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Thread: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

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    Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    I am interested in using one of these backs for a Hasselblad V series. It will be my first experience in MFDB.
    I am looking for practical reasons to choose one over the other....
    Other than the obvious, more pixels but an older (generation?) back, and a slightly larger sensor, what would make you choose one over the other? The WHY is the most important part of your response to me.
    I am primarily a landscape photographer, and an amateur that produces prints up to 16x20, but usually 11x14.

    The backs are the Leaf Aptus II-5 or the Leaf Aptus 65.
    I would appreciate your comments.....

    Please try to focus on these 2 specific backs.

    Thank you
    Frank
    Frank

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red735i View Post
    I am interested in using one of these backs for a Hasselblad V series. It will be my first experience in MFDB.
    I am looking for practical reasons to choose one over the other....
    Other than the obvious, more pixels but an older (generation?) back, and a slightly larger sensor, what would make you choose one over the other? The WHY is the most important part of your response to me.
    I am primarily a landscape photographer, and an amateur that produces prints up to 16x20, but usually 11x14.

    The backs are the Leaf Aptus II-5 or the Leaf Aptus 65.
    I would appreciate your comments.....

    Please try to focus on these 2 specific backs.

    Thank you
    Frank
    Somebody's gotta know!! Please?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    I have an Aptus-65 and have also had a couple of P25+ backs that use the same sensor I believe as the II-5.

    I've been very happy with color rendering of the Aptus-65 but it's one of the earlier generation backs and so slower and with a dimmer LCD than the II-5. Also the II-5 offers the option of upgrading to the newer Leaf UI on the back and is snappier overall.

    Comparing the sensor from the P25+ / II-5 with 9um sensors to the Aptus 7.2um the only thing I really ever ran into was the slightly greater propensity for moire with the 22mp backs. I managed to find a use case in nature but it was unusual. (Wake from a boat shot from the air). Otherwise 22mp vs 28mp wasn't a huge difference, especially at your print sizes.

    I'd seriously consider the II-5 for the faster UI and better LCD alone. I was going to get one but each time a cheaper P25+ turned up.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    The larger sensor in the Aptus-II 5 makes it more suitable for landscape work with the V-series lenses IMO, plus what Graham said about the UI; it's faster with improved functionality e.g. you can enter the focal length manually and store it in the file's EXIF data.
    The sensor BTW is Dalsa, unlike the Kodak one in the P25...

    Yair
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    I appreciate your comments. I usually shoot WA lenses, and my 50 is probably my most used lens on the Hasselblad. Using a larger sensor, allows me to keep my present "eye".
    As an outside landscape user, and with absolutely no experience in digital MF (nave?), I am not so sure the UI is that much of a game changer, but it does add to the preference and it is something I did not find in the literature of the 2 backs. Thanks to Graham and yourself for pointing that out.
    You mention that sensor manufacturer as Dalsa.... Is that true also for both the Aptus II-5 and the Aptus 65? I assume there is a different "look" due to the sensor characteristics, and thus this could play into the decision more significantly.
    Thank you again for taking the time to respond.
    Frank

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    The larger sensor in the Aptus-II 5 makes it more suitable for landscape work with the V-series lenses IMO, plus what Graham said about the UI; it's faster with improved functionality e.g. you can enter the focal length manually and store it in the file's EXIF data.
    The sensor BTW is Dalsa, unlike the Kodak one in the P25...

    Yair
    Frank

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    be nice if the backs had the rotating mount; very desirable with the V cameras

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    PM sent, but thought I'd share some thoughts here as well as an Aptus II 5 user.

    First of all, it is a special back with beautiful texture, depth and colour in the files. It even beats my Credo 60 in these departments.

    It is forgiving and legacy glass can be used with excellent results. Allows for lots of movements on a tech cam.

    Some worry about moire, yes, I have seen it, but easily corrected in post and I have not seen it as a major problem.

    However, the biggest downside in my mind is the combination of native iso25 and noise introduced with longish exposures. I use mine as a fixed iso25 since already at iso50 you see raised levels of noise and at the same time going past 5-6 seconds exposure also introduce noise....not easy sometimes.

    In other words - this back needs light - lots of light. But in the right condition it produces files that have a certain magic. Sorry for the beatup term, but for once you can actually say - the most 'filmlike' back out there.

    Nowadays I print large and have an advantage using the Credo 60. That is true. But there are times when I feel for certain images the Aptus II 5 is a better choice and I happily reach for that one instead!

    I do have a Sony A7R and on paper I guess that sensor outperforms the Aptus in everyting, but I can honestly say that I much much rather both work with and print from the Aptus!

    Last edited by danlindberg; 13th April 2015 at 08:29. Reason: image added.
    Alpa FPS MAX TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    If you mean take the back off, rotate 90, put the back on... Yes, both offer this feature.
    Whatever happened to Square sensors????? When did 645 become the "standard" format in MF?

    That last stuff was rhetorical...

    Frank

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    be nice if the backs had the rotating mount; very desirable with the V cameras
    Frank

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    yes, though i think it was leaf that had a back that rotated in the mount and did not require dismount, rotate, dismount

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Aptus-II 10R ... designed for people like me who visibly age every time i rotate my mfdb on my alpa.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    If one can afford, and can find an Aptus-II 10R or a 12R then yes, both offer a rotating sensor...
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Hi Frank,

    We'd love to help you out, feel free to email me! We do have an Aptus 65 in a V mount for your Hasselblad pre-owned right now, and I'm sure a sales rep could help you out if we have any whispers of an Aptus II-5 floating around there we could get our hands on.

    We'd also be happy to rent out the Aptus 65, if you feel like a hands on test drive. I am a firm believer in trying before buying when it comes to digital backs...after all, seeing is believing.

    https://www.digitalback.com/product-...digital-backs/

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Chris Valites
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Final Score: I bought the Aptus 65 back. Why? The files had better highlights and shadow detail.
    It definitely is true that the UI is better on the Aptus II line, but it is all about the image.

    Some initial notes on the Aptus 65:
    The thing eats batteries.
    It hates the cold. The back would not record the in\mage to the CF card at 30degrees centigrade. Worse, the use of pre-release is wasted, because in most cases, the image would not be recorded is pre-release is used.
    Frank
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red735i View Post
    Final Score: I bought the Aptus 65 back. Why? The files had better highlights and shadow detail.
    It definitely is true that the UI is better on the Aptus II line, but it is all about the image.

    Some initial notes on the Aptus 65:
    The thing eats batteries.
    It hates the cold. The back would not record the in\mage to the CF card at 30degrees centigrade. Worse, the use of pre-release is wasted, because in most cases, the image would not be recorded is pre-release is used.
    One trick I picked up from talking to a few CI guys is that you can wrap hand warmers around batteries in the cold to help extend their life. You may want to do this with batteries if you're shooting in the cold a lot.

    30 degrees centigrade is 86 degrees Farenheit...did I misread something there? The back should work fine at that temperature...
    Chris Valites
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    A good suggestion.... I will pick up some, so that the next time I will be both warm and the batteries will last.... ( I was out at 9AM, and the next time I could feel my fingers was at 11... it was cold out there!)

    Frank

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Valites View Post
    One trick I picked up from talking to a few CI guys is that you can wrap hand warmers around batteries in the cold to help extend their life. You may want to do this with batteries if you're shooting in the cold a lot.

    30 degrees centigrade is 86 degrees Farenheit...did I misread something there? The back should work fine at that temperature...
    Frank

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Someone pointed out that 30 Degrees centigrade is hot.... 30 degrees Fahrenheit is cold.

    Got my F's and C's confused.....

    As an adjunct, I am having trouble with shutter pre-release on the Hasselblad and synching the Aptus 65, and especially on MY 120mm lens, although it also acted up with my 50 CF/FLE...the 80 seems more resilient. It could be a lens issue ( bad flash contacts internally?) it could be the back? it could be the cold? or it could be my technique of shutter release. I will do some more investigation and report results here....

    Frank

    Quote Originally Posted by Red735i View Post
    Final Score: I bought the Aptus 65 back. Why? The files had better highlights and shadow detail.
    It definitely is true that the UI is better on the Aptus II line, but it is all about the image.

    Some initial notes on the Aptus 65:
    The thing eats batteries.
    It hates the cold. The back would not record the in\mage to the CF card at 30degrees centigrade. Worse, the use of pre-release is wasted, because in most cases, the image would not be recorded is pre-release is used.
    Frank

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    What do you mean by "shutter pre release"?
    Batteries should last 1.5-2 hours in 'normal' temperatures. If you're getting less than that chances are that the batteries you have are old...
    BR
    Yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Did you not test that camera and lens while you were in Tahoe?

    It could be possible that the Hasselblad lens does not send enough flash sync voltage to tell the back to shoot and image.

    If you think the flash sync is not working or dirty, you can try to hook a flash sync up to a flash and see if the lens will discharge the flash.

    Not sure what you mean by the pre release on the Hasselblad. Mirror up?



    Quote Originally Posted by Red735i View Post
    Someone pointed out that 30 Degrees centigrade is hot.... 30 degrees Fahrenheit is cold.

    Got my F's and C's confused.....

    As an adjunct, I am having trouble with shutter pre-release on the Hasselblad and synching the Aptus 65, and especially on MY 120mm lens, although it also acted up with my 50 CF/FLE...the 80 seems more resilient. It could be a lens issue ( bad flash contacts internally?) it could be the back? it could be the cold? or it could be my technique of shutter release. I will do some more investigation and report results here....

    Frank
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    I tested both backs. The 22 was more "cooperative" with my camera. the 65 had better shadow detail.

    Yes, mirror up ( but it is really called pre-release)....
    I had the camera set of Hassy 500 body. In pre-release, it might be required to set it for View Camera ..... I am going to play with it this weekend....

    You are probably right about the flash synch..... It may be a dirty contact internal to the lens that is causing the problems....
    Frank

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    I have 2 batteries, one purchased new, one presumably used. At one time I was having difficulties, the batteries were freshly charged and the temperature was around 65F. At other times the temp was closer to freezing, or below, when changing batteries for the "fresh" one helped. The problem seems to be more susceptible in mirror up mode.... If I was having trouble in mirror up mode, then switched to "regular" mode, the problem many times ( not always) immediately goes away.

    I was using 2 lenses on the same body, the 80 and the 50. The 50 was having trouble considerably more often than the 80. Thus my suspicion that the 50 might need a synch tune-up. When I briefly tried a 120 lens I had problems. Could be that both the 50 and 120 need synch tune-up. All of these lenses were tested with a flash ( no digital back). All fired off the flash as you would expect.

    I also have 2 different synch cords from camera to back. No difference when I changed the cable.

    Note that I had an Aptus II-5 body and the Aptus 65 at the same time. The Aptus II did not have this issue. Same temp, same batteries, same camera, same synch cord, same lens. It seemed to work fine. I no longer have the Aptus II in my possession, so further testing is impossible on that body.

    I did try to put the back on a Hasselblad 2003 body, which sometimes worked and other times ( limited testing) failed, but in the same way that I was having trouble with the 500 body.... thus my thought that it has more to do with timing ( gating) than battery issues.

    I was told to try to squeeze the cable release slowly, fast, gently, etc. None of these had any consistent effect.

    There are some stories that when changing lenses, you must shut down the back then change lens than turn the back on again to make it synch reliably. Any truth to this story?

    I realize that the problem may be due to lens/shutter synch problems only to do with the lens, and nothing to do with the back. But I need to prove this in some way before I start to have lenses repaired. My testing should resolve which is at fault,,, the lenses, or back, or battery, or technique.

    I will do some further testing this weekend, and will report back on my findings.

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    What do you mean by "shutter pre release"?
    Batteries should last 1.5-2 hours in 'normal' temperatures. If you're getting less than that chances are that the batteries you have are old...
    BR
    Yair
    Frank

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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red735i View Post
    I have 2 batteries, one purchased new, one presumably used. At one time I was having difficulties, the batteries were freshly charged and the temperature was around 65F. At other times the temp was closer to freezing, or below, when changing batteries for the "fresh" one helped. The problem seems to be more susceptible in mirror up mode.... If I was having trouble in mirror up mode, then switched to "regular" mode, the problem many times ( not always) immediately goes away.

    I was using 2 lenses on the same body, the 80 and the 50. The 50 was having trouble considerably more often than the 80. Thus my suspicion that the 50 might need a synch tune-up. When I briefly tried a 120 lens I had problems. Could be that both the 50 and 120 need synch tune-up. All of these lenses were tested with a flash ( no digital back). All fired off the flash as you would expect.

    I also have 2 different synch cords from camera to back. No difference when I changed the cable.

    Note that I had an Aptus II-5 body and the Aptus 65 at the same time. The Aptus II did not have this issue. Same temp, same batteries, same camera, same synch cord, same lens. It seemed to work fine. I no longer have the Aptus II in my possession, so further testing is impossible on that body.

    I did try to put the back on a Hasselblad 2003 body, which sometimes worked and other times ( limited testing) failed, but in the same way that I was having trouble with the 500 body.... thus my thought that it has more to do with timing ( gating) than battery issues.

    I was told to try to squeeze the cable release slowly, fast, gently, etc. None of these had any consistent effect.

    There are some stories that when changing lenses, you must shut down the back then change lens than turn the back on again to make it synch reliably. Any truth to this story?

    I realize that the problem may be due to lens/shutter synch problems only to do with the lens, and nothing to do with the back. But I need to prove this in some way before I start to have lenses repaired. My testing should resolve which is at fault,,, the lenses, or back, or battery, or technique.

    I will do some further testing this weekend, and will report back on my findings.
    This is very common. Many 500 series lenses have unclean sync signals as a result of wear/tear/deterioration/age. A good service shop can get them back in spec for you, but make sure to go through someone who understands digital backs. As you note, it's very possible to have a lens which can still reliably trigger a flash, but which is not reliably triggering a digital back. This is because a flash and a digital back require different levels of stringency on the cleanliness of the signal generated by the flash sync port. A flash will fire even if there is a whisper of a faint momentary signal from the sync port, while a digital back is looking for a signal which is strong and has a specific profile (i.e. the profile a healthy Hassy lens produces).

    The (nearly) definitive test is whether the back and sync cable work reliably on any lens. If so, then the issue is lens specific, even if it means both your other lenses require service.
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red735i View Post
    I tested both backs. The 22 was more "cooperative" with my camera. the 65 had better shadow detail.

    Yes, mirror up ( but it is really called pre-release)....
    I had the camera set of Hassy 500 body. In pre-release, it might be required to set it for View Camera ..... I am going to play with it this weekend....

    You are probably right about the flash synch..... It may be a dirty contact internal to the lens that is causing the problems....
    I heard from Anthony that you're working with him regarding the back issues you're seeing, and I look forward to seeing exactly what (be it sync voltage, signal quality, or another thing) it is that's going on here. Glad we can take care of you!
    Chris Valites
    Research, Marketing & Support, Capture Integration
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    Re: Leaf Aptus II-5 or Aptus 65?

    I would like to complete this thread, for the present.
    I took the Aptus 65 back home with me, even with the problems I had. The recorded image was just plain better. I then tried to reproduce the same failure mode....at home, at ROOM TEMP, for over 4 hours. I could not reproduce the failure. I tried 5 different lenses, 2 cables, and every combination I could think of .. Mirror Lock Up mode, normal mode, fast, slow shutter release, and I even tried 2 different batteries. I chilled one battery in the fridge overnight... Nothing would make the back not record the image.

    I did NOT try to cold soak the camera or back in the freezer. I live in Los Angeles, and getting room temperatures of freezing, are just not going to happen in April.

    Rather than chase the ghost of pictures lost, I decided to use the back and if the problem reoccurs, to contact the Leaf team again, with a failure that CAN be reproduced.

    many thanks to those who offered suggestions...

    Frank
    Frank
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