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Question: Is MF worth the money and trouble?
Yes it is - 64 (58.2%)
No it is not - 23 (20.9%)
I keep changing my mind - 23 (20.9%)
Total Voters: 110

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Author Topic: Is MF worth the money and trouble?  (Read 3609 times)
eronald
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« on: November 21, 2013, 07:50:33 PM »
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This question keeps popping up. We all have an opinion, let's see what the numbers say.

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
eronald
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 08:20:56 PM »
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votes! votes!

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 09:09:49 PM »
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Edmund,

I'm with you on most counts when reading through the forums, even when not so popular :-)
how will this vote help anyone?

How can we lump everyone's work and subject needs to be in one bunch? Can image making be so simplified to have one best all camera?

How can you know if people are hobbyists or need it as a tool of their trade?
I would say there is certainly some fields/subjects that a MFDb would be a technically and image advantage. Architecture, product come to mind. Can you use DSLR, sure, but when you are marketing to this field and working on YOUR OWN level of the best you can do, MFDB is superior.

If I was shooting architecture or product, I would vote for MF,
If I was shooting events, journalism, models, people, even most landscape(just the portability and weather), or just about anything, I would vote DSLR, not worth the trouble (most of the time).


I think that most people who know that need it are either getting ready to buy one or already use a MFdb
So what will the end vote mean?

If this vote forced voters to state the subject they shoot and if they shoot for agency, hobby, or personal studio, it would help quite a bit.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 09:14:25 PM by Phil Indeblanc » Logged

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eronald
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 09:17:50 PM »
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Phil,

 I am just giving people a chance to express their feelings.
 Not about whether MF is superior or inferior, whether it can do sports or macro or architecture, but just a nutshell feeling of whether they think the time and effort and money needed to use MF in their own field  is in the end truly justified by the results.

Edmund

Edmund,

I'm with you on most counts when reading through the forums, even when not so popular :-)
how will this vote help anyone?

How can we lump everyone's work and subject needs to be in one bunch? Can image making be so simplified to have one best all camera?

How can you know if people are hobbyists or need it as a tool of their trade?
I would say there is certainly some fields/subjects that a MFDb would be a technically and image advantage. Architecture, product come to mind. Can you use DSLR, sure, but when you are marketing to this field and working on YOUR OWN level of the best you can do, MFDB is superior.

If I was shooting architecture or product, I would vote for MF,
If I was shooting events, journalism, models, people, even most landscape(just the portability and weather), or just about anything, I would vote DSLR


I think that most people who know that need it are either getting ready to buy one or already use a MFdb
So what will the end vote mean?

If this vote forced voters to state the subject they shoot and if they shoot for agency, hobby, or personal studio, it would help quite a bit.
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 10:23:22 PM »
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Hi,

I would suggest that it is a complex issue. As you point out, it depends on your needs. The landscape is also changing. Few would argue about the technical quality of high end MF, specially technical cameras with HR lenses specially designed digital. Little doubt it is excellent if that is what you need. If you happen to be a high cost operation, it is just one post of many. Or if you just want the best image quality and can afford it, it is a pretty obvious choice.

On the other hand, low end MF may make a lot less sense. Even if you buy second hand system, it is always possible to build a mighty Nikon or Sony system for the same price. There are a lot of myths about MF, there is of course some reality behind those myths.

So I would say:

If you need it and can afford it, it is obviously worth both the money and the trouble.

If you don't need it and can afford it, it is very questionable if it is worth the money and the trouble.

I went into MFD recently, much to find out. I am pretty sure I feel it was a bad investment, even if I like shooting with it. Actually, it also wastes a lot of shooting time. Working with EVF camera is much more efficient. Still I guess I keep it.

Also to be said, I have made quite a few pictures I really like with that MF equipment.

So I answered that I don't think it is worth the money and the trouble and I stay with that statement. But I do enjoy it. I could have spent the money on a couple of months of travel in the US national parks, that would give me better images. Money is a finite asset for most of us, so it needs to be used wisely.

Best regards
Erik




Edmund,

I'm with you on most counts when reading through the forums, even when not so popular :-)
how will this vote help anyone?

How can we lump everyone's work and subject needs to be in one bunch? Can image making be so simplified to have one best all camera?

How can you know if people are hobbyists or need it as a tool of their trade?
I would say there is certainly some fields/subjects that a MFDb would be a technically and image advantage. Architecture, product come to mind. Can you use DSLR, sure, but when you are marketing to this field and working on YOUR OWN level of the best you can do, MFDB is superior.

If I was shooting architecture or product, I would vote for MF,
If I was shooting events, journalism, models, people, even most landscape(just the portability and weather), or just about anything, I would vote DSLR, not worth the trouble (most of the time).


I think that most people who know that need it are either getting ready to buy one or already use a MFdb
So what will the end vote mean?

If this vote forced voters to state the subject they shoot and if they shoot for agency, hobby, or personal studio, it would help quite a bit.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 10:24:58 PM »
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Quote
whether they think the time and effort and money needed to use MF in their own field  is in the end truly justified by the results.
_Edmund

With this last but important question I think you will get a different result. Consider adding it to the original part of your post.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 01:28:46 AM »
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Each and every of us will have a different answer to this question.

For me it is clearly no, not because I don't think MF has no value for what I do, but because of the current pricing of those backs offering something significantly superior to my current equipment.

On a separate note, we would get more useful information on this if DxOMark started to test MF lenses also. This would give us an idea of the actual amount of details captured by these various lenses compared to DSLRs.

We have seen with the publication of the Otus results that there are tremendous differences in amount of detail captured with a given sensor depending on the lens put in front of it.

Cheers,
Bernard
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 02:18:46 AM »
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Hi,

I would be a little bit cautious with DxO data on the Otus, I made a quick comparison with the Sigma 35/1.4 and it seems to be less difference than one would expect at medium apertures. Where the Otus absolutely shines is maximum aperture, it also seems that it peaks in sharpness at f/4 indicating optical excellence. No question, an excellent lens, but if you don't need the aperture it may offer little benefit over the Sigma A lens.

Best regards
Erik



Each and every of us will have a different answer to this question.

For me it is clearly no, not because I don't think MF has no value for what I do, but because of the current pricing of those backs offering something significantly superior to my current equipment.

On a separate note, we would get more useful information on this if DxOMark started to test MF lenses also. This would give us an idea of the actual amount of details captured by these various lenses compared to DSLRs.

We have seen with the publication of the Otus results that there are tremendous differences in amount of detail captured with a given sensor depending on the lens put in front of it.

Cheers,
Bernard

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Primus
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 10:42:00 AM »
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....................... But I do enjoy it....................... Money is a finite asset for most of us, so it needs to be used wisely.

Best regards
Erik

That about sums it up I think. As I said on the other thread, it is all about the money. If it were not, everyone would have one.

On a recent workshop/tour with about 50 photographers, most of the Phase One owners were NOT professionals but amateurs with a passion for image quality. I am sure there are pros out there who use an MFDB for a living and make good use of it, and it must be good value for them. I also believe there are a fair number of enthusiasts with enough discretionary income who shift priorities (or not) and buy the MF system because they feel they are getting what they want from it.

I've had several people approach me when they see the MF rig and ask if I am a pro. When I reply that I am not, they probably feel that I am a fool with too much money or that I must be an exceptionally good photographer, neither of which is true.

It is hard to explain to non-photographers that sometimes you love what you do so much that you are willing to spend a huge amount of time and money indulging your passion. It is definitely a finite asset for most of us and in the end it is what you chose to do with it.

I also think it is pointless people repeating ad nauseam that a D800e or whatever can take equally good pictures and that anyone who buys an MFDB is an idiot. Same could be said by P&S owners when they see that person with the D800.

To each his/her own.
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Ken R
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 11:34:26 AM »
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Is MF worth the money and trouble?

tough question to answer. It really depends on each individual. For some people the answer is absolutely not for others, yes.

But, if you ask another question. Is MF a good Value? I don't think it is. Just like Leica products are NOT good values at all. Leica might be the worst value actually, at least the MFDB's have larger sensors.

You want the best image quality for your dollar? Look no further than a Nikon D800E and/or the Sony A7R. (or the A7, A99, D610)

You want the best image quality possible? Look no further (or no less) than the latest 60/80MP Digital Backs and tech camera lenses. (or the latest from Hasselblad or Schneider/Phase)

So basically it depends what you want.

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KLaban
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2013, 11:43:56 AM »
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What we need is a poll on the value of these polls...

...or perhaps not?
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sgilbert
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2013, 04:02:34 PM »
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Poll on polls:  you beat me to it.  Is it worth the time to read or respond to these things? 
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eronald
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2013, 06:53:38 AM »
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Poll on polls:  you beat me to it.  Is it worth the time to read or respond to these things? 

I once read a graffito on a wall in Sweden: "If voting were of any use, they would make it illegal" Smiley

Edmund
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Gigi
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2013, 10:10:17 AM »
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Is MF good value? That's not so easy to answer. The issue of value raises something else, namely return on investment. If you are looking for the most effective way to make a picture with the least $, then a cel phone or point and shoot gets you (say) 70% of the image, for a fraction of the cost. I'm not suggesting this to get rid of high-end photog gear, but rather to point out the complexities of looking for "good value".

There is also the law of diminishing returns - that the last 5% costs much much more. Is it good value? Not really, unless you need it.

In the case of photo gear, decisions about gear are complicated by use factors (what each person likes to use), and then there is the artistic "feedback" loop - some folks get inspiration and pleasure from using certain gear. This may or may not be rational behavior.

Also consider the "outlier" - an 8x10 view camera gives very high quality at reasonably low cost. It (and 4x5 as well) give really good value. Shouldn't they be big winners in the value sweepstakes? Of course, view cameras don't win the title for convenience. How does that issue come into the mix? 

Alls to say that efforts to rationalize equipment selection based on "value" are fraught with difficulty, and perhaps are best undertaken in very limited doses. Another way to think about this is that each person sets their own priorities, often combining aspiration, pleasure, a bit of gear lust, and an awareness of what works for them, and then makes their own selection by filtering through the possible "compromises" offered by the market, balanced by cost and convenience. There are patterns to this behavior,  groups that form around certain shared sets of decisions, and even trends. Value plays a part, to be sure, but its not the only factor.
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Geoff
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2013, 10:16:00 AM »
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The only question which haunts me when concerning MFDB vs DSLR is:
Will it give me the additional possibilities to express what I want when doing large prints (24x36" upwards) ?
Working with IQ260 files from a loaned camera gave me extremely robust files, as good as my MF scans, probably better.
What I now need to do is loan a D800 and do tests.
I want neither compromises I'd regret later, nor mindlessly spend my money.
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2013, 09:23:37 PM »
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As a photographer, I am semi professional and had been using Sigma Sd1 with a few lenses but found them limiting for some situations.  I had been investigating buying a Nikon 800e with a range of lenses, and came across an almost unused Pentax 645D with 5 FA lenses for a lower price than the Nikon + lenses was quoted at.

Best thing I ever did.  I acknowledge the sensor is not as good as the latest & larger Phase One  & other backs/cameras, but I love it.  The quality is excellent, and it is simple to use.  Throughout the late 1970s to the early 1990s I used a rollei sl66 & hasselblad film cameras - (sadly sold years ago) - and with the Pentax, I feel like I have come home.

So MF (even 2-3 year old MF) is worth it in my humble opinion.
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2013, 11:13:08 PM »
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Edmund,
When you wrote "Money and trouble"  I was first thinking film on MF, because developing and scanning is a lot of extra steps, and film seems inexpensive but its an iterative cost you don't have with digital.  Still for somethings, yes,  I think that's worth it too. 

I don't think MFDB is any trouble at all.  I prefer to us my MFDB (Hy6+Leaf AFi-ii 12) over my DLSR every time for the big viewfinder, ergonomics, and faster sync speed in studio.

E

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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2013, 01:22:52 AM »
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Hi,

Do you need hi sync speed in the studio? I can see the advantage when competing with sunshine outdoors, but what do you need short sync times for in the studio?

But I would agree that a modern MF DSLR is not more cumbersome than a modern 135 DSLR, unless you need live view or long lenses, or ultra wides. For ultra wides you can put the MFD on a technical camera, but than it starts to be a bit cumbersome.

I high resolution MFD also gives more image detail than a DSLR.

When I go on a walk with the Hasselblad/P45+ I also always carry a Sony Alpha 99 with 24-70/2.8 and 70-400/4-5.6 lenses. On a longer walk it is the Hasselblad that stays at home or in the trunk and the Sony that comes with me, accompanied by a few more lenses and perhaps an 24 MP APS-C.

Than we have the question of international flights and weight limits and 4/3 or A7r starts to be interesting.

Best regards
Erik


Edmund,
When you wrote "Money and trouble"  I was first thinking film on MF, because developing and scanning is a lot of extra steps, and film seems inexpensive but its an iterative cost you don't have with digital.  Still for somethings, yes,  I think that's worth it too. 

I don't think MFDB is any trouble at all.  I prefer to us my MFDB (Hy6+Leaf AFi-ii 12) over my DLSR every time for the big viewfinder, ergonomics, and faster sync speed in studio.

E


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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2013, 02:53:35 AM »
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I'm with Eric.  For me it's not about image quality. For me it's about the camera.  I hate 35mm cameras.  I like big bulky manual cameras with waist level viewfinders.  When I can't use my RZ67 (film only), my Contax 645 + Phase One is my second favorite.
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2013, 07:06:56 AM »
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Interesting that this poll came up as I was asking myself the same question. For me it's about image quality but since I don't print any larger than 24" I don't know that I would gain anything by purchasing a used MF digital system. I did a six foot stitched pano with my D800 and an 85 1.4G and I don't believe the quality could be improved upon. But I'm certainly willing to test an MF system to find out for myself.
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