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More Fun with Large Format Film Images!

bensonga

Active member
Ok, I'll start this one myself. :eek:

Toyo 45 field camera, Ship Creek, Anchorage, Alaska

....Winter! :ROTFL:

Gary Benson (aka Pumpkin Head)
Eagle River, Alaska
 

Jeremy

New member
Gotta love the big cameras!

4x5 in Los Alamos


4x5 in Glenrio


8x10 paper negative in the kitchen


8x10 portrait (film)
 

bensonga

Active member
Beautiful photos Jeremy and Francois. I can just imagine how rich the full res images must be. How have you scanned your negatives?

Here's one of mine...just to keep this thread alive. Taken in the mid-80s with a Cambo 4x5 view camera and Rodenstock 150mm lens (only one I had)....other details are lost in time. Negative scanned on an Epson 2450 flat bed.

Taken in the small river town of Redwing, Minnesota

Gary Benson
Eagle River, Alaska
 

Francois_A

New member
Nice picture Gary; you've obviously used some perspective control correction to keep those buildings straight!:)
Regarding scanning, I use an Epson V700; not great, but OK for 4x5 when they are not contrasty.
Here is an image to show the resolution of 4x5. You can read the time on the watch of the gentleman of the left.:thumbup: This would give an enlargement of 40"x50" @ 300 dpi. T-MAX 100, Sinar F2, Sinaron 210mm.
 

bensonga

Active member
Hi Francois,

I might have used a bit of tilt on that image, but mostly back then I was just leveling the camera and then trying to use rise or fall to get the buildings right, since I wasn't too confident in the accuracy of my tilts (I sometimes over corrected).

The detail in your wooded image really is amazing. High end digital, especially medium format (but even 35mm now) has certainly come along ways towards reducing the resolution difference with large format film, but the richness of film is still enjoyable...as well as the experience of shooting large format. I really love the tonality of large format film.

I'm using an Epson V750 now, virtually identical to your V700. For the price, it works very well. But I never scan anything less than medium format film with it.

Here's a BW version of my AK RR locomotive that I posted in the earlier thread. Taken with my Ebony 45SU....and a 100% crop from a small section that has a metal plate with lettering on it....you can just make out what some of the words are. Yup, there's alot of detail in this large format film! :thumbs:

Happy New Year and all the best for 2009!

Gary
 

Francois_A

New member
Hi Gary,

There is amazing detail in your image, and I agree with you that the richness as well as the process of shooting large format film is quite enjoyable.
Just composing on the large ground glass is pure joy, even if no picture is taken! I might move up to 5x7 or 5x8 to make the act of composing even more enjoyable.

Your Ebony 45 SU is probably the nicest non-folding field camera one can own, and is certainly more suited to architecture than my Chamonix.

Wouldn't it be great if instead of cramming more and more pixels into a 36mm x 48mm sensor, they could make say a modest 22 meg sensor, but 4"x5" in size with enormous 20 x 20 microns pixels? They could make it the size of a double film holder to fit any 4x5 cameras. Such a back would have 2 or 3 stops more dynamic range than current medium format digital backs, and could rival B&W film. Also, they could make special versions for B&W and infrared.

I know it will happen eventually; I just hope I won't be too old, and that it will be at a price I can afford!

All the best to you in 2009.

François
 

shakeshuck

New member
Wouldn't it be great if instead of cramming more and more pixels into a 36mm x 48mm sensor, they could make say a modest 22 meg sensor, but 4"x5" in size with enormous 20 x 20 microns pixels? They could make it the size of a double film holder to fit any 4x5 cameras. Such a back would have 2 or 3 stops more dynamic range than current medium format digital backs, and could rival B&W film. Also, they could make special versions for B&W and infrared.

François
If it's size you're after, there's always the betterlight backs @ 72x96mm that use the normal 4x5 film holder backs.

I just don't like the idea of having to carry a laptop as well as the rest of the gear... maybe I'm getting old!

Graham.
 

routlaw

New member
Hi Gary,

Wouldn't it be great if instead of cramming more and more pixels into a 36mm x 48mm sensor, they could make say a modest 22 meg sensor, but 4"x5" in size with enormous 20 x 20 microns pixels? They could make it the size of a double film holder to fit any 4x5 cameras. Such a back would have 2 or 3 stops more dynamic range than current medium format digital backs, and could rival B&W film. Also, they could make special versions for B&W and infrared.

François
Just for the record, 20x20 micron pixels sensors already exist though I am not aware of any of them being employed in commercial or mass produced digital cameras. If you go to either Kodak or Dalsa's website you will see several chips/sensors that have very fat pixels like this. I doubt any of these will ever see their way into mass produced cameras though. Simply a matter of economics since it requires far more money per chip to manufacture them at this size, so the push, much to my chagrin (and probably others) is cramming more pixels into smaller spaces while claiming victory in the pixel war race.

It is my understanding everything else being equal, smaller pixels will yield more resolution or detail though it comes at the cost of less DR and less headroom for noise regardless of what the camera and chip manufacturers tell you in their marketing schemes. By this I mean if you had two sensors both at 20 mp and one had a 5 micron size pixel while the other had 10 microns the one with smaller microns would theoretically produce finer detail or perceived increased resolution, while the 10 micron size pixel chip would have far greater DR and noise control. Understand this is a gross oversimplification of the situation.

Interestingly the Betterlight Super 6k-HS I just acquired has a very fat pixel of 12 microns, yet BL claims only 11 stops dynamic range while the MFDB's implementing a 6.8 micron sensor or smaller are claiming 12 stops or more DR. Could there be some "fuzzy math" going on here?

Hope this helps.

Rob
 

Francois_A

New member
Hi Rob,

Thanks for the information.

Regarding your scanning Betterlight back, do you also use it for landscape or for studio application only ?
Have you done any comparisons with a DSLR or traditional 4x5 film ?

I am also curious as what factors made you favour a scanning back instead of a medium format digital back + technical camera combination.

Thanks,

Francois
 

routlaw

New member
Hi Rob,

Regarding your scanning Betterlight back, do you also use it for landscape or for studio application only ?
Have you done any comparisons with a DSLR or traditional 4x5 film ?

I am also curious as what factors made you favour a scanning back instead of a medium format digital back + technical camera combination.

Francois
So far I have only used the scanning back in the studio, but do have plans for it as a landscape setup as well, within its limited range where foliage has to be very still. I found a used one then immediately had Betterlight upgrade it to the newer chip and USB controller. So in its newer incarnation I have only been able to use it less than a couple of weeks.

Many comparisons have been made with these devices to dslr's and large format film. The scan backs image qualities are vastly superior in every way with static objects. I also made some "quasi" comparisons with the scan back vs the multi-shot MFDB's and still found the scan back to be potentially better at least for my needs in the studio and far less expensive solution.

I bought the scan back primarily to photograph art work which has been a growing part of my business over the years, but also for other studio subjects like products when the budget calls for its somewhat slower workflow and finally for landscape work when appropriate. It was not an easy decision and one that I grappled with for the better part of a year if not longer. I could probably write an entire chapter on this process alone. Understand from my perspective all solutions seemed fraught with compromises so eventually I decided on a rather pragmatic conclusion of putting my "digital eggs in several baskets" rather than just one and doing so for far less money. Customer support at Betterlight is second to none something many of the other camera companies could learn from.

Eventually I hope to also acquire a 22 mp MFDB as well, preferring those over the 39 mp and higher versions due to their fatter pixel. And in many ways the Hassy CFV II at 17 mp is the most appealing MF solution. When larger files are needed and the scan back not an option the solution would to be stitch a few files together. In the meantime I have been using my D3/Cambo Ultima with Rodenstock digital lenses for this very purpose with excellent results.

I would be happy answer any other questions you have.

Rob
 

jlm

Workshop Member
Gary and i must be channeling the same muse. taken in 1976, Toyo 4x5, Schneider 210, Tri-x, Hc110
 

Francois_A

New member
Beautiful images John!

Rob, thanks for all the information. I've just read about all the technical info on Betterlight web site. The detail on those panoramas is incredible! The system seems also very well suited for infrared photography by substituting a filter that cuts visible light, instead of the one provided that cuts the infrared light.

In the studio, do you think one could get good results using tungsten lights like the Lowel ?

Maybe this set-up, with a good macro lens like the Schneider 80 mm, could be used to scan medium and large format negatives and slides, with results possibly on par with the Imacon. That would certainly help justify the expense!

Francois
 

routlaw

New member
In the studio, do you think one could get good results using tungsten lights like the Lowel ?

Maybe this set-up, with a good macro lens like the Schneider 80 mm, could be used to scan medium and large format negatives and slides, with results possibly on par with the Imacon. That would certainly help justify the expense!

Francois
Hi Francois

Regarding the tungsten lights, there are many who do use them but one of the problems you will encounter is their propensity to emit infra-red which is not a good thing for digital imaging unless of course you are doing this for an effect. I have tried my own Lowels but get much better results with FLD's, far less noise in the blue channel and you don't have to put up with the heat and higher electric bills. FL's are fairly inexpensive and you can always roll your own from products at the hardware store until budgets allow for designer products. I also tried banks of Solux bulbs given their claims of superiority for lighting, but still found the FLD's to be better.

The Northlights are nice but they are also very expensive too. You might want to look at Full Spectrum Solutions fluorescent lights/tubes since their specs are about the best I have seen for this type of lighting with lumen to watt output better than HID's with some of their lights.

Recently there was a discussion on the Betterlight forums about using the scan backs in lieu of drum scanners and Imacons. While I have no direct experience myself the gist of it was the scan backs do as good if not a better job than either. You will loose any plug-ins such as digital ice though so be forewarned post production might take longer with clean up. Some users have also used enlarging lenses with great results apparently. I could be wrong but if memory serves me correct that particular macro lens (Schneider 80mm) does not cover the 72x96 mm format necessary for a scan back, you might want to look into another one.

Do consider investing in some camera profiling software should you decide to go the BL route. Understand that BL does NOT run any algorithms on their files unlike all other camera manufacturers be it dslrs or MFDB's so if color accuracy is of importance don't overlook this bit of software. Currently I have just started using InCamera from Pictocolor with very good initial results. It only cost $150.00 to download a copy... not too painful.

Speaking of detail from the Betterlight website I would also encourage you to look at Tom Watsons sight and contributions. There was one pano scan he did at the Univ of Va that is truly astounding and it has hundreds of people in it no less.

Hope this helps.

Rob
 
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