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Author Topic: Anybody ever gone back to 35mm after MFD?  (Read 10175 times)
John R Smith
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« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2012, 04:19:46 AM »
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I really like the view finder in my Rollei and that keeps me mostly shooting with that when I can. The IQ is better but even if it wasn't I'd provably still use it.  But lately I have also been shooting with an old Nikon F4.  Wow! That's got a great viewfinder - too bad Nikons lost this great interchangable finder.

People don't realise just how utterly crap modern viewfinders are. Pick up an old Nikon F, or even a Pentax K1000, check out a Rollei 2.8F or a 'Blad 500 with an acutematte screen and be amazed. It doesn't matter, of course, because now everybody has liveview and is squinting at their pathetic LCD screens thinking that this is photography.

John
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Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
KLaban
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« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2012, 04:59:29 AM »
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People don't realise just how utterly crap modern viewfinders are.

Yes, sadly many are.

Probably the most important reason why I use the camera I do is because the viewfinder is just so good.
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Gigi
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« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2012, 08:39:49 AM »
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If composition matters, then the viewfinder that enables this is central. The rest is secondary.

MF gives big view finder. Gives a flexibility that LF doesn't, but now with digital backs, close to that quality level. DSLR is too much "hey I've got it, snag it", run and gun. BIg viewfinders help one step back and think a bit more.

WLF and prisms for different situations.

Apart from the size/weight issues, the MF setup is hard to beat for the more thoughtful work. Would love smaller, lighter answer, but MF makes more keepers.
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Geoff
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« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2012, 09:27:54 AM »
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People don't realise just how utterly crap modern viewfinders are. Pick up an old Nikon F, or even a Pentax K1000 ...
This is one place that I can modtly agree with the nostalgic curmudgeons: the arrrival of auto-focus drove SLR viewfinder designs in a direction that perhaps works better when using auto-focus, but at the cost of not supporting some things like manual focusing as well. But ...
... now everybody has liveview and is squinting at their pathetic LCD screens thinking that this is photography.
There is of course another option, the EVF, which for often stated reasons (the ability to magnify near the desired focus point, possibly with the overall framing still shown around the zoomed portion; DOF preview without dimming of the image; the ability to "switch screens" to get various overlays like grids for vertical and horizontal alignment ...) can be far better than any optical viewfinder in most respects. The main remaining EVF disadvantages relate to fast moving subjects and lag, which is now down to 1/120s or maybe even 1/240s.

In a pinch, even the zoomed image on a rear screen is a more precise focusign tool than any optical viewfinder, even those in medium format cameras. It is ironical that this much-maligned composition tool so closely resembles the top-down ground glass viewfinders of older MF designs. The 56mm width of those VFs with 6x6 or 645 is about the same as with a 3" rear LCD screen.

Of course, there are not yet any 35mm format cameras with EVFs, but there will probably be one later this year, in the form of a Sony "SLT" to repace the discontinued A900 and A850. I wonder why no SLR maker has yet offered an accessory tiltable EVF, usable in the hot shoe.
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KLaban
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« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2012, 09:53:22 AM »
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This is one place that I can modtly agree with the nostalgic curmudgeons: the arrrival of auto-focus drove SLR viewfinder designs in a direction that perhaps works better when using auto-focus, but at the cost of not supporting some things like manual focusing as well. But ...

Thankfully I have a viewfinder that excludes all extraneous light (absolutely vital), gives me the ability to frame with precision and makes auto and manual focusing a joy.

Most cameras need a zoomed image exactly because the viewfinders are utterly crap.
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BJL
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« Reply #45 on: March 31, 2012, 10:11:11 AM »
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Most cameras need a zoomed image exactly because the viewfinders are utterly crap.
That might indeed be the cause with respect to "two-eyed" rear screen viewfinders (which I can tolerate in some situations but would not want to rely on.) But since the consequence is a tool that is far more accurate for manual focusing with high resolution cameras, why should I care about that bit of history? Caring about history is clearly not one of my strong points!

From what I have read, the image on the ground glass viewfinder of a 35mm format SLR has resolution that at best corresponds to about 2MP, and maybe 5MP in 645. (The scattering of the image from the lens off a frosted glass or plastic surface into the secondary image seen through the one-eyed viewfinder or the two-eyed viewfinder screen atop an old-style MF camera does terrible things to image sharpness and detail!)


P. S. Since no one has yet brought up range-finders as an alternative to those low res. frosted screen VFs, I will not discuss the extreme difficulty or impossibility of calibrating the focusing accuracy of that mechanism well enough to match 18MP+ resolution. At least the viewfinder image overall can be sharp.
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KLaban
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« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2012, 10:18:32 AM »
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But since the consequence is a tool that is far more accurate for manual focusing with high resolution cameras, why should I care about that bit of history?

You think the principal purpose of a viewfinder is a focusing aid?
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BJL
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« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2012, 10:34:48 AM »
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You think the principal purpose of a viewfinder is a focusing aid?
Not the only role, but that is surely one important task of the viewfinder --- unless one always uses auto-focus, and the "focus and recompose" strategy that almost all medium format cameras require for off-center subjects. DOF preview is another use I mentioned, where an EVF has a clear advantage over an OVF stopped down more than one or two stops, basically because a good modern sensor is far more sensitive to low light than our eyes, and so the dim stopped-down image can be magnified up to a useful brightness.

For other purposes, my resolution numbers indicate that medium format OVFs probably have some advantage for now.

I did forget to mention VF image size: that is one place that a larger format has a natural advantage over a smaller one when it comes to TTL optical viewfinders ... but the difference goes away if and when EVFs (good one-eyed ones) come into play.


Of course, the current lack of good one-eyed EVFs in 35mm format mean that for now, the TTL OV of a MF camera offers some clear advantages, for a little while longer. I wonder where we will be in four year's time, which is when I expect the next wave of high end 35mm format models from Canon and Nikon.
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KLaban
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« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2012, 10:58:35 AM »
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Focus and recompose works just fine for me. I'd rather have a beautifully composed image than critically sharp shit.
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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2012, 11:33:44 AM »
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Not the only role, but that is surely one important task of the viewfinder --- unless one always uses auto-focus, and the "focus and recompose" strategy that almost all medium format cameras require for off-center subjects. DOF preview is another use I mentioned, where an EVF has a clear advantage over an OVF stopped down more than one or two stops, basically because a good modern sensor is far more sensitive to low light than our eyes, and so the dim stopped-down image can be magnified up to a useful brightness.



If you mean using the central focussing spot to focus on an item off-centre, then re-positioning the camera with that off-central subject back in its original place, you'll  never get it critically crisp: lenses don't work like that. This has been discussed and proved here in LuLa quite some time ago. Basically, what that technique does, is take the T-square that's formed by the line through the central axis of the lens where it meets the plane of the subject (the head of that imaginary T-square) and then swings it into another plane altogether. If you mentally project the straight line formed along the axis of the T-square's head, you'll see at once that swinging that 'head' from position to position alters the plane that the lens is trying so desperately hard to render flat. The plane running through the original subject when you focussed on it by moving the angle of the lens axis, is no longer that same plane when the camera is reset to the taking position. That plane on which you actually focussed now lies much closer to the camera than it did when you were focussing on it, even though the subject itself has not moved.

The only way you can defeat the geometry is by using a lens with a shell-like plane of focus – exactly what you get with poor wide-angles, and what all lens makers try to avoid.

It really is easy to understand if you take that T-square idea: imagine viewing down the centre-line of the long strip and think where the extended line through the axis along the centre of the length of the head lies. Shift that into another position by pivoting from the same point, and that projected centre-line along the length of the head is miles off in another place.

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2012, 11:40:26 AM »
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If you mean using the central focussing spot to focus on an item off-centre, then re-positioning the camera with that off-central subject back in its original place, you'll  never get it critically crisp: lenses don't work like that. This has been discussed and proved here in LuLa quite some time ago. Basically, what that technique does, is take the T-square that's formed by the line through the central axis of the lens where it meets the plane of the subject (the head of that imaginary T-square) and then swings it into another plane altogether. If you mentally project the straight line formed along the axis of the T-square's head, you'll see at once that swinging that 'head' from position to position alters the plane that the lens is trying so desperately hard to render flat. The plane running through the original subject when you focussed on it by moving the angle of the lens axis, is no longer that same plane when the camera is reset to the taking position. That plane on which you actually focussed now lies much closer to the camera than it did when you were focussing on it, even though the subject itself has not moved.

The only way you can defeat the geometry is by using a lens with a shell-like plane of focus – exactly what you get with poor wide-angles, and what all lens makers try to avoid.

It really is easy to understand if you take that T-square idea: imagine viewing down the centre-line of the long strip and think where the extended line through the axis along the centre of the length of the head lies. Shift that into another position by pivoting from the same point, and that projected centre-line along the length of the head is miles off in another place.

Rob C


I want true focus for my Mamiya 7 ...  Wink
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NikonMike
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« Reply #51 on: March 31, 2012, 11:53:09 AM »
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I wonder why no SLR maker has yet offered an accessory tiltable EVF, usable in the hot shoe.

I thought Contax had introduced something like that for its ill fated N SLR system. Some googling indeed dug up this:

Contax FE-1 LCD Viewfinder
1.5 inch screen, probably only usable with the N1 body, $699, ~2001 vintage
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KLaban
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« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2012, 11:54:16 AM »
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If you mean using the central focussing spot to focus on an item off-centre, then re-positioning the camera with that off-central subject back in its original place, you'll  never get it critically crisp...

Rob, thankfully I'm not trying to focus wide open on a nipple.  
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BJL
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« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2012, 12:03:28 PM »
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Since I bought up the idea of pointing the cameras at an off-center subject to focus on it (manually or with auto-focus) and then recomposing, it seems to me that
- it is often perfectly good, if not speedy, and I use it with single point AF a lot of the time
- it can fail when DOF is shallow, as Jonathan Weinke argued and demonstrated in these forums some years ago and for the reasons that Rob C just indicated
- in situations where "F&C" is not good enough, the only solutions that I can think of that will work with high resolution images are

(a) manual focus with zooming on an electronic viewfinder (the one-eyed or two-eyed options are both viewfinders in my understanding of the word)
(b) auto-focus with correct composition and off-center AF sensors
(c) in-camera calculation of corrections for F&C, allowing for the distance change after focusing. Doesn't Hasselblad offer something like this?

With the camera on a tripod, my preferences would be in that order, since the first two options avoid recomposing, and the first avoides fiddling with focus point selections, but I do not pretend to speak for everyone.
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BJL
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« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2012, 12:09:10 PM »
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Unfortunately, that Contax FE-1 LCD Viewfinder just takes the image from the OVF, not direct from the sensor, so still has the limited resolution and lack of zoomability of the OVF image. Contax did not have much choice, since the Phillips full-frame type CCD of that camera does not support Live View.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 03:27:49 PM by BJL » Logged
Lacunapratum
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« Reply #55 on: March 31, 2012, 01:39:15 PM »
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Viewfinders:  the Hy6 has a gorgeous viewfinder. 

Back to 35mm:  haven't gone back, but 4/3 and m4/3 with their sensors continously increasing in image quality, great lenses, and compact size have been a wonderful addition for those times when the medium format kit is just too heavy. 
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Rob C
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« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2012, 04:01:37 AM »
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Rob, thankfully I'm not trying to focus wide open on a nipple.  




That becomes more of a question of concentration, rather than of optics, even after a few years of practice.

;-)

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2012, 04:06:54 AM »
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- it can fail when DOF is shallow, as Jonathan Weinke argued and demonstrated in these forums some years ago and for the reasons that Rob C just indicated



That's the man!

Has he dropped out of LuLa? I had completely forgotten his identity - he was in the US Army, I think, and quite an interesting, experienced writer. I seem to remember that he was ill in some way. Any news about him, anyone?

Rob C




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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2012, 05:46:27 AM »
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Has he dropped out of LuLa? I had completely forgotten his identity - he was in the US Army, I think, and quite an interesting, experienced writer. I seem to remember that he was ill in some way. Any news about him, anyone?

Unfortunately not. He was like posting 100 times a day and then vanished almost instantly after his decision to go to Irak. I hope he is doing fine.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
nicolaasdb
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« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2012, 09:18:01 AM »
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I use both, but have to admit that the mf files are much much nicer! I use 1ds, 5dmkII, leaf65 and leaf II-6 and just orderd a d800.
And no clients don't ask me to shoot mf, but don't you want to create be best image files? Full body shot of models with a 5d and the eyelash separation is pretty much gone, with the leaf it's still there.
I am trying to convince myself that its not important, because the clients will never know...but I do!

I honestly hope that the d800 files come very close, so I can shoot easy and error free ( because shooting mf is like driving a stick shift ferrari.... Expensive and very quirky ... But what a ride it is!!!) while shooting with a 35mm is like driving a automatic Honda ... Cheap and easy and it gets you from a to b )

My 2 cents ;-)
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