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Old 4th February 2019
Petrochemist Petrochemist is offline
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Re: Thornton Pickard 5x4" half-plate view camera?

Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
Did the lenses of the day ever match the abilities of the huge negatives I wonder?

I was scanning some old family photographs over the weekend, some of which would have been taken on large format studio cameras. The quality was remarkably good for their age, but definition was somewhat lacking, which left me wondering which was the weakest link in the chain.

I believe symmetrical lens designs could be quite high quality, many of them are still quite usable today (at least by those of use who don't obsess about sharpness)

Ansel Adams certainly got great results even in his earlier work. Of course local portrait photographers wouldn't have been inclined to take quite as much care over the focusing etc. In addition shutter speeds would have been rather slow for some early portraits. - I can't decode the EXIF in any of the early family shots I have around but a few could have been over 1s exposures.

The earliest decent photo I have to hand (of my GGGGF who died in May 1879) looks quite acceptable to me.
NOT taken with Olympus!

My earlier prints are mainly daguerreotypes which have suffered considerable degradation over the years (and are a pain to copy).
Compulsive photographic Dabbler.
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