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Thread: Should I or not?

  1. #51
    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Oh good, legalistic arguments. Just what we need.

    The fact that "the majority" like something doesn't mean that "many" don't.

    I guess all internet sites eventually become the same thing.
    Last edited by stephengilbert; 25th February 2015 at 08:02.
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  2. #52
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    i think marc nailed it
    +1
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  3. #53
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Another point, and I know this has been discussed numerous times on other threads, is that the 35mm sensor is possibly reaching its limitations as far as pixel count, as the more pixels you cram into that sensor size, the pixel size becomes smaller and smaller, making the lenses you need to use have to be sharper and sharper.

    The current a7r for example (and the Nikon D810), has a pixel size of 4.9 microns compared to the IQ180 which is 5.2 microns, and I don't think that DSLR lenses are quite on the same level of quality (yet) that the tech cam lenses can achieve. Now, with the new 50 mp sensors that are coming from Canon and most likely Sony, the pixels are going to be even smaller (I believe that the size is 4.1 microns, but please correct me if my math is incorrect), putting that much more emphasis and/or stress on the lens quality. This is another thing to consider.

    I shoot both the IQ260 and the Sony a7r and each has its own purpose. The a7r is great to take with me on a quick trip since the kit is so small and compact and the image quality is still excellent, but for extremely fine detail, the tech cam is in a class all its own, and I much prefer or enjoy the workflow.
    Bryan

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  4. #54
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Gosh, what have I started?

    My thanks to all of you on this wonderful forum for your opinions and advice.

    I get the sense that most MF users are either into fashion or advertising where skin tones and accurate color is of paramount importance, where the lighting can be controlled strictly as can the movement of subject(s). There is enough time to achieve all your settings the way you like them. I may be wrong here of course.

    I have never doubted that MF IQ is superior to 35mm, I admitted that in my OP. It does take more time and more work to get there too, including heavier and more cumbersome gear to lug around with you. I knew that going in. I also knew that the CCD sensor in the IQ180 is no good beyond ISO 800. I expected MF to be more expensive overall (including batteries), but did not quite expect that much of a price difference.

    I can live with many of these limitations. I am also willing to invest the time and money (I have already) to get the best out of my system. Heck, I went back to rangefinders with my M9 and M240, invested into multiple lenses including the fabled Summilux 50 etc. I realized after a while that it was not the holy grail at all. I had bought into the Leica hype and found the 'Emperor Had No Clothes'. Call me a philistine if you will, but I never found the 'way the Leica draws' any better or more pleasing to my eye. I sold the bodies and a few lenses but still have a few left.

    Then came Phase One with its hype. Everybody who owned one in that workshop sang its praises, including stuff like 'you can tell the difference in a print sized 8X10'. I tested it, and was captivated by the sheer resolution of the files. However, I still believe there is a significant amount of hype in the MF world. My apologies if I have ruffled any feathers here.

    Having used it now for over a year, I am still blown away by how good a well exposed, low ISO image is and how well it prints on my Epson 9900. However, my enthusiasm is tempered by significant limitations on how much I can use it.

    In an ideal world, I would like to use nothing but the IQ180 for everything I do, but I know that is impossible. Horses for courses and all that. I have done what some have suggested, taken just the MF with me on trips and used that alone. However, it is not a wildlife camera (despite what Andy Biggs might say) and it is not a landscape camera for all occasions either.

    In the end what has brought me to this stage is the strange and unwelcome policy for trade-in or upgrade on the part of Phase One.

    I do not make any money from my photography. It is quite simply, a major passion for me and therefore my quest is still for the ultimate in image quality in a package that is more usable than what I have at present. I love the large sensor and wish it came with a better camera and did not limit me to an ISO of 50 for best quality.

    Perhaps there is something like that out there................ or will appear soon.

    Thank you again, your thoughts are very much appreciated.
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by voidshatter View Post
    You seem to contradict yourself. You mentioned that "many" do not like, countered by evidence that indeed these were liked by many, then you routed to judge at a higher level.

    This reminds me about Emily Soto. Many other Vogue photographers overlooked her. But time told things. She eventually became popular, and the other oldskool photographers are just jealous of her success.

    In the film era no one shot any landscape of the milky way with foreground in a single exposure. Now with the advancement of technology people start to shoot that kind of pictures, and those are indeed very popular pictures. Even iPhone use that kind of pictures as default wallpapers. If you ever observed the milky way with your human eye you would have known that those pictures are not "real" either. Can you do that easily with a CCD (i.e. single exposure with foreground)?

    Technology is evolving, and rules are changing... Rangefinder became popular. SLR replaced rangefinder. Mirrorless might eventually replace DSLR. CMOS might eventually replace CCD.
    Many here don't like HDR, not many "globally". IMO, these type of images simply remind me of Thomas Kinkade kitsch. His kitschy art is pretty popular with a lot of people, but not many critics, collectors, artists and painters ... or anyone with a few taste-buds left on their tongue . We have to remember that velvet paintings of Elvis are wildly popular ...

    BTW, last time I looked the rangefinder is still being used to good effect for ways of seeing that a rangefinder tends to promote. So, I guess "replace" means used in a mass manner ... again, more doesn't mean better.

    - Marc

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    Re: Should I or not?

    The fastest way to turn me off of a post is using someone else's work. It's called copyright infringement.
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Yes, I am thinking of abandoning hope.
    But you already bought the the back!

    Exciting though my brief journey into the MF world has been, it has been very unproductive. In the last year and a half since I bought the IQ180 I've only shot about 1000 images compared to around 50,000 with my Canon gear in the same period.
    Larger formats have a different shot ratio, I could probably unload hundreds of shots on my iPhone for dozens on my Canon to just a few on my 645Z. If I shot large format film, I'd probably happy with 10 photos a month - if that.

    There are many reasons, perhaps the inability to shoot at ISO over 200 (even at that I feel there is too much noise), very old camera to go with it, lack of live view, need for a tripod most of the time, etc. I did spend a lot of time trying to get the most out of it but it has not been easy. I realized before I bought it that there would be challenges but I did not realize it would be that difficult. My fault, yes.
    I was quite close to getting an IQ back myself a while ago, and a lack of high ISO probably wouldn't have bothered me too much as I have another system to fall back on, but for photography in controlled conditions CCD backs can look quite good.

    Most of all I was disappointed with the upgrade policy. When I bought it I was told that the path to the next model would be very easy and relatively inexpensive. When I called a few months ago to see if I could trade in the IQ180 for the IQ250 (figuring I could put the high ISO capabilities to good use and then upgrade to the new camera body when it came out), I was told it would cost me over 20,000 to buy the IQ250 even at trade-in because it was being traded for a 'less expensive model'. Which meant that my $30,000 IQ180 was now worth less than $10,000 in just over a year. Somehow that did not make sense.
    Don't know about your expectations, but I rarely buy any piece of electronics expecting to get anything resembling a good deal down the line, if it comes with digital components, I know I'm buying it for keeps. But if you do want to sell, only do it privately with other people, so long as your price undercuts the used prices of retailers, someone's sure to buy.

    So I soldiered on, hoping I would be able to get more use out of my present system. Even tried out the 250mm SK LS prime, bought another lens (75-150). Paid $750 for repair of the shutter release mechanism on the camera body.

    Sadly, I have still not been able to use it despite having traveled to South Africa and having done local tours in the US. The gear cannot replace DSLRs (at least not right now) and to carry both systems into the field is just too much.
    As long as you keep your lens and accessory count rational, I personally wouldn't find it too difficult to travel with two systems, but your needs may be different. Of course it depends on what you want to do in your travels, sometimes you have to compromise and accept that you won't be doing landscapes, street photography and wildlife while traveling abroad and pick something to focus on.

    Which brings me to the present. Given my experience with the Sony A7R, the news of the Canon 5DS/R and my existing multiple Canon bodies, is it worth it for me to hang on the MF system or should I cut my losses and sell it all?
    Among the new high MP count cameras, the 5DS seems like the least exciting, unless Canon proves us otherwise in regards to their historically poor low-ISO noise/banding and DR performance. The A7R wins on size, but its noise is worse than the D810.

    I am primarily a landscape and wildlife photographer, do not make a living from it and do not do portraits or studio work - other than family pictures now and then. While the results from the MF are stunning and the large prints I've made truly 'immersive' as they say, I am not sure that is enough to carry on with the system. I am not going to be able to get into the esoteric world of tech cameras at all, so further 'improvement' in my images is very unlikely.
    As a landscape photographer you probably should have gone the tech cam way from the start, they're not nearly as large or heavy as I expected from pictures online, and in person I actually found them quite small. Perhaps your impression of MF not being for you is from having used it with the "wrong" system, the DF body is more for general use, and in particular, I find it to be a studio camera more than anything... The first impression it gave me was that it was just too slow and clunky to even bother taking outside, and the problem might be in that and not the back itself; even with a god-like sensor, a terrible body will still foul the experience.

    I am not sure if I should wait for a CMOS version of the IQ180 - what if the trade-in is equally expensive? The new camera body rumored to come out in April will be no less than $5000 if that. Granted the lenses are great and would hold value for me, but that's about it.
    Since the 33x44 CMOS just came out, I expect a full-size version will be at least two years down the line, but the manufacturing process is claimed to be difficult enough as it is right now. Concerning the new body, it's ultimately going to be just as large since the flange distance, prism and back configuration have to stay the same to retain compatibility with the current system, but if the operation is smoothed out and it'll be practical to hand-hold without strobes as the Leica S and 645Z are now, that would be a nice change.

    Has anybody been in a similar situation. Are others thinking of jumping ship?
    i just jumped ship from Canon to the 645Z, but I would have been happy with a CCD back too, if anything it would help me justify owning a $1200 tripod.

    It is not just about the money (who am I kidding!), it is the whole experience I guess that has been 'difficult'. In my quest for the ultimate in image quality I may have indeed bitten off more than I can chew. I guess it is buyer's remorse a year later, I don't know.
    I still think the DF is the problem, as of now if I had to put together a list of worst camera bodies in medium format, the DF+ would be at #1, followed by the Hasselblad H at #2. The 645Z I can hand-hold with the 55mm at 1/125th with fair certainty and at 1/200th I pretty much know I'm going to get a sharp image, while on the few occasions I used the DF I just couldn't get tack sharpness even at 1/300th, which was made more infuriating by the limited ISO as you say, but If the body had better handling and mirror/shutter action, and if the lenses had stabilization, it would be much more fun to shoot with.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Many here don't like HDR, not many "globally".
    I just did a quick search here and found that many people here used to care about DR (not necessarily HDR). What has happened since then?




  9. #59
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    I don't get the continued obsession with DR. What is the point of electronically recording a scene beyond the human eye's DR ability, then compressing that spectrum, by lifting shadows and muting highlights so that every shot looks like you just walked out of a Lord of the Rings movie?

    In my case, there is a time/place for this. If I have a deep shadow, that is near black, I'd prefer to see some texture detail in there. But by no means am I interested in a "fill flash" effect in the shadow.
    I have no empirical evidence but I have read that the human eye is capable of 20stops DR.

    Rob

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    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: Should I or not?

    My take is that HDR is a "false" implementation of DR.

    The DR of an image or capture is exactly that, it is the DR of that specific image, not a blending of several images to obtain the DR that one is hoping to achieve.

    Some people use HDR quite effectively where you really cannot tell that the image is HDR, as it is subtle, where some totally overblow it and oversaturate their images to the point that they appear fake.
    Bryan

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    Re: Should I or not?

    One other thing to remember is your IQ180 has sensor plus and still gives you an really good 20MP image, in fact excellent image.

    One thing I have learned in my chase, is that the need for "large" prints is not that great in my area, and the folks making the decisions most of the time, can't tell a shot from a 6MP or 80MP camera. I also realize that this may be totally different for others.

    The 260 only give 15MP in sensor plus, but it has saved me quite a few times in situations where I just could not get by at base iso or base +1.

    Looking back, on my photography needs, the 180 would have been a much more worth while upgrade for me. I got a bit drunk in the the Phase Kool Aid about the 260 and did not really do my homework. My fault, no one else.

    There will always be a good market for the 180, at least for the next few years, it's a very powerful tool.

    Paul
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by voidshatter View Post
    I would be curious to see some RAW files for a comparison between a Dalsa CCD and a Sony CMOS, for the same model, same time, same location, same light. What would happen when you calibrate them? It would be good to know the core post-processing procedures affecting the skin tone (i.e. excluding DB or texture, tone & color separation etc) for the claimed superior camera so that we can see whether it is possible for both cameras to achieve the same skin tone that makes 99% people hard to distinguish. Below are images shot with 7 different cameras.

    Rather than arguing this back and forth, which is becoming an endless tech-verses-taste debate, I'll try to share my own past experience between two different cameras using the same Sony CMOS sensor.

    I was shooting weddings with a Nikon D3X and the best Nikon glass of that time. The out-of-camera rendering was quite flat, but did have a good level of DR because of it. Weddings also present a huge range of lighting challenges, so custom profiles are hard to package in post ... and weddings are a time crush to shoot ... so fussing with too many camera refinements while shooting is difficult at best. In short, the D3X attributes for others were actually a negative for me because the labor intense post time was killing me.

    Enter the Sony A900 using the same 24 meg Sony sensor, but with their own take on the output. While it didn't perform as well as the D3X at higher ISOs, and you had to keep your eye on the histogram in high contrast lighting, the majority of the wedding images were extremely close to my expectations right out of the camera. It literally cut my post time in half.

    Of the 7 weak looking shots you posted ... the first looks easiest to fix in post. However, my intention when shooting a portrait is to enhance the image creatively ... not fix its short-comings. IMO, you have to show a well shot portrait that uses the strengths of any given camera and avoids its weakness. If the strengths get you to the vision you have then it is a winner regardless whether it is the CCD, CMOS or whatever may come next.

    To date, the only Sony sensor I have liked the out-put from has been the A900 with it now primitive sensor. I have the A99 and A7R and like the results from neither one all that much.

    - Marc

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    Re: Should I or not?

    @ the OP: Do you love the MF workflow? Do you print big, and I mean BIG? Do you crop a lot? Do you need to regularly solve technical problems (converging verticals etc.)?

    If the answer to any of those is 'yes' then MF has a place, if not I would look elsewhere, the quality available from smaller formats is pretty darn amazing nowadays (N.B. I haven’t listed IQ since that’s a can of worms and hugely subjective).

    Sadly, you’ve discovered the P1 ‘gotchya’ when you try to get off the system. The pricing is designed in order to keep users on an upgrade path (i.e. make it painful to leave the party). Once you decide to step away, you will find out what the true market value is for an IQ180. Currently that’s $16k, i.e. an instant $22k+ depreciation on the new price.

    Older tech to newer tech is classed as an upgrade in pretty much any other walk of life, so why P1 have decided that, for them, it isn’t … is poor. If they’re always going to define an upgrade in terms of MPs (i.e. lower to higher) then there will naturally come a point when that no longer works. In fact, that may well be here with so many different model of DB floating around, each with its own MP count.

    I wonder what they will do then - use your weight, height, eye color, shoe size … or some other completely arbitrary variable to define whether or not you get the special upgrade 'deal' ?

    Finally, $10k trade-in for your 180 against a 250 ... which then goes on the dealer's shelf with a $26k price tag. Hmm.

    Jim
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmbma View Post
    the iq180, when used to its full potential, could be the last MF digital back you'll need in your lifetime. Don't focus on the newest and latest gear, least of all in medium format. IQ180 delivers some of the best commercial and professional work in the world... if there's a picture you can't take with the IQ180, then a IQ250 won't help you either.

    If you want High iso, buy a canon 5ds on the side and save some money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    In world where everything stood perfectly still I might agree with you, but that's not the case. There are a lot of situations where the base iso of the 180 can't get the job done, in a outdoor landscape situation as you can't get a fast enough shutter speed and there is no such thing as high iso on any of the CCD backs.

    Paul
    Agree with Paul here. There are plenty of instances where an IQ180 just can't deliver what's necessary.

    Weird thing is, I don't seem to enjoy those circumstances as much. It's almost as if (for me at least), if the IQ180 can't get the shot, then the shot isn't worth getting

    Basically, I couldn't agree more with everything up to your ellipsis, and nearly agree with everything after it.

    I actually think the IQ180 on the (non-dealer) second hand market right now is the bargain of the decade. Sure, it will depreciate further, but I'd recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone who could afford it.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.
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    Re: Should I or not?

    To the OP, if I was in your situation I would get rid of the not so good int he DF and Phase lenses and buy one of the new mini view cameras from either Arca or Cambo with a Rodenstock 40mm lens that can be used with a Canon or Sony 50Mpix camera and also your Phase back and see how that plays out. Selling the Phase back will involve loosing an exuberant amount of money, especially as you purchased new so options to enable keeping it would be my priority.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    unfortunately, the actus requires live view, so beware using an IQ. doable, but there is no way to focus by number.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    There's a fork in the road here. If you really don't like the MF qualities and keep comparing it to the DSLRs and the other smaller, lighter, faster, more flexible and good cameras, then I'd get out of the MF setup and not look back.

    If, on the other hand, you still find there is an allure, or an interest, then perhaps that needs some nurturing and time. I've had gear that is beyond my capabilities and its taken time to grow into it. That's a combination of learning technique, patience, changing shooting styles, and even subject matter.

    One might ask if its worth it? For each, there is a different path, but for me, its very much worthwhile. So good gear is that which allows and encourages growth. There's a struggle, its not always pleasant, but it can be rewarding.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    unfortunately, the actus requires live view, so beware using an IQ. doable, but there is no way to focus by number.
    I thought the IQ180 did liveview ok according to my Phase dealer?

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    One other thing to remember is your IQ180 has sensor plus and still gives you an really good 20MP image, in fact excellent image.

    One thing I have learned in my chase, is that the need for "large" prints is not that great in my area, and the folks making the decisions most of the time, can't tell a shot from a 6MP or 80MP camera. I also realize that this may be totally different for others.

    The 260 only give 15MP in sensor plus, but it has saved me quite a few times in situations where I just could not get by at base iso or base +1.

    Looking back, on my photography needs, the 180 would have been a much more worth while upgrade for me. I got a bit drunk in the the Phase Kool Aid about the 260 and did not really do my homework. My fault, no one else.

    There will always be a good market for the 180, at least for the next few years, it's a very powerful tool.

    Paul
    Paul, thank you. Your advice is sincere and it shows.

    I did not mean for this to turn into a contest between various sensors. Everyone has their own idea of art and we may not agree with it but we cannot deny the other's opinion or be patronizing. At least that's how I feel about it.
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    @ the OP: Do you love the MF workflow? Do you print big, and I mean BIG? Do you crop a lot? Do you need to regularly solve technical problems (converging verticals etc.)?

    If the answer to any of those is 'yes' then MF has a place, if not I would look elsewhere, the quality available from smaller formats is pretty darn amazing nowadays (N.B. I haven’t listed IQ since that’s a can of worms and hugely subjective).

    Sadly, you’ve discovered the P1 ‘gotchya’ when you try to get off the system. The pricing is designed in order to keep users on an upgrade path (i.e. make it painful to leave the party). Once you decide to step away, you will find out what the true market value is for an IQ180. Currently that’s $16k, i.e. an instant $22k+ depreciation on the new price.

    Older tech to newer tech is classed as an upgrade in pretty much any other walk of life, so why P1 have decided that, for them, it isn’t … is poor. If they’re always going to define an upgrade in terms of MPs (i.e. lower to higher) then there will naturally come a point when that no longer works. In fact, that may well be here with so many different model of DB floating around, each with its own MP count.

    I wonder what they will do then - use your weight, height, eye color, shoe size … or some other completely arbitrary variable to define whether or not you get the special upgrade 'deal' ?

    Finally, $10k trade-in for your 180 against a 250 ... which then goes on the dealer's shelf with a $26k price tag. Hmm.

    Jim
    Jim, the answer to your questions is YES, but with caveats, I found the MF images more challenging in correcting distortion.

    Perhaps I should have gone with an MF system that wouldn't lock me into a specific upgrade path, because that is what is upsetting me. I completely understand the concept of residual value, but this is ridiculous especially when the sales pitch originally was completely the opposite.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    there are a few reports of satisfactory live view using an IQ; not quite the same thing as CMOS live view, but as i said, essential for any back and probably do-able with the IQ

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    There's a fork in the road here. If you really don't like the MF qualities and keep comparing it to the DSLRs and the other smaller, lighter, faster, more flexible and good cameras, then I'd get out of the MF setup and not look back.

    If, on the other hand, you still find there is an allure, or an interest, then perhaps that needs some nurturing and time. I've had gear that is beyond my capabilities and its taken time to grow into it. That's a combination of learning technique, patience, changing shooting styles, and even subject matter.

    One might ask if its worth it? For each, there is a different path, but for me, its very much worthwhile. So good gear is that which allows and encourages growth. There's a struggle, its not always pleasant, but it can be rewarding.

    Geoff, my goal is to get the best image possible with the tools I have. That is subjective, I know, and prone to so many variables. I am quite willing to persist with MF. My concern is that in the near future the competition (within the MF world itself perhaps) may become equally capable but at a much lower price and then I am left holding a very expensive system. Which is why the doubts begin to arise, should I bail out while I can still get a reasonable value for my gear?

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I thought the IQ180 did liveview ok according to my Phase dealer?
    It will definitely do live view and actually does it pretty darn well. You just have to use a strong ND in front of the camera. Since I started using the Schneider Vario ND I am using Live quite often on my 260. Sure it not as fast as with a CMOS sensor but all the issues I was experiencing (blooming and hanging on zooming) are gone.

    The image is a bit grainy but you can still get focus.

    Paul

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Having used it now for over a year, I am still blown away by how good a well exposed, low ISO image is and how well it prints on my Epson 9900. However, my enthusiasm is tempered by significant limitations on how much I can use it.
    The important point here is that you own an Epson 9900. Any camera capable of driving that large a printer to its full potential will have the same limitations as the IQ180. Maybe that is the problem.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    The important point here is that you own an Epson 9900. Any camera capable of driving that large a printer to its full potential will have the same limitations as the IQ180. Maybe that is the problem.
    I don't agree with that. I've printed quite large beginning with my first DSLR, the Canon D60 in 2002 (13X19 on the Canon S5000) and subsequent cameras, right up to a 44 X 72 from the 1DX on the big Epson. If you look at them from a reasonable distance they look great.

    I also did a 36X48 Manhattan skyline image from the IQ180 that hangs in my office. You can put your nose up to it and still see incredibly sharp detail. That is what I meant by 'immersive' in my first post. So the Phase system is quite capable of getting very large prints out of it.

    For example, you said it is not a wildlife camera and at the same time that Andy Biggs uses it for wildlife. If you look at Andy Biggs wildlife pictures, you will notice that they are not "classical" wildlife pictures. Andy Biggs can't take "classical" wildlife pictures with an IQ180 either, but what he does instead is more interesting.
    Jerome, I agree, I too am more of a 'animal in the habitat' photographer now than the 'animal in the frame' kind that I used to be. I sold my 600 f4 MkII just a couple of months ago because I wanted to get out of the 'nostril-hair' image mode. FWIW, I love Nick Brandt's work even more and he for sure does not use DSLRs. BTW, Andy Biggs still takes his regular Nikon kit with him, and all his MF images are taken in good light.

    I shot a scene of a leopard going for a waterbuck in South Africa last fall, around dusk with very little ambient light. ISO 5000 on my 1DX at 11 fps to get the leopard gripping the waterbuck by the neck, among other frames. There is no way I could do that with MF. So while I cannot do many t hings with MF, I CAN do everything with a DSLR, albeit not with the same quality as MF.

    Having said that, if the MF system was capable of even going up to a decent 800 ISO, it would make a huge difference.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by voidshatter View Post
    You seem to contradict yourself. You mentioned that "many" do not like, countered by evidence that indeed these were liked by many, then you routed to judge at a higher level.

    This reminds me about Emily Soto. Many other Vogue photographers overlooked her. But time told things. She eventually became popular, and the other oldskool photographers are just jealous of her success.

    In the film era no one shot any landscape of the milky way with foreground in a single exposure. Now with the advancement of technology people start to shoot that kind of pictures, and those are indeed very popular pictures. Even iPhone use that kind of pictures as default wallpapers. If you ever observed the milky way with your human eye you would have known that those pictures are not "real" either. Can you do that easily with a CCD (i.e. single exposure with foreground)?

    Technology is evolving, and rules are changing... Rangefinder became popular. SLR replaced rangefinder. Mirrorless might eventually replace DSLR. CMOS might eventually replace CCD.
    The same Emily Soto who shoots with cropped Canon cameras?
    Just imagine how far Emily could gone if Void was around to consult her on proper gear.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I don't agree with that. I've printed quite large beginning with my first DSLR, the Canon D60 in 2002 (13X19 on the Canon S5000) and subsequent cameras, right up to a 44 X 72 from the 1DX on the big Epson. If you look at them from a reasonable distance they look great.

    I also did a 36X48 Manhattan skyline image from the IQ180 that hangs in my office. You can put your nose up to it and still see incredibly sharp detail. That is what I meant by 'immersive' in my first post. So the Phase system is quite capable of getting very large prints out of it.
    That is what I meant by "to its full potential": with the IQ180 you can put your nose to the print. You can print big from any camera if you never look at the print from very close, but then you don't need a printer as good as the 9900.

    If you want to print big at the amount of resolution that the 9900 is capable of, you will struggle with the photographic process. That in turns means that the equipment will weight a lot, won't allow quick shooting from the hip, will need lots of photons, etc... Whatever the camera system, you will have the same problems.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    I have no empirical evidence but I have read that the human eye is capable of 20stops DR.

    Rob
    Around 7 stops static and 20 stops dynamic. The relatively low static DR of our eyes is why TV manufacturers typically try to achieve maximum contrast ratio through deep black levels rather than blinding white levels, as our eyes can't adjust to both at once. Otherwise, since our eyes work like scanners, they always update and paint in the proper exposure for the thing we're looking at, hundreds of times per second.
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Yes, I am thinking of abandoning hope.

    Exciting though my brief journey into the MF world has been, it has been very unproductive. ...
    Has anybody been in a similar situation. Are others thinking of jumping ship?

    It is not just about the money (who am I kidding!), it is the whole experience I guess that has been 'difficult'. In my quest for the ultimate in image quality I may have indeed bitten off more than I can chew. I guess it is buyer's remorse a year later, I don't know.

    Just wanted to hear from the folks here if they have any advice for me.

    Thanks.
    Hi there,
    my opinion is the following:
    -Rather use the MF for the areas where it is strong and use another system for things which dont suit MF well, instead to try to use MF for everything and get frustrated.
    -I feel most digital backs and MF digital cameras (even older models) still produce a different (and better) IQ than high resolution DSLRs.
    In this regard I dont believe one needs the latest and greatest DB
    -for me cameras like the Leica S or Pentax645Z seems a very good compromise, allready the MF IQ look, but pretty flexible and fast to use.

    If you feel MF "unproductive" and if you dont get wowed when looking at your MF images compared to your Canon images - I would sell the MF-back.
    However when I look at MF images or if I compare images I get from my Leica S vs Sony A7II or 5dIII (which I sold some weeks ago)...I feel its worth to use MF.
    At least for landscapes and subjects which are not too fast I do enjoy shooting MF and the slower pace (if I am allowed to call the Leica S medium format).

    I recently bought a used Alpa and an older digital back more for the reason of the slower pace shooting process and not so much for the better IQ over other photographic solutions.

    If you are talking about the number of images you took with the Canon...what do you want to do with so many images???

    In the end you need to know if MF gives you more satisfaction. If it doesnt give you more satisfaction (either during shooting or in regards of IQ) its too much money.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Yes, I am thinking of abandoning hope.

    Exciting though my brief journey into the MF world has been, it has been very unproductive. In the last year and a half since I bought the IQ180 I've only shot about 1000 images compared to around 50,000 with my Canon gear in the same period. There are many reasons, perhaps the inability to shoot at ISO over 200 (even at that I feel there is too much noise), very old camera to go with it, lack of live view, need for a tripod most of the time, etc. I did spend a lot of time trying to get the most out of it but it has not been easy. I realized before I bought it that there would be challenges but I did not realize it would be that difficult. My fault, yes.

    Most of all I was disappointed with the upgrade policy. When I bought it I was told that the path to the next model would be very easy and relatively inexpensive. When I called a few months ago to see if I could trade in the IQ180 for the IQ250 (figuring I could put the high ISO capabilities to good use and then upgrade to the new camera body when it came out), I was told it would cost me over 20,000 to buy the IQ250 even at trade-in because it was being traded for a 'less expensive model'. Which meant that my $30,000 IQ180 was now worth less than $10,000 in just over a year. Somehow that did not make sense.

    So I soldiered on, hoping I would be able to get more use out of my present system. Even tried out the 250mm SK LS prime, bought another lens (75-150). Paid $750 for repair of the shutter release mechanism on the camera body.

    Sadly, I have still not been able to use it despite having traveled to South Africa and having done local tours in the US. The gear cannot replace DSLRs (at least not right now) and to carry both systems into the field is just too much.

    Which brings me to the present. Given my experience with the Sony A7R, the news of the Canon 5DS/R and my existing multiple Canon bodies, is it worth it for me to hang on the MF system or should I cut my losses and sell it all?

    I am primarily a landscape and wildlife photographer, do not make a living from it and do not do portraits or studio work - other than family pictures now and then. While the results from the MF are stunning and the large prints I've made truly 'immersive' as they say, I am not sure that is enough to carry on with the system. I am not going to be able to get into the esoteric world of tech cameras at all, so further 'improvement' in my images is very unlikely.

    I am not sure if I should wait for a CMOS version of the IQ180 - what if the trade-in is equally expensive? The new camera body rumored to come out in April will be no less than $5000 if that. Granted the lenses are great and would hold value for me, but that's about it.

    Has anybody been in a similar situation. Are others thinking of jumping ship?

    It is not just about the money (who am I kidding!), it is the whole experience I guess that has been 'difficult'. In my quest for the ultimate in image quality I may have indeed bitten off more than I can chew. I guess it is buyer's remorse a year later, I don't know.

    Just wanted to hear from the folks here if they have any advice for me.

    Thanks.
    I have not read this whole thread just your first post here but my immediate gut reaction is if its difficult to shoot and you spend more time screwing around with it than making great images than what's the point. It's not for everyone but it is for ultimate quality in images. I love MF but I'm a very experienced shooter that can deal with just about any obstacles . Many people have difficult times with it as it is a different way of shooting. Now having said that have you given it enough chance to grow on you as these things take a lot of time to understand and more importantly control to your taste and needs. Now if you need the money than you need the money been there and done that but if you like the quality than maybe get some training via a workshop or hire a instructor to help. Not a sales pitch but I have been hired by numerous people to get them over the edge. Maybe that's something you could look into in your area or attend a workshop and get help. I regret selling my kit believe me but my issue was a immediate need for cash and health debt for my wife but I would love to be still in the game. Just something to think about. Hate seeing people walking away from it as it is fun but if your not having fun as a hobbyist than what's the point. That's what hobby's are for.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Btw phase one upgrade path with the new CMOS sensors leaves a lot to be desired with folks trying to go from CCD backs over to the new CMOS . It was better back in the day going up the CCD path. Like p30 to p40 to p65 than to IQ 180. Guess things have changed
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    That is what I meant by "to its full potential": with the IQ180 you can put your nose to the print. You can print big from any camera if you never look at the print from very close, but then you don't need a printer as good as the 9900.

    If you want to print big at the amount of resolution that the 9900 is capable of, you will struggle with the photographic process. That in turns means that the equipment will weight a lot, won't allow quick shooting from the hip, will need lots of photons, etc... Whatever the camera system, you will have the same problems.
    Ah, I see where you are going with this.

    I am not looking for a quick fix. In fact I want to be able to print big and sharp. The print in my office hangs in a hallway where people actually pass by from 3 ft away and it is incredibly sharp. What I am looking for is a camera system that provides the resolution and quality with the least hassle.

    Price is not a major issue, if it was, I would never have the equipment I've bought and still own. Still, it is stupid to invest in a product that costs three times what the competition does unless it makes life easier in some other ways. There is also the law of diminishing returns.

    If the IQ180 delivers the best picture, so be it. Just want to know what other options I may have, now or in the near future.

    Which is why I am in this discussion.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Ah, I see where you are going with this.

    I am not looking for a quick fix. In fact I want to be able to print big and sharp. The print in my office hangs in a hallway where people actually pass by from 3 ft away and it is incredibly sharp. What I am looking for is a camera system that provides the resolution and quality with the least hassle.
    You have it.

    Really: if you want that kind of resolution and quality, you can't do without the hassle. You'll have about the same level of hassle with other solutions, whatever they are:
    -8x10 film: major hassle (need I explain? )
    -D810 on a pano head: same weight (pano head) and computer work
    -future Canon 50 mpix: we don't know for sure, but I don't expect 50 mpix out of the 150g 40mm lens or at iso 800 and you'll need a massive tripod
    -etc...

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I have not read this whole thread just your first post here but my immediate gut reaction is if its difficult to shoot and you spend more time screwing around with it than making great images than what's the point. It's not for everyone but it is for ultimate quality in images. I love MF but I'm a very experienced shooter that can deal with just about any obstacles . Many people have difficult times with it as it is a different way of shooting. Now having said that have you given it enough chance to grow on you as these things take a lot of time to understand and more importantly control to your taste and needs. Now if you need the money than you need the money been there and done that but if you like the quality than maybe get some training via a workshop or hire a instructor to help. Not a sales pitch but I have been hired by numerous people to get them over the edge. Maybe that's something you could look into in your area or attend a workshop and get help. I regret selling my kit believe me but my issue was a immediate need for cash and health debt for my wife but I would love to be still in the game. Just something to think about. Hate seeing people walking away from it as it is fun but if your not having fun as a hobbyist than what's the point. That's what hobby's are for.

    Love the last sentence Guy. Sums it up.

    Thankfully, no, money is not the main issue. It is just frustrating dealing with the archaic camera body and then the lack of what I see as 'support' from the company especially when they sold it to me as an 'easy to upgrade' product. In that sense money does become an issue. It is after all not a cheap item by any measure.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    It is just frustrating dealing with the archaic camera body and then the lack of what I see as 'support' from the company
    That, I can understand. But it is not a photographic problem...

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    You have it.

    Really: if you want that kind of resolution and quality, you can't do without the hassle. You'll have about the same level of hassle with other solutions, whatever they are:....................
    Got it. Can't make this omelette without breaking some really large eggs!

    It's just that often there is very little time to get a good shot (clouds moving, sun coming in and out, quick change of light at sunrise or sunset etc) and if the ISO is really low, it adds to the shooting time in low light, then you double it for the dark frame subtraction. I don't know how some people (JagSiva for example) can get it done before anybody else, even if you plan for it and show up before sunrise. A digital back capable of native ISO of say 200 with ability to go to 1200 would be a very welcome product, IMO. And then the exposure time is so limited with the IQ180, forget about getting the milky way with it.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post

    It's just that often there is very little time to get a good shot (clouds moving, sun coming in and out, quick change of light at sunrise or sunset etc) and if the ISO is really low, it adds to the shooting time in low light, then you double it for the dark frame subtraction. I don't know how some people (JagSiva for example) can get it done before anybody else, even if you plan for it and show up before sunrise.

    Well... What you need is not a new camera, then. What you need is a workshop with JagSiva.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharokin View Post
    The same Emily Soto who shoots with cropped Canon cameras?
    Just imagine how far Emily could gone if Void was around to consult her on proper gear.
    Emily Soto shoots with cropped Canon. The OP is interested in a cropped Phase One. Fullframe is not a must-have for everyone.

    Of course oldskool photographers can judge the taste and criticize Emily Soto's pictures, so what? Would she really care? People can like bokeh. People can like HDR. People can like milky way. It's good to break rules and get new stuff. Why does everyone have to follow the oldskool photographers? Why spoil the fun of challenging something new, something that others haven't done before?
    Last edited by voidshatter; 25th February 2015 at 15:15.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Got it. Can't make this omelette without breaking some really large eggs!

    It's just that often there is very little time to get a good shot (clouds moving, sun coming in and out, quick change of light at sunrise or sunset etc) and if the ISO is really low, it adds to the shooting time in low light, then you double it for the dark frame subtraction. I don't know how some people (JagSiva for example) can get it done before anybody else, even if you plan for it and show up before sunrise. A digital back capable of native ISO of say 200 with ability to go to 1200 would be a very welcome product, IMO. And then the exposure time is so limited with the IQ180, forget about getting the milky way with it.
    This is the main reason why I switched from the SWA to the STC, and from the IQ260 to the IQ250. I wanted something faster. Now I can frame my picture within like 15 seconds on a tripod (including shift for perspective control) and get the shot when needed in urgent situation. Sometimes the sun and cloud just don't wait for your composition! I had just too many times with the slower and pain-to-use IQ260 LiveView and the slower shifting SWA wasting too much time and missing the best light and cloud. The darkframe NR of a CCD sensor was also a big deal to miss the best light in real situations. Yes I agree that setting up the tripod and framing the picture well before the best light comes would be the best outcome, but I can't resist to have the flexibility to change my composition whenever I need to. Consider a high tide coming in and you only have a small window to get your picture done with your tripod in the water - sometimes it's just good to have the option to be quick and flexible!

    If you are after the ultimate image quality at all cost then the IQ180 doesn't mean to be a bad choice - it's just a tool that has to be used in the right condition for the right usage. A while ago I did a picture of Oxford University under the winter Milky Way v2. The foreground was captured by IQ260 + 23HR with ND for long exposure. The milky way was captured by D800E + 24mm f1.4G with multi-sampling (temporal noise reduction) via PixInsight and rectilinear stitching via PTGui. The IQ260 had its limitation of very poor dynamic range in long exposure mode so I had to shoot multiple times to work-around that (alignment issue was a pain). The Phase One and Alpa combo also lacks fast lens or high ISO capabilities so I used Nikon for the milky way part. I dumped tons of effort in that picture just to try to make it astronomically correct while I could get as much effective resolution as I could. Technically the image quality is currently better than most (if for large print purposes) but I would assume it to get surpassed by other future gear / means soon. However I enjoyed the procedure of getting it done, because it's just hobby after all. If you don't enjoy the procedure then it definitely is not something for you. The gear I used depreciated significantly. The image quality will fall behind eventually. But the memory of enjoyment throughout the procedure is invaluable.

    If you still have passion with the IQ180 then continue to make the best out of it for what it is best for; otherwise sell it and move on. I also found Phase One's cross-grade pricing ridiculous. If it weren't for that I could find a good deal to switch from the IQ260 to the IQ250 I would have sold everything. Currently the IQ180 sells privately for about $14-$16k if I remember correctly about the threads on this forum. Even if there is going to be a trade-in program for a future fullframe CMOS back I woudn't expect it to be cheap either.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Rather than arguing this back and forth, which is becoming an endless tech-verses-taste debate, I'll try to share my own past experience between two different cameras using the same Sony CMOS sensor.

    I was shooting weddings with a Nikon D3X and the best Nikon glass of that time. The out-of-camera rendering was quite flat, but did have a good level of DR because of it. Weddings also present a huge range of lighting challenges, so custom profiles are hard to package in post ... and weddings are a time crush to shoot ... so fussing with too many camera refinements while shooting is difficult at best. In short, the D3X attributes for others were actually a negative for me because the labor intense post time was killing me.

    Enter the Sony A900 using the same 24 meg Sony sensor, but with their own take on the output. While it didn't perform as well as the D3X at higher ISOs, and you had to keep your eye on the histogram in high contrast lighting, the majority of the wedding images were extremely close to my expectations right out of the camera. It literally cut my post time in half.

    Of the 7 weak looking shots you posted ... the first looks easiest to fix in post. However, my intention when shooting a portrait is to enhance the image creatively ... not fix its short-comings. IMO, you have to show a well shot portrait that uses the strengths of any given camera and avoids its weakness. If the strengths get you to the vision you have then it is a winner regardless whether it is the CCD, CMOS or whatever may come next.

    To date, the only Sony sensor I have liked the out-put from has been the A900 with it now primitive sensor. I have the A99 and A7R and like the results from neither one all that much.

    - Marc
    Thanks for the detailed long description! It would still be great if RAW files can be offered to study this, especially a comparison for the Dalsa CCD sensors to show superiority in skin tone.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    This is getting old... fast.
    Likes 5 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I love the large sensor and wish it came with a better camera and did not limit me to an ISO of 50 for best quality.

    Perhaps there is something like that out there................ or will appear soon.
    Firstly you haven't ruffled any feathers. Other people do that just fine

    I have read back through the important parts of this thread and can see you are really in a bind. It's a big investment MFD, a huge investment actually. There is a lot of hype around Phase 1 and not a lot of fact. I personally don't think there is a huge difference any more, it's there but it's not obviously there. Most punters couldn't tell the difference.

    Have you given any thought to selling your P1 gear and buying a Pentx 645Z?? It is by all accounts an excellent system (Shashin of Ed Hurst would be the blokes to ask). For what you could get for your current gear you easily get into that. It gives you the high ISO capability, you still have a large sensor (compared to 35mm) and access to legacy lenses that work exceptionally well for a fraction of the cost. I'm sure I saw a thread on that recently??

    Either way if you are not enjoying your photography with your current set up it may be best to offload it. I doubt a new camera will solve your issues. Photography is a personal thing. I love tech cameras, others find them a pain to use. Sure you will take a bath selling, but you are losing even more money by not using it.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Hi there,
    my opinion is the following:
    -Rather use the MF for the areas where it is strong and use another system for things which dont suit MF well, instead to try to use MF for everything and get frustrated.
    -I feel most digital backs and MF digital cameras (even older models) still produce a different (and better) IQ than high resolution DSLRs.
    In this regard I dont believe one needs the latest and greatest DB
    -for me cameras like the Leica S or Pentax645Z seems a very good compromise, allready the MF IQ look, but pretty flexible and fast to use.

    If you feel MF "unproductive" and if you dont get wowed when looking at your MF images compared to your Canon images - I would sell the MF-back.
    However when I look at MF images or if I compare images I get from my Leica S vs Sony A7II or 5dIII (which I sold some weeks ago)...I feel its worth to use MF.
    At least for landscapes and subjects which are not too fast I do enjoy shooting MF and the slower pace (if I am allowed to call the Leica S medium format).

    I recently bought a used Alpa and an older digital back more for the reason of the slower pace shooting process and not so much for the better IQ over other photographic solutions.

    If you are talking about the number of images you took with the Canon...what do you want to do with so many images???

    In the end you need to know if MF gives you more satisfaction. If it doesnt give you more satisfaction (either during shooting or in regards of IQ) its too much money.
    +1. My like button doesn't work, but I agree very much.

    If you don't see the image merits of MFD, then it just isn't worth it. If you do see it, then nothing less will personally satisfy.

    There is something to be said about continuity of shooting with a specific set-up over time and really learning it until it becomes second nature. That applies to shooting and how to work with you images afterwards IMO.

    While I have a A7R and some pretty nice lenses for it, I've increasingly been taking my Leica S in place of it ... basically the opposite of what most folks would do. I'm not after a ton of shots, just one or two that I really like. When I come upon those opportunities, I want the image qualities that please me most. I do not want to wish I had shot the image with the S and its wonderful lenses.

    - Marc
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Geoff, my goal is to get the best image possible with the tools I have. That is subjective, I know, and prone to so many variables. I am quite willing to persist with MF. My concern is that in the near future the competition (within the MF world itself perhaps) may become equally capable but at a much lower price and then I am left holding a very expensive system. Which is why the doubts begin to arise, should I bail out while I can still get a reasonable value for my gear?
    Honestly, the value in any of this stuff is in the using of it. If one took any of this to a finance person, they'd reject it as a poor use of your hard earned money.

    If you stick with something and really learn how to make the most of it, amazing things can happen. Conversely, if you jump from one Lilly Pad to the next, you are in a constant state of renewed familiarity and retraining.

    The anxiety over technical obsolescence with attendant fears of losing value has little to do with making photographs with the tool at hand.

    IMO, stop reading about these incremental gains that are hyped to the high heavens, and spend the time with the wonderful kit you already own ... mastering the tool, thinking about ideas, developing your own style, then making images. Much more rewarding ...

    - Marc
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Ming Thein has an interesting discussion on Medium Format here:
    That medium format ‘look': what is it?
    - ErlingMM

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    Re: Should I or not?

    David Farkas has wriiten two articles on CCD vs CMOS ..

    Links > The Great Debate: CCD vs. CMOS – Part 1

    » The Great Debate: CCD vs. CMOS – Part 2
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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Hi there,
    my opinion is the following:
    -Rather use the MF for the areas where it is strong and use another system for things which dont suit MF well, instead to try to use MF for everything and get frustrated.
    -I feel most digital backs and MF digital cameras (even older models) still produce a different (and better) IQ than high resolution DSLRs.
    In this regard I dont believe one needs the latest and greatest DB
    -for me cameras like the Leica S or Pentax645Z seems a very good compromise, allready the MF IQ look, but pretty flexible and fast to use.

    If you feel MF "unproductive" and if you dont get wowed when looking at your MF images compared to your Canon images - I would sell the MF-back.
    However when I look at MF images or if I compare images I get from my Leica S vs Sony A7II or 5dIII (which I sold some weeks ago)...I feel its worth to use MF.
    At least for landscapes and subjects which are not too fast I do enjoy shooting MF and the slower pace (if I am allowed to call the Leica S medium format).

    I recently bought a used Alpa and an older digital back more for the reason of the slower pace shooting process and not so much for the better IQ over other photographic solutions.

    If you are talking about the number of images you took with the Canon...what do you want to do with so many images???

    In the end you need to know if MF gives you more satisfaction. If it doesnt give you more satisfaction (either during shooting or in regards of IQ) its too much money.
    Thank you, that is a very reasonable post.

    Yes, I always knew that MF could not do everything and I need to stick to using it (and using it more and and more) to do the stuff it excels at. I am completely in agreement with the superior quality of its output too.

    I've done four wildlife trips since I bought the MF and all of these involved animals and birds with lot of action (horses running in the water and so on). Each trip was at least a week long, one being two weeks. It is not unreasonable to take 50,000 images in all that time, esp when you want to capture an event like 20 horses running towards you. The 1DX has a high frame rate and you fire away. Granted this is not the best way to photograph something but that's what you do in action photography, since there may be just one frame among the 200 that is perfect. Same for birds blasting off or in flight.

    I have also taken the MF on landscape trips in the same time period, like to Iceland for example. Obviously a much slower pace and therefore far fewer frames.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    It should be quite clear that if you want to shoot animals moving fast with lots of action, a DSLR with a high frame rate is a better choice. Nobody can argue with that.

    What I don't understand are your other examples. For example, you are complaining about poor high iso performance. While it is true that the IQ180 is not a low light marvel, wouldn't the use of noise reduction software mitigate the noise down to a tolerable level? I have a camera that is supposed to be even worse by low light (an H4D-50) and my experience is that the noise reduction in Phocus (Hasselblad software) works very well. It reduces sharpness, of course, but because the camera starts with more pixels than a D800/A7r, I may even get better results in prints nevertheless.

    There was also your example that the camera was too slow to operate at sunset. I have no experience with Phase One, but it cannot be that much slower than my ancient Hasselblad, can it? I have taken pictures at sunset by just putting the camera on a tripod, pressing the mirror up button and then shooting. It was a matter of seconds and I did not need a dark frame. So could you elaborate a bit on how you actually shoot, maybe we could figure out something. Maybe you could also post a link to some pictures that we have an idea (although, considering the thread as a whole, I can understand your reluctance if your pictures do not look like Thomas Kinkade on acid).

    Last but not least, I noticed that you said that you have a zoom. MF zooms are horribly heavy and bulky. Maybe you would enjoy your camera more if you just took one or two primes instead of the heavy zoom. I also use a relatively light tripod compared to some, this is another item on which you could save a bit of weight. MF have a very low vibration level because of their central shutter.

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post

    What I don't understand are your other examples. For example, you are complaining about poor high iso performance. While it is true that the IQ180 is not a low light marvel, wouldn't the use of noise reduction software mitigate the noise down to a tolerable level? I have a camera that is supposed to be even worse by low light (an H4D-50) and my experience is that the noise reduction in Phocus (Hasselblad software) works very well. It reduces sharpness, of course, but because the camera starts with more pixels than a D800/A7r, I may even get better results in prints nevertheless.
    In my work, I would have to say, no, that noise reduction can't help that much on the CCD cameras, mainly because in low light they can't really get the data in the first place, and instead you see a lot of mushy details. This is true at base iso, to some degree, but if you push the iso at all, say 200 or 400, those areas in shade will just not have much details. You also start to see color issues mainly loss of saturation at iso 200 and by 400 you have color issues and loss of finer details, the chip just doesn't work well when at that setting. You will still see the detail loss even in bright light and to some degree color loss. All noise reduction does is blur it more and add even more mush to the areas in question. Also note, that Phase One's default noise reduction tends to be a bit too much even at iso 50 and you can see it effecting finer details, I almost always turn it way back.

    If you instead bracket, so that you have good exposure times to cover those areas in shadow then the CCD can do an excellent job. And if you are on a DF or DF+ bracketing is very easy albeit last time I check the exposure allowed between brackets was only 1 stop and you could only do 3 brackets, neither of which is enough most times.

    The exception to this is is use of sensor plus, which does a great job on these parts of images. And on the 180 @ 20MP for SPlus you have still got a lot of image to work with and in most cases can make a perfect print unless you looking for something in the 40 x 60 range.

    I have worked with MFD since early 2008 and as I look back on images I used to be proud of I have realized that my technique was to pretty much take these areas down to pure black, and for me now, I don't like that look as there were details there.

    I have seen daily the effect that shutter time can make on a CCD image as the more light the better. Here is a screen shot from C1 of a iso50 IQ260 image, the image on the left is 1/4 of a sec, the one on the right is 1 sec. Look at the grasses behind the dogwood tree leaves, (red) and on the 1/4 sec image it's basically mush (shadows were pushed) and on the 1 second image there is much more detail, plenty to allow this part of the image to become useable. Both images have the same amount of shadow push, it's just that the 1 sec to me has a lot more details. One of the strong points of shooting a MFD back is for high resolution and capture of details, at least I am. If I have just left off at 1/4 sec I would have left a lot of those details on the table. These crops are from the right edge of a 15mm shift from a 40mm Rodie. So again, movements, mean less available light to start with which automatically puts a CCD at a disadvantage as they prefer light and not push.

    It's simply a situation where one needs to evaluate based on their shooting style and needs. For me, I should have done more homework on the IQ260, before I purchased it.

    Paul

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    Re: Should I or not?

    Paul, I am not saying that noise reduction never degrades detail. I am saying that if one degrades detail on a 80 mpix back, one may still get enough detail to print big.

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