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Thread: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

  1. #1
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Hello all,

    First of all, I will introduce myself: young spanish long-time living in switzerland full time professional photographer. I specialize on landscape and nature, and that is where I try to be all the time! (when I am not glued to my computer, which happens very often).

    Anyway, I think I am one of those to who the motto which appears on this forum "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here" applies. I have been using for a long time my panoramic 617 film camera, which scanned in my Imacon scanner gives gigantic and wonderful images. So wonderful, that I "cannot stand" my Nikon D3x any more. I am about to make the leap and switch my Nikon for a Phase One system. I specialize on large format fine prints, and that is where I want to go with my digital system. I might go on using the film camera (it is just too much fun) but basically for my business the IQ 180 makes a lot of sense (and will make a lot of hurt to my bank account, yes).

    Basically I have just two pains in my neck. The third one, the use of a technical camera, has been relieved. I realize I will be using much more the Phase back with a Phase One 645D system. I really want to use this digital system to be able to react quickly to light and even use it for aerial photography. I can always use the 617 system to slow down...

    Going back to my two big pains, for which I would be extremely grateful if you can help me:

    1) The long exposure problem for landscape photographers

    Basically, I do not attemp to use the Phase One for NIGHT photography or veeeeery long exposures for creative use (I am talking about extremely several minutes exposures of, lets say, black and white fine art Michael Kenna style).
    HOWEVER, I am one of those (all of us are?) landscape photographers who mainly enjoy shooting in the twilight (dusk and dawn) or in cloudy days below forest, etc. These situations as you know demand relatively long exposures, and I consider them "normal" for a "standard" landscape photographer.

    My options are a P45+ (no problem here) and a IQ 180, since this last back has been firmware renewed allowing for up to 2 minutes exposures.

    The p45+ would be a no brainer, however I normally print REALLY big, and basically I would need the 80 Mpx of the IQ 180. I could stitch...i know, but for stitching, I can already stitch with the NIkon D3x without spending 40 grands...

    So, I would be happy to get the IQ 180 for my normal work, and use the panoramic film camera for extremely long exposures (more than 3-4 minutes, for creative results mainly in black and white film).

    I asked Doug already directly, and he sent me an incredibly good answer concerning the long exposure capabilities of the IQ 180. Before having his permission, I will not post this answer here, but basically he told me the iQ 180 would really make a wonderful job for my use.

    What I want to ask here is to IQ 180 users, how you have felt the long exposure capabilities of this back (with the last firmware installed, which allows longer exposures) in landscape photography at dusk-dawn and general landscape photography?
    I do not intend in using the live view too much really, maybe just focus mask. Then, long exposures normally happen at moments close to night...so temperature should not be very high.

    I am going to make some tests with my dealer in a couple of weeks, but I would really love to have the feedback of members of this forum who have already used the IQ 180 out in the field for landscape and nature use.

    2) Second pain will be the Lenses.
    Basically, I shoot wide but no so wide. I would like to keep a 3 lenses kit.
    I have three possibilities:

    - Phase One 45 2.8 D + Schneider 80 LS + Phase One 150 2.8

    - Phase One 45 2.8 D + Schneider 80 LS + Phase One 75-150 zoom

    - Schneider 50 LS + Schneider 80 LS + Schneider 110 LS

    Which are your views about these combinations?

    I shoot wide but do not need really wide. I like shooting details in the landscape, but do not really need super long focal lenghts either (haze ruins normally the quality i am after).

    I tend to travel and hike, so weight is an issue. However, I am after the BEST quality the IQ 180 can deliver, and that is the most important factor here.

    I feel the best focal lenght for my wide side would be the 35 mm lens. However, I feel its optical quality would deceive me a bit. So that is why I feel I could live with the 45 mm lens.
    What I do not know is whether the 45 mm lens will be up to the job with an IQ 180 back? I have read that the 55 LS lens is fantastic, but it is not too wide for me I feel, and then as I would have the 80 LS lens (given with the kit), I feel the 55 would be too close to the 80 mm lens?

    Same problem I have with the 150 lens. Is its quality equal to the 110 LS lens? I have read again the 110 mm lens is stellar in quality...but i fear it would not be long enough for me, and too close to the 80 LS?

    And then lately the zoom. I guess it would be very practical, however I have read some posts here from members saying that after using the 150 2.8 D lens they have "abandoned" the 75-150 being spoilt by its wonderful quality.

    Well, I have already thrown up everything I guess it makes quite a decent first post already!!! LOL
    Thanks very much in advance for your help. Only to say that even if this is my first post, I have been following the forum for some time, and the atmosphere here is veeeeery different (nice side) from the one I have found in other fora...Great place, I am really happy to be a new member here!

    Take care!

    PD: My wife would love that you deter me from buying anything related to Phase One. My bank manager too!!

  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Welcome to GetDPI!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by rafaelrojasphoto View Post
    Hello all,

    PD: My wife would love that you deter me from buying anything related to Phase One. My bank manager too!!
    Buy an Hasselblad, it's more fancy and more like a jewellery, your wife will love it as a necklace

  4. #4
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Well, I will be making some tests next week of some lenses and the P45+ and IQ 180 myself...so lets see what happens!
    It would be great to count with your experience though! I know I am new...but I wont bite!! LOL
    Thanks in advance, really.
    rafael

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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    full frame 180 will give you a bit wider field of view than the cropped frame 45 using the same lens

  6. #6
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Hi guys!!
    Well, I do not seem to receive many answers!
    A welcome message, a suggestion to use the Phase one as a necklace and then a brief (but good and appreciated) comment...
    Trust me I am not angry or upset (nobody can be forced to help anyone!) but I just wonder whether something in my message-questions was kind of...weird?
    I am just curious why my post has not received any attention?
    Maybe nobody has performed any long exposure tests?
    Maybe these questions have been asked to death and I did not know?
    Maybe it is polemic what I was asking without knowing it?
    Maybe I was rough or unpolite in the original message?
    I am new here, so I must apologize if anyone understands this as a kid getting angry because he is not given the candy...Far from that, I am just asking from a very constructive point of view, no hard feelings, no twisted thoughts, because it really strikes me that no answers came? Anyway, thanks guys for creating the forum, that is already a lot!
    regards!
    rafael

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    I don't know for sure, but Maybe these questions have been asked to death and I did not know?

    If you use the search function above, you can find many posts about these issues.

  8. #8
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Indeed, many have been asked to death. Not all, but many. Way easier for us to answer more specific questions for you AFTER you've taken some time to do your own research. My suggestion is to use the search function on the site, then after reading through the posts, re-ask any questions you might want clarification on.
    Jack
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  9. #9
    Super Duper
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Welcome to GetDpi.

    I think you might have more options than you think you do. While the P45+ is a great back that offers great resolution and a fantastic shutter times is nevertheless is a slightly cropped sensor. Here's where trade-offs start. Great shutter lengths, good resolution, cropped sensor. The sensor is also "older technology" I had a P45+ for several years before trading up to the P65+ just a couple months ago.

    And than brings me to the P65+. Full frame with almost double the megapixels along with the ability to use Sensor +. The ISO is the same for both the P45+ and P65+ at 50-800 however you'll gain a 200-3200 with Sensor +). The image buffer is also almost double that of the P45+.

    I'm also a landscape photographer and did want to leave the ability of long exposures I had with the P45+. Then it dawned on me that I simply just didn't use it that much and if I needed I could always fall back on Sensor + of the P65+.

    This is where I have to give you the caveat that I no longer shoot with a DSLR; I've been using a tech camera for several years now and haven't looked back. As a matter of fact I sold all my Mamiya/Phase bodies and lenses within 6-months of making the switch. That said I'm uncertain if I'm that qualified to address your second paid issue - lenses. I will offer that I've always felt prime lenses where much better than telephoto but at the same time I've owned a 75-150 and had great success with it.

    There's volumes written here that should better answer you question than what I've done but at the same time I see that you've met Doug so you're a long way to getting the questions/concerns properly addressed.

    Best of luck

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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  10. #10
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Thanks very much to all of you. Yes, I took the time to look all posts I could find related to these questions, but i did not seem to find the good discussions targetting only the implications of the long exposures on normal landscape photography. And when I found some things, they were slightly contradictory...so that is why I asked.
    Thanks very much Don for the kind answer, I understand what you talk about. Yes, using a tech camera was also an option, I have and work with the ground glass all the time in my panoramic film camera and that does not bother me at all, it is even fun. But it is true that I might be using the digital system to react quickly to light, as I have done quite often with my Nikon system. I do not think I will stop using film even with an IQ 180. Film is just way too much fun to be left like that, and receiving the images from the lab is like having Xmas several times a year. However, files coming from the D3x are great for a book or Getty, not so good for the kind of prints I normally do...so...
    Thanks again, really appreciated the time you put in writing your opinion, which was very helpful to me.
    Kind regards from stormy Switzerland
    rafael

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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    p45 is kodak, IQ180 and 160 are dalsa sensors, if you want to research that

  12. #12
    Super Duper
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Rafael - just finished a very brief visit to your website where I saw a sampling of your landscape work. Stunning images. I can see where you need to have the ability to "shoot 'n scoot" in order to capture the fast moving light and colors.

    I'd still recommend at a minimum the P65+ which has the same dalsa sensor as the newer IQ backs. I noticed an immediate change (for the good) after I compared the P45+ to the P65+. Not withstanding the huge leap in megapixels the color and general tone of my images are much better with the P65+.

    I also noticed that you offer as your largest print a 180x60 cm which if I did the math correctly is 71x24". One of my older large prints is 30x60 and is a result of a 2-image stitch using a Phase One P30+ so you should be safe to go as large as you'd like with the P65+ or the IQ160 (same megapixels with a much better interface) or the huge IQ180.

    I've heard the Phase DF bodies have a remarkable autofocus and shutter speeds capability; much better than when I was using the older bodies.

    Don
    Don Libby
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  13. #13
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Hi Don!
    Wow, thanks for taking the time of looking at my work. I am really humbled by your flattering words about my photography...thanks!!
    Yes, surely you saw many of the images there were indeed a combination of looooong wait + planning and then reacting quickly to changing conditions. Basically, setting your camera for a certain composition and then having to change the idea in a second as the light does wild things in unexpected ways That has happened to me very often while using the digital system, and also the panoramic film 617 format. With the former normally I could get those moments, with the latter there have been a number of times when the first slide captured fading colours or fading light already! Anyway, I like that mixture of working methods, and that is why having another tech camera with the Phase One (for the time being) might not be the right thing for me. In the future yes, a good Alpa STC for good stitching (panos with no change in perspective) might be a good solution. In any case, for panos I suppose I can still use my 617 format, or as I calculated the other day, taking a row of only 3 horizontal images (with overlapping) with the IQ180 and have something as big as what the 617 format scanned in an Imacon offers? When scannning the 617 images at 3000 dpi, I get images with resolution of around 7000 x 21000 pixels, however with film grain been scanned too! I was playing the other day with a raw image from the IQ180 and could extrapolate till 70" long without seeing the image desintegrate...so maybe there is not even need to stitch different images with the IQ180 to get the same level of quality as the scanned 617 format!

    Your opinion about the P65+ and the use for landscape reassures me a lot Don!. This is the kind of information i was after, thank you very much!!

    Kind regards from (cloudy) Switzerland,
    rafael

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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Hi Rafael,
    I also made a trip to your website, all I can say is "Insanely good!"
    I almost don't want to encourage you to get a Digital Back, because it might mean you will have to re-shoot all those moment all over again!

    Unfortunately, that's all I wanted to say, since I am also seeking advice on digital backs, do let us know what you decide in the end!

    All the best,
    Po

  15. #15
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Hi Rafael,
    I also made a trip to your website, all I can say is "Insanely good!"
    I almost don't want to encourage you to get a Digital Back, because it might mean you will have to re-shoot all those moment all over again!

    Unfortunately, that's all I wanted to say, since I am also seeking advice on digital backs, do let us know what you decide in the end!

    All the best,
    Po
    Thanks Po!!! Insanely good! I am humbled even more!
    Yes, you are right, I might feel like having to start all over again! But well, many images there (panos) are already huge files, I am really glad I started some years ago shooting with the 617 film camera. However, you are totally right. After all the waiting, effort, travel, money, shortness of sleep and passion I have put in creating some of my best images, I sometimes think it would be a lack of respect of not using the best equipment I can buy. Trust me I do not abound in money, but I really think doing something else would be like an insult to my work. However, I realize I would like to settle down on the best equipment I can buy, for quickly afterwards FORGET anything related about equipment and focus on what I like the most: connecting with nature, my subject, and creating poetry with my images. In the end, cameras are just a pile of junk, and vision is what really matters!
    I will let you know in this forum what I conclude after the tests of the IQ 180 vs P45+ and some lenses I will do next week with my dealer here in Switzerland...

    Regards!!
    rafael

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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Hi Rafael,

    Like you, I shoot a lot in panoramic format. However, I usually only use a lowly Hasselblad XPan, although I do have a Shen Hao 617 that I am trying to get familiarized with.

    I do have a Hassy V with a P30 back, hence I occasionally hang out here. I don't have any answers for you though.

    However, I do have questions :-) Will you be changing to shoot in the more 4x3 format with the digital back? That's quite a change from the panoramic format. Or do you plan to stitch?

    The problem with stitching that I see is that then you can no longer seeing the "frame" in your mind, hence I much prefer to use the XPan than crop from the Hassy/P30 or the Leica M9. It's less immediate with my "hunt for the image," if that makes sense.

    Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

    Thanks.

  17. #17
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by richardman View Post
    Hi Rafael,

    Like you, I shoot a lot in panoramic format. However, I usually only use a lowly Hasselblad XPan, although I do have a Shen Hao 617 that I am trying to get familiarized with.

    I do have a Hassy V with a P30 back, hence I occasionally hang out here. I don't have any answers for you though.

    However, I do have questions :-) Will you be changing to shoot in the more 4x3 format with the digital back? That's quite a change from the panoramic format. Or do you plan to stitch?

    The problem with stitching that I see is that then you can no longer seeing the "frame" in your mind, hence I much prefer to use the XPan than crop from the Hassy/P30 or the Leica M9. It's less immediate with my "hunt for the image," if that makes sense.

    Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

    Thanks.
    Dear Richard,
    Really glad if I can help you!
    You hit the nail. Stitching is NOT the same, at least it never was for me. Basically, the day I got a panoramic camera (or a Linhof 617 viewfinder) the whole thing changed. I could compose with care and really do proper composition with the panoramic format. The great danger of this format is that as it is very visually appealing in its own, there are a lot of photographers being just happy with something which looks elongated...if you know what I mean. Basically, I have always talked about "panoramas" vs "panoramic images". I see good panoramic photography as applying the same good composition rules and creative decisions as with normal conventional formats. Being cheeted by the wow effect of the panoramic format alone is not the good way to good photography here, and it is a big risk for all of us photographers using that format...And it is where the day I started using the panoramic viewfinder and the groundglass I started SEEING the exact composition, working it, doind small micro-composition, changing my perspective and MAKING more panoramic photographs and less panoramas as I did before doing stitching.
    That being said, I have now taken the habit of using my viewfinders, and I move around, using them to visualize the scene. Then I can come to the spot and memorize where to start and finish to recreate that with the digital. I have realized by using that viewfinder app for iphone that I can stitch vertical shots from a full format 645 digital back at 75 mm to recreate a 90 mm view with my 617 camera, and a row of vertical shots at 150 mm to recreate what the 180 mm lens of my pano camera gives. So that might help for future use of the Phase One camera...
    In any case, answering one of your questions, no I do not think I will stop using the pano camera. Pano camera for pano images, the Phase One will be used for conventional images. I do not like stitching, since as you said the magic is gone and I cannot work as well as I would like the graphic design of the photograph.
    The problem I had till now was when NOT using the pano camera. For my conventional format work, I was using (I am using still) the nikon D3x, and that is not ok for printing really big. When I sell huge panoramic images made with the 617 film camera, I just cannot sell Nikon D3x images since the quality is another league. That is where the Phase One would enter the game.
    And again, I love mixing the good things of film and the good things of digital. Using film has taught me to look at the cameras as what they are: a black box which captures light, and stop mystifying gear which is really the fast track to become a gear focused photographer with less time to focus on the real artistic endeavours of photography!
    Think about gear once, go for it, become comfortable with it and then work in your vision and connection with your subject. That is my opinion.
    My wish is settling down sooner than later the technical problem i have for my big work in non panoramic format, and going on with my trip along that never ending road which is photography as a way of understanding nature and life.
    Good light to you mate!
    rafael
    Last edited by rafaelrojasphoto; 2nd September 2011 at 09:54.

  18. #18
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Indeed, many have been asked to death. Not all, but many. Way easier for us to answer more specific questions for you AFTER you've taken some time to do your own research. My suggestion is to use the search function on the site, then after reading through the posts, re-ask any questions you might want clarification on.
    Hi Jack!
    Sorry if was too broad in my first post!
    I really took the time to search and look in this forum. I found indeed a LOT of great information, your review about the Phase One lenses, and much more!
    So, first of all, THANKS to all of you because during the last weeks I have learnt A LOT here!!!
    I will try to focus more my questions in the future
    In fact, I will be trying the backs and lenses in some days, so that will make easier for me to ask more precise things, and also to come with my own conclusions in case they can help to other members.
    Thanks for the great job you all do here with getdpi forum. I know i will have a lot of pleasure contributing here in the future!!

    regards,
    rafael

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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by rafaelrojasphoto View Post
    I asked Doug already directly, and he sent me an incredibly good answer concerning the long exposure capabilities of the IQ 180. Before having his permission, I will not post this answer here, but basically he told me the iQ 180 would really make a wonderful job for my use.
    You're very welcome to repost anything I sent you.

    For the curious I helped out Rafael with some technical questions he wasn't getting otherwise answered. Once he started working with his local dealer it was appropriate for me to politely step back as to not step on any toes.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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  20. #20
    rafaelrojasphoto
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    You're very welcome to repost anything I sent you.

    For the curious I helped out Rafael with some technical questions he wasn't getting otherwise answered. Once he started working with his local dealer it was appropriate for me to politely step back as to not step on any toes.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
    Phase One Partner of the Year
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    National: 877.217.9870 *| *Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Hello Doug!
    Well, now I say here what I already said before, thanks for your help!
    Doug was extremely friendly and precise with his answers, even knowing I would be dealing with someone else since I live in Switzerland.
    I am copying here the answer from Doug. I could not found anything better than this in the web...and did really open my eyes to the IQ 180 for my landscape use. He is partly responsible of me testing a phase back next week and maybe killing the pig...Here below are my original questions and Doug's answers:

    -Is not true that the long exposure time for the P65+ has been raised lately along with the IQ180 up to 2 minutes? (i was said this by someone)

    That is not true. The P65+ spec is still 60 seconds at room temperature. When first released the real world number (for high quality images and not just "barely usable") was closer to 25-30 seconds and a series of firmware and software improvements has raised it to 35-45 seconds. From 45-60 seconds the results are "ok". At 70 seconds the results are bad. At 90 seconds the results are awful.

    The IQ180 equivalent (for high quality use) would be around 100 seconds for high quality exposures, and I expect in the next few months that additional firmware and software tweaks might raise this real world number to 110-120 seconds.

    That sounds like a small difference maybe, but in my experience 60-70 seconds is the breaking point. That is the approximate maximum time I've found most landscape pre-dawn and dusk images require. So for the P65+ you're pushing the absolute limit and on an IQ180 you're comfortably within the high-quality range of the camera. Of course shooting habits and conventions are very personal, so only you can really tell what your average longest exposure is at ISO50.

    I think it's a bad assumption that a "modern back is released with a higher resolution and good long exposure performances" will be released any time soon. It's anyone's guess. 2 minutes on the IQ180 takes care of such a high percentage of the market I don't think you'll see it be a priority and will likely only come when a CMOS version is released in the mid-to-long term future. But this is just my informed guess.

    -Which is the limit for the IQ180 at which the long exposure STARTS showing degradation due to the noise with the new firmware?
    attention with the single-pixel noise reduction slider. As I said I'd expect future firmware and software to raise that ceiling another 10-20 seconds.
    This is not a question you can ask someone else. You really need to do your own testing. If I'm being scientific I can find a difference between a 1 second and 5 second exposure on an IQ180. But that difference is not of any consequence to me. Minor single-pixel noise begins around 10 seconds but it is very easy to remove without meaningful impact to the image (you can only see it if you change the defaults to remove all single-pixel noise reduction). Very good color, tonality, and detail are still there around 100 seconds with visible single-pixel noise that needs some easy

    Of course all these numbers are very dependent on ambient temperature. In Switzerland in the winter you could easily go longer, and in the summer sunsets you may not be able to get to these numbers.


    Note: On an ulterior email, Doug told me that the exposure numbers here stated would apply to ISO 35 setting of the back, more than the 50 Iso...

    I think it was a good idea of sharing this with the community, I found it extremely enlightening...

    Cheers all,

    rafael

  21. #21
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    Re: New here!! Introduction and killer question (already!!) :)

    Rafael,

    Thanks for sharing all the important info about the long exposures, and you have articulated the questions/answers very nicely here! Doug, you're pure genius... but I think everyone knows that here already!

    Po

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