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Thread: Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

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    Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

    I'm currently in the process of putting together a portrait series and have the chance to go to a couple of vintage events. I've been considering whether to take my 5x4 but I'm mainly concerned about it being a bit slow to shoot portraits of people who may have other things to do (I've mainly been working one to one with sitters who I've made appointments with). The most obvious solution would be to take my Pentax 67 or even *gasp* 5d mkII instead but I'm worried that any work I do in a different format may not fit in the series when it comes to editing time. Does anyone have an opinion or know what critical opinion is of mixing formats in this way?

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    Re: Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

    "I'm worried that any work I do in a different format may not fit in the series"

    To take things to the logical extreme (to merely illustrate a point) I guess we could worry about images made with different lenses, or different f/stops or shutter speeds, or different film stock.

    How will you know when an image doesn't fit ?

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    unexposed darr's Avatar
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    Re: Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

    You can always use a digital back with a view camera--I do and it works well on portraits with my Cooke PS945 lens. This setup would fit the vintage appearance you may be wanting to project of 'the old camera and lens,' but give you instant feedback and modern shooting technique. Depending upon where you live, you may be able to rent the back.

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    Re: Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    "I'm worried that any work I do in a different format may not fit in the series"

    To take things to the logical extreme (to merely illustrate a point) I guess we could worry about images made with different lenses, or different f/stops or shutter speeds, or different film stock.

    How will you know when an image doesn't fit ?
    Ken I generally like to work with one or two lenses and similar film stock, I'm shot the all of what I've done on a 210mm, and would only switch lenses if I couldn't get the shot another way. I wouldn't switch from colour neg to transparency in 4x5 I think that would be too much of a change. What I would hope to do is set up my 6x7 with a 165mm and shoot the same film stock, probably on a tripod. So I would be trying to get a close as possible to what I've already shot. I remember being told at college mixing formats was a bad idea, just want to know what the contemporary opinion is.

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    Re: Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

    Some of the books Yousuf Karsh published were good portfolios of his work, and were done with cameras from 35mm to 8x10. If a portrait series is all about one technique, sticking to one format and lens may be good. If it is all about the art of portraying people in the strongest way, a mixture of many cameras should be fine..

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    Re: Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

    It would be interesting to ask the client or customers or viewing audience what they think, to see to what extent they can distinguish these differences.

    From my experience (amateur) most people look through a photograph at the subject, the way we might observe a distant bird through a pair of binoculars. They know when things are "blurry", or "washed out", but beyond that they observe very little.

    It boils down to what you perceive as distracting or discontinuous... but that's just my contemporary opinion

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    unexposed darr's Avatar
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    Re: Mixing Film Formats or Film and Digital in one project/series

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    It would be interesting to ask the client or customers or viewing audience what they think, to see to what extent they can distinguish these differences.

    From my experience (amateur) most people look through a photograph at the subject, the way we might observe a distant bird through a pair of binoculars. They know when things are "blurry", or "washed out", but beyond that they observe very little.

    It boils down to what you perceive as distracting or discontinuous... but that's just my contemporary opinion
    +1
    Content is the core of the art experience, not equipment.

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