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Author Topic: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations  (Read 1751 times)

Steve Hendrix

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Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« on: September 10, 2019, 07:15:29 am »

With several of the CI Team returned from their time in Denmark last week and weekend, we're now happy to post 4 pages of Phase One XT Information, opinions, considerations, and projections:

https://captureintegration.com/phase-one-xt-camera-system/

https://captureintegration.com/phaseonextneedtoknow/

https://captureintegration.com/ci-exclusive-phase-one-xt-first-look/

https://captureintegration.com/is-the-phase-one-xt-the-holy-grail/


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mediumcool

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 07:30:02 am »

No movements?
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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 08:07:15 am »

No movements?


The camera has XY shift movement, 12mm shift in each direction.


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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 08:59:22 am »

How are LCC frames handled especially for the wide lenses shifted, or are they built in for the current lenses?
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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 09:55:45 am »

Its a nice platform and one that is pretty unique and does leverage the value of the IQ4 and C1 Pro.

The one missing feature that accounts for an important part of the fun of using a tech camera is tilt.

I know this will be denied, but to me it marks also the end of the XF platform.

Cheers,
Bernard

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 10:57:44 am »

Its a nice platform and one that is pretty unique and does leverage the value of the IQ4 and C1 Pro.

The one missing feature that accounts for an important part of the fun of using a tech camera is tilt.

I know this will be denied, but to me it marks also the end of the XF platform.

Cheers,
Bernard

I very much doubt this is the case. 

Maybe for an amateur shooting static, yet large, subjects it would not make sense to consider the XF over this new platform.  However, for a professional working in the studio, the XF still offers a lot more then what this system will ever be able to.  For starters, the automatic focus stacking ability of the XF is a very advantageous feature, especially with product.  The auto-focus of the XF trumps this system, etc. 

Insofar as I can tell, this system will be good for amateurs shooting landscape and other similar genres looking to up their game. 

For a professional, this system offers too little to make sense.  It has no auto-focus, which means no one shooting fashion or lifestyle will be interested.  For the architectural shooter, although it would be nice to have a smaller camera, giving up shift makes no sense and if you are shooting slow (like we do anyway) it being smaller is of no real advantage.  For the table top guys, too little shift/tilt and focusing close up becomes a real pain with tech lenses without the use of bellows.  Not to mention the already mentioned focus stacking of the XF is a real plus to table top shooters. 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 11:19:59 am by JoeKitchen »
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 10:58:40 am »

How are LCC frames handled especially for the wide lenses shifted, or are they built in for the current lenses?


Currently not built-in, could come in the future.

Since the shift positions are now embedded into metadata, there is no requirement to create an LCC at the time of capture. You can create an LCC based on the metadata movements at any time.

While I don't want to under emphasize the role of an LCC (particularly with a lens like the 23HR), the absolute need for LCC with IQ4 150 is dramatically reduced compared to any previous digital back. Most of my clients are now foregoing LCC captures.




Its a nice platform and one that is pretty unique and does leverage the value of the IQ4 and C1 Pro.

The one missing feature that accounts for an important part of the fun of using a tech camera is tilt.

I know this will be denied, but to me it marks also the end of the XF platform.

Cheers,
Bernard


Tilt would be nice. Particularly for wide lenses. It remains to be seen what happens in the future in that regard.

I don't know about the end of the XF (and I'm not trying to be a denier), but certainly some sales of the XF will go the XT, I definitely see that, especially if they adapt the Blue Ring lenses to the XT (which I expect they will).

As Joe points out, there are still some differentiating features that separate the two cameras. More likely, I can see an XF owner adding an XT camera to share their Blue Ring lenses to lighten their load for static location photography.


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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2019, 03:01:40 pm »

What this is crying out for is an EVF.

(with a button for magnified focus view @ 50/ 100%)

The HDMI output is there on the IQ4 back, just get a top level EVF, like the Fuji GFX removable one, make an HDMI cable to accessory shoe with Fuji GFX EVF mount and watch sales of the XT soar.

Appreciate an EVF isn't for everyone, but as someone who's used a tech camera handheld a lot on location, believe me you'll get tired of missing critical focus, and wish you had one. The HDMI output is built in, focus peaking too, and Fuji already sells a removable tilting EVF mount, they just need to put the pieces together!

(Do I get a free XT for this?  :D )

« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 03:05:03 pm by Waker »
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2019, 04:52:37 pm »

What this is crying out for is an EVF.

(with a button for magnified focus view @ 50/ 100%)

The HDMI output is there on the IQ4 back, just get a top level EVF, like the Fuji GFX removable one, make an HDMI cable to accessory shoe with Fuji GFX EVF mount and watch sales of the XT soar.

Appreciate an EVF isn't for everyone, but as someone who's used a tech camera handheld a lot on location, believe me you'll get tired of missing critical focus, and wish you had one. The HDMI output is built in, focus peaking too, and Fuji already sells a removable tilting EVF mount, they just need to put the pieces together!

(Do I get a free XT for this?  :D )


Waker, I had the same feeling about this. I have (not good) memories of the P1 marketing from the A Series Launch and the crowing about "mirrorless camera" with the iPhone sitting on top. But that was then and this is now. This solution could promise something different, I can't say I know anything for certain, but I still like eye level viewing, and it's got a pretty blue shutter button, so I'd love it.

Anyway, for now, there is at least live view screen and focus peaking. Time will tell to see how this system develops.


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Paul2660

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2019, 05:26:19 pm »

If Phase does offer something in the form of a HDMI EVF. Sure hope its not limited to the XT.

Most if not all camera with HDMI offer it for image review. Currently on the IQ4 its only available for Live View and even that is limited as movement is controlled from the back LCD.

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2019, 10:23:58 am »

As noted in multiple places, the finalized version of the XT firmware is now here. This firmware also has added some additional features and even some changes from the beta version previously in place. There are some important installation notes in the below link, please read in detail.

Phase One IQ4/XT Firmware Update Notes

** Note that for use on non-XT camera bodies, the only hard button exposure control you have while in Live View is ISO. It has been stated elsewhere that exposure control includes aperture and shutter speed, but this is not the case. While we would expect shutter speed to make its way into the hard button control elements eventually for non-XT camera use (via Electronic Shutter), it doesn't make any sense that aperture would be listed, since there is no aperture control from the interface possible off of the XT.



I will say that after reviewing a lot of the commentary on the XT product, I am somewhat surprised and not surprised at the impressions. I am not surprised at the reaction to a technical camera (intended for landscape, among other things) that limits shift to 12mm and does not provide any tilt capability. But I am surprised at the dismissiveness toward the technology, in particular, the X Shutter itself.

Currently we are in a void for shutters. And Global Shutters are years and years away (7 years? 8 years?). Copal shutters are gone, production on the Sinar e250 shutter has been stalled for at least 8 months now with no word of starting back up. So we're left with the Aperture Mount, which has no shutter at all.

So my surprise is that no one seems to be giving much credit to a brand new, incredibly robust and precise shutter system that extends to 1/1000th of a second, and that can be completely operated from behind the camera. That has surprised me.

From a cost standpoint, yes these components are expensive, but not really much more expensive than standard technical cameras and lenses.

I do understand the lack of tilt and expansive movements being a non-starter for some. And if so, then this camera may not be for you. But I do also feel that the target for Phase One with this product was for a very small footprint camera system. At any rate, I am encouraged at the path that has been started with the XT.


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« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 10:43:01 am by Steve Hendrix »
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Paul2660

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2019, 11:24:17 am »

I agree that the XT has many unique designs features and the issue around shutters for the future is important. However as a Phase Camera user for over 12 years now, I did find some problems with the XT that concern me.

1.  No tilt, enough said.  Tilt for a wide lens in the field is just a huge oversight.  Sure you can focus bracket. But personally, I really don't want to work with multiple IQ4 files or IQ3 for a focus bracket setup.  Plus I currently know of no software for focus bracketing that can handle movement.  In the field unless you are only shooting rock, movement due to wind is pretty much a constant battle.  Just a slight amount of tilt on a wide can make the difference between a sharp foreground or a out of focus one.  I prefer the former.  I did a quick study on my tech shots over the past 5 years, and with wides I have used tilt pretty much 100% of the time.  I realize that since Cambo is making the XT for Phase the issue of body mounted tilt was something that Cambo doesn't offer.  However Phase had the chance to design a new camera from the ground up (about the only thing I see that really looks like Cambo are the shift adjustment wheels), and they chose to leave out tilt.  IMO a serious mistake.

2.  No feature besides the back's LCD for viewing.  When the original IQ backs came out, the LCD was revolutionary.  The fact you have the ability to fire the shutter from the LCD is still great feature that most of the other camera I work with from Nikon or Fuji don't have.  But with the Phase LCD, it's just not bright enough to handle viewing in outdoor light.  The sun shields I have seen recently also really don't help much.  You really need a hood to see the screen, something that totally blocks the light.  The LCD is still capable of giving great feed back but viewing it is not easy at least for me outdoors, especially compared to other cameras.  No EVF attachment came with the XT, so you are limited to the back's LCD, a HDMI external monitor or tethering.  HDMI currently works OK, but you are tied to the back's LCD for moving around the view on the external monitor and there is still no support for image review on an external monitor via HDMI. (should be an easy thing to implement as all other cameras I use that have HDMI support allow this). 

3.  The XT only has manual focus, and thus depends on the photographer using Live View.  Not sure about others, but I personally can't begin to hand hold a IQ3 and manually focus it.  Just too much movement.  And the IQ4 Live View IMO doesn't give the same viewing experience as the IQ3, in that it has less contrast and for me it's harder to tell correct focus when viewing at 100%

4.  Cost, @ 18K for a 32mm and XT, huge price point.  Currently no trade ins I know of.  The cost to modify existing tech lenses I figure will be around 4K? Not totally out of the ballpark, considering the cost for a T/S Cambo mount for the 32mm Rodenstock. 

5.  Long lens support?  Nothing has been stated on anything longer than the 70mm.  The current 90mm HRSW I believe needs a back extension, at least with the current tech companies.  This is I believe due to both the mass of the lens in front of the mount and the issue of reducing vignetting on longer shifts.  With the XT @ only 12mm, this may not be an issue.  However Phase should have listed more than 3 lenses, and left the balance open ended.  Lenses longer than the 90mm odds are will have to have a back extension which begs the question will they ever work as it would mean Phase creating a smart back extension.  I guess certain versions of the 120mm Schneider Asph can work as Cambo mounts that lens both ways.  The fact that nothing was listed at announcement on longer glass other than "write Phase One to consider this lens in the future" was not very promising.  So for photographers with existing systems, with longer glass, do you buy the XT, for wides and then keep older system for longer glass?  Lot to carry around. 

As for design firsts, love the grip and built in shutter along with the ability to rotate the back 90 degrees for portrait orientation. 

For someone making a first time investment in a tech camera, with either a IQ3 or preferably a IQ4, the XT should be considered.  Competition will be used Alpa, Arca and Cambo solutions which generally shave 1/3 to 1/2 off of new.  Also if you are a currently a Cambo user, the XT is a great consideration as all your lenses will fit, and you can update to the X shutter over time.  However with the latest Cambo WRS camera with it's own ability to easily rotate to portrait orientation, that's one less consideration for a Cambo user.  Love that ability and do wish Arca would do this, but odds are that will never happen.

Paul C
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 11:46:28 am by Paul2660 »
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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2019, 11:30:33 am »

For someone making a first time investment in a tech camera, with either a IQ3 or preferably a IQ4, the XT should be considered.
I thought the XT only works with the IQ4.

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2019, 11:42:02 am »

It will work as a dumb camera no XT shutter support on the IQ3, at least that is how I understand it.  With older Cambo mounted lenses.

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2019, 12:27:32 pm »

It will work as a dumb camera no XT shutter support on the IQ3, at least that is how I understand it.  With older Cambo mounted lenses.

Paul C


This is true, because of the native WRS mount. If you cable it the same as you would on your normal Cambo body, would work the same.


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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2019, 01:07:35 pm »

I agree that the XT has many unique designs features and the issue around shutters for the future is important. However as a Phase Camera user for over 12 years now, I did find some problems with the XT that concern me.

1.  No tilt, enough said.  Tilt for a wide lens in the field is just a huge oversight.  Sure you can focus bracket. But personally, I really don't want to work with multiple IQ4 files or IQ3 for a focus bracket setup.  Plus I currently know of no software for focus bracketing that can handle movement.  In the field unless you are only shooting rock, movement due to wind is pretty much a constant battle.  Just a slight amount of tilt on a wide can make the difference between a sharp foreground or a out of focus one.  I prefer the former.  I did a quick study on my tech shots over the past 5 years, and with wides I have used tilt pretty much 100% of the time.  I realize that since Cambo is making the XT for Phase the issue of body mounted tilt was something that Cambo doesn't offer.  However Phase had the chance to design a new camera from the ground up (about the only thing I see that really looks like Cambo are the shift adjustment wheels), and they chose to leave out tilt.  IMO a serious mistake.

2.  No feature besides the back's LCD for viewing.  When the original IQ backs came out, the LCD was revolutionary.  The fact you have the ability to fire the shutter from the LCD is still great feature that most of the other camera I work with from Nikon or Fuji don't have.  But with the Phase LCD, it's just not bright enough to handle viewing in outdoor light.  The sun shields I have seen recently also really don't help much.  You really need a hood to see the screen, something that totally blocks the light.  The LCD is still capable of giving great feed back but viewing it is not easy at least for me outdoors, especially compared to other cameras.  No EVF attachment came with the XT, so you are limited to the back's LCD, a HDMI external monitor or tethering.  HDMI currently works OK, but you are tied to the back's LCD for moving around the view on the external monitor and there is still no support for image review on an external monitor via HDMI. (should be an easy thing to implement as all other cameras I use that have HDMI support allow this). 

3.  The XT only has manual focus, and thus depends on the photographer using Live View.  Not sure about others, but I personally can't begin to hand hold a IQ3 and manually focus it.  Just too much movement.  And the IQ4 Live View IMO doesn't give the same viewing experience as the IQ3, in that it has less contrast and for me it's harder to tell correct focus when viewing at 100%

4.  Cost, @ 18K for a 32mm and XT, huge price point.  Currently no trade ins I know of.  The cost to modify existing tech lenses I figure will be around 4K? Not totally out of the ballpark, considering the cost for a T/S Cambo mount for the 32mm Rodenstock. 

5.  Long lens support?  Nothing has been stated on anything longer than the 70mm.  The current 90mm HRSW I believe needs a back extension, at least with the current tech companies.  This is I believe due to both the mass of the lens in front of the mount and the issue of reducing vignetting on longer shifts.  With the XT @ only 12mm, this may not be an issue.  However Phase should have listed more than 3 lenses, and left the balance open ended.  Lenses longer than the 90mm odds are will have to have a back extension which begs the question will they ever work as it would mean Phase creating a smart back extension.  I guess certain versions of the 120mm Schneider Asph can work as Cambo mounts that lens both ways.  The fact that nothing was listed at announcement on longer glass other than "write Phase One to consider this lens in the future" was not very promising.  So for photographers with existing systems, with longer glass, do you buy the XT, for wides and then keep older system for longer glass?  Lot to carry around. 

As for design firsts, love the grip and built in shutter along with the ability to rotate the back 90 degrees for portrait orientation. 

For someone making a first time investment in a tech camera, with either a IQ3 or preferably a IQ4, the XT should be considered.  Competition will be used Alpa, Arca and Cambo solutions which generally shave 1/3 to 1/2 off of new.  Also if you are a currently a Cambo user, the XT is a great consideration as all your lenses will fit, and you can update to the X shutter over time.  However with the latest Cambo WRS camera with it's own ability to easily rotate to portrait orientation, that's one less consideration for a Cambo user.  Love that ability and do wish Arca would do this, but odds are that will never happen.

Paul C


Paul, I agree with a lot of your points. However, your specific points about XT, I have some layers to my thoughts.

Regarding Tilt, yes, this more than anything will limit the acceptance, certainly by existing users of tech cams, but also new users. With that said, there are photographers who do not employ tilt much and some not at all.

These are Rodenstock lenses, so auto focus will not be an option, unless they eventually adapt Blue Ring lenses (don't know if they will, but that would be nice), and then maybe? But Rodenstocks don't have auto focus.

I don't find the price point that objectionable, compared to the pricing of other technical cameras and lenses mounted in helical mounts from the tech camera manufacturers. The XT and HR lenses in X Shutter are priced only a little more in comparison. As a system in general, yes it is expensive, but I was surprised (and thankful) the pricing was not pushed significantly higher than other tech camera offerings.

I feel like this camera is a start to a line of technical camera products from Phase One. This model is the small footprint model, and designed by Cambo. I don't know if different, larger cameras will be designed. It remains to be seen if the longer lenses will be able to offer tilt. I think that quandary is one reason why the longer lenses have not yet been announced. Longer lenses meaning 90HR/138HR/180HR.

It's early. And it remains to be seen how things will roadmap out.

I do think it is unfortunate that the native mount of the XT is Cambo specific only. This is not the fault of Phase One or of Cambo. And we love Cambo products. But the tech camera manufacturers all utilize specific and proprietary mounts, so there is nothing universal about the camera mounts, or at least they are less easily adapted than say, traditional view camera lensboards can be. I do like that we should eventually see Alpa and Arca Swiss able to integrate the X Shutter into their lenses for their cameras. This to me is really important, because to me, the big advance is the X shutter. If the XT camera is not for you, then having lenses available for X Shutter that can be used on Cambo/Alpa/Arca tech cameras with more movements (and perhaps tilt?) is a win for everyone.


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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2019, 03:07:40 pm »

While I agree on most, pricing is already absurd high... dont tale Alpa as example... take a look at a Full Arca Swiss or Cambo system. Just saying the difference is massive!

Just an over view:

XT:
XT camera - 5.950EUR
23mm - 11.900EUR
32mm - 11.900EUR
70mm - 8.300EUR
-----
Total: 38.050EUR

Arca Swiss:
Rm3di - 5.450EUR
23mm - 7.850EUR
32mm - 8.350EUR
70mm - 3.850EUR
-----
Total: 25.500EUR
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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2019, 03:40:50 pm »

While I agree on most, pricing is already absurd high... dont tale Alpa as example... take a look at a Full Arca Swiss or Cambo system. Just saying the difference is massive!

Just an over view:

XT:
XT camera - 5.950EUR
23mm - 11.900EUR
32mm - 11.900EUR
70mm - 8.300EUR
-----
Total: 38.050EUR

Arca Swiss:
Rm3di - 5.450EUR
23mm - 7.850EUR
32mm - 8.350EUR
70mm - 3.850EUR
-----
Total: 25.500EUR

Yes, but Arca Swiss lenses are generally lower than the same lens purchased through Cambo/Alpa because they do not require the helical mount, that is on the RM3Di body. And some Cambo bodies costs thousands less than the RM3Di, so ...

The most appropriate comparison is to Cambo, because that is what the eco system is derived from. Saying that X shutter lenses are expensive compared to Arca lenses is no different than any Alpa or Cambo lens being more expensive. X Shutter HR lens pricing compared to Cambo HR lenses in Sinar e250 shutter, is roughly the same price (except for the 70HR, oddly) for a far superior shutter. Also, what mount are these Arca Swiss lens prices you're presenting? If Copal, these prices are out of date, because copal shutters are no longer available through Arca (or anyone).

The only apples to apples comparison can be via e250 Shutter or perhaps Aperture Mount. Any other pricing is out of date (which means it would be lower).

Below are standard prices (no discounts applied) in USD for the X lens choices compared to buying the lenses in e250 mount for Cambo/Alpa/Arca bodies.

$11,990 - 23HR in Phase One X Shutter
$11,823 - 23HR in Cambo WRS Mount Sinar 250 eShutter
$11,949 - 23HR in Alpa LB Mount Sinar 250 eShutter
$10,273 - 23HR in Arca R Mount Sinar 250 eShutter

$11,990 - 32HR in Phase One X Shutter
$12,268 - 32HR in Cambo WRS Mount Sinar 250 eShutter
$12,052 - 32HR in Alpa LB Mount Sinar 250 eShutter
$10,647 - 32HR in Arca R Mount Sinar 250 eShutter

$8,990 - 70HR in Phase One X Shutter
$7,230 - 70HR in Cambo WRS Mount Sinar 250 eShutter
$7,010 - 70HR in Alpa LB Mount Sinar 250 eShutter
$5,961 - 70HR in Arca R Mount Sinar 250 eShutter

In the context of the above, I do not find the pricing of the Rodenstock HR lenses in X Shutter to be outrageously high (except the 70HR, a head scratcher). Arca Rwiss is the outlier, because the helical is a one time purchase that you pay for when you buy the R body. But the X Shutter lenses are very fairly priced compared to Cambo/Alpa helical-based lens mountings.


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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2019, 03:53:55 pm »

I would cut the e-shutter mount cost in the examples, I realize you are comparing another e shutter but that shutter is so frigging limited I for one would never consider it.  Max shutter speeds are 1/250, and slowest is not even 1 second as I recall.  Requires a USB connection to a controller.  If you have to have flash sync and have to use a tech camera lens, then really the Alpa with it's focal shutter or the XT are the only solutions.  No doubt the XT is the strong winner here.

The ES on the Phase backs, is a better solution unless you have to have the flash sync. 

I would go with the aperture only mount price. 

Paul C
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase One XT Camera Revelations and Considerations
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2019, 04:12:47 pm »

I would cut the e-shutter mount cost in the examples, I realize you are comparing another e shutter but that shutter is so frigging limited I for one would never consider it.  Max shutter speeds are 1/250, and slowest is not even 1 second as I recall.  Requires a USB connection to a controller.  If you have to have flash sync and have to use a tech camera lens, then really the Alpa with it's focal shutter or the XT are the only solutions.  No doubt the XT is the strong winner here.

The ES on the Phase backs, is a better solution unless you have to have the flash sync. 

I would go with the aperture only mount price. 

Paul C


Well........ I'm going to say that I feel it's hardly fair to complain about higher pricing for a lens that has a new industry standard shutter versus a lens that has no shutter at all. I'm trying to not be biased, but that comparison would seem to be very apples to oranges.

BTW - I would mostly agree with the comparative disadvantages that you mention with the e250 shutter. And the fact none have even been available for over 8 months now doesn't help matters. Nonetheless, it is an actual shutter, so there was the cost of creating a shutter that is built into the product, regardless of the merits of that shutter. While the Aperture Mount has no shutter cost at all.


Steve Hendrix/CI
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