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Poor scans - May explain why some switch to Digital


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<p>Allard try this:</p>

<p>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).</p>

<p>Copy to your desktop and print at 360 dpi to represent an 11x14 inch. CAREFUL THOUGH, ENOUGH MAY NOT BE ENOUGH AGAIN....</p><div>00Sm0p-116677584.thumb.jpg.b010ce6f2cfbfe29df79bad9265dd107.jpg</div>

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<p>Mauro,</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p> 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.</p>

<p>Not everybody will need that potential, but it's nice to know you can do it without spending $40K on a digital back.</p>

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<p>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. </p>

<p>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</p>

<p>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. </p>

<p>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. </p>

<p>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.</p>

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<p><em>All of this "proof" on the Internet with close ups of maps, and interpolated digital images proves nothing.</em><br>

"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 :)<br>

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<br>

however apparently, masses prefer less detailed and clean digital image<br>

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 :)</p>

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<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

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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.
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<blockquote>

<p>I promise you the "enough" status would change as soon as you place a print from film next to it for comparison.</p>

</blockquote>

<p>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.</p>

<blockquote>

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

</blockquote>

<p>Enough is where the words 'more' and 'less' become meaningless, that's the whole point. Where that starts is a personal thing. To <em>ME</em> 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.</p>

<p>Resolution is sooo overrated.</p>

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<p>Mauro Franic:<br />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?<br>

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...</p>

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<p>"If you shot this with a canon 5D (about the same MP's), you might get a better detailed image"</p>

<p>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.</p>

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<p>Edward "<br>

Mauro,<br>

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."</p>

<p>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.</p>

 

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<p>Edward,</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

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<blockquote>

<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 . . .</p>

</blockquote>

<p>I was wondering what happened to my box of crayons!</p>

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<p>Is a scan done on Heidelberg Tango drum scanner by a professional color lab in Hollywood acceptable to everyone on this thread? Any naysayers?<br /> <br /> Here is a link to a test done between Canon 5D, 6x6 MF film and 35mm film. 5D is the winner.<br /> <br /> http://www.ales.litomisky.com/projects/Analog%20versus%20Digital%20Shootout%20(Hasselblad,%2035mm,%20Canon%205D).htm</p>

 

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<p>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?)</p>

<p>Going down a picture, the Vuescan results do show the blue. Therefore what?</p>

<p>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?</p>

<p>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. </p>

<p>I can't believe that I am still mulling this decision over and over in my mind after I have ordered all this stuff.</p>

<p>--Lannie</p>

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<blockquote>

<p>the test is not independently verifiable or repeatable either. Should be the first thing to tip you off</p>

</blockquote>

<p>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?</p>

<p> </p>

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<p>Let's pair off...staunch film advocate to staunch digital advocate, and once and for all settle this Aaron Burr style: with a duel.<br>

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.<br>

Everyone else, get out the swords!</p>

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<p>It's getting shrill in here.<br>

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.</p>

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<p>

<p>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?</p>

<p>I sure feel no need to move anyone from the film camp over to digital, if you are happy with film then use it. </p>

<p>

<p>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.</p>

</p>

 

<p>

<p> </p>

</p>

</p>

 

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<blockquote>

<p>MF shot has more detail than the 5D. I'd rank them MF, 5D, 35mm (I'd rather have greater smoothness if less resolution).</p>

 

</blockquote>

<p>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.</p>

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<blockquote>

 

<p>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.<br>

Yes, you can't compare a DSLR to medium format film. THAT IS THE POINT.</p>

 

</blockquote>

<p>I love the premise of your thread, Mauro.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>The list goes on and on.</p>

<p>One of the major reasons digital is winning is b/c people can get much better <em>in silico</em> results <em>a priori</em> 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.</p>

<p>So let me rephrase that to read: if scanner manufacturers put in the effort <strong>AND</strong> 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 [<strong>ahem, Imacon</strong> ], 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? <strong>Nope</strong> .</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>-Rishi</p>

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<blockquote>

<p>The 5D shot is clearly better than the MF shot</p>

</blockquote>

<p>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.<br>

-Rishi</p>

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<p>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.</p><div>00SmLs-116869584.jpg.6c25c6f34b29f33c8321ae29cabf19cb.jpg</div>
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<p>Size of Nikon D2X print at a screen resolution of 96 ppi: 30 x 44 inches</p>

<p>Scaling factor necessary to reach the crop size Mauro posted in this thread: 3x</p>

<p>Size of Nikon D2X print at 96 ppi after 3x scaling: 90 x 132 inches or <strong>7.5 x 11 FEET</strong></p>

<p>Number of times Mauro has sold a 7.5 x 11 foot print in his entire life: 0</p>

<p><strong>Relevance of this thread to real life photography: 0</strong></p>

<p>The real question these crops raise: if a D2X holds up that well for its sensor size at a print size of <strong>11 FEET,</strong> why would anyone hassle with film at normal print sizes?</p>

<p>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"?</p>

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<p><em>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.</em></p>

<p>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.</p>

<p><em>Yes, you can't compare a DSLR to medium format film. THAT IS THE POINT.</em></p>

<p>http://www.tawbaware.com/ptasmblr_tutorial.htm</p>

<p>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?</p>

<p>http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/</p>

<p>http://eye-wonder.smugmug.com/</p>

<p>http://www.stormeyes.org/</p>

<p>http://www.danheller.com/</p>

<p>http://www.davehillphoto.com/</p>

<p>http://gdanmitchell.com/gallery/main.php</p><div>00SmME-116873584.jpg.1fafa92b8187bf1c334a962ef45fb6a8.jpg</div>

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