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Thread: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

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    Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Hi,

    i just want to ask if anybody ever went back to a 35mm digital camera after owning and using a digital medium format camera for some time?

    Did you regret it and what was the reason that you no longer use MFD? Did you regret selling your medium format gear?



    Philipp
    Philipp Derganz Photography
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    The viewfinder feels a lot smaller after you've gone from 35mm to medium format and then come back.

    Going back to super-high speed AF is nice though :-).

    I switch back and forth constantly - using each tool where best. Low-light reception photos at a wedding? Canon every time. Fashion-oriented bridal portraits? Phase or Leaf any chance I get.

    What's the motivation of your question?
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    I can understand the question in part - if it refers to simplifying your system and needs.
    Even though I'm a bit of a Hasselblad devotee, I tend to use my Nikon or Fuji X100 almost exclusively - and wonder if I should keep my MF system.....
    If I was a pro doing a lot of studio work, I would keep my MF - no question.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    I'm one of those jokers out there with almost 7 systems - 500CM (film and digital), RB67 ProSD, RZ67 Pro (film and digital), Nikon (F3T, D3s, just sold my D700), NEX-5, X100, Hasselblad H4D-40, and having gone through them, here's my line of thinking

    If it's worth shooting, it's worth shooting with the H4D-40. If there's not enough light, find some, or I bring my own. If it's for casual shooting, the X100 gets the job done. I travel with my 40, along with 7 lenses, and am adding a HTS to the kit, plus the X100, sensor cleaning kit, a bunch of screw-on CPL, UV, VND filters and 150x170 Lee GNDs.

    If I need to shoot an event (e.g. sporting, wedding, birthday, etc), the D3s comes with the trinity zooms, unless I'm getting paid enough to make it worth my while to bring / rent strobes
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    In the film era, I could not wait to get away from 35mm--with the exception of my Widelux. In the digital era, it either is not big enough or not small enough.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    No,
    Never did, just kept adding gear for different circumstances.
    But I might now just use a D800 for my model shoots but keep using the MF for landscapes and architecture with the tech cam.
    -bob

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    As a photographer who only after a few years left 35mm and went medium format in the form of a Bronica SQAi as a student, then into a professional studio shooting 5x4, 6x7 and 645 film, moving onto a Lightphase/Mamiya RZ and ending with various P backs with Mamiya AFD's I considered myself to be a pretty die hard MF shooter.

    When the time came to set up on my own, due to the investment needed to buy everything from scratch, my only option was to go back to 35mm and a Canon 1DsIII. The file quality can be superb from 35mm if you know how to get the best from the format but it always lacked something.

    My only parting comments would be after spending 3 years of trouble free photography and the Canon's paying for themselves many times over producing some amazing quality work it still hasn't stopped me coming home again and back into the Phase One stable.

    Now I run 35mm and MFD side be side and the job mainly dictates the format but I'd shoot everything MF if I could.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Yes, I've had a couple of occasions where I was without a MF solution and relied on a 35mm DSLR. First was when I left MF film behind for commercial reasons and tried to use a pro spec 35mm Canon. It didn't work out ... so I then got a MFD and was happy again. Then I made the same mistake when 35mm DSLRs increased to FF with a high meg count. That also didn't work for me, and I went back to MFD .... this time a Hasselblad H system ... the same system I still use (mostly tethered in the studio).

    I will NOT be lured into the same mistake a third time.

    I have a full blown 24 meg FF 35mm DSLR system with two bodies, and lenses from 16mm to 500mm including 3 zooms. Other than wedding work (mostly with speed-lights), I rarely use it for anything else. It is also the least inspiring tool I own ... I just simply don't like it all that much.

    The 35mm digital Leica M9 is my "small kit" which I also use at weddings and travel or any casual walk-about or street shooting ... almost never use it with flash. I like it a lot because it inspires spontaneous adventures and is easy to take with.

    I agree that if it's worth shooting then put the big gun on the job ... if it's casual snapshots and such, then a most anything will work for Facebook uploads and such.

    (BTW, I now have a Leica S2 and that sort of collapses all these systems down into one solution ... optics like the M9, handling like the 35mm DSLR, and bigger sensor IQ like the MFD systems. BE nice if someone would bring out a less expensive camera like this so more folks could indulge in the same experience).

    -Marc
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Thanks Marc for those insightful comments - saves us making the same mistake!

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Personally, I think it's the MFD cameras themselves that have left many photographers dismayed by their purchase, and want to switch formats, and not so much the DB's themselves. Although, what's up with the IQ 180? It matters on what the final product or desired result will ultimately be. Nikon is ultimately going to change the MFD market, when you look at value to quality. Now, if they produce lenses to specifically match the sensor, then I'm in. Although I'll continue to shoot MF film too.

    The D800 is "the cheapest MFD camera available"-DXO.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    The D800 is "the cheapest MFD camera available"-DXO.
    That's like saying that a 500 bhp Chevy is the cheapest Ferrari available
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    That's like saying that a 500 bhp Chevy is the cheapest Ferrari available
    That's not a bad analogy, as it was the performance and ease of Ferrari's cheaper competition that eventually forced them to improve the driver experience.

    --Matt

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    IMHO it's horses for courses. There is no single "do it all" camera. I break it down as follows:

    1) For ultimate image quality: the best tech lenses in front of a current generation digital MF back. (For me this is an Arca RM3D, Schneider and Rodenstock Digital HR lenses and a Phase IQ180 back.)

    2) For ultimate speed and convenience: the best DSLR with the best contemporary lenses you can put in front of it. (For me, this is currently a Nikon D800 and a few Nikon lenses.)

    3) For moderate speed/convenience with exceptional image quality: MF body with best glass and current gen MF digital back. (For me, this is a Phase DF body and Schneider LS glass and the IQ180 back.)

    4) For just simple and convenient snapshots: Any of the decent P&S cams. (For me this is a small Olympus or Panasonic, but both are quickly being obsoleted by my iPhone 4S.)

    5) Best balance of good Image Quality, low cost and convenient to use: any good M4/3rds kit. (For me, I no longer have one because of owning all of the other options.)

    Of the above, the last one to go for me would likely be #4. Hands down though, the second last one to go would be #1 and it would not go without a fight.
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    IMHO it's horses for courses. There is no single "do it all" camera. I break it down as follows:

    1) For ultimate image quality: the best tech lenses in front of a current generation digital MF back. (For me this is an Arca RM3D, Schneider and Rodenstock Digital HR lenses and a Phase IQ180 back.)

    2) For ultimate speed and convenience: the best DSLR with the best contemporary lenses you can put in front of it. (For me, this is currently a Nikon D800 and a few Nikon lenses.)

    3) For moderate speed/convenience with exceptional image quality: MF body with best glass and current gen MF digital back. (For me, this is a Phase DF body and Schneider LS glass and the IQ180 back.)

    4) For just simple and convenient snapshots: Any of the decent P&S cams. (For me this is a small Olympus or Panasonic, but both are quickly being obsoleted by my iPhone 4S.)

    5) Best balance of good Image Quality, low cost and convenient to use: any good M4/3rds kit. (For me, I no longer have one because of owning all of the other options.)

    Of the above, the last one to go for me would likely be #4. Hands down though, the second last one to go would be #1 and it would not go without a fight.
    100% agree Jack ... and each person's list would vary based on their style and applications. Mine would read:

    1) H4D/60: Tethered studio applications and commercial location especially with strobes, and to a lesser degree using the 60 back on a Rollie Xact when full front & back T/S is required. This is the IQ money maker, and clients really push these files around.

    2) S2: Some studio, but mostly people work and location people work, and fast becoming my travel choice when I think I can get some library shots ... when we (ever) get the CS lenses, then the S2 will take on more location work with strobes. Incredible optics, easy to use, and weather proof for crappy Michigan weather. I'm using it now more than the 35mm DSLR, and it's creeping up on many H4D/60 uses.

    3) M9P ... always had an M, always will. Main walk about camera, street photography, and does a fair amount of duty for commercial candid and available light event work.

    4) Sony A900s: main-line duty shooting weddings with speed-lights on and off camera, and for stuff that has to be shot but is more routine work. Good AF and reliable as a rock. Hardly pick it up for anything anymore ... the S2 is taking its place, and is taking the place of many H4D/60 applications and uses.

    At this point in my trek, I'd be happy with the M9 and S2. Provides the look I like, and the handling is just fine.

    Nikon just isn't my cup of tea ... when I shot them (D3X), and not now. But then, either is Canon .... and I can barely tolerate the Sony ... probably not at all were it not for the Zeiss lenses. I haven't had a 35mm DSLR grab me by the short hairs in a long while (ouch!) ... so it isn't a brand thing, it's a format thing.

    Different strokes for different folks.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felipe View Post
    Hi,

    i just want to ask if anybody ever went back to a 35mm digital camera after owning and using a digital medium format camera for some time?

    Did you regret it and what was the reason that you no longer use MFD? Did you regret selling your medium format gear?



    Philipp
    Medium format digital is very over rated. While it did have a significant advantage in resolution and dynamic range that is not the case today.

    The resolution advantage is still there, but it is undermined by rather primitive bodies and their limited autofocus and total lack of image stabalization.

    Dynamic range is now as good as if not better with a 35mm DSLR.

    As for lenses there are quite a few 35mm system lenses that are giving MF lenses a run for the money and for a much better price.

    I shoot with various cameras. 35mm digital, MF digital and large medium format film.

    From a visual creative point of view I prefer the Fuji GX680 with film.

    From a combination of creativity enabled by the combination of mobility, freedom and quality obtainable I love 35mm Digital

    My medium format digital system sort of fits in between, but is nor meat nor fish, but very good.

    If I was only allowed two systems MF digital would be the first to go... especially with the D800 now available... or almost.

    It is really quite amazing what you can do with 35mm digital. here for example is a shot taken with a "vintage" 11MP canon 1ds



    And a crop:



    And that was taken with the inexpensive non L lens 100mm f2 @ f2

    A bit tricky with the limited dynamic range of the 1DS, much easier with the D800
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    I'm not going back but improving what I had in 35mm as I can't get away from it no matter how much I try. When I retire lets talk until than its both.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Every time I test my Canon 5dmk2 against my Hasselblad in the studio with the same lighting, same exposure, as close as I can get to same effective focal length, the medium format wins. Every time. Until I see the difference become a lot closer, I'll have two systems. Will run another test when I borrow a 5dmk3.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Medium format digital is very over rated. While it did have a significant advantage in resolution and dynamic range that is not the case today.

    The resolution advantage is still there, but it is undermined by rather primitive bodies and their limited autofocus and total lack of image stabalization.

    Dynamic range is now as good as if not better with a 35mm DSLR.

    As for lenses there are quite a few 35mm system lenses that are giving MF lenses a run for the money and for a much better price.

    I shoot with various cameras. 35mm digital, MF digital and large medium format film.

    From a visual creative point of view I prefer the Fuji GX680 with film.

    From a combination of creativity enabled by the combination of mobility, freedom and quality obtainable I love 35mm Digital

    My medium format digital system sort of fits in between, but is nor meat nor fish, but very good.

    If I was only allowed two systems MF digital would be the first to go... especially with the D800 now available... or almost.

    It is really quite amazing what you can do with 35mm digital. here for example is a shot taken with a "vintage" 11MP canon 1ds



    And a crop:



    And that was taken with the inexpensive non L lens 100mm f2 @ f2

    A bit tricky with the limited dynamic range of the 1DS, much easier with the D800
    100% true perhaps ... for you Fred. However it is hard to not notice a strange dichotomy ... if 35mm is so wonderful, why do you use a "primitive" MF camera with no AF, no image stabilization, that is so big and cumbersome that it's impossible to use hand-held ... yet prefer it from a visually creative point of view?

    Could it be that you connect with the camera and how you use it?

    Could it be that others have connected with something other than what you use? I know it's hard to believe, but it's 100% true for some.

    Personally I need more, more importantly, I want more ... not to mention my clients are used to, and demand more.

    IMO, 36 meg 35mm ... is not 40, 60, 80 meg 645 ... I can see the difference, that others can't isn't my problem ... what counts is what I see, my work, what I want ... not someone else.

    I use MFD with strobes a lot. 1/250 sync is too slow. When a 35mm DSLR with a full set of Leaf shutter lenses (or some other technology) gets here, then I'll think about it.

    I like changing view-finders, 35mm stopped doing that long ago. I can shoot and set a manual W/B with one button, not menu this, button that ... click, it's set. I can focus wide open on a w/a subject at the very edge of the frame, recompose and it stays in focus, and so on and so on.

    I do not think my H4D/60 MFD kit is a 35mm camera, it specializes in certain things and is VERY sophisticated at those things ... more so than any 35mm ever made.

    The problem arises when people think these specialized cameras are supposed to be like everything else, then get one, complain about not being like their 35mm, and never get to the things that it does better than a 35mm could ever hope to do, and do it without breaking a sweat.

    Or they never needed it in the first place.

    -Marc

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    So we can get great images from an old 11MP 35mm camera. We can get great images from just about any camera. So why the fuss?

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    My own personal journey was from 35mm film to DX format DSLRs (Nikons) and then to 645AFD & Kodak DCS 645M. However, that was a rocky relationship for various reasons and so I returned to 35mm digital, initially with Canon and then full out with Nikon through the D3 family and all the glass. (and Leica M8/M9s as well).

    A couple of years ago I decided that MF digital was where I wanted to be again and so transitioned to a Leaf Aptus 65M & DF, then to Alpa which is what I most enjoy shooting when I have the time and not restrained by airline travel restrictions. Along the way the 35mm gear has gone to fund the spiral into P40+ and then IQ160/P25+ combos and Alpa & Phase glass. I'm actually pretty happy with this combination, albeit with the relatively crude DF vs ANY of my 35mm DSLRs. However, the DF & P25+ combo has been turning out to be a very enjoyable system to travel with.

    With the advent of the D800 I've decided to add that back in to my outfit for the extra flexibility that the system provides. Depending upon how well this stacks up with Zeiss ZF glass I might not invest much further in the couple of LS lenses I'd like to round out the DF. The Alpa isn't going anywhere - I just love shooting that thing with the IQ160.

    So I guess that's just a different take on the 35mm/MF digital journey. I don't have to worry about any commercial considerations with which gear to use (no one is paying except me!) so perhaps rationality isn't so important either.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 29th March 2012 at 16:30.
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    I am seriously thinking about it, already was and the D800 helped very much in this direction. If I keep MF, will be with a DB (IQ160, not the 80 Mp backs) and a tech cam with two lenses, everything else will be 35 mm. Which 35mm: Nikon for DSLR with D3, D3x, D800 once available, a lot of lenses (24, 35, 50, 85 f1.4; 135 f2; 14-24, 70-200 zooms with TCs); for street, Nex 7 with a bolted on Noctilux, Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 3 lenses available (will have the Fuji in my hands next week). I am much happier this way than before with running 4-5 different systems: now I enjoy more consistency between files, better overall system performance and IQ on par or acceptably slightly lower than DMF on my paid work, while for the street stuff I can take the time of playing with the Nex & Fuji files to my leasure - if the Fuji will not fit the bill, I will be waiting for the next M getting a second Nex in the meantime.
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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    IMHO it's horses for courses. There is no single "do it all" camera. I break it down as follows:

    5) Best balance of good Image Quality, low cost and convenient to use: any good M4/3rds kit. (For me, I no longer have one because of owning all of the other options.)
    I'm oh so close to selling it all off and Kwai Chang Caining around with only the G3 + a few lenses!

    Dave

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    FredBGG-

    Your opinion is right on the money, imo. Your images and model casting are perfect too!
    Planned obsolescence is marketing hype, as your images have proven what you can do with smaller MP's. Interestingly, the look of smaller MP's cameras is making its way back into high fashion/portrait shoots. It seems there's a certain character to those cameras that many high-end clients seem to prefer! If your shooting with a clients specific requirement, than you choose the right camera; whatever that might be. From tabletop to fashion, there's a format that shines for each, but yes, MFD, is over-rated, mostly due to price.
    Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 30th March 2012 at 06:22.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    IMHO it's horses for courses. There is no single "do it all" camera. I break it down as follows:

    1) For ultimate image quality: the best tech lenses in front of a current generation digital MF back. (For me this is an Arca RM3D, Schneider and Rodenstock Digital HR lenses and a Phase IQ180 back.)

    2) For ultimate speed and convenience: the best DSLR with the best contemporary lenses you can put in front of it. (For me, this is currently a Nikon D800 and a few Nikon lenses.)

    3) For moderate speed/convenience with exceptional image quality: MF body with best glass and current gen MF digital back. (For me, this is a Phase DF body and Schneider LS glass and the IQ180 back.)

    4) For just simple and convenient snapshots: Any of the decent P&S cams. (For me this is a small Olympus or Panasonic, but both are quickly being obsoleted by my iPhone 4S.)

    5) Best balance of good Image Quality, low cost and convenient to use: any good M4/3rds kit. (For me, I no longer have one because of owning all of the other options.)

    Of the above, the last one to go for me would likely be #4. Hands down though, the second last one to go would be #1 and it would not go without a fight.
    I am assessing my GH2, which, @ f1.7 or f1.8 has as much DoF as my H4D-60 @ f11 (same angle of view)... so I use the GH2 with room light and window light for quick snaps for the internet (and pub/restaurant family shots and during wedding ceremonies), and the H4D and studio flash for quality indoor work.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Philipp,

    As far as I'm concerned you've asked 2-simple questions. Has anyone returned to 35mm and has anyone regretted going MFD. My response is based on that concept.

    My answer is yes, kind of, sort of.

    I had been using MFD for a couple years (coming from Canon 1Ds) first using the Mamiya 645 then a Phase 645 before going to a tech cam (Cambo WRS) fulltime. I sold all my Phase/Mamiya equipment within 4-months of switching to the Cambo fulltime. After using the Cambo for close to 2 years I thought I needed a lighter weight "walk around" system and added a Leica M9. Please with is combination, I used both for close to 2-years before being dissatisfied with the printing limitation I had with the 35mm. During this same time period I upgraded my back from a P45+ to a P65+ and was very pleased.

    Five months ago I rid myself of the Leica and added a Phase DF with a couple lenses for my walk around camera. Coming full circle back to the Phase/Mamiya while keeping the Cambo.

    I have had no regrets whatsoever in making the move to a tech camera and the Cambo WRS. I also feel it was a learning experience (for me at least) in using the Leica M9 before returning to the Phase/Mamiya.

    Having just reread that last part I'd have to say that I might have some small amount of regret having sold the Phase/Mamiya gear in the first place however the Leica did make me money.

    And making money is what it's all about. You need to use the gear you feel the most comfortable with that will get you what you need to achieve. I'm shooting MFD fulltime while my wife still shoots with her 1DsIII - it works for us.

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    Re: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    I am assessing my GH2, which, @ f1.7 or f1.8 has as much DoF as my H4D-60 @ f11 (same angle of view)
    Interesting. Based on sensor size, I thought that the gap was 2 stops between the GH2 and 35mm (2x diagonal) and another 1.2 stops from the 35mm to the H4D (1.53x diagonal), which would put it around f/5.6. But apparently that's not the case?

    DH

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