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Domenico Foschi
11-04-2009, 02:06 AM
You do need to explore the various formats by taking into account also what interests you in street shooting.
For the issue of grain I am surprised that nobody has mentioned Efke film which is a real good emulsion in tones and very small grain.

2F/2F
11-04-2009, 04:05 AM
I've always thought that your pictures had to be tack sharp and able to be blown up to 16X20 without much quality loss.

Take a look at the most classic street photography, and you will see that practically none of it meets one of these mere technical criteria.

viridari
11-04-2009, 01:18 PM
I've always thought that your pictures had to be tack sharp and able to be blown up to 16X20 without much quality loss. But without using medium to large format can you achieve acceptable results.

Ever heard of an obscure photographer by the name of Henri Cartier-Bresson?

Or a little camera manufacturer by the name of Leica?

I prefer my medium format TLR for street work but the giants of the field often preferred 35mm.

lensworker
10-03-2011, 01:20 PM
In my opinion, 35mm is the way to go for street photography.

I have had 11"x14" prints made from some of my 35mm Tri-X negs and they look great - very fine grain, individual hairs on a person's head rendered nice and sharp, good contrast, good detail, beautiful tonal scale, etc. I can't see why they could not be enlarged to 16"x20" size and look nearly as good as they do now.

It's all in the printing and the quality of enlarging lens and camera lens used. That along with good technique when photographing and when enlarging makes for quality prints. Also, if you are concerned about 35mm print quality at 16"x20" or larger, use an ISO 100 film such as Fuji Acros (provided you are using a film camera).

You could use a Mamiya 7II with the 65mm lens (equivalent to a 33 mm field of view in 35mm format); 6x7 negs will produce better quality prints than 35mm negs will. The one drawback to that kit for street shooting is that maximum aperture is f/4, decidedly slow for handheld street work - but an ISO 400 film will regain the exposure ground lost to the f/4 lens. You will also be changing film more often, as 120 give you 10 images on a roll and 220 will give you 20 6x7 images per roll.

Regarding print size, in my opinion print size is a secondary consideration. Some of the photographs with the most impact I've ever seen were printed at 6"x8" image size. The photographer was a Guggenheim recipient. Conversely, some of the most ordinary, mundane prints I've ever seen were made with a 20"x24" view camera and contact printed.

Making images with impact is about your photographic vision, not about print size.

vpwphoto
10-03-2011, 01:37 PM
One of my favorite/fellow students years ago made WONDERFUL 16x20's from 35mm...
Just do what feels right to you. For the street photography you describe I do find the waist level finder to be helpful... and those are on medium format... never tried a waist level finder on a 35mm. I know the F series of Nikon and Canon both offered one.

canuhead
10-03-2011, 05:15 PM
Mamiya 6's and 7's are great for working on the street, not heavy, glass is great and big view through the finder. and yeah, nice big negs. Also ditto tlr's like C330 and the like.

lensworker
10-03-2011, 05:38 PM
One of my favorite/fellow students years ago made WONDERFUL 16x20's from 35mm...
Just do what feels right to you. For the street photography you describe I do find the waist level finder to be helpful... and those are on medium format... never tried a waist level finder on a 35mm. I know the F series of Nikon and Canon both offered one.

Nikon made a waist level finder for the F3hp. You might be able to find one on eBay or at a camera dealer who stocks alot of used Nikon.

I have an F3hp with the SLR prism and the waist level finder - have used the waist level on a tripod for landscapes but i haven't used it for street photography (yet).

Newt_on_Swings
10-04-2011, 03:01 AM
I have been using my tiny little 35mm Olympus RC range finger for street recently. It is hardly ever noticed, I keep it to my side and palm it sometimes in one hand to shoot verticals from waist to just below waist height. The 40mm f2.8 lens is quite limiting as I find it not fast or wide enough for me. I have been shooting p3200 with it, not getting to many keepers though, the camera is tricky to zone focus too.

I get the majority of my good street shots on my olympus PC/om40, nikon em, and my f3, with a combination of fast 24mm and 50mm lenses. the first 2 bodies for their compact size, and the f3 as its just very comfortable in the hand and just works beautifully. i also like to zone focus and shoot from the camera hanging around my neck, it works quite well, but is not for every situation.

as for traditional focusing, the f3 is amazing fast with the P, G2 and H2 screens. The P is a general screen but with split at 45*, the G2 is a big fat center microprism, the H2 is the entire screen covered in microprism (very trippy). I have been working on the H2 screen as it takes a bit of adjustment, but I believe will be better off for even faster shots when you do not have to recompose after focusing from a center spot such as on the P, and G2 screens. Also used with a eyecup to block stray light.

I have also done street with a TLR, but thats a bit trickier and is not as fast. I usually focus on a spot and wait for people to walk into it.

alexfoto
10-04-2011, 05:05 AM
-As all we now the most use 35mm, and this is the reason i don't use :p...
-If we want to make something new and different to excel our self, don't copy to the others..
-Henry breson is unique because use something the other they don't..;)

vpwphoto
10-04-2011, 06:56 AM
-Henry breson is unique because use something the other they don't..;)

He could also "see" like few others since or before... and he had impeccable timing.
Robert Frank is another!

Anthony D
10-04-2011, 07:12 AM
I would think this is a matter of film choice over format. A 24" x 36" print was possible from a 135 negative with little grain using the old Kodak Technical Pan rated at ASA 50, hand-held shots where possible on a bright day. Providing there's adequate light I imagine Ilford PAN F PLUS or or FP4 would allow larger prints without noticeable grain, if that's the look your after.

I don't know about color film though.

MDR
10-04-2011, 07:22 AM
The best format for streetphotography is the format one feels most comfortable with be it 35, 6x6 or 8x10in. I've seen some amazing streephotography from the 19th century done with 5x7in cameras. The limiting factor in every photographic endeavor is the photographer not the filmsize.

Dominik

semi-ambivalent
10-04-2011, 08:54 AM
He could also "see" like few others since or before... and he had impeccable timing.
Robert Frank is another!

And the work of both refutes the 'no grain is imperative' mantra that continues to plague 35mm shooters. Why does it matter? Look at the 4x5 and bigger world; just how many beached dories can one stand to look at? It's content that matters, and grain is content as much as is its pattern on the film base.

s-a

VaryaV
10-04-2011, 09:03 AM
That's the problem I have with photography compared to all other art media:

Rules, rules, rules.... sheesh!

semi-ambivalent
10-04-2011, 10:27 AM
That's the problem I have with photography compared to all other art media:

Rules, rules, rules.... sheesh!

I've always thought photography was delightfully free of rules, mostly because of its past (to the cognoscenti) status as Art's bastard child.:)