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  1. #1

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    what camera to use when

    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. #2
    roteague's Avatar
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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.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  3. #3
    thedarkroomstudios's Avatar
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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

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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. #5
    Snapper's Avatar
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    Wow!! You had to ask 'that' question.... I'm sure some people here might have a view on that.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by khaleeda
    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?
    Unless you have a digital back on the 6x6, it's better to have the negatives scanned.

    G

  7. #7
    Ole
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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.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #8
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Is the subject suitable for making a composite image stitched together from a number of negatives?

  9. #9
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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.

    [SIZE=1]
    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) [/SIZE]

    *

  10. #10
    Andrew Sowerby's Avatar
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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 . . .

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