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09-26-2010, 08:28 PM   #16
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Ziggy,
I want to second Buffy's comments as well as John Poirier's. I am an enthusiastic film shooter and am heavily invested in a hybrid (film+scan) work flow*. Even so, I would be the last to say that scans from any of my negatives (35mm, 6x7, or 4x5) are the same as images from a competent digital sensor for the same format. Even though I can render a true 21+ Megapixel image from a 35mm negative, the characteristics of that image will be significantly different from the negative on which it is based and from a RAW FF digital image of the same subject. Those differences are due to the nature of the both the film and digital sensor media as well as the capabilities of the scanner/camera and the operator.

I may ignite a storm of criticism, but I think it is safe to make the following generalities:
  • Film and digital are different. It is best not to do direct comparison, but to consider the strengths of each as a capture medium.
  • Certain film characteristics such as grain and certain aspects of local contrast and "luminosity" are difficult to replicate with pure digital capture
  • Based on my personal scans from fine-grained 35mm negatives, I believe them to have equivalent actual resolution to my APS-C K10D, though probably not better despite twice the digital resolution (21 vs. 10 Megapixels).
  • Scans are not the same as optical prints from the same negatives
  • Scan quality is HIGHLY dependent on the scanner technology in combination with operator skill
  • While a B&W negative may have enormous dynamic range and tonal information, a scan of that negative will only reflect a limited subset of the available data
  • Despite the limitations noted in the point above, I believe that a well-made scan of a B&W negative may be capable of superior tonality when compared to a monochrome conversion of a straight digital capture of the same subject.
  • Even the best scans may be degraded in the printing process



Steve

*I could have easily purchased a nice FF dSLR kit for what I have recently invested in film cameras and scanners.

09-27-2010, 12:07 AM   #17
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I think some missed my point


*I could have easily purchased a nice FF dSLR kit for what I have recently invested in film cameras and scanners"


Everything Steve said is of course true, but:

My point is that if you already have Pentax glass, you can buy one good used Pentax LX a lot cheaper than one new full frame DSLR and then have the negatives scanned (not invest in your own scanner).
The results you get will be good enough for most purposes.

Roger
09-27-2010, 03:05 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziggy7 Quote
*I could have easily purchased a nice FF dSLR kit for what I have recently invested in film cameras and scanners"


Everything Steve said is of course true, but:

My point is that if you already have Pentax glass, you can buy one good used Pentax LX a lot cheaper than one new full frame DSLR and then have the negatives scanned (not invest in your own scanner).
The results you get will be good enough for most purposes.

Roger
I'm glad to hear that, because I'm futher into "vintage" with my SP11....my next roll will hopefully be developed within the next two weeks, and I shall be interested to see how the disc images turn out.....you never know....you may see some on the forum!
Cheers, Pickles.
09-27-2010, 06:08 AM   #19
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I don't think there's any question any more that a good DSLR will outperform film on several fronts, mainly in resolution and colour. But we hold-outs in the film world clearly don't care about those things. We shoot film because we like its inherent character, some might say flaws (ironically, the same 'flaws' some of us used to rail against in the old days).

When I scan a piece of film, I'm not trying to bring out all the minute detail in the scene. I'm trying first and foremost to capture the unique character of the film image - much as though I were photographing a painting and emphasising the brushwork over the pictorial content.

09-27-2010, 07:36 AM   #20
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Film cameras plus scanners do give you digital images (and in the case of especially sharp film and good scanners, very GOOD digital images...)

But the real point of digital isn't the final output. It's the economy and the instant feedback. The knowing for sure if you got the shot, and if not, what to do to correct it. Being able to shoot a billion photos for 3 keepers (A practice I don't preach, but use sometimes when getting a good result is important.)

I adore my LX and my other film cameras, but even Hi-res scans with slide film doesn't make it a Digital.
09-27-2010, 10:03 AM   #21
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Okay, the real point of digital should be the final output but it rarely is. For decades film shooters have used a variety of equipment and films to produce images that are of an infinite variety in feel, texture, color. For about 15 years millions of digital shooters have used a variety of equipment and software to produce images that largely look exactly the same, and when a digi-shooter wants to branch out and be creative he or she uses HDR to produce HDR images that all look the same - same punched up colors with high contrast that isn't really true high contrast. Illustrations that are fun to create, in other words.

So, an LX + scanner is the same as a full-35mm-frame DSLR, only different.
09-27-2010, 10:06 AM   #22
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There is another way to look at this.

For some people, the digital image IS the final product, and I'm not convinced that scanning film is the best aproach for this crowd. The scanned images from most one hour photo shops can be very crappy. For image quality, a good point and shoot will beat these scans.

At one time, the cost of a DSLR was too high for most people, and a film SLR plus a scanner was the way to go. But you can now easily find used DSLR's for under $400.00. So, the DSLR is cheaper now. So cost is in the favor of the DSLR. Even more in favor when you factor in development costs.

lens availiblity used to be a consideration. For a while it was hard to find a quality ultra wide angle for APS-C, so some people would shoot film for the wide lenses. I don't think this is the case anylonger.

So, film is less convenient, costs more, and has no advantage with regard to available lenses.

So why would I shoot film?

For no other reason then it satisfies an emotional, and asthetic need I have. There is no logical point that I can see.
09-27-2010, 12:55 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
So, film is less convenient, costs more, and has no advantage with regard to available lenses.
Well, I'm still waiting for a truly equivalent 70-200/2.8 lens... Or even a 50/1.4, if that matters...

Unfortunately, they only do a 50-135/2.8, which is rather far from those f/1.7 I'd need to attain the same DoF I have with my tamron 70-200/2.8 on my MZ...

And I'm afraid that 35mm f/0.95 will be a little long to come...

So, sorry, FF still has a big advantage with regard to available lenses. That's the only reason I still shoot film...

09-27-2010, 04:59 PM   #24
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It's a good idea and I tried it once with my pz1. I kept getting confused waiting and looking at the camera back for the image preview

Actually having scanned all 20000 pf my slides and prints I ammalreaxy there
09-27-2010, 10:39 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlacouture Quote
Well, I'm still waiting for a truly equivalent 70-200/2.8 lens... Or even a 50/1.4, if that matters...

Unfortunately, they only do a 50-135/2.8, which is rather far from those f/1.7 I'd need to attain the same DoF I have with my tamron 70-200/2.8 on my MZ...

And I'm afraid that 35mm f/0.95 will be a little long to come...

So, sorry, FF still has a big advantage with regard to available lenses. That's the only reason I still shoot film...
Good point. I wasn't considering DOF, I was just thinking about wide angle lenses.
09-27-2010, 11:00 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziggy7 Quote
Everything Steve said is of course true, but:

My point is that if you already have Pentax glass, you can buy one good used Pentax LX a lot cheaper than one new full frame DSLR and then have the negatives scanned (not invest in your own scanner).
The results you get will be good enough for most purposes.
It does not have to be Pentax LX, but it might be. I agree with you. If one has access to a good lab that properly manages their chemistry and has proficient operators, one is both very lucky and well-off to so say.

I intend to try just that - my FA Limited lenses, A 50/1.2 and a film body.
09-28-2010, 03:28 AM   #27
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Here you go!
09-28-2010, 06:14 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
Okay, the real point of digital should be the final output but it rarely is. For decades film shooters have used a variety of equipment and films to produce images that are of an infinite variety in feel, texture, color. For about 15 years millions of digital shooters have used a variety of equipment and software to produce images that largely look exactly the same, and when a digi-shooter wants to branch out and be creative he or she uses HDR to produce HDR images that all look the same - same punched up colors with high contrast that isn't really true high contrast. Illustrations that are fun to create, in other words.

So, an LX + scanner is the same as a full-35mm-frame DSLR, only different.
What I should have said in my previous post is, "The point of digital cameras is not that the final output is a digital picture."

You make a valid point about the natural variety of film output styles vs. digital.

Where's the Kodachrome button on my K10D?
09-28-2010, 07:13 AM   #29
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The LX has one spec that my K2 bodies have when it comes to shooting slide film. That is off the film metering. That's something that is tangent to the discussion but has not been mentioned directly.
09-28-2010, 07:18 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
There is another way to look at this.

For some people, the digital image IS the final product, and I'm not convinced that scanning film is the best aproach for this crowd. The scanned images from most one hour photo shops can be very crappy. For image quality, a good point and shoot will beat these scans.

At one time, the cost of a DSLR was too high for most people, and a film SLR plus a scanner was the way to go. But you can now easily find used DSLR's for under $400.00. So, the DSLR is cheaper now. So cost is in the favor of the DSLR. Even more in favor when you factor in development costs.

lens availiblity used to be a consideration. For a while it was hard to find a quality ultra wide angle for APS-C, so some people would shoot film for the wide lenses. I don't think this is the case anylonger.

So, film is less convenient, costs more, and has no advantage with regard to available lenses.

So why would I shoot film?

For no other reason then it satisfies an emotional, and asthetic need I have. There is no logical point that I can see.
This crowd may be happier with an LX5, G11 or P7000 though. The fact is there are a majority of people that like digital in part due to instant gratification. There are still quite a few people that like film. There are a lot of us that like both. Many of my low yield shots, i.e. macro is about 99% digital these days. Even when I do a low yield film shot, I almost always scout it with a digital shot. As a result, my film "keeper" ratio has gone up.

What I'm trying to say is that the formats are very complimentary.
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