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01-23-2012, 08:29 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Actually, the bottom line is:
  • A Digital 135 format SLRs will always beat a Film 135 format SLR at creating digital images.
  • A Film 135 format SLR will always beat a Digital 135 format SLR at creating a photographic negative and/or transparency.
  • If he were alive today, Ansel Adams, armed with an Ansco ShurShot, a roll of TMax and his darkroom, would likely produce better photographs than any member of this forum armed with a Phase One IQ180 and CS5.
Pixels do not make photographs.

QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
The bottom line is a FF DSLR will beat a 35mm SLR and a 645D will beat a 645N. Comparing a 275mp 6x12 Provia 100F digital scan to an old Canon D60 APS-C 6.3mp 2002 DSLR is a joke.


01-23-2012, 11:38 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
Actually, the bottom line is:
  • If he were alive today, Ansel Adams, armed with an Ansco ShurShot, a roll of TMax and his darkroom, would likely produce better photographs than any member of this forum armed with a Phase One IQ180 and CS5.
Better photo in terms of, say, a fashion or a sports photograph, a better printed photograph or both perhaps?
01-25-2012, 12:38 PM   #18
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There is one thing I am wondering about: All these comparisons focus on resolution. Have there been any tests on colour reproduction and dynamic range? I am not sure what exactly it is, but I much prefer the look of my film shots over those from my Nikon D90.
01-25-2012, 01:07 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by noctilux Quote
There is one thing I am wondering about: All these comparisons focus on resolution. Have there been any tests on colour reproduction and dynamic range? I am not sure what exactly it is, but I much prefer the look of my film shots over those from my Nikon D90.
yes, I also sometimes finds prints from my K-5 to be lacking something in comparison with prints from my film camera......perhaps they're unnaturaly sharp and contrasty or it is actual process of printing (against chemical process with film)...i don't know

01-25-2012, 02:28 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by noctilux Quote
There is one thing I am wondering about: All these comparisons focus on resolution. Have there been any tests on colour reproduction and dynamic range? I am not sure what exactly it is, but I much prefer the look of my film shots over those from my Nikon D90.
Yes, sharpness is all that seems to matter to most as if everyone is a landscape photographer needing to meet that criteria.

DR of film is huge. The 14EV or so DR of digital does not look realized in the final presented results. That is, the sensor may measure to that range but your end result is still exposure blending of multiple shots where you only need one with film in may situations because it can compress highlights.
01-25-2012, 07:17 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
A test I did one year ago. No PP on the 645D, some on the 645N scan (Nikon 9000).

tom's: 1)645D crop 2) full image 3) 645N crop
Great, so if I can get my hands on a Nikon 9000 (which you really can't), and am willing to wait the like 10-15 minutes per frame (assuming your using ICE) I can resolve a similar amount of detail as the 645D. I'd still rather get the digital.

I'll shoot film when I have a Darkroom.
02-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
OMG, I see this went down the rat hole fast. I guess people are idiots for paying $10,000 for the 645D body when a 645N for a fraction of the cost will do the same thing.. I don't know why I waste time on the forums anymore.
Jogiba,

I have a 645NII and I almost always use a 33-55mm lens at f/22 to f/32 to shoot landscapes. I can easily make 30x40" prints that look wonderful and I have 43x56" ones, too. I scan them myself using a Nikon 9000 at 4000dpi (in glass mount and Digital Ice) or I have it scanned on a Hasselblad (Imacon) scanner for $15 apiece at 4000dpi or, way in the past, I had them drum scanned.

You can do A LOT with the image after it is scanned to increase its fidelity and "life," give it greater sharpness, bring out the details, remove CA and noise, so so much. I believe that the Photoshop step is critical and you can get so much more out of an image if you know what you're doing, as long as you shot it well to begin with. I cannot state it strongly enough that if you know how to use Photoshop and you know how to make digital prints, you can markedly improve the image from what you see on the light table. I have prints that were printed using an enlarger (by a lab) and it is an utter embarrassment when viewed side-by-side against a digital print of the same image. The difference is stunning.

So, as far as the comparison of film with digital is concerned, I'd say you'd do fine with both camera (645N or 645D) because it'll end up costing the same in the long run. Simply calculate the amount of money it costs to buy film, process film, and scan film. If it's $3,000/year, then after 3.33 years, you've paid your $10K shooting in the film world. So, if you buy the 645D, think of it as saving $3,000/year. But, money isn't everything. You have to consider the digital advantage. I mean, the mere fact of the quick turnaround is reason enough and then there's higher shutter speeds (due to higher ISOs), better dynamic range, possibility for blending images, and much much more.

For me, I ruffled some feathers (and will probably do the same here) when I suggested in another post that the upcoming Nikon D800 at 36MP will be competition for the 645D. It isn't if you have the $10 to spend, but it is if you don't. If the image quality on the D800 is determined to be good, that's where I might head for a couple of years. My strategy is this: 1) Buy the Nikon D800 and shoot with it for a couple of years, enjoying the many benefits of digital photography. 2) Immediately sell my 645N and NII cameras. 3) Keep the 645 lenses for now because the prices are only going up. 4) After 2 years or whenever Pentax launches a follow-up 645DII with at least 60MP, then prepare to jump in at that time. Given how many people on this forum have had to send their 645Ds in for repair and wait a month or more to get it back, I can't do that as a pro. If I pay $10K for a camera, I should get a loaner and they should get it back to me very fast. But, I'm a member of PPS, they won't do that! So, for a few years, I should easily be able to get by with a 36mp Nikon until something better and more secure comes along. (And, during that period, if I detect that Pentax medium format is going down the crapper, that'll be the time to dump the lenses to the hangers-on who will go down with the ship.)

You also have to consider how much longer film is going to be around. I mean, over the last couple of years you can no longer get any Fuji transparency films in 220-size. I had to change over to 120. How much longer is the 120 film going to last?

So, whatever you do is the right choice. I mean, no matter how you slice it, you're paying everday you shoot film. And, anytime you buy a camera (any camera except a collectible that you never use), you're just really just renting it because it's always losing value.

Hope this helps you and I hope I stayed "out of the rat hole" by addressing your question in a direct manner.

Last edited by chicagonature; 02-02-2012 at 12:01 AM. Reason: typo
02-02-2012, 02:15 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by chicagonature Quote
Jogiba,

I have a 645NII and I almost always use a 33-55mm lens at f/22 to f/32 to shoot landscapes. I can easily make 30x40" prints that look wonderful and I have 43x56" ones, too. I scan them myself using a Nikon 9000 at 4000dpi (in glass mount and Digital Ice) or I have it scanned on a Hasselblad (Imacon) scanner for $15 apiece at 4000dpi or, way in the past, I had them drum scanned.

You can do A LOT with the image after it is scanned to increase its fidelity and "life," give it greater sharpness, bring out the details, remove CA and noise, so so much. I believe that the Photoshop step is critical and you can get so much more out of an image if you know what you're doing, as long as you shot it well to begin with. I cannot state it strongly enough that if you know how to use Photoshop and you know how to make digital prints, you can markedly improve the image from what you see on the light table. I have prints that were printed using an enlarger (by a lab) and it is an utter embarrassment when viewed side-by-side against a digital print of the same image. The difference is stunning.

So, as far as the comparison of film with digital is concerned, I'd say you'd do fine with both camera (645N or 645D) because it'll end up costing the same in the long run. Simply calculate the amount of money it costs to buy film, process film, and scan film. If it's $3,000/year, then after 3.33 years, you've paid your $10K shooting in the film world. So, if you buy the 645D, think of it as saving $3,000/year. But, money isn't everything. You have to consider the digital advantage. I mean, the mere fact of the quick turnaround is reason enough and then there's higher shutter speeds (due to higher ISOs), better dynamic range, possibility for blending images, and much much more.

For me, I ruffled some feathers (and will probably do the same here) when I suggested in another post that the upcoming Nikon D800 at 36MP will be competition for the 645D. It isn't if you have the $10 to spend, but it is if you don't. If the image quality on the D800 is determined to be good, that's where I might head for a couple of years. My strategy is this: 1) Buy the Nikon D800 and shoot with it for a couple of years, enjoying the many benefits of digital photography. 2) Immediately sell my 645N and NII cameras. 3) Keep the 645 lenses for now because the prices are only going up. 4) After 2 years or whenever Pentax launches a follow-up 645DII with at least 60MP, then prepare to jump in at that time. Given how many people on this forum have had to send their 645Ds in for repair and wait a month or more to get it back, I can't do that as a pro. If I pay $10K for a camera, I should get a loaner and they should get it back to me very fast. But, I'm a member of PPS, they won't do that! So, for a few years, I should easily be able to get by with a 36mp Nikon until something better and more secure comes along. (And, during that period, if I detect that Pentax medium format is going down the crapper, that'll be the time to dump the lenses to the hangers-on who will go down with the ship.)

You also have to consider how much longer film is going to be around. I mean, over the last couple of years you can no longer get any Fuji transparency films in 220-size. I had to change over to 120. How much longer is the 120 film going to last?

So, whatever you do is the right choice. I mean, no matter how you slice it, you're paying everday you shoot film. And, anytime you buy a camera (any camera except a collectible that you never use), you're just really just renting it because it's always losing value.

Hope this helps you and I hope I stayed "out of the rat hole" by addressing your question in a direct manner.
I have the 33-55 and I wouldn't shoot it above f/22 as it's not very sharp above that. I usually shoot it at f/11-16 with good results. You must have an incredible copy to get good results at f/32

02-02-2012, 11:04 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
I have the 33-55 and I wouldn't shoot it above f/22 as it's not very sharp above that. I usually shoot it at f/11-16 with good results. You must have an incredible copy to get good results at f/32
No, he just has a bigger image area. Minimum aperture is dependent on format size.
02-02-2012, 12:09 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
No, he just has a bigger image area. Minimum aperture is dependent on format size.
I shoot with the same lens on my 645N. Still wouldn't shoot at f/32. Best results for landscape are still at f/11 - 16 with film in 645n.
02-02-2012, 11:25 PM   #26
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In the real world, if you have the nearest subject (NS) in the landscape that is only 18 inches from the film plane and everything from 18" to infinity needs to be as sharp as possible, there's only one choice with the 33-55mm lens at 33mm: f/32. If some parts are a little soft, it still looks infinitely better than a f16 image with its terribly out of focus areas. Yes, certain parts will be sharper than than the f32 image, but other parts will look unacceptable. However, at any aperture larger than f16 (smaller f-number), I've found that there can be softness trouble with this curved field lens.

In the real world, we have to accept certain compromises like using f/32 until "one-lens-a-year-if-they're-lucky-Pentax" ends up making a superwide tilt/shift lens. I really don't think that my 33-55mm lens is better than any other. It's just that I try to make the most of the film image, which begins with field techniques such as mirror lockup, etc. But, as I stated before, really knowing how to use Photoshop to bring out the life and 3-dimensionality in a print will easily make up for the any softening that a very small aperture would cause.

Never shooting between f/22 and f/32 is an unfortunate decision based solely on theory that prevents a person from doing what needs to be done. Man, if I followed that logic, I would have given up before I started because 99% of my prairie (and savanna) landscape images use apertures between f/22 and f/32. Let's just not do it or even try because "Heck, they're all going to be soft." Yet, I make huge prints from those transparencies along with a body of work that that has been nationally and internationally published.
02-03-2012, 04:30 AM   #27
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Fully agree :-)
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02-03-2012, 06:24 PM   #28
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There is no contest between 645 film and 645 digital, I have been a black and white professional for over 20+ years (that was over 10 years ago). I have been in photography since 12 years of age, and I'm still heavily involves in fine art printing and shooting both for pleasure and print sales through a gallery.

Speaking from experience, digital has surpassed the quality film and silver has offered for the last 100 or so years. I'm talking about the final print quality, none of the old can match the quality of prints that has now on offer, this is in terms of quality in highlight to shadow to the longevity now pigmented ink prints has to offer. Never mind that with the conventional film, we need to process the film, then place this in the enlarge, the quality of the enlarger, but also the lens, the setup and of course the experience of the printer is paramount to the end result. Then there is the film grain, the large the print the more grain one sees. The list of limitation goes on, for instance, how much dodging and burning and the sensitivity of the paper, the amount of time are allowed to do all that needed to be done is at the mercy of the printer's knowledge and knowhow (of course this applies to digital printing as well) so the wastage is high. Oppose to the digital, once shot and files transferred to the computer, we can work to our hearts content before we press the print button, so as long the monitor and the printer is calibrated to the ICC standard, the print usually is what you see what you are going to get.

I have been shooting with a 6MP camera (Epson RD1) back in 2004 and have made prints up to A1, it is then already better than the average 35mm full frame print equivalent in that year. I dare to say that even a good pocket digital camera's quality now surpasses even the best of 35mm film camera in it's hay days.

So back to the Pentax 645D quality over the film 645N film debate, has any one wonders why both Canon and Nikon's latest flagship cameras stays between 16-18mp? The reason is simple, with our modern printing and image manipulation software and hardware, we can make quality prints up 30" x 40" from a 10MP camera file, this is because digital is now fully come of age.

I have show a 60" x 40" print made from the 645D of a landscape to an old timer (who shoots 10" x 8" format), and he agree with me that the print looked every bit as good as he had done with his 10" x 8" film prints. Normally when we scan film, we actually seeing more grain than if the film is print directly to photographic paper, so comparing a film scan to digital is not a fair comparison IMO. What I'm asking you all to try is to compare photographic prints from the enlarger (not scanned digital C-prints from labs which is the norm now) to the digital print (skill in print making is obviously has to be taken into consideration), and I'm sure one will find digital is 'better' than conventional print in almost every aspect.

Last edited by Sixpm; 02-03-2012 at 06:30 PM.
02-03-2012, 08:24 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by chicagonature Quote
Never shooting between f/22 and f/32 is an unfortunate decision based solely on theory that prevents a person from doing what needs to be done. Man, if I followed that logic, I would have given up before I started because 99% of my prairie (and savanna) landscape images use apertures between f/22 and f/32. Let's just not do it or even try because "Heck, they're all going to be soft." Yet, I make huge prints from those transparencies along with a body of work that that has been nationally and internationally published.
This is so true. With medium and large format, small apertures are a fact of life if you need deep DOF. This is true even for cameras with movements if you are at all close to the subject.

Steve
02-05-2012, 12:07 AM   #30
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Focus stacking? :-)
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