Top 10 DF / DF+ Custom Functions

 In CI Top 10, Phase One, Tech, Tech

The Phase One / Mamiya DF & DF+ camera system is a great platform, but you can make it even better by taking advantage of its Custom Functions that allow expanded versatility. We often get calls about these, so here is a list of the top 10 Custom Functions.

In order to take advantage of these Custom Functions, you rotate your selector wheel on top of the camera and set it to CF. C-00 is where in you select your group set. By default, no Custom group set is active and you are set to 0, as indicated in the lower right of the LCD screen. There are three custom groupsets available which allow you to have different combinations made at any given time. Scroll with the thumb wheel from 0 to 1-3 to select a group set and activate it.  Then take your index scroll wheel and scroll away from the body to go through the options available.

As a note, you may reset a groupset at any time by holding down the +/- button for a few seconds until you hear it beep. This wipes that groupset back to factory default.

10. Shutter Speed & Aperture Dial Controls

You have the ability to switch the scroll wheels that control both shutter speed and aperture. By default , the camera will be set to shutter speed up front, index finger, and aperture on the rear wheel, thumb position. Having spent a long time working with the Hasselblad H system, this for me was a little off putting and some others have asked to. To swap the controls around head over to C-06 and set it from 0 to 1. Now your controls are Aperture on the front and Shutter Speed on the rear.

9. Focus Adjust settings

With the DF+ cameras, you have the ability to fine tune adjust the focusing system. However, it is global, and you do not have the ability to do a custom offset for each lens like you can with a DSLR. Use C-20 to access the AF fine tune menu. The default is of course neutral, with Option 1 for minus adjustments, to move closer, and Option 2 for plus to move the focal point further away. This process is a tedious one to set up and best accomplished in studio, on a tripod with a focus scale like the Lens Align brand that we offer.

Note: this applies to the DF+ camera only. This feature is not available on the DF camera.

8. Sleep Time Out

This one comes up a lot. The default is to sleep at 15 seconds (Option 0), though there are options for 30 seconds (Option 1), one minute (Option 2) and to leave the camera on (Option 3). Scroll to C-03 to make the appropriate changes.

7. Flash Sync Timing

While it doesn’t come up as often, it is certainly a useful feature that event & wedding photographers as well as those seeking a creative tweak find helpful. You can switch the Sync signal for you strobe from first curtain, firing upon the opening of the shutter to second. This sends the signal for the strobe to fire as the shutter is closing. Coupled with a long exposure, this can give dramatic effect with light trails and blurred motion trailed then frozen. If this kind of feature interests you scroll to C-15 and switch the setting from 0 to 1.

6. AV and TV Step Control

Some folks like to see their exposure setting change on a ⅓ of a stop, some ½ while others only want to move in full stops. Head on over to C-01 and you can change from the default of ⅓ steps to ½ or 1 full stop.

5. Auto Bracketing

Many shooters like to have the ability to take a bracket of images, and CF C-05 is where you can select how many steps you take. These steps will be directly related to the steps of compensation selected in the step above. Default is set to 3 steps, option 1 is 5 steps and option 2 is 7.

4. Disable Leaf Shutter Actuation

If you own a Leaf Shutter lens, but often find yourself not needing to sync above 1/125th of a second, you can disable the LS lens and save the unnecessary wear and tear on that lens’ shutter. This is a two fold custom function control situation, as both C-17 and C-18 cover shutter modes in use. With C-17, you can select shutter modes in TV, AV and P modes. Default is Mixed, meaning the camera will automatically switch between Focal Plane Shutter and Leaf Shutter depending on speeds used. Option 1 is only Leaf Shutter whereas option 2 is only Focal Plane Shutter. Setting this mode to option 2 turns off the leaf shutter – so it does not fire. With C-18, you have the same settings options from default through 1 and 2 as above, but for the Manual camera settings mode.

3. Battery Type

Selecting the proper battery type is critical to proper operation. The camera need you to tell it what battery type is inserted, so it can pull power most efficiently. C-04 is where you take care of this setting. Option 0 is Alkaline batteries, option 1 is for NiMH or NiCD rechargeable, though we do not recommend either as we have seen first hand certain ones not working and option 2 is for Li-Ion rechargeable batteries like the ones sold with the kits or those offered in our web store. By far, the Li-Ion are the most efficient and longest lasting, rated to 10,000 actuations. With a DF camera body, the default is set to option 0, for Alkaline, whereas the DF+ is set to Option 2, for Li-Ion. As a note, remember to remove batter from your camera when shipping and storage to prevent unintended drain.

2. Focus Setting

There are two modes that drive your AF focusing system. Option 0 is for High Speed Mode, which forgoes super accurate AF for a fast selection and lock on. This is most useful for high paced shoots with moving subjects. Option 1 is for High accuracy mode and while it runs the AF a little slower, you will likely have dead on consistent focus each time. You can access these settings under C-19. With a DF camera body, the default is set to Option 0 for Speed and a DF+ is set to Option 1 for Accuracy

1. AF Focus Drive

This is the CF setting I walk customers through the most. A lot of photographers find it useful to their workflow to remove the auto focus drive from the shutter button. This aides in a focus recompose situation, so you don’t have to worry about holding that half press after you focus before you frame up. Often times what can happen as you slip off that half press enough that once you have composed your shot the AF drives again and your focus could be off. You have the ability to set AF drive to be operated by your thumb on the AEL button. To set this you will need to set a combination of three settings, C-09, C-10 and C-12. First, you need to access C-09 in order to switch AFL and AEL Buttons by changing it to Option 1. C-10 then needs to be changed to option 2, Off, this disables the AF selection on the shutter button. Then, you set C-12 to Option 1, AF operation. Now change back to your your shooting mode, press the AEL button the rear with your thumb and the AF drive should work.

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