Readers Questions

Steve –

I scored a brand new/in the box/never used Pentax 67ii with 200mm f4 lens - it is on its way as we speak.  I am just on the lookout for a 55mm or 45 wide angle.  Yes I know what you are thinking Steve  - archaic technology.  However when one whacks those enormous trannies onto the light box they leap and grab one by the curlies.

I did heaps of research on the net and many many pros are still using these old girls with awesome results.  Apparently there is so much definition in those babies that often when they scan a transparency the file is so enormous the old computer feels like going into cook-down.
After consulting with you I may end up selling my F5 system when it gets back from the service dep't, and get maybe an entry level digital, say a D90, just to get the feel of things.  I can use my F5 lenses without much of an expense changing systems.
The thing that I hate is squinting over those peasly little 24x36 trannies on the light box. I agree with you that digital has well and truly replaced 35mm technology.  However I think there is still a place for medium format.  I know it depends on what one is doing - as I said before, no good for sport or editorial.  However for me next year - tramping the back-blocks of Cambodia with tropical storms and beautiful lighting over rice fields, local farmers toiling and kids playing - this thing is going to be awesome!!
Keep me posted big-fella!


Reading everything you wrote.. I’ve come to a conclusion.. ;o)

You’re going exactly where I’ve been thinking of going back to.. for PART of my photography.

If you think the 4x5’s are nice.. throw a 8x10 tranny on the light table and prepare to be blown away..

I think you’re right about 35mm.. digital has replaced it and the sort of photography you’re going to do with a 35mm film camera.. digital does better.  At least the better full frame models.

It also does it easier, cheaper (after equip costs), and I think better.   I think it’s easier to shoot digital than film once you know how.  It’s also easier to recover from under/over exposures (to a degree) as slide film has no leeway..   It’s also a great time saver.

The thing is.. for most of our purposes a DSLR is going to fit our needs.  I can make great looking 24x30” prints from my 1ds2... and there’s better cameras out there now.. so how far do you really need to go?/  Lugging around a medium format film camera.. should be reserved for those special carefully planned shoots when you know you’re going to take certain pictures.. and even then setting up your DSLR first and using it as a sort of light meter (using the LCD and histogram you can dial in exposure variables) would be my technique so I don’t waste even one frame of Velvia..

I think you need both.. but you need a DSLR first because its’ what you’ll really want to use once you learn how to use it.  And don’t be scared/hesitate of the software/computer side of things.. one day in one of computer based workshops and you’ll go from knowing nothing to knowing enough to be very very comfortable.

Ken Rockwell.  Understand that he’s a nature and landscape photographer.. and that if you read what he writes.. all of it.. that he outshoots film with digital by a factor of over 1000/1.   Sports, travel, personal, portraits.. digital is superior when you factor in all variables.  Also understand the guy is purposely provocative.. and also very correct on a great many things. 

I hope this helps..


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