Jump to content

Poor scans - May explain why some switch to Digital


Recommended Posts

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 799
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

<p>ON PRINT SIZE:</p>

<p>Tests run on my Epson 7880 of a DSLR (10 and 12MP), 35 mm film and 6x7 film show the following:</p>

<p>Up to 8x10: All being comparable in resolution (with other difference in DR, etc aside)</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>At 16x20: 6x7 has a visible advantage over 35mm film but they are both totally pleasing. The DSLR is no longer pleasing to me.</p>

<p>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).</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p >"<a href="../photodb/user?user_id=884211">Robert Budding</a> <a href="../member-status-icons"><img title="Subscriber" src="http://static.photo.net/v3graphics/member-status-icons/sub6.gif" alt="" title="Subscriber" /> <img title="Frequent poster" src="http://static.photo.net/v3graphics/member-status-icons/3rolls.gif" alt="" title="Frequent poster" /> </a> , Mar 15, 2009; 08:59 p.m.</p>

 

<p>The film scan must be oversharpened because digital has to be better."</p>

<p>LOL. That is a funny joke Robert... Yes Ellis, film must be oversharpened because it shows too much detail, ha ha.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p> </p>

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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. </p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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).<br>

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).</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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. </p>

<p>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. </p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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. </p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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."</p>

<p> </p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>"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)."</p>

<p>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.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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.<br>

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. </p>

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Maro</p>

<p>I suspect you are on the right track but some additional points which need to be addressed in understanding the success of digital</p>

<ul>

<li>many have nothing by which to make any reasonable bench mark comparison</li>

<li>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</li>

<li>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</li>

<li>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</li>

<li>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?) </li>

<li>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</li>

<li>noone likes to have "environmental vandal" labels pointed at them, film makers were beginning to suffer from this with the hazard waste requirements</li>

</ul>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>James,</p>

<p>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.<br>

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.</p>

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote>

<p ><a href="../photodb/user?user_id=1501968">Bernie West</a> <a href="../member-status-icons"><img title="Frequent poster" src="http://static.photo.net/v3graphics/member-status-icons/1roll.gif" alt="" /></a>, Mar 16, 2009; 08:54 a.m.<br>

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).</p>

</blockquote>

<p>Not only can you not find Lake Chad but Timbuktu isn't there either. We need a re-shoot!!!</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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. </p>

<p>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 <em>does</em> contain is <strong>enough</strong> 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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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 . . .<br>

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.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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).</p>

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Allard, "The thing that makes most people switch is that the amount of information that the digital camera <em>does</em> contain is <strong>enough</strong> for most purposes including printing to 60 x 45 cm or larger"</p>

<p>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. <br /> In isolation less becomes enough.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...