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Thread: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

  1. #71
    moltogordo
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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    I've used 150mm a lot, but for the past two years I've been using a Nikkor-W 180mm f5.6. I prefer the slightly longer focal lengths. As Doramus Scudder points out above, though, the slightly shorter focal lengths (135, 150) allow you leave a little more "air" in the picture to facilitate cropping. After all, when using the large formats and doing darkroom work, the large areas of a 4x5 allow significant cropping with insignificant loss of quality in the final print.

    My game plan is usually to frame exactly if I have done the shot before (I like to revisit sites and retake pictures under different conditions) so I use the 180. But if I am shooting something for the first time I'll usually leave air so then go to my 135 Schneider or my 150 Fuj.

    So I suggest you start off with the 150, and when you feel your way around, go the direction in which your shooting demands. You'll end up with two lenses, one allowing more air. Not a bad way to do it.

  2. #72

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Quote Originally Posted by moltogordo View Post

    My game plan is usually to frame exactly if I have done the shot before.
    Just some personal thoughts about exactly framing...

    Framming exactly is a nice practice, I also like it. It is a challenge and it speaks about photographer skills.

    Cartier-Bresson wanted prints showing the margin...

    Also it is a good practice for cinematographers, that have a target aspect ratio.


    But LF photography may need cropping, IMHO it is a very pro practice. Sometimes one may want to shot from a precise point to get a desired perpective, then it happens that no lens in the kit delivers the visualized framming: no zoom so cropping.

    It also happens that some images are calling for a particular aspect ratio that it is not 4x5. You may want certain lines pointing a corner, etc and the scene doesn't allow that with 4x5.

    While an exact framing is exciting a Pro needs to be effective, a wider shot allows for that.


    IMHO the 6x6 hassy is a very pro gear/format, once I was discussing that with a retired photographer that made his 30 years living from two hassy. I arged that the square format was a limitation, he replied that he never sold an square print, pointing that he never needed a revolving back or rotating a 6x7 camera, 6x6 is a vert and hor format by cutting one cm. He was concentrated in the subject eyes (focus and taking shot after a flicker), face expression, all that... and later in post accurate composition (and Hor/vert and format) was solved from a wider shot. This is a Pro way.


    At the end both ways are very nice, just sometimes shooting wider and cropping is a need and we have no choice.

  3. #73

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Framing a subject/object exactly is great -- when it happens. I'm sure I've experienced it at some point, in some format. But off the top of my head, I can't remember ANY print that I have made without SOME cropping on the easel -- and usually a couple of other adjustments as well. 4x5 is perfect for an 8x10 or 16x20 print, but 5x7 or 11x14 paper means cropping -- or cutting the paper (which I have done). But since I do a LOT of LARGE prints, I'm constantly cutting the paper to whatever size I want.
    Last edited by xkaes; 13-Aug-2017 at 06:20.

  4. #74

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Bernice Abbott used to describe the term "organic borders" where the edges "disappear" and the viewer seems to imagine what expands beyond the borders... I think that means to keep the borders simple, not to make them look too "forced", and allow what elements that start outside the frame to not start until it can start inside the frame and build into the composition, provide space for in-frame elements to come to rest before the borders, and isolate the core forms without starting other forms into motion...

    Visualizing objects into it's skeleton form, and overlaying or establishing relationships with them makes for interesting composition...

    Steve K

  5. #75
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    Whether anyone is talking about "35mm film" or the Eastman Kodak 135 cassette which holds "35mm film" -- it is not 35mm film. Measure it yourself. It is 1 3/8" across.
    My 35mm film measures 35mm across. How are you doing the measurement. I hold the film flat and bring the 'outside' caliper arms to match the outside edge of the film. I don't try to squeeze it with the 'inside' caliper arms.

  6. #76

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    Measure it yourself. It is 1 3/8" across.
    Not exactly, it is 0.002" wider than you say, and with a tolerance of 0.001". In practice not a great difference...

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    My 35mm film measures 35mm across. How are you doing the measurement. I hold the film flat and bring the 'outside' caliper arms to match the outside edge of the film. I don't try to squeeze it with the 'inside' caliper arms.
    The 35mm film originally was specified 1.375" in 1892 this is 1 3/8". Today norm (ISO 1007 ?) specifies 34.98 0.03 mm (1.377 0.001 inches) wide.

  7. #77

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    The 35mm film originally was specified 1.375" in 1892 this is 1 3/8".
    It was earlier than that -- 1889. Here are some words from the originator:

    W.K.L. Dickson, in an article that he wrote for the SMPTE Journal in 1933, described his central role in the development of Edison's Kinetoscope and Kinetograph. It gives us a look at how 35mm film and still cameras evolved. Dickson was a researcher for Edison, and was put onto the Motion Picture project in 1887. By 1888, he was able to make some sort of motion pictures using multipe rows of tiny shots on Carbutt's stiff sensitized celluloid.

    Coincidentally, in late 1888, George Eastman's company gave a private demonstration of a new product at the New York Camera Club, which Dickson happened to attend. He immediately opened discussions with the Eastman company, and was soon dealing directly with George, who supplied them with many samples of short lengths of Eastman's new flexible film. As Dickson worked with the stuff, he came back to Eastman requesting finer grain, greater sensitivity of emulsion, and greater flexibility of the base. He worked very closely with Eastman to refine the product right from the beginning. Dickson's account gives the impression that the flexible film we know today was developed with a lot of input from the Edison experimenters to meet motion picture needs. He states that he received his first 50-foot rolls of film from Eastman in the spring of 1889, and that:

    "All these samples and experiments were made exclusively for us by Mr. Eastman, who took an ever-increasing interest in what we were doing."

    The Edison people had to cut and sprocket the stuff themselves, and it is unclear what the exact width these first 50 foot rolls were. Dickson goes on:

    "At the end of the year 1889, I increased the width of the picture from 1/2 inch to 3/4. The actual width of the film was 1 3/8 inches to allow for perforations now punched on both edges, 4 holes to the phase or picture, which perforations were a shade smaller than those now in use. This standardized film size of 1889 has remained, with only minor variation, unaltered to date."

  8. #78

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    It was earlier than that -- 1889. .... The actual width of the film was 1 3/8 inches to allow for perforations now punched on both edges, 4 holes to the phase or picture, which perforations were a shade smaller than those now in use. This standardized film size of 1889 has remained, with only minor variation, unaltered to date."

    Well, 1892 should be the year it was introduced in the market...

    Anyway I was not discussing if it was originated in 1889 or 1892, just I was pointing that present 135 film is not 1 3/8", but slightly wider 1.377", as ISO 1007 norm says, regarding your discrepance with ic-racer.

    There was a not worth 1/1000" off topic debate, and I just pointed the facts about width.

  9. #79

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Well, 1892 should be the year it was introduced in the market...

    Anyway I was not discussing if it was originated in 1889 or 1892, just I was pointig that present 135 film is not 1 3/8", but slightly wider 1.377", as ISO 1007 norm says, regarding your discrepance with ic-racer.
    Unfortunately, you are wrong. 135 film, or whatever you call it, is the same width it was in 1889 and 1933 --- 1 3/8" -- as mentioned in Dickson's article. Measure it yourself. Some manufacturers might "fudge" a tiny bit, but the width of the film was establsihed in 1889, NOT 1892.

  10. #80

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    Re: 135mm or 150mm (4x5) for a first time LF shooter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Just some personal thoughts about exactly framing...

    Framming exactly is a nice practice, I also like it. It is a challenge and it speaks about photographer skills.

    Cartier-Bresson wanted prints showing the margin...

    Also it is a good practice for cinematographers, that have a target aspect ratio.


    But LF photography may need cropping, IMHO it is a very pro practice. Sometimes one may want to shot from a precise point to get a desired perpective, then it happens that no lens in the kit delivers the visualized framming: no zoom so cropping.

    It also happens that some images are calling for a particular aspect ratio that it is not 4x5. You may want certain lines pointing a corner, etc and the scene doesn't allow that with 4x5.

    While an exact framing is exciting a Pro needs to be effective, a wider shot allows for that.


    IMHO the 6x6 hassy is a very pro gear/format, once I was discussing that with a retired photographer that made his 30 years living from two hassy. I arged that the square format was a limitation, he replied that he never sold an square print, pointing that he never needed a revolving back or rotating a 6x7 camera, 6x6 is a vert and hor format by cutting one cm. He was concentrated in the subject eyes (focus and taking shot after a flicker), face expression, all that... and later in post accurate composition (and Hor/vert and format) was solved from a wider shot. This is a Pro way.


    At the end both ways are very nice, just sometimes shooting wider and cropping is a need and we have no choice.
    What a bunch of silly nonsense. What does whether you are getting paid or not have to do with aesthetic cropping choices?

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