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Author Topic: Planning on MF plunge. Gear advice please (30-50K)  (Read 4413 times)
satybhat
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« on: March 04, 2013, 02:12:37 AM »
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Hi all.
First of all, let me say with no ire: This is SO different from the other forums I've frequented !! Loads of information, great shots, inspirations abound !!

Background:
So I come from the 35mm category for the last 10 years, and after unbelievable amount of GAS, I settled on the 1D4 for Bif, and M9 for family / portraiture / travel / landscape. . I will probably be selling the M9 (and lenses) and possibly also the 1D4 and paraphrenalia.

Have been about 14 years in the medical field and have possibly squeezed in about 20 yrs of hard work, I am now at a stage where I finally get some time for doing contemplative landscape fine art, an occasional jab at large prints, possibly starting end of this year. Come June, a bit of medical related work will start finally paying off and I may be in a position to get some MF gear  I'm possibly doing an exhibition in Dec at a local community hall. (M9 is a bit like been there, done that and unless upscaled, does not stand to gallery sized prints)
So please help me with your ideas about gear selection: ( I have already read and re-read the post from Natalie )twice( but my requirements are slightly different ).

Parameters:
Most importantly, I think I am in it for the long term- I have my own ideas about landscape photography and haven't really had any time to ponder and develop these more.
1. Weight may not be an issue, but I don't want to be lugging bellows and behemoths. I would mostly travel with the family: wifey (may the good Lord give her more patience) and 2 kids.
2. planned visits this year (all in Australia): One trip to Tasmanian forests: moisture / damp / rain. One to islands further south (cold / ice) . One to Lake Eyre (heat) - no family on the last 2 trips . Subject matter: landscapes.
3. Cost bracket for gear: 30K to 50K.

So I'm not sure what system I would go into.
For some reason, Hasselblad does not appeal, apart from their 'Tru-phocus". They seem to have gone the leica way: great lenses, ok cameras and more of a luxury-client approach.

Questions:
1. P1: appeals, not sure about P65 vs the new IQ sensors ( should I buy the system or should I be renting the back and buy the camera and lenses and put more money into travel and printing ?
2. The technical cameras (Alpa / Cambo) appeal, but have no idea about these at all. If the back is digital, are there any advantages ( aside of no electronics ) to having tech rigs as against integrated systems say 645AF ?
3. If printing 1: 1, what would be the print sizes for a non-scaled images from P65, IQ 140 , IQ 160 and IQ 180 at 300 dpi?
4. Are the backs light rain-proof ?

Thanks in advance.
Saty
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yaya
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 03:24:09 AM »
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3. If printing 1: 1, what would be the print sizes for a non-scaled images from P65, IQ 140 , IQ 160 and IQ 180 at 300 dpi?
Thanks in advance.
Saty

Welcome on board Saty!

We have a table on this page listing the output sizes from the Credo 40, 60 and 80 that are using the same sensors as in the IQ140, 160 and 180. Go to that page and click on Specifications

Cheers

Yair
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Kolor-Pikker
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 06:21:00 AM »
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I'd say hold your horses for a little bit! Phase just announced the new IQ2xx series, which means two things:
- IQ1xx series will get cheaper if the new ones take up the current price bracket.
- If you want the cutting edge, then the bar has just been raised.

So now might be a bad time to jump in... But I'm also on your boat, Hass doesn't appeal to me and Leica is cool, but really only works with Lightroom, which doesn't have (usable) flat-field correction, making it a no-starter.
I've been considering the move to MF as well, but things have been tough lately and now this... it looks like I'm back on the fence and will tide myself over with a new DSLR instead.

Quote
Questions:
1. P1: appeals, not sure about P65 vs the new IQ sensors ( should I buy the system or should I be renting the back and buy the camera and lenses and put more money into travel and printing ?
2. The technical cameras (Alpa / Cambo) appeal, but have no idea about these at all. If the back is digital, are there any advantages ( aside of no electronics ) to having tech rigs as against integrated systems say 645AF ?
3. If printing 1: 1, what would be the print sizes for a non-scaled images from P65, IQ 140 , IQ 160 and IQ 180 at 300 dpi?
4. Are the backs light rain-proof ?

1. P65+ and IQ160 are the same back, the IQ system is mainly an advancement in the way you work with the camera.
2. Tech cam lenses are incredibly sharp corner-to-corner (especially compared to 645 wides), and you have the benefit of movements, which makes them ideal for architecture and landscape.
3. You could print a meter wide with an 80mp of resolution no problem, I print stitched 80mp prints that big from a DSLR right now and it works well enough, so a MFDB should be even better.
4. From the photos I've seen, people use these cameras in some pretty ridiculous places, I'm not sure there are many situations you might find yourself that someone else didn't top already.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 06:39:38 AM by Kolor-Pikker » Logged
satybhat
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 06:50:23 AM »
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We have a table on this page listing the output sizes from the Credo 40, 60 and 80 that are using the same sensors as in the IQ140, 160 and 180. Go to that page and click on Specifications


Thanks  Yair.
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satybhat
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 07:29:51 AM »
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I'd say hold your horses for a little bit! Phase just announced the new IQ2xx series, which means two things:
- IQ1xx series will get cheaper if the new ones take up the current price bracket.
- If you want the cutting edge, then the bar has just been raised.

1. P65+ and IQ160 are the same back, the IQ system is mainly an advancement in the way you work with the camera.
2. Tech cam lenses are incredibly sharp corner-to-corner (especially compared to 645 wides), and you have the benefit of movements, which makes them ideal for architecture and landscape.
3. You could print a meter wide with an 80mp of resolution no problem, I print stitched 80mp prints that big from a DSLR right now and it works well enough, so a MFDB should be even better.
4. From the photos I've seen, people use these cameras in some pretty ridiculous places, I'm not sure there are many situations you might find yourself that someone else didn't top already.

Thanks mate. so tech cams: any sites where I could find reviews and such ? having said that, joe cornish is quite at ease with using the 645DF+, in seaspray and all... figures, since he likely doesn't own the rig Smiley
saty
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Kolor-Pikker
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 08:20:18 AM »
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Reviews? Well, there are only a handful of tech cams out there, and I think the community at both LuLa and GetDPI would know the most about each system. You can find some reviews on the LuLa main site. The two most popular ones that I see among landscapers are the Alpa WA and Cambo WRS. I don't think you could go wrong with either of those.

One thing to be aware of, is that 80mp backs are so susceptible to lens cast, that you can only use retro-focus lenses. This means that you'll need the Rodenstock HR-W lenses, which are expensive to say the least... the legendary HR 32mm comes in at $7,500 and you'll need the center filter too. Going the 40/60mp route will let you use the much cheaper Schneider glass.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 08:29:05 AM »
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You can find a 100% JPG from a 32HR on a tech camera here:

Phase One with Rodenstock 32HR

I can't speak to global market share but we have about equal numbers of Cambo and Arca Swiss.
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Kolor-Pikker
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 08:40:26 AM »
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Oh yeah, the Arca rm3d, almost forgot about that one. The HR32 does look great, but it's also a beast of a lens, you should probably see one in person before deciding on whether it's right for you.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 11:01:50 AM »
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First, rent and go to a workshop. Get your hands on these cameras and try them out. The workflow and problems will be new. Many people do find out that the effort is a bit too much.

Second, go to GetDPI.com. That forum has plenty of MFD shooters as well. It is a great source of information about these cameras and backs. LuLa is OK, but there is a lot of time spent here talking about whether MFD is actually alive or not.

The difference between a technical camera and DSLR is significant. Not in what you can shoot--you can do street with a technical camera and landscape with a DSLR. But how they work and the controls you have over them. Optics are very different with technical camera lenses coming out better over all. But then you have limited choices of optics--no telephotos with tech cams. Lens cast can be more of an issue with tech cam lenses.

As far as printing. You effectively have no limit to prints size nor are you going to see any big difference in these backs/cameras. A small print for me starts at 4'. Print size should not be a criteria for choosing any of these.

BTW, I use a Pentax 645D for my travel and family pics. I know someone at GetDPI that uses a tech cam for the same thing.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 11:42:13 AM »
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First, rent and go to a workshop. Get your hands on these cameras and try them out. The workflow and problems will be new. Many people do find out that the effort is a bit too much.

Second, go to GetDPI.com. That forum has plenty of MFD shooters as well. It is a great source of information about these cameras and backs. LuLa is OK, but there is a lot of time spent here talking about whether MFD is actually alive or not.

The difference between a technical camera and DSLR is significant. Not in what you can shoot--you can do street with a technical camera and landscape with a DSLR. But how they work and the controls you have over them. Optics are very different with technical camera lenses coming out better over all. But then you have limited choices of optics--no telephotos with tech cams. Lens cast can be more of an issue with tech cam lenses.

As far as printing. You effectively have no limit to prints size nor are you going to see any big difference in these backs/cameras. A small print for me starts at 4'. Print size should not be a criteria for choosing any of these.

BTW, I use a Pentax 645D for my travel and family pics. I know someone at GetDPI that uses a tech cam for the same thing.

For your use the Pentax 645D sounds like the best way to go. Whole camera is weather sealed and Pentax weather sealing in serious weather sealing.

IQ backs may be "weather sealed", but the cameras and lenses are not, not even close. The connection between the back and the camera is not weather sealed.
Pentax also offers image stabilization in their new lens. More focus points than either Hasselblad or Phase One.

It appears that a Pentax 645D II will be announced soon. I would wait for that if I were you.
The 645D also has a very good track record. No serious issues. It's a Pentax. The whole system is made by the same company.


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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 01:04:04 PM »
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3. If printing 1: 1, what would be the print sizes for a non-scaled images from P65, IQ 140 , IQ 160 and IQ 180 at 300 dpi?

Yair linked you to the numerical answer.

I'd just add that it's always dangerous to only look at the numbers and not look at actual prints.

The presence/lack of an AA filter, the sharpness and rendering style of the lens, the quality of the raw conversion (and how well tuned it is to the particular kind of file you're processing) can all affect the final print quality (not to mention all the factors like focus, camera shake, vibration, etc etc etc) in ways that are not easy to anticipate when only looking at the numbers.

Suffice it to say an 80mp raw capture, properly executed, makes a very good, very large print.
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bcooter
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 01:15:03 PM »
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For your use the Pentax 645D sounds like ................


Hey Fred,

When you tested the Pentax 645 against your IQ/DF, did you test them side by side?

I didn't have the opportunity to shoot actual files side by side, but when I viewed the Pentax I took my Contax with the right angle grip into the store and compared the ergonomics to the DF with a grip, my contax and the Pentax.

I like the Pentax but found shooting vertical wasn't that easy given the camera grip, but everyone is different.  How did you find it?

Also just shooting the Pentax to card seemed slow to clear the buffer.  I don't need 10fps but I do need a little more responsiveness.

When you did your testing, how did that effect you?

Also, since you seem to know a lot about the Pentax, I assume you have some contact with the company.  When/if the new 645d will be on the shelf, what sensor will it use, are they going to up their tethering suite to have ipad transmission like Phase and Hasselblad?  Will the newer 645d have a bigger buffer and faster processor?

That would be great if they did.

Thanks in advance for the inside info.

BC
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 01:24:57 PM by bcooter » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 02:11:50 PM »
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Hi,

Regarding Pentax 645D I would like to point to these articles:

http://wyofoto.com/Pentax_645D/Pentax_645D_review_pt1.html
http://wyofoto.com/Pentax_645D/Pentax_645D_review_pt2.html

Lloyd Chambers has tested most of the lenses for the Pentax 645D so I think he has valuable info. He also tested the Leica S2 and the Hasselblad D4 (HD50?)

http://diglloyd.com/prem/prot/DAP/Pentax645D/index.html
http://diglloyd.com/prem/prot/DAP/HasselbladH4D/index.html

Lloyd's different sites are pay sites, but if you consider Pentax I think it would be a good read.

I'm a Sony shooter so I don't have any ponies in this race, just an interested bystander.

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 02:18:42 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

BlasR
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2013, 03:26:42 PM »
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To read you must pay?

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mmbma
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2013, 03:28:06 PM »
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With that budget I'd go for a IQ260. That'll stop you from trading up gears for at least 2 years and focus on taking pictures. At lower budget I'd go for a P65+ as they have great trade in value for the IQ2xx backs if you want to upgrade later. Stick with Phase system for ease of upgrade/resale.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2013, 03:35:03 PM »
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Hi,

If you refer to my posting about the Diglloyd site it is indeed the case. On the other hand, if you plan to spend 20000 USD on Pentax equipment (camera + a few lenses) it may be a good investment to spend 25 USD on a site that has tested 40 lenses for that camera, don't you think?

I actually have reservations about pay sites but it's not the cost but the fact that you cannot share the information.

Best regards
Erik


To read you must pay?


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FredBGG
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2013, 11:09:42 PM »
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Hey Fred,
I like the Pentax but found shooting vertical wasn't that easy given the camera grip, but everyone is different.  How did you find it?
BC

I don't know if everyone is different, but I can say that the Phase One Vertical grip for me was the best for horizontal shooting.
Both hands on the grip. Left hand clasping the bulge between thumb and index finger palm down.

For verticals I preferred the DF without grip. Right elbow infront of my chest and wrist at 90 degrees. I find I get more stability with my wrists
folded at about 90 degrees.

The Pentax thanks to the recessed front felt very nice both ways despite the lack of a vertical grip.
However I liked that the camera has a built in vertical tripod thread on the side so you don't have to use a dumb L bracket.
I'd like to see that on more cameras.

Anyway I am 6ft 4in, 230lbs and due to years of windsurfing and kitesurfing I have the so called "grip of death" as well a long hands I am by no means a typical case.
Hell I shoot hand held with the Fuji GX680 ... and that is silly to say the least...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 11:46:39 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2013, 11:22:49 PM »
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Hey Fred,

Also just shooting the Pentax to card seemed slow to clear the buffer.  I don't need 10fps but I do need a little more responsiveness.

When you did your testing, how did that effect you?

BC

I don't shoot very fast for long times. I come from shooting a large amount of 8x10 Polaroid for editorial fashion and advertising.
Loads of free Polaroid 8x10 thanks to being sponsored... just had to credit Polaroid using Polaroid by Fred.... rather than Photo by Fred ....
So I shoot relatively slowly even with faster digital cameras. I'll go at a slow pace, but do like a fast burst if something fast happens like a cool gust of wind
that makes a special moment. However for that I need faster them MFD speeds.
A bigger buffer and faster write speeds to memory cards would be better.

However I did like the dual card setup. CF and SD cards don't fail much, but when they do it can be a big pain in the ass.
Having redundancy with two cards is a very nice feature especially shooting situations where a re shooting a setup
is out of the question.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2013, 11:51:01 PM »
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Hey Fred,

Also, since you seem to know a lot about the Pentax, I assume you have some contact with the company.

BC

No special contact with the company, but for a "full disclosure" I have highly recommended the Pentax W30 compact and chatted with the US product manager of this compact
water proof camera about how I use it kitesurfing. I attach it to my kite 100 feet up and have it shoot my whole sessions either video or stills. I made a few suggestions regarding
marketing the w30 to kite surfers, windsurfers and downhill mountain bikers as well as giving it a remote.

Here's one on my wall.... big day up on the central coast riding a twin tip after trashing both mu surfboards. The high fog made the water look like chrome from the kites viewpoint.



Getting back on subject a bit more. My recommendation of the Pentax 645D to the OP (Saty) is in large part due to Pentax's high reliability
and weather sealing expertise. My w30 point and shoots survived being trashed with my kites in huge surf.
It fared better than me a couple of times.

Saty mentioned

"One trip to Tasmanian forests: moisture / damp / rain. One to islands further south (cold / ice) . One to Lake Eyre (heat)"

That is why I recommend the Pentax becasue this is the type of weather sealing Pentax makes:

http://youtu.be/Eo61t5fH6Qw

IF I'm taking a once in a lifetime trip to the Tasmanian jungle with expensive cameras I would want to be able to fit two
cameras into my budget and have serious weather sealing. Hence the Pentax 645D or 645D II.

Here's a funny one...

http://youtu.be/qtF4z7uKYoY





 
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 12:12:29 AM by FredBGG » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2013, 11:59:05 PM »
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Hi Fred,

8x10" Polaroid still around? Nice to hear!

Best regards
Erik

I don't shoot very fast for long times. I come from shooting a large amount of 8x10 Polaroid for editorial fashion and advertising.
Loads of free Polaroid 8x10 thanks to being sponsored... just had to credit Polaroid using Polaroid by Fred.... rather than Photo by Fred ....
So I shoot relatively slowly even with faster digital cameras. I'll go at a slow pace, but do like a fast burst if something fast happens like a cool gust of wind
that makes a special moment. However for that I need faster them MFD speeds.
A bigger buffer and faster write speeds to memory cards would be better.

However I did like the dual card setup. CF and SD cards don't fail much, but when they do it can be a big pain in the ass.
Having redundancy with two cards is a very nice feature especially shooting situations where a re shooting a setup
is out of the question.
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