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  1. #1

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    Dispelling myths

    This week I was happy to have a myth dispelled! In another thread, I mentioned as an aside that I would be 'keeping a lens around for B&W'. Several of the replies mentioned that a good lens for B&W would also be a good lens for color and that in general, if it sucks for one, it won't work well for the other either. Great! It's another inaccuracy down the drain.

    What other commonly held notions shouldn't be held regarding lenses, or even LF in general? Expense? Camera rigidity? Hand holding for shooting? What else?
    The Kiev 88: Mamiya's key to success in Ukraine.

    Photography without film is like Macroeconomics without reading goat entrails, and look at the mess that got us into.

  2. #2

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    I used to check the lens performance page at hevanet.com for lines per mm performance before purchasing a lens. This was a waste of time. I have found sharpness in a large format lens to be a secondary consideration. Coverage, defraction, lens flare and bokeh are more important considerations to me now, since I rarely ever enlarge to a point with large format film where sharpness ever enters into the equation.

  3. #3
    Ole
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    At f:32 all lenses are more or less equal, and a new 110mm Super-Symmar XL is not noticably sharper than a 50 years old Angulon 90mm. That's from hevanet, too.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #4

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    A small point of contention. There are lenses that are capable of being used for b&w that may be less desirable for color and vice versa

    Lets take the case of a convertible LF lens. Lets assume that the combination being used has sphero-chromatism...spherical abberation that varies by color of light. This could make the lens less suitable for color work than for b&w. For instance the lens is being used for a b&W photo at f32 with a wratten #15 filter. The lens is very likely to show focus shift. If the lens is refocused at working aperture with the filter in place it is quite possible that the resulting negative is very satisfactory. Remove the filter, refocus the camera and expose a color transparency and it is quite possible that the lens abberation may noticeably affect the transparency.

    Lets take a lens that is well known to have a very high order of color correction..a Kodak Commercial Ektar. The lens, being at best a single coated optic, may produce a level of flare under a given condition of use that produces a more desirable effect in color than it would in b&w.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  5. #5
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    You *must* reduce development after applying reciprocity law failure factors. If you don't give reduced development, it's the same thing as giving plus development to the negative...the longer the exposure, the more "plus development".

    Murray

  6. #6

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    The problem with "myths" is not that they are always wrong. If you look carefully you will often find that they are valid for a user with certain specific needs and objectives. The problem arises when said user assumes that everyone else is in the same boat and thus that his or her needs and preferences are universal laws.

  7. #7

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    Oren has an excellent point, but in keeping with the spirit of this thread I offer these:

    Its a common myth that tessars are limited by small usable (sharp) image circles---true enough but there are exceptions, notably the 14" Commercial Ektar and the 450mm Nikkor M, where the image circles are enormous!

    Its also a myth that you can't get wonderful negatives just by following the directions on the little yellow envelope(of D-76!)

    One more myth--- that old wooden film holders are a waste of money---no so if you buy cheap and in volume. Three or even four good 8x10s can cost less than a single new plastic one plus you'll have the extra parts scavenged off any of the "leakers."

  8. #8
    Mongo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian
    One more myth--- that old wooden film holders are a waste of money---no so if you buy cheap and in volume. Three or even four good 8x10s can cost less than a single new plastic one plus you'll have the extra parts scavenged off any of the "leakers."
    Thanks John...I'm happy to learn that I'm not the only one who appreciates these.

    I love old holders. They're usually dirt cheap in volume, for me they're easier to repair if they need to be fixed, and aged wood is just plain beautiful. I've been considering building a 4x10 back for my 8x10 camera, and cutting up a couple of 4x5 wooden holders and joining them, or cutting down an unused 8x10 holder to 4x10, which will be much cheaper than buying new holders.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  9. #9
    NikoSperi's Avatar
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    Myth: Kodak's HC110 times for Tri-X are correct.

    Although, if EVERYONE (except Kodak) know it is a falsehood, does it still count as a myth?
    If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.

    - Walker Evans on using color



 

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