I talked to the original dealer who I bought the back from today.
His best quote on a competitive upgrade to H4D60 and the Phase One deal to P65+ are basically identical.
Phase do not seem to be offering a reasonable upgrade path for just the camera body and lens alone.
To get a feel for my other -read CHEAPER- options, I took an H4D40/100mm/2.2 for a test spin @1600 and @400 ISO outdoors. Accidentally I happened to have my daily beater, a Nikon D3x/85mm/1.4 with me. Light was failing, and I did some low light portraits of a lady who gave me 5 minutes of her time.
Re. handling, the good surprise is that I found the H4D focuses beautifully -much much better than my AFDII, and the finder is very, very good with the 2.2 lens. The bad surprise was that shutter lag was huge, around 0.7 seconds at least.
The upshot of the test is that the files from the back are very [email protected]
, but a bit problematic @1600 with a possible hint of IR sensitivity; the surprise here is not only that noisewise the H4D is very good but also that the Nikon just about matches the H4D quality all along, with no hints of issues @1600.
The H4D40 did appear to achieve just a little some of that MF magic 3D effect; the Nikon in fact showed good skin tone under difficult circumstances, and no hint of file non-uniformities or streaking @1600.
I hadn't really internalized until now how superb the Nikon files really are, when it's people, scenes, and not brick walls. I can understand why Bernard fights so hard on this forum.
Seeing how ridiculous Phase's policies are I think selling my back is a better idea than paying substantially more than $8K for a new body and Schneider lens *just to get good focus and sharpness with my existing back*. I might be tempted to crossgrade to Hassy, but from today's experiment I'm not so sure it's really worth it, as I find that in practice I usually shoot at ISO 400.
Maybe the smart thing to do is to sell the back now, and use the money in a year or two for a used Hassy system (that can focus) or a new Nikon
You might take this post as an act of encouragement for Phase to provide a reasonably priced body/lens only upgrade path for existing owners. Financial shackles can be painful if they are too tight.
Edward, you're an end user, so I'll be polite.
I don't know what the situation is where you're at, but I make fantastic offers every day to P45+ users who wish to upgrade. It doesn't matter what camera platform they're on. Maybe I've misunderstood what you meant by Phase One dealers not doing upgrades for P1/Mamiya owners?