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Thread: MF and Stage Work

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    MF and Stage Work

    Hi everyone, first sorry I have been a little quiet. Okay you can stop cheering. But I am still in NY shooting a Model and Talent convention and it is all stage work that I have been shooting. This is sort of a test for MF and can it really do it as well as shooting the D300 . Well the answer is yes and no. It can do it , no question but obviously shooting the D300 would be easier on me. Having zoom lenses would help for one and I am limited to ISO 800 which is actually doing a great job at it and i was thinking if I really need more either get a P30 plus or a Noise software program but the results are damn good and i really love shooting it. All that I am showing is ISO 800 with various lenses the runway stuff is all with a Mamiya 300 mm AF lens 4.5 shot at 5.6 and the damn lens is a razor and even the AF is keeping up fairly well . Obviously not a Nikon D3 speed but I really felt I was not wanting at any time for more speed. This exercise shooting MF is maybe not normal for most folks doing this stuff but for me why hold unto a Nikon system if i can get it done with MF without too much pain. Obviously more work and i do NOT need the huge files but i even like the look better than the Nikons by a mile .

    So i will update more later need to get back out there and shoot but here are some samples. Now the noise looks great with well lit backgrounds but the shots with dark backgrounds you can see some noise, now they don't show on the Nikon files because it simply does not have the DR of the MF which the shadows go black and the MF you can see into it. I left the MF files alone but could have easily knocked out the noise just by applying more dark to the shadows and brought the DR actually down. Anyway need to run but check this out. Shot all of this on tungsten WB and just left it alone
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

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

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Thanks for sharing, Guy!

    I love seeing all the varied and interesting shoots you take on--talent shows, disaster simulations--it's very cool.

    It also shows how versatile you are as a photographer to be able to deal with the different demands of these wildly different shooting conditions.

    Love the shot with #4790--dramatic angles, and she's workin' it!

    Bravo!
    -Brad

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Thanks Brad. I am really loving shooting MF again. It is a little hard on me . My hands where really hurting yesterday shooting the 300mm on a monopod with cramping but it is really worth it. Nice thing is I will never want for a larger file now. It's there in the can and I don't have to worry about what a client will do with my files. More work, Yes. More expense, Yes but priceless at the end of the day.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    I will post more as I get more done. Yes guy's swimwear is coming in a few days. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work



    As for the detail in the files, yes, I couldn't agree more. As I contemplate where the @#?! I'm going to come up with $25-35K for my wife and I to go and spend some time in Antarctica, the one thing I'm able to rest comfortably on is the amount of detail in the files (I came to MF from an 8 megapixel 1D Mk II).

    Take care,
    Brad

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Awesome job Guy! Looks like the MF camera is working very well for you -- the images have that "MF look". I think maybe now you can leave the DSLR at home! Also have to say seeing you put that 300 to work here has me thinking I'll pull mine from the B&S!
    Jack
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    IT's a great lens Jack. You know where I come from with Leica and the 180mm F2 Apo and for the money it is sweeeeeeeet as can be. It's big and it's heavy no doubt but this helps get the DSLR's off my setup. I need money for the 150 mm 2.8 and thought about selling it but man having a hard time thinking about that now. Need to find a NY bank with a ski mask. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Nice work Guy... I'm impressed that the AF is keeping up with those moving targets you're shooting. The images look great and I'll bet you were the only shooter using MF

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Yea that is the nice part , the only MF shooter. The envy is spreading around here. LOL

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

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  11. #11
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Hi Guy,
    I must say that I'm impressed with the quality of these shots at iso 800, much better than I expected but I'm even more impressed with your technique, I know that getting a clean, clear shot with a 300mm MF lens is a bitch in ideal conditions but under these circumstances, WOW that's masochistic!

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    IT's a great lens Jack. SNIP I need money for the 150 mm 2.8 and thought about selling it but man having a hard time thinking about that now.
    I hear you Bud -- think I'll keep mine and maybe sell the 210 instead LOLOL!!!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Hi Guy,
    I must say that I'm impressed with the quality of these shots at iso 800, much better than I expected but I'm even more impressed with your technique, I know that getting a clean, clear shot with a 300mm MF lens is a bitch in ideal conditions but under these circumstances, WOW that's masochistic!
    Just to clarify, the 300 lens Guy is using is indeed a Medium Format (MF) lens, but it is Auto Focus, not Manual Focus (also MF, an unfortunate coincidence when discussing camera gear)
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Actually been shooting it in manual focus as well. Yes i am nuts. Love to push myself and my gear.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    ddk
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Just to clarify, the 300 lens Guy is using is indeed a Medium Format (MF) lens, but it is Auto Focus, not Manual Focus (also MF, an unfortunate coincidence when discussing camera gear)
    I realized that, I have the Contax 350mm/f4 so I really know what's involved here.
    Last edited by ddk; 22nd July 2008 at 15:44.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Actually been shooting it in manual focus as well. Yes i am nuts. Love to push myself and my gear.
    The Italian Stallion!!! LOL.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Love the shot with the masks etc....good news that you like using the MF for this stuff...means I can gobble up some more of your Nikon gear....got a 24-70????

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    I dropped that 24-70 from the roof top. :ROTFL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Love your work......Crisp, Clean, Spot On

    Cheers! Helen

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    What is impressing me here is this stuff is tungsten and the skin tones are bang on which is very rare to see great skin tones shooting tungsten and I did not even WB these. No camera i ever had did this well in tungsten.

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

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Well this darn 300mm 4.5 Mamiya is nailing everything in sight. Just one quickie have hundreds more. Interesting thing this was ISO 800 but I had a few that went under by a stop and at 1600 still damn good
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    I may just get another back as a backup now and just kiss the Nikons away. This stuff is rocking my boat really well. Seriously i am so freaking happy with this finally have what I really wanted all along a HUGE sensor
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well this darn 300mm 4.5 Mamiya is nailing everything in sight. Just one quickie have hundreds more. Interesting thing this was ISO 800 but I had a few that went under by a stop and at 1600 still damn good
    As I said before, I'm really impressed with your technique using this lens, so I have a couple of questions for you;

    - What head are you using to shoot these with?

    - Are you using mirror lockup, though I don't see how shooting moving targets?

    If I may be bold to point out a little problem in your shots; you're cutting off the feet in most of what you've shown.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Hey Guy,

    Just thought I would point out that in the last image of your first batch you have what "appears" to be strong noise in the strongly saturated blue background. In fact I believe this to be artifacting from a conversion to sRGB where the blues captured in the cameras native color space was significantly outside the sRGB color space. If I'm wrong please let me know so I can adjust my reality :-).

    If you end up using that image for web I would be careful how you convert it. I suggest either
    Rough and fast - Using the built in soft-proof in Capture One 4 by turning the output color space to sRGB and then adjusting saturation down until you don't see such artificating. OR
    Fine and slow - Process (at least that file) with "embed camera profile", open in Photoshop, turn soft-proofing to sRGB and then use any of the color adjustment tools (e.g. Hue/Saturation set to adjust blues only) to bring the blues back within your output gamut.

    You could also experiment with different rendering intents in Photoshop at the time of color space conversion. It appears to me as if your color conversion was done with relative or absolute colormetric rather than perceptual, but it is hard to tell after the fact.

    Doug Peterson
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Not sure what you mean by head but no flash gear here all stage lighting with tungsten settings. I do have plenty with feet. LOL. But no mirror lockup . Shooting at 1/250 at F5 on almost all of these runway shots with the 300mm and the new Phase body and P25 plus back on a monopod.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    What is impressing me here is this stuff is tungsten and the skin tones are bang on which is very rare to see great skin tones shooting tungsten and I did not even WB these. No camera i ever had did this well in tungsten.

    Thanks Helen
    As I've pointed out several times on this forum per-channel-dynamic-range is the single most undervalued aspect of IQ. Tunsten light grossly underexposes the blue channel on a "good" exposure. By bringing the white balance back toward neutral you are giving a "push" to the blue channel. In this case I imagine you were asking your blue channel to perform in the ISO 1600-3200 range (a healthy dose of C14 color noise reduction would not be unwelcome here). Dynamic range and color accuracy will show up first in the blue channel in tungsten light (or sun-rise).

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Nice captures, Guy. Glad that this system is meeting your expectations. Not as fast as the DSLRs, but then it is capable of delivering more, and images have a very nice look to them also. That is important.

    With respect to any noise, I really think that could be cleaned up nicely with some of the selective tools like Dfine (Nik Software), where you can paint in the areas you want to have the noise reduced, plus have control over type of reduction also. That would only become an issue if some of these shots were going to be printed/displayed very large, like one sees in cosmetic/fashion displays, or possibly for a poster. However, since the main subject is looking good, the rest would only be to remove distractions in the background.

    Looks like the 300 is giving a nice perspective for these shots also. May be harder to work with, but it looks worth the effort. Keep after it.

    LJ

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Doug, (or anybody that knows)
    I think I already know the answer to this but just in case... It's not setting the back to tungsten that challenges the blue channel, it's the actual light itself... right? In other words, if one inadvertently shot in sunlight with the back set to Tungsten, aside from needing to adjust the color balance in post you haven't "lost" anything.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Doug, (or anybody that knows)
    I think I already know the answer to this but just in case... It's not setting the back to tungsten that challenges the blue channel, it's the actual light itself... right? In other words, if one inadvertently shot in sunlight with the back set to Tungsten, aside from needing to adjust the color balance in post you haven't "lost" anything.
    Correct. Setting the WB on the back incorrectly cannot be detrimental to the raw file.

    The problem is the content of the light. In daylight the light is evenly spread throughout the visible spectrum. Tungsten contains more red light than blue light, so the blue channel is underexposed, a reality obfuscated by adjusting the white balance and thereby pushing the blue channel and pulling the red channel.

    *Signing off for the weekend. Have a good one everyone!

    Doug Peterson
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Not sure what you mean by head but no flash gear here all stage lighting with tungsten settings. I do have plenty with feet. LOL. But no mirror lockup . Shooting at 1/250 at F5 on almost all of these runway shots with the 300mm and the new Phase body and P25 plus back on a monopod.
    I wasn't thinking about about a monopod, I thought that you're using a tripod so was wondering about the head.

    I'm not really familiar with the Mamiya 300mm or the new Phase camera, but between the Contax's mirror slap and the sheer mass of the Contax 350mm lens, getting sharp images is very difficult, its much easier using the 210mm with the Mutar. I'm thinking that the Mamiya 300mm is also a massive lens and/or the mirror is better damped in the new camera than the older generations.

    Yes some have feet! LOL

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well this darn 300mm 4.5 Mamiya is nailing everything in sight. Just one quickie have hundreds more. Interesting thing this was ISO 800 but I had a few that went under by a stop and at 1600 still damn good
    Wow, really great results. Very smooth and nice look to the file. Like the way the lens draws the background as well.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    I just double checked and saw that you're using the new Phase body (got one on order as well). While I don't shoot runway (might be nice change of landscape) I will shoot the occasional wildlife ; I'd equate the movement just about the same (did that make sense?). It appears that the AF is much faster with little hunting around. Nice work!

    don
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Here are some more with the 300mm at ISO 800 and maybe even a little under on some and pulled back. I actually goofed at one point and was about 2 stops under and still pulled some out
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

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

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Guy these look really good. I like the way the OOF areas are rendered with that lens and your choice of aperture.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    girls need more hamburgers

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    They don't need hamburgers... look at that beefsteak

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Photos look good Guy. Tough assignment. You are really putting the back to work for you .
    Are you using the Make Web Contact Sheet in Capture One to quickly provide your clients with previews of their images?
    Or are you going to wait to bring them back to the studio to edit and process.
    Also you are shooting in IIQS for highest performance and smallest RAW file size right?
    L

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Lance did not use the make web. I honestly went through about 2 k in images and processed one by one straight to jpegs for the screen. Having great WB made it very easy and only real adjustments I made was exposure but I make a adjustment on one copy that than apply to all . Than just rip at it until I have to make a exposure adjustment gain and repeat. C1 can be very fast at processing when you need it to be. I did shoot everything IIQS which is a compressed raw file and that does speed up the shooting and makes the back a touch faster and honestly I see NO difference than the loseless L setting. I found a couple things makes this system faster one is short latency, the IIQS setting and on AF the camera will track focus when using the half press. Not Nikon or Canon fast but right in there with like the 5D which is pretty darn good in my book. But I am really liking the new body. i do wish they spread out the AF points a little better . I did run into focusing issues with the bathing suits because mot times you are having the focus point on the belly of someone and like water noting to really create a contrast difference but only had a issues a few times and still very happy how it performed. Yes the back got a workout but really the new body really was worked pretty hard and i feel very confident in it's performance so far.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    2k medium format images... whew... beautiful girls or not that's a lot of work. Since you're on the road I assume you're using your laptop. Do you find it up to the job... I think you've got one of the Mac Book Pro's with 4GB memory IIRC. Whatever you're doing it looks very good. The image at the top of this page is striking.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    I shipped my Mac Pro in on the truck here with a 23 inch and rented another 23 in cinema. Not sure the MacBook Pro I have could handle this, waiting for the next version of the MacBook Pro. Hopefully the next gen. will have the horse power. Obviously MF is way overkill for screen work but there will be some images turned into posters. This goes back to you just never know what needs will be down the road. I could have easily shot this with the Nikons BUT honestly I shot these same shows with Canon, Nikon and Leica's and nothing is touching the look I see from this year with MF. There is just a NON digital look to the files which I am really liking , smooth maybe the better word here. The files just have a nice range of look to them. Jack has seen all this stuff before from me and he said it also the other day . Nothing I have done so far shooting these looks like this year and I have to agree. Finally I am happy.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Lance did not use the make web. I honestly went through about 2 k in images and processed one by one straight to jpegs for the screen. Having great WB made it very easy and only real adjustments I made was exposure but I make a adjustment on one copy that than apply to all . Than just rip at it until I have to make a exposure adjustment gain and repeat. C1 can be very fast at processing when you need it to be. I did shoot everything IIQS which is a compressed raw file and that does speed up the shooting and makes the back a touch faster and honestly I see NO difference than the loseless L setting. I found a couple things makes this system faster one is short latency, the IIQS setting and on AF the camera will track focus when using the half press. Not Nikon or Canon fast but right in there with like the 5D which is pretty darn good in my book. But I am really liking the new body. i do wish they spread out the AF points a little better . I did run into focusing issues with the bathing suits because mot times you are having the focus point on the belly of someone and like water noting to really create a contrast difference but only had a issues a few times and still very happy how it performed. Yes the back got a workout but really the new body really was worked pretty hard and i feel very confident in it's performance so far.
    I agree with most subject matter you will not be able to see a difference between IIQS and IIQL.
    Next time check out the Web Contact Sheet Feature, it may have been able to knock out some of your work for you.
    Also how was battery life on back and body. Seems like you were taxing it pretty hard.


    Lance Schad
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I shipped my Mac Pro in on the truck here with a 23 inch and rented another 23 in cinema. Not sure the MacBook Pro I have could handle this, waiting for the next version of the MacBook Pro. Hopefully the next gen. will have the horse power. Obviously MF is way overkill for screen work but there will be some images turned into posters. This goes back to you just never know what needs will be down the road. I could have easily shot this with the Nikons BUT honestly I shot these same shows with Canon, Nikon and Leica's and nothing is touching the look I see from this year with MF. There is just a NON digital look to the files which I am really liking , smooth maybe the better word here. The files just have a nice range of look to them. Jack has seen all this stuff before from me and he said it also the other day . Nothing I have done so far shooting these looks like this year and I have to agree. Finally I am happy.
    I said a similar thing to Guy the other night. There is just something different from this set vs. the previous shows I've seen.

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    well Guy thanks for posting - real world shooting. What I found fascinating was the resolution ( as well as colour) I can see all teh bruises and imperfections on the models legs..well thats it my second back will definately be that P25+

    hmm - must have been so hard on teh eyes all those kini models! LOL

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    SecondFocus
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Guy,

    Just to be clear, did you shoot all this with your 645ZD back?

    Thanks!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    No all shot with the The Phase One P25 Plus back and the NEW Phase body which is also the same as the Mamiya AFD III which will be coming out soon.


    Lance batteries did very well and also for folks buying off brand batteries get at least 2200 batteries and not the Canons which ae 1500 they don't last long but I was able to shoot 300 frames before needing another battery . I have 4 with me and never went to three , maybe 1.5 per day.

    Yes Peter the resolution is there both the good and the bad. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF and Stage Work

    Thanks for showing this Guy! Great stuff that shows off your terrific skills coupled with a camera/back combo in a real-world situation. An impressive example of hard work and professionalism. No technical description or list of specifications comes close to the power of actual examples. Nice job!

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