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Posted: 9/29/2004 12:54:33 PM EST
First a few career questions. How's the market for news photographers, particularly for a national media outlet? Pretty saturated, or are there a lot of openings?

What about portrait photographers? As I said in a different thread, the local ones charge sixteen bucks for three wallet photos up to eighty for some 8x10s, 4x5s, and a few wallets, plus five to stick a colored gel filter on the backlight flash and six bucks to get rid of the spots in Photoshop while they're printing (digital prints, not emulsion, but they do use film)

Also a technical question. In a view camera, the film surface has to be in the same position as the diffusing surface of the glass plus or minus .005 mm, right? So, how is that done? Is the ground glass removed and the film-holder inserted? Is it pushed back?
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:24:57 PM EST
I work at a company who manufactures equipment for the Pro Photo Labs, Professional Photographers, Ad Agencies, Corporations and Govt. The trend for most professional photographers in the last two years has not been good. With the influx of Digital Cameras many Professional Photographers have switched to the digital to have the client ask why their product was not as good as historic. Also many critical clients / corporations who may spend between $6k to $40k in imagery per month will sooner or later buy their own $16k to $30k Digital Camera or Camera Back. Or that client or company will buy a whole scanner system and shoot film in house. I have seen this personnaly happen in the last three years at least 200 times with the corporation and pro lab sales going up 400%.

The performance of film being scanned by a professional drum scanner turns out to be the equivalent:

35mm - 90 Mega Pixels - 250 MB Optically

4x5 - 3000 Mega Pixels - 4 GB Optically

(No Interpolation)

The true money to be made is still at the top of the pyramid. This means that one you need to offer things that other photographers cannot. Two,Shoot Digital for the masses and a combination of film and digital camera work for the book work and film for the Grand Format, Archive, or Critical Work.


Media outlet work is different and can be rewarding but it is the shark tank of photography. I hope the best ... but I would also suggest other surrounding things in photography if this was your goal.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:28:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By NODDAH:

35mm - 90 Mega Pixels - 250 MB Optically

4x5 - 3000 Mega Pixels - 4 GB Optically




I really have a hard time believing that.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:48:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By Penguin_101:

Originally Posted By NODDAH:

35mm - 90 Mega Pixels - 250 MB Optically

4x5 - 3000 Mega Pixels - 4 GB Optically




I really have a hard time believing that.



You think that there are not going to be 3,000,000,000 grains in a 4x5 sheet of film, especially something like ASA 25? I have a hard time believing it's that few.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:59:10 PM EST
This past Nov I went to a collegiate press convetion in Dallas, and had the opportunity to meet and learn a lot from several newspaper/magazine/AP photographers.

They were pretty much saying that the media market is extremely saturated unless you want to make a career at a small-town paper or something like that. The advantage to that is almost everyone starts with the small town papers, but has no plans to stay there, so if you WANT to stay, advancement and the "good" assignments happen very quickly because of the high turnover.

Likewise, getting into a major paper can be very difficult because there are a LOT of people chasing a few positions.


Can't really give you any insight into the portrait photo world, as I'm not real interested in it, and haven't payed much attention to whats going on with it.

HTH,
FOTBR
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:12:01 PM EST
News photographers- saturated unless you have a reputation already. Start at the local level and get to know people. Been there. Done that.
Portrait photographers- I suggest you study under a good one to find out what EQ really costs. They don't make a mint, unless they have the reputation.

If you want to start, I suggest you work your way up and start to get to know people. In this business, its who you know. I can't stress this enough. I got lucky when I started.



Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:13:56 PM EST
If you believe it or not does not matter. Because it is true. We make devices that do just that!

A Kodak E100 G at normal exposure has a 5 to 6 micron (1 micron is 10,000 of 1mm) grain which turns out to be 5,000 Dpi. (At the minimum archival quality) With "T" Structure film the samples off that film is limited only by modern capture.

If you wish to speak of true information off that same film off of a 4x5 at 24 Bits it is actually 20 GB of information at a 24 Bits of color depth.


Much of the military film historically had / has grain of 3 Microns / 8000 Dpi.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:32:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Penguin_101:

Originally Posted By NODDAH:

35mm - 90 Mega Pixels - 250 MB Optically

4x5 - 3000 Mega Pixels - 4 GB Optically




I really have a hard time believing that.



Photography is one of my hobbies. I shoot film 35mm, 6x4.5 and 6x6. I did read in a Populer Photography magazine that a 35mm print is equivalent to 25 megapixel's. They went on to say that the greatest clarity, color saturation, ect. was obtained by scanning a film print on a digital scanner.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 4:06:06 PM EST
No doubt film has incredibly high resolution. But so what?

Virtually every pro photographer is moving towards digital for the workflow benefits it provides.

The only photographers left shooting film will be hobbyists.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 4:29:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
No doubt film has incredibly high resolution. But so what?

Virtually every pro photographer is moving towards digital for the workflow benefits it provides.

The only photographers left shooting film will be hobbyists.



Sorry, I work in portrait photofinishing, I'm the dinosar that processes the film.

The photographers that will be left shooting film are ones who know how to use it well and their results show it.

Many of our customers have moved from film to digital because they think it's cheaper because they don't have to buy film. This is true, but it meant all new equipment for them and that's a big ticket. There is also an entirely different post shooting work flow for them and it's more time consuming than it was when doing it film based.

It also meant that they had a lot of less than quality jobs done because what has always worked when shooting film doesn't work when shooting digital. Primarily you can't play fast and loose with your exposures, especially on the over exposure side, like you can with negative films. Digital goes to hell FAST!

Lack of consistant white balance drives us nuts, we have few customers who can handle it and when we have to intervene on the finishing end it costs them money thus no savings.

Many labs will have a hybrid work flow, film to scan to digital output. We offer it, but we've kept optical printing too, and we have new customers that are grateful we still offer it, a few very good shooters too.

Digital makes the most sense with News photography and other lower end printed pieces, your kids school pictures, and event (think Proms) photography.



Originally Posted By NODDAH

With the influx of Digital Cameras manyProfessional Photographers have switched to the digital to have the client ask why their product was not as good as historic.



You speak the truth! The purchasers of the photographs are far too often having to suffer with inferior products.

You can take the best file from a Canon 1D and it doesn't live up to the samething shot with the same lense on Velvia, 100f, or any of the Kodak 100chromes. I won't even get into an 8x10 trans vs anything digital.

With that said I notice the 10D has fallen to $1200 with the 20D coming soon.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:11:15 PM EST
Great Phil. Enjoy your film. There's nothing wrong with it. I'm the Director of Operations for the largest sports event photogrpahy company in the world. We're 100% digital. We've had a about $300,000 in print sales this month - about 7,500 orders.

I can shoot film just as well I can shoot digital. I just can't get a 150,000 images per week on the web and ready for purchase.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:12:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 5:26:16 PM EST by MagKnightX]
Another few questions:

About how much am I looking at paying for an entry 4x5 monorail? Suggestions as to brand?

The darkroom at my school only has Beseler 23CII's, should I get a camera with a format that is based on the 120mm sizes (6x4.5, 6x7, 6x9, etc.) so I can use these instead of getting a new unit or only doing contact prints? Do they make monorails in such a film size, or is that pretty much restricted to field cameras?

ETA: Would a good way to establish a portfolio to help get hired by some sort of news agency be to join the Navy as a Photographer's Mate or similar for another branch?
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:17:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
Great Phil. Enjoy your film. There's nothing wrong with it. I'm the Director of Operations for the largest sports event photogrpahy company in the world. We're 100% digital. We've had a about $300,000 in print sales this month - about 7,500 orders.

I can shoot film just as well I can shoot digital. I just can't get a 150,000 images per week on the web and ready for purchase.



We're in perfect agreement on digital for your work.



Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle:


Digital makes the most sense with News photography and other lower end printed pieces, your kids school pictures, and event (think Proms) photography.

Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:25:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:30:04 PM EST
I'd hit it.

(oops, wrong thread)

Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:31:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Another few questions:

About how much am I looking at paying for an entry 4x5 monorail? Suggestions as to brand?

The darkroom at my school only has Beseler 23CII's, should I get a camera with a format that is based on the 120mm sizes (6x4.5, 6x7, 6x9, etc.) so I can use these instead of getting a new unit or only doing contact prints? Do they make monorails in such a film size, or is that pretty much restricted to field cameras?



Used prices
$500 or so for a used Cambo/Calumet.
$800 or so for a Toyo
$1500 or so for a Linhof
$2000 or so for a Sinar
(Better deals are probably to be had on Ebay!)

Lenses, lense boards, and shutters are extra of course

It's up to you if you want to be limited to contact prints form a 4x5 until you have access to a 4x5 enlarger. However, no one says that you can't shoot to 6x7 or 6x9 size on a sheet of 4x5 if you want to be able to trim the negative and use the enlargers. A second option is a 6x7 rollfilm back for a 4x5.


Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:33:25 PM EST
FWIW, all of my photographers get paid by the hour while on assignment - $60 per hour. Hours vary depending on the event obviously. An Ironman Tri is 16 hours. That's GREAT money for a photographer.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:34:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle:
A second option is a 6x7 rollfilm back for a 4x5.





How could I focus with one of those? Do they have a reflex prism or something?
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:37:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:

Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle:
A second option is a 6x7 rollfilm back for a 4x5.





How could I focus with one of those? Do they have a reflex prism or something?



Nope, you focus on the ground glass then put the rill film back in the camera just like you would a cut sheet film holder, pull the dark slide, CLICK, reinsert darkslide, and wind film to the next frame.


Originally Posted By NoVaGator
FWIW, all of my photographers get paid by the hour while on assignment - $60 per hour. Hours vary depending on the event obviously. An Ironman Tri is 16 hours. That's GREAT money for a photographer.



Yes it is great money for a contract shooter. If I end up on the East Coast I am looking you up!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:43:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:46:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mr_Jimmy_Fly:

Originally Posted By Penguin_101:

Originally Posted By NODDAH:

35mm - 90 Mega Pixels - 250 MB Optically

4x5 - 3000 Mega Pixels - 4 GB Optically




I really have a hard time believing that.



Photography is one of my hobbies. I shoot film 35mm, 6x4.5 and 6x6. I did read in a Populer Photography magazine that a 35mm print is equivalent to 25 megapixel's. They went on to say that the greatest clarity, color saturation, ect. was obtained by scanning a film print on a digital scanner.



That I can believe because I think I read that too.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:49:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By brasspile:

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:

Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle:
A second option is a 6x7 rollfilm back for a 4x5.





How could I focus with one of those? Do they have a reflex prism or something?



If you have ANYTHING to do with sports, 35mm/Digital SLR is your only choice. Same with most news. $10k in equp to start, knowing you might not make the cut.

You WILL start out as a "stringer" (pay per published photo), and if you are good, move to staff, where you still use your own equipment, but with a paycheck bonus that helps pay for it. Medium/Large formate setups are not in the formula at all. A Canon Rebel Digital with a 50mm 1.4 lens will get more use than anything. I have been missed by a sprint car @ 200mph 20 feet away for $35. You willing to go through those tests?

Portrait Photo: Oversatruated, like Florida rivers

What kinda photo you looking into?
You need to be able to go into places you would feel uncomfortable unarmed while unarmed. I think that covers it.



This is all very good information. I would check out www.sportsshooter.com
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:54:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 5:55:35 PM EST by Phil_in_Seattle]

Originally Posted By brasspile: A Canon Rebel Digital with a 50mm 1.4 lens will get more use than anything.


Don't forget the 1.6x factor on the Rebel (and many others) that 50 just became an 80.

Canon is introducing a new lens in the EF-S series (only the Rebel and 20D can currently use EF-S lenses) 10-22 (16-35 equivalant) 3.5-4.5.

Good old fast prime lenses, none of this 4.5-5.6 crap! Ah the good old days.

Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:57:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle:

Originally Posted By brasspile: A Canon Rebel Digital with a 50mm 1.4 lens will get more use than anything.


Don't forget the 1.6x factor on the Rebel (and many others) that 50 just became an 80.

Canon is introducing a new lens in the EF-S series (only the Rebel and 20D can currently use EF-S lenses) 10-22 (16-35 equivalant) 3.5-4.5.

Good old fast prime lenses, none of this 4.5-5.6 crap! Ah the good old days.




A 10/22. Does it have a flash suppressor?
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 5:57:30 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 6:04:08 PM EST
Lots of good comments here. I'll throw in mine, too. Worked professionally for about 10 years doing aerial work, corporate, weddings, portraits, advertising and "art".

If you are seeking a hobby, it is very interesting and there are a lot of things to learn. If you are interested in a profession, you can meet a lot of people, do a lot different things, travel, etc.

But... if you are interested in making money, it can be VERY challenging. You will need to start at the bottom somewhere and gain experience. You must conduct your business like a professional and you must prove yourself every day. You must be able to mix well with all kinds of people, in al kinds of settings and sell yourself. "Who you know" cannot be overemphasized!

Advances in technology have made equipment available to a lot of people who THINK they can do work just as good as a professional. You will have to combat this concept if you work doing portraits, weddings, sports teams or fine art. (Most people can't tell the difference between a "good" photo and a "bad" one.) Finally, spending for photographic work can be subject to big swings due to the economy and/or seasonal activities.

Digital or film, whatever works for you: don't become an equipment junky. If you are trying to run a business, you must do a cost/benefit analysis before spending big bucks for tools that may not generate significant income. FWIW, unless you have a definate need, I would avoid the large format initially. High definition digital or 6x6 film will provide all the detail you need for very big enlargements.


Link Posted: 9/29/2004 6:14:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 6:16:17 PM EST
All the equipment in the world isn't going to help if one doesn't have an eye for it.

I'm an art director for a decent sized ad agency. I look at (ha, used to "cull through" transparencies) thousands of stock images a year online now, and when I was on other accounts (grrrr... long story) I used to hire photographers... so I'd put the call out through our art buyer that we needed photographers to come in and show their portfolios. I was only impressed by probably 1/4 of the shooters out there of all the ones I'd networked with. All could handle their equipment well... and they all had good equipment... but not all of them had the eye for motion, or the eye for color, or any of the sub-disciplines in photography. I say sub disciplines because some are good at capturing that one magic moment, some are good at sheet metal, some are good at product, etc. The photogs that had the eye never sat idle for long. (And if you can throw in another skill (retouching), you simply have another tool in your toolbox.)

I used to shoot the breeze with them while on photo shoots, and some of them were making the move to digital simply for the cost savings (ahem, now kept "in house" instead of used on film developing) and instant gratification for my more easily impressed art director cohorts BTW there was one photographer that I keep expecting to see here... Great guy, and a great photographer as well.

I know MagKnightX, you were talking more about news and portraits... Just thought I'd add my two bits from another perspective. The "eye" part was overlooked IMHO, and that's something that is difficult to pin down. I believe it can probably be taught (particularly by looking at other photographer's stuff and emulating it), and there are people that are truly born with it.

BTW there are some professional photographer forums out there... I keep pushing www.dpreview.com but it really is a great website, and the forums are top notch (think "the arfcom of photography forums" )
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 12:46:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By brasspile:
If you have ANYTHING to do with sports, 35mm/Digital SLR is your only choice. Same with most news. $10k in equp to start, knowing you might not make the cut.



Well, logic would tend to dictate that. Up to 72 shots on a roll of 35mm vs. 12 on a roll of 120 or 1 in a view camera that takes forever to set up and focus for each shot...

No, the reason I'm asking about view cameras is pure hobby photography. I just figured to post one thread with two marginally related topics than two marginally related threads.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:35:49 AM EST
DON'T DO IT!
The markets are SATURATED with photographers - ALL MARKETS. Have been that way for thirty years and will continue to be that way for just about forever.
You start as a newbee and immediately you must go head to head with established pros. YOU WILL GET KILLED EVERY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!
I was a commercial photographer for over twenty-five years. I changed careers six years ago and NEVER regretted it for one minute.
I still have a "mini" studio with all my Hasselblad, Nikon, 4x5 equipment, darkroom, etc. and I still do jobs for my old clients who still want an old chemistry technology photographer like me (good beer money).
At one point or another during my career I tried everything AND I WAS GOOD AT EVERYTHING!!!
NEVER MADE A DECENT LIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't do it!
It requires a substantial investment on your part (your own financial resources) and it's very difficult to get your investment back out (you won't find many banks willing to bet on you!).
Don't do it.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:31:05 PM EST
Does Fuji generally make its color negative films with richer colors than Kodak?

Is the richer color in slides due to the blank spots being clear as opposed to brown?

Is Tri-X Ortho ortho-litho or orthochromatic or both? Is ortho-litho an orthochromatic lithographic film?

Orthochromatic means not sensitive to reds, as opposed to panchromatic, which means sensitive to all colors, right?
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 4:19:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 4:26:10 PM EST by Phil_in_Seattle]

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:



Does Fuji generally make its color negative films with richer colors than Kodak?


Velvia is a class of it's own.

Kodachrome is in a class of it's own.

In general Fujis slide films will have a green bias, the greens will be more saturated compared to a comporable Kodak film.

Kodaks E100 series of film and Fujis Provia and Astia line are comporable to each other.

Fujis

Is the richer color in slides due to the blank spots being clear as opposed to brown?


The major difference in saturation is that slides/transparancies use transmitted light not reflected light combined with their greater density range makes the color richer.




Is Tri-X Ortho ortho-litho or orthochromatic or both? Is ortho-litho an orthochromatic lithographic film?


Tri-X Pan is panchromatic. Tri-x Ortho is no longer available, it was an orthochromatic film.

If you were to use certain developer combinations you can get Tri-X it to be semi litho in look but not in performance.

Kodalilth Ortho is no longer available, it was a true orthochromatic lithographic film. I know there are some ortho-litho film on the market, Freestyle imports it I think, it's by Arista, but I don;t know how it performs.


Orthochromatic means not sensitive to reds, as opposed to panchromatic, which means sensitive to all colors, right?


Orthochromatic means it's sensitive to blue and green only, not sensitive to reds. Panchromatic is defined as being sensitive to all colors.
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