Jump to content

Film versus digital


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 189
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

<p>Mauro, I enjoyed your thread a while back... The one about "Maybe it's poor scans..."</p>

<p>In my case, I wanted to see what could be obtained easily, with stuff right on my shelf. I came away feeling that 35mm film could produce results comparable to 6Mpx digitals. And, I came away interested in shooting film again.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Miguel has the comparison. I just made an upsized comparison and it's just like his. In my view, the film has resolved a little more: The lettering is clearer, the second R and the final E in carrot cake are more distinct. I can read "chicken" on the left; it's "charon" on the right. On the other hand, I can see the granite texture in the two blocks just above the blue sign in the digital. I cannot see it in the film scan.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>it can't hurt us any to keep film around. hate the idea of all that beautiful, perfectly serviceable equipment not able to be used anymore. <br />if i have serious money to invest in equipment in the future, more interested in maintaining the 35mm and MF cameras i already have [or selectively divesting/acquiring others] rather than buying a lot of new digital equipment that will be obsolete in a matter of months. that's the part that bugs me the most.<br />i do have one digital camera. a panasonic DMC-LX2. i love it and bring it everyplace. but its purpose in life is different than the best film cameras i have. i don't know if anything digital could ever take the place of the mamiya 7 or rolleiflex. </p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Here are full-res files... I invite anyone to print the two JPEGs at 8x12 and judge for yourself. I think they are very comparable. If anyone wants to play with these, I'm interested in suggestions for noise reduction to the scan so that it can be sharpened like the digital capture. Sharpening does a lot for perceived image quality.</p>

<p>Scanned Film: --- <a href="http://2under.net/images/Karash-Image035-ScannedFilm-Cheers-8A-8x12.jpg">JPEG prepared for 8x12 print</a> (2MB, not sharpened) ---</p>

<p>D100 dSLR: --- <a href="http://2under.net/images/Karash-DSC_0035-D100-Cheers.NEF">Original NEF</a> (5MB) --- <a href="http://2under.net/images/Karash-DSC_0035-D100-Cheers-8x12-Sharp.jpg">JPEG Prepared for 8x12 print</a> (2.6MB, sharpened) ---</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Yep. People often ask what is the purpose behind this comparisons. </p>

<p>A significant part of it is to help people avoid mistakes that are irreparable. There are photographers in this thread that gave up film completely when they purchased their 3mp or 6mp cameras. </p>

<p>They did because of misinformation. Then years later the landscapes at 5:00 in the morning in a remote cold location they took cannot ever be retaken. Then they either justify their decision to themselves and other people or deeply regret it.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Maruo, I wondered about that too. Don't know. The film is an unsharpened scan; the digital files are what they are. </p>

<p>The digital was shot at 125th at f/11 ISO 200; the film is the same. Both are hand-held. Both manually focused. Focus is on the black wrought-iron fencing which is about 18" closer than the chalkboard. DOF at f/11 should certainly cover that.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Really I'm of the "they both have their place" crowd. There's some stuff I've taken with digital that I would have never even tried with film because of the lack of instant turnaround and the ability to happily "waste" frames. On the other hand, despite taking probably a greater quantity of shots per outing with digital, I still look back on my film images and frankly like them better.</p>

<p>Anyway I shoot digital mostly out of convenience, but also carry around MF with Velvia loaded for those cases where the Velvia touch is warranted. No amount of PP of digital quite captures its look I find.</p>

<p>Unfortunately even having pretty good scanners (a DiMage 5400 II for 35mm for example), the scans just don't quite do justice. In some cases it isn't horribly obvious, but in many they "look" scanned to me. I think part of the problem is one is screen and the other is transparency - that transparent magic just doesn't come through.</p>

<p>Finally, I also <strong>really</strong> miss Ciba Chrome (Hmmm... I have an unopened kit, I wonder if it would still work...?). Have yet to see that glistening magic Melanex look repeated with digital prints...</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>OMG! Does it really matter at this point? Everything depends on whatever an individual is happy with or used to. I switch from day to day, doing film, doing digital. I have not one preference, just how I feel on a given day, in the end though, the images end up on the 'puter.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Hi, <br>

This is probably a silly suggestion - but is it possible he took the two photographs in different seasons of the year, and so there actually are leaves on the tree in one of the shots, and there actually aren't leaves on the tree in the other?<br>

I've seen the pictures you're talking about, and to be honest, yes the film result looks better, but I don't think its because of resolution so much as because of the richness of colour and tonal range. I shoot film and digital, and I love my film shots. But being relatively inexperienced, I find that the number of good shots I get is higher from digital because I get a chance to adjust and re-shoot: an expensive proposition in Film. I'm sure that as I get more experienced, the quality of shots I get from film and digital will begin to equal out. <br>

By "quality" and "good shots" I mean my impression of the whole image - not what I might see from gazing at a pixel-to-pixel crop of a corner of the image. <br>

:) <br>

Vineet</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>I applaud Richard for his thorough analysis and for posting IMAGES to back up his conclusions. My only concerns lie in the selection of gear and film for the tests.</p>

<p>On the digital side, I think we can all agree that sensors have come a LONG WAY since the venerable D100. Try testing a modern 12 MP sensor supported with the high-powered image-crunching chips that come in, say, a D300 or D700. Then try it with a 21 to 24 MP sensor. (Then, just for fun, try it with a 60 MP Phase One back.)</p>

<p>On the film side, ISO 200 print film is by no means the holy grail of media. How about testing Velvia 100, Velvia 50, or Kodachrome 100VS?</p>

<p>Last, but not least, lenses. I'd like to see the same test shot with something ultra-sharp like Nikon's 200mm f/2 of the next generation 70-200mm VR II. Then we'd have a clearer idea of what's possible TODAY.</p>

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote>

<p>35mm BW film can resolve 35+ megapixels of detail (It would take a 50MP+ DSLR after bayer pt, etc to approximate that).</p>

</blockquote>

<p>I'd love to see these conclusions backed up with real test results. Forgive me if I take them with a grain of salt, because it all sounds just a tad optimistic.</p>

<p>My scanned 35mm chromes make beautiful prints up to about 16 x 24 inches. Beyond that, the grain becomes rather distracting. I've seen amazing 40-inch prints from images captured with 16-24 MP DSLR's. Being a large-format film enthusiast, I didn't want to believe it, but the evidence was right there in front of my eyes. I've seen the same high-resolution detail in prints by different photographers at different galleries, all shot with full-frame DSLR's, so it's not a fluke.</p>

<p>If the proof is in the print, these modern DSLR's do an amazing job.</p>

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p><a href="http://www.photo.net/photodb/user?user_id=696354">Les Sarile</a> said:</p>

<blockquote>

<p>Film has every bit the control as shooting digital and then some. You may have to learn the characteristics of film particularly it's ability to control highlights as shown below. Might help you next time you try high key.</p>

</blockquote>

<p>Les, you mis-interpreted what I was saying. I am referring to post production. I never developed my own film, and was therefore at the mercy of the pro labs that I used. I got fed up with lab techs fiddling with my contrast and colors even when I told them not too. When I went digital, I went all the way including the printing process. So, NOW I am in total control of the entire process from composition and the click of the shutter all the way to the finished print. Now if I'm not happy with the results, I yell at the guy in the mirror.<br>

Of course, those who print their own film have the same control. But most of those are printing BW prints and not color. In either case, I wasn't doing it. I relied on the lab.<br>

Mel</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Dan, slide film is not a great comparison; it has lots of contrast, but it's actually not spectacular at resolving fine detail. If you really want fine detail, you probably need to use something like Fuji Acros 100. But then, the reality is that most of us just don't need to optimise for fine detail at all cost. Other aspects of the image are more important.</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...