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Author Topic: Ixpress 384 (c) - still a good choice  (Read 5037 times)
Wim van Velzen
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« on: August 24, 2006, 03:21:40 PM »
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Hi all,

For several I have been using a Rollei 6008 and lenses from 40-250 - and like it a lot!

At the moment a 10000 euro digital back makes commercial sense for what I do (parttime professional wedding & portrait photographer and some landscape sells as well). The more expensive backs are sure nice to have, but a bit more than what I would earn from it the next 3 to 4 years.


A good photo dealer here in the Netherlands now has a demo Ixpress 384c or 384 on offer. Including a Rollei adapter and image tank it stays within my budget.


Would such a back still be a good choice, or are the newer backs so much better that this wouldn't be a sensible choice?
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SeanFS
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2006, 04:00:29 AM »
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Hi all,

For several I have been using a Rollei 6008 and lenses from 40-250 - and like it a lot!

At the moment a 10000 euro digital back makes commercial sense for what I do (parttime professional wedding & portrait photographer and some landscape sells as well). The more expensive backs are sure nice to have, but a bit more than what I would earn from it the next 3 to 4 years.
A good photo dealer here in the Netherlands now has a demo Ixpress 384c or 384 on offer. Including a Rollei adapter and image tank it stays within my budget.
Would such a back still be a good choice, or are the newer backs so much better that this wouldn't be a sensible choice?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74375\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I bought a 22mp 132c imacon back second hand a few months ago and can say I have been very pleased with it. I run it on a Hasselblad ELX with 40 - 180mm lenses and apart from having to calibrate the focus to this camera ( done by inserting shims between the back and adaptor ) I haven't had to do anything except learn the software.
Flexcolour has been quite a learninng curve , but mostly because of the variety of work I do. I only just recently discovered the batch adjustment facility - but then I don't do work that needs it that often and hadn't looked for it . Flexcolour is stable and processes very quickly  - much better than capture one which I use for my 1ds2.
I'm not sure about the image tank . Its great to have storage for all those Hi res images and downloads very quickly , but can get in the way on the odd occasion. It is better than a pile of flash cards but sometimes I just want to pick up the camera and shoot without having to plug something in first.
I'd say try the software and get to know it a little before committing to purchasing the camera. Workflow would be the biggest issue rather than image quality - all the backs on the market are very good in this regard. There are colour differences between them but the processing is generally so flexible you  can get what ever you need and never change a thing if thats your inclination.

Most of the discussion about these backs happens in the flexframe group at Yahoo groups if you are looking for more comment.
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pprdigital
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2006, 04:48:21 PM »
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Hi all,

For several I have been using a Rollei 6008 and lenses from 40-250 - and like it a lot!

At the moment a 10000 euro digital back makes commercial sense for what I do (parttime professional wedding & portrait photographer and some landscape sells as well). The more expensive backs are sure nice to have, but a bit more than what I would earn from it the next 3 to 4 years.
A good photo dealer here in the Netherlands now has a demo Ixpress 384c or 384 on offer. Including a Rollei adapter and image tank it stays within my budget.
Would such a back still be a good choice, or are the newer backs so much better that this wouldn't be a sensible choice?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74375\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Wim:

I'm a Hasselblad (formerly Imacon) dealer here in the US. The 384C can produce very high quality files as a result of it's multi-shot function. Single shot mode quality is excellent as well. Generally.

Now, more specifically, here are the issues for you. You're wasting a bit of money on the multi-shot because you're not likely to use it as a wedding/portrait/occasional landscape photographer. If it was a 96C, it would make more sense and be more cost-appropriate to your situation, because the 96C uses the same chip as the 384C, but only captured in single shot mode, and as a result costs less than a 384C. What I mean, is that with the 384C, you may be over-paying for features you won't use. Of course, this dealer may be making a hell of a deal, so...

Regardless, a 384C or a 96C even will present the following challenges to you on a Rollei platform:

*The chip is only 36.9mmx36.9mm, so wide angle is out. Possibly not an issue for your people shooting (depending on your style), but certainly a discounter for landscape.
*With 16MP, moire will be a much more frequent issue than a 22MP chip, for example, as well as other single shot issues, like color artifacting.
*Your look won't reflect medium format so much as 35mm in terms of depth of focus because of the smaller size of the imaging sensor.
*The LCD of the 384C (like many digital backs) is not particularly useful. Umm, well, it sucks.
*You may find the image bank cumbersome and unmanagable for a wedding.
*If the ImageBank goes, you're dead, so a backup would be recommended for wedding work (add about another $2,000 US).

Not to get you down...

All that being said, I have customers using H1D's for wedding/portrait work who love it. The Hasselblad system is a perfectly viable medium format system. Image quality rivals any other digital back. Flexcolor software is a very powerful, speedy,  but much misundertood application. A well trained dealer is a must to show you the secret sauce of Flexcolor. The ImageBank does provide for 1100 exposures, all about 1.5 seconds apart without pause, in other words, no buffer. Not a bad tool to have for weddings, or baby portraits.

I think your main point of decision is wide angle, and some patience for the post work you'll have to do at times for moire, etc. As an entry into medium format - if you're getting a great price (like $4,000 - $8,000, and can spring for an extra ImageBank (along with backup cables), it's a consideration. I guess for me, the price would be the key factor. It may be better to save up wait. Better solutions are out there now for $16,000 US, with more surely to arrive. In fact, you've probably seen the refurbished $7,695 Aptus 17 thread. And Hasselblad themselves will eventually ship a 31MP 44mmx33mm product likely priced in the teens. Just some considerations, that's all. Hope that helps.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2006, 05:51:23 PM »
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I'm all for the Rollei 6008 system.
Their lens range would certainly the best in the MF systems,albeit very pricey !
They have a super duper 55 Tilt shift!
Rollei also has the fastest sync speeds.

What really bugs me that when you put a 645 MF DB back on it ,what do you do when you want to shoot in portrait mode?
Lay the camera on it's side?
What we need is a back that can be mounted in both positions!

If that was the case I would get that system in a flash!
Pardon the pun!

Any feelings about this?

Unless there is a full frame 6x6 sensor!
That would be heaven!

Cheers,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2006, 06:21:35 PM »
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Thanks to Paul Schefz,
I solved the rotating back issue with the Rollei!

The 6008 coupled with the Sinar eMotion allows the back to rotate!

I'm in heaven!
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Willem Rethmeier
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SeanFS
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2006, 10:41:58 PM »
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It might sound like crazy talk and it would be great if the 132 rotated ala mamiya RB67 but I have it set for portrait vertical composition on my ELX( with a 45degree prism finder ) which is where it is used the bulk of the time - for landscape I tilt it - and it works !

I have the lower flat finder but haven't needed it yet. I'm not really familiar with Rollei gear but have no complaints with the older zeiss lenses.

I agree about the shortcomings above, the LCDs are a bit useless - but you can use it with the image and histogram up which is quite good. And yes the image tank is a like the proverbial eggs in one basket









Quote
I'm all for the Rollei 6008 system.
Their lens range would certainly the best in the MF systems,albeit very pricey !
They have a super duper 55 Tilt shift!
Rollei also has the fastest sync speeds.

What really bugs me that when you put a 645 MF DB back on it ,what do you do when you want to shoot in portrait mode?
Lay the camera on it's side?
What we need is a back that can be mounted in both positions!

If that was the case I would get that system in a flash!
Pardon the pun!

Any feelings about this?

Unless there is a full frame 6x6 sensor!
That would be heaven!

Cheers,
Willem.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74582\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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rethmeier
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2006, 01:07:12 AM »
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It might sound like crazy talk and it would be great if the 132 rotated ala mamiya RB67 but I have it set for portrait vertical composition on my ELX( with a 45degree prism finder ) which is where it is used the bulk of the time - for landscape I tilt it - and it works !

I have the lower flat finder but haven't needed it yet. I'm not really familiar with Rollei gear but have no complaints with the older zeiss lenses.

I agree about the shortcomings above, the LCDs are a bit useless - but you can use it with the image and histogram up which is quite good. And yes the image tank is a like the proverbial eggs in one basket
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74607\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Sean,
the eMotion back rotates on the Rollei!
Please see the  pdf post!
Cheers,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
www.willemrethmeier.com
Sydney Australia
Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2006, 02:23:45 AM »
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Thank you all for your comments!

A couple of replies from me:

Why not a 96 in stead of the overkill 384? Actually quite simple, because I am offered a 384 for a price that normally 96's are sold for (as far as I know - this market is always a bit of a mystery to me).

As the sensor is square, there is no need for rotating the back, which is nice. I'd love to see a 42x42mm sensor in stead of the common 36x48, but well, I am afraid that is not going to happen.
The square size sets me apart as a professional here. People appreciate it for portraits and wedding (formals). Of course, you can always crop from 36x48 > 36x36.

My main problem with the idea of this back is that I'll loose a real wide angle. The great 40mm shrinks to the equivalent of a 60mm. But for portraiture and weddings not to much of a problem. For landscape it is, and while stitching is a possibility, it won't always be a viable option.

I have to stress here that I will use a 10MP dSLR for the 'PJ'-side of the wedding. It will have to serve as a back up to if the back or the image tank fails.


In short: is there any chance for a new, around 10.000 euro back with a larger than 36x36 sensor, within a year? [ and alas, Leaf doesn't make any aptus backs for Rollei    ]


Almost forgot: about the moiré. Do you feel that is a real problem with these backs with e.g. a portrait of the bride and groom for a 30x30cm print size? And is this problem solved with a 22MP back when I would crop this to square (and therefor to 16MP)?


thanks again, Wim
fotografie Wim van Velzen
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SeanFS
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2006, 03:14:19 PM »
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Fantastic!,

 Somebody was thinking in their design dept.

Sean



Quote
Sean,
the eMotion back rotates on the Rollei!
Please see the  pdf post!
Cheers,
Willem.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74614\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Tomas Johanson
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2006, 03:43:03 PM »
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Can I rotate the Sinar Back on my Hasselblad Arcbody?

Tomas


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Sean,
the eMotion back rotates on the Rollei!
Please see the  pdf post!
Cheers,
Willem.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74614\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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pprdigital
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2006, 04:38:02 PM »
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Thank you all for your comments!

A couple of replies from me:

Why not a 96 in stead of the overkill 384? Actually quite simple, because I am offered a 384 for a price that normally 96's are sold for (as far as I know - this market is always a bit of a mystery to me).

As the sensor is square, there is no need for rotating the back, which is nice. I'd love to see a 42x42mm sensor in stead of the common 36x48, but well, I am afraid that is not going to happen.
The square size sets me apart as a professional here. People appreciate it for portraits and wedding (formals). Of course, you can always crop from 36x48 > 36x36.

My main problem with the idea of this back is that I'll loose a real wide angle. The great 40mm shrinks to the equivalent of a 60mm. But for portraiture and weddings not to much of a problem. For landscape it is, and while stitching is a possibility, it won't always be a viable option.

I have to stress here that I will use a 10MP dSLR for the 'PJ'-side of the wedding. It will have to serve as a back up to if the back or the image tank fails.
In short: is there any chance for a new, around 10.000 euro back with a larger than 36x36 sensor, within a year? [ and alas, Leaf doesn't make any aptus backs for Rollei    ]
Almost forgot: about the moiré. Do you feel that is a real problem with these backs with e.g. a portrait of the bride and groom for a 30x30cm print size? And is this problem solved with a 22MP back when I would crop this to square (and therefor to 16MP)?
thanks again, Wim
fotografie Wim van Velzen
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74618\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Wim:

Yes - if you're getting a 384C for 96C price, makes sense. I agree, we're not likely to see a 42x42 chip.

For Rollei - that's true, your prospects are only Sinar/Hasselblad, and I don't see a $10K solution for Rollei coming from them with larger chip.

Moire is reduced on higher resolution sensors regardless of the final crop. The initial capture itself will still yield less moire. 55MP has been projected as the level of resolution at which moire ceases to be an issue.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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