More questions from the search engines

I like to view what people are hitting my site about so that I can make the content of my site more useful. Sometimes, I'll notice a search that seems to ask a question but I'm not sure if I've got a great answer for it, so here's some short answers...

How to take really good pictures

Shoot a lot. Figure out what you did wrong when you don't like the results. Read. Research. Ignore people's advice.

Honestly, if it was a simple process to become really good, everybody would be really good. However, creativity is very much like a muscle. If you don't use it, it'll atrophy. Not everybody can be in the Olympics, but everybody can get better by working out more often.

Sigma DP1 vs. 645 medium format film

Winner? Except for the convenience of being able to see what you just shot, medium format film.

Between a DP1 (or any other APS-C digital sensor) and a 35mm compact, the difference may not be so clear cut in real life. And between a DP1 and a full-frame 35mm camera, the difference may not be so clear cut either.

And do remember that even in 11x14 - 13x16 size prints, you probably won't notice a difference.

6x7 digital vs 35mm digital

The only digital backs that cover the full 6x7 area are scanning backs. These have some huge advantages (largely in that they are cheap and very high resolution) that is probably handy if you know exactly what you are doing. But they are not general purpose.

The biggest digital back otherwise is a 6 x 4.5 back. Which you might as well get a camera more closely intended for. Personally, if I had a bunch of money to throw at camera gear, I'd get the latest Leaf / Rollei camera because it has a rotating back like my RB67.

Now, you can put a 6x4.5 digital back on an RB67 or RZ67 camera, but I don't think this is that good of an idea right now. Same problem with APS-C sensors... your wide angle lenses aren't so wide anymore. If you want a better way to preview, you might as well get a Canon G9. Otherwise, you'll probably be much happier getting a system more closely designed for a smaller sensor. It'll be lighter, the lenses will be faster, and the lenses will have a higher resolution.

Eventually, if for no other reason than a bunch of people with a lot of money will buy them, I expect that there will be some attempts at marketing a full 6x7 digital back, assuming that we haven't completely redefined what a camera ought to be in the interim. But we're not there yet.

In terms of image quality, most of these modern 6x4.5 backs will out-resolve any 35mm digital cameras, even when you aren't using the latest and greatest 6x4.5 lenses, although a 6x4.5 film camera can sometimes be bested by a 35mm full-frame digital camera.

Actually, a lot of the hardcore shooters who went through thousands of dollars worth of 4x5 film each year have found that a 6x4.5 digital back and the right lenses will do just as well as their old 4x5. The problem, of course, is that it doesn't make fiscal sense unless you spend enough on film and developing to make an expensive digital back sound reasonable.

Digital camera versus Mamiya rb67 film

Unless you have a medium format digital back, the RB67 will be at least equal, if not better than your digital, with a few caveats.

The RB67 will be much slower in terms of shooting rate. You need to be much more careful while exposing and stuff. Nor can you fire through 200 shots in a row to get it right.

There are better long telephoto lenses for digital SLR cameras than the RB67. There are also wider wide angle lenses. If you want to go wide, you want a view camera... and then it'll kick your full-frame dSLR's butt.

The digital camera will give you more options for handheld low-light shooting, with IS lenses and high ISOs.

But if you have both cameras on a tripod with lenses that have the same field of view and scan the RB67's film with a good scanner and take a shot of a landscape or a person, the RB67 will impress you compared to the 5D.

film speed which is better

You want a film speed that gives you a fast enough shutter speed (so don't shoot a concert with 100 speed film) but minimal grain (so don't shoot landscapes on 1600 speed film).

Below 200 or so, you might not be able to tell the difference most of the time.

how durable are rb67 lenses and shutters?

I tend to think that it's the same as any other camera. Drop it from a good enough height and the lens will be broken. Except that you'll have a helical that doesn't move anymore or a broken LCD on a newer camera... and on the RB67 you will need to get the shutter fixed.

The thing is, because the lens is otherwise embedded in a sturdy hunk of metal, you'll have the lens looking perfectly good but it just won't work right, so it's probably more frustrating than dropping a plastic lens and having it shatter into pieces!

How do I make my own polaroid film?

You really can't. The paper part on either side is just made with standard film emulsion techniques. The problem is the packets of reagent. That requires a lot of special manufacturing gear.

The closest you can do is figure out some way to get a piece of sheet film in the camera without getting the film exposed to light, take your shot, and then figure out how to get it out. This is possible on many roll film and peel-apart cameras and not so possible for the integral (600 and SX-70) cameras.

If it were easy to make, somebody would be stepping up into the market.

can you change iso speed half way through a film

In theory yes.

In practice, don't bother.

How it would work is that you would take a roll and shoot a few shots less than half (so, 9 shots on a 24 roll or 13 shots on a 36 roll). Then you'd shoot six blank shots. Then you'd shoot the other half. And then you could try and figure out where the "half" point is on the film while in the darkroom, cut it, and develop each roll separately. And maybe you can see about getting a better handle as to where the transition point is on your film. Or maybe you can develop by inspection... which is almost impossible with modern films.

It's just not worth it. Any lab will probably charge you more than the cost of shooting half a roll. You are too likely to screw it up and snip through a picture you wanted to keep.

So, yeah, in the end, it's much better to just waste part of a roll.

wratten 29 filter and infrared film

The 29 is almost the same as a 25. It won't make any of the modern IR films look that much better than 25... and Kodak's High Speed IR already looks fairly awesome with a 25.

will switching lower resolution on p&s camera improve image quality?

Not really. The damage has already been done, so you might as well leave it set at the highest setting

lee polyester based #89 infrared filter

I wish there was one, too, but there isn't..

A #87 will work on a digital, but you won't get the split colors that everybody loves.

And a #87 will work with Efke IR820c but not Ilford SFX nor Rollei IR.

the camera lies

you bet it does!


Recently added Photos: