Rangefinder landscape books?

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by ampguy, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. ampguy

    ampguy Member

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    I would like to know if anyone has come across any great color landscape books, where RF equipment is used. Hopefully with a lot of example images.

    I really like the John Shaw book, and would like to find something like this, done with RF type gear. Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    There are lots of landscape books available, but I don't know any that are specific to RF. I really doubt there is enough interest in using an RF for landscape work to make a book on it viable. However, check with naturephoto1, I know he uses a Leica at times.
     
  3. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Most of David Muench's photographs are taken with a rangefinder camera (Linhof Technika).
     
  4. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Robert,

    My Leicas are the R (SLR) cameras since I normally need the extreme range of very short to very long lenses as well as lenses for macro work.

    However, I do have a Mamiya 7II, but I have not used it enough at this point to make comments. I purchased this system to take when I wanted something with a larger negative/transparency than my Leicas, did not require close-up work, or did not need the movements and the negative/transparency size and weight and bulk of my linhof Technikardan 45S.

    Many photographers have used the Mamiya 7/7II for backpacking landscape and other types of travel photography.

    Rich
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Just goes to show you how much I know about Leicas. :sad:

    Mamiya 7II is on my wish list.
     
  6. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Yes, but I suspect he uses the ground glass like the rest of us. Those RF are useless with the movement he tends to use.
     
  7. ampguy

    ampguy Member

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    Thanks

    Very good info. I'm specifically interested in 35mm rf used for landscape work. Kind of trying to find the best that is out there given the limitations.

    I've checked out many of your galleries, and am quite impressed!
     
  8. roteague

    roteague Member

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  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I doubt many books identify that rangefinder cameras were used because, generally, you can't tell that a rangefinder was used. There is a theoretical optical advantage to rangefinders when using ultrawide lenses because the lens designs can be much simpler (an inverted telephoto design is required in SLRs to work around the mirror box).

    I have several RF cameras and although I don't use them nearly as much as my SLRs (they are low-end Soviet cameras that i use more for fun than for anything serious), I know enough to know that there is no reason that you can't use RF cameras for landscape work. You lose the ability to use zoom lenses (although if you shoot Leica, there is a Tri-Elmar that has three fixed focal lengths in one lens), and you lose the ability to visually inspect your depth of field, but those can be worked around.

    In general I prefer 35mm for landscape work, but if you like to shoot infrared, rangefinder bodies can be excellent. You can use a very dark, even visually opaque, filter without interfering with your view of the scene.
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Photojim has it. Very few 'pretty picture' books are going to tell you what sort of equipment was used: the only place you are likely to find more about what was used to shoot which pictures is in 'how to' books. I have written quite a lot of the latter -- check 'books' on www.rogerandfrances.com -- and many are illustrated with RF cameras, usually Leicas, but I would hesitate to place myself among the masters of landscape photography.

    Besides, once a repro house has finished with it, you may have some difficulty in telling a good picture from a bad one. Publishing is a bit like mini-lab printing: a lot more depends on the quality of the printing than on the quality of the original picture.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  11. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Wim Wenders used a Plaubel Makina (medium format RF) for most of the pictures in Written in the West, and he uses Leica Ms as well (and a Fuji panoramic camera). The quality and portability of the Makinas make them ideal for landscape when travelling.

    Not an answer to your question, but I use 35 mm and MF rangefinders for a lot of my landscape work.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  12. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    Not to blame anyone I just wish to say that i saw the same picture in three different books:

    - Color picture that is in the book about Leica system
    - Color picture (the same) that is in the book about medium format and landscape
    - B&W version (probably PhotoShop work) of the same in one photo handbook.

    Photography is not immune to business people. And books about techniques in photography are in around 95% cases just a business. 100 pages of text that could be sumed up into 2 pages alltogether, plus 200 pages of business or stock photographs.

    So take a great care when choosing book about landscape, and even more camera format. A. Adams are still so far the best and most releable. And 35 mm size is just not good enough to landscape, for too many informations just will not fit into that small neg, no mater Leica or technicalpan film or whatever. 35 mm is good for small number of details and fast respond. Neither is with landscape, even it is thrue you can point it and press the shutter release. For "good" lanscape you will need at least 6x6 or 6x7 cm neg size. All of that LF and MF camera guys are not stupid or unable to buy 35 mm. Shooting landscape with 35 will just shift your photography back as many as years you will spend to realize the same.

    BUT. I would leave some small space. It is easy to carry around and get ready to some specific style, as e.g. lossing a lot of details and concentrate on larger monotone areas that will together make some sense and print on some "small" paper size where and large format can loose some details. And there would be no difference between SLR and range for landscape. Close up and nature are different things from landscape and I hope you are not pointing on these.
     
  13. ampguy

    ampguy Member

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    Clarification

    I will check out all of the above links, thanks.

    Roger - I love your site, and went to photos / places / landscapes color and I saw great photos, it looks like color neg. film? and urban scenes though?

    I guess I should clarify I'm looking for photos taken with 35mm rf's with slide film, long exposures, ultra sharp printing, of natural rural places, not cities or buildings or bridges.

    For example, pictures like those in the John Shaw "Landscape Photography" book ISBN 081743710X.

    He mostly used Nikon F4's, variety of lenses (including tilting), and filters, gradated ND's, polarizers, and Velvia slide film.

    I'm sure that if I were to ask if these photos could be taken with a 35mm rf, in the same sharpness, DOF, contrast, etc., the answer would come back as a resounding yes, but I'd like to see some books or photos taken with 35mm RF's, which I'm sure exist. Thanks.
     
  14. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Daniel,

    I beg to differ with you. Certainly there are times and scenes that can be recorded very well in 35mm. I use a battery of Leica R SLRs and Leica R series lenses. I know that they do not equal my Rollei 3.5F Planar TLR, my Mamiya 7II and Mamiya lenses or my Linhof Technikardan 45S in most instances. I use the camera and equipment that I have with me and adjust to the conditions and circumstances. I use the equipment to the best of it's ability.

    Here are 2 images in my gallery that could easily have been done with a 35mm RF:

    The first taken by a Leica R4SP with a Leica f2.0 90mm Summicron lens hand held on Kodachrome 64 in 1985:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=15298&cat=500&ppuser=11550

    The second taken with a Leica R7 with a Leica f2.8 24mm Elmarit on a tripod on Fujichrome Velvia 50 in 1996:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=14273&cat=500&ppuser=11550

    Both of these and many others will print on a Chromira machine to 20" x 30" and larger. Yes they are sharp, but if they were or could have been taken with a medium or large format camera they would probably would have been better.

    By the way, the second image is the best selling photo that I have that I sell at Art Shows.

    Rich
     
  15. ampguy

    ampguy Member

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    Thanks Daniel, what I want to see is how close to "good" a 35mm rf can come...
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Almost all slide actually, but yes, a lot more urban/village than trad landscape. There's a bit more trad landscape in some of the books. Try the 'New Gallery' on the site as the repro is better than in the 'Old Gallery' (I know more about scanning and compression now...).

    And thanks for the kind words.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  17. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    Naturephoto1
    It is said that picture taken with Leica is close to picture taken with 4x5 LF. However this is not valid for landscape, but close to be true for small number of details. When you use 4x5 and shoot landscape, on the tree in the first plane you can detect, in most cases, hole in the leaf on the tree. If Leica is used it is possible too if microscpe is in the place of the film. The limit is rather film than the lens. Some Zeiss lenses can make what Leica can too. And if you shoot from hand, what is usually case with 35mm, not to look at my papers, you get around 40-50 lines per mm with Pan-F with Leica lens. This is one can get with Nikkor, Pentax, Canon,… too. The difference that Leica and Zeiss produce is something else (not subject here). When you shoot slide it is also different than B&W for colors in many cases make-up for fine details failure, and the picture “looks” fine. If you look at slide all is fine and missed details are not missed for they are not there (on slide). However to put side by side slides on 35 mm and 4x5 mm can reveals something else.

    Ampguy
    Practically no difference between the two: range and SLR camera in your case. When one shoot landscape he use piece of paper with a hole on it to previsualize (or to see) the future picture. It is your range camera. The difference between range and SLR camera is only one: parallax that range suffers from. Leica and Zeiss lenses for both cameras are more or less of the same quality for both. What closer object to camera is that difference is more pronounced. At nearly indefinite parallax should not exist in a range camera but this is a theory. When one place a lot of details within 35 mm crop is very bad think. It is a rare case with range camera that what is seen in the finder is pin-pointed 100% on the film, even on indefinite. Otherwise do not bother with difference, go with your hearth and beloved camera that is the best, no matter it is Lihhof, Leica, Holga,…. Camera you use will make your style, and your passion is the only guaranty for good picture. Pinhole camera is the best choice if one like pictures it produces.
    And you will never figure out the difference through books, where the biggest difference is REPRINT quality and PHOTOGRAPHER'S HEART, not a camera
     
  18. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Daniel,

    I never claimed that my Leica cameras and lenses would record the same amount of information on film. There is no question that in most instances the 4" x 5" transparency has considerably more information and detail. The large format lenses do not have to be as sharp and the negatives/transparencies do not have to be enlarged as much as 35mm to the same size. Additionally, the grain structure will become more evident from 35mm than from large format. All that I was indicating above was that when used with the correct subject, lighting conditions, etc. that 35mm can provide very good results with much information. Whenever possible I will use large format (4" x5") for my landscape work, but as I also pointed out, I use the equipment that I have with me to the best of its ability and try to be selective in the subject accordingly.

    Here is another image (in this case taken with an Leica (Minolta made to Leica specs) f4.0 70-210mm lens) that you wish to see that was uploaded last evening (Ampguy this is not on website, sorry):

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=16209&cat=500&ppuser=11550

    Rich