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Thread: Moving to MF

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    New Member MarkBeaumont's Avatar
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    Moving to MF

    I'm toying with the idea of moving into MF for my equine portrait work, and finding it a little bewildering, and with little time on my hands to do masses of research. So hoping you guys can offer a bit of advice, even if its just to point in which direction to look further.

    My current work flow is Nikon F/F with 85mm lens, and Profoto lights, its my standard set up, but I also sometimes have to work totally outside in the summer, so overpowering the sun is a must, and I understand I can get faster flash sync with MF too.

    So a couple of questions please, do all MF cameras have the same fast flash sync 1/800th? and do the frames per second vary considerably between makes/models? )I don't need loads of frames per sec, but often its the split second after the first shot, that the horse poses as I want! and I don't want to be waiting 2 or 3 secs for the buffer to catch up.

    I'm currently looking at a Hassy H5d-40, (loads cheaper than the 50c) or a Phase one with an IQ260 refurb.

    Any thoughts much appreciated, thanks in advance.

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    Re: Moving to MF

    Phase One has 1/1600sec and Hasselblad 1/800sec flash sync, however getting these speeds and the quantity of light needed to over power the sun can depend more on the strobe equipment you use than the camera so testing is a must.

    Frame rate on MFD is in the region of 1fps - 1.5fps depending the back so not exactly good for capturing anything happening a split second after your first click.

    What is the main reason you want to jump up to MFD, the flash sync speeds?
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    Re: Moving to MF

    Yes there are a lot of differences between different makers. For what you told, Leica could be an option:

    Leica S, Type 007 offers 3,5 frames per second.

    With the CS (Central Shutter) lenses, e.g. 120mm (96mm equivalent), you will get 1/1000 Sync. (there is also HSS with up to 1/4000)

    The buffer holds normally 13-16 frames with RAW.
    Last edited by siddhaarta; 8th February 2016 at 19:36.
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Moving to MF

    I'm a recent convert to the Phase One XF body and the LS lenses. You might find that this system can fit your needs easily. It's MUCH MUCH more reliable than the DF/DF+ so far and the LS lenses have always been great and will give you the high sync rates you might be after.

    Believe me, I hated my Phase One DSLR system for several years but finally Phase One have got it sorted out properly.

    Leica S or the Pentax 645Z ... the other white meat
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Moving to MF

    I made the same move from a Nikon FF (D4s) to a H5D-40 and now even to a H5D-50c Wifi. In my experience the 1/800 fastest flash sync of the H system is good enough and it anyways depends on the fast flash system you are using outdoor overpowering the sun. I am shooting with a Bron Move and this when at full power (1200 Ws) the speed t 0.1 is only 1/375 sec, so with a 1/800 shutter (and with Phases 1/1600 even more) you will cut away some of the flash light (I guess this is similar to your Profoto equipment).

    But with MF you don't need that large apertures like 1.4 or 2.0 for the bokeh effect as with 35 FF or even APS-C. Actually, these lenses do not even exist (the H 80mm with f/2.8 is the fastest lens). Remember sunny 16 rule:

    f16 - 1/100 (ISO 100)
    f11 - 1/200
    f8 - 1/400
    f5.6 - 1/800

    Depending on the lenses a aperture of 5.6 gives enough bokeh (this compares about 1 - 2 stops to the 35mm systems --> f4 - f2.8) and if you still want faster aperture then just use in addition a ND 0.3 or 0.6

    Hope this helps.
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    New Member MarkBeaumont's Avatar
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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post

    What is the main reason you want to jump up to MFD, the flash sync speeds?
    Yes that's a big reason, and none of the so called hyper sync flash works without a resultant flash power loss, i need the shutter to knock out the daylight. Also I'd like to get a bit more tonal quality and dynamic range. Not to mention I like the slowness of it, I love shooting film on my old Hassy, but my clients want to see results before I leave the shoot, and Polaroids don't really cut it.

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    New Member MarkBeaumont's Avatar
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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jvpictures View Post
    I made the same move from a Nikon FF (D4s) to a H5D-40 and now even to a H5D-50c Wifi......
    Tanks, just out of interest, why did you move from the H5D-40 to the HD5-50, was it just the wifi capability, or is there much noticeable quality increase?

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    Re: Moving to MF

    It seems that your constraints mainly include: high flash sync speed, price and speed of operation.

    For high flash sync speeds, not all MF systems are created equal. You will need a central shutter. That excludes the Pentax 645 cameras. Also: all Hasselblad lenses have a central shutter, for Phase One you will need Schneider lenses (the cheaper Mamiya lenses don't have a central shutter). For Leica, you will need lenses marked "CS" (more expensive). As to max sync speed, in practice, 1/800 is sufficient to kill sunlight.

    Price: have you considered buying second hand? You mentioned a H5D-40, a H4D-40 is essentially the same thing and will be quite cheaper. Actually, even a H3D-31 is a quite capable camera and probably costs a bit less than a Nikon D810.

    Speed of operation: with Hasselblad and Phase One, you can take roughly an image a second. That is a limitation of the mechanics, not of the card write speed. Leica S cameras with a CMOS sensor are noticeably faster, but they may be above budget. The older models with a CCD sensor which can be had for comparatively less money are not as fast.

    You also said that your customers want to see the results on the spot. Many professional photographers shoot tethered to be able to directly show the results to their clients. Whether that is relevant to you I don't know and in any case it implies having a cable connected to the camera (5m max length, firewire only), unless you buy a wifi enabled model (more expensive, of course). In any case, you may want to inquire about that capability.
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    Senior Member aztwang's Avatar
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    Re: Moving to MF

    I too moved from Nikon D810 To Phase One XF and IQ250 (Love the wifi tethering for iPad/client work) w/ LS lenses. Love the faster flash sync, up to 1/1600... BUT read this, it's a must for proper understanding how it all works:
    https://captureintegration.com/flash...gering-method/

    You need to get you flash duration faster than your shutter speed for accurate results and use the fastest remotes possible..read this:

    https://captureintegration.com/defin...gh-speed-sync/

    Hope this helps

    Don
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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBeaumont View Post
    Tanks, just out of interest, why did you move from the H5D-40 to the HD5-50, was it just the wifi capability, or is there much noticeable quality increase?
    the H5D-50c Wifi comes with a number of advantages, namely:
    - same sensor size but higher resolution (50 vs 40 MP)
    - better LCD screen (480k vs 240k dots; still far inferior than many 35 mm DSLR's with more than 1000k and also the Phase X3 is better here)
    - live view and Wifi (you can easily connect an iPad or iPhone; e.g. i connect and hook up an iPhone 6 with retina display on top of the camera on the hot shoe)
    - CMOS vs CCD: obviously better in higher ISO (up to 6400), besides live view
    - longer exposure (e.g. for landscapes): ca. 34 minutes vs. around 5 minutes
    - slightly faster fps (less than 1 second vs more than 1 sec)
    - higher dynamic range (14 stops vs 12 (?) stops, not really sure here)
    - great price packages available (although also with the H5D-40)
    - maybe some more reason?

    I still have the H5D-40, being for sale. comes with 80mm lens and full 1 1/2 year original warranty. good price.
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    Re: Moving to MF

    forgot:
    True Focus is really good thing for portraiture. This is with both H available (H5D-40 and 50c), but not on the X3. these MF cameras do only have one central focus sensor, which are by far inferior than a professional 35 mm camera...

    I have used and shot both systems, the H and the new X3 and both systems have advantages and disadvantages against each other, the overall conditions also for your personal style and preference may decide. Price-wise the X3 system is probably a factor around 2...
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    Re: Moving to MF

    but remember:

    these systems are a no go for any action - reportage photography or at least only with serious constraints: thus I tried to shoot some night - street scenes in the current Carneval yesterday, and it was a disaster. after 20 minutes I ditched the H and took the Nikon. The H (and I believe that is the same also with Phase) are just too slow, not enough sensitivity (ISO), not fast enough lenses ( I was using the excellent 35-90 mm zoom at f 5.6), also too heavy (system weight with this lens is about 4 kg)...

    this is just my opinion based on some however rather limited MF experience, other may disagree....

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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jvpictures View Post
    but remember:

    these systems are a no go for any action - reportage photography or at least only with serious constraints: thus I tried to shoot some night - street scenes in the current Carneval yesterday, and it was a disaster. after 20 minutes I ditched the H and took the Nikon.
    I've shot many weddings with medium format. The XF really opens up medium format to situations it would not previously have been well suited for and if you haven't used it I don't think it's obvious how big of a change it represents.

    The four main primes (55LS, 80LS, 110LS, 150LS) I use at weddings are all quite reasonable in weight and focus very quickly on an XF body. The IQ260 would give you up to ISO3200 in Sensor+ mode (faster shooting, higher ISO range, lower resolution), and in Capture One 9 I actually do feel ISO1600 looks great; grainy, but not in an unpleasant way. An IQ3 50mp or IQ3 100mp would give you higher ISOs at higher resolution (ISO 6,400 for the 50mp, ISO 12,800 for the 100mp).
    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: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    I've shot many weddings with medium format. The XF really opens up medium format to situations it would not previously have been well suited for and if you haven't used it I don't think it's obvious how big of a change it represents.

    The four main primes (55LS, 80LS, 110LS, 150LS) I use at weddings are all quite reasonable in weight and focus very quickly on an XF body. The IQ260 would give you up to ISO3200 in Sensor+ mode (faster shooting, higher ISO range, lower resolution), and in Capture One 9 I actually do feel ISO1600 looks great; grainy, but not in an unpleasant way. An IQ3 50mp or IQ3 100mp would give you higher ISOs at higher resolution (ISO 6,400 for the 50mp, ISO 12,800 for the 100mp).
    Right, there's very little you objectively can't shoot with a given format/technology, even if there are ones more suitable. As far as MF goes, the Pentax and Leicas are the "sport" models, since they're about as fast as the average mid-range DSLR, and I have plenty of success using the Z in dark interiors due to the sensor's performance. The Leica S 007 is weather-sealed and is considerably faster than either Hass or Phase, so it definitely gets points for OP's use case.

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    Re: Moving to MF

    The other "divide" worth thinking about when you make a choice of system is the raw processor.

    There are two worlds: Phase One with Capture One and then everything else. That is none of the other MF systems can use C1.

    Worth understanding whether that matters to you.

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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelorus View Post
    The other "divide" worth thinking about when you make a choice of system is the raw processor.

    There are two worlds: Phase One with Capture One and then everything else. That is none of the other MF systems can use C1.

    Worth understanding whether that matters to you.
    For clarity this is [Team Phase One] and everything else.

    That is, Mamiya Leaf digital backs (e.g. Credo 40) is fully and natively supported in Capture One as Mamiya Leaf is part of Team Phase One.
    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: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    I've shot many weddings with medium format. The XF really opens up medium format to situations it would not previously have been well suited for and if you haven't used it I don't think it's obvious how big of a change it represents.

    The four main primes (55LS, 80LS, 110LS, 150LS) I use at weddings are all quite reasonable in weight and focus very quickly on an XF body. The IQ260 would give you up to ISO3200 in Sensor+ mode (faster shooting, higher ISO range, lower resolution), and in Capture One 9 I actually do feel ISO1600 looks great; grainy, but not in an unpleasant way. An IQ3 50mp or IQ3 100mp would give you higher ISOs at higher resolution (ISO 6,400 for the 50mp, ISO 12,800 for the 100mp).
    Mark, I personally wouldn't take anyones word for it and extraneous lists of specifications mean little if we know nothing about how you shoot.

    My recommendation would be to hire a few cameras or get to know a friendly dealer, (if any exist like Doug in the UK?) possibly getting them to demo a camera for you on a shoot and thoroughly try them out. I personally think this is the only way you should buy into MFD, especially for a subject matter like yours.
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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBeaumont View Post
    I'm toying with the idea of moving into MF for my equine portrait work, and finding it a little bewildering, and with little time on my hands to do masses of research. So hoping you guys can offer a bit of advice, even if its just to point in which direction to look further.

    My current work flow is Nikon F/F with 85mm lens, and Profoto lights, its my standard set up, but I also sometimes have to work totally outside in the summer, so overpowering the sun is a must, and I understand I can get faster flash sync with MF too.

    So a couple of questions please, do all MF cameras have the same fast flash sync 1/800th? and do the frames per second vary considerably between makes/models? )I don't need loads of frames per sec, but often its the split second after the first shot, that the horse poses as I want! and I don't want to be waiting 2 or 3 secs for the buffer to catch up.

    I'm currently looking at a Hassy H5d-40, (loads cheaper than the 50c) or a Phase one with an IQ260 refurb.

    Any thoughts much appreciated, thanks in advance.
    Why do you want MF? What are you looking for to get out of it?

    I own a PhaseOne IQ160 and Hasselblad H1 and Arca Swiss tech cam setup besides a bunch of Canon DSLR gear btw so not trolling just wanna give you the best advice.

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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    For clarity this is [Team Phase One] and everything else.

    That is, Mamiya Leaf digital backs (e.g. Credo 40) is fully and natively supported in Capture One as Mamiya Leaf is part of Team Phase One.
    Thanks Doug, that was sloppy of me, particularly given I shoot with a Mamiya Leaf back!

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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    My recommendation would be to hire a few cameras or get to know a friendly dealer, (if any exist like Doug in the UK?) possibly getting them to demo a camera for you on a shoot and thoroughly try them out. I personally think this is the only way you should buy into MFD, especially for a subject matter like yours.
    In the UK, Pro Centre (http://www.procentre.co.uk) has good reputation and a good selection of used MF cameras. They are about 15% more expensive than German ebay dealers, though.

    The op being based in Europe, there are a few peculiarities which may be unknown to our US based members:
    -if the op has a VAT number, he will be able to claim VAT back, even on a second hand camera provided that the camera is bought from another user with a VAT number. Some ebay dealers have such offers regularly.
    -there are no duties within the EU and good prices to be had in Germany or Scandinavia for second hand MF cameras (on ebay germany, not ebay uk).

    It should be relatively straightforward and comparatively inexpensive to hire a MF and lens for the week-end in most major UK cities. OTOH, if one intends to test MF for a comparatively longer period, say a month or so, it is probably cheaper to buy an older model used and resell it afterwards.
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    Re: Moving to MF

    anyone want to lay out a price comparison: blad, phase, leica 006/007?

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    New Member MarkBeaumont's Avatar
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    Re: Moving to MF

    Thanks for all the info so far, way too much to think about Seem to have spent the last two days just reading stuff, but not sure I'm much the wiser.

    For those asking why, I simply want the better dynamic range, and a faster flash sync, which even at 1/800th is two stops better than I can currently get, and enough for my needs.

    Hiring is the best option in the ideal world, but I don't live anywhere near the hire centre and it makes it very costly, but still thinking about it.

    I'm finding myself drawn to the HD5-50c though, pretty good price at the moment.

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    Re: Moving to MF

    To echo what's been said before, you may find True Focus on the Hasselblad useful for your portrait work. You could either go H4D/H5D and a hassy back or H4X/H5X body with a phase back to get and make use of this feature. Hasselblad also has the 100mm f2.2 lens which may be useful for portraiture as well. I'd definitely recommend finding a dealer and trying out hasselblad bodies and the phase DF/DF+/XF side by side and see what works best for you if you're thinking about hasselblad vs. phase. Also, if speed of capture/fps is important in your workflow, keep in mind that MF may not be the best tool for you regardless of image quality and you may find yourself missing shots. Just another reason to test before buying.

    If dynamic range is important, the Sony CMOS sensor in the H5D-50c wifi that youre drawn to currently will probably have better dynamic range than the H5D-40 or IQ260 you mentioned earlier. You'll also have better high ISO performance compared to the latter if that matters at all to you.
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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    anyone want to lay out a price comparison: blad, phase, leica 006/007?
    Quick answer, Phase One looking very expensive over Hasselblad, but sorry, nothing more scientific than that.

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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    In the UK, Pro Centre (http://www.procentre.co.uk) has good reputation and a good selection of used MF cameras. They are about 15% more expensive than German ebay dealers, though.
    Pro Centre are not interested in selling to anyone outside of UK, as they ignore inquiries.

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    Re: Moving to MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Krosavcheg View Post
    Pro Centre are not interested in selling to anyone outside of UK, as they ignore inquiries.
    I take it back...

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