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Thread: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

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    What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    Hi guys!

    At Photokina Phase One announced a new macro optic, an autofocus 120 4.0 D macro.

    Does anyone know what's the story behind it? I.e., is this a new design or just the old macro with an aufocus mechanic inside?

    Is it supposed to have more resolving power?

    Thank you very much for any infos in this matter!

    Regards

    Paul

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    Sorry I don't know much about it - but judging by the resolution of my 120 D, it would be very hard to improve on it!
    Bill

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    that's a good question! since i was considering one in the near future !!
    Mohammad Al-Khamis

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    Does anyone have an update on this? I'm looking to get the 120 D Macro but would like to know if the IQ of the AF version is essentially the same as the MF version.

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Sorry I don't know much about it - but judging by the resolution of my 120 D, it would be very hard to improve on it!
    Bill
    +1

    I find it hard to believe any rational person could be disappointed by the image quality of the 120D for macro work.

    I guess I should throw in my assumption that the rational person doesn't want to go significantly past 1:1 magnification.

    If you don't need autofocus (remember it does have focus confirmation, just no autofocus drive) then by all means get the 120D - you won't be disappointed.

    If you do need autofocus then it's kind of a moot point. I haven't tested this lens hands-on so I can't tell you if it's an A-, an A, or an A+ lens, but I'm highly confident it will be one of the three because
    - macro lenses have been consistently amongst the best performers on every modern medium format camera system
    - lenses in the moderate telephoto range are easier to design (well) than most other lenses.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    I find it hard to believe any rational person could be disappointed by the image quality of the 120D for macro work.

    I guess I should throw in my assumption that the rational person doesn't want to go significantly past 1:1 magnification.
    - I've looked for a macro better than 120D and could not find one.
    - Single loose diamonds for posters requests are not uncommon and require more than 1:1, also sometimes small parts - why irrational?
    - No AF in macro is a big drawback of the 645AFD system, for me worth the upgrade when available.

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    - I've looked for a macro better than 120D and could not find one.
    - Single loose diamonds for posters requests are not uncommon and require more than 1:1, also sometimes small parts - why irrational?
    To be clear I did not mean that shooting past 1:1 is irrational. I did a project at 3:1 - 5:1 and loved doing it. Just that if you're going significantly past 1:1 you're better off with another solution than the 120mm D which ends at 1:1 without extenders (which don't do a lot on a long lens anyway) and is optimized for sharpness only up to 1:1.

    If you for instance want 2:1 or 4:1 then you could look at a view camera or the mamiya bellows system or a Cambo X-2 depending on your needs.




    You can read about this extreme magnification photography project at our website: Extreme Macro with Medium Format.

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    No AF in macro is a big drawback of the 645AFD system, for me worth the upgrade when available.
    Sounds like for your needs the AF 120mm D Macro will be a big help. For some shooters the autofocus is not as important. Different needs: different gear :-).

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    I'm new to this forum but I'll add my two bits.

    In my experience AF is a detriment when trying to set a macro greater than 1:1
    I've had many 2:1 go awry by forgetting to shut the AF off. Photographer error, what a joy.

    Granted this was using the "evil" format of 35mm FF digital, but I believe the same issues apply. I know using my favorite for 5:1 ( Canon MP-E 65 ) focus rails for multi-shot DOF, I am thankfully to not be fighting an AF for critical focus. And now with live view, no lens vibrations.

    However, I could see why one would want AF on the 120, now it can be easily held for regular photography. Seems like a good way to save a little space in the carry bag.

    As an aside; I sure miss camera movements. Oh well, guess I better get on that Leaf/ Cambo with Tilt and Swing purchase.

    Good Grief Doug, I had a hard enough time fighting lighting, DOF and Diffraction with the 35mm set up. That must have been quite the challenge to set up with an MF back! Good thing the fly was kind enough to hold "deathly still" for you.

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    I tried Schneider Digitar 120 mounted on a bellows for 2:1-3:1, and found the result no sharper than 120D + rings. The contrast on 120D is much better.
    It had not occurred to me to try a reverse Compunon.

    Of course, AF is no good for beyond 1:1, but you can't reach 1:1 with any of the AF lenses today AFAIK.

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    I know there are many ways, again in 35mm, using;
    100mm macro, 180mm macro, myself using the 300mm with tubes (1:2)
    70-200 with tubes (1:1) but I have never run into one using MF.

    It will be interesting to see how fine a focus it will acheive.

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    Re: What's the deal with the new Phase One AF Macro?

    I'm being told by my dealer that the new macro will be available shortly, beginning April ...

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