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Archive 2012 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife
  
 
hardlyboring
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Was not going to post these here but I figured why not...!
Just received a couple new lenses for my 4x5 graflex super D and another super to go along with my other ones.
Quick backyard test with each of the new lenses. No crit necessary just thought people might be interested in the setup.

First shot is with a Dallmeyer Pentac 200mm f2.9
The lens is massive. So massive I cannot turn the aperture ring when the lens is mounted. You shoot wide open or you switch lenses. I will eventually mod my Graflex so I can turn the ring but it is no big deal as I have other similar lenses.
The lens is an old military surveillance lens from WW2 or thereabouts. Not the sharpest wide open, but will essentially make any background go away.

4x5 Graflex HP5+ 400asa stand developed an hour.






Second shot is with a Schneider Xenar 21cm F3.5
The lens is not as massive as the Pentac but it is heavier. The Germans do not screw around when it comes to these things. It is amazing.
Both lenses have 20 aperture blades I do believe.
The Schneider will be sharper I have a feeling.

4x5 Graflex HP5+ 400asa stand developed an hour.






Doug



Feb 22, 2012 at 03:31 AM
mshi
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


WOW!


Feb 22, 2012 at 03:42 AM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Dooood. I love that first shot. Big time.

I wanna see the camera and lens though, too. It sounds uber cool.

--David



Feb 22, 2012 at 08:20 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


David
I will put up a few shots later today of the camera and lens setups.



Feb 22, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Pfiltz
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Kewl.

I haven't shot any HP5 yet, but it's on my list....

I'm actually going to shoot some MF film later today while shooting some beauty.



Feb 22, 2012 at 01:04 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


I shoot mainly HP5+ because I like Ilford tones a little better. I can easily get HP5+ and TMax at my local store so I dont normally feel the need to order stuff.
Plus HP5+ at 400asa is about as fast as you can go on 4x5 film. Maybe someone makes a 800asa...
I WISH I could get some 1600 asa 4x5 stuff. It would really help me out with hand holdable shutter speeds.

It was cloudy when I shot these and I was at like 1/50th of a second for both. Pretty hard to do....at least for me!



Feb 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


This has nothing to do with you as the shooter, Doug, but I'm really intrigued by the enthusiasm for these shots -- which, to me, are limited by the camera/lens/film, and have nothing to do with the shooter/exposure/composition -- which are really good.

But I look at this and I think: Man, this is grainy. There are all sorts of dust specks, and the DOF of the first shot, due to the camera/lens, is so thin, it just doesn't work for me. The sharpness isn't the sharpness I would expect from today's cameras/lenses.

I am old school, I was brought up on developing film, but I just never would want to go back. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but for me this is purely nostalgia. Granted, art (like beauty) is in the eye of the beholder. Just my thoughts, not a critique of the shots.

Ron



Feb 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Pfiltz
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


hardlyboring wrote:
I can easily get HP5+ and TMax at my local store


LUCKY

I shot some TRI-X, and wasn't wild about it. Just not used to the grain. Of course, I was just cutting my teeth on developing too, which didn't help. I do like TMax though.

I know someone in Cali who is into all kind of film. I'll ask about 4x5 higher iso film availability, and will PM you if he has any leads.





Feb 22, 2012 at 01:47 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


friscoron wrote:
But I look at this and I think: Man, this is grainy.

Me too. If this is full frame 4x5, I wouldn't expect it to look so grainy, even HP5. From past experience, I found HP5 pretty fussy about development, especially the developer. I did a cursory search to see if Agfa film is available in 4x5. I just loved Agfa film in Rodinal. It provided lots of control in dynamic range.

Tell us about your development technique.



Feb 22, 2012 at 02:13 PM
charlesk
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


I'm going to have to be contrarian here as well. The posing, model, expression and lighting are great. But the technicals? Color me unimpressed.

I dunno. If the photographer had posted these exact same shots and said they were made with a consumer-grade Canon DSLR, would they be getting the same positive reactions from people? This seems to me like one of those cases where it is not the wine being judged by the label on the bottle.

The real point is the images, not what hardware you use to make them. And these images seem to me soft, grainy and lacking in tonality.



Feb 22, 2012 at 02:34 PM
 



Miker Reid
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


friscoron wrote:
But I look at this and I think: Man, this is grainy. There are all sorts of dust specks, and the DOF of the first shot, due to the camera/lens, is so thin, it just doesn't work for me. The sharpness isn't the sharpness I would expect from today's cameras/lenses.

Ron


Isn't if funny...all the things Ron points at as negatives are positives for me.
Love the look of these....and the entire process sounds like a lot of work, and fun.




Feb 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Ok so first my developing technique:
Expose normally.
Stand develop in rodinal at like 1:80 or so. I found 1:100 to be a little less developer than I needed. I have been upping my developer lately...
1 hour to 1.5 hour time on the develop.
Fix, permawash, rinse, etc. as normal.
Scan using V700.

First off these are test shots done with new lenses and a new camera. I shot them nearly wide open as well which I knew would be tough. For people that shoot a 4x5 field or monorail camera the results are NOT the same from the Graflex. The Graflex lenses... even the best ones are NOT great. They are hazy, they flare badly, they even give different tones throughout the negative. I have one lens that even vingettes a little blue around the edge....
The film is grainy because it is 400asa. If I was shooting 100asa in controlled light a la Evan Baines last post of his wife my results would be different.
His shot was stunning and technically perfect. The camera, lens, and film all had a part in that. F9 on a 4x5 is FAR different than f2.9.
The lenses I am using are not necessarily opimized for ultimate resolution. BUT they do give a look that you cannot find anywhere else.

I realize that any crappy dslr or iPhone with instagram app can give results like this....but then again they cannot.
I have a 4x5 negative and can print that. Try making a fiber print from your iPhone instagram shot. Not going to happen.

I enjoy the pace, the feel, and the way of thinking that goes along with shooting 4x5. I choose the Graflex for a reason. My workflow is also in its infancy. I have been shooting 4x5 for about a year now. I have a LONG way to go before I am going to call things "perfected". I incorporate the 4x5 stuff into my normal wedding work because it adds a classic dimension to our "brand" that we feel strongly about.
Yes I am a wedding photographer...but this 4x5 work is MY "artform". It is me. Simple as that. I would rather shoot with my 4x5 whenever I can. I enjoy the process and the "look" I get from these exotic lenses.

I am ready to use these lenses in with my normal 4x5 stuff I use for weddings... not yet. It needs more testing. I am also going to be testing out different films (agfa) to see what kind of results I get. The reason I shoot HP5+ is because, like I said, it is easy for me to get, cheap, and is 400asa.
When you are hand holding a giant camera with a curtain shutter all the extra speed you can get helps.

Thanks for the comments everyone! More to come from these lenses! I realize this is not everyones cup of tea..... I do appreciate everyones viewpoints both positive and negative!




Feb 22, 2012 at 04:30 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Hey Doug,

First of all very nice shots and beautiful wife. I like the first better, it looks more like a real moment (and I know "moments" are hard to do with 4x5).

Two issues pop up. As others mentioned, and as far as I know, it really should not be this grainy. HP5 on medium format is already remarkably smooth and 4x5 is quite a bit larger. It may be the scanning, or maybe it's underexposed (or overexposed), or the development is off (or on if you like the graininess )

Also there is quite a bit blown out and that should definitely not be. How are you scanning these?

And the dog shot is spectacular!

And as you know I totally "get" why you shoot 4x5. kudos!



Feb 23, 2012 at 05:28 AM
tonyfield
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Nice shots of a lovely lady. Very soft.

For a 4x5 set, these are overly soft and overly grainy in spite of the fact that you used Rodinal (certainly not a fine grain developer). From 4x5 on 400 ASA, the images should be crisp and clean and allow smooth blowup to at least 20x24. I would not expect this image character even from a crop of a 6x6 cm frame of HP4.

The images have the characteristic of a very overdeveloped film.



Feb 23, 2012 at 06:49 AM
Scott2012
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Love both of them! They're able to be compared with professional photographer's work.


Feb 23, 2012 at 06:56 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


I totally get what everyone is saying about the grain, the softness, etc.

I am still trying to work out a perfect developing setup. I need to experiment with different developers and also will be using some different film as well.

These are 4x5 shots BUT they are not your traditional field, or monorail camera setups.

FIrst off the Graflex Super D is tricky to use. I get uneven exposures all the time because of the curtain shutter... It is spring loaded so it is not always "true" I might think I am shooting at 1/100 sec but in reality I may be closer to 1/60 of a second....
That matters A LOT!

Second pretty much all semi affordable lenses are notoriously soft. Real soft. Even stopped way down they are soft.
The new Schneider Xenar I got is probably going to be the sharpest lens I have and I paid close to 500$ for it.
The overexposure is most likely from the fact that did have to add a little brightness in LR. When I developed these they came about about 1.5 stops underexposed. I scanned them in and pushed them 2 stops.
That added grain.
Then in LR I pushed them another 1.5 stops...more grain.
Then I sharpened ... more grain.

So ya lots of grain. Do I mind the grain. No not really film grain is fine and this amount is just enough to give the shot some texture.

Yesterday I did some more test shots and then added more developer to see how it would do.. I found that there is a limit to what you can do with "pushing" the HP5+. It is durable but two of my shots were blown slightly in the highlights.
Still a work in progress.

When I had my monorail setup and did portraits I got smooth tones, fine grain, and ultra sharp shots. Same film, same developing.
Example:





When I shoot my RB67 with the same film and same developing my results are again much different.
Example:






Leads me to believe it is just the nature of the camera and lens I am using. ALso the fact that when shooting at F2.9 on 4x5 things are going to get weird.

I find that as long as I can predict the weirdness I can get some fine shots. I will keep the tests coming. This week I have a family shoot that I will be doing some more testing during. Light will be different so we will see how that goes.

Despite my constant adjusting etc. I have yet to find a setup that lets me shoot large format quickly and gives the "look" I want.
Here is another one of my dog. is it soft...yes... but the background is gone and you get that yummy bokeh feeling. I cannot really complain even if my developing etc. is not perfect yet.








Feb 23, 2012 at 01:19 PM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


I'm sorta like Miker. A lot of the stuff that others dislike such as the grain and softness is what I like about these. Not that I dislike a perfectly focused, exposed digital photo, but there's just something about these kinda 'messy' -for lack of a better description - pictures that I love.

It's also cool to hear the amount of effort you are putting into these, Doug. All the different experiments with cameras, lenses, films, developing processes, etc. It sounds like a heck of a lotta fun. Although, it also sounds a bit expensive and time consuming. I'm still threatening to shoot a little film, but it will just be 35mm and I'll have to have somebody else develop it for me.

--David



Feb 23, 2012 at 04:30 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


neighbourboy wrote:
It's also cool to hear the amount of effort you are putting into these, Doug. All the different experiments with cameras, lenses, films, developing processes, etc. It sounds like a heck of a lotta fun. Although, it also sounds a bit expensive and time consuming. I'm still threatening to shoot a little film, but it will just be 35mm and I'll have to have somebody else develop it for me.

--David

Time consuming yes... expensive....not all that bad I guess.
The cameras are kind of expensive but the rest is not bad.
Film is like 25 bucks for 25 sheets and developing stuff is reletively cheap...especially if you use less and stand develop.
It is tons of fun. I love it.



Feb 23, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Geo31
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


The softness doesn't bother me so much, although that's not so much what you'd expect from 4x5. The graininess is a shock from 4x5.

This discussion is rather interesting. I think it's somewhat akin to the musical discussions of digital vs analog. As with music, digital photography offers a huge leap forward, yet... There are qualities to analog that just cannot be reproduced in the digital world. As with music, I won't ever go back to analog (and I'm VERY old school). But also as with music, I can appreciate the qualities that analog has that cannot be recreated digitally.



Feb 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM
zalmyb
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Random 4x5 shots of my wife


Hey Doug, sorry to beat a dead horse... I'm still trying to figure this out. At 2.9 and 400 iso, 1/100 shouldn't be underexposed on an outdoor shot during the day. Not at all, that's 7 stops under "sunny f/16" so even in the shade at the towards the end of the day...

Is there a way of testing the actual effective aperture of the lens? From the little I've read, it seems that many of the older lens get dimmer with age. So dof remains 2.9 but the light transmission can be more than a whole stop darker. Just thinking...

And I love the other shots you posted (though I've seen them already).



Feb 24, 2012 at 04:36 PM
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