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Thread: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

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    Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    I'm considering upgrading my P-45+ back to either a Phase P-65+ or Leaf Aptus II 10. This would be used on a tech camera for outdoor landscape work only. I'm looking at the Aptus 10 with the rotating sensor to keep from having to remove the back when changing to a vertical composition. Does anyone here use one of the R backs, and/or have any thoughts on if it really works well in the real world? (one issue being that the resulting image when viewed on the back LCD would be smaller since it would be rotated too)

    Also any thoughts on Leaf vs. Phase for landscape work in general on a tech camera? Seems like most Leafs are used for studio work while most landscape work is done with Phase (of the two brands).

    Thanks for any thoughts!

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Using an AFI II 7, rotating back. Works like a charm.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Woodland View Post
    Also any thoughts on Leaf vs. Phase for landscape work in general on a tech camera? Seems like most Leafs are used for studio work while most landscape work is done with Phase (of the two brands).

    Thanks for any thoughts!
    I'm not sure that this is necessarily true and might just be a reflection of the relative sales success of Phase One vs Leaf out there.

    One advantage I did like with the Leaf was the simplicity of using LF mode which required no wake up cables with my tech cam. I recently selected a P40+ to replace my Aptus 65 due to the extra versatility of sensor+ and higher ISO support - these were only important because this back would also be used on my DF to replace my D3x. Had this not been the case then I'd have bought another Leaf. One thing I did find with the Leaf was that I almost exclusively shot at base ISO (50) which didn't pose any significant limitations on a tech camera but I didn't like anything at SO 200 or above for landscape work. YMMV so you'll want to see if this matters to you. (Perhaps the II-10 is better in this regard?)

    I confess that the rotating sensor of the II-10R sounds very convenient if you regularly shoot landscape/portrait image pairs, although with the tech cam some of that convenience could be lost due to the need to recompose anyway, potentially requiring back removal if you use the GG to do this vs. shoot/eyeball off LCD or use of the VF. I'd also be interested to hear how much of a difference this makes with tech cams vs on a DSLR platform where I can see that it would be super useful.

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Thanks guys. 80 is the base ISO now, and that is what I would always shoot at, so high-iso is of no interest to me. I almost never use ground glass - even though I'm new to tech cameras I've found it really easy to compose just by looking from behind the camera, then tweaking after the first exposure - so easy to do with a cube-style head. Ground glass would only be for some critical focus that I could not get via laser and lens markings, but so far those have been few.

    One concern that I have with a rotating sensor would be how tough it was - not much in the way of moving parts inside one of these backs (although I guess with a Leaf there is the fan), but I wonder if the sensor could be jarred out of whack easily since it is not glued into place?

    It just seems that hardly anyone does serious landscape work with a Leaf back that I've been able to find online - of course, perhaps they are all out taking pictures instead of spending time on the internet. "Skin tone" is the biggie that usually comes up when folks talk Leaf, and nearly all of the profiles for the Leaf back have "portrait" in the name. In my limited testing I have found that it is easier for me to get accurate color with the Leaf than with my Phase One - probably operator error, but at least that is what I'm seeing - perhaps this is one reason why "skin tone" is used with Leaf so often - just simple accurate colors, which often are not that big of a deal when doing landscape, but mandatory for skin.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Maybe Yair or one of the Leaf resellers can add some input on the precision and potential for wear with the rotating sensor.

    I know how much precision and accuracy are applied when setting up a fixed back/sensor with the mount & camera with the Alpa. How is accurate sensor registration managed with a sensor that can rotate? That must make for an interesting solution.

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Ohhhh, I hadn't thought of that before - 1/100th of an inch on the Alpa is not very much! But I suspect when rotated the sensor would be pressed up against the front of the back body tight so it should be very secure and in an exact position, but who knows? Actually, who would know?

    Geoff - are you using a tech camera? Have you noticed any accuracy issues with the rotating sensor?

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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Joseph and all,

    You need to see it with your eyes to realise how simple, yet solid and trouble free the rotation mechanism is. The sensor is "glued" in place just like in any other Leaf back and is mounted into a rotating wheel which sits inside the V mount. Anyone who have ever used a Leaf back on a RZ should expect the same smooth and accurate operation as on our RZ interface plates.

    You can see some landscape images taken with Leaf backs on these websites (there are many more obviously):

    Robb Williamson
    Lonna Tucker
    Doug Dolde
    Jim Collum

    Hope this helps

    yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    I can see one factor for considering a rotating sensor if you use an Arca RM3D tech camera:

    You could use the Kapture Group sliding adapter (which has no rotation) instead of Arca's Rotaslide.

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by chmilar View Post
    I can see one factor for considering a rotating sensor if you use an Arca RM3D tech camera:

    You could use the Kapture Group sliding adapter (which has no rotation) instead of Arca's Rotaslide.
    i'm using a kapture group sliding back with an hassy V aptus 22... you can attach it in both position (same on a 503CW... ) !

    Anyway, with the current line of KG backs, i believe that you can turn the adapter plate !

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Woodland View Post
    Ohhhh, I hadn't thought of that before - 1/100th of an inch on the Alpa is not very much! But I suspect when rotated the sensor would be pressed up against the front of the back body tight so it should be very secure and in an exact position, but who knows? Actually, who would know?

    Geoff - are you using a tech camera? Have you noticed any accuracy issues with the rotating sensor?
    Haven't put it on a tech camera - more of a Hy6 use.

    In theory, I thought the same thing: surely there must be some alignment issues. In reality I haven't seen any. Have shot some landscapes, and closeups - in both horiz. and vert. modes, and haven't had any issues. They got this one solved (IMHO). Can someone else confirm?

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Firstly, if you are considering the P65+, then your budget will likely stretch to include the new Aptus 12 at 80 Megapixels. Check the new pricing with your dealer.
    It would be useful to knoe which tech cam you plan on using. The big advantage of the rotating sensor is that you do not have to expose the sensor to the environment when you rotate. I use a P65+ in dusty locations all over the world and believe me, I have had a LOT of practice cleaning that chip!
    The huge screen on the Leaf is a plus if you do not shoot tethered.
    As for software, the LEAF backs now include C1 Pro, which gives you much more control over your output, but its a bit af a beast to learn as it is now so big.
    Good luck

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    The upgrade price to both the Aptus 10 and P-65 is the same from the P-45+, and the new Aptus 12 is about $5,000 more (don't see any other advantage to the new back other than more megapixels - wish they would have made some improvements along with it like Phase is likely to do with their new 80mp back - wish Phase had a rotating sensor too!). I'll be using this on an Alpa system. And yes, I know exposure to dust is the big advantage - hence the reason to consider it. Since this is for landscape use only I won't be shooting tethered and do like the larger screen, although the size advantage is not as much when you rotate the sensor since the image gets a lot smaller. Can't stand C1 but I am getting more used to it since having to use LCC with this tech camera (I've had C1 with my Phase back for many years, but never used it until being forced to do so recently - I wish Adobe would figure out how to use LCC).

    Geoff - glad to hear you have not seen any issues with alignment.

    I don't see any rotating back from KG other than for the Fuji - you can always take off the back and turn, but you can do that with any camera. Rotation would be a great feature if they only had it. And of course, KG doesn't have a sliding back for the Alpa anyway, at least not in the near future.

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    In terms of alignment I would put money on the rotating sensor as opposed to a rotating 3rd party adapter...

    Not having to change the orientation of the back also keeps all the cables, batteries and menus straight

    The 12 over the 10 has more pixels and the sensor shape is different, which for some applications may be more suitable. For example for a typical 4:3 frame you will get 80MP instead of 48MP, for 3:2 you get about 70MP instead of 56MP

    Due to the smaller pixels I also expect high iso performance to be a bit better for a given output size. It deals better with small and difficult structures and eliminates moire as well, so it's not just a bigger file...

    Yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Yes, that is what I was talking about - no improvements in the back, basically just more pixels. High ISO doesn't interest me, otherwise I'd get the Phase for sure - or actually I would wait to see what the Phase P-80+ has to offer - hopefully an improved back all around (although probably no rotating sensor, which is why I'm considering this Leaf back).

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    DanClarkWCP
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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    FWIW, we used a Leaf rotating back for many years, doing tons of commercial studio and location work, and never had any problems with it. This was a Volare back, so I don't know if the current rotating Leaf backs use the same technology, and we only used live video for focussing, so I couldn't say if the chip ever changed its position front or back. I do seem to remember that it didn't rotate exactly 90 degrees, but otherwise was a complete no-brainer, and was way better than having to remove the back to rotate.

    Dan Clark
    www.weinberg-clark.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Woodland View Post
    And of course, KG doesn't have a sliding back for the Alpa anyway, at least not in the near future.
    Slightly off topic but KG are definitely working on this. I spoke with them recently and this is an active development and I was asked if having a rotatable, as well as sliding adapter would be desirable. Obviously its a future from a small outfit but I'd say watch this space. (I'm somewhat amazed that it can even be done since the distances involved for mounting the sensor and retaining infinity focus on the Alpa are pretty tiny at best. It'll be one very thin adapter I think).

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Hey Graham, I got really excited when I saw someone here saying that KG would have that sliding back for Alpa available in October, but when I contacted KG about it they told me it would be at least sometime later next year. Since none of the other sliding backs of theirs have rotation except for the Fuji, I wonder if they are going to offer this, and I agree that the sliding back for Alpa would have to be micro thin to begin with, and someone told me they may not work with any lens wider than 40mm anyway due to this.

    Dan - you say the back did not rotate a complete 90 degrees? Wow, that would have to work correctly or it would be a huge defect. Surely they have fixed that issue by now.

    Count me as another one looking at Leaf for landscape on a tech camera and interested in the rotating sensor version. I'm really surprised that almost no one seems to use Leaf for pro landscape work (most of those sites you listed yair were flash sites and I could not read them). I'm testing a II 10 now and really like the quality of the files up against my P-45+. So many great choices these days!

  18. #18
    DanClarkWCP
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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    @Tim - It's been awhile, but I seem to remember that when we rotated the chip, and were shooting something that had straight horizontal or vertical lines (architecture shot, copy shots, etc.), we had to make a slight adjustment to correct. Then again, with live video, it only took a couple seconds.

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanClarkWCP View Post
    FWIW, we used a Leaf rotating back for many years, doing tons of commercial studio and location work, and never had any problems with it. This was a Volare back, so I don't know if the current rotating Leaf backs use the same technology, and we only used live video for focussing, so I couldn't say if the chip ever changed its position front or back. I do seem to remember that it didn't rotate exactly 90 degrees, but otherwise was a complete no-brainer, and was way better than having to remove the back to rotate.

    Dan Clark
    www.weinberg-clark.com
    The Volare/ Cantare 6MP sensors were rotating on a spindle (1998 technology) while the Aptus-II 10R, and Aptus-II 12R have the sensor turn with a whole plate inside the interface; a very accurate and robust mechanism

    Yair

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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Thanks Guys. I've got an AP II 12R on the way so I'll give it a good test the next couple of years...

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf rotating sensor for tech camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Ernst View Post
    Thanks Guys. I've got an AP II 12R on the way so I'll give it a good test the next couple of years...
    Thanks Tim for taking on this arduous task for the team. Someone had to make the sacrifice ...


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