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  1. #11
    q_x
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    What!?
    You can enter medium format for under $1,000. I did.
    Yahica TLR is about the cheapest option I see to get into "professionaly looking" medium format, about 200-300 USD, it comes with at least semi-decent lens, I'd need a wide angle gizmo for it. I could probably afford an used Mamyia or Kiev 88 in a year or so, but this hardware needs repairs way often, than I could afford. Not sure about other brands, I know only prices with those. My friend bought Mamyia 645 in working condition, borked it in a weekend or so, serviced it, got it back, fired once, borked, and serviced it again. The service was about as much, as a body itself.

    We're not talking about craftsmanship here, but market needs, this is why the thread is here. My question was if it's reasonable to organize a workshop around 35mm gear. People's answers varied from selling lemonade (which was brilliant) to getting into LF (which sounds most reasonable). I assume I'll have the set of skills to start with.

    I live in Poland. Despite being 31, I'm still a student. I can earn as much as 200 "dollies"/month (I guess we're talking USD), still have to pay for food, trains, flat, electricity, laundry, water, films, prints etc. Prices are about the same all over the world (shipping to Australia maybe changes something, but you guys have bigger market anyways). I can't work more and be able to study as hard, as I should - in fact it's too much work already. No point trying, I've lost a year this way, and there's no reason to waste another. I can work for more cash/hour, which I'm trying to do. Polish wages are funny, but this is how neocolonialism looks like, I'm either providing cheap labor here, cheap labor elsewhere, or I'm being labeled with "unemployed troll" and left to starve. I'm daring to break out of this stupid circle, just need to get some more experience with what I do (hence I troll the forum).

    I can sell something to buy something else, or borrow some gear. Borrowing makes possible to eat cookie and have cookie. I've sold Pentacon Six that needed some service, it was with TTL prism (I hate both the camera and the prism with passion), and I still can borrow one, in working condition. I could buy lighter tripod this way, and it was something left, so I got Moskva. Eat two cookies, have three. I won't haul any Pentacon up a hill, regardless if mine or borrowed, it's too heavy to take it with me.

    How much MF "click" costs? 1-2 USD is my estimation, for a color film, development and my own scanning. How much do you think I can afford? If I write "it's too much", well, maybe for some odd guy somewhere "up there" it somehow is. I'd be happy to live a bit different life, really. I'm during fixing my stuff, and I think I'll finally do what I want, that's hiking and photography full time or after hours, even if I got myself into some impassable swamp that will take years to get out from.
    Last edited by q_x; 05-19-2013 at 05:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Use the Force, Luke!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by q_x View Post
    I guess it's the point here. Thanks for this simple (yet very effective) explanation, even though it leaves me in the dark, at least I know there's a point trying.
    What I'm interested in mostly, is buyer's perspective. What market may or will demand.
    Okay, let's try again.

    1-Figure out where you think you can or will be able sell your prints? (eBay, Galleries, Cafes, Agents, ...)

    2-Go try a sell some real product (made from your35mm negs) in that market?

    3-Did it work? Can you make money at what that market will pay? Why/Why not?

    4-Solve the problems you find.

    5-Start again at 1 or 2 as appropriate.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  3. #13
    q_x
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    I know how marketing looks like, markbarendt, just no clues how far I can go with 35mm film SLR and not be perceived as a lifeform from outer space.
    Use the Force, Luke!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by q_x View Post
    no clues how far I can go with 35mm film SLR and not be perceived as a lifeform from outer space.
    Why are you worried about our (your peers) opinions on an artistic question?

    I'd suggest that it's a good bet that most of us here aren't in the market for your prints. I would hazard a guess that most of us here want to make our own instead, so our opinions are irrelevant to your business success.

    The only way to figure out if your market thinks you're from outer space or the best thing since sliced bread is to test "your" market and see where they draw the line. For all we/you know they may be looking for an "outer space" perspective.

    The 35mm format and the tools that support it have proven themselves commercially workable over and over and over again. The evidence of it's viability is overwhelming. There are plenty of examples of main stream people succeeding and selling lots of work from 35mm film, Steve McCurry for example clear up to 40x60 inch prints. All of National Geographic photographers from the film age, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliot Erwitt, Sebastian Salgado... The list is huge.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #15
    q_x
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    Yups, journalists, street photographers...

    I do my best with whatever there is to photograph, and I'm getting better at it. I'm just wondering. Looking around and thinking if maybe I'm doing something wrong again. Like the format. I'm almost convinced to MF and LF after this talk here (if I had more cash...) Or Ektar vs. Velvia for landscape - still no clues here, I guess I'll buy both when I'll go through this few rolls I have already.

    To you give an example of what I'm worried with: what led me to selling almost all I've got, buying best gear I could, and in consequence to writing this rather long question, was a photo I wanted to print as 40x60cm (still no clues if you've been writing about 40x60 cm or inches, but it's a nice coincidence) for an exhibition I'll have next month. As far, as I can recall, I've took it with T50 lens "aus Jena", which is DDR version of Tessar, and my old trusty Praktica it came with. I don't know if someone did something wrong, like putting one lens back to front some time ago, or it was me being stupid while taking photo or scanning, the image had no sharpness. It was OK on 10x15cm print, but looked almost like a pinhole image after scanning, just as if I'd scan the 10x15 print itself. The solution was simply to choose and scan one more photo - this time on a "real" scanner.

    The problem was not a gear failure, which happens, but it was in my workflow - that is the fact I was relying on poor quality 10x15 prints to judge my work. I should be aware of the failure earlier, or take care while taking photos. It shouldn't go this way. No clues how many photos I've wasted. And since then, I'm really worried and taking care, reviewing and reevaluating all I've done so far.
    What I'm afraid of is also a situation when I'd hear "no, no, sir, we don't need your photos, we're looking something better. (You should have known X, Y or Z while making those.)". Good if I'd hear "Get back with A, B or C, then we'll talk" afterwards. Hence the question about reasonable limits of what I have and can work with.

    I know this is photographers place, not photo agents, maybe that's why there are no definite (yet still personal) answers.
    Use the Force, Luke!

  6. #16
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    Inches, McCurry sells as large as 40x60 inches, so roughly 100x150cm.

    Quote Originally Posted by q_x View Post
    ...it was in my workflow...
    That is true for all of us. We all have to find/figure out ways to reliably get what we want as a final product. Keep experimenting and learning.

    Quote Originally Posted by q_x View Post
    I know this is photographers place, not photo agents, maybe that's why there are no definite (yet still personal) answers.
    You are trying to get an objective answer about a subjective subject, I don't think a definitive answer exists. There are though objective ways you can figure it out.

    Here's an article I read this morning that demonstrates what I'm saying. It's from a different industry, my wife's a programmer, the process shown for developing a salable product is just as valid for photographers as it is for programmers.

    http://sixrevisions.com/user-interfa...sign-mistakes/

    There are a variety of examples in photography too. The f/64 group of Ansel Adams et al, created a product style that the group adhered to in order to get more gallery time for its members. See their manifesto.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_f/64
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #17
    q_x
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    Thanks!

    For a quick rant, we have serious misunderstanding here with what pictorialism was (mostly due to the censorship and propaganda in the 50s), and, reading f/64 manifesto, I see where it could have started. Their job was fair, but their statement regarding pictorialism was pure demagogy, not true, at least from what I see on pictorial photos.

    There's an interesting group group here from the 50s-60s, they've blurred the line between what's "pictorial" and what's "f/64-ish". Google for "Kielecka Szkoła Krajobrazu" and you'll get it. Not much there is, but you'll get the point. I'm still puzzled about this guy (Pierściński) from a small village, who grew up in post WWII Poland, in poverty and aggressive propaganda, got his hands on a Zorki or Fed, which were really rare back then, and did what he did. How? Why?

    Programming is close to my heart, I did some media manipulation years back, I was doing things like writing a simple program enabling me to VJ (play and "scratch" a video) or make live granular synthesis with a gamepad.

    Quoting the article:
    The concept of not being attached to a single idea and treating every design or feature iteration as a hypothesis that needs validation is the overall biggest thing we’ve learned.
    And that's what I do here basically. Made choice, now asking, what seems to be the easiest, fastest, least expensive and most social form of validating.
    But I'm getting what you're saying, I think. To work more, with mindfulness, care and passion, and be less distracted by whatever is distracting me.
    To justify myself, I've started my day with a coffee and 3 hour walk through a nearby landscape park, making photos and being eaten alive by the mosquitoes.
    Last edited by q_x; 05-19-2013 at 11:57 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling... again
    Use the Force, Luke!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Few commercial photographers shot 35mm, in fact those I knew didn't own any 35mm cameras. 35mm was mainly used professionally by newspaper photographers and amateurs.
    Hmmm... I was an Art Director for a major US retailer (JCP) from the late 80's and into the 90's. 80% of my group's location and studio fashion was shot 35mm, for retail store POP, direct mail, sunday supplements, and catalogs. It was generally the AD's choice, and we chose 35 for the speed on set and the amount of choices when editing.

    The guys I were hiring were shooting for pretty big names - national brands and manufacturers, and doing plenty of 35 at the top of the food chain. MF was too slow to get 30-60 frames of each look.

    I opened my own studio a few years before digital began to limp into view, and did the same thing - I did shoot MF for clients like Joan Vass, who were concerned with the textures of knits coming through, but plenty of 35 - I shot an AMR annual-report type of thing fully 35, stuff for some national brands - it all came down to what format was best suited.

    I did a lot of work shooting 320t 35mm with very limited DOF and multiple exposures, and duped those to 8x10 velvia in a cheap enlarger with a flash taped to the condenser box - in that case the 35 was all about pretty grain. There were lots and lots of guys shooting more esoteric work 35, especially with the choices in emulsions back then. (Anyone remember Polagraph?)

    It's all pretty moot for commercial work now. Few people are buying film; the convenience, speed, and cost of digital are too compelling. Especially now that even a cheap DSLR body can shoot tethered with full control of the RAW conversion, AD's can direct color, contrast, temp, etc. from the set and walk away with a hard drive of shots with the "vision" of the client and shooter baked in. Camera choices seem to be "do you need movements or not", with lower budget stuff being fully DSLR, product stuff using the pricier back systems with movements.

    I'd guess there's a market for film commercially, if there's some beautiful effect you're selling or the client wants to believe they're doing something special. This would likely be at the very high end, or for very esoteric brands or boutique-level designers.

    For the gallery market, I would assume there's still some "purist" feeling about film vs. digital. It certainly seems like good marketing to play on the public's perception that "anyone can shoot digital", that photography has changed completely and that film and chemistry is some kind of dark ancient art.

  9. #19

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    Poisson,
    I have no problem selling Ilfochromes made from 35mm and those prints range from 11X14 to 20X24. And I don't give them away by a long shot.

  10. #20
    q_x
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    If an artist is selling his prints, not his labour, 35mm would surely suffice for most of the time.

    So thanks a bunch, M Carter, for the view from the other side of the business. Frankly, I was waiting for a person like you to tell me how the situation looks from the side of Art Director, or a buyer in general, and I guess "moot" is the right word here in connection with 35mm.

    I still don't feel like I need to rethink my approach, that's going into one system with digital and film bodies, as decent, as I can afford. With summer on it's way I think I'll start building a proper portfolio soon.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by q_x; 06-02-2013 at 12:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Use the Force, Luke!

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