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06-21-2007, 07:44 AM   #1
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Image Quality Digital vs Film

I am starting this thread to deliberately start a riot.

I read a ton of complaints about white balance, funny color shading, noise, vertical and horizontal patterns, etc....

Has anyone scanned ALL thier film shots?? have you looked at the garbage that the film recorded which no one complained about, simply because that is all that was possible???

When I look at the images I get with any of my DSLRs at ANY ISO setting they are far superior to a 2880 DPI scan of either slides or film.

Are they perfect? HELL NO! but I think too many people are spending too much time in front of the computer and not enough behind a camera

06-21-2007, 07:56 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I am starting this thread to deliberately start a riot.
I suspect you won't get the riot you were hoping for - too many people will be agreeing with you!

QuoteQuote:
Has anyone scanned ALL their film shots?? have you looked at the garbage that the film recorded which no one complained about, simply because that is all that was possible???
Once I can find the funds, I'm going to be doing exactly this - I plan to buy a Nikon Coolscan V ED, and scan 20 years worth of negs. And I'm expecting to find a lot of dross amongst the gems.

I recall being quite pleased if I got 6 or 7 decent shots out of a roll of 36 - and fewer than that was by no means uncommon.

QuoteQuote:
When I look at the images I get with any of my DSLRs at ANY ISO setting they are far superior to a 2880 DPI scan of either slides or film.
It doesn't surprise me. Now that we're getting the instant feedback, with EXIF data automatically captured (how many of us religiously recorded everything so that we could reproduce exposures etc?), we can learn a lot faster.

My ME Super has been with me pretty much my whole photographic life, and it saddens me to see it gathering dust. But I probably will never buy another film.
06-21-2007, 07:57 AM   #3
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I used film (mostly slides) for over 20 years... don't miss it a bit. I've still got some Provia (expired) in the fridge if I ever have a relapse.
06-21-2007, 08:30 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildboar Quote
I used film (mostly slides) for over 20 years... don't miss it a bit. I've still got some Provia (expired) in the fridge if I ever have a relapse.
care to buy some Kodac gold, expired 4 years ago along with my PZ1, KX and Ricoh XR2s

06-21-2007, 08:32 AM   #5
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~25 years with film. 98% transparencies.

Spent over a year scanning in my 12,000+ "keepers".

(OK, I set the hurdle on the low side.... ;o)

Bought my first digital - only two megs. Haven't shot a frame of film since.

A simple Oly 2 meg compact gave me 'better' images than what I had been getting from film. I couldn't print them as large or shine them on a screen, but I had control like I'd never had before and learned to be a better photographer in a hurry.
06-21-2007, 09:31 AM   #6
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I bought my first digital body 3 years ago and haven't shot film since. Even my favorite Mamiya C333 sits unused in it's bag. My wife is bugging me to either use the film (both 35 and 120) or get it out of the refrigerator.

The quality of the digital images are not only superior to film, but also it's getting a lot harder to find a lab that knows how to handle film properly. The quality of the C41 processing systems that are saturating the 1 hours stores are fine for snapshots, but I wouldn't trust them to process anything else.
06-21-2007, 09:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MShawn63 Quote
My wife is bugging me to either use the film (both 35 and 120) or get it out of the refrigerator.

I'm glad I'm not the only one with that problem.
06-21-2007, 09:38 AM   #8
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TaoMaas,

It's pretty bad I probably have 20 roles of 35 and I know of 3 boxes of 120 film in the refrigerator. I don't remember what I have in the downstairs freezer. I think it may be time to sell all my film gear, but I'd hate to part with my MX.

Shawn

06-21-2007, 09:41 AM   #9
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And still I would say it's not fair. What are you comparing? Scans and out-of-the-camera files? Prints and prints? Projected pictures and digital images?

I'll agree if you say technology, usability, so on. Sure DSLR is far ahead. It's simpler. It's simpler in a sense that you get more spending the same efforts. How much you get - still depends on you, not the technology you use.

If you can get much already - negative film is perfect.
06-21-2007, 10:12 AM   #10
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I agree, plus...

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I think too many people are spending too much time in front of the computer and not enough behind a camera
...I would like to extend your statement: too many people are looking at their pictures at 100% magnification on their computer screens instead of printing and evaluating prints. (Who was looking at negatives under a microscope anyway?)

And yes, I have scanned all my negatives and I know what you mean. In addition, I have very few traditional prints on ILFORD Multigrade IV paper that can match print quality of HP Vivera 100 tritone B&W ink on ILFORD Classic Perl or Classic Gloss inkjet paper.

That is all that matters to me.
06-21-2007, 11:36 AM   #11
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To be fair to film, if you use a slow, fine-grained film and carefully scan you probably will be able to detect a bit more resolution in very large prints. (Although there's a point where digital pulls back ahead due to the lack of grain in very, very large prints.)

And negative film may give you a bit more dynamic range without doing multiple exposures and stacking.

So if you are shooting in that fairly small niche then perhaps film will work for you.

--

As for print making in general and projecting....

Those who are expert at both wet printing from a negative and dry printing from a scan/digital capture seem to have largely closed up their darkrooms.

Projecting - digital capture/in-computer "perfecting"/transferring to transparency would be my route these days. (Actually I'd prefer digital projection, but if one just can't shake that Carousel jones....)
06-21-2007, 12:13 PM   #12
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The last time I used 35mm film it was to wrap a nude model in for a photo taken on a digital camera. No, I won't show the pics, they suck. I made a bad judgement call on the lighting style. Live and learn. I shot some 120 a couple years ago and after not making any enlargements from them I decided that I was done with film all together.
06-21-2007, 12:56 PM   #13
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I finally got a DSLR back in December, after using up nearly all of my (original) Velvia (still have one (100 ft) roll left in the freezer.

Saw the rebates on the K110/K100 packages and had a thought - So I started doing the math. And I saw the full size picture samples on the Pentax website - 3700 pictures later, I've already paid for my camera nearly 4X over compared to the same price of the film and developing I would have had.

But besides the money savings on my end, I compared the scans, and at the highest rez I could scan at I still wasn't getting the image quality that I get from my 6MP K110D.

Last edited by khardur; 06-21-2007 at 05:50 PM. Reason: i really can't spell - and to think I type for a living...
06-21-2007, 01:12 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan Glisin Quote
...I would like to extend your statement: too many people are looking at their pictures at 100% magnification on their computer screens instead of printing and evaluating prints. (Who was looking at negatives under a microscope anyway?)....
AMEN, AMEN to that!!

Will
06-21-2007, 01:22 PM   #15
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With the newer inkjets you cannot tell the difference in print between film and digital up to about 11.7 16.5, some say even more. The real difference to me used to be in the longevity of the prints, density of the blacks and how long the colours could hold up before they started to fade (only a couple of years back they were in the 35-50 year range). But now Epson seem to be closing in that factor as well with newer archival inks (K3) rated at a colour permanance of about 200+ years or so.


Edit: When i say inkjet prints i should probably mention that only professional inkjets apply which use different inks from your standard desktop models. Expect to fork out about $1,800 US for a "portable" model. Check out Luminous Landscapes review of the Epson 9600 9600
I have used this model at tech and gives awesome prints but is highly dependant on profiles, mess it up and youve got junk. Would buy one if i had NZ$10,000 lying around, oh well dreams are for free

Last edited by Kaimarx; 06-21-2007 at 11:02 PM.
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