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Thread: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

  1. #11

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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    Seepaert, none of the solutions you suggest can be considered as a replacement to a regular lightweight and cheap field camera. A digital back has less resolution, is extremely difficult to focus (most suggest using a laptop to verify focus) and needs time consuming workarounds to deal with colour casts caused by shifting. They also cost as much as a very decent car. Using a 22 megapixel DSLR with a LF camera needs very expensive digitar lenses and is again almost impossible to use with movements due to the tiny screen. Stitching is possible but not with moving subjects including leaves swaying in the breeze.

    Etc, etc etc.

    The solutions are out there but that wasn't what the OP asked.

  2. #12

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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    Not again! Didn't we have enough of digital vs. film crap?

    I don't understand why people on this forum insult people who ask a question they want to answer. If you don't want to deal with it just skip it. I know you should search the archives first, and not everyone has been a member forever. I didn't see the post as just another digital vs. film rant. Obviously this is an issue that will be of interest forever. I don't see any current developments in this field (4x5 sensors) but I would also love to see one. You never know what will be developed tomorrow. Who would have thought five years ago that DSLRs would totally takeover 35mm. He had some good comparisons to the audio world, where High Resolution discs are available but are becoming extinct due to the consumers demand for poor quality smaller and cheaper MP3 players.

  3. #13

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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    By the way. the 'analog' camera does not exists. It's not because a million photographer scream it at the same time that it becomes true.

    Classical photography is chemical, not 'analog' -- that makes absolutely no sense to use the wrong adjective to describe it.

    'analog' does not mean 'not digital' : it means 'non digital electrical signal' and as far as I know, no photographer was ever electrocuted when handling film holders.

    And yeah, thats one of the reason I don't subscribe to APUG

  4. #14

    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    Quote Originally Posted by audioexcels View Post
    IWill the digital world ever have the analog equivalent for a large format system?
    Of course! In fact it will exceed the large format film medium by leaps and bounds. It's just a matter of time.

    Regards, Art.

  5. #15
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    I guess nothing is impossible but an 8x10 digital back must be a darn awkward thing to use instead of film just to make cyanotypes, platinotypes, and Van Dyke browns.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  6. #16
    JoeV's Avatar
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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    I continue to be amused when people criticize the discussion of electronic vs chemical photography on the one hand, and then on the other hand are quick to state that they're open to either form of technology, it's all about the tools, whatever works for your kind of image making, blah, blah, blah,...

    I guess you just can't have it both ways, now can you? Either it's all photography, and worth discussing, or just shut up and make pictures and quitcher yapping.

    As per the OP, I think we have to redefine what we mean by 'large format', now that electronic format size no longer refers to a physical film emulsion, but rather an abstract data file. Imager pixel count correlates rather closely to image file size, but neither really directly equates to what we meant in the chemical photography era by the term 'large format'.

    My armchair quarterback guess is that LF electronic imaging would produce a print whose resolution is equivalent to a contact printed film negative, in terms of image information density (resolution), media 'artifacts' (granularity with film, and pixellation with electronic imaging), and other image qualities (surface finish, image color, texture, etc).

    This implies that the further refinement of LF electronic imaging requires a systematic series of improvements - to the camera chips, software and printing technology - and accessible economically to a similar group of enthusiasts as now practice film-based LF photography. I would also like to see some zone-system standards carryover from the camera's operating system, through the post-processing step, to the printing phase. There should be zone-based industy standards, where my in-camera viewscreen tells me that shadow is zone III, it should come out to zone III on the printer. The convenience that software potentially offers should allow these calibrations to be automatic, and carryover from the previsualization step to the printing step.

    In reality, this is all just mindless dreaming, since the LF, film-based consumer market is really a niche; the potential sales to such a niche market from a systematized electronic LF imaging system described above would not pay back any return on investment (ROI). In the future, I suspect that the merits and attributes of electronic imaging will define where photography will go, not the attributes of 'legacy' formats like film-based LF. This was already true, prior to electronic imaging, when silver-based LF photographers would rarely, if ever, describe their ultimate photographic image as being a dag on a silver-plated copper plate. Though there are folks today making dag's of exquisite quality, no one is saying that's where the future of photography rests. Older processes become 'historic craft'. New processes become state of the art. And there's never a perfect comparison between any set of technological generations of media, they all have unique attributes.

    ~Joe

    PS-When you start thinking in detail about how CCD transistors work, and how silver halide crystals become latently sensitised and subsequently developed, they both involve the interaction of photons with matter to dislodge electrons. On that level, the two technologies are really not that much different from each other; the differences are really between our ears - the human element that has, historically, always found new ways to make divisions and start wars.

  7. #17

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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    I can't see why anyone would want to use LF digital of the type you describe when we can use film. Light, self contained, no need for batteries, archival, beautiful, etc.etc. Who is going to make a LF digital back under those conditions? Even now I'm amazed that Better Light have managed to find a market.

    I am open to both forms of technology and blah, blah, blah...

  8. #18
    jetcode
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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    The answer to the original question is no for one basic reason.

    The definition of analog is an element that can be divided infinitely and never loose it's identity. An example is time. You can divide or multiple time infinitely and it never looses it's identity. The same as light. Even if we divide light to the point where we can no longer perceive it it is still light.

    The same can not be said for digital. Digital at best represents the analog world but is not the analog because when divided it eventually reaches the most basic foundation; the bit, 1 or 0. The identity of the data has long been lost because in digital the microprocessor manages small scale electrical signals at extremely high rates of transition. The digital domain is meaningless without human representation mixed with transducers (analog sensors and outputs) which give digital the illusion of analog.

    Just a thought - Joe

  9. #19
    jetcode
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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    Quote Originally Posted by buze View Post
    By the way. the 'analog' camera does not exists. It's not because a million photographer scream it at the same time that it becomes true.

    Classical photography is chemical, not 'analog' -- that makes absolutely no sense to use the wrong adjective to describe it.

    'analog' does not mean 'not digital' : it means 'non digital electrical signal' and as far as I know, no photographer was ever electrocuted when handling film holders.

    And yeah, thats one of the reason I don't subscribe to APUG
    Chemistry belongs to the organic processes here on earth and by it's very nature is analog. See the description of analog in my last post. Even though molecules can be subdivided into quarks and such the original identity never changes.

    Analog cameras do not exist but film emulsion is analog because it composed chemically. Even the polyester film base is analog. The analog camera is does not make images it allows light to strike film emulsion in a controlled manner. Light and film are both analog entities.

    I guess the real question is what happens if you divide by 0 - does that outcome remain analog?

  10. #20

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    Re: Will the world ever have the Digital Equivalent of the Analog LF Camera??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattg View Post
    I can't see why anyone would want to use LF digital of the type you describe when we can use film. Light, self contained, no need for batteries, archival, beautiful, etc.etc.
    No need to fiddle with dusty film holders in the dark, no uncertainty about exposure on the spot, no need to wait to come back to the lab and process the film no need to handle stinky, toxic chemicals in the confined, dark space, no need to maintain a dedicated dark room with its own plumbing, no scratches, etc.

    And that's just off the top of my head.

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