Photoessay: The streets of Yangon, part one: people

For all of the camera-shy people in Yangon, there were plenty of others who were quite happy to be photographed, or were more amused to see me use a little black buzzy point and shoot that clearly still wound film instead of showed something on the back of a screen. I didn’t mind, because the GR1v is a superior photographic tool for this kind of thing – leave it in P, frame up, check the focus distance – or use snap hyperfocal mode – and off you go. Shot on Ilford Delta 100, processed in DDX and scanned with a Nikon D800E and macro lens. Enjoy! MT

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Her bread was awesome – and all of 20 cents a loaf. I bought two.

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Greg Beatty says:

    Hi Ming Any News on your progress with the D800/E rig you mentioned?
    Thx in advance.

    • Yep, we’re in final prototype stage now. Notwithstanding any more changes, look out for a pre-order announcement for the first batch of rigs around the end of August. We’ve been through a few design iterations to maximize functionality, keep things simple and optimize rigidity. Not as easy as I initially thought it would be, I admit! :)

      • Greg Beatty says:

        Hi Ming! Any more updates? Hope all is well. Cheers Greg.

        • I presume you’re referring to the film scanner: we’re still having issues with the manufacturing tolerances. We recently changed some of the materials for better rigidity and lower static, but those have less elasticity – which means that the tolerances need fine tuning, and all of the associated work that goes with it…

  2. Love this site – energetic, informative, creative and great pictures all in one. Am wondering about scanning. Peter Spiro was doing this with Coolpix cameras a while back. But is an old scanner better? Or is the camera plus macro better? Hope you make your solution available soon.

  3. John Lockwood says:

    I can attest to the quality and speed of Nikon “scans”. My setup is a Nikon D700 with 105mm AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor and a light box. Duplicating mounted slides is fast and easy. 35mm and MF film takes slightly longer. Exposure and WB can be adjusted as you shoot, as well as which color profile you like best. Of course with RAW NEF files, you can always adjust later in View NX2.

    I’m curious if anyone has tried Nikon’s 40mm DX micro lens with a Nikon ES-1 slide duplicating device on a Nikon DX camera. The ES-1 was designed to work with full-frame 35mm cameras, the 55 or 60mm micro lens and a PK ext. tube to gain close focusing. Since the ES-1 attaches to the lens via 52mm thread, there are no concerns over film/sensor alignment.

    Also, Nikon’s software does not allow inversion for our negative images.

    • You can easily take care of the inversion in ACR, but I find that you’ve got to do several rounds of curves to get the tones right. But at least you can set them up as an action.

  4. Siew Heng Keong says:

    Very nice B&W shots. Just wonder can the same effects be achieved by using D800 and Photoshopped alone. Thanks

  5. Do they call the sarong there pelikat or something else?

  6. May I ask which equipment and lens do you use to scan the films? I have a D800E and AF Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8. I’m planning to scan my old family photos. Do you think they are sufficient? Thanks in advance

    • Should be fine; the D800E outresovles 35mm by a significant margin. I don’t think there’s more than about 12-14MP of real resolution in a 35mm neg. The tricky part is going to be getting the critical alignment right – if the film isn’t perfectly perpendicular to the camera, then your corners will be soft.

      • So for slides, how you are going to scan it? Do you have to print them out. If just using the slides, I cannot imagine how you gonna do that? Thank you.

        • Even easier with slides, no inversion required. I don’t shoot slide at the moment because DIY developing is difficult, and the local labs are crap.

  7. Why use a D800E as a “scanner” and not a proper dedicated scanner?
    Any advantage or disadvantage in doing so?

    • It’s faster, resolution is comparable, and the tones are better. I did a back to back comparison between a top of the line backlit Epson flatbed, a Flextight and the D800E scans – the latter was clearly the best of the three, and I can scan and convert a whole roll in the same time it takes for the flatbed or Flextight to do a single frame.

      • Hi Ming,

        would you mind writing about your setup to scan your negatives? I am interested in what kind of gear you are using – not body and lens but tripod, light etc. Maybe an article of its own?

        Thanks lot, Thilo

        • At some point I will talk about the film workflow, but not once I’m done refining it. As for negative scanning…I’m using a custom made rig which I’m looking into producing a small run for sale…

          • I’m really looking forward to that scanning rig. Will it be possible to scan the outer frame with sprocket holes, and would it require a certain type of camera (full frame or m4/3)?

            • Theoretically possible if you use the 120 setting, but alignment is going to be a bit of a pain. It’s suppose to work for 135 and 120 for APSC and FX with 50-100mm macro lenses.

  8. Amazing setup, even greater shots. Who needs an MM, one is tempted to say.

    • Thanks Dan! There’s quite a bit of difference in the MM files…I don’t think there’s over 8-10MP of real resolution here, and the acuity is nowhere near as good. But that’s peeping pixels, I suppose.

  9. D800E and a macro lens as a scanner eh?
    I guess you need to get perfect alignment for this to work…

    • Not really. There’s far more resolution on the D800E than 35mm film; so long as you’re in the ballpark you can always crop to fit and still have 25MP+.

  10. Very Nice Ming! Thanks for sharing!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] For all of the camera-shy people in Yangon, there were plenty of others who were quite happy to be photographed, or were more amused to see me use a little black buzzy point and shoot that clearly still wound film instead of showed something on the back of a screen. I didn't mind, because the GR1v is a superior photographic tool for this kind of thing – leave it in P, frame up, check the focus distance – or use snap hyperfocal mode – and off you go. Shot on Ilford Delta 100, processed in DDX and scanned with a Nikon D800E and macro lens. Enjoy!  [...]

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