Before replying to your questions I took a look at your website to get a better idea
of what type of photography you do.
First let me say that your work is really nice. I see quite a mature look to your work... it does not look like
the work of a young student.
You portraits of women are really nice. Beautiful and strong while being "delicately beautiful".
I like the compositions... in particular because they are not "formula based".
You landscape work is excellent too.
I also see you are a student and want to travel, I imagine both for access to landscapes and fashion/beauty markets.
As an excellent portrait/fashion photographer and landscape photographer the Phase One and Hasselblad systems could be a good fit for you
if selling large 40x60 inch landscape work is part of your bushiness plan.
However I see from your portrait work that you like to shoot shallow depth of field. There are two things you should keep in mind regarding this.
Hasselblad has the better focusing system for shallow depth of field if used within it's limitations true focus will be an advantage.
However the Phase One system has another shallow depth of field advantage over Hasselblad in that the DF has a top shutter speed of 1/4000th
This will hake it easier to shoot wide open if you are out in bright light.
However the DF body is not the strong point of the system as it has issues and apparently the new DF+ has problems to;http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-format-systems-digital-backs/44999-focusing-df.html
Dan Santoso wrote:
I had very bad experience with DF+
1st : very slow focus, will not lock even outdoor.
2nd : Defective viewfinder out of the box
3rd : Demo unit so I can play around, much better than first body.
4th : finally open my 3rd unit out of the box, focus beat all 3 previous copy. faster. So I bought it.
I just found out last week that my body produces softer images than the demo unit 645 DF my dealer uses. It is very obvious in side by side comparison. Micro adjust will not fix it because it does nothing at all.
I am sending it for service.
So after 4 experiences with DF+ body, my conclusion is that phase one has very bad QC problem!!
another in the thread has other problems:
Steve Cor wrote:
I have 2 issues with my 645DF+, but they are not with the autofocus.
I don't have any complaints about the autofocus. I think Jack said he doesn't need the second and third tap anymore with accuracy mode.
One issue is, I have to setup the custom fuctions I want every time I use the camera. When the camera is off for a while, it forgets them.
The other thing I've found is, the autofocus assist beam can actually come on during an exposure. Then the red beam on the subject would ruin the picture, like this example:
However IMO neither come close to what you can do with a D800 (or top of the line Canon) when it comes to shallow depth of field and precision focus.
There is a much larger choice of faster of lenses with shallower depth of field and far superior focusing, both manual and automatic.
Regarding depreciation of the value of MF digital it is quite staggering.
Plenty of examples around of how much is lost on the resale of high end MFDB.
This is a pristine Phase One IQ180, 80-megapixel digital back, with only 1,150 actuations. The Value-Added Warranty is good until June 2016. I purchased this back from Capture Integration in June 2011.
This back despite being mint and still having 3 years of value added warranty it sold for $22,500 (that was what it was last offered for when it sold).
It's $47,740.00 new at Calumet. That is a $ 25,000 loss.
Up for auction is this Phase One IQ160 digital back in a Hasselblad H mount.
This is a gently used item in mint condition. This digital back has been owned by a single owner, a professional photographer who carefully houses all his equipment.
Warranty available. Purchased new on 6/18/2012 with a transferable warranty good thru 6/18/2013.
The back was used mostly in studio with only 8901 actuations.
This did not sell for $ 21,000 even though it's practically new still under warranty and $14,000 less than new.
IF you do buy, this is the kind of deal you should look for so as to not take the hit of being a first owner of a back.
Two years from know who knows what MFD gear will be worth money wise especially if we look at the faster progress being made in 35mm DSLRs.
We are on the verge of a rather big change. Sony, Canon and Nikon are all working on non bayer array sensors along the lines of the Sigma foveon
sensor. This has the potential of changing things dramatically.
Another thing you must consider as a professional photographer is back up gear. You cannot rely on a single camera or camera and back.
IF you are sellling MFD as your format to your clients as you should to cover the extra cost you cannot really have them accept another format as backup.
A client will not really see the difference if he does not know, but changing half way through the job can be a problem.
Either way it can be an issue. IF he's satisfied with the results from your backup camera they he will ask why use MFD... slower, more expensive etc etc.
IF a bit of a catch 22 situation. A D800 as a backup for MFD is such a worthy backup that it could simply do the job in the first place.
Going back to depreciation. Lets look at lenses for a moment.
Phase One lenses depreciate significantly while Nikon and Canon lenses hold their value much better. (I'm obviously talking
about money value as the best Nikon, Canon and Phase One lenses are all brilliant lenses). On top of that Nikon and Canon lenses sell very quickly as the market is huge.
You mentioned internship... well one thing you could consider is making yourself available as a MFD assistant with camera package.
When I rented MFD I always preferred to rent from an assistant/photographer. This could be a good way to increase access to assisting jobs and access to certain types of shoots. However that is dependent on a continued demand for MFD in that area.
One last word of advice. In my opinion at this point in your career there are much better things to spend your money on.
The quality difference between a D800 and a digital back is not that significant at all compared to what travelling can do for you.
If it's fashion... going to work for a stint in Milan, Paris and New York will do much more for you than a few megapixels.
Another thing to consider is the look of larger formats and fashion.... The difference in look between a D800 and a MFDB
is not really all that different. However if you are looking for a significantly different look one should consider film and larger than 645 MF or large format.
What is interesting about it is that the investment in gear is very small. Personally I find that a combination of for example a D800 system and a 6x7 or 6x8
film camera is far more empowering as far as looks go than a MFD. There is also a certain something about how film is perceived.
Everyone shoots digital.. not many shoot film.
For landscape photography.... well travel is the number one ingredient. IF you also consider what stitching can do for ultra high res landscape
this argument is even stronger.
To help put this discussion into perspective here is a comparison between MFD 40MP and D800.
Photogy article here:http://www.photigy.com/nikon-d800e-test-review-vs-hasselblad-h4d40-35mm-against-medium-format/
In reality both have a quality level to cover just about anything except a side by side comparison
of a 40x60 print shot with an 80MP on a technical camera and great lens.
Here is a comparison between an iq180 and a D800Ehttp://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/