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Tuesday, 02 April 2024


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And how many of your faithful readers will, along with thousands or perhaps millions, be standing in a field trying to make a photograph of the solar eclipse? A photograph that will certainly not measure up to the thousand or so that will be immediately available on the internet with no effort or cost to us.

Count me in.

(I think the real opportunity will be making photographs of the people ... )

Which is why I find the extremes of political or social views so exhausting.

Seriously. Where do people get the energy to hate others? How do people find so much excess available energy in their life, that they're able to expend it hating other people?

I'm actually against tolerance. F*ck tolerance. You tolerate a bad smell. Or a neighbour who plays loud music late into the night.

Acceptance. Accept people exactly as they are. Adults aren't going to change, for the one thing. And for another, what makes you think your world view is the only valid one to have?

Can't go wrong with love. It has become a cliché, but it is always the best response.

Mike—The book that you cite (refer "optimize extreme resolution") was certainly helpful to me in 1990, when I used it to justify this claim…

Why is a tripod essential?
Because blur due to lens movement is inevitable at any shutter speed slower than 1/1000 sec., and because it promotes greater care in composition. Handholding is strictly for dead photographers: A human pulse beat will cause 200 microns (about 0.008 inch) displacement for 1/10th second. Assuming a shutter speed of 1/250th sec., this movement alone will cause a 22% loss of resolution with a system that is otherwise capable of reproducing 100 lines-per-mm (lpm). And at a shutter speed of 1/125th sec., this performance would degrade to only 53 lpm—a 47% waste of what you purchased. (Refer John B. Williams: Image Clarity, page 191)

(Extract from a Really Right Stuff pamphlet circulated in 1990.)

Thank you for the Hopi commandments. I will repeat them ad nauseam to share them with my students.

Wait, you people ignore your pulse timing when shooting hand-held? (Yeah, mostly I do too. Long-distance rifle marksmen, actual snipers, do not ignore their pulse timing.)

Tolerance? Wow. Whenever you write an article about film photography, you receive a bunch of comments from readers who are still trying to ram down our throats how much better their work became once they dumped film and how we all better know it. Sigh....

Thanks, for this Mike,
And as an extension of Lye Wood’s comment, it reminded me of a quote from a late Australian and former Catholic priest, Father Bob Maguire:
“Safran said he once asked Maguire how he remained kind to people who were not always pleasant towards him, to which he replied: “You don’t have to like people to love them.””

Just one source:

Sorry for all the quotation marks - not sure how to quote a quote from a news article.

I remember that when I was still a graduate at university, I used to share the bus ride to the university with another graduate. Since we met every morning, we soon started to have a chat to make time pass on our commute. It turned out that he was a physicist, a very bright and sympathetic guy. One morning he told me that he made up his mind to buy a camera, for "all the nice features a camera has". He admittedly didn't have any prior experience with photography. Maybe it was still too early in the morning, and I hadn't had enough coffee yet - I didn't get his point. I thought he wanted to take up photography, and suggested that he would be best served with a simple, mechanical camera with a.prime lens - something like a Nikon FM2. Why would anybody purchase a camera in the first place? No, he insisted on his point, it was about the features of the camera. After a while of talking past each other, we changed to another subject.

This was 30 years ago; the world wide web offered not much more than a live stream of a coffee machine. Nowadays, in a similar conversation, I'd be rather surprised if my conversation partner was actually interested in taking up photography, and not in cameras.

Or... discolor and distort a perfectly good photo with "film simulations" for the sake of nostalgia for something they never knew.

If you are going to abbreviate in your columns can you please provide a definition. What is IIRC and LF ?

[Sorry. If I recall correctly, large format. --Mike]

Oh, and I don't think a tripod "promotes greater care in composition". It's much harder to relocate the camera (in any of the 3 dimensions) or to tilt, roll, etc. when it's on a tripod. So the process of setting it in position for your carefully-considered composition is much harder, which is likely to reduce the number you try actually looking at (and pre-visualization only goes so far!).

There's also an assumption there that the tripod completely avoids any motion from shutter shock, which was not the case the last time I read up on detailed actual tests.

Attn.: David Dyer-Bennet—Here's a further excerpt from that same old (~1990) Really Right Stuff pamphlet…

"Do you prefer a ballhead to a pan-tilt type?
Yes. A ballhead is far faster to aim, level, and lock, and it's much easier to carry and transport because it does not have long, protruding handles. Ballheads of recent vintage and good quality also tend to be more rigid with heavy loads than pan-tilts. A ballhead may take a little hands-on experience, but becomes very easy to master. The good ones feature variable adjustment for 'drag' (pretension), and have separate 'pan' (panoramic) movement beds; they're smooth, instinctive, precise, reliable."

Today, I'd also stress that ballheads with a quick-release head are FAST. You can mount the camera , aim (precisely), and shoot within a few seconds.

Regarding "shutter shock", that's long gone with almost all modern DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, although one must still use care to avoid movement when initiating manual shutter release. To do so, use the camera's self-timer (with ~2 sec. delay), or use a cable release or remote release.

And so, here comes 1M$ the question (I long hesitated before sending it). What's the difference between a medium format lens and a m43 one? I don't mean the physical differences, that's pretty clear to me, but in terms of the resulting image. Is it just lens quality? Is it that the different sensor size allows different (better?) compromises in the lens design, or maybe just in light capture on the sensor? Using a FF now, I still miss the vivid 3D portraits from my Hasselblad 120/4. I have the impression (clearly it's just an impression) that digital magic is able to mimic the contrast one was once only able to get only with great optics (Leica, Zeiss), but not that kind of creamy, smooth, three-dimensional transitions from in-focus to out-of focus you could (and, I guess, still can) get with larger formats. Is it the focal length, the sensor, our brain that thinks about the camera instead of the picture?

You are quite right. I even understand, though I do not appreciate it, the "use only jpeg".
O what an open mind I am.

I'm using an RRS ball head currently on my regular tripod and my monopod. But the monopod has hardly been out of the house in a decade -- high ISOs plus image stabilization have pretty much eliminated my use-cases for a monopod. The tripod a little more, mostly supporting a 2d focusing rail contraption for macro.

The quick-release is quick of course, but what is not quick is making adjustments to the tripod to change the camera position. Just bouncing on and off the tripod in the current position is quick, but that is not going to "promote greater care in composition", which is the part I was really objecting to.

Self-timer or cable release helps if you're not doing things requiring quick decisions and precise timing, sure. Cameras without shutters don't have shutter shock, but DSLRs still do, plus the mirror itself. I suppose you can use some of the modern ones in mirrorless mode, but I doubt anyone does much.

"The figures were the calculated DoF ranges for his zoom lenses at every focal length and aperture."

Does anyone actually test this stuff — not in a lab, in the real world, with the camera (film/sensor) and lenses you have?

Well . . . I do. When I can't see any loss of sharpness at apertures smaller than the math/rules say is the limit, I conclude that they aren't wrong in theory, but often are in practice.

Another, related one, optimal pinhole diameter by "focal length", i.e. distance from electronic/chemical sensor. Pinhole calculated for 16 mm (for —4/3) put on FF extension tubes to ~ 50 mm, take photos; they make the same pictures.

Again, there is undoubtedly a difference, just not visible, thus irrelevant.

Andrea asks "What's the difference between a medium format lens and a m43 one? I don't mean the physical differences, that's pretty clear to me, but in terms of the resulting image. Is it just lens quality? Is it that the different sensor size allows different (better?) compromises in the lens design, or maybe just in light capture on the sensor?"

I haven't shot MF in many ages, and didn't really know what I was doing then.

As to µ4/3, Oly claims that the large size, weight, price of their F1.2 Pro 28, 50 and 45 mm lenses are a result of focus on creamy bokeh and subject separation.

I agree with all the reviewers of the 25 and 45 mm lenses, I love them.
They certainly threw a lot at the goal,

25 mm =1 ED, 4 HR, 1 aspherical

45 mm = 3 HR, 2 ED, 1 E-HR, 1 HR, 1 Super-ED

Take a look at the reviews, esp. the example pix.

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