what camera to use when

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by khaleeda, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. khaleeda

    khaleeda Member

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    dear all wise ones...
    i have been comissioned to take a photograph for a mural. it will be enlarged in sections to around 10ft x 8-12ft in dimension. does anyone know what camera is best to use. i was hoping i could use a medium format... but maybe large format is better. it will be a photograph taken at night, and i am trying to avoid digital. i dont even know if digital would be better. please someone help me. thank you.
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Of course, bigger is better. Shoot Large Format if you have access to the equipment. You might also try Velvia 100 (not F) or Provia 100F for your night shots if yu want really fine grain.
     
  3. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    I agree but you need to check the budget and be sure you will be able to properly output based on what you shoot... assuming they are digitally outputting this, you may or may not be within budget to get a suitable scan from an 8x10. fwiw
    -Brad
     
  4. khaleeda

    khaleeda Member

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    i dont have access to a large format camera... clearly it would be better, but do you think that a medium format can do the job??? thank you for the film sugestions...

    also... they will be paying for the drumscan. i assume they will drumscan a 6x6 neg if i use medium format, then print on wall paper in sections...

    does anyone know if digital is better just out of curiosity?
     
  5. Snapper

    Snapper Member

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    Wow!! You had to ask 'that' question.... I'm sure some people here might have a view on that.
     
  6. argus

    argus Member

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    Unless you have a digital back on the 6x6, it's better to have the negatives scanned.

    G
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Use the largest film you can (MF if not LF), fine-grained film, lens at optimum aperture (usually two stops down from wide open, but there are exceptions), sturdy tripod, mirror lock-up if applicable and possible.

    Digital, even MF backs, still don't have the resolution you can get from a drum-scanned MF film under these conditions.
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Is the subject suitable for making a composite image stitched together from a number of negatives?
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    All good recommendations I can add a couple that might be helpful.

    Plan on shooting the subject at least twice. Bracket the heck out of the first shooting. You may wish to even use a couple different films the first time to be sure you're on the right course (a daylight and T film would be my suggestion).

    Proof the work prior to reshooting by actually making enlargements. A tough 11x14 enlargement won't get easier as you get larger and yet a neg that is touch thin and easy to enlarge at 11x14 may very well fall apart when printed to mural size. So do a mag test. Print the neg as large as you can onto as big a sheet of paper as you can process.

    If your happy with the results--cool. If not, make your adjustments, reshoot and do the enlargements and mag test again.

    If shooting MF and at night (long exposures) I would recommend Reala, NC (or VC), 100t (or NPL) and possibly Ultra 100 (I haven't used the ultra much at night so can't be sure) in no particular order. Well I would lean toward NC, 100t and Reala in that order. I would also strongly advise balancing the light as best you can with on camera filtration -- you don't want to make your life or the person doing the enlargement's life any more difficult than you need to.

    I would not recommend Velvia, at least in my experience it suffers badly on long exposures. In my experience with chromes, those that perform better on longer exposures tend to have courser grain. On the flip side I love grain and would not think twice about shooting this with EPT (ektachrome 160T). With chromes the problem then becomes output. Printing from a tranie to traditional materials is not as easy nor are there as many choices as there are from a neg.

    Although I didn't shoot it, I did the prep for a 9'x12' mural enlarged from a 35mm kodachrome 25 tranie. There was some digital steps involved, but the dye clouds/grain of the film were like nothing else and the final product (an RA dura trans) was not just excellent for a 35mm, but excellent from any perspective. Of course that doesn't help you.


    The final comment I would make might not be too well received. If this is a commercial product and it needs to be 'clean' if not slick from normal viewing distance to close up then consider ADA. (Shoot large film, drum scan, D output to appropriate RA or Ciba material -- or would that be ADD)
     
  10. Andrew Sowerby

    Andrew Sowerby Member

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    If you're making an 8' x 10' image chances are people aren't going to be viewing it with their noses pressed against it (or will they?). Where will this thing be installed? If it's going to be on the side of the highway grain/resolution won't be such a huge concern. Just a thought . . .
     
  11. khaleeda

    khaleeda Member

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    i was thinking this could be a posibility, but with a long exposure at night... there will be movement in the photo that would change by the second, and therefore be very hard to stitch the negetives together... unless you think there is a way???
     
  12. khaleeda

    khaleeda Member

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    the mural is for a hotel restaurant. i assume people will be seeing it close up and from a distance. close up, the wallpaper will appear to have a nice grainy texture, and from afar it should look like a city scape at night... hmmm
     
  13. khaleeda

    khaleeda Member

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    Although I didn't shoot it, I did the prep for a 9'x12' mural enlarged from a 35mm kodachrome 25 tranie. There was some digital steps involved, but the dye clouds/grain of the film were like nothing else and the final product (an RA dura trans) was not just excellent for a 35mm, but excellent from any perspective. Of course that doesn't help you.


    The final comment I would make might not be too well received. If this is a commercial product and it needs to be 'clean' if not slick from normal viewing distance to close up then consider ADA. (Shoot large film, drum scan, D output to appropriate RA or Ciba material -- or would that be ADD)
    [/QUOTE]
     
  14. khaleeda

    khaleeda Member

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    another mural

    i have been asked to do another mural

    4x17 ft

    this confuses me even more. i dont know anything about panoramic photographs, and what camera to use for this???
    any other sugestions?

    i definately couldn't use a 35mm pan camera, could i? it seems like that really wouldn't work out.

    and i dont think i can take the photograph in sections being at night.
    oh no
     
  15. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Concerning long exposures, in a test I made a while ago Kodak E100S proved very good (reciprocity law failure - proof)... This could mean that E100G today might be as good, and a good choice for you. Its grain seems OK and it scans pretty well.

    On the other hand, I would advise you to shoot commercial projects with the right equipment for the job. If you don't have it, then rent it. It'll be better than screwing the job and giving a bad impression to the client(s). Go rent a 4x5 monorail with the appropriate lens(es) to cover the subject (you can measure the angle of coverage needed with a simple visit and simple tools) and go for it. Bracket your exposures and shoot two sheets of film for every exposure made. Give the first to the lab and hold on the second (of every exposure) to be able to push or pull process it in case it is needed. This may save you the bother of having to re-shoot the thing if your results are a bit off the right density.
     
  16. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    George's points are right on the money. Holding sheets back incase of processing error or a need to adjust processing* is what I do for all of my jobs. Shooting with the right equipment, even if you need to rent it (plan on shooting a few rolls/sheets prior to the main event to get used to the equipment). And e100s has very good reciprocity characteristics. I have shot about 15 or 20 rolls of e100s in the last couple weeks, mostly at night. I prefer this film for studio and e200 for night shots, but I had 80 plus rolls of it an recently ran out of e200. I have found it to rock for night shots with some qualifiers. 1st off i cross processed most of it and second it has a bit more contrast than what I would generally use for night shots.

    *Adjusting the process for color films can be tricky and really tricky with chromes. Chromes are inherently more contrasty than neg film. Night shots have extreme contrast. At the light end there ia often very little detail to worry about at the middle dark and dark end there may be a lot of detail. If you had time to experiment you might find that over exposing the film by as much as two stops and pull processing it by 1 stop would compress the contrast of the scene, and bring out some shadow detail without doing excessive damage to the highlights.


    Meanwhile, in a PM you asked what I meant by correcting the colour balance when shooting. A night shot is mostly shadows and highlights. There is often a dearth of mid tones. Man made light is often very yellow, green, orange, cyan or any combination of the above and more. Our brains balance this light to appear white, the film does not. The person doing the enlargements will try to balance this light on the final print. This means pumping a ton of Blue or magenta or red into the print to get the areas lit by the lights to look more natural. The thin areas of the neg (shadow areas) which you'd want to be more neutral will begin to look blue, pink or red. On smaller enlargements this is not generally an issue. On big enlargements it becomes a real issue. The thin areas as well as the middling tones become more susceptible to picking up the cast thrown out by extreme colour packs. If you take some test shots of the subject and you notice a strong green yellow or orange cast to your test shots I would recommend compensating with an appropriate filter or film and test the subject again. For yellow or orange use tungsten balanced film or an 80a filter for greens you can try an FLD filter. When there is strong greens and yellow/oranges NPL 160 is very effective. Generally a tungsten film works really well for night shots (minimizing the yellow lights and keeping the sky blue and shadows cool). Correcting greens is more problematic. If you compensate too much shadows and sky can pick up a pink cast and your back where you started. It is often helpful to give a little extra exposure (neg film) when using an FLD or magenta filtration to compensate for green casts. A slightly denser neg is easier to manage.

    I hope this helps, but the bottom line is use the right equipment, test and have a back-up.
     
  17. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I was just thinking - in cases such as this, is it possible to take several pictures (lets say 4 or 8) and then have them precisely trimmed to make up "quadrants" of one image? I'm just thinking, that would significantly reduce the size of the enlargement that your picture has to survive, but I assume it may be very time/labour intensive if do-able at all. Just thinking out loud...
     
  18. khaleeda

    khaleeda Member

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    wow! you all have given me fantastic advice. ill let you know how it goes. thank you very much! i've even taken notes :smile: