3D effect on the Pentax 67

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by msbarnes, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

    Messages:
    385
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is the "3D effect" as easily obtainable on the Pentax 67 line of lenses.

    Not to be confused with "bokeh"
    http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/008vML

    OK well, I don't mean that it is "easy" because it requires good technique, lighting, composition, etc. but I've also heard that it is most pronounced with German glass because of their high micro-contrast. I've seen this moreso on small format cameras but that's probably because of popularity. I'm interested in the 67, but since it is medium format, you have more negative to work so this effect should still be obtainable given the same circumstances. I know that these are two different system/formats/lenses but i'm curious in this one particular aspect.
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The "effect" is most certainly related to smoothness of transitions to the out-of-focus rendering and bokeh. If you don't see obvious bokeh lines or odd blur or anything else that leaps out and distinguishes in focus from out of focus then you get that feeling of depth.

    Or, if you prefer a technical approach, I would say you have to look at the MTF charts and see if the S and M bokeh curves follow each other; that seems to be what provides smooth bokeh.

    As far as I have seen, the p67 is most often used for landscape, and landscapers tend to shoot at apertures of f/8-f/22 to capture maximum in-focus detail. So, how the system will perform at wide open apertures... well honestly I don't know from experience but I would say that the p645n system lenses are of of very high repute and are certainly blessed with nice smooth bokeh. The 645 systems are much better geared to wide open handheld shooting than the p67. Do the p645 compare with contax/zeiss? Yes, I think so. I think the p645nii system is tops. But that would be a subject of debate.

    One more thing, broadly speaking, larger formats do tend to produce better, smoother transitions from in-focus to out-of-focus elements.

    I don't see what micro-contrast has to do with the 3D "effect"... who says?
     
  3. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

    Messages:
    385
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've read that from other forums, so I don't really understand it fully to be honest so I'm trying to understand things better. The truth is, some of the images that have been marked with the "3d effect" just strike out to me. Alot of Leica/Zeiss shooters come up these terms to name effects that seem to be most exclusive to their cameras (e.g. Leica Glow) which are ofcourse debatable. Not trying to start a debate, but I guess I'm just want to know how to achieve this effect and what to look for in a lens.

    From your explanation, I guess I'm looking for a lens/system that has good smoothness of transitions to the out-of-focus rendering and bokeh on top of good technique.
     
  4. Palantiri7

    Palantiri7 Member

    Messages:
    131
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Well I have Hasselblad, Rollei SLR/TLR and, most recently, the Pentax 67 (with 105 f2.4 lens) systems. I have developed only 2 rolls from the Pentax so my impressions are not fully formed yet but the short answer is no, the 105mm lens may not give you the Zeiss look. I say that with a big caveat because, naturally, that's just my early impression.

    You get bokeh with f2.4 but I find the bokeh a bit 'busy'. The micro-contrast seems less than my Zeiss lenses. I have two images here (both at minimum focusing distance and lens wide open on the Pentax 105). Note, however, because of the lack of my accustomed Zeiss contrast right out of the raw scan I dealt these two pictures a healthy dose of unsharp mask. I don't have the originals here with me to show you, so sorry about that.

    Anyway, just my limited-experience insight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Helpful examples.

    There are a few systems I can name that excel in sharpness / detail / contrast but which definitely are not so bokeh friendly. Busy / edgy bokeh can be a problem- of you notice bokeh first, before you notice a feeling of dimension, then I would assert that the lens isn't as good as it could be. The Mamiya 6 rangefinder lenses, for example. I adore them for what I use them for. Those are some absolutely superb lenses in terms of level of detail. Yet I typically would not use them for situations in which out of focus transitions are important e.g. portraiture or some of the images above. But on the other hand, several of the Mamiya rz and rb lenses offer very nice smooth dimensional effect; the best being, probably, the rz 110/2.8. That lens is just plain fun to work with.

    Since I am generalizing (probably unfairly!) I will just say that in my experience the Fuji EBC lenses tend to be very contrasty and the transitions can be too edgy. It gives you great apparent levels of detail but not so nice 3D effect.

    The Zeiss/Leica glass has been recognized for quite some time as delivering the best of all worlds- exceptional neutrality, just the right levels of contrast, nice smooth transitions, and good detail. But you can get similar quality from other brands. And pushing to larger formats can lead to very smooth focus and tonal transitions... in those terms, it's very hard to beat what you get from a standard no-frills 4x5 system with even the very best 35mm system.
     
  6. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I liked my Pentax 6x7 for portraits but didn't see it delivering a consistent, demonstrable edge over my Bronica SQ or Mamiya RB67 kits. Given good lighting for the subject and setting, films like 120 Kodak TMax400(TMY-2) will deliver stunning results, thanks to its tonal range and contrast, with most modern MF system cameras. Taking hearsay as canonical in this game will take you up some costly blind alleys.
     
  7. Palantiri7

    Palantiri7 Member

    Messages:
    131
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    ^ Some real insight there, Keith. I must say Mamiya 6 images I have seen on the web look stunning in colour. As for the Pentax, it's only that terrifying mirror thwack that's got me; the lens is good enough!
     
  8. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

    Messages:
    604
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    VT
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I found the 55 (latest) to deliver this 3-D effect pretty reliably.
     
  9. tragardh

    tragardh Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This was taken with the Super-Takumar 6X7 2.4/105
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,574
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Real secret of Leica glasses are the highest precision grinding , when you go down to 3 nanometer or less , the glass aberrations starts to goes down. This technology is at only Leica and ELCAN.
     
  11. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,199
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    35mm Takumar lenses have a strong reputation for the 3D effect. I would be surprised if the 67 lenses weren't at least reasonably good in that regard.
     
  12. BobD

    BobD Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    California,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    OMG, is this moronic "3D effect" going to become an actual photographic term now for all the lame-brains who can't fathom the concept of depth of field?
     
  13. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,199
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bob - What a pleasant guy you must be. This 3D effect is related to contrast and bokeh quality and perhaps other factors. I do not know exactly. I am not a proponent of it. I am a Takumar fan and have heard it mentioned time and again regarding old Takumar lenses.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. BobD

    BobD Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    California,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Correct.
     
  16. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    What rot.

    A film image is two dimensional. If you want a "3D look" in your image, it takes skill in the use of light, texture and sometimes DOF to separate layers of the scene and hence fool the eye/brain, not brand-slavery and the chasing of magic bullets.

    You can waffle all day about microcontrast and handwave about the mystical skills of the elves that ground the glass but IMHO for nought. You can make an excellent "3D looking" image with a $50 camera and you can make crap photos with a $5000 camera. Note that you don't see any successful double-blind comparisons where people can pick the Leica/Zeiss/whatever magic from prints placed next to good prints from other systems.

    In summary: Leica, Zeiss, Pentax, Mamiya, (and, and and and pretty much everyone else) all make some really nice glass. It's what you do with it that counts.

    Edit: and to answer the OP, you summed it up nicely yourself. Get a nice big neg like 6x7 and good optics from any of the manufacturers and you're going to achieve more resolution-in-print than Leica could dream of. You're going to get more "microcontrast" (what a crappy handwavy term) than a 35mm system could hope to. And you're going to spend a lot of time with your lens wide open for lack of light so I hope you like the bokeh!

    My only reservation with P67 is the mirror-slap and heavy focal-plane shutter, not the lenses. Absolutely make sure you get a body that supports MLU for a start. There are those who say that the P67 shutter itself is limiting of sharpness but I could not say as I've not used one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2012
  17. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hi! I own a Pentax 6x7. Of course it is easily obtainable, just isolate your primary subject with shallow focus.

    There is no magic to any camera lens. There may be measurable radiation, but there isn't any magic. You can obtain a 3D effect with any decently fast lens. I first got started doing it using my Olympus Pen-F, with a 38mm f/1.8 lens. Open it up, and get close. That's it. Compose for the effect, and you'll be fine with just about anything.

    If you want real 3D, then you need to make two photographs per subject, or get a stereo 3D camera.

    Polygot: Yes, the 6x7 has mirror slap, and for me, the MLU is not optional for a number of the speeds. Yes, it is very hand-holdable, as I like it with my 35mm lens, I just keep the shutter at 1/250th or better.
     
  18. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,207
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What on earth is being referred to with the Pentax 67 and "3D effect"? The 67 is not a stereo camera, nor is the lens. One could refer to it as bokeh, but the representative images at the top of this thread are just selective focus, also achievable (to a better degree) with a PC lens (tilt or tow) — either with Pentax's own 67 PC-lens or any 35mm lens. But it's not a 3D impression by any stretch. The bigger format (67 is 400% larger than 35mm) simply makes the limited focus effect much clearer and conspicuous.

    Brian C. Miller: MLU on the 67 to reduce (how cute a term is that?) mirror whack is troublesome handheld because the scene is blanked and even small movements can fundamentally change the composition. My standing preference is tripod-mounted shooting with MLU and having done that for many, many years I'm not easily shifted. I hold down the tripod when the shutter is tripped. I am researching the amount of introduced blur caused by 67 mirror whack through the Pentax forum.
     
  19. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Blur caused by mirror whack? I've had shot messed up due to shutter whack! Seriously! One of my tripods is a Benbo Trekker. I love the Benbo tripod, but there are some instances where it's a bad idea. The P67 with a 1sec exposure is one of them. I mounted my P6x7, 300mm f/4 East German lens, and with the Benbo in its stablest configuration, I watched as the shutter wrenched the camera out of position, twice. Once when the shutter opened, and once when it closed. Yes, the shutter made the whole assembly swing! Of course the shutter does not make my Bogen 3036 move, not even a little.

    But handheld at 1/250th, with a wide lens on it, I like it. Sure, it's not as handy as my Nikon, but that's life.
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Time out!!!

    The term "3D effect" is, predictably, troublesome for quite a few people. It evokes all kinds of vagaries like "Leica glow" and "pleasing bokeh" or "beautiful tonality."

    But... however imprecise the term may be, the "effect" is recognized by a number of people with a lot of experience using a variety of lenses. My post far above was an attempt to lend the term a little technical precision. Maybe that didn't work so I could try again. (although it'll probably just creat pages more debate!)

    From the standpoint of perception, simply having a fast lens is not enough to see the "effect"... there can be, in certain fast lenses, a harsh transition between in-focus and out-of-focus (OOF) elements. This is above and beyond the OOF rendering, which is what people usually mean when they talk about bokeh.

    From the technical standpoint, the issue is, I believe, the tracking of the S & M (go ahead and giggle you naughty teenage boys) MTF curves. If they track each other well, then the focus transitions tend to be nice and smooth. Circular objects remain circular, and lines remain linear, whether they are in focus or out. If that isn't the case, then you get noticeable patterns in bokeh and you also get contrasty transitions which, I would argue, are the antithesis of the "3D effect" ...if you consent to calling it that :wink:

    Now, with LF gear, it is pretty easy to get "3D effect" on the cheap. With smaller formats it places much higher demands on the lens design because you simply need to pass a lot more information through a smaller piece of glass. Typical problems are sharp bokeh lines that define the DOF too abruptly, or even miscolouration in the bokeh (dpreview has some nice examples of that- it's much easier to see in digital imagery because of the inherent chromatic abberation problems that arise from Bayer sensors).

    So... I don't particularly like the term "3D effect" either, but I think that I do know what is meant when people use the term. And I assert that there is technical basis for it. Most people who use the term do not mean to imply shallow DOF and merely shallow DOF. They mean smooth transitions across the boundaries of that DOF so that you don't even sense the transitions first and foremost. There is something more natural about the way some lenses render the focus transitions, surely we can agree on that much. What some people call "3D effect" is smooth bokeh plus subtle and smooth focus transitions, the way I think about it. And it's certainly not true that every lens can deliver that.

    Now, it's never easy to get technical and artistic talking peacefully about the same subject, but I hope that everyone will at least agree that our terminology is the best we've got, until somebody invents better. So let's try to tolerate each other's terminology and work together on improving it!!! I've seen far too many forum battles over things like defining bokeh or tonality... or previsualization... :wink:

    If others have better definitions or terminology, have at it!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2012
  21. BobD

    BobD Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    California,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes, I think I do.

    "3D effect" stands for dumb, dumber and dumbest.

    But, thank you for mentioning those pesky "sharp bokeh lines," the bane of photographers everywhere.

    However, I think you "need to pass a lot more information through a smaller piece of glass" in order to complete your theory.
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Don't worry Bob, nobody's forcing you to use the term if you don't care to!

    By the way, I don't see any of your imagery in the gallery nor any links; it'd be nice to see your stuff.
     
  23. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm going to be honest and say that there is either a huge crop of Pentax 67/6x7s out there with non-existant shutter breaks or shock absorption, or my eyes are shot. Seeing as I'm 21, and have 20/20 vision, and look at all my negs with Schneider or Rodenstock loupes, I highly doubt it's my eyes. I've handheld my Pentax 6x7 at speeds as slow as 1/30 or 1/60 and gotten completely sharp frames, provided I'm braced properly, and breathing slow.

    All this malarkey about the 6x7 being a tripod only camera, or only useable above speeds of 1/125 or 1/250 handheld is completely off base. I can say I've witnessed the camera recoiling on a tripod plate, but that's what MLU is for. When I do shoot it on a tripod, I have never had secondary vibration issues. Keep in mind my Pentax is the original 6x7, with MLU, not a newer 67, or 67II. I've shot a newer 67 as well, and still never had this issue.

    Bruce Weber shot the 67 cameras for nearly 100% of his professional work, and my dad used 3 of them in conjunction with his Hasselblads and RZ67s for a very long stretch of his fashion career. I never once saw him use the Pentax on a tripod.

    I'm not saying the problem doesn't exist, I just think that it's being blown far out of proportion.

    As to this 3D-effect nonsense, get the 105/2.4 or 150/165 2.8 lenses, ratchet them open, find some directional light for your subject and look for the "oh!".
     
  24. cluttered

    cluttered Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Unlike Chris, I'm a long way past being 21, but I have much the same results as quoted above. The mirror/shutter slap CAN be a problem in certain scenarios, but it's an overblown problem. For that narrow band of scenarios where it is a problem, MLU makes a significant improvement.
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,207
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, we're way beyond the bright-eyed year of 21 here, too!
    Nobody explicitly said the Pentax 67 is a tripod-only camera (I am aware of many on the Pentax forum who do use a tripod). Individuals have their own preferences, especially those with small hands and mild dystrophy — myself. Most of my shooting is with a tripod, with several shots I've done handheld delivering less than optimal results at 1/60 and 1/125, even when braced. MLU is used all the time. A switch to ISO400 produced better results (1/250 1/500) but over so many years tripod-shooting I do like — and don't mind, the tripod base for enhanced (but not failproof) surety.
     
  26. BobD

    BobD Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    California,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The Pentax 67 series is among the most long-lived medium format cameras ever. I don't think it achieved that status by making fuzzy negatives. There are other cameras with big mirrors and shutters too and no one seems to complain about them. Ever see the shutter on a Speed Graphic? And, leaf shutters are not vibration-free either.