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Thread: P30+ the real world noise

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    P30+ the real world noise

    Okay this is the biggest problem area i encounter when shooting event work is black drops with color splashed on them. This is normally the worst that noise shows up and what prompted me to move to the P30 plus. Now at 1600 it is good not great but still clean and acceptable. Obviously with the P25 plus this was my limitation but I can safely say i certainly picked up a stop in noise. My old P25 plus 800 is the P30 plus 1600 no doubt about it but more important the P30 plus 800 is just killer good. Crap shots here but this is paying work so you don't argue you shoot and collect your money 90 days later. Yes welcome to shooting the corporate world you simply never get paid in a reasonable time frame. Regardless this pleased me very much the results . As you can see the problem area is in the red glow and anytime they do this on staging you swallow with a big lump in your throat because you know it is several stops under from what your subject so you need a lot of latitude . This first one is ISO 1600 at 1/60 at 4.8 with a Metz flash
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Now this one is at 800 at 1/60 at F4 and both images shot with the 150 2.8 D lens. Reason I bought this lens SHARP wide open although this is F4 .

    Now maybe no apparent on screen here but this sucker is really clean, the 1600 above has some slight noise but for this stuff still very acceptable. Both images processed in C1 with luminance at 10 which is low and noise at 50 which is riding the middle of the slider without degrading or smearing of the image.
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Guy, serious question, why are you using MFDB's for this kind of work? It doesn't begin to need it. Why not use tools made for the task or have you sold all your 35mm stuff?
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Now back to the ISO 1600 shot . Usually these are the area's that will bite you and what you have to watch for. The color red area as you see , the white/grey area and than strictly on the black drop that has light hitting it. This is pretty decent not perfect but under a 8x10 print will probably never bother anyone but given this is a MF back which are not known for high ISO work this is a welcome that you can cheat death with them. Obviously a D3 or canon 5DII will handle ISO 1600 better, I still don't find the need for the DSLR although I will freely admit i am chomping for a Sony A900 which i just like the look of the files even though not a high ISO performance king. Now what i don't know is how the P40+ would be with pixel binning. Here obviously a case i don't need 31mpx but how is the 1600 on the P40 + is it cleaner or not. I need Phase and CI to send me a back to test that possibility out
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Guy, serious question, why are you using MFDB's for this kind of work? It doesn't begin to need it. Why not use tools made for the task or have you sold all your 35mm stuff?
    I have NO 35mm stuff and trying avoid buying any. I am cheating death here my friend. LOL

    You may not realize it but i am one crazy hombre.
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Guy,

    I must say, that my 5D2 could do this shot MUCH better WRT noise. And I think you would hardly notice the difference between 21MP and 31.

    So maybe the current 1 or 24MP DSLRs are not so bad solutions for folks who want higher resolution, which is in the range of MFDB 2 years ago but much lower price than today's MFDBs and better high ISO performance.

    Just trying to find arguments why not to buy into MFDBs

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    "You may not realize it but i am one crazy hombre?"

    Guy, isn't that insulting to Ben? I think we are all aware you're "a bit different."

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Guy, unless the client needs 31Mp (which I doubt) downsizing to his need will certainly make whatever little noise disappear. Nice sharp images Guy.

    Here's one shot on P30+ and ran through Helicon Focus. Really love this back like you.

    Last edited by Henry Goh; 21st May 2009 at 07:51.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Guy,

    I must say, that my 5D2 could do this shot MUCH better WRT noise. And I think you would hardly notice the difference between 21MP and 31.

    So maybe the current 1 or 24MP DSLRs are not so bad solutions for folks who want higher resolution, which is in the range of MFDB 2 years ago but much lower price than today's MFDBs and better high ISO performance.

    Just trying to find arguments why not to buy into MFDBs
    Peter:

    I think the point is this...

    First, as givens I think it's safe to say,

    1) If you regularly do a *LOT* of high ISO grip and grin type shooting OR require really high framerates, then for sure one of the current crop of DSLR's is probably the best choice due to superior noise handling an/or capture speed.

    2) If you do a lot of studio, landscape or other work where critical image quality rules the day, then the quality from the MFDB reigns supreme.

    So, what to do if you do either/both on a regular basis? Here I think there are a variety of answers:

    Group One: Own multiple independent systems, each tailored to it's specific strength.

    Group Two: Own the one system that covers the MAJORITY of your needs, yet can be pressed into service for the others in a pinch.

    I suspect Guy falls into group two and in his case having the maximum IQ rules the day. Also, he recently moved from the P25+ top the P30+, giving up frame size for one (maybe 1-1/2) stops more usable ISO. IOW, he has tailored his system to optimally cover the majority of what he does. Note the one-system approach has the benefit of not having to lug around two or three different systems as he heads out on a job. It also has the benefit of being infinitely familiar with the operation of his chosen tool.

    My .02,
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Anyone else notice that nasty colour noise banding on the lectern? That's a subject that should be near the top of the histogram and should be the least problematic noise wise.
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I suspect Guy falls into group two and in his case having the maximum IQ rules the day. Also, he recently moved from the P25+ top the P30+, giving up frame size for one (maybe 1-1/2) stops more usable ISO. IOW, he has tailored his system to optimally cover the majority of what he does. Note the one-system approach has the benefit of not having to lug around two or three different systems as he heads out on a job. It also has the benefit of being infinitely familiar with the operation of his chosen tool.

    My .02,
    I see a P40+ in Guy's future....

    Let's start a pool.....


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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Of course it's not 'if' but 'when'....
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    You guy;s are killing me. I want to try that P40+. Also I fall into the group 2 as Jack describes and echo his comments, Obviously we talk a lot about this ourselves. But I would rather have the high end for the real work and press this into the grey area when I have too. The other thing is I actually like shooting MF over 35mm. Yes i am a different breed for sure.
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I like how Guy is stepping outside the box and showing what and how good the P30+ can shoot. If I remember correctly some folks thought I was crazy shooting landscape with a back that was made primarily for fashion. The p30+ is the little back that can..

    Jury is out on Guy getting the P40. I can see him getting that only if he decides to take the plunge to a technical camera however the one obstacle in the way is the lack of longer exposures.

    Just my 2 cents worth...

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Well, but before I would go for another intermediate step I would directly move to the P65+

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    I like how Guy is stepping outside the box and showing what and how good the P30+ can shoot. If I remember correctly some folks thought I was crazy shooting landscape with a back that was made primarily for fashion. The p30+ is the little back that can..

    Jury is out on Guy getting the P40. I can see him getting that only if he decides to take the plunge to a technical camera however the one obstacle in the way is the lack of longer exposures.

    Just my 2 cents worth...

    Don
    And that is a obstacle even though it can shoot faster which is a big plus. Something I will just have to try out and see what it can do. I like to push the envelope. Must be my guinea pig syndrome like the old Life cereal commercial. Let's get Mikey to try it. Okay the old dogs will know that one
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    who calling old?
    Don Libby
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    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Must be my guinea pig syndrome like the old Life cereal commercial. Let's get Mikey to try it. Okay the old dogs will know that one
    I'm exactly the same way, lol... I'm using the a900 now and getting stellar results MOST of the time. Shot a wedding a week or so back and let's just say some of the high ISO shots were "acceptable". Down-res them and they are quite nice. At full res... not so nice (but still detailed!)

    A d700 it isn't (even though the color is infinitely superior IMO)... but it gets a vast majority of my work done with flying colors. The rest of the time I keep my butt cheeks cinched up a little. I'm also still shopping for MF as well and if I can help it I'll not buy another super smooth high-iso machine again. I just love the files... warts and all... of the cameras optimized for low-iso work. If they can get digital MF to keep the low-iso "look" of the big CCDs while being even more useful at high-iso without resorting to the smoothing I see in most 35mm cams... then I'd love to see a return to the old days where wedding photogs shot with "proper cameras" ()... ie with hassy and mamiya and contax.

    (that was a joke... sort of)

    Cheating death... the only way to live

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    We are sick campers and a lot of old school thinking as well. LOL
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I have to say that I'm still gobsmacked by those iso 1600 files (when I processed in C1, ACR was horrible) that you put up when you first got the camera Guy. I wouldn't have a problem using them for my wedding work and the Canon 5D is my present tool and benchmark! Were those natural llight only or shot with flash?
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    These are with the Metz flash but dragged the shutter enough to pick up the ambient in the back
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Just for grins . I processed this in ACR and used pretty close to the same noise reduction. I can't even get the color correct and it just stinks as far as noise
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    C1 again same as original post
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  24. #24
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    wow... the ACR rendering is ugly. It also doesn't appear to be as detailed (if that's possible to see on a web-sized image).I'm having similar probs with lightroom and my a900.

    Maybe acr just doesn't like medium format and those other cameras that approach MF quality, lol.

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I am just not a big fan of ACR and Phase files and actually I am just not a big fan of ACR period. I ALWAYS seem to get a magenta or red cast on any camera i have tried with it. My line is someone at Adobe likes red and it shows. Not as detailed either Shelby good eye.
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    In addition to the noise mentioned by Ben, there are two strong black bands running from the bottom left corner of the screen and directly left. There is something like it in the ACR image, but the C1 image has it much stronger. Is there some way to remove artifacts like that?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I am just not a big fan of ACR and Phase files and actually I am just not a big fan of ACR period. I ALWAYS seem to get a magenta or red cast on any camera i have tried with it. My line is someone at Adobe likes red and it shows. Not as detailed either Shelby good eye.
    Well, if one doesn't take the time to set up preferences and calibrations in LR using ACR, then "generic" is what you get.

    However, were I shooting a Phase Back, I'd simply stick with C1, no doubt about it.

    Guy, do you gel your fill? To my eye the red/cyan are an issue in both versions. The skin has a bit of that nuclear glow to it, and the jacket is contaminated. A natural outcome of the ambient temp perhaps, and something I deal with all the time when dragging the shutter at weddings regardless of camera used. The worst is the M8.



    Now that introduces an interesting notion ... one I've been thinking about for a while. Adding an IR filter in conditions like these. I had some technoid once tell me that all digital cameras suffer IR contamination to some degree or another. And as we know from our M8 experiences, tungsten ambient is really bad news in terms of IR.

    Wonder if those shots would be a bit more natural out of the camera, better skin tones and rendering of the suit jacket.

    Heck, it maybe worth a try just to see if it works in situations like this. I'll order a 77mm for my Hassey lenses and try it. Anyone know which is the weakest IR to look for?

    Whatdayathink?

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Heck, it maybe worth a try just to see if it works in situations like this. I'll order a 77mm for my Hassey lenses and try it. Anyone know which is the weakest IR to look for?
    It sounds like a good idea, and worth a shot. The IR filter to get would be an IR blocking filter, like a B+W 486, not an IR absorbing filter. The blocking filters remove light of certain wavelengths, which is perfect for not disturbing the normal light. These filters also don't affect exposure (unless of course the meter sees a significant amount of IR light). The IR blocking filters are sensitive to the angle of the light, however, so super-wides will be problematic. Down to about 50mm should be okay, on MF. I guess you already know all this from your M8

    After the experiment of using a blue filter in tungsten lighting was successful in making a small, but visible difference to the image quality, I have toyed with the idea of building up a set of light-colour correction filters, as in the film days, for when the absolute best image quality is desired. Most of them have an exposure factor though, so it would only relevant for tripod situations, for me.
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    No this is just a straight Metz flash the red light is all ambient stage lighting they are using. Not sure a IR filter would actually help any. I have never seen any real contamination from the Phase back. On the ACR i simple could not get a good WB off that shirt same place iWB off for C1 and used primarily identical settings as well. Seriously ACRis always got some sort of red contamination. Had it with the M8 and Nikon as well. Not sure why that is. This maybe worth a test. I am shooting some models tomorrow and i will use a Macbeth Chart anyway so we will bring a couple over to ACR and sees how it handles it. But honestly this is why I left LR and ACR was the red issue. Drove me nuts. Also ACR hates the Phase files since it has no profiles for itso yes C1 is the obvious choice for Phase files, you pretty much forced into it since they come in so bad in ACR right out of the can.
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Here look at this straight from the can in ACR plus it comes in a stop overexposed which is the only thing I fixed. See this is my starting point
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    C1 straight out of camera i reset everything. Interesting thing ACR has the tint slider all the way to the magenta side at 22 and c1 at 1. It just can't read the Phase files well at all
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    The noise is cleaner right out of the can as well. Obviously ACR is not this bad with Canon , Nikon and others but Phase files are just not built into there algorithms.
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    Super Duper
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    You can say that again, the difference between your P30+ RAW iso 1600 files in ACR and C1 was more than drastic and I do know ACR very very well. I'd be interested to see how well they handle the 'blad files now that they've added them to their list of compatible raw files.

    I don't find the ACR WB dropper to be anywhere near accurate. I click then adjust to taste often by close to 1000K. Custom DNG profiles make a difference (and are incredibly easy to do) and I also have the red saturation permenantly set to -3, I also don't like the default ACR love of red tint...
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I remember when I had the M8 I had the red calibration in LR adjusted as well and saved that as a preset. I'm happy for the Blad owners that is good news and maybe they have it set correctly for them but the Phase files is like it does not exist with Adobe. Now i could go in LR and get this setup really well and calibrate for it and save the preset but seriously it just turns me off that i would have to do that when a program with all lens corrections and such plus better noise is already out there and designed for it. Plus it like other cameras as well
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  35. #35
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I'm just going to put it out there... no matter what I've done, calibration-wise, the rendering of color on Sony files (and even canon for me) in ACR/Lightroom just doesn't look "right" to me. Can't speak for phase. Even if I adjust for the reds, the balance of color goes all funky and loses smoothness and naturalness in tonal gradation. I should try the dng profiler, but I don't want to add the extra DNG step to my workflow.

    Will my clients notice it?... probably not... so i don't sweat it too bad. My complaint is of the nit-picky type. What I also don't like with ACR is the handling of noise and detail is such that I lose some resolution with my newer high-mp equipment. Again... nothing major, but it does cut down on the 3d-ness of the files a little bit (which for portraits is ok).

    Unfortunately... I'm running an older macpro on 10.4.x and can't use c1 presently so I'm making due with ACR/Lightroom (and making due pretty well)... but if I take the time to process in RD or RPP, the results are much better.

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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I just had a play with a portrait taken at a wedding a year ago, all natural light, no flash. Just couldn't get the colour or tonality any where near right in C1 but it looked great from ACR. In neither was the 'out of the box' WB anywhere near accurate.

    I think it boils down to which program you're willing to invest the time and effort into. These programs are all plenty sophisticated enough that when you know them through and through you can get them close enough not to make a difference (assuming a non 'specialised' manufacturer whose cameras are decently profiled). I think the point is to find what works best and learn it so thoroughly that it's more than subconsicous to get the best quality file possible for your needs. Pretty much like a camera. The only complications arise if you have a situation like the one which sparked this whole fascinating conversation over 3 threads, when one RAW converter, for all it's sophisitication, does not support a certain camera or back to it's full potential. The P1 backs, M8 and A900 in ACR are a perfect example. That's when the water gets muddied.
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  37. #37
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Totally agree Ben and great comments. Some cams just simply do not work well or play well with some converters this is a classic case we are seeing I know for sure with the M8 and Phase and as Shelby is mentioning with the new Sony cam which i am dying to try myself.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  38. #38
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    BTW, serious kudos to this forum, I can't think of a single other forum that those 3 threads on the subject have provided so much information, friendliness and acceptance of peoples preferences. On even the better forums out there it would have automatically become a slinging flame war. This is why this forum is so incredibly helpful and such a nice place to be.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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  39. #39
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    It's all about the members Ben and I agree 110 percent. Thanks comments like that keep Jack and I in great spirits and other members as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  40. #40
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    I'm just going to put it out there... no matter what I've done, calibration-wise, the rendering of color on Sony files (and even canon for me) in ACR/Lightroom just doesn't look "right" to me.
    Amen to that, only for me it has been for Phase, Canon and Leica files. For posterity, it would be great if you cross-posted this comment in the C1 v LR thread in our processing forum...
    Jack
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  41. #41
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Amen to that, only for me it has been for Phase, Canon and Leica files. For posterity, it would be great if you cross-posted this comment in the C1 v LR thread in our processing forum...


    Are we marshalling forces here on this subject?

    Irakly produces phenominal images from his Phase One/Contax 645 and Leica M8, hates C1, and uses nothing but Lightroom.

    How many do I need? I can have a posse here by noon ...

  42. #42
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise



    Dude, we both need to build our armies in the face of the eventual Armageddon that thread is leading up to!

    Jack
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  43. #43
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    BTW, serious kudos to this forum, I can't think of a single other forum that those 3 threads on the subject have provided so much information, friendliness and acceptance of peoples preferences. On even the better forums out there it would have automatically become a slinging flame war. This is why this forum is so incredibly helpful and such a nice place to be.
    +1!!!

    In another "forum" I'm a part of, I'd have been run off long ago for even mentioning a 35mm camera on the mf board

    Love the sense of camaraderie here!

  44. #44
    Super Duper
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Totally agree Ben and great comments. Some cams just simply do not work well or play well with some converters this is a classic case we are seeing I know for sure with the M8 and Phase and as Shelby is mentioning with the new Sony cam which i am dying to try myself.
    I don't agree with Shelby's Sony comment ... at least not yet.

    All those A900 shots I've posted so far were from LR.

    Gotta play with C1 more and see if I can squeeze more out of the .ARW files.

    But to be fair to C1, I'm gonna give it time ... like Ben said, gotta invest some time to max out what may be possible.

  45. #45
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I agree give it a little time and do some comparisons. I know we tease each other on this but ultimately we all learn from it. It's really hard to say something is better when you can change the dynamics of something because Raw processing is a moving target with different files.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  46. #46
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I will say Shelby,Marc and myself are 3 Pros that look for speed of workflow because we deal with a lot of files at once not to exclude anyone here either but we look more at flying fast more than quality of output. But I guess my point here is sure I can get LR or ACR to work but it the damn tweaking and presets I have to make that drive me nuts. For us three and folks like us coming out of the can looking good is actually at least in my mind more important so i don't have to screw around so much. Now that is just the file itself than we have to deal with workflow speed on top of that and picking a RC is a tough call. One reason I mentioned in the other thread is so being darn good at one of these RC programs and almost be able to write the program yourself. When we hit that proficiency we actually get to spend time with our family. Instead of endless hours of processing files that in reality we do not get paid for. I know a big sore spot. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  47. #47
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I want to echo a lot of the comments made here. I was thoroughly hooked on LR right from the start (partly because of a shoot in Iceland with Thomas Knoll). We were both Canon shooters back then. When I moved to MFDB I continued with the "comfortable" LR.

    Then last year I was on a shoot with Kevin Raber of Phase One and happened to see his files, both Canon and Phase, shot at the same time as mine, on C1. Wow - they made my LR files look muddy. So, as others have said, I decided I'd better invest some time in truly learning C1. I'm still no expert but my files are way better "out of the box".

    And Sony files at anything but ISO 200 need C1.

    Having said all that, I still use LR for slideshows (of which I do a lot) and the web. It is definitely more intuitive than C1 and of course its grad filter and retouching capabilities alone are very worthwhile.

    We are fortunate to have two such great products to use, each for its own strengths.

    My last echo is to (vehemently!) agree this is the most well-informed and courteous site for discussions. I learn something new every day from each of you.

    Bill

  48. #48
    apneaimages
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Guy , sure you have test the Old Phase one P30 to...
    I am curius how the noise is if you compare P30 & P30+ lets say in 400 iso. Same , stronger, digital, Filmlike?

  49. #49
    ddk
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    Quote Originally Posted by apneaimages View Post
    Guy , ...
    Some very wonderful images on your site Lambis, but I really love the ones of the deep divers, excellent!

  50. #50
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    Re: P30+ the real world noise

    I knew that I should stay very, very far away from Guy's threads. Gotten me in big trouble in the past.

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