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Thread: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

  1. #51
    Member Abstraction's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    No, I don't think it would be fair or accurate to say that.

    Aside from resolution or the medium format look there are many other reasons. I can mention a few:

    1. Possibility to use leaf-shutters and strobes for ambient light control
    2. Possibility of using some of the finest lenses available with up to 100 line pairs/mm (Rodenstock/Schneider)
    3. Ability to achieve perfect composition in camera via rise/fall/shift
    4. Ability to stay within the optimal aperture range of the lens via use of tilt
    5. Ability to achieve focus in unique situations via swing
    6. Ability to achieve perfect stitches by using the far larger image circles of the MF lenses
    7. No worries about shutter vibration when using slower shutter speeds
    8. 4:3 aspect ratio over 3:2
    9. Built-in lens profiles in Capture One
    10. Beautiful color profiles in Capture One


    Some of these are technical camera specific since that is how I use my digital back.
    Whether some/any of these are important for you is for you to decide.
    The point is that there ARE many other compelling reasons.
    All of those are very valid and I would say compelling reasons to go MF except that most of the bullet points you describe can be achieved with 35mm.

    1. Since there are technical cameras available that can accommodate 35mm bodies, the swings, stitches, and tilts are no longer the purview of MF world. The same goes for Rodenstock lenses, and leaf shutter lenses or at the very least, HSS flashes that would approximate leaf shutter effects.

    2. Capture One - Can't you use Capture One with your 35mm camera? There might be color profiles available or as some have mentioned, they create their own

    So, that leaves the 3:2 aspect ratio. Is that enough to warrant such a price premium? I'm not negating it as a valid point, it is, but it seems this is the only point that can't be addressed (other than through cropping) with 35mm format.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    All of those are very valid and I would say compelling reasons to go MF except that most of the bullet points you describe can be achieved with 35mm.

    1. Since there are technical cameras available that can accommodate 35mm bodies, the swings, stitches, and tilts are no longer the purview of MF world. The same goes for Rodenstock lenses, and leaf shutter lenses or at the very least, HSS flashes that would approximate leaf shutter effects.

    2. Capture One - Can't you use Capture One with your 35mm camera? There might be color profiles available or as some have mentioned, they create their own

    So, that leaves the 3:2 aspect ratio. Is that enough to warrant such a price premium? I'm not negating it as a valid point, it is, but it seems this is the only point that can't be addressed (other than through cropping) with 35mm format.
    The great thing about this forum is that no one shoves their choices and opinions down upon anyone.
    I hope you'll agree that you got several well thought answers from some pros and some hacks (me).
    It seems the answer for you is 35mm not MF.

    Cheers!
    IQ3 100 • Cambo 1600 • Rodenstock 23,32,50,90 • Zeiss 350SA
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Which reminds me what a DPR member wrote a while ago while discussing in a similar thread:
    Don't look at the pixels. Look at the whole picture.



    I went over RAW files shot with Pentax 645Z and Canon 5DSr. For the life of me, I could not see a difference between them. I looked really, really hard.

  4. #54
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    The great thing about this forum is that no one shoves their choices and opinions down upon anyone.
    I hope you'll agree that you got several well thought answers from some pros and some hacks (me).
    It seems the answer for you is 35mm not MF.

    Cheers!
    I absolutely did. This thread has been very educational. It's not and has never been my intention to shove my opinions down anyone's throat. And I think that you're right that I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to say that I don't see a compelling reason to jump into MF. As far as I can see, 99% of the image quality, at a given resolution can be achieved with 35mm. That's not a bad thing, btw.

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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    I absolutely did. This thread has been very educational. It's not and has never been my intention to shove my opinions down anyone's throat. And I think that you're right that I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to say that I don't see a compelling reason to jump into MF. As far as I can see, 99% of the image quality, at a given resolution can be achieved with 35mm. That's not a bad thing, btw.
    I did not mean to imply that you are shoving your opinions down anyone's throat. Most of the people who post here are already MF owners so obviously they made their decisions. You can't/won't convince them otherwise
    In the end if you can not perceive more than 1% quality difference then it would be absurd to opt for MF.
    The perception of most MF owners far exceeds the 1% and combined with some of the things I listed and some I failed to mention,it makes an easy choice in favor of MF. Its great to have choices.

    I am not being facetious when I say this. And it is my personal opinion off-course. Modern camera phones have invalidated the need for a DSLR. Point and shoot cameras were the first victims and DSLRs are next. I think MF will push the envelope further upwards to create the quality separation. In the end we will be left with superlative MF IQ on quality end of the spectrum and the excellent camera-phones on the convenience end of the spectrum.
    Last edited by Jamgolf; 15th March 2016 at 08:53.
    IQ3 100 • Cambo 1600 • Rodenstock 23,32,50,90 • Zeiss 350SA
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    ....
    The perception of most MF owners far exceeds the 1% and combined with some of the things I listed and some I failed to mention,it makes an easy choice in favor of MF. Its great to have choices.

    .....
    This general statement is probably about as succinct as you can get to a "compelling reason" for medium format digital, reasons which are both objective and subjective.

    Don't forget! We wanna see pictures of the boat! Pictures or it didn't happen!

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    The images that I take with my H5D50 back attached to my Arca rm3di with one of my Rodie or Schneider lenses are superior in resolution to those taken with my Nikon D810 with any of my Nikon glass. The difference really becomes apparent when I print big!
    That said obviously the Nikon is superior for nature/wildlife due the the great Nikon telephoto lenses.
    Stanley

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by stngoldberg View Post
    The images that I take with my H5D50 back attached to my Arca rm3di with one of my Rodie or Schneider lenses are superior in resolution to those taken with my Nikon D810 with any of my Nikon glass. The difference really becomes apparent when I print big!
    That said obviously the Nikon is superior for nature/wildlife due the the great Nikon telephoto lenses.
    Stanley
    Put your Nikon on a a tech camera with the same Rodie or Schneider glass and then tell me if there is a difference.

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    Senior Member stngoldberg's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    As far as I know, there isn't any way to attach my Nikon to technical camera glass
    Stanley

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    Put your Nikon on a a tech camera with the same Rodie or Schneider glass and then tell me if there is a difference.
    You could do that, but because of the Nikon's mirror box you'd be limited to longer lenses only ... and since there are great long lenses (in 35mm format) on the Nikon anyway, you wouldn't see much of an advantage of the S/K or R/S glass.

    Where S/K and R/S glass really shines is with the W/As ... nothing comparable in 35mm terms - not even the Canon T/S lenses or anything from Zeiss IMHO.

    The problem is that - again because of the mirror-box - you can't use them on a Nikon DSLR. You can use them on a tech cam with a mirrorless body (e.g. an A7R), but with limited movements and an effective increase in focal length.

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    Which reminds me what a DPR member wrote a while ago while discussing in a similar thread:
    Don't look at the pixels. Look at the whole picture.



    I went over RAW files shot with Pentax 645Z and Canon 5DSr. For the life of me, I could not see a difference between them. I looked really, really hard.
    That likely wouldn't be the case had the files been captured under very low light conditions or if there was a need to pull out shadow detail. Resolution is only part of the equation along with dynamic range, S/N performance, freedom from moire, etc., in which the 645Z beats the 5DSr hands down. Needs vary. For some the Canon may be a solution while not for others.

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    I thought so too and to me, that was THE most compelling reason to go the MF route until I saw this:

    https://captureintegration.com/cambo/cambo-x-2-pro/

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    For me, it was seeing and appreciating something from long ago. A wet darkroom print from 8x10 film.

    Looking for Infinite « E vestigio

    That led to old-school medium format... Hasselblad and film and a Flextight X1 scanner. And that, finally, to a CFV-50c back.

    I tend to focus far more on the pictures one makes than the tech one uses in making them. That said, the process and the technique of most medium format photography is very different from 35mm. Medium format imposes a slower, more thoughtful, more disciplined way of seeing light and shadow. That more measured pace isn't for everyone. But it greatly influences what the end result will be. That's the first difference... the kind of pictures you get are going to be different.

    35mm digital is crazy good these days. I absolutely love the results I get from my Leica and Nikon systems. And no one needs to apologize for concluding that it's quite good enough for their purposes. But medium format has an ineffable quality to it, a depth, that many of us find enormously compelling. I don't know what it is. I suspect it's some combination of resolution and pixel depth and color profiles. What I do know is that the difference in detail and tonality and color is easy to see. There's a dimensionality to medium format that sometimes just makes you catch your breath.

    As for price, there is a lot of overlap between high-end 35mm systems and lower-priced or used medium format gear. I paid more for one lens for my Leica than the current retail on the CFV-50c. Nothing says you have to spend 50 grand.

    Or any at all.
    Jeff

    www.jeffhughesphoto.com
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    And that's really the rub: "I think I can". I think I can too, but I don't think I can to the tune of $50,000 or even $15,000. If the price delta is going to be that high, shouldn't we be able to obviously see the difference? The difference should be so big that there shouldn't even be any doubt or debate about it.

    A lot of it, in fact, most of it has to do with money. If the price delta is small, we really don't care if we see that big a difference. We like the viewfinder, we like the way it feels, we like the work flow, all good things, and so we can afford to indulge. However, when the price delta is SO high, shouldn't the difference be a lot more than "I think I can?"
    For me the difference is there and for me its worth the money.
    At work I have to make many decisions based on ROI rated in Euro/Dollar.
    But thats not the case for all things in life.
    Sometimes it is good to have high goals and to not decide just based on value vs price. (I think)

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    You can't remove money from the equation. Money is very much part of the equation. As I had stated previously, if the price difference is small enough, we can afford to be "subjective" if you will, and just say: "I like the MF experience, it's got that 'je ne sais quoi" and so I'm going to pay, let's say 10% more and have that visceral enjoyment. Fair enough, but when we're talking about spending 10x as much for what could objectively amount to being a 5% difference... that's why the French stormed the Bastille



    Naturally, that's what I'm trying to do. I'm leaning towards proclaiming that MF is a waste of money, but I'm not there yet. I want to believe there is a practical reason folks go out there and spend crazy money on MF stuff. I want to believe it's not just for bragging rights.
    If you believe money is such an important factor in your decision than it will be hard to justify anything other than buying a used lower priced DSLR from the pre-previous generation. It will deliver the best ROI and it will deliver IQ nearly as good as the latest models.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    I thought so too and to me, that was THE most compelling reason to go the MF route until I saw this:

    https://captureintegration.com/cambo/cambo-x-2-pro/
    Not sure you understood the previous post. An SLR is not totally interchangeable with a MFDB with any of these tech/view cams. On lenses less than 40mm, there is almost no room between sensor and rear-element. So while you can attach a Nikon or Canon, you are limited to longer focal lengths. The Sony A7x fair a little better, but still have limitations.

    Regardless of this, you'll find most of these solutions are hacks. The SLR was meant to be shot as an SLR, not as the equivalent of a film back on a tech cam.

    Anyway, it sounds like you've got your answer, and now we are splitting hairs for the sake of finer hairs.

    If you care to share the kind of work you do or samples of your work, people maybe able to help you understand how an MF system may help or not help your cause.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    For me there were several reasons to leave MF behind (Hasselblad in my case, but I do know Phase so well that there is no difference for me).

    1) There is not enough IQ difference anymore for me - simply put I cannot see enough difference. Maybe it is for others, it was not for me, at least since the introduction of the D800E 4 years ago.

    2) There is not the choice of lenses I want to see for MF. I know there are many great lenses around for all MF systems meanwhile, but far from what is available from Nikon. And again, for me in most cases I could not see enough of IQ difference.

    3) MF is FAR more expensive as a system than an excellent FF system.

    4) MF was and is and will always be too bulky for me to carry around - for landscape, architecture, people and I do not even count in wildlife, as this is by no means the native domain of MF

    5) All this together made me happily step out of MF and I never looked back.

    I want to have fun with photography and with MF it became too much hassle on every level. For me this was an easy decision and I do not regret.

    Anyway I wish all who love, like and need MF all the best and great experience.

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    Member Abstraction's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    If you believe money is such an important factor in your decision than it will be hard to justify anything other than buying a used lower priced DSLR from the pre-previous generation. It will deliver the best ROI and it will deliver IQ nearly as good as the latest models.
    This is true unless there's something so incredibly different about the latest generation cameras that compels you to buy it new. Canon 5DSr is an example of that, so is Sony A7RII, so is Nikon 810. Those models are paving the way to the next phase of digital photography in the 35mm world. Otherwise, you are absolutely correct.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    I went over RAW files shot with Pentax 645Z and Canon 5DSr. For the life of me, I could not see a difference between them. I looked really, really hard.
    I just cant understand that for the life of me. We compared my 645z vs a friends 5Dsr - the difference was seriously significant. We shot them side by side on a tripod both at 100 iso at f/8 and the difference was clear as day.

    But if you can't see a diff, then definitely stick with the 5D - the lens range is certainly a lot broader.

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    This is true unless there's something so incredibly different about the latest generation cameras that compels you to buy it new. Canon 5DSr is an example of that, so is Sony A7RII, so is Nikon 810. Those models are paving the way to the next phase of digital photography in the 35mm world. Otherwise, you are absolutely correct.
    What do you mean with "next phase of digital phtography" ? Could you tell -when looking at a print- if it is was made from a 5 year old DSLR or one of those you mentioned?
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    Not sure you understood the previous post. An SLR is not totally interchangeable with a MFDB with any of these tech/view cams. On lenses less than 40mm, there is almost no room between sensor and rear-element. So while you can attach a Nikon or Canon, you are limited to longer focal lengths. The Sony A7x fair a little better, but still have limitations.
    As I understand it from the link, you attach Rodenstock lenses to this camera down to 28mm. There is another camera made for mirrorless, but this one in particular is for DSLRS.

    Regardless of this, you'll find most of these solutions are hacks. The SLR was meant to be shot as an SLR, not as the equivalent of a film back on a tech cam.
    If you think about it, all tech cameras are hacks since digital backs were originally designed for DSLRs. However, this particular camera is produced by Cambo, so as I see it, it's as good of a hack as any other Cambo. I would agree that it's probably a bit more limited than a Cambo made for digital backs, but my point is that it's so close that unless you're super specialized, there are solutions out there that will cover you 99% of the time

    Anyway, it sounds like you've got your answer, and now we are splitting hairs for the sake of finer hairs.

    If you care to share the kind of work you do or samples of your work, people maybe able to help you understand how an MF system may help or not help your cause.
    Yeah, for the most part, I got my answer.

    Here are some images of the type of work that I do:











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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    A picture is worth a thousand words ... or in this case 5,000 words.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    What do you mean with "next phase of digital phtography" ? Could you tell -when looking at a print- if it is was made from a 5 year old DSLR or one of those you mentioned?
    Depends on the size of the print.

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    But medium format has an ineffable quality to it, a depth, that many of us find enormously compelling. I don't know what it is. I suspect it's some combination of resolution and pixel depth and color profiles. What I do know is that the difference in detail and tonality and color is easy to see. There's a dimensionality to medium format that sometimes just makes you catch your breath.
    I have a Leica M240 but am looking at getting into MF digital, and have roadtested both the Leica S006 and S007 (so both CCD and CMOS).
    It is the depth and dimensionality you mention which, to me, is the most distinguishing part of the image quality advantage of the S over the M.
    In large crops from 50x30" images on fine art baryta, the difference in depth / dimensionality is very obvious. I feel like I'm walking into the S image, and things just "pop out" at me from the S print.
    If I was comparing images side by side on a computer screen, the differences might not be anywhere near as obvious.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    Put your Nikon on a a tech camera with the same Rodie or Schneider glass and then tell me if there is a difference.
    I use an A7r with Schneider digitars (via a cambo actus) the results are way better than any 35mm based lenses I have used (not tried an otus as I need movements) and have made a P45/hassleblad redundant. I'm unlikely to go back to MFD as it just doesn't make sense for me or my business.

    i still think the MFD cameras including the latest phase are still flawed and way overpriced for what they can do.
    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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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    A situation of having a Nikon kit and $60k in a bank might be a better situation than P1 kit and 0k in a bank if the Nikon kit produces the same quality images as the P1, thus allowing me to produce beautiful work and having $60k in a bank with which to do other things. The P1 and 0k in a bank scenario would drain the extra $60k without buying me anything more.
    Trust me, there are folks on this forum who might well not even notice an extra $60k in the bank if it were there. (And I dare say also on any boards, including Leica, Canon, Nikon, M4/3rd etc). It's not the important consideration when it comes to enjoying life.

    It doesn't matter how much money one has or whether it's a big monetary hit for that particular person or not. There are always other things to spend money on. If you're telling me that the reason you or other folks on this forum got their MF cameras because "you can", that would certainly be the type of an answer that would put this entire discussion to rest.

    All right, I'll bite. I shoot medium format because I can. And I want to. And I get pleasure from it.

    On the flip side I live in a modest home with no desire to keep up with the neighbors. I don't have a boat. I don't have an ex-trophy wife and alimony and child support either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    So, that leaves the 3:2 aspect ratio. Is that enough to warrant such a price premium? I'm not negating it as a valid point, it is, but it seems this is the only point that can't be addressed (other than through cropping) with 35mm format.
    3:2 ratio isn't a pleasurable format for me to shoot with. If I don't enjoy using a system due to the image proportions, or usability, or just simply getting on with it, then I choose to use my moments on the planet to decide not to. It's called choice.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 16th March 2016 at 10:28.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    As I understand it from the link, you attach Rodenstock lenses to this camera down to 28mm. There is another camera made for mirrorless, but this one in particular is for DSLRS.



    If you think about it, all tech cameras are hacks since digital backs were originally designed for DSLRs. However, this particular camera is produced by Cambo, so as I see it, it's as good of a hack as any other Cambo. I would agree that it's probably a bit more limited than a Cambo made for digital backs, but my point is that it's so close that unless you're super specialized, there are solutions out there that will cover you 99% of the time



    Yeah, for the most part, I got my answer.

    Here are some images of the type of work that I do:
    I'm not sure I am entitled to an opinion about anyone else's photographs, but looking at these, I wonder whether one couldn't manage to make these images using ONLY photoshop. ie, no camera at all. This isn't a criticism, this is just a suggestion. Looking at these, I think you might want to stick to point-and-shoots, if at all. Why bother with even 35mm?
    Understand that I am in no way trying to demoralise your artwork, but honestly, if these indeed are your flagship artworks, then you have bigger fish to fry than debating MF vs 35mm. Again, no criticism intended, simply trying to widen your perspective about your art (since you asked).
    Really, I don't see any place for MF digital as a tool for you to improvise (if they need improvising in your opinion, that is). You will notice that the tech cam thread puts up photos that are far far different to what you have uploaded. Sure there are some with ICM (intentional camera movements) but not many.

    Cheers man !
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    I think I have read every post on this and no one has stated the most obvious factor in MF ... Sensor size. Just as 8 x 10 was the benchmark in film, there is no way for a full frame DSLR to beat 40mm x 52 mm sensor. Please CCD vs CMOS arguments need not reply.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    I see two main differentiating factors with MF:

    - The lenses
    - The photographers
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  30. #80
    Member Abstraction's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Trust me, there are folks on this forum who might well not even notice an extra $60k in the bank if it were there. (And I dare so also on any boards, including Leica, Canon, Nikon, M4/3rd etc). It's not the important consideration when it comes to enjoying life.


    All right, I'll bite. I shoot medium format because I can. And I want to. And I get pleasure from it.
    That's fine and that's the reason I said that if you, or anyone says: "I shoot MF because I can", that puts the entire discussion to bed. That says to me that you do it for no practical reason, but for reasons that have to do with the feel, the zen, the this, the that, all kinds of reasons except practical ones. In that case, there's nothing to discuss, everything becomes pretty clear.

    On the flip side I live in a modest home with no desire to keep up with the neighbors. I don't have a boat. I don't have an ex-trophy wife and alimony and child support either.
    I have a feeling a lot of folks out here have had their trophy wives stuffed and their trophy heads are now hanging in the cabin, in the woods somewhere.


    3:2 ratio isn't a pleasurable format for me to shoot with. If I don't enjoy using a system due to the image proportions, or usability, or just simply getting on with it, then I choose to use my moments on the planet to decide not to. It's called choice.
    I'm not too keen on 3:2 ratio either, but I can live with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    I'm not sure I am entitled to an opinion about anyone else's photographs, but looking at these, I wonder whether one couldn't manage to make these images using ONLY photoshop. ie, no camera at all. This isn't a criticism, this is just a suggestion. Looking at these, I think you might want to stick to point-and-shoots, if at all. Why bother with even 35mm?
    Understand that I am in no way trying to demoralise your artwork, but honestly, if these indeed are your flagship artworks, then you have bigger fish to fry than debating MF vs 35mm. Again, no criticism intended, simply trying to widen your perspective about your art (since you asked).
    Really, I don't see any place for MF digital as a tool for you to improvise (if they need improvising in your opinion, that is). You will notice that the tech cam thread puts up photos that are far far different to what you have uploaded. Sure there are some with ICM (intentional camera movements) but not many.

    Cheers man !
    Funny enough, I'm not very good with Photoshop. One of the things that I really admire about a lot of folks on these forums is their ability to use photoshop to make their photographs sing. I was following an old thread where Jack Flesher was testing iq180 and he took, what I thought was a lack luster photograph and then he massaged it and voila! That image just came alive. The guy is obviously a PS magician. One of the things that makes him a magician is that you wouldn't say that he did a lot of PS work looking at his photographs. He makes them look natural and beautiful.

    Conversely, my photographs are straight out of camera. If there is a way to do them in Photoshop, I wouldn't know how. The most that I do to them is clean the spots and sometimes adjust the contrast curves.

    The thing that drew me to digital format is the ability to mount the backs on tech cams and have the proper movements. Besides, since my work is mostly about color, I was hoping that MF allowed for greater color tonality. Alas, from what I have seen, I'm not sure that's the case.

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Please read this post as having been said respectfully, because that's how it's meant.

    There is no answer to the question posed. It's like asking why you drive the car you drive, why you like the woman/man who is special to you, why you like a particular colour paint for your house/boat/car...

    You can search out the metrics on any camera/lens/sensor combo. Ultimately it tells us nothing about why we might want to use or not that particular combination.

    Taking a photo for most of us is a matter of emotional engagement. That is engagement with the subject, with the intention, with the tools, with the process. Because it is an emotional matter, it is particular to each of us. There is therefore no external objective, measurable reality that would allow a meaningful answer to your question.

    The best answer is to buy and use what you feel like. That's what most of us do. We use what engages us, what moves us, what motivates or interests us.
    Last edited by Pelorus; 16th March 2016 at 03:18.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Have I missed the post where you have actually declared MF pointless? I'm waiting for the final decision so I can finally get rid of all this kit, I'm sure also that P1, Hasselblad, Leica, Pentax etc are all sitting in there boardrooms just waiting so that if you declare it as a waste of time they can all pack up and get on with their lives! haha!

    Look man, as has been said hundreds of times, shoot what you like, you don't need to justify it and nobody needs to justify their decisions either, I know this is going to sound absolutely crazy but your choice of gear doesn't impact me, my clients or the gear I use, I know ridiculous right! I hope none of my clients read this and think that I am a fraud for not consulting you.

    Looking at your images above, I would have to question why you are even considering full frame 35mm, why spend all that money when you could buy a fuji or something, that's where the smart money is, save the rest of your cash for hookers and drugs is my best advice, go on, live a little!

    I shoot mf for 2 reasons, the first is that on screen and in print, the quality of the image as a whole is much better, I don't need to compare sharpness or shadow noise at 200% because it isn't important to me, it's unlikely to be important to you with those types of shots either. The second reason is because I want to. In this age of the sony cmos sensor, I see so many images with shadows pushed because it can be done cleanly, highlights clipped because they don't handle quite so well and you end up with thousands of images that all look the same, lacking in tone and depth, why on earth can't shadows be deep and rich??

    Anyway, none of it matters, I will continue to earn a living with mf and hopefully you will step away from the discussions, buy a camera and start enjoying it.

    Have a nice day!

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    That's fine and that's the reason I said that if you, or anyone says: "I shoot MF because I can", that puts the entire discussion to bed. That says to me that you do it for no practical reason, but for reasons that have to do with the feel, the zen, the this, the that, all kinds of reasons except practical ones. In that case, there's nothing to discuss, everything becomes pretty clear.



    I have a feeling a lot of folks out here have had their trophy wives stuffed and their trophy heads are now hanging in the cabin, in the woods somewhere.




    I'm not too keen on 3:2 ratio either, but I can live with it.



    Funny enough, I'm not very good with Photoshop. One of the things that I really admire about a lot of folks on these forums is their ability to use photoshop to make their photographs sing. I was following an old thread where Jack Flesher was testing iq180 and he took, what I thought was a lack luster photograph and then he massaged it and voila! That image just came alive. The guy is obviously a PS magician. One of the things that makes him a magician is that you wouldn't say that he did a lot of PS work looking at his photographs. He makes them look natural and beautiful.

    Conversely, my photographs are straight out of camera. If there is a way to do them in Photoshop, I wouldn't know how. The most that I do to them is clean the spots and sometimes adjust the contrast curves.

    The thing that drew me to digital format is the ability to mount the backs on tech cams and have the proper movements. Besides, since my work is mostly about color, I was hoping that MF allowed for greater color tonality. Alas, from what I have seen, I'm not sure that's the case.
    For me photography is a journey of discovery..... A passage from Ansel Adams’ autobiography seems apt:

    To be fully committed, an artist has to believe so strongly in his own work that it is difficult to have affinities to other artists’ production. If I truly believed in the art of another artist, I would be making it rather than what I am making.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Looking at your images above, I would have to question why you are even considering full frame 35mm, why spend all that money when you could buy a fuji or something, that's where the smart money is, save the rest of your cash for hookers and drugs is my best advice, go on, live a little!
    My problem is I bought the MF gear and the hookers and drugs.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    That's fine and that's the reason I said that if you, or anyone says: "I shoot MF because I can", that puts the entire discussion to bed. That says to me that you do it for no practical reason, but for reasons that have to do with the feel, the zen, the this, the that, all kinds of reasons except practical ones. In that case, there's nothing to discuss, everything becomes pretty clear.
    I'm just having trouble with your use of the word "practical." I think feel, zen, the this and the that are all very practical reasons.

    They may not be "technical" reasons, but quite practical.

    Practical: of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.

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  36. #86
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelorus View Post
    Please read this post as having been said respectfully, because that's how it's meant.

    There is no answer to the question posed. It's like asking why you drive the car you drive, why you like the woman/man who is special to you, why you like a particular colour paint for your house/boat/car...

    You can search out the metrics on any camera/lens/sensor combo. Ultimately it tells us nothing about why we might want to use or not that particular combination.

    Taking a photo for most of us is a matter of emotional engagement. That is engagement with the subject, with the intention, with the tools, with the process. Because it is an emotional matter, it is particular to each of us. There is therefore no external objective, measurable reality that would allow a meaningful answer to your question.

    The best answer is to buy and use what you feel like. That's what most of us do. We use what engages us, what moves us, what motivates or interests us.
    I see cameras and photographic equipment strictly as tools to get from point A to point B. Some tools allow you to do certain things and some don't. Some make it easier to do certain things and some make it easier to do other things. Therefore, I don't have an emotional attachment to my equipment just like a carpenter doesn't have an emotional attachment to his hammer. That's why I posed a question to see if there is a quantifiable, objective reason to get into MF that would justify the price.


    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Have I missed the post where you have actually declared MF pointless? I'm waiting for the final decision so I can finally get rid of all this kit, I'm sure also that P1, Hasselblad, Leica, Pentax etc are all sitting in there boardrooms just waiting so that if you declare it as a waste of time they can all pack up and get on with their lives! haha!

    I thought that I was pretty clear when I said that if I were to declare MF pointless, it would mean for me. Other people have other reasons to dabble in MF ranging from highly specialized applications to dabbling with toys. That's their prerogative.


    Look man, as has been said hundreds of times, shoot what you like, you don't need to justify it and nobody needs to justify their decisions either, I know this is going to sound absolutely crazy but your choice of gear doesn't impact me, my clients or the gear I use, I know ridiculous right! I hope none of my clients read this and think that I am a fraud for not consulting you.
    I'm not looking for justification from anyone, nor am I trying to impose my point of view onto others. I'm trying to figure out if MF is for me.

    Looking at your images above, I would have to question why you are even considering full frame 35mm, why spend all that money when you could buy a fuji or something, that's where the smart money is, save the rest of your cash for hookers and drugs is my best advice, go on, live a little!
    I already own full frame equipment. So, to me it's not a question of deciding which format out of 5 to choose from. I thought MF might serve me well, but I need to know what I'm spending my money on. It can't be on Zen or Voodoo. I'm not a Zen or Voodoo type of a guy.

    I shoot mf for 2 reasons, the first is that on screen and in print, the quality of the image as a whole is much better, I don't need to compare sharpness or shadow noise at 200% because it isn't important to me, it's unlikely to be important to you with those types of shots either. The second reason is because I want to. In this age of the sony cmos sensor, I see so many images with shadows pushed because it can be done cleanly, highlights clipped because they don't handle quite so well and you end up with thousands of images that all look the same, lacking in tone and depth, why on earth can't shadows be deep and rich??
    I agree that people out there push the shadows so much as to make their images flat and lifeless. Funny enough, the age of Sony CMOS sensors is upon the MF world. So... what's different?

    In any event, thank you all who have replied. I have gotten my answers.

  37. #87
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    This thread, while a wee bit contentious, is still cathartic

    Hopefully, photography is and will always remain very personal. Despite the proliferation of images by the trillions, despite additions to that collective by many with an occasional decent individual image (everyone gets lucky eventually), despite financial haranguing, raging technophilia, and internet logic ... we are still free to express ourselves with what ever tool that we may fancy.

    I don't feel compelled to convince anyone about anything regarding their own methods, thinking, or how they accomplish their photographs including what equipment they may use. The best anyone can do is express why something works for them and most importantly ... how they see things with their own eyes.

    This specific discussion skews to arguing the effect of mechanics on aesthetics ... what an image "looks like" verses what it is about (subject matter). While intertwined they certainly can be, and often are, discussed separately.

    So, the net result of discussions like this usually comes down to "Do you see it, or don't you?". While no one can definitively prove MF is worth it, the counter is also true ... no one can definitively prove it isn't.

    No amount of technical discussion can override what you see, or don't see. Trying to convince otherwise assumes that we all see exactly the same.

    This of course begs the question ... "If we all do not see the same, do some see better?". That, my friends is the multicolored Elephant in the room

    Do some see more colors, or more color separations? Are our visual abilities homogeneous, or are they like vocal abilities where some have perfect pitch while others do not? To start with, science suggests otherwise ... 8 out of 100 men are color blind. Some people can see more shades of grey than others (light sensitivity). Others, especially older folks, may have the start of, or advanced, cataracts. I had cataracts removed and found images done in the last year before were too blue, and over sharpened I recall Jack mentioning my images look "too crispy" ... he was right.

    I think there are other more important considerations ... continuous exposure to images that "educate the eye" is a key differentiator IMO and experience.

    How much does exposure and "educating the eye" come into play? I think a lot more than many would like to admit.

    For example, a good deal of my professional career was spent as an art director. Massive exposure to images started in art school (located next to a major art museum we all frequented) ... and while working I received more photographic portfolios (mostly MF transparencies) and reels ... and collaborated with more top photographers, illustrators, designers, cinematographers, color separators, checked more proofs and progs, attended more press proofings than I could ever recount.

    In short, my eye got a PHD's worth of education from the best teachers in the world.

    The net result has been that in every single case, I have found MFD aesthetically delivers more of what I want to see ... or more accurately, what I am able to see. No aspersions on what other's want to see in their work, nor am I discounting the abilities of cameras like the Canon 50 meg, Nikon D810, or my own A7R-II.

    MFD has been worth doing my personal best, not almost best ... and remains so to this day.

    - Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 16th March 2016 at 11:21.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Some wonderful and thoughtful reasons for shooting with MF in the posts. I really don't want to be redundant but since my esteem tripod buddy Graham pitched in....Here's one more.

    1. Nothing is as sexy as a MF selfie.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    To say nothing of scaring your subject...



    (that's not a shot into a mirror - I have a lot less hair)

    --Matt
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    That's true. I didn't consider MF's as a chick magnet. I gotta say, you whip one of these things out and everyone stops and looks as though you got something going on.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    I see cameras and photographic equipment strictly as tools to get from point A to point B. Some tools allow you to do certain things and some don't. Some make it easier to do certain things and some make it easier to do other things. Therefore, I don't have an emotional attachment to my equipment just like a carpenter doesn't have an emotional attachment to his hammer. That's why I posed a question to see if there is a quantifiable, objective reason to get into MF that would justify the price.
    Btw, in my experience with carpenters or other woodworkers I've found that they very much care and have attachment to their choice of tools. Similarly talk to mechanics and other folks who use tools overall and you will find that they very often have favorite items that don't necessarily make sense in a commoditized world but do make a difference to their day to day work. If you talk to many chefs you'll find that they have attachment to their choice of knives and other items which may or may not be rational to you or me but it is to them.

    You are correct though that for some people what they use isn't so important as what they produce. It just has to be good enough to get the job done.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post

    You are correct though that for some people what they use isn't so important as what they produce. It just has to be good enough to get the job done.
    I'm one of those people. I don't attach to things.

    BTW, I like the work you do. You're a good photographer.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery Salter View Post

    1. Nothing is as sexy as a MF selfie.
    Somebody really drank that kool-aid and then went back for some more because they couldn't get enough of it.

    Cameras are not 'sexy'. cameras are boxes of made by visually unaware geeks with a mechanical/electrical/optical understanding.
    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: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    This is just the point and well said.

    Another example snapped with an iPhone. Ferran Adria doesn't live here, but there's a knife for most jobs in the kitchen and they are incredibly sharp and incredibly tactile. Do they improve the process of cooking? Absolutely.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, in my experience with carpenters or other woodworkers I've found that they very much care and have attachment to their choice of tools. Similarly talk to mechanics and other folks who use tools overall and you will find that they very often have favorite items that don't necessarily make sense in a commoditized world but do make a difference to their day to day work. If you talk to many chefs you'll find that they have attachment to their choice of knives and other items which may or may not be rational to you or me but it is to them.
    [snip]
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    You can buy a lot of tactility from a lot of hookers for the kind of money you're gonna spend on tactile MF equipment.

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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    Somebody really drank that kool-aid and then went back for some more because they couldn't get enough of it.
    Sorry you didn't get enough Kool-aid when you were growing up. I would be glad to ship you a case. It's actually quite pleasant.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    Cameras are not 'sexy'. cameras are boxes of made by visually unaware geeks with a mechanical/electrical/optical understanding.
    Get a grip man. (no pun intended) Anything can be "sexy". Its only a figure of speech much like "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

    Perhaps it would have been clearer to say, "I enjoy being in nature and having a camera gives me a chance to share what is unfolding in front of my lens." Shooting a camera "selfie" is simply a way of passing time, waiting for the light to be just right or a wave to crash most dramatically before snapping a frame.

    My preference in shooting large format or medium format comes from my earliest training in photography at age 15. My instructor handed me a 4 x 5 Speed graphic and later made me shoot with an 8 x 10 Deardorff.

    Everyone who visits this site has a passion for photography and yes that involves gear which is principle in creating the photographs.
    Last edited by Jeffery Salter; 16th March 2016 at 14:21.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Well I don't do saccharine pop with an ingredients list like this so will have to decline your generous offer
    Sugar, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Calcium Phosphate (Prevents Caking), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Artificial Flavor, Red 40, Blue 1.

    As for getting a grip? I think those who buy into the myths and marketing or the desire of post purchase affirmation from their peers over making good images are the ones needing to take a step back.
    Speaking as somebody who has done the 10x8 and downwards format journey I don't get the obsession of 'gear' above image making.
    And I don't get the MFD thing slows you down and makes you take better images thing either, that's just a state of mind about how you go about creating imagery, the format is just the size of the tool you happen to use.

    This viewpoint on MFD relates to maintaining the size of my comfort fund and the best way to keep my clients happy and coming back, I appreciate a retired dentist or lawyer has different priorities.
    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: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Oft overlooked in threads like this are the non resolution/sensor topics such as:
    - flash sync based on leaf shutters rather than HSS or other psuedo sync technologies (which lose power when you turn up sync speed)
    - Waist Level Viewfinder
    - Simpler interface (look an XF or Contax and then look at a Sony A7R)
    - Lens look (not just lens quality, though... that too)
    - Option to use alternative bodies (e.g. tech camera, view camera, home made camera etc)
    - Quality of raw conversion, since the hardware and software teams are under one roof
    - Skin tone out of camera for the same reason
    - Features like exposure calculator, clipping indicator (like exposure warning, but smarter), adjustable focus mask and several new features to be introduced very very soon (can't wait!) which are targeted at photographers who know what they are doing, rather than what seems to be a continual addition of prosumer features on most canon/nikon-sony cameras.
    - ergonomics (I have to ADD weight/size/material to my X Pro 1 for it to feel like a real camera in my hands; not the case with the XF - of course personal taste)
    - dealer-support/training/warranty

    etc

    In general I can say that around 80-90% of the people that take us up on our offer to come play with MF gear hands-on (actually taking pictures rather than philosophizing or researching specs) end up buying one. So there are, apparently, compelling reasons enough for them . The least likely people to actually end up buying a camera in my experience are the ones that are most interested in the spec sheet rather than capturing and looking at images.

    As with any "is there a compelling reason to" question the answer is "Sure, many. Whether they apply to you, or override any potential negatives (in this case, primarily, $$) is something only you can answer".
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    This viewpoint on MFD relates to maintaining the size of my comfort fund and the best way to keep my clients happy and coming back, I appreciate a retired dentist or lawyer has different priorities.
    Your points are well taken. Thank you.

    Except. And there always are exceptions.

    Its been said "Photography is the coalescence of art and science."

    I have a “gear” obsession and an “image making” obsession. No need to for the two to be mutually exclusive. If I could attach a polaroid to back of my head that would work. Until then… a camera, be it a Holga, Graflex or MFD will suffice. The gear choice depends on what I’m trying to achieve with the image.

    The debate of what it takes gear wise and otherwise to make compelling imagery has been discussed hotly since the “Pictorialists” first squared off against “The Group F/64” in the late 1800s. (I can’t even imagine how they did it without the internet—Thank you Al Gore…) And it still lingers to today. No resolution. Either you have taken some images to put in a 4 x 6 inch photo album, perhaps made wall size images for a gallery presentation or not. It still takes gear.

    Much like you I shoot photographs to feed the beast and maintain the size of my comfort fund. I have been blessed to have met some of the retirees and weekend artists on the forum. To be frank, they shoot some awesome photographs. And the passion they bring to the art of photography is refreshing. It’s inspiring to meet someone who just started shooting and has fresh eyes on the prize who produces great images all without “Art School” “Brooks Institute” “RIT” or any of the institutes of higher learning or photography courses we had to take to become “commercial or advertising” photographers..

    I appreciate these early adapters to new tech because they do the heavy lifting in testing the gear and looking at every nook and cranny of any newly released photography equipment.
    Last edited by Jeffery Salter; 16th March 2016 at 16:06.
    Jeffery Salter
    www.jefferysalter.com
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  50. #100
    Member Abstraction's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Oft overlooked in threads like this are the non resolution/sensor topics such as:
    - flash sync based on leaf shutters rather than HSS or other psuedo sync technologies (which lose power when you turn up sync speed)
    - Waist Level Viewfinder
    - Simpler interface (look an XF or Contax and then look at a Sony A7R)
    - Lens look (not just lens quality, though... that too)
    - Option to use alternative bodies (e.g. tech camera, view camera, home made camera etc)
    - Quality of raw conversion, since the hardware and software teams are under one roof
    - Skin tone out of camera for the same reason
    - Features like exposure calculator, clipping indicator (like exposure warning, but smarter), adjustable focus mask and several new features to be introduced very very soon (can't wait!) which are targeted at photographers who know what they are doing, rather than what seems to be a continual addition of prosumer features on most canon/nikon-sony cameras.
    - ergonomics (I have to ADD weight/size/material to my X Pro 1 for it to feel like a real camera in my hands; not the case with the XF - of course personal taste)
    - dealer-support/training/warranty

    etc

    In general I can say that around 80-90% of the people that take us up on our offer to come play with MF gear hands-on (actually taking pictures rather than philosophizing or researching specs) end up buying one. So there are, apparently, compelling reasons enough for them . The least likely people to actually end up buying a camera in my experience are the ones that are most interested in the spec sheet rather than capturing and looking at images.

    As with any "is there a compelling reason to" question the answer is "Sure, many. Whether they apply to you, or override any potential negatives (in this case, primarily, $$) is something only you can answer".

    I have shot with medium format equipment, albeit film, not digital, so the "feel" of the "real camera" is familiar to me. There is no Zen like feeling in it for me. Cameras are tools, nothing more.

    As far as interfaces and the simplicity are concerned, any camera is as simple as you want to make it. You can take any camera with manual exposure capability and use it as such. You can turn off autofocusing on any camera, you can turn off TTL flash, you can turn off the meter and use a hand hand incident meter. In other words, you can take ANY camera and break it down to its bare bones and use not just like a manual camera, but like a view camera.

    Initially, I thought that the most compelling reason for getting MF was the ability to use tech cameras. However, given that there are offerings out there that accommodate not just mirrorless, but SLR bodies, even that point becomes moot (as are the lenses, since the same lenses are used on tech cameras regardless of the bodies)

    Additionally, since the new generation of backs has embraced the Sony CMOS sensor, it seems to me that the ONLY truly compelling reason to get the MF equipment is resolution. If one needs resolution north of 50mp, then MF is the way to go, no question about it. The resolution difference is real, EASILY seen, and objective.

    The rest... meh. At least, that's my own take on it. People buy all sorts of stuff for all sorts of reasons. That's not an indication of anything, other than marketing, perhaps.

    I don't mean to beat up on people who like MF. Some of them really need it, I think most of them don't, but they're the ones spending their own money, so who am I to judge? In the end, having seen a number of RAW files and done a number of comparisons, *I* don't think the image quality difference justifies the price. Since I thought that having a digital back was the only way to use a tech camera, I entertained the idea, but since that's not the case either, I can't see a COMPELLING reason for ME to jump on the bandwagon.

    Having said all that, I'm glad the MF equipment is out there. I definitely like these forums and the folks here tend to be more civilized and generally, better photographers.
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