It all comes down to the print

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by mauro_franic, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. People often wonder how film holds in resolution and sharpness on large prints.
    Even though photographers who work with film and large prints share their experience, there is no substitute to observing the print results first hand.
    So here it is. I created a letter sized 360dpi test sheet everyone can print at home and make observations with the print on hand.
    This test will show how detail holds on prints of different sizes from different MF films scanned with a Coolscan 9000. You can also observe what a 10MP DSLR looks like in comparison.
    If you are interested, just click on the link below, save the picture to your computer, open it in photoshop and set the image size to 360dpi (8.5x11) and print it on your printers maximum resolution.
    http://shutterclick.smugmug.com/Photography/Resolution-and-Diffraction/6302153_PLzKe#836991470_Gx2FJ-O-LB
    Enjoy.
    00WErk-236577684.jpg
     
  2. That's an interesting graphic. So you can really see the difference, even at 8.5x11.
     
  3. Yes. Although I think the difference becomes material over 11x14.
    Isn't it good to see for yourself the detail of MF film printed at 30x40.... It is truly great.
    Next step will be for me to add a new 60" printer to my studio.
     
  4. So a print made with less enlargement (medium format to a given size) looks better than one with more enlargement (APS-C to a given size).
    I bet if you tested against large format, you'd find that large format fares even better.
    This isn't about how well film holds up. This is showing that the less you enlarge, the better resolution you end up with.
     
  5. Eric, a 10MP crop sensor 40D with the 60mm macro is not limited by the lens or the format. This is as good as a 10 MP DSLR can give you. Especially since we are no measuring DOF or high ISO noise.

    A 20MP DSLR only has 35% more linear resolution than a 10MP DSLR. This is a minimal difference. Immaterial for large prints.
    About this exercise; (how well scanned film holds detail when printed large):

    For one moment try to ignore the DSLR, since it is leaps below MF film.

    Just look at how well the detail holds on 30x40 MF fim. That is the point. You are holding it in your hand.
     
  6. If you want to know how 35mm film prints at 16x20, just look at the 30x40 print in your hand from MF film (approximately the same).
     
  7. You can see how digital compares to 135 b&w in Erwin Puts' comparison of Delta 100, Orthopan, and the M9, linked and discussed here.
     
  8. Most people by now know that many 35mm films (especially B&W) outresolve DSLRs and Leica digitals.
    The goal of posting the test sheet I created is for people to print it at their homes and learn first hand how film preserves detail on large prints. This is a question that many people seem to ask nowadays when moving from digital to film. Hopefully having this test readily available for them will help.
     
  9. Yup it comes down to the print. I wonder how small prints compared (4x6 optically printed) vs digital 4x6 print from any camera including 50MP camera.
     
  10. Bebu, I cant help you answer that at home directly without mailing you the prints. Both prints are phenomenal if they are well crafted. By years of observing and scanning old optical prints for restoration I can tell you a top optical print has the edge.
     
  11. What magnification is represented on the test print at 8x11"? Rephrasing, what is the original size and resolution of each test patch? Please describe the process by which you created this test print, starting with the resolution chart (i.e., the geometry). If there is a link to this information, I didn't see it on your website.
     
  12. THE SHOT:
    The shots are from a previous test. They were taken as follows:

    A resolution chart was shot in a studio using an RZ67+110m lens (at f11 I recall) and multiple revolving backs for the different films. The same chart was shot with a Canon 40D+60mm macro at ISO100 (at f5.6 I recall). All shots were composed so the resolution chart occupied the same proportion on the frame.
    The resolution chart fits 6.9 times in the height of the film frame and 7.2 times in the 40D frame. They are as close as I could compose them.
    The chart represents 100x lines per pic height You can multiply the number in the chart by 690 on the film shots to translate into lines per pic height. You can multiply by 720 in the 40D shot.
    The 40D resolves just under mark 3. Aprox 2000 lines per pic height.
    Scanned TMAX film resolved btw mark 11 and 12. Aprox 8000 lines per pic height.
    (TMAX film under the microscope resolved mark 17. Aprox 12000 lines per pic height.)
     
  13. THE TEST PRINT:
    On the test print, the 24x30 mark represents the scan at 100% (360 dpi from a Coolscan gives you aprox 24x30 print).
    The rest of the film and 40D squares were sampled proportionally (up or down) as needed to produce prints of the several sizes at 360 dpi.
     
  14. What is the size of the resolution target? Were the shots taken with the long axis of the film/image in the same direction as the long axis of the resolution target? Did you compose to fill the frame on one axis, or contain the entire resolution target (perhaps you could post a representative thumbnail of the entire 6x7 shot and from the 40D)? How do you define "lines per pic(ture) height"?
    Please bear with me. This is a good presentation, I'm just trying to understand what it means and how it could be reproduced.
     
  15. What is the size of the resolution target?
    The size of the resolution target was slightly over 12x18. The distance to the target was set to make the target fir aprx 7 times vertically so it could register both the resolution of the DSLR on the low end and the resolution of the film on the high end without being out of boundary.
    ___
    Were the shots taken with the long axis of the film/image in the same direction as the long axis of the resolution target?
    Yes.
    ___
    Did you compose to fill the frame on one axis, or contain the entire resolution target (perhaps you could post a representative thumbnail of the entire 6x7 shot and from the 40D)?
    The target fit about 7 times in the frame. I think this is the full shot with the 40D: http://shutterclick.smugmug.com/Photography/Resolution-and-Diffraction/6302153_PLzKe#397417081_DDt6c-X2-LB
    ___
    How do you define "lines per pic(ture) height"?
    This is how many lines are resolved in the height of the picture (e.g. the 40D resolves aprox 2000 lines from top to bottom of the frame).
     
  16. It all comes down to the print​
    That is simply not true. While it is free to choose to be as restricted/narrow minded as we want, we cannot assume that is ALL there is. Obviously, one can choose to work only with B/W films, choose to use large format only, choose to do lanscapes only, ..., for examples. But dont assume that photography is ALL about B/W large format lanscapes.
    1. I dont consider positive slides as "prints". Some may like these slides more than prints. One reason is that they have better dynamic range than prints
    2. More and more people are looking at "pictures" on "monitors". They buy digital picture frames, they store their favorite pictures on computers, cell phones, and key chains. Even here, in photo.net, we discuss about many pictures of our members, we vote and give awards to many members for their pictures posting on this site. My question is how many of us say "wait! Let me PRINT the picture out first, with my best printer before I can say it is a good or bad picture" or we just zoom in( and out) on our monitor and say "Wow, this is the picture of the month!"
    3. I believe our habit of consider the "prints" are the pictures comes from the fact that in the beginning we dont see what we captured until we print it out. That way of thinking may be "printed" (or burnt) in some of us. This is similar to the reason why some of us dont want to read books (including comic books, newspaper,...) uploaded on the internet (they need to print them out before they can read), dont consider RAP is any kind of music,...
     
  17. Mauro,
    Comparing medium format film against APS-C digital makes as much sense as comparing the output of a 5DII against a Minox.
    Cheers,
    b&
     
  18. Ben, comparing APS-C to a MF camera like a Mamiya 7ii for example, involves two cameras of the same size. He simply used a RZ67. Pretty easy concept to grasp.
    Try this instead....use a FF 5D2 and compare it to RZ. The RZ still wins.
    Funny, people have no problem comparing a FF 24mp Nikon to a tiny 35mm rangefinder like a Leica for comparison. I guess it's only unfair if the results don't agree with your biases.
     
  19. Ben, comparing APS-C to a MF camera like a Mamiya 7ii for example, involves two cameras of the same size.
    16x24 mm vs 56x64 mm is the same size? Are you implying a Leica would hold up against 6x7? We are so not worthy ;-)
     
  20. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Note from moderator:
    Let's be more careful of personal comments against posters. I have already deleted a few. Any more will result in the entire post being deleted.
     
  21. Edward Ingold [​IMG][​IMG], Apr 15, 2010; 03:16 p.m.
    Ben, comparing APS-C to a MF camera like a Mamiya 7ii for example, involves two cameras of the same size.
    16x24 mm vs 56x64 mm is the same size? Who's nuts? Are you implying a Leica would hold up against 6x7? We are so not worthy ;-)​
    If you look at the camera BODIES, they are about the same size. Who cares if the sensor or film inside is smaller or larger than the other. That has been an excuse for years for people getting upset their mighty, multi-thousand dollar DSLR couldn't match the quality of a $300 MF film body.
     
  22. People often wonder how film holds in resolution and sharpness on large prints.​
    But that is not what you have shown. You have shown that MF film beats APS-C digital. But has anyone claimed otherwise? Surely a better comparison would be 5DII vs MF because some have claimed parity or 5DII against 35mm film (plenty of those have been done)
    A 20MP DSLR only has 35% more linear resolution than a 10MP DSLR. This is a minimal difference. Immaterial for large prints.​
    Then why, oh why, is 5DII seen as being so superior in all respects to APS-C in larger prints? Either I misunderstand everything I have read on this, or everyone who says this is wrong, or you are bringing your own biases to the extrapolation.
     
  23. Dave,
    A typical luxury yacht is about the same size as a fighter jet, yet the jet can go about 50 times faster than the yacht.
    A Canon Digital Rebel is about the same size as a Canon film Rebel, and yet they both produce results of comparable quality. On the other hand, a Canon 5DII is about the same size as a Canon 3-series film body, and the 5DII blows away the film body in terms of image quality.
    Compare a modern medium format digital back with its film equivalent, and they’re about the same size. But you have to go to large format film before the image quality compares with the medium format digital.
    So, again…which medium has the size and quality advantage?
    By all means, shoot film. It’s a wonderful medium. There’s lots of great art yet to be created with film, and I’d love to see you be the one to create some of it. But do please let’s be realistic when making comparisons, okay?
    Cheers,
    b&
     
  24. The point it is not to compare the resolution of MF film to a DSLR. Although my Mamiya 7II, as Dave pointed out, is the same size as a DSLR. As you can tell the differences in resolution are not in the same order of magnitude and cannot be compared.
    The point of this exercise is, for those interested, to create a handy tool for people to be able to definitely answer the question of how detail hold on large prints from film.
    By SIMPLY PRINTING A LETTER SIZED TEST at home, people can now answer that question decisevly and first hand while holding the print to your eyes.
    I never saw a tool like this shared before; so I hope it becomes valuable for many people.
     
  25. John,
    This test is intended to see how detail shows on the print. There are thousands of other valid questions not answered in this test.
     
  26. The big variable that no one has mentioned is the resolving power of the enlarging lens. High resolving power on the film will be wasted if there is not an enlarging lens of as high a quality as the taking lens. Although my 50mm f/2.8 EL-Nikkor along with my 75mm f/4 EL-Nikkor are mid 70's vintage, they both have exceptional resolving power, every bit as good as my AIS Nikkor lenses. They only thing they do not possess is multi-coating, which I have never found to be an issue, especially since I print everything with a color head which has diffused lighting.
    That being said, it still comes a no surprise to me that film is still king-a-da-heap.
     
  27. Mauro:
    Could you clarify this, please? Are you saying that a 35mm frame enlarged and printed at 30x40 would look almost the same as a 120 frame enlarged and printed at the same size?
    If you want to know how 35mm film prints at 16x20, just look at the 30x40 print in your hand from MF film (approximately the same).​
     
  28. Dave,
    What I am saying is different. On the test sheet you just printed, look at the 30x40 samples from MF film, those look very similar to 35mm printed at 16x20.
     
  29. Mike,
    When you look at the 30x40 sample on the sheet you just printed, disregard the DSLR for a moment. Look at how a home scan of MF holds detail on a print that large. It is fantastic. It is easier to explain when people have the print in their hands.
     
  30. Regarding the 5DII, I am trying to keep this article/post based on facts.
    If you can share a test sheet from a 5DII at 30x40 I can print at home and look at it I will give you my opinion.
     
  31. On the other hand, a Canon 5DII is about the same size as a Canon 3-series film body, and the 5DII blows away the film body in terms of image quality.​
    Counterpoint: not if you use good film and print, it doesn't, unless it's much better than the M9. It has advantages compared to even the best film, but the categorical superiority of its sensor is not one them.
    Compare a modern medium format digital back with its film equivalent, and they’re about the same size.​
    ... about the same size, not particularly more convenient, and one or more orders of magnitude costlier.
    But you have to go to large format film before the image quality compares with the medium format digital.​
    Jeeze, how good could it be? It's an honest question. I rented a D3X one weekend and was underwhelmed; the most expensive Nikon that many attribute MF-quality to has nothing image-wise on my cheap 500CM or P67. I queried flickr for phase one and, meh, not THAT much better. I think I'll keep my tens of thousands of dollars in the bank, instead.
    OK I don't have them to begin with.
    But even if I did, film is a great, super, A+ technology, and for some people's (hi) pattern of use, it's just better, funner, cheaper.
     
  32. meh, not THAT much better​
    Than the D3X!
     
  33. Thanks for all this Mauro. It should provide a frame of reference for people when they ask how good these different formats are at different sizes. This type of reference would have been nice when the arguements about 3mp sensors beating 35mm scans was all the rage nearly a decade ago.
    I need to figure out what type of scanning equipment I want to get to pull the most from my MF and 4x5.
     
  34. You are welcome.
    I have gotten several people thanking me for the test sheet so it looks like it provided value.
     
  35. Thanks Mauro!
    And seeing what a 35mm at 16x20 would look like is a big help. I wasn't sure if it would be worth enlarging to that size and spending money on the paper in the process.
    After reading the post again, I see how deprivation really really hurts reading comprehension ... oy, oy, oy!
    I need to go to bed!
     
  36. Most people by now know that many 35mm films (especially B&W) outresolve DSLRs and Leica digitals.
    You need to test modern bodies Mauro. My Canon 7D out resolves 35mm Velvia 50 and pretty much matches 35mm Tech Pan (no longer made) in Les Sarile's map test. (See attached.) Pretty much every other color film made resolves less than Velvia 50. As I recall, Velvia 50 is rated as an 80 lpmm film while just about everything else falls in the 50-60 lpmm range.
    I think it's safe to say that 15 MP class DSLRs and higher match and exceed what 35mm color film can deliver in resolution, assuming average detail contrast. (You can always generate impressive film resolution numbers by using special, high contrast test targets. Even the B&W target you've selected has much higher contrast than fine detail has in an average scene.) Many B&W films are in the same range as far as resolution goes, though certain films and film/developer combinations can achieve numbers comparable to or better than Velvia.
    A 7D cannot match MF with a single shot, but it comes surprisingly close considering the very large difference in sensor and film size. Certainly there are subject matter / print size combinations where the resolution of MF is beneficial and easily observed. But I'm finding that a simple 3 frame stitch gives me images equal to or better than what I could expect from MF. To each his own, but at this point I would rather invest money in my Canon system than invest in a CoolScan and additional MF equipment. I do still occasionally shoot B&W in both 35mm and MF and develop/print in a darkroom, but that doesn't require a CoolScan level investment. What interests me more than MF is LF, both because of the movements and because of the more complicated stitching required to match that level of detail.
    I'll post additional samples after this post.
    00WFRt-236895584.jpg
     
  37. Canon 7D, single shot, vs MF, again using Les Sarile's map test.
    00WFRw-236895684.jpg
     
  38. Canon 7D, 3 frame stitch, vs the same MF shot.
    00WFRy-236895784.jpg
     
  39. I always include a link to Les Sarile's site when I mention it or show these samples. He put a lot of work into it. http://www.fototime.com/inv/E0D372FC8001820
    He posted an 8000 ppi Imacon scan of 35mm Velvia 50 in one thread, but I don't think that scan has been posted to his site yet. On the Imacon 35mm Velvia 50 did better, but still did not have the resolution, sharpness, or lack of noise that the 7D sample has. Judging from the samples, particularly the Imacon sample, it looks like Velvia 50 might have comparable resolution on high contrast details, but falls short on low contrast details, which is consistent with what we know about film and digital sensors.
    I should note that my 7D sample was shot with a Canon 50 f/1.8 at f/5.6. It's noted in the samples that I used ACR. On this test ACR was able to resolve noticeably more fine detail than DPP.
    None of my posts should be taken as a knock against film or anyone who continues to use film. Film is a very capable medium and while I love my DSLRs (especially my 7D), I still enjoy the darkroom and would recommend a course in classic B&W film developing and printing to any photographer. Some of the color films have very unique characteristics which are also worth exploring. Knowing more tools and mediums can only be an advantage to an artist.
     
  40. Thank you Daniel.
    I like the 40D and the 7D but I'm not particularly fond of stitching. You should know though that the 7D resolves only 9 megapixels (2450x3750 - See DPreview) whereas 35mm TMAX resolves about 40 megapixels and 35 mm Techpan about 90 megapixels. They are world apart. A 4000dpi scan of 35 mm film is only going to give you some 20 megapixels - but there is a lot more information on film that a desktop scanner like the Coolscan can capture you. At lower contrast resolution decreases.
    Another lesson learned on film, don't quote resolutions you haven't tested. The manufacturer's nominal resolution is just a guideline. For example TMAX is published at 200 lpmm and I tested 230lpm. Velvia 50 measured 180lpmm.
    I really don't want to take this thread to a resolution contest that doesn't make sense. Nor it is the point of this test.
    Can you please provide a link to the full shot of the map you tool with the 7D? I would like to look at it and also print it at 30"x40" to observe it.
     
  41. Daniel, I am also interested to know what was your appreciation after running the test in this thread. What did you think about the 30x40 print?
     
  42. Les - I'll send it next week. This week is...well...tax season :)
     
  43. Daniel,
    As you point out, at least a Coolscan is needed (in my opinion as well), to scan film adequately in terms of resolution, color and density.
    I am not sure what scanner you have, but this can easily be the cause of less than adequate results.
    To each his own, I agree as well. My main print sizes are 24x30 and 24x36 on my Epson 7880 and at these size or larger I prefer the results from film (35mm and MF) than from a DSLR.
     
  44. A 7D cannot match MF with a single shot, but it comes surprisingly close considering the very large difference in sensor and film size.​
    In the sense that a P&S comes surprisingly closer to a 5DII. Here is what 67 can do. Here is what the K20 can do. The K20D is not the 7D (it's 0.4 DXO marks worse, whatever they measure) but I seriously doubt the 7D is light years ahead of another APS-C camera. The Howtek scan looks far better than the 7D, and something those crops can't show is the effect of visually integrating its superiority over the whole image, such that I'd be embarrassed to display the full size prints together. Also, what's with the missing lake in one of the comparisons?
     
  45. You should know though that the 7D resolves only 9 megapixels (2450x3750 - See DPreview) whereas 35mm TMAX resolves about 40 megapixels and 35 mm Techpan about 90 megapixels. They are world apart.
    Mauro - DPReview reports their resolution numbers in units of LPH, or Lines per Picture Height. LPH, as derived from their chart, is not equal to pixels and cannot be used to count megapixels in the manner you have assumed above. It's also important to remember, in any comparison to traditional tests, that DPReview reports both an "absolute" and an "extinction" number. Both terms are misleading IMHO, but the absolute number would be roughly comparable to the MTF50 result in classic tests, and the extinction number to MTF10 results.
    Along those lines I would like to see your evidence and calculations regarding the resolutions listed for TMAX and Tech Pan. T-MAX 100 has a rating of 63 lpmm, which calculates to roughly 14 MP. Tech Pan was rated as an 85 lpmm film, which calculates to roughly 25 MP. (Both ratings for normal contrast scenes.) However, a strict conversion of lpmm to MP fails to take into account various issues which can result in a lower than expected performance when comparing to digital sensors on tests other than traditional line charts.
    A 4000dpi scan of 35 mm film is only going to give you some 20 megapixels - but there is a lot more information on film that a desktop scanner like the Coolscan can capture you.
    In all honestly I would expect the 35mm Tech Pan sample to edge out the 7D sample if scanned on an Imacon. But there's not that much difference between the CoolScan and top end units like the Imacon or a drum scanner. As I pointed out, 35mm Velvia on an Imacon still can't pull even to a 7D, and a straight conversion of Velvia's 80 lpmm rating yields 22 MP.
    Under a high contrast test I would expect 35mm Velvia to edge out the 7D. But in the real world, where most fine detail occurs at low contrast, one would expect results similar to the map comparison.
    Can you please provide a link to the full shot of the map you tool with the 7D? I would like to look at it and also print it at 30"x40" to observe it.
    I'll post it for both you and Les ASAP.
     
  46. The printer resolution is the real limitation here. You don't see much different in quality between 35mm and larger format unless you make real large size print. If you want to make good quality print of moderate size (8x10, 11x14) from either medium or large format film then you should print it digitally but rather print it the old fashion way using an enlarger and print it optically. Otherwise you won't see much different in quality when using larger size negative.
     
  47. Here is what 67 can do. Here is what the K20 can do.
    Your links are not to comparable pictures, and are not available at original sizes. There are no conclusions I can draw from this other than you chose to shoot a more interesting subject and lighting situation with the 6x7.
    The Howtek scan looks far better than the 7D, and something those crops can't show is the effect of visually integrating its superiority over the whole image, such that I'd be embarrassed to display the full size prints together.
    As I said earlier, to each his own, but I consider that an exaggeration. It's clear the Howtek MF scan is better, but I certainly would not be embarrassed to compare, say, 24" prints. (Depending on your monitor those crops are like looking at 60-70" prints.) Certainly the gap grows as the print size grows, which is why I sometimes stitch 3 frames with the camera at the opposite orientation of the scene I'm shooting. If I think I'm going to want a landscape scene printed larger than 24", I stitch and the results are excellent as can clearly be seen from that comparison.
    Also, what's with the missing lake in one of the comparisons?
    Same map "model", but not the same map. That said...what lake? There are some color and line differences, but I never noticed a lake difference.
     
  48. I posted 100% crops at both links. I don't have comparable scenes but those two images are representative of either camera's ability to resolve detail. The difference is drastic and I don't know why you'd think shooting film in good natural light would make it less so. Never mind the lake, it's back again.
     
  49. " (Depending on your monitor those crops are like looking at 60-70" prints.)"
    Daniel,
    You can't judge from a monitor. You need to make a print .
    As you can see from the print test I posted, if you are holding it in your hand, the different MF films look excellent under nose scrutiny at 30x40.
    The 7D is not in the printed sample so you can't compare it without taking a very practical test into just a hypothetical discussion.
     
  50. If you wish to compare your 7D to the print test I posted, you should shoot a tager sith the same composition and print it.
    Then look at both together in front of you.
    It is really not worth it in my opinion. The differences and too large between MF film and a DSLR, especially at larger sizes.
     
  51. If I had shot a color solution target, the differences on the print would be evident at 8x10 without effort.
    DSLRs are great but I never understood why people think that it can look anything close to a print of film.
    If you want to, I can run a print test including a 7D and publish it but I don't want to confuse this thread into that direction. Also, a 7D would only move the mark resolved by the 40D from 4 to 5 in the chart. There is no point. Film resolves up to mark 17 (11.5 with a desktop scanner). A comparison of a DSLR next to a print of MF film does not make sense as you can see with the print test I posted.
    But if you decided not to invest in a scanner in the future, the 7D is still a great and enjoyable tool to use.
     
  52. Yep nice. I printed it. In my hand at the 8x11 was pretty much as I expected not to easy to see any difference. 11x14 I can see that the 6x7 Tmax scans resolve more but at arms length the differences become harder to see. 16x20 it is easy to that MF resolves more at arms length the differences are still there. Then I blue tacked the print to the wall and stood a measured 3 ft away and found it hard to see the differences in the 16x20 inch print. The smaller print sizes were imposible at 3 ft away and the larger sizes were geting difficult with more casual viewing I would just accept what was in front of me. At 5 ft away I could not really see any differences in any of the print sizes in terms of what was resolved. Difficult for me to say how much I could see with a real world image though. I would guess it would be dependent on the content of the image good color and contrast would be more important at longer viewing distances.
     
  53. Thank you Stuart,
    I am very happy you have giving the exercise its intended purpose!
    You have made very good use of the print sheet, made conclusions on printed detail, impact of viewing distance, and explained you conclusions to everyone.
    Can you please share the printer and paper you used as well as the type of lighting?
    Thank you and hopefully we would see more feedback like yours coming.
     
  54. Yep I used a HP photosmart premium plus photopaper glossy and printed with 1200dpi printer resolution. I viewed in a daylight lit room. One big problem with viewing distances is that you cannot ensure that everyone will look at the print at the indended viewing distance.
     
  55. ADDING COLOR AND LOWER CONTRAST FEATURES:
    I hope this helps answer the question outside just resolution.
    http://shutterclick.smugmug.com/Photography/Resolution-and-Diffraction/6302153_PLzKe#838453231_wLMqC-O-LB
    If you are interested, just click on the link below, save the picture to your computer, open it in photoshop and set the image size to 360dpi (8.5x11) and print it on your printers maximum resolution.
    Enjoy.
    00WFeO-236967684.jpg
     
  56. Try this link instead:
    http://shutterclick.smugmug.com/Photography/Resolution-and-Diffraction/6302153_PLzKe#838500107_pw3f2-O-LB
     
  57. Is me, or my computer monitor, my internet connection, or the kind of coffee I drank this AM, but does the film looks sharper than the digital ??
     
  58. Gregory,
    Remember this is MF film. Print it as well if you can.
     
  59. I like the 40D and the 7D but I'm not particularly fond of stitching.
    Why? It is possible to create very large file sizes that match or surpass even large format film in terms of resolution. It's not black magic or rocket science anymore. I can do a six frame stitch from my 5dmkII that equals or surpasses large format to the average gallery viewer at a normal viewing distance and I can do it in far less time than it takes me to do a 16 bit scan on my Imacon. That's not to say you won't see differences in color balance between the digital and film print but in terms of detail, the final digital print gives up nothing.
     
  60. Charles,
    I just enjoy focusing on the composition and capturing the take in one shot. Without worrying about moving objects or collaging later. Also remember that your focus plane is perpendicular to the lens, so as you turn the camera for the different shot you create zones of in and out of focus of subjects at the same distance.
    Same reason why sometimes I pick my MF film camera instead of my 35mm film. I could take the 35mm and spending time taking multiple shots and collage them later but prefer to just grab the MF.
    Still, some other people like or don't mind stitching.
     
  61. Stitching is sensor/scan agnostic. You can stich P&S output too but it wouldn't be germane to raise that possibility in a comparison of digital sensors.
     
  62. A comparison of a DSLR next to a print of MF film does not make sense as you can see with the print test I posted.
    If you print the 7D vs MF comparison samples I posted above at 334 ppi, you're looking at the sections as they would appear if the full map were printed 27" x 40". (The 7D crop had to be enlarged 2.58x to match the MF crop in size. (2.58 x 5184) / 40 = 334.368.) Here are my observations:
    Single frame 7D vs. MF sample: aside from exposure and color differences, the first thing that stands out is that the MF crop has much more noise, something that is very apparent in the ocean area. The second thing that stands out is that the MF crop is slightly sharper. At this print size I'm confident some work in PS could make the 7D look just as sharp.
    3 frame 7D vs. MF sample: aside from exposure and color differences, again the first thing that stands out is the noise in the MF sample. This time the 7D sample is sharper and upon close inspection it's evident that the 7D sample has more detail. I'm not as confident that PS work could make the film sample as sharp because it would also emphasize the noise.
    Above Leo said that the Howtek scan was "far better" than the single frame 7D sample, and that he would be embarrassed to display full size prints side by side. That was simply not a valid comment on the differences. The sample which stands out the most is the 3 frame stitch. The difference between the single frame 7D sample and the MF scan sample, in print at this size, is surprisingly small.
    I'm sure there are variables at play, and I'm sure that under different conditions the difference might be larger, or might stand out more. But printing these map crops only confirmed what I've experienced in my regular work. For most subject matter and print sizes, the differences are inconsequential. If the intended print size is up to 24" I would never pick up my 7D and think "oh, I better shoot MF for the resolution." The 7D is that good and I have that much confidence in it. For challenging landscapes printed to larger sizes, I can always flip the 7D, shoot 3 frames, and have a final file that's comparable to the best MF scans. So again, I would not make my choice between the two based on resolution.
    Your statement that the difference between a 10 MP and a 20 MP sensor would be immaterial for large prints is simply not true. Ask anyone who has moved from a 40D to a 7D or a 5D mkII. Or anyone who has moved from Nikon-whatever to the D3x. It makes a difference.
    Again, I want to emphasize that I'm not claiming the 7D is "better than MF film." Film is a great medium and I continue to work with it. Large prints from 6x7 are excellent and, as I show above, it takes 3 stitched 7D frames to match or surpass it at larger print sizes. I'm merely pointing out that modern, top tier DSLRs do better than your test would suggest, and the differences aren't all that large at more common print sizes.
     
  63. Daniel,
    This is what I meant with the difference between the 40D and the 7D being immaterial for a large print:
    The 40D resolves about mark 3 in the test, the scan of the film resolves mark 14. The film resolves mark 17!
    The 7D only resolves mark 4.
    The graph should give you an idea of how close the 7D is to the 40D and how far it is from the film.
    00WFzv-237131584.jpg
     
  64. I hope that clarifies the comment.
    Regarding the map, if you post a 100% crop of the 7D I can compare it to the map myself on a print and make a observation. If you have the RAW even better.
     
  65. Also Daniel,
    The 7D map you posted in your MF comparison shows in my eyes a huge difference next to film.
    Here is my scan of color negative film (not even Velvia) next to the crop you posted. I took your second crop and did not alter it at all.
    I also printed it and the difference of the film and the 7D are like night and day.
    00WG0M-237133684.jpg
     
  66. I perceive your conclusions are the same since you stated you would stitch several 7D shots if you wanted to match MF scanned film.
     
  67. In the end,
    I hope the question is answered on whether there is enough detail on MF film for large prints.
     
  68. The 40D resolves about mark 3 in the test, the scan of the film resolves mark 14. The film resolves mark 17! The 7D only resolves mark 4.
    I'm not going by projections and estimates. I have a 7D and am reporting what I see, and posting direct tests. The difference is significant for large prints.
    Regarding the map, if you post a 100% crop of the 7D I can compare it to the map myself on a print and make a observation. If you have the RAW even better.
    You can print the crops I posted at various resolutions to simulate various print sizes. I tested at 334 ppi (27" x 40"). The 7D had to be enlarged to match the MF crop in size, so it's already at 258%, as I explained.
    I will post RAW files and processed files when I have a bit more free time this weekend or next week. I want to retrace my steps, make note of all settings, and include unprocessed / processed samples. This week has been very long with taxes plus work.
    The 7D map you posted in your MF comparison shows in my eyes a huge difference next to film.
    The view you posted is equivalent to a print 140" wide!
    I also printed it and the difference of the film and the 7D are like night and day.
    At 140" it better be. At 334 ppi, or 27" x 40" equivalent, there is only a small difference.
    I perceive your conclusions are the same since you stated you would stitch several 7D shots if you wanted to match MF scanned film.
    If I want to match MF print quality with landscapes at print sizes above 16" x 24", roughly speaking, I stitch 3 frames. Otherwise I feel the differences are inconsequential in print. Note that less challenging subjects print to larger sizes while still maintaining excellent quality, and even landscapes still look good at 30", though at 30" and above I would prefer to have a 3 frame stitch. Also note that this is working very carefully (tripod, MLU, optimum apertures, etc.).
    Here's the 3 frame stitch side by side with your negative scan. I did apply some sharpening and LCE as it looks like you applied considerable sharpening to the scan.
    00WG1y-237149584.jpg
     
  69. Here's the Howtek sample vs. the single frame 7D sample scaled to the same approximate size you should see printing 334 ppi (27x40 equivalent). This will vary a bit depending on your monitor and web browser zoom setting.
    Printers obviously have higher resolution than monitors, and both samples look better in print. But the difference, at this scale, is not night and day. In fact it's pretty small. As I said earlier, a little PS work on the 7D sample (a bit of sharpening, LCE) would close the already small gap, though the MF sample would still show a bit more detail at this print size. But also more noise.
     
  70. Let's try that again :)
    Keep in mind this is scaled for screen display for those who don't want to print. If you print, grab the comparison I posted above, scale to 334 ppi (or whatever test ppi you want), and print.
    00WG26-237151684.jpg
     
  71. I hope the question is answered on whether there is enough detail on MF film for large prints.
    Last comment tonight: there's no doubt about that, and your print sample illustrates this well. You and I got into a longer discussion simply because you threw small format digital into the mix with the 40D sample, and I don't think the 40D is representative of top tier DSLRs. But yes, there's plenty of detail in MF for large prints. It's a great format, well worth exploring and using.
     
  72. Daniel,
    by the sample you posted, it is clear that the stitching of 3 x 7d shots side by side approaches the scan of the MF film closer.
    This is consistent with my observations as well. Since 35mm fits in MF only twice side by side, a single 7D frame approaches 35mm film scanned (but not quite there - based on my results - and here mileage may vary).
     
  73. We did get a bit off topic but it's been a good discussion.
     
  74. While I understand you're talking about printing, but I think this graphic is also helpful to the discussion from another perspective.
    I'm sad film use is declining these days, but the cost of storage, processing, scanning, etc. makes it a less friendly medium for the masses.
    http://jbcrane.zenfolio.com/p572167072/h11d13485#h11d13485
     
  75. That is a good representation Jim. It even leaves out the two main probles 1) each scanned pixel contains full RGB information whereas a DSLR pixel contains only one color -RGB is then extrapolated and 2) the AA filtering that prevents excessive aliasing reduces a dslrs resolution below the nominal pixel count.
    In the end film and DSLRs can produce great prints. DSLRs output can be printed satisfactory at 16x20 or larger, especially if there are no film prints hanging close for comparison.
     
  76. Jim, using your example, these are the proportions on pixel size of the format discussed in this thread:
     
  77. Mauro, thanks for this... I printed your second test sheet, the one with the test target and the crop of two women.
    I look at a print first from "normal" viewing distance or arm's length, then I move right up close, about as close as I can focus my eyes without aids, about 8 inches. I like a print to be sharp enough to stand this close inspection. It's not magnifying glass or pixel peeping, but right up close.
    My conclusions are about the same as Stuart's above. Specifically:
    - TMAX resolves more than the color films. I can see this up close in the test target at 11x14. At arm's length, I can see this at 24x30.
    - Velvia 50 resolves more than Pro100. I can see this up close in the test target at 16x20. At arm's length maybe not until 30x40.
    - Film resolves way more than the 40D. I can see this up close in the test target at 11x14. At arm's length, I can see this at 16x20.
    Here's a surprise... After the above, I started looking at the little crop of two women in each block. I can see the advantage of film vs. the 40D at 8x11 looking at the women but not looking at the test pattern. I thought differences would be easier to see in the test pattern than in a real image.
    It was worth printing this test. My specifics: I made a CostCo print, only $2.99, at 11x14, no adjustments, glossy. CostCo uses a Frontier machine, and the paper is Fuji Crystal Archive. Examined in bright window light.
    Thanks again Mauro. Much better looking at the print than at the file on a monitor.
     
  78. Thank you for sharing your evaluation Richard. It coincides with my opinion and pretty much everyone has analyzed the print.
    As a note on resolution: Velvia 50 out resolves the Coolscan by a small marking but TMAX outresolves the scanner by a large margin. TMAX's having such a wealth of oversampling versus the scanner produces that extra punch and detail resolved.
    One of the most interesting things about this exercise was that although people generally strongly disagree during theoretical debates, everyone agrees when the have the real print for observation. Not sure why it took so long for me to share print sheets instead of 100% crops to support discussions but I hope this is adopted by other people in the forum.
    Prints also allow for people to apply their observations directly to their particular applications and level of tolerance.
     
  79. Regarding color;
    You can also pay attention to the ladies on the print and see the differences in yellows and reds color rendition between Velvia 50, Velvia 100 and Provia. Depending on the printer and paper you may also be able to observe the extra punch in overall vibrancy Velvia 50 has over Velvia 100.
     
  80. Daniel,
    If you compare the film scan up close next to the stitching you posted of 3 shots with the 7D you can observe:
    - Even with stitching 3 shots the stars onm the map are still deformed for lack of resolving power.
    - Color rendition is even more limited. e.g. the dot on the J on Abuja is no longer black.
    This is consisting with my observations (after testing the 7D personally) that it approaches but does not match the resolution of 35mm film. In real life situation the gap between 35mm film and the 7D is larger when using FF lenses because 35mm film uses 260% of the information provided by the lens to the 7D. More so, when using smaller apertures the 7D will show diffraction blurriness on the print much sooner.
    And this is comparing just to color negative. Slides or BW negative will show a wider gap.
     
  81. Here is a crop comparing the film next to the stitching of the 7 D shots:
    (printed at 11x14 the differences are almost imperceptible though).
    00WGhV-237503584.jpg
     
  82. If you compare the film scan up close next to the stitching you posted of 3 shots with the 7D you can observe:
    - Even with stitching 3 shots the stars onm the map are still deformed for lack of resolving power.

    - Color rendition is even more limited. e.g. the dot on the J on Abuja is no longer black.
    The stars don't look deformed to me at all. All the black ink in the stitch sample has the impression of being "thicker" or "heavier", but I can't tell if that's map differences or is post processing related. But it's not a "deformation."
    As for the dots, there are some lines and dots which appear faded in your film scan sample to. Map differences? Effect of sharpening? I don't know, but that's really splitting hairs.
    This is consisting with my observations (after testing the 7D personally) that it approaches but does not match the resolution of 35mm film.

    I think it's clear from the posted samples that the 7D out performs color 35mm film, and is a pretty good match for 35mm B&W film.
    In real life situation the gap between 35mm film and the 7D is larger when using FF lenses because 35mm film uses 260% of the information provided by the lens to the 7D.
    This is a false understanding of how lenses and formats interact, and the impact on resolution. (And even if it were true, why wouldn't it show up in the map test?)
    More so, when using smaller apertures the 7D will show diffraction blurriness on the print much sooner.
    You don't need to use those smaller apertures. Diffraction has roughly the same impact on all the formats, APS-C to large format, for a desired DoF at a desired FoV. You don't need f/16 or f/22 on APS-C, and rarely even need f/11.
    And this is comparing just to color negative. Slides or BW negative will show a wider gap.
    The comparison posted above was to the highest resolving color slide film on the market, and one of the highest resolving B&W pictorial films ever made. These two films have 33% higher resolution than most slow speed, high resolution films! (85+ lpmm vs. 60-65 lpmm for the next best.) It's quite obvious that the 7D out performed the Velvia sample (scanned at 5400 dpi) and held its own very well against the Tech Pan sample.
    You say color negative film can out perform the 7D? Below is the 7D sample compared to Sarile's 35mm Ektar 100 sample. I'm sure you would agree that Ektar is one of the highest performing color negative films on the market today. Look at the comparison. There's no doubt which has higher IQ.
    This seems to be hard for you to accept, but top tier DSLRs match and out perform the best 35mm films. The gap becomes huge when comparing to any faster or lesser films. I thought you knew and accepted that which is why we were debating how top tier DSLRs compare to MF at various print sizes.
    00WGjP-237511584.jpg
     
  83. "The stars don't look deformed to me at all." If you look at the top and left points, they appear to be bent inwards.
    In real life situation the gap between 35mm film and the 7D is larger when using FF lenses because 35mm film uses 260% of the information provided by the lens to the 7D.
    "This is a false understanding of how lenses and formats interact, and the impact on resolution. "
    Not a misunderstanding. It is very simple, if you use say a 50mm lens on a 7D and a 35mm camera, the 35mm camera gets 260% of the information projected on the crop sensor. The crop sensor discards the rest of the image projected by the lens.
    "(And even if it were true, why wouldn't it show up in the map test?)"
    If you use your sharpest lens at the single sharpest aperture, as in the map, you can provide the crop sensor with plenty of information for 18mp but this is not true for the range of lenses and apertures you use in regular shooting.
    "You don't need to use those smaller apertures. Diffraction has roughly the same impact on all the formats, APS-C to large format, for a desired DoF at a desired FoV. You don't need f/16 or f/22 on APS-C, and rarely even need f/11."
    Once again, it depends on the lens. One of the lenses I use the most on 35mm is the 70-200 4 IS. The resolution at 200mm is best at f8 (not f5.6 like primes) - on an 18MP crop sensor diffraction will have a visible impact on the print. On 20MP 35mm it will not (same COC on an area 260% larger).
    Also with the crop sensor at f4 with this lens you can't blur the background on portraits as you can in 35mm. And obviously you can't go to f1.4.
    And this is comparing just to color negative. Slides or BW negative will show a wider gap.
    The scan I have been sharing is from Kodak 100 UC. I can't speak of scans made by other people.
     
  84. Also remember Daniel that when we talk about Velvia and TMAX for scanned with a Coolscan, we are just talking about the scan-limited output. A better scanner will do better.
    With 35mm film (any type I use) I visibly surpass the quality obtainable with my 40D on prints. To a point I do not use the 40D for anything it will end up on a wall.
    The 7D sensor captures the same image project by the lens on the 40D sensor with 1/3rd more linear resolution. It is with no doubt higher resolving than the 40D. And may be comparable with a 400dpi scan of 35mm film (resolution only).
     
  85. Regarding the sample from Les you posted I agree with your observation. I cannot speak to other people's scan though.
    I always try to stick to actual experience from my own results. This is when I compared Ektar 35mm to my 40D (yes the 7D will do better than the 40D but I didn't have one for this test):
     
  86. 40D vs to Ektar 35mm scanned w/ coolscan.
    00WGkr-237527684.jpg
     
  87. 40D vs Velvia 35mm.
    00WGkw-237527784.jpg
     
  88. Here is resolution wise to show there is detail the Coolscan leaves out.
    00WGl0-237528084.jpg
     
  89. An here is to show even how much more detail you can obtain from Velvia 35mm with an Imacon (right) vs the Coolscan (left).
    (here the 40D resolves mark 2 and the 7D would be below mark 3)
    00WGlD-237529684.jpg
     
  90. I promise you 35mm (Velvia, TMX, etc) resolve far more than 20 megapixels.
    I also promise you the 7D resolves far less than 20 megapixels.
    The argument on average contrast of normal scenes being lower is true, but that average comes from a combination of low and high contrast combination. The high contrast fine detail elements of a scene will escape a DSLR much sooner than 35mm film.
     
  91. In real life, the 5DII would be much closer to 35mm film than the 7D. This is due to their having the same format and not discarding so much of the information provided by 35mm lenses.
    Regarding the comment that there are inferior films to the ones I use, I'm sure it is true; but would I use inferior films where the difference in cost is probably insignificant? I see this comment often when it comes to comparing DSLRs with 35mm film and it is quite puzzling.
     
  92. (printed at 11x14 the differences are almost imperceptible though).
    I thought I would come back to this. Do you have your scaling correct to print the MF comparison as if the entire map were printed 11x14? Because at that scale the crops should be postage stamps, and the stars you're referring to would be black dots.
    Like I said earlier, when these crops are printed as if the entire map was 27x40, there's virtually nothing to choose between the MF and the 7D single frame. The degree to which you're zooming to try and find some difference between the MF and 3 frame stitch is...ridiculous.
    "The stars don't look deformed to me at all." If you look at the top and left points, they appear to be bent inwards.
    I think maybe you need to get away from the screen for a bit. (FYI, the points are not absolutely perfect copies of each other in the film sample either. But then, they probably aren't on the map. I wouldn't know because at the level you've zoomed, I would have to view the map under a loupe!)
    Not a misunderstanding. It is very simple, if you use say a 50mm lens on a 7D and a 35mm camera, the 35mm camera gets 260% of the information projected on the crop sensor. The crop sensor discards the rest of the image projected by the lens.
    Good lenses easily out resolve all of these materials. Which means an 18 MP FF body and an 18 MP APS-C body both receive the information they need to form an 18 MP image by a 50mm prime. The details will have slightly lower contrast on the APS-C sensor, but that's easily restored in software.
    So it doesn't matter if the APS-C sensor "throws away" part of the 35mm light cone.
    "(And even if it were true, why wouldn't it show up in the map test?)"
    If you use your sharpest lens at the single sharpest aperture, as in the map, you can provide the crop sensor with plenty of information for 18mp but this is not true for the range of lenses and apertures you use in regular shooting.
    Every lens I own can deliver the needed resolution at a range of apertures. It's not an issue.
    Once again, it depends on the lens. One of the lenses I use the most on 35mm is the 70-200 4 IS. The resolution at 200mm is best at f8 (not f5.6 like primes) - on an 18MP crop sensor diffraction will have a visible impact on the print. On 20MP 35mm it will not (same COC on an area 260% larger).
    The 70-200 f/4L IS, at 200mm, peaks at f/5.6 (http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/449-canon_70200_4is_50d?start=1). And diffraction is not an issue at f/8 any way.
    Also with the crop sensor at f4 with this lens you can't blur the background on portraits as you can in 35mm. And obviously you can't go to f1.4.
    Actually, background blur depends entirely on lens aperture width. A 70-200 at 200mm and f/4 has a 50mm aperture width on either format, so blur will be the same. DoF near the plane of focus is what will vary.
    Also remember Daniel that when we talk about Velvia and TMAX for scanned with a Coolscan, we are just talking about the scan-limited output. A better scanner will do better.
    I found the Imacon sample Les Sarile posted in another thread. As you can see, the 7D still does better. (TMAX is rated 20 lpmm lower than Velvia. It's not going to be better.)
    What now? An electron microscope scan?
     
  93. I promise you 35mm (Velvia, TMX, etc) resolve far more than 20 megapixels.
    On a high contrast B&W test target Velvia might resolve more than the 7D, but you'll probably need an Imacon scan to pull out the detail. Real world? Nope. T-MAX only has 2/3rds the resolution of Velvia 50. I don't know why you think it will perform better in the real world.
    I also promise you the 7D resolves far less than 20 megapixels.
    It resolves 2 MP less.
    In real life, the 5DII would be much closer to 35mm film than the 7D. This is due to their having the same format and not discarding so much of the information provided by 35mm lenses.
    In real life the 5D mkII and 7D have nearly identical output at low to mid ISO. You can confirm this viewing various test results at dpreview.com and imaging-resource.com. I confirmed it on my own, using 35mm lenses on both, and I assure you the 7D didn't throw anything away.
    No offense Mauro, but you have some strange ideas about resolution (i.e. LPH vs. MP) and how lenses interact with different formats. Ideas which nobody else shares, and which are not supported by any experimental evidence.
    Regarding the comment that there are inferior films to the ones I use, I'm sure it is true; but would I use inferior films where the difference in cost is probably insignificant? I see this comment often when it comes to comparing DSLRs with 35mm film and it is quite puzzling.
    In color film, anything other than Velvia is inferior in terms of resolution. Do you only shoot Velvia?
     
  94. Let me try posting the Imacon sample again.
    00WGmc-237543584.jpg
     
  95. No offense Mauro, but I feel like there's some bias on your part that I won't get past no matter what comparisons I show. You keep explaining to me why I shouldn't believe my own eyes. But I believe my own eyes.
    Anyone can view and print the crops I've posted. Top tier DSLRs match or beat 35mm film in terms of fine detail. And if you're printing 16x24 or smaller, they hold their own quite well against MF. Yes MF captures more detail, and yes that becomes noticeable and important in larger prints. But if your subject is still, a simple 3 frame stitch will give you IQ comparable to top notch 6x7 scans.
    Not to say anything bad about MF. The camera prices are good, the results are excellent, so by all means, shoot it if you've got it.
    But I'm not going to keep going around and around about this.
    P.S. If you look at Les Sarile's 40D sample, you'll notice that the difference between the 40D and the 7D is comparable to the difference between the 40D and Velvia in the shots you just posted. Which matches up pretty well with what I've posted and what I'm saying.
     
  96. Daniel,
    Here are two crops of the 35mm Velvia and the 7D you posted. I run a smart sharp on the Velvia, and although it is a bad JPEG you can see they look very similar.
    00WGpb-237567684.jpg
     
  97. Daniel,
    I agree a top end DSLR holds very well at 16x20 and probably indistinguishably from 35mm film. (yes, for color I use Velvia most of the time although I use a lot more B&W than color).
    If there were a MF film print next to it, at close distance you would be able to see the difference. But the may look similar at 3 feet away.
    At 24x30 or larger the difference would be clear even from a few feet away.
    Yes, you could stitch the output of a DSLR or 35mm film. That has always been the case.
    A FF DSLR with the pixel density of the 7D will outresolve scanned 35mm film.
     
  98. I also agree you can produce comparable detail to MF scanned with a Coolscan by using 3 shots of a 7D side by side. If resolution is needed with a DSLR you can obtain it. [My 35mm TMAX and Velvia definetily outresolve current DSLRs but it doen't matter either].
    TO PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE:
    I don't shoot film to outresolve digital. I shoot film because I prefer the way it looks on a print over digital.
    Discussions about resolution are interesting from a technical sharing of information but it is not that material to my actual photography work.
    I sell 24x36 prints from 35mm that look spectacular and although I may have the same shot in MF which looks smoother and more detail, I may prefer the look of 35mm for that particular print.
     
  99. I believe we agree here;
    I would imagine that you prefer digital also because the workflow suits you. The 7D is a fairly new camera and yet you probably migrated from film to digital before you purchased the 7D when the resolution of the DSLR you purchased was much smaller. You may have even migrated from MF film to a 10+MP DSLR. So resolution is/was not a main factor to you either.
     
  100. And the circle begins again.
    I'm happy that the type of photography I do doesn't require me to conduct such in-depth tests of the quality of my equipment. This truly seems to be a nearly pointless endeavour that could take up endless amounts of time. Why not just shoot what you enjoy and if you find your medium limiting, then do some research and find out why. Not quite sure what photos of maps are supposed to contribute to the photographic community beyond creating a point of debate.
    Also, the shots posted at Apr 18, 2010; 05:04 p.m. by Mauro seem to be improperly focused on the 40D. My 40D far outresolves that with a 3rd party lens.
     
  101. Dave T,
    The 40D shots are perfectly focused and were taken with a 60mm macro - the sharpest lens available - (as you can tell with resolution in the chart turning into moire).
    The were just enlarged to match re resolution of the scan.
    100%:
    00WH0L-237643584.jpg
     
  102. Still seems blurrier and more jaggy than the results that I get with poorer lenses.
     
  103. That is because you assume the camera will behave in a certain way. But it doesn't. You are welcome to try and post an example. For this test, just shoot the resolution chart with the chart fitting aprox 9 times in the height of the picture.
    What you see is resolution extinction not bluriness. i.e. there isn't enough detail to resolve the letter, numbers, colors or lines further. This happens below the nominal pixel resolution.
    Jaggy and blurrier are friends that move in opposite direction.
    You see jagginess and moire because the AA filter could not blur input enough to avoid them.
     
  104. "Not quite sure what photos of maps are supposed to contribute"
    They help you understand the limitations of your equipment.
    For example, if you printed the test page which is the object of this discussion, you probably would not use the 40D for a shot that you may decide to sell or put on a wall at larger than 11x4 or 16x20 (I own/use a 40D as well).
    On the other hand you know you can print 30x40 or larger from MF without any compromise (I own/use MF as well).
    This test have direct impact to me and others. e.g. I would still use the 40D when it is convenient especially if I will not print larger than 11x14.
     
  105. MF beats APS-C when printed at 40x30 inches.
    I may haev missed the object of this thread but is there anyone out there who expected anything different?
     
  106. The point is to get people photographing maps and focus charts rather than using their cameras outside apparently... it worked.
     
  107. ha ha... the government must be behind it.
     
  108. I go back to the simplicity of the post header. It all comes down to the print. If you have experience in both processes it should be easy and cheap enough to hang large prints next to each other, and see which you prefer. My prediction is that experience will influence print quality quite a bit. Folks who've been studying one process and not the other are going to find they make good prints from the process they are familiar with, and lousy ones from the process they don't know. It's easy enough to go out and see mediocre prints from all processes. On the other hand it is also possible to find stunning examples from both film and digital. If even one person can pull it off it suggests to me that the supposed weaknesses are less with the tools and more with the tool users. When I bought my first DSLR my prints from digital didn't look as good as the prints from medium format film that had been coming out of my darkroom for the previous decade. Six years later and my darkroom is shut down. I've been living with large prints from both for years now, looking at them everyday, and have no regrets as to my choice of process.
     
  109. In the interest of an apples-apples comparision, I ran Smart Sharpen (1.0/150%)* on both the Velvia and 7D panels. The 7D panel (right) still looks better.
    * This is more sharpening than I would normally use. Something on the order of 0.7/150 would produce fewer artifacts. However, I attempted to match the effects posed by Mauro.
    00WH39-237667784.jpg
     
  110. It is accepted practice to resample digital images, scanned or original, to between 200 and 300 ppi for printing so that the individual pixels do not show. The granularity of a digital image enlarged 4x or so without resampling does not fairly represent how the image would appear. The train was moving far to fast to attach a resolution chart ;-)
    This example shows a 400% crop along with an unsharpened resampled version of that crop. The actual resolution is not changed, but the appearance is greatly improved. The original picture was taken with a Nikon D2x, and the example is equivalent a 40x60 inch print examined with a 4x loupe.
    00WH3y-237669584.jpg
     
  111. Thank you Edward.
    The optimal sharpening level seems to either be higher for the film scan or the 7D had some sharpening applied to it by the camera. Matching the resulting sharpening make a better comparison.
    Still, to me, the 7D does not outresolve this jpeg from Velvia 35mm I sharpened.
    I'm also waiting for Daniel's raw to look at it first hand. Les will send me his full scan of Velvia.
    It will be clear to see the differences once I have the uncompressed unprocessed files.
    00WH49-237671584.jpg
     
  112. I won't make any definite statements until I have the sources from Daniel and Les - hopefully soon, but from the shape of the stars in the jpegs, the 7D does not outresolve the 35mm scan.

    I will post the comparisons of the originals as soon as I receive them.
     
  113. Edward, what resolution do I have to print the chain you just posted to equal a 40x60 print.
    Please let me know, I'd like to print it now to see what it looks like - no loupe.
     
  114. Defending digital on the basis of resolution is sort of foolish. Defending either system on an emotional basis is just as foolish. If people would get over these issues, the argument would have been over 10 years ago.

    Mauro makes a good point when he says that most people adopted digital workflow back when the resolution was much worse than it is today. Most people bought their first digital cameras with resolutions like 2MP or 3MP. It was widely accepted at the time that digital didn't have the same resolution as film, but the improved workflow made up for the difference. Digital cameras also removed much of the mystery from photography for much of the general public. For the first time, casual users could see the REAL resolution of their photographs. With 1-hour film labs and 4x6 prints, beginners were never able to realize that before. Now, with better digital sensors, we've seen the gap narrow to the point where a test has to be very precise in order to prove what is still the reality: film flat out resolves better than any digital sensor yet to be invented. But the only people who notice anymore are medium format shooters. In 35mm at least, the gap is awfully narrow, and a bad film scan will skew the test in the wrong direction.
     
  115. Mauro, you wrote:
    The optimal sharpening level seems to either be higher for the film scan or the 7D had some sharpening applied to it by the camera​
    Yes, the digital capture had some sharpening applied in the process of converting the Bayer pattern to pixels.


    Because they came from different sources, all the processing would be different, including the sharpening, to produce comparable results. In my experience, any film scan needs noise reduction as well.
     
  116. The uncertainty (blur) in film scans is nearly Gaussian, and can stand significantly more sharpening than a DSLR image. I generally stay below 1 pixel in width, but may go as high as 250% in the amount (USM), taking care to mask out broad areas without detail.
    The blur is largely due to optical diffusion (scattering) in the film and chemical diffusion in the development process. It does not appear to be a limitation in the (Nikon) scanner. First rate lenses, combined with good technique, are generally not limiting either. The effect extends 4-6 pixels wide in an otherwise sharp picture, whereas the reproduction of physical defect, like a scratch, is sharp to within 1-2 pixels. This is consistent with the rolloff at 20-30 lp/mm seen in published MTF curves for film.
     
  117. Craig's statement is a very good summary.
    Particularly regarding to the fact that film's workflow (scanning and processing especially), if done incorrectly or with sub-par equipment, can negatively impact the outcome of 35mm film to a point it can be inferior than a DSLR's. This, combined with the added convenience of digital for mass producing shots, made DSLRs a preferable solution for many consumers and commercial photographers early on.
     
  118. Let's not ignore Mauro's post from Apr 18, 2010; 05:17 p.m. He demonstrates how much more clearly an Imacon scanner can pull detail from film vs a Nikon Coolscan. The Nikon is considered top-of-the-line for amateur and non-professional use, but produces unacceptable results for professional scanning. Really critical scans are done on a wet-mounted drum-scanner, which takes the Imacon scan 1 notch better. So yes, blur is a limitation in the (Nikon) scanner.
     
  119. Edward, what resolution do I have to print the chain you just posted to equal a 40x60 print.
    Print it at 280 ppi without resampling. The example is a 400% crop of the original, which would be 10x15 inches at 284 ppi before resampling. Use a small sheet of paper - the print will only be about 3/4 x 1-1/2 inches.
     
  120. The Nikon is considered top-of-the-line for amateur and non-professional use, but produces unacceptable results for professional scanning.
    We are really quibbling about minutia - the Imacon has perhaps 25% better resolution than the Nikon. You could also argue that home printing can never replace large prints by professional shops. In either case, you are wrong.
    The fact is most people do not have a Nikon scanner, so the alternatives are using an affordable flatbed or having scans done professionally. In that case, most service bureaus use what they have - drum scanners. Likewise, few people have a 24" (or wider) printer at home. Those that do (e.g., Mauro and Michael Reichmann, www.Luminous-Landscape.com) would argue otherwise.
    The fact is, if you want big enlargements (over 16x20") not limited by the source, you need to use larger film (or MF digital), representing a vanishingly small portion of the community of photographers.
    What this thread demonstrates is what you can expect when printing from different photographic media, and has not degraded into the typical "either/or" responses. Many times "good enough" is simply good enough. That applies when building bridges and airplanes too, where the consequences real problems are more newsworthy.
     
  121. There have always been two different arguments happening at the same time: "What can film actually do?" and "What does it do for me?". The second question is the one that brings up all the emotional responses. It is the first question that begs to be answered with the most scientific testing on the best equipment, and requires that the minutia be analyzed, namely the differences between scanners.

    I've already seen excellent test results comparing optical prints from 35mm film to digital prints from a 24MP full frame. There is a clear winner. The problem is that when everyone abandoned film, we all abandoned the optical printers, too. Now we're comparing film SCANS to digital capture. This is an impossible battle, because not only does digital have an advantage in this realm, but the film workflow has been impossibly encumbered to an unusable degree.

    What I see in reality is that the resolving potential of digital is only now beginning to match the resolution achieved by film in a fully optical process 50 years ago. Now all the digital shooters feel vindicated for their now 10 years of devotion to an inferior medium. I hate to ring KR's bell, but Outdoor Photographer still shoots their covers on film. Hollywood still shoots movies on film, and there's a procedure that stands to save millions when they convert to an all-digital workflow.

    Personally, I shoot both. I enjoy the digital workflow, but when I shoot film I just know the results will be perfect. And even when I botch something, I can recover alot more from a 35mm negative than from a digital RAW file. We used to call this "latitude".

    When it comes down to the prints, however, I must admit that prints from the latest generation of digital cameras are really getting good. Probably just as good as film prints. I only extend this concession to the LATEST generation of digitals, like from 2008 onward. Everything I saw and used before that still had major shortcomings.
     
  122. Hollywood still shoots movies on film...
    Don't be so sure. By some estimates, nearly 70% of feature films are shot with digital cameras, generally 4K (or less). There is a minor industry making "glamour" filters for these cameras so that brutally sharp digital video looks more filmlike (q.v., Schneider Optics), standard issue for the Washington press corps as well. Nearly 100% of editing is done in digital, even if the original was shot on film, then printed on film for distibution. When enough theaters have HD digital projectors, that will change too.
     
  123. I really don't mean to be contrary, but even according to your statistics, without checking first for their veracity, that still means 30% of all feature films to be released in 2010 will be shot on film stock. That's a staggering number in the digital age. According to opinions I've read from AFI directors, film is still regarded widely as being "excellent", and many more directors would use film if they always had the budget for it. My numbers may be off, because I'm just pulling statistics from memory, but I believe it costs somewhere around $100/ft to purchase, shoot, process, telecine, and color-correct film stock. I think they'll usually shoot something up to 250,000 feet, so the film cost alone is in the $10-25 million range for a feature film. There is undoubtedly alot of savings to be realized by using digital cameras instead, so there are some VERY dedicated producers out there who are sticking with film for its aesthetic quality. As far as I know, photographers do the same. The main reason to "switch" to digital back in 2001-2003 was to save time and money, not quality. Given the high cost of digital cameras, I'm not sure that most photographers actually saved the money. In 2010, they are almost on par for quality, and given the rising cost of film due to scarcity and development, there's a stronger argument for cost savings.
     
  124. Craig, really appreciate your last few postings.
    Found this very interesting article addressing image quality in movies, film vs. direct digital production. It's a Sony technical presentation by Laurence J. Thorpe, referencing work by Otto Schade Sr. at RCA:
    http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/ext/cinealta/docs/24PTechnicalSeminar2.pdf
    Answers a question I've been wondering about: Prints from digital cameras look better than you would expect based purely on the resolution achieved. In the early days of digital, I made some pretty good 8x10's from a 1.5MPx camera (Fuji MX-70).
    Why? Thorpe (and Schade) answer... Because the human viewer is more sensitive to high MTF than to ultimate resolution, and digital tends to have higher MTF until you run out of sensor sites. Schade's proposed measure is the area under the SQUARE of the MTF. If this is correct, MTF50 would be a better measure of image quality than extinction resolution. Any reactions to the article?
    What does this mean for shooting film? Would we do anything differently if we were seeking the widest range of high MTF? Versus maximizing ultimate resolution? (No gripes about anyone's comments... Just trying to understand what going on in the image. Mauro, I enjoy the discussions you start!)
     
  125. Just a question for all these kinds of test and comparisons, when you digitalize a MF negative, it's now a digital file subject to the limitations of the scanner. Better test would be digital print from a digital camera and a photographic print from a film camera or even a slide show projection of transparancy next to a large screen digital image. Doesn't scanning the film change the equation?
     
  126. Richard funny you should mention about prints from older digital cameras looking better than you would expect considering the resolution. I still use a Nikon D1h (2.75mp) and 8x10 prints look fine even in albums next to 8x10 prints from a 10mp D80. As some of the prints are a few years old now I have even managed to mix a few of prints thinking they came from the other camera. I remember using a Canon D30 when it first came out and I remember seeing some studio portraits that my friend had shot with the camera. They were larger than 8x12 but smaller than 12x18 as the 12x18 inch paper had a white border of around 1 inch. There was nothing wrong with the prints they looked great. I guess that resolution does not really matter as much as we often like to think and many subjects don't need large amounts of resolution to render them well. I am happy with prints from all my cameras be it film or digital.
     
  127. Stuart, frankly, when it comes to color prints from the lab, I am happier by far with the 8x12 and larger prints I'm getting today (from either scanned film or digital captures) than with the enlargements I got from 35mm in the optical-print era.
    The optically printed enlargements from 6x6 were always great.
    This comes back to Mauro's excellent title line, "It all comes down to the print!"
     
  128. Richard, thank you for the good words.
    I also have several 8x10 (and one 16x20 LOL) prints made from my first Olympus 2MP digital camera that look very good although here is no fine detail in them. Depending on the subject fine details may not exist or may not be relevant for the print to look good. Although they didn't look the same as my wet prints I remembered being in AWE at the new technology. Digital is quite a treat for photographers.

    Several cameras later when I bought the 40D I had a period when I used it for everything, with film shots now and then. Ultimately I always ended up picking the film prints to a point the 40D got relegated to the sidelines. It was then when I began testing; in an effort to understand. Test and articles available on-line did not match my results with film so I had to test on my own.
    Film's advantage in resolution and dynamic range were some of the first, more quantifiable, observations I came up with but still there was more, that made me choose the prints from film. Still today I don't have the full answer.

    I believe digital's higher acutance is both its best friend and its worst foe. The human eye, from the distance, is attracted to the abrupt changes in contrast at the small feature level and the smooth texture that digital produces. Yet up close it renders a fake and plastic look with unnaturally strong contrast transitions, smoother than natural color (interpolated), and void of the smallest details. (This is much improved with the current 20+MP DSLRs)
    A matter of subjective preference comes into play as well. As in wine and women. Many people actually prefer the digital look whereas other prefer the look of film.
     
  129. Barry,
    Today most film is scanned. That is why the comparison.
    You can still benefit from the dynamic range, resolution, texture and color information captured by the film if you have an adequate scanner. (i.e. Coolscan or better).
     
  130. Edward,
    I printed your example from the Nikon D2x of the chain at the following resolutions:
    1) 280dpi (40x60 print)
    2) 560dpi (20x30 print)
    3) 840dpi (13x20 print)
    4) 1120dpi (10x15 print)
    I found (1) and (2) were not of an acceptable quality for display. I found (3) the 13x20 print, acceptable. The print (4) of visible better quality than (3) at close examination.
    00WHNT-237797584.jpg
     
  131. If you don't mind, could you please print your crop in the same resolutions and let me know what you observe and conclude?
     
  132. I found (1) and (2) were not of an acceptable quality for display. I found (3) the 13x20 print, acceptable. The print (4) of visible better quality than (3) at close examination.
    I agree - 16x20" is a large as I'd care to go with a D2x, or 35mm color film for that matter. My point was that obvious pixelation exaggerates the problem with the resolution of DSLR images, and is completely unnecessary. Resampled D2x images clean up well with sharpening, which I did not use in this case.
     
  133. You are right it looked better, particularly at 20x30. With resampling and sharpening the 20x30 print looked good from just a few feet away.
     
  134. Thank you Les.
    If you received the 100% map from Daniel's 7D, can you please post it resized and sharpened to match the scan of 35mm Velvia?
    From my personal testing of the 7D, and observing the resolution of 35mm film under magnification, it is clear that the 35mm film far outresolves the 7D but sadly I don't have an Imacon to share the results with the thread.
     
  135. This is the comparison between the scan from Velvia 35mm (TIFF from Les) to the Canon 7D.
    As you can tell, there is still a gap between the resolving power of 35mm film and DSLRs in 2010. MF film is a level apart.

    You may print this crop at 450dpi to compare how the fim (35mm) compares to the 7D on a 16x20 print.
    00WJC3-238701584.jpg
     
  136. How did you manage to make the 7D file look so bad considering that Daniels upload looks a lot better.
    Daniels sample
     
  137. Here is his 7D file cropped and uploaded here for comparison
    00WJDW-238711684.jpg
     
  138. Stuart,
    Les sent me a 100% crop (named IMG_0254 DPP crop . tiff). I just did bi-cubic upsampling and sharpening in Photoshop.
    Here is the 100% crop from the 7D I used:
    00WJEd-238717584.jpg
     
  139. It is very strange.
     
  140. Please try to upsample it yourself and see if you can do better.
     
  141. Mauro,
    Something is off on your scaling, or in the field of view between the images.
    At best the Imacon scan should give an image that is 11339 x 7559 pixels, but it seem that you have scale the 7D photo larger then that.
    Can you tell us how large the Imacon scan is in terms of pixels and how large you scaled the 7D photo to?
    Thanks
     
  142. I will give it ago but I think Daniel may have upsampled in the RAW converter. Any chance of getting the RAW file or the cropped TIFF. All I get with the JPEG crop is this.
    00WJGN-238735584.jpg
     
  143. How big did you have to enlarge the 7D? If it is close it could just be framing.
    The 35mm scan was at 8000 dpi (original 100%).
    Let me see if I can access the link to Les' full frame.
     
  144. Les, I don't have the full frame. Can you please confirm the dimensions?
     
  145. Here I took it from Daniels own comparison to Velvia MF and sharpen it to see the detail:
    00WJN3-238787784.jpg
     
  146. Hm, that seems odd, both because the aspect ratio is 1.4:1 not 1.5:1 and to get 7678 pixels of height @ 8000 ppi the film would have to be close to 24.4 mm, which I guess is posible depending on the camera but I have not seen it before.
    So it would appear that the size film scanned was around 34.24mm x 24.38.
    Not a big deal, I am just trying to get a good handle on exactly what scaling is being done to all the images.
     
  147. There may be a thin line of unexposed film in the scan.
    By looking at the starts resolved in the map it is clear that 35mm Velvia resolves more (significantly) then the 18MP DSLR. Which is consistent with my direct results and observations. Enough to create a difference on a 16x20 print.
     
  148. I don't know there seems to be so little difference between them at this level of magnification I doubt we would see much if any difference in 16x20 inch prints unless we started to look at the print really close.
     
  149. It may depend on the printer.
    On my printers, a 16x20 print (just print these crops at 450dpi) is large enough to show the resolution edge of 35mm film. It is true that you need very close examination to see the difference in detail but the film print has a visible crispness to it.
    A 24x36 print (just print these crops at 300dpi) shows a large and obvious difference. The 35mm film print looks excellent (I encourage people to try this to realize how well 35mm looks on a 24x36 print), whereas the 7D print breaks down at anything closer the 3 feet (tolerance may vary per person).
     
  150. I must admit after printing all the crops from Daniel, that he has the best upscaling technique I've seen and that current DSLRs have come long ways in the last several years.
    Contrary to the popular belief that 6MP DSLR were a suitable replacement for 35mm (to produce actual prints), they were far from it. Current ~20MP DSLRs, for color, can produce prints almost on par with the best 35mm color films.
     
  151. Wow. I thought this thread was dying and Mauro and I were going to end up in a never ending debate. I can't believe it's still going and popped back onto the front page.
    I can't possibly catch up with everything in the thread since I bowed out. But I've skimmed the last few posts and I hope this helps answer some questions, and helps move the debate forward.
    * The 7D RAW file is here: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0Bz1sfHfXHVDCYTgzYmZhMGMtYmVkOS00MTI1LWI5ZWEtYzg5ZGIzNzEzZDNm&hl=en
    * In another thread I've been posting new comparisons with some improved processing. Participants in the thread also discussed the comparisons further. http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00WHC0
    * In my experience, you cannot resize a previously resized/processed crop and expect optimum output. Quite the contrary, the output falls apart with the second resize and subsequent sharpening. You must start with a fresh crop from the RAW file, resize to the desired target size, and apply any processing after the resize. (I realize the thread proceeded without the RAW file and that's why people were playing with existing samples.)
    * I've used Bicubic Sharper for all scaling. I've been playing with another image application which has a lot more options than PS for scaling, but I'm not finding a significant difference yet.
    * While the 7D crop obviously needs to be scaled up to the Imacon crop size for comparison, I see no point in scaling them further or observing at greater magnification. When you do this you only test the interaction of your chosen scaling algorithm with the samples. Past a certain point you're not actually testing or observing the camera systems themselves. (At a scale like Mauro posted on Apr 23, 2010; 12:27 p.m., the vast majority of pixels are interpolated.) Along those lines if you scale to some insane level, then scale back down for print, you're just introducing artifacts. IMHO scaling the 7D sample to the native Imacon sample size and then observing and printing is the proper way to compare.
     
  152. Daniel,
    Can you please post an image from the 7D to match the crop above (in size and sharpness) so I can print it next to the Velvia scan at 300 dpi. (24x36 print)
    You can produce a better upscaling from the raw than what Stuart and I were able to do from the jpegs. My upscaling of the 7D may not do justice to it.
     
  153. With those notes out of the way...
    The last, best Imacon 35mm Velvia 50 vs 7D image I posted in the other thread is here: http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00W/00WJ26-238625584.jpg
    As I mention in that thread, I tried optimizing both samples to produce best possible crops. When I print this at 259 ppi (30" x 45" equivalent) on an Epson R800 using Epson Premium Glossy paper I observe the following:
    * The Velvia sample still has a bit more noise (this is after Noise Ninja was applied to the Velvia sample).
    * The 7D sample is a touch sharper, but also looks a bit harsh in some areas.
    * High contrast detail looks about the same.
    * The 7D resolves a bit more low contrast detail.
    * Some halos are evident in the Velvia sample due to the aggressive sharpening and LCE used to increase its clarity to a level comparable to the (newly processed) 7D sample.
    Overall there's not much to choose between them. I would say the 7D out resolved Velvia based on the low contrast detail. But I also believe that Velvia would resolve a bit more very high contrast detail on a target with such detail (i.e. B&W), scanned on an Imacon or drum scanner. Either way, they're pretty darn close to one another, though it did take more processing on the Velvia side to get there. I think if anyone wanted to split hairs further than this they would have to use a more precise resolution target, printed and photographed at varying contrast levels. I'm not interested in doing that at this time.
    While both put in a good performance, they are starting to break down at this scale. For prints at this size you would want to stitch frames or shoot a larger format for optimum print quality.
    The only other note I'll make is that Velvia 50 on an Imacon is head and shoulders above any other color film / scanner combination. These results don't speak for "color 35mm film", but for Velvia only.
     
  154. Can you please post an image from the 7D to match the crop above (in size and sharpness) so I can print it next to the Velvia scan at 300 dpi. (24x36 print)
    What crop size are you looking for?
    Going with the above link: the 7D crop has to be scaled by roughly 2.29x to match the Imacon sample I have on hand. (I got it from another thread that Les posted in.) So...
    (5,184 x 2.29) / 24 = 495 ppi (rounded)
    I actually made a minor error in my above post where I printed the samples to 30x45" equivalent. The ppi should have been 264 ppi.
    I feel the link above represents my best processing of Les Sarile's scan sample and my 7D sample to date. I can list the processing steps if you like.
     
  155. I pretty much agree with your observations on Velvia and the 7D.
    I think the sample posted from Ektar is not optimal. Looks too light and a bit fuzzy.
    On black and white, even from a 4000dpi of 35mm film clearly outresolves current DSLRs. Not sure why; other than films like TMAX provides resolution oversampling on top of the 4000dpi that result in a crazy crisp scan.
    All and all, current DSLRs are definitely an alternative for prints up to 16x20. At this size, observing resolution alone, it is difficult to tell it apart from a print from 35mm film. At 24x36, films like Velvia and TMAX, scanned at 8000 dpi will have a visible edge.
     
  156. Here, please replace the right side with your own 7D upsample. Mine is not as good as from the raw.
    00WJbi-238917584.jpg
     
  157. I have to retract an earlier statement. Earlier I said (At a scale like Mauro posted on Apr 23, 2010; 12:27 p.m., the vast majority of pixels are interpolated.)
    I misjudged the area Mauro posted and thought he had scaled even further than the native Imacon scan size. He did not. With that out of the way...
    Mauro - I took both sides from the test sample linked above.
    00WJcM-238923684.jpg
     
  158. For some reason your Velvia shot looks softer than the one above I sharpened directly from the TIFF.
    Here is the one I sharpened next to your 7D.
    00WJcX-238925584.jpg
     
  159. Like I said before the 7D holds very well up to prints 16x20. Printed at 16x20 or larger I can see the edge of film showing on the print. (You can print at 300 dpi for a rough 24x36 comparison).
     
  160. Here it is the above at 50% (bicubic downsampled) which looks very close on the monitor to the print I'm holding in my hand:
    00WJcr-238927784.jpg
     
  161. For some reason your Velvia shot looks softer than the one above I sharpened directly from the TIFF.
    We can keep sharpening all day, but I think we're moving past the point of what's realistically possible with normal subject matter. For print I would use the sample I link to above, not these super sharpened samples.
    Like I said before the 7D hold very well up to prints 16x20. Printed at 16x20 or larger I can see the edge of film showing on the print. (You can print at 300 dpi for a rough 24x36 comparison).
    330 dpi would be equivalent to 24x36. At 259 ppi (30x45) I feel the 7D has a slight edge (less noise and fewer artifacts), though they are pretty darn close to being equal. Have you tried printing the sample I linked to?
    00WJdB-238931584.jpg
     
  162. I am printing it now.
     
  163. They look almost indistinguishable on print from the link you posted.
     
  164. This has been a very rewarding thread with better and finer comparisons than previous ones I read. Also a better discussion and exchange of experiences - at least from my point of view.
     
  165. This has been a very rewarding thread with better and finer comparisons than previous ones I read. Also a better discussion and exchange of experiences - at least from my point of view.
    Agreed.
     
  166. It has been a very good thread . Nothing got out of hand which makes a nice change with these kind of threads. The 7D and 35mm Velvia seem to be fairly well matched when making prints up to 16x20 inches.
     
  167. They are huge magnifications though Les, 16x20 prints seem to be quite equal. At 100% crop they are both looking rather rough or rather excelent depending on how you look at it. For life size repros of maps with fine print I don't think I would choose either though.
     
  168. The 7D resolves all the details you point out, but you are saying that the Velvia scan resolved them better.
    You need to keep in mind that some of my processing decisions optimized the print at the expense of the screen display. As I said in the other thread, "rough" at 100% on screen comes off as "sharp" in print. LCE in particular makes the black ink appear thicker and obscures some fine detail within the letters and stars.
    That said, I would agree that Velvia on the Imacon exhibits slightly higher resolution of high contrast detail. But the Canon 7D exhibits higher resolution of low contrast detail, as is clearly evident in the relief portions of the map. This is consistent with what we know about film and digital.
    These differences are not easily observed outside of a 100% screen view.
     
  169. ... the Canon 7D exhibits higher resolution of low contrast detail​
    That's precisely the point isn' t it.
    The premise of this thread is that the it's the print that matters in the end. This means a few things:
    1. If you're following the discussion up to this point, then you're likely printing digitally. So, the maximum number of source pixels needed is simply what's necessary to fill the target print size at around 300ppi. This is a good number practically because it's at the limit of unaided vision (and thus no surprise that it's around the native output capability of most printers.)
    2. The cover all bases target print size should be no larger than where the recording media starts failing in delivering high fidelity pixels. Pick 50% MTF generally; 70% MTF if you're picky (I am.) For many color film, spatial fidelity as a function of increasing image detail noticeably degrades far sooner than its digital sensor peer.
    3. A DSLR sensor at low ISO settings has a much lower noise floor than many 135 format film.
    This is why taken together an obsolete, 8MP Canon XT can more easily produce a better looking 8x10 than 135 Reala, and why "a 6MP DSLR is the equal of 6x7."
    I'm an avid film user; it's an enticing medium for many, many reasons. A singular insistence on resolution as the defining characteristic, however, is puzzling to me.
     
  170. Robert,
    I print routinely (with this I mean almost every day) at 16x20, 24x30 and 24x36 from film (both 6x7 and 35mm). The results are excellent.
    In contrast, I do not print from my 10MP 40D larger than 11x14 or 12x18 as a stretch because it break down.
    Those are the results. A numerical theory that shows the opposity is wrong because it does not match reality.
    I will try to address the flaw in the theory next but the best would be for people to print the test sheet with the pictures of the two ladies (see toward the beginning of the thread) at home and look at the print instead of relying on theories.
    Set the resolution of this image at 360dpi and print it ltter sized using your printers maximum resolution:
    http://shutterclick.smugmug.com/Other/Standard-Lenses/9379726_tZVrK#838499551_wYtLb-O-LB
     
  171. Scenes are regularly made from a combination of details (depending on print size and capture they will be small, medium or large) and contrast.
    The reason why the theories of comparing digital at MTF50 do not match the results on the prints is because MTF50 is just one subset of several found in the scene.
    This chart could help explain:
    00WJzR-239139584.jpg
     
  172. Now here is the real revelation. You cannot look at a single detail column or at a single contrast row since THE PRINT IS THE COMBINATION OF ALL DETAIL AND CONTRAST LEVELS.
    Resulting in:
     
  173. OVERALL RESULTS FROM EACH SYSTEM ON A 24"X30" PRINT:
    00WJzh-239141784.jpg
     
  174. While I do agree with Mauro that the 35mm film does show more resolution often what I found for myself is that I often got better 8x10 prints when I went from 35mm film color neg films to a 6mp D70. 35mm films color I was using at that time Fuji press 800, superia 400 and 800, kodak elite 200 (was a print film in Europe). Those films would show some grain at 8x10 but the D70 prints would be grainless. Many other also found that they prefered the grainless digital prints which is what I believe caused many to say the prints were rather like medium format prints. It was not about the resolution but the smoothness of the prints.
     
  175. As Stuart mentions, grain is also introduced with faster films. The lack of grain in the film older times was an indicative of either low speed iso or medium format prints.
    It wasn't until well after the introduction of digital cameras that people realized that they could use sophisticated digital tools like Neat Image or Noise Ninja to remove grain (a matter of personal choice) the same way digital cameras remove noise.

    Especially if a high resolving scanner is used to provide good sampling for the software algorithm, the results are consistent. Nonetheless, digital today can produce less noise at higher iso than the grain that is produced by high iso films. The exception being TMAX 400 that produces no visible grain on prints 16x20 and larger when shot at iso 800 or 1600.
     
  176. I personally experienced a time when I bougth my first 2MP camera when I thought the results were matching my wet prints of 35mm (up until 8x10 ish). I was bewildered by its smoothness to a point the lack of detail was irrelevant. It was just the honeymoon period that ended quickly though.
    Digital technology definitely added a set of tools to film processing that were not available in the past.
     
  177. Stuart,
    I have a model that generates the spectrum of detail resolved (used to produce the carts above).
    If you want it, let me know and I'll email it to you. You can input the resolution at different contrast for any film or digital camera and you can obtain the spectrum on the print for comparison.
     
  178. Not talking about anything to do with a v500 Les why would you assume that. I would not even bring a v500 into this. Mauro himself found the smoothness in prints from a 2mp digital yes detail would be lacking from a 2mp file but he found the prints were grainless as many other have found.
     
  179. Mauro, I think that it is time to retire the 40D as your point of comparison. It was not even the best example to use when you first used it. Now it is so far behind that your continued inclusion of it in your examples damages your credibility.
    --Lannie
     
  180. Even more damaging, Mauro, is the claim that 5.6 megapixels is the "true" resolution of the 40D.
    --Lannie
     
  181. Now the above is comparing to film.
    Here is the result of introducing a scanner in the process:
     
  182. On the V500 (my own test):
    00WK2N-239165584.jpg
     
  183. Resolving Power vs Contrast numbers - What is the basis for these numbers? Any MTF chart shows lower contrast response at higher frequencies (lp/mm) while the table shows the opposite - higher lp/mm for higher contrast.
    Further, it seems the number for the DSLRs are the jpeg absolute resolution from DPR's tests and are being compared with the extinction resolution of Velvia (where do the 3500 and 4000 for 35mm Velvia come from?). The raw extinction resolution of 7D is around 3800 LP/PH according to DPR's review of 7D. The number for FF DSLR would be correspondingly higher.
     
  184. On the Coolscan 9000:
    00WK2z-239169784.jpg
     
  185. C. Sharon,
    All tests for high contrast with the exception of the 20MP DSLR (DPR) are my own. This means I personally tested a Canon 40D, TMAX 35mm, Velvia 35mm, TMAX 6x7, Velvia 6x7, Coolscan 9000, Epson V500 and printed on an Epson 24" 7880. All these results were published.
    The values for the film's low contrast response are from the 1 to 1.6 contrast resolution from the Kodak charts.
    The mid contrast values are interpolated from the curves published by Kodak in the technical documents.
     
  186. If your tests show you different values of resolution, please let me know what they are and I will enter them in the model and publish the results using your own values.
     
  187. Forgive me, Mauro, but I share C. Sharon's skepticism. I am not saying that your numbers are wrong, just that I don't think that they are completely objective. In any case, the 7D may be almost twenty MP, but its resolving power is surely below that of the 5D II.
    I have no particular axe to grind in all this. I like film. I love beautiful MF film work. I just doubt that you are convincing too many people with these data.
    --Lannie
     
  188. Lannie,
    The true resolution of the 40D as tested by me is aprox 6MP.
    I am not concerned about my credibility. LOL.
    If your tests give you different results, what resolution did you obtain with a 20MP camera and a 20MP have in actual lines per picture height resolved?
    If your results are higher than mine, then my test will be wrong and I will replace the values. I must say though, that I have tested that camera so thoroughly that I'd be shock if your results are more than 5% or 10% higher than mine. Please share them though.
     
  189. Lannie,
    No need to apologize. I know everyone has good intentions to share experiences and advance conclusions.
    These are facts though. The only people who need convincing are those who don't regularly print at 24".
    Please tell me what values I should use in the model. I 'll generate it for you.
     
  190. I just need this:
     
  191. This is the format I need the values from your test (or understanding):
    00WK44-239176184.jpg
     
  192. Mauro, I'm going out to shoot.
    --Lannie
     
  193. The values for the film's low contrast response are from the 1 to 1.6 contrast resolution from the Kodak charts​
    I suppose you are aware that the 1.6:1 number is for contact printed film - that is a directly printed sine wave on film without using a lens. So you cannot use it as it is to compare with the resolution test numbers for DSLRs from DPR because the latter are sensor+ lens numbers.
    What you need to do is use the Fuji resolving power equation 1/r_film+lens = 1/r_film +1/r_lens. From Fuji's datasheet for Velvia the resolution at 1.6:1 contrast ratio is 80 lp/mm. Pairing it with an excellent lens of 120 lp/mm you get 1/r_film+lens = 1/80 + 1/120, or r_film+lens = 48 lp/mm which works out to 48x2x24 = 2304 LP/PH. This is lower than the raw tested result for any 12 MP DSLR by DPR.
     
  194. The EOS 450D is listed at 2300 X 2200 - http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos450d/page33.asp As I pointed out above, rotated, the numbers fall by 10%.​
    Again, you are quoting the jpeg absolute resolution. The jpeg extinction resolution is 2500 in the review, and the raw number would be higher. DPR started publishing resolution test number for raw after they reviewed EOS 450D.
    Of course, more importantly, real results are available and theories usually have a "fudge factor" that you must not have accounted for. Either that or your "idealized" digital resolution are not being realized.​
    I provided some theory in response to numbers being quoted which are questionable. Daniel's "real results" in this thread speak for themselves.
     
  195. C. Sharon,
    To clarify. Please tell me what is the resolving power for:
    35mm Velvia high contrast
    35mm TMAX high contrast
    35mm Velvia low contrast
    35mm TMAX low contrast
     
  196. C. Sharon,
    I agree results speak for themselves. Theory, especially when you don't validate it with your own tests is less valuable.
    Daniel's results from the 7D are the best I have seen.
    00WK5v-239185584.jpg
     
  197. Please tell me what is the resolving power for: 35mm Velvia high contrast
    35mm TMAX high contrast
    35mm Velvia low contrast
    35mm TMAX low contrast​
    You can get these numbers from the MTF curve in datasheets of the respective films. For low contrast look at MTF curve and the lp/mm at which the MTF is 30%. For high contrast, you can look at the lp/mm for MTF50 or higher.
    Please note that these numbers are for contact printed film - you will have to use the Fuji resolving power equation to get the film+lens resolution.
    Velvia
    MTF 30 - 80 lpmm (low contrast)
    MTF 50 - 48 lp/mm
    MTF 70 - 35 lp/mm
    TMX 100
    MTF 30 - 180 lp/mm (low contrast)
    MTF 50 - 125 lp/mm
    MTF 70 - 95 lp/mm
     
  198. Thank you. I think you are mixing lines per mm and line pairs in you numbers above.
    I don't want to make any assumptions, so could you please give your understanding of resolution in lines per picture height in a 35mm strip in this format:
    (PLEASE STATE NUMBERS THAT YOU BELIEVE WILL MAKE IT INTO THE FILM - AFTER LENS AND ALL YOUR CONSIDERATIONS).
    35mm Velvia high contrast: ___
    35mm TMAX high contrast: ___
    35mm Velvia low contrast: ___
    35mm TMAX low contrast: ___
     
  199. As a guideline, for high contrast your numbers should be equal or higher than what I get from my Coolscan:
    Velvia Scan (CS 9000) 35mm = 3650 lines per picture height
    TMAX Scan (CS 9000) 35mm = 3850 lines per picture height
     
  200. And then tell me what should I use for (lines per picture height):
    10MP DSLR high contrast: ___
    20MP DSLR high contrast: ___

    10MP DSLR low contrast: ___
    20MP DSLR low contrast: ___
     
  201. All the numbers in my previous post are in lp/mm. None of them is lines per mm
    To get a realistic estimate of the LP/PH, it is better to use the MTF10 lp/mm number. For Velvia that is about 120 lp/mm from the MTF curve. Paired with a 120 lp/mm lens, the resolution is 60 lp/mm.
    35mm Velvia lp/ph = 60*2*24 = 2880.
    You might note that I used 80 lp/mm in my earlier post to calculate the lp/ph for 35mm Velvia and that was because you had specified the 1.6:1 resolving power number. This number is not used much these days and the MTF based estimate is considered more reliable.
    The MTF10 for TMAX 100 would be around 200 lp/mm from the MTF curve and the lp/ph would be 75*2*24=3600, assuming a 120 lp/mm lens.
     
  202. Ok. If the high contrast resolution of Velvia 35mm is 2880 lines per picture height (and this is before the scanner you imply I assume);
    Then the explanation for Velvia's resolving 3650 lines with just a Coolscan is?
    Or a Velvia 35mm scan (above) outresolving an 18MP DSLR is?
     
  203. Ok. So the explanation for Velvia's resolving 3650 lines with just a Coolscan is?​
    You tell me. In any case, 3650 is still less than the 3800 lp/ph for 7D as tested by DPR
     
  204. I think your numbers are confused: (see DPR test below)
    Camera Measurement Absolute
    resolution
    Extinction
    resolution
    Canon EOS 7D

    Vertical LPH
    2450 ​
    * 3050​
     
  205. I think your numbers are confused: (see DPR test below)​
    Look at the second page of the resolution tests for the raw image. It is 3800.
     
  206. LOL The 7D has only 3456 pixels.
     
  207. I believe it is due to the sharpening applied.
     
  208. 5184 x 3456
    I am puzzled as to how sharpening could have anything to do with that. If there are only 3456 vertical pixels, then there is no possible way to resolve higher than that.
    "Sharpness is not resolution": the first axiom of any kind of analysis of this sort. It may look sharp as a razor, but that does not mean that it is resolving anything real. It is possible to print digital artifacts, but that would be more than a little strange.
    --Lannie
     
  209. Sharpness is not resolution​
    No argument with that. But sharpening can enhance response attenuated by the sensor (or film) and lens, if that response is present. If that is not intuitive then should the extinction resolution be limited to 3456? Even if it is, it is still more than the 2880 I get from the MTF curve.
     
  210. Les mentioned rotation above, which I presume implies the possibility of resolving along the other axis--but you will have to ask those guys about that.
    I do notice that the comparison above between the 7D and the 35mm Velvia scan (the map) shows rivers below Port Gentil, but the 7D gives darker lines while losing virtually all the color.
    In any case, I am not really literate on all this--and still trying to make sense of it. I am pretty sure that more detail can be pulled out of film, but the question for me is how much of it is usable. That question brings us unfortunately back to digital as well: how many of the rated megapixels are usable?
    With MF, there is no contest, of course--at least not to me, although I certainly do not know a thousandth of what Ellis Vener knows, and he told me once that 35mm digital can now out-resolve MF film. I frankly cannot see how, but all of these guys on both sides of the fence know more than I do.
    --Lannie
     
  211. Whoa? What's all this talk about pixels? I thought it's all about the print, right?
    I want to look at the print, and make my decisions from comparing the prints. Then, I go pixel-peeping and reading about MTF and resolution to help understand why I'm seeing what I see.
    Stuart wrote:
    Many other also found that they prefered the grainless digital prints which is what I believe caused many to say the prints were rather like medium format prints. It was not about the resolution but the smoothness of the prints.​
    My experience agrees with Stuart's... I think prints from digital capture are excellent.
    A little story... Visiting old friends in Japan, a nice couple, they take us out for dinner. She pulls out her 4x6 prints of pictures from recent vacation. They are really good prints! Strong, punchy, detailed. Terrific. What camera? P&S digital. Then, he pulls out his prints. They are OK, but just not as good. What camera? A very good 35mm P&S film camera. That's opened my eyes... Ordinary people, good consumer cameras, same place, same time, printed at same shop, the evidence was clear in the prints.
    I'm sure his film camera out-resolved her digital, but the prints told a different story.
    Please, no one tell me that some resolution test result disproves what I saw!

    I've done my own tests. In my opinion, looking at 8x12 prints, I see about equal quality from 12 MPx DSLR as from Ektar 100 in a 35mm SLR scanned on a Coolscan V. Yes, that's with noise reduction and sharpening.
    I've got a pretty deep background in science, measurement, and data, so I've looked at it that way too. My numbers agree quite precisely with Les's, Mauro's, and DPReview. 35mm film, scanned on a Coolscan V or 5000, out-resolves a 12MPx DSLR, by the usual measures. But, I judge the prints as equal in quality. Huh?
    How to square these results? Stuart suggested smoothness coming from low noise in digital capture. Might be. I rather like the theory in the Sony Tech Briefing I linked earlier... That the human visual system responds more favorably to high MTF than to ultimate resolution, and digital has higher MTF at moderate detail.
    One more comment... I printed Mauro's test file that included the two women. Moving from one print size to larger and larger, it was the image of the women that fell apart first, before the test chart fell apart. That was surprising to me; I thought any differences would be easier to see in the test chart than in the continuous tone image.
     
  212. I don't know why Richard but I am very happy with my 8x10/12 inch prints from my DSLRs. I spent from 2000 to 2006 working as a wide format printer so I have made a lot of large prints but the encad printers we used back them were coarser being only 600dpi devices. Prints looked good though but things have moved on since then. I've printed some pretty huge prints from DSLRs, 35mm film scans as well as medium format scans on those printers, most of them would be large prints in hotels, resturants, bars, theaters and shopping centres. Personaly I prefer much smaller prints for myself and usually prefer B&W prints I rarlely go above 8x10/12 for myself. I got the dslr around 2005 and have been very pleased with the DSLR at those smaller print sizes.
     
  213. Mauro states,
    In contrast, I do not print from my 10MP 40D larger than 11x14 ...​
    Richard Karash also asks,
    out-resolves a 12MPx DSLR, by the usual measures. But, I judge the prints as equal in quality. Huh? How to square these results?​
    Neither would I. 10MP fills out an 8x10 print nicely with a bit of margin to crop. The point is that resolution limited as a DSLR may be, what pixels are available tend to be much higher quality than those originated from 135 film.
    Look at the numbers C. Sharon pulled out from the data sheet. Velvia at 70% MTF is 35 cycles/mm, or roughly 5MP for a frame of 135. Source image features finer than this starts to be recorded at noticeably reduced contrast.
    Okay, so say the frame is scanned on a 4000dpi Nikon 5000. This yields a 20MP file. Yes, all 20MP has real image information, but much of it is a recorded at lower fidelity and not as easily usable.
    Pitch the file at a 6x9 300ppi (~5MP) print and everything looks sharp. This is because the printer is effectively just rendering the 70% and higher MTF portion of the film's recording regime. However, do a 12x18 print from the same 20MP file and visible fine details are now decidedly a bit fuzzy: the printer is now reproducing the 30% and lower MTF response part of the film.
    The other aspect of film is that it's much noisier than the same sized digital imager. Keep in mind where effectively the printer low pass filtering kicks in. Printing a film scan at moderate sizes, e.g., less than 5X enlargement, places the film grain above the limit of reproducibility of the printer.
    Taken in aggregate, this is why it can take a 6x7 to equal a 8MP DSLR on a 8x10 print.
    One more thing though, the noise reduction and sharpening tools available is of course agnostic as to where the digitized file came from. These are perfectly suited for improving the film scan quality - if you're bent that way.
     
  214. Les - To be even more precise, because the scanned film results actually has more resolution then your processed 7D setup it is therefore able to distinguish even finer detail and is able to render those details more precisely that I pointed out.
    No Les, that is purposely less precise. Which has more resolution depends entirely on the contrast of the detail being resolved. It is the 7D which is able to distinguish even finer detail, and is able to render those details more precisely, where the details are low in contrast. Velvia 50, the best color film by a wide margin, on an Imacon, one of the best scanners ever made, could not resolve the relief texture in the map that the 7D picked up with ease.
    Looking at a sample print at the same ppi as a 30x45" full map print, I can observe that the 7D resolves more low contrast detail and gives a superior rendering of relief texture. I wouldn't consider it an important or huge difference, but it's observable. I cannot observe any difference in the high contrast detail (i.e. the text). I have to view at 100% to see that.
    In the real world fine details occur overwhelmingly at low contrast. The texture of a model's skin, fabric threads in clothing, dust on a petal, foliage at a distance...all are defined by small variations in color and tone. They're all low contrast. I'm hard pressed to think of any fine details which occur at high contrast in real scenes, with the exception of human signs (i.e. black text on bright backgrounds). That means for most real scenes, most of the time, the 7D will yield a higher resolution image and print than even Velvia 50 on an Imacon.
     
  215. "Taken in aggregate, this is why it can take a 6x7 to equal a 8MP DSLR on a 8x10 print."
    Agree at 8 x 10.
    If you print the test sheet I offered (the one of the two ladies) you will see that you are not far from reality. At 8x10, the 6x7 film and 10MP DSLR produce somewhat similar results. At 11x14 the differences become more visible, and pass that point, (in my opinion) the 10MP DSLR crosses the line where the print quality is materially impaired.
    A 20MP DSLR gives you about a size up from a 10MP DSLR (i.e a 20MP DSLR can produce a similar print at 16x20 than what a 10MP DSLR can produce at 11x14).
    35mm film (Velvia, TMAX, Ektar) scanned with a Coolscan, give a significantly higher quality print than a 10MP DSLR at 16x20 prints or larger. This in particular I tested rather extensively. (Some comparisons you can find in this thread to print yourself).
     
  216. I'm not particularly interested in getting buried in a discussion about Mauro's charts. I will say, however, that I have no idea where he got the numbers or thresholds, and that they directly contradict what we just observed with the 7D vs film map samples.
    I will also point out, again, that LPH cannot be converted to MP the way Mauro and Les are converting it. The 40D is not a 5 MP camera, it is a 10 MP camera.
    And I would like to reiterate that in real world photography the finer the detail, the lower the contrast. It is rare to find a scene which contains detail that is both very fine yet also high in contrast. Most fine detail is texture, and most surface textures are defined by very subtle changes in color and tone. Foliage and Earth (i.e. soil, rock) at a distance exhibit the same characteristic.
    I have some trips coming up at the beginning of summer when I can test the following assertion with side by side landscape shots. But knowing that the Canon 7D exhibits higher resolution than 35mm Velvia 50 when dealing with low contrast detail, I predict that it will give me higher resolution images and superior prints, regardless of size, than 35mm Velvia 50 will when dealing with real world landscapes.
    Now if I were to go into a lab and shoot some B&W test charts, I'm sure Velvia would give me higher resolution images and superior prints, assuming an Imacon or drum scanner. But prints of lab shots of B&W test charts don't interest me very much.
    If this exercise has taught me anything, other than how to maximize processing for extreme enlargements, it has taught me that the resolution argument is dead.
     
  217. Daniel,
    If you wish, I can scan your Velvia shots when you return from your trip. That will be a very relevant comparison.
    I hope you use Velvia 50 (not 100).
     
  218. A 20MP DSLR gives you about a size up from a 10MP DSLR ...​
    Right, pretty much. It's got just enough pixels to nicely fill out a 12x18 print, and as Daniel mentioned high quality pixels, i.e., almost perfect fidelity and almost no noise. In actual use, this means being able to record the skin textures on even a model with perfect skin.
    Where the 20MP DSLR starts to fall teeter and fall apart is on enlargements above 12x18. Unlike film, there is no image information recorded above this threshold.
    00WKX0-239421584.jpg
     
  219. Very nice!
     
  220. Cool snowman....
     
  221. A 20MP DSLR gives you about a size up from a 10MP DSLR ...
    Right, pretty much. It's got just enough pixels to nicely fill out a 12x18 print​
    And that is at 300 dpi. (300x12 = 3600 on one side and 300x18 = 5400 on the other: 3600x5400 = 19,400,000) If one is content to print at lower resolution, it can go much larger.
    I know that this is obvious to the people who post here, but it is a good reminder to all of us who do once a while like to print.
    I wonder how many here routinely print at 300 dpi.
    --Lannie
     
  222. I print at 360 dpi (native for my 24" printer).
    A 20MP dslr can generate quality prints up to 16x20, in my opinion, with all conditions being ideal.
     
  223. Mauro says"A 20MP dslr can generate quality prints up to 16x20, in my opinion, with all conditions being ideal."
    Mauro I've noticed something that doesn't get mentioned much. I often print small usually 5x7 or maybe 6x9. I've been shooting a lot of 35mm Tri-x with my M6 and a V/C Nokton 40 1.4. This somewhat grainy film doesn't look all that great on screen at 100% when compared to a decent DSLR. But!! that same grittiness that doesn't look so great when magnified creates a print that is so sharp and detailed that it's blowing my mind. The tonalities are superb and I can't get my 40D to begin to match detail when it comes to things like vegetation, grasses and the like. Wish I could show folks the print of the attached photo.
    00WLP2-239890284.jpg
     
  224. Michael, that is very true - tri-x has very interesting tones. Also grain may add to the sharpness of the print.
    That is a fantastic picture. Please let me know if you have a link where I can download it for print. (you may want to put a watermark on it).
     

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