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FORUMS Other Digital Cameras Medium Format Digital Cameras and Backs 
Thread started 20 Jul 2017 (Thursday) 23:30
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Old MF digital or new FF 35

 
Camofelix
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Jul 20, 2017 23:30 |  #1

I'm starting to feel more and more that I'm outgrowing my current setup. My issue as of now is not a lack of mega pixels (~20 is plenty for me) What I'm really looking for is better colour and and a different look to my competition.

That got me thinking: on the used market I can get into MF with a 20mp back, body and standard lens for around the same price as a 5dVi/5d3 + my current set of lenses. I'm happy with my current lighting tools and don't feels as if the money would be better invested there.

thoughts? makes sense or have I gone off the deep end?

Should also mention that I mostly work tethered, and am used to both Capture one and lightroom for workflow


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CH_Devin
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Jul 21, 2017 13:33 |  #2

I don't shoot tethered, but I would imagine that you wouldn't have issues with battery if you shoot tethered. One of the issues I had with a used MF ~20MP camera is that its battery would fail after an hour or so of use.

Other than that, the image quality is a significant difference from a 5D3. However, a 5D4 would be harder to compete with, considering its higher quality color rendering, plus lenses like the 50mm 1.2 and range of telephotos.

The H1 did fairly well, but only has an ISO up to 400 using a Phase One P25 back. With the 5D4, there would be more versatility.

If you want something you can keep for years without having to upgrade, I would look for a H5D-50c, which can go up to ISO 6400, usably. It will cost you twice as much.

That said, a 20MP backed MF would probably still do you well with a good lighting set-up that you mentioned. There is no limitations on shooting at ISO 50-400.


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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 1 year ago by MalVeauX. (3 edits in all)
     
Jul 21, 2017 13:59 |  #3

So what do you do that your equipment is holding you back on?

You're shooting tethered, so studio, where depth of field is less of a concern compared to simply controlling ambient and lighting. So having a bigger sensor isn't going to change much. You're not going to get better "color" either. If you want a different look, well, that's really subjective to whatever your meta-competition is (ie, is it all studio, or is it a bunch of lightroom profiled dreamy outdoor super shallow depth of field kid portraits, or some retro-filter crushed black instagram portraits; btw, not knocking anything, whatever works, its what's trending). If you want to be different, a different sensor won't change that. You have to be creative and produce work that doesn't look like other work; and the people buying don't see the sensor size difference, and neither will a photographer, unless you told them. I think its natural for a lot of people to get into a dSLR and then read a lot and immediately end up reading/watching information about medium format and the dynamic range and depth of field control with it and think its the way to go. That's a dated thing though, today's full frame sensors are so good (ie Sony) that medium format loses most of any advantage it had in the first place. If this is for WORK, having a work horse system that is supported and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to repair or replace is a smarter business practice than just having a niche device hoping it will look different in some way.

I think you should stick to your gear and simply look for creative techniques/locations/c​oncepts and improve lighting (no limits) and really reflect on your post processing too.

But again, depends on what you're doing with photography and what the product needs to be as the final result (a web image, or a huge print, etc).

Being different from your competition (this triggers the question of if this is for a business and not just a hobby or something) is not so much about producing radically different work, reinventing the wheel, and has a lot more to do with advertising and socially networking to get clientelle to know you exist.

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Wilt
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. (8 edits in all)
     
Jul 21, 2017 14:11 |  #4

In the past, medium format digital was characterized by

  • better s/n than APS-C/FF (bigger sensels, even with more pixels)
  • better resolution (greater number of pixels) than APS-C/FF


I cannot say that 'better color' was a characteristic, as both formats are inherently limited ultimately to the same 8-bit color spaces! Maybe it might be said that 'better gradation of colors' occurs with medium format since more pixels capture the same amount of subject area, in this way it is analogous to film benefits of old.
But FF digital has long rivaled the quality of medium format, it was not as easy a 'walk away from 135' in the days of film.

A discussion on this very topic: would an image produced by a 50-megapixel sensor be expected to have the same quality no matter the size of the sensor itself that produced it?
https://www.dpreview.c​om/forums/thread/40238​38 (external link)

...but does the image really LOOK any different?! I recently engaged in a discussion on a film forum about differences of 'appearance' of 135 film vs. 4x5 film.
In short, you can get IDENTICAL field of view and DOF and even identical magnitude of far field blur, so the only apparent difference is the tonality of more grains per subject area and the decrease in apparent size of film grain due to lower magnification for same print size... IOW, 'NO' there is not an apparent difference other than tonaity gradations or grain size.

Now having said that, I can tell you that in the days of film during workshops showing shots projected on a 4' x 4' screen, after viewing 135 slides there were notable gasps in reaction to shots projected to same size but captured on medium format! Whether the same effect would be noticed in digital sensors is an unknown...digital projectors are so incredibly DEFICIENT, at best they are 2K or 4K in resolution, compared to 20MPixel or 50MPixel sensors! So the projection is the lowest common denominator in such comparisons.

Would you SEE a difference in 50Mpixel FF vs. 50Mpixel medium format?...dunno!
Yes, larger format can have shallower DOF than smaller format, but when DOF is shot to be the same with both, will you see a 'more striking look' in the medium format shot?...dunno!
In theory, since medium format is enlarged less to make the same print, medium format lenses MIGHT deliver more line-pairs per millimeter of print...but then again in the last decade there has been a lot of new FF lenses with better resolution, while medium format lens design has not bewen so progressive in advances in results (due to smaller market demand)...so they might NOT today have a margin of performance any longer, compared to differences visible in 1990 FF lens vs. 1990 lens medium format.

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Wilt
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Jul 21, 2017 14:52 |  #5

There is one fellow on POTN who has past experience owning a Hasselblad digital. I sent him a PM to join this thread, and comment about his own experiences in differences you could SEE between medium format digital and FF digital. Unfortunately I think has been a few years since his experiences, but at least he can offer impressions of medium format digital of a half decade ago vs. FF sensors.


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CH_Devin
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Jul 21, 2017 15:54 |  #6

There is definitely a difference between MF and FF images. MF images, for one, do not break down with a simple 100% zoom into the image. MF images are more solid, and can withstand enlarging while keeping most of its detail, while FF images fragment (aside from the 5DsR).

The first is a MF image from an H6D-50c, the second is a FF image from a Nikon D5.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. (5 edits in all)
     
Jul 21, 2017 16:01 |  #7

CH_Devin wrote in post #18407817 (external link)
There is definitely a difference between MF and FF images. MF images, for one, do not break down with a simple 100% zoom into the image. MF images are more solid, and can withstand enlarging while keeping most of its detail, while FF images fragment (aside from the 5DsR).

You said, "(aside from the 5DsR)", as if the resolution were the great equalizer...
...and if both were 50MPixel sensors, FF and Hassy, so that the 'break down' due to high magnification was identical due to sensor resolution, like if you made a 60" tall print from both, WHAT other DIFFERENCE -- if any -- would one see? The OP is thinking that medium format would make a visual difference, i.e. improve his photography "a different look to my competition."


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Jul 21, 2017 16:10 |  #8

What vintage would this 20 mp back fall into?

10 years old?

As mentioned I would be concerned about support of bothe repairs, batteries, etc

I feel pretty confident that my 20mp 6D would capture a virtually equivelNt image to the single wrestler above.

And as both a canon shooter (by choice) and a Nikon shooter (via an ongoing gig), I definitely feel that color rendition from canon cameras is a huge selling point when compared to the competition.


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davesrose
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Jul 21, 2017 17:55 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #9

The OP specifically states he's looking for a different color rendition, not so much more megapixels. In that end, it's either experimenting with the WB setting of your current camera, seeing if another brand "defaults" to a more desired color tone, or (what I'd side with) finding a good preset for your post processing. If you want to try other cameras, maybe you can borrow or rent.

As an aside for technical points about digital FF vs MF, you bring up some interesting points Wilt. With film, a larger negative yielded higher resolving power. Now with digital, manufacturers are always reducing the pixel pitch to increase resolutions. There's the typical phenomenon with crop factor, but you also have possible limitations with SnR and diffraction limitation with continual reduction in pixel pitch. New FF lenses are nice and sharp, but is there a physical limit to the FF sensor's resolution due to diffraction limitation? I know Canon has made prototype sensors going above 100MP: don't know how they fair with smaller apertures.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Jul 21, 2017 18:03 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #10

Dave, diffraction is determined by the lens aperture and the diffraction amount is the same regardless of sensor size or lens FL. But the smaller image -- being magnified by 27.3X from 14.9x22.4mm sensor or being magnified by 16.9X from 24x36mm sensor or being magnified by 9.5X from 43x56mm medium format sensor -- has a more apparent diffraction captured in the print when magnified by 27X than by 9X!

The resolution of the sensor or the film does NOT alter the diffraction amount which is visible when enlarged...we did NOT have a different diffraction for Panatomic-X film than for Tri-X film, and similarly we do not have a different diffraction for 5DS than for 20D


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CH_Devin
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Jul 21, 2017 18:10 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #18407820 (external link)
You said, "(aside from the 5DsR)", as if the resolution were the great equalizer...
...and if both were 50MPixel sensors, FF and Hassy, so that the 'break down' due to high magnification was identical due to sensor resolution, like if you made a 60" tall print from both, WHAT other DIFFERENCE -- if any -- would one see? The OP is thinking that medium format would make a visual difference, i.e. improve his photography "a different look to my competition."

Both the pictures I posted where straight OOC, no post processing. I think the Hasselblad's color has a more solid backing to it. I don't know the technical terms. In 5x7 print, the Hasselblad photo's color does stick out more more, but if want to compare it to Canon's color, then here are some pics as well:

Here are the original photographs printed:

And then below, a Canon and a Hasselblad print side by side. Do you think there is a noticeable difference?


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Wilt
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Jul 21, 2017 18:16 |  #12

CH_Devin wrote in post #18407907 (external link)
Both the pictures I posted where straight OOC, no post processing. I think the Hasselblad's color has a more solid backing to it. I don't know the technical terms. In 5x7 print, the Hasselblad photo's color does stick out more more, but if want to compare it to Canon's color, then here are some pics as well:

Here are the original photographs printed:

And then below, a Canon and a Hasselblad print side by side. Do you think there is a noticeable difference?

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by CH_Devin in
./showthread.php?p=184​07907&i=i121834694
forum: Medium Format Digital Cameras and Backs

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by CH_Devin in
./showthread.php?p=184​07907&i=i206574662
forum: Medium Format Digital Cameras and Backs

Unfortunately, I will not attempt to 'compare' two photos that are not of the same scene taken minutes apart with identical subject...you posted two images, but they are not the basis of 'comparison' - not according to standard sound scientific technique.


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CH_Devin
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Jul 21, 2017 18:21 |  #13

Wilt wrote in post #18407916 (external link)
Unfortunately, I will not attempt to 'compare' two photos that are not of the same scene taken minutes apart with identical subject...you posted two images, but they are not the basis of 'comparison' - not according to standard sound scientific technique.

Unfortunately, I do not have a FF camera at the moment to do a test. I may borrow a friend's Canon 5D Mark II to compare with a H5D-50c if there is still sun out later today. If not, maybe tomorrow.


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Wilt
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Jul 21, 2017 18:25 |  #14

CH_Devin wrote in post #18407921 (external link)
Unfortunately, I do not have a FF camera at the moment to do a test. I may borrow a friend's Canon 5D Mark II to compare with a H5D-50c if there is still sun out later today. If not, maybe tomorrow.


Do you have an APS-C camera if you don't have FF? Canon cameras are quite similar in rendition of colors, and I would consider that to be an acceptable way of shooting same scene with both Canon and Hassy to judge color rendition.
Of course, there is the issue of picture style used in JPG for Canon; use Faithful style; or shoot in RAW and use identical settings (all zeroed) for both camera RAW conversions.


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davesrose
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Jul 21, 2017 18:54 |  #15

Wilt wrote in post #18407902 (external link)
Dave, diffraction is determined by the lens and the diffraction amount is the same regardless of sensor size. But the smaller image -- being magnified by 27.3X from 14.9x22.4mm sensor or being magnified by 16.9X from 24x36mm sensor or being magnified by 9.5X from 43x56mm medium format sensor -- has a more apparent diffraction captured in the print when magnified by 27X than by 9X!

The resolution of the sensor or the film does NOT alter the diffraction amount which is visible when enlarged...we did NOT have a different diffraction for Panatomic-X film than for Tri-X film, and similarly we do not have a different diffraction for 5DS than for 20D

That's not what Cambridge in Colour says:

diffraction-photography (external link)

When the diameter of the airy disk's central peak becomes large relative to the pixel size in the camera (or maximum tolerable circle of confusion), it begins to have a visual impact on the image. Once two airy disks become any closer than half their width, they are also no longer resolvable (Rayleigh criterion).

When you go to the advanced settings in the diffraction calculator, it factors sensor size, MPs, and print size.

Granted, you're not going to see diffraction problems unless you're trying to print to a large enough size. I just thought I'd point out the technical differentiation with current digital sensors: they have varying pixel sizes and as such, different circles of confusion.


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Old MF digital or new FF 35
FORUMS Other Digital Cameras Medium Format Digital Cameras and Backs 
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