Sharpness and Bessa R/Nokton shots

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Roger Hicks, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    If you look at the galleries at www.rogerandfrances.com, there is a new gallery of pictures of the Barge Museum at Faversham in the UK. These were all taken with a 50/1.5 Nokton with a weak (2x) B+W yellow filter; the hand-held camera was a Bessa-R. The film was Paterson Acupan 200, rebranded Fomapan 200, developed in Paterson developer and printed on Ilford Multigrade Warmtone.

    Obviously you can't tell it from a screen image 550 pixels high, but the sharpness is remarkable: in most of the original prints you can easily distinguish the strands (not the fibres!) of the ropes in the rigging.

    I post this principally to point out that RF cameras can perfectly well be used in good light -- they are not just low-light cameras -- and that sharpness is more than adequate with almost any good-quality lens when they are; the exposures were typically 1/250 at f/5.6 and f/8. This is generous, and gives slightly less sharpness than if I had cut exposure to the bone, but I much prefer the tonality -- another argument that sharpness isn't everything.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  2. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Interesting museum, what happened to the water, couldn't they afford any?

    Mick.
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Mick,

    I believe it's like an outback river; water is optional. I've never seen it with water in (I've been there three or four times), but I imagine there must be some at high tide, because it would be a bugger pulling those things through the mud.

    On the bright side, you'd expect mud like that to stink, and it doesn't, presumably because it's washed off occasionally.

    Actually, as far as I am aware, they can't afford ANYTHING. As far as I am aware, they only get the barges because they're free. Anyone who is passing Faversham is urged to put a pound in the poor-box for them. As I recall, they don't even charge for admission to the outside part of the site, only to the indoor part of the museum.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have a picture of an old Isle of Wight paddle steamer here: http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=16462&cat=500&ppuser=12229
    Of which DrewB commented that it was funny that I had to stand in water to take a picture of a boat on land. In fact, it is on a tidal part of the river (Medina).

    What is the state of the boats at the museum? Are they used at all? Being repaired? Or just collected? They don't look in too bad condition.

    The paddle steamer (PS Ryde) is now basically a 'string vest' of rusty metal held together with fresh air and in no way (other than a total re-build) could it be preserved. Despite that, there are several people who still think it possible and are campaigning to save it.

    About a week after I took the pictures in my gallery, The funnel fell over taking part of the deck and two air vents with it. They are now resting at a 45 degree angle. I will go back soon for another picture.


    Steve.
     
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Steve,

    Hard to tell. I think some restoration is being done but as there is virtually zero budget, it's not a lot. As far as I can see, they're not in use, but equally, they are in a lot better condition than the ferry you describe.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  6. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Of course you can use RFs in good light, but some of the appeal is that you can use them, and often nothing else, in bad.
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    No question. But there seem to be some who think that the latter is the only way you are allowed to use them. For example, unless I misunderstood him, Bruce Terry said you always get camera shake if the camera's being used right (see 'Which is sharper?')

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  8. Leon

    Leon Member

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  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Leon,

    Oh, bugger, you're right. I tend to confuse the two. A big sorry to all concerned. Thanks for correcting the error.

    Then again, I didn't know it had closed (in October 2005, apparently). Sad, but no suprise: funding was clearly a problem. I wish them well in finding a new location.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  10. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Faversham was one of the dwelling places of my Culpeper ancestors. Many are buried in Faversham church. Interesting to see the name crop up other than in family records.
    Mark
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Mark,

    There's a very impressive (?16th century) Culpeper memorial in All Saints', Birchington, too -- which is also where Dante Gabriel Rosetti is buried.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  12. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    The Bessa R body is going at factory authorised closeout price,it is reported discontinued.Last Leica thread mount body with a meter I believe.
    www.cameraquest.com
     
  13. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Roger
    I wasn't aware of the one in Birchington. Many years ago I visited a lot of the sites such as Hollingbourne, Leeds, Stede Hill. Must get back and record more. My grandmother was a Culpeper and a direct descendent of the Wigsell Culpepers, but its a long intertwined (and fascinating) story. How I wish the Americans would take out the double p.

    Mark
     
  14. bruce terry

    bruce terry Member

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    ROGER,

    "I post this principally to point out that RF cameras can perfectly well be used in good light -- they are not just low-light cameras." said Roger H

    "Of course you can use RFs in good light, but some of the appeal is that you can use them, and often nothing else, in bad." said DBP

    "No question. But there seem to be some who think that the latter is the only way you are allowed to use them. For example, unless I misunderstood him, Bruce Terry said you always get camera shake if the camera's being used right (see 'Which is sharper?')." responded Roger H

    Now Roger, in a response specifically directed toward obsession with sharpness, what I said was: "Camera movement. Inherent in a RF being used right. So don't waste your time fretting about sharp. Maybe "bokah", maybe "contrast", definitely the way the camera holds steady, definitely the image in front of you, but sharpness? Come on!"

    In the thread I further said:
    "I've used Ms....over the years on tripods for all sorts of reasons including max sharpness."
    " ...small, light, traveling, quick focusing - what RFs are mainly about....doesn't include a slow-you-down tripod or flapping mirror (except maybe for the day trip to the Inca Ruins or the still-life of your Grandma's vase)."
    "....within it's true mission, the hand, the balance of a RF with it's attached lens is more important to print result than the "sharpness" of any modern glass."


    I believe you're trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat here - and this rabbit takes offense. =;•(
     
  15. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    Exactly !

    Quote
    I am constantly amused by the notion that some people have about photographic technique – a notion which reveals itself as an insatiable craving for sharpness in images. Is this the passion of an obsession? Or do these people hope, by this “trompe l’oeil” technique, to get to closer grips with reality? In either case, they are just as far away from the real problem as those of that other generation which used to endow all its photographic anecdotes with an intentional unsharpness such as was deemed to be “artistic.”
    Quote end.

    I think you know that man ! :D :D

    Best,
    bertram
    Nice photos , the enlargement link for the 02 photo did not work when I tried it !
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Bruce,

    I'm very sorry; I did not mean to offend you (or your rabbit!). But if you re-read your original you can see where my misconception arose. Please accept my apologies and put it down to the fact that internet communication never works as well as face-to-face.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Thanks. I'll forward that to Karl. The 03 pic was missing at one point...

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  18. bruce terry

    bruce terry Member

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    The rabbit accepts your carrot....and yes, a lesson here: the slightest overlooked qualifier, be it coma, period, dash, not-laid-down word or two - such as "at slow speeds" - can get things off on a tangent in a hurry.

    Have a good weekend and may your hat overflow with rabbits! =;•)

    Bruce