Fuji X100s Vs MF Film - Need some Guidance Please

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by jon_kobeck|1, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. I know this is probably not a fair comparison. I really don't mean to compare the two at all. But rather I am looking for
    some opinions, especially from former film shooter. I have been working almost exclusively with the Hasselglad 501C
    and Kodak Portra 400NC. I recently began shooting the same type of portraits with the Fuji X100s. Shooting handheld at
    F8 indoors, setting the shutter to 1/125 slowest allowable speed and Auto ISO to 3200, RAW and Fine JPG. I notice that
    I am seeing more "noise" in the skin tones then I did with the Hasselblad. I also notice the fuji tends to stay at the max
    ISO most times, even when going to F5.4 or lower.

    I'm still getting to know this little camera. Is it unfair of me to expect the same results I got with MF film?
    Or perhaps I should be using a much lower ISO and go back to working on a tripod? One of the reasons I am trying to
    make this work is so I can avoid the tripod.

    I will try to post samples when I can. You can view my film portraits at www.johnkobeck.com
    thanks
     
  2. Hello Jon.
    As a former film shooter of about 30 years, though never owning/shooting a Fuji X100s, I do know something about that
    particular model, as I've been a big fan of all things Fuji, ever since using some of their large format optics back in the
    '70's and 80's. I can say that Fuji does know their optics (as well as their film emulsions)! I also understand that Fuji
    makes some of the Hassy lenses as well, which only embellishes my point about Fuji quality.
    That said, Jon, I agree that you are really comparing apples and oranges here! Because, as good as the Fuji system is,
    the laws of physics simply won't permit a fair comparison...the larger format wins, especially in terms of overall image
    quality. Sure, you'll find scenarios such as low light or action, in which the sensor trumps medium format film's ISO
    capabilities, but for general photography, medium format wins, IMHO. I submit that the X100s would be a great
    complement to your Hassy system, i.e., for travel or street work. In any case, have fun!
     
  3. Is it unfair of me to expect the same results I got with MF film?​
    yes. even a d800 at ISO3200 is not going to be the same as MF at ASA 400.

    my suggestion is to shoot at a wider aperture or use strobes if you need to close down the aperture that much. and dont use auto ISO if you dont want it to go that high.
     
  4. If I want to avoid the tripod, I'd get something with optical image stabilization, or at least a mini-tripod pressed against my chest.
    Not fair comparing 6x6 film with an APS-C sensor either.
     
  5. Images made with film are intrinsically different from those made with digital cameras but in this case, the comparison is too different to be useful, in my opinion. I have used everything from 4x5 and Hasselblad to Nikon 35mm in my film era. I now use full frame digital (D800E) and Fuji APS digital (X T-1). There is no question that the D800E files, to the extent they can be compared, are the equal or superior to the Hasselblad film images, scanned on a Nikon 9000. While I love my APS Fuji, it's really not fair to compare it to either full frame digital or Hasselblad film files.

    The comparison is a bit like comparing a Lexus (Hasselblad film) to a Miata (APS digital).
     
  6. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    What do you intend to do with these portraits? Do you print them and if so how large do you want to go? Do/did you scan the film from the Hasselblad and if so, on what?
     
  7. Jon,
    This is because you are able to take portraits in lighting that you just could not do with the Hasselblad without a tripod or flash. Keep the Fuji at ISO 400 and then compare. There may be some more noise in the Fuji images, but it will depend very much on how you scan your MF film. If you are using a flatbed scanner, I think the Fuji will beat it for noise at the same ISO for reasonable enlargements.
     
  8. That can't be anywhere similar. Why don't you shoot your Fuji X100 at ISO 400? If you could shoot the hassy at ISO 400
    why can't you shoot the X100 at ISO400. You may even be able to use lower ISO because the X100 has more DOF so
    you can open your lens more to get similar DOF as with the Hassy.
     
  9. Jon: From what I see on your site, stick to the 'Blad. Your work is excellent, and the film 'look' is beautiful. (I'd lose the poem, though. Just IMJO.) Whoever is scanning your images on the Noritsu is doing a good job as well, although a drum scan might be preferable.
    As to the Fuji, I have an X-E1, and it does very well in low light. You say you are shooting at f8--you are stopping down too far. Fuji lenses are very good, so you could shoot at f4 or wider if need be.
     
  10. As someone who shoots mainly digital these days (Canon and Leica) but still shoots MF film I can provide some thoughts.

    1 if you are shooting at ISO 3200 with the Fuji then you need to find more light or change subjects - even the best digital SLRs (and
    Canon is very good) are still not great at ISO 3200. I find you get the best results shooting at their "native" ISO which is usually 200 or
    100 depending on the manufacturer of the sensor.

    2. Digital sensors - especially smaller ones such as the APS-C in the Fuji are very sensitive to exposure issues and even a slight error of
    ⅓ to ½ of a stop can introduce a lot of additional noise - bracketing usually helps here. I am not sure if you shoot RAW. But I would urge
    you to do so as the results are much better (indeed Leica JPEGs before the new M240 were terrible)

    3. MF still gives better overall results in my opinion. While the resolution of my m240 (especially with Leica glass) is remarkable (better
    than Canon) it is still not quite as good as my MF Fuji GX680. It does meet and possibly exceed my Mamiya 645 film results however.
    What really helps MF film is the quality of the image - this is not an easy objective test - more of a subjective one as there is still a quality
    to film that digital lacks. I am clearly not alone in this view as many top Hollywood directors just got their studios to make commitments to
    keep Kodak making cinema film as they still like the film look.

    While this sounds like a film vs digital post I should state that at least 95% of my shooting is done in digital and that I like digital for most
    applications. But a wet print from large MF film done well still has a quality and texture (especially in the shadows) that I prefer to digital.
     
  11. Try shooting the fuji at f.5.6 1/80 of a second. Is same light scenario you are describing your ISO will go down to about 1200 - with much better results. Personaly I like to use fuji at no more than ISO800. I will go higher only if I run out of aperture/shutter speed options.
     
  12. 1. A Fuji X camera with image stabilization in the lens will help with shutter speed.

    2. Reduce exposure enough to keep ISO down, probably 800 max. Then use noise reduction and Gaussian blur on an image developed from the raw file. Picture Window Pro has very good tools for both operations. And they are appropriate for your style.

    3. As already mentioned, f/5.6 on APS-C is a good choice. No need for f/8.
     
  13. I'm still getting to know this little camera. Is it unfair of me to expect the same results I got with MF film?​
    Yes
    Or perhaps I should be using a much lower ISO and go back to working on a tripod?​
    If you want less noisy results and to shoot at F8 in lowlight indoors yes.
     
  14. Jon, are you using f/8 because that's what you'd use on your 'blad? Remember to correct for frame size differences - a
    23mm lens for APSC at f/8 is like ... This is going to require some math...

    Let's see here, divide the square roots of the sums of the squares and you get that the crop factor to compare 16x24mm
    to 56x56mm is 2.75. Multiply that by both the focal length and the f/ number. The closest equivalent would be shooting the
    60mm Hasselblad lens at f/22.

    Try the Fuji at f/2.8. That's going to give you about the same DOF as the Hassy at f/8 and will keep your ISO numbers
    manageable.
     
  15. I have the Hasselblad and the fujix100, which is similar to the fujix100s except that the fujix100s may be better. Before posting some
    detailed information, let me just say that if the fuji is used at its native ISO 200, you will find the results to be excellent and quite similar to
    your Hasselblad. Now, that being said, it is important to note that shooting the Fuji at 3200 is not a fair comparison. Furthermore, one
    must shoot in raw to get the best results, so software choice becomes important. IMHO, captureone is the best. I have scanned many a
    Hasselblad image with the nikon 9000 using silverfast, which I think is an excellent combination. I have also had some Hasselblad
    images scanned on a Hasselblad scanner, and processed the 3f files with flexcolor. My experience is that raw files from the Fuji at ISO
    200 and processed with captureone provide very accurate and pleasing color, very similar to kodak portra and ektar from the Hasselblad
    scanned on a nikon 9000 with silverfast or a Hasselblad scanner with flexcolor. (The portra is more accurate than the ektar.) I actually
    prefer the Fuji for skin tones. However, in bright daylight I prefer the Hasselblad because it is sometimes too easy to blow out highlights
    on skin using the Fuji, whereas portra is extremely forgiving. But I find that indoor portraits with monolights sometimes leads to terribly
    false colors using film, which I think might be due to the film being sensitive to UV light due to whiteners used in fabrics. But the Fuji is
    great for traveling, so light and compact. The resolution from the Hasselblad might be better for really big blow ups, but otherwise there
    isn't much difference. So, to summarize, if processed properly, the raw files from the Fuji when shot at ISO 200 should yield excellent
    results and rival (and perhaps exceed in color accuracy) what you are used to getting from your Hasselblad. Of course, the Hasselblad
    can take different lenses, so theses are really two different tools. Both cameras are a blast to use
     

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