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Thread: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    The absolute best thing about this thread is that we have not mentioned pixel, peep, mtf curve, or lines per blah blah once. Not once.

    This is a debate about cameras and what photographers need as their tool of choice. I compromise every day with my 645df, but I love it, even if it plays up sometimes. I just want to help the MF players make a better product. They really can't do it without us shouting advice.

    Surely a new camera body that allowed legacy backs and existing lenses to still work in some way would be a good idea. I know there are loads of backs on eBay and loads of people who would prefer to use MF if they could afford to.
    I think this is part of the issue is no one is going to build anything for stuff you can buy on e-bay. Just no money in it for them. First and foremost these MF companies are running a business not a charity case we need to realize that out of the gate. They build any bodies it will be for the most profitable avenue they can take and that will usually mean for there latest and greatest backs and lenses. Im sorry to say folks but I see no love for anything legacy these OEMs are going to build. You won't see a new RZ or a new Fuji in jumbo size with a 6x6 sensor either. They will continue to build bodies that actually may get smaller and more competitive. Don't we really all bitch about the size of these things, sure we love you Fuji and RZ guys but you really are a minority to the OEMS. I think we will still see the 645 format and you will not see mirrors anymore and you won't see shutters at all in these new and upcoming bodies. They will be able to shrink the sizes taking those out, they are dated to film which we no longer need a shutter and certainly mirrors could be history as well ( for all intensive purposes film is dead no one is even going to support it come these new bodies). What you may see is CMOS and live view like a A77 cam for instance. For tech cams you just open the shutter than close for capture (maybe).

    Im sorry I just don't see bigger sensors being made as the costs would be higher than what they are producing today. At least thats my take on whats going to happen. Find out probably at Photokinia.
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Guy

    there may be a chance. if people are really willing to pay for custom made digital cameras and someone will make a more standard large sensor (there are some large CMOS even up to 4x5" but these are BW or sensible for X-Ray or whatever) maybe... maybe.... we will see something like a revivial for large cameras, like using vinyl records, get custom built wooden boats or people wearing Lobbs shoes. But this is a very small market. You are right, the companies which need to make a living from this today will not do it.

    We need to get some millionaires explore a new hobby-photography.
    But then didn´t all this start with wooden cameras in the 19th century that did cost a fortune and were made only for he rich ?

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I think this is part of the issue is no one is going to build anything for stuff you can buy on e-bay. Just no money in it for them. First and foremost these MF companies are running a business not a charity case we need to realize that out of the gate. They build any bodies it will be for the most profitable avenue they can take and that will usually mean for there latest and greatest backs and lenses. Im sorry to say folks but I see no love for anything legacy these OEMs are going to build. You won't see a new RZ or a new Fuji in jumbo size with a 6x6 sensor either. They will continue to build bodies that actually may get smaller and more competitive. Don't we really all bitch about the size of these things, sure we love you Fuji and RZ guys but you really are a minority to the OEMS. I think we will still see the 645 format and you will not see mirrors anymore and you won't see shutters at all in these new and upcoming bodies. They will be able to shrink the sizes taking those out, they are dated to film which we no longer need a shutter and certainly mirrors could be history as well ( for all intensive purposes film is dead no one is even going to support it come these new bodies). What you may see is CMOS and live view like a A77 cam for instance. For tech cams you just open the shutter than close for capture (maybe).

    Im sorry I just don't see bigger sensors being made as the costs would be higher than what they are producing today. At least thats my take on whats going to happen. Find out probably at Photokinia.
    I partly agree, but sensors are getting larger, aren't they, although slowly? There was nothing the size of an IQ180 ten years ago was it? Add 13.5mm to the shortest side, and we're practically there, at least with regards to a square sensor. The most important reason why it probably won't happen is that nobody makes a modern camera body for square sensors. There's the H-series and the RZ more or less still in production, but I doubt that anybody would have the guts to take the development costs for a sensor made for camera designs that are decades old.

    The Hy6 was the final attempt it seems, at least for now. The fact that they couldn't pull that off says something about the size of the digital MF market. To me, that looked like the obvious solution. (Or is it still alive? Sinar still has it on their website, "... the advent of a new era...")

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    I don't understand the point of this thread. I thought we were all moving to D800s. (I should mention that is sarcasm)

    I think the original post is brilliant and I have to echo something that Marc said about MF being more like MF. I'm in this slightly weird place where I am feeling somewhat nostalgic for film cameras but I just don't have time to deal with film -- even for personal work. Someone made the comment that the issue with MF is that it is trying too hard to be DSLR, and I think that's true, but it is for a reason and it goes both ways.

    FredBGG has been thumping his chest about ditching MFD for the D800 because the reality is that MFD is a pain in the butt and is still not really MF (Remember way back when MF started at 6x7, 645 was this kind of in-between format and 6x6 got a free pass?). To a certain degree, I think he has a point. The only cameras I have ever sold that I really miss are the GW and GSW Fujis. The film was big enough to be big, but the camera was small, durable and inexpensive enough that I would do things with it that I don't think I would ever do with digital or with large format film. Current medium format cameras are big, but the sensors don't quite have the same look as large film (6x8, 6x9, 4x5, etc.) and introduce a whole new range of problems. There was a certain intimate feel to an older MF film camera that the new ones miss, but the old cameras are not really practical with digital backs. I think when digital gets to the point that we can have a 6x7 sensor, these discussions will be a lot different. Sure, even small MFD is double the size of DSLR, but it is still a lot closer to DSLR in size that what MF used to be. Imagine what a digital 6x17, or for that matter a digital X-pan would be like. Like I said, I miss film cameras, not necessarily film.

    Conversely, DSLR is closing the gap to medium format in all ways -- including the negatives. Cameras like the D800 are capable of near medium format results, but the price, size and weight of those lenses are close to medium format as well. Extracting all the detail from a 36 mp DSLR requires the same effort as it would from a 36 mp MFDB, perhaps even more. The D800 changes the game insofar as it provides a great option both for MFD shooters who used it because of the resolution, but where it wasn't a great fit for them, as well as for photographers who really need DSLRs, but need more resolution than was previously available. I think a lot of the complaining you hear about MFD is from people who use it because they need it, but where it really isn't the best tool for the job. These are the people who are dumping what ever they have now to get a D800. As I have said before, the cost of a D800 system is close enough to a 30 mp Mamiya system that I think a lot of previously DSLR photographers who don't need a fast camera will make the leap to medium format. The weight of a medium format system is a problem for me, but at the same time, the weight of DSLR system makes medium format seem reasonable.

    I think for me personally, medium format keeps getting further and further away. I really don't like the look of 35 mm, but the system price and drawbacks of medium format keep it just out of reach for me. As much as I would love to have more than one system, I just don't think that for my needs it is practical right now for so many reasons. This isn't to say that someone else shouldn't use it or that I wouldn't rent one for a specific job.

    It seems like APS-C is the new 35 mm, full frame high megapixel (24 mp and up) is the new 645, MFD is the new 6x7 and tech cameras are the new large format. I say this not so much about image quality, but about physical size and workflow.

    As Marc and others have noted, price is a real issue with medium format, and is separate from value. I clearly see the value in medium format, but the price is definitely a significant barrier.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I partly agree, but sensors are getting larger, aren't they, although slowly? There was nothing the size of an IQ180 ten years ago was it?
    I'm going to put on my geek hat for a minute, but before I do let me point out that there are far more qualified people to answer that question. Without going into too much detail, putting more photosites on a small chip is a relatively minor R&D and production expense. By and large, it scales with Moore's Law providing that things like test and measurement are able to keep up. Going to a physically larger sensor requires larger dies, larger wafers, new machines, new technologies and possibly new factories.

    What this means in plain language is you will probably see a 200 mp DSLR before you see an 80 mp 6x7, though the latter is fun to think about. As Guy pointed out, large sensors really aren't in the cards until there is a major shift in manufacturing technology away from silicon wafers.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    I'm going to put on my geek hat for a minute, but before I do let me point out that there are far more qualified people to answer that question. Without going into too much detail, putting more photosites on a small chip is a relatively minor R&D and production expense. By and large, it scales with Moore's Law providing that things like test and measurement are able to keep up. Going to a physically larger sensor requires larger dies, larger wafers, new machines, new technologies and possibly new factories.

    What this means in plain language is you will probably see a 200 mp DSLR before you see an 80 mp 6x7, though the latter is fun to think about. As Guy pointed out, large sensors really aren't in the cards until there is a major shift in manufacturing technology away from silicon wafers.
    I was thinking sensor size, not the number of pixels. The number of pixels are going up, which is fine with me, but I still use 7 and 12 MP cameras and film, so the 200 MP forecast (which I'm sure is realistic) doesn't really bring out the big excitement. Larger sensors on the other hand

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    The heart of the matter is building big bad *** sensors. The yields on these are not great and it cost a lot of money to build them from the factory floor to start. Let's say even a Iq 180 today at 43k new we even gave it a huge 1/2 price off the sticker this won't happen BTW but that is still 21k. If you want bigger than that well it will be more that's a given for sure in the current technology. The only real way I see a huge cost savings is CMOS as it is cheaper to build those type sensors . Now we kind of have a great sensor now in the D800 and let's say we went to SONY and asked how big can you go. We would still be looking at a lot of money since with size comes even harder to make in production and get good yields from it. Now I agree maybe a chance to get special order sizes which would be nice but plan on giving up you Beamer for it.

    As it is today we have to watch the trends since I think these are are the best chances to come out of the factories and we see them across the industry. Some of the trends, mirror less, EVF, big sensors smaller microns, pack more mpx in smaller sensors, live view, no shutters in digital we really don't need them we can turn sensor off through timing methods. Higher ISO cams its scary how people talk about shooting at ISO 64000 and there need for it, I still can't grasp that one. Multi format and size sensors like the D800 full frame and a few other size modes. Btw no shutters no worry about high sync it goes away only restriction is flash duration. ( very cool) not available today but it's doable. It's all about turning sensor on and off so some type of timing device to control it but it's electronic not mechanical . Think about that one.

    I just don't know the answers and we all have our wish lists on this and really nothing is right or wrong about it but it will get served to us to make themselves a profit but going backwards maybe just a no go. I guess we need to put ourselves in Hassy, Leaf, Phase and Leicas shoes and think how they would think on what's is best for them to turn a profit.
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    I think the idea of a second phase body that is RZ-like is brilliant... one that also takes their current 645 lenses so that you have the choice of a "box" camera or an "SLR" form factor (current body), but can re-purpose the 645 lenses on either according to your shooting style or job requirements. I'd look very hard at getting back into MF with a body like an RZ that didn't feel as cumbersome when teamed with digital.

    More to the point... the MF companies should really make themselves as different from 35mm as possible at this point. Full frame sensors only, better bodies (and multiple type bodies with same back/lens mount). With the used market so flooded, why not make fewer back choices but with more compelling body choices?

    Did I say that I thought an RZ styled 645 body that takes Phase lenses/backs was a brilliant idea?

    Seems like a great time for them to differentiate. I bet even a 22mp back with the latest electronics/screens/interface would sell if at a good price. When I come back to an MF body in the future, I won't need 80mp... I just want the look/draw of the lenses and those beautiful colors and details I got from my previous aptus @ 28mp (or 40).
    Makes me want to break out my RZ/Valeo 22 again. I forgot what I was missing
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Great discussion!

    From my perspective I would say I take a compromising position between opposing poles here:

    Shooting style differentiation amongst camera bodies makes sense for photographers who use one style of photography (eg. portraiture vs landscape vs sports vs studio fashion): optimization for a style will result in a camera body that is easy to use (doesn't get in the way) for the relevant operations. At the same time I understand the position of having equipment that can do a range of styles to suit a photographer (to cut down on costs, space, equipment, etc). At a stretch I even understand the desire to work with cross-over cameras like the Canon 5D II/I which can do stills and video. On the other hand using video cameras for stills is silly to me due to the severely reduced image size (and thus max print size).
    Although Will Video Cameras Kill Still Photography? Red Epic Vs Hasselblad | Fstoppers shows an extreme comparison of video vs still camera, small vs large sensor size, little differentiation is seen in a small studio test on 8X10" prints. That being said, larger prints would hold obvious differences, and as is mentioned, the workflow is completely different.

    In comparison, I agree that if a photographer wants a certain 'look' (especially from a certain format of camera), then they should use that format. Case in point the DSLR vs MFD (D800 vs ...) arguments.

    My personal opinion of choice of camera is that it should do exactly what you want to do with it without getting in the way. As a result, I actually have several cameras 'of choice' depending on the format, and hence, the use. As a landscape camera on a budget, then I would choose the D800E. That being said, my best-case landscape camera would be a P45+ on a Mamiya DF, mostly because I like doing long exposures and the P45+ can do up to an hour, but also due to the 'look' of MF as opposed to 35mm.
    I'm also very interested in the 6x12 format on a 4X5" view camera, for the availability of a single-shot panorama of high-definition, and the ease of camera movements.

    If we're discussing ever-larger MF sensors, I believe that they will come (possibly even a 6x7cm full-frame), but I agree with Bill Green that we'll likely see 100+ MP sensors on current size (36x48 to 41x54) before a huge increase in sensor size. The market for extremely large digital sensors will be interesting to watch, and when the price comes down significantly, I can see 6x7cm digital becoming common for the professional photographer. Note that as with many other pro cameras they would have fewer megapixels and go for less compacted sensors, for clean and clear images.

    Regarding functionality, it does make sense to make options: eg for an optical eye-level or waist-level viewfinder (swivel), or a separate waist-level attachment, if the market is there. The bottom line is that the demand has to be there, so unless these companies are doing awesome market research, we need to step up to them and say directly, "I want X, Y, and Z, and I'm willing to pay for it."

    Reverse-compatibility is an awesome feature as well that I seriously hope continues to be available to shooters of all formats.

    Anyway, there's my 2¢.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    ... bodies that actually may get smaller and more competitive. Don't we really all bitch about the size of these things...you will not see mirrors anymore and you won't see shutters at all in these new and upcoming bodies ... CMOS and live view like a A77 cam for instance....
    Frankly Guy is right (I didn't quote the whole statement it's worth reading). I am playing with the A77 and already tried (and sold) the Nex7. The A77 has an electronically simulated 'front shutter'. That means there is no phyiscal shutter opening. The shutter only closes to end the exposure. That means zero, absolutely zero movement in the system, none, nada, niente. So Sony have three things I want in my MF Camera. Focus peaking, Superior live view with instant focus area magnification when I grab the focus ring and simulated front curtain. If you've not actually picked up an Nex7, there's a button you press it and grab the focus ring. The camera zooms to the focus spot AND gives focus peaking, you release the shutter and done.

    There's a 4th technology, I can't say I want it but having played for a day with an A77 and used an XPro 1 quite a bit, it is a very important technology. It's the EVF. I was cynical about EVF's and on the XPro you have a choice, but in reality, especially in critial focusing scenarios, EVF all the way. The one on the A77 is amazing, the only limitation I can see is (perhaps) in panning. It's bright and clear, 100% and has more features than you loose by not have an optical finder. In theory you can also put an EVF anywhere and have more than one. I won't go into all the cool things they can do (other discussion) but don't underestimate how valuable they are especially for applications where critical focus or alignment are necessary.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    I'm going to put on my geek hat for a minute, but before I do let me point out that there are far more qualified people to answer that question. Without going into too much detail, putting more photosites on a small chip is a relatively minor R&D and production expense. By and large, it scales with Moore's Law providing that things like test and measurement are able to keep up. Going to a physically larger sensor requires larger dies, larger wafers, new machines, new technologies and possibly new factories.

    What this means in plain language is you will probably see a 200 mp DSLR before you see an 80 mp 6x7, though the latter is fun to think about. As Guy pointed out, large sensors really aren't in the cards until there is a major shift in manufacturing technology away from silicon wafers.
    Current silicone waffers are big enough. Dalsa already makes x-ray chips that are made of 10x8cm chips and they can be butted up to each other. They already make a 30x24cm panel.

    All that would be required is for Fuji to make it's current sensor twice as big and then assemble 4 of them together. It would not be all that expensive.

    How about something like 4 D700 sensors. Could be done under $10,000

    Nikon is rumored to be coming out with a 24MP FF camera that costs under $ 2,000.

    There are now many sensor manufacurers.. the sensor is not the problem.
    The problem is two things

    Can an MF manufacturer engineer the camera body or in Mamiya's case refresh the RZ sufficiently.

    The other problem is that the MF business model is still based on how it started. How much they can gouge the photographer because he is saving on film.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    ...Cameras like the D800 are capable of near medium format results...I really don't like the look of 35 mm...
    Perhaps poorly chosen wording? I'd say small format cameras are capable of near MF resolution (at the moment).

    On a bright sunny day with everything in focus, a P&S is EASILY capable of matching any DSLR, printed from 10x8 up to A3 and an iPhone is capable of matching anything at all if the image goes on flickr, facebook or perhaps in a travel book. It's when you want MORE!

    I think we need to ask some questions.
    - What is MORE and what are you prepared to sacrifice for it?
    - What specifically helps you achieve it, be it a waist level finder or zero distortion APO wide angle lens
    - What are the unique characteristics of this format that set it apart
    - The lower DoF is obvious, but how does the field curvature (or lack thereof) of certain lenses affect an image?
    - What are the best portrait lenses (LETS HAVE A LENS PORTRAIT SHOOTOUT)
    - How are details are smoothed as DoF falls off.
    - How far from the camera can a subject be and still pop it from the background. Should those mountains really be in focus or not, because with MF you can choose but SF cannot?
    - How about Joe Cornish or Julian Calverly or Nick Brandt or Mitchell Feinberg or Drew Gardners surreal imagery (just to pick a few guys who don't do small format). What do they do, how does the format they use affect their work, what do you think about them?

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    I guess you've seen this? There exist large sensors, and this company is prepared to make a photographic camera out of it if someone is willing to pay. Their sensor is 95x95mm:

    [Video] With Your Help We Can Make The Largest Digital Camera Ever | Fstoppers

    The fact that large sensors is made for scientific applications will keep it possible for large sensor digital cameras for those that can pay.

    I guess you also know about Mitchell Feinberg's custom made 8x10" (!) digital backs?

    http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2011/08...e-digital-back

    the cost was said to be "low six figures".
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    [
    Waist level viewfinder.
    Bring back the god damn waist level viewfinder (removing this was a crazy idea, a classic example of making a medium format camera behave like a 35mm one). Stop doing this! Maybe even enhance it with auto exposure & focus. The waist level finder allows for a different perspective; the photographer / subject dynamic changes considerably and it allows for a more compact setup for hand held use. A photographer with a MF camera held to their eye is considerably more threatening than one looking down at a waist level finder. Plus the company makes money on the sales of waist level finders!

    Returning to a part of the original post about a feature that was a defining part of MF. What happened to the WLF and why did photographers fall out of love with? I agree with the points in the original post but some things don't add up. You can get a WLF for a Hasselblad H camera but when was the last time you saw one. It cant be about the metering as so many people use their H cameras in Manual anyway. Maybe we are all too happy to use the camera the way the designer thought it should be used
    In terms of popularity the 45 degree prism for the Hasselblad V was the most commonly used after the WLF, they are nice to use, but, on paper it makes no sense.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Firstly Phase One has access to 3 different modern camera designs that it can use to build a new one from. This could keep the costs down somewhat. There is the Leaf AFi, 645DF and Industrial camera designs. Having read the thread and all the great comments, maybe the EVF CMOS is the way that Phase One should go. In a way the stars are aligning that way:

    - The Industrial camera is a pretty good start in the EVF direction
    - The LS lenses have a Leaf Shutter
    - CMOS production costs are lower
    - Phase One has a lot of R&D in remote capture and display of images (Capture Pilot, tethered shooting with C1)

    In fact if you take the Phase One industrial camera image jagsiva posted, it is not too difficult to squint and see a finder that could attach to the top for waist level EVF.

    EVF might also answer many of my original issues like mirror noise, waist level finders, differentiated design from 35mm etc. I would only ask that they designed it to allow for a big sensor.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    I also wanted to point out that this thread has been view more than 1,000 times in less than 24 hours. We might not all agree exactly, which is a good thing, but it does indicate that there is plenty of pent up frustration out there for MF to start moving in a direction that differentiates it from 35mm.
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    The funktion of the waistlevel finder was to change the angle of the photographers eye to the camera, so he could look from top down to the (mostly) handheld camera.

    This exists today in a much better form and it is called tilting display. If you are keen using it on your eye - get a Zacuto Finder on that -or - get an Zacuto EVF and put it to the eye and use the camera - anywhere - where you want it. Brighter, with better usability and best comfort.......

    I agree the folding WLF was somehow cheap and uncomplicated, but hmmm this is really something you will not miss if you really need to work with this if you got something better !

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    The funktion of the waistlevel finder was to change the angle of the photographers eye to the camera, so he could look from top down to the (mostly) handheld camera.
    I agree with you. When I talk about a waist level viewfinder I was not referring to bringing back the original MF design, rather allow me to compose by looking down rather than bringing the camera up to my eye. From a portrait perspective it is really threatening and harder to have a rapport with the subject when your eye is pressed up against the current Phase One design. So EVF, tilt screen, in fact whatever allows for me to look down and compose.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    I think there can be a market for "luxury nostalgic digital backs", say a 6x7 digital back that goes right on a RZ camera, also a 6x6 sensor for old hasselblad would work. It would be similar to what Leica is doing with the rangefinder cameras.

    The trick would be to have a low enough development and manufacturing cost so it does not become too insanely expensive and that you can do a small number of them and still make some sort of profit. It would be CCD (quite easy to make large) without modern bells and whistles. Probably no more than 40 megapixels or so to not stress out the old lenses and focusing systems. A pretty small company could probably make such a product.

    How large was Betterlight that did the large format scanning backs? I'd guess that making this type of 6x7 digital back would be a similar effort.

    Just need some venture capital... . Somehow I see it more likely that a new small startup company would do this kind of product than that the established players would. Phase One etc is probably more interested in getting a 44x33mm CMOS sensor than going really large CCD...
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    I think there can be a market for "luxury nostalgic digital backs", say a 6x7 digital back that goes right on a RZ camera, also a 6x6 sensor for old hasselblad would work. It would be similar to what Leica is doing with the rangefinder cameras.
    I'm afraid I don't understand this direction from the discussion. Why would it need to luxury or nostalgic?

    It's my belief (and I maybe misguided) that there is a pent up frustration amongst portrait / fashion / (some) documentary photographers who want to use a MF camera for their work. The current offering from Phase One does not offer the kind of functionality that suits portrait work, so the peers I know are sitting with 35mm. Its not something they really want to use, but they are because there is no viable alternative.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Fairbank View Post
    What happened to the WLF and why did photographers fall out of love with? .. You can get a WLF for a Hasselblad H camera but when was the last time you saw one. It cant be about the metering as so many people use their H cameras in Manual anyway.
    Most photographers walk upright on two legs, and when they "see a picture" they put their camera to their eyes and press the button - they do not usually ask themselves if a different view point or height would give a better picture.

    Hasselblad have put many of the camera's functions in the viewfinder - so the camera does not work well without it.

    Still more functions are in the mirror box, including the GPS attachment point... but the latest software does give you the option of more info on the digiback rather than the viewfinder display.

    The Hasselblad V sys was a versatile camera and you could use the Flexbody with most lenses including the Macro 120, and you could buy an "extension tube" shutter... why do they not make their shutter available in an extension tube and as a tech-cam electronic shutter?

    ...but I think, apart from the digiback clip-on battery, the H4D-60 is now a full-implemented working camera?

    ¿Will they support the Sinar eShutter?

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Fairbank View Post
    Returning to a part of the original post about a feature that was a defining part of MF. What happened to the WLF and why did photographers fall out of love with? I agree with the points in the original post but some things don't add up. You can get a WLF for a Hasselblad H camera but when was the last time you saw one. It cant be about the metering as so many people use their H cameras in Manual anyway. Maybe we are all too happy to use the camera the way the designer thought it should be used
    In terms of popularity the 45 degree prism for the Hasselblad V was the most commonly used after the WLF, they are nice to use, but, on paper it makes no sense.
    Yesterday, when I used it for a low angle shot, rather than laying on the freaking ground ... and the week prior when the camera was on a camera stand pointed straight down and up almost to the ceiling of my studio.

    Ever notice the difference in images shot with classic Rollie TLRs and the ubiquitous Hassey Vs verses eye level perspective? Yes, the photographer can squat down or bend over with a 90º eye level finder, but most usually don't ... and their back probably thanks them for that

    They fell out of favor when 645s became the digital platform because they don't work in Portrait orientation. However, when doing portraits with a 60 or 80 meg back, a vertical crop is a no brainer. Heck, once 35mm DSLRs got to 20 meg, a lot of wedding and portrait shooters never turned the camera on its side ... including Dennis Reggie.

    If Hasselblad made a folding WLF with a pop-up mag for the H camera, I'd jump on it ... among other things, the camera would be so much easier to travel with. In short, it just adds diversity and differentiation with very little added expense.

    The Hasselblad V cameras were incredibly diverse MF cameras, with all sorts of do-dads to accomplish various tasks ... same with the RZ system with its vast array of different lenses ... sometime two or three different lenses of the same focal length.

    -Marc
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    I'm afraid I don't understand this direction from the discussion. Why would it need to luxury or nostalgic?
    Luxury was probably not the right word, "exclusive" is better. I don't think it can be a mass product.

    Nostalgic because I think there actually is a bit of nostalgia in this, simple cameras, more focus on look than sharpness etc. Therefore I think it could be possible to sell a 6x7 sensor only 40 megapixels, no LCD on the back (keep down development cost) and intended to go on the existing analog systems. A drop in replacement for a film magazine, no bells and whistles.

    I think this type of product could be possible.

    For the large volume MF market I think DSLR-like performance and handling with more resolution is what will sell to the typical professional. Sure one could drop the existing 645 systems and develop a new 6x7 system complete with lenses and all but I don't find that less likely then some small company doing a special low volume product aimed at those that still shoot 6x7 film to get the look.

    I use a digital view camera. I use movements and tilts in almost every picture I shoot and I find it almost unthinkable to be without these possibilities. Still there are today many many landscape photographers much better than me that don't use movements in any of their shots. I must accept that my interest in view camera is a special interest, nostalgic if you wish, which today is not embraced broadly. I think it is the same with the desire of 6x7 MF, one must accept that it is a special interest and would only sell in small volumes.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Yesterday, when I used it for a low angle shot, rather than laying on the freaking ground ... and the week prior when the camera was on a camera stand pointed straight down and up almost to the ceiling of my studio.
    You lucky ****!

    I can't tell you how often I am on one knee with my eye desperately trying to get near the viewfinder. I end up looking through the viewfinder at 90 deg just to see the framing. If only I could just look down at the camera. If only. These are not nice to have features, they are vital features. Well to me anyway, I understand it doesn't matter to many.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    For the large volume MF market I think DSLR-like performance and handling with more resolution is what will sell to the typical professional. Sure one could drop the existing 645 systems and develop a new 6x7 system complete with lenses and all but I don't find that less likely then some small company doing a special low volume product aimed at those that still shoot 6x7 film to get the look.
    I see your point about exclusive, especially if a new range of lenses would be required to support it. Another product in a fairly small market place.

    I guess I was hoping that Phase could come up with a camera that utilised their current LS / legacy lenses, but had the features that many photogs wanted. Maybe it is because of the 6x7 sensor idea? What about 6x6? Would anything be easier to design if we started from a 6x6 sensor design.

    If i close my eyes and dream for a moment ...

    I would have a camera where in the studio it could be tethered, with a viewfinder (or WLF) and hand grip. Then I take the camera outside where I can take off the handgrip and put on the WLF, allowing me to simply carry around a Hassy 500 type black box. Unobtrusive, simple and what great fun to use! This dreaming is not a million miles from reality.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    I'm afraid I don't understand this direction from the discussion. Why would it need to luxury or nostalgic?

    It's my belief (and I maybe misguided) that there is a pent up frustration amongst portrait / fashion / (some) documentary photographers who want to use a MF camera for their work. The current offering from Phase One does not offer the kind of functionality that suits portrait work, so the peers I know are sitting with 35mm. Its not something they really want to use, but they are because there is no viable alternative.
    This is a somewhat narrow view and perhaps due to the Phase One orientation of this forum and a bit of a slant toward Landscape photography. Folks here need to get out more often ...

    Those who use the Hasselblad camera see it differently ... lots of functionality for portrait, fashion and even documentary work. This is the very reason I selected the system, and have continued using it in that manner for 7 years now. Each year it has gotten better at those tasks. Rather than line list all the features that make this work, just look at recent work ... including fashion/beauty, editorial, wedding/social, portrait, etc.

    Masters 2012

    Or very established shooters including a dye-in-the-wool Nikon shooter who also has used a H for documentary work ... Steve McCurry

    User Showcase

    Just expanding the world a little bit ... after all, it's about the work, not just the mechanics.

    -Marc

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    I see your point about exclusive, especially if a new range of lenses would be required to support it. Another product in a fairly small market place.

    I guess I was hoping that Phase could come up with a camera that utilised their current LS / legacy lenses, but had the features that many photogs wanted. Maybe it is because of the 6x7 sensor idea? What about 6x6? Would anything be easier to design if we started from a 6x6 sensor design.

    If i close my eyes and dream for a moment ...

    I would have a camera where in the studio it could be tethered, with a viewfinder (or WLF) and hand grip. Then I take the camera outside where I can take off the handgrip and put on the WLF, allowing me to simply carry around a Hassy 500 type black box. Unobtrusive, simple and what great fun to use! This dreaming is not a million miles from reality.
    It is already a reality.

    I think the question you have to ask yourself is why do you need a 6X6 sensor to accomplish what you want?

    If you take a Hassey 503CW with the CW grip and mount a Leaf R back with rotating sensor on it ... you basically have the camera you are asking for. Remove the CW winder, slap on the WLF, and off you go with the take-with little black box you want.

    Before my eyes became so crappy and AF became a necessity for the work I do, this was a real possibility that I considered before selling my entire V system. The Leaf backs with Dalsa sensors produce the type of file quality that is incredibly compatible with the Zeiss V lenses.

    -Marc

    (Hey Yair, do I get a commission for this sale? )

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Haha. I'm sure the commission is on its way ... well if I decided this was the route to go ...

    I seriously looked at this, but half of my work requires AF / AE. So it just doesn't work for me. BUT if all the backs used the same universal mount, wow. Sales would increase for all the MF companies. I for one would go from simply a 645DF and P40+ setup to including a Hassy 500 with a couple of lenses.

    Unfortunately the MF companies have shot themselves in the foot, long term, because no one is going to buy 2 backs simply because they require different mounts. However if there was a universal mount (like the adaptors Alpa make) that would be amazing. Now that solution would go some way to answering my questions.

    (In reality I understand why this is not possible in many ways because back and camera need to communicate directly)

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    It is already a reality.
    If you take a Hassey 503CW with the CW grip and mount a Leaf R back with rotating sensor on it ...
    Take the Hy6 with the Leaf Aptus-II 12R...
    and you already come very close to all what was discussed above, including the autofocus lenses
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Take the Hy6 with the Leaf Aptus-II 12R...
    and you already come very close to all what was discussed above, including the autofocus lenses
    Yes. Forgive my ignorance, but this is a system that is no longer produced is it not?

    I need the support and knowledge that the system will be maintained and enhanced going forward by a reputable MF company. This is why I opted for Phase One in the first place (I could have gone for Hassy / Pentax too).

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    WLF, traditional or LCD, is ideal for a number of things; street photography, child portraits, product photos etc., photographers have different needs and different approaches to these things. I use both kind of VFs for the GX680, depending on work and state of mind. For handheld operation, I always prefer the WLF on any MF camera. Less strain on arms and shoulders.

    While I agree that a rotating back is convenient, the square format has its advantages as well. It somehow gives me a feeling of including "the whole frame", and that any rectangle is some kind of crop (which it is when one looks through the VF of many MF cameras). Having both options, electronically controlled, would be ideal.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    I have a Hasselblad H4D-60 (my sixth Hasselblad) and I am frustrated by the lack of functionality, and portrait functionality is about 2/10 due to the landscape format (assuming that photographers actually want to use the Mpx they pay for). In spite of this, hand-held work with studio flash is what it works bet for.

    Photographers used to buy Hasselblad because it was a versatile system.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    This is a somewhat narrow view and perhaps due to the Phase One orientation of this forum and a bit of a slant toward Landscape photography. Folks here need to get out more often ...

    Those who use the Hasselblad camera see it differently ... lots of functionality for portrait, fashion and even documentary work. This is the very reason I selected the system, and have continued using it in that manner for 7 years now. Each year it has gotten better at those tasks.
    -Marc

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    Yes. Forgive my ignorance, but this is a system that is no longer produced is it not?

    I need the support and knowledge that the system will be maintained and enhanced going forward by a reputable MF company. This is why I opted for Phase One in the first place (I could have gone for Hassy / Pentax too).
    Still produced and maintained by DHW in Germany. I bought mine in January 2012 (with a 2012 serial number).

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...



    Now this is what I mean about a WLF!

    Ok so here is what should happen. Phase One - BUY the rights to the AFi design from DHW. Paint it black. Let me put Mamiya mount backs on there. People would buy it. Well I hope so from my perspective!!
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    Now this is what I mean about a WLF!
    That is what I mean with a MF camera. It has all the functionality that the Mamiya is lacking, and it really feels substantial without being particularly large or heavy.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    About Hy6 and DHW Fototechnik:

    Out of Franke & Heidecke's ashes, rises DHW Fototechnik - British Journal of Photography

    The Hy6 indeed seems to match many of the requirements in this thread. The camera/lens system should support up to 6x6 (56x56mm) sensor size.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    This is a great thread and the OP mirrors much of my own thoughts on the subject. I never got sucked in to the whole pixel-peeping and upgrading scheme and I'm still using my trusty P25 on an old AFD and the original Canon 1Ds. They produced amazing results when they were new and they are still producing the same results now many years later. What is going to make me upgrade is not more megapixels or better screens, it's going to be a much better camera body and larger sensors, things that impact my photography in a large way, not in small increments. What I have done instead is go back to film for most of my personal work and some of my pro work too, I realized this has a much bigger impact on my shooting experience and the final look of my pictures than more megapixels and a newer sensor. Just my 2 cents.
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Just to stoke the fires: it may well be that Phase already has the rights to the Hy6/AFI. There has been rumors to the effect that the intellectual property rights to the design rested with Leaf as partner in the development (remember Rollei, Leaf, jenoptik and Sinar were all in the mix), and that those rights may belong to Phase having bought Leaf. Or alternatively, they may still rest with Kodak from when Kodak owned Leaf (now wouldn't that be ironic), perhaps sitting in someone's desk drawer there....

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Just to stoke the fires: it may well be that Phase already has the rights to the Hy6/AFI. There has been rumors to the effect that the intellectual property rights to the design rested with Leaf as partner in the development (remember Rollei, Leaf, jenoptik and Sinar were all in the mix), and that those rights may belong to Phase having bought Leaf. Or alternatively, they may still rest with Kodak from when Kodak owned Leaf (now wouldn't that be ironic), perhaps sitting in someone's desk drawer there....
    Please don't tell me this is true. Come on Phase, get on with it!! I'll be your first buyer.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    On another note. Imagine the scenario where you had a set of lenses and a digital back, but they could be coupled to a camera orientated to a specific purpose. So extending the idea of the Industrial iXR concept. However maybe it is just not profitable for Phase to do so.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    They could do with changing a few things other than the sensor:

    'Hi there, I have a Leaf Aptus 22 for Mamiya mount in excellent condition, I'm interested in swapping it for either another Leaf Aptus, or Phase One P25+ in Contax mount.

    Unfortunately Leaf want to charge £20,000 to perform a mount swap.'


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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    One thing missing here is a long exposure Dalsa back. Its really the P45 or nothing but a long Dalsa sensor is needed. Im sure this would be a big hit.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    This Leaf AFi is really good! Does anyone have any idea where to purchase this beauty except Germany? Also, is it possible to change a Mamiya mount back to AFi mount?
    Aryan Aqajani - Photographer in Melbourne, Australia
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Isn't PPR selling them now?

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    If Leaf backs had focus mask, or the IQ backs could mount on a Hy6, I'd buy the system today. Unfortunately, Leaf has dropped their Hy6 support on their newest backs, so that dream is fading.

    --Matt (who wants WLF, AF, and a back good for landscapes on a tech cam. Aw, heck, I'd probably just shoot hyper focal anyway, so maybe "old" Leaf and Hy6 is the way to go...)

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    With the Leaf Afi I know the focus check, aperture and shutter speed is available through the WLF, but what about exposure? Also how does the camera do AE? I was assuming it would only be available when using a prism finder of some sort.

    Unfortunately, Leaf has dropped their Hy6 support on their newest backs, so that dream is fading.
    I also noted that the Credo's support all the cameras that the Aptus backs do .... apart from the AFi ....

    Doh! As Homer would say.

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    I have read this thread and find the posts interesting; but appear to be mostly fineart shooters.
    Having come up thru the ranks from amateur to professional in the 70's/80's I have used every type of film camera up to 8x10 Sinars (yes I assisted Richard Avedon in NYC in early 80's, so some of the comments about his photography caught my eye. I assisted many big names of that era) I shot everything from macro parts to food to architecture to fashion/glamour with the best in the business.
    The reason we used medium to large format on pro shoots was because of the need for resolution and instant feedback using Polaroids. It had nothing to do with waist level finders, bokeh, lenses...etc. In some instances, tech movements were necessary for Certain product shots or architecture, but that was it. 8x10 film at "Playboy" was shot because it could be retouched by hand and regular eyes.
    I remember shooting for What is now called May Company back East and we would go thru over $4000/day in Polaroid and film processing alone ( anyone remember bracketing?)
    Digital changed all that. The things we used MF and LF for back then are still in play, but barely. Resolution, LiveView, and movements are ABSOLUTELY the most important aspects of any professional system, IMO. We no longer use Polaroids and hand drawn overlays with grease pencils on 4x5 groundglass, we use LiveView projected onto computer screens and TVs, we no longer judge resolution by size of film and scanner, but by PPI or megapixels; and movements are movements but I think technical answers to that old issue are coming along nicely and should bear fruit in a few years.
    So just my two cents, but professionally speaking, we need the resolution of MFD with the LIveView ( and yes I mean full on LiveView, not just focusing) for serious professional day-in/day-out needs of working pros with heavy workloads.
    All this stuff about how "slowing down" and "taking your time" to compose with big format digital is all well and good for fine art shooting, but in my world sounds like excuses.
    Last edited by Egor; 31st May 2012 at 08:17.
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Just to stoke the fires: it may well be that Phase already has the rights to the Hy6/AFI. There has been rumors to the effect that the intellectual property rights to the design rested with Leaf as partner in the development (remember Rollei, Leaf, jenoptik and Sinar were all in the mix), and that those rights may belong to Phase having bought Leaf. Or alternatively, they may still rest with Kodak from when Kodak owned Leaf (now wouldn't that be ironic), perhaps sitting in someone's desk drawer there....
    Perhaps they were bright enough to not de-value a quality European product...?

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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Aw, heck, I'd probably just shoot hyper focal anyway, so maybe "old" Leaf and Hy6 is the way to go...)
    Click through the images on this page they're made with that "old" AFi-II 10/ 12 back on an ALPA...no focus issues there :-)
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
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    Re: Getting back to the reasons for Medium Format ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    With the Leaf Afi I know the focus check, aperture and shutter speed is available through the WLF, but what about exposure? Also how does the camera do AE? I was assuming it would only be available when using a prism finder of some sort.
    Auto exposure, shutter, or aperture priority are all available with whatever viewing mode (WLF, loupe, prism, whatever). You choose. Its pretty much current. When shooting with the digital back, a small image of the histogram shows up on the handle by the WLF, so you don't have to look at the back.

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