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Poor scans - May explain why some switch to Digital


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<p>Let's throw more gas on the fire!</p>

<p>http://www.redbubble.com/people/traviseaston/writing/2531282-digital-versus-velvia</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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!</p>

<p>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</p>

<p>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!</p>

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<p><em>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"?</em><br>

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<br>

will it be fair enough to you ? <br>

or should we compare $15 minolta himatic to contemporary $150 digital ps ? :)) will be 10x price advantage for digi enough to beat film ?<br>

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 ? :))</p>

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<p>Todd Carson and Stuart M,<br /> ON PRINT SIZE:</p>

<p>1) My printer is an Epson 7880 (24 inch wide). It prints at either 360dpi or 720dpi.<br /> 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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>3) You are making fools of yourselves (a 12MP DSLR comparable to medium format?) (11 foot prints?).</p>

<p>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).</p>

<p>5) Don't post dozens of links of people with inadequate tools or experience, just your own opinion after making a 5 second print.</p>

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<p>Todd, you have no clue, no clue.</p>

<p>"Let's throw more gas on the fire!" --Todd Carson</p>

<p>Stay off the beans, Todd. We'd hate to hear that you exploded.</p>

<p>It is not "crazy" to ask for comparison shots of the same subjects, Todd. </p>

<p>Let us know how you do on that 11-foot print. We can hardly wait.</p>

<p>--Lannie</p>

 

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<p>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?</p>

<p>I just want to be sure that I have this right.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>--Lannie</p>

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<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

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<p>hassy is 6x6, slr is 2.4x3.6, both scans same size ... what's wrong ?<br /><em>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.</em><br />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 :)<br />5D wins in term of grain ... but there is no additional detail even to 35mm, and poor colors and high contrast<br>

5D beaten by museum piece slr :-) </p>

<p> </p>

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<p>Same experience as James,<br>

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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p> </p>

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<p>"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.<br>

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

<p>So why not write a scanning tutorial for us?</p>

 

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<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>But my point remains that any claim that 12mp compares well to MF at large print sizes is loony. </p>

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<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)." --Mauro Franic</p>

<p>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?</p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>--Lannie</p>

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<p>Lannie, the best way to figure it out is:</p>

<p>1) Copy the Image at the top of the thread<br /> 2) Set the resolution at 360 dpi without resampling<br /> 3) Print on your printer at maximum dpi<br /> 4) This would show you how the entire image looks on a 24" printer.</p>

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<p>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. <br>

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.<br>

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?</p>

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<p>Pankai,<br>

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?<br>

And you pixel level scan is way soft.<br>

I think you wuold be lucky to get a good 8x12 inch print from that photo.</p>

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<p>Maruo,<br>

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.</p>

<p>If you really want to get images this size from a DSLR it is not all that hard, see the link below.<br>

<a href="http://sewcon.com/samples/30x20_inches_at_300ppi.jpg">http://sewcon.com/samples/30x20_inches_at_300ppi.jpg</a></p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p> </p>

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<blockquote>

<p>Regarding large prints, my sweat spot is</p>

</blockquote>

<p>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.<br /> 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.<br /> I know a guy who shoots on 8x10 and makes wall sized prints<br /> http://www.harrycorywright.com/bbc_documentary.php<br />His prints are like looking through a window can't match that with digital (even with tedious stitching software).<br /> 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.</p>

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<blockquote>

<p>So why not write a scanning tutorial for us?</p>

</blockquote>

<p>Because my damn unrelated Ph.D [which is quite interesting in and of itself] keeps getting in the way :)</p>

<p>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Scanning-Negatives-Slides-Digitizing-Photographic/dp/193395230X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237320994&sr=8-1">this book</a> ; 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).</p>

<p>Look, I love digital. I can't wait to afford a 5D Mark II so I no longer have to deal with scanning.</p>

<p>But I also love film. Nothing like looking at that gorgeous shiny slide on a lightbox.</p>

<p>Emotional arguments aside, threads such as these (Mauro has many exemplary threads) are <strong>great & informative</strong> , 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.</p>

<p>The problem with all these comparisons of film vs. digital we find online is simply this: it's <em>not that hard</em> 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 <em>is very hard</em> 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 <strong>any</strong> 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!</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>-Rishi</p>

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