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Thread: IQ180 vs IQ160

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    IQ180 vs IQ160

    I'm struggling to decide either the IQ180 or 160. I will be going from a P45+. I used a linhof techno with all Rodenstock HR-W lenses. I will also get the 645DF with the package.

    Cost is not a concern, but rather seeing the issues reported here. I'm a bit hesitated. For those who have gotten the IQ180, any regret?

    Thanks!

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    I'm struggling to decide either the IQ180 or 160. I will be going from a P45+. I used a linhof techno with all Rodenstock HR-W lenses. I will also get the 645DF with the package.

    Cost is not a concern, but rather seeing the issues reported here. I'm a bit hesitated. For those who have gotten the IQ180, any regret?

    Thanks!
    I currently run P45+, P65+(for sale on this site), and also Aptus 12 and IQ180 backs in my wife's business and my own.
    If , as you say, money is not an issue, then without a doubt in my mind the IQ180 is the way to go. It is a big step up in image quality from the 60Mp sensor.
    The only reason I would hesitate is if I had a heap of money invested in Schneider tech lenses. In this case, I would wait until Phase have solved the LCC issues. I know they are working pretty hard on this.
    Cheers,
    Siebel
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Since you have used both the Leaf 12 and the IQ180, have you tried to compare the image-quality?

    I have never seen these backs compered.

    Henrik

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Bryan, Thanks! I need to hear from users like yourself to confirm that people are mostly happy with the IQ180.

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    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Hi Yatlee

    I empathize with your caution. Currently we have a P65+ back, no problems at all, and very good image quality - of course the UI is pretty average - images that look underexposed on the display, open in C1 perfectly.

    We originally ordered a IQ160 and then upgraded to an IQ180 because the difference was fairly small and I felt that the IQ 180 would hold its value better being the flagship model - at present.

    Dealer has sent our new IQ180 to us today, so tomorrow we will see if we have scored a good one or a problem child. So it seems the IQ160 is a know quantity, sensor wise, and I for one have not seen any posts about colour casts etc from the IQ160.

    I know this is not an answer, but rather just a confirmation of yourreservations. If you are not obliged to make a decision immediately, why not wait and see how things stand when the dust settles. It could be that the IQ180's will end up a really sweet model. I for one hope so.

    I will miss the P65+ it has been my first MF digital back and I have loved the image quality.

    Have a great evening.


    Mal

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Tough call I have the 160 and it is very very nice but if money is not the issue and the tech cam with wides is not a issue for you than it is worth the extra 7k. For me it is not, since what I do requires speed of back and faster processing times. So in the end i bought for my real needs not extra. Also I pretty much guessed all along the 28mm Schneider would be a lens i would want to use and on the 180 it is a no go pretty much.

    Bottom line the 180 has more mpx obviously slightly more DR and a very nice color palette. Also moire would be less.

    In all honesty you just can't go wrong either way. Also i am not so sure they are doing live view outside the 180. We need confirmation on this statement but I have not heard the 140 and 160 mentioned with live view and that is a unknown. At least from what i know.

    Just about to go shoot sensor plus with stage work in about 45 minutes. Most likely be doing a full report on this. But either back you will fall in love with the UI
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    I had the P65+ and now have the IQ180 -- if money is truly no object, then I see no reason not to get the IQ180.

    Re tech cams and wide SK lenses, I have tested the 43 SK, and it works fine on the bigger back. It appears from other's testing the SK 28 is the non-starter for the IQ180, but then if you own one and money is no object, sell it and get the Rodie 32 or 23. Of course since you already indicated you have all Rodie HR-W's, IMHO this is a non-issue. If you were buying new, then you'd have options.

    Re color casts. I got them even with my P65+ using the Rodie 40 HR-W zeroed, so do not fool yourself into thinking you can get away without an LCC by using the IQ160. The reality is you can get away without an LCC as long as you do not care about critical color. If you do care about critical color, then you need an LCC for every tech-cam-captured frame regardless of which back you are using.

    Speed. As Guy mentioned, the capture rate on the IQ160 is faster than the IQ180 -- by roughly 30%. So if speed is important, then this my be a relevant factor choosing between the two.

    Legacy and cost. If you have older tech lenses and/or money is an issue, they are perhaps the remaining arguments in favor of the IQ160 over the IQ180...

    My .02,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by henrkfoto View Post
    Since you have used both the Leaf 12 and the IQ180, have you tried to compare the image-quality?

    I have never seen these backs compered.

    Henrik
    I have been shooting MFDB's since 1995 and these backs are, from an image quality perspective, so far ahead of anything else out there, it brings a tear to my eye.
    Comparing them to each other is akin to comparing two especially fine wines from different vineyards in the same district. Ultimately, it's a subjective matter of taste.
    Rather than doing a hardcore side by side objective test, I'll share my impressions of them.
    The files off the Aptus 12 (using Leaf Product 5 profile) are beautifull in their silky tonality. The highlight transitions are noticeably gentler than the IQ180 and the 3/4 tones to shadows are appreciably more open. This back suits a more conventional style of photography and is very forgiving of less than perfectly controlled lighting. If you are into portraiture and cherish velvety skin textures, then this back rocks. It's also great for landscapes where you have lots of subtle detail in lighter tones such as in soft clouds. It delivers the soft, rich tonality that Leaf is rightfully known for.
    The IQ180 is a very different beast. The midtone contrast is noticeably higher, the shadows are deeper, the highlights crisper. Somehow the images look to have a bit more shape or dimension. This lends itself to photography that is about emphasizing texture and shape. It is more demanding of your lighting skills - that shadow you didn't put just the right amount of fill into is going to look meaner, that highlight you weren't paying attention to is going to look too hot. It's somehow less subtle than the Aptus, but for me a lot more exciting.
    It's kinda like driving a Bently and a Ferrari - both are fine, but one is all class and refinement and the other is brash and twitchy. If you've seen any of my work, you'll understand why brash and twitchy suits me just fine.
    Keep in mind though, these comments above refer to how the backs deliver files without you manhandling the data. One of the things about both of them is that IF you have paid attention in school and also done all your homework, then the files from them both are so incredibly pliable that your ability to make all kinds of massive adjustments to tone and colour without showing obvious artefacting has very few limits. I only process in C1 but I do things to my files that are simply impossible to achieve with DSLR files.
    Operationally of course, they are chalk and cheese. The details of these differences have been covered ad infinitum elsewhere so I'll not recap. Suffice to say that the IQ interface is just pure pleasure to work with.
    If you are a tech camera user, then it is IQ180 all the way (unless you have heaps of Schneider tech glass, sadly). I run mine on an Alpa STC and find the workflow pure pleasure. I have my fingers crossed that the work I know Phase are doing on the tech cam LCC solution will allow me to put my 35mm SKXL back into service (BTW both backs suffer the same problems).
    The Aptus 12 is limited to 30sec long exposures whilst the IQ will run to 120secs. In practice this is a massive advantage to the IQ back if you shoot a lot of twilight stuff. The shadow noise in the IQ is the best in the business in my view.
    To sum up, whilst the approach is slightly different, these backs both lead the image quality margin from the rest of the pack by a considerable margin.
    Which one is suitable for you is up to you but you should do yourself the favour of doing your own hands on testing. I think they're both awesome.
    Cheers,
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    "I'm struggling to decide either the IQ180 or 160. I will be going from a P45+... Cost is not a concern"

    i'd like to have this kind of problem ;-)
    i have the solution for you... if as you said, Cost is not a concern... then you shouid buy both, and after one week of testing, you can offer me the one you don't like... that way, will be two happy shooters !

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    The files off the Aptus 12 (using Leaf Product 5 profile) are beautifull in their silky tonality. The highlight transitions are noticeably gentler than the IQ180 and the 3/4 tones to shadows are appreciably more open. This back suits a more conventional style of photography and is very forgiving of less than perfectly controlled lighting. If you are into portraiture and cherish velvety skin textures, then this back rocks. It's also great for landscapes where you have lots of subtle detail in lighter tones such as in soft clouds. It delivers the soft, rich tonality that Leaf is rightfully known for.
    The IQ180 is a very different beast. The midtone contrast is noticeably higher, the shadows are deeper, the highlights crisper. Somehow the images look to have a bit more shape or dimension. This lends itself to photography that is about emphasizing texture and shape. It is more demanding of your lighting skills - that shadow you didn't put just the right amount of fill into is going to look meaner, that highlight you weren't paying attention to is going to look too hot. It's somehow less subtle than the Aptus, but for me a lot more exciting.
    I read this and for some weird reason am now craving a Croque Madame and a crisp rose for lunch, followed up with a Gran Marnier souffle for dessert!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I read this and for some weird reason am now craving a Croque Madame and a crisp rose for lunch, followed up with a Gran Marnier souffle for dessert!
    May I join you, Sir?
    Siebel
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Thanks you Guy, Jack and Bryan. I placed the order with the dealer today. Can't wait to get the back!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    It's kinda like driving a Bently and a Ferrari - both are fine, but one is all class and refinement and the other is brash and twitchy. If you've seen any of my work, you'll understand why brash and twitchy suits me just fine.
    I wonder how much of this is down to the profiles, and how close would they be with the same profile?

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    I wonder how much of this is down to the profiles, and how close would they be with the same profile?
    I would agree ... same sensor, sees light exactly the same. So either phase does something different in the firmware to the "raw" data than leaf (possible), something different in the raw pipeline in C1(not likely), or a difference in the profiles(possible).

    Personally the lens cast issue I believe is more serious than is recognized right now, and I don't know if it's isolated to some backs (my second back is virtually identical to the first) or if it's just the nature of the sensor. so either there is a bad batch of sensors that will be more problematic on tech cameras and probably not noticed by DF shooters, or they are all the same, making most of the wide schneiders not very usable for most and requiring LCC's on lens combos that the 160/p65 won't. In my case, some lens cast can be seen with pretty much any lens, even on the DF, although on the DF fortunately not enough of an issue there to affect image quality for most things.
    wayne
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    I wonder how much of this is down to the profiles, and how close would they be with the same profile?
    Yes, profiles are a part, but not all of the story on what you get from a sensor.
    My earlier remarks about knowing your software are alluding to the importance of knowing what to do with a file when in your processing software.
    However, there are several other things that happen behind the sensor that are essential parts of the image quality equation.
    A vital component is the analog to digital converter. After this, there is a whole bunch of signal processing that goes on in a back which has impacts on signal-to-noise ratios, interpretation of the data provided by the sensor and AD converter and so on. Looking at the files from my two backs suggests to me that there is quite significant differences to what is happening in these 2 backs behind the sensor.
    Siebel
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    I would agree ... same sensor, sees light exactly the same. So either phase does something different in the firmware to the "raw" data than leaf (possible), something different in the raw pipeline in C1(not likely), or a difference in the profiles(possible).

    Personally the lens cast issue I believe is more serious than is recognized right now, and I don't know if it's isolated to some backs (my second back is virtually identical to the first) or if it's just the nature of the sensor. so either there is a bad batch of sensors that will be more problematic on tech cameras and probably not noticed by DF shooters, or they are all the same, making most of the wide schneiders not very usable for most and requiring LCC's on lens combos that the 160/p65 won't. In my case, some lens cast can be seen with pretty much any lens, even on the DF, although on the DF fortunately not enough of an issue there to affect image quality for most things.
    You've touched on a couple of important issues here. An image processor such as C1 is just that - an image processor. It has no influence over the input you deliver to it, thats up to your sensor and related hardware, in conjunction with its firmware. If the two backs were truly identical, then Phase and Leaf would use the same firmware. They don't.

    Lenscast is caused primarily by diffraction at each pixel site. The significant factors are angle of incidence of light arriving at sensel site and the size of the pixel. The smaller the pixel, the higher proportion of diffracted light, so more obvious cast. In theory, the amount of cast can be calculated, though this is very complex and not identical from one image "system" (lens/camera/back) to the next, nominally identical, system. Manufacturing tolerances are one of the factors causing this.
    It is for this reason that I have high hopes that successive firmware upgrades
    will improve the LCC solution for technical camera wide-angles, and the Schneider XL's in particular.
    I have also been advised that for those of us who have these XL's and 5.2micron class backs that the use of a centrefilter will not only improve the falloff, but to a lesser extent also the colour cast. My prelim tests with my 35XL and both the Aptus12 and IQ180 seem to confirm this.
    Siebel
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Bryan,
    I agree about the center filter. I am a waiting for Schneider to offer one for the 43xl. I would think given the "non-retro" design issues with finer pitch sensors they would quickly develop and offer these as options for all their lenses wider than a standard 80mm.

    My last communication with Schneider was in June when I was told calculations have been done for the 28, 43 and 60mm lenses. These center filters should be in production soon.

    Dave

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    I have also been advised that for those of us who have these XL's and 5.2micron class backs that the use of a centrefilter will not only improve the falloff, but to a lesser extent also the colour cast. My prelim tests with my 35XL and both the Aptus12 and IQ180 seem to confirm this.
    Concerning the 35mm SK and IQ180 combi, is the color cast so strong that it is not completely/correctly removed by C1? Or do you mean that it is corrected but with visible image quality degradation? Or maybe that central shots are ok but that shifting is producing excessive color cast that cannot be corrected then ?

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    It always depends on the back and person behind the camera. For some the 35 works, for me it wouldn't. I don't need LF lens that can't be shifted.

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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Quote Originally Posted by anGy View Post
    Concerning the 35mm SK and IQ180 combi, is the color cast so strong that it is not completely/correctly removed by C1? Or do you mean that it is corrected but with visible image quality degradation? Or maybe that central shots are ok but that shifting is producing excessive color cast that cannot be corrected then ?
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  21. #21
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    hi

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 vs IQ160

    Hi Adam,
    Welcome to the forum. You might want to introduce yourself and tell us about your interest in the IQ180/IQ160.

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