Anyway to Put Together a Digital Medium Format Reasonably
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Old 06-14-2011   #1
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Default Anyway to Put Together a Digital Medium Format Reasonably

I want to buy a Digital MF system and at a reasonable cost. It will be used Mainly as a Hobby/ vacation/ P/T wedding Portrait group shots camera. I have wanted the MF sytem for quite a while but I was hoping by now the prices would be much less. I have a budget of 5,000. I would like at least a 22meg back. Any hope for me?
my email is : rollsman4@yahoo.com thank you

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Old 06-14-2011   #2
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With your budget, MF is going to be really hard. Well, getting a back won't be hard, but get a back and good glass will be.

Why not go with a FF DSLR like a Sony A850 for about $2K and then spend the other $3K on lenses and accessories? The A850 is 24.5 MP so you'll get more resolution than the MF back you were hoping to get. The colors and contrast out of the Sony are superb.

Sony A850 $2,000
Sony CZ 24-70 f2.8 $1,600
Sony 70-300 G $850
Sony Alpha HVL-F43AM $350 * 2

Total $5150.

That would give you a fair amount a flexibility to do the things you want to do right in your budget range.

Edit: You might want to repost this at GetDPI.com. Lot's of MF folks over there, and their for sale section has lots of stuff in it.
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Old 06-14-2011   #3
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You could probably get an old Kodak DCS Pro back (16 MP) for about $2000-3000, and the leftover money should be plenty for a used camera to fit the back to, lens, viewfinder, and a CLA to bring the system to good working order.

The only problem is that you wouldn't be getting results quite like the more modern backs, and getting the Kodak back serviced could be difficult. Operating the Kodak back is a little different, and finding software to read the RAW files would be interesting too.

Really, you need to save more money if you want digital MF, especially with 22 MP or more.


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Old 06-14-2011   #4
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How is the Sony 850 and the Leica zoom lense vs the Canon 5D Mk2 with L glass? rollsman
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Old 06-14-2011   #5
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Five grand will pay for an awful lot of 120 format film scanning. I'm just sayin'....

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Old 06-14-2011   #6
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At the present state of the art, "digital MF" and "reasonable cost" are a contradiction in terms, even more so for "digital LF." Unless you already have a good MF system, I don't see how you are going to get both the digital back and a good MF system within your budget. Would you settle for a MF film system and/or a more modest digital system for now?
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Old 06-14-2011   #7
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I did not mention that I have a Canon 40D and 24-70L 2.8 Canon lense.
I just wanted to add another camera for my portraits and group shots. I always wanted a MFD system BUT now I see new MF equipment coming out so I thought the older ones would come down in price. Thank you
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Old 06-14-2011   #8
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Coming down in price from prices in the ballpark of 20-30+ grand is going to be pretty slow.

There is so much for your Canon system you can get (or need to get, especially if you want to do weddings) with $5000 if all you have is the 40D and 24-70: a 70-200, second body, back-up equipment, lighting, your first insurance payment....


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Old 06-14-2011   #9
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I apologize. I sold all my other equipment and just kept my 3 flashes and camera and lense. I wanted to try out the MFD as my second camera. I ONLY
shoot 6 jobs per year now( I am semi retired but dont want to stop shooting)
Its more of a WANT rather than a NEED for me. I was also thinking I should wait to see what NEW comes out this year. DSLR. and skip the MFD issue.
But thank you for your response.
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Old 06-14-2011   #10
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My son and I have this sort of hobby. We look at books such as the Guinness Book or World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not and all kinds of Sports Statistics. We get a kick out of the largest guy, the BIGGEST truck, things like earth moving equipment that are the size of a city block. We are into BIG! When I was into large format, I would have nothing smaller than 8x10 and even had a 10 X 24 banquet camera. Sooooo WOW a Hasselblad digital with lord knows how many mega-pixels was BIG on my wish list and I nearly leased on for my commercial assignments. I drove to Toronto to have a look at it and shot a few images and I was nearly hooked and the leasing company gave me the OK but still in all, the payments were BIG too, so I ended up digitizing my Hasselblad with a Phase 1 back that also works on my RZ67.

Now let's get into reality. For my commercial jobs which often end up as very large advertising signs on the sides BIG trucks and bulkhead menu boards in fast food restaurants. As for weddings- bringing a MF digital camera to a wedding borders on insanity! I don't know about y'all but I can be rather rough on my wedding equipment- I shoot from all kinds of strange angles when I am shooting candids and oftentimes work from atop a stepladder to get festive dancing shots at ethnic weddings. Shooting with a camera that costs more than my car, under those conditions, is not a great idea. Then comes the big surprise; take you memory card and uploaded it to you computer! To create a wedding album with files that size would probably take a month just to process the images.

A decent DSLR such as a D-300 or a full frame version of you favorite brand will do the trick for most wedding assignments.

Old technology backs are not really worth the investment because many modern 35mm DSLRs will outperform theses old clunkers any day of the week.

OK the big sensors will give you better shadow detail and the Hasselblad system boast depth of field advantages and in-camera circuitry to correct optical aberrations, Not a bad deal if you have 100 grand that you don't need for the entire system, some glass and the dedicated computer gear.

Ed


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