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Thread: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

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    MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Hi All,

    I've been, as many have, watching the used DB market flounder here in the For Sale section, as well as over on LL. It's been discussed already, but I noticed an Ebay sale this morning that I think takes the cake. If legit, it would appear we've hit a new low on used values.

    See here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Phase-One-P30-ma...QQcmdZViewItem

    I'm not sure it's fair to directly extrapolate this to how sales of new DBs through dealers is going, but I have to admit that it makes me a little nervous about the direction that MF digital is headed.

    I wonder if pricing will eventually level out, or will MF and 35mm format converge into similar pricing models, despite the obvious differences in products/use/market.

    I'm not trying to be a "Debbie Downer" as I really hope MF can weather this financial downturn and figure out what the next step in the market will be. I of course am a little worried about re-sale values (for my own gear) but also what this suggests about the industry as a whole.

    Just wanted to see what people's thoughts are.

    -Josh

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I have recently sold major equipment via both boards, and did price much of my gear based on current market sales of like equipment.

    Clearly the economy is weakening demand even for used gear, so I can only assume new gear is at least as tough a market.

    But this situation is no different in MF land than it is everywhere else in the economy, like real estate, retail, travel and manufacturing. I don't think there is anything unique about the fall in pricing levels in the MF market, when combined with last fall's price cut by Hasselblad.

    So where does that leave the industry? I believe the healthier companies will survive. This points to those companies with a track record of good execution and a large base of satisfied customers. Companies with new, irresistable products may survive too, but pricing will be an issue like never before.

    In the end, though, I do think Phase is in good shape, just given their market share. If they're not, I'd have to wonder what they did with all that revenue!

    Hasselblad is probably next; they've offered well-executed tightly integrated systems for some time now, and at least in the US, are very popular. The lost some of their following by abandoning Zeiss glass with the H series, and then more of their following by locking out 3rd party backs with the H3, and some of their lenses won't cover upcoming near 645 FF sensors. I don't think these missteps are serious enough to kill Hasselblad, because I'm pretty sure there were business reasons behind each of them, but I don't think it's necessarily helped them, either.

    Sinar is backed very strongly by Jenoptik. I have no idea where sales are these days, but I am convinced that Jenoptik's commitment to Sinar isn't trivial. That being said, I'm sure that Sinar has some revenue targets that (like everyone else's) must be difficult to meet. The only difference is when you are owned by someone else, you are not necessarily master of your own destiny.

    Leaf, in my mind, is in a similar boat. Being owned by Kodak (who has not been doing very well of late) might or might not be a problem for them. If Leaf is profitable, then perhaps there are no issues. If not, then there is no telling from the outside how long the parent company will continue to invest.

    I would love to see all the companies take a more customer-focused approach. Enough with the car sales model, where the MSRP is quoted, and each photographer negotiates his or her own deal. I have never heard of a photographer who wanted two power buttons, yet there isn't a truly integrated single power button digital back SLR solution on the market. I could go on with true live-view, weather proofing, weight and size reductions, power up times, time from shot to review on-screen, oh, and everyone's favorite--high ISO performance (aren't we supposed to be the ones with the big pixels??), ergonomics, optical stabilization, battery life and so on.

    I believe the companies that innovate in even a few these areas, perhaps embracing CMOS to get costs down, will be rewarded handsomely. But innovating takes money, and who has the money to invest right now?

    It's hard to say. But in my mind, there is no doubt medium format will survive as an industry, even if it reduces to a half or even a third of its current size. I don't believe that has to happen, but the players in the industry truly do need to offer more attractive alternatives to the 24+ (the 1Ds Mark IV will almost certainly be >24Mpxls) FF DSLRs.

    The old mantra of 'our pixels are better' just isn't enough any more. The bad economy will (eventually) pass. I believe what happens now to MF would have happened anyway, only more slowly. Time will tell!

    Just my 2 cents.
    -Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 25th January 2009 at 09:32.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    For this particular listing, the seller has 0 feedback. And I emailed him twice inquiring about local pickup option, but didn't get a response.

    For this kind of listing, even $1000 is too much.

    ------------------------------
    but I noticed an Ebay sale this morning that I think takes the cake. If legit, it would appear we've hit a new low on used values.

    See here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Phase-One-P30-ma...QQcmdZViewItem

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    FYI, i was told by my dealer that Hasselblad had their best year ever in 2008.

    Bradley, not sure what you mean by "there isn't a truely integrated single power button digital back SLR solution on the market." All HD cameras start everything with one button.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    HD cameras: I assume you mean H cameras...

    If that's so then I stand corrected. Now that I think of it, I had a Phase back on my H system. Kudos to Hasselblad on this one--I do wish more would follow suit.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Hasselblad is probably next; they've offered well-executed tightly integrated systems for some time now, and at least in the US, are very popular. The lost some of their following by abandoning Zeiss glass with the H series, and then more of their following by locking out 3rd party backs with the H3, and some of their lenses won't cover upcoming near 645 FF sensors. I don't think these missteps are serious enough to kill Hasselblad, because I'm pretty sure there were business reasons behind each of them, but I don't think it's necessarily helped them, either.

    I have never heard of a photographer who wanted two power buttons, yet there isn't a truly integrated single power button digital back SLR solution on the market. I could go on with true live-view, weather proofing, weight and size reductions, power up times, time from shot to review on-screen, oh, and everyone's favorite--high ISO performance (aren't we supposed to be the ones with the big pixels??), ergonomics, optical stabilization, battery life and so on.

    -Brad
    Hi Bradley,

    If you will permit me to respond...

    The phrase 'abandoning Zeiss glass with the H series' needs to be considered carefully.

    Its worth noting that Fuji did not join the H project until later on in development. Why? Simply because Zeiss could not offer what we needed. Fast AF, Lens based AF motors, Simultaneous Manual to AF switching, complex zooms.. the list goes on. We chose the best partner, not abandoned the best.

    Please also bear in mind that many photographers new to the industry may not know Zeiss from Fuji (or other) or have little experience of the V system. What they are likely to have experience of is Canon and Nikon and would expect certain things from those systems to exist in an MF system - like AF for example... and also some of the other things you mention which need to be worked on!

    There was never a product called the H3. The H3D existed as a camera only and was never sold as body only (unless you wanted a second backup which was calibrated to your digital back for highest tolerances). The H2 was discontinued as our business changed and most of our sales flipped to the H3D. However, you could also argue there would be no harm keeping the H2, I agree.

    There are only two lenses (HCD28 and the new HCD Zoom) which will not cover a FF 645. However in the case of the zoom it is only at the widest setting (35mm) and will still be able to be used on a full frame 645 sensor with a minor amount of cropping. The same applies to the HCD28. So they are not unusable, just not as wide!

    As fotografz correctly notes, there is and only every has been one power button on the H3D. This was also the case with the H2D which is more than three years old now.

    True live view - is not possibly with current CCD technology.

    Weather proofing - is indeed something which Canon / Nikon do very well with and we could improve.

    High ISO performance is a tricky one. I still think MFDB does a better job with long exposures and failing light... but of course we are not as close as what Nikon can do for example. This would require a move to CMOS technology and requires Kodak and Dalsa to make some advances here.

    Ergonomics - I think most H users are pretty happy with that? No? Weight-wise, yes the larger lenses are heavy and we have made steps with our DAC lens corrections to make them smaller, lighter more compact, but there is a limit where quality is concerned.

    Power up times - 4 seconds on an H3DII. How does that compare?

    Battery Life - when you want larger screens, higher ISO, faster everything, weight reduction.. something has to give. Although with the H3D at least you are only carrying / charging one battery for the whole system. We have improved the battery capacity readout so you are more aware of how much one battery will give you. (0 - 100% in 5% increments)

    Best,




    David
    Hasselblad A/S

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    A follow up question on the original topic. Did anyone get burned big time by the ebay or for sale fraud? I'd like to hear some experience on that. Especially on the purchase of the private digital back sales online.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Hi, David,

    Thank you for taking the time for your considered response. It is a real pleasure to be able to communicate with a manufacturer.

    I'll agree that perhaps I should not have used the word 'abandoned' with respect to Zeiss glass. I'm aware that Hasselblad worked very hard to develop modern designs with the Zeiss and believe that Hasselblad must have tried hard to continue with Zeiss as the H was being developed.

    From a business perspective, Hasselblad may have done the right thing for its business with this switch to Fuji. But as a landscape photographer, and speaking selfishly, unfortunately the decision was not the right one for me. Now I understand my ilk are a vanishingly small percentage of Hasselblad's business, so I can understand the choices and optimizations made with the Fuji glass. So yes, perhaps the right choice for 'blad, but perhaps not for me personally.

    H3D understood. My experience with the H-series is the H1 and H2 with the Phase back; and for this, two power buttons are needed. I stand corrected on the H3D.

    True Live View: Can't get there from here, I understand. But in the end, it's another check that makes the small format alternatives that much more compelling.

    Weather Proofing: Ditto. Even studio shooters sometimes shoot on location.

    High ISO performance: Again ditto. For critical work, I'm effectively limited to ISO 200 with most MFDB solutions today. This is painful. If I had my druthers--this is the issue I'd wave my magic wand at first. A crystal clear ISO800+ would be a very compelling upgrade. If it takes a switch to CMOS, then so be it. (And then Live View and improved battery life become possibilities.)

    Long Exposure: I have not tried the H3D's long exposure capabilities. I have found that most MFDB's become quite noisy at 30s, which is not my experience with small format (specifically Canon). Phase is a notable execption. But even with Phase, a dark frame exposure must be taken following the exposure; of equal length. Thus, to take a series of 20-minute exposures, one must wait for an additional 20 minutes between exposures! Canon will allow you to defer the dark frame subtraction, so that you can continue exposing. I imagine there is a slight loss of quality for doing so, but I appreciate having the choice, on cold desert nights or in the mountains.

    Ergonomics: I can't say much here, as these are so subjective. But my H2 battery/handle has come apart during a shoot, and I wouldn't call the handling of the H-series very ergonomic. That being said, I do know folks who love the H's ergonomics.

    Power up times: 4 seconds is much too slow; again, as a nature photographer, a shooting day can be hours of trekking followed by intense minutes of photographing. I have been come across wolves, bison, eagles and even scenery where I didn't have four seconds to wait. Case in point--"Making Friends" on http://GibsonPhotographic.com. I never want to wait for the gear. A few hundered milliseconds at most to be fully functional and shooting would make for an ideal experience.

    Battery Life:Yes, this is one I can live with, but it is cumbersome. In planning for a week on snowmobiles next winter in Yellowstone I'm looking at some pretty creative (and painful) solutions to keep my system running. I do understand the tradeoffs I've made to go medium format, but again, significant strides in this area would also remove another advantage of the small format camp.

    Anyway, as I say, I do realize that not every camera system will be ideal for me. I just want to encourage all of the manufacturers to really look hard at their offerings from the perspective of their customers, and to look for ways to break down the barriers/reasons for not delivering on the above pain points.

    I doubt I'm mentioning anything you haven't already heard time and time again. Taken in aggregate, I think these issues do contribute to weakening the MF industry, and I would love to see a healthy industry with a long future.

    I have three photographer friends who have been considering moving to MF, and have been watching my move over the past two years. Given the experiences I have had with Phase/Hassy V, Phase/Hassy H, Sinar/Hy6, and testing both Hassy and Contax system, not one of them is ready to take the plunge to medium format.

    To me, that is a huge opportunity lost for the industry. They're not buying small format (actually one just bought a 5Dmk II, but this will not preclude moving to medium format), because small format just doesn't deliver what they need. But despite the better image quality, neither does medium format for all intents and purposes. Money is not the issue--the products simply aren't (yet?) there.

    Cut the bulk--shrink the backs, drop the weight; move to CMOS, get ahead of the curve and kill the mirror and mechanical shutter; offer sensor-based IS; make the screens visible from any angle, in any light; improve the ISO, the AF and the battery life. IMHO, these things just aren't happening quickly enough.

    Please understand, this is not aimed just at Hasselblad, this is across the industry. And let me apologize in advance if this is at all insulting, but I am reminded of the auto industry in many ways. I've been looking for a practical series-hybrid plug-in vehicle for more than a few years now. And all I've heard are reasons why it can't be done at scale. Or that what I want is a prototype--fleet vehicle, or whatever, but it'll be "ready in 2 years". I know it can be. That's why I'll need to build one. It just takes a really hard look at some assumptions that are being taken as Truths today to to get past these limitiations.

    One way or another, for both industries, I am certain it will happen.

    Best regards,
    -Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 26th January 2009 at 08:47.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by yongfei View Post
    A follow up question on the original topic. Did anyone get burned big time by the ebay or for sale fraud? I'd like to hear some experience on that. Especially on the purchase of the private digital back sales online.
    I bought my sinarback on eBay. I received it within 3 or 4 weeks.

    Update: I have sold and bought a lot of optical equipment on eBay. It's a great market place for sellers and buyers. It's also about to lean not to buy an equipment which cannot be sold later for a higher or reasonable price..
    Last edited by evgeny; 26th January 2009 at 09:05.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I have bought and sold cameras and backs on eBay, and have never had a problem. Be sure you are dealing with reputable people though. I've had crazy offers for stuff, but you'll want to ignore these.

    Best of luck,
    -Brad

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Hi, David,

    Thank you for taking the time for your considered response. It is a real pleasure to be able to communicate with a manufacturer.

    I'll agree that perhaps I should not have used the word 'abandoned' with respect to Zeiss glass. I'm aware that Hasselblad worked very hard to develop modern designs with the Zeiss and believe that Hasselblad must have tried hard to continue with Zeiss as the H was being developed.

    From a business perspective, Hasselblad may have done the right thing for its business with this switch to Fuji. But as a landscape photographer, and speaking selfishly, unfortunately the decision was not the right one for me. Now I understand my ilk are a vanishingly small percentage of Hasselblad's business, so I can understand the choices and optimizations made with the Fuji glass. So yes, perhaps the right choice for 'blad, but perhaps not for me personally.

    H3D understood. My experience with the H-series is the H1 and H2 with the Phase back; and for this, two power buttons are needed. I stand corrected on the H3D.

    True Live View: Can't get there from here, I understand. But in the end, it's another check that makes the small format alternatives that much more compelling.

    Weather Proofing: Ditto. Even studio shooters sometimes shoot on location.

    High ISO performance: Again ditto. For critical work, I'm effectively limited to ISO 200 with most MFDB solutions today. This is painful. If I had my druthers--this is the issue I'd wave my magic wand at first. A crystal clear ISO800+ would be a very compelling upgrade. If it takes a switch to CMOS, then so be it. (And then Live View and improved battery life become possibilities.)

    Long Exposure: I have not tried the H3D's long exposure capabilities. I have found that most MFDB's become quite noisy at 30s, which is not my experience with small format (specifically Canon). Phase is a notable execption. But even with Phase, a dark frame exposure must be taken following the exposure; of equal length. Thus, to take a series of 20-minute exposures, one must wait for an additional 20 minutes between exposures! Canon will allow you to defer the dark frame subtraction, so that you can continue exposing. I imagine there is a slight loss of quality for doing so, but I appreciate having the choice, on cold desert nights or in the mountains.

    Ergonomics: I can't say much here, as these are so subjective. But my H2 battery/handle has come apart during a shoot, and I wouldn't call the handling of the H-series very ergonomic. That being said, I do know folks who love the H's ergonomics.

    Power up times: 4 seconds is much too slow; again, as a nature photographer, a shooting day can be hours of trekking followed by intense minutes of photographing. I have been come across wolves, bison, eagles and even scenery where I didn't have four seconds to wait. Case in point--"Making Friends" on http://GibsonPhotographic.com. I never want to wait for the gear. A few hundered milliseconds at most to be fully functional and shooting would make for an ideal experience.

    Battery Life:Yes, this is one I can live with, but it is cumbersome. In planning for a week on snowmobiles next winter in Yellowstone I'm looking at some pretty creative (and painful) solutions to keep my system running. I do understand the tradeoffs I've made to go medium format, but again, significant strides in this area would also remove another advantage of the small format camp.

    Anyway, as I say, I do realize that not every camera system will be ideal for me. I just want to encourage all of the manufacturers to really look hard at their offerings from the perspective of their customers, and to look for ways to break down the barriers/reasons for not delivering on the above pain points.

    I doubt I'm mentioning anything you haven't already heard time and time again. Taken in aggregate, I think these issues do contribute to weakening the MF industry, and I would love to see a healthy industry with a long future.

    I have three photographer friends who have been considering moving to MF, and have been watching my move over the past two years. Given the experiences I have had with Phase/Hassy V, Phase/Hassy H, Sinar/Hy6, and testing both Hassy and Contax system, not one of them is ready to take the plunge to medium format.

    To me, that is a huge opportunity lost for the industry. They're not buying small format (actually one just bought a 5Dmk II, but this will not preclude moving to medium format), because small format just doesn't deliver what they need. But despite the better image quality, neither does medium format for all intents and purposes. Money is not the issue--the products simply aren't (yet?) there.

    Cut the bulk--shrink the backs, drop the weight; move to CMOS, get ahead of the curve and kill the mirror and mechanical shutter; offer sensor-based IS; make the screens visible from any angle, in any light; improve the ISO, the AF and the battery life. IMHO, these things just aren't happening quickly enough.

    Please understand, this is not aimed just at Hasselblad, this is across the industry. And let me apologize in advance if this is at all insulting, but I am reminded of the auto industry in many ways. I've been looking for a practical series-hybrid plug-in vehicle for more than a few years now. And all I've heard are reasons why it can't be done at scale. Or that what I want is a prototype--fleet vehicle, or whatever, but it'll be "ready in 2 years". I know it can be. That's why I'll need to build one. It just takes a really hard look at some assumptions that are being taken as Truths today to to get past these limitiations.

    One way or another, for both industries, I am certain it will happen.

    Best regards,
    -Brad
    Bradley

    I'm sure you are aware that an adapter exists for H3D cameras which allows the use of the V series Zeiss glass. The V lenses are somewhere between very good and spectacular and if you love the Zeiss look this is the way to go.Granted there is no autofocus and the shutter must be cocked for each shot. However, I am also a landscape shooter and i don't find the lack of autofocus to be a problem. Your mileage may vary. I do like the Hassy ergonomics but for me as a landscape shooter the biggest failing of the H3D bodies is the weather sealing. If hiking in where getting back to your car is a long trek you just have to be sure to have the camera stowed in a water proof backpack. And yes you will probably miss some shots if the weather doesn't cooperate. So I also carry a Nikon D3 with a couple of zooms for such occasions. Thankfully I don't often shoot in foul weather but many do.

    Just my thoughts in hope it offers some help to you.

    Sadly, the camera that purports to get most if not all of this right is the new Leica S2 with its amazing lenses. Sad because there are no used ones and this point and although the prices have not been officially set you can imaging they will be very expensive.

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Hi, Woody,

    Yes, agreed on the S2--it is promising on paper. I hope the reality lives up to it!

    Two years ago, coming from Canon, I wouldn't have believed it re: not missing autofocus, but I agree with you. Not having it is not that big an issue.

    The H2 with Zeiss CFE lenses was the system I was shooting before I moved to the Hy6. Ergonomics came into play (I found it impossible to cock the shutter with my eye looking through the viewfinder), holding in portrait position for long periods of time (wildlife) was difficult with heavier lenses, and I twice managed to separate the skin from underneath my thumbnail by cocking the shutter too quickly (the cocking mechanism is highly leveraged to minimize travel). Ouch!

    On top of this, CFE lenses with their pentagonal, straight-edged irises gave surprisingly harsh bokeh (I have posted on this issue in other threads).

    Just so folks understand that I am not at all anti-Hasselblad, I am looking at putting together a 203FE system with FE glass (with rounded and faster apertures). I have to construct a custom workaround to get past the 1/90th shutter sync, but I have some ideas on how to do this.

    I think the H series are fine cameras, particularly when used with HC glass in studio environments.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Woody,
    -Brad

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    >I have to construct a custom workaround to get past the 1/90th shutter sync, but I have some ideas on how to do this.

    Brad, I have a Horseman Digiflex one which can only synch upto 1/125 with my Eyelike M11 (Sinar). I found a workaround: connect the cable to a seperate Copal #1 mechanical shutter; set its shutter speed to 1 second. Hold the Copal shutter in hand and press it; then press the camera's shutter button within 1 second. With this, I can take pictures up to the maximum 1/2000 shutter speed.

    Of course, there could be better workaround, like the Kapture cable etc.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    This looks like a scam listing on eBay and it is not consistent with similar sales.

    That said, while prices of the top end equipment will bring a hefty premium I think the 35mm will have an impact on the lower end of the market and the further up the food chain the more substantial the profits.

    By there own admission, Hasselblad is trying to be competitive with top of the line 35mm by staying close to double the cost. I'm not sure that is a sound strategy since it erodes their current market in the process.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Hi, Woody,

    Yes, agreed on the S2--it is promising on paper. I hope the reality lives up to it!

    Two years ago, coming from Canon, I wouldn't have believed it re: not missing autofocus, but I agree with you. Not having it is not that big an issue.

    The H2 with Zeiss CFE lenses was the system I was shooting before I moved to the Hy6. Ergonomics came into play (I found it impossible to cock the shutter with my eye looking through the viewfinder), holding in portrait position for long periods of time (wildlife) was difficult with heavier lenses, and I twice managed to separate the skin from underneath my thumbnail by cocking the shutter too quickly (the cocking mechanism is highly leveraged to minimize travel). Ouch!

    On top of this, CFE lenses with their pentagonal, straight-edged irises gave surprisingly harsh bokeh (I have posted on this issue in other threads).

    Just so folks understand that I am not at all anti-Hasselblad, I am looking at putting together a 203FE system with FE glass (with rounded and faster apertures). I have to construct a custom workaround to get past the 1/90th shutter sync, but I have some ideas on how to do this.

    I think the H series are fine cameras, particularly when used with HC glass in studio environments.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Woody,
    -Brad
    I am interested to hear about your workaround Brad - mine was to buy a 205TCC body which had been converted to digital back use and then to buy a CFV11 back - this allowed me to use some of the best glass ever made for focal plane shuttered cameras.

    Then I note the following:

    1. It is a rare shot where I need ot shoot with shutter speed higher than 1/500th anyway ! LOL

    2. The CFV11 delivers beautiful files but 'only' 16 megapixels ( uncropped)

    So any ideas which allow alternative back(s) to be employed on a 200 series camera - ie giving me bigger resolution without the 1/90th sync limitation would be VERY interesting.

    Still - I do believe that many people want MF 'quality' - with the ergonomics and 'features' of a modern DSLR. I dont believe that MF is a hand held option in any guise - only if you have strobes going pop pop pop pop ..can one approach hand held shooting with any confidence about outcome. In many situations - high megapixels / resolution is your hand held enemy - the dirty little fact that most conveniently ignore in these discussions.

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Hi, Woody,

    Yes, agreed on the S2--it is promising on paper. I hope the reality lives up to it!

    Two years ago, coming from Canon, I wouldn't have believed it re: not missing autofocus, but I agree with you. Not having it is not that big an issue.

    The H2 with Zeiss CFE lenses was the system I was shooting before I moved to the Hy6. Ergonomics came into play (I found it impossible to cock the shutter with my eye looking through the viewfinder), holding in portrait position for long periods of time (wildlife) was difficult with heavier lenses, and I twice managed to separate the skin from underneath my thumbnail by cocking the shutter too quickly (the cocking mechanism is highly leveraged to minimize travel). Ouch!

    On top of this, CFE lenses with their pentagonal, straight-edged irises gave surprisingly harsh bokeh (I have posted on this issue in other threads).

    Just so folks understand that I am not at all anti-Hasselblad, I am looking at putting together a 203FE system with FE glass (with rounded and faster apertures). I have to construct a custom workaround to get past the 1/90th shutter sync, but I have some ideas on how to do this.

    I think the H series are fine cameras, particularly when used with HC glass in studio environments.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Woody,
    -Brad
    Brad

    Good points one and all. Certainly some of the (usually wide) Zeiss CFE lenses can have somewhat harsh bokeh. I find that the 120 Macro is very smooth as are most of the longer lenses, and it is the portraiture lens that needs the controlled bokeh as you are usually focusing fairly close on the main subject.

    I do agree that the shutter recocking on the adapter is hard to do by feel. I don't find it a problem for my MFDB usage as I am concentrating on landscapes. When I do wildlife I tend to use the Nikons exclusively and of course both the D3 and the D700 are ideally suited for that purpose.

    To me the most we should take from all of this valuable discussion is that, at this point, there is no such thing as a general purpose MFDB. There are applications for which it is superb and others that point and shoots are about as good. I still believe that the S2, or a similar concept by another manufacturer is where the rubber will hit the road. It is the best of the H3D and 203FE worlds, having a focal plane shutter in the body and central shutters in the lenses and is highly weather sealed. The lenses, at least based on the MTF curves, are extremely sharp and well controlled aberrations to say the least. But oh those prices!!!

    I guess we will have to hope that someone else, say Nikon, goes forth with a larger sensor to produce an S2 like camera that is in the price realm of us mere mortals. There have been rumors to that effect for some time now. The Zeiss lenses for the ZF mount are very good indeed and I am sure that if such a body were produced some new lenses would be forthcoming as well. Still expensive but not in Leica terms I would hope. I would think that using CMOS technology one could produce a leica S2 like body to sell at about $10K. After all a D3X like body with a new large sensor is all that is required. Yields on the sensor would be considerably less than the D3X so that would have to be accounted for. So perhaps the body is more like $12K and more premium prices for the lenses. I am still willing to live without AF but I may be in the minority. If the designs mandated AF then the cost of the lenses will carry a real premium.

    Again, these are my thoughts and hopes. I am trying to get a landscape shooters MFDB before i am too old to hold it up steadily without my now 71 year old camera shake.

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    There are a host of "I wish they'd do this" that I have ...

    I wish the Leica S2 were here now ... because I fear it'll be so late that it'll cost more than a used Phase 60 meg P+ that people are trading in for the Phase One P80+

    (while I'm on the subject of Leica, where's my M7-MKII with the new whisper silent 1/4000th shutter and a bounce head Metz Mini ? )

    I wish Kyocera had stayed the course, and the Contax 645-MKIII was what we were comparing everything to today

    I wish Hasselblad had kept the 200 series (206FE?) and made them digitally compatible from the factory ... or had just had thrown us a bone with a CVF-III 22 meg back.

    What I DO NOT wish for is a MFD back that is CMOS based as it stands now ... If "clean" means Canon like ... no thanks

    As a side note, this forum tends to be Landscape shooter heavy, so a lot of the "Wants 'N Gimmes" are focused on that band of needs.

    Like a lot of my circle of friends, I don't hardly ever shoot landscapes and have a whole other set of criteria for things I'd wish for.

    I wish I could shoot in the studio and have a reliable and swift wi-fi feed. NO FW CABLES

    I wish I had a native ISO 10 digital back

    I wish my MFD cameras had a built-in computer programable radio trigger with at least 4 to 6 channels

    I wish all MF cameras had multipoint AF with the points placed where you need them.

    I wish all my backs were multi-shot ... at an affordable price point.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point ...

    It's a relatively small industry trying to cover a pretty wide base of user demands.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Yongfei, Very creative! Of course, I'm hoping not to have to walk around with an extra copal shutter, but I salute your creativity!

    Peter, I'll start a new thread to talk about the workaround. As I've mentioned I feel that the low pricing in MF-land is obviously related to the market (recent Hasselblad price cuts, poor economy) and effectiveness of product offerings (which I feel could be improved). I'd hate to hijack the thread further, with a hardware modification discussion!

    Woody, I'm assuming you're 71, and not your camera's 71? Either way, that's fantastic! I love the concept of a general purpose MFDB--incorporating the needs of a broader cross-section of shooters would be a great step forward. That S2 (particularly the lenses) do look great. I lament the lack of separate back (no technical camera use with the S2--at least no wide angle...), but I'd get over it if the rest of the camera lived up to the promise. I agree it does seem to be the closest thing to a general-purpose medium format camera. I haven't seen anything except speculative pricing. Have you seen anything official?

    fotografz - Amen, my studio cousin! It is both difficult and expensive to meet the needs of so many, and with relatively few resources (most of these companies are fairly small) only makes it harder. Still, I do think there is a pot 'o gold at the end of that rainbow for the enterprising organization which figures out how to get there.

    Take care, all,
    -Brad

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    BTW Brad the 1 button thing is also true for the Leaf AFi

    Yair
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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    DOH! That could be my problem ... I keep forgetting to bring my tripod with me when I'm out shooting.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Still - I do believe that many people want MF 'quality' - with the ergonomics and 'features' of a modern DSLR. I dont believe that MF is a hand held option in any guise - only if you have strobes going pop pop pop pop ..can one approach hand held shooting with any confidence about outcome. In many situations - high megapixels / resolution is your hand held enemy - the dirty little fact that most conveniently ignore in these discussions.

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I dont believe that MF is a hand held option in any guise - only if you have strobes going pop pop pop pop ..can one approach hand held shooting with any confidence about outcome. In many situations - high megapixels / resolution is your hand held enemy - the dirty little fact that most conveniently ignore in these discussions.

    Cheers
    Pete
    You are right on target - longer focal lengths (realized), lower ISO, and heavier camera, plus razor sharp (and need for DOF), lead to mostly tripod use, IMHO.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I've thought about Peter's point, and I'm not sure I'm convinced.

    First of all, megapixels do not equate to resolution (resolving power)--pixels *per unit area* do. So if you're shooting 6.8 micron or 6.0 micron sensels, you have your resolution, regardless of the number of megapixels.

    Small format cameras deal in these resolutions quite regularly; I don't see medium format at an inherent disadvantage.

    The other factor is magnification. So if the image the lens projects is the same physical size--in other words, all things being equal--(e.g shooting 50mm lenses on both systems), I am at a loss to see how medium format is at a disadvantage.

    Where I see things as not being equal:
    - more mirror slap
    - 70 is the new 50 with medium format. That's more magnification for both your subject matter and your shake.
    - medium format lenses tend to be slower, necessitating longer shutter speeds for the same exposure
    - medium format backs tend to be shot at lower ISO's, necessitating even longer shutter speeds for the same exposure
    - no fancy tricks like VR/IS to combat vibration

    But aside from the obvious differences, am I missing something?

    -Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    DOH! That could be my problem ... I keep forgetting to bring my tripod with me when I'm out shooting.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Brad,

    My comment was truthful, but also meant to be a bit sarcastic. I'm probably a salmon swimming upstream (which is fine by me), since I want to be able to use a MFDB wherever I can use it. In landscape situations I'll use a tripod, but for other situations I'm not fond of being tied to a slow methodology where I can't walk about and find the exact view/composition I'm looking to get.

    Kurt

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I am happy to shoot @ 1/15th with a 35 Schneider on my Alpa @ F8- 16.
    With any MFD kit and a normal or 110 lens - I cant shoot hand held at shutter speed below 1/125th with ANY chance of sharp focus where I want it.

    You guys are exteremely gifted if you can.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I am happy to shoot @ 1/15th with a 35 Schneider on my Alpa @ F8- 16.
    With any MFD kit and a normal or 110 lens - I cant shoot hand held at shutter speed below 1/125th with ANY chance of sharp focus where I want it.

    You guys are exteremely gifted if you can.
    Actually, Peter, I agree. many times people complain that a shot was 'just out of focus' then I see it was shot with a 180mm lens at 1/125
    we don't realize how much smearing happens due to shutter speed.

    instead on speed =1/FL maybe 1/2xFL would be sharper.

    but then sharpness isnt everything...

    Victor

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    but keep the lens at WA and it works
    this is the Contax and a P45+ at 100% 1/30s and 35mm also ISO 800. so LOTS of chance to smear

    the scene and the crop. You can see he noise really comes thru quite sharply! :-)

    I haven't tried the 110/2.0, but the 80mm hand held is great and I have a few with the 180mm superachromat hasselblad, but the latter I believe I shot at 1/250 or even 1/500s

    victor
    Last edited by gogopix; 25th January 2015 at 17:23.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I am happy to shoot @ 1/15th with a 35 Schneider on my Alpa @ F8- 16.

    With any MFD kit and a normal or 110 lens - I cant shoot hand held at shutter speed below 1/125th with ANY chance of sharp focus where I want it.



    You guys are exteremely gifted if you can.




    I think half the battle is being cognizant of situations where lower shutter speeds than you'd like are occurring and taking that into account as you squeeze the trigger. And it does take practice and awareness. There was a time when I could not capture images at slower shutter speeds hand-held and wondered how people did it. But I'm in those situations a lot, and the more I find myself there, the better I get.

    I haven't had any real issues shooting normal lenses at 1/60th and if pushed at 1/30th and getting sharp results. Perhaps not razor sharp, but sharp enough. Critical sharpness is overrated in some cases, and if the subject matter is truly worthy and you're on all cylinders everywhere in terms of producing a compelling image, that won't be the first thing you'll notice.

    I've recently spent some time pooling together images for a website. Most of them are shot within the last few years, but some are from quite a ways back when I shot film. Over the course of all the images, sharpness varies, but as these are all my favorite shots, it is never the real story, the image itself is. Of course, grand size enlargements will be more revealing in terms of lack of sharpness.

    Medium Format has always been bigger, heavier, slower than 35mm. Slowly, slowly (too slow for many) the systems have been moving towards more DSLR-type functionality. It does take extra effort to get sharp results with slower exposures (and to be sure, sometimes it's just not practical), but the effort is often rewarded.

    All that said, I know very, very few photographers - commercial pros, hobbyists, fine art shooters, etc - who only shoot with one format. Even in my spare time (the little I have) I shoot with Canon 5D in some situations, Phase One P45+/Phase One camera in others. And I'm on the lookout for an advanced compact.

    Unfortunately, getting all the shots we want, how we want, them means carrying different tools for most of us, depending on the situation.


    Steve Hendrix
    Phase One

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I was shocked to see an Aptus 22 sell for $1,600 on fleabay the other day, wish I would have bid on it...

    (just for the record, it did have a tiny mark on the IR filter)

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Brad,
    I am somewhat confused about reading you moving to Hassy V. Have you sold your Hy6-equipment? and what would the Hassy 2003/5 give you what you dodnt get with the Hy6? (besides its more classical)?

    In regards of the question buying on ebay: I have bought a lot of equipment on ebay and no bad experience at all. I know it will happen one day, but I will have saved so much money buying used stuff that I think overall its in the calculation.
    However I try to pick up things personally if it is expensive stuff.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Hi, t_streng,

    Yes I have sold my Hy6 equipment.

    I've actually moved to Phase AFD III and am using Zeiss FE glass with it. One of my key motivators was the ability to shoot long fast tele glass. The other was tht I found that the Sinar .IA/.BR/.WR workflow was too time-consuming.

    I personally preferred the rendering of the Hasselblad CF/CFE glass when I was shooting that previous to my Hy6 system--I know that many people talk about the Schneider glass having the edge, but for me there was something I preferred from the Zeiss lenses. I doubt there is anything objective here, and it was not a major motivator.

    Obviously the Hasselblad 200 series won't work with the Phase P45+, and certainly not in Mamiya mount, but I have been doing some research in my spare time starting last fall to find out what it would take to make everything come together on a 203FE. Basically, if I like the glass, why not use that glass on the system it was designed for?

    Hope that helps,
    -Brad

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    "This listing (180321815061) has been removed or is no longer available. Please make sure you entered the right item number. "

    Today I looked it up again and got the above message. So it looks like a scam.

  32. #32
    DougDolde
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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I just saw this on Fleabay. Contax 645 with demo P45+ for a mere $15K
    Another sign of the times?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MakeTrack=true

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    To bad it is in Contax mount for me otherwise I may jump on it but to switch mounts is 2500. Honestly though I would rather buy something like this from a reputable dealer in the US. Pretty risky buying international but it is a sign of the times.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I just saw this on Fleabay. Contax 645 with demo P45+ for a mere $15K
    Another sign of the times?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MakeTrack=true
    Yep, the value is ONLY in the using and producing ... other wise a piss poor investment ... but still better than wall street ... LOL.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I just saw this on Fleabay. Contax 645 with demo P45+ for a mere $15K
    Another sign of the times?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MakeTrack=true
    It seems to gone...

    L
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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Some one got it with buy it now pretty quick.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Or it was a scam. Reason I like dealers or someone I know
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I certainly don't think that was a scam.
    The amount of detail shots of the gear were impressive.

    My Hy6/e75LVr is also on offer for $14.500 USD (see Buy&sell)

    Is that too cheap as well? I think so too!

    Willem.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    To bad it is in Contax mount for me otherwise I may jump on it but to switch mounts is 2500. Honestly though I would rather buy something like this from a reputable dealer in the US. Pretty risky buying international but it is a sign of the times.
    Dear Guy,

    You have had the M system too long (for you) I think it is time you went for a fresh challange; a new system

    Bid the Contax; as they say, try it-you'll like !



    Victor

    PS Take a peak at the 100% crops from the P65+ I posted- 35 and 80mm handheld!
    Last edited by gogopix; 5th February 2009 at 13:35.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Contax - tha last frontier ...( for me literally) love the body and now that I have myself a back with changeable adaptors..I am after a nice example with an adaptor for V lenses.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Contax - tha last frontier ...( for me literally) love the body and now that I have myself a back with changeable adaptors..I am after a nice example with an adaptor for V lenses.
    Novoflex makes a decent adapter, thought the MAM-1 will REALLY guarantee infinity focus with Hassey Vs

    neat thing is that you automatically get focus confirmation and AE. It just works But I forget the setting sims I usually use MANUAL

    regards
    Victor

    PS: The Vs to have are th 40mm IF and the 250SA (350 SA pretty good too)

    of course you will want the $30,000 (that's USD! :-) 300mm 2.8 with 1.7 extender!

    But acially the 350mm contax and 1.4 Mutar are REALLY good for tele

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    I have the 50/110/250/4 in FE ..looking for the MAM-I and a Contax body - I think I know someone who can help me out..-

    I am a sucker for glass.
    Last edited by PeterA; 5th February 2009 at 14:14.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?


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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    New prices reduced by 40%, it follows that used prices will do the same.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post

    But acially the 350mm contax and 1.4 Mutar are REALLY good for tele
    A 350 F4. Do not see them often. $4650
    https://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Prod...BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post

    11K for a full H3D-39 kit. Ouch but that's stupidly cheap. If the was worth more than 2nd hand spit these days I'd buy it in a shot eventhough it would need a bank loan. Would actually be perfect for the commercial sector I'm about to enter as the wedding business seems to have stagnated. Oh well..
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Wayne, thank you!

    I've been looking for one of these for three years.

    Best regards,
    -Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by waynelake View Post
    A 350 F4. Do not see them often. $4650
    https://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Prod...BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    That is a great price for this lens; was over $7,000 new. Mutar I think is more accessible and works well with this lens. (actually, someone said the 210mm with Mutar was actually SHARPER than the 210mm could be some optical compensation going on.

    Victor

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    Yes, Son said that.

    I checked the MTF's and can definitely see what he's saying. That being said the 210/4 doesn't look to be all that good of a lens... Every lineup has it's weaker members, but I'll reserve judgement until I can see one in action.

    Looking forward to the 350!
    -Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    That is a great price for this lens; was over $7,000 new. Mutar I think is more accessible and works well with this lens. (actually, someone said the 210mm with Mutar was actually SHARPER than the 210mm could be some optical compensation going on.

    Victor
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 15th February 2009 at 19:07.

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    Re: MF DBs: A new low in values? Market implications?

    There was one a few months ago on ebay, about $1000 more... Only the second one I've seen.

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