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Thread: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

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    Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    I'm considering a MFDB outfit to produce large finely detailed prints (4x5 ft, give or take), city- and landscapes, urban architecture. Overall, I'd like to keep the expense to no more than $12K. Camera-wise, I believe that rise/fall and shift will be very helpful, so I'm looking at the Cambo WRS. Lens-wise, I'm researching, looking at a single schneider or rodenstock wide to start. For the back, I'm researching heavily because I'm pretty clueless as to options, but thinking about 40-ish mpx, used of course, such as the Hasselblad CFV-39.

    Prior to my interest in producing larger prints, I've been happy with my Canon 5DII and two TSE lenses, the 24II and the 90 for work up to 20x30. While I've used a Mamiya 7 and tried a couple of LF rigs awhile back, I'm inexperienced outside of small format.

    Any advice or constructive criticism will be appreciated.

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    Re: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    On a tech camera solution I would look to: Cambo, Arca and Alpa. There are users of each on this forum. I was set to purchase the Cambo until I was able to use the Arca rm3di. It made more sense to me and still does for my style of photography.

    A good dealer can help here as they should be able to allow you to demo the equipment. It's important to try out the equipment with the lens/lenses you expect to use and if possible the back. The dealer can also assist you with support for the products after the purchase. All three of the companies are based overseas, and it's hard to get support from them unless you go through your dealer.

    I am in Arkansas and if you are close, could arrange to show you the Arca rm3di or email me if you have any questions.

    Paul

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    Re: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    I would start with a Rodie 40 or SK 43 in a TS mount for the WRS. Than you can go wide or longer from there. This is a good focal length to build around. For a great used back look at the Phase p40 plus. You need about 15k to nail down a good setup to start but you can get cheaper. Problem is you'll upgrade faster. Been here done that and in all honesty get whatever is a current sensor so you dont feel the need to upgrade faster and if you do decide to upgrade you'll get more resale or upgrade value with a more current sensor. You can go in multiple directions here but I get nervous when folks say I want to get in dirt cheap as this will no doubt lead to faster upgrade paths. I have had 5 backs and if things where available at the time I could have cut that to 3 and saved maybe 12k during the upgrade process. I just started at a weird time to be able to do that. Given you want tech to start you need to also get a back with the least amount of color offset when shooting. The P40 with the Dalsa 6 micron is a killer sensor. I had 3 backs with that sensor p40, IQ 160 and IQ 140 and I was never disappointed in either one of them
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    At a budget of $12k some good options can be had, but you'll have to make some compromises.

    First of all you'll almost surely be buying pre-owned equipment. This budget does not allow for a new back+body+lens. You can buy pre-owned via the private market or through a dealer. I'm obviously highly biased here, but a dealer offers a LOT of benefits for someone looking to get into MFD for the first time; a good dealer can answer all your questions, help you with evaluation/tests (in person or via rentals-counted-toward-purchase), and will insure a smooth transaction.

    Second, an RS is probably out of the question price wise. However, the Cambo Wide DS will produce images with 100% of the image quality in a package that is just a few inches taller and wider. This is probably the easiest compromise as the only downside is the total size, and there it's only a bit larger. I agree with Paul about the RM3Di - it's a great camera, but a DS will be much more conducive to a budget of $12k.

    Third, you'll probably need to stitch 2 or 3 frames, even with a 40mp back to produce prints the size you describe. To be clear you can make a 10 foot print from a 4mp file and it can look "great", but you specifically articulate that you want finely detailed prints, and for that you can use every pixel you can get (if there a 400mp back and you could afford it there would be reason for you to use it given the print size and desire for "fine detail" in the print). That said, a 33-40mp back coupled with a lens with a decent image circle can be easily stitched to 100+mp. The Schneider 47mm XL comes to mind immediately as a lens with a good image circle, excellent sharpness, and a budget friendly price.

    A P45/P45+, P40+, DM40 or DM33 seem to fit the bill best. You can't quite fit them in your budget, but pre-owned they might get close.
    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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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    Btw read a lot here and see a good dealer before you leap. This is real money and you want this to be smooth and easy on you. Use our sponsors here as these guys are really good at this stuff. A visit to Paul is also a excellent idea. Great guy and very talented.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I would start with a Rodie 40 or SK 43 in a TS mount for the WRS. Than you can go wide or longer from there.
    Given the higher price and lower availability on the used market I can't see an argument for the SK43 over the SK47. Wouldn't you agree?

    To be clear the SK43 is a fantastic lens, but so is the SK47 and if trying to make a back-body-lens kit for the budget he presented I feel strongly the SK47 would be a better path.
    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: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    The 47 is also a excellent lens I agree. It actually slipped my mind to be honest. If we do the rough math here. Doug you know this better than me

    Cambo DS 1k with plate
    Cambo WRS 2500 with plate. I like this smaller body better myself
    I think the Rodie 40 and SK 43 new are around 5k with TS. Approximate here
    SK 47 with TS maybe 3k used . Not sure
    Used P40 I think are around 9k.

    See how fast you can burst a budget. Lol

    Now lots of stuff pops up used here and at the dealers shelves so you need to look around but DT and CI are great dealers that have all these systems usually used and in stock. I recommend them both or they would not be sponsors here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Newb Question re First MFDB Outfit

    Paul, Doug, & Guy - thanks much for the insights. I intend to contact Doug and get further advice, as I don't want to find myself flipping expensive gear due to poor initial choices.

    Whatta site and whatta membership!

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