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Author Topic: The end of medium format ?  (Read 33561 times)
design_freak
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« on: December 03, 2012, 03:47:05 AM »
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I recommend this article. It seems to me that, unfortunately, it's Near future for MF. I warn that is not a provocation!
Sony Ambassador Mr. Jacek Bonecki-some years ago published a comparison test (Hasselblad, Sony, Mamiya) - full of basic errors, absolutely devoid of objectivity, just shameful article-after which I could not look in the mirror, if I was the author. Then it was the marketing gibberish, in the worst form.
Unfortunately, times have changed and become very blurred boundary. Manufacturers MF - listen carefully to what your customers are saying - otherwise you will share the fate of such a giant like Nokia, and the title of the article will be a reality!
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FredBGG
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 04:56:48 AM »
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I recommend this article. It seems to me that, unfortunately, it's Near future for MF. I warn that is not a provocation!
Sony Ambassador Mr. Jacek Bonecki-some years ago published a comparison test (Hasselblad, Sony, Mamiya) - full of basic errors, absolutely devoid of objectivity, just shameful article-after which I could not look in the mirror, if I was the author. Then it was the marketing gibberish, in the worst form.
Unfortunately, times have changed and become very blurred boundary. Manufacturers MF - listen carefully to what your customers are saying - otherwise you will share the fate of such a giant like Nokia, and the title of the article will be a reality!

Why unfortunately?

D800E and D800
Same quality for 1/5th of the price
Far superior functionality:
IS image stabalization
live view focusing
tracking focusing
face recognition auto focusing as well as facial recognition manual focus assist
more frames per second, HD Video, HDMI monitoring
dual memory card redundancy
high speed flash sync up to 1/8000th of a second
Advanced flash system from same manufacturer
computer controlled focus stacking
vast range of lenses from various vendors
available with and without anti alias filter

You get all of this for less money and less weight. Seems to me that photographers are quite fortunate right now. Wink

I don't think it's the end of Medium Format Digital. However it is definitely putting a ever bigger dent into MFD and it's financial viability
for both the photographer in general and the manufacturers. There will still be a market for it, but it is getting smaller and more expensive.








« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 12:47:11 PM by FredBGG » Logged
jeremypayne
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 06:17:44 AM »
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share the fate of such a giant like Nokia

Huh.  Weird choice for your cautionary tale.

I don't really think there's anything remotely similar between Nokia and any of the MF camera companies.
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design_freak
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 07:15:16 AM »
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Huh.  Weird choice for your cautionary tale.

I don't really think there's anything remotely similar between Nokia and any of the MF camera companies.

I can't see anything strange. Many similarities - we are the biggest and the best, others do not know, our position is not threatened. Unfortunately, the reality is different. Their position is at stake. (very seriously). They have no idea what to do in the new reality. Progress is at a rate of turtle. They perform reckless moves.
Now just see the information about Nokia.


 It reminds me a campaign. Two worlds seen from different perspectives. (Traffic Movia)
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design_freak
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 07:28:39 AM »
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Why unfortunately?

D800E and D800
Same quality for 1/5th of the price
Far superior functionality:
IS image stabalization
live view focusing
tracking focusing
face recognition auto focusing as well as facial recognition manual focus assist
more frames per second, HD Video, HDMI monitoring
dual memory card redundancy
high speed flash sync up to 1/8000th of a second
Advanced flash system from same manufacturer
computer controlled focus stacking
vast range of lenses from various vendors
available with and without anti alias filter

You get all of this for less money and less weight. Seems to me that photographers are quite fortunate right now. Wink









Unfortunately, because the opportunities were lost. I have a fondness for this equipment.
Now, as a man who shoots just for fun, I'm definitely glad that the equipment is so good for so little money  Cool
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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 07:32:44 AM »
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I don't really think there's anything remotely similar between Nokia and any of the MF camera companies.

Never say never. It can happen. But I still see some differences between Nokia and MF.

It is very well known and documented that established firms cannot handle new technologies well because they have so much at stake in the old technology (Kodak film vs digital, IBM large computers vs PC, Nokia cell phones vs Ipad/iPhone).

And these firms are mostly taken by surprise when the big volumes suddenly move (PC revolution, androids, no more film, etc).

In the case of MF, there are no longer masses of followers, just passionates and professionals.

They should just focus at what they good at (MF) and not bring out Luna(tic) cameras for the rich.
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Kitty
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 07:42:13 AM »
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I really don't know the future. But I just upgrade P45+ to IQ160 and quite happy with the result.
It has mobility like DSLR. And MFB require less post process than DSLR. IMHO.

Kitty
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 07:43:36 AM »
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The end of MF has been forecast for quite some time now and although I haven't a full frame body to compare my now old fashioned Mamiya ZD against there is no doubt that it will knock spots off the Pentax K5 when I'm taking proper photos rather than snaps for websites and the K5 itself takes a better picture than the Bronicas I used to haul around to weddings. It's an easy headline for a magazine but I doubt that we have seen the last of HB, Leaf et al.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 07:45:32 AM by Justinr » Logged

hjulenissen
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 07:48:45 AM »
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If it is true that :
1) Digital camera+sensor production does not lend itself to small-scale production (unlike analog film)
2) The current market for MF is really small

Then I dont see how MF manufacturers are supposed to avoid fading slowly into the sunset. They may do "Ferrari" and "collector 50 Years anniversary" editions. They may "tailgate" large sensors that are paid for by telescope customers, defence equipment etc. Or there may be some way to re-use small sensor development in larger sensors. They may (like Pentax) re-use software and hardware from lower-cost/larger series 35mm or crop cameras.

If it was possible to make a MF camera with the features of the D800, with significantly better IQ, while still making money from it, would not Nikon, Canon, Sony & friends be making such cameras? Are they not in a better position on one or more or the following: technology, financial, distribution?

-h
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michael
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 07:53:51 AM »
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I don't find the premise or the comparisons relevant.

There are only two MF companies, excepting a few ultra tiny body and lens makers, such as Alpa. These are Hasselblad, and Phase One / Mamiya / Leaf (really all one company).

Even these are very small, producing products in the low to mid thousands a year. Based on what I know about Phase, they are accommodating the marketplace quite well. While pro sales are declining, enthusiast sales are holding steady and even climbing in some markets. The museum, science, military markets also continue and even expand.

As for Hasselblad, I have no knowledge of how their sales are or what their plans are. The pimping up of OEM NEX cameras seems misguided at best, but stranger things have happened.

So, I wouldn't worry about MF. Leica is a player as well, and they seem to be selling every S2 and lens that they can make.

The industry just isn't about megapixels any more, from the point and shoots to backs. There are other metrics that potential purchasers care about. And in some markets, the ones where MF plays, price isn't foremost the way it is in mass markets. The wealthy amateur and scientific/military/museum segment is driven by needs other than simple price/performance analysis, or the availability of glitzy features.

Once film was over there never was a mass market for medium format, and there never will be. But mice do very nicely living almost invisibly among the feet of elephants, who hardly notice or care that they are there.

Just keep in mind that Canon makes more Rebels in one factory in a single day than the entire MF industry makes backs in a year. And that probably includes both gross profit and margin as well.

Michael
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 09:47:00 AM by michael » Logged
JoeKitchen
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 09:00:11 AM »
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Why unfortunately?

D800E and D800
Same quality for 1/5th of the price
Far superior functionality:
IS image stabalization
live view focusing
tracking focusing
face recognition auto focusing as well as facial recognition manual focus assist
more frames per second, HD Video, HDMI monitoring
dual memory card redundancy
high speed flash sync up to 1/8000th of a second
Advanced flash system from same manufacturer
computer controlled focus stacking
vast range of lenses from various vendors
available with and without anti alias filter

You get all of this for less money and less weight. Seems to me that photographers are quite fortunate right now. Wink


Do any of you 35mm enthusiast ever look at anything else besides the MP count?

Last I checked, you can push a MF image much further than a 35mm images.  Also, CCDs record the sharpness of light much better, not to mention the better lenses.  Backs have no moving parts meaning there life is much longer.  Also, 35mm comes in one style, and you take it or take it.  MF offers the traditional SLR setup plus true waist high view finder, tech camera setups, etc.  

Also, last I checked this is the "Medium Format / Film / Digital Backs – and Large Sensor Photography" sub-forum.  There is a 35mm forum as well.  
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 09:04:16 AM by JoeKitchen » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 09:10:48 AM »
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Why unfortunately?

D800E and D800
Same quality for 1/5th of the price
Far superior functionality:
IS image stabalization
live view focusing
tracking focusing
face recognition auto focusing as well as facial recognition manual focus assist
more frames per second, HD Video, HDMI monitoring
dual memory card redundancy
high speed flash sync up to 1/8000th of a second
Advanced flash system from same manufacturer
computer controlled focus stacking
vast range of lenses from various vendors
available with and without anti alias filter

You get all of this for less money and less weight. Seems to me that photographers are quite fortunate right now. Wink

I understand that FredBGG constantly and aggressively puts down MF validating his obsession occasionally with charts and other data, but I find the opposite. I use both a Nikon 800E and Hasselblad H4D50 and find that I can consistently recover more detail and obtain richer colors with my MF.
I agree that MF is heavier(much heavier) and one has to work a bit harder to get best result, but the result is just much superior with my H4D50 especially when I attach the back to a technical camera.
Stanley









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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 09:21:38 AM »
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MF is not dead and probably never will be. Geez been hearing this since every new cam came out to challenge it or just even hitting the market. Honestly there is a whole market that 95 percent of us are not even thinking about. Government, museums, scientific and a host of other markets that MF is a big part of. I have had both systems and sure the market maybe sliding some for MF with working Pros but what else is new. Many hobbyists are certainly keeping the MF OEMS busy as well. Tech cams are something that has come on in more recent years and frankly given the glass and the movements involved nothing can touch it in many ways.The MF OEMs still need to innovate and try to reduce costs but thats in ever sector of business. I look forward to new and better products coming into the market from Hassy, Phase and Leica and hopefully we will see new players as well. Every industry has cycles and maybe the MF is in one of those right now but if they innovate than it will rebound just like many other industries. i worked in aerospace for 16 years as a chief photographer and talk about a cycle business. It maybe one of the worst. Never say never as in most cases you would be wrong. LOL
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design_freak
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 09:38:47 AM »
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Do any of you 35mm enthusiast ever look at anything else besides the MP count?

Last I checked, you can push a MF image much further than a 35mm images.  Also, CCDs record the sharpness of light much better, not to mention the better lenses.  Backs have no moving parts meaning there life is much longer.  Also, 35mm comes in one style, and you take it or take it.  MF offers the traditional SLR setup plus true waist high view finder, tech camera setups, etc.  

Also, last I checked this is the "Medium Format / Film / Digital Backs – and Large Sensor Photography" sub-forum.  There is a 35mm forum as well.  

Yes, just compare pictures of D800E and any DB 40mpix. I know a little bit about it. Many "MF users" is surprised by the quality of D800E. Some photographers in general would not have figured out what files you are watching. Since blurs the difference between the lowest model of MF, a 35mm camera, it gives you a reason to further explore whether it is worthwhile to give so much for a camera that will not necessarily be better. (Less versatile) As Michael mentioned, which I really appreciate. More and more buyers are amateurs, fewer and fewer professionals. We can not assume the same as Hasselblad, that rich amateur is an idiot. Really, something must change - we can not wait for the new camera 4 years. No one will buy a newer model (the old in the new version:  changed the colors / + in the name. Build quality, ergonomics, better materials (not to be confused with Lunar)
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DF

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torger
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 09:46:21 AM »
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One problem may be that sensor technology is becoming or has become so advanced that you need a very very large development budget, so large that you may not be able to support a small market such as MF.

What if also the next generation of MFDBs has the same CCDs as already used in two or more generations? And what if at the same time 135 cameras continue to improve image quality of their versatile CMOSes? What if MFDBs becomes even more expensive due to reduced market share?

Maybe the future for MF is to drop out of regular photography and only do speciality equipment for science, astronomy, cartography and medical.

One alternative scenario that I'd like to see is some stronger focus on the enthusiast market, and I think the tech cam for landscape photography is strong there. Maybe there is an opportunity to actually increase the volumes with the right product in that sector.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 09:49:02 AM by torger » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 10:25:51 AM »
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... we are the biggest and the best, others do not know, our position is not threatened. Unfortunately, the reality is different. Their position is at stake. (very seriously). They have no idea what to do in the new reality. Progress is at a rate of turtle. They perform reckless moves...

You are talking about Canon, right? Wink
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2012, 11:51:27 AM »
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It's weird... ever since I joined LuLa so many years back, there have been threads like this, each time saying its 'for real' this time.

People, note that Fred, who is the loudest and most persistent nagging voice about the D800, has not given up his 8x10 or his Fuji.   When he posts his own images, how many his work images were taken with the d800?  I mean ones that he is proud of? 

It's not, and I did my own side by side testing, but I wouldn't care if it was. I like the look of MF.... smaller formats look flat and I dislike the 3::2 crop.  I enjoy a big viewfinder for composition and the leaf shutter lenses make hand holding much easier. I often shoot at 1/500th with strobes.  MF is still king in my book.
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2012, 11:59:47 AM »
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Why did we never have a thread that 35mm format is dead because MF can finally kill it? Tongue
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FredBGG
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2012, 12:02:59 PM »
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Tech cams are something that has come on in more recent years and frankly given the glass and the movements involved nothing can touch it in many ways.

While 80mp backs and tech cameras have an edge it is not all it is made out to be.  ... "nothing can touch it" ....  makes it sound untouchable.
However things are very close:

Here is a good comparison made by an IQ180 and tech camera owner that is also an experienced landscape photographer:

http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/

Quote
At 30ื20 inches, you can see subtle but clear differences between the IQ180 and the D800E. Not all of them weighted in favour of the medium format camera, though. For instance, the D800E produced much more pleasing shadow areas on the prints of the photographs produced to test dynamic range.

Resolution and detail of the IQ180 prints was better than that of the D800E prints – but not massively. Again, the difference was there, but it wasn’t huge. Certainly not €30,000 huge.

And we were stunned just how close the D800E ran the IQ180 when the files were printed at 60ื40 inches, which is bigger than many dining room tables.

Put simply, Nikon has produced a phenomenal camera.

Medium format camera manufacturers have cause for concern.

It gets even more interesting if we consider the lens used on the Nikon. It's not one of their best and somewhat due for an update.

here is how it compared with the state of the art in 135 format DSLR lenses.

Nikon 24mm pc-e @ f8


Canon 24mm TS-E @ f8

Then there is what has already been announced...... Zeiss is throwing it's weight behind very high end 135 DSLR format lenses in a manner that never have before.
The new 55mm f1.4 is a sign of what is on the horizon. MF makers are small and dependant on what Dalsa and Truesense make. Dalsa and true sense are more heavily inversted in other fields than MF enthusiat and pro photography. What they put out for Phase and Hasselblad is dependant on what they make for industrial applications for industrial equipment imaging systems. Dalsa was absorbed by Teledyne a giant industrial and defense contractor. Even if you go to their imaging website while the home page scrolls through many applications and areas it works in it does not feature enthusiast/armature or professional photography.

http://www.teledynedalsa.com/

While the MF companies have been in decline in the digital age, Zeiss has grown into a company with $ 5.5 billion of revenue.
The fact that they have thrown their weight behind motion picture and 135 format DSLR and pretty much have nothing to do with medium format
says a lot.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 12:35:13 PM by FredBGG » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2012, 12:11:10 PM »
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The argument is no longer 'about good enough' or 'IQ'.   Plenty of people got their work done with the Canon 1DS or 5d2.  The Nikon D3x was overkill.  People are using their iphones now for all kinds of stuff!   

The discussion is about how you work, what you like, and what works for you.   

MF has a different look
MF has a different crop ratio
MF has a big viewfinder
MF has finder options
MF has faster sync
MF has leaf shutter lenses
MF can shoot film or digital

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