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12-01-2009, 07:18 AM   #526
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shingoshi Quote
For all of us who have been looking for full-frame digital cameras, I'm wondering what actually made us think that digital would produce better results for serious photographers, than shooting film? I'm asking the question because I've been researching film scanners and found that the scanners have a resolution of 6400dpi. That means for 35mm film, the interlaced resolution acquired is close to 12800x19200. I haven't seen any camera on the market that will produce that kind of resolution. And if you're shooting a Pentax 6x7 with it's 2.25x2.75 frame, that resolution jumps up to 28800x35200! Are you kidding!
Not all of us have been. I had that epiphany a few months ago myself. Currently the only digital camera I have is a Canon G10, and I just use it as a "digital polaroid" for setting up strobes. Film cameras are so damn cheap now it's hard to resist buying them. Hell, I've already bought three. I also just bought an Epson V500 scanner. It was only $150 and I've seen some 12mp scans produced by it that blow away most DSLR's this side of the D700. That said, I still do need a capable digital camera. I do a lot of family portraits for friends and family and digital would work better for that sort of thing (since I do it for free I'm not wasting my time, money, and energy buying and processing film). I probably will sell my G10 and buy something like a K20D that is far more capable...but I'll still shoot film for my personal stuff. Film does require patience though. I have 5 rolls of film I haven't had time to develop yet. I only have one lab in town that can develop transparencies and pro-films, and I can only go by there on the weekends. I have yet to see any of my pics I've taken the last two weeks.

Plenty of pro's still shoot film though. Here's a good article:
http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2009/04/everything-old-is-new-againphotography.html

I also read an article a while back (I believe it was on strobist.com) that said roughly 20% of pro's still shoot film.


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12-01-2009, 09:00 AM   #527
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QuoteQuote:

what type of photography are you after? would you post some pictures you've made?
I'm really trying to understand Shingoshi. I can't help but feel there's something going on here beyond simple discussion, but it's bothering me that I can't identify conclusively what I think it is. Having been raised on that rising edge of the digital age, I generally pride myself at being able to correct interpret the motivations and 'real' opinions of people despite their efforts to joke, troll, debate, etc. It's not often that I come across someone I really don't understand at first pass. After reading quite a few of his posts, I think I have him pegged.

I've decided that I think he's bit of a narcissistic technophile with some insecurity issues. He strikes me similarly as many of the engineers I work with who have a deep seated belief that because they are so conversant in one form of technology, they have some cachet to discuss other form of tangentially related fields. I've decided he's willing to accept what other people tell him, if couched correctly, but only after he's worked through the logic for himself so he can feel like it's really his decision, which is why his opinions on what's preferred or what's best have changed so rapidly but are still based on underlying technical figures that I'm not entirely sure he's got a full grasp on.

My hunch is that he's only going to have his mind changed if he can boil the visceral and qualitative reactions into concrete quantitative judgment calls. He wants other people to agree with him because it validates that he made the correct logical deductions. I get the strong impression it has nothing to do with the quality of the product so much as his impression of the accuracy of the process. I firmly believe that what image he actually takes has no real relevance to him if he's not completely happy with the technical details of how the image was achieved.

I say all that, not to insult or break him down, but because it heavily influences how I think his posts should be handled. Normally, off the cuff qualitative answers are sufficient because they allow someone to understand the principle, and draw their own conclusions. He's not going to do that, because he's established his own set of definitions encompassing his reality based on hard numbers he's derived himself. The only way to have a discussion is to reason with those hard numbers and challenge his starting conditions. Discussing the end product is futile.

With ALL that said, I think THIS is a better article to start from: Pixels

So from this point, I'm going to make the assumption that everyone is at least familiar with the effects of the exposure triangle on the resulting image, and at least fundamentally aware of the limitations of digital pictures to digitize and film cameras to be resolved into some form of print.

Comparing systems can only be done when a basis for comparison is established. It is insufficient to state one format is better than another without identifying the metric. With interchangeable back systems, the fortunate thing is that you're able to hold more of the factors constant while only changing the medium. As a brief list, some of what can change between systems is dynamic range, ISO sensitivity, ergonomics, control structures (both physical and menu driven), optical formula resultant changes due to proportion of lens to media, lens availability, and resolution. Being able to hold the physical attributes constant means we can evaluate the result set to compare systems. In other words, we must make judgments based on the resulting picture. Notice carefully I didn't say image. The image captured is completely irrelevant for this discussion. That light bounces, is absorbed, reflected, refracted, and otherwise dissipated. That's why focusing on the ability to capture an image isn't focused on the initial set beyond creating a control condition for future image comparison. What you MUST do in order to correctly evaluate the systems is evaluate the result set of images.

To do THAT correctly, you have decide the format in which to compare the results, and that's where the raw technical approach Shingoshi is pushing theoretically as potentially superior based on raw technical schematics breaks down without additional detail. To evaluate the technical quality of a picture, you must first determine it's purpose. The needs of the output drive the needs of the input. That's where the break between the quality differences of digital and film becomes murky. It is insufficient to say that film cameras of any format take better pictures than digital cameras of any format without knowing the intended purposes of those pictures. For one to be labeled better, it has to be shown that the difference is measurable for the purpose it was intended.

For the difference between SIZES of sensors, the differences occur in the exposure triangle. Many photographers make their livings in the areas where exposure gets tricky and every tiny scrap of performance is necessary. It's possible to evaluate the way the cameras perform differently in the same conditions in order to describe where different format sizes have different properties without evaluating the purpose of the result. That's simply not possible for comparing media. It's no difference than debating using fine grain or more coarse grain film.

So after that textbook I've just written, I'll finally answer Shingosh's question: For all of us who have been looking for full-frame digital cameras, I'm wondering what actually made us think that digital would produce better results for serious photographers, than shooting film?

The answer is that digital cameras produce sufficient quality for the purposes of the majority of photographers such that the technical details of the output print can be ignored. Only a very small number of people are looking for larger formats of digital because they are unsatisfied with the technical quality of the resulting prints (be they viewed online or actual prints). They are not looking for larger pictures, or higher resolution smaller ones. Despite what film is able to accomplish compared to digital media, those differences are simply not large enough to matter to the consumers of their product. I'm loathe to use the word without being able to completely define it, but no other word will do: Digital image quality is sufficient for their needs. They don't use digital proofs and then swap to the higher resolution film because it's unnecessary for their needs. The eye may be able to resolve 500+ megapixels by some estimates, but 85 dpi still makes a marginal image for newsprint and that same 85 dpi is sufficient for a billboard. View distances, output resolution, intended target: All of that matters.

People are not looking for a full frame digital camera primarily for the output technical stats. They want a full frame digital camera because of how it behaves during the taking of the picture. How it behaves with lower light. The size and comfort in their hands. The dynamic range of the sensor. The size of the sensor cells. They want to have wider relative apertures so they can control the depth of field differently, and different controls over perspective distortion. They want to keep all the convenience and cost benefits of working with digital media because the quality of the media is sufficient, and gain the benefits of the larger format.
12-01-2009, 09:44 AM   #528
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mister Guy Quote
People are not looking for a full frame digital camera primarily for the output technical stats. They want a full frame digital camera because of how it behaves during the taking of the picture. How it behaves with lower light. The size and comfort in their hands. The dynamic range of the sensor. The size of the sensor cells. They want to have wider relative apertures so they can control the depth of field differently, and different controls over perspective distortion. They want to keep all the convenience and cost benefits of working with digital media because the quality of the media is sufficient, and gain the benefits of the larger format.
Great post, that paragraph in particular is dead on. Technically APS-C digital IQ has been good enough for me for a while now. Especially if you're doing landscapes or studio portrait work. However for street photography or just taking pics of random objects I've found that film still reigns supreme. Digital images are just too cold and clean for street pics for my liking. The tones film creates are simply stunning and digital can't match it without spending hours in Photoshop...something I have no desire to do. There's a lot more to IQ than resolution. There are only three reasons I personally want FF: larger VF, higher ISO, and so I can share lenses back and fourth with my film camera with no conversion.

Another APS-C gripe I have is the nifty 50 problem. 50mm lenses are by far my favorite lenses (I own 3 of them), but the only options for a fast 50 equivalent in APS-C land are either the $1100 31mm f1.8 limited (great lens, but that's a lot of cash for an /f1.8 lens) or the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (I can't stand Sigma's rough matte finish on their lenses).
12-01-2009, 11:58 AM   #529
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shingoshi Quote
For all of us who have been looking for full-frame digital cameras, I'm wondering what actually made us think that digital would produce better results for serious photographers, than shooting film? I'm asking the question because I've been researching film scanners and found that the scanners have a resolution of 6400dpi. That means for 35mm film, the interlaced resolution acquired is close to 12800x19200. I haven't seen any camera on the market that will produce that kind of resolution. And if you're shooting a Pentax 6x7 with it's 2.25x2.75 frame, that resolution jumps up to 28800x35200! Are you kidding!

No digital camera on earth can touch that. So why are we shooting digital? Because we think it's convenient to shoot in the field. Why hasn't it occurred to anyone to use digital imaging in the same manner as some of us used to use Polaroids. And in a comparison between Polaroids and digital, digital wins hand down. No Polaroid camera that I was aware of could manually adjust exposures to the extent needed by photographers. Only if you were shooting with medium or large-format would you have had the means to shoot the film directly through the same camera's identical viewpoint intended to shoot your film. But here's the hitch. With Polaroids, you had to change the exposure to match the ISO of the Polaroid. With digital cameras, you can manually set the ISO to match the exposure as it would occur in the camera.

So then you have the ability to preview your work and determine based on you digital images, which one's you most want to shoot and print. We all know that the resolution of any sensor is a function of it's size. So why are we depending on sensors of such a small size as those found in digital cameras?

Based on what I've been reading, the BEST Full-Frame digital camera is the one we were using all along. That being 35mm or 120 roll film. So why should anyone be waiting for something that will never be better than what we can get from film?

Xavian-Anderson Macpherson
ShingoshiDao
Why are you making the assumption that film has infinite resolution? If we have a 100,000 dpi scanner does that mean we'll get 100,000 dpi worth of useful information?

I've shot a lot of 35mm, 120 (6x4.5, 6x6 and 6x7), and 4x5, and can say that from my experience my 1Ds II outperforms 35mm by quite a margin, does as well as nicely scanned medium format film, and lags behind 4x5 when making really large prints.

And no, the resolution isn't just a function of sensor size. It has to do with the optics, aperture, pixel density and a host of other variables.

edit: the above said, I do prefer film for black/white where I think a good medium format camera still has an advantage not only resolution wise but also has the look I like. For color, digital all the way unless I want something like a 40x60 inch print in which case a drum scanned 4x5 slide will look nicer.


Last edited by pingflood; 12-01-2009 at 12:05 PM.
12-01-2009, 12:17 PM   #530
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Why are you making the assumption that film has infinite resolution? If we have a 100,000 dpi scanner does that mean we'll get 100,000 dpi worth of useful information?

I've shot a lot of 35mm, 120 (6x4.5, 6x6 and 6x7), and 4x5, and can say that from my experience my 1Ds II outperforms 35mm by quite a margin, does as well as nicely scanned medium format film, and lags behind 4x5 when making really large prints.

And no, the resolution isn't just a function of sensor size. It has to do with the optics, aperture, pixel density and a host of other variables.

edit: the above said, I do prefer film for black/white where I think a good medium format camera still has an advantage not only resolution wise but also has the look I like. For color, digital all the way unless I want something like a 40x60 inch print in which case a drum scanned 4x5 slide will look nicer.
Exactly. The assumption that the output of the scanner somehow increases the resolution of the original shot is completely off base. The final image is completely dependent on the input of the film or slide.
12-01-2009, 12:20 PM   #531
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mister Guy Quote
People are not looking for a full frame digital camera primarily for the output technical stats. They want a full frame digital camera because of how it behaves during the taking of the picture. How it behaves with lower light. The size and comfort in their hands. The dynamic range of the sensor. The size of the sensor cells. They want to have wider relative apertures so they can control the depth of field differently, and different controls over perspective distortion. They want to keep all the convenience and cost benefits of working with digital media because the quality of the media is sufficient, and gain the benefits of the larger format.
As AVII says, I could not have put this better myself. This is exactly what I'm waiting and hoping to be able to have with a FF Pentax.
12-01-2009, 12:42 PM   #532
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
Another APS-C gripe I have is the nifty 50 problem. 50mm lenses are by far my favorite lenses (I own 3 of them), but the only options for a fast 50 equivalent in APS-C land are either the $1100 31mm f1.8 limited (great lens, but that's a lot of cash for an /f1.8 lens) or the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (I can't stand Sigma's rough matte finish on their lenses).
Mmm ? Sigma 20/24/28mm f/1.8 anyone?
12-01-2009, 12:47 PM   #533
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Mmm ? Sigma 20/24/28mm f/1.8 anyone?
Do you actually like Sigma lenses? I can't stand them (the design, finish, gold ring, etc..just not my cup of tea), besides, all of those are f/1.8 lenses. APS-C already has a DOF disadvantage, we'd actually need something like a 32mm f/1.2 to equal a basic 50mm f/1.4 in full frame land. And who knows how much that would cost.

12-01-2009, 12:52 PM   #534
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
Do you actually like Sigma lenses? I can't stand them (the design, finish, gold ring, etc..just not my cup of tea), besides, all of those are f/1.8 lenses. APS-C already has a DOF disadvantage, we'd actually need something like a 32mm f/1.2 to equal a basic 50mm f/1.4 in full frame land. And who knows how much that would cost.
Not much but I have to admit my 28/1.8 is VERY useful (I was surprised, really).

I don't think 28/1.8 is much different from 31/1.8 anyway (FOV).
Size is a different matter, the Sigma is huge
But what you won't get with the 31 (Sigma has to have an edge somewhere...) is DOF effect for close-up. The Sigma focusses at 2or 3 cm from the front element. Coupled with f/1.8 it make very cool effect is that's something you like.

I wouldn't use it as a sharpest lens in town though but the price really is not to be compared to the 31mm.
12-01-2009, 01:47 PM   #535
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
Do you actually like Sigma lenses? I can't stand them (the design, finish, gold ring, etc..just not my cup of tea), besides, all of those are f/1.8 lenses. APS-C already has a DOF disadvantage, we'd actually need something like a 32mm f/1.2 to equal a basic 50mm f/1.4 in full frame land. And who knows how much that would cost.
Maybe I stand alone here, but I mostly worry about how the lenses perform rather than how they look, and the Sigma 30/1.4 and 50/1.4 are IMO excellent performers.

Samyang is supposed to release a 35/1.2 but I think that will be Canon mount only and the other mounts will be 35/1.4. Apparently only the EF mount is big enough to accommodate their design at 1.2
12-01-2009, 02:18 PM   #536
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See my samples above. My subjects don't require speed, buy concentration...

QuoteOriginally posted by giorgio Quote
Shingoshi
what type of photography are you after? would you post some pictures you've made?
You will see a few examples of my work in previous posts that I've made.

QuoteOriginally posted by stormcloud Quote
i'd say the reason for shooting digital is obvious cost and instant feedback on results - since i went digital i have taken more photos in a couple of months than i did in years shooting film - sure msot of them are crap but thats the beauty of digital - who cares if the shot is crap take it anyway and hope for the best you might get lucky - where as shooting film you tended to want to make sure the shots you took were going to be good fine for portraits etc but not so handy for moving targets

also for aquward lighting situations the digitals ability to let you see and adjust based on what you are getting comes into its own - sure really good photographers might be able to get it right first time but not everyone is that good
This is something that I couldn't agree with you more. I too have shot more with digital than I was accustomed to with film. In fact, that was one of my main concerns with returning to film. However since I thought about only having my film developed and then scanning the negatives myself, I realize that the cost of shooting film won't be that great after all. And since I do put a lot of effort into the selection of my digital photos, that's not going to change with film. So digital has instead made me a better photographer. Because I'm able to get immediate feedback about the quality of my images, specifically their composition.

The biggest thing is that I no longer want to negotiate several levels of menus to make changes that would have only required adjustments on my lens or exposure compensation dial. And I don't want to spend money on a more advance digital camera hoping that I will have better feedback from it. I did want to kick a dead horse, but this morning I was thinking this through even more. On the Hasselblad, ALL of my settings on the lens. There's nothing to change on the body. And that's the kind of immediate connection that I want with my camera. I don't think there's a single digital camera out there that will allow that. Instead what they give you are dials. Maybe one for the aperture and another for the shutter. Yes, I've liked the handiness of that. But it's not natural for me. So that's why I was looking at cameras that most mimicked the handling personality of film cameras. I think that was subconsciously the reason for my attract to the Kodak models I mentions before. Especially true for the F5 versions, which can be shot entirely in manual. Digital cameras simply don't invite me into a relationship with them as I am with film cameras. So I will instead use digital in support of my shooting with film, rather than a replacement for it.

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12-01-2009, 03:00 PM   #537
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If you're having to dig into menus all the time you're either using the wrong camera or are trying to do stuff you normally wouldn't do if using a film camera. I go into menus on my Canons to format cards or enable mirror lockup (now THAT is something they should have dedicated a button to, but they are hardheaded about that). When shooting my "alternative" lenses I adjust aperture on the lens and shutter speed with a dial, generally in manual mode -- not sure how different it is from what you do.

Now if you just LIKE film better (and many do, it's definitely different from digital) that's a different story altogether. But if you're trying to make arguments that film or film cameras are better/easier/whatever I really can't agree with it in most cases...
12-01-2009, 03:42 PM   #538
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Not necessarily menus. But nonetheless indirect...

QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
If you're having to dig into menus all the time you're either using the wrong camera or are trying to do stuff you normally wouldn't do if using a film camera. I go into menus on my Canons to format cards or enable mirror lockup (now THAT is something they should have dedicated a button to, but they are hardheaded about that). When shooting my "alternative" lenses I adjust aperture on the lens and shutter speed with a dial, generally in manual mode -- not sure how different it is from what you do.

Now if you just LIKE film better (and many do, it's definitely different from digital) that's a different story altogether. But if you're trying to make arguments that film or film cameras are better/easier/whatever I really can't agree with it in most cases...
My Sony H50 has a control dial on the back of the camera. But that one dial is used for controlling all aspects of the exposure. Consequently, you have to press another button to select which of the settings you want to change. And rather than spend more money on another camera which would only be marginally more effective than this one, I'm going manual instead.

The thing that I most dislike about working with this camera, is not being able to focus manually. That is probably the greatest detachment I have from the process of shooting. I don't like the estimations that are required by shooting digital. I want to be able to immediately choose my subject and the point of focus and then check my depth of field. None of this is instantaneous in the current cycle. That's what I most want to put a stop to.

Xavian-Anderson Macpherson
ShingoshiDao

I shot this today, coming back home.
[IMG=http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/2596/seatedinthelightdsc0299.th.jpg]

Last edited by Shingoshi; 12-01-2009 at 05:09 PM.
12-01-2009, 04:05 PM   #539
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This Sony H50 ?

This Sony H50 is the camera you're using & deciding the fate of all Dslr image quality with?


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 Digital Camera - Review - The Imaging Resource!
12-01-2009, 04:14 PM   #540
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Not just quality, but responsiveness...

QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
This Sony H50 is the camera you're using & deciding the fate of all Dslr image quality with?
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 Digital Camera - Review - The Imaging Resource!
Read carefully what I wrote. Yes, I said image quality is important to me. But I went on to further explain that it's the process of shooting that I find interrupted with digital. I think that's precisely why Leica choose to have no automatic features in the M9. It's simply a manual camera with digital imaging. Not the reverse, where the digital imaging is emphasized over the manual control more discrete photographers prefer.

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