Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: A little (personal) perspective...

  1. #1
    Shelby Lewis
    Guest

    A little (personal) perspective...

    Just a quick anecdote here...

    I was at a craft/art show at a local park here in Nashville the other day with the kids. I really spent some time looking at the photographers' work. I visited many (all!) booths... most of them full of clichéd, over-processed landscape work... warhol-esque even!

    There was this one booth where the work seemed really compelling. Colors and detail on the prints were definitely a step above the other booths... naturally vivid might best describe the quality that pervaded the work, akin to fall colors here in the southeast after a misty rain... and the artist surely had an eye for composition. Luckily, he had placards besides the photographs that gave details as to the equipment used in the creation of the artwork.

    To my surprise...

    ... almost all were hasselblad 501cm with the 16mp cfv back.

    Then it occurred to me that he didn't push EVERY print into mammoth proportions. Many were nice, diminutive squares, but even the large ones were well crafted and beautiful.

    It, once again, allowed me to step back and realize we are in a golden age, of sorts, as far as the amount of quality afforded to us by our gear. I get caught up really pushing for the best that's out there (which is a good pursuit!), but often at the expense of not pushing my current gears' abilities to its limits. He produced beautiful work on a now-inexpensive 30 year old camera with a several generations old back. Would a newer improve his work... I'm not sure. But, then again, his work seemed to take full advantage of his equipment... no more, no less. I'm not taking a stand on this issue, at all. I just thought I'd point out that sometimes you come across someone who is content to make the most of seemingly old-school gear to great effect.

    I've personally been on the yoyo between an RZ-system this fall in school and an h-system body... for some reason i continue to return to wanting an rz system to start out with, but get seduced by all the capabilities afforded by the h and mamiya 645 systems. I see great work produced on an old 501/cvf combo and it heartens me greatly!

    Just food for thought!

  2. #2
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    amen to that

  3. #3
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    Always a good observation to reflect on Shelby: Gear can never replace vision.

    Re gear choices (). Nothing wrong at all with an RZ as a camera. The system has great lenses and the camera is a pleasure to use with a waist-level, 90 degree prism, 45 degree prism or chimney finder. Bellows focus allows for some pretty close focusing distances with standard lenses. Downside, especially for 16MP square backs, is the shortest rectilinear focal is a rather long-ish 50mm.

    *IF* I were going to shoot a 16MP square back again -- and it wouldn't matter to me if it were a Hassy, Phase, Leaf or even Sinar version -- and if I didn't have a camera system, I would mount it on a Hassy V body or Contax body. Advantage to Hassy is breadth and quality of lenses and accessories, advantage to Contax is AF. Of course *IF* I were going to do that, I would personally get a Mamiya mount back since I am already invested in the Mamiya system. (But in the same breath I admit the thought of using a Hassy V with a few legacy lenses appeals to inner gear aficionado, much like the desire to own an old tube amp and turntable for listening to jazz and blues on.)

    A side comment on square framing. I put a grid focusing screen in my DF body for the very reason I do like to compose square on occasion. With a cropped square frame, my P65+ is still 45MP; and with a P40+ or H40, it would still be 30MP...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  4. #4
    Shelby Lewis
    Guest

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Always a good observation to reflect on Shelby: Gear can never replace vision.

    Re gear choices ().
    Funny Stuff Jack...

    I'm not going square. I was just mightily impressed by the quality of the printed work I saw... and then when I saw it was taken with an ancient setup (), it really gave me pause.

    I was also just given (yes, given) an epson 7800 by a biz acquaintance. He acquired it from a business that he bought a while back and even though it's been sitting for a long time, i've been able to get it up and back running as new (and the duty cycle indicators show it was basically unused). So I've been looking at the printed page a lot more.

    Guy's comments about his 7900 have gotten me thinking about printing as well.

    You see... as a portrait/wedding guy... most of my work is lab printed, and a lot of it is drop-shipped in branded packaging, so I've spent the last several years with a consistent relationship with a lab, but not my prints (except expensive enlargements and albums which I always proof personally). Being that this new phase in my life is going to be more art-based, I'm all jazzed up about what it all looks like on paper again... and seeing those beautiful 501cm/cfv prints made me realize how good I already have it. I'm still a gear-slut though... hopelessly so. Luckily, my pockets stay pretty empty, so I'm not able to be quite as spendy as I'd like

    Long way of saying... yes, vision comes first... but also a way of saying... dudes, we have it GOOD these days with our gear. If we want to do something, we can... and in multiple ways if wanted.

    Reminding myself how nice our gear is leads me to want to reconnect with the beauty in our artform and stop worrying so much about the latest greatest.

    (easier said than done, i know!)

  5. #5
    tetsrfun
    Guest

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    and then when I saw it was taken with an ancient setup..
    *******
    I am still amazed that my ancient set-up with an several generations old 16MP back can give images that "suck" the viewer into the scene. It take a lot more work and "luck" especially with focus but the best MF images are in a different league then my DSLR's. Web postings of MF digital back images can't reproduce the difference, IMO.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    and then when I saw it was taken with an ancient setup (), it really gave me pause.
    Oh man, that hurts! My 503CWD-16 is just a few years old and already it's ancient history!

    Well, I'm just happy to hear that in the right hands, it can still deliver the goods. Now if only my vision, technique and skills were up to the task.

    Thanks for the post Shelby.....for those of us afflicted with GAS (myself amongst them), a post like this helps to keep it all in perspective (as best we can) and remember the other reasons we love photography (besides the fun of playing with cool gear).

    Gary

  7. #7
    Subscriber and Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,803
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    I have struggled to find a format that I enjoy and produces what I consider optimal output...no commercial interest, just acceptable prints.

    This is the best I have found....Mamiya 7 65 scanned then digital negative and printed as Platinum Palladium print. Every time I pass this print I stop and stare in wonder.



    All of my other attempts come up a bit short.

    Makes one wonder.

    Bob

  8. #8
    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    KEMPTEN / GERMANY
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    116

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Oh man, that hurts! My 503CWD-16 is just a few years old and already it's ancient history!

    Well, I'm just happy to hear that in the right hands, it can still deliver the goods. Now if only my vision, technique and skills were up to the task.

    Thanks for the post Shelby.....for those of us afflicted with GAS (myself amongst them), a post like this helps to keep it all in perspective (as best we can) and remember the other reasons we love photography (besides the fun of playing with cool gear).

    Gary

    Yes Gary , true enough , it hurst .

    It hurts on the one side , but we do not have to compete with professional's studio equipment , because they have a different financial base and different needs for different tasks .

    So I am very happy with my HASSELBLAD gear and DBs and they produce all the quality I expect them to do . And so it does not matter to me , if my gear is regarded to be "ancient" or not . The gear must serve me and not please others .

    Thanks Shelby for this thread .

    Jürgen

  9. #9
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Funny Stuff Jack...

    I'm not going square. I was just mightily impressed by the quality of the printed work I saw... and then when I saw it was taken with an ancient setup (), it really gave me pause.

    I was also just given (yes, given) an epson 7800 by a biz acquaintance. He acquired it from a business that he bought a while back and even though it's been sitting for a long time, i've been able to get it up and back running as new (and the duty cycle indicators show it was basically unused). So I've been looking at the printed page a lot more.

    Guy's comments about his 7900 have gotten me thinking about printing as well.

    You see... as a portrait/wedding guy... most of my work is lab printed, and a lot of it is drop-shipped in branded packaging, so I've spent the last several years with a consistent relationship with a lab, but not my prints (except expensive enlargements and albums which I always proof personally). Being that this new phase in my life is going to be more art-based, I'm all jazzed up about what it all looks like on paper again... and seeing those beautiful 501cm/cfv prints made me realize how good I already have it. I'm still a gear-slut though... hopelessly so. Luckily, my pockets stay pretty empty, so I'm not able to be quite as spendy as I'd like

    Long way of saying... yes, vision comes first... but also a way of saying... dudes, we have it GOOD these days with our gear. If we want to do something, we can... and in multiple ways if wanted.

    Reminding myself how nice our gear is leads me to want to reconnect with the beauty in our artform and stop worrying so much about the latest greatest.

    (easier said than done, i know!)
    Bud coming from shooting digital in 1991 I can't tell how freaking lucky we really are. We are so spoiled by what is available today. I really have to laugh sometimes about the moaning and groaning of what is not on these cams today. If most knew what they came from they would feel damn lucky we evolved this far. I could NEVER print those images compared to todays cams over 8x10 and even than that is a push. 23k dollars for a 6 mpx camera that was so noisy you thought you where shooting stars on every frame.

    Trust me I do pinch myself sometimes working with what I have today and how lucky I am to have lived long enough to see the change.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Yes Gary , true enough , it hurts.
    It hurts on the one side , but we do not have to compete with professional's studio equipment , because they have a different financial base and different needs for different tasks.

    So I am very happy with my HASSELBLAD gear and DBs and they produce all the quality I expect them to do . And so it does not matter to me , if my gear is regarded to be "ancient" or not . The gear must serve me and not please others .

    Jürgen
    Truth be told, I'm happy with my CFV-16 too Jurgen.....although I might be even happier with a CFV-39 like yours!

    One thing's for sure.....I'm doing my best to keep this thread under my wife's radar. If she sees it I won't have the slightest chance of ever upgrading my gear in the future.

    I really can't complain however....as Guy says, we are all "freaking lucky"!!

    Gary

  11. #11
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    I was considering the CFV for a while for my Hassy, but now I'm starting to think the CFV39 might be a better choice at this point. I prefer the square format, so I'd be giving up 10MP on the CFV39 most of the time - but at 29MP, it's still better than 16MP... Nevertheless, I think 16MP is plenty, honestly. For one thing, I just don't print that large (right now). And it'll surely lay waste to my DSLR equipment. Heck, even the M8 does that.

    My most impressive pictures thus far however, have been delivered by a Mamiya 7II with the 4/50mm lens on PanF+ film. Good lord, the scan of a few shots in particular left me speechless. You could count bricks in a building at a half mile distance...

  12. #12
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    i happen to love the V system, had one since the 70's. love the look and gestalt of the thing, sq format, large neg, gg viewing, zeiss optics. but i have moved on, still hasselblad, not as attractive a thing, the H, but there is something to be said for autofocus and better electronic integration in terms of pure functionality.
    I doubt the V/CFV39 produces images any less perfect than the H4D-40

  13. #13
    tetsrfun
    Guest

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    I doubt the V/CFV39 produces images any less perfect than the H4D-40
    *******
    Interesting statement...Even if true, I suspect that the "yield" of perfect with the digital "V"would be considerably less and involve a lot more work and luck.

    Steve

  14. #14
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    i agree

  15. #15
    tetsrfun
    Guest

    Re: A little (personal) perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    i agree
    Irrespective of image quality, however, the digital back is a means to obtain "instant" feedback (gratification) for the pleasure of handling and using the tools..ie all of the "V" system bits and pieces.

    Steve

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •