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goamules
11-Feb-2016, 07:11
Like most of you, I shoot a lot of formats and types of cameras. On small format forums the small vs large or digital vs film always, without fail, only focuses on one aspect - resolution, "sharpness." When I try to advocate the purposes of Large Format, I talk about a lot of seemingly subjective things like dynamic range, tone, print sizes, aspect ratio and such. People "don't see the difference" there, and I don't have comparison examples. When I mention view camera movements, to say get both eyes in focus on a portrait where the sitter is facing at an angle, they throw out their googled knowledge of tilt/shift attachements for small format. Basically, only examples of what LF is good for would help.

I'd like this thread to be for posted examples of what you "cannot do" or cannot easily do with a 35mm or DSLR handheld camera. Post your photo, and why you could not have done it without LF. Or explain setup, etc. I'd like to be able to point to some LF shots and say "tell me how you'd do that with your DSLR or Cell Phone or 35mm Leica."

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 07:26
Here is one thing most easily done with large format, soft focus. There were dozens of soft focus lenses made for LF cameras for many decades.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5214/5473939340_855c657188_b.jpg

Randy Moe
11-Feb-2016, 09:31
Good thread idea.

Last night before I read this I decided to try shooting images that show my actual eyesight and how I see the world without my glasses.

It's way more soft or out of focus than your shot.

I'll put my results in a different thread as that's not your goal here.

Bob Salomon
11-Feb-2016, 09:53
Here is one thing most easily done with large format, soft focus. There were dozens of soft focus lenses made for LF cameras for many decades.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5214/5473939340_855c657188_b.jpg
And an Imagon is easily used on medium format as well as 35mm cameras. Rodenstock and Zork both made mounting systems to put the 200mm on Rollei, Hasselblad, Mamiya medium format cameras. Schmactenburg made systems to put the 120 and 150mm Imagons on virtually any interchangeable lens 35mm as well as most 6x6 medium format SLR cameras, except for Bronica.

So soft focus on smaller formats was most certainly easily done and was the hallmark of photographers like Frank Cricchio, Monte Zucker, Al Gilbert and Tibor Horvath.

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 10:02
But I'm not comparing LF to Medium, I'm comparing it to small format 35mm and digital full-frame, APS-C, 4/3, and Micro 4/3 sensor cameras. I'm not asking if someone like Schmactenburg made a rare adapter that was rarely used for a task commonly used in all LF portrait studios in the 1940s (soft focus). Nor asking that if you put a diffusion filter on a Nikon F3 if it's as good as a Kodak Portrait 305. I'm not asking if a LensBaby can do what movements on a Deardorff do. These are exceptions to the rule. What is LF BEST for?

Now, moving on, and I knew this would happen. I suppose there will be NO real techniques that LF does that someone cannot refute and say 35mm can do easily. At the end of this experiment my hypothesis may be broken, and I'll have to admit there is no difference.

My question, again is: What can LF do that SMALL format (35mm and DSLR) cannot do, or cannot easily do (yes, I know people have shot wetplate with 35mm SLRs, but it's not easy, or the norm)? If you know, can you post examples?

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 10:13
Good thread idea.

Last night before I read this I decided to try shooting images that show my actual eyesight and how I see the world without my glasses.

It's way more soft or out of focus than your shot.

I'll put my results in a different thread as that's not your goal here.

Thanks Randy, for understanding my intent it not to start another endless debate topic. It's more along the lines of "Post your Waterfalls." If you have a waterfall, post it. If you have an example of something LF can do better than small format, post it!

Bob Salomon
11-Feb-2016, 10:23
But I'm not comparing LF to Medium, I'm comparing it to small format 35mm and digital full-frame, APS-C, 4/3, and Micro 4/3 sensor cameras. I'm not asking if someone like Schmactenburg made a rare adapter that was rarely used for a task commonly used in all LF portrait studios in the 1940s (soft focus). Nor asking that if you put a diffusion filter on a Nikon F3 if it's as good as a Kodak Portrait 305. I'm not asking if a LensBaby can do what movements on a Deardorff do. These are exceptions to the rule. What is LF BEST for?

Now, moving on, and I knew this would happen. I suppose there will be NO real techniques that LF does that someone cannot refute and say 35mm can do easily. At the end of this experiment my hypothesis may be broken, and I'll have to admit there is no difference.

My question, again is: What can LF do that SMALL format (35mm and DSLR) cannot do, or cannot easily do (yes, I know people have shot wetplate with 35mm SLRs, but it's not easy, or the norm)? If you know, can you post examples?
Schmactenburg made adapters in the late 80 and the 90s. He was a baby in swaddling clothes in the 40s. And the adapter was not that rare. First Frank Crichhio and then we sold a lot of them in the 80s and 90s. They just didn't enter your sphere of interest then. In fact, they were so in demand that Rodenstock reintroduced and began construction again on the 120 and 150mm just for Schmactenburg and Prontor made a special version of the Prontor Professional shutter just for his system. Schmactenburg made the body adapters and the focusing tubes and the lens adapters for these lenses. Rollei also made a special adapter tube for the 6XXX system cameras also, just for the 120 and 150 Imagons. This adapter mounted these lenses into the variable focus tube/shutter for the 6XXX series cameras. This was hardly a mid 20th, or earlier, system.

But your soft focus example is not correct. And, if one were to obtain a 120 or 150mm Imagon in one of Schmactenburg's focusing mounts for any 35mm, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax 645 or 67, etc. camera they could very easily mount it onto any mirror less digital, as well as many DSLR cameras with easily available Novoflex adapters.
And, while we are at it, the modern Petzval lens from Lomo is also for any camera in Nikon or Canon mount and, with adapters, almost anything else.

What you should be concentrating on is what a view camera, 69 pr larger, can do that other cameras can't do. And, for the most part, at infinity, that would be camera movements. Although there are some exceptions like Scheimpflug control on SL66 cameras and tilt/shift Novoflex bellows for most small cameras.

Kirk Gittings
11-Feb-2016, 10:49
I'd like this thread to be for posted examples of what you "cannot do" or cannot easily do with a 35mm or DSLR handheld camera. Post your photo, and why you could not have done it without LF. Or explain setup, etc. I'd like to be able to point to some LF shots and say "tell me how you'd do that with your DSLR or Cell Phone or 35mm Leica."

Frankly I posit this question differently for people, because I know that from vast comparable experience that I can fairly well match MY LF images with a DSLR and T/S lenses.

I don't need LF-I like LF. I like the methodology. I like the historic practice. I like the challenge. I like the deliberateness and the pace. I shoot digital almost every day for commercial work. I appreciate that my personal work is done radically different so it doesn't feel like just more work.

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 10:55
....
And, while we are at it, the modern Petzval lens from Lomo is also for any camera in Nikon or Canon mount and, with adapters, almost anything else.

What you should be concentrating on is what a view camera, 69 pr larger, can do that other cameras can't do. And, for the most part, at infinity, that would be camera movements. Although there are some exceptions like Scheimpflug control on SL66 cameras and tilt/shift Novoflex bellows for most small cameras.

Exactly, that's what I keep asking for. So can we do that? I just started with soft focus as one vaguely relevant thing. Oh, and the Lomo lens is not a Petzval. I've examined them, they aren't. They are another example of small format people trying to emulate large format.

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 10:57
So far the answer from two of our most experienced Large Format photographers is there is nothing LF can do that 35mm can't do also. Did I hear that right?

Anyone else?

Vaughn
11-Feb-2016, 11:10
I suppose I could post many of my LF photos here. I think the primary difference between LF and any other imaging device is the amount of image control one has -- it can not be matched with your standard 35mm or MF camera. Tilt, swing and all that is what I am referring to. The trouble is is finding an image that the use of movements is obvious -- I generally do not want it to be noticable!

"Mistaking the Map for the Territory" 16x20 silver gelatin print from 4x5 negative.

Kirk Gittings
11-Feb-2016, 11:11
Not quite Garrett. There is virtually nothing that I do with LF that I cannot do with digital. I don't use soft focus lenses or alternative processes etc. My work is pretty straight forward. Having said all that-to get what I want in a final product via digital actually takes MORE work and MORE time with digital than LF.

Vaughn
11-Feb-2016, 11:19
Not quite Garrett. There is virtually nothing that I do with LF that I cannot do with digital. I don't use soft focus lenses or alternative processes etc. My work is pretty straight forward. Having said all that-to get what I want in a final product via digital actually takes MORE work and MORE time with digital than LF.

The extra work to get the digital to match you LF work -- is that primarily post-processing? Or perhaps something like 20% more work photographing and 30% more work post-processing? (by post-processing, I mean time spent working on the image after photographing).

Bill_1856
11-Feb-2016, 11:28
Polaroid.

Kirk Gittings
11-Feb-2016, 11:29
20 and 80 more like it I think Vaughn because my standard in a digital FA print is based on 4x5 film.

Bob Salomon
11-Feb-2016, 11:32
Polaroid.

There was a Polaroid back for the Nikon F in the 50s. And, of course, most MF SLR cameras had Polaroid backs.

Bob Salomon
11-Feb-2016, 11:37
I once had an assignment to photograph the world's largest collection of watch cocks at 1:1. At the time I shot every thing from 35mm up to and including 810. It was far easier, and faster, to shoot them ganged on 45 then doing them individually on smaller formats. Also much less expensive to shoot and print not to mention processing and finishing time doing 4 at a time rather the 1 at a time.

Jim Galli
11-Feb-2016, 11:38
If it wasn't for soft focus pictorial work, I'd ditch the big cameras. Include Pt/Pd printing as well. Other non traditional methods of print making also. For soft focus, you need brute force. 8X10 film. Although I've seen some nice soft focus things done digitally too. Send them to my web pages. It's not an argument anyone really needs to "win".

Paul Metcalf
11-Feb-2016, 11:42
Bill_1856 brings up the only thing I can think of, and I'll generalize a bit more on his response, by stating that you can only make in-camera "originals" with LF. "Original" in this sense meaning a final product for presentation without any additional processing (i.e. printing) or projecting. So polaroids (on edit - but maybe not given Bob S.'s response above), or shooting directly on positive printing paper, or coated plates, etc. etc.

I need to turn your question around in order to think of at least one thing I can do with my 35mm system that I can't do with LF, and that is sports, or action, photography. You can do street photography (obviously) with LF but it's kind of hard to do sports stuff well.

I'm with Kirk, I don't use LF for any advantage over 35mm, just like the workflow and process of LF (and I've shot about 500 digitial pics since the new year). I just shrug off any debate on this subject.

Kirk Gittings
11-Feb-2016, 11:45
I just shrug off any debate on this subject.

Me too. These issues don't interest me much anymore. I love film and what I can do with it. I love digital for what I can do with it.

Michael R
11-Feb-2016, 11:47
So far the answer from two of our most experienced Large Format photographers is there is nothing LF can do that 35mm can't do also. Did I hear that right?

Anyone else?

Not exactly. It is a difficult question because in addition to it being somewhat subjective, digital introduces additional possibilities. I would offer the following opinions/generalizations (which can be problematic):

1) In some ways it is easier to alter plane of focus and/or image shape with LF cameras
2) At least in the context of film, there are image structure and/or tone reproduction differences (subject to magnification factor in the final print). For example you cannot make a "grainless" 16x20 print from a 35mm negative, etc. However it is strictly a matter of personal preference/opinion when it comes to whether or not this means a given picture can or can't be made with a small format camera.

Virtually any of the differences one might cite, including the two above, are arguable and come down to subjective variables including aesthetic preferences, one's own conceptualization/visualization of any given shot etc.

fishbulb
11-Feb-2016, 11:58
My question, again is: What can LF do that SMALL format (35mm and DSLR) cannot do, or cannot easily do (yes, I know people have shot wetplate with 35mm SLRs, but it's not easy, or the norm)? If you know, can you post examples?

I don't have really any images to share since I use LF images mainly for resolution and big prints, but here are some thoughts:

Technical differences:

* extreme tilt/shift/rise/fall/swing movements not available on even the best adapters or tilt-shift lenses -- compare a LF monorail vs. anything else for small formats, for example
* generate extremely high resolution in one shot images (100-300 (https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12/big-camera-comparison/) megapixels for 4x5), versus multiple shots merged together for smaller formats
* excellent dynamic range rivaling the best digital sensors (with negative film anyway)
* ability to easily use a huge array of historic lenses, equipment, and processes (film/chemical/wet plate etc.)
* very thin depth of field if you want it, for less money than the ultra-rare ultra-large-aperture lenses on 35mm -- e.g. 300mm f/5.6 on 8x10 is about the equivalent of a 50mm f/0.7 on 35mm
* contact prints with virtually infinite resolution to the naked eye -- nothing else looks the same

Qualitative ("if you're into that") differences:

* starts a conversation with almost every passer by
* allows for a very different form of interaction with a portrait sitter -- far more sociable, in my opinion
* a slower and more mentally-engaging process -- instead of taking 1,000 images and choosing the best one on the computer, you visualize 1,000 images and take only one
* allows for all the "fun" of darkroom work -- if you consider that to be "fun" (i do not, but some people do)
* can work in the same way as famous past photographers like Adams, Weston, Avedon, Karsh, etc.
* can work completely without electricity if you want

...

Still, I think you have to be fair about all the things LF can't do that digital can. And there are a lot. Fast-moving subjects, quick changes in focus and composition, each exposure is basically free, easier editing, blah blah blah we've heard it all before... :p

Mark Sawyer
11-Feb-2016, 12:11
Historically, Edward Weston found large format cameras were much more effective for talking attractive young women out of their clothes. Quite a bit of contemporary work, some even on this forum, validates this...

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 12:22
Thanks Adam, good bullets. Thanks Mark, good purpose. Thanks Kirk and Paul and the others that shrug off or don't want to win/argue the point, but paradoxically weighed in anyway.

I'll give you my impression too. I don't see a single result from LF other than a nice, easy contact print that knocks my socks off and makes me thankful I just shot LF. Oh, and the ability to use antique lenses. And sometimes the movements. And the attention it gets. Girls. Wood. Brass. But otherwise, I like the results of my digitals just as much as from my LF. Experiment over, thread closed.

fishbulb
11-Feb-2016, 12:38
Oh yeah I forgot about contact prints, added that to my list above. There's something about the ludicrously high-resolution of a contact print that you just can't replicate with anything else.

Also added an interesting qualitative difference... you can work totally without electricity, if you want to.

ckagy
11-Feb-2016, 12:53
How about shooting macro without needing a special lens? As long as you can rack out the bellows far enough you can shoot macro with no special equipment.

Also, with a small format camera you can tilt/shift the lens, but not the film plane at the same time. I think of images like Ken Lee has shared here that require both the plane of focus and the plane of film to shift: http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/ViewCameraMovements.php

Finally, does being able to shoot multiple formats, even multiple film types, without resetting the camera count? I can't take 2 shots at ISO 100 negative, then 1 shot 6x12 chrome, then a final shot ISO 400 negative of the same scene, without moving my camera, when I use a 35mm. This one's dubious because digital can change ISOs at will.

-Chris

Kirk Gittings
11-Feb-2016, 13:07
Thanks Kirk and Paul and the others that shrug off or don't want to win/argue the point, but paradoxically weighed in anyway.

Its not a paradox to me. I answered because you asked in a community forum that I have a long commitment to-answering when you have some knowledge related to the question is simple courtesy in an online community. Beyond that I made up my own mind about these issues a decade ago based on years of actual testing and now make images accordingly and continue to test as materials and technology change. I don't really care whether you or anyone else follows my example as my MO works for me. If someone learns from my practices great. If not....I gave up on "winning" such discussions awhile ago. There is no winning unless one is looking for followers or converts or a boost to their self esteem which I am not. Didn't Weston say something about "I don't care if you print on a bathmat as long as its a good print?" That's my philosophy. In my lifetime I've seen great work done with virtually anything photographically imaginable and in the end does anything else matter? Not to me.

vinny
11-Feb-2016, 13:26
great thread. I'm really enjoying all of the images.

Vaughn
11-Feb-2016, 13:59
Do people here think my posted image can or cannot be made with a 35mm camera? I do not think so, but one probably could get close enough not to make a difference to anyone but me.

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 14:04
Its not a paradox to me. I answered because you asked .....

I see my subtlety didn't escape you! And you did give one thing LF can do that 35mm can't, it's process. So thanks. I just found it ironic that I asked a question, and you and several others answered to not ask that question, or that you don't worry about it, personally. I didn't ask for personal beliefs. I asked if there were examples of how LF can do things that 35mm cannot. It's pretty straightforward, that I'm looking for examples. Not metacognition on what motivates us, what we've done in our careers, etc.

goamules
11-Feb-2016, 14:13
Best, most thought out answer so far! Now, someone give us some example shots! Here is what I wonder, is there a photo that the average photographer with a DSLR would have difficulty accomplishing? Or a photo that if someone saw it, they'd recognize it was uniquely large format, instantly? I can hold up a wetplate, and people say, "wow, that's different...only one way to do that!" or such. But I think the reason LF is not popular is there is no apparent difference. Don't want to tell them, want to show them. But even I'm not sure.


I don't have really any images to share since I use LF images mainly for resolution and big prints, but here are some thoughts:

Technical differences:

* extreme tilt/shift/rise/fall/swing movements not available on even the best adapters or tilt-shift lenses -- compare a LF monorail vs. anything else for small formats, for example
* generate extremely high resolution in one shot images (100-300 (https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12/big-camera-comparison/) megapixels for 4x5), versus multiple shots merged together for smaller formats
* excellent dynamic range rivaling the best digital sensors (with negative film anyway)
* ability to easily use a huge array of historic lenses, equipment, and processes (film/chemical/wet plate etc.)
* very thin depth of field if you want it, for less money than the ultra-rare ultra-large-aperture lenses on 35mm -- e.g. 300mm f/5.6 on 8x10 is about the equivalent of a 50mm f/0.7 on 35mm
* contact prints with virtually infinite resolution to the naked eye -- nothing else looks the same

Qualitative ("if you're into that") differences:

* starts a conversation with almost every passer by
* allows for a very different form of interaction with a portrait sitter -- far more sociable, in my opinion
* a slower and more mentally-engaging process -- instead of taking 1,000 images and choosing the best one on the computer, you visualize 1,000 images and take only one
* allows for all the "fun" of darkroom work -- if you consider that to be "fun" (i do not, but some people do)
* can work in the same way as famous past photographers like Adams, Weston, Avedon, Karsh, etc.
* can work completely without electricity if you want

...

Still, I think you have to be fair about all the things LF can't do that digital can. And there are a lot. Fast-moving subjects, quick changes in focus and composition, each exposure is basically free, easier editing, blah blah blah we've heard it all before... :p

jp
11-Feb-2016, 14:22
Jim's description of "brute force" of LF for soft focus is valid to me. Soft focus on 8x10 or 4x5 is just different than 35mm. You can get close with 35mm, but it's not the same. I'm inclined to do soft focus as it was originally designed, not as adapted for small cameras. (I am coveting the Velvet56 lens though but don't expect it to be a substitute)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/13759696@N02/14183848845/in/album-72157638315179513/

Big dynamic range is something LF can do well too. Digital you can do with HDR, but that's different. LF can do it in one shot. I think negative film has more DR than digital, and that's probably before you start doing things like zone system, etc...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/13759696@N02/24252939404/in/dateposted-public/



The Aero Ektar can work with 35mm, but you won't have the same field of view. So I say it requires LF or something real close.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/13759696@N02/22819787429

I've seen instant photography setups with digital cameras tethered to dye-sub printers that would probably beat a polaroid for utilitarian purposes. Chemically made instant photos have a charm that's hard to fake though.

Kirk Gittings
11-Feb-2016, 14:33
I see my subtlety didn't escape you! And you did give one thing LF can do that 35mm can't, it's process. So thanks. I just found it ironic that I asked a question, and you and several others answered to not ask that question, or that you don't worry about it, personally. I didn't ask for personal beliefs. I asked if there were examples of how LF can do things that 35mm cannot. It's pretty straightforward, that I'm looking for examples. Not metacognition on what motivates us, what we've done in our careers, etc.

I guess you are looking for examples from true believers. Don't think I can help you there.

Drew Wiley
11-Feb-2016, 14:45
Not all things are equal. You encounter a swath of nettles, blackberries vines, and poison oak twigs across the trail. Which works better - swatting at them out of the way with a DLSR or the big Ries tripod? Size matters. Same goes for rattlesnakes and pesky tourists.

Kirk Gittings
11-Feb-2016, 14:46
Not all things are equal. You encounter a swath of nettles, blackberries vines, and poison oak twigs across the trail. Which works better - swatting at them out of the way with a DLSR or the big Ries tripod? Size matters. Same goes for rattlesnakes and pesky tourists.

:)

fishbulb
11-Feb-2016, 15:05
Big dynamic range is something LF can do well too. Digital you can do with HDR, but that's different. LF can do it in one shot. I think negative film has more DR than digital, and that's probably before you start doing things like zone system, etc...

From my experience there are several sensors on the market* that produce pretty huge dynamic range (14-15 stops) from one frame, easily rivaling the best I can get from 4x5 negative, color or B&W (I use the zone system and a Pentax Spotmeter for everything too). I even sometimes do two scans with my Howtek, one for the shadows and one for the highlights, then merge the exposures, to increase dynamic range of the final image. Even then, it's really hard for me to still bang the drum for film's superior dynamic range, to be honest. Not that far apart anymore.

*These sensors include the Sony/Nikon 36mp 24x36mm sensor (http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Nikon/D810), the Sony 42mp 24x36mm sensor (http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Sony/A7R-II), and the Sony/Pentax 50mp 33x44mm sensor (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/pentax-645z/pentax-645zTECH.HTM). Looking forward to seeing what Nikon's new D5 sensor can do as well.

Darin Boville
11-Feb-2016, 15:10
Polaroid.

This is the best answer here (out of four pages so far). The key is to think what is an honest or natural characteristic of a process or medium. Every process has these characteristics, even the apparent chameleon of digital. In photography the vast bulk of these characteristics are shared, which is why we call it all "photography" even if the processes differs a great deal.

Bill's answer gets to the heart of one of LF's key distinguishing characteristics, that it is a chemical process. One of its natural ways to look different than other types of photography (if that is the desired goal) is to accentuate that chemical process. All Alt processes do this. All contact printing processes do this.

Bill's answer takes this a step further and highlights one of these chemical processes that is generally more satisfying with larger images than smaller ones. The 20x24 Polaroid is more acceptable for most photographers than the 35mm one. I can't recall ever seeing a 35mm Polaroid that worked for me.

Honesty matters. The presence of an authentic object matters. A few months ago I was at an exhibit in Ashland, Oregon of Chuck Close works. Nice show. One piece was a contact sheet of faces (his own) with one of the frames marked with Sharpie or some other marker. It was beginning of his new (now famous) style of work. It was very cool--until I realized it was a reproduction of that contact sheet. I was no longer physically close to an artifact from an notable moment in art history. It made a different in how I reacted to the work.

No process is inherently better or more noble than any other process. But each process has its natural characteristics. You can take great advantage of that in your work rather than just reaching for any one process without considering these issues.

--Darin (who is shooting video at the moment)

Paul Metcalf
11-Feb-2016, 15:13
Here's one that can't be made on 35mm or digital, because it's on private land and only I know where this is at and I only took this picture with using LF.
And also the discarded horse-drawn implement is no longer there and the frost is gone LOL.

I've actually got a couple more like this.:p
146436

Bob Salomon
11-Feb-2016, 15:34
This is the best answer here (out of four pages so far). The key is to think what is an honest or natural characteristic of a process or medium. Every process has these characteristics, even the apparent chameleon of digital. In photography the vast bulk of these characteristics are shared, which is why we call it all "photography" even if the processes differs a great deal.

Bill's answer gets to the heart of one of LF's key distinguishing characteristics, that it is a chemical process. One of its natural ways to look different than other types of photography (if that is the desired goal) is to accentuate that chemical process. All Alt processes do this. All contact printing processes do this.

Bill's answer takes this a step further and highlights one of these chemical processes that is generally more satisfying with larger images than smaller ones. The 20x24 Polaroid is more acceptable for most photographers than the 35mm one. I can't recall ever seeing a 35mm Polaroid that worked for me.

Honesty matters. The presence of an authentic object matters. A few months ago I was at an exhibit in Ashland, Oregon of Chuck Close works. Nice show. One piece was a contact sheet of faces (his own) with one of the frames marked with Sharpie or some other marker. It was beginning of his new (now famous) style of work. It was very cool--until I realized it was a reproduction of that contact sheet. I was no longer physically close to an artifact from an notable moment in art history. It made a different in how I reacted to the work.

No process is inherently better or more noble than any other process. But each process has its natural characteristics. You can take great advantage of that in your work rather than just reaching for any one process without considering these issues.

--Darin (who is shooting video at the moment)

http://www.google.com/search?q=nikon%20polaroid%20back

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/38559-REG/NPC_Pro_Back_II_for.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=Leica%20polaroid%20back

Darin Boville
11-Feb-2016, 18:29
http://www.google.com/search?q=nikon%20polaroid%20back

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/38559-REG/NPC_Pro_Back_II_for.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=Leica%20polaroid%20back

I'm not quite sure what you mean, Bob. I'm familiar with Polaroid film backs. I've shot a few things on the Nikon back, played with the 8x10 back a little, shot with the 2 1/4 back (still own one), and done plenty of work on with the 4x5 and pack-sized backs (still own several including the 600 SE). I've never used the big studio Polaroid but have seen lots of examples of what it can produce over the years. Heck, in the early days of the Web I was one of the first photographers to put up online exhibits. My first one, somewhere in the mid-1990s, was called "52 Photographs." There were three dozen images in the show, the "52," of course, referring to "Type 52" Polaroid film. The next show, "Later that Same Day," was also all Polaroid.

Funny, but you can still see remnants of this exhibit on the web:

http://www.art-photo.com/photo/gallery/darinb/index.html

http://photoarts.com/pac/exhibition/boville/Boville.html

I *think* you are making the same point that you made earlier in this thread, that these backs do indeed exist at the smaller sizes. True, of course. But if chemical photography is on the fringe, then Polaroid photography is the fringe of the fringe, and that makes 35mm Polaroid photography the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. Still can't recall any memorable work done with the format (35mm instant). Reminders/links would be welcome.

My point remains (Bill's point, really) is that Polaroid/Instant film is one of those things that LF does better than other formats.

But we should be speaking in shades of gray (no pun intended), not absolutes.

--Darin

Two23
11-Feb-2016, 18:47
Oh, and the ability to use antique lenses.


Bingo.


Kent in SD

jp
11-Feb-2016, 18:49
From my experience there are several sensors on the market* that produce pretty huge dynamic range (14-15 stops) from one frame, easily rivaling the best I can get from 4x5 negative, color or B&W (I use the zone system and a Pentax Spotmeter for everything too). I even sometimes do two scans with my Howtek, one for the shadows and one for the highlights, then merge the exposures, to increase dynamic range of the final image. Even then, it's really hard for me to still bang the drum for film's superior dynamic range, to be honest. Not that far apart anymore.

*These sensors include the Sony/Nikon 36mp 24x36mm sensor (http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Nikon/D810), the Sony 42mp 24x36mm sensor (http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Sony/A7R-II), and the Sony/Pentax 50mp 33x44mm sensor (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/pentax-645z/pentax-645zTECH.HTM). Looking forward to seeing what Nikon's new D5 sensor can do as well.

Yes, it has come a long ways. I have a D800 which only does infrared, and it's a big step up in dynamic range from previous cameras. I think film has an advantage here for the moment, but it's going to be short lived as digital makes big improvements in this area. For now, I can shoot film, not worry about the highlights when using a semi-compensating developer.

Alan Gales
11-Feb-2016, 22:41
A fellow on APUG was asking about 35mm lenses and what different "looks" they produced. We told him that there was not that much difference between Zeiss, Leitz, Nikkor, Canon, Minolta, Pentax etc. brand lenses.

I told him to look at large format where you have lenses from the 1800's to late sharp computer designed lenses. There is a lot of difference between a swirly Petzval, a Dagor, a Verito and a Sironar S plus all the other stuff out there. I posted Emil's lens comparison thread from here on there and it really impressed some of them. Of course Emil is very good at impressing people. :)

Jim Galli
11-Feb-2016, 23:10
http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Secret%20Weapon%20Lens/SpiderGrassSWlens2.jpg

Selective focus with razor thin depth of field? Soft focus with real definition? Even within large format it's hard to duplicate the possibilities of selective focus of a 300mm f4.5 lens. To get the same effect in 4X5 takes a 150mm f2.2.

Maybe it's something that only .001% of shooters consider valuable. But truly, you can't get close to the selective focus zone and bokeh that almost any lens can give in 8X10.


http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/TailgatePortraits/JasonS.jpg
jason

Is that what you're asking, or am I confusing your question?

Jim Galli
11-Feb-2016, 23:20
http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/EasternSierraWorkshopOct2006/GloriousTreeConwayRanch.jpg

Front rise. Get the tree all in your 35mm frame and keep the lines on the cabin straight.

This was a 270mm Dagor on 8X10 and I just about broke the camera straining every last mm of rise at fairly short bellows draw. Do that with your smart phone.

Darin Boville
12-Feb-2016, 00:41
Do that with your smart phone.

Trivial. First shot made with iPhone lens at "ground" level. Second shot corrected within a minute or two. :)

146446146447

--Darin

John Layton
12-Feb-2016, 05:58
Jim Galli - that first image - does not matter what it is, but...WOW!!!

Jim Galli
12-Feb-2016, 07:09
Trivial. First shot made with iPhone lens at "ground" level. Second shot corrected within a minute or two. :)

--Darin

Fair enough. Ignorant of what Iphone can actually do. I don't have one.


Jim Galli - that first image - does not matter what it is, but...WOW!!!

Thanks John. Household plant. :)

goamules
12-Feb-2016, 08:00
Thanks Jim, I think the very short depth of field has to be a property "difficult to replicate with small formats."

And like everything that can be corrected, replicated, fold, spindled, and mutilated, with software....I prefer analog. Analog wetplate vs a plugin. Analog movements vs Photoshop. etc.

Jac@stafford.net
12-Feb-2016, 09:30
Trivial. First shot made with iPhone lens at "ground" level. Second shot corrected within a minute or two. :)

[...]

--Darin

Yeah, I learned that trick after a few trips to the pub, shooting from floor level under the table.
.

Kirk Gittings
12-Feb-2016, 09:32
http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Secret%20Weapon%20Lens/SpiderGrassSWlens2.jpg

Selective focus with razor thin depth of field? Soft focus with real definition? Even within large format it's hard to duplicate the possibilities of selective focus of a 300mm f4.5 lens. To get the same effect in 4X5 takes a 150mm f2.2.

Maybe it's something that only .001% of shooters consider valuable. But truly, you can't get close to the selective focus zone and bokeh that almost any lens can give in 8X10.


http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/TailgatePortraits/JasonS.jpg
jason

Is that what you're asking, or am I confusing your question?

Damn Jim those are nice. That top one is stunning!

Jim Galli
12-Feb-2016, 09:37
Damn Jim those are nice. That top one is stunning!
:) thanks.

David Lobato
12-Feb-2016, 09:43
1. Many of the portraits on the monthly LF Portrait threads are good examples of the uniqueness of LF.

2. The one-of-kind aspect of many LF processes is not inherent in digital capture or processing.

3. The cost of the high resolution and tonality available in LF is a fraction of the cost of the highest megapixels digital camera. A 35mm full frame body is 10x what you can pay for a LF set up. For medium format digital the cost difference is far more extreme. And aged 8x10 camera, lens, and a film holder can cost less than a digital prime lens. I got a 4x5 kit for less than a 256GB SD card.

Ken Lee
12-Feb-2016, 09:43
Even if 99% of all images can be replicated, what about the total experience of the photographer ?

By analogy, let's say we want to enjoy the vista from atop a mountain. Nowadays we can mount a web-cam and see it on a monitor. We can fly a drone up there and look around with live video. Some of us could hire a helicopter to take us there. In some cases we can ride a cog-railway. Some of us could get carried up there on a horse or mule. Others can walk. The photo from the summit may be the same, but the total life experience will differ in each case.

If we are selling endless wedding, baby and graduation photos for a living, it's hard to justify any other methodology than the fastest, cheapest and easiest. As the dentists say: "Drill'em, fill'em and bill'em". For other cases, we have a variety options and fast is not always best.

It might be cool to teleport to the top of a beautiful mountain, but unless I'm crippled. I'd rather enjoy the walk, the breeze, the smells, the obstacles, the sites seen along the way. etc. Even the challenge and the exercise can be appealing.

It's the same with LF photography: I actually like the equipment and the process. I prefer it whenever possible. I find I make better photos with the old methods because of the challenge and enjoyment factor.

Let others watch their drone shots from the summit: I'll enjoy a nice climb and a picnic instead.

TXFZ1
12-Feb-2016, 10:55
I agree will you 100% but it is a strawman arugment when you add the "which is better" subjective debate. There is nothing that cannot be replicated by a 35mm. Canon has an f0.9 lens with razor thin depth of field, tilt/shifts, Robert Farber did some amazing nudes and landscapes with nose grease smeared on his lens, and tiny instant film is available.

David

Kirk Gittings
12-Feb-2016, 11:16
It's the same with LF photography: I actually like the equipment and the process. I prefer it whenever possible. I find I make better photos with the old methods because of the challenge and enjoyment factor.


agreed.

Alan Gales
12-Feb-2016, 12:31
I can't remember exactly but when I started out in 35mm photography years ago someone either gave me some great advice or I read it somewhere. Anyway, the advice was to buy a photo album and put my 10 best shots in it for monthly review. As I got better then expand the album to 15 and then 20 shots. Well, I did this and I noticed that almost all my best shots were taken with my camera on a tripod. I discovered that the tripod was slowing me down so I spent more time on those photographs.

As we all know, large format forces us to slow down and think more about our images.

I also agree that I just enjoy the experience more.

Bob Salomon
12-Feb-2016, 12:57
I'm not quite sure what you mean, Bob. I'm familiar with Polaroid film backs. I've shot a few things on the Nikon back, played with the 8x10 back a little, shot with the 2 1/4 back (still own one), and done plenty of work on with the 4x5 and pack-sized backs (still own several including the 600 SE). I've never used the big studio Polaroid but have seen lots of examples of what it can produce over the years. Heck, in the early days of the Web I was one of the first photographers to put up online exhibits. My first one, somewhere in the mid-1990s, was called "52 Photographs." There were three dozen images in the show, the "52," of course, referring to "Type 52" Polaroid film. The next show, "Later that Same Day," was also all Polaroid.

Funny, but you can still see remnants of this exhibit on the web:

http://www.art-photo.com/photo/gallery/darinb/index.html

http://photoarts.com/pac/exhibition/boville/Boville.html

I *think* you are making the same point that you made earlier in this thread, that these backs do indeed exist at the smaller sizes. True, of course. But if chemical photography is on the fringe, then Polaroid photography is the fringe of the fringe, and that makes 35mm Polaroid photography the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. Still can't recall any memorable work done with the format (35mm instant). Reminders/links would be welcome.

My point remains (Bill's point, really) is that Polaroid/Instant film is one of those things that LF does better than other formats.

But we should be speaking in shades of gray (no pun intended), not absolutes.

--Darin

The statement made by Bill was simply "Polaroid". And that statement was incorrect. Lots of formats used or could use Polaroid materials.

goamules
12-Feb-2016, 13:09
I also agree that most of what I like about LF is the experience, not the results. I'm glad that's not wrong to say. To me a good afternoon is setting up a tripod, selecting a wooden camera and lens, and making a wetplate or film shot or two. But I could have grabbed my Fuji XE-1 and done the same shot in seconds. And it would "be better" (registered trademark) than the wetplate!

Drew Wiley
12-Feb-2016, 13:54
As soon as they design a machine that can accurately measure the Fun Coefficient, we'll start getting to the real truth. Yeah, all cameras tend to be fun, but there
is just something out there amidst dark matter waiting to be scientifically collaborated, kinda like the Gravity Wave discovery they just announced, maybe even
related .... I do know that bigger film has a more dramatic static charge when you rub it against a wool sock. That's a start.

John Kasaian
12-Feb-2016, 13:57
Hmmm.....how about a shot with a Mayfly, Caddis, skeeter, or other insect that got sucked into your bellows and "contact printed" it's self on your sheet film after you pulled out the dark side?:o

Vaughn
12-Feb-2016, 14:00
Here's one that can't be made on 35mm or digital, because it's on private land and only I know where this is at and I only took this picture with using LF.

As good of an answer I have read so far!

Randy Moe
12-Feb-2016, 14:00
I am now entering my 5th year of LF, never did it before age 60.

I have a handful of prints I really like.

Yet I am very happy working With LF nearly every day. :) and often failing...

It's interesting in all aspects and I love the darkroom, darkness.

I grow less fond of FDSLR as time goes on.

ic-racer
12-Feb-2016, 16:37
For me it is print size. 8x10" negative makes a better 16x20" print than 35mm; there is no contest or argument in my hands. Nor is there any way to show this on the internet.

Vaughn
12-Feb-2016, 17:01
For me it is print size. 8x10" negative makes a better 16x20" print than 35mm; there is no contest or argument in my hands. Nor is there any way to show this on the internet.

Actually, if any kind of camera, taking any type of image -- if the equipment used dominates the look of the image, then one can question the success of the image.

Drew Wiley
12-Feb-2016, 17:26
It could be a matter of life and death. You could make a nice emergency shelter out of a big darkcloth, or maybe even crawl inside a ULF bellows in a storm. Plus you'd have a nice skylight with a nice frosted glow to it. I enjoy quite a range of formats. But I enjoy some more than others. That pertains to shooting. In the darkroom, the bigger the better, always.

jp
12-Feb-2016, 18:02
I read that Edward S Curtis had to rebuild his cameras in the field on occasion of them getting broken during his adventures a century ago. Can't do that easily with a small camera.

goamules
12-Feb-2016, 18:29
Just came back to this thread, from contact printing some 8x10s in the darkroom/laundry room. Where were we again?

Vaughn
12-Feb-2016, 18:46
Just came back to this thread, from contact printing some 8x10s in the darkroom/laundry room. Where were we again?

I think we are at where no camera format is better than another, any image can be made with any camera format, and some are just better at some things than others.

Randy Moe
12-Feb-2016, 18:57
For me it is print size. 8x10" negative makes a better 16x20" print than 35mm; there is no contest or argument in my hands. Nor is there any way to show this on the internet.

Thank goodness.

But I like grain so much, I love my one 16x20 fiber print nude from 35mm.

Yes bigger film is better.

BetterSense
12-Feb-2016, 19:05
Things that are completely different are not exactly the same.

Leszek Vogt
12-Feb-2016, 19:30
[QUOTE=Alan Gales;1309307]

As we all know, large format forces us to slow down and think more about our images.

Perhaps this fits some folk here, Alan. I happen to use the same approach, whether it's LF or DSLR....including manual focus. Anyone tried doing time-lapse with LF....and then play it back at 29.97FPS ? ;) Just couldn't resist.

Les

freecitizen
12-Feb-2016, 19:30
Pinhole ..... with camera movements, sometimes extreme, interrelationship of objects can be changed. e.g. that rock in the left foreground can be made bigger and the right foreground smaller.

This allows dramatic control of the visual elements in the photo. ..... and because it is pinhole .... every thing is ( sort of ) in focus.

Alan Gales
12-Feb-2016, 23:09
[QUOTE=Alan Gales;1309307]

As we all know, large format forces us to slow down and think more about our images.

Perhaps this fits some folk here, Alan. I happen to use the same approach, whether it's LF or DSLR....including manual focus. Anyone tried doing time-lapse with LF....and then play it back at 29.97FPS ? ;) Just couldn't resist.

Les

After my discovery I slowed down with 35mm. Later I did the same with medium format. Large format of course makes you slow down. With digital I shoot too many frames for some reason and end up pressing the trash can button often. I know. It's my own fault and not the camera's.

MDR
13-Feb-2016, 05:54
LF camera as opposed to any other camera accept all other formats (digital and analogue) up to it's size. On can attach a 35mm camera to a LF camera, one can use Film backs, digital Backs. A Lf camera is just the most versatile camera design ever. As for the question lf vs others. LF digital or LF film. If one needs minuscule depth of field or better subject foreground background isolation LF is king be it Digital or Analogue LF. All other things can be obtained with other film/digital formats but the isolation and or minuscule dof is were LF truly wins.

Randy Moe
13-Feb-2016, 09:51
Evidently by example Jim Galli is the only photographer here that can produce and post example scans of this thread's topic.

I admit I shoot mostly inside and 'square'.

But I am a lowly student, old and feeble.

Show us the 'Beef'!

ic-racer
13-Feb-2016, 11:42
Actually, if any kind of camera, taking any type of image -- if the equipment used dominates the look of the image, then one can question the success of the image.

Exactly why I use large format! In my hands, when printing an 8x10 negative, the 'process' becomes transparent. That is, optical aberration, diffraction, converging parallels, DOF limits, grain, processing marks, dust, etc. do not dominate the look of the image. However when shooting Minox, then it is a celebration of grain, and 'process' which totally dominates the image. Each has its place but it would be foolish to pre-judge any image based on the camera type used.

Willie
13-Feb-2016, 13:49
The only thing Large Format can do that the smaller formats can't do is give you a larger negative or chrome as the original.

Jim Galli
13-Feb-2016, 14:17
The only thing Large Format can do that the smaller formats can't do is give you a larger negative or chrome as the original.

Brilliant.

http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/3ModelAs.jpg
go make this picture with your iphone and report back please

Randy Moe
13-Feb-2016, 14:58
Didn't know how to do this 5 minutes ago. Used a full manual iPod camera and app and a couple filters bought on the fly.

Not exactly your DOF, but damn.

146541

bob carnie
13-Feb-2016, 15:06
Solarizing film is a piece of cake with large format… almost impossible for small format .

Vaughn
13-Feb-2016, 16:05
It could be a matter of life and death. You could make a nice emergency shelter out of a big darkcloth...'
Photographing the moon rising, an exposure onto the film every 10 minutes. The moon was leaving totality (lunar eclispe) as it rose and I photographed until it was completely full again. Middle of December just west of Tuscon, AX. With the sun up it was warm -- and then it got colder and colder. I had on shorts, shirt, and sandals, but had my wool cap. Too far to go to the car (longer than ten minutes), so I wrapped the darkcloth around me and danced the night away to keep warm!

plaubel
13-Feb-2016, 16:10
Things that are completely different are not exactly the same.

That's a real Frippism (Robert Fripp's speciality).

One of my reasons today using LF, and since some days ULF, too - I want to see as much as possible on a big screen. And of course, later on my print.
I love this big screens. Again and again.
I love the game shooting only two, or maybe 4 Sheets of film, and then running into the darkroom, whatwhat,what!

I've never had so much fun with 35mm; for me, this are reasons enough.

Ritchie

Kirk Gittings
13-Feb-2016, 16:16
Solarizing film is a piece of cake with large format… almost impossible for small format .

Why Bob?

Kirk Gittings
13-Feb-2016, 16:57
Try getting a panoramic shot of a beach or any other view with movements. Good luck stitching!

Which movements? Front tilt and rise on a 3x stitch pretty simple with a T/S lens and a sliding mount. You wouldn't get 3 full frames because of the overlap but still a pretty sizeable file with 40mp camera.

Ken Lee
13-Feb-2016, 17:22
Try getting a panoramic shot of a beach or any other view with movements.

Are you referring to subjects that move ?

Here's a nice stitching job where the same boat appears twice in the image, at two different points in time. Isn't stitching wonderful ? :rolleyes:

http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/OgunquitPanorama2.jpg

Vaughn
13-Feb-2016, 18:28
Why Bob?

Probably because trying to solarize a roll of film is not as easy -- still doable. Solarizing Type 55 is fun...some limited success.

Leszek Vogt
13-Feb-2016, 20:24
Solarizing film is a piece of cake with large format… almost impossible for small format .

Bob, I thought one can solarize the image on paper...without having to do this on the film. Every camera size has its use even some silly formats like 110, 127, etc.

Les

Andrew O'Neill
13-Feb-2016, 20:25
I can shoot 8x10 x-ray film through a Reinhold Meniscus lens. I couldn't do this in a smaller format or on digital.

Vaughn
13-Feb-2016, 22:09
Solarizing film gives a whole different look than solarizing the print.

stawastawa
14-Feb-2016, 01:06
I'd love to see that multiple exposure of the moon!


'
Photographing the moon rising, an exposure onto the film every 10 minutes. The moon was leaving totality (lunar eclispe) as it rose and I photographed until it was completely full again. Middle of December just west of Tuscon, AX. With the sun up it was warm -- and then it got colder and colder. I had on shorts, shirt, and sandals, but had my wool cap. Too far to go to the car (longer than ten minutes), so I wrapped the darkcloth around me and danced the night away to keep warm!

goamules
14-Feb-2016, 06:49
Here's somthing you can't do with small format or digital (easily, but note the guy taking a cell phone capture OF the plate, that's what you can do). Create an image on a plate of metal or glass, fully developed and full size, ready for drying and framing - in 5 minutes from sitting, to washing. Workshop pics.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8046/8353264461_53bae13060_c.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8355/8353265137_89482972d7_c.jpg

goamules
14-Feb-2016, 06:54
Here's another thing you cannot do with small format. Pumpkin Wetplate Camera!

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7406/10599896945_3568d5222c_c.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7419/10599911734_f62cd7ffeb_c.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5524/10599915025_8fdaf07fc8_z.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2834/10600155853_3b350e06e2_c.jpg

Willie
14-Feb-2016, 07:46
Brilliant.

http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/3ModelAs.jpg
go make this picture with your iphone and report back please

I don't own an iphone. I do own Large Format cameras as well as smaller formats. Even digital cameras.

I can use digital and make enlarged negatives and contact print on Azo or Pt/Pd or Carbon or whatever.

Face it Jim, we shoot Large Format because we like it. Not because nothing else can do the job 95%+ of the time.

bob carnie
14-Feb-2016, 07:49
I can use stainless steel tanks and just in mid development pull out the film lay flat and hit light.

for medium format and 35mm the film is on a reel and well you can imagine the mess.


I will admit that if I still had my dip and dunk refrema line then I could send in film clipped and turn on room light halfway.

but sadly those days of big film machines are done for me.


Why Bob?

bob carnie
14-Feb-2016, 07:52
Lots of folks would hit the film inside the package with 5-15 pops of a flash - then peel away-- it takes a bit of practice but once the flash hit is repeatable lots of beautiful images.


Probably because trying to solarize a roll of film is not as easy -- still doable. Solarizing Type 55 is fun...some limited success.

Michael R
14-Feb-2016, 08:12
I can use stainless steel tanks and just in mid development pull out the film lay flat and hit light.

for medium format and 35mm the film is on a reel and well you can imagine the mess.

I will admit that if I still had my dip and dunk refrema line then I could send in film clipped and turn on room light halfway.

but sadly those days of big film machines are done for me.


Hi Bob, just throwing out an idea - one way of handling roll film would be to develop using the "rain gutter" technique (John Sexton's "slosher" for 120). Instead of developing the roll in a tank, you unroll it and develop it in a length of rain gutter. Granted it is a little clumsy, especially if you need to do a bunch of rolls at a time, and requires darkness, but doable.

bob carnie
14-Feb-2016, 08:13
Hi Leszek

I do both, I solarize the image on paper and I get a white makie line- I also solarize the film and I get a black makie line.

lately I have been solarizing 4 x5 colour Fuji 160 - hand process and solarize mid development with a nice effect.

But I am referring to film solarizations in this thread.





Bob, I thought one can solarize the image on paper...without having to do this on the film. Every camera size has its use even some silly formats like 110, 127, etc.

Les

bob carnie
14-Feb-2016, 08:18
This would work, but I can tell you the process C41 is quite nauseating in open trays up close and personal - the bleach is particularity nasty.
The dev is not so bad to handle and get a bit of dev smell up the nose but to continue on I glad to dump into the tanks and walk away a bit. BTW the whole process is dark except for the blast of light, it actually is not so hard with 4 x5 and 8x10 hangers.

Hi Bob, just throwing out an idea - one way of handling roll film would be to develop using the "rain gutter" technique (John Sexton's "slosher" for 120). Instead of developing the roll in a tank, you unroll it and develop it in a length of rain gutter. Granted it is a little clumsy, especially if you need to do a bunch of rolls at a time, and requires darkness, but doable.

Vaughn
14-Feb-2016, 08:34
Lots of folks would hit the film inside the package with 5-15 pops of a flash - then peel away-- it takes a bit of practice but once the flash hit is repeatable lots of beautiful images.

Do you mean solarizing the neg right thru the packaging? (probably not)
I peel (open up the package to see the film) first, then hit is with multiple flashes.

I still have some Type 55 around --- all getting pretty old, like me!

bob carnie
14-Feb-2016, 09:22
Yes that's how I think they did it... lots of pops. count them for reference down the road..

Do you mean solarizing the neg right thru the packaging? (probably not)
I peel (open up the package to see the film) first, then hit is with multiple flashes.

I still have some Type 55 around --- all getting pretty old, like me!

barnacle
14-Feb-2016, 12:25
One - no, two - things I get with large format:

First, I get *in*; the large format setup seems to persuade people let me take pictures where they might not normally allow it, or other photographers give me elbow room and politely ask if they can cross in front of me.

Second, I get myself photographed ever so often...

Neil

Struan Gray
14-Feb-2016, 13:46
I have tried to make smaller formats work for me, but there are a few things that never seem quite right.

I don't print big, and I don't 'burn film', so those two clear-cut advantages of the ends of the LF-vs-DSLR spectrum are moot.

I find I can't match the colour reproduction of LF negative film. Sensors and raw processors in the DSLR world hew to a standard of 'good' colour set by slide film and magazine reproduction, and it lacks subtlety. I'm not going to get all huffy and refuse to take photographs (like those who gave up when platinotype papers disappeared) but the differences bug me.

I also can't match the short depth of field look of LF. The wide apertures needed for short dof in smaller formats give a different mix of aberrations in the out of focus parts of the image, and the look just isn't the same, whatever the 'equivalence' Nazis might say. f1.4 on aps-c necessarily involves uglier aberrations than f8 on 4x5.

I use movements a lot. My photographs don't scream 'tilt-shift' or 'front rise', but the effects are there if you know what you're looking at. I miss having full movements on both standards in smaller formats, and see most of the available simulcra as clumsy approximations.


I know I'm open to being told I haven't tried hard enough, or spent enough money, or researched obvious solutions to these issues. I will also admit that you can come very close to the LF look if you work hard enough, particularly if you take photographs where everything is in sharp focus. But, even if I overlook the residual differences, that sense of strain - in the images, and in the process - detracts from the pleasure of photography. What LF does well, it does effortlessly and with grace. I am the sort of person who makes tools work for what I need to do, and I have of necessity been doing a lot more DSLR work of late, work I am happy enough to call my own, but it's not LF, and the differences are significant.



http://struangray.com/miscpics/cliff_face_reiff.jpg
..

Ken Lee
14-Feb-2016, 13:57
What Struan said.

Alan Gales
14-Feb-2016, 16:46
Hi Bob, just throwing out an idea - one way of handling roll film would be to develop using the "rain gutter" technique (John Sexton's "slosher" for 120). Instead of developing the roll in a tank, you unroll it and develop it in a length of rain gutter. Granted it is a little clumsy, especially if you need to do a bunch of rolls at a time, and requires darkness, but doable.

When I started in Sheet Metal I worked at an architectural shop where we made custom gutters for expensive older homes. If you went to an architectural sheet metal shop they could easily custom make you a trough with end caps to your specifications. If you developed a lot this way then it would be a lot easier to work with than a rain gutter.

Jody_S
14-Feb-2016, 18:23
Maybe I missed this in thread, but isn't it a lot easier to do wet printing with LF over 35mm especially? A speck of dust on a 35mm neg is catastrophic; on 8x10, it might not even be worth spotting the print. And for those who do masking, I would think pin registration setups for highlight masking 4x5 and larger are workable, but I wouldn't want to try doing 35mm that way.

Besides that, I have a bunch of portraits I've done on 5x7 and larger as a street photographer that I simply couldn't have done with anything smaller. I could not have gotten people to stop and pose without the antique camera and big brass lens.

Leszek Vogt
14-Feb-2016, 19:15
Yes that's how I think they did it... lots of pops. count them for reference down the road..

Bob, thanks to this thread (and you), I actually learned something. I never knew that one could do solarization (and control it to a degree) directly on film. Maybe I was reading the wrong books.:p

Les

Vaughn
14-Feb-2016, 20:30
Bob, thanks to this thread (and you), I actually learned something. I never knew that one could do solarization (and control it to a degree) directly on film. Maybe I was reading the wrong books.:p Les

Which is why I don't mind threads going a bit off course -- you find the unexpected!

johnmsanderson
15-Feb-2016, 10:19
One - no, two - things I get with large format:

First, I get *in*; the large format setup seems to persuade people let me take pictures where they might not normally allow it, or other photographers give me elbow room and politely ask if they can cross in front of me.

Second, I get myself photographed ever so often...

Neil

I concur with these.

My own answer would stem from from the fact that:

1. can small format produce an 8x10 transparency that is as pretty as some of the one's I have?

2. My Railroad Landscape work uses 4x5 and 8x10 cameras to produce panorama images. I haven't tried making these types of pictures on digital but my stitched 4x5s and 4x10s on the 8x10 camera produce some really nice prints near 35x80"...

3. I feel special

Vaughn
15-Feb-2016, 10:42
When all is said and done, the cameras do nothing. It is the photographer that creates images.

barnacle
15-Feb-2016, 13:30
Agreed, but different cameras produce different images depending on their characteristics: the images I took of Ely Cathedral at the weekend would have been significantly different on my Olympus electric camera than those on 5x4, and different again on my old OM-1 35mm - even from the same viewpoint and the same lens movements and field of view.

What the photographer does is see how the image will appear on the equipment of his choice, and picks the equipment to choose the image he wants.

Neil

Vaughn
15-Feb-2016, 13:43
...What the photographer does is see how the image will appear on the equipment of his choice, and picks the equipment to choose the image he wants.Neil

Close enough! For me there is constant feedback between me, the light, how I want to represent it and use it to create the image, the camera, the film, processing and print making...with no one aspect being more important than the other in the creation of the image and print.

Randy Moe
15-Feb-2016, 13:44
Seems to me I see LF movements in this image and as it's a contact print, it would be kinda small on 35mm.

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/33.43.39/

cowanw
15-Feb-2016, 15:01
Well it is an enlargement you know. The negative is 9 7/16x 7 9/16 inches. So the print could have been enlarged from whatever size.

Randy Moe
15-Feb-2016, 15:09
That's not the point. LF movements are.



Well it is an enlargement you know. The negative is 9 7/16x 7 9/16 inches. So the print could have been enlarged from whatever size.

Willie
15-Feb-2016, 15:15
When all is said and done, the cameras do nothing. It is the photographer that creates images.

Try it without a camera and get back to us on how it works for you.

Vaughn
15-Feb-2016, 16:18
Try it without a camera and get back to us on how it works for you.

Please see post #114.

marieho
15-Feb-2016, 16:29
Here is one thing most easily done with large format, soft focus. There were dozens of soft focus lenses made for LF cameras for many decades.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5214/5473939340_855c657188_b.jpg

It's way more soft or out of focus than your shot.
http://hautavis.net/129/o.png

Vaughn
15-Feb-2016, 16:33
That's not the point. LF movements are.

What movements do you think he used? Front rise, for sure, but that might be it. Willing to be wrong on this

Randy Moe
15-Feb-2016, 16:56
What movements do you think he used? Front rise, for sure, but that might be it. Willing to be wrong on this

Swing and rise, isn't that enough?

I was searching for EXAMPLES in my photo books and when I noticed this in 'Truth and Beauty' it grabbed me. Then I looked it up online and the Met version is far better than my book.

My apologies for not knowing it was an evil enlargement. :)

pdmoylan
15-Feb-2016, 17:05
One cannot easily realize the benefits of scheimplug with DLSR FF unless using a techno camera attached to the FF DSLR paired with Rodenstock of Schneider digitals. I think the current generation may have lost the sensibility of what unique perspectives LF can provide. Particularly compared with LF long focal length lenses and long teles, TS lenses beyond 90mm in DSLR FF format are almost non-existent (Hartblei 120mm the only exception and forget yaw free). Hasselblad has the TS converter which when paired with the 100mm F2, provides a DSLR FF equivalent of about 120mm. Nothing longer is compatible we are informed. So with 4x5 for instance, lens choices from say 450mm and longer cannot find their equivalent in DLSR FF TS.

I believe the OP was seeking less technical responses. I can only say that there have been a number of instances when I wish I had that capability with a Nikon 810 or Canon comp and was frustrated knowing that without spending $$$ for a Cambo or Linhof and LFL Rodenstock digital, I could not have taken the image I had in mind. Of course the simple fact that all LF lenses can be used with movements allows images not obtainable with FF.

Otherwise the characteristic contrast of LF and specific color palette of LF films are not readily mimicked with digital.


PDM

goamules
15-Feb-2016, 17:38
OK guys, I thought a picture was worth a thousand words? I thought we were photographers. Let's get a little less talk and a little more action (to quote Elvis). The internet is full of armchair commentators. That's why I came here and tried to get some examples. I got a few, but several naysayers and smug digital lovers playing around "proving" their tiny formats. Can't a few more people post some things that are easy to do the LF, that a small format person would have to buy special hardware, software, do workarounds, or otherwise get a less perfect result?

Thread Tally:
124 posts so far, only 13 LF pictures posted.
-or-
18,344 words written, 13 measly LF pictures posted (top poster, Jim with 4).

I like Fishbulbs list:

Technical differences:

* extreme tilt/shift/rise/fall/swing movements not available on even the best adapters or tilt-shift lenses -- compare a LF monorail vs. anything else for small formats, for example
* generate extremely high resolution in one shot images (100-300 megapixels for 4x5), versus multiple shots merged together for smaller formats
* excellent dynamic range rivaling the best digital sensors (with negative film anyway)
* ability to easily use a huge array of historic lenses, equipment, and processes (film/chemical/wet plate etc.)
* very thin depth of field if you want it, for less money than the ultra-rare ultra-large-aperture lenses on 35mm -- e.g. 300mm f/5.6 on 8x10 is about the equivalent of a 50mm f/0.7 on 35mm
* contact prints with virtually infinite resolution to the naked eye -- nothing else looks the same
(I added the following)
- Wetplates
- Make a camera out of a pumpkin

Qualitative ("if you're into that") differences:

* starts a conversation with almost every passer by
* allows for a very different form of interaction with a portrait sitter -- far more sociable, in my opinion
* a slower and more mentally-engaging process -- instead of taking 1,000 images and choosing the best one on the computer, you visualize 1,000 images and take only one
* allows for all the "fun" of darkroom work -- if you consider that to be "fun" (i do not, but some people do)
* can work in the same way as famous past photographers like Adams, Weston, Avedon, Karsh, etc.
* can work completely without electricity if you want

Ken Lee
15-Feb-2016, 17:50
http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/2016-02-08b.jpg
Telephone, February 2016
Sinar P, 180mm Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar
4x5 TMY D-23

"Can't a few more people post some things that are easy to do the LF, that a small format person would have to buy special hardware, software, do workarounds, or otherwise get a less perfect result?"

OK. Here's a photo that was easy to make with a Sinar P. It was easy to provide movements to compose and maintain focus along the plane of the telephone dial. With a view camera, every lens is a tilt/shift lens, whatever the focal length, whatever the age.

goamules
15-Feb-2016, 18:27
Thanks Ken. Looks like a Stromberg phone. I have one like that that still works.

Vaughn
15-Feb-2016, 19:35
Okay, okay. Images with a lot of front tilt...

All 4x5 with Gowland PocketView and Caltar II-N 150/5,6 lens. All 16x20 silver gelatin prints.

pdmoylan
15-Feb-2016, 22:20
146653

146654

146655

146656


Here are 4 images which support my contention.

3 of 4 I have not uploaded before.

The close up of Lichens and Maple Flower perhaps is the best illustration of what cannot be accomplished with DSLR FF. The reasons are the use of slight swing, shift, tilt and moving the backslide so that it was parallel to the lines of the tree. It took me perhaps 15 minutes or more to set up and it of course you had the challenge of calculating of the closeup.150mm Nikkor W and Velvia 50.

The fall scene along the river is a 90mm Nikkor with use of Rear Rise, drop bed, slight swing and front tilt. The use of a polarizer enhanced the Velvia 50.

The landscape of flowers in a field at sunset was use of the 90mm and strong front tilt. The lack of flare is notable and the strong saturation of color is difficult to achieve with DLSR.

The last, and one of my favorites, are a small group of Cherry Trees on the edge of a forest which are in various stages of evolution. The strong contrast of colors and detail cannot be had with DSLR.

Unfortunately, the trees have lost out to time and are no longer in evidence except for remnants of decay.

I rest my case.

PDM

pdmoylan
15-Feb-2016, 22:37
it appears there is a problem with the uploads. can a moderator offer assustance.

barnacle
16-Feb-2016, 01:08
Here's one I posted recently in the churches thread: it uses extreme lens shift to maintain the verticals, but more significantly, the size of the negative is essential to handle the flare from the highlight; a smaller negative would have just washed out (and certainly wouldn't have the resolution) and an electric camera would simply have overloaded the sensor (with possibly electron transfer to adjacent sensor cells but also possibly vertical smearing).

This is scanned at 1200dpi, so 6k by 4k8, about four times the limit of a top end electric sensor, due to the bayer filter and low pass filter. It's scaled down to 1000 pixels wide and jpegged, with all that implies.

http://www.dnbprojects.co.uk/Ely/0422.jpg


Hmm. Right click and 'view image' to see it without the auto scaling that the forum provides.

Neil

Darko Pozar
16-Feb-2016, 03:12
Dear Goamules

re post #124...

Thank you for re instilling my confidence and justifying my recent acquisitions in Large Format Photography.

redshift
16-Feb-2016, 05:53
As I was reading post #124 asking for examples I thought of Ken's closeups. His typewriter images came to mind. I was surprised to see this as post #125. Thank you Ken!



http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/2016-02-08b.jpg
Telephone, February 2016
Sinar P, 180mm Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar
4x5 TMY D-23

"Can't a few more people post some things that are easy to do the LF, that a small format person would have to buy special hardware, software, do workarounds, or otherwise get a less perfect result?"

OK. Here's a photo that was easy to make with a Sinar P. It was easy to provide movements to compose and maintain focus along the plane of the telephone dial. With a view camera, every lens is a tilt/shift lens, whatever the focal length, whatever the age.

fishbulb
16-Feb-2016, 10:19
This is scanned at 1200dpi, so 6k by 4k8, about four times the limit of a top end electric sensor, due to the bayer filter and low pass filter.

Unless I'm doing the math wrong, I'm not sure I understand this statement.

6,000 x 4,800 = 28.8 megapixels... but 36mp, 42mp, and 50mp 35mm-size sensors (without a low-pass filter) are widely available. How do you get to "four times the limit of a top end electric sensor" at only 28.8 megapixels? 28.8/4 = 7.2 ... implying that those 36, 42, and 50mp sensors are only resolving 7.2 megapixels of real resolution?

From my own experience, if I want to get to 4x of what my D800 can produce, I need to scan 4x5 at 3000dpi, at least. Usually 4000.

Since I shoot 4x5 primarily for the resolution advantage, here is an example from me.

The first image is the full-size shot. The second is at 25% zoom, the third at 50%, and the fourth at 100%. The shot was Delta 100, f/16, Nikkor 180mm f/5.6, Sinar F, scanned at 4000 dpi on a drum scanner. The scan is about 300 megapixels.

146676 146677 146678 146679

I took the same shot on digital (although at a high ISO, so it's not directly comparable) and the resolution is not. even. close. If I blow up the digital image to match the last image above, it is just a mush, you can't even tell what is bark and what is dirt.

Kirk Gittings
16-Feb-2016, 10:53
Adam the question is though.........how would you work that image if it really got you excited and you only had digital with you (far from home)-which happens to me on commercial shoots on the road frequently. How would a serious photographer solve this challenge-walk away and let it haunt you? Not me. I'll tell you what I would do and it would be simple and I could get a good print out of it-much better solution than not getting an important image (though I would prefer film always). So I would use a tripod of course, base ISO, primo prime lens and a 4-6 X stitch-all of which would not take any longer than shooting it with a VC and would give me a very good exhibition quality 11x14 to 16x20 print. Apples to apples.

fishbulb
16-Feb-2016, 11:00
^ Yes, that is true, panorama stitching can be done for a lot of images. This image would have been easy - nothing is moving, the light isn't changing, the forms are all organic and can easily be warped in the stitching process to fit together and still look 'natural'. I just picked it for this example since I had it handy.

However, as someone who has done a LOT of panorama stitching from digital images (before I started with large format) I can say that it is not always so easy.

For example, it can be very difficult to get architectural panoramas to line up properly, due to all the tiny lines that must match up, even with the best software and the finest by-hand adjustments. Another example is that easy panorama stitching requires very little moving in the frame. Otherwise, the stitching becomes much more complex, and a lot of by-hand masking is required. Third, some subjects just don't look good stitched, or aren't worth the huge amount of work to do the stitching - portraits of people or animals, for example.

Kirk Gittings
16-Feb-2016, 11:15
I agree mostly, though stitching with a T/S lens can help with architectural lines. For me I have worked hard to figure out (based on my own taste in personal image making) what I can make work. Two examples of "must have" images when I only had digital available.

djdister
16-Feb-2016, 11:23
I have a less scientific comparison between scanned film and a digital shot, a bit like fishbulb's in post #133.

First is a 100% crop from a 20MP digital image. Second is a 100% crop from a scan from 5x7 negative, and last is a scan of the whole negative.
Both shots were taken from the same position, within seconds of each other. For my money, the scan from the negative has considerably better detail. If I applied a lot more sharpening to the digital image, it may appear sharper, but would also display sharpening artifacts.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CSf4vC_CvwE/VYypw1AD2VI/AAAAAAAAAPg/JTbTZVvIP50/s1600/20150526_3800-100pct.jpg
digital

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HJH80as12Ps/VYytK2NS58I/AAAAAAAAAP4/-19bqL0e8ic/s1600/20150526-501-100%2Bpctcrop.jpg
scan from film

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JEEYqV53qrQ/VYoFo3AbVYI/AAAAAAAAAPI/mZ7e2HbZPoM/s1600/20150526-501.jpg

TXFZ1
16-Feb-2016, 11:25
"Can't a few more people post some things that are easy to do the LF, that a small format person would have to buy special hardware, software, do workarounds, or otherwise get a less perfect result?"

OK. Here's a photo that was easy to make with a Sinar P. It was easy to provide movements to compose and maintain focus along the plane of the telephone dial. With a view camera, every lens is a tilt/shift lens, whatever the focal length, whatever the age.

Beautiful image, would you consider a Sinar P as special hardware based on today's market?

David

goamules
16-Feb-2016, 11:45
I'm so glad we're getting some more LF examples. I'm becoming more satisfied with what LF can do 'easier.'

You may notice that I didn't qualify our comparisons or put any parameter on what is "easier". The discussion has gone where it is. So I guess at this point we could discuss things like

- Cost. Depends on who you talk to. I can shoot 4x5 in a Graflex and do small contact prints for probably less than my Fuji X-e1 Digital camera cost. 8x10, more. But you don't use the tools the same way. With LF, you might shoot only 4 shots a session. With a DSLR you might shoot 20. Because you can.

- Required skills. This is harder. 35mm film requires similar skills as LF. Digital totally different. I'd say both have a steep learning curve for someone that want's to do thoughtful photography. When 35mm had local 1 hour shops, both it and digitals are about as easy to "show your pictures." But do do it well, all forms take some skill.

- Associated hardware. With LF you need plastic pans, a lightbulb, a dark room. With 35mm, you need an enlarger. With digital you need a decent computer, Photoshop/GIMP software. Etc. I'd guess both require some trouble to set up for, but one will cost about $1,000 or more in the computer/software.

- Special hardware or native ability? Lots of people talk about a small format shift/tilt adapter. Few people have ever heard of one or use one. Almost all Large Format people use shift and tilt. "easier."

barnacle
16-Feb-2016, 11:58
Unless I'm doing the math wrong, I'm not sure I understand this statement.

6,000 x 4,800 = 28.8 megapixels... but 36mp, 42mp, and 50mp 35mm-size sensors (without a low-pass filter) are widely available. How do you get to "four times the limit of a top end electric sensor" at only 28.8 megapixels? 28.8/4 = 7.2 ... implying that those 36, 42, and 50mp sensors are only resolving 7.2 megapixels of real resolution?

From my own experience, if I want to get to 4x of what my D800 can produce, I need to scan 4x5 at 3000dpi, at least. Usually 4000.

I may have been flippant, but with an element of truth: the scan from a scanner has either three separate red/green/blue sensor strips, or illuminates a wideband sensor with red, green, and blue light sequentially. A scanned image is (usually) therefore at the specified pixel: each pixel of the image is the detected value in RGB, or the scaled sum of RGB for monochrome. If scanned at less than the maximum resolution of the sensor, it averages a number of pixel sites, so things get complex, but simple for integer multiples.

A 2-d image sensor almost always has a colour filter in front of it - in a pixel square, two green filters, one red, and one blue. You can get away with this because the eye is not so sensitive to colour detail as it is to overall luminance detail (and this is why colour TV works, as well as jpeg and other perceptual coding systems). But... this means that if you are deriving a luminance value for each pixel, as you don't have a luminance value directly available, you can only get a luminance value for the filter block as a whole. It's kind of vague, since the green, to which the eye is most sensitive and which supplies around 60% of the luminance information - but there are only half of many of them as there are pixels: the best you can get is half the resolution you'd expect from the number of sensor elements.

So if you have a 30MP camera - say 6000x5000 pixels, close to the scan I made, you have in effect only 3000 x 2500 image sites: there are differences across the image site, and adjacent pixels won't be the same level, but you're not seeing the true luminance *or* colour in anything greater than a quarter of the quoted resolution.

As for image sensors without low-pass filters: they're broken by design. This is basic signal processing theory: you cannot represent in a sampled system any signal which is greater than half the sampling frequency, and if you do try and sample you get a thing called 'aliasing' in which higher frequency information appears as lower frequencies. In spite of what manufacturers may claim about signal processing, you *cannot* remove aliased signals; you *must* ensure that no frequency information enters the system. Only if the lens is unable to resolve to no better than half the resolution of the sensor can you do without the low-pass optical filter.

Apologies if I'm lecturing to a thousand DSP afficionadoes here; my experience is that on the whole people don't understand digital systems!

Neil

BBW
16-Feb-2016, 12:00
When I do work for others, I use digital BUT when I have the time and motivation, I still gravitate towards my LF (4x5, 5x7, 8x10). I have friends with all the fancy digitals, ask why I bother with such archaic equipment. I shrug my shoulders, smile, and show them my 8x10 contacts. I admit, you can get digital to be close, or even better, depending on your skill set, but for me, the tonal range I get with the contact hasn't been matched by digital yet. Came close once for me, but then I was using an older Epson 4000 Pro printer loaded with a set of Cone BW inks.

FWIW, you can argue for both, but I like the SLOOOOOW pace of LF. I like BW and the tones I get. As for the skill set versus equipment comment a ways up, for me, I find if I have the vision for a picture, hopefully my equipment will allow me to realize in a much more fluid action. No doing it another way just because the equipment doesn't allow (yes, I like TS on the smaller formats but its seems so much more elegant with a large image and bigger knobs :). Though it does help justify GAS :D

Ken Lee
16-Feb-2016, 12:31
Beautiful image, would you consider a Sinar P as special hardware based on today's market?

Yes: I suppose that all analog photo equipment and materials are special today. They are not sold through the usual channels. Much of my equipment is no longer manufactured.

The same could be said about musical instruments made by Stradivarius :rolleyes:

As other have pointed out, for 99% of images, newer equipment can be used. It just so happens that for some small percentage of cases, LF makes it easy.

We could easily come up with cases where the reverse is true, like sporting events or wildlife photography: for those applications I'd leave the Sinar P at home.

Kirk Gittings
16-Feb-2016, 12:43
I freely admit I don't and probably should. On the other hand I know what works for me in the real world.

Drew Wiley
16-Feb-2016, 13:06
Why have a big bulky piano when you can play the same tune on an accordion? Cause they just don't sound the same!

Kirk Gittings
16-Feb-2016, 13:34
Thanks Neil, I do not think your are lecturing, just explaining its importance and relevance, especially for photographers entering the digital world. I wish the basics of "sampling" was part of the curriculum in all the photography schools. Lucky enough to have some background on it.

For a few years now, I owned and use once in a while a digital camera with the foveon type sensor, and still amaze me in the quality of the image captured by the sensor.

I'm aware of that though I have not used one. Why do you think they have never become more popular?

fishbulb
16-Feb-2016, 13:56
- Special hardware or native ability? Lots of people talk about a small format shift/tilt adapter. Few people have ever heard of one or use one.

Yeah, the tilt/shift lenses from Canon and Nikon have a lot of limitations. I had to make that decision when I first jumped in to large format.

* you lose autofocus, one of the main advantages of small formats
* the optical performance can be poor when tilted/shifted
* they are expensive - about $2,000 each new
* there are a very limited number of focal lengths (3 nikon, 4 canon)
* the movements are very limited:

Nikon T/S lenses - 85mm f/2.8, 45mm f/2.8, 24mm f/3.5
(All three lenses have these same specs, and the Canon versions are within a half degree or 1mm)
Front tilt: +/- 8.5 (6.5 for the Canon 17mm)
Front swing: zero - (requires rotating lens 90 degrees, then using tilt movement)
Front shift: +/- 11.5mm - (64% of the horizontal 36mm (53% of the diagonal))
Front rise/fall: zero - (requires rotating lens 90 degrees, then using shift movement)
Back tilt: zero
Back swing: zero
Back shift: zero
Back rise: zero
Rotation: 90 left and right

Compare those specs to a standard monorail 4x5:

Sinar F/F2 monorail 4x5:
Front tilt: +/- 40
Front swing: +/- 60
Front shift: 30 mm right, 60mm left (90mm total, 71% of the horizontal 5" (55% of diagonal))
Front rise: 80mm
Back tilt: +/- 40
Back swing: +/- 60
Back shift: 60 mm right, 30mm left (90mm total, 71% of the horizontal 5" (55% of diagonal))
Back rise: 80mm
Rotation: ~135 left and right

When I started large format I had to make the decision: get tilt/shift lenses for my Nikon D800, or get into large format?

I already owned the D800, so that was a sunk cost for me, but let's assume it's not.

D800, used: $1200
24mm f/3.5, used: $1500
45mm f/2.8, used: $1500
85mm f/2.8, used: $1500
Total: $5700

Let's build a comparable 4x5 kit, ebay prices*:
Sinar F2 full kit, used: $500
Nikon 75mm f/4.5: $400
Nikon 150mm f/5.6: $200
Nikon 240mm f/5.6: $400
Epson 4990 flatbed scanner, used: $200
Total: $1700

*Note that you could build a similar LF kit for a LOT less, maybe half that, if you shopped around.

So how many 4x5 shots could you take for the difference in price ($4000)?

Let's say B&W costs $3/sheet to buy and develop, and color costs $6/sheet (about what I pay, anyway). That's about 1300 B&W sheets, or 650 color sheets. That's a ton of film, considering how slow the LF process is.

Kirk Gittings
16-Feb-2016, 14:16
Yeah, the tilt/shift lenses from Canon and Nikon have a lot of limitations. I had to make that decision when I first jumped in to large format.

* you lose autofocus, one of the main advantages of small formats
* the optical performance can be poor when tilted/shifted
* they are expensive - about $2,000 each new
* there are a very limited number of focal lengths (3 nikon, 4 canon)
* the movements are very limited:

Yeah but.........practically speaking...... I make my living shooting architecture which requires constant use of movements. Before digital I used a 4x5 for the same for some 30 years and now digital for the last 8 years. Theoretically speaking yes T/S lenses on DSLRs are more limited but practically speaking I can do everything I need to do with a DSLR and have never felt limited by the movements available on Canon T/S lenses except........

When I shoot in Chicago vs. the SW I feel more limited in terms of rises :)

Commercially speaking cost is irrelevant to me. I am more profitable with digital.

fishbulb
16-Feb-2016, 14:36
I'm aware of that though I have not used one. Why do you think they have never become more popular?

The high-ISO performance of Foveon sensors is not nearly as good as a Bayer or Xtrans array. But Foveon is much better at base ISO.

Also, because Sigma has a patent there is very little competition and prices remain high.


Theoretically speaking yes T/S lenses on DSLRs are more limited but practically speaking I can do everything I need to do with a DSLR and have never felt limited by the movements available on Canon T/S lenses

Yeah it's true. Even when I use movements on 4x5 they tend to be small movements. A little tilt or swing goes a long way toward moving your DoF around.

Ken Lee
16-Feb-2016, 15:03
Nikon T/S lenses - 85mm f/2.8, 45mm f/2.8, 24mm f/3.5


Those are probably the most important focal lengths for professional use but like many of us, I'm an eccentric amateur and don't use those focal lengths. That's one reason I've never gotten an SLR and tilt/shift lenses.

Give me a 190mm Bausch & Lomb Tessar "junker lens" with its 18-bladed aperture any time. 190mm... now that's a focal length. Like fine wine.

http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/Tessar190.jpg

Willie
16-Feb-2016, 15:44
http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/2016-02-08b.jpg
Telephone, February 2016
Sinar P, 180mm Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar
4x5 TMY D-23

"Can't a few more people post some things that are easy to do the LF, that a small format person would have to buy special hardware, software, do workarounds, or otherwise get a less perfect result?"

OK. Here's a photo that was easy to make with a Sinar P. It was easy to provide movements to compose and maintain focus along the plane of the telephone dial. With a view camera, every lens is a tilt/shift lens, whatever the focal length, whatever the age.

Nope. Not with the large format box cameras like the Hobo and others. Still view cameras, just no movements.

barnacle
16-Feb-2016, 16:06
I've never played with a Foveon sensor - but stacking the sensors (in the same way as colour film works) means that the colour *and* luminance information is the same resolution at all image sensor sites. Still needs a low-pass filter, mind, for the same reasons as in my earlier post.

One complication of any sampled system is that it only works mathematically... consider a scanner sampled at 1200dpi - clearly, the highest signal you can show is alternate lines of peak black and peak white, so 600 lines per inch (lpi). That's 24 lines per millimetre (lpm). Most LF lenses, particularly the more elderly ones, aren't going to give you much more than two or three times that, so from that point of view there's no point scanning at more than 2400 or 3600 dpi.

But think what happens if the image consists of those same lines positioned exactly half a pixel offset, so that each pixel sees half a black and half a white line. The result is a flat grey signal, half amplitude, with *no* frequency information at all. If you shift the offset one way or the other, you will get fractionally more (or less) white and less (or more) black, so you'll start to see the lines again, but not at full amplitude. The output signal is dependent on the phase of the input signal as well as its frequency.

If you try and read a signal which is slightly less than this theoretical 600 lpi, say 550 lpi, you'll see that the phase of the signal changes across every 50 samples and you'll get alternating bands of full amplitude and no amplitude, with shading between them. If you try something to scan 650 lpi, too high a frequency, you'll get *exactly* the same result; it looks as if you're scanning 550 lpi: that's aliasing, and that's why you can't filter it out.

So how do we get away with it? Basically, because the world doesn't consist of full-amplitude high frequency signals at constant phase. Most of what you see is low frequency, and what is high frequency tends to be low amplitude and of random position (= phase).

But the practical upshot is that you don't really want to be anywhere near the theoretical maximum input frequency (the Nyquist Limit) if you can at all avoid it, and to expect sometimes strange results if you are - for example, with a test chart!

Neil

Ken Lee
16-Feb-2016, 16:12
Nope. Not with the large format box cameras like the Hobo and others. Still view cameras, just no movements.

You may be right. I guess it depends on how we define a view camera.

For example, this is from "View Camera" according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View_camera):


"...The front and rear standards can move in various ways relative to each other, unlike most other camera types. This provides control over focus, depth of field, and perspective."

The article goes on to describe and illustrate various "view camera-type movements". I for one have always heard them referred to as view camera movements, but perhaps you're right.

The article admits that some view cameras provide more movements than others, but it seems to equate view cameras with movements in one form or another:


"...Not all cameras have all movements available to both front and rear standards, and some cameras have more movements available than others. Some cameras have mechanisms that facilitate intricate movement combinations.

Some limited view camera–type movements are possible with SLR cameras using various tilt/shift lenses. Also, as use of view cameras declines in favor of digital photography, these movements are simulated using computer software"


Wikipedia is not the final authority, of course. I guess there isn't one.

Jim Galli
16-Feb-2016, 19:31
Those are probably the most important focal lengths for professional use but like many of us, I'm an eccentric amateur and don't use those focal lengths. That's one reason I've never gotten an SLR and tilt/shift lenses.

Give me a 190mm Bausch & Lomb Tessar "junker lens" with its 18-bladed aperture any time. 190mm... now that's a focal length. Like fine wine.

http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/Tessar190.jpg

BTW, when I talk about "brute force" this is what I mean.

Alan Gales
16-Feb-2016, 21:56
From my understanding the Foveon sensor is thicker because of the three layers. This thickness causes less light to be absorbed so the camera does not work well at high ISO's. At lower ISO's the cameras are super sharp, have very little to no trouble with Moire and have fantastic color.

With the Foveon sensor as mentioned above you have to buy a Sigma camera.

For downloading raw you have to use Sigma's software which is not the most user friendly.

This is just what I have read. Foveon sensors are definitely intriguing. I've considered trying out one of their less expensive non interchangeable lens cameras like the DP Merrills. I've seen some used ones on Ebay pretty reasonable if some of you want to try one out.

barnacle
17-Feb-2016, 01:12
Regarding the Foveon sensor, I would not say it needs a filter, more like it can be used if concern about moire patterns is an issue. The Sigma cameras actually do not use it and I do not remember ever seeing any moire in the images.

I prefer to speak in terms of lines pairs to avoid confusion. And agree with 600 lp/in I could extract the info at 1200 dpi but I do not think is sufficient. I feel more comfortable with at least 4 times sampling to get a decent capture.

You also mentioned "there's no point scanning at more than 2400 or 3600 dpi". I agree this is the case with regular lens and emulsions but it's not hard to find a few quite good, capable of resolving above 100 lp/mm in MF and 35mm. That together with high resolution emulsions (some copy aerial and microfilm) can easily show details beyond 4000 dpi.

It needs *some* mechanism to limit the input frequency to the Nyquist limit: whether that is a physical low pass filter, a limitation of the lens, or simply never seeing an image that is above the resolution of the sensor I don't know. I might speculate that the microlenses on some sensors fill that function. But without something there, there *will* be moire patterning - AKA aliasing.

Like you, I would feel more confident scanning at least four times over the line pair frequency, for the reasons I explained earlier. As I said, *mathematically* it works, but practicalities intervene. And indeed, there are smaller format lenses and specialist films which have higher responses, but I was referring to run-of-the-mill LF lenses and emulsions.

I think the overall thing to bear in mind is that the largely analogue process of film emulsion gives a continuous scale while digital systems have issues as they approach their limits.

And I'm arguing still that because of those limits, and because of the nature of the sensors, the image I posted a few pages back could *not* have been made with a digital sensor. Something similar, yes; something looking the same, without significant post processing, no.

Neil

Jim Galli
17-Feb-2016, 10:47
Maybe we can get the mods to change the name of this discussion to the "foveon sensor" thread.

Vaughn
17-Feb-2016, 11:17
Maybe we can get the mods to change the name of this discussion to the "foveon sensor" thread.

I'm cool with such discussions here, but I will bookmark this thread so that I can use it as an example of why digital discussions are not allowed on APUG. ;)

Jim Galli
17-Feb-2016, 11:23
Sorry, very low "boredom" threshold. I should probably keep my big mouth shut and use the unsubscribe button and check back later.

SergeiR
17-Feb-2016, 11:47
Well. "Can not do" is strong sentence.
There are number of things that are easier

- control of focal plane and distortion - you can't do it with sub-medium format and even with medium format without utilizing view camera
- transition of tones. I have somewhere direct comparing of same scene between dSLR (35mm) and dMF(645) (same 14 bit depth) that shows how different it is even for those. Even more so as you go higher. For someone with love for complex lighting scenes and dramatic lighting - LF is best thing to deal with. Unfortunately not in color though.
- aesthetics, of course. LF camera sometime gets you to places where small camera (specially digital) - won't. Of course other way is true too.
- easiest ever lenses swapping and ability to experiment with any bit of glass you can project image with

And so on. (there are more)

Jim Galli
17-Feb-2016, 12:41
The title is Malford aviating in his Peugot. Focal plane shutter effect.

Jim Galli
17-Feb-2016, 14:03
Sorry guys, I can't find the delete/move button. I will get in touch with the moderator.

My bad. I should have had a bit more forbearance.

fishbulb
17-Feb-2016, 14:22
Sorry guys, I can't find the delete/move button. I will get in touch with the moderator.

In my opinion, Foveon sensor discussion is on-topic.

1 - We started talking about things you can only do with large format
2 - In theory, large format film provides more resolution and better color accuracy than digital cameras
3 - When scanning film the actual color at the specific pixel is measured, vs. digital sensors, where each pixel is either measuring red, green, or blue light depending on what color filter is over it - so arguably, for color images, only 1/4 of the real colors are being measured.*
4 - The idea that Foveon sensors have all three colors on each pixel, such that they can produce more "film-like" colors - albeit with some other caveats.

Which matters for comparing color film vs. color digital, I guess. But not really for b&w film vs. b&w digital.

* An example from an On Landscape article - the 4x5 has been scaled down to match the ~21mp of the Canon 5DII. Note the missing red berries in the digital image, due to the color filter array. The dots are there (resolution) but just not the right color (accuracy).

146766

Bryan Lemasters
17-Feb-2016, 14:23
The title is Malford aviating in his Peugot. Focal plane shutter effect.

The focal plane shutter effect is alive and doing well, but has apparently become bored with auto racing and has taken up golf instead:
http://www.tutelman.com/golf/measure/focalPlaneDistortion.php

goamules
17-Feb-2016, 15:08
In my opinion, Foveon sensor discussion is on-topic....
Which matters for comparing color film vs. color digital, I guess. But not really for b&w film vs. b&w digital....

Far be it for me to play "Ruler of The Thread." But I didn't ask for a comparison of film to digital! I asked for examples of things that are more easily done in large format, than small format (be it digital DSLR SMALL, or film SMALL). I.E. View Camera vs handheld. It's funny how people automatically switch to the beaten to death Digital vs Film....which is NOT what I was interested in starting in this thread. No worries, I'm glad we are all learning things. The first post:

Like most of you, I shoot a lot of formats and types of cameras...I'd like this thread to be for posted examples of what you "cannot do" or cannot easily do with a 35mm or DSLR handheld camera [that you can with LF]. ...

I'm fine with a little going off tangent, it happens. But not the suggestion of going back and changing the thread title when discussions go off in another direction! I'd say move the new discussion to it's own thread. That way, a person interested in the main question of this thread, doesn't have to skip through pages of discussion of whatever a fovedon is.

Example from cooking forum:

"What are things I can make from eggplant?!"

Answers that aren't really answers:

"I like squash better....here are some recipes for squash!......Ever noticed that squash is kind of like eggplant?.....shhhh, we're talking about squash here!....etc"

Randy Moe
17-Feb-2016, 15:24
Sorry Garrett, I feel your pain, whatever that means...

But Galli challenged someone to mimic LF DOF with an iThing, so I did.

I plead Galli influence!

But the rest of this sensor crap is obviously way off your intention.

goamules
17-Feb-2016, 15:32
But I like eggplant!

I've learned a lot in this one, besides meta-cognition, thread project management, how to deal with difficult people, and cooking. The takeaways for me, regarding the question "what can LF do easier than Small Format?" are:

- A different feel and workflow
- The ability to use antique, unique lenses including soft focus and petzvals
- Movements native to the camera, without expensive adapters
- Short depth of field, inexpensively
- No enlarger, scanner, or computer software needed to make large prints
- High resolution
- High dynamic range

Jim Galli
17-Feb-2016, 15:51
I'm fine with a little going off tangent, it happens. But not the suggestion of going back and changing the thread title when discussions go off in another direction!

I was being facetious of course.

jnanian
17-Feb-2016, 16:17
hi garrett

i dont' know if this can be done with any other format but one with a bellows
its a paper negative ( 8x10 one ) glass from the 20s ( or maybe the 30s ? )
and a bellows at work and front and rear standard kind of at work
and that's about it .. maybe it can be done with a lens baby and playing with PS
maybe it can't either way it was kind of fun to make

goamules
17-Feb-2016, 17:32
But of course, paper negatives, like wetplate, cannot "easily" be done in small format.
I figured the title change was a joke, but didn't look at the author to be sure. Now I know!

jnanian
17-Feb-2016, 18:12
hi again garrett,

i've been coating things and sticking them in a pentax k1000 beleive it or not, for a couple of years now ...
silver gelatin tintypes as well as paper negatives, i wish glass plates ( the pressure plate doesn't like glass plates...
i use store bought and home made emulsion.
im guessing not many people do this but it really isn't too hard or crazy, teh main drawback is
only be able shoot 1 tiny exposure at a time ... it really isn't a lot of trouble, just a lot of legwork for a tiny exposure ;)

Kodachrome25
18-Feb-2016, 00:40
It's more along the lines of "Post your Waterfalls." If you have a waterfall, post it. If you have an example of something LF can do better than small format, post it!

And there in lies the problem, web sized posts vs prints in person. I'll see if I can dig up a D810 file that looks like LF, I am sure I have a few somewhere....

Kodachrome25
18-Feb-2016, 00:59
Selective focus with razor thin depth of field? Soft focus with real definition?

I bet if you took a really talented shooter who used both a Canon 5DR / 85L-II and a Leica M240 / Noctilux Asph 50mm .95 and that person gave it real nice black and white or slight sepia treatment and then hung that work next to that made of the same subject matter type but shot with LF and hung it on a gallery wall...folks would be hard pressed to tell the difference sir.

I love shooting LF because I love shooting and printing film. But I don't use it because I think it is better than anything else out there, that goes to MF in my mind...;-)

Vaughn
18-Feb-2016, 01:41
I think with enough work, you can duplicate any LF image with digital. But without LF, one would not know what to duplicate.

John Layton
18-Feb-2016, 07:31
Had a student three years back - a talented, successful pro with a digital-based studio, who approached me to learn B+W analogue in the interest of broadening his offerings to clients (good business move!). But he also had a very specific goal - which was to make his best effort to have each medium emulate the other, when the endpoint of each was a 16x20 print. Subject was a series of portraits photographed in a very classic manner - by the natural light of a north facing window.

His process included three methodologies - One: all digital - digital capture with a high end FF Canon, adjustments in Photoshop, then B+W output using a high end inkjet printer. Two: Hybrid approach: Analogue capture with a 4x5 Layton LF, TMY film, this then being sent out to be drum scanned, then, as above, adjustments in Photoshop followed by inkjet output. Three: Analogue only: Capture with Layton/TMY, followed by wet processing/printing.

Try as he could, over and over for an entire semester, he just could not match results. He also did this series with an RZ-67, again with TMY film - and with this arrived at the same conclusions. Furthermore, it was his "analogue-only" approach that now became his preferred methodology for creating high-end B+W portraits. Reasons for this, especially in the context of portraiture, were obvious to the entire class...but not relevant to this discussion, with its not being in the "this is better than that" variety. Right?

Kirk Gittings
18-Feb-2016, 18:07
I think with enough work, you can duplicate any LF image with digital. But without LF, one would not know what to duplicate.

:)

Harold_4074
18-Feb-2016, 19:25
Dang. I read through this entire thread hoping that someone would have introduced and/or discredited the following thesis, which I will state as:

"Only on large format can a lens having a front element approximating or exceeding in diameter the typical interpupillary distance of human eyes be practically used for portraiture."

The notion isn't original with me; I found it in a book years ago. It was related to the quality of "plasticity" that is seen in closeup portraits (and still lifes) made with very large lenses of reasonably small f/ number. I have been told a number of times that all lenses make the same images at a given distance, but I think I can offer a counterexample: take a sphere (or someone's head, if they are really accommodating) and attach small mirrors such that a distant light source is reflected toward the camera as two parallel beams about four inches apart. Photograph the sphere with, say, a 14" Hyperion, and then use a 35mm camera to get the same depth of field, same parallax, and same field of view, from the same camera position, in a single exposure. I suspect that any lens for small format with a front element five inches wide will be pretty exotic, even if it can (theoretically) do the job.

When I look at my own skin under high magnification, it is locally smooth and rather shiny, so I regard portraits as actually mosaics of rather specular reflections. It seems reasonable to me that an image consisting of light which left its source over a larger range of angles will be somehow different from one made with only the more nearly parallel rays.

I probably haven't done justice to the thesis, so you could also just consider the limiting case: photograph two parallel laser beams four inches apart, at a distance of five feet, and then use a lens two inches in diameter to make the same picture in one shot.

Randy Moe
18-Feb-2016, 19:36
I wish I had 2 lasers.

This is interesting.

alanmcd
18-Feb-2016, 20:03
How about shooting macro without needing a special lens? As long as you can rack out the bellows far enough you can shoot macro with no special equipment.

Also, with a small format camera you can tilt/shift the lens, but not the film plane at the same time. I think of images like Ken Lee has shared here that require both the plane of focus and the plane of film to shift: http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/ViewCameraMovements.php

Finally, does being able to shoot multiple formats, even multiple film types, without resetting the camera count? I can't take 2 shots at ISO 100 negative, then 1 shot 6x12 chrome, then a final shot ISO 400 negative of the same scene, without moving my camera, when I use a 35mm. This one's dubious because digital can change ISOs at will.

-Chris

Question WRT kenneth's second photo (of the barn). What's the difference between doing all the tilt/shift adjustments here and just going down f stops and film speed to get the foreground and background in focus? I can't see distortion being mentioned. Is the shape of the barn managed in this photo as well as DOF?
Alan

fishbulb
18-Feb-2016, 21:39
Dang. I read through this entire thread hoping that someone would have introduced and/or discredited the following thesis, which I will state as:

"Only on large format can a lens having a front element approximating or exceeding in diameter the typical interpupillary distance of human eyes be practically used for portraiture."

I may be misunderstanding, but all of my large format lenses have front elements smaller in diameter than the distance between my pupils, which I measure at about 70mm. My old 360mm f/6.5 would have passed this test though.

My 85mm f/1.4, and 300mm f/2.8, for DSLR, however, both exceed 70mm, at 77mm and 105mm, respectively.

Randy Moe
18-Feb-2016, 22:25
My PD is 65. My 405 Kodak takes 122mm filters.

Theory is not going to work today for me, we need empirical testing.

Maybe Nodda Duma will chime in as he is the lens design expert.

Ken Lee
18-Feb-2016, 23:19
Question WRT kenneth's second photo (of the barn). What's the difference between doing all the tilt/shift adjustments here and just going down f stops and film speed to get the foreground and background in focus? I can't see distortion being mentioned. Is the shape of the barn managed in this photo as well as DOF?
Alan

Yes: distortion was never introduced because the back of the camera was kept vertical. (Nowadays that can be corrected in software, if we don't mind losing some pixels in the process). To that point, because a normal lens was used (150mm) and not a wide-angle, perspective was normal too: the image doesn't have an exaggerated "near-far" appearance that we can get with shorter lenses, aka foreshortening.

You're right that by stopping down sufficiently, we could probably have gotten enough depth of field. I guess a 150mm lens can do that if stopped way down, but it wasn't necessary. Using a little simple front tilt and swing, it was possible to get enormous effective depth of field at a much wider aperture, namely f/19, where the lens delivers its peak resolution.

Ken Lee
19-Feb-2016, 08:07
There's an interesting example on the getdpi forum of great apparent depth of field at close range, using a digital tllt/shift lens and focus-stacking (and who knows what else).

See http://www.getdpi.com/forum/canon/57698-two-canon-tilt-shift-images.html (http://www.getdpi.com/forum/canon/57698-two-canon-tilt-shift-images.html)

According to the author of the post, the photo of the drill required "59 slices of focus and about thirty hours of post" [processing]. Heavens !

Randy Moe
19-Feb-2016, 08:59
Not a drill but a Hot Glue gun. That's a glue drip on nozzle. It is an interesting 'photo' which only proves photography can duplicate computer simulation like the fashion model thread. If that image can be made by 'hand' it can be automated and is everyday becoming better and better by 3D scanning CAP (computer assist photography). I am making up these obvious acronyms.


There's an interesting example on the getdpi forum of great apparent depth of field at close range, using a digital tllt/shift lens and focus-stacking (and who knows what else).

See http://www.getdpi.com/forum/canon/57698-two-canon-tilt-shift-images.html (http://www.getdpi.com/forum/canon/57698-two-canon-tilt-shift-images.html)

According to the author of the post, the photo of the drill required "59 slices of focus and about thirty hours of post" [processing]. Heavens !

goamules
19-Feb-2016, 10:46
There's an interesting example on the getdpi forum of great apparent depth of field at close range, using a digital tllt/shift lens and focus-stacking (and who knows what else).

See http://www.getdpi.com/forum/canon/57698-two-canon-tilt-shift-images.html (http://www.getdpi.com/forum/canon/57698-two-canon-tilt-shift-images.html)

According to the author of the post, the photo of the drill required "59 slices of focus and about thirty hours of post" [processing]. Heavens !

Yep, that's a lot easier than LF! A lot of people are offering the hard, expensive, or silly ways to replicate a simple LF shot.

neil poulsen
19-Feb-2016, 11:20
Historically, Edward Weston found large format cameras were much more effective for talking attractive young women out of their clothes. Quite a bit of contemporary work, some even on this forum, validates this...

I wonder if he ever photographed the clothes, laying there on the floor? :)

David_Senesac
19-Feb-2016, 12:11
A few posts have mentioned issues using tilt-shift lenses (apparently meaning on DSLRs) versus the way we view camera users do so more easily by front standard movements. Obviously a few here are not aware of the following.

Of course with an expensive medium format digital back on a view camera tis the same. But in this era there has been a paradigm change that makes using those expensive tilt-shift DSLR lenses of less value.

One can digitally focus stack blend images in Photoshop. Although it is digital macro nature photography users that have been making the most noise with those techniques the last few years, the same strategy can be used for landscapes. Combining that with multi column-row stitch blending given a good manual verniered panoramic head and software like Kolor Autopano and one can capture high resolution sharp edge to edge processed images as long as a subject is somewhat static. Most interest with stitch blending that has been around for several years now involves single shot frames without focus stacking at the extreme end with a robotic head. However the below technique combines the two differently so this is what I am referring to as the paradigm shift.

By using one of the center optically better apertures like F8 to F11 to shoot all the focus stack shots the resulting quality can be sharp edge to edge on a frame regardless of how 3-dimensional a subject is as long as there are no near elements that cause paralax concerns. Lots of such images on the below link. Several of my landscapes last week in Death Valley flower fields using a 24mp mirrorless camera were 4 column by 2 row, 8 image blends with each frame using from 5 to 10 focus stack images. Thus some processed images the result of combining 40 to 50 individual images. One image I processed last night ended up 18,700 by 9000 pixels or enough at 300ppi for a 62.3x30 inch print that has more detail than any of my older 4x5 work.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/2015_Trip_Chronicles/2015_Trip-Chronicles-0.html

David

Harold_4074
19-Feb-2016, 12:46
I may be misunderstanding, but all of my large format lenses have front elements smaller in diameter than the distance between my pupils, which I measure at about 70mm. My old 360mm f/6.5 would have passed this test though.

My 85mm f/1.4, and 300mm f/2.8, for DSLR, however, both exceed 70mm, at 77mm and 105mm, respectively.

Okay, compose an 8x10 head shot with your 360 f/6.5, stop your 300mm f/2.8 down to f/6.5, and make the same picture full-frame in the DSLR. I expect that the angle subtended by the DSLR lens will be considerably smaller than that subtended by the LF lens, so the perspective and illumination quality will not be the same. I think that this is close to what the text I remember was describing, since at the time the book was written the corresponding comparison might have been between a 6x6 TLR or a 35mm SLR and something like the 405mm Kodak Portrait. If the authors were correct, the format does matter because the other imaging parameters are not completely independent of the film (or, today, sensor) size.

I admit to having phrased the original argument (dating from probably the 1960s) to rule out things like multiple digital images being merged or assembled to give the effect of a large front element without perspective problems; this is partly because I spent some time trying to figure out how to do exactly that, and concluded that only a mannikin head (are you reading, this, Randy Moe?) would have the patience and ability to hold still long enough. I gave this up when I realized that translating the small-format lens radially takes the optical axis with it, so that combining the array of images would give a third type of image, not a simulation of either the large, fast SLR or the large, slow LF lenses.

Jody_S
19-Feb-2016, 16:56
Okay, compose an 8x10 head shot with your 360 f/6.5, stop your 300mm f/2.8 down to f/6.5, and make the same picture full-frame in the DSLR. I expect that the angle subtended by the DSLR lens will be considerably smaller than that subtended by the LF lens, so the perspective and illumination quality will not be the same.

I think you'll find that if you back up your 8x10 and shoot side-by-side with your dSLR, so the images on film/sensor are the same size, the perspective and illumination will be identical (crop your 8x10 and check).

Harold_4074
19-Feb-2016, 17:07
I think you'll find that if you back up your 8x10 and shoot side-by-side with your dSLR, so the images on film/sensor are the same size, the perspective and illumination will be identical (crop your 8x10 and check).

Correct. But the thread title is "large format shots that cannot be done with small format", not the other way around. I asked for a head shot filling the frame of the 8x10, not an image 1/80 that size taken from a position where the subtended angle of the lens equals that of a DSLR with a 300 mm lens.

And in any case, the information content of the square inch of film will not equal the information content of an 8x10 negative---no matter how you chose to estimate the performance of the DSLR.

If I've misinterpreted the intent of the thread, I presume that goamules will chime in and correct me :)

Jim Jones
19-Feb-2016, 18:08
Another example where large format is better is in pinhole photography, where theory proves that LF has superior image quality. In pinhole photography the light sensitive material need not be flat. It can be curved and even spherical. For example, http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=82927&d=1351947177, (post 15 on Post yer pinholes. This would have been difficult to achieve with roll film.

Randy Moe
19-Feb-2016, 20:27
Okay, compose an 8x10 head shot with your 360 f/6.5, stop your 300mm f/2.8 down to f/6.5, and make the same picture full-frame in the DSLR. I expect that the angle subtended by the DSLR lens will be considerably smaller than that subtended by the LF lens, so the perspective and illumination quality will not be the same. I think that this is close to what the text I remember was describing, since at the time the book was written the corresponding comparison might have been between a 6x6 TLR or a 35mm SLR and something like the 405mm Kodak Portrait. If the authors were correct, the format does matter because the other imaging parameters are not completely independent of the film (or, today, sensor) size.

I admit to having phrased the original argument (dating from probably the 1960s) to rule out things like multiple digital images being merged or assembled to give the effect of a large front element without perspective problems; this is partly because I spent some time trying to figure out how to do exactly that, and concluded that only a mannikin head (are you reading, this, Randy Moe?) would have the patience and ability to hold still long enough. I gave this up when I realized that translating the small-format lens radially takes the optical axis with it, so that combining the array of images would give a third type of image, not a simulation of either the large, fast SLR or the large, slow LF lenses.

Yes, I am reading this and I read almost every word written by all posters to this thread, most of time.

I study their websites, much to learn, not much time...:)

Jody_S
19-Feb-2016, 21:16
Correct. But the thread title is "large format shots that cannot be done with small format", not the other way around. I asked for a head shot filling the frame of the 8x10, not an image 1/80 that size taken from a position where the subtended angle of the lens equals that of a DSLR with a 300 mm lens.

And in any case, the information content of the square inch of film will not equal the information content of an 8x10 negative---no matter how you chose to estimate the performance of the DSLR.

If I've misinterpreted the intent of the thread, I presume that goamules will chime in and correct me :)

The classic 35mm portrait lenses, like Canon's 85mm f1.2 or the Russian 85mm f1.5, will give a very similar result as a 360mm on 8x10. That's what they were made for. Wide-open, they even glow. The only real technical advantage to the 8x10, as others have pointed out, is the ability to choose your plane of focus at that shallow depth of field.

Harold_4074
19-Feb-2016, 22:02
The only real technical advantage to the 8x10, as others have pointed out, is the ability to choose your plane of focus at that shallow depth of field.

Or, possibly, to have a lens subtending a large angle while simultaneously making a large image at a short distance.

I didn't coin the term "plasticity" but I know what it means and I suspect that it involves the foregoing factors. As near as I can tell, this mandates large format.

Corran
22-Feb-2016, 09:51
Or, possibly, to have a lens subtending a large angle while simultaneously making a large image at a short distance.

I think it is a fallacy to say that the longer focal lengths required to create the same FoV as smaller formats change the image in a significant way.

Of course different lens designs and types will cause subtle differences, especially at wider f/stops, but, assuming one stands in the same place and focuses at the same point, there should be no significant differences between a 35mm shot (cropped to 4:5) taken with a 45mm lens, a 6x7 shot taken with a 105mm lens, a 4x5 shot taken with a 180mm lens, and an 8x10 shot taken with a 360mm lens. The FoV should be equal across the board. The DOF should also be equal if using the properly calculated equivalent apertures - f/2 on the 45mm, roughly f/4.5 on the 105mm, f/8 or so on the 4x5, and ~f/16 on the 8x10. Of course this also assumes no movements as well.

Obviously, if one uses the same focal length on different formats and moves accordingly to keep the same framing, the image changes significantly. This is due to perspective and compression, not the format. A head shot on 8x10 with a 360mm lens should look mostly identical to the same thing with a 45mm lens. However, this example gets complicated due to bellows draw and magnification.

jnanian
22-Feb-2016, 10:04
IDK
the longer i do LF the more i realize that it really isn't that i can't do the same thing
with another format, or with that format and a computer as a go between or a digital camera
but it isnt' the same experience. i know i can easily take same sorts of portraits of people or things
or see what things look like flat / 2D or ... but it isn't the same thing as being stuck with a tripod or using a big box
or the expression you sometimes get when you say " do you mind if i get my camera, its in my car, i'd like to take your picture"
and they watch you setup a 5x7 or bigger camera and wonder what they have gotten themselves into ..
small formats are just as fun, its mostly about how much fun you want to put into something that makes it the same or different.

Randy Moe
22-Feb-2016, 14:16
IDK
the longer i do LF the more i realize that it really isn't that i can't do the same thing
with another format, or with that format and a computer as a go between or a digital camera
but it isnt' the same experience. i know i can easily take same sorts of portraits of people or things
or see what things look like flat / 2D or ... but it isn't the same thing as being stuck with a tripod or using a big box
or the expression you sometimes get when you say " do you mind if i get my camera, its in my car, i'd like to take your picture"
and they watch you setup a 5x7 or bigger camera and wonder what they have gotten themselves into ..
small formats are just as fun, its mostly about how much fun you want to put into something that makes it the same or different.

Yes, for me, it's also all about the fun. :)

The hilarious thing is I take way better 'images' with my iPod, but it's no fun. Although I have printed a few up to 16x20" and the prints wow folks. They always comment on one in particular.

Now I am starting a DIY 11X14 field camera project. For fun.

I WILL make a good ULF contact print one day...even if the fun kills me. :)

ic-racer
22-Feb-2016, 15:33
I think with enough work, you can duplicate any LF image with digital. But without LF, one would not know what to duplicate.

Anyone that scans film does that.

Drew Wiley
22-Feb-2016, 17:07
Late in life when Timothy O' Sullivan got his hands on a 35mm camera - and by then panchromatic film was also a reality - he didn't hesitate to say he wished that had been available when he went down the Grand Canyon with glass plates in a wooden dory with Powell. Of course, it would have made his work vastly easier. But let's be grateful that never happened, because those wonderful contemplative graphic images taken with blue-sensitive film, that we so associate with his name, would have never existed! He was highly talented and would have no doubt come back with interesting images of another kind, but not those! Limitation can be an asset. We have to win the boxing match within the confines of a ring and its own rules. That creates a certain kind of tension, discipline, and choreography. Limitation becomes an asset.

Ken Lee
22-Feb-2016, 17:25
According to Wikipedia, Timothy O'Sullivan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_H._O'Sullivan) lived from 1840 to 1882.

In another article, Wikipedia mentions that Panchromatic Film (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchromatic_film) was not available until the early 1900's.

In this article (http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/35mm_film), Camerapedia mentions that the first commercially available camera to use 35mm film was created in 1912.

Are you thinking of another person, or have I got my facts wrong ?

sanking
22-Feb-2016, 20:35
Your facts are right. Drew probably confused Timothy O'Sullivan with Carleton Watkins, who could have used panchromatic film in 1916, and perhaps 35mm.

Sandy

billie williams
22-Feb-2016, 20:39
great thread. I'm really enjoying all of the images.
lol!

TXFZ1
23-Feb-2016, 06:38
I don't think these pesky facts should interrupt a good internet rant after all it's the internet!

BTW, Watkins lost most of his sight in 1896 so it had to be another one of his running mates.

David

Jim Jones
23-Feb-2016, 15:09
William Henry Jackson thought well of the Leica he had in his 90s. As for Carleton Watkins, the great San Francisco Earthquake destroyed his studio, his negatives, and perhaps his will to do anything significant in those remaining years of his life.

Drew Wiley
25-Feb-2016, 16:49
His will? It took his mind too. He went to the insane asylum afterwards. The fire not only destroyed his inventory, but did so right after he cut a deal to sell it all to Stanford and be financially set for life, with his prints preserved for posterity. No delivery, no deal. Fortunately, he sold many prints beforehand, so we still have
a good representation of them. I think most of us have the distinct advantage of realizing that to even be engaged in large format photography, we must be insane
to begin with, so have nothing to lose!

Drew Wiley
25-Feb-2016, 16:57
Let's see... did I make a mistake about O' Sullivan? He was on the second Powell trip down the River as I recall. Who was on the first? Wasn't Watkins. And as everyone knows, what put Watkins utterly out of commission was the SF earthquake, so he probably never did use pan film. Makes no difference. Standing in front of his classic albumen prints should silence anyone thinking any kind of miniature camera can stand up to that task. Timeless images. I could hang one of those on my walls the rest of my life. All those cute, clever digital alterations in the Natl Geo that arrived last nite have already started to bore me. Doubt I'll even finish
the articles.

archphotofisher
2-Mar-2016, 16:36
Frankly I posit this question differently for people, because I know that from vast comparable experience that I can fairly well match MY LF images with a DSLR and T/S lenses.

I don't need LF-I like LF. I like the methodology. I like the historic practice. I like the challenge. I like the deliberateness and the pace. I shoot digital almost every day for commercial work. I appreciate that my personal work is done radically different so it doesn't feel like just more work.


Beautifully said Kirk!!

Jac@stafford.net
2-Mar-2016, 16:56
Frankly I posit this question differently for people, because I know that from vast comparable experience that I can fairly well match MY LF images with a DSLR and T/S lenses.

I don't need LF-I like LF. I like the methodology. I like the historic practice. I like the challenge. I like the deliberateness and the pace. I shoot digital almost every day for commercial work. I appreciate that my personal work is done radically different so it doesn't feel like just more work.

And the difference is that the outcome of your LF work cannot possibly be shown on today's digital presentations/monitors so it will live beyond, for the better.