Yesteryear Photos: Route 66 Americana

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Ricochetrider, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. Of course. I didn't suggest otherwise. In fact, I almost never know what camera other people have used for a given image, and I only ask if there is a reason to.

    My point was that I personally don't see the value in throwing out data. The Leica sensor has some other advantages, but not enough in my mind to compensate for all it doesn't have. But if people want to spend more than 3 times as much for a camera that shoots only monochrome than for, say a Nikon 780 or Canon 5D Mark IV, that's their concern. I'm only saying that I personally can't see doing it.
  2. I know you didn't. That was merely a point I wanted to make once I started talking about my own preferences. It wasn't a response to anything you said or didn't say.
    I understand. The reason I gave a reason why some folks opt to set their digital cameras to black and white mode was in response to what you said ... "Beats me why anyone would want it." I did not respond in order to convince you that it's a good method or one you should consider. I responded simply as a matter of giving you information and relating reasons I've heard. No agenda here and no attempt to influence your work flow. Just dialogue.
    paddler4 likes this.
  3. I always thought it best to flood as much information as possible onto a (digital) camera’s sensor. Which is why it’s best to shoot color and convert to B&W afterwards, yes? Eliminate, as much as possible, anything of any sort that would reduce the information flow.

    Recently, a friend told me he bought a certain camera for his work because he could disable the device’s low-pass filter. While I guess this term wasn’t new to me, I really had no idea what it is and how it works. To hear him tell it, all digital cameras incorporate a low pass filter into their works and this filter serves (among other things) to block information from getting to the sensor.
    (caveat: I have no idea if this is true or not)

    BUT aren’t all digital cameras more or less built to emulate as closely as possible (well certainly higher end cameras if not so much low end ones) the original analog process of using light to activate particles on a sheet (in the case of these old photos) of film?

    And sure, all that COULD HAVE been done in camera and in the darkroom or lab can “more easily” be done on a computer...

    but I can’t help but feel like people seem to always go back to the original analog processes because there seems to be something there that technology just cannot fully replicate. We’ve seen this in the recording industry, in live performance, certainly in listening to music- and aren’t all the true reference recordings orchestral with the least possible amount of mics and gear captured on all analog equipment?

    And now we are seeing it in the world of photography with the resurgence of film- which, as it happens, interfaces well (or not so well maybe- hence some complaints about these images) with digital measures such as scanning, post processing and sharing, displaying, storage, and transferral.
  4. The low-pass filter is also called the anti-aliasing filter. Its function is to reduce the chances of moiré happening. Typically, at least with lower resolution cameras, the detail loss is not great but moiré is basically impossible to remove in post, so it's a reasonable trade off.

    At one time, certain cameras would eliminate it, and it was often found to be more trouble than it's worth. I have a Kodak DCS 14/n, which has a 14mp full-frame sensor, and it's one of the cameras that eliminated it. It's purely a studio camera when I have used it(the batteries don't last long and it's bad above base ISO) and I have run into issues with moiré on fabric backdrops.

    As resolution has increased, and pixels gotten smaller, moiré has become much less of a problem, and it has become increasingly common to leave out the AA filter. In Nikon land, the D800(which I have and use) does have one, but Nikon also released a companion along side it, the D800E, that didn't have it. The D800E does deliver slightly sharper results than the D800, although a 36mp sensor is pretty unforgiving of lens imperfections and those can mask any differences between the two. The revised and tweaked D810 eliminated the filter completely. I don't notice any moiré issues with the D500, which is a 20mp crop sensor(and roughly the same pixel density as the 45mp full-frame D850).
  5. It's all a matter of personal preference. I grew up with wet darkroom work, and I still feel a little nostalgic about it. Ditto, my Canon FTb fully manual film camera. But I personally wouldn't consider going back to it, and I haven't actually used film in many years. I have vastly more control working digitally. I can accomplish more of what I want, and I can do it more easily. Even something as basic as dodging and burning is much easier to do digitally, and it's reversible, if you use certain techniques. For example, I usually dodge and burn by creating a curves adjustment, turning the mask black, and slowing painting white where I want to make the change. If I go to far, I can just turn the brush black and erase it. If the effect is too strong, I can simply reduce the opacity or make the curve less extreme. In wet darkroom days, the only way to compensate for having burned too much or in too large an area was to start over. And that's just one of many examples.

    Someone who knows this better than I can correct me if I am wrong, but I think the music analogy isn't precise. In using digital recording, unless you use a very high sampling rate, you are discarding information that in theory an analog recording can capture. Photography is the reverse: digital captures leave you with more data, not less.
  6. Or buy a Leica M Monochrom.

    Maybe after you win the lottery.
  7. CDs use 44.1kHz sampling rate, so a Nyquist frequency of 22.05kHz. That leaves plenty of room to filter with a 20kHz cutoff.

    Babies might hear up to 20kHz, but most of us only up to about 15kHz.

    The highest note on a piano is 4186Hz.

    It is fairly easy, with modern digital logic, to generate a high quality digital filter for digital recording
    and digital playback. Usual 16 bit recording gives quantization noise about 100dB down, which you won't
    hear in all except the quietest room. It is fairly easy to record and play back all that you can hear.

    Analog tape is limited by the size of the gap in the playback head, and tape speed.
    With studio recorders at 15ips, you should be able to get above 20kHz, but you still
    can't hear it.

    MP3 recording uses compression techniques to not record much of what we can't hear.
    It the highest bit rate (lowest compression), it will be difficult to tell from a CD. At lower bit rates,
    one can probably hear it, but it won't be easy most of the time.

    Digital video uses many techniques to compress the data, many of which you can see in fast
    changing scenes. Most often it is better than even the higher speeds of VHS or Beta tape.

    As with film, one reason to record higher spatial frequencies in photography is the ability to crop.

    For most uses, though, for normal viewing distance and such, 20MP is plenty.

    There is one case where higher frequency response is needed, and that is for ornithology.
    Birds might get up to 18kHz, so the ability to record that well could be important.
    Some sources say no birds hear above 20kHz, though.
  8. For some years, I lived five blocks from Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, which was part of Rte 66,
    though not rural as much of it is. I might have some pictures from there.
    Ricochetrider likes this.

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