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gwhitf

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H4D-40: Sample files
« Reply #120 on: April 07, 2010, 09:59:57 AM »

I went to FotoCare yesterday, in Manhattan. Nice guys there. I went there curious about several possibilities:

1. H4D-40: I did not shoot it and process a file, but the LCD is pretty nice. It's large, and somewhat OK quality. Quality seems maybe somewhere in between the Leaf LCD and maybe a Canon 1ds. The 3 inch size really helps a lot. Would it be fine if I was shooting HMI or available light? Absolutely. If I was trying to use it untethered to judge adding fill? I'm not sure. Did not really try out the TrueFocus thing, but I get the idea, and it seems well designed. But the camera still seems to "lunge" in my hands; I know they've got the Mirror Delay, but still, in my hand, if I was shooting available light at say, 1/60th, I'm not sure I'd ever be comfortable with that camera. Also, I realized, since the back is made WITH the body, you'd be forced to buy two of them, one for backup, so that doubles the price tag. I'm sure the camera will be successful probably, but I simply do not like that camera in my hand, actually shooting it. Not sure why. Maybe in the studio, on a tripod, shooting stuff that you don't care about, for money, it would be fine. Still, I feel like Hasselblad is "getting it", and they are close to finding that sweet spot. For a wealthy amateur, it's probably already there, in this version. But I left there underwhelmed.

2. Putting a CFV on my 203FE: This is a possibility. I guess the back would be a 39MP Hassie back. Not sure the exact number. Send your body off, have it modified in Jersey, and then stick a back on it. Not sure if cable is needed, to sync post. Small LCD. Not sure about usability of ASA 800. Affordable. Seems risky though, for actual use. Kinda Fred Sanford.

3. 39MP: 39MP Hassie back on a 555 V body. I think no cords needed. Small LCD. Not sure about ASA 800. But affordable.

4. P65+ on a V 555: This interests me because I think the P65+ is easily rotatable, from vertical to horizontal. Horrible LCD, and big big money.

5. Screw it all, keep shooting film: No way. Film is dying more and more each and every day. This won't affect me, but I do wonder about guys who built their career on shooting LF, and whether they can keep that look when they switch over.

6. Keep shooting Canon: Snooze.

----

In short, I walked out of there just shaking my head. Walked into a pro camera store an hour later, on 17th St, to buy some 220, and I see Leica, Hasselblad, Nikon, Canon banners, and when I asked for film, they said, "Sorry, we stopped selling all film. Go to Calumet." My jaw dropped.

One really frustrating thing about all this search: It's often very difficult to really see, in your hands, what you want to buy. And if you've ever written the large check for one of these cameras, and then discovered something large and irritating later, you are NOT wild about repeating the mistake. Again, I'm amazed that these companies don't post up a million little YouTube videos for potential customers to get their heads around a possible solution. Nobody wants to get burned for twenty grand.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 10:11:04 AM by gwhitf »
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gwhitf

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« Reply #121 on: April 07, 2010, 10:38:13 AM »

Quote from: KLaban
Unless permanently tethered, possible - even probable - focussing issues on all three options. see this link

I started a Thread here on that similar topic over a year ago, and everyone laughed at me. Maybe no one was ready to admit it, a year ago. I swear to God, it's like it's some ghost from the dead, that jinxes digital in that way -- I can manual focus my 203FE all day long with film, and nail most every frame. Manual focus. But as soon as I pick up a digital camera, the fight for focus ensues. Maybe it's so Dummies101 embarrassing that it took this long for people to admit the problem. Film says, "Hey, come on, let's go for a ride and make some cool images", and Digital says, "Screw you; I just dare you to try to nail focus"; kicking and dragging its feet the whole way.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 10:39:18 AM by gwhitf »
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JdeV

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H4D-40: Sample files
« Reply #122 on: April 07, 2010, 11:27:52 AM »

Quote from: gwhitf
I went to FotoCare yesterday, in Manhattan. Nice guys there. I went there curious about several possibilities:

5. Screw it all, keep shooting film: No way. Film is dying more and more each and every day. This won't affect me, but I do wonder about guys who built their career on shooting LF, and whether they can keep that look when they switch over.

Currently I favour a D3x and scanned LF neg (though when a client wants it I rent a P65 and put it on an H-body or the back of my Arca M-Line or Toyo VX125). I shoot a lot of different stuff including fashion and architecture but very little in the studio.

I don't need to talk about the D3x. Everyone knows they are great by now. ditto 1ds MkIII and 5D MkII.

For LF I shoot Portra NC in 160 and 400 flavours. I process everything normal unless the subject is exceptionally flat or contrasty in which case I will push or pull up to 1/2 stop to correct contrast.
I get 'contact' scans done through the Print File sleeves to keep the negatives pristine. I edit from these.
I bought an IQsmart 3 scanner a few months ago and now get an assistant to do 16-bit 'raw' linear scans from the picks. There is no interpretation involved so the process is simple and purely mechanical. Anyone can learn how to do it in a few minutes. Quality is very high.
The 'raw' scans are brought into Photoshop and filtered through ColorPerfect which gives a very good neg. inversion and correction.
Further edits are done as needed within Photoshop. The scanned 'raw' files essentially function in a similar way to digital raw files.

In pure sharpness terms this process yields a file from a 5"x4" that is comparable to a P45+ file and a tad inferior to a P65+ file. (Using top-end lenses in both cases). Colour is better with a digital back but the neg. yields a nice look. There are no issues with moire or neon. Dynamic range is far superior with the scanned neg. Grain is, of course, more prevalent but under most circumstances it looks kind of nice. Composition and working process is also much better. Fujiroids are used on set to check overall look, groundglass for composition. No focus issues for architectural work. Much less to go wrong in remote locations (except for film and X-Ray machines). A 10"x8" yields way more detail than a P65+.

For all instances where, pre-digital, I would have used an RZ or a film Nikon, I now use the D3x. But given the cost and inadequacies of MF digital I think the scanned LF film route is still absolutely viable for certain niches and worth trying. I have no axe to grind and if digital backs didn't have all the problems they do I might even buy one and enjoy using it but for now, no, rental only, client pays.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 11:29:31 AM by JdeV »
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bcooter

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H4D-40: Sample files
« Reply #123 on: April 07, 2010, 11:36:07 AM »

Quote from: gwhitf
I went to FotoCare yesterday, in Manhattan.

You've been this route before (well not with a Leaf) but here's your answer;

http://www.peartreephotoshop.co.uk/product-p/u-068.htm

Obviously it's in pound sterling, not dollars which I think the current exchange rate makes if $400,532. (actually just kidding I think the asking price with exchange is about $22,000.

Now I know you don't like the tiny view of a Contax, but with a waste level finder it looks damn big and Leaf makes a film like file, whatever that means and Lc11 is kind of a stripped down tethering option and there is always C-1 to tether with.

The real upside to this is you get to torture Yair, which is well worth the $22,000.  Actually You know and I know that Yair will take care of you.  I know I drove him completely out of his mind and he still gave me first class service.

I love the Contax (sorry I keep repeating myself) and honestly like the look of the file better than the Phase files, the only issue then for me was LC10 was a real work in progress and the workarounds drove me nuts.

Now with lightroom, C-1, etc. the workflow will be greatly improved.

The upside to the Aptus is you can set the back lcd to black and white, which is big fun.  The downside with the older Aptus is when you tether to a powerbook you gotta have a lot of power and the lcd on the camera goes blank.

The real upside to Leaf, regardless of the changes in ownership is I do believe they are a photographers photographers company.  I look back on my old Aptus files and they are the closest to film I've ever seen from digital.

The final upside is you get to go to Jolly Ol' England, hang out with the Queen and buy a camera all at once.

Can't beat that.

Or if I'm sure the fotocare people will fix you up.

Just a thought.

BC

P.S.  There are only two digital cameras that have touched me the way film did and that is the Contax (with the Leaf back) and the Leica M8.  

Maybe cause both are so damn hard to work in comparison to a Canon or Nikon, but both are real cameras with f stop rings and shutter dials.

You can't smell the fixer when you shoot them, but sometimes you think you can.

None of the digital backs work as easy as the new dslrs.  Nothing close and probably never will, but sometimes I think we expect too much of them.

Sure the previews are rough, (think polaroid), the iso is limited (think film), the frames rates are somewhat slow (think everything but a 35mm, but there is just something kind of nice shooting a real camera and even though client demands have moved to major quanity with huge pressure, maybe there is just nothing wrong with saying "wait a minute".
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 11:50:31 AM by bcooter »
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JdeV

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H4D-40: Sample files
« Reply #124 on: April 07, 2010, 11:41:11 AM »

Quote from: gwhitf
I started a Thread here on that similar topic over a year ago, and everyone laughed at me. Maybe no one was ready to admit it, a year ago. I swear to God, it's like it's some ghost from the dead, that jinxes digital in that way -- I can manual focus my 203FE all day long with film, and nail most every frame. Manual focus. But as soon as I pick up a digital camera, the fight for focus ensues. Maybe it's so Dummies101 embarrassing that it took this long for people to admit the problem. Film says, "Hey, come on, let's go for a ride and make some cool images", and Digital says, "Screw you; I just dare you to try to nail focus"; kicking and dragging its feet the whole way.

It's an exquisite paradox: shoot blind with freedom (and fear) knowing that focus at least will be nailed or have a man with a computer connected to you telling you whether you got it or not.
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BJNY

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« Reply #125 on: April 07, 2010, 12:02:12 PM »

Quote from: bcooter
http://www.peartreephotoshop.co.uk/product-p/u-068.htm

GW, ask first if this is Aptus 75S...you'd want the quicker capture speed.

Quote from: bcooter
I look back on my old Aptus files and they are the closest to film I've ever seen from digital.

Agree, I also like files from Sinarback eMotion75LV and eVolution75H
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Guillermo

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« Reply #126 on: April 07, 2010, 12:07:57 PM »

This is similar to my workflow and my thinking.  The backs aren't there yet, for me.  Almost: the S2 and H4d40 are just about there but neither are worth the cash, TO ME.

I shoot 67 and 4x5, B&W and C41.  I get contact sheets made, edit from there, then get a print made or a flat scan (that includes a raw) that I PP and send to the client.  This is mainly editorial portraits or jobs that do not require large numbers of images. Everything else is shot with a ds3.  That beiing said, I mainly work in motion and my stills jobs are not the main thrust of my business anymore.

Quote from: JdeV
Currently I favour a D3x and scanned LF neg (though when a client wants it I rent a P65 and put it on an H-body or the back of my Arca M-Line or Toyo VX125). I shoot a lot of different stuff including fashion and architecture but very little in the studio.

I don't need to talk about the D3x. Everyone knows they are great by now. ditto 1ds MkIII and 5D MkII.

For LF I shoot Portra NC in 160 and 400 flavours. I process everything normal unless the subject is exceptionally flat or contrasty in which case I will push or pull up to 1/2 stop to correct contrast.
I get 'contact' scans done through the Print File sleeves to keep the negatives pristine. I edit from these.
I bought an IQsmart 3 scanner a few months ago and now get an assistant to do 16-bit 'raw' linear scans from the picks. There is no interpretation involved so the process is simple and purely mechanical. Anyone can learn how to do it in a few minutes. Quality is very high.
The 'raw' scans are brought into Photoshop and filtered through ColorPerfect which gives a very good neg. inversion and correction.
Further edits are done as needed within Photoshop. The scanned 'raw' files essentially function in a similar way to digital raw files.

In pure sharpness terms this process yields a file from a 5"x4" that is comparable to a P45+ file and a tad inferior to a P65+ file. (Using top-end lenses in both cases). Colour is better with a digital back but the neg. yields a nice look. There are no issues with moire or neon. Dynamic range is far superior with the scanned neg. Grain is, of course, more prevalent but under most circumstances it looks kind of nice. Composition and working process is also much better. Fujiroids are used on set to check overall look, groundglass for composition. No focus issues for architectural work. Much less to go wrong in remote locations (except for film and X-Ray machines). A 10"x8" yields way more detail than a P65+.

For all instances where, pre-digital, I would have used an RZ or a film Nikon, I now use the D3x. But given the cost and inadequacies of MF digital I think the scanned LF film route is still absolutely viable for certain niches and worth trying. I have no axe to grind and if digital backs didn't have all the problems they do I might even buy one and enjoy using it but for now, no, rental only, client pays.
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TMARK

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« Reply #127 on: April 07, 2010, 12:37:52 PM »

Quote from: bcooter
The real upside to Leaf, regardless of the changes in ownership is I do believe they are a photographers photographers company.  I look back on my old Aptus files and they are the closest to film I've ever seen from digital.

This is why I cannot bring myself to sell my Aptus 54s.  I haven't used it seriously in 8 months.  It sits there like a pile of money, looking at me, like the cash in those annoying GEICO commercials.  But then I think of how nice it is on the RZ, how it has the sharpness of chromes and the color of neg film, not TOO sharp with the RZ lenses.  And so it stays, and everytime I want to shoot with it, the batteries aren't charged, or there isn't enough light on set so I use a Canon or even an M8, or Portra 800.
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yaya

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« Reply #128 on: April 07, 2010, 12:44:18 PM »

Quote from: gwhitf
I started a Thread here on that similar topic over a year ago, and everyone laughed at me. Maybe no one was ready to admit it, a year ago. I swear to God, it's like it's some ghost from the dead, that jinxes digital in that way -- I can manual focus my 203FE all day long with film, and nail most every frame. Manual focus. But as soon as I pick up a digital camera, the fight for focus ensues. Maybe it's so Dummies101 embarrassing that it took this long for people to admit the problem. Film says, "Hey, come on, let's go for a ride and make some cool images", and Digital says, "Screw you; I just dare you to try to nail focus"; kicking and dragging its feet the whole way.

Here's an educational exercise (I'm 110% I've written this before, on more than one occasion):

Take 10 frames shot on transparency film, have them cropped and scanned @ 300dpi to 24"X18" (115MB, roughly what a 40MP back gives) and then put them on a screen at 100% magnification next to similar 10 frames that were shot digitally and check focus.

We'll patiently await your report, It'd be interesting to see your nailing rate. I think we can all agree that digital is less forgiving, per frame that is, but otherwise I think you'll be amazed at how similar the rate will be.

IMO

Yair

gwhitf

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« Reply #129 on: April 07, 2010, 01:18:50 PM »

Quote from: yaya
We'll patiently await your report, It'd be interesting to see your nailing rate. I think we can all agree that digital is less forgiving, per frame that is, but otherwise I think you'll be amazed at how similar the rate will be.

You might be right, Yair. I hope you're right, (or do I?).

The weird thing: Now that I've been aware of it for the past year, sometimes I just do tests, and I sit there with my assistant, tethered, the day before a big job, and in my constant paranoia, we test and test, on a tripod. We use both Manual Focus and AutoFocus, (on a 5D2, not Hasselblad). (But I've heard identical reports with Hasselblad from trusted friends). You're sitting there, going very slowly, and you're locking down focus on something contrasty, not moving, and you shoot, and it's soft. You shoot again, and it's sharp. You shoot again, (nothing has moved), and it's slightly soft again. And we're talking f4 here, not wide open.

I don't like to test too much, because the more I test this issue, the more paranoid I become. I prefer Ignorance is Bliss sometimes. Or maybe more accurately: If you Ignore it, Maybe It'll Go Away.

It's very unsettling, almost as if the Sensor is moving around inside the camera, or that there are tiny little autofocus gears that are in increments that are too large to be critically accurate.

Gotta go -- gotta go put my head back in the sand.
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JdeV

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« Reply #130 on: April 07, 2010, 01:47:52 PM »

Quote from: yaya
Here's an educational exercise (I'm 110% I've written this before, on more than one occasion):

Take 10 frames shot on transparency film, have them cropped and scanned @ 300dpi to 24"X18" (115MB, roughly what a 40MP back gives) and then put them on a screen at 100% magnification next to similar 10 frames that were shot digitally and check focus.

We'll patiently await your report, It'd be interesting to see your nailing rate. I think we can all agree that digital is less forgiving, per frame that is, but otherwise I think you'll be amazed at how similar the rate will be.

IMO

Yair

Done it. Shot for 20 years on view cameras. More than 10 years with neg. printed 16" x20" by me. Shot in all conditions, all round the world. I have filing cabinets full of negs. Just about none have missed focus.
On the other hand, give me a P65 on a view camera or an H and I have to have an operator check on a screen or I have to zoom in myself on the crappy LCD. If I don't I lose images because of focus.
This is not principally a matter of judging digital to a different standard because we are looking on screens at 100% it is simply much harder to hit focus with digital.
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gwhitf

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« Reply #131 on: April 08, 2010, 12:18:18 AM »

Quote from: yaya
Here's an educational exercise (I'm 110% I've written this before, on more than one occasion):

Yair,

Here's another educational exercise I'd like to do: I'd like to take a MF body, any brand, and set it to any particular fstop, say, f5.6. And then, shoot a frame with a digital back on it, and then shoot another frame with a film back on it, and then check the relative depth of field at that same fstop.

I know, in theory, you'd think that the depth of field would carry the same with both the digital back and the film back, but everything in me says there's somehow less depth of field with a digital back than with film.

And that, somehow, this factor plays into this giant mystery about focus issues with digital, in general.

This is all pure speculation on my part, (but based on lots and lots of jobs shot, both with MF film, and MF Digital). Just a gut feeling.

I remember those tests I did, years ago with digital, and I'd set up a shot in the studio, on tripod, with nothing moving or changing, and I'd set the fstop to say f8, and then I'd press the Depth Of Field Preview button down, on the camera body, to somewhat previsualize how much focus would carry at that f8. But then, I'd shoot the digital file, tethered, and I'd check it on the monitor, and there would always be radically less depth in focus in the actual digital file than what was shown in the Depth Of Field Preview button.

I'm not a Scientist; I never knew why. You'd think, in theory, they would match.
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Dustbak

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« Reply #132 on: April 08, 2010, 01:17:52 AM »

Quote from: gwhitf
Yair,

Here's another educational exercise I'd like to do: I'd like to take a MF body, any brand, and set it to any particular fstop, say, f5.6. And then, shoot a frame with a digital back on it, and then shoot another frame with a film back on it, and then check the relative depth of field at that same fstop.

I know, in theory, you'd think that the depth of field would carry the same with both the digital back and the film back, but everything in me says there's somehow less depth of field with a digital back than with film.

And that, somehow, this factor plays into this giant mystery about focus issues with digital, in general.

This is all pure speculation on my part, (but based on lots and lots of jobs shot, both with MF film, and MF Digital). Just a gut feeling.

I remember those tests I did, years ago with digital, and I'd set up a shot in the studio, on tripod, with nothing moving or changing, and I'd set the fstop to say f8, and then I'd press the Depth Of Field Preview button down, on the camera body, to somewhat previsualize how much focus would carry at that f8. But then, I'd shoot the digital file, tethered, and I'd check it on the monitor, and there would always be radically less depth in focus in the actual digital file than what was shown in the Depth Of Field Preview button.

I'm not a Scientist; I never knew why. You'd think, in theory, they would match.


Sofar I have heard 2 explanations for this phenomena, which indeed I agree with you having experienced the same thing;

1) There is no DoF, it doesn't exist. There is just 1 point sharp within the focal plane, the rest is acceptable sharpness. With digital we now look at 100% on our monitors and we have redefined what we feel is acceptable sharpness.

2) Film has more depth than a sensor and thus is more forgiving and shows more DoF or more acceptable sharpness so you will.

Not sure which is it if any of the 2.
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Dick Roadnight

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« Reply #133 on: April 08, 2010, 02:17:37 AM »

Quote from: gwhitf
Yair,

I know, in theory, you'd think that the depth of field would carry the same with both the digital back and the film back, but everything in me says there's somehow less depth of field with a digital back than with film.
There are several very good reasons why focus seems more critical with digital:

We are over concerned about diffraction, so we tend to use f8 for digital, when f11 or f16 might be optimal... and we would have used f16 or f22 on film.

We like to think that digital gives us higher res, and if you set higher standards for ¿what is sharp? you get less DOF.

We like to try to enlarge more from digital, making focus more critical.

With digital it is very easy to (instantly) check focus.

With digital more of us rely more on autofocus... and before the H4D that was a problem.
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yaya

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« Reply #134 on: April 08, 2010, 02:28:36 AM »

Quote from: JdeV
Done it. Shot for 20 years on view cameras. More than 10 years with neg. printed 16" x20" by me. Shot in all conditions, all round the world. I have filing cabinets full of negs. Just about none have missed focus.
On the other hand, give me a P65 on a view camera or an H and I have to have an operator check on a screen or I have to zoom in myself on the crappy LCD. If I don't I lose images because of focus.
This is not principally a matter of judging digital to a different standard because we are looking on screens at 100% it is simply much harder to hit focus with digital.

I agree that on a view camera, focusing a 645 sensor area on the GG is more difficult than a 4X5 sheet film area, given an equivalent focal length. On a 645 camera there is no difference in focusing in my experience.

My suggestion was to run that test side-by-side; same framing/ light/ aperture etc. and if possible, scan and view at the same magnification.

Yair

bcooter

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« Reply #135 on: April 08, 2010, 03:43:44 AM »

Quote from: yaya
I agree that on a view camera, focusing a 645 sensor area on the GG is more difficult than a 4X5 sheet film area, given an equivalent focal length. On a 645 camera there is no difference in focusing in my experience.

My suggestion was to run that test side-by-side; same framing/ light/ aperture etc. and if possible, scan and view at the same magnification.

Yair


This all may be true.  I don't think so, but I haven't shot film in a long time.

What I do know is how different the optical viewfinder is from the final results and not just in focusing on the desired subject, but the way it throws focus.

Yair, do this with your aptus.  

Walk around London and shoot some out of focus back ground plates.  Focus using the groundglass (plastic) and try to throw the background street signs just slightly out of focus.

Then shoot and look at the lcd.  What was slightly readable as a sign that says MG motorworks, becomes a big blur of non recognizable background.

I've shot hundreds of background plates for windows, car reflections, and have done it with all sorts of cameras and they all look very different in the optical viewfinder than the lcd, or the computer.

Did film do this?  I don't remember, but I do know digital cameras do.

The only exception is the live view cameras.   You pretty much see what your going to get.

BC
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ErikKaffehr

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« Reply #136 on: April 08, 2010, 05:04:18 AM »

Hi,

In my view both.

Film has a certain thickness and has some curvature. Both factors affect and reduce maximum achieveable sharpness.

Some articles I have on these issues:

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.ph...vs-mfdb-vs-film

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.ph...ng-the-dof-trap

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.ph...-sony-alpha-900

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Dustbak
Sofar I have heard 2 explanations for this phenomena, which indeed I agree with you having experienced the same thing;

1) There is no DoF, it doesn't exist. There is just 1 point sharp within the focal plane, the rest is acceptable sharpness. With digital we now look at 100% on our monitors and we have redefined what we feel is acceptable sharpness.

2) Film has more depth than a sensor and thus is more forgiving and shows more DoF or more acceptable sharpness so you will.

Not sure which is it if any of the 2.

yaya

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« Reply #137 on: April 08, 2010, 05:27:17 AM »

Quote from: bcooter
Walk around London and shoot some out of focus back ground plates.  Focus using the groundglass (plastic) and try to throw the background street signs just slightly out of focus.

Then shoot and look at the lcd.  What was slightly readable as a sign that says MG motorworks, becomes a big blur of non recognizable background.

I've shot hundreds of background plates for windows, car reflections, and have done it with all sorts of cameras and they all look very different in the optical viewfinder than the lcd, or the computer.
BC

That's 100% true but that's because on the LCD you're looking at a MUCH greater magnification of the scene/ subject compared to what you see through the finder.
On the LCD (the ones that actually show 100%, most don't) you're looking at small part of an image which can be 3 foot wide whereas in the finder it's less than 3 inches...

If you could have a loupe that magnifies at the same scale I think that you'll see the same blur (or sharpness).

Which is why I would recommend doing any focusing tests on short distances, so to increase the chance that what you see as sharp through the finder is actually sharp...

Yair

gwhitf

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H4D-40: Sample files
« Reply #138 on: April 08, 2010, 08:23:22 AM »

Quote from: Dustbak
Sofar I have heard 2 explanations for this phenomena, which indeed I agree with you having experienced the same thing;

1) There is no DoF, it doesn't exist. There is just 1 point sharp within the focal plane, the rest is acceptable sharpness. With digital we now look at 100% on our monitors and we have redefined what we feel is acceptable sharpness.

I have always felt this way, and this whole term of "carrying focus by stopping down" is just a loose term, (and to me, a misnomer/fallacy). Yes, you might get a few more things recognizable in the background by stopping down, but just setting your lens to f16 is not going to pull things into focus, if they aren't on the focus plane. You know how, for years, you see those diagrams printed right on every lens you've ever bought, some kind of Depth of Field scale. It's just completely untrue, what they would lead you to believe. There is only ONE thing in focus, and that's the thing that just accidentally happens to be dead on where your lens is focused, and everything in front of that, and behind that, will sorta/kinda come into recognizability, they sure aren't going to "come into focus" by stopping down.

Ever experienced this when editing? You're editing away, looking at the frames, and you go "Yeah, that's sharp, and that's sharp", but then, you come to Frame 11 or whatever, and for some reason, it's just OMG in Super Focus? Like all along you were shooting 645, but this one particular frame is so super sharp it looks like you were shooting 8x10? You know that feeling? Why does that happen? I just think there's a lot more going on about this focus thing than we all know, (or admit).

The only other thing affecting Depth of Field, to me, is just the choice of lenses. Default optical focus, by mounting a 24 or 17 or something wide, and having built in depth already, by the optics alone. But even then, even with something wide wide, there's still just one plane of Super Focus, and everything else, in front and rear, is just Acceptable Focus. Even at f11 or so.

I cannot explain it, but i'm trying to describe it.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 08:25:04 AM by gwhitf »
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John R Smith

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H4D-40: Sample files
« Reply #139 on: April 08, 2010, 08:49:19 AM »

Quote from: gwhitf
I have always felt this way, and this whole term of "carrying focus by stopping down" is just a loose term, (and to me, a misnomer/fallacy). Yes, you might get a few more things recognizable in the background by stopping down, but just setting your lens to f16 is not going to pull things into focus, if they aren't on the focus plane. You know how, for years, you see those diagrams printed right on every lens you've ever bought, some kind of Depth of Field scale. It's just completely untrue, what they would lead you to believe. There is only ONE thing in focus, and that's the thing that just accidentally happens to be dead on where your lens is focused, and everything in front of that, and behind that, will sorta/kinda come into recognizability, they sure aren't going to "come into focus" by stopping down.

All of this is completely true, and always was true with film as well. Depth of Field scales were worked out on the basis of an acceptable "circle of confusion" IIRC, which was fine in the 1930s when they were defined with the films of the day and relatively small-size standard prints. What I think happens with film (as opposed to digital) is two things -

* The thickness of the emulsion and the backing layer produces a degree of halation which means that film is never as sharp as a digital sensor (comparing like for like, same lens and sensor/film area).

* The grain structure of the film diffuses apparent focus over a broader plane in the image, giving the impression of greater focus depth. Hence very grainy shots on HP5, say, look very crisp even though critical focus may be nothing special.

And of course, if we did print MF to very large sizes back in the day, we expected it to look a bit soft. Now everyone expects pin-sharp detail even if the print is six feet wide.

However, saying as above that there is only one point in the frame which is actually going to be truly in focus, true as it may be, is of no help at all to those of us who do landscape or architectural work where everything must be in focus, or must at least appear to be so. The biggest problem occurs when one has foreground subjects and distant objects in the same shot, as with this one. If I focused for maximum depth of field, according to my old film paradigm, the only part of the shot which would actually be truly in focus in digital would be somewhere out in the middle of the river, where you would never notice it anyway, because the eye is naturally drawn to the foreground or the distant trees.

John
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 09:48:22 AM by John R Smith »
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