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Author Topic: New to site and DMF... Just in time with H5D ! Help Please.  (Read 29963 times)
NickyTaylorphoto
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« on: September 17, 2012, 02:32:00 PM »
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As the title suggests I am totally new to both this site and DMF (we all have to start somewhere)

I am after a little bit of advice from the community really before I go leaping in headfirst. I have been looking around the choices within DMF and was just wondering what the general word on the street as it is, was, with regards to first entry level and Price point of the starting ladder.

For a couple of months I have been watching the H4D-31 with a 80mm lens at the price point at $14,000. And now the new H5D on the way was thinking (hoping) there might be another price cut like the recent one (fingers crossed)

Currently I shoot with the 5D mark 2 and although I have a wide range of lenses I tend to stick around the 25mm-30mm length on my lenses for my subject, which is Large-scale landscape. I have been producing pieces as large as 6ft by 4ft and although maybe I don't plan on making larger sized prints I would like to see a little more detail which I hope to get if I upgrade my system.

What are the real alternatives within that price point of $14,000?

And do you think that now the H5D has been announced that it would be a good time to buy into the H4D model?

I have been a member of other sites but now hopefully can make this my new home. I thank you for reading and any help you might have for me.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 04:07:02 PM »
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I would not recommend the H4D-31 as it has a small sensor 33.1 x 44.2mm. Not really a significant enough change and you are not using the full potential of the lenses.

Have you thought of stitching for more detail.

If your landscapes are static you can use a tilt shift lens with your Canon and almost double your sharpness
by taking two images. One with the lens shifted all the way to the right and one shifted all the way to the left.

You can also go even higher with a gigapan system.

http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/how-to/shooting/power-to-the-background.html

Another option is to move to a Nikon d800E without the anti aliasing filter. 36MP and you can use the tilt shift stitching trick to.

You should also consider a used full frame MFD.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 04:15:04 PM »
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You might want to check out things like the H3D50 second hand. One of the great features the H4 has over the H3 is TF which is something that is of little use when using tripods.

The 31 is a great sensor but of older generation, it has microlenses and is cropped. This would not be my first choice for wide angle landscape work.

You can stitch with MFD too....
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JV
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 04:22:19 PM »
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For about $12.5K you can buy a certified H4D-40 from Hasselblad, 6 months warranty I believe.
It is the body only but 80mm lenses are plentiful on eBay (between $500 and $1k).
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NickyTaylorphoto
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 03:47:14 AM »
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Wow I never really realized that the sensor size was cropped. So glad to have posted for some more expert advice.

In the past I have stitched images together sometimes to create pieces as large as 8ftx3ft (given its not with a tilt shift lens so the axis would be slightly different) I would just love to be able to produce the work at the same size but with more detail.

Am I in a situation where if its not broken donít fix it? Will I not really see the benefit of spending $14000 for more detail or is it just not enough to really jump into this format?
 

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design_freak
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 04:18:59 AM »
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For k14$ you can buy H3DII50  Smiley
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Mr. Rib
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 06:13:15 AM »
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If I was to buy a MF camera now, I would settle for a used one like H3DII / H4 or sit out this generation and wait another year or two. The announcements which popped up this/last week are far from impressive.
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ondebanks
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 10:00:46 AM »
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Am I in a situation where if its not broken donít fix it? Will I not really see the benefit of spending $14000 for more detail or is it just not enough to really jump into this format?


You will see more detail than with the Canon - as much from the lack of an anti-aliasing filter as from the higher Mpix.

Even more important, in my experience of the 5DII and Kodak MFD sensors, is the nicer colour response.

I'm just wondering why you are looking only at Hasselblads when you say your subject is Large-scale landscape? The Pentax 645D (same Kodak sensor as the H4D-40) would seem like a better choice for that purpose, e.g. its weather sealing, and it costs a lot less. Its widest lens is 25mm, wider than Hasselblad's widest (28mm). One of Hasselblad's strengths is its leaf-shutter for flash work, but a focal plane shutter unit like the Pentax is all you need for landscape, and the faster speeds can come in handy sometimes.

Either that, or move away from an SLR body altogether - get a technical camera and a stand-alone digital back.

Ray

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FredBGG
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 10:59:21 AM »
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Wow I never really realized that the sensor size was cropped. So glad to have posted for some more expert advice.

In the past I have stitched images together sometimes to create pieces as large as 8ftx3ft (given its not with a tilt shift lens so the axis would be slightly different) I would just love to be able to produce the work at the same size but with more detail.

Am I in a situation where if its not broken donít fix it? Will I not really see the benefit of spending $14000 for more detail or is it just not enough to really jump into this format?
 



I think you would see about the same benefit in sharpness as you would see with a side grade to a Nikon D800E.
But most importantly you would get more dynamic range with the Nikon than you would with either the canon and the Hasselblad.
Dynamic range is very important in landscape photography. The far lighter camera will also make a big difference if you need to hike to a location.
Another thing to consider is that travel is essential to taking landscape photography to new levels. Going a long way with only one expensive camera is a bit of a gamble.
Much better with two D800 cameras. Same total weight and a back up is priceless when you catch a unique light, weather and location combination.

Here is a comparisson of the dynamic range of the D800 and the Hasselblad 50mp sensor.





Switching to Nikon may be a better path for you.

I recently switch in part fro Canon to Nikon.

My canon gear sold very well. The lenses sold on ebay in a snap.
I did not have to add much to get the Nikon gear.

Also take a look at this:

Nikon d800 vs 80mp sensor in a test made by an IQ180 owner.

http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 11:05:09 AM by FredBGG » Logged
EricWHiss
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 12:14:09 PM »
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Having shot the D800E side by side with my AFi-ii 12, its really hard to believe those DXO charts.   Color of the D800E was not all that great and large areas of skin seemed flat compared to the MFDB.    The D800E captures significant detail and a good value considering the price.   But it misses on the color and also does not have the depth of the MFDB file.

One thing to keep in mind is the sensor size.   For landscape, maybe a smaller sensor is a good thing since getting everything inside the DOF will be easier?    Besides the color, that was that other thing that really stood out in our studio tests.  The d800e shooter shot at f/10 and I shot at f/16  and he had way more DOF with the same framing.
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lfeagan
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 01:11:24 PM »
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If you want to produce large prints with a very high level of detail, stitching is a great way to go. I routinely produce 100+ MP images with little effort. Ok, more like 500 MP generally, but who's counting! Grin

I typically have well over 600 ppi available to me even when printing 4 feet wide. This is more than enough to allow a viewer to walk up close and explore the details of a particular feature.

Word of warning, if your computer does not have copious amounts of memory the stitching game can easily turn into the crying game while you wait.

The Gigapan system is a reasonable way to go. I use a setup from Really Right Stuff to achieve panning.

The Clauss Rodeon VR Head is an excellent piece of equipment.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 01:45:13 PM by lfeagan » Logged

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Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
NickyTaylorphoto
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 06:16:10 AM »
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Well Im still out there in the market place looking at cameras. MY canon lens 24-105 decided to die on me and canon repair quoted me 532Euros to fix it which is a joke considering its just the iris that has gone (as before) Which has pushed me even further into wanting/ needing to buy a quality new system.

All the rumors about the Canon 3d got me excited until they released a rumored price of $9,000 which for that price I would rather pay the same and get the name brand of quality.

There have been some very interesting points in this thread which Im going to really have to sit back and digest. Digital medium format is a totally new world for me so a lot of new terms and skills to learn WHICH IS GREAT. I think after redoing my math and selling my current canon I could pony up 10k cash for a new/secondhand system. Not going to get me into the big boys league but its a start.

If anyone has any more idea or knows of a great site to point me to apart from here to buy second hand then please feel free to send me a message.

Thank you to all the people who have put across there ideas.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2012, 06:44:14 AM »
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you are using a poor lens for stitching, have you tried the 24 ts-e? the 45 is not so good but the 90 is also very good for stitching . i would either switch to the nikon or stick with canon and change your lenses to high quality primes or the new 24-70 2.8 which is meant to be a huge improvement over the old one (which i have but dont use for anything technical only people shots where corners dont matter)
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 07:37:23 AM »
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I would start with stitching using the 5D2 and a good 50mm prime lens. That will take you very far already.

Next step up is a D800 with a Zeiss 50mm f2.0 and a good RRS manual pano head. That will cost you a bit more than 5,000 US$ and you will get much cleaner files, best in class DR (see the recent post of architecture photographer RainerV comparing Leaf backs to the D800E) and more detail per frame.

MF is an appealing option also, but be ready for some frustration with sub-optimal focus in low light situations, including dusk/dawn shots near infinity due the lack of usable live view. There are good chances that a live view focused DSLR image will contain on averge more actal details that the MF image in those challenging conditions, even with your 5DII.

If you opt for MF, I would look very seriously at the Pentax 645D. A true landscaper camera if there is one.

But the best reason to stay on 35mm might be the upcoming Zeiss upper lenses that may be in the same class as the Leica S glass when it becomes available next year if early reports are accurate.

Anyway, stitching can and should be used whatever the format if you are looking at the best possible level of detail.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2012, 08:52:59 AM »
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Hi,

I don't really know how to interpret DxO color depth. My guess is that it is not about rendition of color. On the other hand, I think that both Jeff Schewe and Michael Reichmann say that you can tweak essentially any color from any camera.

What software are you using with AFi-ii 12?

Best regards
Erik



Having shot the D800E side by side with my AFi-ii 12, its really hard to believe those DXO charts.   Color of the D800E was not all that great and large areas of skin seemed flat compared to the MFDB.    The D800E captures significant detail and a good value considering the price.   But it misses on the color and also does not have the depth of the MFDB file.

One thing to keep in mind is the sensor size.   For landscape, maybe a smaller sensor is a good thing since getting everything inside the DOF will be easier?    Besides the color, that was that other thing that really stood out in our studio tests.  The d800e shooter shot at f/10 and I shot at f/16  and he had way more DOF with the same framing.
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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 09:59:59 AM »
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For a couple of months I have been watching the H4D-31 with a 80mm lens at the price point at $14,000. And now the new H5D on the way was thinking (hoping) there might be another price cut like the recent one (fingers crossed)

What are the real alternatives within that price point of $14,000?
 

There is indeed a new price cut of 1,000 usd on the H4D (but it is not announced - you get it when you ask). Moreover, I hear that some dealers offer a little better prices to liquidate heir stock (to be sure their stock is out before the H5D ships).

So, I would recommend you the H4D40 at usd 14,000-14,500. A cheap second hand 80mm with low use, you can find easily and it should not set you back more than 750-1,000 usd.

For 15-16k, you will have a top DMF, which will hold its value for a good time.
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TMARK
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 10:29:13 AM »
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The advantage of MFD is a bigger sensor, as compared to a D800.  The croped sensors of the HXD-31 and 40, the Pentax 645D, Phase P30, Leaf Aptus 6, aren't that much bigger than 35mm FF. 

If I had $14k burning a hole in my pocket, and I needed a 30mm field of view on an MFD set up, I wouldn't get an H.  The wide lenses are very expensive, like an additional $2k used.  I would probably go for a Leaf Aptus 75s (Aptus II 7) and an RZ67 with the 50 ULD lens, and a Mamiya AFdII - Phase 645DF with 45mm.  The whole set up used could be had for $8k used.  The RZ is a pain to lug around and doesn't like water, ut the lenses are amazing and you can have tilt shift.  The mamiya AFd/Phase cameras are less than ideal, but I really like the lenses. 

Frankly, I think a D800e and some choice lenses would be the ideal solution.  While I think the new MFD full frame backs have some advantages over the D800e, the difference in image quality is at the margins.  The major difference is the camera and whether you enjoy working with MF.  Its a mixed bag.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 11:30:46 AM »
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Well Im still out there in the market place looking at cameras. MY canon lens 24-105 decided to die on me and canon repair quoted me 532Euros to fix it which is a joke considering its just the iris that has gone (as before) Which has pushed me even further into wanting/ needing to buy a quality new system.

Reliability of MFD cameras does not come close to that of high end 35mm DSLR cameras.
Repair costs for even the smallest things are expensive with MFD.

If you are shooting landscapes you should consider stitching. At least try it before you go for heavier MFD cameras that really only offer a small advantage
over a D800E. A simple 4 frame stitch with a D800E would give you better quality than a single shot with a MFDB. You would also have better shadow detail too.
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2012, 11:42:55 AM »
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Reliability of MFD cameras does not come close to that of high end 35mm DSLR cameras.
Repair costs for even the smallest things are expensive with MFD.

Can you site any data to back that up?   I've had the most problems with my Leica R camera bodies followed by Canon DSLR's and lenses.  Cross my fingers, but I never had a problem with any of Rollei camera bodies (though I have bought some used stuff on ebay that needed service on arrival).   It would be interesting to poll the user base here and find out how many failures per brand and make and whether they were DOA or failed during usage.  I know a lot of people that have had to send back DSLR lenses they bought new but had issues with them for example. I even had one canon lens that had a air bubble cast into the front element. Why that got past inspection and quality control is a mystery! Canon replaced immediately but still...
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FredBGG
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2012, 11:58:28 AM »
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Can you site any data to back that up?   I've had the most problems with my Leica R camera bodies followed by Canon DSLR's and lenses.  Cross my fingers, but I never had a problem with any of Rollei camera bodies (though I have bought some used stuff on ebay that needed service on arrival).   It would be interesting to poll the user base here and find out how many failures per brand and make and whether they were DOA or failed during usage.  I know a lot of people that have had to send back DSLR lenses they bought new but had issues with them for example. I even had one canon lens that had a air bubble cast into the front element. Why that got past inspection and quality control is a mystery! Canon replaced immediately but still...


There are plenty of postings about instability and hardware problems.

Take a look at this thread:

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/medium-format-systems-digital-backs/36998-good-bye-medium-format-digital.html

I also think it is quite relevant on this thread due to the OPs use for landscape that involves use outside,
in the woods, mountains and exposure to weather. There is absolutely no doubt that high end 35mm DSLR cameras are more rugged. On top of that there is the undisputable reliability that redundancy can give you. It is far more conceivable to carry two 35mm DSLR cameras than two MFD cameras and backs on a hike to a landscape shooting.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 12:09:41 PM by FredBGG » Logged
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