The truck camera (XXL-FX format)

Wow! We got more than 200 comments on the FX vs. DX vs film topic and I don't even know what triggered that discussion. There is no smoke today (no rumors), but to keep the fire going (and the discussion) here is a video that proves (at least to me) that the camera/format doesn't really matter if you have a good, original idea - image imperfection is not always a bad idea:


and please keep it civilizes, otherwise your comment will be deleted (video found on Gizmodo).

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  • poster

    Qwesome. I like his view on the pieces and embracing the imperfections, rather than trying to fight them. I really enjoyed the video, thanks for posting.

  • Gregorzy

    Yeah, it really doesn’t matter what format you shoot or whether you just go and paint the bloody image you see. If it makes you happy then that should be enough and I imagine that FX or even larger formats will win the day in the end but until they can deliver an FX D90, or lower model, at a D90 DX price, or lower, with superb image quality then the majority of people will keep using DX – few can really afford even the D700 let alone D3/D3x – hell, the D300 is expensive – even if good value – and its still DX!

    • Yes, we have the DX vs FX discussion now – in few years we will have FX vs MX discussion, it is all relative.

      • J. Erloch

        MX – FX is a totally different thing than FX-DX so I don’t think so.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. The whole “Fx v Dx v film” thang is pointless. People have their preferences and most intelligent people have reasons for these preferences, so what online windbags say isn’t going to make the slightest difference to intelligent people. So why get into the debate ? Why not start one about the correct name of God ? It would be equally pointless. It seems to be nothing more than a way of letting off steam and/or winding people up.

      Just take pictures and enjoy them. There’ll be no more super-improved products available for months so just use what you got right ?

      • Anonymous

        that is the typical problem with gearheads, all they ever do is argue over technical specs rather than taking pictures. heck, my 6 and 10 years old sons could take better pictures than gearheads with 30 years old cameras.

        • Anonymous

          My other hobby is motorcycles. The contrast between the way people talk to each other on motorcycling websites and on photography websites is pretty damning for the camera community. What is it about photography that attracts so many arrogant and opinionated people ?

          • Jason

            As a biker, you’ll be familiar with the dismissive biker saying, “All the gear and no idea” . . . why don’t the people who claim to be professionals earning a million dollars a year let us see some of their work?

          • Anonymous

            because they are bored with his / her family, desperate for attention, and tries to get 15 seconds of fame on forums.

          • Willis

            This is just a guess, but maybe it is opinion boards that attract arrogant opinionated people, not photography.

            I know a lot of photographers, and most of them are pretty nice people. Although there is there is the occasional exception (HINT: when you meet one, if they are looking at your gear and not at you, then you’ve probably got a wanker on your hands).

  • PJS

    Sorry, but it’s just a retelling of the Emperor’s New Clothes to me.

    • johnnybottoms

      my view of this is somewhat critical as well. he accidentally gets these artifacts and then spins it up as “it’s just who i am,” or “it’s a living, breathing piece of art,” (when in fact he simply cannot stop the deloper) or [pick your art-marketing speak]. i’m sure if he would have managed to get super clean, super detailed 4×6 foot negatives (think ansel adams with a 48×60 view camera), he would have marketed that up with the same fervor as being representative of him. when i think that my 5D2 can make 2×3 foot prints that are very very sharp, and that could be enlarged to 4×6 easily and played with exactly as i wish in photoshop, this seems like a rather rube goldberg way to do the same thing, bringing up the question (whose answer could be different for everyone) — does simply having a more elaborate manufacturing process equal art? just critique, and ymmv. cheers.

      • Eric B

        The only conversation that can go on longer than a DX – FX one is the “What is Art?” conversation. Personally I think art is many different things. It can be simple aesthetics (“thats beautiful”) or it can be more complex and completely anesthetic and still be called art . In that case, its all about vision, or being a “visionary” and doing new things, with new ideas… If you can do either, and market it, then you are successful as an artist. So while I wouldn’t describe this guys work as aesthetic, it is still creative, interesting and visionary and therefor art.

        You could be shooting a D3X but if you aren’t
        .A- creating aesthetic images nor
        .B- doings something new, inspiring or cool.

        Then you are not making art as good as this guys.

  • This is it… I am selling my D300 and I going to get me a truck 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Looks like he is taking the “pimp my truck” concept to a whole new level. Cool project…

  • thank you

    i like cool stuff. neato. am i cool?


    Pretty cool, but seems like to much to me. I’ll stick with my DSLR.

  • One of my past teachers did this years ago. Several artists have gotten notoriety for extremely similar technique. I’d want to see his work in person before voicing an opinion.

    Artists have used: cars, trucks, vegetables, trash cans–you name it.

    That’s something digital doesn’t have access to that I know of: liquid emulsion.

    • Anonymous

      it’s a great “technology” for artists who don’t mind working within the limitations for transportation. not possible to climb up mountain everest while dragging the whole truck behind you.

  • Outstanding!

  • Reminds me of the largest seamless photograph made in El Toro California that my professor was involved with. Just on a small scale.

  • Anonymous

    What’s this post with 200 replies you’re talking about?

    • two posts with 100 comments each and few more from before – scroll down and you will see them

  • Mikko

    I’ve talked with these gear enthusiastics several times during the years and it seems an mission impossible to make a point that photography is not about the perfectness of the camera. It is a form of art and someone with a real tallent can take greater pictures with 4mp Canon G2 than someone else with Nikon D3.

    Maybe this clip will show them what photography is all about …

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I have sometimes only had a little pocket compact with me when nature has put on a show and I just had to press the button to get a beautiful image.

      There is a lot to be said for just being aware of photo opportunities and being lucky enough, or having enough spare time, to be there at the right time to get the picture. Knowing when and how seems to me to be far more important than a brand or a sensor size.

      I think it’s a shame people hijack threads to be argumentative, instead of sharing what they’ve learned. Perhaps it’s because they’ve learned how to BS by reading such threads and not learned anything worth sharing.

      So here’s a simple tip I’m sure every experienced photographer knows; do a walkaround any potentially interesting photo location looking for the way and direction the light is going to hit the subject at dawn (or dusk). Then I get up early the next day for the dawn light and get to the spot I picked to see if I was right. Even if I don’t take any pictures at all and just have breakfast somewhere different, I improve my sense of lighting a subject well.

    • Artisan

      Totally true. Though these debates are entertaining to read/watch.

      The one thing that Ken Rockewell is right about is the whole “you only need a D40”. The talent of the photographer is what matters after that.

      Not to say people shouldn’t have or want to have better built cameras or ones with more functions – I have a D700 – just that all you NEED is a D40.

      • eyrieowl

        meh. here’s where i think ken usually overstates his case. he recently posted about how digital is actually better for the majority of types of photos people take, but he prefers film for the type of photos he likes to take. it was a rare (and welcome) bit of nuance from him, i thought. usually he makes blanket statements about how “film is best” or “d40 is all you need”, etc. The fact of the matter is, there is NO one-size-fits-all solution. Film is better for some things. A D40 can take some beautiful shots. But depending on what you are trying to do, neither is “all you need”. PJ “needs” are not sports “needs” are not landscape “needs” are not wedding “needs”, etc. If the argument is, “is it possible to take A pretty/’good’/interesting photo with any camera”, the answer is yes. That is the talent aspect. If the question is, “Can any camera work for any type of shooting?” the answer is clearly no. Talent will never allow your old view camera to work well courtside taking bball photos. Can you use that camera to capture an interesting photo of the game/arena? Certainly, but people would probably get annoyed with SI if that’s all they printed.

        Technology for situations, talent for content, both are important.

  • Artisan

    On that point I notice that the comments on the post about Film v Digital v FX v DX is still raging and accumulating posts steadily – even though the original posting was about a lens!

  • Chris

    Type in camera obscura into google and you will get the exact idea of how this camera works, but in the old days. This van was built on the foundings of photography. Everyone who is slightly interested on how we got here should watch this and read up on past history. What is even better is you can make this type of thing in your house, just need a window and a room and you will have the same thing going on.

    I do agree that every camera needs a photographer behind it but I know that photographers who need the higher end stuff really show it in their work. There are things I could do on a 4×5 that digital cannot mimic.

  • Final Frontier

    DX is dead. FX is dead. Film is Dead. Medium and Large formats are also dead. There is a new king in town and his name is Truck Format. This is the REALLY super real RAW. Rockwell is wrong, real photographers aren’t flocking back to film in droves, they are flocking to used truck dealerships!

    • Anonymous

      I bet GMC wish that were true,,,

  • Lance

    This is cool, but the “defects” here are as much a part (maybe more) of the work as the intended image. Intentional defects. In the same category as carelessly flinging paint at a canvas and calling it art. Cool, for sure, but uncontrolled and unpredictable. Most people who shoot need predictible results.

    A different form of photography that works on a different level. Neat, but not exactly for me.

  • The Hamster

    I am just reading the last few days postings including this one here – not got to the latest post about the “35mm DX now available in US” but it strikes me as amusing and interesting, considering how unpopular he seems to be, that Ken Rockwell gets so many mentions and discussions – there is actually several postings on whether or not he should credit himself if he posts a comment – people referring to MLA handbooks, this guide and that, formal writing and Ken’s life experience. You have to laugh – you couldn’t make it up… he must be the greatest self publicist on the planet… its like viral marketing – everyone does it for him and he reaps the rewards. He MUST read this site at least a few times a week and it must make him pull those pants a little higher and walk a little taller.

    We used to collate the square inches of press coverage that our businesses had each day in the press. If Ken does the same for himself across the internet he must, each day, be racking up a fair few “column inches” as we used to say.

    Anyone that hadn’t heard of him of course will be googling him once they see his name and the fact that he seems to be dispensing so much advice. Clicking on his website and clicks make KR rich!

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