I think depth of field is usually calculated to have 8x10 prints of acceptable quality (leica uses larger iirc). If you make bigger enlargements (or you have different opinion about "acceptable"), you can't rely on them.
Myunderstand is that the depH of field scales on cameras are intended for 4x5 prints. This should work well as an indication of what may be kept sharp. Having say an 8x10 print will make the extremes of field depth quite different in appearances from a 4x6 and a from a 20x24 this difference will be even more exerbated. Also involved will be the distance from which the print is viewed. A 20x24 print that can not be approached from closer than 10 feet may look most satisfactory. From 8 inches the impression it makes may be very different.
If I were to be wishing to make a really good 20x24 print that looks razor sharp and which displays wonderfull clarity under any conditions I would be thinking a 5x7 or 8x10 camera as a minmum format size to give good choice. This does not mean that a 20x24 print can not be EFFECTIVE when made from a smaller negative. I would imagine that with certain subjects and with a particular artistic intent that it might be possible with a Minox negative. It may be that my imagination is defferent from yours. Certainly a Minox negative will not display the wonderful clarity and gradation that could come from a large negative. However, if the film had been developed in an actuance developer so that the grain was sharply defined then a nice artistic effect that would please a majority viewers might well be possible in a particular instance.
For myself I do not make , nor do I have any present intention of making, 20x24 or 16x20...I mostly make 6 1/2x9 3/4 prints. My belief is as far as the question involved in the original of rangfinder vs slr clarity is involved is that:
1). The user would make the primary difference in the ways and means the camera was employed. With 50 pounds of the most stable tripod and head and the best of slr lenses vs the best rangefinder lenses at moderate apetures...5.6 thru 8...and careful, very competent use, with a static subject thru the enlarging stage the systems would be capable of being very equal.
2) For handheld use, particularly with non-static subjects a good rangefinder camera would be hard to beat if both systems were manual focus. I do not use any auto focus cameras. I believe auto focus could help the situation as far as the slr is concerned for non static subjects.
I have both a Mamiya RZ67 and a Contax RTSIII. I USE THE CONTAX RTSIII BECAUSE IT PLEASES ME TO DO SO. I LIKE DOING IT. AM I SAYING THAT I WOULD NOT GET DIFFERENT GRADATION AND CLARITY WITH THE 6X7 VS THE 35MM? WELL, ACTUALLY IF YOU WANT TO KNOW...NO...SO WHAT?
The quality of consrtruction in a camera is very important...particularly with systems that use small format with wide apetures and short focal lenses. The depth of focus with 35mm and their lenses is very small. Perpendicularity between the optical axis of the lens and the film plane is very important. Being able to hold the film flat is very important. Fortunately while differences in durability exist, a very large portion of the film cameras in 35mm are adequately to well constructed.
This does not, to me, seem to be a subject that calls for any rancor or nastiness.
Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)
You can define your own acceptable limits for DOF by testing. If you don't like the manufacturer's definition of acceptable sharpness at the size you're printing, you can adjust it to higher or lower tolerances by offsetting the aperture you use on the DOF scale.
E.g. if you're shooting at f:8 and want tighter tolerances for acceptable sharpness, try using the DOF scale for f:5.6 or f:4 as your limits of acceptable sharpness. If you're not as picky as the manufacturer, try the DOF limits for f:11 or f:16 when shooting at f:8. Remember what suits you and just use that offset in stops with your DOF scale.
Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
Something that many people don't consider is how accurately the camera will focus.
That plays a huge role in the final result, as even the worlds sharpest lens won't be that sharp if even slightly out of focus.
Yes, I use hyper focal settings all the time...
Originally Posted by Polybun
But if we are talking about sharpness (as in the most sharpness), even with a lens set on hyper focal, the plane that really is "in focus" and having the highest degree of sharpness will be only one (ignoring any lens aberrations).
Everything before and after that plane will get progressively less sharp until it become noticeable - which again depends on conditions and on what is acceptable (look up circle of confusion).
So in counting lines per millimetre and so on, there is only one plane which will yield the maximum, no matter how large the "depth of field" may be.
Small deviations from that plane will lower the sharpness considerably, even if it isn't noticeable at all enlargements.
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
FWIW I think that when printing 20x24 from 35mm B&W that last little bit of measurable difference between quality camera systems isn't going to amount to a hill of beans, assuming a good enlarger/enlarger lens, and the skill set to use it. The biggest factor in an equation like this is going to be developer/development, and if you prefer soft grain or sharp grain. Beyond that, I doubt anyone could tell a difference, except perhaps in the negative contrast between different kinds taking lenses when it comes to printing the negative.
Last edited by JBrunner; 11-15-2008 at 12:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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In general I find rangefinder cameras more difficult to focus than SLR's but I find that rangefinders get me the keepers.
For me I store my 2 SLR cameras on the shelf after I found Kodak Retina.
After a couple of test rolls with color negative film/black and white film and
color reversal film. I've found that I can take better shot hand held.
I don't have any problem with focusing on my RF (I think it's very fast).
I've tested using fastest aperture (f2.0) and it's accurate.
But the view finder won't as bright as SLR. For the picture, I've to imagine
what the result will look like.
For overall, I really like its quality and I've never got this result from my SLR.
Last edited by kitaanat; 01-21-2009 at 10:29 AM. Click to view previous post history.
photographer: We see pictures through our own eyes. We edit it in our brain. If that's a good one, take it with our camera.
IMHO whatever theoretical quality differences there are, they are minor compared to how differently these cameras make you visualize your composition.
M3 with collapsible 50/3.5 Elmar.
I find just the opposite. For me the big bright finder with a large focusing patch is at minimum the equal to a SLR in good to great light and blows it away under tricky or low light.
Originally Posted by Donald Boyd