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Author Topic: Why Medium Format?  (Read 40047 times)

sbernthal

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2016, 08:45:14 am »

Why would a pro want MF?

- Better colors by far
- Better optics by far
- Clean your own sensor perfectly and without having a fit
- No AA filter
- Super solid tethering
- Best results from C1 which is the best post processing software right now and in the foreseeable future
- And no Theodorus, I wouldn't buy a Pentax even if they made a camera out of bacon. They don't have C1, and their glass is still not there.

There are very many different types of photographers that can call themselves pros, they are certainly not all characterized by similar needs. I can see why Canon and Nikon would be perfect for many if not most of them. I do know my clients often ask about MF.

A different question is why you would need the latest back?
- High pixel count means you don't need to reposition the camera as much, and you can crop only some of the frame, still have all the pixels you need with less effort.
- You can include more than one item in one frame and the separate them, and still have some pixels to spare.
- Some clients demand 10000 pixels width or even more
If you are willing to work harder, then the earlier backs give you 99% same results for 20% of the cost.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2016, 09:19:00 am »

Hi Bart,

Yes, right, but we have a bunch of 24x36 mm lenses with f/1.4 that are usable wide open.

Best regards
Erik


They will offer shallower DOF if one shoots approx. the same FOV, because a longer focal length will be used to produce an image circle and FOV that covers the physically larger sensor array.

Cheers,
Bart
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Theodoros

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2016, 09:20:13 am »

Why would a pro want MF?

- Better colors by far
- Better optics by far
- Clean your own sensor perfectly and without having a fit
- No AA filter
- Super solid tethering
- Best results from C1 which is the best post processing software right now and in the foreseeable future
- And no Theodorus, I wouldn't buy a Pentax even if they made a camera out of bacon. They don't have C1, and their glass is still not there.

There are very many different types of photographers that can call themselves pros, they are certainly not all characterized by similar needs. I can see why Canon and Nikon would be perfect for many if not most of them. I do know my clients often ask about MF.

A different question is why you would need the latest back?
- High pixel count means you don't need to reposition the camera as much, and you can crop only some of the frame, still have all the pixels you need with less effort.
- You can include more than one item in one frame and the separate them, and still have some pixels to spare.
- Some clients demand 10000 pixels width or even more
If you are willing to work harder, then the earlier backs give you 99% same results for 20% of the cost.

You don't seem to read what you are quoting on... Who ever suggested that you should buy a Pentax camera?  There was a (hypothetical) back proposed and the Pentax name was only suggested because they have in production the technology to add the features that most of the current Cmos backs miss... Backs don't require the lenses out of a maker either... they are stand alone devices... C1 you can use with all DSLRs... Customers that require a specific high number of pixels (and not just set a minimum) are simply ignorants... If they do insist, I would propose one to deliver upsampled files.

I'm using Sinarback 54H & Hasselblad CF-39MS with my MF DSLR and then with my Fuji GX-680 and (modified) Sinar P2... I don't consider DOWNgrading to a CMOS back as it would only add functionality that my DSLRs already offer... MO is that professional equipment should be chosen as to cope with as many different tasks as possible, should be kept to a minimum and should provide long term efficiency...

Note that LV with my 54H on the Fuji GX-680 is of superb quality, especially if Sinar's LC shutter is added in front of the lens... and then the image quality out of the 54H  shot in multishot mode, is of quality that an 100mp Cmos back of today can't even dream of.... One has to experience what complete absence of artifacts, absence of processor, having the Niquist limit quadrubled, having 48 bits of color depth captured and having real color calibration means as to have a reference of what ultimate quality means.
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voidshatter

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2016, 09:25:52 am »

They will offer shallower DOF if one shoots approx. the same FOV, because a longer focal length will be used to produce an image circle and FOV that covers the physically larger sensor array.

Cheers,
Bart

Fullframe 645 + 80mm f2.8 = 35mm format + 50mm f1.8

How is it going to compete against Leica 50mm f0.95? It can't even compete against 50mm f1.4
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Theodoros

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2016, 09:36:07 am »

Fullframe 645 + 80mm f2.8 = 35mm format + 50mm f1.8

How is it going to compete against Leica 50mm f0.95? It can't even compete against 50mm f1.4

Try Contax 80mm f2 and then 140mm f2.8....
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2016, 09:46:25 am »

Hi,

On the other hand:

  • You can spend some time on making your own colour profiles
  • I am not sure that MFD optics are better "by far" with all new Otuses, Batises and Sigma A-s.
  • You may need to clean that sensor more often with that large mirror flipping around
  • Lack of aliasing filter is great if you need aliasing. Sony A7rII, Nikon D810 and Canon 5DsR all lack AA-filter.
  • Yes C1 is probably great, but I would rather spend some time learning LR than spending 10-20k$ on a camera that uses C1. MFD is by the way more than Team Phase One. There are cameras like Leica S, Pentax 645 and Hasselblad... and none of them is supported by C1. But C1 does support Canon, Nikon, Sony and other non MFD devices.


But, absolutely, if you need > 50 MP, love C1 and have the budget, the high MP Team Phase backs are an obvious choice.

Best regards
Erik
Why would a pro want MF?

- Better colors by far
- Better optics by far
- Clean your own sensor perfectly and without having a fit
- No AA filter
- Super solid tethering
- Best results from C1 which is the best post processing software right now and in the foreseeable future
- And no Theodorus, I wouldn't buy a Pentax even if they made a camera out of bacon. They don't have C1, and their glass is still not there.

There are very many different types of photographers that can call themselves pros, they are certainly not all characterized by similar needs. I can see why Canon and Nikon would be perfect for many if not most of them. I do know my clients often ask about MF.

A different question is why you would need the latest back?
- High pixel count means you don't need to reposition the camera as much, and you can crop only some of the frame, still have all the pixels you need with less effort.
- You can include more than one item in one frame and the separate them, and still have some pixels to spare.
- Some clients demand 10000 pixels width or even more
If you are willing to work harder, then the earlier backs give you 99% same results for 20% of the cost.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 10:06:05 am by ErikKaffehr »
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Erik Kaffehr
 

landscapephoto

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2016, 09:54:00 am »

Unfortunately digital medium format won't offer shallower DoF when compared against Canon/Nikon/Sony's 35mm cameras and lenses.

Indeed. That is a myth to bust. MF would offer shallower DoF for the same perspective and aperture. In practice, because of the extremely fast lenses available for 24x36, that format has the thinner DoF.
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voidshatter

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2016, 10:00:27 am »

Try Contax 80mm f2 and then 140mm f2.8....

IQ180 + Contax 80mm f2 = 35mm format 50mm f1.3 < 5DSR + 50mm f1.2 < Canon 50mm f1.0 < Leica 50mm f0.95

IQ180 + Contax 140mm f2.8 = 35mm format 90mm f1.8 < 5DSR + 85mm f1.2

Unless you get the Zeiss 1700mm f4, it's not possible to defeat 35mm format in terms of bokehliciousness.


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torger

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2016, 10:03:36 am »

The gear looks more expensive than it is. The professional is in an upgrade program. Compared to financing salaries camera gear cost is less of a problem. This means that even if there are relatively minor advantages it can still be worth it to the professional.

The MF companies have a long history of working with certain types of professional photography and have very streamlined workflows for that, it just works and delivers great quality without lots of tweaking. Planned photography in the studio is where MF shines. And then technical photography has been a small but strong niche for MF, mainly product photography and architecture in the professional world.

While not being exactly cheap stuff, legacy MF gear is quite accessible to the amateur. I'm myself using that, and the reason is to be able to use "large format technique" but without having to mess with film. Linhof Techno + a digital back is the best alternative out there. In this case I'd say it's more about desired workflow and shooting experience than anything else, just like some actually shoot large format film.
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Garry Sarre

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2016, 10:29:13 am »

Because Spock does.
That, and I can focus manually for portrait and not miss the shot
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Theodoros

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2016, 10:50:17 am »

I think O/P's question "Why MF" is put right, while many try to turn it to one of the thousands "comparison discussions" that have dominated the forums over the last 15 years or so...

I would agree once more that the use of MF is to supplement the smaller format and not to replace it... I would also agree that the supplementary use is more a matter that would concern a pro than an enthousiast amateur who has the money to spent...

I honestly don't see a reason why one (even a pro) should buy MF equipment if the tasks he is going to deal with can also be performed with a DSLR... After all, skills will always be on top of sensor ability and this has been taught to us through out recent past where the photographs made a decade ago have nothing to be jealous of the respective modern production...

I'd rather see people discuss what supplementary use is instead of arguing on the advantages  or the disadvantages between formats for tasks where both are capable of...

One can't argue that color profiles and methods of calibration used with MF makers for fashion, skin tones and modelling where a world apart from DSLRs a few years ago and there is still quite a margin for DSLRs as to catch up (despite the improvement) no matter the profiling used with them...

Multishot is available with DSLRs now and surely its use is to expand among more FF makers, but it is still no where near good enough as to be used for reproduction work or is supported by dedicated software that is up to the task...

Definitely, the area that the gap has been significantly narrowed as for the smaller format to seriously threaten the domination of the area with MFDBs is the use of technical cameras with mirrorless cameras used as image areas... By coincidence, this is an area where modern backs are considerably worst than the past when combined with traditional lenses, thus making their appeal to pros even less tempting...

The question to me is rather with the future of MF rather than the abilities of it to improve on one's photography... If MF makers insist to offer products that are trying to compete with DSLRs and then at the field where DSLRs excel and then ask for a fortune as to provide little in addition, I don't see much future to them... 

IMO, Leica/Sinar seems to be the most appealing firm to the pros currently as to supplement their DSLR work and then Hasselblad seems to have understand that there should be a new direction into the proposals made to the market and then that pricing policies have to be revised...



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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2016, 11:03:19 am »

IQ180 + Contax 80mm f2 = 35mm format 50mm f1.3 < 5DSR + 50mm f1.2 < Canon 50mm f1.0 < Leica 50mm f0.95

IQ180 + Contax 140mm f2.8 = 35mm format 90mm f1.8 < 5DSR + 85mm f1.2

You are comparing apples and oranges. Obviously, if you also change the aperture number (as well as focal length) then you'll get yet another/different DOF (or even the same DOF if the specific aperture is available). But following that same 'logic', you can also have a different DOF with one camera when you change the aperture value.

Changing the aperture value can also require a different exposure time, which may not be possible due to other constraints.

Quote
Unless you get the Zeiss 1700mm f4, it's not possible to defeat 35mm format in terms of bokehliciousness.

Bokeh is more about the 'quality' of defocus blur than the amount of it, and it's usually different in front of the plane of best focus and behind that plane.

Cheers,
Bart
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2016, 11:11:21 am »

Indeed. That is a myth to bust. MF would offer shallower DoF for the same perspective and aperture.

Exactly, for the same perspective (and FOV) and aperture. Changing the aperture will cause all sorts of changes, including in the amount of diffraction.

Quote
In practice, because of the extremely fast lenses available for 24x36, that format has the thinner DoF.

It can have thinner DOF, but only if much wider apertures are available, and exposure times may be different.

Cheers,
Bart
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voidshatter

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2016, 11:35:05 am »

You are comparing apples and oranges. Obviously, if you also change the aperture number (as well as focal length) then you'll get yet another/different DOF (or even the same DOF if the specific aperture is available). But following that same 'logic', you can also have a different DOF with one camera when you change the aperture value.

Cheers,
Bart

Let's make it simple:

You have the two following sets of gear:

a) IQ180 + Contax 645 + Contax 80mm f2

b) Leica M240 + Leica 50mm f0.95

These two sets of gear would offer you the same angle of view, hence if you shoot portrait you shoot at the same distance towards the model for the same framing (composition).

When you shoot wide open, you will find set b) offering a much stronger degree of background blur, and the main subject is obviously better separated from the background (aka DoF control).

Conclusion: medium format digital is no match against 35mm format in terms of DoF control.

Changing the aperture value can also require a different exposure time, which may not be possible due to other constraints.

When you shoot with a larger sensor you could bump the ISO higher to compensate the slower aperture and still gets the same SNR when you downsample the image to as if it were shot with a 35mm format. That's why the aperture divided by crop factor is also called the equivalent aperture for low-light SNR (in addition to equivalent aperture for background blur).

Bokeh is more about the 'quality' of defocus blur than the amount of it, and it's usually different in front of the plane of best focus and behind that plane.

I agree that bokeh quality includes CA, onion circles etc which contributes to the smoothness in the transition zones, but here I'm talking about the degree of background blur which is determined by the diameter of circle of confusion.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 11:43:46 am by Yunli Song »
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2016, 12:26:26 pm »

These two sets of gear would offer you the same angle of view, hence if you shoot portrait you shoot at the same distance towards the model for the same framing (composition).

Yes, more or less (aspect ratio differences aside).

Quote
When you shoot wide open, you will find set b) offering a much stronger degree of background blur, and the main subject is obviously better separated from the background (aka DoF control).

Yes, but only if you shoot at widely different apertures. Even if the Apertures are matched (wider for the shorter FL) for a similar DOF, there will be differences due to diffraction, and for exposure time.

Quote
Conclusion: medium format digital is no match against 35mm format in terms of DoF control.

ONLY if there is a wider aperture possible on the shorter FL lens, significantly wider than the crop factor would suggest for a matching DOF So your conclusion is not always correct, and if the same aperture value is used it is simply incorrect.

Quote
When you shoot with a larger sensor you could bump the ISO higher to compensate the slower aperture and still gets the same SNR when you downsample the image to as if it were shot with a 35mm format.

Way to simplistic. Bumping the ISO doesn't change the photon-shot noise component (actual exposure), and it may have different effects on the other noise sources between different sensor designs. Different downsampling methods will have different effects on the noise spectrum.

Cheers,
Bart
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Endeavour

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2016, 12:46:29 pm »

why MF?

because people leave me alone to get on with my shots :)

back when I used canon kit for exterior portraits or motorsport/wildlife etc, everyone had an opinion or comment on the kit I was using or had strapped to my side.
Now when I'm out with the Hassy, no-one says a word

just the way I like it
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voidshatter

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2016, 01:40:43 pm »

ONLY if there is a wider aperture possible on the shorter FL lens, significantly wider than the crop factor would suggest for a matching DOF So your conclusion is not always correct, and if the same aperture value is used it is simply incorrect.

For almost any medium format digital lens, I can find a 35mm format lens with a similar angle of view and with a much faster aperture to achieve a stronger degree of background blur. That's why I claim that medium format digital is a worse choice than 35mm format if one needs DoF control.

Way to simplistic. Bumping the ISO doesn't change the photon-shot noise component (actual exposure), and it may have different effects on the other noise sources between different sensor designs. Different downsampling methods will have different effects on the noise spectrum.

Here we are talking about sensors in different formats but with similar architecture and design, e.g. Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D800, Canon 80D vs Canon 1DXII etc. Check the "print" tab of the dxomark charts and you could see that the SNR of the 35mm format is generally about one-stop better than the corresponding APSC technology.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2016, 02:44:55 pm »

For almost any medium format digital lens, I can find a 35mm format lens with a similar angle of view and with a much faster aperture to achieve a stronger degree of background blur. That's why I claim that medium format digital is a worse choice than 35mm format if one needs DoF control.

Your original contention was:
Quote
Unfortunately digital medium format won't offer shallower DoF when compared against Canon/Nikon/Sony's 35mm cameras and lenses.

You didn't mention more options to control DOF. You failed to mention that it is only the case, if one has a lens with significantly wider aperture number (even wider than what is needed to get equal DOF) and of otherwise equal optical performance. Such lenses may well be of worse optical performance when they can produce shallower DOF. The exceptional OTUS lens quality does come at a price as well, and I'm not always too convinced by their Bokeh (because they lack some pleasing effects of Spherical aberrations) for all types of images.

The objective truth is not that MF 'won't', but that MF 'might not' produce shallower DOF in case were such extremely wide aperture lenses are available. The objective truth is also that at equal aperture and exposure time but at longer focal length for the same FOV, MF systems do produce shallower DOF. So it depends on available options and shooting conditions whether one can produce more shallow DOF or not, with one system or the other. Budget may also be a factor.

Quote
Here we are talking about sensors in different formats but with similar architecture and design, e.g. Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D800, Canon 80D vs Canon 1DXII etc. Check the "print" tab of the dxomark charts and you could see that the SNR of the 35mm format is generally about one-stop better than the corresponding APSC technology.

Getting a bit off topic, but why only assume downsampled output, which is what the 'print' score is. And we're comparing with MF not with APS, and one should indeed assume similar generation of sensor design for a meaningful comparison, which is a moving target. The use of e.g. 16-bit ADC's adds a stop of DR and much improved SNR, in the 'Screen' scores (even more in case of the 'print' scores because it currently involves 100MP MF sensor designs).

Cheers,
Bart
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2016, 04:34:41 pm »

Let's make it simple:

You have the two following sets of gear:

a) IQ180 + Contax 645 + Contax 80mm f2

b) Leica M240 + Leica 50mm f0.95


so as a retired portrait photographer, I would only add that I would never use either of those two focal lengths for shooting most portraits, especially more intimate individual studies.  Probably minimum 100mm on the 35 format sensor, and 150 mm on the 645 format sensor will give me better facial perspective, and dropping the background out of focus at something like f/5.6 so I have a little DOF for the face and I won't get some size distortion on facial features.
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voidshatter

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Re: Why Medium Format?
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2016, 05:36:23 pm »

Your original contention was:
You didn't mention more options to control DOF. You failed to mention that it is only the case, if one has a lens with significantly wider aperture number (even wider than what is needed to get equal DOF) and of otherwise equal optical performance. Such lenses may well be of worse optical performance when they can produce shallower DOF. The exceptional OTUS lens quality does come at a price as well, and I'm not always too convinced by their Bokeh (because they lack some pleasing effects of Spherical aberrations) for all types of images.

The objective truth is not that MF 'won't', but that MF 'might not' produce shallower DOF in case were such extremely wide aperture lenses are available. The objective truth is also that at equal aperture and exposure time but at longer focal length for the same FOV, MF systems do produce shallower DOF. So it depends on available options and shooting conditions whether one can produce more shallow DOF or not, with one system or the other. Budget may also be a factor.

The 35mm format has easy access towards a set of fast lenses for bokeh purposes, e.g. 35mm f1.2, 50mm f0.95, 85mm f1.2, 105mm f1.4, 135mm f1.8, 200mm f1.8, 500mm f2.8 etc. Every amateur would go for this kind of lenses when they first enter the digital camera world and aim to produce some "fancy" pictures with bokeh. It's trivial to satisfy your "only if" condition.

I have no doubt that these fast lenses are not optically better, but it's no news that f1.8 lenses could be sharper than f1.4 lenses.

Getting a bit off topic, but why only assume downsampled output, which is what the 'print' score is.

That's the measurement that matters when you make a printing at a specific size and at a certain DPI, or show fullscreen on the same 4k display etc.

And we're comparing with MF not with APS, and one should indeed assume similar generation of sensor design for a meaningful comparison, which is a moving target. The use of e.g. 16-bit ADC's adds a stop of DR and much improved SNR, in the 'Screen' scores (even more in case of the 'print' scores because it currently involves 100MP MF sensor designs).

The Olympus EM-5 is M43 format and the Sony A6300 is APSC format, and the latter is also about one-stop better than the former.

16-bit ADC is of course a different design, but the gain over the 44x33 format is mostly from the sensor size as well as downsampling to 50MP.
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