When a new more finely grained film was introduced, did photogs ask what lens to buy

Started May 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
JacquesBalthazar
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Re: When a new more finely grained film was introduced, did photogs ask what lens to
In reply to JacquesBalthazar, May 25, 2012

To complete response to OP a bit further: so yes we did discuss "what lens" for the new low grain films, and renewed the discussion on each new breakthrough in film or lens design.

Then as now, very few users actually printed to sizes above A3 (or thereabouts as we refered to photo paper sizes rather than office paper sizes), so then as now much of the discussion was hypothetical.

Pros were, then as now, facing a different set of requirements, linked to whatever the magazine art directors needed or the advertisement agencies required or the newly weds expected.

But you are right in seeing that the hobby has changed.

Reason is that in order to discuss lens and film performance most users had to rely on slide/neg observation on a light table through a magnifier.

We had a gamut of magnifiers of varying quality, with magnifications ranging from a comfortable 4x to a not-so comfortable 10x. Some loonies would use a microscope, but that was the margin of the margin.

In other words, in the best case scenario, if you had the patience, the eyesight and the hardware, you might have been able to guess from the piece of film what a 24x36 cm print could look like. At best. We are talking of the equivalent of the output of, let's say, a 4MP sensor (did not do the maths so might be off the mark here). In terms of observation ability, not in terms of real quantity of available information of course.

The alternative was to rely of magazine tests.

Some hobbyists (such as me) were die hard slide users, so we would use expensive Leica or Zeiss Ikon projectors to magnify the slides on big screens, and would go apeshit on corner to corner sharpness exam1nation, made impossible by slide "popping" and projector lens' intentional curvature field or lack thereof.

Today, it has all become way too "easy": 1 click and you see on screen a "lifesize" crop equivalent to sticking your nose at 20cm from an A0 poster or a cinema screen, while sipping your coffee and participating in gear head forums.

This has become the new reality, and the hobby all too often focuses on that 1-click magnification, aka pixel peeping.

For those of us who are not completely polluted by that reality, and focus on image content and on "real world" media sharing flows (print or online), the debates we have here on DPR are mostly pointless.

So the hobby has branched out between pixel peepers and creators. With some of us having a foot in both domains. I think pixel peeping is our lowest common denominator and mostly a sad onanist activity.....

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