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Thread: Leaf versus Phase

  1. #1
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Leaf versus Phase

    Folks,

    I might getting a pain here but meanwhile you know that I am comparing all the possible MF and MFDB solutions and so I have another question.

    I visited the local Leaf representative in Austria today and we discussed several solutions. I think I am almost at the point where I know which camera system to go and this is Mamiya / Phase based on the Mamiya 645 AFDIII and some of the D lenses. I almost am skipping Leica S2 and Hasselblad, not completely sure but almost convinced.

    Now for the Mamiya MF Camera system I could either go with a Phase Back (most probably a P45+) or a Leaf back (most probably the Leaf Aptus II7 which has a 33MP Dalsa chip).

    My question is, has anyone here experience with Leaf or Leaf versus Phase and can a bit elaborate on this? Also SW of course is interesting for me as well as support and robustness of the backs. Especially the Leaf backs have this vent cooling, which Leaf says is robust but I am not sure if no moving parts would not be better as in the Phase solution.

    Price wise the Leaf solution is very interesting.

    Thanks for another feedback here.

  2. #2
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Peter,

    There are far more "expert" users here than me, but I will share that I am very happy with my Leaf Aptus II 6 (28mp) digital back. I use it with both the Mamiya AFDIII (same as Phase body) as well as the Horseman SWD II technical camera. Image quality is beautiful. I do use the Leaf Software and like it, though many argue that C1 is cleaner and more robust. I think it's still a toss-up, but I've only demo'ed C1. My workflow for Leaf files is through the Leaf software and then into Lightroom.

    I also really appreciate the touchscreen based system on the Leaf back, especially with the AFD and the Horseman, to review images, etc, and the fan is a non-issue for me. The drawback of the Leaf back is the exposure limit (32 seconds or so) which can be limiting in out of doors, fading light situations, specially with the Horseman technical camera. The Phase + systems clearly have the advntage there. When I made the decision, I decided that probably less than 5% of my shots could use the longer exposures, so I decided to go with Leaf with the touchscreen interface. However, if you feel that the long exposure shot is something you're thinking about, I'd say it's no contest. Between Leaf, Hasselblad, and Phase backs, I think there can be arguments made that image quality is generally on par. No huge difference between the three, unless you shoot in specific circumstances (do you shoot studio a ton, then maybe go Hasselblad or Leaf Hy6 systme, if you shoot long exposure , go Phase, if you prefer the workflow of the touchscreen and consistent image quality, go Leaf with AFD, if you're going to use a technical camera, go either Leaf or Phase), and so on.

    As for interaction between the AFD III and the Leaf back, I've never had any problems with it. No lock-ups, no stalls, etc.

    Related to price, though there certainly are deals floating around and some expensive glass and accessories in different systems, you'll probably spend about the same for the different systems, when all said and done.

    And lastly, given your location and depending on your use, you're going to want to consider sales/support. Are you someone who needs 24 support from a dealer or even on the weekends? You'll have to weigh that option yourself based on accessibility.

    Just my two cents.

  3. #3
    ddk
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    For me what it came down to in the end was a matter of personal preference and speed rather than finding one better than the other. I compared the Phase 25 and 45 to the Leaf 75S & 22 and came away with the two Leaf backs. The 75S and Aptus II7 have the same chip and am assuming that they're the same than different. Both brands have great quality but I ended up liking Leaf's tonality and tonal range more to my liking than the Phase units. I shoot people and skin tones are very important to me and I find Leaf files more to my liking the Phase One's. The other big issue for me was the difference in software, I prefer Leaf Capture over Cap 1, though I'm told that the new C1 is better than whatever version I tested in October, but I'm not sure.

    Ergonomically Leaf's display is way ahead of P1, I like the fan, specially when I'm shooting outdoors in the heat, on a beach or in the desert. The other difference that I found was the shooting rate between the two, Leaf was quite a bit quicker, that does make a difference for me. Since I'll never have enough patience to wait an hour for a shot the long exposure on the P+ backs was never of any interest .

    PS. I shoot Contax

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Folks,

    I might getting a pain here but meanwhile you know that I am comparing all the possible MF and MFDB solutions and so I have another question.

    I visited the local Leaf representative in Austria today and we discussed several solutions. I think I am almost at the point where I know which camera system to go and this is Mamiya / Phase based on the Mamiya 645 AFDIII and some of the D lenses. I almost am skipping Leica S2 and Hasselblad, not completely sure but almost convinced.

    Now for the Mamiya MF Camera system I could either go with a Phase Back (most probably a P45+) or a Leaf back (most probably the Leaf Aptus II7 which has a 33MP Dalsa chip).

    My question is, has anyone here experience with Leaf or Leaf versus Phase and can a bit elaborate on this? Also SW of course is interesting for me as well as support and robustness of the backs. Especially the Leaf backs have this vent cooling, which Leaf says is robust but I am not sure if no moving parts would not be better as in the Phase solution.

    Price wise the Leaf solution is very interesting.

    Thanks for another feedback here.
    Are you considering the 45+ over the 30+ because of the larger chip (less crop factor), the higher resolution, compatibility with tech cameras, or for other reasons?

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post

    My question is, has anyone here experience with Leaf or Leaf versus Phase and can a bit elaborate on this?
    Both produce excellent results and there is very little to different them in net file quality. What is most different/notable IMO is the way they render color and overall tonality -- kind of like choosing between different films... And FWIW, this is not limited to differences between the two manufacturers; the Phase P65+ has more in common here with the Leaf (both having Dalsa sensors) than the P45+/25+ do, both being Kodak sensors.
    ~~~

    Also SW of course is interesting for me
    I find C1 to be superior to other MF back software, but here I highly recommend you play with both BEFORE buying to make your own decision.
    ~~~

    as well as support
    For sure you want a responsive and easily accessible dealer, regardless of backs.
    ~~~

    and robustness of the backs. Especially the Leaf backs have this vent cooling, which Leaf says is robust but I am not sure if no moving parts would not be better as in the Phase solution.
    The Phase solution is totally sealed where the Leaf back has a mini fan and vents like a laptop computer. In a quiet environment, you can hear the fan running on the Leaf back, and obviously dust and other elementals can be ingested through this open ventilation system, though I do not know how much of real-world problems that would actually cause.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    All other things being equal, if the base camera was to be a Mamiya AFD-III or the Phase model, I'd go with the Phase One back. This is based on having used a Mamiya 645 with a Aptus 75s.

    While the Aptus produced excellent files, I never did like the clip-on battery. And while the touch screen is huge, it's very difficult to actually see in any bright light. I used a clip-on hood to help with that issue.

    All in all I also think there will be a more streamlined path for things like firmware upgrades and such since Mamiya and Phase are working so closely together.

    Just my 2 cents.

  7. #7
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Are you considering the 45+ over the 30+ because of the larger chip (less crop factor), the higher resolution, compatibility with tech cameras, or for other reasons?

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    My consideration is

    1) because I have kind of my own math, that for a 60"x40" print a P45+ is better suited from resolution. Although all discussions I initiated here in the forum and I also do with people who have experience in that area tells me that the resolution difference between the 2 backs is pretty small.

    2) because of the crop factor - especially when used with the 28 it gives a nice field for landscape. And it would be more flexible thus for a tech camera too I think.

    Lastly I have a tendency to buy products in general not of the "leading edge" series, but of the series just below that, and this is the P45+ in my opinion.

    Having said all this, I start liking the look of the Dalsa files more and more, so I am still not sure ....

  8. #8
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    All other things being equal, if the base camera was to be a Mamiya AFD-III or the Phase model, I'd go with the Phase One back. This is based on having used a Mamiya 645 with a Aptus 75s.

    While the Aptus produced excellent files, I never did like the clip-on battery. And while the touch screen is huge, it's very difficult to actually see in any bright light. I used a clip-on hood to help with that issue.

    All in all I also think there will be a more streamlined path for things like firmware upgrades and such since Mamiya and Phase are working so closely together.

    Just my 2 cents.
    The battery clip below the back is also something I really do not like. And this will not go away. I think also with future models of the back.

    Phase / Mamiya seems to be really more streamlined in all aspects

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I find C1 to be superior to other MF back software, but here I highly recommend you play with both BEFORE buying to make your own decision.
    I know C1 since many years as I used it very often fo proessing my DSLR files, and especially the latest versions I love very much. It fits nicely with my workflow, so this is another BIG argument not to go for a Leaf or Hasselblad solution. 50% of the image is still post processing and thus SW is so important.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    I use the Leaf 75s (thanks Marc!!) and have been very happy with the operation and files. I've looked at both, and prefer the color and contrast rendition that the Aptus gives me (again.. as has been said.. this is a personal preference).

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Peter,

    I recently took delivery of a Phase P30+ and love it very much.

    I spent a great deal of time researching MFDBs before committing. My reason for going with Phase was primarily because of C1 Pro, which I have been suing for 2 years already. To me workflow is 50% of the effort just like the time I spent hours in the darkroom.

    P1 645 camera combined with the back is quite appealing because it is probably the most compact kit at the moment. Of course a Leaf back on Mamiya camera should be close but for me, dealing with one company if things should go wrong is better than to be the go-between person dealing with 2 companies. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Hope you settle on a kit soon and start to enjoy making images.

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quick response-

    I have owned used:
    A Leaf 75 on H1; ( great files, useless large LCD, didn't like battery but no big deal, worked very well with Fujiblad lenses and Alpa /Schneider))

    A P45+ on Phamiya body: ( great back ok software; second rate body, ok lenses, focal plane shutter, versatile adaptors for using V lenses) Switched via swap to Sinar / HY6. Dont miss teh long exposure capability. Very good back.

    Currently own and use

    Sinar 75Lv on Hy6 ( most versatile system because of easy adaptor changing LOVE it, crop factor a negative for wides, ( same as Leaf) best skin tones most natural colour, software needs knowledgeable user, fantastic lenses - Rollie mount Schneider and Zeiss - current issues with manufacturing and supply of lenses and Hy6/Afi bodies a real PITA)

    Hasselblad H3D11-39: My benchmark system, complete, versatile, everything works - prefer Phocus to C1 - adaptor for V lenses if you need em,)

    Conclusion:
    All the backs make good files. All the software works - some isnt as pretty as others -GUI.

    Lenses - all MF lenses are good
    Technical camera use - all backs work on any technical camera you want.

    When you get over the MFD as a bigger DLSR - which is the error most people will lmake - you will then understand that the best uses for any of these systems is:

    1. In landscape hanging off an Alpa/Artec/Cambo etc with a Schneider or a Rodenstock on the front Or with a longer lens hanging off the camera body and using stitiching to get nice panoramas

    2. In studio or Strobe useage - and tethered for technical camera useage

    NONE of these systems replaces my M8 or my D3 for uses these cameras are better for.

    Also - with all due respect - a lot of stuff posted on here from MFD shooters could be shot with a 35mm DSLR.

    if you think ANY of these will make yoru photos better - you are wrong. if you think you will shoot hand held and get great results - you are wrong. if you think you can shoot higher ISO and get great results - you are wrong. if you expect ANy software to be just great compared to Adobe - you are wrong. if you think you wont have storage issues - you are wrong.

    All of em thrive in BIG FAT LIGHT - natural or artificial. if you use them as they shoudl be used - carefully and in the right conditions - you will be very happy with files and prints.

    Pete

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    hey PeterA - thanks for the illumination and confirmation.
    I'd ben getting lotsa grief from friends, and sometimes from me to me, about spending
    big $$ on a back, when u can just get a DSLR. Its good to hear someone else be clear about why I want one.
    cheers,
    Big Fat Light lover (natural or unnatural)

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ocarlo View Post
    hey PeterA - thanks for the illumination and confirmation.
    I'd ben getting lotsa grief from friends, and sometimes from me to me, about spending
    big $$ on a back, when u can just get a DSLR. Its good to hear someone else be clear about why I want one.
    cheers,
    Big Fat Light lover (natural or unnatural)
    Just wait. You'll buy one and each of those friends will call you to ask to borrow it!

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Pete,

    I pretty much agree with everything you say except this:

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    if you expect ANy software to be just great compared to Adobe - you are wrong.
    If you know what you are doing, you can extract WAY more detail out of a Phase file using C1 than you can Adobe (ACR/LR), period, no contest, end of story. Next are the built-in lens corrections for some of the Mamiya lenses in C1. These really work and Adobe does NOT have them.

    Now you may prefer the Adobe or Phocus workflow and I won't argue that, but I happen to prefer C1 -- different strokes. However, from a strict file quality and fully integrated system & workflow standpoint, Phase/C1 is pretty high on the list if not at the top...

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Pete,

    I pretty much agree with everything you say except this:



    If you know what you are doing, you can extract WAY more detail out of a Phase file using C1 than you can Adobe (ACR/LR), period, no contest, end of story. Next are the built-in lens corrections for some of the Mamiya lenses in C1. These really work and Adobe does NOT have them.

    Now you may prefer the Adobe or Phocus workflow and I won't argue that, but I happen to prefer C1 -- different strokes. However, from a strict file quality and fully integrated system & workflow standpoint, Phase/C1 is pretty high on the list if not at the top...

    Cheers,
    Jack,

    I am coming slowly to this conclusion as well - of course not with all the practical experiences you all have with MFDBs but with what I know from SW and other systems and some few test shots.

    Most important is to have a system as completely supported as possible. It NEVER works (my experience) if you have to rely on multiple cooks. Also I am most used to C1 already, which is another significantly heavy argument.

    And I actually kind of do not like the battery placement and the cooling of the Leaf, even if the files should be superior, which I cannot judge. I would get a correction CD from Leaf for the Mamiya lenses, but I am almost sure this update will be always later compared to Phase/Mamiya - this is what my experience with differnt other systems tells me

    So I am kind of moving down the road to a Phase solution - but give me some time, miracles can always happen

    I need a great offer !!!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    The other issue is Adobe does not like the Phase files very much . Now that may have changed since I threw Lightroom off my system but it sucked when I tried it . Everything was 2 stops under and color balance was in left field. Not entirely Adobes fault since it really does not support the Phase files but just getting a base level was a PITA. Now all this could have changed I don't know but one thing also Phase files in C1 you can use all the lens corrections and such, plus it is fine tuned for there backs. Also any bolt on lenses are supported like Hassy V glass.

    Just like any software from Leaf, Sinar and Hassy there software is tuned to there backs. If you don't like there software than you have to look at third party software which may not support everything the the OEM software does. Phocus is a prime example with there lens corrections. Don't think any other software will support that. I think the bottom line on a back is also like the software it comes with. Third party may work well but may not support everything either. Personally I went Phase because I already had a lot of experience with C1 so for me it was a natural decision. Be it you like a software package better than another than go with the back that goes with it. It's a multiple decision when you buy a back or a system you also need to think about there software.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post

    And I actually kind of do not like the battery placement and the cooling of the Leaf, even if the files should be superior, which I cannot judge.
    Peter,

    To clarify, I think that saying Leaf or Phase is superior is difficult. The P45+ has more total resolution than the Leaf 75S by about 6MP and one could argue this is visible in a large print -- but I wouldn't. IMO the real difference is in teh way they render color, and this will be a personal preference.

    Speaking for myself when I was in your shoes, I actually preferred the smoother look of the Leaf file slightly, and in fact started out trying to buy the Leaf. But then I played around with the conversion softwares, and realized I was far more comfortable with C1 than Leaf Capture. Then in a matter of hours, I figured out how to alter the Phase conversion stock C1 settings to look smoother than stock, making the differences between the two sets of files a totally moot point for me.

    One other small advantage the P45+ back, at least for me in landscape situations. The rear LCD while almost ridiculously small, is of very high resolution -- high enough that when you zoom in, you can easily judge accuracy of focus on it. The Leaf back has that nice large screen, but it is of lower resolution and more difficult to judge precise focus IMO. A small observation offered only FWIW...

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Peter

    I owed both a P30+ and now a P45+ and if I hadn't taken my landscape photography to the Cambo RS1000 I'd still be using the P30+. I have an image, "Desert View" of the South Rim Grand Canyon that is 30x60 taken with a 35mm lens (actually two images merged into a panorama).

    I've used the Mamiya 28mm on both the P30+ and P45+ with great results as well.

    So if you think you might begin shooting with a technical camera then get the P45+ otherwise you might want to give the P30+ some consideration.

    Oh and an added not to expand off Jack's regarding the screen - yes it sucks (that's a highly technical term) and the only thing I use it for is to check alignment and more importantly the histogram.

    Again just my 2 cents worth...

    Don
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    jack thanks for your correction : of course one must use software corrections for lenses when needed ! My workflow is shoot/native raw processor/export/catalogue ( lightroom) / work Photoshop/save/print.

    Interestingly over the last 2 years - 80% of my stored shots have ended up being from Alpa - my own statistical analysis based on MY shooting regarding best shots from MFD indicates that unless I take great care and use a tripod etc - the files I end up are no better than a 35mm camera.

    two things follow:

    1. I get the most from my MFD backs when used on a tripod and FAT LIGHT
    2. I get the best technical results from my Schneider

    So I have stopped investing in MF glass. irrespective of manufacturer - they aren't in the same league as Schneider or Rodenstock - but are priced as if they are 2X better!

    So I am now looking for a system which gives me 3 things for portable outdoor shooting on a tripod.

    1. What my Alpa does already
    2. Shift ( for nodal point stitiching )
    3. Tilt ( for dramatic near and far DOF in landscapes and corrected verticals in urban settings )

    For landscape and environmental urban shooting in natural light I will end up with 3-4 Schneider / Rodenstock lenses on an artec or an Arca Swiss R3D.

    For studio type artificial light work - Hasselblad.

    This month's project for me is borrowing a Rollie Xact and seeing if it gives me a better system for studio work than Hasselblad for still life stuff I like doing. The HTS 1.5 pricing makes buying a second hand Riollie Xact with a few lenses pretty much a no brainer - IF I really am going to get any use out of such a system.

    Good luck Peter - this stuff is all very much about what you are shooting and what you are going to do with teh shots afterwards. These all depend on each individual.

    As I have indicated in past thereads for me 50% of the fun is the journey of discovery. If wind didnt exist and if I had time - I would probably be shooting 10X8 or larger for landscapes. it is very funny that a system that one can put together for a couple of thousand bucks - KILLS digital anything for wide angle 3 dimensionality and control. However - the hassles involved at the moment arent worth it - I just dont have the time or the energy. Maybe RED with their promised 617 chip will even make true LF film redundant - who knows?

    btw I picked up a drum scanner in pristine immaculate condition for $1000 bucks a few weeks ago. Currently it is in storage wrapped in palstic on a pallette it weihgs a ton - along with an obsolete 10 year old mac which runs the software. - my option on bettter days and more time -

    Cheers.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    All,

    I am overwhelmed by all the input, really valuable and good for me. You bring me so much further in my decision process, and help me obviously spare a lot of money same time!

    For me MF digital is the real next step, I had a look into tech cameras (Linhof, Cambo) this week and I must say this is really cool stuff, but for the moment I cannot think of flying somewhere in the world with such a ton of equipment in my suitcase and then travel around and use this while on a trip. I also considered film several times and my Flextight X5 would love to se this material, but for me the analog process is just too time consuming and I do not want to continue like that! Want to get on a trip, make my shoots (500 - 1000 photos) and then publish 100 or so out of them for sale. This is what I want to see for the next years. With film and scanning putting these 100 pictures on the WEB would cost me at least 6 months of heavy editing work. With a pure and well balanced digital workflow it takes maybe 2 or 3 days.

    So I think it will have to be MF digital for my next future (4-5 years at least). And when I consider MFDBs I come more and more close to Phase and their P45+ mainly because of the system behind it, the resolution it gives me for landscape and the great killer SW behind it - C1.

    For me the evaluation criteria turn out something like

    20% back and its overall quality
    20% system (camera, glass etc)
    10% flexibility (open system allowing me to use back on other cameras)
    20% price
    30% SW behind the system.

    If it would not be C1 then Hasselblad would be my favorite, just because it is still cheaper as the Phase system at least with the same resolution on paper. But I do not need any leaf shutter and short sync times as I almost never work (or plan to work) in a studio and especially not with studio flash. Thus a Phase / Mamiya system is much better suited for my needs.

    Still I have some time for further investigations and I will make best use of it. So please keep posting your thoughts, cannot get enough of this valuable input.

    THANKS!

  22. #22
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    .....But I do not need any leaf shutter and short sync times as I almost never work (or plan to work) in a studio and especially not with studio flash. Thus a Phase / Mamiya system is much better suited for my needs.

    Still I have some time for further investigations and I will make best use of it. So please keep posting your thoughts, cannot get enough of this valuable input.

    THANKS!
    Peter,
    I just wanted to comment that I find Leaf Shutter to be an advantage outside. If you shoot portrait stuff in bright light and want to fill flash. It allows me to shoot with open f-stops for shallow DOF and still use fill.
    I also think that it might produce less vibration.
    When I decided for the Hy6 Leaf shutter weas not the main argument for me (the main arguments where glass, posibility to use a nice WLF and rotating back) but now since I have it I had several sitatuins where I thought Leaf shutter is cool.
    Last Sunday we had an event where I used my M8 in the noon-sun and I had to close the f-stop to f11 to get the 1/180 Sync time for fill (harsh light, bad shaddows).
    Or if I shoot with fill with my 180mm lens its nice to shoot at 1/500 to be sure to not get any shake problems in the image.
    Of course this is probably not important if you shoot landscapes only.

    Regarding the software I have to admit that C1 offers more feautures than the Sinar software. However after getting used to Sinar-Exposure it works fine too. I have used Adobe PS and LR, C1 and also Sinar but I feel the same way as Jack said before - best thing is to use the native software of the back.

    One other thing I wanted to mention is size / weight: While I believe the differences between the cameras and back in weight are not that big, I would think Rollei lenses to be heavier than Hassy and Hassy to be heavier than Mamiya. I love those Rollei lenses, but I would not want to travel with 5 of them in a backpack. (Thats why I usually never carry more than 3 which works fine). But compared to Mamiya/Phase lenses they are quite big and heavy. (However they also feel much more solid IMO)

    Ahh, and one more thing. If you are sure that you do not go for a tech camera I would strongly recommend to also put one of the faster 30MP backs into consideration. Personally one of the things which I feel most limiting with my 54LV-back is that I would like to move up ISO more often.

    Viele Gre, Tom

  23. #23
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Thanks Tom!

    I agree with your observations on leaf shutter, issue for me is that I almost never use flash. Maybe this is a wrong thing, but I am just too lazy

    I also fully agree on the build quality, size and weight of the Schneider lenses. Remember I owned a 6006 with a 40 and 180 lens and they are stellar performers, but especially the 180 was far to heavy for me.

    Hasselblad is a bit smaller and lighter, while Mamiya is definitely the smallest and lightest combination today. This is another huge argument for me, as I usually on my trips do some hiking over some hours always with the gear in my backpack. And I remember I hated my Rollei during those hikes

    Another reason why I m not looking into a tech camera for the moment. Maybe if I get older and just drive my car to nice viewpoints and do some small walk, then a tech camera would become an option. But this is in some more years and then I can go for another back, which is state of the art then and is the latest and greatest in everything

    I remember when I bought my 6006 one of the arguments was that it would provide the best path to digital of all existing MF solutions 10 years ago. Now where am I today and where is my Rollei gear? All sold since years and I am jumping in new and fresh systems again. And this will always be the case - at least for me. So after a few years one like me should have fully used the system I bought it for and go the next step. Just my experience over my past life

  24. #24
    Super Duper
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Well, it seems that it's clear that your specific needs lean toward a focal plane camera system. It also seems your applications favor the Phase P+ with it's integrated battery, and heat sink for cooling that is more sealed against the elements.

    Since a Phase One back can be specified for any camera, I'd investigate differences between the Mamiya 645 and Contax 645. (Just offering it as an objective exploration of all possibilities.)

    I used to travel quite a bit with a Contax and later a Mamiya. One advantage I liked about the Contax was that the prism was interchangeable where the Mamiya is fixed. So, I could remove it for carrying in a smaller bag because it was separated making the body smaller and easier to pack. Plus I could use the waist level finder. In addition, I personally preferred the Zeiss lenses ... 35/3.5, 45/2.8, 55/3.5 (an unbelievable lens with the best front bokeh of any lens I've ever seen), IMO, without a doubt the 120/4 is the best MF macro ever made by anyone at any cost, a 150/2.8, (skip the 210 IMHO), and a stellar 350/4. ... like the Mamiya, any Zeiss V lens can also be used with an adapter. Disadvantage is that the Contax is out of production, but still supported by Tocad for service. The cost is such that a couple of bodies can be had fairly inexpensively as back-up.
    One other thing is that Contax made vacuum film backs for 120/220 ... which really worked and assured flat film for every shot.

    I also wonder about your experiences with film. You have one heck of an advantage already in that you are one lucky soul to own a X5 scanner. Did you know there is a batch feeder for your Flextight X5, and Hasselblad has them on sale right now? I have essentially the same scanner (Imacon 949) and have run tests on workflow verses using my H3D-II/39 ... essentially in terms of time it was a pretty close to a wash. Maybe our work flow is substantially different which accounts for the different experiences. I just have the film processed with a CD to choose selects then final scan those selects. The 949 is so fast I can hardly prep the next shot before the scan is done and queued for final processing. Were it not for the nature of commercial photography and it's ferocious deadlines with clients breathing down my back, I probably wouldn't be using MF digital very much. But admittedly I'm a film lover, and like the look.

  25. #25
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    On the topic of the Contax, where can I get a CLA for body/lenses in Europe, and what is it likely to cost?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    All,
    I also considered film several times and my Flextight X5 would love to se this material, but for me the analog process is just too time consuming and I do not want to continue like that!
    Please, let us know when you want to get rid of your Flextight X5!

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Quick response-

    When you get over the MFD as a bigger DLSR - which is the error most people will lmake - you will then understand that the best uses for any of these systems is:

    1. In landscape hanging off an Alpa/Artec/Cambo etc with a Schneider or a Rodenstock on the front Or with a longer lens hanging off the camera body and using stitiching to get nice panoramas

    Pete
    My experience is completely different. I shot with a Pentax 67 for 20 years before making the switch to medium format digital. The Pentax 67 in its day was EXACTLY what you said was not the way to view a medium format digital camera. A 35mm SLR on steroids. Why did I use it? Very simple. Big piece of film. Big viewfinder. Simple controls. For me, it was the perfect compromise between upgraded image quality and the hassles/limitations of large format film in a view camera. The only reason I switched to an H3D-39 is because my workflow with medium format film had evolved to a scan/Photoshop/inkjet print workflow, and with the 39mp back on the H3D, I finally had the equivalent of a drum scan of medium format film for free every time I released the shutter. I could not imagine giving up the visual stimulation and compositional advantages of looking through the big, bright, gorgeous viewfinder of the H3D camera. The marginal increase in resolution achieved with a technical camera(which may or may not be there according to Joe Holmes anyway because of the crappy QC of the super expensive digital LF lenses) is, in my view, completely irrelevant in real world shooting. A mediocre photograph does not become a great photograph because it has slightly enhanced resolution, and vice versa. There is nothing I cannot do with an H3D in shooting landscapes that I can do with a technical camera(with no tilts), but there are LOTS of things I can't do with a technical camera. For starters, how about using Helicon Focus to blend for focus? Try that with a technical camera and a MFDB. I was shooting the "other" foliage season in New England(i.e., Spring) this afternoon using a 210mm and a 300mm with and without the 1.7 teleconverter. Many of the frames were multiple focus brackets to achieve a level of depth of field with Helicon Focus that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

  28. #28
    andershald
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Hi Peter.

    About 6 months ago I purchased a p30+ on a Contax. I was origianlly tempted to buy the Hasselblad, when they dropped their prices, but after extensive testing of Mamiya, Hasselblad and Contax I decided on the Contax (which at first I had ruled out). The very long process is described in great detail in this thread: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2933

    The conclusion I came to, is that it is virtually impossible to judge a system based on specs and comments in forums. It is imperative to handle the systems and, if possible, try them out in a realistic shoot situation.

    The software for processing is also important as you will spend a lot of time with it. I have not tried a recent LeafCapture, but please note the Capture One does NOT support Leaf files.

    I also got the impression that the backs all deliver GREAT quality files, and that any differences in look and feel, comes from the way the software treats the files. In other words any look and feel can be achieved with a file from any back. It really boils down to user preferences.

    The Contax P30+ combination is the perfect camera for me and my kind of work. I have no problem with the screen on on the P30+, it is not great, but it is good enough for what it needs to do, and it is easier to view in daylight than the Leaf screen, in my opinion. The only thing I am not completely happy with is the system Phase uses for navigating once zoomed into a captured frame. You need to select directions on the buttons for navigating vertically or horizontally and that IS really annoying.

    A friend of mine just bought a Contax/A75s kit and handling the system again, after getting used to the Phaseback I was surprised at how bulky the Leaf back is compared to the P30+ and at how annoying the external battery is when trying to use the vertical grip. The Leaf battery renders the vertical grip useless.

    It might be worth to look at the new Sinar esprit back? It wasn't out when I bought my kit, but I believe it is competitively priced, can be rotated, will fit most systems AND has the abitilty to save raw+jpg at the same time, which I miss with the P30+.

    You can see my kit at work here: www.andershald.blogspot.com

    Enjoy the process of choosing your system. It is a great time to buy (anything), dealers are hungry, ha ha.

    Best regards,
    Anders

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Hi Peter.
    It might be worth to look at the new Sinar esprit back? It wasn't out when I bought my kit, but I believe it is competitively priced, can be rotated, will fit most systems AND has the abitilty to save raw+jpg at the same time, which I miss with the P30+.

    You can see my kit at work here: www.andershald.blogspot.com

    Enjoy the process of choosing your system. It is a great time to buy (anything), dealers are hungry, ha ha.

    Best regards,
    Anders
    :-) I'm always hungry.

    Have you tried the Make Web Contact Sheet feature in C1 4? It can generate 1000px wide JPGs at the rate of a couple per second (a few minutes for a full day's shoot).

    Having in-back JPG creation would be a welcome option (not sure how often I would personally use it but more options are almost always better), but Make Web Contact Sheet is a really great replacement in many areas where you would use in-back JPG creation.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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  30. #30
    andershald
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Hi Doug.

    I'll try and explore it. I guess I got used to it from the Canon...
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Anders

  31. #31
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Anders,

    thanks for yor update.

    I owned a Contax years ago and I think if I go with a digital system I will go with the Phase system, if I buy a Phase back. Simply because it gives most possibilities and full support for all features.

    I fully agree that the Leaf back has several disadvantages: bulkiness, vent, battery placement, large but low contrast screen ....

    Thus I have this back already on my exclusion list.

    Still interesting are Hasselblad (price) and of course Phase - although I would have liked to see more a P50+ with Crop 1.1 and Dalsa sensor for the price of the P45+ instead of this P40+ with crop 1.3, which might be a good back, but does not meet my needs on a broad front. So for me this is useless development, but not everybody can be satisfied.

    Thus the P45+ will be the most interesting Phase solution to go.

    What comes always to my mind again and again, since I concluded that 40MP would be enough for my work is the Leica S System - I know I am a bad guy. But from the specs this would exactly fit my needs and if the IQ becomes what everybody expects from Leica, then definitely interesting, also the lens lineup. And very compact. And we can expect it will be fully supported by C1, which is my preferred SW!

    So somehow I start to understand their motivation to develop this system, it could become a real winner as all the MFDB vendors and MF camera system vendors seem not really to listen to what some customers need

    Well, I know I got burned by Leica and they might come with that system too late for me, but it is still interesting. And do not forget, I am pretty free in my decision, as I do not own anything in the digital MF area.

  32. #32
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Last I heard Peter at PMA and was not pleased with the talk at ALL was leica was thinking of doing there own software. Which turned me off instantly and said so to every Leica person standing within ear shot and I am not a quiet person. Now who knows this maybe all speculation on there part BUT if there thinking it than that is not good. The issue is getting up to speed and software like we all know takes years to get it solid and stable . Like Hassy , leaf , Phase and Sinar there software has been around and many changes along the way. Again guinea pig comes to mind here just like firmware this stuff takes time to work it all out and anyone saying it is solid on release is walking down a very very narrow minded path.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  33. #33
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    If this is true and they develop their own SW, then you can really forget the S System and all their other systems.

    Unfortunately I think, as I mentioned I see the ideas behind the S System now a bit in a different light than I did a few weeks ago. But these are just the principal ideas and execution of these ideas is just a totally different thing.

    Don't get nervous, my favorite is still and again Phase camera, lenses and P45+.

    Unfortunately Phase did not introduce a P50+ instead of the P40+. Just would have been my very personal favorite - Peter50+ Back with Crop 1.1 and price as the P45+

    It is allowed to dream - is'nt it?

  34. #34
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    I think the P45 Plus is your ticket with the 1 hour exposure time. The P40+ is interesting and actually glad that option is out there and obviously they are using there technology from the P65 which cost wise for them maybe the ideal path. It is obviously a lot cheaper to order say 20k sensors and have say 10k cut to the 1.3 crop and the rest Full Frame. So from Phase this makes a lot of sense and I would some what expect to see the P65 drop in price some. In truth the actually have 3 backs with Kodak and the long exposure and 2 Dalsa with more speed in mind obviously more going for them both but this maybe a great diverse setup for the overall and the users. What they ned to be doing right now is work on the new body and get some of those promised lenses out the door and into our hands. Also if they do come with another back it is time to change the chassis and include the bigger LCD. Right now my big vote is for a new body by September deadline if not sooner. If you are already a Phase shooter with back in hand this is our biggest issue. Also if Phase has it together to gain market share or get more of it have this body before the S2 comes out. Ya i am a prick. LOL
    But i love good competition among them because we win.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  35. #35
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Last I heard Peter at PMA and was not pleased with the talk at ALL was leica was thinking of doing there own software. Which turned me off instantly and said so to every Leica person standing within ear shot and I am not a quiet person. Now who knows this maybe all speculation on there part BUT if there thinking it than that is not good. The issue is getting up to speed and software like we all know takes years to get it solid and stable . Like Hassy , leaf , Phase and Sinar there software has been around and many changes along the way. Again guinea pig comes to mind here just like firmware this stuff takes time to work it all out and anyone saying it is solid on release is walking down a very very narrow minded path.
    This is not at all surprising. Perhaps no one noticed, but AFAIK Phase has closed out its Capture One software to ALL medium format digital backs other than Phase. I guess that's one "option" that Phase does not think is a good idea.

  36. #36
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    This is NOT a Phase decision but Leica .
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  37. #37
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    This is not at all surprising. Perhaps no one noticed, but AFAIK Phase has closed out its Capture One software to ALL medium format digital backs other than Phase. I guess that's one "option" that Phase does not think is a good idea.
    On the same token Sinar, Leaf and Hassy you can only use there camera. No Nikon,Canon etc etc etc. Even worse
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  38. #38
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    This is not at all surprising. Perhaps no one noticed, but AFAIK Phase has closed out its Capture One software to ALL medium format digital backs other than Phase. I guess that's one "option" that Phase does not think is a good idea.
    FYI C1 Pro supports the Mamiya ZD.

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  39. #39
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Hi Peter,

    I was in similar shoes as you early last year, by choosing between Leaf and Phase One.

    Two general aspects to consider are:

    1) Dealers and support in your area.

    2) Price (and indeed price in your area).

    Price led me to look at the 44x33mm sized 28MP sensors, the Aptus 65 and P30 (P30+ was overpriced). Those backs were cheaper refurbished than the 48x36mm 22MP sensors (Aptus 22 and P25)! I received very good replies of Leaf versus Phase One here http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...opic=22701&hl=

    My choice was Leaf Aptus 65 (new unit) and I remain happy with it. I do prefer the rendering of Leaf more. For processing I use CS4 and colors are already at a pleasing departure point when I open at defaults. I also like the rendering of Leaf more than P1, but as have been stated that is personal.

    As far as ...

    1) battery under the unit, it makes simple to change and makes me take it off when ever put it in bag.

    2) fan system, it keeps the back cooler in heat.

    3) the display is large and I have no issues with it being faded out in sun, at least not any issue that I cannot deal with. Why look at display with strong light shining on it?

    4) the display is LARGE

    4) weather seal? I do not need more than the Leaf provides.

    Photography is my serious hobby when on travels and living in different countries, primarily landscapes and people living traditional lives. The big display is a pleasure to show people the photo I have just taken of them. With much travels the Leaf still is built like a tank. Nope, I do not bake it, freeze it down, drop if from baloons or park a car on it. Not sure why a digital back need to built to such as is shown in Phase One ads.... My Leaf has been to India, Sweden, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Philippines and more...

    Apart from the price in my area, major negs with the Phase One was its display and that it is tied to Capture One. That was unacceptable to me. I think I read that you can now use CS4, but you better check on that. With the Leaf there are more processors you can use.

    Primarily, it is the first digital product that I feel very content with, been through ZD, D200, D50 and numerous compacts. Ignoring pixels, none of them came close to the rendering of my Aptus. It does not beat slides in my Mamiya 7, but those are simply different and still a joy .

    Regards
    Anders

  40. #40
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Anders,

    it finally will be a price question. But for the moment the price difference between the Mamiya system (28/80/150) with Leaf Aptus II-7 and the Phase system (28/80/150) with P45+ is some 900.- cheaper for the Leaf solution.

    In the price range of 20.000.- I call this noise, not more. If I can negotiate a price difference of at last 2k or get the Leaf Aptus II-10 for the same price as the Phase system, then things get completely different.

    And believe me I did not even start negotiating prices, just the first 2 offer. Wait till I start with the dealers, they will show some flexibility I know how to do this!

    On the other side - as I said - I am dooming Leica and their S system, mainly because of my bad experiences with tat company. But honestly, the S system gets more and more interesting, as I start seeing my real needs. Which is 40MP, stellar lenses, compact as possible to carry easily around and the removable back is kind of a no brainer for me, as I will not use the back on a separate tech camera (too heavy and bulky for my needs) and in case I need another back I simply buy another S2 or later S3, as the camera is not the price, it is the sensor and electronics.

    The biggest question mark for me is SW and I must say I love C1 and if Leica uses a different (self developed) SW then it would be totally out of the game.

    There will be obviously some interesting months to come over summer, so for th back dealers, keep making me great offers, so I get convinced and jump on a solution, before Leica can catch me again

  41. #41
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Reads to me that you want a Leica S2 at a Nikon D50 price Pete. Good luck with yoru negotiations -

  42. #42
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Best time to buy these systems is yet to come

    The economic crisis is bad but it has also some good sides

  43. #43
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    And believe me I did not even start negotiating prices, just the first 2 offer. Wait till I start with the dealers, they will show some flexibility I know how to do this!
    The price is flexible and you should negotiate. However, don't forget that a dealer willing to lower the price much lower than another dealer is likely investing less in their support.

    Especially since you're new to digital having a dealer that has the capacity to answer any and all of your questions and who will stand behind you should you have any problems is worth a few percent more on your purchase. Of course - I may be a *bit* biased on this topic.

    Doug

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  44. #44
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Doug,

    of course, this is true and I always appreciate support and I am als willing to pay for it.

    This is actually a dilemma, as all 3 dealers for Hasselblad, Phase and Leaf are nice and helpful here in Vienna

    Also the Leica dealer is very helpful and nice and I have a great relation built up with hem over the last many years, but on the other side, they suffer from their mother company.....

    Will see. One thing is for sure, while I am new to MF digital, I am more than fluent in a number of SW packages (LR, PS3 and 4, Aperture, C1, FLexcolor, ....) so usually I drive my dealers crazy with my questions, because most cannot answer in the depth I am asking

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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Doug,

    of course, this is true and I always appreciate support and I am als willing to pay for it.

    This is actually a dilemma, as all 3 dealers for Hasselblad, Phase and Leaf are nice and helpful here in Vienna

    Also the Leica dealer is very helpful and nice and I have a great relation built up with hem over the last many years, but on the other side, they suffer from their mother company.....

    Will see. One thing is for sure, while I am new to MF digital, I am more than fluent in a number of SW packages (LR, PS3 and 4, Aperture, C1, FLexcolor, ....) so usually I drive my dealers crazy with my questions, because most cannot answer in the depth I am asking
    Of course they cant - the guys from C1 are exceptional compared to the real world dealer. No one should buy anything unless they already know more about it that the typical internet forum and certainly this implies knowledge far greater that the typical dealer. B&H was the best thing that ever happened to serious shooters.

    the best service a dealer provides is a repair service based on a warranty that teh manufacturers will honour.

  46. #46
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    Re: Leaf versus Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    The price is flexible and you should negotiate. However, don't forget that a dealer willing to lower the price much lower than another dealer is likely investing less in their support.

    Especially since you're new to digital having a dealer that has the capacity to answer any and all of your questions and who will stand behind you should you have any problems is worth a few percent more on your purchase. Of course - I may be a *bit* biased on this topic.

    Doug

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    Doug is correct. The least expensive price may not be the best deal. Service and support before and after the purchase are mutually important.

    As Doug had mentioned... I am a bit biased also. LOL

    Chris Lawery(e-mail Me)
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