better colors than digital

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by jr stevens, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. I am finding that since shooting film a few months ago I find the colors to be much more accurate than the digital pics i have taken. Not only are they more accurate but they better represent what i SEE ...anyone else experience the same?
  2. What kind of film did you have in mind? Anything below ISO200 in film for me is breathtakingly better.
  3. A nice ISO 100 Slide film is what I see in color... but I tend to see more in B&W. and for me digital just can't do that for me. don't get me wrong I am not bashing Digital as I see some great digital photos it is just not the tool for my visions.
  4. I don't necessarily think film's colors are more accurate. I do like them a lot more though :) It matches more what I *want* to see.
  5. Yes. Digital color seems colder to me, whether I use digital lenses or stopped down metering on older manual lenses. Comparative to digital music vs. solid state, like you get from an old Marantz or whatever of the same era stereo. Nothing I can't fix with software, but still, I don't want to have to. I want to be successful with it in camera.

    However, right now I am having better luck with digital than Ektar. I really, really want to like Ektar, but I keep coming out with cyan/turquoise skies! Might be my camera - an AE-1 Program I've been shooting on Program until I get the hang of all the settings on it. And even though it was NOS when I bought it last year, it could probably still stand to be calibrated. I do have an ME Super that has recently been professionally CLA'd, though I have yet to run a roll of Ektar through it so I guess I'll try it in that one next.

    Overexpose, underexpose, expose right on. My head hurts....
  6. E100 slide film is fantastic. Two sources of pleasure in film: (1) The making of the picture. (2) The surprise (sometimes horror) on seeing the result days or weeks later after having more or less forgotten the original picture taking. Looking at the slides in a hand viewer is like looking at a jewel but with much greater inherent meaning: The image may be very colorful and have an inherent beauty like a jewel, perhaps, but, unlike a jewel, the imaga also almost always "points to something", usually many somethings, beyond itself. I think I am digressing from the topic such as it is, sorry.
  7. I don't know if the colors can be said to be objectively better or more accurate, but I certainly prefer the look of color film to how my digital camera (A 10D, granted, not the newest thing around) renders colors. I'm almost always happy with Portra 160.
  8. When Ektar 100 came out, I did a picture test comparing Ektar 100, Ektar 25 (from my freezer), Kodachrome 64, and a D200 DSLR. The results are posted here:
    For the color checker shots, I corrected the gray scales to match. All of the film images do a better job of discriminating warm colors. Compare the top row 2nd patch, 2nd row 1st and 3rd patches, and the 3rd row 3rd patch. The D200 patches look far more similar.
  9. To be fair, the film can have more than 16 bits worth of color but it's almost impossible to get a non-digital-process print made so you lose your advantage. And a lot of the bad color you see in a lot of digital photos isn't the fault of the digital technology itself but of people who aren't using it well. Really good processing of a raw file is a skill, and it's not easy. Neither is handling film and negatives. Whichever you're better at, that's what's going to give you the better print.
    Part of the appeal of slide film, to me, is that it's WYSIWYG. You shoot it, get it processed, an project it - none of the voodoo of raw processing or negative scanning.
  10. What are people using to check their color accuracy? I like the idea that Les had in shooting crayons. They are a lot cheaper than a MacBeth color chart and you don't have to worry about the sun fading them.
  11. Gretag-MacBeth charts have reference files so that you can compare what you capture with the true color as under daylight conditions. There is no recognized standard for crayons, and colors may vary between batches or even within a batch (the batch is not documented). With crayons, the colors you see are not what I see on my monitor, nor is the light source controlled and independently reproducible.
    If you post an image of a Color Checker (tm) chart, I can compare that image against a standard in a few clicks of the mouse, and chart the deviations. However, I charge for that service ;-)
  12. I just shot about a half dozen rolls of Velvia recently and also digital images of many of the same shots/locations. The Velvia looks wonderful on the light table but it isn't accurate as compared to the digital images. The digital images do look a bit sterile but closer to real life. The film looks like I wish the scene had looked.
  13. I am finding that since shooting film a few months ago I find the colors to be much more accurate than the digital pics i have taken.​
    Do you use a color temperature meter and CC filter to correct the color for each subject? If not, it's not possible that film is "more accurate."
    to the original post, a big part of this is having a static white balance in film. every single shot is consistent in color no matter what. With digital cameras, the sensor can easily be fooled by the color of a subject, and the auto white balance shifts from picture to picture.​
    Then set your camera at a fixed white balance. I set my M8 white balance at 5400K, shoot raw, and process in Capture One - the colors are every bit as good as film. I do agree that part of the problem with digital using auto white balance isnot recording the Kelvin shift in the color of light. If it's early morning or late afternoon, you need to see the color of light. You see that with film, you don't see that when a digital camera is used in auto white balance mode. The solution is to used a fixed white balance with your digital camera.
  14. LOL About time.....
  15. Color perception is very subjective. You need a Gretag-MacBeth chart to be objective, no question. I think that digital imaging is more accurate, but post processing of any kind is often hamfisted by photographers, producing colors that are indeed unreal. But no one could pretend that daylight E6 film shot under tungsten or fluoresecent light is actually the way we perceive it. Many people hate the unnatural colors of Velvia too. Purple flowers are almost impossible to capture on film too. Also it is surely impossible to claim that color negative films, in particular (which depend on color decisions made either by an operator or a digital process), produces more accurate color unless you are sure you have adjusted the color output to match a recognized standard?
  16. How can anyone think that color with film is "accurate"? It may be "better" then digital, and it may be more "appealing" but it is almost never accurate, nor is it the same as what we see.
    And how can it match human vision? The dynamic range of our eyes is several stops wider then any color film can provide. This difference can effect tonality, colors, etc.
    I too prefer colors rendered by several films over digital, but to say they're more accurate, or match human vision is just not true. Photography is a big fat lie...we use it to make things look better (or worse) then what we see with our human vision. This is not a bad thing, just stating the facts.
  17. Lee,
    You are being deliberately obtuse methinks. Obviously I meant purple is very difficult if not impossible to capture accurately on film.
  18. Color is so variable on any media, it just changes so easily with any shifts in a light source, or combination of sources. The aspect of digital versus film that I have not been able to tame is contrast: I have had multiple experiences of high contrast situations in which the digital choice was blown highlights or real underexposure, but film could handle the range. Obviously, I need to expand my digital skill set, but I wish this issue was less of a problem.

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