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Alan7140 last won the day on 29 April

Alan7140 had the most liked content!


4,013 of my posts have been liked

About Alan7140

  • Birthday 07/01/1953

Profile Information

  • My Real Name
    Alan Lesheim
  • Gender
  • Photographic Interests
    Photography, Guitar
  • Edit my pics?
    Ask Me
  • My Favourite Camera
    Pentacon Six
  • My Favourite Lens
  • My Favourite Image Editor
    Rodinal, with some elbow grease ;)
  • My Location
    Tasmania, Australia
4,910 profile views
  1. Well-exposed and well processed B&W film has it all over digital for dynamic range. There is no such thing as "blown highlights" with B&W film, so in complete opposite to digital, film is best exposed for shadows and the highlights will take care of themselves. The highs might suffer from a slight grain build-up, but detail will still be there. Case in point - 1986, no filter, straight shot on 5x4 FP4, that's the sun in shot at top behind very light, high-level cloud, with every tone from there to deep shadow faithfully reproduced. No dodging, burning-in or other manipulation, just a straight reproduction of the negative. Demo #2: Colour blowout, B&W film no problems (just a new 2015 lens vs an old 1960's lens - hence the flare into the shadows of the B&W, so that's the equipment, not the film), and still the film wins with highlight retention. So, which rendition of the sun looks "fake": blown and over-sized in digital, or just bright and natural in film? I don't have any comparable examples of colour film's behaviour under these circumstances, unfortunately, but "blown" anything was hard to achieve, even if exposing for the shadows was trickier - in that regard my first boss would say: "you can't print what isn't there".
  2. SFX works well with a proper IR (R75) filter - far less problematical than genuine IR film if slightly less dramatic. Disregarding the hand-colouring for the end shot taken with a Hasselblad, note the lighter foliage and grass with this filter in the first shot with SFX and how dark water and background became with standard film in the second shot which was taken on 5x4 TMAX 100 at around the same time. It's a bit trickier using manual focus, though, as the R75 filter is almost opaque to the eye, but AF focuses through an R75 just fine, however you'll have to compose with filter off first. Using an R75 with a digital IR camera (such as a Sigma SD Quattro which has an easily removable IR-cut sensor filter) is the best way to go, as the viewfinder displays in full IR B&W effect without any modification. You'll have to use a plain red filter at least for a lesser IR effect with SFX, but using no filter will result in just a standard panchromatic rendition for all intents and purposes. You may as well just use standard B&W film. Showing my age here - the above shot was taken just weeks after SFX was first released in Australia, and the model might well be a grandmother by now!
  3. I started in the digital realm with a D70s in 2005 using my existing Nikkor lenses of my F4 outfit, but the 6MP proved insufficient particularly when trying to separate close-spaced straight lines at a distance, plus very poor performance at anything above 640 ISO. The higher ISO problem continued with the D2x I bought in February 2006, and of course by then I'd also had the need to buy DX lenses to cover the wide-angle end of things. Its 12MP sensor largely improved the resolution problem, though, and after that I spent years in a 12MP and 16MP world with D3 (2008), D3s (2009) and D7500 bodies. The D3 series' main advantage was in high ISO performance, which in itself was ground-breaking, as suddenly it was possible to photograph in dimly lit interiors without a flash or tripod, which revolutionised the way weddings in particular could be photographed. This was followed by a swap to Fuji and X-Pro1, X-T1 @16MP, followed by 24MP in the X-T2. Lately the X-T5 has hustled things into the 40MP world, but which I mainly bought for its pixel-shift facility and use as a high resolution copy camera to "scan" B&W negatives without having to photograph originals in sections and stitch the results together. The resulting 160MP uninterpolated resolution takes things well and truly into the realm of drum scans (which are generally around 200MP) and which are still the benchmark even if the technology is decades old. However my "scans" just take a matter of seconds to capture as opposed to the substantial scanning times and hugely bulky and expensive equipment of drum scanning. As for comparing the results to copies made with a 24MP camera, the difference is simply no contest in favour of the 160MP, even at relatively small enlargements, plus the cost of the camera and 30mm 1:1 macro lens was extremely modest by any standards.
  4. Alan7140

    New parents

    A pair of wild swans recently made the small dam next to my property a place to start a family. My guess is that these are probably two young adults new to the breeding game and raising their first offspring as only one little cygnet made an appearance, but still they posed for a family photo. Generally there are four to six little ones in a clutch with experienced parents. (All native Australian swans are black, btw)
  5. Alan7140

    S & M

    Whilst on the subject of the Moon, thanks to a bushfire burning in the Central Highlands of Tasmania filling the atmosphere with smoke, we got a pseudo Blood Moon a couple of nights ago.
  6. What Hugh said - monobath was for speed rather than ease of use or permanency. If you want controllable and repeatable results sticking with the developer/stop bath/fixer/wash sequence is the way to go. As well, what you were doing back in the past in mixing a working strength solution from a concentrate and using it in a one-shot fashion is definitely the best method. As far as stability goes, there are substitutes for Agfa Rodinal available these days which has long been my developer of choice - it lasts forever in its concentrate form (I'm still using actual Agfa Rodinal in its original packaging, which means before circa 2005 manufacture) and it works just fine at recommended dilutions and processing times even though it is no longer straw-coloured in its concentrate form, but is now very dark brown, almost black. I'd imagine the modern substitutes (such as R09) are made to the original formula and will behave in the same way.
  7. I really didn't want to go down the new computer path - my old one was keeping pace (or so I thought), but I can't do without a Wacom tablet and with Wacom no longer supporting my old Intuos IV tablet with drivers for Windows 10 I had already bought a new Intuos Pro tablet. As I bought at the top end of the market back in December 2011 (the first generation i-7 processor & 64GB DDR2 ram) I did get a good run, but the latest 2024 Photoshop had also required 4GB minimum graphics which led to a new card last year and everything thus snowballed to this inevitable new machine as I was clearly being forced down a perpetual upgrading of various bits and pieces with the old machine. Perhaps the thing that has become most evident with starting afresh is how slickly the new setup works - 12 years of installing/uninstalling/adding & subtracting bits and pieces as well as numerous software updates and the cumulative effect all that had on the machine's performance (aside from the hardware updates needed during that time) really did have a creeping performance hit that wasn't so obvious at the time. Unfortunately this has been let down with the dog of an interface that Windows 11 has foisted onto us for no other reason that it's "new". Being used to tree navigation of my drives, the icon-based disjointed interface Microsoft has decided we have to enjoy with Windows 11 is simply bloody awful. The default "pretty" navigation that it continually reverts to leaves me constantly confused, which is really bloody annoying. The rafts of workaround YouTubes that abound (none of which really work) would indicate that I am far from being Robinson Crusoe on this.🙁
  8. I've been birthing a new computer here since just before Christmas, and hopefully this is the last time I'll ever have to do so, which explains my absence here of late. Windows 10 was no longer being supported by some of my peripherals, and my old machine was unable to be updated to Windows 11 - so catch 22 = a new i-9 all-SSD computer. Loading all the software really is a drag, though.
  9. Alan7140

    The Post

    That poor little X100 must be in a state of permanent shock in suddenly getting such a workout after all those years of sitting idle! 😁
  10. Alan7140

    Keep It Square

    I never warmed to digital->B&W conversions, and is largely why I started using film again if B&W is my ultimate goal. The ordered arrangement of sensels on a single plane (or even in three planes as in the Foveon sensor) in a sensor physically cannot reproduce the same result as random microscopic silver halide grains suspended in 3-D in a gelatin emulsion, and the way these clump together when reduced to metallic silver depending on how much light they've been exposed to. Adding digital noise to emulate this look doesn't work because the noise is random over that one-dimensional layer of sensels, and so just adds grain-looking noise over the existing image rather than it actually constituting the image itself.
  11. The ways of Adobe are mysterious indeed. The X100 has a standard Bayer sensor, so Adobe's continuing inability to properly deal with X-Trans sensor versions can't be blamed for this. The only thing I can think of is that somehow your default colour profile setting in LR has been changed without warning (say from Adobe RGB to sRGB or something like that) which could be one way this sort of thing could manifest itself. Rechecking that your colour profile settings in LR prefs as well as in the camera itself are matching might be as good a place as any to start.
  12. Having gone through the photography course at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) 1971-73 with a Hasselblad 500C/M outfit which was also used for work until 1977 (our studio switched to Pentax 67 and Mamiya M645 then, so I followed suit), later rejoining the Hasselblad clan in 1997 with three 500 C/M bodies and numerous lenses until digital cameras took over in 2006 when all my gear was traded over the next few years to acquire ever newer digital models as our generation acted as unpaid testers for camera manufacturers' development programs until my official retirement in 2018, by which time I had already embarked on acquiring a bevy of old 35mm, 120 and large format film cameras to return to my film roots. Firmly a lover of square format, but with Hasselblad cameras already being priced beyond common sense for this project, I had an unsuccessful encounter with a couple of Kiev 60C camera bodies and Soviet lenses before settling with what I consider to be a much underrated camera system bearing the Pentacon Six TL label with its superb Carl Zeiss Jena lenses, all of which was incredibly affordable compared to the Western cameras of 6x6 format. In fact these days you'd be struggling to buy a good Hasselblad 500 body with standard lens and back for what I paid for the entire Pentacon Six outfit pictured below (30mm fisheye & 45mm wide angle are USSR lenses, 50mm, 80mm, 120mm, 180mm and 300mm lenses are all Zeiss Jena items in excellent condition, as are the two Pentacon Six TL bodies, to one of which I have adapted a KIEV 60C prism viewfinder - the camera is a bit awkward when used with the waist-level finder for other than low-angle shots): Prices are on the rise now, though, and it's wise to buy a body with a confirmed recent service to replace the old Soviet oil which tends to gum up the works as well as familiarizing oneself with the somewhat eclectic handling procedures required for smooth, trouble-free operation, but other than that this camera system is right up there with the best of what the West had to offer in the post war film camera period before digital.
  13. It was helped along by putting it through On1 Photo Raw's "No Noise" filter as IR does accentuate noise with the Foveon sensor. The red/IR sensitive sensels are at the bottom of the three layer stack of BGR sensels) and as such receive just 25% of the light that the uppermost B sensels get, which in turn is compensated for by electronic amplification to match, which creates noise. Part of that filter comprises a sharpening facility as the noise reduction does tend to soften the image - if anything IR with its longer wavelength is intrinsically less sharp than visible light anyway. The sensels don't have individual colour filters as with Bayer sensors, but rely on the absorption of blue, green and red light by the actual silicone that comprises the sensor chip itself as the light travels through the stack. The sigma sd Quattro-H is a curious beast, but was the only camera I know of that enables this IR sensitivity by easy removal of its IR-cut filter, which is positioned at the front of the camera just behind the lens mount itself with a simple press-to-release catch, and is therefore not an immovable part of the sensor itself as it is with all other cameras. Unfortunately Sigma have stalled on any further development of these cameras as "the Internet" complained bitterly about its noisy low-light/high ISO performance because of that amplification of the G & R layers to match the B layer when shooting in visible spectrum mode to the degree that Sigma decided to kill the camera rather than try to educate the naysayers as to the potential of further development of the Foveon sensor.
  14. I dusted of my now disused Sigma sd Quattro-H camera, removed the IR-cut filter with tweezers (it's still the only camera one can do that with, simple and reversible), fitted an old 1981 Russian Jupiter 38A 135/3.5 M42 lens with adapter for Sigma SD mount and attached an R72 infra-red filter and took this scene of tractors fitted with mowing and raking implements as they were on a break during a lucerne harvest/baling session. IR really does do B&W magic with skies, trees and vegetation in general.
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