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Author Topic: MF Digital newbie needs a little help please  (Read 6785 times)
alosurdo
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2013, 10:05:36 PM »
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Thanks for the reply. It doesnt have to be "easy" however the process from shooting slide and having a end product is quite a long process. Just after a system with a lot better tonal reproduction and DR then what i am used to (in digital anyway). THe Mamiya 645DF i belive isnt that old at all. THe leaf back was released in 2009 so yes old, but i wouldnt say overly.

With my budget, it is hard to try before you buy as dealers dont carry these entry(ish) level MF setups.
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Ed Foster, Jr.
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2013, 10:35:28 PM »
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Budgets can always be a problem, but some of the dealers do have used equipment that they inspect and will warrant. I'm not a customer of Doug Peterson's, but he has a good reputation as does Lance. It would'nt hurt to check with them.

Ed
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2013, 11:50:22 PM »
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THe Mamiya 645DF i belive isnt that old at all. THe leaf back was released in 2009 so yes old, but i wouldnt say overly.

If this is your first adventure into the world of MFD, you may find the DF and Phase back very limited. On a Pentax 645D you will find the exposure mode you expect on a DSLR, unlimited bulb exposures, a useable ISO 1600, in-camera multiple exposures in RAW, an intervalometer, 9-point AF, etc. The DF is not going to do that. Don't get me wrong, I shoot a Phase P25+ back on a view camera which is far from a DSLR experience. However, if you can get your hands on one of these cameras, it will let you know what you are getting yourself in for. I am not saying the camera you want is bad, it will take really nice images, but it will be a different experience from your Canon.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2013, 02:05:21 AM »
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If you are looking at a DM28 that has a 1.3 crop I would also suggest looking at the Pentax 645D.
The Pentax 645D is a great camera with the only limitation being that it is an MF camera, bu with a small 44x33mm sensor, but so is the DM28
It has far better functionality than the DF. Not to mention that the DF is not the most reliable body out there.
The Pentax 645D also has the best weather sealing of all MFD systemes.
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jerome_m
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2013, 05:00:55 AM »
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I am looking at entering the MF Digital world. I currently shot with a 5DMkII (in occasion) but mainly shoot the 6x17 Tranny Film format.

Why don't you just use color negative film on the 6x17? That would solve your dynamic range problem.

Anyway, I use an H3D-31, which is of the same era of the Leaf Aptus 6. It has much cleaner shadows than the 5D MKII, which is particularly bad for a full frame 24x36. Also: be wary of these cameras offered at a "good price" and check what the present price of the cited Pentax 645D is, it has been reduced recently.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2013, 07:30:41 AM »
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If this is your first adventure into the world of MFD, you may find the DF and Phase back very limited. On a Pentax 645D you will find the exposure mode you expect on a DSLR, unlimited bulb exposures, a useable ISO 1600, in-camera multiple exposures in RAW, an intervalometer, 9-point AF, etc. The DF is not going to do that. [...] I am not saying the camera you want is bad, it will take really nice images, but it will be a different experience from your Canon.

Absolutely it will be a different experience than a Canon regarding body size/features.

As a minor corrections/additions though to your specific points:
- the DF body does have unlimited bulb exposures (it also has programatic exposures up to 1 hour, and a Time mode which, like a on a view camera, opens with one push and closes with another).
-The DF body also does have a built in intervalometer.
- Many digital backs (e.g. Phase One P30+ or P65+) have usable ISO1600 at either full resolution or in what is called "sensor+" which is a reduced resolution mode with better high ISO.

The Pentax 645 does have a 9 point AF (the DF/DF+ technically has a 3 point AF but functionality wise it behaves much like a 1-point AF system), though coming from a dSLR the 9 points are much tighter together in the frame than you might expect.

*Of course you need a digital back which is capable of long exposure for this capability of the body to be relevant. Several digital backs can go to one hour, many can only go to 30 seconds, so definitely something to consider there.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2013, 07:38:19 AM »
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From what i have seen (the end product of images) online and through others i know, i am certain that i could not get that level of tonal graduation as well as apparent dynamic range (though from other comments it seems there really isnt a DR increase).

Yes, well, again I'd encourage you to look at raws in a raw processor (which I can send monday) or capture and examine your own raws (we can arrange an evaluation rental which counts towards any purchase).

Do some research on those posting in the thread and pay attention to who actually uses the equipment they are critiquing. Some posters love to make strong definitive statements about gear they've never used. Their opinions still have value (especially when they make great effort to research and remain neutral), but it's valuable to interpret their statements with that context in mind. Other posters have personal vendettas (not too strong a word, trust me) to fill. That's the best and worst part of forums: everyone gets to put in their two cents on an equal basis and you'll get lots of different views.  Grin

Ultimately the only thing that matters is your results as viewed by your eyes (and the eyes of your customers if applicable) in the context of your needs, wants and priorities.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 07:49:26 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2013, 08:01:22 AM »
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Hi,

I am one of those who have used neither cameras, but I have mde some digging using raw files photographed by others. Neutrality? I don't know.

Analyzing pictures taken by others is quite OK in my humble opinion. The images care little about who has taken them. Unfortunately, very few comparable raw images are available. That said I have seen comparison shots between Canon 5DII and Pentax 645D, Phase One IQ180 and Nikon D800E, Leica S2 and Nikon D800, Hasselblad 4D50 and Nikon D800E, all those images were raw.

I have seen significant differences in color in some cases. Now, I think that color depends much on raw covertion and it may also be related to perception, but I have seen raws from the P645D which I preferred to samples from Canon 5DII and Nikon D3X shot at the same time. I was processing those images myself.

I feel a bit confused about your discussion of DR. DR is essentially the amount of shadow detail you can extract from an image that is correctly exposed to the right.  An image without excessive processing in the raw converter will not show the full dynamic range of the file. The only way to find out about DR is to develop raw files yourself, and they should be similarly exposed.

The best way to find out is to get access to the back you want to buy, take a few hundred exposures in the conditions you shoot and develop with the raw converter you plan to use.

I enclose same image in three development variants, just to show the flexibility you have.

Best regards
Erik

Yes, well, again I'd encourage you to look at raws in a raw processor (which I can send monday) or capture and examine your own raws (we can arrange an evaluation rental which counts towards any purchase).

Do some research on those posting in the thread and pay attention to who actually uses the equipment they are critiquing. Some posters love to make strong definitive statements about gear they've never used. Their opinions still have value (especially when they make great effort to research and remain neutral), but it's valuable to interpret their statements with that context in mind. Other posters have personal vendettas (not too strong a word, trust me) to fill. That's the best and worst part of forums: everyone gets to put in their two cents and you'll get lots of views.  Grin

Ultimately the only thing that matters is your results as viewed by your eyes (and the eyes of your customers if applicable) in the context of your needs, wants and priorities.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 08:10:05 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Jeffery Salter
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« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2013, 08:12:48 AM »
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I shoot mainly landscape images and am wondering if this combination will suit.


Hi Alosurdo,

I use a MFD with a crop back and carry a 5DMK II.  I rarely use my 5D MKII. I do not do Landscape photography.

That being said.  The most important question to ask is what type of landscapes you intend to shoot.  Urban scenes with dynamic movements of people and cars or forestry and mountains.  Each has it's own challenges.  To me it's best to keep it simple.  Why would you use a gig pan which takes numerous exposures or shots when you can do it in three frames?  Cartier Bresson is expressed it best in his phrase "The decisive moment"  

I suggest you look at the work of Stephen Wilkes  and his day to night series.  It was all done with a tech camera.  On Luminous landscape there are a hoard of great landscape photographers who use (1) MFD and (1) tripod who share links to websites.  If some of the imagery resonates with you, reach out to them for what's in their camera kits.

Your artistic vision always comes first.  Find out what you want to say as a visual artist.  Then find the right tool to express it.

Regards,
Jeffery
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Jeffery Salter
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FredBGG
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« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2013, 03:12:28 PM »
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Alosurdo

Take a look at the work of Jack Dykinga, pulitzer prize winning landscape photographer.
He went from 4x5 film to the D800e cameras and 24mm, 45mm, and the 85mm tilt shift lenses and a few teles.

http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/how-to/shooting/transforming-large-format.html
Here he describes his 35mm DSLR techniques and there are many images in the article. He covers much of his transition from 4x5 film to 35mm DSLR for landscape.


http://www.dykinga.com/gear

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/insights/blogs/photography/learning-see-conversation-jack-dykinga.html

Being that you shoot film you may find his choice relevant to your situation.

I too shoot film 6x8cm and 8x10 in.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 03:24:48 PM by FredBGG » Logged
alosurdo
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« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2013, 04:52:53 PM »
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Firstly, thank you everyone for contributing to this thread and help point me in the right direction.

Doug i have sent you a email yesterday. Thank you.

Erik, sorry, i should be a little clearer on what i mean on DR (most probably not the best term to use). Really if i could get the sameor slightly greater DR that i get from my 5D2, that would be great, though i am more concerned in how it renders tones. With the 5D2 when we are getting close to pure white its like it hits a wall and looks very abrupt. I am chasing subtle tonal changes from light to dark, not a hard banging, clipping looking tonal transition. I hope this makes sense, i do apologise for the my lack of technical description. Thank you for sharing the photos, can i ask what back you used for these and can i assume the first shot was the raw unedited file?

Jeffery, i do shoot a lot of coastal shots with water, beaches, rivers. I also shoot in the mountains and on occasions city scapes. I do work in the photographic industry though not as a full time photographer. This camera is being purchased mainly for a hobby use, i do sell prints, i do do client work however it is not my main source of income. I am simply a keen photographer.

Fred, thanks for sharing those links. I am sitting on the fence with the d800e, from what i have seen, i am not totally convinced as of yet.

Thanks again for your assistance

Regards

Andrew

EDIT: At the moment i am leaning towards the Mamiya DM33 Kit (i think it is the same as the Leaf Aptus 11 7 back just re branded). I will keep searching around for one with in my price range.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 05:19:09 PM by alosurdo » Logged
alosurdo
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« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2013, 06:28:13 PM »
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I have just downloaded a test raw file from the mamiya website http://www.mamiyaleaf.com/sample_aptus-II_7_raw_images.asp (for the back DM33 which i am interested in)

I do like what i see and what i am able to extract from these files. The underexposed image has a lot of retrievable information in the shadow areas which was easily extractable with out and loss of image quality.

I have attached screen shots of the original and 100% crops, pre and post a quick raw file conversion (however you are most probably aware of these capabilities).


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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2013, 06:49:23 PM »
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Hi,

I just checked the images in RawDigger. Here are the raw histograms.

Best regards
Erik


I have just downloaded a test raw file from the mamiya website http://www.mamiyaleaf.com/sample_aptus-II_7_raw_images.asp (for the back DM33 which i am interested in)

I do like what i see and what i am able to extract from these files. The underexposed image has a lot of retrievable information in the shadow areas which was easily extractable with out and loss of image quality.

I have attached screen shots of the original and 100% crops, pre and post a quick raw file conversion (however you are most probably aware of these capabilities).



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alosurdo
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2013, 07:56:05 PM »
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Thanks for sharing that Erik, it certainly looks like a interesting piece of software. I am assuming this is a measure of how the histogram falls and in what range. I have tested it with various Canon files out of interest and in all of them i notice that the right hand side of the histogram is like a wall. It seems to just simply stop at this point (see attached).

Your thoughts and insights on what you can decipher from the DM & Canon histogram would be appreciated.

Thanks again

Andrew
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2013, 11:15:22 PM »
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Hi,

What RawDigger shows is the "real histogram", it is calculated from raw data. The spike on right says that there are some saturated pixels. It may look worse than it is. Try to toggle "Log scale" on Y-axis. With log scale, small numbers can be easily seen but it may overemphase small numbers.

You can click on OvExp to highlight clipped pixels.

Two small observations on the Mamiya files you posted.

Both seems to be exposed two stops below ETTR, obvious on the stones, less so on the beach scene, but if you toggle "log scale" on Y axis you see that both histograms stop around 4500 pixels or so. That essentially mean the image is underexposed by two stops, but that would give some headroom.

The dynamic range of the "beach scene" i would put around 7 steps if I assume something like 1K pixels to be a significant number.

The other observation is that the file the Maiya produces is 14 bits and not 16 bits. It is very unlikely that it contains more than 12 bits of useful data, but it is definitively not 16 bit, as 16 bits would correspond to 2^16, that is 65536. True 16 bit files go to 65000 on the horizontal axis.

The last screenshot is from an IQ180 file I got from Tim Ashley. That shows a histogram from an IQ180. Rawdigger has some problems with 16 bit files. and ev-scale X-Axis checked, I can get around it unchecking "Auto" and choosing larger "Bin size".

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 11:47:05 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2013, 12:09:56 AM »
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Hi,

I would say that you expose a bit to far to the right, possibly. Some pixels are saturated, that is clipped. That may be OK depending on the subject.

From the your Canon image I got the impression the image would have good shadow detail, and I would not expect it to be noisy.

I enclose two screen dumps, from images I shot yesterday the first had some blinking pixels so I reshot with 1 EV less exposure.

Best regards
Erik

Thanks for sharing that Erik, it certainly looks like a interesting piece of software. I am assuming this is a measure of how the histogram falls and in what range. I have tested it with various Canon files out of interest and in all of them i notice that the right hand side of the histogram is like a wall. It seems to just simply stop at this point (see attached).

Your thoughts and insights on what you can decipher from the DM & Canon histogram would be appreciated.

Thanks again

Andrew
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alosurdo
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« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2013, 12:22:03 AM »
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"The other observation is that the file the Maiya produces is 14 bits and not 16 bits. It is very unlikely that it contains more than 12 bits of useful data, but it is definitively not 16 bit, as 16 bits would correspond to 2^16, that is 65536. True 16 bit files go to 65000 on the horizontal axis. "

This is definitely a concern..... It produces only 14bit files?Huh
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alosurdo
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« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2013, 12:59:44 AM »
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I have downloaded sample images from the Leaf Aptus-II 8 40 MP and Leaf Aptus-II 12 80 MP and they are both showing 16k along the horizontal... Why would that be?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2013, 01:38:16 AM »
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Hi,

It seems that they are saving 14 bit data. To me it seems like there is little information below -9 EV, you see that the distribution essentially becomes flat. So I would say that the dynamic range of the sensor is 12 EV (-9 to + 3), that corresponds to 12 bits. Saving 16 bits would not give any more information.

What happens is that read noise is distributed over more values, it is essentially fake signals.

Keep in mind that the histogram says a lot about the amount of noise, but nothing about the quality of noise. Different raw converters may handle noise differently.

Here is a comparison of Nikon D800E to IQ180: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/71-mf-digital-myths-or-facts?start=2

And the same pictures but IQ180 image processed in Capture One: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/71-mf-digital-myths-or-facts?start=3

The images above were used with the kind permission of Tim Ashley.

Best regards
Erik

I have downloaded sample images from the Leaf Aptus-II 8 40 MP and Leaf Aptus-II 12 80 MP and they are both showing 16k along the horizontal... Why would that be?
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alosurdo
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« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2013, 01:51:36 AM »
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It seems that they are saving 14 bit data. To me it seems like there is little information below -9 EV, you see that the distribution essentially becomes flat. So I would say that the dynamic range of the sensor is 12 EV (-9 to + 3), that corresponds to 12 bits. Saving 16 bits would not give any more information.



Thanks for taking the time for your detailed responses Erik; Though... i am well and truely confused now. A Dm33  recording only 12bits and the Aptus II 8 and 12 recording 12-14bits. The canon i belive records the same... So the MF cameras are recording less or equal to a 5D2...

Not sure if i am mis interpreting this and if going to MFD something like the DM33 will really be of any benefit or would i be going backwards.

Again, thanks for the information and replies, im just not sure what to make of this info and what direction to go in.

Regards

Andrew
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