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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 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
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 ?
Steve - I'm a bit confused. I get that film can capture a wider DR - but that's because it's compressing the DR for later output isn't it?

To determine the DR at scanning time, I suppose what we need to know is what is the max attenuation of the darkest areas on the negative (i.e. the brightest areas on the original scene). That will represent one extreme of the DR and the other extreme will be the unattenuated input light (minus perhaps the base attenuation of the emulsion).

My intuition tells me that this range will not be huge. A typical Olympus m43 camera will give a DR of 12 stops. This represents 2^12, or a dynamic brightness range of 1:4096. A good LCD monitor might manage 1:1000 and a print typically a lot less - maybe 1:100 if you're lucky and more likely 1:64.

Bottom line - I can't see that "scanning" a negative by using a m43 camera can compromise DR at all given a decent set up.
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Old 17th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

While I agree with Paul's analysis, I still think that there can be problems scanning film. I have memories of a B&W neg of a fairly contrasty subject, eyeballing the neg I could see detail and texture in shadow and highlight areas, but they got lost in scanning. Mind you, I had an opportunity to use my rusty darkroom skills on it and it was still a beast there - took an awful lot of dodging and burning (the darkroom equivalent of HDR) to coax anything out of it.

I think this is a case of The Engineer's Mantra - In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

And Steve - yes, you can do HDR with an E-M5 Mk I. Just take some shots at different exposures and merge the raw files later

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

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While I agree with Paul's analysis, I still think that there can be problems scanning film. I have memories of a B&W neg of a fairly contrasty subject, eyeballing the neg I could see detail and texture in shadow and highlight areas, but they got lost in scanning.
I don't think that contrast is equivalent to DR is it? Contrast is the range of tones available, whereas DR is how bright/dark the extremes are. However, I can see that the ability to discriminate the tones on a negative might be tough. Maybe a bright light is needed to distinguish tones within the darker areas which would cause the lighter areas to overexpose. Maybe some multi-pass scan is needed to make sure that all the available tones can be extracted? I must admit, I'm looking at this from a theoretical perspective without a lot of experience of neg scanning - so I could be completely wrong!!


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Mind you, I had an opportunity to use my rusty darkroom skills on it and it was still a beast there - took an awful lot of dodging and burning (the darkroom equivalent of HDR) to coax anything out of it.
I guess this is because the DR of the print is lower than the negative.
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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I don't think that contrast is equivalent to DR is it? Contrast is the range of tones available, whereas DR is how bright/dark the extremes are. However, I can see that the ability to discriminate the tones on a negative might be tough. Maybe a bright light is needed to distinguish tones within the darker areas which would cause the lighter areas to overexpose. Maybe some multi-pass scan is needed to make sure that all the available tones can be extracted? I must admit, I'm looking at this from a theoretical perspective without a lot of experience of neg scanning - so I could be completely wrong!!
Paul - I used the term "contrasty" rather loosely, which I shouldn't have done given the topic, sorry. I meant that the subject had fairly high dynamic range.

Your description of multi-pass neg scanning with varying intensity of light is of course exactly what we call HDR in other contexts! And yes, I think it is the answer.

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I guess this is because the DR of the print is lower than the negative.
More precisely, the DR of the printing paper is lower than what is on the negative. Again, the DR of the print, which is the output, has little to do with this, which is the input to the printing step.

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Old 18th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

On my monitor at least, the examples shown are of largely disappointing colour and, perhaps more seriously, rather inconsistent colour (between the digital results). This suggests that little attempt was made to make a logical comparison based on comparable settings and processing. The shots are basically snaps and not produced under controlled conditions. It all seems a bit pointless, really.

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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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On my monitor at least, the examples shown are of largely disappointing colour and, perhaps more seriously, rather inconsistent colour (between the digital results). This suggests that little attempt was made to make a logical comparison based on comparable settings and processing. The shots are basically snaps and not produced under controlled conditions. It all seems a bit pointless, really.

Ian
I think that's a bit harsh Ian. It may not be a perfectly controlled scientific test, but the images were clearly all taken at about the same time in the same lighting with three different cameras. Sure, there will be differences apart from the change of camera, but I think nonetheless that you get some impression of the film vs digital differences. I'm not aware of any similar side-by-side real-world comparison like this.
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Old 18th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

I've read through the following article on the RFF and will look again at camera scanning based on what I've learnt, eg to use manual rather than aperture priority, the principle being to have quite a 'flat' scan of the negative, then tweak it in PP.
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=161028
I've personally book marked posts #186, 193, 202 but there's more to read for sure. I particularly like the Washi rice paper of #213.

With regard to camera scanning a 35mm negative with a micro four thirds camera, if my arithmetic is correct, the sensor utilisation is (3x2) / (4x3) X 16MP. Could be a problem!
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Old 18th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

Referenced in the RFF link posted above, but you have to search http://www.mfphotography.ca/michael-...digital-camera definitely worth a read if you have interest in 'camera scanning' film.
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Old 19th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Referenced in the RFF link posted above, but you have to search http://www.mfphotography.ca/michael-...digital-camera definitely worth a read if you have interest in 'camera scanning' film.
That's an interesting article Steve. The author does confirm my earlier post that the DR of a modern digital camera is not in any way an impediment to scanning negatives:

Quote:
Another misunderstanding of DSLR scanning is that the dynamic range captured on film cannot be accurately photographed by a digital camera, even one with "only" 14 stops of DR, such as the Nikon D800/D800E/D810, and others. This results from a complete misunderstanding of how film - particularly negative film - actually works. Did you ever notice how low contrast your negatives look - especially your colour negatives? This low contrast is real; during development, the dynamic range of the scene you photographed (which could easily be >14 stops on a bright sunny day) was compressed into a very small density range on the film; perhaps 9 stops (a density range of 3.0), which is more than adequately covered by any modern DSLR or mirrorless camera.
With HiRes stitching on Olympus cameras excellent results should be achievable. Not only will the resolution be high, but colour accuracy will be impressive too. This is so since the sensor-shift technology assures that every point on the image gets each of the RGB sensels exposed and so delivers very accurate colour reproduction.
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
I think that's a bit harsh Ian. It may not be a perfectly controlled scientific test, but the images were clearly all taken at about the same time in the same lighting with three different cameras. Sure, there will be differences apart from the change of camera, but I think nonetheless that you get some impression of the film vs digital differences. I'm not aware of any similar side-by-side real-world comparison like this.
n
I don't mean to be harsh, but I do mean that I find little value in what was presented. Without results taken under carefully controlled conditions it'e very difficult to make any useful conclusions. Just about the only thing I came away with was that the film results were sometimes noticeably grainier. I'd find it more useful to listen to what the photographer thought after he/she had spent a reasonable amount of time doing comparisons over a number jobs and conditions.

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Old 19th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

Some of us prefer random grain to regular geometric sensor noise. Add a rough border (by taking a file to the negative holder, or a rough cut cardboard frame) and possibly sprocket holes visible, and you have 21st C nostalgia
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Old 19th October 2017
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Re: Digitial vs Film - a real-world comparison

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Add a rough border (by taking a file to the negative holder, or a rough cut cardboard frame) and possibly sprocket holes visible, and you have 21st C nostalgia
Particularly if it's a slide that's projected the wrong way round!

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