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[filmscanners] RE: shoot first, fix it later

filmscanners_owner@halftone.co.uk <> wrote:
> Subject: [filmscanners] Re: shoot first, fix it later
> I believe most architectural is still shot 4x5 - or 8x10
> 1) in part because until recently, film wasn't good enough to capture
> the details otherwise and so its 'how it always has been done'.
> 2) if you 'polaroid' the shot, its WYSIWYG
> 3) lenses have much greater coverage - a 90mm 4x5 lens is roughly
> equivilent to a 25mm lens for 35mm camera and a 60mm is a 15mm
> 4) larger film area gives you more latitude in lighting
> Its true that 4x5 scanners ain't cheap - but that's what service
> bueroes are for (damn I can't spell that word).

I was hoping to avoid getting involved in this discussion; but a few of your
comments have compelled me to add my two cents.  While I agree that a large
number of not most architectural and interior design photography is done
with 4x5 and/or 8x10 when they are intended to be high quality images for
use in high quality publications and advertising campaigns or PR campaigns,
there are a number of purposes for architectural photography that do not
require such high quality but merely documentation such as progress reports
or for annual reports to clients, shareholders, directors, or funding
sources in the case of grants from foundations or goverment agencies or
loans from venture capitalists.  In such cases medium format may suffice and
frequently even 35mm will do as long as one cancontrol perspective so the
building does not look distorted or like it is toppling over.

My main focus was on your points 1 and 2.  Regarding point 1, I believe it
is not so much the size of the film as much as the fact that rail based view
cameras tend to allow for greater perspective control in terms of tilts and
shifts, the Schumflage effect, and the like which are not available in fixed
body and lens cameras that make up most medium and small format cameras even
when used with tilt and shift lenses.  The 35mm and medium format tilt and
shift lenses are limited in both their abilities to tilt and shift as well
as in their focal lengths.

With respect to point 2, polariods give one a preview of what one may get;
but they do not provide any certainty that WYSIWYG obtains. They are good
for determining how highlights and shadows will fall, if the composition is
good and everything that needs to be shown can be see, if the distortions
are as planned if such distortions are intended or do not take place if they
are not wanted, if the lighting is even or has hot spots and deep shadows,
and if the general exposure is in the ballpark.  They are not good for
determining exact exposures since the film speeds of regular film differs
from that of polaroid film in most cases with a few notable exceptions where
they may be identical; nor ar they really good for determining color
renditions since the dyes used in polaroids are different from those used in
regular films so as to represent and present two somewhat different color

I am not really sure what you mean by point 4 so I will not comment on that
point, except to say that as I understand the notion of latitude in lighting
there really should be not differences due to film format.  If such a
difference does exist at all, it may be due to the fact that some films are
available only in large format and are not available for use with roll film
cameras and it is the characteristics of the film which will define the

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