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      10-14-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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Let's discuss Medium Format

So Rodi, whats up?


I'm seriously considering investing for commercial purposes. Lots to learn about for digital applications.

First off, I know a little about the brands but curious about others opinions on whats out there.

Hasselblad, Phase One (made for/by Hasselblad?), Mamiya, Rollie, Leica... (am I missing some major players?). Also need to consider what size I want to play with?

My needs will not need some $45,000 back for 80mpx files but I do want the larger sensor for better images, 16 bits per color sounds great with a 20/30mpx file.

I was considering a Rollei 6008 AF with a digital back (I think a Phase One P20 fits with an adapter). This would likely be cost effective and under $10k with a few lenses to start out. This is purely based off the fact that I have played with a Rollei before and just always liked the little box feeling of them and a 90deg view finder. They are a little heavier though.

So anyway, just wanted to open up discussion and hear opinions of those who might have some experience in this format.

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      10-14-2012, 09:38 PM   #2
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why?
why do you want medium format digital? what will you use it for?
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      10-14-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
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Commercial work. Stuff where people pay thousands of dollars for photos for their businesses - whatever those businesses are. Product, food and hopefully some modeling/fashion type stuff eventually.
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      10-14-2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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the 20/30 mp backs do not have the larger sensor size. if you go cheap, you'll be stuck with a non-modular system like pentax or something and with a sensor size that is merely a hybrid 35mm/MF size. you'll need to invest a lot more than 10k. you could rent and see what you like.
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      10-14-2012, 10:42 PM   #5
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hmmmm ok I must have read wrong then. I was under the impression even the 20mp back was a larger sensor and had a lot more detail and color depth than even a full frame DSLR.

So then what will the medium format with a 20/30mp back do for me that a 5d3 couldn't?


EDIT: just noticed the size comparison I saw was a FF, P40 (though was 20), P45 and P60
http://photo.tutsplus.com/articles/h...format-camera/

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      10-15-2012, 05:02 AM   #6
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hehe rodi took the words out of my mouth. 10K isn't gonna really get you anywhere if your switching formats
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      10-15-2012, 05:13 AM   #7
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IMO, & after viewing your work you have on flickr. I don't think you need to worry so much about gear rather than finding your vision & style. Gear will take you so far, but working on your creativity will do you more wonders than any MF system will ever do for you. instead of just lighting the scene, you need to do more than just light for the sake of light. Struggle with what you have now till you've find your niche. It the only way I believe you will become a better photographer.
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      10-15-2012, 05:39 AM   #8
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they have yet to make a FF medium format digital sensor. which would be 56mm x 56mm. everything else is a crop sensor IMO.

personally, i wouldn't buy into the MF Digital format until they make a FF MF. they're all crop sensors still. granted, it's still a lot more color depth and range, but it's the same crop problem as APS-C.
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      10-15-2012, 08:29 AM   #9
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You can get amazing image quality out of a D800 or D800e with good glass and careful technique.
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      10-15-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemonkey1112
IMO, & after viewing your work you have on flickr. I don't think you need to worry so much about gear rather than finding your vision & style. Gear will take you so far, but working on your creativity will do you more wonders than any MF system will ever do for you. instead of just lighting the scene, you need to do more than just light for the sake of light. Struggle with what you have now till you've find your niche. It the only way I believe you will become a better photographer.
You not need to worry about my Flickr and work you've seen on here to justify this or any other purchase of mine thanks. This isn't for shits n giggles on the forums where little to no effort is put forth. Shooting commercially for pay is a different story. If I wanted an opinion of if you thought I was good enough to deserve one I would have asked that instead.

Sorry not trying to get overly defensive or anything but my Flickr is about 1/10th of my work and that's because the other 9/10ths I'm too busy to show or not allowed to post publicly.

Either way this comment is totally irrelevant, I'm looking for technical info/opinions not critiques.
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      10-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi
they have yet to make a FF medium format digital sensor. which would be 56mm x 56mm. everything else is a crop sensor IMO.

personally, i wouldn't buy into the MF Digital format until they make a FF MF. they're all crop sensors still. granted, it's still a lot more color depth and range, but it's the same crop problem as APS-C.
Well the issue is clientele pays for top quality, I need to be able to offer it. Cf39 says it works with rollei 6008af. There isn't too much info on this stuff out in the open, which is why I'm wondering if others might know more. I assume the mf u shoot is film?
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      10-15-2012, 06:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
You not need to worry about my Flickr and work you've seen on here to justify this or any other purchase of mine thanks. This isn't for shits n giggles on the forums where little to no effort is put forth. Shooting commercially for pay is a different story. If I wanted an opinion of if you thought I was good enough to deserve one I would have asked that instead.

Sorry not trying to get overly defensive or anything but my Flickr is about 1/10th of my work and that's because the other 9/10ths I'm too busy to show or not allowed to post publicly.

Either way this comment is totally irrelevant, I'm looking for technical info/opinions not critiques.

no need to apologize, but just wondering what you mean... your flickr at your website post the same work. how is it that you get new clients if you're only showing 1/10th of your work? just wondering out of curiosity
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      10-15-2012, 07:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Well the issue is clientele pays for top quality, I need to be able to offer it. Cf39 says it works with rollei 6008af. There isn't too much info on this stuff out in the open, which is why I'm wondering if others might know more. I assume the mf u shoot is film?
yes - film. i don't use MF digital - it's just a crop sensor of true medium format. and i've never been after bit/color depth for my work. nor do i need giant digital files. if that's what you're after - it's a good way to go, but it won't match the look of 120.
there are some good articles out there from Hobby and Arias and some other folks. i also have a friend selling one of his MF digi kits, however that would be a 25k+ investment.
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      10-15-2012, 08:00 PM   #14
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yes - film. i don't use MF digital - it's just a crop sensor of true medium format. and i've never been after bit/color depth for my work. nor do i need giant digital files. if that's what you're after - it's a good way to go, but it won't match the look of 120.
there are some good articles out there from Hobby and Arias and some other folks. i also have a friend selling one of his MF digi kits, however that would be a 25k+ investment.
kinda seems like thats what I'm looking at with a few lenses anyway.

I agree, I love film but it's not practical in the work place anymore for productivity. I'm going to look more into it. My current boss says his Sinar backs on his rail cameras set him back $2k a piece on the used market. He is sure they have adapters for Rollei's but I want to be sure.
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      10-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #15
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no need to apologize, but just wondering what you mean... your flickr at your website post the same work. how is it that you get new clients if you're only showing 1/10th of your work? just wondering out of curiosity
Don't use flickr often and when I do it's for quick hosting to share stuff. my real port is all in printed form. that website hasn't been touched in over a year. surprised it still works cuz i dont think i renued the web address.

again, totally off topic so this will be / of that discussion.
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      10-16-2012, 12:03 PM   #16
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I have been shooting commercially nonstop for the last 4 years, and have had this same debate numerous times. The main things I have always taken away from MF cameras outside of the high mp is the tremendous depth, sharpness, and dynamic range that cannot be matched by and DSLR in the market now. Sure the D800e may have closed the margin a bit, but one still can't come close to comparing. I have gotten a chance to play with a Hasselblad, Phase One, and Leica, and have been even more tempted to make the leap after hands on time.

What I have learned though is that clients could care less what camera you use as long as your are delivering on your final product. Most of my work is print related, and some prints exceed the size of 4'x8', and I have yet to have a client tell me they believe the image may be a little soft. Sure in a perfect world where money really wasn't an option I would love to buy into the MF world, but to be honest my clients aren't asking for it...and the print quality doesn't seem to be demanding it. With the likes of the D800e and whatever Canon is planning on unveiling at the end of this month I don't see myself moving towards the MF market for quite some time.

What kind of work do you find yourself shooting on a regular basis for your commercial clients?
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      10-16-2012, 01:35 PM   #17
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I have been shooting commercially nonstop for the last 4 years, and have had this same debate numerous times. The main things I have always taken away from MF cameras outside of the high mp is the tremendous depth, sharpness, and dynamic range that cannot be matched by and DSLR in the market now. Sure the D800e may have closed the margin a bit, but one still can't come close to comparing. I have gotten a chance to play with a Hasselblad, Phase One, and Leica, and have been even more tempted to make the leap after hands on time.

What I have learned though is that clients could care less what camera you use as long as your are delivering on your final product. Most of my work is print related, and some prints exceed the size of 4'x8', and I have yet to have a client tell me they believe the image may be a little soft. Sure in a perfect world where money really wasn't an option I would love to buy into the MF world, but to be honest my clients aren't asking for it...and the print quality doesn't seem to be demanding it. With the likes of the D800e and whatever Canon is planning on unveiling at the end of this month I don't see myself moving towards the MF market for quite some time.

What kind of work do you find yourself shooting on a regular basis for your commercial clients?
Thanks for the insight.

Right now I am working here:
www.beaugureaustudios.com

Thinking of going into business myself doing something similar as we turn away 5-10 potential clients a month because we are so busy.
Food isn't my passion but I'm getting a lot of great experience at it and in Chicago - you have to be able to do it to make money. So that - I also have done some commercial interior home shoots for Empire Carpet, I believe I would be able to shoot similar stuff for flooring places, furniture stores, and maybe even real estate or home builders as well. A lot of these jobs they only use online so a 5D is all I need there most likely. Product stuff would also be included in this so MF is really where I think the details will get that added kick in the pants shooting this type of stuff (food as well).
Lastly I do want to try and start shooting model/product stuff for boutiques or smaller companies for catalog type work.

I don't know... maybe I would be fine with a 5dmk3 or even a 1Dx but if I am going to invest tens of thousands of dollars into a market I know is there and ready for high quality images, why not also start with the MF? If they want high enough quality that my current place already delivers, I'd probably need to at least give them that - even if the file sizes are still smaller and attainable in a FF DSLR. It might also be a bit of backwards thinking but if I am contracted for a job that would benefit from MF I'd like to be comfortable using the stuff before having to shoot it and risk mediocre results with thousands of dollars on the line.

A P20 back probably isn't the way to go but I could find a Rollei 6008 AF with it and an 80mm lens for about $6500 - then get a sinar back (without the rear display - I would have to be tethered to shoot it which shouldn't be an issue) to fit for about $5k. So if I go this route I would be able to use the P20 for shooting a high end wedding or something if I wanted to, then use the higher res back when shooting the product/food/fashion stuff.
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      10-16-2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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Thanks for the insight.

Right now I am working here:
www.beaugureaustudios.com

Thinking of going into business myself doing something similar as we turn away 5-10 potential clients a month because we are so busy.
Food isn't my passion but I'm getting a lot of great experience at it and in Chicago - you have to be able to do it to make money. So that - I also have done some commercial interior home shoots for Empire Carpet, I believe I would be able to shoot similar stuff for flooring places, furniture stores, and maybe even real estate or home builders as well. A lot of these jobs they only use online so a 5D is all I need there most likely. Product stuff would also be included in this so MF is really where I think the details will get that added kick in the pants shooting this type of stuff (food as well).
Lastly I do want to try and start shooting model/product stuff for boutiques or smaller companies for catalog type work.

I don't know... maybe I would be fine with a 5dmk3 or even a 1Dx but if I am going to invest tens of thousands of dollars into a market I know is there and ready for high quality images, why not also start with the MF? If they want high enough quality that my current place already delivers, I'd probably need to at least give them that - even if the file sizes are still smaller and attainable in a FF DSLR. It might also be a bit of backwards thinking but if I am contracted for a job that would benefit from MF I'd like to be comfortable using the stuff before having to shoot it and risk mediocre results with thousands of dollars on the line.

A P20 back probably isn't the way to go but I could find a Rollei 6008 AF with it and an 80mm lens for about $6500 - then get a sinar back (without the rear display - I would have to be tethered to shoot it which shouldn't be an issue) to fit for about $5k. So if I go this route I would be able to use the P20 for shooting a high end wedding or something if I wanted to, then use the higher res back when shooting the product/food/fashion stuff.
Some pretty impressive photography on that site.

It is all relative at the end of the day. I've priced out how much it would cost me to jump ship and switch to Nikon and that would be some 8-9k. I would still be able to justify that cost quicker then I would jumping into the MF world.

High quality is a must in the commercial world, you hold your own work to the highest standards as due your clients. Depending on the output of the image, even detail shots of products as you've mentioned, your gains would be minimal. The difference in quality becomes apparent when zoomed in at 100%+, it would never be apparent for web or even printing at certain sizes.

The main reason I wanted to make the jump is because I am constantly printing HUGE for clients, the infinite amount of mp and depth is perfect for that.

On a side note, I don't think I would ever bring a MF to shoot a wedding, the focus systems are notorious for being slow....which is perfect for me and most who desire MF because we are always shooting in relatively controlled environments.
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      10-16-2012, 03:40 PM   #19
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Badger, go out and buy MF, see what happens. Either it will pay for itself or it will not. You won't know until you try.
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      10-16-2012, 04:05 PM   #20
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Some pretty impressive photography on that site.

It is all relative at the end of the day. I've priced out how much it would cost me to jump ship and switch to Nikon and that would be some 8-9k. I would still be able to justify that cost quicker then I would jumping into the MF world.

High quality is a must in the commercial world, you hold your own work to the highest standards as due your clients. Depending on the output of the image, even detail shots of products as you've mentioned, your gains would be minimal. The difference in quality becomes apparent when zoomed in at 100%+, it would never be apparent for web or even printing at certain sizes.

The main reason I wanted to make the jump is because I am constantly printing HUGE for clients, the infinite amount of mp and depth is perfect for that.

On a side note, I don't think I would ever bring a MF to shoot a wedding, the focus systems are notorious for being slow....which is perfect for me and most who desire MF because we are always shooting in relatively controlled environments.
Yeah I'm maybe just looking down the road a couple years too far. I want to be prepared for what comes at me, just need to be patient I suppose. If I can find a system cheap enough I might pull the trigger but we will see. The original purpose of this thread was that I just wanted to find out what backs fit with what MF bodies and my specific interest in the Rollei.

I with the MF/wedding comment I was thinking more for the large family/couple posed stuff - not actual documentation of the event - Thats obviously 5Dmk3 territory all the way.

Another thought was that my side company stuff has gotten some interest from buyers at large retailers for some of the work that has been shot recently. This stuff is mostly landscapes and such, would think MF would be pretty useful there too. However if they do buy, I don't think we will have a problem affording this stuff.
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      10-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #21
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Badger, go out and buy MF, see what happens. Either it will pay for itself or it will not. You won't know until you try.
again, this is getting off topic. I'm not asking for business advice here guys, needed some technical advice on what people use and what fits with what.

a business loan is in the works for most of my equipment and I need to tie up the plans and amounts I am looking for which is why I'm trying to price out a system.
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      10-16-2012, 04:44 PM   #22
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Another thought was that my side company stuff has gotten some interest from buyers at large retailers for some of the work that has been shot recently. This stuff is mostly landscapes and such, would think MF would be pretty useful there too. However if they do buy, I don't think we will have a problem affording this stuff.
This one point alone has been a main reason I have been wanting to enter the MF world. Whenever I get a chance I shoot landscape as often as I can...and god knows MF would be amazing there....although significantly heavier then my current gear.

Either way I wish you the best on this journey...and look forward to your future posts.
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