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Author Topic: Medium format redefined  (Read 65526 times)

eronald

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2015, 04:55:11 pm »

I do not hate Phase One or any other medium format gear. I think that medium format has its applications, and there may very well be some differences in color rendition that make medium format preferable for some people and some applications. All I am trying to say is that Synn's examples are not sufficiently convincing to me for the purposes of illustrating differences in color rendition between the two systems in question. I think that it would have been preferable to show a color chart and grey scale within the scenes (or perhaps several, in different parts of the scene), both for overall color reference and to use as a target for white balance.

If you haven't seen the difference after looking at samples, then that difference doesn't exist for you.

Edmund
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synn

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2015, 06:08:39 pm »

Synn. Dunno why you waste time justifying your gear choices. Specially to some of the trolls that reside in this forum. I guess there are some folks here that are honestly asking for information. But the trolls pop out in no time to dissuade any PhaseOne interest or god forbid and actual purchase. It is their duty in life to take down PhaseOne. True haters. (Maybe I got it all wrong and they secretly work for other manufacturers? of 35mm gear? and are sabotaging PhaseOne on purpose, or maybe they just despise capitalism? Maybe they are just angry at everything. Only they know. Some of the haters have actually used PhaseOne gear, others, not even a lens cap. Oh well.

Good point, ken. I made the effort in case somebody googles this thread up looking for info. Not gonna make any more effort. There are enough career specialists in the forum to provide the mind numbing charts and graphs proof that some cannot do without. Some of us unfortunately have to be content with shooting only real world images.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 06:16:06 pm by synn »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2015, 07:13:29 pm »



p.s. The last time I posted this sample, a well know Nikon supporter in the forum had a near-meltdown over it. One of his complaints were that the exposure times were different. Sadly, it seems like he is unaware of the fact that claimed ISO numbers for manufacturers is not necessarily the actual ones and when shooting in aperture priority, exposure times will vary from camera to camera. I invited him to do his own tests, haven't seen one yet. ;)

No, I provided you with feedback that the D800 image appears to be over-exposed. I read your PM in which you blamed the camera meter... which was an acknowledgement of the exposure problem (which is the moment you put me in your black list...). Yet you keep posting the same images as a demonstration of a color issue.

I am more than willing to admit the superiority of whatever camera over the D800 (and it should be superior considering the important price premium), but confusing amount of exposure with color quality is a bit weak in terms of factual data.

Yet I am the "Nikon guy" and you are the "I own both so I don't care guy". ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 11:08:03 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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Theodoros

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2015, 07:42:21 pm »

I can understand some things... but I can't understand what the word "redifined" in the OP's title means... or where it refers to... may he explain please?
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alexluuphoto

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2015, 09:40:43 pm »

What a messy thread lol! Tbh I think the op just needs to use a dmf camera to get what the real big deal is. I don't think you can show anyone what you can see over the Internet. also I do like 35mm over the mf file of the first example of the Asian lady. Not because of colors but the composition was better lol. composition over camera.
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AlterEgo

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2015, 10:30:36 pm »

For LR, I use the Spyder Color Checkr and their associated software to create profiles for different lighting conditions (For each camera, of course), tweak a bit to taste and save them. I use these as starting points.

OEM software from DataColor does not create profiles - it creates presets... so you are still using Adobe profiles... so I think we shall stop right here about the quality of demonstrated conversions for the purposes of illustration, no ?
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AlterEgo

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2015, 10:32:33 pm »

What I do not agree with is that C1P puts a subpar effort in for 135 files.
but it does _versus_ the profiles for their MFDBs ...
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AlterEgo

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2015, 10:40:46 pm »

Could you do this with a 50mm 2.0 with your DSLR? f/1.4? f/1.2?  and what about your MFT camera?   My experience is there's ___3 stops difference___ in aperture between MF and 135 but even after you adjust the aperture you still don't get the same look.


snake oil is alive and well... not 6 stops of DR advantage, but 3 stops difference in aperture for a MF which is at best 2.5 times in sensor size vs FF camera... for all other systems (P&S vs m43 vs APS-C vs FF) 2 times difference = 1 stop...  but MFs has some magical dragon urine sprayed over it so that does not work anymore  ;D
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AlterEgo

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2015, 10:44:11 pm »

Synn. Dunno why you waste time justifying your gear choices. Specially to some of the trolls that reside in this forum. I guess there are some folks here that are honestly asking for information. But the trolls pop out in no time to dissuade any PhaseOne interest or god forbid and actual purchase. It is their duty in life to take down PhaseOne. True haters. (Maybe I got it all wrong and they secretly work for other manufacturers? of 35mm gear? and are sabotaging PhaseOne on purpose, or maybe they just despise capitalism? Maybe they are just angry at everything. Only they know. Some of the haters have actually used PhaseOne gear, others, not even a lens cap. Oh well.
who is troll here though ? the one who exposes raws differently ? the was one Ph.D here who once illustrated something using raw conversion from MF and JPG from a cell phone camera...
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eronald

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2015, 10:49:25 pm »

but it does _versus_ the profiles for their MFDBs ...


That is not necessarily because C1 *wants to* make SLRs look bad, it may be because they actually have more information about their own sensors via their calibration process. In particular there is substantial variation among sensors; a boutique manufacturer like Phase can afford to characterize each individual unit.

Using Canon's DPP vs. Photoshop ACR used to be a day vs night difference, and Adobe do not go out of their way to give users bad images, they just don't care enough about any *one* model to refine the quality. Their business is decent conversion for all cameras, and good workflow.

So let's put aside accusations against C1, they are competing with Adobe and it is not in their interests to be bad even if they can allow themselves to be mediocre.

Irident's Raw developer, Canon's DPP etc. are the software one should use to compare a prosumer dSLR or a Sigma compact against a Phase back. And unless extreme enlargements are necessary, very good files can be obtained from a Sony sensor dSLR with a Zeiss lens, or a Sigma Quattro. There is little reason for matching a Canon Rebel with a kit lens against a $30K back.

Most of the Phase advantage in quality against other brands is negated if the user uses ACR, as it is tied to the integration of the P1 back with C1. Therefore  the ACR user might as well go for a different brand -remember the Pentax has *exactly the same* sensor as the IQ250, in a body that is at least as good as modern as the XF, but at 1/3 the price. And there is a very nice Hasselblad Cmos back out there which will make the users of tech cameras perfectly happy, at again less than half the price of an IQ back.

Phase is a camera brand like any other. We should compliment them on the bulletproof quality of their software/hardware integration, just like Hasselblad has exceptionally good focus for an MF camera, and Leica has peerless lenses. We are allowed to joke about their pricing, and we can tease their unconditionally supportive and passionate... dealers :)

Edmund
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 12:19:34 am by eronald »
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AlterEgo

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2015, 12:01:18 am »

That is not necessarily because C1 *wants to* make SLRs look bad, it may be because they actually have more information about their own sensors via their calibration process. In particular there is substantial variation among sensors; a boutique manufacturer like Phase can afford to characterize each unit.

certainly...
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eronald

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2015, 12:06:58 am »

certainly...

Nikon and Canon -and certainly Sony- know a lot which they don't tell third party converters ...
In particular, they will know what the "blurring functions" are and how to deconvolve them, be it for their own lenses, be it for the sensors. They know what the geometrical deformations are at each distance. They may have a characterization of the individual lens. They know about focus settings. They know how well the sensor batch matches the ideal sensor etc.
You can see all of this at work when you match a Raw from a Sony compact to the incredible Jpeg which comes out of the camera.

Edmund
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 12:09:42 am by eronald »
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Petrus

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2015, 12:57:00 am »

I can understand some things... but I can't understand what the word "redifined" [sic] in the OP's title means... or where it refers to... may he explain please?

OP here, hello…

What I meant was that during the good old film era it was extremely easy to define different formats, it simply was the size of the film which determined it. The image quality was determined by the film size, basically. Along with the film size came different focal length lens sets for each format, which in turn also defined the "look" of each format (mostly lack of DOF with bigger formats). All this was simple because film emulsions were the same for all formats, so IQ was directly tied to the film size.

Now this simple equation size = quality does not hold anymore, as a modern high quality small sensor can and does surpass many so called MF sized sensor in both resolution and especially DR. So what I was suggesting was to redefine MF to mean certain level of IQ regardless of the sensor size. Traditional MF "look" features like shallow DOF can be produced by faster lenses on smaller sensors, so the "look" remains the same.

I am approaching this more from the theoretical angle, scaling a size X sensor up or down with the correct lenses/apertures should give us optically exactly the same results (except diffraction effects). So it should be the end result which determines the "format", not just the sensor size.

Carry on...
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BobShaw

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2015, 02:26:25 am »

I just love being able to buy medium format gear so cheap now because all the sheep are running down the "my tiny sensor is (theoretically?) better than yours" road.
The two tiny JPG images being compared aren't even the same shot.
The trouble is that when you have to print that smaller sensor image it has to be magnified a lot more than the big sensor, so it always loses. Anyway, who cares.
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eronald

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2015, 03:06:31 am »

The old 35mm SLRs had those F1.4 lenses which don't really have an equivalent on cellphones and compact.
As a result, our cellphones have pretty much the resolution of 35mm but not the look, and we need to use real 24x36mm sensors to replace 35mm film.

Edmund

OP here, hello…

What I meant was that during the good old film era it was extremely easy to define different formats, it simply was the size of the film which determined it. The image quality was determined by the film size, basically. Along with the film size came different focal length lens sets for each format, which in turn also defined the "look" of each format (mostly lack of DOF with bigger formats). All this was simple because film emulsions were the same for all formats, so IQ was directly tied to the film size.

Now this simple equation size = quality does not hold anymore, as a modern high quality small sensor can and does surpass many so called MF sized sensor in both resolution and especially DR. So what I was suggesting was to redefine MF to mean certain level of IQ regardless of the sensor size. Traditional MF "look" features like shallow DOF can be produced by faster lenses on smaller sensors, so the "look" remains the same.

I am approaching this more from the theoretical angle, scaling a size X sensor up or down with the correct lenses/apertures should give us optically exactly the same results (except diffraction effects). So it should be the end result which determines the "format", not just the sensor size.

Carry on...
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Chris Livsey

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2015, 04:06:38 am »

You can see all of this at work when you match a Raw from a Sony compact to the incredible Jpeg which comes out of the camera.
Edmund

Interesting, are you saying the Jpeg algorithms vary between individual cameras of the same model, being sensor dependant?
Is here any way of demonstrating that?
I thought that matching a RAW to an in camera jpeg was easier with the makers own software which, as you say, would benefit from their inside knowledge, or does that pick up markers in the RAW file to "guide" the conversion again based on individual/sensor batch calibration?
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torger

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2015, 04:44:33 am »

I'm myself still a beginner when it comes to profile design, but I have some strong indications so far that it ain't easy :)

The first part where you design from test targets or color filter responses is fairly mechanical and automatic, but then to make the subjective adjustments to make it work well with a tone curve and various subjects is the hard part. If you do it manually this means that you need to look at a lot of test pictures and hand-tune manually, test the profile for some time, do some further refinements. It can be weeks before you're satisfied.

Of what I've heard from Capture One profile design process they indeed do the adjustments manually, and they work a long time with it -- for their medium format cameras. Spending many hours or even weeks on a single set of profiles for each camera is of course not reasonable so I assume they use more automatic methods for the consumer cameras, and do their costly manual work only with their medium format cameras.

What I don't know yet is once you've designed a successful look how easily that can be re-used on a new camera. Hopefully much can indeed be re-used and then it's not so much work supporting a new camera. If you have to go through the whole process again though, then you could only focus that effort on the cameras you really care about.

If you use Canon or Nikon's own software for their own cameras you will most likely get access to more worked-through profiles than you get in Adobe Lightroom or Capture One. However there's a lot of taste involved too of course so the profile that has got the most attention may still not match your taste best.

There's a lot of myths and bias in there too. I've seen people praise the "color accuracy" of the medium format cameras, out of the box. But you certainly don't need to have "golden eyes" to see that the profiles have no intention to produce "accurate color". Simple A/B comparison between real objects and captured image in a calibrated system and you see hue shifts, lightness shifts, saturation shifts. Intentionally designed of course, they provide a canned look. The simplest demonstration of this is comparing Leaf and Phase One cameras that share the same sensors, yet with the default profiles produce quite different looks.

I haven't studied Phase One cameras that much, except for the P45+, but I did own a Leaf back. While providing a pleasing look I think they added too much of a look, but they had their oddly name "ProPhoto" mode that was quite neutral. Now I have a Hasselblad and I think it's about the best I've seen so far in the balance between realism and a look, I'd say it's about "95%" realistic, and very subtle looks added, except for high saturation colors which are strongly gamut mapped (desaturated to fit in a smaller gamut, which was how you did things before computers where able to do realtime gamut mapping).

Leaf's strong looks seems to work very effectively as a lock-in though. I've recently been in contact with a user that for external business reasons changed from Leaf Credo to Phase One IQ, and now they have very real issues to achieve the color they want as they've been used to start off with the Leaf canned looks. I think the strongest reasons to develop a workflow with your own custom profiles is simply to avoid this type of lock-in.

I haven't really figured out Adobe. They allow embedding a curve in their profiles, but if you do the colors will be garish, unless you pre-compensate with a LUT. In my own profiles this pre-compensation becomes pretty strong and requires a large LUT, but Adobe's own profiles while pre-compensating some it does it to much lesser extent. That is quite much of this curve look is left in the profile, and I think that is one of the more important reasons that Adobe's color is considered not that good by many. Capture One has a split approach, some of the curve is implemented in the LUT, and some is added on the side. The reason is to counter-act the negative color appearance side effects of the curve. I think it's quite obvious that Capture One have had a better understanding of the color appearance side effects of a curve than Adobe has, and has implemented a better solution in their profiles, at least in the profiles I've studied. There's no problem to fix in Adobe's DNG profiles if you want to, but Adobe doesn't really do it.
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torger

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2015, 04:58:29 am »

I don't think you need any "inside knowledge" of the sensor to make a great profile. What type of knowledge would that be? To accurately measure the sensor's color filter response (spectral sensitivity functions, SSFs) you need gear that cost say $10k - $20k, not consumer stuff but no problem for any of the bigger raw converter makers. Not all use SSFs though, I doubt Phase One does it based on the profile design stories I've heard, I know Hasselblad doesn't (I've asked). When a great deal of the profile design is about manual tuning it's not that important to have the full data on the sensor. You can start of with a simple target-based profile, and the rest is manual tuning.

I instead think the problem is that there are no good automatic methods to make high end general purpose profiles, and making a good manual one requires many hours from a profile designer that has a good eye for color and knows what to achieve (and has the custom software tools to do it), and the most important that this designer has a taste that the users like. I would guess that at each manufacturer there's one or two key people that has the major design impact on how the color becomes.

As there's no "objectively best" concerning color, it's a difficult business. Probably the Adobe folks thinks their color is the best, just as Phase One's. The users decide in the end, but there are varying opinions there too. I would not be surprised if Adobe's color is more popular in the broader user base.
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Chris Livsey

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2015, 06:51:58 am »

This idea of best, and that is rarely the most accurate (however defined), is the problem. My best is not yours.
Simple analogy from my primary work: Hospitals have end of bed drug charts, you would think in the UK we would have a single best NHS chart, no, each hospital has it's own, which is best, for them. A DG, district general, hospital has different requirements than a specialist transplant centre. They all do the same job, there is no global best.
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torger

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Re: Medium format redefined
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2015, 08:49:34 am »

Some aspects may also seem "objective" while they're not. For example if a camera is better to separate various shades of greens in green foliage. While better color separation may seem an objective improvement, this aspect can also be designed in the profile. In the foliage example simply by stretching the gamut in the green range. The opposite, compressing the gamut, is a quite common adjustment to do in the skintone range to make skin look smoother. Of course by stretching in some range you need to compress in some other, so there's always a trade-off.

Camera hardware do differ in how good they are at separating color, but of what I've seen so far it's one of the least important factors, as any reasonably modern camera is already very good at the job.

When working with profiles I've noted that how highlight rolloff into the whitepoint is handled has quite a big impact on the look. It seemed like a minor detail at first, but the rolloff into white starts already in the midtones and there can be quite some difference in how you choose to desaturate into white. For regular reproduction work this has no meaning as you don't have curves and you don't clip stuff there, but for general-purpose profiles this is a key aspect. It also illustrates a thing about subjective profile design that's not really about altering hues into something "better" than the accurate hue, but how to model a scene's appearance with the limited dynamic range of a screen or print.

This aspect also has a great impact on how a thing like a bright saturated flower is rendered. With a sharp rolloff you may keep the true hue almost all the way to clipping, but with a longer rolloff the different shades of desaturated tones may make up a more refined look and show more detail in terms of luminance.

It's actually quite basic bits of color rendering, but since we as users have since the introduction of digital photography let the manufacturers deliver canned looks to us few have thought about how it actually works and how you could make it better. Instead users have assumed that the hardware, mostly the camera sensor, is where most color magic happens. I think this has been good for the medium format segment, as it's easier to motivate high hardware prices when the performance sits in the hardware rather than in the software (well, 10 years ago the hardware really was vastly superior), and it has always been simpler to sell expensive hardware than expensive software. If the pricing model were adapted to which part that provides the most value, digital backs would be a lot cheaper and Capture One would be a very expensive piece of software.
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