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  1. #41

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    Lesser impact of unnoticed dust while enlarging.
    - Just the way I thought, in practise you'll be amazed how many more dust particles fit to a three times larger negative...
    The way my Mamiya TLR travels: http://www.royal-enfield-forum.de/vi...p?f=39&t=68914
    (Well that was just for show, actually it is an old Ikonta which I take for motorcycle trips.)

  2. #42
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattPC View Post
    ...
    2. But, tougher and more attractive (to me) is: An Agfa Super Isolette (from Mr Kreckel at certo6, assuming he is able to find one for me?), a hood and filters to suit and the same meter. Again assuming I’m able to fit all this into my budget. I think this option mitigates the risks of service and me damaging it better, but is much more limited as a photography tool as my skill & interests evolve...Matt.
    Just saw an Isolette a friend uses. What a wonderful little machine! New bellows, one of the nice 4-element lenses, and a feature he actually prefers -- a non-coupled range finder. By manually transferring the distance from the rangerfinder to the lens, one has less weight and less complicated linkages on the camera that need to unfold and fold back up. A coupled rangefinder is very convienent, but I see his point in keeping it simple. He was printing some 10x10 images. Small enough you could get two and have both B&W and color film loaded up!
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  3. #43

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    Matt, here is two cents worth considering. Once you concentrate better using your current equipment, particularly the tripod and you do not see much improvement in the sharpness or focus in your subject matter, consider a modest upgrade in your 35mm equipment, or get your current equipment serviced. I got an old Nikon FA a couple of years ago and it really shines with black and white film. That said, if you have a descent older 35mm camera, a good CLA and adjustment (send the lens you use most with it in with the camera....maybe some sample photos too) and what you think your having difficulty with and you will most likely get back a wonderful, old piece of magic back from your camera repairman.

    I noticed a huge difference in image quality between the scans I get back from my lab from my 645 and my 35mm films......not so much when I now use MY scanning equipment. I love my old Yashica TLR, but the Mamiya 645 is so much easier to handle.....take that for what it's worth.

    For now, as others have said, get the 35mm thing down a bit better, then start looking for bigger format. If you can't take a good picture in 35mm, you still won't in MF or even LF. Look at your pictures critically, then look at others to see what you like about theirs. Being able to discuss what you like about your pictures and theirs will start giving you the clues to start improving your own work.

    Lastly, I find as I get older, I have to have my subject still with a manual focus camera or have an autofocus camera available to get a descent shot. Additionally, as you said, perhaps you may want to run a roll of the same subject changing up your settings and develop your film to see if the way your are developing has a little to do with your problems. I think that would be well worth your time....

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  4. #44

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    More thanks, I'm enjoyng all the opinions.

    if you have a descent older 35mm camera, a good CLA and adjustment
    My Yashica Electro 35 GSN produces really nice, sharp and rich images (when I get everything right!). I was a bit doubtful if the cost of it's recent CLA was going to be worthwhile. I'm now really pleased with it.
    My Pentax P30n with std 50mmf2, produces images nearly as good and has full manual functionality. It's life is a little limited by the fungus slowly growing in prisim and just beginning around the edges of the lens. Of course I can replace this one for $15 and it's got at least another year in it yet.

    These 2 can produce really nice images (as can my other 2 35mm cheapies). I'm the limiting factor. I'm struggling a little with mid-tones, skin tones in particular (I think paper grade and/or too strong a green filter are my issues, maybe aged D-76 on my last film as well. More exposures and prints to learn the solution. No hardship there!). So, after reading all the opinions in this thread and loads of research here on apug and elsewhere (work's been a little light this week), I've ordered an RH designs AnalyserPro instead of upgrading my camera. This will be my most expensive purchase on my analog 'journey' to date. I think I spent more on this than everything else combined! (excluding consumables of course)

    I'm hopeful that this will help me get a working print more quickly so that I can pay more attention to finer tone control before I become impatient and move to another negative. Hopefully it will also assist with paper grade selection and lead me to better tone placement overall. Worst case, it will speed up printing once I learn to use it. If not, well, it's a new gizmo and I'll have loads of fun with it. If I really hate it, I can always sell it. (not likley methinks..)

    And, I've got more paper on the way!

    Good thread, I've really enjoyed it and I'm a little humbled by the generosity of respondants. A lot of thought has gone into the replies.

    MattPC.

  5. #45
    Dan Quan's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who disagrees with getting new equipment. I am in a similar situation, my photos are pretty much shit, even though I'm actually paid for this, I have a feeling I can do better. I was eyeing a new camera on you-know-you-need-this-now-bay and realized that I'm a stupid fuck if I think that will make me a better light-writer.

    Actually, I'm blessed with the option of going the opposite direction. I have at my disposal some really old, basic (I mean REALLY basic like two shutter speeds and some apertures, some even have actual lenses) cameras. I have realized I need to learn to make good photos before I even consider additional equipment. For me, it needs to be about the subject and light first, then, well, something and I'll let you know when I know. The point is my equipment is not limiting me, frankly I'm not that good yet, obviously. But I heard a saying that stuck with me, "with limitation comes innovation" and we all like seeing something we haven't see, or something we haven't seen that way, something interesting or at least new.

    So, I'm going to start a personal project in which I use a very basic camera and become open to the light and the subject. Sorta like feeling the blues recorded on a 78 with scratches and all, and lovin it.


    If your open to something like this, I'll send you a camera, if you want.
    DanQuan.com
    stand in the place where you are

  6. #46

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    The promise of all new cameras is that it will suddenly transform you into a better photographer.

    I think that a camera that you really like to use can make a difference in your photos, because you aren't fighting the camera.

    However, the mere act of buying a new camera won't transform you into an artist. Lord knows, I've tried.

    My favorite cameras tend to be those with the fewest features and no extra buttons. I like cameras that have a shutter speed dial, aperture and can focus. I'm not big on multimodes and a lot of time-wasting switches and other adornments.

    But that's me, and other people like having those.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Quan View Post
    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who disagrees with getting new equipment. I am in a similar situation, my photos are pretty much shit, even though I'm actually paid for this, I have a feeling I can do better. I was eyeing a new camera on you-know-you-need-this-now-bay and realized that I'm a stupid fuck if I think that will make me a better light-writer.

    [...]

    But I heard a saying that stuck with me, "with limitation comes innovation"....
    For several years now I've been turning over in my head that today's disposable camera loaded with a roll of 135 film is is really a hell of a nice little package. And a 1955 Brownie Hawkeye is actually astonishing if you five it a good cleaning.

    MB
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  8. #48
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    I will agree with the posts above me but recently I got my first 35mm camera, (coming from medium then large format). I wanted to get more away from the technical side and more more into straight subject matter photography. I got a fed 2 with a summitar. I used it, tested different ways to shoot it, to get the image that I was looking for, but could not come up with anyway for it to work for me.

    I wanted to get into 35mm because of traveling. I wanted something smaller with more pics per roll. I am now back to medium format, TLR for my needs.

  9. #49
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    If you only print to the same size enlargements you do in 35mm, then the improvement afforded by MF will at best be modest. It's a bigger negative, sure (6x7 for example is 400% larger than 35mm). But you need to use 35mm for years and years to appreciate it, not jump ship because a larger format has popular appeal over established or future need. The MF system I have isn't going to trump my 35mm system that I've used for 30 years because all the cameras have different applications, and no one format is suitable for universal application. Carting your stuff around on a motorcycle will limit your equipment somewhat, even expose it to considerable danger if the bike should tip over or you hit a power pole or worse. Maybe a Harley Davidson softail with a trailer attached (for years I got around on a mountain bike with a BOB Yak all-terrain trailer behind: everything survived the many bingles...).
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  10. #50
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    If you only print to the same size enlargements you do in 35mm, then the improvement afforded by MF will at best be modest. It's a bigger negative, sure (6x7 for example is 400% larger than 35mm). But you need to use 35mm for years and years to appreciate it, not jump ship because a larger format has popular appeal over established or future need. The MF system I have isn't going to trump my 35mm system that I've used for 30 years because all the cameras have different applications, and no one format is suitable for universal application. Carting your stuff around on a motorcycle will limit your equipment somewhat, even expose it to considerable danger if the bike should tip over or you hit a power pole or worse. Maybe a Harley Davidson softail with a trailer attached (for years I got around on a mountain bike with a BOB Yak all-terrain trailer behind: everything survived the many bingles...).

    The biggest I have ever printed in the darkroom is 8x10 and even then I much prefer the look of medium format to 135 and I also like 4x5 much more then medium format at 8x10.

    I was hoping to get the gritty look out of the 135 but after shooting medium format for so many years it’s very hard to use 135. I have become custom to the tonality and look of medium format.

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