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pentaxuser

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A “a large lined, soft empty jacket pocket with a flap” is probably a lot better than the often mentioned jeans pocket.

But still, there will be an unessary amount of polishing and movement in general.
And I don’t know about you, but I turn over my camera bag once in a while and vacuum it out. I don’t do that with my jacket pockets.

A jacket pocket will also super easily get hit by a door, accidentally fall off a chair, get turned over or cook in the sun.

There is the recently (like the last twenty to thirty years) prevalent, extremely vexing attitude of being happy to find something in super condition (even insisting), but not sparing a single seconds thought about how, after several decades, it arrived to you in that condition.
Or wanting to do anything, like changing your own behavior with consumer objects, to keep it in that state.
Even if they seem humble, and not cost much, objects like these are really not ours in the traditional sense and for us to Use (with a capital U).
They are non replaceable little gems. And should be treated as such.

Well there does seem to be quite a bit of qualification in the above that was not in your original quote. Isn't the correct definition of non replaceable little gems your children? Cameras come way down my list in comparison but like precious kids they are much tougher than we give them credit for

A few hours in a pocket in terms of wear and tear is neither here nor there IMO


pentaxuser
 

wiltw

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I may be veering off-topic here, but 'lack of perspective distortion' in medium format? How does that work? My understanding is that perspective is determined solely by viewpoint.

Sorry, I cannot defend that statement which was quoted (without edit) from the quoted article.

Perspective is entirely driven by camera position, and has nothing to do with format per se.
 
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wiltw

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It’s again about the definition of tonality.
From DMin to DMax, what is the shape of the curve and how does the image utilize it?
I can’t see how grain and detail has anything but at best incidental effect on that.

Yes, shooting same film emulsion, the grains only have a certain size correlation with density. OTOH, if there are 2x as many grains in each direction to portray the same amount of subject on film, you have 4x the total grains to capture the same area of the subject. So assuming you have 100 grains in each direction of subject with 135, you have 200 grains with a larger format to portray the same subject. And so you have better transitions in tonality seen with higher number of grains...that has been the accepted principle for decades, behind the logic of 'better transition of tonality' in medium format images.
 

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Well there does seem to be quite a bit of qualification in the above that was not in your original quote. Isn't the correct definition of non replaceable little gems your children? Cameras come way down my list in comparison but like precious kids they are much tougher than we give them credit for

A few hours in a pocket in terms of wear and tear is neither here nor there IMO


pentaxuser

Children? Really?
I’m sure it’s on Schopenhauers list from “The Art of Being Right” or on Grahams Hierarchy of Disagreement.

Anyhow, children heal. Cameras do not.

Damage is accumulative. Especially cosmetic. It builds up over time with rough treatment.

If it’s a few hours sure. But keeping the camera in the pocket at all times is not a good idea.
 

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Yes, shooting same film emulsion, the grains only have a certain size correlation with density. OTOH, if there are 2x as many grains in each direction to portray the same amount of subject on film, you have 4x the total grains to capture the same area of the subject. So assuming you have 100 grains in each direction of subject with 135, you have 200 grains with a larger format to portray the same subject. And so you have better transitions in tonality seen with higher number of grains...that has been the accepted principle for decades, behind the logic of 'better transition of tonality' in medium format images.

I feel like I’m eating crazy pills here.
That’s grain!
Quite a separate thing. The appearance of grain has very little to do with tonality.
Only in microcontrast territory do we begin to get any effect from grain on what one might call tonality.
Is that what you mean?
Macro tonality is exactly the same regardless of any known format.

As I wrote before, you can do the entire transition of the density curve in very few grains.
Theoretically in one or two, but in practice not quite.
 

Helge

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Sorry, I cannot defend that statement which was quoted (without edit) from the quoted article.

Perspective is entirely driven by camera position, and has nothing to do with format per se.

That the film plane is larger will have some impact for a given scene and distance.
With that small a difference in size of plane it’s going to be very small though.
The effect on the transition of the DoF will be much larger.
It’s is in effect a “giants eye”. Where 135 is quite close to the retina in size.
 

pentaxuser

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Children? Really?


Anyhow, children heal. Cameras do not.

Damage is accumulative. Especially cosmetic. It builds up over time with rough treatment.

If it’s a few hours sure. But keeping the camera in the pocket at all times is not a good idea.
Yes children really. Thank goodness children heal most of the time but many don't and camera can be repaired or replaced. I don't think children can

I don't think anyone was suggesting that keeping a camera in a pocket 24/7 was a good idea. Neither is a purse or wallet if you want to live😄

pentaxuser
 

Helge

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Yes children really. Thank goodness children heal most of the time but many don't and camera can be repaired or replaced. I don't think children can

I don't think anyone was suggesting that keeping a camera in a pocket 24/7 was a good idea. Neither is a purse or wallet if you want to live😄

pentaxuser

“Really” as in it being a variant of one of the oldest and most tired rhetorical “tricks”. Using a decoy, transferring focus and building strawmen. In itself a variant of ad hominem.
You might as well have brought world peace and nazis into it.
Children has really nothing to do with this.

And that was exactly the point: The camera can’t be replaced and often can’t be repaired.
Finish is the hardest part to reestablish. But someone who couldn’t be bothered to take good care of the cameras finish will not have cared about being careful with the mechanics and optics.

There is the trope of a “walk around” camera. That usually means it basically living in your pocket.
Folders aren’t meant for that. Most of these “walk around people” only discover that after they had the camera over a barrel for a few months.
 
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wiltw

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I feel like I’m eating crazy pills here.
That’s grain!
Quite a separate thing. The appearance of grain has very little to do with tonality.
Only in microcontrast territory do we begin to get any effect from grain on what one might call tonality.
Is that what you mean?
Macro tonality is exactly the same regardless of any known format.

As I wrote before, you can do the entire transition of the density curve in very few grains.
Theoretically in one or two, but in practice not quite.
I will not try to convince you.
I will merely attempt to enlighten other readers of this thread as to why larger formats have been stated to have better transitions in tonal representation of the same subject.

In macro, with 1:1 reproduction, all formats capture the same amount of subject with the identical amount of film area, so the grains depicting the same sq.mm of subject area does not differ. So it it quite logical what you stated, "Macro tonality is exactly the same regardless of any known format." In shooting a 20mm x 20mm subject at 1:1, the difference between formats is merely the amount of space captured around the central 20mm of subject.

But if, in normal (not macro) shooting, I capture 1 sq.mm. of subject on 0.01 sqmm of area with the 135 frame, and if I shoot with medium format I have about 0.4 sqmm of area with 120 film, and about 0.16 sqmm of 4x5 sheet film, any progressive transition from less dense to more dense subject (across the 1sqmm of subject) has far more film area and grains to portray any tonal transition.
To portray that concept, let us assume that at
  1. Position 1 on the subject, there are 1 units of density on the subject
  2. Position 2 on the subject, there are 2 units of density on the subject
  3. Position 3 on the subject, there are 3 units of density on the subject
  4. Position 4 on the subject, there are 4 units of density on the subject
  5. Position 5 on the subject, there are 5 units of density on the subject
  6. Position 6 on the subject, there are 6 units of density on the subject
  7. Position 7 on the subject, there are 7 units of density on the subject
  8. Position 8 on the subject, there are 8 units of density on the subject
  9. Position 9 on the subject, there are 9 units of density on the subject
  10. Position 10 on the subject, there are 10 units of density on the subject
  11. Position 11 on the subject, there are 11 units of density on the subject
  12. Position 12 on the subject, there are 12 units of density on the subject

Now let us assume that at the chosen shooting distance and FL chosen, the full 12 positions on the subject
  • span 0.1 mm of emulsion on 135, and
  • spans 0.2mm of emulsion on 120 format, and
  • spans 0.4mm of emulsion on 4x5 sheetfilm
Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that
  • the emulsion on the film for 135 only captures the density at locations 1, 4, 8, 12 due to the emulsion limitations within a very short amount of distance on film, so 5 tones across the range of 12 subject values
  • With medium format, the same emulsion could capture density at locations 1,2,4,6,8,10, 12.
  • With 4x5 sheetfilm, the same emusion could capture density at locations 1 - 12, or all 12 tones across the range of 12 subject values
That is the fundamental concept behind the rationale offered over the decades about tonal transitions being smoother and more continuous with larger formats than with small formats.
 
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Fangzhou

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In darkroom printing, I have done a 16x20 b&w printing from 645 photo. The image is superb.
 

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I will not try to convince you.
I will merely attempt to enlighten other readers of this thread as to why larger formats have been stated to have better transitions in tonal representation of the same subject.

In macro, with 1:1 reproduction, all formats capture the same amount of subject with the identical amount of film area, so the grains depicting the same sq.mm of subject area does not differ. So it it quite logical what you stated, "Macro tonality is exactly the same regardless of any known format." In shooting a 20mm x 20mm subject at 1:1, the difference between formats is merely the amount of space captured around the central 20mm of subject.

But if, in normal (not macro) shooting, I capture 1 sq.mm. of subject on 0.01 sqmm of area with the 135 frame, and if I shoot with medium format I have about 0.4 sqmm of area with 120 film, and about 0.16 sqmm of 4x5 sheet film, any progressive transition from less dense to more dense subject (across the 1sqmm of subject) has far more film area and grains to portray any tonal transition.
To portray that concept, let us assume that at
  1. Position 1 on the subject, there are 1 units of density on the subject
  2. Position 2 on the subject, there are 2 units of density on the subject
  3. Position 3 on the subject, there are 3 units of density on the subject
  4. Position 4 on the subject, there are 4 units of density on the subject
  5. Position 5 on the subject, there are 5 units of density on the subject
  6. Position 6 on the subject, there are 6 units of density on the subject
  7. Position 7 on the subject, there are 7 units of density on the subject
  8. Position 8 on the subject, there are 8 units of density on the subject
  9. Position 9 on the subject, there are 9 units of density on the subject
  10. Position 10 on the subject, there are 10 units of density on the subject
  11. Position 11 on the subject, there are 11 units of density on the subject
  12. Position 12 on the subject, there are 12 units of density on the subject

Now let us assume that at the chosen shooting distance and FL chosen, the full 12 positions on the subject
  • span 0.1 mm of emulsion on 135, and
  • spans 0.2mm of emulsion on 120 format, and
  • spans 0.4mm of emulsion on 4x5 sheetfilm
Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that
  • the emulsion on the film for 135 only captures the density at locations 1, 4, 8, 12 due to the emulsion limitations within a very short amount of distance on film, so 5 tones across the range of 12 subject values
  • With medium format, the same emulsion could capture density at locations 1,2,4,6,8,10, 12.
  • With 4x5 sheetfilm, the same emusion could capture density at locations 1 - 12, or all 12 tones across the range of 12 subject values
That is the fundamental concept behind the rationale offered over the decades about tonal transitions being smoother and more continuous with larger formats than with small formats.

So Tri-X has worse tonality than CMS-20 II in any format? Because it has more grain?
 

wiltw

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So Tri-X has worse tonality than CMS-20 II in any format? Because it has more grain?

The amount of grains was merely stated in the context of a single emulsion, and the area of film used to record the subject. There was zero correlation inferred about cross emulsion type.
 

Roger Cole

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This is angels dancing on pins.

I have, and use, cameras in at least five different formats: 35mm, 645, 6x6, 6x7, and 4x5. My experience over what has surely been tens of thousands of frames on 35mm since the 1970s, and thousands on MF since the 90s, and certainly several hundred on 4x5, is that in terms of how they look to me and my satisfaction with the look of the image, the impression I get - which is what matters, whatever measuring or counting dancing angels might reveal - is that the bigger the negative, the better the final print looks, all other things being equal. By all other things I mean, for example, print size, NOT magnification, and they often, of course, WON'T be equal. I can shoot images with my 35mm that would be difficult with MF and impossible with 4x5. If I had to choose just one I'd use my Mamiya 645 Pro system because it's almost as fast handling as the 35mm and, if I bought the 80 f/1.9 anyway, as good in low light, or nearly (I do have a 50/1.4 for my Pentax system) as the 35mm, and if I put it on a tripod and shoot it like my 4x5 the results are going to look, well, better than 35 but not as good as 4x5 of course, but noticeably better than 4x5.

Technical quibbling at some point just becomes, well, quibbling. If you like the look of the results better from a bigger negative, and the vast majority of us do, and the bigger camera and the lenses and accessories that go with it fit your shooting (much less uniformity there of course, even for the same photographer which is why so many of us shoot multiple formats) the rest doesn't matter.

A larger negative produces prints that look better than those from a smaller negative, at a given print size. Whether that's because of "tonality" or magical pixie dust scattered by larger cameras when we close the backs doesn't really matter.
 

snusmumriken

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I feel like I’m eating crazy pills here.
That’s grain!
Quite a separate thing. The appearance of grain has very little to do with tonality.
Only in microcontrast territory do we begin to get any effect from grain on what one might call tonality.
Is that what you mean?
Macro tonality is exactly the same regardless of any known format.

As I wrote before, you can do the entire transition of the density curve in very few grains.
Theoretically in one or two, but in practice not quite.
Helge, I think I understand what you are arguing in theory about tonality (shape of the tonal curve). But within a single format, a fine-grained film like Pan F or Delta 100 has (or appears to have) much smoother tonal gradations than a faster, coarser-grained film, given a print of the same size. Which has smoother tonal gradations: a pointillist painting by Seurat, or a Vermeer?

Portrait photographer Jane Bown famously switched in 1964 from a Rolleiflex to an OM-1. In a book, I would find it difficult to tell which camera took which photo without the dates to guide me - perhaps because she cropped in the darkroom, perhaps because her technique in the early years was less refined, perhaps because the printed book is not the best showcase. I would have been cock-a-hoop to have taken any one of her OM-1 portraits. But she herself wrote nostalgically about the smooth tonal qualities of the Rolleiflex shots.
 

Roger Cole

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Helge, I think I understand what you are arguing in theory about tonality (shape of the tonal curve). But within a single format, a fine-grained film like Pan F or Delta 100 has (or appears to have) much smoother tonal gradations than a faster, coarser-grained film, given a print of the same size. Which has smoother tonal gradations: a pointillist painting by Seurat, or a Vermeer?

Portrait photographer Jane Bown famously switched in 1964 from a Rolleiflex to an OM-1. In a book, I would find it difficult to tell which camera took which photo without the dates to guide me - perhaps because she cropped in the darkroom, perhaps because her technique in the early years was less refined, perhaps because the printed book is not the best showcase. I would have been cock-a-hoop to have taken any one of her OM-1 portraits. But she herself wrote nostalgically about the smooth tonal qualities of the Rolleiflex shots.

The OM-1 wasn't introduced until 1972. Must have been some other 35mm camera.
 

snusmumriken

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The OM-1 wasn't introduced until 1972. Must have been some other 35mm camera.

OK, what she actually wrote was “In 1964 I changed to the SLR and was instantly at ease because it allowed me to work quickly and unobtrusively. I use an Olympus OM-1, ….”
So your interpretation is entirely consistent. Thanks for your insight.
 

Helge

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This is angels dancing on pins.

I have, and use, cameras in at least five different formats: 35mm, 645, 6x6, 6x7, and 4x5. My experience over what has surely been tens of thousands of frames on 35mm since the 1970s, and thousands on MF since the 90s, and certainly several hundred on 4x5, is that in terms of how they look to me and my satisfaction with the look of the image, the impression I get - which is what matters, whatever measuring or counting dancing angels might reveal - is that the bigger the negative, the better the final print looks, all other things being equal. By all other things I mean, for example, print size, NOT magnification, and they often, of course, WON'T be equal. I can shoot images with my 35mm that would be difficult with MF and impossible with 4x5. If I had to choose just one I'd use my Mamiya 645 Pro system because it's almost as fast handling as the 35mm and, if I bought the 80 f/1.9 anyway, as good in low light, or nearly (I do have a 50/1.4 for my Pentax system) as the 35mm, and if I put it on a tripod and shoot it like my 4x5 the results are going to look, well, better than 35 but not as good as 4x5 of course, but noticeably better than 4x5.

Technical quibbling at some point just becomes, well, quibbling. If you like the look of the results better from a bigger negative, and the vast majority of us do, and the bigger camera and the lenses and accessories that go with it fit your shooting (much less uniformity there of course, even for the same photographer which is why so many of us shoot multiple formats) the rest doesn't matter.

A larger negative produces prints that look better than those from a smaller negative, at a given print size. Whether that's because of "tonality" or magical pixie dust scattered by larger cameras when we close the backs doesn't really matter.

It’s not, and I don’t see how anyone seriously interested in film, or precision of language and defining words could say that.

And BTW the angels dancing on a pins head is most probably a “modern” fabrication. There is only one or two incidental mentions of in literature from time of the great scholastic philosophers.

Perhaps this is grounded in the, many a time debunked but still popular, myth that film grain is binary.
Very small grain, like in micro/tech film, can exhibit a behavior that looks binary, but is really not.
It’s merely a type of hysteresis that all photographic systems have to some degree.

The smoothness of the transition is not to a great degree disturbed by grain.
Grain is only the structure of the substrate showing up, like tape noise, as an overlay or background noise (not in the sampling sense of noise). And like tape noise it’s not the signifier or arbiter of the limits of the medium.

The transition of the curve is not punctuated by the grain until you get far to the right in the MTF curve.

Often fast film has greater potential for great tonality, because of the greater range. But slower film has a good result/the one most people want, kind of baked in. If you hit Delta 100 or TMX right on the nose you get a superb transitions because of the long straight.
TMY and D400 having an even longer straight, has to be compressed and worked a bit in the DR or after scanning to get the same result.

Super fine grain film is harder contrast, but if that is the look you want, which it often is to most people, then that is fine too with careful exposure.

Bad tonality is riding one the edges of the films range. Or is trying to force the film with development to do things it’s not capable of, like do too much flattening of a steep mid curve.
That involves posterization like effects which can result in a grainy look, but has little to do with the grain in well exposed film.
 
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flavio81

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I feel like I’m eating crazy pills here.
No, you're not! You're sane!! "Magnum", "Blue steel".. They're all the SAME look!!
 

Roger Cole

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It’s not, and I don’t see how anyone seriously interested in film, or precision of language and defining words could say that.

And BTW the angels dancing on a pins head is most probably a “modern” fabrication. There is only one or two incidental mentions of in literature from time of the great scholastic philosophers.

I stopped reading at that point. It makes utterly no difference at all if the angels on a pin thing is modern, ancient, or I just invented it. To quibble about that proves you just don't get it.

Goodbye.
 

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I stopped reading at that point. It makes utterly no difference at all if the angels on a pin thing is modern, ancient, or I just invented it. To quibble about that proves you just don't get it.

Goodbye.

No you don’t get it.
The very idea of the pin dancing angels discussion is wrong and so is your “analogy”.

And that goes in general for these sweeping, shallow statements and put downs like that.
They are more often than not born out of a reductionistic, relativist world view.

There are several points WRT format that are worth discussing again from a new viewpoint or with new knowledge.
One man’s quibble is another man’s discussion and conversation.

If you don’t like it, don’t participate. Simple as that.
Now let’s see if you can keep it.
 
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snusmumriken

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According to Wikipedia, uncertainty among scholars about the physical size of angels has existed at least since the 13th century, and presumably hasn’t been resolved yet. Uncertainty among photographers about the effect of film format on tonality/tonal gradation is obviously a much younger debate.
 

Helge

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According to Wikipedia, uncertainty among scholars about the physical size of angels has existed at least since the 13th century, and presumably hasn’t been resolved yet. Uncertainty among photographers about the effect of film format on tonality/tonal gradation is obviously a much younger debate.

We are not able to measure or even look at angels, nor have we ever been (they don’t exist).
But film we have a pretty good idea of.
So yeah, the two are not related at all.
 

pentaxuser

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According to Wikipedia, uncertainty among scholars about the physical size of angels has existed at least since the 13th century, and presumably hasn’t been resolved yet. Uncertainty among photographers about the effect of film format on tonality/tonal gradation is obviously a much younger debate.

I wonder if scholars ever discussed whether children can be ranked higher on the list of "things of worth" than cameras. I had the temerity to suggest that in the grand scheme of things children were probably more irreplaceable than folder cameras when discussing Helge's somewhat alarming statement about the consequences of carrying one in a pocket

I just thought that in terms of "things irreplaceable" children must be higher in the list but it may be that such notions arise as that and using phrases such as "in the grand scheme of things" indicates a kind of brainwashing from a party or parties unknown but who probably controlled my education.

I fear that I may be too far gone to ever be "re-educated" 😧

pentaxuser
 
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Whoa everyone just take a few breaths.

Any mods around that can lock this thread? I feel like it's veered pretty far off course
 
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