Its been a busy 8 months since I first started shooting with the Mamiya Leaf Credo 80, first impressions were experienced in the USA in August, when a client shoot gave me the opportunity to do a small road trip with fellow explores Shannon and Karen. Since returning to the UK from that trip, I spent a weekend with Gina, Mike and Danny on an adventure up north capturing abandoned buildings all over the North of England. In September I went with Adam, James and Sam to Belgium, popping into Germany briefly. In October I went to France and Luxembourg with Darren, Dursty and Nick and later that month did my first model in an amazing underwater ballroom and my second in November in Lincoln with the theme of the Lady in Black.
Taken by Darren Smith
2015 has been even more busy, my feet haven’t touched the ground, I started the year with a model shoot with Jen Brooke in Belgium, followed by another with Stephanie Warwick in France, then off to Bulgaria, Iceland for two weeks and then Ukraine to visit Chernobyl again in April. This is just the beginning my travel plans for the next couple of years are getting more exciting by the day in 2016 I intend to leave the UK on the 1st January and not come home again till December 1st, traveling around Asia, South America Europe and all over the USA.
Taken by Darren Smith
It’s wonderful to be so busy after spending a few months in 2014 plotting and planning what the next 3 years will hold and choosing the Mamiya Leaf Credo 80 to accompany me on these 3 future book projects is a decision I won’t regret.
Taken by Darren Smith
For me the equipment I use is a tool to create the photos I make, you always need the right tool for a job, I recently made the decision to start using a medium format Mamiya Leaf camera with Credo 80 back, with a huge 80 mega pixel sensor, I made this choice, not because it was one of the most top of the range systems you can buy, but because it was the right tool for the job for me.
Taken by James Kerwin
As my artworks are destined for print and customers buy them at massive sizes, I needed a tool that could produce amazing quality at such size. The quality and dynamic range is something I could not have achieved with my previous SLR.
Taken by Richie Gowen
Using the system at first was a bit of a learning curve, but I knew it would be worth it, my first impressions of the system were back in May when I used it in Israel for a street photography shoot in Jaffa Market. I was instantly taken away by the photos I took that day and knew I had to try out the system again. I’m not going to lie, the camera with digital back and a decent lens is expensive, but it is also the perfect system for any fine art or commercial photographer when prints size goes beyond the realms of the magazine into fine art prints of gigantic preparations and billboard sized client images.
Taken by Gina Soden
The first thing I noticed about using the camera, was how simple it was to use, there is something very basic about the menu system and accessing the settings and photos once taken. It was a little strange at first when an SLR gives you so many options, so many focus points, with the medium format it felt like I was leaning more towards a film camera and the feel of the camera felt very genuine and real. The camera also boast an amazing touch screen back which allows you to scroll through the images and zoom in using touch technology, which is pretty awesome.
What I love most about the system is the detail captured the final RAWS are 10328 x 7760 pixels 300dpi the seniors is 80mp. Unfortunately the detail is completely lost when scaled down to upload to the internet and even worse with social media sites like Facebook destroying the quality of the files. But when printed out at full glory you can truly see how remarkable the detail is, every cm is blissful detail goodness.
I think it is amazing that I can take a crop of a single image and it have the same image size of that as a SLR, but still with incredible detail and dynamic range. A lot of my model work is a model in a setting and for me its all about the setting they are in, therefore sometime the model is quite small in the frame, a problem? Yes when a makeup artist would like close up for their books. But this isn’t a problem as I can take a close up crop of the model and be able to send it at the size of a SLR file to the team members. It’s a very strange thing to be able to edit at 100% of a face that is so small in the actual shot, but still feel like I am retouching a SLR file with the amount of detail at that size.
100% Crop of below photo
I’ve truly put the system through its paces, I must admit as medium format systems are generally suited more to studio situations, I was worried about taking it on my huge amounts of travels to distant lands, carrying it round dirty abandoned buildings, to freezing cold Iceland in the depth of its winter, but I have had no problems, the system is robust and if well looked after it is a work horse. It would be great to get some kind of weather proofing on future models, but I had no problems putting on a rain jacket and it performing well, even at a frozen waterfall in Iceland with water spray from the falls that was freezing my tripod.
The system has a top iso of 800, which for some would be a problem, but again you get a system that suits the job you do, the camera goes does to 35 iso which is a bonus for me shooting in daylight. I use a tripod and long exposures and never go above 100 iso anyway so this is not a problem for me.
MAMIYA 645DF+ SPECS
Modular 645 AF SLR body
Mamiya Digital focal plane lenses
Schneider-Kreuznach designed leaf shutter lenses
Mamiya 645 AFD lenses
Compatible with Hasselblad V lenses
Open platform back mount
TTL phase-difference AF with 3 focus points
Focus confirmation in manual mode
Infrared AF assists for unfailing focus
Auto focus lock for swift AF/ M shift
1/4000s to 60 minutes
Up to 2 fps
Shutter speed bracketing
Focal plane shutter: Up to 1/125s
Leaf shutter lenses: Up to 1/1600s 1st and 2nd curtain flash synchronisation
X sync terminal and support for TTL flash
TTL metering (average, spot and auto)
Programmable AEL button
Exposure compensation: +/- 5EV
Electronically-activated by switch on grip
Fixed prism viewfinder Exchangeable diopter from -5 to +3 LCD panel with full exposure information
Interchangeable focus screens Laser engraved mask for digital back Matte, Grid, Checker, Microprism
Self-timer from 2 to 60 sec
Screw-in cable release on shutter button
Terminal for electronic triggering devices
STOP DOWN PREVIEW
Stop down button on front of camera
1/4 inch and 3/8 inch
Rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack
6 AA batteries (standard or rechargeable)
External battery pack – 6 AA batteries
External AC adapter
3 Custom dial modes for capture settings
36 custom settings
Customizable dials and buttons
153 x 128x 184 mm, 6 x 5 x 7.2 in (W x H x D)
1030g (35 oz) without batteries
LEAF CREDO 80 SPECS
53.7 x 40.3 mm
10,320 x 7752
1/10,000 – 120 seconds
Full resolution capture rate
RAW File compression (large)
RAW File compression (small)
Output image dimensions 300 dpi
300 dpi: 87.4 x 65.6 cm
Output image dimensions 600 dpi
600 dpi: 43.7 x 32.8 cm
16 bits (65,536 levels per channel)
Color management workflow
Range of factory ICC profiles, plus optional ability for users to create their own custom camera profiles
3.2 in, 1.15 MP bright touch LCD with 170 degree viewing angle
Preview up to 6 images on one LCD screen, up to 400% zoom
Live View on LCD, spirit level, ISO, white balance, histogram, exposure alarms, image rating, 645DF custom functions
CompactFlash including UDMA 6 and 7
FireWire 800, USB 3.0, USB 2.0
Capture One 6.4 or higher
2900 mAh rechargeable Li-ion
0°–40°C (32°–104°F), Humidity: 15%–80% (non-condensing)
FCC (A), CE, RoHS
I use Capture One Pro to process my images, before I was using the Credo 80 I would use HDR techniques to combine various images shot at different exposures by tone mapping. But I haven’t had to do this at all using this system, I can pull the shadows and highlights back from a single exposure and create a beautiful image with great dynamic range. Occasionally I will shoot a window at a shorter exposure as there’s no pulling back a totally over exposed window, but I am so happy with the way this software deals with the RAWs captured
I then finish my editing in Photoshop CS6 and its an absolute joy working with such an incredible amount of pixels
I still have my canon 5Diii but I use the Mamiya Leaf now for 80% of what I do, there are still some client job which I need something smaller and that I will be shooting a lot and often hand held in low light situations. Every system has its highs but also its limitations and if I am asked to photograph an event at night and the client wants 400+ shots, then I would shoot on my Canon.
I have truly fallen in love with this system and can’t see myself shooting my fine art photography work with anything again, the quality of images printed is beautiful beyond words and I’m looking forward to how my books will look in a couple of years, printed using this camera.
Some Blogs With Images Shot With the System
Film by Karen Eng Promessa Films