D850 vs 8x10 film

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by alastairanderson, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. I was rambling, but you didn't bother to read my post. There's no way to directly "Why not just copy the disk content to a contemporary medium " in this situation. The fully context-if you'd bothered to read that post-was to use the 1.44s as a bridge medium to get the files onto something more modern(CD/DVD, flash drive, hard drive, cloud, etc). I know you love to blow your top about stuff like this, but sometimes it's a good idea to actually know what the heck you're talking about in the first place before doing that. In this case, you don't.
  2. I am late to the digital so I never use floppy for images but had 5.25" disks and drive up to 5 years ago and I still have 3.5" drive and disks today.
  3. There is so much variation in film types, shooting conditions, processing quality, printing (or scanning), etc., that I don't think this means too much.

    I spent a lot of years making a living in a business that used professional portrait/wedding color neg films optically printed on the appropriate pro papers. We had well controlled systems from the studio lighting all through print production.

    Something that often surprised visitors in the lab was how well test photos matched original colors (when we tested new films and papers, we included, with the human subjects, various colored clothing and other fabrics). We could lay the actual fabrics in a color booth on top of the prints, and visually they almost always were very close. Now, I'm sure the matches wouldn't hold up under all light sources, but in our specially lit booths they did.

    We could get the same quality of matches with digital, but again, we used well controlled systems. If you don't have well controlled setup parameters and production systems, including good ICC profiles in today's workflows, it's not gonna happen.

    This may be true; in fact, I'd probably expect it if you compared amateur film work vs professional digital work. But it would probably switch if the film work was pro and the digital work was amateur.
  4. I'd guess a truely monochrome D850, ie BAYER removed, AA removed and internal software told to not invent colours etc would be quite comparable, res wise, to 5 x 4 atleast. Each pixel can be one of many thousands of distinct tones. How film determins details as tones is a bit more variable..... but ISO 3 dryplates seem a bit limiting

    Were Howard Carter's plates orthochromatic? Guess that would help with a badly colour corrected lens! If the plate can't record it, it cant be OOF in another plain.

    Monochromatic photography is the best way to go res wise.... There's just no colour info!!
  5. I've had many conversations with aspiring LF and even MF photographers about older lenses. Sometime in the 1930s, color corrected lenses became common, although sometimes you need to dig a bit into the names to figure out what is and what isn't. Fortunately, by the 1950s, color corrected lenses were the norm.

    I would say that many LF photographers only shoot B&W....cost and emulsion availability drive that. I do both, but certainly shoot a lot more B&W and am VERY selective in my use of color.

    The fun conversation to have, though, is why a color corrected lens is important even for B&W. Unless you specifically look for it, modern films are panachromatic. About your only readily available exceptions are Acros, which is on its way out in sheet film, and is considered "orthopanochromatic" due to its reduced red sensitivity and Ilford ortho litho film. Iford does publish information on "taming" its litho film to continuous tone, although it's still a bit higher contrast than most. The plates I use have a spectral sensitivity similar to paper, but I'd consider them a specialty item.

    In any case, using a non-color-corrected lens with panochromatic film is a sure recipe for loss in sharpness.
  6. Not that my lenses aren't reasonably corrected (with a life -long hatred of LoCA still only partially mitigated), but on the admittedly rare occasions I've shot monochrome film, I've often been doing it through a colour filter. Which you'd think would help with any dispersion-related issues in the glass.

    The A7RIII has sensor shift that has nearly the D850's resolution but with RGB at each site over multiple shots. Not always useful, but I'm mildly envious. Both Leica and at least one medium format back manufacturer have a monochrome option. Long enough back, Kodak made a monochrome F-mount DSLR (well, for a slightly DIY definition of "made"). I'm not giving up colour, but I still vaguely like the idea.
  7. It would depend on the filter you're using.

    Here's a chart from Hoya with the transmission of various common filters used for B&W.

    HOYA | The Difference is Clear

    If you use the ubiquitous medium yellow(Y2) the spectral cut-off is between 450 and 500nm. You're essentially only cutting off blue, which means that the lens still needs to focus green and red in the same plane.

    Go all the way down to deep red and you do only need to worry about red(at least with a good quality filter-cheapies sometimes have "notches" of transmission at shorter wavelengths). I don't use red all that often, though, as it's a bit over the top for many situations. As long as I can get some definition in the sky, for example, upping the contrast 1/2 or 1 grade when printing can often darken it more if that's the effect I'm looking for. Or, in a really extreme case, I can always burn the sky a bit.

    In general, with digital I'd rather start in color and then use the channel mixture or a tool like Silver Efex to select the filter after the fact.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  8. Yes - while I'm aware of the limitations of the three (usually) standard colour filters on a sensor (well, I say standard, I'm fairly sure there's variation at least between manufacturers and likely between bodies), I usually live with them. I blame them for what's happened to bluebells when I've tried to shoot them digitally compared with Velvia. Most colours are rendered fine, although I've seen spectacular differences in near-saturated blues under other circumstances (I'll try to dig out an example).

    Theoretically I could use a narrow band filter, but to be honest I never bother - the only non-protective filters I use on digital are a polariser, an ND, LPR filters for astronomy, or IR pass filters (not that my camera is converted, so they're fighting the integrated ir blocker).
  9. A quick example of the limitations of colour filters, since I was referring to it. A better example would be comparing some of my bluebell captures with Velvia and the DSLRs, but this one stood out at me and I had it to hand.

    This is a shot of a lamp outside the Drake Hotel in Chicago (without the shadows boosted as much as I would have done if I weren't trying to make a point). On the left, the out-of-camera JPEG. On the right, DxO's version from the raw file as default (except with "smart lighting" turned off). The white balance is not far off - DxO was set to "as shot" - but clearly the renderers have done very different things to the light globe (whose colour, to my memory, seemed about half way between these). This isn't directly the fault of filters or spectral response, but if the actual spectrum of the light were being captured accurately (admittedly, near the point of saturation), there would be no ambiguity on what this lamp should look like. This was a D810, btw.

  10. As an addendum, The marvelous and essential work on many issues of spectrum, color, etc. is

    Margaret Livingstone 2014 Vision and Art.

    Look especially at the section on non-spectral colors which lies at the root of the long recognized purple/violet problem.

    On-line, there is a discussion at " Purple, the fake color "
  11. If anyone pops over to UVphotography.com you'll find some interesting info about the cutoff wavelengths Nikon use in there sensor filter stack. Even though the bare sensor happily records down to ~340nm, the filter cutoff is around 400, so you cannot really record violet. The old D40 had a much 'happier' cutoff around 380nm and is a fav. for UV (and bluebell!) shooters.
    I have a couple of modded DSLRs that i shall be shooting flower inc. Bluebells this Spring. They have no filter stack atall. I shoot RAW with a Colorchecker Passport.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  12. A few pros that I know switched from 8x10 film to digital MF simply because acquiring film, processing, scanning, and handling time no longer made sense. Comparing a D850 to 8x10 film does not make sense. Each is a tool that has it's limits. I shot film professionally years ago, I would not go back.

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