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

  1. #251
    Super Duper
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    If we forget other reasons like large bright viewfinder (which I find quite important), synch time, ... and concentrate just on IQ, here are the reasons why I own and use the Leica S in regards of IQ:

    -better skin tone and color
    -smoother transition from focused/sharp area to background
    -smoother color transition
    -more 3d look (might have to do with the transition)
    -more (micro)detail
    -very good DR

    -How much is from sensor quality? How much from sensor size? how much from lenses? How much from profiles? I dont know, but I just love the IQ.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    Erik,

    Would I be correct in assuming that a 35mm camera with around 20mp and 6 micron pixel pitch would have the same noise at base ISO as a MF back with about 50mp and the same 6 micron pixel pitch? If that's the case, then a 100mp back will have the same noise at base ISO as the 35mm at around 40mp given that both will have about a 4.5 micron pixel pitch. Am I correct? If I am, then my understanding is that the 100mp back will tax the lenses the same way as a 40mp 35mm camera.

    So, the 100mp back will have the same noise and tax the lens the same way as a 40mp 35mm camera. That also leads me to assume that in terms of noise and thereby tonality, the lower resolution backs/cameras should theoretically be better than the higher resolution ones.
    This looks good. I think you are getting closer to determining whether medium format digital is right for you.
    hcubell
    www.howardcubell.com
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  3. #253
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    I did not realise it at first, but it seems something went amiss with my previous samples. Apparently, the forum software does not like png files. Let me try again. First, the image from imaging-resource showing where the crops where taken:Name:  full_image.jpg
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    Now the center crop. You may need to clic to see the original resolution.

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    And now, the side crop.

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  4. #254
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    It seems like there are certain people that choose MFD for highly technical reasons. They maximize DoF and sharpness and want the least possible sensor noise. Those people may indeed be satisfied with newer 35mm offerings from Sony or Nikon. Heck even m43 is capable of some amazing results at base ISO depending on the subject being photographed. All of this is totally fine, horses for courses as they say. I don't pretend to speak for all users.

    However there is another camp that is more into the intangibles and I fall firmly in that camp. It's easier to explain in terms of film cameras but for example, I frequently shoot my Rolleiflex 2.8 Planar even though I KNOW a Hasselblad with a modern 80/2.8 has a better lens. Indeed the 100/3.5 is FAR better than the old Planar on my Rollei. But... my Rollei is extremely fast to focus, I enjoy using it, people have interesting reactions to it which changes their reaction to being photographed in general, and the lens renders in a way that I find beautiful. It's got just the right balance of low contrast, un-harsh sharpness, and interesting bokeh for my portrait work, and at f5.6+ it is a fantastic landscape camera. An MTF chart, or a granularity chart (we're talking film here) would not answer those questions for me. I had to be a Hasselblad user for years and borrow a Rollei to come to this conclusion.

    For MFD I shoot with the 645Z. I am aware that a D810, even a D750 has high enough resolution to actually satisfy my print and even cropping requirements. My 58/1.4G has less DoF than my Pentax lenses wide open, in fact I got it because it renders very "medium format-like" for portrait shooting. But I STILL think it's worth it to shoot a 645Z. Why? Because I personally see something in the files that make them stand out for me. The compression of a 75mm but the angle-of-view of a slightly long normal is a look I really like. Shooting 4:3 instead of having to crop, and adjust crop, of every single image, is a huge time saver. (why digital cameras are locked into few aspect ratios is completely beyond me, the dominance of 3:2 cannot be explained rationally). The differences are extremely subtle. It's that extra focus fall off, that extra highlight headroom, a bit more tonal scale in the skin. A graph wouldn't explain it, nor would a web jpg. Some might argue that my clients won't know the difference either, and they're probably right! But I'm the one that has to live with this portfolio. A lot of people understate the relationship that you have to your own work. I personally want my work to satisfy me just as much as it satisfies my clients. I like being delighted when I start working on an image. It's the reason why people buy Leica cameras, or prefer Canon color of Nikon.

    So if we parse everything down to the absolute minimum requirements of what is necessary to do the work, well I'd be shooting a D7100 and a series of zoom lenses, and editing on a Windows computer, but I sure as hell don't want to do that! I want my equipment and my pictures to make me really happy, and they do! That is my compelling reason to move to MFD. I hope these arguments make sense.
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  5. #255
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Corner drop off

    Hi,

    Regarding corner drop off, let's look at some real images, the images below were shot on a Hasselblad Distagon 40/4FLE on my P45+ at f/11 and with a Canon 16-35/4 zoom at 24 mm and f/8.

    Many 24-35 lenses drop dramatically in MTF at the extreme corners, in some cases MFD lenses behave better in the corners. The 16-24/4 suffers from astigmatism at 24 mm f/8 according to MTF measured at lens rentals. I don't know if Lensrentals used a 2 mm glass corresponding to the cover glass on the sensor in their test.
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    The Hasselblad lens look to have both a bit of field curvature and astigmatism:
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    Zeiss has a Batis 25/2.0 made for the Sony A7rII, according to the MTF data from Zeiss, that lens has no drop off in sharpness at all. But I didn't buy the Batis, as I want to have the flexibility of the zoom.
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    Are the new Schneider lenses for Phase One better than my Distagon? Probably! Schneider's presentation of MTF data is less clear than Zeiss or Hasselblad's and they use different frequencies 15/30/60 lp/mm vs 10/20/40 lp/mm. That means they are quite a bit better than what they look like.
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    Another option I could have used would be the Canon 24/3.5 TSE LII I also own.

    So, what I see in these images? I would say the two are quite close in three of the four areas. In the extreme corner the Hasselblad lens wins. So, if corners are more important than the subject, the Distagon/P45+ combo is clearly to prefer. Otherwise it is a wash…

    Distagon 40/4 f/11 to the left, Canon 16-35/4 at 25 mm f/8 to the right, moving out from center to corner from top down:

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

    Eric

    If I a looking at this correctly, the Distagon is doing a great job in the corners.

    Thanks for the pics

    Paul C

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I did not realise it at first, but it seems something went amiss with my previous samples. Apparently, the forum software does not like png files. Let me try again. First, the image from imaging-resource showing where the crops where taken:Name:  full_image.jpg
Views: 750
Size:  94.6 KB

    - - - Updated - - -

    Now the center crop. You may need to clic to see the original resolution.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    - - - Updated - - -

    And now, the side crop.

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    I think the left is MF and the right is 35mm. The corners on the right are a bit softer. Overall, I would say that it's still a wash. They're close enough.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    I think the left is MF and the right is 35mm. The corners on the right are a bit softer.
    Indeed you are right.

    Overall, I would say that it's still a wash. They're close enough.
    If you think so, you do not need a MF camera.

  9. #259
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Hasn't this been beat to death in numerous threads?

    What's better, a cat or a dog? Graphs, charts, and internet images welcome.

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    Re: Corner drop off

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Regarding corner drop off, let's look at some real images
    Were the other images any less real?


    Many 24-35 lenses drop dramatically in MTF at the extreme corners, in some cases MFD lenses behave better in the corners.
    Not only in the corner. The 2/3 zone is critical, especially for wide-angle and zoom lenses.


    Zeiss has a Batis 25/2.0 made for the Sony A7rII, according to the MTF data from Zeiss, that lens has no drop off in sharpness at all. But I didn't buy the Batis, as I want to have the flexibility of the zoom.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    But you are still using MTF curves with values of 10, 20 and 40 cycles/mm, which would be adequate for 12 Mpixels sensors. For the A7RII, we would need curves at 100 cycles/mm, wouldn't we?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Hasn't this been beat to death in numerous threads?

    What's better, a cat or a dog? Graphs, charts, and internet images welcome.
    Your wish is my command:


  11. #261
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Indeed you are right.



    If you think so, you do not need a MF camera.
    What does this one image say about color rendering, tonality, skin tones, transition to background etc. Just one image at one distance at one focal length in one sort of light. I dont believe its that easy.

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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 stephengilbert View Post
    Hasn't this been beat to death in numerous threads?

    What's better, a cat or a dog? Graphs, charts, and internet images welcome.
    Dog.

    Give me a minute, I need to find my graphs and charts on the type of dog best suited....Name:  Duffy.jpg
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    Can't remember at the moment---Kodak DCS Proback 645M or Phase P30....
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    I have a Gordon Setter pup, he's pretty cool, I can post a crop of his eye if anyone needs proof?

    Mat

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    What does this one image say about color rendering, tonality, skin tones, transition to background etc. Just one image at one distance at one focal length in one sort of light. I dont believe its that easy.
    What I meant is: the image is a best case scenario. Not too much problems with colors, transitions, rendering, etc... Optimum aperture and standard focal length. Yet, the sides are fuzzy on the 24x36. To my eyes, the fuzziness is pretty obvious.

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

    Hi Paul,

    Yes, and that is quiet interesting. I guess that this is a lens Tim Ashley would call tricky.

    What I see is that:

    • The first row (centre) is pretty similar
    • The second row (close to right edge) the Canon image is clearly better
    • The third row (near corner) the two are close again
    • The fourth row (corner) the Distagon is clearly better



    Now, we can go back and look at the MTF curves I would be pretty sure that we see some field curvature. The full aperture figure would indicate that, and we see some astigmatism (tangential and sagittal curves differ):



    The corner here is in the foreground and it may be that field curvature works to our advantage. If that would be the case, we could look at a bottom. That should have a focus point more backward on the Distagon so the Canon would be sharper. Distagon left, Canon right. What I seen is that the Canon lens is better in this position. So, observations confirm deduction.


    What I feel I can learn from this? One thing is that the MTF data tells a lot about the lens. For instance, for me the MTF curves of the Distagon seem to indicate field curvature and the simple test we did above indicate this is the case.

    The other point is that some lenses are tricky. They can deliver very good image quality at a point of the image and deliver disappointing quality in another part.

    Regarding field curvature, Tim Ashley published an article cowritten with Rogera Cicala of Lensrentals here: Tim Ashley Photography | Field Curvature - a Layman's Guide (or How to Focus a 'Tricky' Lens)

    Roger found later that field curvature and astigmatism varies quiet wildly when stopping down: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...stopping-down/

    Tim Ashley has some very nice demo of that issue here: Tim Ashley Photography | Leica M 240 with 35mm F1.4 FLE - some observations

    I can see that artist don't like curves and measured data, but engineers like me can actually learn a lot from curves and make good use of what we have learned, so we can save money on stuff to buy and spend on picture taking opportunities. (I could have made something like a half dozen trips to Yellowstone if I did not buy that Hasselblad / P45+ combo. Curiosity has it's price.)

    Some folks, like our friend Paul seems to sit on both sides of the fence. A great artist but also looks at things measurable and makes an educated choice…

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Eric

    If I a looking at this correctly, the Distagon is doing a great job in the corners.

    Thanks for the pics

    Paul C
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 25th March 2016 at 15:23.

  16. #266
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Corner drop off

    Hi Jerome,

    I would love to agree with you, but I can't.

    Why I can't? One reason is that our vendors don't give us data for high frequencies. Hasselblad, Zeiss and Leica all use the frequencies 10/20/40 lp/mm. Rodenstock and Schneider have some MTF data at 15/30/60 lp/mm. That may be a bit better than the usual 10/20/40 lp/mm but is not even close to the 97 lp/mm the IQ-180 has, just as an example.

    More importantly, it is long established knowledge that low frequencies dominate human vision. So low frequency MTF is far more important than high frequency MTF. Also high MTF at resolution limit is not really desirable as it causes aliasing artefacts. Common knowledge…, would you find my remark ignorant, here is a source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliasing

    Here is a paper by Zeiss on interpreting MTF curves, a lot of good wisdom: https://www.zeiss.com/content/dam/Ph...ial_mtf_01.pdf

    Perceived quality can be measured by SQF, a value based on integrating the MTF over the contrast sensitivity curve of human vision. You find a good discussion of the concept around page 7 in this document from Zeiss: http://www.zeiss.com/content/dam/Pho...ial_mtf_02.pdf

    Now, that I have suggested some litterature for insights, here is the real reason I would not agree with your point:

    In real world, we either see images as prints or on screen at small resolution. In neither case can we really see pixel level detail. In print, the fine detail is normally at a size where the CSF (Contrast Sensitivity Function) of human vision is low. On screen size images most of the detail is thrown away anyway.

    If you make a very large print and view very close, we would be able to see high frequency detail. Lens MTF data doesn't say much about that region, that applies to lenses from Hasselblad, Leica and Zeiss. Schneider and Rodenstock gives a lot more data.

    You can measure MTF using Imatest. I do it often, but not in the corners. Why I don't do that? Because it needs a very large target. Ideally something like 50x focal length is needed, but also because I am not so terribly interested in corners.

    In the case I have shown, the Zeiss Distagon performs better in the extreme corners but the Canon performs better at the edges and just a bit in from the corners. Most of the older Zeiss designs drop of significantly at the last few millimetres of the diagonal. The newer lenses are designed for a larger image circle, it seems.

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Were the other images any less real?




    Not only in the corner. The 2/3 zone is critical, especially for wide-angle and zoom lenses.




    But you are still using MTF curves with values of 10, 20 and 40 cycles/mm, which would be adequate for 12 Mpixels sensors. For the A7RII, we would need curves at 100 cycles/mm, wouldn't we?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Your wish is my command:

    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 25th March 2016 at 14:26.

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    Re: Corner drop off

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    In real world, we either see images as prints or on screen at small resolution. In neither case can we really see pixel level detail. In print, the fine detail is normally at a size where the CSF (Contrast Sensitivity Function) of human vision is low. On screen size images most of the detail is thrown away anyway.
    Indeed, if all one wants is to see the pictures on screen, the resolution of a MF camera is not needed.


    If you make a very large print and view very close, we would be able to see high frequency detail. Lens MTF data doesn't say much about that region, that applies to lenses from Hasselblad, Leica and Zeiss. Schneider and Rodenstock gives a lot more data.
    Large prints is what I have always been talking about. On large prints, the difference in camera resolution becomes obvious. On large prints, lens defects become obvious.

    If you are not interested in large prints, there is no need to examine crops of raw files at the pixel level, which amounts to looking at details from a huge print with a magnifier.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post

    Some folks, like our friend Paul seems to sit on both sides of the fence. A great artist but also looks at things measurable and makes an intelligent choice…

    Best regards
    Erik
    I take it you aren't suggesting that people who aren't interested in measurable data don't make intelligent choices Erik, that would be absurd.

    As someone who has no interest in charts at all, I see them as having no bearing on my purchases or use of equipment because they tell me nothing that using a lens doesn't, nothing at all. I can use a lens how I want to use it or see how someone else has used it in vaguely similar circumstances and learn everything I want to know. You need to look at a chart, take some shots and come to the conclusion that the chart is correct, what's the point?

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

    Hi,

    Yes, that is a good point.

    From what I have seen shooting with the Hasselblad for two and a half year is that those advantages don't apply for me. A good indication may be that only one MFD image made it to the wall but quite a few with the older Sonys. But, this is an area were mileage may vary.

    Making that experience needs some prolonged shooting. I really enjoyed shooting with Hasselblad, but I don't think it will see much use in the coming time.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    What does this one image say about color rendering, tonality, skin tones, transition to background etc. Just one image at one distance at one focal length in one sort of light. I dont believe its that easy.

  20. #270
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Hi,

    That is what I have written:
    "I can see that artist don't like curves and measured data, but engineers like me can actually learn a lot from curves and make good use of what we have learned, so we can save money on stuff to buy and spend on picture taking opportunities. (I could have made something like a half dozen trips to Yellowstone if I did not buy that Hasselblad / P45+ combo. Curiosity has it's price.)

    Some folks, like our friend Paul seems to sit on both sides of the fence. A great artist but also looks at things measurable and makes an intelligent choice…"

    I am saying that a great artist, whom I was responding to, looks at things measurable and makes an intelligent choice. I don't think it implies that other photographers don't make intelligent choices. That interpretation is indeed possible, but it is not the intended one.

    I am not a professional photographer. What finances my work is analysing and solving technical problems, so for me it is quite natural to use curves and measurable data. Not everything is measurable, of course, but data is certainly helpful in making decision.

    Just as an example, Paul often shoots in windy conditions and he sometimes needs relative fast shutter times for his subjects needing good high ISO capability, so he wants a CMOS based back. But, he is also aware that CMOS backs don't play that well with certain lenses, due to lens cast and cross talk.

    So, Paul checks on all discussions regarding lens selections and shift limitations, after which he can make an educated choice. OK, I should have used the word educated instead of intelligent…

    Thanks for making the point!

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    I take it you aren't suggesting that people who aren't interested in measurable data don't make intelligent choices Erik, that would be absurd.

    As someone who has no interest in charts at all, I see them as having no bearing on my purchases or use of equipment because they tell me nothing that using a lens doesn't, nothing at all. I can use a lens how I want to use it or see how someone else has used it in vaguely similar circumstances and learn everything I want to know. You need to look at a chart, take some shots and come to the conclusion that the chart is correct, what's the point?

    Mat

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

    Erik, we are polar opposites when it comes to photography, probably everything else too! I learn something from almost everyone who posts on here, even if its how not to do something, but I find your posts actually depress me, as someone who has a huge amount of passion for what I do for a living and for pleasure, I take absolutely nothing from what you post. Now obviously I don't expect that to have any bearing on you at all, why would it, but I will do us both a favour and not respond or read them anymore and make use of the ignore function, seems crazy to actually do that but it's definitely for the best.

    Good luck with the Sony, I hope you enjoy it.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    What does this one image say about color rendering, tonality, skin tones, transition to background etc. Just one image at one distance at one focal length in one sort of light. I dont believe its that easy.
    It's either you see a compelling difference or you don't. I don't see a MAJOR difference. All things being equal, I'd say yes, but there's the 400lb gorilla in the room - cost.


    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Indeed you are right.



    If you think so, you do not need a MF camera.
    Yeah, I agree. I don't need a MF camera. The differences are too subtle to justify the price. I just can't see myself plopping down that kind of money on corner sharpness that you need to inspect with a fine tooth comb to see. I'm not saying it's not there and I'm not saying that all else being equal, I wouldn't get MF myself, but not for that kind of money.


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    It seems like there are certain people that choose MFD for highly technical reasons. They maximize DoF and sharpness and want the least possible sensor noise. Those people may indeed be satisfied with newer 35mm offerings from Sony or Nikon. Heck even m43 is capable of some amazing results at base ISO depending on the subject being photographed. All of this is totally fine, horses for courses as they say. I don't pretend to speak for all users.

    However there is another camp that is more into the intangibles and I fall firmly in that camp. It's easier to explain in terms of film cameras but for example, I frequently shoot my Rolleiflex 2.8 Planar even though I KNOW a Hasselblad with a modern 80/2.8 has a better lens. Indeed the 100/3.5 is FAR better than the old Planar on my Rollei. But... my Rollei is extremely fast to focus, I enjoy using it, people have interesting reactions to it which changes their reaction to being photographed in general, and the lens renders in a way that I find beautiful. It's got just the right balance of low contrast, un-harsh sharpness, and interesting bokeh for my portrait work, and at f5.6+ it is a fantastic landscape camera. An MTF chart, or a granularity chart (we're talking film here) would not answer those questions for me. I had to be a Hasselblad user for years and borrow a Rollei to come to this conclusion.

    For MFD I shoot with the 645Z. I am aware that a D810, even a D750 has high enough resolution to actually satisfy my print and even cropping requirements. My 58/1.4G has less DoF than my Pentax lenses wide open, in fact I got it because it renders very "medium format-like" for portrait shooting. But I STILL think it's worth it to shoot a 645Z. Why? Because I personally see something in the files that make them stand out for me. The compression of a 75mm but the angle-of-view of a slightly long normal is a look I really like. Shooting 4:3 instead of having to crop, and adjust crop, of every single image, is a huge time saver. (why digital cameras are locked into few aspect ratios is completely beyond me, the dominance of 3:2 cannot be explained rationally). The differences are extremely subtle. It's that extra focus fall off, that extra highlight headroom, a bit more tonal scale in the skin. A graph wouldn't explain it, nor would a web jpg. Some might argue that my clients won't know the difference either, and they're probably right! But I'm the one that has to live with this portfolio. A lot of people understate the relationship that you have to your own work. I personally want my work to satisfy me just as much as it satisfies my clients. I like being delighted when I start working on an image. It's the reason why people buy Leica cameras, or prefer Canon color of Nikon.

    So if we parse everything down to the absolute minimum requirements of what is necessary to do the work, well I'd be shooting a D7100 and a series of zoom lenses, and editing on a Windows computer, but I sure as hell don't want to do that! I want my equipment and my pictures to make me really happy, and they do! That is my compelling reason to move to MFD. I hope these arguments make sense.
    Your arguments absolutely make sense and I agree with you, but it's that pesky cash that just ruins everything. I couldn't possibly justify the price difference to myself. There are too many other things that I could do with that money that would make my life better than MF, even a Pentax 645z, which is pretty affordable by MF standards is unjustifiable in terms of price vs gain. What I see are the marginal differences that just aren't worth it to me.

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

    After the many pages that I've followed here - and don't get me wrong, i think they've been informative and i really appreciated them - i don't think the conclusion is any different to anything we didn't probably already know.

    i.e., tight crops tell one virtually nothing.

    If I compare a 350mb drum scan from my Mamiya 7 and and the same size scan from 4x5 (same film too, i.e., Acros 100), and do tight crops of the two and peer at them on a computer .... guess what, the detail (i.e., "resolution") looks really, really similar.

    But print them out to 50x40", and the 4x5" is far superior to the medium format film in terms of "look", i.e., tonal transitions, 3D'ness etc.

    Similarly, when i compare a 50x33" print between a Leica S and a 35mm FF ..... guess what, i see the difference in tonal transitions, smoothness, 3D'ness etc, all to the advantage of the Leica S .... and so do complete guinea pigs that I've used too that have no interest in photography.

    Just to be be clear, these are prints done at 300dpi on an Epson 11880 at arguably London's highest end print shop.

    Resolution is one thing on SCREEN, but the "look" and "dimensionality" of what i'm looking at in a PRINTS is quite another.

    One thing I don't disagree with is the idea that pixel size is important .... I kind of assume that Leica with low 38MP cameras of S2 / S 006 / 007 is -- in reality -- looking to achieve a good balance between resolution AND acuity / tonality / SNR / less probs with diffraction / less "stressing" of lenses (even though the S lenses are probably some of the best lenses in MF ever made) ...... what does that achieve?? It achieves a very unprocessed, smooth, and "natural" look.
    Last edited by Jon Warwick; 25th March 2016 at 17:46.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Jon,

    I agree with you but I fear you're just barking at the moon in this thread. I was told that if someone said that they shot medium format digital just because they can, that this thread would end.

    Well, I did. It didn't ...
    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?

    These things rarely end well:
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    MFD is like a joke … if you have to explain it … well …


    If one cannot afford MFD, or would prefer to spend their money on something else, then it is natural to select something else. What is nice these days is that there IS something else.

    Even though I'm a die-in-the-wool advocate, I've talked more people out of MFD than into it.

    To each their own.

    - Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 26th March 2016 at 01:33. Reason: addition
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    I am an amateur but a passionate landscape photographer, therefore, cost-effective doesn't apply much to me. I try to get the best I can afford.
    I posted a lot but >90% of my posts were pictures I took. Whatever Graham, Mat (mjr), fotografz and few others said, I believe them even the comments were not based on scientific supports. I believe them because they've always made great photographs.
    I know I've always lost money for photographic equipments, MFD is much worse than Nikon or Canon and I accept it. I wish I would be satisfied with only Nikon, Canon or Sony. I hope that day will come so I can save a lot of money.
    There are a lot of photographers who uses only 35mm DSLRs and make outstanding photographs and I truly admire them. FM Forums is my favorite.
    My reasons for MFD are simple.
    - I can afford.
    - It gives me more pleasure. Comparing with cars is quite reasonable. You don't need Mercedes Benz. It's luxurious and you pay for it.
    - Print! Print! Print! It definitely gives me a better image quality, not from 30" display but from large prints. No matter what the comparison of images on the net is. To me, a notation of "35mm DSLR giving the same IQ as IQ180" is BS.
    I haven't read GETDPI as much nowadays. There are a lot of people who do not passionate in MFD but you see them all over medium-format forums, both at GetDPI and LUL. I just don't get it.
    It's time to get a routine, having a cup of Starbuck before heading to a sunrise destination.

    Have a great weekend!
    Best regards

    Pramote

    Zenfolio | Pramote Laoprasert Photography
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    There are a lot of people who do not passionate in MFD but you see them all over medium-format forums, both at GetDPI and LUL. I just don't get it.
    Amen!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Warwick View Post
    After the many pages that I've followed here - and don't get me wrong, i think they've been informative and i really appreciated them - i don't think the conclusion is any different to anything we didn't probably already know.

    i.e., tight crops tell one virtually nothing.

    If I compare a 350mb drum scan from my Mamiya 7 and and the same size scan from 4x5 (same film too, i.e., Acros 100), and do tight crops of the two and peer at them on a computer .... guess what, the detail (i.e., "resolution") looks really, really similar.

    But print them out to 50x40", and the 4x5" is far superior to the medium format film in terms of "look", i.e., tonal transitions, 3D'ness etc.

    Similarly, when i compare a 50x33" print between a Leica S and a 35mm FF ..... guess what, i see the difference in tonal transitions, smoothness, 3D'ness etc, all to the advantage of the Leica S .... and so do complete guinea pigs that I've used too that have no interest in photography.

    Just to be be clear, these are prints done at 300dpi on an Epson 11880 at arguably London's highest end print shop.

    Resolution is one thing on SCREEN, but the "look" and "dimensionality" of what i'm looking at in a PRINTS is quite another.

    Just to be clear: I've always said that large prints is where the difference is obvious. I just cited imaging-resource crops because it actually amused me that a site devoted to picturing test charts and brick walls would actually show a difference, yet the people who are interested by pictures of test charts and brick walls ignored it.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    It's either you see a compelling difference or you don't. I don't see a MAJOR difference. All things being equal, I'd say yes, but there's the 400lb gorilla in the room - cost.

    ....
    You might not see a compelling reason in each and every image/light/subject, but in many you will (at least I do).

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

    Is there a compelling reason to continue this thread? I guess there is by the amount of interest.

    just checked back in and was amazed that this thread still going on.
    Kudos to Abstraction for definitely touching on a nerve/subject that everyone here has put a lot of thought into.

    omg.."lens test charts" "mtf" "wtf?" "100% crops of thistles" "cats and dogs living together..."

    Sorry friends, just slap happy its been a long week shooting lots of stuff and staring at screens. This would be a great business if it weren't for the damn clients and the pesky employees...I'm telling' ya!

    What cameras did I use...IDK...forgot, I think mostly MF with a sprinkling of 5DSr for certain automation tasks. I have shoot next week where the client wants the images to look "olde timey"...I think I will use my MF thru a Quaker Oats pinhole camera I made as a kid.

    Will check back in a few to see if you get this all sorted
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Dog.

    Give me a minute, I need to find my graphs and charts on the type of dog best suited....Name:  Duffy.jpg
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    And yet there's another "dog"
    Don Libby
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    And this one with a MFD iPhone. I promise that the charts are excellent on this one:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	whippets.jpg 
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Hi,

    Thanks, so you mean that a diagram says more than a thousand pictures?

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Dog.

    Give me a minute, I need to find my graphs and charts on the type of dog best suited....Name:  Duffy.jpg
Views: 760
Size:  355.9 KB

    Can't remember at the moment---Kodak DCS Proback 645M or Phase P30....

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

    Better question … is there a compelling reason to move to 35mm?

    Not any more … it even has a competitive chart to back it up! All important IQ boxes checked, at a fraction of the cost.

    http://lifeandtech.com-read.online/2...5&adid=1575377


  36. #286
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Better question … is there a compelling reason to move to 35mm?

    Not any more … it even has a competitive chart to back it up! All important IQ boxes checked, at a fraction of the cost.

    http://lifeandtech.com-read.online/2...5&adid=1575377

    I wouldn't be surprised if 30 years from now there won't be any dedicated cameras of any kind. However, that's a subject for another thread...

  37. #287
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    "However, that's a subject for another thread... "

    Great idea. Why not start it over at the Leica forum. Tell them that Leica's days are numbered what with the iPhone and all. They love stuff like that.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if 30 years from now there won't be any dedicated cameras of any kind. However, that's a subject for another thread...
    Here is a subject for another thread:

    Imagine if a Steve Jobs had been CEO of Nikon or Canon way back when....
    We wouldn't bat an eye at the following statement:

    "Hey, honey, I need to call the office, where is my camera? Do you have it in your purse again?"

    I love hypotheticals, its hard to imagine a world without them

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

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Better question … is there a compelling reason to move to 35mm?

    Not any more … it even has a competitive chart to back it up! All important IQ boxes checked, at a fraction of the cost.

    http://lifeandtech.com-read.online/2...5&adid=1575377

    Marc, you are absolutely right. They seem to have solved all optical problems and are way ahead of Zeiss, Leica, Nikon, and Canon:

    Name:  ScreenHunter_161 Mar. 27 13.48.jpg
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Well this seems to have stirred up a hornets nest! for me the answer is quite simple.
    As I walk down my passageway and view some of my prints what I see is the following:
    Those taken with FF 35mm just don't have the presence (for want of a better word) no matter
    what I do to them. On the other hand, those taken with MFD just 'POP'.
    For me that is compelling enough!

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    Just good to be here....
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    This thread has actually made me realise why I loved shooting with my Hasselblad H4D so much and miss it, going to start planning on putting a MFD kit together again
    www.williamophuis.com

    Hassy H4D-40.
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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 Will Ophuis View Post
    This thread has actually made me realise why I loved shooting with my Hasselblad H4D so much and miss it, going to start planning on putting a MFD kit together again
    As per Obeone, just look at your prints and images and it seems just so obvious to me. Maybe not everyone but those of us that actually shoot MF digital it seems like a discussion about the obvious but only when you see it vs analyze it.

    YOU know why you want that H4D back but I suspect that it's hard to articulate to those that haven't shot MF digital.

    Yes, yes, I have drunk the cool-aid and it started in 2000 with my Kodak 16mp DCS-645M which by todays standards is a brick of a poor quality MFDB but those images still resonate with me so much more than any of my normal 35mm DSLR images. Hard, maybe impossible to explain. But it is what it is to me.
    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?

    Well, there are those that shoot MFD without seeing any specific magic pop too, I'm one. I just need high quality raws then I can make it look the way I desire. MFD gives me that, but so does the high res 135 systems, to me the image quality difference is not critical at all. I like movements and a traditional shooting experience, that (legacy) MFD is much better at though, and as I have a system that works, why change?

    Recommending MFD as first digital camera is like recommending a Porsche for the first car, so I just don't do it. Those really interested will get it anyway.

    If legacy MFD does it for you it's actually not *that* expensive. It's cheaper than ever to reach the quality at least I need for my work. My conclusion is that the difference from very good to best available image quality doesn't make my photography any better art.

  44. #294
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Anders,

    Thanks for those comments.

    What I have seen after shooting 135/MFD in parallel for almost three years is that I took something like 4500 images with MFD and none have made it to the my wall…

    I often carried both MFD and 135, as 135 has a wider range of lenses. But for longer walks the MFD stays in the car, same with a workshop I was on, I was not shooting the MFD at all.

    Now, what I have seen that the MFD (Hasselblad V/P45+ in my case) gave a healthy advantage in resolution, but the 24 MP of the 135 I used was good enough for my standard print size. Printing both at A2, I could not see any advantage to either. With a loupe, yes. I am near sighted and that may help a bit, still I have not observed any difference.

    So why did those MFD image not make it to the wall? I don't know. One thing I noticed is that with zooms on the 135 I had better control of crop. With the Hasselblad I often shoot two or three images and stitch to get a better FoV. That helps image quality but, as I have written before, the 24 MP of the 135 system is good enough for A2 which is my standard print size.

    I have an image from the Hasselblad that made it to the wall, 60x80 cm, hangs in my father's room in their flat. In mother's room there is one 70x100 cm image shot with the 135. Getting to that spot takes something like an hour of walking, Hasselblad and a lot of 135 stuff was left behind.

    Now, that I can have same resolution on a smaller camera I don't really see the need to carry MFD with me.

    So what I see after almost three years and something like 4500 images is that equipment matters little and subject choice matters a lot. I have shot quite a few images I really like with the P45+, like these:



    But I still feel my best images tend to be taken with 24x36 mm. I don't think that would change with a higher end back. Would I print larger, there would be more advantage.

    Michael Reichmann has a famous posting, always worth a check: https://luminous-landscape.com/kidding/

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Well, there are those that shoot MFD without seeing any specific magic pop too, I'm one. I just need high quality raws then I can make it look the way I desire. MFD gives me that, but so does the high res 135 systems, to me the image quality difference is not critical at all. I like movements and a traditional shooting experience, that (legacy) MFD is much better at though, and as I have a system that works, why change?

    Recommending MFD as first digital camera is like recommending a Porsche for the first car, so I just don't do it. Those really interested will get it anyway.

    If legacy MFD does it for you it's actually not *that* expensive. It's cheaper than ever to reach the quality at least I need for my work. My conclusion is that the difference from very good to best available image quality doesn't make my photography any better art.
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 28th March 2016 at 01:10.

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

    I thought that this copy from Pentax about the development of their new FF 135 camera was a refreshing take on the discussion, especially regarding evaluation of IQ from product engineers:

    “There are many ways to assess image quality. PENTAX has traditionally stayed away from the kind of image quality defined solely by excellent numerical assessment. It is probably because we regard sensory evaluation much more highly than most people would imagine.”

    In the age of advanced technologies, PENTAX still places great importance on human sensibilities, something that is in complete opposition to much of today’s technological advancement. For PENTAX, this is the primary source for attaining exceptional image quality.

    It probably comes closest to defining how some of us may perceive our own sensory evaluation between formats.

    Very interesting 135 choice BTW:

    http://www.pentax.com/en/k-1/challen...lengers02.html

    - Marc

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

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    [snip] My conclusion is that the difference from very good to best available image quality doesn't make my photography any better art.
    I had this discussion with my wife the other day Anders. In my words, I said that it wasn't my [legacy MFD] back, camera, lens, that was the limitation...it was the mug behind it.
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    I still feel my best images tend to be taken with 24x36 mm. I don't think that would change with a higher end back. Would I print larger, there would be more advantage.

    Michael Reichmann has a famous posting, always worth a check: https://luminous-landscape.com/kidding/

    Best regards
    Erik
    IF you only print 11x17 then I would agree that overall you won't see the real benefit of MF digital. With my HP Z3200 I have to downrez my MF files to 300dpi and reduce the overall size to match the native size of my printer paper. However, what I get as results do pop in a way that smaller sensor files ultimately don't.

    If all you want is convenience then obviously a 35mm system is going to give you that if you travel with both MF and 35mm. Personally I find that the rigour of shooting just MF OR 35mm works better.
    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
    It's either you see a compelling difference or you don't. I don't see a MAJOR difference. All things being equal, I'd say yes, but there's the 400lb gorilla in the room - cost.

    Your arguments absolutely make sense and I agree with you, but it's that pesky cash that just ruins everything. I couldn't possibly justify the price difference to myself. There are too many other things that I could do with that money that would make my life better than MF, even a Pentax 645z, which is pretty affordable by MF standards is unjustifiable in terms of price vs gain. What I see are the marginal differences that just aren't worth it to me.
    I frequently feel this way about my peers in the wedding industry that choose to buy 2 Canikon Pro bodies. The D750 or D810 is more than suited to the task and you could have like 8 bodies for the same price as 2 pro bodies. For the 645Z, I got a used one, so I paid less than they do and I still have a D750 as a 2nd body/back up/do-er of other things. It was worth it to ME, but I know that argument does not apply to everyone, and I won't waste anybody's time arguing that my perspective invalidates anybody else's. When i see the images from the Z I am delighted! Can't really put a price on that. :-)

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

    Hi Graham,

    I don't print 11x17. Actually 16x23" (known in Europe as A2) is my standard print size. AFAIK it is the largest of the cut sheet formats and the largest you can print on a desktop printer.

    Your printer is a size up, as far as I understand, and that size I think I would see a difference between my P45+ and the old Sony (24MP). But, the A7rII is a good match for the P45+ at actual pixels, so I would think it also matches at larger sizes as I have always felt that actual pixels is more critical than prints. Yes, there is pretty good science to explain that.

    The comparison I was referring to was between a Canon G10 and a P45+ back on a Hasselblad H-series camera with the 55-110 mm zoom. Michael Reichmann had a group of "experts" guessing which was which and had a 50/50 ratio (indicating no systematic difference). One of those experts was Quentin Bargate.

    Here are a few of his later postings and I would suggest that they are relevant in this context:

    How much quality do you really need?

    How much quality do you really need?

    How much quality do you really need?

    Now, I think that many of us are a bit overly optimistic that there is a small camera that can do a lot of interesting things.

    Shooting 24x36 mm is not really about convenience for me. Once I put the A7rII on the HCam it is more like a technical camera, with +/- 15mm of shift and 10 degrees of tilt. Also, when I use Canon lenses I don't have aperture control (*), but that HCam is a 370 gram (0.82 lb) device converting any of my Hasselblad, Pentax or Canon lenses in a T&S device. So I give up convenience for T&S.

    A small reflection. Of the 4500 images I made, something like one got to the wall. That is someting like 0.2 promille or 200 PPM. Something like 20% may make it to slide shows. My next priority is probably not a new camera but a 4K projector that allows me to project those images at 8MP resolution.

    Best regards
    Erik

    (*) The solution is, put the lens on the Metabones, select aperture, make an exposure with lenscap on, remove lens during exposure, put it on the HCam, focus manually and shoot. I wouldn't say it is that convenient. But it solves a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    IF you only print 11x17 then I would agree that overall you won't see the real benefit of MF digital. With my HP Z3200 I have to downrez my MF files to 300dpi and reduce the overall size to match the native size of my printer paper. However, what I get as results do pop in a way that smaller sensor files ultimately don't.

    If all you want is convenience then obviously a 35mm system is going to give you that if you travel with both MF and 35mm. Personally I find that the rigour of shooting just MF OR 35mm works better.

  50. #300
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a compelling reason to move to MF?

    Hi,

    I would say that the Pentax 645Z makes some sense. It is using similar technology to the Nikon D810, present generation Sony CMOS. It also has a present generation AF system, image stabilised lenses and so on.

    I wouldn't compare a crop frame 645 system to a Nikon D750, but a D810 is an adequate comparison IMHO. You also need to take lenses into account. Cameras don't make images, lenses and sensors do. But, I used to say that the most important things are in front of, below and behind the camera. The thing below is a tripod.

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    I frequently feel this way about my peers in the wedding industry that choose to buy 2 Canikon Pro bodies. The D750 or D810 is more than suited to the task and you could have like 8 bodies for the same price as 2 pro bodies. For the 645Z, I got a used one, so I paid less than they do and I still have a D750 as a 2nd body/back up/do-er of other things. It was worth it to ME, but I know that argument does not apply to everyone, and I won't waste anybody's time arguing that my perspective invalidates anybody else's. When i see the images from the Z I am delighted! Can't really put a price on that. :-)

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