Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/06/01

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Film flatness and sharpness...
From: "Henning J. Wulff" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 23:39:33 -0700
References: <v04011709b55cebd8e922@[]>

At 10:37 PM -0700 6/1/00, Rich Lahrson wrote:
>Henning J. Wulff wrote:
>> >Also, have you ever REALLY compared a MF enlargement to a 35mm enlargement,
>> >of the same film for 'sharpness'?
>Hi Henning and everyone,
>     The larger negative of 120 film has a hidden advantage beyond
>sharpness.  Sometimes I find that the picture requires severe cropping.
>Indeed, there maybe more than one picture in a 120 negative!!  Because of
>the larger size, cropping is a real world situation.  With 35mm, cropping
>in one direction is possible, seldom in two, as than the image is really
>small and the limits of enlargement are reached sooner.
>     However, I feel that my best shots are the ones that need no, or
>minimal cropping, the ones that seem to 'pop' out of the viewfinder
>at the instant of exposure.  It's a definite feeling, like 'that's
>a keeper', maybe only one out of 36.  When I develop the film, there
>it is.  I don't make contact sheets, I know the shots that I want to
>print.  Every photographer seems to develop (!) their own way of
>working, and my approach is not unique.
>				Cheers,
>						Rich Lahrson

Actually, I didn't write that snippet.

However, your point is well taken. Enlarging a tiny bit of a 120 neg really
means that your original photo didn't work and you're seeing something
later that you missed the first time around. It's almost like taking a shot
out of a train every 10 seconds and selecting your photos out of tiny
portions of those shots. Every once in a while you get lucky. Better you
see the shot when it's in front of you. Then you can compose, wait for the
correct moment, juxtapose elements, etc. You are in the process of creating
a picture, insted of letting elements of pictures happen.

When I shoot 35mm, I'm really happy if I get 5 enlargeables from a roll.
One is more like it. When I shoot 4x5, at least every second one is worth a
print. One 4x5 takes about as much effort as 36 35mm shots. Comes out even,
for the input effort.

   *            Henning J. Wulff
  /|\      Wulff Photography & Design
 |[ ]|

Replies: Reply from Greg Locke <> (Re: [Leica] A law of photography)
Reply from "Henning J. Wulff" <> (Re: [Leica] A law of photography)
Reply from Jim Brick <> ([Leica] Re: A law of photography)
In reply to: Message from "Henning J. Wulff" <> (RE: [Leica] Film flatness and sharpness...)