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Author Topic: DIGITAL Medium Format photography is almost as moribund???  (Read 39478 times)
Norm37
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« on: March 01, 2013, 02:04:36 PM »
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I mentioned the Pentax 645D review on this site to a poster (Jalmod90) on dpreview.

He wanted to know:  Is it worth stepping into the world of Medium Format photography? (film or digital)

Norm Neely wrote:
 
The Pentax 645D is a medium format digital camera. Less expensive than going the digital back route.
 
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/pentax_645d___a_first_review.shtml
 
Check out the forums on the above sight. They also have reviews of digital backs.
 
The site is a very good resource for info on medium format photography.[/font]


Barrie Davis wrote:

Hmmm...I think DIGITAL Medium Format photography is almost as moribund as Medium Format film photography, and I don't think the decline is going to be reversed for either.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50952043

Thoughts on this?

« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 02:14:12 PM by Norm37 » Logged

Norm
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 02:11:29 PM »
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So we are importing DPreview BS to this forum?

Look around and see for yourself. 
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 02:43:52 PM »
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Hi,

I don't think so. There is some advantage to size and there is some advantage to technical cameras. Some folks simply like the stuff.

Best regards
Erik

I mentioned the Pentax 645D review on this site to a poster (Jalmod90) on dpreview.

He wanted to know:  Is it worth stepping into the world of Medium Format photography? (film or digital)

Norm Neely wrote:
 
The Pentax 645D is a medium format digital camera. Less expensive than going the digital back route.
 
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/pentax_645d___a_first_review.shtml
 
Check out the forums on the above sight. They also have reviews of digital backs.
 
The site is a very good resource for info on medium format photography.[/font]


Barrie Davis wrote:

Hmmm...I think DIGITAL Medium Format photography is almost as moribund as Medium Format film photography, and I don't think the decline is going to be reversed for either.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50952043

Thoughts on this?


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sgilbert
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 02:45:56 PM »
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"So we are importing DPreview BS to this forum?"

Surely the posts here on this subject are bad enough, don't you think?
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Norm37
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 02:52:03 PM »
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So we are importing DPreview BS to this forum?

Look around and see for yourself. 

Sorry! This was my first post on this site.

I have always referred people to this site on medium format related things.

I was just curious (Huh) on the comment Barrie Davis made.

Myself I just use a point and shoot camera for my picture taking. So wondered if high mega pixel DLSRs are closing the gap on Medium Format?

Moderator feel free to delete my post if you think it's best?
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Norm
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 03:06:47 PM »
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Hi,

I'm just an onlooker, but anyway...

I would say that smaller formats indeed close the gap. This is true for all formats, 4/3 is going into full frame territory and some MF guys are quite happy with their new Nikon D800s. MF is also developing.

There are some advantages with larger formats. Also, MF digital backs offer a great flexibility. You can use an MFDB on an MF SLR or a technical camera.

For many shooters cost and size does not play a paramount role.

Best regards
Erik

Sorry! This was my first post on this site.

Myself I just use a point and shoot camera for my picture taking. So wondered if high mega pixel DLSRs are closing the gap on Medium Format?

Moderator feel free to delete my post if you think it's best?
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 06:39:36 PM »
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You mean Barrie Davis, the amateur wrestler? Who is Barrie Davis anyway and why do you care what he thinks? Having read a few threads on DPreview, I would not put a lot of weight into any conclusion there.

Sure, MFD is dead. Just like film is dead.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 06:40:09 PM »
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MF camera manufacturers and their eco system still seems profitable today and the equipment they produce can deliver amazing performance and cover some unique applications.

Now, they have selected a high price business model that forces them into a small volumes vicious circle that has rarely been successful in the long run in the high tech industry where the highest performance nearly always results from high technology investements requiring large sales volumes.

This is the case for imaging sensors, imaging DSPs, AF modules, lens glass, lens coatings, lens stabilization, weather sealing,... It is also the case for design, manufacturing and testing processes/equipments.

Pentax has chosen a different pricing model and seems better positionned overall.

Now, the main shortcoming of the other backs is the lack of usable live view. The lack of live view prevents the backs from delivering reliably their image quality potential. My personnal opinion is that Phaseone and Hassy are likely to have a very hard time moving forward if their next gen back is not based on CMOS sensors enabling a competitive live view. Those backs are probably in their development cycle now with annoucements some time in 2014/2015... We will know by then.

There will always be some rich amateurs buying stuff simply because it is differentiating, but I am speaking here about the relevance of the backs as pro tools delivering higher performance/productivity in real world applications.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 06:46:41 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Ed Foster, Jr.
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 08:03:47 PM »
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Sorry! This was my first post on this site.
... So wondered if high mega pixel DLSRs are closing the gap on Medium Format?...

Welcome to the site, Norm. I do have to say that subject has been discussed here ad nauseum, so for your own edification might I suggest a search here and you'll see an overwhelming amount of opinions.

Again, Welcome!
Ed
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 10:33:38 PM »
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Hi,

This samples are used with the kind permission of Marc McCalmont.





The images were shot using the Phase One IQ 180 with a technical camera and Rodenstock HR lens and a Nikon D800E with a Leica lens. The images on top are scaled to IQ 180 resolution  and the bottom is downsampled to Nikon resolution.

Now, there are other factors. For instance, the area of maximum sharpness in the IQ180 image above is very thin. If you stop down to say f/16 to increase DoF there will be some loss of sharpness.

Best regards
Erik
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Norm37
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 11:15:21 PM »
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Thanks! everybody for all the replies and the welcome to this sight.
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Norm
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 11:59:37 PM »
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Now, they have selected a high price business model that forces them into a small volumes vicious circle that has rarely been successful in the long run in the high tech industry where the highest performance nearly always results from high technology investements requiring large sales volumes.

Now, you just have to come up with some data supporting that claim. Photographic manufacturing has always had high-end, low-volume products. Why should that suddenly change? Leica does not seem to be going bankrupt with monochromatic rangefinders and big SLRs. Rodenstock and Schneider seem to be doing well with lenses for MFD backs. Alpa, Arca, and Cambo keep making new models. Scientific cameras don't seem to be getting any cheaper. A confocal microscope will still cost you a half a million dollars.

But what do mean by the "high tech industry"? Computers? I don't think the model for that industry can simply be applied across the board.

BTW, they did not "select" a high price model. It happens to be expensive to produce this equipment. Lower the price does not always translate into more sales. Lowering the price is not always optional. MFD is not exactly going to be household consumer products you find on the ground floor of Yodobashi Camera next to the cell phones.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 12:16:43 AM »
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Hi,

Leica has been on the wedge of bankruptcy for many years. They seem to fine now, with transition to digital.

Hasselblad has been very shaky a long time, little is known of their economy.

It is very well possible to make a decent living with high end low volume products. Competing in the high volume market is not easy.

Best regards
Erik


Now, you just have to come up with some data supporting that claim. Photographic manufacturing has always had high-end, low-volume products. Why should that suddenly change? Leica does not seem to be going bankrupt with monochromatic rangefinders and big SLRs. Rodenstock and Schneider seem to be doing well with lenses for MFD backs. Alpa, Arca, and Cambo keep making new models. Scientific cameras don't seem to be getting any cheaper. A confocal microscope will still cost you a half a million dollars.

But what do mean by the "high tech industry"? Computers? I don't think the model for that industry can simply be applied across the board.

BTW, they did not "select" a high price model. It happens to be expensive to produce this equipment. Lower the price does not always translate into more sales. Lowering the price is not always optional. MFD is not exactly going to be household consumer products you find on the ground floor of Yodobashi Camera next to the cell phones.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 01:32:24 AM »
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Now, you just have to come up with some data supporting that claim. Photographic manufacturing has always had high-end, low-volume products. Why should that suddenly change? Leica does not seem to be going bankrupt with monochromatic rangefinders and big SLRs. Rodenstock and Schneider seem to be doing well with lenses for MFD backs. Alpa, Arca, and Cambo keep making new models. Scientific cameras don't seem to be getting any cheaper. A confocal microscope will still cost you a half a million dollars.

But what do mean by the "high tech industry"? Computers? I don't think the model for that industry can simply be applied across the board.

BTW, they did not "select" a high price model. It happens to be expensive to produce this equipment. Lower the price does not always translate into more sales. Lowering the price is not always optional. MFD is not exactly going to be household consumer products you find on the ground floor of Yodobashi Camera next to the cell phones.

Photographic manufacturing indeed used to have high end, high price items...but:
- they were around 10 times cheaper that the current high end backs,
- they were relying on very basic technology just like the rest of the industry, the only reason why they were expensive were small series mostly from a manufacturing standpoint (essential mold and press dies), a lot less from an R&D standpoint. It was not about developing technologies, it was about developing products.

The example you mention of companies doing fine in the high end are real, but they essentially focus on niche applications where there is no competition. My point was that when looking at the domains relying on technologies also developed by consumer electronic companies, the high end doesn't stand a chance in the long run.

I could provide more details, but time is a bit limited today.

One the last point, please explain me then my Pentax can sell higher performance full cameras twice+ cheaper than standalone backs relying on the same sensor...

Cheers,
Bernard
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yaya
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 02:44:52 AM »
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Now, the main shortcoming of the other backs is the lack of usable live view. The lack of live view prevents the backs from delivering reliably their image quality potential.
There will always be some rich amateurs buying stuff simply because it is differentiating, but I am speaking here about the relevance of the backs as pro tools delivering higher performance/productivity in real world applications.
Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard do you not think that this is statement is irresponsible? What about all those thousands of professional photographers who use their MFDBs daily and deliver high quality images to their clients, in real world applications, reliably and consistently, shooting people, product, architecture, landscape, cars, etc. etc. etc. Huh

I respect you man but this statement takes away a lot of your credibility, sorry for being blunt...

The 645D was not designed as a true professional camera, hence to low-ish price point, the lack of usable tethering solution and slow previews on the LCD. It does not mean it is not a good camera but it was not targeted at the professional market.

IMHO

Yair
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 02:57:22 AM »
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Bernard do you not think that this is statement is irresponsible? What about all those thousands of professional photographers who use their MFDBs daily and deliver high quality images to their clients, in real world applications, reliably and consistently, shooting people, product, architecture, landscape, cars, etc. etc. etc. Huh

I respect you man but this statement takes away a lot of your credibility, sorry for being blunt...

Yair,

My view is that this applies to all high res cameras. Live view is the only way to get 100% focused images every single time.

Does it means it is impossible to get a sharp image with a back? Of course it doesn't.

Cheers,
Bernard
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FredBGG
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 03:01:06 AM »
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Bernard do you not think that this is statement is irresponsible? What about all those thousands of professional photographers who use their MFDBs daily and deliver high quality images to their clients, in real world applications, reliably and consistently, shooting people, product, architecture, landscape, cars, etc. etc. etc. Huh

I respect you man but this statement takes away a lot of your credibility, sorry for being blunt...

The 645D was not designed as a true professional camera, hence to low-ish price point, the lack of usable tethering solution and slow previews on the LCD. It does not mean it is not a good camera but it was not targeted at the professional market.

IMHO

Yair

What about your credibility?

Usable tethering solution for Pentax 645D

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/888259-REG/Pentax_39030_Image_Transmitter_S_SW123_Software.html

Anyone can take a look at the Pentax 645D forums and compare them to the Phase One Mamiya Leaf forum.

The Pentax 645D is fully weather sealed and a very reliable camera. The DF body is far inferior.

The Pentax 645D is also the only MF camera to offer image stabilization.

It is also very interesting that Shriro that used to own Hasselblad and sold 100% of it
is now the Pentax distributor in several countries.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 12:35:35 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 03:04:09 AM »
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Bernard do you not think that this is statement is irresponsible? What about all those thousands of professional photographers who use their MFDBs daily and deliver high quality images to their clients, in real world applications, reliably and consistently, shooting people, product, architecture, landscape, cars, etc. etc. etc. Huh
Yair

Architecture seems to be drifting away from MF quite a bit ....

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75370.0
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FredBGG
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2013, 03:18:58 AM »
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Hasselblad has been very shaky a long time, little is known of their economy.

Hasselblad has had problems and the previous owner that was also the distributor for the orient sold the company to Ventiz
a German venture capital group, but this comes after a series of different owners... non of whome managed to turn the company around:

The timeline...

1972 Säfveån AB (a Swedish investment firm)
1985 Incentive AB (a Swedish investment firm)
1996 UBS AG (a Swiss investment firm) and CINven (a British investment firm)
2003 Shriro Group (a Hong Kong heavy equipment manufacturer, and Hasselblads Asia/Pacific distributor).
2011 Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P (a German investment firm, part of VENTIZ Capital Partners Advisory AG).

This is what Ventiz ahd to say:

Quote
Hasselblad is the world’s most renowned camera brand. We are proud to have such an iconic brand in our portfolio and are convinced that with solid financial support and a suitable growth strategy, Ventizz can further strengthen Hasselblad's position as the first class producer of medium format digital camera systems. Furthermore, we plan to develop Hasselblad cameras to appeal to a wider circle of ambitious photographers“, said Dr. Helmut Vorndran, Managing Partner and CEO of Ventizz Capital Partners AG, the exclusive advisory to the Ventizz funds.

As a strong financial partner, Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P. will support Hasselblad and its management team in entering new market segments as well as in the further technological development of existing product lines.


Ventiz bought the company with the intention of cashing in on the brand name "entering into new market segments".

What they came up with is an idiot called Allesandrini that came up with the Lunar that is a horribly pimped up Sony Nex camera.

The Lunar was the laughing stock of Photokina. A $ 6,000 pimped up plastic Nex with a snakeskin grip.

As far as "the further technological development of existing product lines" goes Hasselblad came out with the H5D that has the same sensors and image quailty
as the H4D, but a different paint job.

With little progress on the flagship cameras and the disastrous Lunar project Hasselblad does not seem to be in a strong position.

Things look even worse if you compare their $21,000 40MP sensor camera and macro lens to Nikon's 36MP D800E
and 105 mm Macro for $ 3,700.

Photogy article here:

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

Full frame



Crops



$17,000 dollar difference?

Hasselblad has a problem.

Nikon just came pout with a 24mp crop sensor DSLR. The same sensor technology scaled up to a full frame
would be over 50MP .

The D700 was 12 MP the D800 is 36MP and with significantly improved dynamic range.
That is a 3x MP count increase in one generation. Hasselblad made zero MP count increase from the H4D to the H5D.

MF sensor development has come to a standstill in both Hasselblad and Phase/Mamiya/Leaf.

Dalsa that makes MF sensors no longer mentions MF photography under the list of applications of it's products.













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yaya
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2013, 03:25:26 AM »
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Yair,

My view is that this applies to all high res cameras. Live view is the only way to get 100% focused images every single time.

Does it means it is impossible to get a sharp image with a back? Of course it doesn't.

Cheers,
Bernard


Hi Bernard,

Since we had the first camera to offer live view in 1996 and as we often use it as a USP for our backs I cannot disagree that this is a very handy tool. But it is far from being essential to delivering high quality images and it is not always useful (moving subjects etc.)

Yair
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