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Author Topic: "The look"  (Read 431 times)

larkis

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"The look"
« on: September 20, 2022, 05:46:02 pm »

I know the subject of the medium format "look" has been beaten to death at this point, and full frame cameras with the same FOV as the medium format lenses can produce seemingly equivalent images (besides the aspect ratio). My question is to anyone on here that shoots portraits and fashion type of work, and the question is how does one achieve the type of skin texture seen here http://www.giampaolosgura.com/portfolio/into-the-blue/ ?

I have noticed that many modern cameras seem to produce mannequin looking skin. Even the low rez DP2 Merrill seems to capture something more organic. Is this something that medium format has a better chance with, is it the modern optics that make everything look sterile ? Can anyone with more experience this particular genre chime in ?

BobShaw

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2022, 06:05:01 pm »

Well in general medium format uses longer focal length lenses at the same subject distance, so you get more compression and a more flattering image.
If you want to capture texture then you have to have enough resolution to see it. I don't think there is any magic there. Usually you smooth the skin to reduce it.
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larkis

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2022, 11:37:58 am »

Seems like what this poster over at the mirrorless forum is talking about is what I see as well. I wonder how much of it is post processing, lenses and the fact that most of the sensors in the popular cameras are made by sony. The color balance, how skin or other colors render is not my concern, all of that is fairly easy to adjust. It's the plastic look to skin that seems to be harder to get rid off.



Also, every Sony I've seen renders detail in a "plastic" or "digital" kind of way, and you either see it or you don't.  But once you see it, you can't UNSEE it.

 

Doug Peterson

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2022, 11:49:40 am »

A camera system is a great many things put together in a package that can take a picture.

The sensor design, bayer design, IR filter design, lens coatings, lens element designs, lens shade, the choices made during readout of the sensor, the dark frame (if any), the debayering, the noise handling, the color engine, the color profile, and the tone curve all have a part in the final look of the image*. This is especially true with medium format where both Hassy and Phase One have their own raw processors which are developed in synergy with the hardware to get the most out of the joint system.

Any argument about a specific component that doesn't understand the holistic system is more than a specific component is inevitably going to be pretty unhelpful.

*Obviously the stuff in front of the camera (subject, lighting, composition, moment etc) matter even more than the camera system. But that stuff can be equalized more or less. Though I maintain that whether Vulcan-logical or not, the photographer is influenced by the equipment they use. Give someone a $10 glass of wine and and a $100 glass of wine and watch whether they spend time to truly examine, taste, and enjoy the wine to their fullest capability.

larkis

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2022, 02:57:48 pm »

Give someone a $10 glass of wine and and a $100 glass of wine and watch whether they spend time to truly examine, taste, and enjoy the wine to their fullest capability.

Not sure about the wine analogy, especially knowing how full of shit a lot of wine people can be. A great doc worth watching about this https://youtu.be/hPUYuwSRwB8

I agree with you about a camera being a sum of it's parts, and I do like the way the files behave in post processing  from medium format cameras compared to my Sony's, but the plastic skin issue seems to exist on both.

BobShaw

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2022, 07:15:17 pm »

A camera system is a great many things put together in a package that can take a picture.

The sensor design, bayer design, IR filter design, lens coatings, lens element designs, lens shade, the choices made during readout of the sensor, the dark frame (if any), the debayering, the noise handling, the color engine, the color profile, and the tone curve all have a part in the final look of the image*. This is especially true with medium format where both Hassy and Phase One have their own raw processors which are developed in synergy with the hardware to get the most out of the joint system.

Any argument about a specific component that doesn't understand the holistic system is more than a specific component is inevitably going to be pretty unhelpful.
Too true. The camera is more than the sensor.
Medium format cameras by Hasselblad and Phase are basically individually made and calibrated.
The top end 35mm cameras may also be made to closer tolerances but the lower models are bulk made and vary tremendously.
I remember seeing the same image taken from 10 different Canon 5D Mk2 and they were all noticeably different in colour.
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wcarlew

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2022, 08:14:46 pm »

Not sure about the wine analogy, especially knowing how full of shit a lot of wine people can be.

As apposed to " Camera People?"  :)
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2022, 06:23:18 pm »

As apposed to " Camera People?"  :)

Ah ah ah. :)

Cheers,
Bernard

larkis

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Re: "The look"
« Reply #8 on: Today at 10:41:24 am »

As apposed to " Camera People?"  :)

I suppose any industry where science and subjectivity collide ends up having this predicament. The High-Fi audio crowd also has parallels this this. Some instruments can measure a distinct improvement in equipment X, but the improvement might not actually effect the eyes/ears of a human the way it effects the measuring instrument. In the industry I work in (visual FX/Commercials) on paper the Arri Alexa has inferior specs to some of the high end RED offerings. A lot of cinematographers however still prefer the Arri due to some psychological component that comes across through the various parts of the system. I imagine this this what Doug is hoping for/talking about.

There is also this perspective that I found entertaining because it has a lot of truth in it: https://youtu.be/844iiDbtVwY?t=110
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