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Author Topic: NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINES!!!  (Read 8735 times)
RicAgu
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« on: October 18, 2006, 11:16:32 AM »
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Well it saddens me to have to write this.  But this is first hand experience.  I have no loyalty to any brand or camera other than the one that will work as trouble free as possible.  I have sung the praises of them all Rollei, Hasselblad, Pentax and Mamiya.  All have their place and work well.  Just depends on what you need.  I have had a very close relationship with Mamiya and they have been great to me.

I have owned an H1 for a little over a year and it has worked great.  I added a P25 a little less than a year ago and have loved it.  Wish it would work better past 200, but all in time.  I decided to purchase an Aptus 75 because of my test run with it and the great files at 400 and 800.

I am actually on Location in Miami and decided to bypass lunch to write this.  My Aptus 75 just died.  No power tethered, no power from battery, nothing!  DEAD!

I call Leaf and Rick tells me to send it in and he will have it back to me by Friday.  That is fine and dandy if I wasn't on set in the middle of a shot.  Luckily I brought my Canon's.  I am not in some third tier market.  I am in South Florida!  He cannot get me one overnight and told me to call my dealer.  I don't have a dealer and bought it on eBay new with the clearence from the local rep that I would have full support from Leaf.  Rick tells me to call my local rep but that they have no extra's laying around waiting to ship.  Because they are all on back order and when they come in, they are spoken for.  I then ask who he thinks in NYC has some in house for rental?  He says "every one does".  I shoot at and/or rent from Shoot Digital, K&M and Drive In and none of them have more than one Leaf back in stock.  They have double digit Phase backs but not more than one maybe two Leaf backs in stock.  I cannot believe this is the kind of support you get with a $30k investment!

I had a similar incident with Phase.  I called Phase at 3pm and I had a temp back at 8:30am the next day.  Full support no questions asked.  They took a while to fix it because they had to send it back to Europe.  But I had a loaner till it was done.

It is amazing that Phase is coming out with the P+ backs and their annoucement that they will be opening their files to DNG support.  The rest of the back will have a Niche market for the ones who want to deal with the problems.  I normally travel with my P25 and decided to leave it behind as I would need to travel with double batteries and chargers.

So my piece of advice.  SERIOUSLY look at your support because it's not like you can have an extra $2,000.00 body in the bag if it fails.  You have to carry an extra $30,000.00 back.  These are digital and electronic devices and do not sit on a shelf.  They get used and some what abused and will fail, not if but when.  I know I can be in Africa and Phase will get one to me as soon as shipping can get it there.  The software is bullet proof and I look forward to DNG support.  This Aptus 75 will be repaired and then sold ASAP.  I will continue to use my P25 and then upgrade to a P45+ and P30+ as a back up.  Hopefully on Rollei Hy6 late next year.

There is a reason why every rental house in the world uses Phase One almost exclusively and some of the busiest shooters are on Phase.  We'll see what Hasselblad does with their closed system.  But I put my money on Phase to continue to be the first with new amazing announcements.

Best of Luck to all of you with your MFDB research and choices.  Just an honest experience from a never busy enough shooter.


Ric
 
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mkravit
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 11:23:04 AM »
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Who is your dealer.

When I had a problem Steve Hendrix with PPR had a replacement to me the next morning by FedEx.
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izaack
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 02:05:16 PM »
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I'd really like to hear Mr. Rick Adshead's side of the story, if you please.

That you got it off ebay may have something to do with it. What is Leaf America's policy of supporting the owners of second-hand backs? Perhaps its overnight loaner service is open only to the first owner of the back who bought it directly from a bona fide dealer.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 02:17:14 PM by izaack » Logged
Eric Zepeda
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2006, 02:25:28 PM »
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Ric, sorry to hear bout this. Fotocare and Trec are two other places that come to mind as far as NYC rental houses, but you are right, A75's are in short supply.

Best of luck,

Eric
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vgogolak
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2006, 04:36:11 PM »
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can't speak to Leaf, but I have shoot this weekend and set up for the P25 to P45 upgrade. That was concluded yesterday with a fax at 5pn

Today i was to send my P25 back overight and hope to get the P45 by Fri,  saturday latest

Instead, Phase One sent the P45 TODAY for tomorrow thursday delivery so that I can fully test before the wedding.

then they said send the P25 when all is OK

Seems they really understand.

Victor
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GhostDancer
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2006, 06:41:35 PM »
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I have been renting both Leaf and Phase backs for a while now. I am a fashion shooter and have decided to push ahead with the purchase of a MFDB. I held off pending the outcome of the centerfold issue.

I have shot a number of gigs with each back.  I really love the look of the Leaf file, to my eye and the eye of the CD's I work with it is superior to the sterility of the Phase.

I am sorry to hear of your recent experience but I am sure that this is not typical of Leaf. A close friend of mine was on a gig, his back was damaged when a tech accidentally tripped over a tether and sent the camera and back flying onto the hard concrete floor. This was in NYC, a replacement back was pciked up at Leaf and the shoot resumed the next morning.

My suggestion, contact your dealer, he is your first line of denfense or offense when something like this happens, he also may have a demo back to loan you in a pinch.

Bill
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bcroslin
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 09:13:55 PM »
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Ric,

I'm assuming you know this but DPI and Carousel both rent digital backs.

http://www.dpi-digitalphoto.com/

http://www.carouselstudios.com/
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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MarkKay
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2006, 09:18:29 PM »
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I had a problem with my back.. I sent it to Leaf two day air,. it arrived on WEd am in NJ (I am in CA), and it was back in my office Thursday AM.  No problem now.
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pixjohn
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2006, 09:33:47 PM »
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This sounds a little strange? Aptus 75 on clearence? Have you talked to the local rep you bought it from on Ebay? This just sounds odd to me. I know the local dealer I bought my back from would lend me another Aptus 75 or Aptus 22 if the 75 was not in its rental department.
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nicolaasdb
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2006, 10:24:21 PM »
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I went for the Leaf, because m leaf rep...Bill (socal) provided me with a loaner for any shoots I had until my own back is going to be delivered...I can only imagine what would happen if I call him with the message that my new back is down!! He will drive right over and loan me his again!!

But you are right service support is everything with a digital back......the Phase backs were to digital to me!!
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James Russell
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2006, 09:25:09 AM »
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Quote
I went for the Leaf, because m leaf rep...Bill (socal) provided me with a loaner for any shoots I had until my own back is going to be delivered...I can only imagine what would happen if I call him with the message that my new back is down!! He will drive right over and loan me his again!!

But you are right service support is everything with a digital back......the Phase backs were to digital to me!!
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Though I bought my original Valeo, then A-22 though a large dealer in Southern California, I've never really worked with a dealer, but instead all of my tech support came from LOA, which I have found to be more than good.  I had an issue with the A-22 with it overheating in Jamaica and when I returned to the states LOA replaced it in a day.

Still, since we had backup cameras, (video and still) and backup lights we got the gig shot which is the goal.

Like Many, I used the Canon's for backup and though long and hard about this and recently bought an A-65 to go with the A-22.  I thought it would give me a higher iso alternative, allow me the same workflow and most importantly allow me to carry and ship one camera case vs. 2.

I don't think the Leaf is any less or more prone to issues than any digital camera, or back, but as we know anything can break and and these devices are complicated, hence I went with second back.

On the Jamaica shoot every piece of electric equipment had issues from the strobes to the video cameras, as it was 100% humidity at 105f, so it's hard for me to say this is a leaf issue rather than just a weather issue.

Also I use the contax so just calling a dealer and the chance of them having an Aptus with a Contax mount is usually a rarity rather than the rule.

JR
[a href=\"http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/]http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/[/url]
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Willow Photography
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2006, 09:51:41 AM »
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Hi James

Now that you have got an Aptus 65, it would be nice to hear your experience
with that back. Image quality and handling

I have had a couple of Phase One backs some years ago, but
switched to Canon !Ds Mk II.
And then from that to 5D.
I like the 5D better than the 1Ds Mk II, but are now looking for
a back again.

This weekend I will test a P30 and are planning on testing an Aptus 65 also.
The RAW pictures from A65 on Leaf Photography site, that you can download,
are IMO very bad.
I am surprised that Leaf allow these kind of pictures to represent their back.


Willow

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Willow Photography
eronald
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2006, 10:05:58 AM »
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Quote
The RAW pictures from A65 on Leaf Photography site, that you can download,
are IMO very bad.
I am surprised that Leaf allow these kind of pictures to represent their back.
Willow

willow.no
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=81150\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Willow

I agree - so far I have got some very good dealer-supplied fashion images from the P30, with very good skin tone, but the images on the Leaf site are not really usable to evaluate the back. I shot some images at a Leaf demo, but the girl had bad makeup and the images looked like she had a disease - maybe not the back's fault.

.How about I send you the P30 images, and you send me whatever you get from the Aptus - could we do that ?

Edmund
« Last Edit: October 19, 2006, 10:07:41 AM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
Willow Photography
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2006, 10:09:21 AM »
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Hi Edmund

That sounds OK.
How are we going to send these RAW files?

Willow
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eronald
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2006, 10:39:54 AM »
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Hi Edmund

That sounds OK.
How are we going to send these RAW files?

Willow
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, Raw files only.
There's this thing [a href=\"http://www.yousendit.com]http://www.yousendit.com[/url]
pm me your email adress please.

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
Steve Kerman
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2006, 12:35:07 PM »
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Keeble & Shuchat in California rent Leaf.

http://www.kspphoto.com
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vgogolak
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2006, 03:20:20 PM »
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As a known Contax /Phase user, I hesitate to show these, but it seemed instructive. I have been a great fan of the P25 and really never pushed to 100%, and always stay at 50-100 ISO.

However, I just tested the P45 vs p25 (I need to send it back, but thought I would check WB exposure etc with same camera and lens - here, strangely the 35mm)
What struck me is that there seems to be much more than 20% linear improvement, likely due to the fact that images are , after all, 2-d. But as some have commented that have the P45, it is a bigger jump from the SLRs than the P25. Here that is obvious. Also, noise was a real surprise (this was outside bright sun on a white object with sharp shadows. The p45 show real promise that the 45+ will handle 800, which I had doubted.

And I know, hardly scientific, the P25 is about 1/2 stop overexposed (but the P45 shot blew the highlights on the right as well)

Have others seen this? or was this just a peculiar situation? I keep my fingers crossed that this improvement carries through. Michael seems to have thought so, but then my middle name is 'doubt' :-)

One more thing. I certainly don't see the lens as a limit here, though it is a little soft at the edges even stopped down. I'm sure the Schneider or Rodenstack would have more detail, but this seems pretty good.

BTW I know it is a minor point, but the new Phase backs with the Value added(basically the extended warranty) also come with a fantastic case, aluminum, configurable not only for the back, butalso for the camera and a couple of lenses. A great bonus, esp with air travel being such a burden now. (can ship ahead, carry on etc.)

regards
Victor
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006, 03:37:32 PM by vgogolak » Logged
eronald
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2006, 04:17:10 PM »
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Victor,

 How is the Contax powered ? Any rechargeables ? How long do the batteries last ?
 How good is the AF in low light ?

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
vgogolak
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2006, 04:39:37 PM »
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Victor,

 How is the Contax powered ? Any rechargeables ? How long do the batteries last ?
 How good is the AF in low light ?

Edmund
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=81419\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The Contax uses 2CR5 batteries, i never looked at rechargeables. In my use I get at least 500-600 shots. Less if you use a lot of AF hunting. (I use AF maybe 70%, even though I often over ride, which is easy to do for select focus)

The issue with battery drain that people mention (as few as 200-300 shots ) was likely due to the winder drain-a non issue with a back!

The AF? let's see, I think the technical term is 'sucks' in low light  

But it needs to be pretty dark

Also, I use flash (380) and it is really good for both fill and low light. Powerful enough you can stop down to get better DOF, then focus not so critical. Used at  NY wedding last year no problem with lights lower for dancing (and once in a tent!)

But it ain't nuthin' to write home about. Itis why we all looked for a MARK II for the Contax.

When I kow its going to be dark and I must use ambient light I use the Leica.

Hope it helps.

BTW here's an out-take, soft flash using AF (you can lower ambient behind, low, not dark) sort of got it.. (color wrong due to $%$#$% sRGB conversion in PS  

Regards
Victor
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006, 04:48:15 PM by vgogolak » Logged
vgogolak
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2006, 04:54:28 PM »
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BTW here you can see the classic problem not having a spot focus option!
this 100% crop of th P25 image

BTW right out of C1 with only 35% (or whatever that number is !) sharpening. nothing else
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006, 04:56:45 PM by vgogolak » Logged
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