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Thread: A Few Questions and Introduction

  1. #51
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Even though it's embarrassing to post shots of a C-stand, here are two 100% crops at 800 and 1600 ISO. Nothing amazing but very clean. I personally wouldn't shoot 1600 for commercial work, but I would shoot 800 now. With my H4D-40 I would only go up to 400ISO.

    Ben

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    The H series is an odd duck in my eyes. The cameras don't have focal plane shutters, I tried Phocus a long while ago to process some H files and removed it the same day, battery life is pretty short, camera body looks like a Honda Element, ISO performance not at the same level as other MF cams, and the lens lineup doesn't seem as impressive as the others.

    Even so... some of my favorite photos on here and elsewhere were all shot on Hasselblads, so I have to admit that it's clearly about the photographer and not the gear, but I just can't wrap my head around the lure of using as Hassy vs a similar system from another manufacturer.

    I don't want a mfd camera that looks like a black 35mm camera.

    Everybody has one . . . at least everybody in LA and NY. Heck my Neighbor's daughter (14 years old) has a nikon dslr.
    Interesting preference; almost everyone else I know would love to have something as small and inconspicuous as possible, rather than go around wielding a 2.3kg Hassy that screams "Look at me, I'm expensive", but if that is what you want, nothing attracts attention like a 645 SLR ala Phase or Hassy - especially if you have a vertical grip on.

    Speaking of which, Phase has a vertical grip with a built-in Profoto flash trigger, while oddly enough, Hasselblad doesn't have a V grip at all...

    Quote Originally Posted by bdp View Post
    Even though it's embarrassing to post shots of a C-stand, here are two 100% crops at 800 and 1600 ISO. Nothing amazing but very clean. I personally wouldn't shoot 1600 for commercial work, but I would shoot 800 now. With my H4D-40 I would only go up to 400ISO.

    Ben
    Is there any NR applied, or is it zeroed out?

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    I kept the NR settings at default. So I guess that means there is some applied by default, but turning it off doesn't seem to create more noise. If you crank it up it just smears the details. Hasselblad needs to update Phocus's NR to match LR4 and C1-7. But I find it fine for all practical purposes.

  4. #54
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Looks can be deceiving...especially in LA!

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    BC, not trying to sound like a smart-аss or anything, but I do hope that you're taking recommendations here only as a supplement? I would definitely try to use each of the cameras mentioned here in person, you may be disillusioned or pleasantly surprised using the actual hardware, instead of talking about well-worn technical details on a forum with strangers. (Yes, everyone here is strange, one way or another )

    I did get to try out an H4X, DF, and S at a local dealer, and specs or image quality aside, they all have their own feel and handling quirks that I got a better impression of hands-on.
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Tech cams get all the attention. My Cambo anniversary model people would come up to me on workshops just to see the thing. Sexy little box. Lol

    My favorite question , what is that. Da it's a camera. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Yeah Guy I get that all the time, even had one-person think I was doing video. Any more I just tell them I'm doing surveying (which in a way I am )
    Don Libby
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    [QUOTE=Kolor-Pikker;505382]The H series is an odd duck in my eyes. The cameras don't have focal plane shutters, I tried Phocus a long while ago to process some H files and removed it the same day, battery life is pretty short, camera body looks like a Honda Element, ISO performance not at the same level as other MF cams, and the lens lineup doesn't seem as impressive as the others.

    I currently have had both Phase One and Hasselblad H systems (and still have). I have different opinion from you regarding the lenses.
    Hasselblad H, in my opinion, has a more complete lens system and better thought system than Phase One. It has had 23, 28, 35, 50, 80, 100, 120 (Macro), 150, 210, 300, 1.7 teleconverter, 1.5 HTS, 35-90mm and 55-100. The new series II are even better. They don't have fisheye or 500mm but no other systems have. The quality of most lenses are excellent at least with my amateur eyes.

    Phase One lens system are more immature (if you don't count non-digital lenses) although the SK and some Phase One/Mamiya digital lenses especially 150mm are spectacular.

    The DF body is clearly not as good as the H4D. If there is no new body in the next 2 years, I will switch completely to Hasselblad or Leica S.

    Thanks,
    Pramote

  9. #59
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Yeah Guy I get that all the time, even had one-person think I was doing video. Any more I just tell them I'm doing surveying (which in a way I am )
    people have often asked me the same thing about video with my Fuji 617. I imagine those questions wont stop once i get a tech camera.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    I currently have had both Phase One and Hasselblad H systems (and still have). I have different opinion from you regarding the lenses.
    Hasselblad H, in my opinion, has a more complete lens system and better thought system than Phase One. It has had 23, 28, 35, 50, 80, 100, 120 (Macro), 150, 210, 300, 1.7 teleconverter, 1.5 HTS, 35-90mm and 55-100. The new series II are even better. They don't have fisheye or 500mm but no other systems have. The quality of most lenses are excellent at least with my amateur eyes.

    Phase One lens system are more immature (if you don't count non-digital lenses) although the SK and some Phase One/Mamiya digital lenses especially 150mm are spectacular.

    The DF body is clearly not as good as the H4D. If there is no new body in the next 2 years, I will switch completely to Hasselblad or Leica S.

    Thanks,
    Pramote
    I agree about your disagreement, which is why BC should really look at each system himself, before potentially dropping a serious amount of cash on something he will use to earn his living. Everyone has a completely different opinion of systems.

  11. #61
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    I agree about your disagreement, which is why BC should really look at each system himself, before potentially dropping a serious amount of cash on something he will use to earn his living. Everyone has a completely different opinion of systems.

    Not to bore anyone, but at this stage I thought we would have found time to test a few cameras, but as usual life or better put . . . work gets in the way.

    Deadlines become more compressed every year.

    In between working, my search has been like most people's where I've talked to a few dealers and got price quotes.

    If I go Hasselblad I'll go through Steve Hendrix. Steve did a great blog entry on the H5d which is a good read for anyone thinking of changing.

    Actually he mentions the plus side of the H5D and address the looks of the camera. I think it's a good read.

    I'm very interested in the Pentax and the Hasselblad H5. Of the few people I know who have used the Pentax they all love the camera, but are all somewhat frustrated by the tethering software and write times for review and to cards.

    Of the few people that have used or tested the H5D you hear great things, (including the spiffy paint job), like cleaner files, much less mirror bounce and better firewire connection.

    The new Phase One back is kind of the wild card of the bunch as it's new and I don't really know what camera I would put it on.

    The DF+ seems good, but I don't know if I want to go that direction without really knowing what the next Mamiya will be and a new Phase, body and three lenses can easily get close to 50k.

    I also don't want to go through Hasselblad's complicated system of first you buy an old H1, trade it in to buy a new H4x.

    Pricing is important. A first glance the Phase seems way overpriced, but if you look at 2007 dollars vs. today, Phase really is the same price, the issue is the professional image making industry is squeezed. It's not so much that budgets are completely cut . . .

    it's just that clients expect so much more in a given day.

    Given the fact we shoot still photography and digital video, we could easily spend 15k a quarter and not really be over stocked on cameras, lights and supports.

    Anyway, what is obvious about these specialty cameras is how scarce information is.

    In my Pentax search I only found one dealer that had a stock of the cameras and the dealer actually uses one every week in his professional work. With that he didn't know there was tethering software and no dealer that sells pentax knows that there is a deal where the 55m lens is added for free when you buy a new 645d.

    Overall medium format marketing is not the best except for Hasselblad. I love the fact they do the Victor book and feature photographers from different genres. It's nice to see them invest in the industry.

    Most of the sample photography from the other makers is not either relevant to my work, or very rough from an event, or over retouched.

    In fact I'm amazed that there is such a small amount of professional imagery, considering so many high end projects are shot with medium format.

    Actually, when I run the numbers, think of use, I'm just about to wash my hands of the whole thought of a new mfd camera I pull up a file like this that was selected for addition use last week.



    It's from a p21+ a small back but working it in post it never ceases to amaze me how well easy and well the file works.

    This image has very little retouching, with the only clean up the legs, some of the background and two spots on the chest.

    It's just daylight with one hmi kicker from the right of frame and I shot this session in about 10 minutes.


    IMO

    BC
    Last edited by bcooter; 16th April 2013 at 12:06.
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    double post
    Last edited by bcooter; 17th April 2013 at 08:54.
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Fair point.
    I had a love hate with my Aptus 22.

    Granted it was first generation and Leaf had some software issues, though I hear today that's all worked out.

    I kind of wish I'd never sold it, because I shot some really pretty work with it.


    (shot with the Hartblie 45mm TS (the old one).

    Also working with Yair and Leaf was great. Straight to the point and can give me all I can dish out.

    In NY Leaf was considered the photographer's film like digital back and everybody that uses them loves them.

    I have my worries how clean it will go to 800. Understand I don't need that glassy smooth cmos look, actually don't like it, but I can't have those colored hot pixels or clumping in the shadows.

    I know with my old Aptus 22 I never shot it under 200 asa, a lot of times at 400, but it wouldn't go past 400 at all.

    IMO

    BC
    Last edited by bcooter; 17th April 2013 at 08:55.
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    There's something to be said for the Leaf Aptus with Contax glass. Been there and I liked it. But the Contax was a massive battery eater and it had a dim tunnel of a viewfinder. And the headaches I had with three different Leaf backs still haunt me enough to keep me from ever even thinking about going back. So that's that.

    The phaseOnes just work. They always have. Sounds silly, but it's THE most important thing for me. They work and work. It's like an industrial machine, like some Boeing 747 component that's indestructible. No reason to even untick that box.

    Phase also makes an excellent file. It's way cleaner than the Leaf file was (I'm sure the Credo is comparable, but I'm not going down that road again) and the IQ160 is fast (enough). The file size is good and the chip size is great – an 80 is an 80, a 110 is a 110, that's nice.

    The semi-downside is of course the DF, now DF+.
    It's decent enough, it has a Portrait grip, The control layout is simple. and the glass is good. But no, it doesn't wow. And the AF is too slow. It looks like an old Mamiya 645, so I know where you're coming from, but it's a solid rig. And I like solid rigs ; )

    I don't think I'll ever trade in my IQ 160, it's just that good and leaves nothing to be desired.

    As for the different open platform bodies you can put it on (Contax, H4X, RZ, DF, HY6 and what not...pick your poison, they've all got their pros and cons.

    Maybe the H5D is something different. I haven't seen one yet. But I didn't like the closed system when I had an H3D and upgrading at the time was like a slap in the face, and Focus sucked back then. But things change. The glass is good. Portrait shooting is a pain with that battery grip. Never liked holding it.

    As for the Pentax. Well, I'd rather shoot myself in the *** than experiment with a whole new system...that can't be rented, that no assistant has ever had their hands on, that tethers slowly, etc. All those headaches for a red paint job? Hell no, at least not for me.

    But boys and toys...no sense in talking common sense. : )

    That's my take on it.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    I bought the Pentax 645D sight unseen. It is just a camera. One of the nicest cameras I have ever used. It is really well designed and you can customize it to your liking. It is like a MFD camera made for this century--I also shoot a p25+ on a Linhof and was thinking of getting a DF, but then I saw the 645D and I am so happy I did. The mirror is well dampened as well and using mirror lock up is simple. So much nicer to hold than a Blad and nicer viewfinder as well--at least the H model I saw, I have not seen the 5.

    Tethering is not that important for me. I have seen Eye-Fi cards used with the 645D. The nice thing about the dual card slots is you can either used then like a RAID or you can shoot jpegs to an Eye-Fi card and RAW to the other.

    Apparently, the 645D II is coming later this year.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    BC:

    I don’t make my living with my camera, so my concerns are not the same. If I were a professional, I would likely pick Phase or Hasselblad simply because of the support system and reps, i.e., Steve and Doug. I have read your posts and understand your attachment to the Contax; so I will say that for me, the 645D is similar. I haven’t liked a camera as much since my first 35mm (a Spotmatic). As Shashin has pointed out, the 645DII is coming and will almost certainly address the tethering and slow write speed

    Tom

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    James,

    From my time using the 645D, I can tell you this: (i) great handling - better than any other MF, and better than most 35mm systems. It made shooting fun. (ii) Really good at ISO 800 - best of the bunch. (iii) tethering is too slow. (iv) focus is good at closer distance, but a touch sketchy (like with many MFs) in the middle-distance common in landscape work. The best work it produced for me was location and studio portraiture. The 120 macro is killer. (v) The shutter opens with a whack and can take the 'edge' off images shot at under 1/50th.

    my 2c.

    -N.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    James,

    My friend shoots with the H4D-50 with latest version of Phocus tethered to the current iMac. He says he has great success using a Thunderbolt to Firewire connector between the H4 and the iMac.

  19. #69
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    I appreciate everyone's input.

    Sorry for sounding so self absorbed. Been in an editing suite for the last week and my brain is going soft.

    i.e. Leaf. your right, been there done that and I like the company, but if I was going Leaf/Phase it probably would be Phase.

    I can't get past the fact that my Phase backs are the only digital camera series I've owned that haven't had a single repair.

    Our studio manager just saw a h5d40. Said it is really, really well built and solid, beautiful, heavy, with the only downside going vertical. It's just not easy to go vertical with the H series.

    I don't know why I'm so drawn to the 654D. I mean it doesn't have interchangeable finders and I like the Red limited edition one though I'll admit it's kind of sissy, but something about Pentax kind of draws me.

    The reaction everyone has to it is strange. Everyone that owns it loves it, but everyone thinks it's too slow. I wonder how slow, but testing will tell me.

    Since I've been out most of the week, our studio manager took all of our Contax, 4 bodies, 3 winders, 6 prisms, 2 waist level finders, cleaned, polished and mixed and matched until he got to two solid systems and has been testing and tethering them on an off all week.

    Also any system is going to be a little bit of a shock, because I don't know how any lenses can be sharper than the Zeiss Contax and I've used a lot of lenses on these bodies (Hasselblad 110, Pentax 6x7 105, 150)

    Anyway, enough of my talk, now to get a clear spot in the schedule and test everything.

    Thanks

    BC
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    The things I appreciate so much with my Contax 645 + IQ180 combo is that

    :
    They match like they were made for each other: The shape, the material and surface structure/color of the IQ back is like it was designed by Phase particularly for the Contax camera.
    ::
    You switch on camera and back and they work perfectly together with exif data, remaining images on card, iso setting aso. The back is very responsive, much quicker than my previous P65 and the screen resolution and focus mask function is excellent.
    :::
    The handling of the Contax with an aperture ring on the lens and dedicated dials for exposure time and exposure corrections are IMO so favorable to any menu and buttons solution of most other camera systems.

    So my recommendation is to give an IQ back on the Contax camera a try before deciding for a completely different system.

    Just my 2c.
    Christoph

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    The Contax looks like a sweet camera... especially considering you can buy one in mint condition with lens off eBay for $3k. How is the AF speed/accuracy?

    One thing I should mention (if I or no one else hadn't already), is that the Pentax 645D does not have any leaf shutter lenses what so ever, 1/125th flash sync is the fastest you can get out of it, and for many it's the deal breaker that has them looking at Hassy or Phase instead. If your photography doesn't heavily rely on flash, or you can get by with HSS, it may not be as much of a problem, but something to know.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    The Contax looks like a sweet camera... especially considering you can buy one in mint condition with lens off eBay for $3k. How is the AF speed/accuracy?

    One thing I should mention (if I or no one else hadn't already), is that the Pentax 645D does not have any leaf shutter lenses what so ever, 1/125th flash sync is the fastest you can get out of it, and for many it's the deal breaker that has them looking at Hassy or Phase instead. If your photography doesn't heavily rely on flash, or you can get by with HSS, it may not be as much of a problem, but something to know.
    True that there are no new LS lenses, but it's easy to find inexpensive used 75mm and 135mm leaf shutter lenses. They work perfectly with the 645D which recognizes them and displays "LS" on the lcd. Example at 1/500 s

    Last edited by tsjanik; 18th April 2013 at 05:00.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    True that there are no new LS lenses, but it's easy to find inexpensive used 75mm and 135mm leaf shutter lenses. They work perfectly with the 645D which recognizes them and displays "LS" on the lcd. Example at 1/500 s
    I see... But it's not much to compare two manual focus lenses, to the whole Hasselblad lineup, or the six Phase lenses, all modern AF designs. Doesn't scream "new hotness".

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    I see... But it's not much to compare two manual focus lenses, to the whole Hasselblad lineup, or the six Phase lenses, all modern AF designs. Doesn't scream "new hotness".
    No question that if leaf shutter lenses are important then the 645D is not the right choice; just pointing out that they do exist.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    I see... But it's not much to compare two manual focus lenses, to the whole Hasselblad lineup, or the six Phase lenses, all modern AF designs. Doesn't scream "new hotness".
    Bit of a nitpick, but there are seven LS lenses in the Phase/Schneider line.

    We just received our first batch of 75-150LS lenses.
    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: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Bit of a nitpick, but there are seven LS lenses in the Phase/Schneider line.

    We just received our first batch of 75-150LS lenses.
    Ah, didn't know that, I went by the Phase website, so it would seem they haven't listed it yet.

    Edit: Is it just the Mamiya 75-150 repackaged with a leaf shutter like the 28mm?

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by bcooter View Post
    The reaction everyone has to it is strange. Everyone that owns it loves it, but everyone thinks it's too slow. I wonder how slow, but testing will tell me.
    I don't think it is too slow, but it is slow in comparison to some other systems--faster than Polariods, but slower than my RX1. If you shoot a whole bunch of consecutive images at once, you will wait for the buffer to clear (you feel like you are in Polaroid territory now, but with more images and final ones at that). But if you already have your exposure and you are not a chronic chimper, then you won't find it a problem. I tend to over shoot no matter what system I use, so the preview of images once I get started is not a problem for me. Rumor has it the 645D II will solve some of this.

    It is funny, I think Leica, Blad, and Pentax owners love their systems for whatever reason. The Phase guys seem to grudgingly accept their cameras. I have never seen anyone write, "that DF was one of the best cameras I ever had, a joy to use, and I regret selling it."

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    It is funny, I think Leica, Blad, and Pentax owners love their systems for whatever reason. The Phase guys seem to grudgingly accept their cameras. I have never seen anyone write, "that DF was one of the best cameras I ever had, a joy to use, and I regret selling it."
    645AF - 1999
    645AFD - 2001
    645AFDII - 2005
    645AFDIII - 2008
    645DF - 2009
    645DF+ - 2012

    14 years and each version updated on the last with groundbreaking features like digital back support, custom functions, and AF that went from full-suck to just tolerable. I think the Phase/Mamiya guys have all right to be grumpy.

    But hey, who knows? Maybe Phase will reveal their new mystery camera, and it will be like mounting a digital back to a 1DX, and all will be forgiven for the rest of time.

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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Ah, didn't know that, I went by the Phase website, so it would seem they haven't listed it yet.

    Edit: Is it just the Mamiya 75-150 repackaged with a leaf shutter like the 28mm?
    I haven't tested it yet (which is the only thing I trust), but it's larger, heavier, and has a different aperture rating. So I suspect not.
    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: A Few Questions and Introduction

    For the 645D this could be the deal breaker.

    Pentax 645D Wrap up - usability, speed and image quality - YouTube

    Shame, because I like the camera and if preview was faster I could work around tethering with an HDMI monitor as we have multiple one's on set anyway.

    If I shot for myself and no clients were around, this wouldn't be an issue, but with 6 models, large crew, 25 seconds of tapping their feet would send everyone crazy.

    In regards to the DF I know phase has come a long way, but the body and lenses are in Hasselblad territory pricing.

    I messed with it some, the autofocus is pretty good, but couldn't manual focus. The viewfinder of the DF is larger than the Contax (what isn't?) but not that much larger.

    I can make the contax autofocus, but it requires contrast more than a lot of light.

    Soft light sends it crazy. Manual focus on the contax is easy with the wlf, but you'd have to always shoot horizontal, or look though that dark tunnel.

    I think at this point it's either my Contax with a newer back (hmmm), or the H5d.

    Bottom line before I even point any new mf camera at a subject is they are all good, none do exactly what I want, but they're good.

    We'll see.

    IMO

    BC


    Quote Originally Posted by Sharokin View Post
    James,

    My friend shoots with the H4D-50 with latest version of Phocus tethered to the current iMac. He says he has great success using a Thunderbolt to Firewire connector between the H4 and the iMac.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I don't think it is too slow, but it is slow in comparison to some other systems--faster than Polariods, but slower than my RX1. If you shoot a whole bunch of consecutive images at once, you will wait for the buffer to clear (you feel like you are in Polaroid territory now, but with more images and final ones at that). But if you already have your exposure and you are not a chronic chimper, then you won't find it a problem. I tend to over shoot no matter what system I use, so the preview of images once I get started is not a problem for me. Rumor has it the 645D II will solve some of this.

    It is funny, I think Leica, Blad, and Pentax owners love their systems for whatever reason. The Phase guys seem to grudgingly accept their cameras. I have never seen anyone write, "that DF was one of the best cameras I ever had, a joy to use, and I regret selling it."
    Last edited by bcooter; 18th April 2013 at 12:28.
    I just wanna bang on da drum all day.

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  31. #81
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    The Phase One IQ series are ridiculously fast where image handling is concerned, and to be honest, they're the only system I've seen in person where the screen is useful for more than just checking the histogram.

    Check out this overview by Zack Arias: PhaseOne IQ140 - A quick walk around. - YouTube
    Skip to 4:50 for the playback menu. The IQ180 I had a hands on with didn't seem slow at all, which is impressive, considering the resolution.

    Been sitting on the fence a long while, but I really want an IQ back, maybe I can pick up a 140 for not too much.

  32. #82
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    Re: A Few Questions and Introduction

    BC, nice to see you have found this place. I use a H4D60 and H3D31 with a 15" MBP with TB. The 31 is great, I can shoot continuously with it to the MBP (which has the optional SSD installed). I run days with 1200 to 1500 images per day without issues. The only occassional issue I have with the 31 is the FW disconnect, allegedly this is solved with the H5. Today I ordered an upgrade to the H5D40 just to get the better FW connectivity. During heavy shooting days I want to have the most stable platform I can find.

    I hope to get it somewhere next week.

    Ah... The Aptus.. I really liked the colors that came out of that back. The first Aptus17 I owned was way off towards green which was a bit startling but after correction colors were great. The 22 was a lot better.

    Anyway, be sure to testdrive the H5D40 but my guess is that you will like it but might have to get used to it. The H and me was not love at first sight but today I would not want to shoot something else. Even though I really have to admit that the IQ260 is looking really tempting. For replacing my 60, I surely also would like to have something that is faster, has smaller files, a bit higher ISO, etc..

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