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Thread: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Last week I headed out with my son Nicholas to photograph the southwest. I had just taken delivery of my new Phase One IQ180 from Capture Integration in Atlanta and was excited to try out all the new features. I also brought along an IR converted GF1; Nicholas was outfitted with a pimped out GF1. I chose to travel light, bringing only three lenses with my Phase 645DF: the 35mm D, 55mm Schneider LS, and Mamiya 75-150 D. I know it's heresy, but I also chose not to bring the Cube, opting for a much lighter RRS TVC24 CF tripod with Acratech ballhead. The RRS tripod is a real winner, and superbly engineered. A "mini" Cube would be ideal, but the Arca D4 may be a perfect match....

    Our itinerary included Monument Valley and Hunt's Mesa---then onto Page, AZ to meet up with Don Libby and photograph the slot canyons. I've received a few requests to relate "user experiences" with the new IQ180, so thought it appropriate to post here. Don can also relate his experiences using both the Leica M9 and Phase P65+ on his Cambo RS. Pretty sweet looking Cambo rig too, with its newly annointed wood handles.

    For those familiar with Phase P+ backs, the IQ series will be a pretty seam less transition. Jack Flesher's excellent review of his IQ180 pretty much deflated all my excitement by the time I received my back, there really wasn't much new to learn (or difficult to grasp)---the IQ 180 is just that easy to use for previous Phase shooters.

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Jack Flesher's excellent review of his IQ180 pretty much deflated all my excitement by the time I received my back
    Ken,

    Great shot!!! Re the above, what can I say except, thank you and I'm really sorry?
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    I booked a full day tour with Tom Phillips, our Navajo guide, see, http://www.monumentvalley.com/ to take us through the back areas of Monument Valley (starting at 0430AM!) and Mystery Valley in the afternoon.

    I used the IQ180 mostly set at ISO 35 to 100. Only a few times did I select faster camera speeds, though of note is how quickly and easily it is to select different ISO settings. When possible, I used mirror lock up and an electromagnetic cable release. Settings were mostly manual or AP.

    Quick note on Phase 645DF battery life. I used one set of Energizer Lithium AA batteries---on the entire trip. The same set is in the camera and going strong. I prefer the lithium AAs as they are also lighter than normal heavy duty AAs or rechargeables.

    The first part of our day tour ran four hours. I used only one Phase battery in the IQ180. Plenty of juice left. I used a fresh Phase battery in the IQ180 in the afternoon for the second four hour tour. Battery life/power management for the IQ series is at least as good as with the Phase P65+ MFDB. And that includes using that big screen.
    Last edited by kdphotography; 30th June 2011 at 11:10.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Ken,

    Great shot!!! Re the above, what can I say except, thank you and I'm really sorry?
    That's okay, Jack. I promise that, as far as you know, Don and I have remained well-behaved, no matter how many people approach us while we're shooting landscapes, thinking that we're Jack Flesher and Guy Mancuso...
    Last edited by kdphotography; 30th June 2011 at 09:08.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    I haven't done any large printing yet, so I could change my mind. But at this point, the IQ180 really isn't about resolution or megapixels. It's the user interface. That big screen is just sorta nice. Okay, and the little boy (or girl) in all of us wants a new toy. And sometimes it's not about being able to complete the same job with a DSLR, but about pure enjoyment of photography. Side note---I do use a Canon 1Ds Mark III also, but there really is no joy in using that very capable and nice camera. There's just something about working with medium format....and you just simply can't get around that subjective appeal.

    The screen is nice, but it is the layout and ease of use that makes the IQ180 so appealing. The use of the small histogram tool on the side makes it extremely easy to determine (and adjust) camera settings and exposure. I brought my lightmeter with me, but it stayed in the bag. For the most part, unfortunately, we had terribly clear blue skies most of the time. But sometimes it isn't always about the photography, but the journey itself. I know this will be a memorable trip for my son Nicholas, especially the 4x4 drive up to camp at Hunt's Mesa.

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Lovely work Ken.
    It is always nice to hear a father and son journey together!

    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Here's one of Nick and his assistant...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Thought I share these as well - don't worry Ken the blackmail image(s) are just between you and me....
    Don Libby
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Thought I share these as well - don't worry Ken the blackmail image(s) are just between you and me....
    And for the record, I am not peeing in the slot canyons in that first image!

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Now that you bring that up.......
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Here's my meager contribution ...

    While Ken & Nick were shooting in Monument Valley I was shooting in Bluff crawling in and around cliff dwellings. I took the Monument Valley shoot as I was headed to Page to meet Ken. Both images were taken with my Cambo WRS/P65, the House on Fire was taken with a Schneider 35mm Monument Valley with the Schneider 120.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Darr, I enjoyed seeing your recent work...particularly the flower photography with the Schneider 120 macro. I presume this same lens could be used with Rm3di? I wonder how it would handle the IQ180? I would hope the IQ180 with focus mask would be ideal for focus stacking. Charles

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Ken, your comments about Energizer Lithium AA batteries have really gotten my attention. I have been using some cheap AA batteries that do not last very long, and will give the Lithium batteries a try. My wife and I will be making our first trip in October to many of the same places you and Don have been writing about..., so keep the information and images flowing. We hope to get some guide work from Tom Philips. A whole day beginning at 4:30 sounds great! Perhaps by that time I will have either a Cambo WRS or Rm3di. Maybe I can get some instruction on using a technical camera at the Capture Integration/Getdpi New Hampshire workshop. If Jack is reading this, let me say I can barely contain myself waiting for his upcoming report on his Rm3di with the IQ180. This is a great Forum and I really appreciate all the contributions so many make to a wonderful knowledge base of sharing. Charles

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by cs750 View Post
    Darr, I enjoyed seeing your recent work...particularly the flower photography with the Schneider 120 macro. I presume this same lens could be used with Rm3di? I wonder how it would handle the IQ180? I would hope the IQ180 with focus mask would be ideal for focus stacking. Charles
    Thank you Charles for your kind words.

    I am eagerly waiting for and reading whatever data photographers can share about the R series and the IQ backs. On my next upgrade I am almost certain this is the route I will be taking. I too am curious if the 120 macro works well with the IQ180. I am hoping eventually someone will post pictures of the R series + 120 macro working together. If the R series was available when I purchased my Alpa Max, I would have wanted it instead since I have invested in Arca Swiss over the years and will continue to do so. My studio box is the M2 and that is what I currently use with the 120 macro.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by cs750 View Post
    Ken, your comments about Energizer Lithium AA batteries have really gotten my attention. I have been using some cheap AA batteries that do not last very long, and will give the Lithium batteries a try. My wife and I will be making our first trip in October to many of the same places you and Don have been writing about..., so keep the information and images flowing. We hope to get some guide work from Tom Philips. A whole day beginning at 4:30 sounds great! Perhaps by that time I will have either a Cambo WRS or Rm3di. Maybe I can get some instruction on using a technical camera at the Capture Integration/Getdpi New Hampshire workshop. If Jack is reading this, let me say I can barely contain myself waiting for his upcoming report on his Rm3di with the IQ180. This is a great Forum and I really appreciate all the contributions so many make to a wonderful knowledge base of sharing. Charles
    Hi Charles,

    I always keep an extra loaded battery carrier, but for this trip it stayed in the bag. The Energizer Lithiums lasted the whole week easily---and they are lighter to boot. We were lucky (maybe not from Tom's perspective!) to be the only photographers with Tom Phillips all day. You can reach Tom at his website, www.monumentvalley.com His nephew Ray took us up to Hunt's Mesa where we camped overnite. It's pretty light and easy "camping" as Tom/Ray take care of everything from sleeping bags, tents, and food, including steak for dinner and a full hot breakfast in the morning. We were lucky to see a few whispy clouds in the blue sky.

    I know that Jack and Guy have both commented on using faster CF memory cards as helping with faster preview and focus mask times for the IQ180. But I have found that faster cards also help in the initial start up of the back as well. I used Sandisk Extreme IVs which became filled the first couple of days. I noticed a slight slow down using Extreme IIIs. Turning on the IQ180 just seemed to take a tad longer for the card to be read/confirmed by the back. I'll be ordering a couple new Extreme Pros for the IQ180 and relegate the IIIs to my Canon DSLR.

    I know it has been mentioned by Doug that there *may* be a slight bug between firmware and mirror lockup, but I do think that my impatience in pressing buttons too quickly doesn't help (with slower CF cards too) when turning on the IQ180. The only time that my 645DF locked up and would not recognize the IQ180 ("no db") was in the slot canyons. I distinctly remember having left my camera on accidentally in the bag. A "hard" re-boot by removing all batteries, lens, and back reset the mirror. It hasn't happened since. I still feel the system is quite stable despite being so new, and comparable to when I had my P65+. My guess is that we have two competing firmwares (camera and back) that somewhere are tripping over themselves with the mirror lock-up function. It's way over my head and the white lab coats will need to take a look (at the camera/back---not me). I have no doubt that stability will improve yet further as the system matures.

    ken

    p.s. No doubt a technical camera makes a great complement for the IQ180, and I'm sure Jack will be the enabler to watch with the RM3di. Capture Integration and GetDPI in New Hampshire is definitely the go-to event this fall.

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    What Ken hasn't mentioned yet was the true reason for the title....

    These images are a duplicate from the Leica portion. All shot with the Leica M9, 24mm lens.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Thanks Ken, lots of good info here; I will be getting an extra battery carrier soon; I already ordered a 24 pack of Lithium AA batteries, and will check out the Sandisk Extreme IVs. Don, I am still wondering what the title to that post means. Maybe someone will enlighten us all...or I am the only one who doesn't get it. Charles
    Last edited by cs750; 30th June 2011 at 17:54. Reason: typos

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Just got another one in today. Have 3 16gb and 2 regular extremes

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...pactFlash.html
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just got another one in today. Have 3 16gb and 2 regular extremes

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...pactFlash.html
    Yup---those are the Extreme Pros in my basket. Any issues with using these cards in the IQ backs, or is a firmware update needed?

    Last two images from Hunt's Mesa and then onto the Slot Canyons with the IQ180. First is with the Schneider 55mm; second is with the 75-150mm D.

    ken

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    They are fine right now but yes just waiting on the firmware update to get its full potential. I'm ready and waiting for it. Have 3 now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by cs750 View Post
    Don, I am still wondering what the title to that post means. Maybe someone will enlighten us all...or I am the only one who doesn't get it. Charles
    When Ken & I first talked about this blog it was a no brainer on what we wanted to include in it. The difficult part came t naming the thread. Several emails were sent back and forth and with the lack of adult supervision the title kept going down hill. We soon found ourselves going from suggesting tame titles to R then X and hitting rock bottom at XXX. Someone ended an email with something along the lines of "wherever we go pig follow" and it stuck. Seeing as how this wasn't an official Pigs in a Blanket "function" (said tongue in cheek) we felt the title was close enough.

    Welcome to our heads. Spooky how a retired fed and district attorney thinks isn't it?

    And now back to our regularly scheduled program.


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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    I ordered a newer card shortly after getting the P65. It's not only faster but I'm getting better subtle shades of color...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Me too Don.... I was talking to Ken about it just today... Are your cards move of a Funji Velvia or Provia colour or are you talking more like the Koodak route of subtle yellows ...?

    I'd love your feedback as I'm in for some new cards myself... lately mine have been giving me a bluish cast that i'm not 100% happy with, what do you think?

    Steve

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Steve - I'm familiar with your conversations w/Ken on this subject.

    What color is your current card? I'm thinking that if blur then it might have bled inside the card causing the bluish cast. I also see that the images could be a little sharper - a trick I picked up is swiping the card prior to insertion.

    Don Libby
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    You know, Steve, you might like Sandisk. It has more of a Velvia flavor. Lexar has that Kodak Portra flavor.

    These images are from the slot canyons, shot with the 35mm and 55mm lenses. .6 and 1 second exposures. The large screen of the IQ180 is an obvious joy to work with, but it's the histogram thumbnail tool (and other tools also) on the side that really makes the IQ180 easy to use and quickly adjust settings in situations like the slot canyons. And two thumbs up for nice saturated Sandisk colors....

    ken
    Last edited by kdphotography; 2nd July 2011 at 07:16.

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Thanks for your great images guys - I don't think we expected anything less! A quick funny story about Hunts Mesa. Several years ago I was up there shooting with David Muench. We were sitting on top of a rock near the campfire trying to figure out how to cut up those big old steaks with plastic knives and forks. He looked over at me and got this big grin, then just grabbed his steak with both hands and dug in. The meat was actually not all that great, but sitting next to the great master himself while chowing down like that was priceless...

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Tim,

    Where was your P&S camera? That would have been a priceless capture eating steaks with David Muench! Tom has upped the finishing touches for dinner: we used real forks and knives!

    Sunbeam from Upper Antelope. IQ180, ISO 35, 35mm D, f/4.5 @ .6 secs. If you look close, you can see two more sunbeams coming down into the slots in the middle.

    Nicholas with Don at Lower Antelope. I think Nicholas talked Don's ear off (as he also did Tom Phillip's). One of the few IQ180 grab-shots that I have at ISO 3200. IQ180 handheld, 35mm D, f/3.5 @1/40th.

    This is another thing that is really nice about the IQ180 UI: it's very quick and easy to change your camera settings. Clean, nice and intuitively easy to use. Tools are easily accessible. Nice upgrade to the dual axis horizon level tool.

    ken

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    I just did a quick blog on the experiences using a tech camera in a slot canyon along with all the gear. I'm tired just reading it...

    Here's a couple from the second day shooting the Cambo WRS1000 or is it a Cambo 1025.50 with the wood grips? Love the files from the P65+. Some of these turned out to be in excess of 100 megapixels!

    Nick didn't really talk my ear off however I still laugh at the remarks other photographers made when they saw him carrying the tripod and camera...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    These are the results of 2-focal stack experiments ...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Ken - Don,

    My cards were blue...!!!! I like your warm tones so gonna try a few Sandisks and see what happens...

    Lovely shots BTW lads... will upload mine this week (yeah yeah yeah).

    Seriously... my estata 'box' that holds my 4 drives started clicking a couple of days ago and I'm scared it will corrupt them so until the new raid 10 box arrives... I'm not turning them on.....

    Steve

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    "Pigs! In there"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcwBH-WnlhM
    Maybe but amusing and illuminating, to me anyway.
    David

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    "This video contains content from WMG, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
    Sorry about that."

    The above message is what I got when I opened the link
    Don Libby
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Google
    Robert Wyatt - Pigs
    Might get you to the track

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Ken,

    Stunning photography. I love the pic of Don and Nicholas on the smooth sandstone, what camera is Don using in that photo? A father and son photo adventure will not only create lasting images, but timeless memories too! Thanks for sharing.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    Google
    Robert Wyatt - Pigs
    Might get you to the track
    With the initial *blocked content* message, I was hoping for something naughtier...

    ken

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Ken,

    Stunning photography. I love the pic of Don and Nicholas on the smooth sandstone, what camera is Don using in that photo? A father and son photo adventure will not only create lasting images, but timeless memories too! Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks---still tons of images to go through, but swamped here. I really do enjoy my time with my sons, and taking them along to memorable locations is a lot of fun.

    Don is using his Leica M9; he used his Cambo RS on a return visit. Nicholas used a pimped out Panasonic GF1 with RRS L bracket and cable release, which worked really well.

    One final note on the transition to the IQ180: Moving from the Phase P30/P45+ to the P65+, there is a definite learning curve. I had to modify my photographic approach slightly. With the move from the P65+ to the IQ180, it really is seamless, and if anything, is easier and faster. For those coming from a P+ back, the transition will be easy and intuitive. It's all about the user-interface.

    ken

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    Re: Wherever we go, pigs follow...

    My transition was from a P-45+ direct to the IQ 180 and it took me all of about two seconds - in fact everything is a lot easier with the new back so there was really no learning curve at all.

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