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Author Topic: 6x17 film camera or refurbished P45 dilemma  (Read 6762 times)
mikeinlondon
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« on: October 08, 2007, 10:36:24 AM »
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I really want load more detail from my lanscape photos (currently using Olympus E1 and various MF film kit) and have narrowed the choice down to a 6x17 film camera (and get the film scanned) or a refurbished Phase one P45 for my MF kit.

But my photographer mates all have given me conflicting advice. Most seem to think I would be better off saving some money and get the 6x17 camera (say a Horseman/Fotoman/Widepan 6x17 - I do love the panoramic format) and get the films scanned (i can get good 6x17 scans for under 3 each through a deal with my lab) and invest in digital when it gets cheaper. Others say forget film and get a P45 and stitch to get panoramics.

Im not sure what route to go down, a new Horseman with 90mm lens would be around 4K, a Widepan 2K (plus ongoing film and scan costs) but the P45 10K (or there abouts for a refurbished model).

My lab manager put me off the P45 saying it may not be supported in 3 years time, where a manual camera would still work (if 120 film is still made!!).

Any advice??

Mike
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stevenf
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 09:09:30 PM »
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I was in the same dilema and went with the Horseman 617 with the 72mm and 180mm lenses. This will replace my xpan. I also use a 1ds Mk 2 and might replace it when the mark 3 comes out.

You can e-mail offline if you want to chat.

Steven

www.friedmanphoto.com
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KAP
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 08:55:15 AM »
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I really want load more detail from my lanscape photos (currently using Olympus E1 and various MF film kit) and have narrowed the choice down to a 6x17 film camera (and get the film scanned) or a refurbished Phase one P45 for my MF kit.

But my photographer mates all have given me conflicting advice. Most seem to think I would be better off saving some money and get the 6x17 camera (say a Horseman/Fotoman/Widepan 6x17 - I do love the panoramic format) and get the films scanned (i can get good 6x17 scans for under 3 each through a deal with my lab) and invest in digital when it gets cheaper. Others say forget film and get a P45 and stitch to get panoramics.

Im not sure what route to go down, a new Horseman with 90mm lens would be around 4K, a Widepan 2K (plus ongoing film and scan costs) but the P45 10K (or there abouts for a refurbished model).

My lab manager put me off the P45 saying it may not be supported in 3 years time, where a manual camera would still work (if 120 film is still made!!).

Any advice??

Mike
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=144630\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A chalk and cheese question if ever there was, you might need both. 617 is fine if all you want to take is 617 pictures and you might only want to.
A P45 will give you more options but at a greater upfront price, I don't get the 3 year thing and what the hell does a lab manager know about Phaseone marketing and support. He does know that a Phaseone does not produce rolls of film for processing though. Ignore the lab manager and go with what does the job best for you.

Kevin.
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bradleygibson
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2007, 10:52:33 AM »
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The medium format industry is in turmoil, perhaps that is what your lab manager friend was referring to.  Yes, many of the major MF players have either died off or gotten out of the business during the transition to digital, but this always happens during major industry changes.

Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about folks like Phase surviving--I think the kind of image quality delivered by medium format backs will be in demand for a long time to come, and Phase (among others) will be there to satisfy that need.

In the end, though, since no one has crystal ball, you'll need to decide for yourself how much risk you feel is there.

As for image quality, I picked up a P45+ for exactly this reason.  Here is a photograph of a 48" x 144" 4-stitch panorama, done with a regular P45.

[attachment=3799:attachment]

In this print, you can easily see individual branches and twigs on the trees on the island--the Phase will definitely deliver the details for you versus the E1 (as will the 6x17, for that matter).

I think at this point it will come down to which best fits your budget, and ultimately which is your preferred way of working?

Let us know which way you decide to go,
-Brad
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 10:57:08 AM by bradleygibson » Logged

httivals
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2007, 02:10:17 PM »
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If you're going to stitch, which is an excellent route, there's no need to get a medium format back.  3-6 stitched DSLR images will give you excellent quality, probably  very close to scanned 6cm x 17cm film. . . .  The Canon DSLRs are probably best for stitching panoramics because of the tilt shift lens.  They permit you to stitch around the nodal point, while using the shift to change the field of view up or down.  The only focal length really missing from the Canon tilt-shift lineup is a 35mm, but I'm using a Nikon 35mm shift with a Canon adapter.  If you want higher image quality without stitching then, the medium format back makes sense.
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Mort54
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2007, 07:20:28 PM »
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I really want load more detail from my lanscape photos (currently using Olympus E1 and various MF film kit) and have narrowed the choice down to a 6x17 film camera (and get the film scanned) or a refurbished Phase one P45 for my MF kit.
Hi Mike. It's a tough decision, given the costs involved (either the cost of the back, or the cost of the film scanning). I was very unsatisfied with the detail I was getting with my D2X, and finally got a P45+. The first time I looked at a P45 file, the detail was literally startling. It's not just the MP. It's also the lack of an AA filter. Because of the AA filter, I can't get comparable results using stiching with my D2X, unless I stich a lot of images to get a much higher MP image than the P45 delivers, and then downsample to 39 MP.
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nik
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2007, 01:52:46 AM »
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What's your definition of a good scan?! Imacon or Drum? That's about it for me, anything else will seriously impact your desired quality results. You  should not afford any weak links in your workflow, the end result always suffers. I had similar demands, I rented the horseman/Linhof/Fuji 617 and tested them all. I also rented the Mamiya ZD. I finally settled on the horseman 612 as I liked the 2:1 aspect ratio more than 3:1 of the 617. Sadly though my access to cheap drum and imacon scans has now disappeared and I'm soon to put my stuff on sale.

-N

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(i can get good 6x17 scans for under 3 each through a deal with my lab) and invest in digital when it gets cheaper. Others say forget film and get a P45 and stitch to get panoramics.

Any advice??

Mike
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bradleygibson
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2007, 10:08:15 AM »
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If you're going to stitch, which is an excellent route, there's no need to get a medium format back. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151975\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm going to have to go with Mort on this one--there is definitely a quality difference.  Of course you can stitch with any camera.  But just as there is a quality advantage to MF with single shot images, there is also an advantage with multiple shot stitches.

-Brad
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 10:09:01 AM by bradleygibson » Logged

Eli Burakian
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 01:12:46 AM »
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Mort,

Do you find that not having the AA filter you get moire?  And if so, how big a deal is it? I didn't realize that having an AA filter really cut down on actual detail.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 04:06:14 PM »
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Hi,

"Difficult to predict the future is!"

If you are photographing static motives stitching is probably the optimal route. If you buy an expensive back like P45 and crop you would actually waste a lot of pixels you have paid for. I would try the stitching approach first. Yo need a decent stitching program like Autopano pro and a decent panoramic head. If you use Autopano Pro and use "smart blend" you don't even need to care about the nodal point.

My recommended practice:

- Use manual exposure
- Camera position should be vertical (you need an L-plate for that)
- Use 30% overlap

There are a lot of stitching programs, I am using Autopano Pro and it works well for me. "Smart Blend" is important, however.

Best regards

Erik



Quote
I really want load more detail from my lanscape photos (currently using Olympus E1 and various MF film kit) and have narrowed the choice down to a 6x17 film camera (and get the film scanned) or a refurbished Phase one P45 for my MF kit.

But my photographer mates all have given me conflicting advice. Most seem to think I would be better off saving some money and get the 6x17 camera (say a Horseman/Fotoman/Widepan 6x17 - I do love the panoramic format) and get the films scanned (i can get good 6x17 scans for under 3 each through a deal with my lab) and invest in digital when it gets cheaper. Others say forget film and get a P45 and stitch to get panoramics.

Im not sure what route to go down, a new Horseman with 90mm lens would be around 4K, a Widepan 2K (plus ongoing film and scan costs) but the P45 10K (or there abouts for a refurbished model).

My lab manager put me off the P45 saying it may not be supported in 3 years time, where a manual camera would still work (if 120 film is still made!!).

Any advice??

Mike
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 08:35:37 PM »
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If you're going to stitch, which is an excellent route, there's no need to get a medium format back.  3-6 stitched DSLR images will give you excellent quality, probably  very close to scanned 6cm x 17cm film. . . .  The Canon DSLRs are probably best for stitching panoramics because of the tilt shift lens.  They permit you to stitch around the nodal point, while using the shift to change the field of view up or down.  The only focal length really missing from the Canon tilt-shift lineup is a 35mm, but I'm using a Nikon 35mm shift with a Canon adapter.  If you want higher image quality without stitching then, the medium format back makes sense.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151975\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Allow me to respectully disagree. Lack of tilt is a non issue with software like PTgui if you use a suitable pano head. Tilt lenses are in fact likely to introduce unwanted parallax issues if the camera is not perfectly positioned vertically.

For me, the most important aspect to get perfect stitches when the sky is part of the equation is the lack of light fall off in the corners of the image + lack of soft corners.

From this standpoint, APS sensors are IMHO the best solution, whether they are from Nikon or Canon.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2007, 08:37:26 PM »
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If you can afford one, I would go for the P45.

It is a lot more universal than the 6x17 camera, and will be able to do panoramic either by flat (with a view camera) or cylindrical (with a MF camera + pano head) stiching.

Regards,
Bernard
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2007, 06:23:50 PM »
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Consider a P 30
1. cheaper
2. cropped sensor; less light fall off for stitching
3. microlenses; higher sensitivity/lower noise
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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