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Author Topic: Best way to get into MF digital???  (Read 6475 times)
padey
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« on: August 17, 2006, 10:36:41 PM »
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What is the most cost effective way to get into Medium format digital?

Assuming that one has no existing MF film equipment.

thanks

andrew
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 02:45:30 AM »
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What is the most cost effective way to get into Medium format digital?

Assuming that one has no existing MF film equipment.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73738\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'd guess a used Kodak Proback along with used compatible body, new Rollei 8008 with P20 for ~$10k, or a new Mamiya ZD.

- DL
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 02:45:55 AM by dlashier » Logged

yaya
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 03:10:38 AM »
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What is the most cost effective way to get into Medium format digital?

Assuming that one has no existing MF film equipment.

thanks

andrew
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Andrew, what sort of work do you do?

Studio?
Still life?
People?
architecture?
Landscape?

Does the system need to be portable? Is speed important? Does it need to go to high ISO?

There are several different ways to get into MF digital, but they depend on what your needs are.

The cheapest obviously is not going to be the best, but it might be good for testing the waters...

Personally I think one should aim to have the latest generation, meybe not the highest resolution model, but one that doesn't suffer from lack of functionality/ speed etc. due to being from an older design.

Yair
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padey
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 03:27:01 AM »
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Andrew, what sort of work do you do?

Studio?
Still life?
People?
architecture?
Landscape?

Does the system need to be portable? Is speed important? Does it need to go to high ISO?

There are several different ways to get into MF digital, but they depend on what your needs are.

The cheapest obviously is not going to be the best, but it might be good for testing the waters...

Personally I think one should aim to have the latest generation, meybe not the highest resolution model, but one that doesn't suffer from lack of functionality/ speed etc. due to being from an older design.

Yair
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73749\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I shoot weddings (www.catoandpade.com.au) and have a complete Nikon kit. All the fast pro primes and so on. I guess I'm looking for something extra, as such MF.

I was using film with a blad kit, but that was many years ago.

I'm happy to use my DSLRs for high ISO work, but would love some punch that come from MF.

Any help would be appreciated.

thanks,
Andrew
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Andrew

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yaya
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 03:53:35 AM »
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I shoot weddings (www.catoandpade.com.au) and have a complete Nikon kit. All the fast pro primes and so on. I guess I'm looking for something extra, as such MF.

I was using film with a blad kit, but that was many years ago.

I'm happy to use my DSLRs for high ISO work, but would love some punch that come from MF.

Any help would be appreciated.

thanks,
Andrew
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73752\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Alright,

So it needs to be portable

The camera needs to be light for hand held work. Lenses also need to be light/ small so if you carry more than one you don't need a trolly to run around with.
You should have a look at the 645 offerings: Mamiya AFD/II, H1/2 and Contax (used)
If Autofocus is not important then a used 500 series Hassleblad would work, with the advantage of being able to change orientation without turning the camera on its side.

The digital back needs to give decent lens coverage since you use wide angle lenses as well. This I think takes the 16MP square chips out of the equasion.

You use a lot of available light so decent 200/400 ISO performance would be good.

Contact your local dealer (Baltronics?) and ask for a refurbished 17 or 22 MP back, this will also give you an indication of the overall investment (camera,lenses, digitalback, accessories etc.)

Good luck  

yair
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ericevans
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 05:27:51 AM »
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I shoot weddings (www.catoandpade.com.au) and have a complete Nikon kit. All the fast pro primes and so on. I guess I'm looking for something extra, as such MF.

I was using film with a blad kit, but that was many years ago.

I'm happy to use my DSLRs for high ISO work, but would love some punch that come from MF.

Any help would be appreciated.

thanks,
Andrew
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73752\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Using a digital back system at a wedding for anything other than formals will mean some missed shots while waiting for the images to write . I have shot some fashion with a digital back and would love to have my 1dmarkII back as I missed a lot of shots waiting for the image to write to the card . Even teathered it is slow . If you use it for formals where you can slow down it will work fine but for action shots it is a poor decision .
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padey
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2006, 07:09:08 AM »
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Thanks guys, you've been a real help. If you have anything else to add, i'm all ears.

You've got me looking at a Mamiya AFD. I can't find many AFDII around. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but i'll do some more reading and take it from there.

andrew
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 07:09:41 AM by padey » Logged

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Andrew

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James Russell
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2006, 11:23:52 AM »
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Thanks guys, you've been a real help. If you have anything else to add, i'm all ears.

You've got me looking at a Mamiya AFD. I can't find many AFDII around. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but i'll do some more reading and take it from there.

andrew
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If I was goiing straight new into a digital back I would have a hard look at the A-65 and either the Contax or Mamiya 1FDII.

The upside of the Mamiya mount is you can also go to the RZ platform for a different lens look.

The downside of the mamiya AFD II is it's build quality and the prims does not remove, though the lenses are quite good.

I personally use a Contax(s) and think that's the best option because the build quality is excellent and the lens line is extensive and very, very good and across the range 1 stop faster.

It is also a very stable platform for my Aptus 22.

Also Contax prices are much better than any current mf camera, though I have noticed recently that prices are going up

I have 7 lenses, two bodies, two vertical grips, and all of under $9,000.

The upside of any focal plane shutter camera is the ability to add other lenses.

Still, the A-65 looks like a very good deal and gives up very little territory to the A-75 and the A-22.

[a href=\"http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/format.jpg]http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/format.jpg[/url]

Also I understand Leaf is offering A-22's a good prices slightly below the A-65 price as these were loaners from the people that ordered A-75's and had to wait.

As far as the ZD that camera would worry me.  For one you are trapped into one body, one set of lenses and since Mamiya has been very slow in rolling out any information on the camera it would give me caution.

Saving 5 grand up front looks good, but not if it keeps you from working.

The one very good thing about Leaf is they have excellent support and service.

My A-22 had an issue and they replaced it no questions asked and did it within days.

The only real issue with any of the Leaf products is software.

V-8 is very fast and very stable even on older G-4 power books.  LC-10 is IMO still in the beta stage and seems disconnected.

My workflow is fast and easy but does not involve LC10, except for quick jpeg creation.

I tether with V-8, edit the raw in I-view) and batch process in CS.

This is fast, stable and for me, even an easier workflow than a dslr.

JR
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 11:48:12 AM by James Russell » Logged
Quentin
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2006, 11:26:50 AM »
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If you shoot weddings, tilt and shift possibilities are not going to be that important.  Consider a Mamiya ZD, an all-in-one solution and probably ideal for a wedding pro.

Quentin

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Thanks guys, you've been a real help. If you have anything else to add, i'm all ears.

You've got me looking at a Mamiya AFD. I can't find many AFDII around. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but i'll do some more reading and take it from there.

andrew
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
padey
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2006, 05:52:07 PM »
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Just an update. I've tried a few different cameras and went with the Contax 645 kit.

Next step digital back testing..

Regarding the ZD, one thing i didn't like was being stuck with 22MP. At least i can grow as the back sizes increase in size and decrease in cost.

thanks

andrew
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2006, 10:46:31 AM »
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Looking at the options for a cost-efficient way to get into medium format digital has me looking at the Leaf Valeo 22. I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on how the Valeo file stacks up against the newer Aptus 22 or the Phase P25. I shoot mostly editorial portraits and some lifestyle. I need to be able to work un-tethered. I'm also interested in the larger chip size with a minimum conversion that the 22's and the 25 provide. Is the Valeo the way to go for a poor schmoe like me or should I wait and continue shooting with my FF Canon's until prices drop on used Aptus and Phase backs?

TIA
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2006, 01:27:45 PM »
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Hi. The zd may tie you down to mamiya lenses and you wont be able to fit a 'better' or upgraded back to it, but so what, its a lot cheaper and gives excellent results. Once you have made a ton of money with your 'compromised' choice you can upgrade to the ZDII for probably a lot less than the competition or buy a AFDIII body and the latest megamega pixel back of your choice. Meanwhile you can use the money saved on the ZD to buy all that other stuff youre going to need once you get going like bigger cfcards, upgrade on your PC/Mac and a laptop etc etc etc. Its like buying a house: this big black hole that swallows all your money!
Thanks Ivan
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James Russell
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2006, 02:15:38 PM »
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Looking at the options for a cost-efficient way to get into medium format digital has me looking at the Leaf Valeo 22. I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on how the Valeo file stacks up against the newer Aptus 22 or the Phase P25. I shoot mostly editorial portraits and some lifestyle. I need to be able to work un-tethered. I'm also interested in the larger chip size with a minimum conversion that the 22's and the 25 provide. Is the Valeo the way to go for a poor schmoe like me or should I wait and continue shooting with my FF Canon's until prices drop on used Aptus and Phase backs?

TIA
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Bob,

The Valeo untehterd slows down at 5 frames and takes a while to buffer, where the Aptus is much faster and doesn't really slow down that much in continuous shooting.

Though I've owned both the A-22 and the Valeo I can't really compare the files directly though the A-22 is very nice at 200 iso where the Valeo seemed a little challanged at that iso.

Also the Valeo will require you to use the ipaq for viewing which takes a while to get the hang of it.

Really the Valeo is a very good medium to low iso tethered back, in fact it's quite amazing tetherred and a great workhorse, but unthered, especially since your coming from the Canon's you will find it quite slow.

You may have missed it but Leaf had some A-17's they were selling at under 8 grand that would have probably been perfect for your needs.  Call Steve Hendrix who posts here.

The P25 is a solid back and demo units sell from around 15 grand, the A-22 demos are going for 18 grand.

Dave Gallagher at [a href=\"http://captureintegration.com/home.html]http://captureintegration.com/home.html[/url] is a good dealer for Phase.

JR
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2006, 02:42:02 PM »
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The Valeo untehterd slows down at 5 frames and takes a while to buffer, where the Aptus is much faster and doesn't really slow down that much in continuous shooting.

Once again, thanks for the info James. I hadn't really thought about shooting speed with the Valeo. Tethering for me really isn't a good option. I think I'm going to just have to save my pennies for an Aptus 22 or P25.
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damien
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2006, 05:37:58 PM »
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I've shot my weddings exclusively on an H1/P25 for the past 2 years. It is certainly quick enough. The Mamiya ZD all in at 6k new is probably your best bet. The glass is fine for people pictures, pretty bokhe etc, and the zoom lenses are about half the weight of the H1 zoom. A second hand H1 with P25 is still fetching 10k and seems to be holding price.

Medium Format is great at weddings, for candids and formals alike. You are brave but you won't be disappointed. The best thing I ever did for my photography was to go back to MF and prime lenses just when my collegues were buying Canon gear. It's like painting with oils rather than poster colour. Everything takes a bit longer but you somehow put more thought and creativity into your work as a result.

Damien.
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H1/P25 -35mm,80mm,100mm,210mm
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2006, 02:27:42 PM »
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"I shoot weddings"

125 flash synch on Mamiya kit could leave you compomised IMO
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