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just thinking about mf.....

although i am hunting also the maximum of image quality, and in the field of architecure photography there are more problems to find than the sensors and its size. i mean distortion-free lenses are very important here and wideangles dont exist in 35mm retrofocus design, so at least its difficult to shoot hiend quality images with 35mm ( also its not impossible!!)...... but:
it gives me to think about that in times of film the difference of the filmsize was so big,- i mean from 35mm to 6x7cm film you had app.3 times the size of the film, and to 4x5" you even have had about 12times the size of the film, which resulted in a quality difference which was really very big. you simply couldnt compare a 35mm shot with a lf shot so far better was lf in these days.
and there was no price difference between the systems. a good nikon/canon or leica 35mm set was not cheaper than a mamiya or hasselblad mf setup or than a linhof or sinar lf setup. you bought your system after your needs not after your bank account. if you havent had much money you simply bought older stuff or second hand,- but the same here. 35mm was not cheaper than larger film sizes, it was just made for differnet needs.

and now? the price difference between a 5d canon and a 22mp back together with e.g. a h2d is really impressive. the quality difference also? in some cases its visible, but is it impressive as it was in the film days? in others they come very very close. the new 33 and 39mp backs seem to raise up the distance between the systems again. they reach again the difference ( in the mp count ) which was before between 35mm and mf.
but 1. where is the real large format gone and its quality advantages ? ( scanbacks are to static for most purposes ).
2. lets wait what will bring canon in september, they will probably also go over 20mp.
3. this touch canon and the new mf backs in the same amount:
many lenses are at their resolution limit, or they just exceed it at its best apertures and if shot from tripoid. so the resolution difference in practice will be often very low.... this was also different in the film days cause here not just sharpness increased with larger formats, also grain decreased proportional.
whats the result of this? the number of sold mf gear decreased dramatically and lf is nearly dead for the manufactors ( still there is a big second hand market ). and resulting from this the prices of mf gear will not drop cause they have to amortisize the developement of the new gear with lower numbers of units.......... so let us hope that this price differnece will not even be bigger in the future, resulting to the situation that just very few and very (moneywise) successfull photographers will be able to folllow this hiend tools. anyway we have this situation even now,- but i hope it will not become more drastic as it is........
 

ericevans

New member
If you want the best possible image then get into the Leaf Aptus system . I made the switch last fall and there is no comparison between a dslr and a digital back . The look and feel of the Aptus has been well received by my clients who have made comments that the images produced look like when I shot medium and large format film . Even if Canon does get to the 22mp mark which I think they will , it will still only be a Canon with a 35mm sized chip . Who even knows if Canon will ever get to a true 16 bit capture either . I think everyone knows how different a medium format image is from a 35mm image and the same is true with digital backs . I shot recently with a 1ds at the same time as my Aptus and it reminded me how much work I needed to do on the Canon files and how much the color sucked .

If you are really serious about providing top quality images to your clients you really need to start looking into a medium format digital system . Mamiya and Hasselblad both build a quality system for a digital back to mount on and then there is Alpa and the Cambo wide options as well .
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
rainer viertlböck said:
i actually shoot with a 1ds2, a 5d and a emotion22.
Rainer is BTW a fine Architectural photographer. He uses some of the best medium format, (MF), digital backs, (DB), around and designs his own special purpose camera modifications of already exotic cameras for his use.

He points out "the rise from below of the Canon 1DsII". It is my guess that in Photokina in this september, we'll see 21-24 MP 1DsIII. Whether or not this expected 1Ds series Canon flagship might be 16 BIT is not, IMHO, as critical as quality of the photosites themselves

It's the differentiation of sublevels of bright white that, IMHO, is one of the largest challenges.

To say it's not the MP count that's important, is of course trite. We all know that.

However, for detail-rich architecture, or included landscape enlarged to say 3ft x 6ft print, the "MP count" may, indeed, be critical.

Sky and stainless steel, as Rainer pointed out to me, need, for example, not MP, but more importantly clean, noise-free interpetation by the sensors, file and RAW conversion .

The great news for MF is the huge variety of camera and lens choices to exploit their investment.

One can currently use LF or shift-back Horseman camer; a Cambo or an Alpa and so forth. This is hardly doable with a 35mm camera.

So all this makes a huge and rapidly growing advantage for MF DB owners.

Asher
 
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sdai

New member
Hi, Rainer, I didn't quite follow all the threads on RG ... wasn't that you or anyone else who has tested a eMotion 75 a while ago?
 

Stan Jirman

New member
MF is mind blowing...

It really depends on what your priorities are. I shoot with the 1Ds2, and love large prints (20x30, 40x60). The 1Ds2 is adequate, but not stellar if you want to get up close.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the STS-121 roll-out, and managed to get a P45 digital back to go with a Contax 645. I shot the P45 along with two 1Ds2 bodies, and the difference in quality was uncanny. Today I got a 40x60 print from a P45 image, slightly cropped, and I have never seen this much detail before, even on "just" a 20x30" print. Look at the detail:



And a 100% crop:



Now if I had the money I'd buy the back in a heartbeat, simply because I love LARGE prints. You can mathematically prove that 35mm DSLRs won't achieve this quality, ever; so it's either back to MF for me, or live with what 35mm gives me. Given that I can't justify such an expense, I'll just stick with the 1Ds2 :)

BTW, the P45 is miles ahead the Aptus 22 in terms of image quality, I used both. However, the Aptus is far more user friendly, and cheaper.
 
well, i am waiting for the e75 which will be similar, and i wouldnt do if i wouldnt know about the advantages also. i just pointed out that there is a huge increase of price/quality relation, which is much bigger now than it was in film days, where it nearly didnt exist cause a 35mm system wasnt cheaper than a 4x5" sytem,- the needs decided which system you used, more than your bank account.
 

Gary C-G

New member
rainer,

You state you want it for architecture. Why not go for a scan back? They are affordable and will give insane resolution, far in excess of the current oneshot backs available. It would be a one trick pony for sure but it will give you what you want for architecture. I believe they come in up to 8x10.

That and a Canon 5D with TS lenses for those times when scan back is no good will have you covered for less cost than a high end MF back and body and will be very versatile.

If I were an architecture photog then I think that's what I'd be getting into.
 
no, i dont have interest in a scan back. and they arent cheap also if they are fast,- but even than still way too slow for any movement ( wind, clouds, trees, cars ) and to slow for real low light situations. and the resolution of a 33mp sensor or of stitched 22 or 17 mp sensors are not my problem.

Gary C-G said:
rainer,

You state you want it for architecture. Why not go for a scan back? They are affordable and will give insane resolution, far in excess of the current oneshot backs available. It would be a one trick pony for sure but it will give you what you want for architecture. I believe they come in up to 8x10.

That and a Canon 5D with TS lenses for those times when scan back is no good will have you covered for less cost than a high end MF back and body and will be very versatile.

If I were an architecture photog then I think that's what I'd be getting into.
 

Peter Whyte

New member
Virgin Poster

Like Eric, I have just jumped up to a Leaf Aptus (65). I tested it against a Canon1dsII and also against a PhaseOne P25. Contrary to forum opinions I have read, the quality difference between 1dsII as MF more than justifies the price difference. But the surprise to me was the difference between P25 and A65. A65 was way ahead in terms of touch screen technology, and levels of controls. But Phase C1 software (that I have sworn by for years) was left for dead by Leaf's Capture 10. C10 is fundamentally clumsy, but for example the ability to control everything right down to the choice of sharpening on r, g, b, or r+g channels, is fantastic. In one of my tests, P25 + C1 had real trouble resolving a subtle red to black grad background. It reduced it to clumps of black on a dirty red, where as A65 + C10 resolved the grad beautifully.

The price of MF backs is a real issue, but the quality difference is indisputable.
 

Paul Schefz

New member
Peter Whyte said:
Contrary to forum opinions I have read, the quality difference between 1dsII as MF more than justifies the price difference.

The price of MF backs is a real issue, but the quality difference is indisputable.
i think the opinions you are talking about are simply based on looking at web jepgs and reading reviews and forums that back up the preconcieved opinion...any being glad to save money...the difference in quality is very clear to anyone who has ever shot a scene with a canon/nikon and a MF back and compared the raw files on the screen...
about the price of MF backs...it is very easy to come up with $2000/month lab and film bills for a working photographer..which is 24000/year which is a very nice MF back...the second year is free shooting...and i would consider a MF back a 3 year expense, after which it still hold considerable value...
the only problem is that clients are starting to expect to not pay for film anymore...i got an email from a digital service lab here in LA who are starting to charge processing of digital files like they would for film..in rolls...so canon files are processed with 36 exposures and MF files with 12...they said it helps photographers with the billing and mark-ups...wonder how that goes over with clients...but interesting anyway...
 

Peter Whyte

New member
Paul Schefz said:
i think the opinions you are talking about are simply based on looking at web jepgs and reading reviews and forums that back up the preconcieved opinion...any being glad to save money...the difference in quality is very clear to anyone who has ever shot a scene with a canon/nikon and a MF back and compared the raw files on the screen...
about the price of MF backs...it is very easy to come up with $2000/month lab and film bills for a working photographer..which is 24000/year which is a very nice MF back...the second year is free shooting...and i would consider a MF back a 3 year expense, after which it still hold considerable value...
the only problem is that clients are starting to expect to not pay for film anymore...i got an email from a digital service lab here in LA who are starting to charge processing of digital files like they would for film..in rolls...so canon files are processed with 36 exposures and MF files with 12...they said it helps photographers with the billing and mark-ups...wonder how that goes over with clients...but interesting anyway...
Paul, I treat image processing as a chargeable service. As photographers, we are selling not only our photographic skills but our technical colour management skills. The reponsibility for the quality of the final output has been transfered from the lab and the drum scanner and prepress bureau, to the photographer and our abilities in digital image processing. It is a serious responsibility that can and should be repected and paid for.
 
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