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Thread: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

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    Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Hello everyone,

    I've been a member here for a while now and was looking into upgrading my digital back. I currently have a P45+ with a H2. I use a 100 f2.2, 120 f4 macro, and 50-110 zoom.

    I was offered the same price on either an IQ250 or IQ260 H mount upgrade.

    I shoot a lot of studio work. This mainly is portraits/headshots, as well as the occasional beauty/fashion shoot. I also do a lot of fine art landscape work that long exposures are a common part of. Samples of my work are on my site for reference.

    The P45+ has been my go to back for years. It does an outstanding job in studio and with long exposures, but has several shortcomings. The screen is the largest concern, as I am unable to check focus and exposure accurately when on location and not shooting tethered. This concern means I usually do not shoot the medium format kit when shooting a location fashion shoot, because I fear the reliability of being able to quickly check to make sure everything is working well. It's also an aging back, eats batteries like no other, and is just starting to feel 'old'

    Both the 250 and 260 cover the problems I had with the 45+. It's the question of which back would be overall better to use.

    So far as my understanding goes with the 250 v 260 is that one is 1.3x crop, 50mp CMOS with high iso usage, and the other is full frame, 60mp CCD without the same high iso usage (similar to my current back)

    On paper the 260 looks like a better deal (given I can save some more money with both at the same price) also being a full frame chip, and overall amazing features. I don't like the idea of switching from a 1.1x crop to a smaller chip. However, I know in real world shooting situations it all depends on the shooter, etc.

    Which back performs better for long exposures? That's a key feature of upgrading to one of these over an IQ160. I like that I can get clean long exposures at ISO 50-100 with the P45+.

    Is it true the IQ250 is only 14 bits, while the IQ260 is still 16 bits?

    Asides from wider lenses being wider and having a shallower depth of field, is having the full frame chip really that significantly different when shooting with MF cameras?

    Any input would be grateful.

    On a side note, I've noticed some people considered the IQ250 an upgrade from the 260. So for those of you who have either one, what made you chose that one over the other, and now that both are out, do you stand by the one you currently have?
    Rick Rose
    www.RickrPhoto.com
    HasselPhase

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Which back performs better for long exposures? That's a key feature of upgrading to one of these over an IQ160. I like that I can get clean long exposures at ISO 50-100 with the P45+.
    Both will be very good but the IQ250 will be the better of the two in this regard. Sony CMOS trumps Dalsa CCD in their dark current specs, by a large margin. Phase One's engineering of the CCD integration narrows this gap, but cannot close it. See also Hasselblad's maximum exposure time specs, using the same two sensors: H5D60 [Dalsa CCD] - 32 seconds; H5D50c [Sony CMOS] - 12 minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Is it true the IQ250 is only 14 bits, while the IQ260 is still 16 bits?
    That doesn't matter. The IQ260 does not have 16 bits of information to record anyway; 14 bits would be appropriate for both backs.

    Ray
    Last edited by ondebanks; 19th June 2014 at 20:47. Reason: Added Hasselblad info

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    If you can live with the 1.3 crop, I would say the 250 is a better investment.

    A few things to consider:

    1. 14 vs 16 bit, this is one of the great misconceptions of MFD, and I guess Phase One/dealers still use it. There has been a lot written about this by folks who have more knowledge about chips than I can ever hope to have, net the last 2 bits on the CCD are mostly noise and not really that beneficial to the overall image. Just do a search on this and you can find white paper/articles that will explain it better. So IMO here they are really equal. It may record 16 bits but as the last 2 bits get thrown out, you are still at 14 bits.

    2. Long exposures, the 260 can get there albeit, with limits. 1 hour at temps equal to or less than 69 degree F, low humidity. The 250 can get there at any iso range (I would doubt that anything longer than 10 min at iso 800 will be worth very much), so you will be limited to the lower iso range for 30 min to 1 hour. Both still have the dark frame mandatory, (which is surprising on the 250 as other CMOS backs allow this to be a user decision).

    3. High iso, well, the 250 has this hands down, as the 260 really doesn't have a true gain as we think of it with CMOS. Yes you can set it to higher iso's but it's just not the same thing as setting a CMOS back to say iso 400. This is another great misconception, that Phase One seems to like to continue with. You can read a lot more on this here:

    IQ260 Usable ISOs?

    I asked then and ask now, for Phase One or any of the dealers that read all of these posts, to answer this question, so far, no one has stepped up to it.

    CCD's really don't work the same as CMOS with traditional iso settings and again there has been much written about this on both this site and Lula.

    4. Value, if you are buying this camera for your business, then I believe the 250 will carry a longer residual value. Once Phase One comes out with a full frame CMOS back, the need/want/desire/value of all the current CCD backs will drop fast. I feel this is true more for the 60MP than 80, since the 80MP backs have a 20MP sensor plus mode that can produce an excellent image. So if your main investment was for higher resolution you can still stitch 20MP images and come out with an excellent end result.

    5. The 260 has been out now for over 12 months, so far, there has not been one firmware upgrade to it for higher iso image quality improvements. It's starting to look like the 260 will stay at it's current level which is unfortunate. The P65 and P45 both had several firmware updates, that improved the overall image quality at higher iso ranges, at least up to 400. On the 250, Phase One has Sony as a partner, and Sony has already proven, that they fully understand CMOS and getting the best possible image from it.

    6. If you ever plan on working with a tech camera, then the 250 might not be a good choice. There have been no other examples besides the very first ones that came out with the announcement of the 250. However it seems that due to the microlenses, on the 250, shifting or rise fall can create problems with the files. The 250 works very well with the Alpa FPS however and there are several posts by Gerald on this forum showing his work, which is excellent.

    I have a lot of experience with the 260, on a tech camera and DF body, feel free to PM me with any other questions.

    Paul

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    So far as my understanding goes with the 250 v 260 is that one is 1.3x crop, 50mp CMOS with high iso usage, and the other is full frame, 60mp CCD without the same high iso usage (similar to my current back)
    I've used the IQ260 (and before it the IQ160 and P65+) at ISO1600 in sensor+ mode extensively at weddings and for portraits and fashion. It's "only" 15mp but the file does as well as a 5DIII for real-world detail assuming you want a 4:3 crop, with the better color/tonality/lens-quality/sync/etc of medium format. It's at least worth considering if that is a route to mid and mid-high ISOs on medium format that you're willing to look at. If not, then the IQ250 will win by a wide margin over the IQ260 at anything above ISO200 and by ISO800 there is no comparison at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Which back performs better for long exposures? That's a key feature of upgrading to one of these over an IQ160. I like that I can get clean long exposures at ISO 50-100 with the P45+.
    They both perform quite well. But the IQ250 edges out the IQ260 if you're looking for a difference between the two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Is it true the IQ250 is only 14 bits, while the IQ260 is still 16 bits?

    My suggestion would be to worry less about technical specifications and more about actual results. At base ISO the IQ250 has the best ability to render bright and dark tones while maintaining photographically pleasant detail, smooth tonality, and accurate color. The IQ260 is no slouch in this regard, so to some extent we're talking about which high-end race car goes 2mph faster. Both backs will handle the vast majority of naturally occurring scenes including the traditionally problematic rear-rim-light portrait-into-the-sun look (not that you'll get detail in the sun of course, only that it will handle the roll off gracefully) and the traditionally problematic deep shadow, bright sky landscape image.

    I'd be glad to send you some raw files from my own shooting as well as from customers who have provided us sample files to illustrate performance in specific situations.


    Asides from wider lenses being wider and having a shallower depth of field, is having the full frame chip really that significantly different when shooting with MF cameras? [/QUOTE]

    That depends more on you than on the camera. Some people aren't bothered by a crop in the viewfinder. For *some* (minority) of shooters it's even a benefit as you can see a bit outside the active crop without having to move the camera around. Others hate any crop at all, even when it's the fairly minor 1.1 crop of your current P45+. So I guess the question to ask is how much you care about the 1.1 crop and assume that it will be in proportion to that.

    Better yet, get your hands on both and see what you think in practice. Nothing can replace hands on experience.

    ----

    Other thoughts:
    - IQ250 live view is a joy for tough focusing situations when shooting from a tripod.
    - IQ250 battery life is better.
    - IQ260 handles tech camera wide angles better than the IQ250.
    - Shallow DOF on a full frame 60mp is really something. Lenses like the 150mm D f/2.8 or Hassy 100/2.2 with a FF645 sensor has a very strong visual effect (you may love or hate it but it's quite distinctive). You can still get quite shallow with a 1.3 crop sensor, but not that extreme-shallow look. On the other hand the extreme look is often impractical if you actually want to show meaningful areas of detail (since it shows nothing but a thin sliver of DOF) and many of our beauty shooters end up shooting at f/8 or even higher or on a beauty shot even when they are looking for what most people would call a "shallow DOF" shot.
    - You're almost surely going to love the improvement to native color response you get going to a Dalsa sensor, especially for people
    - IQ250 is faster, both in absolute frame rate and in speed-to-screen when shooting tethered. Then again coming from a FW400 P45+ either back will impress you on speed.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    @OP: When you say 'long exposure' just how long do you mean?

    If you typically shoot < 2 minutes then, honestly, I wonder if you could get away with an IQ180 and keep the P45+ for the times when you do really long exposures. IQ180s can be had privately for ~$17k, which is a lot less I would imagine than the upgrade path from the P45+ to the IQ250/260. That way you have the best of all worlds - super IQ and resolution of the 180, long exposure capability of the P45+, a few $k saved in your back pocket and 2 x DBs as trade-ins + saved $ if and when the day comes you want to move to a full-frame CMOS (2015? 2016?)

    Jim
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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    That doesn't matter. The IQ260 does not have 16 bits of information to record anyway; 14 bits would be appropriate for both backs.
    The IIQ file format also records only 14 bits, so even if the IQ260 has 16 bit A/D converters, the 2 last noisy bits are not recorded to the file, a wise engineering decision as it's just noise that would bloat the file. If one likes to look at those two extra bits of noise one should get a Hasselblad camera, as far as I know their format stores the full 16 bits coming out from the A/D converters.

    The IIQ 14 bits are expanded to 16 bits during loading (so calibration curves etc are applied in 16 bit space), but the actual stored data is still just 14 bits for those backs claimed to be 16 bit. If I were Phase One I'd remove 16 bit from the marketing material a long time ago. Claims that are easily verifiable lies does not improve the credibility. Potential customers start to think "what more is not true?".

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    If you ever would think about going tech camera with wider lenses, IQ260 or IQ160 has a clear advantage. IQ250 don't work well with wide angle tech lenses.

    The 260 has also the advantage of larger sensor and not being compared to H5D-50c and 645Z.

    I think the 260 provides much more of a "real" medium format experience through its larger sensor and tech cam compatibility, so for me the choice would be simple, IQ260 for sure.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    - Shallow DOF on a full frame 60mp is really something. Lenses like the 150mm D f/2.8 or Hassy 100/2.2 with a FF645 sensor has a very strong visual effect (you may love or hate it but it's quite distinctive). You can still get quite shallow with a 1.3 crop sensor, but not that extreme-shallow look. On the other hand the extreme look is often impractical if you actually want to show meaningful areas of detail (since it shows nothing but a thin sliver of DOF) and many of our beauty shooters end up shooting at f/8 or even higher or on a beauty shot even when they are looking for what most people would call a "shallow DOF" shot.
    At a given focal length and f-number, the smaller sensor will have a narrower DoF. Which is Rick's situation.

    At a given angle of view and f-number, then the larger sensor has a narrower DoF. You will note the focal length will need to change. But Rick has his lenses.

    It might be good to look at crop factors. From 6x45, the crop factors are: IQ260, 1.04; P45+, 1.13; and IQ250, 1.27. But Rick does not shoot 6x4.5. So the crop factor from the P45+ to the IQ260 is 0.91 and to the IQ250 is 1.12. These are not great differences no matter how you slice it. And Rick could figure out what a 44x33mm sensor is like by simply cropping some images he has now.
    Will

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Interesting news about the bit depth. As far as long exposures go, I'd sometimes push the p45+ as far as 10-15 minutes (I did a 3 hour one once for fun)

    The idea of the iq180 is tempting given their used prices. I could sell my p45+ if I didn't keep it and have the 180. I've heard that back has tiling issues with skies though.

    It appears I have 4 options:
    1. Keep the P45+ (and most likely purchase a profoto 8a or two with my current 25% edu discount on profoto gear)
    2. Keep/sell the P45+ and get an IQ180
    3. Trade in the P45+ with around $20k for an IQ250
    4. Trade in the P45+ with around $20k for an IQ260

    I'm somewhat hesitant about the 250 because they most likely will inevitably release a full frame version of it. The debate on the frame size is interesting, especially with Will's above statement comparing both to my 1.1x crop sensor. I however do admit that I am not exactly keen on the idea of spending $20,000 to move to a smaller sensor than I currently have.
    Rick Rose
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    HasselPhase

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    At a given focal length and f-number, the smaller sensor will have a narrower DoF. Which is Rick's situation.

    At a given angle of view and f-number, then the larger sensor has a narrower DoF. You will note the focal length will need to change.
    Always something to learn. Just when I think I understand a concept something like this gets posted. Why would same focal length and f-number a smaller sensor have less DOF?

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Interesting news about the bit depth. As far as long exposures go, I'd sometimes push the p45+ as far as 10-15 minutes (I did a 3 hour one once for fun)

    The idea of the iq180 is tempting given their used prices. I could sell my p45+ if I didn't keep it and have the 180. I've heard that back has tiling issues with skies though.

    It appears I have 4 options:
    1. Keep the P45+ (and most likely purchase a profoto 8a or two with my current 25% edu discount on profoto gear)
    2. Keep/sell the P45+ and get an IQ180
    3. Trade in the P45+ with around $20k for an IQ250
    4. Trade in the P45+ with around $20k for an IQ260

    I'm somewhat hesitant about the 250 because they most likely will inevitably release a full frame version of it. The debate on the frame size is interesting, especially with Will's above statement comparing both to my 1.1x crop sensor. I however do admit that I am not exactly keen on the idea of spending $20,000 to move to a smaller sensor than I currently have.
    I am curious, was the dealer upgrade cost from a P45+ to a IQ250 20k? If so that is an impressive offer.

    Paul

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by flyrcairplanes View Post
    Always something to learn. Just when I think I understand a concept something like this gets posted. Why would same focal length and f-number a smaller sensor have less DOF?
    Because the permissible circle of confusion, which DoF is based, is dependent on format size. The smaller the format, the smaller the permissible CoC which changes the DoF. And that is proportional to the crop factor.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Notably Will (Shashin) prefers the traditional definition of DoF.

    Nowadays many photographers instead care about the range over which the image is sharp when viewed at 100% of native-resolution on screen. This is, as I'm sure Shashin would be fast to point out, not "DoF" as has been traditionally defined. But 9 out of 10 people who ask me about a camera's "depth of field" (their words) mean this range (sharp at 100%) and not the range that would be indicated by the traditional definition of DoF.

    It's not much different than talking about the length of a trip by [strides] vs [meters]. One metric is relative (i.e. a shorter person must take more strides for the same trip) and the other is absolute.

    Consider comparing a [200mp FF645 sensor] and a [6mp FF645] sensor with a given lens/aperture.
    - Traditional DoF definition which Shashin uses: same DoF
    - Range over which the image will be sharp when viewed at 100%: much shallower with the 200mp sensor

    Shashin, if I've mischaracterized anything here please feel free to add/correct.

    The point is, if you mean to evaluate the range over which everything is sharp at 100% on-screen, and you want a system that can go super-shallow in DOF then you want a larger sensor. But in practice both of these backs can go so shallow with a 100/2.2 or 150/2.8 or 80/1.9 that this is only a consideration if you want *really* shallow DOF.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    I am curious, was the dealer upgrade cost from a P45+ to a IQ250 20k? If so that is an impressive offer.

    Paul
    Especially since the upgrade price from the 160 isn't that much less. I was thinking about switching but with the upgrade price/decreased sensor size combination it wasn't worth it to me. I do love my 160 but would like the ISO increase. I was thinking I could keep my 160 and buy the pentax system for less. Best of both worlds. However, when Phase offers a full medium format CMOS I am probably screwed because that will be hard to say no too.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    You would be very surprised at what I was offered to trade a 260 for a 250. Let's just say I should have kept my P 45+

    All points back to what Phase One now believes the "real value" of a modern at the time 8 month old CCD full frame back to be worth.

    Paul

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Thanks for the reply about DOF everyone. In my next life I am going to study optics.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Notably Will (Shashin) prefers the traditional definition of DoF.

    Nowadays many photographers instead define DoF as the range over which the image is equally sharp when viewed at 100% of native-resolution on screen. This is, as I'm sure Shashin would be fast to point out, not "DoF" as has been traditionally defined.
    Doug, I will also point out that that is not the definition of DoF, traditional or otherwise. DoF is a perceptual characteristic based on the actual viewing of an image. 100% monitor view is not an actual viewing condition with much meaning, unless you think someone would look at 44x33 inch print from a 40MP sensor from 10 inches away to make an overall determination of DoF. Heck, I need reading glasses to see anything 10 inches away. This distance only gets closer with an increase of pixels by your definition. And most people hang picture on a wall and view them at really long viewing distances, even in exhibition (leaning in does not change the illusion). And that is the point. How are people going to view the image? That determines DoF.

    Science and its concepts are not based on opinion and popularity, although the media would have you believe otherwise. In fact, if you really dig into how DoF works and what viewing distances mean, you will find that the illusion of photography is really robust and these concepts can give more control over your presentation. The 100% monitor idea gives no flexibility.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    In my experience the overwhelming majority of photographers use one that is very different than yours it's worth, so I'm just saying it's worth clarifying what is being assumed in your statements.

    Can we at least agree on the following:
    Shashin is using a fixed [print size + viewing distance] to compare the way focus/sharpness will behave on each system. This is a very valid, and time-honored way of making such a comparison. The results will, however, differ from a comparison made at 100% on screen.
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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    You would be very surprised at what I was offered to trade a 260 for a 250. Let's just say I should have kept my P 45+

    All points back to what Phase One now believes the "real value" of a modern at the time 8 month old CCD full frame back to be worth.

    Paul
    I am still in college, so they decided to be nice and give a bit of an EDU discount on top of the P45+ trade in special. The offer is really quite tempting. It's interesting how the IQ260 costs $2000 more than the IQ250 yet you have to trade in a lot of money with it for the 'cheaper' back haha. It's like driving a car off the lot. You lose so much right off the bat.
    Rick Rose
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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Best to try both in your intended use. Personally, for landscapes, I'd go for the 260 both for the bigger sensor (wider FOV) and CCD look.

    To be controversial, why not a 260 and an A7R?

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    I have also seriously considered just keeping the P45+ and getting an a7r with the metabones adaptor to use canon lenses. It'd cost me around $17,000 less to go that route
    Rick Rose
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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    I would just go with what your intuition is telling you. Both backs are going to give great results.
    Will

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    The IIQ file format also records only 14 bits, so even if the IQ260 has 16 bit A/D converters, the 2 last noisy bits are not recorded to the file, a wise engineering decision as it's just noise that would bloat the file. If one likes to look at those two extra bits of noise one should get a Hasselblad camera, as far as I know their format stores the full 16 bits coming out from the A/D converters.
    Torger, I used dcraw to convert a raw file from a Hasselblad H3DII-39 to FITS format, and I found that the 16th bit was hardwired junk. The 15th bit appeared to contain real data, but of course that data only consists of oversampled noise variations, so it's pretty worthless.

    I don't know if this is true of all the H-system DBs...I would like to test a few more raw files sometime.

    Ray

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    The results will, however, differ from a comparison made at 100% on screen.
    If you think pixel pitch, i.e., 100% monitor view, is the criteria for DoF, then the IQ250 will still have less DoF simply because it has smaller pixels than the IQ260: 5.3um vs. 6.0um. An f-number equivalent of about 1/3 of a stop, which will be pretty insignificant.

    BTW, in DoF, the print/display size and viewing distances are not fixed (unless you want to calculate DoF scales). They are simply variables and you can work with many combinations. It is easy to calculate or, to be more precise, model the appearance of DoF.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    Interesting news about the bit depth. As far as long exposures go, I'd sometimes push the p45+ as far as 10-15 minutes (I did a 3 hour one once for fun)

    The idea of the iq180 is tempting given their used prices. I could sell my p45+ if I didn't keep it and have the 180. I've heard that back has tiling issues with skies though.

    It appears I have 4 options:
    1. Keep the P45+ (and most likely purchase a profoto 8a or two with my current 25% edu discount on profoto gear)
    2. Keep/sell the P45+ and get an IQ180
    3. Trade in the P45+ with around $20k for an IQ250
    4. Trade in the P45+ with around $20k for an IQ260

    I'm somewhat hesitant about the 250 because they most likely will inevitably release a full frame version of it. The debate on the frame size is interesting, especially with Will's above statement comparing both to my 1.1x crop sensor. I however do admit that I am not exactly keen on the idea of spending $20,000 to move to a smaller sensor than I currently have.
    The IQ250 sensor is from Sony. It is being supplied to Phase, Hasselblad, and Pentax. It is uncertain how Sony is going to supply the MFD market. I don't know how much I would bet on a FF 6x.4.5 sensor from Sony.

    Also, from things I have read here, an IQ160 would be better than an IQ180 in terms of lens cast. The 180 series backs seem very sensitive to that. Not that lens cast can't be fixed, but it is a bit of a pain.

    The lighting idea might not be bad. It really depends on what you want to do when you get out (and maybe when). The p45+ is no slouch in the studio. If you are looking to pursue studio photography, maybe that is the better route--the cameras can always be rented (lighting too, but an empty studio does not impress the visitors).

    Either that or, with the money you will save, buy an iPhone and go in live in southeast Asia for the rest of your life. Not a bad option if you thing about it.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    The idea of the iq180 is tempting given their used prices. I could sell my p45+ if I didn't keep it and have the 180. I've heard that back has tiling issues with skies though.
    Rick,

    If you are using a 180 on a Hasselblad, or other SLR style camera with a mirror box, the issues with color cast should not be a problem. Color cast is more an issue with the Tech Camera lenses, due to the fact the lens is much closer to the sensor, i.e. no mirror box. This is also a problem with wides not normal or telephoto lenses.

    Tiling, this can be a problem with any of the P65, or IQ backs, full frame, but it should be totally controlled by software/firmware on the back. Each back will have a calibration file, which helps to control this issue and sometimes, the backs, need to be re-calibrated. Sometimes this can be done by a dealer, other times the back needs to go to Phase One. The file also may have to re-calibrated after a year/ or two as the back ages.

    Tiling can also be more problematic with a tech camera, again due to the close proximity of the lens to the sensor. The Schneider lenses, (from my experience with the 160, 180 and 260, seem to have a bit more problem than the Rodenstocks. Here the LCC is a very important tool to help get the file to look right without tiling, especially on large shifts.

    If you look at the face of the 180 or 260 chips, (all full frame chips actually), you will see faint lines that seemingly break the chip into 8 segments. These are readouts that allow the data to be fed off the chip and if the readout is not calibrated just right, one of the segments may show up just a bit darker than the one next to it, thus creating the "tiling" line.

    I have not seen the face of the Sony chip, in the 250, so I am not sure if it's like the full frame chips, with the read out lines, or like the older Kodak chip in the P45+, which does not have these, at least I never noticed them on mine (wish I still had that back).

    Paul

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Thank you for the further explanation of that Paul. I don't see myself using a view camera anytime soon (though using the canon 17mm ts-e with a phase back is an interest to me)

    Is there any particular reason you wish you still had the p45+? It's a great back and has served me well through the years.
    Rick Rose
    www.RickrPhoto.com
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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Rick:

    I would have kept the P45+ if I could have afforded it. I have yet to see anything from the IQ260 at 45 minutes to 1 hour from any photographer, so I don't really know just what it will do. In my current environment in Arkansas, I would be best limited to 15 minutes, due to outdoor temps and humidity.

    My main reason for the upgrade (at the time to a 160) was the larger MP count which I can justify in my printing as I specialize in large prints. I have yet to find any magic solution that will take a 20MP image up to the same quality as a 60MP or 80MP back's output. I realize you can stitch, but to be honest there are many times I either just don't want to stitch or the conditions won't allow it, and most of my outdoor setups are not ideally perfect level, as a nodal stitch required for optimum results.

    I also was moving to a tech solution for wides and realized immediately the need for a better LCD on the camera as the one on the P45+ is not good for image review. Sure it can be done, but way too much time involved and even then the image at 100% is not very helpful. The IQ interface and LCD are excellent, and make for a much easier working environment.

    At that time late 2011, I was offered a very reasonable trade-in amount for my P45+, but trust me yours is much better as it's 2014 and it appears you are still being offered 20K for your P45+. (Ed discounts don't really mean much as they are just a means to an end. Phase can or could work out the same process for other photographers if they wanted to).

    My P45+ was pretty much at best a iso 200 camera as at iso 400 the overall quality of the image was just not worth it due to noise, loss of color, and saturation (this with non tech camera) I can't count the times I have needed good clean iso 400 and just can't get there with MFD unless I drop into Sensor plus.

    By moving to the IQ260, I unfortunately drank to much Kool Aid (a term from my distant past in marketing), hoping to see that Phase One could bring a useable iso400 to the 260 at full resolution. The 260 has better results at 400 than my P45+, but still they won't hold up at full resolution, noise and fine detail loss is very apparent. The results at 400 in Sensor plus are much better and but here you have dropped 3/4's of your resolution. Too much of a trade off for my work. That's why I had suggested a used 180, as here you get 20MP Sensor plus and it does make a difference in printed work.

    Looking back on my career, to be in college still with all the amazing advances that have happened in just the last 5 years, I do envy you. Personally, I would wait till at least Photokina, and see what gets announced. If you depreciate this type of purchase (always amazes me how many people don't seem to understand the idea of a book loss) the 250 is still the best investment long term. No doubt the P45+ you have will still have the same or maybe more trade in value (I was offered 24K in 2011 for mine which was 3 years old almost 4 and well used).

    I also don't think when Phase One announces a full frame CMOS, (unless the chip is from Sony) that the value of the 250 will drop much. Sony has an excellent track record on chips just look at the DR of the D800 Nikon and this new chip is showing even better results. If the full frame CMOS is from Dalsa, or some other company it won't have the same background stable as Sony has, so it will take some time to see just how well the chip does.

    Paul

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    I'd look at any of the IQ series offerings as well as consider the Leaf Credo. The interface alone is vastly superior to the P+ series and makes using the MFDB so much easier and more enjoyable. All produce stunning image quality, and I doubt there would be any meaningful difference in real world use, unless you photograph brick walls for a living.

    When I moved from the P45+ to the P65+, I was initially hesitant about losing the long exposure capability of the P45+. Quite frankly, I don't miss it much at all, as I've found that 99.9% of all my photography is handled just fine with the 1-2 minute limits of the IQ180 and her sisters. I'm currently with an IQ180 using a DF body and Cambo WRS. I've played with the IQ250/260 and felt absolutely no enabling urges. The IQ250 was definitely a neat match with the Alpa FPS and Canon t/s lenses.

    If Live View is an absolute necessity, then the IQ250 wins hands down. Of course, all the IQ series and Credos can also take advantage of the Surface Pro tethering option with USB3, which makes for a nice enlarged extension of the MFDBs screen-- and much better than the WiFi options offered by the IQ2 series.

    I agree with Paul here. Visit a dealer and try the various IQ MFDB and Leaf Credo Options to familiarize yourself and see how they suit your photography needs----and then wait for Photokina to see if something else is offered that might sweeten the pot.

    ken

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    I have also seriously considered just keeping the P45+ and getting an a7r with the metabones adaptor to use canon lenses. It'd cost me around $17,000 less to go that route
    You know, that makes a lot of sense (not just financial).

    Have you seen Chris Barrett's comparison of the A7r and IQ260 ? As a quick, down-and-dirty, non-scientific test: Download the tiffs, go to PS, stack and auto-align the retouched images (don't down-res the IQ260 image, up-res the A7r), then switch the top layer on and off so you can compare the two. Hard to believe one came from a $35k capture device, and one from a $2k one. CB says he prefers the IQ260 image; I don't know - it's a tough call, there are things to like in both, and IMO it's pretty much a draw. In a blind test I suspect most people would have a hard time picking between the two. Guess it just goes to show what a leveler great glass can be (he used a S/K 35mm for both images).

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    IF the test from Chris was the indoor test, then it's the same stuff he posted in LuLa, and in that test, the A7r, D800 etc any Sony CMOS is going to win. The 260 is not, a low light camera, unless you can expose for several seconds maybe 30 seconds or so, but even then, the CMOS chip may still win out.

    You can also look on LuLa for the tests, extensive, that DT did indoors, where they compared the 250, 260 and 280, again, the 250 won this test pretty much hands down expect for the output resolution part. You can expect the Sony A7r/D800 albeit slightly different sensors to have the exact same performance as base iso. Here is a link to some of the Lula posts:

    Comparisons From DT's 250 and 260 testing in the Library

    The 260 will do great at base iso (not sure if it's 100 or 50 now), but you still have to really watch for the shadows as they just can't be pushed too much.

    CCD = more light the better.

    Paul

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    At this point I am thinking that the 250 may be the way to go for my work. I like that it's a faster back, has better battery life, can be usable at and above ISO 400, and it seems to be the much better performer for the long exposures I am so used to getting with my P45+.

    I do need a longer window than the 1 or even two minutes on the 180, and I know I'll never get a trade in offer like this again for my P45+. I'm also hoping to do some tech work/rentals with the kit, which should be in much higher demand than the aging p45+.

    I think the 100 f2.2 with the 1.3x crop factor would suffice, and I could use the 50-110 more often handheld with some higher iso. I may pick up the 35mm so I have a wide angle lens (the 50 end of the zoom isn't wide enough as is with my P45+.

    I'm also quite keen on the ideals that phase put into the back. I've had several times where I wished I was shooting somethig with my Hasselblad kit, but had to use the canon due to the ISO requirements or the fast zoom range (24-70 f2.8L II is quite an amazing lens for that system) I feel like it'd be hard for me to pick up another camera, where as the ccd 260 would start to fall under the same shortcomings as the P+ CCD.
    Rick Rose
    www.RickrPhoto.com
    HasselPhase

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    The IQ250 should be as good or better than the best DSLR sensors today meaning you can use it like you would one of those in any light condition and up to iso 3200~6400 easily and still get high quality results. It is an extremely versatile item.

    For wide angle tech camera use I would choose the IQ260 no question but for use on an SLR the IQ250 is hard to beat.

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    The 260 will do great at base iso (not sure if it's 100 or 50 now)
    Paul, I hope this recent thread didn't make you have doubts about its base ISO. I don't think I've ever posted more often in a single thread than I did in that one - just working hard to straighten out the misconceptions.

    The IQ260 base ISO is 50. On a MFD CCD system, base is always the lowest ISO available. The manufacturers aren't stupid enough to put in fake "pulled" lower ISOs (as it's identical to just setting +ve exposure compensation on your meter i.e. forcing overexposure).

    Ray

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Ray,

    I was involved with that thread for a while, but it got over my head after a while. I have always assumed that the base on the 260 was 50, but that thread did make me wonder.

    Paul

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    The manufacturers aren't stupid enough to put in fake "pulled" lower ISOs (as it's identical to just setting +ve exposure compensation on your meter i.e. forcing overexposure).
    I didn't keep up with that thread as I was traveling but I thought the OP was suggesting the exposure at ISO100 was identical to ISO50 on the IQ260 suggesting it is a fake setting pulled down by C1.

    Are you saying you know the manufacturers (Phase One) are not stupid enough or just assuming? I've not seen captures to evaluate but if the results are identical at both settings (exposure, DR, noise) then why use the lower (fake??) ISO?

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I didn't keep up with that thread as I was traveling but I thought the OP was suggesting the exposure at ISO100 was identical to ISO50 on the IQ260 suggesting it is a fake setting pulled down by C1.

    Are you saying you know the manufacturers (Phase One) are not stupid enough or just assuming? I've not seen captures to evaluate but if the results are identical at both settings (exposure, DR, noise) then why use the lower (fake??) ISO?
    Without wanting to re-ignite the whole thing again here - it would be best if you would just read that whole thread through - but let me summarise it thus: there is only one ISO setting for a given MF CCD where applying the metered exposure conforms to the saturation-based ISO standard - the placement of the recorded RAW intensity of a grey-card with respect to the saturation level, the amount of headroom above that in units of stops, and so on. If you set a higher ISO and go with the new metered exposure for that ISO, you underexpose everything and signal to noise suffers. If you could set a lower ISO and go with the new metered exposure for that ISO, you'd overexpose everything (highlight stuff that shouldn't saturate, does).

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I thought the OP was suggesting the exposure at ISO100 was identical to ISO50 on the IQ260 suggesting it is a fake setting pulled down by C1.
    Not quite; towards the end of the thread it emerged that he was imposing the same exposure at the two ISOs. And then he attached significance to getting the same results from both! But obviously, same quantity of light, same sensor efficiency, same noise, same gain = same results, regardless of the ISO tag.

    His mistake was to leap from those equal results to a conclusion that the higher ISO was base. This was ignoring the fact that for an ISO to be base, it must conform to the rule about intensity placement with respect to saturation when the exposure is metered at that ISO - whereas he was metering at ISO 50, and duplicating those shutter and aperture settings to ISO 100; this was setting up a conformal ISO 50 exposure, but sticking an ISO 100 label on it. He was not taking a real ISO 100 exposure, because that would capture a stop less light and underexpose, and you'd see right away that it wasn't base ISO.

    In his defence though, there was something weird about the way that his IQ back's firmware was rendering the histograms at different ISOs, and that was skewing his impressions. It's important to assess RAW files directly through analysis software like dcraw, for a discussion like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Are you saying you know the manufacturers (Phase One) are not stupid enough or just assuming?
    I'm being kind to them by assuming they're not stupid

    But really, they're not. Why would they want a load of angry photographers moaning to them about blown highlights?

    Besides, there's also the optics of the situation - MFD backs generally come across as discordantly low-sensitivity already; they have that well-earned reputation for struggling at even a couple of stops above their already typically unimpressive lowest ISO. If the manufacturers added an even lower pulled ISO setting, it would only worsen that impression in the marketplace.

    Ray

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    notified today about the IQ150:
    IQ series digital backs | Specifications

    wonder if this will offer the same advantages of the 160 compared to the 180 with respect to wide angles

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    notified today about the IQ150:
    IQ series digital backs | Specifications

    wonder if this will offer the same advantages of the 160 compared to the 180 with respect to wide angles
    Jim,
    The IQ150 is an IQ250 without the Wifi and the One Year Classic Warranty instead of the 5 Year Value Added Warranty.

    It was introduced at Photokina as a lower priced solution priced at $29,990 vs $35,990 IQ250.

    So it will perform the same way the IQ250 lens wise.

    Lance
    LANCE SCHAD - Digital Transitions - Phase One,Mamiya | Leaf,Arca-Swiss,Cambo, Profoto
    direct/cell:610-496-5586 office:877-367-8537x224
    http://www.digitaltransitions.com email:[email protected]

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    Re: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    notified today about the IQ150:
    IQ series digital backs | Specifications

    wonder if this will offer the same advantages of the 160 compared to the 180 with respect to wide angles
    The IQ150 is identical to the IQ250 except for it's lack of wifi and it's warranty (all IQ2 now come with a 5-year warranty including a loaner provision while IQ1 come with a standard 1-year warranty):
    Meet the new IQ150 from Phase One - DT Blog

    So, no, it has issues with movement using wide-angle lenses on tech cameras, especially wide symmetrical lenses like the Schneider 28XL and 35XL.
    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: Which direction to go.. IQ250 v IQ260

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