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Author Topic: How much quality do you really need?  (Read 48561 times)

myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #80 on: March 02, 2016, 03:20:44 pm »


That's one camera I don't think I would ever sell. And as I write, I realise I'd not sell the D200 either.

But then, I thought like that about my two 500 Series, too. Now I can't have 'em back, it's too late. But, even if I had them, film and processing are not currently possible for me, so it would be an empty sort of 'having', one more promising if I ever move back to Britain at some stage, though.

Adding insult to injury, I looked again at an old Michael Kenna video yesterday... I could even envisage giving landscape another whirl again if I had a square. Always loved the format, from my Rollei onwards.

Rob

Hasselblad 500c/m was my favourite camera of all the ones I have owned and used, small, high quality, enjoyed the waist level finder and loved small square prints.

I know lots of people hate square prints, but I like the way they hold the eye within the print rather than letting the long edge of a rectangular print leading you out of the print.  If I could afford it, an old 500 plus a digital back (low resolution would be fine) would be my perfect set up, as I prepare for retirement.

There seems to be a lot of love for the D700 :-)

Cheers,

Graham
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #81 on: March 02, 2016, 03:40:33 pm »

Hi,

Regarding image quality I strongly feel that today's 24x36mm CMOS is a bit above 39 MP CCD from 2006. Today we have both 50 MP and 100 MP CMOS using Sony sensors. Those sensors obviously have a bit of advantage over smaller sensors.

I really enjoy shooting with the P45+ on the Hasselblad 555/ELD, but it is a shooting experience and not a processing and printing experience.

For the last two years I have been shooting P45+ in parallel with my Sony cameras. What I have found that all prints making it to the wall were shot on Sony, except one.

Shooting with the P45+ gives some limitations. For instance, I have only primes for the 'Blad' 40/60/100/120/180 while I normally use zooms for the Sony A7rII, from 12 mm to 400 mm.

So with the 'Blad' I pick a lens and choose composition while with the Sony I pick a composition and match the focal length. It is a different way of shooting. But, it is the Sony images that make it to the wall.

The thing is that there is not a lot of difference between the Sony gear and the Hasselblad gear. But the Hasselblad gear is much more expensive and a lot less flexible.

I would be very hard pressed to find any objective advantages of the Hasselblad system. OK, there is an advantage. If you set up a tripod and shoot with a Hasselblad on top, it is very probable that someone is interested in the gear you are using. For me it is not really fun. I would be hard pressed to come up with an explanation for using a previous millennium kit.

So, I would say that I like using MFD gear, except for the results.

Best regards
Erik



I have no expertise in this to comment, but I do feel that the images I have seen from MFD still have a smoothness that smaller sensors have. But then I have also seen that smoothness  from smaller sensors as well, so not sure what to think.

You obviously still use MFD, so it presumably it gives you something you still think is desirable.

Cheers,

Graham
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Erik Kaffehr
 

myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #82 on: March 02, 2016, 04:28:39 pm »

Hi,

Regarding image quality I strongly feel that today's 24x36mm CMOS is a bit above 39 MP CCD from 2006. Today we have both 50 MP and 100 MP CMOS using Sony sensors. Those sensors obviously have a bit of advantage over smaller sensors.

So, I would say that I like using MFD gear, except for the results.

Best regards
Erik

Thanks a very useful insight. I probably prefer primes to zooms and like the "ritual" of composing in my head and then setting a tripod up where I think it should go.   But I also enjoy the freedom of handheld with zooms and it brings a different kind of image.

Cheers,

Graham
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jng

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2016, 05:25:21 pm »

The thing is that there is not a lot of difference between the Sony gear and the Hasselblad gear. But the Hasselblad gear is much more expensive and a lot less flexible.

I think there's a bigger difference that can be worked with in terms of crafting an image when stepping up to the full sized MF sensors. Using the IQ160 on the old Hassy V is definitely less flexible but considering where I am at this point in my life and my photographic interests, it suits me well. And in my own limited and amateurish (literally) experience, the images are in another world. YMMV, of course.

Per Rob C.'s comments - I still have my original Hassy 500C and SWC kit, which have been with me for over 40 years. My kids will inherit them - I will never sell them! I've since updated the bodies and lenses and use the older gear mainly as backups (meaning: I exercise the shutters when I can remember). For me, photography is as much (or more) visceral as technical. With the D700, it was as if there was nothing between me and the image when I pressed the shutter. With the D800E, I find myself fussing over technical stuff and with the Hassy the fussing gives me more satisfaction. As I mentioned previously, it's like religion.  ;)

John
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Ray

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #84 on: March 02, 2016, 09:09:18 pm »

I've always found that the experience of some degree of dissatisfaction with the technical results of certain photos I've taken under certain conditions, usually less than ideal conditions, has been a driving force and a motivation for me to upgrade my equipment, both camera body and sometimes lenses.

Such dissatisfaction usually relates to unwanted noise and a lack of sharpness. An increase in pixel quality results in reduced noise. An increase in pixel quantity results in increased resolution, all else being equal. However, both are inter-related in the sense that a noise-free image can be sharpened more in post processing, and an image which is already acceptably sharp, but rather noisy, may not require further sharpening which usually has the effect of increasing noise.

I can understand that someone who is very pleased with his D700 or even D7000, and also pleased with the results on a 17" print, might see no reason to upgrade to a 36mp camera which he thinks is more appropriate for 24" x 36" prints or larger, which he has no intention of printing.

However, there is another more practical aspect of upgrading to a higher-megapixel camera, which is often overlooked. If the increase in pixel count is very significant, as it is when comparing the D700 (or D7000) with the D810, then there are amazing flow-on benefits relating to the enhanced quality and increased, effective range of focal lengths of one's existing lenses, in relation to that personal standard of acceptable quality on a 17" print.

All of one's prime lenses effectively become short-range zoom lenses with a fixed maximum aperture. In relation to the 12mp standard of the D700, the D810 with 50/F1.4 lens attached will effectively become a 50-86.5/F1.4 zoom. In other words, the crop factor of 1.73x, for a 12mp image, is greater than the crop factor of the DX format, which 1.5x. The Nikkor 80-400 zoom on the D810 (in relation to that 12mp standard) effectively becomes an 80-692mm zoom.

Of course, one might raise the legitimate point that a 12mp crop from the centre of a 36mp full-frame sensor will not be a sharp as the uncropped image from a full-frame 12mp camera with use of appropriate lens. That's true, just as it's true that a 36mp image down-sampled to 12mp will be sharper than the same image taken with the same lens on a 12mp camera.

However, if such increases in sharpness are considered to be of little consequence on a 17" print, because they would require inspecting the print from a very close distance, then such reductions in sharpness should also be of little consequence.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #85 on: March 02, 2016, 11:37:05 pm »

Hi,

The problem I have with primes is that they give me an advantage in choosing vantage point. I generally choose vantage point and than decide on lens.

But, I also feel that working with primes on the Hasselblad was seldom a problem.

I have a V-series Hasselblad and 40/60/100/120/180 mm lenses and a P45+. Obviously modern backs are better. That said the P45+ can deliver stunning image quality. The Hasselblad lenses are very sharp in the centre, but not so sharp in the corners. The 100/3.5 and 180/4 are both very sharp across the field. The few comparisons I made between the A7rII and Hassy recently I have found that the A7rII images were a little bit sharper

With the Hasselblad it often happens that I stitch, as I don't have the option to zoom out, so I often stitch instead of switching to a wider lens.

I normally print A2 and both Hasselblad and Sony can deliver great image quality at that size. The corner weakness of the 40/60 and 120 lenses doesn't show up i A2-size.

The great advantage of the Sony is that I can cover 16 - 400 mm with just three lenses 16-35, 24-70 and 70-400, but I also carry a 90 mm macro.

For some reason I found that few of my Hasselblad images made it to the wall, but quite a few of my favourite shots were taken with the P45+.

Things have changed in my life, so now days I often fly to destinations, that is one reason I want smaller and lighter gear.

Here is one image with the P45+:

And here is one with my Sony A99:


P45+ (two images stitched vertically):


A99:


Best regards
Erik



Thanks a very useful insight. I probably prefer primes to zooms and like the "ritual" of composing in my head and then setting a tripod up where I think it should go.   But I also enjoy the freedom of handheld with zooms and it brings a different kind of image.

Cheers,

Graham
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Erik Kaffehr
 

jng

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2016, 12:09:05 am »

However, there is another more practical aspect of upgrading to a higher-megapixel camera, which is often overlooked. If the increase in pixel count is very significant, as it is when comparing the D700 (or D7000) with the D810, then there are amazing flow-on benefits relating to the enhanced quality and increased, effective range of focal lengths of one's existing lenses, in relation to that personal standard of acceptable quality on a 17" print.

All of one's prime lenses effectively become short-range zoom lenses with a fixed maximum aperture. In relation to the 12mp standard of the D700, the D810 with 50/F1.4 lens attached will effectively become a 50-86.5/F1.4 zoom. In other words, the crop factor of 1.73x, for a 12mp image, is greater than the crop factor of the DX format, which 1.5x. The Nikkor 80-400 zoom on the D810 (in relation to that 12mp standard) effectively becomes an 80-692mm zoom.

Good point. Moving up to the 36 Mp D800E allows me to shoot on the equivalent DX crop sensor but at slightly higher resolution (and quality) than I did on my old D300S, which I used to pair with the D700 when shooting sports (something I no longer do). Both have been replaced with the D800E although in some circumstances it's nice to have different lenses mounted on two bodies, ready to go. I miss the D700, the D300S not so much (the image quality in challenging light paled in comparison to its bigger brother).

John
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Ray

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #87 on: March 03, 2016, 01:16:46 am »


A99:


Best regards
Erik

That last image is superb, Erik. Perhaps the best of all the images you've shown on this site.  ;)

Stitching software is so good nowadays, I often also take multiple shots with camera held vertical, instead of changing to a wider-angle lens.

However, the bottom line is, whatever lenses you are carrying, and whether or not you are carrying two cameras with attached zooms to avoid the necessity of changing lenses, the higher the pixel-count and the higher the pixel quality of the camera, the greater the enhanced options regarding effective lens focal lengths, with regard any moderate image quality standard that might apply to a 17" print.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #88 on: March 03, 2016, 06:35:54 am »

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the comment about my picture. It was shot on one of Hans Kruse's workshop. Hans is great in finding magic places in the magic light.

With regard to resolution, I agree it is a good thing. I would say it is almost always beneficial.

The one exception I can think of is a camera that is aimed at very high ISO-s. In that case it makes a lot of sense to keep those pixels big.

There is actually another case where larger pixels may be beneficial and that is when digital sensors are used with symmetric wide-angles intended for film, like many of the Leica M-lenses. Modern sensors don't play well with those lenses.

Best regards
Erik


That last image is superb, Erik. Perhaps the best of all the images you've shown on this site.  ;)

Stitching software is so good nowadays, I often also take multiple shots with camera held vertical, instead of changing to a wider-angle lens.

However, the bottom line is, whatever lenses you are carrying, and whether or not you are carrying two cameras with attached zooms to avoid the necessity of changing lenses, the higher the pixel-count and the higher the pixel quality of the camera, the greater the enhanced options regarding effective lens focal lengths, with regard any moderate image quality standard that might apply to a 17" print.
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dwswager

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #89 on: March 03, 2016, 07:42:15 am »

I have been shooting medium format for 2.5 years. I do enjoy shooting it but I am pretty sure that the claimed benefits of MFD are just a myth.

I think the MF benefits that came in film days just don't translate to digital.  If I remember the general lay of the numbers, MF lenses had less resolving capability (say LP/mm) than 35mm but the much larger image area allowed more total data to be captured such that the lower enlargement ratio combined with more data gave better images.  In addition tonal gradations were much smoother on film with larger areas.

I guess what I would say overall is film was a continuous surface while digital pixels are discrete.  The overall sensor size does not matter from the standpoint of how an individual pixel is captured, it is the pixel size itself.  I do remember a Nikon D(?) versus Hassy comparison where the Hassy just blew the DSLR away.  I suspect it was just total pixels.  And of course, the sensor technology has improved tremendously.
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Petrus

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #90 on: March 03, 2016, 08:04:09 am »

I do remember a Nikon D(?) versus Hassy comparison where the Hassy just blew the DSLR away.  I suspect it was just total pixels.  And of course, the sensor technology has improved tremendously.

That must have been a decade ago already. Certainly not Nikon D8something…

Film was the same no matter what size it was: more of it was always better. Now things are not so simple anymore. Best sensors per square mm are not those used in MF backs, in general. Sharpest lenses are made for smaller formats. Those two facts are great equalizers.

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dwswager

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #91 on: March 03, 2016, 09:26:46 am »

That must have been a decade ago already. Certainly not Nikon D8something…

Film was the same no matter what size it was: more of it was always better. Now things are not so simple anymore. Best sensors per square mm are not those used in MF backs, in general. Sharpest lenses are made for smaller formats. Those two facts are great equalizers.

I'm thinking it was D3 time frame.  It was on the Fred Miranda site I believe.  Noticed a D800 VS Hassy H4D40 more recently.

And yes, more film was better.  Now it is MP versus Pixel Size and various other factors that one must account for that all interact in some fascinating ways. 
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danielduarte01

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #92 on: March 03, 2016, 09:34:37 am »

I think post and paper quality / printers are important factors that can propel or restrict your work.

If you had asked me a few years ago I would have laughed at myself.  Now, I have access to a full lab with three Epson 9900's, a few 7900's and one 4900 (which I hate).

It's not just print size but the quality of the inks, the quality and type of paper that really can affect sharpness, etc etc.  add in your post skills and you see how this becomes important.

Also, it all depends on your output.  Are you a commercial photographer who needs to make accurate work for clients or are you a fine art photographer, like myself, where my H5D is nice but hangs on the same walls as people doing Polaroid emulsion lifts.

So many complicating factors. Bottom line: make your work and enjoy it.  I just came off a massive 4 month buying / testing / returning / testing / buying phase and it was brutal.  I finally found what I like.

With that said, I love making 40x60 prints.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #93 on: March 03, 2016, 01:42:53 pm »


However, there is another more practical aspect of upgrading to a higher-megapixel camera, which is often overlooked. If the increase in pixel count is very significant, as it is when comparing the D700 (or D7000) with the D810, then there are amazing flow-on benefits relating to the enhanced quality and increased, effective range of focal lengths of one's existing lenses, in relation to that personal standard of acceptable quality on a 17" print.


Especially important for wildlife, both for distant subjects when you can't get the reach and close ups where you may need to pull back on how close you really want to be to get a bit more depth of field and then use only a portion of the image for the final print.

Cheers,

Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #94 on: March 03, 2016, 01:46:39 pm »

Hi,

The great advantage of the Sony is that I can cover 16 - 400 mm with just three lenses 16-35, 24-70 and 70-400, but I also carry a 90 mm macro.

Best regards
Erik

Very nice images. The sony does indeed look very good and no arguing about the size/weight advantage.

Cheers,

Graham

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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #95 on: March 03, 2016, 01:55:07 pm »

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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #96 on: March 03, 2016, 02:10:13 pm »



So many complicating factors. Bottom line: make your work and enjoy it.  I just came off a massive 4 month buying / testing / returning / testing / buying phase and it was brutal.  I finally found what I like.


Nobody ever said it was going to be easy :-)

I'm glad you have at least found what you like. People talk about a mis-spent youth, but nearly all my youth was spent in the dark room testing film/developers/paper etc.  Not convinced now about the value of all this testing, but a great way of learning your craft.

I'm now looking forward to moving house and finding room for a decent printer of my own so I get that side of my photography sorted out. As you suggest I don't think you can really sort out the other parts of photography until you have sorted out the printing side.

Cheers,

Graham
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kers

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #97 on: March 03, 2016, 09:01:37 pm »

I think Erik Kaffehr gave the relevant answer:

"So, using the 180PPI criteria we would need something like 180 * 17 -> 3600 pixels on the long edge for a 17" print and 180 x 11 -> 1980 for an 11"x17" print, that is about 7 MP, but you need to add some MP for cropping, say 8 MP would be OK. "

this is about all you can see on a 17 inch print - the content is up to you...
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dwswager

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #98 on: March 03, 2016, 09:50:23 pm »

I think Erik Kaffehr gave the relevant answer:

"So, using the 180PPI criteria we would need something like 180 * 17 -> 3600 pixels on the long edge for a 17" print and 180 x 11 -> 1980 for an 11"x17" print, that is about 7 MP, but you need to add some MP for cropping, say 8 MP would be OK. "

this is about all you can see on a 17 inch print - the content is up to you...

LMAO.  While I generally agree, don't tell others who think you need 720ppi at least for an Epson Stylus Photographic printer, even though Epson has said the driver dithering algorithm can't use more than 360ppi and gives good results at 180ppi.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #99 on: March 04, 2016, 12:56:16 am »

Hi,

Yes I am ware of that. The 180 PPO figure relates to 20/20 vision at 50 cm (20"). Good accommodation assumed, optimum resolution of vision would resolve maximum at 25 cm and 360 PPI would be needed.

That resolution corresponds to one minute of arc. The contrast sensivity of human vision maxes at 6-8 cycles per degree, so our vision is most sensitive to coarser detail. So we may need 360 PPI to detect the fine detail in a resolution test chart at 25 cm viewing distance but 180 PPI (or even 90 PPI) to see all the detail in the bark of a tree.

On the other hand, there is something called vernier acuity, meaning that human vision is very sensitive to broken lines.

To that comes aliasing effects.

My impression is that 180 PPI is the resolution where observers have difficulties telling prints apart.

Best regards
Erik



LMAO.  While I generally agree, don't tell others who think you need 720ppi at least for an Epson Stylus Photographic printer, even though Epson has said the driver dithering algorithm can't use more than 360ppi and gives good results at 180ppi.
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