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To DSLR or not DSLR.

Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

I've been shooting with Nikon cameras for work more than 25 years now, but my D3 bodies are getting long in the tooth and they don't get used all that often for work these days.

Despite the desire that I've had for while now to get out and shoot just for the fun of it, that never seems to happen.

While my Mamiya bodies are stellar in the studio, they are certainly not the best for any fun shots that I may do if I ever find the time to go do something just for fun.

Some of the newer mirrorless medium formats are intriguing to me, especially the new Hasselblad X1D. I did a little testing with one while in NY a couple months back, but playing around with one for a few minutes even in the big camera store isn't enough time to really know if it could handle some fun shooting. The new Fuji medium format mirrorless (coming soon) could also be an interesting consideration.

Not sure that either the Hassy or the Fuji would be capable of fun shots, but it's been so long since I've done a just for fun shoot that I'm no longer sure what I would need in a fun camera. No medium format is fast, and you can forget about lower light situations, but these mirrorless ones are small and light to carry.

That's the conundrum, do I bite the bullet and pick up a D5 (just because I have so many lenses laying around) even though it will spend more time collecting dust than being used, or just forget about the dslr and move 100% into medium format and be done with it?

Steve

Website

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    NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms Registered Users Posts: 990 Major grins

    Just out of curiosity why would you be going for the D5 over the D810? The latter seems closer to the X1D as a camera in both its' size and the priorities of its' design.

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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,899 moderator

    For fun stuff, family and local parks for example, I really like the APS-C bodies.

    In Nikon, the D7200 is a knockout nice camera body. Add a couple nice zooms, in my case the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM (standard/normal) and Sigma 50-150mm, f2.8 II EX DC APO HSM (tele), and you have a fairly small and light kit that puts the fun back into photography.

    The standard zoom is amazingly good on the D7200, and not bad at all on the D7100, for that matter. The tele-zoom is less sharp, but still fine with appropriate post-processing.

    I'll add items as necessary, like a flash for indoor social stuff, or a super-wide zoom and/or true macro (micro) lens if I think they're gonna be used.

    Point is, less weight but still rewarding for most fun stuff.


    If I'm just out to slow down and think about each image (my substitute for golf), a Sony mirrorless system (a6000) comes out. I have some very nice primes in the Sony "E" mount, and even some lens converters to put some "strange" back in the game. It's all good fun if you just want to test your creativity with minimal expectations and no real plans.


    Stitched panoramics are fun, as are stacked images for DOF and Brenizer Method. Pretty much anything new can be a fun process.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    @NikonsandVstroms said:
    Just out of curiosity why would you be going for the D5 over the D810? The latter seems closer to the X1D as a camera in both its' size and the priorities of its' design.

    I've always done the flagship model out of habit more than anything else. Now that I'm considering maybe staying with a dslr I never really thought about anything other than the D5. No real reason other than habit.

    I know that sooner or later I'll be going mirrorless for work, that is just the evolution at the moment. Both Mamiya bodies are about half way through life so it won't be long before I get new studio gear anyway. While the X1D is small and limited, I was thinking that at the price point it might make for a decent fun camera should I get the opportunity to shoot something other than work stuff, plus could be used for work if needed as a backup. Almost all of our clients are now expecting medium format shots.

    @ziggy53 said:
    For fun stuff, family and local parks for example, I really like the APS-C bodies.

    I've never had a crop sensor, so I think that it would take some getting used to. I had a hard time switching to digital mainly because of that reason. When the D3 came out 9 years ago or so, that is when I finally made the switch. I also don't know if they've changed their design to allow the older glass. I remember that the older crop cameras had to use motor driven lenses. If that is still the case, most of my top end glass would be limited.

    The main reason I have held onto the D3 bodies was that I was trying to talk myself into getting out of the studio more often, but can never seem to get motivated enough to do it.

    Every time I look through the macro section here on the forum I tell myself to grab the macro lens or tubes and get out there, yet somehow the work is getting in the way. I know, it's hard to complain about being super busy, but still. It's been years since I've gone out looking for a spider or some other cool looking bug.

    When I start thinking of photographing birds or bugs or bridges or whatever fun thing that I used to enjoy, my brain jumps in and wants to know who is buying it, how they are going to use it, and when is the check coming. All those same business questions I ask clients now get in the way of shooting for fun and I end up back in the studio.

    Steve

    Website
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    NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms Registered Users Posts: 990 Major grins
    edited March 27, 2017

    @Cygnus Studios said:

    @NikonsandVstroms said:
    Just out of curiosity why would you be going for the D5 over the D810? The latter seems closer to the X1D as a camera in both its' size and the priorities of its' design.

    I've always done the flagship model out of habit more than anything else. Now that I'm considering maybe staying with a dslr I never really thought about anything other than the D5. No real reason other than habit.

    I know that sooner or later I'll be going mirrorless for work, that is just the evolution at the moment. Both Mamiya bodies are about half way through life so it won't be long before I get new studio gear anyway. While the X1D is small and limited, I was thinking that at the price point it might make for a decent fun camera should I get the opportunity to shoot something other than work stuff, plus could be used for work if needed as a backup. Almost all of our clients are now expecting medium format shots.

    @ziggy53 said:
    For fun stuff, family and local parks for example, I really like the APS-C bodies.

    I've never had a crop sensor, so I think that it would take some getting used to. I had a hard time switching to digital mainly because of that reason. When the D3 came out 9 years ago or so, that is when I finally made the switch. I also don't know if they've changed their design to allow the older glass. I remember that the older crop cameras had to use motor driven lenses. If that is still the case, most of my top end glass would be limited.

    The main reason I have held onto the D3 bodies was that I was trying to talk myself into getting out of the studio more often, but can never seem to get motivated enough to do it.

    Every time I look through the macro section here on the forum I tell myself to grab the macro lens or tubes and get out there, yet somehow the work is getting in the way. I know, it's hard to complain about being super busy, but still. It's been years since I've gone out looking for a spider or some other cool looking bug.

    When I start thinking of photographing birds or bugs or bridges or whatever fun thing that I used to enjoy, my brain jumps in and wants to know who is buying it, how they are going to use it, and when is the check coming. All those same business questions I ask clients now get in the way of shooting for fun and I end up back in the studio.

    I'd definitely look into the D810 then as the comparison. The D5 might be the flagship camera but it's not their top of the line in terms of image quality in most regards, and if your other option is a medium format body then that's where your priorities seem to be.

    While both are very capable and can handle almost anything that you can throw at them they have their specific niches that they excel in. For the D5 that's action and low light, while the D810 is all about high resolution and tons of dynamic range.

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    puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul Registered Users Posts: 1,621 Major grins
    edited March 27, 2017

    As a random amateur erk, I'm in no real position to suggest anything to you, but the situation you've described above seems (to me) to be about everything other than gear choice.
    I had no idea what constituted fun' shots to you until you mentioned macro and birds -a couple of subjects I have a little experience with - so all I'd suggest is - for this aspect of your photographic life - is to just pick up the relevant gear you've probably already got ... and get shooting.
    I say the same to people I meet when they query how long I spend grovelling trying to take lowdown 'duck pix'... pix don't take themselves ... and suggest that whatever time I do spend probably isn't greatly different from that which they spend in front of the goggle box, watching junk.
    The only gear related comment I'd make - which is also, I suspect another 'grandmother sucking eggs' scenario - is that using non pro bodies with appropriate lenses allow for lower pov shots than pro bodies - imo, important with both subjects in certain situations.
    Re gear age ...I still remember when Harry Behret got his D3 - and was over the moon with it and put it to good use (and at a lesser level, I still have shots taken with a 20D that I'm unlikely to dump...)
    Just get out there (in nature) and try and get some decent shots of moving subjects that want to do their own thing - and don't take direction or sit still.

    pp

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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,899 moderator
    edited March 27, 2017

    @Cygnus Studios said:
    I've never had a crop sensor, so I think that it would take some getting used to. I had a hard time switching to digital mainly because of that reason. When the D3 came out 9 years ago or so, that is when I finally made the switch. I also don't know if they've changed their design to allow the older glass. I remember that the older crop cameras had to use motor driven lenses. If that is still the case, most of my top end glass would be limited.

    The Nikon D7200 has an AF screw drive motor in the body so it handles AF-D lenses fine. The D7200 is the current top of the prosumer line, and you can get a Nikon factory refurbished copy for $759.95 at Adorama. I consider that a low enough price to count as a "discretionary" purchase. For me that simply means I can afford a bit more risk than I would a "business" related purchase. Likewise the lenses which I purchased used. Purchasing this way takes some of the pressure off of using the stuff for fun.


    As user NikonsandVstroms (Jonathan) suggests, the Nikon D810 is a nop-notch Full-Frame landscape and architectural body, as well as portraiture and studio body. At base ISO it has both a high pixel count, which is important for detail and for smooth color transition, and excellent dynamic range. For all intents and purposes it really can perform as well as a larger format body. (Especially so when coupled with the best, large-aperture prime lenses.) Add a Nikkor PC-E lens and you have some perspective control like large-format with tilts and swings.

    Responsiveness is good but not quite sports-ready, although there are some people using it for some sports, but it's more responsive than most medium format bodies.

    @Cygnus Studios said:

    The main reason I have held onto the D3 bodies was that I was trying to talk myself into getting out of the studio more often, but can never seem to get motivated enough to do it.

    Every time I look through the macro section here on the forum I tell myself to grab the macro lens or tubes and get out there, yet somehow the work is getting in the way. I know, it's hard to complain about being super busy, but still. It's been years since I've gone out looking for a spider or some other cool looking bug.

    When I start thinking of photographing birds or bugs or bridges or whatever fun thing that I used to enjoy, my brain jumps in and wants to know who is buying it, how they are going to use it, and when is the check coming. All those same business questions I ask clients now get in the way of shooting for fun and I end up back in the studio.

    That's your "business brain" speaking, which is generally a constructive defense against wasted time and wasted money. However, ... remind your total brain that such thinking can also reduce creativity and exploration.

    There is true value in creativity and exploration, both of which can feed back into the studio process to reap dividends. To that end I suggest that it's OK to splurge a bit into the occasional purchase for the fun of it and the occasional diversion from your "normal" processes to grow your total skill set.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms Registered Users Posts: 990 Major grins

    Since Ziggy brought up the D7200 I'll give my quick endorsement of that body. Currently I shoot with a D7200/D750 in a wide variety of work in and out of the studio. The D7200 is a pretty special camera in that its' image files act just like the 750's just with 1 stop more noise. And that's still pretty good.

    I have an issue with my hands and wrists so lighter/smaller gear is a huge deal for me. And because of that the D7200 is my primary camera for many types of photography. One example is ultra wide angle where I use a Tokina 11-20 F2.8 which is a fraction of the size of a comparable FX lens.

    The great thing about cameras today is that they all can produce amazing results. So the question has come down to where are your priorities, and what level of performance do you need for your work. If you look a few threads down on this forum I wrote one about the Olympus E-M10 that I just picked up. It lags behind my Nikon bodies in multiple ways but in many use cases it can come really close to them. That might not sound like a ringing endorsement but for a camera that can fit in my coat pocket and is a fraction of the weight of my other bodies that's impressive.

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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited March 27, 2017

    @puzzledpaul said:
    As a random amateur erk, I'm in no real position to suggest anything to you, but the situation you've described above seems (to me) to be about everything other than gear choice.

    There is a ton of truth in that. I'm not exactly sure when I lost the desire to just get out there and shoot. I used to do it somewhat regularly (one or two days a month), and it was just about everything. Flowers, bridges, animals, bugs, buildings, etc. Never really mattered what it was, I simply loved getting out of the studio and having a camera in my hands.

    Thankfully I saved some of these older images to post in the few threads that I still do here on the forum. (Alphabet - association threads come to mind).

    As ziggy mentioned; "That's your "business brain" speaking, which is generally a constructive defense against wasted time and wasted money. However, ... remind your total brain that such thinking can also reduce creativity and exploration."_

    He is 100% right. That is the problem, photography is just a job to me. Don't get me wrong, I still love the challenge of getting the shot done for the client. That is the real fun for me.

    @NikonsandVstroms said:
    The great thing about cameras today is that they all can produce amazing results. So the question has come down to where are your priorities, and what level of performance do you need for your work.

    This is the second part of the problem. Any gear choice I make is being chosen by the "work" side of my brain.

    My work brain screams just skip the dslr all together. I'm not going to use it for work, I know this, and the odds of me getting outside on any sort of regular basis for fun stuff is never going to happen. Embrace the workaholic and move on.

    Talking this out has actually helped. :-) I'm a business man who just happens to make my living with a camera, I'm not what most people would call a photographer these days.

    Thanks everyone, this makes the gear choices obvious now.

    Steve

    Website
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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,899 moderator

    @NikonsandVstroms said:
    Since Ziggy brought up the D7200 I'll give my quick endorsement of that body. Currently I shoot with a D7200/D750 in a wide variety of work in and out of the studio. The D7200 is a pretty special camera in that its' image files act just like the 750's just with 1 stop more noise. And that's still pretty good.

    Just to punctuate the message, DXOMark rates the D7200 noise level (SNR 18%) at 1-stop worse than the D5, as you said, but the D7200 rates more than 2-stops better than the D5 for dynamic range at ISO 100. (Using the Print setting which normalizes both bodies data for an 8" x 10"-ish image size.) (Caveat: The DXO results do not translate directly to Adobe RAW file conversion, but there seems to be a parallel correlation between the RAW conversion from both companies' offerings.)

    Not that the D5 images are that much different from D7200 images under default RAW conversion settings, because they are not.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    Brett1000Brett1000 Registered Users Posts: 819 Major grins

    "For fun stuff, family and local parks for example, I really like the APS-C bodies"

    yes, no question, APS-C models are the best for "fun and family" and value

    And mirrorless cameras are the present and future .... (not past)

    I can't imagine going back to the old big and heavy DSLR's

    flickr.com/photos/mmirrorless

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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited March 28, 2017

    @Brett1000 said:
    "For fun stuff, family and local parks for example, I really like the APS-C bodies"

    yes, no question, APS-C models are the best for "fun and family" and value

    And mirrorless cameras are the present and future .... (not past)

    I can't imagine going back to the old big and heavy DSLR's

    Value is a relative term. Some people absolutely love the crop sensors and some of us old timers who came from 35mm find it odd.

    Mirrorless I agree is the future, but will it dominate all forms of photography ???? maybe, maybe not. For those of us in studio, this is definitely the future.

    Big heavy cameras don't matter when they are almost permanently attached to a camera stand or on the rare occasion tripod. I can't remember the last hand held shot I took, so weight will never matter to us who live in the studio :p

    Steve

    Website
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    kdogkdog Administrators Posts: 11,681 moderator

    I own both full-frame (5DMKIII, 5DMKIV) and crop bodies (80D, 7DMKII) and wouldn't be without either. To me they are different tools for different purposes.

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    RichardRichard Administrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,937 moderator
    edited March 28, 2017

    @puzzledpaul said:
    As a random amateur erk, I'm in no real position to suggest anything to you, but the situation you've described above seems (to me) to be about everything other than gear choice.

    As he often does, I think Paul went right to the heart of the matter. Shooting for fun can be done with anything that doesn't spoil the fun, including many modern cell phones. So the question is, what might spoil the fun for you? Two common considerations are weight/size and image quality. Weight is starting to matter more to me than it used to, but YMMV. As for quality, seems like fun shots shouldn't require the same level of technical excellence that you routinely demand of your pro studio work. They just have to be close enough for rock 'n' roll, IMO.

    You seem to be conflating shooting for fun with (more serious) considerations about your professional gear migration path. That might be a mistake. I'm sure you and many others here know far more about professional gear than I do, so I'm only addressing the fun part. Maybe just borrow a decent point and shoot from someone, get out with it a few times and see what that does for you. Or if weight isn't a major factor, get out there with your D3 and a standard zoom lens. Point is, just doing it is more important that the choice of gear. If none of that works, perhaps shooting for fun isn't really an option for you anymore and you should concentrate on guitar or cooking. No shame in that. :wink:

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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    For years I've told people that if they liked taking pictures don't become a photographer (profession), because the business has very little to do with the images. It was kind of a joke, but there is truth to it. Depending on what type of photography you do for a living, you spend so many hours on client meetings, mood boards, and other details and then you might spend 8 or 10 hours actually shooting. For me personally it is even worse because I'm not the only photographer in the studio, so I have to manage my time and five others. On top of all that, I spend many hours each week with my agent who is determined to work us to the bone each week.

    Once you get caught up in the business details certain fun things get lost. On the business side, you break down gear expenses by the client/time so every click of the shutter costs X amount. It all boils down to time and money, then you rinse and repeat that thought over and over until it is a habit.

    Somewhere along the lines that business mindset got in the way. Not intentionally at first, but slowly. I didn't even notice it until early last year when someone asked me about taking fun shots. That is when it dawned on me that I hadn't done it for a couple of years.

    The habit of wanting to know all the details of a shoot have become so ingrained that I can't seem to shake it. I find that I'm asking myself the same questions that I ask clients. It's silly, but it's true. What is the image for, how are you going to use it, how is it helping the bottom line, etc.

    Five or six years ago I used to head over the local park just to photograph the birds and I enjoyed it. I wasn't thinking about who was going to buy the shot and how they were going to use it. Yet today, those are the only questions that I have in my head when I see a camera.

    Then last week I pulled the D3 out of the case, wiped the dust off and realized that these bodies are 9 years old and one of them is making some not so nice noises when focusing.

    I've shot with Nikon's for a long time now so part of me wanted to rush out and buy a new one just because that is what I've always done. One breaks, buy a new one and never spend another second thinking about it.

    That was when the businessman inside of me jumped in and asked the business questions. Will I use it for any clients? Probably not. Will I use it as a back up? Probably not. Will buying it make me get out of the studio and shoot something that doesn't involve a client? Probably not. Do I need a 6K paper weight? Definitely not.

    Despite the businessman knowing that it was a waste of money, that old photographer in me was trying to justify it.

    Once I started this thread and could see the argument in the written word the basic truth was easy to see. It's not about the camera, it is a nostalgia that I hate to see go away. However despite my desire to go out and just shoot whatever, the business side of my brain knows that my images will always be about work. Even all those years ago I didn't get into photography because I liked taking pictures, I simply saw a way to make good money.

    Today I still love the challenge of putting a clients idea onto film (now digital capture) and thankfully for 25+ years I've been lucky enough to do it, but this conversation has made me realize that the non work stuff just isn't me anymore. In a way that seemed sad to me, but then I realized that I still make a good living doing what I love, and how many people get to say that?

    Steve

    Website
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    NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms Registered Users Posts: 990 Major grins
    edited March 28, 2017

    Just a quick question based on what you posted earlier. While you got into this as a business you also talked about going out with your camera and just shooting random things. What was your motivation for taking those none work shots?

    I wonder if your photography could be in a way similar to my riding. What I mean by that is I had the D5 of motorcycles in many ways, it was a Honda Blackbird that could do over 180 MPH but other than those spurts of acceleration it was a pain in the butt as a bike. Heavy, it threw out tons of heat, the suspension sucked for living in the city, it was cramped, etc.

    So I bought a V Strom, it had over 100hp less than the Blackbird but it was simple and would do anything I wanted comfortably and with enough performance to be fun. While I have a few fond memories of the Blackbird I LOVED the in many ways less capable V Strom. Riding became just about the ride and nothing else. Even just going around the neighborhood was fun again.

    What I'm saying here is maybe rent a smaller camera for a week or so. Maybe getting back to basics could bring back that interest in shooting everything since you wouldn't be holding a "professional tool" in your hands that might help you get out of that mindset.

    And if it's not a hobby for you no worries, just thought I'd put up this idea just in case. Best of luck either way.

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    puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul Registered Users Posts: 1,621 Major grins

    @Cygnus Studios said:
    but then I realized that I still make a good living doing what I love, and how many people get to say that?

    Not so many these days, I suspect - so, yes, you're lucky from that pov.
    The only other comment / observation I'd make to this - somewhat more interesting turn of the thread, imo - is related to how much of the 'tog's vision / creative input is put into the image in a commercial pic session - if the image has to ultimately satisfy another's requirement ... compared with one's own 'fun' shots ... or the likes of a non pro like me, where we only have our own vision to satisfy?

    pp

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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    @NikonsandVstroms said:
    Just a quick question based on what you posted earlier. While you got into this as a business you also talked about going out with your camera and just shooting random things. What was your motivation for taking those none work shots?

    That's a great question, but I do not have an answer. I don't really remember why I got out and shot non work stuff. Some of it was the traveling that I did for work. I would take time to get out and just walk around wherever I happened to be. Part of it was doing workshops (teaching others about photography). Part of it was hanging out with people who didn't do photography for a living but enjoyed doing photography.

    The non work stuff all came and went in a matter of years. I would really have to spend some thinking about that.

    @puzzledpaul said:
    The only other comment / observation I'd make to this - somewhat more interesting turn of the thread, imo - is related to how much of the 'tog's vision / creative input is put into the image in a commercial pic session - if the image has to ultimately satisfy another's requirement ... compared with one's own 'fun' shots ... or the likes of a non pro like me, where we only have our own vision to satisfy?

    Think about it like this. Art is the only product that has no end user in mind when it is created.

    Business is the complete opposite and everything is about the end user.

    When I attend business group events like Chamber of Commerce as an example, people naturally ask each other what do you do. My answer is always "commercial photographer". Some will then tell me that I'm an artist. I am not. While there is some art in what I do, my job is 100% about selling. Whether that is the idea or actual product, it is still about getting others to spend their money.

    As a commercial photographer it is all about getting that vision of the client onto the page/website/billboard/etc. Bigger high end clients have stricter method of how they build that image, but the process is basically the same even for small clients although the pieces will rearrange. Take the thought, assemble the team, create a mood board, determine what works, argue about it, argue some more, assemble the parts, assemble the rest of the people, create the shot and get the ad out there.

    Commercial work is essentially baby photography.

    That product/idea is someone's baby. It is the most special thing in their life and needs to be treated as such.

    If someone develops a new product (wine for example). So many hours and so much money has been put into that product before the grapes are even planted in the ground. They have thought the entire process down to the smallest detail including how it will be marketed, which is where I fit into the process. Nothing is left to chance. Too much money and time is involved. It is their baby. It is the prettiest, it is the best, etc.

    That final image isn't about me, what I like, what I think is best, it is all about the baby.

    Steve

    Website
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    jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins

    You might want to read this first:
    https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/2341704755/thinking-about-buying-medium-format-read-this-first

    Those new mirrorless MF cameras are sexy and tempting, but apparently they give you no advantage in DOF, DR, ISO with their currently available lenses.

    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
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    Brett1000Brett1000 Registered Users Posts: 819 Major grins
    edited March 29, 2017

    "Those new mirrorless MF cameras are sexy and tempting, but apparently they give you no advantage in DOF, DR, ISO with their currently available lenses."

    well shoot, I guess I'll cross mirrorless medium format cameras off my list
    Full frame, crop model, mirrorless, "every day" camera and of course a cell phone camera you carry around all day
    can you have too many cameras?
    (maybe I'll keep the mirrorless crop)

    flickr.com/photos/mmirrorless

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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    @jmphotocraft said:
    You might want to read this first:
    https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/2341704755/thinking-about-buying-medium-format-read-this-first

    Those new mirrorless MF cameras are sexy and tempting, but apparently they give you no advantage in DOF, DR, ISO with their currently available lenses.

    Mirrorless systems are still finding their feet. Go back and read the reviews when digital was making those first splashes into the market.

    Like any tool, you have to have the right one for the right job. In the studio there are some nuances that will be helped by mirrorless. Is it the right tool for every photographer? Of course not, but there never has been.

    Unless something dramatically happens to throw the mirrorless systems off the rails, I have no doubt that everyone in our studio will be using them by the end of 2018 (probably sooner).

    The very limited testing that I got to do at the big box store in NY had me with the 1/2000 flash sync. Rocked my world :#

    Steve

    Website
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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,899 moderator
    edited March 30, 2017

    @Cygnus Studios said:

    @jmphotocraft said:
    You might want to read this first:
    https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/2341704755/thinking-about-buying-medium-format-read-this-first

    Those new mirrorless MF cameras are sexy and tempting, but apparently they give you no advantage in DOF, DR, ISO with their currently available lenses.

    Mirrorless systems are still finding their feet. Go back and read the reviews when digital was making those first splashes into the market.

    ^^ True!

    I was a commercial product photographer working for a Fortune 1000 company from 1974-2006. For the first 21 of those years we used a Calumet 4"x5" View Camera, with full tilts and swings.

    In 1995 the company allowed us to purchase a Kodak DCS460 for the very real sum of $15,000USD. After the required lenses, computers, etc. the total came to just over $26,000. (That's around $42,000 current dollars for the single camera body plus systems to support the body.) We had sufficient volume of work to achieve a 2-year payback against the associated costs of film, processing, etc. plus increased productivity which reduced overtime costs.

    The camera body had a native ISO of 80, and we had to pretty much stay at ISO 80 because the CCD noise was pretty bad above that. Try living with that limitation of a single ISO today! (Fortunately we still shot film where it made sense, and in multiple film formats.) While the body was a Nikon N90s, the digital back didn't come with an anti-aliasing filter; that was optional and extra, but required for product work.

    The camera used PCMCIA cards and hard-drives, but most of the time it was tethered to a desktop computer so that we could shoot non-stop. Again, try imposing that requirement today for "every image". Of course, there was no "Live View" display, but critical shots could be processed fairly quickly on the tethered computer, similar in principle to using Polaroid film to check a shot on the view camera. Plus we kept shot logs of each new session, mostly lighting changes.

    Later, we purchased a consumer P&S Kodak camera just so we could capture stuff for the monthly newsletter.

    Still, the Kodak DCS460 served us until 2004 when the Sony DSC-F828 had come out. Finally, a camera with low-cost, an arguably better sensor (although still CCD), and a special CCD at that, with a custom Bayer filter which yielded slightly better color images (compared to prior models). It also had both "Live View" and a Video port so that I could display the image on a large monitor prior to capture. (This was vital for rapid shot setup, including resetting to a previous setup.) It was good enough that a few early adopters were already demonstrating its use for product photography. I was able to convince the company President and he signed the PO the same day as the presentation and pitch.

    The Sony DSC-F828 purchase allowed us to finally stop using film cameras almost altogether (except for large displays and exhibits, which could justify the 4"x5" film format.)

    (I purchased the somewhat similar Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 shortly afterward for my own use.)

    @Cygnus Studios said:
    ...

    The very limited testing that I got to do at the big box store in NY had me with the 1/2000 flash sync. Rocked my world :#

    Bingo!

    For indoor studio work a high-flash-sync means not having to worry so much about ambient lights. Otherwise you pretty much work with the studio flash modelling lights, which isn't horrible but not optimal for productivity.

    In outdoor shoots it means better control of natural, ambient lighting, without resorting to HSS/FP mode in the camera, which has limitations all its own.

    ==========================================

    Edit: On counterpoint:

    The Hasselblad X1D is a "crop" medium format body, with exactly 2 - lenses capable of 1/2000 flash sync.

    .....The XCD 45mm f/3.5 "standard" prime.

    .....The XCD 90mm f/3.5 medium telephoto.

    Certainly Hasslelblad will create lens adapters to use with the body, but probably not with full native features.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins

    Also, these new "MF" cameras like the mirrorless Hasselblad and Fuji, and the mirrored Pentax 645Z, aren't really MF. They're 44x33mm. And the Leica S2 is 45x30mm. If you think of real medium format as being derived from 120 film, the long side of the frame should be at least 60mm long.

    In the case of the Pentax 645Z, this isn't such a bad thing, because it can use real MF lenses and the corners will be cropped. But the others must invent new lenses, which I imagine do not have 120 sized image circles.

    Of course the potential is there for greater IQ. It is a larger sensor after all. The resolution and pixel-level quality is already better than FF. And if they ever make f/1.4 lenses for those cameras, then you're ahead of any FF system. But for now if you're looking for maximum DOF control and maximum ISO performance, a FF camera with f/1.4 lenses gets you more.

    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    @ziggy53 said:
    Edit: On counterpoint:

    The Hasselblad X1D is a "crop" medium format body, with exactly 2 - lenses capable of 1/2000 flash sync.

    .....The XCD 45mm f/3.5 "standard" prime.

    .....The XCD 90mm f/3.5 medium telephoto.

    Certainly Hasslelblad will create lens adapters to use with the body, but probably not with full native features.

    The 30mm and 120mm are also 1/2000

    Not sure if the upcoming 22mm or 65mm will be or not.

    @jmphotocraft said:
    Also, these new "MF" cameras like the mirrorless Hasselblad and Fuji, and the mirrored Pentax 645Z, aren't really MF. They're 44x33mm. And the Leica S2 is 45x30mm. If you think of real medium format as being derived from 120 film, the long side of the frame should be at least 60mm long.

    The digital systems have a standard all of their own.

    My Mamiya is 53 x 40, and I know that the Hasselblad H5 and H6 series are also 53x40. I've not heard of anything bigger for digital.

    The Pentax, the Hasselblad X1D, and the new Fuji are all 43x32

    I looked long and hard at the Pentax system, and the only issue I had was repair/parts/service. Not a ton of people work on them (at least here where I live and work).

    @ziggy53 said:
    The camera used PCMCIA cards and hard-drives, but most of the time it was tethered to a desktop computer so that we could shoot non-stop. Again, try imposing that requirement today for "every image". Of course, there was no "Live View" display, but critical shots could be processed fairly quickly on the tethered computer, similar in principle to using Polaroid film to check a shot on the view camera. Plus we kept shot logs of each new session, mostly lighting changes.

    I was just talking with a group of new photographers about the days of using Polaroid's as "live view" and shot logs. Those raised on digital have no idea of the "stuff" that working photographers had to put up with just a couple of decades ago. Can't say that I miss those days at all :p

    Steve

    Website
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    jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins

    @Cygnus Studios said:
    >

    @jmphotocraft said:
    Also, these new "MF" cameras like the mirrorless Hasselblad and Fuji, and the mirrored Pentax 645Z, aren't really MF. They're 44x33mm. And the Leica S2 is 45x30mm. If you think of real medium format as being derived from 120 film, the long side of the frame should be at least 60mm long.

    The Pentax, the Hasselblad X1D, and the new Fuji are all 43x32

    43.8 x 32.9.

    http://www.hasselblad.com/x-system/x1d-50c/

    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    @jmphotocraft said:
    43.8 x 32.9.

    I was originally going to round the numbers up, then decided to round down, but I just knew that someone was going to come along and post the actual numbers :D

    Steve

    Website
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    jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins

    I had posted 44x33 before, so I thought maybe you knew something I didn't, so I looked it up on hassy's site. :smile:

    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,899 moderator

    @Cygnus Studios said:

    @ziggy53 said:
    Edit: On counterpoint:

    The Hasselblad X1D is a "crop" medium format body, with exactly 2 - lenses capable of 1/2000 flash sync.

    .....The XCD 45mm f/3.5 "standard" prime.

    .....The XCD 90mm f/3.5 medium telephoto.

    Certainly Hasslelblad will create lens adapters to use with the body, but probably not with full native features.

    The 30mm and 120mm are also 1/2000

    Not sure if the upcoming 22mm or 65mm will be or not.

    Good to know about the 30mm and 120mm, but I don't see them in stock. Probably not too long a wait.

    @Cygnus Studios said:

    The digital systems have a standard all of their own.

    My Mamiya is 53 x 40, and I know that the Hasselblad H5 and H6 series are also 53x40. I've not heard of anything bigger for digital.

    The Pentax, the Hasselblad X1D, and the new Fuji are all 43x32

    I always considered the 645 film bodies as a type of "crop" medium format body. Since none of the Medium Format bodies even meet that standard, I have a hard time buying into the concept.

    In the mean time, I have a GigaPan Epic 100 which allows stitching multiple automated overlapping captures in whatever aspect ratio I want, plus a traditional panoramic head, both of which work nicely for creating ginormous image captures of static scenes. For instantaneous single exposures I have 4 - large format cameras, and large format film still makes great prints. (No, nothing recent.)

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited April 1, 2017

    @ziggy53 said:
    I always considered the 645 film bodies as a type of "crop" medium format body. Since none of the Medium Format bodies even meet that standard, I have a hard time buying into the concept.

    So what isn't a crop to you? 75x56mm? That's as big as I can find for the older film medium formats. The biggest I ever used was a 6x7 (56x67) and that wasn't often.

    I didn't go medium format until just a couple of years ago. I started with a Nikon F4, then went to 5 and 6 before going onto the D3

    For the X1D lenses, it would seem the 30mm is back ordered at all the big name stores. Although for my purposes, the 45mm and the 90mm most often, those two would cover almost 100% of what I shoot in the studio these days. I could be tempted to take a long hard look at the 120mm once it hits the street. Of course if they would make it a macro that would seal the deal for me.

    I'm waiting for the chance to do some real life testing before making a final decision on going mirrorless.

    Steve

    Website
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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,899 moderator
    edited April 1, 2017

    @Cygnus Studios said:

    @ziggy53 said:
    I always considered the 645 film bodies as a type of "crop" medium format body. Since none of the Medium Format bodies even meet that standard, I have a hard time buying into the concept.

    So what isn't a crop to you? 75x56mm? That's as big as I can find for the older film medium formats. The biggest I ever used was a 6x7 (56x67) and that wasn't often.

    I didn't go medium format until just a couple of years ago. I started with a Nikon F4, then went to 5 and 6 before going onto the D3

    It looks like the Pentax 645 was introduced in 1984, and may have been the first to use that format?

    At that time I already had a Mamiya C330 and Hasselblad 500C, and I could use the 56mm square images either as square, or add cardboard cropping guides***** to allow lots of subordinate portrait and landscape crops, including the 645 (56 mm × 41.5 mm) format. With that much post-processing capability the dedicated 645 bodies didn't make much sense.

    My father had both a Mamiya C330 and a C330S, plus a host of lenses which I could share when I assisted him. He also had a Hasselblad 500CM, so we pretty much build our systems in parallel but without lens repetition. (He also had Rollie [Flex and Cord] TLRs, but I was not allowed to use them.)

    Later I purchased Yashica TLRs (635 and 124G) which were more nimble (and a Yashica 124G was what I used at a night and weekend photography job for the local paper), and then a few Lubitel TLRs, which were cheap and expendable. I even have a Kiev-60 and a couple of nice lenses. All of my cameras were/are 120-6x6 format film.

    My father had pretty much beat into me the ethos of using 6x6 square format and image framing within that format was second nature. The home darkroom was made for 135 format, 120-6x6 format and large format 4x5, with a separate enlarger for each format. I suppose that I never had a chance to consider another medium format; so I didn't [consider another format].

    (At my work we had a 120 roll film back in 6x7 format for the view cameras, but I don't remember it ever being used.)


    Edit:

    *****(While these were called "cardboard cropping guides" they were precision die-cut 110-weight, opaque printing masks which were taped to the back of a medium format film negative by the photographer. It was the only way to insure that a print lab would accurately print to your cropping needs. Only the top professional print labs supplied the masks, and only upon request.)

    This is not my image, but as an example of a crop mask:


    http://www.dominicurbanophotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/slide-scan-120-urbano.jpg

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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