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Thread: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

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    Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Is medium format right for me?

    I am a commercial photographer based out of Nashville, TN. I shoot mostly for advertising agencies. The vast majority of my shoots take place in the studio. I shoot a mix of both product and people. I have recently started taking on larger advertising jobs that may benefit from the improved image quality that comes from a MFDB.

    I currently shoot with a Canon 1DMKIII, 1DSMKIII, and a variety of Canon L series prime lenses ranging from 24-200mm.

    I feel that after 5 years I am ready to move onto a new camera and have debated the Canon 1DX, Canon 5DMKIII, Nikon D4, and Nikon D800. I think they are all great cameras, but I want something different.

    I am seriously considering the move to medium format. I love the image quality of the files. I see smoother transitions between in focus and out of focus areas, also smother tonal graduations, and more micro contrast all of which I like. I also like the narrower dof that MF allows.

    I do not have a ton of money to spend. I would like to keep this move under the 10k mark the further under that price the better.

    I have been looking at used: DM22, or DM28 with the DF back and the 80 LS lens. I have also been looking at some of the older backs with a AFD II or III body and a P25, or P30. I have also seen a few Pentax AFD bodies in my price range.

    Here is my question coming from a 1DSMKIII will I be happy with the handling of any of the medium format bodies? In reality do these bodies seem as slow as I have been told they are? How bad is the resolution on the back of the camera compared to my Canon? How fast and accurate is the auto focus? How easy is it to manual focus on any of the Mamiya bodies?

    I am also wondering about how much lighting power I need? I tend to like to shoot between F5.6 and F11 @ iso 100 on 35mm to get the same DOF on medium format where do I need to be?

    Also if anyone could point me towards some more MF resources that would be awesome. I would really like to know more about the tech specs of the different backs that I listed and also on the different bodies.

    I would love to handle one of these systems locally but there are not that many shooters in my area that own a MF digital system. I do plan on stopping by Capture Integration in Atlanta some time in June/July if I have a free day.

    If you want to see my work check out my website www.nickbumgardnerphoto.com

    Sorry that was a lot of questions. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quick comments based on the two systems I use the most...

    Mamiya RB/RZ system: The 110mm f/2.8 is an outstanding lens (for my style at least). Cheap second-hand bodies and lenses, and on the Pro-II an extra fine grain knob for focus control. Cons: big, bulky, so it's great on a tripod, but less so handheld (not that it can't be done, just not as easy as other systems).

    Hasselblad V system: pure mechanical goodness, outstanding lineup of Zeiss lenses, small, light, and very robust. Also fairly cheap second-hand, although not as cheap as the RZ.

    I haven't used a digital back on either, but there are plenty of options for both.

    Now... if you want autofocus, the bodies you've mentioned are good, but I can personally vouch for the Rollei Hy6 and its system of AFD lenses. Not cheap by any stretch, probably at the end of its life due to many unfortunate circumstances, but, quite possibly the best autofocus capable camera system available today, especially if you have any inkling of shooting film too. Takes Leaf Afi backs up to 80 megapixel, as well as Sinar backs that were made for it (not sure of any others).

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Welcome to MF and hope you enjoy the move!
    I strongly suggest you find a MF dealer / distributor and rent a few systems eg Mamiya / Hasselblad etc. I would try various systems, before you lock down your options.
    This way you will get to know what you like and don't - and if MF really is for you!
    Once you've made up your mind, check the 2nd hand market - eg hasselbladdigitalforum.com - Index
    H4D or H3D are regularly advertised in the price range you envisage.
    HTH, S.
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Yes, Medium Format Digital will produce a visibly different look and feel compared to 35mm DSLRs.

    Handeling and shooting work flow is also different. The older that the MFD system is, the more different it will be.

    I've worked with various MFD camera/back combinations doing similar work to yours: Product table-top, corporate location, portraits, jewelry, food, industrial, fashion, and conceptual artistic.

    MF Cameras: Contax 645; Mamiya AFD-II and III; Mamiya RZ Pro-II, Mamiya RZ Pro-IID; Hasselblad 500CM, 555ELD, 500CW, 203FE; Hasselblad H2D, H2F, H3D, H3D-II, H4; Leica S2, Rollei Xact-II view camera.

    All sorts of backs from a Kodak DCS ProBack 645C, experience with a Phase One 22 meg back, 33 meg Leaf Aptus 7 and 7s, Imacon backs, Hasselblad 22 meg, 31 meg, 39 meg, CF/39 Multi-Shot, H4D/40 meg, H4D/60 meg.

    My 35mm systems included all Canon models up to and including the Canon 1DMK-III/1DsMK-III, Canon 5D/5DMK-II; then to Nikon D3/D3X; current Sony 24 meg A900 with Zeiss AF lenses.

    I haven't used a 35mm system in the studio for over 5 years. Not that it obviously wouldn't work for some applications, I just vastly prefer the MFD look and feel. I also prefer it for post work, and so do the retouchers. Clients like it because they can crop severely for multiple use in different media, and the fidelity is retained ... which is not just a function of resolution. For example, a 22 meg MFD back produces more elastic and malleable files than a 21 meg Canon 5DMK-II file ... and so on. I only use 35mm DSLRs for shooting weddings and some family stuff, or my doggy running around the yard ... otherwise I wouldn't even own one.

    However ...

    if you expect the same speedy and responsive performance as a 35mm DSLR, forget about it. The question is do you really need it, and can you adapt? Tri-pod table-top is easier with a big bright MFD viewfinder, and is vastly better with the digital back on a full T/S movements view-camera shooting to a computer screen ... fashion with strobes is a no brainer and a zillion fashion shoots are done with MFD ... if you shoot at f/5.6-f/11 just zone focus and shoot ... portraits are also easy. Not great for shooting Hockey in a dimly lit arena, or an Eagle killing something, or a dirt bike race, or the first dance at a wedding in a dark reception hall. Horses for courses.

    If you expect satisfaction for considerably less than $10,000, good luck. Not impossible, but you will need a lot of patience and good hunting skills to be at the right place at the right time. Hunt an advanced enthusiasts who jumps from lilly-pad to lilly-pad every time there is some new development in digital imaging ... the gear is often barely broke in and they dump it for the next thing.

    Personal biased opinion? I'd look for really different not just a bit different. After all the screwing around, I went with the H system, and never looked back. All of the lenses are leaf-shutter from 28mm to 300mm, so I can shoot sync'ed strobes to 1/800th @ ISO 50 which expanded my applications and diversity both in studio and especially out-doors. In your general price range, I'd recommend looking at the H3D-II/39 body, and find a HC 100/2.2 lens ... add a few extension tubes and a 1.7X and table-top/full length or waist-up portraits/head-shots are a done deal.

    Happy hunting.

    -Marc
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    If the only thing you've shot with is 35mm then there's going to be a long period of adapting to a new slower, larger and much less spontaneous system. I do exclusively commercial / advertising / architectural work with both people and products. The majority of my work is very structured so MF works quite well. When I need fast I still have a Canon FF system.

    I'm just guessing but I assume you're young and probably have never spent much time using MF. Moving to MF was no big deal for me having been in this business for Forty five years and shot most of my career with LF and MF until going digital twelve years ago. Over the years my main MF systems were Rollei SL66 and Hasselblad 500 series cameras. Unfortunately there's no digital for the Sl66 but there's a ton for the Hasselblad V series. I bought a new CFV39 back which integrates perfectly with a system I'm totally familiar with so there was little to no transition.

    Since my work is mainly very structured AF and AE were non issues. I almost always shoot my Canons manual as well. I uses a 2x3 Linhof Technikardan for products and architecture and MF gives me that same level of image controll I had when shooting LF film. In the end I'm much happier as are my clients having superior files. After moving from film to digital one of the biggest frustrations was trying to make 35mm fit all my needs. Now I have exceptional image quality and options as to whether I need the ultimate controll of a view camera or whether I need the mobility of the V system. Then if I need speed I have my Canonsto

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Nick you plan on visiting Capture integration. I say that is your first stop right out of the gate. Make that a priority. You can sit and handhold several systems on hand and the guys there can custom fit a system to your needs. Now given your price range I woul be looking at a Leaf back and in Phase a p30,p40 since this can fit pretty close within your budget. Get a Afdiii or DF and a couple lenses. Now you will notice on the buy and sell there are a few listings right now for a DF And a couple lenses and you may want to score one of these setups than you can pick a back at CI used and my guess you have about 5 choices within your budget that will be great for you. But read like crazy here learn all about them but make that dealer trip a must. This way you have everything in front of you can make a sound buy decision.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    You probably just heard from about 300 years of experience here and we are all telling you the same thing . Get it in your hand first
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Also give your self a little more breathing room on your budget. 15 k would really do you wonders on getting the latest and best sensors. I can't recommend a P40 enough here but maybe used around 7-10k depending on age and use. It's the same sensor in a IQ140 and a crop version of the P65 and IQ 160 so a very modern Dalsa 6 micron sensor which is outstanding. Also one I use for the past 3 years in diffrent configs.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bumgardner View Post
    Is medium format right for me?
    Here is my question coming from a 1DSMKIII will I be happy with the handling of any of the medium format bodies? In reality do these bodies seem as slow as I have been told they are? How bad is the resolution on the back of the camera compared to my Canon? How fast and accurate is the auto focus? How easy is it to manual focus on any of the Mamiya bodies?

    I am also wondering about how much lighting power I need? I tend to like to shoot between F5.6 and F11 @ iso 100 on 35mm to get the same DOF on medium format where do I need to be?
    You should talk to Scarpati who lives right around the corner from you and shoots medium format for similar applications. Great guy.

    - Manual focusing is easier - larger/brighter viewfinder
    - Auto focus is no where near as fast, but for studio applications as you describe I think you'll find it is much more than enough to become an afterthought.
    - An older body like the AFD2 is going to have some shutter lag which, depending on your shooting style and disposition, may be either a minor nuisance or a major issue (that's where you keep getting advice to get hands on)
    - P/P+ LCD is much lower compared to your Canon, but if you're shooting in a studio environment the tethering of any of these older mid-res backs is extremely fast and review can be done either on the computer screen or on an iPhone/iPad/iPod-Touch using Capture One's Capture Pilot tool.
    - Not all digital backs have the same sensor size (which determines required aperture for a given DOF). So e.g. for the DM28 you'd need ballpark 1.5 stops more light to match DOF assuming you want to shoot at ISO50 (base ISO) for absolute maximum quality (ISO100 is also very good, but if you're in the studio and have enough lighting for it, why not shoot at base?) for the DM22 you'd need ballpark 2 stops more light to match DOF assuming base ISO of 50. You may find a P30+ matches your needs best (or may not, that's why you need to get hands on) in which case the base ISO is 100 and you'd need less than a stop less light. These are all ballpark figures since DOF and exposure is trickier than you might think (depending on if judged at a given use/print size or at 100%, will you in fact use the same lens equivalence given that they don't always match exactly the same look between platforms etc etc, will you expose the same given the different ability to recover shadows and highlights etc etc).

    Guy is right that you'll get a lot more if you can stretch your budget just a few more k. There is a relatively hard price floor around 7-10k.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bumgardner View Post
    Is medium format right for me?

    Here is my question coming from a 1DSMKIII will I be happy with the handling of any of the medium format bodies? In reality do these bodies seem as slow as I have been told they are? How bad is the resolution on the back of the camera compared to my Canon? How fast and accurate is the auto focus? How easy is it to manual focus on any of the Mamiya bodies?

    Sorry that was a lot of questions. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
    When I add mfd to my 5dmk2 in my studio, the biggest difference in use was I had to think a whole lot more. Yes, there are some disadvantages, but to get the advantages you have to engage your brain a lot more, especially until it becomes more natural. In doing that I believe you improve the quality of your work and enjoy your craft more.
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    The closest thing to the fast 35mm DSLR is the Pentax 645D. In the States, the only new glass is the D FA 55mm and 25mm. Pentax will have a new 90mm this year as well. There is a lot of old Pentax 645 (and 67) glass that can be used on the camera--in Japan and a few other places, that glass is still new. The AF is good on the 645D and manual focus is easy. It has many of the mod-cons you expect to find on a camera--multi-point AF and AE, customizable controls, mirror lock up, PC socket, electronic level, dual card slots, etc.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I have worked in the commercial photography world for about 5 years. For the last 4 years I worked as an assistant. In January I really started making the move away from being an assistant and into the shooting world.

    5 years ago I had the opportunity to test out a wide range of medium format cameras when CI came to the studio to help the photographer that I was working with decide on a camera. The photographer ended up staying with the 1DSMKIII, because he thought MF was to slow.

    From that experience I remember my favorite body being the HY6. A HY6 body is going to be out of my price range. My second favorite body was the Mamiya AFD, followed by the Hassey H.

    Since it has been so long I really want to test out a few different systems. At the time I remember thinking that the MF systems where not too slow for my shooting style. I agree that I have to really get my feet a bit wetter before I decide.

    I hope to handle a few of the different options locally I have found a few people in Nashville that shoot with digital medium format. Then I plan on going to CI hopefully in June if I have some free time. If not it might be late July or early Aug. I wanted this process to move along faster, but I really want to spend the time doing my research and getting it right.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bumgardner View Post
    I have worked in the commercial photography world for about 5 years. For the last 4 years I worked as an assistant. In January I really started making the move away from being an assistant and into the shooting world.

    5 years ago I had the opportunity to test out a wide range of medium format cameras when CI came to the studio to help the photographer that I was working with decide on a camera. The photographer ended up staying with the 1DSMKIII, because he thought MF was to slow.

    From that experience I remember my favorite body being the HY6. A HY6 body is going to be out of my price range. My second favorite body was the Mamiya AFD, followed by the Hassey H.

    Since it has been so long I really want to test out a few different systems. At the time I remember thinking that the MF systems where not too slow for my shooting style. I agree that I have to really get my feet a bit wetter before I decide.

    I hope to handle a few of the different options locally I have found a few people in Nashville that shoot with digital medium format. Then I plan on going to CI hopefully in June if I have some free time. If not it might be late July or early Aug. I wanted this process to move along faster, but I really want to spend the time doing my research and getting it right.
    Man just said all the right things, take your time don't buy a deal buy a system that works for you. Good luck
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bumgardner View Post
    5 years ago I had the opportunity to test out a wide range of medium format cameras when CI came to the studio to help the photographer that I was working with decide on a camera. The photographer ended up staying with the 1DSMKIII, because he thought MF was to slow.
    That means we've met! I was there with Chris Lawery and Dave Gallagher (I used to work at CI) at that studio test.

    I also remember his shooting style was pretty fast (not a good or bad thing; just a particular style) which wasn't well suited for medium format.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    That means we've met! I was there with Chris Lawery and Dave Gallagher (I used to work at CI) at that studio test.

    I also remember his shooting style was pretty fast (not a good or bad thing; just a particular style) which wasn't well suited for medium format.
    Doug I thought that we had met. There were a ton of people at the studio that day. I was the new second assistant. I think I was slightly terrified when I tried out each of the cameras. That morning I may have had a camera with a 70-200 thrown at me (it was already broken).

    Sadly we moved out of that studio about two years ago. That studio has been turned into cubicles

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I made the decision about 2 years ago ....

    I was shooting a D300 Nikon with a 24-80 2.8 zoom, and often a good range of primes.

    At that time, the question was go to a 8K Nikon body, or a 4K Mamiya ZD setup. After a bunch of looking at images, and a few raw dumps, with having never held a Mamiya, I picked the ZD over the D3X. After about a year of shooting, I could not put up with the issues, and got a P30+, and now I can shoot as fast as I want to, and tethered. I'm all in the deal for about 11K now, and I really feel that for what I do in the studio, not much else is needed. Hard for me to justify a DF body as I don't need the leaf shutters, the D lenses are really nice, but for fine art figure, I have never seen much uplift ( landscape/art repro/product are all different beasts)

    The ADF-II body AF/ergonomics have never been an issue in my studio work. Some argure that the Hasselbalds are superior, as mine's not broken, I see no need to fix it.



    I only shoot primes on the AFD, and I have a 35/80/150 set up that I'm really happy with.

    For the way that I shoot, with a fast card, I almost never can out shoot the camera/back, and then only under natural light. My strobes are the limit when shooting not the camera/back. That said, I only have a 30mpix back.

    I have simply found that the files are so much sweeter from the Phase than the Nikon, that was true of the D3X, and I'm going to guess, much the same will be true of the D800, the extra 6mpix is small, the extra 5K is big.

    Much of my work is converted to black and white, and is very high contrast, I find that both the shadows and the highlights hold detail better on the Phase that with the few tests I did with the Nikon D3X.

    I have work with capture integration before, and as you are in Atlanta, go see them! Set up a test shoot, get a bunch of files, download Capture One for free and play.

    Doug Peterson is a great guy to work with, and if you can capture a bit of his time, he can make C1 sing and dance with your images.

    I did go on a landscape workshop hosted by Guy/Jack, and it was great. FOR ME, and the way I like to work, a tech camera is just not in the cards, but who knows for YOU, so the decision that I made with a P30+ vs the P40+ turns out to be the right one. From all I have read and tested, to get the frame rate, you need to live with the crop. I'm sure one of the tech folks will chime in if I'm wrong.

    As to the price range, these days, it's easy to get into a AFD/DF setup with a couple of non-D primes at well under 10K, still not the under 5K that a D800 and the same primes will cost.

    If you want links to my site with some fine art work, drop a note.

    Dave

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I'm going to throw in something completely different.

    First of all don't expect either the build quality or functionality of your Canons in MF cameras.

    The Phase one backs have very good build quality, but the camera system does not come close.

    Regarding manual focus it will be a bit better than doing so with a 35mm DSLR, but don't expect high accuracy unless you use a waist level finder with a higher magnification waist level finder.

    You also need to keep in mind that the Phase One cameras only have focus points in the center area of the screen and do not indicate which one is locking focus.
    With only center focus points do not expect focus to be accurate if your subject is out of the center area of the frame and you are shooting shallow depth of field with lenses under 100mm.

    I took a look at your work and I see you do fashion/portrait and product as well as music.... MUSIC... hey you're in Nashville... got to be music in there.

    You might want to consider something a bit different.

    You have top of the line 35mm DSL and with the best L lenses your getting quite close to MF quality along with great versatility and unmatched reliability.

    How about a system that gives you more creative options that a 645 MFD.

    Two options are the Mamiya RZ and better still the Fuji GX680.

    Both these cameras would give you both MFDB through an adapter but they would also give you the option of shooting larger medium format with film, something that would give you a totally different look to digital MF or 35mm.

    Both are bulky... the Fuji being the bulkier of the two.

    Both let you shoot vertical and horizontal with either a prism or a waist level finder without rotating the camera.

    The Fuji gx680 would also give you tilt and shift on all it's lenses as it is built into the camera.

    Tilt shift on your whole system has huge advantages.
    Say you are shooting two people on different planes and you want both in focus while shooting shallow depth of field.
    Tilt shift is also so important in product photography.

    Also another very empowering option for the Fuji gx680 is shooting with a stitch back and a MFDB. You could get the Phase One p25 and for still product shots you can get 44 MP shots that look amazing due to a virtual format twice the size of a 645.

    Now for the best part. The Fuji gx680 used even in mint conditions is inexpensive.
    Absolutely amazing lenses like the 180mm 3.2 can be found for about $ 300.
    These lenses are made by Fuji that makes the lenses for current Hasselblad H cameras.

    Here is a Fuji GX680 with a phase one back on it.



    Here are two shots shot wide open. One with Tilt shift and one without.





    Here I used the tilt to shoot wide open with shallow depth of field (for athmosphere) and kept the pianist and singer in focus.



    Here is that the tilt shift mechanism looks like.



    Here is a photo of mine with a crop so you can see what the camera is capable of as far as detail goes even with film.





    and another:



    crop

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Fred thanks for pointing out an alternative route. I have considered the Fuji GX680 system before. During my first foray into medium format in college I did lust over a Fuji GX680 for awhile. I don't doubt that the Fuji is a great system. If there were sensors out there that could fill that 6x8 frame and they were affordable I would def consider it. However with the current size of sensors I think it makes more sense for me to choose the from one of the smaller 645 size bodies. I do actually have an old MF system the old Mamiya 1000s system. I wish that when I was in college i would have considered the possibility of going MFD one day but since I did not I have a system that can not accept a digital back. I also have movements covered by two 4x5 cameras that I have and love to use when the occasion arrises.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Yes, Medium Format Digital will produce a visibly different look and feel compared to 35mm DSLRs.

    Handeling and shooting work flow is also different. The older that the MFD system is, the more different it will be.

    MF Cameras: Contax 645; Mamiya AFD-II and III; Mamiya RZ Pro-II, Mamiya RZ Pro-IID; Hasselblad 500CM, 555ELD, 500CW, 203FE; Hasselblad H2D, H2F, H3D, H3D-II, H4; Leica S2, Rollei Xact-II view camera.

    All sorts of backs from a Kodak DCS ProBack 645C, experience with a Phase One 22 meg back, 33 meg Leaf Aptus 7 and 7s, Imacon backs, Hasselblad 22 meg, 31 meg, 39 meg, CF/39 Multi-Shot, H4D/40 meg, H4D/60 meg.

    -Marc
    Anything good is expensive or difficult to find.

    Yesterday (until I bought the digiback) there was a Sinar P3 (£3,500) complete with sliding back (£4,000), Sinaron 120mm Macro with electronic shutter ¿2,500? and Sinar 54H 22Mpx single to 88Mpx 16 shot digital back ¿20,000? all cables and demonstated to work for £5,500. This is good stuff, but tethered only, so it would not do everything for you.

    The Sinar 86H is an easy upgrade from the 54H.

    The Hasselblad Flexbody is a great little tool if you can find one, but slow.

    I have been collecting bits on eBay for about a decade, and now have a complete Sinar system, including the LC shutter for daylight live view.

    The Hasselblad H4D-60 is a great studio camera, hand held, on a tripod or on a view camera... but not cheap, and the H4D-40 is better for hand-held ambient.

    Try to avoid spending a great deal of money on something frustratingly slow that is not significantly better, and/or buy a system you can upgrade with a better back when you can find or afford one.

    If any keen young pro in the UK Midlands has the same problem... get in touch... as I have the kit but I have a heart condition and I lack the energy to get out and use it.
    Last edited by dick; 17th May 2012 at 03:41.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    First of all don't expect either the build quality or functionality of your Canons in MF cameras.
    Please be specific. That is rather a broad brush you are painting with. There is nothing about my Pentax 645D that is inferior in build to a Canon. And with a few exceptions like video and live view, functionality. Are you talking about Mamiya? Hasselblad?

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Please be specific. That is rather a broad brush you are painting with. There is nothing about my Pentax 645D that is inferior in build to a Canon. And with a few exceptions like video and live view, functionality. Are you talking about Mamiya? Hasselblad?

    You are right about the Pentax 645D. Very nice build, even weather sealed.
    It's limitation is in the sensor size 33x44mm puts it barely bigger than a full frame 35mm DSLR. That said it's still not the build level of a Canon 1d series camera, but we are talking about two different types of cameras.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    The 645D sensor area is closer (proportionally) to full frame 645 than it is to 35mm.
    The 645D, IQ140, and IQ180 are 1.68, 2.08, and 2.52 times the area of full frame 35mm, respectively.

    Yes, bigger is better, as long as the lenses are up to the task.

    --Matt

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    The 645D sensor area is closer (proportionally) to full frame 645 than it is to 35mm.
    The 645D, IQ140, and IQ180 are 1.68, 2.08, and 2.52 times the area of full frame 35mm, respectively.

    Yes, bigger is better, as long as the lenses are up to the task.

    --Matt
    But 6 x 8 cm film has an area almost 3 times that of the sensor in the 645D and 4.8 times that of a 35mm sensor. If one is to take the debate about "sensor" sizes seriously, the largest medium format cameras must be considered a different class of cameras compared to digital MF. Having both probably makes sense for some.

    From a financial point of view, unless one produces a very large amount of MF photos, a comparison to an IQ180 doesn't make much sense. The back alone costs ten times as much as a very nice GX680 or RZ with lenses and all. For the $40,000 change, there's room for buying enough film for many years of photography, if one has the patience to wait for the film getting developed and if one likes the "look" of film.

    Where I live, I pay well under $10 per film including developing at the best lab in town. With 4,000 rolls of film (which can be almost doubled if I develop myself), shooting 10 rolls per week, that's 8 years of photography. Then, the IQ180 will of course be ancient history, and the IQ360, the IQ720 or possibly the IQ1.44k will be the "investments" to make.

    Not anybody's cup of tea these days, but for some of us, it's an intriguing way into MF photography for a surprisingly moderate investment (Investment without quotation marks, since I'll probably be able to get back most of what I paid for the system, should I decide to sell it). And yes, I've put my money where my mouth is and bought a GX 680 III and some lenses, a camera than in many ways lives at the crossroads between MF and LF (I believe a Schneider tilt/shift lens for a Mamiya or Phase One 645 costs more than I've paid for my whole setup).
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Film is still a great medium. And if you value format size, there in no better way to achieve that. The Fuji GX680 is a remarkable system. I fell in Love with the Mamiya 6 and Horseman SW612. Both amazing cameras. And medium-format has the greatest range of formats around.

    My transition came from the practicality of running my own color darkroom. The availability of supplies and the problems of disposing of chemistry. So I decided to invest in the largest sensor I could afford, or nearly so. I bought a 645D last year. it has actually proven to be very cost effective. Based on the number of frames I have taken with that, I would have spent approximately $5000 to $10000 on film and film processing (but not printing), depending if I were shooting 6x6 or 6x12. It most likely would have been closer to the $10K mark as I typically shot more 6x12.

    It would be nice to see if sensors could get bigger--I really don't care for more pixels (my 645D files take enough space as it is). However, the reality of that happening and at a price a mortal might be able to afford is somewhere between slim to none.

    The nice thing about the Pentax is the optics have been relatively cheap to get and they certainly can match the sensor. There are a few dogs out there, but for the most part, you have a great choice. Medium-format has never had the lens choice of 35mm, but then I don't think the folks using medium-format have a style that call for every focal length under the sun.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post

    (I believe a Schneider tilt/shift lens for a Mamiya or Phase One 645 costs more than I've paid for my whole setup).
    Yes... The Phase One Schneider 120mm f/5.6 MF TS Lens is $4,990.00

    and with that system you are limited to one focal length for tilt shift.

    With your Fuji it's every lens from 50mm to 500mm.

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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    You are right about the Pentax 645D. Very nice build, even weather sealed.
    It's [sic] limitation is in the sensor size 33x44mm puts it barely bigger than a full frame 35mm DSLR.
    I would not consider the additional 68% area of a 33x44mm sensor “barely bigger” than 24x36mm!
    Last edited by mediumcool; 17th May 2012 at 19:38. Reason: added subscription

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    I would not consider the additional 68% area of a 33x44mm sensor “barely bigger” than 24x36mm!
    While I agree that "barely bigger" might not be entirely precise, the relative difference is much bigger than between 35mm and APS-C which is just over 100% in Nikon's case and more than 150% in Canon's. Still a vast majority of photographers, also professionals, use APS-C rather 35mm and most of those who upgrade would do so mostly for better high ISO performance, an advantage that doesn't apply to MF digital, some for more resolution, an advantage that doesn't apply to reasonably priced MF backs after the arrival of the D800, and then for things like "look", DOF etc.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I'm surprised that this thread has brought out such strong opinions.

    At the moment I am considering the following bodies
    Mamiya DF or an AFD(insert version)
    Hasselblad H except for H3 or H4
    Hasselblad V say a 503 cxi or 555....
    If I can find one in decent shape in my price range a Rollie HY6 I love these bodies....

    I think I would consider a Fuji GX680 if using a back were simpler and it had more fast lenses....

    Backs
    P25
    P30
    DM22
    DM28
    Whatever back is on the H2D39...

    I plan on seeing a H2D39, Mamiya AFD and P20, 555 and P30 locally. Then I will really start narrowing things down.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Look for Plus backs in the P series. I'll bet you right now on what you will buy after you get to narrowing things down some and look for the best value per sensor ability. My bet would be a P30 Plus, P40 Plus and Hassy H40 or leaf pick the same sensor as the the P40 which I think is the Aptus 8.LOL

    I been down this road owned a ZD, P25+, P30+,P40+,P65+ for 2weeks waiting for my IQ160 and shot extensively the P65+, P45+, IQ 180 and now going back to a IQ140.

    Best one all around performer best value for your money given your budget is the P40+ or if you went Hassy the H 40. Just something to keep in mind when doing your homework.

    Hey don't tell my wife on these numbers. Lol

    I know bold predictions but I really want to drive you looking at the P40 as your goal sensors it's a outstanding sensor.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  30. #30
    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bumgardner View Post
    I plan on seeing a H2D39, Mamiya AFD and P20, 555 and P30 locally. Then I will really start narrowing things down.
    My experience:

    I began haunting GetDPI and LL nearly three years ago, and started building a Mamiya 645 system around that time. First a 645AFD from Japan, then lenses when they came up at a good price (all on eBay except for the 110 from B+H): I now have 35 f3.5, 50 f4 shift, 80 f4 macro, 110 2.8 and 210 f4, plus a Vivitar 2x teleconverter ($5 for that one!), all C or N lenses, so manual focus and manual stop-down (that’s the killer). Also have two extension tubes and a spare battery holder.

    My back is an Aptus22, bought on LL (from New York) for about $5K. Total cost of the system was about $6500AU. The Aptus is slow, but capable of fine results. I intend to upgrade to AF lenses as and when they turn up, and when I can afford them. But shooting on a tripod, as I mostly do, the current system works well enough.

    Unless you are very lucky, a M645 system will be the most affordable solution, perhaps followed by a Hasselblad V system, but I wish that the Contax 645 had not died; it seems to have been a great solution, with excellent lenses.

    I considered a 680 to replace my recently-sold Toyo view camera, but decided the weight would preclude use in the field, so will stick to M4/3, Pentax, and Mamiya systems. HTH

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Have you ever done manual focus for the kind of shooting you do? One thing I've learned using an 40 megapixel back is that there is the plane of focus which is 40 megapixels worth and every bit back or forward from that plane of focus you sacrifice serious megapixels. If you get the focus out when shooting with manual focus then even stopped down, you're shooting with far less resolution/contrast/micro detail or whatever than you should have.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Yes... The Phase One Schneider 120mm f/5.6 MF TS Lens is $4,990.00

    and with that system you are limited to one focal length for tilt shift.

    With your Fuji it's every lens from 50mm to 500mm.
    This almost makes a Sinar P3 system look cost effective, as the movements are in the camera so you get a full set of movements with each lens, I think from about 35 to 210mm, or 480/600mm if you count analog lenses.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    While I agree that "barely bigger" might not be entirely precise, the relative difference is much bigger than between 35mm and APS-C which is just over 100% in Nikon's case and more than 150% in Canon's. Still a vast majority of photographers, also professionals, use APS-C rather 35mm and most of those who upgrade would do so mostly for better high ISO performance, an advantage that doesn't apply to MF digital, some for more resolution, an advantage that doesn't apply to reasonably priced MF backs after the arrival of the D800, and then for things like "look", DOF etc.
    I hate blanket statements. I am a professional and I went for a 645D because of sensor size. The OP is also going to MFD. Another member has recently bought a 22/33MP MFDB while knowing of the existence of the D800. Personally, I think the "look" is the most important thing--pixel resolution is overrated. Look at all the Leica shooters that stay with their system basically for the "look." Except for a few photo geeks, the audience is going to evaluate on how your image looks, not because of how many pixels it has nor its high-ISO performance nor its price nor any other tech spec.

    Economics is a practical consideration for anyone. But photography as an art is not a practical pursuit. An M9 is in MFD price range and it is really an old camera/sensor. Why buy one of those when you can get a D800? Certainly the 24MP 35mm sensors did not kill of the 22MP MFDB. 24MP APS cameras don't replace 24MP 35mm cameras. Any camera you buy is a series of compromises. Each photographer is going to define the compromises that are acceptable to them. Personally, I don't really need to shoot over ISO 1600 and that speed is great on the 645D (and marginally better on the D800).

    The D800 is a fine camera. But my photography is not about technical product specifications nor price. It is about the end result, the "look."
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I find it interesting how many folk here and at LL espouse film as a viable MF alternative; I don’t think working photographers can afford to shoot film, unless it’s for their own amusement/pleasure/art. And the OP is a working photographer …

    As has been pointed out, here and elsewhere, pro photography has become increasingly commoditised as cameras get more and more idiot-proof, so the cost of buying film, processing, scanning, and subsequent colour and tonal balancing cannot be worth it for most photographers struggling to survive in straitened times. There are of course exceptions to every rule!

    Where I work, the capital of South Australia, I know of no pros who use film for commercial work—personal work, yes, a few.
    Last edited by mediumcool; 18th May 2012 at 08:09. Reason: changed *and* to *so*.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Have not shot film in at least 10 years. I would be out of business. I don't personally know of anybody as a Pro that still does for commerce. It's just not a option.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Have not shot film in at least 10 years. I would be out of business. I don't personally know of anybody as a Pro that still does for commerce. It's just not a option.
    Another aspect is speed—clients know from their own amateur experience that pictures appear immediately on a digital camera’s LCD screen, and have been known to want copies there and then (one reason I do not shoot DNG+JPEG any more on the Pentax); they often don’t appreciate the time, investment in software/hardware, and skill that goes into post-production.

    No client I have ever known would want to pay more for a job that would take longer to deliver!

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I hate blanket statements. I am a professional and I went for a 645D because of sensor size. The OP is also going to MFD. Another member has recently bought a 22/33MP MFDB while knowing of the existence of the D800. Personally, I think the "look" is the most important thing--pixel resolution is overrated. Look at all the Leica shooters that stay with their system basically for the "look." Except for a few photo geeks, the audience is going to evaluate on how your image looks, not because of how many pixels it has nor its high-ISO performance nor its price nor any other tech spec.

    Economics is a practical consideration for anyone. But photography as an art is not a practical pursuit. An M9 is in MFD price range and it is really an old camera/sensor. Why buy one of those when you can get a D800? Certainly the 24MP 35mm sensors did not kill of the 22MP MFDB. 24MP APS cameras don't replace 24MP 35mm cameras. Any camera you buy is a series of compromises. Each photographer is going to define the compromises that are acceptable to them. Personally, I don't really need to shoot over ISO 1600 and that speed is great on the 645D (and marginally better on the D800).

    The D800 is a fine camera. But my photography is not about technical product specifications nor price. It is about the end result, the "look."
    Very well said! Unfortunately, some photographers have missed that point! Vision, imagination and producing a great photograph is the ultimate goal however, it seems the trend is digging the technical specifications, pixel peeping and corner sharpness! Who gives a damn about the mood, feeling and story of a photograph these days (including myself!)! Most iconic photographs are not razor sharp, noiseless (probably grain is the right word) or shot on the latest and greatest camera of that time!

    Edward Weston could not have said it better! "The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it."

    Just learn your current gear in and out and when you find out it cannot meet your needs anymore, then you might want to upgrade to a different system!
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I don't think I could dismiss film as not a viable medium for a professional. There are certainly hurdles to overcome today. But if you can make it work and structure your work around it, then there is not reason not to use it--it certainly has a look that is not easily reproduced any other way. The category of "professional photographer" is so broad that it is hard to reduce the profession into one acceptable process medium. And some photographer define/separate themselves by offering certain processes--film and digital. I think if I were starting out today, I would probably find it easier with a digital workflow. But since when has photography as a career been easy. And going against the trends has certainly worked out for some.

    I forget, what was this thread about?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I can't structure my work around it, NO ONE wants to wait for it. Most times i HAVE to take my laptop to process right on the spot for clients. Also here in Phoenix. There maybe 2 labs left outside of Walgreens and Costco and closest to me is 40 miles one way. I'm not going to deal with that. Here is my theory you want film my rate just doubled. I drew a hard line in the sand on it. They took my Kodachrome away so I'm done with it. LOL

    I know others feel diffrent this is just my prospective and also my client demands. If I don't there is some guy that will.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Excellent photographers are searching for the right "look", but most photographers, even among professionals, are rather mediocre. I've been on the buying end of photography for many years, and it's more often than not difficult to find photos and/or photographers that qualify as excellent, from a technical as well as an artistic point of view. With surprisingly many photos, it's hardly possible to evaluate if they were taken with an iPhone or an MF camera.

    I'm exaggerating, but not by much. One of the good things with this forum is that the creative as well as technical standards here are very high, so there's a lot to learn for people like me. But I do honestly think that there's often a conflict between the search for continuously improving technical standards and to improve one's skills and get the most out of the equipment already sitting on one's desk. So I've decided against a D800 for the time being because it doesn't offer enough improvement over the Nikon gear that I already have, at least not from a creative point of view. MF film on the other hand, is a totally different world. I will obviously produce less that way, but hopefully, long term, of superior quality. And when commercial clients need urgent results, I do have digital equipment to cater for those needs too.

    It's not a question of either or, but to find a combination of gear that will solve the challenges that are present in each individual photographer's world.

    Economy is often a limiting factor, particularly in this part of the world where many local photographers charge as little as $200 per day. But I've found that the only way to survive is to look beyond that and ask not what the client is willing to pay for a photo, but what he's willing to pay for my photo, and then ask myself: Can I create that photo with the gear I have or with other gear that I can actually afford.

    So instead of looking for ever improving technical perfection, it makes more sense to look for creative development and a personal style, the "look". And if the price of that look doesn't pay for digital MF, I have to find other ways of creating it, be it APS-C or MF film or any other format available out there.

    The gear is not the product, it's the tool needed to create the product, but we all know that, although we sometimes tend to get astray and create needs that don't really lead us anywhere in the real world.

    Now, if I could only learn to live what I'm preaching
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Have not shot film in at least 10 years. I would be out of business. I don't personally know of anybody as a Pro that still does for commerce. It's just not a option.
    This I can understand, but if a pro landscape photographer only takes 10 shots a week and thinks that nothing short of 10 * 8 film is good enough, what would he use?

    For amateurs, and pros taking technically difficult shots, the advantage of digital is instant feed back... do you remember spending a day making several different exposures (using different light sources and filters) on one sheet of 5*4 sheet film, and not knowing if you had got it right till days later?

    I agree that MF film has very little appeal to anyone.

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Have not shot film in at least 10 years. I would be out of business. I don't personally know of anybody as a Pro that still does for commerce. It's just not a option.
    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    I agree that MF film has very little appeal to anyone.
    While film can be a pain especially depending on the area work in. Some places just don't have labs and reasonable stocks of film available.

    I still shoot many of my preferred assignments on film. About 70% dollar wise...

    Here are a few examples of other successful photographers that shoot principally film...

    Vincent Peters Photography

    La novia de Cristiano Ronaldo posa desnuda para "GQ" - YouTube

    Ironically Vincent Peters shot a Sony Digital TV screen ad campaign using film..

    He also recently shot for Italian Vogue, GQ UK, Vogue Spain, Guess Jeans.

    VAUGHAN HANNIGAN represents Scott Frances, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Alessandra Petlin, Giles Revell, Martin Schoeller, Mark Zibert, Kyle Alexander, Braschler/Fischer, Gilles & Cecilie Studio, Floto+Warner and Erik Almas

    Martin Schoeller for Time Magazine - YouTube

    Some of Martin Schoeller's commercial clients include HTC, Lexus, Mercedes, CNN

    Both of these shoot film and mainly MF.

    Film quality while less of the market (dramatically) has increased considerably over the last 10 or 15 years.

    Another interesting example is Gregory Crewsdon. Only film and a saggy 8x10 bellows.

    http://apphotnum.free.fr/N2BE55.html
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Hey Fred, I'd be careful about listing these guys as bastions of film because I know that at least one of them, let's just say someone with a big budget cinematic approach to images, does shoot MF digital too.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Hey Fred, I'd be careful about listing these guys as bastions of film because I know that at least one of them, let's just say someone with a big budget cinematic approach to images, does shoot MF digital too.
    I would be surprised if not all of them shoot digital too, as do Fred. It's not religion. They are different media with different properties. Painting with acrylics doesn't mean that you can't make great oil paintings as well, or even do photography. Carl Lewis was the Olympic Champion of 100 meter and long jump.

    One doesn't preclude the other. The challenge is that of mastering both, having fun with both. Different tools, different opportunities, different results... it's all good. With photography, one can have the cake and eat it too.

  45. #45
    Member Aryan Aqajani's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    These are my favorite film shooters!

    Vincent Peters shoot exclusively film (kodak Porta 160 most of the time) with his Mamiya RZ67 Pro II camera! Here is what he said in an interview;

    "Can you tell us about your material, which camera and lenses you mostly use?

    I never changed my camera since I was 17. I have a Mamiya RZ medium format. I always shoot film you know. I have some clients that say “you don’t shoot digital we don’t work with you” and I’m like okay no problem. But I don’t like digital. I think the whole process did a lot of damage to the industry and there isn’t a single photographer I spoke to who didn’t agree with that. So far I get away with it. I can hardly imagine Peter Lindberg’s career in digital. Or Mario Sorrenti, the king of the room. They would never have had that quality, that vulnerability. The technique defines the art so… If there’s a digital art it’s not my art. I think it does define the expression. Digital is not just a process of capturing images. Digital is a different concept. The shoot is different. Your relation with the model is different. Anyway, I hardly know how to read an email."

    Jonathan Canlas shoot exclusively film with Contax 645, Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and Fuji GF670! He is the man behind, Film Is Not Dead campaign

    Jan Scholz, amazing photographer in Belgium! Shoot exclusively film with Pentax 67 II, Deardof 8x10, Linhof Teknica IV, COntax 645!

    And so many other still preferring that "look" over megapixels!

    No one them (digital/film) has superiority over one another as each of them has compromise like any other tool! Just pick the tool that help you to bring your vision to the world!
    Aryan Aqajani - Photographer in Melbourne, Australia
    Website | Blog | Facebook | Flickr | Vimeo

  46. #46
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    In reguards to film. In college I shot a ton of film. I shot hundreds and hundreds of rolls of HP5 and Delta 100. I also shot a ton of medium format film though a Mamiya 645 1000s. After college I decided that I wanted to go bigger if/when I wanted to shoot film. I have two 4x5 cameras one of them is a Razzel which I love for more editoral looking PJ, and the other is a Toyo View with full movements. I am covered on the film front.

    In that 5 years as a professional shooter I have shot maybe a half dozen jobs with film. I have worked with some of the big names in photography as an assistant and loaded up film backs for them. Overall though my experience with a lot of the big names is they shot a combo of Canon Digital and a medium format camera with a digital back I have been on very few big shoots where film was the primary medium.

    Not that it matters....I am looking for a medium format digital system...

  47. #47
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    bumgardner, I hope this helps. Versatility is the hallmark of SF, MF is still not so versatile, but a lot has happened in 5 years in both formats. For example a Nex 7 in the studio is, even with a 18-200 zoom, a kick in the balls for Nikon/Canon. Whilst the ability to rattle off a few hundred shots in a studio and then walk out and shoot a bunch of usable available light images at ISO1600 can be done with MF. MF can definitely add something special to portraits and not just torso shots, but full length as well as popping super sharp details at a few metres distance against defocused backgrounds. The leaf shutter lenses on MF also add an extra dimension, as does the ability of the system to grow, for example sticking your digital back on a tech cam for interiors, super high quality product shots and more.

    There's a devil in there, as Ben alluded too. The limited DoF might mean you have to change how you work, and that may just not be possible or not worth it. One thing is for sure, you'll not just switch formats in one easy click.

    Rent, try on some relaxed jobs and show the MF files to your clients for feedback. Don't just try a few test shots and nothing else. MF is really special, but not everyone's cup of tea.

  48. #48
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    So here is what I have it narrowed down to.

    AFDII and Aptus 75
    or
    H3DII39

    I am testing a H3DII39 this weekend. I am also going to test out an AFDII but with a P20 back I can't get a hold of an Aptus 75 locally.


    If money were no option I would get something newer with either an RZProIID body or the DF body and a few LS lenses.

    If neither of these systems suit my needs I am going to re-evaluate. I really want a higher sync than the AFDII offers. However for 90% of my work 1/125 is plenty fast...

    I talked to one of my friends who is a well respected commercial photographer that used to shoot MFD. He said that he had to do a reshoot once because of morie? Is it that bad?

  49. #49
    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    I have never had a problem with moiré, but fashion and fabric are the problem areas, so you may wish to do some tests. Which software will you be using to process the results?

    Moiré correction is available in Capture One and LR, and presumably on Hasselblad software as well.

    Keep us posted, Nick!

  50. #50
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Is Medium Format Right for Me?

    One of my first uses of my H3D2-39 was a family session and I did have some moire' in a few images. Turns out it was rather simple to fix. More an annoyance than anything. Funny thing is, a year and a half later I don't remember it happening again. Go figure.

    If you go with the H3d2-39, a nice addition is the BrightScreen split image view screen. When you autofocus and your subject isn't perfect when you half depress the shutter, you manually adjust the lens to line up the split image, then fully depress the shutter. It cuts down focusing errors greatly. Worth the $294, especially after they re-enforced the pins on the screen after I originally had a problem with it.

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