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sbelyaev

Puts on M8 vs film

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Puts states that film on super enlargements is better than digital, and I agree. I have seen the calculation of a near 40MP sensor being needed to equal ISO100 film. All of that is true, but in the vast majority of photographers, who makes 60X enlargements? The sheer convenience of digital will push film out of existance eventually. And that will be a sorry day for me as I still shoot film. Interesting article.

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Puts states that film on super enlargements is better than digital, and I agree. I have seen the calculation of a near 40MP sensor being needed to equal ISO100 film. All of that is true, but in the vast majority of photographers, who makes 60X enlargements? The sheer convenience of digital will push film out of existance eventually. And that will be a sorry day for me as I still shoot film. Interesting article.

 

I am using Phaseone 31 and 39 MP. I don't think 35 mm film is equal to even 31MP digital back. IMHO

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Interesting, but I note that Puts doesn't say at all how he enlarged the digital files, and his results seem quite suspect from that regard.

 

IOW, there is technique involved in blowing something up 60x with digital--it isn't as easy (especially with text) as just changing the resolution in PS

 

I also note that the grain on the film has probably been masked (and sharpened) by the scanner; whereas the digital file being enlarged then printed then scanned has undergone quite a number of analog changes that would make the worst of the test.

 

Just my opinion, though. No doubt you can enlarge a good 100 ISO film quite a lot; in my experience though, grain takes over long before the M8 files lose steam.

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Erwin mentioned receiving comments saying that to compare fairly, he should have used color film. This seems perfectly sensible to me. My hypothesis would be that while fine-grained BW film might end up sharper than an equally enlarged digital image, this would probably not be true of a more complex color emulsion.

 

Actually a lot of other factors besides sharpness enter into the picture: choice of RAW converter; choice digital 'engines' for res-ing up & sharpening; ppi of output; substrate surface/emulsion; subtlety of tonal gradations in color; degree of printing control through masking; etc. etc.

 

May each enjoy what works best for his or her images.

 

Kirk

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In order to get the most out of film, you have to either ...

 

-- Run a completely analog and wet line from colour film processing to printing ...

-- OR operate an industrial grade drum scanner with the requisite hard and software.

 

Few of us can or want to do that. For 99 percent of us, the results of those procedures are entirely theoretical. But if the average hobby photographer hands in a roll of colour film and demands files on a CD, ot those files printed, what he will get is, politely expresssed, crap. It will be cell phone level stuff, because that is the input those services are geared to nowadays.

 

So for common people, that is what a M7 is today: A bigger and heavier cell phone with interchangeable lenses (and no ring signals ...) The M8 on the other hand produces better results than any 35mm film camera did, and most MF cameras too. Film is dying. I won't go back to it.

 

The old man who came out of the darkroom

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This is where technical tests in the lab do not equal aesthetics on the wall. Analysing grain and noise is only a part of what the eye sees in a print. In my experience the result is that M8 is a lot more flexible.

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Few of us can or want to do that. For 99 percent of us, the results of those procedures are entirely theoretical. But if the average hobby photographer hands in a roll of colour film and demands files on a CD, ot those files printed, what he will get is, politely expresssed, crap. It will be cell phone level stuff, because that is the input those services are geared to nowadays.

So for common people, that is what a M7 is today: A bigger and heavier cell phone with interchangeable lenses (and no ring signals ...)

 

With the utmost respect Lars - that is complete and utter rubbish.

 

The digital scans I have from Diabolaget and Crimson (you should know these companies, as we share the same hometown) are every bit as good as the files from my M8. In terms of color, I actually prefer PortraNC to digital files from any camera that I've seen - and the way the M8 clips highlights... well don't get me started.

 

I'm very, very happy with my M8 at the moment, and use it all the time in preference to film. But this has much more to do with the expense of developing (astronomical in this town), the inconvenience of waiting, and my own lack of talent in photography.

 

To liken the results from an M7 with say a Noctilux attached with a cellphone image. Well I'm genuinely wondering why you're saying such eccentric garbage.

 

 

PS: this idea that the M8 is somehow better than Medium Format does not become true simply by endless repetition - although I think it was Stalin who suggested the technique, and I think it worked well for him.

Edited by plasticman
to call out some extra BS

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Incidentally, anyone interested in the 'cell phone level stuff' of the M7 could do worse than check out (for instance) the work of Tommy Oshima over on Flickr. Or many, many others still using film and doing amazing, sensual work with it.

 

"Cell phone level stuff"! Good grief.

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I am using Phaseone 31 and 39 MP. I don't think 35 mm film is equal to even 31MP digital back. IMHO

 

This is just a demonstration of the Nyquist theorem. There are three factors to consider:

 

1. Spatial quantisation

2. Geometry, i.e. focal length and perspective

3. Enlargement

 

In theory, you just check how large a pixel in the digital sensor will diplay in the enlarged print. You cannot represent finer angular detail in the object with a linear pixel in the image, so anything smaller than the linear size of the pixel in the print will be lost. As you enlarge the print this will be increasingly obvious.

 

For film, replace "pixel" with "average grain". Obviously, if you choose an emulsion with an average grain size of 1 mu, then a 5-10 mu pixel will not be able to match the resolution, all other things being equal.

 

 

In practice things get more complicated because you may change your focal length and perspective when you go from a smaller to larger sensor/film size. This will change the geometrical relationship between angular and linear size. On top of this you may not need to enlarge the image from the the larger sensor as much as from a smaller sensor.

 

So, in theory, with the same emulsion, focal length and perspective, there should be no other difference between 35 mm film and medium format than FOV.

 

In practice, the larger format and more pixels tend to make a difference.

 

Regards

Per

 

PS. You can make it more complicated by considering the distance from the viewer to the print

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Incidentally, anyone interested in the 'cell phone level stuff' of the M7 could do worse than check out (for instance) the work of Tommy Oshima over on Flickr. Or many, many others still using film and doing amazing, sensual work with it.

 

"Cell phone level stuff"! Good grief.

 

I don't think he was suggesting as cell phone level stuff was when you turn in your film to be processed at some minilab and get some CD back from them -- not what is possible with the medium itself if you either stay analog from image capture to print or using high end scanning. That's how I read it at least.

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I think the big difference is the nature of both processes:

 

with film you are just enlarging the grain at some point.

it gets bigger and bigger but it's still the same grain. and grain being just an natural object it has its own sharpness, its own imperfection.

 

in the digital process you are not enlarging the pixels - you are interpolating the pixels. you are inventing something that wasn't there before.

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I don't think he was suggesting as cell phone level stuff was when you turn in your film to be processed at some minilab and get some CD back from them -- not what is possible with the medium itself if you either stay analog from image capture to print or using high end scanning. That's how I read it at least.

 

So the hundreds of thousands of film images on flickr have been drum-scanned?

 

Certainly the scans that I used to get from the labs I used in Stockholm were not drumscans, but the quality at the very least rivals M8 output in detail and resolution. For an extra cost I could've got higher resolution scans, but for the regular print sizes I needed, it wasn't necessary.

 

So this is the proposition in a nutshell: you seek out a really, really shoddy developers outfit, and they don't care what their chemicals are like and make a rubbish job of your negatives then drop them on the floor on the way to their ten-year-old flatbed scanner and then switch off the electricity halfway through, then spill coffee on the CD.

IF all those things happen, then your M7 images are going to look like cellphone stuff?

 

I'm sorry but there's a lot of crack-smoking going on in this forum occasionally, where all sorts of total rubbish can be said about film because no-one really wants to challenge it on the digital M8 forum.

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This is where technical tests in the lab do not equal aesthetics on the wall. Analysing grain and noise is only a part of what the eye sees in a print.

 

Brett has nailed it. For me, B&W film has a unique atmosphere that is difficult to emulate digitally. The M8 has a convenience factor difficult to emulate with a film workflow, and a unique look unto itself which I cherish coupled with fine Leica glass. For my film work I will either drum scan (Tango) or use a high end flat bed (Cezanne or iQ3). But I prefer large prints and so I am forced to task as a result. I also shoot with a Mamiya 7II and a 43/65 lens combination if I desire "cleaner" film images with the intent of making highly detailed 20x24 or larger prints.

 

In a nutshell, I believe we should be rejoicing at the many options we have available to us as photographers rather than re-hashing the digital-film debate. An image should stand on its own based upon content. So it is simply a matter of selecting that tool and medium which best serves your artistic vision.

Edited by jplomley

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Guest Olof
Puts states that film on super enlargements is better than digital, and I agree. I have seen the calculation of a near 40MP sensor being needed to equal ISO100 film. All of that is true, but in the vast majority of photographers, who makes 60X enlargements? The sheer convenience of digital will push film out of existance eventually. And that will be a sorry day for me as I still shoot film. Interesting article.

 

And for these enlargements they never would use 35x24mm format. Thats the range for 6x6

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I'm sorry but there's a lot of crack-smoking going on in this forum occasionally, where all sorts of total rubbish can be said about film because no-one really wants to challenge it on the digital M8 forum.

 

 

...I'm with you, plasticman. Never realised it got this hairy in the good ol' Digital Forum (cripes!). Tell you what - meet me at Barnack's Bar and I'll buy you a very large glass of your preferred tipple.

 

And please remind me to send Puts a stern e-mail. This uncouth rabble-rousing has to stop.

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{snipped}

 

I'm sorry but there's a lot of crack-smoking going on in this forum occasionally, where all sorts of total rubbish can be said about film because no-one really wants to challenge it on the digital M8 forum.

 

Mani--since you're always asking this of others--maybe you could tone down the rhetoric a little eh?

 

You're not the only one who still shoots and uses film alongside an M8. And maybe--just maybe--you should process the M8 files a little more before you decide on the overall quality of the file

It generally takes me a year of intense processing and shooting to get the best out of a digital camera, but maybe I'm just slow.

 

But there are / were professional master printers here who have expressed genuine amazement at how well the m8 files hold up under enlargement.

 

It was David Adamson who compared the M8 files *in 30 by 40 inch prints* to medium format film and I assure you he isn't smoking crack, and likely knows more about exhibition printing than most of the forum members put together.

 

Adamson Editions Atelier - Adamson Gallery

 

For my own part, while I still use an M3 and M6 professionally (and yes--with drum scans on occasion!), the M8 has been able to exceed my expectations with proper processing.

 

To my eyes the final results are more different than better or worse, but the M8 certainly holds its own in large prints and has characteristics, properly processed, I find hard to match with 35mm film.

Edited by Jamie Roberts

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Mani--since you're always asking this of others--maybe you could tone down the rhetoric a little eh?

 

You're not the only one who still shoots and uses film alongside an M8. And maybe--just maybe--you should process the M8 files a little more before you decide on the overall quality of the file

It generally takes me a year of intense processing and shooting to get the best out of a digital camera, but maybe I'm just slow.

 

But there are / were professional master printers here who have expressed genuine amazement at how well the m8 files hold up under enlargement.

 

It was David Adamson who compared the M8 files *in 30 by 40 inch prints* to medium format film and I assure you he isn't smoking crack, and likely knows more about exhibition printing than most of the forum members put together.

 

Adamson Editions Atelier - Adamson Gallery

 

For my own part, while I still use an M3 and M6 professionally (and yes--with drum scans on occasion!), the M8 has been able to exceed my expectations with proper processing.

 

To my eyes the final results are more different than better or worse, but the M8 certainly holds its own in large prints and has characteristics, properly processed, I find hard to match with 35mm film.

 

I think my tongue-in-cheek tone should have been evident to all.

 

As I said, I'm more than happy with the results from the M8 (particularly since I switched raw developers), but I take exception to the contention that film cannot match the M8's output.

 

I deal with digital MF images every day in my work. The M8 output is extremely good but I personally do not accept that it matches what is possible with MF backs. Evidently your experience is different.

 

Unfortunately I don't use film at the moment. As I've said elsewhere, I sold my film Ms because they were sitting unused in a drawer. I seriously regret this now, but I'm not really sure when I'll be getting back to it - film is a luxury item, to be honest.

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In a nutshell, I believe we should be rejoicing at the many options we have available to us as photographers rather than re-hashing the digital-film debate. An image should stand on its own based upon content. So it is simply a matter of selecting that tool and medium which best serves your artistic vision.

 

Yes!!! I'm finishing up building a darkroom- first time I'll have a permanent darkroom in a decade or two.

 

Although 90% of my pics are digital (almost all M8), there is something tactile and something anticipatory about doing darkroom B&W 120/220 film stuff.

 

So, the darkroom goes in. The cost is almost nothing; I have some old stuff; and people are quite literally throwing old darkroom equipment out. My latest enlarger, an Omega B-66 xl was picked up this morning...

 

JohnS.

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