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Thread: DOF on 8x10 vs. 4x5?

  1. #41
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: DOF on 8x10 vs. 4x5?

    That's part of the issue -- we have a pair of eyes and for the first 60 feet or so into a scene we see in 3D. Drew was mentioning about the painters exploring the 'faults' or characteristics of our viewing system (eyes/brain)...how do we as photographers compensate, expand, or otherwise manipulate our images to carry the 3D characteristics of the scene into our images? Depth of Field is only one tool.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  2. #42
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: DOF on 8x10 vs. 4x5?

    Yep, the whole point of learning all the rules to begin with is that it becomes the basis to thoughtfully break every one of them afterwards, but not necessarily all at the same time. I could kick myself for turning down two exceptionally nice Julia Cameron platinum prints for $1600 apiece. They're probably worth 100K apiece now. But $3200 was a huge sum of money for a student back then, eating from dented cans and buying day old bread. People thought she was using funky lenses and so forth. But what she was really doing was focusing things just the way she wanted, matching the opalescent image on the ground glass to her expectation in the print. It wasn't "soft focus" or what people with telephotos today call "selective focus", but something way more nuanced that she felt was "just right". No damn formula can teach you that; you have to feel it.

  3. #43
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: DOF on 8x10 vs. 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ... It wasn't "soft focus" or what people with telephotos today call "selective focus", but something way more nuanced that she felt was "just right". No damn formula can teach you that; you have to feel it.
    I feel the same way about Linda Conner's work (POP instead of platinum). She was using the qualities of the lens, not just taking photos with it...a more conscience approach.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #44
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: DOF on 8x10 vs. 4x5?

    My own prints are quite different. They tend to look extremely sharp. But actually there are subtle differences between what is in fact in acute focus, and what is slightly not, deliberately leading the eye upon close inspection right where I want it. It's part of the compositional strategy. Might as well do that, cause the bigger the format you've got, the more you need to strategize depth of field, especially if you're a long lens addict like me. And I don't want it to be a mechanical act or veneer stamped on by a rote formula. I want to be in control of the detail rendition. And I judge that not only by the overall look of the ground glass image, but by what the loupe selectively informs me. So even though I don't do magical portraits like ole Julia, or even landscapes the way Linda C. does them, I am doing something analogous, better matched to my own intended look. Nothing annoys me more than seeing huge stitched images where everything tries to be equally in focus. Vermeer would roll over in his grave.

  5. #45
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: DOF on 8x10 vs. 4x5?

    Ummm . . .My understanding of the subject (hope this actually helps):

    I have an adapter lens board on my 8x10 that allows the lenses for my 4x5 to be mounted on the larger camera. My 210mm lens will cover the 8x10 format if not much in the way of movement is used. If I shoot a table-top composition with the 210mm on my 4x5 and then shoot the same composition with the same lens on the 8x10, the DOF is the same IF and only if, I shoot from the same distance. That means that on the 4x5, the lens functions as a longish "normal" focal length, but on the 8x10 it functions as a mild wide angle. Under these conditions, the size of objects on the GG qwill be the same on both cameras, but the 8x10 shows more the composition at the edges.

    In general, comp;ositions shot with an 8x10 will be done with longer focal lengths than used on a 4x5 for the same composition . . . .longer lenses have shorter DOF.

    Have I muddied the water?
    Drew Bedo
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  6. #46

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    Re: DOF on 8x10 vs. 4x5?

    I don't think you have muddied the water, but I would add, in your scenario of same lens and position, is that the prints must also be the same ratio size as 4x5 is to 8x10 so that the end result represents the same magnification workflow.

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