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Thread: Opinions needed on Leaf

  1. #1
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    Opinions needed on Leaf

    Is the Leaf Valeo 22wi a good "starter" back? I know that it doesn't have a lcd but can bluetooth to a computer for image review.

    I see one on ebay for a good price.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions needed on Leaf

    The Bluetooth only works with a PDA (iPaq) and requires a 20/30GB HDD that attaches to the bottom of the camera. Both can be found cheap 2nd hand.

    Capture rate is still quicker than most other backs at 1.2 sec/ frame and the image quality at 25-100 iso is excellent. Contact me offline and I can send you some raw files.

    At the time it was very popular with some of the rental houses in NY because of the speed and the image quality.

    For $3-4K it's a no brainer

    Yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

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    Re: Opinions needed on Leaf

    I think you'll be much happier in the long run spending a little more and getting a back that uses CF cards and has an LCD. JMO

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    Re: Opinions needed on Leaf

    Hey, I'm a Phase One dealer and I'm happy to say my first digital back was a Leaf Valeo 17wi in college (the university was in bed with Leaf). A lot of my portfolio was shot with that system.

    You "have" to use the "digital magazine" (fancy term in this case for external hard drive) at additional weight, batteries, and size, and one more thing to have fail/break, BUT I didn't mind so much.

    The iPaq solution was a really cool idea. You'll want to use it only directly connected to the back to avoid frustrating wireless dropout/disconnects and you need to know that if the iPaq runs out of battery that you have to reinstall the Leaf software on the iPaq in order to start shooting again, which can be mega frustrating. And when I was using it there were occasional freezes and lockups; when your computer locks up it is frustrating, but when your camera system locks up it can be infuriating. I imagine software updates since then have improved it, but you should talk to any current users to see for sure. However, for the right style of shooting (at the time I was doing still life) it worked really well, and I have yet to find another camera system on which you could play solitaire. The fact that no one makes a solution similar to this anymore indicates that the market as a whole did not like it better than the LCD-on-backs which came out shortly after, but for me it was kinda fun and pretty useful, if, at times, frustrating and quirky. And having 20gb of images on one storage device was very convenient (compared to five 4 gig cards, the max at the time); I was always nervous that a single failure could cause the loss of so many images, but I used it for two years and never lost an image, so knock on wood.

    I would caution that you avoid the pitfall of many entering MFD and not "jump" at one particular eBay auction or private seller listing. Don't let the tail wag the dog in other words. Select the back you want and then look for a good deal on that back rather than finding backs for which there are good deals and then deciding if that back will work for you. And as a blatant pitch: a good dealer can help a lot with that process.

    As with any digital back the final image quality was pretty spectacular, so just do your due diligence if you prefer the hardware/software/raw-file workflow to the competition and give yourself time to explore the many great options out there.

    Doug Peterson, Head of Technical Services
    Capture Integration, Phase One & Canon Dealer | Personal Portfolio

  5. #5
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    Re: Opinions needed on Leaf

    I think you're right Doug.

    The more I think about it the more I want a more modern back.

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