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Author Topic: Help me choosing medium format camera! 20 - 25K  (Read 7339 times)
nataimages
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« on: February 11, 2013, 09:37:14 PM »
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Hi,

I've been waiting for this moment for a long time... I am ready to buy a medium format.
Because for the last 10 years I've been using 35mm, I am overwhelmed with the information I find on the Internet and on forums. I would really appreciate your advice here.

My budget: around 20 - 25K

The conditions I shoot and type of photography I do:

- I mostly do photojournalistic and art work.
- I shoot in temperatures ranging from +50 to -50.
- I am planning on using this camera in Artic circle in about 1.5 month.
- Mostly use the camera outdoors.
- Shoot film for long art projects.

What do I look in the camera:
- Film and Digital back.
- Interchangable lenses. I would love to invest in lenses I could keep for a longer time.
- Lenses that communicate with a camera. AF would be nice but will look into MF.
- Easy to use.
- Weight does matter for me because I hike for very long time.
- Built-in light meter would be nice as I shoot a lot hand-held.
- Very good in low-light
- 6x6 film back would be nice but if the camera is right I could go with 6x4.5

What camera:
I have primary been looking at Hasselblad (not sure what model here as the latest models are all digital and dont take film back), Rollei hy6 mod2 (not sure how much different this camera is from Rollei hy6 but love what it has to offer), PhaseOne (dont know much about it but would love to know as I read a lot of good things), Mamiya (I also know very little about this camera).

I requested demonstrations with Mamya, PhaseOne and Hasselblad, not sure if I can even try to use Rollei in Australia but would be nice.

I would really appreciate any comments here as I need to make my decision during this week. I would love to know why you like certain camera and what camera do you think would be suitable for the conditions I work in.

Sorry for my English as its not my first language.

Natalia
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 10:18:18 PM »
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Natalia
Just my 2 cents worth......... DSLR's like the Nikon D800e are so good these days for a general purpose camera and for the uses you state I would invest in a D800e plus 2-3 great lenses. Just my opinion, to increase IQ beyond state of the art DSLR's you need a 60-80 mpix digital back on a technical camera with expensive German lenses. That would be hard to do on your budget. My IQ180 is significantly improved when I have it mounted on the Cambo WRS/with Rodenstock HR lenses compared to it mounted on a Phase One DF camera with Mamiya and Schneider SLR lenses.  When I compare my D800e w/ Leica R lenses to my IQ180/Cambo/Rod_HR the IQ of the Medium format image is higher but when pixel peeping the Nikon pixels are sharper with more DR. With the Nikon you would have access to stabilized lenses too.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 10:51:35 PM »
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Hi,

When you pixel peep at actual pixels you see how the camera performs at the pixel level, you don't see the advantage of having more pixels. You don't get the whole picture.

Marc has a point for sure, he has Pentax K5, Nikon D800E, IQ180 and also had a P45+. So he has experience.

I would just add, whatever you buy, test it to find out everything works and is properly adjusted. That applies to all cameras DSLRs, too.

My understanding is that some dealers essentially test all cameras sold to make sure everything is within specifications. That may be a consideration when choosing a dealer.

I recently got a PM from a famous expedition type photographer who just switched from Nikon DSLRs to MF (IQ160) and he really enjoys both pixels and colors.

Best regards
Erik


Natalia
Just my 2 cents worth......... DSLR's like the Nikon D800e are so good these days for a general purpose camera and for the uses you state I would invest in a D800e plus 2-3 great lenses. Just my opinion, to increase IQ beyond state of the art DSLR's you need a 60-80 mpix digital back on a technical camera with expensive German lenses. That would be hard to do on your budget. My IQ180 is significantly improved when I have it mounted on the Cambo WRS/with Rodenstock HR lenses compared to it mounted on a Phase One DF camera with Mamiya and Schneider SLR lenses.  When I compare my D800e w/ Leica R lenses to my IQ180/Cambo/Rod_HR the IQ of the Medium format image is higher but when pixel peeping the Nikon pixels are sharper with more DR. With the Nikon you would have access to stabilized lenses too.
Marc
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 11:01:01 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

nataimages
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 10:54:14 PM »
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Hi Marc,

It's very interesting what you said.

I've been shooting on Canon DSLR for the last 10 years and want to move to medium mainly because I want a camera that will allow me to do both: analogue and digital without carrying 2 cameras and two set of lenses. It gets very heavy on long trips.

I also print large for my exhibitions which is nice to have that option. I find that if I stick to digital I look back at stories I've done 9 years ago and none of those files are really usable anymore in today's market. I guess thats where I get annoyed.

So as such you couldn't tell the difference between Nikon and Mamiya with PhaseOne?

Thank you so much. I am considering may be I should stay with Canon DSLR... though I feel like I miss film too much.

Natalia
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nataimages
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 10:56:43 PM »
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Hi Erik,

I live in Australia and considering of buying a camera somewhere in Europe before my trip to Actic in end of March. Don't know much about dealers but might ask you later, if you dont mind.

I really appreciate your comment. Thank you.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 11:14:07 PM »
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Hi Natalie,

Thanks for being so responsive.

I have made a small writeup comparing MF and DSLRs based on images I got from Marc McCalmont and Tim Ashley.

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/71-mf-digital-myths-or-facts

The article has been checked by Tim Ashley and Tim Parkin and also Marc (I think). All those guys are great, they have also been there and done that.

http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog

http://www.timparkin.co.uk/

Some guys have MF and just love it. Guy Mancuso is one of them: http://www.guymancusophotography.com/

Guy Mancuso and Jack Fletcher have http://www.getdpi.com

Good luck with your choice of equipment and your travel.

One bit of advice. Buy a second camera, a backup is always nice to have. I always carry two DSLRs on travel but in worst case I can rely on my Sony RX100.

Best regards
Erik



Hi Erik,

I live in Australia and considering of buying a camera somewhere in Europe before my trip to Actic in end of March. Don't know much about dealers but might ask you later, if you dont mind.

I really appreciate your comment. Thank you.

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EinstStein
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 11:20:21 PM »
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A few months ago, I was trying to sell my Contax 645 kit + Hasselblad CF-MS 39mp back + the lenses 35mm + 80mm + 120mm + 210mm + 45-90mm zoom + WLF + batteries, etc. for the price under your budget. Even so it's hard to sell.

You can use the above set as your baseline, except you might want to add a second body and a second 80mm as back up. For journalist style, you may also want to replace the 120mm (manual focus only) with the 140mm (AF). You may also want to add a 45mm or 55mm lens, but don't try to take all the above lenses, they will be way to heavy too carry.  

I think you can get a pretty good set of MF system if you can live with used ones.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 11:21:20 PM »
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I went from a Canon 5DII to a Nikon D800E a significant improvement
I also went from a P45+ on a Mamiya 645 AFDII to an IQ180 on a Cambo with Rodenstock HR lenses also a significant improvement
Make sure you include the D800e/good glass in your evaluation
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
nataimages
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 11:34:46 PM »
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Thank you. How did you find Contax 645?
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nataimages
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 11:35:54 PM »
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Hi Marc,

I will do a test drive of Nikon 800.

God it looks like I'll never make up my mind.
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nataimages
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2013, 11:51:25 PM »
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Hi Erik,

Thank you so much for all these links, I will definitely read through them after work. The suggestion about two cameras is quite valid. I should look into it. I am in the process of selling all my Canon gear at the moment.

Natalia
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 12:01:38 AM »
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Hi Natalie,

These images are from Marc's comparison of the IQ180 and the D800E.



The images are from this page:
http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/71-mf-digital-myths-or-facts?start=5

The pair on top is Nikon upsampled to IQ180 resolution the second one is IQ180 downsampled to Nikon D800E resolution. I don't think you would see much of a difference in A2-sized prints. Printing is a great equalizer.

If you stay with Canon and happen to have a 24-70/2.8, it seems that a lot of them wear out. Canon can fix them at reasonable cost.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/02/optical-tune-ups#more-12306
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/the-limits-of-variation
http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/71-mf-digital-myths-or-facts?start=5
I went from a Canon 5DII to a Nikon D800E a significant improvement
I also went from a P45+ on a Mamiya 645 AFDII to an IQ180 on a Cambo with Rodenstock HR lenses also a significant improvement
Make sure you include the D800e/good glass in your evaluation
Marc
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 12:11:03 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 12:08:32 AM »
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Hi,

I was thinking about your intention to use both film and digital. There are still Nikon and Canon cameras for film, I just checked.
A film based body could be a nice backup.

MF cameras with interchangable backs are nice, but many of the newer ones don't take film.

James Russel (known as BCooter on these forums) uses a couple of Contax 645 with elderly Phase One backs (P30?) for most of his  commercial work. He switched back to MF pretty much from DSLRs and he loves those cameras.


Best regards
Erik


Hi Erik,

Thank you so much for all these links, I will definitely read through them after work. The suggestion about two cameras is quite valid. I should look into it. I am in the process of selling all my Canon gear at the moment.

Natalia
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nataimages
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 12:13:18 AM »
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Does anyone used Rollei Hy6 mod 2? It looks like it has an option of film and digital back.

I guess its rare to find the camera I am looking for on a budget I have and I am asking too much from a camera. I just cant bear carrying so much equipment on such long trips...my back stars to suffer :-)



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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 12:32:42 AM »
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Hy Natalie,

There are quite a few enthusiastic Hy6 users on these forums.

This gentleman is from DHW Fototechnik GMBH and is probably the right person to ask:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=70888

Anders_HK, has Hy6 and is very enthusiastic and also very helpful, you find him here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=23705

I'm sure it is absolutely OK to PM both persons if you have questions.

Best regards
Erik
Does anyone used Rollei Hy6 mod 2? It looks like it has an option of film and digital back.

I guess its rare to find the camera I am looking for on a budget I have and I am asking too much from a camera. I just cant bear carrying so much equipment on such long trips...my back stars to suffer :-)




« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 12:34:19 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

EinstStein
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2013, 01:16:23 AM »
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How do I find Contax 645?
I also have M9 + Zeiss ZM 25MM + SUMMICRON 50MM, + ELMARIT-M 90MM + ELMAR 135MM. If I compare M9 set with the Contax 645, ignore the weight and portability, the obvious win is Contax 645's gradation.
I also have Hasselblad V and a similar set of lenses, ignore the convenience again (but this time Contax is the winner though), Contax 645 wins the micro contrast.
I also have Kodak SLR/C with a set of Canon L lenses, again ignore the weight and convenience, well, nothing the Kodak/Canon-L can be even close.
I've tried Nikon 800E and Canon 5DIII. I think those two win hands down in the tele-lens range, but the gradation is nowhere close to M9, not to mention Contax 645.

The bottom line, size does matter. If anyone try to convince you otherwise, use your comment sense. The difference between the MF 645 and the FF 35mm is similar to the difference between the FF 35mm to APS-C, or APS-C to M43, or M43 to Nikon 1, or Nikon 1 to Dlux-4.  If you are convinced that FF 35mm makes more sense than MF 645, than you should ask yourself if  a APS-C also makes more sense than a FF 35mm, or vice versa.
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DHW-JHartje
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2013, 02:12:37 AM »
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My budget: around 20 - 25K

The conditions I shoot and type of photography I do:

- I mostly do photojournalistic and art work.
- I shoot in temperatures ranging from +50 to -50.
- I am planning on using this camera in Artic circle in about 1.5 month.
- Mostly use the camera outdoors.
- Shoot film for long art projects.

What do I look in the camera:
- Film and Digital back.
- Interchangable lenses. I would love to invest in lenses I could keep for a longer time.
- Lenses that communicate with a camera. AF would be nice but will look into MF.
- Easy to use.
- Weight does matter for me because I hike for very long time.
- Built-in light meter would be nice as I shoot a lot hand-held.
- Very good in low-light
- 6x6 film back would be nice but if the camera is right I could go with 6x4.5

Hi Natalia,

I try to answer some of your questions. But first of all I have ome by myself:

Budget around 20-25K --> you mean $ right? Then I think you will have to work with used products, or you start with new body+ 1or2 lenses + used digital back

I shoot in temperatures ranging from +50 to -50. --> have you worked under these conditions allready? Which camera did you use? Film or digital? because as far as I now working with a digital camera below -40C is kind of heavy. Do you have special housing or "warming therapy" for your camera?

You plan to come europe? I suggest you visit our factory and do some testings if you have the time to do so.

In my oppinion, the combination of your requests (shooting outdoor, film&digital, 6x6 & 6x4,5) fits very well to our camera. But as this is a huge investment and a longterm decision you shouldn't take the final advice for your decision from a (biased) manufacturer. Of course I will try to help you and provide you all information needed.

Best regards from good (c)old Germany,

Johannes 
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FredBGG
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 02:29:45 AM »
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Natalia
Shooting MF digital and MF film with the same camera has some significant limitations.

First of all film when limited to the small 645 format is of limited quality.
Second neither Hasselblad or Phase one fully support film. The Phase One DF and DF plus cannot use a film back.
Hasselblad does still make a film body, but it's digital bodies do not support film backs.
You could go with a Contax 645, but I would not recommend an old second had camera for 1.5 months in the arctic.

My advice would be to get a film camera and stick with 35mm DSLR cameras for your digital and reportage needs.

If you are looking for a lightweight high quality film camera to complement your dslrs take a look at the Fuji GF670 80mm 3.2.
It is a folding 6x7 camera that can also shoot 6x6.



Another ting to consider is that with your budget you would be looking at a 30 or 40MP MF digital. There is really no significant quality between a
D800E and a 40 MP hasselblad or Phase One.


Here is a direct Nikon vs 40MP Hasselblad

Full frame



Crops



Photogy did this test and a forum member here did the processing for the side by side photo.

Photogy article here:

http://www.photigy.com/nikon-d800e-test-review-vs-hasselblad-h4d40-35mm-against-medium-format/

« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 02:41:05 AM by FredBGG » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2013, 02:36:59 AM »
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though I feel like I miss film too much.

What aspect of film do you miss?

As far as I am concerned,... I would consider the following pain points:
- Having to change 120 rolls every 30 images by -30C,
- The delightful time spent removing dust specs from scans,
- The bulk of film rolls compared to 128GB memory cards,
- ...

For the kind of work you are considering, I would go for 2xD800e with a vertical grip (it takes larger batteries) and a few Zeiss/Nikkor/Leica lenses.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
amsp
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2013, 03:18:08 AM »
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My advice would be to not ask for advice on a forum, especially this one, and go try out stuff for yourself. It's the only way you'll get an unbiased view on what's right for you.
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