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Author Topic: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)  (Read 56129 times)

Brian Hirschfeld

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My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« on: June 02, 2015, 01:04:16 pm »

Hi Guys,

http://brianhirschfeldphotography.com/2015/06/02/new-phaseone-xf-camera-body-announced/

Above you can find a link to my thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF Camera body. I think that it offers a number of great improvements, making it the most modern and integrated medium format digital camera body that has been made thus far.

I will be trying to get some hands on time with it very soon.

What do you think?

Best,
BH
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Doug Peterson

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2015, 01:58:46 pm »

Nice writeup!

EricWHiss

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2015, 02:01:11 pm »

Hi Brian,

Nice write up. I'm excited to see any totally new camera in the field and Phase should be commended for it.   Quick take having only read the announcements and not seen in person is that its the self driving car of cameras - seems very intelligent.  I'm sure we'll see lot's of software updates for it down the road.

Pluses:
   WLF and 90 degree prism options - very nice to have choices.
   High sync speed and built in profoto air
   Shared battery - can save weight (and it may need it)
   Excellent back to camera integration
   Auto focus improvements sound promising - though I don't totally know what the Honeybee AF is capable of.

Minuses:
   Cost
   Weight - not a real problem for me but surprised this would be heavier.
   Ergonomics - menus and screens don't replace dedicated switches for good ergonomics.  Also not a fan or having to tilt the camera and my head to shoot portrait.


The XF looks like a real improvement over the DF+ and I wish Phase success with it.    I'm biased, but I do still think the ergonomics of the Hy6 are hard to beat, especially with the rotating sensor of the Leaf AFi-ii series.

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BJL

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My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF: an EVF option for verticals etc.?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2015, 02:14:50 pm »

Minuses:
. . .
   Ergonomics . . .  Also not a fan or having to tilt the camera and my head to shoot portrait.
There only seems to be one hope for convenient verticals now that square formats are dead: combining a rotatable back with an EVF option.  Maybe a rotatable, twistable EVF that could be used for both eye-level and waist-level operation.  With the return of interchangeable VF's, this become a bit more feasible, at least as an option, and could also be nice for avoiding mirror slap.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 03:56:25 pm by BJL »
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uaiomex

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2015, 03:52:20 pm »

+1
The XF is the best and most integrated 645 camera. The Hy6 still is the all over champion. Imo
Eduardo


Hi Brian,

Nice write up. I'm excited to see any totally new camera in the field and Phase should be commended for it.   Quick take having only read the announcements and not seen in person is that its the self driving car of cameras - seems very intelligent.  I'm sure we'll see lot's of software updates for it down the road.

Pluses:
   WLF and 90 degree prism options - very nice to have choices.
   High sync speed and built in profoto air
   Shared battery - can save weight (and it may need it)
   Excellent back to camera integration
   Auto focus improvements sound promising - though I don't totally know what the Honeybee AF is capable of.

Minuses:
   Cost
   Weight - not a real problem for me but surprised this would be heavier.
   Ergonomics - menus and screens don't replace dedicated switches for good ergonomics.  Also not a fan or having to tilt the camera and my head to shoot portrait.


The XF looks like a real improvement over the DF+ and I wish Phase success with it.    I'm biased, but I do still think the ergonomics of the Hy6 are hard to beat, especially with the rotating sensor of the Leaf AFi-ii series.


« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 03:55:06 pm by uaiomex »
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rwarshaw

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2015, 04:41:00 pm »

All:

The 645 format made some sense as a way to save on costs in the days of film but I don't understand why it has persisted in the digital age.  Having used 6x6, 6x7 and 4x5 I greatly prefer any of them to a 6x4.5 aspect ratio.  Does anyone know why this format was chosen?  That said, the new camera sounds terrific and I'll try to come to Philadelphia to see it on June 19th. 
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barihunk

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 04:59:37 pm »

My bottom line: at 8k for the body + viewfinder alone, one could already easily get a 645z that comes with a sensor. What insane pricing.

Hi Guys,

http://brianhirschfeldphotography.com/2015/06/02/new-phaseone-xf-camera-body-announced/

Above you can find a link to my thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF Camera body. I think that it offers a number of great improvements, making it the most modern and integrated medium format digital camera body that has been made thus far.

I will be trying to get some hands on time with it very soon.

What do you think?

Best,
BH
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BJL

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The 645 format made some sense as a way to save on costs in the days of film but I don't understand why it has persisted in the digital age.  Having used 6x6, 6x7 and 4x5 I greatly prefer any of them to a 6x4.5 aspect ratio.  Does anyone know why this format was chosen? 
Firstly, the cost factor is still there: enlarging a "medium format" sensor by one third in height to get a square format would increase its cost substantially. Further, most of the time, the added part of the image would be cropped away: the great majority of prints and displayed still images are in shapes ranging from about 5:4 to 3:2, and this was true even when printing from 6x6 negatives.

There is a case for the 5:4 shape of "6x7" format for portraiture, but for most other uses like landscapes, there would be more cropping, and so more wasting of expensive sensor real estate.  4:3 sits nicely amidst the range, so on average it keeps down the wastage to cropping.

What is lost from the film era is the ability for cameras to use the same film stock to produce frame of different shapes. (Sometimes even in the same camera; couldn't the RB67 also do 6x8?)  So fewer different shapes and sizes are viable in the low-volume, high-end DMF sector.
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michael

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2015, 05:14:40 pm »

Really? You think $8K for the XF body and viewfinder is out of line?

Have you priced an M Leica? $7K

Have you priced the upcoming 007 S Leica? $25K

Have you priced a Nikon D4S? $7K

In the light of this, why would you consider the new Phase One XF's price to be out of line?

Michael
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eronald

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I think historically 645 and 6x6 is a descendant of the 6x9 plate format that was very popular in travel folders at the beginning of the 1900s; I used 6x9 sheet film in plate-to-film adapters when I learnt to photograph, and there were also 120 rollfilm adapters for these ancestors. Then there was the rollfilm Super Ikonta of which there was a 6x6 and 6x9 version, and other superb folders like the Plaubel Makina which was already 4.5x6 or 6x9.

The iconic MF cameras were the Rolleiflex and the Hasselblad, with their square format and single look-down camera orientation. I miss it.
Of course, I don't expect "modern professional" photographers like Synn to understand this oldfashioned nostalgia for the square.

Edmund

Firstly, the cost factor is still there: enlarging a "medium format" sensor by one third in height to get a square format would increase its cost substantially. Further, most of the time, the added part of the image would be cropped away: the great majority of prints and displayed still images are in shapes ranging from about 5:4 to 3:2, and this was true even when printing from 6x6 negatives.

There is a case for the 5:4 shape of "6x7" format for portraiture, but for most other uses like landscapes, there would be more cropping, and so more wasting of expensive sensor real estate.  4:3 sits nicely amidst the range, so on average it keeps down the wastage to cropping.

What is lost from the film era is the ability for cameras to use the same film stock to produce frame of different shapes. (Sometimes even in the same camera; couldn't the RB67 also do 6x8?)  So fewer different shapes and sizes are viable in the low-volume, high-end DMF sector.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 05:27:58 pm by eronald »
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BJL

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I think historically 645 and 6x6 is a descendant of the 6x9 plate format that was very popular in travel folders at the beginning of the 1900s; I used 6x9 sheet film in plate-to-film adapters when I learnt to photograph, and there were also 120 rollfilm adapters for these ancestors. Then there was the rollfilm Super Ikonta of which there was a 6x6 and 6x9 version, and other superb folders like the Plaubel Makina which was already 4.5x6 or 6x9.
True; I omitted mention of the wider "panoramic" shapes (also possible with the same 120 roll film) because they go in the opposite direction from rwarshaw's question about the loss of square and 5:4 formats.

The iconic MF cameras were the Rolleiflex and the Hasselblad, with their square format and single look-down camera orientation.
Nostalgia aside, the underlined words are the only reason that cameras in square format cameras were ever made and sold in sufficient numbers to be economically viable.  The rise of eye-level viewfinders (maybe with the rotating back of the Mamiya RB67) was the beginning of then end.  Though I must say, I sometimes enjoy using my EM5 at waist level, composing on the flipped out rear-screen and stabilizing by resting it on my belly fat, and then it would be nice to do verticals without a massive crop, so I can see why someone who takes a lot more verticals than I do would like a less "short and wide" format.
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jjj

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2015, 05:45:28 pm »

Firstly, the cost factor is still there: enlarging a "medium format" sensor by one third in height to get a square format would increase its cost substantially. Further, most of the time, the added part of the image would be cropped away: the great majority of prints and displayed still images are in shapes ranging from about 5:4 to 3:2, and this was true even when printing from 6x6 negatives.

There is a case for the 5:4 shape of "6x7" format for portraiture, but for most other uses like landscapes, there would be more cropping, and so more wasting of expensive sensor real estate.  4:3 sits nicely amidst the range, so on average it keeps down the wastage to cropping.

What is lost from the film era is the ability for cameras to use the same film stock to produce frame of different shapes. (Sometimes even in the same camera; couldn't the RB67 also do 6x8?)  So fewer different shapes and sizes are viable in the low-volume, high-end DMF sector.
The big thing that bugs me about MFDSLRs is the lack of a square sensor. Such cameras are not exactly handy for portrait orientated shooting, particularly with a waist level finder.  Square means you can shoot both landscape and portrait in one go, not to mention that the 1:1 ratio is quite nice in itself. I often crop down to 1:1.
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Chris Barrett

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2015, 05:49:31 pm »

CB commentary:  Is it time for margaritas yet?

eronald

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2015, 05:56:24 pm »

CB commentary:  Is it time for margaritas yet?

 Yes, provided they come in square glasses :)

Edmund
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eronald

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 06:26:55 pm »

J,

 I got this for free at my local camera store. It is square MF, older than most of us, and has zero shutter lag.

 *You* sound too much like I usually do. I think you need another margarita :)

Edmund
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 06:33:47 pm by eronald »
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Jeffery Salter

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2015, 06:40:37 pm »

@barihunk
My bottom line: at 8k for the body + viewfinder alone, one could already easily get a 645z that comes with a sensor. What insane pricing.


Not sure what the 645z has to do with this topic, if you want the Pentax then go buy one, take some pictures and left us know how it goes. Furthermore the H5X body and finder is near 8k at BH photo so you @barihunk have that as an option.

I intend to purchase the Phase One XF. My IQ260 has never let me down and I own five absolutely crisp Schneider Kreuznach LS lenses that have been waiting for a new body.  The XF is well designed and integrated for the I/Q series.  The build and shape appeals to my aesthetic.  Of course what's under the hood of the camera is of the upmost importance.   Auto focus locking in and a responsive shutter button are two things high on my list.


« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 06:42:48 pm by Jeffery Salter »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2015, 07:14:53 pm »

Michael maybe except the difference is with those other cameras u can make a photo (and btw Leica is kind of a strange  comparison) and 8k for the phase body just gets you the sound of making a photo.

Exactly.

There is no discussing that the prices are high. Now it probably indeed won't be a problem for those already owning a Phaseone back, nor for those considering spending 50,000 US$ for the working cameras including a back and a second lens.

At least now you get what appears to be a very nice body for that price and the prices aren't that much higher than those of the old cameras. ;)

I love the approach they have chosen to set the auto mode and the limits on speed/aperture/ISO. Nikon had the best Auto ISO feature till date, this is even better. Overall it seems like a very well thought out system, congrats to Phase one!

The thing that would personally bother me more is the weight. My arm already feels pretty tired after carrying a D810 and Otus 85mm f1.4 and that combo is less than 2 kgs. The camera+back+most lenses will be close to 3kg. That makes it hard to shoot handheld for most photographers.

I cannot afford it now and would prefer a larger CMOS chip in the 90MP range anyway. Hopefully the IQ490 (just guessing) 2 years down the road will be the perfect camera and I'll have saved the cash by then. ;)

Kevin and Doug have already made it pretty clear they don't see a larger CMOS next year.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 09:19:32 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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eronald

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2015, 07:21:33 pm »

I like Michael and Kevin's frontpage writeup and interview. Very clean and clear.

Edmund
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Chris Barrett

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2015, 08:10:57 pm »

Damn.  That was a big margarita!  Anyway... what was I saying?  Right... cameras are utterly irrelevant.  Vision and skill, that's what sells.

ndevlin

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2015, 10:06:16 pm »

Michael maybe except the difference is with those other cameras u can make a photo (and btw Leica is kind of a strange  comparison) and 8k for the phase body just gets you the sound of making a photo.

Ok, that was spit-up-my-smoothie level funny.  And, in the words of H.J. Simpson, "It's funny 'cause it's true."

- N.
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