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Author Topic: Wanting to learn MF equipment  (Read 8499 times)
AvidVisionary
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« on: March 01, 2011, 06:44:30 AM »
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I just joined and looking forward to learning from the best of the best.

I have a 5D MKII with 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM, 50mm f/1.8

I have been doing self taught photography for 6 months now and have a basic understanding of composition, framing and equipment etc...

I did photography at college for 1 year but left it because of funds of film processing and other issues in life. So, I had a firm grasp of photography at the time.

Now, I have returned to re-educate my self in the field I love.

I would like to get into MF but, again, because of costs to colleges and some college don't have MF equipment unless you have money which makes me run in circles because of funds. I would like to learn MF self taught if possible.

What is the best way to learn about how to use the equipment, learning the work flow, the technology etc...


Thank you for the replies.
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ondebanks
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 07:55:56 AM »
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First question is - do you mean MF film or MF digital?
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AvidVisionary
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 07:58:21 AM »
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Digital first. Film later on. I say film later because of costs. Unless you know of a better way.
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ondebanks
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 08:13:32 AM »
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You sure about that?
There is about a factor of 10 difference between the cost to be up and running with a basic MF film camera and a basic MF digital camera.
Start with film.
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AvidVisionary
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 08:21:25 AM »
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Could you possible explain to me the difference between the two?
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ondebanks
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 08:34:44 AM »
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I could...but...there's only so much spoon-feeding that one can be expected to do. I think that it's time that you followed through on your opening statement: "I have returned to re-educate my self". You can, and should, easily find out such things for yourself. Spend a session or two with Google, then come back to us again.
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darr
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 08:36:25 AM »
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Film Used
Used Hasselblad 500 CM with lens, back, viewfinder = $1,027 US
120 E6 Film @ $4.59 US
120 E6 Film Processing @ $8.00 US

Digital Used
Hasselblad H3D-39 Megapixel + 50mm lens + 80mm lens, starting bid $9,999.00
Note: Hard to find one Used with one lens; this is not the newest model.
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Martin Kristiansen
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 08:43:35 AM »
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I think MF is just another camera. Bit heavier and you will be quicker to reach for a tripod but whats to learn really? In the old days it took a deft hand to load a roll of 220 film onto a processing reel without kinking and water marks could be a bit more troublesome but still, MF for the most part is just another camera. I can understand LF being an issue as it takes a while to wrap your head around movements and so on.

MF needs a bit more care to extract the benefits available than you may be used to taking with small format. In fact you can actually see a drop in quality when first moving to MF but all you really need to do is apply all the principles of small format but a lot more meticulously.

The difference between film MF and digital MF is buckets of money. Money for the back. Money for storage. Money for powerful computers. Loads of money. All or most of the costs up front in one stupendous hit. Film MF is cheaper to get into then you have higher ongoing costs for the consumables.
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AvidVisionary
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2011, 09:01:49 AM »
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Thank you darr for the links. I am looking into them. I am looking to rent rather then buy and learn at my own pace due to money. I will develop the negatives only and scan them rather then print them. Saving space and money.

@Martin

LF at the moment is beyond my reach. So, MF is a good place to move forward to while still working with 5D MKII. I want to do MF to have an edge when it comes to capturing a moment like in a wedding, architecture, film set and so forth. Also, I would like to learn MF as I will likely move  to that format and my 5D MKII will become secondary.

Let me understand this correctly. Film is cheaper because there is no LCD and no memory? Anything else?

I have a powerful pc. I used to be a PC technician. I have been working with photoshop for 5 years so that part is also taken care off.

Intel Core 2 Quadro
8GB RAM
Windows 7 64-bit
1TB HDD
ATI HD 3800


I need help to understand the cost between digital and film.

How to go about using the equipment.

There are plenty of tutorials for Canon and Nikon with lenses but I have not been able to find anything for MF or any specific camera. I am new to the format so that language right now needs clear explanation.


I hope I have been clear as you have been helpful.
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Martin Kristiansen
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 09:18:04 AM »
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I dont know about prices where you are. In South Africa you can buy a 2n'd hand Blad with a bunch of lenses for $1000. A top end digital back will cost 10 to 20 times that. Then you will still need a camera to mount it on and an old Blad may not always do it.
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AvidVisionary
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2011, 09:35:41 AM »
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I live in London, UK. If I get the money, I will buy but first I would like to practice and familiarise myself with the equipment and technicality.

I can't find any tutorials so I don't know where to start learning MF.
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Dennis Carbo
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2011, 09:39:57 AM »
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I would expect to pay $500 - $750 a day to rent a complete MF Digital set up ,  I would buy a cheap blad and shoot film to get your feet wet.
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2011, 09:43:25 AM »
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You don't need to LEARN MF.
If you know how to shoot there really is no difference between a P&S, DSLR, MF camera.
Just measure the light, set the settings, look through the little hole (or big hole) and press the shutter.

BUT.... I have to add.
When you ask a question like this I think it's not yet time to move to MF.
First master the 5D until it doesn't fit your needs anymore, when you hit that barrier where you feel you REALLY REALLY need something better, than it's time to upgrade, but by that time you already know 99% how to shoot a MF camera.

And no I don't mean that in a wrong way, just trying to put you on track.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2011, 09:50:38 AM »
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Yes Darr, yes, but it's just the top of the iceberg.

If the goal, or first goal is to learn, then I would recommend to start with film without hesitation, or if the film process is indeed an entire part of the fine-arts work that has all the sense to use film.

But if the goal is commercial that is another story and digital is the only solution. I often read that and yes, people who are doing fine art prints, maybe selling in galleries or from home and that's fine and romantic. But the needs of commercial photography simply does not allow anymore the uses of film except in some very few cases. The scanning costs are huge if done properly, the imposibility to check the results...let's go and say that about film to the young AD, the need anyway of powerfull computers because of the retouching involved that will be the same if not more than with digi and the time spent in all those extra tasks when delivery time in our wonderfull current world is shorten by ten while a need for high volume is multiply by the same tens and you got prety much the answer to where film is suitable or not.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 10:00:11 AM by fredjeang » Logged
gazwas
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2011, 09:56:25 AM »
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College, student (meaning not earning a living) and MF digital are not works that crop up in the same sentence very often.  Shocked

Seriously though, you don't learn photography by buying better cameras, but through experience. Unless you have a specific need (hugh file size) or niche (LF cameras) then MF digital offers very little and quite possibly much less flexibility than your rather excellent Canon.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2011, 09:58:30 AM »
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Film scanning is a considerable cost (A good scanner is not cheap) and time factor if you don't want to outsource it (expensive!).
And before sinking a lot of money into a MF system I'd really really careful consider the total cost of ownership for film and digital.
I myself have a very very cheap MF Rangefinder (Mamiya Press) system and am scanning myself.
And now I am considering to sell it and get either a D3X or a Used H4D or Phase System, for better image quality and faster workflow.
If you are determined to go digital anyways I'd consider to start with a reduced used system so you can upgrade later.
Lenses are important! Bodies come and go. Get a system which has a future and you can step by step upgrade.

Just my 0.02 ...
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AvidVisionary
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2011, 10:13:23 AM »
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@Frank Doorhof

I will take your advice to heart because you are experienced more then I. I will work with MF in film format but not yet as you have advised.

I have a question.

Why is it that a wide angle Canon lens is 17mm and a Hasselblad wide angle is 40mm?


@gazwas

I am defiantly not going to be buying anything. I love my 5D. I wanted to learn how to shoot with MF systems and renting them was what I had in mind. This thread put me on the right path because film is much cheaper.


@Christoph C. Feldhaim
I thought film scanning is cheap because of this;

http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-Canon-CanoScan-9000F-Film-Scanner/p1522045?cm_mmc=GoogleBase-_-Scanners-_-Scanners-_-Canon-CanoScan-9000F-Film-Scanner_1522045

I assumed the process would be as follows;

Take pictures > develop negatives only > scan negatives > post process into photoshop.



Just for the record to everyone reading this and would like to add their 2 cents, I will be working with film thanks to Frank for his guidance and will be renting only until I can afford.
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gazwas
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2011, 10:23:58 AM »
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Your Canon will wipe the floor with that Epson flat bed scanner and IMO you'll totally miss all the advantages of MF film by scanning at this quality.
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AvidVisionary
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2011, 10:31:30 AM »
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I thought so but I wasn't sure. What scanner do you recommend? The cheapest of course.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2011, 10:49:23 AM »
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Your Canon will wipe the floor with that Epson flat bed scanner and IMO you'll totally miss all the advantages of MF film by scanning at this quality.


Have you scanned MF film with an Epson 700/750?   I find the quality quite acceptable, nearly as good as my Nikon 9000 and for a lot less money.  Another option for digital conversion is shooting the MF film with the Canon DSLR.   There is something seductive about the large MF film images that goes beyond resolution.  I have "high end" DSLR, MF film and digital and all are fun to use and learn with.  However, if my home mortgage depended on my camera gear than I would have a different opinion.

Steve
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