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Author Topic: enlargements - digital vs film  (Read 26675 times)
jing q
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« Reply #80 on: October 18, 2007, 01:10:53 PM »
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You're comparing 6x7cm film to a DSLR; the film has nearly 5x the area of a full-frame DSLR sensor. How about comparing 35mm film scan to a DSLR RAW, which was what the OP was asking about. Or better yet, compare your film to a RAW from a Phase One P45+?
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an Aptus75s file can probably match up to 6x7 film. I've compared my 100G 6x7 Mamiya 7 files scanned on an Imacon scanner to my Aptus75s. One of my favourite images is shot on a Mamiya 7, underexposed by a stop and a half due to severe lighting constraints (it was raining), and then cropped ALOT to get to this [a href=\"http://superhyperreal.com/SGIdgrass640.jpg]http://superhyperreal.com/SGIdgrass640.jpg[/url]
of course you can't tell from a web image...but it's soooo beautiful when printed.
love my aptus files too but I find that I have to do alot of micro sharpening to come close to the grittiness of a slide film shot. (I admit I like the grittiness of real skin, I'm not fond of plastic.)

And thank you Rob C...for a moment I thought no one else enjoyed the grain of film

btw here in NYC many editorial photographers still shoot film and scan it.
Personally I wouldn't risk shooting film for jobs...just too stressful to take it to the lab and wait for the results. =P

I hope we can appreciate both ends of the arguments, I don't think that one enlarges "better" than another in all situations, but there are some situations where each medium has its benefits.

p.s. just enlarged a 1dsmkii file to 42 x 60 inches at 250 dpi...going through 3 passes of sharpening (1 local contrast,1 very fine radius sharpening and 1 more round of more general sharpening) brought out a very nice gritty texture somewhat film-like!I'm quite pleased.would be nice to have more microdetail on that file but oh well!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 03:09:26 PM by jing q » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #81 on: October 18, 2007, 02:21:24 PM »
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I hope we can appreciate both ends of the arguments, I don't think that one enlarges "better" than another in all situations, but there are some situations where each medium has its benefits.
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Now here's something I can agree with completely.
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djgarcia
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« Reply #82 on: October 18, 2007, 04:47:08 PM »
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OK, since I was working on some similarly flavored material, I offer as fodder these 1Ds MkII files - the whole & two 100% crops. Just be gentle, please ...

Full Image
100% Crop 1
100% Crop 2

Don't know whether they help the discussion or not ....
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Diapositivo
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« Reply #83 on: October 18, 2007, 05:02:12 PM »
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I found a few days ago this interesting comparison by Roger Clark between traditional enlarging and digital printing. I did not want to prolong an infinite discussion but I think this adds to the matter

http://www.users.qwest.net/%7Ernclark/digital_advantage.htm

The author of the comparison rightly states that the digital print is, when viewed at distance, superior to the optical enlargement. I think we can all agree with that, I did distance myself a couple of steps from the monitor and I do agree.

Still I would like to say that, when seen from near, digital is blotchy and traditional is continuous, does not fall apart, as is in the nature of the analogic world, "natura non facit saltus".

Now the obvious question arises: Who cares what the effect from near is? The important is what is the effect from a distance which is appropriate to the dimensions of the picture!

I do agree.

I still remember though a photographic exhibition here in Rome - Palazzo delle Esposizioni, pictures from Afghanistan, they were printed so huge one had to stay near the middle of the room to enjoy them. No point in getting nearer, really. Images had their lower end at 1 m high and where probably 2 m high or more (that was in 2002 or 2001 and I can't remember well)..

No point in getting near, but obeying to human nature not just I but every person in the room (also) went near the pictures to put their nose in the texture of the print. That's just inevitable. We human beings want to explore details, we want to put our nose in it, we want to see what the picture is made of. It is like opening the toy to see what's inside, there's no escape.

Well, I shall say, if you don't put an obstacle between the pictures and the observer (if the observer of the large billboard print is free to get near, as he will certainly do) the traditional print looks better to me, because you see tones and not blotches. You would not make a sense of the "tones" as of the blotches, but "tones" are better.

I suppose you can create the same effect in digital (continuous tones lacking detail and contrast due to the extreme enlargement) but it could just be a waste of energy.

I think the provocative statement which has originated the discussion might be translated as: conventional printing looks better, if the print is really big and the observer can (and therefore will) get near the picture until he sees the "structure", the atomic components of it.

Cheers
Fabrizio
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bjanes
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« Reply #84 on: October 18, 2007, 05:49:00 PM »
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I found a few days ago this interesting comparison by Roger Clark between traditional enlarging and digital printing. I did not want to prolong an infinite discussion but I think this adds to the matter

http://www.users.qwest.net/%7Ernclark/digital_advantage.htm

The author of the comparison rightly states that the digital print is, when viewed at distance, superior to the optical enlargement. I think we can all agree with that, I did distance myself a couple of steps from the monitor and I do agree.

Still I would like to say that, when seen from near, digital is blotchy and traditional is continuous, does not fall apart, as is in the nature of the analogic world, "natura non facit saltus".

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147028\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

IMHO, the Lightjet print pretty well matches the drum scan, which shows considerable sharpening artifact. As Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe have shown, it difficult to judge how the print will look from viewing the sharpened image on the screen. Roger has the print and I defer judgement to him.

I do not know when or how the sharpening was applied, but many drum scan operators oversharpen the image. Bruce recommended that one should request no sharpening with drum scans. Sharpening can be applied by analog means, but I doubt that any was applied to the print from the custom lab.

Bill
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KAP
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« Reply #85 on: October 18, 2007, 05:56:02 PM »
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And that's completely pointless unless you're taking magnification factor between film and print into account. If you're making 20x25" print, the grain structure of an 8x10 negative will be far less prominent in the print than that of a 35mm negative. A 5550 DPI scan of a 35mm negative would print less than 17 inches in the narrow dimension.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=146977\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's film scanned at 5550 dpi, make of it what you like, obviously a 35mm scanned at that resolution will not enlarge as big as larger formats, but it would still be a big file. Perhaps a 24inch or bigger at a guess, the grain on the print will not be anymore noticable than the 6x7 printed at 4ft. I can't print that big from my Canon without some upsizing and mot people don't have 16 million pixels to start with.
The grain argument for digital over film keeps cropping up, but it need not be a factor with the correct choice of film, plus the better gradation of  film is obvious from further away at  distances you can't see grain or digital artifacts in prints. The smoothness often mentioned in digital files is lack of colour gradation and detail to my eyes, the very things that get watered down when software upsizing is applied in large doses.
You have choices with film, digital you are stuck with a given sensor and it's electronics etc for all your pictures.
Like I said it's film scanned at 5550dpi how that translates to what you or anyone else wants from it is up to the individual. If I know I'm going to print large I shoot film, 6x7 in my case.

Kevin.
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KAP
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« Reply #86 on: October 18, 2007, 06:14:23 PM »
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It's film scanned at 5550 dpi, make of it what you like, obviously a 35mm scanned at that resolution will not enlarge as big as larger formats, but it would still be a big file. Perhaps a 24inch or bigger at a guess, the grain on the print will not be anymore noticable than the 6x7 printed at 4ft. I can't print that big from my Canon without some upsizing and mot people don't have 16 million pixels to start with.
The grain argument for digital over film keeps cropping up, but it need not be a factor with the correct choice of film, plus the better gradation of  film is obvious from further away at  distances you can't see grain or digital artifacts in prints. The smoothness often mentioned in digital files is lack of colour gradation and detail to my eyes, the very things that get watered down when software upsizing is applied in large doses.
You have choices with film, digital you are stuck with a given sensor and it's electronics etc for all your pictures.
Like I said it's film scanned at 5550dpi how that translates to what you or anyone else wants from it is up to the individual. If I know I'm going to print large I shoot film, 6x7 in my case.

Kevin.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147042\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sticking with MF for now, something like the mamiya 7, quality lenses, light weight and cheap compared with pro digital DSLR.
Looking at the crop with the speed limit sign in, show me the DSLR file that could be upsized to 48 inches and produce a clearly readable sign in the dark shade like the one I posted. I think we all know it does not happen.
I believe the shot I used was taken on a Plaubel Makina 67.

Kevin.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #87 on: October 20, 2007, 02:44:12 AM »
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I think you'll find most digital shooters will agree that you can dig much further into the shadows of a digital file than a film scan and extract actual subject-based shadow detail. Film may have more "texture" than digital, but that is hardly the same as actual subject detail. The smoothness of digital files as far more to do with the fact that it isn't capturing a bunch of false grain-based-texture than any inherent superiority of film. Try comparing prints to the original subject instead of preconceived notions of "texture" and you'll see what I mean.
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Rob C
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« Reply #88 on: October 20, 2007, 03:39:57 AM »
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Fabrizio

Did you manage to see the Trevi running red?

Vandalism is such a dumb thing; perhaps it was the new Red Brigades!

Ciao - Rob C
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KAP
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« Reply #89 on: October 20, 2007, 08:30:50 AM »
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I think you'll find most digital shooters will agree that you can dig much further into the shadows of a digital file than a film scan and extract actual subject-based shadow detail. Film may have more "texture" than digital, but that is hardly the same as actual subject detail. The smoothness of digital files as far more to do with the fact that it isn't capturing a bunch of false grain-based-texture than any inherent superiority of film. Try comparing prints to the original subject instead of preconceived notions of "texture" and you'll see what I mean.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147335\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you honestly think you could enlarge a DSLR file to that size and you think you would see a sharp "5" as is on that sign, you are living in dreamland. I can't believe anyone would argue differently.

Kevin.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #90 on: October 20, 2007, 09:44:39 AM »
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The only time fim has any parity at all with digital is when it has an imaging area advantage of 4X or more. In the comparison you're making, the film has about a 4.7X size advantage. And while you may be getting a bit more detail doing your appples-to-oranges mismatch, you're getting a lot more noise in the form of film grain to go with it. If you take a 24x36mm crop from your film scan, and compare THAT to a DSLR file, even the 1Ds classic will beat it handily. More detail, less noise, smoother tonality, you name it. Your scan is much softer than a DSLR file, and has much higher noise levels. A DSLR RAW would have to be upsized to nearly 2X its original pixel dimensions to be that mushy, and have to have a lot of noise added or be shot at a much higher ISO to look that grainy.

Try doing a head-to-head comparison shooting the same subject with your 6x7 and 1Ds-II, and post links to the film scan and the RAW, like Michael did with the1Ds and 6x4.5. You might be surprised at the results.

And yes, I most certainly could get a readable "5" off that sign with my 1Ds, or even my 1D-MkII. It wouldn't have as many pixels, but the pixels it did have would be clearer and less noisy and able to upsize much more than your film scan without falling apart.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 10:05:33 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #91 on: October 20, 2007, 11:22:29 AM »
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I find DSLR's struggle with this kind of scene, you to often get a banding somewhere.

After shooting over 120,000 frames with Canon DSLRs in all sorts of conditions, ISO ranging from 100-1600, in studio, outside, you name it, I'd say banding is a non-issue unless you've underexposed more than 1.5 stops. If you're getting banding, either you're doing something wrong, or you have a serious camera problem.

At any rate, I offer this counterexample to your 6x7 film scan, a 1Ds image upsized to 6144x4088. Here is a web-sized version:

[attachment=3620:attachment]

The highlighted area represents the location of this crop:

[attachment=3621:attachment]

A similarly dark area, similarly sized  text is just as legible if not more so, even at the top where the lighting is even poorer than in your example.

See any banding anywhere?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 02:00:52 PM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

djgarcia
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« Reply #92 on: October 20, 2007, 11:32:44 AM »
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Dang - mine goes only to 160. Is that a Vette with a Ferrari bear?
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« Reply #93 on: October 20, 2007, 11:44:32 AM »
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It would appear the owner has mixed brand loyalties...but a very nice Vette.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #94 on: October 21, 2007, 02:21:04 PM »
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Hi!

I feel I tend to gravitate in favor of digital. On film I used Pentax 67 with a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro and I'm using an Sony Alpha 100 right now. I feel that I may get better image quality from the Sony Alpha then what I can get from the 67 on Provia or Velvia. Not really shure, not having done any "scientific comparisons".

Best regards

Erik

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I was recently told by a photographer friend of mine that  film cameras are recommended when you would like your prints in large size ; for ex 24" x 30" or more. Compared to film, digital files appear grainy when it is enlarged even though  you print at the maximum resolution in a 10 mp camera. The pictures from 35mm cameras can be enlarged and still retain the sharpness of the image.

I'd appreciate if anyone convince me or throw more light on this belief. I own a 10mp digital SLR.
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Jason Denning
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« Reply #95 on: October 22, 2007, 06:01:02 PM »
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Hi Jing,

I'm not sure you are scanning your film correctly as I can get a better file with more detail with my mamiya 645 and a minotla multi pro scanner than any 40mp digital back. It will be at least 60mp before digital beats 645. 6x7 should be in excess of 120mp.

Jason

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an Aptus75s file can probably match up to 6x7 film. I've compared my 100G 6x7 Mamiya 7 files scanned on an Imacon scanner to my Aptus75s. One of my favourite images is shot on a Mamiya 7, underexposed by a stop and a half due to severe lighting constraints (it was raining), and then cropped ALOT to get to this http://superhyperreal.com/SGIdgrass640.jpg
of course you can't tell from a web image...but it's soooo beautiful when printed.
love my aptus files too but I find that I have to do alot of micro sharpening to come close to the grittiness of a slide film shot. (I admit I like the grittiness of real skin, I'm not fond of plastic.)

And thank you Rob C...for a moment I thought no one else enjoyed the grain of film

btw here in NYC many editorial photographers still shoot film and scan it.
Personally I wouldn't risk shooting film for jobs...just too stressful to take it to the lab and wait for the results. =P

I hope we can appreciate both ends of the arguments, I don't think that one enlarges "better" than another in all situations, but there are some situations where each medium has its benefits.

p.s. just enlarged a 1dsmkii file to 42 x 60 inches at 250 dpi...going through 3 passes of sharpening (1 local contrast,1 very fine radius sharpening and 1 more round of more general sharpening) brought out a very nice gritty texture somewhat film-like!I'm quite pleased.would be nice to have more microdetail on that file but oh well!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=146991\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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« Reply #96 on: October 23, 2007, 12:49:12 AM »
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Hi Jing,

I'm not sure you are scanning your film correctly as I can get a better file with more detail with my mamiya 645 and a minotla multi pro scanner than any 40mp digital back. It will be at least 60mp before digital beats 645. 6x7 should be in excess of 120mp.

The original 1Ds (11MP) can beat all but the best drum scans of 645 in terms of noise and overall detail, and closely matches the drum scan. Have a look at this head-to-head comparison:

http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/came...1ds-field.shtml

If you think 645 film will outperform a P45+ MFDB you're sadly mistaken.
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Rob C
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« Reply #97 on: October 23, 2007, 04:06:22 AM »
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Does it really matter who is "right"?

Thereīs no point in throwing too many facts and figures around because, at the end of the day, unless we are mega-rich or have an employer/client(s) with big pockets picking up the bills, photography remains, as with everything else in life, a matter of what one can afford.

I have been a successful pro and during those long years I had top-of-the-range tools; now, with the working years behind me, I face a totally different ball-game where justification of expenditure is more strict than ever it was.

Photography still remains the number one consideration in my life - other than family - and I just get on with what I can afford to do. I donīt enjoy it any the less, other than missing the highs of calendar assignments and all that provided, so why really get oneīs knickers in a twist about theoretical problems which will probably always remain theoretical throughout oneīs life?

Live it to enjoy it; donīt fret about what MIGHT be if you had the funds - perhaps not a lot would change in your work/talent/ equation anyhow.

Rob C
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #98 on: October 23, 2007, 11:03:52 AM »
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You are correct that everyone is limited by what they can afford. But for the majority of people who can afford at least a decent entry-level DSLR, discussing the actual merits and shortcomings of digital and film, as opposed to blindly repeating traditionalistic dogma, can be of benefit to the average joe.
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DonWeston
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« Reply #99 on: October 23, 2007, 12:16:58 PM »
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You are correct that everyone is limited by what they can afford. But for the majority of people who can afford at least a decent entry-level DSLR, discussing the actual merits and shortcomings of digital and film, as opposed to blindly repeating traditionalistic dogma, can be of benefit to the average joe.
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This argument has been going on since 2001 or before. I remember having conversations back when I had been using my original Canon D30 in 2001. I had beend using a Hasselblad for the last 15 yrs or so and could not believe how good the prints from the D30 looked at 12x18. I was taken for a heretic or worse. Same thing today. Still have a 4x5 but haven't used it in a couple of years. The latest 10mp crop of dslr cameras from any of the companies will make beautiful prints up to 20x30 compared favorably to anything I shot from the Hasselblad, when viewed from a couple of feet like you DID in the film days[not at 300%+ on a monitor]. What it may lack in Mb size in the file it makes up with just the low noise and tone one once expected from only larger then 35mm film prints back in the day. Jmho...Bottomline if you use film and like it, fine. Continue using it, but for one I will be looking forward to the next generations of dslrs coming out in the future. Would love to have a new Hassy digital but am more then satisfied at even present levels, no replacement for vision and good technique at any cost level...
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