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Author Topic: Moving to MFDB. Need advice  (Read 4208 times)
Randal32
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« on: November 07, 2006, 08:12:29 AM »
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I know this has probably been discussed a million times but i need some advice or to be pointed to the right threads.

Being dissapointed with my Mark II, I am going to make the jump to MF digi's.

I shoot handheld (mostly) portraits/people and occasionally food.  however, i think 22MP should be plenty.

Of course I like the look of the H3 system but i have also heard great things about the Leaf Aptus.

I should also mention I prefer to use autofocus when shooting people.

Any tips on choosing?   i'll be testing as well.  so i guess any tips on what to test?

thx,

Randal
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006, 08:45:25 AM »
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If you like the H3 system but prefer the Leaf DB why not get a H2 (Not H2D)?
That way you can still use the Leaf DB (my choice BTW but on the Hass V)
Depending on how long you can wait there is a new camera coming out from Leaf which you can read about on these forums here under the Hy6 project.
It looks good but of course is untested by the public at the moment.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 10:15:46 AM »
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Quote
I know this has probably been discussed a million times but i need some advice or to be pointed to the right threads.

Being dissapointed with my Mark II,
Randal
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83960\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Firstly whats wrong with canon ??

Bascially all the current and old mfDB offerings are brilliant tools

Firtsly you shoot HH and people - well the Canon AF wipes all MF AND MF has a narrower and more defined DOF so focus errors show worse - play before you buy

You may find an in focus Canon file is better than an OOF MF file

All mf systems (apart fron the ZD ??) are center point only and therefore largely useless for focusing on moving people

Think of MF AF as a focusing aid not AF IMO

----

So you still want an MFDB

Well I wouldnt buy a blad back cos they might go sideways if no-one wnats thier locked system

I wouldnt buy a blad back cos someone else might come up with a revolutionary new function or even a must have evolutionary bit of functionality like multi point AF - the blad back may not fit this new super camera

I wouldnt buy a Mamiya cos I hate the slow flash synch

So that leaves Rollei V system or contax

I wouldnt buy a contax cos I hate low flash synch

I wouldnt buy a V system cos they have dark screens and no AF

So that leaves Rollei

I wouldnt buy an aptus because they are locked into one camera system back without a factory upgrade at big bucks (exept on a rollei mount)

RIght now I would buy a Sinar back which has a universal mounting plate that allows easy system changes and put it on

a contax (chaep)
a H1/2 (cheaper good AF)
a rollei (expensive)

And wait the HY6 - rollie lenses will fit it

Further I weould check out my thread 'MF dont bother' a few pages back on this forum

THe thread argues that mirror slap and focus errors wipe out resolution advantages over canon for shooting hand held natural light

it contunues that the level of precision required to shoot really good MF will required tethered and tripod shooting so you may as well save some cash and go for a S/H screenles back

SO the winner is an H25 or a valeo on a contax and a holiday with the saved cash

I would buy an MF system if
-you love looking through a large viewfinder
-you appreciate the narrow DOF MF effect
- you like fast leaf shutter synch speeds

ps I love my H1/eyelike

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Willow Photography
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 11:53:38 AM »
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I started out in the digital world with a MFDB ( LightPhase/ 6Mb chip ) many years ago.
Was very happy with that compared to 35 mm film. Mainly because I now had full control with
the end result.

When I gave the customer a 18 Mb file for a spread, they refused in the beginning to
accept it was good enough. They soon turned around and accepted it.

When the 1Ds came, I switched because I could now shoot untethered and much faster.
Then I changed to to 1DsMkII, and that was a mistake. Did not like it at all.
The files needed much more PP and I switched to 5D.

I have been very pleased with my 5D and even if I wanted to have a MFDB, I
refused to admit it could be that much better than 5D.

During last year I have tested Hasselblad H2D/39, Leaf Aptus 22 and Phase One P30.

The H2D was just a lot of technical problems and the few files I got out of it when it worked was not to my liking.

The Aptus also went thru some technical  problems and I did not like those files either.

Probably some of the reasons I did not like the files ( and also the technical problems)
was because I did not spend enough time to get to know the tools.

I still liked the 5D files better.

The P30 is another story. It blew me away and it looked much more 3D than the 5D.
It was not only much sharper than the 5D, it was something else also.
Cannot describe it yet - too little work with it so far.

I just knew that this was what I wanted to buy.
And so I did. I shoot with H2 and 35/80/150.
Did not like the zoom - too big for handheld shooting.

Very happy so far. And I have had very little problem with
the MacBook Pro shooting tethered,

The only "problem" so far is the much bigger files makes me sit longer by the computer.

The C! software is very stabble and fast. And it makes beautiful TIFF files  
And the next generation 4.0 will be even much faster.
I have also heard rumor that it will have much of the same lens correction software
that Hasselblad have in H3D/Flexcolor.

Conclusion: happy to be back in MFDB land and the 5D will be a backup camera for a while.


Willow
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 12:04:33 PM »
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Quote from: Randal32,Nov 7 2006, 09:12 AM
I know this has probably been discussed a million times but i need some advice or to be pointed to the right threads.

Being dissapointed with my Mark II, I am going to make the jump to MF digi's.

I shoot handheld (mostly) portraits/people and occasionally food.  however, i think 22MP should be plenty.

Of course I like the look of the H3 system but i have also heard great things about the Leaf Aptus.

I should also mention I prefer to use autofocus when shooting people.

Any tips on choosing?   i'll be testing as well.  so i guess any tips on what to test?

thx,

Hi
I use both the Canon 5D and Aptus 22(rent)/Mamiya AFDII. The Aptus is far superior to the Canon, however if you are shooting high iso's the Canon will be better. The one advantage of the Mamiya is that it is really light weight and the lenses are very affordable. They will be releasing a new 28 & 75-150 Zoom in the 1st quarter of 2007. My favourite lens is the 55-110 zoom. I also own a ZD which has the same chip as the Aptus 22. If you have the money get the new Aptus 75s. This is a 33mp back that shoots at 1.1 sec, with an iso of 50-800. This back is faster than the Aptus 22 (1.2 sec). Both the Aptus & ZD have a film like quality when compared to the Canon 5D. With the AFDII you can seperate the focus from the shutter release like the Canon. As far as focus speed goes the Canon wins hands down and that hasn't been an issue for me.
Thanks Denis
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SeanBK
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 12:54:36 PM »
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Morgan incorrectly stated,
"All mf systems (apart fron the ZD ??) are center point only and therefore largely useless for focusing on moving people".
    Check out the Hasselblad H-manual on page#84. It states that one can focus on the subject while maintaining the pressure on the shutter, one can recompose(while maintaing the pressure) and still maintain the focus on the subject & shoot. Alternate method would be to overide the auto & can easily be manually focussed.
    Hy6 is still in the design stage as delivery date of the brand new M.F camera is not untill 2007 Spring at the earliest. I would be very careful about these trampoline jumpers who exhault the virtues of a product, which still is being played by manufacturer & the specs are just the rumors at the best. These people are comparing a product that does not exist today with Hasselblad H series which I have been using for three years and I was not the first customer.
   I have succesfully shot car racing with H1 in summer of 2004 and the results are better than the car racing pictures I shot with Nikon D2X in last 3-4 months. And the cars were moving!!
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bcroslin
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 03:56:02 PM »
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IMO it's hard to give advice on this without knowing how much money you want to spend. Most 22mp back files are extremely close in look and noise from what I've seen. Also, test each back manufacturers software. This can't be stressed enough. Capture One produces awesome conversions but I've never liked the work flow. Leaf's Capture v8 is solid but v10 is based on Java and depending on your platform can be nearly unusable.

My advice (shoe-string budget) is to buy a Mamiya 645 AF and a refurb Aptus 22. Used Mamiya gear can be bought at half to a third the cost of new and the Aptus 22 refurb is about 15k. The flash sync is 1/125th but is totally usable IMO. The AF is usable but years behind your Canons. Better yet, rent a camera and back and do some shooting. You may find the AF and slow speed of working is going to have you reaching for your Canons.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 03:56:20 PM by bcroslin » Logged

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2006, 04:16:26 PM »
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Quote
Morgan incorrectly stated,
"H-manual on page#84. It states that one can focus on the subject while maintaining the pressure on the shutter, one can recompose(while maintaing the pressure) and still maintain the focus on the subject & shoot. Alternate method would be to overide the auto & can easily be manually focussed.
   
   I have succesfully shot car racing with H1 in summer of 2004 and the results are better than the car racing pictures I shot with Nikon D2X in last 3-4 months. And the cars were moving!!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84006\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Focus and recompose is what I describe a a 'focus aid' (and actually very useful it is too in some situations like dusk and no modeling lights)

Say you have a model walking towards you at F4 on an 80mm her eyes will be well out of focus if you focus on her tee shirt - as she walks towards you the H will keep the Tee shirt in focus and the eye will still be out

MFing a moving model half length on at f4 - 'easy' not for me

With a DSLR you can choose to focus on the head (at top of frame) which will stay in focus while the model moves as long as you keep the head in the chosen zone which is unlikely to be the centre

Racing cars would put far less stress on a focus system than this example becuse
a) nearer infinity
 likely to be center of frame

Unless I have completely missunderstood C/AF mode and it magically keeps your initial selection in focus as you recompose and the selected item moves - i'll try as this would be a masterpiece of engineering

-------------

As bob says - just check some MFDBs out in YOUR shooting conditions which are unlikely to be a bloke in a camera shop

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2006, 04:41:37 PM »
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I'm with Morgan on this one. After using a Hasselblad V system for over twenty years I tried a Contax 645, partly to get better hand-held results. It had far better hand-held ergonomics than the Hassie V, but my focusing was less accurate, and under studio lights I found the slower synch speed ended up delivering lower overall results than the V system. Then I tried the Hasselblad H series, the auto focus was a lot faster and the synch speed was back where it needed to be, but I still couldn't handle dynamic situations without stopping right down.

So I gave up on medium format auto focus and went back to a V system and a DSLR for the rare occasions when I needed to photograph a moving subject.

I recognise that just because I can't focus accurately on moving subjects with a medium format camera doesn't mean everyone is so afflicted, I can't play the trombone either but some people manage it. However, I wonder if anyone can reliably deliver better than a 20% or 30% success rate  focusing on an off-centre moving subject with a medium format camera at a wide aperture?
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eronald
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2006, 06:06:49 AM »
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I don't know whether this is relevant, but looking at my fashion show work with big-aperture, slow to focus SLR lenses, I believe that stepping back with a slighly wider lens works - you then get a sharp picture that you crop. Cropping works well these days, resolution is always there. The other strategies, ie , focus and recompose or focus on a nearby spot do not work that well in practice, once you have lost perfect focus you never regain it.

Edmund





Quote
I recognise that just because I can't focus accurately on moving subjects with a medium format camera doesn't mean everyone is so afflicted, I can't play the trombone either but some people manage it. However, I wonder if anyone can reliably deliver better than a 20% or 30% success rate  focusing on an off-centre moving subject with a medium format camera at a wide aperture?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84032\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2006, 07:25:00 AM »
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I don't know whether this is relevant, but looking at my fashion show work with big-aperture, slow to focus SLR lenses, I believe that stepping back with a slighly wider lens works - Edmund
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84114\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I beleive this to be total tosh - once you have cropped in the relative magnification is larger and the sensitivity to out of Focusness is therefore more visible

Cropping a big file just gives you back a small DSLR size file anyway and a DSLR look too

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2006, 08:53:26 AM »
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So I gave up on medium format auto focus and went back to a V system and a DSLR for the rare occasions when I needed to photograph a moving subject.

I recognise that just because I can't focus accurately on moving subjects with a medium format camera doesn't mean everyone is so afflicted, I can't play the trombone either but some people manage it. However, I wonder if anyone can reliably deliver better than a 20% or 30% success rate  focusing on an off-centre moving subject with a medium format camera at a wide aperture?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84032\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

For what I do, which is architecture/interior and product, the V system works well, but then again it's locked down on a tripod and the mirror is locked up...if the focus is off, it's me not the camera.

For portraiture, the 20-30% with MF figure Gary suggests is a pretty good estimate, though I think I'm at the lower end of that range...which is exactly why the 1Ds still lives in my kit.
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2006, 09:03:11 AM »
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Software is very important. If you like the Aptus, Get used to Capture 8 or CS2 Raw. Capture 10 is not a working app. It is mostly useless. There is the imfamous version 10.1 which is supposed to fix most of the problems but I would not count on that to be released anytime soon. Leaf is allready a couple of years behind schedule with their software. I remember when I first started looking into getting a db, I was told Leaf had gathered pro photohraphers in London to "sketch up" their dream app - LC 10. That is now several years ago, and the thing is still not ready.

Personally I find the Hasselblad software a little confusing. Too many floating boxes, and the logic of getting things done might seem a little odd at first. Again I have been told that new software is in the works, but would not base my decission on that..

All companies seem to start marketing a very long time before products are actually ready. So get what is available today, do not buy based on what is coming. Things do tend to take a lille more time than entusiastic reps tell you..

Test the software. If possible buy the kit you tested. My experience is that not all back are created equal. I am now on my 3rd Aptus. Hopefully this one works like advertized. The demoback I tested was flawless however.. I had to send back the first Mamiya body I got as well, and my new body seems to have some issues with consistent shutterspeeds.
Maimiya AF hunts back and forth a lot.  Canon AF is far superior. Dont know about the H1.

When you are testing the backs, TEST it. Don't just shoot a couple of random frames..

All backs available today are capable of making great images. Software is in my oppinion what makes them different. If the software does not work for you, do not buy the back. You will spend ALOT of time using the software. Probably more than the back itself..



Lasse


Quote
I know this has probably been discussed a million times but i need some advice or to be pointed to the right threads.

Being dissapointed with my Mark II, I am going to make the jump to MF digi's.

I shoot handheld (mostly) portraits/people and occasionally food.  however, i think 22MP should be plenty.

Of course I like the look of the H3 system but i have also heard great things about the Leaf Aptus.

I should also mention I prefer to use autofocus when shooting people.

Any tips on choosing?   i'll be testing as well.  so i guess any tips on what to test?

thx,

Randal
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83960\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2006, 04:57:50 PM »
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I've been shooting people with my H1 / P25 for 2 years now. Handheld and using a monopod. I have also shot Mk11 & 5D and I can say my P5 at 400 is head and shoulders above the small dslr's. My favourite lens is a 210 f4. The H1 with a 210/4 and a P25 is lighter and smaller than a Canon 1DS mk2 with the 70 - 200 f2.8. I don't see the point carrying extra kit only to have a half size sensor:-)

Look at Aptus because I constantly hear of delighted users. Once you experience true 16 bit files you will never look back.

Damien.
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