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Thread: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

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    (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Dear members

    I am a Canon DSLR non-professional (do not make my living from photography) type of person, looking to get my feet wet with Medium Format (MF). I am intrigued by all the Image Quality references I hear about everywhere and when I see images taken with MF cameras I am wowed...

    Trying to decide which equipment to buy (used) and have been going back and forth between used and part new part used.

    Also been reading various forum posts and watching promotional videos, and anything in between.

    Bottom line is I am confused.

    So basically there are 2 camps, the Hasselblad (H5D-40) and Phase One (645DF+ or XF) that I am considering. In either case I like the IQ140, I like the ability to use the LCD to check focus and I am told these are the best.

    I have a several questions bugging me regarding the Medium Format cameras/systems for the style of shooting I do. Which is mainly Indoor portraiture and outdoor editorial/fashion style. With that in mind can you please help me with the following questions.

    1. Is the Hasselblad H5D True Focus system truly revolutionary? How does it work compared to say the 645DF+ or XF? I had read somewhere the new Phase One XF even though has a new AF system, it still will run into the same issues as the 645DF+ when it comes to focus and recompose which is what I do alot. Maybe at F8 or F9 it does not matter, but definately at wide open.

    2 Do most users of MF on fashion/Editorial shoots using tethered? Is the ability of the IQ2 series backs to Wifi replace the need to tether and if so do the professionals no longer tether? or are you guys soley relying on the LCD to check focus?

    3. I am hearing on the Phase One forums that it is not uncommon for 645DF+ bodies malfunction or the lenses to lockup? I have not been able to find similar lockup issues for the Hasselblad's. Maybe I am not looking at the right place? or are they just more reliable?

    4. How much of a big difference does 1/1600 as opposed to 1/800 really make in practice when shooting fashion/editorial outside? I mean those with Hasselblad's do you wish you could go to 1/1600? or does 1/800 work fine?

    5. Does the newer CMOS sensors really make that much of a difference if all I want to do is shoot with strobe or in bright light? I honestly don't think I will be shooting high ISO's just to get a shot...or would this help if I was shooting natural light portraiture as I do with my 5D mk3 and Zeis Otus fully open at f/1.4? Can that be done with the CCD backs satisfactorily?

    6. Is there a big difference between the IQ2 series digital backs when trying to check focus on the LCD? or is a IQ140 just as good? Where do CREDO backs fit in all this?

    7. When comparing Hassie and Phase One, does the fact that the Hassie is being marked down considerably not mean it is a great deal? Somewhere I had read about Phase One units/digital backs loose close to 40% straight after purchase...so does that not put both in the same bucket?

    8. Why would I not get the best of both worlds and get a Hasselblad H5X and IQ140, that way I get True Focus, better LCD and ability to use C1 for RAW conversion?

    9. Are the schneider lenses and Hasselblad lenses equally as good? or is the quality of one blow the other out of the water? I am interested in 110-150mm focal length.

    Your comments greatly appreciated.

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    I'm happy to contribute my two cents, but bear in mind, the likely reason you love some of the MF images you see is because they were shot with a lot of care, planning, production value, lighting and retouching. A mediocre image shot on MF will still look mediocre. You might be surprised at how un-different images look, once you get a MF camera. That being said, my H5D-50 is practically the only camera I use (I'm a pro -- www.ethanpines.com), and there are a lot of reasons to love it. I'll try to answer your questions where I can.

    1. I love True Focus, and it works great. I'm amazed no one thought of it or implemented it before Hasselblad did. You lock in focus with the True Focus button, release it, recompose, and at the instant of capture the camera adjusts for how you moved the camera when recomposing. I suppose it is a bit revolutionary (though that word might be dramatic). I don't worry about my shots being in focus. I no longer worry about focusing and recomposing. I've done tests, and it makes a real difference. I've never shot with the XF or DF+, so I can't compare.

    2. I tether whenever I can. And it's not really for checking focus (though that's a reason too). It's to see the shots large, which helps immensely in evaluating content, composition, lighting, styling, etc. And of course it lets the client see the images. It's easy to check the focus on the H5D cameras (one button zooms in to where you focused). But every commercial shooter I know, myself included, shoots tethered when possible. Fashion? Not sure, but I imagine so. Editorial? I do, when there's the budget and resources. (My laptop is too slow.) So we hire a digi tech. Even without a digi tech, I tether while setting up, for evaluating the shot.

    3. Don't know.

    4. I'm happy with 1/800, haven't wished for more. It's pretty easy to overpower ambient light at 1/800. In bright sunlight at ISO 100, standard exposure at 1/125 is f/16. So at 1/500 you're at f/8. At 1/800 you're at f/5.6.3. And that's pretty limited DOF on MF, and it's pretty easy to reach f/5.6.3 with strobes. I've also read somewhere that shots synced at 1/1600 can come out a bit flat, not sure why, unless you have all the exact right gear (certain strobes, certain transmitters and receivers, etc.). And of course your flash duration has to be faster than 1/1600.

    5. "Does the newer CMOS sensors really make that much of a difference if all I want to do is shoot with strobe or in bright light?"
    > Not in terms of image quality -- the CCD sensors are gorgeous at base ISO or one stop over. I don't own a new CMOS back, but I think they do have more ability for highlight and shadow recovery. That being said, the CCD sensors have a lot of those abilities already. They have long been known for that.
    "...would this help if I was shooting natural light portraiture as I do with my 5D mk3 and Zeis Otus fully open at f/1.4? Can that be done with the CCD backs satisfactorily?"
    > It all depends on what ISO you're using on your Canon. Above 400 ISO, yes, CMOS would help in that case. The fastest lens you'll get in MF is f/2.2 (Hasselblad HC 100mm), f/2.0 in certain cases (say, the Contax 80mm f/2). With the H5D-40 (which you mentioned), you can have great quality up to ISO 400, and quite good up to 800. At 1600 you'll probably be disappointed. With a CMOS sensor, I think you'll get very nice quality up to 3200, and usable even at 6400. I haven't used one, but think of it as a larger version of your Canon sensor. At high ISOs, the Canon gives cleaner files than the MF CCD sensors.

    6. Not sure, but I've played with an IQ140, and it's easy to check focus.

    7. I think Hassy is a very good system. An XF body with a newer Phase back is probably more desirable and worth more, and you can use Capture One. But outside of the XF, I think the Hassy bodies are much better, they have a great viewfinder, the lenses are excellent, they work well, they have True Focus. All digital backs lose a lot of value once used, since they are often overpriced new, and technology changes so quickly that people no longer want to pay as much for the prior model, even though at the time it might have been one of the top cameras in the world.

    8. Probably a good idea, and that's what a lot of pros do. Drawback of the IQ140 is the smaller sensor (33 x 44). I'm sure quality is great, but you can't shoot as wide.

    9. Both are very good. I don't think one blows the other out of the water, but I've never used the Schneiders. They're pricey; Hassy lenses are more widely available on the used market. My guess is, at some focal lengths the Hassy is the standout, and at some the Schneider is. In my mind, the standout Hassy lenses are the 35-90, the 50mm II, the 28mm, the 80mm (overlooked because it's the kit lens, but it's amazingly sharp when stopped down), 100mm, 120mm. And I'm sure the 150 and 210 and 300 are great too; haven't used them.

    Hope that helps.

    ethan
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    Dear members

    I am a Canon DSLR non-professional (do not make my living from photography) type of person, looking to get my feet wet with Medium Format (MF). I am intrigued by all the Image Quality references I hear about everywhere and when I see images taken with MF cameras I am wowed...

    Trying to decide which equipment to buy (used) and have been going back and forth between used and part new part used.

    Also been reading various forum posts and watching promotional videos, and anything in between.

    Bottom line is I am confused.

    So basically there are 2 camps, the Hasselblad (H5D-40) and Phase One (645DF+ or XF) that I am considering. In either case I like the IQ140, I like the ability to use the LCD to check focus and I am told these are the best.

    I own a IQ160 in Hasselblad H Mount and use it with basic H1. Works great even wide open with the 80mm lens.

    I have a several questions bugging me regarding the Medium Format cameras/systems for the style of shooting I do. Which is mainly Indoor portraiture and outdoor editorial/fashion style. With that in mind can you please help me with the following questions.

    1. Is the Hasselblad H5D True Focus system truly revolutionary? How does it work compared to say the 645DF+ or XF? I had read somewhere the new Phase One XF even though has a new AF system, it still will run into the same issues as the 645DF+ when it comes to focus and recompose which is what I do alot. Maybe at F8 or F9 it does not matter, but definately at wide open.

    No issues with the 80mm f2.8 lens wide open on my H1.

    2 Do most users of MF on fashion/Editorial shoots using tethered? Is the ability of the IQ2 series backs to Wifi replace the need to tether and if so do the professionals no longer tether? or are you guys soley relying on the LCD to check focus?

    I use the IQ160 / H1 tethered in the studio some times but most times I use it untethered just like any DSLR even on location outdoors. Th LCD is VERY good and the 100% zoom fast and really good for checking focus on shot images.

    3. I am hearing on the Phase One forums that it is not uncommon for 645DF+ bodies malfunction or the lenses to lockup? I have not been able to find similar lockup issues for the Hasselblad's. Maybe I am not looking at the right place? or are they just more reliable?

    Again, I have had no Issues with my IQ160 and H1 combo.

    4. How much of a big difference does 1/1600 as opposed to 1/800 really make in practice when shooting fashion/editorial outside? I mean those with Hasselblad's do you wish you could go to 1/1600? or does 1/800 work fine?

    Since base iso is 50~100 on my IQ160 I have found 1/800 enough for shooting even at f 2.8 in sunlight. I am sure 1/1600 is helpful to have in some situations but generally I have not found the lack of it a limitation for me

    5. Does the newer CMOS sensors really make that much of a difference if all I want to do is shoot with strobe or in bright light? I honestly don't think I will be shooting high ISO's just to get a shot...or would this help if I was shooting natural light portraiture as I do with my 5D mk3 and Zeis Otus fully open at f/1.4? Can that be done with the CCD backs satisfactorily?

    The CMOS backs will allow you to use the full range of ISO while retaining awesome image quality. Generally my IQ160 is limited to iso 50-400 (in 60MP mode) but with the sensor + on, the 15mp files are stunning up to iso 1600 easy.

    6. Is there a big difference between the IQ2 series digital backs when trying to check focus on the LCD? or is a IQ140 just as good? Where do CREDO backs fit in all this?

    Same lcd on all IQ backs AFAIK

    7. When comparing Hassie and Phase One, does the fact that the Hassie is being marked down considerably not mean it is a great deal? Somewhere I had read about Phase One units/digital backs loose close to 40% straight after purchase...so does that not put both in the same bucket?

    8. Why would I not get the best of both worlds and get a Hasselblad H5X and IQ140, that way I get True Focus, better LCD and ability to use C1 for RAW conversion?

    Again, I find the Hasselblad H and IQ combination awesome but the new Phase XF is stunning I would at least check it out

    9. Are the schneider lenses and Hasselblad lenses equally as good? or is the quality of one blow the other out of the water? I am interested in 110-150mm focal length.

    From what I have seen there is not much difference

    Your comments greatly appreciated.
    Please see my response to each question above.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    I am not going to answer all your questions, but do have one piece of advice:

    Buy an 80 megapixel back from the get-go and be amazed at the files. I had the IQ140 and though it was good the IQ180 I traded up to has massively more robust files. The detail is mind blowing.

    The system, to me is secondary. Even an Aptus 12 on a Contax 645 would amaze and could be an economical way to get in big. You still have the benefit of Zeiss lenses and you can process your files with Capture One.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Why not rent both cameras that you mention, use them in your typical shooting situation, and then determine what is best for you? What works for each of us might or might not be what you are looking for.

    If you prefer to not rent, there probably are some dealers who will work with you in helping you to find the best solution.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    1. Is the Hasselblad H5D True Focus system truly revolutionary?
    True focus works very well. It is already available on the H4D series, BTW. I have no idea how it compares to the XF camera.

    2 Do most users of MF on fashion/Editorial shoots using tethered? Is the ability of the IQ2 series backs to Wifi replace the need to tether and if so do the professionals no longer tether? or are you guys soley relying on the LCD to check focus?
    It seems that part of the attraction for wifi is that you can send the image to an iPad that the customers have in their hands.

    3. I am hearing on the Phase One forums that it is not uncommon for 645DF+ bodies malfunction or the lenses to lockup? I have not been able to find similar lockup issues for the Hasselblad's.
    They do lock up from time to time.

    4. How much of a big difference does 1/1600 as opposed to 1/800 really make in practice when shooting fashion/editorial outside? I mean those with Hasselblad's do you wish you could go to 1/1600? or does 1/800 work fine?
    1/800 is fine.

    5. Does the newer CMOS sensors really make that much of a difference if all I want to do is shoot with strobe or in bright light?
    Not on the images. However, you have live view on the cmos sensors and you seem to want that.

    9. Are the schneider lenses and Hasselblad lenses equally as good? or is the quality of one blow the other out of the water? I am interested in 110-150mm focal length.
    All 110-150mm MF lenses are stellar.

    And then a question from my side: what about getting a used MF camera to see whether you like this kind of camera? If you don't like it, you can always sell it back without losing too much money.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    I guess you want to build a system and maybe upgrade the back in the future?
    In that case I would also take into consideration what you can expect from the companies in the future. Although there are still plenty of upgrades within the Hassy system from where you are planning to step in, the future of Phase one seems brighter which might create more options for you when the time comes to upgrade.

    Since the modular system seems to worry you a bit and you find focussing very important, why not give the Pentax 645Z some consideration? It focusses better than either, has the newer sensor and live view. Since there now is a work around for the slow flash sync speed, that shouldn't give much trouble either.
    New glass is coming out fast with already plenty of options. It is less prestigious, but probably more comfortable and faster to work with coming from a DSLR.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Unless you are intimately familiar with a particular platform, it is best to "try before you buy" or use on a critical photography job. Much of what you may see on the forums may not necessarily apply to your own situation or uses, or be entirely accurate. With that in mind, nothing beats being able to sit down and chat with others, actual users that have medium format systems in their hands, as opposed to a few that like to wax poetic on the forums on the what ifs and what might be...

    Working with a dealer helps. Finding a workshop or individual medium format photographers that you can meet in person helps. Capture Integration in Carmel will be held in February 2016, which is a great opportunity to try new equipment and meet other like-minded photographers. This is the seventh annual CI - Pigs in a Blanket event---wow time flies! You have a lot of great, well-reasoned questions, and good replies as well---but nothing beats the camera in hand.

    ken
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    So basically there are 2 camps, the Hasselblad (H5D-40) and Phase One (645DF+ or XF) that I am considering. In either case I like the IQ140, I like the ability to use the LCD to check focus and I am told these are the best.
    The review interface of the IQ/Credo series is very good. Modern, bright, high-res, retina-grade, touch LCD with tap-to-check-focus anywhere in the frame, customizable exposure warning, customizable grids and guides, and a simple touch-driven star rating system which translates into Capture One when you download the card. In addition the IQ's have a focus mask system which provides excellent at-a-glance evaluation of focus throughout the frame, and a clipping warning (different and more useful than the ordinary exposure warning) and an exposure heat map (excellent for judging exposure of skin or other known-subjects in a high-key or low-key or backlit situation).

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    1. Is the Hasselblad H5D True Focus system truly revolutionary? How does it work compared to say the 645DF+ or XF? I had read somewhere the new Phase One XF even though has a new AF system, it still will run into the same issues as the 645DF+ when it comes to focus and recompose which is what I do alot. Maybe at F8 or F9 it does not matter, but definately at wide open.
    When focus and recomposing there is a slight difference between focus point and subject. This is more pronounced when shooting wide-angle lenses (since the angle change will be greater) and when shooting wide open with very fast lenses. It is less problematic with longer lenses and moderate focus+recompose or at any aperture that isn't wide open. Many of our customers using an XF or DF+ will simply make a slight lean after focusing knowing that the focus offset is pretty consistent for any given style of shooting; a low-tech but effective solution. I use a 130mm f/2 lens and have no problem with nailing focus most of the time (at 130/2 on full-frame you will NEVER get 100% of frames in perfect focus) using this method. You can also manually focus (the focus screen and viewfinder of the XF is brighter and larger than any other I've used) or focus and capture from live view (on the 50mp IQ backs).

    The True Focus system is a novel approach to this problem and can be helpful provided:
    - the subject does not move
    - you don't move
    - you don't allow forward-backward movement of the camera after focusing (it only adapts for angle change, not the location of the camera)

    The best option here would be to shoot with an XF and an H5X and ramp through enough shooting scenarios to see what your real-world results are like with each.


    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    2 Do most users of MF on fashion/Editorial shoots using tethered? Is the ability of the IQ2 series backs to Wifi replace the need to tether and if so do the professionals no longer tether? or are you guys soley relying on the LCD to check focus?
    Nearly 100% of our fashion/editorial shooters tether at least some of the time. Most do not tether 100% of the time. Ideally you want a back that can work very well in both cases.

    Note that with an IQ or Credo you can shoot tethered, and you'll still see the most recent images on the LCD including the ability to check focus, use focus mask or exposure/clipping warning. This is useful for a quick glance at the images without breaking rapport with the model.

    With IQ/Credo backs, Capture One v8, and USB3 the speed is such that you can see the most recent image on the screen 2-3 seconds after capture, even when shooting a long continuos burst. C1 is used on the majority of pro tethering sets in major markets and it's speed and flexibility when tethering is a big part of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    3. I am hearing on the Phase One forums that it is not uncommon for 645DF+ bodies malfunction or the lenses to lockup? I have not been able to find similar lockup issues for the Hasselblad's. Maybe I am not looking at the right place? or are they just more reliable?
    When the DF launched it had many bugs, including several that were power related. If you combined an early-firmware DF with a mediocre power supply (e.g. generic AA batteries) the results were surprisingly poor.

    With firmware updates over the years, and the introduction and standardization on the LiOn battery, stability was greatly improved. So the current situation there is very very different than it was initially, or even (regrettably) for a year or two after launch.

    The DF/DF+ were based off the firmware/communication/protocols of the AFD1 developed many years ago. It was not a modern camera and so building modern features into the firmware was both time consuming and problematic. The XF was developed specifically to address this issue, and is a fully modern digital-born platform.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    4. How much of a big difference does 1/1600 as opposed to 1/800 really make in practice when shooting fashion/editorial outside? I mean those with Hasselblad's do you wish you could go to 1/1600? or does 1/800 work fine?
    This depends 100% on your shooting style. I often use 1/1600th at a wedding to stay at f/2.8 and up the ISO a stop or two in order to add fill-flash on a back lit portrait or backlit scene (e.g. if it is an outdoor ceremony and the bride/groom have the sun behind them) so that I can fill flash with very little power. It's also useful if you want to shoot day-as-night and bring the sky down to a darker blue – overpower, rather than just match, the sun.

    Notably the DF+/XF also allow 1/4000th of a second using the focal plane shutter so if you're using continuous light (e.g. bounce or tungsten) then you can shoot even faster. The focal plane shutter also allows you to use any lens that will mount and focus, rather than be limited to the lenses designed for the system. For instance:

    This was shot with a Contax 80/2 that I had converted (and am now selling to finance an engagement ring).

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    5. Does the newer CMOS sensors really make that much of a difference if all I want to do is shoot with strobe or in bright light? I honestly don't think I will be shooting high ISO's just to get a shot...or would this help if I was shooting natural light portraiture as I do with my 5D mk3 and Zeis Otus fully open at f/1.4? Can that be done with the CCD backs satisfactorily?
    CMOS provides higher ISO, faster shooting speeds, and better live view. If you NEED those then you want CMOS. If you don't then any of the backs will work just as well.

    Here's an article I wrote on the path to profiling the IQ250, something Phase One was uniquely situated to do as the provider of raw software and highly-regarded profiles for CMOS cameras (Canon/Nikon) for over a decade.
    https://luminous-landscape.com/the-p...ully-realized/


    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    6. Is there a big difference between the IQ2 series digital backs when trying to check focus on the LCD? or is a IQ140 just as good? Where do CREDO backs fit in all this?
    Credo = IQ minus some features

    Generally speaking, between refurbished options, trade-ins, and promotions we can usually offer an IQ very close to the price of a Credo. So the price difference is not as big a factor as it once was.


    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    8. Why would I not get the best of both worlds and get a Hasselblad H5X and IQ140, that way I get True Focus, better LCD and ability to use C1 for RAW conversion?
    Maybe 20% of our new customers do just that. 80% choose the XF.

    You really just need to try both and see what you like and what you don't. Nobody can tell you how well a camera will fit your hand or how well an interface will match your mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    9. Are the schneider lenses and Hasselblad lenses equally as good? or is the quality of one blow the other out of the water? I am interested in 110-150mm focal length.
    You'll find both have excellent lenses. The new Schneider Blue Ring lenses have a build quality that is a bit above anything previously offered on either platform. Optically they both have some amazing lenses and some pretty good lenses. Very few dogs in medium format world.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by epforever View Post
    I'm happy to contribute my two cents, but bear in mind, the likely reason you love some of the MF images you see is because they were shot with a lot of care, planning, production value, lighting and retouching. A mediocre image shot on MF will still look mediocre. You might be surprised at how un-different images look, once you get a MF camera. That being said, my H5D-50 is practically the only camera I use \
    Regarding my statement above, I wanted to clarify. When I said that MF images won't look that different to you, it's because the cameras aren't a magic bullet. Your images won't suddenly have that glow and polish that you often see in MF, but I think you probably know that. With that in mind, MF images are fantastic in the digital realm, miles beyond what the Canon produces. The MF files are deep, rich, robust, can be pushed around a lot in post, can be up-rezzed beautifully without breaking apart. High flash-sync speeds mean less strobe output required, faster flash recycling and faster flash durations. The systems have nice big viewfinders and better lenses. And I think the limitations and the file quality of the systems lead you to work more thoroughly and deliberately on your shots.
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    Thumbs up Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Ethan

    Sorry for the delayed response...just was not in a place where I could connect to the internet :-(

    I enjoyed reading your comments and they all make sense. This is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for. Just your point of view minus any hearsay :-)

    I agree 100% that a mediocre image taken with a MF will still look mediocre. and that planning is the key to a great image.

    Thanks

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    Thumbs up Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Ken

    Thanks for your comments, I was hoping to come across a real Hassie/P1 combo user.

    Good to hear that you are liking the setup with best of both worlds :-)

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    Thumbs up Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I am not going to answer all your questions, but do have one piece of advice:

    Buy an 80 megapixel back from the get-go and be amazed at the files. I had the IQ140 and though it was good the IQ180 I traded up to has massively more robust files. The detail is mind blowing.

    The system, to me is secondary. Even an Aptus 12 on a Contax 645 would amaze and could be an economical way to get in big. You still have the benefit of Zeiss lenses and you can process your files with Capture One.
    Doug,

    That is an interesting perspective to get the highest pixel count one can...never thought of it that way.

    I will look at the Contax 645 too but isn't it built on the same body as Mamiya/P1 645? My ignorance without doing ay research :-(

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    Why not rent both cameras that you mention, use them in your typical shooting situation, and then determine what is best for you? What works for each of us might or might not be what you are looking for.

    If you prefer to not rent, there probably are some dealers who will work with you in helping you to find the best solution.
    I did originally think of renting but for a non professional photographer, it is expensive, at least that is they way I see it. I think we are talking what close to $1000+ for trying out 2 bodies maybe more!

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Jerome

    Thanks for your comments.

    Wifi is an attraction but can I live without it? most likely


    As for getting a used, well that is the route I was taking and it seems we are still looking at close to $9-$14 depending on where I buy from etc...on the other hand a new Hasselblad is closer to $10-$11K.

    Then the question of resale. I am, seeing that people who already own the Phase backs and body's are having a pig of a time trying to sell at the price they want. I am seeing many ads for 645DF+ bodies selling in the $2000-$3500 range, and I know if I was to reverse and call a dealer up and say hay I am selling I will not get anything more than $900-$1200. So I am learning the resale market on these kits is terrible compared to DSLR camera's. Even those trying to sell lenses are having a tuff time.

    If I buy I want to use and be happy first time around but that might be wishful thinking :-)

    Makes sense what I am saying?

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by JeRuFo View Post
    I guess you want to build a system and maybe upgrade the back in the future?
    In that case I would also take into consideration what you can expect from the companies in the future. Although there are still plenty of upgrades within the Hassy system from where you are planning to step in, the future of Phase one seems brighter which might create more options for you when the time comes to upgrade.

    Since the modular system seems to worry you a bit and you find focussing very important, why not give the Pentax 645Z some consideration? It focusses better than either, has the newer sensor and live view. Since there now is a work around for the slow flash sync speed, that shouldn't give much trouble either.
    New glass is coming out fast with already plenty of options. It is less prestigious, but probably more comfortable and faster to work with coming from a DSLR.
    Upgrade back in the future - quite possibly but at the prices these backs are coming off the assembly line no. Another used one down the road? maybe.

    I am taking into consideration future products etc...The obvious elephant in the room seems to be Hasselblad and the rumours around it going belly up, or some other fate worse than death...not that I have made a decision but what if? it goes belly up. Ok so I got some equipment that I will be able to use for 2-4 years. Then at that time I'll just reinvest in new equipment or whatever else is in fashion at that time...

    I am not disagreeing, just avoiding unwarranted sliding towards one side of the house because some event might happen in the future.

    Not worried about modular at all, but will look into the 645Z too.

    Thanks for your input.

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Unless you are intimately familiar with a particular platform, it is best to "try before you buy" or use on a critical photography job. Much of what you may see on the forums may not necessarily apply to your own situation or uses, or be entirely accurate. With that in mind, nothing beats being able to sit down and chat with others, actual users that have medium format systems in their hands, as opposed to a few that like to wax poetic on the forums on the what ifs and what might be...

    Working with a dealer helps. Finding a workshop or individual medium format photographers that you can meet in person helps. Capture Integration in Carmel will be held in February 2016, which is a great opportunity to try new equipment and meet other like-minded photographers. This is the seventh annual CI - Pigs in a Blanket event---wow time flies! You have a lot of great, well-reasoned questions, and good replies as well---but nothing beats the camera in hand.

    ken
    I am working with a couple of dealers. They are helpful. The suggestion re workshop is a good one. I will look into it. I will also try and find out who locally uses a medium format and see if they can let me shoot a few frames to get some perspective.

    Thanks for your advice. Always good to hear from people in the know :-)

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Doug,

    Wow very informative and Thank You for your input from a dealer perspective. I am still chewing over what you have said :-)

    Good luck with funding that engagement ring, those rocks can start climbing in price when you start hitting places like Tiffany's

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by epforever View Post
    Regarding my statement above, I wanted to clarify. When I said that MF images won't look that different to you, it's because the cameras aren't a magic bullet. Your images won't suddenly have that glow and polish that you often see in MF, but I think you probably know that. With that in mind, MF images are fantastic in the digital realm, miles beyond what the Canon produces. The MF files are deep, rich, robust, can be pushed around a lot in post, can be up-rezzed beautifully without breaking apart. High flash-sync speeds mean less strobe output required, faster flash recycling and faster flash durations. The systems have nice big viewfinders and better lenses. And I think the limitations and the file quality of the systems lead you to work more thoroughly and deliberately on your shots.
    No I was not planning on jumping off the cliff after reading your original post...lol

    Thanks for clarifying.

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Hi Shafiq (I hope I am not making the wrong assumption about your name, if so, my apologies).

    I think the best advice I can give you, having 'been there and done that' is to try before you buy.

    I know it costs money to rent/try, but believe me it will cost a lot more if you buy and then don't like it.

    The Phase One dealers are exceptionally good at their job and will be the best source of information and guidance. Get to visit one of them in your area, check out what's available and see if you can work out a deal. From what I see of your needs, it will probably be the best system for you though it is quite expensive. There are other alternatives as mentioned here and some are certainly worth considering. However, none of the systems are as cheap as Canon and making a mistake may prove to be quite costly in the end.

    A workshop is a good idea and may also get you a discount, plus you get to try the stuff for free (well, almost).

    Medium Format is great to lust for but it truly is Dante's Inferno

    Disclaimer - I am not a Pro but then as I see it, neither are you so our perspectives may be similar. Finally, I have been a Canon shooter for a long time.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Hi Shafiq (I hope I am not making the wrong assumption about your name, if so, my apologies).

    I think the best advice I can give you, having 'been there and done that' is to try before you buy.

    I know it costs money to rent/try, but believe me it will cost a lot more if you buy and then don't like it.

    The Phase One dealers are exceptionally good at their job and will be the best source of information and guidance. Get to visit one of them in your area, check out what's available and see if you can work out a deal. From what I see of your needs, it will probably be the best system for you though it is quite expensive. There are other alternatives as mentioned here and some are certainly worth considering. However, none of the systems are as cheap as Canon and making a mistake may prove to be quite costly in the end.

    A workshop is a good idea and may also get you a discount, plus you get to try the stuff for free (well, almost).

    Medium Format is great to lust for but it truly is Dante's Inferno

    Disclaimer - I am not a Pro but then as I see it, neither are you so our perspectives may be similar. Finally, I have been a Canon shooter for a long time.
    Pradeep

    No wrong assumptions :-)

    I am being offered a descent deal to rent by one of the dealers here in the US. I could be persuaded to go this route as you are the 2nd person to advise this option.

    After having held the XF for about 5 minutes last week my Canon feels like a toy camera...Anyone interested in a brand new Zeis Otus 85 and a 200mm Canon L 2.0?

    Thanks for your advise.

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    Jerome

    Thanks for your comments.

    Wifi is an attraction but can I live without it? most likely


    As for getting a used, well that is the route I was taking and it seems we are still looking at close to $9-$14 depending on where I buy from etc...on the other hand a new Hasselblad is closer to $10-$11K.

    Then the question of resale. I am, seeing that people who already own the Phase backs and body's are having a pig of a time trying to sell at the price they want. I am seeing many ads for 645DF+ bodies selling in the $2000-$3500 range, and I know if I was to reverse and call a dealer up and say hay I am selling I will not get anything more than $900-$1200. So I am learning the resale market on these kits is terrible compared to DSLR camera's. Even those trying to sell lenses are having a tuff time.

    If I buy I want to use and be happy first time around but that might be wishful thinking :-)

    Makes sense what I am saying?
    Not really, no.

    Sorry to be blunt, but you cannot say at the same time that buying at decent price is so difficult and that all sellers find it so difficult to get the price they want. This simply does not add up. Market, law of supply and demand, etc...

    I don't know where you live. I live in Germany. If I want a second hand MF, I can get a second hand 50 mpix CCD for 7000€ and a second hand 39 mpix CCD for 3500€. That is the market, and the 39 mpix would be a perfect choice for someone wanting to try MF but not so sure about it.

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Not really, no.

    Sorry to be blunt, but you cannot say at the same time that buying at decent price is so difficult and that all sellers find it so difficult to get the price they want. This simply does not add up. Market, law of supply and demand, etc...

    I don't know where you live. I live in Germany. If I want a second hand MF, I can get a second hand 50 mpix CCD for 7000€ and a second hand 39 mpix CCD for 3500€. That is the market, and the 39 mpix would be a perfect choice for someone wanting to try MF but not so sure about it.
    Blunt is fine :-) you are expressing your opinion.

    Not sure if I expressed my opinion clearly or not...all I am saying is that if you go on the forums and look at the people selling the kits, they have been trying to sell them (not all but some) for an awfully long time. So maybe it is a buyers market :-)

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    Jerome

    Thanks for your comments.

    Wifi is an attraction but can I live without it? most likely


    As for getting a used, well that is the route I was taking and it seems we are still looking at close to $9-$14 depending on where I buy from etc...on the other hand a new Hasselblad is closer to $10-$11K.

    Then the question of resale. I am, seeing that people who already own the Phase backs and body's are having a pig of a time trying to sell at the price they want. I am seeing many ads for 645DF+ bodies selling in the $2000-$3500 range, and I know if I was to reverse and call a dealer up and say hay I am selling I will not get anything more than $900-$1200. So I am learning the resale market on these kits is terrible compared to DSLR camera's. Even those trying to sell lenses are having a tuff time.

    If I buy I want to use and be happy first time around but that might be wishful thinking :-)

    Makes sense what I am saying?
    You need to take in to consideration with the release of the new XF body and the initial offering of 2K trade in towards XF plus 2K off any lens and IQ 3 series incentives, that the DF/DF+ market is saturated with used bodies which of course has driven the price down.
    As far as P1 products being hard to sell I would have to disagree. Yes the difference between new and used is quite large but if you do your homework and know where the market is you make your purchases accordingly. I think you need to be fair in your pricing and sell to the right markets. I sold an IQ160 and got exactly what I wanted for it, $13,500 and my associate in So. Cal listed his IQ180 and sold it for $16500. Both transactions were in the last 45 days. I know of several others that brought similar money. I think one has to be patient and don't expect to sell your MFD gear in a few days as the target market is a bit smaller than DSLR markets. It is what it is and each brand has its advantages and disadvantages ....which one works for your style, taste and workflow????...(OH and Wifi...I LOVE IT!)...then go buy it and take many many images, prosper and be happy!!!
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    You know, one thing that makes the IQ140 not such a great choice is that the Nikon D810 has just as good resolution with Zeiss lenses. Going to a 60 or preferably 80 megapixel back is the only way to really reach way beyond 35mm DSLR territory. That probably would include the Pentax 645Z but it wasn't my choice. The IQ180 is what I picked and its every bit as good as the hype about it.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    You really didn't talk about what and how you shoot in detail, but I think some of that can be inferred by the questions you asked. However, it really does depend on specific factors like what sort of studio environment you have access to (including strobe equipment and modifiers); what sort of subjects you love to photograph; whether you live in an outdoor area where the sun is frequently a larger factor than other places may exhibit; etc., etc.

    MF Background: It's been a Saga, so skip if you wish

    My MF experience has been pretty long ... starting with the classic V camera using an Imacon back, then a CFV back, a full Contax 645 system with a Kodak 645C digital back, RZ Pro-II and Mamiya 645 with a 33 meg Leaf Aptus 7s digital back ... then migrated to the H Digital through the H4D/40 and 60, and used a Rollie 6X9 studio camera with full movements and a Hasselblad 39 meg MultiShot back. These were all used for both professional and personal applications: (industrial, corporate, advertising lifestyle and product, travel, portrait ... (even weddings and events because I already had the MF gear so why not use it?).

    All the above is now gone. My choice of MF kit is now the Leica S system.

    In tandem with these MF solutions, I kept pace with 35mm systems: Canon Pro cameras and 5 series cameras, Nikon Pro series camera up to 24 meg FF, then Sony from the FF 24 meg A900 to the 36 meg FF A7R, and I just did a test shoot with the FF 43 meg Sony A7R-II.

    Experiential Conclusion: In the eye of this beholder when the meg count was the same or similar between MF and 35mm, MF always won. Always. This doesn't factor in high ISO, but I personally believe high ISO is some sort of a compromise in IQ regardless of camera used. Speed of operation and higher ISO available light work is the only reason I had a 35mm kit ... mostly for weddings. All I know is that in most cases (not all), higher ISOs usually means bad light, and being able to shoot in it doesn't alter that it is still bad light. So, I try to time shoots in better light, or I use lighting.


    Answers/Opinions:

    True Focus: yes, dramatic as it may seem it was/is revolutionary for MF. In theory the subject nor you can move, in practice using the rear TF focus thumb button and proper technique it is so fast to do that it rarely misses unless you have vertigo or the subject is an on-coming race car Composition is the big winner with TF ... it promotes exploration of dramatic compositions ... you can TF and then instantly place a focal point anywhere in the viewfinder, even at the very edge of the frame, and it's bang on. Love it a lot, and sorely miss it with my current kit.

    Tethered: MF or 35mm, absolutely Fabulous way to work ... I shoot to a 27" 5K Retnia screen in studio. Prop-masters, stylists, and make-up artists can see exactly what is happening on set, I can check composition, critical focus, and relative DOF at a glance; art directors, corporate brand managers keep informed and provide feed-back, or regular portrait clients can see results instantly ... 27" or 30" screen trumps 3" every time. Heck even a 15" laptop wins. Also, during breaks, you can instantly tweak a select shot in the software, or double check that you have enough background for the layout or print size, etc.

    Tethered is the best Teaching/Learning tool ever IMO. All the subtile lighting nuances are there to see, so refining the shot or your technique is a no-brainer.

    Sync Speed: high sync speed without the loss of lighting power that the typical pulsed HSS sacrifices is essential to me. Never had much of an issue with 1/800th sync (or my current 1/1000 with the S system and CS lenses). Not sure how Phase One accomplishes 1/1600 but I believe that you needed the grip with the Profoto module (maybe the new P1 camera has it in the body now) ... BUT is is a Profoto module as far as I know ... so, do you have Profoto lighting? Most strobe systems top out at 1/500 sync ... to breach 1/500 you have to set the standard Profoto AIR transceiver to the "speed setting" for up to 1/1000 sync. Maybe Doug can comment on how P1 accomplishes the proprietary 1/1600 sync without some vignetting effect from the circular leaf-shutter?

    The Contax camera was wonderful in its' day, and the current Pentax digital camera is a sweet deal, but would never work for me because I want ALL of my lenses to be leaf-shutter. The advantage of the later P1 Kits and the Leica S system is that, with the right lenses, they can be used with leaf shutter for high sync speed, or as a focal plane shutter camera to 1/4000 in brighter available light with open apertures.

    In either case, for this advantage you will pay through the nose ... including harvesting all of your organs, and sacrificing your first born. If you buy new, you better have large nostrils to pay through. Do not expect to get any of those harvested organs back later either. Resale is dismal, so the real value of MF is strictly in the using ... and frequently using ... preferably with a pay check, tax write offs, commercial usage fees at the end.

    Meg count: depends on your end game. The Hasselblad CCD 40 meg camera is fine to ISO 800 and with exposure care to 1600. Modern software is much better than old when it comes to noise control. The Hasselblad CCD noise is more pleasant like in character than noise from the 35mm cameras I've used. 60 meg was great, and I think is decent compromise between usability and improved IQ ... plus it is a larger chunk of real-estate compared to the 40 or the newer 50 CMOS sensors. I never used a 80 meg, so cannot comment.

    I still like CCD sensors over CMOS ... and nothing has come along that has changed my take on the subject. Luddite. Neanderthal. Whatever. My work, my call.

    Reco:

    Run. Hide. Lay down until the urge passes. Once you enter the Inferno ... "Abandon hope all ye who enter here". MF is a financial sink hole, a money pit the size of the Grand Canyon. The term "restraint" is a concept that flies out the window (along with your money).

    My observation is there are two basic groups of MF buyers:

    One that dreams of all the wonderful stuff MF can deliver, but lacks the will/time/discipline/patience to actually realize it ... so the stuff gathers dust, they complain about crappy residual value, and they get out sooner than later, buy a higher meg 35mm FF for a LOT less money and spend a lot of time and words trying to evangelize that it is as good as MFD

    The other realizes all those wonders, see the differences others can't, revels in using such gear, loves all the rewards from their steadfast learning the techniques, and adores the end results of their patience and self-control ... but often find themselves at the bottom of the financial sink hole

    - Marc
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Very wise words . Thank you Marc .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    "One that dreams of all the wonderful stuff MF can deliver, but lacks the will/time/discipline/patience to actually realize it ... so the stuff gathers dust, they complain about crappy residual value, and they get out sooner than later, buy a higher meg 35mm FF for a LOT less money and spend a lot of time and words trying to evangelize that it is as good as MFD

    The other realizes all those wonders, see the differences others can't, revels in using such gear, loves all the rewards from their steadfast learning the techniques, and adores the end results of their patience and self-control ... but often find themselves at the bottom of the financial sink hole"


    there’s a third. working photographers who have shot on just about everything from 10x8 down to 35mm film and early 22mp (the first viable digital imho) to 39 and beyond plus the new high mp full frame 35mm cameras and have settled on high quality lenses and a versatile changeable system for their shooting needs and to keep clients happy. i like to see a healthy ‘comfort fund’ than spend money on MFD for little gain for my business. i have cambo/sony/schneider and rodenstock to thank for that.
    i’m too old and cynical to fall for dealer/pusher talk of ‘magic’ etc, ease of use, high quality, happy bank balance and returning customers matter more than a sensor bigger than 35mm.

    good luck with scratching your itch though, i’m sure Doug has a special snake oil ointment for that
    never trust the opinion of anyone who lists a load of gear in their forum signature. Dealers do not email me asking to buy your products.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Thanks Marc. Great post.

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    Reco:

    Run. Hide. Lay down until the urge passes. Once you enter the Inferno ... "Abandon hope all ye who enter here". MF is a financial sink hole, a money pit the size of the Grand Canyon. The term "restraint" is a concept that flies out the window (along with your money).
    Well said. My tech lens strategy has been to buy the best quality/most expensive ones around, since I'll only be buying a handful of focal lengths, then filling the gaps with every other tech lens available!!!
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Sync Speed: high sync speed without the loss of lighting power that the typical pulsed HSS sacrifices is essential to me. Never had much of an issue with 1/800th sync (or my current 1/1000 with the S system and CS lenses). Not sure how Phase One accomplishes 1/1600 but I believe that you needed the grip with the Profoto module (maybe the new P1 camera has it in the body now) ... BUT is is a Profoto module as far as I know ... so, do you have Profoto lighting? Most strobe systems top out at 1/500 sync ... to breach 1/500 you have to set the standard Profoto AIR transceiver to the "speed setting" for up to 1/1000 sync. Maybe Doug can comment on how P1 accomplishes the proprietary 1/1600 sync without some vignetting effect from the circular leaf-shutter?
    Short Answer:
    You can use the 1/1600th sync with any brand/make/model of light by using a hard cable, or a wireless transmitter that supports sync at that speed (PocketWizard does not).


    Long Answer...

    The IP behind the technology is proprietary so I can't describe it in detail here but the net effect is 1/1600th max native flash sync.

    The important thing to remember here is that Phase One provides the capacity to sync up to 1/1600th. Whether or not the rest of the chain can also take advantage of this speed is a separate question and falls into two categories:
    - Flash Duration: If the flash duration is fairly slow, like t0.1 = 1/800th of a second, then only the first half or so of the flash will be scene meaning you'll lose about a stop of light and the white balance may shift slightly. For most modern high-end flash systems this isn't a limitation, but for some it will be. Note you can still use a combination that has such a limitation (e.g. an older Profoto Acute flash at full power); it's just you'll need to "meter" the light by examining the LCD, histogram, exposure warning, exposure clipping indicator or exposure heat map, since a hand-held light meter will not take into account the fact that only part of the flash curve will be seen.
    - Communication Method: Some wireless transmitters max out at a certain speed of communication. For instance a standard Pocketwizard Plus III transceiver is limited to 1/500th sync speed, presenting a limitation for either the Phase, Hassy, or Leica platforms (which can sync up to 1/1600th, 1/800th, and 1/1000th respectively). Used above their max speed they may still trigger the flash, but you may not see all or any of the light in the exposure. Using a hard sync (a cable between camera and light) solves this problem, as does using a wireless transmitter system that uses a fast enough protocol to handle 1/1600th. The Profoto Air protocol can handle 1/1600th; a Profoto Air transmitter is built into the XF body and there is an optional vertical grip for the DF+ that includes a Profoto Air transmitter. If you're using Profoto Air lighting (e.g. Profoto D1 Air) that's all you need. If you use other brands of lighting you can use a Profoto Air Receiver in the same way you'd use a PocketWizard receiver, and you'll still sync at 1/1600th. For instance if you own Dynalite lighting and an XF body you'd simply plug an Air receiver into the Dynalite and the Air transmitter built into the XF would trigger the Dynalite lights at up to 1/1600th of a second. I believe the Broncolor RFS2 transmitter will also sync at 1/1600th, but I am not an expert on Broncolor lighting. Other brands/makes/models of transmitters may or may not sync at 1/1600th; generally this specification is listed on their spec sheet.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    I will look at the Contax 645 too but isn't it built on the same body as Mamiya/P1 645? My ignorance without doing ay research :-(
    The Contax 645 was a lovely system with some stand out lenses and simple robust design.

    It's an entirely different platform and would require a back with a different mount (C mount) than one that could be used for an XF or DF (M mount).

    Generally if someone owns and loves a Contax I advise them to strongly consider both options: a Contax-mount digital back (keeping their Contax gear) or switching platforms to something more modern (XF or H). But generally if someone is starting from scratch (does not own any medium format bodies/lenses) I do not advise going down the Contax route. The body has been out of production for quite some time, repairs are becoming increasingly difficult, and the future of the system is increasing obscurity. The flash sync (1/125th) of the Contax is also a major limitation for those looking to MF for faster flash sync.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    i’m too old and cynical to fall for dealer/pusher talk of ‘magic’ etc, ease of use, high quality, happy bank balance and returning customers matter more than a sensor bigger than 35mm.
    +1
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    You know, one thing that makes the IQ140 not such a great choice is that the Nikon D810 has just as good resolution with Zeiss lenses. Going to a 60 or preferably 80 megapixel back is the only way to really reach way beyond 35mm DSLR territory. That probably would include the Pentax 645Z but it wasn't my choice. The IQ180 is what I picked and its every bit as good as the hype about it.
    The Pentax 645Z wasn't your choice and it is very probably better then Nikon D810 even with the holy Zeiss lenses. Especially the new Pentax 645 lenses are very, very good.
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    Thumbs up Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Marc,

    I laughed so hard after reading your post that I nearly fell off my chair...Lots of interesting facts and funny analogies :-)

    You are right in that I did not mention much about my shooting style. I try and shoot in day light as much as possible, I live in Sunny Florida and there is a reason why they call it Sunny! Even today November 17 it is 84F/20C.

    I own Profoto stores. Other than that my favorite outdoor shoot is editorial/fashion. I shoot 90% of the time outdoor and 10% in Studio.

    Hope that helps :-)
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    Thumbs up Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    "One that dreams of all the wonderful stuff MF can deliver, but lacks the will/time/discipline/patience to actually realize it ... so the stuff gathers dust, they complain about crappy residual value, and they get out sooner than later, buy a higher meg 35mm FF for a LOT less money and spend a lot of time and words trying to evangelize that it is as good as MFD

    The other realizes all those wonders, see the differences others can't, revels in using such gear, loves all the rewards from their steadfast learning the techniques, and adores the end results of their patience and self-control ... but often find themselves at the bottom of the financial sink hole"


    there’s a third. working photographers who have shot on just about everything from 10x8 down to 35mm film and early 22mp (the first viable digital imho) to 39 and beyond plus the new high mp full frame 35mm cameras and have settled on high quality lenses and a versatile changeable system for their shooting needs and to keep clients happy. i like to see a healthy ‘comfort fund’ than spend money on MFD for little gain for my business. i have cambo/sony/schneider and rodenstock to thank for that.
    i’m too old and cynical to fall for dealer/pusher talk of ‘magic’ etc, ease of use, high quality, happy bank balance and returning customers matter more than a sensor bigger than 35mm.

    good luck with scratching your itch though, i’m sure Doug has a special snake oil ointment for that
    Thank you for your input. I am 100% sure each dealer has his own version of the snake ointment :-) and yes they are trying to rub it on me...lol

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
    The Pentax 645Z wasn't your choice and it is very probably better then Nikon D810 even with the holy Zeiss lenses. Especially the new Pentax 645 lenses are very, very good.
    I am looking at this system too...

    Thx for the suggestion.

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    Marc,

    I laughed so hard after reading your post that I nearly fell off my chair...Lots of interesting facts and funny analogies :-)

    You are right in that I did not mention much about my shooting style. I try and shoot in day light as much as possible, I live in Sunny Florida and there is a reason why they call it Sunny! Even today November 17 it is 84F/20C.

    I own Profoto stores. Other than that my favorite outdoor shoot is editorial/fashion. I shoot 90% of the time outdoor and 10% in Studio.

    Hope that helps :-)


    I'm also in Florida ... spend winters (snowbird) on the Gulf coast ... we've been having record or near record temps and a ton of sunshine Have a modest in-home studio with 15' ceilings and some portable Profoto lighting for the outdoor stuff. Just got here last winter, so I'm still feeling my way around ... looking for support staff, hair & makeup, modeling sources, prop masters, etc. Nothing big, as I'm now semi-retired.

    So, it appears you have access to some good lighting choices to balance out the abundant sun. I think almost any MFD solution that can provide HSS will get you there, so it's just what feels right. The Profoto HSS firmware update could be fine with a Canon or Nikon high meg camera ... but even that may not be enough for some of this nuke light here.

    For fashion I'd lean toward the H5D/40 which tweaked the True Focus and is faster to use over-all ... Lenses: HC-50/3.5-II, 100/2.2, 150N/3.2, and the often overlooked HC-210/4 (great for head shots). Or just the HCD-35-90 Zoom which unlike the Leica S-30-90 zoom is still a leaf-shutter lens.

    - Marc
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    If you are anything like me you don't want to die with any money left over.

    Thats why I bought the IQ180, 40-80mm Schneider, and a few other lenses. XF on order.

    See, I didn't follow my own Contax 645 advice but probably could get just as good images with the Contax.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    If you are anything like me you don't want to die with any money left over.

    Thats why I bought the IQ180, 40-80mm Schneider, and a few other lenses. XF on order.
    Too funny and yes that's me...lol

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    One question for you kind folks out there...There does not seem to be a lot of information out there on the H5X and when I do find something it is being referred to as a Backup camera. Is that because it is just no-good enough (of inferior quality) to be the main camera? Just curious...

    Still researching my options :-)

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    One question for you kind folks out there...There does not seem to be a lot of information out there on the H5X and when I do find something it is being referred to as a Backup camera. Is that because it is just no-good enough (of inferior quality) to be the main camera? Just curious...

    Still researching my options :-)
    Not at all. That's absurd. It's a great camera, great quality, great build. Walk into a shop and get your hands on one. You'll see. Tons of photographers use it as their main camera. Before the XF came out (which a friend of mine is having a hard time actually getting), I'd say the H4x and H5x were the top high-end pro choice as a camera body, since you can put Phase backs on them.

    You're over-researching. Go try them out, compare bodies, compare files.
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by maxshafiq View Post
    Good luck with funding that engagement ring, those rocks can start climbing in price when you start hitting places like Tiffany's
    Thanks!

    Aforementioned lenses are now listed for sale:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/gear-fs-...y-110-2-a.html
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/gear-fs-...iya-phase.html
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Dang, some great honesty and stellar advice in this post! Thanks Fotografz.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    You really didn't talk about what and how you shoot in detail, but I think some of that can be inferred by the questions you asked. However, it really does depend on specific factors like what sort of studio environment you have access to (including strobe equipment and modifiers); what sort of subjects you love to photograph; whether you live in an outdoor area where the sun is frequently a larger factor than other places may exhibit; etc., etc.

    MF Background: It's been a Saga, so skip if you wish

    My MF experience has been pretty long ... starting with the classic V camera using an Imacon back, then a CFV back, a full Contax 645 system with a Kodak 645C digital back, RZ Pro-II and Mamiya 645 with a 33 meg Leaf Aptus 7s digital back ... then migrated to the H Digital through the H4D/40 and 60, and used a Rollie 6X9 studio camera with full movements and a Hasselblad 39 meg MultiShot back. These were all used for both professional and personal applications: (industrial, corporate, advertising lifestyle and product, travel, portrait ... (even weddings and events because I already had the MF gear so why not use it?).

    All the above is now gone. My choice of MF kit is now the Leica S system.

    In tandem with these MF solutions, I kept pace with 35mm systems: Canon Pro cameras and 5 series cameras, Nikon Pro series camera up to 24 meg FF, then Sony from the FF 24 meg A900 to the 36 meg FF A7R, and I just did a test shoot with the FF 43 meg Sony A7R-II.

    Experiential Conclusion: In the eye of this beholder when the meg count was the same or similar between MF and 35mm, MF always won. Always. This doesn't factor in high ISO, but I personally believe high ISO is some sort of a compromise in IQ regardless of camera used. Speed of operation and higher ISO available light work is the only reason I had a 35mm kit ... mostly for weddings. All I know is that in most cases (not all), higher ISOs usually means bad light, and being able to shoot in it doesn't alter that it is still bad light. So, I try to time shoots in better light, or I use lighting.


    Answers/Opinions:

    True Focus: yes, dramatic as it may seem it was/is revolutionary for MF. In theory the subject nor you can move, in practice using the rear TF focus thumb button and proper technique it is so fast to do that it rarely misses unless you have vertigo or the subject is an on-coming race car Composition is the big winner with TF ... it promotes exploration of dramatic compositions ... you can TF and then instantly place a focal point anywhere in the viewfinder, even at the very edge of the frame, and it's bang on. Love it a lot, and sorely miss it with my current kit.

    Tethered: MF or 35mm, absolutely Fabulous way to work ... I shoot to a 27" 5K Retnia screen in studio. Prop-masters, stylists, and make-up artists can see exactly what is happening on set, I can check composition, critical focus, and relative DOF at a glance; art directors, corporate brand managers keep informed and provide feed-back, or regular portrait clients can see results instantly ... 27" or 30" screen trumps 3" every time. Heck even a 15" laptop wins. Also, during breaks, you can instantly tweak a select shot in the software, or double check that you have enough background for the layout or print size, etc.

    Tethered is the best Teaching/Learning tool ever IMO. All the subtile lighting nuances are there to see, so refining the shot or your technique is a no-brainer.

    Sync Speed: high sync speed without the loss of lighting power that the typical pulsed HSS sacrifices is essential to me. Never had much of an issue with 1/800th sync (or my current 1/1000 with the S system and CS lenses). Not sure how Phase One accomplishes 1/1600 but I believe that you needed the grip with the Profoto module (maybe the new P1 camera has it in the body now) ... BUT is is a Profoto module as far as I know ... so, do you have Profoto lighting? Most strobe systems top out at 1/500 sync ... to breach 1/500 you have to set the standard Profoto AIR transceiver to the "speed setting" for up to 1/1000 sync. Maybe Doug can comment on how P1 accomplishes the proprietary 1/1600 sync without some vignetting effect from the circular leaf-shutter?

    The Contax camera was wonderful in its' day, and the current Pentax digital camera is a sweet deal, but would never work for me because I want ALL of my lenses to be leaf-shutter. The advantage of the later P1 Kits and the Leica S system is that, with the right lenses, they can be used with leaf shutter for high sync speed, or as a focal plane shutter camera to 1/4000 in brighter available light with open apertures.

    In either case, for this advantage you will pay through the nose ... including harvesting all of your organs, and sacrificing your first born. If you buy new, you better have large nostrils to pay through. Do not expect to get any of those harvested organs back later either. Resale is dismal, so the real value of MF is strictly in the using ... and frequently using ... preferably with a pay check, tax write offs, commercial usage fees at the end.

    Meg count: depends on your end game. The Hasselblad CCD 40 meg camera is fine to ISO 800 and with exposure care to 1600. Modern software is much better than old when it comes to noise control. The Hasselblad CCD noise is more pleasant like in character than noise from the 35mm cameras I've used. 60 meg was great, and I think is decent compromise between usability and improved IQ ... plus it is a larger chunk of real-estate compared to the 40 or the newer 50 CMOS sensors. I never used a 80 meg, so cannot comment.

    I still like CCD sensors over CMOS ... and nothing has come along that has changed my take on the subject. Luddite. Neanderthal. Whatever. My work, my call.

    Reco:

    Run. Hide. Lay down until the urge passes. Once you enter the Inferno ... "Abandon hope all ye who enter here". MF is a financial sink hole, a money pit the size of the Grand Canyon. The term "restraint" is a concept that flies out the window (along with your money).

    My observation is there are two basic groups of MF buyers:

    One that dreams of all the wonderful stuff MF can deliver, but lacks the will/time/discipline/patience to actually realize it ... so the stuff gathers dust, they complain about crappy residual value, and they get out sooner than later, buy a higher meg 35mm FF for a LOT less money and spend a lot of time and words trying to evangelize that it is as good as MFD

    The other realizes all those wonders, see the differences others can't, revels in using such gear, loves all the rewards from their steadfast learning the techniques, and adores the end results of their patience and self-control ... but often find themselves at the bottom of the financial sink hole

    - Marc
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    Re: (New to MF) - Some very specific questions for the PROS

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...
    Sync Speed: high sync speed without the loss of lighting power that the typical pulsed HSS sacrifices is essential to me. Never had much of an issue with 1/800th sync (or my current 1/1000 with the S system and CS lenses). Not sure how Phase One accomplishes 1/1600 but I believe that you needed the grip with the Profoto module (maybe the new P1 camera has it in the body now) ... BUT is is a Profoto module as far as I know ... so, do you have Profoto lighting? Most strobe systems top out at 1/500 sync ... to breach 1/500 you have to set the standard Profoto AIR transceiver to the "speed setting" for up to 1/1000 sync. Maybe Doug can comment on how P1 accomplishes the proprietary 1/1600 sync without some vignetting effect from the circular leaf-shutter?
    ...
    - Marc
    Great post, Marc! Sorry to dredge up an old thread.... I just wanted to point out for anyone who stumbles across this and is curious about the vignetting question. From what I understand about leaf shutters is that since from the moment the shutter opens until it closes, the entire frame is being exposed equally (just not at full intensity; that only happens while the shutter is fully open), you won't get any vignetting from the shutter if the flash fires early or late; it will reduce the incoming light similarly to closing the aperture down.

    As Doug mentions the trick is having a flash with a short enough duration. Ideally the flash output would peak at precisely the same moment that the shutter is fully open.
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