Large format product photography

Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#1

TheBigYin

Staff member
Messages
22,859
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
Anyone Care to volunteer to scan the 10x8's for Garry... I know a few on here have a V700 (at the very least) that'd cope with 'em...

Sadly my Canoscan only goes to 120, or i'd help out myself.

Not that the images actually NEED a full-on scan necessarily, but it'd be nice to see 'em in all their glory.

Oh, and @Garry Edwards - many thanks for adding this for us - not only as a fascinating resource for the community, but on a personal level that it stirred so many memories of working with these great big bits of kit in a studio, spending ridiculous amounts of time (when the client's art director wasn't around being a bloody nuisance) getting the image on that ground glass "just so" because we were shooting on E6 tranny and it was basically going out of the soup and into the drum scanner... Yep, get it right in camera was definitely inground to me at that point in my life - and has stuck :)
 
OP
OP
Garry Edwards
Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#4
Anyone Care to volunteer to scan the 10x8's for Garry... I know a few on here have a V700 (at the very least) that'd cope with 'em...

Sadly my Canoscan only goes to 120, or i'd help out myself.

Not that the images actually NEED a full-on scan necessarily, but it'd be nice to see 'em in all their glory.

Oh, and @Garry Edwards - many thanks for adding this for us - not only as a fascinating resource for the community, but on a personal level that it stirred so many memories of working with these great big bits of kit in a studio, spending ridiculous amounts of time (when the client's art director wasn't around being a bloody nuisance) getting the image on that ground glass "just so" because we were shooting on E6 tranny and it was basically going out of the soup and into the drum scanner... Yep, get it right in camera was definitely inground to me at that point in my life - and has stuck :)
Yes, scanning them would be good. Don't remind me about art directors and creative directors, some of whom were fantastic but many seemed to be failed photographers who just liked to interfere:)

I've found one more, it's of a beefburger, taken on site at the client's, and it's worthwhile because it's an extreme example of camera movements, to get the whole thing in sharp focus and to get the shape accurate. I had to use every last bit of tilt there was, on each standard, and was perhaps the technically most challenging shot I ever took.
I used this in a tutorial of many years ago, and the photo is a screenshot of the pdf that's still on my computer, the quality is terrible but still, it may be of interest. It's a "Chinese Burger" - whatever that is - so I stuck it on a background that I felt suited it. Back then, we were able to get away with things that aren't allowed now, for example getting "gloss" on meat by painting it with baby oil:). The original was pin sharp, unfortunately this copy isn't.

What the movements of a large format camera allow us to do is to SHIFT the plane of sharp focus, which in this case extended the apparent depth of field on the horizontal plane from approximately 2mm (without movements) to approximately 130mm – quite an achievement – but at the expense of the very front of the burger, which because it is on a vertical plane was out of focus.

This challenge was overcome by taking a separate shot of the out of focus bit, which the client advertising agency will have scanned in and merged with the shot that you see below. Back in 1999, when this shot was taken, I didn’t have a computer powerful enough to do that.

Most of the burger shots that I’ve taken over the years – and there have been many – were for point of sale retail use and included the top part of the bun. This one was produced by the manufacturer as promotion material for their retail customers, so wanted to show as much of the meat as possible.

I remember that I took a second shot of this because I wanted to keep a copy for myself, very unusual.
chinese burger.JPG
 
Last edited:

RaglanSurf

Forum Idiot'13/14 <span class=poty>FPOTY'17</span>
Messages
10,821
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Anyone Care to volunteer to scan the 10x8's for Garry... I know a few on here have a V700 (at the very least) that'd cope with 'em...

Sadly my Canoscan only goes to 120, or i'd help out myself.

Not that the images actually NEED a full-on scan necessarily, but it'd be nice to see 'em in all their glory.

Oh, and @Garry Edwards - many thanks for adding this for us - not only as a fascinating resource for the community, but on a personal level that it stirred so many memories of working with these great big bits of kit in a studio, spending ridiculous amounts of time (when the client's art director wasn't around being a bloody nuisance) getting the image on that ground glass "just so" because we were shooting on E6 tranny and it was basically going out of the soup and into the drum scanner... Yep, get it right in camera was definitely inground to me at that point in my life - and has stuck :)
I have a v750, happy to scan these.
 
OP
OP
Garry Edwards
Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#7
The trannies are going off to @RaglanSurf for scanning today - many thanks for your help. Because I'll be away next week I'm guessing that it will be a couple of weeks before the tutorial can be updated.

Back in the day, trannies were scanned by a drum scanner for ultimate quality, but I think that they are now a thing of the past.
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
9,427
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
Back in the day, trannies were scanned by a drum scanner for ultimate quality, but I think that they are now a thing of the past.
No, they still exist and are still available for customers but boy, are they expensive! See for example http://www.drumscanning.co.uk/prices/ (and I suspect they're among the cheapest... £25 for a 4x5 at 4,000 dpi... though that is, I think, 320 mpixel!)
 
OP
OP
Garry Edwards
Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#9
No, they still exist and are still available for customers but boy, are they expensive! See for example http://www.drumscanning.co.uk/prices/ (and I suspect they're among the cheapest... £25 for a 4x5 at 4,000 dpi... though that is, I think, 320 mpixel!)
Interesting that the service is still available.. I don't think that £25 was excessive, we were paying £10 each, but that was 20 years ago, and the overall inflation rate since then would put it at £16.94.
 

Asha

Blithering Idiot
Messages
9,189
Name
Asha
Edit My Images
Yes
#10
No, they still exist and are still available for customers but boy, are they expensive! See for example http://www.drumscanning.co.uk/prices/ (and I suspect they're among the cheapest... £25 for a 4x5 at 4,000 dpi... though that is, I think, 320 mpixel!)
Interesting that the service is still available.. I don't think that £25 was excessive, we were paying £10 each, but that was 20 years ago, and the overall inflation rate since then would put it at £16.94.

Some time ago I enquired locally ( in France) about drum scanning LF negatives ( Whole Plate format ( nigh on 10x8)

The asking price was about equivalent to £25/ neg, in fact a tad more.
At the time I considered it expensive and queried the reasoning.

Basically it came down to setting up of the scanner.
Unfortunately I only had the one negative that I required scanning as I was offered a significantly reduced fee if I had several scanned at the same time.

As it was i never bothered, instead I scanned at home with several passes and stitched the files in software.
Now i have a flatbed capable of scanning upto 10x8 so the need for a proffesional service is no longer required although i believe and i am sure that their resulting scans would be superior to what i can obtain.
 
OP
OP
Garry Edwards
Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#11
@RaglanSurf has scanned the trannies and sent me the files, very quickly - many thanks for that. I have updated the article and sent it off to a moderator, as I can't edit it myself.

All of the detail that was missing from my poor photos of the slides is now there, so very worthwhile. Each file is just under 1 Gb - I don't know how this compares to the drum scans that used to get done, but the quality is much better than I expected. What struck me though is just how poor the lens resolution is on LF cameras, compared to the modern lenses for small cameras - not that it matters because of the low enlargement factor.
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
Messages
33,966
Name
Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
Edit My Images
Yes
#12
Without wanting to drag this (very interesting) thread down to a film v digital discussion (this is F&C so it wouldn't be an argument!!!), how would a digital image from a current pro spec body with a suitable lens compare with the LF versions with the LF lens(es)?
 

Asha

Blithering Idiot
Messages
9,189
Name
Asha
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
@RaglanSurf has scanned the trannies and sent me the files, very quickly - many thanks for that. I have updated the article and sent it off to a moderator, as I can't edit it myself.

All of the detail that was missing from my poor photos of the slides is now there, so very worthwhile. Each file is just under 1 Gb - I don't know how this compares to the drum scans that used to get done, but the quality is much better than I expected. What struck me though is just how poor the lens resolution is on LF cameras, compared to the modern lenses for small cameras - not that it matters because of the low enlargement factor.
Without wanting to drag this (very interesting) thread down to a film v digital discussion (this is F&C so it wouldn't be an argument!!!), how would a digital image from a current pro spec body with a suitable lens compare with the LF versions with the LF lens(es)?
If a LF lens doesn't have the same glass quality of a lens for smaller format, it's of no detriment as the resulting negative doesn't have to be enlarged to the same degree as a digital file or smaller film formats

A 4x5 negative has a surface area 13 times ( maybe nearer 14 times) that of a 35mm negative or FF digital camera sensor.

A 10x8 negative has 4 tims the surface area of a 4x5 negative so over 50 times that of a digital FF sensor

This is one of the reasons why some LF togs shoot exclusively LF so that that when enlarged to make an A3 or A2 print, the resolution remains amply sufficient to give an excellent IQ
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Garry Edwards
Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#14
Without wanting to drag this (very interesting) thread down to a film v digital discussion (this is F&C so it wouldn't be an argument!!!), how would a digital image from a current pro spec body with a suitable lens compare with the LF versions with the LF lens(es)?
Good question. Personally I can't give an definitive answer, other people can probably do much better. But, here's what I can bring to the table.
This is a 100% crop from a recent digital shot, either from my D700 or D3, same thing really. The lens is a pretty high end constant aperture zoom. There are better lenses but there's nothing wrong with this one.
pony.jpg

And this one is from one of my LF slides, again at 100% crop
Garry's Slides 5x4 Fuji RDP III 05 (1).jpg
The quality drop is very substantial but
If a LF lens doesn't have the same glass quality of a lens for smaller format, it's of no detriment as the resulting negative doesn't have to be enlarged to the same degree as a digital file or smaller film formats

A 4x5 negative has a surface area 13 times ( maybe nearer 14 times) that of a 35mm negative or FF digital camera sensor.

A 10x8 negative has 4 tims the surface area of a 4x5 negative so over 50 times that of a digital FF sensor

This is one of the reasons why some LF togs shoot exclusively LF so that that when enlarged to make an A3 or A2 print, the resolution remains amply sufficient to give an excellent IQ
as Asha points out, the much larger image area gives plenty of slack.
That 100% crop of the (near) 2 Gb LF file is from this shot, which looks OK to me.
pizza_1.jpg

What LF lenses have going for them is the enormous image circle that they project. As I remember it, my 360mm (I think) lens designed for 10 x 8 projected an image circle of at least 15" - which was very much needed simply because of the use of movements - the image wouldn't be pointing straight at the film - and the modern lenses for digital cameras just about cover the size of the sensor.

And when we get to using tilt / shift lenses as a (poor) alternative to LF - poor because the movements are limited and only apply to the front - we have to pay an enormous amount of extra money for the extra coverage. And the longest available Nikon one is just 85mm, which is a bit on the short side for product photography. For all the usual commercial reasons I had to go down the tilt / shift route for a lot of my later shoots and ended up using a medium format lens, partly because of its longer focal length and partly because of its larger image circle. Unfortunately I could only get one with a Canon lens mount, but it did the job.
 

Asha

Blithering Idiot
Messages
9,189
Name
Asha
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
Just looking at a random 4x5 negative scanned at a resolution of 2400ppi shows the file to be 10824 pixels x 8599 which, unless I've made an error in calculation equates to the approximate equivalent of 93 MegaPixels.

I'm not up on modern digital kit but it would appear from a quick google search that the Canon EOS 5DS R is the cream of the cream atm in so far as pixel count / resolution, offering 50.6 MP which is some way behind the 93MP.

Bear in mind also that I only scan at 2400ppi which I find sufficent for my needs and allows me to work with the file without their size bogging down the computer.
Some LF togs scan at a much higher resolution...Indeed I could scan at 9600ppi
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
Messages
33,966
Name
Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
Using very rough guestimation, an 8x10 image scanned at 2400ppi has about 8x the available pixels available from the 5DS R. (My maths being that the DSLR image is about 1/2 the pixels of the 5x4 and a 5x4 is 1/4 the size of a 10x8.)

I was just curious about the final difference in crispness between shots from a 10x8 camera and its "inferior" lens and a modern, top spec DSLR with a top spec lens. Unfortunately my attention span would make LF photography a no-no but that doesn't prevent me being curious!
 
Last edited:

Asha

Blithering Idiot
Messages
9,189
Name
Asha
Edit My Images
Yes
#17
Unfortunately my attention span would make LF photography a no-no
:LOL::LOL:

that doesn't prevent me being curious!
My understanding of resolution and of LF in general is fairly limited I feel although sufficient for me to get from the format what i want.
Some such as @Woodsy and @StephenM ( to mention just a few) have had much more experience than I and may be able to explain the technical aspects more cleary than I can.
It's quite possible that they may offer some input to help settle your curiosity;)
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Garry Edwards
Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#18
Using very rough guestimation, an 8x10 image scanned at 2400ppi has about 8x the available pixels available from the 5DS R. (My maths being that the DSLR image is about 1/2 the pixels of the 5x4 and a 5x4 is 1/4 the size of a 10x8.)

I was just curious about the final difference in crispness between shots from a 10x8 camera and its "inferior" lens and a modern, top spec DSLR with a top spec lens. Unfortunately my attention span would make LF photography a no-no but that doesn't prevent me being curious!
This is an interesting question - but perhaps more interesting to some other people than to me, because even when I was a working professional (before I retired in 2016) even my old Nikon D3 with a decent lens was more than good enough for nearly any quality requirement, and on the odd occasions when it wasn't, I was happy to either shoot on large format or to hire in a medium format digital camera for a specific job. For me though, large format has never been about resolution, it's always been about capability, i.e. the ability to use the camera movements.
 
Messages
6,344
Name
Terry
Edit My Images
Yes
#19
No, they still exist and are still available for customers but boy, are they expensive! See for example http://www.drumscanning.co.uk/prices/ (and I suspect they're among the cheapest... £25 for a 4x5 at 4,000 dpi... though that is, I think, 320 mpixel!)
Drum scanners were the lifeblood of the printing industry especially for producing four colour positives for litho printing.
after about 2000 most printers had moved on to film setters and could incorporate digital files directly in to their output for making Litho plates.
today a majority have moved on much further and go Direct to plate on their presses. Or further still as direct digital printing.
The use of specialist drum scanning must be absolutely minimal today when compared to the past.
I suspect a majority of such scanners are now on the scrap heap along with the technicians with the skills to use them.

A far easier route to day is direct from the camera to setting and layout using Adobe Indesign, and from there direct to the press.
Even the old half tone screens are no longer used and you will rarely see the old rosette patters in your dots. When ink printing is used, it is far more likely to involve stochastic dot patterns with under colour removal, or grey component removal.
About the only time scanning is needed today is when Flat artwork needs to be incorporated, however even then it is more likely to be shot on a camera than the use of a scanner. In any even most artwork is also produced digitally these days.

I retired at the stage that Digital printing and direct to plate were becoming an economic reality. And even Hi Tec Film setters were becoming redundant.

https://www.inkondapaper.com/stochastic-printing-vs-conventional-printing/
 
Last edited:

TheBigYin

Staff member
Messages
22,859
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#20
I suspect a majority of such scanners are now on the scrap heap along with the technicians with the skills to use them.
they still crop up occasionally on the usual online auction sites, problem generally isn't so much the scanner, as maintaining a computer from the same era that'll talk to it - usuallly a VERY old Mac or Windows 2000 system - so well past any maintenance releases. As such, they're a bit scary to put onto any network, so you also end up using external hard disks and "sneakernet" to get info onto modern machines. I vaguely remember a certain Rob Hooley of this parish had one at one point... At the time I was actually half tempted myself, then - well - life took a very different turn and I suddenly stopped taking photo's pretty much altogether (film or digital) - so while a drum scanner would have been great for gradually digitising my archive, it'd have had little use for new stuff anymore.

The sight of a nice 10x8 on the scanner whirring away still sticks with me though...

for anyone who's not been there, done (or had someone do it on there behalf), this is kind of what I mean... Pretty labour/time intensive thing...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWmYH99T2M4
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
9,427
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#23
Incidentally folks - thanks to @RaglanSurf for scanning the images, we've got a minor rewrite and update on the tutorial - but definitely worth a second look now.

Again, thanks to Garry for adding the tutorial, and Nick for the scanning - I just hope when I've edited things I've not broken anything major... :)
Just had a look... is the faint grid that seems overlaid on the product shots deliberate?
 
OP
OP
Garry Edwards
Messages
10,899
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#24

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
9,427
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#25
I think you must be looking at the original version, before @RaglanSurf scanned them for me. The original ones were placed on my computer monitor (as a backlight source) and re-photographed, but this didn't get the best from them. The current version is here https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/tutorials/large-format-product-photography.136/
Ah yes, I used the link in the second post on this thread, which @TheBigYin inserted. Mark, any chance of marking that link as deprecated in some way?

EDIT: those scans look bloomin' great, well done Nick @RaglanSurf .
 
Top