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Thread: Where's MFD headed ?

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    Where's MFD headed ?

    My guess is it’s headed squarely in the direction of SLR style cameras (XF, H6D etc.)

    I don’t see any sensor manufacturer making a >=100MP CMOS sensor that will be shift friendly, nor do I see R/S coming out with a range of ultra-expensive, strongly retrofocus W/A lenses to work with current and future >=100MP+ CMOS sensors.

    I could be wrong - usually am - but your thoughts are welcome (not on whether I'm usually wrong or not, but on where MFD is headed ).

    Jim

    P.S. This topic could be useful for anyone tempted to dip their toe in the world of MFD, particularly using a tech cam, so please don't hijack it and turn it into a 'everyone-will-be-shooting-35mm-within-5-years' sort of thing - let's be optimistic and assume MFD will be with us for many years to come.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    "[S]o please don't hijack it and turn it into a 'everyone-will-be-shooting-35mm-within-5-years.'"

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Mirrorless in some shape or form.
    Phase to bring out a photoshop competitor.
    Special editions with ostrich leather,
    Signature editions from CEO's you have never heard of.
    150-200mp once 35mm is at 80-100
    Possibly...
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Don Libby
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Where's Don Libby headed?

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    I mean use MFD because I feel like larger formats always have a more pleasing rendering than smaller ones. I have an RX1RII and a 645z, two of the best sensors out there, but the RX1RII is not going to do for me what my 645z does no matter how many pixels it has, or how good the 35/2 is vs the 55/2.8 that I most commonly use on the Z. They're just different. I think the opposite will happen, and sensors will actually get bigger, for cheaper. Photographers WANT to shoot medium format. Even if on some technical level the A7RII and D810 are super close to a larger sensor in performance, photographers want to use the bigger format if they choose to. Until the Z, it has been reserved to a tiny tiny fraction of studio and landscape shooters in MFD. I see that changing with Sony sensors.

    Serious question as I don't do this kind of work... With perspective control so achievable in post why use a tech camera at all? Like with an Alpa I understand, but why bother with a tech cam when PS will do the same thing?

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Speedgraphic,

    ...why bother with a tech cam when PS will do the same thing?
    The effect of tilt and/or swing cannot be replicated by software.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Speedgraphic,



    The effect of tilt and/or swing cannot be replicated by software.

    Not even with some combination of perspective control and focus stacking?

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    Serious question as I don't do this kind of work... With perspective control so achievable in post why use a tech camera at all? Like with an Alpa I understand, but why bother with a tech cam when PS will do the same thing?
    Well if You speak of making effect like toy-city photoshop can do the same with software, if you speak of making straight lines out from an angled view of a building then photoshop can do a good job sometime... and sometime not..., but if you need to recover the focus for a jewel or a macro of a watch mechanism maintaining a good color capture (not closing f45) a little shift can do something photoshop can't.

    The diffraction and loose of color closing the diaphragm are unavoidable to make little things in focus... most of the high quality work in this case is made with view camera and digital back (most based on old CCD's) that for studio and at base ISO are at the edge.

    Best regards, Domenico.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Hi,

    No, I don't think so. Stacking is quite useful in many situations but fails miserably in many others. Tilts are not a universal solution either. Tilts work for a single plane of focus, but anything falling outside of that will be unsharp.

    Tilts are now 24x36mm territory and so are shifts, really. So MFD needs to compete in other fields.

    Just to explain:

    Now that we have the Sony A7xx there are great T&S options using almost any lens. There are miniature view cams from Arca and Cambo that allow a lot of shifts and tilts with the A7xx, using almost any lens. 24x36 mm may allow 12-20 mm shift, that is a lot on 24x36 mm, like 24-40 mm on MFD. And you can use it with a lot of lenses. There are also pocket size TS adapters that don't offer the flexibility of a bellows camera but still do the job nicely.

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    Not even with some combination of perspective control and focus stacking?

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by modator View Post
    Well if You speak of making effect like toy-city photoshop can do the same with software, if you speak of making straight lines out from an angled view of a building then photoshop can do a good job sometime... and sometime not..., but if you need to recover the focus for a jewel or a macro of a watch mechanism maintaining a good color capture (not closing f45) a little shift can do something photoshop can't.

    The diffraction and loose of color closing the diaphragm are unavoidable to make little things in focus... most of the high quality work in this case is made with view camera and digital back (most based on old CCD's) that for studio and at base ISO are at the edge.

    Best regards, Domenico.
    You could do this with focus stacking too though, and at any aperture you want. I'm not sure how automated focusing stacking has gotten, though I imagine that doing in a single capture is faster...

    It's just that most of the chatter I hear is about the ultra wides and their coverage. I have a hard time believing that the tech lenses are that much better than the Phase, Hasselblad or even the Pentax 28-45. Seems nuts to say that but I've used the Pentax and it's a real jewel! No movements but I can correct perspective even in LR now...

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    No, I don't think so. Stacking is quite useful in many situations but fails miserably in many others. Tilts are not a universal solution either. Tilts work for a single plane of focus, but anything falling outside of that will be unsharp.


    Best regards
    Erik
    Ah I am a portrait/landscape/reportage shooter so I've never had to mess with that stuff. Though i've always argued that if maximizing DoF is your game then a smaller format is another advantage given how good low-iso performance of sensors are across the board down to APS-C.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    We are already
    Anyway. Photoshop or stacking is no substitute for the control a view camera gives you especially regarding workflow and the time spent producing imagery. Anything that hinders the process costs time and money.

    I shoot still life/watches, while I use stacking a lot there is no way I'm giving up my view camera.
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Hi,

    I never knew shifts could help with DoF, but I know tilts can do it. Do it to some extent.

    The image below was made using tilts. The first image I made had the focus plane across the small pine in the foreground and the small rocks in the sea. The trees in the background were gravely out of focus.

    Take two, I put the tilted focal point on the foreground pine and midway on the trees in background. I also used smaller apertures and shot several alternatives. The image I finally used had pretty decent focus on foreground and background. The rocks at the center were out of focus but could be helped by selective sharpening. I am pretty happy with this one. Exhibition stuff!

    Artgh! It is a 24x36mm image that I should not post on an MFD forum! Well, I post it anyway as it illustrates a context.

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    You could do this with focus stacking too though, and at any aperture you want. I'm not sure how automated focusing stacking has gotten, though I imagine that doing in a single capture is faster...

    It's just that most of the chatter I hear is about the ultra wides and their coverage. I have a hard time believing that the tech lenses are that much better than the Phase, Hasselblad or even the Pentax 28-45. Seems nuts to say that but I've used the Pentax and it's a real jewel! No movements but I can correct perspective even in LR now...

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    I don’t see any sensor manufacturer making a >=100MP CMOS sensor that will be shift friendly
    Probably not any soon.

    nor do I see R/S coming out with a range of ultra-expensive, strongly retrofocus W/A lenses to work with current and future >=100MP+ CMOS sensors.
    Why a "range"? They would only need to come out with one W/A. Standard and tele lenses cause no problems with the new sensors.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Hi,

    I don't know what percentage of MFD shooters are using shifts and tilts. Those users may be a bit over represented here on GetDPI. For those shooting DSLR type camera I think there are few problems with late generation sensors.

    One trend that we may see is that MFD gets lower cost of entry. Older backs are much more affordable than just a few years ago and we may see more of that coming.

    On the other side, it seems that Hasselblad can sell all the VFC backs they can make as there is a large pool of Hasselblad owners who want to use their beloved system in the digital age, Perry Oosten mentioned 550 thousand bodies sold trough the years. "Older" models of Leica "S" can be bought at ridiculously low prices. That may mean new MF-users.

    On the sensor side, phone camera sensors have similar issues to MFD and much of development is happening on phone cameras. Modern phone cameras have BSI, shallow wells and insulation between well. Technology that would cure a lot of problems with modern DSLR derived CMOS-backs.

    Present MFD CMOS sensors are coming from Sony, except for the Leica S (typ 007). Sony going mirrorless puts them into a situation that shares many of the same problems as MFDs. Older wide angle designs are not working very well on the Sony A7 series, in part due to the cover glass and but mostly because of the beam angle.

    Zeiss is a good example of that. The Loxia 50 and Loxia 35 are revamped designs for the Contax G2, with the optical calculation taking the cover glass into account. But, then new Loxia 21/2.8 is a brand new Distagon type design.

    Sony obviously feels that both large sensor area and compact size are good selling argument and they need "shallow" pixel designs to make the A7 working well with compact wide angle lenses. My guess is that the present CMOS sensors are derived from 24x36 mm sensors. Next generation may be more beam angle tolerant.

    Another question is how the shift to CMOS will affect the upgrade rate. Sony probably will introduce new sensors at 18 month intervalls (or so). The question is how such an update rate transfers to MFD, are the present sensors "one shot" or will we see a more frequent upgrade cycle on MFD?

    There are lot of rumours Fuji or Sony may enter MFD. Would they do it with slightly larger than 24x36 sensors, or would they go full frame MFD?

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    My guess is it’s headed squarely in the direction of SLR style cameras (XF, H6D etc.)

    I don’t see any sensor manufacturer making a >=100MP CMOS sensor that will be shift friendly, nor do I see R/S coming out with a range of ultra-expensive, strongly retrofocus W/A lenses to work with current and future >=100MP+ CMOS sensors.

    I could be wrong - usually am - but your thoughts are welcome (not on whether I'm usually wrong or not, but on where MFD is headed ).

    Jim

    P.S. This topic could be useful for anyone tempted to dip their toe in the world of MFD, particularly using a tech cam, so please don't hijack it and turn it into a 'everyone-will-be-shooting-35mm-within-5-years' sort of thing - let's be optimistic and assume MFD will be with us for many years to come.

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    Wink Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Hi Speedographic,
    Like what Erik said, also for me focus-stacking is not a good solution.

    I try some time focus stacking, anyway the result have a bad look, the software searches the area on each shot that have more contrast (and with some pattern or high contrast, it fails) then compose the final image with some blur to glue each region found in focus in a single image, if focus stacking software have more sample at different distance (IE 100 frames each with a motion of 0,5 mm to cover 5cm of the depth of field) the blurred areas are very thin and sometime undetectable... but in many situation it fails generating horrible result.

    This technique is oriented for shooting macro at very high enlargement ratio, another problem is the blurred background always there is a problem with it, because the software tend to add noise catched from frames thinking it's important data.
    Making a very good focus stacking is not easy... tilting of some angle degree the lens can lead to a more pleasing and natural image in a fraction of the time.

    To continue on the discussion, substantially the new cmos sensor are performing very similar to the smaller one used in DSLR, as said, there are many solution to do tilt and shift with DSLR and mirrorless that in some case can lead to very professional result, the era of the "CCD color supremacy slogan" is finished, some problems caused by micro-lens are still present since their introduction in MFD and DSLR too if there's the need to shift wide angle.
    What remain not debatable, it's the larger size of the sensor and the resulting different COC (circle of confusion) that limit the diffraction at some stop above the limit of DSLR.. I remember at F11 with APSC was possible to spot the diffraction degradation... with the H5D I didn't see diffraction problem even at F22...

    So far so good, so If You need Larger sensor I think MF is the way to take..


    Best regards, Domenico.


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    You could do this with focus stacking too though, and at any aperture you want. I'm not sure how automated focusing stacking has gotten, though I imagine that doing in a single capture is faster...

    It's just that most of the chatter I hear is about the ultra wides and their coverage. I have a hard time believing that the tech lenses are that much better than the Phase, Hasselblad or even the Pentax 28-45. Seems nuts to say that but I've used the Pentax and it's a real jewel! No movements but I can correct perspective even in LR now...

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Hi,

    I think that the kind of focus stacking the Phase One XF has is the best solution in most cases. Very clearly, sometimes focus stacking works but sometimes it fails horribly.

    Sometimes I shot several images and do manual stacking, this works very well if the image is "layered".

    Regarding diffraction it sort of affects all system similarly. On the Hasselblad I can observe loss of sharpness due to diffraction between f/5.6 and f/8, but it is a very minor effect. Stopping down to f/16 it is significant. The reality is that the more you have, the more you have to loose.

    So, say that I need to stop down to f/16 on my P45+ for DoF in that case I would get the same DoF at f/11 on my A7rII. That would also apply to my A7II and to a A7sII that I don't own. Diffraction would be more on the P45+, but the pixels are also larger, so net effect would be the same. The A7II would loose less resolution than the A7rII, but the A7rII would still have a much better resolution than the A7II.

    What the A7 cannot do is Phase One XF style stacking. I think Canon cameras can do it using tools like "Camranger".

    The A7rII/HCam Master TSII can do a lot of nice things, like offering T&S with zooms. The lenses that allow T&S on the A7rII är generally DSLR/MFD lenses and they have low beam angles, so the beam angle sensitivity is probably not an issue. I have not observed it, but that doesn't say it doesn't exist.

    Chris Barret has moved from IQ 260 to Sony A7r and uses it with the Arca Universalis and a bunch of Hasselblad V lenses. In addition he has the two Canon T&S lenses. To that comes a Canon 11-24/4 zoom that offers a lot of shift: http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/...4652#msg904652

    Chris makes two points, one is that there is no need for LLC with the Hasselblad/Canon lenses, keep in mind that they are made for SLR cameras. The other is that shift should be seen relative to sensor size. 12-20 mm is a lot on a small sensor. Chris says he gives up quiet a bit of image quality compared to the IQ3-100MP, but Arca/Sony/Canon combo can take images that are not possible with larger sensors.

    Personally, I own a P45+ with Hasselblad Flexbody, but I didn't find the Flexbody practical in the field.

    Best regards
    Erik




    Quote Originally Posted by modator View Post
    Hi Speedographic,
    Like what Erik said, also for me focus-stacking is not a good solution.

    I try some time focus stacking, anyway the result have a bad look, the software searches the area on each shot that have more contrast (and with some pattern or high contrast, it fails) then compose the final image with some blur to glue each region found in focus in a single image, if focus stacking software have more sample at different distance (IE 100 frames each with a motion of 0,5 mm to cover 5cm of the depth of field) the blurred areas are very thin and sometime undetectable... but in many situation it fails generating horrible result.

    This technique is oriented for shooting macro at very high enlargement ratio, another problem is the blurred background always there is a problem with it, because the software tend to add noise catched from frames thinking it's important data.
    Making a very good focus stacking is not easy... tilting of some angle degree the lens can lead to a more pleasing and natural image in a fraction of the time.

    To continue on the discussion, substantially the new cmos sensor are performing very similar to the smaller one used in DSLR, as said, there are many solution to do tilt and shift with DSLR and mirrorless that in some case can lead to very professional result, the era of the "CCD color supremacy slogan" is finished, some problems caused by micro-lens are still present since their introduction in MFD and DSLR too if there's the need to shift wide angle.
    What remain not debatable, it's the larger size of the sensor and the resulting different COC (circle of confusion) that limit the diffraction at some stop above the limit of DSLR.. I remember at F11 with APSC was possible to spot the diffraction degradation... with the H5D I didn't see diffraction problem even at F22...

    So far so good, so If You need Larger sensor I think MF is the way to take..


    Best regards, Domenico.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Where is MFD headed?

    It could be headed back to where it historically started ... in the studio, or special applications, or conceptual work, and institutional photography.

    This forum is heavily skewed to landscape work, especially in the MF section. Inroads by super high-res cameras like the Sony A7R-II make sense for many such photographers because of the obvious size/transport/versatility advantage.

    In a more controlled environment like the studio, or on location where assistants are with the photographer, the size advantage evaporates. Plus, mirrorless advantages can become a disadvantage, and MFD with LS lenses have the type of versatility needed and is unavailable with the smaller formats.

    For example, I still do a fair amount of new product photography in studio and on location. New product work isn't subject to clients opting for stock photography like other catagories can be ... it is NEW. Same for lifestyle and/or location work with new product placements.

    I have a photographer friend that has a large modern studio with 9 Hasselblad stations running constantly; including 2 with full movement view cameras and one station with a big old Fuji with movements. He does a massive amount of new product work for clients that are extraordinarily demanding and picky.

    Point is that this forum is a microcosm ... There is a whole other world out there where MFD is both viable and even preferable ... be it rented gear, used gear or new gear ... depending on how successful the photographer may be.

    As an advertising art director/creative director (now semi-retired) I continue to do a lot of free-lance consulting and campaign development for select clients. I still choose photographers to do certain work where my own photographic skills or infrastructure aren't appropriate. In the past 10 years, right up to a current campaign that I'm supervising, 35mm capture has been the exception, not the rule. While it most certainly is used when the scenario calls for it, most work is done with MFD, and all product work is MFD, (with the exception of some food work).

    BTW, none of the 100s of pro photographers I've selected to work with appear on forums, have a blog, or have time to shoot comparison shots replete with charts and graphs. Most use older MFD gear unless they rent it, have tech guys keeping it running, or hire a free-lance tech person to run rented gear ... when and if they buy MFD new, it is one-on-one product demo's in their environment shooting what they shoot.

    I've rarely had a discussion about digital cameras with any of them ... they discuss ideas, lighting (lots about lighting), creativity, how to sell clients a visual idea, and such.

    Different world ... and a bigger world than most folks here might imagine.

    - Marc

    Attached are a sample of product work and one conceptual shot from a series of 10 done for a bank.
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Here's an example of Tilt with the HTS and HC-50 II (75mm resulting focal length / 59mm on 24x36 format), with only 5,6º*of tilt down 2m of floor and a box in focus... all in one shot, compared with no tilt (left)... if I have to do this with stacking it take hour and hours of retouching... hey that's used shoes !

    Like Eric said, this kind of photo it can be done also with A7 / A7R's etc. off course, for me the most important thing it's that I'm satisfied of the result I get.

    Regards, Domenico.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    It could be headed back to where it historically started ...
    Almost fell off my soap box when I read this - a well reasoned and articulate post germane to the original question, and without any reference to 'focus stacking' or sarcastic asides.

    Perhaps there is still life in the GetDPI MF forum yet.
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I have a photographer friend that has a large modern studio with 9 Hasselblad stations running constantly; including 2 with full movement view cameras and one station with a big old Fuji with movements.
    I'll second that opinion. I also know a few professional photographers doing exactly that kind of work and can confirm:
    -that they are not active on forums
    -that they use MF for the tethering abilities and, sometimes, movements
    -that they use rather old backs, they don't need a very high resolution
    -that the money goes into workstations and lights.
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Why a "range"?
    Because choice is usually a good thing.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    My guess is it’s headed squarely in the direction of SLR style cameras (XF, H6D etc.)

    I don’t see any sensor manufacturer making a >=100MP CMOS sensor that will be shift friendly, nor do I see R/S coming out with a range of ultra-expensive, strongly retrofocus W/A lenses to work with current and future >=100MP+ CMOS sensors.

    I could be wrong - usually am - but your thoughts are welcome (not on whether I'm usually wrong or not, but on where MFD is headed ).

    Jim

    P.S. This topic could be useful for anyone tempted to dip their toe in the world of MFD, particularly using a tech cam, so please don't hijack it and turn it into a 'everyone-will-be-shooting-35mm-within-5-years' sort of thing - let's be optimistic and assume MFD will be with us for many years to come.
    The current MFD product offerings are pretty stellar now that both Hasselblad and PhaseOne have outstanding camera bodies along with superb lens lines. Leica is lacking a bit in the sensor department but their body and lenses are also superb.

    My guess is that the next step would be a MFD mirrorless body similar to a Leica SL. The technology is already in place to build such a camera today since the 50 and 100mp Sony CMOS MF sensors output high quality video good enough for an awesome EVF. New, smaller lenses can be designed and an adapter would make the current SLR lenses entirely compatible.

    A smaller and lighter MFD system would certainly help expand the MFD customer base no question.
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    "now that both Hasselblad and PhaseOne have outstanding camera bodies”

    until they have on chip phase detect sensors all over the frame in the hundreds with face and eye recognition plus 5 way sensor shift/stabilisation they are merely average especially when you consider the price without sensor for a dumb box.
    the phamiya 645 body only was £4000

    they are getting there but the journey has been glacial, how long did it take to get a decent screen on a £20k back?

    i appreciate this is back/sensor tech but it would replace the single point AF that comes with the bodies
    Last edited by MrSmith; 3rd May 2016 at 02:30.
    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: Where's MFD headed ?

    I believe traditional MF will still be a somewhat restricted tool in the hands of pros that work mainly in studios with controlled lighting (and has been rightly pointed out, do not visit forums like this).

    However, there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm among non or semi-pros who love the format but would prefer it to be less expensive and easier to use. I expect Pentax to continue with newer, higher resolution units to match up with a new line of lenses. Would not be surprised if they too come up with their version of the same product as Phase or Hassy within the year.

    These are exciting times for photographers, of any ilk, I might add.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I believe traditional MF will still be a somewhat restricted tool in the hands of pros that work mainly in studios with controlled lighting (and has been rightly pointed out, do not visit forums like this).

    However, there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm among non or semi-pros who love the format but would prefer it to be less expensive and easier to use. I expect Pentax to continue with newer, higher resolution units to match up with a new line of lenses. Would not be surprised if they too come up with their version of the same product as Phase or Hassy within the year.

    These are exciting times for photographers, of any ilk, I might add.
    Not sure I agree with that part of your opinion.

    I think MFD makers have added considerable functionality to the later models of these big guns. Personally, I did, and still do, a fair amount of available light work with MFD cameras. They may be prime in the studio, but for a good deal of other applications they perform quite well and deliver versatility beyond just with strobes. It may be that studio work, including tethered, in tandem with lighting is the "must have", but the cameras certainly can be used for other work which extends the value proposition.

    For example, the "cowboy" shot I posted previously was shot with a Hasselblad H3D-II/31 and a HC 150/3.2 with a 1.7 extender. I used the same camera with a 120/4 macro to shoot close-up details of the product (the slicker he's wearing). We even did some action shots, (including the attached Image below). These images appeared in a Trade Show booth ... a couple of them 8' wide.

    - Marc

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Cool shot. I love that it looks like he is being followed by a wolf in the background


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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Aye, cool shot indeed!

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    My guess is that the next step would be a MFD mirrorless body similar to a Leica SL.
    Not for me. I went MF to avoid using an EVF and I like the bright, clear ground glass of my MF camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    i appreciate this is back/sensor tech but it would replace the single point AF that comes with the bodies
    I find focus and recompose quite suited to my way of taking picture and like the true focus function of my camera very much.


    (This just to say that not everyone agrees on the features above. But if you prefer an EVF and multi-point AF, that is fine with me... as long as I am not obliged to use it.)

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    [QUOTE=fotografz;690810]Not sure I agree with that part of your opinion.

    I think MFD makers have added considerable functionality to the later models of these big guns. Personally, I did, and still do, a fair amount of available light work with MFD cameras. They may be prime in the studio, but for a good deal of other applications they perform quite well and deliver versatility beyond just with strobes. It may be that studio work, including tethered, in tandem with lighting is the "must have", but the cameras certainly can be used for other work which extends the value proposition.

    For example, the "cowboy" shot I posted previously was shot with a Hasselblad H3D-II/31 and a HC 150/3.2 with a 1.7 extender. I used the same camera with a 120/4 macro to shoot close-up details of the product (the slicker he's wearing). We even did some action shots, (including the attached Image below). These images appeared in a Trade Show booth ... a couple of them 8' wide.

    - Marc

    Marc, the images are beautiful no doubt but they are well planned and staged, not the way things work in real life.

    And yet you are correct, MFD can be used in a variety of situations, I myself have posted wildlife images here that I took in Africa with my Pentax 645Z. It would have been impossible for me to shoot the same with the older IQ180 system I had earlier, but with the Pentax it was possible. Most people would not think of an MFD in the same breath as wildlife. However under certain circumstances you can shoot anything you like with MFD, but there are compromises involved and this is not a thread about the limitations or advantages of the format. Clearly the current crop of MFD systems do allow a lot more versatility.

    I still think it is very much a niche product and as long as the costs remain high it will remain so. What I would like is for Pentax to develop a better series of lenses and perhaps incorporate a FF MFD sensor into its next camera. If they can price it close to the Z, it would be a big seller.

    Meanwhile, reposting a shot I like quite a bit.Taken with no more than an instant's notice, long after the sun had gone down. I was the only one in the vehicle who had a camera handy for this one. Taken with my Pentax 645Z and the 150 2.8 legacy lens.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post

    Marc, the images are beautiful no doubt but they are well planned and staged, not the way things work in real life.

    And yet you are correct, MFD can be used in a variety of situations, I myself have posted wildlife images here that I took in Africa with my Pentax 645Z. It would have been impossible for me to shoot the same with the older IQ180 system I had earlier, but with the Pentax it was possible. Most people would not think of an MFD in the same breath as wildlife. However under certain circumstances you can shoot anything you like with MFD, but there are compromises involved and this is not a thread about the limitations or advantages of the format. Clearly the current crop of MFD systems do allow a lot more versatility.

    I still think it is very much a niche product and as long as the costs remain high it will remain so. What I would like is for Pentax to develop a better series of lenses and perhaps incorporate a FF MFD sensor into its next camera. If they can price it close to the Z, it would be a big seller.

    Meanwhile, reposting a shot I like quite a bit.Taken with no more than an instant's notice, long after the sun had gone down. I was the only one in the vehicle who had a camera handy for this one. Taken with my Pentax 645Z and the 150 2.8 legacy lens.
    Actually, the "Cowboy" shoot was exactly "How Things Work In Real Life".

    The entire session had the explicit purpose of demonstrating the Muddy Creek Company's product in real world conditions ... a riding slicker aka "duster" designed to cover the rider's saddle and clothes when in adverse conditions such as rivers, rain, and dusty trails. The rider in my previous examples is the company's owner and an expert rider and genuine cowboy. The dog is his Aussy Cattle dog who accompanies he and his wife on rides ... there is a subculture of serious riders who make very long distance group rides that face the conditions the product helps protect from.

    While the shoot itself was deliberate and with purpose, it didn't preclude "spontaneous works" of which made up roughly half the images chosen by the client.

    For example, with planned intent, we specifically shot images of a group of riders splashing across a river, but after completing those purposeful images, I also spontaneously shot the "Coming Home" image below ... which, while demonstrative, is also atmospheric and resonated with riders emotionally ... totally unplanned and of the immediate moment when I saw how the lighting was playing on the subjects and horses breath.

    The other shot is the wife of the cowboy and co-owner of Muddy Creek. No nonsense, salt of the earth folks with a product idea to sell to other passionate riders like themselves.

    BTW, I'm not sure how a Photo Safari in Africa is how things work in real life either ... at least not for many of us Nice shot none the less.

    In the end the subject is how these MFD cameras have continuously improved to expand capabilities ... often more than they are given credit for. So, where they are headed is really up to the user with an open mind as to the possibilities. Costs are directly relative to purpose and longevity in delivering results ... not constantly upgrading every time some new thing comes along (unless it solves a "realistic" task oriented objective one's current gear cannot do). Personally, I see folks buying into extreme capabilities for rarely encountered applications that may make things easier but really don't add much relative to the cost.

    - Marc

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    In the end the subject is how these MFD cameras have continuously improved to expand capabilities ... often more than they are given credit for. So, where they are headed is really up to the user with an open mind as to the possibilities. Costs are directly relative to purpose and longevity in delivering results ... not constantly upgrading every time some new thing comes along (unless it solves a "realistic" task oriented objective one's current gear cannot do). Personally, I see folks buying into extreme capabilities for rarely encountered applications that may make things easier but really don't add much relative to the cost.
    I think that every owner of a MF camera has had the experience of having to use them outside their dedicated studio applications and found out that they are quite usable in these circumstances, even if not really optimal. That is not really the question here.

    The question is "where are MFD manufacturers headed?". That is a lot more tricky to answer:
    -traditional professional studio shooters have little need to upgrade: the MFDs they have is sufficient to their needs, I don't expect much growth in these markets
    -rich amateurs who buy tech cams may be a smaller market in the coming year, because of the slow economy. Many are also getting older and may want a lighter camera system.
    -the museum, reproduction and aerial market may still be growing (or not, I don't really know), but will be saturated eventually.

    Manufacturers need to sell so many cameras every year, year after year or they go bankrupt. If their traditional markets stagnate or even shrink, they will need to attract new customers. These new customers will want different cameras or a different price point, or they would already have bough a MFD.

    Very nice pictures, these shots for Muddy Creek, BTW.

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    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Well this is just a rumor but interesting enough to spin your heads. If it happens, medium format prices would drastically dropped.

    (SR3) New Sony medium format rumor: 101 Megapixel mirrorless system camera at Photokina? | sonyalpharumors

    BTW, in the film days using 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 in exteriors, I found some of my images being affected by the strong vibrations from the mirror box, that's why I used 4x5 or 35mm instead.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Only makes sense as they own/manufacture both the only 50MP and 100MP CMOS chips currently for MFD. Sony understands mirrorless/EVF etc. but not so sure on the "lenses" as they still have a large number of holes in the A7 camera lineup at least to me. Not a big fan of using Canon/Nikon on Sony, just me.

    But the price point I agree may be very eye opening. Also don't forget there are a lot of rumblings over on the Fuji side also!

    It's not a matter of "if" just "when"

    Paul C

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    there is that little mirror lock-up button on the Vblads...
    or you could have used the rollei TLR, he,he.

    nikons are pretty slappy as well

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio Chagin View Post
    Well this is just a rumor but interesting enough to spin your heads. If it happens, medium format prices would drastically dropped.

    (SR3) New Sony medium format rumor: 101 Megapixel mirrorless system camera at Photokina? | sonyalpharumors
    But then, the same site had a similar rumour in 2014 and nothing came out of it:

    http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr3-s...format-camera/
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Sony is a type of company that can make a "one off" camera, just to see if the market likes it, so I wouldn't be super-surprised if they came out with a medium format camera, even with a fixed lens RX1 style. I would be mildly surprised though, I don't think it will happen.

    When it comes the tech cams I think the trend is that the SLR systems Hassy/Phase will replace them, as the tech cams becomes gradually harder to work with and provides less choice, due to manufacturers pulling out (Copal/Schneider) and lens/sensor compatibility issues. I doubt we will see a new tech cam lens line from Rodenstock, my guess is that the current Digarons is the last we'll see of digital tech cam lenses.

    The tech cam segment had a chance to get big in the enthusiast landscape market, but seems largely to be stuck in the pro segment and in the harsh environment of business reality I think MF SLRs will take over in the coming 5-10 year period. With the right marketing and better hardware tech cams could have a status like Leica M, they could be marketed as a classic large format photography experience without having to mess with film. Now it seems like the niche is just becoming smaller. For table-top photography there seems to be some success with the 135 mirrorless on view cameras though, and with adapters using Canon's TS-E lenses some use it for wide angle shots too. Maybe that's where the bulk of the future tech cam sales will be.

    When it comes to the main SLR lines I think the future is quite bright. There will be those that make rational decisions and see that the high end Nikon and Canons provide enough image quality to the customers, but I think those that want "the best" will continue to be enough to feed the market, so my concern is really only about my "own" segment, the tech cams, which is not going in the direction I'd like it to do.

  39. #39
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Manufacturers using the Sony sensors may have a backlog building up due to the earthquake in Japan which I understand severely damaged Sony's chip making factories.

    However, I am still pursuing MF and Hasselblad informed me yesterday I will have an H5D-50c with 50 & 100mm lenses for test in one week. I'll do the usual comparison shots and then compare prints. Fun .

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Seeing a trend of the manufacturers towards giving us more features we don't use, will the pendulum swing in the back to basics direction with features that are just that much better? One feature might be a focus point that can be moved instead of being locked on center. Another feature for tech cameras might be a DOF feature that measures lens tilt/shift automatically and sets the lens in an almost point and shoot mode. I don't know. At the end of the day I want to have fun shooting and creating good images. I'm not much interested in all of the technical aspects of cameras.
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Actually, the "Cowboy" shoot was exactly "How Things Work In Real Life".

    The entire session had the explicit purpose of demonstrating the Muddy Creek Company's product in real world conditions ............

    While the shoot itself was deliberate and with purpose, it didn't preclude "spontaneous works" of which made up roughly half the images chosen by the client.
    Marc, my bad, perhaps I did not explain myself fully. When I say 'not real life', I mean a planned and staged shoot where the subject(s), their movements and in most instances the lighting too is controlled or at least predictable (as much as natural lighting can be). In that sense, while marvelous, your images do not come under the 'spontaneous' category, at least IMHO.

    I too have shot such images, albeit of a slightly different kind.

    The following are from a shoot in Camargue in 2014. Most of the action shots were taken while I was standing almost knee-deep in water with a very treacherous muddy terrain beneath, one slip and I along with my gear would be in the water. With the frenetic action, the shutter speeds had to be high enough and what was happening in front of me was completely unpredictable in many shots, I just had to take the opportunity when it came my way. These were all done with my Canon 1DX with (mostly) the 70-200 f4 lens on it - all hand held, no question of having a tripod there.

    There is no way I could have used my Phase iQ180 - which I owned at the time - or even the current IQ3 in such a setup with constant changes in my position and that of the subject(s), the danger of being splashed or falling being ever present. At times I was just a few feet from the horses as they came thundering towards us, swerving away at the last minute.

    Again, not meant to define the limits of what MFDB can do today and I accept completely that a lot of progress has been made, but it still remains a niche product is all I am trying to say.
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    .........................

    BTW, I'm not sure how a Photo Safari in Africa is how things work in real life either ... at least not for many of us Nice shot none the less.

    Actually, even though I many be in a small minority here, being mainly a wildlife enthusiast, I would venture to say that about the only genre where nothing is predictable or planned is wildlife photography. People look upon 'photo safaris' in Africa with some disdain, because those who have not actually gone and done a proper tour with a professional do not realize how grueling it can be and how difficult it is to make images that are better than average. The light is almost always either too little or too much and the animal behavior is completely random, with often little or no warning as to what's going to happen next. It is just you, often in a cramped position with limited mobility due to the animal being close by or other vehicles obstructing your view. If the light is in your face, tough, if the animal's eye is obscured by a blade of grass, you live with it. After holding the heavy lens and camera to your eye for what seems like hours, when the action happens, most are caught unawares.

    In the end the subject is how these MFD cameras have continuously improved to expand capabilities ... often more than they are given credit for. So, where they are headed is really up to the user with an open mind as to the possibilities. Costs are directly relative to purpose and longevity in delivering results ... not constantly upgrading every time some new thing comes along (unless it solves a "realistic" task oriented objective one's current gear cannot do). Personally, I see folks buying into extreme capabilities for rarely encountered applications that may make things easier but really don't add much relative to the cost.

    - Marc
    Agree, Marc, MFD have continued to improve, but still have many limitations. These will not go away with the price structure presently in place. The only way to move forward in this highly competitive world is to drop the price drastically, sell more units and continue to make it as user friendly and versatile as possible. Not every photographer can be pleased, but in any business, it is about selling more (even if for less ) than selling a few for a lot more money. At least that is how I understand business is run.

    Finally, an image I took about three weeks ago in Botswana. The lioness had three very young cubs with her and was at the edge of the water. After waiting for a long while she suddenly took off. All of us thought she was simply going to wade through but she leapt. It is not a perfect shot as the focus is a bit off, but the cubs waiting in the grass really tells the story, IMHO.

    And that, to me at least, is 'real life photography'. No tripods, no assistants, no strobes, no diffusers, uncontrollable light, even less controllable subject and tough environmental conditions.

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Hi Pradeep,

    Lovely images!

    As they say, horses for the courses. But, I don't mind a horse that can win on all courses.

    Best regards
    Erik

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Hi,

    Great images… I can see your customer is happy.

    I would think that there is no ruling out using MFD on action type shots. Many times action shooters pre focus where action will happen. In younger times I was shooting a lot of show jumping (horses). You focused on the fence. That was well before we got auto focus, and early AF was more of out of focus, anyway.

    Clearly, high FPS, extremely fast AF and long telephoto lenses are not exactly MFD territory, but I know at least one photographer, Andy Biggs, who saddled on to Phase One for African wildlife photography.

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Actually, the "Cowboy" shoot was exactly "How Things Work In Real Life".

    The entire session had the explicit purpose of demonstrating the Muddy Creek Company's product in real world conditions ... a riding slicker aka "duster" designed to cover the rider's saddle and clothes when in adverse conditions such as rivers, rain, and dusty trails. The rider in my previous examples is the company's owner and an expert rider and genuine cowboy. The dog is his Aussy Cattle dog who accompanies he and his wife on rides ... there is a subculture of serious riders who make very long distance group rides that face the conditions the product helps protect from.

    While the shoot itself was deliberate and with purpose, it didn't preclude "spontaneous works" of which made up roughly half the images chosen by the client.

    For example, with planned intent, we specifically shot images of a group of riders splashing across a river, but after completing those purposeful images, I also spontaneously shot the "Coming Home" image below ... which, while demonstrative, is also atmospheric and resonated with riders emotionally ... totally unplanned and of the immediate moment when I saw how the lighting was playing on the subjects and horses breath.

    The other shot is the wife of the cowboy and co-owner of Muddy Creek. No nonsense, salt of the earth folks with a product idea to sell to other passionate riders like themselves.

    BTW, I'm not sure how a Photo Safari in Africa is how things work in real life either ... at least not for many of us Nice shot none the less.

    In the end the subject is how these MFD cameras have continuously improved to expand capabilities ... often more than they are given credit for. So, where they are headed is really up to the user with an open mind as to the possibilities. Costs are directly relative to purpose and longevity in delivering results ... not constantly upgrading every time some new thing comes along (unless it solves a "realistic" task oriented objective one's current gear cannot do). Personally, I see folks buying into extreme capabilities for rarely encountered applications that may make things easier but really don't add much relative to the cost.

    - Marc

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Very nice images. A few are even spectacular.

    I won't debate wildlife photography with a wildlife photographer ... as I am not one, nor do I play one on TV

    However, I do think the point being made was that today's, (or even more recent MFD systems), are capable of doing more than just plodding, slow, and zen like contemplated photography ... as it is often portrayed.

    Whether, of the moment spontaneous "real life" work has to be defined so rigidly is indeed a matter of opinion. I tend to define it in terms of skill and experience rather than just attributes of a piece of equipment. In extremes, yes, choice of what you use most certainly can effect outcome. I'd be the last person to recommend MFD to photograph sports when there are tools like the Canon 1DX or Nikon D5 and 300/2.8 lenses.

    The other aspect of what determines outcome is "Photographers Intent". In my case study above, the intent was demonstration of a product in use ... set-up or spontaneous ... of which I did both. There were no lights, no structured and ridged shoot list, no tripods used (a monopod at times) ... I stood in water with horses racing toward me (albeit reasonably controlled by riders).

    I would hazard a guess that when on Safari, the intent is to shoot wildlife in habitat ... where one is taken to where the wildlife is, and expert guides assist in helping get those "found images". The actual timing and composition is then left to skill and experience.

    What I have found is that IF one sticks with a camera system rather than jumping from one Lilly pad to the next, you actually get more and more skilled with that tool. I used my H system for many years until it was second nature and I could shoot more situations than I ever thought possible than when I first started with it.

    - Marc
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    Great images… I can see your customer is happy.
    Sorry Erik, If you were referring to me, I don't have any customers, don't make a penny from my photography, it is just a passion but oh what a passion it is!


    I would think that there is no ruling out using MFD on action type shots. Many times action shooters pre focus where action will happen. In younger times I was shooting a lot of show jumping (horses). You focused on the fence. That was well before we got auto focus, and early AF was more of out of focus, anyway.

    Clearly, high FPS, extremely fast AF and long telephoto lenses are not exactly MFD territory, but I know at least one photographer, Andy Biggs, who saddled on to Phase One for African wildlife photography.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Actually that was what originally did convince me that MFD may be possible in the wildlife arena, Andy Biggs being into it. However, he too carries a regular DSLR rig with him. I did the same last year with my Pentax 645z. Perhaps less than 10% of the images can be taken with MFD in the wild and most are scenic, habitat type shots, certainly not when there is activity and intense at that. Of course if your style is like Nick Brandt's then you can even use large format cameras.

    There is more one can do with MFD today, that is for sure, but then there is also more that can be done with traditional gear too, the capability and functionality of most camera systems is increasing and it does become a catch-up game. At this time, I would still maintain that MFD remains a product confined to either pros who need it for their specialty niche or for enthusiasts who love to experiment with the latest and greatest and can afford to do so.

    The price barrier still remains a significant issue for most people though.

  47. #47
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    i don't personally have need of this function, but marc is a strong advocate of the blad true focus in certain situations. wouldn't this need be served by a moveable focus point, a la' 35mm DSLR? and why did blad choose such a rube goldberg method? seems like many cameras offer the moveable point solution and have for years

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    I did an experiment with a Leica S and 70/2.5 lens. I focused on a test chart at about 10 feet distance. I then changed the camera orientation to put the chart at each corner and edge. The camera was mounted on an Arca Cube, so rotations were fairly close to camera center. In other words, the sensor didn't move forwards or backward much while tilting. To my surprise, the sides and corners were very close to center sharpness. This could be field curvature, or a sign that DoF is large enough at that distance to cover the altered focal plane. In any event, I no longer worry at all about focus-recompose with this camera/lens combination.

    Best,

    Matt

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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    There is still much development left to be done in sensor design. If you want an example of just how badly the Mayer filter destroys resolution, go to the link below. It's a comparison of the Pentax K1, with and without pixel shifting engaged. Admittedly, DPR used a lens on the K1 that is acknowledged as a 'portrait' lens, soft on the edges with field curvature. Yet, in the pixel shift mode, it punches well above it's class. It surpasses the 645z and Nikon D810 with no evidence of moire artifacts. If you really want a shock, select the Phase IQ180. The 36 meg Pentax matches it on resolution. Another pleasant bi product of the pixel shifting/stacking internally of the image, is a pretty dramatic reduction in noise.

    Look closely at the etching to left of center of the scene and the various patterns on the currency bill in the lower left area of the frame. I'm of the opinion that getting rid of the Bayer matrix is certainly an area that needs to be explored.

    No alias: Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift shows impressive early results: Digital Photography Review
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    Re: Where's MFD headed ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Very nice images. A few are even spectacular.
    Thank you Marc. Much appreciated.

    However, I do think the point being made was that today's, (or even more recent MFD systems), are capable of doing more than just plodding, slow, and zen like contemplated photography ... as it is often portrayed.
    Agree completely.

    Whether, of the moment spontaneous "real life" work has to be defined so rigidly is indeed a matter of opinion. I tend to define it in terms of skill and experience rather than just attributes of a piece of equipment. In extremes, yes, choice of what you use most certainly can effect outcome. I'd be the last person to recommend MFD to photograph sports when there are tools like the Canon 1DX or Nikon D5 and 300/2.8 lenses.
    True, we are all different in our take on what photography itself is or should be. People still use film quite happily and some believe the only 'real' photographs are black and white.

    The other aspect of what determines outcome is "Photographers Intent". In my case study above, the intent was demonstration of a product in use ... set-up or spontaneous ... of which I did both. There were no lights, no structured and ridged shoot list, no tripods used (a monopod at times) ... I stood in water with horses racing toward me (albeit reasonably controlled by riders).
    Yes, the intent in my case was to shoot riderless horses (mostly) running towards us and composing/shooting things the way my own vision dictated. Not having to meet somebody else's needs or wants (being an amateur) is refreshing in some ways. So, yes, intent is the key which drives all photography and choice of gear, I agree with that.

    I would hazard a guess that when on Safari, the intent is to shoot wildlife in habitat ... where one is taken to where the wildlife is, and expert guides assist in helping get those "found images". The actual timing and composition is then left to skill and experience.
    Actually, the tour leader simply arranges the logistics of the trip, where to go, how to get there, where to stay and the vehicles to be used. Everything else, including game drive hours, choice of what to see and how to shoot is mostly determined by the photographers. Often you are in the vehicle with just a driver (who is an expert at animal behavior), nobody else. None of these images are 'found', you could drive for four hours and not see anything and then you go around a kopje or a thicket and suddenly there is this lion pride with cubs playing, or a martial eagle eating an african hare on a branch. Often you have seconds before the moment is gone and the animals run away. Sometimes you luck out and they keep playing and then it is like being in paradise if only for a few minutes.

    What I have found is that IF one sticks with a camera system rather than jumping from one Lilly pad to the next, you actually get more and more skilled with that tool. I used my H system for many years until it was second nature and I could shoot more situations than I ever thought possible than when I first started with it.

    - Marc
    Very true. I wish I could have stayed with just the one system I bought years ago. On my first trip to Kenya in 2007 I was quite happy with my Canon 40D and 5D. There are many people here too who continue to use tried and trusted gear from 8-10 yrs ago. But technology is not static and continues to move forward. If you can afford to, you want to be part of that progress. You also want to get the best IQ you can, and thus the relentless pursuit of gear. It is also a bit of a thrill to see what the new 'gadget' has to offer and thus I am an absolute gear junkie, I confess happily
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