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Thread: Back up cameras

  1. #1
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Back up cameras

    Hi to all,

    I'm curious about what some are using as back up cameras? I shoot mostly landscapes and outdoor activities with a Hasselblad, but should have a back up system. Although, the Hasselblad doesn't have a very fast shutter, I would like a back up to have at least 1/2000 speed and weather resistance. I appreciate any input. My first "H", you could use it as a hammer, but the newer models are a tad more fussy.

    P.S. Any insights to the Leica S2 would be fun too. Obviously, not as a back up, but curious as to how it compares to a Hasselblad digital.

    Thanks.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    I go back and forth on this. Ideally, I'd have a complete additional P65+, but that's simply not financially feasible for me. Second choice would be something like a P25+ and extra body. Third choice is cheap but inconvenient -- an extra body and a film back.

    My ultimate conclusion is a good DSLR with a zoom or two is a pretty compelling option.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Back up cameras

    I have my DSLR as a backup for my MFD, i sometimes want a backup of MFD to my main MFD but it is too much over my budget, so DSLRs will be fine, ATM.
    Tareq

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    Re: Back up cameras

    The M9 with a preferred lens seems to complement MF digital nicely. There's a thread on the comparisons on this forum and another currently running on the LUF, in which I have posted.
    Not exactly a back-up, but it allows hand-held use, comes closer to being an always-with-you camera than any DSLR/zoom combo, and there is almost no sacrifice in image quality.

    scott

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    Re: Back up cameras

    I use also my Nikon system for back-up. rem

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    I used to have a Canon 1Ds that was fantastic! It never needed a reset and the batteries were amazing! I do love the Hassy, with it's amazing resolution, better ISO, and because of the weight and center of gravity, the ability to do some great handheld at slow speeds, but it has been finicky; (terrible battery performance, resets, and an issue with the secondary shutter). I need at least 14MP for my style and comfort level for publication, but don't want to spend the extra $, for a MFD back up. I'm familiar with Canon, so might start there.

    Thanks to all at GetDPI for a great site.

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    Re: Back up cameras

    My medium format system is a 645DF, Phase One 40+......for backup I use a Canon 5D with three zooms and macro lenses. I will soon upgrade this to a 5D Mark II or equivalent......Tom.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Great question here. Currently a 7D and 4 lenses as backup to my Phase P40+ system BUT BUT i am not happy shooting Canon and thinking about changing this up. NOT exactly sure what exchange of disenchantment I am willing to accept in 35mm again. Okay I don't like 35mm anymore. Yea i am a spoiled brat pig in the blanket MF shooter. At least I admit it. LOL
    Sony or Nikon I am looking at in the 7D price range.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    My MFD system is Phase One DF + P65+, and as a MF backup I have a Mamiya 645 with 2 film backs, which I also use on the side of the DF for BW film. Besides, I always carry a GF1 with a couple lenses and a M adapter & a Leica M2 with 3 lenses. This way I am pretty well covered - if the DF goes wrong, I can use my P65+ on the Mamiya; if the P65+ goes wrong, I can use film and digital with the GF1; and so on - a light enough and flexible enough solution.

    This summer, I was traveling with a Technical camera and the P65+, and when the Tech camera had troubles (and I had to stop using it) the GF1 proved a decent alternative - of course, not even close IQ wise to the P65+, but it allowed me to keep shooting.
    Vieri Bottazzini
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  10. #10
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Tom,

    That's good start, I have been very satisfied with Canon. I noticed you're in VT. I have a pic in the 2011 Vt. Life magazine, Weather Calendar (Dec.) it was taken with a Canon 1DS MKII with a 24mm. Keep me posted if you sell any Canon gear.

  11. #11
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Guy,

    I thought about a Canon7D too. I don't want to change formats altogether, just a reliable back up. I even thought of a Leica S2 as a primary camera, with it's faster shutter, (focal plane), and weather resistance, but not thrilled with reports of high ISO noise and 160 ISO as a base. Perhaps, those will be addressed in a firmware update. I shoot almost always outdoors and love to go for those "you've got to be kidding" shots, so a reliable camera with good batteries is a must! Any thoughts on resetting the battery on a Hasselblad "H" model... anyone?

    Perhaps, I will post my thoughts on the Hasselblad H4D soon as i'm getting off topic.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Depends on where I am going -

    My current MF system is H3D39 with several lenses, if I travel far, then my backup is either NEX5 and kit lenses or EP2 and kit lenses. If I don not travel far (no need to fly) then my backup is Nikon D700 and some selected latest Nikkor lenses (Nanocoated, VR2). This Nikon backup is heavy, but actually also a great supplement to the MF gear.

    My future wishes?

    Leica S system as MF system + Olympus E5 as backup (yes you read right, I am willing to get into this adventure again ), or EP3 whenever that comes to the market

    or/and

    Phase DF and P65+ with same backup as above but also a Tech Cam for the P65+

  13. #13
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Unless one is shooting commercially there is an argument that the best back-up is a credit card.

    Think about how often, if ever, one has a need for back-up. Also think about how few places there are where Canon or Nikon aren't available off the shelf with a wave of a card. Think also of the rental market.

    Then think about all that money tied up in back-up equipment that is seldom if ever used.

    It’s just a thought.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Its a great thought too.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Back up cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Unless one is shooting commercially there is an argument that the best back-up is a credit card.

    Think about how often, if ever, one has a need for back-up. Also think about how few places there are where Canon or Nikon aren't available off the shelf with a wave of a card. Think also of the rental market.

    Then think about all that money tied up in back-up equipment that is seldom if ever used.

    Itís just a thought.
    A very important thought.

    I do photography for a living. I do need a backup for when I'm on an assignment as when I sign a contract, I will, come hell or high water, deliver the goods I've promised.

    What I prefer for backup is another identical body and some overlap in lens options. Of course it's senseless (and expensive!) to replicate ad nauseam every piece of equipment and carry the whole truckload all the time, fearing a failure. That's why I usually have a mid-range zoom which I don't use much in addition to the prime lenses that I use most. At the moment I can't justify a second current body (having just purchased the latest top of the line), but I keep my older body which is compatible with all the current ones' accessories and batteries as the backup. The rest of the equipment I might have usually gets sold as cost recovery for the latest purchase these days.

    Swapping to the backup ... either the older body or the zoom lens ... in the event of an equipment failure will net a reduction in capability and make me work harder to achieve the results I've contracted to produce, but since I know it can be done I'm comfortable with that.

    If you're shooting for yourself (like when I'm working on personal projects), investing heavily in backup equipment seems of little real value. Without a contract to define what I'm shooting and what I must deliver, the photo opportunities for any given project are almost too numerous ... "yeah, the shutter died in the middle of Thursday's shoot and I lost a hundred exposures I might have made, but there are a thousand more exposures of equal or better value to the project I can make today, two days or a week later..."

    I find it better to concentrate, for this kind of work, on ONE camera and lens kit. Learn them well, use them a lot, so you can really forget about them and concentrate on the photography and not the equipment. Have your checkbook or credit card handy when something breaks and you'll recover from the breakage fast enough.

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    Re: Back up cameras

    I got few different cameras for different purposes - Oly, Nikon, Mamiya.. But then i do shot commercially

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    Re: Back up cameras

    Forgot to say that i have 4 MF film cameras as backups when needed, and one day i may buy a cheap digital back for one of 2 film MF i have, but i hope one day maybe next year i hope to buy a technical camera, then my MFD H4D will be a backup.
    Tareq

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Thanks to all for great input on a back up camera system. Perhaps, the DSLR with a zoom is the better option for now. I want to add that Hasselblad's customer service has been fantastic! When there was an issue with a unit they were fast to ship a replacement camera until mine was available. I just don't want them on speed dial!

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    For most of my commercial stuff I shoot an Arca M-Line 2 and Mamiya RZ, both with a P45. For backup, I have a D700. For personal stuff, an Alpa Max + P45 or film backs and the D700. For backup when just shooting the D700, I have a D200. I am interested in seeing where the Pentax 645D and Leica S2 go in a year or so. I try not to buy the first year or so a product has been introduce and wait to see what the shooters have to say and how the makers respond. I am hoping the Pentax 645D makes the grade for my desires! It would be so much easier to have one system where I could afford it x2.

    Darr
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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    My "old" system of Canon 5dmk2, 17-40, 24-105, 70-200, is back up to H3D2-39 and four lenses. But back-up to my 5dmk2 is a 5d.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Backups are interesting and it was certainly easier to afford when you only shot 35mm since it was easy to get the exact cam or a grade below it like a D3X and D700 and many Pro's do that or did do that before they hit the MF world. Her it is almost impossible to have a TRUE identical backup. Not many can have 2 DF's and 2 P65+ same with Hassy or any other system like the S2. Each systems has it's quirks too like the S2 there is no options at all except a 35mm since there is no other body or lenses for that matter. The Hassy system you can at least buy a second body send it in and have it tuned to your back. Phase and Leaf are some good options like a AFDIII, AFD II backup to your back but obviously still not the same you can use another DF with no problems as matching up so that is a great option but backing up the back is difficult as Jack said a older Leaf/Phase back are nice options. Each systems will have some limitations and some will have the worst as in Leica just no options unless you buy a second S2 . That may change in time as the Leica system matures also. The Pentax almost could buy two right off the bat.

    Obviously we all fall in different ranges of needs and incomes or even better what you want to invest in as a business. I use the Canon for other work so it is natural backup and most MF shooters will have a 35mm system backup of some sorts . Others may have a M9 setup or 4/3rds setup. All depends on your needs.

    Really the bottom line as a working Pro is never going down in any way and covering your preverbal butt. No real right or wrong answers here but certainly have something. Most MF shooters also have plans to get backups overnight for back and/or body which is great but not the day of shoot. So credit card, backup cam or whatever it takes have something.

    Short story here I think two months ago I was out shooting a golf tournament for a client with my Canons and driving around in a golf cart and bam one lens rolls right off the cart and I'm hosed. I had three choices and I live 3 minutes away no less . Go home get Phase system, Go buy another lens 1 hour roundtrip or try to shoot without it with other glass. Since I was going to take a break anyway I went and bought a lens. So owning a Canon/Nikon system almost any Best Buy, Target or whatever you can get something. Moral of the story be prepared and know your options.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Back up cameras

    Although I do sell my pictures and do commercial jobs, I don't make my living from photography. However I like to travel to remote places where waving a credit card wouldn't do me any good in the event of a failure.

    So I recently settled on the M9 and a few lenses as back-up to my DF and P65+, mainly because it's so small and light. I can get an entire M9 kit into a bag I used to use for a Sony a900 and 24-70 zoom and I probably get better IQ.

    FWIW,
    Bill

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Although I do sell my pictures and do commercial jobs, I don't make my living from photography. However I like to travel to remote places where waving a credit card wouldn't do me any good in the event of a failure.

    So I recently settled on the M9 and a few lenses as back-up to my DF and P65+...
    ...and it's a damned good way of justifying buying yet more gear.


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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Back up cameras

    As someone who has suffered the worst kind of MFDB catastrophe (destroyed Aptus) I can personally attest to the benefits of having a second tier solution with you to keep shooting. I'm an amateur but was at the Grand Tetons when I killed my Aptus on my Alpa tech cam - luckily I had driven there for a three week visit and had my Nikon D3x outfit with me. That literally saved me from making the trek back home plus I was able to still shoot great images. I probably could have survived with my M9 but luckily I didn't have to find out.

  25. #25
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    Re: Back up cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    ...and it's a damned good way of justifying buying yet more gear.



    Keith, you are far too perspicacious!
    Bill

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