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Thread: I Dared To Enter

  1. #1
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    I Dared To Enter

    Hello everyone,

    I have been lurking on the forum for a while and really enjoy the high quality of inputs and opinions on the various topics discussed.

    I am a serious amateur photographer I was a long time Leica M7 user but finally sold it and took the DSLR plunge a few years back ending up with a Nikon D3x and probably to many lenses! I sold the Nikon gear for a M9 with a 24 Lux and 35 Cron hoping to capture the magic that I remember with the M7 and film. I am a big Leica fan and even though my M9 was replaced after two weeks with a fatal shutter fault error I still really enjoyed the system but frankly just could not nail the focus on the RF the way I used to I this was a big disappointment because I enjoy manual focus and had no problem with the Nikon using the Zeiss 21mm and 50mm lenses. Again, my comments are not intended to start a debate on Leica it just does not work for me but it did slow me down and start to think about taking pictures again.

    I am very tempted with a MFDB system vs going back to the DSLR my primary interests are Landscape and People and I have a strong interest in black and white. The files from MF seem to have much more detail and impact than 35mm and there lies my question having just sold my Leica gear and having the option to start from scratch "again".

    What would one suggest that with my interests including using perspective control lenses into my Landscape work that I should consider in MF. I would normally print 17/24 but would like to include some 24/36 or larger prints into my workflow but again my primary interest is to expand my knowledge and exposure to photography.

    I am familiar with the Hasselblad V system and have considered that option with the ability to add a digital back it would also allow for some film work but I really never have been a fan of scanning but other than the HB V have limited or no direct experience with the other systems and options available.

    I would appreciate any feedback you might offer I intend to tread slowly with the many new offerings in MFDB and the potential for new and improved DSLR's likely to be released by Canon and Nikon. I also posted this on the Hasselblad forum earlier today.

    Dave

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Welcome.

    If you shoot primarily landscape and you desire perspective control you might consider a technical camera along with one of the many fine backs available.

    Personally, I shoot the Phase DF for most everything with a P65+ back and it works very well for me.
    I think you have come to the right place, however, as there are shooters here who use almost every gear combination possible.
    I am also sure that you will get many opinions not all of them in agreement
    -bob

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Hi Dave and welcome to GetDpi.

    I shoot nothing but landscape and started out first shooting 35mm DSLR before moving to MFDB first with a P30+ then a P45+. I kept shooting with a Mamiya then Phase 645 before moving to a technical camera along with the P45+. While you can certainly capture great landscape images with a DSLR I know from my personal experience that a tech camera beats it.

    There's several great manufactures of tech cameras as well as digital backs and will go on record of being partial to my setup of a Cambo WRS and P45+.

    Good luck on your search

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    I agree with Bob - If you enjoy the manual focus and landscape you should probably consider a tech camera with a nice back (maybe one that can handle long exposures...) or going to extremes a large format scanning back.

    I use a H3D-39 and if I should get a new one now it would be a H4D-40 - it is a nice camera system and the 40 has good light sensitivity

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Don, looking through your blog and a recent trip with a 1DsMk111; M9 and the Cambo you shot 65% DSLR, 30% M9 and 5% Cambo or technical camera would these percentages be typical for you in the field this is one of the issues I struggle with if I move to MFDB or the technical camera option as suggested in the previous replies vs the DSLR as my primary system.

    Dave

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Dave, I seriously doubt that anything the 35mm DSLR makers bring forth will match a MFD kit for IQ. For one thing, they are CMOS sensors plagued by AA filtration. And no matter what, they are limited to the 35mm sized sensor. Like with film, size still matters. A 40 meg 35mm DSLR will not be the same as a near 645 sized sensor with 40 meg.

    I had a Nikon D3X and it never even came close to the IQ of my H4D/40 camera ... so I sold it.

    Your shooting needs span the gamut ... landscape and people ... one being more thoughtful, and the other potentially more spontaneous.

    Only you know if the Hasselblad V camera will fit your need to shoot both ... depends on whether you feel the need for AF. Hasselblad CFV backs are the only digital backs designed specifically for the V cameras and do not require a sync cord from lens to back to trigger it. They are available in 16 meg, 39 meg and now 50 meg. You can select to shoot only square images with the 39 and 50 meg versions ... but they will be a cropped frame.

    It seems that for your work, one of the modern 645AF cameras would better serve your diverse needs. Investigate the Phase One offerings and the Hasselblad H4D offerings to determine which best fits your approach. Importantly, go try them to see which fits.

    One other choice that seems viable is the Pentax 645 40 meg camera ... a bit short on digital capable lenses right now, but that's sure to change. This is a good entry level priced kit.

    My choice was the H system for my studio and certain commercial work because all of the lenses are leaf shutter with a 1/800th sync speed in conjunction with strobes and flash, and a Leica S2 for all of the rest ... a camera/lens system that is hardly entry level priced

    -Marc

    BTW, a majority of more recent work on my web site is MFD ... those that are not, are either with a Leica M7/8/9, or are older 35mm DSLR shots.

    www.fotografz.com

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
    Don, looking through your blog and a recent trip with a 1DsMk111; M9 and the Cambo you shot 65% DSLR, 30% M9 and 5% Cambo or technical camera would these percentages be typical for you in the field this is one of the issues I struggle with if I move to MFDB or the technical camera option as suggested in the previous replies vs the DSLR as my primary system.

    Dave
    Dave - Thanks for visiting the blog. My wife uses the 1DsIII while I use either the M9 or Cambo and I'll admit to using the M9 more this past year. The M9 was new this past year so I see me returning to the Cambo for the more serious work. By the way most of the images shown on the blog are teaser images just to get folks interested in the work. (while they may be okay they aren't the best taken. We do it this way as no image is safe on the internet no matter what you do to protect it.)

    don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Tucson AZ

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    My previous comments all centered on landscape shooting. In rereading the original post I completely missed the "people" aspect. While a tech camera is great for landscape it isn't all that well suited for anything that moves or might move and there you need a dSLR either 35mm or MF. While we don't shoot people we do capture nature and the occasional wildlife and for that you might look at something that has autofocus (I did surprise myself in capturing some wildlife in Jackson Hole with the M9).

    This is tough as there's no easy answer nor is there an answer that fits everything/one needs. My absolute go to system for anything landscape is still the Cambo/P45+ with the M9 a close second. The majority of my prints exceed 20x40 (one of our best selling images are offered in either 30x60 and 35x70) and the Cambo does that well; the M9 on the other hand will handle 20x40 and smaller. We've been able to get a very nice 24x50 image from a 3-shot panorama Sandy took with the 1DsIII but that size is rare.

    Wish I could offer more, again good luck with your decision.

    don
    Don Libby
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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Hi, Dave,

    Quite a lot of factors to consider, but firstly as someone who has owned seven different digital medium format systems I can say you can't really know if they will work for you until you've handled and shot with them. Some things that seem like a fatal flaw on paper may be manageable once you experience hands-on, and vice-versa.

    Many important features aren't on paper--how is the shutter lag? How does the grip fit your hand? How much shutter vibration does the camera generate? Do you like the drawing of the lenses on your favorite subject matter?

    Everyone will have their favorites, but even a few hours with a system will do a lot more for you than reading about someone else's bias toward or away from brand x.

    Bob's suggestion to consider technical cameras (as opposed to SLR's) is also a good one. Technical camera lenses are second-to-none, and might be just the ticket. (Above advice still applies, of course).

    Note that depending on what you want to buy, you can find significant discounts purchasing used, or even new. Once you have an understanding of what will work for you, I recommend a short-list of two or three systems that you would be happy with. Find the one with the best pricing, support, and other factors and enjoy!

    All the best,
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 4th February 2011 at 18:59.

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    David, I am going through a major change myself: I have been shooting with a haselblad swc for some time and have decided to do my own cameras with film and focusing screens in medium and large frame. I also bought a diana toy camera. I like Bradley´s advise about hands-on.

    My needs are different than yours in that I like rangefinders (or no rangefinders) and wide-angles without too much acurate focus.

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Some parts of this are highly subjective - not just in what you like in gear, but what gets you to pay attention and take good photos. Sometimes its slowing down, other times portability and stealth cameras that you can carry everywhere.

    The joy of MFDB is that it practically gives 4x5 quality in a smaller package - and makes me think harder about shots, while flexible enough to take all sorts of places. Somehow, the medium format gear is getting most of the attention these days. More thoughtful, more keepers.
    Last edited by Geoff; 5th February 2011 at 08:37.

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Thanks for the many replies I have given some thought and did some research on the technical camera option unfortunately dealers with any stock are few and far between up here. One question I forgot to ask was feedback on using the various options in the field living in Ontario Canada weather is a factor and although I don't rush out in the rain snow or freezing cold I often find myself dealing with these different weather conditions throughout the year.
    Any options not good in these types of conditions?


    Dave

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    I've always felt the worse the weather the better the images. While I attempt to stay inside during gale fore winds I have spent plenty of time in blowing dust in the desert and cold, rainy, sleet, snow in places like the South Rim in December, Yosemite in the winter as well as Jackson Hole in the very early pre-sunrise hours in late October. In each case I never had a problem with the Cambo/P45+ that I hadn't caused myself due to stupidly. The gear is robust and I've always felt I gave up way before the gear did.

    I also remember shooting crashing waves in Northern California with a Mamiya AFDIII and P30+ with the tripod in the surf with wind and surf hitting my face. Didn't bother that setup any and I left because I got tired to trying to see through soaked eyewear.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
    Thanks for the many replies I have given some thought and did some research on the technical camera option unfortunately dealers with any stock are few and far between up here.
    Dave
    Dave, not sure exactly where you are but in the Toronto area Walter or Jim at B3K Digital have lots of Arca, Cambo, etc., and Mike at Kindermann has Linhof, Silvestri and others. Both sources are expert and very supportive, far better than the retail outlets for specialized gear.

    Wish I could offer some Canadian winter experience, but I don't do landscapes. As soon as it turns cold I start fooling with lights and objects inside.

    Peter

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    Re: I Dared To Enter

    David, I'm originally from southwestern Ontario, and now live in Seattle (not known for its sunny winters). I've used all my gear outdoors in all kinds of weather, and at altitude in the mountains. Obviously I have to be careful with the elements, and I use a Kata bag to handle the wet.

    I've been able to make it work without weathersealing. Would I love a weatherproofed system for my nature work? Absolutely.

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