The Online Darkroom Store

Thursday, November 1

A few prints from a special camera

I love a good, muddy field!

MILD SEXISM ALERT - liberal snowflakes look away now.


The arrival of Autumn heralds many different things. In my house, it seems to bring with it the urge to go back into the darkroom which I'm sure was never nature's intention.

Don't know about you but I've always found it difficult to disappear into a blackened room when it's sunny and warm outside. But now that the weather has turned a 1/60th at f4 it seems the most natural thing in the world.

It's coincided with my ongoing effort to organise my chaotic piles of negative sheets. I hate filing so this isn't a job that will be over any time soon but sorting through the negs has reminded me that there are a lot that I've never printed, albeit you've probably seen most of them here as negative scans.

A snowy scene in the Angus countryside from a couple of winters ago.

It became apparent to me as I held sheet after sheet up to the light box that some negatives looked particularly nice. In the same way that some women can reduce a man's knees to jelly with a "come hither" glance, they had that "come print me" look.

That doesn't mean that they were anything special from an "image" point of view (in the same way that the sexiest women aren't always the most beautiful) but they definitely invited some canoodling in the darkroom.

And then I started noticing a theme: many of these desirable negs had a tiny triangle of exposed emulsion breaking out of the 36x24mm picture area into the surrounding "rebate". You can see this in the small breaks in the borders of the prints posted here. One or two readers might, at this stage, be going, "Aaahh." Most will be wondering what I'm on about. For the uninitiated, that tiny triangle identifies the camera as a Konica Hexar AF.

For a reason unknown to me, Konica decided to put a small knick in the film gate of the Hexar AF so that a millimetre or two of surrounding rebate would be exposed at the taking stage. There are a few cameras that have such identifying marks, including some Hasselblads and the Fuji 6x9, but it's not a common feature. I've read all sorts of theories as to why some camera manufacturers did this from helping resolve copyright disputes to allowing the film to expand a little rather than buckling slightly under certain adverse conditions. Who really knows.

If you're brave, you can add it to a camera by judicious use of a jeweller's file but beware the very real risk of tiny shavings finding their way into the internal mechanism with potentially expensive results.

In my case, it helped identify the old ex-RAF as a camera that seemed to produce a negative with the right qualities for a nice enlargement. This was a little troubling to me as I've struggled to get on with the Hexar for many years. It has a great 35mm f2 Hexanon lens that I like a lot but has always been a candidate for EBay time because of some handling quirks. For these past few months, it has definitely been EBay bound as I promised myself that I'd fund the acquisition of the Mamiya Press outfit with the proceeds from the Hexar's sale. I think I paid a bit over £200 for the camera but it's now worth at least twice that sum.

When a camera - a 30-year-old electronic camera - attains that kind of value, I'm inclined to move it on rather than keep it and find out that a valuable asset has turned overnight into an attractive paper weight. And yet, I've still got the Hexar despite coming close on several occasions to parting with it. I suppose that says something about its qualities.

High up in the Carse Braes.

But back to the negatives. There was one in particular - again, nothing special as an image (It's the shot immediately below) - that had some nice tones and appeared sharp under the loupe. Well, I printed it and found it to be one of the sharpest 35mm pics I've taken. The film was Delta 100 which I think I developed in D76 1+1. It was printed through the second generation 50mm Focotar, the one known for its large front element, sharpness and flatness of field. I'm not ascribing any special input to the Focotar as there are other 50mm enlarging lenses that do just as good a job and, no doubt, one or two that are better. I include the information just for completeness.

The results got me exploring some other Hexar negatives and I started to realise that there was a good percentage of photographs taken with the camera that were among my personal favourites. For some reason, I just happened to like the look of many photographs produced by the camera. Please don't ask me to explain what I mean: I'd have a better chance of demystifying the Leica glow. I'm sure many readers will know what I'm on about, though. Sometimes a particular lens, film or developer just seems to give us exactly what we're looking for.

There's a good photo here - sadly, this isn't it. If I
could climb up to the second floor of a university
building behind me (as I took this pic) I'd get a
shot of a row of tiny Victorian cottages dwarfed by
the sprawling mass of the Wellcome Trust
research building.

The Delta 100, D76, Hexar AF combination seems to work especially well. I've never really used much Delta as I went from the likes of HP5, Tri X and FP4 to Kodak Tmax films with nothing to speak of in between apart from the odd role of Agfa APX or Adox CHS.

Tmax is excellent stuff with the slower version producing very fine grain and lovely smooth tones. However, it can look a little on the digital side in my opinion. The 400 speed film is more to my taste. Delta 100 isn't as fine grained as its Tmax rival but seems to have more bite for a look I prefer. A 6x9 print on 10x8 paper is very crisp indeed with just a hint of grain and quite punchy tones.

With excellent lenses at the taking and printing stages and careful development in a developer that doesn't mush up the grain too much, it can leave one wondering if there's much point to medium format. I don't mean that in the literal sense as MF will always have a technical advantage but more from a pictorial point of view.

If the 35mm workflow just described produces sharp, fine-grained and well-graded results is there really much to be gained from more of the same? And if there is then where do we stop? Ultra large format?

41 comments :

Herman Sheephouse said...

Some nice pictures there Bruce . . and prints too. Glad you are back in the darkroom too . . it's pretty much the whole point of all this.

As for the Konica, I'd quit worrying about when it is going to fail, accept you spent £200 on it, ignore its current worth and USE IT.
If you end up with a paperweight . . . well I know a guy with close on a couple of hundred beautiful cameras - the whole range of Leica Rs and a complete collection of Contarexes f'rinstance, and you know what, they just sit in cabinets looking really achingly pretty, but ultimately they're not fulfilling their destiny.
If the Konica goes, well, it isn't as if you have other cameras. Use it like a tool to be cherished, then bury him when he is dead.

Delta 100 is a wonderful film - it has an incredible 'pictorial' quality which is hard to put into words. You should see it in 5x4"!

DavidM said...

I've often thought that a certain amount of difficulty in operating the camera is a benefit. It keeps the photographer busy and stops them interfering, while the photograph gets itself taken.
See how the hit rate diminishes rapidly as the camera becomes easier to use. A thousand selfies might produce nothing worth keeping, but AA, with one dark slide left, managed to capture Moonrise, while balancing himself and his tripod on the roof of his car, fiddling with the knobs on a 10x8 camera and doing mental arithmetic in foot-candles. No doubt he had other worries, like getting his young son home for bedtime.
(He was further handicapped by thinking it was 8x10, but he seems to have got used to that.)
So, it looks as though the Konica imposes just the right amount of difficulty in your work flow. Cherish it.
The Leica glow comes from your wallet. Everybody knows this subconsciously.

(And welcome back.)

Paul Blanchard said...

Good to hear that your electronic film camera is still operating when so many (Leitz included) have developed obscure faults. I am also glad to hear of another user of the second generation Focotar which seems strangely overlooked. It's not the most attention grabbing in appearance and is often mistaken for the early version. In my opinion a superb lens which I use for all work with 35mm except on the v35 which has an apo -Componon. The Focotar belongs on my Focomat 1c. Leitz enlarging lenses can never be called glamorous-not in the style of the early Nikon 50mm f2.8- but the second and third generation are superb.

John Carter said...

I've never used Delta 100 but I have a roll which I will use soon. My feeling was the same as yours when I first tried Tmax100: why use medium format. I'm cured of that but still Tmax 100 in the right camera (for me my IIIf) is really great.

I recently ran a roll of Tmax 100 through my Mamiya Super 23 (6x9), it was wonderful.

Bruce Robbins said...

Phil,

Thanks for the positive words. Your idea of effectively wearing the Hexar AF out and then giving it a decent burial is an interesting one. Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic about its life chances - it might soldier on for another 20 years. I have this tendency to think that electronic cameras are always just about to pack up - hence the four OM2s I have "just in case". Is it time to just use the bloody things and accept that none of us - cameras included - is here forever?

Bruce Robbins said...

David,

That's an interesting point about some wee quirks or issues with a camera making it more likely that we'll go on to take better photos with it. Speaking personally, I don't think that's the case for me. I tend to take better pics when I'm so comfortable with a camera that I'm hardly aware of having set the various controls. I suppose it's a bit like driving a car where you end up getting somewhere without being aware of the journey you've just made. Of course, it's possible that the photos I'm speaking about aren't actually better but were just easier to take, in which case it's maybe just another case of self-delusion. I have a track record in that field.

Bruce Robbins said...

Paul,

Couldn't agree more about the second generation Focotar - it's a gem of a lens. It actually came with the 1c I picked up a few years ago. The Valoy II had a 5cm f3.5 Ross Resolux fitted when I bought it. The Ross is in perfect condition and I'm looking forward to doing a wee comparison with the Focotar. I imagine you'll have handled a Resolux at some point and will know what a lovely bit of kit it is, too. They really knew how to make things back then.

Bruce Robbins said...

John,

I love Tmax 100 as well and have used a fair bit of it. Sometimes its creaminess is just what a picture needs. Over the last few years, though, I've developed a liking for a slightly grittier look which I think one or two other films do better than the Tmax. Having said that, you've now got me wondering just how good a 6x9 Tmax 100 negative might look...

Herman Sheephouse said...

Bruce - you've answered your own question - 4 OM2's, plenty of others including your Nikon and then if they fail, the M2 and if that fails, sell them all for spares and get a digicam. Just use and enjoy.

Herman Sheephouse said...

6x9 Tmax 100 through the most basic box camera looks good if you use a tripod . . go for it!

Anonymous said...

The Hexar AF is a terrific camera. The engineers thought of everything. The first impulse of those considering it are to dismiss it as the top speed is only 1/250s. But if there’s too much light the camera overrides your aperture selection and displays the required aperture in the LCD. The P mode will shoot at your minimum set shut speed. In A mode it will calculate the required shutter speed, no matter how slow. It can be set to focus on infinity. It feels great to use. The cut in the negative is to remind you at later reviews that your stunning negatives are not your expensive Summicron but your little Hexar AF.

John Carter said...

I agree with you on the creaminess of Tmax100. And you have achieved the grittiness you are looking for. You turned me toward Raymond Moore a few months ago; I wondering if you are going to surpass him. I also saw this which reminds me of some of your work:

http://lenscratch.com/2018/11/paul-hart-drained/

California is just too sunny, with too many cars, and everything older than 15 years is up for removal. Therefore my location is limiting.

DavidM said...

Bruce,
You make a good case for using a fully automatic camera. And yet you've commented that you think you've done well with a camera that you find inconvenient. It's only offered as an explanation for the small paradox.
Not sure about the driving metaphor. Are you driving "better" when you don't remember any of then journey? And, perhaps more relevant to photography where it's the result that counts, are you more "there" when you arrive at your destination? I'm asking out of curiosity, and a hope that we might have discovered an infallible formula for creating masterpieces. As if...

Roy Karlsvik said...

I almost never use the Delta or T grain films to be honest, but if I use them it's always the Ilford series. To me the traditional grain is the best looking, and what I would normally use. But of course, everyone choose what works best for themselves. That's why we can still get both, I suppose.
The reason for commenting on this post at all was actually the notch filed into the film frame of your camera. I use the same trick on my Mamiya RZ67 film backs to easily identify which film back a film has been exposed inside. It comes in very handy when you're playing around with say 5 or 6 different backs, and all of a sudden discover after developing the films that one of your backs are having issues. Light leaks and such, you know. Then you simply find the right back and do the necessary work on it, instead of using a whole lot of time to try figure out with the use of paper negs and things like that.
And really nice to see you back in the darkroom and having things to say and share about your experience. I really like this place!
Thanks!

Norm said...

Bruce if it was me I would contact a few repair shops and inquire if parts for your camera are available then make a decision. I have many cameras that are full of electronics and I know that when they break they will only be good for spare parts or paper weights. I just use them and enjoy them.

DavidM said...

There seems to have been an optional dating back. Could the notch be where the digits for the date were printed?
You seem to have one camera that takes the pictures that you like to see and other cameras that you like to use.
A bit of a dilemma. At least the Konica saves you from taking along another lens and a flashgun and perhaps an extra body with a different film and maybe just one more lens, just in case, with a bigger bag, as we are all tempted to do.

Bruce Robbins said...

John,

I've seen many pics of Paul Harts earlier farming series but wasn't aware of the Drained photos so many thanks for alerting me to his latest work. It's really superb stuff and I can see his book appearing on my shelves sometime in the immediate aftermath of Christmas. :)

Bruce Robbins said...

David,

Well, the Hexar is a fully automatic camera as well - auto exposure and autofocus - but I know what you mean. The driving analogy isn't a very good one. I used it just to draw a comparison between cars and cameras when you're completely comfortable with both. The machines get out of the way and allow the user to reach his journey's end with the minimum of intrusive thoughts regarding the technical aspects. I always understood that the infallible formula for creating masterpieces invariably had an LF camera in the equation. ;)

Didn't know about the Hexar's data back. Could it be an explanation for the notch? Don't know but the notch is tiny so it wouldn't seem to offer enough space. A flashgun I can do without but you can never have enough lenses nor a big enough bag in which to store them.

Bruce Robbins said...

Roy,

Good idea regarding "self-notching". I can see that being a big time saver. I think I'm beginning to get my darkroom mojo back (it waxes and wanes) so hopefully similar posts to follow. :)

Bruce Robbins said...

Norm,

As far as I'm aware, there's no longer any support for the Hexar although I suppose there might be a repairer or two with some spare parts on a shelf. I'm tending to agree with you that I should just use the electronic cameras until they go "phut" and then put them in a display cabinet as a reminder of how things used to be.

Petros Gkotsis said...

Hi Bruce

I have been contemplating selling my Hexar AF (as well as my Contax G1 with 45mm and 90mm G lenses) for the same reason. However I do love the results I get from them and I am still reluctant to let them go. It seems it is still relatively easy to replace a Contax G1 however Hexars are becoming more and more expensive.

There is apparently a second life for Hexar af lenses if you are willing to invest something like 600 $. Not cheap obviously but it is an option especially if you already own an m mount body. It is also possible to convert other lenses to m mount (like the above mentioned contax ones) for a price. Have a look in this link

https://chadwadsworth.com/2017/08/09/konica-hexar-af-lens-conversion-the-summicron-killer/

I don't know, maybe this is the way to go once my favorite electronic rangefinders die. Have the lenses converted to m mount and get myself a leica body. Off course based on economic criteria this might not be the best option- I should do the maths...

Best

Petros

Norm said...

The question I always ask myself is, if I sold my camera what would i buy with the money that was as good or better? My biggest worry would be regretting selling the camera and frittering away the money.

DavidM said...

Occasional masterpieces have been produced with lesser cameras. Who doesn't like H C-B's puddle-jumper?
As a matter of fact, I begin to wonder if I like LF photography because I like fiddling with seductive gadgets. Just not OM1s.

Bruce Robbins said...

Petros,

Very interesting! I don’t suppose the price is too bad given the quality of the lens you’d end up with. Probably a bit too expensive for me, though.

Bruce Robbins said...

David,

I do wonder if LF cameras stifle creativity. I see an awful lot of technically accomplished but boring-as-hell photographs emerging from LF cameras. In fact, looking around the likes of Flickr, the impression I get is that LF levels of boringness are only matched by pics from owners of the latest Leica gear. Yes, it’s a sweeping generalisation and there are always exceptions but, for me,
LF images = creativity x 1/neg size in sq. ins.

DavidM said...

Bruce,
You are right. The LF community can make pictures that are as boring as any street photographer. Their saving grace is that they make far fewer of them. LF photographers can also make angels on pins look shabbily slapdash when they embark on debates about the exact value of Z-V in parsecs per gallon. They may even hunt down AA's tripod holes to be absolutely certain that they're being truly creative. (Oops! SAINT AA's tripod holes!)
When it comes to Leica-curators and -strokers, we are as one.

Just out of curiosity, I checked; Konica made large format lenses, but I don't think Olympus did. No comment.

I've heard that acceptable and valuable pictures can be made with a bunch of hairs on a stick. No idea what the ISO of a stick might be.

Bruce Robbins said...

I don't want to be too critical of LF photographers as I know there are lots, yourself included, who do very nicely indeed with their big cameras but I think there are similarities between LF people and Leica fondlers. Leica fanatics seek optical and mechanical perfection (as they see it) and LF photographers (leaving aside the architectural guys who might need movements) chase technical perfection.

The Leica man is content enjoying his camera and lenses and taking pictures which he hopes will show the quality of his gear - the artistic value of the content seems almost secondary. The LF photographer takes pictures that show the sharpness, tonality and fine grain of the medium. Again, it's my contention that the content is secondary for many of the LF exponents. I remember reading some posts from LF photographers who were arguing about whether Tmax 100, Delta 100 or Acros produced the finest grain in their 10x8 negs!

I'd argue that many of the more interesting, creative photographs on the Internet come from non-Leica-fondling 35mm and medium format photographers - and not just because there are more of them out there. Greater portability, greater manoeuvrability, a wider range of focal lengths, the ease of producing very fine grained or grainy pics as you see fit, more varied viewpoints, faster reactions, etc, all, I think, make 35mm and MF better suited to the type of photography I like to practise and look at.

Obviously, this is all totally subjective and just my opinion. Choosing two extremes, I get more out of Ray Moore's photographs than Ansel's but I'd imagine I might well be in a minority on that one. It's also easier copying Ansel's images than Ray Moore's mainly because, in the latter's case, he left few tripod holes.

Herman Sheephouse said...

I’ve been fondling a paint brush so excuse the late comment.

Having straddled all 3 formats, from my perspective:

LF - well half of the fun (at least to my mind) is the process and sequence prior to operating the shutter. It is quite meditative. You choose the picture and how you want it. This being said, beyond printing massive prints, I've seen little benefit in taking LF photographs apart from learning that process which has made me more methodical and precise when I use other formats.
LF photography can be as dull as dishwater, and it can also be achingly beautiful. I've taken plenty of the former and none of the latter - it takes a special skill and eye to my mind to master the format and I really haven't managed - maybe I should try again. Every sheet is a challenge, and especially in Scotland where the light is fleeting, it is DAMN HARD.

MF - the 'ideal format' . .well out of the mouths of babes etc. I love 120 film. It gives me that balance of tonality, convenience, and since I invested in the Hasselblad system, it has given me photographs I am really pleased with for their sharpness and rendering of all different conditions. I wish I'd bought a Hasselblad (or Bronica, or better Rollei) years and years ago, because it would have helped some fascinating lighting conditions and subject matter come to life in a far more pleasing way. Definitely my favourite.

35mm - convenience, convenience, convenience. Relatively light, though for a laugh you really should try an F2 with a 300mm Nikkor ';0)
It is definitely the most instinctive of the formats and whilst I enjoy being able to tote a 35mm around, I am not overly fond of it. To me it is almost a sketch before I go back with a larger camera (which of course I never do). from the positive point of view if you like the different viewpoints from different lenses, and don't mind carrying those lenses then you're sorted.
I'd possibly even say that I'd be happy to drop it and just take a Hasselblad or Rollei everywhere.

Oh and the Leica thing - been there, done it, left the room when the people with their hand-tooled Italian leather half-cases came in. I suppose it is the photographic equivalent of the Sunday morning car polish-off. And the lenses, whilst good, are no better than any others. The thing about it, is that the mystique from all those great images, has wound its way into the ouvre to the extent that now people see buying a £3000 body and £3000 lens somewhat of a bargain because it is buying them a place in the eternity of that pantheon of greats. This being said, they are beautifully made cameras that are a real pleasure to use, but they have largely become the domain of photographic knobs. I’d argue, if you seriously want to try the Leica experience, then go Canon or Nikon rangefinder and their lenses (though actually Russian Jupiters are damn fine lenses too) or if you are feeling brave, the greatest rangefinder lens of all time . . the Contax 50mm.

Sorry for rambling!

Petros Gkotsis said...

I fully agree with Bruce and David on this and I always try to remember that what makes a picture great is not the camera with which you have captured it. These days the web is full of endless usually heated discussions on gear and certain aspects of photography like resolution and bokeh which in my humble opinion are not the most important things one should look for when appreciating a (great) photo.

It is not unusual at all for people to engage in opinionated discussions about cameras, cars etc (just to justify their own choices to themselves?) completely missing the point of enjoying photography or driving. We don't buy a car to drive it in Nurburgring yet there are quite a few people out there ready to spend days in front of their computer screens arguing that car a is superior to car b just because a (special) version driven by a professional was faster there. The same applies to cameras and photography "aficionados".

It had probably been always like this but today with the internet I have the feeling these issues get far more attention than they should.

Petros

PS Don't get me wrong I like talking about my cameras which by the way I love them all but I am not compelled to enter a discussion about whether they are better or worse than those of others. Probably I am just getting old.

DavidM said...

I have to agree with all of the last three posts. A good deal of sense. We've forgotten to mention the "most popular camera in the world" – the iPhone. Up to about A4 (10x8 in old money; 8x10 in dollars) it's as satisfactory as a Leica for all reasonable purposes.
I did once borrow an M-series Leica with a 35mm lens. Heavier, bulkier and noisier than I'd expected, but I really liked the lens. Nice balance of sharpness and contrast.

Quite right about Ansel and Ray. AA gives us the stare and Ray gives us the glance. Or perhaps, eternity and the present moment. I could go on, but everyone here can construct their own metaphors.
The USA is blessed and her photographers are cursed with spectacular landscapes. I recently come across an account of photographing a famous rock arch at dawn. The photographer rose early, to be there two or three hours before dawn to bag his own tripod holes, only to find people who seemed to have been there all night. Apparently it's a problem to untangle the overlapping tripod legs after the magic moment. No doubt things were quieter in Ansel's day.

I see no harm in being interested in cameras as such. They are fascinating devices with a complex history that mirrors social history. Just as long as we don't mistake it for photography.

Did anyone see the programmes on railway modelling? Now why did that pop into my head?

Bruce Robbins said...

Phil,

I don't actually find LF to be hard - it's just not very enjoyable. There are plenty of times when I'm looking through a 35mm or MF viewfinder and think I need to move two feet to the left. I do that and then think I need to pull back a couple of feet - and then a foot to the right. No problem, really. LF? Well, I'm rubbish at dancing and doing the "fine compositional waltz" with a big, top-heavy partner who has three legs isn't my idea of fun. I don't want to spend that amount of time setting up and moving an LF camera just to arrive at my final composition. And what if, having finally manoeuvred the LF outfit into place, I decide not to take the photo? It's tear down time - remove camera from tripod, put back in bag, break down tripod, etc. If you don't mind doing that - or even enjoy that type of workout - then good luck to you.

I've experienced your "sketchbook" thing, too. It's borne of the belief that it's impossible to take a worthwhile photo on such a small format - all experienced photographers know that "serious" photography begins with medium format cameras and "proper" photography with LF. I cured myself by acknowledging that most of the images I like were taken on 35mm and medium format. And even if I did persevere with the LF thing, what extra would I get in a 10x12 print compared with a fine-grained, sharp and nicely-toned 35mm print? Slightly finer grain, slightly sharper details and slightly smoother tonality. If the picture's success is dependent on those things then it probably isn't worth taking in the first place. The quality from 35mm at 10x12 is perfectly OK to convey the message in a photograph - assuming there is something to say.

Norm said...

As long as other photographers enjoy what they are doing with a smile on their face I don't care what they use or what they do. When I am out taking photographs I just want to be left alone to enjoy my hobby, gear talk does not interest me that much. I am more interested in the how and why people take photographs and what they get from it.

Herman Sheephouse said...

Bruce - I believe that seeing it before you plonk that tripod down is half of the mastery of an LF photographer. I did make a small plastic 5x4 frame to take with me, and whilst I used it a few times it didn't really help. Is it possibly the shape of the format? Dunno. I do find it hard. As for tear-down time, I've done it in sheer terror after photographing a Neolithic tomb at dusk. It can be done very very quickly, believe me!

Bruce Robbins said...

Well, if that’s the standard then I never have been nor will ever be able to master any format!

Herman Sheephouse said...

You've misread me - for LF photographs, to my mind part of the mastery of the medium is having a good idea of what you are going to take and THEN setting the tripod up etc etc.
MF is a tiny bit like that and 35mm not at all. They both are considerably easier to use because you're composing in the VF, not racking your bellows, interpreting an upside down and fairly dim image and then thinking, left a bit, STOP, right a bit, STOP . . . fire!

Bruce Robbins said...

We seem to approach LF in a different way. Having an idea of what I want to photograph when I set up the tripod is axiomatic regardless of format. There is no difference whether it’s 35mm or LF. For me, that’s not the same as the final composition. There’s usually some tweaking involved before clicking the shutter. It could be a minor lateral shift to separate a couple of elements or moving back a few feet to avoid cutting something in half. I use 35mm handheld wherever possible so these adjustments are quick and intuitive - they’re almost done without thinking. Each adjustment with an LF camera - and there might be a few of them - involves moving the tripod which irks me. For me, I can’t look at a scene with the naked eye and immediately decide the precise spot to drop the tripod which is what I thought you were suggesting before when talking about LF mastery. Mind you, the same complaints I have about LF can be equally applied, to some extent, to 35mm and MF if I’m using a tripod. Maybe my complaint is really about tripods!

Herman Sheephouse said...

Of course some adjustment is necessary whenever using a tripod, but I do think being able to visualise a scene and use that visualisation to dictate your tripod positioning is a very difficult (if not almost impossible) thing to master.
I think maybe some people enjoy being unfettered to photograph from whatever angle they want . . you handist you ';0)

Bruce Robbins said...

It’s called being a “free spirit”. Haha. Much better than needing ballast to overcome St Vitus’s dance or whatever else gets in the way of all you “anchors” and a sharp photo.

Herman Sheephouse said...

Well that's the gauntlet thrown . . c'mon then, 5 seconds at f8 on a 300mm lens . . better get your concrete boots on . . and an exoskeleton ';0)

Bruce Robbins said...

We could do a duel but at 20 paces I’d need an autofocus gun. And possibly a tripod...

Herman Sheephouse said...

Name the date!