Poor scans - May explain why some switch to Digital

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by mauro_franic, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Poor scans may be the reason why some people believe DSLRs compare to scanned medium format film. Either poor technique, or worse, the use of a flatbed scanner, can through most of the data captured on film out the window.
    I recall a previous post claiming pictures from the D2X where comparable to the results of 6x7 film scanned with a Coolscan 8000.
    To help answer the question, I asked Les Sarile to provide me with his D2X maps shots and a 6x7 strip of Kodak UC 100 6x7 (He shot with his Mamiya RZ 67 II).
    Here are the results:
    00SlJT-116259584.jpg
     
  2. Set 1 (above) has the film scanned with the Coolscan 9000 (left) next to the D2X (right).
    Set 2 (below) has the film scanned with a flatbed (left - Epson V500 and Vuescan) and the with the same scanner using the scanner software (right - Epson V500 and Epson Scan).
    00SlJx-116263584.jpg
     
  3. Although even an inexpensive flatbed scan of the film outresolves the D2X, it is clear why some may conclude -with poor scans- that the difference is not worh the trouble. Obviously a decent scan of the film provides results several orders of magnitude higher.
     
  4. but a well done dark room print should outweigh a well done digital print, either from a film based medium or straight digital, right?...
    But i agree with you, i think a lot of people get a few poor scans and conclude that digital is the way to go and leave it at that.
     
  5. The scans are way over sharpened
     
  6. Ellis Vener [​IMG] [​IMG] , Mar 15, 2009; 06:30 p.m.
    The scans are way over sharpened​
    If they were "way oversharpened" we see the effects of haloing. There is no haloing. The apparent grain from the sharpening wouldn't be seen on print.
    Mauro has explained his scanning routine before. What I see here, and have seen for years, is that despite all the talk about what DSLR beats what film format.....it's plain to see which camera I'd like to use for landscape work.....and it wouldn't be the D2X. Heck, I get better results from my RB67 than my 1Ds Mk2.
     
  7. Nice work Mauro. I'm just going to get some popcorn and wait for the anti-film brigade to begin entertaining us with there posts of why it isn't so.....without samples of course ;-)
     
  8. The film was much sharper than the digital. I would go with the grainy sharpness of the digital.
     
  9. The film scan must be oversharpened because digital has to be better.
     
  10. Good thing I dont shoot close ups of maps all day with my DSLRs
     
  11. Another problem with scanning is that it may no longer be practical. Can you really still get good drum scans, and how much will they cost? (And will you be able to 2 years from now?) I'd really like to get the new Fuji folder, but my 8000 is flaking out. A new 9000 is over US$3,000 here (and the store says that they're essentially made to order, so who knows how long they'll even be available), so that's over US$5,000 to compete with the 5DII + 50/1.4. I could pass on the Fuji, and get the 9000 + 43/4.5 + 150/4.5, also US$5000 and change. Or just wair for the Zeiss 21/2.8 ZE. (Of course Canon, with their pricing of the new 17TSE, is making film look affordable again.)
    "a well done darkroom print "
    Again, that doesn't work if paper and chemicals are no longer made, and papers are going out of production one after another. And inkjet prints look pretty good nowadays.
     
  12. Ellis,
    The comparison is between a D2x and 6x7 film, which has nearly 12 times the picture area. The D2x fares much better than should be expected in this lop-sided test. Actually, I've never seen results quite that bad from my D2x. Perhaps Les smears a little vasoline on the lens to help make his point :)
    I don't see oversharpening in the Coolscan results, but definitely in the Epson images. Halos belong on saints, not photos.
     
  13. "According to Dpreview"
    Uh, do you believe Dpreview or your eyes??? (FWIW 2800/2300 = 1.21x, and 54/42 (the ratio of 6x7 to 645) is about 1.28; these are differences that are large enough to be noticeable for detail that is just barely lost by the smaller format.) Seriously, 12MP is very much like 645 and 21MP is very much like 6x7 if you actually make prints.)
    "never seen results quite that bad from my D2x"
    The dSLR images are all upsampled to match the film scan resolution, and look a lot worse than native resolution images do.
     
  14. I recall a previous post claiming pictures from the D2X where comparable to the results of 6x7 film scanned with a Coolscan 8000.
    I have made that statement, with regard to 6x6 film anyway, but ALWAYS qualified with a print size. For a D2x, that size is 16x20 inches, which is a respectable size for hanging on a wall at home or in a gallery. Some people never print larger than 4x6 inches, which would render anything larger than 3MP superfluous (If you pick your arena, Jeeps handle better than Porsches in a field of parking-lot dividers). If I wish to print 30x40 inches or larger, then medium format film wins handily.
    That said, I don't make large prints that often, nor do I use film of any size for weddings or events. It takes me up to two weeks to scan 400 images on my LS-8000 (assuming I have other things to do), which I can deliver the next day from my DSLR without breaking a sweat.
     
  15. David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) [​IMG] , Mar 15, 2009; 10:05 p.m.
    Hmm: that 8000/9000 scanned 6x7 edges out 12MP digital is old news.
    http://www.pbase.com/davidjl/image/102380922/original
    Things are much closer with 20+MP digital. Here's the Mamiya 7 vs. the 5DII (taken at different times of day in different light, though.)
    http://www.pbase.com/davidjl/image/108672738/original
    Maybe closer in your opinion....but what happened to the tile wall in the digital image? Oops.....the digital image couldn't handle it. Oh well....back to the $300 RB67 instead of the the $3000 DSLR.
     
  16. "what happened to the tile wall in the digital image?"

    Huh? The tile wall in the bottom comparison (21MP vs. 6x7) looks pretty close to me (both are having trouble; which do you think is the digital, by the way?). The tile wall in the top comparison shows that 12MP is clearly edged out by 6x7.

    "back to the $300 RB67 "

    How many drum scans can you get for US$2700?
     
  17. How many drum scans can you get for US$2700?
    for such a price, you can get ls9000 ;-)
    - and that 21mp vs 6x7 comparison ... is it drum scan ? there is apparently some bug, 12mp ff can be similar to 35mm, but to 6x4.5 ? :)) .... yes, with defocused mf, shake, poor scan ... 6x7 is another league and it's fair to compare it against mf digital back :)
    and once shooting 35mm (and 6x4.5 too), you don't need to scan, as you can get phantastic result via simple slide projector - 80x54" image with unbeatable look, for cents - but you still can scan (or get scanned) your best shots, and you will have both slide and print, easy and with much more quality then poor 1600x1200 digital projection, or 4000x2700 digital to film transpher :)
    yes, if you want to fill your hdd wiht gigs of raws weekly, then buy some 20+mp dslr and shoot! :) here is dslr apparently better :)
     
  18. David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) [​IMG] , Mar 16, 2009; 03:11 a.m.
    "what happened to the tile wall in the digital image?"

    Huh? The tile wall in the bottom comparison (21MP vs. 6x7) looks pretty close to me (both are having trouble; which do you think is the digital, by the way?). The tile wall in the top comparison shows that 12MP is clearly edged out by 6x7.

    "back to the $300 RB67 "

    How many drum scans can you get for US$2700?​
    If you think the wall looks close....get your eyes checked. The digital image looks like a bizarre checker board as opposed to real tile.
    I don't need any drum scans for that....I can use the Nikon $9000 for far less money and leave the DSLR behind.
     
  19. Edward, I understand the statement's now being base on print size.
     
  20. David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) [​IMG] , Mar 15, 2009; 11:24 p.m. Seriously, 12MP is very much like 645 and 21MP is very much like 6x7 if you actually make prints.)​
    By the way David, part of my business is large format printing for other photographers. Trust me....I know what film and digital can do. MF and LF film do better than any DSLR on the market in large prints. You don't even need a drum scanner to see that.
    As to which is which David....I'll leave it up to you to decide which one exhibits aliasing in the tile.
     
  21. I will try not to take the threade to the old digital vs film. 35mm film on just a Coolscan (color neg, BW neg, slide) outresolves a 10MP DSLR (40d) by a very large margin (per other threads I posted).
    Resolution wise 35mm film like Velvia outresolves the 5DII as well (per test btw me, Rishi scans and DPreview).
    I print on my Epson 7880 at 24x36 and there is no visible grain or halos. Not sure what size are other people that point these things must be printing on.
     
  22. The point of this thread is to truly step back and reflect on how many people may have been fooled away from film (even by themselves) either via poor scans, not having a proper scanner, or reading the Luminous Landscape.
    Yes, you can't compare a DSLR to medium format film. THAT IS THE POINT.
     
  23. Mauro.... is this the map with Lake Chad, or without Lake Chad?!? Remember, there is this little issue of credibility hanging over Les's head (unless he has finally answered this anomaly in the other thread). Like I said in the other thread, Mauro - I'm not saying whether you are right or wrong, but if you want to convince us of something, you need to carefully choose your evidence. If I was you, I would have conducted the test with something other than ANYTHING Les produced.
     
  24. So Bernie....now people need to resort to character attacks when they don't like to see film beating the DSLR?
    This is indeed getting sad.
     
  25. Bernie, I'm not sure about lake Chad. But I'm sure the film map has Malabo and the digital doesn't (it has Maleoo) ha ha. Even the flatbed scan has Malabo.
    Both maps have identical proportions and lettering. Some of these test are produced with many people contributing remotely. I feel comfortable this test is acurrate and objective. I don't mind (actually welcome) your questioning, but the results of this test are conclusive for me.
     
  26. ON PRINT SIZE:
    Tests run on my Epson 7880 of a DSLR (10 and 12MP), 35 mm film and 6x7 film show the following:
    Up to 8x10: All being comparable in resolution (with other difference in DR, etc aside)
    At 11x14: 35mm film has a visible advantage over the DSLR. 6x7 film has a very thin advantage over 35mm. I would not print with a 10-12MP DSLR larger than this for art purposes.
    At 16x20: 6x7 has a visible advantage over 35mm film but they are both totally pleasing. The DSLR is no longer pleasing to me.
    At 24x36: 6x7 has a very clear advantage over 35mm. But both are still pleasing (This is the main point rescued from this printing test).
     
  27. "Robert Budding [​IMG] [​IMG] , Mar 15, 2009; 08:59 p.m.
    The film scan must be oversharpened because digital has to be better."
    LOL. That is a funny joke Robert... Yes Ellis, film must be oversharpened because it shows too much detail, ha ha.
    If one expects to print or sale landscapes at 16x20 or larger (now or ten years from now from your best shots), a photographer using medium format film would provide a quantum leap in quality differential versus a photographer using a DSLR in 2009.
     
  28. These discussions always seem to center around resolution. I'm not sure that really makes film better. Focus and resolution in scanning are no-brainer issues if you hold the film flat and read the user manual regarding the settings. Color balance is another matter, along with overall exposure. Consistency from one scan to the next is always a bugaboo, even with well exposed film, and is much easier to achieve with direct digital capture. However, there's hope.
    Adobe Lightroom (and Apple Aperture) provide a major breakthrough in this regard. I'm most familiar with Lightroom, which provides a "light table" in which you can view any number of thumbnails at once, enlarge each to full screen with a click, and magnify a portion of that image with one more click. The ability to see many images at once facilitates the task of rendering them consistently.
    The tools to do this are highly developed. Originally intended as a RAW converter for digital cameras, these Lightroom can now be used with other file formats, including TIFF and JPEG. For example, instead of tickling the red and blue channels, you can set a color temperature of the original scene directly - which is relatively intuitive with experience, and easily reproducible. All these changes are completely non-destructive and can be altered at any time in the future.
    In a typical job, like events or even landscapes, you find situations tend to occur in blocks - for example the light source. I use the light table to organize these "blocks" of images, make one correction and apply it to the others in that block. That cuts my editing time significantly.
    When scanning, the same tools allow you to make uncorrected scans, which (contrary to Les and Mauro) are anything but neutral, organize them into blocks and make common corrections. It's easy to jump to Photoshop, but I find I do that much less these days, usually for hard cases and presentation prints.
     
  29. From looking at the examples, yes film has more grain but its detail outbeats digital. I can still read the geographic locations on the film scans but it doesn't look so good digitally. Shooting both film and digital, I prefer film when I am shooting landscape or serious photography because I do not want to search through a bulk of digital photos, plus the detail is always better. For family photos and what not, I use digital because its quick and convenient. Don't be fooled by poor scans you may receive from a flatbed scanner. The first set of the examples was scanned with a $2500 scanner and the second set with a $200 scanner, of course there is going to be some difference. The example that looks the best is the scan with the Coolscan 9000, it has nice grain and has excellent detail. Also, sales have gone up in the past year for film and with new scanning technology, I think film will always be around and good results will be achieved.
     
  30. I will say the comment about the Coolscan 9000 pricing is the reason why, some day, eventually I'll probably move to digital as my primary shooting medium. My Epson 4490 can give me good 8x12 results from 35mm film and it could certainly give me good 12x18 prints from 645. However, if I ever wanted larger from either format I'd have to spring for a much mroe expensive scanner. Even a Coolscan V or 5000 is just out of my price range right now...and they are both getting up there on the price of a used Canon 5d (of course I'd need to get a lot of adaptors and/or new lenses which would be an additional expense).
    Anyway, since the largest I have ever printed is 8x12...and some day if I get a Pentax 645 system and a few lenses (which I plan to, eventually) I might very well try printing a few larger prints such as a 12x18. However, unless I go digital or even in this case medium format I am limited to 'fairly' small prints from scans unless I want to sink enough money in to a scanner to go digital as it is. To me its not what each medium is capable of, its what my wallet is capable of...and $3,000 for a medium format scanner that can rival (or even probably beat out a bit) a digital camera costing at least several hundred less...well, I just can't afford that frankly. Oh, let alone the cost of getting that medium format camera and lenses (which, admitedly I might do one of these days anyway...but I am probably all talk about getting a Pentax 645).
     
  31. I've made fairly large blow-ups of both 12mp dSLRs and 35mm film (as well as 6x4.5 film). I like the organic contrast and grain look of the film, but the dynamic range and apparent sharpness of the dSLRs (D2X, D300, and D700) are easily equivalent to the film scans. That being said, they all look beautiful from about three feet away on the wall, but have different looks. So, the technology is dictated by the look desired.
    I feel that the chip and processing in my D700 is better than any CCD in a table-top scanner. Taking a beautiful chrome and scanning it just limits your work to what the little CCD can do in your scanner. Nikon ED glass is great, but that little CCD (both lines) is your limiting factor. Skipping the generational step is worth it for me (important emphasis). I struggled with the decision to buy a Coolscan and continue widely using my F6, or a D700. In the end (for documentary coverage), the conveniences, DR, and apparent sharpness in prints pushed me towards a fully digital workflow. For the work itself, carrying a couple of large memory cards trumped carrying 20-50 rolls of film at $5/each and then the $8-10/roll in development. Then I could look forward to hours of scanning and tweaking for the keepers, without an easy way to catalog all the shots that were technically good and perhaps usable for different purposes.
    For a business, it's an easy decision. Even as a serious hobby, if I didn't want to be constantly tallying development costs on a trip, digital just made sense.
    Yes, working in film is fun, nostalgic, and beautiful. But for photography in the real world (for me), the D700 was the final best choice.
     
  32. And finally, I wanted to emphasize that the final judgement should be made regarding a print, not a scan on a monitor. Very often, grain effects (and sometimes even noise in digitally-originated images) are not nearly as apparent in a print as they are cropped to 100% and viewed on a 72dpi monitor. That really reduces many arguments to academia and theory. As photographers, we should hang the print on the wall (or view it in the book, my favorite) and judge what we like or don't like about the methodology.
    The other thing I failed to mention in my previous post is the ability of a dSLR to change ISO on the fly, and the incredible light-gathering abilities of new, full-sized chips. Neither of these can be easily duplicated with my F6 and film. Another practical reason for the change of workflow. Changing film backs on my Mamiya took care of the type of film or ISO (to a point), but that wasn't really practical anywhere but in the studio. In the field, making my life easy while capturing the essence of a place is the holy grail. I don't know any photographer who goes into the field trying to replicate the harderst, most laborious method to make pictures.
    My take is, "enjoy the flexibility that technology affords." For me (just like most of you who know your way around a camera) concentrating on my vision and not fiddling with peripheral crap is the photographic equivalent of Mac vs PC :) "just make pictures, don't make camera."
     
  33. "To help answer the question, I asked Les Sarile to provide me with his D2X maps shots and a 6x7 strip of Kodak UC 100 6x7 (He shot with his Mamiya RZ 67 II)."
    It is grossly unfair to compare D2X to a picture captured by the medium format camera. D2X should be compared to 35 mm film camera for this test. No one should be surprised that medium format can record more information than 35 mm. Therefore it is expected that medium format should beat the hell out of D2X, which is not nearly the higest res DSLR on the market now. However with that in mind, the results from D2X actually look remarkably good, considering the odds against it.
     
  34. The V500 scans look out of focus. The Nikon 9000 has auto focus. Flatbed scans of film do require sharpening to compensate for film layer thinknesses and scattering effects. The DSLR shot also looks out of focus. I would put much more credibility in a test that used scanners with autofocus functionality to ensure that focus is correct.
    I'm not a big fan of flatbed scans of medium format film (unless the scanner is a Scitex). The Nikon 9000 gives great results with medium format. I personally use an Imacon for MF scans. I'm currently trying an Epson 10000XL for scanning 8x10 slides. Since non-high-end flatbeds are really only good for 4x enlargement, I'll be scanning 8x10 at 1200dpi, providing for 32x40 prints with acceptable quality.
     
  35. Why not compare it to MF? The Mamiya 7 is actually lighter and smaller than the D2X. Funny though, it appears it's only OK to compare the DSLR to MF when a poor scan job shows the DSLR to be better. Go make a 30" or 40" print from a 9000 scan of a film like Astia vs the D2X or the 5D2 and take a look like I have. The film has better rez and tonality...and looks more real. I wish some of these people would try as opposed to posting what they think (or want) to be true.
     
  36. If the OP likes film, shoot film. Why post this thread?
     
  37. Maro
    I suspect you are on the right track but some additional points which need to be addressed in understanding the success of digital
    • many have nothing by which to make any reasonable bench mark comparison
    • despite the ability of 35mm scanners (to confine it to that market only) only Nikon has a reasonable bulk scanning system and that is in the LS-4000 / LS-5000 system. Even this is not truly a set and forget item as to get the best from film you must have flat film or pick focus carefully on each negative to obtain the results. So a DSLR will get better results in the mean
    • scanning requires more knowledge than driving a digital camera. Even exposure control is easier on a digital once a user grasps basic concepts such as expose right and uses the histogram or even the blinking hilight warning on most post capture displays
    • noone else can wear the blame - this is appealing to makers who are tired of explaining blurry images from film to the exposer of that film. The user can not come back to say "oh, it was the lousy scan from the lab
    • scans of negative require careful attention to high lights and shadows to avoid noise, there is at the moment no "automatic" setting which is not too agressive (Erik Krause has a good "super advanced workflow for the Nikon scanner and vuescan, but which mum and dad will you be showing how to use that?)
    • camera makers know that newer cameras sell better in digital than they did in film. I was not tempted to buy a new EOS 3 because it would not take better images than my old EOS 1
    • noone likes to have "environmental vandal" labels pointed at them, film makers were beginning to suffer from this with the hazard waste requirements
    As someone who uses 6x9 folders, 6x12 pinhole, 4x5 sheet (and scans my own work) and also EOS digital cameras I can say that I like film but when I travelled to India on holiday I took the majority of my images on digital (compact at that). Perhaps I took two rolls of film with the 6x9.
    I have just had a wedding and everyone is already sending images back and forward ... if we were using film, I doubt it would be ready yet and then who would remember to do it? Can you imagine the groans if I had tried to use my 4x5 for the group shots? (even my 6x9 would attract remarks from the audience) I am sure noone would doubt the image superiority of it but noone would be patient for it.
    Digital is at its birth (and already doing well) I use HDRI on subjects (often simply 3 jpg's taken 2 EV apart) to get tonal range that equals my film. I am sure in a few years we will wonder why people fussed.
     
  38. Is a sub $1000 scanner that scans as well as or better than the 9000 just not possible? Because you'd think Kodak and Fuji have the means and incentive to develop and market such a scanner.
     
  39. The convenience of digital is fantastic. I use my DSLR constantly for projects/jobs where practicality matters more than anything (and I know the results won't end up framed on a wall larger than 11x14).
     
  40. Apart from any image quality comparison, one reason I prefer film, is because I prefer using film cameras, I like something that feels solid, and has a nice large clear 100% viewfinder. I dont like something that looks and feels like a childs toy, with a cheap looking, tight little viewfinder which you struggle to see anything through, and be scared the wind might blow it away for good if I did not keep hold of it. I suppose the high end Pro digital SLRs look and feel more like a real camera should do, but I dont have a few grand spare to buy one.
     
  41. With 120, 4000dpi drum scans at $40 or less, you can make quite a few "fine art" prints for $2000....roughly the cost of the 9000 without accesories.
     
  42. Hello Mauro, et. al. I should first qualify my post with, I am new to medium format and really don't have an iota of the experience or knowledge all of you possess in terms of photography. With that said, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place for this question as this thread really explores film vs. digital media. However, I am curious because I just bought the Epson V500 scanner which Mauro uses as a variable in his discussion. Does the negative mount for the V500 contribute to bluriness of the scan -- assuming of course that these are from negative scans? If so, what would you suggest as an improvement in this area? Finally, as I purchased this scanner used and without litereature, I am in the process of looking for a step-by-step guide for how to go from negative to photo in the scanning process. I would welcome any thoughts and direction. Thanks much. james morrill
     
  43. James,
    Regarding focusing, people have suggested they obtained improvements by manually adjusting the height of the film holder. I haven't taken the time to play with this on the V500 since I use the Coolscan instead but I believe the improvements are marginal at best.
    As long as you install the software and use the help in it, you should be able to get started fairly easy and learn from there. Don't expect miracles but have fun and enjoy it. Let me know if I can help.
     
  44. Bernie West [​IMG], Mar 16, 2009; 08:54 a.m.
    Mauro.... is this the map with Lake Chad, or without Lake Chad?!? Remember, there is this little issue of credibility hanging over Les's head (unless he has finally answered this anomaly in the other thread).​
    Not only can you not find Lake Chad but Timbuktu isn't there either. We need a re-shoot!!!
     
  45. I'm not going to wallow through another film vs digital thread, but Re the thread title: you can leave the word 'poor' out I think. Scanning itself is a reason for many to switch to digital.
    Of course a 6x7 negative that was well focused with a good lens contains much more information than a 12 MP APS-C camera. The thing that makes most people switch is that the amount of information that the digital camera does contain is enough for most purposes including printing to 60 x 45 cm or larger. And it's easier. I don't believe the 35mm format got so popular because the image quality was better than that of a 13x18 view camera.
    disclaimer: I'm not pro-film or pro-digital. I think people should just do what they like and/or use the tools that get their job done and stop pointless endless discussions about what is better.
     
  46. Of course digital also has a ways to go in the department of blowing out highlights as shown by Kodak Ektar vs Canon 20D RAW below . . .
    Les, how does reversal film like Velvia compare to your 20D in holding highlights (or shadows)? I suspect the DSLR is about two stops better in both directions.
     
  47. Yes, the main point of this thread is to bring out how a poor scan (or with a poor scanner) of even 6x7 can provide disappointing and misleading results. And may curve a person's decision on equipment.
    A Coolscan 9000 can be had for under the price of a 5DII !! And it is a heck of a lot more value (with top UD lens included in the price). If I shot landscapes for the purpose of actually displaying them, it would be a no brainer. Even more so for people who already have a DSLR.
    A DSLR is convenient (that was why film-SLRs became popular). DSLRs provide no better results than film-SLRs but they are even more convenient. 6x7 provides a different dimension in quality now; as it did when only film was available).
     
  48. Allard, "The thing that makes most people switch is that the amount of information that the digital camera does contain is enough for most purposes including printing to 60 x 45 cm or larger"
    Enough is a relative term. I promise you the "enough" status would change as soon as you place a print from film next to it for comparison.
    In isolation less becomes enough.
     
  49. Edward, I regret not having run Velvia and Astia in my DR tests. It would have been a more complete reference.
     
  50. Allard try this:
    This is a shot of the DSLR 40D (left) upsampled and processed by Bernie (the best processing anyone submitted) to match a scan of 35mm negative film (right).
    Copy to your desktop and print at 360 dpi to represent an 11x14 inch. CAREFUL THOUGH, ENOUGH MAY NOT BE ENOUGH AGAIN....
    00Sm0p-116677584.jpg
     
  51. Mauro,
    Your post does a good job in comparing the results of an high quality (yet affordable) MF scanner with that of consumer level flatbeds and small-format DSLRs. Actual prints are a lot better than even you let on.
    If your LS-8000 examples were seen at print resolution instead of on a monitor, each panel would be barely over an inch wide. That "inch" would be taken from somewhere in a 30x40 inch print. Consequently your example is like looking at a gallery-sized print through a 4x loupe. Not shabby! In my experience, you could resample and print twice that size, and still look pretty good.
    Not everybody will need that potential, but it's nice to know you can do it without spending $40K on a digital back.
     
  52. You cannot compare upsampled digital files to film. After spending about 2 months testing interpolation software - I can tell you that the best interpolation method for a print is Qimage or a RIP. You cannot view an interpolated Qimage file as it has been formatted for the printer driver as part of the interpolation process. So, the only way to see the final result is in a print.
    Most interpolation software will destroy image detail as part of the interpolation process - that's not a fault of the digital camera, but of the software - so you are proving NOTHING about digital imaging in the comparison. Working digitally is not quite as straightforward as many people think it is. I started working digitally about 9 years ago with scanned film and have progressed to the point that I understand enough about imaging that I finally purchased a digital camera - a Leica M8
    I can tell you that the M8 beats my M6 + film (Provia or E100G) in making 18x28 inch prints. I slum along with an Imacon scanner because I don't have room for a drum scanner - perhaps a drum scanner would convince me that 35mm film is better than my M8.
    But, I don't think so. Why? Because in the room next to the lightroom is a full color and B&W darkroom. I've printed at least 2,000 Ilfochromes from 35mm, 6x6, 6x7, 6x12 and 4x5 film. I know what you can do with 35mm film - with a scanner or an enlarger, it's a print no larger than 16x20 before the grain softens the image and just gets in the way.
    All of this "proof" on the Internet with close ups of maps, and interpolated digital images proves nothing. A print on a wall does. The M8 can and will make a better print than 35mm film IF - and that's a big IF - you know how to handle the file to get the best print. If you don't then you try to convince yourself that film is better by setting up bogus tests that "prove" your point.
     
  53. All of this "proof" on the Internet with close ups of maps, and interpolated digital images proves nothing.
    "map" film scan is apparently more detailed, and none, even the best interpolation can not get more detail from raw, result will be sharper or smoother, but sure - no more details from nothing :)
    you can like plastic, grainless and detailless digital image better ... it's your opinion, but many others prefer more detailed (and often grainier) film image
    however apparently, masses prefer less detailed and clean digital image
    you can have marvellous 90x60" slide from astia/velvia/provia & m6 etc, or you can pay for m8 and what you got ? poor, 1080lines "hd" image :)) it's so called progress :)
     
  54. I get way better print quality at 13x19 inch size from my Mamiya 7 and LS-9000 (with glass carrier, of course) than the D3 (with the best available lenses) when doing scans of fine-grained film, particularly black and white (i.e. BW400CN, Delta 100 developed in dr5). The tonality and detail from the MF setup is way better - in fact D3 landscape prints can't be displayed on the same wall without embarrassment. With color it's less obvious but still the images are sharper from e.g. 160NC than 12 MP FX.
    Poorly done scans (i.e. no glass carrier, or flatbed / commercial careless lab scans, or improper focusing with the scanning) or shooting technique are common reasons to think otherwise. 24 MP FX is close to MF in terms of detail but tonality? No.
     
  55. The other thing I forgot to mention about Les's dubious images is the point raised (and unanswered, suprise suprise...) in the other thread about Nikon 'raw' not being entirely raw. Nikon raws are renowned for having noise reduction performed on them before they are delivered up as 'raw'. If you check out the blue channel it certainly appears as if some smearing has occurred there. Now, I know it isn't Les's fault if Nikon perform noise reduction on the raw data, but let's get some honesty in these types of discussions. If you shot this with a canon 5D (about the same MP's), you might get a better detailed image. Whether this would be enough to compete with the film scan is maybe unlikely, but certainly won't be known until someone does the test.
     
  56. I promise you the "enough" status would change as soon as you place a print from film next to it for comparison.​
    Mauro, what makes you think people threw away the prints they made from film when they bought their digital cameras? If they did, it probably wasn't because the digital images looked so bad in comparison. I don't need to waste paper and ink on your drinks and spices because I have prints from 35mm film and digital cameras right here in my home.
    In isolation less becomes enough.​
    Enough is where the words 'more' and 'less' become meaningless, that's the whole point. Where that starts is a personal thing. To ME the quality of film and digital are such that comparisons of test shot sharpness make no sense anymore because even if there are differences they are meaningless. You may have different priorities.
    Resolution is sooo overrated.
     
  57. Mauro Franic:
    I want to thank you for posting those close-ups from your earlier thread since I have a couple questions: If you look at the full-frame scan (in your earlier thread), the digital picture looks (to me, anyway) much sharper, more detailed, than the 35mm picture. Yet, when you zoom in to show details, the 35mm scan shows much more detail. Is this just a function of viewing the picture on a monitor or is it a "real" optical illusion? If so, could this be why people think digital pictures have more resolution than 35mm?
    Your first samples (the map) in this thread are interesting. You can see the grain in the film scan which gives it a mottled look (at that magnification) while the digital image is much smoother looking yet not as sharp...
     
  58. "If you shot this with a canon 5D (about the same MP's), you might get a better detailed image"
    You won't. The idea that 12MP can compete with well-scanned 6x7 is simply not tennable. Look at the blue rivers in the map: the digital can't even see them. It's not Nikon's NR (which only kicks in at high ISO). It's the lack of pixels. 12MP digital missing things that 6x7 resolves nicely is exactly what I'm seeing. The vast majority of that difference goes away when you compare 20+MP to 6x7, though.
     
  59. Edward "
    Mauro,
    Your post does a good job in comparing the results of an high quality (yet affordable) MF scanner with that of consumer level flatbeds and small-format DSLRs. Actual prints are a lot better than even you let on."
    That is right and thanks for the compliment. A scan with the Nikon 9000 of 6x7 gives me enough to print at the native 360 dpi of my Epson 7880 borderless. To your point, it is true, if had a 60" printer instead it would still look superb. Shame I don't.
     
  60. Edward,
    To your same point, I just made a 36" print as part of my test TMAX 400 35mm. It looks fantastic! Better than a 14" print of my 40D.
    The print is up for grabs if you want me to mail it to you. Just email me at franicma@yahoo.com if you are interested.
     
  61. Of course digital also has a ways to go in the department of blowing out highlights as shown by Kodak Ektar vs Canon 20D RAW below . . .​
    I was wondering what happened to my box of crayons!
     
  62. Is a scan done on Heidelberg Tango drum scanner by a professional color lab in Hollywood acceptable to everyone on this thread? Any naysayers?

    Here is a link to a test done between Canon 5D, 6x6 MF film and 35mm film. 5D is the winner.

    http://www.ales.litomisky.com/projects/Analog%20versus%20Digital%20Shootout%20(Hasselblad,%2035mm,%20Canon%205D).htm
     
  63. First comparison at the top of the page: Compare the Niger and Benue Rivers on both. The blue does not even show on the D2X shot. (Would it on a shot from the D3X?)
    Going down a picture, the Vuescan results do show the blue. Therefore what?
    In spite of the superiority of the scanned pictures (in my opinion), one question comes back to me over and over: will I find the time to scan? I haven't even cracked the shipping carton on the Coolscan 9000 I recently ordered: no time, due to my job. Will I find time to scan once I do? Should I open it, or should I send it back for a refund?
    I respect you guys who get these great scans, but I am not sure that my work schedule (I am NOT a professional photographer) is going to ever let me get into your league. For people like myself, digital just might be better, after all. I hate to say that after all that I have ordered (not only the scanner but also Silverfast Studio for the 9000 with two targets), two glass holders, etc., but I get this uneasy feeling that I have might have made a mistake--for me. Someone else might do the scanning and love it.
    I can't believe that I am still mulling this decision over and over in my mind after I have ordered all this stuff.
    --Lannie
     
  64. the test is not independently verifiable or repeatable either. Should be the first thing to tip you off​
    Les - I see no reason why I should question the motives of every tester whose tests show that digital can outperform film in quality. When I google "digital vs film" I get several results which are about similar tests most of which show that digital results are better. You mean they are all cooking up their results? Do you mean it is all "a vast xxx-wing conspiracy" or something?
     
  65. jbm

    jbm

    Let's pair off...staunch film advocate to staunch digital advocate, and once and for all settle this Aaron Burr style: with a duel.
    If you are happy with your chosen medium or if--heavens!--you use both and feel no need to run around in circles arguing on these threads, then you are dismissed and may head out to shoot, process, and print photographs as you see fit.
    Everyone else, get out the swords!
     
  66. It's getting shrill in here.
    Looking at the C Sharon link, the MF shot has more detail than the 5D. I'd rank them MF, 5D, 35mm (I'd rather have greater smoothness if less resolution). The 5D shot is marred by poor processing of the colors (orange is featureless mush) and oversharpening.
     
  67. I really don’t know why people get so wrapped up in this, shoot whatever you want, if people like your prints does it really matter what you shoot with? Some people really seem bothered when others are moving from film to digital, why? Why do you care if people are moving away from film and taking up digital?
    I sure feel no need to move anyone from the film camp over to digital, if you are happy with film then use it.
    It seems to me this thread could have been more productive if it talked about how to get the most out of scanning, and left out the digital bashing.
     
  68. MF shot has more detail than the 5D. I'd rank them MF, 5D, 35mm (I'd rather have greater smoothness if less resolution).​
    Roger - The 5D shot is clearly better than the MF shot, and it is smoother too. Maybe you are mistaking the MF image for the 5D image and vice versa. The MF shot has too much grain and less detail.
     
  69. The point of this thread is to truly step back and reflect on how many people may have been fooled away from film (even by themselves) either via poor scans, not having a proper scanner, or reading the Luminous Landscape.
    Yes, you can't compare a DSLR to medium format film. THAT IS THE POINT.​
    I love the premise of your thread, Mauro.
    You're absolutely right. People just don't know how to scan properly. To begin with, people hardly know which scanner will give them the best quality for the format they're to use (e.g. I've shown that a Minolta DSE 5400 clearly outperforms the more popular Nikon counterparts when used properly). People don't know how to hold film flat enough to get the advertized resolution of the scanner across the full frame. People don't how to get accurate color from scans of chrome. Others, furthermore, don't know how to extract the full dynamic range from slides.
    The list goes on and on.
    One of the major reasons digital is winning is b/c people can get much better in silico results a priori without much effort. If scanner manufacturers ever put a tenth of the effort dSLR manufacturer's put into producing consistent, pleasing output, the story would be much different. Compare, for example, the laughable noise-reduction schemes on 3-color CCDs used in film scanners vs. the advanced algorithms used in modern CMOS sensors. Imacon thinks itself genius for putting a peltier cooling element on their CCD, hiking up the price of their unit thousands of $$$, when that should be a basic element on any device attempting to lower dark current noise in sensitive applications.
    So let me rephrase that to read: if scanner manufacturers put in the effort AND chose not to laugh in your face flaunting their 'technology' (more like common sense, in my book) by charging you $18,000 you can't afford [ahem, Imacon ], then the story may have been very different. Not that Imacon got it totally right. No one did. Different manufacturers got different parts of it right. Imacon nailed the resolution war by using a higher quality lens and bigger CCD; Nikon nailed the grain/grittyness/pepper-grain issue by adding in their diffusing rod, etc. etc. Did anyone combine all these technologies, and more, into one damn fine exemplary usable unit? Nope .
    There are still even more ways yet to get more out of film (i.e. get the detail on the film that I see under a light microscope), some written up in patents from the 90's, others ideas in my (as well as other's) head not committed to paper and/or hardware (yet) that I'm not going to get into here.
    Are these methods/ideas worth developing? Nikon & Minolta certainly think not. I think so; heck if I had the time/money I would. Maybe I will.
    Till then, digital is where all the research is. Digital is what the manufacturer's care about b/c its simplicity of use is what sells.
    That doesn't mean that you can't get a plethora of amazing-ness from film, though, if you work hard for it. I think that is exactly the point of Mauro's thread.
    -Rishi
     
  70. The 5D shot is clearly better than the MF shot​
    Then there is clearly something wrong with that test, based on prior evidence. I would, hence, not trust an inkling of it. First of all, a MF scan should not come back the same size as a 35-40MP scan of 35mm film (which amounts to an approx 250MB TIFF), b/c there's much more detail on MF film.
    -Rishi
     
  71. These 100% crops that where posted at the start of this thread would they not be the equivalent of viewing something like a 100 inch wide print. Most won't ever make a print that size. Would someting like the crop I have posted be more realistic for most people. It would be like viewing a 25 inch high print which is still fairly large. I also correct the color a little on the d2x shot which is on the left hand side.
    00SmLs-116869584.jpg
     
  72. Size of Nikon D2X print at a screen resolution of 96 ppi: 30 x 44 inches
    Scaling factor necessary to reach the crop size Mauro posted in this thread: 3x
    Size of Nikon D2X print at 96 ppi after 3x scaling: 90 x 132 inches or 7.5 x 11 FEET
    Number of times Mauro has sold a 7.5 x 11 foot print in his entire life: 0
    Relevance of this thread to real life photography: 0
    The real question these crops raise: if a D2X holds up that well for its sensor size at a print size of 11 FEET, why would anyone hassle with film at normal print sizes?
    Stay tuned measurebaters! Next week Mauro will test an 8x10 film camera loaded with Fuji Velvia chrome film against a keychain digital camera he picked up at Walmart for $1.99. Gee, which one will "win"?
     
  73. The point of this thread is to truly step back and reflect on how many people may have been fooled away from film (even by themselves) either via poor scans, not having a proper scanner, or reading the Luminous Landscape.
    That's funny because this thread actually reveals people who have been fooled into thinking that film helps their mediocre photography against the army of photographers in the world who have better things to shoot than maps. You know, all those people who actually go out and use their cameras to take pictures of real life interesting subjects as opposed to trolling Internet forums, starting thread after thread on the same stupid topic which has been beat bloody and dead.
    Yes, you can't compare a DSLR to medium format film. THAT IS THE POINT.
    http://www.tawbaware.com/ptasmblr_tutorial.htm
    Do you guys who measurebate every week to this very topic ever wonder what your photography might be like if you went out shooting instead?
    http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/
    http://eye-wonder.smugmug.com/
    http://www.stormeyes.org/
    http://www.danheller.com/
    http://www.davehillphoto.com/
    http://gdanmitchell.com/gallery/main.php
    00SmME-116873584.jpg
     
  74. This thread reminds me of a scene from Clerks II. Not safe for work!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy4xv_NLGHg
     
  75. Let's throw more gas on the fire!
    http://www.redbubble.com/people/traviseaston/writing/2531282-digital-versus-velvia
    I posted, what, over a half dozen comparisons like this in the last thread like this? But the crazed film guys cried that the subjects weren't the same. Well there's the same subject by a guy with no bias for digital. And we see the same thing: soft 35mm, sharp and detailed digital.
    But I guess I'm not being fair comparing 35mm to 35mm. Let me grab a $100 point and shoot and compare it to 8x10 film. Maybe that will be fair to the film geeks. LOL!
    Here's a guy who changed his mind about digital when the D2X came out. His film crops are actually better than most of what I've seen from the film guys here, but the D2X still won him over. http://www.michaelclarkphoto.com/d2xreview.html
    But he wasn't shooting cans of soup and printing 11 feet so I guess we can throw his results out. Doesn't that idiot know that if he ever gets an assignment to shoot Campbell's for billboards that he will need film?!? LOL!
     
  76. I think someone went fishing and look what they caught, reel in some more big ones. Although I do agree that it is a lop sided comparison but also understand why he did so, and everyone keeps on biting!
     
  77. Next week Mauro will test an 8x10 film camera loaded with Fuji Velvia chrome film against a keychain digital camera he picked up at Walmart for $1.99. Gee, which one will "win"?
    what's actuall D2X price ? (or D700, D3X, A900, D5II) ... let's compare it against $400 pentax 6x7, or $400 mamiya press 6x9 or $400 mamiya 67
    will it be fair enough to you ?
    or should we compare $15 minolta himatic to contemporary $150 digital ps ? :)) will be 10x price advantage for digi enough to beat film ?
    we can also compare $2000 1600x1200 projector against $100 slide projector ... or $400 hdtv against the same $100 slide projector ... is that now fair enough to digital ? :))
     
  78. Todd Carson and Stuart M,
    ON PRINT SIZE:
    1) My printer is an Epson 7880 (24 inch wide). It prints at either 360dpi or 720dpi.
    A full scan of 6x7 film on the Nikon 9000 gives you a perfect file to print 24 inch wide at 360dpi with no interpolation.
    2) Copy the file from the top of the page and print it in your own printer at 360dpi and tell me what you think.
    3) You are making fools of yourselves (a 12MP DSLR comparable to medium format?) (11 foot prints?).
    4) I'd advice you to post an experiment of your own and describe your opinion after you are done. Your opinion will be different just because of going though the exercise. FOR EXAMPLE, LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK COMPARING PRINTS ON YOUR PRINTER OF THE CROP AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE AT 360dpi (this is 24" - the size of my printer).
    5) Don't post dozens of links of people with inadequate tools or experience, just your own opinion after making a 5 second print.
     
  79. And Todd and Stuart,
    please clarify what printer you have and paper you used together with your findings.
     
  80. I have the prints (made by me) in front of me and the difference is dramatic. Looking forward to hear your opinions on your own prints.
     
  81. Todd, you have no clue, no clue.
    "Let's throw more gas on the fire!" --Todd Carson
    Stay off the beans, Todd. We'd hate to hear that you exploded.
    It is not "crazy" to ask for comparison shots of the same subjects, Todd.
    Let us know how you do on that 11-foot print. We can hardly wait.
    --Lannie
     
  82. Just to be sure, Todd, that 11-foot print was from a Nikon D2X file, right? That file would give us something over twelve megapixels, right?
    I just want to be sure that I have this right.
    Todd, I shoot the Canon 1Ds Mark II with 16.7 megapixels (as well as the 5D), and I have been shooting digital (almost exclusively) since winter, 2002. I can hardly be called anti-digital. There is no question that medium format is better than anything done with existing FF DSLRs. The only remaining issue (for me, at least) is whether it is worth the extra time money to do the scanning. People have different reasons for wanting to know the relative benefits for the added costs.
    --Lannie
     
  83. There is simply no way that well scanned MF is beaten by any of the DSLRs I have owned (including the 1Ds II, 5D, D2Xs and now the D700 and D3). Scans of MF from my Coolscan 9000 (using the glass holder) just annihilate them all - certainly in terms of resolution if not dynamic range.
    I very recently was asked by a customer for a 33 X 23.5 print of a shot I took on my D700 and in spite of spending a very long time trying to interpolate (extrapolate?) it up using a variety of software and techniques I couldn't get a print from it I was anywhere near happy signing and having framed. It looked alright from a short distance but when you got close it was just bad.
    In the end I steered him off to a similar shot I took 6-7 years ago on a banged-up Bronica ETRSi (6X4.5 for those who might not know) which I scanned at 4000ppi on the 9000. Printed like a dream and even revealed on the big print an annoying telephone pole I had never seen before. You could get your nose right up to that print and not see fabricated pseudo-detail as you could in the D700.
    Claims that 12mp DSLRs can compete with competently scanned MF, in anything other than better dynamic range and a radically better workflow, are nonsensical I'm afraid.
     
  84. "how the 5D is framed"
    We have a winner! Someone who doesn't know that 6x6 is square and that 24x36 isn't.
     
  85. hassy is 6x6, slr is 2.4x3.6, both scans same size ... what's wrong ?
    The best quality both in print and on the screen viewed at 100% are clearly from the Canon 5D, followed by the Hasselblad, and lastly - after a significant gap – by the 35 mm film camera.
    in my opinion, 5D is far worst here (maybe poor raw processing) it's even worse than saturated and contrasty velvia, digital seems oversharpened or too contrasty, with white leaks instead of mortar structure, and even stems are out of texture :)
    5D wins in term of grain ... but there is no additional detail even to 35mm, and poor colors and high contrast
    5D beaten by museum piece slr :)
     
  86. Same experience as James,
    I stopped using my DSLR for landscape not because I wanted to (I tried really hard to make it OK for 16x20s and larger but couldn't) but because it is just not acceptable. I would never sell such thing with my name on it.
    Even if I decide to make a 40"x60" B&W print from just 35mm TMAX scanned at 8000 dpi -where the grain is obviously visible- it would look very nice, just with grain.
     
  87. "People just don't know how to scan properly. To begin with, people hardly know which scanner will give them the best quality for the format they're to use (e.g. I've shown that a Minolta DSE 5400 clearly outperforms the more popular Nikon counterparts when used properly). People don't know how to hold film flat enough to get the advertized resolution of the scanner across the full frame. People don't how to get accurate color from scans of chrome. Others, furthermore, don't know how to extract the full dynamic range from slides.
    The list goes on and on."
    So why not write a scanning tutorial for us?
     
  88. I need to add that I still do an awful lot of landscape work with my DSLRs fully in the knowledge that I could be getting more resolution using MF and that I will be 'size-limited' if I get someone asking for a large print.
    It is just that using MF in most of the places I go to is just a pain or plain impossible either because of climactic conditions, weight considerations, the amount of film I would have to take on a long trip or the crushing amount of scanning that I would have to do upon my return. I would also say that at the size I like to print at my 12mp DSLRs are plenty good enough. Provided I print my D3/D700 pictures at 300ppi or more I am usually, but not always, happy with them.
    Then again I really like using 35mm film too - even for landscapes. Yes it is a big compromise over what DSLRs or MF can do and indeed part of the fun is the technical challenge of eking out every bit of quality from your setup. And I like grain too.
    But my point remains that any claim that 12mp compares well to MF at large print sizes is loony.
     
  89. "To help answer the question, I asked Les Sarile to provide me with his D2X maps shots and a 6x7 strip of Kodak UC 100 6x7 (He shot with his Mamiya RZ 67 II)." --Mauro Franic
    Mauro, could you or Les post the two original entire files resized to fit this thread so that we could see the sections you have shown us (at the top of the page) in context?
    Thanks.
    --Lannie
     
  90. Here, I only have the Kodak UC on my laptop (minor cropping on the sides bcs of the mask).
    00Smb4-116989584.jpg
     
  91. Lannie, the best way to figure it out is:
    1) Copy the Image at the top of the thread
    2) Set the resolution at 360 dpi without resampling
    3) Print on your printer at maximum dpi
    4) This would show you how the entire image looks on a 24" printer.
     
  92. have scene these canon 8800f scaned 35mm negatives :
    00Smdf-117015584.jpg
     
  93. Here is another :
    00Smdm-117017684.jpg
     
  94. It's not surprising to me that what started as a comparison of SCANNERS has turned into a hate fest. Look, some people just really don't like digital cameras. And some people are out there fiddling with buttons instead of making images. I have been getting terrible scans of my film that I do at home and I had somewhat confirmed for myself that it was the scanner and not my negs, as I could physically see more detail in the negs with my naked eye than I was getting in my scans. This thread has confirmed for me that an investment in a good scanner will be worth it. Obviously I am not going to go out and buy a $2000 scanner, but I will certainly look into something better than the printer-scanner combo my friend gave me for free. I am also not going to go out and buy a digital camera any time soon. Not unless someone makes a digital camera that looks, feels and operates with the simplicity and intuitive control of my OM1. And since that's not going to happen this century, I'll just be scanner shopping.
    Oh yes, I've picked up and attempted to use the miracle products before. After finding no aperature ring on the lens, no distance and hyperfocal scale on the lens, a jerky and inadequate manual focus ring, no dedicated shutter speed dial, no dedicated ISO dial, and dozens and dozens of buttons that do things that I don't give a rats ass about and have nothing to do with getting me where I want to be, I gave up. Maybe I'm crazy, but the learning curve on my OM1 was about 10 minutes with no manual.
    So again, thank you to the OP and to the haters, try reading what it actually says before getting your panties in a wad. What's the old saying? Assume only makes an @$$ of you and me?
     
  95. Pankai,
    In your first sample you say it was scanned at 4800ppi, but the 1:1 pixel area you show is from a 3000ppi scan, what gives?
    And you pixel level scan is way soft.
    I think you wuold be lucky to get a good 8x12 inch print from that photo.
     
  96. Maruo,
    Regarding large prints, my sweat spot is 6000x9000 pixels images, good for 20x30 inch print at 300ppi. I don't find I go past this size print often.
    If you really want to get images this size from a DSLR it is not all that hard, see the link below.
    http://sewcon.com/samples/30x20_inches_at_300ppi.jpg
    I think a 6x7 camera would come close to matching that, but it would be hard and take a very good scan to do so. There is nothing wrong with making large prints from MF cameras, but you can also do it rather easily from DSLRs, if one really want to.
    54MP is a rather small image for me, but for prints I find I have little need to go larger. So what I worry about more then the number of pixels is how clean does it look when viewed close.
     
  97. Regarding large prints, my sweat spot is​
    Oooagh sweat spot :) Scot is that some kind of stitch? If so then I'll take a MF over that any day simply as the workflow is... well much more simple.
    Making large stitches is OK with the right software but is still cheaper for the landscape type of work (which tends to be low picture volume) with large format.
    I know a guy who shoots on 8x10 and makes wall sized prints
    http://www.harrycorywright.com/bbc_documentary.php
    His prints are like looking through a window can't match that with digital (even with tedious stitching software).
    What I worry about is not how 'clean' it looks but how well the textural detail is recorded flat grain-less mush has no interest to me, no grain no gain.
     
  98. So why not write a scanning tutorial for us?​
    Because my damn unrelated Ph.D [which is quite interesting in and of itself] keeps getting in the way :)
    Seriously, though, I very well may, as a compendium on high quality scanning that incorporates some of the immense information detailed even here on photo.net simply does not exist (don't even get me started on this book ; with comments such as "the higher the density of the slide, the brighter & more contrast it will have" even in its second edition, it just makes me irate reading it).
    Look, I love digital. I can't wait to afford a 5D Mark II so I no longer have to deal with scanning.
    But I also love film. Nothing like looking at that gorgeous shiny slide on a lightbox.
    Emotional arguments aside, threads such as these (Mauro has many exemplary threads) are great & informative , because it allows for a back-and-forth discussion that addresses the testing methods of the original tester. That way, we can arrive at a better understanding of the validity of the test. For example, I was extremely dubious of Mauro's original Canon 40D vs 35mm film comparisons... so we discussed, and he actually sent me the film frames himself, I ran them thru my own scanners (Nikon, Minolta, Imacon, a light microscope) & was amazed at the objective resolution comparison that clearly showed that 35mm out-resolved many dSLRs.
    The problem with all these comparisons of film vs. digital we find online is simply this: it's not that hard to get a good quality digital file from a digital RAW capture, given that all RAW converters have pretty damn good algorithms for producing a high-quality resultant file; it is very hard to get a really good quality scan from any type of film. What I'm saying is, the variability in RAW files that result from the same camera in the hands of different users is rather small in comparison to the variability in scan quality in the hands of different users. Therefore, it is hard to trust any of these digital vs. film comparisons. I don't care if you sent the film off to some 'professional scanning facility'... I have no confidence they have any idea of what they're doing, especially given that scanner manufacturers themselves never got their damn hardware/software right!
    Furthermore, these people complaining about comparing digital vs. film at such high magnification factors are just making huge fools of themselves. The only way you show that on format has higher resolution than the other is to take the lower resolution format and upscale it to the higher resolution format (in this scenario, you're not throwing away any information). If you downsize the higher resolution format to the lower resolution one, you're throwing away information.
    -Rishi
     
  99. Scott, I agree 54MP+ should give you a good 20x30. What DSLR gives you that?
     
  100. Patrick, you are right, that is the purpose of the thread and I'm glad it served to help you.
     
  101. Thank you Rishi.
    It confuses me when people argue that film (35mm and 6x7) does not outresolve a particular DSLR when I post the entire set of results for them to see.
    The responses go from "look at this link, this guy gets much worse results than you (ha ha)" or "the differences can't be seen on print" or "ok, but I don't care". Very strange.
     
  102. And for those of you complaining about noise in the original MF scan of the maps in the original post, here, take a look again at the comparison after some noise removal using Neat Image (and if you think digital looks so clean from the start, that's because you didn't work on the evolved noise reduction algorithms in CMOS sensors -- read up on them in the white papers):
    [​IMG]
    Link to Full-Size Image
    And that's sub-optimal noise reduction b/c the software typically needs much more area to analyze but I just used the crop posted in the original post for a quick-n-dirty run. You can do much better by using your own noise-reduction profiles. Or by not using Kodak UC film, which I hate due to its very offensive grain structure in comparison to Ektar 100 or Velvia slide.
    -Rishi
     
  103. OMG, look at the crops. I just realized that the blue river starting near Port Harcourt becomes black in the Nikon digital capture.
    Actually, a bunch of the blue lines just become black in the digital capture.
    HA! That's pathetic.
    -Rishi
     
  104. Mauro, before I tell you what DSLR I used look at my 54MP image and see what you think.

    Thanks
     
  105. Below is the D2X full frame coverage. Again, the RZ67 coverage way overlapped the map giving the D2X added advantage covering less vertical space as in the link that C.Sharon provided.​
    Um... no it didn't. The D2X just has a different aspect ratio. In fact, the D2X covered more horizontally than the RZ67, whereas the RZ67 covered more vertically.
    David Littleboy was totally appropriate in calling you out, Les.
    -Rishi
     
  106. Scott Wilson: your images are ridiculous... as in ridiculous eye candy. I have to say 'wow! ' to every single image you link to :)

    My only guess as to how you do it is by using some combination of multi-image technology... multiple image stitching and/or super-resolution via PhotoAcute? The latter can do quite an amazing job at interpolating resolution and getting rid of noise even with my 10MP Panasonic Lumix LX3.
    Short of that, my guess would be some home-brewed piezo-technology... are you gonna tell us or are you gonna keep us guessing?
    :)
    -Rishi
     
  107. Rishi, the problem with noise reduction software is that often there is texture in the photo that is going to look like noise to the software.
    In the case of this map this might not be an issue but for most images there are textures that I would like to see as they really were.
    Try removing the noise of the film scan with out removing the texture of the book next to it. Sure you could select just the map part, but if the book had been taken with film there would be no way to see the texture in the binding.
    00Smjl-117069684.jpg
     
  108. Hi Scott Wilson , here something for you, my first post was just a flat scan without any postprocessing except color balancing from a RAW scan, now this is real 4800 dpi scan of a 35 mm 400 ISO Kodak negative with little postprocessing (Actual image size is 6691X4391 pixels ) :
    00Smk4-117071584.jpg
     
  109. Les, what I'm saying is that the Nikon has a larger horizontal FOV, while the MF has larger vertical FOV. Sure, you can hold one constant and let the other vary with different aspect ratio cameras. That's irrelevant.
    My point is, you can't say just from looking at the full crop comparisons that the Nikon had an advantage because it's 'zoomed in' or such.
    Scott -- you're absolutely right. Which is why now after using 'multi-sampling' and PhotoAcute to get rid of noise with digital images, it's hard for me to go back to my film camera. A similar approach could be applied to film, but only very low grain film, b/c these techniques don't get rid of film grain.
    -Rishi
     
  110. Scott, your picture looks very nice (the water ripples look a bit funny but overall very nice). If it is stiching though, it is definitely not interesting for me. I could stich 35mm film but I use MF instead.
     
  111. On grain reduction:
    I don't use it often (or at all) for prints since the grain doesn't show on 24" and the texture is richer. But it is definetily an option for people (both film and digital) who want to include it in their workflow as a routine.
     
  112. Hello Pankaj Purohit
    Now those scale to 4800ppi, thanks.
    But the 100% crops look very soft. If I scale them down to 50% they start to look sharper, but still with a lot of noise. But scaling them down to 50% means you are left with an image of 7.7MP. Sure your original scan has 4 times that number of pixels, but they are so soft that if you print that at 300ppi it is going to look pretty bad.
    For what it is worth I don't belive you are getting all that you could out of film, IMO.
    This is the same size image as yours, but I would print this at 300ppi and expect it to be very sharp.
    00Smms-117081584.jpg
     
  113. Scott, your image is really great in details, is it a 35mm negative or a medium format? this means I should downsize all my images to 7 megapixels...! or I need to work more on postprocessing or scanning techniques, what you think about colors? what would you suggest me to do with my negatives and scanner?
     
  114. Mauro,
    Yes my image is stitched. For those that don't want to do stitching I can understand, but it is a pretty simple way to get large prints that look good.
    As for stitching using 35mm, there really would be no reason to, much easier to do with digital. I have seen some people who stitched with film years ago, but now with digital just about anyone who is stitching is doing so with digital.
    MF, it done very well, can also make a very good looking 20x30 inch print, but it is very easy to have it get messed up. Trying to get a good 20x30 inch print from a 6x7 camera and a flat bed scanner would be a challenge. The least expensive scanner that I know of that will do a good job on MF film cost around $2000, way more then I would be willing to pay for a scanner.
    I know a number of people who have been giving up on MF photograph when they got a FF DSLR, not because the DSLR has more resolution but because the difference is small enough that it makes little sense for them to keep going through all the work of scanning film.
    There might be a few people who would stick with film a bit longer if they had a better scanning solution, but I think the number is pretty small.
     
  115. Great shots (again), Scott. What was the elapsed time between the first shot and last shot on the 54 MP bridge shot? How much time does it take to set up and take down your equipment to get the shots for an image like that?
    --Lannie
     
  116. I printed the crop its about 4.5 cm when printed at 360 dpi. Which was my point about viewing 100% crops on a monitor that they don't represent how the smaller finished print will look. Digital user will complain about film grain when they view 100% crops even though there is no grain in the prints. I never stated that the D2x would be better or worse than the 6x7 scan only that viewing 100% crops is not realistic for most people who are not making very large prints
    I made two prints one as is and one where I color corrected the D2x image and gave it a bit of a sharpen. If I was a D2x owner I would be very pleased with the results once the colors are corrected and the image is sharpened a bit. The tiny sensor of the D2x holds up rather well at that print size not as good as the 6x7 but then we don't really expect it to be but also I can't honestly say that the d2x looks bad either. I don't think a d2x would be my first choice for a project of reproducing old maps but for more general photography it would be a nice well built camera.
     
  117. Pankaj Purohit,
    Down sampling your images will really only help in saving some disk space, the main point is they will not print large and be really sharp.
    My image if from digital and is only there to show what sharp pixels look like, don't worry about that for now, you will not get to that point with 35mm film, unless you do B/W
    The main problem you are having is using a flatbed scanner, a film scanner will give far sharpper scans.
    You are also going to need to use a very fine grain film to get a decent scan, there have been a number of threads on which film is the best.
    For film there is not much you can do with sharpping, so your lens needs to be very sharp if you are going to get a good image. You also need to shoot at the sweet f/number of the lens, often around f/8, depending on the lens. And since the best films are iso 100, or less, a tripod with a cable release is a good idea.
    But if you really want a sharp image that will print big and you really want to use film you can go to MF, but the cost is high if you are going to do your own scanning. On the plus side you could get some ok scans with MF and your flatbed scanner, not nearly as good as would coule be had with a film scanner but much better then the flatbed with 35mm film
     
  118. "Great shots (again), Scott. What was the elapsed time between the first shot and last shot on the 54 MP bridge shot? How much time does it take to set up and take down your equipment to get the shots for an image like that?"
    --Lannie
    It took 1 minute 43 seconds between the first shot and the last. It takes about 1 minute to set up the camera, when every thing is in the bag in good order. It takes far less time to take down the set up, maybe 30 seconds.
    If you are thinking about getting in to this let me know as there is a LOT of detail that you will need to know to really make it work and to make it easy. The panoramic head that I mainly use cost a fair bit, around $550 now days I believe, but it makes it much easier to take the photos. For lower res shots, say in the 20-30 MP range you really don’t need a panoramic head. It is also critical that you get good stitching software, I use PTGui Pro, I have been going through the upgrade path on this so it has been not too expensive but it is not cheap software to buy up front.
    There is an evaluation version of PTGui, if you would like to play with some of my images let me know and I will send you the source images along with the project file for stitching them, this will give you a better feel for what all is involved .
     
  119. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 17, 2009; 05:04 p.m.
    "Scott Wilson: your images are ridiculous... as in ridiculous eye candy. I have to say 'wow! ' to every single image you link to :)
    My only guess as to how you do it is by using some combination of multi-image technology... multiple image stitching and/or super-resolution via PhotoAcute? The latter can do quite an amazing job at interpolating resolution and getting rid of noise even with my 10MP Panasonic Lumix LX3."
    Hello Rishi,
    You are right, multi-images, in this case stitching.
    In the last few years stitching software as made huge improvements and has gotten far easier to get really good result from.
    As I have said to others, I know some will want to stitch to MF and that is fine, I just like to point out that there are more options out there for those that like to print big.
     
  120. Thanks, Scott. I would be very interested in doing some stitching, but realistically I won't be able to do it until the present semester is over in about seven weeks. (I am teaching an overload.) I will write you via e-mail.
    Thanks.
    --Lannie
     
  121. Rishi, thanks for posting the comparison with the noise reduction applied to the scan. That helps make it easier to put the shots by Les Sarile (that Mauro used to start this thread) into better perspective.
    Those were darned fine shots, Les.
    Mauro, you've hit another home run with this thread, in my opinion. There is a lot to learn, but some of us can get a big boost upward by trying to understand you guys.
    --Lannie
     
  122. Scott,
    Personal preference, but, I refuse to stitch shots, much like Mauro. Believe it or not, being a landscape guy, nature in fact does not provide you with limitless time during a sunrise or sunset, for example, to take shots over a period of 1.5 or 2 minutes. During sunrise on a mountaintop, the alpenglow can change in a matter of 15-30 seconds, which is sometimes the shutter speed of my shots when shooting ISO 40 film with small apertures and a polarizer. To capture that alpenglow, before the whole mountain is bathed in less saturated light, I wouldn't have the time to move the camera up and down & around to capture images to stitch.
    I will, however, sometimes use the ability of PhotoAcute. At least with this solution, I don't have to move the camera around. I set up my composition, and I click away a number of shots. This in effect multi-samples the scene, and sensor noise is eliminated. With enough vibrational or translational movement from shot to shot, super-resolution is pretty darn amazing at finding detail that may not be there (or has a lower MTF) on any one of the shots to begin with. The resulting image is quite stunning, without requiring any movement of my camera.
    Here's a comparison of one image out of a set of three consecutive shots VS. the super-resolution image (made using PhotoAcute), downsized to the original 10MP resolution of the Panasonic Lumix LX3 camera [one round of sharpening applied to both images in Lightroom, but PhotoAcute applies its own limited sharpening]:
    [​IMG]
    Link to Full-Size Image
    And another crop from a different portion of the frame:
    [​IMG]
    Link to Full-Size Image
    As you can see, even at base ISO (80), the LX3 has a fair amount of noise. And, as Scott would say, the pixels just aren't 'sharp' at 1:1 viewing. But they sure are sharp once you take the super-resolution file (2x resolution) and downsize it (bicubic). I found the results hard to believe myself, but, there it is.
    Cheers,
    Rishi
     
  123. Poor scans - May explain why some switch to Digital.
    May be, but it’s partially…
    The main reasons seems to me is lack of adequate information. Can anybody imagine that such test may appear on Nikon Imaging website or in Popular Photography magazine? Obviously not. Seems like our so called “free public media” sits under tight financial control of digital manufacturers. And how many of us have seen that Nikon is promoting its scanners? Any ads, commercials, articles, announcements… Apparently Nikon already ceased the production of Coolscan V ED. And the reason is simple: it’s affordable, it delivers good performance, it’s popular and in demand. Yes, of cause, it contributes in film photography popularization and makes negative impact on digital camera sales.
    From my personal experience, 4 years ago I did not believe that scanning my produce good result. The only I’ve read and seen in our magazines it’s how a cheap digital camera can easily overpass scanned film in quality, gray range, res etc. and I was thinking quite serious about buying a DSLR. Until I took a look at Les Sarile Film 2 posting. This posting had drastically changed my mind. Since that I purchased my Coolscan V and never look back at digital again.
    Seems to me that Les and Mauro do for film photography popularization much more than the leading film manufacturers do. They did lots for all of us on this forum to keep our spirit alive. Guys, I guess the digital camera makers must hate you….
     
  124. Look at the effects of PhotoAcute on high frequency detail... left is one of the original images, right is the super-resolution file downsized to 10MP from just 3 images combined (remember: no manual movement between shots) using PhotoAcute:
    [​IMG]
    Link to Full-Size Image
    Sorry I may be going a bit OT now, Mauro, but I figured some of you guys might be interested :)
    In fact, I wonder if this method would make current dSLR really compete with MF...
    Cheers,
    Rishi
     
  125. Rishi, even the color tones are better! Holy cow! What one can learn on Mauro's threads if one keeps an open mind!
    --Lannie
     
  126. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 17, 2009; 04:31 p.m.
    So why not write a scanning tutorial for us?
    Because my damn unrelated Ph.D [which is quite interesting in and of itself] keeps getting in the way :)
    Seriously, though, I very well may, as a compendium on high quality scanning that incorporates some of the immense information detailed even here on photo.net simply does not exist (don't even get me started on this book ; with comments such as "the higher the density of the slide, the brighter & more contrast it will have" even in its second edition, it just makes me irate reading it).​
    I bought a Nikon Coolscan 5000 several months ago to begin digitizing 30 years worth of 35mm slides and negatives. The Nikon manual was essentially useless and I did purchase the book linked above. It wasn't quite useless but came close. A good tutorial would be valued by all of us amateurs out here who are trying to do some good things with our negatives. I have some great scans and some that are not so great but it's largely trial and error. If your PhD dissertation is in biochemistry (as that's what mine is in), I'm happy to lend a helping hand in return for a good tutorial!!! :)
     
  127. Rishi, even the color tones are better! Holy cow! What one can learn on Mauro's threads if one keeps an open mind!
    --Lannie​
    Hopefully, Lannie, you're joking :)
    I went ahead and post-processed the latter file more thoroughly, hence the color/tone difference. I should probably re-post with both tuned the same, argh. Just bein' lazy.
     
  128. PhotoAcute works nicely but the resolution gain, for the current implementation at least, isn't actually all that great. At some small fraction of the resulting linear doubling of image dimensions, the improvement certainly isn't enough for really large prints.
    This is why stitched composites can really shine. As for capture speed, it's about 3sec per frame with a Gigapan head. Figure on having to shoot 6 frames to get a quadrupling of native camera resolution.
    By the way, it really isn't an either/or situation. The tonality advantage and noise reduction aspects of PhotoAcute can be had by a contrast blending step, vis. the open source enfuse package. Stitch the blended frames for a resolution increase. It's not as hard as it sounds - Hugin will jointly do both (and more actually.)
    I'll include an example of what to expect from just enfuse in isolation. The individual frames were shot with a Canon A720IS compact digicam at 800ISO, and in JPEG. This is no DSLR and profound noise at these settings is to be expected.
    00Smrj-117119584.jpg
     
  129. Crop of one of the individual frames, straight JPEG out of the camera.
    00Smrn-117119684.jpg
     
  130. Now the blend.
    00Smrp-117119784.jpg
     
  131. Another set of crops.
    00Smrs-117119884.jpg
     
  132. Here's the second blend.
    00Smrt-117119984.jpg
     
  133. Alan - ha! It *is* in fact... well, medicinal chemistry technically, but mostly biochem/biophys -- I'm working on understanding the packaging motor of viruses...
    I'll make a deal with you: help me purify my intractable viral protein & I'll take some time out to write a book :)
    The sad thing is, by the time I (we, because certainly it'd be a joint effort with all the help & work provided by folks like Roger Smith, Erik de G, Mauro, Mendel Leisk, Scott Turner, Robert Budding... countless wonderful people in these threads have contributed to my knowledge & efforts) ever get around to writing one, film will probably be dead.
    I'll try anyhow, for the sake of posterity. But first I'm trying to finish my prototype holders for the Nikon LS-4000/5000 and the Minolta DSE 5400 aimed at holding film as flat as wet-mounting would allow. Still not sure if the concomitant light source modification required for the LS-4000/5000 would allow ICE functionality though... so I've got some kinks to work out. Famous last words.
    -Rishi
     
  134. PhotoAcute works nicely but the resolution gain, for the current implementation at least, isn't actually all that great. At some small fraction of the resulting linear doubling of image dimensions, the improvement certainly isn't enough for really large prints.​
    Robert, have you tried different profiles when processing the super-resolution image? I've found that using profiles for higher-end cameras results in better resulting resolution, but sometimes less noise removal. Not sure why, as I don't understand (yet) how the different profiles for the different cameras actually function.
    -Rishi
     
  135. Hopefully, Lannie, you're joking :) --Rishi​
    No, Rishi, I am just that stupid. I have been looking at all the pairs of files that had different tones and wondered exactly why they varied so much. (Does film v. digital routinely affect tonal accuracy that much?)
    --Lannie

     
  136. Rishi, I am trying PhotoAcute and only seeing very small improvements. I am thinking in your test case one of your shots was out of focus or motion blur and the large gain you saw was mainly from PhotoAcute picking detail from one of the sharper images.
    I also find it much slower then stitching.
    Still it is an interesting product, I will play with it more and see if I can’t get better result from it.
     
  137. Still can't tell if you're being serious or not, Lannie, but for whatever it's worth:
    Scanned negative film has no color accuracy, so to speak. The scanning operator + software determines the overall color balance. Of course, there are red, green, and blue sensitive layers in the film, so the color information is accurately recorded (unlike Bayer sensors, hence why the blue rivers turned black in the Nikon digital capture). However, what those colors map to in the final digital file is up to the scanner/software/operator.
    In slide film, the resultant colors are whatever the film manufacturer specified the colors to be given E-6 processing. The color dyes in both negative & slide film respond to a wide range of colors, hence the color information is vast in comparison to a Bayer sensors who's color filters only record narrow bandwidths of the spectrum. What that color information maps to in the final chrome is up to the film manufacturer. For Velvia, arguably, it's quite pleasant, not necessarily accurate.
    The nice thing about digital RAW capture is that by shooting color cards in real world shooting scenarios yourself, you can make your own profiles (using Adobe DNG Profile Editor) that accuratel reflect the color response of your digital sensor in the real-world. That way, when you use said profile to process your RAW file at home, you can actually achieve the colors that you saw out there in the real world when you shot the image (provided you have a profiled monitor of course).
    This is quite powerful.
    It's also possible with film, just arguably much harder. Especially since, in my observation, Velvia colors for the same subject vary wildly depending on exposure value (EV). So you'd have to shoot color cards for different EVs... Then use some open source profiling software that works with Gretagmacbeth color charts, then take the raw scan file and apply the profile to it. I dunno how well that works, honestly.
    What I do is just profile the film+scanner combination, then apply that profile, getting me exactly the colors I see on the film on a 5000K lightbox. It's quite wonderful, actually, since Velvia already produces very pleasing colors. No post-processing necessary -- just apply the profile. Velvia chemistry does all the post-processing :)
    -Rishi
     
  138. Rishi, I am trying PhotoAcute and only seeing very small improvements. I am thinking in your test case one of your shots was out of focus or motion blur and the large gain you saw was mainly from PhotoAcute picking detail from one of the sharper images.​
    Scott, I also initially thought the same thing. But, no, the original image you see there is the sharpest of the 3! No motion blur... it was tripod mounted with a 2 sec shutter delay. No shutter vibration b/c, well, technically it's a P&S :)
    Try the different profiles. For the LX3 I use the Leica M8 profile. The Canon Rebel profiles give you pretty good resolution jumps, but less noise reduction. Again, not sure why. Try one of the SLR profiles even if you have a P&S. Also, I was working with RAW images from the LX3, not JPEG. Dunno how much of a difference that makes. PhotoAcute uses Adobe DNG converter to process the RAW files.
    -Rishi
     
  139. Rishi & Robert....
    Wow... I'm interested in these bits of software you are talking about here. Definitely some nice results for both of you. Robert, I'm not sure of the workflow you are using here. Is this blending say three bracketed exposures, or is it doing a pixel binning type thing like Rishi's Acute? If it is the former, I almost hate to mention this here, but a guy over on Luminous Landscape (ouch...) forums has written a fantastic piece of software which can blend bracketed raw exposures. Last I heard he was working on getting it to output a blended raw file in the form of a DNG.
    Ok, back to the film world....
    p.s. Rishi, can you manage to get a bit of black and white film chemistry into the thesis ;)
     
  140. Roman Ponomarjov , Mar 17, 2009; 08:51 p.m.
    Poor scans - May explain why some switch to Digital.
    May be, but it’s partially…
    The main reasons seems to me is lack of adequate information. Can anybody imagine that such test may appear on Nikon Imaging website or in Popular Photography magazine? Obviously not. Seems like our so called “free public media” sits under tight financial control of digital manufacturers. And how many of us have seen that Nikon is promoting its scanners? Any ads, commercials, articles, announcements… Apparently Nikon already ceased the production of Coolscan V ED. And the reason is simple: it’s affordable, it delivers good performance, it’s popular and in demand. Yes, of cause, it contributes in film photography popularization and makes negative impact on digital camera sales.
    From my personal experience, 4 years ago I did not believe that scanning my produce good result. The only I’ve read and seen in our magazines it’s how a cheap digital camera can easily overpass scanned film in quality, gray range, res etc. and I was thinking quite serious about buying a DSLR. Until I took a look at Les Sarile Film 2 posting. This posting had drastically changed my mind. Since that I purchased my Coolscan V and never look back at digital again.
    Seems to me that Les and Mauro do for film photography popularization much more than the leading film manufacturers do. They did lots for all of us on this forum to keep our spirit alive. Guys, I guess the digital camera makers must hate you….​
    If you believe that Nikon was worried about the Coolscan V ED reducing digital camera sales you are rather out of touch with what has been going on the last 10 years or so.
    Nikon and other camera manufactures are concentrating on the digital market because there is virtually no sales of new film cameras.
    Don’t expect to see much in the way of new film scanners, for the most part those of us that were ever going to scan film have already bought ours and have moved on to other things.
    There is no company or publication that has been out to get film. The decline in the use of film is not because of some conspiracy to do away with it, it is in decline because the public is voting with their pocketbooks.
    You might get a few people here and there to stick with film, at least for a few more years, but this will do little with the mass movement over to digital.
    I really don’t see this as a war between film and digital as some seem to. In the early part of this decade the digital camera manufactures were mostly trying to get people to switch from shooting film to digital, but now they are mostly trying to get people to upgrade from older digital cameras to newer ones.
     
  141. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 17, 2009; 10:23 p.m.
    Scott & anyone else, here try yourself with my 3 original RAW files:
    http://staff.washington.edu/rjsanyal/Photography/LX3/
    Here you can download a trial of PhotoAcute:
    http://photoacute.com/
    Try using the Leica M8 profile when doing the super-resolution stitch.​
    Hi Rishi,
    I don't seem to have a raw converter that will read those files, can you post high quality jpgs of them, or even tiffs?
     
  142. Hello Rishi,
    So I converter to DNG and PhotoAcute loaded them and ran fine, and I see very much what you saw.
    But I am concerned that perhaps the gain would not be so great if they were working with well converted raw files to begin with. Raw files with no sharpening tend to look soft, so this may be more a case of sharpening then combining photos. How sharp of an image can you get from one image when you convert from raw to jpeg?
     
  143. Still can't tell if you're being serious or not, Lannie. . . . --Rishi​
    No, Rishi, I really am just that ignorant.
    Seriously, your comments were very helpful. I tend to reinvent the wheel every time I start processing a RAW file. It's high time I learned something about profiles.
    Thanks, Rishi. You're an inspiration. (No kidding.)
    --Lannie
     
  144. That's a cloth-bound book, Les. The texture is real.
    --Lannie
     
  145. What texture from the book? The only texture there is JPEG artifacting?​
    Haha, get your eyes checked, Les.
    Scott, thanks for reminding me I need to pick up a copy of Horowitz & Hill :)
    Also, Scott, perhaps you're right -- perhaps the RAW converter for the LX3 is still in its neophytic stages? I don't like to compare to JPEGs out of the camera b/c camera JPEGs are, even at the highest setting, utter crap (for the LX3, that is). Too much artifacting.
    My comparison has sharpening only set to '45' on a scale of 100 in LR, so, sure sharpening could be increased. Basically I feel like PhotoAcute is allowing LX3 images to be on par with a higher end dSLR. The question remains what it'd do with actual dSLR images. I don't have one, but I'm sure one of you guys on this thread could give it a shot. Ahem, Bernie & his 5D :) Else I'll try & borrow a Rebel XTi over the weekend from a friend.
    Lannie, you're awfully nice :) Color profiling is amazing, if not a world of hurt. Try the open-source LPROF, but you may or may not have a nightmare trying to compile it. Once you do that you'll have to solve the 'blacker-than-black' problem, something I still haven't solved but have an idea of how to address (so do the devs of LPROF, just haven't gotten around to chatting with them again about it to see if there have been any updates). Barring working with open-source packages, you'll have to pay out the wazoo for a pre-compiled, maintained package like basICColor (they've fixed the blacker-than-black problem, btw). Monaco sells a package too, I'm just scratchy on the details b/c I've been sidetracked, temporarily, from color-management issues (which are much more of a solvable problem than, say, film flatness... hence why I've been worrying much more about the latter as of late).
    Have fun, Lannie!
    Cheers,
    Rishi
     
  146. Les here is a hint, jpeg artifacts don't tend to run at angles, that is the threads of the binding you are looking at there.
    But just for you here is a tiff straight from the raw file, hard for there to be jpeg artifacts in that.
     
  147. Les - The first obvious visual clue is how the 5D is framed​
    This has already been answered.
    The mottled appearance of the scans is something I have never encountered in such fine film either.​
    Are you saying a pro lab does not know how to use a scanner? Possible, but unlikely.
    Having repeatable independently verifiable tests means they can cook up anything they want but doesn't mean they will get away with hiding the truth.​
    As I said before, Google is your friend. Here is another link to a 1DsII v Mamiya 645 test. 1DsII does better. Now this is not the same set up as in the previous link but is another FF dSLR vs MF film. You can also find links to other tests between D2x and film. If a APS dSLR like D2X can equal 6x6 film and give drum scanned 6x7 film a run for its money even if not quite matching or surpassing it, a FF dSLR like 5D surpassing 6x6 film is not implausible.
    http://photo.nemergut.com/equipment/canon1ds/markii.html
    http://www.d7x.com/HTML/V13/D2xVs6x7.html
    So referring back to the original premise of this thread, poor quality scans are not the problem.
     
  148. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 17, 2009; 11:34 p.m.
    Scott, thanks for reminding me I need to pick up a copy of Horowitz & Hill :)
    The Horowitz & Hill book is great, I am on my thrid copy, long story. They have a very nice treatment of low noise circuits and good coverage of transistors and noise. I am a bit of a transistor junky, I love that a $0.05 part can do what an op amp would take $5.00 to do.

    If you want to see the rather eclectic collection you can see the whole book case here, a rather large file that might not show in a browser window.
    http://sewcon.com/samples/books.jpg
     
  149. Robert, I'm not sure of the workflow you are using here. Is this blending say three bracketed exposures ...​
    For this kind of stuff, I generally script things up for execution on the command line. The example is a contrast blend of 15 frames: groups of 3, +- 1/3EV apart, 5 groups.
    At its core, a blended pixel is some weighted average of the same pixel from all of the contributing frames. The more frames there are, the closer the blended pixel value is to the supposed true tonal value. Each doubling in the number of source frames is something like gaining one more bit of tonal precision.
    I shot JPEG here because compression of high ISO imager noise is visually really nasty. This is as bad as it gets. If the frames had been taken in RAW (which, by the way is available on all Canon compacts via the CHDK firmware pack) the core of the script sequence would look like something like this:
    dcraw -w -H 0 -o 2 -q 3 -T IMG_*.cr2
    align_image_stack -a aligned IMG*.tif
    enfuse -o blended.tif aligned*.tif​
    The align_image_stack is necessary when shooting hand held. It corrects mis-registration due to camera movement. If you're using a tripod though, remember to disable IS. The stabilization introduces its own mis-registration.
    Google dcraw and hugin. DCRaw is stand-alone software while Hugin provides the other two utilities.
    By the way, the same technique should work just as well with film. This should get you noiseless small format film captures without noise suppression losses. Of course, once there, you'll probably find it looking awfully like a high quality DSLR frame.
     
  150. If you look at my profile you'll find I don't wear glasses . . . ;-)​
    Hence why I suggested you get your eyes checked. 20/15 vision seriously rocks, let me tell you.
     
  151. C Sharon,
    Yeah sure, I have absolutely no confidence that a pro lab knows how to use a scanner properly. How many times have you read that a pro lab will 'color correct' your chromes by hand? WTF is that? You don't color correct chromes, you color match them using color management principles!
    Furthermore, many 'pro labs' use Nikon scanners, and I've already mentioned a number of times that even Nikon themselves never got their scanners right nor did their software and/or instruction manuals even get close to outlining how one should properly use their scanners.
    So, yeah, I doubt all scanning operators.
    Furthermore, those links you point to are laughable. One of them shows stepping artifacts (WTF? never seen such crap out of any scans I've ever made) in the MF scan from the Minolta scanner, which scanned a measly 3200dpi, or, 59MP scan of the MF film. An entirely invalid test. The other link showed a Heidelberg Tango scan at, yet again, a measly 3400dpi resolution, or, 67MP scan of the MF film. A Nikon LS-9000, at 4000dpi, will give a 93MP scan of said MF film... that's not a negligible jump in resolution. Furthermore, Mauro & I have clearly shown considerable more detail in a 35mm scan at 5400ppi and at 8000ppi on an Imacon. So imagine how much you could actually get off the MF frame! The fact that the tester verified that only 1 line in that electrical tower was visible under a 12x loupe is juvenile ... for Christ's sake, use an optical light microscope man, then talk to me.
    So Mauro's initial premise is absolutely valid... all these comparisons on the net showing how older dSLRs outresolve MF are a joke . I'm not speaking about the D3x or the 5D Mark II b/c I haven't done those tests myself yet... see? I'm not just a film fanboy, I'm being objective. You, or anyone, pointing to other people's threads claiming that somehow some dude you don't even know scanned properly is just like faith : absolutely irrational .
    'Nuff said.
    -Rishi
     
  152. Robert:
    The align_image_stack is necessary when shooting hand held. It corrects mis-registration due to camera movement. If you're using a tripod though, remember to disable IS. The stabilization introduces its own mis-registration.​
    You're taking of aligning image elements, not simply pixels, correct? In others, mis-registration being where the same image element in the scene (one tree branch, for example) falls on different pixels from shot to shot?
    But as I understand it, this mis-registration is beneficial.
    PhotoAcute specifically mentions that even tripod-mounted shots have some movement, and this movement helps the software interpolate sub-pixel data. As I understood it, super-resolution actually benefits from what you're terming 'mis-registration'. It is precisely this 'mis-registration' that allows an array of pixels to sample image elements falling on this array that are smaller than the pixel elements themselves. For example, if half of a black line fell on one pixel (rendering that pixel 50% black, or, grey), but when the camera moved that line aligned with the pixel so the full width of the line fell on the pixel (such that the pixel registered 100% black), then that resultant pixel, when averaged, would yield 75% black... which'd basically increase the MTF at that point.
    Now, of course you have to perform image alignment for this to work, where images are aligned based on actual scene elements. Otherwise you'd of course run the risk of averaging wildly varying scene elements: bad !
    Now, when this alignment occurs, you can imagine pixels overlapping other pixels in a fractional manner (i.e. half of one pixel from one image is placed over one pixel in an underlying image, while the other half is placed over an adjacent pixel in said underlying image). This is where subdividing the images into twice as many pixels comes in handy. Hence, the 'super-resolution' process, where sub-pixel alignments are allowed.
    Robert, is this what your software is doing? Because I believe it is exactly what PhotoAcute is doing. Blending without sub-pixel alignment would only reduce noise, not allow any increase in MTF of any image elements.
    Also, yeah you could do it for film. Man it'd be tedious to do that plus AEB for slide film. Of course, if you did it at the level of scanning, you wouldn't get rid of film grain.
    -Rishi
     
  153. It would be interesting to try it with film, with multible shots it should be pretty effective at getting the grain out, with out loss of low contrast detail.
    I am pretty sure my film scanner is not repeatable enough for the stacking to work, images as very slightly stretched in some places and compressed in other. The stretched and compressed areas change from scan to scan. The effect is small, just a few pixels, but it would be enough to mess up getting registration of the whole image at one time.
     
  154. Scott, you seem to be an EE person (sorry Mauro to be completely OT this time), so quick question: If I have a halogen bulb rated for 12V/24 watts, and I plug it into a 12V 3A power source, and the resistance of the bulb is measured to be 1 Ohm, will it attempt to draw 12A, thereby killing the power source, or just draw the 3A, which, at 36W of power, would fry the bulb?
     
  155. The resistance of a filament is always much lower when it is cold, so there is an in rush of current when first powered up, in this case 12A. Once the bulb is to temp, which happens very fast, the current will drop down to 2 amps.
    Most power supplies will handle a short over current, so likely it would be able to run the bulb without problems.
     
  156. I know that Rishi does not like many of the tests on the internet that have been linked to in this thread. However those results were valid for that person who made that test at that time (assuming they were not trying to bias the results). That was the scan that they had to make the test with at the time and those were the results good or bad.
    It would not be very wise to choose film or digital based on a few tests published on the internet, just because scans posted on the internet are bad does not mean that film is bad. On the other hand just because Mauro and Rishi are getting great result scanning themselves those results may not reflect your own especially if you are relying on a lab to do the scanning for you.
    Its really up to each person to judge for themselves using each medium and camera system in the way they would normaly photgraph.
    I made a print from the crops Mauro posted and adjusted the color and sharpened little on the d2x image. There are differences between the two images as would be expected. The D2x does not fair badly by any means considering it is resampled way beyond its native resolution. The D2x would not be my first choice for photographing maps but if I was a D2x owner I would be well pleased with these results.
    00Sn0k-117181584.jpg
     
  157. Scott Wilson -- you 'da man! Thank you, got my light box up & running and my self-taught (ray) optics course can now ensue... at 2 a.m.
    Oh time, thou art a heartless...
     
  158. Stuart, you make some good points. But then these people shouldn't put up self-righteous titles & statements like 'Canon 1Ds Mark II vs. Medium Format Velvia film!'
    Instead, they should state it as 'Canon 1Ds Mark II vs. my poor & limited scan of MF film'. People should know that if they have that great landscape shot shot on chrome years ago, that they can get more out of it. Not be disheartened about their own film shots due to these comparisons.
    Yes pros may already know. But many may not. Certainly many amateurs may not know. Therefore these tests are misleading.
    You're right though that the choice of any format is in the hands of the photographer -- if in his/her hands, film workflow stinks or requires too much effort, then that must be taken into consideration.
    -Rishi
     
  159. Stuart, the rivers are still blue on the film scan (although barely visible on the smaller version you have posted), but not so on the D2X image. The relative clarity of the stars (country capitals) is also still visible.
    Most of all, however, you have by now gone through so many "layers" of imaging that you are getting further and further removed from the original files, so that I don't think that a "photo of a print" then digitized and shown on our monitors is going in the right direction to show what you want to show.
    That said, yes, many D2X owners would be quite satisfied with the results.
    --Lannie
     
  160. Still, the handwriting does seem to be on the wall: although MF film is still beating digital in terms of resolution (and possibly other things), digital has now closed the gap so much that one wonders when many will say, "Why should I scan? Neither I nor anyone else can see the difference, even with the best 'pixel-peeping.'"
    The question is whether FF DSLRS will ever catch MF high res film, and, if so, when?
    Another question: at what point is anyone going to care anymore? I hate to sound cynical, but it was not so long ago (about seven years) that my Olympus E-20 with 5 MP and a built-in zoom Zuiko lens was almost state of the art--and we used to ask, "When will digital catch up with film?" The answer is that it already has at larger "formats" (if one wants to call stitched images or digital backs a "format" for purposes of argument).
    When is it going to happen on a light-gathering medium 24mm x 36mm?
    I don't think that we are there yet, but with 24+ MP full-frame sensors already on the market right now (Nikon and Sony), we have to be getting close.
    If someone were starting out today in photography, is there really any compelling reason, based on what we have seen above (so far), to say, "You really ought to put your money and time into film processing and film scanning"?
    I am not playing the devil's advocate here. For those who already have the equipment and the know-how, staying with film is still a very good option. But for the rest, newbies starting out with no experience of either, what advice could one give in good conscience?
    --Lannie
     
  161. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 17, 2009; 09:42 p.m.
    Alan - ha! It *is* in fact... well, medicinal chemistry technically, but mostly biochem/biophys -- I'm working on understanding the packaging motor of viruses...
    I'll make a deal with you: help me purify my intractable viral protein & I'll take some time out to write a book :)
    The sad thing is, by the time I (we, because certainly it'd be a joint effort with all the help & work provided by folks like Roger Smith, Erik de G, Mauro, Mendel Leisk, Scott Turner, Robert Budding... countless wonderful people in these threads have contributed to my knowledge & efforts) ever get around to writing one, film will probably be dead.
    I'll try anyhow, for the sake of posterity. But first I'm trying to finish my prototype holders for the Nikon LS-4000/5000 and the Minolta DSE 5400 aimed at holding film as flat as wet-mounting would allow. Still not sure if the concomitant light source modification required for the LS-4000/5000 would allow ICE functionality though... so I've got some kinks to work out. Famous last words.
    -Rishi​
    Rishi, Cool, my thesis work was in membrane biochemistry but over 30 years ago! just have a desk job these days in drug regulatory affairs and doubt I would be of much help in the lab. :)
    Keep us apprised about the film holder for the 5000. I'm using the Nikon strip holder for the B&W negatives but it doesn't hold things completely flat which can be a problem is there is curl. I hope film never dies (though good printing paper seems to be more difficult to find). I continue to shoot both digital and film and it's interesting to to compare and contrast findings.
    Alan
     
  162. "If someone were starting out today in photography, is there really any compelling reason, based on what we have seen above (so far), to say, "You really ought to put your money and time into film processing and film scanning"?
    Almost certainly not - film is something that newcomers would go to only after having cut their teeth on digital. I haven't met a beginner in years who was remotely sympathetic to the idea of buying a K1000 and taking it from there as many of us have done (actually a Zenit EM in my case).
    And indeed why would they want to start like that when everyone is taking fun pictures, putting them on websites etc etc. I think any desire to shoot film now, from the perspective of a beginner, is a sign of photographic maturity and curiosity about alternative processes which by definition a beginner would need to acquire.
    In contrast, I am sure that I am not alone amongst the 'old-timers' (although I am only 40) to still feel, occasionally, that I am cheating when I use a DSLR. I know it makes no sense but I do get a pang of guilt from time to time. I'll get over it eventually...
     
  163. Stuart,
    Thank you for running the print test.
    I see almost all the short comings of the digital file in the snapshot of the print you posted.
    Also remember that although on the film it represents how the print would look on a 24" printer, on the D2X it represents only an 18" tall print (because the D2X was frames on a narrower portion of the map vertically).
    YOUR CONCLUSION IS:
    Is your conclusion that the differences are observable on the print 18 inches tall or not?
     
  164. Stuart, when you comment on your conclusion, please quote what you see on the prints (not the snapshot of it).
     
  165. Landrum Kelly [​IMG][​IMG], Mar 18, 2009; 08:46 a.m.
    Still, the handwriting does seem to be on the wall: although MF film is still beating digital in terms of resolution (and possibly other things), digital has now closed the gap so much that one wonders when many will say, "Why should I scan? Neither I nor anyone else can see the difference, even with the best 'pixel-peeping.'"
    The question is whether FF DSLRS will ever catch MF high res film, and, if so, when?​
    This is a tricky question to answer since film and digital are different. For much of the shooting I do a long lens is needed and reach is more important then the total number of pixels captured, in this case my 20D will out do any film camera out there.
    The test that started this whole thread is where film does best, a very controlled environment, a high contrast subject, camera tripod mounted and a result where resolution is the most important out come of the image. For this kind of photography it may be a while before a FF digital passes 6x7 MF, not because it would be hard to do so but because the market would be small for such a camera.
    Another question: at what point is anyone going to care anymore? I hate to sound cynical, but it was not so long ago (about seven years) that my Olympus E-20 with 5 MP and a built-in zoom Zuiko lens was almost state of the art--and we used to ask, "When will digital catch up with film?" The answer is that it already has at larger "formats" (if one wants to call stitched images or digital backs a "format" for purposes of argument).
    When is it going to happen on a light-gathering medium 24mm x 36mm?
    I don't think that we are there yet, but with 24+ MP full-frame sensors already on the market right now (Nikon and Sony), we have to be getting close.​
    I know a die hard MF film user that reasonably bought the new Sony, he is now in the process of selling off $7,000 of both Hasselblad gear as well as his Nikon 9000 scanner. Keep in mind the Hasselblad is 6x6 not 6x7, but in any case the Sony is good enough that he sees no reason to shoot with the MF camera anymore.
    If someone were starting out today in photography, is there really any compelling reason, based on what we have seen above (so far), to say, "You really ought to put your money and time into film processing and film scanning"?​
    There is one good reason to put your time and money into film, if you enjoy using film.
    I am not playing the devil's advocate here. For those who already have the equipment and the know-how, staying with film is still a very good option. But for the rest, newbies starting out with no experience of either, what advice could one give in good conscience?​
    The advice I have given people thinking about buying into film is not to rush out and buy a $2000 scanner. You can get some pretty cheap MF camera that are decent and have the film professionally scanned. Go out with the MF camera and someone who has a decent DSLR and shot the kind of things you like to shoot. Get a few of your best shots scanned on a drum scanner and make a print that is the largest you might think of making and compare to what the digital guy got.
    The other option is to join a camera club and view the prints that people are getting with high end DSLRs and with MF cameras.
    But what does not work very well, IMO, is looking at photos of test charts or maps hanging on walls, I really believe it is best to look at photographs of the kind of things you plan to photograph.
     
  166. Scott, yes there is no replacement for direct experience.
    Who is selling the 9000 and where? I know several people interested.
     
  167. I'm late to this thread, but read it quickly with interest. The original premise makes sense to me, but perhaps this betrays my bias towards film to a certain extent. Shooting film is wonderful for me, I see absolutely no reason to switch for my photography. I won't recount all of the myriad reasons why, as all have been discussed many times before.
    What motivated me to post is what Scott said in reply to Roman's thoughts, which were basically, that Nikon does not offer the Coolscan V anymore because perhaps it is not in their best financial interests to do so; they would rather have customers purchasing their latest digital cameras as there is more profit in going that route... Scott gave a lengthy rebuttal saying, basically, that this was not so, that "...there is no company or publication out to get film.." I think perhaps the most cogent point for Roman's argument relates to Scott's last comment, ".. In the early part of this decade the digital camera manufactures were mostly trying to get people to switch from shooting film to digital, but now they are mostly trying to get people to upgrade from older digital cameras to newer ones."
    Imho, Roman hits on one of the most important points- I think his post strikes at the heart of the whole larger debate. That is, that there is huge money at stake... Once the various parties involved got the ball rolling on the selling of digital cameras, their business models were radically altered... They now are focused on selling the "latest and greatest" digital cameras which "need" "upgrading" much more often than film camera technology. Then, there are the many digital photography accoutrements to sell... These companies have largely and consciously moved to a "razor blade business" model, much more lucrative than the old. For people like me using film cameras ranging in age from 17 to 40 years, and with no plans to buy new, there just isn't any profit... I think this is a very valid point.
    And the magazines not being involved, too?? Well, they've always derived very substantial revenues from advertising; I remember being warned almost twenty years ago when I first became interested in photo that the articles were often worth reading, but that their ads will, "make you think that you need new equipment". The advent of digital photography has to have been like manna from heaven for them!
    To Kodak's credit, they are continuing the research and development of film technology and have introduced truly great films in recent years. Hopefully, posts like this will help to lend the necessary financial support to these wonderful efforts.
     
  168. Thank you Scott. I will pass along.
     
  169. If someone were starting out today in photography, is there really any compelling reason, based on what we have seen above (so far), to say, "You really ought to put your money and time into film processing and film scanning"?​
    HECK NO. I like to think of digital as a well engineered process built from the ground up. Film is more 'dirty, random, wet' chemistry that was tweaked, like much of chemistry & biology, to do what we wanted it to do. Digital will surpass film, save for perhaps the largest film formats, b/c, in my limited knowledge, an 8" x 10" electronic sensor seems a little ridiculous (if not ridiculously expensive!). Therefore if you're starting off, start digital .
    But that doesn't mean that many of us that have been shooting film won't continue to do so, myself included, for the time being. It also doesn't mean that film technologies should desist, b/c like I've said many times before, many of us have precious film lying around that we wanted digitized in this 'digital age'.
    Jeff, you make good points. I agree that the business model changed drastically. This is evident in film scanner projects being killed. Look at the new film scanners coming out today. They're toys . Scanning circa 2MP images from your film, but selling for a measly $100-$200. If the general public is somehow, appallingly, satisfied with these new products, just to keep digital snapshots of their old memories, then how can Nikon & Minolta/Sony justify pouring more money into R&D and production for $1000-$2000 film scanners? Don't get me wrong, I really wish they did. But the market just doesn't seem to be there. The market is furthermore frustrated by the fact that these $1000-$2000 scanners are typically bought by discerning photographers, & discerning photographers do care about things like film flatness, soft light/grain reduction, etc. But not one of these scanners ever got all those things right (some of them got pieces of 'em right, sure). So I think there was substantial stigma to even entering the world of 'higher-end desktop scanning'.
    In an ideal world, scientists & designers over at Nikon/Minolta would care enough, like Mauro & I do (I think I can safely speak for you, Mauro, here), about bettering film scanning, and the business side of things would actually listen to them, and a new, user-friendly, high-resolution, non-headache-inducing scanner would be designed and released. One where you never worry about film flatness or grain grittyness. One where you the user never have to worry about color accuracy; the scanner worries about it. One that would actually extract the full dynamic range present on the film using simple ideas from 1993-1994 patents that have, now, expired. One that would jump from 4000ppi to 8000ppi resolution even in a desktop scanner using a 4000ppi CCD employing recently developed technologies that I don't wish to get into here. Etc. etc.
    That would be a wonderful world. Just not the one we live in.
    -Rishi
     
  170. Jeff,
    you have good points, also due to advertising people have switched from film to Digital, not now (when the 5DII can give results comparable in resolution to 35mm film) but several years ago where digital cameras didn't come near the quality of film.
    Those who did not give up landscapes with 35 film (an obviously MF) are left today with a library of much higher quality images than possible with 2MP, 3MP, 6MP, 8MP 10MP, etc cameras.
     
  171. "(when the 5DII can give results comparable in resolution to 35mm film)"
    What alternative universe are you stuck in? The 5D1 wiped the floor with 35mm, and the 5DII pulls even further ahead. The 5D1 makes lovely 12x18 prints; 35mm isn't even close at that size.
     
  172. David,
    You have missed out from the previous comparisons. This is how 35mm negative film (Ektar) compares to a 10MP DSLR (40D). The raw file from the 40D was processed by multiple people with different tools and the best was picked.
    The difference is substantial enough that going from 10MP to 12MP will not make a difference.
    Films like Velvia and TMX obviously have an even larger gap.
    00SnMu-117385684.jpg
     
  173. David,
    35mm prints excellent at 16x20 on BW negative, color negative and slide.
    Not sure why you can't obtain good results even at 12x18. Can you share your workflow?
     
  174. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 18, 2009; 02:48 p.m.
    Jeff,
    you have good points, also due to advertising people have switched from film to Digital, not now (when the 5DII can give results comparable in resolution to 35mm film) but several years ago where digital cameras didn't come near the quality of film.
    Those who did not give up landscapes with 35 film (an obviously MF) are left today with a library of much higher quality images than possible with 2MP, 3MP, 6MP, 8MP 10MP, etc cameras.​
    Those who tried to shoot landscapes with 35mm were lost for the beginning, I know I was one of them. I have looked at your gallery and you have some very nice landscape photos taken with film, but they were taken with MF not 35mm. But I got to tell you this is one of your better shots.
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/3639504_X4XUj#279008132_rwc3m
    Oddly I thougth it was MF untill I looked at the info for it, I don't think you could have gotten that shot with 35mm color film. Can you show me a landscape photo you have taken with 35mm film that is as good at the one above?
    I may have missed it but I could not find any landscape photos in your gallery taken with 35mm film. In fact it took me a while to find any photo of yours taken with 35mm film, at last I found this.
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/6499685_dJwsh#412868710_aY9jo-O-LB
    A nice photo but very soft, it would not come close to a 5D mark 1
    Or there is this one
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/6499685_dJwsh#412836438_dfYZh-O-LB
    again very soft.
    So what I see from you is this, MF very good quality, DSLR (40D) good quality but not matching the MF photos, and then 35mm not so sharp.
    My point is this, in a controlled setup, with a carefully chosen test target, you might be able to get a good sharp looking scan from 35mm, but in the real world photos things breakdown with the 35mm film camera.
     
  175. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 18, 2009; 04:09 p.m.
    David,
    35mm prints excellent at 16x20 on BW negative, color negative and slide.
    Not sure why you can't obtain good results even at 12x18. Can you share your workflow?​
    Can you show me one landscape photo of your taken with color 35mm that you feel would make an excellent 16x20 inch print?
    In a quick look at your gallery I did not see any, but I might have missed something.
    But very nice MF photos BTW
     
  176. I was looking at some of Les Sarile's photos, he and I have a vastly different criteria for what would print well at 20x30. This image for example I would not print past 8x12

    http://tinyurl.com/c7nyhu

    Or this one
    http://www.fototime.com/{D8A7DCAC-052D-4029-AA38-C693854199B6}/picture.JPG
    Again the point is that when shooting outside in real conditions you guys don’t seem to be getting the resolution from 35mm that you claim you are.
     
  177. Here, try this (I just took it using TMAX 400 35mm):
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/7431324_CJohQ#479056402_r5kS4-O-LB
    Let me know what you think of the print.
     
  178. This is from Ektar 35mm:
    http://shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/6499685_dJwsh#412832226_BhGTs-O-LB
     
  179. This is from TMX 100 35mm:
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/3639504_X4XUj#422413447_UDaff-O-LB
     
  180. This is TMX 100 35mm developed at 200:
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/3639504_X4XUj#427899016_Rwdz3-O-LB
     
  181. FYI, I printed the TMX 400 at 24"x36" and it looks great.
     
  182. Sorry for the dup posting, see the one below​
     
  183. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 18, 2009; 04:48 p.m.
    Here, try this (I just took it using TMAX 400 35mm):
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/7431324_CJohQ#479056402_r5kS4-O-LB
    Let me know what you think of the print.​
    I sized it to 300ppi, which would be a print of about 12x18 inchs then cropped a 4x6 inch print from the center. At 300ppi it is way soft.
    You have much sharper images from your 40D then that, here I up-sized one of your 40D photos by 140% to match the size of the 35mm scan and put them side by side, to my eye it is clear which one looks sharper.
    00SnPl-117399684.jpg
     
  184. BTW I printed the compared photo I posted above at 300ppi, which would be 12x18 for both the 35mm fim and the 40D photo. Whereas I think 12x18 is pushing it for either image the 40d image looks far sharper.
     
  185. I've been shooting MF since the 60s, and I've never seen an 11x14 print from 35mm that met my stadards for that size. And at 12x18 (my current standard print size (before borders)) 35mm is even further off. I'm reminded of the digital crazies who insist that their 6MP images printed at 16x20 are "tack sharp". A print that would have looked noticeably better taken on the next format size up, isn't a print I'm interested in making.
    So I don't "get" 35mm. MF looks way better at the sizes I'm printing. And 12MP and 21MP FF dSLRs look very similar to 645 and 6x7, respectively. 35m simply isn't in either of those ballparks.
     
  186. Scott, I don't believe you regarding 35mm not being suitable for landscape. I believe there is definitely a limitation on it as far as quality deteriorating after a certain enlargement size, but as far as tonalities, sharpness, and whatever other criteria is appropriate for judging print quality, my results are excellent up to a certain enlargement size. I have the Nikon LS40, not the latest generation of scanners. That said, for an uncropped 35mm image which was made using quality lenses, on a tripod, etc., I can make images up to approximately 14 to 15 inches on the long end that are of high quality. I'm not a fan of large prints, in fact, my favorite size is 6" by 9", but when time and energy has allowed, the larger prints have been good enough that I've sold a few in a local gallery that is in a very arts oriented area. Several were eagerly accepted very recently to a new area gallery, also. All are "landscapes".
    I've seen, and fully appreciate what larger formats can produce, including an exhibit of actual Ansel Adams prints. (Interestingly, many of his prints, even though made with a large format camera, were not very big at all.) I do appreciate what the difference is, but with proper technique, equipment, and the new generation of Kodak films, and with no desire to exceed the moderate sizes mentioned, 35mm is darned good.
    I'd also viewed several outstanding Susan Bank framed prints recently. They are from a project she'd done in rural Cuba with 35mm. Although probably not technically "landscape", they were the largest prints I've recently viewed made from 35mm. They were substantially larger than my largest, at about 12" by 18". Of course nothing can be determined with these web images, but in person they were amazingly high quality, even at that relatively large size for 35 (imho).
    Susanbank.com
     
  187. The d2X did well considering it was enlarged way beyond its native resolution. I was suprised looking at the print how well it did. The d2x would not be my choice for photographing maps though. If I was a 6x7 shooter with a good scanner and regulary producing 24 inch wide prints and happy with the results I doubt I would be rushing out to buy a D2x on the other hand if I owned a D2x I would likely be very happy with it and probably not likely to splash out on medium format scanner.
     
  188. Here's the correct link: http://www.susansbank.com/Portfolio.cfm?nK=7482
    Mauro, Just wanted to say that you make some great images! They are really good to see. Jeff
     
  189. Scott,
    "BTW I printed the compared photo I posted above at 300ppi, which would be 12x18 for both the 35mm fim and the 40D photo. Whereas I think 12x18 is pushing it for either image the 40d image looks far sharper."
    You must be doing some thing wrong. What size did you print the 35mm scans at and what size did you print the 40D shots at? This should be 240dpi for 35mm film, but only 160 dpi for the 40D (for 16x20).
    Try printing both at 16x20 (Sharpen to your taste before you print - Soft is relative to you printer-size-paper and you need to do that to your liking before you print. I can't sharpen for you without knowing your printer and paper selection).
    Let me know your results again. Maybe use the Ektar shot next to a color shot of the 40D.
     
  190. Stuart, now that you have run the prints, do you agree a 24" tall print from 6x7 is dream sharp and just an 18" print from the DSLR has VISIBLE compromises?
    I actually want to know if you agree with the statement above base on your own experiment (Yes/No). Now that you tried it, you can speak to it and share your experience.
    I know you said it did well condidering.... but the fact is that the results are (to me) vastly superior VISIBLY on just 18". (Never mid 11 feet).
     
  191. David, you have been taken photographs from the 60s and never got a decent 11x14 print from 35mm.
    No ofense here,
    1) just print the side by side (40D - Ektar) above and let me know whther you think a 10MP DSLR is at the level of 35mm film.
    2) pick any of my scans from 35mm above, sharpen to taste and print at 11x14. Let me know if I can chane your 40 years of bad luck.
    3) If you think a 12MP DSLR can give you an output similar to medium format 645, I really can't help you. Mind sharing your equipment and workflow?
     
  192. Jeff, thank you for the compliments. The images on my website are just for sharing. I have my best ones sold and on the wall but not posted.
     
  193. Here is a link to a good landscape from 35mm, should easily print to 20x16 at 240 dpi. Look at the two guys on the jetty LHS
    (warning large file)
    http://www.retrophotographic.com/image1_100.htm
    You'll need to download it into photoshop and look about. But anyone who says 11x14 is the limit for 35mm is not using to right technique, film, lenses.
     
  194. The idea that 35mm is as good as 645 for 12x18 is, well, nuts. If you can't see the difference, then, well, you need better glasses. And I never said anything about 10MP dSLRs. They're just a tad underpowered for 12x18, so there's really no point here: 6MP for snapshots, 12MP or 645 for minimal quality work, 6x7 or 21MP for overkill for 12x18 prints. My workflow is Mamiya 645Pro (or 5D) or Mamiya 7 (or 5DII) -> Nikon 8000 -> Epson 2400. I don't see significant differences between my scans, what my loupes and microscope show, and the sample scans on the net; we're all in the same ballpark, and that's that film is incredibly wonderful at 7x and losing it at 12x. If you can't see the difference between a 7x enlargement and a 12x enlargement, then we're in alternate universes.
     
  195. Mauro there is not a doubt the 6x7 is better. There has never really been any doubt about that. Unfortunatly it just not something my dreams are made of. Looking at the print while I type this I can really say the 6x7 film image is better, having spent 6 years making wide format prints for a living I printed thousands of large prints from both good and bad files, filmscans and digital. What I can't say is that the differences are night and day and that everyone shooting a D2x should stop and start shooting medium format thats really down to each individual to decide for themselves based on their own images using their camera as they would normaly use them.
     
  196. "And 12MP and 21MP FF DSLRs look very similar to 645 and 6x7, respectively. 35m simply isn't in either of those ballparks." --David Littleboy​
    David, I think that you are in a state of deep denial, or else you are just eyeballing the results, not really measuring them. Les Sarile's shot probably runs (as displayed) at close to 19 megapixels, better than my Canon 1Ds II (though not really noticeably better in terms of resolution, but very, very sweet in terms of overall quality).
    More to the point, 645 and 6x7 are going to give you much, much better than 12MP and 21 MP DSLRs, respectively.
    If what you are saying were correct, we would be getting files from the Canon 5D II that matched 6 x 7 files (properly scanned), and that is not going to happen--UNLESS YOU GET A BAD SCAN, or a bad shot to begin with.
    I think that that was Mauro's point in starting this thread: bad scans give comparisons that make DSLRs appear to be vastly superior to film. Is film more trouble? Heck, yeah. Are the results worth the trouble? Each person has to decide that for himself or herself.
    I don't mean to sound combative, but DIGITAL AT 24mm x 36mm IS NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO MEDIUM FORMAT YET. At 35mm? I would say so, and with 24+ MP sensors, almost certainly so, usually better, I would say.
    Again, though, there are a lot of variables, from shooting technique to film resolution.
    Mauro reminds us of that other variable: skill at scanning.
    One last point: Les Sarile's shot was not made in a studio. And by the way, it is possible to blow a shot made with a DSLR, too, getting a soft shot made outside the studio!
    --Lannie
     
  197. I meant to say, let's go back to the first images on this thread and ask, "What happened to those blue rivers?" They're just not there on the D2X, as more than one of us has previously noted.
    --Lannie
     
  198. Yep the blue rivers thing is quite strange.
     
  199. Mark Smith: that's one of the softest 35mm scans I've ever seen in my entire life. Not at all representative.
     
  200. Oval smokestacks: There might be software solutions to such distortions. Maybe Scott will know.
    --Lannie
     
  201. Stuart, I agree with your observations, the D2X produces nice prints indeed. The point was that even at 18" film (even 35mm) has a visible edge in quality. No need to think extravagant sizes are needed to see the difference.
     
  202. "Mark Smith: that's one of the softest 35mm scans I've ever seen in my entire life. Not at all representative." --Rishi Sanyal​
    Rishi, is that the result of a bad scan, or just a blown shot?
    --Lannie
     
  203. Here's a quick quiz for ya folks... here's a 10 megapixel image I found:
    Link to Full-Size Image
    Follow the link to the full-size image or download it. View it at 1:1.
    Tell me what format you think it is. dSLR? 35mm? MF? Let's keep this objective.
    -Rishi
     
  204. "Stuart, I agree with your observations, the D2X produces nice prints indeed. The point was that even at 18" film (even 35mm) has a visible edge in quality. No need to think extravagant sizes are needed to see the difference." --Mauro Franic​
    Mauro, if you are talking about the first shots on the thread, wasn't that made with 6 x 7, not 35mm?
    --Lannie
     
  205. David,
    35mm is not as good as 645 (don't know who said that). A 5DII is (to me) in the 35mm film range not 6x7 film (which is almost 5 times bigger).
    I think you may be trying to convince yourself otherwise or just being disguised becaused you are limited to a 13" printer.
    Also, if your film under the microscope doesn't show more detail than your Coolscan 8000 captures, you may consider reviewing your equipment. All the films I use clearly outresolve my Coolscan 9000.
     
  206. Rishi, that was made with a 10 MP DSLR.
    Now where's my prize?
    --Lannie
     
  207. Lannie, I was referring to the 35mm next to 40D example.
     
  208. Rishi, certainly not MF properly scanned.
     
  209. Sorry, Mauro. I misread.
    --Lannie
     
  210. "DIGITAL AT 24mm x 36mm IS NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO MEDIUM FORMAT YET."
    As someone who has been doing MF for a long time, 21MP looks to be an improvement over 645. My tests show 6x7 beating out both 645 and 12MP digital, but 21MP digital capturing the detail that 645 failed to. And it's not just the scans, it's what I'm seeing on the film with loupes. Lots of other people also find this (i.e. that 12MP is close to, 21MP is better than 645). This isn't news, or surprising.
    I'm _not_ saying "21MP is better than 6x7", I'm saying the 21MP is enough better than 645 to put it into the 6x7 ballpark. In my (and just about everyone else's) tests, 6x7 clearly beats out 12MP, but 21MP is so close that arguing is quibbling; 21MP really does capture details that 645 fails to. (And I was the one who first pointed out that the D2x lost the blue rivers[g].)
    To get back to the original point, I don't blame bad scans. I blame physical reality. Most of the tests out there are quite good Nikon 9000 scans (other than the eggregious disasters at Luminous Landscape). I simply think that the physical reality is that film is gorgeous at 7x but shows infelicities that I don't want to see in my prints at 12x.
     
  211. David, leaving aside the 21 MP results for a moment, are you sure that 12 MP is outresolving 645 film? That just sounds counterintuitive. There is a lot of data on 645 film, 75% as much as there is on 6x6.
    Can you link us to some comparisons showing us what you have seen?
    --Lannie
     
  212. "you sure that 12 MP is outresolving 645 film?"
    Sorry, I didn't intend to say that. I think that 12MP and 645 are close enough to be functionally equivalent for pictorial photographic purposes. Again, both 21MP and 6x7 are superior to 12MP/645, IMHO. (Did I reverse digits somewhere???)
    "A lot of data on 645": I compare along the horizontal (i.e. with compositions matched on the long axis) and ignore 6x6. This shortchanges film for 11x14 and 16x20, but gets it right for 12x18 and 20x30. But, IMHO, these should be ballpark estimates.
     
  213. You're taking of aligning image elements, not simply pixels, correct? ... Also, yeah you could do it for film. Man it'd be tedious to do that plus AEB for slide film. Of course, if you did it at the level of scanning, you wouldn't get rid of film grain.​
    Think of it as shooting multiple frames of the same thing with the same framing. The alignment involves identifying fixed key points across the frames, then using these mile posts to translate, rotate, and perhaps scale against the chosen reference frame.
    The technique is just an (optional) step in the contrast blending process. It's done to gain tonal precision and increase dynamic range. By itself it is inferior to super resolution since resolution gain is entirely absent.
    When used with multiple film frames, film grain is reduced just as with the digitally originated images. In the limit, I suppose one could make Neopan 1600 look like a 100ISO shot out of the 5D at 100ISO.
    For a film workflow, contrast blending can potentially be useful for digitizing dense reversal film. The idea is to scan the same frame using successively higher analog gain settings. The alignment step fixes registration issues frame to frame. The enfuse stacking step gets at dense shadow details unavailable with low gain settings, and retains the highlight details lost at high gain settings due to sensor saturation and bloom.
     
  214. "Tell me what format you think it is. dSLR? 35mm? MF? Let's keep this objective."
    Kit zoom lens? That suggests dslr.
     
  215. Thanks Jeff for your support. But I have a couple words to Scott too.
    Scott:
    Nikon and other camera manufactures are concentrating on the digital market because there is virtually no sales of new film cameras.
    Scott, seems to me that you, as many digital shooters, are just looking for excuses why you switched to digital and trying to convince yourself you did a right thing. It’s typical when people suddenly recognize they have been fooled. “no sales of film cameras” we hear it for about a decade. But there are no such thing like “no sale”. They just don’t want to make them.
    To support this point lets imagine such situation. The last scanner(s) from Nikon had been introduced in 2003 and the last 35mm camera - in 2004 (F6). In same time Nikon introduced “the state of art, the camera of the future” D70 for $1200 USD (correct me if I’m wrong). 4 ½ years later this “camera of the future” already dead (no much future though). But we still are using our scanners, they cost as much as 4 yr ago, and look at Mauro test – they produce better image than another “camera of the future” – D2X! And if Nikon had stopped developing digital cameras in 2004, how much sales do you think your D70 would have now for the price of $1200? Let me guess – nil. That means the digital would be dead instantly. And don’t expect that D700 or D3(X, whatever) will have better destiny. Scott, I don’t think you’re not aware of it; seems to me you are afraid to confess that this is right.
    And I don’t think that the idea to eliminate art of film photography from our life came out from Nikon or Canon. However, there money talks. Apparently this idea was widely supported by Microsoft, Sony and other financial giants, who can control not just the market, but our mind as well and, using their financial leverage, may form any public opinion favorable to them. And unfortunately our “free” public media has no much to resist them.
    I don’t know how many folks participating in this discussion really understand that the digital technology is quite outdated and based on primitive binary digits theory to represent all numbers and data (which means “pixels”). This theory has been introduced in 30’s last century and hasn’t been changed much since. This somehow may explain why digital camera market is not stable, and digital cameras are dying that fast.
    you are rather out of touch with what has been going on the last 10 years or so.
    No, Scott, I’m pretty much in touch with what I’m doing having my three 35mm Nikon bodies. And I’m sure that I’m going to use them for many years to come. But those who made themselves addictive to this so called “advanced digital technology” will face hard time.
    Rishi:
    I guess it’s DSLR. Too “unrealistic” to be film (well, at least what I’m using).
     
  216. Don E:
    Kit zoom lens? That suggests dslr.​
    Huh? What's that supposed to mean?
    -Rishi
     
  217. Robert:
    For a film workflow, contrast blending can potentially be useful for digitizing dense reversal film​
    Yup. Some of the patents from the 90's regarding this sort of technique amaze me in the sense that they were granted. They're entirely obvious & self-evident methods. For example, ND filter on one row of the CCD while nothing on the other.
    Multiple scans, definitely with multi-sampling on the higher analog gain ones that are specifically aimed at extracting information from shadows, would certainly be useful. One could even merge in software like PhotoAcute and/or Photomatix. Additionally, modifying the light source and/or adding a Peltier element onto the back of the CCD would be worthwhile in such a workflow.
    Ahh the endless possibilities, if one has the time & effort :)
    -Rishi
     
  218. Huh? What's that supposed to mean?
    -Rishi
    00Sna2-117483584.jpg
     
  219. Kit lens? I don't know about that. It's not terrible in the corners.
    When are you going to tell us what it was shot with, Rishi.
    --Lannie
     
  220. I don’t know how many folks participating in this discussion really understand that the digital technology is quite outdated and based on primitive binary digits theory to represent all numbers and data (which means “pixels”). This theory has been introduced in 30’s last century and hasn’t been changed much since. This somehow may explain why digital camera market is not stable, and digital cameras are dying that fast. --Roman Ponomarjov​
    Uh, no. They are not dying, merely becoming obsolete because the technology is advancing so rapidly. There's no conspiracy here. The manufacturers simply do not see a long-term future for film scanning, nor a great profit potential in it either, compared to what they can get from selling more and more impressive DSLRs.
    Is digital scanning approaching the end of its life? People still have slides and negatives to scan, and art schools still are using film technology. Even so, at some point, the time costs of scanning have to be weighed against the benefits, and as digital sensors improve (along with in-camera processing), the benefits of scanning grow less and less by comparison.
    We also keep saying that surely we are approaching the limits of how many pixels may be packed onto a 24 x 36 sensor, but we might be in for a surprise. Quantum effects aside (and those are indeterminate for me, to say the least), perhaps some new technology will allow more and more pixels to be packed onto such small surfaces, without interference and thus noise--never say never, since a technological and theoretical paradigm shift might be around the corner. (Do we ever see them coming?)
    By the way, Roman, there is nothing "primitive" about binary digits. One might as well say that base ten is primitive because it has been around for so long. There is nothing imminently obsolete about 1 or 0, yes or no. Women have employed those choices for millions of years quite successfully, leading us around with rings through our noses even better than the camera companies have.
    --Lannie
     
  221. Tell me what format you think it is.​
    Velvia, 35mm, overcast day.
     
  222. Alright, Lannie, may be I went over board calling binary digit theory primitive. As a design enginner I’m using computers lot. It really helps up with all our calculations and analysis. But it’s technical things. However I consider it’s “primitive” regarding visual art. How much creative you would be if your brain can recognize only two digits -1 and 0?
    They are not dying, merely becoming obsolete because the technology is advancing so rapidly.

    I have to disagree with you. This technology had stopped advancing long time ago. The difference between modern computer and 20 yrs ago is only the speed of data processing and transferring and memory volume. So are digital cameras. It’s not advancing, it’s retrofitting.
     
  223. The Nikon 9000 with glass holder runs around 2500 if you can find one.
    I'm amused at those, especially the original poster, who act as if this is the best one
    can get out their MF film.
    Far from it. That is why the Epsons are such outstanding alternatives for proof printing.
    I certainly wouldnt want a 30x40 printed from a low end nikon film scanner nor do most gallerys.
    If you shoot medium format in the first place, at least in the old days, you were after maximum quality. This requires a drum scan or imacon in the eyes of many professionals who regulary exhibit their work.The Nikon 9000 does NOT in any way fill this niche market.
    The problem is not the Epsons. Even 10 years ago when Medium Format was going strong very few would use an 8000 Nikon to blow up their finest work. The problem is that nothing touches a drum scan and drum scans are expensive (in the same way that Medium Format gear used to be exorbitantly expensive)
     
  224. Rishi,
    it looks to me like color fringing or chromatic aberration. but it's optical issue.
     
  225. wow, that's an L series 17-40 f/4 Canon lens. that hurts :(
    -Rishi
    p.s. Don E that's not really a valid guess as to what format it is :p
     
  226. Landrum Kelly [​IMG][​IMG], Mar 18, 2009; 08:15 p.m.
    Oval smokestacks: There might be software solutions to such distortions. Maybe Scott will know.​
    You get those kinds of ovals from any really wide angle image that is rectilinear, this is true of either digital or film. The effect can be reduced by not doing a rectilinear, going to somewhat of a fisheye. There is simply no way to go very wide angle without some kind of distortion. The image also has perspective correction, like a LF camera would, which exaggerates the wide-angle effects of the lens.
    I have linked to a version that is a bit less wide angle and have no perspective control to it. The FOV is very close to what you would get with a 35mm camera with a 25mm lens on it. The tipping in of the stacks is from a wide-angle lens with no shift added to it, i.e. a normal 35mm lens. I set the resolution to match a full 35mm frame at 4000 ppi.
    Next I will do a version that has the highlights toned down for Les.
    00SniY-117565584.jpg
     
  227. The fairy falls shot looks nice. Personally I would have framed a bit tighter to lose most of the foreground and some of the right hand side. That would allow the falls to appear larger and look more dramatic. As for what it was shot on. It does not really matter. More intersesting would be how you might improve on that image if you were to go back again.
     
  228. How much creative you would be if your brain can recognize only two digits -1 and 0?​
    What on earth are you talking about, Roman? As a 'design engineer', Roman, you should be ashamed for making a comment like that.
    1s and 0s can be infinitely powerful if you increase the sampling dimension to infinity. Therefore, 1s and 0s are just as powerful as analog in the limit of infinite samples.
    With all due respect, that's just a ridiculous statement. And I'm a biologist/film shooter. Sheesh.
    -Rishi
     
  229. Les Sarile [​IMG][​IMG], Mar 18, 2009; 06:00 p.m.
    Scott Wilson,
    Below is an example that I consider to be very sharp. Do you have a similar scene?
    [​IMG] Click thumbnail for full res 2MB file.

    Zoom to the center of her vest and you can actually read the label. My real world may not be yours?​
    I resized one of my 8MP photos to match your size and put them side by side. This is very typical of what I see between film and digital, a good film scan (which yours is) will have a bit more detail then an 8MP digital image, but you image still looks to my eye to be just a bit softer. FWIW I have seen scans from 35mm that can match what a 8MP DSLR can do for sharpness, but I have never seen one that goes past.
    To say that people who have been shooting with 8MP DSLRs have been missing something over using 35mm film does not make sense in light of the 35mm photos I have been seeing.
    00Snj9-117573584.jpg
     
  230. OK, I'll make this one easy for ya, folks:
    Here's a 12MP image file... is it from a 12MP dSLR or a 12MP scan of a 35mm frame of film?
    [​IMG]
    Link to Full-Size Image
    I want at least 4 votes... then I'll divulge which image is which format between the Fairy Falls image and this Mt. Hood one. Sorry to keep ya waitin' Lannie :)
    Cheers,
    Rishi
     
  231. I down sampled Les's canoe shot to 6mp saved it as a tif closed the image, reopened it upsampled to original size and compared it to the original image. I can't any find any differences between the two even pixel peepling at 100% in PS. Now it could be that the jpg compression has destroyed fine details that are there in the original scan but for me the image just does not look that sharp.
     
  232. Here's a 12MP image file... is it from a 12MP dSLR or a 12MP scan of a 35mm frame of film?​
    The answer is yes.
     
  233. Rishi you are using HTML to rescale your large images and display them inline. That means the browser is downloading a 12 mp image and having to resize it. It slows down scrolling and makes the browser sluggish. I would be better to rescale in PS and display that image inline.
     
  234. Here is a close up of the top of Rishi's photo
    00Snjv-117583584.jpg
     
  235. Rishi,
    On the mt hood photo I am guessing film, but I could well be wrong. It kind of looks like you did what I have done with film scans where the sky had more grain then I like, selected the sky and reduced the noise by a whole lot.
    As I said this is just a guess.
     
  236. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG] , Mar 19, 2009; 04:15 a.m.
    OK, I'll make this one easy for ya, folks:
    Here's a 12MP image file... is it from a 12MP dSLR or a 12MP scan of a 35mm frame of film?

    Answer : Digital Image..
     
  237. Stuart -- shoot you're right it does slow down scrolling. Sorry, not much I can do now other than kill the link. Which I'll do after I get a few more votes, how does that sound? :)
    Thanks Scott & Pankaj for the votes... that's 2 down, 2 to go!
    Really, I want Mr. David Littleboy's vote... y'know, the guy who thinks that a 12MP dSLR surpasses 645, while scoffing at 35mm. C'mon man... which one of these is a dSLR & which one's just measly ol' 35mm-unworthy-of-landscapes ?
    -Rishi
     
  238. P.S. Steve Smith your answer is about as ambiguous as a hermaphrodite's sexuality.
     
  239. P.S. Steve Smith your answer is about as ambiguous as a hermaphrodite's sexuality.​
    It's the question that is ambiguous. It's like asking if a light switch is on or off. The correct answer is yes. The question you ask to get the response you want is "which position is the light switch set to?".
    Possibly far too pedantic. A bit like when my wife asks me: "do you want to make a cup of tea?" My answer is always "no" even though she's not really asking a question.
     
  240. Back to normality. The detail in the highlights in the mountain make me think it's a film image but the foliage of the foreground trees make me think digital or film not handled well by the scanner.
    If I had to choose I would say film.
     
  241. Stuart, fair points re: the composition. I would actually process the file more like this than what was posted above (too many blown highlights, I think):
    [​IMG]
    Regardless, though, not too much shadow detail to work with...
    Cheers,
    Rishi
     
  242. Steve: the problem with the foliage detail either not captured well digitally or not scanned well by the scanner may result from the fact that this was a 30 second exposure on a gratuitously windy morning in the Columbia River Gorge area...
    -Rishi
     
  243. I'll have a go: the waterfall is a DSLR picture and the mountain 35mm with a good dose of noise reduction in the sky. Fingers crossed.
     
  244. imho, both waterfall and mountain are scanned film images
     
  245. The problem with doing drum scans is not the cost of individual scans as priced by a lab. It's that the scanner is too expensive to buy for personal use and commercial labs don't have operators that care one bit about the photographer's intentions. I couldn't care less if a 12000ppi scan of my film has more detail than my LS-9000 scans if the colors, tone curve, sharpening etc. are botched up by the operator that wants to be somewhere else and won't listen. That's why my LS-9000 is a better option as it allows me to have full control and wasn't too expensive for my limited number of images. An Epson flatbed makes 6x7 scans slowly and the image quality is hardly better than that from 6 MP DSLRs, and the process is far slower than using the Nikon. With the Nikon, color accuracy out of the box is far better. To each their own. I wouldn't use a lab made scan if a gun was pointed to my head.
     
  246. "Poor scans may be the reason why some people believe DSLRs compare to scanned medium format film..."
    In my case it's because I have large prints from both DSLRs and 6x7 Tmax 100 (not scanned; old fashioned, hand printed, optical prints) hanging next to each other on my walls. I don't bother with extreme magnification or worry about the math; I just view them with my eyeballs from about 4 or 5 feet away.
     
  247. "...else you are just eyeballing the results, not really measuring them..."
    Ha! That's hilarious! Guess what? Most of the world is only concerned about how prints look when being "eyeballed".
    "Pictures, regardless of how they are created and recreated, are intended to be looked at. This brings to the forefront not the technology of imaging, which of course is important, but rather what we might call the eyenology. " -Henri Cartier-Bresson
     
  248. When a used Hassleblad goes for $1000, and somebody has just paid $5000 for their D3, it's hard to convince them that they just wasted $4000.
     
  249. Rishi, I'll stay with my original answer of DSLR for the water fall. I think that the Mt. Hood shot is 35 mm film. (I know that you sure used a good lens on the Mt. Hood shot. Look at the flowers close to the edge.)
    --Lannie
     
  250. John Photo, "I'm amused at those, especially the original poster, who act as if this is the best one
    can get out their MF film."
    I'm not sure how you interpret my notes to conclude the above. All my films outresolve my Coolscan. i.e. the film has more information pass 4000dpi.
    A Coolscan 9000 for 6x7 or 6x8 100MP though, is probably the best scanner you can buy for less than the price of a small house. The quality and resolution of the output is the best you can produce short of a drum scan for medium format. Certainly superior to any digital camera in production and fit for a gallery.
     
  251. John Photo,
    "I certainly wouldnt want a 30x40 printed from a low end nikon film scanner"
    John, you may have good intentions but you don't know what you are talking about. The output fron the Coolscan has more information I can print on my 7880 (24"). What makes you believe that going to 30" is going to make your print crumble?
    What printer do you have? And do you consistently make prints out of a Coolscan 9000 on it?
     
  252. Matt, please respond to my comment about "eye-balling" in context:
    "And 12MP and 21MP FF DSLRs look very similar to 645 and 6x7, respectively. 35m simply isn't in either of those ballparks." --David Littleboy
    "David, I think that you are in a state of deep denial, or else you are just eyeballing the results, not really measuring them." -Landrum Kelly​
    Matt, the whole point of measuring things is to avoid saying ludicrous things such as David Littleboy said and getting away with it unchallenged. What is the best challenge? "Measure it." Otherwise we have all kinds of impressionistic judgments, not to mention rationalizations.
    All that I can say to the original post to which I was responding is that, if someone's 645 shot looks no better than a 12MP DSLR shot, that person blew the 645 shot--or the scan.
    Yes, I said blew the scan, which brings us back to Mauro's point in posting.
    Having said that, Mauro, I think that the real reason that most people switch to digital is because of the convenience, not because of quality considerations. Digital for their purposes is "good enough."
    You still laughing, Matt? Well, just keep on laughing, and good 645 shots will keep on blowing away 12 MP digital shots-- there is no contest, really. I shoot the 12 MP Canon 5D and the 16.7 MP Canon 1Ds II. I can tell you that there is no way that the 5D can beat 645 or that the 1Ds II can beat 6 x 7.
    Since David and I disagree on that precise point, I recommend MEASURING rather than either emoting or laughing, regardless of whatever HCB said, quoted out of context. If I could offer comparative shots of the same subjects, I would show you. Side by side, yes, we could eyeball them. Otherwise, we are wasting our time.
    --Lannie
     
  253. Scott Wilson:
    "I have seen scans from 35mm that can match what a 8MP DSLR can do for sharpness, but I have never seen one that goes past."
    Here, let me change that for you:
    00SnpR-117637584.jpg
     
  254. Scott Wilson, also print the above at say 360 dpi (11x14 print) and tell me what you think.
     
  255. Roman, I think you make some good additional points:
    "...And I don’t think that the idea to eliminate art of film photography from our life came out from Nikon or Canon. However, there money talks. Apparently this idea was widely supported by Microsoft, Sony and other financial giants, who can control not just the market, but our mind as well and, using their financial leverage, may form any public opinion favorable to them. And unfortunately our “free” public media has no much to resist them..."
    Yes, and I think this relates to the overall "big picture economy" in that so much is based on coming out with the "latest and greatest" (supposedly), and then putting in an intense effort of convincing people that they need these things.
    This overall concept really hits home for me when after my usual habit of watching quality television programs here in the U.S. on PBS, I switch the channel (usually, just for the local and national news, thankfully) to another station. Suddenly, one is seemingly hit over the head with advertising every few minutes trying to make the audience think they need a new auto, Viagra or other largely remedial drugs, that they need to support Big Oil (at least they use a great looking babe in this one!), etc., etc.... I think all of these product "needs" moderately to largely preventable, but they wouldn't spend the money on this if they weren't largely successful in convincing people otherwise, I suppose... Hopefully, this will change if we can evolve intelligently to a more sustainable, and healthy economy, and lifestyle; I think this analogy holds at least moderately true for photo, as well.
    And yes, I think we will be able to use our Nikon film bodies to a satisfying degree for years to come, so long as we can keep the herd from dissuading us and other film users, and potential film users, not to.
    Film photography is a separate technology that also has advances in store if its market is not killed off by the effort to convince us that digital capture technology is the "only way". Kodak has proved this to me with the several wonderful films that have come on market these last several years. I think the trouble from the larger industry perspective is that for so many of us, we really don't need advances in camera body features. The advances need to come from the emulsion technology side, as they largely have been, therefore the profit potential is not as wide spread and as great as continuing on with their current business models.
    Edward, "When a used Hassleblad goes for $1000, and somebody has just paid $5000 for their D3, it's hard to convince them that they just wasted $4000.
    I think that could well be a large part of it...
     
  256. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    "Having said that, Mauro, I think that the real reason that most people switch to digital is because of the convenience, not because of quality considerations. Digital for their purposes is "good enough.""
    Bingo. Why else would pros switch from Speed Graphics and Rollies to 35mm in the late 1950s early 1960s?
     
  257. several wonderful films that have come on market these last several years. I think the trouble from the larger industry perspective is that for so many of us, we really don't need advances in camera body features. --Jeff Z​
    One also wonders how many persons are inclined to buy a new Nikon F5 or Canon 1V. I wonder if there are any numbers being published about how many are being sold new.
    --Lannie
     
  258. I meant the Nikon F6, not the F5.
    --Lannie
     
  259. OK, I'll make this one easy for ya, folks:
    Here's a 12MP image file... is it from a 12MP dSLR or a 12MP scan of a 35mm frame of film?​
    If it's a 12 MP image it probably started out as a 40 MB TIFF file (or the RAW equivalent). In order to display it on the web, it had to be shrunk to about 1/5000th of its original size and resolution. Comparing photos at this resolution is like tasting one drop of coffee dissolved in a 55 gallon drum full of water. IT'S LUDICROUS!!
    A further complication is that most of the images offered for comparison on this thread have ***NOT*** been optimally sharpened. Most are undersharpened, and some like Rishi's otherwise beautiful mountain scene, are oversharpened to the point where it looks as though someone splattered the image with drops of white paint. How can you possibly judge the quality of a poorly sharpened image versus another poorly sharpened image? It's like comparing the height of two people who are slumped in their chairs.
    One final thought. I love film. I love the look of film. I shoot a lot of film each year (mostly 4x5 transparency film). That said, scans costs a LOT of money and weeks can pass before I receive them. Then they require additional Photoshopping just to get them to look like the original chrome. I would need to be Donald Trump to have the budget to have all of my images drum scanned and optimized by QUALIFIED professionals, and the project would take years to complete. My digital camera may or may not match film's resolution, saturation, or contrast in any given shooting situation - sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse - but it sure as shootin' saves me time and money.
    In a perfect world we'd all expose multiple 8x10 frames, scan them at 8000 dpi, and merge them into ultra-high-resolution, super-HDR masterpieces. In THIS world, we make the best image possible with the gear that we have in hand. The inept carpenter blames his hammer.
     
  260. Film slr sales peaked in the late 1980s, I think. Digital cameras had two major impacts on the industry: 1) it provided cameras that would reverse the decline in slr sales, 2) it shifted the driver of the market from film manufacturers to camera manufacturers.
     
  261. What Don E posted. Canon and Nikon must have posted some amazing numbers over the last 7+ years.
     
  262. Really, I want Mr. David Littleboy's vote... y'know, the guy who thinks that a 12MP dSLR surpasses 645, while scoffing at 35mm. C'mon man... which one of these is a dSLR & which one's just measly ol' 35mm-unworthy-of-landscapes ?
    -Rishi​
    Funny that despite the fact that this is a huge thread with so many opinions about whether there is any *meaningful* differences between DSLR and film/scan, very very few people take up this challenge.
    If the whole point of this, and many other, posts like this, is to show that one medium is better than the others, then one has to be able to consistently and reproducibly discern real differences between the images that are captured by one method over the other. Otherwise the real point is this: no matter whether you shoot film, MF or 35 mm, or digital, the important thing is to know the pros and cons of your medium, and do the best you can to make the best of it to produce images that are memorable and artistic.
    To answer the original question of this post: No, I believe the VAST majority of us switch to digital becasue it is CONVINIENT not because we stay home and shoot maps or what ever and crop and blow them up and analyze the results using a microscope.
     
  263. "Comparing photos at this resolution is like tasting one drop of coffee dissolved in a 55 gallon drum full of water. IT'S LUDICROUS!!" --Dan South​
    Dan, I think that Rishi was just playing with us on the "contest" to see who guessed right. You are right, of course. No one can say for sure, although one might be able to figure it out as a puzzle.
    Rishi knows full well what is required for meaningful comparisons, and there are some meaningful comparisons in this thread, although some are not. Rishi's were not intended to be. I hate to say it, but "go back and read the whole thread." (Yeah, yeah, I know. . . .)
    --Lannie
     
  264. Les Sarile [​IMG][​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 10:13 a.m.
    Scott Wilson , Mar 19, 2009; 04:01 a.m.
    Large photo attachment:
    (Compare -- 1408 x 1422 photo)
    Please post the full unprocessed file.​
    It is from a raw image, so they are always processed to some degree, as are all film scans. But I will give you two image, the one after upsizing, which is what I posted the crop from and the image before upsizing. First the one that has not been resized.
    00SnxQ-117719584.jpg
     
  265. Now the resized photo
    00SnxX-117721684.jpg
     
  266. Lannie, I have read the whole thread as well as a similar thread launched a couple of weeks ago.
    My comments were not directed toward Rishi but rather to ALL who post images on such threads and claim that they prove that digital/film is better than whatever. There are so many variables involved - including compression for web display - that such informal online comparisons amount to little more than a raucous parlor game: fun, but not terribly conclusive!
     
  267. Comparing photos at this resolution is like tasting one drop of coffee dissolved in a 55 gallon drum full of water. IT'S LUDICROUS!!​
    Dan South: Umm... I posted links to the full-size 12MP & 10MP JPEG files... did you not follow those links? What kind of idiot do you take me for if you think I'd expect you to make any sort of comparisons of an 800x600 web-sized JPEG :)
    -Rishi
     
  268. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 09:10 a.m.
    Scott Wilson, also print the above at say 360 dpi (11x14 print) and tell me what you think.​
    Hello Mauro,
    I have gotten a bit behing in this thread, not hard to do.
    I have a number of probems with your sample photos, one of which can be fixed. First off the contrast seems to be set much lower for the DSLR images, could you post a link to the raw image(s)?
    The other issue is that the test targets are all very high contrast, this is were film works the best. As I have said before if I am photographing to read street signs film does great. I did a test a long time ago with film and digital of my car, in the film image you could read more on the license plate, but when the whole image was viewed the digital still looked a bit sharper. I have seen color 35mm film photos from others that do match what I can do with my DLSR, but not better.
    I would be much more interesting in seeing tests photo looking out at your backyard rather then high contrast writing. The idea is a shot that is closer to a landscape photo rather then a test chart.
     
  269. Dan South , Mar 19, 2009; 12:08 p.m.
    OK, I'll make this one easy for ya, folks:
    Here's a 12MP image file... is it from a 12MP dSLR or a 12MP scan of a 35mm frame of film?​
    If it's a 12 MP image it probably started out as a 40 MB TIFF file (or the RAW equivalent). In order to display it on the web, it had to be shrunk to about 1/5000th of its original size and resolution. Comparing photos at this resolution is like tasting one drop of coffee dissolved in a 55 gallon drum full of water. IT'S LUDICROUS!!​
    1/5000th, really? just how small is your monitor?
    Figure at most it started out at 20MP, 20M/5000 = 4000.
    So what, your monitor is something like 74 x 54 pixels?
    I have a 2.3 MP monitor, can see the whole image at once at the pixel level, but I can see enough at one time to get a good idea of what I am looking at.
     
  270. Thanks everyone for the votes & comments on the images!
    The voting results:
    • 10MP Fairy Falls: 5 said it was dSLR | 2 said it was film
    • 12MP Mt Hood: All voted film on this one
    The reality:
    • Fairy Falls: 35mm Velvia 50|Canon EOS-3|17-40 f/4L @ f/22 scanned @ 8000ppi on Imacon 848
    • Mt Hood: 35mm Velvia 50|Canon EOS-3|70-200 f/4L IS @ f/16 scanned @ 8000ppi on Imacon 848
    I think this little exercise was indicative of the fact in a blind study, things are not as clear as when someone performs a test with a pre-established bias attempting to prove that one format is better than the other. For example, if David Littleboy thinks that a 12MP dSLR is comparable to 645, then how one earth did >200% of the people vote the waterfall photo a 10MP dSLR when it was in fact 35mm ? Surely a 2MP step up from 10MP to 12MP isn't paramount to going from 35mm to 645! And in fact, if I re-posted that photo to 12MP instead of 10MP, I'm fairly certain I'd get the same voting results, as it doesn't look much different to me whether I resize it to 10MP or 12MP on my screen at 1:1.
    What I'm trying to say is: IMHO there's at least as much or more image detail in these scans than either a 10MP or 12MP dSLR would've captured... even in a low-contrast 'real world' scene. And this is 35mm, which has been trashed on this thread as being entirely inadequate for landscape photography. Tell that to 5D owners. Yes, in comparison to some of Mauro's ridiculous MF scans (wow, look at the resolution & cleanliness at 1:2 viewing of some of his waterfall scans... stunning. Gorgeous!), 35mm certainly loses its glamour in my book. But let's not unduly trash 35mm... in fact, a large part of my entire comparison was to show that those trashing 35mm film were:
    1. Being unobjective
    2. Didn't know how to scan film properly.
    Wait a tick, isn't 2. the premise of this thread ? :)
    Certainly the test could've been run better. For example, Dan South comments on the over-sharpening of the Mt. Hood shot... which he's absolutely right about... Scenes like this with both low contrast and bright high contrast detail are difficult to perform auto-masked sharpening (as in Lightroom), because the high contrast regions get sharpened more than the low contrast ones... hence the almost 'tracing-like' effect on the mountain. The image hadn't been processed before and I was simply being quick-n-dirty... sorry... but appreciate the feedback :) By the way, Dan, do you think the foreground (foliage, etc.) is also oversharpened? Scott: right on about selectively reducing noise in the sky... I can't stand grainy skies :)
    Additionally, I don't even like Imacon scans as they accentuate dust/imperfections and grain in comparison to my Scanhancer-modified Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400. But that's out of commission for now (been modding the light source).
    My point is: scans/processing coulda been better, but (one) still got confused as being digital SLR at 1:1 viewing . That means that at 100% the 35mm film scan was sharp enough to not be considered 'soft 35mm' as has been touted on this thread quite a bit. Why? Because image was properly scanned .
    Hence, the entire premise of Mauro's thread.
    -Rishi
     
  271. There is actually a pretty simple solution to the conundrum of film v digital. Print everything out at 4x6 inches; you get amazing color and sharpness that way. :)
    All of my Tri-X 35mm darkroom work was done at 5x8 inches. I liked the size (I guess because I'm from the Vermeer school of size v the Rembrandt school) and the grain of the Tri-X was appealing without being intrusive. Again this was in the pre T-Max B&W film days and all Tri-X was shot at 200 ASA from my on densitometer testing. I was too poor to afford a nice 4x5 inch field camera at the time and made do with what was available. I have been scanning in these negatives on my Nikon and getting sometimes good results (I need Rishi's tutorial - hint, hint to optimize things). I like the prints that come out of my Epson 2880 and they are differnt from the silver prints but appealing none the less. I wish T-Max was around in those days as it would have led to better printing options. We also had limitations in color film back then with chiefly Kodachrome and Ektachrome (liked the former and disliked the latter). I still have the Nikkormat and still shoot film (need to try the new Fuji slide films). I haven't permanently deserted one camp for the other (though I did need to get a set of silver oxide batter adapters for the camera and light meter as the wonderful mercury batteries are no longer available).
     
  272. BTW, I'm surprised more folks didn't figure the waterfall image to be film given the dense/black shadows... that's characteristic Velvia when scanned without ridiculous amounts of analog gain :)
    Lannie, yup, 70-200mm f/4L IS is prolly my favorite lens of all time. Certainly puts the quality of the 17-40 f/4L to shame; however, that being said, the 17-40's performance everywhere but the corners is quite stellar (compared to non-L lenses).
    Look at the mountain shot again at 1:1. Look for individual tree trunks and branches in the 'mid-ground'. There's a lot of detail there. Certainly not anywhere near as clean as how it'd look with MF, but, IMHO, there's detail in tree trunks & branches that prolly woulda been blotched by a 12MP dSLR. That's just a guess. The other half of the guess being that a 5D shot would probably sharpen much better than this film scan without introducing grain/noise... but certainly, I think, this 35mm scan would be on par, if not better (remember, I downsized it quite a bit), than a 5D.
    Feel free to argue that point. It's not really objective :p
    -Rishi
     
  273. I've been following this thread since Mauro's first post with great interest. I have found Mauro's opening remark very original, almost scientific.
    I personally prefer the film because I dislike the unnecessary automations offered on the digital bodies and their lenses. I cannot deny the convenience in their use, and I don't see how an even larger number of megapixels won't eventually beat the 35mm and MF image quality.
    However, my Leica M6 Classic had been unchanged for nearly 18 years and most of the discussions in the photographic circles (an era before forums) were about shooting techniques and photography critique. Nothing much to say about equipment, except perhaps when a new lens came out. Today, most talk is about the camera body--no, it's about the sensor's resolution and the computerized post-processing. Not even the lenses are discussed as deserved.
    Digital photography will come out of all this as the undeniable victor. And the quality of its images won't be inferior to film, perhaps much better in most cases. Mauro's post aimed at something very interesting on its own right, though--I don't think he intended to initialize another thread on film / digital battle.
    On a personal level, we film lovers still resist. As I posted elsewhere, hating to buy my cameras from a department store, that sells washing machines on the same floor, I reacted the best I could: I bought a second MF system.
     
  274. Scott,
    The yousendit link to the raw expired. I will upload for you again tonight.
    Grass and tree branches suffer even more on DSLR's resolution than target objects.
    Trust me, if I thought a 10MP DSLR compared to 35mm film for landscape I would still use it since it is far more convenient - but I don't use the 40D for landscape at all. In my experience , 35mm has enough of a quality gap over a 10MP DSLR to justify the additional effort.
    Try printing this at 16x20 and you'll see grass and trees do worse than my target items:
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/3639504_X4XUj#279008132_rwc3m-O-LB
     
  275. Apostolos, thans for the praise.
    Rishi, I agree 35mm Velvia should match/beat any DSLR I tested. Furthermore, pack 35mm Velvia in a pocket film and shoot and compare it to pocket digitals... You can have a 40 megapixel Velvia camera in your pocket for $50.
     
  276. All,
    Going back to the main point of the thread,
    Many people believe a flatbed scanner does justice to their film and later decide to move to a DSLR for image quality. They do not realize it was the digital portion of their workflow that needed to be fixed.
     
  277. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 04:52 p.m.
    Scott,
    The yousendit link to the raw expired. I will upload for you again tonight.
    Grass and tree branches suffer even more on DSLR's resolution than target objects.
    Trust me, if I thought a 10MP DSLR compared to 35mm film for landscape I would still use it since it is far more convenient - but I don't use the 40D for landscape at all. In my experience , 35mm has enough of a quality gap over a 10MP DSLR to justify the additional effort.
    Try printing this at 16x20 and you'll see grass and trees do worse than my target items:
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/3639504_X4XUj#279008132_rwc3m-O-LB
    So this is what I did, I scaled up the 40D image to match what the full scan size of the film shot was likely to be, I used a width of 5519 pixels.
    I set the PPI to 222 and added part of your shot from the 35mm film.
    I have attached my the image I printed, it made a print 3.243 x 2.509 inches.
    What I see is this, when viewed close both images are pretty soft, at 16x20 in print is really pushing it too far for either image. As I back off my viewing distance there is a point where the images no longer look soft, this distance is the same for the two images, as close as I can judge. On the print neither image is sharper looking then the other.
    00So9H-117793584.jpg
     
  278. If it looks soft, then sharpen it . And print again.
    Please use bigger sections so you can appreciate the problems with a 10MP DSLr vs 35 film.
    You should see shortcomings on the DSLR.
     
  279. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 05:49 p.m.
    If it looks soft, then sharpen it . And print again.
    Please use bigger sections so you can appreciate the problems with a 10MP DSLr vs 35 film.
    You should see shortcomings on the DSLR.​
    I am running out of ink, which is why the small prints.
    Tell you what, if you post a landscape photo taken with 35mm color film I will make 8x10 inch test prints, scaled to whatever size you wish. This is as soon as I get more ink.
     
  280. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 04:59 p.m.
    Apostolos, thans for the praise.
    Rishi, I agree 35mm Velvia should match/beat any DSLR I tested. Furthermore, pack 35mm Velvia in a pocket film and shoot and compare it to pocket digitals... You can have a 40 megapixel Velvia camera in your pocket for $50.​
    Let's see, a frame of 35mm being the same as having a 40 MP camera? So you should be able to show some 5400 ppi scans that are as sharp as the pixels level as my DSLR?
     
  281. By not using a test chart we cannot tell whether the cameras used were performing optimally.
    These map or brick wall tests are too subject to interpretation.
     
  282. I agree with Marc Scott.
    Try the 40D landscape first. Upsize to 16x20 - and your printers native resolution. Sharpen. Print.
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/3639504_X4XUj#279008132_rwc3m-O-LB
    Try the 35mm color negative next. Upsize to 16x20 - and your printers native resolution. Sharpen. Print.
    http://www.shutterclick.smugmug.com/gallery/6499685_dJwsh#412832226_BhGTs-O-LB
     
  283. Scott, then share you impressions based on prints.
    In my experience day in day out, "and specially for landscape - more so than target objects", 35mm film has a significant quality advantage over a 10MP DSLR (or 12MP for the same case). A 5DII - waiting to do side by side landscape test- should come closer to my 35mm results.
    But I'm interested in your conclusion since you are taking the effort to run prints and comparisons.
     
  284. 6x7 film is obviously a quantum leap in quality over 35mm film/5DII.
     
  285. Mauro, et al ., thanks for another fun and educational thread.
    --Lannie
     
  286. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 05:02 p.m.
    All,
    Going back to the main point of the thread,
    Many people believe a flatbed scanner does justice to their film and later decide to move to a DSLR for image quality. They do not realize it was the digital portion of their workflow that needed to be fixed.​
    This may be true for people trying to scan MF on a flatbed, I have tried this and it is not good. But the number of people shooting MF is very small and has always been very small. At one point any good wedding photography would use MF, DLSR are now good enough that they can use them for shooting weddings. Keep in mind that for many people MF and LF for not so much about resolution but tonality. And like it or not what limits tonality in 35mm film is grain. So when DSLR came by and gave great tonality the need to shoot in MF was pretty much gone in the wedding business.
    For 35mm film there are decent film scanners that don't cost and arm and a leg. Anyone trying to scan 35mm film on a flatbed is likely shooting with iso 800 print film and so all is lost anyway. Anyone I know who was the least bit into photography was scanning with a film scanner. Nothing will move you over to digital faster then spending hours scanning film, well there are also the times that the mini-lab messes up your negatives.
     
  287. 1/5000th, really?​
    Sorry, I meant 1/500th.
    80k JPEG / 40M TIFF = 1/500
     
  288. I think scanned 35mm film (at least the ones I use) have better tonality than a 10MP DSLR. Roughly 20 million full RGB samples vs 10 million with just a 1/3 of a full RGB sample.
    Grain can always be removed and if you even downsample a 20MP 35mm scan to just 10MP no print would be able to show grain.
    Let me know what you whink of the results printing the links above at 16x20. The danger of knowing though.... is that once you know..... side by side.... you may go back to film (not your quick workflow work but the things you may consider placing on the wall at some point).
     
  289. Sorry, I meant 1/500th.
    80k JPEG / 40M TIFF = 1/500​
    Dan South, you're missing the point... I provided links to >12MB 10/12MP JPEGs.
    -Rishi
     
  290. Marc Bergman [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 06:16 p.m.
    By not using a test chart we cannot tell whether the cameras used were performing optimally.
    These map or brick wall tests are too subject to interpretation.​
    I am really not into test charts as a way to tell how good a camera is going to produce photographs. I am going to share a very ugly photo of mine (not my fault, I think the lab was using about month old cemicals.
    The photo is a scan of a slide, when I first saw this scan I thought the photo looked way out of focus, but looking at the name on the side of the tent trailer you can see that the detail is not bad, not great but not bad.
    So here is the thing, that fact that I can read the text in teh photo means very little to me, the photo looks soft. What is more to get the photo to look sharp at the pixel level I have to down sample so much it won't even film my screen. Even my old 3MP digital makes prints sharper then that image.
    The point is not that this is typical of 35mm film, thank god it is not, the point is that if this was a photo of a test chart it would have come out looking like it should have smashed a 3MP digital, which at the time I was scanning these photos was the whole point.
    If anyone wants a real challenge try and make that photo look good and still have Sequoia legible.
    Again this is not a bitch about how the film looks, I know something got screwed up big time on this slide, it is to point out that detail does not equal a sharp print.
    00SoCR-117811884.jpg
     
  291. For the record, I do not agree with Mauro's statement of a 40MP Velvia in your pocket... Mauro you must have been using hyperbole :)
    Under a light microscope, Mauro's own resolution test charts shot on Velvia give ~25MP resolution for a 35mm frame. Scanned on an Imacon 848, I get ~24-25 of those megapixels. On a Minolta DSE 5400 when film flatness is perfect & focus is nailed, I get ~18-19MP... more near the 19MP end. With a Nikon LS-4000/5000 I get ~11MP.
    So your 'pocket camera' would give you more 'round 20MP, using a scanner that doesn't cost as much as a new car.
    Remember, just b/c a scanner advertises 20-22MP resolution, doesn't mean it has a 100% MTF at that resolution... most likely it does not. Hence my 44MP Minolta DSE 5400, in my eyes, does not extract even all the 25MP worth of information on Velvia... only 19MP of it. The Nikons much worse... 11MP. Seems like they actually perform at 50% their rated optical value.
    Or, my judgement criteria for what is acceptable is just much higher. Regardless, in side-by-side comparisons the Minolta clearly outdoes the Nikon... by a lot. The Imacon outdoes both considerably.
    Anyway, just rambling at this point.
    -Rishi
     
  292. One also wonders how many persons are inclined to buy a new Nikon F5 or Canon 1V. I wonder if there are any numbers being published about how many are being sold new.​
    --Lannie
    Hello Lannie, Not exactly sure what you mean... I would think that sales of these top-of-the-line models to people who need to actually use the cameras would be hard to draw conclusions from, just because so few film cameras are being made, so any Canon or Nikon user that needs a new body has few choices... But most people do not need the many features they offer.... Sure, personally, I'd like to have an F6 because of its superior metering capability and for its quietness, but I don't need it for my purposes. My F3, F2, or one of my automatic bodies from the '90s are always up to the task. This is a big part of why the camera manufacturers have adopted the model I mentioned, imho.
    And because of the herd going so largely to digital for serious amateurs and for many professionals, too, this has of course flooded the used market in recent years, making 35mm film equipment very affordable. It seems this phenomenon is showing signs of leveling off, at least for the high quality gear, which I suppose is to be expected.
     
  293. Rishi,
    I had meant 35mm equivalent to a 40MP DSLR. Remember a 10MP DSLR only resolves 6MP of detail. A 40MP DSLR would resolve 24MP of detail (just shy of Velvia 35mm)
    On a separate note, how many megapixels of actual resolution my TMX 100 measured?
     
  294. Scott, what scanner did you use for the slide you posted?
     
  295. Fine, Mauro... TMX 100: 35MP , as assayed under a light microscope. Show-off :)
    My problem with your statement, though, is that someone scanning with a reasonably priced scanner would only get 18MP out of that Velvia frame, using a Minolta DSE 5400 with perfect film flatness. And even then, as much as I love my Minolta, the signal (MTF) at that 'extinction resolution' is quite low... i.e. the test chart lines are barely distinguishable. Somewhere between the 10MP-14MP range the signal is quite good from my Minolta (not so good with the Nikon, save for along the stepping motor axis), but really after 10MP the response starts dropping... dropping... dropping... as we hit the 18-19MP mark.
    This probably explains why, in terms of 'pixel sharpness', 35mm scans scaled down to a 5D file size (12MP) look about on par with a 9.3MP measured-resolution (e.g. 5D) digital capture, with the 35mm having more real detail. The 5D Mark II's measured resolution of 12.6MP (I just checked with my own eyes with a 5D Mark II resolution test chart shot on dpreview.com, then did the calculation) probably comes pretty darn close to what 35mm Velvia + scanner can resolve with a decent MTF response value . But given the cleanliness of the signal, I bet more aggressive sharpening will be applied even in the RAW converter or in-camera, thereby most likely resulting in an image that'll look better & sharper than a 35mm scan.
    That's my prediction. Mauro, I'm pretty sure you'll disagree with me, but, that being said, you or I still need to a run a side-by-side test :)
    -Rishi
     
  296. "Poor scans"
    No kidding. Are we still debating whether film outresolves modern digital cameras? Still debating whether drum scans or scans from a dedicated film scanner which costs about as much as a new digital camera body can give better detail than the digital camera? Seriously? Do you people ever do anything fun or interesting?
    I think what's probably missing from the argument (no, I haven't even bothered reading this posting) is that there's a cost to film, processing, and a scanner, not to mention the time involved scanning all those expensive little frames. I'd say people mayrealize that they're trading ultra resolution which they never really took much advantage of (as the vast majority of people don't print huge, ever) for the convenience and comparable quality (at normal pint sizes) of digital imaging. Some would still evenargue that at realistic sizes, digital makes better looking images. But that's another silly, poorly crafted argument for another inane, pointless and ridiculousy long-winded thread.
     
  297. Rishi, there is no disagreeing, just sharing results.
    I wish I had a scanner that could scan my TMX 35mm not bad (3 times the resolution of the 5DII in just 35mm).
    I'm just dreaming now but maybe 20 years from now -if a new 8000 dpi desktop scanner comes along - I will be able to re-scan all the pictures I'm taking today with 6x7 and still get nicer results than a with a digital camera of that time.
     
  298. True, Mauro. And, like I said, in our free time we should build an 8000ppi MF/35mm desktop scanner :) I certainly have a couple ideas of how, and seeing how the new $100-$200 'digitize your memories!' film scanners these days flooding the market scan at some pathetic resolution of 1-2MP, I don't have any confidence that any company is working on releasing such an 8000ppi scanner in the future :(
    For those interested in judging 'pixel sharpness' of film scanners in comparison to dSLR, here's a link to a full 20MP version of the Fairy Falls scan (originally 80MP straight out of the Imacon 848). It's only 17.1MP because I cropped it quite a bit (the damn shot wasn't straight, argh); trust me, it's equivalent to a 20MP scan, just cropped.
    http://staff.washington.edu/rjsanyal/Photography/FairyFalls_20MP.jpg
    I'd say that parts of it do look as 'pixel-sharp' as what a 20MP dSLR might put out (i.e. 5D Mark II, 12.6MP true resolution), but, then again, parts of it don't. Certainly, if you resize properly to 12MP, it looks 'pixel-sharp' as a dSLR across the frame (save for motion & lens effects). My guess is that it looks somewhere in between an equivalent 5D & 5D Mark II capture...
    Mauro, you've looked at quite a bit of scanned 35mm & MF, using exquisite technique far as I can tell, so I'm particularly curious about your evaluation of the sharpness when viewed at 20MP size 1:1...
    Cheers,
    Rishi
    P.S. I'm quite confident the file linked above would print pretty well at 16x20... if anyone wants to try, be my guest, and let us know :)
     
  299. Digital for their purposes is "good enough."
    Well, but seems to me they just don’t have another choice…

    This will change if we can evolve intelligently to a more sustainable, and healthy economy, and lifestyle;
    That’s true, Jeff. I think that the intelligence it’s what completely missed in our economy and unfortunately in someone’s lifestyle…
    Rishi:
    1s and 0s can be infinitely powerful if you increase the sampling dimension to infinity. Therefore, 1s and 0s are just as powerful as analog in the limit of infinite samples.
    That’s exactly what I don’t like in binary digit theory. to store each analog signal you have to create infinity series of digital values which is nothing but combination of 1s and 0s. If my brain has stored all my knowledge, experience, pictures and music this way it would explode already. Such way of representing analog signals required enormous amount storage and processing. the film delivers data much more natural way – it’s just changing the properties of substances and represent analog signal (i.e. color) the way it naturally exists, without sampling it. That’s why we’re designing with our brain and use computers only for calculations. And I dont think it’s good for anything else. Obviously you might have different opinion.
    With all respect to you, Rishi, but I’m going to stay where I am and not ashamed of what I said.
    Now I have a question to you. I never used Velvia 50 to shot waterfall. I use Velvia 100F for this purpose. Is it old Velvia 50 or the “new” one?
     
  300. Well I guess I think the infinite series is 'good enough'... :) Well, not in all cases. For example I wouldn't sample music at a rate of 22kHz... if we hear up to 20kHz, you sample at least twice that frequency, and as you go to higher and higher sampling frequencies, it becomes hard to distinguish the analog signal from the digital representation of it. Digital cameras essentially are tryina do the same thing. That's all I was saying.
    If you accept CDs, you should accept that digital image capture is or will get there just fine.
    Apologies if I sounded offensive.
    Re: the waterfall shot -- it's the new Velvia 50. I don't like 100F at all, for anything. Too bland. If I wanted blanded I'd shoot digital RAW :)
    That being said, some color shifts with Velvia 50 and 100 (not 100F) can be annoying. Long exposures tend to show green shifts... perhaps the blue of the waterfall is also due to such a color shift? I don't really know. The scan is a pretty accurate representation of the slide, since I used a Hutch-color-target generated profile. Minus the slight diffuse glow I added, of course.
    -Rishi
     
  301. Hmmm... I think Mauro may be right & I've been short-selling myself here.
    Take a look at these full-size JPEG crops from a 5D Mark II... at 1:1 viewing, their 'pixel sharpness', to my eyes, looks on par with the 'pixel sharpness' of my Fairy Falls 20MP scan also at 1:1 viewing, don't you think?
    http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/eos5dm2/downloads/3_nightscene.jpg
    http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/eos5dm2/downloads/2_landscape.jpg
    Perhaps the latter 5D Mark II file looking somewhat sharper. Now I'm thinking that in an objective test, 35mm may compete quite well with a 5D Mark II... man I'd really like to find out!
    -Rishi
     
  302. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 09:14 p.m.
    Scott, what scanner did you use for the slide you posted?​
    That was a Minolta DiMAGE SCAN Dual III, or perhaps my older HP Smart Scanner (long gong now).
    In either case the scanner was not stellar but it could get much better looking scans then that, if the film was in good shape. The odd thing about that slide is there is likely more detail there then the scanner can capture, but the grain is so high I can even make a decent screen size image from it. Even downsizing to 1200 pixels wide this image looks like crap.
    This is an extreme case where a photo can have a good amount of detail, but still look very soft. I the attached photo I have resized a photo from my old Nikon 995 to match the height of the scanned image and put a crop from each side by side. It is pretty clear to my eye that the film scan has captured way more detail, which it should have since the digital is only 3.2 MP But the film photo can make a sharp looking 4x6 in print whereas the digital makes a beautiful 4x6 inch print.
    This link shows the two photos both sized to a width of 1200 pixels, resized the digital image looks far sharper, this is roughly what you would see on a 4x6 inch print.
    http://www.pbase.com/konascott/image/110409845/original
    Thankfully the roll of film that slide is from is not the norm, in no way are these image meant to show that a 3MP camera is better then 35mm film What I am showing is that detail is not all there is to what makes an image look sharp, therefore photos of test chart are of limited value.

    00SoNg-117899584.jpg
     
  303. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 19, 2009; 06:54 p.m.
    I think scanned 35mm film (at least the ones I use) have better tonality than a 10MP DSLR. Roughly 20 million full RGB samples vs 10 million with just a 1/3 of a full RGB sample.
    Grain can always be removed and if you even downsample a 20MP 35mm scan to just 10MP no print would be able to show grain.
    Let me know what you whink of the results printing the links above at 16x20. The danger of knowing though.... is that once you know..... side by side.... you may go back to film (not your quick workflow work but the things you may consider placing on the wall at some point).​
    I am not sure when I am going to get more ink, with luck in the next day or two.
    Not much chance of me ever going back to 35mm, just does not cut it for large print IMO. This is what I would use for a 20x30 inch print (a nice size for the wall)
    http://sewcon.com/samples/30x20_inches_at_300ppi.jpg
    Print out some of your image at 20x30 and some of my and I think you will see why 35mm just does not hold much interest for me.
    Assuming you scan the full 36x24mm area of 35mm film at 4000 ppi you would end up printing a 20x30 inch print at 198 ppi, so to match my image yours need to be scale up by 158.75%, I have put a crop in showing the two, print out at 300ppi to see what I mean.
    Sure I had to stitch image to get to this point, but to get a good sharp image on film you really should use a tripod, and once the camera is on the tripod it is very easy to get the images needed to stitch.
    If I was ever going to do film again it would be LF, but I don't like BW and there is no place I can drive to that will develop sheet film. And I can get whatever resolution I want anyway so I am not sure I would do it even if there was a place here that would develop the film.
    As for tonality, it is the grain the limits in for film, which is way MF has such better tonality then 35mm. Like it or not digital has great tonality.
    00SoO9-117903584.jpg
     
  304. What I am showing is that detail is not all there is to what makes an image look sharp, therefore photos of test chart are of limited value.​
    Right, hence we talk of 'accutance'.
    Actually, Scott, your examples go to show that a lot of those comparisons that people have done of how a digital SLR clearly beats 35mm, even MF, film are, in fact, invalid.
    A cursory glance at these comparisons on the 'net with the film scan simply done by a 'professional lab' or just run through an old film scanner the tester had lying around are not valid . Because, as I've shown with the Fairy Falls picture, with enough care, attention to detail, high-resolution scanning, noise reduction, and selective sharpening, one can make a 20MP scan from 35mm that has quite sharp pixels that look 'digital SLR-like' at 1:1 viewing (as voted 5:2, so this is not just my opinion).
    So, I think you just helped prove Mauro's point :)
    -Rishi
     
  305. Scott-- what the heck? That's not a 1:1 crop of the leaf from the Fairy Falls photo! It's almost a 2:1 view of it. I certainly never claimed that Velvia 50 35mm is 40MP. It's entirely unfair to have that blow-up next to a 1:1 crop of your stitched image .
    Not only are you not comparing apples to apples, you're more comparing apples to... I dunno, elephants?
    Your stitched images are amazing, I admit. My super-resolution images with PhotoAcute blow me away too. Both are irrelevant to one film scan of one image. Especially when you show your digital image at 1:1 and then my film scan at 2:1, just to make the comparison look worse.
    If you wanna do a fair comparison, take one of your 40MP images and stack it up 1:1 against Mauro's MF scan. My guess is that Mauro's MF scan will hold up. Certainly not my 35mm film scan. That's ludicrous to even have placed the two side-by-side. Not sure what you were trying to get at there.
    -Rishi
     
  306. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 02:07 a.m.
    What I am showing is that detail is not all there is to what makes an image look sharp, therefore photos of test chart are of limited value.​
    Right, hence we talk of 'accutance'.
    Actually, Scott, your examples go to show that a lot of those comparisons that people have done of how a digital SLR clearly beats 35mm, even MF, film are, in fact, invalid.
    A cursory glance at these comparisons on the 'net with the film scan simply done by a 'professional lab' or just run through an old film scanner the tester had lying around are not valid . Because, as I've shown with the Fairy Falls picture, with enough care, attention to detail, high-resolution scanning, noise reduction, and selective sharpening, one can make a 20MP scan from 35mm that has quite sharp pixels that look 'digital SLR-like' at 1:1 viewing (as voted 5:2, so this is not just my opinion).
    So, I think you just helped prove Mauro's point :)
    -Rishi​
    My point is that simply quoting line pair/mm or the smallest text that can be read does not tell the whole story on how sharp a print is going to look. Some on this thread seem to believe that is all you need to know.
    As for your Fairy Falls photo, there is enough odd stuff going on that it is hard for me to really judge it. I looks like some of this might have been from leafs moving during the exposure, but hard to know.
    The detail in the moss looks pretty good, not 20MP worth but not at all bad.
    I have always figured that for a well done scan 35mm and digital are a pretty close match, and the line between them is fuzzy enough and subjective enough that there will be disagreements.
    Within the digital comunity that are disagrments as to how large you can print with a given camera, in the film comunity there are disagreements as to how large you can print with 35mm before you should switch to MF. I tend to be on the side of wanting really good images for large print, which means either MF or stitched digital.
    I am holding off judment on how large the New Sony or 5D II can print untill I see some more photos from them. I would not think either could go to 20x30 without starting to look soft, but I know 35mm film is going to look way soft at 20x30.
    I really don't understand why dedicated film shooters who care about making large prints would mess around with 35mm.
     
  307. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 02:19 a.m.
    Scott-- what the heck? That's not a 1:1 crop of the leaf from the Fairy Falls photo! It's almost a 2:1 view of it. I certainly never claimed that Velvia 50 35mm is 40MP. It's entirely unfair to have that blow-up next to a 1:1 crop of your stitched image .
    Not only are you not comparing apples to apples, you're more comparing apples to... I dunno, elephants?
    Your stitched images are amazing, I admit. My super-resolution images with PhotoAcute blow me away too. Both are irrelevant to one film scan of one image. Especially when you show your digital image at 1:1 and then my film scan at 2:1, just to make the comparison look worse.
    If you wanna do a fair comparison, take one of your 40MP images and stack it up 1:1 against Mauro's MF scan. My guess is that Mauro's MF scan will hold up. Certainly not my 35mm film scan. That's ludicrous to even have placed the two side-by-side. Not sure what you were trying to get at there.
    -Rishi​
    I was giving an answer to your statment that I might decide to shoot 35mm, for photos that I plan to make large prints of and hang on the wall. I was just showing that I have no need for anything past what I already have. For me to shoot 35mm for large prints it would have to do way better then it does.
    If you dont' mind all the scanning film can produce great lookint 8x12 inch prints, but that is about as far as I would use it, I also don't like to go past 8x12 with my digital. These sizes are pretty subjective, but once you get to something like an 20x30 print the lack of sharpness in either a 35mm print or digital becomes pretty clear.
     
  308. Scott-- here's a more fair, yet still unfair, comparison of your stitched shot vs. my film scan:
    [​IMG]
    Still, unfair because any multiple-imaging method typically averages pixel data to generate even cleaner images... your image is much much cleaner than a 1:1 viewing of a RAW file out of my Panasonic LX3... so, something's going on there... either multi-image sampling or your actual resultant image was bigger and you downscaled it to give us the crop you show here... which, I might add, would be really unfair to place next to an upsampled film scan.
    Actually, now I'm curious: is that really a 1:1 of the final stitched image, or is it downsampled from the final stitch?
    Furthermore, digital camera have better accutance partially, aside from the fact they have lower noise, because they have increased microcontrast. Film is much more 'leaky' from one area of grain to another. This is fixed by proper sharpening methods. Digital still retains better microcontrast in small details b/c its MTF falloff is much more sharp than film's gradual MTF drop-off as you near extinction resolutions (in my understanding).
    The detail in the moss looks pretty good, not 20MP worth but not at all bad.​
    OK, thanks for the opinion. I would also agree that it doesn't quite look like 20MP throughout the frame; however, some parts, like the rocks+moss, do look about as pixel-sharp as the 5D Mark II images I linked to. So it's up in the air. Your opinion is registered though :)
    I really don't understand why dedicated film shooters who care about making large prints would mess around with 35mm.​
    Because:
    • I've been shooting with it since I was kid... for the past 12 years. I have a lot of precious shots. I want them scanned, and some of 'em enlarged. Back in the day, 35mm was still state-of-the-art for what was affordable to me & my family at the time!
    • I don't really print larger than 13x19, on my Epson R2400. For a well scanned, cleaned, and sharpened 35mm frame, it really is quite impressive.
    • The versatility of Canon L-series lenses & 35mm bodies is unparalleled, save for by the same L-series lenses and their full-frame digital bodies. I have a 17mm-280mm zoom range, with graduated neutral density adapters, polarizer, etc. that all fit in a small backpack that I can whip out and place on my Gitzo tripod in a matter of seconds. And it all doesn't weight my small 130 pound frame down all too much, so I can hike with other gear or just actually enjoy my hike. You can't get that versatility with MF (of course, you could crop instead of zoom, but that's another story).
    • Investing in 35mm equipment, e.g. lenses and all, will allow me to step up to full-frame digital very easily. Which I plan to do very soon :)
    -Rishi
     
  309. Also, as you can see, with the long exposure required to get the water-blur effect, I already have tons of leaves/branches blurred. Imagine taking a bunch of 30 second shots to stitch together, with those blurred elements. Stitching software would be hella confused, not to mention the time for all those shots at 30 seconds each. And, like I said before, sometimes nature (on the verge of changing light) doesn't give you all that time in the world :)
    That being said, sure, I wish I'd invested in MF a long time ago!
    -Rishi
     
  310. From the amount of cropping I have done from medium format, a 6x6 exposure can give somewhere close to 50MP resolution straight. In the current technology, you would need a 150MP sensor to do that. As far as larger formats are concerned, do the maths. I admit some films may have higher grains and all that stuff, but common... get the point here? Good luck fighting...
     
  311. Rishi Sanyal [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 02:42 a.m.
    That being said, sure, I wish I'd invested in MF a long time ago!​
    You and me both. When I was shooting film, for many years, I mainly shot slides since I could not affort large prints ( it seems they cost a lot more 30 years ago)
    There was no way I could afford a good MF slide projector, so I stuck with 35mm, or went too 35mm I should say since the camera I had as a kid was a cheap TLR 645.
    For most of my film shooting days there was no thought of scanning, what could you do with 20-40 mbytes of image data when a 5 mbyte harddrive was running around $5,000.
    But now I have all these photo from 35mm that I know could have looked far better if I had used MF. For me it is not some much about the extra detail in MF as it is the out clean of an image MF can deliver compared to MF.
    Oh and if I had it to do over I would not have shot anything by kodachrome.
     
  312. Debejyo Chakraborty [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 02:45 a.m.
    From the amount of cropping I have done from medium format, a 6x6 exposure can give somewhere close to 50MP resolution straight. In the current technology, you would need a 150MP sensor to do that. As far as larger formats are concerned, do the maths. I admit some films may have higher grains and all that stuff, but common... get the point here? Good luck fighting...​
    I see 50MP for 6x6 and the alarm bells go off, sounds like you are scanning at 3200ppi, which sure sounds like a flatbed scanner to me. Go luck getting those 50MP to be sharp.
     
  313. "If you dont' mind all the scanning film can produce great lookint 8x12 inch prints, but that is about as far as I would use it,"
    Yep. That's why I didn't shoot 35mm; at even 11x14 MF looks way better. Before the 5D, the effort of scanning medium format seemed very much worth it.
    " I also don't like to go past 8x12 with my digital."
    Agreed again, for 8MP dSLRs. But the 5D is a different story; it holds up at 12x18 in a way that previously required 645 (and the 5DII goes one step beyond that). Rishi seems to be living in an alternate universe where Velvia doesn't have grain and film always magically lies flat in the scanner.
     
  314. Rishi seems to be living in an alternate universe where Velvia doesn't have grain and film always magically lies flat in the scanner.​
    Nope, I'm just tryina create the world where it does lie flat in a scanner. Some of us actually build $hit. I believe they call us 'engineers'.
    These so-called 'engineers' also resort to measurements and objective analyses , both of which have shown 35mm Velvia scanned properly to out-resolve a 5D. My real-world 35mm scans above also held up at 10-12MP sizes at 1:1 viewing.
    So it is you, my friend, living in an alternate universe -- the one most people oblivious to methodical testing live in. Step up your game, or shut it.
    -Rishi
     
  315. I know I'm going to get a barrage of counter arguments for suggesting this but shouldn't we take scanning out of the equation when comparing film and digital prints?
    Film was always supposed to be printed optically. Therefore a fair test would be a totally optically produced print vs. a digitally produced print.
    The scanner is usually the very weak link in the process and is a modification/compromise of the film process.
    I am aware that the original intention of this thread was to discuss scanning quality.
     
  316. "The scanner is usually the very weak link"
    People who have actually compared wet projection prints to scans have found them to be very similar. Having done both darkroom and digital prints (although at very different times), I'm not surprised. This page has some examples of scanned film vs. scanned optical prints.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/
     
  317. I have also seen some very good scanned images which compete favourably with optical prints but at a general consumer level, the scanner is still the weak link.
    A lot of these comparisons are flawed (I'm not saying that your specific link is) as the very best possible from one system is compared with the average results from another.
    To get a valid comparison either the very best of both systems should be compared or the industry standard of both should be compared. And preferably not via the medium of a computer monitor.
    Or even better - lets just go out and take pictures of things we like and print them any way we please without worrying about how others are doing it or how others think we should be doing it.
     
  318. "Nope, I'm just tryina create the world where it does lie flat in a scanner." --Rishi Sanyal​
    Well, I don't build things (except for boats), and so I have to try to find other solutions. I just looked up Aztek starter kits: $639 + exorbitant shipping = close to $700.
    I have had this recommended to me. All that I can say is that, on top of the cost of the old Hassy gear, the Nikon 9000 scanner, glass holders, and Silverfast with two targets, I am already in this up to my neck--and now another jolt of near $700??
    Before I even begin to think about ordering from Aztek to try wet mounting, I have to know: will it give near drum scanner quality, as Ellis Vener says? I trust Ellis, but at these prices I need a second opinion.
    --Lannie
     
  319. Scott Wilson , Mar 19, 2009; 06:16 p.m.
    Let's see, a frame of 35mm being the same as having a 40 MP camera? So you should be able to show some 5400 ppi scans that are as sharp as the pixels level as my DSLR?​
    Shot on Kodachrome25 26 years ago with Canon A-1 and Canon FD 35-105mm f3.5 zoom, handheld.
    [​IMG]
    Straight off scanner (Imacon 646, 6300dpi), no sharpening, no post processing.
    Full size image (8588 x 5826) here:
    http://www.lexharris.net/documents/02-11-E4c.jpg
    Scott Wilson , Mar 20, 2009; 03:05 a.m.
    Oh and if I had it to do over I would not have shot anything by kodachrome.​
    See above. Actually, if I had to do it over again I would have shot MORE K25 :)
    Scott Wilson , Mar 20, 2009; 03:14 a.m.
    I see 50MP for 6x6 and the alarm bells go off, sounds like you are scanning at 3200ppi, which sure sounds like a flatbed scanner to me. Go luck getting those 50MP to be sharp.​
    It sounds like you are not familiar with Imacon scanners. Imacon scanners can scan all 120 film sizes at 3200ppi and 645 portrait at 4000ppi. In my experience they do not suffer from focus problems.
     
  320. Steve Smith [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 04:05 a.m.
    I know I'm going to get a barrage of counter arguments for suggesting this but shouldn't we take scanning out of the equation when comparing film and digital prints?
    Film was always supposed to be printed optically. Therefore a fair test would be a totally optically produced print vs. a digitally produced print.
    The scanner is usually the very weak link in the process and is a modification/compromise of the film process.
    I am aware that the original intention of this thread was to discuss scanning quality.​
    Over the years I have heard this a lot, and the solution is so easy. If the print really had more detail then a scan then just make a large enough print so that a fllatbed scanner scan capture all the detail in the print, this is very easy to do.
    This may be antidotal but in going back to old negatives, where I had optical prints done originally, I can get far better print by scanning the negatives and printing from the image file. In most cases the optical print was simply not made well, but unless you do your own prints this seems to happen more time then not. In this link you can see the scanned image compared to what the print looked like, the print is the blurry insert in the photo.
    http://www.pbase.com/konascott/image/36102779/original
    That is an extreme case for sure. But the only time the optical print has been sharper then a print make from a scan has been when the negative died over the years.
    As I said this is antidotal, but I would really like to see some example where the optical print had more detail and looked sharper then the film scan.
     
  321. As I said this is antidotal, but I would really like to see some example where the optical print had more detail and looked sharper then the film scan.​
    In an ideal world they would be the same. The negative (or transparency) holds all of the detail and either system should be able to bring most of it out.
    I would expect a professionally made optical print to be superior to anything made in a high street lab just as I would expect an expertly processed drum scan to be superior to anything made at home on a domestic scanner.
    Over the years I have heard this a lot, and the solution is so easy. If the print really had more detail then a scan then just make a large enough print so that a fllatbed scanner scan capture all the detail in the print, this is very easy to do.​
    Why? Surely if you have a print already, you don't need a scan. I thought the purpose of photography was to produce prints. I don't understand the obsession with getting everything onto a computer. Especially the regular "I have 3000 + slides which I need to digitise" threads which we get.
    To me, it doesn't matter how good your scans are until you output them to something. If your output is just a computer monitor, TV or digital projector then high resolution and dynamic range are wasted. It's only at the printing stage that these parameters start to become important.
     
  322. Lex Harris,
    You are not trying to say that you think your scan is even to be as sharp at the pixel level as a DSLR are you? You put up your image where I was asking for a 5400 ppi scan that was as sharp at the pixels level as my DSLR. So ok your scan is a 6400ppi, but it is a world away from being sharp at the pixels level, kind of bigfoot photo blurry, I have attached a comparison to a 100% crop from by DSLR.
    Try this with your image, down size to 50% and then back up, do you see any loss at all in detail? That scan does not even have good detail when down sample to 50%
    00SoUf-117951584.jpg
     
  323. Lex, that is a fantastic picture.
     
  324. Scott, email me your address and I will send you a sample of 3 foot prints out of TMAX 400 35mm. You make your jusdgement.
     
  325. David, every person chooses their gear and lives with the results.
    If you think you are getting comparable quality out of a 5DII as 6x7, I won't try to convince you otherwise.
    My results with film (35mm) are superior to any DSLR I tested, but I understand technique and my blessed equipment may be the difference. At 6x7 gee, a low end flatbed, with the worst scan possible, laying on the glass withouth adjustments outresolves the 5D. But honest good luck with your choice of gear and conclusions.
    I'll shoot my landscapes with Velvia 6x7, you pick a DSLR, and we are both happy...
     
  326. Scott, I had a Dimage II and although a tad better than an Epson flatbed, it wasn't by much. That is the point of this thread. Bad scans, bad results. I know you said the scan wasn't good - That is the message I wanted to pass. I think we agree.
     
  327. Rishi, the scans look good.
    On print it should be very nice to hang on the wall.
     
  328. Arguments about the 5DII's being comparable to medium format remind me of the claims for the 3MP D30 (effective resolution 1.8MP) bettering a Provia slide scanned with an Imacon (effective resolution 20+MP).
    Good luck to the ones who decide to believe that. And good luck 10 years from now when you say Darn it! I could have taken that shot with Velvia.
    Arguments about the 5DII not being comparable but good enough, well, that is a personal decision - but not wrong.
     
  329. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 08:57 a.m.
    Lex, that is a fantastic picture.​
    Mauro, thanks, I rather like it too. I just wish I'd shot more K25 back then, I realise now how good it was.
     
  330. Lex, do you mind if at print it at 3 feet (with your watermark on it) for my reference of prints?
     
  331. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 09:25 a.m.
    Lex, do you mind if at print it at 3 feet (with your watermark on it) for my reference of prints?​
    No, not at all, please feel free.
     
  332. Thank you.
     
  333. I adjusted for print and let it rip. Glorious.
     
  334. Scott, you picked an area out of focus from Lex's image. This is how your DSLR "Today" compares to film shot from "26 years ago" upsampled to match.
    00SoZo-117999584.jpg
     
  335. There was jpeg artifacting on the film scan, not to be confused with the lack in detail shown by the DSLR.
     
  336. Scott Wilson , Mar 20, 2009; 08:16 a.m.
    Lex Harris,
    You are not trying to say that you think your scan is even to be as sharp at the pixel level as a DSLR are you? You put up your image where I was asking for a 5400 ppi scan that was as sharp at the pixels level as my DSLR. So ok your scan is a 6400ppi, but it is a world away from being sharp at the pixels level, kind of bigfoot photo blurry, I have attached a comparison to a 100% crop from by DSLR.​
    Scott Wilson, unless you have a 40MP DSLR it's rather a pointless challenge. Yes the scan I posted was ~50MP in size, but if you wish to compare it to a single DSLR image you need to downsize to the same size as your DSLR before comparing. It appears you are comparing a 100% crop from a 50MP scan to a 100% crop from a (presumably) ~20MP DSLR. You have also selected a blurred part of the image, the figure is obviously moving and this is 25ASA film. The main part of the image, the morainal cliffs, are clearly more sharply rendered. And I stated quite clearly that this is a raw scan - no sharpening or post processing of any kind has yet been applied.
     
  337. Mauro Franic [​IMG], Mar 20, 2009; 11:01 a.m.
    There was jpeg artifacting on the film scan, not to be confused with the lack in detail shown by the DSLR.​
    Mauro, would you like a crop of the original TIFF to compare? I'm not surprised there was jpeg artefacting, I used level "8" in PS to keep file size down
     
  338. Yes please, can you email me the same crop at franicma@yahoo.com?
     
  339. One thing that I have not seen posted here is the cost factor. with a DSLR, take the image and do all my own post-processing and printing. For film, there is the cost of the film and the processing and then the scan. Now I do have a Nikon Coolscan 5000 but as I read through this thread I need to step up to a scanner that would give better resolution to get everything there is out the film transparency. As far as I can tell Imacons are pretty darn exepensive so one is faced with sending the transparency out for scanning. Maybe Rishi and Mauro have ready access to such equipment; I don't.
    My question is what is the cost and effort to obtain a good scan? I can quantify my time from DSLR image shot to final print (I'm not interested in computer images but rather something that I can hang).
     
  340. Lex, that is one awesome picture. I hope that the scans I get from the Nikon 9000 come somewhere close. Once cleaned up, I would send the picture to the printer and let the printer program downsample it.
    I wonder how large yours would print with good results.
    --Lannie
     
  341. Here is the same crop adjusted from the TIFF:
    00SocC-118021584.jpg
     
  342. Alan Goldhammer , Mar 20, 2009; 11:32 a.m.
    One thing that I have not seen posted here is the cost factor. with a DSLR, take the image and do all my own post-processing and printing. For film, there is the cost of the film and the processing and then the scan. Now I do have a Nikon Coolscan 5000 but as I read through this thread I need to step up to a scanner that would give better resoluti