Used Digital Medium Format Temptation

paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
edited April 2015 in Other Manufacturers
Are you tempted to try the major jump to Digital Medium Format? With the exceptional high depreciation of these types of cameras and little change in the technology in the medium format range.
35 mm DSLR have come on in leaps and bounds but still cannot match the large sensor medium format quality even with the best german lenses. Downside is slow FPS compared with 35mm Post Production back-up, some would say weight, but there is very little difference between the top Nikon Pro cameras with a good quality lens on.
With the future looking bright for high end super megapixel 35mm cameras and new lenses to match, at a cost getting nearer to used Digital Medium Format, are you tempted to get a low shutter count used Digital Medium Format Camera.
Post edited by paulr on
Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits

Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2015
    If money was not an issue. I would be tempted by a drone with one these with one of these
    http://industrial.phaseone.com/iXU_camera_system.aspx




    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    edited April 2015
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,351Member
    Medium format has always been interesting but impractical and is becoming more impractical every year as DSLR sensor now move to the 50 mp level and exceed medium format sensors on DxOMark sensor ratings. Even the $1,500 Nikon D600 sensor at 94 beats the $40,000 Phase One IQ180 sensor at 91. The one advantage of the MF Phase One is color depth but no one is complaining now about insufficient color depth or rough transitions between minor color changes in skin tones are they? MF advantages just seem to be disappearing and likely will continue to do so. My God, even iPhone photos are now being enlarged to billboard size.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,340Member
    I think medium format is only marginally better than FX because the manufacturers are so far behind Nikon.

    It would be like comparing a D700 against a D7200. FX would look like a debateable improvement, but only because the FX model sucks and FX's potential is not being recognized. I think that the same situation exists for medium format.

    Remember that FX has an inherent advantage over DX of about a stop. Occasionally DX narrows the gap a little, but whatever technical advance allowed DX to do so is adopted by FX and then the gap widens. The FX format is inherently superior to DX in its ability to gather light. This is also true, less obviously, for resolution.

    Currently, medium format sensors are very expensive, but as with all sensors, they will eventually decline. The pace of technical improvement will also slow as the technology matures. Then one of two things will happen:

    1.
    A current manufacturer such as Nikon will introduce medium format and the image quality improvement over FX will be the same as FX over DX.

    2.
    The current medium format manufacturers will not be so far behind technically and they will start to offer their products at reasonable prices. The fundamental advantage of the larger formats, no longer constrained by the manufacturers' dated tech, will begin to assert itself.

    At which point FX wil be my casual and travel kit but I will use medium format when I am really serious about IQ.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2015
    in the days of film 35mm virtually replaced MF
    but there was, is and will always be, clients who want and are willing to pay for, the best
    A good big one will beat a good little one
    FX cannot match the color depth of MF
    and people who are not concerned about things like wight price, fps and auto everything, will continue to use MF

    Currently, medium format sensors are very expensive
    and so is MF glass
    that will not change in the foreseeable future
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,340Member
    I agree with that. When I say MF will become reasonable, I just mean not the current Phase One prices for cameras. I also suspect the glass will not come down much.

    I would not mind paying for the glass, but spending $50,000 on a throw away camera would be painful.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2015
    but spending $50,000 on a throw away camera would be painful.
    I have two friends who use Phase One . Nether own them , they both hire
    The cost is billed directly to the client and seems to be a small part, of the cost of the shoot
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,351Member
    "FX cannot match the color depth of MF " I hear that a lot but the DxOMark color depth ratings don't seem to show so much difference. D810 has a portrait color depth rating of 25.7 bits, the Phase One IQ 180 has a portrait color depth of 26.5. How much difference can 0.8 bit make? The Phase One P65 has a portrait color depth of 26 for a difference of only 0.3 bit. Even the D7200 has a portrait color depth of 24.5 bits. I am not saying some difference is not there: I am just wondering if ordinary people can even see it?
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I am just wondering if ordinary people can even see it?
    No I don't think they can but ordinary people are not in charge of commissioning million pound advertising campaigns
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    For most people, including professional photographers, IQ (like computer performance) is only interesting when it is not good enough. As 35mm format digital IQ (sensors and lenses) gets better at each evolution, it becomes 'good enough' for an increasing threshold of missions and displaces other formats.

    Additionally the dynamic limitations of most MF equipment make it suitable for a limited and specialized set of circumstances, meaning where the subject holds still long enough to use MF, and the IQ really matters. For landscapes, I would match the IQ of one of my 300-500 mp stitched panos (usually 27 frames 3 H X 9 W in portrait alignment) against any other digital format, certainly single frame MF.

    This leaves high end fashion as the MF territory where it still rules because it is a perfect fit to the requirements.

    The only thing preventing Nikon / Canon / Sony etc going to 16b is the decision to do so.

    Whenever I think about MF, I get better lenses or pano heads.

    Regards .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    For an active top level pro, medium format is simply a tool and cost is not an issue. For those of us who do not have income, my D800E is my "medium format" and is quite adequate IMO.
    Msmoto, mod
  • danhowldanhowl Posts: 36Member
    I am a working fashion/commercial photographer. I was tickled pink to switch to MFDB (Hasselblad/Leaf back) in 2005 and worked with it exclusively until about 2010. The amount of resolution was vastly superior to what had at that time (D1X), but that time has passed. While I do have the resources to justify the cost of a MF digital system, I choose the Nikon system I have. I am happy with the available resolution compared to MF.

    What can't be compared is the speed of shooting and the range of lenses available. Recently I've been diving in to Zeiss lenses (just got a 55mm OTUS) which rival anything I have ever used digitally. A rough test with my 85mm ZF.2 to the Hasselblad 210mm H gives a very slight edge to the Zeiss. I would say that the margin would be wider compared to the Mamiya. I haven't compared with the OTUS yet or the very nice 85mm PCE. But really, I don't know if I will bother. Clients are happy. My digital tech doesn't give me sour looks, so it seems to be working.
    D3X, D800, 17-35, 28-70, Zeiss 55mm OTUS, 85mm Zeiss CF.2, 85mm PCE, 70-200 VRII, 105DC
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2015
    I would match the IQ of one of my 300-500 mp stitched panos (usually 27 frames 3 H X 9 W in portrait alignment) against any other digital format, certainly single frame MF.

    I have one problem stitched panos I cannot get them to work if the light is changing ( sunset / sunrise) or waves in sea scapes
    I love seascapes at sunset
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I would match the IQ of one of my 300-500 mp stitched panos (usually 27 frames 3 H X 9 W in portrait alignment) against any other digital format, certainly single frame MF.

    I have one problem stitched panos I cannot get them to work if the light is changing ( sunset / sunrise) or waves in sea scapes
    I love seascapes at sunset
    Yes, panos do require that the subject not change quickly.

    ... H

    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

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