Equivalent digital resolution to film

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by paul_heagen, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. My old Canon EOS elan II film camera has now lost its mind and needs to be put down. I am shopping for a digital to replace it (and hopefully be able to use my AF lenses?) but am not clear on what resolution of digital is equivalent to 200 or 400 ASA film in 35mm.
    I heard that my film camera had a resolution that was equal to a 15Megapixel camera, which i know I cannot afford.
    Is there any way to equate the effective resolutions of film and digital? There are plenty of used 8Mpx cameras out there that would work for me if it is not a step back in picture quality.
    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. How large do you print?
     
  3. Just by chance I found myself at this page earlier today, which has points that may help you in your thinking:
    link:Digital SLR vs Film Scans
     
  4. Depends on who's test you use. According to Popular Photography even the best Sony 24 mp camera only just comes close to ISO 100 film in 35mm format in absolute resolution. But other tests have shown that a good 12 mp camera can produce images as good as a 645 MF camera. For example, here are a few of the tests:
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/2008-09-new.htm (under Sept 20)
    http://www.michaelclarkphoto.com/d2xreview.html
    http://www.imx.nl/photo/technique/page153/page153.html
    and there are many more.
     
  5. Is there any way to equate the effective resolutions of film and digital?
    An excellent way is to compare prints side by side. Assuming good shooting technique and processing I think 8mp APS easily matches 35mm at low ISOs, and as the ISO goes up is much cleaner looking than 35mm.
     
  6. The limiting factor is probably your scanner, especially these days with film scanners on the decline. My old scanner was about the equivalent of a 6MP DSLR for my eyes. File sizes aside, my better Nikon Coolscan V ED (no longer sold) seems to give me images that seem pretty equivalent to a 10MP camera or so. I think my Canon 5D (mk I) probably has more useable resolution. I suspect any modern DSLR including the Rebels would probably satisfy you as far as image quality is concerned.
    The truth is that I was pretty amazed at what my first DSLR could do (Konica Minolta 5D 6.1MP). I dont' think you have to buy a really expensive Canon to reach the same conclusion.
     
  7. I have just recently seen excellent reviews that have indicated that the resolution of 35mm film is undefineable by digital standards. It could conceivably continue to yield additional detail up to 100MP, but this cannot be proven yet with today's technology. This has so much to do with technique, that many of the online reviews are misleading. If a reviewer "proves" that film is only 8MP, he has usually used a cheap film scanner or some other simple mistake. The best reviews I've seen involve printing an enlargement from the film first, up to 20 times the size of the negative. Then they'll scan the print under high resolution, like 4000dpi or greater. When comparing this to a digital image from a 24MP camera, the film can easily be shown to give more detail under close inspection. Just how much more will have to wait to be proven. Until we see a 35mm digital camera with a 100MP sensor, we still won't know the comparative limits of film resolution. Here's the review I recently found: http://www.imx.nl/photo/Film/page169/page169.html I have seen other similar reviews before, but failed to bookmark them at the time. Of course, this still doesn't address the issue of, "Does this even matter?" We've all seen by now that an 8MP digital camera can make comparable prints to 35mm film, that hold up under scrutiny surprisingly well, at least until you get really, really close, or magnify really, really large. So the common-sense answer is that it just doesn't matter which system you use from a resolution standpoint. Personally, I would shoot for at least a 12MP camera from the latest generation of digitals. This has the best chance of impressing you, rather than disappointing you.
     
  8. If you are happy with film, buy a used film camera from a reliable dealer. Even a cheap, old film rebel will work with your lenses. And some of the last are pretty nice! Even a used Elan II is less expensive than a digital camera.
    -Bob
     
  9. The number of line-pairs per millimeter a film will resolve may be in this table:
    http://www.cacreeks.com/films.htm

    To get from line-pairs per millimeter to pixel equivalent for 35mm film, multiply ( lppm x2 x24 xlppm x2 x36 ).
    It's an approximation that ignores a lot but gives a rough idea. 63 lppm gives about 14 m-pixels.Higher than this even a good lens may be limiting.
     
  10. I went through this calculation years ago when deciding when to convert to digital. The limiting factor is not film resolution but lens resolution. With the best film around, you can expect lens resolution to top out around 80 lp/mm. This is under perfect laboratory shooting situations. In real life, you will get less due to various real life complications such as camera shake. I calculated that 16MP was good enough to be 35mm equivalent.
    However an even lower limit was paper and screen resolution. Unlike slide film, you never look directly at a digital image. Like negative film you have to "print" it either to paper or a computer screen and the resolutions on those mediums is far less than what the lens or film can record. The practical reality is 5MP will give you an 8x10 print that most people will say is better than film. The reason is digital images have no grain and the lack of grain makes digital images look much better. Digital images have noise but that is not as noticeable as grain.
    So there are factors with digital that make it better than film that has nothing to do with resolution. Color rendition is another. Different films were known for their different looks due to the way they recorded color. Afga films were known for their pastel colors while Fuji films had a neon brightness. A friend who was a painter found that some films could not accurately record certain colors when the paint was acrylic but worked fine with oil paints. Digital tends to be far better in recording colors accurately.
    I also found that the digital darkroom was far superior to the wet darkroom. I could manipulate my photos in ways that were not possible with film while sitting in a well lit room and breathing the aroma of fine coffee rather than developing chemicals. With digital, you want to do darkroom work as it is so easy. Most editing programs have automated the most common functions such as red eye removal.
    However the best reason to go digital is the cost. You can shoot your digital photos, download then to a computer, clear the memory and you are ready to shoot again. Total out of pocket cost is zero. With film, you have to process the film and buy replacement rolls. That averaged about $25 a roll when I last shot film. As a result I paid for the cost of my digital camera and lens in just one year from the savings in film processing and purchases.
    Danny
     
  11. IMO, a DSLR of 8 to 10 MP gives the same practical effective resolution as ISO 200 or 400 color print film, 12 MP is comparable ISO 100. But the DSLR wins hands-down in noise/grain, color accuracy, and handling odd lighting. Print film still has some advantage in handling scenes with very large brightness ranges.
    I suppose that, theoretically, if you use a very high-resolution film like Fuji Pro 160 or Kodak Ektar 100, you might just maybe be able to achieve the same effective resolution as a 24 MP full-frame DSLR. But you won't get it without a really good scan (drum scan or maybe Nikon with glass holder), and the fine detail in the film will be substantially masked by grain, and the DSLR will be much cleaner.
     
  12. Jeepers; all this makes me want to place my 50 megapixel 4x5 scan back on my 4x5 Graflex SLR and use its Kodak Anastigmat #33 at F11
     
  13. Rather than debating ad nauseam this old old topic, two facts come to mind:
    - I always found even the best 35mm film negative could be enlarged to at most 12x for about a 12x18 inch print if I wanted an exhibition quality print.
    - I've won professional competitions with a 13x17 inch print made from a 5 Mpixel digital capture (Olympus E-1 with Olympus ZD 11-22/2.8-3.5 lens fitted made the photo).
    What that suggests to me is that a quality 5 Mpixel digital camera with a good lens is at least on par with any 35mm film image with respect to print quality. Which in turn means that *any* DSLR being made today will produce better results than 35mm film, since all the DSLR cameras being made today have more than 5Mpixels resolution and likely better noise characteristics compared to the Olympus E-1 which first went on the market at the end of 2003.
    I also know that as soon as I started shooting with a Canon 10D in 2003 (a 6 Mpixel camera), I sold all my 35mm film cameras and have never once found that anything I've photographed since was lacking compared to what I used to shoot in 35mm film.
     
  14. For black and white, darkroom, traditional silver prints, film is way better than any 35 mm digital I've seen (though maybe the new Leica MP will compare). For color negatives scanned, probably 12 mp digital is better than film. For color slides scanned, Fuji Velvia, 12 mp digital isn't nearly as good as film. I'm comparing a topnotch camera and lens for 35 mm film. Medium format film is way better than any digital, if printed in the darkroom. I haven;t compared medium or large format transparencies scanned.
     
  15. For black and white, darkroom, traditional silver prints, film is way better than any 35 mm digital I've seen (though maybe the new Leica MP will compare). For color negatives scanned, probably 12 mp digital is better than film. For color slides scanned, Fuji Velvia, 12 mp digital isn't nearly as good as film. I'm comparing a topnotch camera and lens for 35 mm film. Medium format film is way better than any digital, if printed in the darkroom. I haven;t compared medium or large format transparencies scanned.
     
  16. In my experience there is no specific number of MP which beats 35mm film. Instead there is a range of images you get from both film and digital. To me the average 35mm film frame is equivalent to about 6 MP but film can be as good as 12 MP or more depending on the equipment. Of course many people will still prefer the lookof film but that is a different issue.
    Here is an entertaining clip from the 'Gadget Show' - a UK Channel 5 TV prog comparing film and digital. It is worth looking at for several reasons, one of which is the lovely Suzi Perry.
    http://fwd.five.tv/gadget-show/videos/challenge/challenge-blow-up-part-3
     
  17. Here is an entertaining clip from the 'Gadget Show' - a UK Channel 5 TV prog comparing film and digital. It is worth looking at for several reasons, one of which is the lovely Suzi Perry.​
    Suzi Perry is the only reason for looking at that clip. As a test, it's pointless as the images were enlarged way beyond the capabilities of either system - and they used ISO400 colour print film for the film shots!
    My own view on the film/digi debate is that both systems are about as good as they are going to get as far as resolution is concerned so that the limiting factor in both cases is the laws of physics.
    i.e. For a given sensor size such as a 35mm frame of film and an FX sensor, resolutions are about the same. Make a 5" x 4" sensor and it too will more or less equal a 5" x 4" piece of film. As for the look - that's a different matter!
     
  18. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    yes but if you print the film optically then the scanner has no place in the question. Or if you shoot slides then again no digital interferance with the film to view process.
     
  19. ... what resolution of digital is equivalent to 200 or 400 ASA film in 35mm.​
    About 4MP if you're looking for a print that is as noiseless and sharp as that from a DSLR. If you care more about equivalent usable resolution, any 8MP DSLR will about do it.
     
  20. Paul
    I do not know if this is significant to you (it is to me) but there are important differences between small sensor and large sensor other than resolution. The issues of this are seldom considered but are what every photographer (not specification analyst) should be interested in.
    • If you chase images where everything is in focus from front to back then smaller sensor is the way to go
    • If you seek more reach from your telephoto lenses then smaller sensor is the path
    • However if you use wide - normal - midtelephoto and like shallow depth of field then full frame is for you.
    essentially all will have enough resolution for your needs.
    The number of pixels produced by a camera is a good indication for its maximum print size.
    The size of the sensor is what a photographer how is interested in the rendering of their subject matter should be interested in.
    Personally I like both for different reasons. I use 4/3 for telephoto and compact equipment and larger for more gentle renderings.
    You can only get renderings like this with a larger format
    [​IMG]
    and smaller sensors help to get more reach from your tele
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Asking how much info is in a piece of film as data was being asked and experimented on by Kodak in teh late 1970s even; when there was a film based digital storage project in San Diego. Then one could go back further to the 1930's with Microfile microfilm recording documents; and World war two "Vmail"; where letters were microfilmed and the microfilm was airmailed to save weight.
    The question will be asked over and over as sensors and films change. This who want an eact answer are like want a SPIE speaker in San Diego said on the subject about 1980; it is like "wanting an exact answer to shoes per women" or "Lures per fisherman"; or "lenses per photographer".
     
  22. Paul Heagen , Apr 06, 2010; 08:08 a.m.
    I heard that my film camera had a resolution that was equal to a 15Megapixel camera, which i know I cannot afford. Is there any way to equate the effective resolutions of film and digital?​
    There are but judging from the obviously "low ball" ratings provided by some respondents here you'd think people who shot film put vaseline on their lenses.
    Just as a perspective directly comparing 400 ISO film with 400 ISO digital, the picture below shows one such example. Except instead of the lowend 5MP or even the highend 16MP how about we go all the way to the current king of DSLR resolution the >24MP Sony A900 set at ISO 400 vs Fuji Sensia ISO 400 35mm film scanned with not pre or post processing applied except for the superimposition of both images into one. The A900 courtesy of DPREVIEW's original samples from the camera but unfortunately has been moved to another location that I cannot find but had it saved. The Fuji Sensia 400 scan was of my own - more then a year before the A900 was even announced so my results predates it. You can click the image to get the full results but be warned this is 100% JPEG to ensure full detail is available but the image is 18Megs! The EXIF states which is the A900 vs the scanned film.
    [​IMG]


    I would suggest that the next time respondents weigh-in, that they preface their statement with the best they got which is obviously far from what can actually be achieved . . . ;-)
    However megapixel you settle for, you obviously have not considered negatives ability to take in the highlights and digicams obvious limitation there as shown below. In this example, I metered the "ideal" exposure for both Kodak Ektar 100 as well as the various Canons I have and simply extended the exposure time until they're blown out. Kodak's spec state +3 so I figure exposing well past that should blow it out - especially since all the digis did, but apparently not the case. Agaion, click the image to get full res of 4megs - if not already obvious without doing so . . . ;-)
    [​IMG]
     
  23. Back when I was deciding this problem, I had 8x10 prints made from both 3MP and 5MP cameras and Ektacolor 100. The 3 prints were indistinguishable at normal viewing distance. Close up the 5MP prints looked better due to a lack of grain. Given that a DSLR today will have at least 10MP, this means that for all practical purposes, the lowest resolution DSLR today will give your prints up to 11x14 that are as good as film.
    From the very beginning the dynamic range of digital was consider equivalent to slide, not negative film and the early recommendation was to expose as you would for slide, not negative film. So all the exposure test provided by Les Sarile does is provide evidence that this recommendation is correct.
    However the results are also somewhat irrelevant with HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting. Any DSLR will automatically do 3 shots bracketing. You can then combine all 3 shots together to get a dynamic range greater than any negative film.
    Digital means that many of the paradigm of films no longer apply. ISO can be changed from shot to shot. So you can shoot at ISO 100 but change to 400 or even 1600 when the light level changes and then back to ISO 100. You could not do this with film unless you have a medium format camera with interchangeable backs. In effect ISO becomes a 3th exposure control along with aperture and shutter speed. You can shoot flowing water at ISO 100 to get the blurring and then shoot at ISO 400 to freeze action in the next shot. With noise reduction software you can even get the image quality of the two shots to match up to the point that you cannot tell the difference in noise. This is another difference between film and digital. With film, increased ISO gives increased grain which you are stuck with. With digital, increased ISO means increased noise which you can reduce or even eliminate in post processing. Also people simply do not notice noise as much as they notice grain, so a "noisy" image can look perfect to people. Basically worrying about MP equivalence with film is rather irrelevant today because the changes in ISO with digital are very different than the changes in film.
    Danny
     
  24. I love the paradigm shift analogy . . . as if digital has made something previously unachievable. Not to point out the obvious but HDR techniques can also be done with film so I see your digital HDR and raise you by negatives . . . ;-)

    How about a practical application as as example instead. So I'm out in the field with ISO100 film which is too fast to make slow shutter effect given the lighting condition and I happen not to have any ND filters on me. So I take my knowledge that Kodak Ektar has so much highlight latitude and slow my shutter down knowing I will be able to achieve the effect I want by overexposing by more then 3 stops and still have workable images. The results are shown below. As before, click on thumbnail for full res image of about 1.5Megs each.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  25. Yes you can use HDR with film as well and in this one case film will have an advantage, at least for now. Unlike film, where the R&D effort is becoming more and more limited, R&D on improving digital cameras is increasing. So in a few more years, this advantage probably will be gone.
    In the mean time you can take advantage of all the other benefits of digital, such as shooting at different ISO from shot to shot rather than shooting at only the one ISO. This has been a wonderful advantage as the sun sets and the light changes.
    Then there is problem of color balance. Film is either daylight or tungsten balanced. Digital can be set for daylight, tungsten and fluorescent from shot to shot. You can even have custom color balance when you have a mixture of tungsten and fluorescent. This is a common combination in ballrooms and convention hall rooms. Again another wonderful feature as I move from outdoor to indoor shooting.
    I already mention the cost savings. I spent over a $1000 convert to a DSLR system and made back the money in one year due to the savings from not having to process film or buy new rolls. One reason for the quick return on my money was I was shooting more. Besides knowing that each shot was free was the fact that today with 16GB memory cards, you have some 500+ shots per card. No more changing rolls every 36 shots. No more extra canisters of film as I have never filled a card in a single day. No more missed shots because I was changing film.
    You cannot begin the appreciate the advantages of digital over film until you start shooting and finding out that all the annoyances with film that you had to accept are now gone. For me the very few advantages of film simply do not compensate for all the advantages of digital. And it is not as if it was an either/or situation. There is nothing to stop you from having it both ways. You can keep your old film cameras and shoot film in addition to digital. It is no worst than carrying multiple SLRs which many photographers did to compensate for the limitations of film. It was quite weight off my back as I no longer carry multiple SLRs with slow daylight film and fast tungsten film. However I suspect that if you go with a combination of film and digital, you will soon be all digital.
    Danny
     
  26. I've presented 5 laborous scans from film to 0 images from your convenient digital. So much for the convenience factor but I don't recall the OP asking about that anyway.
    Color balance . . . care to share your results from film that didn't suit you where digital did or is this yet another theory you're presenting?
    BTW, the Sony A900 is 6048 X 4032 pixels while the cropped scan from 35mm I compared it to is only 5583 X 3655. How is that for the practical resolution of film being less then 5MP! Care to share some of that theoretical math your applying . . . ;-)
     
  27. "Color balance . . . care to share your results from film that didn't suit you where digital did or is this yet another theory you're presenting?"
    Anyone who has shot film knows the results and the OP is a film shooter. You can duplicate the result by shooting jpeg images in the daylight color balance setting under tungsten light with any DSLR.
    The subject is whether the OP can afford a digital camera that has the resolution of his old film camera. The answer is definitely "yes" as even the cheapest DSLR has enough resolution for all practical purposes. When people in a thread start to critique the replies and challenge the factual assertions then the thread is drifting off into unpleasant territory and has clearly ended as a useful information thread. So I am taking this thread off my notification list.
    Danny
     
  28. My 21MP ff camera produces much better large prints, 20"x30" and 24"x36" than my Velvia Cibachromes. My old 1D at 4.1MP prints perfect 8x10's, if it is not a highly detailed scene then 12x18's look great too.
    I know a working pro who is at the top of her international field who sells many 20x30's from her 10mp 1D MkII.
    Paul if you want to go digital then matching your 400iso film specs is a non issue.
     
  29. This thread has fallen apart in the same manner as an hundred other threads on the same topic. There is no proof positive on the adequacy of a DSLR vs 35mm film, no numbers, no learned dissertations. Everyone is an expert on the internet, nothing is qualified by peer review.
    The real proof is something you can hold in your hand - a print. As with the two or three others in this conversation who have put serious miles on a DSLR after using film, I made prints of shots taken with Reala, Velvia and a D1x taken of the same subjects, with the same lenses, in the same light. I found, as others have found, that 35mm prints from film start to fall apart at 8x10" and at 12x18", my ancient 5.47 MP D1x produced superior results. Resolution is not the issue, but grain, sharpness*, texture and color.
    Cameras have improved a lot since that time (c. 2003), so it is safe to say (to the OP) that just about any DSLR will give results you can be happy with. Just for fun, I've posted a digital picture taken recently. It was not necessary to overexpose to show the rushing water, taken in open shade (notoriously blue with Velvia). Nor did I have to "laboriously" scan and process the results ;-)
    * Resolution is the ability to distinguish parallel lines in a high contrast target under a microscope. Sharpness is subjective, related the ability to distinguish features in a subject with normal contrast at about 4 lp/mm in the final print.
    00WCIk-235365684.jpg
     
  30. Color balance . . . care to share your results from film that didn't suit you where digital did or is this yet another theory you're presenting?
    This is a strange statement from one who has scanned over 14000 images. Perhaps it was one image (crayons) 14000 times ;-)
    It's hardly worth printing examples of color balance issues with scanning, especially negative film. Those who haven't scanned film have at least used slide film where the color wasn't just right - not just under incandescent lights but under a forest canopy, or at dusk with people as the subjects (we expect faces to look "right"). Sometimes it's hard to get two consecutive scans to match, in part because the scanner makes "corrections" even when you think all the controls are in neutral.
    This particular scan of Ektar 100 just doesn't look right even after several attempts, or even with post processing. The digital shot taken at nearly the same time looks vert good, though perhaps a little neutral considering the late hour. It warms up nicely by changing the color temperature, but I left it alone for this example. The exposure was the same - spot meter on the rock wall plus one stop. I think that when the scanner makes exposure adjustments, you get color balance changes. Furthermore, the color balance of film changes dramatically with exposure, especially underexposure, whereas digital sensors are linear.
    A Nikon LS-8000 scanner was used, with Ektar 100 film, compared to an Hasselblad CFV-16 digital back. I used a 60mm lens, which has a different field of view between film and the CFV back. The location was Apple River State Park in Northwest Illinois. I have a lot of good scans from that day, but not near sunset with so much shade and contrast in the scene.
    00WCSU-235443584.jpg
     
  31. I am shopping for a digital to replace it (and hopefully be able to use my AF lenses?) but am not clear on what resolution of digital is equivalent to 200 or 400 ASA film in 35mm.
    A Canon 40D would match or exceed ISO 200 and 400 35mm film.
    I heard that my film camera had a resolution that was equal to a 15Megapixel camera, which i know I cannot afford.
    An 18 MP Canon 7D has higher IQ than Velvia 50, the highest resolution color film. By extension so would a Canon Rebel T2i. Velvia 50 probably falls somewhere between a Canon 50D and a Canon 40D.
    What is your budget? 40D's sell on craigslist in my area for about $650.
     
  32. Les Sarile - you should update your collection of map test samples with samples from newer digital bodies. It's obvious you can't tell anything by comparing cat pictures (hand held? exposure? lens? settings?), which I believe is why you came up with something more reliable, is it not?
    Attached is an 18 MP Canon 7D sample alongside your Velvia 50 and Tech Pan samples. Judging from this it's fair to say that Velvia 50 on a Minolta 5400 dpi scanner yields less than 18 MP of information. So the 15 MP estimate isn't far off the mark. Of course that's for the very best color film on the market in terms of resolution. Paul Heagen asked about ISO 200 and ISO 400 films, and within your own collection of samples both the Nikon D2x and Canon 40D compare very well against such films.
    00WCZr-235509584.jpg
     
  33. It's not all about resolution though. Dynamic range is probably more important at 'normal' print sizes.
     
  34. Given the popularity of Kodak Ektar I thought I would also compare Les Sarile's Ektar map sample to the 7D. While I'm sure Ektar has greater dynamic range, I personally wouldn't want to sacrifice that much tonality and fine detail. I have yet to find the over 10 stops of DR of my 7D to be too narrow to accomplish my goals. But then lately I've been making more large prints. I'm sure Ektar is fine for smaller prints from 35mm, and is probably great in larger formats.
    BTW, anyone who wants to get a feel for how various films and older digital cameras compare should head over to Les Sarile's site: http://www.fototime.com/inv/E0D372FC8001820. I'm surprised he didn't link to it in his own post.
    00WCa0-235511584.jpg
     
  35. Edward Ingold [​IMG][​IMG], Apr 09, 2010; 08:46 p.m.
    This is a strange statement from one who has scanned over 14000 images. Perhaps it was one image (crayons) 14000 times ;-)​
    To date, that's now over 15,000 but who's counting . . . ;-)
    Anyway, it's not strange that people see words but don't comprehend for one reason or another which is why I always ask for the representative image.
    Danny Low
    You can even have custom color balance when you have a mixture of tungsten and fluorescent.​
    As you can see Edward, your example hardly qualifies. However if you have such an example then please post because I do. As I already pointed out to that poster, the workflow to color balance film is actually quite similar as I have done numerous time. As you can see, the problem really is people will post only what they can achieve and given their own limitations, think it is the limitation of film when in fact it's their own limitation they are pointing out. Classic example is his statement about HDR thinking it only applies to digiscams. I'm surprised nobody has stated the typical "I can stitch digital" implying that it only applies to digiscams too . . . at least not yet . . . ;-)
    BTW, your issue about consecutive shots not uniform - as well as a segue into stitching, how about killing two birds with one stone. Mulitple consecutive Kodak Ektar 100 scans, obviously different lighting conditions color balanced . . . ta da . . . ;-)
    [​IMG]


    However, I do have the light mix the previous poster implied couldn't be balanced which I am sure he meant that he couldn't color balance that's why I asked for both of his film & digital representation. But feel free to post your own now that I pointed it out . . . ;-)
    Daniel Lee Taylor [​IMG], Apr 10, 2010; 03:31 a.m.
    Les Sarile - you should update your collection of map test samples with samples from newer digital bodies. Attached is an 18 MP Canon 7D sample alongside your Velvia 50 and Tech Pan samples.​
    Always happy to add a new specimen. Please send me the full image raw and your resulting post processing - to give it the best possible representation, when you get a chance. TIA.
    BTW, while you're at it, can you also conduct the highlight exposure range test. The crayons are perfect for this as you can see the effect across the colors but you setup a well exposed shot at f8 & 1/30 and simply extend the shutter time till past blowout. Thanks again.
     
  36. I forgot to add that click on my stitched Kodak Ektar 100 image above to see the full res version - 5Meg file.
     
  37. Les,
    You should have been more specific when dissing Danny's comments regarding color balance. The main point of his response is that you can change the white balance of digital instantly, without resorting to changing the film or adding filters. I'm inclined to agree about mixed light sources - white balance won't solve the problem The best solution, in my experience, is to use a gelled flash, or convert the mixed image to black and white.
    I can tweak the Ektar image above to get somewhat reasonable color, much as you did in your panorama. I left it alone to show the value of your frequent assertion tha no adjustments are required when scanning. As in your example, the sky tends to an unnatural shade of cyan (to avoid excessive blue in the shade), whereas the colors are very natural in the digital version in both sky and shadow. Taken alone, the color of my example and your panorama might pass, but the comparison overwhelmingly favors the digital version.
    The lesson is, "Don't use film to shoot landscapes where the key elements are in the shade." The moral of this thread is, "Once you know what you can accomplish, there's no going back."
    I worked a bit on this example to improve the color and saturation of the Ektar version (left). The digital panel (right) is OOTC.
    00WCm3-235623584.jpg
     
  38. Funny but the heading of this forum states digicams but for digi users ya'll seem to not be aware of PS and it's filters and other color manipulation tools as I've never used a filter on my camera.
    Your Kodak Ektar example - with blown out sky, if taken at the same time as the digital, continues to indicate the issues you personally have either metering, scanning, manipulating or combination thereof. My pano example is straight-up scans straight into the free MS ICE (Image Composite Editor) program with no user intervention.
    I would generalize your "lesson" to state don't take the shot of anything and expect magic to get your results. Learn the tools, compose the shot in your head and setup the shot for the results you want. There were a group of tourists who wanted to take the shot of the LV sign in darkness with their digiscam and after attempting numerous shots and expressing frustration in the results - grumbling delete in between each attempt, they gave up and left. I don't have the convenience of reviewing the results or the histogram since my Nikon FG using Kodak Ektar, did not have this. Instead, I metered accordingly and get what I wanted. I am quite sure we're not talking about rocket science here . . . ;-)
    [​IMG]

    For some reason or another, I was under the impression I am the one new to film here - coming from digital in 2002, but it seems more and more that perhaps I may be the old time film user . . . ;-)
     
  39. I used film since 1978, gave up on it effectively in 2006, cost and convenience were the driving forces. Never bothered with scanning film for prints, seemed utterly pointless, results were generally worse too. A 12x18 wet print direct from a slide or neg was always better than a digital print from a scan. Had many slides drum scanned for papers and magazines though. As far as I am concerned all the comparisons that digitise the film are flawed when comparing small prints or center crops, Heidelburg wet drum scanners have their place for large prints but this is not what this thread is about.
    Being able to work out the correct exposure for anything is not new, limitations in capabilities, workflows and equipment also isn't. Film verses digital threads have reached religious proportions and like all zealots, peoples opinions end up being a reflection of who they are rather than what they know. Paul's, the OP unless you all forgot, question was answered long ago, for almost any use even cheap DSLR's can match, or beat, the IQ of their film counterparts. Even the most fervent film user can't fail to see that. Can digital sensors fight above their weight? I don't see how they can overcome the laws of physics, airy discs are airy discs, if you have x number per square mm then if you have a bigger sensor/film you have more detail, but maybe I am just not religious enough :).
    Again, pretty much any 8/10+mp 1.6 crop camera will give you very similar IQ to 135 film when printed out to 8"x12"s. If I was Paul, I would look for either a secondhand 1Ds at around $1,000 or a 5D at around $1,200, that keeps his lenses where they should be and though that might seem too much money he'll save on film costs.
     
  40. even cheap DSLR's can match, or beat, the IQ of their film counterparts. Even the most fervent film user can't fail to see that.
    Except for Les.
     
  41. Time for a pic.
    00WD4W-235773684.jpg
     
  42. I agree, resolution issues aside, the digital looks cleaner and sharper. Got HDR, you've got it made. The film example of the Mill and river above, looks like the scanner applied an older version of Neat Image to the photograph to cover up the grain. When you examine it close, you get that "chicken foot" cross-hatch pattern so typical of the older verison of Neat Image. The newer version of neat image doesn't leave that chicken foot pattern in the background. The 10mp D80 looks fantastic. And that's an Older Nikon Model.
     
  43. J Marrs , Apr 19, 2010; 09:37 p.m.
    The film example of the Mill and river above, looks like the scanner applied an older version of Neat Image to the photograph to cover up the grain. When you examine it close, you get that "chicken foot" cross-hatch pattern so typical of the older verison of Neat Image.​
    The squarish pattern you see criss crossing is due to high JPEG compression. It is a 15,992 X 3,426 pixel image at less then 5Megs. This is the compromise for the bandwidth and image size as compared to the 18Megs for the Fuji Sensia 400_01-33 vs Sony A900 @ISO400 comparison which is just 5,583 X 3.655 pixels.
     
  44. Here I got our first 35mm slide scanner about 1989; thus the question gets to be real old. The sad thing is SO MANY folks wants some exact answer; but cannot fathom the huge number of variables. Thus what happens is folks with 1 bit brains "get in their heads" that an X piece of film hold Y amount of pixels; they want their X piece of film scanned at a zillion dpi at a shop.
    In reality Joe Six packs biker shots; or Uncle Bobs wedding shots are not *lab perfect*:
    one has missfocusing with the autofocus
    one has them using a kit zoom about wide open
    they used old iso 800 print film and not iso 100 stuff
    they hand held the camera; and did not use a granite block or tripod
    the exposure is not perfect
    There was not enough DOF to get all the bikes or folks in focus
    the best shot for expression(s) often contains most of the above faults.
    Thus Joe Average six pack or even pro's brain gets *FIXATED* that their ACME's 35mm negative contains 15 to 45 megapixels; when one really has a turd to deal with; a rant one; with all teh horible rotten flaws that go back to the beginning of photography.
    Thus what happens is the customer wants their 35mm negative scanned super high end; but it looks poor on a dumb lighttable. The read threads like this have have it deeply etched in their brains that 35mm equals Y megapixels. Sadly the *BULK* of the folks walking around want a dumb model; adn think it applies to their turds. As Truman and Beavis said; one cannot polish a turd.
    Thus in scanning for the public; a huge amount of folks want their just average to actually poor originals scanned at stupidly high absurd dpi ranges; and one has to gracefully decline the job or let them waste gobs of cash on nothing.
    After 20 years of scanningl; they general trend is folks are more stupid; a huge dumbing down. Eons ago a dumb loop and lighttable worked; today folks think that the scanner; photoshop; upsizing will polish turd.poor images to tack sharp masterpieces. They have watched too much CSI and X files type sharpening on TV.
    The general lay public wants a super best case number of megapixels per 35mm frame; and thinks somehow it works with fair images.
    A recent customer was EXTREMELY concerned about my scanning equipment; wanted high end 4000 dpi scans on film scanners; and preached the 20+ megapixel per slide dogma. Then *ALL* of their beloved stuff was Kodachrome-X crap from the mid 1960's shot with an Instamatic 104; a single element lens camera. These turds were so poor that a flatbed was overkill. I ended up scanning them at 2000dpi on a films scanner; most all could be downsized to 1000 dpi with NO LOSS OF INFO. Thus there is a growing insanity with folks obsession with megapixels to film area. This is really typical; the average shoot uses a "best case" number and thinks their old shoebox should be scanned at this high level.
    These questions go back many decades
    Fore many folks they get better images today with a small P&S digital than 35mm since they shoot more; cull out duds; GET LESS POOR ILL FOCUSED IMAGES.
     
  45. I think we just need to carry both a DSLR and Film camera. That's what I do. Use film where you want high resolution and that film look, and the digital for higher iso needs. It's a lot like the difference between oils and acrylics in the art community.
     
  46. @kelly
    havent read anything as fresh and entertaining for years. i am 100% with you. thank you.
    think the guy who is unable to scan a simpliest picture, publishes examples of his expensive hassy stuff in this thread above and concludes film is no good, cos' you cant take a picture of a landscape close to a sunset.
    awesome! i mean, may be he is a nice guy and i do not want to offend anybody. but still, not the slightest hint how to use a scanner.
    but the proof is here, everybody can see it - film is much worse than digital.
    the endless depths of the internet...full of wisdom and expertise...
    well, this is my 2c: may be film is better as digital in terms of resolution and sharpness, but most of us will never know, because we have no gear good enough at our disposal.
    it is cheaper to get a modern dslr than stay with film and use that $ 50.000 drum scanner on your kitchen table. it is about cost and viable technical solutions, not about the absolute quality achievable.
     

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