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Thread: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

  1. #1
    CBronicki
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    IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Hi folks,

    Any feedback/thoughts on the IQ180 for commercial portraiture and fashion work? Will need to do large prints in many cases, i.e. shop-front windows.

    I will be mainly using SK 80mm LS and 110MM LS lenses, so I am assuming there are no LCC issues here?

    My alternative is the IQ160. The financial side is not a consideration regarding my query, just the practicality, workflow, IQ etc.

    Oh, and I love b&w photography (for what its worth).

    Cheers,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    The LS lenses are excellent and there are no LCC issues with either back when used on the Phase DF camera. Either back will perform exceptionally well; my personal preference is always go for the most
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    If you haven't used the DF system before, I'd suggest trying it out first. The focusing system is very poor compared to a pro series Canon or Nikon. There's only one focus point, and you can't really tell where it is for sure. You also have to use work-arounds, like double tapping the release button to focus two or three times. If you can work around the weakness you can get some great images. But, expect some out of focus frames, especially as you're learning the system.

  4. #4
    CBronicki
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Thanks Jack.

    I have had a little experience focusing with a loaned IQ back and noticed focusing was worlds apart from my full frame Nikon DSLRs (as one would expect), but apparently there are also ways to focus relatively quickly and accurately somewhat similar to Hasselblads True Focus Lock system.

    For the most part I will be using this for more static type photo shoots or possibly using both formats in shoots to be safe (initially).

    Any idea of what is a good notebook/Mac for tethering, especially if I had one custom upgraded? The files are huge and there is no USB3 yet!

    Cheers.

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    I would seriously consider IQ180 and a very well used Hasselblad H2 camera.

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Few thoughts:

    While a 16 bit TIFF processed out will be enormous, the raw files are really not that "huge" (40-80mb each depending on the compression used). Tethering speed (frames per second, frames per minute, capture-to-onscreen-review time are all very impressive even with average mac laptops. While I wouldn't suggest you use an old laptop, any Mac laptop with 8gb of ram or higher and an SSD will make a fine tethering machine. As you say USB3 is not yet enabled (painful I know) but the Thunderbolt-to-firewire adapter from Apple is shipping this week and we (Digital Transitions) expect to test it on Monday; if it works as advertised it will cover the newer laptops which have thunderbolt, but no firewire, until such a time as USB3 is available.

    If budget and weight are no object then a souped up MacBookPro with two high quality SSD drives (one boot, one capture) is the way to go for a tethered station. The graphics card in the MacBookPro is useful to Capture One (used for tethering a Phase One back) while making adjustments.

    But the computer that requires the horsepower is the mass-editing/processing/retouching computer. A souped up MBP, top-line iMac, or Mac Pro with a reference-grade monitor (e.g. Eizo) is highly suggested for that where financially possible. Processing out 480mb 16 bit TIFFs, layering and retouching, requires a lot of ram, CPU power, and GPU power, and hard drive read/write speed.

    The resolution of the IQ180 is higher than the IQ160, but I think it's important to keep perspective - the resolution of the IQ160 is really stunning. For fashion I think the advantage of the speed of shooting (both frames per minute, and shot to review time) on the IQ160 might be more useful than the resolution gain of 80mp vs 60mp. However, this is highly dependent on your shooting style and print-quality needs. One way I like to put things in perspective is to say that if you capture a sharp IQ160 file and print it well, it will likely be the most detailed image nearly any consumer is likely to have ever seen in person. However, an IQ180 will beat it, so if absolute print quality is a very high priority, and a modest drop in capture speed/responsiveness is an acceptable trade off then the IQ180 it's the only way to go.

    You may also wish to look at the Mamiya Leaf Credo 60 and Credo 80 which share a lot in common with the IQ180 and IQ160 (same sensors, same general architecture) but have different color responses and a moderately different user interface. For fashion oriented shooting it's worth your time to visit a dealer that has both (selfish suggestion as we fit the bill) and compare the look of the resulting images from both to see which fits your aesthetics best. Leaf has historically been very well respected for it's color profiles when it comes to skin tone color and gradations, and from our experience so far the Credo continues this tradition.

    Re: focus... it's not Nikon or Canon. But it works. Once you get used to the system. I speak here both as a product technical expert and as a user. Would I take IQ180 quality with Nikon D4 focusing? Absolutely, but I can get reliably good focus results with minimal hassle from the DF provided half-decent illumination (e.g. not focusing in the dark) and reasonably static shots (e.g. working with a model moving on a standard studio cyc). This is very personal though (your eye sight, your reaction speed, your manner of shooting) so do not take anyone else's advice on focusing/shooting-speed, get to a dealer and evaluate it in as close-to-your-actual-use-as-possible situations. If you can't get to a dealer most (including us) offer rentals that can be shipped anywhere which count towards purchase if you decide to pull the trigger.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Quote Originally Posted by studio347 View Post
    I would seriously consider IQ180 and a very well used Hasselblad H2 camera.
    Out of curiosity why do you suggest an H2 rather than an H4X given that the OP specifically stated budget is not a big concern?

    I'd suggest the OP handle an H4X+IQ, DF+IQ, and a Contax+IQ. You really never know what's going to suit someone's fancy until they've put it up to their eye and done some shooting.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    ...since I don't have experience with H4X and I heard that we need to start from H1 or H2 to upgrade to H4X. Also I heard that there are some issues with IQ180 and H4X together. I'm not sure about this though.
    If there are no issues between IQ180 and H4X, H4X might be better.
    I think the advice regarding skin tone can be important too. I think OP needs to get some good advices from portrait and fashion photographers regarding this area.

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Gotchya.

    IQ + H4X had a few bugs the first few weeks the H4X was out. After the first firmware update on the H4X it's been nothing but smooth sailing.

    Notably, unlike the H3D and H4D, any H4X can be used with any H mount P+, IQ, or Credo back. So if the OP bought an IQ180H but needed a faster frame rate, longer max exposure, or a square frame he could rent e.g. a IQ140, Credo 40, P45+H etc and snap it right on his H4X. Or if his body went down he could rent/borrow any H1/H2/H4X and continue shooting with his back. The joy of being on an open platform :-).
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

  10. #10
    CBronicki
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    i never considered using an IQ180 etc with a H4X body. It may be an improvement over the 645DF body with regards to focusing efficiency. Any thoughts on pros/cons to using Phase backs on the H4X?

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Regarding the Hasselblad camera with IQ, it's a little delicate issue to discuss about it in the forum for some reasons. But even though with very limited experience, I think and feel that Hassel is a very good camera. I didn't feel that way for the other camera.
    There are many areas to consider such as viewfinder, shutter, shutter release, mirror, lens choices, and rental options....
    We need to test different options for ourselves for enough time to tell the differences.

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    I shoot with an H4x and P30+. The H4x's AF is much more accurate than the DF in my opinion. I have extensively shot with all three, the DF, H2 and H4x and the true focus abilities really are a huge advantage for portraiture, especially when shooting with the macro or 100 2.2 wide open. I've found it more accurate than the Nikon/Canon as well(not as fast though) in certain situations. I would highly recommend that you try out the credo or IQ back with the H4x and compare that to the DF body.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    You owe GetDPI a review of your experiences with the H4x, Josh.

    Even though I'm firmly locked into a Phase camera body, it doesn't mean I don't enjoy hearing about other body options and medium format technology. The H4x and a Phase IQ MFDB sounds like a great marriage....

    ken

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    You don't need 80MP to shoot portrait or fashion. I would pick up an H4D 40 and call it a day.

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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    I don't shoot commercialy but have been going to Hainan to photograph the chance happening there. Carrying two sets a) Canon 1Ds mk III and b) Phase DF P65+ which I upgraded to IQ180. PLus plenty of lenses to both sets.

    I use both and trying to move more to IQ180. As mentioned by others the focusing is the biggest difference in everyday usage. Learning all the time more. Canon 6 Phase DF 1.

    BUT I really love the output I'm getting from Phase files. Well, mostly using
    the LS lenses.

    Currently printing 60x80cm prints for coming exhibition and I can clearly see the differences (Canon - Phase). For portraits I'd say the 80LS is quite like
    Canons 85mm 1.2 when used at around 2.0. Just love the bokeh on both of these.

    Really wish to get a new body to replace the DF, but no plans on giving away the IQ180 back. It's coming but when? Just like the wide angle T/S lens, promises, promises, ...

    Also for portraits I'm shooting 99% hand held. Weight no big issue as both sets are heavy and near equal. With existing light, no flash!

    From me, go for IQ180

    Kirmo

  16. #16
    CBronicki
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharokin View Post
    You don't need 80MP to shoot portrait or fashion. I would pick up an H4D 40 and call it a day.
    And there would be those with a P25+ back or Nikon D800 that would say you don't need a H4D-40. It is subjective any many ways and also depends on the clients needs. Mine want LARGE prints and I am competing with the best photographers with arguably some of the best gear.
    Furthermore, I do not want to find myself upgrading in 18months. That is, I would rather outlay the extra money now for the best and know it will be a leading digital back for the foreseeable future. But don't get me wrong, I think I get your point - it would be more pertinent if money were a huge issue.
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    To back CB up, I lived and worked in NYC for 7 yrs shooting fashion and portraiture, I know what he means by his competition.

    I shot H series and for a while loved it, however when my Hassy rep left, the NYC Hassy attitude left a lot to be desired, so I switched and have never looked back.

    Ken has a point though, we all love gear and love to hear about it... All of it...!!!!

    CB..

    Knowing a lot of NYC creatives and London creatives, they are picky and know their sh!t but... They cannot tell a print from a 60mp back to an 80mp.

    Also you 'rezz up' an IQ160 file to 80mp on the rare times you need to and no one will see any difference, trust me.

    Creatives want speed (and power, but that's for another day), I'd suggest working with a dealer and trying the H4X, a DF (Contax is a nice idea but no rental houses have them, not easy to get.spares for etc...)

    Just go and shoot for 2 days in a studio with both systems and both backs, after day one, forget pixel peeping and see which camera allowed you to do your job, day two which tethered system allowed youto do your job (images appearing quickly on a monitor).

    If you shoot on location a lot, take your Profoto or Hensel kit out in the field and see if your favourite kit from the last two days works with weaker modelling lights etc...

    This is your job, the camera you choose should not get in the way of how you work, you should just want to get out there and shoot more.

    Doug and all the fellas at CI, Digital Transitions and Yair in London just want to help you buy kit you will love to use.

    FWIW I DIDN'T upgrade my P45, because no clients have ever questioned the image quality, but I did invest in the Schneider LS lenses, I'd rather rent a big back if a client needs it and know my own lenses have been looked after...... Not always the case at even the best rental houses.

    I recently shot a portrait for a book cover of a fairly big personality, lots of buzz in the studio, clients there, a few others etc..... No one questioned the image quality, all they wanted to see we're the files on the dual screens ASAP...... After 10 minutes they are all on their blackberries (always a good sign).

    Good luck

    Steve
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Quote Originally Posted by CBronicki View Post
    Hi folks,

    Any feedback/thoughts on the IQ180 for commercial portraiture and fashion work? Will need to do large prints in many cases, i.e. shop-front windows.

    I will be mainly using SK 80mm LS and 110MM LS lenses, so I am assuming there are no LCC issues here?

    My alternative is the IQ160. The financial side is not a consideration regarding my query, just the practicality, workflow, IQ etc.

    Oh, and I love b&w photography (for what its worth).

    Cheers,
    Chris
    I have a question. Fashion can include inherent dynamic subjects or mostly carefully arranged static ones (including carefully posed human models).

    Do you cover all the spectrum or mostly static?


    Best regards,

    James

  19. #19
    CBronicki
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    Re: IQ180 for portraits, fashion etc

    Quote Originally Posted by jduncan View Post
    I have a question. Fashion can include inherent dynamic subjects or mostly carefully arranged static ones (including carefully posed human models).

    Do you cover all the spectrum or mostly static?


    Best regards,

    James
    I cover the full spectrum.

    Medium format in my case would primarily be used for more static shoots (where the art director and I have pre-planned much of the scene), as opposed to having a model jumping around in front of strobes in a studio and rapidly changing poses etc.

    Chris

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