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Andrew Reid

Hasselblad mirrorless camera

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Medium Format and large format have a special unique look that cannot be replicated as of today with 35mm equipment. Why? LENSES. 

It's a known fact you can get an equivalent DOF and FOV with a m43s camera to a medium format camera if you use the correct equivalent lens in terms of speed and focal length, 

But it's the QUALITY of Medium format glass that's engineered at highest standards. That's why a Zeiss Otus on 35mm is always said to give a medium format look. 

Just because two lenses are equivalent in DOF and FOV, doesn't mean they're equivalent. There are SO MUCH MORE variables and these are the ones that give MF the unique look. The unique background separation/bokeh/sharpness/distortion/CA/micro-contrast etc 

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Actually medium format lenses are much easier to design and produce. A tessar 75 3.5 from 1940 probably looks as good as most recent 35mm equivalents (except for the coating part) And the dof is not equivalent, just in case anybody cares :p

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2 minutes ago, Nikkor said:

By winning internet arguments :p 

Winning arguments is a waste of time unless prosecuting a lawsuit. Learning new things and helping others is time better spent.

MF vs. FF can be tested with the same camera and lens (changing lens settings and post cropping), which will typically show that the sensor size isn't where any effect is coming from. Now the point shifts to lenses- cool, that could be helpful to understand for those thinking about getting an MF body to take advantage of lenses. However Brian Caldwell stated that the current top 35mm lenses are as good or better than MF lenses. Posting equivalence-matched MF-cameras+lenses to FF could be helpful in showing the strengths of the MF lenses vs. FF lenses. Even more useful would be showing the MF lenses can more cost effectively produce images than very expensive FF lenses (Otus etc.). This same argument is valid when comparing FF to m43: FF lenses are effectively cheaper to get super shallow DOF.

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As for full frame vs medium format... I can 9 times out of 10 tell the difference.

The lenses and larger sensor have the following advantages:

- 45mm is wide, yet close to the subject, perfect rendering of a human face, perfect focus fall off from the eyes to the ears, it's beautiful. You can't test it by shooting a 5D on a stick like JCS

- 45mm will have lower distortion than 28mm

- The longer lenses for medium format portrait shooting, i.e. 80mm, gives extremely gentle focus roll off - it isn't about a more shallow DOF - it is about the all-round rendering of depth. You see it in both the clips from 2001, and The Master that Nikkor posted previously in this thread. Hard to put my finger on it, but I notice it. Every aspect of the lens is Gradual and smooth... the bokeh, the vignette, the focus, the micro-contrast, the resolving power, it is all buttery.

- A large sensor can increase resolution whilst maintaining very large pixels with a wider dynamic range and lower noise than a full frame sensor

- There are some lovely medium format lenses - punching through the centre-only of these on a full frame camera won't give the same look

- Yes sure there are a lot of nice full frame lenses too and their apertures are faster, but like I said above, it isn't all about shallow DOF, more about the overall image.

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To tell you the truth, I don't think Brian really means it, I honestly believed he wanted to keep this for the panavision stuff, but after watching a video of a panavision optician making a funny explanation like one I made some time ago on this forum about why medium format is better, I have my doubts about it. :)

And excuseme,I can make tests between formats, but I can't make them with the same lens, that's not possible, and a zoom is an even worse idea (because of the nature of the zoom, and because you will be using different apertures).

7 minutes ago, jcs said:

Winning arguments is a waste of time unless prosecuting a lawsuit. Learning new things and helping others is time better spent.

MF vs. FF can be tested with the same camera and lens (changing lens settings and post cropping), which will typically show that the sensor size isn't where any effect is coming from. Now the point shifts to lenses- cool, that could be helpful to understand for those thinking about getting an MF body to take advantage of lenses. However Brian Caldwell stated that the current top 35mm lenses are as good or better than MF lenses. Posting equivalence-matched MF-cameras+lenses to FF could be helpful in showing the strengths of the MF lenses vs. FF lenses. Even more useful would be showing the MF lenses can more cost effectively produce images than very expensive FF lenses (Otus etc.). This same argument is valid when comparing FF to m43: FF lenses are effectively cheaper to get super shallow DOF.

 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi
5 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

As for full frame vs medium format... I can 9 times out of 10 tell the difference.

The lenses and larger sensor have the following advantages:

- 45mm is wide, yet close to the subject, perfect rendering of a human face, perfect focus fall off from the eyes to the ears, it's beautiful. You can't test it by shooting a 5D on a stick like JCS

- Much easier to design a 45mm lens for low distortion than it is to design a full frame 28mm with low distortion

- The longer lenses for medium format portrait shooting, i.e. 85mm, gives extremely gentle focus roll off - it isn't about a more shallow DOF - it is about the all-round rendering of depth. You see it in both the clips from 2001, and The Master that Nikkor posted previously in this thread. Hard to put my finger on it, but I notice it.

- A large sensor can increase resolution whilst maintaining very large pixels with a wider dynamic range and lower noise than a full frame sensor

- There are some lovely medium format lenses - punching through the centre-only of these on a full frame camera won't give the same look

- Yes sure there are a lot of nice full frame lenses too and their apertures are faster, but like I said above, it isn't all about shallow DOF, more about the overall image.

exactly. Lenses quality. 

Just because both lenses are equivalent in DOF and FOV is by no means an indication they look similar. There's so MUCH more to a lens. Lenses quality and the huge resolution/dynamic range/16bit colour give the MF Look. Cannot be argued. 

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2 hours ago, richg101 said:

give me a shout when you find a lens/sensor that will replicate my leaf afi-ii 10 and a 180mm/2.8

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7506/26997678725_133cd94b63_o.jpg

26997678725_133cd94b63_o.jpg

What I love about that shot is there's way more of the background vista actually visible than would be on a full frame camera at 135mm F2, or so, where this shot would be cropped in and creamed out with silly shallow dof.

The 180mm on medium format has an uncannily wide look given the long focal length and a lovely slow roll off when it comes to focus

Then there's the obvious advantage that the leaf CCD sensor is a total beast... enormous dynamic range, amazing colour and incredible resolution.

I still think Hasselblad will manage to overprice and overfuck the mirrorless cam up though... let's hope not

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This debate is visual- where's the visual proof: correctly set up MF and FF systems for equivalence? I posted a link to the 5DSR compared to the Phase One. The difference is minor, and not enough for a business to invest in MF systems. To learn and help others one must do some work- shoot a correctly set up MF vs. FF test. Shooting with a zoom- that's perfectly valid, the debate is sensor size, not lenses, though now the consensus is it's not sensor size anymore but MF lenses themselves. So a SpeedBooster for FF would make sense if that were true, and thus Brian Caldwell's comment that it's not worth it because the MF lenses aren't better than the top FF lenses. So if true the debate would shift to MF provides a better value due to lower cost. Is that really true?

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2 hours ago, Nikkor said:

 

@jcs

The link to the 5DR vs Phase One test proves nothing.

They have no depth to the scene they're shooting. It's just some girl sat in front of a wall

If you want to see a proper test watch Kubrick's scene from 2001.

I am amazed at the willingness of people to learn such important stuff from non-entities on YouTube.

The guy spends 90% of it comparing resolution and is then surprised to find out two 50MP cameras resolve similar detail!!!!

1 hour ago, jcs said:

Full Frame

A7S_FF_105mmF4.5_ISO_2000.jpg

This is a typical full frame shot and shows nothing. The background is completely creamed out. The subject is punched in, with nothing around it but thin air. You can't show the full way in which a lens and sensor combination renders a scene from such a dull shot.

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Setting up a full frame camera and a medium format camera on sticks and taking equivalent frames would prove nothing to me, because I'm not concerned with stills. I'm concerned with motion, and in motion, the difference between regular formats and large formats is multiplied. It doesn't take a genius to see that there is a big difference between 35mm and 65mm in terms of, well, pretty much everything. Watch The Hateful Eight. Or The Master. Check out IMAX footage from Christopher Nolan's films. Catch a big-screen show of Lawrence of Arabia or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hell, check out the new trailer for Rogue One, captured on Alexa 65 with Ultra Panavision glass. The difference is there and it can't be reduced to depth-of-field measurements or millimeters. Something special happens when you shift the focal lengths higher. You might get the same field of view and depth of field from a 12mm lens at T1.4 in Super 16, a 25mm lens in Super 35 at T2, a 50mm lens in 35mm anamorphic at T2.8, and an 80mm in 65mm at T4, but you will notice that the visual impact has radically increased. You can throw math at this all you want, but my eyes don't lie.

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If no one is willing to do some work and actually do a test comparing MF to FF in the real world with equivalent settings, then what's the point of debating without any comparative evidence? I'm a cognitive scientist, open-minded and willing to learn new things. That said, a valid scientific test, which is easy to do is all that's needed to make a useful point regarding MF vs. FF.

If the only difference is MF lens design, that's cool, however this debate was MF vs. FF cameras (and again, Caldwell says no advantage for MF lenses anymore; no point in a MF => FF SpeedBooster).

If an MF camera system (body + lens) is truly better than FF, I'd invest in MF. So far there's no comparative evidence showing this to be true (the only scientifically valid way to determine if there's a difference).

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Does the newer H5D not have live view and 4K already? I do not see anything special or difficult about taking the mirror out of a MF camera that is capable of live view . Or did I miss something?

50MP ? Is it not old technology? 

Or do u think Hassablade will sell it to u cheap, or the size is going to be small because it is mirror less?. 

 

Actually have H5D sort out its 4K recording problem yet?

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7 hours ago, richg101 said:

give me a shout when you find a lens/sensor that will replicate my leaf afi-ii 10 and a 180mm/2.8

 

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7506/26997678725_133cd94b63_o.jpg

If the numbers I found are correct, the crop factor for the Leaf AFI-II 10 is:

sqrt(36^2 + 24^2)/sqrt(56^2 + 36^2) = .65

FF lens and aperture equivalents: .65*180mm = 117mm, .65*F2.8 = F1.82

The closest camera lens combo I have is a 5D3, A7S II, or 1DX II with a Canon 135 F2, however it wont look exactly the same (it's close, see below).

Here's a cool tool to help visualize equivalence and show DOF and other stats:

Leaf 180mm, F2.8 (.62 was closest crop for this tool): http://dofsimulator.net/en/?x=AcIA4MF3AAAIJAckAAA

180_F2.8_Leaf.png

Full frame, 117mm, F1.82 (pretty much identical to the Leaf setup): http://dofsimulator.net/en/?x=ASSAkQF3AAAIJAckAAA

F117_F1.82.png

Here's what the 135mm F2 on full frame looks like: http://dofsimulator.net/en/?x=AVGAoQF3AAAIJAckAAA

135_F2.png

Similar and clearly not the same as the 117mm F1.82 which is pretty much the same as 180mm F2.8 on the Leaf (CoC, DOF, and hyperfocal distance aren't exactly the same (very close), however it would be hard to see the difference in a real photo).

Here's what the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 would look like at 100mm F1.8: http://dofsimulator.net/en/?x=APoAkQF3AAAIJAckAAA

100_F1.8.png

Also close to the look of the 180mm F2.8 Leaf and still different. That's why it's important to match settings exactly and why using a zoom lens on the same camera is useful in understanding crop factor and DOF.

In summary, the equivalence equations work, real world tests match up as expected, as do all properly implemented online simulators. Any effect of MF vs. FF is related to sensor design (sensel size etc.), sensor optics, lenses, firmware/software processing and not sensor size itself. If someone would like to send me a MF camera system I'd be happy to shoot equivalence tests with interesting subjects: real people. Somehow I don't think Phase One or Hasselblad would be game for such a test* ;)

 

* if something remarkable was discovered, I'd be as thrilled as anyone to share the results showing an MF camera system outperforming a modern high-end FF camera system.

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7 minutes ago, kaylee said:

its funny how the most technical people often have zero aesthetic sense

Sure, but it's a technical medium. Nerds are needed. That's why cinema is such an inclusive craft/art form.  Making movies needs a big tent. The technical and artistic. 

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