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Author Topic: The end of medium format ?  (Read 47876 times)

gerald.d

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #200 on: December 10, 2012, 01:39:47 PM »

Sorry for the diversion...

Fred - are you saying the Fuji 250/5.6 would be $6K now if new (and adjusting for inflation)?

The same lens that can be picked up for not much more than 10% of that price second hand now?

I knew the 680 was a bargain, but never appreciated how much of a bargain!

Kind regards,

Gerald.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Some advantages of medium format: VF's, lens resolution, photographic DR?
« Reply #201 on: December 10, 2012, 01:45:15 PM »

But what fascinates me is the number of MF users who particularly emphasize the advantage of the big, bright image in the optical viewfinder. What happens if and when EVFs get good enough in dynamic range and such to be a fully satisfactory alternative (or adjunct) to the OVF? Because there is no relationship beween the size/brightness of an EVF image and the size of the sensor: even a Micro Four Thirds camera could have an EVF with an image size as big as any ever seen on an SLR, if there were sufficient demand for that. And big, beautiful hot-shoe mounted EVF's could also be offered as accessories for many current SLR's, using HDMI out.

I'm very practical when it comes to technology both for my own personal use and for recommendations for clients. I don't care how it's done, just what the result is and what the experience is along the way to the result.

The day that an EVF produces a viewing/shooting experience on par with an OVF I think most MF shooters would be glad to use it. As of today that is not my experience in the situations in which I shoot or most of our clients shoot in. Though it is the case in some situations already (e.g. very low light an EVF can leverage the ISO of the sensor to show you an image with appropriate brightness rather than a dark OVF).

Right now I vastly prefer the experience of optically looking directly through a lens. However, it's not the method I care about, or the technology underlying it, only the resulting experience.

My gut says it will be several more years until EVFs can match the OVF in both technical and visceral-impact/visual-ergonomics/scene-feeling. But it could be a month from now. Who knows with technology.

But it ain't today IMO.

FredBGG

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #202 on: December 10, 2012, 01:47:06 PM »


IMO if a high end 35mm camera now requires expensive MF lenses with no VR to get the most out of it then it makes the camera less flexible.

Yair

Interesting that you mention VR (image stabilization) and that it's needed to make the most out of a lens.
There is no VR or image stabilization with Phase/Mamiya cameras, Hasselblad, Lieca MF or nearly all MF Pentax.
Yet all the MF vendors tout 35mm DSLR handeling and hand held use. Interesting to hear that a MFD rep states that VR is required to
get the most out of a lens. Something I have been saying for quite some time when it comes to working off a tripod.
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FredBGG

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Re: Some advantages of medium format: VF's, lens resolution, photographic DR?
« Reply #203 on: December 10, 2012, 01:56:11 PM »


The day that an EVF produces a viewing/shooting experience on par with an OVF I think most MF shooters would be glad to use it. As of today that is not my experience in the situations in which I shoot or most of our clients shoot in. Though it is the case in some situations already (e.g. very low light an EVF can leverage the ISO of the sensor to show you an image with appropriate brightness rather than a dark OVF).

Right now I vastly prefer the experience of optically looking directly through a lens. However, it's not the method I care about, or the technology underlying it, only the resulting experience.

My gut says it will be several more years until EVFs can match the OVF in both technical and visceral-impact/visual-ergonomics/scene-feeling. But it could be a month from now. Who knows with technology.

But it ain't today IMO.

Yes but today you can have both a very good OVF and electronic viewfinders, HDMI... both on camera and off camera.
I sometimes will step away from the camera with a hand held HDMI screen that comes with me and direct the model or portrait
subject when I want them looking off camera and they can see my visual instructions. I can walk upto them make an adjustment
to something... step back and shoot wirelessly while the camera keeps AF focus with face recognition....... it's like having a virtual
camera man when you want to direct more.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #204 on: December 10, 2012, 03:26:24 PM »

Speaking of manual focus, what the hell happened to split and cross prisms on the ground glass in cameras.  I would really like it if they brought them back.  I had to have a custom one made for my canon. 
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yaya

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #205 on: December 10, 2012, 03:39:27 PM »

Interesting that you mention VR (image stabilization) and that it's needed to make the most out of a lens.
There is no VR or image stabilization with Phase/Mamiya cameras, Hasselblad, Lieca MF or nearly all MF Pentax.
Yet all the MF vendors tout 35mm DSLR handeling and hand held use. Interesting to hear that a MFD rep states that VR is required to
get the most out of a lens. Something I have been saying for quite some time when it comes to working off a tripod.

I am not stating anything I'm expressing an opinion and am questioning the benefit of using such a lens on a high MP 35mm body. For me using a DSLR is about flexibility and speed. I want good zooms and good AF and good high iso and combining these will often require VR. I did not say that you need VR to get the most out of the lens...rather out of the body...

If I need to focus manually I want to be able to SEE it through the finder. If I need to change the focusing screen every time I change a lens then I'm loosing another benefit of DSLR, but that's just me I guess...

As a friendly comment Fred If you want to be taken seriously you should read others' posts before you fill up the page with yours...

FredBGG

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #206 on: December 10, 2012, 03:48:02 PM »

If I need to change the focusing screen every time I change a lens then I'm loosing another benefit of DSLR, but that's just me I guess...

No need to change the focusing screen every time you change the lens. The AF system is no affected by the manual focus optimized focusing screen,
The AF sensors are below the focusing screen and the Live view focusing excludes the OVF.
Also cropping lines and other in viewfinder features are above the focusing screen.
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FredBGG

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #207 on: December 10, 2012, 03:59:31 PM »

I am not stating anything I'm expressing an opinion and am questioning the benefit of using such a lens on a high MP 35mm body. For me using a DSLR is about flexibility and speed. I want good zooms and good AF and good high iso and combining these will often require VR. I did not say that you need VR to get the most out of the lens...rather out of the body...

If I need to focus manually I want to be able to SEE it through the finder. If I need to change the focusing screen every time I change a lens then I'm loosing another benefit of DSLR, but that's just me I guess...

As a friendly comment Fred If you want to be taken seriously you should read others' posts before you fill up the page with yours...

"I did not say that you need VR to get the most out of the lens...rather out of the body..." regardless of how you put it or call it the image stabalization is in the lens and the lens and body work together. image stabalization
reduces camera shake thus making the sharp image the lens produces recordable. While at low shutter speeds this has a dramatic effect that is even visable from far away at higher speeds like 1/60th or so
the effect will be less dramatic but will significantly help keep lens sharpness so it can be recorded. With the high resolution of cameras today image stabalization is a significant advantage for just about any hand held work.
Even the steadiest hand will have some movement... maybe not enough to smear the image, but enough of reduce some sharpness.

As a friendly comment Fred If you want to be taken seriously you should read others' posts before you fill up the page with yours...

And regarding this .... "friendly comment" I do read your posts well and I also remember them well.

When the Zeiss 55mm 1.4 was first discussed you wrote this about the lens.....

Or

It's the same lens as the 55mm/f3.5 Distagon they made for the 645AF...

But with a larger aperture since 35mm sensors only use the centre of the lens so won't bring up issues of CA, vignetting and softness towards the edges at full aperture
......


Implying that Zeiss rather than designing a whole new range of lenses for 35mm DSLRs it was just recycling an old design..... that happens to be from the 80s if I'm not mistaken.

But that's not all.

Another forum member added a comment that you can't just magically turn a 3.5 lens into a 1.4 lens....

It's a new design, "opening up" an existing design by 2.5 stops is not possible...

I hope that they finally got some common sense and produce this lens themselves - compromising another design by mediocre mechanical quality or sample variation for a so-called reference line-up makes little sense, since the target audience already accepts bigger, heavier and expensive lenses - no need for compromises...

Your response to that was.....

Unless the original design was already capable (mechanically & optically) of going to f1.2 but was physically limited to f3.5 due to vignetting/ CA/ soft edges...which won't be so much of a problem with the 35mm chips...

The 45mm, for example, was an f2.8 lens and it used the same basic barrel as the 55mm/f3.5...

So you were saying that the lens Carl Zeiss designed was capable of f1.2 but was physically limited to f3.5.....

..... If Carl Zeiss had some how magically figured out how to make a 55mm 1.2 that was so compact i'm pretty sure they would have
put it on the market even if it were soft at the edges stopping down would have done the same as your suggested "physical limiting",
but at the same time it would have has the magic of a super shallow depth of field lens for artsy purposes. Maybe they would have added some special indication
to the apertures above 3.5 as "special purpose" or something.... Would have been an incredible environmental portrait lens
would not matter if it's soft at the edges right... aren't you the one that said this to.....


As a general comment if a lens is designed to be a portrait lens (as most 50mm are) then there is no real point in testing and comparing edge sharpness

Yair
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 12:56:04 PM by FredBGG »
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FredBGG

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #208 on: December 10, 2012, 04:19:50 PM »

Sorry for the diversion...

Fred - are you saying the Fuji 250/5.6 would be $6K now if new (and adjusting for inflation)?

The same lens that can be picked up for not much more than 10% of that price second hand now?

I knew the 680 was a bargain, but never appreciated how much of a bargain!

Kind regards,

Gerald.


Yes the going price for Fuji gx680 lenses is really good and an excellent deal for a studio side kick to a MFDB system for someone that wants
a nice spread of Tilt Shift lenses and 6x8cm film SLR.

For the price of one tilt shift MF lens you can get a whole GX680 system.. a good spread of lenses and an adapter for your digital back
from Kapture group.

On top of that you can have many viewfinder options that make using tilt shift much easier.

There is even a stitch back made by kapture group that can give you a virtual sensor twice the size of the biggest MF backs
which is great for still lifes and landscapes and all in an SLR... though rather big.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #209 on: December 11, 2012, 12:46:45 AM »

Hi,

I guess it's quite possible to adopt a DSLR to the shooting style needed. You can use it with image stabilization and zooms, when appropriate and with high end primes when needed. In my view you probably need tripod, MLU,  and live view focusing to extract best quality from DSLRs and that essentially precludes speedy work.

Regarding viewfinders, an MF camera has a potential to collect more photons, as the senor is larger. So an MF camera with a f/2.8 lens will collect more photons than a DSLR with f/2.8 lens, it takes the DSLR an f/1.4 lens to collect as many photons.

The focusing screens of todays DSLR are intended to be used with AF. They can be changed, but it is possible that they may loose registration.

Large aperture lenses generally have some focus shift, so optimum focus at f/1.4 is different from say optimal focus at f/2.8.

The way I see it, a DSLR can be used for almost any kind of shooting, so it is a very flexible device.

If you consider economy, something that matters to a lot of people, you can have two DSLR bodies, and dual sets of lenses (like 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8 ) and a bunch of Zeiss primes for the cost of a single medium format kit.

On the other hand the medium format kit may be a good long time investment.


Best regards
Erik



I am not stating anything I'm expressing an opinion and am questioning the benefit of using such a lens on a high MP 35mm body. For me using a DSLR is about flexibility and speed. I want good zooms and good AF and good high iso and combining these will often require VR. I did not say that you need VR to get the most out of the lens...rather out of the body...

If I need to focus manually I want to be able to SEE it through the finder. If I need to change the focusing screen every time I change a lens then I'm loosing another benefit of DSLR, but that's just me I guess...

As a friendly comment Fred If you want to be taken seriously you should read others' posts before you fill up the page with yours...
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 04:13:45 AM by ErikKaffehr »
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torger

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #210 on: December 11, 2012, 03:42:02 AM »

I've noted that these discussions is always about the 645 DSLRs vs the 135 DSLRs.

Anyone who knows how large part of the MFDB sales that goes into tech cameras? 5%? 10%? Even 20%?
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Guy Mancuso

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #211 on: December 11, 2012, 06:56:23 AM »

Don't know the numbers but I have seen a pretty big increase in tech cam users and I get a lot of PMs and emails on it. Most of our workshops are all tech cam users on hand . So it's a pretty nice to see change in the format. Only the OEMs can answer this. But I bet Steve and Doug could give a pretty good idea. From a instructor POV its really a lot of fun working with people on them since its all new to them mostly.
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #212 on: December 11, 2012, 10:04:17 AM »

I've noted that these discussions is always about the 645 DSLRs vs the 135 DSLRs.

Anyone who knows how large part of the MFDB sales that goes into tech cameras? 5%? 10%? Even 20%?


Interesting question Guy. I just did a quick check for the past 3 years - right about 25% of my sales (give or take) go on an Arca Swiss or Cambo Technical Camera for landscape or architectural use. In a lot of these cases, a medium format camera is also deployed at times. So conversely, that means about 75% of my sales are going on a medium format camera and/or a large format camera (view camera for studio use).

In particular, 2011 was a good year for Technical Cameras as there was pent up demand for a high resolution digital back with a good LCD for image review in the field. Most of the Technical Camera purchases in 2011 were accompanied by a Phase One IQ180 or IQ160. This year, with the release of the Leaf Credo product, Leaf has been more active in that segment.

Now - my take away would be that medium format present nice options for Technical Camera use. But I wonder if this information instead is turned into some dire conclusion or a debate of the merits of using medium format digital backs with Technical Cameras vs 35mm DSLR's.

I understand preferences (that's a good thing) - I don't understand the dogma of one has to be better or worse than the other.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
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Steve Hendrix
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MFDB: Phase One/Leaf-Mamiya/Hasselblad/Leica/Sinar
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Direct: 404.543.8475

torger

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #213 on: December 11, 2012, 11:08:56 AM »

Why I ask is that I think maybe the MFDB makers should focus a bit more on the tech camera segment than they do. To me it seems like they put most effort into their 645 cameras, and then casually say "oh, you can use it on a tech cam too". I also get the sense that tech camera manufacturers and lens makers need to adapt to whatever backs MFDB makers do for their 645 cameras, rather than a two-way discussion and collaboration.

Dropping the 48x36mm format to the IQ/Credo series and promoting P65+ to IQ180 upgrades (worsening color cast to the point that some lenses got near unusable) were not great tech cam moves if you ask me.

While it is a very efficient professional tool for architecture etc, the tech cam is also a very different experience from a DSLR so I think there is growth potential in the enthusiast market as many enthusiasts like to do landscape photography (like myself).

I would guess that 645 cameras don't have that large enthusiast following, or maybe I'm wrong? To me a 645 camera is something for flash photography in the professional studio, or occasionally on location but still with flash and makeup artists. When I don't use a tech camera it is for documentary style shooting or wildlife/birds, and then a 135 DSLR suits me better, and I guess it's the same for most enthusiasts. A tech cam + 135 DSLR combo would be interesting for many enthusiasts though. I think though that digital backs are a bit too expensive to make any serious growth in this segment possible. A 48 megapixel 48x36mm back for $5K-$7K would change it though :), don't know if we ever will see that sort of prices though other than second hand.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #214 on: December 11, 2012, 11:25:34 AM »

Hi,

I got the info that IQ180 uses microlenses.

I am much impressed by the new generation of technical cameras like Hartblei HCam and the Alpa FPS, but at the same time I see that with those cameras live view would make a lot of sense.

Best regards
Erik


Why I ask is that I think maybe the MFDB makers should focus a bit more on the tech camera segment than they do. To me it seems like they put most effort into their 645 cameras, and then casually say "oh, you can use it on a tech cam too". I also get the sense that tech camera manufacturers and lens makers need to adapt to whatever backs MFDB makers do for their 645 cameras, rather than a two-way discussion and collaboration.

Dropping the 48x36mm format to the IQ/Credo series and promoting P65+ to IQ180 upgrades (worsening color cast to the point that some lenses got near unusable) were not great tech cam moves if you ask me.

While it is a very efficient professional tool for architecture etc, the tech cam is also a very different experience from a DSLR so I think there is growth potential in the enthusiast market as many enthusiasts like to do landscape photography (like myself).

I would guess that 645 cameras don't have that large enthusiast following, or maybe I'm wrong? To me a 645 camera is something for flash photography in the professional studio, or occasionally on location but still with flash and makeup artists. When I don't use a tech camera it is for documentary style shooting or wildlife/birds, and then a 135 DSLR suits me better, and I guess it's the same for most enthusiasts. A tech cam + 135 DSLR combo would be interesting for many enthusiasts though. I think though that digital backs are a bit too expensive to make any serious growth in this segment possible. A 48 megapixel 48x36mm back for $5K-$7K would change it though :), don't know if we ever will see that sort of prices though other than second hand.

Doug Peterson

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #215 on: December 11, 2012, 11:42:04 AM »

Why I ask is that I think maybe the MFDB makers should focus a bit more on the tech camera segment than they do. To me it seems like they put most effort into their 645 cameras, and then casually say "oh, you can use it on a tech cam too". I also get the sense that tech camera manufacturers and lens makers need to adapt to whatever backs MFDB makers do for their 645 cameras, rather than a two-way discussion and collaboration.

Dropping the 48x36mm format to the IQ/Credo series and promoting P65+ to IQ180 upgrades (worsening color cast to the point that some lenses got near unusable) were not great tech cam moves if you ask me.

While it is a very efficient professional tool for architecture etc, the tech cam is also a very different experience from a DSLR so I think there is growth potential in the enthusiast market as many enthusiasts like to do landscape photography (like myself).

I would guess that 645 cameras don't have that large enthusiast following, or maybe I'm wrong? To me a 645 camera is something for flash photography in the professional studio, or occasionally on location but still with flash and makeup artists. When I don't use a tech camera it is for documentary style shooting or wildlife/birds, and then a 135 DSLR suits me better, and I guess it's the same for most enthusiasts. A tech cam + 135 DSLR combo would be interesting for many enthusiasts though. I think though that digital backs are a bit too expensive to make any serious growth in this segment possible. A 48 megapixel 48x36mm back for $5K-$7K would change it though :), don't know if we ever will see that sort of prices though other than second hand.

We've never agreed on these points.

Of the four backs Phase offers three of them work great with all (full frame) tech camera lenses. Only the IQ180 has any limitations on lens selection and even there the limitation is only on three Schneider lenses (28/35/43). The IQ180 works really well on a tech camera as many IQ180+techcam users would attest to.

Half the design of the IQ and Credo series seems to be designed specifically with tech cameras in mind: untethered live view, 2-axis electronic level, focus mask, hold-position-when-changing images when zoomed in, zero latency, internal battery, overly-rugged chassis and operational temperature range.

Moreover yes, many enthusiasts use 645/6x6 bodies whether Phase, Hassy, Contax, or V.

The back you own does especially poorly at higher ISOs. Perhaps if you had a back like the IQ160 which can shoot great ISO1600 files your feeling that MF has no place in documentary and other non-flash environments would change no? I use an IQ160 at weddings frequently, usually without strobe/flash (or with the same fill flash as when I shoot similar images with a dSLR).

Shooting birds? No*
Shooting sports? No  
Shooting war journalism? No

But many MF systems can be used quite successfully and enjoyably in a much broader range of applications than the picture you paint. Which is understandable if most of your experience is with an ISO25 several-generation-old 22mp sensor.

*maybe penguins :-)

Vladimirovich

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #216 on: December 11, 2012, 11:55:10 AM »



Regarding viewfinders, an MF camera has a potential to collect more photons, as the senor is larger. So an MF camera with a f/2.8 lens will collect more photons than a DSLR with f/2.8 lens, it takes the DSLR an f/1.4 lens to collect as many photons.

I am sorry - but what are digital MF cameras/backs with 48 x 72 = 3456  mm^2 sensors ? because if non are there then it is not 4 times larger surface... so...
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 11:56:44 AM by Vladimirovich »
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FredBGG

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #217 on: December 11, 2012, 12:06:28 PM »

I've noted that these discussions is always about the 645 DSLRs vs the 135 DSLRs.

Anyone who knows how large part of the MFDB sales that goes into tech cameras? 5%? 10%? Even 20%?

I'm not sure of the numbers, but quite a few have moved or had moved from the DF body to Tech cameras.

Anyway here is an interesting comparison between the D800E and a tech cam with the state of the art MFDB the IQ180.
The comparison was made by an IQ180 and tech cam owner and landscape photographer.

http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/

From the article:
Quote
At 30×20 inches, you can see subtle but clear differences between the IQ180 and the D800E. Not all of them weighted in favour of the medium format camera, though. For instance, the D800E produced much more pleasing shadow areas on the prints of the photographs produced to test dynamic range.

Resolution and detail of the IQ180 prints was better than that of the D800E prints – but not massively. Again, the difference was there, but it wasn’t huge. Certainly not €30,000 huge.


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torger

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #218 on: December 11, 2012, 12:09:55 PM »

Well, I do use an ISO50 back, and the same sensor is used in current models ;). I also have an analytical mind that manages to digest input from others and to think outside my own experience.

If you think Credo/IQ is perfectly in line with a rich tech camera strategy, that's fine. You sell the stuff, I don't. I think more could be made though, and I think MFDB makers could benefit from it.

If you intend to hand-hold stuff and not use flashes i e often use high ISO and have camera shake issues, I don't think a $30K MFDB is the way to go. If you primarily do 645-friendly work, then of course you could expand the space you use your 645 camera. However, if you have a tech camera but not a 645 and your choice to complement your tech cam is to buy a 645 to use with the tech cam back or buy a DSLR system, well, I think the DSLR will be the better choice for nearly all people that are not mainly into flash photography. Getting a second hand Mamiya RZ or Hasselblad V is practically for free, so that one can do just for fun of course, that would be a typical enthusiast thing to do, but you would still get a DSLR. When I use the vintage MF SLR cameras I wonder how anyone could shoot any hand-held sharp picture at all without auto-focus and image stabilization, I'm very impressed with those that can :).
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 12:30:20 PM by torger »
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torger

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Re: The end of medium format ?
« Reply #219 on: December 11, 2012, 12:24:42 PM »

http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/

Concerning image quality in terms of landscape photography I don't think MF have to be massively better. Slightly better in good conditions is enough. The reason I shoot with a tech cam is much for the joy of the gear and the photographic workflow, and on the technical side suitable focal lengths with shift/tilt. It's not that I couldn't do it with a DSLR, but I prefer to use the tech cam and I've found a solution that I can afford (i e second hand).

From the enthusiast perspective I think the real obstacle is really the pricing. At some point it just gets too expensive to have this cool stuff, and perhaps more importantly with increasing price difference the acceptance of a minor image quality improvement declines. I don't think the tech cams or lenses are too expensive, but the digital backs are. I don't think it is impossible to make the example I've mentioned so often, a 48 megapixel 36x48 back at the same price as the current Aptus-II 5. But as it seems rather than upping the level of the entry level backs that price range disappears completely after Aptus-II is discontinued. And I'm not sure if that is the right way to get medium format into the future.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 12:33:15 PM by torger »
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