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Medium Format Digital

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Plus, Ricoh USA sells refurb new P645Z units on their website for $3k, for another price point.

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Any time there are enough refurbished units available in a niche item like this to be regularly available, it sends up a red flag that there's a serious issue with that model!
 

Saxonbowman

Ambassador
Hi,

I forgot to mention. The price of the printer is $16k. Plus, the inks run $150 per liter. And, you go thru white at 4x the rate, so I buy that at $500 per gallon. And, the printhead needs replacing every other year as the white is so thick it eventually clogs up the nozzles no matter how well one does the maintenance. It's not really for casual use and a lot more persnickity than the Epson photo printers.

Also, what I didn't show was the heat press needed to cure and set the ink and the silicone coated cover sheets needed along with the heat press. Or, the pretreatment unit needed as the first step. More stuff to buy. We spent $20k to get started with this. So, quilt blocks is just one extra thing we came up with to use it for. More jobs for it is better. :)

So, now this sounds really costly, but it is cheap compared to the automatic press we use for traditional screenprinting. That's a 8-color unit and cost $66k. Even the 6-color manual press is $5k.

One other thing I didn't mention is the low volume of business we have these days. Too much setting for the DTG. It clogged the white nozzles, so all I have capability for is printing on white fabric right now. I don't want to replace the printhead right now for fear the low volume of work will just clog up another one.....

Today, we are considering heading out to shoot another couple of lighthouses tomorrow. Or, Sunday. I want to keep going with this project with the idea of having them all this year.

Stan
Ah, I was wondering about the cost. If you already have a screen print business it makes sense.
 

KQY61

Contributor
Is the resolution of medium format digital overkill for the effective resolution that you are getting for that sized print on cloth? Actually I see your point, the price for the 645 etc is so fantastic it doesn't matter.
Hi,

It is a little bit overkill. The 5188 pixels on the short side at 300 PPI gives me 17 inches worth while the printer is only capable of 12.5" on the short side. And, the 7264 pixels on the long side gives me 24" worth on the long side and the printer can only do 17.5".

There is a long platen for 21" but it is still only good for 12.5" on the short side, so it doesn't help here. Maybe if I wanted a longer aspect ratio and clipped the sides down, but that doesn't really fit into quilting standards.

In the end, the 40 MP CCD in the 645D is as small as that format goes these days. The usual is the 50 MP CMOS in the 645Z and the Fuji 50s and 50r.

The bottom line was, looking at Nikon full frame format options would wind up costing the same as the 645Z and so the 645D was the lowest cost option. And, the lens costs were so low they were pretty close to free. I am still amazed that these lenses work so well yet cost so little.

Stan
 
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Hi,

It is a little bit overkill. The 5188 pixels on the short side at 300 PPI gives me 17 inches worth while the printer is only capable of 12.5" on the short side. And, the 7264 pixels on the long side gives me 24" worth on the long side and the printer can only do 17.5".

There is a long platen for 21" but it is still only good for 12.5" on the short side, so it doesn't help here. Maybe if I wanted a longer aspect ratio and clipped the sides down, but that doesn't really fit into quilting standards.

In the end, the 40 MP CCD in the 645D is as small as that format goes these days. The usual is the 50 MP CMOS in the 645Z and the Fuji 50s and 50r.

The bottom line was, looking at Nikon full frame format options would wind up costing the same as the 645Z and so the 645D was the lowest cost option. And, the lens costs were so low they were pretty close to free. I am still amazed that these lenses work so well yet cost so little.

Stan
. looking at your prices that makes perfect sense. I am dumbfounded the medium format glass is that cheap as well to be honest. I think previously when I looked at this even if the camera was cheap the lenses would cost the equivalent of a first born child :( That said whenever I stare at my 35 mm lenses and think about converting to mirrorless, Canon's current R 35 mm prices are so ludicrous, your medium format trick seems pretty frugal in the grand scheme of things!
 

KQY61

Contributor
Hi,

Ok. We headed down to Oak Island Friday afternoon, stayed overnight, and then shot both the Oak Island light and the Bald Head Island (aka Old Baldy - our oldest lighthouse). Getting out to Old Baldy meant a boat trip and then the rental of a golf cart once out there.

But, we get a 2 for 1 deal again. I like those. We were going to go to Hatteras and then Ocracoke but no room in the inn out on Ocracoke just yet. Well, by the end of September I suppose. We also have to do Cape Lookout and that will be a single trip. Then, all seven will be done.

Oak Island:

View attachment 1144227

Bald Head Island

_DR30548_Baldy.jpg

There is an interesting thing with these two. Oak Island replaced Old Baldy but they left the old one up. Usually, they tear the old ones down when the build a new one. Bald Head Island is out away from the mainland further than Oak Island, and we can see each lighthouse from the other.

Oak Island from Bald Head Island

_DR30557_Oak_Baldy.jpg

Old Baldy from Oak Island

_DR30531_Baldy_Oak.jpg

These long shots are taken from the same spots used for the main shots. I just put the 2x TC on my 300/4 lens and turned around.

Stan
 

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KQY61

Contributor
Hi,

On the P645 lenses, these I bought are all originally meant for the 645 film cameras. Pentax has some newer variants, the D lenses, with improvements for the digital sensors. Those still have high price tags as one usually sees them brand-new. But, they are not strictly necessary as so many of the film era lenses are just fine. Especially as the 645 digital sensors are cropped down from the film image area much like the APS-C units are cropped from 135 format full frame.

For lighthouses, next up is Cape Lookout. The plan was for next weekend, but the long range weather forecast makes that doubtful. Then, we get into the Labor Day weekend. I won't go any closer to the coast than we are right here on the farm! :p

Stan
 
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Totally jealous of you 645D setup. I used to shoot with a Pentax 645 film burner (75mm SMC-A lens) and it was an amazing camera.
 

KQY61

Contributor
Hi,

Yeah! Get yourself a 645D and return to the world of medium format. :)

Looking at my last set of posts, the Oak Island shot isn't there now, and clicking on the link results in an error. And, the Old Baldy has a second copy as a thumbnail. That isn't really a problem, but the lost Oak Island shot is. So, here it is again:

_DR30529.jpg

Stan
 
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KQY61

Contributor
Hi,

At it again last week. Made the long trip all the way down the Outer Banks. The trip is made longer by need of a ferry both ways to get to and from Ocracoke.

_DR30620.jpg

The day was nicer when I left Nags Head to start down NC route 12, as you'll see in the next image of Hatteras. Pretty cloudy by the time I got to our oldest and shortest lighthouse. That was a good thing, actually, as it ensured I didn't lose detail in the pure white of the house. I have seen *so* many shots of this where it was pretty blown out.

I stopped at Hatteras and got a better light than before. So, this is the shot I will go with for printing.

_DR30605.jpg

They painted her after they moved her in 1999, and she's needing some touching up now. But, this one still remains the #1 lighthouse of them all. I have orders, mainly for this one. So, time to crank up the direct-to-garment printer. :)

There is one more to go get. Cape Lookout. Which, is actually my favorite one. But, also the hardest to get to. It requires a trip in a small boat rather than the ferry boats used for Ocracoke and Bald Head. Maybe next week. It all depends on what this next hurricane does to us. I had to abort a trip to Ocracoke two weeks ago because NC 12 was covered up with sand from Teddy.

Stan
 

Saxonbowman

Ambassador
Hi,

At it again last week. Made the long trip all the way down the Outer Banks. The trip is made longer by need of a ferry both ways to get to and from Ocracoke.

View attachment 1165221

The day was nicer when I left Nags Head to start down NC route 12, as you'll see in the next image of Hatteras. Pretty cloudy by the time I got to our oldest and shortest lighthouse. That was a good thing, actually, as it ensured I didn't lose detail in the pure white of the house. I have seen *so* many shots of this where it was pretty blown out.

I stopped at Hatteras and got a better light than before. So, this is the shot I will go with for printing.

View attachment 1165225

They painted her after they moved her in 1999, and she's needing some touching up now. But, this one still remains the #1 lighthouse of them all. I have orders, mainly for this one. So, time to crank up the direct-to-garment printer. :)

There is one more to go get. Cape Lookout. Which, is actually my favorite one. But, also the hardest to get to. It requires a trip in a small boat rather than the ferry boats used for Ocracoke and Bald Head. Maybe next week. It all depends on what this next hurricane does to us. I had to abort a trip to Ocracoke two weeks ago because NC 12 was covered up with sand from Teddy.

Stan
I love Ocracoke and Hatteras! I got to climb Hatteras lightnbefore the move but haven’t been Down there since, and it’s not that far.
 
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