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Thread: Love the one your with...

  1. #1
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    Love the one your with...

    I have been reading the threads in this new forum and want to congratulate Jack and Guy on the great start they have made. It seems that in such a short time many good people have joined and are posting.

    I have recently received the email from Hasselblad about the upgrade paths that are available to present owners...even those locked out of the H3 bodies.So I have been thinking about all of the various options...this back, that body etc. I don't shoot professionally so it doesn't matter if I have the fastest autofocus or the biggest file...or for that matter what sound then lens or shutter makes. However, I find that the more I read online the less comfortable I feel with my equipment...until I go out and shoot it again.

    In passing, I have a Hasselblad H1 upgraded to H2 with Phase One P20 back and film backs, Leica M8 and MP, Mamiya 7 and Nikon F6. I use a 343 Hasselblad scanner when I feel like losing a few very precious hours sitting at the computer.

    As the Christmas holiday approaches, in an attempt to mollify the ever-present desire to add an ALPA TC and Schneider lenses I have been shooting a few pictures that I would like to share as an introduction to the forum. The old saying "Want what you have, rather than have what you want" gets lost with the current holiday marketing push.

    By the way, the thread topic refers to cameras and equipment.

    All the following are H2/P20/80HC...
    Attachment 608


    Attachment 609


    Attachment 610


    Attachment 611


    Attachment 612



    With regards,

    Bob Moore
    Last edited by docmoore; 20th March 2008 at 03:43.

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Bob,

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the very nice images. It's great to see someone else who is interested in the Alpa !! Your H2 and P20 works nicely. Have you been pleased with it? I've been lurking, especially on this MF section and other forums, for all of the information about the new HY6 systems and other backs. Very confusing at the moment.
    Like you, I am certainly not a professional, but since I don't already own a digital back, don't want to make a mistake. I own an M7, M8, Canon 1 ds Mark 11, and a Contax 645 and a couple of lenses, but am really wanting an Alpa. However, since the digital backs are the most expensive part of a system, I've been waiting to see how the MF back issue is going to shake out. I've seen, though not worked with Phase One backs, and have been very impressed. Am getting a demo with the Alpa next week I hope. Then may check out Leaf in Atlanta. But, if you could use one back on a couple of cameras (Alpa and ?), I'm not sure I should rule out the H3D. Just not certain the H3D back will work on the Alpa.

    As the heading of your thread suggests, love the one you're with.....lucky you, as you have one !! Some of us still have that decision and expense to deal with. Look forward to seeing more of your images.

    Cheers and welcome again,

    Jim

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Bob great thread , great title and great post . Welcome to GetDpi and please enjoy yourself and have fun.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Jim,

    Thank you for the welcome.

    Yes I do like the Phase One back a lot. I did not mention the path that led me to the MFB but it may give you a bit more insight into the process. I had used medium format and large format cameras for years prior to my move to digital. After scanning my Leica trannies and MF/LF negatives at low resolution for a number of years I transitioned from a Nikon D100 to D70 then moved to Canon 1D to 1Ds Mk II and 5D. This move involved extensive use of Leica R and Contax lenses on adapters.

    I struggled with the classic situation of adequate resolution but very marginal files from the standpoint of microcontrast and dynamic range...it took too much work in post process to get close to the scans that I had seen from my old Hasselblad V and Zeiss lenses. I finally decided to look for a low cost MFB and camera after reading threads on other forums. Marc Williams , fotografz, repeated showed pictures that had that quality that I knew was lacking in my captures. I knew that he is a photoshop and post process master but respected his view concerning the advantage of large photosite large chip.

    I have less that 10K in my H2 Phase 20 and 2 film backs. If you look carefully you can find good value in these systems...take advantage of the upgrade cycle by staying away from the bleeding edge. Marc has mentioned elsewhere that the majority of the advances are incremental in the backs.

    With that as background I do have to say that for me the Phase back has been bullet-proof. Very little other than turn it on and set ISO. My H2 communicates well with the back and even though the LCD is marginal to useless in bright light the camera gives a histogram after the file is written to disk that works well for exposure evaluation. I find that I rarely need to clean the back for dust...not the case with trix on the 343 scanner.

    The one drawback for the ALPA of Phase backs is also a prime advantage...the Phase One architecture uses a sleep mode...this allows for long battery life, low heat production and negates the need for active cooling. However it means that you must activate the back prior to making an exposure. So you can on tripod trip the shutter recock and fire again within 90 seconds or use a release cable that incorporates a wakeup function. ALPA provides a LARGE left sided handle which does this but while it looks seamless on the WA and SWA it is kind of a kludge on the TC. Leaf and Hasselblad do not need the wakeup cable and may keep the TC size advantage to a better extent. The newest Hasselblad backs will work very well on the ALPAs but some of the H2D backs may not...maybe Marc can comment on this.

    Postprocessing software options have their respective advocates...I use C1 CS3 and Flexcolor depending on the application. Lightroom is a great early screening tool for me but I find myself invariably outputting files to CS3 for cropping and sharpening function.

    I would love to move to a larger chip but am unsure if I will lose dynamic range if I give up the 8+ micron size photosites of the P20...so a CHF 22 Aptus 22 or P25+ may be the limit. Maybe Marc or someone with indepth experience with both chips can comment.

    I will append a file that shows the subtle captures possible with this combination.

    Again,

    H2/P20/HC80

    Regards,

    Bob Moore
    Last edited by docmoore; 20th March 2008 at 03:43.

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Guy,

    Thank you for the warm welcome. Looks like this will be a very good community for sharing and learning.

    Respectfully,

    Bob Moore

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Bob,

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I'm happy to hear the H3D back will work with the Alpa, as that just adds another option. I am aware of the need to "wake up " the back on an Alpa, but don't see that as a negative since there is no need for speed in shooting landscapes....could even be a positive ! My biggest quandary is which digital back company to go with. While I don't like the closed system Hassy has gone to, it appears that the other manufacturers are heading in that direction also. There is no reason to go into all the details as I know everyone out there sees what is happening. So, the question becomes, which wagon does one tie his horse to? If you go Hassy, you're tied to a tried and true Co. with a complete system. Phase seems to have the largest share of the DB market and then there's the new HY6 systems just hitting the streets. What to do, what to do ! Wish I lived closer to NYC to be able to easily see and demo them all. Roadtrip?? Guess for now I'll just keeping lurking and reading AND checking out the used deals. Hopefully we'll get some additional info from some of the real knowledgeable folks out there.

    Help !!

    Jim

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    G'day Bob,

    I am glad to hear you are happy with your Phase One back. It is the back I would have bought IF the nearest dealer/tech support was less than 800 miles away! LOL
    Special welcome to another Alpa user as well! Look forward to swapping notes and enjoying your posted images.

    Best
    Pete

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Hi Bob, and welcome! Great to have you here and my compliments on an outstanding fisrt post Looking forward to the Alpa discussions between you guys, as it sounds like an interesting option for MF digital.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Hi Bob, welcome. This forum gets better every day.

    I'm sure you have read some of the lively discussions about MF digital backs, and all the current hubbub that can fuel the confusion. Even those of us that are aggressively pursuing new areas of MFD photographic invention are hard pressed to get complete information. Not a good state of affairs considering the costs involved.

    So, "love the one you're with" is a timely and wise piece of advice.

    A few answers to inquiries posted:

    Yes, there are Hasselblad H2D/22 cameras that prevent use of both film backs and use of the digital back on other camera platforms. I think these were the beginning attempts at a fully integrated system, and the one I had shot DNG files as opposed to 3Fs.

    H2s sporting a CFH/22 meg back (AKA: CFH-132), could use a film back, and the back could be used on a view camera tethered to a computer, or in the field using the new ImageBank ... so I am presuming on an ALPA also.

    Any of the CF backs (not CFH with H meaning it's for the H camera) will work cross platform through use of a Hasselblad iAdapter. These backs accept a clip-on battery and are totally portable, (where the CFH is powered by the grip battery on the H camera).

    I have used rented Phase One Backs, once owned Kodak ProBacks, and currently shoot with a Hasselblad CFV on 503CW & 203FE; H3D/31 & H3D39 ... plus a Leaf Aptus 75s with Mamiya mount on a RZ & 645 AFD-II. I have not used a Sinar back.

    LCDs have been poor on these backs as field work tended to be an after thought compared to studio applications. The exception to this was the Leaf Aptus solution with a LCD as large as the back ... however, poor contrast in open light prevents effective use ... a problem easily remedied with an ingenious clip on bellows hood made by Lee.

    The newer generation of some backs are including better LCDs and I am sure Sinar will follow soon.

    In the meantime "Love the one you're with" : -)

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Hey bob, nice post and welcome.

    I'll try and remember this when Canon or Nikon bring out their 31mp battleships that shoot 9fps, have 110 focus points, wifi, live-view and 5 inch swing out LCD's and we Leaf/Phase/Sinar owners are still waiting for our backs to wake up or the software to restart or a Rep. to explain why a line running down the middle of the file or purple blotches are perfectly normal for these 30, 40, 50k cameras.

    I just hope we don't get trampled to death by the stampede running for the next Nikanon store while lovingly holding our mf-dinasour-cams.


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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Let's see there Kipling, a Canon 22 meg FF battleship for 8 grand that's softer than my first 30D. A 1DMKII "Battle Cruiser" that can't focus on a moving target except on Ground Hog day IF it's cloudy out. Can't wait to see the 31 meg versions. While the lemmings run off the cliff after one, I stroll the other way taking super high resolution 50 meg plus photos of the herd, and publish 300% crops of their individual expressions as they approach the cliff's edge ... LOL.

    H3Ds ... no issues. Yep start up is a bit slower ... but no streaks, blobs, lines, focus issues, horrible WA distortion, CA or soft images. None. :-)

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Marc makes a good point... It really begs the question of what is the maximum usable resolution for a full-frame 35mm sensor? I beginning to think somewhere around 16 (net effective) is going to be about as good as it gets; after that, you'll need more sensor real-estate...

    Gee, where have I heard that before? LOLOLOLOL!
    Jack
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    Talking Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Let's see there Kipling, a Canon 22 meg FF battleship for 8 grand that's softer than my first 30D. A 1DMKII "Battle Cruiser" that can't focus on a moving target except on Ground Hog day IF it's cloudy out. Can't wait to see the 31 meg versions. While the lemmings run off the cliff after one, I stroll the other way taking super high resolution 50 meg plus photos of the herd, and publish 300% crops of their individual expressions as they approach the cliff's edge ... LOL.

    H3Ds ... no issues. Yep start up is a bit slower ... but no streaks, blobs, lines, focus issues, horrible WA distortion, CA or soft images. None. :-)
    you schould switch to nikon marc!

    seriously though, imo hassy is the only contender who is doing what needs to be done. there are enough slow hand pita mf solutions out there. i'd love to see mf get within a mile of canon frame rate, iso usability and handling.
    i'm very excited to see what comes down the path but i have my doubts about some mfdb contenders making it if they don't get real solid solutions on the table.
    but 30+mp, a usable iso 800, high quality lcd, large bright viewfinder, mildly fast af, 1,5 fps, fast, quality lenses that cost less than a car, hand holdable for on location people jobs, usable flash sync, well organized interface and rock solid processing would be well worth 30k.
    I'm picking up an h3d 31 this evening to try on a shoot tomorrow...i really hope i love the one i'm with

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by kipling View Post
    you schould switch to nikon marc!

    seriously though, imo hassy is the only contender who is doing what needs to be done. there are enough slow hand pita mf solutions out there. i'd love to see mf get within a mile of canon frame rate, iso usability and handling.
    i'm very excited to see what comes down the path but i have my doubts about some mfdb contenders making it if they don't get real solid solutions on the table.
    but 30+mp, a usable iso 800, high quality lcd, large bright viewfinder, mildly fast af, 1,5 fps, fast, quality lenses that cost less than a car, hand holdable for on location people jobs, usable flash sync, well organized interface and rock solid processing would be well worth 30k.
    I'm picking up an h3d 31 this evening to try on a shoot tomorrow...i really hope i love the one i'm with
    You may be surprised by the ISO 800 of these new cameras. Both the H3D/31 and 33 meg Leaf Aptus 75s are quite usable. I use them at weddings @ 800.

    Both of my H3Ds are hand hold-able IMO, and I do it all the time. I recently posted some action shots here of Horses in action for Muddy Creek rain gear and the client is making 6 foot wide prints for a trade show booth.

    Here's a few samples from that location shoot, take a peek:

    http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=777157

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Marc

    Everytime I see your image of the cowboy on horse with the dog trailing i get goosebumps. What a remarkable shot, and i'm sure that the Hassy helped you get what you were looking for.

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    nice work and nice light marc. the mirror slap on the h3d is ferocious compared to my contax...at what speeds have you been able to hand hold with? i would think anything under 125th would be tricky without flash. those muddy creek shots were done in natural light handheld? you must have a vise for a right hand : )

    thanks, kip

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    I want to know how Marc shoots his Hassy handheld, low light, riding backwards on a horse

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by kipling View Post
    nice work and nice light marc. the mirror slap on the h3d is ferocious compared to my contax...at what speeds have you been able to hand hold with? i would think anything under 125th would be tricky without flash. those muddy creek shots were done in natural light handheld? you must have a vise for a right hand : )

    thanks, kip
    Kipling, Yes, all those shots were done mostly hand held and a few in the early AM on a mono-pod (no flash even in the lowest light since I didn't want the horses to spook).

    What may not be common knowledge is that there is a menu selection that allows you to adjust mirror timings. It eliminates the effect of any slap.

    This attached shot done early AM shows them starting out and was done to demonstrate the unique feature of the rain gear to cover and protect the saddle. It is an ISO 800 shot done with the H3D/31 ... which will increase to ISO 1600 with the new Phocus software and additional firmware upgrades.
    Last edited by fotografz; 15th April 2008 at 06:43.

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    If that was a chica on that horse Marc - i would have preferred a front on shot posted - and you can keep the saddle protection feature - LOL
    Interesting to see both Leaf and Sinar now having their eyes and voices on the forum - all we need is a Phase One and Hasselblad dude and the set would be complete.
    It would be good to have serious company representatives from various competing forms responding to user feedback - and I am sure that they would get something back.
    I volunteer to ask any questions that you pro shooters want asked but wont in case you offend - I am good at calling a spade a shovel -

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Peter,

    i knew you were somebody I could get to like !! I'm verrrry popular with my Co. reps myself !! Hope Phase and Hassy folks check in also. Think there could be some interesting discussions. And while you're at it, get Thomas from Alpa as well.

    Cheers,

    Jim

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Well Jim - I get a bit short at times - but that is my work life spilling over to fun..you get a bit nervous and twitchy managing a few billion dollars in volatile markets.. I eat stress for breakfast..

    most companies and their representatives and their sales people would be in a lot of trouble if the legal and regulatory standards applied to the investment management industry also applied to them...

    anyway hows your thinking going re Alpa? Anything I can do help - let me know

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    If that was a chica on that horse Marc - i would have preferred a front on shot posted - and you can keep the saddle protection feature - LOL
    Interesting to see both Leaf and Sinar now having their eyes and voices on the forum - all we need is a Phase One and Hasselblad dude and the set would be complete.
    It would be good to have serious company representatives from various competing forms responding to user feedback - and I am sure that they would get something back.
    I volunteer to ask any questions that you pro shooters want asked but wont in case you offend - I am good at calling a spade a shovel -
    Yes it was a chica on that horse Peter, but if I shot the attributes of the young lady instead of the product I wouldn't get paid now would I? :-)

    That's a good idea about inviting company representatives to participate. My Hasselblad dealer, Jim Arnosky of City Lights Digital, is a really knowledgeable guy ... City Lights is actually a big commercial photography studio in Detroit, and Jim is a photographer who uses the stuff daily, or helps other working photographers renting stage space solve creative problems with the gear.

    I think the value of this is answering operational questions when they arise.
    In my experience, some complaints about MF digital gear arise from user error or lack of "how to" which turn out to have simple answers.

    I'll invite Jim to introduce himself and perhaps lurk in wait for questions that he may be able to shed some light on.

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    sweet. thanks for the info marc. i've been going through the menu and getting used to the settings and yeah, i found the mirror/capture delay function, and it works. i did some handheld test shots and there was no mirror bounce at all at any shutter speed – quite a nice feature.
    i have the h3d II 39 for now and the iso 400 is certainly usuable. with strobes and proper exposure it's quite clean, with a little noise in the shadows and in some colors, but very usable.

    the resolution on this thing is almost overkill (i think hasselblad should make a firmware addition that allows for a cropped vertical in the landscape position and so allowing the ability to shoot without having to turn the camera at a lower resolution. would be enough resolution for most editorial jobs i think.). i thik i'll be more than happy with 31mp.

    flexcolor seemed pretty intuitive to me... t does seem a bit more like a scanner software than a raw photo software to me though. is it possible to shoot tethered in flexcolor and send the files directly to lightroom or camera raw for processing and viewing?

    marc, have you seen the new software that will be replacing flexcolor? is it going to be similar to lc11 or capture pro? what will the feature advancement be? will i be able to shoot with live view? will there be advanced color correction possibilities as in lightroom? okay, okay, i'll stop pestering you now : ) time to get a hassy rep. in here to give you a break!

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by kipling View Post
    sweet. thanks for the info marc. i've been going through the menu and getting used to the settings and yeah, i found the mirror/capture delay function, and it works. i did some handheld test shots and there was no mirror bounce at all at any shutter speed quite a nice feature.
    i have the h3d II 39 for now and the iso 400 is certainly usable. with strobes and proper exposure it's quite clean, with a little noise in the shadows and in some colors, but very usable.

    the resolution on this thing is almost overkill (i think hasselblad should make a firmware addition that allows for a cropped vertical in the landscape position and so allowing the ability to shoot without having to turn the camera at a lower resolution. would be enough resolution for most editorial jobs i think.). i thik i'll be more than happy with 31mp.

    flexcolor seemed pretty intuitive to me... t does seem a bit more like a scanner software than a raw photo software to me though. is it possible to shoot tethered in flexcolor and send the files directly to lightroom or camera raw for processing and viewing?

    marc, have you seen the new software that will be replacing flexcolor? is it going to be similar to lc11 or capture pro? what will the feature advancement be? will i be able to shoot with live view? will there be advanced color correction possibilities as in lightroom? okay, okay, i'll stop pestering you now : ) time to get a hassy rep. in here to give you a break!
    Hey Kipling, great that mirror delay worked for you. As you found out, it's pretty cool feature. Do you have a wide lenses to play with? If so try the DAC feature. Amazing.

    Hey, if you wanted to just shoot level all the time and crop maybe an etched screen would work? Interesting idea. I think Bright Screen will do custom etched screens.

    The H3D-II ISO 800 looks damned close to the H3D/39s 400, so you should be pleased with the extra stop if you decide on the H3D/31. When Phocus hits it'll jump to 1600 ... which would be okay for some candid wedding stuff in low light ... but I'm more interested in what the 800 will look like then.

    I just processed some Leica DMR shots with the newest Leica firmware using the latest Flexcolor version, and it's ISO 800 performance has improved tremendously ... shot some side-by-side with a Canon 1DMKIII at 800, and there was virtually no difference ... which wasn't the case before.

    I personally haven't seen the new Hasselblad software in action. My re-seller has, and says it is very similar to Lightroom in workflow ... which isn't surprising considering they hired some Lightroom developers to work on Phocus.

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Hey Kipling, great that mirror delay worked for you. As you found out, it's pretty cool feature. Do you have a wide lenses to play with? If so try the DAC feature. Amazing.

    Hey, if you wanted to just shoot level all the time and crop maybe an etched screen would work? Interesting idea. I think Bright Screen will do custom etched screens.

    The H3D-II ISO 800 looks damned close to the H3D/39s 400, so you should be pleased with the extra stop if you decide on the H3D/31. When Phocus hits it'll jump to 1600 ... which would be okay for some candid wedding stuff in low light ... but I'm more interested in what the 800 will look like then.

    I just processed some Leica DMR shots with the newest Leica firmware using the latest Flexcolor version, and it's ISO 800 performance has improved tremendously ... shot some side-by-side with a Canon 1DMKIII at 800, and there was virtually no difference ... which wasn't the case before.

    I personally haven't seen the new Hasselblad software in action. My re-seller has, and says it is very similar to Lightroom in workflow ... which isn't surprising considering they hired some Lightroom developers to work on Phocus.
    hey marc,

    good idea with the etched screen. i was thinking that a horizontal crop mode would be cool to bump up the frame rate and make the workflow faster for editorial portrait work would be a cool feature.

    i'll be hearing from hasselblad hopefully soon on a new trade-in offer and might be able to place my order for the h3dII 31 this week.

    usable iso 800 is fantastic news to me, looking very forward to this.

    i got the monster zoom with the h3d II 39 to try out and i'm more than pleased with what it's delivering very sharp and low distortion. i think i'll go with it, the 35mm and the 110mm for portrait work. what would you suggest for people, editorial and advertising applications? is the 80mm as good as the contax 80mm? i think it would be, although a stop slower.and how does it compare to the 110mm? i'll have to see how long the 110 is with the cropped hassy 31. is it a 1.3 crop factor?

    thanks, kip

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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Yes, the crop factor is 1.3X on the 31 meg ... the new higher mag viewfinder made it so I could hardly tell the difference from the 1.1X 39 meg. with the old finder.

    The lens you ask about isn't a 110, it's a 100/2.2 Kipling, not much longer than the 80/2.8. I use that lens more than any ... mostly for people, waist up portraits, and especially for my documentary style of wedding work (see attached wedding example using HC100/2.2 @ f/4.8).

    I just recently had to use the 80 0n a job in my studio shooting an ad and the 100 was just a tad to long, so I used the 80 for the first time and was surprised how good it was. But honestly, I haven't used it enough to compare it to the Contax, which was a pretty good normal lens.

    Frankly, they're all really good lenses, and the only ones I don't own yet are the zoom and 210. I used the 150 with a 1.7X for a lot of those Muddy Creek shots. Also use a 300/4.5 which is wonderful.
    Last edited by fotografz; 15th April 2008 at 06:43.

  27. #27
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    thanks again marc, don't know why i wrote 110mm. a cobination of the fe planar 2,0/110mm and wishfull thinking maybe : )

  28. #28
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Peter,

    Many thanks for the offer. If you can tell me where the digital MF thing is going to shake out, THAT would be a huge help !! I am sold on the Alpa system and will definitely buy it. I suits my landscape shooting style and it's very sexy !! However, choosing which back is a whole other situation. I have an used Contax and a couple of lenses which I am probably going to sell. Not b/c it doesn't work as the camera and Zeiss lenses are tried and true. But, since the brand is gone, I guess I'd rather start fresh. But which way to go? The new HY6 systems? Hassy HD3? Or the soon to arrive Phase/Mamiya collaboration? It would be nice to be able to use the back on both the Alpa AND another camera. So, in a nutshell, that is the dilemma.

    I'm sure there won't be any suggestions from this group !! I don't want to wait for Photokina next year, but also would NOT be happy if a full size sensor is announced!! Decisions, decisions !

    Thanks again Peter,

    Jim

  29. #29
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Well Jim - the good thing is that there is no rush to make a decision.

    The whole MFDB industry has been fighting for survival for a while now. The problem is that they just cant get enough economies of scale via high volumes to get costs lower and therefore entice more people into the larger format.

    Strategically the companies are fighting each other, whilst having to deal with new chip technologies whilst having to deal with advances in 35mm formats. Advances in chip technology have also seen a shorter product life cycle and a large depreciation factor impacting negatively on a relatively large capital outlay requirement.

    Hasselblads closed system was an aggressive but logical move - introduced only after their backs were as good as competitor backs. Leaf and Sinar have quickly regrouped to make use of the Rollie lens installed user base as well as the promise of a you beaut new camera body. Phase One is 'apparently' teaming up with Mamiya.

    Typically what you end up seeing in industry situations like this is consolidation after a prolonged period of low profitability. So the end user hs to figure out who are the likely relative winners/survivors.

    I think 35mm technology is peaking - this is the first Canon Ds series camera I have no interest in even looking at for example. People are learning that the number of megapixels is secondary to the quality of megapixels.

    This is a positive thing for MFDB makers who probably wont see technology peaking for them for another megapixel upgrade cycle at least.

    For the enthusiast user - there are a number of factors to take into consideration beyond those sketched above. it all boils down to how much cashola you are happy to throw at your hobby. I think that the MFDB manufacturers have a very dumb approach to marketing to people with high discretionary expenditure capability. their sales efforts are primitive in comparison to other high value brand name goods. So don't expect a level of service matched to amount of cash you pay.

    I guess I always judge a person's real thinking by looking at their portfolio - in my industry I judge actions not words.

    So if you want to know what i really think - look at what i am doing. I have just ordered the 39 megapixel blad - I would be as happy with a 31 or even a 20..I am out of Leaf at a significant 'cost' to me - not because the Leaf back I currently use is bad - on the contrary it i a great piece of gear - but I want to change to a total system - fortunately my choice of H series blad appears to be the 'safest' bet at the moment.

    As 'backs' go they are all good. You wont be disappointed compared to 35mm land there is no comparison. Phase One is a great system without a camera and lens integrated solution - they are promising something special with Mamiya - as Leaf and Sinar are with their Hy6/AFi...

    Anyway they are my quick summary views on the state of the market. Don't get sucked into listening to people who have their egos tied up with their particular choice. Take a holistic view of the total work flow and what the system offers you in terms of flexibility, software, lenses, and quality of support you get from the nearest dealer.

    As for Alpa - you can hang any back off one of these no problem.

  30. #30
    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Very well put Peter. There is little in what you said that I could disagree with. I will add a couple of things though for Jim's benefit making a very hard decision. And also should disclose for the record that I presently own a Jenoptik M11 in Hassy V mount, and a Leaf Aptus 75S, in Contax 645 mount.

    I have gone through most everything myself in trying to make my own buying decisions in the past. So Jim, my heart goes out to you and everyone else in your position. It is not an easy decision, nor is all of the information you probably want available without a "bum's rush" sales pitch thrown in whether or not you really wanted to hear it. I had a real nightmare several years ago when I bought my first back. There wasn't information to be had, and even fewer opportunities to actually feel or handle the backs I was basing my decision to spend as much for as I would a new car that I could at least see, touch, and test drive at my local dealer. Things are better today for sure, especially given the great resources like this one Jack and Guy are providing, and the greater number of we working professionals that both own the gear, and use it in daily commerce.

    First off, let me say that in my opinion, today the major "differences" with all of the MF backs have converged to the point that they are all very good at what they are designed to do best. None of them would I call "dogs" today. Imacon/Blad finally got rid of the "Mellow Yellows" syndrome, and PhaseOne has dialed back the overblown color punch that existed when I bought my first Leaf back. So any of them are going to be pretty close really to each other. I say this as I duck the flying rocks that making that statement here probably exposes myself to.

    My personal preference is towards Dalsa sensors, as I do value and see a benefit for my own work from having a true full 16 bit A/D converter in the color gamut & tonal range. But the Kodak sensor backs do work far better for longer exposures and at about a full stop or possibly more of high ISO shooting. Each manufacturer implements the sensors in different ways, with differences in the workflow and controls. Probably the strongest MF post processing software would presently be PhaseOne's Capture One, but the latest information I get on the new Hasselblad software does look good. Leaf brings up the rear by a long way with their Leaf Capture 11, but does enjoy very wide support in the other software products available to the market. In the end, I guess your decision will have to be made based upon your available budget, or how well you get along with your bank loan officer, and upon your own specific needs & wants. Your subject matter also will be a large factor too in deciding between the subtle differences in the backs. As Peter already pointed out, the Alpa will accept any of the backs, in almost every mount you can imagine. Andre & Co have done a really great job in making sure of this. They even have their mount ready now for the new Leaf AFi/Sinar Hy6 body, and it isn't even shipping to dealers yet. Great camera system by the way, and one that I am likely to be adopting myself at some point in the future. So Jim, what are you going to be using this new MF system to shoot? Maybe we can make some suggestions on what you should consider looking at at least.

  31. #31
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Hi Chuck,

    As previously mentioned, I spend a lot of time in Montana, and therefore enjoy wildlife (currently 1ds Mark 11 with long lenses) and landscapes. And the M8 for everything else. It's the M8 that has rekindled by passion. The simplicity and real, individual involvement has really smitten me. Then I saw the Alpa.....yikes !! I knew I was in trouble. So, that almost immediately brought me back to MF digital, which I've looked at for the last couple of years, but never could quite figure where it fit. Now, however, I do and thus the quandary. But while it IS a bit frustrating and confusing, the hunt is certainly fun!!

    Welcome to the forum by the way, and look forward to your continued insights.

    Cheers,

    Jim

  32. #32
    thsinar
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Dear Chuck,

    Agree with you on all.

    Just a little precision: the Sinar Hy6 IS shipping, in small quantities, but is shipping already since more than a month.

    Best regards,
    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    They even have their mount ready now for the new Leaf AFi/Sinar Hy6 body, and it isn't even shipping to dealers yet.

  33. #33
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    I agree, the differences between backs are now minor. The differences between the most recent backs and the ones just prior to it are incremental. The differences between the most recent and the next version will also be incremental. Even if a truly full frame 645 sensor hits the market, it will be a marginal gain because the current ones are already at 1.1X. It'll all be incremental until a 49X49 or 54X54 sensor comes along ... which is highly unlikely anytime soon, and when it does will be the domain of such photographers as the Sultan of Brunei and Donald Trump : -)

    You can always wait. That will be true forever. It depends on whether you want to make MF digital photographs now or wait a year, or wait forever. I can assure you that "forever" is the least expensive route : -)

    The software is also becoming a level playing field. With-in a few months Hasselblad will replace Flexcolor, Sinar will do so also, and Leaf has made it so easy and color accurate to use Lightroom and ACR that I now only use their Leaf Capture 11 software for tethered studio capture which it is VERY fast and stable at doing.

    I started with the amazing Kodak Proback ... the back that changed it all. I now use a H3D/31, H3D/39-II, an Aptus 75s Mamiya mount on a AFD-II & RZ and a Hasselbald CFV on a 203FE system. It all works as advertised. It all produces stunning images.

    However, in the end you form preferences based on your work needs and habits. My preference is the H system for the DSLR like integrated approach and level of versatility. I use it for documentary style wedding work (Film or Digital which is why I kept the H3D/31 as is), commercial location work, tethered studio work where I can micro focus a live view image from the computer, and on a Rollei Xact for view camera work.

    So the advice to list off what you see yourself doing with a digital back AND what experience you already have with digital capture AND who is the closest, most responsive dealer would be most helpful for providing our experiences in reply.

  34. #34
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    I realize member Pham owns and/or sold a Hy6 camera body somehow, but dealers have just recently placed orders for their demo kits. When a retail customer can take delivery on an order, then the camera is "shipping". While it's frustrating to Leaf users searching for pricing and upgrade policies, Leaf/Yair are prudent not to make any statements/claims until the system is available for purchase.

    Also, let's take every opportunity to use correct words, and avoid further rampant confusion that exists.
    Rotating vs. Reversible: backs rotate on a Mamiya RZ/RB 67 and Fuji GX680 while the ground glass is reversible between portrait + landscape orientation as on a view camera.
    Porro vs. Prism: Kudos to Mamiya for having differentiated between Porro [uses mirrors] and Prism [uses prism ] finders on their classic medium format cameras.
    Adapter plate vs. Interface/Personality plate: e.g. Adapter plates made by Kapture Group allow a Hasselblad V-mount back to fit onto a Fuji GX680, while all Sinarbacks and Hasselblad's CF-series relies on interchangeable interface plates to fit different camera bodies.

    Quote Originally Posted by thsinar View Post
    Just a little precision: the Sinar Hy6 IS shipping, in small quantities, but is shipping already since more than a month.

  35. #35
    thsinar
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    hi Bill,

    The Hy6 DOES deliver and I have customers USING it, in China: and it's not the dealer's demo unit, but their own purchased: I do not make such a claim when untrue or not sure about what I am saying. Yes, the Sinar Hy6 system is available for order or purchase. But true as well, full production capacity and full delivery capacity is by far not reached yet.

    However, I don't know member Pham.

    sorry for the wording confusion, but that is our own way to put it:

    - since the beginning of digital we are speaking about our adapter kits: difficult to change now, even if it seems un-appropriate.

    - Sinar is using the word "revolving adapter" for the optional adapter available for the Hy6 and which allows to turn the back from H to V WITHOUT having to take it away from the camera. This in opposition to a back which can rotate and which implies that the back has to be taken away.

    - Prism or mirror finder: Sinar is offically using the term Reflex Finder or Mirror Finder. There might be some people out speaking about prism finder, but our terminlogy in the brochures, price lists or other documentation is clear.

    Best regards,
    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by BJNY View Post
    I realize member Pham owns and/or sold a Hy6 camera body somehow, but dealers have just recently placed orders for their demo kits. When a retail customer can take delivery on an order, then the camera is "shipping". While it's frustrating to Leaf users searching for pricing and upgrade policies, Leaf/Yair are prudent not to make any statements/claims until the system is available for purchase.

    Also, let's take every opportunity to use correct words, and avoid further rampant confusion that exists.
    Rotating vs. Reversible: backs rotate on a Mamiya RZ/RB 67 and Fuji GX680 while the ground glass is reversible between portrait + landscape orientation as on a view camera.
    Porro vs. Prism: Kudos to Mamiya for having differentiated between Porro [uses mirrors] and Prism [uses prism ] finders on their classic medium format cameras.
    Adapter plate vs. Interface/Personality plate: e.g. Adapter plates made by Kapture Group allow a Hasselblad V-mount back to fit onto a Fuji GX680, while all Sinarbacks and Hasselblad's CF-series relies on interchangeable interface plates to fit different camera bodies.

  36. #36
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by thsinar View Post
    hi Bill,

    The Hy6 DOES deliver and I have customers USING it, in China: and it's not the dealer's demo unit, but their own purchased: I do not make such a claim when untrue or not sure about what I am saying. Yes, the Sinar Hy6 system is available for order or purchase. But true as well, full production capacity and full delivery capacity is by far not reached yet.

    However, I don't know member Pham.

    sorry for the wording confusion, but that is our own way to put it:

    - since the beginning of digital we are speaking about our adapter kits: difficult to change now, even if it seems un-appropriate.

    - Sinar is using the word "revolving adapter" for the optional adapter available for the Hy6 and which allows to turn the back from H to V WITHOUT having to take it away from the camera. This in opposition to a back which can rotate and which implies that the back has to be taken away.

    - Prism or mirror finder: Sinar is offically using the term Reflex Finder or Mirror Finder. There might be some people out speaking about prism finder, but our terminlogy in the brochures, price lists or other documentation is clear.

    Best regards,
    Thierry
    Hey Tierry

    Would you be perhaps related to Ralph Hagenauer of leica?

    Woody

  37. #37
    thsinar
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    hi woody,

    no, not at all, but I know him well and been in touch since I sometimes get mails addressed in fact to him and the opposite!

    Best regards,
    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Hey Tierry

    Would you be perhaps related to Ralph Hagenauer of leica?

    Woody

  38. #38
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    With all of the traffic....some of it very contentious...concerning the soon to be appearing S2 I thought it might be worthwhile to resurrect this older thread. The basic theme is if it was good enough for me to buy it maybe I can show a bit of why I like(d) it. I thought I might post a few pics of some fairly mundane things recently captured with my H3D II. Yes it is old, but truth be known so am I.

    With the Thanksgiving holiday in the US approaching, I want to acknowledge the work that Jack and Guy (really all of the moderators) do to maintain the respectful balance that underpins this site. I am thankful for their efforts to foster a congenial exchange of ideas and captures. There is major talent on this forum and I personally consider it a privilege to see others' work.

    Disclaimer: The following isn't ART more like therapy for me.

    In spite of being old news - it focuses well, has decent dynamic range, and allows more creative choices than I have the time to explore.

    Old Fire Truck:
    H3DII 39 50-110



    Delivery man's nightmare - 706 or 707:
    H3DII 39 50-110



    Bob.

  39. #39
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    A couple more.

    Ravages of time.

    Rail Coupling:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Ride Control:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Bench Warmers:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Little Wheels:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Bob

  40. #40
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    I did mention Thanksgiving...an early happy holiday to all.

    H3D II 39 HC 210



    Bob

  41. #41
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Nice ones Bob! Glad to see you are out enjoying your big camera!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  42. #42
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Thanks Jack.

    Bob

  43. #43
    Al Pak
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    A couple more.

    Ravages of time.

    Rail Coupling:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Ride Control:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Bench Warmers:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Little Wheels:
    H3D II 39 HC 50-110



    Bob

    Bob,
    Great images! I am glad my 50-110 found a happy home.

  44. #44
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    Re: Love the one your with...

    It did at that!

    Bob

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