How much for "publishing quality"
We all know the camera only holds the film (For the most part). Of all camera equipment the lens probably has the biggest impact on the image quality.
So what do you need for "publishing" quality? Can a 80-200 F2.8 be replaced with a 80-200 F4.5-5.6 or a 300 F2.8 with a 300 F4?
Is high quality "Crisp" images only reserved for the big guns?
Or will my limited budget forever doom me to photo's marred by flare, distortion and colour aberation.
#1. "RE: How much for "publishing quality"" | In response to Reply # 0frankie Basic MemberFri 15-Sep-00 07:49 PM
LAST EDITED ON Sep-15-00 AT 11:50 PM (GMT)
Some of the most moving pictures in history were made by amateurs who attained the status of "professional". Case in point, the picture of the baby crying in Nagasaki after the bomb was dropped, with all the rubble around him, was taken by an amateur...
Sometimes a picture with lousy grain, odd colouring and strange focus can be published because it conveys a mood.
That's really all there is to it. It's the point where you step away from the technical aspect and take the picture to convey an emotional cue. It's MUCH harder to do than it sounds, and can sometimes mean leaving your scruples behind...
#2. "RE: How much for "publishing quality"" | In response to Reply # 0BJNicholls Charter MemberSat 16-Sep-00 12:47 AM
LAST EDITED ON Sep-16-00 AT 04:49 AM (GMT)
It's sooooo subjective. If your objective is to make wall size enlargements with critical detail, forget 35mm. On the other hand, some great images have been made with plastic Lomo cameras. The reality for you is somewhere between the extremes.
For my brochure design work, the general working resolution I have to target for scans is 300 pixels per inch. A good 35mm image can usually hold up easily to a full 8.5 x 11 letter size layout, provided the shot doesn't need to show extremely fine detail and the image doesn't need much cropping. A "coffeetable" book will support higher resolution image scans and the pages can be large enough to show grain from many emulsions. If you're really concerned about covering your bases to be "publishable", look into shooting medium format. You'll gain far more cropping and enlarging potential than you will by choosing an excellent lens over a very good lens.
The 80-200 2.8 is a better rated lens than my 70-300 4-5.6. The 2.8 lens is also much bigger and heavier. I'm personally more likely to be carrying my lighter lens when I need it... and any photo you take is more usable than one you didn't. On the other hand, if you need a faster speed there's no substite for big glass. If you can afford it and don't mind carrying it, get the best glass you can. However, don't expect the difference in sharpness and contrast to make or break a given image very often. The strength of the image will depend far more on the performance (and sometimes luck) of the person behind the viewfinder.
#3. "RE: How much for "publishing quality"" | In response to Reply # 0f8bthere Basic MemberSun 17-Sep-00 11:59 AM
You ask what the cut off is as far as publishable photos. This is a bit of a open question due to many variables. When the Concord crashed last month, a very poorly composed grainy, (due to the enlargement required), photo of the burning aircraft was printed in almost every newspaper and news magazine in the world. Subject matter will take priority over quality if the subject is outstanding in its rarity or impact.
But most of us don't get to get that once in a million shot. These days most lenses are fully capable of rendering a photo of very good quality. What you get when you pay for the best within a range is that durability that the professional needs. If a "cheap" consumer level zoom right out of the box is fine... how will it hold up after the riggers of hard use that some photographers need to subject their equipment to? This is the part of economics that makes it justifiable to make that initial outlay of cash. Not how much difference in cash now... but how much after 1000 or 2000 photos. You could easily "eat up" several cheap lenses in that time under certain conditions... and as a professional the HAS to get the shot, he can't afford to find out that the cheap lens picked that point in time to quit. Money becomes a vague concept when your reputation is being compromised by equipment failure.
But there is another little point in photography. Most people in the real world never get the best performance out of their equipment that the gear is capable of. If you use a stout tripod, focus for the subject, (hyperfocal distance), expose perfectly with the optimum aperture, use slow slide film, and the smoothest possible shutter release... then your 100 Dollar lens can put to shame a sloppy person handholding his 1000 Dollar super lens. Most people are not willing to do this shot after shot, but it will give visibly better photos from simple economical gear. Results that are publishable.