67 vs Canon 1DS

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by grant_lupton|1, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Would you please look at the following and comment.Basically, the test
    reveals Canon (digital) superiority vs Pentax 67.


    Thank you.


  2. rj


    Old news that is testing scanners vs. digital capture using a digital workflow. Doesn't really do much for me because my medium format is all optically printed.
  3. nevermind the scanning. just look at the ligh table -- you'll have no further questions.
  4. Now if I just had $7200.
  5. When doing these types of comparisons no one ever seems to compare black and white film with digital. I'll admit if one has 8k to spend and works exclusively in color, then a 1DsMkII is a great choice (if that person also has $$$ to spend on the best canon glass). For me, aside from digital's plasticky look, its biggest limitation is dynamic range and tonality. I suppose even for portrait shooters working with color negative film this would be an issue, but for me it is most clear when looking at B&W. Converted color digital shots can look good, but blown hilights and clipped shadows are ever-present. Apparently foveon sensors in fuji SLR's have a much better dynamic range but Canon's cmos sensors just don't cut it.

    Also, I should mention I'm a happy eos 10D owner... I just acknowledge that it has its place.
  6. just my opinions so.....

    Thats been argued to death and there are so many variables. Up to a certain point it does not matter. Beyond a certain point Digital will start looking plastic from too much interpolation while with film you can scan at a higher dpi and pull more natural detail (and grain). You have to figure a 67 4000 dpi scan, while I find usually too much, would provide a file that was 9000 x 10240 or 92 mp.

    You could do a 204 dpi lightjet to around 40x50 at its native rez with no interpolation. Thats a 17x enlargement for 67 and too much for a 1ds. As for which one would look batter in print its hard to say, but since digital falls apart too much interpolation I think the 67 print would look better.

    Also if you crop to 4/5 ratio you lose some 1ds rez. In that case cropping to a 4/5 ratio you end up with 2704 x 3380 or about 8.2 mp, so, IMO a super sharp 67 drum scan would win.

    I rarely scan over 2000 - 2500 dpi myself but occasionally I run into a shot like below that is very sharp and I like to scan and work them at 4000 just for curiosity.

    For really big prints and superb quality I prefer 4x5.

    In the end, I dont think it really matters. I like to shoot digital or 4x5 67 or whatever. Its all a bag of tools, but digital is really nice for action shooting where you can really rip off a lot of shots.

    The crop below is 1.27mm high, E100G drum scanned at 4000 dpi from a Pentax 67II. It would take over 1750 crops this size to make a 6x7 frame.


  7. How about Canon digital vs Phase One P45?
  8. It's not a fair test, he's comparing the sensor in the 1Ds to the sensor in his scanner.

    Inkjet print vs Cibachrome would tell a different story. And he knows that too, but "reviewers" are paid to flog digital gear these days, so you'll never see that comparison...
  9. I've done some careful field testing comparing my D2X (reportedly out-resolves the
    Canon) against 6x9 film (using a Horseman VH), using the very best available lenses in
    both cases. What I've observed is that up to A3 (13x19) print size (digital) one is hard
    pressed to tell the difference... from a resolution perspective. For larger prints 6x9 film
    gets progressively better the larger you print. At 22x33 inches the D2X capture just
    doesn't have enough data and falls apart, while the scanned 6x9 (via a dedicated film
    scanner @ 3200 dpi) still makes wonderful prints. Another thing to consider is Chromatic
    Aberation (CA)... I HATE CA... I have yet to find anything in nature that has blue/red/
    puple/green glowing edges. The D2X isn't TOO bad in this regard, but I previously owned
    the Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n (full frame-like the Canon) and it was horrible regarding CA. The
    Canon is known to have the same problem. The angle of acceptance towards the perimeter
    of full frame sensors creates the problem. Yes... you can mitigate CA via software, but it's
    more work than I care to indulge in, and in the process you wind up losing data. In the
    end, it's all about output size... if you never (or rarely) print larger than 13x19, or if purple
    fringing doesn't bother you the Canon would be just fine.
  10. Photography is about prints. You may look at a picture on a screen but it is not really existent - unless printed. Haven't seen a technology that allows to do 20x24 prints (that's what I want)
    for the same or lesser than MF. And I can to do it all by myself.
  11. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    This is, as has been said, old news and there's enough debate about his methods to mean that this work is not regarded as being authoritative. But you know this is the medium format digest, so you shouldn't be surprised if the tone of the answers leans that way.

    Starting from a perspective that both high-end digital and medium format can get you to great medium-sized prints, there are some factors you ought to be thinking about.

    The process you go through between taking the camera out of your bag and looking at a print is different between MF film and digital. Admittedly with todays best colour printing options being digital (certainly true of minilab prints, in my view true of custom prints as well) the two processes come together at a point. But you have to decide whether you actually want to stand in a field looking at histograms or trying to assess on the LCD screen whether you've nailed it. You have to decide whether you actually like sitting behind a computer adjusting each photograph you chosse to keep and print. You have to decide whether you're prepared to spend money film and processing of bracketed shots because you aren't absolutely convinced that your exposure process is spot on all the time. And so on and so on. I understand an argument that the final image is the thing, but for most people, photographing as a hobby, there is absolutely no merit in using a process that you don't enjoy to the max. A fractional improvement in the final print isn't worth it- a good part of the fun of photography is the act of doing it.

    Along the same theme, I find the sensation of composing a photograph much more expansive and involving than either 35mm or on any dslr I've tried. It improves the quality of my photographs. It may or may not be something you relate to.
  12. Gentleman,

    Thank you for all the replies. I read a report (can't remember where) which expanded on David's points, ie actually producing a finshed, digital print. Talk about farting around. Forget it - life's too short.

    I thought of this more: the 67 gives brilliant results. Why do I need better? Maybe an analogy can made between a good, reliable modern car and a top-end model capable of 180mph. The only time the latter can be used/tested (illegally) is around 3.00am on 26 Dec when the motorways are deserted. There's also the cost.

    Well, I think (hope) we've killed that topic. Good riddance.

    Thank you, Gentleman.


  13. I use both Hasselblads and the 1Ds II and although in terms of quality I find they are fairly similar (printed at A3 anyway) I disagree with Michael Reichmann in that I find MF usually better. When I say 'usually' this is because shadow detail in my scanned slides is sometimes rather noisy - but of course this is a limitation of my scanner and not film itself. The rest of the time I find film noticeably better in terms of resolution and most obviously dynamic range when I shoot using b&w negatives. Nevertheless the difference is not huge but it is important to me; this difference is invisible to everybody except the kind of picky people who hang about on these forums!

    As always there is a compromise between the two and for me (as for many others I suppose) it is the practicality/convenience/cost effectiveness of digital over the absolute quality of carefully scanned MF film with its attendant slow workflow.

    I personally find MF far more satisfying and enjoyable than digital and the results are often enough better too. But that's just the way I see and feel about my own pictures - everybody else who has looked at them usually can't see the difference in technical quality and wouldn't really care even if they could.
  14. I have plenty of money tied up in a 1Ds2, but much more tied up in MF and LF equipment, so I don't think anyone could accuse me of being prejudiced toward digital simply because I bought some equipment.

    I just spend a trade show living with 24 x 20 posters done with LF and MF, both optically and digitally printed, and 1Ds lightjet printed.

    I was extremely careful in each case all of the way through the process. I think with digital this is especially important, it's very easy to muck it up with improperly working with compressed files, using in-camera sharpening, interpolating the image, slightly rotating the image (which forces use of interpolation), etc.

    Bottom line: all 3 (Lf, MF, Digi) yielded very pleasing results, and I am very picky. Surprising to me, the 1Ds posters seem to have the most pleasing smoothness of tone and believability. I'm hardly an early adopter and I very reluctantly embrace new technology, but I have to say that I was very impressed with how far digital has come.

    There are many, many factors involved in the quality of the final print, and I have found that most folks reporting that one technology so-called blows away the other have not really tried to optimize results from both. Things are close enough between MF and Digi that you really will have to run tests yourself to make a decision. I do think it is valid to say that things are close enough that it will come down to the quality of the photographer and image, not the capture method.
  15. The author is a commercial photographer. I have yet to find a commercial photographer who is not biased toward digital.
  16. Keith Laban Photography
    There are so many reasons why I'm using Hasselblad 500 series and ArcBody cameras rather than the 1DS2, or for that matter any other 35mm based DSLR. The following are just a few
    Poor wide-angle lenses with inadequate coverage resulting in appalling vignetting, poor edge performance and unacceptable barrel distortion and colour fringing.
    Lenses with little if any depth of field information
    Piss poor viewfinders.
    Over complex operation detracting from image making.
    Having said this my entire workflow apart from capture is now digital so I do intend to complete the circle in the not too distant future.
  17. Grant,

    Here are a few more MF vs. digital comparisons for your viewing pleasure.





    I think these comparisons show what many people have concluded, that 6x7 film is noisier but has better resolution and texture. Some people prefer the smooth look of the Canon, others the detail and texture of the MF film.

    Good luck choosing!

    - Ciaran
  18. One item that has yet to be mentioned is the archival potential of film over digital, and I am refering to the source image as opposed to the printed one.

    Due to the rapid progression of software and electronic systems, digital methods of storage are constantly being obsoleted. If you don't continually convert your files from one operating system generation to another, you risk not being able to recover the information at all. Ever have anything saved on 5 1/4 floppies and need the files now? How about Jazz 1 G storage media? I have had a large amount of info on these cartriges which are no longer readable on current Iomega drives. So it matters little that Iomega claimed 20 year information integrity when they made drives for only 5 years. Put you files on CD-R disks? These have maybe five to seven year potential lifetimes. Proprietary "RAW" files that require OEM software to open and manipulate will be OS dependent and may not usable 10 years from now after three OS revisions.

    Film, on the other hand, is well documented regarding its archival capabilities.

    In the current "throw away" society, perhaps professional image makers don't care if their work extends beyond the current magazine issue. But I have negatives taken 20 years ago I can still print and view.
  19. But I have negatives taken 20 years ago I can still print and view.
    So do I. But the only reason that I can still easily access and print them is because I have organized and stored them safely for the past twenty years. I can also access (more than one copy of) any digital shot or film scan I've made, and I have at least one additional copy of those files in another location.
    Arguments about the superior archival quality of film images generally assume that photographers will care for their film images but they will carelessly disregard the security of their digital images.

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