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Thread: MF Look

  1. #1
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    MF Look

    Well this one may just bring out the wolves but after 35 years plugging away at this and recently shooting MF digital . I am noticing something very interesting that I like a lot. After about 6 k in images shooting this Phase back and this is not a Phase thing but really a MF thing and that is the look I am getting. Okay here it is and ready to be strung up by the wolves and that is the 3d look i am seeing and the look of these files. I don't even want to delve into the combination of lens , back and output BUT my files are different than when I shot DSLR's and such. Not sure how to describe it or even want to try but i shoot a million corporate events a year and yes the MF system is NOT the system to be really working with or is it. I have to say after all of this my files look better and it is not just resolution, they look rounder . Bad choice of words but rounder and more film like than anything I have shot in digital. The M8 is pretty close to this sometimes but the MF files are just different in look and feel.

    Yet again i am in the middle of processing another corporate get together with my Nikon SB 800 flash lighting it up and still my files have a certain feel to them. The images themselves are not portfolio stuff and that is not the point. What is the point is the feel you see. To me forget all the damn hardware at the end of the day you have to deliver files and they are just different. Not sure how others feel about this but I am seeing something different than i ever got before and I like it a lot. What's the feeling about this. i will post a fee lame images but forget the image itself look at the feeling from them. It just feels rounder and not digital brittle. Still processing and will post a few later
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Just a couple that just have a different feel to them than what I am used to seeing. Maybe i'm nut's or something but they just have depth to them
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Have a look at the following image by Jorgen Udvang.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/4/9/boys.jpg

    Plenty of "depth" and shot with an Olympus E-1.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    I did see that one and it looks great. Plenty of depth to it. I guess some of my point is i am getting this more on a regular basis and not so much on a limited one. With the M8 you can get that look also but more so when everything lines up nicely. MF seems to get this type of look all the time. Very hard to describe
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    It's a little hard for me to see exactly what you're trying to describe, although I do see a very nice smoothness across the entire tonal range. The natural look to small differences in value and color is very pleasing. I am especially impressed with the whites in the last picture where the woman is wearing a white blouse and holding a white styrofoam cup and some papers. They all seem dead on. Which is a tribute to your technique as well as the camera.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Thanks Tim straight out of the camera no WB involved. This is really hard to describe and it is the smoothness in tonal transitions that I am seeing. Not the best subject matter but from all these events i shoot i even see it here, which I thought I would not.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF Look

    Hi Guy

    I have to agree with you. While I havent been able to put it into so many words Ive found I just like the file quality so much more than anything else Ive shoot with or can currently shoot with; I still have my old 1DsII for wildlife and Sandy is using a 1DsIII for all her work, the majority of my work is landscape thus the P30+.

    How does I dont know what it is but I know it when I see it sound.

    don
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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    Hi Guy

    How does I dont know what it is but I know it when I see it sound.

    don
    Like a Leica fanatic?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    LOL

    Sounds good to me
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF Look

    Why beat around the bush Keith? What exactly are you trying to say ... I'm genuinely curious?

    Jorgens photo is great ... it'd be great with a P&S or a MFD camera ... although you'd be more likely to get that shot with a P&S or some other smaller, less intimidating camera.

    Personally, I subscribe to the "I'll know it when I see it" school of thought ... IMO, trying to explain what you see in a specific photographic medium is pretty difficult.

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    Re: MF Look

    Guy,
    Having looked at these shots several times, and having read through your thoughts and impressions, I have to ask the question that keeps haunting me.....is this "look" that you are describing with the "rounder" colors, and things, attributable more to the lack of AA filter on the sensor? As you mention, the M8 can and does deliver a similar look or appearance to the captures. I have seen this myself when shooting it side by side against my 1DsMkII. Continues to surprise me. The M8 is giving up 6+MP in that case, and is working with slightly better glass, but it is not the resolution that is the issue, but the crisper finish of the colors and things. As Marc says, it is kind of hard to explain, but it does seem to be more prevalent with no AA filter than with AA filter. Maybe it is also the CCD v. CMOS thing....not really sure.

    In the end, things do tend to look a bit different. I keep wondering if the DSLR folks were able to field a camera without AA filter, and maybe even go back to CCD, would they be able to achieve this sort of image capture? I am still hanging in the balance on some of this, as I cannot give up the DSLRs for all the things they can do, and am still not drawn to any one MF system point yet. Just some thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: MF Look

    It may certainly have something to do with it. AA filter is like putting a screen door over things if you know what I mean. Just diffuses the image than you need to sharpen to get some detail back but than it looks plastic or digital looking. This seems a certain clarity to it and smooth transitions between pixels and tones. Even these crap images seem to have that separation or something to them that I have not seen with AA filter type camera's. The M8 is a lot like this also but not as much as i see it in MF but more so than any DSLR so yes the AA may attribute to some of this. I think hardware does also to some degree. Funny you mention CCD since in reality the M8 and Phase are CCD Kodak sensors no less. We do see it with the Dalsa also but it is CCD with no AA also. Just not sure on a scientific level but my eye see's this stuff and makes me wonder a lot about it. What I find interesting is I am getting this with this type of work and portable flash which makes things flatter looking but i see lot's of depth
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF Look

    Maybe I am trying to find logical reason and there is none that you can pinpoint too. Than again maybe I am drinking too much Kool aid or just freaking nuts in the head. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF Look

    I've not used MF digital but at the last wedding I shot I had a second shooter using a 40D. After 3+ years of shooting with a 5D and a 1Ds before that, the difference in the files was really in your face. The crop sensor files were so flat in comparison, so much less depth and the tonality was very 35mm film. For all the people who should know better saying that crop sensors are comparible to FF at lower iso's, there is so much more to an image than the noise and resolution, it's the way the image is rendered.

    This is an interesting thread on FM http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/678783, there is a post there trying to prove that the 40D is as good as the 5D on the 2nd page, the difference in depth is so very different but I don't think that most casual amatuers can see it and because they can't they insist it doesn't exist.

    And that's just the difference between crop and FF that was brought home to me last week. When you add the shallower DOF and focus falloff even with shorter FOV's that you have with MF to the tonality and depth of the larger sensor (nevermind 16 bit!) I have never doubted the 3D claim of MFDB whatsoever.
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 19th August 2008 at 12:48.
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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Why beat around the bush Keith? What exactly are you trying to say ... I'm genuinely curious?
    Marc, didn't realise I was beating around the bush. Way too many people place way too much importance on nuances that are so subtle as to be - by their own admission - indefinable and indemonstrable.

    I'm a visual guy, don't talk about it, show me

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    Re: MF Look

    Guy,

    I see it as well. For me the clearest example is in the first shot, the man second farthest away from the camera. When I look at his face which is completely in focus and nothing but his face, it looks 3D. What I'm trying to say is I think the 3D look in these shots is independent of the shallow DOF. All the in focus faces look 3D even if you block out the rest of the picture. The out of focus areas by themselves don't look 3D to me.

    I'm not saying small dof can't give a 3D effect, but clearly that effect is available to 35mm digital.

    I'm in bed with a fever so this pixel peeping is the ideal occupation. On the other hand, I have no credibility.


    Best,

    Mitchell

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    This is one shot where I was able to see the DD or 2D become 3D. Of course, your mileage may vary ... ;D

    Kurt

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    I see it in Jorgen's shot and it sure ain't anything to do with MFD

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Like a Leica fanatic?
    Keith... thanks for the laugh, you really got me chuckling to myself with this one. I'd guess Guy is preaching to the choir with you since you seem to be a MF (Hasselblad) shooter yourself. I sort of, kind of, know what Guy is saying but am not totally convinced it's the format. I lean towards thinking it's the glass. At the risk of proving your point, I've gotten that "special" look on many occasions with my DMR and the 35-70 2.8.

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    Re: MF Look

    Keith, With all due respect, you have no point regarding the 3D appearance or the lack of it and are using Jorgen's fantastic picture as a talking point to your convenience. If you are genuinely charmed by that shot, if I were you, I would make useful contacts for Jorgen.

    Moreover, you may even have pictures of your own to make case for or against anything, I suspect.

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    Re: MF Look

    My take on the difference in look and feel betwen MF and DSLR is that you get more detail in the less in focus areas of a shot - the detail does't fall off as fast as smaller chips - at same apertures and distances - so you get a smoother transition from in to out of focus.

    I agree with Marc's comment on the difficulty of using words to describe visual phenomena as experienced by different eyes.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Peter well said and that maybe the secret sauce. it just seems visually smoother in the transition area's. I like it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF Look

    There was a term with certain large format lenses that got tossed around several years back -- proponents of the special look referred to it as "plasticity." I never understood precisely what they meant, but suspect it was something visibly tangible to them that was difficult to describe verbally. (I am reminded of a famous line from the movie "Chinatown" ... )

    As for MF, I agree that it has a unique look, but more importantly, a pleasant look. But then I think my Leica files have a pleasant look too.

    I suspect the look I am referring to has to do with a combination of things, and foremost is probably the absence of an AA filter. I suggest this, because I've never seen the pleasant characteristic I'm referring come out of a camera with an AA filter. Next I suspect it has to do with the glass. Some lenses have a smoother transition from the plane of sharp focus to the oof areas of the image. I have found those lenses mounted even on a camera with an AA filter improved the "look" of the files to my eyes. Unfortunately, it never boosted it to the same look as from a non-AA camera, but at least was clearly better.

    In the end, when I mount a good lens on a camera without an AA filter, I get a higher percentage of "pleasant" images...

    My .02 only,
    Jack
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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    The look can be found regardless of pixel size, format and anti aliasing filters.

    Whether indeed it is pleasant is largely dependent on personal taste and or subject matter. A quality that is desirable when shooting custom cars is not necessarily desirable when applied to people and indeed often adds more than a touch of the Madame Tussauds.

    http://www.metro.co.uk/fame/article....0&in_page_id=7

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    Re: MF Look

    I have seen some strange results, particularly from Canons shot at higher ISOs where it seems to me that firmware noise reduction in combination with the AA filter adds a degree of what I might call "vagueness" to transitions and edges. I don't see this vagueness in the M8, or a P45+ or even a Lumix LX2, but I do see it on a 40D, a D100, and a little ix800 point and shoot. I think it is a micro-effect that ends up making a subtle difference when one is not pixel-peeping.
    When this micro-effect is combined with glass that is so sharp that one is at risk of an inadvertent Lasik procedure when viewing files and a dof that is small enough to define some space, that certain "pleasantness" is regularly generated. In other cases with subjects with a wide tonal range and good distribution and use of that tonal range, and particularly in B&W renderings where the distraction of color has been removed, it seems to be easier to obtain.
    On the other hand, some like to shoot a pushed roll of tri-x once and awhile and of course a different sort of nostalgic pleasantness can be had. We used to have these debates ranging over the peculiar properties of Rodinal vs HC110 on just this sort of subjective effect on an 11x14 at four paces.

    -bob

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    The look can be found regardless of pixel size, format and anti aliasing filters.

    Whether indeed it is pleasant is largely dependent on personal taste and or subject matter. A quality that is desirable when shooting custom cars is not necessarily desirable when applied to people and indeed often adds more than a touch of the Madame Tussauds.

    http://www.metro.co.uk/fame/article....0&in_page_id=7
    Still not getting it Keith. Do you mean MFD is often "plastic looking". "waxy" when shooting people ... like a Canon 1DsMKIII file?

    My take on this thread is that it's centered around a consistent visual quality regardless of subject matter or composition (a point made by Guy in discounting the subject matter itself.)

    Jorgen's image is appealing because of the delightful happenstance of the composition, and use of an almost perfect focal length for it. The poor background rendering is vastly overshadowed by the power and dominance of the kids in your face ... but the background rendering is poor none the less ... IMO the separation of tones is less than ideal and frankly the skin looks plastic to my eye when compared to similar shots done with "real" 35mm B&W film ... but even those nuances are also vastly overshadowed by the subject matter to the point that "who cares" ... it's a great capture. Period.

    Frankly, I don't personally believe 3D is the exclusive domain of MFDBs. I get it with certain lenses combined with certain "smaller" sensors... like some of the Zeiss ZFs on a D700. I also have observed that certain lenses on a MFD camera do not always have that smooth transition to OOF areas ... which usually has more to do with feathered lighting than it does most anything else ... and would be even worse if shot with a smaller camera.

    However, I do believe that bigger sensors have more tonal range to work with ... which IMO leads to that notion of gradual transition in the OOF areas. I also believe that about 35mm film verses MF film ... or a 10 meg., sub-APS P&S verses a 10 meg. DSLR shot. It's not brain surgery. The concept is the same.

  27. #27
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    "... but even those nuances are also vastly overshadowed by the subject matter to the point that "who cares" ... it's a great capture. Period."

    Hallelujah!

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    Re: MF Look

    Many older Zeiss-Contax lenses on FF Canons exhibit the so-called 3D effect under the right mix of circumstances.

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    "... but even those nuances are also vastly overshadowed by the subject matter to the point that "who cares" ... it's a great capture. Period."

    Hallelujah!
    Double that! That is exactly what I said that you were saying here!

    Why talk about 3D, etc? The purpose of this forum and this thread are very different.

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    Re: MF Look

    My take on this thread is that it's centered around a consistent visual quality regardless of subject matter or composition (a point made by Guy in discounting the subject matter itself.)

    Exactly Marc what I am more referring to is this is a consistent look throughout the MF land. Some images obviously will have more impact of this but what i am seeing is this is the very look that keeps coming up in almost all the images and the tonal range is the big plus and the transitions are just flat out smoother looking.

    Not trying to discount 35mm DSLR's or the M8 RF cameras at all but I just see more of this in the MF world than I did when I shot all the other 35mm formats.


    Also I am discounting the images posted because frankly they suck and i did not want to make it about the images but about the look they are showing and reason why i used these images. i don't want it to be about the image but the look they are showing.
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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Why talk about 3D, etc?...
    Vivek, you must be confusing me with someone else, I've not even mentioned 3D.

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    Re: MF Look

    Keith, Perhaps there was no mention of 3D (excuse me for that). Your point is now clear after you quoted Marc.

    Here is my take on equipment in general:

    Any photographer worth their salt knows what the most important factors for a successful photograph are. This can be discussed at length (I enjoy reading them and learn quite a bit from such discussions) elsewhere.

    In a gear forum, how are we to get to discuss/see different kinds of gear (again most photographers are gear obsessed whether they admit it or not) if we keep pointing to an emotionally captivating image at hand while all the examples shown here are of a bunch of corporate dudes (and dudettes) at an evening gettogether?

    I can only wonder what sort of goodies (photo gear) that you have in your closets!
    Last edited by Vivek; 20th August 2008 at 06:04.

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    "... but even those nuances are also vastly overshadowed by the subject matter to the point that "who cares" ... it's a great capture. Period."

    Hallelujah!
    Keith I am wondering if you understand that this is a very aggressive exclamation on your part - the fact that everyone would agree with the sentiments expressed by Marc (in your quote) - as a matter of course - makes it also a very redundant aggressive exclamation.

    Type on a page can often be misleading and the fact that this forum is not overtly structured to be a forum about critical theory , philosophy or art means that constant references to such issues irrespective of the title of the thread or the context of the discussion can deliver a touch of aggravation to people.

    I don't mean to be rude here but a word like "Hallelujah" - followed by an exclamation "!" is hardly appropriate and in fact could be quite insulting to many readers, who well understand the difference between informal non empirical user experience type discussions and philosophising about photography and art. There has been no "eureka" moment Keith for anyone.

    I have never ever read anyone say how a bigger chip or a 'better' lens will make them a better photographer - or that great photos havent been made by relatively simple photographic tools - many of us still use same.

    I make one final observation - For every 'great' capture made with relatively simple tools - I can show you a thousand better images made by very sophisticated tools - images unable to be made by simple tools.

    I guess the aspiration or simple technical inquisitiveness about the enabling power of technologies - gear if you like - is what brings people to this MFD forum.

    Pete

  34. #34
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    "Keith I am wondering if you understand that this is a very aggressive exclamation on your part"

    What a strange medium the Internet is! I was merely expressing total agreement with Marc.

    "I guess the aspiration or simple technical inquisitiveness about the enabling power of technologies - gear if you like - is what brings people to this MFD forum."

    If that is the sole purpose of this forum then perhaps I'm out of place here?

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    Re: MF Look

    Keith, All you have managed to do here is to illustrate how gracious a host Guy is.

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    The look can be found regardless of pixel size, format and anti aliasing filters.
    then please enlighten me with specific examples... As respects digital, I've never seen it in thousands of frames out of my Canons except for some of the early ones like the 1D, but see it frequently from my Leicas and most MF backs.
    Jack
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  37. #37
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Ladies, Gentlemen, please forgive me; it appears that I am indeed out of place here. I wish all of you well and good shooting.

    Keith

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Huh? Who said you were out of place? Your opinion is your opinion and I have no issues with that. You disagreed with my POV and I happened to disagree with yours, so all I was asking for is some examples that support your POV...

    Best,
    Jack
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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Ladies, Gentlemen, please forgive me; it appears that I am indeed out of place here. I wish all of you well and good shooting.

    Keith
    Easy big guy ... it's just a reaction to the "it's the photographer, not the gear" being applied to a relatively innocent assertion about a certain look someone sees with a certain piece of gear.

    Taking the higher artist ground ("It's the photographer, not the gear") could be applied to every single slight mention of gear and any "apparent" results.

    Now wouldn't THAT suck the fun right out of all this chatter amongst friends?

  40. #40
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: MF Look

    Folks, I'd just like to make it perfectly clear that no one here has suggested that I'm out of place.

    Jack, rest assured that my decision to leave has nothing to do with our differing POV on this thread. Marc, I fully accept that being reminded that great images are made by people and not cameras is likely to be irritating to gear heads wanting to talk equipment.

    Once again I wish all here the very best and good shooting.

    Keith

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    Re: MF Look

    Okay Keith, best of all to you too...

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Folks, I'd just like to make it perfectly clear that no one here has suggested that I'm out of place.

    Jack, rest assured that my decision to leave has nothing to do with our differing POV on this thread. Marc, I fully accept that being reminded that great images are made by people and not cameras is likely to be irritating to gear heads wanting to talk equipment.

    Once again I wish all here the very best and good shooting.

    Keith
    But no one is suggesting you leave either so not sure I understand all of this but there is absolutely no reason for you to leave us. We all respect everyone and there opinions here and we all love a lively debate and it is good for the soul. So from my seat and as one of the proud owners here I see no reason to leave us. But obviously this is your decision but this thread is really not about some ones shooting talent. Which honestly was not the topic to begin with was my images. There **** trust me I do this for corporate clients everyday and it puts food on the table. Please believe me i can shoot my way out of any paper bag and my work can be absolutely stunning when that need arises. This is not about that but about what a look is coming out of these MF backs that i am finding intriguing on a regular basis that maybe a combination of big pixels, no AA filter and the tonal ranges that MF provides all the time and only comes to life on certain occasions in 35mm. I came from Nikon, Canon, Leica, Kodak and almost anything else out there. I am just seeing this look more on a regular basis in MF than i have seen before.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF Look

    It always struck me that the sigma DP1 images have a strikingly 3d look. And checked around now: this camera apparently has no AA filter. There really seems to be a relation.

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Folks, I'd just like to make it perfectly clear that no one here has suggested that I'm out of place.

    Jack, rest assured that my decision to leave has nothing to do with our differing POV on this thread. Marc, I fully accept that being reminded that great images are made by people and not cameras is likely to be irritating to gear heads wanting to talk equipment.

    Once again I wish all here the very best and good shooting.

    Keith
    Instead of leaving, why not start a thread that deals with what you want to talk about Keith. The assumption that everyone here is nothing more than a gear head may be incorrect ...

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    Re: MF Look

    Actually his use of the gear head comment is insulting and feels simply like a parting shot as he walks out the door. Sad because it just makes it so much harder to come back.

    I agree with you Marc, There are threads here which are almost totally equipment oriented and others that are not. Guy and Jack run workshops which are all about making images and while you can't dismiss the gear for some of them (like the lighting workshop where the choice of lights can be somewhere between nice and critical). But I expect to come back from the workshop understanding how to use lighting to create better images. Of course if I only get it technically right and miss any kind of unique creation the effort is lost.

    Come on back Keith and do as marc suggests. Start a thread and talk about what is important to you. Marc, as an example, is a creative director as well as a photographer. I believe he can help all of us in analyzing our images and using the critical critique to help us get better at what we do.

    JMHO

    Woody

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Instead of leaving, why not start a thread that deals with what you want to talk about Keith. The assumption that everyone here is nothing more than a gear head may be incorrect ...

    Marc, I remember making that very same request (not a suggestion from my part) to Keith Laban, sometime ago, elsewhere.

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    Re: MF Look

    Honestly I don't think any of us or this forum are what i would call gear heads. At the end of the day of shooting we ALL produce images that are to satisfy a certain need be it for yourself or for a client. No question we all love our gear and love to talk about it but the bottom line if it does not help us get nice images than we move on to something else. Gear is just a tool to help the photographer create images. No one here buy's gear and does not go out and use the damn stuff. At least from my perspective the members here are very active in creating images. Jack and i also encourage on any thread or section to post images of anything you want to talk about or show to other members. Not too many forums actually encourage that. WE DO in a big way.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    then please enlighten me with specific examples... As respects digital, I've never seen it in thousands of frames out of my Canons except for some of the early ones like the 1D, but see it frequently from my Leicas and most MF backs.
    Well, I'll just throw one out there that I took today. To me this certainly has the 3D effect. I think it's the combination of the lighting, lens, DOF and the particular subject against its background that creates the illusion of depth here. For me I get more of a 3D feel with this shot than I do in looking at the particular examples Guy showed but of course it's pretty subjective and I'm sure opinions will differ.

    Just for the record, this was shot with the D700 using the Nikon 28mm f/2 AIS lens at f/4.


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    Re: MF Look

    I think the medium format look is a function of using longer lenses (relative to 35mm format) which results in more compression and a stronger sense of the DOF. Equally important is the expanded FOV with the larger medium format negative. The "look" is a ratio (very loosely speaking) of the telephoto traits in contrast to the wider FOV. There are other important aspects - the sharper the subject relative to the background, the better. Good side light to give roundness helps too.

    There are some lenses which look more medium format than medium format (IMO) - such as the Contax 100mm F2 Planar on a 1Ds vs a 110mm F2 Planar on a P25. The relatively new Zeiss 50mm F2 Makro Planar is showing some of the nuances as the CY 100/2. It's very rare that I see anything from Canon lens that looks really 3D, but the Contax 100/2 is relatively consistent.

    I do agree it's easier to achieve the "look" on medium format, but dSLRs can do it too. I suspect we'll see a very strong medium format look with the new P65+.

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    Re: MF Look

    Shots that POP ( ie isolating in focus from out of focus by shooting wide open) is something that is certainly not MFD domain and we all love the f : 1.2-1.4 type lenses in 35mm land or the F: 2 -2.2 lenses in MF land. In MF you dont even need that much lens speed to make things POP as the narrow DOF equivalent in MF is achieved at much higher apertures - because of image circle size differentials.

    incidentally ( and no offence ) some terrible OOF rendition evident in the green foliage above - visually jarring to my eye. I find that green foliage is very tough test of bokeh in any sized chip and lens combo - funny thing is green foliage ( especially grass ) is also the bane of B&W film landscapes.

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