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Author Topic: 30K APTUS 75S when CANON would do! Would it?  (Read 15049 times)
AndreNapier
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« on: December 27, 2007, 08:50:08 PM »
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I have been thinking long and hard after getting upset with the recent thread DB vs Canon .
I originally agreed with the statement that DB users should not participate anymore in the thread and just let it die naturally. It is absolutely obvious that it makes no sense to argue with some of the LL members who have strong opinions and none experience. The same dividing lines are drawn on the net between Canon vs Nikon users or even better Canon/Nikon vs Leica. All these arguments are always ending the same way.
The main reason that I decides to write this post is because so many  people have red the Canon vs DB thread and  I did not wanted them to walk away with the feeling that digital back users are a bunch of excentric photogs with money to burn.
I for one strongly believe that my Aptus75S was the best business investment that I ever did. The digital back paid for itself easily just with the extra jobs I got in couple of months since I received it.
The high price is always in relation to one's earnings from photography. Thirty thousand dollars may seem like a lot to some but if you recently did or even try to estimate advertising shoot you would realize that nothing now days can be produce with less than six figure budget. 30K is less than  top models from DNA are charging for 8 hours of work. All is relative when you need to produce top notch results and when your client money are on a line. I own two DB's and a Canon with prime L lenses. I also have most of Leica glass and an adapter for Canon. I extensively tried all digital backs and DSLR's. At one point or the other I owned all them with all possible camera/lens combination.
For my style of shooting I settle with A75s and Rz67. To me the discussion abut quality difference between BD and Canon is mind bugling. It is one thing to decide to use and love the workflow and results produced from DSLR's and different thing to insist that there is no quality superiority of DB's. Since photography is a visual art I believe that anybody who DO NOT see the difference between the two systems should think twice about a choice of carrier. I by no means do not say that great amazing results can not be achieved with any camera. Photographer better than me will produce more compelling and worthy images with 5d than I will with A75s. Camera choice is a personal preference. Advantages and disadvantages of each system need to be weigh to accommodate your work style but please do not confuse quality of an image with quality of a picture.
Recent poll questioned quality of CMYK prints. The problem is that today you are shooting for A4 print but tomorrow your client decides to print it 30 feet high and display it in Milan Airport. Anyone who ever tried to reshoot a set knows that there is no such a thing as too big of a file if you dealing with commercial clients.
Bellow I post several Jpg's of images produced from A75s to illustrate my points. Web display is very limiting especially when one is watching on not calibrated screen on Firefox but never less it should give you an idea that what I said here are not just words and charts. Detail, drawing, texture, ability to capture whites, DOF are all illustrated here:
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« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 11:17:10 PM by AndreNapier » Logged
david o
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2007, 09:09:59 PM »
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Since photography is a visual art I believe that anybody who DO NOT see the difference between the two systems should think twice about a choice of carrier.

I think this is the major point... if not the only
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MarkKay
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2007, 09:14:20 PM »
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I do not think anyone really believes the canon 1DsmkIII is as good as the newer MF digital backs when it comes to "measuring" all the different parameters that go into establishing the IQ.  THe question is how much of a difference is there and will it suffice for the specific needs of the user.  I use "measuring" as both a subjective and objective standard of comparison since some specific parameters cannot be clearly measured or quantified.

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I think this is the major point... if not the only
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163497\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Mike Chini
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2007, 09:37:27 PM »
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I think the one key issue that is often overlooked while everyone argues over this point is that both monitors and printers are severe limiting factors!!!  Most photographers are looking at sRGB 8-bit versions of everything on both so many of the advantages of mfdb's are lost.  I do think that there is no discernible difference between the two formats in print (publication) because of this - for the time being.  But with new 16-bit drivers and better LED backlit LCD's - the differences will become more apparent.

I did an interesting experiment a few weeks ago.  I bought a new 42" 1080p plasma hdtv and decided to hook up my computer to it (DVI to HDMI).  It FLOORED me.  ALL of my images looked MUCH better.  Rich colors, tons of contrast and many subtle color variances I can't see on my LCD monitor.  The most interesting part was that 1ds mark 2 images were suddenly noticeably richer than my 5d images and Aptus 22 images were just about on par with the 1ds II images.  Maybe a tad nicer.  YMMV of course (and I personally prefer mfdb's btw...).

We all know there are many shooting and IQ advantages for both formats (35mm - high ISO, speed, long exposures, weather proofing etc etc etc vs. MF, better DOF, accurate colors, DR etc etc etc.).  It's essentially a pointless comparison IMO.  Both formats have their uses.  I'd love to see mfdb's come down in price, add a few more features (like better lcd's and multi-shot - yes it makes a difference!) and otherwise improve their usability.  Likewise, I'd like to see Canon and Nikon offer fewer bells and whistles and MUCH better warranties.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 09:42:10 PM by Mike Chini » Logged
jing q
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2007, 10:03:29 PM »
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I think this is the major point... if not the only
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163497\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think that most of the people here are able to make a decision for themselves on the cost vs performance price ratio, it's not like we all want to throw all the money we have.
Just for perspective, a Leaf 75S is renting at $700 a day here in NYC. Factor in a few jobs and depreciation and then reselling the back and it becomes less of a eyeboggling amount to spend.

Go look at the photographers who shoot for the New York Times magazine every week and look at the equipment they use.
maybe new york photographers are crazy but a lot of us can tell the difference between a 645 shot, a 6x7 shot, a 4x5 shot, an 8x10 shot, even in CMYK print.
It goes beyond a 100% crop, it's about perspective, framing, angle, depth, tonality.

There's a reason why the RZ67 is still a tool of choice for editorial in terms of quality (a balance of convenience and quality)

the people who are arguing that just "good enough" is "good enough" obviously have different standards of perfection with regards to their art.
When you get an amazing shot there you would be wishing that you had a camera with better IQ at the end result.
I think if you took away the money factor then all this bitching would end. But oh wait. Probably it'll still continue. There's been a tradition of 35mm only shooters not caring to try anything like a medium format camera or GASP a 4x5 camera with no autofocus!
It boggles my mind why people would want to gripe so much about items they could easily try out in real life....

I don't care so much about all the limiting factors all I know is that at the end of the day I pictures that I feel are the maximum quality I can get with the right feeling that I want.

it is irritating to have to deal with all the pixel peeping of people who don't seem to have experience with cameras other than a bunch of 35mm cameras...
obviously not appreciating the physical nature of photography ranging from polaroid cameras (oh I love my minolta pro with spectra film), RZ67, 8x10, etc

Basically if you've been eating Olive Garden all your life you wouldn't know the standards a great Italian meal even if an italian housewife came and hit you over the head with a frying pan....especially if it's a web-based jpeg image of an italian meal.
ha ha.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 10:22:08 PM by jing q » Logged
bcroslin
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2007, 11:32:19 PM »
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It's all about what works for you. There's far too many clowns with no clue of what they're talking about on these boards.

I've spent a total of $26k on medium format digital backs and decided to go back to shooting Canons because I've found the MF digitals to be too glitchy and unpredictable. The files from the Aptus 22 are amazing but having the back lock up for no apparent reason in the middle of a shoot is a deal breaker. That's my main issue with the discussion on these boards - there's lots of people who like to play photographer here but very few that have actually had an Aptus or Phase in their hands lock up with an art director standing over their shoulder while the talent get's annoyed on a paying gig. Who cares what the files look like if you can't make a picture?!

My 1Ds MKIII arrived yesterday and I couldn't be happier. Is the file as nice as the Aptus 22 - in a word: NO. Is it close? So far from what I'm seeing it is. I spent several hours testing it today and I really like what I'm seeing. Best of all I know it works without any glitches. The color looks great, tethering is easy and fast and fine tuning the focus specific to each lens in my bag is incredible.

Bottom line: stop worrying about what other people are doing and just get on with your life! If a Nikon D1h gets the job done who really gives a shit! Terry Richardson is out there laughing his way to bank with a crappy little point and shoot. Dan Winters is making art with an 8x10 camera. Do you think they're posting meaningless polls on the internet? Do you think they're checking resolution charts? Do you really think they stop and think about what other photogs are shooting with?

Get real.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 11:33:09 PM by bcroslin » Logged

Bob Croslin, Photographer
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AndreNapier
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2007, 11:45:46 PM »
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Bob,
I had lots of lock ups with Hassy H and Aptus75/P25. Since I  have switched to Rz67 ProII a year ago there has not been one instance of the back mulfunctioning. Yes occasionaly FireWire gets disconected but it is even worst with Canon when shooting thethered to Mac. I think that the problem with lock up lays with camera software and not with the backs.
Andre
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rgmoore
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2007, 12:37:23 AM »
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Andre,

Thank you for posting. Your experience and images (especially the cropped details) are the clearest  examples of the many virtues of MFDBs that I have seen on the forum in a long time.

I have used RZ67 years ago with film and loved it. Currently, there seems to be a stronger lean
towards the AFDII as the prevailing opinion holds that Mamiya will likely emphasize its development over the RZ.

Having read your previous posts about the RZ67 Pro II D with 110 mm lens, and in view of other
available options, I wonder if you would still choose this same system for your type of work?

Appreciate your consideration.

Richard
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2007, 01:50:26 AM »
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@Mike,
Remember that plasmas are out of the box very bad performers with cartoon like colors and more often than not a way oversaturated green and red.

I'm an ISF calibrator and I have been calibrating plasmas every since they appeared on the market, they are much better than MOST LCD TV's.
However when judging a photo please use a calibrated monitor fit for the job.
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eronald
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2007, 02:08:02 AM »
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André,

 Your pictures make a compelling argument, thank you for posting them.

 I'm a color consultant. My experience is that photographers in general do not see color especially well. Except for the very top fashion and portrait guys and some repro specialists. Many photographers are *males* who are good at concept, working the models well, being organized and reliable, have contacts, are good at getting clients and doing the business etc but not necessarily at *seeing the colors in files*.  

 So I guess, you should say "Do a test, ask the people around you which files they prefer" - the photographers themselves cannot see the difference between Canon and MF anymore, although their clients certainly can. The clients are *female*, often, they are retouchers or art directors, and have a very good sense of color. If I may tell this story, when my Phase back was broken, my dealer couldn't see the problem with the files on his Eizo screen - his female employee spotted the issue immediately.

Edmund

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Since photography is a visual art I believe that anybody who DO NOT see the difference between the two systems should think twice about a choice of carrier.
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2007, 03:31:42 AM »
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That's funny, it's the same thing I experience

And 100% correct.
When I do the calibrations the wife usually sits totally without interest and claims she will never see the difference.
After the calibration the client (male) often sees a huge difference but is shocked when his wife points out differences he did NOT see

I'm trained in calibration, color and can say that I have a very good visual "eye".

When I teach workshops alot of photographers/students haven't got the faintest clue about colorworkflow and the only thing they notice what's wrong is when the blacks are fogging or when the blacks are muddy.

when I show them on 2 setups a photo so they can compare side by side the differences jump out by a few.

But than again, look at how many photographers post pictures with a wrong colorprofile attached, let alone the portfolios I see that are printed that way....
When I point it out to them most react as if they hear something that is totally new to them.

So yes in short, you are right due to the bad settings in todays monitors, projectors, TV's etc. people have forgotten how a picture SHOULD look, instead they are looking at way too much blue and often oversaturated greens and reds.
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Ray
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2007, 04:17:33 AM »
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To me the discussion abut quality difference between BD and Canon is mind bugling. It is one thing to decide to use and love the workflow and results produced from DSLR's and different thing to insist that there is no quality superiority of DB's. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163495\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Andre,
I've never come across any threads on LL in which it is generally claimed that 35mm systems are equal to DBs.

Your Aptus 75S is a 33mp DB is it not? Has anyone tried to convince you that a Canon 35mm is just as good? Where? When? Point me to the thread.

As far as I'm concerned, the only really meaningful and useful comparisons that might challenge the superiority of certain DBs are those between the 21mp Canon 1Ds3 and DBs of similar pixel count such as the P21.
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robert zimmerman
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2007, 04:39:29 AM »
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I've spent a total of $26k on medium format digital backs and decided to go back to shooting Canons because I've found the MF digitals to be too glitchy and unpredictable. The files from the Aptus 22 are amazing but having the back lock up for no apparent reason in the middle of a shoot is a deal breaker. That's my main issue with the discussion on these boards - there's lots of people who like to play photographer here but very few that have actually had an Aptus or Phase in their hands lock up with an art director standing over their shoulder while the talent get's annoyed on a paying gig. Who cares what the files look like if you can't make a picture?!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163523\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

in my experience it's not that simple. if you work in advertising (at least in europe) you DO NOT have a choice. the production company, who is in contact with the client and the agency, and who has to make a cost estimate for composing and everything else up to printing, will specify from he beginning that he wants (needs) the largest, highest quality file possible. they've all got their horror stories of photographers that shot close ups of 30k swiss watches with a canon and they had to explain to the client why the proofs looked like total crapola.
an art director on the set in a bad mood when a camera goes down is nothing compared to an unhappy client who just spent 100k + on the production and thinks his watch, car, perfume or whatever looks like oat meal.

there's a difference in file quality and it is being seen by agencies, art directors, producers and the clients that are paying the photographer - and yes,  although most of them have never even held a mf cam with a digi back, they all consider themselves experts too.
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Ray
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2007, 05:16:24 AM »
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.. they've all got their horror stories of photographers that shot close ups of 30k swiss watches with a canon and they had to explain to the client why the proofs looked like total crapola.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163563\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What were the explanations? Err! I forget I was using a smaller format than usual and used f22   .
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Mike W
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2007, 05:26:38 AM »
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Well said.

Now let's all move on...
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2007, 06:02:43 AM »
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in my experience it's not that simple. if you work in advertising (at least in europe) you DO NOT have a choice. the production company, who is in contact with the client and the agency, and who has to make a cost estimate for composing and everything else up to printing, will specify from he beginning that he wants (needs) the largest, highest quality file possible. they've all got their horror stories of photographers that shot close ups of 30k swiss watches with a canon and they had to explain to the client why the proofs looked like total crapola.
an art director on the set in a bad mood when a camera goes down is nothing compared to an unhappy client who just spent 100k + on the production and thinks his watch, car, perfume or whatever looks like oat meal.

there's a difference in file quality and it is being seen by agencies, art directors, producers and the clients that are paying the photographer - and yes,  although most of them have never even held a mf cam with a digi back, they all consider themselves experts too.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163563\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Really?  I've been doing this a VERY long time and I can't even remember one instance where an art director or agency demanded a certain format for any shoot, film or digital.  Maybe things are different here in the boondocks, where they trust the photographer to bring the right tool for the job.
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2007, 06:26:01 AM »
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I have been thinking long and hard after getting upset with the recent thread DB vs Canon .
I originally agreed with the statement that DB users should not participate anymore in the thread and just let it die naturally. It is absolutely obvious that it makes no sense to argue with some of the LL members who have strong opinions and none experience. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163495\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So true!
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[span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'][span style='color:black']N a t a s a   S t o j s i c[/span][/span][span style='color:gray']  .......................................................................................................................................... [/span]
[span style='color:gray']PHASE[/span][span style='color:skyblue']ONE[/span] [span style='color:gray']P30[span style='font-size:7pt;line-height:100%']+[/span][/span]| [span style='color:red']MAMIYA[/span] [span style='color:gray']645 AFD II [/span]  [span style='font-family:impact'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'][span style='color:#98AFC7'] | 28mm f4.5 D. AF | 35mm f3.5 AF | 55-110mm f4.5 AF Zoom | 80mm f2.8 AF | 120mm f4.0 MF Macro | 150mm f3.5 AF[/span][/span][/span]
robert zimmerman
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2007, 06:47:27 AM »
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Really?  I've been doing this a VERY long time and I can't even remember one instance where an art director or agency demanded a certain format for any shoot, film or digital.  Maybe things are different here in the boondocks, where they trust the photographer to bring the right tool for the job.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163572\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

 
i don't know where you're located but i'm in germany and nobody here (i'm talking big budget commercial jobs (mercedes, german telekom, wella, etc.) not editorial work where you're not getting paid jack regardless what you use...) leaves anything to chance.
one of the questions i always hear at pre production meetings is "film or digital? and what file size?". it's not a one time thing and i can't imagine anybody here shooting withot having been asked what they'll be delivering.
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godtfred
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2007, 07:02:24 AM »
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Really?  I've been doing this a VERY long time and I can't even remember one instance where an art director or agency demanded a certain format for any shoot, film or digital.  Maybe things are different here in the boondocks, where they trust the photographer to bring the right tool for the job.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163572\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I have been doing this a very short time, and I have had several shoots where a 39mpix back has been specified as the only acceptable option from the technician on the Creative team, as the client wants to use parts of images along with the whole image (for instance zooming in and out of images in TV commercials using stop-motion techniques.)

Highly specialized with a specific end use, but then again, many MFDB users are highly skilled as well as highly specialized within their chosen field(s).

For me Andres statement from the first post (quoted below) holds true, the budgets and client base increased in a matter of months after getting my MFDB, and that is despite huge initial setbacks and technical problems on set.

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I for one strongly believe that my Aptus75S was the best business investment that I ever did. The digital back paid for itself easily just with the extra jobs I got in couple of months since I received it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163495\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2007, 07:46:30 AM »
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Dear Andre,

Your post is excellent. I most humbly admire your work.


Dear All,

Allow me to throw in some points from an advanced amateur's point of view;

1. It has been said elsewhere that stepping up to medium format results in an immediate improvement in ones photography. Indeed it is like a new way to see for me; it slows me down and I believe leads me to also view and visualize better. It is not only the pixels or double size of sensor, but a whole different format, larger viewfinder and indeed pleasure of less automation, perhaps more of traditional photography!  

2. Although for a professional the cost of medium format digital can be justified, for an amateur it means larger step from DSLR to medium format, than what from 35mm film to mediumformat film ever was. In other words it means a step that is clear LARGE $$$. In fact... considering $$, going with medium format film instead seem rather economical as an amateur (lets bear in mind that as amateurs we shoot considerably less frames per year). The large step in $$$ over DSLR feels sad and unfortunate. My guess is that it also closes out many people from trying medium format. Many people seem frank sold on a belief of comparing MPs alone (why when total volume of light collected is about twice??).

3. Let me add; One of the greatest pleasures of this medium format forum is that we amateurs also get privilage to interact and communicate with high level professionals that are very much respected for their work. Thank you most kindly   .

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 07:48:42 AM by Anders_HK » Logged
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