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[filmscanners] Re: film and scanning vs digital photography

On Jul 7, 2007, at 7:51 PM, David J. Littleboy wrote:

> The M7 doesn't get close (without going to heroic efforts),
> polarizers are a
> pain, it doesn't really do portraits. It's a two-trick pony (43 and 65
> (three if you like 80mm))

Actually, my preferences are 65mm and 150mm. The 43mm and 50mm are
pricey and you have to use an external finder. Same with the 210mm.
All the range-coupled lenses work pretty nicely, though, IMO.

> , but the 43 is expensive enough that it never
> showed up here (oops: for 1/2 the money I could have had the
> GSW690III with
> full 6x9, but the lack of interchangeable lenses put me off).

Yeah, me too. Hard to commit to one focal length. Unless you're Ozu.
Heh...I always thought 'Ozu's 50' would be a cool name for a band.
Seems nice, though. Never used one.

> And I'm not
> convinced the M7 is any better on the shutter speed than the M645.
> If I need
> 1/60 or slower with either of them, the tripod gets used. People
> insist
> rangefinders work handheld, but that's a lot of film and a lot of
> lens to
> waste.

I almost never hand-hold medium format. It's a sexy idea and all. I
love seeing the guys in movies dancing around with a Hasselblad while
some rock star pouts for them, but when I'm going to be shooting big
film I usually make time to shoot from a tripod. If I'm going to
shoot hand-held I'll almost always grab a 35mm. The main reasons I
like the 7 are that it's pretty small and light. I can keep it in my
case and not feel like I'm dragging around a lot of extra stuff just
on the off-chance I'll want to shoot 6x7. And Mamiya optics are
really nice. I've got a Beseler 67 with negatrans carriers for both
35mm and 6x7, but I'm really starting to warm up to the idea of
scanning at very high resolutions and sending out the files when I
need large prints.

I've scanned about 400 slides and negatives on this V700 over the
past few weeks. At first I was limiting my 35mm scans to 4800 dpi. I
wasn't really seeing much difference between 4800 and 6400, so I
wasn't bothering to go any higher. I think I was mainly looking at
negatives, though. A few days ago I scanned some crappy old
Ektachrome at 6400 just to see what it looked like and I was really
surprised at how close 6400 dpi seemed to come to capturing the
grain. I should have been doing my early comparisons with slide film.
I don't know why I didn't have my head screwed on right. I'm in San
Diego in a couple of weeks and I think I'm going to make a trip up to
L.A. and rent some time on an Aztek or an Imacon while I'm in SoCal.
I really wonder if 8000 dpi will do the trick. 8000 dpi and autofocus
just might be the right stuff.

> HEADS UP! The GX-680 III doesn't have movements; you need the
> GX-680 IIIS.

You got that one backwards. The S is the "lightweight" version sans


Over five pounds with no lens or magazine isn't what I consider a
light camera, but I guess it's lighter than a Vespa.

> I was looking at old TLRs on the lowest shelf of a glass case on
> the dusty
> second floor of a used camera shop here in Tokyo, and when I stood
> up and
> turned around, there was a Fuji GX-680 on the top shelf of the case
> behind
> me ready to pounce. I practically had a heart attack; that guy's
> enormous.

Yeah, they're really immense. A few years ago I was at the East Bay
Camera Show in Hayward and a guy had one on his table. I don't
remember if it was a I, II or III, but I'd wanted to check one out
for years. I'd imagined it with a central chassis the size of a
500ELM body and then discovered that the chassis was more like a car
battery. A year or so later the same guy had it down at the San Jose
camera show. No takers, I guess. I checked it out again and again it
left me walking away shaking my head. I've really been leaning
towards getting a view camera the last couple of years. It's
something I'd wanted to do for ages, but for some reason I never got
around to it. Work and life and stuff, I guess. Anyway, that Fuji
kind of popped into my head a few times lately. It wouldn't be hard
to shoot 120 and digital with the same rig that way. Tethered to a
laptop in a hooded Portabrace monitor pack it would be possible to
maintain a pretty useful degree of control.

I was always a fan of guys like Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko who
worked at in very large scale. Standing right up in front of their
paintings is kind of like standing in front of a big picture window
looking out on some alien landscape. I've really wanted to do some
experiments at a very large scale, but I think it's something I'm
just now starting to be ready to pursue. Heh...both financially and
artistically. ;-)

BTW, what do you do with a 48" x 96" print if you decide you don't
really like it, after all? Heh...


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