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Author Topic: Leaf AFi or Sinar eSprit 65 digital back for Hy6?  (Read 8487 times)
rolleiflexpages
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« on: December 25, 2009, 05:09:58 AM »
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Dear all:

I would like to call for your collective wisdom on the following. In order to add a digital back to the Hy6, I am considering either a Leaf AFi-II (most likely 7; 10 seems hard to come by) or a Sinar eSprit 65.

Both do have their specific advantages and issues from what I can see:

Sensor size:
Leaf AFi-II 7 has wider sensor with 48x36 (6726x5040 pixels, 33 MP resolution) compared to Sinar eSprit 65 with 44x33 (6496x4872 pixels, 31,6 MP resolution). Practical result is the lesser crop factor of the Leaf vs the Sinar.
(AFI-II 10 would even be 56x36)

LCD display:
Both have large displays. However, the eSprit has 3" with 640x480 pixels (280 ppi) while Leaf AFi-II has even larger 3,5" (no information on pixel size).
Moreover, Leaf has a tilting display.
Sinar operates via buttons and scroll wheel, while Leaf uses touch screen (not sure what works better, however).

ISO:
Sinar eSprit 65 has 200-800 ISO, Leaf AFi-II 7 has 50-800.

File output:
Leaf AFi-II has Leaf RAW proprietary format, which must be processed with Leaf Capture or PhaseOne Capture One and is also recognized by programs such as Apple Aperture.
Sinar eSprit 65 has Sinar RAW proprietary format, which must be processed with Sinar eXposure, but is additionally capable of native DNG and JPEG format, which is obviously the most open format.

Vertical use:
Leaf AFi-II 7 uses an internal solution whereby the sensor itself rotates, while Sinar eSprit 65 uses a revolving adaptor whereby the whole back rotates. Am not sure what is the best solution, it would seem the Leaf one as the Sinar rotating adaptor has a higher probability of getting dust inside.

System integration:
Leaf AFi-II 7 has better integration with the AFi/Hy6 body in terms of its power management (back operated from the body's main switch), while the back and body have to be switched on separately on the Sinar.

Battery:
Batteries are not interchangeable between Sinar and Leaf due to their different contacts. Sinar uses Varta type with connector pins (2200 mAh), while Leaf uses slightly more powerful Samsung type with flat contacts (2350 mAh).

Looks:
Not the prime factor obviously, but here the Sinar eSprit 65 gets the clear advantage over the Leaf AFi-II as its scheme matches the body better.

Availability:
The Leaf AFi-II can only be purchased used or demo, while the Sinar eSprit 65 is still sold new.

Future support:
Quite unclear at the moment. Leaf has officially dropped its AFi series but obviously existing back owners will be further supported. Sinar has pledged full support for the Hy6. Not sure, however, what the medium-term support beyond say the next 5 years would look like. Also in terms of continued software support.


Based on all this, I would almost opt for the Sinar eSprit 65 as it seems a more future-proof back (open file format) but its smaller sensor and higher crop factor, as well as the fact that the power must be switched on/off independently from the camera body, put me off. The Leaf AFi-II is in this respect the better choice.

Any views and recommendations would be most welcome as these are expensive items. Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 05:11:58 AM by rolleiflexpages » Logged

Pascal Heyman - www.rolleiflexpages.com
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2009, 05:29:53 AM »
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Sinar products come with a standard 3 year warranty, which is definitely something to consider. The Leaf displays have traditionally been large but fairly low res, so the e65 should win that one too. Finally, the e65 uses Sinar's adapter system, meaning it can also be used on Hasselblad V 500 series, Hasselblad H1/H2 and Mamiya 645 AFD I/II. Even if you don't want to use any other camera platform yourself, it gives you a much better chance of selling the back when that time comes.

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yaya
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 06:12:53 AM »
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AFAIK both backs are no longer in production. This should not prevent you from looking/ finding one used or from existing stock.

A few things going for the AFi-II 7:

Large Dalsa sensor, the same one that has been well proven in thousands of Aptus 75, 75S and 7-II backs and that is also suitable for use on technical cameras with wide-angle lenses.
Excellent Live View (tethered) capability, specifically on the AFi/ Hy6 body were it lifts the mirror up automatically with full control over aperture and shutter speed from Leaf Capture

Fast capture rate (if relevant) in both tethered and portable (CF card) modes. The Dalsa 33MP reads faster than the Kodak 31MP (this also contributes to fast refresh-rate in Live View).

Ability to use additional battery in various sizes, for extended work time.

In addition: optimised file support in Capture One 5.0.1 (and later) as well as Adobe LR and ACR. (optimised means that the processing algorithms are adjusted so that they provide the best possible results, as opposed to DNG support which is not camera-specific)

The LCD has 320X240 resolution however I would recommend to anyone to try it at 100% magnification alongside any other system before judging by spec only.

And as always, I would suggest getting hold of a back or at least some comparative raw files shot in various conditions before committing to buy any of these backs.

Yair
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 06:20:00 AM by yaya » Logged

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Mitchell Baum
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2009, 07:56:56 AM »
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I don't have experience with either, but when I was buying my Hy6 eMotion 75, I got the impression that the Leaf screen might show up worse in sunlight, and using the touch screen might be fiddly outside.

Maybe someone has experience with this, or maybe your work is mostly inside. I also was concerned about the fan slots on the Leaf for dust and moisture, but I've never heard of anyone having problems with it.

Best,

Mitchell
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DavorHorvatic
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2009, 08:59:43 AM »
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Any ideas about the price? You are comparing two different technologies - 31 MPx with 33 MPx (31 is with microlenses, 33 without). Even if 33 MPx should be faster, as I compared informations about  eSprit 65 with eMotion 75LV, I think, eSprit was faster. Pascal, why not consider eMotion 75LV instead eSprit 65?
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 09:00:46 AM by DavorHorvatic » Logged

Cheers

Davor

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rolleiflexpages
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2009, 09:05:31 AM »
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Quote from: DavorHorvatic
Any ideas about the price? You are comparing two different technologies - 31 MPx with 33 MPx (31 is with microlenses, 33 without). Even if 33 MPx should be faster, as I compared informations about  eSprit 65 with eMotion 75LV, I think, eSprit was faster. Pascal, why not consider eMotion 75LV instead eSprit 65?


Hi Davor,

yes the Sinar eMotion 75LV could work well; however, I am put off by its smallish LCD screen and frankly speaking also by its looks (subjective, I admit).

Could someone please enlighten me, what advantages/disadvantages the use of microlenses (such as on the Sinar eSprit 65) has in comparison to backs without them?

Thanks a lot.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 10:51:58 AM by rolleiflexpages » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2009, 09:28:56 AM »
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Quote from: rolleiflexpages
Hi Davor,

yes the Sinar eMotion 75LV could work well; however, I am put off by its smallish LCD screen and frankly speaking also by its looks (subjective, I admit).

Could someone please enlighen me, what advantages/disadvantages the use of microlenses (such as on the Sinar eSprit 65) has in comparison to backs without them?

Thanks a lot.

Generally, Iv been told that microlenses are working well with longer focus length, normally used by fashion and people photographer, but can cause problems when used with wide angle - very short lenses. So I presume, that this is an issue for the software correction.
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Cheers

Davor

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ThierryH
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2009, 10:39:40 AM »
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Quote from: Graham Mitchell
Sinar products come with a standard 3 year warranty, which is definitely something to consider.

Graham,

Not longer: Sinar has changed its warranty policy and proposes now 2 years, not anymore 3 like it used to be.

Best regards,
Thierry
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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2009, 10:41:26 AM »
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Thanks for the update, Thierry.
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ThierryH
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« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2009, 10:45:31 AM »
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Quote from: DavorHorvatic
Generally, Iv been told that microlenses are working well with longer focus length, normally used by fashion and people photographer, but can cause problems when used with wide angle - very short lenses. So I presume, that this is an issue for the software correction.

The micro lenses are less a problem when used on a MF body, even with short focal. The real problem is to use such a back on a view camera and when using the movements, being it tilts, swings or shifts. Not recommended.

Best regards,
Thierry
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 10:46:09 AM by ThierryH » Logged

rolleiflexpages
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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2009, 10:49:23 AM »
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Quote from: ThierryH
The micro lenses are less a problem when used on a MF body, even with short focal. The real problem is to use such a back on a view camera and when using the movements, being it tilts, swings or shifts. Not recommended.

Best regards,
Thierry

Thanks Thierry. Would that also apply to the Rollei Schneider 55mm PCS lens?
Pascal
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2009, 10:50:32 AM »
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Quote from: DavorHorvatic
Generally, Iv been told that microlenses are working well with longer focus length, normally used by fashion and people photographer, but can cause problems when used with wide angle - very short lenses. So I presume, that this is an issue for the software correction.


Thanks Davor. But what are the advantages of microlenses vis--vis "conventional" backs? Are there any particular advantages at all?

Pascal
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2009, 10:53:08 AM »
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Quote from: ThierryH
Graham,

Not longer: Sinar has changed its warranty policy and proposes now 2 years, not anymore 3 like it used to be.

Best regards,
Thierry


Minimum warranty in the EU is 2 years at least.
However, it would seem Apple is violating this rule while offering only 1 year as I am experiencing now...
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ThierryH
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2009, 10:57:04 AM »
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Quote from: rolleiflexpages
Future support:
Sinar has pledged full support for the Hy6. Not sure, however, what the medium-term support beyond say the next 5 years would look like. Also in terms of continued software support.


Based on all this, I would almost opt for the Sinar eSprit 65 as it seems a more future-proof back (open file format) but its smaller sensor and higher crop factor, as well as the fact that the power must be switched on/off independently from the camera body, put me off. The Leaf AFi-II is in this respect the better choice.

Any views and recommendations would be most welcome as these are expensive items. Thanks.

I would be very cautious with the term "Future Support" and its meaning in the mid-term. Sinar might have informed about continuous support in the future, but it is common knowledge that the Hy6 does not belong to Jenoptic anymore, respectively that Jenoptic has sold Sinar. There might be "warranty" and other "servicing" contracts between the companies, for a certain period, but the Hy6 situation in general does not make me any optimistic that this is warranted ad vitam eternam, understand for the mid- AND long-term.

Best regards,
Thierry
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ThierryH
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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2009, 11:00:00 AM »
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Quote from: rolleiflexpages
Thanks Thierry. Would that also apply to the Rollei Schneider 55mm PCS lens?
Pascal

Yes, definitively, same problem and issue.

Best regards,
Thierry
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« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2009, 11:01:41 AM »
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Quote from: rolleiflexpages
Thanks Davor. But what are the advantages of microlenses vis--vis "conventional" backs? Are there any particular advantages at all?

Pascal

In general, about 1 stop gain in sensitivity or noise behavior.

Thierry
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2009, 11:45:09 AM »
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Quote from: ThierryH
I would be very cautious with the term "Future Support" and its meaning in the mid-term. Sinar might have informed about continuous support in the future, but it is common knowledge that the Hy6 does not belong to Jenoptic anymore, respectively that Jenoptic has sold Sinar. There might be "warranty" and other "servicing" contracts between the companies, for a certain period, but the Hy6 situation in general does not make me any optimistic that this is warranted ad vitam eternam, understand for the mid- AND long-term.

Best regards,
Thierry


I admit that the long term issue is not entirely clear. Meanwhile, however, Sinar is doing the servicing. And also DHW, successor of Franke & Heidecke, is standing by its Hy6 product.
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2009, 11:46:43 AM »
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Quote from: ThierryH
In general, about 1 stop gain in sensitivity or noise behavior.

Thierry


Hi Thierry,
but both Sinar eSprit 65 and Leaf AFi-II 7 boast 800 ISO abilities. Would the quality of the respective outputs at 800 ISO be in the eSprit's favor? Anybody can confirm this?
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« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2009, 12:11:21 PM »
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Quote from: rolleiflexpages
Hi Thierry,
but both Sinar eSprit 65 and Leaf AFi-II 7 boast 800 ISO abilities. Would the quality of the respective outputs at 800 ISO be in the eSprit's favor? Anybody can confirm this?

Pascal,

Yes, both backs can be setup to ISO 800, but that does not mean they have equal IQ at that ISO level.
What I meant to say is that the quality is about 1 stop better, respectively the quality you get at ISO 400 with one back without micro lenses would be the quality at ISO 800 with a back using micro lenses. In other words: the back without micro lenses looks worse at ISO 800 than the one back with.

Best regards,
Thierry
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« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2009, 12:23:55 PM »
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Quote from: ThierryH
Pascal,

Yes, both backs can be setup to ISO 800, but that does not mean they have equal IQ at that ISO level.
What I meant to say is that the quality is about 1 stop better, respectively the quality you get at ISO 400 with one back without micro lenses would be the quality at ISO 800 with a back using micro lenses. In other words: the back without micro lenses looks worse at ISO 800 than the one back with.

Best regards,
Thierry

This would probably be true if you looked at two backs from the same vendor with the same sensor technology where one was equipped with microlenses. For example Phase One P45 and P30. Same Kodak 6.8 technology, same processor, same electronics. You get another stop on the P30 (and loose one at the bottom).
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