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Thread: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

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    Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I've got this test-review posted, did it mostly for my own curiosity (I am in upgrade mode from an old H1 and P25+ DB), and i think it might be interesting here :-)
    So, I've tested Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40 in terms for details, shadows and highlight recovery. Selected H4D40 as the closest current MF camera to Nikon 36Mpx D800E

    My "Rambo-style" shot with both cameras:


    Part one:
    Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority? Round One « Photigy: technically advanced photography

    Part two:
    Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority? Round two « Photigy: technically advanced photography

    I know that F16 is not the sharpest aperture, but this is what I use the most in a studio product photography, so I needed to see the difference at closed iris.
    Enjoy the read and let me know what do you think.
    Thank you,
    Alex Koloskov
    Photigy: Advanced photography lessons for smart photographers
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Thanks Alex... Very interesting tests ...I've used Phase backs for years...currently P65+on an H2 and H glass. Recently bought into the D800e system and made a point to get primes with only the finest glass, incl. the Zeiss 100 2 makro. Rarely go up to f11 because of defraction issues, but will if I really need to. The medium format was just too much to travel with and the Nikon will be more portable. I'm hoping to get as close to the pixel for pixel quality of my P65 as is possible. Your test show I can get very close..thanks again. Eleanor

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Well, i am a Canon shooter and i have H4D-60, should i convert to Nikon for example because of their D800/D800E?
    Tareq

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Good test. Nikon have done a great job with the D800E to get that close to MF quality. My Hassy H4D-50 will still have an edge, unsurpringly. Much as I like the D800/E, it not a camera for me because

    - Those Nikon colours are not quite right;

    - I cannot easily see when I would use it. If I am not using the Hasselblad, I would probably use the NEX-7 as a travel camera (and the new RX100);

    - I have a number of A mount lenses and I want to see what Sony come up with as their D800 equivalent.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Alex, f16 gives a pretty significant advantage to the Hassy for your micro-resolution comparisons. The MF backs start getting fouled by diffraction around f11.5, so 16 is only slightly on the downward side of it's optimal curve; by contrast, the D800E starts to foul from diffraction after f8, so it is severely compromised by f16. If you really want to see them compared equally, I would suggest shooting the D800E at f5.6 and the Hassy at f8.5...

    After all that, I suspect your conclusion will be the same as Guy and I and then Peter Cox all found comparing the D800 to our Phase cameras: When optimally processed, there is a very slight detail advantage to MF, but it is virtually insignificant to most imaging needs even at extremely large print sizes; the D800 has more *usable* DR; the D800 is superior at high ISOs; and finally, the MF backs remain king of color fidelity and tonal smoothness. I will add that for myself, I find the MF files to more malleable in the raw processor -- specifically in C1 -- than the D800's, for whatever that's worth to potential end users of each.

    All that said, my personal view is that the D800/800E are very clearly "incredible bargains" when entry costs for complete systems are compared to usable end results --- BUT they are not over-night "MF killers" by any definition. When comparing features and benefits of the systems in use as well as the subtleties in the file differences, MF is going to be around for a while, especially for pros working in studio, on location with elaborate lighting, or doing serious architecture...

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    It's no surprise the Hassy produced better results with fine details and skin tones, however I think it's difficult to compare two uniquely different systems. Sure the Nikon has made some huge leaps in coming closer to medium format sensor quality, however your still going to be limited by the quality on Nikon glass vs Hasselblad glass to some degree.

    For most of my work, I'd been a Nikon shooter and had considered Medium Format Digital for over a year. I looked at Phase, Leaf and Hasselblad. As appealing as the D800E seemed as an option, I decided not to just add another Nikon body to my gear and went for a Hasselblad. I picked up a super-low actuation H3DII-31 with 80mm f/2.8 for less than getting into a D800E plus 85mm f/1.4 G. I also picked up the guy's 120mm f/4 macro...

    Having shot with a D800 and being a D3s owner, I can say that the difference for me in shooting the Hasselblad is stunning. I know that there are tons of folks that love to pixel peep but for me and other curious folks, the difference in shooting a D800 vs a Hasselblad is profound. I most definitely appreciate you taking the time to conduct this test and share your results, but at the end of the day I think there are so many more factors to consider. Workflow, aesthetics, quality of glass etc. And there's always showing up to a job with a D800 and having the art director say she just bought one for her husband at Best Buy

    I should mention that when I shot the D800 at ISO100, the results were amazing. However those results degraded significantly at higher ISO - very much like the H3DII-31.

    Cheers,
    Adam

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    And I would add one other thing... Use the Zeiss 100 2 makro in place of the Nikon 105 makro. Think that would also get the 800e closer to the hassy. I have also been using iso 64 as my base iso and that adds some subtle smoothness to tonal transitions on my D800e...you have to look closely but its getting closer to the creamy smoothness of med. format. Eleanor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Alex, f16 gives a pretty significant advantage to the Hassy for your micro-resolution comparisons. The MF backs start getting fouled by diffraction around f11.5, so 16 is only slightly on the downward side of it's optimal curve; by contrast, the D800E starts to foul from diffraction after f8, so it is severely compromised by f16. If you really want to see them compared equally, I would suggest shooting the D800E at f5.6 and the Hassy at f8.5...

    Cheers,

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I think it is easy to see the attraction of the D800 for all the reasons that Jack clearly outlined ... and all at a fabulous price when comparing new-to-new pricing. I also agree that any tests should factor in the shallower DOF of MFD, and any 35 mm DSLR should be compared at the same DOF ratio, not the same f-stop. However, the OP stated that close work at deeper DOF is one objective, so in that case, each system should be tested at it's greatest ability, not to level the playing field.

    Frankly, the Nikon D3X and Sony A900/850 @ 24 meg started the resolution challenge for many applications that people used the entry level MFD cameras for ... depending on the final size of use. I know this first hand because I shot at lot with both the D3X and A900 along with a H3D-II/31 and H3D-II/39. The D800 now improves on both the quality of pixels as well as the number ... but so did my move to the H4D/60 with its Dalsa sensor.

    I also happen to agree with Adam, other factors come into play and are based on specific needs. some MFDs have a number of advantages over any current 35mm DSLR that some want or need, and some do not.

    While I cannot speak to Phase One or the newer Leaf backs, I can outline some specifics for my continued use of Hasselblad MFD, with a continued demise of using 35mm DSLRs of any flavor as my work focus has changed and I slowly leave the wedding photography business to focus on other ventures:

    In at least 75% of my applications, use of studio lighting plays a key role in the work I am now doing. High speed sync, full studio flash is of paramount importance to control the ambient. All of the Hasselblad lenses are leaf shutter, and now can be used on my other MFD camera the Leica S2 ... in leaf shutter or focal plane shutter mode ... which has further eroded the need for a 35mm DSLR in my case.

    Like the OP, I sometimes use a full movement view camera, and in future will upgrade a few of my view lenses ... the issue of optical quality comparisons are a moot point in this regard ... there is no comparison. For less demanding T/S applications I use the Hasselblad HTS/1.5 with lenses from 28mm thru 100mm, which renders the DOF issue as a non-issue while eliminating the need for using any de-fraction f-stop. BTW, contrary to reports, using the H to S adapter the Hasselblad HT/S unit works fine on the S2 and all the software corrections also work. See demo pics below.

    Color accuracy with Hasselblad's True Color feature and Phocus software has made color accurate product photography a no brainer ... something I struggled with when using the Nikon D3X (it could be done, but took to much time).

    Malleable files have taken on more value as retouching and artistic applications have grown in importance.

    The True Focus APL feature has freed me to place the focus point anywhere I want with lenses like the 100/2.2 when shooting close wide open.

    I also use the Hasselblad waist level finder enough to mention it as an advantage.

    The above are practical needs not emotionally fueled arguments for or against anything. Others have different needs and applications which drive their decisions ... not the least of which are system size and price.

    -Marc

    Here's a quick demo I did for a blog entry yet to be published ... the Hasselblad HTS/1.5 on a S2 using the HC100/2.2 (150mm on the HTS), The lenses were staggered and placed 14" deep. I used an optimal f/5.6 set manually on the S2 (could also have been f/8), then shot with and without horizontal tilt (the HTS rotates 360º). f/5.6 also lessened the strobe power needed and recycle was virtually instantaneous. The S2 focus confirmation worked with the HTS
    Last edited by fotografz; 5th August 2012 at 14:10.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Super Alex !!! great review with great online tools for peep-pixels differences.
    Thanks for big effort and to deliver this for Free and with no "Tabus" (DMF VS 33mm WARS) !!!!

    I am a newbie in the DMF, but after using a H3D 22MP for 3 months, it was a deep impact in me and the way i "feel the act" of making photography.

    I think if in the future the technology can make a smartphone with the exact file quality of a Hasselblad H4D, no one here with really passion for photography choose the smartphone vs H4D for a beautiful golden hour landscape picture.
    All user here love photography and they want the best quality file in the end, but the joy, the touch, the feeling of the tools (cameras) of course have great impact in this art.


    Now my only wishes is that Sony produces the same D800 sensor on a Medium Format size, and the Hasselblad used in the H5D in the 10.000$ price range !!!
    THAT ITS THE REALLY REVOLUTION IN THE MARKET THAT WE ARE WAITING!!!

    Pedro

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Pedro,
    I'd like to see a much larger version of the sensor Fuji has in it's X-Pro 1 in medium format and maybe that's what we'll see with a mirror less Hasselblad.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I think that we are in a time of changes:

    Many photographers never experience the joy of shooting and composing a frame with Medium Format, and don´t really understand the feeling and the joy of the big viewfinder, slow handling of the camera and even a hand lightmeter on a DMF workflow.

    So its easy to compare files and say d800 vs H4d its the same, and maybe in the present its time to eat the grass and say " the d800 get the same quality of a 20.000$ H4D camera!" but in the end its not the same...

    I think that Sony/Nikon achive to put the tecnology of Formula 1 engine inside of Ford Focus car, and that its great, but the Hasselblad its another car chassis! diferent wheels, drive wheel, suspension, even if both car now can achive que same top speed...

    Now the challenge for the big ones ( hasselblad, phase one, leaf) its to deliver a marketing strategy/new products with the strenghts of the Medium Format cameras and no more " we have 40MP or 50MP".

    In the 80´s in the age of film cameras, the medium format had a good market share even in the amateur photographers, because in that time the entry level of MF cameras was not 13.000 usd dollars...

    I think that its time for the market of MFD to deliver a 7.000$ 30MP fat pixeis entry level camera system.

    I am a Canon photographer and was in a waiting list for a d800 with 5.000$ in my pocket, but after tried the "old" H3D 22MP it was a game change for me! no more 500 or 700 pictures in a card for a day trip...just 50 ou 70 pictures of great time spend, challenge metering, and clumsy tripod tunning.

    But in the end of the day, that few 50 ou 70 pictures of the " old " 22MP H3D are so special...

    What its difficult to me its that MFD tools are almost forbiten because of prices...but i think that i can find a great deal in second hand in my price range of 5000usd.

    Sorry my bad english
    Pedro
    Last edited by pedro39photo; 5th August 2012 at 15:46.
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    IMO too many comparisons are reduced to mainly resolution and DR and maybe noise.
    Color being one of them-
    IMO there are so many more factors and some which I cant even understand.
    For example how "real" skin tones look, how "deep" an image looks etc.
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    IMO too many comparisons are reduced to mainly resolution and DR and maybe noise.
    Color being one of them-
    IMO there are so many more factors and some which I cant even understand.
    For example how "real" skin tones look, how "deep" an image looks etc.
    I fully agree.

    This is again mixing apples and oranges! I am a H3D39 shooter myself and also have the D800E. While I really have to work hard to get similar results form the D800E (only using top primes) it is just much easier from the Hasselblad. Especially colors.

    But the overall freedom from the D800E is much larger.

    So what is the better tool? There is no such answer. There is only an answer which is pretty clear - PRICE!

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I have both the D800e as well as a H4D60. Yes, the Nikon gives much more freedom however I am really struggling with the colors. There is something about those that I find a bit repulsive especially compared to previous Nikon models.

    The HB is so much more rewarding in the color and rendition area.

    The D800 is really nice with video though...

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Horses for courses. Like I said above, the D800's are not MF killers by any stretch of the imagination. They may, and most likely already have, eliminated a block of serious hobbyists that were on the MF purchase fence to begin with, but the MF systems offer too many advantages for a large sector of working pros.
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Horses for courses. Like I said above, the D800's are not MF killers by any stretch of the imagination. They may, and most likely already have, eliminated a block of serious hobbyists that were on the MF purchase fence to begin with, but the MF systems offer too many advantages for a large sector of working pros.
    Jack, can you summarise some of those advantages you speak of. From someone who is in the process of getting into MF for professional work, it would be great to get your thoughts. From my relatively inexperienced viewpoint, I consider the biggest advantages to MF over D800 are:

    - FAR higher sync speed with LF lenses
    - Greater resolution - more noticeable on larger prints
    - Tilt shift lenses
    - Professional support, i.e. Phase One (my local rep is awesome)!

    Thanks.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    p.s.
    For what it's worth. I did a studio portrait comparison between the IQ140 w SKLS 80mm lens @ f11 vs D800 w Nikon 85mm 1.4 @f9.....I literally could see little-to-no difference between the two at 100%! Obviously, this was not a scientific/conclusive test by any stretch, but an intriguing comparison nonetheless. I am sure the IQ160 and IQ180 would prove another matter.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Yes the 85 1.4 is the lens to use for comparison. I was shooting with my D800e and my 85 1.4g yesterday and it gives wonderful microcontrast. I also have the Phase P65+ with Hassy glass so will have to do a comparison too. Eleanor

    Quote Originally Posted by CBronicki View Post
    p.s.
    For what it's worth. I did a studio portrait comparison between the IQ140 w SKLS 80mm lens @ f11 vs D800 w Nikon 85mm 1.4 @f9.....I literally could see little-to-no difference between the two at 100%! Obviously, this was not a scientific/conclusive test by any stretch, but an intriguing comparison nonetheless. I am sure the IQ160 and IQ180 would prove another matter.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Adobe standard profile is waayyy off for my D800e in Lightroom 4. I always use camera standard or camera portrait which helps a lot. Eleanor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    I have both the D800e as well as a H4D60. Yes, the Nikon gives much more freedom however I am really struggling with the colors. There is something about those that I find a bit repulsive especially compared to previous Nikon models.

    The HB is so much more rewarding in the color and rendition area.

    The D800 is really nice with video though...

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    I have both the D800e as well as a H4D60. Yes, the Nikon gives much more freedom however I am really struggling with the colors. There is something about those that I find a bit repulsive especially compared to previous Nikon models.

    The HB is so much more rewarding in the color and rendition area.

    The D800 is really nice with video though...
    Color with the Nikon s is still an issue . You can see the bias in many of the images from the Olympics . I find the D800E a small improvement in color over the D3X and a very large improvement over the D3/d700 and the D3S . The older lenses have a distinctive yellow green cast which you can remove in post ..but its hard to profile out if you use a mix of old and new lenses.

    I found the skin tones much improved and much easier to achieve ....maybe desaturate the red a small amount . The frustrating aspect of the color (to date for me ) is that it defies calibration ...so I typically have to adjust WB for a set (even with a grey card ) and this makes it all subject to my eye .

    I know with my S2 ..once its calibrated ....I can bang out a good set of images all with the same WB ...the D800E requires an artist touch to get the best color .

    Try shooting Jpegs and adjusting the rendering in the camera and you can see what the sensor can produce ..this just leads me to believe that the post processing (in Adobe) just isn t right .

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    here's a file I shot with a friend's D800, 50mm f/1.4 G @ f/8, ISO100, 1/125. Two Einstein beauty dishes with socks, one key, one fill. it was really just a test shot to help him with his new lighting setup, but i was astounded with the clarity, shadow and highlight detail. the color is way off - too red, but somewhat easily corrected in post. this image is not edited, or color corrected - just Lightroom exported JPEG from RAW.


    D800 by Adam Lerner, on Flickr

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by eleanorbrown View Post
    Yes the 85 1.4 is the lens to use for comparison. I was shooting with my D800e and my 85 1.4g yesterday and it gives wonderful microcontrast. I also have the Phase P65+ with Hassy glass so will have to do a comparison too. Eleanor
    I'd love to see that!

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBronicki View Post
    Jack, can you summarise some of those advantages you speak of. From someone who is in the process of getting into MF for professional work, it would be great to get your thoughts. From my relatively inexperienced viewpoint, I consider the biggest advantages to MF over D800 are:

    - FAR higher sync speed with LF lenses
    - Greater resolution - more noticeable on larger prints
    - Tilt shift lenses
    - Professional support, i.e. Phase One (my local rep is awesome)!

    Thanks.
    You've hit on most. My top 3 would be: higher synch speeds with LS lenses; better color fidelity including the fact that dedicated raw converters usually have a selection of camera profiles based on actual lighting conditions; then ability to use the back on more than one body, tech cam or SLR or even view camera so a wider range of available (excellent quality) glass and compound movements. If you absolutely have to have one or more of those features on a regular basis, you need MF. However if you don't absolutely have to have them, then a D800 kit may suffice in many areas for far less expenditure -- and IMHO this is really where the decision pivot point rests for each individual...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I think an interesting test would be to put my 85 1.4G on the 800e and the Hassy 80 on my P65+ and shoot same scene, then crop the Phase file to approx. 35mm size (approx.) and see a pixel for pixel comparison. I don't think anyone has done anything like this. Eleanor


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    I'd love to see that!
    Last edited by eleanorbrown; 6th August 2012 at 12:53.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I did these tests with my 160 back. Old thread in Nikon forum called First blush.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I did these with a tech cam though. Even better. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Ohhhh ok...actually think these are the RAWs I downloaded from that forum... Shot with the IQ160...Eleanor


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I did these tests with my 160 back. Old thread in Nikon forum called First blush.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by eleanorbrown View Post
    Adobe standard profile is waayyy off for my D800e in Lightroom 4. I always use camera standard or camera portrait which helps a lot. Eleanor
    Thanks Eleanor, I do use the camera standard profile but still something is wrong with the color. Some deep inherent bias towards something green that is not easily gotten rid off. I also find the contrast odd in cases (very flat)

    I am tempted to get C1 just to see if it gets better colors.

    Sofar color is my main gripe, I am sure I will grow into it eventually but this is something that has always been great to me with any MFD I ever owned (Leaf, Sinar, Jenoptik or HB/Imacon).

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    Thanks Eleanor, I do use the camera standard profile but still something is wrong with the color. Some deep inherent bias towards something green that is not easily gotten rid off. I also find the contrast odd in cases (very flat)

    I am tempted to get C1 just to see if it gets better colors.

    Sofar color is my main gripe, I am sure I will grow into it eventually but this is something that has always been great to me with any MFD I ever owned (Leaf, Sinar, Jenoptik or HB/Imacon).

    Trust me it gets a lot better. I did not like anything in ACR or NX2.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I trust my IQ 160 in C1 to be deadly accurate. Pretty damn close with Nikon







    If anything the Nikon has a touch more saturation which is a easy correction
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by eleanorbrown View Post
    I think an interesting test would be to put my 85 1.4G on the 800e and the Hassy 80 on my P65+ and shoot same scene, then crop the Phase file to approx. 35mm size (approx.) and see a pixel for pixel comparison. I don't think anyone has done anything like this. Eleanor
    The correct Hasselblad lens for that comparison would be the HC100/2.2, not the HC80/2.8.

    What would be the point of cropping the Phase file to 35mm size? It is a 645 sensor. That would be like cropping a D800 file to match a Sony A77 APSC sensor ... which I'd like to see : -)

    A more telling test would be to blow up the Nikon D800 file to equal the P65+ file and see what happens.

    -Marc

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBronicki View Post
    Jack, can you summarise some of those advantages you speak of. From someone who is in the process of getting into MF for professional work, it would be great to get your thoughts. From my relatively inexperienced viewpoint, I consider the biggest advantages to MF over D800 are:

    - FAR higher sync speed with LF lenses
    - Greater resolution - more noticeable on larger prints
    - Tilt shift lenses
    - Professional support, i.e. Phase One (my local rep is awesome)!

    Thanks.
    I'm not Jack but I posted a partial list a few months ago on LL copied below.

    - large and bright viewfinder***
    - touch screen interface (some bodies); hard to find a system you can check 100% focus on faster on a specific part of the image than an IQ or Credo
    - tools like auto-horizon and auto-keystone which correct the level and pitch of the image in software based on the electronic levels in the back, making every horizon straight and every vertical parallel without manual tweaking
    - Flash sync speed with standard strobes rather than dinky flashes (up to 1/1600th)
    - More tactile lens response when manually focusing (large focus barrel, actual lens gearing*)
    - aspect ratio (some prefer 4:3 or 1:1, especially for verticals)
    - waist level viewfinder (some bodies)
    - ability to shoot vertical without rotating camera (some backs)
    - low ISO without ND filters (useful for dragging shutter in some styles)
    - ability to shoot film with same system as digital (some bodies)
    - ability to turn sensor on/off independent of the shutter/flash firing (allows to build up exposure with strobes without excessive ambient light, even in bright conditions e.g. interiors)
    - ability to crop a vertical and horizontal from the same frame (even 36mp in 3:2 is not enough for many applications when cropped to a vertical)
    - ability to use on specific legacy cameras (some folks just plain love Contax, Hassy 500)
    - ability to use on speciality equipment like Aerial, industrial, art-repro systems (obviously a niche)
    - ability to use on tech cameras
    ---- rise/fall/shift/swing/tilt on every lens (if IC allows)
    ---- fully mechanical/traditional shooting
    ---- absolute best glass, period
    ---- ground glass (some prefer it regardless of other options)
    - compatibility with view cameras
    ---- close focus possible with many lenses, not just select macros
    ---- rise/fall/shift/swing/tilt on every lens, not just select TS lenses
    ---- ground glass (some prefer it regardless of other options)
    - less frequent updates required (we still have many happy studio shooters using H25 backs users, don't know many happy Canon 1D shooters)**
    - longer software support (original Phase One Lightphase from 1998 is still fully supported tethered in OSX 10.7 and Capture One 6, while the Canon 5D from 2006 isn't even officially supported tethered in LR4 or EOS Utility in OSX 10.7, nor 1Ds II in Windows 7 64 bit)
    - consistent shooting speed; an IQ or Credo can maintain it's frame-rate indefinitely with a fast CF card, any Canon/Nikon can shoot much faster but unless you restrain yourself you can easily hit a buffer and the camera won't fire when you think it should. The IQ or Credo will be slower (around 1.2fps for the 40mp model) but it is reliably consistent - you know when you can shoot next and can develop a rhythm.
    - larger bodies (for some this will be a big negative, but for others their hands are simply too large to comfortably use a camera like the D800, even with the optional vertical grip)


    *As opposed to e.g. the Canon 85/1.2 with fly-by-wire focusing and a dinky focus barrel
    **This is not just a question of cost since of course the 1D owner could have updated to a 1DsII and a 1DsIII and spent about the same; some photographers just dislike the hassle of switching cameras - new batteries, new chargers, new cables, new settings, new button locations, new software, new look (forcing them in some cases to expend time/energy getting the new camera to produce the look of the old camera). Some photographers love getting new gear, some despise it.
    ***I never understood why this isn't mentioned/discussed more often; you have to look through the viewfinder for nearly every frame you take - it's your portal to the world you are capturing.
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    When you increase the camera format size, for the same captured scene, all “analogical” optical details will be larger. Lens resolve larger detail better (in term of transmitted contrast c.f. MTF): the same image capture will have better micro-contrast = better “dimensionality”, even examined at a ~low resolution! That's the law of optics, nothing can change that even wishful thinking. Larger format will always have an advantage IQ wise, not because of the sensor but because of the use of lenses in a better zone of their MTF!

    For life-like-ness / “high-fidelity”: large format > medium format > small format.
    This is especially visible in scenes rich in details the brain is “trained” to process: e.g. a group of people, a person + detailed surroundings. Much less in portrait close up (where few details are needed to process one face), macro photography ("unfamiliar" details) etc…

    So why do people keep comparing camera formats by pixel peeping on "flat" scenes?
    When you pixel peep such high resolution images, you only look at very high spatial frequencies, that are anyway not well resolved (in term of transmitted contrast c.f. MTF). The transmitted contrast start to level off / flatten at such high spatial frequencies, so there is not much differential between full frame and 645 (although even in those not so meaningful conditions the D800 looks very low res. in the cameralabs.com Nikon_D800_vs_Phase_One test)
    It’s the transmission of MEDIUM SPATIAL FREQUENCIES that is important for the punch/dimensionality of an image! Take some elevation from the pixels! and use pictures with many brain "processable" details e.g. a group of people in an urban environment.

    Medium format is not just better for large enlargements, it gives more life-like images, this is visible even on ~1000px wide web images! provided the scene as some relief to begin with!
    E.g. search for Medium Format on 500px.com. Some images instead of being just mere "pictures" look like a window to a moment frozen in time.
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Of course my P65+has the size advantage..no question about that. I want to do a crop of the Phase sensor to equal 35mm size shoot at same focal length as my D800e and make prints, say at 16x24 or 20x30 and compare the two. Eleanor

    W
    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The correct Hasselblad lens for that comparison would be the HC100/2.2, not the HC80/2.8.

    What would be the point of cropping the Phase file to 35mm size? It is a 645 sensor. That would be like cropping a D800 file to match a Sony A77 APSC sensor ... which I'd like to see : -)

    A more telling test would be to blow up the Nikon D800 file to equal the P65+ file and see what happens.

    -Marc

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by edouard View Post

    So why do people keep comparing camera formats by pixel peeping on "flat" scenes?
    When you pixel peep such high resolution images, you only look at very high spatial frequencies, that are anyway not well resolved (in term of transmitted contrast c.f. MTF). The transmitted contrast start to level off / flatten at such high spatial frequencies, so there is not much differential between full frame and 645 (although even in those not so meaningful conditions the D800 looks very low res. in the cameralabs.com Nikon_D800_vs_Phase_One test)
    It’s the transmission of MEDIUM SPATIAL FREQUENCIES that is important for the punch/dimensionality of an image! Take some elevation from the pixels! and use pictures with many brain "processable" details e.g. a group of people in an urban environment.

    Medium format is not just better for large enlargements, it gives more life-like images, this is visible even on ~1000px wide web images! provided the scene as some relief to begin with!
    E.g. search for Medium Format on 500px.com. Some images instead of being just mere "pictures" look like a window to a moment frozen in time.
    Not to take the thread off subject, but I just have had a hard time looking at examples of this camera vs. that camera via web on a computer monitor. I've not always able to see these differences as well as those who post comments about those differences. There's always differences in processing to complicate the test. And then some of those images are converted to BW.

    I certainly noticed the more life-like images when I added a Hasselblad to my studio. I would add that those mfd files are easier to retouch due to so much more information present.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    The d800e is a wonderful camera that blows away any other 35mm currently available but it's files still have a 35mm look to them. I don't understand the math as well as others on this thread but the difference in print and even on screen is obvious. Just as MF film had a unique look, so does MFD IMHO. When MFD fits and is competently executed it blows away the ambiance of any 35mm system.

    That said, when you take the cost and functionality the d800e provides it is a welcome addition to the toolkit. For certain subjects it is an invaluable tool. With the higher resolution and image quality you can produce stunning prints that you couldn't before.

    D800e, 200-400mm, ISO 1100, 1/800. It looks great in a 40x60 print even with a 10-20% crop:

    Ed Cooley Fine Art Photography
     
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by etrump View Post
    The d800e is a wonderful camera that blows away any other 35mm currently available but it's files still have a 35mm look to them. I don't understand the math as well as others on this thread but the difference in print and even on screen is obvious. Just as MF film had a unique look, so does MFD IMHO. When MFD fits and is competently executed it blows away the ambiance of any 35mm system.

    That said, when you take the cost and functionality the d800e provides it is a welcome addition to the toolkit. For certain subjects it is an invaluable tool. With the higher resolution and image quality you can produce stunning prints that you couldn't before.

    D800e, 200-400mm, ISO 1100, 1/800. It looks great in a 40x60 print even with a 10-20% crop:

    Before I got to the end of your post and looked at the photo I thought it was MFDB, i.e. IQ160/180...awesome quality! It reminds me of this wildlife photographer who uses an 80mp Leaf Aptus:

    Nikolai Zinoviev:
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBronicki View Post
    Before I got to the end of your post and looked at the photo I thought it was MFDB, i.e. IQ160/180...awesome quality! It reminds me of this wildlife photographer who uses an 80mp Leaf Aptus:

    Nikolai Zinoviev:
    All wonderful shots to be sure ... but what etrump and others have described in their posts is evident in the pictorial differences ... IMO.

    -Marc

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    All wonderful shots to be sure ... but what etrump and others have described in their posts is evident in the pictorial differences ... IMO.

    -Marc
    Why not just enjoy the really stunning quality of the D800 / D800E with proper lenses and leave all that MFDB comparisons alone?

    I could not be happier with my D800E and some selected lenses as I am now! I have not touched the Hassi since I have the D800E as this one is so much more fun and easiness to shoot and deliver. This does not mean that the Hassi could not produce better, but for my usage in 98% the D800E delivers.

    And I bet not many people could tell the difference between a shot taken with D800 / D800E or any MFDB out there
    Life is an ever changing journey
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    In these comparisons, it's never mentioned that the D800 shoots broadcast quality video! What's to compare? The D800 is a game changer for many photographers, and the only thing to compare is the entry price of MFD. I also agree that the D800 gets you very close to MFD, and with certain technique, the perceived DOF too.

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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Why not just enjoy the really stunning quality of the D800 / D800E with proper lenses and leave all that MFDB comparisons alone?
    I think that is the point people are making. The facts are the same reason most of us shoot mfd is the nuances of the file that are hard to pinpoint technically. It is an artistic aesthetic of iq, dr, micro contrast, and flexible file characteristics that makes a huge difference in the "look". The d800 does NOT give you those characteristics.

    Nothing negative about the d800 which fills other needs extremely well (like video, high ISO, vibration reduction, high resolution, some weather protection and a rock solid body).

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Why not just enjoy the really stunning quality of the D800 / D800E with proper lenses and leave all that MFDB comparisons alone?

    I could not be happier with my D800E and some selected lenses as I am now! I have not touched the Hassi since I have the D800E as this one is so much more fun and easiness to shoot and deliver. This does not mean that the Hassi could not produce better, but for my usage in 98% the D800E delivers.

    And I bet not many people could tell the difference between a shot taken with D800 / D800E or any MFDB out there
    We are all so happy that you are happy ... however, using the viewing criteria most use to do these assessments, not many people could tell the difference between a shot taken with my A900 and Zeiss glass from a D800 shot ... currently at 1/2 the price of the D800 And, BTW, I STILL like the A900 look/feel and color better than any Nikon shot from any Nikon, which is why I sold all my Nikon gear and never regretted it.

    RE:MFD ... It is not anyone's fault if one can't tell the difference between format characteristics and someone else can. It is just the way it is. So debating it in declarative terms is a waste of time. It's just dueling opinions. However, I do appreciate those posting very nice images from their D800 because it removed any doubt I may have had about wanting one ... I don't.

    But hey, this IS the medium format forum, so what did you expect?

    BTW: The new motto for the MFD forum should be ... "Enjoy the Toy" I know I am.

    -Marc
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    In these comparisons, it's never mentioned that the D800 shoots broadcast quality video! What's to compare? The D800 is a game changer for many photographers, and the only thing to compare is the entry price of MFD. I also agree that the D800 gets you very close to MFD, and with certain technique, the perceived DOF too.
    If I want or need "Broadcast Quality" for broadcast applications (which I do), I'll hire a RED camera and a DP that knows how to use it ... otherwise it'll be over-kill high quality video of birthday parties for the most part.

    Still waiting for the game to change ... haven't seen anything that shows this camera has changed anyone's photography so far. In some cases I think a few folks have taken a step back in their photographic aesthetic ...

    But, this IS the Medium Format forum, so what did you expect?

    -Marc
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Why not just enjoy the really stunning quality of the D800 / D800E with proper lenses and leave all that MFDB comparisons alone?

    I could not be happier with my D800E and some selected lenses as I am now! I have not touched the Hassi since I have the D800E as this one is so much more fun and easiness to shoot and deliver. This does not mean that the Hassi could not produce better, but for my usage in 98% the D800E delivers.

    And I bet not many people could tell the difference between a shot taken with D800 / D800E or any MFDB out there
    Peter,
    I agree with you that many of those comparisons get to a point which is useless to me.
    You enjoy shooting the D800E and your Hassy is in the shelve, I enjoy the S2 and my Nikon (D700 since this is the Nikon of my choice at the moment) is in the shelve.
    Want speed, convenience, zooms and long tele, economical good price/value -> use Nikon.
    Want large viewfinder, "ultimate" IQ, ability to use shutter in the lens -> use MF
    want both use both or whatever works for you
    I find as soon as those discussion go into a direction "one is better than the other" it gets boaring.

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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    I hate to point out the obvious, but sensors with the same pixel resolution working at Nyquist will resolve the same detail in a target regardless of the size of the sensor. Yet, the Nex7 is not a 5D killer and the 5D is not a p25+ killer. If the only thing that matter in an image is pixel resolution, boy do I have a cell phone for you.
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I hate to point out the obvious, but sensors with the same pixel resolution working at Nyquist will resolve the same detail in a target regardless of the size of the sensor. Yet, the Nex7 is not a 5D killer and the 5D is not a p25+ killer. If the only thing that matter in an image is pixel resolution, boy do I have a cell phone for you.
    This of course assuming the strength of the AA filter (if present) is similar and the algorithms used to extract the photographically useful detail are similar and the noise of the sensor does not interfere with the proper rendition of detail, and if detail includes "accurate color detail" also assume the color array is similar in color coverage (e.g. color filters optimized for effective ISO vs accurate color) and a debayer algorithm formed with intimate knowledge (and effort/expertise) of the color pattern used as well as the response of the pixel wells.

    But anyway it's almost losing the forest for the trees. There are dozens of technical factors that determine image quality (which itself is only the lesser half of the picture, the greater half being the artistic/aesthetic side). You don't shoot pixels, you shoot cameras. I feel strongly that cameras should be compared to cameras, not pixels compared to pixels.
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by etrump View Post
    The d800e is a wonderful camera that blows away any other 35mm currently available but it's files still have a 35mm look to them. I don't understand the math as well as others on this thread but the difference in print and even on screen is obvious. Just as MF film had a unique look, so does MFD IMHO. When MFD fits and is competently executed it blows away the ambiance of any 35mm system.
    Exactly. Well said!



    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I trust my IQ 160 in C1 to be deadly accurate. Pretty damn close with Nikon







    If anything the Nikon has a touch more saturation which is a easy correction
    IQ160 has a very good sensor, come on Guy, are you really not able to tell more difference???


    Attaching a file from my AFi-II 12. Processing that file simply led me to a quality that is a sheer pleasure from the Leaf. It is something about the colors, the character of the file and how I can push and bring it towards the end result that I experience as a good image. Check out the eyes in the file at 100%, here http://www.yousendit.com/download/TE...bEpqY3FwSHNUQw. I should say that the picture is a mere a 4.7 MP crop simply because I did not like the rest of the pose of the model in that shot. Thus, it is not mere about pixels... (of course)

    Did a number of amateur shoots in Shanghai late last year through the spring. See my Chinese blog Anders_HK and click on the images for more pictures from each shoot. I was very content with my images which I found had a character consistent higher than other shooters, though quality of shooters varied from novice to guys that spent tons of hours in PS for a single image using layers and masks etc etc. I simply did mine in Capture One. I love Capture One, it is so photographic to my mind of working and yields great results. I do not use PS and do not see a point in it.

    It is not only the image quality and what is related. It is also about different cameras. Medium format slows you down to think, which is a good thing and results in better images. With hy6 it is also a complete different shooting experience than Mamiya 645. Hy6 is awesome (at least to me). I pre-visualize on a large 6x6cm focus screen and post visualize on a 6x7cm tilting display. Rotating sensor works really really great, not to mention that with waist level finder I can cradle the camera without lifting it to head standing. That is so much easier to hold steady and result in more sharp pictures.

    A DSLR have a myriad of functions and buttons and would make me complete lost and not able to same way control the image. Too complicated with DSLR. I like simple. Yet... our preferences may well differ. Fine. But... to argue D800E or other DSLR is like medium format is plain silly!

    If you do not see it, be happy. You save alot of $$$

    To OP: Great work with the comparison, for your specific needs.

    Cheers,
    Anders

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    We are all so happy that you are happy ... however, using the viewing criteria most use to do these assessments, not many people could tell the difference between a shot taken with my A900 and Zeiss glass from a D800 shot ... currently at 1/2 the price of the D800 And, BTW, I STILL like the A900 look/feel and color better than any Nikon shot from any Nikon, which is why I sold all my Nikon gear and never regretted it.

    RE:MFD ... It is not anyone's fault if one can't tell the difference between format characteristics and someone else can. It is just the way it is. So debating it in declarative terms is a waste of time. It's just dueling opinions. However, I do appreciate those posting very nice images from their D800 because it removed any doubt I may have had about wanting one ... I don't.

    But hey, this IS the medium format forum, so what did you expect?

    BTW: The new motto for the MFD forum should be ... "Enjoy the Toy" I know I am.

    -Marc
    Marc,

    I do appreciate your point of view and maybe you are one of the handful people who can tell the difference between MFD and a D800E with a proper lens. But I still would not bet my life on that

    As I said - if you read my post carefully - I know that the Hasselblad can produce "better" images than the D800E as can do the S2. But we had this discussion already several times and nothing changes the fact that the difference in many cases is not so big, at least so big that it justifies the much higher price of any current MFD. Add to that the convenience of 35 FF and it gets pretty hard to continue this discussion. And then we still did not even talk about the price

    And BTW I also think you for sure can tell the difference between MFD and m43 - can you? I am sure you can as you also cam do the same between MFD and FF. But I would even bet you could not if m43 is used with the appropriate lenses and you have to compare images with same MP count.

    So what is the point of all that insisting?
    Life is an ever changing journey
    http://photography.tomsu.eu/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/peter_...tography/sets/
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  49. #49
    Senior Member eleanorbrown's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    You make such a good point (below)...I agree with you. I have used Phase backs with a H2 system since 2005, now have the P65+ and much of my best work has been done with these backs. I shot medium and large format in film days so high quality is important to me. I've carted my Phase equipment to Antarctica, and to the Alaskan wilderness and to very high elevations (on foot) and lots of places in-between and I've decided it's getting really heavy and bulky to take to these places (and I'm not getting any younger!). Also I always have taken a back up system...in the past it's been Canon which had added extra bulk and weight. With my new Nikon D800e I've found an alternative to travel with that's easier to cart around. I'll probably do some comparisons with my Phase back to see what I have to do with my 800e to get as close to the P65+ as possible...ie: shoot at iso 64 or whatever.... use the best RAW processing, use only the highest rated Nikon and Zeiss glass, good shooting technique, etc etc. I think I can get very close to my P65+ quality making the right choices with my D800e. Yes P65+ files are larger, but my days of making really large prints are for the most part over, so print size shouldn't be that much of an issue. I'm going to enjoy my D800e. Eleanor

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Why not just enjoy the really stunning quality of the D800 / D800E with proper lenses and leave all that MFDB comparisons alone?

    I could not be happier with my D800E and some selected lenses as I am now! I have not touched the Hassi since I have the D800E as this one is so much more fun and easiness to shoot and deliver. This does not mean that the Hassi could not produce better, but for my usage in 98% the D800E delivers.

    And I bet not many people could tell the difference between a shot taken with D800 / D800E or any MFDB out there
    Eleanor Brown
    http://www.eleanorbrown.com
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  50. #50
    photohagen
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    Re: Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

    exactly! since getting a d800e, i haven't picked up my alpa/phase kit. alpa cameras are nice but can be a pita to lug around. the 800e is a pleasure to use and totally liberating. i've taken out the 800e on some of the most hot and humid days this summer and found it a total pleasure to use. who knows - if this keeps up - maybe i'll sell my alpa/phase gear.

    rh

    Quote Originally Posted by eleanorbrown View Post
    You make such a good point (below)...I agree with you. I have used Phase backs with a H2 system since 2005, now have the P65+ and much of my best work has been done with these backs. I shot medium and large format in film days so high quality is important to me. I've carted my Phase equipment to Antarctica, and to the Alaskan wilderness and to very high elevations (on foot) and lots of places in-between and I've decided it's getting really heavy and bulky to take to these places (and I'm not getting any younger!). Also I always have taken a back up system...in the past it's been Canon which had added extra bulk and weight. With my new Nikon D800e I've found an alternative to travel with that's easier to cart around. I'll probably do some comparisons with my Phase back to see what I have to do with my 800e to get as close to the P65+ as possible...ie: shoot at iso 64 or whatever.... use the best RAW processing, use only the highest rated Nikon and Zeiss glass, good shooting technique, etc etc. I think I can get very close to my P65+ quality making the right choices with my D800e. Yes P65+ files are larger, but my days of making really large prints are for the most part over, so print size shouldn't be that much of an issue. I'm going to enjoy my D800e. Eleanor

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