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Author Topic: The end of medium format ?  (Read 22487 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #180 on: December 07, 2012, 03:59:51 PM »
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Hi,

Regarding competition in the DSLR marketplace, I was much surprised when:

- Sony released the Alpha 900 at 3000$, Canon released 5DII at 3000$ and Nikon released D3X at 8000$
- Nikon released D800 at 2800$, Canon released 5DIII at 3000$ followed by Sony releasing A99 at 3000$

Never understood the pricing of the D3X.

I am also somewhat confused by the D4 and 4DX.

Best regards
Erik



Pentax Wink

The price of 35mm DSLRs has nothing to do with the tiny market of MFD. There is very strong and healthy competition between the various 35mm brands.
Just look at Canons recent price drop. This price drop has nothing to do with MF prices that are more than 5 times higher for essentially the equivalent IQ.
This is as a result of competition from Nikon and other 35mm DSLR manufacturers.

As far as expensive cameras go both Nikon and Canon have for a long time offered top of the end cameras in both heavier construction at a higher price
and lighter construction at a lower price, but with equivalent IQ. Seems to me that both Nikon and Canon come from a culture of empowering their clients
and keeping entry level costs very very low.

The big three companies often make large investments in other photography companies. Sony just invested over half a billion dollars in Olympus.
If they saw real growth potential in MF they would be shopping....
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FredBGG
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« Reply #181 on: December 07, 2012, 04:32:23 PM »
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The comment related to actual product you can buy in the MF market.

Your words were "Contax really is a dead company"

My response was simply to correct the statement that Contax was a company and to state that the owner Zeiss
is growing and that the licencee of the brand Kyochera is still alive and very well.

That said my followup is about adding information, not saying you were lying or anything, you comment after all was
just a brief one Smiley

A german photo magazine recently reported that the Contax brand name licence with Kyochera has
expired and all rights have returned to Carl Zeiss.

That said the Contax 645 is still supported by Phase One as far as manufacturing backs... and that is commendable.
There is also a very healthy used market. Right now there are about 350 Contax 645 items for sale on ebay.

It is sad though that the Contax 645 is no longer in production and was not developed further.
Having an MF system developed by an electonics, optical and materials giants like Zeiss and Kyochera
would have been very interesting.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 04:47:50 PM by FredBGG » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #182 on: December 07, 2012, 04:34:23 PM »
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Hi,

Just another set of small thoughts.

Development in DSLRs is not very fast. The D800 came out and shook the industry a bit, but all other new releases are in the 20 MP bracket. The great news is of course the Leica M with it's CMOSIS designed CMOS sensor.



See also the two figures enclosed, one is DxO-mark for 135 FF DSLR and the other for MF.

Quite obviously MF has a significant advantage in resolution. Also it is quite obvious that would MF have the same quality of readout circuitry as the recent Sony based sensors they would rank up about two EV in DR. Simple algebra.

As I see it, there is a real possibility for MF to do a quantum step, get better sensors! Going to CMOS would also give full live view!

Another way to increase market at low cost would be to sell fully refurbished backs at reasonable price with an extended warranty or a reasonably priced maintenance contract. Say that you can buy a refurb back for 50000$ with a yearly maintenance cost of 1250$. Wouldn't such a solution be reasonable, lowering cost of entry and reduce risk?

Best regards
Erik






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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KLaban
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« Reply #183 on: December 07, 2012, 04:35:26 PM »
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Sorry. It's was not my intention to "lump you in", it was just to give the response you had received some context as the response doesn't read clearly without what he was responding to.

Fred, I think I understand  Undecided
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 04:38:09 PM by KLaban » Logged

yaya
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« Reply #184 on: December 07, 2012, 04:57:56 PM »
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Hi,

Just another set of small thoughts.

Development in DSLRs is not very fast. The D800 came out and shook the industry a bit, but all other new releases are in the 20 MP bracket. The great news is of course the Leica M with it's CMOSIS designed CMOS sensor.


They've emitted the 6.6MP Leaf C-Most from 2000....the 14n that came in 2002 used the same basic chip/ packaging design/ manufacture...
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FredBGG
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« Reply #185 on: December 07, 2012, 05:05:34 PM »
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Quite obviously MF has a significant advantage in resolution.
Best regards
Erik

That may not be the case soon.
Cmosis is already making a 70MP 35mm format sensor.
It has electronic rolling shutter capability
8 30Mhz channels that let it reach 3 frames per second at full resolution, but it is designed
for faster frame rates with cropping or down-sampling.



There are 3 versions.
Color
Monochrome with microlenses
Monochrome without microlenses.

http://www.cmosis.com/?ACT=52&key=Z0xuV25NYTZKUHcxNGxSY1Nta0RWekZpanRycE1SYk4wL1JQVXNZT21XS1dON2Z6bjM4WWgxbjhxWDVONkhKenlOdlgreHBmbitIeUg1enpKMW5Sd0pzdFBLcVZ0a1VlU1NQM3JMV2JON2Y3a2RkQUcxNlBJZFN6UUkzanpvb08=
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 05:07:13 PM by FredBGG » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #186 on: December 07, 2012, 05:53:33 PM »
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That 70MP, 31x22mm CMOSIS sensor is not itself a threat to MF, due to its relatvely poor noise floor and well capacity, but it seems likely that sooner or later, sensors will improve to the point where lens resolution dominates overall image resolution. That should leave larger "medium" formats with a natural advantage, though it is much debated what fraction of photography needs even as much resolution as the D800 offers.

Electron well capacity limits might also leave larger formats with a sustained advantage in maximum "electrons per image" or "electons per pixel after normalizing to equal pixel count", which again could give a natural advantage in photographically relevant DR and SNR to larger formats, at least when one can expose at low enough exposure index, to make good use of full well capacity.

But what fascinates me is the number of MF users who particularly emphasize the advantage of the big, bright image in the optical viewfinder. What happens if and when EVFs get good enough in dynamic range and such to be a fully satisfactory alternative (or adjunct) to the OVF? Because there is no relationship beween the size/brightness of an EVF image and the size of the sensor: even a Micro Four Thirds camera could have an EVF with an image size as big as any ever seen on an SLR, if there were sufficient demand for that. And big, beautiful hot-shoe mounted EVF's could also be offered as accessories for many current SLR's, using HDMI out.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #187 on: December 07, 2012, 06:49:35 PM »
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... the point where lens resolution dominates overall image resolution. That should leave larger "medium" formats with a natural advantage...

I always thought that 35mm-format lenses have a "natural advantage" over medium-format lenses (at least in lp/mm), not the other way around. Thus, it is the degree of enlargement that more than compensates the initial lens "disadvantage."
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #188 on: December 08, 2012, 12:55:11 AM »
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Hi,


Yes and no. There is no law in nature saying that smaller lenses are better. Larger formats require larger lenses and cost probably rises with size. Many years ago Photodo published some MTF tests of medium format lenses. In the Photodo tests the few MF lenses tested were weaker than their 135 colleagues, except Mamiya 7 lenses that were competitive with 135 on an absolute scale.

The worst MF lens in the Photodo tests was the Zeiss 120/4 macro planar, that lens got grade 2.7.

Now, the very same lens is sold by Hartblei (in Germany) as a tilt and shift lens. Diglloyd has tested it and finds it excellent, although it needs to be stopped down to f/11 for god sharpness/contrast whatever. A lens that needs stopping down to f/11 is not very good in my book. To put it simply, I don't understand. The only way of finding out is to get one of those lenses and finding out. A quite expensive proposal, unfortunately.

It was a bit interesting that Michael switched from Pentax 67 (on film) to Contax 645 and Phase One (P25?). With time he found out that in many cases the Canons he had offered better sharpness. When he came back to MF it was with a P45 and a few selected lenses from Rodenstock calculated for MF digital. Those lenses were probably better than most 135 lenses according to MTF data.

Joseph Holmes set out to replace 4x5" with MFD and started putting together an equipment but found that MF-stuff had a large variation in quality. He also worked with students, and found that more than half of the equipment that came under his hands had issues. Foremost, it seemed like Schneider and Rodenstock had lousy quality control with real lenses being far off from MTF data. Josep Holmes finally settled on carefully cherry picked Mamiya lenses on a Phase One body.

Here is a good example of what is achievable with IQ 180 on Alpa with "Digital" lens (I don't know which lens was used, images courtesy of Marc McCalmont)
http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/71-mf-digital-myths-or-facts?start=5

In the same article I also looked at sample images from Pentax 645D and Nikon D800E published at Imaging Resource and calculated MTF. Here the difference was quite small, see enclosed screen dump.

Best regards
Erik




I always thought that 35mm-format lenses have a "natural advantage" over medium-format lenses (at least in lp/mm), not the other way around. Thus, it is the degree of enlargement that more than compensates the initial lens "disadvantage."
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #189 on: December 08, 2012, 01:05:48 AM »
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Hi,

I agree with BJL on both issues.

Regarding image quality, there has always been a quest for better image quality. In film days it was 8x10". Needed or not is dependent on viewing distance.

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders was known to produce mural size prints from large format film intended to be viewed from relative short distance.

Best regards
Erik

Electron well capacity limits might also leave larger formats with a sustained advantage in maximum "electrons per image" or "electons per pixel after normalizing to equal pixel count", which again could give a natural advantage in photographically relevant DR and SNR to larger formats, at least when one can expose at low enough exposure index, to make good use of full well capacity.

But what fascinates me is the number of MF users who particularly emphasize the advantage of the big, bright image in the optical viewfinder. What happens if and when EVFs get good enough in dynamic range and such to be a fully satisfactory alternative (or adjunct) to the OVF? Because there is no relationship beween the size/brightness of an EVF image and the size of the sensor: even a Micro Four Thirds camera could have an EVF with an image size as big as any ever seen on an SLR, if there were sufficient demand for that. And big, beautiful hot-shoe mounted EVF's could also be offered as accessories for many current SLR's, using HDMI out.

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KLaban
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« Reply #190 on: December 08, 2012, 02:45:56 AM »
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But what fascinates me is the number of MF users who particularly emphasize the advantage of the big, bright image in the optical viewfinder. What happens if and when EVFs get good enough in dynamic range and such to be a fully satisfactory alternative (or adjunct) to the OVF?

Bring it on.
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TMARK
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« Reply #191 on: December 08, 2012, 11:15:39 AM »
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But what fascinates me is the number of MF users who particularly emphasize the advantage of the big, bright image in the optical viewfinder. What happens if and when EVFs get good enough in dynamic range and such to be a fully satisfactory alternative (or adjunct) to the OVF?


Bring it on.

The EVF in the Red One is pretty good.  If an EVF can give me what I can get from an RZ or Blad, I'm all over it.  Too often EVFs just look electronic, like unprocessed Jpegs that can't be used to judge exposure from looking at a scene through a lens.  It is distracting from composition and the feling of being in the image, which is where I do my best work.
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KLaban
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« Reply #192 on: December 08, 2012, 11:36:53 AM »
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The EVF in the Red One is pretty good.  If an EVF can give me what I can get from an RZ or Blad, I'm all over it.  Too often EVFs just look electronic, like unprocessed Jpegs that can't be used to judge exposure from looking at a scene through a lens.  It is distracting from composition and the feling of being in the image, which is where I do my best work.

Agreed. A high quality viewfinder is fundamental to the way I work and is the number one consideration when I choose a camera.

If, and it's one big if, future EVFs deliver huge, bright viewfinders then I'll consider them. Of course, if a MFD CMOS sensor comes along that delivers live-view through an excellent EVF then so much the better.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #193 on: December 10, 2012, 12:30:07 AM »
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DF becomes the DF+...... slightly better focus and focus calibration.

New Hasselbad.... better eyecup and jpeg..... True focus II (slight improvement).


Regarding the body: DF+ is a nice incremental improvement. Nothing revolutionary. Then again can you tell me the huge improvements to the body element of the 5D3 over the 5D2?

Can I tell you the improvements in the body of the Canon 5D III over the 5D II? Sure can.....

Very significant improvements.

Autofocus.

5DII          9   focus points.   Working range      EV -0.5-18
5dIII       61   focus points     Working range      EV -2.0 - 18

The 5DIII has a larger combination of focus point settings. Auto, manual single point (spot focus), various expanded point focusing settings and area focus.

If we look at the 1DX it's predictive and tracking of focusing also uses luminance and color information from the exposure metering sensor to assist the AF system.

Frames per second.

5DII        3.9 fps
5dIII       6.0 fps


Flash support.

The Canon 5DIII has even more flash support with power and ratio control of multiple flashes wirelessly directly from the camera menu.

Video

5DIII now has uncompressed HDMI output.

Camera Noise
The 5DIII has a silent shooting mode for remarkably quiet shooting.

memory cards
5dII just one CF slot.
5dIII one CF slot and one SD slot. This gives the camera redundancy if one card fails.
The addition of the SD card also includes direct Eye-Fi support for Wi-Fi tethering to both Laptops , iPads, iPhones and Android devices.


I think there is no comparison between the Canon 5dIII improvements compared to the DF to DF+ improvements.

One could also make a Nikon d700 to D800 vs DF P65 to DF+ IQ180.

It's also interesting to note that the Canon despite all the improvements and the addition of uncompressed HDMI
it has already dropped in price from it's initial price thanks to the healthy competition in the 35mm DSLR sector.

 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 02:49:20 AM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #194 on: December 10, 2012, 01:18:31 AM »
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Earlier in this thread I mentioned the importance of the Carl Zeiss announcment of a new line of lenses specifically developed for high MP count 35mm DSLRs
and how it will effect the quality that can be reached by 35mm DSLRs.



The 55mm 1.4 being the first to be shown.

Here is an interesting article about the new lens.

http://nikonrumors.com/2012/12/06/how-sharp-is-the-new-zeiss-distagon-55mm-f1-4-zf-2-lens-comparison.aspx/#more-49844

The quality increase wide open at 1.4 is quite significant as is the better bokeh.

It will be interesting to see how this compared with MF.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #195 on: December 10, 2012, 01:51:36 AM »
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Hello,

The sharpness increase in my opinion is defiantly NOT worth paying 4 grand.

I wished they had used a Nikon 50mm f1.4G lens instead of the older Nikon 50mm F1.4D lens in this review.

Cheers

Simon
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FredBGG
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« Reply #196 on: December 10, 2012, 02:21:54 AM »
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Hello,

The sharpness increase in my opinion is defiantly NOT worth paying 4 grand.

I wished they had used a Nikon 50mm f1.4G lens instead of the older Nikon 50mm F1.4D lens in this review.

Cheers

Simon

Yup the price is steep if that will be the final selling price.

Good you pointed out that eh Nikon lens is an older model.

There is quite a difference between the two.


D



G

Looking at this difference the G might be very close to the new Zeiss or even a match for it.

Also the G lens had a 9 blade iris for better bokeh when stopped down. The D lens only has 6 blades.

Simon is right. We need to see the 50mm 1.4G vs the Carl Zeiss 55mm 1.4.
Price difference also needs to be considered....

$ 400 to $ 4,000.... 10x  Shocked
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 02:48:14 AM by FredBGG » Logged
yaya
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« Reply #197 on: December 10, 2012, 06:24:58 AM »
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I played with the 55mm/1.4 on a D800E. It's a beast as expected and is very well made with a very smooth MF action. It is bigger and heavier than the Contax 645AF 55mm.

IMO if a high end 35mm camera now requires expensive MF lenses with no VR to get the most out of it then it makes the camera less flexible and maybe less attractive since manual focus is not so easy with the small viewfinder. I guess it'll work better on a D4 or a 1DX with their larger finders

As a general comment if a lens is designed to be a portrait lens (as most 50mm are) then there is no real point in testing and comparing edge sharpness

Yair
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« Reply #198 on: December 10, 2012, 07:24:19 AM »
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IMO if a high end 35mm camera now requires expensive MF lenses with no VR to get the most out of it then it makes the camera less flexible and maybe less attractive since manual focus is not so easy with the small viewfinder. I guess it'll work better on a D4 or a 1DX with their larger finders

but you get focus confirmation* with all the focus points not just 1 in the middle of the frame plus a live view option that is usable and doesn't need a ND filter taking off and on.

*presuming focus confirmation will work the same as other manual focus lenses
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bcooter
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« Reply #199 on: December 10, 2012, 07:33:19 AM »
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snip........ since manual focus is not so easy with the small viewfinder. .........snip

Yair,

I'm with you on this.

One of the most difficult things to learn is taking a three dimensional world, looking at it through a semi three dimensional optical viewfinder then lighting, composing to make the 2 dimensional end result look almost three dimensional.

That's how most of us trained ourselves.

When the RED's EVF came out I thought they were pretty spiffy.  High rez enough to focus and heck everything starts out in two dimensions, so less brain drain on my end.  

What I noticed was everything looked kind of flat.  I was missing that intermediate step.

Now, I don't have a single doubt that someday all cameras will be evfs.   It's just too easy and too electronic for them not to be.  Also we have a new generation of photographers learning on iphones instead of cameras.

Still, there is a difference.  When we got our first REDs we would use the RED's to base out the shot and the lighting (if we were using continuous light).  I think everything suffered.  Now even if I'm using a RED as the primary camera I still base out with a still camera or no camera at all.

It makes for more thoughtful imagery . . . at least for me.

My partner and wife who is our producer and on set style director is one of the few non photographers I know that can see a 3 dimensional set with her eyes and transfer it into a two dimensional outcome.

In fact, she never, ever looks at the monitor when we're shooting tethered.  She finds it completely uninteresting and says anything important is happening on set, not on a screen.

Even though she is at a separate angle from the camera she can spot a bad tangent a block away and when she mentions it I'll say, naw it's ok and she says check the files.  She's right everytime.  You can't fool a trained eye.

Actually, to take this one step further, the thing I miss about the lab and film is the surprise of going from an optical viewfinder, two steps further to seeing the final image on film.

It's a gas and somewhere with camera lcds, tethering, hot folders to special processes like lightroom, we lose some of the surprise some of the innovation and I think spend way too much time looking at a screen and less time on set.

Not to debate this silly d800 vs. the world thing because I still think a few protagonists want to googlize he negatives of medium format, but if there is anything I dislike about dslrs is the crappy manual focus on those tiny screens.  If your ever used a F5 Nikon and go back to one of the digital era nikons it's like a cheap prosumer view and since I shoot people shooting with life view really isn't that appealing.

I just find it a dumbing down of the photographic process.

To take this thought to a different level, I think everyone should try a rangfinder like a Leica.  There is something so cool about looking through that weird viewfinder with crop lines and no real view of the lens, taking a series of frames and then looking at them in final.  It's a leap almost like going to the lab.



In fact, I love my REDs, but the only thing that would make me go to an Arri is it has an optical viewfinder.  That's something I can really understand.

In regards to the Zeiss glass, I have a few of those lenses we use one one of our RED One's for hand holding and the previous versions were great lenses and you can focus them on a RED, but I put them on my still Nikon D3 and their a beast to manually focus on that small ground plastic.

As I said someday I guess we'll all focus on Ipad screens mounted to some kind of lens and probably even have cameras that we can say, light it like Newton or Bordin and the camera will do it, maybe it will even talk to the model and give direction, like smile now, or looks off camera.  

Sounds like a lot of fun.  (yawn).

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 07:39:52 AM by bcooter » Logged
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