How can I improve quality?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Berlibee, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. Berlibee

    Berlibee Member

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    Hello,

    I need your help please. For this moment I'm using Canon 5D Mark II and I'm
    thinking how can I improve tech. quality of my images. I'm not ready to buy
    a Hasselblad H4D ... Can you please tell me, can I get better quality of images
    with a Hasselblad 503cx + NIKON 9000* and if yes, what I will receive as advantages
    with this setup* compared to my current one? It will be very nice If some one
    can show me full-res scans from the same setup* that I can see what I can
    get with it, thank you. :wink:

    This is a crop from my camera to show what I have now (retouched sure):
    http://www.studioxil.com/Example_Canon_5D_MII.jpg

    Cheers!
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I think that stopping the lens down a bit can really improve sharpness.
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i am not familiar with any of the cameras you want to compare,
    perhaps you can rent cameras from a pro-shop or borrow from a friend
    and see what the differences are for yourself. it is hard to
    suggest one lens or camera is sharper or works better than another
    when working methods are different than yours.
    for example, i could rant and rave about films and lenses
    processing and printing methods that work great for me,
    i could tell you how to process a fine grain high resolution film
    to make prints with it that sharp, lush and grainy and textured like a canvas-painting
    but in the end, it doesn't matter because your working methods
    are different than mine ...

    if you have a pro shop near you, i am sure they will be happy to rent
    you equipment, and it will be cheap compared to buying it
    and realizing it isn't what you had hoped for ..

    all the best for the new year
    - john
     
  4. Berlibee

    Berlibee Member

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    Yes, thanks. :smile:
    I have already bought 503CX, any way I will work with it, but what I need
    it to have good digital format at the end, that's why I'm asking about NIKON 9000.
    Trying to understand what I will have new and different from my current setup with
    this one.
     
  5. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Considering that this is a film-based photography website, I think you're asking the wrong question. I'm sure people here can help you, but it's not what the site is about.

    Your example picture certainly is well-lit and composed. If you want it sharper, you're going to have to stop the lens down a bit more. The softness comes from shallow depth of field.

    I own a 503cx and 3 lenses. It's an excellent system that suits my needs. If you can't make a good, sharp picture with yours, you need to look at how you're using it. Start with a tripod and expose your pictures with the mirror locked up, or at least use enough power in your flash setup to allow your to hand-hold at a high shutter speed.

    Peter Gomena
     
  6. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I use both methods for capture. When I first started with digital in 2004, I would take a Hasselblad along, use two tripods, when making formals, as I didn't trust digital capture. To me, it doesn't make any difference anymore which method of capture I use, the results are the same.

    My recommendation is to find someone who could be your mentor, coach and friend. Even in pro sports there are coaches. Take classes on photography you want to do better at.

    Get to museums and study what the masters have done relative to lighting, posing & composition. Go to the library and check out books on artists that see the world as well as those who differ from your vision. Join camera clubs and attend and participate. Watch movies and see how they use lighting, composition, costumes, choreography. I'm always doing this. Sometimes my wife will say, "quit doing this! Watch the movie! You sound just like Monte!" Monte Zucker was my friend, mentor and coach.

    I see so much on equipment but there is so much more to photography than that.

    Welcome to APUG. Ya, some are sensitive on the digital topic but what the heck.

    My motto: "Beauty is in the eye of the checkbook holder!" I first heard that expression from Dean Collins.

    Enjoy your time here on APUG!
     
  7. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Three Stooges marathon on AMC.

    Nuk, Nuk, Nuk!

    Twilight Zone Marathon on Sci Fi.

    Wonderful!

    Curly said, "tried thinkin' once but nothin' happened!"
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    One of the best ways I've found to improve quality, no matter what camera one shoots, is to use a tripod and cable release. Do you?
     
  9. MarkF48

    MarkF48 Member

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    The 503CW I would suspect can do equally as well or possibly better than the 5D you presently have with careful scanning and post processing.

    I had found your original uncropped image on your site and you note you intentionally only stopped down to f/4 to have a somewhat shallow DOF. In the post processing of your 5D images are you sharpening the image? Sharpening can make a world of difference.

    This is a sample from a Canon 5D mk1 shot at f/2. Composed a bit differently, but never the less sharp. Compare yours viewed at 100%...
    http://www.canon.co.jp/imaging/eos5d/html/eos5d_sample_1e.html
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I found out many years ago to my cost that excellence in photography isn't a problem that can be solved by throwing money at, and I would agree with Mr Clark.
     
  11. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Ben,

    At least you kept out my Three Stooges & Twilight Zone stuff in your quote! HA! And Smiles!

    Thanks for agreeing with me.

    Have a wonderful 2011.

    Your Pal Bill
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Sure, you can get much improved level of overall detail and tonal information, whether you scan or print from medium or large format negs or slides. Just bear in mind that either of these workflows (scan or optical print) does require some investment on your part to learn how to get optimal results.

    You can earn more about the scanning workflow at hybridphoto, APUG's sister site. APUG is more devoted to the purely traditional workflows.

    How much info can you get from medium format? Well, here is crop from a drum scan from a 6x7 slide. Note: this is by no means a full res scan, and there was no sharpening applied, it is a straight drum scan...

    http://keithwilliamsphoto.net/mothdrumcrop.jpg

    And that is a crop from this:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=34584&catid=member&imageuser=16571

    The gear was an rb67 with a 127mm lens, shot on velvia 100. You'd get similar performance on a hassie or just about any other half decent MF system. Assuming you're doing everything you can to get the most out of the system.

    I don't remember the megapixel equivalent of this slide scan, I think it was something like 80 mp for the whole 6x7 slide.

    P.S. Steer clear of digital to analogue comparisons, and you will find that this site is a wonderful resource frequented by some amazing photographers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2011
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    A very happy New Year Bill, I found that spending money on my photographic education by reading and attending teach ins, courses and talking to other photographers did much more for the quality of my work than spending large amounts of money upgrading my equipment to take the same mediocre pictures with better quality equipment, to my mind a camera is like a musical instrument the quality of the results is dependant on the skill and feeling of the player.
     
  14. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I think you should absolutely get a nikon 9000.
    The 'blad plus this will blow away any digital format available in the next decade.
    People will be amazed when they walk up to a print of a group and can count each persons nose hairs.
    That is the mark of a true professional.
    But make sure to buy the latest macro lens directly from Hasselblad. You will need it for proper close-ups like the one you posted as an example.
    Dont buy a used lens as it will probably be out of alignment.
    Then shoot at least 100 rolls of film and put in an order for another 1000 rolls in a month. Again, be sure to buy fresh new film no expired or frozen film. Expect this to continue for the next 10 years because you will get many more paid shoots this way. All those digital newbs will be left in the dust.
     
  15. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Canon 5D.. Nikon 9000... Image sharpening..... Hi res scans...???
     
  16. Berlibee

    Berlibee Member

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    Very interesting info, thank you. I will absolutely read all at APUG and trying to find more info about.
    For this moment I have only an used kit 503CX + Planar 80 2.8 CF T*, I will try to shoot some rolls and
    see what a photo-lab can do with it before buying a scanner. The example that I posted is only a crop,
    I'm not shooting close-ups like this, I think 80mm will be fine for me for first time. :wink:
     
  17. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Define quality, there are so many ways, most of them subjective. Those that can be measured, mostly boring. Trust your eyes, then. If you're not content with your own work (aesthetically *first*, then technically), how should others be?
    And if you want to get a Nikon 9000 scanner, be quick about it, they're discontinued.
     
  18. Berlibee

    Berlibee Member

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    I'm content with my works, just wanna move forward in my equipment.
     
  19. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If you want deeper Depth of field close the aperture a little more.

    If you want higher resolution scans use a lab that makes drum scans.

    If you are unhappy with your current equipment go out and try a few cameras, borrow, rent, fondle them in a camera shop, whatever it takes to find what works for you. The last thing you want to do is buy a camera based on a recommendation only to find out you don't like using it because you hate the layout of the controls, or because it is harder than you like to change a setting. That happened to me and it was lousy because it was a great camera that produced great results if I was willing to fight it.
     
  20. NJS

    NJS Member

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    if you value digital output pretty much then, yes, you better stretch for some good scanner like Nikon 9000. this is what I squeezed yesterday from a 6x6 scan done with cheap canon cs8800f scanner (shot on Orwo NP15 developed in pyrocat hd, with Bronica SQ-A and 80/2.8PS lens) - I don't really think my cheap-o scanner squeezed everything that lens gave on that negative so I'm pretty sure you'll be able to get better results with some more serious scanner. getting the best when shooting film involves much more steps than camera>scanner routine, and each of those steps impact quality very much.
    cheers
     
  21. ArtTwisted

    ArtTwisted Member

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    throwing equipment at a problem never fixes the problem, in this case "soft" images. The 5dMII can easily beat MF film in terms of pure detail in most circumstances with most ECONOMICAL scanners. Use a prime lens stopped down between 5.6 and 11, use proper support or high powered strobes, focus on proper WB, use a good lightmeter or bracket and dont clip at all and edit in 16bit , manage your colour space.
    All these things and more can help the quality of your files, i would start with any of those, specifically the lens, support routes.
     
  22. emtor

    emtor Member

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    You're asking the same question I asked six months ago: "What will analog MF cameras and a reasonably priced scanner offer compared to a DSLR".
    The link below may aid you in getting an answer to that question, but keep in mind that a Nikon 9000 will deliver even better results than this, as this scan was done on an Epson V750, and not much was done to get the most out of the velvia slide.
    Also the image is cropped and downsized to 25%, but you will at least get an impression of the capabilities of analog MF and scanning.

    http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/forum/messages/6790/20722.html?1294066895
     
  23. Berlibee

    Berlibee Member

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    Don't understand me wrong please. I know how to use a camera and how to get good quality from MII. This is more
    a question about MF. But I understand you and I will try MF and compare them in studio this will be more easy
    I think. Thank you very much for all your answers that helps a lot.

    :wink:
     
  24. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    In my humble opinion, the "problem", if one there is, with the crop is that the point of maximum sharpness (the focus) is on the nostril, and given the shallow DOF, the eye falls slightly out of focus. If the focus had been exactly on the eye, the slight out-of-focus of the rest of the face would have probably been welcome.

    If this picture was made with tripod, static subject, accurate focusing, and if focus was made on the eye, I would have the camera checked for the correct alignment of the focusing screen.

    If this was made with a handheld camera, a closer aperture would have helped in having your chosen point of focus in focus, but you might have ended with "too much focus" also on the rest of the face, which maybe was not desired.

    Fabrizio
     
  25. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I'm in total agreement with Mr. Clark. Immerse yourself in photography, eat sleep, and breathe it. And I enjoyed the daylights outta the Stooges and Twilight Zone, only wished I'd had two tv sets in the living room to watch them at the same time! NUK NUK NUK
     
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