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Thread: The Kodak SLR Thread

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    The Kodak SLR Thread

    In November 2010, I finally caved and decided to try out a Kodak SLR/n. I have read much about these quirky old cameras, but with FF and 14MP for just 600 Euro, I couldn't really see a reason not to try it out. I had some glitches early on, with memory card related corruption and some weird purple blooming with unchipped lenses, but I also got some seriously nice results from it.

    Does anyone else here have one of these neat old cameras, or the SLR/c or one of the older models?

    Here are a couple of results, the first being a test shot, and the other two having been taken in a local cemetery:





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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Hi,

    Ah yes, I had a Kodak 14n, then upgraded to a 14nx (new sensor, more memory) and it quit working after about 4000 shots total. Needless to say I was a bit displeased with such wonderful behavior that I took it apart to see if I could fix it. No luck. However, wanting to keep the economy going, I bought a used SLR/n. I haven't used it much so far. Here are a couple from my old 14nx. One is taken at a place in Utah, the other is a 3 shot pano of some of Bryce Canyon. There was a fire off to the left when I was there that day.

    I hope you enjoy your SLR/n, I was sorry to see Kodak quit supporting this camera.

    Shelby

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Hi Carsten
    A lovely camera - mine has long since gone, but looking back at some of the results I got way back then . . .












    .......

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    That Bryce Canyon shot is really beautiful! How are you finding the colour and sharpness compared to your normal camera? I find that my SLR/n delivers very sharp-looking results compared to my Nikon D3, with a special emphasis on "looking". When I look at 100%, the results look almost like water-colour, but at 50% and down, they just look very sharp. I have never seen anything quite like it before, and am totally fascinated by it. My guess is that Kodak knows enough about the way we see that this is deliberate (since no one looks at digital photos at 100% other than techno geeks).

    Jono, you jumped in while I was posting My favorite is the boat shot, and the last one. Are you a Pink Floyd fan, by any chance?
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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post

    Jono, you jumped in while I was posting My favorite is the boat shot, and the last one. Are you a Pink Floyd fan, by any chance?
    Well, I am a Pink Floyd fan . . . but that shot had nothing to do with Atom Heart Mother (it's not really the kind of thing you can stage.

    I spent a lot of time with Kodak trying to isolate the 'italian flag' problem (and other firmware issues). but really it was a lovely camera, and the files look great. Not sure I'm going to buy another one, but it's a definite reality check back to 2003!

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Still got my 14n, only about 2,500 shots on the clock and still a steaming pile of *****.

    Got a 5D soon as I could afford one, the difference in image quality is remarkable: no colour aliasing, no magenta ghosting, no noise, and especially no italian flag.

    I have one lens that gives decent results with the 14n (a tokina 17mm). My Nikon 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70-300mm, 28-105 no good. Italian flag colour casts everywhere. And the noise - shot at ISO64 in full daylight, really obvious noise all throughout the midtones unless is was a bright sunny day and the exposure was generous (over the right). Not to mention the pink ghosting around any specular highlights (Jono, your original 14n was just the same, I have still got some sample files you sent me somewhere!).

    And the famous resolution is no better than the 4.6MP Foveon, another troublesome camera. If there is a lesson, it's buy cameras from proper makers not ones that cobble together bits from elsewhere.

    I struggle to find anything decent shot with it but:










    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    In November 2010, I finally caved and decided to try out a Kodak SLR/n. I have read much about these quirky old cameras, but with FF and 14MP for just 600 Euro, I couldn't really see a reason not to try it out. I had some glitches early on, with memory card related corruption and some weird purple blooming with unchipped lenses, but I also got some seriously nice results from it.

    Does anyone else here have one of these neat old cameras, or the SLR/c or one of the older models?

    Here are a couple of results, the first being a test shot, and the other two having been taken in a local cemetery:






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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I also got a Kodak DCS/n recently. I really like the Kodak files, especially the way it renders color. I prefer the Kodak files at base ISO 160 to my Nikon D700 files. I plan to use it as a basic travel camera for daytime use.

    As for other older DSLR, I recently bought an Olympus E-1 for very little money. I thoroughly enjoy using it. The Olympus files are truly beautiful.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I am curious if there is a big difference between the earlier cameras and the SLR/n and SLR/c? I have seen Italian flag problems, as well as the fringing problems mentioned above, but the vast majority of my files were clean. Additionally, the SLR/n is clearly outresolving my 12MP D3, and the Foveon 4.7MP sensor is only resolving about the same as. 10MP camera, so the SLR/n and SLR/c really should out resolve it by a significant margin.

    Due to ink drops' tendency to blend slightly into each other, and due to the fact that viewing at 50% closely approximates what printing would give in terms of resolution, the Italian flag artifacts should not be visible in print anyway, I would guess. I think Kodak must have known that.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Hi Carsten,

    What are these "Italian flag" artifacts?

    I notice there are some pretty good deals on SLR/n bodies to be had. Might be interesting to try. Do you know if this body will work with Nikkor AIS manual focus lenses?

    Gary

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Moire. There is no AA filter on the sensor, and apparently the 14/14N were especially susceptible to this. The SLR/n (and SLR/c) apparently have improved in-camera processing in this area.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    ... Do you know if this body will work with Nikkor AIS manual focus lenses?

    Gary
    For Nikon AIS lenses, the meter in the camera doesn't function anymore. So you have to use manual model. Other than that, everything works fine.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Moire. There is no AA filter on the sensor, and apparently the 14/14N were especially susceptible to this. The SLR/n (and SLR/c) apparently have improved in-camera processing in this area.
    I do see Moire in some of my images. But I don't think it appears more often than what occurs in my Leica M8 files.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Hi Carsten,

    What are these "Italian flag" artifacts?


    Gary
    HI Gary - not artifacts, it was a colour shift across the whole frame - some lenses were very susceptible, some were not (unexpected lenses, like the Nikon 70-200 could be very bad). I loved the camera, but I'd much rather use an A900 thanks very much!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Congratulations Carsten on your new camera - and I think it is a very sensible reminder to folks that a lot of fun is what photography is about to photographers and great images can be made by pretty much any camera in the hands of an enthusiast.

    Lovely thread thanks for posting your shots guys.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I need to get out and use this camera more often. ZF21:

    Carsten - Website

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Hi Carstan,

    I've had both the 14n, then upgraded to 14nx and since it died, I decided to average out my cost and bought a used SLR/n. In my opinion, the SLR/n is much better. I haven't used it a lot, but it seems to have a little better noise characteristics. One thing I like about both the 14nx and the SLR/n is the long exposure mode where you can shoot at ISO 6. Here's an example of a 30 second shot I took a few years ago with my 14nx. I was lucky to have 0 wind on this day.

    Shelby

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    Subscriber Member Shelby Frisch's Avatar
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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Hi Jono,

    Great shots from the past, my favorite is your 3 cow shot.

    Shelby

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Hi Dave,

    I know what you mean about pain. I had 4000 shots on my camera and I think it was the new memory chip that went out. That was after Kodak decided to call it a day and leave their pro cameras without support. However, I as I recall, it was the upgrade that had the problems with reliability. I did pull mine apart and the memory was a cheap laptop memory card. I could not get it out without going much further in my taking it apart, so its sitting in a drawer waiting for further work.

    I'm glad to hear about the 17mm lens, your results look really good.

    Shelby

    Shelby

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Hi Gary,

    Here's a shot from my 14nx using an old Nikon 100mm f2.8 manual focus lens.

    Shelby

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Frisch View Post
    Hi Carstan,

    I've had both the 14n, then upgraded to 14nx and since it died, I decided to average out my cost and bought a used SLR/n. In my opinion, the SLR/n is much better. I haven't used it a lot, but it seems to have a little better noise characteristics. One thing I like about both the 14nx and the SLR/n is the long exposure mode where you can shoot at ISO 6. Here's an example of a 30 second shot I took a few years ago with my 14nx. I was lucky to have 0 wind on this day.

    Shelby
    Nice shot, tightly composed. I guess you lifted the shadows quite a bit?

    I played with the ISO 6 mode, but so far I was unable to see more than a tiny difference in the noise from normal base ISO shots, so I haven't used it much. Maybe in other circumstances.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    This thread inspired me to dig out the 14n from its box. The batteries still work and the internal clock was still working despite it being 4 years since I last used it. The date was a few days slow though!

    I've been doing some playing with more modern software. LR3 is quite good for the 14n - color noise reduction hides xmas tree lights and noise reduction and sharpening are quite good compared to Kodak software. Lens profiles sort out CA and distortion. I have something called cornerfix which was designed for the M8 but works with other cameras and it cures the italian flag.

    The fundamental noisiness of the sensor in dull or low light won't go away but it seem easier to deal with. That just leaves the pink flare (avoid specular light sources), and the water colour effect.

    It can still make nice pictures, if everything is right.

    Maybe I could sell it for something, complete with a free recommended workflow!



    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Frisch View Post
    Hi Dave,

    I know what you mean about pain. I had 4000 shots on my camera and I think it was the new memory chip that went out. That was after Kodak decided to call it a day and leave their pro cameras without support. However, I as I recall, it was the upgrade that had the problems with reliability. I did pull mine apart and the memory was a cheap laptop memory card. I could not get it out without going much further in my taking it apart, so its sitting in a drawer waiting for further work.

    I'm glad to hear about the 17mm lens, your results look really good.

    Shelby

    Shelby

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Nah, just keep it. The SLR/n in great shape with few releases is worth no more than 600 Euro, so the 14N probably a lot less, maybe half. For that price it isn't worth selling it. 14MP, FF, with nice colours.

    With the watercolour effect, do you mean what you see when look at 100%? I find that kinda neat. As far as I can tell, apart from the look at 100%, it has no negative consequences, and it may even help make the photos look sharper.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Hi Carsten,

    What are these "Italian flag" artifacts?
    Color shift across the frame, like what is seen with uncoded lenses (Zeiss/Voigtländer) on a Leica M9 or wide angle rangefinder lenses on mirrorless cameras like the Sony NEX. You'll often see a green cast near the left border, neutral in the centre and magenta/red at the right border.
    I'm sure this can be fixed with some utility like Cornerfix, but it's extra work to get a decent file.

    @Carsten: I've seen this in various shots with the SLR/c from Paul Yi at FM, Carsten.
    Last edited by BenjaminJ; 3rd June 2011 at 05:19.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Here is a shot from 2004 of Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins CO.

    This image sold really well to banks, companies etc for conference room art.

    Looks beautiful printed large. You can truly see the unique color rendition from this sensor. A wonderful camera whose time passed too soon.

    Woody Spedden

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Nice atmosphere in that shot, Woody!
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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    A shot from the SLR/n from last weekend, 100 MP ZF.2:

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    A stitch from the Kodak SLR/n and the 50 MP. There is a similar stitch from the Nikon D3 in the panorama thread.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I am thinking I might sell my Kodak sometime soon. I like the camera in spite of its quirks, but I adore my D3, and their capabilities are just too close. If I were to do more studio photography, I might keep it for that, but as it is, I find myself not using it enough to justify keeping. I guess others will have to keep this thread going.
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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I've owned the Kodak 14n for years and although I agree with some of the posts here regarding some terrible purple and orange colors or spots I have to say that under the right conditions this camera will create some really amazing results. I'm on my iPad so I can't post anything but as soon as a I get home I'll post some images created with the Kodak.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I don't really use mine that such but I don't really want to let it go...

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    One of my closest friends still fairly regularly shoots a DSLR/n he bought new, and he's still quite happy with it.

    For what it's worth, when he took the pictures for my wedding (barely under three years ago now) it was approaching 750,000 clicks on the shutter, so they can also last quite a while.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I bought an SLR/c several years ago as a cheap way to get a full frame sensor. I was delighted when the price of a used 1Ds dropped enough I could upgrade to that. Anyway, I recently decided to give the Kodak another go - here are some processing suggestions.

    JPEGs generated by the camera are nasty - too compressed and with unpleasant sharpening, even when set to highest quality and minimal sharpening. You really have to use raw (whereas with the Canon bodies, outdoor shots are often great as straight-from-camera JPEGs). I process the raw files with Adobe DNG Converter and then use the free program Raw Therapee. (Unfortunately the current version of RT crashes if fed Kodak files directly.)

    The lack of an anti-aliasing filter makes the sensor more susceptible to moire patterns. Raw Therapee's 'false colour suppression steps' (under the demosaicing settings) set to 5 eliminates this for me. The sensor is also more susceptible to purple fringing on highlights, so turn on the 'defringe' option. With these settings you can get something respectable, though I still prefer the Canon images.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    Maybe you are interested, I just added support for Kodak .DCR format to RawTherapee. I had a few different DCS model images to test with (Proback, SLR/n, 760c) so I hope we have wide support. As it's fresh in the source tree you need to compile it yourself or wait for the next build though.

    Any build released on www.rawtherapee.com with a later date than this message should have the Kodak support built-in.
    Last edited by torger; 4th November 2013 at 23:59.

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    Re: The Kodak SLR Thread

    I bought a 14n a few months ago and am enjoying it a lot. The only reason I am keeping the D2x around is for all the manual focus lenses that I have. So far, the 14n has provided me with some fantastic shots.

    Joel

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