Any shutterbugs in the house?

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  1. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    Yeah, my shutterbuggery began when I was the Editor of my high school yearbook, supervised the excellent old tyme professional photographer who did the formal work, and did most of the candid photography myself. Control of depth of field was a key element in many of my (almost) great shots.

  2. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    Still got my German Praktika with:
    f2.8 135
    and a generic swivel-head flash.
    Also a 1950's cheap TLR 'Ensign' f5.6/60 - lens, takes very atmospheric shots, very good with B/W crap with colour.

    Digital is Fuji S5700 & S9500 Bridge cameras plus the cameras on my WFS and XperiaU. As with Film I always try to get it right in camera and avoid post-processing if possible.
  3. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Sounds mysterious! I can't wait.

    That's the part I can't understand: Kodak was way ahead of the curve with digital imaging technology of all types. No photographic company was better prepared for the digital age than Kodak!

    I have it on good authority that Kodak and Fairchild provided most if not all the sensors for US photo reconnaissance projects. I'd have thought that some "black" money would get thrown at an ailing Eastman Kodak company just to keep the labs that made and repaired these secret devices going. I don't think that equipment can go to the liquidators either.

    Then again pretty much the same thing happened when Polaroid went belly up. I remember reading that museums and other fine art businesses that were using large format cameras with special Polaroid film were left high and dry when the supply of film suddenly dried up. You might know more about that story than I ever did.

    All I know is that digital has served me well for utility purposes, but I couldn't imagine going to a movie and seeing a screen filled with perfect square pixels. I'm a film noir fan, and its the grain that adds so much to the experience.
  4. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    One of the very best archetectural photographers I ever knew was an old woman. An archetect. She did amazing work. Work good enough to grace the covers of any interior design or archetecture publication.

    She was old like me so stop thinking you are too old to learn how to take a great picture; grab your camera and go for it.
  5. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    I am not sure where or when Kodak went wrong. I could see the decline of Kodak beginning and then, things changing for the better throughout my history.

    I do remember when mini-labs arrived in bulk. People that did not want to pay Kodaks higher costs flocked to mini-labs to get cheap processing, faster. Even though in some cases, Kodak offered a fast turnaround suited to the needs of the customer.

    Kodachrome dropped on Monday morning was picked up the same day, taken to Palo Alto and processed. Slides were returned on Tuesday, usually, almost always. We still had customers wanting Ektachrome because it could be processed locally. Then the customer typically picked up the film a week later.

    I remember when Kodak announced they would release Kodachtrome in 120. WOW, was I happy. The best color film ever made in larger sizes like the old days when Kodak sold Kodachrome sheet film in huge sizes as well as offering Kodachrome prints. These were prints on poly materials coated with Kodachrome emulsions. Very good in many cases due to the nature of Kodachrome.

    I took the loss of Coloramas to be a sign Kodak did not care no more 'bout nuttin 'cept profits. Or perhaps it was a budget thing with GC Station.

    I also remember Kodak's brief introduction of black and white printing services. Their quality sucked, but I took it as a sign that Kodak was once again serious about silver photography. Then it went away. Unique processes and materials arrived and then they were gone.

    The Cibachrome Process was the first process I used extensivly that was not Kodak. Amazing quality and only a few steps required. Then Kodak released a color process that was also fast. They made making color prints fall off the log easy. Then it went away. Then they dropped Dye Transfer completely which meant the absolute best possibe process for making color prints was gone forever. Not a good or great process, but the absolute best.

    I remember when Kodak decided to release Kodachrome 25 and 64 in obsolete sizes for long dead cameras. That would not happen today. It would be like Microsoft deciding to upgrade and offer support for Windows 3.1, even though people stopped using Windows 3.1 a very long time ago.

    I remember the first Kodak digital efforts. They were terrible. Seems that helped kill digital at that time. Not sure when or how digital imaging started. Not sure what the first product was that put digital on the map. I did enjoy my Sony camera that recorded images on floppy disks. Made things easier.

    I do remember their "new" ordering system. This was before the web was with us. They provided us with a cool touch tone phone to order products.

    You punched out the little holes in plastic credit card sized cards. The holes corresponded to product SKUs. Then, you pushed a card into the phone and pressed a button. The card would be mechanically read as it slowly moved through the reader.

    The first card you used was punched with EK's phone number. After a few signal tones, you started inserting the cards to order whatever you needed.

    Long and involved system that usually failed at some point. It was easier to do it the old way.

    Polaroid did have a large format camera. I never had much info about the process or the equipment. I do know we photographed the release meeting for the SX-70 here in Utah. We used our Kodak Master View Camera (we almost always used that camera for 8 x 10 large format. The images had to be tack sharp which is why we did the work rather than Polaroid.

    Kodak did indeed do government work. Quite likely, secret work. Here is something many people do not know: Kodak produced hundreds of lenses in its history. Many Kodak optics like the Ektars, were amazing optics. Better than anything the Japs could produce. Their optics were simply amazing.

    But back to secrets. I worked with a man that was a trainer that ran the Air Force Vectograph School in Colorado. He was seriously warned to avoid at all costs the secret device kept under wraps in the storage room or where ever it was kept, I forget.

    He found out later, it was the Norden (Nordan?) Bomb Sight being fitted with something or another in the Denver Vectograph Training Facility.

    I knew Polaroid was on the way out when they sold their polarizer division to 3M. The very thing that made them that they are/were was sold. I was actually devastated when they stopped selling their line of copy cameras.

    But I ramble.
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  6. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I worked for Fairchild for a few years and have done some pretty spooky black work other places, but not at Fairchild. Kodak corporate never responded to my requests so I went straight to individual Kodak employees to get what I needed.
  7. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    Let me tell you about old cameras. There are many cameras available on eBay or elsewhere that are capable of creating images that are vastly superior to anything produced with a top of the line Nikon or Cannon.

    In fact, if you look at an older Hasselblad Superwide, the fixed lens is a theoretically perfect lens. This means (according to Carl and the gang at Zeiss) a more perfect optic is not possible. Mind you, the SW had a fixed lens; that is, not interchangeable and designed for one camera. I tend to believe Carl, by the way.

    No matter how costly or good the modern cameras are, there are better cameras out there waiting to be bought, adjusted, cleaned, loved and put to work.

    I have a 6 x 9 Voightlander Bessa. The best Bessa ever made and probably the finest 6 x 9 folder available. It creates large negatives that are tack sharp. No pro would be caught dead using one because my theory is many pros do not consider that there were some amazing cameras made eons ago that can flat out do the job.

    And secondly, it is not digital. Here in Utah, the labs leave lots to be desired when it comes to processing and printing seldom seen formats. This is why I still develop my negatives in a small Kodak Apron tank in the bathroom.

    Barring scratches, I know my negs are as perfect as possible and processed to my specs. I never feel comfortable handing unprocessed film to a lab I do not trust.

    Great negatives printed by a crappy printer usually yield crappy prints but they create great prints in the lab of an expert. OTOH, bad negatives are hard to print even by those wth darkroom skills. You can alwaus reprint, but it can be hard to salvage bad negs.

    I use Minox 35s, a Leica CL and I have shot "professional" assignments with a Kodak Retina. All cheap cameras these days but superior in many ways.

    Consider the lack of a super fast shutter. I use to shoot auto races for a local sports writer named Dick Rosetta. I never needed a fast shutter. I know how to pan, so 250th was plenty fast. I can shoot kids on swings at a 125th or slower.

    Fast shutter speeds mean you need wider apertures which mean a loss of depth of field. another tech talk perhaps. Lets just say it can be important in some cases.

    BTW . . . there is nothing wrong with a Pratika. Not one darn thing.
  8. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    My absolute favorite portrait photographer is this guy:

    Yousuf Karsh / Photographer

    He was absolutely the best. His portraits tell you everything you need to know about the subject without knowing the subject. He had quite a bit to say about Depth of Field as well. As do I.

    My three favorite Karsh images:


    Yousuf Karsh / Photographer

    and Winston

    Yousuf Karsh / Photographer

    You know how serious a man Churchill just from his portrait.

    And Jacqueline Kennedy:

    Yousuf Karsh / Photographer

    I love the shadow and highlight details in these representitive examples of this amazing man's work.

    Look at the lovely Jacqueline Kennedy . . . her dress is filled with detail even in the highlights and the deep shadows contain detail as well. The skin tones are wonderful and the entire image is flawless.

    If you ever get a chance to see his work in person, go for it. The web does not do the actual prints any favors. Several books are available detailing his work and they are worth buying.

    Not even that snapshooter Adams can touch Karsh. OK, Ansel is not half bad; his books are worth a look, too.
  9. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    Yousuf Karsh - I am awestruck
  10. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    New toy. Or perhaps I should say another tool for the toolbox.


    Attached Files:

  11. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Well it looks like Fairchild was the spooky contractor of the CCD cameras that provided real time images on SR-71 missions circa 1972.

    The really interesting thing is that the US kept using photographic film in its spy satellites into the '90s. The Corona project, which ended in 1972, used airplanes to snag film magazines for processing on the ground. For the next 20 years the film was processed on the satellite, scanned and sent to earth electronically. There was even a plan for a manned spy satellite with image intelligence officers living in space for months on end.
  12. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    Well, there are limits to what I can say because I am a former employee of Fairchild. Yes Fairchild made CCD cameras but I wasn't in that group, and "I know nothing" (wink, wink)

    "I know nothing" :p
  13. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Pay TV's Business Engine? :confused:

    Hey, all I know is what a retired spook told me when I was 11, and what I read in books.

    I'm just a TV guy. All I do is TV stuff here at Forsythe Associates. The rest is pure speculation.
  14. tube517

    tube517 Well-Known Member Contributor

    I like taking pics w/my phone or tablet, if necessary. I have a bunch of camera/photo apps on my phone and tablet
  15. Tallmike00

    Tallmike00 Active Member

    Hello ajdroidx and dreadnatty, The reason I address you two is because you both have a Canon G series. I have no shame in referring to myself as a dabbler or novice. I mostly take snap shots and use them for refreshing memories. As an avid walleye fisherman, I take lots of photos of folks holding fish who have been out with me. Since 2008 I have been using a Canon A720is and it has take some pretty nice pictures, not just fishing but my son's college graduation and his wedding. I take lots of pictures and then just glean the better 5%.

    I just got my G12 on Cyber Monday, when the price dropped from $369 down to $299 at B&H Camera in Brooklyn. I have been considering it for a couple years now. The urge to get it escalated because I have a weeklong fishing trip to the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska last part of July of 2013. I wanted a camera which can do justice to the Alaskan scenery. Where I work, the company bought a G series for some of my work cohorts. One has a G11 and another just got a G12 this past summer. The photo quality is amazing and I credit that to the optics.

    I would like to be able to have more telephoto capability. It also puzzles me that a Canon camera which is current (don't know the model) with more pixels and a 30X zoom capability is close in price. I think there are trade-offs. No more optical viewfinder on this one. I wonder if the optics are as good on this one with the longer distance lens than the lens of the G12. Oh, there is a G15 out but I chose the G12 because on the G15 the lcd screen no longer pivots. I like being able to have the screen toward the camera when in storage for protection, so don't know why Canon did this.

    On Dec. 1st I visited the Ford museum and went on a photo spree and most of the photos came out really nice. Only mistake I made was taking pictures of the model trainset with moving trains in auto rather than switching to a mode to capture the movement without blurs.

    Anyway... I'd be very interested in your own reports in regard to taking photos with your G10 or G12.

    Thanks ahead of time! tallmike00
  16. Doit2it

    Doit2it Well-Known Member Contributor

    Canon T2i
    50mm f/1.8
    55 250mm f/4-5.6
    18 55mm f/3.5-5.6

    Intervalometer - Some of my night sky and scenery photography and timelapse taken with the T2i
  17. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    It amazes me how the teeny tiny lenses on cell phones can take as good photos as they do. But they can't do real quality work. The tiny fixed lens on a cell phone offers nowhere near the image quality or versatility of good interchangible lenses or even of a decent zoom lens.

    I spent big bucks for fast lenses and long lenses and closeup lenses for my Nikons and Minoltas, It's very rewarding to see the quality results that those lenses can produce.

    I spent a few bucks for zoom lenses that are handy for a wide variety of decent informal memorabilia shots at family gatherings, sports events, etc.

    Yes, my cell phone snapped that spectacular panorama on that hike in the mountains. But PhotoShop can't enhance that image into the work of art it could have been had I had a Nikon with me.
  18. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    I made a couple 13x19" prints from images shot with the g12. They looked fantastic.

    If zoom is your main thing, a DSLR may be your better bet, even though they will not fit in your pocket. Most pocket cams only have so much room to work with. And more zoom means the lens gets dark fast which means less light hitting the sensor, longer exposure times, more chance of motion blur, higher iso = noisier images etc. Most pocket cameras have a small sensor. The Sony I picked up yesterday has probably the largest (is 1") sensor in the smallest body available. It also packs in a massive 20mp, which, is not what sold me, the fast lens (f/1.8 and larger sensor did).

    For just mulling around, the g12 should be fine. But if not enough reach, depending how much you need, a pocket camera may not be the best choice. I am sure there are cameras with longer reach, but what is the maximum (smallest f/stop) at max zoom?

    How much zoom do you need?
  19. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    Nobody has mentioned lens filters!
  20. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    Wanna see my 4x6 filter collection? :D

    Lee 4x6 hard and soft grad set.
    3stop reverse GND 4x6

    which are kind of ironic since I usually bracket my exposures anyway and I decided while I was doing this, might as well do HDR shots.

    Also B+W circular polarizer.

    I also ran across this: NEW MagFilter CPL (Circular Polarizer) Filter by Carry Speed | Carry Speed Store

    Probably not the best glass, but seems like a neat (and usable) idea.
  21. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    It wasn't a good photo and wasn't usable for the yearbook, but one of my all-time favorite shots I took at a high school baseball game of a foul tip baseball a split second before it hit my Minolta square in the lens. What are the chances of snapping a shot like that? The batter completing his swing was the background of the photo and the out of focus baseball filled most of the frame.
  22. Dieben

    Dieben Well-Known Member

    A few years ago my sister took a photo similar to this of me in my orange Mustang leading the field several laps ahead and passing everyone in sight on the road course at Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix. She lined up for a another shot but was very concerned when I didn't come around on the next lap. I had gone into turn 11 going WAY too fast, spun 2−1/4 times around on the asphalt, and went off the track backwards.

    As required by school rules following a spin I returned to the pits. On pit road my instructor just handed me a "Creative Driving Award" and sent me back out to pass the entire field *again* :p

    Attached Files:

  23. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    Dye Transfers . . .

    The DT (or Wash-Off Relief process in the early days) is an exacting process with zero room for errors or sloppy work.

    For the uninitiated, a DT print is a created using a largely black and white process. Yourr color image is color seperated and individual negatives are created for each color channel.

    Each negative is then contact printed to individual sheets of matrix film.

    After processing the matrices, they are individually dyed in cyan, magenta and yellow dyes and then, each matrix is transferred in perfect register to a sheet of specially treated paper.

    If you watch your moderncolor printer work, you might notice that the final color image is built up through sucessive spraying of cyan, yellow and magenta dyes.

    If the worker is skilled, the result is glorious. Bad printers do produce bad prints, that is for sure. And most certainly, exhausted chemicals are bad. I never let that happen because exhausted chemicals lead to unrecoverable problems.

    By the way, the famous Technicolor (IB) motion pictures was a dye transfer process. Technicolor cameras were huge cameras. They would create three black and white negatives. They were noisy and they required large amounts of light. You will often see pictures of the cameras and some of the bulk came from blimps to keep the noise levels down.

    Hundreds and hundreds of Technicolor films were printed and shown to millions when Technicolor ruled. The wife of the inventor of the process handled the majority of the color timing and she was brilliant as was the inventor of Technicolor.

    Too bad both processes are effectivly dead.

    By the way, one of the world's finest DT printers is still going strong. He compounds his own dyes, paper mordants and he actually makes his own matrix film. His film is actually superior to Kodaks; or at least every bit as good.

    He built a custom ultra-high resolution film scanner.

    Too bad Kodak stopped making DT materials. When they announced they would stop offering materials, many printers stocked up.
  24. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    So what do you need to know?

    Filters. Well, there are/were thousands of different filters. Kodak once made vast numbers of gelatin filters. Specialty filters, color filters, contrast filters and the like.

    Lots of filter manufactures at one time. For example Ednalite. Tiffen still makes filters, but their catalog lacks many of the best filters.

    I use series size filters because I can use them on different cameras and all I need is an adapter and step-up/step-down rings.

    Some filters are costly and some are cheap and some are poorly made and some are well made. For example, I favor old school Kodak rings and adapters. They were machined from stainless steel rather than aluminum.

    If you shoot color, you need different filters than you require for contrast control in black and white.
  25. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    To be fair, let's look at the PS generation Vs. The Old Farts. I am an old fart that believes PS is fine if you are a good photographer to begin with and you are capable of creating a great image.

    You know, if we had to drive across the state to photograph a new building, we usually took one or perhaps two film holders. We often bracketed if we thought there might be a problem.

    If we were photographing a group, we often used banquet cameras and in some cases, the Kodak Circuit Cameras. Very costly to shoot five or ten 8 inch rolls of film. For the most part, we used 8 x 10 because 4 x 5 was too small.

    We also knew lab accidents occasionally happen. But we did not excessively bracket because we had skills. This idea of just shooting all over the place and then being able to fix it in PS later is the mark of a crappy photographer.

    In my day, we sometimes processed by inspection. That means desensitizing the film with some toxic chemicals so you can process it visually in the darkroom under the safelight.

    When I printed large negatives, I used a Morse Contact Printer. I could switch individual lights on or off. If I needed more control, I would use paper negatives or tissue paper. Tissue was widely used back in the day and basically, you placed a tissue between the lights and glass and using a lead pencil, you darkened parts of the tissue to control light.

    We processed some negatives using water bath development. We did this when we knew there was a potential problem. We could process for the highlights or the shadows. Normal development was not ideal and water baths let shadow detains form.

    You can photograph a large, brightly lit light against a sheet of newspaper and if dome properly, you end up with a negative that shows the individual filaments as well as the newspaper text, and you do not need to dodge and burn.

    We also dodged and burned using fingers, paddles, whatever we needed to control paper exposure. We used developers like Selectol Soft to create softer images. We used toners and we hand colored prints.

    We did many of the things PS users do. Not much difference except this: we were skilled behind the camera and in the darkroom. I am not saying I was ever a brilliant photographer, but I was a brilliant printer and I know how to properly expose a negative.

    We OFs and PS'ers are often doing the same things but we love to argue with each other. Clearly, the past has much to offer the new working pro who know nothing. that said, no digital photographer really need to know what Dektol is or when you need to use a Wratten 98.

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