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Nostalgia Nexus - early and pre-digital discussion Want to discuss the really early days of digital and even film - here is the place for you.

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Old 15th October 2017
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Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

I thought this was an interesting piece, complete with a set of digital vs film examples. I can certainly tell the difference between the two, but I can't say that I prefer one or the other. They're different, that's all I can say:

http://www.streetsilhouettes.com/hom...al-versus-film

The low-light performance of film is technically inferior of course - as the shot in dim interior light on Portra 800 shows.
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Old 15th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

I didn't read any further than this (though perhaps I should!):

"Modern digital photography gets a bad rap, when it comes to the way we assess the character of digital capture. We think it's without character."

A camera is a scientific/technical piece of equipment, designed to capture what it 'sees' as accurately as possible. Any 'character' it introduces is a defect in the capturing process.

If a scene is captured accurately, any amount of 'character' can be introduced later - eg with Photoshop. Conversely, if an image is captured with 'character' as a result of optical or film/digital sensor deficiencies, it is often difficult or impossible to remove it.

Early camera manufacturers and film makers would have killed to get the results we get with digital cameras, and wouldn't have whinged about 'lack of character'! Does anyone really miss the clicks, pops and hiss from a shellac 78 played with a steel needle on a wind up gramophone?

An analogy:
If I listen to music, it's accompanied by a constant high pitched hiss as a result of my tinnitus. My damaged hearing adds 'character' (though undesirable) to anything I listen to. If my ears were perfect, I could always add this 'character' to music if I wanted, by adding a loud background hiss - eg by miss-tuning a radio.

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Old 15th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

You would get the same variations if you tested a batch of different emulsions or a batch of different digital sensors. Lots of people on this forum have said that they like the rendering from the Kodak sensors (if I have got the right one) in the Olympus DSLRs.
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Old 15th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

The person who put the comparison together is missing the point of film altogether, which planet is he on...

Another more interesting view: http://emulsive.org/articles/return-...6465-189261701
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Old 16th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
The person who put the comparison together is missing the point of film altogether, which planet is he on...

Another more interesting view: http://emulsive.org/articles/return-...6465-189261701
Steve - I agree that the guy's analysis is somewhat lacking in technical correctness - especially the comments on DR, which are just wrong. However, I did appreciate the images he provided which I thought told their own story. To my eyes, I think I actually prefer the M9 images, although they all have their own signature. Pretty girl too - lovely smile!
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

Steve - just read some of those articles on emulsion.org. Interesting. The articles by Tom Rayfield where he goes through various B&W films and developers to find the "best" are interesting. However, I must say that I really find the grain and lack of sharpness on nearly all the examples he provides to be distracting. I understand that film comes with its own "character", but when that character distracts from the overall image then I'm thinking "what's the point?".

On the positive side, I read a few other articles and it's convinced me to give my OM-1 another run - probably with Pan-F and Rodinol to mix it up a bit (last attempt was HP5 and Ilfosol). I can see now though why in the days of film professionals tended to use medium format for anything half serious!
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

Personally I don't try to compare 35mm film against digital, certainly not for sharpness since most digital cameras will beat film hands down, but film has phenomenal dynamic range of up to 18 stops if you take the toe and shoulder into consideration. To extract the maximum benefit of film, one needs to consider exposure and development as being intimately linked, working together, for instance to be expand or contract tonal separation. Film has many possibilities and the prospect of experimentation is part of the fun for me, for instance pushing for the gritty looking effect, using outdated film for the unknowns such as colour shift (when I get around to doing colour, that is).

It's historical record, we all know that film was developed for darkroom enlargements, wet processed, and nothing looks better than a silver gelatin printed skilfully. But few of us have access to a true darkroom and instead have to make do with a hybrid solution of scanning for subsequent printing, or just for sharing electronically on social media. But scanning is the weakest link, almost the Achilles Heel of the wet-dry process. It's quite difficult to get right with budgetary constraints. I'm using a Plustek with Silverfast, but it's slow and the software itself is less than intuitive. I'm currently having a go at digital camera scanning using a copy stand and an enlarger lens - I'm pursuing the enlarger lens since it's supposed to offer superior flat field performance compared to a camera lens. So basically I'm experimenting and it gives me something to do photographically in the winter months.
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

I was quite pleased with the Kodachrome 2s that I took in the 60s and 70s taken with a good quality SLR, but revisiting them now they're rubbish compared with those I now take with a DSLR.

Jim
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

I always thought Kodachtome produced magical results, if correctly exposed. Very unforgiving, much like a digital camera for highlights, and what's more muddy blacks and shadows if underexposed. I think latitude was a matter of +/- 1/2 stop for excellence.

It's a personal thing, but I do not go out of my way to compare film with digital.
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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I always thought Kodachtome produced magical results, if correctly exposed. Very unforgiving, much like a digital camera for highlights, and what's more muddy blacks and shadows if underexposed. I think latitude was a matter of +/- 1/2 stop for excellence.
Yes, I used a Western Master IV(?) lightmeter with an 'invercone' for measuring exposure.

Jim
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Old 17th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
...scanning is the weakest link, almost the Achilles Heel of the wet-dry process. It's quite difficult to get right with budgetary constraints. I'm using a Plustek with Silverfast, but it's slow and the software itself is less than intuitive. I'm currently having a go at digital camera scanning using a copy stand and an enlarger lens - I'm pursuing the enlarger lens since it's supposed to offer superior flat field performance compared to a camera lens. So basically I'm experimenting and it gives me something to do photographically in the winter months.
I tried using a macro lens and bellows arrangement for slide copying using my E-M5 MkI and a Zuiko 50mm f/3.5 macro lens. It's much quicker than using a scanner but the results are inferior to my Nikon LS-40 film scanner. The scanner has better dynamic range and the results are sharper despite my E-M5 MkI's theoretically better resolution. It takes a couple of minutes to scan a slide though, more if you use the post-processing options in Nikon Scan. I needed to tweak the software to get it to run on Windows 10 - there are some useful hints on the web. I also have an Epson 4990 flatbed scanner but it's not good enough for 35mm slides.
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Old 17th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
I tried using a macro lens and bellows arrangement for slide copying using my E-M5 MkI and a Zuiko 50mm f/3.5 macro lens. It's much quicker than using a scanner but the results are inferior to my Nikon LS-40 film scanner. The scanner has better dynamic range and the results are sharper despite my E-M5 MkI's theoretically better resolution. It takes a couple of minutes to scan a slide though, more if you use the post-processing options in Nikon Scan. I needed to tweak the software to get it to run on Windows 10 - there are some useful hints on the web. I also have an Epson 4990 flatbed scanner but it's not good enough for 35mm slides.
I've tried the EM5 MK 1 with an enlarger lens, and corner to corner sharpness is very good. The DxO's DR rating of Mk1 is quoted as roughly 12, so in theory it should be good enough for at least web sharing, or maybe 10x8's if printing. But in post processing B&Ws I'm finding the image files don't hold up too well (I'll post a sample). One issue of course is fitting a 3x2 original on a 4x3 sensor at 1:1. Clearly this isn't possible, so one's left with unused pixel real estate, or a crop.
I've heard glowing reviews of the EM5 Mk2 used in high definition sensor shift mode.
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

The dynamic range in a scene that film can record, and the dynamic range of the resulting image on the slide/negative, are of course two completely different things. If you are using a camera to "scan" the film and are having trouble persuading it to see detail in highlights/shadows, some sort of HDR merge should cope pretty easily. Some scanner drivers may also offer something similar, but I don't know about that.

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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

Yes, I'm a bit confused as to why DR is an issue for neg scanning. It only needs to be as good as the output medium - which for either print or screen will be less than even our puny m43 sensors can do. If the DR on your copy rig is too high, just turn down the lamp!

DR in the real world is important because we're trying to compress reality's DR (maybe 20+ stops) into something our output media can handle. Film does this better than digital (with today's digital technology).
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

B&W film is capable of 18 stops, but of course it needs to compressed for printing. This is normally accomplished by over exposure to lift above the toe, then compressed by development. When it comes to 'scanning' we are very interested in DR and dMAX. Cheap scanners such as the plustek 7xxx and 8xxx don't do too well when it comes to dMAX, around 3.2 I recollect. There's a setting in S/W to scan twice at different bulb intensities. Can you do HDR with an EM5 Mk1 ?
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