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Thread: Return of the Warrior

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Return of the Warrior

    So after several months sojourn at my dealer, for sale, the IQ180 and Phase DF body return to base unsold.

    I think the problem was that the dealer is unofficially constrained as to what price they can offer 'nearly new' gear at, so as not to p*ss off Phase. In any event, I heard of a few nibbles but no bite. They did manage to sell my extension tubes, my SK TS and 110LS and Mammy 28mm. So now I'm left with all the meat and little sauce - just an 80mm kit lens and a Cambo with Schneider 35XL.

    Mind you, after nearly a year of trying to get wide angled shots that are sharp across the frame on a D800e, my feelings about the boomerang's return are ambivalent rather than negative. Imagine how many crappy lenses I could buy with the cash it would raise if it sold!

    ;-)
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Why did you want to sell it Tim?

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Love affair with the D800 finished then Tim?

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Tim

    You should try out a Rodenstock 32HW or 28HR on your cambo/IQ180. You should be able to get corner to corner sharpness with either. I would recommend the TS mounts.


    Paul Caldwell

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Love affair with the D800 finished then Tim?
    We're still dating but we're far from exclusive ;-)

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Tim

    You should try out a Rodenstock 32HW or 28HR on your cambo/IQ180. You should be able to get corner to corner sharpness with either. I would recommend the TS mounts.


    Paul Caldwell
    I was thinking of that a while back but it's just another spend and fundamentally I think the game is over for medium format apart from a small number of people who need the falloff rendition of that sensor size - which I don't. And I think that the number of people who do is likely so small that the economies of scale won't be there to make it feasible at a reasonable price. Not that the current prices of IQ180s new are reasonable my most sane standards!

    With care and frustration there are lenses that can do what I need on the D800 but boy is it a long ride away from those sunlit uplands I envisaged a year ago where one could imagine just point and shoot!

    In short, we've left one place and not yet quite got to the other - but I don't see any great use in turning back....
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Is your D800 the plain or the "E" Tim...? I also have both D800s, but never considered selling my Contax 645 neither The Fuji GX680, nor the back (Imacon 528c)... Sold the Sinar P2 though...

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post

    In short, we've left one place and not yet quite got to the other - but I don't see any great use in turning back....
    What you need Tim is an M(240) and all your problems will be solved

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    I always believe in very thoughtful and long term choices... kept my Bronica ETRS/i system for 20 years before I married Contax 645 for the digital age and only divorced the Zinar for the Fuji when the image area shrunken to two inches (almost) width due to the MFDB! Guess what... my Nikkor 16mm f/e, 24 AI-s, 28 AI-s and 35P/C are now from 26 to 30 years old...

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    Is your D800 the plain or the "E" Tim...? I also have both D800s, but never considered selling my Contax 645 neither The Fuji GX680, nor the back (Imacon 528c)... Sold the Sinar P2 though...
    Theo, it's the E and I honestly prefer the files to IQ files: the colour maybe not quite as good by a tiny margin but the DR notably better, the ISO performance from another planet, and I so very rarely need to print larger than 40"...

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    What you need Tim is an M(240) and all your problems will be solved
    You are a very naughty boy Jono... As you know I have one on order!

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Theo, it's the E and I honestly prefer the files to IQ files: the colour maybe not quite as good by a tiny margin but the DR notably better, the ISO performance from another planet, and I so very rarely need to print larger than 40"...
    Do you process your "E" with C1P1 or is it with another processor?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    Do you process your "E" with C1P1 or is it with another processor?
    I use LR these days. I simply find c1 too annoying and often buggy and unstable.

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    MFD ? ....Death by a thousand cuts T...death by a thousand cuts I am afraid...

    May sound like heresy - but the sweet spot for me are the 33-40 megapixel sensors if one wishes to use wides in MF - .. Made that decision a few years ago now - and am glad I saved msyelf a few more tens of thousands in the meantime - although I must admit - not owning an elephant gun was a severe blow to my ego at times.
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    If I was in your shoes I would use the 35XL as a fixed lens, thus no movements on the iq180. If this lens is calibrated to perfection it really should shine even on an 80 mp back without movements. With centrefilter, correct exposure and LCC applied, then this is a small/light killercombo to enjoy and hard to beat!
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    I agree partly Dan: but at ISO 50 and with a CF and the sorts of apertures I use for landscape on it, the 'small and light' goes out the window because of the need for a tripod. I also never quite recovered from a C1 upgrade some time back where many of my LCC shots went AWOL - a known fault apparently. After nearly a year of shooting without LCC on the D800 I really feel that I am 'done with that'. There may be significant problems finding really good landscape wides on the D800 but I would rather concentrate my efforts in that direction!

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Which leses do you use...? Which angle do you need...?

    The Zeiss 21-er, for example, is better than Nikon 14-24 and should work on the D800 very well.
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    MFD ? ....Death by a thousand cuts T...death by a thousand cuts I am afraid...

    May sound like heresy - but the sweet spot for me are the 33-40 megapixel sensors if one wishes to use wides in MF - .. Made that decision a few years ago now - and am glad I saved msyelf a few more tens of thousands in the meantime - although I must admit - not owning an elephant gun was a severe blow to my ego at times.
    I agree on this... all P1 45+, Sinar 75, Aptus 75/7 and CF39 provide superb images and a great balance between ultimate quality and flexibility... I also love the (now discontinued) Kodak 22mp sensor backs... especially if they are of the 16x MS type (microstep), they do provide the absolute TOP in terms of IQ in stills, while only lack some resolution in single shot, which IMO is the least important factor for great photography.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I agree partly Dan: but at ISO 50 and with a CF and the sorts of apertures I use for landscape on it, the 'small and light' goes out the window because of the need for a tripod. I also never quite recovered from a C1 upgrade some time back where many of my LCC shots went AWOL - a known fault apparently. After nearly a year of shooting without LCC on the D800 I really feel that I am 'done with that'. There may be significant problems finding really good landscape wides on the D800 but I would rather concentrate my efforts in that direction!
    Point taken.
    My last 'outing' I only used my SK72L which means no LCC and that does spoil you. I agree fully that LCC is a pita workflow!
    When it comes to tripod and long exposures, this I am so used to that I don't give it a second thought, but can absolutely see people finding this cumbersome and slow...

    Still, imho I think that in the right condition it is hard to beat a tech cam/35XL(fixed)/IQ180/tripod....and I for one would 'seek' conditions suitable for this setup
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by weinlamm View Post
    Which leses do you use...? Which angle do you need...?

    The Zeiss 21-er, for example, is better than Nikon 14-24 and should work on the D800 very well.
    I have that lens. Good on a D800e but not great by any means. It is part of my 'meta-thesis' that the D800 is a place towards which we are headed rather than somewhere we have arrived: the camera (as long as you don't expect the AF to be reliable across its offered range of uses) is great but there are very, very few lenses that can keep up. I have a thread in the Nikon forum about the Sigma 35mm F1.4 - which, unless mine is a spectacularly bad copy, can't keep up. The Zeiss 21 can't keep up. Even the Zeiss Makro Planar 100mm can't keep up.

    The D800 is very, very demanding and it leaves most of the lenses we think of as amazing looking lacking... but when future lenses catch up (new ranges from various people) and if someone has the balls to make something in the range between 24 and 35mm which has a max aperture of F5.6 and which places all its emphasis on across the frame performance, then it will really mark the point at which, for me, MFD is just totally dead...

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Point taken.
    My last 'outing' I only used my SK72L which means no LCC and that does spoil you. I agree fully that LCC is a pita workflow!
    When it comes to tripod and long exposures, this I am so used to that I don't give it a second thought, but can absolutely see people finding this cumbersome and slow...

    Still, imho I think that in the right condition it is hard to beat a tech cam/35XL(fixed)/IQ180/tripod....and I for one would 'seek' conditions suitable for this setup
    You old purist you!

    I really admire that, but when I look at the hundred best shots I have ever taken, they all depend on fleeting moments of quality of light and circumstance. I have so often been back to a place with 'better gear' hoping to improve on a shot I captured before with whatever I had with me and not once has that worked for me. My style of working is absolutely not dependent on a fluid, immediate style: I like to think that I am generally contemplative and deliberate when working the landscape. But some workflows get in the way of that....

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    If the Zeiss 21 or 28 aren't good enough for you - the whole system is not good enough for you. No chance! You won't be happy any day.

    There are planed some better lenses from Zeiss - but 55mm and up. So nothing for wideangle.
    You could use some older Leica-R with Leitax - but there is the same problem. Only Asph Apo should be good enough - but there is no wideangle in this system. And the R-line is closed; I think for ever.

    Be honest to yourself. I can't say much - but I didn't believe, that you will be lucky with the Nikon-System. You need a tripod and a MF-System, again, I think...
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    You old purist you!
    Oh yes. And proud of it.


    Just a thought, could you not use Hasselblad V lenses on the D800? Ofcourse no wides, but only a fraction of the imagecircle would be used from those lenses...how about a F50/2.8 + F110/2...that also can be picked up at reasonable prices!
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Oh; I forgot the Sigma. I had some Sigmas in the past - but will never buy any! I wrote in a magazin, that the new 35/1.4 should be the beginning of a new 'pro-line' - but Sigma said this so often in the past...

    I couldn't believe and I don't want to lost time for testing this... I had some Sigma-Lenses and if you have a nice copy it's good. But AF is sometimes death on a newer camera. Firmware-Update needed...

    And I had some grain in my pictures on a D700 - I believe, that that was a sign of not enough solution from the glas (12-24 und 28/2).
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by weinlamm View Post
    If the Zeiss 21 or 28 aren't good enough for you - the whole system is not good enough for you. No chance! You won't be happy any day.

    There are planed some better lenses from Zeiss - but 55mm and up. So nothing for wideangle.
    You could use some older Leica-R with Leitax - but there is the same problem. Only Asph Apo should be good enough - but there is no wideangle in this system. And the R-line is closed; I think for ever.

    Be honest to yourself. I can't say much - but I didn't believe, that you will be lucky with the Nikon-System. You need a tripod and a MF-System, again, I think...
    Well they are certainly very good and useable in many, even most circumstances: but the 21mm is not as sharp to the edges as the camera can take. Whereas the Samyang 14mm F2.8 really is, if you are OK with the distortion (which I am). I do use adapted R glass and am very happy with it, and I am also very happy with my 85mm F1.8G and in fact with a reasonable number of other lenses but they are mostly longish.

    I am sure better lenses will come and I think the direction of flow is evident and unstoppable!

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    I agree on this... all P1 45+, Sinar 75, Aptus 75/7 and CF39 provide superb images and a great balance between ultimate quality and flexibility... I also love the (now discontinued) Kodak 22mp sensor backs... especially if they are of the 16x MS type (microstep), they do provide the absolute TOP in terms of IQ in stills, while only lack some resolution in single shot, which IMO is the least important factor for great photography.
    Hi Theodoros - I agree all great backs.

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Well they are certainly very good and useable in many, even most circumstances: but the 21mm is not as sharp to the edges as the camera can take. Whereas the Samyang 14mm F2.8 really is, if you are OK with the distortion (which I am). I do use adapted R glass and am very happy with it, and I am also very happy with my 85mm F1.8G and in fact with a reasonable number of other lenses but they are mostly longish.

    I am sure better lenses will come and I think the direction of flow is evident and unstoppable!
    Have you tried the 19mm R lens? it's supposed to be really grand (and priced accordingly I'm afraid).
    Red Dot Cameras have a type 1 (I guess) 19mm elmarit but I suppose it would be the type II you'd want

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Chasing pixels...

    The zf.2 21mm has a profile in LR that's quite good...not perfect, but most can be corrected with a good degree of success. Constantly looking for perfection is expensive and time consuming, every lens has something, but not everything. Get a ZF.2 15mm and crop slightly, and there's your 18-21mm perfection. You don't want to miss that magical, golden light of the Highlands because you didn't think your lenses could accurately capture it. Perhaps the Nikon 17mm PC will satisfy...

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Perhaps the Nikon 17mm PC will satisfy...


    This lens is a dream for me... But it's only avaible for Canon...
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Don't get me wrong, I'll shoot through the bottom of a coke bottle if that's what is to hand. In the field, I would never let the best be the enemy of the good. But when I am buying and testing, I do look for sharp edges and I think that is perfectly reasonable. If a Sony RX-1 can do it, so can a D800.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by weinlamm View Post


    This lens is a dream for me... But it's only avaible for Canon...
    Precisely! And the Nikkor 24 PC-E is, uhhm... not very good.

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Precisely! And the Nikkor 24 PC-E is, uhhm... not very good.
    You need to look for a better copy -- they are out there, but take a bit to find. Either way, they do NOT hold up to the HR32 or even HR23 over the IQ back, not even close. But then I don't think Canon's 17 or 24 are even close to the HR32/23 ;-)
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    If a Sony RX-1 can do it, so can a D800.
    But the RX-1 can only do it at 35mm.

    If Sony made an RX-2 with a 20mm lens I'd buy it tomorrow. There again, if they did, then it would probably have soft edges and corners.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    You need to look for a better copy -- they are out there, but take a bit to find. Either way, they do NOT hold up to the HR32 or even HR23 over the IQ back, not even close. But then I don't think Canon's 17 or 24 are even close to the HR32/23 ;-)
    I know you're right Jack but I am on my second one and I've heard of people going through several and not getting a good one. I am getting increasingly p***d off jumping through Nikon's hoops!

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    But the RX-1 can only do it at 35mm.

    If Sony made an RX-2 with a 20mm lens I'd buy it tomorrow. There again, if they did, then it would probably have soft edges and corners.
    True dat, as the young'uns say...

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    After letting my IQ180 sit on the shelf for a couple of months I took it out and used it a bit a few days ago.
    What is the word? Gobsmacked?
    Damn it is good.
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Same just happened to me, Bob. Haven't been doing much MF work in the dead of this winter, just using the M9 and a99 for casual stuff. But I'm heading south for a month with MF and did a few shots with the IQ180 just to check it...and yes, gobsmacked! I'd forgotten just how good those files are.

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    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Can I borrow your IQ180's the months where they are just sitting on the shelf anyway?

    Peter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    After letting my IQ180 sit on the shelf for a couple of months I took it out and used it a bit a few days ago.
    What is the word? Gobsmacked?
    Damn it is good.
    -bob

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Same just happened to me, Bob. Haven't been doing much MF work in the dead of this winter, just using the M9 and a99 for casual stuff. But I'm heading south for a month with MF and did a few shots with the IQ180 just to check it...and yes, gobsmacked! I'd forgotten just how good those files are.

    Bill
    Last edited by Pemihan; 16th February 2013 at 05:44.
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    ................
    I am sure better lenses will come and I think the direction of flow is evident and unstoppable!
    The performance of the Nokia phone convinces me of this as much as the
    D800. Someday our cameras will be integrated into our eyeglasses! In any event, I'd like to see your images return to the MF forum, so don't let the IQ180 sit on the shelf.

    Tom

  40. #40
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    I miss MF files... even the lower res ones.

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    I miss MF files... even the lower res ones.
    "Even"...???, why? Do you see (or anybody else) any other difference than ...resolution to "lower res. MF files"??? ...I don't! IMO the difference of a multishot 16x image from my 528c against a single shot image from the P65+, is of 10x more than the difference from a P65+ against the 528c in single shot... (and I say the P65+ because it's the highest res. I've used.) ...But again, the least I ever consider as affecting the quality of an image from other aspects of photography, is ...resolution! I've seen many claiming that their D800 beats their IQ180... well, my D800E doesn't! It's a great camera alright, especially if I develop its Raws with C-One ...and it does come closer to an MFDB than any other DSLR ever..., but the usable DR is less, the colors are no where near and the whole presentation lacks the impact or the neutrality of the 528c... Maybe it's their lenses to blame against my Contax 645 Zeiss glass..., or maybe it's a difference on perception of quality... (quite possible) yet, my (2005) Imacon still beats my (2012) D800E (at low Iso) although the "E" is nearer than ever before!
    Last edited by Theodoros Fotometria; 16th February 2013 at 11:30.

  42. #42
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    "Even"...???, why?
    I think you missed the spirit of my post...

    Shelby

  43. #43
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    I am really glad I shoot mostly film!
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Well this afternoon I took the IQ180 on Cambo with Schneider 35XL and CF out for a tripod walk, with the D800E and Zeiss 21mm F2.8.

    I set up the pod with the Cambo rig, decided on F8, made an LCC, took a series of bracketed and Live View focussed shots and then replicated the same scene on the D800 on the same tripod (two plates!) and came back to base. Choosing the two sharpest shots, one from each camera, I ventured into an attempt at a comparison. The two files are printing to 35" prints as I speak and I will have a look when I get back from dinner with friends...
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Tashley,
    I've followed your gear story and evolution on this forum and on your blog (really pleasant to read by the way). As an IQ180, Cambo WRS, SK35, D800 owner I shared some issue and thought with you.

    I did make the move from the SK35 to the Rodie 32 and 55 very recently and can again enjoy using the Cambo (sk35 was sold months ago).
    Honestly I need to be convinced that this is supposed to be one of the ultimate wide angle top quality solution (in short: borders IQ do not seam great at all when stitching or under f13). Too early for me to draw any conclusions but a disappointment is not impossible :-(

    Anyway just wanted to say that the best companion I've found so far for my IQ180 is a second hand, very affordable Epson 9880 printer. What an excitement to print 44" large and 60" long. The D800 can't compete at those large sizes.
    Print large and expose the best shots on dibond was a key factor. Since the purchase of this printer I really feel I'm using the IQ back to its full potential.
    I encourage you to consider printing large. It gives great impact to the shots and some unique sense to the use of that IQ back.
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by anGy View Post
    Tashley,
    I've followed your gear story and evolution on this forum and on your blog (really pleasant to read by the way). As an IQ180, Cambo WRS, SK35, D800 owner I shared some issue and thought with you.

    I did make the move from the SK35 to the Rodie 32 and 55 very recently and can again enjoy using the Cambo (sk35 was sold months ago).
    Honestly I need to be convinced that this is supposed to be one of the ultimate wide angle top quality solution (in short: borders IQ do not seam great at all when stitching or under f13). Too early for me to draw any conclusions but a disappointment is not impossible :-(

    Anyway just wanted to say that the best companion I've found so far for my IQ180 is a second hand, very affordable Epson 9880 printer. What an excitement to print 44" large and 60" long. The D800 can't compete at those large sizes.
    Print large and expose the best shots on dibond was a key factor. Since the purchase of this printer I really feel I'm using the IQ back to its full potential.
    I encourage you to consider printing large. It gives a unique impact to the shots and some unique sense to the use of that IQ back.
    ....9900 would allow another third of a stop of the amazing (usable) DR of MFDBs to be printed! Superb printer, I print on Hannemuhle Canvas Byzantine Icons that I shoot with my Imacon 528c in 16x microstep with it! ...but I've printed huge prints done with other backs for other photographers on it, if it is accompanied with a great monitor (Eizo 242 in my case) and the system is well calibrated and linearized to correct profiles, it's hard to beat!
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  47. #47
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    I just wonder if one needs prints this large... Otherwise, can't disagree.

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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLF View Post
    I just wonder if one needs prints this large... Otherwise, can't disagree.
    ...Or, (putting things the other way around) ....if one needs all these pixels to print that large!!!

  49. #49
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Quote Originally Posted by anGy View Post
    Tashley,
    I've followed your gear story and evolution on this forum and on your blog (really pleasant to read by the way). As an IQ180, Cambo WRS, SK35, D800 owner I shared some issue and thought with you.

    I did make the move from the SK35 to the Rodie 32 and 55 very recently and can again enjoy using the Cambo (sk35 was sold months ago).
    Honestly I need to be convinced that this is supposed to be one of the ultimate wide angle top quality solution (in short: borders IQ do not seam great at all when stitching or under f13). Too early for me to draw any conclusions but a disappointment is not impossible :-(

    Anyway just wanted to say that the best companion I've found so far for my IQ180 is a second hand, very affordable Epson 9880 printer. What an excitement to print 44" large and 60" long. The D800 can't compete at those large sizes.
    Print large and expose the best shots on dibond was a key factor. Since the purchase of this printer I really feel I'm using the IQ back to its full potential.
    I encourage you to consider printing large. It gives great impact to the shots and some unique sense to the use of that IQ back.
    Thanks anGy... here's my thoughts on that:

    I have a 24" roll printer so in 35mm FF territory the largest print I can make is 24x36. It is also the case here in England that it is generally far easier to sell fine art prints at this size or smaller than it is in the 'super-sized' territory. Limited edition prints (say a run of 25) in that size, I can print myself. They sell for up to $2,500 approx and I would, if printing larger, quite certainly sell fewer. Now if I were to make the leap to the 'next level' of artistic success, say, for example, to the level of Nadav Kander, then I could sell 44 x 66 for prices of maybe $10,000. Beyond that there are the Burtysnky/Crewdson/Gursky crowd, selling from say $75,000 and waaay upwards, often for very much larger prints.

    Unfortunately I am very much where I am, though. Were I to make it to the next level, prints on that scale would be a necessity. As it is, they would largely just not sell.

    So leaving aside the possibility that I might jump up the rankings (not expecting that!) I am largely topped out at 36". In fact I have only once paid to have a truly vast print professionally made and mounted and it looks amazing but I haven't tried to sell any editions yet.

    So in the 'up to 36" class, the interesting question becomes, 'does an IQ180 with a a good lens, well used, show significant advantage at that print size over a D800E?'

    I kind of know the answer to this without going through the shoot/print/examine cycle (the answer is 'rarely if ever') but yesterday I shot a 'torture test' scene with both under pretty comparable conditions (see my post above for details) and then made prints of the two. And on very close examination, I declare the match a draw. Both files printed to 35.5 inches on Canson Platine with a Canon iPF6300 at maxed out quality settings...

    This was an important exercise for me: if your intended output is print, that is how the images must be compared. Examining on screen can give you a very good idea but it never renders the two files 100% accurately when resized for comparison.

    I have uploaded the two files here so anyone interested can do the same:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/76366907/CF001963.IIQ
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/76366907/_DSC9623.NEF
    The LCC shot for the Phase file is:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/76366907/CF001961.IIQ

    Comments worth making from my side:

    * This is a torture test because the amount of fine distant detail will, in places utterly defeat even the IQ180 with Schneider 35XL. See the red patch of bare trees half way up and about 25% of the way in from the right.
    * The Zeiss 21/D800 combo has a slightly wider FOV
    * You could argue the toss over the fairest aperture to use. I used F8. It is what it is.
    * The images are both the best of a series of focus bracketed shots. I was going for focus on the distant centre.
    * Due to the bracketing and need to swap systems, the light has changed and that makes more difference in some areas of the prints than any system differences.
    * Each print has some areas where one system looks very slightly better if you get your nose right up to it. But there is no winner in look, feel or level of detail either on centre or overall at the edges. Most differences would be wiped out by tiny changes to focus, 'shape' of scene, or sharpening and NR.
    * Both files for my prints were developed in C1 but I then exported them to print from LR and before I did that, I gave them both -1/3rd stop because both were ETTR. I also left the IQ file with Phase defaults for sharpening and NR but I turned both those functions to zero for the Nikon file, and used my own formula in LR.

    So I conclude that, in lieu of a much longer series of tests at a variety of distances and with differing subjects and conditions, for prints up to 36", there is for me, no advantage whatsoever in using this Phase setup over this Nikon setup.

    I would add to that the irritation of the Centre Filter/LCC ritual, the fiddly mess of changing shutter speeds, apertures and focus on the Schneider/Cambo setup, and the particular annoyance of the Schneider having third-stop aperture settings but full stop shutter settings. This means that you risk having to redo your LCC if the light changes even by a third of a stop because you will have to change aperture, not shutter speed for all changes of less than a stop. And the Cambo was shot at 1/8th due to the LCC whereas the Nikon was shot at 1/50th, which I could have got away with by hand.

    One positive for the IQ was that I could use LV to focus, and that was the most accurate shot: a combination of the CF and the late afternoon hazy light made this actually easier to use than the LV on the D800!

    Now I know there are lots of other considerations. For example, I can't use more than 5mm movements with the Schneider because of colour shifts but the Nikkor 24mm PC-E is not alternative at that shift range, just not good enough.

    But the fact remains that my needs for larger than 36" prints are vanishingly small and likely to remain so, and therefore the D800 is effectively, for most of my use-cases, capable of equivalent resolution, more convenience, better high ISO, etc etc. So I will indeed be making further efforts to sell the Phase gear but I won't be holding my breath!
    Last edited by tashley; 17th February 2013 at 09:32.
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    Re: Return of the Warrior

    Interesting results Tim.

    Looking at your files I can conclude two things.

    1. The Nikon/Zeiss and Phase/Schneider files look equally as good as each other and the only obvious difference being resolution.

    2. The Zeiss 21mm lens you used is not worth the money and gives very poor results away from the centre. Who actually makes good wide lenses for 35mm FF that are sharp across the frame?
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