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Author Topic: State of MF digital  (Read 14575 times)
Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2009, 08:23:15 AM »
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Quote from: michael
As for the fine art side, during the past couple of years I have seen a huge number of well recognized photographers who either run their own galleries or who are represented by major ones, who have switched to MF, in particular the Phase One P65+. This includes folks like Peter Lik, Charlie Cramer, Bill Atkinson, Tim Wolcott, Mark Dubovoy, and many more whom I don't know personally.

The reason is simple. This differences over DSLRs are clearly visible especially in large prints, which is what most people sell in a gallery environment.

Michael
... and with kit like my 4 Metz's Sport and wildlife could benefit from 60Mpx.
... and with kit like my 4 Elinchrome 1,500s, dance theatre and gymnastics photography could benefit from 60Mpx
... and when the H4D-60 come out, with Phocus 2, will the Phase 65+ still be the tool of choice for landscape [photographers?
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Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
KLaban
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2009, 09:09:33 AM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
For me, the key is Stitching, with the 5d2. If you're doing landscape, or anything not moving

Every landscape shot I've ever made had something moving. Even my architecture shots inevitably have something moving.

Quote from: gwhitf
In my book, the Contax, H, S2, and Hy6 are the mid-ground compromise, and not the ultimate tool in any sense -- If you need flexibility and high ASA, then go for the Canon or Nikon; If you need ultimate pixel quality and lens control, then reach for one of those Technical Cameras with a P65.

I agree with your point about the Canon or Nikon.

If you own an H or other MFD outfit you already own the most expensive component for a view/tech camera setup.

What amuses me most here is the obsessive need to challenge other photographer’s choices.

Anyways, wishing all here happy hols and good shooting; whatever you're using!

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archivue
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2009, 09:24:36 AM »
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My 5D Mark II is slipping... i'm using my aptus all the time... i just prefer the color, the sharpness... and the leaf handles bad weather light in a more plesant way...

Different tools, but for my shooting style, a MFDB is a no brainer !
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tho_mas
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2009, 09:48:33 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 09:52:06 AM by tho_mas » Logged
TMARK
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2009, 10:26:51 AM »
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This applies to people who make their living with photography or people who aspire to do so.  If you shoot for fun and have the money, there is no wrong choice.  Have a good time.

I stopped using MFD for 90% of what I do, which is fashion, portraits, etc. for two reasons:  the cameras are not as functional as they were with Film, and two, they are challenged by nautural/continious light, which is what I am asked for.  

I rarely ever use my Aptus anymore because I never have enough window light, or I'm using the HMIs I used to light a film set, and there just is not enough light.  I need three more stops, and 2.8 is the fastest lens for my RZ.  So, the Aptus stays in the Peli case and out comes a dslr or even the M8, or, depending on the look we're after, some Portra 800.  

When I shot beauty I always used a back.  I rented, for the most part.  I was locked down on a tripod.  I had five or six Profoto 1200s packs, unlimited light, and a team of techs and their carts.  But for fashion, the backs just get in my way with their cords, carts, and techs.  I find a dslr gets me a better photo, because I'm more apt to try something if I don't have to fool with a tripod, a bunch of cables, move some lights around, etc.  It just kills the mood, the moment lost in banal task of dicking with a tripod and grip equipment.

People should shoot what works for them, what gets them the shot.  But I will say this:  there is so much MFDB Chauvinism and propaganda that is bad for the impressionable, young pro or aspiring pro photographers.  Its silly.  Its gear centric and has nothing to do with the images that get you work.  I tell anyone starting out who will listen to spend any extra money they have on production, travel, going on look/sees in the big markets, or marketing.  

If you like shooting an MFDB, and can pay cash, and have a busy business, go for it.  If not, that 5D2 and a trip to Paris to show your book around, maybe shoot an editorial or two while there, will be much more rewarding, personally and professionally, than a back.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 04:41:50 PM by TMARK » Logged
eleanorbrown
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2009, 10:46:49 AM »
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While I have the capability to print very large I seldom do (for various reasons).  I am amazed at how many photographers print huge and I mean huge wall sized  prints and  I will walk up to these prints hanging on the wall and the files (or images from film or whatever) go soft, break up, get horribly grainy/noisy, etc.  I won't print anything unless it looks good at my "test" distance of about 2 feet, no matter how large.  Bigger is not necessarily better in my personal opinion.
Eleanor
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gdwhalen
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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2009, 11:01:34 AM »
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or me, the key is Stitching, with the 5d2. If you're doing landscape, or anything not moving, the ease of use of the 24, 45, and 90 Canon T/S lenses make it so easy to just shoot a "top, center, and bottom", and let CS4 just line them up to the pixel, and instantly, you've got double the resolution in an easy-to-carry, easy-to-process, easy-to-tether, fast-lens, high ASA, great LCD, solid-software solution. Stitching is The Great Equalizer.



As long as nothing is moving in the pic.  Then what?
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AlexM
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« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2009, 11:06:27 AM »
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What I hope for is that in a couple of years we can have MF cameras that can focus fast and shoot in low light. And there would be no need to choose anymore.
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Juanito
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« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2009, 11:12:12 AM »
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As long as the synch speed on small format remains stuck at about 1/200, there will always be a place for MF in my world.

John
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2009, 12:18:13 PM »
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Quote from: erick.boileau
I also prefer MF for landscape and architecture
With a technical/view camera I presume? Setting aside sensor resolution, I can't see the benefit of MF DSLR's over 35mm DSLR's, especially since the latter tend to be more full-featured, and have more tilt/shift lens options.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 12:18:37 PM by JeffKohn » Logged

tho_mas
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« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2009, 12:22:38 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
I can't see the benefit of MF DSLR's over 35mm DSLR's
- Waist level finder
- bigger finder
- easy exchangeable screens
- easy to clean sensor
- less buttons + knobs
- aperture ring on the lens (a DSLR on tripod is PITA)
- "look"
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KLaban
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« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2009, 12:32:19 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
With a technical/view camera I presume? Setting aside sensor resolution, I can't see the benefit of MF DSLR's over 35mm DSLR's, especially since the latter tend to be more full-featured, and have more tilt/shift lens options.

Viewfinders that allow one to see and a format that works both horizontally and vertically. The ability to mount that MF DSLR back on that view/tech camera...

Anyway, as I've said, it's simple, if you can't see the benefit then don't use 'em.
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yaya
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« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2009, 12:44:53 PM »
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Quote from: carstenw
I have hesitated to post this since I believe he frequents these forums, but I went to Camera Works a while ago, a high-end gallery which regularly sells prints for over €25000, to see the Russell James exhibition, and there were several enlargements there which were just enlarged too much.
Russell James is not James Russell, although many people get these two names mixed up...

James Russell

Russell James

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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2009, 12:56:32 PM »
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Keep in mind I was speaking specifically about landscape and architecture...
Quote from: tho_mas
- Waist level finder
Nice for low camera positions, but makes higher camera positions impossible unless you don't mind getting out a step-ladder to stand on.

Quote
- bigger finder
- easy exchangeable screens
Nice, but offset to some extent by having a high-res LCD with live-view (which can be zoomed in for focusing).

Quote
- easy to clean sensor
I've not had much problem using a bulb-blower, personally. Many DSLR's have built-in dust-cleaning mechanisms.

Quote
- less buttons + knobs
which means digging through on-screen menus instead.

Quote
- aperture ring on the lens (a DSLR on tripod is PITA)
How is using the aperture thumbwheel on the back a PITA? I much prefer that to reaching around to find an aperture ring. If you really like the aperture ring, it's there on many of the Nikon-mount lenses.

Quote
- "look"
subjective and debatable, especially if we're talking landscape/architecture where large DOF is often preferred.

Personally I'll take live-view and the t/s lenses  over a MF DSLR. I do see the appeal of MFD with a view camera though.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2009, 12:59:49 PM »
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Quote from: KLaban
Viewfinders that allow one to see and a format that works both horizontally and vertically.
Are we talking digital or film, I'm not aware of any square sensors. I prefer rectangular formats, and find an L-bracket works just fine.

Quote
The ability to mount that MF DSLR back on that view/tech camera...
No argument there. I definitely see the appeal of a digital view camera, it's the MF DSLR's that I think are poorly suited to landscape and architecture.
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Rob C
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« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2009, 01:06:29 PM »
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Quote from: Graham Mitchell
Sport, yes, but fashion??





Certainly in my experience.

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2009, 01:08:08 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Are we talking digital or film, I'm not aware of any square sensors. I prefer rectangular formats, and find an L-bracket works just fine.

No, we're not talking film, square sensors or the ability to switch between landscape and portrait orientation.

We're, or rather, I'm, talking about 3:2 format.

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tho_mas
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« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2009, 01:17:24 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Keep in mind I was speaking specifically about landscape and architecture...
me too

Nice for low camera positions
exactly. And big.

Nice, but offset to some extent by having a high-res LCD with live-view (which can be zoomed in for focusing)
an LCD is not a finder, light is faster than juice. Above all, light looks different. I prefer seeing a scene rather than viewing a representation of it. Especially a representation on such an inferior screen.
I cleary see the advantage of Live View for focussing... but me I just don't need it with the MF camera

I've not had much problem using a bulb-blower, personally
congratulations

Many DSLR's have built-in dust-cleaning mechanisms
is that so?

which means digging through on-screen menus instead.
no. which means everthing is already in place.

How is using the aperture thumbwheel on the back a PITA?
I hate it. On tripod as well as hand held. I love the aperture ring on the lens.

I much prefer that to reaching around to find an aperture ring
nice

If you really like the aperture ring, it's there on many of the Nikon-mount lenses
I don't have a Nikon.

subjective and debatable
of course. As any other point stated here.

especially if we're talking landscape/architecture where large DOF is often preferred
I know

Personally I'll take live-view and the t/s lenses over a MF DSLR
nice

I do see the appeal of MFD with a view camera though
me too. That's why I use both... MF + LF.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 01:18:38 PM by tho_mas » Logged
ixpressraf
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« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2009, 01:22:10 PM »
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This exactly what i was writing about: always the same stupid discussions of people defending their system..... Why can this be not a MFd only forum, with all 35mm discussions blocked and topic starters banned for a few weeks......
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bcooter
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« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2009, 01:38:55 PM »
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Quote from: michael
I'll just add a word on the education side. Most of the top photographic schools and university programs do have and use MF backs, because it will be just about impossible for someone to get a job as a photographer these days (I'm talking commerce – (snip)
Michael

Michael,

The group of assistants I hire in Los Angeles went to that school that has the same name as the greeting card company, where upon enrollment each student is given their own medium format back and camera for use.

To a person they said at first they were wowed to be handed  a "professional" camera, but later dismayed at what they couldn't shoot, because they had to have flash, or a tripod, and of course there was the added workflow, software issues etc.

They wanted to shoot, they wanted to experiment, not learn the ins and outs of version 10 point something software and shoot everything with a beauty dish. Actually if you asked them what they wanted to learn in school, a certain camera format was not on their list.  They want to learn how to shoot, produce, sell and get a gig as a photographer because of their artistic abilities.  They want to learn how to get real models for testing, how to locate and permit a location, find stylists that have access to props/wardrobe and most importantly how to estimate a project that gets them the job and a profit, (which is something most schools are very limited in teaching).  

Two weeks of working in LA and NY these students realize that on most large productions photographers aren't required to be digital tech experts and are not hired because of the cameras they own.  The photographer's roll is to direct the shoot, communicate with the clients and get to an artistic solution.  There are many other people that will happily provide and do the tech stuff.

As far as learning the software, it all changes anyway.  If these students learned V10, C1 version 3, it's now all different.  The one only software that stays somewhat continuous is photoshop, where all the real post production is done anyway.  

But these kids are smart, heck they're raised on x-box and ipods.  They can pick up eos utility, dpp, and learn it top to bottom in an hour, (I know because I run them through the basic process and they work it without issue), but none of the people that assist me have long term goals to become a tech, they want to shoot.

Now as far as "learning" medium format to be a digital tech, I think that's probably the most viable market for the future of medium format in the professional world.   Why buy a $40,000 back, a $50,000 system when the techs (at least in LA) are falling out of the trees and cutting deals on their package.

At the prices I'm quoted by tech companies I'd have to rent for 125 days straight to get to the price of a P45+ and a H2 with a few lenses and computer.

People can and should use what they want, but for commerce the pixel fear is over.  Two years ago everyone I knew would struggle through a big project with medium format because they just felt they had to have the pixel horsepower.  I know in my world, and the world of every photographer I personally know the latest Canon, Nikon and Sony changed that thought.  Well that and the fact that every project is ramped up 5 fold in volume, has to be delivered in half the time and also requires some video.

In the end if you want that over sharp, non aa filter medium format look and don't want to drop the required $20,000 to $40,000 (new) or $12,000 (used) for the buy in, just get a Leica M9 or M8.  To me it looks the same as my digital backs and is a lot easier to use. Or just have the AA filter removed from a 5d2.  Once again same look, but at least you get higher iso.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/experiment.shtml

But then again if anyone is looking at a photograph from 2" away, I believe they are looking at the wrong thing.

BC


Added -  There is this misconception in the professional photography world about what is real and what is urban legend.  Urban legend dictates that every name photographer has millions of dollars of cameras, knows everything about them top to bottom and shoots editorial projects for millions of dollars in profit.  Reality is a much different scenario and the photographers that work in todays world use what is appropriate and many know little if anything about the equipment.  Actually some of the photographer's that were sponsored by equipment companies didn't know a polaroid from a hemriod, but that doesn't mean they don't have a roll because obviously they got the gig, they're in the room, the photograph get's shot and they hopefully are getting paid.  

But it's not the camera that gets them into the room.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 01:50:40 PM by bcooter » Logged
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