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Author Topic: New to site and DMF... Just in time with H5D ! Help Please.  (Read 27155 times)
bcooter
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« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2012, 01:34:15 PM »
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I've posted this before, but here is the differences in crops in regards to formats.



Keep in mind a P30, is not a 1.3 crop it is 1.24 where a almost FF mfd P45 is 1.14, so the differences are not near as pronounced as the sales literature suggests.

I know that this forum loves to post mtf graphs and micro sharpness, but those are just relevant when your bleeding your eyes on a computer screen.

To me the one reason to shoot medium format is the look of non aa filtered CCD's.  They just look different than cmos and my studio and I have worked thousands of images from most makers of  cmos cameras (Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, RED,) and CCD non AA filtered cameras (leica, Phase, Leaf, Hasselblad, Kodak and Fuji) and there is just a different look to the ccd cameras.

I won't say 3dish, or any of that and I'm not comparing micro detail but I believe the ability to work a file deep with MFD is easier than a cmos file and produces an overall different look than a dslr.

As far as cameras I'd use what camera you feel comfortable with, but I would never buy without testing in some form, because everybody has a different perspective on cameras, files, lenses.

I'd test whether it was a $2,500 dslr or a $30,000 medium format system.  It's not just the costs, it's the years of living with it that matters.

I'd also test and shoot something relevant.  No alleys, brick walls, or leafs in the backyard, but load up, go out and shoot something pretty.  Then you can work the files in post and find the system that's right for you.

You will hear a huge volume of buzz around the Nikon D800 and I'm sure it's a capable camera.  You will also here a lot of people say it's not the camera, it's the artist.

Both are true, but the camera really does matter and it always has.   Nobody spends more time with their eye on a viewfinder than a movie first operator or DP and though they rarely own cameras, usually rent, they have their favorites and will go to almost any length to use them.

It's not unheard of to hear a dp absorb part or all of a cinema camera and lens package costs into their fees, just too shoot with the camera they are comfortable with.

It's the same for stills and the one plus for medium format is (at least for me) is I continue on with the same equipment for a long time.  My dslrs, maybe 2 or 3 years, my mfd backs, easily 3 times that.

As far as reliability, my Phase backs have never had a repair and I've worked them damn hard.  My Contax(s) just one repair where some assistant put a thumb through a shutter curtain. 

My Canons and Nikons have all gone in for shutter failure, or focus adjustments.

For weight, I don't look at the camera, I look at the case and the difference between my Canon and Contax/Phase case is less than a pound.

Still, the only answer is test and decide for yourself. 

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 01:39:25 PM by bcooter » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2012, 03:54:45 PM »
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Cooter,

Check out the D800.  It is really different than most CMOS cameras, at least to my eyes.  Very easy to get a scanned Portra look.  It is the first CMOS camera that compares, to me anyway, favorably to film.  Not just "good enough", "close enough".  But in many ways "better than."  I've never been able to get a certain look from a CMOS camera, its a look that I could only get from a Mamiya 7 and Portra, and even then, the scans were with a CCD scanner.  The D800e gets that look, and more.  The files are aren't brittle like, say the Leica CCD files (which I do love).  They have depth in the shadows.  As a camera its like an F4 or F5.  Finder could have higher magnification but is bright enough.  The focusing screen is horrid, can't tell what is and isn't in focus with fast lenses.  Luckily the AF is very fast and accurate.  I think you would dig it.
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« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2012, 03:57:43 PM »
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Notably these guys shoot DMF and speak of experience, the others do not (if I missed someone please raise hand);

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.

I've posted this before, but here is the differences in crops in regards to formats.



Keep in mind a P30, is not a 1.3 crop it is 1.24 where a almost FF mfd P45 is 1.14, so the differences are not near as pronounced as the sales literature suggests.

I know that this forum loves to post mtf graphs and micro sharpness, but those are just relevant when your bleeding your eyes on a computer screen.

To me the one reason to shoot medium format is the look of non aa filtered CCD's.  They just look different than cmos and my studio and I have worked thousands of images from most makers of  cmos cameras (Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, RED,) and CCD non AA filtered cameras (leica, Phase, Leaf, Hasselblad, Kodak and Fuji) and there is just a different look to the ccd cameras.

I won't say 3dish, or any of that and I'm not comparing micro detail but I believe the ability to work a file deep with MFD is easier than a cmos file and produces an overall different look than a dslr.

As far as cameras I'd use what camera you feel comfortable with, but I would never buy without testing in some form, because everybody has a different perspective on cameras, files, lenses.

I'd test whether it was a $2,500 dslr or a $30,000 medium format system.  It's not just the costs, it's the years of living with it that matters.

I'd also test and shoot something relevant.  No alleys, brick walls, or leafs in the backyard, but load up, go out and shoot something pretty.  Then you can work the files in post and find the system that's right for you.

You will hear a huge volume of buzz around the Nikon D800 and I'm sure it's a capable camera.  You will also here a lot of people say it's not the camera, it's the artist.

Both are true, but the camera really does matter and it always has.   Nobody spends more time with their eye on a viewfinder than a movie first operator or DP and though they rarely own cameras, usually rent, they have their favorites and will go to almost any length to use them.

It's not unheard of to hear a dp absorb part or all of a cinema camera and lens package costs into their fees, just too shoot with the camera they are comfortable with.

It's the same for stills and the one plus for medium format is (at least for me) is I continue on with the same equipment for a long time.  My dslrs, maybe 2 or 3 years, my mfd backs, easily 3 times that.

As far as reliability, my Phase backs have never had a repair and I've worked them damn hard.  My Contax(s) just one repair where some assistant put a thumb through a shutter curtain.  

My Canons and Nikons have all gone in for shutter failure, or focus adjustments.

For weight, I don't look at the camera, I look at the case and the difference between my Canon and Contax/Phase case is less than a pound.

Still, the only answer is test and decide for yourself.  

IMO

BC

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.


Do be tad cautious of some of other posts that you read, because with each new dslr with more pixels there are folks that tad seem to believe it is like a miracle machine, and some select others such as Fred seem to be on a rampage against all of medium format digital industry (while some of us are waiting for him to yet post a single good image he shot with his medium format back...).

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.

Above is plain nonsense. I have not had one camera, back or lens break down over the past five years I have shot medium format digital. They are made for heavy and extensive professional use. I am on my third medium format back, in part because I first went with faulty designed ZD which I kept only for few months due to a problem related to its design. Since then I have shot Leaf and they are as durable as Phase One. I do not know about Hasselblad, they may also be same durable, I simply do not know. I am on my second Leaf because I knew I could trust their products for durability and to deliver top notch image quality which I cannot get with DSLR.

There is a significant difference and advantage in the raw files compared to dslrs. The files can be pushed more and do give a superior character. Sure, dslrs such as D800E have improved... and so have medium format sensors, thus both have if you look at newer generations.

The 44x33mm sensors can actually be bargains, yet nevertheless give unique character images compared to dslr. It is also the way you work an image. Medium format slows you down some, which improves your images because you think more before you press the shutter. When I went with Leaf I first choose the 28MP 44x33mm sensor because it was more cost effective than the 22MP 48x36mm sensor, and because it was one generation newer sensor, thus with slight improvements in ISO and noise performance. I was very pleased with that back indeed. Price is important when choosing, and I would recommend you to compare Hassy vs. Leaf and Phase One. The other side is support. Do purchase from a reputable agent that will back you, then you have support and also some warranty. My Leaf agent in Hong Kong is superb and even answer phone in evenings and weekends... and help out even when outside of warranty. Any problem, even if something I am missing on camera! Nope, I did not purchase my cameras from them, only my Leaf backs, but... they know by giving this support chances are I will upgrade in future because in part of their support, but also because Leaf products are stellar in durability and image quality. I did upgrade last year, at free choice, not by them marketing, which is loads of different from all marketing of dslrs, including all articles you read on internet of dslrs...

Since 1 year I shoot 80MP Leaf AFi-II 12 with a 645 sized sensor on a Rolleiflex Hy6 camera. The Hy6 camera is arguably the best camera for medium format digital and the lenses are likewise reputed as best. It can be worth checking out. Else, as mentioned in above the choice is individual. And no... stitching dslr frames does not yield same image quality as medium format digital... there is much more than pixels. Best is to like said in above to make a demo, have them explain the differences to what you are used to shooting and for you to inspect it yourself, and shoot actual subjects and even PM folks in these forums to send you some sample raw files from their actual shooting. Then you will get to work on a file shot by someone who is used to handling the camera and back.

Leaf files are known for a more film like character, but are else on pair in image quality with Phase One backs (or is it the other way around??). Though I personally have a liking to Dalsa sensors that I find to have better characters. All Leaf backs have Dalsa sensors. Newer Phase One backs have Dalsa. I also believe some Hassy may use Dalsa, but I am not sure. I use Capture One Pro for processing, and it is the best for Leaf and Phase One files since Phase One owns also Leaf, and since both Phase One and Leaf engineers are involved in work for Capture One. For Adobe they are not...

Personally, I would not think of trading medium format digital for dslr, no way. I much enjoy my current tool because it helps me get better images and better image quality, but that is all it is; tool. Each of us need to investigate what works for us, and decide.

I shoot both landscape and people; andersloof.com. I actually like the larger sensor for that too, because it enables to control out of focus far better, thus brings yet another character. And the way to shoot with a Hy6 with its 6x6cm focus screen in wist level finder clearly beats dslr but also other medium format digital offerings. Smiley.

Best regards,
Anders
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 04:09:35 PM by Anders_HK » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2012, 04:45:50 PM »
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And no... stitching dslr frames does not yield same image quality as medium format digital... there is much more than pixels.

Stitching is a widely used shooting technique that can be used with any camera.

The stitched image will have a much higher image quality than a single frame shot with the same equipment.

Cylindrical stitching does 4 key things:
- it increases the pixel count dramatically and detail capture accordingly,
- it virtually increases the size of the capturing device, think of 8x10 vs MF. Accordingly, you shoot with a longer lens (my normal pano lens is a 100mm) and reduces DoF accordingly which results in a different look,
- it makes any aspect ratio possible without the need to crop and therefore lose image quality,
- it only uses the central part of the image circle in each sub-frame, which results in a stitched image that is perfect corner to corner. This is critical for landscape.

Now regarding the comparison btwn a single frame MF vs stitched DSLR. There are a few things to say:
- there is a huge difference in image quality among DSLRs, the D800E is far ahead of all the others, so it doesn't mean much to speak about a generic category called DSLR. The same applies to MF so I suggest we speak about the latest generation on both sides,
- speaking about pixel quality, the D800 is in the same ballpark as recent backs. Some, like RainerV shooting architecture (by far the most demanding discipline in terms of DR) prefer the DR of the D800, some like you (who have not used the D800 it seems) or Eric believe that the back is superior. Measures say the D800 wins,
- now, we don't make prints with single pixels. There is an obvious value in terms of tonal quality and image smoothness when you have more pixels with a larger (virtual or not) sensor. That is the reason why a single MF is superior to a single 35mm frame, but stitching takes that an order of magnitude further.

So in the end, allow me to strongly disagree with the statment you wrote above, stitched D800 images are way better than single MF frames, and the gap is very large.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 04:48:26 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2012, 04:50:22 PM »
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Medium format slows you down some, which improves your images because you think more before you press the shutter.
This "slowing down" thing is beyond me. Shooting with a small or large or whatever camera makes no difference with regard to my "mental work".
Being familiar with the gear does improve things… IMO… simply as you don't have to think about the technique and therefore you'll be in a better flow.
Likewise I feel it's also not totally unimportant that you "like" the gear you use in some way. If not, the "damn thing" will annoy you … which certainly won't help to concentrate on the actual image…

Shooting with my small Sony RX100 slows me down… because it's small and somewhat cumbersome to operate (manually). In contrast shooting with my Contax with a DB is super easy and… if you want so… super fast. Simply as the camera handles much, much better. It has only few buttons and everything is in its proper place... and at the same time nothing is missing.
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« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2012, 06:06:40 PM »
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So in the end, allow me to strongly disagree with the statment you wrote above, stitched D800 images are way better than single MF frames, and the gap is very large.
Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard that is a fairly bold claim there...would you be able to show us an ~80MP stitched image from your camera (3 verticals roughly?) and demonstrate how it is "way better" than a single 80MP image?

Thanks!
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« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2012, 06:40:44 PM »
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Bernard that is a fairly bold claim there...would you be able to show us an ~80MP stitched image from your camera (3 verticals roughly?) and demonstrate how it is "way better" than a single 80MP image?

Yaya,

I have never claimed that the quality would be the same at equal pixel count, my point is precisely that there is zero reason to stick to a meager 80 mp when stitching with a D800.

I agree that, even if the pixels were of the same quality, you lose a small something as the result of the stitching computations at pixel sharpness level (technique is important here), but going to an even slightly higher pixel count more than compensates for that.

You will agree with me that 80mp is meager when the next generation of 140mp backs will be released, I am sure.  Wink

Most of my stitches are 150-300 megapixel today already, and these unique shooting opportunities will have been captured with that resolution without having to wait for 3 more generation of backs. It can of course be debated whether so much detail is needed, but there is no question that - if ultimate image quality is your goal - then stitching is the way to go.

You could of course stitch with the back and get to even higher virtual sensor sizes and resolutions. Stitching can be used with any camera really.

This being said, you will see some advantage even at equal pixel count in terms of image quality in the corners, and aspect ratio unless you always shoot 4:3 of course.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 06:57:52 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2012, 06:59:25 PM »
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Bernard that is a fairly bold claim there...would you be able to show us an ~80MP stitched image from your camera (3 verticals roughly?) and demonstrate how it is "way better" than a single 80MP image?

Thanks!

A three frame stitch taken with a D800 on a Cambo X2-PRO would be about the same.

A three frame stitch shot with a Nikon lens moving the camera would not be the same as this type of stitching requires corrections in post.

For a stitch with A D800 and Nikon (or other 3rd party Nikon lenses) should be done with a higher sampling shooting more shots. The result will be far superior
to an MF back if the prints are large enough to see the difference.

However there are landscape shots with a lot of movement that require a single shot if you want to freeze motion. That is where the Credo and IQ backs have an edge, though it is not as large as many would think.

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/36838-someone-had-do.html

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« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2012, 07:31:03 PM »
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However there are landscape shots with a lot of movement that require a single shot if you want to freeze motion. That is where the Credo and IQ backs have an edge, though it is not as large as many would think.

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/36838-someone-had-do.html

Yes, there are such scenes-
- but they are few, some types of water scenes can be a problem, many are not a problem,
- I wonder whether detail is that important in such scenes in the first place that the difference btwn 36 and 80 mp really make a difference. When things move, DSLR often have the upper hand thanks to their ability to maintain accurate focus anyway.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 07:43:45 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2012, 08:08:32 PM »
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my point is precisely that there is zero reason to stick to a meager 80 mp when stitching with a D800.

Stitching may work for some landscape or other situations but obviously quite a lot of photo work can only be captured with a single frame.  It's not a valid argument for everyone to suggest stitching as a solution.
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« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2012, 08:15:58 PM »
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For a stitch with A D800 and Nikon (or other 3rd party Nikon lenses) should be done with a higher sampling shooting more shots. The result will be far superior
to an MF back if the prints are large enough to see the difference.

Is it fair to compare a stitched D800 shot to a single frame of the IQ180?  Of course one can also stitch with the 80mp digital backs (or iPhones) so what's the point here?
And from my experience of shooting both, I think the 80mp is better but not just because of increased detail. Better feel of depth, tonality,  and better color too.    Whether this is worth the big price difference or not is up to the individual.   
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« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2012, 08:32:00 PM »
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Stitching may work for some landscape or other situations but obviously quite a lot of photo work can only be captured with a single frame.  It's not a valid argument for everyone to suggest stitching as a solution.

My answer was made in the context of this thread where the OP described his application as "large landscapes".

I have never said that stitching could be a solution to all types of shooting.

Is it fair to compare a stitched D800 shot to a single frame of the IQ180?  Of course one can also stitch with the 80mp digital backs (or iPhones) so what's the point here?
And from my experience of shooting both, I think the 80mp is better but not just because of increased detail. Better feel of depth, tonality,  and better color too.    Whether this is worth the big price difference or not is up to the individual.  

Yes, it is fair. Only the application matters. The goal is to find the best suited tool. It is not because the OP posted his question in a MF forum that MF has to be the best answer for his needs.

I am not interested in a generic discussion about MFDB vs DSLR, we had too many of these already. I am just trying to help the OP understand the options he can choose from.

These are just 2 different means to achieve high levels of image quality. Except that the D800 based stitching solution is nearly 10 times cheaper. When I pay the bill I am interested in this "point".

At last, the qualities you refer to as depth, tonality are the result of the higher resolution down sampled to a given output size. My view is that you get even better depth and tones with a 300 mp stitch.

Colors is a different question, one that seems to belong to realm of preference more than anything else.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 08:36:58 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2012, 08:48:43 PM »
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Bernard,
Well you are right about one thing. Too much time wasted on this type of discussion! I'm out!
Eric
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« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2012, 09:02:35 PM »
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I am not interested in a generic discussion about MFDB vs DSLR, we had too many of these already.

+1
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« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2012, 11:16:49 PM »
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A three frame stitch taken with a D800 on a Cambo X2-PRO would be about the same.

A three frame stitch shot with a Nikon lens moving the camera would not be the same as this type of stitching requires corrections in post.

For a stitch with A D800 and Nikon (or other 3rd party Nikon lenses) should be done with a higher sampling shooting more shots. The result will be far superior
to an MF back if the prints are large enough to see the difference.

However there are landscape shots with a lot of movement that require a single shot if you want to freeze motion. That is where the Credo and IQ backs have an edge, though it is not as large as many would think.

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/36838-someone-had-do.html



Since you're answering for Bernard now, perhaps YOU can show us a stitched image from your camera (I believe you have mentioned somewhere that you own one?) and demonstrate its superiority to an MF image?
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« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2012, 11:32:24 PM »
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Since you're answering for Bernard now, perhaps YOU can show us a stitched image from your camera (I believe you have mentioned somewhere that you own one?) and demonstrate its superiority to an MF image?

Now now Yaya calm down and please spare us your sarcasm.

First of all I'm not answering for Bernard, I'm sure he can do so for himself.

That said I'd like to go on record for saying that while a stitch taken with a D800 would be higher quality than a single frame IQ180 or Credo 80, I'm sure a stitch with a MF camera would be just
as spectacular. The virtual lenses and capture areas that can be created rival even 8x10.

Here is a good example of the quality that is possible with stitching

http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm

and this is an interesting and different use of stitching:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/110492963926129353210/albums/5642588167921700753
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 11:51:12 PM by FredBGG » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2012, 11:57:47 PM »
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a stitch taken with a D800 would be higher quality than a single frame IQ180 or Credo 80

Care to show us how and why?
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« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2012, 12:09:35 AM »
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Care to show us how and why?

Look at the two links in my previous post.

One demonstrates higher resolution and detail, the other illustrates bokeh not achievable in a single MFD exposure and current MFD manufacturers lenses.
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« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2012, 12:19:42 AM »
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First of all I'm not answering for Bernard, I'm sure he can do so for himself.

I already did in fact...

Marc may not be in Japan now, otherwise we could have done a very easy comparison to prove the obvious for those doubting that a 200+ mp stitch from a D800 is superior to a single IQ180 image. A 3x4=12 images stitch should do.

Yair, if you know of any owner in Tokyo interested in doing such tests please PM me. I'd be glad to do it. I should have time this Sunday early AM. I propose to meet in Ueno, there are some nice subjects in the area.

I am willing also to do the print tests using my Epson 9900 that same day, I'll pay for paper and ink. We should do 42x56 inch prints to respect the 4:3 aspect ratio of the IQ180. I'll auction the set on eBay and donate the proceedings to an NGO acting for the protection of MFDBs.  Grin

Please let me know if you have any recommendation to make the match up fair, I wouldn't want to be accused of bias after the fact.  Wink

That said I'd like to go on record for saying that while a stitch taken with a D800 would be higher quality than a single frame IQ180 or Credo 80, I'm sure a stitch with a MF camera would be just as spectacular. The virtual lenses and capture areas that can be created rival even 8x10.

Of course, I must have written this 3 times in this thread already.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 12:49:00 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: October 10, 2012, 02:43:42 AM »
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You will hear a huge volume of buzz around the Nikon D800 and I'm sure it's a capable camera. You will also here a lot of people say it's not the camera, it's the artist.

Both are true, but the camera really does matter and it always has.

Agreed.

My cameras and choices are a vital part of the process of making my images. What isn’t vital to the process are the cameras and choices other folk use and make to create their images.

Sadly there are way too many folk here spending way too much time worrying about other folk’s cameras and other folk's choices.
  
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 02:48:55 AM by KLaban » Logged

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