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Thread: An Open Canvas

  1. #1
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    An Open Canvas

    Hi, Guys.


    I am new!


    The reason I joined here is that I would like to get myself into the world of digital MF, and I have very much enjoyed reading many of the useful posts here.


    I now shoot with APS-C, which in itself a competent set up for many different styles of photography, but for me it is becoming rather unsatisfactory very quickly. This seems to have accelerated once I bought myself an Epson 3880. I am wanting to print larger and larger, and I am becoming more and more discontent with IQ as I print larger.


    I am an open canvas here in that I have not bought anything so far. So, I can be painted in most "proper" ways as far as getting the right dMF equipments and techniques are concerned. I was wondering if you guys would be nice enough to "mold" me into a dMF photographer that you call can be proud of!!

    My budget is about $2,000.

    Just kidding. I think initially I can put in about $15,000.

    My 3 main interests photography are landscapes, portraitures, and architecture.


    I figure I have not included enough info, but perhaps this may be a good start.


    Many thanks in advance!




    Nubi

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubi View Post

    My budget is about $2,000.

    Just kidding. I think initially I can put in about $15,000.
    That was good!

    My 3 main interests photography are landscapes, portraitures, and architecture.
    With that budget, I think you could pretty easily get into a nice Hasselblad CFV kit with three or four lenses, or could get into a Mamiya body and a handful of lenses with an older 22-30MP Leaf or Phase back. I don't think you can get as complete a Hassy H kit since the lenses are more expensive.
    Jack
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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Yea 15k can get you a nice used P30+ or H31 with body and about 3 or 4 lenses. You have a realistic number there to work with. Or you can try and get a P40+ with body, lens and back or H 40 with body, lens and back which should be close to the 15k but will have to build more lenses later but these two are the latest from both OEM's.

    Nice thing at 15k is you have some nice options
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    For 15k you can look at any of the cameras, and a lower res new back or medium res (~40MP) used back, which is great.

    From the living camera systems, I'd recommend taking a look at the Pentax 645D (weatherproof, many nature/landcape features), an
    d the Hasselblad H2 (mature system), now that you can put your choice of back on it.

    From the dead systems, I'd take a look at the Contax (cheap, many great Zeiss designs available, all with AF), and possibly a Hy6 (glass, support somewhat rare) or Hasselblad V (needs sync cables with most backs, no AF).

    With the Hassy and Contax options, I'd recommend the Phase P45+. For the Rollei, the Leaf is the way to go.

    And be sure to read Guy's thread on what folks have learned transitioning to MF digital. It's more different than it would appear--many jump in and leave a year later because of this, so knowing at the outset can help you to avoid disappointment.

    Welcome!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Thank you very much to all of you.

    You guys have answered many of the questions that I had, and some more to think about.

    Here is one caveat that I didn't include; I currently shoot with Pentax K-7, with a crap load of lenses. I am not exactly a fanboy but I do love the set up and what Pentax seems to offer in general. So yes I have thought about 645D, and I have looked at 645D, and I have considered 645D, and you know I actually thought about buying 645D (currently out of stock at all "three" places), but I guess what I was asking was what else was available out there, which i only loosely knew.

    Hassey vs. Mamiya is an interesting one for me. As I have thought about more and more about MF, I started cropping my pictures square, and guess what?? I love that format.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nubimd/

    But, what i don't know is if that has anything to do with it. Are sensors that fits Hassey square(probably not)?? It is just that I would hate to lose 20% of MP because i crop square every time. But I suppose that is life. Worse things can happen.

    The way I am getting into dMF, and judging from my previous mistakes, it is pretty much give that I would want to start shooting in film too. So, are there any clever set up where i can do both? From what I have read, both Mamiya and Hasselblad do that, but I am more interested in the latter because of the format. What kind of backs can be mounted on various Hasselblad cameras?? Is there a fast rule to figure out by looking at model numbers??


    Then, at the end, I suppose it is all about lenses. In that regards 645D is to me a bit concerning, even despite all that legacy lenses out there. What does it mean that legacy lenses may not be "optimized" for digital? Is this a shape of the sensor issue? Subtle difference in sizes?? Not to mention that they have just announced a new wide angle 25 mm lens that cost $4000. Yes I do have $15,000 to start, but I don't want to get sucked into the abyss either.

    How Mamiya lenses?? Zeiss lenses for Hasselblad - that needs no introduction for me. Then I found out the other day that there is an adapter for Hassey lenses that fits on 645D.

    Lastly, buying an used equipment is not a bad way to go for you guys?? I think I understand both pros and cons on theoretical basis. Is it worth the money you save??



    gee, sorry guys, I sort of rumbled on and on. But it looks like you guys have given me much more to think about . . . .

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    You can find some good information here:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19942

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20740

    Hope this helps.

    Valentin

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Hmm... quite a bit there, Nubi...

    There really no way to answer Mamiya vs Zeiss, for example. I have my own opinions, of course, but they really aren't worth much to another shooter. You really want to see for yourself.

    The same is actually true for camera bodies too. For example, some folks just can't get used to the way Hassy V's work. Some take to it like a duck to water. Not sure how old your eyes are, but manual focus does get harder with age. Only you will be able to answer these questions for you.

    I'd suggest a good dealer will be a help here--if you are considering living systems, you can often test drive the systems and the lenses you are considering and get an idea of what you like, what works for you and what doesn't.

    I often buy used equipment and have found that, with care and patience, the savings can be significant, and don't have any horror stories to share. Be warned though that in doing so, I don't enjoy the benefits of dealer support, am my own tech support and often must deal with the manufacturer or repair shop directly. Definitely not for everyone.

    Hope that helps,

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Nubi, good to see you here. I'll be following this thread. Who knows, I just might follow that path... somewhere around 2050. And thanks to all the posters so far, good information.

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    i happily shot with the V hasselblad (205TCC) for a few years, first with the CFV16 back (16mpix and square, one of only two made, the other was the phase P20) and later with the CFV 39 (39mpix and rectangular) many fantastic lenses available used.

    Oh, and with the blad, you get to wind to set the shutter, each shot!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Also, I'd like to add that I'll willingly share my personal opinions and the experiences they're based on with regard to digital medium format, camera bodies and lenses. It's just that any questions should be more specific than "which is better?" since "better" is so subjective.

    If you are planning to shoot telephoto, are sensitive to harsh bokeh, are sensitive to shutter lag, shoot in cold environments, can't carry much weight, rarely shoot at infinity, etc., we can have good chats on relative merits.

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Nubi,
    Welcome to the slippery slope! Like a lot of the others have mentioned, try, try, try! What is good for one person may not agree with your experience, if you have a dealer in your area, handle the gear. There are a lot of dealers who provide excellent support on this site for both Phase and Hasselblad, but that support is in cyberspace. Nothing beats eye to eye contact with your dealer to help you through the decision process. Making a digital platform decision is hard without actually shooting with the gear. Coming from an APS-C format that has autofocus and multi frame per second capture to a one frame per second capture combined with a single AF point or manual focus is a major change.

    The good news is that both Phase and Hasselblad have sponsored programs that let you shoot with their gear and provide instruction on workflow and operation of the equipment. Guy and Jack are instructors for the Phase program called PODAS and Hasselblad has a program called Hasselblad Xcursions. These programs do cost a bit, but the experience gained is well worth it. It is much less expense than buying a system and later taking a loss on resale if the MF experience is not what you had in mind.

    I personally shoot with the Hasselblad CFV 16 (square) and have most every lens that they have produced purchased well under your budget. It works for me but may not work for you as it is manual focus, manual exposure and manual advance. The 16 mega pixel output plays well with my Epson 3800 at 17x22 print size.

    Good luck with your decision!

    -Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    That was good!



    With that budget, I think you could pretty easily get into a nice Hasselblad CFV kit with three or four lenses, or could get into a Mamiya body and a handful of lenses with an older 22-30MP Leaf or Phase back. I don't think you can get as complete a Hassy H kit since the lenses are more expensive.


    Thank you, Jack, for your comment!

    When you say CFV kit, what does that mean? CFV digital back and which body?? Can a CFV back be mounted on something like 503CW?? I take it that H kit means CFV back and H body, correct??

    Thanks again!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yea 15k can get you a nice used P30+ or H31 with body and about 3 or 4 lenses. You have a realistic number there to work with. Or you can try and get a P40+ with body, lens and back or H 40 with body, lens and back which should be close to the 15k but will have to build more lenses later but these two are the latest from both OEM's.

    Nice thing at 15k is you have some nice options
    Hi, Guy,

    THank you for your comment.

    P30 + H31 is pretty much a H kit, No??

    That set up with several lenses for $15,000 sounds enticing, indeed. I would probably trade 10 MP for more lenses, meaning that I would probably be content with 30 MP, although you never know!!

    Thanks!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    For 15k you can look at any of the cameras, and a lower res new back or medium res (~40MP) used back, which is great.

    From the living camera systems, I'd recommend taking a look at the Pentax 645D (weatherproof, many nature/landcape features), an
    d the Hasselblad H2 (mature system), now that you can put your choice of back on it.

    From the dead systems, I'd take a look at the Contax (cheap, many great Zeiss designs available, all with AF), and possibly a Hy6 (glass, support somewhat rare) or Hasselblad V (needs sync cables with most backs, no AF).

    With the Hassy and Contax options, I'd recommend the Phase P45+. For the Rollei, the Leaf is the way to go.

    And be sure to read Guy's thread on what folks have learned transitioning to MF digital. It's more different than it would appear--many jump in and leave a year later because of this, so knowing at the outset can help you to avoid disappointment.

    Welcome!



    Hi, Bradley,


    Thank you for your comment!

    I have looked at 645D. It is a wonderful camera in a sense that I think I can take that thing to places that MF camera typically do not go. The ease of set up, how it handles, I think they are all good.

    I do wish that there was a live view for serious focusing. That is really about it. Ergonomics is such that I can start using it without a manual out of the box, being a K-7 user now.


    I have not thought about Rollei though. I need to look into that. From cost standpoint, how do they stack up against Mamiya and Hassey???


    Thanks again!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post


    Velentin,

    Thank you for the links. Yes, they do help a lot. In fact, I am sure much of what is already said or will be said may become repetitive.

    But, will see what the current market has to offer.

    I will read more in details of your links!!

    Thanks again.

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Hmm... quite a bit there, Nubi...

    There really no way to answer Mamiya vs Zeiss, for example. I have my own opinions, of course, but they really aren't worth much to another shooter. You really want to see for yourself.

    The same is actually true for camera bodies too. For example, some folks just can't get used to the way Hassy V's work. Some take to it like a duck to water. Not sure how old your eyes are, but manual focus does get harder with age. Only you will be able to answer these questions for you.

    I'd suggest a good dealer will be a help here--if you are considering living systems, you can often test drive the systems and the lenses you are considering and get an idea of what you like, what works for you and what doesn't.

    I often buy used equipment and have found that, with care and patience, the savings can be significant, and don't have any horror stories to share. Be warned though that in doing so, I don't enjoy the benefits of dealer support, am my own tech support and often must deal with the manufacturer or repair shop directly. Definitely not for everyone.

    Hope that helps,


    I live in southern California, and I have no idea where I can go to get my hands on MF cameras . . . .


    I touched and handled 645D when I was in Japan last June. In fact, it was only a few days after it came out.


    I am totally open to used gears. The concept does not bother me at all. I just wasn't sure if that was an accepted practice when it comes to high end gears as such.


    THanks again.

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Nubi, good to see you here. I'll be following this thread. Who knows, I just might follow that path... somewhere around 2050. And thanks to all the posters so far, good information.
    Thanks, emr, for directing me to this site.

    I have so much to learn here.

    I suggest that you also ought look into this MF thing. I see a whole new world out there!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    i happily shot with the V hasselblad (205TCC) for a few years, first with the CFV16 back (16mpix and square, one of only two made, the other was the phase P20) and later with the CFV 39 (39mpix and rectangular) many fantastic lenses available used.

    Oh, and with the blad, you get to wind to set the shutter, each shot!


    Thanks, Jim, for your post!


    I meant to ask you how satisfied you are with somewhat of a lower MP digital backs. Do they work for you?


    Winding to set the shutter . . . . Right up my alley. I am all for deliberate photography. Picking one good one out of thousands to me is not how I want to shoot . . .


    Thanks!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Also, I'd like to add that I'll willingly share my personal opinions and the experiences they're based on with regard to digital medium format, camera bodies and lenses. It's just that any questions should be more specific than "which is better?" since "better" is so subjective.

    If you are planning to shoot telephoto, are sensitive to harsh bokeh, are sensitive to shutter lag, shoot in cold environments, can't carry much weight, rarely shoot at infinity, etc., we can have good chats on relative merits.


    I really look forward to those chats, Brad. To me that is what is all about. But, as you say, I need to get my hands on them and play with them for a while to know what you guys are talking about, to a certain extent. I intend to fully study what advantages and disadvantages dMF have to offer, and plan to use both aspects to my advantage (lol).

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    Nubi,
    Welcome to the slippery slope! Like a lot of the others have mentioned, try, try, try! What is good for one person may not agree with your experience, if you have a dealer in your area, handle the gear. There are a lot of dealers who provide excellent support on this site for both Phase and Hasselblad, but that support is in cyberspace. Nothing beats eye to eye contact with your dealer to help you through the decision process. Making a digital platform decision is hard without actually shooting with the gear. Coming from an APS-C format that has autofocus and multi frame per second capture to a one frame per second capture combined with a single AF point or manual focus is a major change.

    The good news is that both Phase and Hasselblad have sponsored programs that let you shoot with their gear and provide instruction on workflow and operation of the equipment. Guy and Jack are instructors for the Phase program called PODAS and Hasselblad has a program called Hasselblad Xcursions. These programs do cost a bit, but the experience gained is well worth it. It is much less expense than buying a system and later taking a loss on resale if the MF experience is not what you had in mind.

    I personally shoot with the Hasselblad CFV 16 (square) and have most every lens that they have produced purchased well under your budget. It works for me but may not work for you as it is manual focus, manual exposure and manual advance. The 16 mega pixel output plays well with my Epson 3800 at 17x22 print size.

    Good luck with your decision!

    -Al



    hi, Atanabe,


    Thank you for your comment!

    Yes I shoot with APS-C, but I think the way I approach photography is more suited for something like MF, or so I am told. It really is a process for me. I hardly ever use AF, exposure I use auto mode, only as a starting point, and this manual advance part I am very intrigued! So, when I move to the world of MF, I anticipate that the process will not change a whole lot for me, except that it probably will be more fun!!

    But, you are right. Until I get my hands on them, there will be issues I have never even dreamed about. So I am going to look into where I can do exactly that.

    Thanks again!!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubi View Post
    I live in southern California, and I have no idea where I can go to get my hands on MF cameras . . . .


    I touched and handled 645D when I was in Japan last June. In fact, it was only a few days after it came out.


    I am totally open to used gears. The concept does not bother me at all. I just wasn't sure if that was an accepted practice when it comes to high end gears as such.


    THanks again.
    Hey Nubi

    Samy's in LA is a dealer of great reputation. You may want to look into this.

    Woody Spedden

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    "Samy's in LA is a dealer of great reputation." They sell Phase and Hasselblad, and they carry a large stock. You should be able to handle lots of stuff there. Samy's is on Fairfax a few blocks north of Wilshire.

  23. #23
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    Re: An Open Canvas

    I have a Hasselblad CFV-16 that I bought ~4 years ago. At the time I had a fair amount of "V" system gear that I wasn't using and the decision was buy a digital back or sell off the "V" stuff. I went for the digital back and haven't looked back. (It is interesting that there seems to be very few CFV-16 on the used marked)

    Today for a sub-$15k budget and if I had no legacy "V" gear, the H4D-31 is very tempting at $13,995. (With all of the caveats associated with the 31MP back.) The CFV-39 back, alone, is ~$13,995.

    Steve

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    +1 for Samy's in LA. Bought my first Sinar 33 years ago when Samy and George had a small store across from CBS Studios. Their integrity has grown their business over the years.
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubi View Post
    hi, Atanabe,
    Yes I shoot with APS-C, but I think the way I approach photography is more suited for something like MF, or so I am told. It really is a process for me. I hardly ever use AF, exposure I use auto mode, only as a starting point, and this manual advance part I am very intrigued! So, when I move to the world of MF, I anticipate that the process will not change a whole lot for me, except that it probably will be more fun!!

    But, you are right. Until I get my hands on them, there will be issues I have never even dreamed about. So I am going to look into where I can do exactly that.

    Thanks again!!
    Sounds like you may be a good candidate for MF!

    One other thing I'm not sure I realized when I first started out with MF years ago. With medium format you will find that ergonomics play a much bigger role than they do in small format. Because you hold the camera for just about every shot you take and there are so many more options in MF, I found that ergonomics played a much bigger role in my enjoyment of photography than they did at any time previously.

    Perhaps it is the weight of the camera and lenses, or perhaps it is because bodies come in so many shapes and sizes (even left-handed triggering and right handed focusing with the V series) that it may be a worthwhile exercise to look at ergonomics as a starting place on your journey. Some have interchangeable finders--from 90 degree to waist-level--with so many handling options, if you can (and this is the hard part) spend some time with the various handling options, you may find the scales tipping in favor of a particular brand or format.

    I personally love the 6x6 cameras--Hasselblad V and Rollei Hy6--(this is not me endorsing these particular cameras to you, by the way), but I absolutely hated the ergonomics of them (especially the V) for the first two months I used it. But I did get used to it and found the waist level finder's low shooting angle very useful for my nature work. Now, as I mentioned, the handling of the 6x6's is my favorite way to shoot.

    So all this is just to say that it's a very, very different world in medium format, so be prepared to give yourself time to try and get used to various options.

    Regardless of the approach you use, if you can narrow your choice to a short list of three or even two camera systems that you are confident will work for you, moving from there will be a more straightforward proposition.

    Best of luck, and I do hope you let us know how things are progressing.

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Hi, everyone,

    After a long and hard consideration, I settled on 645D. I believe I bought the last one available in US from Ace photo a few days ago. I should be getting my hands on it soon. I also ordered a 55/2.8 SDM, so called a kit lens.


    I just wanted to thank everyone who offered me awesome advice. There were almost too much to consider, and at the end of the process I actually began to feel paralyzed. Initially I thought about 645D, then I got really interested in 503 WC and Mamiya RZ. But then I came full circle at the end. I am convinced that the choice was the right one for me.

    As suggested, I actually took time to get my hands several of the finalists. I was rather quite intimidated by Hasselblad. Handling it can become second nature, I suppose, but would I want to take the time for that? I wasn't convinced. Being a K-7 shooter, getting started with 645D would be as easy as slamming a battery in it and turn it on. This idea of detachable back seemed great at first, but when I actually put it in my hand, the unit as a whole felt a bit wobbly for me, and I wondered about the thing accidentally falling off (although not likely I know) just as I crossed to the other side of the stream, or something like that. Besides, the price of the unit, if I were to combine with P45+, even with a refurbished it still seemed costly to me. I also played a bit with Hassey back. I think that the Phocus software is very very funky.

    I got also interested in mamiya RZ 33, but for similar reasons above, I couldn't justify purchasing that over 645D.

    I do have some beef with 645D though. THe recording time on the card is pathetic. Worse than a bad joke. They need to do something about that. It is a good enough reason to upgrade if that aspect of it is improved. I realize that compared to developing a role of film, it is a far far quicker turn around time, but I am just not sure what they were thinking on that.

    I want live view. I know that with CCD sensor it is not possible(?), but again, to me it would be very important.

    645D probably does not feel like a true MF shooter's camera. There are too many bells and whistles on it. I wish it had less buttons. I bet you there will be many many functions that I will never use. But, at the end of the day, the cost performance ratio is hard to go against.

    I worry about lenses. I did buy a 67 to 645 converter, and zeiss to 645D converter as well. I would like to explore non Pentax lenses until they beef up their line up with current model.


    Please don't think that my negative comments regarding Hassey and Mamiya are cheap shots of any kind. I think they are fantastic camera in every way. It was just that they just were not it for me.


    Once again, I want to thank everyone!!

  27. #27
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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Congratulations to your 645D!

    Only time will tell what happens with that system, maybe too long, we will see ....

    I hope Pentax really can make this going!

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Zooms are adequate for landscape work ( or as adequate as the digiback you can get on your budget)... and a low res Hassy with a 50-110 zoom might have been an option worth considering as initial kit.

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Zooms are adequate for landscape work ( or as adequate as the digiback you can get on your budget)... and a low res Hassy with a 50-110 zoom might have been an option worth considering as initial kit.
    I don't disagree with your comment based on IQ and versatility but the H cameras and that zoom is, in my opinion, too heavy to be carried into the field unless you are young and / or very strong. I tried the 55-110 when I owned an H3d-39 body and it took me all of two minutes to make my decision.

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    Re: An Open Canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    I don't disagree with your comment based on IQ and versatility but the H cameras and that zoom is, in my opinion, too heavy to be carried into the field unless you are young and / or very strong. I tried the 55-110 when I owned an H3d-39 body and it took me all of two minutes to make my decision.
    Yes, 4Kg can be tooo much to carry all day, but I am 18St (110 Kg) and only 62... and my shoulders are quite strong as I am a child catcher - helping my wife with her gymnastics class.

    My 300 is not much lighter, and I might consider a lighter lens if I had to hand-hold all day.

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