Since the photography world has turned upside down, I've begun to use the cameras I like more than just the cameras that will just easily do the job.
I understand with looking for an edge and going back to our roots. I like real cameras, with minimal menus and real knobs for fstop and shutter. There is just something that feels natural with a film based camera vs. a all digital dslr with spinning wheels and menus that go on for ages.
I'm sure that's why I like the contax and the Leica.
In the film days I had two elms and always found focus to be a challenge.
I used them, loved the build quality but when time permitted, I can't count the number of times we shoot a 665 pn polaroid, washed off the neg and checked focus.
Once I moved away from them I found every camera I used to be easier to focus than the v series.
Actually had the Contax not come along I "might" have gone to the 200 series blad, because I like focal plane lenses, but once it became a 645 world it just made no sense to me to shoot a square camera. Taking a back off and on was more effort than just moving the Contax on an L bracket from vertical to horizontal and the Contax has a right angle grip.
The last 2 1/2 projects I've gone away from the Canons and to the Contax and p30+ backs. The previous project I shot over 900 frames all manual focus with the 120 macro.
Honestly since I've used the Canons for so long now, I was kind of concerned about focus, especially all manual focus but it's kind of like riding a bike, it all comes back quickly and since I processed and checked all 900 something frames there were only 2 that were soft. Now I shot most of the shoot at high f stops so that helped, but still f 16 or f 5.6 out of focus is out of focus.
Not to go off topic, but the only issue I have with the Contax is the p30+. It's a bullet proof back but I have and always find the color response very tricky with skin tones. It just seems so sensitive when the curves are moved around. Maybe the p40 dalsa chip fixes this, but I don't think I'd put 20 grand on another cropped chip digital back. I've thought about looking for a used Leaf 54s, or maybe a 75, because the Leaf files seem less sensitive to moving the curves, but it's probably difficult to find a used Leaf with a Contax mount and I have this felling that the next and only expensive camera I'll even consider will be an EPIC.
Then again, I think it's all down to personal style and then again when it comes to color response, and sharpness I'm still blow away with the 5d2. I think it's much better than my two 1ds3's, much better than anything else I've tried (color response that is).
Once again, not to move off topic, but I think a lot of the debate we see about 35mm vs. 645 is between the two, there just isn't that much difference in real estate. Granted 24x36 vs 36x48 seems almost twice size, but with a cropped chip, it's still not that much of a difference as say a 35mm vs. an RZ or a square 6x6, or a 6x7 camera.
Personally and I say this because I'd kind of like a leaf, I think Leaf would be smart if they offered very quick turnaround and change of camera mounts, without waiting.
My only fear of Leaf is what direction they are going since Phase now owns them. Are they now flush with money and R+D or they considered just to be a stepping stone to move current leaf customers to Phase? Will LC 11 continue with the next apple os upgrade, or will it just be dropped in favor of C-1?
I don't know because medium format land seems to be limited in actual hard fact information.
P.S. This post is not meant to start a 645 vs. 35mm debate. Those go nowhere.