First of all, I greatly admire people whose attention to detail is good enough to bring a 35mm workflow up to this sort of standard. I know it can be done, but I think I'm too impatient and scatterbrained for it myself.
Originally Posted by mrred
But it's interesting to me that you attribute the difference substantially to developing the film, rather than to in-camera matters like focus and stability or to printing skills. Can you expand a little on what aspects of development you're thinking of above? Choice of developer, specific agitation techniques, temperature control...?
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
The jump in IQ between 35mm and 6x7 (say) is huge. From 6x7 to 4x5 , the difference is there too but less dramatic. For me each has it's advantages - 35mm SLRs for macro and general portability fill an important niche for me. But, the Rolleiflex is just about as portable with no extra lenses to tote. Both can be brought along on a hike or other outing without dominating it. A 4x5 needs to have the outing organized around photography, or it's just frustrating. 8x10 is a world of it's own, but the only thing better than an 8x10 contact is an 11x14 contact.
As for printing from 35, large prints (8x12" to 10x15" are as big as I go) begin to lose the finer nuances of tonality with which I got spoiled by MF and LF.
The right film, a good lens, solid tripod, and good darkroom technique will get a sharp print at sizes larger than those, but as you enlarge the image you divide the tonality and I'm only happy going so far.
I use a lot of slide film in 35, projected slides are wonderful.
I should mention, I didn't appreciate just what a good job 35 can do until I started using the larger formats and trying to get similar quality from 35
I like 35mm, great for a grab and go camera for street/volume shooting
I like Medium Format, wanting quality and some volume
I like 4x5, when I want to slow down, get the best quality, and only have a handful of shots I want to get.
In defence of those that know me, I make them suffer from my dyslexia and add... That makes me appear as a big scatter brain...
Originally Posted by ntenny
The biggest boost in quality was with the path of reversal developing. There are many more steps involved, but repetition makes greater consistency. I make all the chemistry from scratch, but the only complicated (not really) one is the e72 to replace the Dektol.
For more of a quick and dirty processing I use Billy Thortons with 'stand' regiment. This also gives me the best resolution / tones without the bad side effects of traditional stand developing because the total time is under 10 mins or so.
I use the latter mostly because of the close development times between films. I can mix films if unsure what they were.
Yes, all of these would easily apply to 120 but my glass on the 35 platform is newer and superior.
The problem I have is if I wanted to spend the $$ on equal glass for my 120 gear, I would shake my head and just go into LF instead. My Mamiya 645J and Musk 5 work fine. I am just not convinced I should pour any more $$ into them. I have wasted much with other peoples junk.
All those train shots are reversals and the one of the station platform is a 6x9 from the Musk 5 with my last roll of Neopan 400 in 120. It is an actual thing of beauty to see it up to the light.
Get it right in the camera, the first time... My flickr
I like that thought. I will etch it on my head.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
I've been for a very long time wanting to get into MF, yet I still have to take the last step; Even if I have almost completely thought it out.
First is spending the money, that as a student it isn't quite insignificant. And I sometimes think it's a mental indulgence: Better quality et al, yes...
But I think it would improve me, slow down. But I think that due to less shots in a roll I'd enjoy shooting film more.
I've gotten a new smartphone and it does good snaps and is much more convenient... Letting me slip in the bag a real 35mm (OM1) every once in a while. As a student whose main shooting nowadays is just on the fly stuff I am quite happy with this combination.
Again, what you said about any camera, the phone is best for off the fly stuff but quality wise it's quite far off to an ideal (especially dynamic range) but it does what no 35mm, 120 and even digital "standard" camera does. And it compliments a film camera really well (I still don't quite trust the lightmeter app I got however).
Agreed on that. I still need torturous amounts of time to fill a 36 exp roll. 8-12 seems ideal.
Originally Posted by edcculus
I've had this Portra 400 on the OM1 for a while and still on frame ~20. I am itching to process it.
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I agree, I carry my pentax mx with me everywhere and I'm still on frame 16. If it was MF, I would be able to see the photos already. But then, if it was MF I wouldn't take it with me everyday on my commute to work.
Originally Posted by Prest_400
Pros and cons with everything, for sure.
Originally Posted by Nuff
I have no problem burning off a roll of 35mm in 15 minutes if I'm in the groove shooting portraits. But at the same time my Pentax KX has had a roll of Cine Still C-41 film in it since February, and I'm on frame 20. I don't see what the hurry is either, though. It's a nice game of patience.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Thomas, you're good at burning thoughts into people's heads...
You were saying something about using the right camera for the task at hand... And then there's using the camera you have with you...
I revel in the idea of using the Wrong Camera for the Job, it's part of the joy of photography for me... So I'll take landscapes with a Kodak Pocket Instamatic and I'll go to Disneyland and take family snapshots with 4x5. It's a wonderful feeling to do less with more, or more with less. Just messing around with quality is so much fun.
Originally Posted by Nuff
Perhaps that's what I should do, take the OM1 more with me.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
Ever since I got it, I just tend to take a camera when I predict something interesting in the day or just take it with a thought of shooting in mind. Also known as, take it for a project when you shoot for it.
This is why I thought a lot about MF, as I do a take it as needed basis. I like to plan things but in reality sometimes it makes matters worse.
I never liked hurrying shooting, I might get in a groove and burn half a roll easily (event, travel) but I self-limit myself. Specially because I end shooting meaningless stuff. However, portraits might be a different thing, and a worthy one.
It's hip to be a square peg
I do that too...maybe some time I'll use my Zero Image pinhole for portraits, or even street photography
Originally Posted by Bill Burk
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.