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Thread: Vibrations & the Contax 645

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I tried my Hasselblad Tele-Superachromat 350 on 501CM with P25 this morning. The tree is about 60 feet away. Pictures seem to be very sharp at all speeds. Here's a one shot at f8, 1/4 second, the 2nd one is 100% crop.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    MFnLF,

    Looks good to me as well... The leaf shutter looks to be making a big difference here in the final result...

    Thank you for posting--the SA's are crazy expensive, but it looks like they may be my only option. But before I go there, I'd like to look for other 100% samples from the Contax 350 Tele-ApoTessar. If I can discover that perhaps just my copy was bad, I'd be willing to (try to) track down another one.

    I think I can manage the shutter vibrations, now that I know they're an issue. There are solutions involving extended rails that seem to be doing the trick for a few folks who've contacted me offline.

    I've only seen Victor's Contax? 350/4 at 100%--happily, his does not appear to have the vibration issues I had, but his shutter speeds were much higher than I'm trying to explore (high shutter speeds mask the issue(s) I'm exploring). Nevertheless I couldn't evaluate critial sharpness on Victor's subject matter.

    So if anyone can post sample shots from a Contax 350/4 of texture (tree bark, brick, etc.) at 100%, I'd be most grateful.

    Thanks, everyone,
    -Brad

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Brad,

    Telephoto lenses are more sensitive to shutter vibrations, and the leaf shutter does have some advantages here over focal-plane shutter. A friend had suggested me to switch to Contax 645 platform, but I did not. One of my concerns was its focal-plane shutter vibration.

    Here's a picture I shot with a Nikkor 300M large format lens on a Linhof MT45 camera with P25 last week (f11, 1/60 second). The Copal #1 shutter works very well, and I was surprised at these amazing details. You could barely see the tiny fly on the left side of the 100% crop.

    BTW, I do have a 300SA f2.8 lens, and if you ever visit Southern California, feel free to try it. I have never had a chance to shoot it with a MFDB.

    Ling

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    This afternoon, I suddenly came up with an idea to resolve the slow sync issue with my Hasselblad 205FCC. Now with the help of a Phase One sync cable, I can successfully shoot with the 300mm Tele-Superachromat lens on 205FCC without any modifications. The output from P25 is just stunning, here's a picture of my neighbor's house across street. It's about the 200 feet away, and you can see the 100% crop has amazing details. As for now I don't notice any vibration problem with the 205FCC focal-plane shutter.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    This turned out to be quite an expensive post for me. Waiting on my 203FE and the Hassy adapter for the Sinar back so I can go the leaf shutter route with the 350 SA myself.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I went from leaf shutter to focal plane shutter because I needed higher shutter speeds; I figured the shutters would be well damped/lightweight enough to work well at the tele end, but it is looking like this is not the case.

    Also, because my work is usually done in available light (I'm a nature photographer), lenses with a larger maximum aperture let me freeze the action with a higher shutter speed. I think with an ISO 50 back and a 350/5.6 my typical shutter speeds wouldn't be fast enough to freeze branches, leaves, waves and certainly not animals.

    There simply may not be any good options out there for me. But one last idea I have--can you do me the favor of shooting that same scene of your neighbor's house once with your 205FCC's focal plane shutter and once again with the leaf shutter? (Ensures both shots were taken with the same focus setting.) I would be very interested to know how much vibration the focal plane shutter causes at the same shutter speed. The leaf shutter shot above that you posted looks perfect to me.

    Thanks very much,
    -Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 15th May 2009 at 17:15.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Oh, and since this thread is becoming an archive of test samples for medium format telephoto lenses, here is a comparison shot between my "vibration free" samples done with the Contax Tele-ApoTessar 350/4 and the Hasselblad FE Tele-Tessar 350/4.

    Now it's pretty obvious to me why they went ahead and developed the Apo version...

    Comparison Shot.jpg

    -Brad

    P.S. By "vibration free" I tried to remove all vibration from the image by leaving the mirror up, opening the shutter for a long time and moving a large card out of the optical path for a moment before returning it (without touching the optic). Obviously not how I'd do it in the field, but it would serve as a reference for (near) zero vibration.
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 15th May 2009 at 18:47.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    So...Bradley...in the end..it WAS faulty hardware....

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    here are th 1000s files
    plain
    and fixed in PS
    Victor - compare each of these shots. you say the second is a 'fixed' - I see LOTS of totally blown highlights..

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by MFnLF View Post
    This afternoon, I suddenly came up with an idea to resolve the slow sync issue with my Hasselblad 205FCC. Now with the help of a Phase One sync cable, I can successfully shoot with the 300mm Tele-Superachromat lens on 205FCC without any modifications. The output from P25 is just stunning, here's a picture of my neighbor's house across street. It's about the 200 feet away, and you can see the 100% crop has amazing details. As for now I don't notice any vibration problem with the 205FCC focal-plane shutter.
    Okay, I'll bite: so what is the fix?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    Oh, and since this thread is becoming an archive of test samples for medium format telephoto lenses, here is a comparison shot between my "vibration free" samples done with the Contax Tele-ApoTessar 350/4 and the Hasselblad FE Tele-Tessar 350/4.

    Now it's pretty obvious to me why they went ahead and developed the Apo version...

    Comparison Shot.jpg

    -Brad

    P.S. By "vibration free" I tried to remove all vibration from the image by leaving the mirror up, opening the shutter for a long time and moving a large card out of the optical path for a moment before returning it (without touching the optic). Obviously not how I'd do it in the field, but it would serve as a reference for (near) zero vibration.
    I have no doubt that the APO will out perform most any non-APO out there bar none ... and it darned well better. But I must say that I never never gotten as fuzzy a shot with the 350/4 FE as you show either I've owned both, BTW.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I'll just add that IMO the Mamiya body has a far better dampened shutter than the Contax. I don't currently own the 300, so can't readily post a direct comparison, but don't recall ever getting a not critically sharp image with it the few times I actually used it. Hopefully I can dig around and find a 300 shot at around 1/15th for thread posterity -- even though I generally avoid 1/15th -- or maybe Guy or Bob can post one?
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    So...Bradley...in the end..it WAS faulty hardware....
    ? I'm a bit confused.

    What was faulty hardware?

    (If you mean the Contax 350/4, I have just the one sample to judge from. If my results are typical, as at least one other poster confirms, then the issues I'm having are endemic to the whole lens line. I'd call that a design flaw, which I guess still amounts to faulty hardware, but picking up another copy of the lens wouldn't resolve the issues I'm seeing.

    If you mean the Hasselblad 350/4, pretty much the same thing applies. Not being apochromatic, it is possible that they all behave the way my sample shot shows...)

    Either way, no good options if the designs are flawed... I'm holding out a bit of hope that I just had a bad copy of the Contax, but we'll see...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I have no doubt that the APO will out perform most any non-APO out there bar none ... and it darned well better. But I must say that I never never gotten as fuzzy a shot with the 350/4 FE as you show either I've owned both, BTW.
    Thanks, Marc--that's good to know. As I mentioned to Peter, there's a small corner of my brain holding out hope that the copy of the lens I had was bad. Were you shooting digitally with your Contax? If so, I can give you my e-mail address if you wouldn't mind sending me a copy of a file shot with the 350, if that makes it easier for you.

    As for the apo vs. non-apo, yes I was expecting a difference, but didn't know how much. Now I know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I'll just add that IMO the Mamiya body has a far better dampened shutter than the Contax. I don't currently own the 300, so can't readily post a direct comparison, but don't recall ever getting a not critically sharp image with it the few times I actually used it. Hopefully I can dig around and find a 300 shot at around 1/15th for thread posterity -- even though I generally avoid 1/15th -- or maybe Guy or Bob can post one?
    Hi, Jack,

    The longest I had for the Mamiya was 200mm APO.

    Keep in mind that I'm not seeing this issue with my other lenses, just with the 350. I suspect the foot on the 350 is not sufficiently rigid, but I cannot say for sure.

    Of the Mamiya lenses I tested critically (150 and especially the 35) neither delivered enough fine detail for me to stay on the platform, unfortunately. So despite not having encountered a vibration issue, (the AFD III's mirror was *exceptionally* well damped--best in the business, I'd say--I can only believe they did a good job with the shutter as well) I still wasn't getting the subtle rendering of detail I was looking for in the final image.

    I picked the 1/15th shutter speed for a reason--I know that speeds in this area are particularly demanding--if the right technique can deliver a critically sharp result here, then one can tackle any speed with confidence. I can mask the problem somewhat with higher shutter speeds, but as you know, available light doesn't always give you good choices here.

    -Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 16th May 2009 at 06:44.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Victor - compare each of these shots. you say the second is a 'fixed' - I see LOTS of totally blown highlights..
    i know you said that before
    I went to the image and found no 255 255 255
    there WERE many highlights as the sun reflected off the rocks (white)
    I think we need to be care in judging blown hlts since jpgs are 8bit and screen can be as low a 6-7 net. The files are 16 bit
    to get the texture in the 'blown hlts' you just use th hlt drop in PS and get the 16 bit detail down into the 8 bit range (sort of do a log is what PS is doing)
    BTW as I said in a prior post, I just raised the expose to see better the detail in the foliage as Bradley correctly points out the files are a bit dim to see the blur.

    best regards
    Victor

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I have no doubt that the APO will out perform most any non-APO out there bar none ... and it darned well better. But I must say that I never never gotten as fuzzy a shot with the 350/4 FE as you show either I've owned both, BTW.
    In the past I've tried tele tessar vs apo tessar (e.g. 500mm f8) and the 350mm f4 and it was clearly inferior to the SA
    I think the SA is better than the 350 FE but I must agree it didnt seen that much fuzzier than the apo contax.

    Victor

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    MFnLF,

    I've only seen Victor's Contax? 350/4 at 100%--happily, his does not appear to have the vibration issues I had, but his shutter speeds were much higher than I'm trying to explore (high shutter speeds mask the issue(s) I'm exploring). Nevertheless I couldn't evaluate critial sharpness on Victor's subject matter.

    Thanks, everyone,
    -Brad
    There are vibration issues but maybe more 'system than mirror. with 2s mirror up at 1/125 you can see it
    Since I use for wildlife I always want high shutter because of subject movement (birds jiggle sometimes!)

    Overall for wildlife I am waiting for the R-10. There is nothing Like the Leica modular and now my only alternative would be a Canon with adapter. I am happy temporarily with the R9/DMR and the Kodak 14MP I have.

    What I REALLY want is a way to use my MF with the Visoflex lenses! (talking to some people about a Viso to Contax custom adapter.

    In the meantime I thing your sample Contax 350/4 was 'the exception that proves the rule"

    just a bad copy

    Regards
    Victor

    Victor

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post

    Hi, Jack,

    Of the Mamiya lenses I tested critically (150 and especially the 35) neither delivered enough fine detail for me to stay on the platform, unfortunately.
    I assume that was an older 150 f3.5 and not the 150/2.8D. You no doubt gave up too soon . The new 150/2.8D is perhaps the best lens I have ever used period. The older 150/3.5 is known to exhibit sample variation -- the best ones are excellent from about f5.6 up and the worst maybe equal the average 35, which is arguably the poorest lens corner-to-corner in the Mamiya AF line-up. (45 AF is very sharp centrally, but even the best ones I've seen are poor in the corners on full frame sensors, though the bad is mostly cropped out for the 1.3 crop sensors.) With the 35 there is also sample variation, but even the best never quite approach the other primes in the center of field and remain marginal in the corners on full frame backs -- IOW the best ones fall into the usable or "nice to have for when you really need that focal" category.

    Best of luck going forward,
    Jack
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I will shoot one with the 300mm at 1/15th which BTW i never have any issue with but I will run a test. Frankly I think the vibration issue between focal and leaf shutter with Mirror lockup with a slight delay until shutter release is nothing but I am staying out of this dog fight. LOL
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Just looking at some results I don't really see anything between the shutter speeds that is a vibration issue. Nothing really to post actually
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    i know you said that before
    I went to the image and found no 255 255 255
    there WERE many highlights as the sun reflected off the rocks (white)
    I think we need to be care in judging blown hlts since jpgs are 8bit and screen can be as low a 6-7 net. The files are 16 bit
    to get the texture in the 'blown hlts' you just use th hlt drop in PS and get the 16 bit detail down into the 8 bit range (sort of do a log is what PS is doing)
    BTW as I said in a prior post, I just raised the expose to see better the detail in the foliage as Bradley correctly points out the files are a bit dim to see the blur.

    best regards
    Victor


    hahhahah-

    In the first shot you actually have the highlights in the rocks ( see left hand side as you look at images ) in the second shot lifting exposure to get detail in foliage sees the rocks go white..is all I am saying

    this is why I have invested in a bunch of Lee filters recently btw...I am enjoying shooting as much as possible withing 4-6 stops of EV and NOT needing to FUSS with slider this and slider that in C1 or Phocus etc etc..

    sure software can help a lot in a pinch but I prefer not to have to over rely on PS stuff..

    I am slowly getting into landscape - it is a totally different mindset for shooting new to me....much more technical and fussy.

    and I can understand landscape shooters lusting after EVERY megapixel they can get their hands on.

    pete

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I thought I would go the filter route too. I have a mount set ofr 95 and 105mm and about a grand of Sigh-Ray custom filters

    They sit in their original pouches, unused. 16 bit, 12 stops and PS just make it too easy.
    Oh well, maybe I am even more of a collector than I thought!

    regards
    Victor

    PS When I have the time though I want to compare results. I am going to trek Mt Blanc in June and may take the filters with me.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I don't think my results are really on par since they are 1/15 at 5.6 and the second at 1/8 at F8 it is more a DOF issue than a vibration one. I want to test more just to be sure with more light so F stop is not a issue

    FF image 1/8 at F8

    Than the crop of it

    Than 1/15 at 5.6

    Than I shot one outside and saw no change at all between the shutter speed so need to try it again
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Must be a day of for love, Guy. We have a pair of alligator lizards engaged in the same activity in our yard today.

    Boy, that first crop (second image) looks pretty good. The last crop looks less sharp regardless of DoF to me, but still not horrible. On my display it looks like a bit of movement of some type.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Thing is I don't see movement in the plant. I think the Lizard moved. Reason I want to try again
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I looked through my files, and cannot easily find any from the 300 at under 1/125th, so I am of no help.

    Guy, your lizards at 1/8th looks pretty darn good, but the 1/15th is worse. Clearly movement from something, either the camera or the reptiles. My historical experience with 1/15th leads me to assume the camera, and why I generally avoid 1/15th .

    And FWIW, 1/15th is problematic even with large format, where all the lenses have leaf shutters, so it is not a leaf or focal-plane specific problem. I *NEVER* used 1/15th (and rarely even 1/30th) with LF as I wanted critically sharp images, so almost always stopped down more or added filters to get at least to 1/8th -- and 1/4 was even better. (If the period of motion is less than 1/4 the duration of the exposure then it rarely shows in the image; where the period of motion is equal to the shutter speed, the result is at its worst; and of course as the shutter gets faster, only corresponding fractions of the period of motion are captured. For most shutters, my experience -- meaning my gut and nothing empirical to support it -- tells me that a full period of vibration is somewhere between 1/15th and 1/30th.)

    One last tip --- if I have to shoot at 1/15th with MF or DSLR, I rest my left hand on top of the lens at the lens/camera junction, hanging the weight of my arm on it. Being dead-weight somewhere forward or behind the center of support this dampens vibrations appreciably, but of course you need to keep perfectly still when doing it. And because I am not always perfectly still, I take multiple frames and usually one out of three will be pretty good.

    All FWIW,
    Jack
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Hate to have to agree with you which is worse than taking two shots a day in my belly. But can't avoid the needle here 1/15 does suck. Looking at some tree shots looks like 1/15 is just not so hot even 1/8 and 1/4 seem better.

    In order 1/4,1/15 and 1/60
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I agree also with the hand or a sandbag idea which i brought up way earlier in this thread. I honestly think the leaf /focal thing is not even in the cards issue.

    BTW all mirror lockup with 4 second self timer delay as i always do and find the handiest of techniques
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Guy,

    Do me a favor and try one of my old long tele wildlife tricks at 1/15th. Use continuous drive mode without MLU or delay, but with your hand resting as I mention above, and take 6 or so frames in succession as fast as your MF outfit allows. I suspect one or two will be enough better than the rest to be acceptable...

    ,
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I will try that sometime today . Have a shoot actually later on and bringing the 300mm with me . I should find a few minutes to try that. Honestly I do damn well with this thing on a monopod or handheld all the time and just letting it rip although not near the 1/15 shutter speed.

    BTW there is a difference between my P25 + and P30 + that something we have talked about with the different sensor sizes 6.8 and 9 micron. I do have to add more clarity with the 6.8 to come close to the 9 micron sensor. Interesting to see the slight change between these sensors. C1 needs to make the clarity settings a option for setting it at default that you like. We need MORE default control so when you bring in images these settings are already there like sharpness for instance. We need to bitch a little more on this one to Phase
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Jack - that has to be one your most interesting and thoughtful food for thought posts re technique - thanks mate.

    Guy - appreciate your examples [email protected]

    I am inspired to shoot and post a few test shots on the weekend myself! mayeb a few different lenses too.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Jack, you're correct, it was the older (non-D) 150.

    You've described the challenges of shooting around 1/15s very well in your above post--thank you!

    I didn't realize that (LF) leaf shutters were also similarly impacted in your experience, that is an excellent data point.

    Guy, thank you for the samples--the vibrations seem to be there on the Mamiya as well, IMHO possibly one of the best damped systems out there...

    Thanks everyone--this thread is a real bonanza of helpful information as I try to get this resolved.

    I'm hoping I can convince MFnLF to post a sample with the leaf and focal plane shutters both at 1/15 on his Hasselblad 205FCC--that would really help given that all other variables would be controlled for.

    Best,
    -Brad

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    I'm hoping I can convince MFnLF to post a sample with the leaf and focal plane shutters both at 1/15 on his Hasselblad 205FCC--that would really help given that all other variables would be controlled for.

    Best,
    -Brad
    Brad, I conducted more tests this morning to shoot at 1/15 with the leaf and focal plane shutters on my 350SA/205FCC/P25. I also repeated same setup three times and the outcomes are very consistent. It looks like both shutters possess problems at 1/15, but the leaf shutter is acceptable. Here are the details of this comparision:

    First 100% crop: f8, 1/60, leaf shutter
    Second 100% crop: f16, 1/15, leaf shutter
    Third 100% crop: f16, 1/15, focal plane shutter

  33. #83
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    MFnLF,

    Wow--I am stunned at the difference--although I suppose I shouldn't be, at this point. (I assume MLU was used for all three samples?)

    Your comparison shot of the leaf shutters at 1/60th is telling as well--even with leaf shutters, vibration robs us of sharpness in the 'dead zone' of 1/15s. (Easily seen with the definition of the screws in the fence). This is something I knew, and that Jack has also been re-iterating, but it was hard to know by how much until seeing these photographs of leaf vs. focal-plane shutter side-by-side.

    These will help a great deal as I figure out what (if anything) I should do about my medium format tele dilemma.

    Thanks, MF, and best regards,
    -Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 18th May 2009 at 16:16.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Please bear in mind, not all focal plane systems, nor even leaf-shutter systems, are created equal...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Have to agree Jack my Phase Body was not nearly that bad , that is really bad what body was that. Hassy 205
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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    C'mon guys - the 200 series Hasselblads werent made with digi backs in mind. they are fully fledged 6x6 cameras with a loud whacking mirror slap that makes the camera move.

    Put a 110/2 on one or a FLE 50 and they sing - especially with film.

    People have been begging Hasselblad to make an H series focal plane body which they can hang their F/FE glass off for a while now. In the meantime a high megapixel back is better used with a more modern body and an adaptor the only reason I switched from Phase One to Sinar - so I can switch between camera bodies for use of different glass.

    Back in hasselblad H land..I shot with my just recieved 300mm HC on the weekend - even with a 1.7X extender wide open @ F7ish the resolution and sharpness @ 300meters was awesome - tripod mounted of course - handholding these long lenses is just a waste of time unless you are shooting high shutter speeds in fat light - give me strobes or give me death! -

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    I agree Peter it is a older design and was not made for digital but either is the Mamiya body which we need a new one designed. That is just much worse than what I came up with. But these are shot with mirror up, so the mirror really is not in play. At least my mirror was locked and I would assume these are as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Guy I agree - a lot of the MF systems werent designed for the exactitude and capability of teh digi sensors..thats why I stick with Alpa for wide, 35mm for tele and use the MF stuff for in between.

    Still the 1/15th issue has been a great example of really useful information on this thread - and Jack's explanation of teh engineering issue behind it is worth bearing in mind - it is a very sound theory..

    As an aside I'd like to know how the Phase One back quoted above is actually used on a 200 series camera body..my understanding is that the shutter speed would always be limited to flash sync speed (1/90th) - its why I bought a CFV11 to use with a hasselblad converted for digital 205TCC body and can use the full range of shuuter speeds ...( from Son)

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    That part I don't know either but I do agree this is a very informative thread and very useful data. Now i know what to avoid
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post

    As an aside I'd like to know how the Phase One back quoted above is actually used on a 200 series camera body..my understanding is that the shutter speed would always be limited to flash sync speed (1/90th) - its why I bought a CFV11 to use with a hasselblad converted for digital 205TCC body and can use the full range of shuuter speeds ...( from Son)
    Peter and Guy, you are right the Hasselblad 200 series flash sync speed is limited to 1/90th. With the help of a wakeup cable or cellular phone earphone, here's how I tried solving this problem so the back can work at all high speeds:

    1. Press wakeup button once to wake up Phase One back;
    2. Within 5 seconds after step 1, press and hold the wakeup button for the 2nd time, now Phase One back assumes shutter is fired, actually it's not;
    3. Right after step 2, fire shutter, then release the wakeup button immediately.

    The actual idea is to keep the back in "capture" mode while the wakeup button is held, and the shutter should be fired within this period. The only shortcoming might be slightly high noise since the back operates some extra time in dark, but indeed I don't notice any issue with it.

    Ling

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    Re: Vibrations & the Contax 645

    Nice trick. Ling
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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