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Author Topic: From small to medium format  (Read 4091 times)
JJP
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« on: March 12, 2006, 11:34:42 AM »
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Good Day Folks,
What would one need to take into consideration when making the transition from small format dslr to medium format dslr (specifically to ZD SLR)?
For example:  bigger/heavier body, larger image files and initial outlay.
The zd has a ccd & lithium battery packs....how many full rez picks could one expect per charge?..assuming the LCD is not used?
The online manual is not yet available and so, what kind of shutter life are they typically designed for?  
Include any info... no matter how insignificant you may think it is,
thanks,
jj
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2006, 11:56:06 AM »
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The ZD is listed in the UK at 7,000. But it's very much an uknown property at the moment. The best thing to do is wait until there's a few authoratative reviews posted on the net, read them carefully and then make your decision. And even if you're interested but new to MF, you may want to pick up a Mamiya lens or two on Ebay together with a cheap film body. You'll need the lenses if you proceed and the film body can be a back up or sold on after you get the ZD.

The reason I advise caution is that you may find MF just isn't for you, and it's better to find that out before you've bought the ZD. Every MF camera has primitive auto focus compared to current 35mm, with just a single AF sensor in the middle of the frame. The lenses are slower, and depth of field can be restrictive. It's a sedentary experience compared with 35mm and not to everyone's taste.
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JJP
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2006, 01:46:18 PM »
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thanks Gary
Quote
But it's very much an uknown property at the moment. The best thing to do is wait until there's a few authoratative reviews posted on the net, read them carefully and then make your decision.
Waiting was a given....I'm counting on purchasing used or demo 1 to 2 years down the road, meantime,  I'm on a fact finding mission.
jj
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JJP
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2006, 05:17:15 AM »
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Question:
Baring differences between sensor resolution/noise and lense quality, would I be correct to say that the difference between small format image and mf image is increased dynamic range in mf image?
jj
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2006, 12:30:17 PM »
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That's an interesting question.

The specification sheet for the P25 talks about a 12 f-stop range. Well, after a year of shooting with the P25 it certainly doesn't look like 12 f-stops to me! I haven't run any tests, but I'd very much doubt I'd be able to retain detail in both an area that metered 1/500s at f22 and an area that metered 1/4s at f4.0.

I'd guess the P25 gives a bit more dynamic range than a Canon 1Ds MkII, but no more than about a stop.

Unfortunately the ZD doesn't have the bit depth of the P25, consequently I wouldn't expect anything more in dynamic range terms than you'd get from a DSLR.

Still, I'd encourage any DSLR user to look at the ZD. IMO, in the real world rather than theorising from specification sheets, working with a larger sensor just makes quality so much easier to achieve. It takes the stress out of photography in the same way a V12 takes the stress out of motoring.
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JJP
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2006, 09:10:17 PM »
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Gary Ferguson wrote:
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working with a larger sensor just makes quality so much easier to achieve.

Hi Gary,
Just one more question:  What is it about a larger mf sensor (excluding dynamic range, resolution, lens quality, noise) that makes quality so much easier to achieve?
For example:  How would a stitched 1ds image (equivalent to 22+ mp) compare to that of a mf image (excluding the aforementioned) assuming both images have same subject field of view & depth of field?

jules

edited three times...jp
« Last Edit: March 25, 2006, 09:38:25 PM by JJP » Logged

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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2006, 02:43:12 AM »
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For example:  How would a stitched 1ds image (equivalent to 22+ mp) compare to that of a mf image (excluding the aforementioned) assuming both images have same subject field of view & depth of field?

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Never mind a 1Ds, if you've got a half decent lens and can execute a stitching routine competently then a stitched Digital Rebel shot would be better! The fact that a compiled image can trounce any single shot capture is digital's dirty little secret. If you want the proof go to Google Earthscape, and zoom in from outer space to see your car parked outside your house.

I shoot mainly architecure/cityscapes with a MF digital back on the same Linhof uber kamera that Michael's currently using. Because buildings don't move around too much they're ideal candidates for stitching. If you've the patience and skill and can afford to invest five or six hours in each image then a stitched shot from a camera costing a fiftieth of my set up would certainly yield superior results. Stitching is the democratisaton of photography, I love it!

But back to your original question. Big sensors tend to deliver better quality because the image chain is less stressed. For any given size of print you're enlarging less, and it's enlargement that allows us to peer at an image's deficiencies.  In theory there commensurate and compensating quality gains to be had at every stage of the minaturisation process. In real life these quality gains are more elusive, and you find a sweet spot advantage as you go from APS-C to full frame, and again from full frame to 37x49mm sensors.
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