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tashley

It's the glass, stupid....

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Potentially, I guess, f1.8 is a good compromise for the chipped adapter, since even f1.4 is not a stop away. Practically, as I said, it makes no difference whatsoever, and certainly I don't see overexposure at all, which is what you'd expect.

 

This is a separate issue apart from using the bare bone adapters, Jamie.

 

You probably have gotten an adapter encoded as f/1.4 with luck, or as you've mentioned, f/1.8 is a good compromise.

 

I've got 5 or maybe 6 different chipped adapters and found this easily, it turns out that some of them are encoded with an open aperture of f/2.8, this can be easily determined by someone who has the right tools.

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I completely understand the point of owning a Canon or Nikon digital camera if you already own lenses. But I think the original point of this thread was a disaffected individual wanting to divest themselves of the M8 and move into Canon or Nikon as an alternative. And being concerned that if they do so, they could have access to primes equal to the quality of Leica.

 

I was making the point, why buy Canon and limit the investment in outstanding AF performance by using manual lenses? It makes sense if you already own manual lenses for these systems but it doesn't make sense to me, if you don't.

 

LouisB

 

I understand it might not make sense to you, or to others, but personally the outstanding AF Canon glass is no match for the even more outstanding Leica MF glass.

 

I also find them easier to focus in the dark than the AF glass. That's just me, but since I do a lot of focusing in the dark, it's important. Sometimes, AF is good, sometimes, not so much.

 

YMMV. For me, these are the great non-Canon lenses on a Canon FF camera (build quality of all of these is, IMO, far superior to Canon's glass too, I'm sorry to say):

  • Oly 21mm f2 (or the Zeiss 21 Contax mount is even better if you can find or afford it). So well corrected it's not funny, and as I said, the Zeiss is even better. You can also zone focus this lens very quickly
  • Oly 28mm f2. Different look than the Canons; very nice colour rendition
  • 35 Lux (won't work on my 5d) or 35 Cron R. Again, it's all about correction and contrast. People's heads are simply warped more with the 35 1.4L. Ok, so you can post process that away. Good; I'd rather not.
  • 50 Lux R current version. The best 50mm lens ever, IMO. Just outstanding in terms of sharpness absence of vignetting wide open, superb in backlight or high contrast situations. Its polar opposite wide open is the 50 1.2L, which I also love, but for completely different reasons
  • 80R lux. Nothing needs to be said here except it has completely replaced my use of any Canon 85 model. My all-time favourite portrait lens (though for a sharp portrait lens wide open, you might want the 90 cron R instead).
  • 100 APO Macro Elmarit R. Sharp? You want sharp? And close?
  • 180 Elmarit R (current). A bargain and absolutely outstanding. I've shot running kids with this on the 1ds2, and while it might not work for sports I find it easy to track-focus on the 5d too (though I bet Rob Stevenson could make it work!)

Having said all that, the R lenses are great on the DMR too; I'm very hopeful the next digital R will be full frame and lighter.

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Sean

 

Which of the Zeiss ZF lenses have you reviewed?

 

So far, the 50/1.4 on Nikon and the 35/2.0 and 50/1.4 on Pentax. Once Nikon gets me a D3 to review, I'll be testing most of the ZF line. The K10D, interestingly enough, uses a very weak AA filter and thus is a rather good lens test bed (for that sensor size).

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I was making the point, why buy Canon and limit the investment in outstanding AF performance by using manual lenses? It makes sense if you already own manual lenses for these systems but it doesn't make sense to me, if you don't.

 

That last phrase is key. It may well not make sense for you but it can make a great deal of sense for those of us who like MF lenses. I think that the tail shouldn't wag the dog. So, the fact that a system offers strong AF performance is no reason, per se, to use AF. Different strokes, etc.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I spent Sunday night photographing a friend's pub gig and then early to Birmingham Monday for Focus on Imaging to play with some gear, not yet having seen Sunday's shoot on screen.

 

During the day I played with plenty of gear and have decided quite certainly not to purchase either a 1DsIII or a D3. They both feel too big and were underwhelming to use though I preferred the Nikon. What I have learned from this thread is that I'm not going to get 'the look' on a FF Canon, however close some of Jamie's lens suggestions might get me! And Sean's suggestion to look at the Nikons with various glass including Zeiss seems sensible, but I already have a lot of Canon system stuff (flashes, releases, glass) and a switch to Nikon for such a small number of additional pixels (I know, I know they are good ones) seems like too much hard work for a mixed bag of gain.

 

But: I got back yesterday evening and looked at my pub gig shots, and they re-enforced the love-hate dilemma. Lovely creamy handling of soft low light and OOF areas, and more banding than a bandicoot on some shot at ISO 1250. Examples posted below.

 

So what's a boy to do?

 

I've refined my requirements. What I need is more resolution, for a project I'm working on that requires 24x36 inch printing with just a bit more detail than even the M8 can muster. And I want to be able easily to use a polariser and possibly some grads. I also want not to have to throw pixels away due to inaccurate framing: however well you know your gear, guessing framing errors on ten lenses at different distances to subject is non-trivial.

 

I have realised that I'm not going to get these benefits whilst also getting 'the look' I get from my current glass on the M8 so...

 

I will keep one body, CV15, 28 cron, 50 lux and maybe nocti and 90 F4 (because it's so small and light and not worth a huge amount). Everything else goes. This will mean I can still get 'the look' when I am happy to live with 'the risks' or when I want to travel light. I have enough experience with the gear to avoid most of the problems, to spot and compensate focus issues as they develop and so on, and it's all worth it under certain situations and to a degree. But the M8 cannot be my main system any more...

 

So what else will join the remaining M8 in my stable?

 

I'm looking at blowing serious £££ on a 39mp Phase one or Hassy setup with just one lens for now. It'll certainly give me the resolution and the glass is great if carefully chosen. I could use as many filters as I liked, not have framing issues and the setup would suit my project really well.

 

OR I might just accept that that stuff is all going to be out of date too fast for it's price and the amount I'll use it, and buy a mid-range 4x5 film system as a stop-gap. That'll give me the resolution I need, for sure! It'll be cheap, surprisingly light, and teach me new skills. Then in a year or two's time, when there's a Nikon FF dslr with 20+ pixels, I'll swing for it and some Zeiss glass.

 

How's that for a game-plan?

 

So: thanks again to all for such detailed responses: I will be able to treat this thread as a reference for a long time to come and it has really helped me to make up my mind in a positive way.

 

Finally: here are three pub shots. Two I like a lot. They all have banding but it's only truly intrusive in the third shot.

 

Love it and or hate it, there's not a camera in the world other than the M8 that could be this brilliant and this crass within moments...

 

Tim

 

 

 

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What's about the Mamiya ZD Tim? Slightly less expensive than the Hasselblad, 21,3 beautifully large Mp's and excellent lenses....

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What's about the Mamiya ZD Tim? Slightly less expensive than the Hasselblad, 21,3 beautifully large Mp's and excellent lenses....

 

It's had such indifferent reviews, and the latest I read said the 1DsIII is notably better... but tell me otherwise!

 

:-)

 

T

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I've got no personal experience, a pro I know told me he is quite happy, but I'm sure there is somebody on this forum with personal experience. The only thing I can say was that the film Mamiya's I used to use in my amateur way were not only practical (for the format

), but also high quality gear. I certainly liked the look of the lenses better than the Canon L glass I shot beside it. But that may be unfair, 645 vs 135....

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I will not dive into the muddy water of medium format DB now, Tim.

 

You should wait till the Mamiya 645 AFD III (co-developed with Phase One) announcement ...

 

in the mean time, refurbished H3D-39 kit can be had for 18k US ... second hand 1Ds2 are going below 3500 US.

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Tim,

 

I was talking to a Hasselblad rep yesterday at FOCUS and he told me he can get used CFV backs at less than £3,000.

 

With a small format digi alongside it you'll have all you need.

 

That's what I've just done and so far, so good. I'll send you a full size TIFF if you're interested.

 

Anyway, good luck sorting through the maze, I know it's not easy.

 

Rolo

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Tim,

Two thoughts here:

 

a) The Leica shots you posted:

They go hand-in-hand with my own Leica M8 dilemma. Noise gets very strong above ISO 640. On shots like your pub pictures, noise kills any "look" or "drawing" the lenses might produce. And, if you would post these images in color, it would even be worse.

 

These shots look noise-wise like my Canon shots looked in 2003 or so.

 

Medium format:

You need to tell more about your project and its requirements.

 

Medium-format needs plenty of light for bringing the resolution advantage really to shine. The Phase One backs are the only ones with very good very long exposure capabilities (if your project allows for that).

 

I am shooting a Hassy 503cw (<$ 1,000 these days) with an Aptus-17 (that back is one generation back compared to the newest generation from Leaf and others). With plenty of available light or strobes, results are really great. Resolution for example from my Zeiss 120mm macro is very very good.

 

Peter

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Tim - It's none of my business of course, but I can't help thinking that any digital Medium Format purchase at this stage will be a financial hammering at the buying stage, and later on at the selling stage. Given the new printer, inks, computer, software, and large portfolio prints you could make with those resources; for me, the case for Medium Format Digital would make no sense. Those large, tripod shot or flash frozen files have a seductive Siren-like lure of course, but another reality is we see them on screen 16+ times too big and before they get flushed to their destined output.

 

I have predominantly seen handheld work from you [at which you excel], but the moves you are speculating suggest a new rigour of tripod working which equally could be applied to 36 x24 sensor [and smaller] photography to aid the print size you have in mind. A good tripod with smaller sensor camera [than Medium Format], improved file mastering for printing, and the perfect choice of fine paper; whilst not as 'sexy' as a Hasselblad could actually better serve you in the short time.

 

Our technology is improving of course, and another step-up in quality is coming soon from the major DSLR players in 24x36 format photography which I believe could cause a tipping point for Digital Large Format players. If you were to have the the thoughts you have now, but at Focus-2009, I suspect your temptations on equipment would be very different.

 

We all have to define for ourselves the point at which 'enough is enough' regarding file quality, and I would not presume to tell you what that should be for your requirements. But I downsized to the M8 after years of working with predominantly 6x9, and 6x7, roll-film rangefinder and viewfinder cameras and can accept the gains and losses in that shift so the 'Siren' files of Medium Format digital is less seductive for me than the next flagship Nikon teamed with the new Perspective Control lenses.

 

If you do consider using film for specific work I might have a portable solution for you, send me a P.M. and I'll get in touch. I hope I have not intruded on your thinking. Best wishes to you, and your work.

 

.................... Chris

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{snipped}A good tripod with smaller sensor camera [than Medium Format], improved file mastering for printing, and the perfect choice of fine paper; whilst not as 'sexy' as a Hasselblad could actually better serve you in the short time.

{snipped}

 

With a good tripod, many of the issues with the M8 would go away, especially exposure and noise issues.

 

Of course, the framing isn't so good. But if you're using a tripod, you probably have time to chimp...and if you don't have time to chimp, then the tripod probably isn't a good idea either, which, again, lets off MF...

 

Tim--have you considered borrowing someone's DMR? That would solve the framing issue.

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Love it and or hate it, there's not a camera in the world other than the M8 that could be this brilliant and this crass within moments...

 

Tim

 

 

. . . the DMR, possibly

 

 

nice images and best of luck with your search. thanks for the informative thread

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I spent the morning out looking at gear... always dangerous. Though tempted by some cheaper refurb MF backs, I've turned away from that option. Depsite the fact that they're refurb, you're still up to £15,000 by the time you've got a body and one decent lens and I'm not prepared to commit those funds to gear whose financial half-life I think will be short.

 

So I've decided to sell half my M8 gear as described above and wait for either...

 

An upgraded M8 or an M9 or.... an R10 or... A Nikon D4 with 22 pix and the use of Zeiss glass. Maybe one of those will be the holy grail of portable, reliable, great glass and prints up to 24x36 with very fine detail. In other words, the camera that suite my needs doesn't exist yet, and that's because my needs are absurdly broad.

 

In the meantime I'll continue to use the M8 and for certain kinds of work the 5D. But I've added another tool to the armoury... another horse for certain courses:

 

A quince wood and red leather Wista 5x4 field camera with a rodenstock 150mm lens and various other marvellously arcane bits and pieces.

 

I'll get all the resolution in the world. I'll shoot the scenes on an M8 too, as a sort fo failsafe, since those files when shot in good conditions do print very acceptably up to 24 x 36. And, like with the M8 (but not INMHO the 1Ds III or D3) I'll have a camera with soul.

 

I might be a fool, time will tell, but I'm really quite excited.

 

Best to all - and thanks to Chris, Jamie, Sean and Terry plus many others for PMing, emailing or posting here critically useful information. I owe many favours!

 

Tim

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...

A quince wood and red leather Wista 5x4 field camera with a rodenstock 150mm lens and various other marvellously arcane bits and pieces.

 

The next step is a 6x12 back and some wide angles. I don't know about the Wista, but I once had a Gandolfi 4x5 (ok 5x4) field camera and didn't find it precise enough. So I went to a Linhof Technikardan which is phenomenal.

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But: I got back yesterday evening and looked at my pub gig shots, and they re-enforced the love-hate dilemma. Lovely creamy handling of soft low light and OOF areas, and more banding than a bandicoot on some shot at ISO 1250. Examples posted below.

 

So what's a boy to do?

 

 

Hi Tim,

 

first off, congrats on your new camera. May you make tons of beautiful 'photographs' with it!

 

As for the kind of photo's you posted, made in low light like in the pub, why not use your MP and a fast black and white film for that kind of work?

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

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