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Thread: Is there any real utility to ULF?

  1. #121

    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    I would suggest shooting some test targets, so we have something objective too look at.....it will provide a better illustration of your assertions.
    I would suggest you actually learn how to use an ULF camera before you claim they have no relevance and that digital does it better. Photography is not about test charts, in the end, I would put any of my prints against any of yours (enlarged or contact) any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    I have posted images, you have nothing but theory and conjecture. I think people can arrive at their own conclusion as far as the subject of ULF having any utility.

    I plan to carry a handheld 16x20 for those candid moments.
    Don't waste your time, you could not use one on a tripod...

  2. #122

    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    In fact you know what? why don't you put your money where your mouth is. You say stitching is better than ULF, well, why don't you make a 12x20 print, I will make a contact print and we send them to any one in this forum you choose and we will see which one is better. I have issued this challange to those using digital many times...no takers so far, will you be the first one?

  3. #123

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    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    > then this thread leads me to believe that somewhere between 4x5 and 8x10 is the most 'utilitarian' format -

    Tim, a very accurate statement.....




    > I've also discovered that a lot of people love ULF --- some possibly a little bit too much

    Tim, also a very accurate statement :-) You're on fire today!



    Jorge, your quotes are accurate, thank you. And they all support my position then, and my position now.... Although ULF has lost much of its utility vs. its' heydays, it still has niche applications today, even after years of advancements in film, digital sensors and lenses.




    > typical of those who use digital


    yes, guilty as charged Jorge... as mentioned, I do take family snapshots with a tiny digicam. But after this thread, I plan to carry a handheld 16x20 for those candid moments.





    > My purpose of posting this prints was to show that someone can quote all the resolution, MTF tables, parallelism and squareness problems they want. In the end it comes down to results.


    Jorge, we are on the same page again.... if one executes a test properly, it should match the MTF data, 1/R computation very closely. I have confirmed this many times. I would suggest shooting some test targets, so we have something objective too look at.....it will provide a better illustration of your assertions.




    > The answer to the original poster's question is definitely yes in that here are some results that can be obtained with ULF that can not be obtained with smaller sheet film formats. That would be the case if you want to make very large prints and are photographing scenes that can take full advantage of the ULF format and the lenses that we typically use with it.


    Well said Sandy. And really, for those who really want to understand how best to apply ULF techniques for the highest resolution images possible (assuming that is your end goal) read about it at this link, which is the Gigapixel project (its just a play on words, its about an ULF project)

    http://www.gigapxl.org/technology-format.htm

    The author of this site is brilliant, he has applied every bit of knowledge out there, and honed it to meet the objectives he was after.... he was meticulous about every part of this project....but beware, he does rely heavily on MTF calcs, but the good news is, the test results supported his calc. assertions, gee, what a surprise.


    For those who don't bother going to the link, here is pix of the 16x20 camera.... brilliant storage and transport system too....




    I thought this particular part of his explanation was ironic after our thread..... again, he is trying to control apt. diffraction, and he chose the film format IIRC is 16x20..... so he carefully picked the scenes that would meet the objectives.... brilliant.


    "Taking these factors into account, we find that the highest practical resolution falls in the 30-60 cy/mm regime. Fortuitously, this value remains consistent with the diffraction limits associated with the f/11 to f/22 range while, at the same time, being well matched to scanning resolutions of 100-200 pixels/mm."

  4. #124

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    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    > In fact you know what? why don't you put your money where your mouth is.

    Money has germs, so I never put it where my mouth is.....




    > You say stitching is better than ULF,

    Well, it can be, assuming the subject is static....




    > well, why don't you make a 12x20 print, I will make a contact print and we send them to any one in this forum you choose and we will see which one is better.

    Well, I use film Jorge, so I would not be the right person to propose this challenge. (I only mentioned this about 20x) But you may want to run this by Max Lyon, he makes 1 + Gigapixel images by stitching hundreds of small 8MP images together. Visit his web site, and throw the challenge out there, I am sure he will be eager to work with you..... you seem fair and level headed, give it a go! Keep us posted!



    > I have issued this challenge to those using digital many times...no takers so far, will you be the first one?


    If I shot digital, I would be happy to oblige Jorge, but I shoot film. But if you want some of my family 6MP digicam shots, (I assume they are the ones you refer to) I would be glad to send you some, then you can compare them against your 16x20 B&W landscape images. That's the best I can do..... cause it sounds like you're eager to demonstrate your point. I think it would be a fair comparison to prove your point, would you agree? Let the cards fall where they may.... as you say, the proof is in the pudding, and so far, no one has made puddin as good as yours... I will be the first to admit, the scans you posted demonstrated all I need to see. I am out-matched technically and aesthetically.

  5. #125

    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    For me, I would use ULF if I wanted to experience the process (which would be great). Whether experiencing the process is to do with utility is another matter...
    well said tim.
    I shoot with a 90+yr old 12x20 camera solely because it "feels" right, it feels comfortable, and I enjoy every aspect of it. I think the intangible and unquantifiable aspects of format choice play a large part in the "why", at least for me personally.

    The whole argument and debate seems sort of pointless (the BG/Jorge one) as its likely as relative as defining "what is art".

    shoot with what you love, create images in the process you love, and the rest seems like it would all fall into place.


  6. #126

    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    Quote Originally Posted by bglick View Post
    > In fact you know what? why don't you put your money where your mouth is.

    Money has germs, so I never put it where my mouth is.....




    > You say stitching is better than ULF,

    Well, it can be, assuming the subject is static....




    > well, why don't you make a 12x20 print, I will make a contact print and we send them to any one in this forum you choose and we will see which one is better.

    Well, I use film Jorge, so I would not be the right person to propose this challenge. (I only mentioned this about 20x) But you may want to run this by Max Lyon, he makes 1 + Gigapixel images by stitching hundreds of small 8MP images together. Visit his web site, and throw the challenge out there, I am sure he will be eager to work with you..... you seem fair and level headed, give it a go! Keep us posted!



    > I have issued this challenge to those using digital many times...no takers so far, will you be the first one?


    If I shot digital, I would be happy to oblige Jorge, but I shoot film. But if you want some of my family 6MP digicam shots, (I assume they are the ones you refer to) I would be glad to send you some, then you can compare them against your 16x20 B&W landscape images. That's the best I can do..... cause it sounds like you're eager to demonstrate your point. I think it would be a fair comparison to prove your point, would you agree? Let the cards fall where they may.... as you say, the proof is in the pudding, and so far, no one has made puddin as good as yours... I will be the first to admit, the scans you posted demonstrated all I need to see. I am out-matched technically and aesthetically.
    Sounds fine with me. Make a 12x20 stiched image and I will be glad to make a 12x 20 and we will send them to any one you choose here, I don't want your print since if I say it is not good enough you will accuse me of being biased. We are not talking about aesthetics here, we are talking about technical quality which is what you claim ULF is not good enough anymore.

    BTW, you are also welcome to use one of your LF cameras (you have many if I recall correctly) scan the negatives or transparencies and stitch them.

    Any way you want is fine with me. All we need is someone who is willing to volunteer to judge.

  7. #127
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    Now for my personal opinion on ULF, with no mathematics or optical theory:

    I use sheet film formats from 6.5x9cm to 30x40cm. The smallest one is not LF according to the only viable definition I've seen (more than 100 square centimeters), but at least it gives me a "small format" basis of comparison.

    I do mostly landscape photography. where you live it might be different, but around here the landscapes tend to be rather rugged and near vertical. This has the advantage that I can always find a mountain to stand on, so getting the whole scene at close to infinity is not a problem. But that again leads to a different problem: I have to haul the bl**dy thing up that mountain first - and by the time I get thereem the whole valley is fogged in!

    I've come to the conclusion that the 30x40cm (12x16") camera is just too big and heavy to use more than 50m from the car. The 24x30cm (9.5x12" for the metrically challenged) is a neat compact German "Reisekamera" only marginally larger than my 8x10" - in fact it's thinner when packed up! I can carry this for quite a distance.

    8x10" and the 18x24cm metric equivalent is a sort of "inbetween" size for me. When I enlarge smaller negatives I usually make 24x30cm prints, very rarely 8x10". So since I'm limited to contact prints from all the sizes mentioned so far - at least if I'm not paying someone else for the printing and/or scanning - the 8x10" falls between two chairs: Too small to be big, too big to make bigger.

    So most of the time I end up using 5x7". Unless I know I'm going to need lots and lots of movements, or a very narrow field of view - then I'll use 4x5". Or I'll use 4x5" with barrel lenses, since I also have a Speed Graphic.

    My personal conclusion after a couple of years of hauling LF around is this: 5x7" is generally good, and generally good enough for really large prints (I have a 5x7" enlarger). 4x5" is convenient when I need a focal plane shutter or all the movements of a monorail somewhere halfway up a mountain. 24x30cm is beautiful, and gets less use than the 5x7" only because A: I can't choose to enlarge it without paying someone else to do it; B: There's a limited selection of films, C: I only have three double plate holers for it, and D: The bellows is so full of holes it looks more like lace than leather.

    30x40cm is too big for me - maybe it would have been different if the camera had been an antique German precision instrument like the 24x30? A Russian copy of an old German camera is in no way the equivalent of the original...

  8. #128
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    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Gasteazoro View Post
    Sounds fine with me. Make a 12x20 stiched image and I will be glad to make a 12x 20 and we will send them to any one you choose here, I don't want your print since if I say it is not good enough you will accuse me of being biased. We are not talking about aesthetics here, we are talking about technical quality which is what you claim ULF is not good enough anymore.

    BTW, you are also welcome to use one of your LF cameras (you have many if I recall correctly) scan the negatives or transparencies and stitch them.

    Any way you want is fine with me. All we need is someone who is willing to volunteer to judge.
    Hey Jorge... Why can't we just compare the scan of your 12x20 with one of the gigapixl images? I think we could fairly double the resolution from your scan because, as you say, there is more detail in the negative... sooooo....

    You managed 600pixels per inch, lets say 1200 pixels per inch to give double the detail on the real negative.. The gigapxl image gives 88,000 pixels across 20" which is 4,400 pixels per inch...

    I don't know what way you can slice this in your favour Jorge? Even if we say that the negative contained 16x as much data as your scan, it's still less than the gigapxl image?

    Could you at least provide some rationale as to how you could approach this resolution, never mind exceed it?

    As I said, I'm not particularly going to say A is better than B but if we're talking a straight head to head match on resolution....

    Tim

  9. #129

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    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    Jorge, I don't want ignore your post - it's not my style. But you need to re read my post, cause based on your response, you must have mis-understood it....

  10. #130

    Re: Is there any real utility to ULF?

    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    Hey Jorge... Why can't we just compare the scan of your 12x20 with one of the gigapixl images? I think we could fairly double the resolution from your scan because, as you say, there is more detail in the negative... sooooo....

    You managed 600pixels per inch, lets say 1200 pixels per inch to give double the detail on the real negative.. The gigapxl image gives 88,000 pixels across 20" which is 4,400 pixels per inch...

    I don't know what way you can slice this in your favour Jorge? Even if we say that the negative contained 16x as much data as your scan, it's still less than the gigapxl image?

    Could you at least provide some rationale as to how you could approach this resolution, never mind exceed it?

    As I said, I'm not particularly going to say A is better than B but if we're talking a straight head to head match on resolution....

    Tim
    No, it does not work that way. You are talking about a camera that has been made to take those high resolution images. Now, I don't see what the big deal is, give me 100k (I beleive this is what he spent is his camera) to make a vacuum holder, reinforce the camera, buy an optimzed lens like the Schnider 550 or 1000 and I will be glad to put any negative I make against his high res captures. You gotta compare apples to apples.

    WHat we are talking about here is normal everyday use cameras as they come form the manufacuturer with lenses that are not too expensive and easily available. One side says that stitched digital images are better than ULF because of the lenses and apertures I say it is not so.

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