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Thread: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

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    How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    When researching MFDB, one of the big things that is tempting with Phase is the 1/1600 sync capability of the LS lenses. Hasselblad, by comparison, tops out at 1/800. However, one of the things I've seen pop up a number of times is LS lenses having issues with the leaf shutter that renders the lens and/or camera useless while at a shoot, and if you don't have a backup MFDB / lens then you're out of luck.

    Is this actually a recurring problem which is common for folks?

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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    Everyone has different experience.

    Mine was pretty bad.
    During a shoot the leaf shutter in the kit lens and df+ broke at the same time. You can see broken parts. It delayed my shoot until dealer lend me a body n lens in the middle oj a job

    A few years later during my 1st landscape hunting in china, my 210LS leaf shutter was not wokring, focal shutter work normally. The next day my 110LS was not able to rotate the focus ring. I always handle my lens with care,barely any scratch.

    Phase one QC has been bad for me. I opened 3 boxes of brand new df+ before found a working one. I opened 2 boxes of iq 180, the other one has bad LCD screen. These happen just after their product launch. I dont trust them to buy new launch product asap, i rather wait few months. Now they update all blue ring design to replace the design flaw they have in the old line up.

    Just my 2 cents

    -Dan

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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    Generally if you ask about problems (with any brand, make, model) you'll hear from people that had problems. Similar to going to a support forum - where by definition nearly everyone there has had a problem (or they wouldn't, generally, be on the support forum). This is a useful and meaningful (and unfortunate) thing to hear about while researching a brand. It's nice to know when they had those problems, and how quickly/easily/costly the resolution to those problems were. But it's probably even more relevant to determine what percentage of people had problems. For instance if Apple had one million people who have had very bad experiences that would be a very very small percentage of everyone who has worked with an Apple product.

    Perhaps you could do a poll alongside this more open ended question. Or speak with your local production houses or digital techs who work with large quantities of different systems over a long period of time.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    OP FYI - as of the new H6D 50 and 100 MP bodies and revised lenses, Hassy peaks at 1/2000 sync.
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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    I have used Phase LS lenses for many years and never had a problem. However, I'm not a high volume studio shooter. (I've had more problems with Sony lenses that have had to be repaired and Leica lenses that needed RF alignment but none of these were leaf shutter lenses.)
    Bill CB

    www.billcaulfeild-browne.ca
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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    OP FYI - as of the new H6D 50 and 100 MP bodies and revised lenses, Hassy peaks at 1/2000 sync.
    Whoa.



    Doug: So I'm based in San Antonio, TX. We don't really have any useful resources locally for this kind of gear. If I was in NY or LA it would be easy I imagine to stroll into a dealer where I can get some hands-on and really get a feel for things. But for me, it's pretty much impossible to financially justify a MFDB so it's much more of a want and I certainly can't afford to risk a system that seems to maybe not be so rock-solid. Sure, people post about negative experiences more than positive, but those negative experiences have a huge impact and I'm not seeing many of those about the alternatives.

    I do love the tech in the Phase options, though. At least in theory (having never used one, nor the competition).

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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    Quote Originally Posted by TTLKurtis View Post
    Whoa.



    Doug: So I'm based in San Antonio, TX. We don't really have any useful resources locally for this kind of gear. If I was in NY or LA it would be easy I imagine to stroll into a dealer where I can get some hands-on and really get a feel for things. But for me, it's pretty much impossible to financially justify a MFDB so it's much more of a want and I certainly can't afford to risk a system that seems to maybe not be so rock-solid. Sure, people post about negative experiences more than positive, but those negative experiences have a huge impact and I'm not seeing many of those about the alternatives.

    I do love the tech in the Phase options, though. At least in theory (having never used one, nor the competition).

    We do a multi city road tour of Texas at least once a year, and have many customers in Texas. It would be our pleasure to put you in touch with a few. Alternatively (or in addition) we are glad to set up an evaluation rental so you can get hands on time.

    Phase One gear is reliable and robust. Of course there are a few bad experiences out there, especially for early users of the DF/DF+ (which had firmware stability issues at launch.

    As the strongest indication of confidence I can think of, an IQ3 kit comes with a five year warranty that includes coverage for all components purchased with the kit (eg back, body, lenses). This includes a loaner during any repairs or service of those components. If it weren't very reliable this warranty would be financial suicide.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    It's too bad that Phase One was not confident enough to pass on the 5 year warranty to upgrades also, as upgrades are by far a greater source of purchase of new backs than a straight purchase of a new "kit". I know many of folks who upgraded a back to either a 380 or 100MP also purchased XF's and blue ring lenses, but since they upgraded from their old back the 5 year warranty only applies to the back.

    It's also a bit disappointing that Phase One, can give the XF when tied to a new back (non upgrade) a 5 year warranty, but only a standard warranty when purchased separately again as the vast majority of folks did. If the quality is that good, should it not stand out, by itself and allow Phase to pass the 5 year warranty to stand alone XF purchases?, or photographers who upgraded from DF or DF+ bodies to the XF back in the June to August 2015 timeframe. Instead the XF by itself carries a 1 year no loaners warranty.

    As is true also with all lenses, those purchased with a new "kit" all carry the 5 year warranty, but any of the same lenses, blue label or not, only have the standard warranty of the specific lens.

    So the actual percentage of XF/Phase One lenses actually carrying a 5 year warranty are pretty small, thus the risk to Phase One small also.

    Paul C
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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    Quote Originally Posted by TTLKurtis View Post
    When researching MFDB, one of the big things that is tempting with Phase is the 1/1600 sync capability of the LS lenses. Hasselblad, by comparison, tops out at 1/800. However, one of the things I've seen pop up a number of times is LS lenses having issues with the leaf shutter that renders the lens and/or camera useless while at a shoot, and if you don't have a backup MFDB / lens then you're out of luck.

    Is this actually a recurring problem which is common for folks?
    Using Leaf shutter lens are a vital part of my photography workflow. I own the Schneider Kreuznach LS 28, LS 35, LS 55, LS 80, LS 110 and a LS150mm. My camera is an XF with an IQ260. Thus far I have never had a leaf shutter failure. I don't shoot high volume catalogue photography. My work consists of a mix of editorial and advertising photography. Gear failure is not brand specific it's always wise to have some sort of back-up. I don't carry an extra Medium format back on assignment. I travel with a Canon 5dsr as a back-up.

    Here is an example of how I use Leaf Shutter lens. This is an athlete (College Football player) running on a levee in Florida photographed for an American sports magazine.





    ISO 100 1/1250 f/5.6 55LS lens | Profoto Air Remotes | Profoto 7B power packs

    Quote Originally Posted by TTLKurtis View Post
    : Doug: So I'm based in San Antonio, TX. We don't really have any useful resources locally for this kind of gear. If I was in NY or LA it would be easy I imagine to stroll into a dealer where I can get some hands-on and really get a feel for things. But for me, it's pretty much impossible to financially justify a MFDB so it's much more of a want and I certainly can't afford to risk a system that seems to maybe not be so rock-solid. Sure, people post about negative experiences more than positive, but those negative experiences have a huge impact and I'm not seeing many of those about the alternatives.

    I do love the tech in the Phase options, though. At least in theory (having never used one, nor the competition).

    For the international readers of the forum, you can go get some coffee now. I’m going to share a bit of personal information.

    I grew up in a small town in Texas population 25,000 and left to start my photography career at 17. My first job was to hang out of a heliocopter to photograph “fishing” ships in the pacific ocean for the U.S. Navy.

    I only share this story because recently there have been a lot of voices (even respected photography professionals who for some reason have lost their minds…) on the internet who freely give advice based upon limited or no use of a camera just theory which is helpful to a point. But as the military hawks like to say, “Nothing beats boots on the ground”. I say, “nothing beats a camera in hand”

    So a bit of advice for you. At some point you have put the research aside and take concrete steps to advance your photography. Rent a car, hop a bus or get on your motorcycle drive up to Austin, Dallas or Houston and surround yourself with photographers who are doing great things with all types of cameras. Meet up with Doug or go to a rental house and put your hands on either a Hassy MFD or a Phase One. Try for yourself.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Jeffery Salter; 22nd April 2016 at 08:55.
    Jeffery Salter
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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    I'm not inexperienced as a photographer and I don't feel that spending a day playing with MFDBs in a store is going to give me the sort of experience necessary to make such a decision.

    Leaf shutter has some undeniable benefits that allow you to do things with far less lights and power than would otherwise be required to accomplish the same shot.

    The samples I have been able to download of digital back files however have not been particularly impressive. I'm assuming because photographers would never put their really good stuff out there.

    I think I've come to the conclusion that my money would better be put to use getting an old warehouse studio and turning that into a money maker for me. We'll see.

    Not sure if my profile is linked to my website but it's http://kurtiskronk.com

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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    I'd encourage you to make that decision after you actually use a medium format system but it sounds like maybe you came into this process with a desired outcome. For instance I've offered access to our 500gb catalog of sample raw files including some from extremely talented photographers, and/or the option to test a system hands on and you haven't taken me up on either.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: How common are Phase leaf-shutter lens failures?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    I'd encourage you to make that decision after you actually use a medium format system but it sounds like maybe you came into this process with a desired outcome. For instance I've offered access to our 500gb catalog of sample raw files including some from extremely talented photographers, and/or the option to test a system hands on and you haven't taken me up on either.

    That's actually not the case at all, but I will tell you that I most certainly cannot afford to spend $30k on a MF system and it sure doesn't seem like you felt I would be happy with the older systems which can be had for a reasonable price (based on my budget).

    Then the thought occurred to me that for a similar amount of money I could afford a studio which could help me actually make money, which a camera could not do.

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