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The astonishing REALISM of slow speed ISO films

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by Karl vd Berg, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Karl vd Berg

    Karl vd Berg Super Member

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    The astonishing REALISM of low speed ISO films

    G'day all,

    Once upon a time photographers have to deal with very slow film speed.

    There were the Kodachrome 25, the Kodachrome 12 and the Kodachrome 6 ISO!!!!

    The level of tridimensionality, sharpness and realism was IMPRESSIVE!!

    Enjoy the images below (taken around 1942) and have a nice weekend... :beer:

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    Long Beach, California, 1942: http://www.shorpy.com/files/images/1a35342u.jpg :D

    ..
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    asilker, Bratwurst7s and John James like this.

     

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  2. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Caesar non supra grammati

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    Really nice. Thanks for posting!
     
  3. Karl vd Berg

    Karl vd Berg Super Member

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  4. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

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    Wow, really nice. Keep in mind that much of the effect is because those were professional large format shots, not the ubiquitous 35mm crap most of us grew up with. Like the car saying, there's no substitute for cubic inches, there's also no substitute for square inches of film. The equivalent megapixels would astound you.
     
  5. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Nice! I used to shoot with Kodachrome 25 when conditions were good and it was amazing stuff. The K-64 wasn't bad either and was my go-to for most days!

    I guess you can get that from digital, but I've never shot with a FF digital camera. Now you have to have a megabuck setup to get what I could get with my lowly Minolta XD-11, a basic 135 tele and K25 film.

    Might also add that at least the maintenance shots were professionally lit. You can't do that with the little flash on you P&S!
     
  6. Karl vd Berg

    Karl vd Berg Super Member

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    Yes, according to the site, they were 4x5 inch films, plus very strong and HUGE flashes as well...

    Those were VERY PROFESSIONAL photographers. At that time they couldn't afford waste a single shot. Kind of they already knew how the pictures were coming. Amazing!!
     

     

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  7. Danddd

    Danddd AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for sharing. Very nice. The 'experts' say digital has surpassed film, but all you have to do is look.
     
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  8. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For sure. One that that has been somewhat lost in the digital age is composition. Now it's more the lucky shot and photoshop. Take a thousand shots and maybe you'll get a good one! If not who cares we'll fix it in post.

    My sister has been taking a class wanting to learn, and I've been trying to get her to keep a notebook on every shot she takes while learning and trying to get her to go fully manual for the learning period. She gets annoyed with me as every time I see her click the shutter I ask her what the setup of the camera was!
     
  9. Karl vd Berg

    Karl vd Berg Super Member

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    They used different focals. If we take a look at the first picture (inspectors and plane) and the third (hangar), the first seems a mid-tele like 75mm in our FF format. The third seems a bit like a 35mm lens...
     
  10. Karl vd Berg

    Karl vd Berg Super Member

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    Yeah, the sharpness is still terrific... The good thing about the K-25 is that it's much more resistant than the conventional reversal films that came later...

    http://www.shorpy.com/files/images/1a35282u.jpg
     
  11. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm still caught up in how good the lighting is in the Propeller Girls shot. Particularly how the high bay lights are so subdued yet the entire focal point is properly lit. Just incredibly well done.
     

     

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  12. Karl vd Berg

    Karl vd Berg Super Member

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    A total control of lighting from every direction!! :yes:

    A perfect contrast with the background too...

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  13. squirrelnest

    squirrelnest Addicted Member

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    Excellent pics and subjects....thanks for posting.....
     
  14. Karl vd Berg

    Karl vd Berg Super Member

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    The use of this film was difficult not only due to the low speed, but also because of the HUGE contrast between exposed areas and shade/dark ones...

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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  15. LittleNaples

    LittleNaples Active Member

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    Great post.......also take into account that these photos were made on large format cameras. Most likely 4x5 Speed Graphics.
     
  16. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    I'm anxious for onepixel to comment on this thread.

    Those pics are amazing. I once saw a pic that someone had taken with a Cold War soviet camera used for spying from space. Effective megapixels was over 700!

    These are just beautiful.
     

     

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  17. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

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    I had forgotten about the contrast issue with the early color films. That makes their skill with lighting even more impressive. With these and many other early shop photos it's interesting to note the lack of safety glasses or protection of any sort.

    I don't think the tonal quality will compete with 4x5, but you can see what can be accomplished with very $$ digital camera arrays at http://aqueti.com/
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  18. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Yeah, those are obviously very well done pics with great gear and great film with someone that knows how to work it all pushing the shutter.

    I have nothing against digital as one can turn out fantastic shots and pros are pros. I do think the art of timing and composition is falling way off from most non-pros. I do pretty well and have shown my daughters a thing or two. All their friends say, 'why do you take so much time to take a stupid picture?' but they very often want a copy of the ones they take.

    Even with iPhones and Galaxy/Nokia phones, composition, perspective, lighting direction and a stable camera are tremendous steps towards getting decent shots.
     
  19. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

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    IMO, the value of an image is much less than it used to be. Back in the day it was common to spend large sums to get just a few perfect images. Images today are essentially disposable. Supply and demand I guess. I studied photography at RIT back in the '70s. They trained me for a world that no longer existed just a few years later. OTOH, digital has raised the bar on average quality. The typical snapshot from the '50s to '70s was pretty bad. Technology has solved exposure and focus problems rather well.
     
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  20. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    just like that Bachelor of Science I got for Radio Communications, lol.
     

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