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Thread: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

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    Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    I'm in the market for an older back to rekindle my love for medium format photography.

    That's when i remembered that my new computers (iMac and MBA) no longer have FW ports. Instead, they have USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports.

    Is there anyway to get around this if I am to get a, say P25, and would like to tether to my computer?

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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    There are numerous Firewire/USB converters available.

    Google is your friend.

    - Leigh

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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    There are absolutely no FireWire-to-USB convertors which will work in the way you want.

    The only FireWire to USB adapters were made to allow FireWire only devices (eg the original iPod) to charge from a USB-only computer (eg most windows computers at the time of the original iPod, or other low-utility functions. They do not interchange USB and FireWire protocols, or allow devices of one to connect via the other, as this cannot be done.

    P25+ can run off internal battery and a thunderbolt to FireWire adapter. P25 non plus is a bit trickier since it lacks the menu option to run from battery.

    I'd selfishly suggest working with a knowledgable dealer that can help you through these seemingly "minor" details, which turn out to be quite important.
    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: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    I should have known better. Some of the answers I was looking for were posted in a previous thread. Thanks for the input nonetheless!

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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    One option is also to buy the original MacBook Pro, which still exists as a current model from Apple. It's relatively cheap, but heavier than the corresponding 13" Retina models and limited to 8GB RAM. But it does have a FW port in addition to 2 x USB 3 and one Thunderbolt. It even features an optical drive and up to 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD. I consider buying one for the exact reason you are asking about, to be able to use an older Sinar back on my GX680.

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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    I have a P25 (not +) and it works just fine with a thunderbolt/FW adapter, never had a single issue.

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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    One option is also to buy the original MacBook Pro, which still exists as a current model from Apple. It's relatively cheap, but heavier than the corresponding 13" Retina models and limited to 8GB RAM. But it does have a FW port in addition to 2 x USB 3 and one Thunderbolt. It even features an optical drive and up to 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD. I consider buying one for the exact reason you are asking about, to be able to use an older Sinar back on my GX680.
    Thanks Jorgen. I share the same thoughts as you. I'm a tad worried that the new generation of MBAs are not strong enough to power up the backs.

    Older generation MBPs seems like an affordable alternative. (hey, the P25 backs were produced in 2004. How straining can it be on a 2008 MBP be right? )
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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    Quote Originally Posted by bythewei View Post
    Thanks Jorgen. I share the same thoughts as you. I'm a tad worried that the new generation of MBAs are not strong enough to power up the backs.

    Older generation MBPs seems like an affordable alternative. (hey, the P25 backs were produced in 2004. How straining can it be on a 2008 MBP be right? )
    A new MBP with a Thunderbolt/FW adapter can not power a Sinar back. I checked with Sinar, and they say there's not enough power. I haven't checked others, but Sinar is unique in that most of their backs can only be powered from a Mac with a FW port.

    As for processing power, it's very simple: Any MacBook manufactured today is probably more powerful than any MacBook manufactured 3 years ago. As long as I'm not going to edit 4K video, I'm comfortable with most of what has been on the market the last 4-5 years

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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    you can use an apple FW/Thunderbolt adapter + a FW powered repeater

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    Re: Old Backs and New Computers (USB 3.0)

    I use a P25 (non-plus) with thunderbolt to FW800 adapter, and FW800 to FW400 cable into the P25 with no issues at all connected to a MBP. I have used the back both with and without a battery attached and it tethers flawlessly either way. This is a V-back connected to an RZ67 via a Phase One Lightphase adapter.

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