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Why the dearth of medium format housings?!


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#81 dhaas

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 01:48 PM

Eric,

Happy to be the voice of reason in today's world :) During my low budget, UW Digi seminars I get many photogs (my age and surprisingly YOUNGER!) who think the Nikonos V, 15mm lens, Fuji Velvia, blah, blah, blah is SOOOOooooo superior to digital technology.

I OWNED and SHOT all that stuff. It was good, for then......I can pick out a digital scanned slide, on the best slide film produced in a magazine a mile away as I'm sure most people can.......

People who love film will never be convinced. So let them keep using it, and that's fine.

Just don't try and convince me in 99.9999% of today's shooting, especially underwater it is "better" whatever that is.......cuz it ain't......

As far as this "captured moment" crappola', film has been manipulated all along, too, whether in the darkroom or the final edited result presented.

All in good fun :)

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#82 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 02:34 PM

The digital picture pretends to display raw reality. The analog picture is a visualization of human memory.


Eric, that's not a quote from me... That's from David Burnett in an interview in The New York Times.
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#83 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 03:28 PM

Dear Stephen,

First off, I sincerely apologize if I unintentionally insulted you. One of the things I've had to do in prepress shop & photo lab settings is troubleshoot imaging problems, whether the image was captured on film and then (drum) scanned, or digitally captured.

What I do is go back to the origin of the image, the scene, and then follow it through the lens onto the film or CCD, then through the film processor or RAW converter, and so forth: Nothing is immune from scrutiny, whether it's a white balance problem on a Barco monitor, or the pH of the E-6 color developer.

Digital imaging is wonderful: I use it for many things, and my customers use it for many things.

That being said, film has not died just yet, either: Although Kodak is trying to stick a fork in it (like not releasing to manufacturing Kodachrome 400, according to frustrated insiders in Rochester), Fuji is continuing film R&D as well as digital R&D... That's why their new two electron technology is so exciting, at least to geeks like me: It allows photographers more room to work, especially in available light scenes.

Keep in mind that the motion picture industry still uses a lot of ECN-2 color negative film, both in the camera and for release prints: The 2 electron technology first went into those films; with still photography following suit.

After reading a lot here from underwater experts like you, Dr. Mustard, and others, I sure can now see the utility of the 35mm dSLR format, especially in a commercial environment; and that is why I am seriously considering abandoning my pursuit of medium format for my upcoming underwater work and using 35mm film or dSLR format.

By the same token, on terra firma, I'm sticking to film for my high-end work, since, among other things, I enjoy wet darkroom work more than sitting in front of a screen.

Dan - I condensed your post above to get to the cogent points:

1. Trust that I know the difference between mirror slap and depth of field.
2. If film sensitivity has "vastly improved", it matters little to me. I'll never go back to shooting film and scanning the results.
3. Nothing Weegee ever shot has much relevance to what I do for a living.
4. Two-electron film technology adding 1-2 stops of speed means little to my current workflow. See #2.

I'm not saying it won't be the solution for ultimate UW imaging someday, and I appreciate your enthusiastic support of the format. I'm simply saying nothing out there right now in a digital medium format makes me, personally, want to push for a housing.


Now, I'm going to lob a grenade as to why I will probably house my Nikon F100 and shoot color neg film, instead of housing my Fuji S2 Pro; and for this I am also grateful to the people here.

The reason: Exposure latitude, especially with flash. Among the most prevalent of complaints I see is controlling flash... And, with lack of tolerance to overexposure with digital imaging, this is deadly... Even worse than blown highlights with chrome film.

[Exception: Fuji's r+s pixel CCD architecture really works well; and in fact I'm coming close to trading in my S2 Pro for an S3 Pro or even a new S5 Pro.]

Ever notice what wedding photographers still shoot color neg film... And why they shoot it? Exposure latitude, and more specifically, resistance to overexposure. (Or, cynically, it's idiot-proof! B) ). Basically, you can push the exposure 2, even 3 stops into the shoulder, and you'll still get a decent (albeit "thick") neg, without color crossover.

I can definitely see that when shooting underwater, you don't have the luxury of tight exposure control when using flash. Couple that with the limited time underwater, managing the air supply, and other things dry land photographers don't have to consider -- And which I'm grateful to all for pointing out -- I can see myself using 35mm color neg film before dSLR.

Damn: I ditched most of my Nikkor glass over the last couple of years in favor of Mamiya 645 autofocus glass... Now I'll have to buy the Zeiss glass to take my Nikon underwater! :)
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#84 Giles

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:20 PM

I enjoy wet darkroom work more than sitting in front of a screen.

really .. from the look of this thread I would have guessed otherwise ..

Ever notice what wedding photographers still shoot color neg film...

would that be the boring ones with grey hair and bad eye sight ? (so no i didn't notice that .. i infact noticed the opposite)
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#85 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:52 PM

Ouch! :)

QUOTE(Dan Schwartz @ Oct 20 2007, 07:28 PM)
I enjoy wet darkroom work more than sitting in front of a screen.

really .. from the look of this thread I would have guessed otherwise ..

QUOTE(Dan Schwartz @ Oct 20 2007, 07:28 PM)
Ever notice what wedding photographers still shoot color neg film...


Really would that be the boring ones with grey hair and bad eye sight ? (so no i didn't notice that .. i infact noticed the opposite)


Actually, once I ramp up for UW, I'll be shooting at your location. [My parents have a time-share at Tortuga Club on the East End of the island, since c.1993; and in fact they are there Right Now.]. Are there still any in control E-6 processing lines left in Grand Cayman; or will I have to suck it up and use a C41-RA Frontier minilab for local film developing?
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#86 StephenFrink

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 07:35 PM

Dear Stephen,

First off, I sincerely apologize if I unintentionally insulted you. One of the things I've had to do in prepress shop & photo lab settings is troubleshoot imaging problems, whether the image was captured on film and then (drum) scanned, or digitally captured.

What I do is go back to the origin of the image, the scene, and then follow it through the lens onto the film or CCD, then through the film processor or RAW converter, and so forth: Nothing is immune from scrutiny, whether it's a white balance problem on a Barco monitor, or the pH of the E-6 color developer.

Digital imaging is wonderful: I use it for many things, and my customers use it for many things.

That being said, film has not died just yet, either: Although Kodak is trying to stick a fork in it (like not releasing to manufacturing Kodachrome 400, according to frustrated insiders in Rochester), Fuji is continuing film R&D as well as digital R&D... That's why their new two electron technology is so exciting, at least to geeks like me: It allows photographers more room to work, especially in available light scenes.

Keep in mind that the motion picture industry still uses a lot of ECN-2 color negative film, both in the camera and for release prints: The 2 electron technology first went into those films; with still photography following suit.

After reading a lot here from underwater experts like you, Dr. Mustard, and others, I sure can now see the utility of the 35mm dSLR format, especially in a commercial environment; and that is why I am seriously considering abandoning my pursuit of medium format for my upcoming underwater work and using 35mm film or dSLR format.

By the same token, on terra firma, I'm sticking to film for my high-end work, since, among other things, I enjoy wet darkroom work more than sitting in front of a screen.
Now, I'm going to lob a grenade as to why I will probably house my Nikon F100 and shoot color neg film, instead of housing my Fuji S2 Pro; and for this I am also grateful to the people here.

The reason: Exposure latitude, especially with flash. Among the most prevalent of complaints I see is controlling flash... And, with lack of tolerance to overexposure with digital imaging, this is deadly... Even worse than blown highlights with chrome film.

[Exception: Fuji's r+s pixel CCD architecture really works well; and in fact I'm coming close to trading in my S2 Pro for an S3 Pro or even a new S5 Pro.]

Ever notice what wedding photographers still shoot color neg film... And why they shoot it? Exposure latitude, and more specifically, resistance to overexposure. (Or, cynically, it's idiot-proof! B) ). Basically, you can push the exposure 2, even 3 stops into the shoulder, and you'll still get a decent (albeit "thick") neg, without color crossover.

I can definitely see that when shooting underwater, you don't have the luxury of tight exposure control when using flash. Couple that with the limited time underwater, managing the air supply, and other things dry land photographers don't have to consider -- And which I'm grateful to all for pointing out -- I can see myself using 35mm color neg film before dSLR.

Damn: I ditched most of my Nikkor glass over the last couple of years in favor of Mamiya 645 autofocus glass... Now I'll have to buy the Zeiss glass to take my Nikon underwater! :)


Dan - No offense meant or taken. Thanks for the apology, but not necessary.

Good luck with your quest, and if you choose to house your F100 you'll find plenty of good used housings out there. When you are ready I think you'll find it will be very easy to get a really high quality film rig for a very reasonable price, and with someone like you who has an interest and passion for film, that's a fine route to take.

Be careful with the Zeiss glass option though. By the time the F100 came out most housing manufacturers had gone to command and subcommand dials for aperture and shutter speed. The AI method of changing aperture, as seems to be the case from this Zeiss illustration from your link, may not be compatible with all F100 housings. You might have to go back a generation in housings, maybe to an F4 or even F3, to find one that actually uses an aperture gear to engage an external control. At least that's my recollection & assumption from looking at this photo. A focus and aperture gear for this lens would be difficult to obtain as well, and would no doubt have to be a custom fabrication.

472572.jpg
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#87 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:32 PM

Hi Stephen!

Oh brother... Most of my Nikkor lenses are AI-type (manual setting of aperture via ring); though metering still works on my N90s & F100. So, I either have to buy glass that will be (pretty much) dedicated to UW photography; or pick up an F4 (cheap enough on eBay) and a housing that can "spin the dials" so to speak.

[In case you're wondering why I use older AI lenses, it's two-fold: First, perfectly good Nikkor primes can be had for pennies on the dollar, as users ditched them for zooms; and second, it suits my shooting style, where I like to control DOF and play hyperfocal games. Harold Merklinger's technical articles on focusing are what pointed me in this direction.]

Cheers!
Dan

Be careful with the Zeiss glass option though. By the time the F100 came out most housing manufacturers had gone to command and subcommand dials for aperture and shutter speed. The AI method of changing aperture, as seems to be the case from this Zeiss illustration from your link, may not be compatible with all F100 housings. You might have to go back a generation in housings, maybe to an F4 or even F3, to find one that actually uses an aperture gear to engage an external control. At least that's my recollection & assumption from looking at this photo. A focus and aperture gear for this lens would be difficult to obtain as well, and would no doubt have to be a custom fabrication.
472572.jpg


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#88 John Bantin

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:01 AM

What a strange thread this has been.

The best and most measured answers have been from Stephen Frink.

From 1968 to 1992 I made my living as a an advertising photographer, producing pictures that were used in many award-winning campaigns. We almost exclusively shot on 10x8 Sinar. I say 'we' because to do so meant a crew of at least three (more when on location). The quality of the pictures was beyond doubt. (They had to be at the fees I commanded!)

I commonly used stops like f./64 and f./96 and to do so meant employing a lot of light. I still have some of the 20,000joules of flash I commonly used. Today, I use a variety of Nikon DSLR and rarely need more than 500joules to get a good studio picture at f./22. Sometimes I have to bleed off 250j to a head not involved in the shot because 500j is too bright. Under water things are very different to photography on land, be it film or digital.

The reality is that I carry as much as I can. This equates to a D200 (because it is smaller and of consequence less bulky) and two Subtronic flashguns. What I do today (underwater) is very different from what I did in the past. In fact I do not tell people that I am a photographer now. I see myself as a writer who takes snaps to illustrate what I am writing about.

At the Visions conference, I mentioned to someone who knew me in my former career that if then I had wanted a shot of a great white shark, we would have got it fabricated in resin. I believe Doug Perrine has a best-selling shot of a girl in a bikini swimming next to a great hammerhead. (I believe the resin model is still on display at UNEXSO Grand Bahama.)

Horses for courses. Underwater, we need small self-contained camera/lighting set-ups that can be handled in a current. I never felt even the D2X fulfilled that specification!

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#89 pmooney

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:59 AM

What a strange thread this has been.

The reality is that I carry as much as I can. This equates to a D200 (because it is smaller and of consequence less bulky) and two Subtronic flashguns.
AHorses for courses

Underwater, we need small self-contained camera/lighting set-ups that can be handled in a current. I never felt even the D2X fulfilled that specification!


John - what are you saying ?

#90 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:33 AM

What a strange thread this has been.

The best and most measured answers have been from Stephen Frink.


Yes, he has given me some excellent advice privately, too.
[cut]

Today, I use a variety of Nikon DSLR and rarely need more than 500joules to get a good studio picture at f./22. Sometimes I have to bleed off 250j to a head not involved in the shot because 500j is too bright. Under water things are very different to photography on land, be it film or digital.


Are you cranking up the ISO? What distances are you shooting? What focal length?

By the way, I don't pretend to be anything more than a "resort" diver; and in fact may even start out with just a snorkel. The divemasters down in Grand Cayman (at least the ones who have taken me out) do a great job limiting us to 30 feet in waters without any real currents, too.

I'm not a marine biologist (like Dr. Mustard), nor do I make my living at underwater photography (like Stephen Frink) -- And I don't pretend to, either... These gentlemen are in the business of documenting what they see for a living.

I'm basically looking to make poster-sized art prints to hang on my walls; and for that I can find plenty in 30 feet in Grand Cayman. Yes, it would be great to get shots 140 feet down the wall (I've seen it on a ride in the big sub); but it's beyond my diving skill level, too.

By the way, this award-winning photo by Dr. Mustard is "the proof is in the pudding" that one need not get into deep water for a great picture!

Edited by Dan Schwartz, 21 October 2007 - 04:57 AM.

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#91 John Bantin

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:36 AM

John - what are you saying ?


I guess I want a compact with no shutter lag, no digital noise, a big aperture fish-eye lens and that can shoot 25mb RAW files - oh, and a built-in flash that gives interesting lighting and no backscatter!.


Yes, he has given me some excellent advice privately, too.
[cut]
Are you cranking up the ISO? What distances are you shooting? What focal length?


Never more than 100ISO. Within two metres. 20mm (f./16) to 105mm (f./27).

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#92 pmooney

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:40 AM

I guess I want a compact with no shutter lag, no digital noise, a big aperture fish-eye lens and that can shoot 25mb RAW files - oh, and a built-in flash that gives interesting lighting and no backscatter!.
Never more than 100ISO. Within two metres. 20mm to 105mm.



You forgot the less than $500 and fully guaranteed against flooding with optional money back warranty if your images are crap.

Should be available at a Disney store near you real soon............

#93 John Bantin

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:56 AM

really .. from the look of this thread I would have guessed otherwise ..
would that be the boring ones with grey hair and bad eye sight ? (so no i didn't notice that .. i infact noticed the opposite)


Hey Giles,

Youth is OK but you cannot make a long career out of it.

I still have my pony tail (in a box) and I've only worn glasses for 15 years but I suppose that's longer than you've been alive!

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#94 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 05:07 AM

I'm not a marine biologist (like Dr. Mustard), nor do I make my living at underwater photography (like Stephen Frink) -- And I don't pretend to, either... These gentlemen are in the business of documenting what they see for a living.

I'm basically looking to make poster-sized art prints to hang on my walls; and for that I can find plenty in 30 feet in Grand Cayman. Yes, it would be great to get shots 140 feet down the wall (I've seen it on a ride in the big sub); but it's beyond my diving skill level, too.

By the way, this award-winning photo by Dr. Mustard is "the proof is in the pudding" that one need not get into deep water for a great picture!
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#95 Paul Kay

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 05:19 AM

If you look at this thread overall, the question equates roughly to "is a medium format camera a useful camera for use in the field (underwater)?" This question has been asked innumerable times already and I think that the answer is essentially that the question needs rephrasing! Sure you can use a medium format camera in the field where, if used carefully and for appropriate applications, it can yield extremely high quality results, but....

Perhaps the question should be "is a medium format digital camera viable underwater for the applications that I have in mind?". And the answer to this one lies in the original post's title "why the dearth of medium format housings?" and it has to be pretty obvious that demand and economics make medium format housings effectively 'custom' builds and that given their high cost, requirement of a degree of expertise in use and arguable increased quality of results, they clearly do not offer dramatically significant advantages over many dSLRs.

In essence there is no 'perfect' underwater camera (even from Disney, sadly) but todays dSLRs probably give us the most versatile, effective underwater still imaging tools that we have ever had.

On the question of film or digital - this is up to one's own taste, but having just been using a Leica M6 c/w a 35mm f/2 summicron (perhaps one of the ultimate 'photographer's cameras' and a lens which is really extremely well designed) and Velvia 100, but at the same time also shooting on a 1DS with a 24/1.4, I can say that I very much enjoyed using both, although the 1DS was far heavier and a pain to hike with! As for the results, well hardly surprisingly they are different! Perhaps the most pertinent question to ask is which of the results would I prefer to make prints from and the answer is the Canon - the files have faults (try overcooking a polarised blue sky on a 1DS and you'll see one of them) but being completely honest I have to say that forced into a choice and I'd go for the Canon. But this is a PERSONAL choice.

Dan, if you are really serious about considering a system to yield extreme high quality results underwater, analyze what you actually want to shoot underwater and then post to ask what people would actually recommend. Wetpixel has some extremely knowledgable users (some of whom have responded already) and although you will get varied answers, you should get the advantage of people's actual experience - something which is very valuable.

The worst case scenario is to talk yourself into a system which might appear better on paper, or may have apparent advantages, when most people tell you that another system actually works better in practice. My Leica M6 is a good example, a Leicaphile will explain to you all its amazing advantages and capabilities. So do I use it because of them? No, I use it because it is a very pleasurable, camera to use and actually I enjoy using it; not because it will give better results than other cameras, because it won't.
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#96 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 05:56 AM

Dan, if you are really serious about considering a system to yield extreme high quality results underwater, analyze what you actually want to shoot underwater and then post to ask what people would actually recommend. Wetpixel has some extremely knowledgable users (some of whom have responded already) and although you will get varied answers, you should get the advantage of people's actual experience - something which is very valuable.


Paul, I didn't realize at first exactly what I wanted to shoot while underwater; but as I read the learned replies, looked at the experts' galleries -- And honestly looked at my (lack of) diving skills -- it shaped which direction I want to proceed with this project.

The single biggest thing I learned is how prevalent wide angle shooting is when underwater; which makes sense because of light absorbtion forcing the lens to get closer to the subjects.

On the question of film or digital - this is up to one's own taste, but having just been using a Leica M6 c/w a 35mm f/2 summicron (perhaps one of the ultimate 'photographer's cameras' and a lens which is really extremely well designed) and Velvia 100, but at the same time also shooting on a 1DS with a 24/1.4, I can say that I very much enjoyed using both, although the 1DS was far heavier and a pain to hike with!


I use a lightweight Fuji GA645 autofocus rangefinder w/60mm f/4 lens & pop-up flash as my "knockabout" camera: It actually weighs less than my S2 Pro! I like it so much, I may even pick up the 45-90mm zoom version and sell this one.

By the way, make sure you shoot the newer Velvia 100 (or new Velvia 50) and .NOT. the Velvia 100F, as the rendition of blues & purples is terrible! :)

Thanks again to all who have given me valuable guidance!

Edited by Dan Schwartz, 21 October 2007 - 05:58 AM.

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#97 Troy Aitken

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 07:10 AM

Hello Graig,

Only the H3D 31 has 800 iso.
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#98 Paul Kay

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:14 AM

Paul, I didn't realize at first exactly what I wanted to shoot while underwater; but as I read the learned replies, looked at the experts' galleries -- And honestly looked at my (lack of) diving skills -- it shaped which direction I want to proceed with this project.

The single biggest thing I learned is how prevalent wide angle shooting is when underwater; which makes sense because of light absorbtion forcing the lens to get closer to the subjects.

By the way, make sure you shoot the newer Velvia 100 (or new Velvia 50) and .NOT. the Velvia 100F, as the rendition of blues & purples is terrible! :)

Thanks again to all who have given me valuable guidance!


Dan

Good, or excellent diving skills are are prerequisite for good underwater photography. Buoyancy control actually needs to be perfect rather than good. Its really difficult to stress just how important being at home underwater actually is.

And I shoot substantially more macro than wide-angle. This depends on your interests and perhaps where/when you dive.

I was shooting the newer Velvia 100!

I reckon the bottom line is that getting a superb shot is more about being in the right place at the right time and being able to use the equipment you've got to capture the image you want. Sure, the result is dependent to some extent on the equipment used but a great shot will still be good whether its shot on a S2Pro or 1DS (I have shots from both cameras that I'm very happy with, and since I can't repeat many of the S2Pro ones, I'm happy to live with them).
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#99 3000psi

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 10:13 AM

I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread and while I can't really add to much that has already been said without rehashing it there are a few statements that caught my attention.

I think the consensus of the thread is that MF has severe limitations underwater but there is no doubt it can be adapted to certain situations where it might / will out perform dslr.

Dan said ...." The underwater macro gallery exhibit in the American Express building lobby by Michael ("Mickey") Maurer two years ago inspired me to submerge my camera gear. (The exhibition was shepherded through production by Lisa Fiel (who also had this exhibition a block away in the Conde Nast (4 Times Square) lobby; and the curator for both exhibitions for The Durst Organization was (is) Lanny Powers).

The issue Mickey had is that because all of his images were shot on 35mm film, very few of his enlargements were over 16x20 inches; while Lisa's prints shot on 6x45 were as large as 40x50 inches."

Two years ago has become a lifetime with the advent of digital photography. If someone's intent is to make enlargements for their home then the current dslr crop of cameras are more than adequate to fill this need. While cameras continue to increase their mp's most walls in homes and buildings don't seem to be keeping up. At least mine don't :) While there may be some advantage with MF when it comes to enlargements this gap has closed and will get less meaningful as dslr continues to offer more and more mp's.

The other comment that caught my eye was when Troy said : "By the way, I print canvas giclees almost on a daily basis and there is a more natural professional quality in mf prints compared to 35mm. Consumers don't usually see the difference, prosumers should see it and professional really enjoy the difference."

This comes back around to the point of what market you are shooting for. Most people I know that shoot commercially shoot for the public ... i.e. consumers. If a consumer can't tell the difference why should a editor, retailer, etc. spend the extra money that I am sure a MF shooter needs to charge ? I have yet to find anyone unfamiliar with photography that when shown a 16 x 20 print could tell me the format or camera it was shot with.

I think as photographers we get caught up with shooting for our peers when mostly it is the consumer who sees our work either in magazines, exhibits, presentations, etc. I recently was asked to be one of four judges at a photography competition. The photos I thought were best had nice poster board backgrounds that made the subjects pop. Two of the judges, who were not photographers, mentioned that was the one quality they did not like about the photographs. One commented it looked too much like studio shots and the other mentioned it was nature and the backgrounds should be in focus. So much for spending that money on lenses that produce good bokeh.

Although my comments may sound like I'm knocking MF I am really not. If I lived where Troy does and had the money I would be shooting MF some. But I can't see investing in a MF system (which would need to include two digital backs in case of flooding) and trying to travel with it all across the globe.

I hope to get to see some of Troy's work as I would love to see the results of his MF system that he and Dan are so passionate about.

Now bring on the thread about housing a 4 x 5. After all if MF is this good imagine what a 4 x 5 could do. Does anyone know if Ernest Brooks II has moved to digital ?

#100 Dan Schwartz

Dan Schwartz

    Sting Ray

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  • Interests:NASCAR & IndyCar photography; large format photography; wet darkroom work. Getting ready to drag my gear underwater...

Posted 21 October 2007 - 10:49 AM

I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread and while I can't really add to much that has already been said without rehashing it there are a few statements that caught my attention.

I think the consensus of the thread is that MF has severe limitations underwater but there is no doubt it can be adapted to certain situations where it might / will out perform dslr.

Dan said ...." The underwater macro gallery exhibit in the American Express building lobby by Michael ("Mickey") Maurer two years ago inspired me to submerge my camera gear. (The exhibition was shepherded through production by Lisa Fiel (who also had this exhibition a block away in the Conde Nast (4 Times Square) lobby; and the curator for both exhibitions for The Durst Organization was (is) Lanny Powers).

The issue Mickey had is that because all of his images were shot on 35mm film, very few of his enlargements were over 16x20 inches; while Lisa's prints shot on 6x45 were as large as 40x50 inches."

Two years ago has become a lifetime with the advent of digital photography. If someone's intent is to make enlargements for their home then the current dslr crop of cameras are more than adequate to fill this need. While cameras continue to increase their mp's most walls in homes and buildings don't seem to be keeping up. At least mine don't :) While there may be some advantage with MF when it comes to enlargements this gap has closed and will get less meaningful as dslr continues to offer more and more mp's.


Funny you should say that about walls: Actually, with the advent of McMansions over the last 10-15 years, many newer homes indeed have two story living rooms (often with a balcony overlook on the second floor). My lady friend in Atlanta has one; and in fact I gave her a 30x40 copy of Lisa's "Confetti after Broadway on Broadway 2002" print to fill up the 17 foot tall wall.

The other comment that caught my eye was when Troy said : "By the way, I print canvas giclees almost on a daily basis and there is a more natural professional quality in mf prints compared to 35mm. Consumers don't usually see the difference, prosumers should see it and professional really enjoy the difference."

This comes back around to the point of what market you are shooting for. Most people I know that shoot commercially shoot for the public ... i.e. consumers. If a consumer can't tell the difference why should a editor, retailer, etc. spend the extra money that I am sure a MF shooter needs to charge ? I have yet to find anyone unfamiliar with photography that when shown a 16 x 20 print could tell me the format or camera it was shot with.


P.T. Barnum said it more succinctly: "You can never go broke underestimating the taste of the American public." (!)

I hope to get to see some of Troy's work as I would love to see the results of his MF system that he and Dan are so passionate about.


We all are waiting!

Now bring on the thread about housing a 4 x 5. After all if MF is this good imagine what a 4 x 5 could do. Does anyone know if Ernest Brooks II [Link added: DLS] has moved to digital ?


Actually, and I'm not joking, I looked at building a shallow water housing (to maybe 10-20 feet) for my Calumet 4x5 view camera, or one of my Crown Graphics. I even already have a set of +1, +2 & +3 Kodak Series 6 diopters for my 135mm Optar. The hardest part would be rigging rods/levers for the Grafmatic 6 shot (or Kinematic 10 shot) 4x5 magazine; else I would be limited to one shot in a conventional Lisco holder.

At least if it floods, the only thing that would be an issue is sending the shutter to Fred Lustig for a CLA.
:)

Cheers!
Dan
I love the smell of fixer in the morning!