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Thread: Medium format apples

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    Medium format apples

    Hi Buddies,
    I wasn't sure whether this thread belongs better here or in the computers section. I figured the main crux of the issue was MF file sizes, so best that it is addressed to the appropriate audience.

    I shoot with an IQ280, C1Pro, Photoshop CS6 - so the file sizes can get to 2GB+ with just a few layers etc. I do not need to do any video work.
    I am about to upgrade my second hand Mac Pro bought 2 yrs ago.
    The display is now 5 years old, the hard disks are now clunky and make a scaredy cat sound, one fan is broken, yada yada and the configuration I have at the moment is :
    3x 1TB HDDs, ( no flash )
    32 GB RAM ( 8 GB x 4 slots, DIMM )
    512 MB Geforce card, USB 2 slots all over.

    Have been debating the 27 inch iMac ( with a 3TB fusion drive, and then RAID / online + local backup) vs the MacPro, but not sure on the cost-benefit difference.

    So my question is: Does the MacPro really give an advantage when using C1Pro + Photoshop CS6 in terms of saving time ? How would the fusion drive compare to the ITB flash only ?
    Obviously I know I need to upgrade the display Ė I am considering the 27Ē apple display ( good enough for me, not sure I want to spend 3k+ on an Eizo / and keep getting slanted reviews on NEC everywhere) but any other alternatives are welcome. Any opinions about the latest 4K displays would be good as well, but I do think the technology is in infancy.

    Any opinions are welcome.
    Thanks

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    Re: Medium format apples

    I use 27" iMacs at work and home. I think they are very capable machines. Speed between that and a MacPro is a little difficult to compare. The applications tend to be the bottleneck. They don't always take advantage of the processing power of a better computer.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format apples

    Hi

    I have the same Phase Back , one thing i do now is generally get rid of the background layer, since I can always bring it again from C1. I use to leave there - for just in case - no more. Also I have been making better use of adjustment layers. But I agree it is very easy to have 3 - 4 full layer and that's 2 G

    Am not sure about Macs, my workstation is a PC. i7 intel
    Same workflow as OP.

    SSD = C drive for programs

    Western Digital - VelociRaptor for files. Another VelociRaptor for cache if needed. One other WD Black for "junk" Raid for back up and storage - also one off site.

    24G Dram III

    And I think most important is the video card. NVIDIA Quadro 4000

    Wacom tablet.

    Nec 2690 WUXi - Main and a 17 monitor off to the side.

    Phil
    Philip
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    Senior Member RVB's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format apples

    The iMac is a great machine but one issue you will have is the lower colour gamut,its about 65% of Adobe RGB and one of the better Eizos is 99%,the price of the top model 27" is dropping as 4K monitors are on the horizon..

    Rob

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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post

    I shoot with an IQ280, C1Pro, Photoshop CS6 - so the file sizes can get to 2GB+ with just a few layers etc.

    Thanks
    By any chance are you duplicating your image layer & making your adjustments directly to it? Then duplicating your data layer again & making further adjustments to that?
    If you make most/all of your adjustments thru layer masks, you can make as many layer masks as you want/ need & it won't increase your file size by a huge amount.

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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I use 27" iMacs at work and home. I think they are very capable machines. Speed between that and a MacPro is a little difficult to compare. The applications tend to be the bottleneck. They don't always take advantage of the processing power of a better computer.
    From what Iíve seen watching core usage, C1 is very efficient at using all cores ... I can see it max them out (all 6 plus 6 virtual cores). LR 5 is better than 4, but at times the computer seems to lag down and it appears LR is only using 1 or 2 cores. PS also varies quite a bit, sometimes taking advantage of all the cores, but most of the time only hitting a couple of them, or hitting all of them at a low percent. This isnít meant as criticism, Iím sure efficient threading can be challenging ... just saying what I see happening.

    So I opted for the faster 6 core MacPro, instead of the 12 core. Configured with lowest RAM, and upgraded to full 64gb from OWC. Also opted for the 512gb SSD, and I have mapped my user folder (other than the library) to a 5 drive TB Raid 0.

    Definltely faster than my max spec MacBook Pro, but itís no slouch either.
    wayne
    My gallery
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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    The iMac is a great machine but one issue you will have is the lower colour gamut,its about 65% of Adobe RGB and one of the better Eizos is 99%,the price of the top model 27" is dropping as 4K monitors are on the horizon..

    Rob
    Hi Rob,
    I did realise that. However, when it comes to printing from calibrated monitors, does this actually make a difference that would show when profiled or printed ?
    If it does, then I might well add another 4k monitor later when the prices start slipping - ( just using the "skip the first generation" dictum )

    Thanks

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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMO View Post
    By any chance are you duplicating your image layer & making your adjustments directly to it? Then duplicating your data layer again & making further adjustments to that?
    If you make most/all of your adjustments thru layer masks, you can make as many layer masks as you want/ need & it won't increase your file size by a huge amount.
    hI Greg,

    No, these days, I do not duplicate the layers, not even the background. I just save the Master as something that comes out of C1Pro as a TIFF, bring this into photoshop and save it in the developing folder. Then when finalised, export it into the web folder AND the print folder. So, for my selects, I have the RAW SELECTS, MASTER, DEVELOP and OUTPUT ( one for print and one for web subfolders ) folders. Increases disk space, but saves application memory. I do use masks a lot, although luminosity masking does increase file sizes contrary to what you said. Simple masks don't.

    tHANKS

    Thanks
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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I use 27" iMacs at work and home. I think they are very capable machines. Speed between that and a MacPro is a little difficult to compare. The applications tend to be the bottleneck. They don't always take advantage of the processing power of a better computer.
    Will,
    thanks for the reply.
    Do you notice any difference in screen, print or web outputs because of using lower gamut monitors ?
    Thanks

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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    hI Greg,

    No, these days, I do not duplicate the layers, not even the background. I just save the Master as something that comes out of C1Pro as a TIFF, bring this into photoshop and save it in the developing folder. Then when finalised, export it into the web folder AND the print folder. So, for my selects, I have the RAW SELECTS, MASTER, DEVELOP and OUTPUT ( one for print and one for web subfolders ) folders. Increases disk space, but saves application memory. I do use masks a lot, although luminosity masking does increase file sizes contrary to what you said. Simple masks don't.

    tHANKS

    Thanks
    Right U R !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You image file - a mid-tone contrast layer - a luminosity layer (or 2) - a sharpening layer (although you can add this to your ready to print file) along with any adjustment layers - and you are pushing 2 G

    Phil
    Philip
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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    hI Greg,

    No, these days, I do not duplicate the layers, not even the background. I just save the Master as something that comes out of C1Pro as a TIFF, bring this into photoshop and save it in the developing folder. Then when finalised, export it into the web folder AND the print folder. So, for my selects, I have the RAW SELECTS, MASTER, DEVELOP and OUTPUT ( one for print and one for web subfolders ) folders. Increases disk space, but saves application memory. I do use masks a lot, although luminosity masking does increase file sizes contrary to what you said. Simple masks don't.

    tHANKS

    Thanks
    I was just wondering if there was somewhere in the workflow that you might find to help keep the total file size down a bit without it increasing the PSD by 4x or so from the originating TIFF file but not effecting your desired result.

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    Re: Medium format apples

    So, returning to the original question, does anyone feel that the eizo, nec et al are a must for critical landscape work ? Or can you make do with 27 inch iMacs despite the reduced gamut even if you outsource-print large ?

    thanks

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    Re: Medium format apples

    The NEC range is very good value for money and will outperform the Mac monitors hands-down. Eizo a step ahead again (e.g. Eizo is "warmed up" in seven minutes, other screens can take up to 30 minutes). There is some very good info here. The same site has a number of articles on why default monitors are not an optimum choice for high-end work like ours.

    To your question, yes I think it does matter. If it doesn't, go shoot with an lesser camera. I don't mean that rudely - what I mean is you have a superb camera, you're putting time and effort into your work, so why not ensure the tools in your workflow are not a weak-link in the chain?
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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    So, returning to the original question, does anyone feel that the eizo, nec et al are a must for critical landscape work ? Or can you make do with 27 inch iMacs despite the reduced gamut even if you outsource-print large ?

    thanks
    It makes a difference if the print is part of your business or important to you. The color-managed workflow is so critical and complex, it's not worth screwing with it. If the color gamut isn't matching the print, proofing is pretty useless, and you really have no way of knowing that your color adjustments are correct.

    I've been happy with the NEC, and it's around $1500 with the SpectraView calibration tool.

    I use the NEC MultiSync PA271W, but it's been replaced by the PA272W-BK, with a slightly larger gamut. (here)
    -- Mark Esposito
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    Re: Medium format apples

    I agree with Mesposito
    I have both (NEC PA27's and EIZO CG27's) as well as 27in iMacs and such.
    The NEC with SpectraView is identical to the EIZO, and half the price. We do color work for presses and giclee printing all day long and we like the NEC's for the buck.
    One of my favorite combos is the 27in iMac 3.4Ghz quadcore i7 as computer and palletes monitor and the NEC PA27 right next to it for working on images.
    The screens are set to expanded desktop, of course. So for less than half the cost of a new MacPro you have an entire system with 54 inches of desktop to work with (C1 and PS both have lots of pallettes, dont they?

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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    So, returning to the original question, does anyone feel that the eizo, nec et al are a must for critical landscape work ? Or can you make do with 27 inch iMacs despite the reduced gamut even if you outsource-print large ?

    thanks
    No. I use iMacs and print to 44" printers for exhibition and gallery work. But you want to color manage the Mac. And once you start sending things out, then you are losing control anyway. Who knows what the printshop does?

    BTW, no matter how well you color manage, glowing phosphors will never look like dyes on paper. There is always a translation from monitor to printer. And if you don't have a great deal of experience making fine prints, how do you judge that anyway?

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    Re: Medium format apples

    So whats the take on iMac vs MacPro. Or does it depend on budget only.
    Does the Mac Pro really give an advantage when using C1Pro + Photoshop CS6 in terms of saving time ? Does anyone have any experience of whether the fusion drive is better or worse compared to the ITB flash only ?

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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    So whats the take on iMac vs MacPro. Or does it depend on budget only.
    Does the Mac Pro really give an advantage when using C1Pro + Photoshop CS6 in terms of saving time ? Does anyone have any experience of whether the fusion drive is better or worse compared to the ITB flash only ?
    Ok, it doesn't seem like your question has been fully answered yet. (almost, but there is a bit more) I think you may be putting too much emphasis on the CPU. Performance with very large files and C1/PS is a combination of RAM, I/O, CPU, and in the case of Photoshop - configuration. That means that an iMac with fastest CPU, SSD HD, 32GB of RAM, and thunderbolt external RAID 0 SSD's would be faster than a new Mac Pro using a single Hardrive during large writes. (or even to the internal SSD)

    This is why it's hard to answer the question in simplistic terms. Remember that CPU is not (usually) the main bottleneck anymore for our work. (I/O is) If you love the iMac and are convinced that you can live with the monitor, I'm sure you can get it burning fast using the techniques I described. If you did the same with a new Mac Pro it would be faster, (6-Core Dual GPU vs Quad) but whether or not that's significant to you is impossible for anyone to say. You would need to run some speed tests on both configurations. Sometimes fast enough is fast enough, so if that's your mindset, an iMac could work fine. It might depend on your volume of work.

    I hope this helps.

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    Re: Medium format apples

    If you can swing the money a Mac pro with NEC or Eizo monitors would be the best.

    I personally use a maxed out retina macbook pro 15" with a 27" NEC for editing.

    This laptop is seriously a desktop computer replacement. It handles the files well and the SSD in it is really speedy. The Mac pro would be marginally better. I love the laptop because I bring it with me to shoots to shoot tethered.

    The iMac is more than enough to edit images. However, the screen is relatively bad compared to comprable NEC and Eizo monitors. If you got an iMac i'd suggest to paid it up with a NEC or eizo to edit on.
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    Re: Medium format apples

    Quote Originally Posted by mesposito View Post
    Ok, it doesn't seem like your question has been fully answered yet. (almost, but there is a bit more) I think you may be putting too much emphasis on the CPU. Performance with very large files and C1/PS is a combination of RAM, I/O, CPU, and in the case of Photoshop - configuration. That means that an iMac with fastest CPU, SSD HD, 32GB of RAM, and thunderbolt external RAID 0 SSD's would be faster than a new Mac Pro using a single Hardrive during large writes. (or even to the internal SSD)

    This is why it's hard to answer the question in simplistic terms. Remember that CPU is not (usually) the main bottleneck anymore for our work. (I/O is) If you love the iMac and are convinced that you can live with the monitor, I'm sure you can get it burning fast using the techniques I described. If you did the same with a new Mac Pro it would be faster, (6-Core Dual GPU vs Quad) but whether or not that's significant to you is impossible for anyone to say. You would need to run some speed tests on both configurations. Sometimes fast enough is fast enough, so if that's your mindset, an iMac could work fine. It might depend on your volume of work.

    I hope this helps.
    I agree

    But would like to add, please do not neglect the video card, when all is said and done - and all up to state of the art, the video card is what really makes the programs "fast". At least that has been my experience. I should add my work station experience has been on a PC. I do not know if Mac work stations / OS is configured different

    I will add, that also have been very happy with my Nec, I calibrate once a month with an eye1 , and use Image Print as a RIP, -- I started making my own profiles (that's the reason I have the eye1) but got Image Print years ago when Epson made you swap out black ink cartridges- Gloss / Matte -- Image Print has fantastic profiles. Very happy with the software and the support when needed is also very good.

    best

    Phil
    Philip
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    Re: Medium format apples

    As the main developer, I can only recommend you to buy the fastest disk (SSD) and the best possible GPU card(s). The iMac is not upgradeable - but I guess none of the Macs are these days.
    Anyway the top of the pops today is the Mac Pro (dual D700) incl SSD (2x faster than most other drives). This system will really make Capture One fly. IQ180/280 images will process to TIFF16 in about 1.5 sec (base settings). The latest iMac will work as well, but timing is about 5 times slower.

    -Lionel

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    Re: Medium format apples

    And BTW you can buy a PC with even higher performance (Dual AMD R9 290 GPU) and at a much lower price than the Mac Pro (2013). Remember, the faster the SSD the better.
    -Lionel

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