This NG at its best (follow up to "Kodak B&W C-41 process?")

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by Alan Browne, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    ....i just got 5 rolls at $1.00 a roll.... brother Gordon doesn't approve
    of thise film ... I'll save it for something wretched...
    From time to time I visit a website with samples from many "great"
    photographers ( ) and scan
    through a few. Many of the photos leave me depressed, not to mention
    unimpressed. (H C-B is not in the collection at that site...) H C-B
    images only get me going on about 1 photo out of 5.
    Alan Browne, Apr 18, 2004
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  2. I was born grouchy.......
    William Graham, Apr 19, 2004
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  3. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: This NG at its best (follow up to "Kodak B&W C-41 process?")
    Why? Is it his style/subject matter of photography (candid PJ/decisive moment)
    or that his pictures aren't up to snuff and/or because you don't relate to the
    other 4 out of 5 shots because....

    If I only liked 1 out of 5 _portfolio level_ (1 out of 5 of "best of" photos as
    opposed to 1 out of 5 of all the pictures someone's ever throughout his life
    taken) pictures of my own work I'd soon give up photography - your response to
    HCB's work, though valid, seems quite depressing to me. Is he too much of a
    "Johnny One Note"/"One Trick Pony" to you. What rubs you the wrong way (or at
    least not in the right way) about his work? I'd be curious to know...
    Lewis Lang, Apr 19, 2004
  4. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    No real serious rant to make on the subject of H C-B. There are photos
    of his that really grab my attention, but so many that just seem very
    ordinary as to even look snapshooty.

    As to your scale above, that is not of "all shots", but the ones worth
    publishing. So many H C-B's to me just seem ordinary and riding on the
    coattails of his name.

    Alan Browne, Apr 19, 2004
  5. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: This NG at its best (follow up to "Kodak B&W C-41 process?")
    That seems reasonable enough, Alan. What things/elements/attributes makes a
    shot(s) "snapshooty" as opposed to the "grabbers" for you? Could you give any
    exambles of each of his work so I know what you're talking about and why? Most
    appreciated. :)
    Lewis Lang, Apr 19, 2004
  6. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Giving the devil his due:
    Great shots include the two gents staring at a constuction site through
    a screen/wall.
    Shot of a child dashing throught the shaddows in a Greek village.
    Barrio Chino, an otherwise ordinary shot, has a crude drawing on the
    wall seeming to mimick the man in the shot...
    "Zurich" is comical, but should have been cropped tighter.
    "Hyeres" is great as is "Madrid" with the fat fellow with his hat cocked
    forward adding a dash of humour.
    "Srinagar" is a strong shot that would be at home in a NatGeo article on
    the middle-east or south-Asia.
    Rue Mouffetard is one of my all time favourite photos period (and yet,
    it is definitely a snapshot!). brillant! is a one webpage grab of
    SUPERB H C-B shots.

    But, all in all, in the two book collections of H C-B phots I have
    looked at, I see more phots that leave me wondering "why is this
    considered a good photo"? than shots that really inspire or impress me.
    My conclusion is that 4/5ths of his photos are now published as filler
    and reduce the value of his collection, overall. (by value, I don't
    mean anything having to do with $).

    One shot in particular stands out in my mind. A dapper gent of the
    inter-war period (I guess) centered and staring uncomfortably at the
    camera. The contrast of the shot is stark and hard and the subjects
    eyes are a bit haunting. There is a halo around the gent (a little over
    dodging in the darkroom?) It is a snapshot, pure and simple. There is
    little, if any, relationship between the gent and the surroundings.
    A shot called Florence of a terrace with coffee tables is boring, stupid
    and cluttered. It would merrit derision in the SI.
    The 1947 portrait of Willam Faulkner is horrible, cluttered (if ever
    there was a case for shallow DOF and attention to focus, this is it),
    poor contrast on the subject, etc. The setting for the shot deserved
    more care in shooting it and culling the best.

    I don't own any H C-B books, so I'll leave it until I borrow one and
    really nitpick the shots I consider ordinary to the point of reducing
    the impact of the better images.

    Alan Browne, Apr 19, 2004
  7. Alan Browne

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I do that a bit. Some of it is exploration, though there is a side benefit. As
    anyone who works creatively knows, there are times when one can suffer from
    creative block. Sometimes trying something different can allow one to work through
    that creative block.
    Agreed, and sometimes the choice is grainy and pushed, or no shot at all.
    Similar to my decision on transparency film, though film scanning really drove
    that home.
    Never really liked that film. I guess that overexposure was going for details in
    the shadows?
    Same feelings for Ilford Delta 3200.
    Which means you need enough cameras to have one film in each at all times. ;-)
    Yes, but what an enjoyable journey.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 19, 2004
  8. Alan Browne

    Andrew Price Guest

    Maybe - but you have a wicked sense of humour!
    Andrew Price, Apr 19, 2004
  9. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    How so, Gordon?
    ....and supposedly you get finer grain than 400 by helping the dye clouds to
    voerlap more (less space between them) when you overexpose with this film. May
    reduce contrast/increase shadow detail too.
    I hear?/seen? that the Ilford 3200 has golfball sized grain, what are the
    qualities that attract you to this film? And what are the qualities that
    attract you to this film over other high pspeed b&w films?
    I need less cameras! What are you trying to turn me into, a walking talking
    Christmas tree?! (with all the cameras dangling from me like ornaments) ;-). I
    have too many cameras as is. I actually want less cameras, but of a different
    kind :-( (Pentax MZ-S, Contax ST and Leica MP or some such). The more I try to
    simplify my life the more complex it gets ;-) Less is more, unless it gets too
    complicated then less is too much and more is too much ;-). Explanation: too
    many cameras and too many films are like too many clothes, you almost never end
    up wearing/using them and they take up a lot of shelf space. Why not sell?
    Because either they fill specific needs/niches and/or they would get diddly
    (vs. their usability value to me) on the used market.
    Speak for yourself! :) Give me one camera, one lens and one film anyday of the
    week. ...But then I'd only be able to do about half of my shots, you see
    besides my splendiferous 50/1.8 Series E I also need a wide angle (24-50 zoom)
    a full frame fisheye on occaision (unlike most people who to them its a
    gimmick, this is a tool of my vision as I not only see in fisheye mode (along
    with other more normal modes) some of my best shots wouldn't have been possible
    IMPROVEMENT", RENNAISSANCE COUPLE WITH DOG", etc.). What I really need is a
    17-50 f/1.8 zoom that focuses to 1 foot and as small and light as a 50mm normal
    lens and morphs from rectilinear to full frame fisheye at the wide angle end
    only with the flick of a switch. The Pentax 17-28mm fisheye zoom wont do
    because besides the slower 3.5-4.5 aperture it also as distortion throughout
    the focal length range and is non-rectilinear. It seems I'm "doomed" to at
    least 3 lenses if not 4 (the fourth being a tele zoom in the 70-150/210 range
    or a short 85/100/135 ffl lens for the occaisional headshot).

    DOF/selective focus aside, most of my photography can be done with a 24 ffl or
    24-50 zoom (mine is as compact as most normal lenses!), or this lens plus a
    50mm ffl "normal" lens (my environmental ultra short telephoto lens) for
    selective focus effects (mainly for non(/wider than)-headshot portraits).

    Don't even get me started on which systems I prefer and why. Well, OK, since
    you didn't ask I'll tell you anyways ;-):

    All SLRS:

    Manual focus

    Nikon (of course!) Great sharpness, great color saturation, well built, doesn't
    cost an arm and a leg anymore. Faves: Nikon EM, Nikon FM2n, Nikon FE-2, Nikon
    FM3a, Nikon F3HP, Nikon F4 (one of the best MF cameras Nikon ever made ;-)).

    Pentax (for the same reasons as above) Faves: Pentax Super Program (Super A
    outside the U.S.) and Pentax LX.

    Contax (ditto plus its more expensive in the non 28-135 range (at least new)
    but you get what you pay for). Faves: Contax 167MT (noisy but it delivers),
    Contax Aria (("Who shrunk the Contax 167MT?" ;-) Main niggle is that flash
    compensation can no longer be performed in auto exposure modes via the exposure
    compensation dial, you have to switch into manual exposure mode to accomplish
    this), Contax ST (very bright viewfinder, 1/200 sec. but big and noisy, stil a
    beauty), Contax RX.


    Canon (their L lenses (zooms, particularly the 28-70/2.8 L) are within half a
    breath/notch of Contax ffl lenses and they are usually f/2.8 in the wider focal
    lengths as opposed to 24-85 CZ N lens that goes from 3.5-4.5. Niggles are that
    the camera bodies (like most Nikon semi-pro and up bodies) are monstrously
    bloated in size for my tastes and the AE lock is really an AE hold button not a
    toggle one press on/off button like Minolta (and some Nikons accomplish this as
    well) and unlike the Contax MF bodies which have a permanent switch/collar
    around the shutter button to permanently lock in AE. (The EOS 1v has the
    ability to adjust the length of time AE is held, though, through some kind of
    custom function). L lenses are also very expensive (but again, you get what you
    pay for and there are some older/used L lenses available on the used market if
    you can't afford the newest/latest/greates. Advantages are that the L glass as
    said before is superb (and so are some of its non-L primes), fast (usually
    f/2.8 for the wider L zooms) and can be rented anywhere. IS and highspeed
    wireless ratio flash is another advantage it has over both the AF (and MF)
    Contax SLR system(s) (which are also too bloated in camera size on the pro
    models for my tastes. Faves: EOS1v (but this is despite Analka and his mouthing
    off, because of its ruggedness, bright viewfinder and it just plain
    looks/feels/handles like a Japanesse BMW/Lexus. Its weighty but w/o the extra
    grip the weight is at least tolerable), Elan 7(e/N) (has most of the features I
    need (wireless TTL highsppeed ratio flash) and lighter weight than the 1v but
    the viewfinder coverage is also less and my friend says that AF performance in
    low light is les than optimal plus, of course, its much cheaper than a 1v ;-)),
    EOS 630 (sucky manual exposureinterface (hold that button while you twistthat
    dial plus "CL" oo" or "op" instead of an exposure scale) but a rugged body w/
    just about everything I need sans wireless TTL highspeed ratio flash. Though
    they are cheap and quite durable for along time they require repair for
    deterioriation of the shutter brakes/bumpers to get back to peak operation),
    Canon A2 (despite its creaky plastic grip and the possibility of its command
    (mode) dial breaking and spinning without locking (which doesn't affect
    operation) and a lower eyepoint vf (w/ the eye cup, w/o it it seems rather
    easier to see the whole vf at once but then you risk scratching glasses) this
    camera has every thing you want sans the wireless TTL highspeed ratio flash)
    has 1/200 sec. normal flash sync, a bright vf, the thumb wheel in back that can
    be used for quick exposure comp or for quick adjustments in manual mode and a
    built-in 5 f.p.s. motor drive), Elan II(e) (also great though only 2.5 f.p.s.
    winder and highspeed flash is not wireless or wireless ratio flash?).


    Lenses have great/smooth/lovely bokeh and wonderful color (and wonderful
    sharpenss particularly on some ffl lenses. The 31 Ltd. lens has the clarity of
    a Leica M lens! :), though its about $800 :-() Faves: MZ-S (has wireless TTL
    highspeed? ratio? flash, 2.5 f.p.s. built-in winder is fine but wish it was
    slightly faster. Like the lightwieght and the smallness of the body plus the
    (in effect) high eyepoint vf which I would classify as average in brightness,
    good but not spectacularly bright as some other brand vf. Love the AF button on
    back that allows (like Canon and some Nikons and Minoltas) one touch AF
    activation (in effect an AF lock because once you release the button it stops
    focusing) and the hyper manual mode which sort of acts like an AE lock by
    instantly setting the right expsoure plus this exposure, like a Hassy lens can
    be shifted for equivalent exposures with the ML (memory lock) button I believe.


    Leica MP (love the feel and the .58x? vf mag that is like a high eyepoint) and
    love those M lenses. Leica M5 and M6 TTLs used might be cheaper substitutes.

    Hexar (same as above plus aperture priority and built-in motor drive and 1/125
    sec. flash sync)

    Minolta CLE (same as above but lacks the built in mtordrive and the faster
    flash sync, used models are getting long in the tooth agewise)

    Bessa R2 (same as above but no aperture priority but has a 1/125 sec. sync?)

    Bessa R3 with aperture priority or Contax G3 with 24/25mm built-in vf frame,
    wireless highspeed ratio flash, 24/25mm lens and a way to mf via a superimposed
    rangefinder patch like a Leica M camera.

    Oh yeah... and the funds to finance all this and the brains to narrow down
    which of these I really need as well as want. Then again, there is always the
    HCB dream of 1 camera, 1 lens, 1 film, but he has his mind/cross to bear and I
    have mine ;-)>. The world doesn't need another HCB (or Winogrand/etc.) and I'm
    not even sure the world needs a 1 of a kind me, but they got me anyway because
    even if they don't want me, I'm here already and I do a first rate Lewis Lang
    as opposed to all the 12th rate HCBs and WInogrands around. They may (or may
    not) like my (LEWIS)VISION, but at least its my vision, which is part of the
    curse as to why I can't get by with just a 50mm for 95% of my work (though the
    %age I'm shooting with my 50 is ever increasing. Always got to bring at least
    that 24-50 along, and then there's the fisheye and then there's that...










    Lewis Lang, Apr 20, 2004
  10. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: This NG at its best (follow up to "Kodak B&W C-41 process?")
    Thanks for all your detailed comments, Alan. It only goes to prove its quality
    and good editing that count (and make/back a reputation). This statement in no
    way detracts from some of the magnificence that HCB has done, and, of course,
    individual tastes as too what is great or even good differs, its just that the
    better photographer aperson is, the higher the standards of editing should be
    (he says this hoping his words won't come back to haunt him ;-) - why is he
    talking in the third person when "he" is "me" - where's my editior?, oh there
    he is in the mirror ;-)).
    Lewis Lang, Apr 20, 2004
  11. Thank you....Cultivating my sense of humour is what has kept my
    William Graham, Apr 20, 2004
  12. Alan Browne

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Guten morgen Herr Lang,

    Transparency film on a light table next to your computer monitor is easier to colour match. The other issue is that many film scanners do a
    slightly better job with scanning transparency, though for 35 mm, some of that could be the holder, since the slide frame works very well at
    keeping the film relatively flat.
    Interesting. I often exposed TriX at ISO 200, but I always pulled the processing to match ISO 200, so even exposure. Anyway, the image was often
    a little softer, and less apparent grain.
    I like the evenness of the grain. Weird thing is that if you are too far off on exposure when you push, it looks terrible. Also, I found out the
    hard way that it is developer sensitive, and some choices are really bad, hence the reports of golfball sized grain.
    With a good developer, the results are actually quite nice. The contrast range is very even. It also scans well. Thanks go to Skip Middleton for
    pushing me to try this more than the first few rolls, and I am glad I did, since it eventually showed acceptable results. The developer that
    worked the best was Ilford Ilfotek-DDX. This is actually recommended by Ilford for higher push ratings, though I found it worked better than
    other choices even at ISO 1600. I usually use this film at ISO 3200, though sometimes ISO 6400. One good example scanned at:

    I should do a photo like that. If I took all my gear and hung it from my neck and shoulder, or even just tried to hold it, the image would make
    one surreal view.
    I suppose one idea would be to only buy gear that you would not want to sell. I think four cameras was the most I ever took to a location,
    though I ended up using all of them. Usually, a two camera kit suffices for most assignments.
    Yes, actually you are one of the few photographers I have seen who actually uses a fisheye to good effect. The only other numerous examples I
    can think of is skateboard magazines, where the wide and fisheye viewpoints are very popular.
    How about those add on fisheye optics?
    Other than low light images, I tend to like smaller aperture side lenses. I actually like the increase in DOF, which may seem contrary to my
    style of very short DOF in many of my images.
    I am still looking for a good deal on a 24 mm. As soon as I find one, I am selling my 28 mm.
    Okay, I was looking at F4 cameras in December, mostly with a thought of using some of the strange flash setting possibilities. One thing that
    bothered me was the bulk of the camera, though all the ones I tried had either the largest grip with extra release, or the mid sized grip.
    Apparently, there is a small battery grip option which makes this much more compact. I have yet to find one like that to handle, so I am not
    sure if I could live with that set-up. Have you had a chance to check one out like that, or use one, and if so, how does it compare in handling
    to an F3?
    I like the LX, but I am already into Nikon SLR gear. Also, bad memories of a K1000 jade my opinion of Pentax.
    I actually liked the RTS versions, though some of those you mentioned are also nice. Trouble is that when I was getting into this, there was
    much more Nikon gear available, especially rental. However, the quality of Contax gear is first rate.
    Other than a friend's version, I have tried only a few of these. I just really hate the command dial interface. Also, since I am a control
    freak, I have to manually focus . . . meaning that no autofocus camera and lens combination will ever do. About the closest I get to using
    autofocus is my SX70, which uses sonar.
    Some surprisingly nice lenses, though again this is buying into a system that changes my view of these. With the AF push button, I had too many
    bad times with older Canon gear to like that "feature", though I suppose some people will rave about that.
    M6 TTL would definitely be a lower priced choice. Used prices currently less than half the price of newer M cameras.
    Seems nice on paper, though I have yet to see one, or handle one. Apparently, the lenses are quite nice too.
    Damn nice camera, but the used prices are going through a fanatical collector stage. They are now competing in price with used M4 choices, and
    early M6 cameras, which I would rather use.
    I have yet to see the newer one. The earlier Bessa R had a really nice viewfinder, though it seems to have been plagued by early quality control
    issues. The one thing I did not like was the film rewind lever, which seemed too much like it could be damaged if one was not careful with it.
    Supposedly that was improved on the R2.
    There are some comments floating around about an R3 development. Apparently, the venture of the digital developed with Epson has pushed back
    release of the R3, and might mean it never comes out. Anyway, supposedly an R3 would increase the effective rangefinder base, though I think
    they were planning to do that with increased magnification, rather than longer base length. One less believable rumour has Voigtländer turning
    out an updated version of the Konica Hexar RF, but I would be really surprised to see something like that.
    Confusion reigns apparently.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 20, 2004
  13. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: This NG at its best (follow up to "Kodak B&W C-41 process?")
    Howdy pard'ner ;-).
    Maybe scanners do a better job with color balancing on slides but I'd figure
    that a scanner could record more range out of a negaative (at least in the
    shadows) because there's less density than slides with neg films in the shadows
    and highlights, though dense on a negative, can always be scanned in in a
    separate exposure and combined whereas with slides once detail is gone its gone
    (more of a film lattitude issue thatn a scanner issue regarding this factoid).
    Exactly. Expose for the shadows (or at least give slight over exposure which
    helps the shadow detail) and develop for the highlights works well with
    conventional silver halide films, over-exposing C-41 slightly is all you need
    to do with Ilford XP-2 Super and similar chromogenic films because of its
    lattitude which like regular color neg its not necessary to pull process to
    get extra detail within range of the film. I'm not sure if I'm 100% right here
    but color neg can usually take up to 5 stops overexposure and still come up
    with something usable, some b&w films with a staightline curve near the top
    might be able to accomplish similar miracles in the highlights though they are
    both a bitch to print because of "bullet proof highlights".
    Though contrasty, I love the sharpness (phenomenal, especially with Leica R
    lenses) and tonality and grain (up to a certain size of Fuji Neopan 1600.
    Haven't tried the Ilford yet but who knows... I am not a big b&w shooter these
    days though some of my best work has been in b&w (and color too, I hope ;-)).
    PLus, I really hate developing and printing though I'm very good at both, I
    like having printed, not printing, its boring even with the best of images - I
    don't like being in a dark room (unless I had a girl friend with me... then she
    can do the printing and I'd rather watch her, a lot less boredom that way ;-)).
    Others have done it (its almost a photo cliche) but maybe you can do an
    interesting twist on the subject/topic.


    The most I'd ever used at one time was three camera systems but that was only
    an aberration and thinking back on my stuffed camera bag and my broken back I'm
    glad enough to bring only one camera and one lens and leave all my other gear
    at home and only use/switch to a different system when the need arises. Small,
    light, one system with me and lots of film in my pockets and no camera bag if I
    could avoid it is where I am right now. If I could get along w/o a camera I
    would as I hate wearing anything as luggage/jewelry even when its a tool. To
    this day I don't wear watches or rings (everybody's got the time if you ask
    anyway and I'm not married, except to my equipment and photography ;-)).


    I not only see in fisheye mode
    Thanks. I really appreciate the complement, Gordon.

    The only other numerous examples I
    Its "Jazzercise" (something to jazz up/make the photo more exciting) with
    skateboarding, almost cliche, even though it fits the subject well, its stil a
    cliche, like those ultra tele almost telescopic shots of city buildings stacked
    one on top of another shot from 2 miles away for spatial compression ;-).
    Fisheyes, despite their "wild" effects take sensitivity to use and to know when
    to use them and how to use them to compose to serve the point(s) of the image,
    otherwise they become the lens's version of what Cokin is to filters - a quick
    fix for excitiement that says nothing, all impact and no substance. There's a
    time and a place for everything. Much of photography, for me, is to gee whiz
    techno gimmickry that overpowers the subject instead of emphasizing the
    subject/theme(s) of a shot.
    I have one, for circular fisheye its OK/average quality, for full frame
    photography I'd rather stick with a quality 16mm fisheye prime of any brand.
    The slower the aperture the harder it is to focus a wide angle SLR lens, though
    having a zoom fisheye (like the Pentax) may mitigate this somewhat as you can
    always zoom in to focus, lock focus, then zoom out again to insure you place
    the point of focus on a very small area. But other than that I find that I need
    the full widest/shortest end all the time and have rarely if ever felt the need
    for a zoomable fisheye unless its in the other direction from 16mm down to 8mm
    - but try to find such a lens and one that would maintain a full fram eimage
    throughout the zoom! Plus the size of the lens would be as big as you monitor
    My 28mm is too good to sell, its one of the best 35mm format 28mm lenses on the
    planet. The 25mm Zeiss, though much more expensive is supposed to be soft wide
    open at f/2.8 and of less stellar performance (have heard differeing comments
    about this lenses quality/lack thereof). The Leica R 24mm is based on a MInolta
    design and the only sample of it I've seen images from had a botched repair job
    (surfaces inside the lens were abraded?) so it was slightly sof tand I can't
    judge from th sample I've seen. The 24mm f/2.8 Nikkor in both AIS (I believe
    but I'm not sure as its been along time since I've seen image samples from it)
    and the AF version is really a superb lens and produces stellarly sharp TMax
    100 negs (with flash which doesn't hurt the sharpness effect). "WHO'S ON
    FIRST?" was shot with that lens (in AF) with a Nikon F4 but don't judge quality
    from a small overly computer processed low res jpeg compressed file.

    It handles both well and horribly. The F4 is heavy, very very heavy. Its
    especially heavy when you have to hold it up to your eye for minutes on end
    like I did during the same shoot as the "WHO'S ON FIRST?" (love that shot, from
    '97 I believe ('98 was the last time I shot b&w seriously and/or in any quanity
    for a Beatle's convention - I went there for shots that might be included in my
    "STRANGE TRINITIES" series, oddly enough my best shot was in color, not on the
    website, shot on 400X? Elitechrome with my super sharp Zeiss 28mm lens and
    flash w/ ambient drag shutter, it came out looking like "color Tri-X" as
    you/I/others say, still very color saturated, lovely warmth to the tungsten
    part of the exposure and not too grainy, with flash is ironically one of the
    places where this film shines), one of my favorite b&w though it would have
    also worked as a color it works very wel in "old time sepia tone" (I believe I
    borrowed/was given whatever film the director of the museum had that day and
    used his camera but it was my shot, of course ;-) - shot on TMax 100 with
    flash) was shot at (at a museum where the baseball player Johnny Briggs
    pictured in the shot gave a speech). Though the ergonomic were great to
    hold/adjust. Its just large and, by the way, did I mention it was heavy? ;-).
    Its really a tripod camera or a camera for people who enjoy giving punishment
    to their hands instead of the camera. I'm not sure off the top of my head which
    version grip it had on though I hear that some grips also may lighten the
    weight, possibly (and also possibly allow for different power sources and frame
    rates). I was never a fan of the F3HP?MD-4 combination which is really Nikon's
    version of a bludgeon or a "Lethal Weapon". Though I have to admit, the extra
    weight of the motor drive acts as image stabilization years before Canon had
    the high tech to incorporate that term/technology in their lenses ;-).

    The II is too large and expensive for me though the II seems rather nice.

    though some of those you mentioned are
    ....there's an understatement ;-).

    Trouble is that when I was getting into this, there was
    "Only" first rate? ;-)

    I have yet to hold/use it too, though I've also yet to see Minolta (now Konica
    MInolta) at any of the photo (expo plus) shows for some years now :-(
    Maybe a Minolta CLE II or a Bessa R3 with aperture priority with a 1/125 sec
    sync would drive prices down on its predecessor ;-)

    Sounds exactly similar to the G3 rumors... I thought I saw Bigfoot carrying one
    around the other day, both a G3 and an (Bessa) R3.

    Anyway, supposedly
    Wouldn't Konica be more likely to do an update of their own camera?
    Voightlander might do an R2 update (known as an R3) but Konica is more likely
    to do an updated Hexar RF I would believe... Oh well, rumors are strange if not
    twisted ;-).

    Nuclear rain? Why not? We allready have acid rain. But my money's on fission
    rain and Claude Raines (sp?) ;-).
    Chocolate! ...and coffee and vanilla fudge twirl too! ;-)
    Lewis Lang, Apr 21, 2004
  14. Alan Browne

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Honestly, it is often tough to capture all the information on a transparency in
    one scan, let alone using a negative. Some drum scanners can do that consistently,
    but with film scanners often double scanning is needed. However, most jobs rarely
    approach a requirement to capture every last bit of information in the scanned

    You would think that negative films would be better in results, but it might
    depend upon the scanner. Lots of people complain about getting good results from
    scanning, especially B/W film. To compare traditional B/W film scanning to C-41
    B/W film scanning, the results might seem to be better from the C-41 (as in closer
    to the negative, not as in better looking). With some scanners, they are better at
    getting more information off one scan from C-41 films, but other scanners seem to
    do better with E-6 or Kodachrome (wish I knew why).

    Anyway, my latest techniques now have me scanning everything like it was E-6. This
    works great with traditional B/W film. The only extra step is inverting it in
    PhotoShop. I am getting a greater range from the B/W negative than using the
    settings on the scanner do directly scan B/W on the manufacturers defaults. I have
    not tried this yet with C-41 films, though it might be worth a try.
    With the various traditional B/W films I have used, it seems that the slower
    films, and really fast films, are much more sensitive to over exposure and under
    exposure. Ilford Pan F 50 really works best very close to ISO 50, and getting near
    1/2 stop in either direction really gives barely acceptable results. Ilford Delta
    3200 pushed beyond ISO 3200 also seems to only have about 1 stop error range.
    Compare that to TriX, TMX, or even AGFA B/W films, and there is much more room for
    over and under exposure.

    I really do not use much C-41 film in comparison to other films, so I tend to
    stick to the ISO on the box. There are some situations when I will purposely over
    expose, or under expose, but never on the entire roll. I just make judgements per
    frame depending upon lighting. If I am really not sure, I check the reading on the
    Sekonic L-358.
    My main B/W lab just got bought out, and then closed down. It really sucks, but I
    am now trying another place. If they do a good job, I might do more, though this
    could mean I might need to develop my own again. Also, the new place does not do
    traditional contact sheets, which slows me down a little. The biggest place near
    me that does B/W screwed up several rolls last year, barely able to print from
    them, so I am reluctant to go back to them. They only seem safe with films that
    like D-76, or TMax developer.
    I feel the same way. However, I wish I had a convenient darkroom. Real B/W prints
    are so much better than commercial printing, or faking it with C-41 style machine
    prints. The cost is another issue, and once you get good at doing some prints, the
    cost per 8" by 10" is very reasonable.

    The whole B/W situation sucks currently. My guess is that many large cities will
    only have a few choices for processing. If the closest one does a so-so job, then
    it forces you to go farther, or worse yet, forces you to use only C-41 B/W films.
    I tell you . . . I am really close to buying some chemicals. I wish I knew an easy
    way to do fast contact prints without a darkroom.
    Might be fun . . . perhaps some unnatural night time lighting effect . . . could
    make a nice Bio lead in picture.
    I see the one camera, one lens, approach becoming more common amongst working
    pros. A few have told me they just do not like to carry all the weight anymore
    (maybe age related, or just too long doing the work). I could do that with medium
    format, since the larger negative and cropping are like having many lenses in 35
    mm systems, i.e.: maybe two 35 mm frames from 645, and up to six 35 mm frames from
    6x9; or even larger crops . . . many choices.
    Broke my watch last year, but my mobile phone always shows the time, so the watch
    remains broken. I often just through one camera into my backpack when I am doing
    portfolio images, or experimenting, yet I almost always have a camera on me.

    It has been done before, but maybe another nice news group thread could be the one
    camera, one lens choices (not zoom). Anyway, when going on location, there is no
    way I would go with any less than two cameras, and at least three lenses. This
    should suffice for any gear breaking, or failures, and allow me to complete almost
    any shoot. Lighting gear is trickier, and more expensive, to duplicate, though I
    have been acquiring more high power flash units as supplemental gear.
    Agreed; often the technology can become a distraction. Could be why I like using
    older gear. Wish I could afford an ALPA 12, now that is a simple camera.
    Sort of what I figured. One local place has some nice rental choices, including as
    wide as an 8 mm Nikkor fisheye. Considering the costs, and the rare use I could
    ever put one to, I will likely stick to rental if I need a fisheye view.
    Thanks for the comments on wide angle lenses, and on the Nikon F4. I liked the
    viewfinder, though the weight was noticeable. I suppose if I really wanted the
    weight to stabilize shots, I should be hand holding a Mamiya RB67. Anyway, with my
    hand held night imagery, maybe a heavy F4 would provide some extra stability. I
    suppose I have some more thinking to do about one prior to making a decision.
    You mean the RTS III? Three? Regardless, the cost does make many other cameras
    interesting choices.
    They probably make more money off copy machines and printers. Other than CES, and
    there consumer digital P&S offerings, maybe they have no interest.
    The churn and butter rumour mill has Konica giving up on the Hexar RF, and
    licensing (selling) the design to another party for manufacture. Of course, that
    could be a fabrication variation of the old story about Konica approaching Leica
    to sell them the Hexar RF design (strange that Leica had an M7 in development soon
    after that). All this stuff is probably about as useful as the rumour of a 35 mm
    only version of the Hasselblad Xpan . . . though just some more lens choices might
    be nice for the existing camera.
    When the going gets tough, the tough get chocolate.

    Wish I had an Xpan, but I guess this marzipan will have to do for now.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 22, 2004
  15. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Thanks, Gordon, I'll keep these techniques in mind.
    Also nice info to know.
    If you ever use Ilford XP2-Super or its like give it a try at E.I. 250 or 200,
    you'll be very pleased with the results.
    Sorry to hear about the place closing down. Doing dev is cheaper though not
    exactly fun (I guess it would depend on one's definition of "fun", though).
    I don't even bother with contacts anymore as clients and I like much larger
    4x6" proofs to judge by (whether b&w or color) and it makes it easier to see
    the details too. Depending on the place that does it, C-41 B&W develop and
    prints is probably around the same price as conventional b&w and contact if not
    less. Still, of course it will be cheapest and highest quality whether contacts
    or 8x10" prints to do it yourself. For 4x6" prints its just so much easier to
    have any _good_ one hour lab do it, especially for C-41 b&w.
    Good deal...
    That's a bit too retro for me. Doesn't it have that backwards winding lever and
    a shutter release in front of the camera instead of on top like the 11? Or is
    this moe like a Cosina/Vivitar model with Alp mount and aperture priority.
    Nikon MF F and FE/FM series cameras are simple enough for me. Though I knew how
    to customize my Maxxum 7 for every group of settings, custom functions, etc., I
    love not only the simplicity but the mindset of using a Nikon EM (if not its
    low eyepoint) as there is little in the cameras interface/operation between me
    seeing a picture and me shooting one. Set the aperture, set the focus, compose
    and shoot - with the most important emphasis on the last two bits where they
    belong. No menus, no multiple dials/buttons/etc. Very down to Earth, and if I
    do say so myself, a camera with which I've produced some of my best recent
    portrait work with (and its "fabulous" 50mm/1.8 Series E lens) :).
    Your welcome. I was thinking about the RZ67 the other day. Its only fault for
    me is that it is hardly an "action"/decisive moment camera and my people shots
    fall into both the slower posed/planned type and the quicker candid and/or
    quick response type. And then of course, there's the weight factor....... so I
    would tend to use the RZ67 only if I knew before hand what I had in mind to do,
    not as a carry with me all the time camera nor likely as a "people (caught
    candidly or posed) at events" camera unless I didn't plan to do much moving
    around. I don't want to have to break my back for quality, the strain on my
    mind/creativity is enough alone ;-). Also considered the 6 and 7 Mamiya
    rangefinder cameras ("big Leica M's") but that would only help with some more
    action oriented shots as I prefer to see my depth of field and bokeh effects. A
    Pentax 645 is another option but its still bulky and weighty though of
    excellent quality. So who knows... For now its my light leaky funky shutter
    Nikon EM w/ Series E 50/1.8, a few rolls of film in the pockets and thou (good
    subjects)... and maybe my 600si with 24-50 when appropriate ;-).
    Yes, I meant the III is too large/expensive for me, though it seems like a
    wonderful camera. My bad. :)
    ....and then the tough get pimples ;-).
    Ciao Mein!
    Lewis Lang, Apr 22, 2004
  16. Alan Browne

    Gordon Moat Guest

    The shutter release is a push button on the Copal shutter, and fairly close to the
    grip. The lens board can actually be installed in four different orientations,
    since it is a square. That could place the shutter release in some really unusual
    orientations, though definitely not traditional.

    The film winding is another issue, and depends upon the back. One possible back is
    the Mamiya RZ67 motorized back, which is electric advance by push button. However,
    shutter cocking is still a separate action. Probably my favourite is the Linhof
    Super Rollex back, which has a large advance lever.
    A picture is worth a thousand words . . . so here is a nice site about the ALPA

    <> There are some nice images of the camera, as well as
    some nice examples of images taken using the camera. Professional photographer
    Patrick Demarchelier is probably the best known photographer using an ALPA 12,
    though mostly for covers of fashion magazines. It is mostly a wide to normal lens
    camera system, and focusing is tough. Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz are also
    well known users of ALPA 12 cameras.
    Definitely agree here. One thing I have found using the old AGFA folder cameras is
    that they really slow you down. Sometimes, that allows a little more contemplation
    of each image. The approach is similar to what someone using large format would
    do, though slightly faster, and no tripod needed.
    Wow . . . it would be tough to do candid with an RZ67, even if lifting it was not
    much of an issue. The shutter release and mirror sound are loud, unless you lock
    up the mirror first. Also, the camera is so huge in comparison to what most people
    normally see in use, that it almost seems like a video camera.
    The Mamiya 6 I like, though not sure about the reliability and repair rates. The
    Mamiya 7 has great lenses, though the focus ring is somewhat far in front of the
    body, giving it a slightly strange ergonomics. I suppose I could get use to it,
    but smaller cameras might be better. Still a shame there are so few lenses for the
    Bronica RF645, though with prices coming down, a used system might be a great
    Almost bought one from a fellow photographer last year. Again, the ergonomics
    seemed a little odd to me, though that is a somewhat subjective personal
    The EM with light leaks could almost be considered a really high quality Holga.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 22, 2004
  17. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    My browser is not loading up very well now (getting some partial or no pages),
    if memory serves, its a 120 format camera with 4x5 type interchangable front
    lens standard (with various formats of film backs?) and a nice big wooden?
    grip? I believe I remeber the SB article that mentioned Roger/Frances Hicks
    ALPA camera. I know them personally from a long while back, though I haven't
    seen them recently.
    Why does he use it as opposed to 35mm or other 120 systems that might be easier
    to handle/operate?
    I have the curse of always being slow and treating my 35mm cameras as if they
    were (very convenient) view cameras in terms of exact compositional subject
    elements placing, positive and negative space/shapes, overlaps, mergers, etc.
    (not just framing alone). So for me, the main advantage of a Nikon EM type
    camera is its simplicity and directness (no menus or otherwise elaborate
    pre-sets and/o current or post adjustments needed to the camera controls - like
    the infommercial says "just set it and forget it" ;-) :). I already compose
    ultra exact/precisely, and my mind/approach is slow enough as it is ;-).

    Also, the camera is so huge in comparison to what most
    Its the photo version of W*M*D in size/weight/appearance/intimidation factor -
    that plus an ultra telephoto lens and you could scare away small animals for
    miles away ;-) - though you'd edn up attracting every photo geek within a 5
    mile radius asking you about bellows comp, optics and bokeh ;-).
    Might be worth looking into...
    Almost all 120 cameras seem a little odd to me (big and boxy and weighty and
    anything but inconspicuous ;-).
    Nah, didn't have the light leak problem when I photographed with an
    aquaintence's Holga. The light streaks (actually a blood red flare spot in the
    sky from a light leak, not the sun) actually ended up making one of my images,
    "The Mounting" (temporary title), into a surreal bit of perfection. A teenage
    girl jockey is show mounting a white horse and the red leak spot just to the
    left of her helmet adds not only perfect balance and color to the composition
    but echoes the red stripes in her helmet and adds a surreal though not out of
    place note to the subject matter (could be a red sunset, could be a small
    nuclear explosion ;-), but its effect is surreal and almost painterly and takes
    the composition from excellent decisive moment into surreal/twistingly odd
    graphically lyrical. Sorry, don't have a scanner (and I'm very tight for money
    now). I caught her at perfect mid leap with her leg extended at a 90 degree
    angle out to the side in mid-air above the saddle with the part of the leg from
    the knee downard projecting behind her so we see the tip/end of her riding
    boot, if you can imagine a karate kick to the side when the leg is lifted but
    before the leg is extended. Part of a lot of excelent portraits and decisive
    moment candids I took at a horse show down in Florida.
    Lewis Lang, Apr 22, 2004
  18. Alan Browne

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I guess if you run into them again sometime, you might get a view of the ALPA. The
    wood grips are fairly noticeable, and it is sort of like a small version of a
    Cambo Wide camera. Various 120 formats through a system of backs, including some
    panorama style aspect ratios. Lenses, nice but pricey, in focusing mounts are
    mostly Schneider and Rodenstock, though also the Zeiss Biogon 38 mm.

    One of the newest lenses is their Helvetar, which is really amazing centre to edge
    resolution, even hand held. Maybe this link might work better
    I would really like to know as well. His images are really slick and obviously
    carefully set up. It could be just for the lenses, which are some of the best
    anywhere. Doubtless he has a ton of gear, so how much use it got is anyone's
    Nothing wrong with being slow. I tend to take a measured approach, even at time
    sensitive location shoots. This allows for a very high percentage of images that
    the client likes. Sometimes that makes editing really tough (perhaps one reason I
    struggle so much with my portfolio choices).
    Which is where the folder cameras really excel. My 645 AGFA is barely 35 mm size,
    and the 6x9 folders are not much larger. Shame a more modern version is not being
    made, though the ALPA is one idea (much bulkier though).
    Sounds like a cool image. Definitely let me know if you get a sample posted
    Gordon Moat, Apr 23, 2004
  19. Alan Browne

    Lewis Lang Guest

    I am really an SLR man except for a Holga which is in its own league. Too bad
    there's no Seagull version of a Holga with a real glass lens and a rangefinder,
    sounds like something Voigtlander might make with interchangable lenses - sort
    of a larger version of their Bessa R2. Still would want an SLR for those shots
    that need attention to exact positioning/no parallax and subject to background
    DOF and bokeh relationships which I'd like to be able to prejudge by actually
    seeing it as I'm shooting it not guessing at it and hoping that everything
    comes out alright - that's why the SLR ratther than a Holga or M6 or M7 (all
    nice, the last two much too expensive for me).
    Thanks. I doubt I'll be posting it anywhere though and I'd need somebody to
    actually buy some prints before I can think about buying a scanner. Since the
    <SARCASM ON>"overwhelming" </SARCASM OFF> interest in my website (lots of
    praise, no buyers) I am totally off from scanning anything new even if I could
    afford a scanner or pay someone else to do the scans for me. I'm not burned out
    on fine art photography, just the selling of it to people who don't buy. This
    has nothing to do with you Gordon as I'm also off of having anymore
    museum/gallery shows and after more than a decade of traveling across the
    country to fine art shows (virtually no financial interest from buyers - and
    spending thousands of dollars to bring to them the images that few bought) and
    my website (no buyers), I really don't care if I exhibit again and most
    probably won't as I'm burned out on the business aspect of fine art. That
    doesn't mean I won't try to get worked published (in magazines/books/etc.), but
    at least they'll have to pay for it for them/others to see it. I really don't
    care if my work never hangs on a wall again. Enough people have already seen my
    work (hundreds of thousands at shows like Art Quake in Oregon and various other
    fine art shows from Florida to Nevada to Illinois to California, in
    museums/galleries and on my website). Though if I bumped into you at a Barnes
    and Nobles and had my portfolio and/or some of my more recent work ("CHOO CHOO
    "SEEK GOD FIRST", etc.) I'd be happy to show it to you.
    Lewis Lang, Apr 23, 2004
  20. Alan Browne

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Yeah, tough to get away from an SLR system. Unfortunately, most of the medium
    format SLR systems are not small, nor compact. Only a few I have tried are really
    ergonomic, like the Contax 645 and Rollei 6008 (with hand grip). Any
    rangefinder/viewfinder camera usage involves an acceptance of limitations, in
    spite of any good lenses or other benefits. . . . . . . . .
    Oh, I hear you on that. I am not expecting much of anything in sales with my fine
    art efforts (with possible exception of painting sales). However, getting my name
    out has been a form of advertising, and did get me two short location photo jobs
    last year. The big thing for me is the need for an exhibit record to get into a
    Master's Degree program.
    Most of my efforts recently have gone into getting into magazines. I am building
    up a very good listing of outlets, and contacts. Since this is more commercial,
    and can generate interest that gets advertising contracts, this is where the major
    efforts should be focused.
    You know, I really look forward to that. Don't be surprised if I actually do run
    into sometime. I'll buy you a coffee malted.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 23, 2004
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