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  1. #31
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    I am surprised about four aspects of this discussion Troy,

    1. that you are taking note of the above comparison, conducted on an Epson scanner which has far, far poorer optics than your drum scanner, or most darkroom enlargers.

    2. that no mention has been made about tonality of the image, which I am sure that you appreciate from your LF pictures. MF will offer more

    3. value for money/film hassle factor. A new Mamiya 7 II at Robert White is currently a good deal less than half the price of a Leica and you could easily hand hold and get equivalent resolving power (and better tonality) with far less demanding film/developer combinations.

    4. Isn't committing yourself to a Leica on a tripod, really missing the point of these cameras?

    I am also concerned about just how many posts you've made since your celebratory thread a week or so ago - you've doubled your tally. Steady!

  2. #32

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    Baxter Bradford

    1. that you are taking note of the above comparison, conducted on an Epson scanner which has far, far poorer optics than your drum scanner, or most darkroom enlargers.

    I missed that, but thanks for pointing it out. I was under the impression that was scanned with a Minolta 5400 via cutting up film. Gees if I would have known that i never would have posted the link. The only fair way to do a comparison is with a drum scanner.

    2. that no mention has been made about tonality of the image, which I am sure that you appreciate from your LF pictures. MF will offer more

    Yes, I like Tri-x in 4x5.

    3. value for money/film hassle factor. A new Mamiya 7 II at Robert White is currently a good deal less than half the price of a Leica and you could easily hand hold and get equivalent resolving power (and better tonality) with far less demanding film/developer combinations.

    True

    4. Isn't committing yourself to a Leica on a tripod, really missing the point of these cameras?

    Probably

    Well I guess I am more curious than anything else about leica rez. I have used a Mamiya 7 and it is nice and sharp, but like I said above I prefer 4x5, but sometimes its just too much hassle. On the other end of hassle free-er would be a ZI. Not as much rez as a mamiya 7, and not as much manual control, but...

    I might end up trying one out one day.

    I am also concerned about just how many posts you've made since your celebratory thread a week or so ago - you've doubled your tally. Steady!

    Do you mean celebratory thread in the rangefinder forum ??
    I just like to stay involved in discussions. Maybe I will just sit back and take it all in. I contribute more at photo.net than here.

  3. #33
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Ammons
    Baxter Bradford
    I am also concerned about just how many posts you've made since your celebratory thread a week or so ago - you've doubled your tally. Steady!

    Do you mean celebratory thread in the rangefinder forum ??
    I just like to stay involved in discussions. Maybe I will just sit back and take it all in. I contribute more at photo.net than here.
    Sincere apologies, much egg on my face, it was a case of mistaken identity, wrong Troy.

    I was referring to this thread by Troy Hamon http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=21498

    I have just bought a Mamiya 7 but haven't yet seen the results. But having shot a roll yesterday, I agree at how much more simple it is than my usual 4x5. I kept thinking what have I forgotten - apart from the tripod!

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter Bradford
    Sincere apologies, much egg on my face, it was a case of mistaken identity, wrong Troy.

    I was referring to this thread by Troy Hamon http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=21498

    I have just bought a Mamiya 7 but haven't yet seen the results. But having shot a roll yesterday, I agree at how much more simple it is than my usual 4x5. I kept thinking what have I forgotten - apart from the tripod!
    Gees, There is a Troy Hamon here !!! Yikes thats close. Some people think Ammons was derived from Hamon or visa versa. My moms maiden name is Harmon and that is even more strange.

    You will like the Mamiya 7. Here is a comparison I did a while back between it and 4x5 with a sharp lens. Its very close, but 4x5 still has the edge at least in this shot.

    http://www.pbase.com/tammons/mf_vs_4x5

  5. #35

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    I may have an exceptionally good sample. But the Leicas need to be a lot better than the Fuji 645s to compete; in terms of resolution, they need 1.5 times more than the 645s are capable of, which is a tall order considering Fuji is pretty good at lenses. There are also, as alluded, tonality benefits from using the larger negative.

  6. #36

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    Thanks everyone for indulging me.

    I now have looked back at some of my old camera and lens tests and working from that angle have come up with this.

    All considering a super sharp techpan type film.

    At its very best, LF including 4x5, 6x9 crowns etc can do about 40-48 lp/mm on average. I have actually gotten 60 a few times shooting a target, but who shoots targets. realistically its probably closer to 40. That buys a 10x enlargement printing at 4 lp/mm.

    Top top top MF system rez is around 48-56 and if you are lucky enough to own a Mamiya 7, or a Rollei, probably closer to 56. That buys you a 12x enlargement at 48.

    A Leica type 35mm camera should be around 60-72 lp/mm. Probably closer to 60-64 or somewhere in the middle, just guessing. Film should be the limiting factor. At 64 that would be a 16x enlargement. I have gotten better rez at times on targets but there again its high contrast.

    All in all, I still feel like the max for 35mm is 12x18 although i never have used a Leica camera. Maybe you could bump it a little for the best neg. Maybe to 16x24

    Max for 645 should be around 16x20 to 20x30 depending.

    Max for 66 hassy type camera is somewhere in the 30x30 range and that would make a sharp 690 - 30x45.

    Max for a 690 crown due to film flatness and lenses etc, more like 20x30 or a tad more.

    So looking at it like that a super sharp 645 would have an advantage over a 35mm Leica, and a fuji 645 vs a crown 690, would be pretty much a wash.

  7. #37
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Troy

    Rent an M7 camera with a 35 Summilux Aspheric or 35 Summicron Aspheric: either lens reaches an optimum aperture by f/4. Real world MTF results show ( for both lenses ) 5 line pairs are 97 % contrast, corner to corner. 40 line pairs are 50% contrast. In a 35 mm lens, this is stunning, and at f/4 ( which is like f/ 32 in a 300 mm lens on an 8x10 ! )

    Try the 75 Apo Summicron, or 90 Apo Summicron as well. 40 line pairs at 70% contrast at f/4 can be expected.

    There are 3 important things going on here, and they all fight conventional 35mm thinking, especially in a heavily Large Format oriented forum such as ours !

    First, don't stop down too far. Diffraction is a killer with these superb lenses. Shooting at f/8 instead of f/4 reduces your potential resolution by 50%.

    Secondly, camera motion is the main culprit in the loss of resolution. At 40 line pairs , the lens is imaging a dot of .0125mm (1/80 mm) on your negative. The smallest thing a healthy, YOUNG human eye can see is about 1/15 mm. So a 14 year old kid with perfect vision would need a 5 1/2 x enlargement to see the smallest object you can put on a piece of film with these new Leica lenses. 50 year old eyes like mine, a 12 x enlargement... with reading glasses, close up.

    So, shooting at f/4 lets you work at handheld exposures that at least give you a chance. And even shooting handheld, on a bright day, at EI 100, f/4 and 1/1600 threatens 8x10 performance at EI 400, 1/1oo at f/32. The tripod is nice on a view camera, but you sacrifice film flatmess, focus accuracy, tripod movement, and exposure to wind. Not to mention shutter accuracy. I've shot 8x10 for 35 years, and understand the need for a big trashbin in the darkroom.

    Finally, your film choice is critical to get the most out of these lenses. While some folks have a religious fervor over Copex and other Technical films, I most certainly do not. If you are not concerned with tonality, color rendition and overall image goodness, not to mention having fun making pictures, Copex, Tech Pan, and others are an acceptable technical exercise. But not for me. Kodak TMX, developed in a gentle acutance developer like Paterson FX39 or mixing your own and using FX1, FX2, or even PMK or PyroCat, you will get the results you need.

    Considering the limitations, you are still able to shoot handheld, with a 100 speed film, and approach Large Format imaging.

    Putting all the factors together, you certainly can make big prints, fairly easily, if you have the right set up, from 35 mm. Scanning, the scanner is your limitation. Enlarging, your enlarger is your limitation. Either way, with careful work and reasonable viewing criteria you'll be satisfied with a Leica system.

    Comparisons are problematic unless criteria are established, otherwise there is nothing to compare, right ? And when the criteria are set, there is no way to weasel back and forth between formats. Either its a big neg, or a small camera.

    You have to deal with focus accuracy, film flatness, and camera movement whether you shoot 8x10 or 35mm, or anything in between. Diffraction is a problem regardless of the format. Since the focal length to film size will be a constant, we can balance out the magnification advantage vs depth of field comparing across formats. Anything between 8x10 and 35mm is a compromise. Bigger is better, smaller is better, and in between is in between. There are no comparable camera & lens packages to the new Leicas, in any format.

    Accuracy of exposure swing the advantage to the Leica, as does convenience and portability. While I can make wonderful images in broad daylight with an 8x10 camera, or a 120 camera, I can take my Leica with me on my bicycle and make pictures that, at 16 x20 or 20x24, under normal viewing conditions, never make me think of Large Format. Hand held. A neat carbon fiber Gitzo would be even better.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #38

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    DF: What about 4x5? For those of us who are challenged enough to cart around 8x10, 4x5 is the LF format of choice. For me, LF is as much about film in sheets as it is size of negative.

    Earl
    Honey, I promise no more searching eBay for cameras.

  9. #39

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    df, how do the contax slr lenses compare at similar aperatures? mtf tests seem to show that they are good, but the tests are not when they are opened up

  10. #40
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    My side by side shooting showed that contax slr lenses were consistently among the finest lenses made on this planet BEFORE the latest ( and probably final ) gasp from leica. If you shoot the new Leica lenses ( with an awareness of diffraction limitations ), they are devastating. A totally different look.

    We ALL say we want the depth of field in 35 that we get from view cameras, but a 35 mm at /f4 is the same depth of field as a 350 mm at f/40.

    The lenses are awesome. I have only a couple new ones, some really old ones, and some in-between-ones.

    And the kicker is that a Leica M body has the focussing accuracy of a Pro SLR with a 135 / 2. With any lens.

    For the kind of work I do: People, available light, often environmental portraits, 16x20s, the new lenses make it possible to leave the 6x6 and the 4x5 at home.

    AND, for for shooting landscape at dawn and at twilight, the same.

    If you are shooting at f16, diffraction will eat up whatever advantage the new lenses offer.


    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

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