Shootout comparison

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roteague

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Troy Ammons said:
Personally for me know, I prefer to shoot film. Its tactile, and that is something that is absolutely lost with digital.

I agree with you 100% here - there is just something about handling film that beats processing it on the computer. The other day someone likened digital to "data processing" - a sentiment I agree with.
 

Woolliscroft

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Chuck1 said:
If resolution is the end game of it all in photography, then film most certainly is going to die.


Actually, one of the reasons I still use film is that in my own comparative tests I do get more resolution from it,along with much better exposure latitude. I agree, though, one of the principle reasons I still use it is for archival results.

Another slight (not) issue is that I already have a 67II. For the huge price of a 1Ds Mk II and a set of lenses I can buy an awful lot of film.

David.
 

Ara Ghajanian

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I obviously agree with all the benefits of film that have been mentioned previously. One option that shouldn't be overlooked by any analog photographer considering switching to digital is the purchase of a dedicated film scanner. If you're like me and you don't need all the unnecessary features of a digital camera including the LCD screen, then a film scanner is a much more economical option. For the price of the new Nikon D200 body you could buy a Coolscan V that produces images at a size of up to 13x19 at 300ppi from 35mm film (not sure what the megapixel conversion value is but it's much higher than most DSLRs) and still have money left over to buy a 35mm manual SLR system with lenses. This was the option I chose. The one huge difference between the two disciplines at that point is time spent. I understand a lot of the digital converts are impatient people who thrive on products that give them immediate satisfaction such as iPods, xBoxes, cell phones with everything built-in, etc. Well, there is a high price for all these technological advances. Plus, who wants to upgrade every year something new comes out? My budget certainly doesn't permit it. And for the amount of time you'd spend online reading rediculous articles on Luminous Landscape and researching the next biggest thing in digicams, you could be scanning film and saving your hard earned money for more lenses, etc.

It's all about immediate satisfaction which is indicitive of our society as a whole: no one has any patience left, nothing is worth waiting for. I disagree. The process is as important as the outcome and if there is little or no process, then the satisfaction level of acheivement is reduced also. Then again, this statement is coming from an idiot who spent two months refinishing the hardwood floors in his home by himself instead of having someone else do it or just carpeting the whole house. I got so much satisfaction from being meticulous and doing a fine job. My pocket was thanking me too.

Just my 2.3932 Yen,
Ara
 

ajuk

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its not the canon, its a DX2 I have seen a comparison between the Canon and the Nikon in a photography magazine, and the Canon did look better (as you would expect as the sensor is bigger) But I doubt it would be enought to change the result of this. Not sure if the fact it was compared to a rangefinder makes a differecne as I am lead to belive RF's can get a greater res than SLR's.

This done with a real scanner on a modern film Astia http://www.xs4all.nl/~diax/pages/start_mamiya_nikon_uk.html#anchor_example1
 

Michel Hardy-Vallée

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ajuk said:

Great link! For me it sums it up: does digi have detail, sharpness, resolution, and all that? Sure. But is it beautiful? No! No! and still No!

To hell with lines per inch, DPI, rabbit ass hairs and all the rest of the silly apparatus! A Holga or a cheap folder has way more beauty in the picture than anything digi.
 

roteague

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mhv said:
Great link! For me it sums it up: does digi have detail, sharpness, resolution, and all that? Sure. But is it beautiful? No! No! and still No!

Just keep in mind when you read these type of articles that you really are comparing apples and oranges; most of these articles assume that the final image must be digital. When you transfer a digital image from the camera to the computer you don't lose anything in the transfer; this is not the case with film. With film you have the additional step of converting it to digital - regardless how good your scanner is, you are going to lose something in the translation - then you have the additional step where you are in effect throwing a major portion of the sharpness and color depth away in order to display it. In other words, there is an additional generation between the primary image and what you see in the computer.
 

Michel Hardy-Vallée

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roteague said:
Just keep in mind when you read these type of articles that you really are comparing apples and oranges; most of these articles assume that the final image must be digital. When you transfer a digital image from the camera to the computer you don't lose anything in the transfer; this is not the case with film. With film you have the additional step of converting it to digital - regardless how good your scanner is, you are going to lose something in the translation - then you have the additional step where you are in effect throwing a major portion of the sharpness and color depth away in order to display it. In other words, there is an additional generation between the primary image and what you see in the computer.

Absolutely, but what's even more telling to me, is that despite all the butchering that film must suffer in such comparisons, for me it still blows the pants out of the original digi image because it does not have ugly artifacts like CCD noise.

I have to admit with most other posters is that a more sensible comparison would be between a digi+inkjet print vs a C-41 neg printed on real photo paper. Not that it would change much to my opinion, but the knowledge gained through such a comparison would be more accurate.
 

roteague

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mhv said:
I have to admit with most other posters is that a more sensible comparison would be between a digi+inkjet print vs a C-41 neg printed on real photo paper. Not that it would change much to my opinion, but the knowledge gained through such a comparison would be more accurate.

I don't think you can even make that comparison. Because, again you are comparing apples and oranges. Digital printing is not the same technology as digital capture.
 

Michel Hardy-Vallée

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roteague said:
I don't think you can even make that comparison. Because, again you are comparing apples and oranges. Digital printing is not the same technology as digital capture.

Why don't you just tell me how you would make a comparison between shooting digi and shooting analog then, instead of just rebutting my points?
 

roteague

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mhv said:
Why don't you just tell me how you would make a comparison between shooting digi and shooting analog then, instead of just rebutting my points?

Because, I don't know either. :surprised:
 

Michel Hardy-Vallée

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roteague said:
Because, I don't know either. :surprised:

Fair enough. But people still make choices between either type of format, despite the flaw in their comparative method.
 

roteague

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mhv said:
Fair enough. But people still make choices between either type of format, despite the flaw in their comparative method.

You are 100% right.

I would hate to see us caught up in the same flawed comparisons that the authors of the "Luminous Idiot" website do.
 
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mhv said:
Why don't you just tell me how you would make a comparison between shooting digi and shooting analog then, instead of just rebutting my points?

One good comparison might be a ra-4 print from a color neg and the same shot printed on a Lightjet printer onto ra-4 paper. I'm a traditionalist in many ways, but I saw a show by Reagan Louie a few years ago at SFMOMA and he had scanned his 6x7 negs and printed them out via Lightjet and they were amazing. I couldn't tell the difference between the prints made via optical printing method and the Lightjets.
 

roteague

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ineffablething said:
One good comparison might be a ra-4 print from a color neg and the same shot printed on a Lightjet printer onto ra-4 paper. I'm a traditionalist in many ways, but I saw a show by Reagan Louie a few years ago at SFMOMA and he had scanned his 6x7 negs and printed them out via Lightjet and they were amazing. I couldn't tell the difference between the prints made via optical printing method and the Lightjets.

Yes, sometimes many forget that digital capture and digital printing are two totally different technologies. I print via a scanned transparency on a Chromira - it is like a Lightjet, but uses LEDs instead. The human eye really can't distinguish more than 300 dpi, which isn't a problem with these printers.
 

rfshootist

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Timothy said:
It seems to me, that for all the apparant attention to detail the guy did, to provide a "fair" comparison, he was still comparing a Digital scan of a film image to a Digital image .
Tim

Exactly ! He proves nothing with this comparison of monitor pics.
He is one of of those who don't get tired of preaching the superiority of chip imaging, hell knows who pays him. Seen from a scientific standpoint, considering his test method , this guy is just a clown. Sorry to say so. It isn't even a proper number show, it's more propaganda than info.
What is nicely demonstrated tho is that the chip is not capable to draw a proper, straight edge line compared to the scanner. :tongue:

bertram
 

nworth

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My experience is that, currently, digital approaches but does not quite reach the quality of 645 film. The differences in the pictures may well be due to the lens - the Canon lens is excellent, but my experience with the Pentax lens is that it is a little less than tops. Digital is still improving, however. Digital also has some advantages for potential quality. There is only one optical stage - imaging the light on the sensor. Not having to image the light again (either by an enlarger or a scanner) to make the print helps. The sensor technology, with its discrete pickups, also has some advantages over film for the image. The MTF maintains contrast to higher levels of definition.
 

roteague

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nworth said:
My experience is that, currently, digital approaches but does not quite reach the quality of 645 film.

And my experience is that digital doesn't even match 35mm yet, much less 645.
 
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Just to bring the shoot-out up to date..... after all it is an old feature on LL

I was just informed of this link to the Japanese Mamiya site where you can download sample images from their latest MF ZD 22 Mpixel camera, due out early next year after a big delay. I have downloaded one of the landscape shots and one portrait. The former is distinctly unimpressive in quality terms with funny tonality going on int the rocks. IMO, far, far worse than 6x7 and not even a sniff close to a 900ppi scan of 5x4! The Portrait seems better suited, but suspect it has been massively post-processed.

http://www.mamiya-op.co.jp/home/camera/eng/digital/zd/sample/sample.html

http://www.mamiya-op.co.jp/home/camera/eng/digital/zd/sample/sample3.html

warning download jpeg file sizes are 7 to 28MB. So it can be quite slow to see the state of the nation. But interesting nonetheless.
 

jd callow

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There may be one optical stage for digital, but like all things digital and analog the differences are often greater than the similarities. Digital requires steps that are unique and can constrict or limit quality:
  • Raw Capture
  • Initial conversion to tif,jpg,psd, etc
  • Application of profile with associated colour space
  • conversion for output

There is that other nuanced item -- digital is not film.

FWIW the ZD, on paper, looks to be a hell of nice Digital Camera.
 
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