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Thread: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

  1. #11

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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    Yes, Drew... that’s absolutely right. Needs vary. And I’d concur that most of us are in that middle ground.

    For me, I’m okay with the 1/3 stop error that most mechanical shutter manufacturers accepted. But I’m at the lower end of the middle in that I like well-maintained shutters but don’t bother with shutter testing. I process per Ilford procedures and standards. If a neg starts looking wonky I try to figure out why. At this point I photograph for pleasure with an emphasis on content and composition. But the that’s just me...

  2. #12
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    In the darkroom developing film I like boring robot like precision. Close temperature, same agitation methods every times and every 30s.. Kinda makes up for sloppy metering/exposure... If metering/exposure is good enough and darkroom work is sloppy I can not expect a good negative. Good negatives are easier to print or scan.

    Sort of like how planes generally don't crash from one problem, it's an unfortunate and long sequence of multiple problems with multiple opportunities for good decisions. If metering/exposure is good enough and developing is perfect, I can expect a good negative, or at least be able to pinpoint where the problem was along the way.

    Good enough metering/exposure means shutters misbehaving in different weather, maybe metering was guessed or I used an incident meter because I don't care about zone spot metering, or it's a tiny bit closer than the usual photos and there is starting to be some bellows factor, or the AE lens has some amber thoriated glass that means f2.5 isn't quite f2.8 bright, etc... I don't mind some of these little things being imprecise as long as other parts of the process are fairly in control. I don't do much movements, so bubble levels and such are of little interest.


  3. #13
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    A lot of responses about how we approch work . . .all good stuff.


    So what actually is acceptable performances for a shutter?

    What should we expect from "modern" gear? What can we expect from a well CLA'd vintage lens/shutter.

    What is acceptable performance in a light meter? Do we need to know 1/10th stop?

    Just how square, level and plumb must a camera be?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  4. #14

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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    LOL... you already answered those questions... it depends.

    And a lot of what it depends upon is whether we are actually photographing or pontificating about photography on the internet!

  5. #15

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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    I think another thing that is missing is repeatability. This is different from accuracy and precision.

    Has anyone thought about how much a camera changes when you use it at any other temperature than (25 +/- 0.01) C? A wooden camera of even a metal one (and certainly one using plastics) will often change/distort more than the accuracy some want to attribute to their spirit levels and parallelism of their standards.

    I gave up on photography. My latest tests with 4x5 were so dreadfull that I can't continue. I mean if you focus on a bloody wall at infinity (200 meters) then you at lease expect to see if it is brick or concrete. But exposure is all over the place (all measures with a sekonic L-578) developed at the same temperature and chemicals as usual, the same lens/shutter as other photos. And still, one is sharp with plenty of detail and nice greys. the other a blur with a clear sky and complete black.

    Only thing I ever get consistent results are slides (provia and velvia) shot in a Mamiya 6x4.5 and developed in a lab. Even a Praktica with slides and the internal meter is better than 4x5.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  6. #16

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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    I’m sorry to hear that photography is frustrating you, Havic, but photography can’t be blamed for that. Photography works quite well for many people... and chance isn’t why. LF photography is very fulfilling from both a technical and artistic perspective. I encourage you to keep trying!

  7. #17

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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    Summed up in the past by one wag: "It's the Zone system, not the Pinpoint system."
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  8. #18
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    Long ago I shot only 35mm slide film in a new 1956? Pentax H1 for decades

    Only outside, only Sunny 16, always handheld

    Nearly every slide was 'perfect' from the 1 hour labs

    I even found them last week, still in long trays, or slide boxes from the processor

    All these years, I have few images I really like

    Santa Racing brother, 1972

    Santa Drag Racing 1971 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr
    Images vastly preferred

    not game trying to


    focus


    In Time

  9. #19

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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    I think another thing that is missing is repeatability
    Anyone who has printed Platinum/Palladium will list this first.

  10. #20

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    Re: Precision and Accuracy in LF Photography: How much is enough?

    IMO, completely depends on the creative artist image making goals.

    B&W or color negative film images are more forgiving than color transparency (positive) films in the print making process.

    Camera precision and accuracy depends again on image goals. For those with the goal of vast majority of the image in perceived focus using small taking apertures, camera alignment, film in film holder flatness accuracy and precision might not be so demanding. In the example of images made using large full aperture lenses with at or near full lens aperture with the demand of what is at lens focal plane to be rendered on film with identical accuracy and precision will place a LOT more demands on camera and film in film holder flatness accuracy and precision than images made at small taking apertures.

    Having done so many decades of making images that demand the very best ability from camera, lens, film holders and .. has bent biases towards using only the best monorail cameras like Sinar. There is absolutely a habit of expectation and demands from camera system to lens and all related. Anything less is not ok. Could the same images be made with far lesser camera, lenses and all related, absolutely .. it would take a LOT more effort with FAR less joy in the process of image creation.

    The film, lighting, light meter and post film exposure process and print making is system in itself that cannot be ignored. IMO, to do GOOD color transparency based prints today would be extremely difficult to not possible at all due to the lack of a proper high quality print making support system that was in place decades ago. As discussed many times previous, these color print or printed matter goals means consistent hight quality color transparency films, an Excellent E6 color lab that knows how to maintain absolute consistency in processing and chemistry with color densitometer gray card testing. Then there are color print materials like Ilfordchrome-Cibachrome (Ah, really miss these prints) and Fuji's version of the same. Coupled with contrast masking can result in absolute FAB color prints that will stand the test of time.

    This brings up B&W silver gelatin prints and alt process prints that IMO, has become the mainstay of view camera images of today.

    SOooo, what kind of prints does any given creative image maker wanna achieve, what would be the results of their creative expression of their work.. Only then could the tools needed to achieve this be considered and acquired to turn their creative expression into reality to be shared with others.


    Bernice

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