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Thread: MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

  1. #1
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

    This was in the Analog section....but I think it really belongs here and I too would like to know more about this monochrome MFDB.

    I checked out the MegaVision website and this back looks very appealing. I'd love to hear from someone with the requiste technical expertise re their thoughts on MegaVision's product info on monochrome digital capture etc.

    Gary
    Alaska


    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Francois,I have no answer Im afraid but am also very interested in any information and also to add to the brew http://www.mega-vision.com/products/Mono/Mono.htm ,a black and white only medium format back that it would be nice to know if anyone has experience of............Neil.

  2. #2
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    Re: MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

    Uh, when you were checking their website, did you notice that the most recent shots on the "Latest Images" sample page are dated June 2003, the "News and Events" link is dead, that the most recent update on the "Products" page was October 2005, that all the download links on the support page are dead, and that all the names on the contact page are the same person (Richard Chang)?

    I looked up their address in Goleta on Google Maps and it still lists Megavision as one of the businesses located there, so maybe Richard is still there keeping the Megavision fires burning. But it doesn't act much like a happenin' company.

    I remember noticing about a year ago that B&H Photo still listed one of their backs for sale on its website (at a mind-numbing $12,995 for a 6-megapixel back!) but just now checked and it isn't there any more.

    Oddly enough, I actually do have some experience with their products: at work I have, and still occasionally use, an S3 back for our Fuji GX680 camera. It's a six-megapixel back that works only when tethered to a special interface board that goes in the PCI slot. The board only works with special Megavision software, the Mac version of which only runs under the now somewhat antique MacOS 9. (I see there's a Windows driver listed on the website, but since the link to download it is dead, it's hard to find out much about it. At one time they also made an accessory called a BatPac which allowed you to use the back without a tether; have fun looking for one!)

    The Megavision software isn't too bad to use -- but the raw file format is proprietary, the user interface is non-standard, the feature set has all kinds of limitations most people wouldn't put up with nowadays, and overall the experience of using it just reminds me of how much progress digital imaging has made since 2003.

    Now, if you happened to find one of these backs in an old equipment cabinet (which is exactly where I found ours) AND you had a camera that it would fit AND you happened to have an old computer that would support the interface board and software, it certainly would be worth trying out. I still use ours because sometimes six megapixels are all we need, and because it's the only way I can use the GX680 when I need extreme swings, tilts, and bellows draw.

    But spend actual money to buy one? I dunno -- unless the price were utterly trivial, I'd really think hard about it.


    Incidentally, if you or someone else does sniff them out and discover that Richard Chang (or someone else) is still cobbling Megavision backs together in Goleta, please post about it because I'd love to get in touch with them with a technical question or two!

  3. #3
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

    Nope, I obviously didn't notice all that! :-)

    I did notice that the product listing for the Monochrome MFDB said "New!". :-)

    I guess New is not so new anymore. So what do you (or other folks) think of the whole concept of a monochrome digital sensor as described in their product info? Aside for any issues related to the MegaVision product and software itself.

    I did notice that they had a square format sensor monochrome back that fit my Hasselblad.....16 megapixel, 9 micron sensor too....just like my CFV-II. Now THAT's what got me interested.

    Gary
    Alaska

  4. #4
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    Re: MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

    One key question I'd ask about all their later products is whether they ever actually got them out the door before the company went into hibernation.

    As for the concept of a monochrome sensor/back... well, I know there are forum posters who get very exercised about it. I'm not sure there are huge practical advantages. People talk about color backs' mosaic filters and Bayer dithers and how wouldn't it be better just to be without all that stuff and make pristine, pure monochrome images...

    But the fact is that the mosaic filter is used only to derive the chroma (color) values of the pixels; it doesn't affect the luminance (brightness) values, which are what go into a monochrome image.

    I'm not saying "B.S.," but I am saying I'd need to see a very convincing demonstration of clear-cut advantages before it would make sense to me to invest heavily in a product with such a limited range of uses.

    I mean, you might get the urge to make a color image occasionally, or you might want to use the color-mix adjustments in products such as Lightroom to do post-production "filtering" on your monochrome images... and with a monochrome back, you wouldn't be able to do that stuff...

  5. #5
    ddk
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    Re: MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

    I called the company several times over the past two years to see if I can rent, borrow or even attend a demo of the monochrome back before committing and every time I was promised that they will arrange something but nothing ever came of it.

    The product looks very interesting on paper but I don't even know a single person who's bought them nor can I find anywhere that has them for trial, which makes me wonder if they ever managed to make any of them, successfully.

  6. #6
    Super Duper
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    Re: MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

    I ran across their website a couple years ago and kept returning to visit/check up and never saw any progress. I'll admit I never actually attempted to contact them however it does appear to be a true vapor system. Too bad as it did look interesting.
    Don Libby
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  7. #7
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    Re: MegaVision Monochrome MFDB?

    I just got a private message from a new subscriber (too new to post on his own yet) who says he knows the principals and the company is still alive and kicking -- they've just moved their business emphasis away from commercial photography and more toward other (presumably industrial-type) applications.

    He also says they've got a new website in the works, which may explain why the old one has so many dead links.

    So, still evidently a happenin' company, just not much happenin' in our segment. My correspondent did say they've got some products that might be of interest to us, and he'll try to get one of the honchos to post us some info...

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