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Nostalgia Nexus - early and pre-digital discussion Want to discuss the really early days of digital and even film - here is the place for you.

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Old 19th November 2014
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Question All too clever by half

In visiting a lot of Camera Clubs / Photographic Societies, I get to hear a lot of comments during the tea breaks.

Many times I hear that people think that the cameras have become "too clever"
and more time is spent playing with the settings than is spent on considering the composition and exposure.

Harking back to the good old days, the only thing to look at on the back of a camera was the film box top to remind you of what you had loaded. Today all you ever see are people looking and showing others a tiny representation of what has been achieved.

Discussions abound on various forums about the latest kit and its capabilities, but with what seems to be less and less constructive debate about the end result.

I am still surprised by the number of times I'm asked how best to straighten an horizon in Photoshop, when that tiny attention to detail is all too easy to get right before pressing the shutter release.
Depth of field seems to have become something only used to blur the background to a maximum, without considering the depth of the subject.

As for post processing... I've heard on a few occasions, people advocating shooting in RAW so that it "can all be corrected at home"

This forum is better than most, with far fewer distractions from kit rivalry and the "Looking for improvement" arena works well.
I often recommend people to have a look at it in favour of the the more partisan sites.
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
the only thing to look at on the back of a camera was the film box top to remind you of what you had loaded.
The OM40 had a little window onto the back so you could see the film canister to see what you had loaded..and it had an auto ASA setting to read the film speed if I remember correctly. I do remember cameras with the holder for the torn off flap of the film box though.

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Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
Many times I hear that people think that the cameras have become "too clever"
Perhaps we need some clever people who can design the interface so us mortals can understand the clever internals.
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

Not too sure I agree. My cameras are all computers designed to take photos, as is any digital camera. How much control they give is down to the user. You can buy an E M1, switch it to Automatic and take photos, most of which will be perfectly good. OR, you can exercise control and take photos, as you wish to capture them. The person not wanting the kind of control an E M1 affords can save a lot of money and buy a cheaper, but still good digital camera. My EPM1 has given me some great shots, but I love the control given by my E M10 and Pany G6 cameras, it makes photography an absorbing hobby for me.
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

Yeah, I agree that we let the camera dictate the images we take, I for one sometimes go out with my OMD put it in manual mode apart from focus as my eyes are not as good as they were. I try not to peep at them until I get them onto the computer, I do shoot Raw as I know that if there are some tricky highlights I can get them back, I do try to expose as close to perfect as possible for what i'm after.

I use capture one to do slight tweeks to exposure and colour balance, the into perfect photo suite to give them the flavour and atmosphere and drama.

We have a couple in our club buy the top full frame camera they can and shoot jpeg and in auto mode as they don't want to have to bother making adjustment in a computer, I can't see the point of that really.

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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
In visiting a lot of Camera Clubs / Photographic Societies, I get to hear a lot of comments during the tea breaks.

Many times I hear that people think that the cameras have become "too clever"
and more time is spent playing with the settings than is spent on considering the composition and exposure.

Harking back to the good old days, the only thing to look at on the back of a camera was the film box top to remind you of what you had loaded. Today all you ever see are people looking and showing others a tiny representation of what has been achieved.

Discussions abound on various forums about the latest kit and its capabilities, but with what seems to be less and less constructive debate about the end result.

I am still surprised by the number of times I'm asked how best to straighten an horizon in Photoshop, when that tiny attention to detail is all too easy to get right before pressing the shutter release.
Depth of field seems to have become something only used to blur the background to a maximum, without considering the depth of the subject.

As for post processing... I've heard on a few occasions, people advocating shooting in RAW so that it "can all be corrected at home"

This forum is better than most, with far fewer distractions from kit rivalry and the "Looking for improvement" arena works well.
I often recommend people to have a look at it in favour of the the more partisan sites.
I agree completely Graham particularly that last sentence.
As I used a Rollei most of the time and then graduated to a used Hassie I was always composing on ground glass and could never get used to a 35mm camera. Of course the Olympus OMD really changed the game with one exception....the menu system is too cluttered and sometimes difficult when it changes is memory and goes back to what it once was. Other than that, I like the digital age of photography and I have noticed a great improvement on the quality of images that are posted...probably due to the new technology more than the person behind the camera.
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

Must say that I do miss the DOF scale on my lenses.
Is it possible to put that on a zoom?
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

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Must say that I do miss the DOF scale on my lenses.
Is it possible to put that on a zoom?
Probably not... but it could easily be put in the viewfinder.
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

I really enjoy working with a wide angle lens set on a fixed focus of about 15 feet and f/5.6. Simply keeping an eye on the speed and adjusting if needed.

Funny to think that the "all too clever camera" can be set to adjust the ISO automatically, so fixed speed and f-stop can be used with ease.

Personally, I experiment with all manner of clever features. One I liked was the auto focus bracketing on the E-500, it made for easy stacked focus shots.

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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

I think as with driving automatic gear cars, we have got lazy with cameras and horizons - because we can correct in post processing

Also, I rarely take Landscapes and when I do I am usually "taken" by the beauty before me - so little things like the horizon, I forget about !

an interesting thread
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

As someone who's gone back to shooting film this post definitely resonates with me, Graham. On my Hasselblad after I've taken a reading on my handheld light meter and transferred the EV no to the lens I can just set it to f22 and hyperfocal distance and then all I need to think about is composition, and possibility whether or not I need a filter. Simple.

As for straight horizons, I have a grid focusing screen, a bubble level clipped to the side of the Hassy, and I also use a little spirit level bought from a DIY shop that I lay across the film back.
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

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Originally Posted by cariadus View Post
I also use a little spirit level bought from a DIY shop.
I hope that was my shop Roger :

Kind regards, Simon
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Re: All too clever by half

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Originally Posted by cariadus View Post
As someone who's gone back to shooting film this post definitely resonates with me, Graham.
Me too Roger

Having sold almost all of my digital kit I have been 'quiet' around here for a few weeks though I have continued to visit the site almost daily as I do so enjoy it.

I have really fallen again for 'old school' manual focus film cameras, going back to my roots as you know. Just bought another two lenses for the Hasselblad, yes I know I said I thought I was done ... but 'hey-ho'. So now more often than not I'm either out with the 'blad 202 and 60, 100, 150 cfi lenses or the Leica m6 or of course that wonderful OM4ti for which I was lucky enough to recently find another 50 F1.2 to team up with the 28 F2 & 100 F2, that makes for a very nice Olympus outfit which I do not see myself letting go of anytime soon if ever.

I love the whole 'thought' process of working with film, it is very rewarding. Digital can be too, you just need to apply the same methods as when shooting film.

Regards, Simon
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Re: All too clever by half

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Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
I think as with driving automatic gear cars, we have got lazy with cameras and horizons - because we can correct in post processing
Hi Chevvy,

Yes modern software can do wonders and can sometimes 'really' save an image, however the more I shoot film again the more disciplined I am becoming ( again ) not that I am knocking anyone for correcting after the image capture. I try to spend as little time in photo editing programs as possible now, most likely due to the amount of time I use a computer throughout my working day and the fact that as I get older I find the screen all too quickly causing eye strain

I have to however admit that the ability to transform an otherwise possibly sloppy image with just a few key strokes has its benefits too

Regards, Simon
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Old 19th November 2014
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Re: All too clever by half

Even with film you can correct sloppy horizons (and a multitude of other sins) in pp, thanks to scanners! But getting it right first time saves a lot of work and is so much more satisfying, whether you shoot film or digital.
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Re: All too clever by half

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I hope that was my shop Roger :
It was a shop in Barry, I'm afraid, Simon. Although come to think of it, it might have been the 99p shop.
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