GFX 100 vs a7RIV landscape IQ Locked

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Teila Day
Teila Day Veteran Member • Posts: 4,962
Re: Relevance (reiterated.. slowly)

Erik Kaffehr wrote:

Teila Day wrote:

Erik Kaffehr wrote:

Teila Day wrote:

Macro guy wrote:

Teila Day wrote:

... [snip] ...

That's a very noticeable advantage for people who purchase for readily visible practical differences and or notable processing advantages. The problem with 33x44 today is that it doesn't make remotely as much sense as it did half a decade ago (which is expected), except for those wanting a leaf shutter option (HSS, etc., doesn't compare when it comes to the versatility of a leaf shutter lens).

Personally I don't really care about sensor size at all. What I think is important that it is adequate for the task at hand.

I agree with your sentiment mostly, however I cannot overlook the 'wide-angle' advantage that can be realized based on just sensor size alone. ** There were times when I was shooting in close confines and would take my 17-35 f/2.8 nikkor off my Nikon D2hs and put it on a film camera... the difference was huge. The advantage was immediate.

Imagine Hasselblad's 21mm XCD lens designed for the much larger sensor... that's about a 13mm lens. How much could they sell such a lens for if it produced limited distortion and relatively "flat" results compared to other wide lenses? $6k, $8.5k, $10k?

I would say that I disagree to some extent. It is probably best to decide on a sensor size and build the system around that size.

Most definitely.

What I meant to articulate (I stated it poorly) was simply that a 21mm lens designed for a 'system' with a considerably larger sensor (I am speaking of 54 x40mm sensors, but imagine a digital 6x7 for example) not only boosts the utility of the camera, but also yields new artistic possibilities yet to be realized in digital photography outside of technical cameras mated to a digital back.

That is pretty much what Fuji did with the X-series, now they follow up with the GF series. Having a single format, lenses can be optimized for that format.

I have nothing but praise for Fuji's recent foray into digital MF. They did what other manufacturers/brands should've done many years ago.

I don't know about Pentax lenses. When the Pentax 645D was released, I would recall that they made a new ultrawide to compensate for the crop factor, it was extremely expensive (for a Pentax lens).

Pentax's 645 25mm? Yes, prior to the 28-45mm lens the 25mm made sense, but in the face of that high quality zoom, the difference between the prime and zoom's real-world image quality was comparable. Basically with the zoom, one could simply 'lean back' a little to get the same 25mm angle-of-view when using the more versatile zoom.

It's too bad that Pentax didn't offer the 28-45mm and the 21mm prime designed for a 54 x 40mm sensor. Many of the old lenses would still work well enough for many photographers not concerned about lens performance superlatives.

In the end, crop factor was what kept me from buying the 645D, as I didn't want to pay for that new ultrawide, it was priced around 4500$US.

You're correct. I think Pentax did a disservice to it's MF users by making the very useful 28-45mm for the 44x33 sensor as opposed to 645 film. So basically you pay nearly $5k for a lens, that you can't fully use on a Pentax 645 film body-- that's not only limiting, but counter what Pentax is known and revered for in their MF digital offings.. the user being able to effortlessly swap lenses between MF digital and film bodies at very palatable prices.

That's one reason I never purchased "cropped" Nikon lenses in the years before Nikon hinted at bringing forth FF bodies- I didn't like the idea of paying over $1k for a lens that couldn't be fully used on a film body. Absolutely nuts (looking at you Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8)... conversely I've used the 17-35 f/2.8 on APS-C, FF, FILM, Canon FF (via adapter) and in the early days of MF digital on a Sinar MF camera.

That said, the 49x37 mm was also cropped.

If you need 100 MP, I would think that a 100 MP 44x33 sensor may be as good as a 100 MP 54x41 mm sensor. The larger sensor may have other advantages, of course.

As far as image quality is concerned, I would think that ultimately you can eek more performance out of the larger sensor, especially with modern processes even re-work older 100mp sensors to be at the very least on-par with what's found in the GFX... but then you get the larger physical sensor size in addition, which affects angle-of-view which can be an advantage.

The way I see it, pixel sizes go down with improved technology. The only real advantage with largers pixels seems to be that they may perform better at extremely high ISOs.

Excellent point which stands to reason. While I can see pixel size getting smaller while efficiency and quality increases, I don't think we will realize better overall quality from a smaller MF sensor when directly compared to a considerably larger sensor of the same vintage and pixel count anywhere in the next decade of camera tech. Again, I'll leave the tech stuff to those (such as yourself) who are far more versed than I, however based on digital MF trends thus far...

The way it is, if you have a given size of sensor and put 100 or 150 MP on it, the 150 image will be slightly sharper when scaled to 100 MP, have less aliasing and take on sharpening better.

Yes. From what my eyes have seen, the more pixels basically gives a file that lends itself to harder post work. I do not know what's technically happening in the background, but it's something that's noticeable during and after hard processing.

One other area where larger pixels were preferable was movements where there was pixel level vignetting and cross-talk between pixels. But, that seems to be solved with BSI (Back Side Illumination). It seems that lots of Phase One IQ3100 users are switching to IQ4150 for that reason.

Interesting indeed. Not only are they getting a better sensor, and roughly a 30x40in native print output (using a 300 ppi standard before any upsizing)... which translates to about 10 inches greater native output per side over say, a 50mp 33x44 sensor equipped MF brethren. The IQ4 150 Mated to a technical camera; I think possibilities can get pretty interesting, especially at very wide angles.

Interesting thing you mention leaf shutter, I think it matters. I would also say that it is noticeable even shooting macro outdoors with the Hasselblad 555/ELD and electronic flash.

I agree 100%. I don't know of any modern high speed syncing wizardry that can best simply using leaf shutter lenses... and I still think Pentax deserves a dirty wet dishrag across the back of their necks for not fielding at least several leaf shutter options... even if they required manually cocking. A leaf shutter version of the 35, 55 and 120mm lenses would've signaled Pentax's willingness to at least address one of the most glaring issues in modern photography. (slow) Sync speed.

I have noted that it is claimed on this forum that modern HSS is a good replacement for leaf shutters. In some shooting situations it may be true. Essentially if much light is available and little is needed.

HSS/HS is good, but modern high-speed syncing solutions often do not play well with reality. The difference between HS/HSS and Leaf lens can be nearly a full stop of light. Shooting in a dim studio is one thing, but light loss when shooting on a sunny beach in the afternoon is entirely different... situations that often call for a powerful pack and a leaf lens system. HS/HSS isn't what I would consider "versatile" and can be quirky and in situations where you're shooting with mixed lights of different vintage where you can't use HS/HSS at all without trying to come up with a work-a-round just to get the mixer of older lights to fire at the same time. . Try that outdoors in the sun.

For example, Right now, you can whip out an old Nikon SB800, Profoto, Broncolor, Hensel, Bowens, or even an Alien Bee light from 10 years ago and they will all work effortlessly with a new or ancient Hasselblad + leaf lens.

Want to sync with some obscure brand of studio strobe from 1985? No problem. Leaf lenses have you covered.

There is another side of that. Camera is a major cost for most amateur photographers. But for photographers doing commercial work, camera equipment is just a small part of total cost.

Yes. That is often the case.

Folks owning a commercial studio probably have a huge investment in flash systems, studio space and stuff like light modifiers and things for rigging stuff.


Now, if you have half a dozen 1200 WS power packs, you probably don't want to replace them all with HSS.

It can of course be argued that surround is dim in studio settings, so short shutter times are not needed. To that I may say that each photographer has some needs and there is no reason to argue with that.

Correct in theory and often in practice... however keep in mind that using light as a shutter may only give you 1/200th (for example) at a studio strobe's full power... this is where cheaper lights fail miserably when a lot of light is needed in a studio setting. Which means if you're spraying water, blowing powder, or basically doing anything with fast moving liquid or particles, there will be horrendous blur when compared to more expensive lighting options.

The kiss-of-death for a photographer is to work with the expensive equipment first in such situations, then the photographer use lights and or packs costing 1/4th the price... and watch the cussing start. For those photographers shooting that kind of work, there really isn't much of a choice if one's going to be competitive.

Essentially, there is nothing wrong with things that work. If you need an leaf shutter, just use a leaf shutter.

Precisely. One issue is that many photographers, including many new MF shooters not familiar with leaf lenses and or the benefit of using a MF camera that knows when a leaf lens is attached so not realize what they don't have.. as the latter (camera knowing when leaf lens is attached) enables a photographer to reap the advantages of leaf shutters without necessarily being stuck with the mechanical (maintenance/wear & tear) disadvantages.

The two things that are like horsepower in photography. Pixels (or film size) and light. You can never have too much at your disposal. Being able to harness and control that light via a full range of sync speeds is a very practical capability that many photographers would like to have, I hope to see a lot of advancement in that area in the future.

Thinking about pixels, I would suggest that there is an optimal size of pixel. What that optimal size is depends on the silicon technology used. So, best sense is probably to use that size of pixels on all sensor sizes. Let's say it is around 3.8 microns right now.

  • On APS-C it gives 27 MP
  • On 24x36 mm it gives 61 MP
  • On 33x44 mm it gives 102 MP
  • On 54x41 mm it gives 155 MP

There is some rounding error, but you see that the numbers are very Fujifilm XT3, Sony A7rIV, X1DII, and Phase One IQ 150 MP.

Reusing the same pixel design rationalizes both design and production.

It certainly does seem that way and is probably one of those cases where ease-of-production, cost realities, and what makes sense from an engineering standpoint gently pushes against the marketing department's sentiments.

Not unlike car designs vs. designs that actually sell cars or better yet, akin to what happens in our United States Congress in its attempt at actually getting things done... opposing forces.

What makes perfect economic, environmental or health/medical sense can be a hard sell to the general and voting public.

Perhaps I'm a dreamer (chuckle) but I hope to see the day where the old 6x7 or 6x9 or even larger can be easily had in a hand-holdable digital format.

Ps. That Hasselblad 555/ELD with the P45+ is on pasture, but it still makes some images:

You're absolutely right it does and will continue to do so for years to come.

This was shot on the P45+ with a Sonnar 180/4CF

(above) .. my favorite out of the bunch when it comes to the mountain and sky; the warm light on the mountain and variations of colour in the clouds. The sky in the photograph is the exact kind of situation that would often tax my Canon 5d2 (slightly noisy look) and create extra work in post. The P45 seems to handle it with aplomb.

What I was shooting was this composition, but I was waiting for different light and shot with the P45+ meanwhile.

Beautiful composition (and acreage!)... how I would enjoy waking up each morning to such views. My overall pick of the lot.

Switching to the Blad I got this, lighting obviously has changed a lot. Switching to the 180 mm I got the first image.

A good demonstration of the reality of shooting outdoors whether it be nature/landscapes or location shooting with people... Sunlight isn't at our 'beck and call', and can require one to have to furiously recompute, re-think, or adjust strobes (when applicable) according to nature's whim. Depending on cloud coverage and how fast the clouds are moving will often decide one's "window of opportunity" in getting the desired shot.

After shooting with the Blad, I returned to shooting with the Sony and doing the original composition. Back at home in my RV I discovered that I may have liked the P45+/Sonnar 180 shot best.

Looking like your Sony is no slouch Erik!

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