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01-18-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
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6x7 prints vs DSLR prints

Has anyone ever done any comparisons of prints made from 6x7 negs against prints from a DSLR? And if so, were the prints from 6x7 enlarged from negs or scanned? Say in 11x14 prints or maybe 16x20

01-18-2012, 08:31 AM   #2
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In general it's not a straight comparison since it's tough to shoot equivalents. My 2 cents for what it's worth where i've compared is in B/W
I have yet to manage a digital B/W print in any size that compares to a well printed wet process archival fine art print. It's probably a bias tied to the fact that i've been shooting B/W film and wet printing it for almost 40 years

digital prints from A DSLR Vs Medium Format scans will depend on a number of factors. Scan quality is a really big factor in the end result. A well shot DSLR image versus a Flatbed scan that may not be as good as it could the DSLR will win. OTOH a 6x7 wet drum scanned will be far superior. At the 1x14 there may not be much difference to make the expensive scan worth it. at 30x40 it will be worth every penny

I use a flatbed for proofs of medium format but either wet print or get a good scan done and have a fine art print done

EDIT - Of course which DSLR and sensor it is makes a big difference as well. my 35mm high quality scans can easily outperform my *ist ds, but won't touch my K7
01-18-2012, 08:47 AM   #3
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I once made a quick comparison between a 16MP FF canon DSRL v. a P67 Velvia scanned with a Minolta Scan Multi Pro at 3200 dpi.
Sharpness wise the DSRL was maybe equal so I guess in this realm a 5D2 should easily win.
But the digital image looked flatter while the analog much more creamy and pleasant. I preferred and still prefer the 6x7 analog image.
Speaking of 16x20 prints I guess the P67 would look maybe a bit softer but creamier and better.. just a guess..as others have pointed out it depends heavily on the scanner, and a drum scan would probably still beat a 21MP DSRL but for how long though? 36MP DSRLs are around the corner and sooner or later digital will look sharper than 6x7 .
I don't care about resolution, the war is already lost, I do prefer the richness of tones and the dynamic range from which digital is still far away IMHO.

Last edited by desertglow; 01-18-2012 at 08:54 AM.
01-18-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by desert Quote
I once made a quick comparison between a 16MP FF canon DSRL v. a P67 Velvia scanned with a Minolta Scan Multi Pro at 3200 dpi.
Sharpness wise the DSRL was maybe equal so I guess in this realm a 5D2 should easily win.
But the digital image looked flatter while the analog much more creamy and pleasant. I preferred and still prefer the 6x7 analog image.
Speaking of 16x20 prints I guess the P67 would look maybe a bit softer but creamier and better.. just a guess..as others have pointed out it depends heavily on the scanner, and a drum scan would probably still beat a 21MP DSRL but for how long though? 36MP DSRLs are around the corner and sooner or later digital will look sharper than 6x7 .
I don't care about resolution, the war is already lost, I do prefer the richness of tones and the dynamic range from which digital is still far away IMHO.

Sharpness is over rated

I don't scan my MF often tough I like to wet print so it's more fun for me. In any case film is strictly a fun pastime now. I'd never use it anywhere i needed a high volume of shots.

01-18-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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20x24

I made a 20x24" print from a P6x7 with the 200mm lens on Provia 100F and it was stunning. 1/500th @ f/8 in the golden hour; I should maybe have stopped down a bit more in hindsight but you have to have your nose right up against the print to notice a small depth-of-field problem.

I made a print of the centre of the same scene at the same resolution (an 8x10 print cropped from what would have been a 20x24) from a 16 megapixel Panasonic GH2 with the Pana-Leica 14-150mm lens for 4/3. Technically the prints looked surprisingly similar. In resolution and contrast I would have no hesitation to print 20x24" from that particual digital rig. But it would take me a long time in Photoshop to get the Provia look, that was just right for the subject matter. Smoother and creamier without sacrificing sharpness and detail. The digital image had a more "clinical" look (that I could probably fix in Photoshop but I'm no expert). All in all it was great fun and the model was thrilled with the print.
01-18-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by desert Quote
I once made a quick comparison between a 16MP FF canon DSRL v. a P67 Velvia scanned with a Minolta Scan Multi Pro at 3200 dpi.
Sharpness wise the DSRL was maybe equal so I guess in this realm a 5D2 should easily win.
But the digital image looked flatter while the analog much more creamy and pleasant. I preferred and still prefer the 6x7 analog image.
Speaking of 16x20 prints I guess the P67 would look maybe a bit softer but creamier and better.. just a guess..as others have pointed out it depends heavily on the scanner, and a drum scan would probably still beat a 21MP DSRL but for how long though? 36MP DSRLs are around the corner and sooner or later digital will look sharper than 6x7 .
I don't care about resolution, the war is already lost, I do prefer the richness of tones and the dynamic range from which digital is still far away IMHO.
My personal findings mirror yours.
Resolution war is over in favor of digital.
Even if some advanced film scan can match digital, its too costly and too hard to get access to one, so its a moot point for me. (too much $$ and trouble just to match resolution)
However, the image from my 67 seems to have a more dimensional look to it.
I don't know it thats because I am shooting from a 90mm or 180mm on the 67 though, to me, the images just 'pops'
Nowadays, I'm happy enough that the film scan looks real good on my 46' TV
01-19-2012, 07:10 AM   #7
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I have made a 32x41" print of a bayou like scene from a 6x7 transparency that is gorgeous - Don Boyd Photography | Flora | Photo 1 . It was scanned on a dedicated medium format scanner. I have yet to print anything even approaching that size from my k20d. While still very much a digital novice, it may be that digital captures will not hold up when enlarged from their native resoluton the way that film images do. Maybe someone can weigh in on the impact of film grain versus how digital "stretches" when enlarged. Of course, once scanned, film is in the same category as digital, I think.
02-04-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Don Boyd Quote
I have made a 32x41" print of a bayou like scene from a 6x7 transparency that is gorgeous - Don Boyd Photography | Flora | Photo 1 . It was scanned on a dedicated medium format scanner. I have yet to print anything even approaching that size from my k20d. While still very much a digital novice, it may be that digital captures will not hold up when enlarged from their native resoluton the way that film images do. Maybe someone can weigh in on the impact of film grain versus how digital "stretches" when enlarged. Of course, once scanned, film is in the same category as digital, I think.
Awesome capture, Don

02-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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Hi Don, I remember that shot from years ago in Tucson.
Steve
02-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Don Boyd Quote
Maybe someone can weigh in on the impact of film grain versus how digital "stretches" when enlarged. Of course, once scanned, film is in the same category as digital, I think.
It depends on how you do it. You can't make details that aren't there, but you can make some new pixels up to help smooth the jaggies on edges. Fractal resizing used to be all the rage for really big enlargements.

Lightroom's algorithm for this is apparently better than Photoshop's for some reason.
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