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Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 01:55
Noctilux. M6ttl. TLR. Am I alone in finding it odd that some people seem to classify their pics according to what they were taken with, rather than by subject?

If I'm doing a review, obviously I use the kit under review. But if I'm not, I use either my favourite lenses or what's on the camera at the time: I take much the same sort of pics with a 35 Summilux, 50 Sonnar or 75 Summicron (my three favourites).

Also, by the time a pic has been scanned and post-processed (or shot digitally and post-processed) then reduced to 600x900 pixels (a screen-filling image), what can it tell me about the camera or lens? Let alone a 400x600 vertical shot?

After a few weeks, I can sometimes tell or remember which lens I used for a given shot, but often I can't. Sometimes I can't even tell if I used a 35 or a 50, and I certainly can't tell an M2 from an M4-P from an MP, or even any of those from a Voigtländer (except sometimes with fast lenses close up) or Zeiss Ikon.

What do others think about this?

Cheers,

R.

sebastel
05-03-2008, 02:03
maybe ...
telling what equipment was used is all that is worth while telling about those pictures?

just a weird idea, of course.

cmogi10
05-03-2008, 02:04
I think all my pictures in the gallery are titled by the subjects name. Only the earliest photographs I uploaded have gear information.

I rarely remember what lens I used much less the aperture,
I only know when It's the 75 lux because it's my only coded lens.

Krosya
05-03-2008, 02:17
Once again, Roger, It's just YOUR opinion that pics can't be judged based on web image. Me, for example, - If I like a particular photo online, I do want to know what equipment was used as it gives me an idea how some things work together. Helped me make some lens descisions in a past many times. So for me - web pictures can tell a lot about lens performance. And so far - everything I could see from online photo - did perform in a same way once I got to use the same lens in real life. It's just you have to find a good source of info. Why a camera info you say? - well, the whole thing about Konica/Leica incompatibility for example. If I see a pic that was shot with MP and Hexanon, and it is sharp - I can see that they work well together. Or if something backfocuses, etc.
Now, some info about the shot, as far as what's on the pics is helpful too, - so subject info is a good thing to have.

sebastel
05-03-2008, 02:35
speaking for myself only:
i do not doubt the usefulness of testing. i do some testing to see what my equipment is capable of, and i appreciate the availability of reference pictures in the net. though, those are of limited use only, as it is not clear whether my own results will look similar - my own workflow may yield different results even in a similar situation.

but beyond that point, i no longer care.

mfunnell
05-03-2008, 02:40
When I save a digital or scanned photo I name it by subject. But if I post it online I usually identify the equipment used (plus film and whatever I can remember about exposure settings) mostly to save the bother if someone asks. And I've found people often do ask (though not so much on RFF, I'd guess), even if the info is right there in the EXIF for a digital shot. Its a defensive habit that's become, well, a habit.

...Mike

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 02:47
Once again, Roger, It's just YOUR opinion that pics can't be judged based on web image. Me, for example, - If I like a particular photo online, I do want to know what equipment was used as it gives me an idea how some things work together.
Sure: a good picture looks better on the web than a bad picture, and you can get some idea of the overall 'look' of an image. And the question 'how did he do that?' sometimes has a technical answer.

But it's not really a matter of opinion whether you can tell more about sharpness and contrast from a transparency or from a web image. If it were otherwise, why would anyone make cameras that were more than one megapixel? This isn't opinion: it's simple physics.

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 02:57
When I save a digital or scanned photo I name it by subject. But if I post it online I usually identify the equipment used (plus film and whatever I can remember about exposure settings) mostly to save the bother if someone asks. ...Mike
Dear Mike,

Indeed, identifying the kit can sometimes be useful, but I know that a lot of the stuff that appears in print is a flat lie, made up to please people who expect that sort of thing. I even knew one photographer who attributed all his best 6x7 shots to one manufacturer (who gave him kit) and the so-so shots to another (whose kit he had to buy).

Most professional photographers I know don't really give a toss whether it was shot on a Hasselblad or a Rollei as long as it's a good picture. Indeed, that was the first example I saw of made-up data, over 25 years ago. You could see from the trannie it was Hasselblad (frame edges, not image quality) and when I queried it, the photographer said, "Was it? Who cares? Change it, if you like..."

I write a 'best guess' to accompany many shots, often qualified with 'as far as I remember' or something similar; but it doesn't signify a whole hell of a lot, even when it's accurate, which it usually is (fairly) because I can often remember what I was using.

As for remembering exposure data, I'm most unlikely to do that. The same is true of just about every professional I've ever met, unless there was some special reason to remember.

Cheers,

R.

Keith
05-03-2008, 02:58
I think it's a familiarity thing a lot of the time. I can tell you what cameras quite a few of the more active memebers here own and I'm sure a lot of them know what I own. Sometimes I look at a pic and think ... "Oh, he used the Hexar for this pic. My god ... he's still got that Canon f1.2 50mm!" etc etc.

It's no big deal ... if someone wants to let me know what camera and lens combo he used for the shot and how he processed his film even ... that's fine with me! :)

Krosya
05-03-2008, 04:43
Sure: a good picture looks better on the web than a bad picture, and you can get some idea of the overall 'look' of an image. And the question 'how did he do that?' sometimes has a technical answer.

But it's not really a matter of opinion whether you can tell more about sharpness and contrast from a transparency or from a web image. If it were otherwise, why would anyone make cameras that were more than one megapixel? This isn't opinion: it's simple physics.

Cheers,

Roger

Ok, I'll bite - so how exactly, if I'm trying to decide to buy or not to buy a Noctilux, I'm supposed to judge this $5000 lens? Based on what you say - I have to buy it, shoot some transparency film with it and only then I'd know what it can do.
Or I could try looking at some pics online - as I do it.
Hmmm....
Moving on. Ok, I agree, that in a "laboratory" enviroment Slide would tell more about a lens than a web picture. However, what about the real world? How many people, including even ones that use Noctilux and such lenses, actually have a good use for that slide? 1%?
In today's world everything IS digital. Physics or not, most people use digital web pics and do just fine. Most people even with high megapixel cameras, like m8 or EOS 5D, dont ever print pictures - all goes online.
Is it the way to get the most out ur lens/camera? Maybe not, but it's where things are now. Plus, I thought (and I may be wrong) that you are an M8 user, right? But if you are - do you think it's a good enough camera to produce a file that sharpness and contrast of the lens can be judged on, or do you still have to use a slide film for that?

Krosya
05-03-2008, 05:29
I guess it's intended use that influences a lot of this, but I don't think you can tell a lot from photos posted on the web. I have photos that look great posted on the web, but are a bear to print. And I have photos that print beautifully that don't look good on the web.

The short version is that I'm not sure the web is useful for evaluating equipment unless the only place you are going to present your photos is on the web. YMMV

All I can say here - your workflow is flowed somewhere. My images are very consistant - they either look/print well, or they dont.

mfunnell
05-03-2008, 05:40
Dear Mike,

Indeed, identifying the kit can sometimes be useful, but I know that a lot of the stuff that appears in print is a flat lie, made up to please people who expect that sort of thing. I even knew one photographer who attributed all his best 6x7 shots to one manufacturer (who gave him kit) and the so-so shots to another (whose kit he had to buy).

That's nasty - but inapplicable in my circumstance: I imagine my "influence" is roughly less-than-zero. However, if any manufacturers are out there, I will state "I cannot be bought (but have most attractive rates of hire :D )"

As for remembering exposure data, I'm most unlikely to do that. The same is true of just about every professional I've ever met, unless there was some special reason to remember.Well, I imagine most professionals shoot a lot more frames than I do! And what I said was "what I can remember" which usually isn't a lot. I generally have a rough idea of the aperture (within a stop or so) but seldom remember shutter speeds. Even when shooting manually. But that rough idea is usually driven by what vague memories I might retain of what I was trying to achieve at the time. Which is possible if (as is the case) I get through a roll a week and, perhaps, four rolls on a "good" weekend.

...Mike

tripod
05-03-2008, 06:14
The equipment information satisfies the gear headedness part in us. So, the specific model is nice to know, but really it's the format and type of camera (RF, SLR, TLR, scale focuser, field LF, mono rail LF) that would be more significant.

oftheherd
05-03-2008, 07:19
Interesting question Mr. Hicks. I can remember (as I am sure you can), when you never saw a photo in a magazine or book, without not only the camera and lens, but aperture and shutter speed, film, and maybe other information. Everyone knew that professionals and serious amatures kept notes of those things for all photos.

I almost never did. I did often recall the unusual things such as an unusual lens for a particular photo, or unusual shutter/aperture, that is, not what the meter called for. I often thought I should record such things, and did for a while in my first year of college when I didn't have a meter. It helped me be able to zero in on the best settings for a particular lighting situation. I was taught when taking forensic photos to record all. I started trying to do that, but soon found that wasn't really necessary either.

Certainly when I got my first SLR, I didn't, I just followed the light meter's recommendations. I found the Yashica TL Super's meter was excellent. I could follow it and didn't have to record anything to repeat good exposures. I don't know any other reason to keep such records.

If it isn't necessary for that, why bother? I can always tell the film if necessary, and I can guess pretty close if I wasn't using a normal lens. Again, why bother?

I guess I am trying to say I think you are right.

kmack
05-03-2008, 07:32
Do you mean odd as in esoteric, or odd as in 'is that guy really wearing a dead skunk?'

Esoteric odd: yes.
Dead Skunk odd: no.

charjohncarter
05-03-2008, 08:27
Sometimes I like to see the gear, film, developer, time, temp, agitation, not for any reason I just like it.

rpsawin
05-03-2008, 08:36
Noctilux. M6ttl. TLR. Am I alone in finding it odd that some people seem to classify their pics according to what they were taken with, rather than by subject?

If I'm doing a review, obviously I use the kit under review. But if I'm not, I use either my favourite lenses or what's on the camera at the time: I take much the same sort of pics with a 35 Summilux, 50 Sonnar or 75 Summicron (my three favourites).

Also, by the time a pic has been scanned and post-processed (or shot digitally and post-processed) then reduced to 600x900 pixels (a screen-filling image), what can it tell me about the camera or lens? Let alone a 400x600 vertical shot?

After a few weeks, I can sometimes tell or remember which lens I used for a given shot, but often I can't. Sometimes I can't even tell if I used a 35 or a 50, and I certainly can't tell an M2 from an M4-P from an MP, or even any of those from a Voigtländer (except sometimes with fast lenses close up) or Zeiss Ikon.

What do others think about this?

Cheers,

R.

I think you are 100% spot on and have stated your thoughts quite well. I find my approach is less gear-centric and more about the subject as well.

Your point about processing analog-to-digital and then displaying that image on the average computer monitor/screen has been the "elephant in the room" in these discussions and I'm glad to see it acknowledged.

Best regards,

Bob

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 09:19
Moving on. Ok, I agree, that in a "laboratory" enviroment Slide would tell more about a lens than a web picture. However, what about the real world? How many people, including even ones that use Noctilux and such lenses, actually have a good use for that slide? 1%?
In today's world everything IS digital. Physics or not, most people use digital web pics and do just fine. Most people even with high megapixel cameras, like m8 or EOS 5D, dont ever print pictures - all goes online.


Read any magazine, and they will tell you, "Believe what we say, not what we print." This is because ANY reproduction medium is variable -- and magazines are more reliable than uncalibrated monitors. Books are better still.

Buy on a test if you can, or on the advice of someone you trust if you can't. It's fairly clear that you have no faith whatsoever in anything I do or say, but fortunately, there are plenty of others who feel differently. And you must have some reviewers you trust.

As for 'it all goes online', sorry, this is flat nonsense. Where do you think book and magazine illustrations come from? Or advertisements? Or newspaper pics (the least demanding form of illustration until the invention of internet forums)? Why do you think advertising photographers use 39-megapixel Hasselblads? For that matter, have you ever been to a photographic exhibition?

Quite honestly, no, an M8 doesn't deliver the same quality as a first-class slide (as well as the M8 I have an MP, and M4-P and a couple of M2s). A lot depends on whom you believe, but the maximum pixel equivalent I have heard for a 35mm slide -- in his words, 'a portrait of Art Garfunkel, with every hair sharp and no jaggies' -- could exceed 30 megapixels; most estimates place it at 18-20 megapixels before you start getting down to 'empty' information (basically, grain structure).

Hand-held in low-light; well, could be as low as 6 megapixels, but 10 isn't too bad.

If I were shooting only for the web, I'd have no real reason to waste money on high-megapixel cameras, and I'd regard anyone who did so as having more money than sense; or at best, as having enough money to indulge in buying cameras he liked but would never really have much need for.

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 09:33
I agree with Krosya,I am interested in all the technical information that is presented with a photograph,camera,lens,film,aperture,speed etc.and even the location, if details are given, and tend to choose photo magazines (eg.Amateur Photographer)that do provide most of the details.
I hope the RFF members will still provide as much detail as they can of their postings on the forum it certainly adds more interest to a thread IMHO.
William

Dear William,

There are two different questions here. One is the value of 'technical information'. Personally I believe it to be limited, because I'm very unlikely ever to be shooting in the same place with the same camera and lens under identical conditions, but I know some people like it and that's why I put it alongside most of the pics in my books, magazines and web site. Location is a lot more useful, because I might think, "I'd really like to go there", but when I do, my cameras and lenses are deeply unlikely to be identical to those given in the caption to the picture.

My real question when I started this thread (bold italics in case anyone wants to skip the first para) was more to do with the threads that say "Show your pictures taken with a..."

How are you going to sort them out? Do you categorize your pics by subject, or by lens? If someone says to you, "Show us your pics taken with a Canon f/1.2," for example, are they filed under 'Canon f/1.2' or under 'Mexico' and 'Poitiers' and 'Jazz club dance spectacle' and so forth? In other words, after a few weeks, let alone months or years, isn't it going to be really hard to find the pics taken with a given lens?

The 'you' is of course a general 'you', chosen as less formal than 'one', rather than 'you, William'.

Cheers,

Roger

maddoc
05-03-2008, 09:55
I don't have the possibility to test equipment without buying it so I am glad to get some technical information (lens, film, camera) here at RFF or a pBase, flickr ... Comparing different images from different photographers taken with the same lens give me more information then theoretical, pseudo-scientific "lens reviews" ...

Spider67
05-03-2008, 09:59
Wouldn't it be the greatest danger to make photos only for having samples of each particular lens you have?

Krosya
05-03-2008, 10:18
As for 'it all goes online', sorry, this is flat nonsense. Where do you think book and magazine illustrations come from? Or advertisements? Or newspaper pics (the least demanding form of illustration until the invention of internet forums)? Why do you think advertising photographers use 39-megapixel Hasselblads? For that matter, have you ever been to a photographic exhibition?

Roger


Nonsense? Really? Hmmm. While it's true - there are still some publications that are done on paper - most things now days is either online or on TV. Just look how many magazines no longer exist! Many of the are photography magazines. Less books are being printed and sold - again - most things are online now. Monitors are getting better and better, so magazine print can't compete with it anymore. Many photo magazines switched from paper to online versions. But you should know all this. as far as 39 megapixel cameras - they only use them for huge spreads, not for regular magazines, and nowdays - it's digital screens on the side of the buildings that replace regular posters. So, less and less goes to print. Actually, exhibitions probably the only thing left where photo print is in most cases done traditionally, and not digital. But even that is being affected by digital more and more.
For all we know, in 10 years all exhibitions may be on HD screens - way easier as you don't have to put them up and take them down for different event - just put a new DVD in and it's ready to go - with option for a real print to buyer/collector.
So, like it or not - most of the imagery will be on screen. it already is - just compare now and 10-15 years ago.

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 11:11
Nonsense?
Yes, nonsense. And you know it. Go into a bookshop. Or anywhere that sells magazines. Then come back and say that no-one is using high-quality pictures.

I don't hold myself out as the fons et origo of all knowledge, but I really can't help suspecting that you don't know very much about the multi-billion dollar publishing industry. Have you any professional experience in photography or publishing?

As for your point about exhibitions in the future consisting of LCD screens: well, anything's possible. But it's drivel at the moment.

R.

Anupam
05-03-2008, 12:11
One of the reasons for the kind of thing you notice, I would suppose, is that we have so few photographers. I often see people putting up shots in their galleries saying "testing out lens X" and that is all they ever do - test out new gear or even largely post photos of their new gear. I try to produce in my small way the best portfolio of my photography that I can, but I see many people who are camera hobbyists first and photography hobbyists second.

Krosya
05-03-2008, 12:13
Whatever.
Reality is - while some still exist and probably will for a while - many bookstores ARE gone, closing, not making money, etc. Same thing is happening in a newspaper and magazine industry. Reason - everything goes online. If you do even a little research you can learn this. It's all about money and internet is very much less expensive than printing/publishing in a traditional way. Plus computer technology allows a high quality output online now.
Here is some info:
http://imhaya.org/2007/12/22/how-e-magazine-kill-conventional-magazine/

and more here:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1538652,00.html

I don't need to have any experience in publishing to know how to read the facts. Plus things are changing so fast now - all that experience is really useless anyway as things are done differently. So, you can call what I say - nonesense, but reality is reality and the sooner one accepts it - the better it is for them.

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 12:35
...I don't need to have any experience in publishing ...

You said it. And it's just as well you don't, because your ignorance in this area is near-terminal.

Look up the numbers.

If you don't want a slice of that pie, because your particular pie is in the sky, fine.

But kindly don't waste the time of those who have a slightly less tenuous grasp on reality.

Cheers,

R.

MikeL
05-03-2008, 12:38
though I know it is quite different in the US with such high illiteracy levels.

I don't understand what you are saying here. Can you show me with pictures or something or define some of your words better?;)

telenous
05-03-2008, 12:49
Noctilux. M6ttl. TLR. Am I alone in finding it odd that some people seem to classify their pics according to what they were taken with, rather than by subject?


I think it's somewhat understandable. Others have hinted at a reason behind mentioning equipment; there's a stage in one's development as a photographer where coming to grips with the various aspects of equipment performance is important. Hence the labeling of the shots according to lens, camera etc. I suspect there's also sometimes a sense of pride and identification with specific equipment and their tradition; not strictly relevant in matters photographic but certainly very human.

As one progresses and understands the various compromises to be made by using some equipment instead of other, they also become less of a worry. Until one day one completely forgets about them. But even when one does, some others may not, because it may be interesting to them what sort of equipment compromises one made to attain a certain photographic goal.

As for how much you can see through the screen...some things you can see for sure (flare, bokeh, etc.) It is probably best to hear what seasoned users one trusts for their judgment have to say about the various aspects of equipment performance. Photos may illustrate one's points. And they are good to look at :)

My real question when I started this thread (bold italics in case anyone wants to skip the first para) was more to do with the threads that say "Show your pictures taken with a..."

How are you going to sort them out? Do you categorize your pics by subject, or by lens? If someone says to you, "Show us your pics taken with a Canon f/1.2," for example, are they filed under 'Canon f/1.2' or under 'Mexico' and 'Poitiers' and 'Jazz club dance spectacle' and so forth? In other words, after a few weeks, let alone months or years, isn't it going to be really hard to find the pics taken with a given lens?


I don't know how others go about this...I write information about date, rated speed of film, solution of developer, time and lens used on the sleeve where the negative goes. The lens info is for me to know focal length first and foremost. Not that it's easy to get confused, I 've got two focal lengths all in all. The ordering factor is date.

Best,

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 12:51
I don't understand what you are saying here. Can you show me with pictures or something or define some of your words better?;)
Dear Mike,

Someone failing to read, for example?

Seriously, Richard has a very good point. Ultra-specialist magazines are flourishing as never before. What were Bill Bryson's examples in the US (in The Lost Continent)? As I recall they were Christian Woodworker and Machine Gun Collector.

Then there's self-publishing. And the revival in antique processes. More and more people are tired of the ephemeral nature of the internet and the throwaway society. The market for things with intrinsic value (a Leica MP, for example, or a work of that is not on a monitor) may be falling in percentage terms but I have no doubt that with rising populations and disposable incomes (barring short-term economic blips) these are still very handsome and lucrative markets for those who have the necessary skills and intelligence to exploit them.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 13:32
As for how much you can see through the screen...some things you can see for sure (flare, bokeh, etc.) It is probably best to hear what seasoned users one trusts for their judgment have to say about the various aspects of equipment performance. Photos may illustrate one's points. And they are good to look at . . .The ordering factor is date.
We are of one mind on this, including filing data. As I said elsewhere, listen to someone you trust when it comes to things like resolution, contrast, ergonomics, but by all means gain some impression from the Web of flare and bokeh.

But after date (accession number) I note places. Kit may or may not be noted. Then again, the focal lengths I own or have used at length in the last 15-20 years are 12-14-15-16-17-18-20-21-24-25-28-35-47-50-55-58-75-85-90-135-200-280-300-600-800; sometimes, multiple examples of each focal length...

EDIT For me, the accession number on a sleeved film refers to the lab notebook: dev, time, agitation. But the paper you print on can be at least as important as the film you used. How often does anyone tell you that? And how often do they say, 'Incident meter at EI 320' or 'Spot meter at EI 500' or 'Incident meter reading -1/2 stop' (for tranny) or 'Through-lens reading +1/2 stop' (for neg of bright subject).

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 13:34
Photo taken with a....lens!

Filed under Argazki/xuri 'ta beltz/dantza004/suarendantza023.jpg

59000
Dear Richard,

HEY!

YOU'RE CHEATING!

You're not supposed to be judged on your photography...

Cheers,

R.

Marsopa
05-03-2008, 14:19
Interesting thread, I'll try to do my best even being a newbie and with a low english level.

I agree with R.Hicks main idea, I think that the main technical data are focal length (so a newbie like me can see the field of vision and how to work with a particular focal length) and exposure data (sub/over exposure). What we see over the web is no more than a deformation/interpretation of reality or photography process results but not the real thing.

I've started using RF after a visit to cameraquest and Nakamura websites, dont't know how and why I've accumulated a lot of gear that I use scarcely, it remains at home while I shot with two cams and two lenses, now I think I'm less gear oriented and trying to do better photos with the media I feel comfortable. I've stopped doing tests that drive nowhere and try to learn how to improve my (awful) technique and "vision".

(My 0.2 cents)

Matthew Allen
05-03-2008, 14:20
Photo taken with a....lens!

Filed under Argazki/xuri 'ta beltz/dantza004/suarendantza023.jpg

59000

That is beautiful.

Matthew

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 14:31
I've stopped doing tests that drive nowhere and try to learn how to improve my (awful) technique and "vision".

That's the hard bit. I've been doing it for decades. You (= I) get better, but never good enough.

Cheers,

R.

Bob Michaels
05-03-2008, 14:36
Simple: is one's primary interest cameras & lenses or photographs?

Krosya
05-03-2008, 15:15
You said it. And it's just as well you don't, because your ignorance in this area is near-terminal.

Look up the numbers.

If you don't want a slice of that pie, because your particular pie is in the sky, fine.

But kindly don't waste the time of those who have a slightly less tenuous grasp on reality.

Cheers,

R.

Oh, I'm so sorry to waste your time. I know it's very valuable. forgive me, simple, stupid american illiterate person. :rolleyes: After all, how can my opinion compare to yours.
Sorry, but I expected more, like maybe some actual facts, from the "expert".

Roger Hicks
05-03-2008, 15:34
After all, how can my opinion compare to yours.
Sorry, but I expected more, like maybe some actual facts, from the "expert".
You're still missing the point.

This isn't opinion.

Look up the size of the publishing market. As I recall, it is $25,000,000,000+ in the US alone -- and there are plenty of other countries who can also read and write. You wanted facts? Look up a few about the size of the market.

On your own admission, you know nothing about publishing. It is therefore less than astonishing that your opinions on publishing really are not worth very much.

Cheers,

Roger

MikeL
05-03-2008, 16:27
Dear Mike,

Someone failing to read, for example?

Seriously, Richard has a very good point. Ultra-specialist magazines are flourishing as never before. What were Bill Bryson's examples in the US (in The Lost Continent)? As I recall they were Christian Woodworker and Machine Gun Collector.

Then there's self-publishing. And the revival in antique processes. More and more people are tired of the ephemeral nature of the internet and the throwaway society. The market for things with intrinsic value (a Leica MP, for example, or a work of that is not on a monitor) may be falling in percentage terms but I have no doubt that with rising populations and disposable incomes (barring short-term economic blips) these are still very handsome and lucrative markets for those who have the necessary skills and intelligence to exploit them.

Cheers,

R.

I don't know the numbers on illiteracy, but after grading grant proposals today, I am disturbed by the obvious lack of knowledge/experience with writing.

I wonder what is driving the success of the markets you and Pitxu describe. Is it driven by the younger generation or the older generation that is familiar with it? I'm still not comfortable reading/evaluating something in electronic form, I have to print it out and have pencil ready. This is not true for those who started reading pdf's from day one.

As for the lens-camera-film-development info., that seemed to be the norm when I started visiting RFF. It's a site focused on a type of camera, and some people like or are curious about the information. I think few would argue the gear makes the photo, but it's why people often visit the site in the first place. Entertainment is where you find it, in my book. I've always found it entertaining the pride some take in not being a 'gearhead' and point it out at every opportunity. But I guess feeling good about oneself by looking down on others seems to be part of human nature. Which is worse, pride in the gear you've acquired or pride in not being like 'those' people?

Yes, I'm procrastinating. Back to grammar from hell.....

F456
05-03-2008, 18:05
"Most professional photographers I know don't really give a toss whether it was shot on a Hasselblad or a Rollei as long as it's a good picture. Indeed, that was the first example I saw of made-up data, over 25 years ago. You could see from the trannie it was Hasselblad (frame edges, not image quality) and when I queried it, the photographer said, "Was it? Who cares? Change it, if you like..."

Roger,
A professional photographer friend told me yesterday that it can be quite different in the CLIENT's mind. After years of using a mixture of 35mm, medium format, and large format my friend has settled on the D2X for almost everything, content that it will provide the high quality needed for all kinds of professional printing. However, the clients tend to equate digital Nikon with 35mm film (i.e. a lesser quality format) and are then reluctant to commission work, until shown examples of previously commissioned photographs.

Going off on a slight tangent, I was fed up the other day - not for the first time - when someone commented on a picture I had taken: "You must have a good camera". I'd rather she'd said: "Nice work in catching that moment".

I knew I had a good camera: it was the fact I got something good out of it that was more satisfying to me, and that applies whether I use a Leica M for a drama production or my mobile phone for a coastal walk. In other words, even a mediocre camera becomes a good one when the subject matter comes together with interesting lighting and adequately good focus, exposure and composition.

Tom

F456
05-03-2008, 18:24
That's the hard bit. I've been doing it for decades. You (= I) get better, but never good enough.

Cheers,

R.

Can we add to that: As you (=I) get better, so -strangely- does the equipment? Whether we measure up to the equipment's potential is another matter.

Tom

wontonny
05-03-2008, 18:34
It only makes sense to me to post pictures according to gear for everything EXCEPT the film camera body. The camera body has nothing to do with it.

It gives all those gear heads out there something to look at and catch GAS over

raid
05-03-2008, 18:52
Gear is a very important factor to many RFF members. This is a fact and not fiction or imagination. What I enjoy most in photography is writing a travel essay that is supported by photos. Gear plays a small role in such a write-up. On the other hand, lens comparisons are built on gear. Seeing a large print or inspecting a negative or transparency with a lupe over a light table will always reveal more about a lens's optical performance than a posted image, but it is still possible to identify the better lenses from posted images, so I would not totally downplay what is being done here or at PN.

Peter Klein
05-03-2008, 20:33
I do like to know what lens and equipment was used. Combined with the image, it sometimes helps me realize: "oh, that's how he or she did that." If I can't quite tell if the picture was taken with a 50 or a 35, knowing that can tell me where you stood and why you stood there.

I think Roger is right in that you can't tell the *fine* points of sharpness or contrast on a Web image. But sometimes you can get a reasonable idea of things. This is particularly true of wide-open available light pictures, an interest of mine.

But as can be seen over at the Canon 50/1.2 "I don't get no respect" thread, sometimes the medium intrudes. I posted a crop of a B&W shot at the beginning of that thread. The site's software resized my crop, and it got softened. I didn't notice. I just reposted it, resizing it better myself so the site didn't mess with it. Several people thought the original crop showed that the lens (or my technique) was bad.

And sometimes the reputation of the optic makes us see what we want to see. If I post a picture taken with the Uberlux, and you "know" that the Uberlux is a magic lens capable of resolving a gnat's eyebrow at 20 furlongs, that may be precisely what you'll see.

If the viewer's monitor is off, or the poster doesn't know how to present on the Web, the image may not tell you what the lens is doing. But I must say that a reasonably full-screen image, plus a crop displayed at 50% magnification (not 100%!) does give me a pretty good idea what an 8x10 - 11x14 print will look like.

--Peter

Brian Sweeney
05-03-2008, 21:00
Taken with a pre-war Uncoated Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 5cm f2 formerly Contax mount, moved into a J-8 LTM Mount, on the Canon P.

At F4:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=59015&stc=1&d=1209873514

and wide-open:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=59016&stc=1&d=1209873525

The new RFF software is killing Jpeg resolution with an additional 6:1 compression factor on the uploads.

raid
05-03-2008, 21:08
Maybe it is better to upload images to PN and to give the links here.

Brian Sweeney
05-03-2008, 21:11
taken with a Zeiss Opton 50mm F2 before discovering the rear module was mounted backwards:

At F2:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=58104&d=1208012198

And after re-installing the rear element:

at F2:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=58107&d=1208012316

wlewisiii
05-03-2008, 22:15
I personally like having the tech information available - perhaps as an appendix to a book or in footnotes in an article - as I have found over the years that it helps me to pre-visualize what I want to do in a given situation with a given set of camera, lens & film. Aside from that teaching bit, it doesn't mean that much.

This is a bit more of a gearhead place than some; less than others. I do feel that, more often than not I can see the difference in photos taken with asymmetrical designs (Tessars & Sonnars especially) from symmetrical designs (Plannars, etc) so I don't know where to draw the line and so I don't.

Thank you for the interesting topics, Roger. It's nice to have something a bit "chewy" to think on for a bit.

William

NB23
05-03-2008, 22:33
I don't quite understand the OP's rant.

Of course, it's only normal to classify pictures by subject. And since the digital files all have exif data, it's easy to know how the shot was done.

But, but, but! The way I shoot with Leicas is different. Shooting with Leicas is a Hobby while shooting with my Nikon digital rig is for work.
I usually choose a lens-of-the-day, I chose a body-of-the-day and I chose a film-of-the-day and I don't change the combo until I finish the film. I then write the notes on the negative sheet.
This way of working is efficient because I learn more about the lenses I own, about the cameras and about the films I use. This is also how I can discover, with great accuracy, which camera-lens-combo is best with which film because of the given camera's tendency to over or underexpose and even to know how a lens behaves in terms of contrast and character.
I am matching my mood-of-the-day with a gear-combo-of-the-day and this is why I classify some shots by the gear I used.

Roger Hicks
05-04-2008, 01:20
I don't quite understand the OP's rant.

Of course, it's only normal to classify pictures by subject. And since the digital files all have exif data, it's easy to know how the shot was done.



Not really a rant. What puzzles me is HOW people can easily sort out pictures according to the lens they used, more than a few weeks after they have taken them.

Also, film doesn't have EXIF data, and with digital, very few of the lenses I'm using are coded for the M8.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
05-04-2008, 01:34
"Most professional photographers I know don't really give a toss whether it was shot on a Hasselblad or a Rollei as long as it's a good picture. Indeed, that was the first example I saw of made-up data, over 25 years ago. You could see from the trannie it was Hasselblad (frame edges, not image quality) and when I queried it, the photographer said, "Was it? Who cares? Change it, if you like..."

Roger,
A professional photographer friend told me yesterday that it can be quite different in the CLIENT's mind. After years of using a mixture of 35mm, medium format, and large format my friend has settled on the D2X for almost everything, content that it will provide the high quality needed for all kinds of professional printing. However, the clients tend to equate digital Nikon with 35mm film (i.e. a lesser quality format) and are then reluctant to commission work...
Tom
Dear Tom,

No question about that. In the late 60s I had Hell's own job persuading clients that food photography on 6x7cm was more than adequate they REALLY wanted 4x5 inch (I was using either 'baby' Linhof or roll-film on a Technikardan, so movements weren't an issue). Theoretically, no digital camera comes close to 6x7cm, and indeed, you need 20+ megapixels even to be reasonably good.

I should expand my previous observation to say that the photographers don't care which camera of a given format was used, and neither, normally, do the clients -- though even then, there were those who were surprised at the choice of other MF cameras than Hasselblad.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
05-04-2008, 06:41
> Not really a rant. What puzzles me is HOW people can easily sort out pictures according
> to the lens they used, more than a few weeks after they have taken them.

I keep a pen in the camera bag and make notes. The notes stay with the negatives. I'm literate.

raid
05-04-2008, 07:54
> Not really a rant. What puzzles me is HOW people can easily sort out pictures according
> to the lens they used, more than a few weeks after they have taken them.

I keep a pen in the camera bag and make notes. The notes stay with the negatives. I'm literate.

I write on a small paper slip information on the camera/lens/film and I attach it to each roll of film the moment I remove the film from the camera. If several lenses were usedon one roll, such as in lens testing, I keep a separate log. I am literate [beyond primary school].

Rogrund
05-04-2008, 07:59
When I go through my negative sheets from 25 years ago, it's kind of fun to read my own notes on films and developers I didn't even remember using back then!

BTW, I'm literate too.

Brian Sweeney
05-04-2008, 08:07
It's amazing how the memories of the day can come rushing back to mind when looking at a sheet of negatives made 30 years ago. I'm glad that names, dates, and places were recorded on them. I'm also happy to have kept the camera and lens that made the photo's after these 30 or more years.

We recently took a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia where "history comes alive". It's one of my daughter's favorite places for a get-away. They employ cabinet-makers, silversmiths, basket weavers, etc that "do it the old way". They explained a lot of the custom tools used.

Saddleshop, Williamsburg Virginia.

Leica M3 with type 2 Rigid Summicron, wide-open. Fujicolor 200.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=59034&stc=1&d=1209913869

Shopkeeper's Daughter,
Leica M3 with Collapsible 9cm F4 Elmar, wide-open.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=59035&stc=1&d=1209913959

Basket Weaver, Williamsburg, Virginia

Leica M3, Type 2 Rigid Summicron, wide-open.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=59036&stc=1&d=1209914051

gb hill
05-04-2008, 09:12
Nonsense? Monitors are getting better and better, so magazine print can't compete with it anymore. Many photo magazines switched from paper to online versions.

Krosya you need to take a trip to your nearest bookseller & check out a copy of this
http://www.bandwmag.com/ Then come back and make that statement. If you do then you need glasses.

Roger Hicks
05-04-2008, 09:23
I keep a pen in the camera bag and make notes. The notes stay with the negatives. I'm literate.

Dear Brian,

Yes, but if you then want to dig out (say) a choice of Canon f/1.2 shots shot over the last 30 years, you have to go through huge stacks of neg sleeves to find them. And if you're shooting trannies, surely you don't write the lens info on each mount?

Besides, I can't see why people do this. It doesn't strike me as having much to do with literacy. I rather pride myself on my literacy; literacy and my camera together have fed me for most of my working life. I tend to reserve my literacy, though, for what I see as more useful ends than notes of this kind.

If I remember/if I can be arsed, I note the equipment used for a roll, either on the sleeve itself or in the lab notebook to which each roll is keyed by accession number. But I regard it as so unimportant that I normally only bother for formal tests.

Again, I stress that there are two separate questions here. One is equipment and allied data: I'm not really debating the worth of these, because I know that many people are interested in such facts (or fictions, as discussed in an earlier post.

The second question, and the one I really meant to ask in this thread, is how people manage to respond to the common request on this forum, "Show us pictures taken with your..." As I say, it would take me ages to track down all my Canon f/1.2 shots, and I can't see much advantage in it anyway.

Cheers,

R.

gb hill
05-04-2008, 09:34
For all we know, in 10 years all exhibitions may be on HD screens - way easier as you don't have to put them up and take them down for different event - just put a new DVD in and it's ready to go - with option for a real print to buyer/collector.
So, like it or not - most of the imagery will be on screen. it already is - just compare now and 10-15 years ago.
The quality of digital is not an improvement over a silver print. Digital is a form of lazyness IMO. My boss owns a baseball team & had one of these so called professional graphics design companies do a wrap of the mascot sitting on a HD out in the middle of the field. From a distance it looks good but when you walk close to it, the photo is blured & at 3 ft away you can start counting pixils. This is not a improvement in printing. We have gotten lazy. Master printers who took pride in their work 25 years ago worked hard & took pride in satisifying a customer. Today lazy people go out with a cheap camera, snap a photo, go back & sit their fat butt behind a moniter & design a piece of crap to wrap around a trailer or what have you, present it to the customer who looks at it from 15 to 20 feet away & calls it great. People's taste have really gotten sorry I think.

Roger Hicks
05-04-2008, 09:44
The quality of digital is not an improvement over a silver print. Digital is a form of lazyness IMO. My boss owns a baseball team & had one of these so called professional graphics design companies do a wrap of the mascot sitting on a HD out in the middle of the field. From a distance it looks good but when you walk close to it, the photo is blured & at 3 ft away you can start counting pixils. This is not a improvement in printing. We have gotten lazy. Master printers who took pride in their work 25 years ago worked hard & took pride in satisifying a customer. Today lazy people go out with a cheap camera, snap a photo, go back & sit their fat butt behind a moniter & design a piece of crap to wrap around a trailer or what have you, present it to the customer who looks at it from 15 to 20 feet away & calls it great. People's taste have really gotten sorry I think.

Oh, you cynical fellow!

Not wrong, just cynical.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
05-04-2008, 11:40
Funny thing, working in the Optical Sciences Division designing digital electronics and writing embedded software for optical systems had paid my salary for the past 30 years. I found some digital images of mine made in 1983. I used Ektachrome with the Dicomed.

Tom A
05-04-2008, 12:17
For keeping track of which lens and camera is used - I "waste" a couple of frames at the beginning of the roll. An erasable white board is used to note down camera/lens/ asa if different from "standard.
When the negs are filed away, this information + developer/times is written on the neg file page . I use Printfile pages that take 6x7 (42 frames) strips and that leaves a couple of empty inches at the bottom. Advantage is that if and when I do contacts - the informatin is on the contact print too. At least used to be when you still could get 8.5X11 inch paper.
Rollfilm and larger I kept a note book for. Just numbering the rolls or the holders in order of shooting. Usually just a numerical sequence and occasional points on who,what,when and why if appropriate.
Most of my 35mm cameras have notches filed in the filmgate as a reference system. When printed or scanned I can see which camera (and which lens as I rarely switch lenses on a body). This also adds the feature that you can identify which camera is acting up. Otherwise that is tricky when yo have 4-5 bodies on the go at the same time and one has decided to ignore shutterspeeds set or cap the shutter.

F456
05-04-2008, 12:18
Thinking about this thread's original question I wonder if it isn't wrapped up in the sort of things different people tend to remember and also in the sheer volume of pictures taken.

I've been taking pictures for 17 years with interchangeable lens cameras, mainly Nikon and Leica with a brief venture into Contax. Before that another 10 years that were easy to account for as my only camera was an Olympus Trip 35 with a undetachable 40mm f/2.8 that I rather liked.

If presented with a contact sheet from my last 17 years' shooting I could in most cases say what type of camera was used (e.g. Nikon AF, MF or Leica M) and in many cases know what exact body and lens were used - except for those early days when I changed the lens too often mid-roll because I hadn't settled down to a more considered way of working. Probably the same with digital, but there it doesn't really matter because a spotlight search in the Mac OS (10.4 in my case) will bring up anything in a matter of a few seconds. Uncoded Leica lenses confound that but I suppose I could write that info into the metadata on Photomechanic or a similar application.

Personally I tend to remember this sort of thing quite well but am not very interested in it after the event. Additionally I should add that the pictures that interest me most are often taken with special purpose lenses (e.g. Perspective Correction, ultra-fast, Defocus Control) and these are not easy to forget anyway because they are so distinctive.

BillP
05-04-2008, 12:49
Hm.

Taking photos = fun.
Noting camera/lens/film/exposure = faff.

I have a naming convention that is location/subject/body/lens. But I am not anal about it. I don't make notes as I go along, but I develop and scan soon enough after the event to tag while it is still fresh in my mind.

I also tend to standardise. These days if I have a colour shot it will be on Reala. Black and white will be 400CN. On a trip, I load the same cameras with the same film; therefore all my Seville colour shots were with the M7, and most of the b&w with the M2 (on the last day I ran out of colour so put b&w in the M7. Because I don't chop and change lenses, it is again relatively easy to remember what was used for what. There are other clues too. Night shots = Canon 50mm 1.2. Extreme wideangles = VC 15mm. Tele shots = Canon 135, etc. Don't ask me exposure. 99.9% of the time I can't remember. The only time I do is if I am on the limits, one way or the other.

Does it matter? Not one jot or iota, in the great scheme of things.

Oh, and I am in the camp that holds the view that the magazine market is massive, diverse and robust. Have you ever tried to roll up a laptop and stick it in your pocket?

Regards,

Bill

Roger Hicks
05-04-2008, 12:58
. . . the magazine market is massive, diverse and robust. Have you ever tried to roll up a laptop and stick it in your pocket? Bill
Dear Bill,

Sure, I've tried. But they never roll up very small, and they don't seem to function afterwards.

Cheers,

R.

gb hill
05-04-2008, 13:05
Getting back to the topic at hand. I like to read what people use. I can't tell a J-8 shot from a sumulux from looking in the gallery, but for me this is what really excells about digital. It's a great way to share, learn, & meet & see what like minded photographers are doing all around the world. The quality is certainly good enough that when I see a photo that blows me away I can admire it & say WoW!! thats awsome.:)

F456
05-04-2008, 13:12
Dear Bill,
What you say sounds right to me. The faff element seems to go all too easily in hand with our hobby. A non-photographer friend of mine once said, after watching his father going through his camera bag: "The thing about photography is it has tremendous faff value."

The real reason I'm posting is that I caught sight of your comment about the camera phone! Back in October I was out on a coastal walk from Whitstable to Ramsgate and deliberately left my camera at home, thinking that over 25 miles would take a long time and that I would be better off not stopping to take shots or carry even one body and one lens. The lighting turned out to be so distinctive I immediately regretted the decision. But... I had my phone. It took a while to get used to but the change was as good as a rest and I found it quite exciting taking pictures in this very informal way - like jotting in a notebook. Too small to hold steady the phone could sometimes do with a tripod! Anyway, the shots that weren't zoomed - and hence digitally mutilated - were nice. They even came up quite well on a 20 inch computer screen. Not Leica, not withstanding careful technical scrutiny, but effective and interesting. A bit too contrasty when the sun was strong, a bit hard to get the horizons level, but successful all the same with just a touch of cropping and levelling in Photoshop.

What I like about the phone pictures is that you can concentrate on the picture if fairly static and just take it like blinking. The added bonus is you can turn the phone part off while keeping the camera turned on. But when the shutter goes off is anybody's guess - the noise is just a simulation! Anyway - something different for a change...

Best wishes,
Tom

Roger Hicks
05-04-2008, 13:17
Back in October I was out on a coastal walk from Whitstable to Ramsgate ...Tom
Dear Tom,

Do you live near there? I lived in Minnis Bay from 1992 to 2002 so if you were on the sea-front you must have passed within 70 yards of my old house.

Cheers,

R.

Tom A
05-04-2008, 13:20
I agree that it does not really matter which camera/lens/film is used as lolong as the pitucre works.
The only reason for taking notes and noting combinations is a/if you do a lot of experimenting and b/if you are getting paid for shots. Trust me on this-if you caption the wrong name to the wrong guy/woman and/or screw up location and occasion, you are in deep dodoo with the editor as well as the subjects! This is one of the reason that most shooters hate "grip and grin" situations, particularly when the subjects are from another language culture than you and you have to get every name right! After a while it becomes a habit to do this and thus extends into my private shooting even after 2 decades of avoiding paid assignments.
One thing that has always impressed me is that people remember exposure data! Either they have far better memories than me - or they are lying through there teeth! Sometimes I can deduce a rough estimate by looking at the shot and go" It was bright, probably f11 @ 1/250" - but exact figures - no way.

F456
05-04-2008, 13:21
Dear Roger and Bill,
They should make flexible phone-sized laptops as small as those flick bracelets the schoolchildren love. To put to sleep and put away you simply flick it against your wrist and - hey presto - it curls up round it. It could even include a pulsating glow to tell you when the latest reply from RFF has come in.

Naturally its built-in phone / camera would be able to simulate every lens ever made with speeds up to f/0.5. And a meta-data search would involve cataloguing capability by any lens or shooting category.

And that would leave our pockets free for something actually worth having, whether a magazine ... or a prawn sandwich with garlic.

Cheers,
Tom

F456
05-04-2008, 13:30
Dear Roger,
Yes, I live in the area. If you tell me which your house was I might take a picture of it to show off my mobile phone's prowess! I won't set up a tripod and use the PC Nikkor as I remember a vague allusion of yours to trouble you had taking some pictures in the locality. Not sure what happened.

I like walking that stretch of coast, though between Margate and Ramsgate it is not such fun, especially with the wind coming straight at you from Norway or suchlike.

Funny thing is: my parents live close to Bristol, and I believe you lived there as well, judging from your black and white photography book from the 80s.

Are you ever back in Kent?

Best wishes,
Tom

Roger Hicks
05-05-2008, 00:19
Dear Roger,
Yes, I live in the area. If you tell me which your house was I might take a picture of it to show off my mobile phone's prowess! . . . Funny thing is: my parents live close to Bristol, and I believe you lived there as well, judging from your black and white photography book from the 80s.

Dear Tom,

5, Alfred Road -- that short row of huge Victorian houses opposite the ugly flats, just at the other end of the promenade from the Minnis pub. I understand that since I sold it in '02 it has gone up another £50,000 or more... They were apparently among the first houses built in the Bay. One of the weird features was the curved wall in the loo, visible here in a piece on temporary darkrooms:

http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photoschool/ps%20how%20loo.html

Yes, I lived in Bristol from '74 or '75 to '88.

I get back to Kent (and stay with friends in Minnis Bay) about once a year on average.

I'm just starting a new thread based on your question about unusual combinations. Thanks for the idea.

Cheers,

R.

Henryah
05-10-2008, 15:31
Having been in photography since the " Graphics " days, i have often been encountered with the " what¨s best question.
In time I have come up with a standard reply: Think like an indusrialist, use the stuff that can deliver the required results for the task at hand.
FOR THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MONEY!
As for impressing clients with gear: TV repair people used to drag a couple of big instruments into the clients living room. In private they were called "impometers"

Henryah
05-10-2008, 15:43
Having been in photography since the " Graphics " days, i have often been encountered with the " what¨s best question.
In time I have come up with a standard reply: Think like an indusrialist, use the stuff that can deliver the required results for the task at hand.
FOR THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MONEY!
As for impressing clients with gear: TV repair people used to drag a couple of big instruments into the clients living room. In private they were called "impometers"

Windscale
05-29-2008, 14:30
I think the more information about a photo the better. In the old days almost all the bigger photography books had pics containing info on equipment, aperture and shutter speed. Of course in those days the prints on books were better, that is, much closer to the originals. Standards dropped with the advent of digital. It was easier for us learners to appreciate more the prospectives of different focal length lenses and why the Leicas and Zeisses stood out of the rest.

Roger Hicks
05-29-2008, 14:38
In the old days almost all the bigger photography books had pics containing info on equipment, aperture and shutter speed.

Yes, but alas, this information was often invented or (at best) an uncertain recollection. Sometimes it was even a flat lie. Many photographers I know have said the same thing: "I don't remember, or care. Why would anyone else care?"

Once you know that, you start wondering how much use it all is...

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
05-29-2008, 14:59
Dear Erik,

Much as I hate to play the greybeard, after 40 years of photography, having lost count of the the number of cameras I own 20+ years ago, I remember FAR less about kit than I did at 30, when I could remember almost all of it.

Partly, this is just age. Partly, it's the range of kit I own/use. And partly, it's that I care less and less which camera and lens I used for a particular pic. I've taken great pics with junk, and rotten pics with top-flight kit.

Cheers,

R.

furcafe
05-29-2008, 15:11
I only have about 7-8 years worth of negatives & slides to deal with, so have been able to use computer technology to deal (relatively) efficiently w/your hypothetical.

As to the how, I scan all of my film (except for truly bad/unusable frames) & keep the files in folders on hard drives. When shooting, I've always taken notes recording my exposures, subject matter, & equipment using a very basic utility called FotoLog (no longer sold) on what was originally called a Palm Pilot (an early "personal digital assistant"), now replaced by a Treo "smartphone" using an updated version of the same operating system; this is not an additional burden, since I've always carried such a device w/me. When I finish a roll, the program generates (or rather I make it generate) a plain text file & I simply copy that file to the folder containing the scanned roll (the original stays on my Treo). Since I also upload many of my photos to flickr, along w/equipment & subject tags, I can easily search photos by technical data or subject @ home on my computer or online. When I use a digital body, I no longer record the exposure information, just aperture, subject matter, & equipment.

As to why, I started keeping notes to learn from mistakes when I was a beginner & to track results for experiments. Now it's more of a habit & serves as a memory aid for subject matter details, as Brian has alluded, though it's also nice to be able to look up the technical data for gear comparisons, etc., & still useful for experimentation.


Yes, but if you then want to dig out (say) a choice of Canon f/1.2 shots shot over the last 30 years, you have to go through huge stacks of neg sleeves to find them. And if you're shooting trannies, surely you don't write the lens info on each mount?

Besides, I can't see why people do this. It doesn't strike me as having much to do with literacy. I rather pride myself on my literacy; literacy and my camera together have fed me for most of my working life. I tend to reserve my literacy, though, for what I see as more useful ends than notes of this kind.

If I remember/if I can be arsed, I note the equipment used for a roll, either on the sleeve itself or in the lab notebook to which each roll is keyed by accession number. But I regard it as so unimportant that I normally only bother for formal tests.

Again, I stress that there are two separate questions here. One is equipment and allied data: I'm not really debating the worth of these, because I know that many people are interested in such facts (or fictions, as discussed in an earlier post.

The second question, and the one I really meant to ask in this thread, is how people manage to respond to the common request on this forum, "Show us pictures taken with your..." As I say, it would take me ages to track down all my Canon f/1.2 shots, and I can't see much advantage in it anyway.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
05-29-2008, 15:18
I seriously hope I dont remember which kit I used now in thirty years. I suspect there would be something wrong with me if I did :D

Dear Erik,

That's about it!

But given the range of kit I use, I sometimes have difficulty across even a year or two. Which of the Summarits was this, 35-50-75-90? (I can normally narrow it down to two adjacent focal lengths, but that's all). Was this a Sonnar 50/1.5 or a Noctilux 50/1? Which of the then-new ZI lenses was this? Was this a WATE or an 18/4 Distagon?

And that's looking at transparencies, B+W prints or M8 enlargements. On the monitor -- forget it! Of course there are lenses with a strong enough 'signature' that I can almost always tell: 50/1.2 Canon, 75/2 Summicron, 90/2,2 Thambar, 90/2 early Summicron. But even then, at f/5.6 to f/8, it's only 'almost always'.

Sure, I keep notes for reviews, so captions there are 99% accurate and I often compare different lenses -- but once I've written the review, and am using the pictures for something else on www.rogerandfrances.com, who cares anyway?

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
05-29-2008, 15:29
I only have about 7-8 years worth of negatives & slides to deal with, so have been able to use computer technology to deal (relatively) efficiently . . . .

Whew! Sounds like hard work! My memory is not yet so bad that I commonly forget the important bit, viz., how I decided to meter and then interpret the meter reading, between the time I take the pic and the time I see it (especially with the M8). That's what I've found useful for learning over the years.

It may well be that your approach would work faster for some people. For others (including me) I'd give up photography before relying on a Palm Pilot or its descendants. This is not to say that I'm right and you're wrong, or vice versa. It's very much a question of personality but I can feel my heart sink as I contemplate your approach.

Then again, when I start in the 1960s I didn't have the option of a Palm Pilot and maybe I'd have taken that route if I had. Probably I wouldn't though: I did have a loose-leaf notebook (an even earlier version of a Palm Pilot, with fewer software incompatibilities). As I say: personality, age, environment...

Cheers,

Roger

slm
05-29-2008, 16:29
Getting back to the topic at hand. I like to read what people use. I can't tell a J-8 shot from a sumulux from looking in the gallery, but for me this is what really excells about digital. It's a great way to share, learn, & meet & see what like minded photographers are doing all around the world. The quality is certainly good enough that when I see a photo that blows me away I can admire it & say WoW!! thats awsome.:)
My thoughts exactly. And the fact of the matter is, I think everyone here is gear oriented, a large portion of the discussions are related to gear and performance.

Now does the fact that we post the equipment information along with the picture diminish the impact of the picture or content ? My opinion, no it doesn't, not on this site considering who the target audience is.

Bob Michaels
05-29-2008, 17:38
It boils down to those whose primary interest is photographs vs. those whose primary interest is cameras.

Nothing wrong with either area of interest. Most of us have some level of interest in both, it's just the primary focus that differs.

40oz
05-29-2008, 21:16
I note what camera and film on the negative sheet. And lens, if all shots were with one lens. I find it helps jog my memory - I can build that day in my mind, and it triggers more memories.

I also find it useful for those times I care. And often, I find I do care about context when it is given. While I might say I could take it or leave it, I tend to take it if it is given. I don't think caring about the camera, lens, and film is caring more about cameras than pictures. I don't even know what that might mean, anyway. Pictures are taken with cameras, so to claim you don't care about cameras is pretty much saying you don't care if it was a picture or a painting, IMHO. That's fine, but I for one find details fascinating.

Knowing a shot was taken on a film long dead in a camera I know means something more to me than "camera, lens, film unknown." It helps me understand the circumstances and context of the shot. It's not about appreciating art at that point, it's about appreciating the artist. It's like knowing that Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth did their thing in a time when beer and cigarettes were dugout regulars vs. today when those have been banned in favor of steroids and cortisone shots. Context adds to the art without detracting from anything. Just MHO.

furcafe
05-30-2008, 13:52
True enough. I am also the sort of person who tracks his expenses down to the penny.

I briefly tried using a regular (paper) notebook, but found it difficult to read my own handwriting (the reason why I've been writing via keyboards since I was in elementary school). Then I discovered FotoLog . . . Should I eventually abandon the Palm operating system for an iPhone or whatnot, I may end up taking up a notebook again.



It may well be that your approach would work faster for some people. For others (including me) I'd give up photography before relying on a Palm Pilot or its descendants. This is not to say that I'm right and you're wrong, or vice versa. It's very much a question of personality but I can feel my heart sink as I contemplate your approach.

Then again, when I start in the 1960s I didn't have the option of a Palm Pilot and maybe I'd have taken that route if I had. Probably I wouldn't though: I did have a loose-leaf notebook (an even earlier version of a Palm Pilot, with fewer software incompatibilities). As I say: personality, age, environment...

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
05-31-2008, 00:20
True enough. I am also the sort of person who tracks his expenses down to the penny.


That's what I like about RFF. In many forums, we'd be trading insults by now.

Fortunately we (and most but not all other RFF members) are prepared to accept that there are different ways of doing things, and that ultimately, it ain't that important anyway. The purpose is to take pictures and enjoy yourself. As long as we both do that, and as long as we make it clear to others that they, personally, may prefer either your approach or mine, no problems.

The thing is, I genuinely can't understand your approach, and presumably, you feel much the same about mine; so all we can do is shrug and say, hey, that's fine too.

Cheers,

Roger

rxmd
05-31-2008, 00:34
Fortunately we (and most but not all other RFF members) are prepared to accept that there are different ways of doing things
I'm not!!!

Philipp

Roger Hicks
05-31-2008, 00:42
I'm not!!!

Philipp
Dear Philipp,

To quote the late Terence Donovan, "Not my problem, sunshine."

The origin of the quote is this:

We were talking one day and Terence said, "Let's face it, cameras are so ****ing cheap you can buy a new camera for each ****ing job."

I replied, "Maybe you can, Terence, but we're not all Terence Donovan."

And he said, "Not my problem, sunshine."

Since then, I've regarded that as some of the best advice I've ever had. It's amazing how many things aren't "my problem, sunshine" unless I want them to be.

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
05-31-2008, 02:31
The only reason for me to put the equipment used is for bragging rights: "Leica M8 and 35mm Summilux-M ASPH" (might as well have written "This ****ty snapshot was taken with $9000 worth of gear").

As for aperture, iso and shutter speed - I actually prefer it when people don't put it up with the photo. If they do, it all turns into a technical discussion in my head. That is - the photo itself kind of disappears. That is my own fault, but... :)

- This post was written on a Apple MacBook Pro, 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, running OS X 10.5.2 and Firefox 3.0b5.

Only $9,000! Peasant! Go and buy an Alpa immediately! Or a commemorative Noctilux!

Seriously, that's an interesting point about NOT wanting to know. On the other hand, I sometimes find it interesting to go through the readers' pics in Amateur Photographer and see if I can guess what they were taken with -- especially digital, which often has an 'airbrushed' look to me. I can often spot MF, too, even in 1/4 page shots.

Which makes me realize that indeed, it is detracting from the picture to know, but usually, only in a negative sense: 'Bloody hell, if that's what pics from a _________ look like, I'm glad I don't use one...'

Cheers,

Roger

kram
06-01-2008, 11:46
I don't note down any setting of the camera and try to remember any out of the ordinary setting (lens wide open or 1 stop down, or f16/22 settings, shutter speed slower than 1/30) so when I view the photography and there is subject blur -'oh that was the 1/15 of a second shot , humm background/forground looks sharp , must be subject movement'. Or the image loks abit woolly -'oh yeh that was the f22 shot'.
However, with other people's photographs, I find it interesting if it is outside the 'normal' stuff - 'Alpa + 48mm pan F plus - what a cracking picture' - or 'Nikon D40 + Kit lens great picture'. I find most colour digital photographs 'muddy' or over sharpened and colours too bright. However, now and again (with recent kit) some of it looks quite good.

Roger Hicks
06-01-2008, 15:16
As for the dead relative: Let's put it this way - I never new I had an ex-nazi uncle in the Foreign Legion (Légion Étrangère). My family is a weird collection of people.

Didn't you say, "Don't tease me"?

Isn't this making it hard not to?

Cheers,

R.

Ben Z
06-03-2008, 11:09
Sometimes I like to see the gear, film, developer, time, temp, agitation, not for any reason I just like it.

Bravo. Too many times on internet forums, social dynamics spur people to defend their preferences. For most of us, photography is a hobby, and the only "rule" to a hobby is that it should be fun.

swoop
06-10-2008, 12:56
I rarely mention what I used to take a photo.

Roger Hicks
06-27-2008, 04:42
I rarely mention what I used to take a photo.

Which prompts another question: why do people list the gear they own in their signature? Not trying to be funny or combative: just wondering.

Cheers,

Roger

rxmd
06-27-2008, 05:11
Which prompts another question: why do people list the gear they own in their signature?
That's actually worde, because in addition to raising all sorts of ego-related questions, it also breaks site search in Google. How is one supposed to look for Leica-specific information when the search function reports hits on everybody and their dog's proudly listed signature Leicas?

Philipp