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Author Topic: Which back is tougher ?  (Read 8884 times)
eronald
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« on: September 17, 2006, 07:15:03 AM »
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I want to use MF digital on the go. I tend to carry my camera everywhere, with fairly little protection. I use it for fun shooting (travel, street, portrait, available light) and in occasional high-use  bursts for fashion (flash) and runway (tungsten and available daylight) . The fun stuff sometimes gets sold as art prints, the other stuff goes to press.

So I'm shopping for a system with a really good viewfinder, high ISO ability, tough body and tough back that can be transported like an SLR. The Canon 1Ds pretty much fits the bill and gives me good skin tone, except I want a better viewfinder and even better files at ISO 400-800.

I like the Mamiya AFDII. Also it seems cheap enough that I can get lenses and a second body if one fails or is worn out. The new Hasselblad doesn't quite appeal to me. The problem now is finding a back I can afford that works with it and is physically robust. Aptus has a nice look to the files I've seen, but Phase seems tougher and better integrated (and no fan).

What are the opinions of people who use Leaf and Phase backs on the go ? Is the Mamiya AFDII tough enough for such treatment ? Whatever I use needs to be able to be dropped in a daypack, wrapped in a T-shirt. Hard cases are not an option.

Edmund
« Last Edit: September 17, 2006, 07:29:07 AM by eronald » Logged
bcroslin
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2006, 11:10:35 AM »
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Dare I say it but if you're going to put 20k worth of camera and back through what you describe that you might want to just stick with the Canons.
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damien
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2006, 01:35:11 PM »
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H1 & P25 is as tough as old boots. You can stand on a P series back apparently (stunt performed by rep at a photoshow). It's all modular and pretty hardy. H1 body with prism went for £735 on ebay last week in 'as new condition' (Item number: 290029308612) so should be fairly cheap to replace should the worst happen. There are a lot of H1's out there at the moment. I think Hasselblad are offering deals on the integrated H2D leaving H1's redundant.

P25s are reputedly going for £7000 as factory refurb units from main dealers. There are a lot around now as catalogue companies, fashion houses and photographers have upgraded to P45. That makes the H1 & P25 about £8500 complete with standard lens in excellent condition. ZD is £7k inc VAT.

It's never been better time to buy MF digital. The difference is worth the effort. My kit lives in and out of my Billingham. Dust on the sensor is really easy to remove. The sensor is smaller than the lens image circle yet twice the size of Canon 1DS and the extra definition especially at the edges really shows. The H1 zoom is not as tough as you would need it to be. It is very heavy and suffers barrel loosening as a result.

Damien
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2006, 02:05:32 PM »
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I had an H1, 50-110, and Aptus 75 knocked over on a tripod 5 feet to a concrete floor.  The Pocket wizard snapped off near the base.  The smaller connector plate holding the A75 to the H1 (the one at the top where the spring loaded hook connects) was ripped from the A75.  Leaf received the back via Fedex, replaced the screws, recalibrated to sensor, and shipped it back via Fedex in 2 or 3 hours.  The pocket wizard has been gone (to the same Mac Group building in New York I think) for 3 weeks.

I have only tried this once, but everything else still works perfectly.  The areas of the sensor and electonics in the Aptus 75 are said to be sealed off from the Fan/air circulation area.

-Eric
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rljones
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2006, 02:20:43 PM »
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Edmond,

I sold my H2 system and bought a AFDii. I did this mainly because of the weight (H2 stuff is 30-50% heavier). I also tested some of the lenses and felt there was no sacrifice in going to Mamiya. (I further think the bokeh is better with Mamiya, but that's maybe a personal thing.) The HC zoom is a monster, better suited to a studio than schlepping around. So from what you describe, the Mamiya sounds better for you in terms of travel. (BTW, while you didn't ask, the Contax 645 weighs about the same as the Hassy stuff.)

The price, as you've observed, is significantly less with Mamiya. You can buy many of the wide angles for $300 to $500, or pick up a used AF 300/4.5 APO for less than $1500, and even the manual focus 300/2.8 APO (preset use only) can be bought for relatively little money (the 2x-N converter was made for the 300/2.8 APO and yields a 600/5.6 with _amazing_ resolution wide open at f5.6). This 600/5.6 combination can be found for less than $3k; nothing similar for H2.

The Leaf back integrates well with the AFDii. I don't know how the P45 works with the AFDii, probably just fine (I think Cramer is using one with his AFD). If you later get a ZD, all Mamiya AF lenses will work.

As far as throwing the equipment around, I think Mamiya will be fine, and if you do need a replacement lens, a used one will be less expensive than a used Hassy HC. My guess is that a ZD might take rough treatment a bit better than the AFDii/back combo if only because of fewer parts. However, if you go with a ZD, you might not be much further ahead of whatever Canon replaces the 1Ds2 with. If the replacement is a 22MB, the Canon might be a better option for you as all of your present EOS lenses will work the same.

I went with the Leaf 65 (only about 2mm smaller in each dimension, but thousands of dollars less than the Leaf 75). I look at removable backs as a more desirable option. I also have an Alpa for their wide angle capability, so switching a Leaf 65 from the Alpa to the AFDii will give me greater flexibility, and means the ZD or an improved Canon is less useful to me.

Regards, Robert
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Eric Zepeda
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2006, 05:28:39 PM »
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I carry my P25/500cm around in my day pack all the time. Wrap it in a big lens wrap and go. It'll even fit in my LowePro Slingshot 100, the little teeny one with another lens and battery.

If you can swing the 20K+ price of a MF back, it would be foolish not to have it insured. Some of us prefer working on a MF system, and the look of the 16-bit files. Most times when I'm out on the street shooting people assume I'm using an old-school camera. My 1Ds attracts more attention. The notion of "keep it in the studio" doesn't work for me. After all I've gone through to afford a MF back, the notion of not using it where and when I want seems rather absurd.
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eronald
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2006, 07:09:26 PM »
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After all I've gone through to afford a MF back, the notion of not using it where and when I want seems rather absurd.
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Way to go, Eric !


Eric, Damien -
I've been looking at the Hasselblad HC lens prices - they're enough to make me faint ! I think I'd end up with only the standard 80 if someone threw that at me for free. All HC lenses seem to have impossible $3K price tags.

In comparison, the Mamiya stuff looks fairly cheap, it would give me an AF camera that can be shot like an SLR, which is not the case of the remaining option, the Hasselblad V system. I just wish there was a fast 100 to 150 mm lens there.  Oh, there's one more possibility,  I can hear James muttering "Contax" in the background  

Robert,
What's the focal length multiplier on the Aptus/Mamiya combo ? Have you tried using the 800 ISO ?

Edmund
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mcfoto
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2006, 07:24:49 PM »
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So I'm shopping for a system with a really good viewfinder, high ISO ability, tough body and tough back that can be transported like an SLR. The Canon 1Ds pretty much fits the bill and gives me good skin tone, except I want a better viewfinder and even better files at ISO 400-800.

I like the Mamiya AFDII. Also it seems cheap enough that I can get lenses and a second body if one fails or is worn out. The new Hasselblad doesn't quite appeal to me. The problem now is finding a back I can afford that works with it and is physically robust. Aptus has a nice look to the files I've seen, but Phase seems tougher and better integrated (and no fan).


Edmund
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Take a look at this Aptus 17 on ebay from a good seller Item number:                                                                  130028136985 .The price is around 7300.00 USD.
Also my favorite lens is the 55-110 4.5 zoom. You can pick these up on ebay in the 700 to 900.00 USD range.
Thanks Denis
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2006, 08:00:00 PM »
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I shoot with a Phase back in everything...rain, snow. cold, wind, dust, humidity.  it goes in my backpack in the colorado high country.  I shot with it for 6 days in the olympic rain forest and it rained every single day--all day.  (I used a kate rain cover but the back still got very wet).  I've fallen in a stream with it too and bumped it on a rock.  i'd go with phase.  Eleanor
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rljones
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2006, 09:29:00 PM »
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Edmund,

The focal length multiplier for the Leaf 75 (and P45) is 0.72 and for the Leaf 65, 0.78. That is, an 80 on the APDii behaves like 0.72 x 80 on 135 format, or 58 mm, while on the Leaf 65, it is like a 62 mm.

The Leaf 75/P45 are 36 x 48 mm sensors; the Leaf 65, 34 x 44 mm.

Good AF lenses are 45, 80, 120 macro (floating elements, APO, goes 1:1), 150 and 300/4.5 APO. The 55 and 210 are very good too. The 35 is pretty good, but I've not yet tested it. I can give more details if you're interested.

Robert
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eronald
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2006, 10:14:01 PM »
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Edmund,

The focal length multiplier for the Leaf 75 (and P45) is 0.72 and for the Leaf 65, 0.78. That is, an 80 on the APDii behaves like 0.72 x 80 on 135 format, or 58 mm, while on the Leaf 65, it is like a 62 mm.

The Leaf 75/P45 are 36 x 48 mm sensors; the Leaf 65, 34 x 44 mm.

Good AF lenses are 45, 80, 120 macro (floating elements, APO, goes 1:1), 150 and 300/4.5 APO. The 55 and 210 are very good too. The 35 is pretty good, but I've not yet tested it. I can give more details if you're interested.

Robert
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I usually image almost everything with my 85/1.2, with occasional recourse to a 24mm shift. I guess This would mean that on a Mamiya I would be using the 120 macro most of the time,.
I wonder whether I'll get the blur/bokeh which is the point of the exercise, when shooting at F4.


thank you for the information, I will arrange to test the 120. What annoys me a bit is the 3 1/2 stop differential, I feel I shall have to use at least 400 ISO much of the time, possibly 800 or 400 underexposed by one stop.

I'm starting to understand James infatuation with the Contax.

Edmund
« Last Edit: September 17, 2006, 10:15:37 PM by eronald » Logged
ericstaud
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2006, 10:50:20 PM »
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I assume you are shooting available light because of the high ASA you are listing.  If this is the case then .... because of the longer equivalent focal lengths (moving from an 85 to a 120), heavier camera, smaller wide apertures (moving from 1.2 on your 85 to F 2.8 or 4 on your 120),  and a bigger mirror slapping around,   I would venture a guess that you will not achive the same level of sharpness on a MF system that you could achieve with a Nikon or Canon.  

I try to shoot with my ALPA 12SWA handheld (No moving parts).  With the 35mm lens (very wide) at 1/60 I am suprised again and again that the images are not critically sharp.  The 33mp sensor I am using might as well be 12mp so that the camera shake would only be smearing the detail across 1 pixel instead of 3.

With strobe lit fashion/advertising, or tripod mounted architecture this is not an issue.  If you could get some real world shooting time with the system you decide upon you could find your expetations will shift.

Good Hunting,

Eric
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rljones
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2006, 12:03:52 AM »
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Edmond,

With the larger sensors, MF lenses behave in terms of DOF as if they were 1 f-stop larger. That is, the DOF at f2.8 on MF is like an f2.0 on 135 format. Also, since the lenses are longer, the DOF shallower, focusing anything more open than f2.8 becomes more difficult.

The Mamiya 150/3.5 is very sharp. I've taken handheld head and shoulder portraits at 1/30 f3.5, with a Kodak DCS 645M (16MB) back, a will show facial pores when enlarged, if that's what you're after. At f3.5 eyeglass and eyes are in focus and ears are very blurry with background wonderfully fuzzy.

However, if you want to duplicate your 80/1.4, you can buy a used f-series Hassy 110/2.0 with a Fotodiox adapter (run about $80 on eBay). This will give you an 80/2.0 equivalent on a Leaf75/P45 with an effective DOF about like an 80/1.4. This adapter forces you to use the lens in stopped down (preset) fashion, but if you're shooting wide open, its a moot point.

I recently compared the Zeiss CFE 120/4 makro on an adapter on the AFDii against the Mamiya AF 120/4 macro. All comparisons were on a tripod, using an older Kodak DCS back at ISO 100, all images processed the same in Raw Developer.

The Mamiya was slightly sharper and had more contrast than the Zeiss at the closest focusing point of the Zeiss (1:4.5 ratio). However, the background blur of the Zeiss was as if it was shot f-stop more open. I added an extension tube to the Zeiss and re-shot both at a closer distance; Mamiya was sharper, but not by much. At infinity focus, the Mamiya was decidedly superior.

You mention Contax. AF is slower and the viewfinder is dimmer than the AFDii (I compared this with Mamiya before selling my H2). Besides, if get the Zeiss 350mm (the 210 is supposedly a dog; so you go from 140 to 350), this lens weighs as much as the AFDii body and the Mamiya 300 APO combined. You talked ealier about traveling, so weight becomes an issue.

Here are some data regarding mass for all three systems (focal length on left, weight in grams on right):

Mamiya 645AFDii
body/finder/back - 1430
35 - 480
45 - 480
55 - 430
80 - 300
120 - 845
150 - 540
210 - 720
300 - 1430 (1240 without tripod collar)
55-110 - 870
105-210 - 990

Contax 645
body/finder/back - 1530
35 - 880
45 - 825
80 - 530
120 - 800
140 - 680
210 - 1220
350 - 3610

H2
body/finder/back - 800+330+475=1605
35 - 975
55-110 - 1650
80 - 475
120 - 1410
150 - 970
210 - 1320
300 - 2120

As for shift lenses, the there is nothing as wide as a 24mm for MF unless you go with an Alpa/Horseman. The 35XL with the Leaf/P45 is about like a 25mm, but you have no tilt like the Canon 24, but a much better lens (at a hefty price).

Regards, Robert
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 12:36:30 AM by rljones » Logged
MarkKay
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2006, 12:46:01 AM »
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I agree that the 50-110 Hassy is a beast in size and weight but boy it is by far the best zoom lens I have ever used.  It is tack sharp even wide open at f4.  It is comparable to the 120mm macro HC at distant shooting. mark


Quote
Edmond,

I sold my H2 system and bought a AFDii. I did this mainly because of the weight (H2 stuff is 30-50% heavier). I also tested some of the lenses and felt there was no sacrifice in going to Mamiya. (I further think the bokeh is better with Mamiya, but that's maybe a personal thing.) The HC zoom is a monster, better suited to a studio than schlepping around. So from what you describe, the Mamiya sounds better for you in terms of travel. (BTW, while you didn't ask, the Contax 645 weighs about the same as the Hassy stuff.)

The price, as you've observed, is significantly less with Mamiya. You can buy many of the wide angles for $300 to $500, or pick up a used AF 300/4.5 APO for less than $1500, and even the manual focus 300/2.8 APO (preset use only) can be bought for relatively little money (the 2x-N converter was made for the 300/2.8 APO and yields a 600/5.6 with _amazing_ resolution wide open at f5.6). This 600/5.6 combination can be found for less than $3k; nothing similar for H2.

The Leaf back integrates well with the AFDii. I don't know how the P45 works with the AFDii, probably just fine (I think Cramer is using one with his AFD). If you later get a ZD, all Mamiya AF lenses will work.

As far as throwing the equipment around, I think Mamiya will be fine, and if you do need a replacement lens, a used one will be less expensive than a used Hassy HC. My guess is that a ZD might take rough treatment a bit better than the AFDii/back combo if only because of fewer parts. However, if you go with a ZD, you might not be much further ahead of whatever Canon replaces the 1Ds2 with. If the replacement is a 22MB, the Canon might be a better option for you as all of your present EOS lenses will work the same.

I went with the Leaf 65 (only about 2mm smaller in each dimension, but thousands of dollars less than the Leaf 75). I look at removable backs as a more desirable option. I also have an Alpa for their wide angle capability, so switching a Leaf 65 from the Alpa to the AFDii will give me greater flexibility, and means the ZD or an improved Canon is less useful to me.

Regards, Robert
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damien
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2006, 11:46:23 AM »
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The one HC lens thats missing from the chart is the only one you need. 100 f2.2 is as small as the standard lens, very compact , designed to work wide open and will give the closest look to match your 85 f1.2

The 210 f4 is amazing wide open too but if you need long glass then the 300 and 2 times is available at a price.

My 120 is currently on ebay as I've ordered a 100 f2.2 and I'll sell my 80 too once the 100 arrives. My 120 is currently at $1000 and I hope will fetch $2k. I expect my 80 will fetch about $1k. Look, now I've made a second hand market :-)

Damien.
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H1/P25 -35mm,80mm,100mm,210mm
Nikon D200 - 17-35,28-70,70-200VR all at f2.8
Canon 5D - 16-35,24-70,70-200IS all at f2.8
Ex Rollei 6008 kit, Hass V kit, Mamiya 645 pro TL kit.
eronald
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2006, 01:00:01 PM »
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The one HC lens thats missing from the chart is the only one you need. 100 f2.2 is as small as the standard lens, very compact , designed to work wide open and will give the closest look to match your 85 f1.2

Damien.
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Robert -

Thank you for your information.

Damien, that is also my opinion - the 100mm lens is the one I'd need to use.
But a $3K for the lens, several K for the body etc, and the sticker price for the back, Mamiya is looking more appealing every minute. Here things are still measured in hundreds rather than thousands.
Last not least, I really like the Hasselblad V series somehow, but the new one doesn't feel nice to me, and feel is important.

Edmund
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 01:02:21 PM by eronald » Logged
damien
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2006, 03:10:54 PM »
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The Mamiya is such good value all round. Does it produce 16 bit files oozing with quality? I've yet to hear anyone who is convinced. I haven't been aware of bad reports either, I've only seen the output of dodgy pre production versions.

I bought my kit 2 years ago and got a deal that saved me about £14K. I couldn't get that kind of deal again but I think the price point of MF is about right. It is worth noting that I still get inspired just holding the H1. A tingling in my veins and a pasion in my work is enhanced by using the right kit for me. - Be led by your heart!

Damien.
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H1/P25 -35mm,80mm,100mm,210mm
Nikon D200 - 17-35,28-70,70-200VR all at f2.8
Canon 5D - 16-35,24-70,70-200IS all at f2.8
Ex Rollei 6008 kit, Hass V kit, Mamiya 645 pro TL kit.
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2006, 03:27:33 PM »
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The ZD would seem to be intrisically un tough

a failure of the mirror or shutter would render the back inoperable

mechanical failure is the highest risk so keeping your chip in action is most likely acheived by having a chip seperable from the camera

owning two bodies is an option to many of us

owning two 22mp or above devices is not so likely

----

Owning three canons is even tougher again

I long ago decided that 2 d200s are far tougher than one D2x
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 03:29:00 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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eronald
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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2006, 03:49:24 PM »
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The Mamiya is such good value all round. Does it produce 16 bit files oozing with quality? I've yet to hear anyone who is convinced. I haven't been aware of bad reports either, I've only seen the output of dodgy pre production versions.

Damien
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Damien, Morgan

 I am thinking of the AFD II body, not the ZD, add a back for quality and stir  The probable failure point is then the body, and original AFD  bodies are going really cheap these days on eBay.

 As for Canon and focus, yes it's a constant fight. One thing you MUST do is get rid of all lens filters, they interfere with the AF on the luminous lenses.

Edmund
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 03:56:25 PM by eronald » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2006, 04:00:15 PM »
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You still dont say what is wrong with the first option put to you - a Canon or two

Mr Croslin links to his site - is very qualified to talk sence

You dont link to a website so we dont know what work you do so it is not apparent

If I have missed this in earlier posting I appologise

And dont forget that the flash synch on the Mamiya sucks if you use flash!


LOL
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