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Photography Question 
Sonia Gurevitz
 

med format vs digital


I am so confused! Used to very much enjoy B&W 35mm w/my old Nikon FM workhorse. Would now like to treat myself to a really nice new camera. After some research, would love a pentax645NII med format but am told that film processing is becoming hard to come by ( I used to do my own but don't have a med format setup). Am also told that labs now do all scanning, not darkroom--is this true? Am debating a digital but still feel that the images would not have the detail of prints, but if they are all scanned anyway, they now compete? Would contemplate the Canon EOS1Ds MarkII cant afford the 16mg Canon coming out. My heart still lies w/film but don't want to be unable to process anything and hate the idea of scanned film images. Would love advice, am really out of the loop.


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10/19/2004 12:56:08 PM

 
Doug  Elliott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/18/2004
  Sonia,
Never fear there will always be film labs. I would suggest you contact API in Austin, Texas.


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10/19/2004 6:04:17 PM

 
Doug  Elliott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/18/2004
  Sonia,
Never fear there will always be film labs. I would suggest you contact Pounds Lab in Dallas, TX is a good lab. I've been doing business with them for over 15 years. Their address is 901 Regal Row, Dallas, TX 75247-4402
800-350-5671. They are a pro lab that is setup to do color B&W and Digital.
Hope this info helps.
Good shooting
Doug


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10/19/2004 6:21:46 PM

 
Sonia Gurevitz   I appreciate the information. I guess I should have also specified printing. I prefer to do it myself but don't currently have access to a set-up and have never done med format. (For the price of the fancy digitals I could probably have the set up as well as the camera med format).

I realize that this is an ongoing debate, but do you have any thoughts on the quality of output of the new digital cameras? I was disgusted with their slowness but they have recently become very fast. Does the image really rival the med format? I'm talking straight print comparision, not scanned prints. I usually print larger than 8x10. It's been many years though, and things have changed a lot...

thanks

Sonia


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10/20/2004 10:26:35 AM

 
Sonia Gurevitz   I should add that I did a lot of low-light shooting and wonder about the "noise" issues w/digital. (What I'm used to is hanging out w/a tripod and cable release and humming a little 'till it was right. It got so that I could get some beauties. Obviously I'm a rank amateur but maybe someone could share some thoughts on the med format digital thing for this type of photography)

thanks

Sonia


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10/20/2004 10:36:51 AM

 
Doug  Elliott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/18/2004
  Sonia,
The biggest problem I have had in developing medium format film is using the metal reels and tanks. I just keep getting moons in my film. Therefore, I switched to plastic you can either go with JOBO or PATTERSON reels and tanks. I like Acufine as the developer. The stop bath and fix are Kodak. Pay stick attention to your temperatures. From development through wash. Use a Hypo (Fixer) Clearing Agent, and a Kodak Photo Flo 200 a wetting agent. Just follow the directions. If you can set up your darkroom in a separate room that you leave up. If you have to use a bathroom or kitchen let the shower run hot for about 5 minutes before you start. This will knock down the dust. Now with all that said, see if your local Junior College has lab courses you can take with out taking a shooting class.
I shoot a Fuji S2 Pro Camera. I can make photos up to 20 x 24 when shooting in RAW. The new cameras are fast as far a recording your image. They produce great images. As a pro I depend upon getting my clients sharp clear images. I have sold off my 4 x 5 Toyo/Omega camera, and I will be selling a complete Hasselblad system. I just donít need those large negatives for my work. If you jump into digital, one thing to remember is that if you want to do only Black & White is to purchase a PiezographyBW, printer. Epson is the printer of choice. Go to Inkjetmall.com they can explain it all.
Hope I didnít over load you with info.
Good Shooting
Doug


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10/20/2004 4:50:22 PM

 
Sonia Gurevitz   Thanks Doug, no, no overload and thanks for the tips. It doesn't sound like you miss your film systems. I'm still seriously contemplating a used pentax645nII and think I will look into use of a local darkroom as you suggest. I guess I like that better than learning photoshop etc. thanks so much for the reply.

Sonia


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10/20/2004 5:07:38 PM

 
Doug  Elliott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/18/2004
  Sonia,
In looking at 645 format cameras also consider the Mamaya 645. Both are great cameras and with care will serve you for many years.
Good shooting
Doug
PS. Photoshop is fun, and you can let out that very creative person you have hidden. Please take courses because you will not only from your instuctor but other students. Send me your email adderss and I will send you some infomation about "Texas School" of profesional photography that is held for an entire week in College Station. They have week long Photoshop course that you will learn how to use photoshop.


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10/20/2004 9:08:48 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Sonia -

Don't know if it matters but you might be advised to wait on a medium format camera. I visited the PopPhoto website yesterday and read an article that Tamron is discontinuing its Bronica medium format line of cameras.

The explanation was that medium format has been the basis for wedding photography. But, sales are way off due to competition from digital cameras.

I'm wondering whether other manufacturers will discontinue their medium formats. Of course, Hasselblad recently came out with one and Kodak has a digital back for other medium formats.

John


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10/21/2004 7:47:57 AM

 
Sonia Gurevitz   Thank you for the tip John.

I was just very discouraged to hear the news that my local pro darkroom/workshop ctr is moving out of state (this is hard because I live in a rural area--not a lot of choices for darkroom access/classes, etc). The pro who ran it w/a long history of B&W darkroom is switching to digital and pointed out how film/papers etc will become harder and more expensive to buy over the years, how truly fresh supplies are hard to purchase even now because turnover is low, etc. (even purchased from large places like B&H) I am discouraged because the act of creating in front of a computer seems so unsatisfying to me, but don't want to invest in equipment that will become obsolete w/in a couple of years. But, (assuming great composition and all things equal) digital, revolutionary as it is, STILL doesn't look as rich as film/paper does it? If you think it does, do you need an 8000 dollar camera to achieve that? (which I cant afford) Any thoughts...

Sonia


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10/25/2004 8:31:01 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Of course not. Look into the Mamiya 645 or one of the Pentax models. You might also search the used market; check B&H or Adorama.


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10/25/2004 12:44:16 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
John's Gallery
  Of course not. Look into the Mamiya 645 or one of the Pentax models. You might also search the used market; check B&H or Adorama.


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10/25/2004 12:45:23 PM

 
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