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Author Topic: MR's Aptus Vs Phase musings  (Read 63743 times)
ericstaud
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« Reply #80 on: September 03, 2006, 11:20:34 AM »
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Forums are a great source of information, BUT....

When I had a Phase problem I dealt with a dealer who was not well informed.  He gave me a support phone # for Phase and said "don't tell them who gave you this #".

The few problems I have had with LEAF, I call the 800# and in 30 seconds am talking to someone very knowledgable.

Of course this is a gross oversimplification,  The customer support models that Phase and Leaf use are soo different that it is really difficult to compare.  In my own experience, when going from one company to another, the most difficult thing is adjusting my expectations.  A Phase user goes to Leaf and looks for the robust Forum for answers....  A Leaf user goes to phase and searches hopelessly for the 800# to call.  In the short term, both people are dissapointed with with the other company's custumer service.

-Eric
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Fritzer
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« Reply #81 on: September 03, 2006, 11:22:40 AM »
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As I mentioned before, the forum is only 2 months old and is still going through some development.

Once we hare happy with its state, we'll look into making it public.

Hope this helps, yair
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75349\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks, Yair, I'm looking forward to it !

Best,
Thomas
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Fritzer
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« Reply #82 on: September 03, 2006, 11:44:11 AM »
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Well, I think it would be nice to have forums public. I don't know if the Phase forum started out that way from the very beginning. Yair makes a good point that they're just getting started with this, so let's give them some time to sort it out, and see where they end up.

I think it's also important to be aware that while a user forum is a good place to get information, it also tends to be a place where people go for help or with complaints. It can be used as a gauge to see how the company responds, but it can also be a platform for very public agendas.

And after reading a company-based, product-based forum, you may have the idea that the product is nothing but trouble. This is rarely the case. Users have a tendency to not dial into forums and rave about how wonderful their digital back is.

It's more often...

HELP! Green light won't come on! Middle of shoot! Any suggestions!?

It can lead one to the conclusion - gosh, these guys sure do have lots of problems. Which isn't the case. The vast majority of digital back users - regardless of brand - are quite happy with their choice.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75365\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Good points, Steve,

I can see how a company can be reluctant to go public with a product forum;however, the postings on any forum need to be taken with a grain of salt, that should go without saying.

I assume the majority of digital back users are mature enough to read between the lines, after all,  this is not about the latest Playstation or iPod releases   ; also, most of them should be smart enough not to look for emergency support on a public message board for their 20k + device .

My grief is that, for the mentioned 20k - 30k backs, there are not even basic FAQs available on the manufacturer's websites, just some cheesy sales brochure pdfs.
In my city there are knowledgable and helpful reps for all the major players in the field, who are my main source of advice, but I still would expect to find a lot more advice online - most valuable for me are user experiences, as one can find them here and possibly on the Leaf boards.

Best,
Thomas
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marcwilson
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« Reply #83 on: September 03, 2006, 11:49:06 AM »
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Quote from: James Russell,Sep 3 2006, 03:46 PM
"...
Lately everyone seems to be waiting for announcements from Photokina to decide if they will stick with their dslrs or move to medium format.  I find this interesting because even if a dslr was introduced tomorrow at 40 mega pixels it would not change the lens options, file depth and the aspect ratio.

To me those are much more important values than detail."[/color]

James I could not agree with you more..i have in the past shot with both hasselblad v cameras and contax 645. I currently use a mamiya 7 but need to get a mf slr system again..the only thing I am waiting for photokina for is to see if hasselblad bring out a extra wide lens and shift system for their cameras as a flexible shift option and super wide on an mf system will be usefull for me..if not it's a contax 645 for me...for all the reasons a photographer used to choose mf over 35mm..they have not changed but i think too many have forgotten that!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 11:51:28 AM by marcwilson » Logged

pprdigital
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« Reply #84 on: September 03, 2006, 12:48:14 PM »
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Good points, Steve,

I can see how a company can be reluctant to go public with a product forum;however, the postings on any forum need to be taken with a grain of salt, that should go without saying.

I assume the majority of digital back users are mature enough to read between the lines, after all,  this is not about the latest Playstation or iPod releases   ; also, most of them should be smart enough not to look for emergency support on a public message board for their 20k + device .

My grief is that, for the mentioned 20k - 30k backs, there are not even basic FAQs available on the manufacturer's websites, just some cheesy sales brochure pdfs.
In my city there are knowledgable and helpful reps for all the major players in the field, who are my main source of advice, but I still would expect to find a lot more advice online - most valuable for me are user experiences, as one can find them here and possibly on the Leaf boards.

Best,
Thomas
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75385\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree - I think a well thought out FAQ would be beneficial.

I have to say, though, and believe me, I am not throwing any stones here - but it always surprises me how just a little bit of information, accurate or not, goes a long way towards forming a base of knowledge . Read a negative squib on a forum, and that little squib suddenly becomes universal fact, and the product is taken off the consideration list. I've seen it countless times. In my experience, photographers often do not take information from less than authentic sources with a grain of salt, as they should.

And I don't even count users as an authentic source, necessarily. Many users themselves, offer incomplete and inaccurate information on the very products they use.

That being said, finding accurate, authentic and reliable sources for this information is a challenge. An FAQ from the manufacturer would be helpful. In fact, a pre-sales product FAQ would be helpful, as well as a post sales troubleshooting FAQ. I'll maintain again, though - and yes, my bias will show here - it's imperitive that you have a relationship with a knowledgable, trustworthy, committed person, whether they're a manufacturer's rep, a dealer, or good friend, who truly does know what they're talking about.

 This resource may not always be available or known - in that case, ask around. Who uses the product you're interested in? Who helped them (and continues to)? And how has that experience been?

Anyone moving into MF/LF digital capture is looking at a $15K - $30K or more expenditure. This isn't a point-n-shoot that you're going to toss or hand down after a year or two. This is an investment that should last at least 5-7-9 years, maybe more. Don't mess around with anyone who isn't dedicated to this technology and in it for the long haul.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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Steve Hendrix
James Russell
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« Reply #85 on: September 03, 2006, 12:49:23 PM »
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Quote from: marcwilson,Sep 3 2006, 04:49 PM
Quote from: James Russell,Sep 3 2006, 03:46 PM
"...
Lately everyone seems to be waiting for announcements from Photokina to decide if they will stick with their dslrs or move to medium format.  I find this interesting because even if a dslr was introduced tomorrow at 40 mega pixels it would not change the lens options, file depth and the aspect ratio.

To me those are much more important values than detail."[/color]

James I could not agree with you more..i have in the past shot with both hasselblad v cameras and contax 645. I currently use a mamiya 7 but need to get a mf slr system again..the only thing I am waiting for photokina for is to see if hasselblad bring out a extra wide lens and shift system for their cameras as a flexible shift option and super wide on an mf system will be usefull for me..if not it's a contax 645 for me...for all the reasons a photographer used to choose mf over 35mm..they have not changed but i think too many have forgotten that!

[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I need to be quiet about the Contax because they are getting harder to find and prices are rising.

Still I went with the Contax initially because I just do not like the way the falloff of the H-1 lenses looks.  Almost linear vs. soft but that's just my impression.

I also wanted lens options and focal plane cameras offer many more options than Leaf shutter cameras.  Any lens Pentex, Hasselblad makes will mount to a Contax via an adpater and the 45mm Keiv tilt shift lens offers a lot of possiblities.

This allows me to go to this look
[a href=\"http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/lg2/]http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/lg2/[/url]

To a more commercial look
http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/n/

Which is helped by the lens options.

I went with the Leaf because to me, processed in pscs the file looks like film at 100 iso.

At 25/50 iso, especially in the Leaf software it looks too smooth for me, but at 100 it's as close to film as I have seen with digital.

I also went with the Leaf because it runs on a powerbook G4 tethered fast (with V-8) and processes very fast in pscs and cs2.

Even in studio using a 30" monitor the benfits of using a powerbook vs. a tower are obvious, especially when it comes to backups.

The third upside to the Leaf is they repair and offer direct phone service in the U.S.  Even as good as Phase's forum can be, calling and speaking to someone immediatly can be a life saver.

Leaf exchanged my lcd  and tested all of my lenses and back in one day.   I sent itout on Monday, received everything back wednesday morning by fedex.

Few of these features Leaf advertises, which somewhat surprises me.

Obviouisly Contax doesn't advertise, but why they left the market is really beyond my comprehension.

JR
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 12:54:46 PM by James Russell » Logged
narikin
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« Reply #86 on: September 03, 2006, 01:49:21 PM »
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The third upside to the Leaf is they repair and offer direct phone service in the U.S.  Even as good as Phase's forum can be, calling and speaking to someone immediatly can be a life saver.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75396\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

goodness Leaf users really are vocal here. being as Phase outsell Leaf by a long way, I can only presume that their users are too busy making photographs with their wonderful 39Mp backs to read/ write all this.

to give a more accurate picture: Phase dealers are on call 24/7. I can phone mine at 10pm on a sunday night if I need to. I have home and cell numbers for 3 people there. if there's a problem, they offer immediate replacement swap back, couriered over within an hour or two.

however, in my 6 months of experience there is no problem. at all. its a bulletproof product, 100% reliable. and great software.

just trying to balance out this debate.
its good to have choice, I welcome other products and wish there were more actually.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 01:50:16 PM by narikin » Logged
pss
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« Reply #87 on: September 03, 2006, 02:23:30 PM »
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phase phonesupport is readily available..no problem at all...phase service has a 24 replacement option...their forum is watched by several phase techs and 100s of pro users...leaf has great support as well...like i said before: very similar to the comparison of the backs themselves: both companies offer great products, it is up to the individual to choose which one is better for them...
for me that is phase right now...after switching from leaf: both backs gave me wonderful results (quality, resolution,...) but the workflow...one of the reasons was that i shoot canon as well (actually not anymore...the MF files are just so much better...) so when i still shot canon i was using C1 for canon and loved the workflow and worked with leaf 8 and 10, which was fine, but no comparison...so when it came down to making a descision and both backs delivered the quality, it was clear that i went with the one that kept my workflow "leaner"....
now that i almost never shoot canon anymore, i am still hooked on C1...the only thing i would change for now is the emotion75...the sinar software is at least as good (if not better) then the leaf and the back shoots fast, works with all cameras via adapter, has a 6gb built in buffer and a small but very good screen...
as most people here will admit: none of their backs are perfect (we all know the phase screens suck) what is funny to me is that neither phase nor leaf have really done anything to change the shortcomings in their latest products....i mean why can't phase put in a decent screen, even if it is small, into a 30000$ back?
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pprdigital
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« Reply #88 on: September 03, 2006, 02:48:39 PM »
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goodness Leaf users really are vocal here. being as Phase outsell Leaf by a long way, I can only presume that their users are too busy making photographs with their wonderful 39Mp backs to read/ write all this.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75399\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Phase One has been the market share leading digital back product going back a number of years. However, market share only indicates who has the most users. It does not address who is currently selling the most product.

We'll never have accurate numbers from either Leaf or Phase One to compare. But saying that "Phase outsells Leaf by a long way" is nowhere near the truth, at least not in the US market. I am not saying that Leaf is outselling Phase, but I am saying that it is quite possible, given the feeback I receive, ever since the Aptus started shipping.

What information are you basing your statement on?

Regarding technical support, the Phase dealers I know are excellent. It's even better to have not only an excellent dealer who provides support, but access to the manufacturer as well. You can never have too many technical support resources.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #89 on: September 03, 2006, 05:17:08 PM »
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I need to be quiet about the Contax because they are getting harder to find and prices are rising.

This allows me to go to this look
http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/lg2/

To a more commercial look
http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/n/

The third upside to the Leaf is they repair and offer direct phone service in the U.S.  Even as good as Phase's forum can be, calling and speaking to someone immediatly can be a life saver.

JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75396\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's a bit annoying, James seems to be getting better and better at imaging. But then maybe he spends zero time on learning new equipment so he has time to shoot

Re. service, it would be interesting to know what option Leaf has in Europe. I am starting to think seriously about Sinar because at least I know that the Swiss will fix it locally, and I can take the thing there in person in half a day.

Last, not least, am I imagining things or has Phase got good open colors and Leaf good skin and dark tones ?

Edmund

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #90 on: September 03, 2006, 05:32:43 PM »
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Last, not least, am I imagining things or has Phase got good open colors and Leaf good skin and dark tones ?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75410\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

i find that phase is better at providing "clean" colors...whereas leaf almost comes with a "look"...a little like kodak vs. fuji where fuji was a little warmer and had better skin tones (imho)...does not mean that you can't get good skintones with phase and clean color with leaf...but if you look at james's work, he has a definite "look" and color fidelity does not seem really important...
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Eric Zepeda
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« Reply #91 on: September 03, 2006, 07:01:26 PM »
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You can never have too many technical support resources.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75406\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hallelujah Brother!

As someone who Digital Tech's on both Phase and Leaf systems, what is far more important to me is not what back I'm working with, but who I can get on the phone when I'm in a bind. In that regard the support from both manufacturers has been superb.
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James Russell
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« Reply #92 on: September 03, 2006, 11:37:05 PM »
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i find that phase is better at providing "clean" colors...whereas leaf almost comes with a "look"...a little like kodak vs. fuji where fuji was a little warmer and had better skin tones (imho)...does not mean that you can't get good skintones with phase and clean color with leaf...but if you look at james's work, he has a definite "look" and color fidelity does not seem really important...
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Color is so subjective, especially on different moitors and more importantly genre's or subjects.

Early on I would zero the Aptus out with a color card then do "my" look in post, but now I usually get my base settings in V-8 and either transfer them to the cf cards or continue to shoot tetherred.

With the size of DB files, the closer you get out of camer, the less time you have to spend in post.

Regardless, eveything I shoot has some post work to it, regardless.

Also lenses, light sources make a big difference and of course what is in my mind to start with.

I have very little experience working the Phase files, but have used C-1 quite a bit when I shot with the Canons and the Nikon D2x.  I like C-1 though find it looks a little brittle for my taste, but regardless of raw convertor I do know the Leaf files save me a great deal of time in post because the colors are easier to move selectively vs. the global looks I tend to get in the dslrs, especially the 1ds2.

I am very famiiar with Leaf V-8 for Capture and pscs for batch or singlular processing and like anything since I am familiar with it I tend to like it better.

These two images were shot to a style and have a great deal of post work, but they do give some idea of the possibilities of working with a deeper file.

[a href=\"http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/seat4e/image/8_copy.jpg]http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/seat...mage/8_copy.jpg[/url]

http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/seat...e/113.jpgv2.jpg

Then again some of the work I do is very color critical and has more to do with skin tone and product color than the actual style of the photo.

To me the comparision of Leaf vs. Phase vs. anything really has nothing to do with the experiences I share.  For some reason is seams if  I says anything positive about one system, or then it tends to bring out the someone that  wants to prove their choice brand is as good or better and that's not the reason for these forums.  DP review seems to have that area covered.

To me the reason for these forums is to learn and share and hopefully give someone a little better idea about real world use of these systems.

Actually, had Phase at the time had a better LCD I might have gone that direction and from all accounts everyone says they make a good product.  I know it's robust butr also have heard my share of stories of cameras going down, but I've heard that about every camera and all I can report on is what I use.

It really doesn't matter if what you use works for you.

Actually the goal is to use what doesn't limit you and for me the Leaf was less limiting, but that is only for my work.

I do disagree that the Leaf and Phase are equal products.  Both good products but the companies seem to have different philosophies.

The Leaf allows for more user set ups on the back prior to shooting, where the Phase seems to rely more on the post production when you shoot non tethered.  

The Leaf gives a larger and more useable LCD while the Phase offers an LCD for composition expecting the user to read the histogram for exposure.

Leaf early on offered their file to other software developers and Phase seemed to work a closed loop from capture to process.

Obviously the Phase software is much more robust and mature than the Leaf, though also requires a lot more computer to run than Leaf's V-8.  I can't comment that much on LC 10 because I only use it for jpeg creation though I know it is still a work in progress for my type of work.

Still this DOES NOT imply anything other than these are much different philosophies and some people are more comfortable with Phase, others with Leaf.

For the people that were curious, this is the complete shoot from one of my previous links, straight out of the camera.  All shot at iso 200, all with window light and some very low powered flash for fill.  

All was shot tethered to a G4 powerbook, using Leaf V-8, with standard white balance, though I did make a slight -1G setting.

http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/looking_glass2/

The Jpegs for this web gallery were created directly out of LC10.  The raw files were selected in LC10 and it makes automatic jpegs at approx. 1000, px wide, reading the previous settings from V-8, at approx 3  seconds a file on a powerbook G4.

Obviously the jpegs were then knocked down in I-view for this web gallery and a color profile applied.

JR
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 11:38:50 PM by James Russell » Logged
eronald
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« Reply #93 on: September 04, 2006, 02:02:29 AM »
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http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/looking_glass2/

JR
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James,

Thank you for showing this. The way you work the first model is amazing. Sidelighting is fun because of the way the slightest movement plays the subtle shadows on the face. Styling on that first model is also very nice.

I assume the first pictures at least are natural side-light, maybe just one reflector ? How did you get the blur ?

What sort of adjustments does one make to the back before shooting ?

BTW, I would put the slidechange buttons to the side of the image, as monitors tend to be wider than tall these days.

Edmund
« Last Edit: September 04, 2006, 02:04:20 AM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #94 on: September 04, 2006, 05:10:52 AM »
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Hi,

seems that James has put the 45 T/S from Hartblei to sing :-)
I have also very positive history with 65 T/S from the same company. Very sharp and unique style.
Recommended.

regards, Sami
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« Reply #95 on: September 08, 2006, 11:45:35 AM »
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http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/looking_glass2/

The Jpegs for this web gallery were created directly out of LC10.  The raw files were selected in LC10 and it makes automatic jpegs at approx. 1000, px wide, reading the previous settings from V-8, at approx 3  seconds a file on a powerbook G4.

Obviously the jpegs were then knocked down in I-view for this web gallery and a color profile applied.

JR
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Very nice images. Are they "fast preview" jpgs from Leaf Capture or the ones in the LeafDB folder?

Looks like you are not the only one that like that location :-)
[a href=\"http://www.mamiya.com/photographers/roy.asp?id2=1654]http://www.mamiya.com/photographers/roy.asp?id2=1654[/url]

Lasse
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« Reply #96 on: September 09, 2006, 05:21:51 AM »
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very interesting james. these files have a very distinctive look to them.
it's obvious that the tilt shift lens is contributing the in/out of focus in the shots, but are the very distinctive pastel colors coming entirely from the lens or is this something that you contribute to the back, the set-up of the back through the software, the lighting and styling or a combination of these things?

was this something that was planned? and if so, have you been able to get other "looks" directly from the back, lens, lighting combo that can illustrate what else this back is capable of?

the subtle color seems to diminish somewhat in the corners and shadow areas and become just slightly "muddier", for lack of a better word, would you contribute this to the lens or the file?

thanks for the great info.

kipling
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James Russell
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« Reply #97 on: September 09, 2006, 11:21:52 AM »
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very interesting james. these files have a very distinctive look to them.
it's obvious that the tilt shift lens is contributing the in/out of focus in the shots, but are the very distinctive pastel colors coming entirely from the lens or is this something that you contribute to the back, the set-up of the back through the software, the lighting and styling or a combination of these things?

was this something that was planned? and if so, have you been able to get other "looks" directly from the back, lens, lighting combo that can illustrate what else this back is capable of?

the subtle color seems to diminish somewhat in the corners and shadow areas and become just slightly "muddier", for lack of a better word, would you contribute this to the lens or the file?

thanks for the great info.

kipling
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


What I showed was a warts and all gallery.  Some of the images are polaroids, some just getting to the right expsoure or pose and most are then shot once I'm comfortable with the look.

This was done comletely tethered, with the A-22 on a Contax, using a 17" powerbook and running V-8.

As working with window light and moving light, I added fill through very low powered flash and/or large sheets of foam core, or large 12x12 silks hung verticle.

As you can see I did about 15 sessions/ 10 wardrobe changes so there is not a lot of time for exact fine tuning and I find working tethered is actually faster and more precise than shooting portable on something like this.

First I can set the color, tone and exposure I want through the software and secondly the previews are fast and large so I can really tell where the photograph is going and what needs to be added quickly.

Also using the tilt shift the focus needs to be placed so tethering helps and sets the style of the imagery somewhat like using a view camera, albiet a very fast view camera.

I limited myself to 200 iso and sometimes the shutter speed was at 1/15th t o 1/30th which added to this romantic look.  Sometimes slow is good.

As far as the colors it's a combination of things.

First Leaf has written some very good film looks into their system.  I think the best, but then again I have a lot of experience with the back.

Next that old Russian lens produces a look that is more than just tilt shift as the glass seems to be of the old hand crafted style, rather than the newer computer generated, everything must be craking sharp look that it seems modern lenses have moved to.

Personally I think a lot of reasons photographers think digital does not have the look of film is because of the newer lenses.  I believe film was more forgiving with overly sharp lenses and digital needs that analog softness of old glass.

I am and have built quite a lens collection for the Contax/Aptus and I can promise you that not every lens is created equal, but the lenses that would show up worse on a chart, are much prettier under certain situations   I use Pentax, Kiev, Hasselblad, Contax/Zeiss lenses some with the same focal length, but all produce a different look.

Still, we all have to remember that a digital camera or back is now more than just a camera.

It's also the film and the Leaf file will process natively in other raw convertors, rather than just Leaf's own software.

pscs, cs2, RD, lc10, V-8 all produce a slightly to dramatically different look and I love those options.

In the end, it doesn't matter as long as the equipment you use doesn't stop you from getting to your planned look.

So the short answer to your question is, it's a lot of things that contriubte to a look but going from something that is soft and dream like that emulates natural light [a href=\"http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/lg2/]http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/lg2/[/url] to an intentionally lit, planned and staged look http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/n/ is something that you want these expensive systems to acomplish without having to do everything in post production.

The closer you get out of the camera, the easier it is on the backend and digital can eat up huge volumes of time and money if your not careful.

JR


JR
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« Reply #98 on: September 11, 2006, 03:51:40 PM »
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Regarding the different MF camera systems, is there anyone using the RZ67 Pro II with a digital back?  It seems this was the best MF system ever made to a lot of pros, even better than Hassy V.  

I'm not using MF digital, but if I was about to make the transition, it would be very hard for me to choose between the Contax 645 or RZ67, even though, the Contax is WAY better for the smaller-than-645 chips we have now.  

Another thing - I find it quite sad that Hasselblad hasn't given Michael any backs to be tested.  

The Hassy/Imacon backs and the Leaf backs appeal to me the most, however, the Hassy backs are just so flexible with the I-Adapters that you screw on for whatever camera you're using.  Seems like a MUCH better system, and I hope Leaf and Phase start doing the same thing.  The thing is, I don't hear that much about Hassy backs at all.  Do they even compare to Phase and Leaf?  Why is there so little talk on the Hassy backs?  The only thing I hear about are the complete packages, like the H1D or the H2D.  I never read or hear anything regarding their stand-alone backs.  It seems in the case of stand-alone backs, Phase and Leaf get all the business.
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« Reply #99 on: September 11, 2006, 08:53:38 PM »
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Regarding the different MF camera systems, is there anyone using the RZ67 Pro II with a digital back?  It seems this was the best MF system ever made to a lot of pros, even better than Hassy V. 

I'm not using MF digital, but if I was about to make the transition, it would be very hard for me to choose between the Contax 645 or RZ67, even though, the Contax is WAY better for the smaller-than-645 chips we have now. 

Another thing - I find it quite sad that Hasselblad hasn't given Michael any backs to be tested. 

The Hassy/Imacon backs and the Leaf backs appeal to me the most, however, the Hassy backs are just so flexible with the I-Adapters that you screw on for whatever camera you're using.  Seems like a MUCH better system, and I hope Leaf and Phase start doing the same thing.  The thing is, I don't hear that much about Hassy backs at all.  Do they even compare to Phase and Leaf?  Why is there so little talk on the Hassy backs?  The only thing I hear about are the complete packages, like the H1D or the H2D.  I never read or hear anything regarding their stand-alone backs.  It seems in the case of stand-alone backs, Phase and Leaf get all the business.
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The stand-alone backs (known as CF-132 or CF-39) have just now begun shipping within the last 30 days. They were announced late last year, but delayed primarily for compatibility reasons - getting the backs to work with all the different camera interface plates they have, electronic communication, etc. It's also likely that the H system has priority with Hasselblad in terms of product readiness. Despite Hasselblad's committment to the H platform though, they will continue to make stand-alone digital backs.

The stand-alones are definitely now shipping, so ask a qualified dealer for a demo. Because of their flexibility, they're certainly worth a look.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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Steve Hendrix
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