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Thread: What do you do for backup?

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    What do you do for backup?

    Hi,

    For the pro photographers working here, what do you do for backup backs? To have a backup body is a given but when you add the expense of a backup back it comes to the realisation that for a working pro who cannot afford to have a set rebuilt, or models rehired, or the loss of professionalism inherent in not being able to continue a shoot infront of clients - the cost of MFDB's is not just one back, it's two.

    I'm not a MFDB shooter but I know from my wedding business that not only do I need to be able to go on shooting, I don't dare have a backup with lesser capability than my main body. If I advertise a certain quality, if I'm hired for it, then I cannot afford for my backup solution to be less than that. I would assume that for a pro needing a MFDB this would be far more relevant. My clients are not directors with specific image quality and size requirements, neither do my clients need work as fast as modern big shoot clients do (can film really be a backup if you can't process it fast enough to meet a deadline or if the director is not willing to sit over a lightbox anymore?).

    I think that this question has brought the realisation about what kind of people are shooting MFDB's. These are people so serious that they in most probability need and own, or at least rent, a 2nd backup back for important shoots. So much above my league of photography that I'm hugely humbled by it. It's far nearer like TV production in scale and cost than a traditional studio like setting.

    Yes I could afford a MFDB, 2nd hand ones are pretty affordable, however by the time I need MFDB I'm already in the realm of needing two of them...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    It's a very good question. Some day when I can afford it I'd like to get a DSLR as a semi backup but frankly there will be some setups which require faster fast sync, or jobs which require max resolution so it won't be able to cover every situation. If you're anywhere near a rental outlet, then a backup could be only an hour away.

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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Ouch!
    2x Hy6 bodies?

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    Senior Member irakly's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    i have p25 as the main back and kodak dcs proback 645c as a backup. с645 body and kodak back are almost the same size, so the backup kit is very compact. if i travel far away, leica m8 is my backup. i know, it sounds strange, but worked for me so far.

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    Workshop Member lance_schad's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    I understand where you are coming from. It is very expensive to own a second digital back for back up purposes.
    We normally supply with our systems a support package that comes with 7/24 phone/email support, as well as a variety of extra cables and such.
    Most of the time it is not the digital back that is the problem. It could be software or a cable. So we urge our clients to carry spares and also recommend a bootable system on an external hard drive and or backup up computer in addition to extra cables.
    In the rare case it is the digital back and they are in the vicinity of one of our
    offices we always have additional backs on hand. If they are not the PhaseOne backs that we sell most often are bundled with the Value Added Warranty which is a three-year overnight swapout warranty. This means that a replacement unit will be shipped for next business day delivery.
    Some of our clients also plan ahead on important jobs where downtime is not acceptable.In these cases they rent a backup system from us (we offer a discount for existing customers who are using the systems for backup).
    In other cases if they own a Plus, they have purchased a non-plus unit for backup or just use a DSLR for a worst case scenario.
    Hope this info helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    L
    Lance Schad
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    305-394-3196 cell | 305-534-5702 office
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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by lance_schad View Post
    Some of our clients also plan ahead on important jobs where downtime is not acceptable.In these cases they rent a backup system from us (we offer a discount for existing customers who are using the systems for backup).
    L
    Lance Schad
    Capture Integration - Miami/Atlanta
    305-394-3196 cell | 305-534-5702 office
    Capture Integration
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    This option makes the most sense. If the shoot is expensive with hired models and custom sets, a rental expense is cheap insurance.

    Another reason to buy from one of the larger dealers that can offer this after sales support.

    Robert

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    I call Lance. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member irakly's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    one should realize that in order to prevent any downtime, the backup needs to be on the set at all times. if your equipment goes down, and it takes 24 hours to get a replacement, it may cost a fortune. just think of people involved: a producer ($600 day rate), a food stylist ($500), talents ($300 and up, and yo have three or four of them on the set), a MUA ($450-500). and it does not include the set itself, food, petrol, etc. so, 24 hr downtime will cost you how much?

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Add in the rental price of those vinyl toys and latex suits ... unless you have those on hand. Right, Irakly?

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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    Add in the rental price of those vinyl toys and latex suits ... unless you have those on hand. Right, Irakly?
    And red snapper!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member irakly's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    And red snapper!!!
    and a custom made special order pitchfork

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    Super Duper
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    This is a seriously good question Ben. People have questioned me on the notion of having two MF digital solutions, and your question is the reason why.

    Irakly's right, although his cost numbers are on the low side for a typical commercial shoot of any consequence: working with a talent agency and have contracted above scale talent, then there is the Prop Master fee, photo assistant fee, tech master fee, studio rental or location fee & shoot permits, and you sure can't charge a digital capture fee for gear that doesn't work, nor your photographer's fee so that's a loss.

    For really important shoots just rent a second kit and line list it in the expenses column of the estimate. For lesser shoots or cost sensitive bids: In major cities a back-up is usually an hour away. Second line of defense is networking with other MFD shooters.

    The immediate solution is a prime back, and a similar meg count and mount back ... but a generation or two older back-up which is usually 1/2 the cost.

    Currently I have narrowed my options to a Hasselblad H3D-II and a CFV-II @ 1/3rd the cost (for most jobs the CFV back would be okay, but NOT all jobs) ... both of which coincidentally are not available right now ... the H is off to Sweden getting a scratched front filter replaced, and the CFV-II that was supposed to be delivered this week will take longer to arrive Of course, a job suddenly came up, and it's a nerve-wracking race against time.

    In a worst case scenario, there is always 6X6 film and scans. That still works if you have the post time for processing & scanning. Scans are a LOT less expensive than repaying all those expenses.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Marc, do you have the worst luck with gear or what?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    . the H is off to Sweden getting a scratched front filter replaced,
    Did the filter come scratched or what happened to scratch it.

    Watching Jim Collum shooting his Horsemen with the Aptus 75s and having to take the digital back off to focus on a sandy beach just made me nervous.

    Robert

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    Senior Member irakly's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    This is a seriously good question Ben. People have questioned me on the notion of having two MF digital solutions, and your question is the reason why.

    Irakly's right, although his cost numbers are on the low side for a typical commercial shoot of any consequence: working with a talent agency and have contracted above scale talent, then there is the Prop Master fee, photo assistant fee, tech master fee, studio rental or location fee & shoot permits, and you sure can't charge a digital capture fee for gear that doesn't work, nor your photographer's fee so that's a loss.
    hehe, i am quoting moscow rates. there is no such things as unions, so people are multitasking for lesser money
    still, i AM paranoid enough to carry one film back in addition to everything else.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    My new Phase One P25 plus arrives today and this is a serious issue to be able to back it up. These are things I need to look at tomorrow. But I agree this is a excellent question and some real avenues to look at that does bring a security blanket with you. I look at this as your hanging off a cliff with one rope, be nice to have that second rope around your waist just in case.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Did the filter come scratched or what happened to scratch it.

    Watching Jim Collum shooting his Horsemen with the Aptus 75s and having to take the digital back off to focus on a sandy beach just made me nervous.

    Robert
    Don't know what happened, or really when, but I didn't notice it until I had to shoot at f/45. Shooting the 100/2.2 even at f/5.6 and there was no sign of it at all, but the Macro @ f/45 showed some nasty gashes in the background. Probably some stupid error when working really late and working tired.

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    Re: What do you do for backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Marc, do you have the worst luck with gear or what?
    Actually Ben, give all the different stuff I do, I think I've been pretty lucky ... Irakly dropped his Contax 645 and split open the housing, and my pal Ed dropped his C645 into the river ... totally DOA. Scratched H3D filter = $450. The only other mishap in the past year was watching a Canon 35/1.4L roll off the table to the hard tile floor ... cooked that lens mount.

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