I need to win the lottery....
||COOLPIX 5000|●|D70|●|D700|●|D810|●|AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D|●|AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D|●|AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G|●|AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D|●|AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED (Silver)|●|AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III|●|PB-6 Bellows|●|EL-NIKKOR 50mm f/2.8||
However, there is no getting around the lenses. Medium format lenses will always be more expensive. In my mind, the real question is how much more?
MF has always been expensive, maybe not as expensive as today, but it has always been rather high. The reality is that low sales figures alone will keep the price of MF high.
If I want the waist level view finder that is an extra $800.... Now on to the lens (System).
I want to replace my D810 and all my lenses... meaning I need the 35mm equivalent of the:
14-24mm F/2.8 (Not available) in Phase One
50mm F/1.4 (I guess the 80mm F/2.8 will work here)
60mm F/2.8 Macro
105mm F2.8 Macro (possibly available)
70-200mm F/2.8 - Not available
400mm F/2.8 - Not available
24mm PCE (tilt/shift) not available
85mm PCE (tilt/shift) not available
A full function bellows unit (Not available)
The reason I would want a complete MF Digital system.... While people think of the Phase One XF as a studio camera, they clearly are marketing it for landscapes also (All the pictures of the mountains out side)
I want my macro''s for "Flat Field of View and 1:1 reproduction work" I want the zooms for wild life and I want the tilt shifts for architecture and jewelry shots.
I don't think this is purely down to sensor cost always being high though, the Pentax 645Z for example offered the same smaller CMOS MF sensor for a fraction of the price of the digital backs alone.
I wonder whether this larger sensor might be interesting to Nikon? there has been some vague rumours of MF from them and Canon but my feeling is that the 44x33mm sensor was really not different enough from FF to justify it.
Looking at the price of the Pentax I wouldn't be supprized if Nikon could put out something with this sensor for less than $10k which would obviously open up a much larger market.
As one who has enlarged a D800E image to 30" x 65" and it is perfectly acceptable, there really is little need for MF except for extremely limited use, and I cannot even imagine one at present.
Now, would I want one if i did win the lottery.... of course, but this is more about my obsessive compulsive nature regarding the "ultimate" rather than the expectation it would improve my images.
Check out On-Landscape website for comparison of LF film reproduction vs the 80MP Phase backs vs D800. I recall a conclusion that the Q180 approached 4x5 results but there were a number of variables including film resolution characteristics and type of drum scanner used. The D800 details were mushy in comparison.
The big issue with MF is obtaining enough DOF so TS lenses are preferred and they are extraordinarily expensive. Schneider and Rodenstock seem the lenses of choice.
I don't consider my desire for the Phase compulsive just another tool to express my own vision. LF was my go to format for years but I would really enjoy a chance to use the new XF with several lenses, particularly during spring and fall.
The FX sensor, expeed processor and in camera software have not yet been maximized. We will see 100 plus megapixel FX sensors in a few years (look for it first in the D800 line), we will see sharper lenses designed for those high megapixel sensors like the Sigma Art series, we will see 16 bit color in FX bodies once the processors are faster and can keep up with all the data. etc. And, most importantly, all these improvements will occur for about the same price as a D5 and D810 ($4,000 to $7,000 price range) since they will appear in the replacements of those bodies.
If you want shallower depth of field now shoot at f1.4 and simply move the background further back or the subject further away from the background to create more blur.
If you want less depth of field than 1.4 (or 2 or 2.8 maximum on some lenses) simply use the Benizer method.
There is no need to spend $50,000 to achieve that "medium format look" anymore. I should also note Nikon mentioned skin color tones have been improved in the D5 (and likely also in the D500?) so that also helps narrow the gap with 16 bit medium format skin tones.
Of course, those who have special needs or simply want the ultimate available today can make a case for medium format and I do not contest their point of view. I just expect the medium format market to shrink as better FX bodies/lenses become available.
Apparently after spending the money on a similarly spec'ed medium format film camrea used in 2015.....
Take the Mamiya RB or RZ 67..... fully setup would run you about $1000-$2000. So subtract that from the $48,900 price tag.....
So then take say the $46,900 balance and buy a $200 scanner (To scan the negatives). Now we are down to $46,700.
Then take the balance of $46,700 and spend that on rolls of 120 film and developing film.
buying the film on sale from B & H would get you about +/- 900-1000 rolls of film and cover the developing.
So that is your break point for someone that does not really need a $48,900 medium format camera with 100mp.
in 6x6 format, that is about 12 exposures per roll; best case senario you will get 120,000 frames/ photo's shooting 120 film on a professional medium format film camera.
I shoot 120,000 frames on my my full frame Nikon's in a year (+/-). So I guess after the first year of shooting the XF with 100mp back is free and has paid for itself. (Compared to shooting 120 film)
But if you figure the value of the lens brand new is about $6,000..... Then even though that back is 1-2 generations old, it is technically still a steal to get into a Phase One system.
Medium format and D800/810 images at usual viewing distances may not be differentiated, unless, and this is the critical point, one has both images side by side. This is a similar situation as color memory. If one has a color swatch and tries to remember what it is, goes to a paint store, attempts to match the color this is nearly an impossibility. Once again, we have to have the examples in front of us to see any real differences. In real life, we only see the one image in its final production.
And, once again, if I had the financial resources, I would jump on a Phase One and all the lenses I wanted. Along with a Sherpa to carry the stuff.....
One more point, my opinion that is, both my D800E and D4 bodies, Nikkor lenses have abilities which are so far beyond my abilities, I doubt seriously I could produce much better work with a MF camera. I believe it is easy for us to purchase equipment, and I am one of course, to improve our technical results because this is one way we can make our work look better. But the limiting factor is our interaction with our subject. And, this is true whether we shoot live subjects, landscapes, products, or architectural....how we see the subject as it relates to our life experience, this may be the key to ultimately producing great images.
Like her, my background is shooting virtually all my work on MF and 5X4 transparency but only very occasionally on 8X10, and never on 11X14 which sounds fairly terrifying!. In the past, my only 35mm format work was family snaps. Of course there is a difference in sharpness as you go up in the size of the film or the sensor but with film, in my experience, the other huge difference is that the improvement in the subtlety of tonal gradation and colour rendition is very marked.
As I have never shot anything on MF digital I can only guess that the same is true in the digital world. There is certainly a jump in both these when going from (say) a D700 to a D800.
However, as Msmoto has said, for me, what I have is much better than I really need. I do not undertake any professional work anymore and almost never print bigger than A3. I am constantly amazed at how good my D810 is and think how lucky I (we) are to have such great gear! If I was still shooting for money, I might think seriously about getting a 5X4 digital back and probably skip medium format altogether. I do miss all the wonderful tricks that are possible with a Technical Monorail camera!