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Thread: Would you buy a P45+ now?

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    Would you buy a P45+ now?

    I am contemplating a back that will let me do long exposures. The P45+ looks like the clear winner but it's been around for quite a while. Would I be buying into older technology that will be replaced soon? As I understand it the new IQ backs are never going to do long exposures, and I would probably lose a lot in high ISO performance over my H4D. The S2 won't do long exposures either so the choices look rather limited.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    For long exposures, nothing beats the Phase P45+ at the moment. If I had the extra cash, I'd love to have one (again)---but the IQ upgrade fund takes priority.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    I am contemplating a back that will let me do long exposures. The P45+ looks like the clear winner but it's been around for quite a while. Would I be buying into older technology that will be replaced soon? As I understand it the new IQ backs are never going to do long exposures, and I would probably lose a lot in high ISO performance over my H4D. The S2 won't do long exposures either so the choices look rather limited.
    Its a great choice if you want to do long exposures. It is also a solid performer. It's a strong 39Mpix. There are so many I know that are reluctant to move off of the platform because of the long exposures, and beautiful images.

    It is still a current model in PhaseOne's P+ series and I hope it continues to be.

    There is no 'perfect' back out there. So weigh your options long exposure, or better high ISO. If you are considering higher ISO you should really consider a PhaseOne with Sensor+.

    Lance
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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    The P45+ has sensor plus, I assume. Will that give me good ISO 400 and 800 when compared to the H4D. I would be quite happy with smaller files as most high ISO work for me is never going to be printed large.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Only the P40+ and P65+ have sensor+, the new IQ backs will have it as well I assume.

    How long exposures are you talking about? The P40+ and P65+ are rated at 60sec. It is my experience that unless you do star trails or aurora shots, 60 sec is plenty. It's EV 1 (f8, 60 sec @ ISO 50).

    Cheers, -Peter

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    60 won't cut it for me. The H4D 40 does 256. I can live with that for most stuff. I would dearly love to be able to do much longer.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Jeff,

    Capture integration, Digital Transitions and Phase websites have great information, where you can compare all DB's. in the line up. I too, love long exposures, but with 1 hour exposures and dark frame, make sure the batteries are fresh.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Another big plus vote for the P45+. If you ever use something like Lee's 'Big Stopper' 10 stop grad, plus maybe a center filter, then 60 seconds is rarely going to cut it. If only P1 would use the sensor from the P45+ (or an equivalent one) in an IQ back, but I guess the demand isn't really there. Looks like we'll have to wait a couple of years until CMOS sensors start to appear before we get the marriage of long exposure capability plus a nice screen with live view etc.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    I've been using a P45+ for over 2-years now and while the newer higher resolution backs have put stars in my eyes I'm still very happy with the back.

    If I were just getting into DMF then I would opt for the P45+ as it is a rock solid performer that offers one of the longest shutters on the market and that sums up my response to your first sentence.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    60 won't cut it for me. The H4D 40 does 256. I can live with that for most stuff. I would dearly love to be able to do much longer.
    Jeff,

    The new firmware for the S2 pushes time to 150 seconds....and Gary Faye at CameraWest tells me there is NO NOISE whatever at that setting. Not 256 but may be a nice alternative if you keep your H4D 40 for those early morning shots.

    Bob

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Thanks folks. It's good to hear the the S2 is out to 150. I had written it off completely until now. I am still very wary of the S2 as I suspect that it will follow the M8/M9 route and I don't want to be left holding the inferior one in a years time.
    It looks like the P45+ is the way to go.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    I too am considering a P45+... what should a nice used one cost?

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Jeff,

    By the looks of these photos the P45 still is a viable option.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...d=1#post295841

    Bob

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    If you are considering a used one, make sure it will run the latest version of the P45+ firmware.

    This allows two major changes to early P45+ models (like mine was)

    1. You can take a long exposure up to 1 hour.
    2. You can use the higher ISO range from 400 to 800.

    My serial number is 399. Purchased in March 08. Phase released a major firmware update I recall around mid 2009. This update allowed for the longer exposures up to 1 hour and greatly improved the higher ISO range. However certain backs, (mine was one of them) would not take the firmware. There was a change to certain hardware in the backs that worked with the firmware. If you didn't have it, you would lock up during the firmware upgrade.

    Phase One, took care of this issue for me. I was under full 3 year value add warranty. The changes were IMO extreme. The new firmware not only allowed me to shoot up to 1 hour with very low noise (iso 50) but also cleaned up the higher ISO range enough that I can use iso 800 for shots up to 24 x 36 with no problems. It also cleaned up the lower iso range 50 and 100.

    One other note, one that doesn't get talked about very often.
    The use of the P45+ in 30min to 1 hour exposures is very dependent on the outside ambient temps. You can't get a 1 hour exposure in much warmer temps than 63 degrees Fahrenheit. You can go to 30 min up to around 75 degrees as I recall. If it gets any warmer, you will have a mainly dark frame and the exposure will not be usable. Below is a quote from a note I received from Phase One. I had sent them a problem file of 40min.
    "This image is a 40min exposure with a core temp of almost 36 C (35.813 to be precise)
    At this temp we can handle a 13 min exposure at 17 C you can do 60min and at 23C you
    can do 30min so to be able to do 40 he needs to keep the back around 20 C."

    Based on their work and recommended temps. I have had excellent long exposure results with the P45+. Outdoor temp can't be over 63 degrees F to get to 1 hour.

    Here is an example of approximately a 30min exposure.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    My friend is looking to sell his P45+ (V Mount) soon. Contact me is interested.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Thanks folks. I hadn't heard the firmware or temperature pieces before.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Thanks folks. I hadn't heard the firmware or temperature pieces before.
    Temperature affecting times was discussed early with the P45 .... more hot pixels as temperature increased. May be an issue where you live.

    Bob

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    ... or temperature pieces before.
    That's true for any camera (regardless of format).

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    A P45+ on an Alpa TC looks like a great landscape combo, but small format is too close at 20x30 print size to be worth the money or operational tradeoffs. (One-trick pony and all that.) And much as I like Rodenstock glass I've never been happy with Schneider, and all the ALPA wide angles are Schneiders. In color and tone the Leica WATE on an M9 produces a far better look to my taste than I ever got from a Schneider (admittedly on film), while in terms of texture at 20x30 it's really hard to tell an 180ppi original from even twice that. It's there, but it's not like 180 holds back good, even most heavily textured, landscape content when used with care. (And technically high-quality originals from an AA-less camera do require lots of care when scaled.) If I printed larger I'd probably feel differently; I used to, but haven't in 7 years which tells me it's not a fundamental need or desire. More along the lines of being interesting to explore the medium, but I've already been there with sheet film scans. So to ME the answer is no, not at current prices.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    It may well be in Sydney, but I would be doing the longest shots in a cooler climate.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    It may well be in Sydney, but I would be doing the longest shots in a cooler climate.
    Then it may be perfect for your needs.

    Not sure if it smokes the H4D 40 overall....but Phase seems to have the best upgrade program.

    Bob

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    I have an H3DII 39 as well as the H4D 40. I f I got a P45 and H2, I could use my H lenses on both and do long exposures to my heart's content. I wonder if anyone wants to swap?
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    The new firmware for the S2 pushes time to 150 seconds....and Gary Faye at CameraWest tells me there is NO NOISE whatever at that setting. Not 256 but may be a nice alternative if you keep your H4D 40 for those early morning shots.
    Almost every camera I've ever used produces moderate noise at it's longest possible exposure. In fact that's the point. The longest possible exposure is determined by asking the question "when will the noise pass the 'acceptable' mark". In fact, if a system were to have no meaningful noise at it's longest allowed exposure length my first question would be "why not allow the user to expose longer??".

    I have not yet myself tested long exposures using the new firmware on our S2, but as a rule of thumb I would encourage anyone who needs long exposure to do their own testing and rely on nothing else. "no noise" in capital letters for the longest allowed exposure is a statement I would be extremely skeptical of for any camera and furthermore comes with no (very important) information about detail-retention and noise-reduction (whether applied by the user or in the camera) or about temperature.

    Anyway, thats more of a quibble of words/phrasing than anything substantial ("no noise" vs. "very good noise/detail characteristics" or whatever), and Leica extending the long exposure capability of the S2 is great news.

    Also, for someone commenting about it earlier at the bottom of this link is a temperature-versus-exposure-length guide for the P45+.
    http://www.captureintegration.com/ph...ne-tech-specs/

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    Last edited by dougpeterson; 6th March 2011 at 19:02.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Thanks Doug, very interesting.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Jeff,

    You cannot fault P45+ as per all the above feedbacks! 39mp @ 6.8pixel pitch @ 1.1 factor - perfect!

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Well I just did for my Hassy V system and it's terrific:
    http://www.rgaphoto.com/2011Yosemite...er2_large.html
    Couldn't be happier. Selling my film, scanner, jobo whatever. Digital is different, but I can create my vision with it now. No doubts...

    So I guess I voted with my wallet.
    Bob

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    I'm new here, but have been watching (lurking) from the wings, and am struggling with more or less the same question as the OP. I've recently added a Cambo WDS to my kit, almost entirely for landscape work (a small portion of my work is architecture) and I use the Cambo with a P30, which is less than ideal due to the limitations on shifts and tilt.
    I'd been thinking that the P45+ would be the ideal upgrade, but along comes the IQ series back, and now I'm in a quandary:

    P45+: long exposure capability (which I'd never really felt I needed shooting with a Phamiya), and larger frame.
    IQ40: 40 - 60 sec. Exposure limit, frame (slightly) smaller than the P30, but with a phenomenal screen for gauging focus, exposure, composition, and w/ live view.

    I doubt I'll ever want to use a ground glass for focusing/composition, so the display features of the IQ are really, really appealing. But on the other hand, the large frame and long exposure features of the P45+ have made it the standard for landscape/arch work.

    Opinions?

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2jbourret View Post
    IQ40: [...] frame (slightly) smaller than the P30 [...]
    In my opinion the frame size of the P30 and P40 are effectively identical.

    The horizontal direction of the P40+ is 0.13mm less on the left and 0.13mm less on the right, or in other words is 99.4% the size of, the P30.

    Or put differently on a very large four foot print above an architect's desk it would be an eighth of an inch less on the left, and an eighth of an inch less on the right.

    Trust me I understand that in your line of work that even a very small crop could mean that, with your back up against a (literal) wall you can't get the shot you need. But this isn't even a "very small" crop - its a mathematically non-zero, but completely insignificant amount.

    I would put that difference completely out of your head and think about the other points you mentioned which will have a significant impact on your workflow.

    For instance the jump from a P30 to a P45 frame size is not huge, but for sure can make the difference on a tight interior or restricted-access exterior (e.g. where backing up 2 more feet would put you in the middle of the air).

    On the other hand with a P40+ you could stitch with lenses like the Rodenstock 28mm, Schneider 35mm*, Schneider 43mm, and Schneider 47mm to get far wider fields of view than a single frame. We have a stitching calculator we use for our customers to help us easily calculate lens equivalence with and without stitching.

    Hard choices you have ahead of you!

    *Note the Schneider 35mm and a P40 are not 100% friends and with larger movements you can get banding in continous tone areas.

    Phase One Tech Specs (for easy reference). Note the sensor dimensions are rounded to three significant figures.

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Agree with Doug with a couple of added thoughts:
    1. These days if you REALLY find your back up against the wall, you can stitch. With major overlap in 2 frames you can certainly increase your coverage significantly.
    2. You stated you'll never use a focusing screen. So you will either shoot tethered, have your lenses extremely well calibrated, focus/aperture bracket or have an LCD that you can use to check fine focus detail. To me this requirement demands the IQ screen if you don't/can't use the other options and makes your decision pretty simple (if money is not a variable in your decision).

    I went through the same agonizing, except it was a little easier because money was a variable. Good luck!
    Bob

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Thanks Doug, Bob,
    So the P/IQ40 will have effectively the same frame size as the P30, and I'm not unhappy with the frame crop of the P30, so I'm OK w/ that, especially w/ stitching. I'm currently using the 47 xl, so w/ either P45 or the IQ40, I'll have much greater shift range than w/ the P30, with which I find I can successfully shift to about 7mm right and left using LCC's.
    Bob, I'd never say never, but I'm really uncomfortable with removing and switching out the back in the field to use a ground glass, and obviously tethering while out on long hikes is not an option. Do you use a GG, and does it work out for you while in variable conditions in the field? I can see from your images that you like bad weather as much as I do, and having to take a back off and find a safe place for it while focusing seems to me to be a formula for disaster.

    As for long exposures, I'm not a night shooter, but I do work into deep twilight, and I do like creamy whitewater. I certainly use ND and GND filters, but with the 47xl (no center filter), I've not yet exceeded a 10 sec. Exposure. I'd like to know what other's experiences are on this. With wider lenses, shifts, and tilts, using a center filter, are 30+ sec. exposures at twilight common?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Would you buy a P45+ now?

    Jeff,

    I do use ground glass.

    With the Hassy 500 series I don't have to take the back on and off unless I change from landscape to portrait modes.

    With the Hassy Flexbody, which uses GG, I do have to take the back off each time I move to a different venue.

    On the Linhof 4x5 same as the Flexbody; the back comes off and on at each different venue.

    I did not use the back in the middle of the snowstorm in Yosemite. I wouldn't use it even if I didn't have to take it on and off. Neither the Hassy nor the back are described as weather resistant. I used my Canon 1DsMk III which is wonderfully weather resistant. I also attach a golf umbrella to my tripod and put my camera bag under the legs of the tripod. Even this was somewhat ineffective with wet snow blowing sideways!

    But I have absolutely no qualms about using the back in the field. I have a blow bulb and, if really necessary, a cleaning brush if the dust is visible to my naked eye. And using LCC in the field and in Capture 1/6 helps a lot with dust.

    Bottom line, even if I had an IQ I think I would be taking the back on and off just as much. But it would be REALLY nice to be able to check critical focus which I cannot do until I'm back at my computer. No matter how good the GG is calibrated, focusing is difficult. I would love to have an IQ screen just for that.

    Hope this helps,
    Bob

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