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Author Topic: Adapter plate rant  (Read 814 times)
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« on: October 24, 2012, 06:35:19 AM »

Okay, we all now that tech cam adapter plates are expensive, and the saying is that what you pay for is the precision.

Then how come does the precision suck so immensely?

I just played around with a V-mount adapter from Phase One. Okay, the metal frame may be manufactured with good precision, but why on earth do they attach a sticker, 0.05 - 0.1mm thick on the high precision surface? So I removed the sticker (not easy) and washed it up, then to discover that the V-mount hooks is made from a separate metal piece screwed onto the metal frame which is *THICKER* than the metal frame itself, so the adapter does not lay flat. So by ignoring precision of one of the parts they destroy the precision of the whole adapter, and they expect us to pay several hundreds of euros for this?

But Phase One is not alone ignoring precision. I was to attach a Hasselblad ELX adapter onto the plate, and guess what - it did not fit. The reason for this turned out to be that the Hasselblad adapter was screwed together with too long screws, so the screws were sticking out 0.1mm or so meaning that the adapter could not lay flat and therefore the it could not grip the V-mount hooks. This is also a product costing several hundreds of euros.

Disassembling the adapter and shortening the screws and reassemble it again and then it fitted, so problem is solved. However, I find it rather upsetting when you charge people a lot of money, claim it is for precision, and then don't deliver. This would be totally unacceptable in an industrial setting, but I guess in the world of photography we love to pay a lot of money for sloppy manufacturing...

Some things are plain hard to get high precision, but using too long screws? Or using a too thick metal plate in a place when a little bit too thin does not matter? Those are not hard problems to solve. At these prices I'd call these type of errors an insult to the customer.

Is there any manufacturer in this business you can actually trust that they take their precision seriously? Everyone seems to do it in their marketing, but manufacturing is a different story.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 07:04:52 AM by torger » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 01:09:33 PM »


On the mamiya 645 plate side, Phase One actually makes the only reliable adapter plate for mounting IQ and Credo backs.
Plates that did fit for Phase P and P+ and all Aptus backs will no longer fit on the new backs.
We (Hartblei/HCam) and all the other makers had the hell of a time of fun already (with the IQ´s) with making these backs fit.
Now it seems the same thing happens with the Credo´s.
I can only advise anyone to take care to make this adaptation fit before he buys something. Best way would be sending the back and mounting the whole thing
complete with a focus adjustment by shimming the complete system.

What makes me really mad about this, is that actually the DF and older AFD I, II+IIIBodies do NOT seem to have any problems to take these backs
even with the new modified fittings. Hartblei (Did ) and now again does make our own backs which fit perfectly, they were made from the Analogue FILM Cassettes measurings.

V and H fittings do not seem to be that critical, but when I hear this now, I also think this is a nuisance of the first degree of madness.

Digital backs today need to have another kind of fitting exactness than the hooks and plates that were comparably loose when used with film.
I would propose Hasselblad, Mamiya/Leaf and Phase would sit down to a conference table and do a mount standard for digital medium format backs which shall be used for all future backs. This would A) save costs for them B) save costs for the customers and C) make sure that all systems are becoming open and interchangeable.

If the MF Industry wants to survive (which I strongly hope!) there need to be steps for a better customer orientation and future proof usability.

I can only hope that finally some people in these companies will get their stuff sorted and will understand this a MUST solution to face the future.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 05:57:59 PM by Stefan.Steib » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 03:58:40 PM »

In my short time in MF I cannot say I get the association that MF equals high quality. I only see high price. Surely I do see high quality in many parts, but it's not carried through in full.

Those adapter plates for example, I would guess that the metal frame has very high precision in it, but then they have used some crap screws and plates to finish it up, failing to understand that quality must be carried through in all steps.
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