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Re: filmscanners: what defines this quality?

John B. wrote:

>I am now on a 4x5 and starting to think, hm, 8x10 would be nice.

<LOL> I'm glad to see (by the  subject line) that I wasn't the one who 
*started* this thread, but it's gratifying to see that several threads are 
coming 'round to the same point of view, i.e. that "quality" is often in the 
eye of the beholder, but quantifiable detail is increased with the format. 
Tony calls them "rail cameras," I think of them as "view cameras," but we're 
talking about the same thing--the big Calumets etc. that do such beautiful 
work and were the "standard" for magazine covers, "full-spreads" and art 
photography as little as 30 years ago.

I think I know what Dan is talking about in regards to image sharpness, 
clarity, etc., although I ordinarily "sense" it rather than "see" it. Is 
this achievable in prints, using digital technology?  No, not *today* it 
isn't, but the gap narrows every day. What's more likely to happen, is a 
jump in technology, maybe a digital screen that fits into a thin frame on 
the wall and changes the picture with the click of a button. It isn't here 
yet, but it will be. Will it be as clear and/or luminous as a projected 
slide? Possibly. The standards have been set, but not met.

IMHO what is more important is the content, "What" is being said rather than 
"How" it's being said. This isn't always ironclad--architectural and 
landscape photography rely a lot on the "How." For my part, I knew early-on 
I wasn't going to be a great photographer, so when I got a good picture I'd 
translate it into a painting, where I could handle the "How" with better 
control to give the "What" what it needed. Does that make sense?

A scanner is a tool, like a camera is a tool, as a brush is a tool. Some 
tools are undoubtably better than others to do certain tasks. But the 
parable that really tells all about it is "The Man Who Won Fishing 
Tournaments."  When asked what bait he used to catch so many prize-winning 
bass, the old man answered with a smile, "A pickle." The reporter could not 
believe this answer, so he accompanied The Champ on a fishing excursion. The 
Champ, true to his word, rigged up a pickle on his line and cast it about 35 
yards, then retrieved it. 40 feet from the boat, a humongous bass took the 
pickle-bait, and it turned out to be another tournament winner. When people 
asked the reporter about it, he just said, "Hell, the way that fella worked 
that pickle, he could have put ANYTHING on that hook and caught a fish!"

Andreas Feininger said some of his best pictures were taken with a cardboard 
box camera. It's not so much what you use, IMHO, it's the way that you use 
it. From there on, it's how you refine what you do.

Best regards--LRA


>From: Johnny Deadman <john@pinkheadedbug.com>
>Reply-To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
>To: Filmscanners <Filmscanners@halftone.co.uk>
>Subject: Re: filmscanners: what defines this quality?
>Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 17:42:58 -0400
>on 6/19/01 5:30 PM, rafeb at rafeb@channel1.com wrote:
> > Bottom line is, there's only so far you can go (in terms
> > of enlargement) with 35 mm film.  Sure, you can blow it
> > up to almost any size you want, but the same image on
> > a larger slide/negative will always yield a better print.
> >
> > Which is why I'm now screwing around with 645 cameras,
> > and the associated bulk and $$$ involved in all that.
>warning: this is a long and slippery slope!
>I am now on a 4x5 and starting to think, hm, 8x10 would be nice.
>John Brownlow

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