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09/17/12 Big Phase One news announced today at Photokina–New DF+ body and Schneider Kreuznach 28mm LS f/4.5 Aspherical lens

Phase One DF+ Body

Phase One DF+ Body--Click on image for a larger view

Well it’s a big day for Phase One, as they finally announced a new version of the rather long in the tooth 645DF Medium Format Body.  Based on the reactions I have read to this announcement it seems that most photographers were disappointed with this announcement as they were looking for more from Phase One.

Outwardly the 645DF+ looks just like the older 645DF body, however from reading the announcement it seems that there are some significant improvements over the older DF body.

  1. Phase One has incorporated a new Lithium Ion battery pack in the new body which replaces the older battery clips that took 6 AA batteries.  This same pack is available for the older DF body and has been for about 6 months now.  If you purchase the DF+ it is now included.
  2. AF micro adjustment.  This has been referred to some as being able to shim your digital back to the body.  However I strongly doubt that there is any shimming being done, instead just some form of AF micro tuning just like Nikon and Canon have had for years. This is first for a medium format body that I know of and it the solution works as well as Nikon or Canon it could be significant.
  3. All types of internal improvements.  I love this.  How do you figure out what was “improved” unless you take it apart!.  Some things I could think of that needed improvement are the current AF design, Mirror slap, battery life, Metering to mention a few. But if the body was reworked/hardened to some extent this should be seen as positive.  I have been hard on my DF and it still works as it’s supposed to.
  4. The ability to use the Leaf Shutter lens at up to 1/1600 of a second shutter speed. This is possible with the older DF bodies.  It seems also that Phase/Mamiya did not fix the single biggest issue the internal shutter.  If you use the leaf shutter lenses, you still have to fire the internal shutter and the mirror.  This brings back the same problems as before, mirror slap and vibration when using certain lenses at certain shutter speeds.  This mainly seems to be a problem with the telephoto lenses but many folks were hoping to see a solution that allowed the internal shutter to be left open when using the leaf shutter lenses.

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