Have we all been duped?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by mjferron, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. I shoot my fair share of digital and like developing my own B&W film. The other day though discovered a few rolls of Reala in the fridge and decided to try it out along with my Nikon N80 and a new Sigma 24mm 1.8 lens. I sent the film out to Kodak via Target and ordered 5x7 prints and a picture CD. Have to say I was blown away by the quality of the prints and the low rez scans on the CD. The colors are bold, clean and beautiful and everything is sharp as a tack. Sure it costs $15 but in the end I received 36 nice 5x7 prints that look at least as good as anything my pricey Epson 2400 has spit out (without all the fuss) and have the web sized images all set on a CD as well. What makes digital such an attractive option? Add up all the money many of us spend updating computers, digital cameras, printers etc. and for most digital will become more expensive option over time. Sure many pros need their digital workflow but for most of us I'll bet it's more of a free time drain then the convienience of film ever will be. And none of my digitals really ever gave my eyes the pleasing colors I got from the Reala including my D80 or my G9. Thoughts?
    (PS) I'm thrilled with the Sigma 24 1.8 so far. I'm not always impressed with Sigma products but this lens on a film camera is looking to be a gem.
    00RovK-98269684.jpg
     
  2. Above pic was shot on Reala. Straight off the Kodak CD.
     
  3. I don't know of anyone who claims that digital looks better than film, except grain and high iso wise, but certainly not in tonality or overall clarity. Digital is just faster and more convienent and is also less expensive if you shoot a lot.
     
  4. Its called following the crowd with a healthy dose of profit driven marketing by the manufacturers of hardware/software.The smell of money wins out every time over common sense.You have 'discovered' what many of us film guys have known for years - film is still darn good stuff.
     
  5. Although I consider myself a 'Hybrid' photographer who combines film with digital, I have come to think that your thoughts about being duped have some truth. I have seen how many pro labs have gone by the way side due to many pros changing over to total digital. I have never in my career spent so much time in front of a PC as I do now. I have still managed to surprise clients when I have taken a 'proof' shot of the event or whatever the brief was and find them perplexed by the fact that the image quality is outstanding considering that I have used film...in my case 120 or 4x5....compared to a digital one that they have had supplied by a digital user.
    There are those that will maintain that digital far exceeds film in many ways, and they may be right. But for the moment I too am still blown away by the image quality when all things are considered equal that film still generates. I for one have not updated any of my equipement just to keep with the current model what ever the item may be as I feel that when using film and using a professional quality lab that maintains the high level of quality control that is expected, then, my workload is cut by half which in turns impacts on my profit in so much that I have more time on my hands to take on more clients instead of spending time with a digital workflow. There are times when I have the freedom to process my own slides and recently I had a few Graphic Design students over to show them the process as it is part of their current course requirments. Being born into a digital world they are amazed at the results and in some cases have gone out and invested in 2nd hand B&W equipement as they are hooked on seeing the image appear on a piece of blank paper when in the dark room. I pray that film stocks, although limited perhaps to the pros and dedicated followers, will out live me. Although your shot is now a digital one, I can only suspect that the print really stands out. I don't think the price you have paid for processing and the film is that elevated when one takes into account what one would have to charge an hourly rate if you were to go through the digital process. My 2 cents worth....
    Artur
     
  6. Mike E. says "I don't know of anyone who claims that digital looks better than film"
    Mike I find on many sites folks think film is inferior and arcaic. I'm not saying film is better either. Guess my point is digital is not the convienience some folks think it is. For example as a favor I shot a backyard wedding this past summer for two co-workers with my D80. Shot about 175 frames and printed about 75 5x7 for the happy couple. Anyone have any idea how much time I spent editing 175 raw files and printing 75 more? Damn I could of just shot film and handed them the envelopes of prints.
     
  7. Douglas and Artur thank you for your thoughts.
     
  8. I much prefer to do my own scanning of film to get the best quality.
    00Rowv-98277684.jpg
     
  9. Reala has more detail in the highlights than is conveyed in your scan.
    Self-scanned and processed film takes longer than RAW digital shots self-processed (as a general rule- at least for me), suffers from file size bloat (120MB standard for 35mm vs 10mb for a 8MP RAW file) and has other annoying issues like film flatness when scanning, dust/scratches, etc.
    If I had more time I'd shoot more film as I like the look of color negative, but I don't.
     
  10. Film has a preset look designed by the chemists at Kodak and Fuji. They choose the color, contrast, and saturation for specific emulsions with the goal of producing pleasing images and prints straight from the film. It's assumed that most users will not have the equipment, skill, or interest for scanning the film and extensively post processing it to achieve a pleasing look, so the chemists do as much work as possible in the chemistry itself. That's why we have different films for different subjects, i.e. Portra vs. Velvia.
    Digital is neutral, accurate, and boring straight off the sensor. It's also completely under your control. You have complete freedom to decide the look you want. But you also bear the responsibility of doing the work to achieve that look. (Cameras and RAW converters are increasingly shipping with more sophisticated presets for achieving specific looks, like choosing different films.)
    There are people who never really have the interest or time to make the most of their digital files. They shoot some film and are surprised at the easy results, and decide film is superior. There are other people who compare the preset lab results of film to the freedom they have with digital and decide it's no contest, digital is superior. I happen to be in the latter group. I love the freedom digital gives me and do not mind working on my images in front of a computer any more than I mind spending hours in a darkroom perfecting my prints. For me the post work is a very important part of the craft. (Note that I enjoy working with B&W film because with B&W I again have control. I take it in a darkroom and develop/print it myself. I do not leave it to a lab, and my decisions in developing and printing give me control over contrast and tonality beyond the decisions of the film chemists.)
    Which is superior depends on your point of view and your goals.
     
  11. Roger I'll scan the neg myself this evening and see what I get. :)
     
  12. Very extensive studies of this issue have been made, largely for consumers in the world of commercial photography. And, after enormous comparison and scientific analysis as well, I think it is well accepted that digital photgraphy is well able to meet, and exceed, what the film world can offer.
    We all feel sympathy and nostalgia for what used to be. But the new science has superceded the old one. Regards, Bob
     
  13. I don't know about being duped or not. I do agree that digital cost more than the general public was told. A few yars ago, in a Photo mag, they said that since most people had film cameras.It was easier to sell the public a digital, than another film camera. Also, pros got rid of their Medium Formats, because, buying a digital back for a Hassey, would cost more than to buy a DSLR. Even though the quality was less. I saw one article in a mag, where they said, "The problem with Digital" Someone took a picture of a zoo animal. And, since then, there was a lag in when the camera would take the picture. He got a picture of the animal's back half, etc.
    Digital is fine. But, I can get equal, and I bet, better quality with my film cameras. Especially my 120 and 4x5s.
     
  14. Yes, you've been duped... into thinking that good photographs have to do with process, materials, and gear. If you get better results with film more power to you. To suggest that the rest of us are blindly following trends instead of doing our own testing and comparisons is naive. People should choose the tools and techniques that work well for them, and not worry so much about what works for the next guy. If there was an option that was clearly superior in all situations for all photographers we'd all be using it.
     
  15. Not all, but many have been duped.
    There are people out there who believe and argue DSLR can compare in detail and tonality to 6x7 film! As crazy as it sounds, marketing has done a great job making people believe fairy tales about DSLRs.
     
  16. Matt if your read what I actually wrote you'd realize i didn't suggest anything to "the" rest of you." I was talking color, money and convienience.
     
  17. well here are my 2 cents...
    it depends on the needs of the user(s). The evolution of micro chips and digital camera etc... hurted the film camera and film a lot but it won't die completely. In short similar to not because photography was invented that people stop to paint on canvas and other medium..
    For my personnal taste and liking I use only film B&W and color (MF and LF). Sure it take more time, more $ but the rewards are appreciated only by myself and other who know so.
    For my work I have to use digital (DSLR)... Turn around time, re-shoot, add and subtract subject... change lighting.. and re-shoot again..this can't be done with films.
    In graphic business nothing can compete with speed of delivery... and yes there are still some high end graphic using films...
    so keep shooting with films and amaze yourself and you will amaze future generation too...
     
  18. "We all feel sympathy and nostalgia for what used to be. But the new science has superceded the old one."
    Gee,with all this wonderful technology available today how come they can't predict the weather any better than they did 40 years ago?How about NASA's recent struggle getting a man back on the moon,something done over fourty years ago with lots of sliderules and drafting pencils.Its not the tools but the brains behind the hands moving the tools.Probably why most products are so generic in their performance and looks these days.Remove the names and you can hardly tell the players apart anymore.
     
  19. Walk into a camera store and just say- "I want to buy a camera." See what you automatically get shown before any question is asked by the salesman. If we haven't been duped, we've at least been led around by the nose by marketing and forced to think "digital" when someone says "camera". Marketing told us what we really want and need is digital that film is dead. Where's the profit for all the camera companies if it could be shown what amazing results could be had with modern films in an Olympus OM-4Ti with its eight segment multi-spot meter circa 1987.
    I thank Michael for reminding us that it certainly is alive and will have a future IF THEY LET IT.
     
  20. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    The vast majority of threads like like this are in fact comments on how well a particular process has been followed , not reflective of the inherent qualities of that process itself. I've seen terrible proof prints from film and useless scans. I've seen people who can get much better small prints from their digital cameras by taking them to an unmanned machine at the chemist than they can get from their expensive inkjet at home.
    No you haven't been duped. You've found a good supplier of prints from scanned film. Be happy. A lot of people - maybe most people - haven't been quite so lucky. Your digital system would give you proof-sized prints every bit as good if you post processed well and got the files to a quality printer. If I track the quality of my family's prints from film through scanned film to digital, I'd say that mostly the digital is discernably better. Thats mainly I'd suggest because digital photographs don't have to be passed though the often inadequate and poorly run scanners that sit at the front end of minilab/volume print machines. But my point is that both can and do make good or bad proof prints depending on who's made them and how good they were on the day.
    I do have more sympathy with the "I spend so much time in front of a computer" debate. Interestingly I hear the reverse too from some serious quality and volume photographers, to the point that I'm giving myself some time off this winter to learn about post processing, software and workflow design. I'd like to get to the point that when i get back from a major trip with a couple of thousand raw files, I'm looking forward to seeing them and can get quality images into my stock agencies and some prints made faster and with less grief. You see whilst I've spent countless hours in front of a computer this year, I don't necessarily blame digital for that, I mostly blame me. Just like I don't credit film for your good prints- I credit the people that made them.
     
  21. I think the reason why consumers have embraced digital is what my brother-in-law once said...."with digital, I don't waste film on bad pictures"....or something to that effect. Most of the time, people have their thumb over the pop-up flash, or the camera is tilted, or a knuckle is in front of the lens. But what I see from the average Joe and his digital camera is junk. At least when people used film cameras, there were some occasionally good shots, which speaks well of film's exposure latitude and resolution.
    Apparently, with higher-end digital, at least higher than what my brother-in-law has, there is greater color accuracy than with film. But I still use film because of its tremendous dynamic range, and, well....because I already have great film cameras and don't need to upgrade at this time to a digital camera. But with 120 and larger formats, there is a real wow factor that is hard to beat with digital, unless perhaps it is a high-end digital back.
     
  22. Mauro said: "There are people out there who believe and argue DSLR can compare in detail and tonality to 6x7 film! As crazy as it sounds, marketing has done a great job making people believe fairy tales about DSLRs."
    99% of what I shoot is film, both 35mm and 6x7. I simply like film, a personal choice.
    But I did see an exhibit of 80 16x20 prints last year where I find out that about half were shot on 6x7 chrome and half digital. I looked long and hard and could not decipher which was which. I know the difference between very good prints and the best that can be made. These were in that "best that can be made" category so nothing was dumbed down to match. And there was no question about the technical skills of the two photographers.
    But I have had to admit that, for color, the new DSLR's can match 6x7 chrome. Not exceed it, but match it. B&W still remains the realm of real film to my eye though.
     
  23. I think that sometimes people confuse time with timeliness. This all depends on why you're shooting (and who your audience/customer is), but let's face it: turn-around time can make a difference. In my tiny little world of subject matter and customers, the market for some of the material I shoot decreases by the hour that passes after the shoot.

    My ability to put images online and fulfill orders in very, very short order - it's important. And my ability to shoot hundreds of images (it's action stuff - there are always plenty of non-keepers) and not sweat the costs of processing the obvious losers... that right there fundamentally changes the math (making film comparatively far more expensive). I also shoot some film, when I'm feeling a little more deliberative, or just looking for a change of pace. But bread-and-butter-wise? Well-exposed, well-shot images simply don't need a whole lot of individual fussing that can't be handled through quick batch processing - at least in terms of getting proofs up. And unlike batched film proofs, I can at least do some preliminary cropping, and push the white balance around if needed.

    So why have consumers embraced digital? Because people use photographs to communicate. It's difficult to convince a young person today - who has never known a world without blogging from their mobile phone or having images from the party they've just been to showing up on their Facebook page before they've even arrived at their next party of the night - that they will enjoy their photographs more if they have to drive their 24 exposures to a place where they will pay someone to process them and produce either paper prints (which may be totally useless to them) or a CD (which will end up in the trash once they've lifted the snapshots off of them for their short life on MySpace).

    It's hard for people in, say, their 40's, to see the purchase of a camera in the same way that a young person does - but I guarantee that most people who use cameras (and the members of Photo.net are not representative of most people who take pictures) don't feel "duped" for being able to do exactly what they want: take a picture, and immediately - at no additional cost or inconvenience - do what they want with it. That's reality, and that's what manufacturers have to face - and that's the market they have to keep in mind. Passionate amateurs and pros are a miniscule, nearly insignificant group of people in that context.
     
  24. My D200 was about equal to pro color neg film when I ran side by side tests, high rez KM 5400 scans.
    My D700 is now a month old. I will not bother to to run a test because it is like saying a corvette is faster than a guy on a skateboard.
    You absolutely can not beat the conveniece of dropping off a roll or two if you are fortunate enough to have a decent processor near. Few do. But you can accomplish the same thing by shooting JPEG and taking the card to the kiosek.
    The weak link remains a decent processor like it always has been. Digi vs film in a 5x7 is about the same. Try making a larger print.
     
  25. Great photo Mr. Ferron. All of the tools anyone uses to make a photograph are exactly that: just tools for making photographs.
     
  26. Just what I wanted for the holidays ... another Film vs. Digital debate! O happy day!
     
  27. Maybe there are DSLRs that can equal 120 film. But, it sure is expensive! More than some 8x10's I've seen.Most people who take photos these days are basically modern day digitalized Brownie users. When I was growing up, we used cameras such as the Brownie Hawkeyes and other cameras in 620 and 127 size. Now, people use their cell phones and simple P&S cameras to take pictures of the kids on vacation.
    I have friends who, the only way they can take a picture at all, is with a cell phone. They don't want anything else. Many have nothing to use. But, in the past, it seemed that a larger percentage at least had a 110, 126, or Polaroid.
    Pnet is not most people who take pictures. but, the ones who take pictures because they do it for the love of photography. (Or,they're a pro)
     
  28. No debate Jim Devlin. This is a film forum and I'm just expressing some new found joys of shooting print film. Sometimes you'll se me with a G9 in hand and others an FE and B&W film. Matters not.
     
  29. No debate... ...I'm just expressing some new found joys of shooting print film.
    That would be credible Michael if you had not titled the post "Have we all been duped?", discussed the expense of printers and equipment and the "fuss" associated with making prints, asked what makes digital attractive amd asserted that digital processes are a "time drain", declared that digital will not give you as pleasing results as your film and then invited a discussion about these issues.
    I am glad that you are enjoying using the film and a G9 but, if you really only seek to express the joy of Reala and not invite a tiresome digital vs. film debate, it is best to simply express the joy of shooting Reala and not invite comparisons to what you decribed as expensive, time wasting, inferior digital processes.
    I liked Agfa Ultra 50 and 100 myself and have some of the 100 frozen which will be used this spring and fall because I dig the bold colors and effects.
     
  30. I don't know of anyone who claims that digital looks better than film.
    Except for those who want to justify spending a fortune on every upgrade.
     
  31. recently started using film, got my feet wet on digital, and was amazed at the colors and clarity, I sent my stuff off to shutterfly, so now I will be using both digital and film for certain events. I am relying on the experts (like you all) as to film, thus far have gone on a mini shopping spree buying different films to try.
     
  32. I don't care that much to discover if digital is best or worse in absolute terms. Taking pictures is a process that starts buying a camera and ends framing a picture on the wall. I am using the medium that works best for me. Sometimes it is digital and (for me) more often is film. Others shall disagree.
     
  33. John H. Is this not a film forum? If I want to discuss some of the merits of shooting film isn't this the place to do it? Seems to be plenty of other folks who enjoy discussing this without criticizing the topic. If you notice I didn't post this in a digital topic where it would start fights. Here in Film and Processing I thought I'd be safe.
     
  34. Regarding film, I only shoot 35mm chromes now for one simple reason: Projection. I have not found anything to best a well exposed slide, projected to several feet in size. True, there are digital projectors out there, but they remain too expensive for me to try out. I shoot some stuff digitally, but much prefer the results from chromes.
    Cheers, Steve.
     
  35. Steve I haven't shot chromes in a while but you remeind me that my favorite way of viewing of an image is a chrome on a lightbox.
     
  36. I shoot my fair share of digital and like developing my own B&W film. The other day though discovered a few rolls of Reala in the fridge and decided to try it out along with my Nikon N80 and a new Sigma 24mm 1.8 lens. I sent the film out to Kodak via Target and ordered 5x7 prints and a picture CD. Have to say I was blown away by the quality of the prints and the low rez scans on the CD. The colors are bold, clean and beautiful and everything is sharp as a tack. Sure it costs $15 but in the end I received 36 nice 5x7 prints that look at least as good as anything my pricey Epson 2400 has spit out (without all the fuss) and have the web sized images all set on a CD as well. What makes digital such an attractive option?​
    What makes it an attractive option? You have more control over the final print. I used to find it easier to drop off film at the local pro lab (now closed) and get back color proof sheets. But, "now closed" means that option is not available...hence, digital becomes the most viable option.
    Add up all the money many of us spend updating computers, digital cameras, printers etc. and for most digital will become more expensive option over time.​
    Yeah...so what? Don't care. This is a specious argument that upgrading means the process is somehow inferior. I'm still working on the computer I purchased in 2001....
    Sure many pros need their digital workflow but for most of us I'll bet it's more of a free time drain then the convienience of film ever will be. And none of my digitals really ever gave my eyes the pleasing colors I got from the Reala including my D80 or my G9. Thoughts?​
    As for a "free time drain," try working in a darkroom for 8 hours a day. There's no difference in free time drain. If you spend 8-10 hours a day in a darkroom to deliver prints - you'll soon figure out that sitting at a computer is no more onerous than darkroom work. If you're want to get a quality image, then you just do the workflow required and don't whine about it as being a free time drain.
    I also understand that some people find it a recreational activity to work in a darkroom....the thrill of darkroom work stopped for me about 1977 when I shot a lot of commercial work and had to print it myself because the closest quality lab was 200 miles from my studio.
    If you can't get "pleasing colors" (whatever that means) out of a digital camera, my opinion is that you don't know how to use the camera and image processing software. I find no difference in getting the color I want out of a digital camera or film camera. If you've mastered the workflow you can make either work satisfactorily.

    (PS) I'm thrilled with the Sigma 24 1.8 so far. I'm not always impressed with Sigma products but this lens on a film camera is looking to be a gem.​
    Terrific - I'm thrilled with my Leica wide angle Tri-Elmar, and my Leica 75mm Summicron....these lenses on a digital camera are gems....
     
  37. I was duped into thinking about 6 years ago that it was cost effective, fun, and certainly possible to generate high-quality prints from a film scanner and inkjet printer, at home.
    That was, and still is, I believe, most certainly not the case.
    I like film, and I like film cameras, but the end product then and now is a .jpg, and it's a lot faster and more effective, to skip the film processing and scanning step. For the .1% (or .01%?) of shots that end up printed, I like the results from a quality lab equally with 35mm film OR a full-sized jpg. Medium format is a different beast.
     
  38. Marketing is a powerful thing. I remember purchasing my first CD player.....remember "Perfect Sound Forever?" The thing sounded like a piece of garbage next my turntable setup of the day....a Rega Planar 3. Only recently have they been able to master CDs better, use some whizbang processing to produce a CD that starts to approach the warmth, soundstage and detail of a well pressed LP on a turntable......and that is 26 years after the launch of "Perfect Sound Forever."
    I figure that a decade or so from now, we'll have 16bit DSLRs, full frame or larger, in the 30+mp range that can get what I expect off of 6x7 or 4x5 film. Until then, I'll continue to use film and not worry about $3000 upgrades every year to get "Perfect Imaging Forever."
     
  39. Just to stir the pot: Ken's at it again
    http://kenrockwell.com/tech/film-resolution.htm
     
  40. He's on a roll here :cool:
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/film-digital.htm
    Digital hobbyists worry about Photographers worry about
    Camera Camera
    Lens Lens
    Memory Card Film
    White Balance Filters
    ISO Lighting*
    JPG or raw Composition*
    Image Size (pixels) Color*
    Image (JPG) Quality Perspective*
    Sensor Dust Balance and weight *
    Contrast settings Impact*
    Saturation settings Gesture*
    High ISO NR settings Negative space*
    Sharpening settings Line*
    Black Pixels Texture*
    Banding Being there
    Spending time online Becoming intimate with your subject
    Downloading pictures Enjoying dinner
    Working with computer in hotel Playing with wife or girlfriend in hotel
    Backing up day's work Planning tomorrow's shooting
    Charging 3 batteries Get to sleep by 8PM
    Wake up tired with alarm at 6AM Wake up without alarm at 4AM, excited and ready to go
    Tell yourself it's cloudy, roll back into bed and sleep Play with wife or girlfriend, then get out and make the most glorious photos ever of the spectacular sunrise
    Finally out shooting at 10AM Back enjoying breakfast and planning rest of the day
    Worried about everything Stoked knowing you got fantastic shots.
    Posting to forums Hanging a one-man show at The Guggenheim
    *These are artistic issues which relate to the creative, basic elements of an image .​
     
  41. Don,
    There's some truth in that comparison.
     
  42. I was duped into thinking about 6 years ago that it was cost effective, fun, and certainly possible to generate high-quality prints from a film scanner and inkjet printer, at home.
    That was, and still is, I believe, most certainly not the case.​
    So, who "duped" you? You mean - you were to naive, too inexperienced, or just didn't understand digital workflow?
    I find the duped statement as an easy out for not taking responsibilty for your own choices.
    If you can't generate high quality prints from a digital workflow - that's your own problem - it is not an inherent deficiency of that workflow. If you just like to drop off film and get prints back - then neither a digital workflow or a wet darkroom will satisfy you. Having spent nearly 40 years in photography - most of it spent using wet darkroom processes - I can tell you that the work from a digital workflow is every bit as high quality as what is available from a wet darkroom -- IF you're willing to put in the effort to thoroughly learn the whole workflow. If not - you get out of it what you put into it.
    As for Ken Rockwell....consider the source. His self-delusional fabrications are nearly legendary at this point....
     
  43. Steve Swinehart I bow down before you as you can afford Leica and me the lowly Sigma. What a peasent I am.
     
  44. Steve Swinehart I bow down before you as you can afford Leica and me the lowly Sigma. What a peasent I am.​
    Just making a comparison between digital and film just like you. You felt, in some way, that making the statement about how well the Sigma performed on film was important as being opposed to how it might perform on a digital camera.
    Are you saying the Sigma would not have performed as well on a digital camera - or ONLY on a film camera.
    To really offend you let me say that the only other things I have for comparison are: a Leica M6, Hasselblad system, two 4x5 systems with 5 lenses, a Plaubel Makina 670, a Plaubel Makina 67W, a Nikon N-90 system, a Horseman 612 system, a Nikon F2, two Nikon F's, a Holga, and an Eddie Bauer 110 for comparison to the Leica M8...so I'm not exactly restricted as to either lenses or formats....or what I can use for comparisons between film and digital. Please realize these were acquired over a 40 year period as required for different projects and in some cases (Holga and 110) - for fun.
     
  45. Thanks for the post Steve. As someone who can easily tell the difference between film and digital....no matter who processes it.....I tend to disagree. There is a different look to film images, be it 35mm, 120 of 4x5.
    Now if it's quality you want, then I'll stick to 4x5 thanks. If you want to match it's quality with a digital workflow, please feel free to spend the $35,000+ on a digital back and come back and tell me how great the workflow was compared to my $2 sheet of film.
    And before you pounce on me, I've spent the last 20 years in the wedding and portraiture business and use digital gear solely for that work. Because it offers higher quality? No. Because the workflow is quicker and easier.
    Of course, I'll take a 40" print from MF or LF over ANY DSLR any day for what I consider high quality. I find most discerning purchasers do as well. Nothing like seeing all the plastic looking landscape prints at 40", lacking detail, texture and tonality. I was viewing a few galleries in Sedona. One photographer had stunning work, all prints from 16x20 to 40". Color was decent....but they looked like plastic garbage, devoid of detail and texture. Another gallery had similar sized shots with 4x5 and 8x10. People in that gallery were commenting on how much more real these images were compared to the other gallery.
    If you think low quality large prints are because the photographer just doesn't understand the digital process and workflow....well then I'd have to say that after viewing thousands of prints in a multitude of galleries, I've yet to find a digital photographer who undstands the workflow.....as the resulting images look artificial and lack presence and depth.
     
  46. Steve says " Are you saying the Sigma would not have performed as well on a digital camera"
    Did I say that Steve?? I'm sure it works fine on a digital body but this was my first outing with the lens.
     
  47. Thanks for the post Steve. As someone who can easily tell the difference between film and digital....no matter who processes it.....I tend to disagree. There is a different look to film images, be it 35mm, 120 of 4x5.​
    If what you're saying is you can immediately tell the difference between scanned film and digital camera image printed either through a LightJet or an inkjet - that I would question. Unless you're saying the digital looks better than 35mm; and you can see detail differences (in large prints) between the digital and film images. There are differences for sure...and you work with and/or around the differences whether film or digital.
    Now if it's quality you want, then I'll stick to 4x5 thanks. If you want to match it's quality with a digital workflow, please feel free to spend the $35,000+ on a digital back and come back and tell me how great the workflow was compared to my $2 sheet of film.​
    Thanks for the keen sense of the obvious part of your post...if you want REAL quality, I'd think you'd be working at 8x10 as a minimum - and larger preferably - and only doing contact prints.
    And before you pounce on me, I've spent the last 20 years in the wedding and portraiture business and use digital gear solely for that work. Because it offers higher quality? No. Because the workflow is quicker and easier.​
    As this is such an open ended, ill defined statement - it's hard to respond. Let's just say that if you're comparing the same size digital image capture system to the same size film system - your statement doesn't hold up. A medium format digital system will kick the medium format film system for image rendering (sharpness number one and color being equal) - just like a high end dSLR system or the M8 will kill 35mm color film.
    B&W is a completely different story, as I have not found a digital equivalent to carefully controlled B&W film.
    Of course, I'll take a 40" print from MF or LF over ANY DSLR any day for what I consider high quality. I find most discerning purchasers do as well. Nothing like seeing all the plastic looking landscape prints at 40", lacking detail, texture and tonality. I was viewing a few galleries in Sedona. One photographer had stunning work, all prints from 16x20 to 40". Color was decent....but they looked like plastic garbage, devoid of detail and texture. Another gallery had similar sized shots with 4x5 and 8x10. People in that gallery were commenting on how much more real these images were compared to the other gallery.​
    Thanks for the keen sense of the obvious part of your post - part II. If you want to do 40-inch prints, then you should be using a view camera - I wouldn't even try that with my 6x7 cameras. I haven't tested the new 50 megapixel medium format backs yet - so, I have no idea how large images from those backs can be made.
    The "plastic garbage" is a very good point...that has to do with how the file was handled AND what camera generated the file. To me, the Canon dSLRs have way too much front-end image processing that starts that look right out of the camera. The anti-aliasing filter seems too strong causing Canon to apply a lot of in-camera sharpening for compensation.
    Let me also make the observation, that up-sizing the image to 40-inches from any 35mm format dSLR takes a very specific workflow to preserve the details, color, "feel," and not generate pixel putty in the process. I've worked on digital processing to large sizes over the past year. Only in the past 1-2 months have I come to a workflow that will allow satisfactory enlargment of the M8 files to 18x28 inch images that preserve sharpness, detail, and color rendering. It has taken a LOT of trial-and-error testing and is not as straight forward as just sending the image to a printer.
    There is a specific workflow that can produce a quality image, but even within that workflow there are individual points within it that are image-specific, so you cannot just batch process images and send them to a printer. Like making custom prints in a wet darkroom, every single image requires total attention to process from start to finish as required for the image. If you don't do that - you get inferior results.
    If you think low quality large prints are because the photographer just doesn't understand the digital process and workflow....well then I'd have to say that after viewing thousands of prints in a multitude of galleries, I've yet to find a digital photographer who undstands the workflow.....as the resulting images look artificial and lack presence and depth.​
    I can't comment on this because I haven't seen "thousands of prints" in a "multitude of galleries." My comment on this is that generally, the people I see in galleries are interested in make a LOT of prints and not necessarily quality prints. This is not a deficiency of the process, but a lack of quality awareness on the photographer's part.
    I was at a show at the local AIA gallery of a highly respected architectural photographer who does work world-wide for architects, and for a number of architectural magazines. The show was comprised of large size inkjet prints of his personal work generated with a medium format digital camera. I don't think you could tell the difference between the digital work and film - it was just very, very well done, high-quality work. How did I know it was digital? Because I asked him if he shot it with a view camera, and he said "No - medium format digital."
     
  48. "As for Ken Rockwell....consider the source. His self-delusional fabrications are nearly legendary at this point...."
    True. He lives in a dream world, but at least he knows it.
     
  49. Yes, we were duped.
    I'm still trying to find the light bulb in my printer because, ahem, since this is photography and images are formed by light, there must be a light bulb in that darn printer somewhere.
    Ok, the digital market, in case you didn't realize it, has been driven by a number of things. 1) the photo eq. magazines, 2) eBay sellers, 3) pornographers, 4) people who like to make weird photos that no one else should see, 5) lazy people who don't want to learn darkroom technique, 6) people in a hurry, 7) industrial use, 8) people who assume everything new is better, 9) the web.
    But, "real" photographers use film. And, when the only film left in production is 35mm imported from China made in some guys barn on machines he dumpster dived from the old Kodak factory, these Nikons will still be clicking.
     
  50. Thanks Steve....for all your "Obvious" comments. So we agree that film is better....thus making your first post, well, pointless.
     
  51. Ken Rockwell does what all the people do, he uses the system that best suits his needs. The difference is that he writes about it in the internet, and, as per many things, it is not because it is written in the internet that something becomes an absolute truth, that applies to everybody worldwide.
    IMHO the whole debate film vs. digital needs to be shifted from the absolute level to the individual one: is film (or digital) better, more fun, more practical, ... FOR ME? I find those debates about pixels vs. lines per millimeter a little pointless. And even assuming that film has some kind of superiority, since new digital cameras come out at warp speed, one new model after the other... how long can a statement hold true? Film was for sure better in quality than yesteryear digital cameras and for sure sooner or later digital cameras will be better than any existing film camera. It is just a matter of time, considering the incredible amount of money that is invested in digital camera development and the fierce competition, you need something new every 2 years to convince shooters to trash their current camera and buy a new, better, one. And, besides, the quality of current films and prosumer digital cameras is more than adequate for a any application for which film was used in 1999.
    So, at the end of the day, the story becomes: for me, now, do I feel better using a digital or a film camera? I have my answer: film. If I were a wedding photographer or a photojournalist, or even a casual shooter willing to take some pictures of my vacation with a P&S camera and share them with friends, I would answer differently: digital.
     
  52. To answer the OP, which I forgot to do....the answer is a partial yes. I still use an old Canon D30 and 10D as my point and shoots. On vacations, at the beach, camping with the kids, birthday parties and gatherings of friends are perfect for digital.
    Doing street photography, landscape, or anything requiring high quality, I reach for film in various formats.
    Besides, I love finding old gear on Ebay and giving it some use. I recently picked up a Minolta X700, with 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 135mm....for $200. It's in perfect shape. I've run a number of rolls of Astia, Neopan and HP5 through it. Lovely seeing a good scan from it exceed what expensive digital gear can put out.
    And besides....the camera and lens are so light, I can carry it around all day. Something I loathed doing with my 1Ds Mk2.
     
  53. Considering the subjects I like to shoot and the way I like to shoot, the sizes I like to print to, and the distance I like to view from, I don't see much difference whether they are digital or film. And, if I were to examine them closely for differrences, those I find are not worth the time and energy taken to find them.
    I prefer film, but it has little to do with technical "image quality".
     
  54. Don,

    First of all. Ken Rockwell is a douche bag. He attempts to make a living through a blog, which has a sole purpose of trashing on digital. Personally, I think he has a major inferiority complex.

    Second, he forgot a few things. 1st, saying that someone who is shooting digital isn't concerned with composition is just lame. Second, he forgot a few things on the film side. Of course, this wouldn't have anything to do with KR being biased, now would it?

    1) Buying and Storing Film
    2) Loading film
    3) Unloading film and storing it again (not to mention packing it around)
    4) Taking film to get processed
    5) Picking film up from getting processed ($$$$)

    In my opinion, these should replace at least 5 of the blocks on the left side of that table.

    Not that I have anything against film, just stating the other point of view here. If film is what you like, then by all means shoot film. But anyone who gets off trashing on people for choosing digital needs to get their head examined. Not to mention, I feel sorry for Ken's family, I'm sure he can't provide a very good lifestyle for them with the measly earnings from his crappy website.
     
  55. "Of course, this wouldn't have anything to do with KR being biased, now would it?"
    He's just messin' with ya, Keith. You might say his site is a huge troll of photographers. Sorta like a Luminous Landscape with a sense of humour.
     
  56. It should be no surprise that film is capable of producing excellent images. It's a mature technology that's served us well for a good 100 years.
     
  57. Don, agreed.

    I guess I should know better than to feed the trolls at this point!

    And honestly, if it hadn't been a KR post... I probably would have laughed.... oh wells. I guess something about that guy just hits a nerve with me.
     
  58. I tend to use both, but if I know that I want to post something quickly I use digital. If I need a wider angle than 28mm (film equivalent) then I use film since I can go as wide as 17mm. I can nowhere near afford a digital lens that will get me that perspective. Unless I need a lot of prints, I just take all my non-pro film to CVS for developing and a CD. No prints.
    00RpVN-98517584.jpg
     
  59. Have we all been duped?

    In a word... Yes. A 35mm negative measures 1.42" x 0.95". When scanned on a 2400dpi scanner... which is a modest scanner by all means, you get an image 3400 x 2280 pixels. That's 8 mega-pixels. With a nice slide film, theres quite a bit more resolution than that available... remember... slides where meant to be projected to WALL SIZE and still look good. There was a time... oh yes I remember it... when 3.5MP digital cameras that had awful color fringing and terrible artifacts were being tauted as being superior to film. Maybe better than supermarket-brand 800 speed film in a disposable camera... well... maybe not even then. With every pixel upgrade, we are told that digital rivals film. And yet... if digital REALLY was that much better, it would speak for itself and it wouldn't have to be repeated over and over and over like a brain washing mantra. For a few hundred bucks you can get yourself into a professional 645 kit that will produce 22MP scans on a cheap 2400dpi scanner, with better colors, better shadows and better highlights than a $6000 digital camera. This year, Kodak released updated versions of something like 12 of their films, with dramatic increases in resolution and grain minimization. Sure, you can use Noise Ninja and the latest greatest fractal interpolation software to get wall size prints off of a 12MP camera... but can't you do the same with film and start out with better shadows and highlights and color saturations?
     
  60. Oh yeah, and I'm still waiting for people to buy into the 22MP cameras with 24x36mm sensors to discover that they have severe softness due to diffraction and the fact that the sensor is resolving well above the line resolution of the lenses.
     
  61. I feel that a person should use whatever they want. Film or digital. About the comment that a digital medium format gives a better image than a film one. Hasselblad has a 50 meg digital. But, who has $39,000 to spend? I do just fine with my 120 and 4x5's. B&W film is not that expensive. Buying a several thousand dollar DSLR to beat 35 and maybe equal 120, for me at least, would be a huge expense. Even if it beat the 120. I bought a digital once, the plastic on-off switch broke in very little time. I have a friend whose digital did the same thing. So, I'm sticking to film. They last for decades. My 116a Kodak jr sure has. (I can still use 120 film in it.) The $300.00 digital didn't, it sat there for the first several years, because the software wouldn't fully install.
     
  62. Oh, god, another "film v. digital"? thread?
    You know what: I like film, but it is very expensive. About five dollars for a roll; about another seven to have it processed. Making 8"X10" prints, let's figure about seventy cents a sheet, and three sheets a print (it takes some tweaking with test strips to get a "perfect print" — three sheets for one final print is not uncommon). Plus, the fee of using a laboratory: about $15.00/hour; we'll say it takes about an hour to get one print totally finished.
    So, the cost of one print (I'll divide film and processing by 36 to make some strange attempt at calculating the cost of "one" picture): 14 cents for the negative frame; 19 cents to have it processed; $2.10 in paper; $15.00 for the lab = $17.46 for one 8"X10" color print.
    Digital: About $4.00 at Walgreens. You buy the camera; you buy the memory card — that's about it. A respectable-capacity memory card might cost $10.00 (forget Circuit City: have you visited eBay?), and it should last you quite a long while. Digital cameras (D.S.L.R.s) are still more expensive than comparable (35mm) film, but no longer by very much. You can toss in the cost of a brand-new, top-of-the-line desktop computer and of Adobe Photoshop, but I find that to be a sneaky approach to performing the computation.
    In the long run, I find that going digital can be cheaper than going the analogue route. That said, as I stated, I do like film — just, let's not kid ourselves by pretending it's the affordable alternative to its modern counter-part.
     
  63. When I have an 8x10 printed from a slide at the camera store, $5.50, not over $17.00. ( I know they scan and print the photos digitally).A DSLR camera , I've seen them go for $600.00-700.00 and up.(Way up) I bought a 35 Rebel Ti for less than half. I do all my B&W processing at home. The very few 6x7 slides I do, are processed at the camera store. I no longer have an enlarger. But, since all I do is the old contact processes, don't need one. So, I can't comment on the price of paper.
    That high end Hassy digital, I mentioned. BHphotovideo.com has it listed as a 39 MS for $43,995.00.
    The only point I'm trying to make in these Digital vs Film debates, is that digital is really great, but it does it at a great cost. I made less than 30 digital negs up to 8.5x11". I need to buy another black ink cartridge, and, I have 2 more that are getting very close to needing to be replaced.
     
  64. I shoot both and scan my images to digital, and have thousands of them. I can't remember them all, but when browsing my images I do know without looking at the meta data which are of film origin. Only 10% of my digitals become selects over film choices.
    Arguments abound over this subject of which is better, and everyone forgets the fact that you really cant compare because each one is a different format, and I find that those whom use both formats, tend to favor film for personal usage over digital. Which explains that it is more rewarding for the added effort of processing film as it's the end result we all want.
     
  65. "As for Ken Rockwell....consider the source. His self-delusional fabrications are nearly legendary at this point...."
    I thnk they are not. I quote from the about page of Ken Rockwell website:
    "This is my personal website. I do it all by myself. I'm just one guy with a computer who likes to take pictures. I have the playful, immature and creative, trouble-making mind of a seven-year-old, so read accordingly.
    This site is purely my personal speech and opinion, and a way for me to goof around.
    While often inspired by actual products and events, just like any other good news organization, I like to make things up and stretch the truth if they make an article more fun. In the case of new products, rumors and just plain silly stuff, it's all pretend. If you lack a good BS detector, please treat this entire site as a work of fiction.
    This site is provided only for the entertainment of my personal friends, dogs, family and myself. I've never promoted this site. If you're reading this, you got here on your own. "

    Sometimes I find myself in agreement with Ken and sometimes not. But I recognize the fact that he is selling his opinion and not the truth.​
     
  66. At school we used to see who could pee the highest up a wall.
    This was pretty childish but great fun at the time.
    As far as I know this trait is unique to boys.
    Now we discuss film v digital in fact anything v anything.
    I remember my father who was in the army listening to an endless discussion as to which was the best weponary.
    "Listen arsehole when that bullet hits you between the eyes it really matters not what kind of gun or who hand made it with loving care - you're dead."
    Same with an image. If it hits you in the eye it's a good shot.
     
  67. Folks as the original OP I'd just like to state that this was never intended to be a digital vs film debate. I'd be sad if I had to live without one or the other. My thoughts behind the post were about how easy it is to drop off a roll of print film and get a nice set of prints and a photo CD handed back. All done, very little fuss. An example I posted early on mentioned a backyard wedding I shot this past summer. I did it for free and shot raw with my D80. I edited 175 raw files and printed out 75 for the married couple. This service was free for a co-worker and I hardly received a thanks in return. If a were to do it again I would have used a 35mm film camera and handed them the processed prints and have been done with it. A $40 investment would have saved me a number of nights of messing around with the digital files. I'm not trying to tell folks what to shoot or how to process. I just think print film is becoming a forgotten tool in the bag.
     
  68. Michael,
    Have you ever taken your memory card from your D80 to wherever you get get your film prints made and see what they can do with the digital images?
    Many places have print kiosks where you can do it yourself. I wonder how widespread this service is.
     
  69. " At school we used to see who could pee the highest up a wall [...] As far as I know this trait is unique to boys."
    Well, yes, of course :cool:
    For those in need of a timeout after contemplating Rockwell's site:
    http://www.pbase.com/bret/image/71055999
     
  70. Marc I haven't but will consider giving it a try. Maybe I''l edit in photoshop and bring in a CD to see what they can do.
     
  71. Commenting on the Rockwell link that Don E posted, http://kenrockwell.com/tech/film-resolution.htm, I have read the article.
    Most of the technical points that Rockwell made are true. Summarizing a few of them:
    As far as resolution calculations are concerned, a Bayer Sensor's megapixel rating has to be cut by about a factor of two. (Actually, a little worse than this, but let's not go there.) There is no way around this. It is a rigorous result that comes from the Nyquist theorem of digital sampling. (It would be even worse, more like a factor of three, except for the fact that the human eye perceives sharpness mainly in the green region of the spectrum, which is where a Bayer sensor is most heavily weighted in pixel-count.) Thus a 10 megapixel Bayer sensor is really a ~5 megapixel sensor as far as resolution is concerned.
    Likewise, a foveon's megapixel rating (as given by Sigma) must be cut by a factor of three for the same reason. Thus, a 15 megapixel foveon sensor is really a ~5 megapixel sensor as far as resolution is concerned. Last monthin another place I gave my own version of this discussion: http://www.edn.com/blog/400000040/post/810011881.html?cache=FALSE&preview=TRUE&postComment=TRUE.
    High resolution films are capable of well over 100 cycles per millimeter, far better than any current digital sensor on any 35mm sensor size digital camera. However, at these high resolutions the contrast is low.
    Images from digital sensor cameras often look sharper than film because they hold contrast nearly up to their sampling limit, whereas contrast in film is already rolling off fast by then.
    Rockwell's article is a bit weak in fully exploring the implications of the contrast roll off of film. It is not that he contradicts this. In fact, he does talk about it, including a discussion of the reason why digital images often look sharper than film, despite having objectively a lower resolution rating if one includes the low-contrast high-spatial-frequency image components of film. However, he does this in a way that seems to partially mask or ignore the implications of the contrast fall off of film at high spatial frequencies.
    Consumer scanners (mostly 4000 dpi) cannot fully capture all the information in film. Note that if a scanner with more dpi is used it would be possible to digitally boost the high-spatial-frequency components of the image and produce a sharper image. However, this comes at the cost of increased noise. What this means in practical terms is that only modest degrees of sharpening are possible due to unacceptably high noise generated in the sharpening process. One could engage in endless debates about whether it is worth it to go beyond 4000 dpi, but theory holds that there is a potential benefit, albeit a small one.
    This kind of resolution enhancement is not possible with digital sensors, which are already close to the theoretical limit imposed by the number of sample points. Actually, this statement includes a built-in assumption, which is that resolution of a given digital camera actully is already near the Nyquist limit. This is probably reasonably close to being correct in some cases. However, the anti-aliasing filter in front of some sensors may compromise this assumption somewhat.
    That's enough technical discussion for a now.
     
  72. As far as resolution calculations are concerned, a Bayer Sensor's megapixel rating has to be cut by about a factor of two. (Actually, a little worse than this, but let's not go there.) There is no way around this. It is a rigorous result that comes from the Nyquist theorem of digital sampling. (It would be even worse, more like a factor of three, except for the fact that the human eye perceives sharpness mainly in the green region of the spectrum, which is where a Bayer sensor is most heavily weighted in pixel-count.) Thus a 10 megapixel Bayer sensor is really a ~5 megapixel sensor as far as resolution is concerned.
    You are confusing the terms megapixel and resolution (as in line pairs per millimeter), as well as confusing Bayer and Nyquist.
    Megapixel simply means million pixels. If a device outputs a million pixels from a sensor with a million photo sites, then it is a megapixel device. No if's, and's, or but's. The colored Bayer grid does not reduce the number of pixels output. Megapixel is a way to describe the digital resolution of a sensor. Line pairs per millimeter is used to describe the analog resolution. Nyquist is how you convert between the two. (Another wrinkle to keep in mind is that megapixels is usually a description of the physical sensor, while lpmm is usually used to describe the results from a test which includes all aspects of a visual system.)
    Bayer has nothing to do with Nyquist. A B&W sensor with no Bayer filter still obeys Nyquist theory. The Bayer filter is not the source of or reason for the application of Nyquist theory. Nyquist describes the sampling rate necessary to digitize a given maximum signal frequency. In a visual system the signal would be a change in tone. Traditionally we describe and measure this as line pairs per millimeter, which is really one black line (signal) against one white line (background). To reliably detect a given frequency of lpmm you need to have slightly more than twice as many pixels. Not 3x or 4x, but 2 and some fraction. 2.2x is sufficient and is the multiplier used in CD audio.
    Nyquist does not mean that a 10 MP sensor is "really" a 5 MP sensor. This is a confusion of terms. A 10 MP sensor is always a 10 MP sensor. Nyquist tells you how to determine the analog signal resolution of your 10 MP digital sensor. Saying that Nyquist means a 10 MP sensor is really a 5 MP sensor would be like saying that a 30 centimeter ruler is really a 12 centimeter ruler because of the 0.39x conversion factor to inches. That's how you convert to inches, but the centimeter measure is the centimeter measure. It doesn't change.
    You do not apply the Nyquist conversion again if there's a Bayer filter in front. Bayer alters the color value sampled at each pixel, but light is still sampled at each and every pixel, so your sampling rate does not change. For example, a Canon 10D has 135 pixels per mm. Nyquist theory says the maximum resolution of the sensor should be around 60 lpmm. If the Bayer filter in front of the sensor cuts this in half again, then we should only expect to get around 30 lpmm from a 10D. Norman Koren has published test results for the 10D and it resolves to 60 lpmm (http://www.normankoren.com/EOS-10D_3.html). The Bayer filter is not cutting resolution. (For that matter, the anti aliasing filter isn't doing any harm to resolution either, in this case.) If you removed the Bayer filter, you would still have a maximum resolution of about 60 lpmm.
    Likewise, a foveon's megapixel rating (as given by Sigma) must be cut by a factor of three for the same reason.
    Foveon's rating needs to be cut by a factor of three because that's the multiplier they use for misleading advertising purposes. Sampling RGB at each pixel site brings small improvements in tonality and per pixel sharpness, and makes the system immune to rare situations where a Bayer sensor might misinterpret color in details near the Nyquist limit. But it does not change the hard reality that a density of X pixels can only sample and reliably detect a certain maximum Y spatial frequency.
    High resolution films are capable of well over 100 cycles per millimeter, far better than any current digital sensor on any 35mm sensor size digital camera.
    This is only true if the signal contrast is 1000:1. I am hard pressed to think of any real life subject which would present high frequency detail at a contrast of 1000:1. Further, on most films that contrast would produce a monochromatic result, no color or tone.
    We do sometimes find edge transitions in real life with that kind of contrast, but they occur at low frequency and are therefore easily resolved by either system. In the 35mm format, at 50 lpmm and higher you're basically talking about surface texture or small, repeating objects at a distance (foliage). These details do not occur at 1000:1 contrast. The details that do occur at 1000:1 contrast are relatively large, low frequency details, such as silhouettes against the sun, or edge transitions between objects with dramatically different reflectivity or lighting. There may be more than a 1000:1 contrast between regions of a scene with dramatically different lighting, but not between texture details which occur at 100 or even 50 lpmm.
    1.6:1 contrast tests are a much closer approximation of the average contrast of the kind of details found at high frequencies. Most films score in the 50-60 lpmm range on these tests. A few exceptional films score higher.
    Images from digital sensor cameras often look sharper than film because they hold contrast nearly up to their sampling limit, whereas contrast in film is already rolling off fast by then.
    This is true.
    Consumer scanners (mostly 4000 dpi) cannot fully capture all the information in film.
    Unless you're shooting high contrast, high frequency tests, consumer scanners are sufficient to capture all the detail in the vast majority of photographs. There are some situations where high frequency detail occurs with a contrast higher than 1.6:1, and therefore the film resolves more of that detail and more than the scanner can pick up. Anyone can demonstrate this with a B&W line chart and access to both a 4000 dpi scanner and a higher resolution scanner. But test charts not withstanding, those are rare situations. One also has to ask just how much that small amount of additional detail adds to viewer perception of the final print. People respond much more strongly to contrast in lower frequency details, and lenses are designed with that in mind.
    This kind of resolution enhancement is not possible with digital sensors, which are already close to the theoretical limit imposed by the number of sample points.
    The upper bound imposed on resolution is the same one for film and digital: optics and diffraction. If a digital 35mm sensor is made which hits the limits of the format, then those same limits are an upper bound for film. In other words no film will be able to magically out resolve this theoretical sensor. If film can achieve some high resolution under 1000:1 contrast, then a digital sensor can be built to do the same. P&S sensors are close to the limits imposed by optics, but 35mm sensors have a way to go.
    While I'm at it: Ken's article was a joke. If he intended it as anything other than a joke to draw traffic to his site, then someone needs to make 40x60 prints from 35mm Velvia and a 175 MP digital stitch and present them to him. Some how I doubt he would claim a 175 MP resolution for Velvia after that. Heck, you could change his tune with a print from a MF back or even a 5D mkII, assuming it's not purposely set to half resolution (see his review of the 5D mkII and his favorite settings).
     
  73. I think people duped into buying digital camera's had it easy. I did not practice my photography and thought it had lost it's spark for me for years as I bought little digital cameras and they just didn't ignite any passion. Then a year or two back, finally some digital cameras with reasonable images came out, I got one, now I'm back to film!!
    Let's face it we live in a mass produced world. People are led up the garden path by large corps and today not many people actually know how to cook to live, let alone people that have actually seen, for example, a whole fish on their plate with a head on it. In my home we eat whole food, we shoot film, we look back over our family snaps regularly, we go for walks outdoors in the forest. Most people sit at home, watch TV, play with their WII and take pictures of their socks and complain about how miserable their lives are and blame everyone but themselves.
    I'd bet that most people in the film forums on PN are exceptions to the latter group in more ways than one.
    Many of my favourite portraits were taken when film was not mass produced, people still managed to take pictures then, so film will never die as long as someone has a formula. The day that photography becomes harder, we'll all be better off as the passionate ones amongst us will no longer be lost in the chaff.
     
  74. Dennis,
    The current practice among camera makers in listing megapixels is somewhat deceptive with respect to describing the sensors. When they say 10 megapixels they do not mean that there are 10 million green sensors, 10 millions red sensors, and 10 million blue sensors. They mean that (if it is a Bayers sensor) there are 5 million green sensors, 2.5 million red sensors, and 2.5 million blue sensors. The three types of sensor are interleaved on the chip. They produce three images, a green image sampled at 5 megapixel, a red image sampled at 2.5 megapixel, and a blue image sampled at 2.5 megapixel. There are 10 million sampling points in total, but not for each color channel. Foveon is an exception to being interleaved, but they have their own deceptive pixel specification scheme.
    The Nyquist sampling theorem prevents the green image from having a resulotion any higher than that of a pure 5 megapixel green sensor. The Nyquist sampling theorem prevent the red image from having a resolution any higher than that of a 2.5 megapixel pure red senor. The Nyquist sampling theorem prevents the blue image from having a red image any higher than that of a 2.5 megapixel pure blue sensor. These are absolute hard and fast limits an no amount of image processing can ever restore information lost in the sampling process.
    As a side comment, the spatial resolution of a sensor (lines per mm) is determined by the number of of pixels and the sensor area. Those two parameters determine the sensor spacing, which in turn sets the upper resolution limit. Note: for a give aspect ratio there are three parameters. Sensor spacing, number of pixels, and sensor area. You can specify any two and the third is determined by the algebra.
    The camera processes the three separate rgb images an produces an output of an image of non-interleaved 10 megapixels in each color channel. It does this by interpolation, which basically means filling between the sampling points using a mathematical algorithm (i.e. a calculation with a built in guess as to what consitutes a valid value for the data in between the sampling points.) For example, the new image for green is composed of 10 million points, whereas the original green image was composed of 5 million points. In between those 5 million points there were some "missing" points, which were occupied by the red and blue sensors. There were no green sensors at the red and green points (foveon sensor being an exception), so there was no green information at those points, so they were "missing" in the original data array as far as green is concerned.
    Now, back to interpolation. The interpolation scheme tries to fills in the information between the original sampling points using some kind of educated guess. The educated guess is determined by the algorithm (i.e. calculation method) used to fill in the missing points. This is a form of image processing, and as already mentioned there is no image processing algorithm that can increase the resolution of an image beyond that set by the fineness of the sampling grid. Therefore, the 5 megapixel green image in the original data array can never be interpolated to give a true resolution of a 10 megapixel array. Any apparent resolution beyond the Nyquist limit is at best an interesting fiction. The increased apparent resolution may or may not correspond to the real image. Generally speaking it will not. One can assume that any spatial features smaller than those resolvable by the physical array (5 megapixels in the case of the green image) is an artifact of the computation and should not be considered real. (In some cases artifacts due to sampling can be larger than the sampling grid due to aliasing.)
    Now another word about the interpolation scheme: It may be that some schemes try to fill in the missing information in the green array by using information from the red and and blue arrays. The problem is that the red and blue arrays do not contain green information. Therefore, any attempt to fill in the missing information in the green array by using the red and blue arrays is doomed to failure because the information simply is not there to begin with. (I am ignoring a subtlety about overlapping spectral response between the sensor types. It turns out that this doesn't actually help.)
    I discussed this so far mainly in terms of the green array, which is the most favorable case because the green array samples at the highest density. However, the same general considerations apply to the red and blue arrays as well, except that they sample on a less dense sampling rate and are therefore even lower resolution than the green array.
    I need to go to work. I will discuss lens resolution and how that fits into this scheme later.
     
  75. Michael- how did your self-scanned and processed film go? You mentioned you were going to try it above? I'd like to see the difference you find and the trade off of time vs quality.

    The rest of this disucssion is pretty pointless.
     
  76. Roger your comment reminded me to finish it up so I did. My first impression was how scratched the color negatives were. Many spots and hair-like flaws as well. (How do they do that and why don't they show up on the photo CD? My B&W negs I process at home are very clean.) Anyway I scanned them on my Scan Dual 4 at the max 3200 resolution and down sampled to 5x7 at 300 dpi. Cleaned up the flaws, got rid of a colorcast in the whites and sharpened to taste. Verdict, due to the colorcast correction I liked my print from my Epson 2400 better than the Kodak print I recieived. Also the Moab Lasel Luster paper I used had a nicer looking texture and finish in my humble opinion. Verdict #2 In volume print film is only worth it if someone else is doing the work for you. Exceptions would be a photo that's really worth the time and bother of scanning. I find Reala's colors very pleasing.
     
  77. The current practice among camera makers in listing megapixels is somewhat deceptive with respect to describing the sensors. When they say 10 megapixels they do not mean that there are 10 million green sensors, 10 millions red sensors, and 10 million blue sensors.
    I know this, which should be apparent from my technical descriptions above.
    They mean that (if it is a Bayers sensor) there are 5 million green sensors, 2.5 million red sensors, and 2.5 million blue sensors. The three types of sensor are interleaved on the chip. They produce three images, a green image sampled at 5 megapixel, a red image sampled at 2.5 megapixel, and a blue image sampled at 2.5 megapixel.
    No, the sensor produces a single image. Luminance is sampled at every point. Chrominance is biased at each point in a known fashion (R, G, or B). By looking at the output from neighboring pixels and knowing the bias of each point, a computer can reconstruct the correct chroma value for each pixel.
    One key thing you have to realize is that we don't generally encounter truly pure red, green, or blue in the real world. If you photographed a specially designed chart with patterns in pure colors that were completely filtered by the Bayer mask then you might be able to show a significant resolution loss and/or significant color misinterpretation. I'm not sure how you would produce such a chart. For that matter I don't know if it's a valid assumption that Bayer masks act as hard and fast chroma filters. Does a green cell completely block wavelengths outside of its range, or only attenuate them? Even very expensive filters do not cut like a knife, so what's the wavelength overlap?
    At any rate, I know I've seen photographs of line charts printed in primary colors and the Bayer sensor DSLR still managed to resolve close to its predicted Nyquist limit. (I'm trying to find the reference.) This flies in the face of the idea that a Bayer sensor is only "half resolution."
    The Nyquist sampling theorem prevents the green image from having a resulotion any higher than that of a pure 5 megapixel green sensor.
    Again, Nyquist has nothing to do with Bayer or with color. Nyquist describes how to convert between digital sampling rates (in this case pixel density) and analog signal frequency (in this case lpmm). You didn't even use Nyquist theory correctly in the sentence above.
    Bayer does not limit a 10 MP camera to a "green resolution" of 5 MP. For one, detail perception is determined primarily by luminance, not chrominance, so it's not meaningful to discuss something like "green resolution." This has been known and put to good use in color video since the first color TVs to reduce the bandwidth necessary to transmit a full color image. For two, this implies that the camera cannot determine green chroma values for half the pixels. If that were true then a photograph of a leaf would be horribly noisy with red and blue pixels forming half of the leaf. That's not the case. Bayer looks at the luminance data for all the surrounding pixels and, knowing their chroma biases, can very effectively determine the correct chroma value for a given pixel. But every photo site samples luminance and contributes to resolution. Bayer only fails to resolve a detail or interpret a color under very narrow and specific circumstances. It simply does not "lose" half the resolution of the sensor array, and this can be easily demonstrated with any DSLR and a line chart.
    Now another word about the interpolation scheme: It may be that some schemes try to fill in the missing information in the green array by using information from the red and and blue arrays. The problem is that the red and blue arrays do not contain green information.
    This is only a problem in a theoretical world where only pure red, green, and blue are encountered and completely filtered by color masks. Real photographs do not meet this criterea.
     
  78. PS I took the SD card from my Canon G9 into the local CVS and had a few prints made just to see what they would look like. The machine only offered 4x6's without waiting an hour so I used that option. I was quite impressed with those as well. Much faster then editing and printing at home. Not for the fine art photographer but perfect for the family album or prints to pass out to friends.
     
  79. Film doesn't have rounding errors.
     
  80. Dear Daniel,
    I probably know as much about the Nyquist sampling theorem as almost anyone here. (I am sure there are a few exceptions, but likely not many.) I have published several peer reviewed papers in the scientific literature that used the Fourier transform, and in some of them I had to deal with the Nyquist limit, and also the somewhat related issue of the convolution theorem, so I am pretty familiar with the general concepts involved.
    On the issue of luminance, I will not dispute the notion that luminance resolution could, in some cases, be unexpectedly high. (By "unexpectedly" I mean taken in the context of my discussions above.) For example, in a perfectly black and white image there may be little or no luminance distinction between the red, green, and blue sensors, and the luminance resolution of a so-called 10 megapixel Bayer sensor might approach that of an ideal 10 megapixel sensor. By "10 megapixel ideal sensor" I mean one which detects red and green and blue at each of 10 megapixels. However, there ain't no free lunch. For example, I have not worked out the details, but I suspect that you may end up with lower choma resolution in those cases.
    It can easily be shown that a 10 megapixel Bayer sensor is not equivalent to a 10 megapixel sensor that samples r and g and b at each pixel by considering a special case. Consider an object composed of cyan, magenta, and yellow dots. The construct an object such that the dot-array of the object is in the same pattern as a Bayer sensor, according to the following specification. There are 5 megapixels of magenta dots. There are 2.5 megapixels of cyan dots. There are 2.5 megapixels of yellow dots. They are geometrically arranged in the same pattern as an RGB Bayer sensor, but with Magenta replacing the green position, cyan replacing the red position, and yellow replacing the blue position.
    Now, select an magnification and orientation of the camera such that the spacing of the dots of the object are imaged onto the sensor in a 1:1 relationship defined as follows: The each magenta dot of the object is imaged onto a green sensor of the Bayer array. Each cyan dot of the object is imaged onto a red sensor. Each Yellow dot is imaged onto a blue sensor. The bayer sensor in this case will produce a perfectly black image at every point. On the other hand, a sensor that separately detects r g and blue at every point on the array will image this as an interleaved set of magenta, cyan, and yellow dots. Clearly, the two types of sensor arrays are not equivalent.
    The example I give above is somewhat contrived because it the object does not satisfy the Nyquist limit of the sensor, but it is sufficient to prove that the two types of sensor are not equivalent. However, one can easily construct an object that does satisfy the Nyquist limit that will give a perfectly black image on a Bayer sensor but a series of resolved lines on a true rgb sensor. By "true rgb sensor" I mean one that simultaneously and separately detects r and g and b at each sensor point. I will point the way by discussing an object in which the magenta dots are modulated in intensity according to the following relative values: 1.0, 0.5, 0, 0.5, and 1.0 as you step along the array in the x-direction. This image has an overall value of 0.5 with an approximately sinusoidal pattern superimposed on it with a spatial period of 4 points, a spatial frequency that is 2X below the nyquist limit. A true RGB sensor will record the Magenta image correctly (a sinusoidal magenta pattern). However, a Bayer sensor of the same point spacing may record the Magenta image as perfectly black. One can modulate the Cyan and Yellow parts of the object by an analogous pattern. They may also be imaged as perfect black on a Bayer sensor, but a sinusoidal pattern of the appropriate colors on a true rgb sensor. There is no amount of image processing that you could apply to the (perfectly black) Bayer image in this case which would restore the true image, but the true rgb sensor gives a true image. You may change the phasing of the system (shift the image a bit). The true rgb sensor will continue to generate a true image, regardless of the phasing, but the Bayer sensor will show various distortions of the image, depending on how the object is phased with respect to the image space.
    As I indicated in an earlier post, interpolation may give a good representation of the true image in some cases, but as shown in the examples discussed above it cannot be counted on to be correct. Your last post has already come close to acknowledging this by waffling on the topic when you say "Bayer only fails to resolve a detail or interpret a color under very narrow and specific circumstances." By contrast, the true rgb sensor gives a true representation of the image in all cases that satisfy the Nyquist sampling theorem.
    Alan
     
  81. One more thing. There is a subtle flaw in my description of the arrays and whether they satisfy the Nyquist sampling theorem. See if you can spot it.
    However, the discussion is still sufficient to show that a Bayer array is not equivalent to a true rgb array. Also, it is possible to construct other examples showing that the two arrays are not equivalent which are not subject to the subtle flaw referred to above.
     
  82. Here is an interesting Wikipedia link that discusses the demosaicing process, along with an example.
     
  83. To add to Alan's comments, no digital camera I ever tested has reached even 2/3rds of the resolution rated in its megapixel count. This is, even the demosaicing logic oriented to boost detail-luminance resolution at the expense of chroma resolution, can't pass this mark. Check any resolution test from any camera at DPreview to validate.
    Yes, a 10 megapixel count has effectively 10 megapixels. People are duped (in many cases they dup themselves even if the manufacturer is honest) into reading it as 10 megapixels OF RESOLUTION - which is not.
    Also, comments from people arguing -just to feel better with his dismissal of film- that a 4000dpi Nikon Coolscan captures all the information available in Velvia for normal contrast scenes found in the real world: Have no experience, no velvia shots in front of them, microscope, scanners or light tables, etc,
    The results I posted several weeks ago of cans of tomato, spices, flowers and resolution charts using 35mm Velvia, TMX and Ektar and a Canon 40D shown massive difference in between just the scans of the films and the digital picture. When looked on the light table, this difference was like comparing my camera cell phone with the 40D.
     
  84. I probably know as much about the Nyquist sampling theorem as almost anyone here.

    Alan, with due respect, you have misused and misapplied the theorem in this thread. Or at least my interpretation of your posts leads me to believe you have.

    It can easily be shown that a 10 megapixel Bayer sensor is not equivalent to a 10 megapixel sensor that samples r and g and b at each pixel by considering a special case.

    I never said it was. But you claimed a 10 MP Bayer sensor is really a 5 MP sensor. This is false. A 10 MP sensor is a 10 MP sensor. And the Bayer filter simply does not cause a loss of 50% of the resolving power of a 10 MP array.

    Consider an object composed of cyan, magenta, and yellow dots.

    No thanks. I'm not into complex theoreticals with no observational data to back them up. (I've had my fill of mental games from another unrelated thread.) I can imagine a specially designed test that could exploit the Bayer pattern to cause a large loss of resolving power. But the world we photograph is not composed of such theoretical (and extremely difficult to build/align/use) test charts, so it's pointless to appeal to such a mental construct and argue that 10 MP sensors are really 5 MP sensors.
     
  85. To add to Alan's comments, no digital camera I ever tested has reached even 2/3rds of the resolution rated in its megapixel count...Check any resolution test from any camera at DPreview to validate.
    Do you understand how DPreview's chart relates to pixel density and Nyquist? Because I just checked both the Canon 50D and 40D and they resolve well over 90% of the expected Nyquist limit. This is in line with Norman Koren's tests.
    Yes, a 10 megapixel count has effectively 10 megapixels. People are duped (in many cases they dup themselves even if the manufacturer is honest) into reading it as 10 megapixels OF RESOLUTION - which is not.
    You're mixing terms and definitions just like Alan. MP is a measure of resolution and 10 MP = 10 MP. There are other measures of resolution which are tied to subject matter versus machine design. One 10 MP sensor design might resolve more lpmm than another 10 MP sensor design, but this does not mean the first is not really 10 MP.
    It's like racing two 300 hp cars and saying the slower one is not "really 300 hp." Yes it is. But how hp translates into maxium speed involves other variables.
    Also, comments from people arguing -just to feel better with his dismissal of film- that a 4000dpi Nikon Coolscan captures all the information available in Velvia for normal contrast scenes found in the real world: Have no experience, no velvia shots in front of them, microscope, scanners or light tables, etc,
    I've shot plenty of Velvia, scanned it and had it scanned, and viewed it under a microscope. And you are way out of line with your last sentence. If you want to have a friendly conversation, have one. If not, leave.
    The results I posted several weeks ago of cans of tomato, spices, flowers and resolution charts using 35mm Velvia, TMX and Ektar and a Canon 40D shown massive difference in between just the scans of the films and the digital picture. When looked on the light table, this difference was like comparing my camera cell phone with the 40D.
    I never participated in those threads, but at first glance something is fishy with your tests. I've never seen a DSLR image so pixelated. While 35mm Ektar and TMX should out resolve an APS sensor 40D, some aspect of your test is really skewing the results and increasing the gap. I don't have time to review old threads and try and figure out what that might be.
     
  86. If I remember correctly, you did participate in some discussion. Mauro kindly ask you to present your experience related to digital SLR, scanner, and microscope. Just want to set the record straight.
    Richard
     
  87. Daniel, I did ask you to present your proof and you never did.

    In my case though, I shared the raw files and the actual film for people to verify.
    "Also, comments from people arguing -just to feel better with his dismissal of film- that a 4000dpi Nikon Coolscan captures all the information available in Velvia for normal contrast scenes found in the real world: Have no experience, no velvia shots in front of them, microscope, scanners or light tables, etc,
    I've shot plenty of Velvia, scanned it and had it scanned, and viewed it under a microscope. And you are way out of line with your last sentence. If you want to have a friendly conversation, have one. If not, leave."
    Daniel, are you saying that you don't see more information under the microscope than with the Coolscan? or are you agreeing that Velvia has more information than the Coolscan captures? Would you mind posting your results either way?
     
  88. Odd. I have no problem seeing more detail under a magnifier or microscope than in a 4000ppi scan. Of course, if the cameras optics are a weak link, then one won't. With good optics, I can easily see more detail in an Imacon scan at 6300ppi than I can in the 4000ppi scan. The fact that many of us can means that those who can't must have weak optics....
    As well, if a 10mp Bayer sensor IS INDEED 10mp in effective resolution, then I'd like to hear why monochrome sensors outresolve Bayers sensors by a good margin. There was a good reason the old Kodak DCS 760M outresolved the 6mp Bayer sensor.....some of us know why.
     
  89. Digital cameras are helping to save the computer industry. And since most photogs are such gadgeteers and always looking for a more magical magic bullet, the money will keep rolling in for companies offering digi-goods. I'm happy with my 2004 Fuji 8M FinePix rangefinder for casual and family color shots, but for serious B&W landscape work, I'll bring the Linhof Tech IV or Mamiya RB67-S and process / print the negs myself to Silver Gelatin Fiber Paper.
     
  90. Daniel,
    You said "MP is a measure of resolution and 10 MP = 10 MP. "
    From your comment I am guessing that you also believe in upsampling as a way to increase resolution. It does not. It only increases the number of points in the image.
    The number of megapixels in a final image sets an upper limit on the resolution an image can have, but other than setting an upper limit it has virtually no relationship to resolution. Furthermore, if one digital image is derived from another (such as by demosaicing of a Bayer image, essentially a special form of upsampling) the upper limit of resolution in the final image is determined by the weakest link in the chain, i.e. the image that had the fewest sampling points.
     
  91. Michael,
    These comments resonate with me: "..My thoughts behind the post were about how easy it is to drop off a roll of print film and get a nice set of prints and a photo CD handed back. All done, very little fuss.." And, "..I just think print film is becoming a forgotten tool in the bag.."
    I've never strayed from film, but got very caught up in scanning and printing on an Epson 2200. Then about two years ago, I shot a few rolls of print film of a kids' athletic field day. Had them developed by a good local lab, 4x6 inch prints.. It was an epithany, as I was reminded of what excellent results 35mm film developed and printed competently, can produce! And of course, how easy and even economical this is when you count your time and materials.
    When we see how many seemingly endless hoops people will jump through in trying to make the argument for digital capture, and the kind of easily obtainable results from what you originally mention, it's no contest, at least for many of my objectives. Sure, if I want to make an occasional enlargement of a special print for framing, I'll scan and print..
    Also, after years of shooting E-6 and color print, I just tried my first couple of rolls of B&W with a rangefinder. Kodak T-Max 400. Incredible stuff! I've never had so much pure fun with photography as with this combination.
     
  92. Careful Jeff, once you start B&W in a rangefinder....there's no turning back. My DSLRs come out a lot less now that I work with my rangefinder and 4x5.
    Film.....is real!
     
  93. Jeff my first love is B&W film developed at home. Mostly scanned and every once in a while I break out the enlarger. Usually on an old calssic camera as well. Right now I have a Rolleicord VA and a Rollei 35s. As Dave says above. It's real.
     
  94. Dave, Interesting! Yes, this seems absolutely addicting!
    Michael, I may well attempt to learn to do this at home if my quantity increases a lot. I've gotten outstanding results from Philadelphia Photographic (mail order), though, and their prices are pretty decent.
    There is definitely something special about this photo genre:)! Do you ever scan and print BO? I have the Epson 2200 and a good dedicated film scanner.
     
  95. Michael,
    This pic is on Fuji Super HQ (4 bucks per pack of 4) with Nikon F601M ($30 on e-Bay) and processed in Wal-Mart. I adjusted levels and applied Unsharp mask using my 6yr old laptop and PhotoShop V.6 which I got for free. I spent 5 min total time for editing. A friend of my lately spend over $700 to accrue his D40 kit. His is a low level armature and when he came in local Ritz Camera store, the sale person told him that the digital is much cheaper, convenient, reliable (!), revolutionary innovated and it’s only way to go in our bright human future (well, there’s no film cameras to compare anyhow!). After knowing how much money and time I spend to create those pics, my friend thinks he was duped. I don’t blame the sale person much. If he was trying to say something appraising film photography he would get fired immediately. And not only this salesman, there are a lot of commercial companies and pro photographers whom the digital manufacturers made their mouth shut. That’s how the digital is winning the battle against the film, that how they are making their high record profits. They just don’t care about the art of photography; they hate our spirit and passion. Those things are holding them down of making even higher profits. But, there’s nothing unusual – it’s the world we are living in.
    I won’t be surprise if in the beginning of next year Nikon will announce about ceasing production of all film related equipment (2 cameras and 3 scanners). After that the entire cultural world will be duped.
    00RuZJ-100901684.jpg
     
  96. Well of course you've been duped. Doh!
    The manufacturers spend hundreds of millions in advertising to convince the Zombie Nation how much better their pathetic lives would be if only they would by a shiny new camera. (Zombie obediently buys camera, discovers it doesn't automatically take Adams quality pics. In a stupendous leap of irrational, magical thinking, said Zombie deduces that it must all be the camera's fault! (Zombie Nation loooves to point the finger of blame.) "Good news brother! All you need is an upgrade!" <Camera company deftly distracts Zombie with MTF and MP charts.> Zombie: "Ugnh!, must upgrade!" Thus is born a new convert to the Pixel Praiser Assembly. Pass the loot, brother!)
    Now, who do ya blame???? The manufacturers for telling porkies, or the Zombies for stupidly lapping up the unending stream of lies? (Well, OK, blame 'em both!)
    PS, I looove Ken Rockwell, precisely because he pisses off the types of people I don't generally like. (Hint: He clearly doesn't take himself all that seriously; some folks around here could learn something from the man.)
     
  97. Jeff I have a Epson 2400 and it gives me great B&W prints. I scan my B&W negatives with a Konica/Minolta Scan dual 4. Contrasty negs don't scan as well as thinner negs. It's easy to take a low contrast b&W negative and then adjust levels in PS for great tones. BTW developing your own B&W film at home is not that hard nor do you need a lot of equipment..
     
  98. Thanks Michael. If memory serves, I think the big advantage that the 2400 offered over the 2200, was greater ability for B&W. Good to know about the contrast factor.. these prints I've gotten back so far seem to have incredible contrast (in a very pleasing way), so maybe this is not the best film for trying to print my own enlargements.. I will definitely do more reading in the various forums to try to learn more.
    Roman, I couldn't agree with you more. Also, I have the n6006, the US version of your camera. They are incredible picture taking machines, and as you point out, great bargains. I just hope that you are overly pessimistic on Nikon dropping those items.
    Greg, I think you make some very cogent observations!
     
  99. Jeff,
    I use an Epson 3800 for color and a 7600 loaded with Carbon Pigment for B&W. My scanner for 35mm is an old Minolta Scan Dual IV. As I prefer working with Ilford HP5 and 800 and Neopan 1600 @ 1000 or 1250, resolution isn't really what I worry about too much. The biggest I do B&W 35mm is typically 14x21....and the Scan Dual IV is sufficient for that.
    For color, the New Ektar 100 is incredible. Crops I've printed from 16x24 show very fine, tight, sharp grain....but little of it. For positives, I stick with Astia.
    Have fun....and spread the word to help people avoid being duped!
     
  100. Dave, thanks for the good info. Obviously, I have a lot to learn regarding B&W, but it sure is fun! I have a pretty decent scanner, the Nikon Coolscan IV, and am pretty experienced with it and with printing color. I wouldn't want to print anything even as large as you mentioned, maybe up to 8x12, or so..
    I don't have the time right now, but as I have the 2200, which is apparently a bit limited as far as its ability to print B&W as well as the newer models, would you recommend looking into BO (black only) printing with it? I'm only vaguely familiar with this method, but remember reading about it a while ago, I think the very good article was by Curtis Jones.
    Yes, I've heard great things about the new Ektar, and look forward to trying it. My favorite positive film is e100g, and I've shot a fair amount, but I've heard good things about Astia, too.
    I'll have to check into the B&W emulsions you mentioned, too. Don't worry, I definitely spread the word- it's all I can do to contain my enthusiasm for the results I get, especially with this 1970 vintage rangefinder and the T-Max 400! I wondered what you thought of this film, and your reasoning for the ones that you mentioned?
     
  101. T-Max 400 is "too" good in my opinion. I like the look of the older style films....with more grain and greater latitude. The problem I have with T-Max 400 is that the grain is so much finer than Tri-X or HP5 that I simply don't like it as much for the gritty street look I'm after. For me, I've been shooting Ilford HP5 souped up to 800iso in HC110, Dil B.....and Neopan 1600 at 1000 or 1250 in Ilford DDX. These films gives me the contrast and grain that I'm after at 10x15 and 14x21.
    As to printing, check out the MIS Carbon inksets for the 2200. As well, you can look into the Peizography K7 inks. I believe they are still made for the 2200....which will make gorgeous B&W for 11x14 from your Nikon scanner.
    I've been enjoying a Minolta X700 I bought recently.....it's so much lighter and smaller than any DSLR I have.....and it's actually about the same as a Leica M7 in size......but I can afford the Minolta ;-)
     
  102. Jeff for scanning B&W I tend to open up the shadows by shooting most films at about 1/2 the box speed and then cut the development time a bit under the recommended time. This gives me a negative that's easy on the scanner.
     
  103. Dave and Michael, I appreciate the good info!
    Interesting about the grain.. I wonder though, if I'm shooting mostly portraits of friends, pleasant candids, buildings, and occasional landscapes, not at all gritty work or serious street subjects, might this T-Max 400 be a good choice? The reason I ask is number one, the results so far, and number two, I have a $25.00 rebate form from Kodak towards the purchase of at least $125.00 worth of their pro B&W films, but the film must be purchased by 1/15/09.. You can probably get this also if you don't already have it.
    Given that I like the T-Max 400, I've also thought about getting a few rolls of the T-Max 100 with this order for landscape shots (and possible enlargements). Any thoughts on that, or any other Kodak films to consider given my subject matter? I'm very hesitant to buy this much B&W as I'm brand new to it all, but I do like what I've seen so far, a lot.
    Dave, I hear you about the smaller and lighter cameras! My Yashica rangefinder is not all that small, but maybe in a relative sense. I think that is part of why I've fallen for it so much. I hope you enjoy your X700 just as much! Given the results these machines produce, it's very hard to justify the competition, imho:).
    Michael, I haven't scanned any of the developed film yet, but hope to do so soon.. In all honesty, this sounds a bit more complicated than I had hoped, at least the part about originally shooting at different iso's when intending to scan.. I guess if you're printing traditionally, you would not do this, right..? I'm a bit worried to attempt this given the great prints received back from Philadelphia Photographic, which were shot at the stated 400 box speed.. let alone my total ignorance at this point regarding developing technique :)! Any chance you could elaborate on this a bit?
    Thanks again for helping this neophyte.. Oh boy, do I have a lot to learn, but as you can tell, I'm hooked!
     
  104. Jeff the new Tmax 400 is the best all around film I have used. Very fine grain and from my limited experience with it can be shot at box speed. Not really complicated. You most often don't want blocked shadows. Many films when shot at box speed have just that which is why folks may shoot 400 iso film at 200. This adds a stop and opens the shadows. Highlights are controlled by the development time. If Kodak says develop for 7.5 minutes I may cut 30 seconds to a minute off the time holding back the highlights. For traditonal darkroom prints this may cause the contrast to be a bit low but it works great for scanning.
     
  105. Michael, Thanks, that helps a good deal. So, and I realize that this could be a loaded question in that I imagine many have varying opinions, but would you say that you prefer the prints from your scanning, and digital printing, over those made traditionally in the darkroom..? I guess even if the answer is not completely unequivocal, so long as the Epson prints are plenty "good enough", maybe the fact that we can produce them this way might be a big plus..? Also, what sort of papers do you prefer?
    Also, given that I have the older 2200 and still print color regularly with it, might it not be smarter at some point to simply get one of the newer generation printers that are reputed to do a better job with black and white printing? I haven't looked into Dave's suggestion regarding the different inksets, and perhaps I'm wrong about this, but I'm thinking that using them might complicate things for also printing color with this printer?
     
  106. Jeff,
    If you're going to start using the MIS Carbon pigments, or the Piezography, your printer should be considered a B&W only model. It would be a true pain to flush the system out....not to mention the cost of wasted ink. You'd be best to have two printers for that......that is why I use a 3800 for mainly color....and a 7600 for B&W.
     
  107. Yes many varying options. Which developer you use, How much agitation time, your actual exposure vs what your your equipment reads etc. You need a starting point and work from there. Kodak's D76 developer is a standard and you can develop Tmax 400 for 7 minutes at 68 degrees and agitate 10 seconds in the beginning and 10 seconds at the top of every minute. I developed one roll in Tmax developer (1 part developer and 4 parts water) and used the same times and temps as above with fine results. Tmax is a liquid and quite easy to use. Shoot a experimental roll, scan and see what you get. If the deepest shadows are less than black cut back on the exposure and if the highlights show signs of overexposure cut back on the development time. Anyway it's a lot of fun. I've been developing B&W film for 3-4 years now and have continued to improve my technique.
     
  108. Forgot to add that in general my digital prints are better then my dark room efforts but I have far more experience using a digital work flow.
     
  109. Well my 2 cents say all this talk about what is superior or not could better have been spent on taking photographs. Use what you feel comfortable with and what gives you the quality that is acceptable to you.
    00RwaD-101810184.jpg
     
  110. Rick says "Well my 2 cents say all this talk about what is superior or not could better have been spent on taking photographs"
    Rick I'm an outdoor photographer so in the evening when the sun has set I'd rather be talking aabout photographs. But that's just me.
     
  111. Dave, Thanks, that's kind of what I was anticipating. I'm hoping before long to be able to obtain a 3800, or at least the 2400, and/or their latest equivalent.
    Michael, I really appreciate the detailed info. As I mentioned, I'm also fairly experienced with film scanning/ color digital printing, and it's exciting to hear that you're getting results that are personally pleasing with B&W digital printing! To me, that means it's worth doing the experimenting that you mentioned. I've heard very good things concerning digital prints from scanned film from a friend who is very experienced in the traditional B&W darkroom, as well.
    Rick, that's a really nice image. But I second Michael's sentiments in that I feel the central point of this thread was well worth discussing, as I think many overlook what we talked about as far as the excellent, easy results that can be obtained from simply shooting film. And I've learned a lot in Michael's and Dave's patient and thorough answers to my particular questions, which I think are at least related to the main topic.
     
  112. Still plenty of oportunities for photos in the evening for outdoor photographers.
    00RwoZ-101931584.jpg
     
  113. Rick says:
    Well my 2 cents say all this talk about what is superior or not could better have been spent on taking photographs. Use what you feel comfortable with and what gives you the quality that is acceptable to you.
    This is true to some extent. BUT one thing that is lurking in the (underexposed) shadows of this discussion is the fact that maybe in 10 years, maybe sooner, maybe later, those of us who love film (color neg's convenience and ease and computerlessness, and b&w neg's darkroom wonders and computerlessness and Kodachrome -- say no more!) MAY NOT BE ABLE to use what we love because it may be gone.
    And we all know that part of the reason for that will be that many folks, even casual snapshooters, have been duped about the ease and cheapness of digital. THAT is one very good reason to push back against the untrue digital propaganda (not the truth that for many, digital is best) and to support film with our money and enthusiasm.
    If, of course, anyone is still reading this thread :).
    Jeff Glass
     
  114. Jeff Glass the problem might be that film cameras go away before film. Adorama lists approx. 25 film cameras models for sale not counting Holgas. Many of the 25 are 35mm rangefinders and a number are high priced Hassys and Rollei's that are out of most folks budgets. I expect those pricey MF's to go away shortly.
     
  115. I just returned a digital p+s camera.It had 8 megapixels but wasnt 4x sharper than my 2.1 cybershot.It also forced you to focus from an lcd screen not the viewfinder which i find extremely awkward and unstable-no wonder they all have image stabilizer.
    My d70 dslr runs out of battery after i blast 400 pics in about 2 days.My af d24mm lens from my old nikon fe camera is a 35mm lens when mounted on it.My e series 50mm wont meter on it.Id have to spend 1000$ on lenses to equal my fe setup.My d70 got dust on the sensor and now i have to buy some expensive cleaner kit.Hooper camera told me 250$ for that kit.If i dont clean it properly i can ruin it!Wow, this sounds just like a microsoft operating system.
    My nikon fe camera setup takes 24mm ,50mm and 75-150 shots.The outfit minus the zoom weighs a lot less than the d70.The battery lasts for years and its replacement is cheap and light.So if im backpacking i dont have to worry about being near a plug outlet.I dont have to worry about dust when changing lenses like the d70.I have never printed my digital shots on my printer nor am i interested in that messy and expensive process.I hate computer printers and their delicate,cumbersome,finicky ways.
    Overall the digital advantage is only in the amount of pics you can take imo.Everything else is a total pain in the backside and the wallet.
    I think a lot of people have been fooled by the digital hype especially non-pros.
    If you are an amateur you should use old equipment.I have learned my lesson with digital.I will take a cheap old ps camera to take 100s of the superfluous wasted digital shots that is inherent in digital photog. and for the beautiful shots i will pull out the old FE to capture a quality image.
    What you spend on film and processing is outstripped by the initial high cost of digital lenses and bodies,batteries,sensor cleaners.With manual cameras you dont have to worry about how delicate you have to be with the camera or when the batteries will run out.You can get an fe with 50mm lens for 100$ on ebay.Add a 24mm lens for 250$ and for 350$ you will have the best non large format setup for landscape photography.Simple,no headaches, no damn upgrades,no hassles,no costly additional expenses.
     
  116. In short: YES, You have been misleaded, duped.
    CRITIQUE of digital - this is a very that thing, shortage of which caused this duping of photo-amateurs and fleecing of public common view.
    Professional detailed critique - that was needed recent years for detecting the LIE carefully hidden between pixels of modern electronic digital cameras, for separating it from the exclusive documentary TRUTH of photo-art, and for revelation of public awareness of this enemy.
     

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