Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Transforming Large Format
Landscape master Jack Dykinga’s new “secret” view camera is in the form of a modern DSLR
Jack Dykinga doesn’t treat his newest camera as a state secret, although it would be understandable if he did. After all, he calls it a “secret large-format camera.” And it’s made by Nikon. No, Dykinga doesn’t literally have a Nikon view camera. What he has are the same D3 and D3X as many other professional photographers. But through his ingenuity, Dykinga has developed a technique that he says rivals the results he long has achieved with 4x5 film. That’s especially remarkable coming from someone who practically swore off digital cameras.
“My issue with digital in the past,” Dykinga explains, “has always been that I’m going to stay with film until digital is better, or equal. And what’s happened now is that equalization. When you do three across, when I get that file size bumping into 300-plus megabytes, then I’ve got to ask myself. I’ve already made prints for a show at Mountain Light Gallery, of bristlecone pines at starlight, a 24x30 print, and you’d be really hard pressed to tell the difference between that and all the 4x5 shots hanging next to it. That’s where the rubber meets the road.”
“The ‘why’ is Nikon’s 24-megapixel camera,” he says, “combined with tilt-shift lenses for a seamless stitch, getting me into the 300-megabyte range—which is a pretty good file size. Considering that none of that information is wasted on grain, it’s a lot of bang for your buck.”
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