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Author Topic: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.  (Read 11856 times)

Hulyss

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2014, 06:52:18 pm »

 ;D I know you seen the exifs, I forgot to erase it. Someone with good PS skills know that with today technology, appart MP, any look can be created on PS. This was D700 + 50f1.2
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2014, 09:02:37 pm »

;D I know you seen the exifs, I forgot to erase it. Someone with good PS skills know that with today technology, appart MP, any look can be created on PS. This was D700 + 50f1.2

Ha ha ha, I had no clue, in fact I thought it had been shot witj an IQ280! ;)

Cheers,
Bernard

elliot_n

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2014, 09:33:38 pm »

When I was using 35mm and 645 film gear at the same time, the main difference between the two for me was the aspect ratio. "Better" lenses or more real estate per frame…I didn't much care about that stuff. I just wanted a less rectangular frame to compose images with.

-Dave-

I mostly use my D800 in 4:5 aspect ratio (set up so the viewfinder is masked).
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Ligament

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2014, 01:53:08 am »

I mostly use my D800 in 4:5 aspect ratio (set up so the viewfinder is masked).

How have you masked the viewfinder?
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Theodoros

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2014, 06:58:03 am »

I searched for this so called "MF look" far and wide on a D800 for a while. I ended up buying an MF kit for it. Couldn't be happier.

It has a lot more to it than clinically shooting both formats and trying to equalize everything.

Ask yourself. Do you strive to achieve the "Full frame look" on micro 4/3rds? Can an M43 kit be considered as a replacement for a full frame kit?
There is a difference between the two comparisons you mention above (MF vs. FF & FF vs. Smaller) which makes the example less valid... That being the DOF aspect, with FF one can much and even beat the narrow DOF of MF (for the same AOV) by using faster lenses... with smaller formats, he can't much the FF DOF...
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2014, 07:15:25 am »

Hi,

I guess that it needs to be decided what look is sought, than we can try to emulate it.

Some alternatives:

- Short DoF at medium focal lengths -> use medium focal length with large aperture that is decently sharp at that aperture
- Sharpness at actual pixels -> sharp lens using non OLP filtered sensor and/or deconvolution sharpening
- Colour rendition -> better colour profile

The last two are pretty specific to MF (although resolution can be improved by stitching on any format).

- Resolution
- Short flash sync times using leaf shutter

Best regards
Erik



There is a difference between the two comparisons you mention above (MF vs. FF & FF vs. Smaller) which makes the example less valid... That being the DOF aspect, with FF one can much and even beat the narrow DOF of MF (for the same AOV) by using faster lenses... with smaller formats, he can't much the FF DOF...
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SeanBK

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2014, 08:19:48 am »

For Interior shots, sadly M.F leaves any other wannabe in the rear view camera. Of course L.F is incl in that category.
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elliot_n

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2014, 08:39:57 am »

How have you masked the viewfinder?

Viewfinder masking is a rather obscure feature of the D800. In its default state, the D800 represents the 4:5 aspect ratio with two thin black lines in the viewfinder. But if 'AF point illumination' (Custom Setting 'a5') is switched to 'off', then these thin black lines are replaced with dark grey blocks that properly mask the viewfinder. Perfect for shooting full bleed magazine pages. Also useful when using the D800 as a 'polaroid' for 5x4 film.

(I assume the D810 works in the same way. It's a shame there isn't an option to shoot a 1:1 square.)
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 08:42:50 am by elliot_n »
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lowep

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2014, 10:41:39 pm »

maybe the difference between MF and other formats is the attitude of the photographer rather than the camera ie maybe we should talk more about MF photographers, P&S photographers etc rather than different types of cameras?
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2014, 11:11:39 pm »

Hi,

May be yes, may be no.

Putting the camera on tripod and work carefully is a good start.

I am not sure the MF look exists. The major advantage I see with MF is higher resolution than smaller formats. But all this is a moving target.

This page contains two exposures MFD (39 MP) and FF 135 (24 MP) with actual crops. The MFD image may have better sharpening (I don't recall).
http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Articles/Shoots/Stendorren_2014_09_30/

Best regards
Erik

maybe the difference between MF and other formats is the attitude of the photographer rather than the camera ie maybe we should talk more about MF photographers, P&S photographers etc rather than different types of cameras?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 11:16:16 pm by ErikKaffehr »
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Hulyss

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2014, 10:04:40 am »

 :) Actually with your photo, I'm starting to wonder what happen in the background  ;D
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synn

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2014, 09:44:16 pm »

@Erik:

Nice frame of the tree, but I am not very sure if such a test scene is the best showcase for what an MF back does better than 35mm. That said, I can still see fine tonal variations in the tree bark in the MF shot that the 35mm shot simply does not have. This has been my ongoing observation of how MF files stack up against 35mm files. colors that are close to each other are rendered as one singular "Mush" by 35mm, but as distinct colors by MF.

To me, the MF look comes across much better in portraits. The much talked about skin tonality, the way the highlights "Sparkle", the grace in which in-focus areas transition into out of focus (Not talking about how shallow the DoF is, rather how good the transition is), how subtle tonal variations are rendered and so on. A 35mm file looks "Plasticky" in comparison. Sure, you can post produce anything to look like anything these days, but you'll get a much better start with an MF file. A Sigma DP file might be the closest thing to MF that you can get. Still, it doesn't do the focus transition as good as a proper MF back.

Sharpness is only one small aspect of the MF look.

Case in point:


« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 09:50:30 pm by synn »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2014, 12:06:43 am »

Hi,

The images posted were not exactly a test, it is just a couple of images from an evening walk.

I am not shooting portraits normally, in fact I would say I have not shot a portrait sine 1975, but we had a nice portrait session at our photo club. I was only shooting my P45+ as I lent out my DSLR to two ladies who had problems with theirs. But I had the opportunity to shoot a little bit with my DSLR, too. Those images turned out absolutely crappy. In a part that depended on sloppy use of the camera.

The original posting was about getting the MF look with smaller formats. Now, to answer that question we need to define what is meant by medium format look. For instance, it could be anything like:

- 3D effect with short DoF with large apertures
- 3D effect because of high micro contrast
- Skin tones
- Resolution
- Use of outdoor flash
- Add any of yours…

My point is that the best the way to get near to MFD quality is to work properly. For instance use minimum ISO, shoot from tripod, focus properly.

Personally, with the gear I use, the largest advantage with MFD I see is resolution. There may be other aspects, like I am not shooting portraits. Also I am shooting zooms on the Sony while I have old Zeiss primes on the "Blad". On the Sony I used magnified live view for focus while on the Hasselblad I use manual focus. I have been shooting the Hasselblad for a year and I feel I am warming up to it.

Another point is that I can only talk about equipment I use. It would be reasonable to assume that the 36 MP cameras like Nikon D810 and Sony A7r would be closer to MFD quality than my Sony Alpha 99. The Sony A7r has shutter vibration issues at the shutter speeds I normally use around (1/60), so it is said to perform like a 24 MP camera. The A7r can be bought for 3300 $US with a very good 55/1.8 lens, while a used P45+ like the one I have still sells for close to 10000 $US, without a camera and lens. I cannot talk about cameras I have not tested.

For me, the Hasselblad is a keeper, but I will not expand the system a lot and I will not buy another MFD system. Live view is attractive, so I am thinking a bit about the new CMOS backs, but I am not enthusiastic about the crop factor.

If/when Sony comes out with a new Alpha camera that is improved in areas which I consider important I may buy into that. Zeiss has a new line of lenses called Loxia which I find interesting, as I am interested in well working manual focus with live view.

Best regards
Erik



@Erik:

Nice frame of the tree, but I am not very sure if such a test scene is the best showcase for what an MF back does better than 35mm. That said, I can still see fine tonal variations in the tree bark in the MF shot that the 35mm shot simply does not have. This has been my ongoing observation of how MF files stack up against 35mm files. colors that are close to each other are rendered as one singular "Mush" by 35mm, but as distinct colors by MF.

To me, the MF look comes across much better in portraits. The much talked about skin tonality, the way the highlights "Sparkle", the grace in which in-focus areas transition into out of focus (Not talking about how shallow the DoF is, rather how good the transition is), how subtle tonal variations are rendered and so on. A 35mm file looks "Plasticky" in comparison. Sure, you can post produce anything to look like anything these days, but you'll get a much better start with an MF file. A Sigma DP file might be the closest thing to MF that you can get. Still, it doesn't do the focus transition as good as a proper MF back.

Sharpness is only one small aspect of the MF look.

Case in point:



« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 01:30:22 am by ErikKaffehr »
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Alan Klein

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2014, 12:08:12 am »

I think MF film has a different look.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/tags/rb67/

Alan Klein

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2014, 12:12:15 am »

Digital MF and especially 35mm seem to be too sharp and distinctive with less gradations.  It reminds me of the soap opera look on TV.  Almost too real.

synn

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2014, 12:25:24 am »

@Erik: All my observations are based on the D800 vs MFD.
Doesn't matter if you're working handheld/ tripod/ timed release/ flash/ available light.... my points still stand.

@Alan: I agree. MF film vs 35mm film is a different argument altogether. There still are differences, but of a different kind. I absolutely miss shooting Velvia on 645.

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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2014, 01:17:37 am »

Hi,

@Synn:
Just to remind you, the original posting was about: "The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.", so that is the question I try to answer.

@Alan:
I was shooting MF film for a long time, mostly Velvia or Provia. For me, film is history. I essentially never liked the film look. But other photographers love film. One problem with film is that scanning film and doing it well is not specially easy.

Best regards
Erik

@Erik: All my observations are based on the D800 vs MFD.
Doesn't matter if you're working handheld/ tripod/ timed release/ flash/ available light.... my points still stand.

@Alan: I agree. MF film vs 35mm film is a different argument altogether. There still are differences, but of a different kind. I absolutely miss shooting Velvia on 645.


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Alan Klein

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2014, 01:24:52 am »

Quote
@Alan:
I was shooting MF film for a long time, mostly Velvia or Provia. For me, film is history. I essentially never liked the film look. But other photographers love film. One problem with film is that scanning film and doing it well is not specially easy.

Fortunately, Eric, as an amateur and retired I have the luxury of using film.  Not sure how much longer I'll be able to handle the weight of the equipment though.

ErikKaffehr

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2014, 04:15:34 pm »

Hi Alan,

My main issue with film is really the scanning part, but also that I cannot get the results I really want. But I did get a film back for my Hasselblad and I will be trying a bit more film next year, I think.

Carrying the gear is an issue…

Best regards
Erik

Fortunately, Eric, as an amateur and retired I have the luxury of using film.  Not sure how much longer I'll be able to handle the weight of the equipment though.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The feasibility of getting the MF look with smaller formats.
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2014, 04:33:15 pm »

Hi,

Well, getting back to the original issue, I found a posting by Eleanor Brown which I think is releant in the context:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=84654.msg693486#msg693486

Quote
Erik, it's been interesting for sure..I haven't directly compared the Otus to my best Nikon lenses so far, only the Otus on my D800e and Sony A7r to my Phase One and Hasselblad lenses.  However on my previous non scientific tests of Phase One/Hassy vs D800e and my top Nikon primes I was surprised that even my Hassy normal 80mm lens beat out my Nikon top lenses.  It wasn't until I put the new Zeiss Otus on to compare to medium format did I start to see just how important the lens qualities are.  I was honestly shocked.  My medium format files always had a "textured" "pop" to them layered over super smooth creamy tonalities to give a feeling I could just walk into the image…a 3D look if you will.  The qualities of the new Zeiss on a high megapixel Nikon (or new Sony A7r) with no AA filter gives the same "feel" as my Phase set up.  Hard to be precise…it's just a "feel" one gets after looking at file after file .  Eleanor  (also keeping in mind that for me, one needs a super low iso to get the Nikon/Otus files at or nearly at the level of my Phase files…and I'm talking "pixel for pixel" basis…not overall actual file size.)

So, it seems that Eleanor essentially found that the Otus on a high resolution DSLR without OLP filter and using low ISO. She also makes the point that this is on a per pixel basis, her MFDB has significantly more pixels than DSLRs which now peak at 36 MP. But, 46 and 54 MP cameras are expected from Canon and Sony within 1-6 months, according to recent news.

I guess that Eleanor has some interest in meeting her high image quality standards with equipment of lower weight. The Otus is a beast of a lens, unfortunately, both regarding cost and weight. More affordable alternatives are around.

Guy Mancuso at GetDPI.com has tested the Credo 50 (CMOS), and seems to be impressed by that back, he has a lot of raw images available for download. I don't know if that answers the question of CCD vs. CMOS, but Guy seems to be happy about it. The new backs have live view, which is very helpful with exact focusing.

Another thing you may consider is a used MFD back combined with an affordable MF system, like Mamiya 645 or Hasselblad V. Another option is the Pentax 645D which available at real low prices now.

Personally, I have some significant interest in the upcoming Sony combined with some of the new Loxia lenses, but what future brings will in the future be seen. Until than I shoot with my Hasselblad/P45+ and Sony Alpha 99, enjoying both.

Best regards
Erik

Evening all,
Quite a while ago I started a thread on here about what constitutes the medium format look, with the general consensus being that its a combination of color fidelity and aberration free optics. My understanding is that these optics are more prevalent in the MF world because slower lenses (providing equivalent DOF on larger sensors) are easier to design and have lower tolerance requirements.

With the advent of the Otus, and to a lesser extent the Sigma Art series, I got to wondering if this look would be possible on 35mm format. My understanding is that the primary differentiator between DSLR + MF color is the implementation of the color filter array on top of various sensors and not a fundamental CCD/CMOS characteristic. My very basic understanding is that color separation is sacrificed for greater light sensitivity / ISO performance. So my question is this - Disregarding resolution gains, if Nikon produced a D800s (studio) with a disregard for ISO performance beyond ISO50-200 and I stuck an Otus 85mm on it, would I find the look I'm after?


A few notes
My interest stems from a love of the look and an inability to afford it.
I am aware that DOF transition is different across formats however I believe the Otus lenses handle it well.
Please forgive my lack of technical accuracy.

Alex
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 04:42:08 pm by ErikKaffehr »
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