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Author Topic: The Full Frame Myth  (Read 17049 times)
Petrus
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« Reply #80 on: December 24, 2013, 12:13:47 AM »
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As far as the technical quality of the 8x10 goes, I suspect, but can't prove (because I'm not a tech head) that a GX1 could match the technical quality of a good 8x10 negative on 1941 film stock. I would be less certain about this if you were to compare 8x10 equipment from the 90s versus digital. Anybody with any information about this, other than simple opinion?

I am usually the first one to stand up to defend digital IQ against ancient film technology, but good old 8x10" is just too much to be matched by a tiny digital sensor.

Quick and dirty approximation: When 135 full frame cameras started to get better than any 135 film, there were outrageous claims about 135 film sharpness, over 20 MPix and so. Practice has shown that it was not the case, 135 film frame holds about the same amount of detail as 6-12 MPix digital file. Using this as a base and thinking that the camera/lens/film combination AA used was really bad and misaligned, I used a figure of only 2 MPix per 24x36mm film area. Even then the 8x10" plate would have 120 MPix, versus 16 THEORETICAL MPix GX1 has. So the real difference is at least tenfold.

So it is no contest. There still is no replacement for square inches, especially when one has enough of them.
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Petrus
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« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2013, 12:20:06 AM »
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I recently viewed an exhibit of  Ansel Adams work along with some other landscape master works.     I was most struck by the same thing I have been for some while when viewing silver gelatin prints....how generally soft the prints appear!   I realize this is heresy.    I don't believe that there is any doubt that current moderate quality equipment exceeds that which made the vintage masterworks we all enjoy.  

There are now ways to make prints appear sharper than they really are, something that was not possible with film. Still I would draw a line somewhere, if "moderate quality" equipment means 16+ MPix APS-C and larger sensor cameras, then yes, they equal and beat old 120 systems, but 4x5 and bigger sheet films are a tougher nut to crack.

AA 8x10" prints could be bettered with some stitching with something like 5D3 or D800, easily. But with one frame from M4/3 camera, no way.
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Ray
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« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2013, 02:04:24 AM »
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Ray, I picked the Adams shot precisely because most people find it beautiful and technically excellent, although Adams did not have access to equipment that could do what ours does. So do we really need to do more than what he did? Is there much sense in this continual pixel-peeping?

John,
Of course we do. That's progress. The attitude that what was good enough for our grandfathers should be good enough for us would have left us all still in the Stone Age.

I always resisted buying MFDB equipment, not because I didn't appreciate the benefits of its higher resolution and better tonality, but because (1) it didn't seem to me to be good value and therefore I couldn't justify the expense, and (2) there seemed to be serious disadvantages in terms of overall weight and functionality which would not have suited my shooting style, which is taking photos mostly during walks and treks. The relatively poor high-ISO performance of most DBs was also discouraging.

Each person has his own standards regarding technical quality, or just follows the standards of others. What I always try to do is balance the benefits of high resolution and low noise against the disadvantages of bulk, weight and cost.

My ideal camera would be something like a Panasonic FZ200 with the resolution and low noise of a D800E. Perhaps some day, after significant development in nanotechnology, such a camera might become a reality.
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Rob C
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« Reply #83 on: December 24, 2013, 04:06:38 AM »
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It obviously won't change any minds, but I do think it unfortunate that so many folks get so wound up about technicalities. There always was and always will be something 'better' than the thing we currently own, but if what we own is good enough to make nice images possible when in reasonably skilled hands, I see little point in looking ahead to the next best thing. It becomes a race instead of a creative pastime. In a way, it represents the difference between pleasure sailing and competing. One is done calmly and for its intrinsic pleasure where the other is a driven thing, forced by the need to appear better than everybody else. They are much the same thing about being in a boat, but utterly different in approach and purpose.

Wasn't photography simply meant to be about making pleasing images? In the end, for most of us, who gives a shit about how wonderfully sharp our ten-foot-wides appear? It's a digital print, for crissakes; it's lost its virginity even before it's been born.

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #84 on: December 24, 2013, 04:49:37 AM »
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Rob, I agree with much you have said.

On the other hand there are many folk simply looking for solutions to issues they perceive to be problems or irritations. Perhaps a good example would be improvements to Nikon DSLR viewfinders and screens or the introduction of lightweight and compact medium format cameras Wink

Happy Hols.
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #85 on: December 24, 2013, 08:09:31 AM »
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I've been to his gallery in Bishop, and at Rowell's former Emeryville gallery I've seen his prints side-by-side with Bill Atkinson's (http://www.billatkinson.com/) who at the time was using Hasselblad film cameras.  Rowell's photos do not look like they were made with medium format equipment and film, the difference is obvious.

Doesn't matter he took some damn nice photos.
I'll take a great 3mp image over a ho hum 36mp one every day of the week  Grin
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wildlightphoto
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« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2013, 08:35:40 AM »
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Doesn't matter he took some damn nice photos.
I'll take a great 3mp image over a ho hum 36mp one every day of the week  Grin

That's not in question.  Would you rather take a great 3mp image or a great 36mp image?
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Rob C
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« Reply #87 on: December 24, 2013, 08:55:37 AM »
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Rob, I agree with much you have said.

On the other hand there are many folk simply looking for solutions to issues they perceive to be problems or irritations. Perhaps a good example would be improvements to Nikon DSLR viewfinders and screens or the introduction of lightweight and compact medium format cameras Wink

Happy Hols.



Keith, you have been reading my posts as well as my mind!

Happy break to you too!

I tooK Ms Coke for an adventure today after lunch - unfortunately, I have to reconnect the old computer to discover whether she did or did not enjoy it, because the  new one won't yet let SanDisk, the Reader, do its thing and send NEFs to a folder of my choosing. They go forcefully into a Windows thing from which they are currently impossible to budge other than by simply cancelling them.

;-)

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #88 on: December 24, 2013, 08:57:23 AM »
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That's not in question.  Would you rather take a great 3mp image or a great 36mp image?

That's exactly the point. However great a low resolution image is considered to be, it would be even greater at a significantly higher resolution, and with significantly smoother tonality and cleaner shadows.

Most Stock Photography sites price photos according to the file size, ie. resolution.
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Ray
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« Reply #89 on: December 24, 2013, 09:14:04 AM »
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I see little point in looking ahead to the next best thing. It becomes a race instead of a creative pastime. In a way, it represents the difference between pleasure sailing and competing. One is done calmly and for its intrinsic pleasure where the other is a driven thing, forced by the need to appear better than everybody else. They are much the same thing about being in a boat, but utterly different in approach and purpose.
Rob C

Can't understand that attitude at all, Rob. I've never bought a camera in order to compete with someone and appear better. I buy cameras to take pictures. I get more pleasure processing noise-free, high resolution images that provide fine detail than I do processing low resolution images with banding in the shadows. It's as simple as that.

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Wasn't photography simply meant to be about making pleasing images? In the end, for most of us, who gives a shit about how wonderfully sharp our ten-foot-wides appear? It's a digital print, for crissakes; it's lost its virginity even before it's been born.

Not at all. A lot of photography is about taking very ugly images, as in a war zone. If the photo is 10 feet wide, I want it to be reasonably sharp as reality is. The sharper the better.
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KLaban
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« Reply #90 on: December 24, 2013, 09:15:40 AM »
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Most Stock Photography sites price photos according to the file size, ie. resolution.

Never mind the quality, feel the width.
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KLaban
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« Reply #91 on: December 24, 2013, 09:19:34 AM »
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I tooK Ms Coke for an adventure today after lunch - unfortunately, I have to reconnect the old computer to discover whether she did or did not enjoy it, because the  new one won't yet let SanDisk, the Reader, do its thing and send NEFs to a folder of my choosing. They go forcefully into a Windows thing from which they are currently impossible to budge other than by simply cancelling them.

Rob, I meant to say, there's a Microsoft download out there somewhere that changes the look and feel of Windoze 8 to something more akin to 7. Might be worth investigating?
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #92 on: December 24, 2013, 09:30:51 AM »
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That's exactly the point. However great a low resolution image is considered to be, it would be even greater at a significantly higher resolution, and with significantly smoother tonality and cleaner shadows.

Most Stock Photography sites price photos according to the file size, ie. resolution.

Couple of points, stock photography is a dying area few make a living purely on that work. Even so they will happily accept images that are well below 36mp native size.
Regarding the resolution point, it's as I said of no practical significance to 95% of photographers nowadays.

About the only thing that might be interesting isn't more megapixels, but newer sensor technology as bayer bows out replaced by better technology.
For most folks many cameras even at the lower price points offer more than enough resolution even for demanding tasks. But let's not forget that makers have exploited this for their own sales too.

If 9 out of 10 Nikon D3200 buyers never put anything on their camera bar the 18-55mm kit lens, then having 24mp is completely wasted on such an optic. Yes some will have better lenses, most won't. So I still say with confidence it's got a lot more to do with marketing and camera sales than it has printing big.

As for the cropping argument, fine fire away, but poor technique can never really be substituted with huge crops.
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Rob C
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« Reply #93 on: December 24, 2013, 11:05:48 AM »
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I recently viewed an exhibit of  Ansel Adams work along with some other landscape master works.     I was most struck by the same thing I have been for some while when viewing silver gelatin prints....how generally soft the prints appear!   I realize this is heresy.    I don't believe that there is any doubt that current moderate quality equipment exceeds that which made the vintage masterworks we all enjoy.  



Wasn't part of the St Al mystique built around the story that he preferred making 8" x 10" contact prints? I doubt there be much unsharpness there unless he went hand-held after a gentleman's luncheon.

;-)

Rob C
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Petrus
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« Reply #94 on: December 24, 2013, 01:32:08 PM »
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AA had a contact print box with a matrix of bulbs so that he could "lightshop" even the contact print images...
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Rob C
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« Reply #95 on: December 24, 2013, 02:21:41 PM »
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AA had a contact print box with a matrix of bulbs so that he could "lightshop" even the contact print images...



Now that sounds cool! Did it work?

Rob C
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Petrus
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« Reply #96 on: December 24, 2013, 02:49:53 PM »
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Of course, with 8x10" plates. Each bulb could be turned on and of individually.
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LesPalenik
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« Reply #97 on: December 24, 2013, 04:40:04 PM »
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Most Stock Photography sites price photos according to the file size, ie. resolution.

Theoretically, that's true, however many stock photographs sold today for print or web pages are small in size, or sold on subscription basis where the buyer pays the same price regardless the size.
 
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Ray
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« Reply #98 on: December 24, 2013, 06:23:29 PM »
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Regarding the resolution point, it's as I said of no practical significance to 95% of photographers nowadays.

I'm quite happy to be part of the other 5%. I've never been one to follow the mob.  Wink

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As for the cropping argument, fine fire away, but poor technique can never really be substituted with huge crops.

Every photographic image that has existed is a crop. It's not possible to produce an image which is not a crop of the scene being photographed. Cropping is always an essential part of good technique whether such cropping is done through choice of lens and camera format at the time the shot is taken, which usually results in higher resolution, or later in post-processing, which usually results in lower resolution.
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bcooter
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« Reply #99 on: December 24, 2013, 06:33:45 PM »
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Bottom line is this.

I can absolutely build a set of circumstances where every format film or digital that has been mentioned here I could shoot (within a specific scenario) and prove technically that that format was superior.

We all say it 1000 times a minutes but all the matters is the photo.  On this top of this forum is a banner ad, for some metallic silver paper.  Has an interseting image of a woman in white holding some silver thing.

With the right post work I can shoot from 6 to 80 mpx and even the most trained, pixel peeping, chart making tech loving cat will never tell the difference.

So the real bottom line is if it works for you, your images are beautiful (to you and if you work for commerce the people that pay you) if you love photography, then go with what you like, produce great work and live a happy life.

If ol' Ansel built a 10 lightbulb contact printer then good for him, that's thinking outside of the box, or in this case inside the box and if he did it he did it to present the best image possible, from selection to final.

Isn't that the goal?  

Me, right now I dig those olympus 43 omds.  I can build a film, shoot them like I use to shoot 35mm cameras before they got the size of a mini cooper and  .. . ok hold it . . . I gotta confess.  I love those cameras but since I'm such a contrarian I also love the fact that not a lot of professional photographers use them.

I firmly believe that the reason I stuck with the Contax/Phase so long was because everybody else gave up.   I like different stuff, but what I like really has nothing to do with anyone else's work.

IMO

BC
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