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  1. #31
    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    Seems to me I've seen a lot of pictures in museums taken with Leicas. They looked pretty good too.

  2. #32
    PDH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl K View Post
    As with so many other photographic questions, the answer is "it all depends".
    For street shooting, which I've done for more than 50 years, 35mm is the answer for the best quality/portability balance.
    I shoot 400 ASA, I mean ISO, either Tri-X, Fuji or Ilford, soup it in Rodinal and scan and print.
    I no longer wet print.
    I accept the image for what it is....a quickly captured moment.
    This is not fine art photography.
    Any size print is acceptable, if viewed at the proper distance.
    For superb quality, medium format is required, or even large format if you are trying print like Ansel Adams.
    It's so much easier to work with the larger negatives than with 35mm, if ultimate print quality is your goal.
    An image from a simple 6x6 Yashicamat will be superior to an image from the finest Leica or Nikon.
    Size matters.
    My only comment is that 35mm shot can reach the level of fine art photography, just as a shot taken with an 8X10 may be mundane. The formate does not define what is or what is not art.

  3. #33
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    a simple truth

    Quote Originally Posted by PDH View Post
    My only comment is that 35mm shot can reach the level of fine art photography, just as a shot taken with an 8X10 may be mundane. The formate does not define what is or what is not art.


    My previous comment has nothing to do with the definition of what is, or what is not, art, fine or otherwise.
    I am stating a fact: with all other factors being equal, the larger the negative, the higher the quality the print.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl K View Post
    I am stating a fact: with all other factors being equal, the larger the negative, the higher the quality the print.
    PDH is stating a fact too.

    The problem with your argument is that in the real world the factors are rarely if ever equal (except in labs or controlled tests) and the expectations from photographer to photographer or viewer to viewer, almost never are.

    Sure when a grainless print with an abundance of sharp detail is the target or correcting parallax or getting a Petzval swirl or ... is important and your subject will stand still for a bit larger formats do offer some very distinct advantages that can improve the final product and make our darkroom work easier.

    A grainless print with an abundance of sharp detail is not always the defined quality standard.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #35

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    I don't expect the resolution of 35mm film to match current ffDSLRs and I don't care for it.

    My reason for shooting film is to get both a toe and a shoulder in the response curve. The tonality and dynamic range of film in the highlights is what I expect.

    The grainyness and how sharp the photo is secondary to emotion, composition and content. Most of the time sharpness interferes with abstraction.

    I don't care to experiment with developers. If I need grain, I use D76 straight. If I need it smoother, I dilute 1:2 or 1:4. I also use HC110 because it stores nicely, but I don't like it as much.

    If I need something sharp and detailed, I use medium format.

    I'm probably missing out, but I can't bring myself to test different developers in a consistent manner.

  6. #36

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    Choices, trade-offs and compromise

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    Just curious, what are your quality expectations shooting 35mm film? Do you print? If yes, how large? Do you compare your 35mm output to a digital camera and expect a certain level of quality?

    I just bought a 35mm film camera and want to make sure I do not judge it too harshly so want to hear from others and their expectations.

    Thanks!
    Consider the 35mm format. The choice of formats is rightly based on the relative strengths a weaknesses of the various options. The strengths of 35mm as opposed to other formats are portability, speed, ability to make many exposures in a short amount of time, etc. Highest quality is more appropriate for formats that use a greater film area. I like 35mm for is handling, the use of motor drives, the ability to easily carry a variety of lenses, its basic versatility. I seldom print larger than 8x10 and I find that the quality that 35mm produces is adequate for my needs. I would think that knowing the limitations of yourself and your equipment is part of the process of learning the craft of Photography.
    Dave

    "She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
    She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.

    It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."

    From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars

  7. #37

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    And in terms of pure resolution, I get about 4-6 megapixels at most in terms of sharpness when shooting ISO 100-400. Less when I push to 3200. Resolution gets higher if I use fomapan 25 or something similar, but I rarely do.

    But sharpness is really not the point. I like the tonal response. I like the way I can print detail out of the highlights. I try to make my compositions clean and the resolution I'm getting is enough for me. Black and white film has a level of abstraction built into it. Higher resolution adds nothing for me.

  8. #38

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    People tend to make the size of a print from 35mm into some sort of a game. They forget that print size depends on viewing distance. One must be far enough away to see the entire print without moving the eye. It's unreasonable to view a 16x20 print from a few inches away. When the proper viewing distance is observed then grain in the print is not so important.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #39

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    The 35mm format has inherent imaging quality limitations to a point (and not generally below that) and it does pack a lot of contrast and tone into a small area. Most metering systems cope well with e.g. contrasty films, but it is the photographer that should be doing the metering for the camera to ensure the exposure is nailed.

    My 35mm work virtually ceased when I migrated to the 400% larger 6x7 form; it's now confined to bushwalking and star trails and opportunities where spontaneity and speed are requisite. However, for 20 years I shot and produced quality framed prints solely from 35mm, always resisting the temptation (or prod!) to move up to a larger format: I was happy with what I was doing, despite some niggles deep down. The key to getting the very best is to work with very high quality lenses, understand hyperfocus and the appropriate depth of field for the scene and shoot every image as if your livelihood relies on its success. The largest Ilfochrome Classic prints I went to were 46 x 31.5cm. Above this, image quality suffers and there is then no contest with a comparison image shot on MF which can be twice to three times (or more) larger. I would caution against expecting too much from 35mm, but do put the camera to good use and get some quality prints done that will showcase the beauty of the smaller format.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    People tend to make the size of a print from 35mm into some sort of a game. They forget that print size depends on viewing distance. One must be far enough away to see the entire print without moving the eye. It's unreasonable to view a 16x20 print from a few inches away. When the proper viewing distance is observed then grain in the print is not so important.
    Exactly, many try to turn "the craftwork", the ability to work the materials and systems, into the standard of judgement for the contest.

    There is nothing wrong with being good at your craft or with competing to see who can get the least grain, most detail, best bokeh, shortest DOF, or whatever. These qualities/characteristics give the participants in the contest something to measure.

    It may be fun but so what?

    Did this shot http://www.flickr.com/photos/41912957@N00/3669784620 get the idea across?

    This one? http://www.flickr.com/photos/41912957@N00/6752152721

    Do we need more detail or less grain to have these shots "work"?

    If these were printed big and viewed at a reasonable distance would they still work?

    Would leaning in, to within a few inches of these, improve the aesthetic experience or our understanding of what the photo was meant to portray?

    HCB's and Elliot Erwitt's works would be other good examples here.

    With these we'd probably still "get it" and might even enjoy them, if they were on newsprint.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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