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Author Topic: Digital vs Film  (Read 24286 times)
hobbsr
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« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2009, 02:11:41 AM »
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Quote from: Juanito
You know, the only people that care about this stuff are photographers. Clients sure don't. The people who look at our work don't. The only thing that matters is if your images connect with the client emotionally. If you're shooting medium format at a wedding, you're missing so many shots. The client doesn't care if you capture 100 megapixels of the family shots. They just want a photo with everyone's eye's open and people smiling.



I agree. But then you say this:



Yeah, but those images sucked. Nobody wants those static wedding shots. They want images with life and fun - whether you're shooting with film or digital doesn't matter if the images don't have life to them. A boring shot is still a boring shot whether it's 6, 8, 12, 22, 60 megapixels, provia, velvia, tmax, tri-x, portra or even type 55 (may it rest in peace).

 
No they won't. If you have to explain it, the battle is lost.

John

Hi John,

Thanks' you for your comments I just wanted to let you know by no means was I suggesting going back to those static shots! I think you misunderstood the point, I totally agree we need to create compelling images regardless of format. On your last point I think that it always helps that we use every opportunity to educate our clients.

Rodney
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hobbsr
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« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2009, 04:43:16 AM »
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Hi All,

Does anybody here shot film? If so what are you shooting and what film types do you like the best?

Thanks again for all the comments
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danlo
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« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2009, 06:09:45 AM »
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Quote from: hobbsr
Hi All,

Does anybody here shot film? If so what are you shooting and what film types do you like the best?

Thanks again for all the comments

Hi! I just canīt stop loving film... For me, digital has not even come close to the natural feel of colours and contrast of a 120 roll fuji reala or kodak portra
even though Iīm a king in Raw-processing and Photoshop.

Digital works.. but thereīs no warm magic, itīs dead ice cold. *brrr*

And all this shit about digital almost or having the dynamic range of negative film?! Why is this lie spreading through the internet?!

I can never lift the shadows with my D3-files so that itīs starts looking like film.. I can get close, but only on iso 200 and alot of noise reduction.

People that donīt think that film has the same quality often donīt know how to expose negative-film or how to correctly scan a well exposed negative.

/Danne
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 06:20:25 AM by danlo » Logged
Anders_HK
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« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2009, 06:11:17 AM »
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Quote from: hobbsr
Hi All,

Does anybody here shot film? If so what are you shooting and what film types do you like the best?

Thanks again for all the comments


Fuji color slides:-

   Landscape - Fuji Velvia 50 ISO is MAGIC   .

   Other - Fuji Provia 100 + Provia 400, Provia 400 can be pused +1, +2 and I think also +3 per memory.

B&W negs:-

   I am keen to try the famous Tri-X
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terence_patrick
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« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2009, 06:12:03 AM »
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Some people like to cook their food in an oven, some like using a microwave. It's all a matter of taste and the need for convenience.
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david o
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« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2009, 09:40:54 AM »
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some illustration...



the girls, my wife actually, shot with Olga, scanned with a crappy stuff, just for archive like contact... nothing to do at all with digital... but hell I like the mood of it.



the guy, shot with Pentax 67 - 90mm - scanned with the same hardware...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 09:44:22 AM by david olivier » Logged
Gary Yeowell
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« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2009, 01:09:15 PM »
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Quote from: csp
with film you always have a layer of fog-noise over the highlights caused by the process and the film base.  you see it as  better transition in real its a film problem.
i don't know what  camera or back you use and how you expose and process your images but maybe there lies your problem.


Canon 1DS3 processed in Capture 4.1, and before that Phase P20 in Capture, very carefully exposed....  not my problem i'm afraid, just a problem with digital. Jack Fleshers example for me shows the problem very well although i know Jack thinks it's not too bad, just i think it looks not too good.
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Gary Yeowell
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« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2009, 01:14:04 PM »
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Quote from: danlo
Hi! I just canīt stop loving film... For me, digital has not even come close to the natural feel of colours and contrast of a 120 roll fuji reala or kodak portra
even though Iīm a king in Raw-processing and Photoshop.

Digital works.. but thereīs no warm magic, itīs dead ice cold. *brrr*

And all this shit about digital almost or having the dynamic range of negative film?! Why is this lie spreading through the internet?!

I can never lift the shadows with my D3-files so that itīs starts looking like film.. I can get close, but only on iso 200 and alot of noise reduction.

People that donīt think that film has the same quality often donīt know how to expose negative-film or how to correctly scan a well exposed negative.

/Danne

Agreed!

 So much digital bullshit perpetuated on this site as well as many others. Give me my Pentax 67 with Portra 160NC/VC any day over ANY digital device.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 01:17:53 PM by Gary Yeowell » Logged
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2009, 01:31:11 PM »
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Quote from: Gary Yeowell
Jack Fleshers example for me shows the problem very well although i know Jack thinks it's not too bad, just i think it looks not too good.

Might help us (or at least me) understand your view if you state specifically what you don't like in my image and where film would render it differently  

Thanks in advance!
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TMARK
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« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2009, 02:12:15 PM »
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Quote from: david olivier
some illustration...



the girls, my wife actually, shot with Olga, scanned with a crappy stuff, just for archive like contact... nothing to do at all with digital... but hell I like the mood of it.



the guy, shot with Pentax 67 - 90mm - scanned with the same hardware...

The shot of your wife is really fantastic.  It has an energy and spontinaity to it, its almost a fleeting moment, like a snippet from a Joyce novel.
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david o
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« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2009, 02:52:51 PM »
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Quote from: TMARK
The shot of your wife is really fantastic.  It has an energy and spontinaity to it, its almost a fleeting moment, like a snippet from a Joyce novel.

Thank you... I appreciate...

And your comments - "spontinaity" - make my point that I did not really expressed... that tool - Olga - far from any quality standard, just let you go, nothing to worry about, the "no-fancy" thing just free my mind...

Mood... and digits can't make it, no matter what...

d
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evgeny
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« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2009, 03:33:16 PM »
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I shot all these images in 4 hours in Jerusalem with Contax 645 and 35mm Distagon lens. Scanned with Nikon 9000. I resized from 50 mega pixels to 22-25 mega pixels.

This is a long exposure, about 1 minute on tripod, no flash fired. Kodak EPP ISO 100 Slide Film. Full frame, no crop.
It was very dark in the room. I mean really very dark, the light come only from a small door on the left. The man thought I shoot the window and seat still.



Here is another long exposure, approx 30 seconds on tripod. The light come from behind the camera. Full frame, no crop



I shot these two images outdoors. I cropped this image a bit



This is a crop from a big image to frame the man as I want to see it. So what, it looks great in my opinion



This is a Kodak black and whte film, and same camera and lens. I used a long exposure, approx 2-3 minutes



Another long exposure



So, film is not died, but I go another city to develop...
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hobbsr
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« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2009, 05:33:07 AM »
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Hi All,

As I have been testing the Contax and the Rollei I thought I would add a few images, sorry the content is nothing that great! The first shot is from the Contax which I used for one roll during an engagement session, this was with the 80mm wide open on Portra 160NC. The other two images are from my RB67 on Provia 400F and were shot this morning handheld just for the fun of it and boy I am falling in love with 6x7......

These files are the proof scans from the lab.




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James R Russell
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« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2009, 11:52:27 AM »
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Quote from: david olivier
some illustration...



the girls, my wife actually, shot with Olga, scanned with a crappy stuff, just for archive like contact... nothing to do at all with digital... but hell I like the mood of it.


the guy, shot with Pentax 67 - 90mm - scanned with the same hardware...


When I see these film to digital conversations they are never apples to apples, heck they're not even apples to oranges.

Somebody posts a grainy holga shot (which I like) or a nc100 hasselblad square image pushed two stops in the bright sunlight and says film has the  look that digital doesn't.  On the other hand the next thread will be about somebody comparing at 200% a Nikon D3, vs a D3x, vs, a P45, etc. saying nothing shows detail and smoothness like the  (you can fill in the blanks here).

Basically we have two standards for image capture.  With film we talk about romance, the "look" feel and texture that only film can deliver and with digital everyone compares detail, smoothness, lack of artifacts.

I've shot digital for a long time now and honestly the most film like looks I get from digital come from the smaller megapixel cameras, the original canon 1ds, the p21, Aptus 22, Leica M8 (processed in photoshop) because they weren't overly smooth and do have artifacts, especailly when pushed pass their standard low iso.

I don't have a lot of pixel conversations with clients anymore and actually when presenting to a new AD or client, the images they are positive are shot with film are the cameras I mentioned above, the images they are positive are digital are the 1ds3 and the p30+, because at their intended iso they are smoother, have less grit and though at 200% on a monitor may seem technically superior they lose some of the romance of the older digital cameras and probably film.

This image was shot with a 1ds1, used tungsten, screwed up the blue channels and shot on it's iso limit and to a client, they say, oh yea, that's film.


Now saying that if I shoot a cosmetic ad or an large in-store poster I'll probably shoot the highest megapixel camera I own, just because somewhere deep in my brain I get that thought of pixels do matter, but in reality I think the overly smooth, overly detailed look does lose some romance.

I do know that scene, lighting dependent that digital reacts differently than "some" films.  An open lit room with a yellowed wood floor will kick up a monotone overly yellow look that much more noticeable than film, but those are the exceptions, not the rule.

It doesn't mean that digital can't look or mimick any film, it just means that with film we had a starting point that was preset by the film maker and with digital we have a roll your own look.

But with film we did accept things that we never would with digital.  Noise( grain clumps) in shadows and blue skies were normal, even in larger formats, skin tones that changed color were also the norm, we just assumed that is the way film was so we let it go.  We hold digital to a much higher standard than film and usually those standards have nothing to do with art of the photograph, just the technical details.

At some stage you just have to drop back and think, it really doesn't matter if I have 20 more mpx. or .7 of a stop more dr.  It's just the final image that matters and overly detailed, overly smooth and sharp will get more comments of "oh it's digital", than something with texture, collapsed shadows and some blow out in the highlights.

It's funny when I shoot for myself, it's usually with cameras that don't have more than 18mpx (if that) though when it's commercial work, I shoot at the highest pixel count possible, though it's usually the personal work that gets us booked.

So film vs. digital.  Except in a  few instances I don't see a difference as long as I take the thought of more megapixels out of my head.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 12:09:59 PM by James R Russell » Logged

lisa_r
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« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2009, 07:28:04 PM »
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Nice think about those filmic 1Ds Classic cameras is that they can be had used for about $1400 these days, and new for under $2000!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 07:29:27 PM by lisa_r » Logged
hobbsr
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« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2009, 05:15:39 AM »
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Thanks James for your insights.

I think the process over the pass few weeks has really been a key learning process for me. I never really shot film professionally opting mainly to move with digital from the start, I did shoot film but just not for work. Over the past few weeks I have now shot test rolls on the Contax 645, Rollei 6008 and the Rb67 the end result is that I really enjoy shooting film!

It has made me slow down and think about the shot I want to create it also made me stop looking at the back of the camera and look in front of it!

The two main driving forces for me are firstly to add another element to different my services in the market, the second is to reduce and improve my workflow. I am lucky that most of the main labs locally are still running daily processing and seem even process, scam and proof in a day. The prices for these services are reasonable and so is the currently cost of 120 film and of course always have options to import from B&H in bulk.

From a system point of few, the best option to add film capability to my current kit is to go with the Contax 645 it simply a joy to use and the lens are great. I am also still curious about the Rollei and using 6x6 the big bonus was how much I enjoyed walking around with a RB67 and hand holding frames using Provia 400F the images look great!

So the bottom line is I still love my Hasselblad H3D 31 for MF digital, and D3's on the digital side and will look now to move my wedding collections and portrait towards film. So will need to redesign my collections and pricing to reflect my new approach and all we can do is watch this space I will let you know how it works. I see that there is a big future for film and hope that more of us can rediscover it.

Rodney
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James R Russell
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« Reply #56 on: January 14, 2009, 11:21:40 AM »
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Quote from: hobbsr
Thanks James for your insights.

I think the process over the pass few weeks has really been a key learning process for me. I never really shot film professionally opting mainly to move with digital from the start, I did shoot film but just not for work. Over the past few weeks I have now shot test rolls on the Contax 645, Rollei 6008 and the Rb67 the end result is that I really enjoy shooting film!

It has made me slow down and think about the shot I want to create it also made me stop looking at the back of the camera and look in front of it!

The two main driving forces for me are firstly to add another element to different my services in the market, the second is to reduce and improve my workflow. I am lucky that most of the main labs locally are still running daily processing and seem even process, scam and proof in a day. The prices for these services are reasonable and so is the currently cost of 120 film and of course always have options to import from B&H in bulk.

From a system point of few, the best option to add film capability to my current kit is to go with the Contax 645 it simply a joy to use and the lens are great. I am also still curious about the Rollei and using 6x6 the big bonus was how much I enjoyed walking around with a RB67 and hand holding frames using Provia 400F the images look great!

So the bottom line is I still love my Hasselblad H3D 31 for MF digital, and D3's on the digital side and will look now to move my wedding collections and portrait towards film. So will need to redesign my collections and pricing to reflect my new approach and all we can do is watch this space I will let you know how it works. I see that there is a big future for film and hope that more of us can rediscover it.

Rodney

I would love to get back to a film based or any type of workflow that was less hands off by me and more hands on by someone else, but in my world, it just won't happen.  It's not just digital capture, it's digital post that has changed the way we work, that and client expectations.

For the last 4 years I don't think I have actually used one complete window scene that was not changed, modified, or replaced.  I've rented $9,000 locations across from central park just for the view and we still change the window scene, because we can.  

Same thing with cleaning up backgrounds, swapping heads, expressions, it's just part of the process and since photoshop the toothpaste is out of the tube I doubt if we can go back to saying here's the photograph, no retouching, no changing, just take it as is.

I just finished a project that is going to delivery this week.  It probably has 10 rounds of retouching, some major some minor and once you get so deeply immersed in the post work I (and everyone) forgets about the format, the capture device and the camera.  It's just find the right shot (usually multiple shots) composite and put it together for the desired effect.

I know photographers that swear by film and also shoot digital and 98% of the time I just can't tell the difference.  They think they can and since it's their photograph I have to respect that, but overall I think someone that shoots a square hasselblad and nc100 would get the same exact effect if they taped the sensor of a p21 down to square, plopped it on a contax with a waste level finder and covered up the lcd.

I don't think there would be almost an difference in the final image, but once again they do, so there you have it.

In fact we all (myself included) keep asking for better lcd's or better 30" monitor tethering, but I personally believe the best lcd was the old imacon back that didn't show anythng but frame count and exposure.

I can hardly remember a time when clients actually assumed you had the shot rather than see it .4 seconds after the capture.

I do understand that overall with digital we have lost the big cameras.  Someone stated a thread that said what is medium format and I assume at this stage in digital medium format is probably anything that is 20 to 30 megapixels, large format is anything 33 to 50 but once again since all the format sizes are smaller than 645 which is the smallest of the film days medium format, there really isn't that much of a difference whether you shoot a H series, a Contax or an RZ.  The people that do will swear by them but after a dozen rounds of post production I doubt if there is any difference anyone can tell.

The most telling part of your comment was that "I really enjoy shooting film".  That says it all and since 95% of the photograph is emotion I can respect that you feel that way.

I personally don't miss polaroid proofs on set, or waiting for film tests, but I do miss the lifestyle I had with film, vs. digital.  With film polaroid was a nightmare expecially in changing light, or for that matter just be sure you had the shot with film meant we either overshot, or sweated bullets hoping we got it.  Then there was that gut wrenching phone call that came from the lab about a leaky film back, or a roll that was pushed 2 stops instead of 1/2 a stop.  Those things I do not miss.

Then again with film I actually went outside after a shoot, drove across Hollywood and had lunch waiting for the snips or the contact sheets.  Now all of us hunker down in dark rooms and work 2.6 hours in post production for every hour shot.  

So yes in a lot of ways I do understand film, but the world has changed and it's not changing back.

But show me the person that knows if this is film or digital capture and I'll show you someone who worries too much.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 11:44:28 AM by James R Russell » Logged

Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2009, 12:34:44 PM »
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What is interesting is that digital has given us true control over our images so that the final picture we had in mind when we hit that shutter release is the one which we will have at the end of the day. We could hand over everything to a tech or an assistant and not bother looking till we have the proofs in hand, but let's be honest, how many of us are at all ready to relinquish the processing stage completely? If we were then the labs would still be as strong as ever and we would all be sipping that coffee in a bar while we waited like in the old days. As such I think that for all the control digital has given us, the fact that we have decided that the control has to be overseen personally is the culprit for the end of the film lifestyle, we are to blame, not the medium. As a mentor of mine once said back in the infancy of digital when the 1Ds was taking the world by storm - if we were'nt all so anal retentive about having to have control at every stage of the process then we would be back shooting film! Digital has given more control, perhaps too much control, to the photographer - but only because that's the way we want it. Once you've had the control it's very hard to go back to relinquishing it to others again. Heck I used to manage a lab and when I went pro photographer I thought my pro lab was the bees knees, from a pro printers persepctive. Now I shudder to look at those photos, they are so 'default' compared to how even my proofs look today. I've taken control to achieve the look that I intended when I pulled that trigger. That is my fault though and no one elses..
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Plekto
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« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2009, 08:04:46 PM »
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As you might have guessed, I still use film.

Velvia and its cousins are very good, of course.  I really miss the older Kodachrome and similar films, but whatcha goinna do? I find that TMax is a bit better than Tri-X for B/W though.  It has a bit more grain to it, but it has exceptional dynamic range.  Stupidly forgiving as well.  Nothing that I've ever shot with color is as clean as this, except for maybe Velvia 50.  And it's not even as good as black and while film gets by a long shot.

The Ilford Pan-F 50 is much better, though, and just as easy to find.   I really think that medium format begs for black and white.  And it's one area where the results are still noticeably better than anything digital.  I have a photo from my sister's wedding shot on b/w 120 film (6x7 camera) that looks perfect.  Timeless and amazing.  She was baffled when I requested almost all black and white out of the photos - until she saw the prints in person.
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« Reply #59 on: January 15, 2009, 10:08:19 AM »
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One of the reasons that you will see a clear (or not see) difference between Most digital and film is that 'most' digital cameras have a anti-aliasing filter, which, without a single doubt, removes a great deal of detail of your shot and gives it this false sense of "clean and sharpness" that most can tell it's a digital image.

I say "most" digital bodies have the AA filter because a number of the medium format digital backs do not and they are wonderful if you can afford them and I say most people can tell that's it's a digital because those among us that are young have been "trained" to see nothing but digital as the Normal picture so it's what they know.

Also, I've seen someone here boo the Dynamic Range. It's not just a blind statement. The DR is just not there with most dSLR's today as it is with film and it has NOTHING to do with megapixels. Do a bit of homework on DR for different camera bodies and you will see a difference. But again, a number of the new med format digi backs have a DR of 12 and over and are simply stunning. Also, how do I define a Medium Format digital camera. Simple: Sensor Size as compared to 35mm Sensor size of a dSLR just as I would with film bodies. The new, larger Medium Format Backs have a much larger sensor size then 35mm dSLR's but are also used for Large Format view Cameras so the question really is: What is now Large Format?

One more note, the OP asked a ligit question, specifically asked for no wars, now to write comments in your responses that are clearly "war" driven and to have to curse in them is really showing your age not your ability to understand what your speaking of.
Thx
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