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The Official Head-Case Photography Thread.


Knuckledragger
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Those SOOC JPEG's or...?  Is this a bayer-filter camera?

Color is just one of those super-subjective things that varies so much from person to person, RAW converter to RAW converter, etc.  I think people often outsource the creative work of color palette management/selection to their equipment (be it hardware or software), in much the way audiophiles outsource EQ to pairs of headphones or even cables.  Throw in a dose of "retro is inherently better", etc.

I never found myself in love with the supposedly great "FUJI COLORS" over the time I used their cameras, and the JPEG engine of the Sony RX-100 (I) and A6000 were hot garbage.

However, I've never really owned a camera I couldn't get colors I liked out of, in post, including those.  I think most digital cameras of at least the last 10 years offer SO MUCH latitude in post, that most people don't know, can't conceive of what to do with it all, and find their creativity more stimulated by the limitations of/look produced by older cameras.

I'm from the Thom Hogan school of thought, i.e. capture optimal data in the field (s/n ratio, sharpness, focus, framing), then massage in post to fit your vision. I'm still floored by what I can capture with a 45MP full-frame sensor and the latest lenses.  I think if anything it generally exceeds my abilities as an artist, and I can see why many would find that intimidating/challenging. I know I do at times.

Edited by Iron_Dreamer
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5 hours ago, Iron_Dreamer said:

Those SOOC JPEG's or...?  Is this a bayer-filter camera?

Color is just one of those super-subjective things that varies so much from person to person, RAW converter to RAW converter, etc.  I think people often outsource the creative work of color palette management/selection to their equipment (be it hardware or software), in much the way audiophiles outsource EQ to pairs of headphones or even cables.  Throw in a dose of "retro is inherently better", etc.

I never found myself in love with the supposedly great "FUJI COLORS" over the time I used their cameras, and the JPEG engine of the Sony RX-100 (I) and A6000 were hot garbage.

However, I've never really owned a camera I couldn't get colors I liked out of, in post, including those.  I think most digital cameras of at least the last 10 years offer SO MUCH latitude in post, that most people don't know, can't conceive of what to do with it all, and find their creativity more stimulated by the limitations of/look produced by older cameras.

I'm from the Thom Hogan school of thought, i.e. capture optimal data in the field (s/n ratio, sharpness, focus, framing), then massage in post to fit your vision. I'm still floored by what I can capture with a 45MP full-frame sensor and the latest lenses.  I think if anything it generally exceeds my abilities as an artist, and I can see why many would find that intimidating/challenging. I know I do at times.

Hey Peter, thanks for the response. I suspect we come at this from different perspectives though I want to stress I very much have enjoyed your work over the years and appreciate the thoughts here and prior. 

The above wasn't a SOOC jpg. I don't believe I've ever posted a SOOC jpg from any camera, but those were tweaked, slightly, from the raw (mostly crop and contrast). I'll attach the SOOC jpg and tweaked raw (not corrected for mobile as above though).

This is a Kodak designed CCD sensor camera, yes, Bayer, like a few other CCD models such as the M8 & M9, before everything went Live MOS/NMOS/CMOS (and eventually nearly all CMOS, stay strong Foveon!). They were certainly going for a look (even differences between CCD models modeling) and coupled with the technical limitations of the time, capture light and color differently than contemporary models. They were also selling to a mostly film audience. 

While there is a trend for CCD and early CMOS sensor cameras recently, and of course every trend should be looked at with critical eyes, a segment of those moving away from the mainstream in photography (both look and technology) has always been in play, no? I always think of the Japanese are-bure-boke (rough, blurred and out-of-focus) movement. In the age of HDRish smartphones, shallow depth of field and ultra high resolutions became a path forward. And in the age of both trends, maybe an interest in lower resolution, lower dynamic range, inflated colors, and cheaper finds, starts to grow? A counter-aesthetic develops, or something similar. Can you make an A7rIV, R5, or Nikon Z7II look like an E-1 or E-300? If not yes, at least close, but exactly zero people do that. ;) Hell, no one even makes their M11 shots look like M8s, though there are possibilities.

And I probably come from the Garry Winogrand school of thought - "I photograph to see what things look like photographed" and "Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed." Coupled with the old Poe quote "There is no exquisite beauty, without some strangeness in the proportion." I'm not sure if any editorial choices are pure (lens choice to soften skin, composition, thinking in monochrome, adjusting light even in wait), but I certainly understand the choice to keep the most options for post... though again some things never seen to happen there and it does take out happy accidents of the process. I do a ton of post on Foveon shots, but have to admit I like when I have to do less. I'm sure the commonly quoted "cameras are just a tool" and pleasure of shooting versus output, come into play here too. Maybe even the genres of our photography. And we live in the world of PureRAW, Super Resolution, and the Topaz products which lessens some restrictions. We can do a lot with a little for the first time. Especially if we go back to little... Instagram. Besides I'm not sure anyone is looking at these old digicams as a sole camera. Spend $200 on a body that used to cost $5000, $75-100 on a lens with character. Bingo. It's just one more tool in the toolbox. And most traits aren't as problematic from a contemporary or realistic perspective as most film stocks. ;) I don't see the alarm here.  

And as long as I'm disagreeing, I'll throw out there - I think Fuji has the best colors as they have the most options for jpg and starting point raw development. I would never import at Adobe Standard, but bring in the image into PS or C1 as Provia, Pro Neg High, Acros or try one of the hundred in camera or RAW Studio recipes, then tweak. "Filmic" yes, but not really, just think pleasing. 

Anyway, thanks again for your comments. I suspect we agree a bunch, just coming from different angles with likely different goals. Big tent and all that. 
 

SOOC jpg

_8216384.thumb.jpg.ee86b8c08cb4faed57c29b9a2e159796.jpg

RAW tweaked (but not for mobile). You an see I upped the shadows a little and removed a piece of paper.  

1243995169__8216384GPAI1.thumb.jpg.442576c5b747dbc729a8f543b9af368c.jpg

Edited by blessingx
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I've always been intrigued by the Foveon cameras, but never managed to convince myself to tolerate the trade-offs. Nearly convinced myself to try a DP2m a couple of times, but just never took the plunge, and figured if the technology truly had merit, eventually Sigma or someone else would develop it into something more usable.

While perhaps my previous post made me come off as someone who loves doing work in post, if anything I am the opposite. It's my least favorite part of digital photography, but a necessary evil to get the results I want. Anything I can do upfront in the shooting process to make post work less demanding appeals to me (hence capturing optimal data), but as far as I can tell, there's still no algorithm that can predict the look I want consistently and bake it into a JPEG for me. The closest I can do is a few sets of my own Adobe presets, but even those are dependent on correct exposure to work as intended and are far from universal.

I do take plenty of more spontaneous / less pre-visualized photos, but generally working from the same approach of data-gathering that informs my aperture/SS/ISO/focus point decisions, and is familiar and well-trained enough to often not require much more than a reaction rather than involved thought. That is to say, I can spend more effort thinking about what goes in the frame and where, rather than how to execute the shot itself.  And It's that puzzle of what goes where, how, and why, that ultimately I think I find most rewarding and enjoyable about photography.

I don't see the alarm with finding charm and enjoyment in older gear either, and I can certainly see the appeal of various traits of various lenses and bodies that have been around over the years.  I personally prefer to have a fairly small footprint of "stuff" in my life, so am naturally drawn to things that are closer to do-it-all, than extremely characterful specialists. In photography, much like in audio, this has generally tended to draw me to devices at the leading edge of technical development, often derided as dull, cold, soul-less, or the like by certain other enthusiasts.

Put me in a target-rich environment, and I do believe I'd enjoy shooting it with any camera. But I'd enjoy it more shooting one with fewer caveats, limitations, and work-arounds required to get the results I want. I'd probably enjoy the results I got from those cameras, (perhaps even enjoy some of their results MORE, depending on the circumstances?), but I think I would enjoy the journey to those results less.  And I've come to discover that I enjoy the journey of photography as much as or perhaps more than the result.

I just spent 4 days in the backcountry of Kings Canyon NP.  I brought one camera that I know very well, and two lenses, and had a glorious time searching through scenes to find compositions I liked, and capturing them fairly effortlessly with files that I knew would stand up well and turn out great, due to the incredible and consistent performance of that gear. I didn't have to worry about running out of dynamic range, having inconsistent acuity across the frame, name your photographic malady, basically.  I just had to concern myself with getting my camera to the right place at the right time with the optimal settings, and know that the results wouldn't disappoint me.  And at first look, they haven't.  I've scarcely ever had more fun with a camera.  But I understand someone could say exactly the same thing about doing nighttime urban photography with a Holga, and it would be completely true for them as well.

Edited by Iron_Dreamer
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1 hour ago, Iron_Dreamer said:

But I'd enjoy it more shooting one with fewer caveats, limitations, and work-arounds required to get the results I want.

I always found the opposite to be true. More constraints often yields more interesting results. We all live with the illusion that choice brigs happiness, but in fact choice makes us miserable. #prixfixe

 

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Appreciate your comments Peter and different strokes. That said on a recent trip I packed two bags - one for clothes, one for gear. Clothes took five minutes. Gear was repacked five times over two days as I tried to settle on just three cameras. I have a problem. See choice above. ;) 

At the very least these old camera eBay listings, which may have gone through multiple translations over the years, have the best reviews in their descriptions. 
“I think it is a fun camera and having fun. Because I'm looking for love.”
“The best machine is the best machine as a single-eye introduction machine.”

Edit: Ha, ha. From an hour ago... Are Vintage Digital Cameras the Biggest New Photography Trend?

Edited by blessingx
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13 hours ago, dsavitsk said:

I always found the opposite to be true. More constraints often yields more interesting results. We all live with the illusion that choice brigs happiness, but in fact choice makes us miserable. #prixfixe

Years ago I read a book called the "Tyranny of Choice" about that very conundrum. It's a funny one though, which is more tyrannical, what to do with the extremely versatile, malleable RAW files I got from a very modern one-body, two-lens setup, or what to rifle out of Ric's gear closet for any particular given outing, to get files with more "look" baked in?

These are the amusing wonderments of life, no?

Not to suggest I don't have a gear closet of my own, though my recent experience is perhaps inspiring me to cull some of the DSLR lenses I still have hanging around, good as they are.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Camera (+lens) rant time :)
There has been some talk about new vs old colours, which is also my problem, so I thought I'd just illustrate that with a candid portrait I shot last week.

JPEG using one-click Auto settings on a free software, FastStone Image Viewer

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LR quick "edit" that I decided to stop after a few minutes:

AL9nZEU13K5UChXrpbfGEHlmHI41m1YExmbXJE-r

This is a near-ideal scenario regarding lighting, neither of them is perfect, but the way Lightroom renders skin tones is much worse, whatever profile I use. Tried other software and was similarly dissatisfied, Lightroom is at least is easy to use and they have added more controls, but difficult to figure out what to do, and I don't know how many years I still have to struggle until I figure out how to edit people images quickly (without people it can be abstract, so it may not matter much) and produce a satisfying result (with regards to colour specifically, with contrast I have figured out a bit, but curves affect colours, etc. it is difficult).
If I saw the JPEG image (it pops up for a second when you open it, and it disappears just to troll you...and you might never get that colour back again) but I had the RAW flexibility, it would be perfect for me.

I simply find this process unenjoyable and disappointing when compared against the JPEG image.
I make the exposure good, in this case, I manage to nail perfect focus (very difficult on slightly a moving target and it takes away from your focus of trying to compose the image) and on the last stage it falls apart.

In this instance, all I do is make it worse. Tried colour charts, etc. it still did not work. Maybe best for me to switch to JPEG whenever I can, and shoot it the best way I can in camera - and waste of a lot of performance that those massive 80MB+ DNG files are giving...

I also don't understand why today's digital cameras can't adopt the way smartphones process images, more and more of them are producing nice, natural colours in a very wide range of lighting situations.


I am not sure if I like using the SL2, but at least it is the only digital camera I have now, so I have to get used to it, maybe the image quality is growing on me. (not regarding ISO or dynamic range, but in-camera colour)
Big and heavy, especially for old lenses, which are quite a bit lighter than what they make for the body, they are deliberately segmenting the product lines... But when I or whomever else looks at the screen or EVF, we all see some nice-looking images. If I was using a Sony or maybe to a lesser extent one the newer Canons, I would struggle even more. (Fuji anything but FF so I am not interested, sorry - but some of my lenses would work on medium format). I also appreciate how they have constantly tried to improve firmware, with the last one they have addressed vintage lens support even more (well, Panasonic cameras worked like that from the start...)

I think I was most happy with the 5D Mark 1 or something more usable for me, the M Type 240 images and in daytime (a camera touted as not rendering colours as well as the M9 with a CCD) I think I could edit those pictures better as well as quicker (not a lot of latitude anyway...), and maybe I should go back to those just for that reason.
But the SL2 shoots video as well with great IBIS (here the brick-like feel helps) which can be really useful, with L-Log the colour is half baked in, so I may work it out a bit better.


Bonus: if you can figure out which lens was used from this picture, you are a gearhead like me, and we should all seek professional help.

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The reason why I made this terrible image is that after rambling incoherently in the Stax topic, I realised that I simply have way too much. (There are a few more somewhere...)
But unlike with headphones, where at least I can have a preference for certain things, these are all great in their own right, so I would just like to use whatever is left and stick with it, although GAS is something that I will never ever get rid of because I started it from the wrong side. (And I have have two big repair bills coming both on the Canon and Leica lens and it is not all my fault, but it's ok, at least it also prompted me to think about this.)

My best combo was the Leica M6TTL with the Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH Pre-FLE lens.
It quickly made me very unhappy, that I sold both for way less than what they are worth now and maybe I should swallow all this, get rid of some unnecessary stuff and get back to it. I was talking to my sister the other day, and she told me how she really liked that picture - yes, it was shot on Delta 3200 film, no silly editing, just processed in a lab...


The Praktica BX20s (yes it is the rarer version...) and its zoom lens really aren't worth that much last time I checked, so anyone interested in actually using them can have them for the cost of shipping.
You just choose a film and you get the looked baked in (lenses render colour a bit differently, but it does not really matter if it is a cheap or an expensive film camera, film is film), it would be really nice to have Kodachrome, but and most of them are still just plain very nice and digital Leicas, Fujis, etc. do seem to have a little bit about that film mojo.

Edited by padam
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Don't romanticize that 5D Classic too much. 😜I bought one recently and headed out this morning for the second time to find the OVF looked like I was looking through a periscope. I guess there are disadvantages to having a 12lb mirror slapping around in there as the focusing screen was trying to escape. Don't take the advantages of mirrorless for granted folks!

IMG_8186.thumb.jpg.35e0244410febea208ecaabe3b9552c8.jpg

And as you mentioned the M240, you know when I was most satisfied with its default colors? The last test shots in a parking lot as I was showing it was working properly to its new buyer. I took some of my favorite early pandemic shots with it, all monochrome, but was preoccupied with digital medium format at the time. 🤦‍♂️

That sale led to the SL though, whose default colors I loved immediately. It has a look, that was unfortunately eliminated in the SL2 (the SL2-S is rumored to be in between, but I have my doubts). I'm sure it could be integrated into other systems more easily and better edited from a more neutral starting point, but it does seem that something special was eliminated. I certainly can understand if you also struggle with it. A lot of complaints online. Still there are options (I'm looking into Cobalt) and besides the IBIS and video functionality you mentioned, the Monochrome High Contrast profile and highlight weighted metering are pluses of the recent Leicas including the SL2.

EDIT: Anyway fixed the 5DC before a little art & wine fest this weekend...

 1458197995__MG_0023-CR2GPAI1.thumb.jpg.88e130dd55e351c39f3fe6df789ac317.jpg

2140167183__MG_0023-CR2GPAI.thumb.jpg.69f2292abbb62e4485c16ef991f38497.jpg

Edited by blessingx
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Been playing with Cobalt digital emulations as they’re currently on sale. They’re model based, so in these cases specifically Leica SL2 to match specifically first Leica M Monochrom (M9M). Still have to tweak, but leaning heavily, too heavily, into blacks, they’re promising. 

1F100B43-E86D-49B8-9112-0F5033DE818B.thumb.jpeg.d5a8328473697231fe8cd631fe33c438.jpeg

3F1FD73F-6637-40F3-98FC-BCFEF59AB7CD.thumb.jpeg.0516eb7c4474a5576fa8c5d85cd530a7.jpeg

10D36741-F16D-4268-90C8-8C42671B2D4C.thumb.jpeg.59e15ac5317db997a3c47765905ad140.jpeg

62A9DBFE-E6D4-496B-ADB4-A887DAD3F4F9.thumb.jpeg.fcd7fa24c126a9813c219aa35eb7372c.jpeg

9ADAC23E-86CB-4EEF-8B13-29A88C7DB8FE.thumb.jpeg.677699cf75e20e238f3521ffa66d562a.jpeg

 

Edited by blessingx
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