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Thread: Digital Back Upgrade question

  1. #1
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    Digital Back Upgrade question

    Hi there,

    I currently have the option to upgrade from my trustworthy P45+ to an IQ1 60 and I wonder if it is worth it. There are two systems with which I would use it: Hasselblad V and Linhof Techno with a number of digitar lenses. I mainly shoot landscape, so base ISO is not an issue for me. My usual output format is print in the size of 80x80cm. I do hike with my gear, so reliability and some degree of ruggedness is necessary.

    What I hope the new back would do better than the old one:
    - reliable focus check on the screen
    - more resolution (obviously)
    - possible live view
    - (almost) no crop factor on my Hasselblad V system

    The cons are also to be considered:
    - expensive new accessories (Linhof Techno focusing screen with Fresnel)
    - only 60 seconds exposure time.

    Questions I would have:
    - In general: Any experiences whether such an upgrade is worth it?
    - Are accessories (batteries, for example) compatible between the two backs?
    - How about battery life of the IQ1 60?
    - How about tech cam compatibility of the IQ1 60? I read it should be rather usable with the digitar lenses.
    - In general: would you still go for this back, when there is the CFV 50 II around the corner? This back of course has a rather small sensor (main drawback). Price-wise, the two backs will be about equal.

    What are your thoughts on it?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by anyone; 8th February 2020 at 08:49.

  2. #2
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    My two :

    IQ160 vs CFV50 Pro: larger sensor (do you like to shoot wide?), less lens cast with tech cam lenses than 50 Mp CMOS sensor
    IQ160 vs CFV50 Con: pain in the butt to focus on tech cam, limited to base ISO for reasonable image quality, more limited dynamic range

    The difference in resolution is a wash although if you're printing, the larger format is an advantage.

    There's also the whole Capture One vs. Phocus issue to consider, which is a whole 'nother discussion...

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by anyone View Post
    Hi there,

    I currently have the option to upgrade from my trustworthy P45+ to an IQ1 60 and I wonder if it is worth it. There are two systems with which I would use it: Hasselblad V and Linhof Techno with a number of digitar lenses. I mainly shoot landscape, so base ISO is not an issue for me. My usual output format is print in the size of 80x80cm. I do hike with my gear, so reliability and some degree of ruggedness is necessary.

    What I hope the new back would do better than the old one:
    - reliable focus check on the screen
    - more resolution (obviously)
    - possible live view
    - (almost) no crop factor on my Hasselblad V system

    The cons are also to be considered:
    - expensive new accessories (Linhof Techno focusing screen with Fresnel)
    - only 60 seconds exposure time.

    Questions I would have:
    - In general: Any experiences whether such an upgrade is worth it?
    - Are accessories (batteries, for example) compatible between the two backs?
    - How about battery life of the IQ1 60?
    - How about tech cam compatibility of the IQ1 60? I read it should be rather usable with the digitar lenses.
    - In general: would you still go for this back, when there is the CFV 50 II around the corner? This back of course has a rather small sensor (main drawback). Price-wise, the two backs will be about equal.

    What are your thoughts on it?

    Thank you!
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  3. #3
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    will the CFV 50 II have an Electronic Shutter - if it does, then that's another consideration
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    Some years back did the upgrade from an Aptus to the Credo 60. While the Credo has poor live view, and is now some years dated, it still gives great pleasure. Its snappy, works well, great tonality, and is friendly to shifting.

    The live view of the IQ is always tempting, but check how that sensor works with the tech camera and shifting. The Credo, with its poor live view, is used on a Techno to check focus: if way off target, it helps quickly to bring things back in. In good light, shut down aperture is needed - and then chimp for more precise focus. Not ideal, but... workable. Still staying with the Credo.
    www.gigi-photos.com
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  5. #5
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    What is your budget?

    There are a lot of options for MFDBs----and many "better" MFDBs may be more affordable than you realize.

    I'd start by checking out with the used/CPO stock with dealers and telling them your desires/requirements.

    Buying "a little bit more" MFDB could go a lot further than you think, in both enjoyment---or lack of frustration.

    Ken
    Last edited by kdphotography; 9th February 2020 at 07:03.
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    All good points raised here. If you want to upgrade and maintain compatibility with your Hasselblad V body(ies) then you're limited to earlier generation Credo/Phase One backs and of course the Hasselblad backs. A big upside of the CFV50II is live view and, oh yes, the electronic shutter as noted above. If you decide to go with the full frame 40x54mm sensor this pretty much limits your choices to either the Credo or Phase 1/2 60 and Phase 1/2 80. The resolution gain going from 60 to 80 Mp is marginal and I think there will be more significant issues with lens cast with the 80 Mp sensor. The IQ260 allows longer exposure and wifi connectivity compared to the IQ160, which may or may not be important to you. So, given your stated parameters I think it boils down to either the Credo 60/Phase IQ160 (if you can find one in V mount) vs CFV50II (when it's released). Or wait for the CFV100? If you can stretch your budget to get into an IQ3100 you'd have full frame, electronic shutter and long exposure capabilities. Your Hasselblad bodies will be sidelined unless you keep your P45+ but if you can adapt your Hasselblad lenses to the Techno you can use them with the back's electronic shutter, at least for static subjects.

    And just remember: Dante loves you.

    John
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    You don't mention where you are located, but while you can (and have) gotten good answers to the questions you know to ask, the answers to the questions you don't yet know to ask are best found by taking a weekend with the IQ160 to see if you get along with it.

    Just call up a Phase One dealer and arrange it. I'd selfishly suggest us (DT) if you're in the USA. We sell tons of pre-owned, refurbished, and demo digital backs at our main and outlet websites.
    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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  8. #8
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    Quote Originally Posted by anyone View Post
    Hi there,

    I currently have the option to upgrade from my trustworthy P45+ to an IQ1 60 and I wonder if it is worth it. There are two systems with which I would use it: Hasselblad V and Linhof Techno with a number of digitar lenses. I mainly shoot landscape, so base ISO is not an issue for me. My usual output format is print in the size of 80x80cm. I do hike with my gear, so reliability and some degree of ruggedness is necessary.

    What I hope the new back would do better than the old one:
    - reliable focus check on the screen
    - more resolution (obviously)
    - possible live view
    - (almost) no crop factor on my Hasselblad V system

    The cons are also to be considered:
    - expensive new accessories (Linhof Techno focusing screen with Fresnel)
    - only 60 seconds exposure time.

    Questions I would have:
    - In general: Any experiences whether such an upgrade is worth it?
    - Are accessories (batteries, for example) compatible between the two backs?
    - How about battery life of the IQ1 60?
    - How about tech cam compatibility of the IQ1 60? I read it should be rather usable with the digitar lenses.
    - In general: would you still go for this back, when there is the CFV 50 II around the corner? This back of course has a rather small sensor (main drawback). Price-wise, the two backs will be about equal.

    What are your thoughts on it?

    Thank you!
    I have zero experience with an IQ160, but I do own a P45 and CFV-50c. I upgraded to the 50c when it appeared for purchase in Japan in 2014 for its Live View technology.

    We all have different equipment needs and it becomes subjective once I understand what my needs are. I need Live View more than a huge amount of pixels and since the 50c continues to deliver what I need, I do not upgrade. The largest prints I have displayed and sold have never exceeded the capabilities of the 50c. I also like the color palette I can achieve with the CCD back of the P45 and the sensor dimensions and so I keep it even tho it does not get a lot of usage.

    I prefer using Lightroom for its cataloging system and choose to post process my digital files through it and Photoshop. Both digital back raw files have no issues with Lightroom. I also taught Lightroom and Photoshop in the classroom for years and probably process files quicker than most in these programs so I do not want to change to Capture One even tho I have used it.

    One thing I would change if I did not have my very expensive ALPA Schneider Helvetar 28/5.6 would be the crop factor of the 44x33, but since that lens gives me enough coverage when needed, I remain happy with the 50c. I have no plans on upgrading to the 50c II as it is the same sensor with a flippy screen and maybe an upgraded UI and for me, not enough to justify the cost.

    You mention using the digital back with your Hasselblad system. I have been a Hasselblad V user for 30+ years and have multiple bodies, lenses, etc. I find it difficult to focus the V lenses via Live View or tethered. I do shoot tethered with a Flexbody + 120 CFi on a copy stand made for medium format cameras when I digitize my film, but it is a much slower process than shooting with my SK lenses. I have never had great results shooting Live View with my V lenses on tripod either, thus I reserve my V system primarily for film shooting.

    Live View was a game changer for me as I prefer leaving a digital back on the camera and not fumbling through the switching back and forth of a ground glass if I do not have to. I enjoy the ground glass view and experience it regularly when shooting my 4x5 cameras, but when I travel out to shoot with medium format digital, I want to use as least amount of gear as possible.

    See what I did there, explained my subjective preferences. I wish you all the luck in your decision making process.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com
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  9. #9
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    Re: Digital Back Upgrade question

    Hi all,

    thank you so much for your answers. It's a pleasure to read about real-world first hand experience with the gear I'm looking for. I'm not willing to let go of the Hasselblad V compatibility, so this limits the choices of backs to Hasselblad V which is at least here in Europe difficult to get. I did try the route via the local Phase One reps, but no success there. In Germany, I also never really quite felt 'in good hands' there. They don't value private customers too much, maybe too small margins on used gear? In any case, a test-run with the back does not seem to be possible to arrange, and while I would also be interested in the IQ2 60 (for long exposure + WIFI), I cannot source it at a reasonable price, so I'll be back to the IQ1 60.

    I like my CCD back (and also liked the one I had before), so I have all reason to believe that the IQ1 60 with its CCD sensor will serve me well. For the Hasselblad V, I do not need live view as I mainly shoot landscapes at infinity, and just hope my infinity stop is well calibrated (so far no problems). For the Techno, live view would be nice, but then again, a proper screen for focus check is also alright (no, the P45+ screen is not proper. It's impossible to see whether focus is achieved). I'm with Darr: sliding backs are also not my favourite and the new focussing screen is very, very expensive (about 700 EUR).

    After reconsidering the choices and your experiences, I think the IQ1 60 will be the back to go for due to the full frame sensor and wideangle-compatiblity.

    Thank you very much!
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