Leica S2 - 70 mm
Deep in the forest
Leica S2 - 70 mm
Deep in the forest
P65+, 80 mm LS.
Anahuac Wildlife Refuge, TX last weekend. Sunset, high dynamic range scene but there is detail and tone on both shadows and highlights. P65+, H2, 80mm lens.
Eleanor, love your pic!
thanks Bill. Sky on the water was wonderful that evening. This refuge was devastated by Ike and will take many years to come back to where it was pre Ike (hurricane). All trees and marsh growth was mostly lost...not many birds now, however we did see one very very large gator so some wildlife is beginning to return. eleanor
Eleanor, LOVE that image
Eleanor, beautiful mood in that picture, good catch !
Thanks Jack and Ralf. the light that evening was lovely for sure! Eleanor
thanks Dale and Guy....The detail in the very very dark grasses is not to visible in this jpg, but it's all there in the tif and RAW files....dark but all there. That's the great thing about medium format backs, you can just keep pulling the detail out of the seemingly blocked shadows forever. I was shooting at iso 50 so that gave the the best chance to get detail where scene was dark. eleanor
Nooo, not on this one! but I have to tell you, my husband and yellow lab Dillon were sitting closed up in our SUV because the mosquitoes were thick as mud....they were everywhere...I had my long sleeve jacket on with the hood over my head. can't remember when I'd been in a swarm of mosquitoes like that!!! eleanor
Don't mean to offend anyone, but having been through the whole thread one thing that stands out is how much nicer MF film images look, whether B&W or in colour, as opposed to MF digital images. I use a Leaf back for my commercial work, I am no film taliban, but I can't help feeling that photographic technological development hs moved sideways, towards convenience and speed, rather than forward, if you see what I mean.
Poppies are blooming. This shot is from Bartlett Lake, Arizona. Aptus 75S, 120mm Makro Planar.
FTR, I liked shooting film and I like looking at film images. But now I like shooting digital and looking at digital images, so I'm probably not the guy to ask anyway!
Jack, it is difficult to put into words what is essentially a visual effect, and if I tried I would probably come up with platitudes, but if you just go back a couple of pages, emmawest72 amd ManuelGF's images seem much less smooth, less polished than S2 or DB images, and therefore somehow more real to me. For some reason, the same difference in depth that I have no difficulty in seeing when I compare DB to DSLR images, I also see when I compare MF film to MF digital images. Of course, this is just my perception, and it does not have to be this way, but it struck me that in a thread with photographs taken with the most advanced technology available today, I was drawn mostly to shots taken with a technology increasingly doomed to commercial marginality.
Okay, I get it, but intangibles make for difficult discussion points .
finally got my Hy6 back from service and found some time to go shooting.
An industrial area at the river Rhine in Worms.
Hy6 and Artec with Sinar75LV.
two more with the Hy6:
40mm CFE IF, Flex body, P45
B&W film delivers 3Dimensionality at the grain level -whilst the beauty that good light for any medium is what photography is ultimately about ( sans pure documentary stuff) the difference between film and digital is the difference between noise and grain.
A lot of people want and wish for this dimensionality which traditional silver based meda delivered less apparent on screen and much more apparent in print. IF I coudl stil buy the quality of silver infused paper I had access to 30 years ago - I would still put up with the mess of a darkroom - maybe.
Here is the rub - the 3dimensional aspects of silver had a sweet spot in terms of print size - above which it turns ugly and in the large print is exactly where the strength of the digi file shows its better utility.
there are a bunch of other outocmes of film versu sdigi shooting which add a tad to my general conclusions above - including lower resolution and less clarity for a given ISO - which collude to deliver in certain situations the happy accident of the hint of movement in still shots.
our eyes are trained to see movement and prefer its dynamism to still - our nrains are hard coded in this way - hence the importance of clouds in landscapes ( a hint of motion) or th epreference for focus and out of focus for portraits and still life..
just my 2c.
"Jack, it is difficult to put into words what is essentially a visual effect, and if I tried I would probably come up with platitudes, but if you just go back a couple of pages, emmawest72 amd ManuelGF's images seem much less smooth, less polished than S2 or DB images, and therefore somehow more real to me. For some reason, the same difference in depth that I have no difficulty in seeing when I compare DB to DSLR images, I also see when I compare MF film to MF digital images. Of course, this is just my perception, and it does not have to be this way, but it struck me that in a thread with photographs taken with the most advanced technology available today, I was drawn mostly to shots taken with a technology increasingly doomed to commercial marginality."
For a quicker read skip down to the "Jack Asks Why" part.
I've recently gone through the last agony of surrendering to digital. I sold of all my film cameras and my beloved Imacon 949 scanner... my darkroom is covered with cobwebs.
I freely admit that it was all sacrificed on the altar of ease and convenience ... and to add a third element, there is speed ... based on selling work as opposed to doing work. That the OP uses a Leaf back at "work" indicates a grasp of this concept.
To ease, convenience and speed, we can add internet criteria like "pixel peeping" where film fares poorly compared to digital ... "pixelized" grain is just plain ugly when "peeped".
We photographers are more obsessed with these aesthetic nuances than most viewers are. Content tends to rule supreme there. Instant digital review, ability to freely shoot, and all that, favors content. IMO, digital has advanced content in general ... where more shooters are improving at a general level. This has nothing to do with the highly talented souls who would produce great content with either medium.
IF I were a more relaxed personality, IF I had more patience, IF I did not do work for money, I would probably still prefer shooting film. But I am none of the above.
I know this to be true because I am editing work for my new website, and an awful lot of the key shots were done on film. They please me more ... please my eye more, not someone else's.
Jack asks "Why"?
IMO (as unscientific as it may be), it has to do with how each medium renders light. Digital seems to regiment light to fit it's unwaveringly uniform element of recording ... the pixel. Film is plastic in it's way of flexibly conforming to light with its variable "grain".
In essence, there is a clinical aspect to digital that can either be pleasing to those so inclined, or lamented as a backward aesthetic step by those questioning it with their preconditioned eye.
However, I think the "clinical" or more antiseptic reputation of digital amongst film lovers is magnified by digital shooters obsessed with that pristine technical quality, and striving to squeezing even more "technical perfection" out of their shots. IMO, this is more the rule than the exception these days just because of the more controlled, less vague nature of it compared to answering why something please your eye more than something else does. It's quantifiable. We prove our point that something is better than something else by demanding a 100% crop of a shot. We view work at the molecular level to prove our point. The only time I EVER viewed film stuff like that was to focus the enlarger.
I think there are those who've embraced digital capture that have dodged that bullet. Their choice of medium, lenses and technique of understanding how to ply pixels to render light have yielded a third aesthetic that seemingly has the attributes of both film and digital ... at least to my eye.
Of Medium Format shooters on this forum that have accomplished that, my personal favorite is Jim Collum with his Leaf Aptus 75s (that used to be mine : -( It is all about how Jim has mastered the rendering of light that seemingly surrenders very little to the relentless regimentation of the ubiquitous pixel.
(attached: a film portrait, flatbed scanned in 2 pieces from an 11 X 14 print)
Last edited by fotografz; 22nd March 2010 at 03:49.
Excellent response, but to my thinking the salient point was prior to the "Jack asks why" part:
Earlier Pete said,To ease, convenience and speed, we can add internet criteria like "pixel peeping" where film fares poorly compared to digital ... "pixelized" grain is just plain ugly when "peeped".
"Just plain ugly when peeped," and "film delivers 3Dimensionality at the grain level" ... To me, this sums the issue up perfectly -- it's both ugly and beautiful... If we compare a W>W (wet>wet) print to a W>D (wet>digital) print to a D>D (digital>digital) print, they ALL look different. But IMO the latter two look a lot more similar than the first, and then if one compares the latter two closely, usually the D>D option beats out the W>D option because of the "ugly" noise in vast, even-toned areas like sky.[B&W] film delivers 3Dimensionality at the grain level -whilst the beauty that good light for any medium is what photography is ultimately about ( sans pure documentary stuff) the difference between film and digital is the difference between noise and grain.
Which leaves the W>W option. IMO, the W>W option still carries more "luminous depth" than the others -- a trait I can see and a trait I like. However, the moment I move in closer to a well-printed printed print off a good wet darkroom, I start to see the "ugly" grain. Granted, it's even uglier when scanned and then printed, but it's still ugly in W>W when viewed close.
I guess I see it as a tradeoff with no clear winner as respects the ultimate image appreciation experience. View it from normal distances, I prefer the luminosity in the W>W print. Viewed close up, I prefer the cleanliness in the D>D version.
Somewhat ironically, the worst combination seems to be W>D, not winning at either viewing distance. Yet from the home-darkroom, cost-convenience standpoint, that is the easiest option and the option most current "film" shooters use. The most dedicated film shooters -- and my hat's off to them -- maintain a traditional wet darkroom for output. And their results show off that effort, at least if we compare head-to-head with a comparable D>D capture. But...
Take those same folks sit them at a table with similar images from a current higher-end D>D print and a similar higher-end W>W print and guess what? Even the wet guys are impressed. As soon as you factor in the time and repeatability components, the number of the traditional W>W folks that <have> become D>D converts, while not answering the question definitively at least confirms a reality...
I see advantages and aesthetics in both, but I wonder what our perception of film rendering would be if in 1850 the P65+ made its debut? In other words, if our exposure (no pun intended) to photographic imagery was first of images with razor sharp resolution and high DR, what would be our feeling about analogue images? Is romance and nostalgia a part of it? Is tradition? Snobbery? Would have embraced the "imperfection" or disorder of analogue capture in comparison to the relative sterility of modern digital? Maybe our brains would have preferred the "disorder" of film. (?)
I do see things that I really like in certain film-captured images, but I wonder if I'm affected by the points in the above paragraph.
The first photographic processes WERE more like a P65+ than they were like 35mm film. They were generally ultra large format and all prints were contact prints. The lenses were not nearly as sharp as modern lenses, but when you are making an 11x14 print from an 11x14 negative, you have very high resolution and tonality even if your films are grainy and your lenses soft. Photography became lower and lower resolution for most of the 20th century as speed and convenience trumped image quality. And it happened again with digital, though by now it has either started to catch up or surpassed film, depending on how much of a film or digital proponent you are.
Anyway, I have to disagree with Jack though about the wet to wet, wet to digital and digital to digital. I print all three on a regular basis and I find the nicest prints are always fully wet. The next nicest are digital from a film shot, and finally all digital comes in last. But I am probably looking at different things than the rest of you when I decide what looks best to me. It is rarely resolution.
There is no doubt that large contact prints do exhibit something special.
In my case, convenience is definitely a major factor. But I also see plenty of film proponents, adamant about the superiority of film-based capture, presenting work that simply doesn't illustrate a "superiority". Some samples of such are simply so-so captures that to me, really wouldn't matter if they were shot with film or a 5D. The point being that the discussion gets fragmented a bit when one considers other elements of image beyond just the medium.
Which suggests (perhaps obviously) that the comparison must always be between best-case from each.
I think there are certain categories of images and when we discuss this topic, we are often thinking of different categories. For example, I think those that shot slide film are most comfortable with the digital aesthetic ... and those that shot B&W films may be less so.
RE: comparisons ... I think that is more personal. Meaning it's not really a publicly debatable issue due to the wide range of variables Dale mentioned. I've formed my opinion based on my own experiences doing all three processes W>W, W>D and D>D. The variables were lessened by what I used, and lots of practice. W>W was practiced like a religion. I did W>D by securing a 949 scanner which uses a light source more akin to my enlarger, and striving to preserve the film look familiar from the darkroom, straight through the printing process. D>D was approached on its own terms, but still wrangled to meet my aesthetic demands using the best tools I could afford.
So the opinion is formed over time, even if not done side-by-side in the scientific manner so prevalent. You know your work, and probably can form an opinion based on experience.
BTW ... IMO, and without a doubt in my mind, "so-so" captures are the overwhelming domain of digital capture. It is the nature of the prolific and ubiquitous beast.
Leica S2 - 70 mm
Inspired me to a fictitious advertising...:-)
But why the apostrophe?
I think several relevant points have been made -- and it points out the differences in the criteria we each hold most important when making a selection.
Two things I recalled over lunch were,
1) How much time myself and fellow photographers spent passing away many an evening hour debating the relative merits and foibles of shooting chrome versus negative and then broke those debates in to Astia over Provia over Velvia, then Portra 160 NC versus Portra 160 VC versus Pro 160...
2) Then how around a year ago I went back through a bunch of my historic "best" film captures and realized they really weren't as good as I remembered them being back when I made them...
Been reading all this with interest as I have been photographing in one way or another most of my life. Color negative and transparency film, B&W negative film...all from 35mm to medium format, to 4X5. Printed everything in my own darkroom and LOVED working in the darkroom (most especially making silver prints). Been shooting digital for 10 years...everything from point and shoots to 35mm to 35mm infrared, to medium format (have had 4 phase backs, current one is the P65+). I have silver prints on my wall that I will never take down they are so good, but I have some lousy ones too. I always shot with slow films and the best lenses (rather have 1 great lens than 3 so so ones). I've come to the conclusion that there are so many variables that one just cant say film grain makes images with more depth or whatever. Consider types of film, size of the film, the camera and lenses, shooting technique, not to mention the light, and subject matter. I have digital monotone prints that are all as good as my silver prints and vice versa. I can say that my digital color and printing is better than my film/darkroom color.
The digital process/workflow is not "quick" for me...I spend all as much time on image taking and preparation as I did with film and wet darkroom (I can be compulsive to a fault!)
So in my personal experience with film and digital there are just too many variables for me to make global determinations about which is better, richer in depth and tonality, etc.)
Just my 2 cents! Eleanor
I will answer this one really simple I love digital better . Why because it keeps me in business otherwise i would be shining shoes for a living. I 'm not kidding , there is no place for film in commercial photography any more or let's say extremely limiting to your customer base. Whats the famous saying the customer is always right. Wrong it's knowing what to deliver to your customer on all levels. End of story.
Case in point I spent all day shooting people tethered to my MBP and my P40+ and shot as fast as the strobes would go without a blink but more important the file is proofed and approved on the spot. I have two more days to go same thing. Film i don't even know what they sell anymore been at least 10 years since i shot film maybe longer. For me that train left the station a long time ago.
The xpixel S2 70mm blows ALL the images this page away! (ok,Ok, TO ME!!)
the dimesionality, the subtle color, the rendering (some say drawing) man, if this is what it can do, then there is a tonne of potential here..Jeesh, it's like you are standing, right there!
[I'm not talking artistic quality, just IQ]
Last edited by gogopix; 22nd March 2010 at 18:39.
Soft light Victor. It's always about the light. It's also a tad over sharpened which is typical of the s2 it needs to be brought down in both LR and C1 as Jack and I both discovered in our review.
Well, maybe; but an accusation of oversharpening means I should see, halo, edge bands and artifacts. Not to my eye. Now, maybe its TOO sharp for some tastes, but what it does is create a sense of space, depth and presence that I don't see in the other images. I don't think it can be dismissed as just 'oversharpened.
PS Some of my early P65+ posts got the 'oversharpened' tag. WRONG they were not sharpened at all. When you look at 9000x6000 at 1000x800 you certainly don't need sharpening! :-)
Ok here it comes the challenge; i think a lot of people are satisfied with fuzzy images ...ssssssrrrrrr.....BOOM!! :-)
No Victor you missed the point. The S2 tends to be over sharpened in both C1 and LR at even the defaults in both programs. Reason being there is no correct profile and/or plugin for the S2. Neither program knows what to do with the files. Reason the color is off and artifacts show up. Go back and read the review it explains all this in great detail. LR right now maybe the closet to being color correct but even still it adds 5 points of black points and it is still overcooked with sharpening which shows halo's and such. This is one major problem with not having a dedicated raw processor to your cam which many people just don't understand. C1 and Phocus are tuned exactly to there backs. The S2 is not tuned to either program yet and until it is than these artifacts and over sharpening are part of the default that each program sees. C1 treats a DNG as a general file not camera specific. So the defaults coming in are wrong and folks need to readjust and also build a color profile for it but that won't deal with over sharpening and artifacts only color. So C1 and LR need to come up with profiles and plugin's for the S2 to get the files to some level field of correctness.
Marc, thanks for the kind words! I've tried to make the most of the 'gift' you sold me
One thing I've noticed about digital images in general.. i'd say about 90% of them are over sharpened, as well as way too 'clean'
Reality isn't sharp.. it isn't noise free. I can understand sharpening an image from a DSLR, because of what the AA filter does.. but I've yet to see an image from a MF camera that needs any kind of sharpening.
noise free, low ISO images are very clean...but if you take a look at anything around you, there's always background 'noise' there.. an impression of detail beyond what one can see. You remove that background 'noise' and things start to look 'digital' .. there's a 'presence' that disappears. With film, the grain continues to give that impression of 'more'..of micro-detail (even if it isn't real detail.. it seems like it is).
It sort of reminds me of some of the old camera clubs I frequented in the 80's.. friends who shot 4x5 chrome and printed. Their focus was technically perfect, clinically pristine images.. that had no soul. I agree with Marc, that the digital era has brought more of a focus on technical perfection (razor sharp, noise free images), rather than emotional aesthetic.
There are very few images I've seen in any of the digital forums that come close to what is being produced with a pinhole by Martha Casanave ( http://marthacasanave.com/coastal.htm ) or Susan Burnstine (http://www.susanburnstine.com/ ) with a homemade lens. ShiroKuro, david (ddk) and Helen Hill are some here have that feeling of 'reality' in their images
These last few posts support what I feel about photographs in general: super-sharp resolution isn't always the goal. At least not for me.
In my case, I have always preferred photographs which gave me a "feeling", and this rarely required extreme detail. In fact, for wall art I hate super-sharp imagery. I'm not referring to product photography or the like, but images that I look at every day on my walls. An Ansel Adams 16x20 (printed by Adams) hung on our walls for several years, and it was one of very few photographs hanging in our home. It "felt" great to look at. Today many photos hang in our home, but most are not uber-detailed shots. Other art includes a Renoir litho (1905 stone litho) that is a simple charcoal sketch. Real photo-realistic images don't really fit my taste for wall art, but I love to look at technically well-captured images en folio, etc. I have so much respect for the craft from capture to print, but I don't like to hang sterile images, whether film or digital. Just not my cup of tea. The beauty of life is that we all get to capture or hang what we like, and I guess I like imperfection.
Some folks enjoy capturing and hanging images that record a scene to perfection. That's great for them. Others prefer a special moment, frozen without precision.
I respect all of the views on the topic in the posts above. There is no "right" or "wrong" approach if it works for you. I have so much to learn in terms of the technical perfection of image development (and much to grasp in the art of capture), but frankly speaking, the images that make it to my walls, or that are requested of me, are seldom images that would receive "A" grades in a classroom or engineering environment.
I prefer the look of MF images (and by the way I nearly allways love analog film images - they just seem to have more substance and soul to me - however I shoot digital because of convinience and because I can "develop and print" them at home for reasonable cost and with reasonable time input)
but without my DSLR I feel I would miss quite some moments.
I feel that when something draws my attention and I take an image of it from the intuitive side and afterwards try to take some more shots of the same thing/scene with more composing and thinking often the first and more intuitive shot is the one I like best, even if I can not technically explain why.
Anyways, the images from MF-digital are still the most natural andpleasing for my taste and as long as I have the time and as long as I have the mood I enjoy using MF.
Still I am now also very happy with the output I get from my Nikon D700 +70-200VR. Lenses do make a big difference and this lens just delievers the look I like. (saturated and contrasty wide open, with the focus plane pooping out of the image).
If I had access to a very good lab and would get wet prints etc. for reasonable price and to my taste I would be tempted to shoot film - but I am happy with digital the way it is.
Leica S2 - 70 mm
In a station...
Interesting that same lens and camera here do not convey quite the sense of depth as the forest scene, but you did a nice job of using the visual cues; movement, receding posters etc.
As to sharpening...well, oversharpened, oversaturated, over'clarified', oversalted, all in the eye/brain of the beholder.
Most images are trying to portray a 3d world on a 2d surface. We use DOF, sharp edges, perspective, loss of saturation (with depth) all to fool the eye when it is not getting a true stereo image. These two xpixel images show that the S2/70mm combination is doing that better than I saw so far in other S2 images.
I agree with Guy, a profile is needed to get the best from raw - or you do a lot of fiddling.
Lighting is also critical; highlights and shadows tell the eye a lot about depth.
The bottom line is that all the comments and reviews aside, these two images are starting to look TO ME, like classic good depth and drawing Leica images...but, still worried about Tim's experience...
Thank you xpixel for sharing; there are not too many S2 images mixed in here.
a few recollections from the old days, (70's) compared to now
when i was shooting film (always B&W), things i liked and can't get back with digital:
real focusing ability with a 4x5, where you can see the effects of T and S
choice of emulsions
big image size, 6x6 and 4x5, even 8x10
i also did not shoot color because it was too hard to process
now with digital, color is easier than B&W and has opened an entire category of content, not to mention stitching, and focus stacking
and you don't need all the space and gear for wet work. in fact, when i moved to NY in the early 80's i sold most of my photo gear because the darkroom was too tough to manage. digital brought me back
Here is a capture from a hike last weekend in Henry Coe State Park. I took some liberties in the PP, but I think I may be a pictorialist at heart.
Mamiya AFDII & ZDb
80mm AF f/2.8
1/13s @ f/11
Leica S2 - 70 mm
maybe to sharp for you gogopix? You can have also a 100% view of the ship if you want..