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Thread: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

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    Question Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    So maybe I'm being an idiot, but I'm really craving the photographic experience that I used to get with medium format cameras, especially the old 500C series of cameras. As I'm looking around I'm learning that there are some affordable options out there, and I'm constantly reminded of my ignorance of the high-end photo realm. The last time I used medium format it was all about B&W darkroom work, but I'm not willing to go back to chemical imagery.

    My digital experience was Fuji S2 Pro -> S5 Pro -> the X-Pro-1 system I'm using now. Most of my work is in Lightroom.

    How much will this need to change if I pick up an older MF back and camera system to match?

    And tougher: how much should I budget for such a system? I want to know up-front if I should just rule this out as an option.

    Usage: photography. I love the process, and the wife and I are decorating our house with images we take while traveling. Most are smaller than 20x30, but not all.

    Thanks. Help me cut through my ignorance here.

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Derek, I hope you realize what a slippery footing you're standing on; once you cross into digital medium format you can forget all about budgets.

    Speaking from experience using Phase One - I'm certain you can pick up a gently used Phase One/Mamiya DF body for under $3,000 maybe closer to $2k. Lenses will run you anywhere from $2,500 to $7000 depending on what focal length and age. Also remember there simply isn't a "one-lens wonder". While you can begin with a single focal length you'll soon be seeing where you "need" something else - thus the slipper footing.

    The digital back is another thing and the most costly. A gently used back should run you between $3,500 and $10,000 of course you can go higher end and end up spending north of $20,000 for a used back.

    Total budget so far on the high end should be north of $10k but not reaching $20K for a used body, couple lenses and a decent used back. The one thing I'd strongly recommend is going through a dealer for this; it will cost more however the piece of mind as well as service afterwards will more than make up. My camera dealer (which I consider both a friend and partner to Iron Creek Photography) is Capture Integration - just click on their link on the top of the page.

    Things to consider besides the camera body, lenses and back is that you might see shortly afterwards you're computer needs more memory or storage space and the monitor just isn't as good as you once thought it was. Again standing on that slippery slope...

    You are going to get all sorts of recommendations however the best I can hope to give you is to contact a dealer you can trust and speak with them about what you are looking for.

    I made the switch to digital medium format in 2006 and haven't looked back once.

    Good Luck!


    Don
    Don Libby
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    I also forgot to mention the possibility of using the same back on both the camera body and a tech camera which in it self opens more landscape opportunities.

    Don
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    I think Don's numbers are pretty good.

    Naturally a lot depends on what subject matter you shoot and what level of pain you're willing to tolerate regarding interface/modernity/speed/features. Some of the older backs produce fantastic image quality but are frustrating to use if you're expecting anything close to modern camera features. For instance a Phase One H25 made in 2003 still produces an image I'd prefer to a 5DIII file, more than a decade later. But an H25 has no LCD, no internal storage, and must be shot tethered at very low ISO, and were almost exclusively made in mounts for cameras without autofocus. That's really not a big challenge if you want to do fine-art studio still-lifes; but it's a pretty horrible wedding camera.

    You'll have a lot of questions you'll need to answer before you can narrow down. Probably the most important is "why"? There are many reasons to go to medium format digital (and some reasons not to, like cost and speed of shooting).

    Since you're traveling a lot the size of the kit will (typically) matter quite a bit. How often do you typically travel by foot, car, or plane?

    What sort of subject matter do you shoot? Landscape is very different than street which is very different from fashion/portrait.

    Would you be replacing your existing cameras or supplementing them?

    An X-Pro 1 and an Phase One IQ160 on a tech camera is a perfect kit for one kind of shooter while an RZ Pro IID with one film back and a Leaf digital back is perfect for another. There is no right or wrong answer here, just different sets of priorities.

    You need to tell us a lot more about yourself for the advice to be useful and applicable to your situation. What do you shoot? Where do you shoot? What do you like about your current cameras? What do you not like about your current cameras. Really your whole life-photographic-story.

    Bottom line though, and with lots of caveats: if you have 40k to spend you have (nearly) every option; if you have 20k to spend you have lots of options; if you have 10k to spend you have some options; if you have 4k to spend you have very few options.

    (all the above assuming you want to set up a ready-to-use kit with 2-3 lenses)

    [note since you're new: I'm a biased poster as I work at Digital Transitions (DT) and we sell Phase and Leaf but not Hassy/Pentax/Leica - I'll be the first to tell you there are no bad options amongst any of these brands, even if I think our options are the best ]
    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: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Exactly, there are too many questions to give an answer.

    Reading between the lines from what you (the OP) wrote if you are looking for the old school mechanical feel of Classic Medium Format film cameras like the Hasselblad 500 type (V system), the newer 645 SLR cameras like the PhaseOne DF (and all it's versions) and Hasselblad H system cameras are not going to give you that. Those cameras don't feel or look particularly good. They are mostly electronic, mostly plastic covered workhorses that were worked over to work well with digital backs.

    Also there are no digital backs with sensor sizes that match the larger formats like Hasselblad's 6x6 and upwards (6x7's etc) but there are a lot of backs that get really close to the 645 format in size. So if you want that medium format image look and feel I would look into digital backs with the largest sensors.

    Phase One P25's are pretty affordable nowadays and have a 48.9 x 36.7 mm (1.9 x 1.4 in) 22 megapixel CCD sensor which is a pretty good size. Only the more recent 60MP and 80MP backs have larger sensors (and the 56mp Leaf). The P25 should work well with a V system Hassy. You do need to use a viewfinder mask since the sensor does not cover the 6x6 image frame (no sensor does), explained Here : Viewfinder masks for Hasselblad V | Phase One digital back - YouTube , and you have to quickly remove and rotate the back for vertical operation.

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    You could get a very good Pentax 645D/Z system for around $10K. Secondhand 645 FA and A series lenses can be had for very good prices--$300–$1,300. The 645D is a great deal new right now as it is being replaced with the Z.

    If you specifically like the Hasselblad V series experience, there were backs made for that camera--and one new one. One back (in two versions) had a square sensor with makes sense with a waist level camera. You will need to think about focal length as these sensors are smaller than 6x6. Phase and Leaf have V mount backs as well.
    Will

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    If you specifically like the Hasselblad V series experience, there were backs made for that camera--and one new one. One back (in two versions) had a square sensor with makes sense with a waist level camera. You will need to think about focal length as these sensors are smaller than 6x6. Phase and Leaf have V mount backs as well.
    To clarify on the 500 Hassy platform there is one back you can purchase as new from Hasselblad and about ten new ones from Phase/Leaf (you need a "v mount" back from the manufactures to use with the 500 series).

    The second tool on our visualizer page will help you visualize focal length equivalents.
    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: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Thanks for the reality check, folks. If we're talking about $10,000 as a modest system, then that'll take a long time, and much bribery, to get SWMBO to come along.

    Honestly, if I were still willing to shoot film I'd be shopping eBay for a used Rolleiflex Automat or a Hasselblad 500C, load it with Tri-X. and have fun with a waist-level finder and square compositions. I can still do that, but I don't really miss the good 'ol film days to be honest. Lightroom has made me lazy.

    Still though, I'm more tempted than I should be with the idea of a fat pixel back and a mechanical camera. I guess it's more about process than product, if that makes any sense.

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    I had tons of fun with my old square sensored Kodak 645M (645H for Hassy) and still miss it at times. That's a very inexpensive option today, or maybe even a newer P25+ would work for you on a limited budget.

    Use it with the platform that makes you happy----an you're set. And yes, the process can be every bit as important as the product. It's what makes you enjoy photography that makes all the difference in the world.

    But as Don says, it's a slippery slope. I started with the 645M, and slowly progressed onward with a P30, P45+, P65+, and now the IQ180. I probably could have gotten the new IQ2 series, but decided to get married instead.

    Welcome to Dante's Inferno. C'mon in. The water's fine.

    ken

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    In the end you need to have a system that continues to turn you on each time you use it. If you continue to get that "rush" with usage then it can only help you grow as a photographer.

    Like Ken I began with a Kodak 645M (actually bought it from Ken) then went to the P30+, P45+, P65 and currently on an IQ160 and have had my eyes on a 180. I also began medium format shooting film before the Kodak. I've bought and sold 2-seperate Mamiya/Phase 645 systems yet I still have and use the Cambo WRS I bought in 2008 (what's that in dog years?)
    Don Libby
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Zeanah View Post
    So maybe I'm being an idiot, but I'm really craving the photographic experience that I used to get with medium format cameras, especially the old 500C series of cameras. As I'm looking around I'm learning that there are some affordable options out there, and I'm constantly reminded of my ignorance of the high-end photo realm. The last time I used medium format it was all about B&W darkroom work, but I'm not willing to go back to chemical imagery.

    My digital experience was Fuji S2 Pro -> S5 Pro -> the X-Pro-1 system I'm using now. Most of my work is in Lightroom.

    How much will this need to change if I pick up an older MF back and camera system to match?

    And tougher: how much should I budget for such a system? I want to know up-front if I should just rule this out as an option.

    Usage: photography. I love the process, and the wife and I are decorating our house with images we take while traveling. Most are smaller than 20x30, but not all.

    Thanks. Help me cut through my ignorance here.
    Hi

    Don has an excellent job of "capturing" this question. There is nothing else to add - other than Will's comment about the Pentex, - . I second the motion on Capture Integration.

    Happy hunting

    Best

    Phil

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Zeanah View Post
    If we're talking about $10,000 as a modest system, then that'll take a long time, and much bribery, to get SWMBO to come along.
    There is absolutely no need to spend as much $10k, or anything near it.

    You specifically enquired about "an older MF back and camera system to match", so I will take account of that.

    I entered digital medium format in 2010, with a whole system for $4k:
    * Digiback-ready camera (Mamiya 645AFD): $525 (KEH "EX")
    * Autofocus zoom lens (55-110 AF): $450 (KEH "EX")
    * Kodak DCS645M digital back (same one that Ken recommended above), just serviced: $3000 (private ebay seller)
    * Quality of photos: Priceless

    Today, 4 years later, that system would cost you under $3k; I still use it and I still love it - all my digital photos in the "Fun with MF images" thread were taken with that camera and back, and many with that lens. I had some Mamiya 645 manual focus lenses already, and have added more since. They typically run about $150 each (one cost me under $50!) but the more exotic ones can be $300-600. I also have a Canon 5DII, but use it only for high ISO and longer exposures - I prefer the DCS645M images in other scenarios, despite the slightly lower MP count.

    So dive in, the water's not as expensive as you've been led to believe...

    The important thing to note is that the price stretch from an entry system like the one I described to the top systems is huge - a factor of 10 at least - but the image quality stretch is much smaller - I'd put it at a factor of 3, nomatter what the megapixels count is. The biggest sensors have only 1.6 times the size of my back's sensor; they split that area into smaller pixels, while the lens performance stays the same; so genuine sharpness and information increases are more modest than the MP count would indicate.

    Ray
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    In the end you need to have a system that continues to turn you on each time you use it. If you continue to get that "rush" with usage then it can only help you grow as a photographer.

    Like Ken I began with a Kodak 645M (actually bought it from Ken) then went to the P30+, P45+, P65 and currently on an IQ160 and have had my eyes on a 180. I also began medium format shooting film before the Kodak. I've bought and sold 2-seperate Mamiya/Phase 645 systems yet I still have and use the Cambo WRS I bought in 2008 (what's that in dog years?)
    Like Ken & Don I also started with MF film and then enjoyed using the Kodak DCS645M for a few years before a foray back to 35mm digital and then back in with Leaf 65M, P40+, IQ160, IQ260 with a couple of P25+'s along the way. I still have the IQ260 and Leaf but one of my favorite, and relatively inexpensive and affordable, is my Hasselblad CFV-16 which is only 16mp but 16mp of rich square pixel colour beauty.

    If I were starting out looking for an enjoyable MF system that is essentially classic in nature and affordable I'd seriously consider a Hasselblad 50x system with a CFV-16 or P20+ in V mount. I'd be wary of the Kodak 645 series now as they're old and batteries are tough to source, plus there was an inherent unreliability with them (I ended up with two after the FW board fried on one of them). All of these would produce great fat pixel output. The only downside with the Hasselblad solution is the crop sensor and thus lack of really wide lens options compared to the same 6x6 film.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 28th July 2014 at 19:02.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    In the end you need to have a system that continues to turn you on each time you use it. If you continue to get that "rush" with usage then it can only help you grow as a photographer.

    Like Ken I began with a Kodak 645M (actually bought it from Ken) then went to the P30+, P45+, P65 and currently on an IQ160 and have had my eyes on a 180. I also began medium format shooting film before the Kodak. I've bought and sold 2-seperate Mamiya/Phase 645 systems yet I still have and use the Cambo WRS I bought in 2008 (what's that in dog years?)
    As usual, Don speaks good sense. I know my Phase system barely surpasses my Sony system for prints up to about 24-30 inches, but the system forces me into a tripod-oriented contemplative mode that indeed, "turns me on" - and I get better photographs. The heft, the lenses, the huge viewfinder image all help, but perhaps the ability to crop dramatically and still have a multi-pixel image is what helps me best produce what I want.

    And maybe a lifetime of 6x6 cm Rolleis have brainwashed me!

    Bill
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Just as an addendum - I checked through the 160 images in my book "Images & Origins, a Celebration of Nature's Beauty" and find that although I have more DSLR pictures in my files, there is a much greater proportion of MFDB images in my book. More of them qualified as my "best" pictures.

    Something is working right for me with MFDB!
    Bill CB

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Ray makes a valid point; there is a much cheaper way to get into digital medium format. So long as you remember that in doing so the body will be several years out of date and will in all likelihood not play well with a newer back. Likewise the Kodak is a much cheaper solution as well; again knowing the pitfalls they could bring. Lack of support, lack of proper batteries etc. Yes you can get into medium format for less that $3k however you also run the risk of having to spend more money for a replacement to either the body and back which in the end will cost you more than if you had discussed your needs with a dealer.

    Spending $10 plus is a huge step. While it's easy to spend someone else's money I can only say that if it were me I'd look at what is currently available in a used market of say a couple years timeframe and work from there. I firmly believe a dealer is by far the best place to get accurate information on a back. If not CI then go to another; better yet call several of them and see which is a better fit to you; after all it'll only cost you the time of the phone call.

    KEH is an excellent place to shop for used medium format cameras and lens and they guarantee what they sell.

    Don

    One other thought on going to a dealer is that often times they can cobble together a kit for you which if bought separately would cost more. This way you have one stop shopping for body, lens and back.

    Just one-more thing and I'll leave. I keep saying call a dealer. I'm a landscape/nature and wildlife photographer only. I don't own a camera store nor do I work in one. In my experience finding a good dealer is much like finding a good working partner, one that will always be there for you. It shouldn't matter if you're a professional or amateur finding that right fit counts.

    Keep us posted on what you decide.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Hi Derek,
    This is the advice I give most who ask about budgets: Don't skimp on the budget. If you cut more than a few corners, you end up in a triangle of errors. Wait for now -and in two years, save enough to make no compromises. Meanwhile, Work smart, or add a few extra hours. Earn more. Exercise. Lengthen your life span. You can always travel again. I got the medium format bug 5 yrs ago. I saved. Rented gear until then. And then jumped into the inferno. The splash was not loud enough for my wife to hear, but by God, I was dripping with happiness. Best, Saty

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    The odd part about getting into MF gear is that the path has many subtle variations, often gear dependent, that are different than one is used to. In the DSLR world, or even analog MF film, there are differences, but you can make most equipment do many different things. In the MF digital world, the slight differences between gear impact usability more than one might first suspect. For example, legacy backs have low ISO, and with mirror flopping on some cameras, work better as tripod-based cameras. Tech cameras and big shifts are another tricky area, as some backs (and lenses) support this better than others.

    The recommendation to work with a dealer (DT or CI have very good reputations) is made to help avoid these pitfalls. Older (and cheaper) gear can often be less flexible and forgiving than newer (more expensive) gear, but not always. There are many subtleties to this equation and it takes time to suss out how you work, and what is a good fit. One other thing - the beauty of this gear is that you may also find that what you know and how you work changes as well, so that sometimes, going in is different than where you end up.

    Sound like fun? Welcome to the party. Some of us wouldn't give it up for anything!

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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Zeanah View Post
    So maybe I'm being an idiot, but I'm really craving the photographic experience that I used to get with medium format cameras, especially the old 500C series of cameras. As I'm looking around I'm learning that there are some affordable options out there, and I'm constantly reminded of my ignorance of the high-end photo realm. The last time I used medium format it was all about B&W darkroom work, but I'm not willing to go back to chemical imagery.

    My digital experience was Fuji S2 Pro -> S5 Pro -> the X-Pro-1 system I'm using now. Most of my work is in Lightroom.

    How much will this need to change if I pick up an older MF back and camera system to match?

    And tougher: how much should I budget for such a system? I want to know up-front if I should just rule this out as an option.

    Usage: photography. I love the process, and the wife and I are decorating our house with images we take while traveling. Most are smaller than 20x30, but not all.

    Thanks. Help me cut through my ignorance here.

    Hi Derek -

    There's lots of excellent advice here - I think you've gotten the drift, there's a lot of options. Medium format can be very expensive, but it also doesn't have to be as expensive as you would think. What matters is related to what you said in your initial query - which is about "craving the experience" and "loving the process". Now for some, this could mean shooting 14 frames a second at the Grand Prix. But you mentioned the Hasselblad 500 cameras, so that is an experience that bodes well for you being to able to affordably get into medium format. Just keep thinking like that.

    Last night, I shot a sample file from one of our Phase One P20 Certified Digital backs and sent the client the file. She loved it. Cost of the kit (digital back, camera, lens) - less than $4,000, with full warranty.

    What is most important in the process is what is most important to you - keep in mind everything you read here is just a guide. Listen to yourself, and what you really like, be sure to match up with and be true to that.


    Steve Hendrix
    Capture Integration
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: • Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar • Authorized Reseller
    TechCam: • Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar • Authorized Reseller
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Hi,

    I am shooting with a Hasselblad 555 ELD and a P45+ back. Here is my take on the issue:

    • There is definitively some fun in shooting classic gear
    • I print at A2 size mostly, at that size there is no visible advantage with that combo over my 24 MP Sony equipment (Alpha 99 and zoom lenses).
    • There is a clear advantage of the 39 MP P45+ over the 24 MP Sony A99 in files regarding sharpness. It is just that it is not observable in prints.
    • If someone says that MFD has an advantage in DR over Nikon/Sony it is not true, and the advantage of 16 bits often told is simply a marketing truth commonly known as a lie.
    • Regarding colour reproduction, the story may be different. I have found that colours on my Sony Alpha 99 using Lightroom are slightly more accurate than the P45+ using Capture One. That accuracy is in the technical sense, shooting an IT 8 target with know colours. But, it is quite possible that P45+ + Capture One gives nicer colours.


    So, I like my Hasselblad/P45+ combo, but I cannot see any rational justification for it. I neither have a Nikon D810 nor a Sony A7r, but both would probably achieve better image quality than my Alpha 99.

    Let's put it this way, in all cases I have tested there is little difference between my Sony Alpha 99 and the P45+ in A2 size prints (16x23") , but would I print at 30x40" there would probably be a significant advantage to the P45+. But again, the 36 MP cameras would probably match or surpass my P45+.

    The 80 MP and 60 MP backs may make some sense, if you print large, but they also need good lenses.

    I have published my findings here: PhotographyArticles

    You can find a lot of raw images in the articles, so you can check out yourself.

    There has been some harsh critique of my findings, saying that I don't make best use of MFD. Like using incorrect sharpening, missing focus and having bad lenses. Some, or even all of that may be correct, even if I don't think so, but there are no warranties that you get better lenses or can focus better, and so on.


    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Zeanah View Post
    So maybe I'm being an idiot, but I'm really craving the photographic experience that I used to get with medium format cameras, especially the old 500C series of cameras. As I'm looking around I'm learning that there are some affordable options out there, and I'm constantly reminded of my ignorance of the high-end photo realm. The last time I used medium format it was all about B&W darkroom work, but I'm not willing to go back to chemical imagery.

    My digital experience was Fuji S2 Pro -> S5 Pro -> the X-Pro-1 system I'm using now. Most of my work is in Lightroom.

    How much will this need to change if I pick up an older MF back and camera system to match?

    And tougher: how much should I budget for such a system? I want to know up-front if I should just rule this out as an option.

    Usage: photography. I love the process, and the wife and I are decorating our house with images we take while traveling. Most are smaller than 20x30, but not all.

    Thanks. Help me cut through my ignorance here.
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 30th July 2014 at 13:01.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Tiny & reasonably priced package. I could easily travel around the world and be happy with My Alpa TC, Schneider 35XL and Aptus II 5. Truckloads with feel och character. Ofcourse I must add - for my style of photography, it will not work for everyone.
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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  22. #22
    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?


    I use a similar setup .
    ALPA TC + APO-SIRONAR DIGITAL 4,5/35mm + CFV-39 + VF .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  23. #23
    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Dan
    That little velcro tape to support the sync cable is a good idea .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  24. #24
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Thanks for all the replies folks. I think for now the rational thing to do is hold off, but pay a lot more attention to the gear others are shooting with (and what the used market is doing.)

    If/when it gets to be that time, I'll have a long talk with one of the vendors to make sure I'm starting off on the right foot.

    I really appreciate your thoughts.

  25. #25
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Whatever you decide, do your homework and shop around. It's a lot easier on the wallet to get into MF these days than it was even just a couple of years ago.

    Take Dan's kit above:

    The S/K 35mm in Alpa mount is a $2200 lens all day long based on the last few sales I've seen. Yes, people are still asking $3k+. They're in dream land, and unsurprisingly they are all still available.

    Last TC I saw for sale on LuLa - $1300.

    Leaf Aptus 22 - not the same model as Dan's, but still a really capable DB - about $2500 for a nice example on eBay.

    So, total = $6k … for a really, really nice kit with lots of upgrade potential (the S/K is still - despite all the naysayers - a terrific lens on anything other than an 80MP back; in fact it's still a good lens on an 80MP back just so long as you don't try and shift it).

    If you enjoy using MF on a technical camera - the slow, considered approach to shooting - nothing else comes close. Canikon could release a 100MP camera tomorrow and it wouldn't make a bit of difference; just like LF, it induces a different way of seeing - a zen thing if you like.

    Ok, time to go sit under my pyramid.

    Jim
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  26. #26
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Derek,

    Another option is to join up with a medium format digital workshop/seminar. It will give you the opportunity to see and try a lot of different systems at the same time, compare workflows, and perhaps find a system that fits you.

    Capture Integration in Carmel was just a few months back, and next year's event is looking at CI in Napa Valley.

    ken

  27. #27
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Dan
    That little velcro tape to support the sync cable is a good idea .
    I use velcro on all my bodies to hold the cable in place, simple and effective!

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    Whatever you decide, do your homework and shop around. It's a lot easier on the wallet to get into MF these days than it was even just a couple of years ago.

    Take Dan's kit above:

    The S/K 35mm in Alpa mount is a $2200 lens all day long based on the last few sales I've seen. Yes, people are still asking $3k+. They're in dream land, and unsurprisingly they are all still available.

    Last TC I saw for sale on LuLa - $1300.

    Leaf Aptus 22 - not the same model as Dan's, but still a really capable DB - about $2500 for a nice example on eBay.

    So, total = $6k … for a really, really nice kit with lots of upgrade potential (the S/K is still - despite all the naysayers - a terrific lens on anything other than an 80MP back; in fact it's still a good lens on an 80MP back just so long as you don't try and shift it).

    If you enjoy using MF on a technical camera - the slow, considered approach to shooting - nothing else comes close. Canikon could release a 100MP camera tomorrow and it wouldn't make a bit of difference; just like LF, it induces a different way of seeing - a zen thing if you like.

    Ok, time to go sit under my pyramid.

    Jim
    Yes, agree to all above. Especially that the 35XL is an excellent lens for the right backs. I use mine a lot with great results.
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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  28. #28
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    Whatever you decide, do your homework and shop around. It's a lot easier on the wallet to get into MF these days than it was even just a couple of years ago.

    Take Dan's kit above:

    The S/K 35mm in Alpa mount is a $2200 lens all day long based on the last few sales I've seen. Yes, people are still asking $3k+. They're in dream land, and unsurprisingly they are all still available.

    Last TC I saw for sale on LuLa - $1300.

    Leaf Aptus 22 - not the same model as Dan's, but still a really capable DB - about $2500 for a nice example on eBay.

    So, total = $6k … for a really, really nice kit with lots of upgrade potential (the S/K is still - despite all the naysayers - a terrific lens on anything other than an 80MP back; in fact it's still a good lens on an 80MP back just so long as you don't try and shift it).

    If you enjoy using MF on a technical camera - the slow, considered approach to shooting - nothing else comes close. Canikon could release a 100MP camera tomorrow and it wouldn't make a bit of difference; just like LF, it induces a different way of seeing - a zen thing if you like.

    Ok, time to go sit under my pyramid.

    Jim
    If you want to go MF tech then the TC with just the 35XL, especially with a crop factor back is AWESOME. However, full disclosure, I am biased ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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  29. #29
    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    I have the strange feeling that MF camera gear is like vintage cars : if you are interested in how much they cost, stay away from them ...

    Just my 1 dollarcent !

    CU,
    rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/
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  30. #30
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    The 645D is a great deal new right now as it is being replaced with the Z.

  31. #31
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    I've traveled for weeks at a time in Europe and Peru/Bolivia with my XE1 and/or XE2. That's a different kind of travel gear than if traveling with my Canon 5Dmk3 or my Hassie H3D2-39.

    If you are looking for vacation photos under 20", your Fuji X-Pro can deliver that (although for travel the XE1 and XE2 probably are easier bring).

    I'm absolutely not saying you can't do wonderful travel photography with MFD. You certainly can. It just depends on how you travel, what you photograph, how you photograph.

  32. #32
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    Re: Minmium commitment for MF digital?

    To save money on lenses I bought a secondhand, unmounted SK 47mm XL lens and then sent it to Alpa (who actually send the lenses to Schneider) to get it mounted. It cost around £1,100 to get the lens mounted but it can work out at around half the cost of a new lens.

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