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Thread: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

  1. #1
    the scanner-guy
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    Question "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Hi everyone, I'm Dario, I often lurk in this forum and I wanted to share some thoughts with you people:

    I love landscape photography, and I own various cameras, from digital APS-C, to 6x7, to 4x5", and as probably some may remember, I was the guy who had built a MF scanner-camera (like Betterlight) nearly from scratch. (and by the way, I'm in the process of making a new camera).
    So I can say I'm "atheist" about cameras. I don't care about brands, I'm not a professional photographer so I'm not constrained to impress the client with a big camera with fancy name and all the other implications of choosing a camera for professional work.
    Usually if I can't afford some equipment I search for a way to do what I'm intended to do, and my scanner-camera it's an example of this: I can't afford a MFDB so I've built one which serves at the same purpose (with of course all the downsides of being a scanner, but at a fraction of the price).

    But I'm not here to tell you the story of my life, I just wanted to introduce me first, because I don't want to be misunderstood. Now with the topic:

    __________________________________________________ ______


    Last week here in Europe a new Nokia smartphone entered the stores, the 808 Pureview: a "cameraphone" capable of taking 38MP images.
    When I read the first news about the camera I was skeptic of course, but then I read more, and more, mainly beause I was interested in the production process behind the lens (because I wanted to make such lenses by myself, but bigger)and I realized that at that scale you can actually build an optically near perfect lens at extraordinary low cost, using molded plastic and all aspheric geometries.
    The lens in the 808 is a 8mm f/2.4. The fast fixed aperture is dictated by the need of not being diffraction limited, and 2.4 is actually the diffracton limit of the pixels of the sensor, which is about 1/4 the size of an APS-C, and the 8mm lens has the same FOV as an 18mm on APS-C. To have flexibility in the exposure times, it uses an internal ND filter instead of closing the aperture.
    I saw some full resolution samples and I was impressed. a bit too noisy but with such small pixels you can't expect noiseless pictures.

    ...So I bought the thing. And I'm testing it right now against my NEX 7, but I'm planning to test it against other and better cameras. I don't know anyone with a D800, let alone MFDBs... I have the scanner but it would be unfair even for an IQ..
    In the next message I'll post some "real life" shots comparison, then in the next days I'll find some way to build a testing rig for dynamic range, color etc. (by the way if you have suggestions or request about it, let me know).

    From what I have seen from these later cameras and even phones like this one, and from what I know about optics I can expect in 3-4 years small cameras (like m4/3 or smaller) with the same resolution, dynamic range, and overall picture quality as the best MFDBs on the market today, and we will see the today's MFDBs like we now see the those bulky DSLR of the early era of digital photography.
    But high end photography it's about selling pictures and the photographer's image, look, and reputation are main issues, so I can expect lots of people who will probably choose some future technical camera, with bigger sensor etc. instead of buying the same boring 100MP compact camera like everyone else in 2016.

    Imagine a situation where you can choose from a futuristic equivalent of a medium format digital camera, with a hundred of MP and some other great specs, with "traditional" lenses that barely can keep up with the sensor and costing tens of thousands for a kit, or a small camera with basically the same specs but with a ton of other features, like a smartphone, and a price factor of 1/15, what you will do?
    I see a lot of people choosing the D800 over MF, what it would take for professionals to choose a smartphone-like kind of camera instead of a FF- DSLR?
    I would really like to see what you people think about it.


    P.S.
    Sorry if I've made spelling mistakes, english is not my language.

    P.P.S.
    Reading my post I realized that it could be misleading, so just to clarify, I'm talking expecially about landscape photography, street photography, and eventually fashion shooting, not portrait or low light photograpy, where noise or depth of field are important issues)
    Last edited by the scanner-guy; 20th June 2012 at 14:50.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Nothing really blasphemous in your post, if you mean offending the Gods of medium format. The loss of market share for medium format has already been occurring for some time and will continue (though it has slowed dramatically, contrary to the perception). So, in a sense, nothing really new here. Sales figures already show the decline of 35mm DSLR compared to smaller formats, mirrorless cameras, etc. That segment is simply undergoing what medium format has had to undergo (though not quite so drastically), which is a reduction of their market share.

    It does not mean the extinction of the market, and where medium format is concerned, while there will continue to be some loss at the hands of Nikon D800's, Canon 1D-MK ZZ, as well as smaller format, feature-rich technologies, there will also be a quieter group of interested parties investigating medium format, as a larger, more traditional form and quality of capture. We've already seen quite a lot of this activity from this year alone. They are, on the whole, a quieter group, compared to those who would shout loudly that they're dumping their medium format gear for the new Nikon, etc.

    These new smaller formats and the amazing technology they bring are more of an attrition threat in terms of numbers to the full frame 35mm DSLR market than they are to medium format.

    IMO


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
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  3. #3
    Super Duper
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by the scanner-guy View Post
    I'm not a professional photographer so I'm not constrained to impress the client with a big camera with fancy name and all the other implications of choosing a camera for professional work.
    Who says professional photographers buy expensive cameras to impress clients? The only criteria for me to chose a camera are the results I want. There are a lot of professionals here on GetDPI. I doubt this is a very pleasant way of introducing yourself by criticizing their motives as shallow flattery.

    I see a lot of people choosing the D800 over MF...
    Really? I see a lot of photographers who never consider MFD because of price choosing a D800--it is not a choice if one option is not a possibility. I see lots of 35mm and APS-C photographer who have never thought of MFD buying a D800. I also see a lot of MFD photographer, even those buying a D800, not dumping their MFD equipment.

    P.P.S.
    Reading my post I realized that it could be misleading, so just to clarify, I'm talking expecially about landscape photography, street photography, and eventually fashion shooting, not portrait or low light photograpy, where noise or depth of field are important issues)
    I don't understand? Why is street photography and low-light photography different? Noise is important consideration for all type of photography. As is depth of field.

    To answer your question. If the size of the image format is irrelevant, then you can have a camera any size. My experience and physics say format matters.
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  4. #4
    the scanner-guy
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    These are two shots I did today on a tripod with a wide angle lens on the NEX to match the field of view, but it's an awful Tamron 10-24 and doesn't take advantage of the 24MP sensor

    NEX: http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/2342/sonynex7.jpg

    Nokia: http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/1135/nokia808.jpg

    And this is another, but this time I included a shot with the Sigma 30mm f/2.8, which is one of the sharpest lenses for non FF cameras.

    NEX w.Tamron : http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/976/dsc0114tz.jpg

    NEX w.Sigma : http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/1223/dsc0112ga.jpg

    Nokia: http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/4...206200059b.jpg

    I've chosen these two views because they provided both small details, great range of distances and expecially extreme dynamic range. I'm new to both cameras and I probably need more time to pratice various settings on the nokia.

    I don't want to make this topic about this phone or this particular comparison. It's just an excuse to show what I'm talking about: even if you are not a technician you can clearly see a trend in this technology, and while now it's not really the same quality, new manifacturing processes and powerful CPU-GPUs inside new small consumer camera/phones will provide a great potential to beat bigger cameras.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Haven't there been more than enough threads like this one?

    A new FF, M43, P&S, or cellphone, comes out, and someone says that medium format is on its last legs, and feels a need to post in the MF forum to say so.

    Good news for you: you'll be able to take better photographs than Ansel Adams did, and then pop your "camera" into your pocket. So what?
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  6. #6
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Have you seen the M9 is better than the D800 discussion? Lots of fun.

    Scanner-guy: Since you compare NEX-7 and Nokia 808, why not discuss it in the Sony forum (both have Sony sensors)?

  7. #7
    the scanner-guy
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Who says professional photographers buy expensive cameras to impress clients? The only criteria for me to chose a camera are the results I want. There are a lot of professionals here on GetDPI. I doubt this is a very pleasant way of introducing yourself by criticizing their motives as shallow flattery.
    I knew that phrase would have raised some eyebrows, I didn't intend to offend anyone, I was trying to point out that the appereance of the camera, or the name of the brand are things that SOME photographers tend to chose carefully because a client when is choosing between a guy with a big camera, and one with a compact camera, will PROBABLY tend to consider the one with the big camera more professional, and this aspect is relevant in my question above.


    I don't understand? Why is street photography and low-light photography different? Noise is important consideration for all type of photography. As is depth of field.
    When I say low light photography I'm talking about people for example who work at theaters, gigs, concerts, astro-photography and things like that.
    I consider street photography to be more forgiving about noise, and often I see street photographers adding noise to pictures to give them more character.
    Depth of field is important but I was implying the LACK of depth of field when i referred to portrait. Since I'm talking about smaller sensor, you are more likely to have more DOF, so you can't have nice soft portraits, so in this case some probably choose big sensor just for this feature.


    Other applications, like landscape, macro, nature work with long lenses, instead need more DOF, and often people use tilt lenses, focus stacking etc.
    a smaller sensor, and smaller focal length are more appreciated in this case.

    Anyway this is irrlevant, it was only an example to make clear that I was talking about people who never work at high ISO and don't need shallow DOF.

    To answer your question. If the size of the image format is irrelevant, then you can have a camera any size. My experience and physics say format matters.
    I don't think I completely understood what you are meaning. sorry.

  8. #8
    the scanner-guy
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Have you seen the M9 is better than the D800 discussion? Lots of fun.

    Scanner-guy: Since you compare NEX-7 and Nokia 808, why not discuss it in the Sony forum (both have Sony sensors)?
    I posted here because the question wasn't about THIS smartphone, or some camera in particular. my question was.

    From what I have seen from these later cameras and even phones like this one, and from what I know about optics I can expect in 3-4 years small cameras (like m4/3 or smaller) with the same resolution, dynamic range, and overall picture quality as the best MFDBs on the market today, and we will see the today's MFDBs like we now see the those bulky DSLR of the early era of digital photography.
    But high end photography it's about selling pictures and the photographer's image, look, and reputation are main issues, so I can expect lots of people who will probably choose some future technical camera, with bigger sensor etc. instead of buying the same boring 100MP compact camera like everyone else in 2016.

    Imagine a situation where you can choose from a futuristic equivalent of a medium format digital camera, with a hundred of MP and some other great specs, with "traditional" lenses that barely can keep up with the sensor and costing tens of thousands for a kit, or a small camera with basically the same specs but with a ton of other features, like a smartphone, and a price factor of 1/15, what you will do?
    I see a lot of people choosing the D800 over MF, what it would take for professionals to choose a smartphone-like kind of camera instead of a FF- DSLR?
    I would really like to see what you people think about it.
    I've seen a lot of those "this camera Vs. phase one". This is NOT smartphone Vs. MFDB. I know where those thread take to, and I don't even bother to read them.
    I was trying to make more general questions about what do you (expecially professionals) think about this trend in a more pratical and general way, without talking about specific cameras.
    Maybe I should delete my post with the pictures to avoid confusion?

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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by the scanner-guy View Post

    NEX: http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/2342/sonynex7.jpg

    Nokia: http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/1135/nokia808.jpg

    And this is another, but this time I included a shot with the Sigma 30mm f/2.8, which is one of the sharpest lenses for non FF cameras.

    NEX w.Tamron : http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/976/dsc0114tz.jpg

    NEX w.Sigma : http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/1223/dsc0112ga.jpg

    Nokia: http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/4...206200059b.jpg
    Am I missing something here? All I see are exceptionally crappy quality photos with smeared details, blocked up shadows and a host of other problems typical of these kind of cameras. 38 Megapixels, you're joking right? As far as I can tell they don't even hold a candle to the original 11Mp Canon 1Ds. You say you use all these different formats and cameras, even 4x5, and yet you are somehow impressed by these snaps you posted? I just don't get it.
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hendrix View Post
    there will also be a quieter group of interested parties investigating medium format, as a larger, more traditional form and quality of capture. We've already seen quite a lot of this activity from this year alone. They are, on the whole, a quieter group
    Myself included. We sure are a quieter group.

    I think the OP should first investigate this thread http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/medium...um-format.html It sure will balance things out regarding the MF future.

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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    This is all a bit futuristic.

    The examples show absolutely horrible image quality out of the phones. Yes impressive when you know the size of the system, but totally unusable for those that strive for good technical quality in their images.

    It is not only about having a lens resolving very small pixels, it is also about being able to record enough photons without clipping, or else shot noise will give you a noisy picture regardless of how low noise the electronics have. This is the most problematic part I think, I have not seen any technology so far that drastically increases full well capacity of small pixels, and hence small sensor images continue to look horrible due to lack of light gathered. Today one need at least micro 4/3 before shot noise start becoming a minor issue.

    Concerning lens resolving power, the Nokia examples are extremely fuzzy, not even f/64 on my medium format system is that blurry. Outresolving the lens is not necessarily a bad thing (in the future I think that will be the norm), but I don't think the Nokia shows that small lenses can have resolving power close to larger systems. It's just blurry.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    This is just an anal compulsive extension of this (fill in blank) camera is almost as good as, is as good as, will be as good as, or will be better than this (fill in blank) camera.

    MFD is a well loved target because it traditionally resides at the top of the IQ heap. Phase One has a bullseye on its back on this more landscape oriented MFD forum because it is the dominate player here ... or was ... The silent MFD group is just that, pretty silent, and are out there taking images as opposed to talking about taking images ... or posting crappy test shots to prove some obscure point, stir the already boiling cauldron, or support some punishment agenda.

    Heck, some of this techie stuff is a blast to play with, no doubt about it ... it's a hoot to shoot with my wife's iPad ... one of the best large format viewfinders going, and the image isn't upside down ... What happens when Apple puts a 50 meg sensor in the iPad, maybe even a larger sized sensor, and Schneider develops an iPro Lens system like they did for the iPhone 4/4S?

    Ooooh, I'm quaking in my boots at the prospect ...

    BTW, I do think you are confusing the intentions of a vast majority of pro shooters when it comes to gear choices ... my clients don't give a tinker's damn what camera I use. What they care about is being able to pay for one well lit shot, and then cropping the crap out of it to also show a detail without it turning into mush. That multi-tasking use happens all the time.

    -Marc
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  13. #13
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by the scanner-guy View Post
    I knew that phrase would have raised some eyebrows, I didn't intend to offend anyone, I was trying to point out that the appereance of the camera, or the name of the brand are things that SOME photographers tend to chose carefully because a client when is choosing between a guy with a big camera, and one with a compact camera, will PROBABLY tend to consider the one with the big camera more professional, and this aspect is relevant in my question above.
    I have never had a client ask me what kind of camera I shoot with. I have never provided an equipment list. Clients hire you because of your ability, not your gear.



    When I say low light photography I'm talking about people for example who work at theaters, gigs, concerts, astro-photography and things like that.
    I consider street photography to be more forgiving about noise, and often I see street photographers adding noise to pictures to give them more character.
    Depth of field is important but I was implying the LACK of depth of field when i referred to portrait. Since I'm talking about smaller sensor, you are more likely to have more DOF, so you can't have nice soft portraits, so in this case some probably choose big sensor just for this feature.

    Other applications, like landscape, macro, nature work with long lenses, instead need more DOF, and often people use tilt lenses, focus stacking etc.
    a smaller sensor, and smaller focal length are more appreciated in this case.
    You are just applying cliches about photography. Portraits can have lots of DoF. I have found if you want to make images just like everyone else, then follow the rules. If you are interested in making the best images possible, then learn to control your medium.


    Anyway this is irrlevant, it was only an example to make clear that I was talking about people who never work at high ISO and don't need shallow DOF.
    I suppose photographers that want a cell phone look to their work will find a cell phone camera fine. But it is a huge jump to say a system that has limited control over ISO and DoF is going to be attractive to a point were it replaces larger formats. There is more to photography than the number of pixels in your file. In fact, I would say that pixel resolution is overrated--it impresses some folks, but is not that important in terms of the image itself.

    I don't think I completely understood what you are meaning. sorry.
    The photograph is a result of a system. You yourself recognize that format size changes how the system works. So a small format is not going to be like a large format. There are ways they can intersect, but the intersection is only for certain attribute, not all of them. As you get more sophisticated with your photography, you will start seeing these factors. While you can argue that maybe the difference is small, the difference is there. Even though my viewers probably cannot spot why the quality of my images are different, they do recognize the difference.

    When it comes to an art or discipline, some folks can see the big picture. Some can see the details. The most successful folks can see both.

  14. #14
    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The photograph is a result of a system. You yourself recognize that format size changes how the system works. So a small format is not going to be like a large format. There are ways they can intersect, but the intersection is only for certain attribute, not all of them. As you get more sophisticated with your photography, you will start seeing these factors. While you can argue that maybe the difference is small, the difference is there. Even though my viewers probably cannot spot why the quality of my images are different, they do recognize the difference.

    When it comes to an art or discipline, some folks can see the big picture. Some can see the details. The most successful folks can see both.
    Very well said.
    Bryan

    “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    GetDPI sounds like a stock market before crashing now.
    It used to be a very educational forum especially for medium format where I can learn.
    I still take the same pictures. Nothing has changed because of Nikon D800 or D800E.
    Just buy the system you can afford and have fun!
    Life is too short friends!

    Pramote
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    GetDPI sounds like a stock market before crashing now.
    It used to be a very educational forum especially for medium format where I can learn.
    I still take the same pictures. Nothing has changed because of Nikon D800 or D800E.
    Just buy the system you can afford and have fun!
    Life is too short friends!

    Pramote
    I agree this vs that crap is so overdone and the defending of users choices is getting seriously SILLY.

    I'm having a hard time reading my own forum lately.

    There I said it. :bang head:
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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  17. #17
    the scanner-guy
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Ok. sorry people of I bothered wih my questions. I didn't realize that nowdays the photography forums are full of "this camera Vs. this camera" threads, and the people are reasonably annoyed by them, so when someone even remotely mention a comparison between two kind of cameras everyone gets upset. I didn't want that. I'll try on some other forum, and I'll try not to mention particular cameras or posting crappy snapshots. Maybe it's a language issue, I don't know...
    I asked some questions but everyone continue to argue about the crappy shots and no one answered.
    If the moderator wants to delete this thread I'm ok with that.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    No it's more the insecurity of buying a system than questioning your purchase. This is why we stress so much around here of doing your homework. These systems stand on there own and most of these comparisons are apples to oranges . Which is fine and I do them too but folks need to realize the differences in a non competitive way. I have both MF and D800 they simply are not the same functionally and IQ wise. Pick either one and there are compromises in both of them but benefits as well. Not that one is better but what works functionally better for the user and what makes more sense to them. We are getting away from that thinking.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by the scanner-guy View Post
    Ok. sorry people of I bothered wih my questions. I didn't realize that nowdays the photography forums are full of "this camera Vs. this camera" threads, and the people are reasonably annoyed by them, so when someone even remotely mention a comparison between two kind of cameras everyone gets upset. I didn't want that. I'll try on some other forum, and I'll try not to mention particular cameras or posting crappy snapshots. Maybe it's a language issue, I don't know...
    I asked some questions but everyone continue to argue about the crappy shots and no one answered.
    If the moderator wants to delete this thread I'm ok with that.
    ????? I did answer your question. At least what I thought was your question. Personally, when you come to a forum and ask a question, you should respect the answers, even if you don't like them. You also have to respect that others might challenge your assumptions or give associated answers or even answers that have nothing to do with your question--we are people, not computers. You should recognize this is a conversation and if we misunderstand you, then it is up to you to clarify your position.

  20. #20
    the scanner-guy
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    ok but NOW there is the d800 or some other alternatives in digital landscape photography. I'm talking about the future, something like 5 years from now. not about the d800 or some other camera in particular. The smartphone was an example, a hint to what the future could be: that is the first camera with such an investment on this field, and like all the "first ever" there is a lot of refinement to do.

    The sensor's structure and manifacturing process on consumer cameras is going to change a lot. Not only the sensors will have more pixels, but they will be much more efficient, and with a lot of flexibility on the interface. At the same time for example I see some investments on logarithmic sensors (used mainly on industrial cameras) and if that technology will be picked by some camera manifacturer it's something that can change the industry a lot and I can't wait for that.
    These changes I mentioned will be pretty much indipendent by the size of the sensor.

    Lenses also are going to be really different, with plastic elements you can have a really good and cheap lens and a lot lighter, so this means faster AF too. There are some limits because it's reallt difficult to mold big volumes of plastic without imperfections and non-uniformities. Another problem is the actual optical quality of the plastic, which in general is much more dispersive than the best calcium-fluoride lenses.
    I even tried myself to build lenses from various exotic polymers (with CNC, not molded) but I realized that the cost is too high due to the inperfections of the structure in the raw material.

    So I can guess that the industry will try to push on smaller cameras, to get able to use those plastic lenses, and so all this "revolution" will start from the bottom: smartphones, POV cameras, camcorders and so on.

    IF at some point in the future (3-5 years from now) some small camera, phone, webcam, toy or whatever that will be, will match or surpass the quality of some other bigger DSLR, or MFDB, will you ever consider to use that kind of toy for your landscape work, or the style of the camera will be a problem for you?

  21. #21
    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by the scanner-guy View Post
    IF at some point in the future (3-5 years from now) some small camera, phone, webcam, toy or whatever that will be, will match or surpass the quality of some other bigger DSLR, or MFDB, will you ever consider to use that kind of toy for your landscape work, or the style of the camera will be a problem for you?[/B]
    I use my iPhone to shoot landscape all the time...why do you want me to wait 3-5 years?

  22. #22
    Super Duper
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    Shashin's Avatar
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by the scanner-guy View Post

    IF at some point in the future (3-5 years from now) some small camera, phone, webcam, toy or whatever that will be, will match or surpass the quality of some other bigger DSLR, or MFDB, will you ever consider to use that kind of toy for your landscape work, or the style of the camera will be a problem for you?
    Since I already buy cameras as technology change, I am uncertain why I would stop now. I care more about results than what is on my shoulder.

    BTW, high-quality plastics are already being used in high-end lenses. They have been for years.

  23. #23
    the scanner-guy
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    Re: "Blasphemous" thoughts about MF future

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    high-quality plastics are already being used in high-end lenses. They have been for years.
    You are talking about special single elements that costs more than a normal glass lens. they are made from a bar stock just like I did. you get a lot of waste lenses before having one with no imperfections.

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