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Author Topic: Phase One P20 question  (Read 2890 times)


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Phase One P20 question
« on: September 12, 2006, 05:39:34 PM »

Does anyone here have some experience with this back.

I'm wondering if the ISO 800 images are usable/to noise in anything printed at or below 16x20'?

And is it worth 3 times the coin for a similar Kodak DCS Pro?


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Phase One P20 question
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2006, 07:35:48 PM »

i have a P20...the 800 is pixel you only get half the file size....i haven't tried it but i have shot with 400 and like definitely has a grainy look...can't compare to canons (maybe at 1600) but it has a similar film like grainy look...for clean files 200 is max...i don't like to use noise removal software, i always feel it gives everything a very artificial digital watercolor look....i would rrather have canon at 1600/3200 or P20 at 400....hmm maybe i should try the 800?

not sure which system you have, but the P20 with a rollei 6008af and 80mmPQS is about 10000$ with warranty...maybe even less after photokina...
it is a great back, easily beats anything DSLR (i also have a 1DsmkII..not even close)...and i am assuming also the kodak which is really only the P20 shoots about 40-45frames/minute tethered or to CF card...
i really can't compare to the kodak because i have never seen files from it...the only comparisons are on this site and it looks very close to the canon...
i used to have the 14n and if the software is anything like that...
phase simply has it figured out how to get the most out of these chips...


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Phase One P20 question
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2006, 09:32:07 AM »

I have the Kodak ProBack on a Contax 645. I looked at the option of the P20 but decided the price differential at the time didn't make sense for my situation. Don't know what P20's are going for these days; depending on which mount you wanted it for, the ProBacks were selling on eBay for around $4500-5000 back in the spring when I picked mine up--and more for the Contax mount (mine), naturally,  perhaps because there were fewer of those on offer. I've tracked every ProBack sold on eBay for the last year so I feel confident about those price ranges. There have been no Contax backs on sale there, to my knowledge, for about four months, and slightly more Mamiya than H'blad models.

I find the ProBack's images to be spectacular at ISO 100, good at 200, and pretty noisy at 400 especially for images in lower light levels. I use NeatImage and have found settings that strike a proper balance between noise reduction and important-image-detail reduction! I pretty much stay at ISO 100, and that works fine for me.

I have used it in studio-like settings, where it really excels; as well as on location, where it can be a bit clunky to use but still does the job. I love it for portraiture, architecture, and landscape/cityscape work. I was even dumb enough to take it to an extreme skate park mounted on my Contax 645 with a bazooka-like 350mm lens out front for some action shooting! Not its forte, as it doesn't like to shoot rapidly and it can actually overheat in such settings, but I got some decent images (check my website if interested.)  The contax AF is as much a limitation in such situations as is the ProBack; in fairness, not what it was designed for, so I was back to the old manual-focus days.

I'm overall satisfied with the ProBack on the Contax. Would I rather have had a P25 or P45--absolutely. But I was not willing to pay the difference for the P20 over the ProBack.
michael sebastian
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