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Author Topic: You can do that with . . .  (Read 4808 times)
bcooter
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« on: November 03, 2010, 03:46:07 PM »
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I rarely initiate a thread.   I usually only have time to reply, then get back to work, but reading that alternative universe thread of "what you can or can't do with a camera format", (or at least trying to read it), to me has zero relevance to anyone that is trying to move their art and commerce forward.

After browsing over that mess I propose something unique to this forum.

Before we critique, compare, pull out charts, rework old quotes, defend our positions, many of the respondents could do themselves a favor and personally try some of the equipment they either praise or dismiss.

There is a world of  dealers and reps that can make this happen with one phone call if your serious about a purchase.  (If your not openly serious then don't waste their time.)

When it comes to cameras, especially specialty cameras, all too often we fall into the trap of complaining about the 10% that isn't exactly what we want, bypassing the 90% that is.

I know I've done this and honestly it's not constructive.  In fact for that I apologize as I think it takes the focus (pun not intended) away from what is unique about high end cameras, regardless of format.

Those alternative universe threads also runs into the territory of comparing apples to aircraft carriers.   If your a  snapshot photographer, any camera will do.

If your a serious artist, amateur or professional you go into each situation prepared to offer more than is needed, whether it be with  cameras, lights, grip, support, vehicles and of course sweat equity.

No professional goes into a situation with the intent of wasting money or overpaying, but we do enter into a contract with ourself and the client (real or intended)  promising to deliver more than is expected.  Our simultaneous goal is to protect our client's brand as well as our own.

That is the nature of our competitive field and though I and many others could probably shoot most projects with a 5d2, cheap photo floods, and/or off brand strobes, there is just too much at stake to add risk using any marginal element.

There is also all this talk that the larger format cameras cost too much.  In honest reflection that is a myth.

My two digital backs are probably the most cost effective equipment in our studios, except for maybe some grip hardware.

I've used them for nearly 5 years and thanks to the manufacturers making their software and firmwares backwards compatible I can probably use them for 5 more years.  In fact my next still camera purchase will probably be some form of leaf shutter camera (I'm not sure which back I will use) but only because I need a little faster flash sync for some projects than my current contax's and 1ds3's.  

Still (and I hate to reference that alternative universe thread, because it goes nowhere), I do believe that it gives a false impression that every serious artist steps out with only one brand or type of camera and goes to work.  

That is rarely the case and if you are myopic with your equipment, you'll probably be forced to by myopic in your art.

As much as we all say size doesn't matter, in today's world it does.  I can't even begin to count the number of times images are moved, cropped, manipulated, formats changed and I see more of this every day, in successful  fine art, personal as well as commercial works.

As I write this, I have two projects in heavy post production and one post production invoice that is over 62 pages.    That is the reality of today's world of imagery and it's always easier to start with the best image possible, not the image that will just get by and that comes from using the right camera for the right scenario, even if it's overkill.

All of this talk doesn't change the fact that most photographers that are successful and serious about what they produce, use professional equipment.  Always have.

As we all know a different camera won't make you a great photographer but, if your serious about what you produce, you'll be serious about what you produce it with.

IMO

BC
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 05:02:23 PM »
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Cooter

You can't seriopusly expect a reply to this thread; you've written here all that needs to be written on the subject of professional photography.

Thanks for the purge.

Rob C
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Schewe
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 05:16:09 PM »
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You can't seriopusly expect a reply to this thread....

Well, that didn't keep you from making a post, huh?
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Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 05:33:29 PM »
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Well, that didn't keep you from making a post, huh?


Guess you are incapable of recognizing a compliment when you read one, huh?

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 05:35:27 PM »
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snip..

Before we critique, compare, pull out charts, rework old quotes, defend our positions, many of the respondents could do themselves a favor and personally try some of the equipment they either praise or dismiss.

Agreed, but I fear it'll never catch on.

snip...

As we all know a different camera won't make you a great photographer but, if your serious about what you produce, you'll be serious about what you produce it with.

Again, agreed, and I am serious about what I produce and what I produce it with, but what I have difficulty with is caring about what others here think of my choices and indeed caring about theirs.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that others here might see this as negative and/or a personality disorder.  
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fredjeang
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 05:47:39 PM »
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Agreed, but I fear it'll never catch on.

Again, agreed, and I am serious about what I produce and what I produce it with, but what I have difficulty with is caring about what others here think of my choices and indeed caring about theirs.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that others here might see this as negative and/or a personality disorder.  
This Keith, I can't understand what's the mechanic involved. I mean, you shoot with what the hell you want to shoot with. What the other have something to object about that ?!? Like someone is coming to see you to argue with the choice of your shoes. Can't beleive that you had those repetitive experiences of people coming to argue with your equipment on the field and try to demostrate you're wrong. C'est complètement fou!

Anyway, that's a nice Cooter proposal but I think that it will be difficult to apply because it requires self-disipline. But it's worth trying it.

About having several type of tools, I beleive indeed it opens the lenguage of expression. Today, I've been "asked" to learn Final Cut for a project they need me, because i'm the only one of the band who still can't edit properlly in F.C.
I hate it because it's render, render and render...but then, I started to see that as an oportunity to learn a new tool.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 07:15:13 PM by fredjeang » Logged
2jbourret
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 08:14:06 PM »
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BC, thank you.
A voice of reason in the midst of a whole lot of NOISE.
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KLaban
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2010, 03:25:11 AM »
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snip...

Anyway, that's a nice Cooter proposal but I think that it will be difficult to apply because it requires self-disipline.

Agreed.

I think Rob C summed it up nicely when he said "x is better than y because I bought into x".
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pcunite
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2010, 09:12:48 AM »
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Excellent post again bcooter. For me, your posts always offer hope. MFD has its place, and you truly know that place. Thanks for respecting both sides of the fence.
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Pascalf
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2010, 02:18:23 PM »
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What you need, and what you want.

Having lurked in these forums [for years], I'll take this opportunity to post my current logic of the subject of the 'tools for the task at hand'.

It has echoes of the Original Poster [OP], and I'll summarize the experience backing the various logic.

Background:
I was taught photography by my sister, about two decades ago.  At the time, she was a professional photographer, and one of the fundamentals of composition was that an image is an answer to "what an I seeing/ describing/ saying with this image".  My background is very technical, being educated in aircraft assembly and working in the computer created visual field for over two decades.

Camera ownership history summary:
My first digital camera was a Canon S45, followed by a Fuji S2, and now a Nikon D200.  My first film camera was a Nikon 2002, and now a Contax 645 [with a soon to be repaired Mamiya 645AFD]..

This thread [and the related first thread] is showing [and a summary of] the usual cycle of any new technique/ technology that replaces a formerly established form/ norm.  Akin to the video [re]-evolution, many people seem to think that ONLY objective 'data' should be the criteria to judge and compare, among the new options, and against the superceded/ out-dated techniques.

There are numerous examples of 'revolutions' in visual production methods: desktop- publishing [from film to PostScript based], 3D animation [cell or stop motion to computer rendered], video editing [from 'A-B roll' to non-linear] .  Many of these transitions had the new technique being 'objectively' rated as superior in EVERY WAY, while usually not being the case, at first.
I'll take the case of non-linear editing, because I was there from the beginning. Basically, producers [who adopted the new editing techniques] lowered their quality standards to gain a massive increase in production speed and many more editing options, compared to what they replaced.  I have made two identical edits from the same source material [as the editor], and the producer showed our high end client the results, blind.  The client could, without exception, pick out the non-linear edit, every single time.  It is only when the non-lin systems matched the prior system [in visual quality] that the client would accept the edits as final.  You need prior experience in a professional setting, with experienced clients, for the quality standards to hold.

And we are seeing this in these Lu-La forums, again.

The reason I own and use medium format, with slide film, related to an experience being the bit-wrngler on a big corporate photo shoot.  The professional photographer has been advised that the photo shoot was being arranged with many 'stars and planets aligning themselves' , and that the best image quality would be appreciated.
There are two general scenarios that the photographer could choose, both described/ discussed by BCooter in the original post:

Scenario (A)
"That is the nature of our competitive field and though I and many others could probably shoot most projects with a 5d2, cheap photo floods, and/or off brand strobes, there is just too much at stake to add risk using any marginal element."
- Photographer uses full frame Canon [which they own], getting the job done with decent and acceptable quality.  To be clear, the photographer does not loose the client using the [full frame] Canon.  There are no obvious issues, quality-wise, to using a [full frame] Canon,: that is the photographers' main camera system.

Scenario (B)
"As we all know a different camera won't make you a great photographer but, if your serious about what you produce, you'll be serious about what you produce it with."
- Photographer rents Hasselblad H1 with Leaf Valeo 22MP back.

Photographer chooses (B).  As the bit-wrangler, I have to use the system to be at ease on the set, so the system is dropped-off at the photographers' studio the day before.  I will note that I was very skeptical of any great difference in quality between viable digital cameras.  I let it be known that many questions would be answered by my own testing as it pertains to ultimate, overall quality.  This is when all the internet 'facts' would battle with actual experience.

After a few hours of trying to convince ourselves that medium format is [mostly] hype, MY conclusion of MY testing had me promising myself that I would move to having medium format in my stable of cameras.  The results are "incountournable": I could not get around the fact that medium format could, and did, deliver visibly, and predictably better results.  Period.
Which is why I own a Contax 645 system [with film backs].  It is the progression towards a digital medium format system.

For me, the data points me to a predictably better image quality over the 35mm system, with enough of an improvement to convince me to invest in such a system.

To each their own.

But to me, this internet discussion forum 'talk' is always weighted with my current mantra: there are no facts, only data.  Interpret as you see fit.

One does have to convince others.  On the internet, there are no unassailable facts.

It has been iterated several times on these realted theads, and I add my voice to the basic notions that I went to for my conclusions: make your own tests.  Accurately compare.  Own your decision.

Regards,
Pascal

[I'll try and keep it shorter, if there is a next time.]
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2010, 03:53:05 PM »
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Simply put, photography in the professional world is a totally different thing to photography in the amateur world.

Fred has put it as accurately as anybody can. The pro - at any higher level of the sense of that word - thinks about the picture and never the means. The means is something that's an automatic reaction to the nature of the job; it comes naturally. You never picked up a 120 format 'blad when the job told you it was a Nikon day. It just didn't occur. And no, it wasn't just a matter of ultimate size of repro: it was also very much a matter of the how of the way the images were going to be made to happen.

The amateur on the other hand, has totally different ambitions. And experiences.

There is little sense in the one tribe trying to hold conversation with the other; the languages are different.

It's unfortunate that there is no way of reserving some threads for pros, but that's life and democracy, you see. I saw the same impossibility manifest itself in another place; in the end, I left and so did most of the other pros. I did, once or twice, get stung by other people into having a look again; it was a shocking display of stupidity, lack of understanding and the twitter of people who had nothing to say. It's sad, but there you are, that's how the cookie.. (do modern people know that old phrase, I wonder.).

Am I alone in thinking that there are fewer pros around today than there used to be? At least, in a contributing capacity, I wonder?

Rob C

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eronald
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2010, 04:26:11 PM »
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While you guys are debating what is a pro or an amateur, I think I'll go and make some pictures.

Edmund
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2010, 04:27:08 PM »
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Agree Rob. You also give me clews about how to express myself better and more condensed with english. That's why my posts tend to be long, still can't resume.

I think indeed that there are very different worlds. What's the magic solution?


A cynic would say: divorce?

But that would be stupid. This isn't, and never was (as far as I know) anything other than a general interest photographic site, of which it's certainly the best I've ever discovered. The only way forward is to make the most of the opportunity that's here - for free! - and try to get along with one another as well as we can.

There's also the possibility of just ignoring threads that annoy one, but then that leads to the danger of eventually holding conversations with one's self... I do that all the time, anyway, though I'd get a hell of a shock if I got answers in the middle of the night! Still...

;-)

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2010, 04:30:09 PM »
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While you guys are debating what is a pro or an amateur, I think I'll go and make some pictures.

Edmund


Last time I did that at night, Edmund, I ended up shooting a bunch of keys hanging from a filing cabinet with a Ilford film carton on top of it. Wait until the morning.

Rob C
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Pascalf
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2010, 05:11:48 PM »
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The short version:
You based your argumentation strictly on image quality. You are right, Canon gives you "enough" IQ. That is where the words can also start to be a trap. What's IQ? What's "enough"?
You don't (and hope you won't) choose the Canon because its IQ "is enough" but you choose the Canon in a specific circunstance because it's the right tool. It just depends on what you want to express.

And I agree.

As I stated, I *added* a Contax 645 to my camera set [Nikon D200 being the other main camera] mainly because of the image quality.  It does not replace any other camera.  Both are for different sessions/ scenarios.

I agree with you that the two cameras are for very different types of sessions, and that is how I use them.

We are in agreement with that.

And to expand on another point, my definition of image quality is *subjective*.  I will not point to any 'objective' research done by others as the only basis for my decision: these camera and lens choices are too expensive for me.  When I can, I try and test myself.  That level of investment is not disposable income [for me].

I do refer to the judgement of others when they are better than me, according to ME.  So, for example, the reason I use Nikon today is only because the sister, the real professional photographer [in the family], uses Nikon, and that is what I know.  It was not some long process where I researched the internet.  The sister uses Nikon, her picture quality is really good, let's use that.

For Contax 645, I could not use what the sister used [Pentax 6x7] if I wanted a camera system that could take digital backs.  So for that decision, I made my research and talked to people I know, saw the system and decided to build up to a working camera.  The other system I'm assembling [with parts from eBay and local photo shop/stores] is a Mamiya 645AFD, which only needs a shutter repair to be functional.

I chose Contax after being told, by professional people whom I respect, that Zeiss lenses are very, very good.  I originally wanted to assemble a Bronica system[ for its' lower cost] and was steered away from that conclusion. The photographer I knew who has a Hassy 503CW showed me what that system could do, and told be the pros and cons of the 5xx system as he saw it.

I only became convinced that choosing Contax 645 was a good investment [for me] when the films from my vacation returned from development [the lab].  The resulting images are still, by far, the best of many things that I consider define image quality.  And my years of working at a service bureau doing slides on film recorders [AGFA and Martix, with the lone high-end Pansophic] colours my judgement towards film-like attributes more-so than most photography practitioners. I can tell the difference between a 2K, 4K and 8K slide.  Then again, for whom does that matter, other than me?

For me, the internet has no facts, only data.  You compile your data to reach your conclusion, or 'facts', that apply to your endeavor.  Wisdom through experience is hard to 'show' on the internet, and who would want to if they could?

I was taught by pros, so I'm biased towards what I learned from them because of the results I get.  The people who advised me well earned my respect.  Experience teaches me what works for me.

Regards,
Pascal
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2010, 12:27:41 PM »
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Simply put, photography in the professional world is a totally different thing to photography in the amateur world.
Rob C
Are professionals not creative artists too?

Sometimes I am tempted to say:
"Amateurs take snapshots,
Professionals take photographs, and
I take pictures".

I once said to a professional musician...
"The difference between professionals and amateurs is that amateurs rehearse enough"

...and amateur photographers have the time and inspiration to work up to their standards, while some professionals get the job done as quickly and cost-effectively as they can.

The essence of photography is to be in the right place at the right time (with a camera) and there are a lot of amateurs out there with cameras.
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2010, 01:39:34 PM »
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Gidday.

My take on the difference between and amateur and professional photographer is simple.

The professional get paid and the amateur doesn’t.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2010, 07:07:13 PM »
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Brilliant posting, BC, well put and utterly true.
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ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2010, 09:05:44 PM »
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I was gonna read all this shit... but man that's a lot of words and given that I've been shooting 6 day weeks for the past month and a half, I think my free time is better spent ingesting Maitais.  Suffice to say,
Cooter is the Yoda of the LuLa board.  Rock on JR!  Re-read the OP, ignore the rest and go make pictures, yo.

Ciao,
CB
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2010, 10:50:41 PM »
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I was gonna read all this shit... but man that's a lot of words and given that I've been shooting 6 day weeks for the past month and a half, I think my free time is better spent ingesting Maitais.  Suffice to say,
Cooter is the Yoda of the LuLa board.  Rock on JR!  Re-read the OP, ignore the rest and go make pictures, yo.

Ciao,
CB
+100!
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
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