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Author Topic: what system for getting into DMF  (Read 3735 times)
Franzl
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« on: March 24, 2010, 09:42:09 AM »
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Hello everyone,

I am thinking about getting into DMF as Canon is not really making me happy at the moment. I am mainly shooting Portraits (studio) and Beauty...I don't wanna invest into prime glass @ Canon just to switch in a couple of years...especially if new glass + a new Canon 1DsIV will be around 9000 €...for 9000 € I can get a H3DII-31....but should I invest in a H4D-40 straight which costs like 5000 euros more...Huh

just wanna read your thoughts whats the a good system to start with...and should I go for Hasselblad or PhaseOne...at the moment I like both systems...a small favour towards Hasselblad though...

thx for your answers
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asf
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 10:58:03 AM »
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Which Canon and lenses have you been using?

Have you tried "prime" Canon glass or any of the Zeiss lenses or Leica R lenses (with adapters)?

What is it about the Canon that is not making you happy?

Are you shooting for money or are you (just*) an enthusiast?


If you have money and just want DMF you should buy it. If money is a concern try to exhaust the more affordable options. It's easy to rent a good Canon body and lens and H4d40 and compare.

This thread may well become a clone of dozens of others. If you want to reach out to a group that will more unanimously tell you to go for the DMF (and why you should get the newest phase whatever), there are other site's forums that you can visit.


* not meant pejoratively
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Franzl
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 11:13:00 AM »
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the question is not if I wanna get into it...the question is in what system or what cam...is it worth the extra money for the H4D-40...or should I go with phase one 645 DF or with the mamiya RZ 67 IID...leaf shutter lenses are important to me...

canon primes are not as good as I wish they would be...same for zeiss...at least to my expierence...but as I said...the question is not if I wanna get into it...

30 MP are definitely enough for me and for now the perfect resolution...but extra 10 MP are not bad at all...I like the manual focus on the mamiya RZ and the camera in general...don't like the fact, that there are only 3 leaf shutter lenses for the 645DF...also phase one seams to be a little bit more expensive...at least where I life...

anyone has been in the same situation? and what was his/her decision or what would someone recommend me especially concerning to the mamiya RZ...I know how the hasseblad and the phase 645 perform...but never shot the mamiya RZ digital...

and I looked but I couldn't find anything, which answered my questions...
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 11:18:03 AM by Franzl » Logged
bcooter
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 12:00:23 PM »
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Quote from: Franzl
Hello everyone,

I am thinking about getting into DMF as ...................


Nobody can answer this unless you list what you do, where you do it, how much can you invest?

If you absolutely HAVE to have a "medium format" camera and back and you live and work in places where there are no easy rentals (that means 45 minutes by messenger) then you absolutely HAVE to have two cameras and backs, if you shoot for commerce, if you shoot projects that cost real money where a lost hour of production could be devastating.

Do you use a digital tech, or do it yourself?  Do you own any medium format gear at the present are or you buying new?  Do you tether or shoot portable, do you use a powerbook or a 8 core macpro?   If you buying new, then why?   The real difference between a 31mpx 1.24 to a 40 mpx 1.24 cropped sensor is nothing that you or anyone living will ever notice on computer or print so if you feel you must have 40 or 50 mpx remember your doing it for your own enjoyment, not anyone that pays you.

I'm not going to ever get into the 35mm vs. medium format debate again, because it goes nowhere but use what you feel makes your photographs better, doesn't let your clients down and what you can afford.

Since I own more than two of everything, I can continue with my ghetto Contax's because I like em' they're sharp, (I think too sharp) and they are bullshit free.  No firmware updates, no waiting for anything.

But if I was buying a still medium format camera again, (I'm not) I would not buy anything but a Hasselblad, cause you can rent lenses in any major market.  

As far as backs, since all of them use chips from Kodakmart and Dalsamart, I'd worry about work flow much more than the physical back.  Find the software that you like and go with it.

Once you get to post production all these cameras produce similar images.

The best way to ask for opinions on this is to show what you shoot.

IMO

BC
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michele
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 12:38:04 PM »
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When i bought my medium format back i was thinking about phasone, hasselblad, leaf and also sinar... Leaf and sinar were too expensive because i had to buy body and lenses, phase and hassy had good starting prices. I tooke phase, the P45+. I choosed it because it was a bergain, an ex-demo... I think you should keep in mind that medium format it's a pain with portraits, it's slooooow... I would take the H4-40 for the new focus system that seems to be better. The phaseone camera system is very young and needs to grow... I have the 35mm, the 50mm, 80mm D, 120mm D, 210mm for something like 3500 euros... with that money you can get just 1 new lens fro the hasselblad. Phaseone is very good, but as James told you, run the postproduction and you wan't see the difference between nikon, canon leaf and whatever... I'm a photographer but also a retoucher. I use phaseone but i have clients that use hasselblad, nikon and canon... well, i'd buy a nikon
Oh, remember that with medium format you will have to dial with less depth of field, with beauty could be a problem... you need to shoot with a big monitor near you...
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JonathanBenoit
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 12:57:19 PM »
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Quote from: Franzl
Hello everyone,

I am thinking about getting into DMF as Canon is not really making me happy at the moment. I am mainly shooting Portraits (studio) and Beauty...I don't wanna invest into prime glass @ Canon just to switch in a couple of years...especially if new glass + a new Canon 1DsIV will be around 9000 €...for 9000 € I can get a H3DII-31....but should I invest in a H4D-40 straight which costs like 5000 euros more...Huh

just wanna read your thoughts whats the a good system to start with...and should I go for Hasselblad or PhaseOne...at the moment I like both systems...a small favour towards Hasselblad though...

thx for your answers

I just switched from Canon to an H3DII-39. I needed the 1.1 crop sensor because I do mostly architecture and I needed wide.
In my opinion the best starting point is the H3DII-31. You will save a lot plus you dont have to buy all your lenses immediately. Lensrentals.com just added a few hasselblad lenses to their inventory along with the option of a 4 day rental at very attractive fees.
To me, its a no brainer. Any Phase system is going to cost you at least twice what the H3DII-31 when you take into consideration lenses.
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asf
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 01:00:23 PM »
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To add to the above, since you will buy I'll say if it was me there'd be no question but to get the newest 40mp Hasselblad
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 01:11:50 PM »
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Quote from: michele
Oh, remember that with medium format you will have to dial with less depth of field, with beauty could be a problem... you need to shoot with a big monitor near you...

On the other hand he may be looking specifically for the beautiful shallow DOF with creamy transitions look of something like the RZ 110mm/2.8 ($300-$400 in excellent used condition, around $1500 in new condition).

Agree with BCooter however, you'll get far far more out of the community here if you are very specific about what kind of shooter you are. What cameras have you used in the past that you liked, and why did you like them? How many "keepers" are you looking for during a given shoot? Do you shoot tethered? What do you consider to be your "style"? Where do your images show up - how big of prints, web, magazines etc? Both Phase and Hassy make good products - so if you just ask "which is better" you'll get a wide array of opinions and differences that may or may not be relevant to you. If you tell us all the specifics then you'll get much more specific feedback about what the differences are that will impact you.

This question is obviously biased but I think it's completely fair: Would you continue to use a Canon for some work (e.g. sports/action/high-ISO/second-shooter/backup etc)? If so Capture One can tether to Phase One, Leaf, Canon, Nikon and does a fantastic job with those raw files (in my opinion far stronger than light-room or aperture but do your own comparisons as it's partly subjective and your own test is always the best test).

Specifically the Skin Tone editor in Capture One is the single most powerful tool I've seen. There are some excellent plug-ins for LR for quick-and-dirty-portrait color adjustment but the Skin Tone editor can apply the changes at the raw level and can apply them to the images as they come in tethered (so that the model/art-director/other-client) only ever sees their portrait with the skin tones enhanced. It won't save you from retouching zits, but to me it's far harder (prior to Capture One's Skin Tone editor) to maintain pleasing and consistent skin tones throughout a shoot than to do the retouching on the "selects" form the shoot.

Depending on the look you want the negative clarity in Capture One is also a nice option. See my article on negative clarity at captureintegration.com.

Doug Peterson
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 02:11:36 PM »
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Quote from: JonathanBenoit
You will save a lot plus you dont have to buy all your lenses immediately. Lensrentals.com just added a few hasselblad lenses to their inventory along with the option of a 4 day rental at very attractive fees.
To me, its a no brainer. Any Phase system is going to cost you at least twice what the H3DII-31 when you take into consideration lenses.

There is very little amongst good choices that are universally "no brainers". There is almost always a plus and minus.

Hassy H lenses are available, even on short notice, in pretty much any major market (as mentioned). Phase One / Mamiya lenses are becoming far more available than they were in the past, but I'm happy to agree that if you put all the rental houses of the world into a hat and picked one out they are more likely to have Hassy H glass available than Phase one glass. If you're in a true major market you won't have any trouble finding Phase glass in rental but in smaller markets it will be harder than H glass. However, the prices at lensrentals.com may not be the best example to illustrate your particular argument since they rely on advance planning - if you have a day or two you can wait for a lens to be shipped in then you can find lenses for just about any system inexpensively (e.g. here is our list of phase one and mamiya lenses in rental).

Also the OP was also exploring a RZ body (with a Phase back you could use the same back on an RZIID and a DF body - just take it off on and onto the other). For this system very good lenses in excellent condition used lenses are easily found for a few hundred dollars - to BUY. There is also very very inexpensive glass available for the Mamiya/Phase-One body; while the DF body the latest/greatest Phase One and Schneider lenses are comparable in cost to Hassy H lenses, the Phase platform also accepts glass from the Hassy 500 series, Hassy 200 series (e.g. the legendary Hassy 110mm/f2), Pentacon 6 series, or the previous two generations of Mamiya glass (non D autofocus, and manual focus) - many of which are very inexpensive: the Mamiya MF 80mm/1.9 and MF 145mm/4 soft focus portrait lenses are around $200 in excellent condition (not clinically sharp lenses but you're not looking for clinical sharpness if you're shooting it). Even a 500mm manual focus lens is only a few hundred bucks. Bottom line is that a Phase and/or RZ opens up a very wide range of glass with a huge variety of looks, feels, and purposes, and a huge variety of prices.

In a similar vein however you should consider the cost of either renting or buying a backup body. A backup Mamiya AFD1 body is around $500 to purchase and a Phase One DF body is around $65/day and can be purchased or rented as an individual component off-the-shelf. There is no requirement with Phase One that the body and back be locked to each other at the factory.

So plusses and minuses for each system as usual.

Doug Peterson
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« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 02:19:41 PM by dougpetersonci » Logged

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Franzl
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 02:50:12 PM »
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thank you guys for all your feedback...I am really familiar with all the systems and I know all the pro and cons...I was just looking for personal opinions...

I am shooting with a Canon 5DII at the moment and I will test the phase and hassy system a lot in the upcoming month...to see what fits my needs best...you can check out my portfolio at http://www.weinper.at/index.php?artistId=106 but it is more going into this portrait/fashion/beauty direction...as I sad...I am a really young photographer...and as I either gonna invest in the new 1DsIV (which will come out in August) and the best lenses I thought about investing that money into a medium format system...and as the H3DII-31 is really cheap at the moment, I am thinking about all that topic a lot...

back-up systems are not a deal, as rentals are for both systems really good in my city...and a 5DII will always finish the job (most jobs) in worst case scenerio...resolution wise 30 MP would be awesome...20MP from canon are not enough, as the format is not the best and I always crop to 4x5 format...and with some extra crop from time to time you loose a lot...
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Franzl
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 03:06:22 PM »
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oh...and yes I am retouching my photos on a mac pro... I am shooting tethered when possible into a mac book pro and in the studio I got a additional eizo screen...
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 03:15:09 PM »
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If the RZ is really on your radar then I think you should at least give it a try. Personally I like the RZ very much, especially for shooting people: The large, bright viewfinder (waist level!!!) along with the excellent focusing mechanism make composing a complete different experience.

And while you're at it, I think you should try the back that is most suitable for portraiture and that makes the most out of the RZ. A new Aptus-II 7 or a used Aptus 75S mated to either Leaf Capture or Capture One (or LR, Aperture etc.); Big sensor, 1.1 sec/ frame, large screen, iPhone App and most importantly a simple to use, rotating adapter.

And if you end up needing to shoot H glass or H1/2 body at any point, just order the back in H mount ('cause Leaf also make an H adapter for the RZ, that works...)

The above is of course my very biased opinion  

Yair

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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 04:01:11 PM »
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Quote from: dougpetersonci
my article on negative clarity at captureintegration.com
nice. Thanks for sharing!
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 06:14:15 AM »
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Quote from: Franzl
thank you guys for all your feedback...I am really familiar with all the systems and I know all the pro and cons...I was just looking for personal opinions...

I am shooting with a Canon 5DII at the moment and I will test the phase and hassy system a lot in the upcoming month...to see what fits my needs best...you can check out my portfolio at http://www.weinper.at/index.php?artistId=106 but it is more going into this portrait/fashion/beauty direction...as I sad...I am a really young photographer...and as I either gonna invest in the new 1DsIV (which will come out in August) and the best lenses I thought about investing that money into a medium format system...and as the H3DII-31 is really cheap at the moment, I am thinking about all that topic a lot...

back-up systems are not a deal, as rentals are for both systems really good in my city...and a 5DII will always finish the job (most jobs) in worst case scenerio...resolution wise 30 MP would be awesome...20MP from canon are not enough, as the format is not the best and I always crop to 4x5 format...and with some extra crop from time to time you loose a lot...


If that is the case than I am really happy lately with my P40+. It's fast , great higher ISO at full res and i really make use of the sensor plus technology as i use that instead of using a Canon or Nikon system for higher ISO stuff and when i do not need the full 40 mpx files as well. I like all the D glass in the system and it has been serving me very well and i do a lot of different types of shooting so it is diverse enough to handle that variety. I do like the new breed of 40 mpx sensors out there. Obviously being new there is the investment gulp you have to swallow. I went ZD, P25+, P30+ and than finally on to the P40+ in two years so if your going to jump in it may serve to fully jump in. You get beat up some with switching obviously. Hassy's new H40 looks real nice as well. Don't forget that Mamiya and Leaf also have 40mpx out now as well. So right now there is a choice of 4 40mpx sensors out there or brands maybe better said even though Mamiya, Leaf and Phase are tied together one way or another. I went Phase from the beginning because I always loved C1 from my 1ds days so it was a natural fit for me. But I have recommended the P40+ to more than a handful of folks and I have received a lot of positive feedback from those folks.  Like any system they all have there quirks or compromises just need to find  a system that you can sleep with if you know what I mean. Obviously at these costs do your homework , mistakes are deadly. Good luck
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 06:16:14 AM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 08:44:03 AM »
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Quote from: Franzl
I am shooting with a Canon 5DII at the moment and I will test the phase and hassy system a lot in the upcoming month...to see what fits my needs best...you can check out my portfolio at http://www.weinper.at/index.php?artistId=106 but it is more going into this portrait/fashion/beauty direction...as I sad...I am a really young photographer...and as I either gonna invest in the new 1DsIV (which will come out in August) and the best lenses I thought about investing that money into a medium format system...and as the H3DII-31 is really cheap at the moment, I am thinking about all that topic a lot...

My advice: never buy any camera because "it's cheap". Of course price is a factor, but it should not be the main determining factor. Because to buy the wrong camera, and then switch later, you'll pay dearly, which eliminates the whole basic premise. There are many factors: which camera feels best in your hands; which lenses render the way you like; which software workflow you relate to; on and on and on. And once you get knee deep into workflow, the tiny savings either way become a moot point. Best to demo a camera in your own shooting style, and do not get in a hurry to purchase. Buy once, and buy right.
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bcooter
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2010, 10:21:00 AM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
My advice: never buy any camera because "it's cheap". Of course price is a factor, but it should not be the main determining factor. Because to buy the wrong camera, and then switch later, you'll pay dearly, which eliminates the whole basic premise. There are many factors: which camera feels best in your hands; which lenses render the way you like; which software workflow you relate to; on and on and on. And once you get knee deep into workflow, the tiny savings either way become a moot point. Best to demo a camera in your own shooting style, and do not get in a hurry to purchase. Buy once, and buy right.


I agree with the not cheap part, but I doubt if the user experience of an hd 31 vs a hd 40 is that much of a difference in function and look.  

If you are positive your gonna keep (and use) a camera for 5 years (and turn a profit with the camera) then buy what you exactly want, even if it's the latest model, but if your gonna get a bug and turn it in on something else in a few years then remember expensive stuff usually depreciates faster than the less expensive stuff.

I looked at your link and since you shoot most everything with what appears to be open faced flash, or a lot of strobe, then the differences between a 31mpx camera and a 40 mpx camera are not gonna show in print, except maybe for moire and if you are moving to fashion* you will see pattern moire in all of the non aa filtered cameras.

You may not see it for a week, a month, even a year but when it comes, brother it's gonna come.

Just a note of experience.   Did you ever see those trailers for end of the world movies?   You know where New York is being attacked and everyone is stomping over each other at full speed to get out of the way of the monster storm, or the alien space ship that's flattening Manhattan?  Well freeze frame that visual cause that's the way we used to buy the latest digital backs and cameras.

We'd go on waiting lists to get the latest and greatest, calling our dealers with the secret handshake code to make sure we were the first in line.

Now it's the opposite.  That freeze frame is the way we now work in 2010.  

200 mph, location, to location, to location, to studio in a day, so just make sure your camera is reliable, the software simple and  nuthin'  slows you up.

BC

P.S.   For commerce I don't think there is a spitting difference for any of these digital cameras.  22, 31, 40, 60 mpx, may put a bulge in your pants but it don't change what the photo looks like.

But stepping away from commerce and looking at why we became photographers in the first place, if there was a "digital" camera that would do this, then maybe I'd  write a new check.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RSknnxOals

P.S.S.

I'd love for the world to get back to the Sarah Moon video, or just back to 2007 where we didn't have a gazilion setups a day, but blame digital, blame the economy, blame Steve Jobs, blame AIG, it don't matter cause I don't think the world is going to step backwards.

I'd love for it to be that nobody could really see the final image until we delivered something by hand.  With all the angst labs and film produced there was still something magical and deeply personal in seeing the results hours or days later.

Now it's not as personal because everybody is staring into that damn 30" electric polaroid.

I love photography, learned to do the biz, learned to adapt and keep going forward, but you gotta be realistic about everything you do, every resource you put into your career and time is as big a resource as money.

There is a reason that faster cameras are used more and more and it's not just my time, or the AD's time, or the client's time, it's everybody.  The world is now compressed.  If a 4 day shoot will fit on a 500 gig portable drive you save yourself a world of hurt down the line.

If someone steps on a firewire cord or the computer goes silly, having a real 900,000 pixel lcd with a real processed preview can save your bacon.

Look at the interest in the Pentax.   Why, when at 9 grand you can buy a blad for 10 grand?  I think the main reason is (beyond the money) functionality and it has features that photographers have begged for in medium format for years.

It's not a tale of whoa, or a sky is falling philosophy, it's just the fact that for still cameras of any format to be high on the list they either have to produce some kind of look that no other camera does, or they have to be dead on perfect at nearly everything.  

It doesn't mean that a blad, a phase or a leaf isn't good.  In the right setting they are very good.  It just means you gotta use something that will allow you to clear the day intact, on time and on budget, because anything over budget becomes your money.

If the photograph is beautiful, I'll spend my money, but on the photograph, nothing else.

Now with all this logic I try to spout, the real truth is I still own my contax' and two backs and probably will never sell em.  I like em, actually love em, and though they're slow, eat batteries, take two chargers, have a tiny dark viewfinder, an lcd that makes an armpit warmed polaroid look detailed,  I still love the damn things and sometimes I gotta tell myself using what I love is a lot more important than anything. else.

So if you love a blad, go for it.  Do it today, get it over with and go make beautiful images.

IMO.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 12:09:27 PM by bcooter » Logged
gwhitf
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2010, 12:12:40 PM »
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Quote from: bcooter
But stepping away from commerce and looking at why we became photographers in the first place, if there was a "digital" camera that would do this, then maybe I'd  write a new check.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RSknnxOals

This topic reminds me of when the CD Player came out, and everything was so clean and perfect on CDs, and the purists complained about there being no "feeling or organics" to the sound of the music any longer. We are now on a search for Total Cleanliness -- no noise, no grain, no flare, no atmosphere, no feeling, no mistakes, no surprises. The toothpaste is out of the tube -- there is no going back. There was a point where I truly did think "you can add the feeling back, in post", but I don't believe that much any more. You can get close, but it's never the same.

But it is what it is. I guess they're still pressing vinyl; but you have to wonder, how much longer will they run C41?

Apologies for diverting off the topic.
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bcooter
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2010, 12:47:07 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
This topic reminds me of when the CD Player came out, and everything was so clean and perfect on CDs, and the purists complained about there being no "feeling or organics" to the sound of the music any longer. We are now on a search for Total Cleanliness -- no noise, no grain, no flare, no atmosphere, no feeling, no mistakes, no surprises. The toothpaste is out of the tube -- there is no going back. There was a point where I truly did think "you can add the feeling back, in post", but I don't believe that much any more. You can get close, but it's never the same.

But it is what it is. I guess they're still pressing vinyl; but you have to wonder, how much longer will they run C41?

Apologies for diverting off the topic.


Same here, sorry for going off topic, but I think this stuff is important, even when it comes to cameras.

I had a friend ask me the other day, "how do client's see us today . . . as button pushers?"

Well, sometimes maybe, hopefully never, but the deal is with 30" polaroids there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen and I don't think for a minute that those images that Sarah produced would ever come from a committee, or clean shadows, or held highlights, or not from some very interesting mistakes.

Those images are HERS.  You can tell it, see it, smell that they are her's and her's alone.

No grainless, over detailed, perfectly sharp, 400 inch tall photograph that comes out of committee can produce that.

I don't believe digital can produce that, regardless of the post work.

I'll be 100% truthfull here.  The reason I don't sell my contax is not because of the backs, or the digital part, it's because I got that ugly, jammed, screwed up old Boris Tilt shift lens.

It's a nightmare to use, never really sharp, but when it's on it's damn beautiful.

It's the closest I could ever get to a film look, (mostly when using the Leaf back).

But of course I also look at Sarah's beautiful images and think "how the hell do you make any money at that?

OK, done.

BC
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fredjeang
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2010, 12:53:21 PM »
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Hi,
I read this topic with interest, as I'm in the same situation as the Open Poster.
I've been asked many advices here everywhere and reacently I could try the Contax 645.
There are many second hand in madrid, really cheap.
It is a wonderfull camera IMO.
Just the kind of gear I was thinking of.

What catches my atention, is that all the users love it.

Fred.
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robert zimmerman
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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2010, 11:56:00 AM »
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One very important thing to think about is that Hasselblad doesn't offer trade up or trade in strategies for the H3dII 31, so they probably also won't offer one for the H4D40, H5DXX or the H6DYZ.

Considering the fact that technology and client expectations and demands are changing so rapidly, the only thing that could keep me in the Hassy MFD world would be if there was a path leading to new tech and I knew they had a strategy for the future, for photographers shooting editorial, advertising & web media. They don't have either of these two things.

I'm putting my money on the next Canon, it will most likely do everything the 5D II does, do it better, and much, much more.
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