Thoughts from buying and testing MF Backs and 1Ds

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jaryd_fletcher, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. We have just tested the following cameras and backs - Canon 1Ds,
    Kodak Proback 645, Leaf Valeo 11 & Phase One H20.

    For what it is worth, here is what we came up with.

    Firstly let me say that I am not a professional photographer. I own a
    prepress graphic reproduction bureau that is part of a high quality
    sheet fed printing group. This means I do know something about high
    resolution images, color, noise, software etc but I do not shoot all
    day every day.

    We were looking for a camera setup to do copy work, photo archiving,
    digitization projects, some fine art reproduction and basic product
    shots for our more cheap and cheerful catalogue clients. We also
    wanted teach ourselves more about digital photography to work in
    better with the growing digital needs and support the real
    professional photographers require that supply us images for printing.

    One thing that became very clear to us is that it is true that there
    is no one camera solution that is the best one for every one. It does
    really depend on what type of photography you want to do and
    therefore which of the different factors become most important to
    you. Our "front runner" camera changed 5 times over the space or a
    month worth of investigating and testing.

    We found you have to do your own tests. We were surprised at the lack
    of empirical evidence online. It almost felt like a conspiracy...
    Even through inevitably your own tests are likely to be flawed in
    places and far from complete - it was the only way to make a
    confident real world decision. Doing research online could only
    really point you in the right directions and maybe plug gaps in what
    you found yourself.


    *** Resolution, Square vs. 3x2, Price and why we bought the Kodak
    Proback 645M ***

    I really wanted to buy the Canon 1Ds. In our opinion it is an
    absolute bargain. It is definitely in the league of the medium format
    backs and far above the other lower megapixel DSLRs. We wanted to
    save ourselves thousands of dollars buying the Canon 1Ds setup but in
    the end the resolution was close but not close enough to the Kodak
    Proback to allow us to save the money.

    The Kodak Proback 645 on a Mamiya 645AFD was significantly sharper.
    We are not sure but think that this is because there is not an anti
    aliasing filter on the 645 and because the 645 has the reduced lens
    coverage of the 4x4 chip in the 6x4.5 system, using the centre "sweet
    spot" of the Mamiya lenses versus the Canon's full frame using all of
    the lens. Maybe this made the difference even through the Canon "L"
    lenses may be slightly technically better overall.

    The image out of the Leaf Valeo 11 blew us away; it was beautiful
    sharp with great color, on par maybe better than the Kodak. If you
    could put up with the 3:2 ratio frame and were Mac literate, we are
    confident that the Leaf camera and great workflow were up to pretty
    much any task you wanted to give it.

    However, when we added the resolution / sharpness factor to in our
    case most of the objects or scenes we are shooting are more in a 5x4
    ratio, or squarer that 3x2, shooting them through a 3x2 ratio chip of
    the Canon 1Ds or the Leaf Valeo 11 heavily reduced the resolution of
    what we could capture.

    At a 5x4 ratio we get 1.5 times of the data (13 megapixels vs. 9
    megapixels) with the square format Proback 645.

    The Kodak's overall sharper resolution and Square clip was the
    clincher that made us buy the Kodak Proback 645M over the "obvious
    bargain" Canon 1Ds or the Valeo 11.


    *** What about the Phase One H20??? ***

    The Phase One H20 shots were saw were very good and the Capture One
    software was very good but we could not justify one and half to two
    times the price of the other systems for any marginal difference in
    quality from the Kodak Proback that might of been there and the
    tethering tradeoffs were not worth considering, for us anyway.

    There was a configuration of the H20 with a flex adapter for a 5x4
    view camera which allowed you to take 2 shots and automatically
    stitch them together for large hi res images which was interesting
    for art repro work but it still was too much money...


    *** Color Rendition and Dynamic Range ***

    Being prepress guys who see and do a lot of drum / hires scans coming
    in from all over the place. We were surprised at how good the colors
    straight out of the box the H20, Valeo 11 and the Proback were
    through their best software options. Both the H20 and Valeo 11 make a
    selling point on their color accuracy and transitions while the
    Proback seems to sell more on their flesh tones. Honestly we could
    not tell any significant distinguishing differences in the final
    files between the 12, 14 and 16 bit backs color wise. All were going
    to need to be tweaked for you to be confidently setup with the colors
    the way you like it.

    The Canon 1Ds was a slightly different story. The colors through
    Capture One were far superior to those generated by the Canon
    software but it was obvious that there was going to be definite color
    failures along the line that were going to take work and compromises.
    The usual suspect colors were where the work was reds, oranges and to
    a lesser extent some purples and greens. That said it really depends
    on how important color accuracy is to what you are shooting.

    We can see how capturing and manipulating the files with the higher
    bit depth in their corresponding Raw workflows is important. However,
    as for the 16 bit making a difference over the 12 or 14 bit systems -
    bottom line was we could not really see any corresponding difference
    in the end product files. We don't think many people could be handed
    printed output or a set of 8 bit files in Photoshop and tell you
    which one came out 12, 14 or 16 bit as Raw.

    The only thing that we could think of the larger bit depth making a
    difference was if you were forced to do excessive amounts of
    manipulation on a file to correct a severe problem or to get a
    certain look. With these backs though that is becoming less and less
    likely because the files out of any of them are impressive and we all
    are shooting to limit the amount of time consuming and destructive
    processing we have to do in post.


    *** Noise, Moiré and Chromatic Aberrations ***

    We only did tests at ISO's of 50 and 100 and the H20, Valeo 11 and
    Proback were all clean as a whistle. The Canon 1Ds through the Canon
    Software had noise that was definitely noticeable on the test shots
    inspecting the blue channel in Lab color. This did pretty much
    disappear when using the 1Ds with Capture One DSLR and brought it
    closely into the range of the backs. The noise would have been
    acceptable to us to buy a 1Ds.

    There has been some talk about noise on the Proback and Canon 1Ds at
    ISO 400 however we personally think this is really all crap from the
    point of view that the other contenders, the H20 and the Valeo 11,
    can't even do ISO 400. The noise at 400 is better on the Proback than
    the Canon 1Ds. And as Michael Reichmann on Luminous Landscape says on
    his review - Neat Image will fix any of them up.

    There was some but not excessive chromatic aberration on the Canon
    1Ds test shots but everything easily fixable.
    Interestingly the Valeo 11 did give us a hint of a strange chromatic
    aberration / moiré effect on one shot in a screen printed pattern on
    a can, but another difficult fabric test shot done on the Valeo was
    pretty damn excellent and had little to no moiré. Seeing fabric is
    not something we will be shooting often and we had decided to buy the
    Proback we did not look into this any further.


    *** Software ***

    Overall the Leaf Valeo 11 software was the best, having the best set
    of features and workflow.

    Leaf have been making digital backs for 10 years and Leaf software
    gets great reports and at version 8 it is a very mature and refined
    workflow. We also liked that fact that and has been developed with a
    print focus. Leaf also had a second piece of software called oXYgen
    with even more color, press and retouch control and 16 bit workflow
    all the way through to output. We already use Creo prepress gear and
    workflow and can vouch for it being efficient and their support
    prompt and informative. The limiting factor with the Leaf software is
    that it is only on the Macs. We run both PC's and Macs.

    We have even read two reports where others have wanted PC workflow
    but ended up buying a Mac to use the Valeo 11. That is a pretty big
    step for some. We also have seen reports of studios liking the Valeo
    workflow and consistent quality of shots over the Phase One H20 and
    H25 shots at almost twice the price. We think it is definitely worth
    investigating it or the new 22 megapixel version.

    The two Capture One versions for the H20 and DSLR for the Canon 1Ds
    and the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in used with the Kodak Proback were all
    good and fairly close to each other. You would really need to try
    them personally to work out which one works better for you.

    In choosing the Proback we are using the Camera Raw plug-in and look
    forward to see what Adobe pulls out of the bag in PShop 8 for the Pro
    DSLR users.

    With things moving quickly from film and scanning towards direct to
    digital Adobe are bound to be spending serious time and money
    building in a functionality wall to shoulder out any niche the likes
    of Capture One etc will be trying to make themselves launching
    software for a range of other digital cameras.

    Kodak's Photodesk was not up to scratch and pretty basic. We found
    ourselves in Photoshop pretty quick.

    We were warned off Canon's own 1Ds software very early and our test
    results through that software were enough to put you off the
    camera... noise and colors were definitely a worry. Our 1Ds tests
    through Capture One DSLR meant we ignored it and used Capture One
    instead - there was no competition.


    *** Neat solid equipment feel / Portability of system / Tethering ***

    The Canon 1Ds being just a body was obviously the most neat and
    portable of the systems we looked at. It is a big camera, as big as
    the medium format Proback on the Mamiya 645AFD.
    The Mamiya/Proback 645 combo looks and works like one camera with no
    external wires and the LCD on the back.

    The Valeo 11 on the Mamiya is not as neat with the "digital magazine"
    storage / battery unit underneath, separate to the back and a small
    Firewire cable between the two. It is probably no big deal and mainly
    cosmetic but when you combine this with no LCD and the Palm pilot
    viewing device solution it took a bit of getting your head around.
    The Valeo 11 did not feel as simple or tight to us. We worked with
    the Valeo 11 tethered when testing and that worked very well with the
    software and would give you the best results. We weren't convinced
    that the Valeo 11's portability solution wasn't really a bit of a
    compromise and only suited to one specific type of shoot, namely high
    end Professional catalogue work - it would be great at this.

    The Phase One H20 was the only solution we looked at that had to be
    tethered full time. The H20 is a high end, high priced bit of kit
    that makes no excuses for being the most common choice for the
    studio/location Mamiya RZ67 Pro II / H20 crowd. It has one proven
    workflow - use it and love it. In the end we didn't want to spend the
    extra bucks so we didn't have to choose.


    *** Lens Choice Quality ***

    I would have loved to have a play with the range of Canon lenses on
    the 1Ds, especially the "L"s, but it was not to be. Their sharpness,
    the macros, the white zooms... mmm white.

    With the backs it obviously comes down to which MF camera system you
    put it on.
    We went with the Mamiya 645AFD and are confident the Mamiya Lenses
    are on a par with the usual "big name" suspects. The range of lenses
    offered was more the limiting factor here.


    *** Dust ***

    Sensor cleaning would be a breeze on any of the backs. There are many
    posts on the net about dust in the Canon 1Ds. We didn't test it long
    enough to make any informed opinion accept to say supposedly it is a
    problem and PacPad are releasing a swab specifically designed to deal
    with the problem.


    *** Image Storage ***

    The H20 deals with image storage by being always tethered.
    The Canon 1Ds and Kodak Proback 645 use Compact Flash memory cards
    and this system seems to be fairly simple and effective.
    The Leaf Valeo 11 has a small "digital magazine" storage device
    tucked under between the tripod and camera body. It seems to be a
    type of Firewire hard disk and you can get them in 5 and 10 gig
    sizes. This means you can shoot 200 - 400 shots before either
    swapping magazines or downloading to a computer.


    *** Why we almost bought the Leaf Valeo 11 ***

    As we have already said the images out of the Leaf were fantastic
    with great color, clean and smooth. We saw no negative reports about
    noise or moiré on the Valeo 11. Its downfall for us was the 3x2 35mm
    style ratio - simple as that.

    We like the Mamiya 645 AFD and the fact that Mamiya chose the Leaf as
    its promoted digital solution was a feather in their cap.

    Locally the company supporting Leaf has a very good name and has been
    very knowledgeable and professional so far. There is a deal to
    directly upgrade for the difference in price to the Valeo 22 within 6
    months if it proves to be good and you need the higher performance.


    *** Why we almost bought the Canon 1Ds ***

    The Canon 1Ds is a bargain. I would also love to save the money and
    buy the Canon 1Ds but we had had several reports of it just not being
    up to the task in the studio and this is what we found for us also.

    The deeper we looked the more we are turned up mixed reviews by
    professionals with questions about limits to the resolution, noise,
    chromatic aberration, moiré, etc. We think a fair bit of this is
    because the 1Ds is no longer "brand new" and there are more people
    really using it in the real world rather than the number of medium
    format backs there are out there.

    *** Why we did buy the Kodak Proback 645 / Mamiya 645AFD / Adobe
    Camera Raw Plug-in solution? ***

    This combination gave us the best balance of the things we were after
    and bang for our buck.

    * The resolution is sharp as a tack.

    * The square format gave us more options and one and half times the
    megapixels to play with more often that not.

    * The colors were good across the range with few potential failures
    to contend with.

    * The images were beautifully clean and free of noise, moiré and
    chromatic aberrations.

    * The hardware worked as one tight solid portable package that gave
    us confidence that it would work consistently and reliably.

    * The workflow / software seemed simple but with the functions we
    needed to get the job done quickly and efficiently.


    *** One final off-topic rant for those that got this far... ***

    We had a few people comment that they thought that the Canon 1Ds
    might kill off Medium Format and we can see how it could make a hefty
    dent in things.
    We have just invested serious money in a new medium format solution
    but if the next logical jump was to something coming from the 35mm
    camp we wouldn't hesitate.

    "Killing off medium format" is not the way we would think about these
    things. We think of it more that the fantastic advances in quality
    digital technologies are making higher quality equipment much cheaper
    and more widely available to everyone. In the long run that has to be
    a very good thing. It is up to all manufacturers regardless of format
    to try and bring something to the table and still be playing in one
    way or another in the future.

    The more things move into digital the less things will be about what
    size film format a manufacture once made cameras for. It will be
    about who is making the best gear for one job or another. The
    Horseman DigiFlex II is already an example of this.

    The Pollyanna in me says we will all be closer to having the best
    optics on the best capture device etc... regardless of format.

    I hope some of this info is of use to any poor souls that are going
    through the decision making process and sorry if I have offended
    anyone’s sensibilities.


    cheers,

    Jaryd
     
  2. Superb rant ;>} I wish they all were one tenth this good...I knew you'd won the race as soon as your stride hit this point:
    "We found you have to do your own tests. We were surprised at the lack of empirical evidence online. It almost felt like a conspiracy... Even through inevitably your own tests are likely to be flawed in places and far from complete - it was the only way to make a confident real world decision. Doing research online could only really point you in the right directions and maybe plug gaps in what you found yourself.".
    Well done and thanks.
     
  3. Total cheers to you for putting the time into this report!!!! This is exactly the kind of non-biased straightforward reporting that the net is aching for. Regardless of the outcome of your test, and your ultimate choice, I would feel 100% more confident in stepping into the shopping arena with this depth of insight. MUCH THANKS TO YOU!!
     
  4. Jaryd,<P>Thank you very much for this excellent "hands on/eyes on" report. I read it
    with great interest. I am curious on one point you did not discuss. Did you compare
    your results with the Canon EOS1Ds using Adobe Camera Raw vs. CaptureOne DSLR
    and if so what were your conclusions?
     
  5. Ellis,

    We did not try the 1Ds with the Camera Raw Plugin sorry so I can't really comment.

    The Outback Photo guys seem to be using Camera Raw with 1Ds maybe you could ask them.

    http://www.outbackphoto.com/artofraw/raw_04/essay.html
     
  6. One other thing I forgot to mention in my original post is that we found a strange tendancy for the Canon 1Ds to pick up reflection or shine off of old photos and dark parts of flat art that was not present in the backs.

    This was seen from two seperate 1Ds cameras and lenses.

    We did not work out why this was and thought a polarizing filter would sort most of it out. However, it is not something you want in a camera you are going to be shooting copy with.

    Our only guess was maybe it had something to do with the difference in the way CMOS chips work versus CCD but this is something we know little about.
     
  7. Jaryd,

    Excellent report on the various digital capture backs and cameras on the market today.

    I've owned a Kodak ProBack Plus for over a year and use it daily in the studio on a Mamiya RZ II and Sinar 4x5, tethered to a Mac G4. I shoot mostly food, product, still-life and some corporate work. I also use the ProBack on location tethered to a Mac G4 laptop. The quality of the files and the versatility of the Capture Studio software make it a joy to use. My clients love seeing the captured images appear on the computer immediately after capture.

    Recently I purchased a Kodak 14N which produces a 300 dpi tiff at 10"x15" versus the Proback's 300 dpi tiff at 13.5"x13.5". Even with the 14Ns longer size tiff when it's cropped to 4x5 it becomes a 10"x12.5" image; a full 1" shorter than a 4x5 crop on the ProBack's 13.5"x13.5" tiff.

    Still, I like the files from the 14N as much as those from the ProBack. In fact I might go so far as to say that the 14n's files have slightly less exagerated color that the ProBack's. But the difference is slight.

    I do agree that the Photo Desk software shipped with the 14N and the Proback is very limited compared to the Capture Studio software which was bundled with the ProBack. Unfortunately Capture Studio is incompatable with files DCS files from the 14N.

    Anyway thanks for the report and congratulations on your new ProBack.
     
  8. I received the following email from Uwe Steinmueller of Outback Photo. In the last week he updated his site with a review diary about the Proback 645H on a Hassy H1. With his permission I attach our exchange to clarify a couple of things in my original post.

    *** Uwe Wrote ***

    Jaryd,

    nice review about your MF journey.

    Which lens did you use on the 1Ds? I ask as my test:

    http://www.outbackphoto.com/reviews/equipment/hasselblad_h1_proback/h1_645h.html

    with the 1Ds and 100mm Macro compared to the Pro Back
    on the Hasselblad H1 indicated a slighly sharper image
    on the 1Ds (but also 1Ds with C1 and Pro Back with
    Photo Desk).

    For us at least the Color Checker showed bad blue for
    the Pro Back with Camera Raw. But of course I know
    that there are many factor that could be off.

    Uwe


    *** Here is my reply ***

    Hi Uwe,

    It is an honour to get an email from you.
    I love your site, it has been a great help on many occasions.

    It is entirely possible our tests were flawed in one way or another.
    Our resolution tests were far from scientific and based mainly on what we perceived on screen.

    Maybe it does not come out clear enough in my original post but what really swung us round the most was the extra pixels we got with the square Proback chip in a 5x4 ratio (13 mp vs 9mp).

    Because of the "squareness" of much of the specific things we are regularly doing this made a big difference to us. In the end we came to the conclusion that the difference in "resolution" we would get between 13 megapixels of really sharp pixels versus 9 megapixels of other also really sharp pixels made more difference than any separation in their sharpness either way.

    Sorry if this is not clear enough in the original post.

    As for lenses, unfortunately we did not have any of the macros lenses available to us at the time of the tests.

    The tests on the Canon 1Ds were done using two cameras with different lenses attached. One was a standard 50mm and the other the newish "L" 24 - 70 zoom using it in the middle of its range. The Mamiya/Proback tests were done using their standard 80mm.

    There was much less difference between the primes rather than the zoom as you would expect.
    I suppose with the good name the Canon 24 - 70 zoom has, I probably expected more from it than I should have anyway.

    The difference was not huge by any means between the primes but we did feel the end resolution result was better on the Proback.

    We compared the unprocessed raws together and the processed (sharpened etc) files together.
    We tried the Canon files through the Canon software and the Capture One software and Kodak files through the Adobe Camera Raw and Photodesk.

    I would also accept that it is entirely possible I have attributed the difference we saw too much to the cameras and not enough to the lenses we used.

    The resolution differences could have been small enough that the 100mm macro on the Canon could have tipped things the other way as far as sharpness was concerned.
    We have not done many lens tests before and were really just telling people what we saw with our eyes. I suppose that is why we stressed that people needed to do their own tests to be confident in their own decision about quite an expensive purchase.

    I haven't received my Mamiya 80mm macro yet. Ideally would have loved to do the testing with the 50mm macro or 100mm macro on the Canon and the 80mm macro on the Kodak 645. But it wasn't to be.

    With the "bad blue" issue - now you've got me worried and I'll look into it a bit further...

    To be honest, being in the prepress game we see a lot of VERY dodgy colours in files coming in and are pretty used to tweaking colours.
    All of the files bar the Canon 1Ds through the Canon software were far better than most of the junk we have to put up with every day.
    So maybe this made us a bit more lenient on all of the colours than others may have been. Some of the reds on the 1Ds we the only real SHOWSTOPPERS we saw and maybe that made us look more critically at the other 1Ds colour output after that.

    For us and our circumstances the Proback was the way to go.

    Also maybe there was a bit of the classic "big purchase" self justification creeping into the post as well for good measure favouring the Proback I have just shelled out for versus the 1Ds I now don't get to play with.

    I have tried to be as objective as I can. As I said in the original post we think the 1Ds is an absolute bargain and really wanted to buy one.
    I had visions of me going snap happy in the great outdoors of the weekend with a bunch of lenses, some of them white, with a big smile on my face. But our real world work needs said we were getting the Proback with a few less lenses and I needed to tone down my "great white hunter" dreams a notch.

    By the way do you mind me adding your email and my reply to the end of the posts on Photo dot net to help clarify any indiscretion on my part?

    regards,

    Jaryd Fletcher
     
  9. As for the blue in Adobe Camera RAW plugin - Uwe is indeed correct.

    The colour failure in the blue is more significant than I had noticed. With most of the things we have been shooting and playing with it has not caused us a problem but upon going back to the Color Checker Charts it is definitely there.

    Camera RAW so far has been really good. It is by far the most user friendly workflow we have tried. Hopefully when the Proback is properly supported rather than a bit of a bonus (or in PShop 8) this issue will be resolved.

    In the last couple of days we have also had a bit of a play the mac Capture Studio software. It is definitely worth having a look at if you are Bilingual or speak Macintosh. It is significantly more advanced and fully functioned than Photodesk. It reminds us more of the software for the Leaf Valeo or to an extent Capture One.

    It will take more time to get our head around how it could be used effectively and what works and what doesn't. You have much more control and can muck about more with levels, curves, set points etc and also adjust color sliders in the shadows, midtones and highlights or use a colour wheel.

    We need to do more testing but we could use Capture Studio if the blues through Camera RAW became a problem.
     
  10. Jaryd,

    I've been using a Kodak Pro Back Plus in my commercial advertising studio for over a year now.

    Capture Studio running on the Mac is far and away the best software to use for adjusting color, curves, exposure contrast etc. I try to do all of my corrections to the raw files in Capture Studio before exporting tiffs to Photoshop. The only thing I usually do in Photoshop is cropping, sizing, retouching and sharpening the tiffs that Capture Studio creates.

    I've been forced to use Photo Desk with my Kodak 14N and it is far inferior to Capture Studio for anything other than exposure compensation and neutral balancing. Photo Desk has no curve adjustment, color control (other than color temperature) or contrast control.

    Rather than a raw file plug-in for PhotoShop, I'd rather see a version update to Capture Studio which would allow Capture Studio to read raw files from the 14N so that I could both shoot the 14N to Capture Studio and edit the dcs files.
     
  11. Jaryd,

    Great article! I wish there were more honest and objective reviews such as yours for confused buyers like me.

    I am trying to decide if the correct move for me is to sell my newly purchased Contax 645 and go for one of the 35mm full frame digital cameras (canon 1Ds) or bite the bullet and purchase a Valeo 11 or similar back. The focal length issue is a problem for me although the Valeo 22 (soon to be released) back solves that, but is cost prohibitive.

    Could the next round of 35mm cameras be worth waiting for?

    I also shoot a lot of 4x5 and MF back I purchase could be used there as well. Hmmm.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  12. What a great post, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.
     
  13. qdb

    qdb

    Jaryd,

    Thaqnks for sharing your experiences - all the more useful because this is no theoretical test; your needed to make the right choice for business reasons.

    You mentioned Michael Reichmann's review. for those who have not seen it, this is the link:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/kodak-dcs.shtml

    Similar conclusions to your own regarding the 1Ds v Pro Back comparison.

    I understand that Kodak will shortly be upgrading Photodesk to include more colour control. I use a 14n, and like Brooks, I get great results from it. Some love Photodesk, some hate it. I am somewhere in between. I certainly apppreciate th ERI feature.
     
  14. Interesting read; Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Jaryd.

    I am wondering why the Nikon based Kodak DCS Pro 14n was not a candidate? Just curious.

    --
     
  15. The Kodak 14n did not get a look in for two reasons:

    Our search really started from the bottom up. We initially started thinking that the 14n or 1Ds would romp in anything we wanted to do.

    Then we saw the Phase H20 we realised that there was a possible next step and maybe it was worth investigation.

    To us the 1Ds was the obvious winner of the 1Ds / 14n battle already so when we started investigating the backs we stuck to the 1Ds as our DSLR contenter.

    The number of negative issues raised with the 14n really put us off. One or two things from one or two sources, similar to what we saw with the 1Ds and the Proback 645, would have been worth further investigation but with the amount of negative press it got and the fact that we had already put off buying a 1Ds in anticipation of the soon to be released "better and cheaper" 14n for a number of months... we focused on the 1Ds.

    With the benifit of hindsight... For our particular needs, even with the larger amount of pixels on the 14n, the square format Proback is more versitile and still beats it for 5x4 resolution 13mp to 11mp anyway.

    I'm not saying the Proback is the best choice for everybody, just for us and what we are doing with it. There are bound to be people that the 14n is the way to go.

    For instance - We went for the Mamiya 645AFD rather than looking more closely at the Contax 645 because we had played with and liked the Mamiya and had an opportunity to buy the Mamiya 645AFD / Proback 645M kit we tested ex demo for $6k US off.

    All the best and happy testing,

    Jaryd
     
  16. fg

    fg

    Jaryd,

    how about the Imacon Ixpress? I've tested it against the Kodak Proback and eventually
    bought it for its great control of moirè, overall color rendition, single and multishot
    capabilities and larger storage when untethered. Best purchase ever, for my clients
    too.
     
  17. Francesco,

    On paper the specs of the Imacon Ixpress looked good and their scanners have a reasonable name.

    The reason it was not in the running for us was we were not confident the local support was going to do the job here in Australia.

    ----- *** -----

    By the way - Kodak have announced a Photodesk upgrade will be shipping in a month with significantly more features so we are currently waiting to have a play with that.

    regards,

    Jaryd
     
  18. I am a dutch advertising photographer. We are working in the studio and on
    location with H1 with backs Kodak H645 and Hasselbl555ELD with Proback
    16milj. so using the new and the old Hasselblad lenses.
    I have made tests with the 'old' lenses 40 mm (new type) and on the H1 the
    new30mm japenese one. On a square meter output on glossy paper(1440
    dpi) on the EPSON10000cf you cannot find any difference.
    Produced in1. Kodak CaptureStudio and 2. in Psd 8.0cs in RAW.

    Be happy with the new Hasselblad H1 lenses and the body and in my
    opinion you can only speak when you are working with this new stuff.
    The new wideangle lens has other mistakes but not the sharpness and
    not any chromatic color failures. In my opinion the h1 is the most beautiful
    camera on this moment. Output from the H1 versus 14 N is the H1 realy better
    and of course not in the price. For any question: hans@hansvanommeren.nl
     
  19. Excellent thread, but I was wondering if there might be some updates on the technology.
     

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