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  1. #61
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    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.
    I shot landscape with 35mm Tri-X for an entire year, just to prove to myself that I could make nice photographs with it. And I did (I think, anyway). They are different from what I get with the Hasselblad, but not less worthy in my opinion.

    What using the 'wrong' camera for the job brings out is creativity and thinking about what we do, to pay attention to what's important. I have always thought that it's essential to bring back the mood and feel of a place, and while detail and resolution can be nice, it just isn't that important. Do I think that enlargements from 6x6 look nicer than those from 35mm? No. I think they look different. The grain of 35mm brings something to the photographs in the same way the lack of grain can bring something, and sometimes the lack of detail lends a beautiful quality too.

    It's much nicer to focus on the positive aspects of a photographic print than it is to focus on the negative aspects, but it's much more difficult to do. To pay attention to what we actually DO get, irrespective of what camera was used, should be our prime concern, not whining about wishing we had a camera that makes a bigger negative. Just get on with it and make beautiful prints, and have a good time doing so!

    For those who are concerned with quality from 35mm, try TMax 100 some time, and process in Kodak Xtol for a sharp but extremely fine grain negative, and then print it big. When I do 16x20 prints from such negatives, (cropped to fit an aspect ratio of about 2:3), I am always flabbergasted and can't really understand what it is that folks have against it. Smooth beautiful transitions of tone, sharp detail, and the little bit of grain that's there lends a gorgeous texture, kind of like how FP4+ would from 6x7 negs. Obviously it isn't as smooth as 6x7 or 4x5, but it is really really good.
    Then if you want more texture, just pop a roll of TMax 400 in and prepare to be amazed again, for it is a mighty fine film too. And then you can go bonkers and shoot Delta 3200. Use Rodinal for good measure, and when you enlarge big you will be very surprised at the detail you can get behind all that gorgeous grain. It's a very wide spectrum of results that are available from that tiny little negative.
    "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

  2. #62
    Jaf-Photo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    ...because now I don't use my 35mm equipment much anymore and I spent a fortune on it. I'm spoiled on the relative image quality of MF. Now, I better avoid looking at that 4x5 camera I saw the other day, otherwise I might be writing a "I Hate Large Format..." thread in the near future. Anyone else have a similar experience?
    I tend to oscillate between the two.

    MF is clearly superior in image quality and MF cameras are more fun to shoot. I also like the fact that I can finish a MF roll a lot quicker than 35mm. I'm not awfully patient.

    But, if you use the right film, the right equipment and the right developing technique, 35mm will give you beautiful images.

    Film grain can be beautiful and 35mm is better for showing it off.

  3. #63

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    I have to agree about the beauty of grain. I have some flower 'portraits' from velvia 50 shot on 35mm and enlarged to 12"x16" on my wall, the grain is there but it gives a wonderful look to the image. I have similar ones next to them on my wall shot with 6x7 velvia, they are 'sharper' and show almost no grain, but I wouldn't say they are better, just different. I am constantly amazed by the quality you can get from 35mm when treated right.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    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.
    Amen. Maybe it's an engineering trait for me---the irresistible urge to say "Let's see what *this* tool will do!"

    There are, obviously, people among us who do their best work with a single system with which they're intimately familiar, and others who thrive on mixing and matching tools with tasks, often in whimsical, unexpected, or Officially Not Approved ways. I think it's genetic, frankly.

    I'm standing in my office as I write this (yeah, yeah, shut up, I'll get some work done in a minute), looking at a handful of prints I've chosen to bring in. In each case, I have a really strong association between the image and the tools I used to make it. To the viewer I suppose it's just a 5x7 black and white print of a sliced melon; to me it's all tied up with the texture of the wood of my 5x7, the fiddliness of getting that old Rapid Rectilinear into the front of a modern shutter that isn't *quite* the right size, the cheap easel I misuse as a contact frame, the undying magic of seeing the print come up in the tray of Dektol, and so on.

    I'm not quite sure what it would feel like to create something and not have that messy web of associations with it, though I'm aware intellectually that there are people who do good work that way.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    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_

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    ...because now I don't use my 35mm equipment much anymore and I spent a fortune on it. I'm spoiled on the relative image quality of MF. Now, I better avoid looking at that 4x5 camera I saw the other day, otherwise I might be writing a "I Hate Large Format..." thread in the near future. Anyone else have a similar experience?
    I was like you. After I started shooting medium format my Contax cameras and Zeiss lenses just sat in the bag. I eventually tried large format and sold all my 35mm gear (except for a Stereo Realist) to help fund the large format.

    Right now I own an 8x10 camera with both 8x10 back and 4x5 reduction back and my Hasselblad doesn't get much use. I use digital cameras for sports, Ebay, and snapshots.

    There is nothing wrong with shooting 35mm but if you don't use your gear then I suggest sell it and put the money towards something you will use. That's what I did.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaf-Photo View Post
    I tend to oscillate between the two.

    MF is clearly superior in image quality and MF cameras are more fun to shoot. I also like the fact that I can finish a MF roll a lot quicker than 35mm. I'm not awfully patient.

    But, if you use the right film, the right equipment and the right developing technique, 35mm will give you beautiful images.

    Film grain can be beautiful and 35mm is better for showing it off.
    Last year I was given a Nikon Coolpix 995. This was a $1000 camera in 2001; 3.2 megapixels (!).
    When I point it at beautiful things, it gives me beautiful pictures.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Last year I was given a Nikon Coolpix 995. This was a $1000 camera in 2001; 3.2 megapixels (!).
    When I point it at beautiful things, it gives me beautiful pictures.
    Possibly, but I think film grain looks prettier than digital noise. Or in the case of a 3.2 Mp camera, digital blur.

    And, unfortunately, I have seen a lot of failed and technically flawed pictures of "beautiful things". And vice versa.

    If you take a jpeg of Tom Waits in the glaring sun with your 3.2Mp Nikon Coolpics, it probably won't look anything like art. But if Corbijn does it with Tri-X in a Hasselblad and lith prints it, it will.

    So the assumed point that the medium is unimportant in photography, doesn't quite hold up.
    Last edited by Jaf-Photo; 05-02-2014 at 04:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaf-Photo View Post
    Possibly, but I think film grain looks prettier than digital noise. Or in the case of a 3.2 Mp camera, digital blur.

    And, unfortunately, I have seen a lot of failed and technically flawed pictures of "beautiful things". And vice versa.

    If you take a jpeg of Tom Waits in the glaring sun with your 3.2Mp Nikon Coolpics, it probably won't look anything like art. But if Corbijn does it with Tri-X in a Hasselblad and lith prints it, it will.

    So the assumed point that the medium is unimportant in photography, doesn't quite hold up.
    Sorry if that assumption came through, it wasn't made on my end.
    Use the format that best matches the subject material; I could care less about photos of Mr Waits, but I certianly wouldn't use the Coolpix for, say, architectural subjects - especially since I have a perfectly good 8x10 for that stuff.
    As for digital noise and blur, the Nikon surprised me by being rather quiet - 3.2mp is a roadblock for sure, so is one and a half square inches of 35mm film. You can't get past either of them. The little Nikon also does well for closeups. When I first took it out to play with, I filled a memory card with a series of flower photos that really surprised and pleased me. I should do another series with printing (smallish prints) in mind, just to show what can be done with what is now regarded as a real POS camera .

  9. #69
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    ...series of flower photos that really surprised and pleased me. I should do another series with printing (smallish prints) in mind, just to show what can be done with what is now regarded as a real POS camera .
    Now go shoot those flowers in 8x10

    I have a little point and shoot electronic camera that I got before joining APUG (with a Foveon chip no less), and it surprised me at its ability to make good looking close-ups of flora and fauna.

    Among the closeups I shot were a few digital shots of a frog that often frequented my backyard, (I live in California Red-Legged Frog habitat)... But I took no film photos of this endangered species.

    Next time I see one, I am shooting film for sure, probably 35mm so I can use either the Macro or Telephoto and crop tightly. My larger formats are better at the larger scenes. But I may have missed my chance, the frogs haven't hung out in my backyard lately....

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Now go shoot those flowers in 8x10

    I have a little point and shoot electronic camera that I got before joining APUG (with a Foveon chip no less), and it surprised me at its ability to make good looking close-ups of flora and fauna.

    Among the closeups I shot were a few digital shots of a frog that often frequented my backyard, (I live in California Red-Legged Frog habitat)... But I took no film photos of this endangered species.

    Next time I see one, I am shooting film for sure, probably 35mm so I can use either the Macro or Telephoto and crop tightly. My larger formats are better at the larger scenes. But I may have missed my chance, the frogs haven't hung out in my backyard lately....
    A speck of pollen will fill up the DoF...
    Now if you can tell me where to get it processed, I'll use up the PKR 64 in my freezer...



 

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