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  1. #1

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    Grass not greener

    The posting of threads is messed up. This was not the original post to this thread, it should be about #8 in line and I have no idea who started the thread.



    I have been re-reading a lot of technical books and have come to thee conclusions as Barry Thornton. Deciding on a format depends on the size of enlargements you are going to make. With the best gear, using medium speed film and a high acutuance developer (perceptol, Pyrocat, Dixiactol) the best you can get from 35mm is about 8x10 before you start to lose sharpness and see noticeable grain. Of course that is if you are looking for a high degree of apparent sharpness.

    MF, 6x6 and larger alows you to go up to 16" prints and on up.

    Thornton was only interested in making the sharpest appearing prints possible, so if that is not as important in your work then it would not be applicable.

    Also, from what I understand re-reading Edge of Darkness by Thornton unless you specifically require movements or enlarge over 16x20, you get no advantage from using 4x5 over MF.

    This would also not be applicable to a contact print, as an 8x10 contact whould be sharper then an enlargement from the best MF if good techniuqe and lens was used with the LF.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2

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    Grass not greener

    I kind of backed into MF, my progression with photography has been a little weird. Started with 4x5, went to 8x10, stopped photographing for a while. Because of lack of funds started again with 35mm and then recently MF.
    I have been totally unsatisfied with 35mm. Grain is bad and it looks like it has been optically tortured.
    I just got done enlarging some MF negatives(8x10) and I am quite impressed. With efke 25/rodinal I do not see any grain even with modest magnification, and the images are easily as sharp and natural looking as 8x10 contact prints. All this with a 100$ rb, 100$ 127c lens, a 30$ 23c and a 30$ rodagon.
    art is about managing compromise

  3. #3

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    So what color was the grass?
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by avandesande
    I kind of backed into MF, my progression with photography has been a little weird. Started with 4x5, went to 8x10, stopped photographing for a while. Because of lack of funds started again with 35mm and then recently MF.
    I have been totally unsatisfied with 35mm. Grain is bad and it looks like it has been optically tortured.
    I just got done enlarging some MF negatives(8x10) and I am quite impressed. With efke 25/rodinal I do not see any grain even with modest magnification, and the images are easily as sharp and natural looking as 8x10 contact prints. All this with a 100$ rb, 100$ 127c lens, a 30$ 23c and a 30$ rodagon.

    Brett Weston produced some enlargements from medium format that rival his contact prints, in my estimation.

    I have come to believe that when it comes to modest enlargements that bigger is not always better.

    I tend to enjoy 11X14 enlargements from 4X5 negs a lot more then 8X10 contact prints. I have both formats and no axe to grind.

  5. #5

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    Not here to knock any other formats, it's just that MF is at a real 'sweet spot' as far as used equipment prices right now. It is very inexpensive and can get some really great results.

    grass on 35mm -- it was pretty green, but a little dirty and clumpy looking, and there were weird looking pieces of dust in it

    large format - very nice green, but damn my back started aching!
    art is about managing compromise

  6. #6
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    With B&W, doesn't the "greenness" of the grass depend on filtration?

    In my view, each format has its strengths and weaknesses. Which format one uses as his/her "primary" format depends (or it should, I think) on that individual's artistic objectives and personal preferences insofar as grain, detail, tonality, etc. Then, there are practical issues like size, weight, and convenience of the gear.

    For me, the 120 gear is now mostly restricted to studio work. In the field, I shoot mostly 4x5 or 8x10. The 35mm rangefinder almost always tags along, however.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #7
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I agree with Ralph, all of the formats have there place as long as you learn how to exploit the strong points of the format..

    Dave

  8. #8

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    Not all of us like to go through the time/mental energy/cost to buy a bunch of equipment and maintain it. I don't think you have to work in all formats to be a good photographer.
    art is about managing compromise

  9. #9
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avandesande
    Not all of us like to go through the time/mental energy/cost to buy a bunch of equipment and maintain it. I don't think you have to work in all formats to be a good photographer.
    You have it wrong, nobody said you have to use all the formats to be a good photographer, what was said, was you can be a good photographer with any of the formats if you learn how to exploit the strengths in that format..

  10. #10
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avandesande
    With efke 25/rodinal I do not see any grain even with modest magnification....
    If there were a fire in my house and my family were safe, the one picture I would grab was taken with 3200Tmax on a Canonet. Boulders of grain. Without the Canonet (small, quiet, stealthy) and the high speed film (low light, guess focus for quick shot), I would never have made that image.

    That said, the negatives from my new (to me) Bronica are a joy.

    Matt

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