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Author Topic: Old back for tech camera  (Read 1147 times)
torger
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« on: March 17, 2012, 05:19:43 AM »
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I just bought a Linhof Techno and is looking to get a second hand back sometime in the coming months. I want it to be cheap so I mainly look into an older back with a 22 megapixel 36x48mm sensor. I've dropped the idea of tethered-only backs, the self-contained backs are low cost enough.

Main alternatives are:

Phase One P25
Leaf Aptus 22
Leaf Aptus 75 (33 megapixel)

For Leaf I've noted that the later models 54s and 75s actually seems to be worse. Faster but noisier, possibly only at high ISO though. For Phase One there is the P25+ but it is often sold at a price as high as for the Aptus 75, and then I would probably prefer getting the Aptus. There is little to find about the P25 though, and since it is so much cheaper than the P25+ I wonder if it is much worse image quality, or if it is just more or less screen, speed and live preview that differs.

I will only shoot at base ISO, so high ISO performance is mostly irrelevant. LCC performance is important since I'm going to use it on a tech camera with movements. Build quality is important since it will be an old back, and repairs can easily cost a large part of the purchase price. Replacing a Leaf fan costs 1200 for example. "Long" exposures must be noise free to 30 seconds, if it is noise free to 2 - 5 minutes then it is a big plus, above that time it is just a bonus. I have so far been unable to find long exposure performance indications of these backs, except for the P25+ which should be good. Dynamic range is also important, no pattern noise please, I've had enough of that with my Canon sensors. Leaf centerfold might be a dynamic range problem, don't know. I've read somewhere that P25 may have lower dynamic range than P25+, but I don't know if that is true for base ISO. Color reproduction I'm ok with anything, I always manage to tweak colors to my liking in post-processing. Blooming protection is quite important, it must not be significantly worse than the competition.

Old backs also seem to be a bit "hackish", at least at the time of release so it seems to be a bit of a risk, when you buy old second hand like this your plan is not to pay support fees to the manufacturer to have the thing working. There can be strange issues like centerfold with the Leafs, and user interfaces that may be problematic. Concerning user interface there are two features I want to use - histogram, preferably with highlight clipping indicators, and check focus at 100% zoom. Possibly the P25 screen is too poor for focus check (~230x170 pixel screen it seems, while the others have 320x240)? The Aptus GUI looks kind of ok, but sloooooooow, I wonder if P25 is equally slow, have not seen that in action.

Do you have any recommendations?
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yaya
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 07:15:11 AM »
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My only recommendation would be to get in touch with some dealers in your area (we can help if you let us know where you are) and see if they carry any 2nd hand backs.
Some dealers can offer some for of warranty (at a cost) even if it's not a manufacturer warranty that gives you some peace of mind

My choice, if you can afford it, would be the Aptus 75 with two notes:

1. Centerfold has been a non-issue about 2.5 years ago with new algorithms in Capture One and Leaf Capture. All you need for it to work is to make sure the back is set to shoot compressed (lossless)
2. Exposure is limited to 32 seconds so if longer exposures is something you're going to do regularly you'll have to look for a P+ back

There's a long list of respected architecture and car photographers who use the Aptus 75 on tech/ view cameras. Let me know if you want me to forward you some names

Enjoy!

yair
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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
e: ysh@mamiyaleaf.com | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | www.mamiyaleaf.com | yaya's blog
torger
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 11:07:28 AM »
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Thanks for the reply. A second hand Aptus 75 does indeed seem to be the best price/performance combination out there.

Will the dynamic range be worse at a 32 second exposure compared to 1/100? That is, is there noise buildup in the longer exposures? I could live with the 32 second limit if performance is good in the whole range, but if there is a drop I'll probably have to look for P25+... or lower my standards :-). P25 does not seem to be that good at long exposures either, and may have some issues with newer CF cards it seems.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 12:39:01 PM by torger » Logged
Anders_HK
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 09:29:53 PM »
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Thanks for the reply. A second hand Aptus 75 does indeed seem to be the best price/performance combination out there.

Will the dynamic range be worse at a 32 second exposure compared to 1/100? That is, is there noise buildup in the longer exposures? I could live with the 32 second limit if performance is good in the whole range, but if there is a drop I'll probably have to look for P25+... or lower my standards :-). P25 does not seem to be that good at long exposures either, and may have some issues with newer CF cards it seems.

You may look also at the Aptus 65 which feature IDENTICAL sensor to Aptus 75 but a 44x33mm crop instead of a 48x36mm crop of 645, and proportional less MP from 33 to 28. It was cheaper when I bought mine years ago, and may possible be more affordable than Aptus 22. The Aptus 65/75 is one generation newer than Aptus 22, or one older than the 40/56MP Leafs, or two older than the 80MP.

If indeed it is for a tech camera, the slight lesser crop may not matter. That said I managed to focus the Aptus 65 on a custom made stitching adapter on a Shen-Hao with 72 XL and 150 Sironar-N non digital lenses, although I did not use that combo much. My stitching adapter had a Maxwell High-Lux groundglass.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 09:33:14 PM by Anders_HK » Logged
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