II-10 for the remainder of my Yellowstone/Tetons visit - However, I'm not falling for those wily Jedi mind tricks because he and I know I'd never want the old back, err, back.

    So, the moral of the story is don't be a klutz & whack your sensor against the Mamiya mount hooks and also make sure that you have a spare (back or system with you). Now I have to slum it for next week just shooting with my D3x & D3s which actually isn't a hardship because it'll be mainly nature of the four legged variety.


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    Super Duper
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    One word - CRAP!

    Hope it's "just" the cover glass.

    How much longer are you planning to be in the area? I'll be there starting Oct 4th.

    Don
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Don,

    Alas I'm here until the 3rd. Color and cloud cover changed for the better today though.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    My biggest fear with my new gear! Best wishes!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Thanks Terry - at the end of the day "stuff happens". Best to be philosophical about it I think. Had it been something like a P65+ then maybe I'd be somewhat more annoyed with myself than I already am. Just a momentary slip but it's not the end of the world although I am back to my DSLRs for the next few weeks I guess.

    I'll wager that Leaf are quicker than Leica service ...

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Ouch, I hope it gets fixed quickly and cheaply!

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Graham

    I am sorry to hear about your bad luck .
    Good that you try to take it from the philosophical side .
    I do not know , how I would react . May be I would through the back down a canyon .
    We have insurances here to cover a damage like that , but they are more expensive than a car insurance .

    I hope , you can still take some good shots with your other gear .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    <Wince>
    that must have hurt
    -bob

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    I love your attitude Graham!
    -darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    My heart sank 20 ft. Damn I am so sorry to see this but it could possible be the cover glass only. Fingers crossed
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Not a pretty sight Graham. Hope the repair bill doesn't hurt too much and you get it back quickly.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Keep in touch and let us know the outcome. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!
    Don Libby
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish


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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    I guess there are some downsides to having a removable back.
    hope it works out!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Yes indeed - hopefully if it's just the sensor glass it's about $1500 or so @ Leaf. There's actually a reasonable gap between the sensor glass cover and the chip itself so there's hope that the chip isn't damaged. If it's the sensor then I'll be in the market for a new back I think depending upon the economics of getting it fixed vs replaced.

    I was planning on getting another M9. That might be on hold for now.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 26th September 2010 at 16:06.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Bummer Graham, hope it gets sorted out.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    The new Leaf/Phase pricing might have come along at the right time.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    May have . We are all waiting on reports on this keep us posted.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Maybe this is another topic for the MF Digital tips thread - don't bash your sensor glass!!

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Wow... I am surprised that it is even fixable....

  21. #21
    Ben Norton
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    I think you'll be lucky with that one Graham. I repair them in the UK and i've seen lots like that. A quick blow with the compressed air to clean off the sensor of any glass/dust and a replacement IR filter should have you right as rain. I'd be surprised if it was any more than $1000 inc repair and tax.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Graham, Did you check if it worked despite the cracks on the IR cut filter?

    Normally, there is also a permanent cover glass on the sensor itself below the IR cut filter. I wonder if that is the case with this back.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Norton View Post
    I think you'll be lucky with that one Graham. I repair them in the UK and i've seen lots like that. A quick blow with the compressed air to clean off the sensor of any glass/dust and a replacement IR filter should have you right as rain. I'd be surprised if it was any more than $1000 inc repair and tax.
    Ben,

    I hope so. I've seen quotes for Leaf to replace the IR filter and test/re-calibrate the sensor etc for just under 1000 euro. (My dealer thought that it was likely about $1500 for the US). I know that the filter itself is about half of that. Leaf recommended sending off as-is and to let them assess it - I was going to remove the filter and clean it off as you describe just to make sure but since I didn't have another IR filter anyway it was kind of moot. (I've changed these with the Kodak DCS 645M in the past - I had the optional AA filter).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Graham, Did you check if it worked despite the cracks on the IR cut filter?
    No. I might have been tempted to try it if I'd removed the filter assembly (four screws) but I figured that I may as well just send it off and not mess with it. The bump wasn't very hard surprisingly so I would be surprised if anything other than the filter would have been affected, worst case would be the IR filter hitting the sensor perhaps and causing damage there. That's the worst case I think.

    I'm hoping that it's just the filter ... I guess I'll find out soon enough.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Oy.. Deepest condolencies, mate..

    My ZDb just got display dropping dead in middle of family portrait session yesterday, luckily it was still writing and processing, so i just had to shoot old style - completely blind. Gonna send it for repairs today, doing 645 & Aptus for a week.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Bummer - I hope yours gets sorted out quickly and inexpensively also.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    That's a heart breaker. Beats a broken bone though. I smoked a Kodak back a few years ago when a piece of the spring that holds the AA filter broke off inside (unknown to me). Powered it up and Poof... only a white picture. I had it two weeks. I did not have a lot of $ in it but the repair was quoted at $4500 at Midwest. Learn and move on is all you can do. Phase One now... working great, but will be a bit more careful after seeing that horrifying picture.

    I hope they take pity on you and give you a break on the repair.
    George

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    George

    I hear you on the Kodak. My first DCS645M had a similar experience whereby it was an ex-rental that obviously someone blew up the FireWire port/board. I didn't find out until the first time I tried it tethered and it was no-go. The repair quote for the interface board was similar to yours so I bought another mint one used instead and sold off mine as-is later to someone who didn't care about tethering. That one probably ended up in a landfill courtesy of a phase or leaf competitive upgrade.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Graham, The biggest frustration with the Kodak is knowing that there were probably a few pallets of those circuit boards in a warehouse somewhere in Rochester.... lost behind the left over KAF-10500s.

    Capture Integration got me through that crisis with a P21+. Now a P40+.. amazing.

    George

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    The truly sad thing is that there's probably STILL a pallet load there ...

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Update: RIP



    Oh well, I guess I'll have to look at this as an "upgrade opportunity"

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Beyond repair?... or not worth repairing?
    OUCH. Where do you go from here?

    May be covered under your insurance depending on your type of coverage. I had a Panasonic full sized HD camera that fried (end to end) because of a bad power supply. Insurance covered the loss because it fit the definition of an "external cause". That was a $27,000 pay out... obviously saved the day.

    I hope things turn out for you,
    George

  32. #32
    Ben Norton
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Beyond economic repair? What did the report say was the problem?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Damage to the sensor. I haven't received the unit back from Leaf/dealer yet but they informed me that there was some damage from the IR filter / impact to the sensor.

  34. #34
    tetsrfun
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    A slight high-jacking of the thread but what procedures do people do when using a digital back with a tech camera. I am going to try my "poor man's" tech camera (Flexbody, 40mm CFE, CFV, "L bracket) and was wondering what people do to reduce the chance of damage resulting from repeated installing/removing the back.

    Steve

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Be vewwy vewwy careful ...

    Actually I don't think it's that big of a deal unless you're using the ground glass a lot actually. I confess I'm a relative newbie at the technical camera but didn't have any problems getting into the rhythm of coarse adjustment, GG/loupe with hood on, open the shutter completely, compose, focus, compose & focus some more, remove the GG, mount the back & plug the cable in, close the shutter, set the desired aperture, meter the scene with a handmeter or cheat and use your DSLR, set the exposure, cock the shutter, remember to turn the back on (!!), release the shutter, squint at the dim LCD and check the histogram, correct as necessary, shoot again, open up the shutter a couple of stops, shoot the LCC card, forget to close the shutter down again and shoot +2 overexposed on the next shot .. duh, and so on. And that's without a wake up cable.

    Well, that's my experience anyway. Once you get as far as the base exposure it then easy to repeat the last steps with any rise/shift etc and multiple images.

    It's been a few years since I last shot LF so I'm still forgetting to recock the shutter at times.

    With respect to taking the back on & off, I always put the cover back on it and never leave it with the sensor bare. Ditto with the GG too when I put that back in the bag. Try to minimize the time the back is exposed and take care to make sure that the bottom of the sensor mount board is securely in the slot/fingers before tilting up to lock. I also recommend not playing the GG off with the left hand, back on with the right shuffle either. That's almost how I screwed up - it's worth the effort of using both hands!

    I don't know the Flexbody/Hasselblad configuration but with the Alpa the back is already mounted on the sensor board so any damage/wear ultimately would come from mounting/unmounting that vs the actual back / board. I only took mine off the mount at the end of the day and vice versa. (That's where you need to be careful in my limited experience, just as you would with your regular camera).
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 6th October 2010 at 15:21.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Tip of the day have back cap firmly planted in left hand take firmly grip death of back in right hand and marry the two at all times. Maybe the most nervous part of my whole life is when that back is floating in the wind. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Be cool if there was a retractable cover so when released from the back it automatically comes down like a curtain. Wow I could make millions off that idea.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Damage to the sensor. I haven't received the unit back from Leaf/dealer yet but they informed me that there was some damage from the IR filter / impact to the sensor.
    My most sincere sympathies...

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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    So very sad to hear this, RIP dearest sensor.

    I can feel your pain. The first day (!) I had my f/0.95 Noctilux I dropped it off my lap sitting in the SUV when my brother-in-law opened the passenger door. M9 with Noctilux dropped on the bare asphalt, butter side first of course.

    The lens took the impact, the ND filter twisted into the filter ring and I couldn't get it off, even with pliers.

    Fortunately Leica took care of it, 3 months later I got it back, like it never happened. Sadly Leaf doesn't have Passport warranties.


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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Graham, one (expensive) solution is to have 2 adapter plates: 1 attached to the back and 1 attached to the GG, the 1 for the back serves as a bumper so the IR filter os alway recessed a few mm...
    You'll have to make some sort of dust cover for it but that should not be too difficult.

    yair

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    Graham, one (expensive) solution is to have 2 adapter plates: 1 attached to the back and 1 attached to the GG, the 1 for the back serves as a bumper so the IR filter os alway recessed a few mm...
    You'll have to make some sort of dust cover for it but that should not be too difficult.

    yair
    Yair,

    Thanks - yes with the Alpa, the back plate, ground glass and lens mounts all have this architecture, including a push on plastic cover. It works well as everything is the same size. (I destroyed my sensor/IR actually when I was refitting it to the mount plate while it was on the camera - not the workflow I normally followed alas).

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why it pays to have a backup ... not for the squimish

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post

    Fortunately Leica took care of it, 3 months later I got it back, like it never happened. Sadly Leaf doesn't have Passport warranties.
    Ouch - I feel your pain on that one. Passport warranty is a godsend though!

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