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Thread: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

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    Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Hey Folks,

    It's the curious again.
    Digital Backs have moved from 20-30MPs to as high as 60-80MPs in recent years and even 200MP in some cases.

    I'm just wondering how many of you moved from 35mm to MF because the clients had told you that they want larger files with more detail, so you upgraded. Or even MF to MF upgrade with just more MPs (Megapixels).
    I know people printing for large fine art prints, there may be a calling, but just curious to your individual situations for upgrading, and what the client said and why? Did going larger give you more business?
    Also if you come from fashion, and shoot for magazines, what was the motivation to go larger than 35mm.

    I know I'm subjected to low feedback with such a question, but thank you guys in advance. (Very Big Smile)

    Po

    PS. Oh am I allowed to ask such questions here, sorry if I missed anything!

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    My motivation, shooting glam and fashion, moving to MFDB ( Leaf Aptus II 8 ) in these days are the joy of retouching a MFDB file.

    16bit files are noticeable better than even the best Nikon D3X files IMO.

    And the 1/1600 flash sync.

    And I think one makes better pictures if one works with equipment one likes to shoot with.

    I do not think most of the clients notice the difference.
    And most of magazine prints to day hide most of the IQ advantage of MFDB.

    So its more like a feeling of working with "real" image making equipment.
    Not the same camera as the neighbors son :-).

    And I think skin tones are much more delicate in MFDB.
    And it is easier to crop because you have a larger file.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Hi Willow,

    Thanks for sharing, so your neighbor's son has a D3X?

    Po

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    :-)

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    My answer will be slightly different from the norm since I'm a landscape photographer. It might fit in a little however...

    I've got a beautiful image that was taken with a 18 megapixel camera. The largest I feel comfortable in printing is 24x36 even though I've had requests for larger I just won't/can't do it. The other side of the coin, I've got an image taken with my P65+ and printed 30x40 where I've had requests for larger and feel no problem at all.

    I guess what I'm attempting to say that having the extra megapixels help in deciding the ultimate print size and this is a case where the more you have the better it is.

    In my case having more megapixels might not have gotten me more clients although it has helped in keeping those I have happy.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    My clients are retail print buyers and for the most part are not technically knowledgeable about sensors, pixels, etc., to know what to request. They want detailed landscape images that pop off the wall whether on paper or canvas. I cater to buyers wanting mural size prints and I print very large prints on canvas because it's simply not practical to create a 3'x9' panorama on paper and display it properly.

    Whether I create the print with a 12 frame stitch from a 5D2 or a three or four frame stitch from a 645D, the buyer could essentially care less as long as it is sharp and colorful. My buyers are more concerned with the image accenting their home furnishings, interior colors and outside view. In terms of tonality, richness of color, the 645D makes the final creation easier to achieve vs a 5D2 or any of the FF35mm systems. In that context, 60-80 megs capability is of no use to me as the 645D hits the sweet spot in terms of cost vs benefits for my work.

    As for stock sales, when I license an image to Backpacker Magazine or some other outdoor publication, they want a high res file and have never requested the image be produced by a given system FF or MF. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    In my case having more megapixels might not have gotten me more clients although it has helped in keeping those I have happy.

    Don
    Hi Don,
    Thanks for sharing your experience, there's no doubt that keeping your current clients happy is essential to any business. Having that choice is definitely an advantage for clients to consider too.

    Charles: Thank you, it seems it helps your workflow because of the tool at hand, so also worth the cost. Although clearly your work defines how large you really need to go, it's quite clear that the client won't instruct you to choose your format, but have you found that 35mm wasn't enough for them, because of IQ?

    Po

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Most of my studio business is high school seniors and families. For families, the quality of the larger file is a major plus compared to my Canon 5dmk2. For my seniors, I usually just stay with the dslr since most of our wall pieces are composites, plus faster handling and faster post production are important to the studio workflow.

    There are some marketing advantages to using MF. There is an automatic perception improvement when you say you're using a camera lens combo of $20K+, not some camera they can buy at Best Buy. As the image (no pun intended) of the professional photographer has dropped dramatically in recent years, this is important to look like a real professional if you are dealing with middle-upper and upper income people. They easily could own that Canon 5dmk2 and L lenses (or Nikon equivalent). While the swordsman is more important than the sword, if there's a knife fight only a fool would bet on the guy with a Swiss Army knife vs. the guy with the Samurai sword.

    There's also a certain professional self satisfaction that comes from comparing your MF images and the look and feel of them.

    As far as ISO 50 vs 100, I doubt that's an issue of where the base ISO starts. From what I've seen, it' more an issue at the higher end. From my limited experience, one ISO below the top one is the last ISO that's really useable.

    I don't believe there are any AA filters on mf CCD chips. Better final sharpness (though I'd say you're expected to know how to handle the images in Photoshop), but there can be an occasional moire issue that's usually easily fixed.

    But before you make the move, understand all the disadvantages of mf. With the increased quality file comes some utter frustration and envy at some basic features of dslr gear.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Charles: Thank you, it seems it helps your workflow because of the tool at hand, so also worth the cost. Although clearly your work defines how large you really need to go, it's quite clear that the client won't instruct you to choose your format, but have you found that 35mm wasn't enough for them, because of IQ?

    Po
    I was able to generally accomplish the large file sizes necessary to print large sizes by stitching from crop and FF DSLRs but not all situations are ripe for stitching frames. The 645D made my work easier to accomplish and more personally rewarding, and I was fortunate to own an existing Pentax 645 film system with a large collection of P645 and 67 lenses. Selling my Canon systems and L lenses made the transition to the 645D pretty painless and a no-brainer.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    In my field of work I'd say it is not necessarily MPs that matter. I shoot with a very modest Aptus 22 and, frankly, I could work equally well -or probably a good deal more easily, or faster- with a Canon FF + TSE lenses, but architects are mightily impressed by the fine craftmanship of my Alpas, and they seem to think that this somehow reflects on my work...

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    i'm using an aptus 22 and an arca Rm3d... for my professional work, i miss more long exposure capabilities than MP !
    But for my personal usage, i would like a back that can deliver a perfect 1 x 1,2 m print...
    i hope i will buy it this year, but i will keep the aptus 22, for some jobs it's the perfect back !

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by archivue View Post
    But for my personal usage, i would like a back that can deliver a perfect 1 x 1,2 m print...
    i hope i will buy it this year, but i will keep the aptus 22, for some jobs it's the perfect back !
    Please don't buy anything, because you already have it!

    Your aptus 22 is 4056 x 5356, so all you need is onOne's Genuine Fractals 7 aka Perfect Resize 7 or any another pro upscaling software. Just upscale you files to 40x50" @ 200dpi to print on Lambda.

    Don't listen to dudes, who prints from they 8000x10000 cameras directly at 300dpi. It's just wasting of valuable pixels. From 80MP backs (8000x10000) you can print 80x100" (with upscaling @200dpi). Usually those dudes work undercover for MDB companies and just what you to buy new toy.

    By upscaling you feed those stupid hungry printer and fill the gap between those 100dpi resolution, which all human eyes can resolve in reality.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    I moved up from a 5D2; primarily landscape. I never had someone ask me for more details in a print. But I have had clients ask for bigger prints that I did not feel I could pull off with the 5D2 files.

    Does that mean my switch was client-driven? Probably not. But we all have our individual workflows and perceived quality limitations we need to abide by.

    Dave

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Does that mean my switch was client-driven? Probably not. But we all have our individual workflows and perceived quality limitations we need to abide by.

    Dave
    I think ultimately, it's about satisfying the client and if you the photog felt the need to, it's probably just as important. I think without me asking my very original question, these's other factors could be bought out. Since then I would already have all the answers :P

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    One of the best marketing tools I have is a 60 mpx back. I use that marketing on every gig. It a holy **** this guy cares attitude in return. I'll leave it at that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)



    Quote Originally Posted by pipzz View Post
    Usually those dudes work undercover for MDB companies and just what you to buy new toy.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Willow View Post
    My motivation, shooting glam and fashion, moving to MFDB ( Leaf Aptus II 8 ) in these days are the joy of retouching a MFDB file.

    16bit files are noticeable better than even the best Nikon D3X files IMO.

    And the 1/1600 flash sync.

    And I think one makes better pictures if one works with equipment one likes to shoot with.

    I do not think most of the clients notice the difference.
    And most of magazine prints to day hide most of the IQ advantage of MFDB.

    So its more like a feeling of working with "real" image making equipment.
    Not the same camera as the neighbors son :-).

    And I think skin tones are much more delicate in MFDB.
    And it is easier to crop because you have a larger file.
    Actually, I tried a control experiment once - shot with a FF and then with my Aptus 65. Showed client both copies, and asked him to pick the 'better' one. swopped them about and asked him to select again. 5 out of 5 times, he picked the MFD version. Asked him what it was, and he said it just looks 'better'.
    My images on 500px : http://500px.com/ghoonk
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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    Actually, I tried a control experiment once - shot with a FF and then with my Aptus 65. Showed client both copies, and asked him to pick the 'better' one. swopped them about and asked him to select again. 5 out of 5 times, he picked the MFD version. Asked him what it was, and he said it just looks 'better'.

    Nothing make me more happy than to hear that!!

    A couple of years ago there where a test on LuLa forum.
    The poster presented aprox 10 images. Some where taken with a 35 mm camera and some with different MFDBs.

    He then dared people to tell witch picture with what equipment.

    I gave it a try and the result I presented was so good, people accused me of cheating.

    I think I missed one picture. But I could even tell witch picture was taken with Leaf and witch were taken with P1.

    Of course this was also a bit of luck, but never the less, I think it is possible to see the difference even on web.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    Actually, I tried a control experiment once - shot with a FF and then with my Aptus 65. Showed client both copies, and asked him to pick the 'better' one. swopped them about and asked him to select again. 5 out of 5 times, he picked the MFD version. Asked him what it was, and he said it just looks 'better'.
    I'm very happy to hear that too! Now the test would be would it be such a significant difference between a 40MP MF back vs 80MP or the like? Do you think even you guys would be able to pick it out :P Maybe you can, but wondering if it might be 3 out of 5 times instead!

  20. #20
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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Willow View Post
    So its more like a feeling of working with "real" image making equipment.
    Strange, that's what the APUG folk say about working with film.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    I'm an old timer in the advertising / commercial world. Over more then four decades of shooting we chose the specific camera to do the specific job best whether 35mm or 11x14. When I took my studio digital almost thirteen years ago it came down to trying to do everything on a 35mm type camera with no movements and relatively small image files.I always felt I was getting only half a camera with the 35 system.

    I finally moved up to Hasselblad MF digital equipment and purchased a Linhof Technikardan 23 to use the back on. Whether my clients see a difference, and they do, I feel I can deliver a better product again with the full function of a view camera vs a limited 35mm system. The experienced art directors I work with couldn't be happier. They like the flexibility and control over the image plus having those large files are like having a beautiful large format transparency. The large files also give the ability to use my images in a broader range for reproductions from catalogs to large trade show displays.

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    I have no clients ....

    It's simply the joy that I get in seeing the difference in C1.

    For that I dug deep into my wallet. I forgo Harley's, Purdy Shot Guns and custom build Orvis Fly rods to shoot a MFDB, Can't even touch a good bass boat for what my cheap MFDB cost!

    So, to my one client, it is supremely important. Don't know if I will ever get an IQ back, depends on the economy.

    YMMV

    Dave

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    Re: Medium Format Clients (More MPs)

    Even after moving into MFD, I still kept trying to do jobs with a 35mm DSLR because I'm lazy ... the final straw was a huge catalog with over 100 pieces of high end jewelry where the 35mm just couldn't handle the specular highlights well enough to make the poster sized display prints, making retouching a nightmare. I went back to MFD after a few shots and nailed it. Never used a 35mm DSLR in the studio since.

    Some of my current clients look at details more than we do ... for example I shoot automotive fabric and have to shoot a 12 X 15 swatch ... from which they search out a 2" square that best represents the texture, weave or pattern. To avoid moiré I used a Multi-Shot unit until the H4D/60 became available to test ... which I now use.

    One industrial client has printed shots I did of their R&D facility 10' wide for display in their corporate headquarters lobby. Another reproduced a bunch of catalog shots to 6' for a trade show booth where details would be viewed from just a few feet away.

    You just never know where your shots are going to be used.

    -Marc

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