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Thread: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

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    Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Hey everyone!

    I have been a long time reader and now first time poster. First, a little background on me so we can get to know each other: I have spent the last 10 years working in the photo industry in varying support roles as photo assistant, digital technician, Digital Capture Manager for a large fashion studio as well as for a boutique capture outfit and also done some digital consulting for start up e-commerce studios. I spent the lion share of those 10 years in NYC but recently had an opportunity to join the wonderful team at Capture Integration and jumped at the chance. I have now relocated to Atlanta to continue to provide top notch support for those in our industry by heading up the Tech Support and Rental teams.

    One of the more exciting things about this new role is getting the IQ250 in our hands first. We had some time to play with it yesterday and have this post to share right now about our initial findings with the IQ250 and tech cameras. Click the link and take a look at what we have found so far:

    Capture Integration Exclusive: IQ250 on Tech Cameras

    Stay tuned, as we have much more to come!
    Anthony Festa, National Tech Support Manager,www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    MFDB: Phase One/Leaf-Mamiya/Hasselblad/Leica/Sinar
    TechCam: Alpa/Cambo/Arca Swiss/Sinar | Direct: 770.558.7557 | National: 877.217.9870
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Congrats on your new role at CI.

    Don't ask those guys who I am they will just bullshit ya. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Thanks for posting. And welcome to the forum.
    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: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Thanks for posting. And welcome to the forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Congrats on your new role at CI.

    Don't ask those guys who I am they will just bullshit ya. LOL
    Thanks for the welcome gentleman, I appreciate it!
    Anthony Festa, National Tech Support Manager,www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    MFDB: Phase One/Leaf-Mamiya/Hasselblad/Leica/Sinar
    TechCam: Alpa/Cambo/Arca Swiss/Sinar | Direct: 770.558.7557 | National: 877.217.9870

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Welsome aboard and thanks for the information, very interesting.

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Welsome aboard and thanks for the information, very interesting.

    Don
    Thanks Don, can't wait to share the rest of what we have found.
    Anthony Festa, National Tech Support Manager,www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    MFDB: Phase One/Leaf-Mamiya/Hasselblad/Leica/Sinar
    TechCam: Alpa/Cambo/Arca Swiss/Sinar | Direct: 770.558.7557 | National: 877.217.9870

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Thanks for the testing !.

    I'm sure you thought of this, as others have already mentioned it in other threads.

    But I think everyone would really like to know the results of (IMO) the 'Gold Standard' in wide Technical lenses. The Rodenstock HR 32mm

    Any idea when you might get to that one ?

    Regards

    Mark.

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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Very interesting article, thanks for posting.

    I would be interested in seeing the comparison to the 280 as it has a similar pixel pitch. I'm guessing the falloff would be similar crop withstanding.

    More important would be after LCC correction. If it cleans up with an LCC then it would be useable with a tech cam.
    Ed Cooley Fine Art Photography
     
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Thanks for posting. Very interesting stuff!

    As etrump suggested, I'd love to see another set of comparisons, each after performing an LCC.

    Admittedly, I can't afford a new DMF back at the moment but I love reading about this stuff – I have been slowly assembling a digital platform (Linhof Techno) so I can swap to a 100% digital workflow in the near future. I had / have high hopes for this new generation of backs and it'll be a hard task beating my current object of desire, the IQ260.

    Bring on the next post!

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by etrump View Post
    More important would be after LCC correction. If it cleans up with an LCC then it would be useable with a tech cam.
    Yes. You showed without correction. But is a correction possible, or better, what would be the result of the correction? I'm very excited about...
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    For landscape applications I think 24mm-equivalent is the widest one would need for normal imagery, at least if you prefer a more classic strict look and thus avoid extreme perspectives. Indoor architecture would need wider on a regular basis I guess.

    For a 44x33mm sensor that would mean 30.5mm, so the Rodenstock Digaron-W 32mm or Rodenstock Digaron-S 28mm comes closest. I consider the Digaron-W 32mm with its 90mm image circle to be a bit overkill for that sensor size, so it would not be a well-balanced system, but if it works it's good to know. If the 28mm works that would be a saner match for that sensor size I think, but then it would have to work to the edge of the 70mm image circle.

    If the 28 or 32 does work with this sensor you could build a really attractive landscape photography tech cam system, and I'd suggest to look deep into doing it with a Linhof Techno when you have that live view, you won't be needing a sliding back. If the Rodenstock 40mm will be the shortest that can do reasonable shifts, then I would think it's not wide enough.

    (My own preference is distortion free symmetrical lenses with few lens elements as far as possible so it would not be a tech camera for me, ie I rather use the less user-friendly way of ground glass focusing to be able to use the lenses I like, but I know I'm a minority, and I think retrofocus Rodies with live view would be a real killer.)

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by etrump View Post
    More important would be after LCC correction. If it cleans up with an LCC then it would be useable with a tech cam.
    It's may not be so easy. Color cast and vignetting is due to dynamic range loss, ie you get closer to the noise floor. LCC correction raises that, ie you could see it as a non-uniform increase in ISO. If you lose say 4 stops on the green channel on the side LCC will push that 4 stops, ie effectively going from ISO100 to ISO800 in that part of the image, with increased noise and reduced color accuracy as side effect.

    When is the increased noise and reduced quality of the color rendition unacceptable? It will be a matter of taste, and subject-dependent. You could have all those 14 stops of DR in the center, but say only 8 stops on the side if the color cast / vignetting is extreme.

    I would estimate that ~3 stop signal loss on the worst channel most would consider acceptable, but no more.

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    I have to say that what I've seen of live view and WA lens performance on a v1 CMOS DB has been pretty impressive. Sadly, not with S/K WAs, but the R/Ss look decent. My new dream kit (or, at least, one of them!) would be a Techno + 23/28/40 + IQ250.
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    I have to say that what I've seen of live view and WA lens performance on a v1 CMOS DB has been pretty impressive. Sadly, not with S/K WAs, but the R/Ss look decent. My new dream kit (or, at least, one of them!) would be a Techno + 23/28/40 + IQ250.
    I've had these 3 lenses on tech cam. I've just wanted to point out that these 3 lenses do not need critical focusing. They always make sharp images with f/11 on an IQ260.

    The current IQ260 is more than adequate and a much better choice than the IQ250 for landscape photography, especially in sensor size and LCC.

    I cannot comment about the Techno as I've never use it.

    I think the IQ250 is a good option to use with MF DSLR for fashion etc. and longer-ranged lenses with tech cam which need critical focusing. The argument is that with tele range, the MF DSLR such as DF , Hasselblad and Leica S are fantastic too and the need for tech cam with tele range is not much different from MF DSLR.

    Thanks
    Pramote
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    It would be nice if it could do both but it does seem more a MF cam body back. Which I think Phase needs in there arsenal of backs. Like to try it

    Just need a damn good body to go with it. Lose the damn shutter
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    I'm not getting some of the negativity here to be honest.

    The performance with the Rodie 40HR looks pretty good to me? 5mm rise/shift is basically going just beyond the corners of a FF sensor.

    It would be nice to be able to review the full files to be sure, but I'm not seeing a huge amount of difference in the parts of the sensor furthest away from the center of the image circle between the IQ260 and IQ250. Certainly not enough to write it off.

    What's not to like about the images posted? What am I not seeing?

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Well like to see the corrections with the LCC to confirm no lingering color casts. This would help knowing the limits of the shift for each lens. Also if any smearing and noise exist.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Although I am not a professional photographer, with my average photographer eyes, the LCC is pretty obvious. I used to have P30+ and I can see how likely it will be.
    Not to like...too expensive for landscape photography compared to Nikon D800E and Sony A7R. If it's cheap I will buy it!
    I will wait for future generations but absolutely not NOW.

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Maybe I'm not interpreting this correctly -

    "It would be nice if it could do both but it does seem more a MF cam body back"

    ... but that reads to me as if you're pretty much writing the back off as realistic for tech csm use on the basis of the above test.

    Unless I'm mistaken, what we are looking at here are effectively LCC shots, no?

    Comparing with LCC shots from my Rodies on an IQ180, they don't look *that* bad. Certainly not bad enough to conclude that it couldn't perform well in many circumstances with a tech cam, which was the original fear prior to this test being shared.

    So again - based on the evidence presented so far (which I am guessing all any/most of us have to rely on), what is it that I'm missing?

    I'm looking at these thinking - "hey, you know what, there could actually be some real potential here."

    You're looking at them thinking - "it would be nice if it worked on a tech cam, but..."

    If I really had to put a number on it, I'd interpret from the above test that perhaps on the Rodie 40HR, you might lose 3-5mm of useful image circle radius on the 250 compared to the 260.

    Clearly more testing will provide some answers, but based on the evidence from this test alone, there is good potential for tech cam use with the IQ250.
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    I agree with gerald.

    I think many being too quick to dismiss the IQ250 from any tech cam use based simply on the premise of the IQ250 sensor having micro lenses. Quite frankly, from what I see of the LCC shots from the IQ250, I'm impressed and I bet that with small movements images will clean up nicely with LCC processing.

    I used to play around with "small movements" with the P30, and lens/color cast really wasn't a problem---but that was with a Mamiya/Phase body. And in much the similar vein, I think the limitation (or best results) for those wanting to use the IQ250 on a tech camera platform will be had with the Rodenstock lenses. Is the IQ250 the best choice for a technical camera? Probably not. But for someone seeking flexibility in a system where they primarily use the Phase DF+ body, the IQ250 might be an ideal choice.

    I just don't understand the initial onslaught of seemingly negative reception for the IQ250. For those of us who already have MFDBs, the IQ250 probably isn't targeted towards us directly. And thank god too---I'm happy with my IQ180, saw no need to trade in for the IQ280, and easily skipped the IQ250 too. One can never be too careful when treading here in Dante's realm. I think too many people expected/wanted a "do-it-all" MFDB/camera system and frankly that's the last thing I would want. Flexible, yes. Workarounds, yes. Jack of all trades? No. You'll never please everyone if that's the goal.

    I'm hoping to try the IQ250 myself when Capture Integration comes to Carmel next month. And I'll place early bets now that the IQ250 will be an ideal first MFDB (Stephen Gilbert reminded the proper term is "gateway drug") --- a first digital back for photographer's who have not yet entered Date's Inferno. It really looks like an ideal MFDB for a working professional studio/portrait/wedding photographer waiting for a flexible system that allows him/her to do more with it professionally, and rely less on maintaining a second DSLR camera system ala Nikon/Canon. And being able to shoot landscapes on the weekends with a technical camera (being limited to smaller movements) being a nice plus.

    ken
    Last edited by kdphotography; 30th January 2014 at 10:06.

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    The current IQ260 is more than adequate and a much better choice than the IQ250 for landscape photography, especially in sensor size and LCC.
    I'm not necessarily going to disagree - especially wrt sensor size and LCC. But, and it's a big but, the ability to see, with great clarity, and in great detail, the real time effects of focus, tilt, swing, rise and fall is - I would say - the holy grail of a DB for landscape shooting. Until now we've had to make do with various mechanical 'workarounds' for the non-availability of true live view (TLV) in a situation which would really benefit from it - e.g. the A/S RM3d/i - engineered from the ground up to solve one principle problem - that of repeatedly focussing a view-camera lens accurately. It does this admirably - nothing else comes close to be honest. With TLV, the RM3d/i essentially becomes a solution looking for a problem.

    As ever, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - and when I read the first few pieces of info about the IQ250 I was a little disappointed. However, having seen the CI LCCs for the R/S WAs I was pleasantly surprised. Disappointed in the performance of S/Ks symmetrical WAs naturally, since they are my lens of choice, but who knows what the next CMOS back from P1 will herald?

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    I just try to give my point of view for someone who really owns the equipment and has used them at a regular basis.
    Sometimes it is very dangerous to test a back/lens for a short period of time and write a review or make comments. Sometimes knowing nothing is better than knowing a little.
    It took me a long long time for every cameras/DBs/lenses I've had to get to know them. I almost gave up the Rodie 23mm after several months. However, after I've got to know it, it turns out to be one of my most favorites.
    My point is, for Rodie 23/28/40 with T/S, you DON'T need IQ250 to get sharp images for tech cam. With practice, it is very easy to get sharp images with the IQ180 or 260. I've had these lenses for years and it took me a long time to learn about them with the IQ (180)/260/P25+ I've had.
    I've never said the CMOS sensor for tech cam has no future. It is just not yet in a prime time for landscape photography with this price (50 MP) and limitation especially when the Nikon D800e and Sony A7R (36 MP) are >10 times less expensive.
    For the forum like this, it is good to have someone who has no conflict of interest expressing some negative about the product. It is good for new comers who want to learn the experience from real people who own the equipments. I was there before.
    Last edited by Landscapelover; 30th January 2014 at 10:42.
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    My point is, for Rodie 23/28/40 with T/S, you DON'T need IQ250 to get sharp images for tech cam.
    Landscape shooters from the year dot have chosen to use view cameras because of the flexibilty they afford in manipulating the image plane projected by the lens and the plane upon which that image falls.

    However, in the age of the sub-40mmx54mm sensor, observing the effect of tilt or swing / tilt and swing rapidly becomes non-trivial since, other than by using a groundglass, there has been - until the IQ250 - no way to observe the effects in real-time. We've been stuck with shoot-review-tweak or using tables or apps to 'dial in' fixed values. Neither ideal ways of working IMO.

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    I'm actually quite impressed at how well the Rodie 40 performed with the IQ250 although admittedly at the absolute mm shifts on each camera. To truly represent equivalence I thank that you need to match the FOV either by taking the 44x33 crop of the IQ260 image, or increasing the shift of the IQ250 which obviously rapidly wouldn't work out quite so well.

    One of the things I had to do when when moving from the Aptus 65/P40+ to the IQ160/260 was reassessment of the view of my lenses and adjust appropriately. For example, the SK24 that I had was replaced with a Sk35 for a more equivalent wide angle. For someone with a Rodie 32 or 40 today the equivalent would either be a move to 28/32 and or greater shifts.

    Anyway, it's definitely a good first indication of the tech capabilities and I'm sure we'll all be interested to see more empirical results. Like Pramote, I've found that you end up getting to know the characteristics of the lenses and what limitations exist (or can be worked around - such as propensity for red spots on the 23HR for example). The value for LV for normal focus with the wides isn't so great as perhaps with longer focal lengths/macro as it is pretty easy to nail this with wides, although accurate tilt adjustment visibility would be the big one for me personally. That said, LV critical focussing on all lenses would be GREAT!

    Looking forward to seeing any tests with the Rodie 32/28/23 too. With the 44x33 sensor these start to become more important at the true wide end.

    An encouraging start. I'm welded to my IQ260 so can only look on longingly at that Live View capability. One day perhaps it'll come to us in a larger format.

    Btw, I was wondering how the Canon T/S faired on the Alpa FPS you had with the LV demo. For some people that is the future and live view on that system looks very interesting as an option.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    Landscape shooters from the year dot have chosen to use view cameras because of the flexibilty they afford in manipulating the image plane projected by the lens and the plane upon which that image falls.

    However, in the age of the sub-40mmx54mm sensor, observing the effect of tilt or swing / tilt and swing rapidly becomes non-trivial since, other than by using a groundglass, there has been - until the IQ250 - no way to observe the effects in real-time. We've been stuck with shoot-review-tweak or using tables or apps to 'dial in' fixed values. Neither ideal ways of working IMO.
    I couldn't agree more. Focusing with the ground glass is tough with even 40x54mm compared to true large format. Also, the table/best reckoning approach for tilts really only works well for a level base but if you angle the camera body it's no longer so easy to do other than visually. Swings are all visual adjustment in my experience.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    If you can live with a 1:3 crop factor on wides, it's no doubt the ideal solution. Especially if Live view works in low light without excessive noise artifacts like the Nikon implementation on the D800.

    In my workflow I am most often at 28mm and or 40mm and need all of it. Even in stitching. The crop factor is too limiting for me.

    The Rod 32 may be a great lens on this back, but it's cost is around 9.5K new and 7K to 6K used. Based on the fact that the Copal mount is very delicate and the lens is very heavy, it's not the best lens IMO to carry around in the woods. If you are on the 1:3 sensor I am assuming that a lens with a 70mm image circle may not do much for you, and you need to be at 90mm at least, which bring up either the 32mm or 40mm.

    I have long considered the 32mm, but the price it just too extreme for me. If you are considering a tech camera which again is about a 6 to 7K up front investment, then add the cost of the 32mm Rod, you are talking a lot of cash up front. Where as the deals on a used IQ160 may be a much better overall solution as you can still use the Schneider wides as much as 8mm of horizontal movement.

    As far as limited 4mm movements, I can't see a price justification for that, but that's just me. I want 15mm to 25mm of movement for my work. Rise and fall are not as important, but I do use them at times.

    It's still a huge deal either way for Phase One and I am sure the start of things to come. Right now, there is not a Nikon lens I know of that can stand up to 10mm of shift (for sure the Nikkor 24 TS-E can't on the D800) at least the ones I tried did not. Sure Canon has some excellent TS-E lenses in the 17mm and 24mm, but they don't have the MP. Still sitting at 21MP.

    What will be most interesting will be the CI or others who test the Alpa FPS on the Canon TSE lenses. Here I can see this solution really being a great winner.

    Biggest issue as far as the acceptance is that general consensus is CMOS=CHEAP, Sony led this charge also, with the Nikon D800 Chip and then newer version of same chip in the A7r. However the fab process on this chip is a bit different and I would be interested in knowing what the ratio is of good vs bad chips. Sony so far has two players for this new 50MP chip, one is already shipping, the other will be in March. Both players combined shipments for the 2014 year will more than likely will not equal the sale for Sony on one month of 36MP chips.

    Still need to see how the CMOS handles extreme shifts as the one thing the LCC won't show is increase in noise vs loss of color/sat and detail smearing.

    Paul

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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    Landscape shooters from the year dot have chosen to use view cameras because of the flexibilty they afford in manipulating the image plane projected by the lens and the plane upon which that image falls.

    However, in the age of the sub-40mmx54mm sensor, observing the effect of tilt or swing / tilt and swing rapidly becomes non-trivial since, other than by using a groundglass, there has been - until the IQ250 - no way to observe the effects in real-time. We've been stuck with shoot-review-tweak or using tables or apps to 'dial in' fixed values. Neither ideal ways of working IMO.
    Wouldn't be that hard on ground glass, I use Linhof's new bright one with a 20x loupe and it does work. Looking in the edge of a 35mm SK in bad light becomes problematic though, but usually tables work well for the wides, extremely rare you need to do a tilt+swing combination in those cases at least for my shooting style. For longer lenses there's no issue except you really need to be concentrated to hit the focus peak. So I don't need live view myself, wide angular response is a more important feature to me. But using ground glass requires good eye sight, training, a bit of skill and confidence, so live view is surely a way to make view cameras more accessible to a broader audience again.

    And even if I'm quite satisfied with the ground glass and don't find myself limited by it, it would reduce size weight and cost if I could drop the sliding back. And occassional frustration, which gg does have sometimes, that's why I like to have a back which at least have a working image review, which is rare among older backs.
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    Re: Phase One IQ250 Initial Tech Camera Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Maybe I'm not interpreting this correctly -

    "It would be nice if it could do both but it does seem more a MF cam body back"

    ... but that reads to me as if you're pretty much writing the back off as realistic for tech csm use on the basis of the above test.

    Unless I'm mistaken, what we are looking at here are effectively LCC shots, no?

    Comparing with LCC shots from my Rodies on an IQ180, they don't look *that* bad. Certainly not bad enough to conclude that it couldn't perform well in many circumstances with a tech cam, which was the original fear prior to this test being shared.

    So again - based on the evidence presented so far (which I am guessing all any/most of us have to rely on), what is it that I'm missing?

    I'm looking at these thinking - "hey, you know what, there could actually be some real potential here."

    You're looking at them thinking - "it would be nice if it worked on a tech cam, but..."

    If I really had to put a number on it, I'd interpret from the above test that perhaps on the Rodie 40HR, you might lose 3-5mm of useful image circle radius on the 250 compared to the 260.

    Clearly more testing will provide some answers, but based on the evidence from this test alone, there is good potential for tech cam use with the IQ250.
    I guess more my point was the feature set lends itself more towards a DF type body. I don't want to dismiss the fact it could very well be a nice tech cam option. Higher ISO, Faster Frame rates , live view and crop sensors just leans more towards it and really that was my point. One thing a dealer actually Dave said to me awhile back was if there was a CMOS sensor that was a crop and at a good lower price he could fit better every wedding and fashion shooter in a much better solution. That I get and agree. But I don't want to dismiss the tech cam angle either.As long as the LCC corrections works out to almost the same as the CCD sensors today than there is no issue to use it in that setting. Maybe even better solution as a all around back. Options are great and I never dismiss other options.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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