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Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

“Our autobiography is written in our contact sheets,  and our opinion of the world in our selects”  

"Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."  

 

Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


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How big?
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
Bill Pierce
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How big?

As we approach the end of the year, it’s definitely been the year of the big megapixel with cameras like the Fuji GFX 50 S with a 51 megapixel sensor, the Sony A7R III refining the results from their 42 megapixel sensor and the Nikon D850 with its 45.7 megapixels. Do we need that many megapixels?Well, if you only post your pictures on the internet and/or view them on a conventional computer screen, no. You could do well with 4 or 5 megapixels.

Recently we printed 12 x 18 inch test images from 24 megapixel APS-C Fuji and full frame Leica sensors alongside those from the larger megapixel sensors we’ve mentioned. There simply was not a significant difference in the prints. After all, a 24 megapixel file is going to deliver more than 300 pixels per inch at this print size.

But, by simply by looking at the image at 100% on our computer screen, we could see a significant difference in resolving power between the 24 megapixel images and the higher counts. At what point does that difference reveal itself in prints? Of course, the answer is - it depends.

Billboards are huge, but they are viewed from a distance. They can be printed at 15 pixels per inch. But, if the print is going to be examined from up close on a gallery wall, if it’s a landscape or architectural shot beautifully executed, that 40mg sensor is going to deliver a beautiful 16x24 or 20x30 print. On your living room wall, where the viewer is blocked from sticking his nose against the print by your sofa, I’d ballpark an acceptable 30x40 from only 24 megapixels. And that presumes fine detail is an important part of the picture. That’s not always true. There’s a reason portrait photographers use diffusion.

Since “How big?” is an “It depends.” situation, I would like very much to hear other folks opinions on this as it relates to the cameras they use and their photography.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Do you think, and this is a non-digital guy writing, that noise is the reason for the APS-C being less "sharp" on your monitor? When I use digital if I have to go higher ISO with my APS-C it starts to drop some sharpness.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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That would have been my first question too. I'd love to see my little 6mp Epson fired by one of the newer processors. The ability to clean noise and retain detail would be more important to me than what numbers are on the box.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Even though I'm not big on digital, it doesn't mean I hate it. I use it, if not with cameras, every day with processing my negatives. So, I would like to thank you for bringing questions that some of us that are 'hybrid' and not really into technology find interesting and helpful.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Also not a big digital guy, but my Nikon D600 with 24 Meg is more than enough for me, but then I am not printing billboards. So I guess it depends.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Cropping. That's were the bigger megapixels come in handy. I can pull a section from my A7r images and equal my full frame 24mp image. Gives me a lot of extra options if I get caught with the wrong lens on board.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
Larry Cloetta
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All other things being equal, a bigger pixel is a better pixel.

Though it may be quite true that "it's not a photo until it is printed", most people don't print their photos any longer. If they do, they rarely are ever going to print anything larger than 8x12-most people, if for no other reason than that who really has the wall space for a significant number of 24x16 photos.
Some people have a legitimate need to consistently produce large prints, but that is, these days, an infinitessimally small number of people. New cameras with huge megapixel counts cater to them. Other people, who really should know better, because they never make a print larger than 8x12, and rarely even do those, mostly just looking at pictures on a screen, get sucked into buying larger MP count cameras because of marketing (and because manufacturers, being sales volume driven, have mostly abandoned that segment). More megapickles. Most people (not necessarily most people in this forum) would be better served by a 16mp full frame body (better dynamic range, less noise, better color depth) producing better images for the way they use cameras than a 24, 36, 47mp body.

Because, all other things being equal, a bigger pixel is a better pixel.
Scant bragging rights come in the box with a new low pixel count body, though, so the industry is going the other way, regardless.
Because, the bigger number, it's better, right?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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I'm downsizing my processed images for keeping, display and print to 2800x1800 pixels. Which is 5MP. I'm qualified for R-D1!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Do you think, and this is a non-digital guy writing, that noise is the reason for the APS-C being less "sharp" on your monitor? When I use digital if I have to go higher ISO with my APS-C it starts to drop some sharpness.
No, when we are viewing digital images at 100%, I think the lower sharpness, lower resolution is primarily, but not totally, due to pixel count on today’s modern sensor. However, the way that camera makers handle noise or the way we handle it with processing programs can certainly effect sharpness. If you soften or conceal the noise present in an image, you also soften the fine detail. And, on that rare occasion where all other things are equal, the smaller sensor with its smaller pixels is going to be noisier.

My policy is to make the image as sharp as possible and pretend the noise is the same as the film grain I used to get when I pushed film.

I suspect, since more pixels on a given sensor size mean even smaller pixels and more evident noise at high ISO’s, APS-C and 4/3 will probably always lag behind some bigger sensors in pixel count.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Modern sensors are very clean imagers. I have to work hard to get what I consider to be significant noise in an image these days.

I figured way back in the mists of time that about a 15-16x enlargement of 35mm film was the effective quality limit, and backwards engineered from that the notion that a 4000x6000 capture sensor would net enough pixels, and enough overhead, that I could make the same quality prints from digital capture as I could from the best 35mm film workflow. Time and lots of experience with digital process has proven to me that this is about right, give or take some special uses.

So a good 24 MPixel sensor was my desire from the beginning, and every stop along the way to that was why I bought camera after camera until I've arrived at my current kit of Leica M-D and SL cameras. I don't need anything more than 24Mpixel in any realistic sense, so I'm sticking here until some incredible advantage to a higher rez sensor shows up.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Photokina, 2015. One of my images at a booth was printed 3m wide. M8.2 at 10.3 MP.
That said, from the M246 or MF back it would certainly look cleaner, but not change anything about the image itself.


3m wide
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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A resolution of 300 dpi has been used for decades for images made up of dots when printed: i.e. the traditional "halftone" photograph in books and magazines. This figure is no accident - it matches the average resolving power of the human eye at a typical reading distance. A higher value looks no sharper because we cannot see the extra detail, but as the value lowers we start to notice less detail and more blur.

So, not surprisingly, 300 ppi has been adopted in digital photography as the "ideal" resolution when printing images.

There's nothing magic about 300 ppi itself - it's very crude. In practice, if you compare two photos printed at the same size - one at 300 dpi, the other at 200 dpi - the difference is minimal in most instances, but noticeable.

I refuse to print below 200 ppi - and if the resolution is much below 300 ppi I enlarge the image to increase the resolution to 300 ppi. This may be a complicated process involving selection of the best resizing algorithm (sometimes Photoshop works fine, sometimes dedicated software like SizeFixer - sadly no longer supported), adding barely visible noise to take the place of lost detail and for other reasons (a trick I learnt from a master printer - film grain in traditional silver prints is much more than just an "artefact") and suitable sharpening. Often layers are used, as different parts of a photograph need to be processed separately.

Some folk say that their 6 MP prints look fine printed, say, a metre (3 feet) wide. They don't - they look like mush! If you put that metre-wide print next to an identical photo from my 36 MP Nikon D800E, the difference would be stark! That's about 80 dpi versus about 200 dpi.

I also don't believe in viewing distance. It's fine in theory but people will always walk right up to a print to examine it, even if it's massive! So, every print I make must be pin sharp when viewed from mere inches.

As I mentioned, I use a Nikon D800E. Its 36 MP images have dimensions of roughly 7500 x 5000 pixels. So, how big will I print? At 300 ppi with no resizing, this equates to 25 x 16 inches; resizing at 200 ppi gives 36 x 24 inches. So, I can just about get metre-wide prints - but I consider the quality barely acceptable (I'm fussy!).

There's a very good reason why professional photographers who make or whose clients require large prints use medium-format cameras with 50, 100 or more megapixels!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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I guess the pixel count is unimportant for most people, in reality, and I wonder if they really understand it. Talk about 300, 200 or 100 dpi and you get no response most of the time.

My local lab could turn out posters but I only ever saw them do one and I used to visit a lot. Talking to them they said nearly everyone wants 4 x 6 which means a 4 or 5 megapixel camera would be more than adequate. And for those who only look at them on the screen a 1 or 2...

The trouble is digital lets us take an unhealthy and forensic look at our pictures. Great if you need to test lenses to do billboards but a waste of money for most people.

Regards, David
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post

The trouble is digital lets us take an unhealthy and forensic look at our pictures.

Regards, David
Agree. Unhealthy and forensic, these are the correct terms I tried to come up with.

I've been doing lots of digital image analysis for biology research work. Even such work does not require pixel peepings which I thought it would.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Always happy to help...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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When I shot film, the largest I would ever print was 11x14. Usually 9x12 on 11x14 paper. That was my limit of acceptable quality for 35mm. Of course I was using 400 speed film, sometimes shot at 1600 and often cropped, so I suppose I could have gone larger if I had gone slower.

With digital, I don't find there to be a true limit of acceptable quality. The 300 dpi guide is not set in stone. You can make a print at a much lower dpi, depending on subject detail, lighting and other factors. Viewing distance is a major factor, per the billboard analogy. I've posted before that I came to accept using digital with a photograph I printed from 1/2 of an 8 mp frame. The picture was shot quickly with the wrong lens on the camera, necessitating the major crop. But the moment was fleeting, the light was perfect, the colors eye boggling, the interaction of the colors and shapes were interesting and I can print that photograph 12x18 all day long and it looks terrific. Technically, if you try to find the quality deficits you can do so. Who cares?

Although I don't believe there is a limit of acceptable quality with digital, I still work within limitations based on my equipment and procedures. I mainly use 16 mp APS-C cameras. I have other cameras that are 12 and 18 mp in APS-C and in standard and micro 4/3 formats. I shoot Raw. I can print up to 13x19 with my current printer. I do both color and B&W, with emphasis on B&W. Mostly I print 12x18 or 6x9. I frequently crop, sometimes significantly. With 4/3 format and higher ISO with cropping, I get a good bit of noise--grain. Nothing someone who has shot Tri-X at 1600 would get too worked up over. I don't feel the need for more megapixels, larger format sizes and larger files these days.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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As I don't print anything bigger than 11x14, and most of my work is photojournalistic or documentary, the issue for me is file size. The "biggest" I use is 20MP, more often 16MP. Bigger than that it jams up my laptop, making sorting and editing very slow.

If I did landscape or something of that ilk, I guess 45MP would be cool.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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" Technically, if you try to find the quality deficits you can do so. Who cares?"

Exactly. it's the print that counts and you can get a high wow factor with very low tech...

Regards, David
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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I'm very happy with 20x30" prints from 24MPx cameras. And, I like a print sharp enough to stand close inspection.

I did some experiments a while back. Shoot a scene with D200 (10 MPx), then switch to a longer lens, shoot a series, stitch them together for higher res. Print at 12x18. The D200 looked pretty good. The stitched image looked better. All this FWIW, but it made me feel that 10MPx was OK but at the margin for 12x18 print.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
The trouble is digital lets us take an unhealthy and forensic look at our pictures. Great if you need to test lenses to do billboards but a waste of money for most people.
I agree David. Most internet "photography" sites are really just equipment sites that gush about technical attributes that only geeks really worry about. It's rampant consumerism. Nothing wrong with being a geek, but galleries and museums are full of images that are not sharp, not about bokeh, are not printed overly large, and even have mistakes. However, the content and framing are wonderful...and make an impact. That said, the technical side (as opposed to the artistic side) of photography has always been easier to understand. Photography equipment reviews these days are not far off from computer reviews.

Yesterday I was reading a thread on a different site about the Leica CL. The guy "tested" the camera and was commenting on a photo of a man wearing sunglasses about 10 feet (or more) back from the camera (of course framed badly). He was stating that the camera did not handle the skin under the sunglasses (in the shadow of the sunglasses) as well as the rest of the skin on the man's face. We are talking about a detail that is about the size of 1% of the total photo and honestly would not make or break a good photo. However, all I could think about is that the photo was horrible in the first place and that it was mind boggling that anyone would even look at that minor detail in a throw away photo (no less obsess about it). He swore the Leica Q would have nailed it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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I think that there was a time when the camera designers told the computer people what they wanted and it was done but with digital the camera people lost out and the computer designers took over. So apart from a few classics like the Leica and Panasonic we (photographers) lost out.

With film cameras there was a sort of golden age about the mid 90's when the things worked and we liked them as saving us time and money but then it all went funny. You've only got to look at some of them from the mid 90's to love them; thinking Contax Tix, Leica R5, Minolta 7000i (at the limit), Olympus XA's and µ's and Pentax ME super and so on.

And then they go the other way, moaning about frame lines not being exact and printing 8 x 10's...

Regards, David
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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It's an interesting question. When Samsung, Apple, and others put a 24MP sensor into a smart phone what happens the majority of the fixed lens digital cameras?

For the majority of folks I think we are there with respect to resolution. The challenge of the marketing people is how do you talk about aspect of the IQ that can't be put into a single number and convince the buyer that they care about it.

We've done that somewhat as we moved to include multi-core processors when we used to speak about GHz. I think there's additional items some people care about like Graphic Processing Units (for folks who game a lot) so it might not be that bleak.

I'm wonder if sensors will follow TVs in the bigger is better build and give manufacturers senors that cover 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 backs at a price where hobbiest can afford?

Years ago Kodak did a BIG enlargement from a Kodachrome 35mm side for their display at Grand Central Station in NYC that was stunning. I'm pretty sure we are there with respect to resolution, there there is so much more. The questions are do enough people care? if not, can we (the manufacturers) get them to care and still make money?

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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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I justo want an affordable, no frills, full-frame camera body.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlouzan View Post
I justo want an affordable full-frame camera body.
+1

What do you think is affordable?

Keeping in mind that unless it's the same mount as your classic glass, you will need to spend $150-200 USD for a good adapter........

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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
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Bill, Under $1000 for a dslr or mirrorless camera w/50mm f1.8. A plain manual exposure body with no AF, lcd screen, built in flash ...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlouzan View Post
Bill, Under $1000 for a dslr or mirrorless camera w/50mm f1.8. A plain manual exposure body with no AF, lcd screen, built in flash ...
A D700 with a K3 screen could be ideal for you. Just use Manual mode, and cover the screen with tapes.

New, no manufacturer could justify making such a niche (within a niche) product, let alone pricing it under $1000...

This might have been repeated 1,000 times on RFF already, but I'd rather wish my favorite makers the best than asking them to die a tragic death with an unheard swan song.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
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I have a feeling this is becoming another "since I'm good with my 6mp anything more than that must be evil" thread.

If technological advancement is too much, just leave it. Stay in the past. Or buy a Sony A7S.

There really is no logical connection between photographers being bad and newer cameras having ample resolutions (or whatever witchcraft they'd able to squeeze into the machines).

The "unhealthy and forensic look" has been present since the days artists use the camera obscura to aid the painting process. It was there in Caravaggio, in Vermeer, in Velázquez, in Degas. It's in everyone of us who had been trained to look through, and to look as if we had the machine's eyes. It is the natural of photography - the alien, analytic, mechanical look. The perfectly cold representation.

But true masters never balk. They would always seek the max potency of the medium and get over it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
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This is all pretty much just measurebating. Back around 2003-04, photographers on the Digital Wedding Forum were bragging about making great 30x40 prints from their 4-megapixel Nikon D2H cameras, and a few years before that Joe McNalley had shot a successful billboard in Times Square with a 3-megapixel Nikon Coolpix.

As the always iconoclastic (and often correct) Andrew Molitor has said: "Photographers, culturally, seem to have a terrible problem with looking for technical solutions to creative problems." http://photothunk.blogspot.com/

Around 2000, as I was beginning to close out my downtown studio, another local commercial photographer came to look at my space with a view to renting it. He was a dedicated user of medium format and 4x5, and held 35mm in low regard. Looking at the framed 16x 20 and 20x24 photographs hanging on my studio walls, he would point at one and then another, asking on what format they were shot. He was somewhat scandalized and almost unable to believe that most of them had been shot on 35mm film. Finally, as he was about to leave, he pointed at one 20x24 portrait and said, "Now you can't tell me that was shot on 35mm!"

"Yes, Doug," I said, as he threw up his hands and left.

So what's my point? My point is that reasonably good equipment, reasonably good technique, and a reasonably good idea of what you're trying to accomplish can add up to some pretty good photographs.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
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Quote:
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So what's my point? My point is that reasonably good equipment, reasonably good technique, and a reasonably good idea of what you're trying to accomplish can add up to some pretty good photographs.
Exactly...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
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.... However, all I could think about is that the photo was horrible in the first place and that it was mind boggling that anyone would even look at that minor detail in a throw away photo (no less obsess about it). He swore the Leica Q would have nailed it.
The only thing that this "review" revealed is that the "reviewer" had no clue, no clue at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Jenkins View Post
...

"Yes, Doug," I said, as he threw up his hands and left.

So what's my point? My point is that reasonably good equipment, reasonably good technique, and a reasonably good idea of what you're trying to accomplish can add up to some pretty good photographs.
Great anecdote, thanks for sharing.
Along that same line of thinking: good technique with "lower spec" equipment in manual mode will typically smoke sloppy technique with the latest and greatest camera with 295 unnecessary features.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pierce View Post
... simply by looking at the image at 100% on our computer screen, we could see a significant difference in resolving power between the 24 megapixel images and the higher counts. At what point does that difference reveal itself in prints? Of course, the answer is - it depends...
Yes, it depends!
For me it depends on the simple question what is a photo taken for?

We have thousands of pictures - photos and paintings - of the past that affect people on a high level.
The point of resolution always was a small technical aspect that did not matter until, and that is the point, you want to see more
than the picture by microscoping parts of it!

So for me my decision was simple years ago and I´m happy with it. Some megapixels are enough for a good photo.
And the pixelcount of a print or a projection on a big wall doesn´t matter until you look at it as a whole.

Microscoping or pixelpeeping are nice other hobbies that my pictures are not
made for and so my simple answer is: always big enough
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Old 1 Week Ago   #32
pgk
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Since “How big?” is an “It depends.” situation, I would like very much to hear other folks opinions on this as it relates to the cameras they use and their photography.
There does appear to be an aversion to having equipment which is merely 'fit for purpose' as though having better will somehow enhance the resulting images (it doesn't). I suspect that if we were totally honest with ourselves, few photographers ever fully utilise the capabilities of their cameras and lenses except on very rare occasions. And sometimes small is beautiful - another concept which we fail to appreciate much of the time. I recently came across some 5" x 7" Cibachrome prints I'd forgotten about and they were great to find and to see images that I'd shot nearly 30 years ago, for a client (I do not have the transparencies). Larger prints would probably still be stacked in the attic to see light of day when?

FWIW my cameras are not the latest high MPixel models but they do produce great prints at nearly 30" x 20" which I do sell .....
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Old 1 Week Ago   #33
David Hughes
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I have a feeling this is becoming another "since I'm good with my 6mp anything more than that must be evil" thread.

If technological advancement is too much, just leave it. Stay in the past. Or buy a Sony A7S.

There really is no logical connection between photographers being bad and newer cameras having ample resolutions (or whatever witchcraft they'd able to squeeze into the machines).

The "unhealthy and forensic look" has been present since the days artists use the camera obscura to aid the painting process. It was there in Caravaggio, in Vermeer, in Velázquez, in Degas. It's in everyone of us who had been trained to look through, and to look as if we had the machine's eyes. It is the natural of photography - the alien, analytic, mechanical look. The perfectly cold representation.

But true masters never balk. They would always seek the max potency of the medium and get over it.
Hmmm, I guess I should be ashamed of my poor old low tech M9?

Presumably, when I get the latest and greatest, I should also delete at the M9 photo's as inadequate? Or perhaps I should delete everything smaller than the M9 pictures?

As for the old masters, there's not much difference between then and now in terms of materials used; ink, paints and brushes have up graded slowly - not always for the best in my opinion - and pencils and paper seem the same. Watercolours aren't mixed with honey any more and I guess acrylic paint are newish, ditto a few colours but most of the "new" colours are Victorian...

Regards, David
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Old 1 Week Ago   #34
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Just sold a 20x30 print from this slide, made on Fujichrome RDP100 in 1994 with a Canon A2 and (probably) a 28-105 f3.5-4.5 lens. It was scanned at 13x19 inches in a Minolta DiMage 5400 and up-resed in Photoshop. Unfortunately, you can't tell much about it at this small file size.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #35
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Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hmmm, I guess I should be ashamed of my poor old low tech M9?

Presumably, when I get the latest and greatest, I should also delete at the M9 photo's as inadequate? Or perhaps I should delete everything smaller than the M9 pictures?

As for the old masters, there's not much difference between then and now in terms of materials used; ink, paints and brushes have up graded slowly - not always for the best in my opinion - and pencils and paper seem the same. Watercolours aren't mixed with honey any more and I guess acrylic paint are newish, ditto a few colours but most of the "new" colours are Victorian...

Regards, David
I have some new made in France watercolor that claim to be made with honey. Dick Blick.com. They come in cake and tube form.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #36
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He swore the Leica Q would have nailed it.
Of course, with the fixed 28mm lens in the Q, the area in question would have appeared even smaller (or have been magnified more to get the same size) than the original area in question. The critics rarely think things through.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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I find the computer processing and storage demands for images from these larger sensors to be very burdensome and this was the main reason that I sold my M9! I now stick to 18mb film scans and my 12 megapixel Pen E-P1. I appreciate the flexibility offered in cropping and the reduced noise from the newer cameras, but, I have always been a purist when it comes to cropping and I feel noise gives the digital files some texture. Would really wish camera makers would concentrate on pixel quality over quantity, I think the Sony a7S II would be an example of this.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #38
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The 24MP APS-C sensor is 4000x6000 pixels, and at 300dpi, the maximum print size is 13.5x20, which works out nicely to a 12x18 on standard 13x19 inkjet paper. I print smaller, usually 9x13.5, and mat and frame my images at 16x20. I print full frame, with occasional minor cropping to level an horizon, so all my prints are downsized to 2700x4050. I have been satisfied with my Fuji, and prefer its size and haptics to the Canon, Nikon, and Sony. I might make a different choice if I printed larger.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #39
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With images from my 6mp Epson R-D1, viewed on screen at 100%, I'm bothered by jagged edges on diagonal lines and strange pixellation on LED light sources like auto tail lights and traffic signals. Of course, these details are irrelevant in small to medium size prints, but I will admit to a bit of pixel peeping.

Somewhere around 12mp, these artifacts seem to disappear.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #40
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Hi,

I can remember, when 8 megapixels started to creep into cameras, that one or two of the big names started saying things like 5 was OK for A4 prints but 8 gives you A3 prints. I thought I'd kept the catalogues saying this but can't find them. Luckily it's not important.

My own experience is that the lens is more important than the sensor, some lenses don't seem as good as the sensor in samples I've seen from different makers. And the subject matter also can influence what size print you make. Portraits printed at 100 or so dpi seem OK to a lot of people... (That's portraits of people and flowers, FWIW.)

Regards, David
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