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Thread: limits of MF

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    limits of MF

    Ok, I have to say that after having started to use MF-digital - in real life I feel quit some limits compared to my M8 and D3 systems.

    1) Maybe this would be different with a micro-lens-digital back but so far I feel very much limited to have to use ISO 100 or 200 with my MF camera.
    This means to a) use a tripod or b) use flash or c) work with shallower DOF than I usually would like to have in at least 75% of situations.

    2) AF- well-the good thing is that manual focusing works nice with the bright and big viewfinder of my Hy6. The bad thing is that the AF is so slow and hunts so much plus the AF-point area is so large - its just much much worse than a modern digital SLR (I find this for both the ZD and the Hy6)

    3) If everything is perfect the quality of the (MF) images is great - and I like the feel and the slower pace of MF photography but my keeper quote of images went down worse than the stock exchange over the last weeks.

    4) My dream: A sensor without AA-filter, 16 bit, in a Nikon D700 body with Leica-quality lenses - it could replace my M8, D3 and MF

    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: limits of MF

    did you upgrade the firmware on the Hy6 body? It helps a lot with the AF performance. It still will be nothing like the D3, but it does work pretty well in my experience.

    Personally, the philosophy of the S2 is looking better to me every day.
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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    did you upgrade the firmware on the Hy6 body? It helps a lot with the AF performance. It still will be nothing like the D3, but it does work pretty well in my experience.

    Personally, the philosophy of the S2 is looking better to me every day.
    Yes Stuart, I use the latest firmware version. And - I share your comment regarding the S2 plus I wonder if the R10 will be a "small S2"
    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: limits of MF

    One of the complaints I have had with the Hy6 is it's AF -- to me it has seemed about 2 generations behind Hassy and Mamiya speed and abilities in low light. The one I test drove hunted in a well-lit interior with the 80. I knew this would drive me nuts and was the main reason I passed on it as a camera platform.

    As far as ISO, I consider 400 to be a practical maximum for my back (P45+), though noise is starting to get visible, so I do not generally go beyond 200 unless absolutely necessary. However, 800 is still quite usable for most applications except maybe the largest prints or where shadows are really important, so I do not hesitate to use it when applicable.
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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    4) My dream: A sensor without AA-filter, 16 bit, in a Nikon D700 body with Leica-quality lenses - it could replace my M8, D3 and MF
    You're describing either an S2 or an R10. Yes, the R10 should be a "mini" S2 as the two cameras will share much of the same technology and design philosophy.

    David
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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    You're describing either an S2 or an R10. Yes, the R10 should be a "mini" S2 as the two cameras will share much of the same technology and design philosophy.

    David
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    Re: limits of MF

    I honestly don't feel very limited at all compared to the M8 or the DMR. Maybe a touch slower but I shoot everything with it so I have not run into a wall and say i wish I had something else. Heavier after long hours but that is my issue not really the camera. The one big obvious one is DOF. I am much happier with the style of the Mamiya or the Contax DSLR feel . The Hy6 is diffidently the worst in feel for me than the Hassy follows that
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: limits of MF

    I still really like the Hy6, I just don't like results from the back. The Hy6 with the 645 film back is great...I just wish they would finally get the 6x6 back ready for it. I never really liked the feel of any of the big prism 645 cameras like the Contax, Hassie or Mamiya. But anyway, everybody has their own preferences.
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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I honestly don't feel very limited at all compared to the M8 or the DMR. Maybe a touch slower but I shoot everything with it so I have not run into a wall and say i wish I had something else. Heavier after long hours but that is my issue not really the camera. The one big obvious one is DOF. I am much happier with the style of the Mamiya or the Contax DSLR feel . The Hy6 is diffidently the worst in feel for me than the Hassy follows that
    I think that Guy has done the really sensible thing. He bought his MF kit and has basically used nothing else since. Thus he truly knows when this format "gets in the way" as opposed to doing the intended job. Sure there are workarounds and if reasonable should be used. But it is important that at the end of the day you understand the limitations so that you know what other kit you need to supplement your MFDB so you can compete for all the work out there. All of you know I am not a full time working pro. But I do believe that Guy has the pulse on what needs to be understood and then what actions to take to have the proper gear

    Just my (amateur) thoughts on the matter

    Woody

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    Re: limits of MF

    Jack's First Law of photoholism: There is no single perfect solution to any photo-gear need. Just ask anybody else who has owned everything...

    First Corollary to Jack's First Law: You either need to learn to make do with what you have or buy more gear.

    Second Corollary to Jack's First Law: If you own more than one system, you will NEVER have the right one with you when you actually need it, so you might as well learn up front to make do with what you have.

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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Jack's First Law of photoholism: There is no single perfect solution to any photo-gear need. Just ask anybody else who has owned everything...

    First Corollary to Jack's First Law: You either need to learn to make do with what you have or buy more gear.

    Second Corollary to Jack's First Law: If you own more than one system, you will NEVER have the right one with you when you actually need it, so you might as well learn up front to make do with what you have.



    LOL - how true

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    Re: limits of MF

    35mm is good a lot of stuff MF systems will never be good at. The reverse is equally true.
    RED is the most exciting thing to happen to visual media snce the Canon 10D and the Leica DMR/M8.
    My nostalgia for lod fashioned shooting is runnng strong though - to me the magic of Zeiss is a big drawcard as is teh magic of B&W.
    I have ordered a CFV11 back to use my Zeiss collection with;
    and ( finally) an X5 scanner - decades of family snaps and history going back ( both sides) over 100 years on good old film needs to be scanned/catalogued and printed up into nice over the web books one can get done for peanuts.


    I just love everything to do with photography and visual media - the journey is much fun!
    Last edited by PeterA; 14th December 2008 at 19:07.

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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I have ordered a CFV11 back to use my Zeiss collection with;
    and ( finally) an X5 scanner - decades of family snaps and history going back ( both sides) over 100 years on good old film needs to be scanned/catalogued and printed up into nice over the web books one can get done for peanuts.
    I hope so, because that's probably all you will have left after ordering a CFV and an X5!
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    Re: limits of MF

    The X5... is that the new BMW roadster, or is it just priced like one?
    Jack
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    Re: limits of MF

    LOL @ Jack - the bMW X5 is a girl's wanna be 4 wheel drive - teh hasselblad X5 is just plain mad.


    Stuart: I figure the faster scanning times are worth the extra - and I have been unsuccessful on 4 Flxtight scanner auctions on Epay ..

    The CFV is the only back I can use on the 205TCC with my FE lenses....and ther is some pretty awesome glass there.

    So i am now deciding wether to keep the P45+ system or sell it. Wnana trade a P45+ set-up for yoru Hy6?

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    Re: limits of MF

    No worries Peter, I am just teasing you. I would buy one too if I could. The used Imacon I bought a couple years ago is the one of the rather rare pieces of photo equipment that I have used continuously since I bought it. I have the 646, and I could not afford the 949 at the time, but I do think that the diffuser, extra speed, batch scanning and slide scanning abilities are all quite useful additions. I do take issue with Imacon's pricing though...or at least their pricing structure. I have a very difficult time believing that there is 10,000 dollars more technology in the 949 than there was in the 646 for example.

    As for the CFV, again, I am jealous -- I have been using the 203FE for a few years -- it is one of those cameras I have never stopped using or put down since I bought it.
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    Re: limits of MF

    Re X5 series pricing, I guess they know that they arent going to sell a lot - and people who want the speed will pay. In a commercial environment I am sure it would pay for itself in no time. In my case it lets me do a lot of digitisation of family histories decades of them on both sides - going back over 100 years..photographs/Slides/negatives etc etc

    There is something very special about how the Zeiss glass draws..I also love the compactness of the 200 series cameras and how they fit in the hand. The CFV11 came with a fantastic split screen focusing glass as well with the capture square etched nicely in black. Focusing is a pleasure - bright viewfinder of course. I like the old fashioned manual crank to cock the camera - everything works beautifully in simple manner and the mirror ( whilst not as heavy or clunky as on RZ ) still makes a lovely clunking sound. fantastic being able to shoot 1/2000th if I need to.

    Can't wait to shoot some MF B&W - the scanner will do the film justice.

    It is the kind of camera you want to go walking with and find shots - it just feels great in hand and enough substance to make you want to think a bit. ..I dont know why I have this response to older types of cameras...I just prefer them to the modern eg the Phamiya and H series I have been shooting with.

    I definately will chase up the best examples of Zeiss CFi and CFe I can find. It is my forever camera now.

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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    You're describing either an S2 or an R10. Yes, the R10 should be a "mini" S2 as the two cameras will share much of the same technology and design philosophy.

    David
    I still wonder if we had a ff-16bit- no AA-filter Sensor with lets say 22 MP if this would not give very very close IQ vs medium format or S2.

    Seeing for example amages from a CFV and if you crop those to 2x3 ratio it is not much bigger than a 24x36 sensor, and great IQ for anybody who does not want to go really big size of prints.
    So why cant they make a 24x36mm sensor in this quality without AA and put it in a D700?
    If the R10 would be it, I question if I would still need a larger sensor.
    Or would anybody here say the A900 could be it allready?
    Besides the limits I have listed here I have to say I enjoy the large viewfinder and feel of the Hy6 system quite a bit. It took me some days to get the idea/logic of the user interface- but now I really feel it makes sense and works quit well.

    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: limits of MF

    CCD costs are higher for one, also sensor yields are lower in the process than CMOS. The big factor there is nothing that can get over ISO 1600 and there never will be in CCD. That is the most it will do without some real breakthrough. There is ONLY one that does 1600 and that is the P30 plus and basically that is exactly what the S2 will be, only 6 microns instead of 6.8, now there maybe something more to the S2 Kodak sensor since it is a new sensor. But i am not expecting anything over 1600 either. These are the true limits of MF and shooting speed which that has increased to 1fps for the P65 in the big sensors. The P21 and some others can go .8. Now speed is something that they can work on and that will come down to faster processing engines in the back but that may come at a cost to battery life. Big files being squeezed through the processing engines will take power. But this is where the S2 separates itself is more shooting speed at 1.5 fps which is huge for MF, so this will be one of the most defining factors of the S2 is it will be faster to run. I'm leaving lenses out of it for now since by than more lenses from most OEM's will be hitting the streets to so we will have to look at that later. To me the biggest factor of the S2 over pure MF systems is speed and ISO 1600 which only one has today. It also has it's limits like a integrated back which for some is a immediate non purchase.
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    Re: limits of MF

    Guy,

    Let's not forget that the S2 will do at least 1.5 fps in its current pre-production state. Leica is trying to get this up to 2 fps by release.

    Tom,

    The R10 will be 24x36 with no AA filter in a D700-sized body. If they keep to 6.8um pixels it would be about 18MP. If it goes to 6um pixels, it would be about 22MP. Either way, though, no AA filter, 16-bit capture, Maestro image processor, and offset microlenses (remember that Leica is the only ones who use these to reduce sensor vignetting).

    David
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    Re: limits of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Ok, I have to say that after having started to use MF-digital - in real life I feel quit some limits compared to my M8 and D3 systems.

    1) Maybe this would be different with a micro-lens-digital back but so far I feel very much limited to have to use ISO 100 or 200 with my MF camera.
    This means to a) use a tripod or b) use flash or c) work with shallower DOF than I usually would like to have in at least 75% of situations.

    2) AF- well-the good thing is that manual focusing works nice with the bright and big viewfinder of my Hy6. The bad thing is that the AF is so slow and hunts so much plus the AF-point area is so large - its just much much worse than a modern digital SLR (I find this for both the ZD and the Hy6)

    3) If everything is perfect the quality of the (MF) images is great - and I like the feel and the slower pace of MF photography but my keeper quote of images went down worse than the stock exchange over the last weeks.

    4) My dream: A sensor without AA-filter, 16 bit, in a Nikon D700 body with Leica-quality lenses - it could replace my M8, D3 and MF

    Cheers, Tom
    Having shot with the M8 for a couple of years, I was impressed by the files, but didn't like the difficulty in composition. As I'm most interested in directly vertical and horizontal compositions, it was difficult to get proper alignment when using the camera handheld. I really missed the Rollei WLF< and the 6x6 screen with grid.

    I liked the Hy6, but can't justify the price - and the Sinar package, which is well priced, comes with microlenses, thus leaving out the chance for shifting radically. I really wanted to get back to the waist level finder, and composition on the glass.

    The best little package for this is the Hassy CFV, but I wasn't eager to replace all the cool Schneider Rollei glass I have - so when the Rollei/Phase dp20 came up, I snatched it, and am now giving it a good try.

    The issues Tom brings up are real to be sure. Something is a bit off here - this is not an easy switch. Not super hard either, but it requires some care. I'm not sure whether the issues are a big thing or not. Most of my shots (causal ones, around the house, in the midst of winter, grey skies, and busy time of year) are a mixed blessing at best. If its really cold outside, they all suffer from shake. Most are wide open, at f4, around 1/30 to 1/60, and ISO 100-200. Ironically, all my film shots with the Rollei 6003 were almost universally immune to shake - I could do 1/30 without a problem. Part of that is that I'd shoot film with a 60 mm lens, slightly wide and forgiving. With a 40 mm on the dp20, its about the same, and that's OK, but if one uses the 90 (135 equivalent) it is not forgiving about shake at all. No surprise - it all makes sense, but it is different.

    My guess is that for a longer lens, cloudy day and handheld shooting, you have to use ISO 400. And the system would prefer a tripod.

    The one amazing thing is that the Phase back, wiht the C1 software, gives images that are spot on for color rendition instantly. Almost no modification is necessary. I'm rather amazed and quite pleasantly surprised.

    Maybe its like going around shooting with Kodachrome - great images, but comes with a set of consequences you have to deal with. Fast, its not tho.

    Just to confirm what Tom is saying - it has strengths, and weaknesses. Best pitched to the strengths, and work around the weaknesses. The Hy6 has much better power management, and smoother all around, to be sure. So there is a part of this which is due to being behind the progress curve, but some of it (f 4 lenses, need for high shutter speeds, and low ISO preferred) exist, it seems, with any MFD back. Do others agree?

    The pleasure of composing on the glass is once again remarkable. Compositions and shots emerge, patterns found, ones that are otherwise overlooked with a DSLR, held up to the eye. Not sure why, but its wonderful to have back.

    I guess its a "go slow and learn" approach. No single solution to be sure.

    Geoff

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