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Author Topic: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.  (Read 1152 times)

Lightbox

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Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« on: July 13, 2019, 10:24:40 pm »

Hi, about to purchase my first medium format setup and have settled on either the IQ260/360 or the IQ180/280/380, but it seems very hard to find exact information about what sensors have been used in each model and if they have been changed or updated throughout the series. ie. is the sensor in the IQ180 exactly the same as in the 280/380?

Two comparisons that would be most relevant to what I'm likely to purchase would be between the IQ180 and the 280/380, and also the IQ180 and the 260/360. Here in Australia second hand equipment is very hard to come by, but it seems the 180/280 was the most common back sold here so there are a few available. I'm just trying to figure out if there is a more modernly manufactured sensor in the later series backs, as all other specs seem to carry through and are easy to compare. Obviously the later series backs had wifi, XF intergration and other advancements included, however the two things that aren't made clear are the exact sensors used and also if they have had any processor upgrades as the series went along.

If there is a considerable difference in say the IQ180 and the IQ380 sensor, then I would happily consider spending more to have a newer back. Any info you'd like to share would be great, cheers Shaun.
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Joe Towner

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 11:06:39 pm »

The IQ260 & IQ360 have the same sensor made by Dalsa,  The IQ180 & IQ280 have the same sensor made by Dalsa.  The IQ380 has the long exposure mode similar to the 60mp chip, but again it's made by Dalsa.  There are other improvements on the 380 chip, but remember it's still a CCD and it's going to want to be at base iso almost the entire time.
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Lightbox

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2019, 06:14:32 am »

Thanks Joe might have to read into the ccd vs cmos a bit more, I was I initially sold on the 60 serious due to the 6.0 micron pixel size and the thought of fatter pixels being better. However starting to see there isnt a huge if any difference compared to the 80 serious at 5.2 micron.

I get that cmos has a much better feed for live view on the back making it easier to compose and focus, is ISO performance really that terrible on a ccd back? I dont see myself straying too far from base ISO as Ill either be shooting in bright daylight or still subjects in a darker environment. 99% of my shooting is at ISO 160 with a polariser on my current camera.

Thanks again.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 08:22:44 am »

The IQ260 & IQ360 have the same sensor made by Dalsa,  The IQ180 & IQ280 have the same sensor made by Dalsa.  The IQ380 has the long exposure mode similar to the 60mp chip, but again it's made by Dalsa.

Just confirming that Joe is correct on everything here.

Same: 260 and 360
Same: 180 and 280

Background reading:
https://luminous-landscape.com/iq260-story/ (The same improvement was made on the 380)
https://www.dtcommercialphoto.com/is-it-the-phase-one-iq3-100mp-or-the-phase-one-iq3100/

I'd suggest working with your local dealer there to
1) play with raw files relevant to your type of shooting for each of the backs you're potentially interested in
2) test the relevant cameras in your actual workflow
3) purchase as a Phase One Certified Pre-owned which comes with full warranty, guaranteed condition, new accessories, and full dealer support (support, training, testing before hand etc).

Note there is obvious bias in my suggestions as I work at the largest Phase One dealer, but my advice comes from hard-earned experience seeing people be disappointed when they go it alone and buy blind from ebay/craiglist/whatnot.

eronald

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 10:02:30 am »

Lightbox,

Doug is a straight shooter, a competent and very helpful dealer who goes the extra mile for his customers, exactly as he claims.

However the issue here is whether a Phase CCD back can and should be shot at ISO 160. My opinion -just me- is that the real base ISO of these is 25, and they are rated at 50 to avoid customers burning the highlights. In any case Id say that 160 is pushing your luck a bit, and will not give you the image quality you are paying for. If you need both the pixels and the ISO then its CMOS time, and Im sure Doug or Steve Hendrix will find a solution, maybe a used 100MP back

Edmund

Just confirming that Joe is correct on everything here.

Same: 260 and 360
Same: 180 and 280

Background reading:
https://luminous-landscape.com/iq260-story/ (The same improvement was made on the 380)
https://www.dtcommercialphoto.com/is-it-the-phase-one-iq3-100mp-or-the-phase-one-iq3100/

I'd suggest working with your local dealer there to
1) play with raw files relevant to your type of shooting for each of the backs you're potentially interested in
2) test the relevant cameras in your actual workflow
3) purchase as a Phase One Certified Pre-owned which comes with full warranty, guaranteed condition, new accessories, and full dealer support (support, training, testing before hand etc).

Note there is obvious bias in my suggestions as I work at the largest Phase One dealer, but my advice comes from hard-earned experience seeing people be disappointed when they go it alone and buy blind from ebay/craiglist/whatnot.
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douglevy

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2019, 07:28:48 pm »

Also - yes, the ISO is that bad. I shot CCD for years, and you can get away with 100ISO (on base 50 sensors), but I probably never shot more than 100 frames above 100 in the 4-5 years I shot CCD.

Lightbox

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 03:12:43 am »

I guess a big problem I do have is I live in far North Queensland, Australia, so getting hands on with gear is not possible, and renting equipment would kill my budget which will be stretched to make it into the IQ3 series. Im confident enough in the amount of research Ive done and previous larger cameras Ive owned and used extensively, Chamonix 4x5 & Mamiya RZ67, that the XF & IQ system is where I want to move onto now.

Mirrorless medium format, EVF, no thanks, full stop.

The ISO info shared above is a bit of a shock though, never realised base ISO on the CCD IQs was 50, shooting handheld at 100 or less would surely still be possible during bright daylight Id like to think. Anything else Id most likely be working from a tripod anyway.

Ive got a bit of patience remaining before spending a bunch, but getting keen to have a system in hand within a month. Really appreciate the wealth of info happily shared here at LL, any further advice Id love to hear.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 09:57:31 am »

I guess a big problem I do have is I live in far North Queensland, Australia, so getting hands on with gear is not possible, and renting equipment would kill my budget which will be stretched to make it into the IQ3 series.

I lived in Brisbane for part of a year back in the day, and loved Queensland. How are the Lions doing this year?

Most dealers should be glad to count your rental fees mostly or entirely toward any purchase within a reasonable pre-agreed timeframe. At least we would. That makes the "worst case" that you find out this equipment is not well suited to you, in which case you spent one day's rental to save a much more expensive purchase.

If you can't get that done in Australia for whatever reason, and you happen to otherwise have (or otherwise want to have) plans to visit LA or NYC or anywhere else in the USA we (DT) would be glad to make that arrangement for you, or have you test a variety of backs in person at our test studios.

The ISO info shared above is a bit of a shock though, never realised base ISO on the CCD IQs was 50

Unsurprisingly, that depends on which CCD back is being discussed.

Moreover "ISO" is a much more fungible spec than you'd think, and the "base ISO" of a system is really far less important than the internet makes it out to be. It's a decent proxy to the relevant question, but you might as well ask the relevant question directly: how does camera X perform at ISO Y?

Your dealer should be able to provide you with a variety of raws from any of the backs discussed, shot at ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 200, etc so that you can play with these raws, do whatever grading/post you find most suitable for your needs/wants, and then test prints or digital use that would be relevant to you. I've met people who were exceedingly happy with the IQ280 at ISO3200 (sensor plus mode; 20 mp) and people who were only happy at ISO50. To be clear, CCD is not known for high ISO and in most cases is not well suited to it and I would strongly discourage you from buying any CCD back without testing it's ISO range in your use cases with your eye. But one man's "barely useable" is another man's "quite decent".

eronald

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 08:54:23 pm »

I guess a big problem I do have is I live in far North Queensland, Australia, so getting hands on with gear is not possible, and renting equipment would kill my budget which will be stretched to make it into the IQ3 series. Im confident enough in the amount of research Ive done and previous larger cameras Ive owned and used extensively, Chamonix 4x5 & Mamiya RZ67, that the XF & IQ system is where I want to move onto now.

Mirrorless medium format, EVF, no thanks, full stop.

The ISO info shared above is a bit of a shock though, never realised base ISO on the CCD IQs was 50, shooting handheld at 100 or less would surely still be possible during bright daylight Id like to think. Anything else Id most likely be working from a tripod anyway.

Ive got a bit of patience remaining before spending a bunch, but getting keen to have a system in hand within a month. Really appreciate the wealth of info happily shared here at LL, any further advice Id love to hear.


The Phase backs with CCD chips are superb, especially with studio flash, and so is the Phase C1 software, although the XF body is not exactly the world's most modern camera. But one thing the CCD backs really don't do is high ISO at full resolution, sorry. Forget about that. These are systems designed basically for studio tehered use with flash, an tripod use outdoors. In strong daylight outdoors they are of course usable handheld, 1/50 @ F16 translates to 1/200@F8 which is a fairly handholdable speed and focusable aperture. If you need to close down more, you'll need that tripod.

Maybe Doug can find you a cheap 50Mp or 100MP Cmos used deal. These are chips that can go higher in Iso easily. Hasselblads with the 50Mp Cmos chip sell at reasonable prices these days, and Hasselblad themselves sell refurbished models.  There is another competent dealer here, Steve Hendrix, who I believe carries Hassy and Fuji in addition to Phase and he might chime in.

At the moment the new Fuji GFX 100 is considered the most flexible crop-MF system with its 100MP - it is probably in your budget, has IBIS and good focus and is very usable handheld. The inconvenience is the EVF but nothing is perfect in this world :)

Edmund
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Lightbox

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2019, 04:48:01 am »

Appreciate the replies Doug & Edmund, the Lions? You might mean the Brisbane Broncos, Pretty average this year and its 2/3 way through the season.

Still hunting a reasonable deal on a setup, unfortunately the AUS>US $ is very low at the moment which makes it hard to look at the good pricing of used gear over there.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 04:56:54 am by Lightbox »
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dchew

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2019, 05:40:36 am »

Although I agree with Doug about the value of working through a local dealer in these situations, there is an IQ3100 for sale on GetDPI for $14,500. Might still be too steep, but it has a warranty until 2023! I think the seller is in Dubai.

I too used an IQ180 for 5 years and rarely went above ISO 50. I upgraded to the 3100 for workflow reasons, not quality. Those 1/2/3-series CCD backs are wonderful at base ISO.

Dave



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Doug Peterson

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2019, 06:33:25 am »

Appreciate the replies Doug & Edmund, the Lions? You might mean the Brisbane Broncos, Pretty average this year and its 2/3 way through the season.

No mate! The Brisbane Lions; the Aussie Rules club!

JaapD

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2019, 11:00:52 am »

As Edmund says, nothing is perfect in this world.

When dealing with aspects like CCD versus CMOS and EVF versus OVF please be aware that the first one is a major contributor w.r.t. image quality while the second isnt. As we all know the VF is a tool which isnt part of the image pipeline.

A decade ago I would maybe consider buying a CCD back but these days not a chance.

Regards,
Jaap.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2019, 11:12:02 am »

A decade ago I would maybe consider buying a CCD back but these days not a chance.

What we tell people at DT is to make sure they 100% understand the ISO and live view limitations of CCD backs (and to a lesser extent the long exposure and battery consumption limitations; though these are much less severe compared to the first two).

If (and only if) they understand those limitations and don't find them limiting for their works/needs/wants then a CCD back is a tremendous choice. It offers great value; an 80mp full-frame 645 CCD back is far less expensive than a 100mp CMOS back, because the live view and ISO limitations create an imbalance in supply/demand.

That 80mp CCD (IQ180, IQ280) is also the highest (and largest) sensor you can get for a Hassy 500 (including the option to mount vertically) or a Contax 645.

Again, it's absolutely critical to know exactly what you're getting in terms of ISO and live view. We work with anyone buying a CCD back, sending them raws at different ISO for them to work up in post and make test prints or test digital outputs, and try wherever practical to get one in their hands (e.g. rental-toward-purchase). Many (most? overwhelming majority?) people need medium or high ISO and live view; some don't. If you do, a CCD back is a bad idea and is a poor value at any price. If you don't a CCD back is a great value.

In fact, I haven't looked at the numbers specifically, but by anecdotal observation, I'd say we've sold more factory-refurbished CCD backs this year than we did last year or the year before.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 11:15:16 am by Doug Peterson »
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eronald

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2019, 02:43:06 pm »

What we tell people at DT is to make sure they 100% understand the ISO and live view limitations of CCD backs (and to a lesser extent the long exposure and battery consumption limitations; though these are much less severe compared to the first two).

As always Doug is a straight shooter :)
One also needs to realize the limitations of the camera body focus system. Modern CMOS-based cameras use on-sensor focus which has fewer issues.

Edmund
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Rainforestman

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2019, 03:54:09 am »

Hi Shaun,

Ive had the 260 and 380.  Both as mentioned are the Dalsa sensors with the long exposure mode which is ISO 200 on the 380. 

ISO 200 is my practical limit on the 380.  No problem shooting long exposure although there is more luminance noise than base ISO.  Base ISO is just stunning and is what I mainly shoot in.  The only thing I think that I missed with the 380 compared to the 3100 was live view.

Anyway the 260 or 380 would be great stepping stones into a great system.  As Doug mentioned DT lead the dealers worldwide with test shots.

Neil

Glad to hear you are from Cairns - Im from the Gold Coast hinterland.
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2019, 02:43:32 pm »

Hi Shaun,

Ive had the 260 and 380.  Both as mentioned are the Dalsa sensors with the long exposure mode which is ISO 200 on the 380. 

ISO 200 is my practical limit on the 380.  No problem shooting long exposure although there is more luminance noise than base ISO.  Base ISO is just stunning and is what I mainly shoot in.  The only thing I think that I missed with the 380 compared to the 3100 was live view.

Anyway the 260 or 380 would be great stepping stones into a great system.  As Doug mentioned DT lead the dealers worldwide with test shots.

Neil

Glad to hear you are from Cairns - Im from the Gold Coast hinterland.


Not to start a controversy over something so minor, but it seems presumptuous to state DT leads the dealers with test shots - no one, including anyone at DT would have any idea how many test shots other dealers have in their library. DT does a great job. But we - Capture Integration - certainly also have a huge number of test files and commonly shoot custom raw file tests for our prospective clients, not just for comparing image quality of digital backs but even for comparing multiple copies of say, a pre-owned Phase One lens. In the event of a noticeable difference, we can pick the best copy for you. First come, first serve, of course.


Steve Hendrix/CI
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2019, 03:24:32 pm »

Just to add to the mix, I currently use an IQ260 and find the image quality to be superb.  I do shoot on a tripod always for my professional work and photograph objects that don't move (buildings), so my experience with the back on professional shoots is limited.  Also, my main camera is an Arca Swiss RM3Di.  Pretty much I am almost always at 50 ISO when working with clients (no reason not to be), and the files are great.  Occasionally I am at 100 & 200 ISO when working with people and the files are pretty good as well. 

400 ISO is really where you start to see a drop in IQ.  I would say still usable for some applications, depending on the project and job.  800 ISO really drops, but once again you can get an usable file depending on what you are doing.  You also have sensor + mode, which can help too.  With that said, sensor +, although great when it came out, has pretty much been out dated by CMOS sensors. 

I got some great street shots with the IQ260 on the XF in Cuba when I went a few years ago.  I was typically working at 200 ISO to 3200+ ISO when shooting handheld.  I found all of the images to be usable for this project.  If I had a gripe here, it would not be the IQ, but working with such a large heavy camera for 12 hours at a time.  If P1 came out with a mirrorless camera similar to the Hassy, I would probably buy it and stop using the XF for handheld projects. 

The long exposure mode on the Dalsa chips (those that have it) is at 140 ISO.  Although this will mitigate noise due to heat on the sensor, you still get noise from working at an ISO above base.  To compensate for this, I typically over expose my images by a stop to a stop & half when working in the long exposure mode and then pull them down in post.  This brings the quality of these files back down to that of base ISO but with a loss in dynamic range and, occasionally, the highlights can start to look funky. 

Last, I did test out the IQ4 150 last week and was very impressed with the back.  Not so much for the resolution (to be honest I could care less), but with how the back handles lens cast on technical cameras.  I would say that the Schneider Digitars will see a rebirth in usage when this back becomes more widespread in use.  Also, with my wide angle lenses, using them without a center filter with a CCD back would add a lot of noise to the corners, but with this back, the noise was controlled a lot better but still there.  Additional features make this back more attractive as well. 

However, if you are not in need of great lens cast control, very high resolution, or reduced noise at high ISOs from a reduction in files size allowing for faster shutter speeds (like with landscape shooters), the 150 may be over kill for what you are doing. 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 03:39:50 pm by JoeKitchen »
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2019, 04:21:37 pm »


Not to start a controversy over something so minor, but it seems presumptuous to state DT leads the dealers with test shots - no one, including anyone at DT would have any idea how many test shots other dealers have in their library. DT does a great job. But we - Capture Integration - certainly also have a huge number of test files and commonly shoot custom raw file tests for our prospective clients, not just for comparing image quality of digital backs but even for comparing multiple copies of say, a pre-owned Phase One lens. In the event of a noticeable difference, we can pick the best copy for you. First come, first serve, of course.

In terms of pure numerical quantity I'd say it's rather likely we have you beat for the hyperspecific and not terribly relevant reason that our in-house development of the DT Time Lapse Suite, DT XY with DT Batchstitch, DT Reel to Reel and DT Film Scanning kit each generated a truly mind-numbing quantity of test images. Time Lapse software development in particular really ramps up the TBs.

But in terms of quality and total contribution to the community, which is what really matters, I'm glad to agree we both provide a large number of high-quality tests that are a great service to the community. :)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 04:24:55 pm by Doug Peterson »
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase One IQ Sensor Info Wanted.
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2019, 04:27:45 pm »

In terms of pure numerical quantity I'd say it's rather likely we have you beat for the hyperspecific and not terribly relevant reason that our in-house development of the DT Time Lapse Suite, DT XY with DT Batchstitch, DT Reel to Reel and DT Film Scanning kit each generated a truly mind-numbing quantity of test images. Time Lapse software development in particular really ramps up the TBs.

But in terms of quality and total contribution to the community, which is what really matters, I'm glad to agree we both provide a large number of high-quality tests that are a great service to the community. :)


Agreed!


Steve Hendrix/CI
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