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Thread: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

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    D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Hi there,

    I mainly lurk here, because my doom is already bad for my wallet - full Leica M system and few SLR's from Nikon.

    I saw with great anticipation the arrival of the D800/E and the net is flooded with reviews and comparisons of the D800 vs the best MFD and it looses.

    Well, it should.

    But what about real world tests ? And by real world, I mean comparable.

    One MFD that I lust after these days is the Hassie H3D 39 ... no D800 comparisons with it - it should prove interesting, same mp.

    Or event bit lower MP ld hassies with 21 and so on - so many times I hear MFD acolyties screaming about smooth colour transitions and this and that.

    Nobody with a D800 and a less than 50mp back to do a nice side by side ? Doing a 3k D800 comparison vs a top of the line 20k MFD with almost two times the megapixels is pointless, not starting with larger sensor etc etc.

    Sorry if this has already been done - and if so, point me in the right direction - just curious if we pitch a D800E against a similar MP MFD and see if the results (apart from obvious DOF and COC differences )are similar or we can see the strenghts of MF (or weaknesses, apart from the more than obvious high iso limitation, where the D800 excells - again pointless to compare )

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    Senior Member MaxKißler's Avatar
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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Ohh... Don't get me wrong, I don't want to offend you but: This is not the right time to ask these questions around here. Every other day someone asks about the D800 vs whatever kind of MFD system (it is really getting annoying) and the answers will remain the same.

    -The reason to choose a camera is because you like to work with it and it suits your needs (leaf shutter lenses, tech cams, need of high iso speeds etc.). Horses for courses...
    -Larger formats will always produce better IQ. Diffraction takes its toll on smaller high resolution sensors.
    -The D800 produces good IQ but sometimes excellent IQ is required.
    -Most importantly: Test everything for yourself.
    -I probably missed a lot other potential answers...

    I cannot supply you with real world tests but I am favoring any MFD system over a 35mm camera. It is just the look that I am after and I believe it has something to do with the pixel size. If you ask me: The amount of MP on my 5D MK II is way too high. 16MP would be a perfect compromise for a 35mm sensor but that's just my 2ct.

    Right now I am saving up for the ancient Leaf Aptus 22 or a 54s, which will be far more expensive than a D800. So, sorry I couldn't help you too much.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Argh!

    Enough already.

    How about a moratorium? No posts allowed for the next 14 days unless accompanied by a photo taken by the individual responsible for the post?
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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Argh!

    Enough already.

    How about a moratorium? No posts allowed for the next 14 days unless accompanied by a photo taken by the individual responsible for the post?
    ahahahaahahahahah ok fair enough :



    Ok, can I ask a question now ? :-)

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKißler View Post
    Ohh... Don't get me wrong, I don't want to offend you but: This is not the right time to ask these questions around here. Every other day someone asks about the D800 vs whatever kind of MFD system (it is really getting annoying) and the answers will remain the same.

    -The reason to choose a camera is because you like to work with it and it suits your needs (leaf shutter lenses, tech cams, need of high iso speeds etc.). Horses for courses...
    -Larger formats will always produce better IQ. Diffraction takes its toll on smaller high resolution sensors.
    -The D800 produces good IQ but sometimes excellent IQ is required.
    -Most importantly: Test everything for yourself.
    -I probably missed a lot other potential answers...

    I cannot supply you with real world tests but I am favoring any MFD system over a 35mm camera. It is just the look that I am after and I believe it has something to do with the pixel size. If you ask me: The amount of MP on my 5D MK II is way too high. 16MP would be a perfect compromise for a 35mm sensor but that's just my 2ct.

    Right now I am saving up for the ancient Leaf Aptus 22 or a 54s, which will be far more expensive than a D800. So, sorry I couldn't help you too much.
    Horses for courses and I understand the frustation - being an avid Leica user, when a new Leica comes out, endless "LEica vs world" threads pop up ad nasueaum... never though I would start one

    Nonetheless, of course that D800 is brilliant on loads of things that MFD can't do and that wasn't my point - low iso shoot vs a similar or inferior MFD, I was curious to see the results of a similar MFD vs the D800 to compare tonality and dinamic range.

    But ok, before I'm kicked out, I'll just stop lol

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Here you go...H4D compared to D800

    https://www.thecamerastore.com/blog/...th-and-ramberg

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    thank you so much.

    fantastic video, SO impressive to see Hasselblad highlight recovery, its really something.

    also, can clearly be seen the pinkish / mangenta hues on D800 skin tones and Hassie skintones look absolutly perfect.

    perhaps for landscape, the D800 is a winner due to its low cost - but to portrait, who lives out of portrait photography, Hasselblads are kings.

    sorry, maybe for DMF peeps this is an obvious thing and so *80's* but to me, who never used a digital Hasselblad, was a nice way to clearly see the difference and advantages.

    as said, horses for courses.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    I think we should wait for the comparison on the broadcast quality video between the H4D and the D800...

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    That was an interesting video, thanks for sharing. To me, the test samples didn't show much differentiation between the two sensors. Gear comparisons (including this one) remind me of a 60 minutes (or was it 20/20) segment from a decade or so ago. The reporter had a colleague's 4-year old kid finger paint some random patterns, and then showed it to various famous art critics. They were filmed gushing about the artistic sense of abstract expression, the amazing technique of the artist, etc etc. They were then told that the painting they had just attributed so much artistic merit to was painted by a child.

    The funniest part of this video (no, not the poor sound guy) was at the end, where the male photographer being interviewed stated a reason why some folks shoot MFDBs: "we'll go on location with our Canon or Nikon and somebody'll have the exact same camera". This whole thing of "outgunning the client". Even the lighting blog guys (Arias, Hobby) go on and on about it.

    Two comments. One: if someone can "outgun" a client with a dinky H4D-40, then that just means the clients are not both rich and into photography. Several immediate family members of clients I shoot for use Alpas and Cambos, with IQ180s. As point and shoots. One client's husband for some reason has a dual phantom rig, to take 3d family videos. PHANTOMs. I mean, it's completely amazing. Luckily I'm hired because of my work, not because of my gear, cause there's no way I will ever outgun that. Hell, I once even used the client's own Red One to do the job. Usually I get by with my P45+ on an old crappy RZ and a Sony FS100 for video.

    Two: sometimes photographers promote the idea that their gear is part of the value package. This idea is kind of insidious, because it essentially implies that the "value" consists of the client renting some gear which just happens to come with an operator that isn't totally inept. No wonder some (many perhaps) ADs are so condescending: many photographers are essentially digging themselves into little more than a camera operator role. Well let's just go along with the camera operator paradigm for now. The fact is, the vast majority of "pro" photographers are really only "prosumers", in the sense that they only buy the equipment that the nice folks at Phase or Nikon or Arri or whatever decide they can profit from by manufacturing. To be a true "pro", without the "consumer" component, requires the DEVELOPMENT of equipment and technology that supports the photographer's vision. Either hiring a team like Feinberg did, or starting a company like Jannard. Or even just chemical black magic like Wood and his DR5 process. I don't know how many of us have done that, which makes most of us prosumers. Which makes the whole idea of "outgunning" kind of sophomoric.
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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Quote Originally Posted by proenca View Post
    perhaps for landscape, the D800 is a winner due to its low cost - but to portrait, who lives out of portrait photography, Hasselblads are kings.
    The D800 is changing the game for fashion and portrait professionals too. Just look at the fashion shoots of Rob van Petten, such as the one posted here: Nikon D800 In the Studio with Rob Van Petten on Vimeo

    Also, to get good color out of the D800 at this time, some fashion photographers are shooting raw and using Nikon's ViewNX2 software (as in the above video). Nikon provides a Picture Control Utility that contains a Portrait profile that is tuned to their cameras. The Nikon ViewNX2 workflow is not nearly as polished as other software such as LR4 or C1, but it appears to have better raw processing capability for the D800 images.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    The clarity and contrast of the fashion samples are different than my IQ

    A student of mine is buying a D800 soon, I will make a real world comparison.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    i have a h3d-39 as well as an arca rm3di.
    last weekend i borrowed a d800e from nikon for a quick test.

    no scientific test, just "real world testing" .
    all cameras on tripod and mirror lockup (except the rm3di ) at f8 and basic iso.

    at first i shot the d800e with 24-70mm aside to my h3d-39 with the hc35 - i zoomed the nikon lens to match the hc35.

    conclusion at 100%: the resolution is almost indistinguishable. very slightly advantage to the hassy.
    but the overall tonality from the hassy file is noticeable better.

    second: didn't touch the d800e, only switched the h3d on the second tripod to rm3di with the h3d back and schneider 43XL lens.
    like before the nikon lens was zoomed to match the fov.
    conclusion: very noticeable difference in resolution. the schneider lens is stunningly sharp. and the tonality is better as well.

    overall conclusion: the d800e has very good image quality, but if you are after superiour iq - mf is still the king. beside that it is much more fun to work with an mf camera, than with a dslr, but maybe thats just me

    btw: did you notice that mr. van petten works with a tripod (or at least a monopod) even at fashion shootings most of the time?
    my quick experience (and i've read this long before on luminous landscape too) is that such high resolution cameras require more precise work to get best iq. the shot on the tripod with mirror lockup was very good, i couldn't get that same quality without tripod at a speed of 1/60 of a second. it always looked not perfectly sharp. and 1/60s is a speed that i never had a problem with on any other dslr of mine so far.

    so giving mf-like image quality requires mf-workflow too.

    see attached the sample shot described above.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    as i expected, the images on the web aren't good enough to see.
    if you want i could email you the files...

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    The D800 is now my point and shoot, the Rm3Di and DF with IQ180 are, shall we say, my cameras.

    I have fairly mixed results with many of the lenses available for the d800 and the point made about tonality pretty much matches my observations too.
    Perhaps I need to make a better profile, but skin tones on the D800 are just not that rich and tend to the magenta.


    Summary:
    travel and walk-about - D800
    Shooting from a car - MF
    Studio model shoot - MF
    Location shoot - hmm I have to figure that out, I guess it depends on the location.

    If a Leica M were in the mix, that would take the place of the D800 for many, but I have proved to myself that my eyes are not up to the task, That makes the D800 a Leica replacement, but not a MF replacement (for me).

    -bob
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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    I agree that both technique and post processing workflow are now critical to getting the best out of these cameras. Of course, lens quality (and lens choice/preference) makes a big difference as well. And today, the demand for video as well as still photos make it harder and more costly to justify managing multiple camera systems. The current trend indicates that video usage results in net higher sales and web traffic than still media for just about any business. Therefore, economics alone will push for more video over print as time goes on.

    Personally, I use the RM3Di with Rodenstock glass for my still shooting today. And anything that requires motion or long glass or hand held work, I prefer camera systems that give me image stabilization, in-camera magnified live view and continuous autofocus tracking. I recently sold off my medium format DSLR gear, since I found that it was not as productive for me in these areas. After being spoiled with the speed and efficiency of cameras like the D800, I will not re-enter the medium format DSLR market unless it offered me these three technologies (and hopefully video ability as well) and with a price that is truly commensurate with its difference in image quality and/or unique capabilities.

    Can the medium format DSLR produce higher image quality than the D800? Sure, especially with the right lens, the right technique the right lighting and the right printing skills. The real question is whether that difference amounts to $20,000 to $30,000 worth of difference, and this can only be determined by one's personal situation and subjective assessment.
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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    I think the missing element in these discussions is consistent success.

    We tend to gravitate to equipment that we have been successful with, and move away from anything that we weren't successful with. While this may sound overly obvious, it actually accounts for all the differing opinions about different gear.

    I shoot mostly people ... candid people work with a M camera consistently for decades. Medium format film then MF digital for commercial and portrait ... usually with lighting and most often with leaf-shutter systems ... also for decades.

    if not people, then product ... always with MF digital SLR, and sometimes with a 6X9 view camera ... for decades.

    If it isn't broke, why fix it?

    BTW, I spent my entire working life involved in motion work ... buying a motion capable 35mm DSLR is not even the first step to being a cinematographer, and the whole process is related to still photography in very few ways.

    -Marc
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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    ...And anything that requires motion or long glass or hand held work, I prefer camera systems that give me image stabilization, in-camera magnified live view and continuous autofocus tracking. I recently sold off my medium format DSLR gear, since I found that it was not as productive for me in these areas. After being spoiled with the speed and efficiency of cameras like the D800, I will not re-enter the medium format DSLR market unless it offered me these three technologies (and hopefully video ability as well) and with a price that is truly commensurate with its difference in image quality and/or unique capabilities.
    .
    David, good to see you in the forum after long time. A side question, what are your lens choices for D800?

    Subrata

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Quote Originally Posted by subrata1965 View Post
    David, good to see you in the forum after long time. A side question, what are your lens choices for D800?

    Subrata
    You are aware that lens choice is a VERY personal thing, and people choose them more because of the look they provide and the way they wish to express themselves, and not because of any technical chart.

    For autofocus photography, typically the latest Nikon G lenses work very well, and I prefer the ones with VR-II, such as the 70-200/2.8, 200/2, 300/2.8 and 200-400/4. I also like the Micro 105/2.8 and am hoping to see a VR-II version soon.

    For video, the Panavision Primo series lenses and the Leica Summilux-C lenses are the best you can get, but will set you back about $200,000 to buy them, so you most likely will have to rent them. Instead, I like to use the Leica-R SLR lenses. To me, the color, tonality and bokeh are just more pleasing than other SLR lenses. However, they are a real pain to have them converted to Nikon mount though, because they do need to be calibrated.

    Also, I like to shoot anamorphic, so I use the Iscorama 42 lens with the Leica 50 and 90 Summicron lenses. The rental houses have snatched up most of the Leica-R glass (and some have already de-clicked and re-mounted them), so just rent them when you need them. Same for the Iscorama 42, although these are even more rare and I have not seen any for rent. However, this is the cheapest route to high quality anamorphic video.

    If you do not care about anamorphic video, then the Zeiss CP.2 compact primes are highly praised but I have not used them. Again, they are expensive and somewhat heavier and larger than the word "compact" would suggest. Lastly, if you also do not care about internal focus, or declicked aperture or color consistency of the CP.2 lenses, then you can try the Zeiss ZF DSLR lenses in Nikon mount. However, I have seen some wide sample variation, having once rented a terrible copy of the 100/2 MP.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    I knew I would upset some people by not mentioning the other top anamorphic lenses here ...

    There are of course extremely high quality video lenses that compete at or exceed the level of the Panavision Primo lenses, and they are the newer Panchro/i series lenses from Cooke as well as the newer "compact" V-Lite series from Hawk. Keep in mind that some of the Hawk lenses can sell for as much as $200K each. This should put all Leica glass in perspective. Even the Leica-S DSLR lenses look like incredible bargains next to these big boys.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    I'm in Lake Clark for the week and due to weight limitations for light plane flight I could not bring the MF kit. I have to say I am extremely impressed with the D800E. It is an incredible camera. It's not a competitor for MF in terms of image quality, color and dynamic range but a huge leap forward in 35mm. It will open up many possibilities for me that did not exist before. It won't replace my MF system by any stretch but impressive just the same.

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    The best setup that money can get for me is :
    Cambo w-rs AE
    Phase one IQ180
    Rodenstock 40 mm Tilt&swing.

    This is the gear I got and I moved from Canon EOS-1 ds mark iii and L glasses.
    It is a dream come through.

    Check out my pictures at Ziya Tacir .

    Ziya Tacir

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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ztacir View Post
    The best setup that money can get for me is :
    Cambo w-rs AE
    Phase one IQ180
    Rodenstock 40 mm Tilt&swing.

    This is the gear I got and I moved from Canon EOS-1 ds mark iii and L glasses.
    It is a dream come through.

    Check out my pictures at Ziya Tacir .

    Ziya Tacir
    I agree Ziya. If I could only have one lens it would be the hr40 t/s. funny thing is don't own it.

    (great new York portfolio btw)

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    Re: D800 vs MFD - pointless if going vs uber MFD? what about others ?

    hi all,

    About topic, well the d800 is very good. We should not think that it will replace MDF, the d800 is just another tool in are bag.

    Back in the days of large format vs Hasselblad, the Blad was a very good system never had the focus, film plane or lens plane controls of a Large format. But it was good.

    Has a fellow photographer told me back then; When you travel by car there are many ways to get to the destination. You can use a Cadillac or a Lada, it is just a question of comfort.

    So the bottom line is, if you fell comfortable with one or the other it is your choice.

    Have a good day, Michel

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