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Thread: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

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    Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Hello!

    I am a lurker that finally signed up and this is my first post..

    Anyways, I am planning on jumping into the MFD camera system. I currently use 35mm digital with some nice lenses (85 f1.2 and some others) and am looking into the Mamiya 645DF with a Leaf back.

    My current options due to my budget for this are either the DM22 or DM28, with the kit 80 f2.8 LS lens.

    I was then planing on making a few other purchases, including an 80 f1.9, and possibly a 105-210 f4.5. Those would be a bit after the initial purchase.

    I shoot a majority of my work in studio with a 2400 ws Profoto pack, so enough light shouldn't be a problem..

    The draws of this system over the Hasselblad H4D-31 is the fact that the camera has both a focal plane shutter, and that there are leaf shutter lenses which allow for 1/1600 flash sync. That I find handy for shooting much cheaper lenses than Hasselblad, while also benefiting from the 1/4000 focal plane shutter where as the H system is limited to 1/800.

    Given that I am pretty decided on what I want to do, which back would you recommend more and why?

    The Mamiya rep I talked to said that I should go for the DM28 as I am pretty much going to only shoot people with the camera (Thus the Leaf for skin tones as well) and that it would make the lenses a bit longer and the resolution would be good for potential advertising work.

    I however understand the draw of a larger sensor for several reasons (just like going for full frame over a 1.6x crop DSLR) but am wondering if I really need it for this system..

    I obviously would love the DM33 back to solve my problem, but sadly it is out of my reach in terms of funding.

    anyways thanks for reading and look forward to any replies! My work for reference: Los Angeles Fashion and Portrait Photographer - Rick Rose

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Go for sensors larger than 44x33mm.

    You don't want to upgrade to MF and then shoot crop sensor.

    The 22MP leaf or Phase One backs are a good size. 22 MP is plenty.
    The 9x9 micron photosites will give you great files.

    Start with a nice used 22MP back. You can always rent a higher MP back if you have a client who insists on more.
    Best of all you can always sell a nice used back for what you paid for it.....

    I agree with your choice of Mamiya for the focal plane shutter option. Lets you use lenses like the Carl Zeiss Hasselblad V 110mm f2.... The Noctilux of MF.

    Look at this image by Jim Collum that is a member of this forum


    Shot wide open

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Welcome to the swirling world of MFD Rick!

    Thoughts: think ahead If you can swing it, seriously re-consider the Leaf Aptus-II 33 meg back which is a non-cropped sized sensor like the 22 (33 is the same meg back Jim Collum used for the photo Fred posted ... I know this because I sold it to him). While 22 meg is indeed great, it can produce moiré when shooting people with certain types of clothing ... I know this because I had the Leaf 22 back before the 33 meg one. Also, for whatever reason, the Leaf 33 meg backs are the sweet spot for a lot of legacy Mamiya and adapted Hasselblad F/FE lenses ... I know this because I had all of the Zeiss V FE series lenses like the 50/2.8, 110/2, 150/2.8, and 250/4, and used them with the 33 Leaf back.

    Consider looking for a used 33 in Mamiya mount if you can't afford new. That is what Jim Collum did.

    Advice: do your homework I'm not an expert on the current Phase One cameras and backs you can use on them, but I'd double check about the available sync speeds with a Leaf back. I'm pretty sure 1/1600th is not available. I believe you need a Phase One IQ back, Schneider CS lenses, and Profoto AIR radio system to achieve that sync speed ... If I recall correctly, the 80/1.8 and zoom you mentioned are focal plane lenses and will allow up to 1/125th sync speed.

    Experience: there's more to it than meets the eye I also use Profoto lighting, including D4-2400R Packs. You need the Profoto AIR radio system to achieve the high sync speeds. Pocket Wizards top out at 1/500th for leaf shutter lenses. I now use a Hasselblad H4D/60, and have converted my studio over to Profoto AIR with D1s replacing my Compacts, and AIR receivers on my D4 Packs so I can shoot all my HC lenses at up to 1/800th.

    -Marc

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Thanks for the replies so far!

    I would be able to buy the DM33 kit with the 645DF body and 80 f2.8 LS lens for around $15700 (student discount!) How much would a used kit cost?

    From what the Mamiya rep told me, and as advertised online you can in fact reach the 1/1600 sync speed on the Leaf Aptus II 5 or 6 back (with some 'simple firmware modification' according to the Mamiya rep)

    Also, I do know that only the Profoto Air system can Wirelessly sync at 1/1600, but believe that hard sync cables can reach 1/1600. I do not think I will be shooting at that speed unless out doors anyways.

    As for the other lenses I am aware of the 1/125. That is what 90% of my pictures taken with my 5d2 are taken at so that is no issue for me.

    As for used over new, I would be buying new and hopefully using a credit card to accommodate around half of the cost at 12 months no interest and I could pay it off easily in that time, and paying cash to balance it out. I was looking into buying this at the local Calumet here in Hollywood as I would get some perks from there (being able to bring in anything that's not working and take out a rental for free while they fix it, borrow certain pieces of equipment for free, etc)

    For a new system I feel that getting the new 645DF body with the 80 f2.8 LS with either the Aptus II 22 or 28 would be a nice deal for $10,222 + tax.. the 1 year warranty is also nice to have..

    I don't want a crop sensor, but the native ISO and moiré issues of the 22 back seem to make me lean towards the 28 (higher native ISO as I will mostly use 100-200)

    I am currently in college and swinging the extra $5500 + tax for the DM33 would be hard, if not near impossible anytime in the near future. I would have to save up for several months to be able to accomplish that. If it really is that much worth it (over spending $5500 possibly on a profoto D4 2400 pack which is that much with student discount) then I suppose I can hold out and wait until I can afford the extra money.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Welcome to the swirling world of MFD Rick!

    ...... seriously re-consider the Leaf Aptus-II 33 meg back which is a non-cropped sized sensor like the 22 (33 is the same meg back Jim Collum used for the photo Fred posted ... I know this because I sold it to him). While 22 meg is indeed great, it can produce moiré when shooting people with certain types of clothing ...


    ... If I recall correctly, the 80/1.8 and zoom you mentioned are focal plane lenses and will allow up to 1/125th sync speed.

    -Marc
    Moire is an issue with all bayer sensors that don't have an anti alias filter on the sensor. IF the 22 shows moire that 33 will to, maybe just a little less.
    Even with higher MP counts Moire is an issue. IT can be handled in post quite well.

    The 80mm 1.9 is an older Mamiya lens and requires a focal plane shutter so sync is 1/125.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Welcome to the swirling world of MFD Rick!

    Thoughts: think ahead If you can swing it, seriously re-consider the Leaf Aptus-II 33 meg back which is a non-cropped sized sensor like the 22 (33 is the same meg back Jim Collum used for the photo Fred posted ... I know this because I sold it to him). While 22 meg is indeed great, it can produce moiré when shooting people with certain types of clothing ... I know this because I had the Leaf 22 back before the 33 meg one. Also, for whatever reason, the Leaf 33 meg backs are the sweet spot for a lot of legacy Mamiya and adapted Hasselblad F/FE lenses ... I know this because I had all of the Zeiss V FE series lenses like the 50/2.8, 110/2, 150/2.8, and 250/4, and used them with the 33 Leaf back.

    Consider looking for a used 33 in Mamiya mount if you can't afford new. That is what Jim Collum did.

    Advice: do your homework I'm not an expert on the current Phase One cameras and backs you can use on them, but I'd double check about the available sync speeds with a Leaf back. I'm pretty sure 1/1600th is not available. I believe you need a Phase One IQ back, Schneider CS lenses, and Profoto AIR radio system to achieve that sync speed ... If I recall correctly, the 80/1.8 and zoom you mentioned are focal plane lenses and will allow up to 1/125th sync speed.

    Experience: there's more to it than meets the eye I also use Profoto lighting, including D4-2400R Packs. You need the Profoto AIR radio system to achieve the high sync speeds. Pocket Wizards top out at 1/500th for leaf shutter lenses. I now use a Hasselblad H4D/60, and have converted my studio over to Profoto AIR with D1s replacing my Compacts, and AIR receivers on my D4 Packs so I can shoot all my HC lenses at up to 1/800th.

    -Marc
    Agree my friend the 22 mpx backs are great but Moire will wring its ugly head and for people not really a recommended back. For Phase it starts at the new Dalsa sensors at 6 micron for the high speed flash sync and leaf lenses. Starting at P40 plus as the lowest entry point for the 1/1600 sync speeds. The P30 plus another older great back and very nice for people fashion type work will sync at 1/800 th with a DF body which is a must here to work with the LS lenses. So bottom line you first must have a DF for the sync speeds to match the LS lenses to start with than the backs really starting at the P40 which used is around 10k and highly recommended from me who shot it for almost 2 years until I went FF with really the same sensor. Love this sensor. Good rule of thumb newer stuff in Phase will do the tricks. Another good rule of thumb the smaller the microns the less Moire.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    I also use The Profoto Air system in the D1 mono lights and the Acute 600 battery system. Very tricky here you need very fast duration times to match the 1/1600 sync.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Btw you can get a used P40 plus with DF and 80 LS for less than 15k through our sponsored dealers and still use your credit card in any amount you want or they also sell Leaf backs as well. Contact our dealers here, you want dealer support.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I also use The Profoto Air system in the D1 mono lights and the Acute 600 battery system. Very tricky here you need very fast duration times to match the 1/1600 sync.
    +1 ... gotta watch the pack or mono-head durations here.

    -Marc

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far!

    I would be able to buy the DM33 kit with the 645DF body and 80 f2.8 LS lens for around $15700 (student discount!) How much would a used kit cost?

    From what the Mamiya rep told me, and as advertised online you can in fact reach the 1/1600 sync speed on the Leaf Aptus II 5 or 6 back (with some 'simple firmware modification' according to the Mamiya rep)

    Also, I do know that only the Profoto Air system can Wirelessly sync at 1/1600, but believe that hard sync cables can reach 1/1600. I do not think I will be shooting at that speed unless out doors anyways.

    As for the other lenses I am aware of the 1/125. That is what 90% of my pictures taken with my 5d2 are taken at so that is no issue for me.

    As for used over new, I would be buying new and hopefully using a credit card to accommodate around half of the cost at 12 months no interest and I could pay it off easily in that time, and paying cash to balance it out. I was looking into buying this at the local Calumet here in Hollywood as I would get some perks from there (being able to bring in anything that's not working and take out a rental for free while they fix it, borrow certain pieces of equipment for free, etc)

    For a new system I feel that getting the new 645DF body with the 80 f2.8 LS with either the Aptus II 22 or 28 would be a nice deal for $10,222 + tax.. the 1 year warranty is also nice to have..

    I don't want a crop sensor, but the native ISO and moiré issues of the 22 back seem to make me lean towards the 28 (higher native ISO as I will mostly use 100-200)

    I am currently in college and swinging the extra $5500 + tax for the DM33 would be hard, if not near impossible anytime in the near future. I would have to save up for several months to be able to accomplish that. If it really is that much worth it (over spending $5500 possibly on a profoto D4 2400 pack which is that much with student discount) then I suppose I can hold out and wait until I can afford the extra money.
    That all may be right for all I know ... Guy knows much more than I do about these products. However, double check the sync speeds with what-ever camera/back/lens combo you go for. Just sayin'

    Also, look into Pay Pal's "Bill Me Later" which is interest free up to 6 months. Better than the usurious credit card interest rates.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    That all may be right for all I know ... Guy knows much more than I do about these products. However, double check the sync speeds with what-ever camera/back/lens combo you go for. Just sayin'
    Consider it double checked: Current Mamiya/Leaf (including the 22, 28, and 33mp models mentioned in the thread) all work at 1/1600th with a DF body and LS lens.

    Older Leafs (e.g. Aptus 75) and older/Kodak Phase backs (notably P30+ and p45+) are limited to 1/800th.

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Moire is an issue with all bayer sensors that don't have an anti alias filter on the sensor. IF the 22 shows moire that 33 will to, maybe just a little less.
    Even with higher MP counts Moire is an issue. IT can be handled in post quite well.

    The 80mm 1.9 is an older Mamiya lens and requires a focal plane shutter so sync is 1/125.
    My suggestion is the 33mp back (variously called the DM33 and the Aptus II 7 at various points). It fills a real sweet spot when it comes to large-sensor, high resolution, speed, and cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Moire is an issue with all bayer sensors that don't have an anti alias filter on the sensor. IF the 22 shows moire that 33 will to, maybe just a little less.
    Even with higher MP counts Moire is an issue. IT can be handled in post quite well.
    Moire can actually occur on any sensor, including those with a strong AA filter - the AA filter just dramatically reduces it's occurrence (along with softening every image it captures).

    I strongly disagree with "just a little less" in your statement. A 33mp sensor will moire far less frequently than a 22mp sensor. If moire is a concern (e.g. shooting people at f/5.6-f/11) then a 33mp sensor is a huge advantage over a 22mp sensor.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Doug thanks for the update on the Leaf backs . Not having shot the leaf system it's hard for me to remember it all on those products as well as Hassy stuff. Hell I can only buy so much stuff. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Nice work Rick. Everything is pretty much covered already. Not to muddy the water but:

    While crop sensor is not the ultimate answer it does make a great entry point and every shot is within the sweet spot of the glass.

    It doesn't look like you need wide angle from your site and I think you would do fine with the 80mm in your portrait work. Many photographers prefer a slightly longer perspective in their portraits.

    I know, at least with P1 backs, you can always upgrade later and get a good percentage of your investment in the back credited to your new purchase.

    The improved IQ with either solution is going to be amazing.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    You are in college and need to put it on a credit-card. That says to me stick with what you have and rent if you need MFD. If you were already running a full time studio, it would be one thing, but for part time it seems to me you would be way better off sticking with your current gear and then renting a digital back (which could be any level or price point, always up to date etc) for the times when it is truly necessary.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    You are in college and need to put it on a credit-card. That says to me stick with what you have and rent if you need MFD. If you were already running a full time studio, it would be one thing, but for part time it seems to me you would be way better off sticking with your current gear and then renting a digital back (which could be any level or price point, always up to date etc) for the times when it is truly necessary.
    +1

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Thanks for the compliment Ed!

    That is one of the main points for me, I shoot almost exclusively portraits/beauty/fashion and the moire issues of the 22 would be a nightmare for me. I am attracted to the larger sensor for obvious reasons, but it seems the main reason for people suggesting it is due to it's size, where as the crop sensor would work just as well for me, using the 'sweet spot' center of the lens.

    Considering that everyone has been only suggesting the 22mp 1.1x crop back, or spending a lot more for the 33mp one.. I wonder if it would be worth it to get the $5600 AFD645 with 80 f2.8 and the Aptus I 22mp.. that would be half the cost of a new kit at the sacrifice of the leaf shutter lens and the newer body and back.. does anyone here think it's worth it?

    I also typed out another reply earlier but it looks like it didn't go through or hasn't been approved.. not sure how this site works exactly.
    Rick Rose
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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    You are in college and need to put it on a credit-card. That says to me stick with what you have and rent if you need MFD. If you were already running a full time studio, it would be one thing, but for part time it seems to me you would be way better off sticking with your current gear and then renting a digital back (which could be any level or price point, always up to date etc) for the times when it is truly necessary.
    I may be a college student but as of now I could afford to make this investment and pay it off fully within 6 months. I work for Estee Lauder and Neiman Marcus and am booked for enough days this spring season with them alone to pay for the camera.. on top of other random work that I receive. As of now my monthly expenses are minimal and I have enough income from my photography work to make such a purchase lucrative.

    I figured if anything, I might as well buy this camera while I can receive a student discount, decent income from photography, and essentially no expenses.
    Rick Rose
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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Go for sensors larger than 44x33mm.

    You don't want to upgrade to MF and then shoot crop sensor.

    The 22MP leaf or Phase One backs are a good size. 22 MP is plenty.
    The 9x9 micron photosites will give you great files.

    Start with a nice used 22MP back. You can always rent a higher MP back if you have a client who insists on more.
    Best of all you can always sell a nice used back for what you paid for it.....

    I agree with your choice of Mamiya for the focal plane shutter option. Lets you use lenses like the Carl Zeiss Hasselblad V 110mm f2.... The Noctilux of MF.

    Look at this image by Jim Collum that is a member of this forum


    Shot wide open
    Fred, I've been following some of your threads as you give advice on medium format gear and it's got me mildly curious as to what gear you own and use the most. It seems you have vast experience in digital medium format as you offer a plethora of advice.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Thanks for the compliment Ed!

    That is one of the main points for me, I shoot almost exclusively portraits/beauty/fashion and the moire issues of the 22 would be a nightmare for me. I am attracted to the larger sensor for obvious reasons, but it seems the main reason for people suggesting it is due to it's size, where as the crop sensor would work just as well for me, using the 'sweet spot' center of the lens.

    Considering that everyone has been only suggesting the 22mp 1.1x crop back, or spending a lot more for the 33mp one.. I wonder if it would be worth it to get the $5600 AFD645 with 80 f2.8 and the Aptus I 22mp.. that would be half the cost of a new kit at the sacrifice of the leaf shutter lens and the newer body and back.. does anyone here think it's worth it?

    I also typed out another reply earlier but it looks like it didn't go through or hasn't been approved.. not sure how this site works exactly.

    Rick,
    I shoot primarily beauty and portraits and I've found the Aptus I Kit to be very good and also much more affordable than the alternatives as well as a significant upgrade to the 5d2. If you can save yourself ~10k now, I would certainly do so. You can always upgrade later on, once you're more comfortable with the system.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Oh please, the moire issues of the 22mp backs are not that bad. Yes you do get moire, but its not as if it dominates every frame. And when it does occur, the localized adjustments in C1 do an excellent job of getting rid of it. It is a very rare image you cannot fix. And you can always shoot f18 or so, where it disappears from diffraction. The used kit should be wonderful. Spending (a lot) more for the 33mp back would be a serious waste of money in my opinion. The resolution increase is marginal. The only advantages I can find (having owned an aptus22 and tested the II-7) are better high iso performance and indeed more resistance to moire. And don't rule out the smaller sensors. Bigger is better for shallower DOF, but if you stop down it doesn't matter. You get used to the sensor size in either case. In short, I suggest getting the cheapest kit you can find. It'll be great!

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    I'm with Marko on this one, the moire issue of a 22MP back is extremely exaggerated going by the posts in this thread. I've been shooting almost exclusively fashion and beauty with my P25 for the last 6 years and it's very rarely an issue, and when you do get it it's easily fixable in post. I even shot a textile catalog once and out of about 500 shots there were only a handful with moire and out of those only 1 needed extra attention to fix.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Alex Amengual shoots mostly with Aptus-II 6 (28MP) on 645DF

    BTW all current Aptus-II backs in M mount allow for 1/1,600 max leaf shutter speed (and sync) on the 645DF

    IMO you won't go wrong with amy of the backs discussed. An Aptus-II will integrate better with Capture One compared to an older Aptus and its LCD will also be active while shooting tethered

    Looking forward to seeing you MF photos!

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    And now you're getting feedback from actual users!
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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Fred, I've been following some of your threads as you give advice on medium format gear and it's got me mildly curious as to what gear you own and use the most. It seems you have vast experience in digital medium format as you offer a plethora of advice.

    Don
    I currently own Phase One P25+, Phase One AF (still works with film..), Phase One DF, various lenses, but my favorite is the Hassy 110 f2.

    I also use the P25+ with the Fuji GX680 I, III and IIIS. This camera gives me
    SLR viewing and tilt/shift on lenses from 50mm to 500mm. As well as 6x8 film.
    The lenses are sublime and the control afforded by tilt, shift, swing etc is unmatched in any other MF system.

    I will rent other backs here and there.

    I shoot about 75% digital and 25% film. I generally shoot film for most important shoots. For L'Oreal for example I would often shoot 8x10 film.

    I have been shooting for 30+ years. I have consulted for various photography companies and have been sponsored by Polaroid as well as paid to be a testimonial for their pro ad campaign. I also work in motion pictures in various rolls including visual effects supervisor.
    Last edited by FredBGG; 15th February 2012 at 00:38.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoRepse View Post
    Oh please, the moire issues of the 22mp backs are not that bad. Yes you do get moire, but its not as if it dominates every frame. And when it does occur, the localized adjustments in C1 do an excellent job of getting rid of it. It is a very rare image you cannot fix. And you can always shoot f18 or so, where it disappears from diffraction. The used kit should be wonderful. Spending (a lot) more for the 33mp back would be a serious waste of money in my opinion. The resolution increase is marginal. The only advantages I can find (having owned an aptus22 and tested the II-7) are better high iso performance and indeed more resistance to moire. And don't rule out the smaller sensors. Bigger is better for shallower DOF, but if you stop down it doesn't matter. You get used to the sensor size in either case. In short, I suggest getting the cheapest kit you can find. It'll be great!
    Well said....

    No need to spend more on the 33MP. It's nice, but the difference is not that big at all. You really need to double the MP count to see noticeable increases in resolution. For a young fashion photographer the difference would be best spent going to shoot in Paris and Milan for a couple of seasons.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Moire can actually occur on any sensor, including those with a strong AA filter - the AA filter just dramatically reduces it's occurrence (along with softening every image it captures).

    I strongly disagree with "just a little less" in your statement. A 33mp sensor will moire far less frequently than a 22mp sensor. If moire is a concern (e.g. shooting people at f/5.6-f/11) then a 33mp sensor is a huge advantage over a 22mp sensor.
    Huge difference is as others have stated and exaggeration. The difference in pixel density between these two sensors is quite small. While the 33 will be slightly better you are still talking about a modest difference in linear resolution.

    6726 pixels for the 33 MP and 5356 pixels for the 22 MP. That is not a nigh and day difference.

    Bayer array sensors , with or without AA filters are prone to moire. Moiree occures because all colors are not sampled in the same spot.

    However there are new sensor colors arrays that dramatically reduce moiree.

    Multi shot sensors like the Hasselblad and Sinar ones virtually eliminate moiree, but only with still lifes.

    Another interesting thing about fabric moiree is that some fabrics will buzz more on higher MP count sensors than on lower MP count sensors. It is a function of what scale the fabrics texture is compared to the sensors array.

    various techniques are used to deal with moiree. For example in motion pictures over sampleing is used.

    Anyway when it comes to stills it is very easy to control in post.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    It is funny how 48x36mm is not a crop sensor and 44x33mm is, especially when 6x4.5 is about 56x42mm and the largest sensor is 53.7x40.3mm. I shoot with a 48x36mm sensor and a 44x33 sensor and there is no real difference.

    But there really is not such thing as a "crop sensor." Now, size matters, but silly definitions do not. Just like film before it, digital is creating its own formats and it is better to learn to work with the format you have than trying to understand it by referencing it to a format you don't.

    BTW, my 44x33 sensor performs much better than my 48x36 sensor even with a smaller pixel pitch. I love my p25+ back and use it, but the additional +4mm and +3mm are not really doing much.

    Get the best sensor in your budget, whatever that may be.

    BTW, the difference in resolving power between a 33MP and 22MP sensor is about 22%. Also look at long exposure limits and noise.
    Last edited by Shashin; 15th February 2012 at 07:23.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Huge difference is as others have stated and exaggeration. The difference in pixel density between these two sensors is quite small. While the 33 will be slightly better you are still talking about a modest difference in linear resolution.

    6726 pixels for the 33 MP and 5356 pixels for the 22 MP. That is not a nigh and day difference.
    Frequency of Moire occurrence is not linear to sensor resolution. That assumes the lens is perfectly sharp, the DOF covers all subjects all the time, and there is no diffraction in any shot. Moreover, since I'm the guy that ends up getting the call when a customer has a technical question or issue, I have experience with many many photographers with various resolution backs, so I have a broad sample size of real world experience to draw on.

    In the real world moire happens far less frequently as you increase resolution. Any sensor can moire, and it's even very possible (as you say) that a specific subject will moire on a high res sensor and not a low-res sensor. But when measured by "how often it's a big issue" a 33mp back is a significant improvement over a 22mp back.

    Maybe I shouldn't have said "huge" as I have no way to directly quantify it. But I would argue to the death it's not "small" and is well worth mentioning to someone if they shoot fabrics and are considering an entry-level back.

    Here I am in the odd position of arguing that an issue with a product we sell is moderately more annoying than others are saying it is. Who woulda thunk. That's the company ethos though at Capture Integration, tell it like it is .

    Though I do agree with your overall point that moire is more often talked about than experienced and the vast majority of the time it occurs the software fix is very simple.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    It is funny how 48x36mm is not a crop sensor and 44x33mm is, especially when 6x4.5 is about 56x42mm and the largest sensor is 53.7x40.3mm. I shoot with a 48x36mm sensor and a 44x33 sensor and there is no real difference.
    I try to remember to refer to the 48x36 as a 1.1 crop sensor. If I ever fail to remember to do so please let me know why!

    Regarding "full frame"
    41.5 x 56.0 - Nominal film gate size of a Mamiya/Phase 645
    40.4 x 53.9 - P65+

    That leaves half a mm on the left and right and a smidge more than a mm on the top and bottom.

    More over the viewfinder of the Mamiya 645 was very close to 100% coverage but not exactly 100%, so the end result is that if you put a P65+ on a Mamiya 645 the viewfinder will be exactly what you get (without a mask).

    In other words What You See is What You Get. If that doesn't qualify as "full frame" I don't want to be involved in a conversation about what would.

    Now all that said the practical differences I find in using a 1.0, 1.1, or 1.3 crop sensor:
    - the larger sensors see more of the weak areas of the less-sharp wide angle lenses. So if you go large sensor and you want to shoot wide angle you need to invest in the best wide angle glass available to take advantage of it. At mid-wide and longer this is a moot point.
    - when shooting wide open a 1.0 or 1.1 sensor has a significantly shallower depth of field when filling the frame with the subject, as compared to a 1.3 sensor. If you rarely shoot wide open this won't be especially important. The look of the 150mm f/2.8 lens on a 1.0 or 1.1 sensor, shot wide open, is very hard to match.
    - it's nice to look through a larger viewfinder. You notice this the most when, like me, you work with a dozen cameras a month. 1.3 to 1.0 especially is a pretty large change in the size of the viewfinder.
    - if your back is against the wall (literally - as in you're shooting e.g. an interior of a yacht) and you're using the widest lens you have in your bag, if you're using a 1.3 crop sensor you will REALLY wish you had a 1.1 or 1.0 :-)

    I also feel the "medium format" ness of the image is strong on the 1.0 and 1.1 crops vs. 1.3. But I've never tried to directly compare this, and to be honest the terminology and effects involved are very vague "feeling" is the best you say. So I would not make a big deal of this aspect.

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    Last edited by dougpeterson; 15th February 2012 at 09:13.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Doug, I have no argument that size matters. I have no real problem saying the 80MP sensors are 6x4.5. But I am starting to feel that the term "cropped sensor" is just a disparagement--I doubt most photographers worked in 6x4.5 where they would really understand the meaning of the crop factor, in fact, I have seen more reference to 35mm equivalents for angle of view than 6x4.5 equivalents. 4x5 is no more a "crop" format of 8x10, as 44x33 is somehow less than MFD. And I am getting not much more "medium formatness" with a 48x36 sensor? And then image qualities cut both ways where having more DoF or less DoF, for example, is rather personal, especially since most of the work I see around here has really deep DoF.

    As far as your rounding goes, I really am not impressed. Why do you round down for the 44x33 format to 1.3, when the crop factor is 1.27, but you round up for 48x36 to 1.1 when the crop factor is 1.16 (based on the 70mm diagonal of the 6x4.5 image area). It should be 1.2. So the question is how big a deal is the difference between 1.16 and 1.27? If we use your numbers, 1.1 and 1.3, the difference is 18%, if mine, the difference is 9%.

    But buying a MFD back/camera is complex. Size is important and the bigger the better. Pixel resolution, pixel pitch, ISO limits, long exposure limits, and microlenses can be equally important and in some cases more than a 9% difference in crop factors.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    That is the way the industry rounds the numbers up for 1.3 and 1.1 that is not a Doug call but a industry one that comes from the OEM's. As far as Moire the bottom line and I tested this the bigger the Microns (9) the more susceptible to Moire given the same subject than compared to a 7.6, 6. and 5.2. It seems from what I have seen the lower the Microns the less the effect even though they all may Moire on the same subject the effect is less with the lower Micron sensors. I tested this awhile back with a 22, 31,39 and 40mpx sensor and the P40 at the time was far less evident in the file which is a 6 micron. It also has a lot to do with the lens performance the better the lens the more you can Moire as it hits the Nyquist limit. Now on crop sensors it is actually quite meaningless in some cases the P40+ performs exactly like the P65+ except the difference being 20mpx has been cut out. In this case size only matters as more MPX are being thrown at the file. It would have nothing to do with Moire as they are the same pixel pitch. Now take a 31mpx sensor compared to the 39mpx Kodak sensor than you will have a difference as micro lenses have been added to the 31mpx. So the size thing has some meaning but only if there is a change to the sensor itself which in this case both H and P did add micro lenses so the performance is different than the 39mpx sensor and in this case it does affect the ISO noise levels as well. The P40+ and P65+ outside the size than it is identical in performance.
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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Doug, I have no argument that size matters. I have no real problem saying the 80MP sensors are 6x4.5. But I am starting to feel that the term "cropped sensor" is just a disparagement--I doubt most photographers worked in 6x4.5 where they would really understand the meaning of the crop factor, in fact, I have seen more reference to 35mm equivalents for angle of view than 6x4.5 equivalents. 4x5 is no more a "crop" format of 8x10, as 44x33 is somehow less than MFD. And I am getting not much more "medium formatness" with a 48x36 sensor? And then image qualities cut both ways where having more DoF or less DoF, for example, is rather personal, especially since most of the work I see around here has really deep DoF.

    As far as your rounding goes, I really am not impressed. Why do you round down for the 44x33 format to 1.3, when the crop factor is 1.27, but you round up for 48x36 to 1.1 when the crop factor is 1.16 (based on the 70mm diagonal of the 6x4.5 image area). It should be 1.2. So the question is how big a deal is the difference between 1.16 and 1.27? If we use your numbers, 1.1 and 1.3, the difference is 18%, if mine, the difference is 9%.

    But buying a MFD back/camera is complex. Size is important and the bigger the better. Pixel resolution, pixel pitch, ISO limits, long exposure limits, and microlenses can be equally important and in some cases more than a 9% difference in crop factors.

    No argument from me about any of this. We post the specific sensor sizes on our website for those that want to be very precise (Leaf / Phase), and, more to the point, in our Printed Product Guide we just show a scale-model of the various sensor sizes (much more informative than the numbers). We really need to get that diagram on our website; I'll talk to our Web Master (o crap, that's me).

    Picking a back is complex and I totally agree sensor size is only one of important factors!

    (as a trivial aside, I'm using the film gate of the Mamiya 645 as my reference for "full frame" which leads to slightly different numbers than yours and only serves to show that there are many valid ways of thinking about it)

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Doug, I have no argument that size matters. I have no real problem saying the 80MP sensors are 6x4.5. But I am starting to feel that the term "cropped sensor" is just a disparagement--I doubt most photographers worked in 6x4.5 where they would really understand the meaning of the crop factor, in fact, I have seen more reference to 35mm equivalents for angle of view than 6x4.5 equivalents. 4x5 is no more a "crop" format of 8x10, as 44x33 is somehow less than MFD. And I am getting not much more "medium formatness" with a 48x36 sensor? And then image qualities cut both ways where having more DoF or less DoF, for example, is rather personal, especially since most of the work I see around here has really deep DoF.
    Very valid points. DOF (when you want more) is the big trade off with larger sensors. It definitely cuts both ways.

    But the "cropped" in this case basically just refers to the fact that most of the bodies that these backs are used on were designed for 645 film and have viewfinders, lenses, and accessories designed around a full 645 frame. Take a Mamiya 645AFD and slap a digital back on with a smaller-than-645 sensor and you are essentially cropped in.

    But it's really just semantics. "1.1 crop" is the best way (read: a succinct and relatively clear way that requires little explanation) I've found to describe that size sensor. Using the mm sizes make it very hard (and requires active thought) to visualize the relative sizes for most users (I've found).

    Maybe I should just attach the sensor-size-comparison graphic to every post where I reference a sensor size (which is by far the best way to show and describe a certain sensor size IMO), but that seems a bit overboard.

    Anyway it sounds like we agree on most points and at the end of the day there is no perfect way to quickly summarize detailed information. We just disagree on what the less imperfect way would be.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Here I am in the odd position of arguing that an issue with a product we sell is moderately more annoying than others are saying it is. Who woulda thunk. That's the company ethos though at Capture Integration, tell it like it is
    Then I think it is also very important to tell a young photographer on a budget that moire removal is a few clicks away. Capture One does a great job and it is general not a particularly destructive correction..... and it's free when you buy a back.

    Another important point to make is that once you have a MF format camera with a close to full frame sensor you can easily and relatively inexpensively rent a 65 or 80 MP back. The camera will feel just the same. here in LA there are many product photographers with high MP count backs that also work as digital techs/assistants and can come along with a gear package too. Having a digital tech with state of the art gear on the right job can be far more important than owning "a few more megapixels".

    Now let me add that despite the animated discussion.... I find it is very productive to have people like you with a good forum presence taking part in these discussions.

    While you have plenty of feedback from your clients I have 30 plus years behind cameras shooting fashion and beauty and the A-list. Most of my shoots in Europe take part in large rental studios where there will be three or more other fashion photographers shooting in the studios across the hall.

    Also I lived in Italy for 25 years, so I LIKA TO AVVA A GOOD ARM WAVING DISCUSSION... generally starting with "MAMA MIA!"

    Now I'm off to the CNC machine shop to work on my on my tilt and shift bellows unit to use my Fuji gx680 lenses on the Phase One DF
    in auto stop down mode.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    All fair points. I live for animated discussion and it's been great to read your experience and opinions on the matter.

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    One suggestion is to keep the 5D2 for high ISO shots!!!!!!!!!
    Second suggestion is to get the camera, or rent one and shoot a lot of practice shots before you do a paid gig, there is some differences in the handling in my opinion.

    I would be happy to post shots from my first few shoots with the 645DF/28DM if you'd like

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    That is the way the industry rounds the numbers up for 1.3 and 1.1 that is not a Doug call but a industry one that comes from the OEM's.
    I am sorry, I was not really implying Doug, but Phase One. If Doug took it that I thought it was he that was setting the specs, then I apologize.

    But which industry? Not the camera industry, surely. I worked in that industry and my experience is that they know how to round. No engineer I worked with would round 1.1666* down to 1.1. Marketers on the other hand...

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    Re: Making the jump.. seeking some advise

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Anyway it sounds like we agree on most points and at the end of the day there is no perfect way to quickly summarize detailed information. We just disagree on what the less imperfect way would be.
    It is all shades of grey/gray, and I know you understand that. I just react to exaggeration and absolutes. To simply blast a sensor size for being 9% smaller is a bit harsh.

    But that D800 is going to kick MFD butt....


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