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03-06-2009, 10:37 AM   #31
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The Holy Grail for digital cameras has always been to be able to replicate as closely as possible, preferably exactly like, a contact print from a piece of large format film..Truth be told, that has also been the goal of all of the smaller film formats as well..

Well folks, you can stop lusting for, and purchasing new digital gear constantly, because that goal is never going to be achievable..The current generation of high-end digital APS-C and FF digital cameras are capable of delivering absolutely STUNNING poster-sized prints right this very minute..But, and this is a very important point to always keep in the back of any digital photographer's mind, is that that very stunning poster-sized print IS NOT going to look exactly like a poster-sized silver gelatin print..The two mediums are different, and they will NEVER look exactly the same..They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but digital photography needs to come to the realization that it is an entirely viable form of photography that can stand quite well on its own; and to stop with this obsessive quest to look exactly like film..

The problem that most serious amateur digital photographers have with their equipment, I believe, stems from the fact that is is a VERY expensive, and time consuming, undertaking to try and produce a truly stunning large digital print in the home; compared to the amount of time and money required for a serious amateur film photographer to produce a large silver gelatin print in a home wet darkroom..The disparity is especially great when comparing black & white prints, as opposed to color prints, because the wet process for black & white film is far easier, and far, far, far, less toxic than the color film process..

To achieve a museum-quality large color print by the digital process is simply beyond the means of the average middle-class serious amateur digital photographer..On the other hand, if a serious amateur film photographer is willing to deal with the toxicity of the color film process; then reasonably-sized, museum-quality large prints are well within the means of a middle class serious amateur film photographer..

Whether we as serious amateur digital photographers wish to admit to it, or not, being able to produce a stunning, museum-quality large color print in our home environment IS something that we fervently desire..We want to have the same capability for print making in our homes, assuming that the desire, the talent, the skill, and the funds for doing so are present; that the serious amateur film photographer currently has at their disposal..

Because the equipment and software costs needed to produce high-quality, archival, museum-quality color digital prints in the home light room are so great; the vast majority of digital photographers have resorted to two basic methodologies..The first is viewing 99.999% of their digital files on a monitor, and never bothering to print out more than a handful of prints over the course of a year..When the photographer does print out a digital file, it is usually done on a small printer capable of producing a low-to-mid-quality print, at best..The second methodology sees the digital photographer purchasing a color printer capable of printing a 13"-24" wide print..These photographers will spend upwards of $1000.00, or more, for these larger printers..They soon find out that in order to produce a truly stunning print, that the entire equipment list, and the entire set of software packages, needs to be of the same high quality in order to consistently achieve a print that will WOW its viewer..

The equipment list, and the software packages, needed to make first-class archival color prints in the home light room is formidable..

1. Computer with sufficient memory
2. Large color monitor, preferably one designed for photo manipulation
3. Monitor calibrating hardware
4. Monitor calibrating software
5. Various post-processing software programs
6. High-quality color ink jet printer designed for printing photographs
7. Various software programs, such as RIP's, that allow the computer and printer to communicate effectively with one another so that what the photographer sees on the monitor is what actually ends up being printed on the paper
8. High-quality archival digital photo printing paper
9. The chemical preservatives necessary to allow a digital color print to resist environmental airborne toxins so as to be truly archival
10. The proper framing materials for an archival digital color print--these are not the same as for an archival silver gelatin print

Add all of the above costs together, as well as those items that I have not listed that are required, and the minimal investment to get started at this level is going to be in the neighborhood of $15,000 to $25,000..This is for a first-class digital-only process that will allow the photographer to produce a museum-quality archival color print..

I believe that there is a serious disconnect with a large number of serious amateur digital photographers because they realize that the serious amateur film photographer can make archival color prints in a home wet darkroom using readily available, and affordable chemicals and equipment; whereas the digital photographer as a general rule simply cannot afford the cash outlay to achieve similar archival results in a digital color print..

The end result of this disconnect is that most digital photographers do not make very many prints of their images..The vast majority of the digital images that are printed out are printed on papers that are in no way archival..In the days of film, even the worst color print had a lifespan that far exceeds that of a digital color print being turned out by the average mini-lab today..The silver in a silver gelatin print acts as a preservative to extend the life of the print in a way that the inks in an ink jet print do not..

Another thing to consider is that every time that someone sent a roll of film out to be processed, they received back a set of prints that could be held in one's hand, and viewed with one's eyes..The prints were a TANGIBLE memento of the photo taking process..That tangible, to a certain extent archival, proof that one actually TOOK a photograph has been to a large extent lost in the digital process as it exists today..Digital photo files stored in some form of computer memory ARE JUST NOT the same as a tangible silver gelatin print..This is a further disconnect between the tangibility of the film process, versus the ephemeral quality of the digital process..

These disconnects with the digital photographic process have, to a large extent, I believe, fueled the desire for digital photographers to constantly search for better cameras and lenses..It is this desire for a tangible, hold-in-the-hands print with long term archival properties that is causing much of the dissatisfaction within the digital photographic community..It is my belief that until easily affordable digital printers that can deliver archival color prints at prices that will not require taking out a loan that rivals the size loan needed to purchase a car; that this disconnect will only continue to grow..Whether we like to admit it or not, we humans like to hold in our hands, and view with our eyes, the tangible results of our labor..Without having affordable archival digital prints that can at least come close to the lifespan of a silver gelatin print, I do not believe that photographers involved in the digital process are ever going to feel as satisfied as those photographers involved in film photography..

Bruce

03-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #32
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...you got way too much time on your hands...
03-06-2009, 12:01 PM   #33
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Have a teaspoon of gasoline...

You just gotta love the megapixel craze. Here's how I see it.

The K20D produces 4672x3104 pixel images. That is sufficiently large to make prints without interpolation (or is it extrapolation) of:
10x15" @ 300 PPI
16x24" @ 195 PPI
24x36" @ 120 PPI
All of which are perfectly acceptable resolutions for their "intended" viewing distances.

We've also seen proof that images from the K20D can produce much larger prints using high-end printing technology. Benjikan has shown us his extreme K20D enlargements displayed in a gallery; good enough to fool the director of said gallery into initially thinking they were shot medium format film.

If your professional needs demand higher resolution then maybe 35mm/APS-C isn't the format you should be using. Perhaps a very juicy [url="http://www.hasselbladusa.com/products/h-system/h3dii-50.aspx"Hasselblad H3Dii-50[/url] is what your business really needs.

So resolution and printability really aren't the issue for 99% of "us" anymore. The issues at hand really are "color" noise and dynamic range. I *hate* color noise myself; it's the #1 thing I want to see improved with the next camera/sensor Pentax produces. Zero perceptible noise from ISO 100 thru 3200 - that's a worthwhile goal. An extra stop or two of dynamic range would be great and is a close 2nd.

3rd would be a body that didn't waste space and circuitry on a damned built-in flash but that's besides the point here...
03-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #34
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I get it often from other photographers about my lack of interest in 35mm full-frame. Quite honestly, I see very little difference in image quality from APS-C to 35mm full-frame. I have worked with Canon 1 series cameras and "L" lenses and see no advantage what so ever to that and my K20 with DA* lenses when it comes to image quality.

Maybe it's just me, but unless you only look at images at 100% sections at a time on a high-end computer LCD or CRT, I highly doubt any of you can tell the difference when printed at any size with today's DSLR cameras and quality lenses.

If you find that the APS-C cameras are not good enough, then you should consider a $15,000USD Mamiya as a start. You can have a nice setup for $30,000USD. If that's out of budget, then be happy with what you can get for 10% of that cost from any current DSLR maker.

03-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by cateto Quote
Instead of this crazy computers-like competition, where more is supposed to be always better, we should go back to take pics, forget pixel peeping, and enjoy photography.
I agree that 12 MP's is enough, but I like to pixel peep. I also like to take pics. It's just when I upload them for PP, I can't help but pixel peep. That said, I think it's perfectly possible to be a pixel peeper and say enough is enough with the MP race. As a pixel peeper, what I'd like to see more than MP's increasing, is ISO performance improving, and dynamic range improving, and per pixel sharpness improving. That would make me a happy man. The Nikon D700 is a FF camera with very usable pictures at astonishingly high ISOs. That's because it is a FF and only 12 MPs. But the reason for the MP race is consumer stupidity. Too many buyers don't know about the most important aspects of a sensor and the camera attached to it, so they try to just boil it all down to a number: the megapixel count.
03-06-2009, 12:53 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
You just gotta love the megapixel craze. Here's how I see it.




If your professional needs demand higher resolution then maybe 35mm/APS-C isn't the format you should be using.
Format size has nothing to do w/ resolution per se... pixel density does.
The things I like to photograph can lead to up to 50% wasted space (yes there are ways to eliminate this waste other then pixel stuffing) in the frame. If this is cropped out, my 6mp APS-c becomes too small to send a 300ppi image to a printer for an 8X10. It usually has to be interpolated up a bit, even before the printer "does it's thing"...
So for me and my ilk higher pixel density is desired. FF had, at best 1 stop extra DR then APS-C and one stop "faster" to be as clean but both of these can change independently to sensor size.... and much has to do w/ processing and support hardware. both of which I (note I) would give up for the higher resolution (14mp is 14mp resolution regardless of package size).
03-06-2009, 01:44 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by cateto Quote
"12 megapixels is enough"
I beg to differ. Megapixels is like horsepower; if some is good, and more is better, then too much is just enough!
03-06-2009, 03:03 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
...you got way too much time on your hands...
m8o

I have got to assume that your post timed at 2:46 PM is directed at my first post on this thread timed at 1:37 PM, since it comes directly after mine..

I ask this in all seriousness, and with the fullest of respect towards you as a fellow member of this forum, "What purpose does your post serve??"..

Even though your sentence has a smiley face after it, its purpose is both inflammatory, and derogatory..

I am not so conceited as to think that everyone that reads my post will agree wholeheartedly with everything contained in it..If fact, I hope they do not..The purpose of my post was to encourage non-professional photographers to consider reasons other than pixel peeping as a reason for the constant need to upgrade their cameras and lenses..

Telling someone in our modern day and age that, "They have too much time on their hands" is an insult, pure and simple..It matters not what language that one says this in, the meaning is the same..Period..

If the only rebuttal a member of Pentax Forums can have to a post that a fellow member of the forum has made is to insult them, then "Why post at all??"..I am increasingly reading posts on PF that I know would not be said directly to a fellow member of the forum were the two people conversing face-to-face..

I thought that the purpose of Pentax Forums was to encourage the intelligent discussion of photography as regards to all types of Pentax cameras, both past and present??..

Does deliberately provoking, and insulting our fellow members fall under the umbrella of intelligently discussing photography??..When the only thing added to a thread by one's post is an insult to another member, how does that add to the discussion??..

Lest my fellow forum members think that I am being too thin skinned about m8o's post, let me assure you that I am not..It used to be that this type of behavior was almost exclusively found in the Off Topics section of Pentax Forums, especially when religion, and or politics were introduced to a thread..Lately, over the past year, or so, these types of rude, provocative postings have started to become more and more frequent in the photography sections of the forum..Pentax Forums used to be a place where this type of rude behavior was seldom encountered..

When we fall to the level of insulting our fellow forum members, without offering any kind of intelligent rebuttal to a posting that we might not agree with; then we lower the standards of the forum for all of its members..And do ourselves no favors in the process..

Bruce

03-06-2009, 03:24 PM   #39
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Hi all

I'm sorry to arrive somewhat late to this discussion, but I'd like to pick up on a couple of previous comments. Firstly I'd like to address cateto's point, when he said:

QuoteQuote:
The fact that some of these people need to make big noise about their supposedly huge needs for full frames and on and on is what is frankly disturbing, because it is a disease, nothing else.
I'd like to present a slightly different perspective on this particular subject, as over the last few decades I've been fortunate enough to travel extensively throughout Europe & occasionally further afield in order to photograph architecture and scenic landscapes. Prior to the invention of digital DSLRs, I happily used both Olympus 35mm & latterly Mamiya MF film SLR's for many years in conjunction with perspective correction/shift lenses. Thus it was not until the relatively recent arrival of Canon's (1DS Mk I/II 5D Mk I/II) & Nikon's (D3/D3x/D700) full-frame DSLR's that a vaguely affordable digital alternative to my existing film set-up became a possibility. Unfortunately the astronomic cost of digital Medium Format currently precludes itself for many individuals primarily on financial grounds, doubly hindered by the lack of a genuine FF 6 x 4.5 sensor Mamiya body to obviate the dreaded Focal Length Magnification Factor/Crop Factor (call it what you will !) which compromises my Mamiya 50mm f/4.0 shift lens.
With due respect, in this instance I feel I have no need whatsoever to apologise for having a "supposedly huge need for full frame" ! I have been hoping in vain that Pentax might produce a full-frame DSLR with which to compete in this arena, but thus far such an animal has singularly failed to materialise……sigh ! To be honest, even if such an exotic creature were ever to emerge into the daylight, I fear that Pentax no longer manufacture their old 28mm f/3.5 shift lens with which to pair it ……anyone out there know different ?

And in reply to Bruce (baltochef290)

QuoteQuote:
the average middle-class serious amateur digital photographer
Ouch ! God forbid that any mere working-class amateur digital photographer ever pop their head above the parapet…….lol !

Best regards
Richard

P.S. Don't worry, I know my place, guvnor !
03-06-2009, 03:53 PM   #40
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Diffraction affected only by aperture & resolution of the camera

According to Lloyd L. Chambers "Diffraction" in the Jan/Feb 2009, once the Airy's disc laps 1/2 way onto the adjacent photosite, contrast is being lost, and eventually resolution.

"For the 21MP Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, the problem is acute: with a top=performing lens, the loss of contrast from diffraction is already an observable factor by f/8. By f/11, image contrast drops noticeably. By f/22, the degradation is enough that only a critical need for depth of field justifies its use"

The K20 has many improvements that i wish i had on my K10, such as focus adjustments, higher ISO, better sensor cleaning to name a few. But my K10 has less diffraction problems with small apertures and so i'm not in any hurry to trade up. Why buy an expensive camera like the Canon EOS 1 Mk III and be limited to f/8?
03-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Format size has nothing to do w/ resolution per se... pixel density does.
The things I like to photograph can lead to up to 50% wasted space (yes there are ways to eliminate this waste other then pixel stuffing) in the frame. If this is cropped out, my 6mp APS-c becomes too small to send a 300ppi image to a printer for an 8X10. It usually has to be interpolated up a bit, even before the printer "does it's thing"...
I'm honestly curious what things you speak of, Jeff. Because what you describe appears to me is a "deficiency" of focal length and/or minimum focusing distance of your ground glass collection. If you are typically having to crop 50% of your images to get the frame/composition you desire that (to me) is not an indication of a sensor (or film) resolution problem.
Oddly enough, I tend to suffer the reverse "disorder" and frame too tight which leaves me not enough room to manipulate. We all have our crosses to bear...

To wit, and purely for example - if I were a lunar photographer I would at minimum want the DA*300/4 and a really good 2x TC so I could fill the frame with my subject: the moon. If I were an entomological fanatic I would be using macro lenses and/or tubes, or a bellows setup so I could easily blow up a Monarch to the size of a toy poodle.

But regardless of your particular needs; before the chip makers stuff more pixels into the same square inch they need to focus on lowering signal-to-noise ratios, increasing dynamic range and improving pass/fail ratios at the wafer level to lower production costs of the existing sensor technologies. Those three items will help 100% of the (digital) photographic market even though it may not help "your ilk" 100%.
03-06-2009, 04:06 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
That's roughly 17.5MP in an APS-C sensor.. based on equal pixel density.
I think it's more like 12mp is good enough for the cheap circuits we put in these cameras. Weak processors, noisy ADC's small buffers ect.
Take a 1/2.5 chip at 10MP.. the APS-C equiv. would be 131.6MP So you could probably cram 30MP APS-C and get 2x the picture quality of a cheap P&S
325mm squared/225mm squared X 12MP
325mm squared/25mm squared X 10MP

864mm squared/225mmm squared X 12MP = 46MP
On the average P&S camera, the sensor outresolves the lens. I don't think a single manufacturer of P&S camera put a lens with a quality to match the sensor's resolution. Same thing with the Pentax K20D. To get the most out of the sensor, you really need to use the highest quality lens you can find, like LTD or DA* lenses. Going for a higher pixel count on APS-C sensor is not likely to really increase the resolution due to lenses limitations. On a FF sensor, the higher pixel count would make a difference.
03-06-2009, 04:15 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
On the average P&S camera, the sensor outresolves the lens. I don't think a single manufacturer of P&S camera put a lens with a quality to match the sensor's resolution. Same thing with the Pentax K20D. To get the most out of the sensor, you really need to use the highest quality lens you can find, like LTD or DA* lenses. Going for a higher pixel count on APS-C sensor is not likely to really increase the resolution due to lenses limitations. On a FF sensor, the higher pixel count would make a difference.
That point is quite debatable.
Re: AA filters: Open Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Besides I like Macro so some of my lenses have the necessary resolution for a substantial increase in pixel count before becoming "useless"
When (not if) they come out w/ the 20+ APS-c we can talk again...
03-06-2009, 05:42 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by cateto Quote
Akira Watanabe, head of dSLR development in Olympus, declares in an interview for CNET News that "12 megapixels is enough".
It's only natural Olympus would say that wouldn't they? since their 4/3 sensors can't break that megapixel threshold. What a joke...
03-06-2009, 05:49 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
It's only natural Olympus would say that wouldn't they? since their 4/3 sensors can't break that megapixel threshold. What a joke...
Indeed making a virtue out of necessity is an old trick.

However he has a point. Very few consumers will ever see the benefit of more MP, but it will cost them more (in storage, processing time etc.) for no good purpose.
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