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Author Topic: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system  (Read 11192 times)

bill t.

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2012, 03:10:43 pm »

Seeing those links reminded that I acted as an informal assistant when Arnold Newman photographed Charles and Ray Eames.  I was an Eames Office employee at the time.  It's not his best work by any means, but craftsmanlike.

What Arnold shot.

He was this frumpy guy who cruised in, set up his little 4x5 on a flimsy little tripod and knocked of a bunch of photos in the ambient light in very little time.  He definitely knew the shots he wanted.  But I have to say, the experience was a very frustrating for the Eames themselves and they were untypically uncomfortable with the experience, and I think it shows.  Not everybody will respond favorably to formality imposed by a camera.

But OTOH, the Stravinsky shot is just a masterpiece!  Maybe this means that if you want to use a view camera for people, you've got to find subjects that are up to the task.

Of course intimidation can be used to good effect.  Who's the guy who plucked the cigar away from Winston Churchill just before snapping the shutter?  Now there's a portrait!  But you do get the feeling that the scene got pretty ugly right after that, good shots often come with a price.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2012, 03:15:05 pm »

Who's the guy who plucked the cigar away from Winston Churchill just before snapping the shutter?
Yosuf Karsh. The magazine I write for (PPA's Professional Photographer ) has a four foot tall print of this portrait in their office. I always stop and look at it for a few minutes when I am there.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2012, 03:17:58 pm »

And if you really want to discuss a really large format camera check this out: http://thefpac.org/ the negative for this camera is 4.5 feet x 6 feet.
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K.C.

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2012, 09:44:08 pm »

So here's what I suggest.  Go get some film, borrow and old 4x5 kit, and shoot some TESTS!  It's the right thing to do and an integral part of the View Camera Craft.  Girlfriends are indispensable in these matters.  Make some scans or even optical prints.  See what you think.  While you're at it take a few shots with the 5D2 using a prime, manual focus lens.  This exercise will be enormously informative, I promise!

*end of meaningful post*

Bravo Bill T., a very sound recommendation and a positive approach.

The magazine I write for (PPA's Professional Photographer )...

Ah, that explains your propensity to pontificate.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2012, 10:04:34 pm »

 :-*
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 10:09:20 pm by Ellis Vener »
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K.C.

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2012, 10:09:03 pm »

"Ah, that explains your propensity to pontificate."

Feel better now?

I was trying to offend you, but you do go on, and on, and on.

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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2012, 10:15:57 pm »

I was trying to offend you...


Well you failed at that too. 
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K.C.

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2012, 10:25:27 pm »

Well accept my apology then.

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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2012, 10:30:18 pm »

Apology accepted.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2012, 10:34:58 pm »

Life is much too short and fascinating to hold internet grudges.
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K.C.

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2012, 10:59:18 pm »

Cool. I'll adjust my dry sense of humor to be more obvious in the future.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2012, 11:04:29 pm »

 :-*
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kevs

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2012, 11:58:45 pm »

thanks Ellis, a bit of that went over my head.

ARe you saying that the basically that Sinars are much more complex compared to fiield cameras?

BTW, I spoke with Keith C. great guy. He was mentioning that Digital can't even shoot a chain linked fence properly.

And there are threads on this forum with amazing test other people have done showing that 8x10 still destroys 4x5 and the IQ 180. Night and Day.

I would have probably gone with the IQ 180, but at 40 to 50k, it's just too much right now. I'm sure down the road, I'll get it and it will be less money and twice as good -- and I'll use it for commerical work.

I can get the full 8x10 for 4-6k, and later sell the whole thing for not much less if need be.

Sad, there are bitter people on this thread who believe a 5D can stitch together a great file. How tedious if  you are shooting people . My 5D2 looks like crap for large peole prints, except for tight shots of faces. Once you get full frame, and full body, it falls apart.

It's either the IQ 180, 4x5 or 8x10 for large prints.  I figure go all the way.  The digital will always be there later at 3 x the quality and less money later....

Right now LF is fun venture for me, maybe because I did not burn out on it years ago by having to use it ever for jobs.

LF 8x10, is now for fine art. There will be no clients present, it's all self generated.  Sad Crewdson, is moving to digital if that is true, did not hear that, but he can afford it surely as made a fortune shooting with the 8x10.

BTW there is no cache is saying you shot digital. None at all.

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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2012, 12:12:28 am »

ARe you saying that the basically that Sinars are much more complex compared to fiield cameras?
Yes and no. The construction and mechanics of monorail camera with precision geared movements is a mechanically complex machine than a field camera where there is little to no gearing except for focusing. The Canhams are terrific cameras and so are Ebony and Arca-Swiss cameras. There was a company called Phillips that was also really good at making modern field type cameras. I do not know if they are still in business.
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bill t.

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2012, 01:46:04 am »

I will no longer argue for the 5D2 except to say no zoom can do it justice, you must use primes focused as carefully as a view camera to realize maximum quality.

I believe the reason Crewdson left 8x10 is that he was practicing techniques we now mostly associate with digital photography in ways that were very inconvenient with the large camera.

I'm drawing this information mostly from an Aperture interview.

He would often shoot separate exposures for different parts of the scene, and also shoot what amounts to focus stacking sets, where he would incrementally march the focus through the scene from near to far, shooting one or more plates at each position.  In the Aperture interview he said he sometimes wound up drawing parts of the final image from as many as 50 different plates for a single scene.  He also mentioned shooting separate focuses for a window frame and the subjects just barely inside the window, and from far away.  Basically, he was using intensive stitching and focus stacking techniques with film negatives!

The notion that you can swing and tilt an 8x10 camera into a position that will sharply record every part of any scene in a single exposure is simply wishful thinking.  Any time you work close with a view camera in a complex set with a lot of depth, something's got to give if you want to shoot just a single exposure.  So you've got to either simulate digital techniques with a film camera, or just shoot digital in the first place.

And I'm sure Crewdson was very happy to have the effectively increased depth of field from the smaller sensor on the IQ 180, versus the 8x10.  It's hard to convey how thin the truly sharp focus plane is on a big camera, but seriously it ain't much even at the smallest apertures when you're close to the subject and you want big prints.  I am quite convinced that when working in ranges around 15 or 20 feet and closer, the total amount of sharp detail contained in a medium format or DSLR shot is effectively much greater than you could hope to get from 8x10, and the reason is the slower fall off in focus surrounding the location of absolute prime focus.  The 8x10 might be sharper at the absolute prime focus, but it would fall off much faster away it, compared to a smaller negative or sensor.

Can't resist...If you want to shoot sharp chain link fences, use an 8x10 and nail that fence with a loupe on the ground glass.  If you want to shoot scenes in depth, use a smaller camera and/or digital.

Of course there are much more straightforward view camera approaches than Crewdson's for simpler subjects.  But as photography evolves in the digital age we are increasingly seeing the use of creative techniques that are best served by digital.  For instance check out Annie Liebowitz's Disney Character personifications of Hollywood Stars.  In my old age I can finally relax enough to think that's a hoot.  Stuff like that is the new big thing, or one of them.

So for my money, the only argument for 8x10 is, umh, money!  And that I can fully understand.  But in the meantime, mama don't take my 5D2 away.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 01:50:26 am by bill t. »
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2012, 07:44:17 am »

After looking at Bill T.'s web page I am inclined to take his word regarding image quality from different cameras. Any person who has won three technical Oscars for cinematographic camera technology likely knows more about this stuff than anyone else here.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 09:21:34 am by Ellis Vener »
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fotometria gr

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2012, 07:35:30 pm »

I'm going to do a people fine art project with 8x10. Any recommendations on what to buy? I'd want the best bang for buck and great quality.... thanks!

Any recommendations of film appreciated too.  thanks!
I've listed a Sinar P2, it's 4x5 but takes kits from 8x10 to 6x9 and even down to P2-Dslr for Nikon or Canon. As Ellis has stated, they are the top in quality, accuracy and ease of use. Send me a PM if you are interested. Regards, Theodoros. www.fotometria.gr
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kevs

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2012, 12:13:19 pm »

thanks Bill, Ellis, others. I may send few PMs.
Look, I realize now that 8x10 is over-kill and not necessary. Thinking of 4x5. But really I do have a Canon 5D2. But I tested stitching and it was a hairy mess. I would have no idea how to do it properly -- especially, these are people shots. I contact you guys offline in a minute.  Getting close to getting this decided.
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bill t.

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2012, 03:27:25 pm »

What are you shooting, exactly?

For $200 you can buy a old, manual focus 55mm Micro Nikkor and a Nikon->5D2 adapter.  One of the sharpest lenses of all time at a bargain price.  Use a tripod and really truly hit the focus.  Use mirror lockup.  Get the lighting right.  Don't underexposure 2 stops because of a white cyc background faking out the meter.  Make a homebrew matte box to avoid getting flare from areas just outside the scene.

Will look positively marvelous compared to the hairy mess that can emerge from the long and winding sheetfilm -> digital print workflow.

And should have stated the following earlier.  Imagine this emerging from the clouds above, because it's that good...

You can use tethered shooting with the 5D2, or almost any digital camera.  Now that alone is the reason to use those film boxes for paperweights.

Set the lens to f8, or f11 for the Micro Nikkor, or f5.6 for anything wider than 40mm.  Import directly into Lightroom or Aperture.  Use some fancy Mac laptop if that feels good.  Reset all the controls, then don't so much as THINK about touching any slider except the white balance.  If you need more or less contrast, tweak the lights.  More or less exposure, adjust the shutter speed and/or the lights.  Zoom in 4:1 to check the focus.  Judge everything right there in near realtime on a screen that will closely resemble your final print.

And in most cases this will also help your subjects give you their best, but judgement is needed in that regard.

This tethered thing will get the most technically perfect image it is possible to achieve by any technology in the entire history of photography.  For basically zero money.  All that adds up to a freaking damned photographic miracle that makes it a sin against common sense to use a view cameras + film in almost any setting, amen.
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kevs

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Re: Reccomendations for buying an 8x10 system
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2012, 05:06:32 pm »

Bill, that's a lot of gobbly gook. Tethered, which I do sometimes, just a cable I bought, has zero effect on the quality of the image. Just a luxury.

Have you printed large print, full body from a 5D2, here look at this:

http://static.timparkin.co.uk/static/tmp/cameratest-2/large.html
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