Hello James Russell,
I am in the process of making a decision on a new medium format back for my Haselblad 503 CW. I have considered Leaf and Sinar and now have spoken with a Phase rep. They tell me Phase is now to be part of the Hy6/AFi. He tells me it would be a mistake to by Leaf or Sinar as they have centerfold issues.
I am very confused, you have used both Leaf and Phase. Can you help me with some consdierations. You say that the Hy6 and new Hasselblad won;t give you m ore than you already have. May I ask what you cirrently have and why you feel that way?
My Hasselblad 503CW and lenses have served me well with fil over the past 3 years. But now ai must shoot a new campain for the tourism ministry and really need to make a decision within the next 3 weeks.
I don't know what or how you shoot, so I will just go off of my experiences.
At the time I bought the A-22 I felt it produced the most film like file of any digital camera. Especially processed in CS1.
The first 7 panels of this url. [a href=\"http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/fashion/]http://www.russellrutherfordgroup.com/fashion/[/url] were shot with the Leaf.
There were issues early on with connectivity of the Aptus and most of us know that Leaf's latest software version lc10 has been slow in coming and limited in features, so I learned the older V-8 software and shot mostly tethered to a G-4 Powerbook.
V-8 was stable and though also limited without a temp slider, or an easy way to batch process, it is fast simple software that works well on G4 powerbooks.
The only way to effeciently batch process the Aptus was with CS1 or CS2.
I recently added a P-30 to my contax kit and in the last few months have shot around 15,000 or so frames.
The P-30 is fast and secure tethered and non tethered. For tethering I originally shot with my 17" G4 powerbooks and though the back would shoot fast, previews were slow to build, so I added a new 17" intel book which made the preview time much quicker.
I also shoot the P-30 un tethered and it is stable, fast and easy to use, virtually as easy as the Canon dslrs, except for the lcd which can be somewhat of a challenge to learn to read properly.
Now keep in mind these are two entirely different backs. The A-22 is limited in useable iso to 200 and the P-30 goes to 400 clean and even 800 when actually needed in a pinch. The A-22 is also an older style chip though covers more area (1.1 crop vs. the P-30 1.3 crop), though the P-30 has more real detail.
Phase's C-1 software is very full featured and stable software and in processing large batchs of files to make jpegs for web galleries it is IMO the most robust and best batch processing software I have used.
These are some out takes from a recent lifestyle campaign shooting with the P-30http://www.russellrutherford.com/recent_miami/
For this 4 day shoot I shot over 5,000 frames without issue. In fact, since this project had such a heavy schedule and required so much movement and interaction, I really thought I would shoot it with the Canon's, but out of the 4 days only used the Canon's on 3 very small occasions.
Now the bottom line. Could I have shot this last project with my A-22. Well some of it, but not all and at the end of the day I would have probably revereted to the Canons for the majority of it.
Could I have produced my earlier Aptus work with the P-30 . . . most definately, though I still hold to the fact that the Aptus can produce a very beautiful file.
Really, the difference between these two backs are in the useability. The P-30 goes to much higher iso and is more stable and for stable workflow, as of today, nothing comes close to C-1.
The P-30 also will allow you to tether to virtually any comptuer and use the battery in the back to stop any connection issues and though it seems like a small thing the P-30 allows you to see the lcd image while tethering and the Aptus does not.
Out of the can the P-30 produces, IMO a much more pleasing file, though both the A-22 and the Phase can both produce stunning results.
Once again, in my opinion the Phase is today a more mature product.
It really depends on the volume you shoot, the iso you need and if the P-30's 1.3 crop factor will bother you compared to the Leaf's 1.1 crop factor.
Workflow is just another matter entriely and the Phase wins on this score hands down.
Leaf does have good customer service and is quick to respond when they have a fix, though fixes for leaf software seem to be slow in coming.
Phase relies on dealer support for tech service and training so if you go that route be sure to use a good dealer.
My dealer Dave Gallagher at Digital transitions is one of the best and for me has been available virtually 24/7, though I have had few reasons to ask for any assistance.