new collection of local photography-related myths

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by medform-norm, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    I was hesitating whether or not this is a topic for E&P or for the lounge, but since it pertains to photography, I've posted it here at the risk of being banned to the lounge ;-)

    Here, in the neck of the woods called Holland, older people with cameras often tell us that 'naturally' they have a camera especially for use with slide film and one for use with negative film. This is always said with an air of authority, as if we're all supposed to have been let into this secret photographic knowledge. This 'mythical' distinction between the world of slides and the world of negs finds an echo in photography magazines from the fifties and sixties - at least one article per month mentions this difference. I've come across columns titled 'color & slide' - and they weren't about color slide film, oh no!

    To us, the modern generation (haha) this sounds like a load of crap. I wouldn't even want to consider having two sets of cameras for each type of film, no thanks, bloody hell, our gear is heavy enough as it is.

    But what we wonder is (and you don't have to answer this question): where does this local folklore stem from? Does it have any footing in reality? Or is this a genuine example of the Dutch having fabricated a fabulous myth? -- (and because the Dutch 'always know best' -one of our least well known, yet very pervasive national characteristics - , this myth never gets eradicated)

    Has anyone come across this 'myth' outside of Holland? Or can you tell what would be the typical bogus story about photography in your neck of the woods? Consider this question as a very important bit of field work in the area of cultural anthropology of analogous photography...all right, you can skip the last sentence, been reading too many governmet documents on cultural heritage lately...

    But... I am looking forward to your tales of lore,
    Norm
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    years ago, a lot of us carried two cameras; one color one black and white.

    This was my reality,not myth.

    When i began to focus only on black and white (late 70-'s), i stopped, not carrying one for each, but carrying only cameras with black and white films.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Clearly, this is why Calumet has one set of house-brand lenses called "Caltar II-S" and another set called "Caltar II-N", for slides and negatives respectively. Thanks for taking care of another mystery!

    Of course they haven't made these two lines simultaneously, so perhaps we'll have to wait for another "S" series to update our slide lenses.
     
  4. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    yes, there are still people who do that, but these people have cameras with no interchangeable backs!... (like I own to Kievs 60 for this purpose). Of course, lens quality was another issue at play back in the sixties - the 'color corrected Ross Xpress' springs to mind.

    However, we were wondering about the difference between color slide film and color negative film. The only feasable theory I've come up with, is that slide film does not have the latitude that negative film offers and that HENCE one 'needs' a (35mm) camera that meters the light precisely and adequately when shooting slides. But perhaps I'm mistaken or forgetting something?

    Interesting:
    And what exactly is the difference between these lenses? Coating? Lens design? I never laid hands on a Caltar lens, so to me they are terra incognita.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm just joking around. The Caltar II-S series lenses were made by Schneider, and the Caltar II-N series are made by Rodenstock. They are the same lenses sold by Schneider and Rodenstock, but rebranded and serviced by Calumet.
     
  6. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    You had me there!

    Yet another myth was about to be born...thanks for debunking me.
     
  7. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    REAL photographers carry two cameras for B&W negative alone. One for low contrast scenes and one for high contrast scenes, so that you can optimize exposure and development for scene contrast. With the aforementioned color slide and color neg cameras, we're now up to four cameras! Of course you could carry one digital camera, I've been told they do everything well...

    Very often when I'm photographing with my 5x7 camera, I'm asked if I'm shooting with a "postcard" camera. Everyone else seems to know about "postcard" cameras, except me. Any APUGers shed some light on this one?

    Good one, David. It is of course why there are Carl Zeiss T* lenses, for transparencies, of course.
     
  8. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    A 'postcard' camera, don't they mean a camera they normally only see on postcards?
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There was such a thing as a "postcard" camera at one time (no kidding) that shot negatives in postcard format (I forget exactly what the dimensions were), but somehow I suspect that's not what people are asking about with your 5x7".

    Here's a page on postcard format cameras--

    http://www.vintagephoto.tv/postcard.shtml
     
  10. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    3½ x 5½* Postcard Size cut film, available at Retro Photographic - although I don't know if this size is in inch or plate...
     
  11. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I think in Holland that the source of the myths is years of devotion to Amstel & Heineken. It takes a lot of work to create theses ideas...all myths aside.
     
  12. harveyje

    harveyje Subscriber

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    The old 112 and 116 folders by Kodak were "postcard" cameras, I believe.

    Back in the 50's and 60's there was a significant difference in results between positive and negative films, with slides being the only choice for sharpness and longevity. However, negative films allowed one to have prints to share at much less cost than prints from slides. (Slides were also the least expensive way to take photos unless you did your own B&W.) The expense of processing was the reason my father decided his 11 yo son needed a developing kit with a contact printer for christmas!
     
  13. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I never heard of having two different cameras for negative and slide film - at least not intentionally. A lot of people carried two or more camera backs of the same type and brand - one for each type of film used, color negative, slide or B&W. By carrying identical backs one could use the other system items interchangebly - lenses, flash, motor drives, etc.
    juan
     
  14. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I still get asked if I'm using a color camera. When I tell these people that I am doing B&W, they always ask if the camera will do color too. Many of these askers are not old enough to remember the 50's or 60's.
     
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    on several occasions i have been within the last bid of buying a mandelette post card camera, but was always outbid at the last second :sad: it was always that and a gaumont stereo camera ... but that is a different thread --

    the mandelette did not take film, but paper ( direct positive paper ), from what i have been told and read. they were made just before world war 1. way it worked was the paper was stacked in the back of the camera and there was a light proof "development tank" below the camera. the operator made the exposures and stuck his arm in the sock which allowed for the exposed paper to be removed and stored/ developed below the camera in the tank.

    often times the appear on FEEbay without the tank or the device for inside the camera that held the stack of paper.
     
  16. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    I once knew a Belgian photographer who carried two LF cameras, one for colour and one for B&W (I think this is how a Dutch joke would go, woudn't it ?)

    I too always carry two cameras. They are both loaded with the same B&W film. I use the first for the good pictures and the second for the bad ones. This hleps me with my development, because I don't have to develop the films made with the second camera, I throw them away as soon as I'm back home. This way, I have only good pictures on the films I develop... clever, huh ? :smile:
     
  17. shyguy

    shyguy Member

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    george, that is a great idea, i think i am going to start doing that.

    S.
     
  18. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    even some of the "pros" carried two cameras, one b&w the other color, usually slide film.

    When i did use color it was only slide film, not negative film.

    With 35mm there was no such thing as changeable backs, so we were stuck with 2 different bodies.
     
  19. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I get mythty-eyed thinking about it, but I use a black M6 body for B&W and a chrome body for, well, chromes.
     
  20. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Ah, is that why you can get a refurbished Kiev in such fancy colors - so you can shoot color film with it!
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    At least in Holland, postcard size would be 10x15cm - the German "Postkartengrösse". If you come across a postcard-size plate camera, I have a few spare "Postkartenplattenhalter" (postcard-format plate holders).
     
  22. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Well, Contax had interchangeable 35mm backs, but I don't know anyone who used them.