No complaints about my D70 or F5, but I've been getting my "high resolution" fix from my medium-format Bronica ETRS and Coolscan 9000. Meanwhile, I've been saving and hoping that a D3X would become affordable, but D3xs are holding their value really well.
Phase One backs of 16-22 megapixels are now very cost-competitive with the D3x, even counting the plate from Kapture Group that I'd need to use one on my Bronica.
Has anyone had the good fortune to use a D3X *and* a medium-format camera with a digital back? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each, and how each one affected your shooting style.
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#1. "RE: Used Phase One Back versus D3X?" | In response to Reply # 0Beach_dog Registered since 11th Mar 2006Sun 20-Dec-09 08:06 PM
Can't say I have had the good fortune to shoot both for myself. I got to handle a phase-one camera with I believe the P65+ back last winter in Yosemite. It had the same feel as my Mamiya 645pro, which makes sense since the body is made by Mamiya. Felt great! Got feel up a D3 at a workshop last year, it felt great!!
I have been watching the prices on the used MF backs, on the big auction site, come down to where I'm starting to think about it. Like you, I shoot MF and scan or straight analog or shoot with my D200. I prefer the feel of my Mamiya, just a bit, over my D200.
Hands down, no doubt I would go with a digital MF back. But I shoot mostly landscapes, portraits and family stuff. If I shot a lot of sports, then it would probably go the other way around.
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#2. "RE: Used Phase One Back versus D3X?" | In response to Reply # 0xtrememac Nikonian since 05th Jan 2006Fri 08-Jan-10 04:50 PM
I have both a D3x and a Phase P45 on a Hassy.
I can honestly say I have never had a job where either camera would fit the bill...it is clearly one or the other.
My best advice before investing anything is to rent the MF gear. I only shoot this rig tethered in the studio. Unlike MF film, less than ideal technique will show immediately. The image results when careful are stunning, but to achieve this you sacrifice a lot of flexibility. Using this rig like you would a Nikon results in less than perfect huge files. Trust me, is is VERY obvious using it, so that is why I suggest renting to get a feel for what I am saying yourself.
You already know how the D3x will handle, so renting that won't tell you much. I will caution that you do need to up your technique here as well to achieve the results the sensor will give you...but nowhere near to the extent you MUST do on the MF.
If I had to buy both today, I would go with the D3x because I can get very close to the quality level for a fraction of the price, and I would have more use for the D3x.
One other thing, have you tried getting your best stuff scanned on a Hiedelberg? You would be astounded the difference a $100K scanner makes over the CS 9000 in all respects. Obviously not cheap to have done, but you should see what is possible before dropping lots of money on MF digital.
K. J. Doyle
#3. "RE: Used Phase One Back versus D3X?" | In response to Reply # 2tony t Nikonian since 21st Nov 2005Tue 12-Jan-10 01:29 PM
I found your post on Digital MF verses D3X very interesting. I currently use a D700 and I love it. However, I don't have a back up camera at this time so I wanted to checkout the D3X for studio portrait work. I want the high res and I could use the D700 for low light and as a back up. I also have a Hasselblad 500c/m film camera, with a 80mm and 150mm lens, that I was thinking of using with a digital back (Hasselblad -CFV-39 back).
The Hassey back is twice the price ($14k) of the D3X, however, I know that the portraits from that back are stunning and I would be able to make use of the 500c/m (and 2 lenses) which are just collecting dust at this point.
So, what makes more sense, getting the D3X for studio work giving me a nice combo with the D700 for backup and selling my hassey and lenses (not sure what I would get for them) or, go with the digital back and get those stunning hi res photos?
What do you think?
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#4. "RE: Used Phase One Back versus D3X?" | In response to Reply # 3xtrememac Nikonian since 05th Jan 2006Thu 14-Jan-10 06:50 AM
I want to be very clear again...rent or long term demo these things and do some serious work.
Even the D3X is not a panacea unless your focus is dead on..NO camera shake, etc.. Now that does not necessarily mean your shots will be unusable...it means they won't be any better than what the D700 could do. and you have these whopping huge files for no good reason. Given good technique the D3X is stellar, better all around than any previous 35 DSLR by a lot....better dynamics, depth and resolution. Just don't expect that to happen running and gunning...24MP ain't forgiving.
I will say I now use the D3X more than my other cameras, but I have become more deliberate, because I know I will be disappointed with less than full res results.
The Hassy is SLOW...but that's OK. It is even less forgiving of casual technique than the D3X. Killer, 3D quality to the images, but you just don't wander and shoot (at least I don't). Tethered in the studio is its natural domain, its comfort zone.
Like I said get your hands on these beasts and ride them seriously....Hassy has a nice demo program for pros, I have made a point of trying their new stuff as it comes out... but even if that cannot be arranged, you need to get a feel for these things before you make a decision.
I do know a couple of guys who dumped their D3Xs because they were getting D3/D700 results a lot of the time, and decided the D3s was more suited to them. Having the MF already I knew what to expect...and I have a lot more glass for the D3X than the Hassy.
The good bit here is the testing process is fun, too but I think you will be surprised when you actually experience what I am talking about.
K. J. Doyle
#5. "RE: Used Phase One Back versus D3X?" | In response to Reply # 4tony t Nikonian since 21st Nov 2005Thu 14-Jan-10 04:03 PM
Thanks for your reply, I get the point and will try them out before I spend all that money. I will contact Hassy concerning the demo program and I think I can rent a D3X from Calumet in NYC. The other consideration I have is the size of the files. I have 4g of RAM on my MAC which works fine with my D700 files but may not be enough for the big guys.
I do think that the hassy, if used correctly, can be a nice marketing tool for studio portraits.
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