hand held and its effects on resolution on large negs

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pellicle, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. pellicle

    pellicle Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi

    I was thinking that when considering higher resolution lenses on cameras (like Fuji GW 690) that the 67 or so lp/mm that they are able to resolve must take a bit of a hit with the combination of lower contrast lighting and hand holding. Even if (on a sunny day) you can use 125th f16 (with 160 iso negative) I'd guess that it might drop down to 40 or so.

    Co-incidentally this figure is not far from what some folding cameras (like my Bessa RF with a skopar lens are likely to resolve).

    So perhaps in the real world there isn't much difference between a Fuji GS690 and a folder other than the weight and ability to accurately and predictably focus the subject at the focal plane at f8 while the folder is more or less a f16 of f22 kind of camera :smile:

    just wondering about my choice in my backpack ;-)
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

    Messages:
    966
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Holland and
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Not nescesarely: the optimum aperture for each lens is diferent, check the lens charts
    As a general rule you can say that is format dependant: f:8 for my Olympus E, f:11 for my SL66 and RB and f:22 for my Sinar 4x5 inch lenses.
    What aperture you use without a tripod is a choice between optimum sharpness of your lens, the depht of field you want and the shutterspeed required to obtain a sharp picture without camera movement showing.

    Hopefully this helps a bit.
    Peter
     
  3. OP
    OP
    pellicle

    pellicle Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hey Peter

    sure ... I guess I should have expressed more clearly in my muse that I was meaning 6x7 ~ 6x9. I'm thinking that my Bessa cameras aren't so bad as one may think. There isn't much directly comparable here, but assuming its close to the Vaskar its about what I think it is. I haven't got any lens testing charts to play with (or I'd have done that on the Bessas already)

    I began thinking about this when a friend sent me some negatives taken with his Mamiya 7 and I didn't think they were much sharper than those taken with my RF (a 6x9).

    My RF seems to vignet at anything less than f8 so I usually try for f16 where possible.

    Basically for a 'landscape' portable I wonder if I'd really do much better with anything else? I've already done a side by side with my Fujinon 90mm LF lens and found its slightly sharper than that is.
     
  4. archphoto

    archphoto Member

    Messages:
    966
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Holland and
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Why don't you put your 6x9 RF on a tripod and take a test on a fine-grain (low ISO/ASA) film at f:8, f:11, f:16 and so on and see what your lens does ? Use a 10x magnifier or scan to see the diferences.
    Use a high detail subject.
    I would not worry about a couple of lines diference that can only be seen on a test chart.
    The correctness of your focussing is more important, check that with the lens wide open on the same film.

    Most modern lenses are pretty close to each other in performance.

    Peter
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,453
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The potential negative (& resulting print) definition (sharpness) is related to the resolution of the lens at its various apertures & the capabilities of a film, but the actual sharpness is affected by the choice of aperture and shutter speed as well.

    It's wrong to to think of camera shake reducing tas he lens resolution, because that shake will reduce the definition (sharpness) of the image regardless of the resolving power of the lens and in a different way. An image made at a high shutter sped with a poor resolution lens could look far better than a similar image made with a top quality lens at it's optimum aperture but with mild camera shake.

    Comparing old lens designs with new raises other issues because even lenses of the same basic design have been improved since the 40's & 50's, so a modern Xenar (Tessar design) will be better than an older one. I have tested 1919, 1931, and early 50's Tessar's against a last production Xenar and the modern Xenar is better at all apertures. Then compare any 4 element Tessar design against a modern 6 element lens of similar focal length. I tested against a Symmar & a Sironar and the modern lenses are far superior across a wider range of apertures, even against the modern Xenar which was the closest of the Tessar design lenses.

    Skopar's have a good reputation, but would it perform anywhere nearly as well as a modern Fuji 6 element lens across the whole of its aperture range. That would really depend on the size of print you want to make. I found with a hand held Crown Graphic and 135mm Tessar (1931) that 125th gave sharp results but the Tessar's edge sharpness isn't adequate until f16 and is best at f22. On a roll film camera the optimum apertures are more like f11 - f16.

    Ian
     
  6. JohnBrew

    JohnBrew Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Folly Beach,
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    I'm pretty comfortable hand-holding down to 1/60 sec. with my 69. I can hand-hold my Leica fairly well at 1/15th. Anything slower than those speeds and it's tripod time.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    pellicle

    pellicle Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi




    sure ... agree totally

    well to me that makes the comparison different but not wrong.

    exactly ...

    sure, but I often use a restricted range of apertures on the Fuji too (f16 f22 mainly) since I also use a roll back in the 4x5 I don't think its such an odd comparison to pitt them against each other.

    this is from a scan with an epson 3200 (green channel only)

    [​IMG]

    the Skopa on my RF is top and the bottom is the Fuji 90f8. Both were on a reasonable tripod.

    I am presently comfortable that my folder gives me better images (albeit in a far more restricted way) than my 10D does. So I take both (and leave the 4x5 at home) when I'm on a trip that precludes taking heaps of gear.

    I was skiing around Lapland last "spring" (can be nice skiing, but man I hate it when the snow just falls away like that) I wanted to keep things light (you don't want to fall face first when skiing with a lot in your pack!) so I took just the digital and the Bessa I (which I also have). I got images with that which just walked all over the 10D

    [​IMG]
     
  8. archphoto

    archphoto Member

    Messages:
    966
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Holland and
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Nothing wrong with the Skopa ! Looks good, I take this were enlarged parts of the neg.

    6x7 - 6x9 beating D ? Anytime, with both eye's shut and hands down !

    Peter
     
  9. OP
    OP
    pellicle

    pellicle Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi

    whoops ... yes ... overview

    [​IMG]

    its that middle tree in the sunlight patch on the left bank there ...
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    7,142
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Basin and Range Province
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Resolution and sharpness are two different things. If I have a camera system, emulsion, and work flow that will deliver a certain resolution and I take a shaky hand held picture with it, I'm still getting whatever resolution the camera is delivering. It boils down to other procedures that take advantage of showing a systems best resolution, like tripods, MLU, etc. In most cases apparent sharpness is not limited by resolution, but by some other factor, like camera movement, sharpness of enlargement, etc.

    In my opinion what is being discussed here is sort of a chicken and the egg scenario. Whichever comes first is the one you choose.
     
  11. amuderick

    amuderick Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If you are hand holding, then vibration/movement will reduce sharpness. However, the bigger the film, the less enlargement you need for a print. Also, the bigger the film, the less the movement matters (the shake distance relative to the final print size). I have found that I can handhold 4x5 well beyond what I could do with 35mm. I'm sure the heft of the Speed Graphic helps but there is also some geometry at play.

    If I shake the camera and it moves 0.1mm then there will be blur on the film. But in 35mm with an 8x enlargement, that is now a 0.8mm blur. In 4x5, that is only a 0.2mm blur on the final print....much more acceptable.
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,255
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Of course, shooting handheld doesn't reduce the lens resolution in any way, it just makes less use of it. We all know that you get the most critical detail on a tripod, etc. It's abundantly clear that shooting from a tripod is the best option, if critical detail is the concern.

    But... motion blur doesn't degrade the tonality of the image, and there are plenty of motion blurred photos that are very effective.

    The idea of getting as much detail as possible and blowing it up huge and showing off all that detail is, IMHO, teetering on the verge of cliche. Seems to me that the trend in photography (and I am including digi in this very broadbrush assessment) is to go big, bigger, biggest. As if the value of the photograph is now determined by how large you can print it. X beats Y for bigger prints, etc. etc.

    Sure, all of us, when transitioning into larger formats, first get excited about the detail under loupe. But I think that ultimately the tonality is the thing- the lower frequency information. Detail appeals to the brain, but tonality appeals to the soul, that is my current thinking :wink:
     
  13. OP
    OP
    pellicle

    pellicle Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Keith

    exactly ... in fact I would argue that an exceptionally small amount of random motion (like x and y together and in the order of 1/10th of a mm worth of subject movement at the negative) would be rather hard to differentiate from simply a poor lens or indeed focus error (especially without some hi-light to show you the movement).


    well I've got one of those cliche's hanging in my stair case. Looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    except its 1.2 meters high

    nice :smile: ... but I've not found any lacking in tonality even from large prints made from a 20D ... I feel that it more on how you handle enlargement. Having said that I don't like anything enlarged that much, and find that the tonality in my contact prints from my 4x5 can't be matched by anything from an enlarger.


    I asked about this as a sort of a personal muse brought on by comparing negatives from a (supposedly super sharp) Mamiya 7 and my humble Bessa I with a Vaskar lens. I'm well aware (being an engineer) of the dissection of various forms of image degradation. While it may be fruitful for determining how to improve a system I'm considering a different angle here:

    getting overly anal about the 'spec' of one's system​

    when shooting hand held anyway. As amuderick pointed out:

    and its that lack of enlargement which makes up for many errors in the system and perhaps why I like my 6x9 camera
     
  14. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    With the use of a modern camera for handheld use, I would expect better performance from the use of the highest shutter speed that allows me to take the type of photo that I want even if I am a ways from using optimum aperture. Having no mirror or focal plane shutter but rather a very low vibration leaf shutter will be helpful in allowing very good performance at a relatively low shutter speed such as 1/500th of a second with a static subject and a handheld camera where the amount of magnification is fairly low.
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,255
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep, and we won't want to have this discussion here, but if you know what you are doing, it is possible to get good tonal smoothness from a small neg or lowish resolution scan or digital file.

    But here is the really important thing, I allege. Enalrgements from smaller negs, lower res scanned images and digital files will always be more prone to posterization across regions of a scene with similar tone values. This is particularly true of infrared, a genre that I like very much in film but utterly despise in digital, frankly.
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,555
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Should i .. should i not ... should i ?
    Ah well ... once more into the breach!

    When handholding, moving mirrors, or focal plane shutters, should be the very least of your worries.
    The shake they may contribute really is orders of magnitude smaller than what your hands are doing.
    So take that worry of your mind. It will help you enjoy photography more.
    :wink:
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,555
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    But never as good as from a larger neg, or higher resolution scan or digital file.
    Tonality is not just a matter of dynamic range, but also of resolution.

    For doubters (if there are any), a simple, rethorical question may make that clear: how many different shades of a gradient going from blown out highlight to the deepest black will you be able to capture when you have 3 pixels spanning that gradient, and how many when you have 30 pixels at your disposal to span that same gradient?
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,453
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As a ***** is either on or of, 2 in the first question & not many in the other.

    Can you explain "rethorical" ??? is it the American spelling ? of Rhetorical . . . . . . . :D

    Ian
     
  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,255
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ian, a digital sensor most certainly does not capture only ones and zeros. The issue that you and I and most film advocates have with digital is not with the sensor itself, but rather with the analogue to digital conversion :wink: Therein lies the posterization.

    Anyway, I think/hope that Q.G.'s point was that resolution and bit depth are both important, and I agree.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,453
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You're right I wasn't thinking straight I was thinking of Bytes :D I don't think to hard about Digital if I can help it :smile:

    Ian
     
  21. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,555
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It was.

    It's not just the conversion that is important, but also the 'sampling'. More 'real estate' (whether film or sensors), more samples, more 'tonality'.
    Both the tones 'spatial resolution' as it's 'dynamic resolution' are important, in real life, the spatial thing (format size) more than the dynamic thingy.



    Oh, and Ian,
    That's juts how my spleling somteimes comes out.
    It's stronger than me, so i try not to fight it too much.
     
  22. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    OG, Why do you think I referenced 1/500th of a second? Perhaps because of hand movement? Why do you think I specified low magnification in the print?

    Are you of the opinion that my post was about other than relatively large formats?

    Zeiss and others state that it is extremely difficult to surpass 30lpm with a hand held camera. I am willing to believe what they have to say.

    So a 6x9 negative with 30lpm is capable of producing a good 8x10...in my opinion. At 40lpm a 6x9 negative would be capable of making a very good 8x10 print. Of course, a 5x7 Technica at 30lpm would be capable of being enlarged to a truly excellent 8x10 relative to sharpness and gradation.

    However, it makes a great deal of sense to carry as much tripod as possible.

    I am a believer in saying that a tripod should always be used except when the photo would be better without using it. And...make it as much tripod as possible.
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,555
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't. And i don't.
    Because i don't even care. :wink: It is not the point.

    So am i. And so do i.

    Doesn't change things though:

    is still not right. It isn't helpful at all.

    It will be when you put the camera on a tripod.

    Thinking about mirrors and focal plane shutter makes no sense when you are thinking about handholding.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2009
  24. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I would agree that the primary creation of 'blur' ,if you will, is caused by the act of hand holding the camera. I would also agree that vibration caused by the movement of a mirror and a focal plane shutter vs a leaf shutter is of a substantial lesser importance. I would also agree that in many cases the clarity difference caused by a lesser lens vs a more capable optic can also be of much lesser importance than the loss caused by handholding.

    I do not consider the difference to be nothing...nor do I claim that anyone during this topic has said otherwise. There are many ways to enjoy photography.:D You can quote me as saying "Mother said so" should you so wish. I will put into my mind that which I choose and practice things to my own level of incompetence.:tongue:
     
  25. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Does some of this topic sound as if it comes from one schooled at a fine California University in both English and physics...perhaps one who has no middle name?