Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    44
    Post Thanks / Like

    Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    I recently road tested the Leica S007, the first time I've examined a MFD camera, and was astounded at its image quality (3D look, buttery smooth tonal transitions, almost filmic rendering), and saw large differences in rendering vs. my Leica M.

    It was reminiscent of the differences I see between MF Film and 35mm Film - the former being much smoother tonality, much better 3D'ness etc.

    Anyhow - clearly the Leica 007 is a huge price, so I am contemplating dipping just a toe in ..... a shop near me (not specialising in Phase, but with a strong reputation in another high-end brand) has a Phase One 645DF, 80mm LS, and P45+ back for the equivalent price of approx USD 4.5k. Supposedly in very good condition, 6 month guarantee etc ....

    (i) is that a good price for that Phase kit, assuming all is in good order?

    (ii) more importantly, what should I expect in terms of IMAGE QUALITY from this Phase One kit vs what I've seen from the Leica S007 .... eg, in terms of rendering / "look"?? Clearly the 007 will surpass at high ISOs, but was wondering what the image quality will be like between the two up to (say) ISO 400?

    (iii) I used to shoot a lot of large format film, and one attraction of the P1 set-up is to be able to use the same MFDB on a tech cam too (eg, an Alpa STC). If I used it on a tech cam, how well does the P45+ work when using (mainly) front rise for architectural work - the STC has a maximum rise of 18mm?

    Many thanks!
    Last edited by Jon Warwick; 3rd November 2015 at 01:30.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Brighton
    Posts
    342
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Hi Jon,
    Generally the 40mp CCD backs are all lovely. The P45+ is especially renowned for being a bit special.

    I certainly wouldn't go below 40mp, in fact I'd say stay right there. 50mp backs, lovely as they were lost something for me until I went to CMOS. Then ultimately the 5DSr.

    (i) is that a good price for that Phase kit, assuming all is in good order?

    Yes

    (ii) more importantly, what should I expect in terms of IMAGE QUALITY from this Phase One kit vs what I've seen from the Leica S007 .... eg, in terms of rendering / "look"?? Clearly the 007 will surpass at high ISOs, but was wondering what the image quality will be like between the two up to (say) ISO 400?

    I think they were about the same?

    (iii) I used to shoot a lot of large format film, and one attraction of the P1 set-up is to be able to use the same MFDB on a tech cam too (eg, an Alpa STC). If I used it on a tech cam, how well does the P45+ work when using (mainly) front rise for architectural work - the STC has a maximum rise of 18mm?

    No knowledge of this.

    To be honest though, here in the UK you can buy a 645z with a 55mm 2.8 lens for $10,000. It's many times more flexible that the Phase combo and if you can stretch that far I would wager it's much better choice for you long term.
    Chris Giles Photography

  3. #3
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    220
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Warwick View Post
    I recently road tested the Leica S007, the first time I've examined a MFD camera, and was astounded at its image quality (3D look, buttery smooth tonal transitions, almost filmic rendering), and saw large differences in rendering vs. my Leica M.

    It was reminiscent of the differences I see between MF Film and 35mm Film - the former being much smoother tonality, much better 3D'ness etc.

    Anyhow - clearly the Leica 007 is a huge price, so I am contemplating dipping just a toe in ..... a shop near me (not specialising in Phase, but with a strong reputation in another high-end brand) has a Phase One 645DF, 80mm LS, and P45+ back for the equivalent price of approx USD 4.5k. Supposedly in very good condition, 6 month guarantee etc ....

    (i) is that a good price for that Phase kit, assuming all is in good order?

    (ii) more importantly, what should I expect in terms of IMAGE QUALITY from this Phase One kit vs what I've seen from the Leica S007 .... eg, in terms of rendering / "look"?? Clearly the 007 will surpass at high ISOs, but was wondering what the image quality will be like between the two up to (say) ISO 400?

    (iii) I used to shoot a lot of large format film, and one attraction of the P1 set-up is to be able to use the same MFDB on a tech cam too (eg, an Alpa STC). If I used it on a tech cam, how well does the P45+ work when using (mainly) front rise for architectural work - the STC has a maximum rise of 18mm?

    Many thanks!
    Hi Jon, the price of the kit is great and P-45+ is a great performer which will both allow you to use it on a view camera (it's one of the best backs for the job it being microlens free) and will provide an exceptional performance for long captures.

    But, as with all equpment, there are advantages and drawbacks in all choices one may make... Personally, I would avoid the M645 platform as It seems that there is no future in it and one can't have the P45+ converted for another camera easily or at reasonable cost. (I feel that the above reflects to the price you mentioned)...

    One should expect some difference in the image looks between the two systems you mention, one being Cmos sensor and the other being CCD... With CCD, usually the HLs have punchier (more contrasty) presentation and that I prefer as I feel (personal taste) that I loose too much DR when I try to give the looks I like to whites with a Cmos sensor. That said, my opinion is that CCD backs are best to be underexposed a little as for one to extract the most out of the DR they can deliver. Keep in mind, that my opinion is based on general behaviour of Cmos sensors, as I haven't tried the S007 yet (but I've used & tested P45+ on a Hasselblad H extensively). As far as ISO is concerned, I would say that one can use P-45+ up to 200 ISO with out much concern, but given my opinion on underexposing CCD backs a little, one may compare that (stretched) with what would be near to 400 ISO performace...

    Personally, I would go for the used kit strictly because of the price if I was in your place, but I would look around a little if I can have another platform solution or if I could find an alternative back with the same or even the Dalsa 33mp sensor for another platform...

  4. #4
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Nyköping Sweden
    Posts
    1,194
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Hi,

    That is a very good price. I paid 10k for P45+ alone two and a half years ago.

    The P45+ is larger than the 007 sensor 49x37 mm vs. 45x30. As pointed out the 007 uses a CMOS sensor specially developed for Leica, while P45+ is an old generation Kodak sensor, similar to the one used on the Leica S2 (and Leica S type 006).

    Here are bunch of images with the P45+ on a Hasselblad 555/ELD (V-series). Raw images included.
    http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Ar...ernardSamples/

    I use Lightroom, but it is suggested that Capture One is much better. You don't need to buy a license for C1 for the P45+. Capture One doesn't support non "Team Phase One" MFD cameras like the Leica S, Hasselblad or Pentax 645Z.

    Please note, I messed up and wrote that sensor was coming from Sony. The Leica M series did use a sensor that CMOSIS has designed for Leica and that is fabbed at St. Microelectronics. The new MAX CMOS sensor is said to be based on that design.


    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Warwick View Post
    I recently road tested the Leica S007, the first time I've examined a MFD camera, and was astounded at its image quality (3D look, buttery smooth tonal transitions, almost filmic rendering), and saw large differences in rendering vs. my Leica M.

    It was reminiscent of the differences I see between MF Film and 35mm Film - the former being much smoother tonality, much better 3D'ness etc.

    Anyhow - clearly the Leica 007 is a huge price, so I am contemplating dipping just a toe in ..... a shop near me (not specialising in Phase, but with a strong reputation in another high-end brand) has a Phase One 645DF, 80mm LS, and P45+ back for the equivalent price of approx USD 4.5k. Supposedly in very good condition, 6 month guarantee etc ....

    (i) is that a good price for that Phase kit, assuming all is in good order?

    (ii) more importantly, what should I expect in terms of IMAGE QUALITY from this Phase One kit vs what I've seen from the Leica S007 .... eg, in terms of rendering / "look"?? Clearly the 007 will surpass at high ISOs, but was wondering what the image quality will be like between the two up to (say) ISO 400?

    (iii) I used to shoot a lot of large format film, and one attraction of the P1 set-up is to be able to use the same MFDB on a tech cam too (eg, an Alpa STC). If I used it on a tech cam, how well does the P45+ work when using (mainly) front rise for architectural work - the STC has a maximum rise of 18mm?

    Many thanks!
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 3rd November 2015 at 10:40. Reason: Mistake corrected on CMOS sensor

  5. #5
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    3,275
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Generally I tell our clients they have two options:
    1) start by finding a "good deal" and decide if it happens to be the gear that best fits their wants and needs
    2) start by evaluating what best fits their wants and needs and then look for a good deal on it

    I'm quite sure after seeing this process take place hundreds of times that door #2 is preferable.

    So first you might ask yourself what kind of things are important to you and what kinds of things aren't. Then research which backs in your ballpark price range are good at those things. Then work with a dealer to get raw files from others that are similar to the type of work you do. Then, preferably, go shoot some of your OWN raw files (any dealer should be able to set you up with an evaluation or rental-toward-purchase). Then once you've figured out which back is right for you, search around a bit for a good deal.

    There's no doubt the p45+ was a great back for many use cases. But, for example, it's LCD for image review was quite poor. This may matter a lot or it may not matter at all depending on your wants and needs.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Little Rock AR
    Posts
    1,927
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    4

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Just want to point out, the Lecia S007 is CMOS, the chip in the S006 is the CCD that is similar to the P45+, and 645D Pentax, at least as I recall.

    So if you like the images from the S007, make sure you shoot a S006, which is no slouch either.

    The P45+ dates back to late 2007, early March 2008, as I remember it was announced in late 2007. I received mine in March 08.

    Make sure the back you are looking at will shoot 1 hour exposures, as I am sure there are some still out there that were like mine, i.e. early in the product life cycle and did not get the correct controller card to allow 1 hour exposures. It's a simple test, just have the dealer shoot it for 30 minutes or longer as the ones without the correct controller only worked to about 15 minutes. NOTE, if long exposures are not in your line up, I would sure look at a used Credo 40, or IQ140 or even a P40+ (it did not get the 1 hour exposures).

    As already pointed out, the LCD on the P45+ (and P40+) is very limited, nothing like the LCD you saw on the Lecia. Image review is limited and checking focus at 100% was really not possible at least to me. Takes too long to zoom around the screen but even worse was the image at 100%, the screen can't give enough resolution to let you tell correct focus.

    The P45+ is a 1:1 cropped sensor, so you are 10% less view than on a full frame back, but the Lecia is a crop also, so that should not matter.

    The DF, well, there has been enough written about that body. Things to consider:

    1. not so good AF, takes basically 3 presses to lock AF
    2. limited battery life unless you have the Li-on back, which came available with the CF+
    3. No ability to upgrade firmware on the camera without the V grip
    4. Built like a tank, should have limited Quality issues

    Google search on the DF as there were a lot of issues over the years of it's run, some were addressed with firmware others were addressed with the DF+.

    On the P45+, expect great iso 50 and 100 images, consider 200 a push and 400 only really in a pinch if even then. Expose for the highlights, and attempt to push shadows, mine back did not push shadows well, but I have seen shots from other P45+ backs, much later in the lifespan of the P45+ that have much better shadow recovery. No doubt Phase tweaked the backs a bit or there is just a lot of variance in the Kodak chip.

    Great color, actually amazing color. Capture One does an excellent job, but so does LR now. So you have 2 raw solutions to consider. Most folks seem to have bomb proof P45+'s mine was not. I need to use the Value add warranty 5 times on mine, by far the most times I have ever needed to send a Phase back in for work, however one of the 5 was due to the fact that Phase had misaligned the chip during previous warranty work, which was handled quickly.

    Lastly, I have to add, the 645z, sure makes a lot more sense, Much closer to the files look of the Lecia S007, albeit, not the same glass, however the images I have seen from the Pentax 28-45 are very impressive, great zoom. The US list price on the 645z is now 7K, for the body, simply stated a GREAT PRICE FOR AN EXCELLENT CAMERA. Phase, Hasselblad and Sony all use the same Sony chip in their 50MP cameras, but it does seem Pentax did the best implementation by far. It's sad that Phase continues to keep the 645z locked out of Capture One, but it's one reason I have not moved to the Pentax for sure as I am a big believer in C1.

    Paul C
    Paul Caldwell
    [email protected]
    www.photosofarkansas.com
    Thanks 1 Member(s) thanked for this post

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    253
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    I'd wouldn't take the P45+ unless long exposure is a must. Years ago I tested the P45+ next to the P40 and in the end decided in favour of the Dalsa sensor. I didn't like the P45+ colors (in particular, the rendering of various reds). But this is a personal thing - I think it's vitally important that you test this type of sensor in your own context, with your own subject matter.

    The interface of the old P-backs is hardly a joy. The IQ backs are a vast improvement.

    Unless a tech cam is in your future, I'd rather take a closer look at a Leica S (if you can live with the aspect ratio of the Leica).

    Chris

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,069
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    83

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Sounds like a great price for the P45+. Just make sure it is a P45+ and not a P45.

    Also, as mentioned, a 645Z can be had for 7K US. It would make a much smoother transition for you. It is almost better than a used P45+ kit in almost every way, unless you plan on using the back on a tech cam at some point.

    Good luck....exciting times for you.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    61
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    As pointed out the 007 uses a CMOS sensor from Sony while P45+ is an old generation Kodak sensor, similar to the one used on the Leica S2 (and Leica S type 006).
    From CSMOSIS, no?
    La gallina vecchia fa buon brodo

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Moscow
    Posts
    462
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiTerminator View Post
    From CSMOSIS, no?
    It wasn't explicitly told who makes the chip, but it can be deduced to be CMOSIS based on the fact that:
    1. Same but improved architecture as M240 sensor
    2. The Sony chip isn't long enough to be cut into 45mm strips
    3. Leica is in a partnership with the company for custom sensor design
    Thanks 1 Member(s) thanked for this post

  11. #11
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Nyköping Sweden
    Posts
    1,194
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Hi,

    Sorry for my mistake, it was just a senior moment, I have corrected the original posting.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    It wasn't explicitly told who makes the chip, but it can be deduced to be CMOSIS based on the fact that:
    1. Same but improved architecture as M240 sensor
    2. The Sony chip isn't long enough to be cut into 45mm strips
    3. Leica is in a partnership with the company for custom sensor design

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    565
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    I used to say … do you print big, crop significantly, need to solve technical problems in camera (converging verticals etc.) and/or love the workflow (last two points more suited to a tech cam) ? Yes to any of those, and MF could be for you.

    However, with the release of the A7R2 and the Cambo Actus / Arca Universalis, you can get the advantages of the tech cam workflow without going down the DB route, so it really comes down to: do you print big and/or crop significantly ?

    Yes to those and MF could still be for you.

    That said, if (when) Sony release the next version of the A7R with a multishot (aka Olympus) 42MP sensor you'll probably be able to get a 100MP true-color image straight out of the camera. If you shoot still subjects, that's a pretty stellar proposition. With clean high ISO, if they can shorten the time between captures, multishot of moving objects may even be a possibility (this is rumored for the next Olympus).

    If you don’t want to use the DB on a tech cam, and you want the larger sensor, then the 645Z is the way to go (IMHO) - shows all the benefits of integrating the sensor within the overall design of the camera (tilting screen, weight etc.) rather than keeping it separate and trying to be a jack of all trades. Although the lens range is limited, the 28 - 45 zoom is a gem, and Pentax have a road map for a good number of other high quality lenses in the next couple of years.

    $4.5k for the kit you mention - everything being in good order - is a sound deal right now. The P45+ is an older back, but is capable of producing wonderful images when paired with great glass. The screen isn’t great - or more correctly, the demosaicing is set up for speed not quality, so the image can be difficult to gauge sharpness from (a shame P1 didn't issue a firmware update to give the user a choice, but they seem to lose interest in developing their DBs once they are out the door). If you want the IQ style interface you’ll have to pay extra, but bear in mind the price of MFD gear on the private used market has bombed the past couple of years, so there are ‘good’ (i.e. still a lot of money) deals to be had - e.g. IQ160 sells privately for ~$9.5k, IQ180 for ~$14k.

    Jim
    Thanks 1 Member(s) thanked for this post

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,057
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    John

    Good solid advise from the real users of MF. After using the P45+ V mount for a few years I recently upgraded to the 645Z. Wow, is all I can say. At $7k for the body and $1.2k for a 55/2.8 weather sealed lens you will be happy. (Some slightly used 645Z can be had for around $5k now). However, that new price is double the price you are being quoted, but then you are buying 2007/2008 technology versus 2014 technology which has focus peaking via LV. That alone to me has value.

    Whatever you decide, have fun.
    Thanks 1 Member(s) thanked for this post

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Little Rock AR
    Posts
    1,927
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    4

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    And another note, Pentax now has their version of "value add" warranty available. It's a bit pricey, but it's a start. I believe B&H now lists it for 1.9K for three years, but it does include a loaner camera.

    Good move Pentax.

    Paul C

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    61
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Dipping a toe into MFD - what to expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post

    Please note, I messed up and wrote that sensor was coming from Sony. The Leica M series did use a sensor that CMOSIS has designed for Leica and that is fabbed at St. Microelectronics. The new MAX CMOS sensor is said to be based on that design.
    As long as you're in a correcting mood, it should be STMicroelectronics (SGS-THOMSON Microelectronics) not St. Microelectronics. Awesome semiconductor company, but I wouldn't call them saintly, at least not yet.
    La gallina vecchia fa buon brodo

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •