Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    67
    Post Thanks / Like

    DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    I am looking into MFD to achieve excellent image sharpness and cropping ability. The downside it seems (at least for me) is the shallow DOF and thus greater flash power required to light a scene since I will be stopping down the lens.

    Using Canon equipment currently indoors I am shooting scenes at ISO 200 f5.6 1/250 to achieve the look I want. Outdoors my ISO is 100 and aperture can approach f11 to maintain 1/250 Flash sync speed. I always use flash (currently have five 580EXII if needed).

    My question is how difficult will this be to obtain using a Mamiya 645AFD III with the Mamiya ZD (22mp) digital back? Is ISO 400 any good? I would be using 35mm and 50mm equivalent (35mm) focal lengths.

    I am concerned I will need to purchase AC powered strobes as opposed to my current battery powered hotshoe strobes. However I could double each strobe (two on each bracket/stand) if I need to. I do not want to use AC strobes if at all possible.

    I want the H3DII but can not afford it yet.

    I will post in the lighting forum my current style. However, with MFD I plan to use it to create a new style of work. I will still maintain 35mm for wedding etc. type work.

    P.S.
    Thanks for this great forum. I can not thank the current owners of MFD enough!

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    Well the ZD is more a low ISO back compared to the Phase, Hassy, Sinar and Leaf backs which let's just say all good at Iso 200 and 400 and some even go as high as 1600. But the Zd from my limited time with it was ISO 200 has a little noise in it and 400 forget it. One reason I went Phase was I could keep my existing lights and shoot at 200 and 400 without buying more lighting and so far that is working out very well. Frankly with my Phase 25 plus i see no difference between 100 and 200. The Zd there is a difference in noise between 100 and 200 slight but it is there. So if you have to shoot with the ZD count on more light to get the DOF you need because you really can't go for the higher ISO's on it. I know not what you wanted to hear because that means maybe more power and we all know what that means more money for lighting. But there is some inexpensive lighting out there and if you are going to buy lights and want to save some money. The Dynalites are not only less cost than the Profotos' out there but there good durable lights and will last a long time without the need to upgrade so soon. You have some options here so but figure this . Count on a 2 stop DOF difference in general between 35mm and MF
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    67
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    Guy,
    Thank you. What I want to hear... well let me summarize my requirements in MF terms (not 35mm) based on your DOF 2 stop fact. I need (really to be more precise) the following to avoid AC lights I think...

    ISO 400, f8, 1/125, AF 55mm f/2.8 lens (no leaf shutter? not sure what I will do outside maybe shoot later in the day)

    Now considering the above... can I do it for around $10,000? I know the answer to this but just for the internet search engines.

  4. #4
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    Probably not. Your limitation is either ISO 400 or the $10K. You could do ISO 200 with that package for under $10K pretty easily with a Mamiya ZD back. I am reminded of a sign in a local machine shop: "You can have it made Fast, Good, or Cheap... Pick any two." With MF digital the similarity is if you want good high ISO performance in today's MFDB market, you need a newer back and have to pay for it. The older backs are still excellent and less expensive, but like lots of light or longer exposures. However, with the upcoming announcements of the new 50MP and larger backs, this may change as they start hitting the market... Maybe as soon as this Fall, but probably you'll be able to do this a year from now.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  5. #5
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    At Iso 400 at F8 you should be able to get that with Portable strobes like a Metz 54 . Now if you want to get more juice and maybe lower the ISO than there are the battery systems from Hensel, Profoto, Elinchron and Broncolor. I recommend these much more since they have the juice for like a large group and such outdoors plus use them indoors. The other factor is all the accessories with these units you may want like soft boxes and such. Here I would figure box,head and soft box just under 3k.

    These are the best battery solutions out there . Portable strobes are limited because of the power needed.

    Now what I really recommend is a Phase, Hassy setup since they are on the lower cost end and you can get a awesome ISO 400. I know big money but this also depends on need and such. Now i will be honest I have 5 lenses of Mamiya's bought used that cost me no more than 3k and they are great. Hassy H lenses and Sinar are more expensive. On the hassy though you can bolt on a lot of older lenses and save there as well. Sinar you can do the same but Sinar is from what I have seen more expensive overall. If your trying to get in cheap Mamiya is most likely the best choice. Body and Lenses under 5k for the AFD-II and such. That is all used. Now there are many backs at low cost's like demo's and refurbs that you can look at also. Every back maker has them. There are some examples and prices in the B&S vendor area to look at. I am missing a lot of options here sorry but even the old Hassy 503 bodies and the new CVII back is a option. I will let the the Hassy guys speak of some of these options since they are more tuned in on it. But if your going to jump than make it a good jump. Just some thoughts
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  6. #6
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    I do recommend one other thing. Read this MF section and the lighting section and spend a day or two reading the threads and get a feel for all this. A lot to digest and you really want to be well informed before you drop any money on it. This is a big jump up but also a very rewarding one also. File wise it can't be touched but this depends on need.

    Also we have many experts here on this and wonderful members willing to help and guide you , lean on them for help. They love to help folks. Honestly you just signed up to one of the friendliest and helpful forums around. Okay that was my ego as one of the owners but seriously we love to help folks .
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    908
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    145

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    Before Guy was a forums owner, he helped many folks along the way including myself and the list is long enough to make him legend in many forums, threads and bibles.
    ALPA (MAX, STC, TC) | CAMBO (Actus DB2, WRS-AE) | CONTAX | HASSELBLAD | LEICA | DB (CFV-16, CFV-39, IQ180, IQ360, IQ3100, P45+) | Lens (Canon, Fujinon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Rodenstock, Schneider, Zeiss)

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    67
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Also we have many experts here on this and wonderful members willing to help and guide you , lean on them for help. They love to help folks. Honestly you just signed up to one of the friendliest and helpful forums around. Okay that was my ego as one of the owners but seriously we love to help folks .
    Thanks again. I plan to read a great deal. I have a shoot coming up in a month or so and it pains me that I won't have a MFD file to play with! Although no customer is currently requiring this of me I have personally just not been wowed by 35mm.

    I want something more for myself if I am going to stay in photography. I don't have extensive background in either format but I have a certain level of personal requirements before I am happy. I think MFD is the only format that is going to please me.

    Take care everyone.

  9. #9
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: DOF and flash power requirements for Medium Format

    if you are looking for higher flash sync speeds, the hassy 503 system will give you 1/500.
    using the CFV back, you could get set up for under 10k. that wimpy 16M back has produced some fine images for me. so far, the mamiya lens offerings don't have leaf shutters and the body is focal plane, probably syncing at 1/125

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •