PIX 2015

Why insist on FF format?

Started Sep 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: OMD Vs D800
In reply to kelly15, Sep 23, 2012

kelly15 wrote:

Back in film days the main reason to have 1.4 lenses was not because of DOF but because of low sensitivity of films and dark view in the finder: do you remenber?

Shot at 1,4 or 2,0 was to be avoided because of low quality of images and insufficient DOF. Only in rare cases (almost by night) we worked so open.

I own several copies of the Nikon contest catalog of 70ies and 80ies where data are indicated and no or very few prized pictures were taken more open than f. 3.5.

I don't know what you're talking about, but back in the film days I had my Canon film SLR loaded up with Tri-X 400, and with a Canon 50/1.4 almost permanently mounted on my camera, with it almost always set between f/1.4-f/2.0 for the beautiful subject isolation it delivered. One of my early inspirations in photography was Arthur Elgort's fantastic book, "Camera Ready: How to Shoot Your Kids", who was a big proponent of fast lenses, shooting at fast apertures, for excellent subject isolation. Sadly, the book is now out of print, but I am fortunate enough to still have a copy.

Good lenses perform well even at fast apertures. Besides, not everything is about pixel-level pixel-peeping. We certainly didn't do that back in the film days, or at least not nearly as obsessively as some people do it today. Ultimately, what really makes a great image is its content and composition. And DOF is a very important aspect of content and composition.

As for this non-sense about "low quality of images and insufficient DOF", just go look at Scott Schuman's blog, where he shoots people on the street with a Canon 5D with 50/1.4 wide open for practically every shot , in order to have beautifully blurred backgrounds, even on the busy, cluttered streets of New York.

His street fashion photography is now featured in the pages of GQ and Vogue magazines. So what were you saying about the "low quality of images" of shooting at fast apetures? LOL.

Photographer Mario Testino built an entire carrier out of just showing up to a photo shoot with a couple Nikon 35mm manual film cameras with fast Nikon 50mm primes mounted on them, shooting exclusively at max aperture. Again, what were you saying about the low quality of images that come from shooting at max apertures? LOL

As you can clearly see, these photographers are not just shooting "by night", and are not shooting wide open "in rare cases."

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