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Thread: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

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    Question Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    For those who have actually taken possession of their new XF bodies, what are your impressions, so far (particularly compared to the DF+ body)?

    Thanks!
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBERNSTEIN View Post
    For those who have actually taken possession of their new XF bodies, what are your impressions, so far (particularly compared to the DF+ body)?

    Thanks!
    Some thoughts from our client Doug Sonders:
    https://fstoppers.com/originals/firs...e-one-xf-74805
    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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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    In a nutshell: the XF is a winner. It makes my job as a photographer much easier. It is well worth the upgrade.

    I started out with the original Mamiya AF (film) through the AFD to the current Phase XF. It's my background and intimate familiarity that I think helped me to avoid many of the misgivings of the previous generations, or quickly be able to adapt and workaround the shortcomings. The DF generation was about as polished as that body is going to get: it's adequate. The XF is all new and a great body.

    The biggest advantage for me is the much improved autofocus performance. It simply works. I can do without most all the other bells and whistles that the XF otherwise has under the hood, though they are nice.

    The XF is heavy, and mated with the new 40-80 is a beast. It is well balanced, but you won't forget to use your tripod. I don't like the latch that attaches the prism finder; it releases far too easily. I use a piece of black gaffers tape to secure the latch. I probably won't get the waist level finder so no big deal to me. The built-in Profoto Air sync is really nice. I wish there were a way to simply trigger the Profoto transmitter to trigger the lights without firing the camera. I still carry a Profoto transmitter to trigger the lights to get a light meter reading. Being able to adjust the light output would also be a huge plus---hopefully there is a Profoto firmware upgrade to the XF planned sometime. I'd also like to see that new electromagnetic release cable released sometime soon. Anyone hear anything??

    I won't be getting rid of my Cambo though. The XF is for work and in that regard it works very well. But for photographic enjoyment, it's still the Cambo for me.

    ken

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Everything that Ken said!

    There is no comparison to the DF/DF+ - they are night and day. My only complaint (apart from the prism locking mechanism) is a very minor one; there are several features that you would not know about unless you discover them accidentally. They simply do not appear in the manual. (Even the latest on-line edition.)

    For example, if you press the battery symbol on the top screen, it takes you into a "check" mode of the entire system. If something isn't working right, this will tell you what - the lens, the prism, back, batteries etc etc. I would never have thought of this and didn't even know about until Phase's recent webinar on the updates to the firmware.

    Most important, this is an enjoyable camera to use. The features I like best are the Focus Trim, the Hyperfocal setting and the Vibration delay. These positively help me make technically better pictures. None of them are present in the DF series.

    The only negative is the weight - it is a beast!
    Bill CB

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    One negative I forgot to mention - the focussing screen that came with my XF is the same one from the DF and does not show the area the new autofocus measures. I rather hope Phase will provide a (complementary) new one to those who have already purchased the camera.

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    I asked Phase in a Tweet about the prism latch. Their reply:

    "If you find the latch can be improved we'd welcome feedback through proper channels"

    Sounds like they're in denial to me.

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I asked Phase in a Tweet about the prism latch. Their reply:

    "If you find the latch can be improved we'd welcome feedback through proper channels"

    Sounds like they're in denial to me.
    Sounds like they are asking you to follow up with service/tech department instead of reaching out to Michael Muller or whoever is running Twitter and Instagram these days, who probably has no technical background....Just my thoughts...

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    It would be a good thing to get an answer on the focusing screen issue. Did Phase just revert back to the older DF+ screens and not tell anyone? Or are they eventually going to use the new screen which I was told is also brighter?

    Replacing the screen on the DF or DF+ was never an easy task for me. Easy to release but not easy to get a good latching. A few times mine released in transport or when the mirror fired etc. I do prefer a dealer swapping it out. As I also seem to manage to scratch mine.

    Net. I would prefer to get the correct screen the first time.

    Paul C
    Last edited by Paul2660; 20th November 2015 at 14:53.

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Bill & Ken have already done the grunt work in answering. I just spent 4-days in Bryce Canyon shooting mainly in the morning both sunrise and then a little later. Snow, very cold, as well as very windy - think temps ranging from 5 to maybe 19 with winds gusting past 30 MPH. It was so windy at one location I had to get on my knees for fear of being blown over the ledge. I shot the entire location using the XF and IQ180 both with the latest updates and used all my lenses both because I wanted to test them as well as they worked for the location. 28D, 40-80LS, 75-150LS and the 240LS all worked and produced great image files.

    In short, I'm very pleased with the XF both for the body itself as well as how good it works with my IQ180.

    What I'm not too pleased with is the prism viewfinder's latch however I will admit I didn't have any problems on this trip. What I'm not pleased with is the lack of the waist level viewfinder that I order the same time as the XF. What I'm not pleased with is the lack of information coming from Phase on when the WL will finally be released to the wild and I can finally get mine (which I've already paid for). I could have and would have used the WL at least 60% of the time shooting in Bryce as it would have made my job both easier and safer being on the ledge. And then there's the 35LS. How soon are these lenses going to hit the market in quantity?


    I've been a Cambo WRS user for 8-years and just last month decided to sell it and go all in on the XF - that's how good I think the new system is. And before we start a war on words here; as good as the XF is (and all the new lenses) it still isn't as good as any tech camera. I'm just changing how I do things.

    Don
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    What I'm not pleased with is the lack of information coming from Phase on when the WL will finally be released to the wild and I can finally get mine (which I've already paid for).
    We've been shipping them to end users for a few weeks, but the pace of shipping is pretty slow and the backorder queue is quite large relative to that slow pace.

    Frustrating for end user and dealer alike.
    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: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Thanks for all the great answers. Particularly good to know the AF is as good as I was told it should be. That's my biggest gripe with the DF+. Also nice to know that it plays happily with the IQ180 (what I've got), and isn't crippled with firmware or random incompatibility issues. The hyperfocal tool is very appealing to me!

    The price is a hard one to swallow though. Couldn't they have used carbon fibre to knock down some of that weight?! Maybe they'll release a PhaseOne X McLaren edition, like Hasselblad did with Ferrari?

    J R
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    As far as the WL is concerned, my dealer says he has already shipped 4 or 5 and implied that if I'd ordered one when I got the camera, I'd have it by now! I ordered one last week but I'm not sure what the wait will be.

    As far as the new 35mm is concerned, it came with my XF and IQ3 80 (end of August). I subsequently went for the new 120 macro and it arrived within a couple of weeks.

    I feel a bit let down re the focus screen; what the sales literature and the instruction book said is not what I got. I understood that there was a manufacturing delay of some sort so they supplied the XF with the old DF/DF+ screen. However, there is still time for Phase to do the right thing for us early adopters!
    Bill CB

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    I am extremely pleased with the new body. The major difference for me is that the new body is so user friendly. Touch screen makes all the difference!

    I recently shot for 4 days at the Acadia National Park in Maine (USA). The more I used the camera the more and more I liked it. I admit to not being 100% familiar with every feature available, but shooting straight out of the box made me a believer.

    My goal now is to shoot more frequently and become familiar with all of the features so they become second nature to me. Oh yes, for me a tripod is a must. I use a Cube head and found vibration to not be a factor at all.

    This camera lived up to every expectation I had and exceeded them by a wide margin.
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Bill & Ken have already done the grunt work in answering. I just spent 4-days in Bryce Canyon shooting mainly in the morning both sunrise and then a little later. Snow, very cold, as well as very windy - think temps ranging from 5 to maybe 19 with winds gusting past 30 MPH. It was so windy at one location I had to get on my knees for fear of being blown over the ledge. I shot the entire location using the XF and IQ180 both with the latest updates and used all my lenses both because I wanted to test them as well as they worked for the location. 28D, 40-80LS, 75-150LS and the 240LS all worked and produced great image files.

    In short, I'm very pleased with the XF both for the body itself as well as how good it works with my IQ180.

    What I'm not too pleased with is the prism viewfinder's latch however I will admit I didn't have any problems on this trip. What I'm not pleased with is the lack of the waist level viewfinder that I order the same time as the XF. What I'm not pleased with is the lack of information coming from Phase on when the WL will finally be released to the wild and I can finally get mine (which I've already paid for). I could have and would have used the WL at least 60% of the time shooting in Bryce as it would have made my job both easier and safer being on the ledge. And then there's the 35LS. How soon are these lenses going to hit the market in quantity?


    I've been a Cambo WRS user for 8-years and just last month decided to sell it and go all in on the XF - that's how good I think the new system is. And before we start a war on words here; as good as the XF is (and all the new lenses) it still isn't as good as any tech camera. I'm just changing how I do things.

    Don
    Don,

    As a newly liberated tech cam user I was wondering how you felt about losing out on the movements that your Cambo provided? For me it's everything I think with the IQ back but that's as an amateur shooter who may be shooting with only a couple of lenses going forward. However, I have the full monty as regards the DF+ system and could buy in there instead of with just tech again (insurance claim).

    For DSLR use I use my Canon TS-E lenses from 17 - 90 on my Sony A7RII and also my Alpa FPS (the 17 & 24 TSE at least)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Don,

    For DSLR use I use my Canon TS-E lenses from 17 - 90 on my Sony A7RII and also my Alpa FPS (the 17 & 24 TSE at least)

    Hi Graham

    Just wonder how you find the FPS with Canon 17 and 24 tilt shifts? I'm currently shooting Hasselblad but its time to upgrade. I've been shooting A7RII in the interim with 17 and 24mm lenses. I'd like a camera that is all purposes, e.g. Hasselblad with HTS tilt shift adapter but don't feel the quality is the same as XF and FPS. Your thoughts would be appreciated as well as any examples of the 17 or 24 on the FPS.

    Regards
    Justin

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Don,

    As a newly liberated tech cam user I was wondering how you felt about losing out on the movements that your Cambo provided? For me it's everything I think with the IQ back but that's as an amateur shooter who may be shooting with only a couple of lenses going forward. However, I have the full monty as regards the DF+ system and could buy in there instead of with just tech again (insurance claim).

    For DSLR use I use my Canon TS-E lenses from 17 - 90 on my Sony A7RII and also my Alpa FPS (the 17 & 24 TSE at least)
    My choice was by design while your was happenchance . I'll admit that loosing movements will cause me some difficulties however more for stitching than anything else. The 40-80 is just that good at 40 and I believe the 35LS will allow me the file space to use one file and crop down to a pano size image without loosing too much resolution from my 180. I look at the coming months as a grand experiment - do I keep going with a leaner kit (XF, 180, 28D 35LS, 40-80LS, 75-150LS and 240LS w/2x) or do I revert back to a tech cam. I might be close to an answer next time we see each other.

    Don

    Kudos to you my friend for taking the breakin and loss as calmly as you appear to be doing.
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    .... do I keep going with a leaner kit (XF, 180, 28D 35LS, 40-80LS, 75-150LS and 240LS w/2x) ....
    Leaner kit?

    Words only a true gear slut would understand----in context.


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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    If you want a lightweight kit for hiking or travel, something like an Alpa TC and one lens ~30-40mm would be great. But personally I hated the workflow when I had the Cambo WRS. Hard to frame accurately and then you are stuck with shooting an LCC every time. I sold mine with no regrets.
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    It would be a good thing to get an answer on the focusing screen issue. Did Phase just revert back to the older DF+ screens and not tell anyone? Or are they eventually going to use the new screen which I was told is also brighter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I feel a bit let down re the focus screen; what the sales literature and the instruction book said is not what I got. I understood that there was a manufacturing delay of some sort so they supplied the XF with the old DF/DF+ screen. However, there is still time for Phase to do the right thing for us early adopters!
    Indeed; the first batch of XF Focus Screens produced was not up to snuff, so most XFs shipped so far have been with DF+ Focus Screens. However, the most recent few XF bodies we've shipped to clients have had the new XF Focus Screen installed, so they ARE now starting to make it out into the wild!

    It's slightly brighter*, and much more importantly, exactly matches the area of the autofocus sensor. This is a big deal to me, because with the DF+ Focus Screen installed it is more or less an educated guess to determine what exact subject matter the focus sensor is going to lock onto; with the XF focus screen it is very clearly delineated.

    Digital Transitions has already committed to it's clients that received a body before the new focus screen was included, that we will make sure those clients receive the new XF Focus Screen (and if needed, assistance in installing it). I assume this will be the official Phase One corporate policy across the board, but we aren't waiting for their announcement to reassure our XF clients that we will make sure they get the new focus screen.

    *The other improvement in brightness is in the viewfinder itself. Looking through a DF+ and XF body viewfinder simultaneously (which you can do by holding them at 90 degrees, though it makes you look like you're wearing very strange and expensive binoculars) you notice a difference in brightness. Together the two improvements (the focus screen and viewfinder prism) the improvement in brightness is quite nice.
    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: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Took the plunge today! So far so good...and yes, the AF actually seems to work!

    Mine was delivered with the new XF focus screen AND the WL finder.
    J R
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBERNSTEIN View Post
    Took the plunge today! So far so good...and yes, the AF actually seems to work!

    Mine was delivered with the new XF focus screen AND the WL finder.
    Sweet.

    There is some hope I might both see mine before the year end and they appear to be shipping with the new finder.

    Paul C

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Sweet.

    There is some hope I might both see mine before the year end and they appear to be shipping with the new finder.

    Paul C
    Focussing screens seen in the wild. Has anyone spotted the new cable release ?
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    I found a minor "known" problem with the WL finder, where the body reports a viewfinder error. Sometimes this would be fixed by placing the WLF on the body after it has been turned on, and sometimes not. Reported the issue to my dealer (B3K Digital), who passed the info along to Phase, who in turn replied with a firmware update (1.06.1) to solve the issue!

    The new firmware will be officially released "very very soon".
    J R
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBERNSTEIN View Post
    I found a minor "known" problem with the WL finder, where the body reports a viewfinder error. Sometimes this would be fixed by placing the WLF on the body after it has been turned on, and sometimes not. Reported the issue to my dealer (B3K Digital), who passed the info along to Phase, who in turn replied with a firmware update (1.06.1) to solve the issue!

    The new firmware will be officially released "very very soon".
    Same problem here. Firmware update promised also. That said it doesn't seem to affect the operation of the camera.

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Does anyone have issues with a power supply drop from the XF Camera when working with a IQ1 series back?

    Just received the camera and absolutely love it. But when I took it for walk to test some stuff it always turned off and I couldn't find out why. After a short call with the sales rep, he mentioned that the battery closing latch is pressing the battery against a feather to secure the contact with the electronics. But it looks like, when I take a photo, look at the screen and than let the camera "fall" in my hands into waist height, this will automatically have a big enough shake that the battery is loosing contact with camera, power drops, camera turns off. You could replicate this with shaking the camera (in a way you would normally never do). A small tape on the inside of the battery latch solved the problem, as the battery is than pressed a bit more in. With the IQ3 series that problem won't happen due the shared power management. Waiting for a reply of PhaseONE.

    Anyone similar problems? Really annoying walking around with the cam and it turns of every now and than.

    Btw you can adjust one button to trigger the flashes with the profoto sync. Didn't test it yet, but customized it already to the front button. (As someone mentioned it would be a nice feature)

    The seismograph delay shutter mechanism is one of the best features. Didn't adjusted the hyper focal focus yet, but this would be another killer feature.

    How is the battery life so far?

    In general the XF is a proper upgrade. And although I received the new screen, PhaseONE didn't mount it proper and I received it with scratches. So I had to send it back. So love the cam, but didn't had the best start.

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by Forstus View Post
    ....

    Btw you can adjust one button to trigger the flashes with the profoto sync. Didn't test it yet, but customized it already to the front button. (As someone mentioned it would be a nice feature)

    ....
    No issues with my battery latch----but triggering the flashes would be an neat custom option. I'll need to snoop that one out. How did you adjust your settings? One step closer to adjusting power output on the camera

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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    No issues with my battery latch----but triggering the flashes would be an neat custom option. I'll need to snoop that one out. How did you adjust your settings? One step closer to adjusting power output on the camera
    It is deep in the menu under custom UI. Than adjust one button and there you can put trigger flash
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Okay a couple of things of note.

    Power - I've seen a 2 to 1 ratio of battery power since I've begun using the XF\IQ180 combo meaning 2-batteries on the IQ to every one battery on the XF.

    I've used this combo recently in Bryce shooting sunrises in extreme cold, snow, sleet, wind chill enough to freeze an eskimo's butt and the only problem I had was with me trying to keep up and not wimp out and head back to the truck.

    I also used it with every lens I currently own; 28D, 40-80, 75-150 and 240 with no problems. To be totally truthful I did have an issue with the IQ180 firmware but got that sorted out thanks to my dealer and was back out shooting and never had another issue.

    I now have the waist level finder and like it a lot. While it wouldn't replace the 90 degree prism it does give me the chance to capture certain circumstances much easier and I'm very pleaded I have it.

    I now am left with only 2-things I'm waiting for - the 35LS and the improved focus screen and frankly I'd rather the 35LS got here first.

    Don
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Don, I can attest, the new focus screen is an improvement. Combined with the WL finder, manual focusing is now a pleasure! (Something that could NOT be said for the DF+!).

    What I also love about the WL finder is that I can now put an entire camera (body, back, and 80mm LS) in my old tiny Lowepro Nova 1 bag, with even enough room for the 90-deg finder in the front pouch and 4 extra batteries.

    My experience so far has convinced me to sell my Arca Swiss Rm3di (see the Buy/Sell section!).

    One question (to anyone who might know), by default, the XF flips the mirror up upon turning it off. Does anyone know why this would be beneficial? Just to protect the mirror? I've turned that feature off so that I can start to frame a shot without turning on the camera, but I'm wondering if I'm missing out on some advantage by doing so?
    J R
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  30. #30
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBERNSTEIN View Post
    One question (to anyone who might know), by default, the XF flips the mirror up upon turning it off. Does anyone know why this would be beneficial? Just to protect the mirror? I've turned that feature off so that I can start to frame a shot without turning on the camera, but I'm wondering if I'm missing out on some advantage by doing so?
    I was wondering about that too...maybe it is a way to don't over span the feather mechanism and so the whole shutter/mirror system lasts longer? this would be the only explantion I can think of.

  31. #31
    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Mine just arrived yesterday. Haven't shot anything with it yet but it sure is nice looking. Monster 40-80mm and IQ180 attached Attachment 114880
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  32. #32
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    Mine just arrived yesterday. Haven't shot anything with it yet but it sure is nice looking. Monster 40-80mm and IQ180 attached Attachment 114880

    Ohh camera porn!
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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  33. #33
    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Yea and a new Toyota Tacoma sitting there
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  34. #34
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    I am expecting delivery next week of my XL. Is there any way I can know for certain I have the NEW screen.
    may be part number, some identifing marks, anything at all.
    All suggestions are welcome.
    Thanks,
    R----

  35. #35
    Workshop Member lance_schad's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    Quote Originally Posted by rollei8is View Post
    I am expecting delivery next week of my XL. Is there any way I can know for certain I have the NEW screen.
    may be part number, some identifing marks, anything at all.
    All suggestions are welcome.
    Thanks,
    R----
    When you get your XF look at the display screen and the icon next to the mirror-up icon is one that is two squares inside each other. Look through the viewfinder and if you see the same symbol then you have the new screen. If it is a circle with brackets on either side then it is the older one.


    L
    LANCE SCHAD - Digital Transitions - Phase One,Mamiya | Leaf,Arca-Swiss,Cambo, Profoto
    direct/cell:610-496-5586 office:877-367-8537x224
    http://www.digitaltransitions.com email:[email protected]
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  36. #36
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    I'm delighted to report that my dealer, B3K Digital in Toronto, is sending me the new XF screen at no cost. Phase is doing the right thing!
    Bill CB

    www.billcaulfeild-browne.ca
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  37. #37
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One XF impressions/reviews, so far?

    I've just got back from using the XF for a week along with the 350 & acromatic backs plus the new wide & zoom LS lenses.

    The good news - no major desire to upgrade my IQ150 to a 3 series for now. The bad news? I loved using the XF which is like a totally new camera vs the DF+. What a difference!!

    I now have this on my New Years shopping list with both prism and waist level finder. A much more usable camera system now to the degree that I'm enthused by the thought of using my Phase One / Mamiya lenses again.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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