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Subject: "A few random thoughts..." Previous topic | Next topic
Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012Thu 07-Feb-13 04:05 PM
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"A few random thoughts..."


Omaha, US
          

A few random thoughts, in no particular order and of no particular value:

- The price of used medium format film gear is pretty attractive these days. I find myself pining for a Pentax 645N with a nice, sharp manual-focus prime lens. Only the recognition that such a setup will inevitably lead to a whole avalanche of processing/scanning/archiving/workflow issues keeps me from pulling the trigger. I have too much on my plate already.

- Digital cameras are not heirloom pieces the way film cameras are. All digital cameras are disposable.

- With integrated AF motors and image stabilization components, new lenses are probably disposable too.

- Life has a way of getting condensed. A semester's worth of work in school gets reduced to a single grade. A year of effort by thousands of people in a large corporation gets reduced to a single report of "earnings per share". A portrait can be like that. Take the right portrait of someone...the portrait that really captures their personality...and it can become the definitive icon that represents who they are. In the process, an entire life can be condensed down to an instant in time that lasted 1/500th of a second.

- The amount of saturation coming off of point and shoot cameras has ruined it for me. I find myself drifting more and more into a very de-saturated, grungy look for my photographs.

- Nothing matters more on a portrait than the women and how they believe they "look".

- Most people look fantastic when in the throes of a full-on 'belly laugh...but few like that look on themselves. "Attractive" is synonymous with "familiar", and no one ever sees themselves laughing.

- As good as autofocus is anymore, I still can't make myself trust that the camera will decide to focus on the right spot.

- New cameras have too many features for me. I don't want anything to do with video. I don't want anything to do with JPG conversion. I like auto focus and generally like auto exposure, but that's about it. All the other features just clog up the interface. What I want is a camera that is SIMPLE and GOOD: Big, high range, high resolution sensor. RAW mode only. Simple and intuitive controls. Not cluttered up with a bunch of "features" that I don't want. The good news is they make cameras like that. The bad news is they are medium format digital and cost more than my car. Well, assuming I had a nice car.

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
benveniste Moderator
07th Feb 2013
1
Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
Omaha
07th Feb 2013
3
     Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
benveniste Moderator
08th Feb 2013
6
Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
SweetMK
07th Feb 2013
2
Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
jrp Administrator
08th Feb 2013
4
Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
snegron Silver Member
08th Feb 2013
5
Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
mkbee1 Silver Member
08th Feb 2013
7
Reply message RE: A few random thoughts...
KnightPhoto Gold Member
14th Feb 2013
8

benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002Thu 07-Feb-13 06:57 PM
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#1. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 0


Boston Area, US
          

And a few random thoughts back at 'cha... It's such difference of opinion that make life interesting.

The price of used medium format film gear is pretty attractive these days. I find myself pining for a Pentax 645N
with a nice, sharp manual-focus prime lens. Only the recognition that such a setup will inevitably lead to a whole avalanche of processing/scanning/archiving/workflow issues keeps me from pulling the trigger. I have too much on my plate already.


I took my Pentax 645n through Hull and back yesterday. Hull Massachusetts, that is. I shot a roll of 160VC in the process. I found it extremely difficult to use this camera with manual focus lenses until I tracked down an AB-82 focus screen, which has a split-image focus aid. Alas, they are not easy to find.

One other thing to think about is that every shutter click of the Pentax 645n costs me about $1 in film and processing. So while the gear now goes for silly money, the cost per shot is still quite high.

- Digital cameras are not heirloom pieces the way film cameras are. All digital cameras are disposable.

I have one heirloom camera, a Rollei TLR that belonged to my grandfather. It would cost more to get it back into working condition than I'm willing to pay. So it sits quietly on a shelf, which is also what happens to most other "heirloom" cameras. Looked at another way, I had to replace the "sensor" on my Nikon FA about 11,000 times -- once for each shot! It's also had about 4 CLA's over the years.

But if you are willing to go to the same level of cost and effort it takes to keep shooting an "heirloom camera," I firmly believe you can use a modern dSLR for just as many shots before you have to replace it. But at least until now, advances in the state of the practice have provided some strong incentives to upgrade instead of maintain old digital gear.

- As good as autofocus is anymore, I still can't make myself trust that the camera will decide to focus on the right spot.

"Trust but verify." Alas, I can't make myself trust my own aging eyes, either.

I enjoy going "old school" on occasion, but I'm not much of a believer in "golden ages." While I wish that my film and processing choices weren't dwindling as quickly as they are, I have more options for shooting today than I ever did in the past. I can still shoot film ranging in size from 4x5" to 110, or I can shoot digitally at a trivially low marginal cost.

Is modern gear "disposable?" Perhaps, if by disposable you mean a usable lifetime of a decade or so with minimal preventative care. And so far, I've had no problem ignoring the features of my D800 I'm not interesting in using. I've yet to use it to shoot video, nor taken a single shot in program mode.

"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck

  

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Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012Thu 07-Feb-13 07:32 PM
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#3. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 1


Omaha, US
          

>I took my Pentax 645n through Hull and back yesterday. Hull
>Massachusetts, that is. I shot a roll of 160VC in the
>process. I found it extremely difficult to use this camera
>with manual focus lenses until I tracked down an AB-82 focus
>screen, which has a split-image focus aid. Alas, they are not
>easy to find.
>
>One other thing to think about is that every shutter click of
>the Pentax 645n costs me about $1 in film and processing. So
>while the gear now goes for silly money, the cost per shot is
>still quite high.

Can you tell me a bit about your workflow? What do you pay for processing? Where do you have it done? Do you have them scan the images for you? Do you do post digitally? Etc, etc, etc...

Thanks!

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Most of my Nikon photos end up here.

  

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benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002Fri 08-Feb-13 02:31 AM
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#6. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 3
Fri 08-Feb-13 02:32 AM by benveniste

Boston Area, US
          

Can you tell me a bit about your workflow? What do you pay for processing? Where do you have it done? Do you have them scan the images for you? Do you do post digitally? Etc, etc, etc...

It depends on the type of film, but I use labs local to me in Massachsetts.

For C41, I pay $11.50 for processing and a fairly low resolution CD. For traditional black and white, I pay $10 for developing and an 8x10" contact sheet. For E6, I pay $12.50 for processing only. All those prices are for 120 film.

If I ever decide to try another "long roll" project, I've got about 150 feet of frozen 70mm film C41 film, plus 40 feet of frozen 70mm Tech Pan. To use these films, I'd have to a) bulk load them, and b) see if I can find a place which can still handle 15' of film at a time.

After processing, it's time to take a look at the shots. I view C41 online, B&W via the contact sheets, and E6 via a light table. Any potential "keepers" I scan using a Coolscan 8000 ED using Vuescan software and post-process with Photoshop. At that point, I can post digitally, print, or send off the file for printing elsewhere.

"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck

  

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SweetMK Registered since 22nd Jan 2013Thu 07-Feb-13 07:04 PM
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#2. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Omaha, I have thoughts like yours occasionally, it is pining for the old times, or the new time that you can not have.

I used to have such feelings, then I luckily retired early, and now enjoy life.

I enjoy a screw drive focus lens, I do not have to remember to twist my wrist.

I enjoy auto focus, the AF camera will miss AF occasionally, but, less frequently than when I had to MF.

I enjoy the new automatic transmission in my new car, it knows we are going down hill and engages engine braking so I do not have to depress the brake pedal.

Yea, many old ways are gone, many old beliefs are gone, but, many new ones are here to enjoy.

I live in the Best Of Pleasantville!!


  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberFri 08-Feb-13 01:43 AM
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#4. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 0


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

One of my granddaughters said she would have liked to live "in the times of the princesses", as in a movie we were watching together, until I mentioned they had no "texting" and no bathrooms in Europe at those times.

If there is a time machine available before I go, I would like to travel forward, not backwards.

We tend to think in terms of our mood at the moment. A bad practice I would dare say, since it often leads to wrong conclusions.
Worst, we may get what we wish for.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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snegron Silver Member Nikonian since 05th May 2007Fri 08-Feb-13 02:24 AM
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#5. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 08-Feb-13 02:36 AM by snegron

Cape Coral, Florida, US
          

Medium Format Film Gear:

- If you lived nearby I would let you use my old gear, especially since my last (recent) fiasco. I purchased several rolls of B&W 120 film to use with one of my old Mamiya 645 cameras. I lugged it around Disney all day thinking I had captured images of a lifetime only to be disappointed at the end of the day when I realized I had forgotten to switch the "Multi" image switch back to normal advance. I still have the rolls of B&W film (one is still loaded in the camera), but I am still too upset with myself to consider shooting again. At least for now. I predict I will give it another go in a few weeks.


Heirloom cameras:

- Yes! Yes! and Yes! I agree 100% with you about older cameras and lenses! Despite what others may say about cameras being only tools, I believe older cameras were functional works of art. There was a hand-made process that went into camera manufacturing back in the old days. Even the Nikon F was built mostly by hand. I compare cameras to cars and watches; yes, cars can be viewed by many as simple machines used to transport us from point A to point B, but why do so many people pay top dollar to collect the beautiful ones? Same with watches; why bother to spend money on a Rolex when a Casio is probably more accurate? Answer; because they are functional works of art same as older cameras are!! I'm sure I will be roasted alive for daring to say that I collect (and use) old cameras, but I will do with my time and money what I want.



AF lenses:

- Yes, they feel like cheap plastic compared to the older, metal and glass lenses of yesteryear. My only issue is that I need to rely more on AF the older I get (2.8 doesn't seem as bright as it used to for me).



Lots of work and effort to be defined by a simple word, phrase or grade:

- We can call it "the defining moment" as well. Photography (somewhat like poetry) is able to convey a large amount of emotion in a simple form. That simple form (or image) should evoke a deep emotion from the the person who views it.



Point & shoots:

- I am still searching for the perfect one. I hope I am able to find it before "smart phones" take over the industry thereby completely killing my enthusiasm for photography.




Portrait photography:

- People like to see pictures of themselves as they imagine themselves to be. This is why I am not very successful at portrait photography. The camera doesn't lie, why should we?




Simplified camera:

- Less= more($). Leica M9 fits the bill for what you are describing. I wish I had the money for one, but I don't see that happening any time soon. This newer generation likes electronic gadgets. Camera manufacturers cater to them (or sometimes tell us what we are supposed to like). I have yet to use the video feature on any of my point and shoots, I have no desire to use video on any DSLR either.

Folks like you and I who are able to cherish and admire old technology are becoming extinct. My advice to you is to buy and old medium format camera and shoot as many rolls as you can before film is no longer available. Just remember to switch the "multi" switch over after you load the film!

  

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mkbee1 Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Fri 08-Feb-13 05:25 PM
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#7. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 5
Fri 08-Feb-13 05:35 PM by mkbee1

West Valley, US
          

Medium Format Film Gear:

If you lived nearby I would let you use my old gear,
especially since my last (recent) fiasco. I purchased several
rolls of B&W 120 film to use with one of my old Mamiya 645
cameras. I lugged it around Disney all day thinking I had
captured images of a lifetime only to be disappointed at the
end of the day when I realized I had forgotten to switch the
"Multi" image switch back to normal advance.


** Yeah, like the time I forgot to load my "old technology" camera with film,and shot about a half-roll before I figured out what was up! Or plugged the PC cord into the wrong outlet...or forgot to turn the flash on...or...leading to...

Heirloom cameras:
Yes! Yes! and Yes! I agree 100% with you about older cameras
and lenses! ...I'm sure I will be
roasted alive for daring to say that I collect (and use) old
cameras, but I will do with my time and money what I want.


** More power to you! There is no wrong way (except unsafely) to enjoy a hobby. Roasted alive? Not hardly; at least not by Nikonians! Why so sensitive?


AF lenses:
Yes, they feel like cheap plastic compared to the older,
metal and glass lenses of yesteryear. My only issue is that I
need to rely more on AF the older I get (2.8 doesn't seem as
bright as it used to for me).


** Hmmmm...I thought I was all alone here. Old eyes,and impending cataracts make AF a goodness. Old lens, new lens...will it do what I need it to do lens... ?


Lots of work and effort to be defined by a simple word, phrase
or grade:

** That's life!


Point & shoots:
I am still searching for the perfect one. I hope I am able
to find it before "smart phones" take over the
industry thereby completely killing my enthusiasm for
photography.

** Say What? Methinks you will have a loooooong and unproductive search! Besides, try putting a DSLR in your shirt pocket!

Portrait photography:
People like to see pictures of themselves as they imagine
themselves to be. This is why I am not very successful at
portrait photography. The camera doesn't lie, why should we?

** People's self-image is very important to them, and the most successful portraitists can evaluate that, bring it out, and capture it in a blink of time. Look at Yosef (sp?) Karsh's work sometime. Some days you have it, some days, not. The more you try, the better you get.


Simplified camera:
Less= more($). Leica M9 fits the bill for what you are
describing. I wish I had the money for one, but I don't see
that happening any time soon.

** O my yes!

This newer generation likes
electronic gadgets. Camera manufacturers cater to them (or
sometimes tell us what we are supposed to like).

** The younger guys have the $$$, AND can work the creations! Like naked people, older folks have little effect on society. Older, naked people? That is a discussion for another day!

I have yet to
use the video feature on any of my point and shoots, I have no
desire to use video on any DSLR either.

So, DON'T!

Folks like you and I who are able to cherish and admire old
technology are becoming extinct.

** Face it, we are Dinosaurs! Hee hee!

Just remember to
switch the "multi" switch over after you load the
film!

** And don't forget to remove the lens cap! (Don't ask!)

An old fart actually enjoying life and photography!

Carl




It is a Fine and Pleasant Madness

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Thu 14-Feb-13 01:50 AM
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#8. "RE: A few random thoughts..."
In response to Reply # 0


Alberta, CA
          

>- Digital cameras are not heirloom pieces the way film cameras
>are. All digital cameras are disposable.
Agreed and yet I still love them

>- The amount of saturation coming off of point and shoot
>cameras has ruined it for me. I find myself drifting more and
>more into a very de-saturated, grungy look for my photographs.
I too like desat and neutral and dislike the P&S look, but I also like one colour dominant photos like blue images, high key, and low-key!

>- Nothing matters more on a portrait than the women and how
>they believe they "look".
Better get yourself a copy of Portrait Professional

>- As good as autofocus is anymore, I still can't make myself
>trust that the camera will decide to focus on the right spot.
That's what the LCD is for (after the shot) or liveView before the shot.

And video is GREAT, although still a newb myself.



Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
My Nikonians gallery
My Nikonians Blog

  

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