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Thread: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

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    Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    Hi folks,

    A little bit of perhaps old news to those of you who long ago left the Phase One 645AF body behind. I picked up a DF body today and all I can say is wow! The focus performance is incredible compared to the AF. It is working well with my IQ140 without locking up, or any other signs of misbehavior. The camera has firmware V1.21 on it (my back is on V5.00.51 to support the 645AF body).

    I don't see a reason to update the firmware at this point in time. The only thing "not working" are the custom functions... I can't adjust any of them (other than C-00)!

    I swapped out the focus screen for the Mamiya "Type C" with microprism and like the results.

    So far I'm a very happy shooter with this upgrade.

    One question - flash sync speed is no longer firmware adjustable - it looks like X-sync is 1/80th sec. Does that sound right? I hope to not bump the function dial now that it doesn't have the lock... little things I think I'll be fine with.

    Cheers everyone, and Happy Holidays!
    Aaron

    AaronKPhoto : Flickr : IQ140, 645DF, various lenses

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    My Phaseone 645 df experience over the last week on an advertising job.
    After having my equipment checked by my Phaseone rep (installed the newest firmware in the back and the camera), using brand new Phaseone batteries, shooting to CF cards and tethered and I had back ups to all the equipment.

    First day, no problems.

    Second day and third day:
    Mysterious closing down of the aperture while pressing the shutter button on about every 10th shot. Had to remove the lens and reattach.

    Autofocus stopped working several times. Remove the lens reattach, shut down power and or change batteries.

    Shutter button stopped working several times.
    Remove the lens reattach, shut down power and or change batteries.

    Extremely power hungry. I was going through batteries at a rate of a set every two hours. I can usually shoot all day and will change the batteries once.

    Constant connectivity problems while shooting tethered. I was shooting with a professional digital assistant from a well respected company. We went through 9 different cables and configurations (10m, 4,5m, 2 more 4,5m, 4,5m with powered extension, 1,5m with extension, 1,5 m, USB 3 with extension, USB 3 1.5m). We ere shooting to two different new macbookpros.
    When this happens, you have to remove the cables, restart the software, reinsert the cables, restart the camera and back. Do it three times in a row. Change the batteries. Do it again. Then change the cables. Then…all day long.

    Third and forth day:

    Camera went completely dead while shooting outside after about 5 minutes.
    Had to break off the shoot for a half hour and completely dismantle, clean and reassemble and install fresh batteries. Worked.

    Forth day:

    Aperture resetting itself to from fxy to f2.8 while shooting in manual mode. This started happening periodically and worsened over time to maddening frequency.

    Changed to a rented DF+ body which showed similar problems, but was slightly faster with better autofocus. Nice, but the problems consisted and were excrutiating to have in front of a client.

    I was shooting with two sets of ls lenses: 80mm, 110mm, 120mm macro).
    All the lenses has connection problems to the bodies and all the above problems occurred in different body/lens constellations.
    Also noticed that my 110mm has fungus growth behind the front element. A lens that is used 95% in the studio and is kept clean and dry and is always packed in a protective sleeve and stored in a dry room indoors. Wonderful.

    On day five I Shot everything with a Nikon d810.
    The only remark from the client: "Are you shooting? Why is your camera so quiet?". Other than that nothing. Everything went without a glitch.

    I will say, yes I see a difference in the look of the files. The client sees no difference, but I do, a I love the phase files. I think it has more to do with nikon lenses, they're just soft at big apertures and don't have the same look as my phase files. But seriously, if Phaseone doesn't bring something substantial in the first1/4 2015, I'm selling everything off. The files are great, the software is great, the back is a unreliable if you tether, the rest is a freaking nightmare.

    Good luck.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    Wow--what a headache. It sounds like an anomaly though.

    It's pretty obvious that you're using AA batteries in the DF body insert.

    Many issues surround low or inconsistent "battery power" either from the camera body or a MFDB low battery. I recommend you switch to the EJJI or the Phase Li-ion battery insert. You won't have battery power issues and this seems to provide a very stable camera platform. I wish the MFDB batteries had the reserve power of the EJJI insert, though I've heard the new 3400 mah battery has better capacity than previous iterations.

    I'm looking forward to the release of the new Phase camera platform, which I've heard will be in 2015. We're hoping to have the new Phase camera at CI in Lake Tahoe in April 2015.

    ken

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    I second the use of the Ejji battery. That's all I use, and I won't even try the AA batteries. I have had no issues, but I don't shoot tethered either.
    Aaron

    AaronKPhoto : Flickr : IQ140, 645DF, various lenses

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    We have two DF+ cameras and shoot a lot of catalog type work (all day, hundreds of exposures, heavy use of LV)
    Tethered via FW800, The DF+ works fine for the most part. Whole days of heavy shooting go on without a single issue. DF+'s make buzzing sound in LV but is being fixed by a firmware update.
    When its battery goes dead it definitely requires the nightmare re-boot scenario kipling describes. when happens in front of client is very embarrassing.
    Almost all problems we are having with our setups happen when we try to tether via USB3. Battery death both to camera and back occur quite frequently, connection is lost every 10-15 min, sometimes camera is recognized by software but then will not capture...
    PhaseOne has made it so that in the new IQ250, LiveView to the computer is only available when tethered via USB3. Why?? I have no idea. Again, FW800 works great, but we have to get our LiveView via Capture Pilot and then stream it to the big screens.
    I love the files the gear produces, but do wish they (PhaseOne) would fix these issues. They are important. I don't care about a new camera body, just fix these issues on the one you have, PhaseOne! And please allow tethered LiveView via FW800 again on the IQ250. LV via USB2 and FW800 works fine for every other camera system on the planet! What is the problem? What was the thinking here???

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    No, I was using brand new Phaseone Lithium Batteries in the V-Grip and the IQ back.

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Wow--what a headache. It sounds like an anomaly though.

    It's pretty obvious that you're using AA batteries in the DF body insert.

    Many issues surround low or inconsistent "battery power" either from the camera body or a MFDB low battery. I recommend you switch to the EJJI or the Phase Li-ion battery insert. You won't have battery power issues and this seems to provide a very stable camera platform. I wish the MFDB batteries had the reserve power of the EJJI insert, though I've heard the new 3400 mah battery has better capacity than previous iterations.

    I'm looking forward to the release of the new Phase camera platform, which I've heard will be in 2015. We're hoping to have the new Phase camera at CI in Lake Tahoe in April 2015.

    ken

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    As I wrote in my first post, I was working with a professional digital operating company. They work with middle fomat cameras everyday. We had NINE different Cables! 6 Firewire cables and 3 USB 3 cables. All of them failed at some point. USB 3 was the most stable connection.
    We had two bodies, both failed. We had three lenses, all failed. We had 8 Lithium brick batteries, two brand new one just for this shoot.
    Everything failed at some point.

    I've been shooting fashion professionally for 8 years. I shoot tons of editorials and advertising jobs. My issues with my Phaseone gear started about two years ago with occasional connectivity problems that became more frequent with every new firmware version.
    The problems with the camera are a combination of lens, body and back problems. I've had the camera checked by phaseone reps. I've used several different rental P1 backs, cameras and lenses. Believe me, I wish it all worked, but it doesn't, at least not to any extent that could be called professional.

    Yes, the backs are good and they work well. but they're attached to Junk.
    And I'm 99% sure the next p camera will be worse. Probably aimed at the well off enthusiast. Nice for the landscape guys, but if your a professional fashion shooter, your basiclly forced to use 35mm digital, and I just don't like the 35mm digital look.

    Best of luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    We have two DF+ cameras and shoot a lot of catalog type work (all day, hundreds of exposures, heavy use of LV)
    Tethered via FW800, The DF+ works fine for the most part. Whole days of heavy shooting go on without a single issue. DF+'s make buzzing sound in LV but is being fixed by a firmware update.
    When its battery goes dead it definitely requires the nightmare re-boot scenario kipling describes. when happens in front of client is very embarrassing.
    Almost all problems we are having with our setups happen when we try to tether via USB3. Battery death both to camera and back occur quite frequently, connection is lost every 10-15 min, sometimes camera is recognized by software but then will not capture...
    PhaseOne has made it so that in the new IQ250, LiveView to the computer is only available when tethered via USB3. Why?? I have no idea. Again, FW800 works great, but we have to get our LiveView via Capture Pilot and then stream it to the big screens.
    I love the files the gear produces, but do wish they (PhaseOne) would fix these issues. They are important. I don't care about a new camera body, just fix these issues on the one you have, PhaseOne! And please allow tethered LiveView via FW800 again on the IQ250. LV via USB2 and FW800 works fine for every other camera system on the planet! What is the problem? What was the thinking here???

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    Tethering with Phase One MFDBs is usually known to be rock solid. USB3 is great for connectivity, but otherwise you do need to be concerned with power alternatives, which Firewire did not have difficulties. EJJI or Phase Li-ion battery is not the same as the V-grip which depends on the same rechargeable MFDB batteries. The power with the MFDB type batteries are not as consistent particularly when low or depleted.

    I've never been impressed with the Phase V-grip, and have never heard anyone since its release express being impressed with it either. Its firmware updating prowess is unmatched, however.

    I am more optimistic that the new Phase camera body will be a substantial improvement. That being said, I think if I were in your shoes, and as equally frustrated, I'd migrate to the H5X (true focus to boot) with a Phase MFDB and not look back.

    ken

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    You might have a bad DF, as Ken and other noted, all the issues seem to go away when you either add Li-On batteries to the AA back or use the Phase One rechargeable pack.

    I rarely use my DF, but still use NiMh eneloops on it as it works fine. Never has issues. Only lens that did was the 28mm and it had some of the AA battery issues due to low power. But all my other glass still works fine.

    Not to sure what might be the problem unless firmware is not current on the DF and that takes a dealer and V grip to update. Remember some Phase/Mamiya glass also have firmware, the 28mm, and 75-150 for do I know. More than likely so to all the LS lenses. This also has to updated with a DF or DF+ and V grip as I understand it.

    On the Live View and USB2, I think the reason Phase One doesn't support it on USB2 is the transfer speed. I am surprised it still won't work, as most things that work on USB3 work on 2, just a lot slower. i.e. plugging the Phase One cable into a USB2 port. I have not tried to tether this way, so it might also not work or be fast enough.

    Paul

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    It works with USB2 and USB3. They are backwards compatible.
    Its just, at least for us, USB connection is waaaay less stable than venerable FW800.
    Like I said, we have two DF rigs, 7 lenses (including 75-150, 120Macro-AF, 80LS...etc), shooting non-stop all day everyday especially during the busy season.
    FW800 tethered is rock solid stable and keeps the DB charged at all times. It doesn't seem to know how to fail My main and only beef is that P1 decided to force tethered LV to USB connection only (on the new IQ250)
    When I ask about it, I am told that USB3 was the only connection fast enough to handle the data thru put. That doesn't make sense to me as USB2 on the Nikons and Canons project HD video all day long no problem, and my friends down south who do massive video editing use FW800.
    USB3 connection is OK, except not stable, loses connection frequently, and drains battery in DB in 1.5-2 hours. Also, requires OEM USB3 bus in $$$ new MacPro's...We have tested this every which way from Sunday for over a month now. Anyways, its just "modern problems" as we say in the studio.
    In any case, I agree with Aaron's first post, its a heck of an improvement over the AF and DF. Just iron out these bugs, P1.
    Happy Holidaze!

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    Quote Originally Posted by kipling View Post
    ...but if you're a professional fashion shooter, you're basically forced to use 35mm digital...
    Er ... ever heard of Hasselblad ?

    I know changing systems can be an expensive, time consuming PIA - but if you're not happy...
    Last edited by f8orbust; 23rd December 2014 at 09:33.

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    @kipling

    I've been tethering these bodies for years, hundreds of shots a day, with very few problems after 2011. I've had some excruciating moments with the older hardware and software, but once I got my bearing and the company issued the needed upgrades, it all stabilized for me.

    My opinion is that DF+ is more stable than DF, and if you're working with the client present, over time you will notice less stoppages with DF+.

    I connect FW only in my studio, outside I use only USB3. I find the FW connection more sensitive so I think it's good in a stable controlled environment.

    As far as the famous stoppages - I've had many of these, however, I don't get too excited about them, I just pull some things in and out and every time it's back up in less than a minute. There's no need for the extensive precedures you've described. Try these:

    - Camera battery in+out
    - Back on+off; back cable in+out
    - Back on+off camera: this one is magic

    If you do camera battery in/out and camera on/off back, this will fix every connection problem in less than a minute, at least for the new backs. This has been my experience, but maybe rental exquipment is less stable. It is not excruciating if you have the confidence that the connection is coming back in a few seconds. Also I've used only EJJI since they came out, and they're super stable, I think using the grip is a very big mistake and could be a major contributor to your problems. Also you say you've been using powered extension, which are inherently unstable. Power interrruption is the source to most of these problems.

    I'm using two confugurations which proved very stable for me:
    1. Windows 7 desktop + PCI FW 5m + DF+ + EJJI
    2. Windows 7 laptop + USB3 + FireNEX Extender (not powered!) + DF+ + EJJI
    Last edited by shlomi; 26th December 2014 at 09:35.

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    Er ... ever heard of Hasselblad ?

    I know changing systems can be an expensive, time consuming PIA - but if you're not happy...
    Actually I came to Phase One from Hasselblad. And I've used Hasselblad Equipment with digital tech companies.
    The problem with Hasselblad was I wanted to upgrade from the Hd3 and Hasselblad gave me an offer that was so ludicrous an insulting that it made more sense to change systems. So, no thanks, not going that route a second time.
    Now I'm heavily invested in Phase One and I want to stay with them. Only problem is the stability. I hope something gets worked out because I can't work like I've been working with constant downtime because of repeated camera errors…but I've already stated that.

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    Re: Phase One 645AF --> 645DF --> Wow!

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    @kipling

    I've been tethering these bodies for years, hundreds of shots a day, with very few problems after 2011. I've had some excruciating moments with the older hardware and software, but once I got my bearing and the company issued the needed upgrades, it all stabilized for me.

    My opinion is that DF+ is more stable than DF, and if you're working with the client present, over time you will notice less stoppages with DF+.

    I connect FW only in my studio, outside I use only USB3. I find the FW connection more sensitive so I think it's good in a stable controlled environment.

    As far as the famous stoppages - I've had many of these, however, I don't get too excited about them, I just pull some things in and out and every time it's back up in less than a minute. There's no need for the extensive precedures you've described. Try these:

    - Camera battery in+out
    - Back on+off; back cable in+out
    - Back on+off camera: this one is magic

    If you do camera battery in/out and camera on/off back, this will fix every connection problem in less than a minute, at least for the new backs. This has been my experience, but maybe rental exquipment is less stable. It is not excruciating if you have the confidence that the connection is coming back in a few seconds. Also I've used only EJJI since they came out, and they're super stable, I think using the grip is a very big mistake and could be a major contributor to your problems. Also you say you've been using powered extension, which are inherently unstable. Power interrruption is the source to most of these problems.

    I'm using two confugurations which proved very stable for me:
    1. Windows 7 desktop + PCI FW 5m + DF+ + EJJI
    2. Windows 7 laptop + USB3 + FireNEX Extender (not powered!) + DF+ + EJJI
    Thanks for the tips, but as I stated I work close with professional digital techs and I've had my Phase One rep involved with all the problems. It's not a matter of removing the battery, believe me, we've tried everything imaginable.
    I'll be sending the whole system in, it will probably go to Denmark and be checked through and who knows what they'll do. We'll see…

    I've talked to Phase about using their Grip and their new Lithium batteries and they tell me that isn't causing the problems. I find it quite strange to believe that a professional camera system isn't capable of working solidly with the grip, and new Phaseone lithium batteries while tethered to a computer. I think that's a configuration that a lot of photographers are using and Phaseone stand behind it. I've personally shot that way for years without many problems, it's just been the last year that has me going crazy.

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