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stradibarrius
5-Mar-2011, 16:02
How often are LF cameras still used today for high end architecture layouts and magazines?
I guess not only architecture but any other genre' as well.

I was reading my my View CAmera book that a large percentage of the really slick magazine advertising was shot with 4x5?

vinny
5-Mar-2011, 16:15
Key word "was". No one has time for film any longer. Quality=quantity.

Daniel Stone
6-Mar-2011, 02:39
Back in "The Day", when film was the only option, LF was the choice of many pros for advertising work. Primarily 4x5 from the time that drum scanners(being used for color separations) were employed by printing houses/pre-press companies, and emulsions got better. Still, 8x10 was widely used, but 4x5 was the primary format. Even less(and primarily in Europe),5x7 was used as well. "Chromes"(transparencies) were the "golden standard", not because photogs liked to show them off, but because the clients preferred them(easier to judge which one's best, vs color negatives due to the orange mask, you'd need a print to judge really which was best).

So, the primary reason for using LF was actually 2(or 3)-fold. Bigger pieces of film can hold more information, and retain better fine details when enlarged(simple physics here).

Reason #1.An 8x10 piece of film can hold 4x the amount of data that a 4x5 sheet can, due to 4x the surface area to record upon. Many times(even for high-end work like photographing cars or expensive products), 4x5 provided more than enough "resolution" for clients needs, and the smaller expense left more room for profit for the photographer. 8x10 film costs 3.5-4x as much as 4x5(again, 4x the surface area, 4x as much emulsion and base to create), so for circumstances where fine detail was of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE(say, with jewelry, or other small items) to be blown up to large, poster-sized proportions, 8x10 came in to save the day.


Reason #2. LF cameras allow perspective control. There are a few MF camera that allow *some* movements of the film plane or lens plane, but none like a true, LF view camera. This has its ups and downs. Ups: total control of plane of focus/defocus. The ability to bring into(or take out of) focus what you want, allows total creative freedom on the part of the photographer. Many people used rollfilm backs on their 4x5's the last few years before moving to full-time digital capture, primarily because of reduced budgets, and now, with the web coming "of age"(mid-late 1990's), the need for glossy, hi-res brochures was slowly diminishing due to digital marketing(and less resolution needed for monitor displays).
ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY: The view camera allows for movements, and a straigh-up shift(rise/fall) of the lens, which is PARALLEL to the film plane, will keep the "keystoning effect" from happening. Kodak had a book, IIRC titled "View Camera", they're widely available used(amazon, ebay, maybe even yard sales(where I found mine :))).

Reason #3. IDK, there's another reason I'm sure, but my brain is short on sleep, so I'm fuzzy-headed ;).



moreover, FILM is still used commercially by SOME. I worked on a job(assisting) last week, the photographer(I'll hold back names) used film(along with digital 5dII for shots for the A.D.'s "sanity"). It was great getting to load RZ backs on and off for 3hrs(editorial job), much better than everyone crowding around a monitor. It was a much more FLUID way of working, everyone FOCUSED on the image, and not the monitor. We even used polaroids(well, fuji-roids) for a few shots. I have one on my white-board right next to me here :).

now, I'd venture to guess that 99% of commercial work is now shot completely digital. TIME=$$$(what's available now). Clients have tightened their advertising dollars("digital's cheaper", all the typical BS), and the middlemen(ad agencies) are taking a bigger cut than before, sometimes even requesting RAW files(un-edited) for THEIR people to edit/photoshop. So the photographer in some cases is basically just a trained monkey pushing a button and directing assistants(if budget for any).

night

-Dan

Brian K
6-Mar-2011, 05:58
So the photographer in some cases is basically just a trained monkey pushing a button and directing assistants(if budget for any).



-Dan

Dan, I pretty much agree with everything you have stated except this last part. Bottom line, and this has not changed is that the trickiest part of a photograph was always the lighting, and digital hasn't changed that too much. It takes skill and talent to light well and years to really master it (especially still life). And while there are people who are satisfied with lighting that is equivalent to florescent lighting in an office, the better photographers can go far beyond that.

munz6869
6-Mar-2011, 06:24
I keep using film for my architectural shoots - it's not the film workflow that takes all the time with these (research and waiting around is the thing). Nearly everything else is digi now though :-(

Marc!

James Hilton
6-Mar-2011, 14:05
now, I'd venture to guess that 99% of commercial work is now shot completely digital. TIME=$$$(what's available now). Clients have tightened their advertising dollars("digital's cheaper", all the typical BS), and the middlemen(ad agencies) are taking a bigger cut than before, sometimes even requesting RAW files(un-edited) for THEIR people to edit/photoshop.

Agreed, the Canon EOS 1D started tapping away at professional 35mm film use back in 2001, then two years later the Canon EOS 1Ds took a huge gigantic axe to professional use of 35mm and MF too, and a lot of 5x4 studio use too. The 1Ds produced images that were "good enough" for most customers and you had the result right after pressing the shutter button, and the agency could have it in an email very quickly after. I recall an interview with the now late Lord Litchfield, where he said he had gone completely digital and estimated that he saved around 80k GBP PA on film and developing costs.

The whole professional industry has changed, forever. The only area of commercial work here in the UK I can think of where things have not too changed much and 5x4 is still regularly used in any meaningful (though very small) amount is photographing very very large groups of people (e.g. a school photograph with 400+ people all lined up on staging). The other one would be landscape photography, in even smaller numbers.

Things have changed for the general public too, they have gone from 35mm to digital compact and now more and more camera phones for their everyday snaps. In the world we live in cost, speed and convenience (and perhaps the ability to upload to Facebook straight away :confused: ) all too often champions absolute quality.