Not to accuse you of cheating or anything, but did you both shoot from tripod?
Originally Posted by Ole
More seriously, with respect to your and Troy's comments, the claim that lenses made for 35 mm are better than lenses made for larger formats is a canard. Not all lenses made for 35 mm are equal, and neither are all lenses for larger formats. That said, at f/4 a reversed 55/2.8 MicroNikkor beat the two wide open 63/4.5 Luminars I've shot it against.
I'm in considerable agreement with Troy about G-Clarons. I've bought three 240/9 dagor types in the last year with resale in mind. Shot each on a Nikon to check for adequate performance before offering it for sale. At f/11 or f/16, there's little difference between one and my beloved 105/2.8 MicroNikkor AIS, at least on E-6 films. Comparison made with a 12x loupe.
I've done the same comparison between a 210/9 Konica Hexanon GRII and my not-so-beloved 200/4 MicroNikkor AIS. There's no contest, at 1:2 and at ~ 15 m at f/11, f/16, and f/22; the GRII is better. For this comparison I used a stereo microscope.
I did not specifically mean to say 35mm lenses are better. Some are better, some are not. Probably one of the best lenses I have ever used was a Pentax 67 EDIF 300mm lens. Really incredible. That Pentax lens WO was as sharp as any I have ever used. Even with a 1.4 TC it was still just as sharp WO. With a 2X at F8 it was still very sharp. IMO for the most part when comparing sharp lenses to one another, the limiting factors seem to be film flatness, technique, and the film itself, etc. Film flatness seems to be where 35mm does better. Also less mirror/shutter shake than MF slr and no huge camera moving around in the wind like with LF.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
IMO the only way to really test a lens at its limit, resolving high contrast power is to mount it on a concrete base and shoot a B+W target with B+W technical film.
Not that anyone ever shoots a real life scene even similar, but for real life everyday shooting, I seem to hit the wall at around 45-60 lp/mm no matter what. Probably more the limit of the film than anything else.
Got into a discussion with my brother in law last week. He used to fly photo recon for the military, and he mentioned with some of that film (and it was fast) camera and lenses, high altitude he mentioned you could read a license plate. It was an interesting discussion.
That's about what we did - a "cityscape" from a nearby mountain. When you can tell what breed of dog the pretty young girl one mile away is walking, the lens is sharp enough for most pictorial purposes.
PS: It was a longhaired Dachshund
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
My point was that when you need a microscope or a drum scanner to tell two lenses apart, I think they're both good enough.
And, to go back to the original topic, I don't think Ruvy should sell the Bronica outfit, get the Hassy (which is quite expensive) and realise the systems are for practical purposes equal. I think it's more the Must Aquire Syndrome talking than anythin. If, on the other hand, Ruvy recognises this as MAS and decides to sell the Bronica anyway, that's just fine. New gear is _always_ nice!
Troy, I thought I was agreeing with you.
And I agree with you too that even serious shooting around won't do much more than separate ok lenses from not-ok lenses. It takes the formal approach you described to rank the ok ones. One needs a target with a range of scales.
Re the 50 mm limit in practice, Bob Monaghan has been very insistent about it for ages. And many years ago there was an article in Modern Photography on whether 100 lp/mm could be attained. Short answer was, with a good lens shot at its best aperture on very good support with very good film and focus bracketing, sometimes. In practical situations, no. Film is limiting, support is very limiting, focusing errors are killers, and so is diffraction.
To get back to the original topic, debugging the Bronica system will probably cost less than replacing it. But its the original poster's time and money ...
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Sorry I meant no offence. Interesting points you made though. Ruvy and I email a lot and this is a problem camera/lens/whatever he has been dealing with for quite a long time. I think he had his lens checked out a while back and it was okay.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
Does any of you guys do target shooting with handguns ?
You know the exersize training to pull the trigger without squeezing with the other fingers. If that happens the gun tilts a bit forward in the firing moment and you don't hit your target. When shooting with my QL17 I have that problem. I can't press the shutter release without the camera tilting a tiny bit forward. So I have realized that the shootingtechnique is far more important than the actual quality of a certain lens.
The same thing with the tripod, placing it right and stabilizing it with some extra weight
or using a beanbag instead when thats more appropiate may do more to sharpness than using the right make of tripod head.
Some does things right without even thinking about it but I have to be very carefull how I set up and execute my shots. It sounds very easy but I find that bringing my attention to my technique gives me a lot more imagequality than chasing the sharper lens. Have you ever tried doing Macros on moore ground
Another e.g. removing the MB10 (on F90X) or MB15 (on F100) when mounting the cameras on the tripod will result in sharper images since there is a lot of flex in the plastic. You can actually see tham vibrate.
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Technology distinquishable from magic is insufficiently developed
I see where you are coming from, but don't see so clearly where you are going. BUT, since I took up LF (having progressed from 135 to MF and a couple of years ago to LF) I have learned how true the saying: "different horses for different courses", is.
My very very serious shooting is 4x5. My most common shooting is Hasselblad 6x6. But when I'm shooting 6x6 I always take my new buddy the XPan II with me - it is how I prefer to "see" wide angle. My Hassy kit is my most "complete" kit form 50mm to 250mm.
Bt 135 format has its place and my preferred tool is Leica M. But whenever I'm out with my M7, I always take my new buddy the Xpan II - again because I see wide angle in panorama.
The XPan II (a MF camera capable of 135 images, which I never take) is a superb bridge between my 6x6 and 135 kits.
So, my comments are that in MF I find Hassy 6x6 a great fit beside my 4x5 Linhof - I have become (and prefer) used to German optical characteristics so my Hassy lenses deliver similar tonality to my Schneider and Rodenstock glass.
None of my kits has made the others any way redundant - they are not interchangable. I find when I go off alone to shoot 4x5 that I take the 503CW along with me (the winder makes the Hassy a great "walk-about" camera) and wander around where I set up the 4x5. I get some nice images that I would have otherwise have missed. To do that with a 135 camera is just not the same - I love larger trannies!
My shooting interests are similar to your own.
A 6x6 TLR like the fantastic Rolleiflex cameras are something of a Leica M in MF. Silence; superb optics; compactness etc are their benefits. I actually have a 1956 Rolleiflex 3.5F and adore it. But I rarely use it. I got it opportunistically as a keeper; but, 99% of my 6x6 shooting is well served by the Hassy.
Since you enjoy 4x5, I'm sure you'll enjoy the world of Hasselblad 500 series cameras - magnificent design, engineering, ergonomics and quality. These are very sophisticated cameras; totally modular; very reliable; long life; supported by superb Carl Zeiss optics; supported by a huge second hand market where accessories and other gear is readilly available.
When I first started with 6x6 25 years ago I had a Bronica SQA and really enjoyed. I sold it after years of little use (raising kids) and 5 years ago jumped back in. I started with a 501CM (great place to start) and a standard lens with 1 back. I thought that we see me out. Well 5 years later I have 4 backs, 6 lenses, 1 extender, 4 tubes, 3 finders........... I'm not wealthy, just very committed and bought very carefully and great prices. That whole kit in its huge StormCase will come to my grave with me.
Why did I not get back into Bronica - I worried about the company's ability to survive the digi revolution (got that right!); I preferred to have less and to have the best optics available; I did not want any electronics involved (hence no Rollei); the gear felt perfectly natural in my hands; the sample trannies I took blew me away - I loved the Zeiss fingerprint.
Did I say the optics are superb! Did I say that the system's quality is superb!
So if you get into Hasselblad: use your budget to buy the latest model body in the best condition you can afford - each later version has enhancements worth having. The current 501CM all mechanical non-metered body is magnificent. Buy CF version optics as parts are still made today and the optics have barely changed since they were introduced in the 1980s. If you have lots of money of course the current lenses (CFE and CFi) have some enhancements but the imaging is the essentially same. If money is limited by less items and keep saving - don't buy lower quality.
I hope this is helpful to you.
Sorry for not responding sooner, my computer crashed...
Soeren, thanks for your interest in helping. I have tried many combinations and do get mixed results. Its not always dull but when compared to my LF it leaves a lot to be desired. I am using a Manfrono 190 which is lighter than yours, have tried it once with a heavier, with cable and without, with MLU when shutter speed is 30 or slower etc. Can't honestly say I have observed a significant differences like you have. If work is not done methodically, i.e. same subject and light conditions but shot with different accessorys (tripod, head, etc.) it is very difficult to draw conclusive conclusions. One thing is clear, good contrasty light will produce seemingly sharper images.
There is a line in your posts that always draw my attention where you define yourself to be "a recovered magic bullet chaser". It is most meaningful to me too and I like it a lot. I often check myself on a scale of how much have I recovered if any at all. My goal and dilemma here is if I should get a camera that will be sharper but even more important that will be lighter and more spontaneous than the LF. Important as it is, I think this thread went too far on the sharpness issue and not far enough on the practicality issue. Ralphs last comment about using 35mm is in that direction however I am no longer sure about the advantages of a 35mm camera vs. digital unless it has a Leica like optics.
Originally Posted by Soeren
Thanks Nick. I see what you say and indeed what I wrote is confusing. No, in terms of LPmm its not 4-7 times sharper but when scanned and run developing through a program called focal magic you get a level of how unsharp the image is/ I think its in pixels. When shooting LF I normally get 0-2 and when shooting with the Bronica I get around 4-8 pixel edge. This is more of a way to express my frustration than to be scientifically accurate.
Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
Sorry if I have confused you and other