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Thread: Newbe questions

  1. #1
    HCHeyerdahl
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    Newbe questions

    Hi everyone, I am an amature DSLR user considering MF as a possible upgrade. I am very early in this process, and most probably will not decide for quite some time. I have some early questions:

    Can one reliably pick the MF “look” from DSLR FF “look” in a bunch of web-size images?
    My dealer has shown me a print where I can see the difference in tonalities from a 50 Mp MFDB and a 24 mp Canon DSLR. However, that is just one example, and I want to see more to determine how great an impact the MF difference actually gives. I have looked at the images in the S2 thread and like what I see. However, comparing with the images in the Nikon thread, I am a bit at loss trying to nail what the difference is. Compare the images on these two pages:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...=23306&page=30
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...=21559&page=22
    Is it possible to pick the images which most clearly see the MF advantage / DSLR disadvantage - or does one have to study real files and prints?

    Using a zoom lens
    I currently mostly use the 24-70 on my Nikons. Are zooms a serious option for MF, or do I need to use primes to get the real MF “look”?

    Chris

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Hi Chris, welcome to the board!!!

    Well, i can't tell or explain you the difference between the MF and 35mm DSLR, but you have to be sure why you want to move to MF and what do you shoot, MF is almost a dedicated camera more than 35mm DSLR, means you can't use it for everyday and general purposes shooting as you do with 35mm, so before you jump for that you have to know what type of photography you will shoot so that you need MF for.

    I for example shoot many things including landscapes and outdoors, and i know that the quality of MF is beyond of 35mm DSLRs even before i buy one, many people on the web will trying to tell you that there is no big difference between 35mm DSLR such as Nikon 24mm or Sony A900 24mm and MF, but honestly i can see the difference when i have the RAW files of all of them and compare at say 80-100% size, and i can't tell how i got blown away to see how quality is with MF files, so i can't ignore that strength to praise 35mm DSLR over it, sure i am happy with my 35mm DSLR for what i shoot, but i will always choose MF over it for something dedicated such as studio shots or landscapes.

    Well, don't look at many examples here where you may not see the real strength of MF shots even at 3000x4000px, believe it or not, many many pros and very talented photographers here are able to trick you with MF and 35mm DSLRs shots so you can't tell the difference, but at the end one of the most real strength that i will go with MF anyway is when i print at so large sizes @240-350DPI/ppi, i am sure you will see the difference by then, and yourself said that you got impressed with MF prints you saw, so why you still in doubt about it?!!!
    Tareq

  3. #3
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Newbe questions

    If your choice is to print big, than MFD will always do better. The Leica S2 is IMO, the best all around camera for the best quality. It's so much like a 35mm DSLR (not including the optional grip), that when I used it on a few shoots, I decided to carry it with me all day. I've never done that with other MFD cameras. The S2 can also print big...really big!
    David Farkas, of Dale Photo, has S2 rentals and makes it rather easy to experience this amazing camera.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by HCHeyerdahl View Post
    ....

    Can one reliably pick the MF “look” from DSLR FF “look” in a bunch of web-size images?...

    Chris
    In my opinion, web sized images will not show the difference. When you compress and downsize the image, it will lose a lot of information.

    You will see the difference in print (unless you print wallets and 4x6 ).

  5. #5
    HCHeyerdahl
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    Re: Newbe questions

    Thanks everyone!

    Ok, so there is no point in looking at websized images.

    How about using a zoom lens on MFD? Is that a serious option or are primes the only way to go if I want to really get MF quality files?

    Chris

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Chris, I believe there is a massive misconception, especially in the amateur market that MFD is way better than DSLR. With todays 1DsIII, 5DII and D3X cameras I really don't think MF has the huge advantages it once had over 35mm digital when it comes to IQ. MFD is better quality but not £10K - £15K better.

    The advantages for MFD do not lie in website or small print imagery but in making very large prints and exhibition/billboard/vehicle graphics. With every new generation of DSLR this too becomes less and less clear cut.

    For me however, the real advantage to MFD is its ability to be used on many different types of camera. using a digital back on a 6x9 view or pancake camera with Schneider and Rodenstock lenses is what presently and always will set it heads and shoulders above DSLR's.

    If you don't ever intend to use one of these camera, save your money.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Chris, I believe there is a massive misconception, especially in the amateur market that MFD is way better than DSLR. With todays 1DsIII, 5DII and D3X cameras I really don't think MF has the huge advantages it once had over 35mm digital when it comes to IQ. MFD is better quality but not £10K - £15K better.

    The advantages for MFD do not lie in website or small print imagery but in making very large prints and exhibition/billboard/vehicle graphics. With every new generation of DSLR this too becomes less and less clear cut.

    For me however, the real advantage to MFD is its ability to be used on many different types of camera. using a digital back on a 6x9 view or pancake camera with Schneider and Rodenstock lenses is what presently and always will set it heads and shoulders above DSLR's.

    If you don't ever intend to use one of these camera, save your money.
    Excellent points!

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by HCHeyerdahl View Post

    Can one reliably pick the MF “look” from DSLR FF “look” in a bunch of web-size images?
    to certain extend. You cant note it on 640 x 480 or less obviously .
    But on 800 and more it starts to come up.

    i am not talking about details, but rather about smoother gradations and added "3D-ness" from that. Also you getting finer control of DOF, which is desired by so many people. Another HUGE advantage that whatever you shot with MF , when downsized, will look "silkier" - thus skin on models will require less fine-tuning and while retouching full size - much more details.

    But.

    That said - it all depends on peronal limitations. MF cant replace 35mm (like 35mm cant be truly replace half-frames). They all got their use and place. No such thing as "best universal tool" been invented yet.

    Another advantage for colour concious people like me - MF is CCD based. Thus it beats colourwise any of weak crappy "live view" sensors in dSLRs (cant remember name).. Like in days of old CCD sensors on dSLR they had better colours than any on Canon dSLR just b/c of that.

    Plus you can use single digital back across quite many platforms, that you may (or may not) have.

    But like i said - its not universal tool. Heavy, costly, slow.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Two differences you can see in web size files:

    - Diffraction - MF sensor (especially 48x36 and up) has much more tolerance for diffraction than 35mm sensor. Meaning you can close aperture much more before softening the entire image.

    - 16 bit vs. 14 bit - you can see that difference in some files depending on the colors in the image.

    Zoom lens - there is an excellent $4000 zoom for Mamiya (75-150). The cheaper Mamiya zooms are no good in my experience. The Mamiya zoom is as sharp as any L prime and certainly much more than any L zoom. I believe Hasselblad has equal quality zooms.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    I've heard often about tonality and transition superiority of MF, but have never seen a clear (digital) demonstration. Is there a standard link to a good example? I have a vague recollection of a Mamiya DB vs. 35mm Digital comparison, but I can't locate it now. I have seen (on this very forum) a dramatic underexposure recovered with very low shadow noise, and I intend to do these comparisons myself, equipment permitting.

    I was shocked at my own M9 vs 645 film comparison. I guess these things shouldn't be subtle, and they're not.

    Best,

    Matt

    Edit: This was the comparison I remembered http://photocamel.com/forum/medium-l...645af-dii.html

  11. #11
    HCHeyerdahl
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    Re: Newbe questions

    Thanks everyone!

    This all gave me some more things to sort out and think about.

    Chris

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    Re: Newbe questions

    if you look at this thread:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23033

    scroll down to the images of the couch, you'll see what a MFDB gives in terms of tone and resolution. I shoot at a studio a fair bit, and a friend there has a D3X which I shot head to head against my ZD.

    I shot the new Nikon 85 1.4 against an antique Mamiya 150mm, both portrait lenses. I shot both at F9, and while there were some DOF differences, with the subject to camera distance, that was not an issue. The sharpness and ability to hold detail between the two was a toss up. The ability of the Nikon to hold shadow detail was better than the ZD. The tonal transitions and the black and white conversions looked better on the ZD to my eye.

    All that said, keep in mind, I was shooting over 8K in Nikon gear, and just over 4K in MFDB kit. That is in this case, the DSLR was twice the cost. Nikon Flag ship vs 3 generation old MF. Read the threads, the ZD is about as bad as it gets in the MFDB world, and it holds its own in the studio against the D3X.

    Read the tag line of this forum, and you will understand why all hope is gone, and I will be leaving my first hit of that gateway ZD and moving on to something just a bit stronger!

    If I ever get some time, images will show up here.

    Dave

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by djonesii View Post
    The ability of the Nikon to hold shadow detail was better than the ZD. The tonal transitions and the black and white conversions looked better on the ZD to my eye.
    IMHO transitions are worse than ZD , when comparing top Nikon Gear vs "not-quite-so-top" on ZD + mamiya , shooting in 14 bit.

    There is example shot in ZD thread i posted a bit ago - direct comparition of similar scene shot with D700 vs ZD (and this is pretty much best Nikon's sensor to the day, since they dropped CCD).

    Similar comparition Frank Doorhoff did for 5D and ZD a while back.

    Thread should still around somewhere.

    ZD , by the way, from my experience holds highlights better than Leafs (and thus certainly better than 35 dSLR), no clue why.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    I did an indoor shooting of portraits using my H3DII-39 and 1Ds MarkIII using same light power on all the shots, when i checked the results, ......WOW, that H3D won all the aspects, the highlights tones was so so with 1Ds3 but was amazing with H3D, even with shadows the H3D won the details over 1Ds3, i don't have Nikon cameras to do the test if the Nikon beating Canon in that term of shadows/highlights DR, but i think both of them will not be as same class of H3D/H4D, and after testing that MF i will choose ZD over Canon/Nikon any day any time shooting portraits indoors or even outdoors with lights.
    Tareq

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    , ......WOW, that H3D won all the aspects, the highlights tones was so so with 1Ds3 but was amazing with H3D, even with shadows the H3D won the details over 1Ds3...
    Tareq,

    I recently did a shoot and comparing the 5D files with the MFDB and I didn't see the WOW. There're better, but I can't say I was really wowed (not taking in consideration the resolution). Also, much of the 3D look seems to come from the software. Processing the same file with C1 and LR, will get different results (C1 being better, which was expected since I used a Phase back).

    When taking in consideration the amount of money invested, it gives you something to think about. Also, my point of view comes from shooting people, not landscapes.

    Valentin

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post

    When taking in consideration the amount of money invested, it gives you something to think about. Also, my point of view comes from shooting people, not landscapes.
    Valentin,

    Nothing you don't know, but for newbies a reminder that you will see more of a difference in that group photo than a single head photo. So when you do those comparisons you have to take into consideration the number of heads in the image, plus the size of the final print. Plus it's easier to see the difference between dslr vs mf in a wall print of a group than dslr vs mf in a single head or bride and groom head and shoulders that's just going into a wedding album. I know you understand this, but think it's a good idea for newbies to be reminded when making comparisons.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Tareq,

    I recently did a shoot and comparing the 5D files with the MFDB and I didn't see the WOW. There're better, but I can't say I was really wowed (not taking in consideration the resolution). Also, much of the 3D look seems to come from the software. Processing the same file with C1 and LR, will get different results (C1 being better, which was expected since I used a Phase back).

    When taking in consideration the amount of money invested, it gives you something to think about. Also, my point of view comes from shooting people, not landscapes.

    Valentin
    How i see is different how you see, believe or not, i met people who are using point and shoot or even entry level DSLRs saying WOW looking at my 1Ds3 and 1D3 and 5D photos, i may say it is not that WOW factor there, but for them it is, it could be that you used to MFD files so for you you don't see that big difference or WOW between MFD and Canon/Nikon high end DSLR, but when i looked even the models i shot on the pics we said WOW for Hasselblad shots all the way even those 1Ds3 shots were no brainer as well.

    Anyway, that WOW came that time because i didn't shoot with H3D and studio lights much to see the difference, now i don't see that WOW with my H4D-60 against my same 1Ds3, so it was a matter of time and experience.

    Thanks for your point anyway.
    Tareq

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    Re: Newbe questions

    David and Tareq,

    The files are better, no doubt about that. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that depending on the output (as David mentioned), on your current experience (as Tareq mentioned) and your expectations, you might be underwhelmed, especially considering the investment.

    I love the files, but I can't say that I'm blown away.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    David and Tareq,

    The files are better, no doubt about that. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that depending on the output (as David mentioned), on your current experience (as Tareq mentioned) and your expectations, you might be underwhelmed, especially considering the investment.

    I love the files, but I can't say that I'm blown away.
    I am blown away, sorry!
    Tareq

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I am blown away, sorry!
    There is nothing to appologize for.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Anyway, to OP, buy whatever you can or NEED to buy and use it for what it should be, i didn't buy MF to use it for sports or wildlife, so i bought it and i know what it can do and how or where to use it.

    Good luck!
    Tareq

  22. #22
    HCHeyerdahl
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    Re: Newbe questions

    Thanks again everyone, this is all very interesting for me to read.

    I am currently using a D700 and D2x and a HP 24” Z3200ps printer. Although the prints I get are very good, at some point I want to upgrade to get more pixels for even better prints. A friend of mine upgraded form a 12 mp Canon to a 24 mp Canon and frankly the difference in 24” prints was only visible in a few high detail areas, so I decided to skip the D3x. Later I have learned the the D3x is better than Canon, but I still believe 24 mp is a bit on the low side for 24” prints.

    So, enter the S2 which from what I read in the S2 thread handles somewhat like a high mp DSLR. I already do my serious work on a sturdy tripod with a Manfroto gear head, but I am a bit concerned about its usability as a general camera. Although my family snapshots generaly do not need to be quite as sharp and are only printed in small size –, I do desire these images to be as sharp as possible though. Reports on the S2 thread seem quite promising for my shooting style.

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Chris, I believe there is a massive misconception, especially in the amateur market that MFD is way better than DSLR. With todays 1DsIII, 5DII and D3X cameras I really don't think MF has the huge advantages it once had over 35mm digital when it comes to IQ. MFD is better quality but not £10K - £15K better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    David and Tareq,

    The files are better, no doubt about that. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that depending on the output (as David mentioned), on your current experience (as Tareq mentioned) and your expectations, you might be underwhelmed, especially considering the investment.

    I love the files, but I can't say that I'm blown away.
    I understand and accept that the marginal return on image quality declines stepping from DSLR to MFD. Somewhat like musik instruments I guess. Although I am not a musician, I greatly prefer the sound of a grand piano to a piano - although arguably the difference to many is quite subtel.


    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    But on 800 and more it starts to come up.

    i am not talking about details, but rather about smoother gradations and added "3D-ness" from that. Also you getting finer control of DOF, which is desired by so many people. Another HUGE advantage that whatever you shot with MF , when downsized, will look "silkier" - thus skin on models will require less fine-tuning and while retouching full size - much more details.

    ...

    Another advantage for colour concious people like me - MF is CCD based. Thus it beats colourwise any of weak crappy "live view" sensors in dSLRs (cant remember name).. Like in days of old CCD sensors on dSLR they had better colours than any on Canon dSLR just b/c of that.
    As I followed the S2 thread, I was beginning to get the impression that the images have a distinct look. Silkier perhaps and very nice color and light transitions. The rugby and flower images (p22) show these qualities. I can not see the same in the landscapes however, so I am a bit weary that I might be kidding myself – hence the question if it is possible to see the difference. From what you write, I feel more confident that what I think I am seeing may actually be for real.


    Quote Originally Posted by djonesii View Post
    if you look at this thread:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23033

    scroll down to the images of the couch, you'll see what a MFDB gives in terms of tone and resolution. Dave
    I clearly see difference here, and I like the MF look way better.

    I believe I am begining to get a hold on what the MF image "look" is about - and if this continoues to be confirmed, I will probably desire to make the jump. A crusial thing will be timing. Since I frequently shoot in low light at ISO 800-1600 I probably ought to wait for a S3. At the very least I need to see a good zoom and an extender and probably a larger telephoto.

    I will take my time and continue to follow the threads here, and hopefully at some time be able to make a firm decision :-)

    Chris

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by HCHeyerdahl View Post

    I will take my time and continue to follow the threads here, and hopefully at some time be able to make a firm decision :-)

    Chris
    Chris,

    Better yet: rent one and see for yourself. What might be great for one person, it might be OK (or not enough) for another.

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    Re: Newbe questions

    TOTALLY agree. We can tell you till we are blue in the face but until you see it you will never know.

    Word of advice from a old dog. You can quote me on this too.

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    i may just put that in my signature too.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Newbe questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Chris,

    Better yet: rent one and see for yourself. What might be great for one person, it might be OK (or not enough) for another.

    P.S. Do continue to read here. There is a wealth of knowledge here that you can take advantage of. When it comes to final decision, that's when you want to rent one before you commit.

  26. #26
    HCHeyerdahl
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    Re: Newbe questions

    Thanks again. Yeah, I will definitely rent before I actually buy into a new kit/system!

    I liked the experimentation quote. That is soo true - really in almost all aspects of life.

    Chris

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