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Thread: Another newbie here

  1. #1
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    Another newbie here

    I was pointed here by a fellow member of the Texas Photo Forum. I'm primarily a studio based portrait and glamour shooter trying to decide if I'm ready to jump into MF digital or just keep with the 35mm based Nikon system I've been using. Photography is not my income source, so I'm less concerned with ROI than I am with the technology.

    I shoot RAW and process with ACR and Photoshop CS4 on the Macintosh platform. An example of my work with the D3 and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR is below.


    I've been talking my local Phase One rep about the P21+ and P30+ digital backs for the 645 system. Of course I'll have to invest in new glass, but would hope to see a jump in quality similar or greater to my move from the crop sensor D200 to the D3.

    Are there any other portrait/people shooters here that have invested in the Phase One systems mentioned? My budget isn't infinite, but I'm willing to spend enough to get going with MF.

    My current gear is: Nikon D3, 24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S, 70-200mm f/2.8G VR, 135mm f/2.0 AiS, 300mm f/2.8D AF-S II. Gitzo CF tripod with RRS BH-55 and plates. Hensel Integra 500 Pro Plus lights and modifiers galore.

    Thanks for any advice/pointers/links to research.
    Scott Watters
    PoloDigital | Flickr | Pbase
    Nikon | Hensel | Apple

  2. #2
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    Re: Another newbie here

    Since you're new I'll be extra clear up front: I work for a Phase One dealer in Miami so, like any of the other honest-but-biased vendors on the site feel free to take our advice with a grain of salt (even though we do try our best to be honest and helpful!).

    ================

    You've come to right place to ask some hard questions.

    But I'm going to ask you a few followup questions just so we as a community can help answer your question better...

    1) You say "primarily studio based portrait and glamor". Do you foresee using the camera outside of this application? It makes a LARGE difference in what answers you'll get here. Do you for instance have any interest in tabletop shooting, still life shooting, outdoor fashion, outdoor fashion with heavy strobe, landscape etc?

    2) Would you give up your D3 or supplement it? No camera system will do everything and a D3 is an excellent action/low-light camera to supplement a digital back. On the other hand if you plan on replacing your D3 then you'd want a back that was a reasonable performer in low-light.

    3) Have you used Capture One before? You can use it with your D3 files now and having a unified workflow in Capture One is an option many here have taken for their dSLR or Leica and Phase One back.

    Anyway, the more info you can give us the more we can help guide you.

    Welcome to the gate of Dante's Inferno.

    Doug Peterson, Head of Technical Services
    Capture Integration, Phase One & Canon Dealer | Personal Portfolio

  3. #3
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    Re: Another newbie here

    I'm a huge avocate of Medium Format Digital.

    However, I also suscribe to the notion of "if it ain't broke, why fix it."

    Looking at your attached sample, I'd ask what is it that you want to fix? ... because your work is quite striking as it is.

  4. #4
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    Re: Another newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'm a huge avocate of Medium Format Digital.

    However, I also suscribe to the notion of "if it ain't broke, why fix it."

    Looking at your attached sample, I'd ask what is it that you want to fix? ... because your work is quite striking as it is.
    Thanks for the compliment and you're 100% right. It ain't broke. I wouldn't say I'm trying to fix anything. I just want more. More what you ask?

    [stands]
    Hi, I'm Scott and I'm an OCD geek
    [sits]

    I've got a problem. I can't start something and not push to be the best that I can be. Try skydiving, check (120 times, C license). SCUBA, check (NAUI Master Diver). Triathlon, check (Ironman Florida 12:50:03)... See a pattern here?

    I'm fortunate that I can afford to do these things and heck, somebody needs to keep the economy afloat, right?

    Shot last night with the not broken D3 & 135mm f/2.0 AiS

    Scott Watters
    PoloDigital | Flickr | Pbase
    Nikon | Hensel | Apple

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    Re: Another newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by PoloDigital View Post
    Thanks for the compliment and you're 100% right. It ain't broke. I wouldn't say I'm trying to fix anything. I just want more. More what you ask?

    [stands]
    Hi, I'm Scott and I'm an OCD geek
    [sits]

    I've got a problem. I can't start something and not push to be the best that I can be. Try skydiving, check (120 times, C license). SCUBA, check (NAUI Master Diver). Triathlon, check (Ironman Florida 12:50:03)... See a pattern here?

    I'm fortunate that I can afford to do these things and heck, somebody needs to keep the economy afloat, right?

    Shot last night with the not broken D3 & 135mm f/2.0 AiS

    Well my friend, looking at that hype realistic shot, you may have gotten more out of the Nikon 135/2 than anyone else on the planet. What f stop was that?

    If you move to MFD, I think realism will be redefined for you, since the hyper sense detail you're already getting will increase quite a bit. You could make poster sized prints of your portraits that will look as perfect.

    Nice work.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by PoloDigital View Post
    I just want more.

    [stands]
    Hi, I'm Scott and I'm an OCD geek
    [sits]

    I've got a problem. I can't start something and not push to be the best that I can be.

    I'm fortunate that I can afford to do these things and heck, somebody needs to keep the economy afloat, right?

    I think this is quite normal.....and a MFDB is a great way to help stimulate the economy. You won't get rid of your DSLR, but a MFDB is a nice complement to any system. Btw, Doug or Chris at Capture Integration are great resources for MF digital....

  7. #7
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    Re: Another newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Since you're new I'll be extra clear up front: I work for a Phase One dealer in Miami so, like any of the other honest-but-biased vendors on the site feel free to take our advice with a grain of salt (even though we do try our best to be honest and helpful!).

    ================

    You've come to right place to ask some hard questions.

    But I'm going to ask you a few followup questions just so we as a community can help answer your question better...

    1) You say "primarily studio based portrait and glamor". Do you foresee using the camera outside of this application? It makes a LARGE difference in what answers you'll get here. Do you for instance have any interest in tabletop shooting, still life shooting, outdoor fashion, outdoor fashion with heavy strobe, landscape etc?
    If I'm going to invest 5 figures in a camera system, then I'd like to explore other styles. I'll be moving into a new studio space around the same time as this purchase that will have natural light options, so yes I will be venturing outside my current comfort zone.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    2) Would you give up your D3 or supplement it? No camera system will do everything and a D3 is an excellent action/low-light camera to supplement a digital back. On the other hand if you plan on replacing your D3 then you'd want a back that was a reasonable performer in low-light.
    The D3 will have to be pried out of my cold dead hands. I do shoot some sports (youth soccer, my kids), so I like the performance of the D3 in that arena. I'm a little reach limited with the 24x36mm sensor and a 300 f/2.8, but it's workable at my kids age because I'm practically on the field. The MF system will NOT be used for sports.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    3) Have you used Capture One before? You can use it with your D3 files now and having a unified workflow in Capture One is an option many here have taken for their dSLR or Leica and Phase One back.
    I believe I tried an early version around 2007, but have not looked again. I'm very comfortable with ACR. Of course I'll give it another go if I end up with a P+ back. I'm also fortunate that I don't process a ton of images. I'm an electron mizer and shoot like bits are still film. On average it's 25-30 images per look and edit two of those.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Anyway, the more info you can give us the more we can help guide you.

    Welcome to the gate of Dante's Inferno.
    Ahh yes. I've visited there before (tons of McIntosh audio gear too).

    Thanks for any and all help as I make this decision.
    Scott Watters
    PoloDigital | Flickr | Pbase
    Nikon | Hensel | Apple

  8. #8
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    Re: Another newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Well my friend, looking at that hype realistic shot, you may have gotten more out of the Nikon 135/2 than anyone else on the planet. What f stop was that?
    Wow! Really? I thought this lens was a real peach. It just got back from KEH because the aperture blades were stuck wide open. To be honest with you, I've never shot with it before. I saw it on another forum and it looked like NOS, and I jumped at it. I owned a 105 f/2.0DC previously and it was terrible. So bad that I sent it back to Nikon and even then it was barely sharp, so I sold it.

    EXIF is intact, but this was shot at ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/160

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    If you move to MFD, I think realism will be redefined for you, since the hyper sense detail you're already getting will increase quite a bit. You could make poster sized prints of your portraits that will look as perfect.

    Nice work.
    That's what I'm looking for! I want to breathe life into the images. I'm sure I'm traveling down a path that will end with something even bigger (a'la Timothy Greenfield-Sanders - drool), but one step at a time...
    Scott Watters
    PoloDigital | Flickr | Pbase
    Nikon | Hensel | Apple

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