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Author Topic: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio  (Read 5174 times)

darktiger

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Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« on: July 23, 2013, 11:44:53 AM »

Currently I have a Canon 5D Mark III.  And I love the camera.  But I want to dip my toes in MF.  I have tried to find reviews on say a 645AFD or 645AFD II with say a Leaf Aptus 22mp back vs a D800 or Canon 5D Mark III.  There are not a lot of reviews, and most of the reviews are old (2007-2008).

So in a studio, is there a big difference between a D800/5DMkIII and a 645ADF/II and the Aptus 22mp back?  I am looking for images out of the camera with minor editing.. I would like skin tones, sharpness, etc to be as close to natural as possible.

Thank you for any information/feedback anyone can offer.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 12:05:23 PM »

Currently I have a Canon 5D Mark III.  And I love the camera.  But I want to dip my toes in MF.  I have tried to find reviews on say a 645AFD or 645AFD II with say a Leaf Aptus 22mp back vs a D800 or Canon 5D Mark III.  There are not a lot of reviews, and most of the reviews are old (2007-2008).

So in a studio, is there a big difference between a D800/5DMkIII and a 645ADF/II and the Aptus 22mp back?  I am looking for images out of the camera with minor editing.. I would like skin tones, sharpness, etc to be as close to natural as possible.

Thank you for any information/feedback anyone can offer.

There are many differences (size, lenses, color, speed, tethering experience, flash sync speed, detail rendering, method of viewing, autofocus type/speed). Some will be positive, others negative. They are VERY different systems.

Best bet in my blatantly biased (see signature) opinion is to work with a dealer that can set up a test for you to see for yourself those differences.

Second best bet is to work with a dealer that can provide you example raw files of various backs that are similar in style/type to the ones you shoot.

MrSmith

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 01:02:17 PM »

personally if this was a business purchase i wouldn't bother with changing to an older 22mpixel back. i have used various phase/blad 22mp backs(not leaf) and would spend the money on the best lenses for 35mm rather than a low mp MFD system, big difference going to a 39-40mpixel system though and for me that's a more logical step.
your situation is probably different than mine though.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 01:08:48 PM »

Hi,

I recently acquired a P45+ and a Hasselblad 555 ELD with a few lenses. I don't shoot studio, but I have written down some of my experience here: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/76-my-medium-format-digital-journey

Some of that may be of interest.

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 02:02:54 PM by ErikKaffehr »
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Rob C

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 01:36:46 PM »

There used to be a guy here - Fred BGG or something like that - who had a lot of advice about the very question troubling you.

He seems to have departed, but I'm sure you'll be able to find some of his writing if you search the pro parts of the site.

To cut a possibly long debate short - his views, roughly, were that Nikon D800 cameras met many of the MF claims and offered many particular advantages that MF simply couldn't, for a fraction of the cost. Mostly, this didn't go down well with MF owners for obvious reasons, and I've only had MF film cameras, so can't offer input based on personal experience.

Of course, as with anything on the Internet, you can read and discuss yourself to a standstill.

Some readers here live in cities where they have the luxury of trying before they buy; I never had that, and my feeling, consequently, is that if you can afford it, perhaps the best route is to buy comfortably within your means and just see how it goes over a few months. If you are in your late forties, don't buy anything: chances are it's your menopause doing the talking, and you'll make tragic mistakes. I sure did, several expensive times. My wife said not a thing, but wept quietly into her G&T. She had the patience and understanding of a saint.

;-(

Rob C

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 02:06:27 PM »

Hi,

Yes, Fred BG had much good advice. I would say the comparison with the Nikon D800/D800E is very valid.

There is a very nice guy here, Michael Ezra, who shoots Mamiya ZD and Nikon D800 (or Nikon D800E?) I'm sure he is glad to share.

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr


There used to be a guy here - Fred BGG or something like that - who had a lot of advice about the very question troubling you.

He seems to have departed, but I'm sure you'll be able to find some of his writing if you search the pro parts of the site.

To cut a possibly long debate short - his views, roughly, were that Nikon D800 cameras met many of the MF claims and offered many particular advantages that MF simply couldn't, for a fraction of the cost. Mostly, this didn't go down well with MF owners for obvious reasons, and I've only had MF film cameras, so can't offer input based on personal experience.

Of course, as with anything on the Internet, you can read and discuss yourself to a standstill.

Some readers here live in cities where they have the luxury of trying before they buy; I never had that, and my feeling, consequently, is that if you can afford it, perhaps the best route is to buy comfortably within your means and just see how it goes over a few months. If you are in your late forties, don't buy anything: chances are it's your menopause doing the talking, and you'll make tragic mistakes. I sure did, several expensive times. My wife said not a thing, but wept quietly into her G&T. She had the patience and understanding of a saint.

;-(

Rob C

HarperPhotos

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 04:15:27 PM »

Hello Darktiger.

This is my take on your question. Firstly I have been a medium format and large format shooter for 28 years and have be the proud owner of a Leaf Aptus 75 for the past seven years using it on a Sinar P2, Mamya RZProIID and Mamiya 645 AFDII camera systems.

Since the Nikon D800E and D800 cameras came out last year I have sold all of the above systems cause for me and my business they became completely redundant.

This is a list of the lenses I use below with the Nikons
 
Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 G lens
Nikon 16-35mm F4.0 VRII G lens
Nikon 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 VRII G lens
Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VRII G lens
Sigma 15mm F2.8 Fisheye lens
Nikon 24mm F3.5 PC-E lens
Nikon 28mm F1.8 G lens
Nikon 35mm F1.4 G lens
Nikon 35mm F2.8 shift lens
Nikon 45mm F2.8 PC-E lens
Nikon 50mm F1.4 G lens
Nikon 60mm F2.8 G Macro lens
Nikon 85mm F1.4 G lens
Nikon 85mm F2.8 PC-E lens
Nikon 300mm F4.0 D lens
Nikon TC-14E Teleconverter
Nikon TC-17E II Teleconverter

The new G lenses from Nikon are simply superb in resolution with there new Nano coatings.
 
I also use a Horseman VCC Pro adaptor for my table top work, art reproduction and some car shots. This adaptor for me is indispensable the lenses I use on it are,
 
Rodenstock 60mm, 135mm, 150mm Rodagon lenses
Rodenstock 75mm, 80mm, 105mm, 120mm Apo Rodagon lenses

So as you can see the range and versatility is vastly superior to the Mamiya/Phase system.

So for me and me alone Medium format does not offer me any advantages to the quality of my work and to my clients.

Darktiger if you like please contact me personally and I can send you some raw images to show you what I am talking about.

Also FredBGG was banned from Lula hence why he is not here any more. Fred and I keep in contact and I have to say I miss his opinions on this site.

Cheers

Simon
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 05:07:17 PM by HarperPhotos »
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Simon Harper
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kers

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 05:39:53 PM »


"...Also FredBGG was banded from Lula hence why he is not here any more. Fred and I keep in contact and I have to say I miss his opinions on this site...."

I hope you are not serious; (!?!)
I very much appreciated his on arguments based opinion... i found his contribution very to the point and informative.
He got a lot of criticism but usually none that made his arguments less valid...
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Pieter Kers
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HarperPhotos

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 05:43:45 PM »

Hi Kers,

That is what Fred said in his email to me last week.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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bjanes

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 05:53:18 PM »


Also FredBGG was banded from Lula hence why he is not here any more. Fred and I keep in contact and I have to say I miss his opinions on this site.

Cheers

Simon


Simon,

Do you mean that he was banned from the LuLa forum? If so, what were the reasons?

Regards,

Bill
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HarperPhotos

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 06:01:20 PM »

Hi Bill,

Yes he writes that he is banned from the Lula forum. He did write why he was banned but I don’t think it is right for me to mention the reason given on this site as it is between Fred and the administrators of this forum.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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K.C.

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 12:40:53 AM »

Do you mean that he was banned from the LuLa forum? If so, what were the reasons?


I'll venture a guess. Civility. Or I should say, his complete lack of it.

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DavidP

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 02:11:49 AM »

I feel like most of the disadvantages of the medium format more or less are equalized in the studio. Most backs will easily keep up with the flash recycle and usually the tethering works even better with firewire  then those mini usb cables. I would want at least 39megapixel though. Smaller will not differentiate from most dslr's now in resolution and more so, 22 megapixel backs seem to be very prone to moire, at least in my experience. I shoot a P45+ and it is just rock solid in the studio. They do keep improving the DSLR's though. I am not sure if in another generation or so, if I would not switch to dslr.
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heinrichvoelkel

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2013, 04:40:07 AM »

I'll venture a guess. Civility. Or I should say, his complete lack of it.



Quit talking about someone who is not in the room.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2013, 04:45:32 AM »

Who, who is without sin may cast the first stone...

Best regards
Erik

I'll venture a guess. Civility. Or I should say, his complete lack of it.


Rob C

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2013, 05:01:09 AM »

Quit talking about someone who is not in the room.



Yes, and even better, point out a post where he was vulgarly offensive or seriously mistaken in his advice. If anything, he could post interesting comparison images, and even if they did become a bit boring to regular readers here, they were still invaluable to newbies or anyone doing research, such as the OP.

Oh well.

Rob C

jerome_m

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2013, 07:00:55 AM »

So in a studio, is there a big difference between a D800/5DMkIII and a 645ADF/II and the Aptus 22mp back?  I am looking for images out of the camera with minor editing.. I would like skin tones, sharpness, etc to be as close to natural as possible.

I rarely work in a studio, but I use a Sony A900, Nikon D800 and Hasselblad H3D, so my experience may be of some relevance.

A word of caution first. Basically, if all one does is photograph test charts or measure sharpness, dynamic range and color accuracy, one will find out that 24x36 cameras work very well indeed. But this is also a consequence of how the test is done: by reducing all variables to the common denominator, one will necessary find commonalities.

If you are taking pictures of real subjects and are "looking for images out of the camera with minor editing", you may find out that MF images are generally more pleasing. Most noticeably: caucasian skin tones are more pleasing out of the camera and bokeh is generally smoother. The difference is not like day and night, but it is noticeable to the eye.

You should also not forget that there are differences beyond sensor size:
-MF has a much better viewfinder
-MF has a much poorer AF: accurate but slow
-aliasing is a problem on MF backs
-MF top iso range is quite low
-size and weight (obviously)
-lack of zoom lenses (or it is even more size and weight)
-MF lenses are generally very sharp but relatively slow. The availability of very fast lenses in 24x36 allows it to produce thinner depth of field than MF, BTW (contrary to the popular belief).

(the following two do not concern the 645AF, which has a focal plane shutter:
-MF has a higher flash sync speed, which is useful with outdoor flash
-MF has a much lower top shutter speed)

Also: before you buy a 22mp back, I strongly suggest to check the used prices of more recent backs or the price of a new Pentax MF camera. Prices have dropped in the past months.
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uaiomex

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2013, 11:14:26 AM »

Finally he got banned. I used to wonder how Michael could put up with him. I believe the main reason was that he was a very valuable contributor to the forum.

It sucks anyway. I wish him to come back with all his knowledge and opinions. His opinions were often provocative and repetitive though.

Hey Fred, if you read this, please come back in due time and this time practice a little common sense. I miss you already.

Eduardo

I'll venture a guess. Civility. Or I should say, his complete lack of it.


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Ken R

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2013, 11:51:05 AM »

Lot's of good advice has already been said.

I also agree that a camera system is a very personal choice. Medium Format Digital systems however do not have as wide acceptance and appeal as say a Canon or Nikon system for many reasons. They do offer some unique possibilities. It's all about the pro's and con's in your specific case and your needs/wants and style.
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pedro39photo

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Re: Question about MF vs 35mm in the studio
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2013, 12:14:26 PM »

"This is my take on your question. Firstly I have been a medium format and large format shooter for 28 years and have be the proud owner of a Leaf Aptus 75 for the past seven years using it on a Sinar P2, Mamya RZProIID and Mamiya 645 AFDII camera systems."

Since the Nikon D800E and D800 cameras came out last year I have sold all of the above systems cause for me and my business they became completely redundant.

Hello Simon Harper

Can you tell me if your latest works that you have in your website are shoot with D800 ?

http://www.harperphoto.com/latest-images/

How can you deal with product shots and macros with the diffraction limit of the D800 of about f8/f11 ??

Great work...

Pedro
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