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Author Topic: I've tried MF digital and MF film still rules.  (Read 12999 times)
kirktuck
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« on: April 24, 2009, 09:32:12 AM »
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I've tested three different MF systems over the last year.  I'm sticking with film.  In fact I just bought another Rollei body.

Here's why: http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2009/...t-shooting.html

[attachment=13219:michelle...to_print.jpg]
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 11:03:57 PM by kirktuck » Logged
gss
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 10:09:14 AM »
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I think you make some very good points.  Shoot whatever makes you shoot best and whatever makes you happiest.
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ddk
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 10:19:32 AM »
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Quote from: kirktuck
I've tested three different MF systems over the last year.  I'm sticking with film.  In fact I just bought another Rollei body.

Here's why:  http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/

[attachment=13219:michelle...to_print.jpg]


Such a beautiful portrait, amazing either way!
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david
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usathyan
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 11:55:08 AM »
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Beautiful image....Why 2 attachments of the same image? or are they from different cameras?
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thierrylegros396
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2009, 12:04:44 PM »
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Take a look at the News, please !

14 April, 2009 - So You Think Medium Format Digital is Easy?

Joseph Holmes is one of the pickiest photographers that I know of. He's a talented and widely published and collected landscape photographer, and is a highly respected inventor and patent holder in the field of digital imaging.

Joe is among a group of well known landscape photographers, including Bill Atkinson, Charlie Cramer, Mark Dubovoy, Tim Wolcott, and Michael Reichmann who previously worked with large format film and who now shoot with medium format digital Phase One backs in the 39MP – 60MP range on a mix of Hasselblad, Mamiya / Phase One, and technical camera bodies.

We are all driven by one compulsion – to achieve better than large format image quality – which we mostly do, but regretably not all of the time.

Being an absolute stickler for precision, and more importantly knowing how to achieve it, Joe has now written two articles on what's involved in achieving the absolute best from the latest generation of medium format digital systems.

These articles are currently available on Joe's site. The first is titled MEDIUM FORMAT DIGITAL CAMERA OPTICAL PRECISION while the second is GETTING TOP QUALITY FROM MEDIUM FORMAT.

Read 'em and weep!
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PLLove
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 12:14:13 PM »
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Quote from: kirktuck
I've tested three different MF systems over the last year.  I'm sticking with film.  In fact I just bought another Rollei body.

Here's why:  http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/

[attachment=13219:michelle...to_print.jpg]

Wow!  You make me wanna put a film back on my 645!  Very nice!
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Guillermo Luijk
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 01:10:05 PM »
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Interesting what you say about the focus fall off. Anyway that is not a characteristic of digital vs film, but about format size.

Regards.

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pss
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 01:58:39 PM »
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nothing beats  8x10...starting with the polaroid....but who wants to pay for it and deal with the hassle...

i really don't care either way, shoot with what you like and what gets you the results....

the only way to really compare would be a completely analog to completely digital workflow....film, darkroom, analog print compared to digital capture and inkjet (or comparable) output.....i have worked with both and everything in between and it is digital all the way....there is just no way to maintain a completely analog workflow these days unless you shoot fine art for galleries only....

we are in a time when the photos of the wedding appear online before the wedding is over....i am not saying that is good or that the photos are any good, that is just the way that is.....in terms of any commercial application.....

but i have always said that i hope there will always be a small niche market for people who simply prefer and will only shoot film....i just think it is funny when these people shoot for magazines....
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Plekto
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2009, 02:09:22 PM »
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I also have decided to stick with film, but only for black and white.  There's something about it that digital can't replicate yet for any sort of reasonable price(yes I know a couple of dedicated b/w DBs have been made - can't possibly afford one or find one FS though).  Color - well, color on film and digital has always been a giant set of tradeoffs and kludges.  

I also like my old Rollei.  It's dead simple and works. Note - it DOES take great color, but no better than a typical DSLR.  And, of course, tons tons TONS slower than digital.  But the results are amazing.

btw - what film are you using there?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 02:09:56 PM by Plekto » Logged
Quentin
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2009, 05:28:13 PM »
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Quote from: kirktuck
I've tested three different MF systems over the last year.  I'm sticking with film.  In fact I just bought another Rollei body.

Here's why:  http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/

[attachment=13219:michelle...to_print.jpg]

It would be very sad if film died out.  But it is perfectly possible to mimic any film effect you care to think of in a modern digital workflow.  And what is the point of medium format film if the end result requires it to be scanned and thus converted to a digital medium?  

We miss the look of film, but its mainly nostalgia.

Quentin
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kirktuck
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2009, 05:57:11 PM »
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The reason is that film has many non linear attributes and some defects that make it less perfect and more appealing than digital.  The gist of the blog is a nod to the idea that bigger format equals nicer lens effects but the thing that researchers find consistently in studying social and anthropological assessments of beauty have to do with imperfections.  The lack of grain in digital is actually disturbing on a subconscious level.

And,  digital is not really easier.  Who will still want to shoot 8x10?  Artists who don't want to compromise.  Not everyone must have client approval for every workflow consideration.......







Quote from: Quentin
It would be very sad if film died out.  But it is perfectly possible to mimic any film effect you care to think of in a modern digital workflow.  And what is the point of medium format film if the end result requires it to be scanned and thus converted to a digital medium?  

We miss the look of film, but its mainly nostalgia.

Quentin
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lensfactory
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2009, 10:31:15 PM »
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I think you could easily have just said "film still rules".
I also shoot digital (5d, L lenses etc.)but my old slide scans just pop off the screen/page in a way that I don't get from digital. For art...this informs the way I shoot...in that 'content' is very important to me now (sort of like how the 'script' is most important in a digital movie), rather than just the aesthetic/IQ of the tone and color.
I may actually be going backwards...lol...in that I plan to get a MF film camera to cart around with me (even when I just have my LX3 or E420 'beater' cameras) to capture the occasional shot I think worthwhile.
You mentioned Rollie..which one?
Can anyone suggest a good film MF that isnt TOO large. There's that rangefinder one with the mamiya lenses that looks nice (the name eludes me right now), but they are  a bit pricey.
Which ones have very nice lenses but are going cheap?
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2009, 11:13:42 PM »
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Quote from: kirktuck
The reason is that film has many non linear attributes and some defects that make it less perfect and more appealing than digital.  The gist of the blog is a nod to the idea that bigger format equals nicer lens effects but the thing that researchers find consistently in studying social and anthropological assessments of beauty have to do with imperfections.  The lack of grain in digital is actually disturbing on a subconscious level.

And,  digital is not really easier.  Who will still want to shoot 8x10?  Artists who don't want to compromise.  Not everyone must have client approval for every workflow consideration.......

You left a lot of "to me"s out of that post.  For example "make it...more appealing to me" and "lack of grain ... is actually disturbing to me.

There's nothing absolute about beauty.  The standards of what is beautiful changes over time and are different from culture to culture.  Most likely you learned your personal requirements for attributing beauty from your interactions with those around you.  And, apparently, you learned to judge film-produced images as "beautiful".  Especially if they were grainy.  

Think for a moment about those who are now growing up in the digital age.  Most of them will see few film-produced images, or at least the ratio between digital and film images will be extremely one-sided.  Their "beauty" is going to be seen through the 'digital filter', not film.

The film images that they might see will likely be produced by "older" people who don't share their cultural experiences.  Grain is likely to be a cue that implies "old fashioned", just as we now find ourselves tricked by a sepia image without any obvious modern elements that place it in modern times.  What is beautiful to you might well be "quaint" to those who follow.  I expect grain will join sepia toning as a part of the past.  

While I shot film for 40 years or so, I've shot only digital for the last 10.  I had a couple of interesting experiences looking at other people's photographs recently.  In one, landscapes shot with film I was a bit taken back by the unnatural way things faded away as one approached white.  I've come to expect a more abrupt transition.  

The second experience was following the link from someone who was bragging about how superior his images were over digital. I looked, and I saw weird.  Kodachrome.  It just doesn't capture the world as I see it. It looked like someone had had 'unnatural relations' with the sliders.

Nothing wrong with the way film does it, but it no longer looks natural, the way things should look,  to my eyes.  I suspect my old eyes might be telling of what is to come in future judgments of  what is a beautiful image.

(BTW, symmetry seems to play a positive role in judging beauty.  It seems to relate to good health.  So in this case, it would seem that our culture has learned to use non-imperfection as an attraction.)


 
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micek
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2009, 06:05:39 AM »
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Quote
Can anyone suggest a good film MF that isnt TOO large

Bronica RF645.
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elf
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2009, 11:55:18 AM »
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Quote from: kirktuck
I've tested three different MF systems over the last year.  I'm sticking with film.  In fact I just bought another Rollei body.

Here's why:  http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/

[attachment=13219:michelle...to_print.jpg]

If you follow your argument to its logical conclusion, you will find your ideal camera is an MF Holga
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kirktuck
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2009, 12:23:56 PM »
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Film based photography is old fashioned and smooth clean color is all the matters?

No.  Not just to me.  But to a new generation of kids raised on digital who are now clamoring to use film.  Bob, you seem to have the need to make digital the end all and be all of imaging and you've dragged this over from your same kind of responses on DPreview.  People really do study concepts of beauty and people's responses to visual stimuli.  Not just old people who've been all over the world and seen real art.  Not just uninformed young people with no standard of reference.  But scientists who show images to real people and register biometric changes, etc.  And they make objective conclusions that are different than what you've come up with.

You are entitled to your opinion about what you think of as beauty but let's not make this a generational issue.  I'm not that old.  And, as I state in the blog, I've been an early digital adapter (1997)  and have played with Photoshop since the beginning.  That's pre-digital capture.

If we follow your argument to its logical conclusion then no art older than five minutes ago is relevant and everything is totally subjective. Given that kind of argument it is impossible to even debate.

Film is a wonderful medium.  Digital doesn't suck nearly as badly as it used to.  Get over it.
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Quentin
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2009, 12:25:57 PM »
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Quote from: kirktuck
The lack of grain in digital is actually disturbing on a subconscious level.

And,  digital is not really easier.  Who will still want to shoot 8x10?

Adding "grain" is easy in post processing.  I sometimes add a touch.

As for 8x10, I have an 8x10 camera and very occasionaly I use it.

Quentin
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2009, 01:06:27 PM »
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Quote from: kirktuck
Film based photography is old fashioned and smooth clean color is all the matters?

No.  Not just to me.  But to a new generation of kids raised on digital who are now clamoring to use film.  Bob, you seem to have the need to make digital the end all and be all of imaging and you've dragged this over from your same kind of responses on DPreview.  People really do study concepts of beauty and people's responses to visual stimuli.  Not just old people who've been all over the world and seen real art.  Not just uninformed young people with no standard of reference.  But scientists who show images to real people and register biometric changes, etc.  And they make objective conclusions that are different than what you've come up with.

You are entitled to your opinion about what you think of as beauty but let's not make this a generational issue.  I'm not that old.  And, as I state in the blog, I've been an early digital adapter (1997)  and have played with Photoshop since the beginning.  That's pre-digital capture.

If we follow your argument to its logical conclusion then no art older than five minutes ago is relevant and everything is totally subjective. Given that kind of argument it is impossible to even debate.

Film is a wonderful medium.  Digital doesn't suck nearly as badly as it used to.  Get over it.

Kirk - please go back and read what I wrote while not wearing your "film rules!" goggles.  I have absolutely no need "to have the need to make digital the end all and be all of imaging" and I challenge you to produce anything, from any forum, to support your charge.

Then give this thread a read and watch for examples of how tastes change over time.  

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=33995

Now it may be that there are a some "kids" who are experimenting with film.  But that's irrelevant to how film shots will be considered in the future by the greater viewing audience.  A couple hundred, even a few hundred new film shooters pales compared to the billions of people who are regularly seeing mainly digital photos.  Like it or not, there is a new standard for what an image looks like.  Images made by alternative methods, be that film or pencil, are just going to be rare and "not normal".

We use cues that are media-produced in addition to content to make judgments about the 'age' of things we see.  Manuscript ages are initially judged by splotches of ink dropped from quills, by mis-aligned or partial absent letters from typewriters, from "dotty" letters from inkjets, ....  Film's characteristic differences will no doubt cast a message of "yesteryear" over future film images for the vast majority of the audience.

 
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Rob C
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 03:11:13 PM »
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Why is it that the moment somebody articulates a liking for something, the instant reaction from some quarters is to try and knock that person´s position into the sand?

I am perfectly happy that someone prefers film in roll to digital capture; I am equally pleased that another thinks digital is the only game in town. Why would I choose to argue with either since it makes not a jot of difference to my life?

Asked to join sides, I would have to put a hesitant toe into both camps without committing weight to either foot. As I see it, film has a history of development (npi) that has brought it to a plateau where it will probably remain until it is no longer produced (I speak in terms of b/w film). Digital, on the other side of things, is relatively new and constantly being changed, tweaked and re-configured; I believe it to be far from anywhere near its peak yet, and because of that belief, I have my doubts that the future lies with MF digital. Nobody in his right mind wants to carry more weight and inconvenience around with him than he needs, unless, of course, his photography is all about impressing his fellow snapper, in which case I wish him the sore back he will grow to regret.

In favour of film (120) I would cite the beauty of the stock I used to use every day: TXP120. Developed 1+1 in D76 and rated 320ASA it covered just about every situation you chose to throw at it. As I write, I think of a shot currently hanging in the bedroom of my two kids back in the 70s - it was a film-finisher run off at the end of a commercial shoot and was on a 500C or CM through a 150 Sonnar wide open. Just a grab, it still looks beautiful today and the Kodak WSG has not lost an iota of quality. I would like to dream that should I live that long again, I could feel as pleased with stuff I print on Hahnemuehle Rag today! So what about digital, then? Well, my black/white prints certainly look more dramatic in the sense that clouds etc. can be tweaked to resemble imaginary thunderstorms where non existed, but are they any the more beautiful? I don´t know the answer to that - they certainly do look different, but then, in those days, I was working to order and not to please a retired photographer with nothing much better to do anymore. Neither was I shooting clouds or landscapes - it was people.

Digital, in my case, allows a relatively cost-free route to images on paper. If you choose to consider the cost of film to be the only consumable component, of course! Factor in all the real costs of digital and it becomes clear that it is really just a version of the oldest confidence trick in the world: self-deception. On every other item except film, I believe I have spent more money to less effect that ever was the case with analogue photography.

Would I go back to the wet? Had I not broken down the various ingenious devices that I developed over my pre-digital years to create a quickly changing office-to-darkroom scenario, I would have liked to have gone back to MF film and cameras (B/W only), got myself a top-quality scanner but still gone digital in the printing side. However, that is hindsight and there is no way I would finance all that now in retirement - an abuse of my childrens´ inheritance comes loudly to mind, as does the wish/need for a new set of wheels as soon as the wretched pound regains it pride against the bleeding €.

But does digital capture bring a smile to my face? Perhaps it does, but mainly as an adjunct to something else, the converting of paintings into photographic images. As for shooting people anymore, I doubt now that it will happen - models don´t do it for free if they are any good, and the continuing cycle that is that vicious circle demands a moneyed client etc. etc. And what else would I shoot with digital? What else interests me now? Not a lot, to tell the truth, and somehow, the idea of just shooting for no better reason than using the equipment seems sort of contrary to the love I have for the medium.

How sweet the lot of the amateur!

Rob C
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 03:36:17 PM by Rob C » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2009, 03:33:48 PM »
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How odd: I posted twice.

Rob C
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 03:34:33 PM by Rob C » Logged

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