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Thread: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

  1. #1
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    Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Can anyone that has used a leaf 75 and/or phase one P45+ back comment on the differences/similarities between these 2 back, in terms of image quality, long exposure quality any other characteristics that set them apart from one another? i would be using one with a mamiya mount.

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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    First, all digital backs in that range produce fantastic image quality in most uses. So you're asking the right questions. The usability, warranty, durability, software, features, and dealer support are the points that very; you'll be very very happy with the image quality from either system.

    There is no question on the long exposure capabilities; the P45+ can easily handle 1 hour exposures and at low outside temperatures can even go longer. The Leaf will be limited to either 30 seconds or 1 minute. Long exposure capabilities are unique to Phase One. No one else comes close.

    Leaf's LCD is larger than the Phase One LCD. This is a major point in favor of the Leaf. It's just plain a better LCD and it's more sexy. Neither the Leaf, nor Phase One LCD will be good enough that you can avoid relying on the histogram so in practice the difference is less meaningful than it appears in-studio.

    Leaf uses a touch screen while Phase uses four large buttons; this is personal preference. Leaf's touch screen lets them do some neat sexy in-the-back, but it takes pretty good eyes, and doesn't work particularly well with gloves on. My (biased) opinion is that once you're outside of the studio the Phase LCD/Button is much easier/faster/intuitive to use, but get your hands on both and decide for yourself.

    Both backs are made with good build quality. However, I think it's fair to say the P45+ by design is better suited for harsh environments (covered LCD, no fan, stronger external frame).

    There are a lot of fans of Phase One's native processing software, Capture One, on this forum (and elsewhere), even for those shooting Canon/Nikon/Leica. The strength and openness of it's native processing software is one of Phase One's strongest features. Both Phase One and Leaf files play friendly with a variety of 3rd party software, but if you're in search of highest IQ the best results are with the native software, and you will likely spend as much or more time using the software than actually shooting the back.

    The real key here is to get out and actually shoot, edit, process, and print using the gear you're considering. Most dealers (including us) can spend as much time as you need using the gear in real-life situations and if you can't make it in person we can arrange a strongly discounted rental for your evaluation.

    Finally, Phase One and Leaf's distribution strategy differ slightly, and the quality of dealers vary. So once you've decided on a product make sure to give the proper amount of consideration to your selection of dealers.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Last edited by dougpeterson; 7th May 2009 at 14:14.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Simple comparison:

    Resolution: Phase will show a tad bit more resolution -- to clarify the difference, you would possibly be able to see it in a 48" print if you had them side-by-side and put a loupe to them, but probably wouldn't see it with your naked eye.

    Dynamic range: Identical, or at least close enough to.

    Color: Different and neither is better worse, just different -- like Ektachrome versus Fujichrome. Leaf is perhaps a bit smoother in tonality, but like resolution, again a minor difference.

    Sealing: Phase is passively cooled in a sealed back, Leaf is actively cooled with a fan and has vents.

    Software: Leaf uses Leaf Capture, Phase uses C1.

    Rear LCD: Leaf's is bigger and not as bright, Phase is smaller but brighter and higher resolution.

    UI: Phase has 4 buttons, Leaf has a touch screen and stylus.

    Long exposure: Phase will do up to 1 hour, Leaf is 30 seconds I think.

    Capture rates: Pretty close, though Leaf may be a tad faster -- need to check this one

    Summary: I would happily shoot either, but chose Phase for 1) the longer exposure capability which I do use on occasion in my landscape shooting, 2) being sealed was a nicety since I shoot outdoors with it, and 3) C1 software which I find outstanding for raw conversion on most cameras and in general simply like using it.
    Jack
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  4. #4
    ddk
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    All of the above is true, both are great and differences aside from P45+'s 1 hour exposure are mostly subjective; but, you'll find that price wise Leaf is a much better deal today, specially if you're looking and used and refurbished backs!

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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    thanks for the great info. I just picked up a P45+ with value added warranty till 10/09 for $13,000.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by felix5616 View Post
    thanks for the great info. I just picked up a P45+ with value added warranty till 10/09 for $13,000.
    GREAT price -- congrats! Be sure to post some of your images from it!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  7. #7
    curtd
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Felix,

    "How's them sausages comin' Charlie?"

    Semi-obscure quote from Snatch, and my way of asking for some images and/or thoughts about the P45.

    Thanks, Curt
    Last edited by curtd; 27th May 2009 at 15:35. Reason: incomplete

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Felix

    Have you decided if you're keeping it or selling...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    I am keeping the back for a while. i am thinking of getting a horseman SW-DII with a 24mm digitar lens.

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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by felix5616 View Post
    I am keeping the back for a while. i am thinking of getting a horseman SW-DII with a 24mm digitar lens.
    Just curious however what made you decide on the Horseman?
    Don Libby
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    can't shift that 24mm very much at all.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    can't shift that 24mm very much at all.
    Just in case I haven't made it clear - I have no buyers remorse over buying the 24mm. I had originally thought of buying the 28mm as sort of a replacement to the Mamiya 28 however after thinking it over and doing a little research regarding the movements or lack of movements I decided the 24 was a better match for me.

    I could have gone with the 28 and with slight movements achieved the same as what the 24 gives however why move when you don't have to? I might lose out on some images by not having the ability to have movements but I think I might be able to make up for that with the 35 and the great movements that allows.

    Just a sample of what goes on in my head when I'm thinking this stuff out - scary crazy at times but then that's how my brain works...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Yes but Don you have 5 other lenses that do shift. If only one lens than why a sllding back for a 24mm when it can't be used. More where I was going . If that is the only lens than a Cambo compact or Alpa TC would be far cheaper.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  14. #14
    Super Duper
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yes but Don you have 5 other lenses that do shift. If only one lens than why a sllding back for a 24mm when it can't be used. More where I was going . If that is the only lens than a Cambo compact or Alpa TC would be far cheaper.
    I agree with you. I thought I had really wanted a sliding back but then again I've lived it out it and seem to be doing just fine. As nice as the Apla is I'm sticking with my RS.

    Oh by the way "5 other lenses" I only have 4 total 24, 37,72 and 120 - is this your subtle way of saying you brought me a present?

    Don

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    Oh by the way "5 other lenses" I only have 4 total 24, 37,72 and 120 - is this your subtle way of saying you brought me a present?
    No ---it's Guy's way of telling you how well he knows you----that the fifth lens probably won't be long now....


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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Exactly Ken I am already getting the vibes being transfered from Tucson to Phoenix about 120 miles but they are strong. He is going to go over 150 on the next one. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  17. #17
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Exactly Ken I am already getting the vibes being transfered from Tucson to Phoenix about 120 miles but they are strong. He is going to go over 150 on the next one. LOL
    Good vibes! I actually had thought about the 150 or even the 180...
    Don Libby
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  18. #18
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf vs Phase one digital backs

    See I was right on track. LOL

    The 180 sounds nice
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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