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Thread: handheld mfdb?

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    handheld mfdb?

    Is it more difficult to get a steady handheld shot with no camera shake with a MF camera and MFDB than with a MF camera and MF film?

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowep View Post
    Is it more difficult to get a steady handheld shot with no camera shake with a MF camera and MFDB than with a MF camera and MF film?
    Yes and the physics of electronic sensor vs emulsion thickness may have an effect but I think that pixel peeping and "expectations" are the major contributor for the "difficulty".

    Steve

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowep View Post
    Is it more difficult to get a steady handheld shot with no camera shake with a MF camera and MFDB than with a MF camera and MF film?
    When comparing the same size print: NO

    When comparing the image at 100%: yes.

    The later is much much more common.

    With film, even with a good loupe it was difficult to analyze the maximum amount of detail you could get for a particular lens/film. With Digital you can double click and see a crystal clear 100% pixel view - by definition the sharpest it can be.

    Any difference due to pixels versus flakes of silver are, IMO, minutia compared to the fact that in the days of film most photographer judged sharpness based on a (moderately) low powered loupe or the results at their typical print size, while today almost all images are judged at 100% without any regard to their final usage.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    lets not forget that sharpness is a bourgeois concept -

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    lets not forget that sharpness is a bourgeois concept -
    Excellent!

    Seriously, folks, I have hand-held my AFD/Aptus 22 down to 1/45 with good results a number of times. Must try 1/30.

    About 25 years ago I shot a new football stadium from a chopper at night with my M645 Super and a Nikon with motor drive. Nikon had a stop to a stop-and-a-half advantage lenswise but many more sharp pix were pulled from the Mamiya (Ektachrome 160T pushed to 400 on both cameras).

    The heavy A22 (600g) seems to help further by keeping the COG back a bit. Certain a film back would be lighter.

    Anti-shake has helped with more recent smaller cameras, but I find a heavier camera to be more stable, all other things being equal.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    When comparing the same size print: NO

    When comparing the image at 100%: yes.

    The later is much much more common.

    With film, even with a good loupe it was difficult to analyze the maximum amount of detail you could get for a particular lens/film. With Digital you can double click and see a crystal clear 100% pixel view - by definition the sharpest it can be.

    Any difference due to pixels versus flakes of silver are, IMO, minutia compared to the fact that in the days of film most photographer judged sharpness based on a (moderately) low powered loupe or the results at their typical print size, while today almost all images are judged at 100% without any regard to their final usage.

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    I agree to everything Doug says and will add that mirror-less bodies AKA "Pancake" cameras (ALPA, Cambo, Arca-Swiss etc.) are less prone to camera shake also due to the gentle action of the Copal shutter

    In my experience (at least with wide angle lenses) I can shoot all day at 1/15 sec hand-held which would be almost impossible with an SLR body. Sometimes I push it to 1/8 and still get reasonably sharp results in print

    yair
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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Wide angles with leaf shutters seem to give lovely sharp results hand-held at daylight shutter speeds. My experience is with an old SWC Hasselblad, and a P45+ back. For samples, see http://www.pbase.com/skirkp/image/129833126/original and the next few shots in that gallery. (Check the original, not the PBase-derived thumbnail.) But when I use the same back on a regular Hassy 500/CM the tripod and mirror-release in advance of the shot is a necessity.

    scott

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    lets not forget that sharpness is a bourgeois concept -
    So if sharpness is a bourgeois concept what is MFDB?

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Mediumcool what do you mean by COG? According to Wikipedia it could be any of the following but am not sure which definition you refer to:

    * Cog (ship), a small sailing vessel
    * The evil robots in Toontown Online
    * The evil robot drones of the Machine Empire seen in Power Rangers: Zeo
    * The humanoid robot at the center of the MIT Cog project
    * The Mount Washington Cog Railway
    * Cog, a Honda television commercial
    * Cog (band), an Australian band
    * Cog, an audio player for Mac OS X
    * OpenCog, an open source artificial general intelligence framework
    * The programming language used in the Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith video games

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowep View Post
    Mediumcool what do you mean by COG? According to Wikipedia it could be any of the following but am not sure which definition you refer to:

    * Cog (ship), a small sailing vessel
    * The evil robots in Toontown Online
    * The evil robot drones of the Machine Empire seen in Power Rangers: Zeo
    * The humanoid robot at the center of the MIT Cog project
    * The Mount Washington Cog Railway
    * Cog, a Honda television commercial
    * Cog (band), an Australian band
    * Cog, an audio player for Mac OS X
    * OpenCog, an open source artificial general intelligence framework
    * The programming language used in the Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith video games
    If I may answer for him, he meant CoG, which is short for "Center of Gravity" and is the three-dimensional point around which the mass of the camera is distributed such that it is perfectly balanced in every plane.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowep View Post
    So if sharpness is a bourgeois concept what is MFDB?
    The quote above is attributed to HCB..a French dude, you may have heard of him? - he did a bit of street shooting and reportage many decades ago.

    MFD (for me) is larger native print sizes, better viewfinders especially from Hasselblad and Leica, WLF shooting , better tech camera lenses from Schneider and Rodenstock - I also enjoy the narrower DOF you get across all focal lengths, the generally superior 'drawing ' of various makers lenses - quite a lot of difference between them actually, higher flash sync speeds and a much greater ability to post process more subtle tonality.

    On the negative side - you pay a lot for generally inferior ergonomics, outside studio and sans fat light conditions you need a tripod or the megapixels work against you.

    To answer your question though - on an Alpa I often get sharp enough to print results from shutter speeds as low as 1/8th using wides using an H 500 series or 200series blad, or Hy6 or Contax or MamiyaRZ - generally 2X focal length and careful technique does the trick - a tripod is your best friend.

    Pete

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowep View Post
    Mediumcool what do you mean by COG? According to Wikipedia it could be any of the following but am not sure which definition you refer to:

    * Cog (ship), a small sailing vessel
    * The evil robots in Toontown Online
    * The evil robot drones of the Machine Empire seen in Power Rangers: Zeo
    * The humanoid robot at the center of the MIT Cog project
    * The Mount Washington Cog Railway
    * Cog, a Honda television commercial
    * Cog (band), an Australian band
    * Cog, an audio player for Mac OS X
    * OpenCog, an open source artificial general intelligence framework
    * The programming language used in the Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith video games
    lowep, you do give great list!

    I thought it would be self-evident from context and the use of upper case (acronym), but ...

    Please get the drumroll going—Cog, you can handle that OK, can’t you?—

    And here it is folks, CENTRE OF GRAVITY!

    BTW, as an Australian, I had never heard of Cog the band but for my penance I confess to being an old fart.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Audii-Dudii View Post
    If I may answer for him, he meant CoG, which is short for "Center of Gravity" and is the three-dimensional point around which the mass of the camera is distributed such that it is perfectly balanced in every plane.
    You spoilt it! Bagarap!

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    I often get sharp enough to print results from shutter speeds as low as 1/8th

    Pete you are talking about on a tripod, right?

    Otherwise you must have a fine COG yourself.

    Regarding Contax in your experience is the auto focus good enough for unrushed portraits or does it need manual tweaking.

    The reason I ask all this is I have a Contax 645 MFDB system that I am using on a tripod with cable release + mirror up for various output formats including large prints and am trying to figure out (a) if it is a viable stopgap option for handheld shooting (as one digital camera system with all the menus and cables and batteries and lenses already feels like one too many) and (b) do I need new glasses too.
    Last edited by lowep; 22nd January 2011 at 05:55.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowep View Post
    I often get sharp enough to print results from shutter speeds as low as 1/8th

    Pete you are talking about on a tripod, right?

    Otherwise you must have a fine COG yourself.

    Regarding Contax in your experience is the auto focus good enough for unrushed portraits or does it need manual tweaking.

    The reason I ask all this is I have a Contax 645 MFDB system that I am using on a tripod with cable release + mirror up for various output formats including large prints and am trying to figure out if it is a viable stopgap option for handheld shooting too; as one digital camera system with all the menus and cables and batteries and lenses already feels like one too many.
    Read what Yair wrote above re using copal shutters you can hand hold at low shutter speeds..I get a lot of succes hand holding an Alpa with wides at low shutter speeds - I wouldnt try it with longer foal lengths.

    I use manual focus with all my MF gear usually auto focus and then manually tweak as required - compared to 35mm auto focus isn't as reliable - although Hasselblad have improved the game with their 4D technology.

    Anything with more than 10 or so megapixels requires care because of the resolution you are getting from the chip - I first noticed this when I switched fro Canon 1dsmk1 - to 1dsmk11 years ago...the extra 6 megapixels forced me to shoot with more care..as I was gettign a lot of what seemed to me less sharp hots - when in fact it was the extra resolution that was showing up any defects in technique

    If you are using a back on your Contax- why not try hand holding and see for yourself - unlike film - the learning doesn't cost..I think teh Contax body is fine for hndholding ( I use a handstrap for extra support) however I woudlnt expect to get super sharp results from a lens longer than their excellent 80/2.

    but best results ( sans ) strobes are always going to come from tripod/monopod - it is just physics.

    Film will always be more difficult to get the best from - because it can never be as flat as a digital chip for starters//

    Pete

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Any difference due to pixels versus flakes of silver are, IMO, minutia compared to the fact that in the days of film most photographer judged sharpness based on a (moderately) low powered loupe or the results at their typical print size, while today almost all images are judged at 100% without any regard to their final usage.
    Canon still defines the focus by a 4"x6" or 5"x7" viewed at 8".

    I personally cull based on final intended size. The dance school that I do a lot of work for 99.9% of the time want a web size gallery. On the odd occasion they will ask for a 24"x36" print. And some times I've had to go back to them and say, sorry that image will work for a print up to X. I now provide them with the listing of images that can be printed large.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    The above are all good answers. There are two issues - perceived sharpness and real sharpness.

    Perceived has to do with expectations (they used to be lower, now higher), print size and viewing distance. If one is printing say no more than an 8x10, then bunches of "lack of sharpness" are acceptable.

    Real sharpness is a tricky concept to define, but using the "I know it when I see it" definition, let's just call it sharp at 100% viewing. Then, yes, it is harder with MFDB, but also in part due to the mirror and switching. For example, the Hy6 has much superior mirror damping to the 6008, but the older mech'l shutter switch has a better and more predictable feel than the newer electronic one. The issue of the switch isn't incidental - not to dwell on Rolleis but later TLR (GX) had a two stage switch that triggered the meter first and were not as smooth as the older one-step Compur shutters. Those were like silk, and one can still go to 1/15 in the older camera, hand held. At one time shooting a Leica M2 (also silky) at 1/8 sec hand held but this took some zen breathing to get it right.

    Other little things matter too - suprisingly a neck strap if one holds the camera at waist level helps to steady it a lot. A friend found that the cork cushion under the camera on a tripod allowed movement too, and things were better when it was removed.

    The general wisdom that leaf shutters are really good things is true: MLU is your best friend. Those little leaf shutters don't shake much of anything, and make a big difference. I would suggest anything with big moving pieces at 1/30 or less probably isn't handholdable.

    So for perceived sharpness, print small, don't pixel peep. Not so easy today!
    For real sharpness, find a smooth shutter release, use MLU or better yet shoot without a mirror camera, brace yourself and practice holding the camera super steady (calm...).

    FWIW, big cameras held up to the eye (Contax, Hassy H) are hard for me to get steady. Waist level or small rangefinders (Fuji, Leica) are easier to hold at slow speeds.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Contax 645 also has WLF but am not sure of the optimal way to hold it as like most people I am more used to bolting cameras to my head - just the bolts are getting harder to find these days, maybe because fashion now dictates cameras should be worn as earrings.

    So how do you handhold and balance and focus a MFDB system with a WLF if you are not a big beer drinker with a natural shelf?

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    With film, even with a good loupe it was difficult to analyze the maximum amount of detail you could get for a particular lens/film.
    Well, not that hard... A Peak 22x loupe and a light table is plenty.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    FWIW, I find the sheer mass of my Phase DF/P65+ contributes to pretty sharp hand-held pix down to 1/30 (with std or wide lenses)- but I still use a tripod whenever possible!

    There have been occasions where magic light has presented itself and I know it won't last long enough to erect a tripod/mount camera/aim & shoot, so I've settled for the last two! This typically happens when I'm driving and that's when I leave the camera at 400 ISO, f8 and hope for the best by shooting multiple frames as fast as I can. Typically the second and third frames are the sharpest.

    Not preferable but definitely practical.

    Bill

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Agreed on the magic moment. I lock up the mirror and just click away with the leaf shutter, and usually (as you say) the 3rd one is good....

    As to WLF and holding steady: the neck strap. Does wonders. Even pushing (pulling?) against it to steady the camera works.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Don't forget also that good technique makes all the difference. Rolling your finger on to the shutter release and not pushing/stabbing it is an art well worth perfecting for sharp handheld shots. I agree with Bill and others that the mass of the system can help with stability and shooting a multi frame burst also increases your odds significantly.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Well, not that hard... A Peak 22x loupe and a light table is plenty.
    Throwing four pieces of film up in a 4x4 grid with a 22x loupe on each and cross referencing the aperture used to analyze the effect of diffraction?

    In the days of digital thats "select first - hold shift - select last - hold shift - double click (to zoom to 100%)" and then look under each image for the metadata of the aperture.

    That's rather my point. In the days of film it was easier to say "yeah that's sharp" because "pretty sharp" looks "sharp" until you see "really sharp" right next to it.

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Don't forget also that good technique makes all the difference. Rolling your finger on to the shutter release and not pushing/stabbing it is an art well worth perfecting for sharp handheld shots.
    We love BIPS!

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    In my experience (at least with wide angle lenses) I can shoot all day at 1/15 sec hand-held
    You are scary

    I can do "normal" or a bit longer lens shots at 1/15, with success ratio of like 1:3, but it takes hell out of me... Most of it not b/c of shake though, but b/c i am tiring up and starting to do mistakes when recompose - pulling too much in or out.

    Generally speaking if your hands are "fresh" - heavier body of MF + lens + DB is better handling "handshake" than light 35mm or cropped dSLR. But once day go by - it grows on ya.. So do bulging muscles on arms and legs...

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    Re: handheld mfdb?

    Don't forget that MFDB's, especially older ones, prefer ISO100 or even ISO50. This is 3x the shutter speed as ISO160 film. That can bite you if you're not careful.

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