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Medium Format & Large Format Cameras Digital and Film.

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  #1  
Old May 7th, 2007, 03:08 AM
Dean Jones Dean Jones is offline
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Default Am I missing something?

Just a query as to why the latest digital backs are of a smaller area than the 6x7 format?
I can't get my head around the need for a camera that can only shoot this format....I mean 4x5 sheet film camera offers around FOUR times the area of capture with an obviously much higher file size when suitably scanned.

I realise that digital is much faster, easier and cleaner than film, but why use such a small format back on a 4x5, surely that equates to some serious cropping.

A scanning 4x5 back is very slow and therefore unsuited for portraiture or candid photography, but after checking out the latest digital backed view cameras recently, it seems to me that they would be even slower.

What's the answer..... A medium format digi back is only 22MP or so, but 4x5 film has a far greater area with more resolution surely, or am I missing something?
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  #2  
Old May 7th, 2007, 06:31 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
Just a query as to why the latest digital backs are of a smaller area than the 6x7 format?
Ultimately it's just a matter of cost. As the size of a single shot sensor array increases, its cost will increase exponentially due to reduced yield.

Bart
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  #3  
Old May 7th, 2007, 06:56 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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You're not missing anything... The latest 36mm x 48mm {full frame} digital MF backs do offer amazing image quality, but they are somewhat problematic when used in conjunction with view cameras, primarily color shift with lens shifts or tilts and focus accuracy issues. Not that these issues can't be overcome, just thy're not very convenient to deal with in real life.

Which is why I went with a 4x5 scanning back -- at least it worked well with a real 4x5 camera. But it is slow, requires an assortment of paraphenalia -- including a computer -- to make it work and the fastest capture time was 30 seconds. The image quality is above reproach though.

In the end, it is why I still shoot large format film, both 4x5 and 8x10. A single-capture digital solution that really replaced 4x5 film in total would be ideal, but for right now it simply does not exist.

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  #4  
Old May 7th, 2007, 07:07 AM
Klaus Esser Klaus Esser is offline
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"In the end, it is why I still shoot large format film, both 4x5 and 8x10. A single-capture digital solution that really replaced 4x5 film in total would be ideal, but for right now it simply does not exist. "

Just my saying . . :-) !

best, Klaus
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  #5  
Old May 8th, 2007, 01:22 AM
Dean Jones Dean Jones is offline
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Default Guess I'll get excited one day?

I guess the day will come when I get excited at the sight of a 4x5 sensor, but until then it's a compromise. I still think that dollar for dollar, 4x5 film well scanned shoots the pants off the digi back. I could build myself a camera to suit the current digi systems without too much problem, but then I'd never be able to afford the back, not to mention the lens needed.
Film still rules supreme IMHO.
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  #6  
Old May 8th, 2007, 04:51 AM
Klaus Esser Klaus Esser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
I guess the day will come when I get excited at the sight of a 4x5 sensor, but until then it's a compromise. I still think that dollar for dollar, 4x5 film well scanned shoots the pants off the digi back. I could build myself a camera to suit the current digi systems without too much problem, but then I'd never be able to afford the back, not to mention the lens needed.
Film still rules supreme IMHO.

Well - as i said, i´m fully with you - nevertheless, here are some few advantages i see in digital:

besides direct controlling - which is essential only for the unexperienced . . :-) - the making of DRI/HDR is far easier in digital. But can be done also in analogue, not to forget!

I found a good compromise - with non-moving sujets - to make stitches with a camera like 1Ds or even 20D. The resolution you can build up only depends on the amount of shots you make. THAT`S a fine thing for stills and landscapes and architecture.
There´s a lot of sujets you can do this way - and the other ones, where things are moving, i do analogue or as i mentioned rent a digiback, if 1Ds or 20D isn´t enough resolution.
To buy a digiback for around 30000$ and additionally new lenses for digital at again 10000$ and see it modernized 1 1/2 year later would frustrate me . . i´m not a photographer who does a job every day . . :-)
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  #7  
Old July 7th, 2007, 07:55 PM
Thierry Hagenauer Thierry Hagenauer is offline
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Dear Dean,

Please do not feel offended if I fully disagree with your opinion: film quality has been reached since a long time and even surpassed by digital. Even 8x10" film quality is no probem to reach with a high-end back of even 22 MPx, let apart higher resolution, when used in multishot mode.

You would be blown away if seeing the result side by side: not only is the resolution a non-issue, but the modulation and gray tones you have with a 16 bit digital back is by far surpassing the possibility of any film.

The only issue is to get the necessary knowledge and experience to get the best possible data out of your sensors, but once you know how, then you wont' speak about 4x5" or 8x10" anymore.

I do not say this from a marketing perspective. I am myself a photographer and worked many years with 4x5" and 8x10".

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
I guess the day will come when I get excited at the sight of a 4x5 sensor, but until then it's a compromise. I still think that dollar for dollar, 4x5 film well scanned shoots the pants off the digi back. I could build myself a camera to suit the current digi systems without too much problem, but then I'd never be able to afford the back, not to mention the lens needed.
Film still rules supreme IMHO.
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  #8  
Old July 8th, 2007, 01:54 AM
Dean Jones Dean Jones is offline
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Thierry....I agree that digital backs of the calibre you speak of are incredibly good, but you may have overlooked a few points.

1. The cost of such backs are ridiculously overpriced and far beyond the realm of most of us.

2. At least with film I have it in one...no need to be chained to the computer using PS for hours on end trying to give the image a film like quality.

3. LF and MF film still has something magical about it......one has to think more about what one is doing, unlike popping off a hundred shots in the hope that one or two might measure up.

4. Take the 6x17 format for instance....who wants to stitch together 18 shots in three rows of six to arrive at what a single frame can deliver in one.

5. Film has been developed over some 150 years and has a history attached to it, whereas digital technology tends to be a hurried medium where the camera you buy today is worth two bob tomorrow.

6. Digital certainly has it's place, but so does film....there's something special about going out and shooting one or two frames, then waiting several days in anticipation of the result. Nothing quite excites one like a large transparency.

7. What can you do with a file that has been corrupted? My negs will easily outlast any digital file.

8. If there's a power outage and your batteries are flat , you're stuffed!

9. Using film and chemistry is an art.....all you need to do with digital is point the camera in the right direction, fire the shutter, have a look at results on your laptop, fiddle it in PS and it's all over.

10. The same could be said for musical instruments......there's the enhancement of an electric guitar, then there's the purity of one that is acoustic. When the lights go out, all you will hear is the acoustic.........
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  #9  
Old July 8th, 2007, 02:56 AM
Thierry Hagenauer Thierry Hagenauer is offline
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Dear Dean,

may I answer as below to your points:

1. It is expensive but when you are writing "over-priced" your are suggesting that we manufacturers are making huge profits on the back of photographers. There is much more to this to be understood when speaking about prices in this high-end segment of the market:

- there are huge R&D costs involved in a digital back: to break-even it needs already a few hundreds (more near a tausend then to 500) sales.
- the costs of a digital back does comprise also the costs of software developements: this part is a very big part in the total price.
- it is a VERY small market, with small I mean a few tousands of potential.
- the margins are calculated as in any other company dealing with high-technlogy, and be sure that those margins, due to the intense competition in this field, are calculated to the very minimum.

2. Here we have to define what is "film-like" meaning? Is film more natural than digital? I doubt it! What makes you say that a "film-like" image is better then a "digital-like" one? Does the silver halogenide elements of film make it more natural, or the pixels of the used sensor?
This being said, I pretend here that a good digital file looks at least as close to film in rendition and resolution, sharpness than any film format.

3. I agree: do not misunderstand me, I was a film photographer and had to take my time too, to change to digital. For me, the aspect of analog that is getting lost ist the "educational element" which it has (had) when people were forced to think when exposing their films, then processing them in their labs.

But basically, you have the same tools in a capture software of a digital back, as before with your film camera: a lightmeter by means of a tonal curve which is even more precise and allows you to really have a precise "Zone System" metering and total control of your image and knowledge from the begining how it shall output. You DON?T NEED to "pop" a few shots to have one good, when using your controls the software gives you.

4. I am not sure if I understand you well, but a 6x17 film quality is easily reached by any 22 MPx or higher res sensor, by croping it to this ratio. Believe me. I have a few friends shooting on the 6x17: after having tested my digital back, they have decided to go digital.

5. I must disagree here strongly: it is a new technology, admited. But the point is to know if it gives you the quality you need. And by looking at the numbers and figures available, more of 90% of the commercial images are produced digitally today, in the most advanced countries. This certainly does not mean that digital is not mature or of less quality.
And no, you don't need to buy each time the latest and newest digital back, with a higher resolution, when it hits the market: as long your equipment gives you the quality you need, then you should make use of this equipment. Did photographers buy and invest in each new analog camera, when they came out? No they were still continuing using their Sinar Norma when the Sinar p came, then the p when the Sinar p2 was introduced. This just to speak about Sinar cameras.

6. I agree with you 100%! Film still have its place, certainly, in some areas. The question is, how long will the manufacturers produce film and how long will you be able to process at a reasonable price. I think it is time one gets aware of this.

7. I don't think that is an issue in digital: all serious photographer have their storage medium and files are usually stored at different places.
Film can be scratched, can get humidity and does not last longer than a digital file, if you take the same care of it as for your film.
Beside this, digital files are much more and faster accessible than a film, if one make use of one of the nmerous softwares available.

8. you got this point, but then this is valid only whe you are shooting on location and with the available sun light: in a studion with flash or tungstene, you would be stuck as well. But IMO, a professional won't go out without enough batteries, like a professional won't go out without film. That's only my opinion.

9. I totally disagree with this thinking: a photographer remains a photographer. If you don't see the image in your view finder or groundglass you will never see it! Composition, perspective, lighting, sharpness distribution remains the same, capturing the right moment, etc ... and Photoshop or any other post-processing (being it analog in the lab or digital on the computer) will not help a lot here.

Digital is as much an art as film, only the capture medium is different. It needs excatly the same skills to vizualize an image and make it interesting for the observer.

10. the same when comparing a sailboat with a steamboat, indeed! There will always be people playing acoustic guitar, like there will always be people sailing. This is good and should be so.

I certainly don't want to downplay the beauty of film, but am thinking at the same time that one has to go with its time and look forward, especially when a new technology brings so many advantages.

But I doubt that I will convince you. :)

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
Thierry....I agree that digital backs of the calibre you speak of are incredibly good, but you may have overlooked a few points.

1. The cost of such backs are ridiculously overpriced and far beyond the realm of most of us.

2. At least with film I have it in one...no need to be chained to the computer using PS for hours on end trying to give the image a film like quality.

3. LF and MF film still has something magical about it......one has to think more about what one is doing, unlike popping off a hundred shots in the hope that one or two might measure up.

4. Take the 6x17 format for instance....who wants to stitch together 18 shots in three rows of six to arrive at what a single frame can deliver in one.

5. Film has been developed over some 150 years and has a history attached to it, whereas digital technology tends to be a hurried medium where the camera you buy today is worth two bob tomorrow.

6. Digital certainly has it's place, but so does film....there's something special about going out and shooting one or two frames, then waiting several days in anticipation of the result. Nothing quite excites one like a large transparency.

7. What can you do with a file that has been corrupted? My negs will easily outlast any digital file.

8. If there's a power outage and your batteries are flat , you're stuffed!

9. Using film and chemistry is an art.....all you need to do with digital is point the camera in the right direction, fire the shutter, have a look at results on your laptop, fiddle it in PS and it's all over.

10. The same could be said for musical instruments......there's the enhancement of an electric guitar, then there's the purity of one that is acoustic. When the lights go out, all you will hear is the acoustic.........
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  #10  
Old July 8th, 2007, 03:50 AM
Carsten Wolff Carsten Wolff is offline
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Dean, Thierry,
here we go again...digital vs film. Has been done to death, folks, hasn't it?
Bottom line is: big chips are expensive, film is "not as clean" (nor "direct"), but still has its place, esp. above 35mm.

ANALOGUE Dean has fallen into the trap of being romantic over film, though, which helped DIGITAL technologist Thierry to counter with non-specified superiority: (It's new, its expensive, (we (Sinar) make it) "I'm telling ya, pics look fantastic", everyone's doing it, ergo: MUST be good). (Comes down to workflow if you ask me).

I'm puzzled though (or should that read "razzled" ;) ) why people still try to compare them directly? water colours vs airbrush, Polaroid vs CRT, you get the picture.... THEY'RE DIFFERENT MEDIA

I appreciate your concern though, Dean. Anyway, I can't wait to see your first "Obsession617Digital" prototype....one fine day.....!

Carsten
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  #11  
Old July 8th, 2007, 04:22 AM
Thierry Hagenauer Thierry Hagenauer is offline
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it seemed to me that this had been compared more than enough!

I do not need to be convinced, nor do I need to convince anybody to go digital rather than film. That's hopeless anyway. Just giving my opinion here and sharing my experience that tausends of photographers have died (read "closed shop") worldwide, because they were still thinking film and refused to see the reality, both technological and commercial. So if you are an artist not being pressed by your customers, then remain with film, until you won't be able to pay it anymore.

I would love to be a bit romantic (I'm french!), but the reality and the facts keep me awake.

BTW: Sinar is still selling about 1% analog items (cameras, lenses accessories) from its total. It used to be 100% just a few years back.

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten Wolff View Post
Dean, Thierry,
here we go again...digital vs film. Has been done to death, folks, hasn't it?
Bottom line is: big chips are expensive, film is "not as clean" (nor "direct"), but still has its place, esp. above 35mm.

ANALOGUE Dean has fallen into the trap of being romantic over film, though, which helped DIGITAL technologist Thierry to counter with non-specified superiority: (It's new, its expensive, (we (Sinar) make it) "I'm telling ya, pics look fantastic", everyone's doing it, ergo: MUST be good). (Comes down to workflow if you ask me).

I'm puzzled though (or should that read "razzled" ;) ) why people still try to compare them directly? water colours vs airbrush, Polaroid vs CRT, you get the picture.... THEY'RE DIFFERENT MEDIA

I appreciate your concern though, Dean. Anyway, I can't wait to see your first "Obsession617Digital" prototype....one fine day.....!

Carsten
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  #12  
Old July 8th, 2007, 05:25 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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The camera is a tool. It depends what you want to make with it, and other limitations, wrt time, money, the usual things. Although there has been the usual sort of discussion in this thread, some of the comparisons have been flawed. For example, how about playing digital catchup to lf film stitching? afaik, digital not allowed in forensic science. Analogue anything, generally fails gracefully. Larger format gives more control over selective focus.

So, why not try and generate a decision tree of some sort, stay focussed on one aspect at a time? Maybe it's too difficult on a forum. On another thread, a simple test involving a coke can was devised to try and get some user comparisons. The response has been underwhelming.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #13  
Old July 8th, 2007, 06:40 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thierry Hagenauer View Post
Dear Dean,

Please do not feel offended if I fully disagree with your opinion: film quality has been reached since a long time and even surpassed by digital. Even 8x10" film quality is no probem to reach with a high-end back of even 22 MPx, let apart higher resolution, when used in multishot mode.

You would be blown away if seeing the result side by side: not only is the resolution a non-issue, but the modulation and gray tones you have with a 16 bit digital back is by far surpassing the possibility of any film.

The only issue is to get the necessary knowledge and experience to get the best possible data out of your sensors, but once you know how, then you wont' speak about 4x5" or 8x10" anymore.

I do not say this from a marketing perspective. I am myself a photographer and worked many years with 4x5" and 8x10".

Best regards,
Thierry
But let's not forget a few significant points:

1) we still do NOT have a digital solution that gives us the image quality of 8x10 in a single-shot mode;

2) we still do not have a viable *single-capture* high-resolution (over 30MP) digital MF back that allows for significant lens plane and/or film plane movements.

In the first case, we need to use a scanning back or multi-shot mode DB to even come close to 8x10 quality. In the second, we need to take a second white frame subtraction capture for each image that uses front and/or rear standard movements, and thus 4x5 is still quite viable as an alternative.

Finally, there are a few other issues to consider.

1) Cost. Unless you shoot over 1000 frames per year or so requiring that high-resolution output, the cost of LF film and processing will not approach the cost of a high-resolution digital solution over the three year life span of a HR DB. Obviously, for commercial photographers or other high-capacity shooters, direct digital capture may make a bunch of sense from a cost standpoint, but I submit that most hobbyists or fine art photographers won't make anywhere near that many LF frames in a year.

2) Portability/Power requirements. Suppose you want to achieve the highest quality on a 10-day backpacking trip through Patagonia? No place handy to plug in the chargers, while a compact 4x5 requires no power at all...

3) Lastly, there is the process itself. There is something to be said for doing photography the old way, with a view camera and analog materials and then getting a perfect result that I find very rewarding personally :) Don't get me wrong -- I love digital capture. But I also love and use traditional capture when I want to slow down and get into the "zone" of creating art. It's the difference between playing a concert grand piano over an electronic keyboard, acoustic guitar over an electric -- both can be beautiful to listen to, but the piano and acoustic guitar's sounds are singularly unique...

Cheers,
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  #14  
Old July 8th, 2007, 08:23 AM
Thierry Hagenauer Thierry Hagenauer is offline
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Dear Jack,

you are fully right (and Dean is too!).

Especially for the costs: I was obviously not speaking about hobby and fine art photogrpahers.

Best regards,
Thierry
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Old July 8th, 2007, 08:49 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Understood -- I just wanted to clarify the concepts :)

PS: Also, after re-reading my response above, I want to clarify I find single-capture important for many of my landscape scenes, mainly those where it's windy or they involve moving water or surf. LF + film allows this easily while scaning back, multi-shot with a DB or even stitching with a DSLR doesn't. Of course a 30+ MP DB would be nice :)

Cheers,
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  #16  
Old July 8th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Dean Jones Dean Jones is offline
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Default Love film Love Digital

I realise that the film versus digital thingy has been done to death! I sell digital cameras every day for a living and I love them all.....but cameras of all formats have a place somewhere.
I use Canon and if I need to shoot a band gig in low light, forget about film, it can't deliver what a 5D can.
On the other hand, I just fell in love with a fifty year old Werramatic that's razor sharp and fun to use.
I just bought a Texas Leica as I love that format also, the negs fit perfectly into the Nikon 8000 scanner sitting on my desk doing nothing.
What I find interesting is the reaction I get when I produce my Pink Cadillac 4x5.
I figure it boils down to not running with the pack, but using the different approach. Most guys freak when you pull a pink camera and get out of the way.....same thing happens at intersections whilst driving my Volvo. I still shoot APS too, but only on special occasions.
Thierry, I didn't mean the large sensors expense is profit related, I'm sure with time the cost of production will fall, however in the meantime they have done a great service i.e made all the excellent film cameras out there even more affordable.

http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~razzle/
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Old July 8th, 2007, 11:38 PM
Maris Rusis Maris Rusis is offline
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I guess Dean is not the only one who doesn't get it. Even if electronic sensors grew to 8x10 dimensions and they were very cheap how on earth would one use them to make cyanotypes, platinotypes, or Van Dyke Browns.

As far as I can see all that sensor technology can deliver is pictures, usually displayed on a monitor, or occasionally turned into hardcopy by some kind of painting machine. If one wants photographs made by the impact of light into sensitive surfaces then sensors, big, small, or medium have nothing to offer.

The crunch, of course, may be that pictures really do rule OK and photographs as such are too much of a nuisance to bother with.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 12:01 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
I guess Dean is not the only one who doesn't get it. Even if electronic sensors grew to 8x10 dimensions and they were very cheap how on earth would one use them to make cyanotypes, platinotypes, or Van Dyke Browns.

As far as I can see all that sensor technology can deliver is pictures, usually displayed on a monitor, or occasionally turned into hardcopy by some kind of painting machine. If one wants photographs made by the impact of light into sensitive surfaces then sensors, big, small, or medium have nothing to offer.

The crunch, of course, may be that pictures really do rule OK and photographs as such are too much of a nuisance to bother with.
Hi Maris,

I for one, would be delighted to see any light sensitive chemical based system photography shown here.

Bring us your cyanotypes, platinotypes, or Van Dyke Browns
Gold, sliver, rhodium, albumin or polaroid,
the huddled masses of chemical recording of light
struggling to be expressed!

No Ellis Island
No Large Statue

Just a huge hug of appreciation from all of us!

Show us!

For the past month or so I'be been shooting with a 6x7 film camera, pinhole, yes, it even delights a guy that loves silicon based imaging too.

I do believe that any of the early pioneers of photography would have come up with unimaginable creative expression using todays digital options.

Still, if we love chemical photography, we need to do it, share it, show it and promote it to everyone!

Here in OPF we're so happy for all film photography, so jump in and show us!!!

Asher
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  #19  
Old July 9th, 2007, 01:47 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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I bought a 4X5 rather than stitch with my 5D. I can't imagine what kind of coumputer system and the amount of time needed to stitch MFDB captures, then work the files, even a simple HDR would make me shudder to think of! Of course you are also working with no movements or very little, the inherent nightmare of focusing accuracy using a MFDB on a view camera unless doing it tethered, etc, etc.

Maybe perfect for in studio of still subjects, but what else is multi capture stitching of MFDB's useful for in the real world? Let's be honest, the bright light of digital can be very blinding as to what the hoops we go through to use it really are!
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Old July 9th, 2007, 02:12 AM
Thierry Hagenauer Thierry Hagenauer is offline
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Dear Ben,

stitching is fast (a few seconds) even with large files, easy and very precise.

Also the use of a MFDB isn't a nightmare to use, un-tethered and without computer and on location: movements like shifts are easy and commonly done by architecture photographers or others.

Have a look on following webpage from Rainer Viertlböck: all the images are taken with an eMotion 22 (22 MPX) or 75 (33 MPx) on its Gottschalk camera, un-tethered. Some images you can see on this pages are the result of stitching not 2 o 3 files but sometimes even 5 together. It takes a few minutes, when the camera and the shifts are done precisely and methodically.

www.tangential.de

go to following link:

http://www.tangential.de/tangential-...humi/index.htm

best regards,
Thierry
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  #21  
Old July 9th, 2007, 03:00 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Thierry,

Maybe you could arrange to go with Nicolas Claris sometime, show the results of your stitching efforts with the racing yachts? When it comes to large format, digital is playing catch up. Ben made his decision based on his requirements. I think he made the correct decision. Maybe in twenty years time it may need revising, but unless a reliable method is available for making large sized sensors, the current digital lf methods completely fail in a number of situations. However, in a selected few areas, they will excel.

The other aspect is that many photographers are more artistic than 'computeric'. With lf film, you compose and see the image as she is took, easily, straightforwardly, the second before you take it. Is this possible with stitching? What is the actual time on site for the movements to take place? Stitched images abound with half a dog/car/person in them. What trickery do you use, instead of a tilt/shift lens? Large format allows a more selective plane of focus, is that possible by stitching?

So, it's another tool, which can be used sometimes, but it is not the tool to be used all the time. I had suggested earlier, that it may be possible to try and define the situations where the different techniques excel. Any thoughts on that?

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #22  
Old July 9th, 2007, 04:57 AM
Thierry Hagenauer Thierry Hagenauer is offline
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Dear Ray,

and what about taking your LF camera and shoot this yacht in question?! I'd love to see it.

More seriously Ray, one can always find something against digital, or against film. That's fine if you don't see the advantages for your work and it is respected as such. But you did obviously not go to the webpage link I had suggested to have a look and see what it is about. These examples have been taken with 3 to 5 shots: total time of shooting from one image to another is about 2 to 3 seconds, the time to shift by a few milimiters and reshoot (if you don't believe, then ask Rainer Viertlböck).

Computers have nothing to do with "artistic work": this is not how I see a computer and never said so. A computer is a tool, like any other tool, to help you making YOUR work more easy and moreover FASTER. A computer can only add 1's and 0's, nothing more, but it does it damn fast! So what has this to do with crativity?

As I said: if you don't see the image on your groundglass, you won't ever see it! A creative photographer can shoot on both film and digital medium.

Yes, the plane of focus can be reached with stiching, as long as you don't have a tilt/swing on your rear standard, but on your front (tilt & swing axis remain in place when shifting).

I understand that I have touched here a sensitive issue among a majority of film lovers (or should I say digital haters?). I respect this and their opinions, just asking to respect mine as well. I have said it: I WAS a photographer, I have shot with film for more than 20 years, I am still teaching LF with analog cameras, I know the beauty of film and its advantages, but also its disadvantages when it comes to commercial realities.

So I say it again, with the hope not being "attacked" again: I love film, I have ever loved it and still love it, but this time is over for me. I would now shoot anything digitally, even my landscape and architecture images, even my fine art prints, should I ever have the chance to find the time again. because I know that digital has reached the maturity to do the job I require it to do, with the quality of any large format film camera. I don't want to convince anybody here, I don't want to sell anything either, just trying to participate in a debat and give my own opinion and sharing my 27 years of experience in LF photography.

Best regards,
Thierry
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  #23  
Old July 9th, 2007, 05:10 AM
Will Thompson Will Thompson is offline
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Hi Thierry,

On the contrary they did go out and buy the latest and greatest.

The thing no one has mentioned is the fact that the digital camera is now the film. With film to get the latest and greatest all one had to do was use a newer film to get higher resolution, less grain/noise, or better color!

With film upgrading was less costly or at least pay as you go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thierry Hagenauer View Post

4. ... Did photographers buy and invest in each new analog camera, when they came out? No they were still continuing using their Sinar Norma when the Sinar p came, then the p when the Sinar p2 was introduced. ...

Best regards,
Thierry
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  #24  
Old July 9th, 2007, 05:17 AM
Thierry Hagenauer Thierry Hagenauer is offline
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hi Will,

that's what I am trying to tell: digital is just another capture medium like film was ("was" for me). The capture medium has never made the photographer to be good or not, nor has it made any image better.

Best regards,
Thierry
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  #25  
Old July 9th, 2007, 07:29 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Ben,

Stitching with modern software is generally as simple as throwing laundry in a washing machine. It is just so easy and it works. However sort out the jobs first.

Nikolai has shown here stiches of v. large groups of people, handheld! When one uses a tripod, the results are near perfect. Add a lens with a large image circle and then some method of shifting the capture area on the image plane, one reaches perfect!

Stitching with the Zork adapter: perfect!

Stitching with a Canon T/S lens: (shift canera in opposite direction to shift of lens (Jack Flesher method), perfect!

Stitch with Gottschalt camera (or similar): perfect.

For a wedding group, any modern MF back will work fine!

Ray, for Nicolas work, an Alpa with a 28mm or 24mm lens would cover 21mm and 19 mm 1DsII views with panache and much more dynamic range and resolution.

Asher
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  #26  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:00 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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I'd also add that for non-moving subjects, a QTVR/pano-head stitch is now definitely a viable high-rez digital solution since the assembly software has improved so much. Chris Jordan, an 8x10 landscape photographer, has abandoned 8x10 becuase a muti-frame 5D pano-head capture with computer stitching assembly works quite well for his subjects -- normally static objects at relatively similar distances.

I have tried this method myself and will probably end up with a pano head at some point, however you do lose Scheimplug for plane of focus alterations that the view camera gives you. Here we will need focus-blending software to improve a few generations before stitch-and-blend captures can replace a view camera's movements. This ability, coupled with my desire for high-rez single capture of potentially moving objects, the view camera and film remains a top option for me.

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  #27  
Old July 9th, 2007, 10:37 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Flesher View Post
... however you do lose Scheimplug for plane of focus alterations that the view camera gives you.
Not really. There are 2 additional ways of obtaining depth focusing, besides the blended focus layer approach. One is by using the Tilt in a T/S lens or adapter, the other is by using a narrow FOV lens and refocus for each tile. An example for the latter approach can be found here.

Bart

P.S. By the way, Roger Clark's above linked example was his first serious attempt at stitching, not bad for a 'newbie'.
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  #28  
Old July 9th, 2007, 10:50 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Thierry,

Quote:
Dear Ray,

and what about taking your LF camera and shoot this yacht in question?! I'd love to see it.
Well, a certain photographer on the Isle of Wight took superb shots with lf cameras, afaik. They may well use digital these days, stitched or otherwise, but it was possible (I don't think the yachts were slower, or bigger, and the water was probably just as wet.)

Quote:
More seriously Ray, one can always find something against digital, or against film. That's fine if you don't see the advantages for your work and it is respected as such. But you did obviously not go to the webpage link I had suggested to have a look and see what it is about. These examples have been taken with 3 to 5 shots: total time of shooting from one image to another is about 2 to 3 seconds, the time to shift by a few milimiters and reshoot (if you don't believe, then ask Rainer Viertlböck).
I'm only finding things against one or the other, because there are things to be found. Both have benefits, neither are best at everything, in some situations, digital can not be used, in other situations film will give an inferior result. No, I did not go to the site, I expect I've seen it before. But, if the subject has parts that move, then I think stitching has disadvantages.

So, I looked. At the web size, the images could have been taken with anything, unless I have to do something else the images were about 2 by 3 inches. However, most are devoid of people, of any movement that I can discern. They have obviously been selected for that type of work. That is not a bad thing, but it confirms my initial thoughts, that stitching is not usable with movement in the subject. I have built manual panoramic systems, I am considering building servo driven systems, I think it may be possible to get it down to a second or less between shots, but a car moving at 30mph, will move 44 feet in that time, or a human walker will move 5 feet..... (two feet really ;-)

Quote:
Computers have nothing to do with "artistic work": this is not how I see a computer and never said so. A computer is a tool, like any other tool, to help you making YOUR work more easy and moreover FASTER. A computer can only add 1's and 0's, nothing more, but it does it damn fast! So what has this to do with creativity?
For you, very little, for others it matters more. In digital photography, for many people coming from a film background, maybe using a print lab, they now have to be concerned with a number of unfamiliar issues, just so they can see what they have captured.

Quote:
As I said: if you don't see the image on your groundglass, you won't ever see it! A creative photographer can shoot on both film and digital medium.
provided your batteries are charged. What is the digital equivalent of the ground glass screen in digital stitching? Is it the situation that you have to shoot wider and crop in post?

Quote:
Yes, the plane of focus can be reached with stiching, as long as you don't have a tilt/swing on your rear standard, but on your front (tilt & swing axis remain in place when shifting).
So, if you are taking a 3*3, nine images, with say a tilt/swing lens, you do not adjust the lens? You must be using a lf lens, are you not, and merely scanning the digital camera across its image plane. I missed that, somewhere.

I think what I was also trying to enquire after, is more related with video, where a lot of effort was expended in trying to get the digital video cameras, with 1/3 inch sensors to give the same look as 35mm film. It is possible to get the speed, scratches, etc., but not the selected focus possible with the larger format. I expected the same thing to be with still images, digital 35mm stitching cf 10*8 film - I guess its depth of field. Again using the lf lens will solve that.

So, you are using the camera on a lf lens, instead of a scanning back on a lf lens. That is easier? than using a standard 35mm lens, in some respects.

Quote:
I understand that I have touched here a sensitive issue among a majority of film lovers (or should I say digital haters?). I respect this and their opinions, just asking to respect mine as well. I have said it: I WAS a photographer, I have shot with film for more than 20 years, I am still teaching LF with analog cameras, I know the beauty of film and its advantages, but also its disadvantages when it comes to commercial realities
.

I am neither a film nor digital lover, or hater, and I respect opinions, ideas, concepts. But, I will press for explanations if I in my opinion it is needed.

Quote:
So I say it again, with the hope not being "attacked" again: I love film, I have ever loved it and still love it, but this time is over for me. I would now shoot anything digitally, even my landscape and architecture images, even my fine art prints, should I ever have the chance to find the time again. because I know that digital has reached the maturity to do the job I require it to do, with the quality of any large format film camera. I don't want to convince anybody here, I don't want to sell anything either, just trying to participate in a debat and give my own opinion and sharing my 27 years of experience in LF photography.
So, for your photography, digital works fine. For others, it has to be lf film.

Quote:
Best regards,
Thierry
I do not consider that I was attacking you, I was merely asking questions more directly, since you ignored my previous post (although it was not addressed just to you). So, you are in a very good position to help explain the differences between the application of film or digital in creating an image. But it will need a bit of thought to sort out the framework.

So, I would say, in answer to Dean's original question. It depends. 1) what you are happy with at the moment 2) if you can change 3) how much you can spend (time and money) 4) what type of photography you are needing to do 5) how much gear you have at the moment 6) tons of other stuff.

But, if Dean wants the 4 by 5 film look for portraits/candid, then I think he has to get a 4 by 5 film camera. A digital solution can give similar, but not identical results.

(have to keep an eye on these Aussies, they stir up trouble, ;-)

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #29  
Old July 9th, 2007, 11:02 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West View Post
However, most are devoid of people, of any movement that I can discern. They have obviously been selected for that type of work. That is not a bad thing, but it confirms my initial thoughts, that stitching is not usable with movement in the subject.
And even ghost images due to subject movement is a surmountable issue with today's blending software. I've used it on this example with many people walking in all directions, and clouds moving between shots.

Bart
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  #30  
Old July 9th, 2007, 11:10 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Bart,

But which one is 'correct'. In the example, line up the pen?, move/delete the background, or line up the back ground, move delete the pen. It doesn't matter, or does it?

Me, I like google-earth for seamless blending ;-)

Best wishes,

Ray
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