Some dumb questions I have been wondering about

Started Mar 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: 850g 6x6 pentaprism...

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

Nah! Use of square format on 120 film was more a matter of graphic designers not being able to make up their (damned) minds about how they were going to use the shots at the shooting stage...

.... they always demanding loads of crop-ability so they could try out different layouts....

... before EVENTUALLY settling on something they could change their minds about !!

Seriously, it wasn't anything to do with photographers. And wasn't anything to do with producing SQUARE pictures either. Square pictures look horrible, and photographers know that better than anybody!

In real life Hasselblad and Rollie shots were invariably cropped to vertical or horizontal rectangles before use. Hardly any pictures were actually printed square...

I believe that Rollei and Hasselblad used a 6cm X 6cm format because you could only work the camera one way. So they compromised on the format shape in case you wanted portrait orientation.

Yes. Rollies and Hasselblads could also be built a lot lighter by managing with a simple waistlevel finder, even for pictures intended to be vertically composed. The convenience was paid for in wasted film area, which, of course, was true of both vertical AND horizontal shots...

I still maintain that the quest for lightness and film savings was what killed medium format. There's a rule in psychophysics that to really feel a difference (either in visual input or in audio) you have to double something.

We had that, almost perfectly, in photography. There was a "shakeout" and a lot of formats like 828 film, 2x3 and 5x7 sheet, etc. pretty much "went away" and we had

  • miniature format - 35mm, with a 43.3mm diagonal.
  • medium format, 6x8 or 6x9 (i liked the folders of the day) with a 91mm diagonal
  • large format, 4x5 with a 160mm diagonal, 8x10 at 320mm

Rolleiblad 6x6, because it pretty much always gets cropped, is effectively a 70mm diagonal, moving closer to 35mm, and, as film got better, harder to differentiate, and that's when the industry began to fall apart. 645 only hastened the death. The "ideal format" proponents tried to breathe some life back into it by positioning themselves at exactly twice the diagonal of 35mm, but they  were too late and too fragmented. (And no one anticipated digital coming along and making 6x7 digital untenably expensive).

....while the lateral reversalof that waistlevel image makes for considerable framing problems with anything moving, to put it mildly!

Easier than a 4x5, upside down.

Well THAT's true, and then some!

Have you ever been at the top of a stepladder viewing a roomset with a black cloth over your head? Suddenly a framed picture, which you had painstakingly postioned on a set wall... falls OFF the hook you so carefully hung it on...

...and flies rapidly UPSCREEN and out the top of the viewfinder! (Whoosh! Gone!)

Take my word for it. The sight of this is very unnerving, and can lead to falling OFF said stepladder, with consequent injuries sustained.

Apollo Lunar missions.....

The acceleration of the image feature UPWARDS appears to the eye very like the take-off from the Moon's surface of the LEM, as we saw it leave it's legs behind and to the return to Command Module.

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"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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