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Thread: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

  1. #1

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    Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    Hi everyone!

    My mind's stuck on this beautiful and well-known photograph by M. Quinn Jacobson:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	175361


    Can someone explain me how to achieve such a short dof?

    I saw a few videos where this plate is hanging on the wall. It doesn't seem to be a huge monster plate...

    Is it the lens opening/distance factor only or is there any kind of tilt movement? Something like tilted down plus on one side? What's the lens used on this serie?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    I dunno anything about the guy. But note how much blacker the deeper tones are around the relatively in-focus face versus the torso etc, which makes me think something greasy was smeared on the neg or contact glass.

  3. #3

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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    Looks as if it may be a longer than normal lens, straight shot, wide aperture for the shallow depth of field.
    Don't think Quinn uses much movement for straight portraits.
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    The neck is stretched forward, placing the face on a different focal plane.

  5. #5

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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    It's also done on wet plate collodion which means an unusually fast (for LF) lens was likely used. f/3.6-ish is probably the slowest that's likely to be.

  6. #6

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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    Quote Originally Posted by john_vandale_ View Post
    Hi everyone!

    My mind's stuck on this beautiful and well-known photograph by M. Quinn Jacobson:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	glassmem016.jpg 
Views:	154 
Size:	42.4 KB 
ID:	175361


    Can someone explain me how to achieve such a short dof?

    I saw a few videos where this plate is hanging on the wall. It doesn't seem to be a huge monster plate...

    Is it the lens opening/distance factor only or is there any kind of tilt movement? Something like tilted down plus on one side? What's the lens used on this serie?

    Thank you very much for your help!
    Short DOF can come from a long lens, a wide aperture and a close subject, in that shot there are some 30mm DOF, here you can find combinations: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

    That particular DOF look it's easy to obtain with very big plates or negatives. If you shot 16x20" plates (like Quinn) narrow DOF in portraits isn't difficult, what would be dificult it's the counter

    You can use old brass monster petzals (and other). Here Kurt Moser shows the entire process in a TV show (min 1:30):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cbg58F98Uw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmBkXmWgScg

    Long process lenses can also be used http://www.galerie-photo.com/apo-pro...ikkors-en.html

    Cameras can be really big, you may want a truck to make one for an APO NIkkor 1780mm; https://www.lightcatcher.it/#Ural


    You can also take an SLR or DSLR with a nikon or canon 50mm f/1.2, (or even 1.0 for canon) and make a digital negative/positive for alternative process printing, look won't be excatly the same but if the thing ends in a tintype then many people may see the same, anyway something shot with ULF format really big plate is very special, if one has the criterion to feel it.


    PD: It looks that there is no tilt or swing movement, because the plane of focus looks well perpendicular to the front axis. Both eyes are in focus and at the same distance, so no swing, also focus in the lips and in tthe the forehead also looks at the same distance, so no tilt. When tilt/swing used then the plane of focus is not perpendicular to the view direction, with movements you can swing and tilt the plane of focus as you want.

    Here you can see a shot with tilt : https://www.flickr.com/photos/colton...125592977@N05/

    You see the head is in focus, behind subject the floor is out of focus, but the wall in the back is again in focus (the up side), this is because the plane of focus it has been inclinated with a tilt.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 28-Feb-2018 at 05:05. Reason: PD:

  7. #7

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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    Thx everyone!

    Are you sure a long lens is part of the solution? I'm a bit sceptical about it... I was thinking dof only depends on two factors, lens aperture and growth factor. This last point depends on focal length relatively to focussing distance, and of course, film size... In other words: I was thinking you obtain the exact same dof with a shorter lens and a shorter distance. Only perspective problems may occur... but with the same head a shoulder shot, only the aperture and plate size may give a difference on dof.

    And I saw this plate on youtube videos, it's not a huge mammoth plate... seems to be around 18x24...

    It maybe this size of plate with a very fast lens...

    There is the same effect on this plate:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I hope my future 2.8/150mm will allow me to approch this kind of images on 4x5 plates!

  8. #8

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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Short DOF can come from a long lens, a wide aperture and a close subject, in that shot there are some 30mm DOF, here you can find combinations: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

    That particular DOF look it's easy to obtain with very big plates or negatives. If you shot 16x20" plates (like Quinn) narrow DOF in portraits isn't difficult, what would be dificult it's the counter
    Theorically (DOF Master), my 4.5/210mm @1.5 meter would give me 40mmDOF on my 4x5 plates. But the results are much more commons!

    Attachment 175365

  9. #9

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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    Is wet-plate orthochromatic ? In other words, comparatively insensitive to red ? In that case, skin pigment is rendered rather dark and blue eyes are rendered light.

  10. #10

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    Re: Technical question about a portrait by M. Quinn Jacobson

    Yap! But my trouble is mainly on DOF questions!

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