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Author Topic: Ken Rockwell knocks Luminous Landscape  (Read 44234 times)
dwdallam
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« Reply #100 on: July 06, 2008, 02:24:55 AM »
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Sure I get gear for review, on loan, just as do dozens if not hundreds of other magazine and web journalists around the world each month.

What's your point? Does "access" in your mind equate to being somehow beholden to or "bought". Come one! Really.

When I write a negative review, which I do often enough, does that mean I have to pay them?

No reply needed. This is simply too tedious.

Michael
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Doesn't MR get access to new photo equipment by the camera manufacturers? For review...and (of course beneficial to the manufacturer) exposure on his website?
Just curious.

It doesn't matter if you get 10 million a month. If your analysis stands up to scrutiny, it's as good as any information.  The test information stands on it's own regardless of any other variable.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #101 on: July 06, 2008, 02:34:27 AM »
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Oh, I see. So every such magazine or even web site with information should be dismissed because they are not peer reviewed scientific journals and the authors of such articles are not looking for tenure at a university, so we'll just dismiss them.
Apparently they are important to you. Maybe you could suggest where, aside from say Rogers' site you suggest we go for such critically defined scientific information on digital imaging.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=205765\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's not his point and you know it.

You doubted RC's credentials, and bjanes stuck you on your comment. And the above is what you responded with. Not fair dog and you know it.

RC is a authority on this subject. RC has proven he is an authority on the subject not only because he understands the physics behind it (proven by his university degree and his work at NASA), but because he has written scientifically peer reviewed essays published in peer reviewed journals demonstrating his understanding of the subject. The conclusion is that If we should not dismiss your understanding of the subject, then surely, surely, we should not dismiss RC's either. And when it comes right down to who is the alpha male or female in science, it's those who publish their experiments -- that is, prove to the the scientific community that their ideas posses the sort of depth and accuracy and are thus to be reasoned with, not dismissed.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 02:40:06 AM by dwdallam » Logged

dwdallam
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« Reply #102 on: July 06, 2008, 02:44:04 AM »
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Ken the scientist (Rocket or otherwise):
From the piece on color management which I'd find easy to dismiss:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/adobe-rgb.htm
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I know this stuff. Did you know I conceived the world's first dedicated digital colorspace converter chip, the TMC2272, back in 1990 when I worked at TRW LSI Products? I've been working with the matrix math, hardware and software that does this for decades. I also coined the word "gigacolors," for use with 36-bit and 48-bit color data. I was only kidding, but the word is still used. TRW LSI was a small, ultra-creative division of TRW, and I got away putting the same mirth I use on this website into the datasheets I wrote. The industry copied us and the word lives on. --KR

That's pretty impressive though, the TMC2272. Obviously not a moron.
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Slough
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« Reply #103 on: July 06, 2008, 04:43:13 AM »
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I watched a program on PBS where digital scientist were working to restore 1920s silent film and they were saying they were glad they had the celluloid to digitally extract the information from the old film because there was much more information on the old film than could be recorded at that time--around 2004--with the best digital video recorders. They concluded that when a digital image is recorded at X resoilution, it's fixed at that resolution., no matter how far technology goes. Whereas when you extrac the detail from film, it's head room continues to surpass the best digital imagning hardware in the world, so as scanners get better, you continue to see more detail from the film. You just have to "extract it."

So if that is wrong, please--show evidence. I'm interested in understanding why scientist in the above program are wrong about their position.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I cannot comment on that film as I have not seen it. I will though add that I worked as a research scientist for many years and published in leading journals. One thing to note is that just because a 'scientist' has a PhD and publications to his name means not a lot if he/she is commenting on something outside of their narrow field of research. They can be just as prone as anyone else to talk nonsense when straying outside their field of expertise. That is just a gentle warning. As I say, I cannot comment on a film I have not seen, and I do not know the field of expertise of the scientists concerned. But note that it would have been B&W film, and that generally has more detail than colour. That MIGHT explain their comment. In other words, they might have been right, given a caveat.

But the sad truth is that there is so much nonsense talked about digital versus film, and some people get very animated on the subject.

That said, numerous people will tell you that in there experience, a 10-12 MP DSLR will beat 35mm colour slide film as far as resolution and DR are concerned. That is my position. I know that a D200 beats 100 ISO colour slide film as far as detail goes, and beats it in terms of DR. But there are far more respected and experienced people out there who say the same thing. Huge numbers of well known pros will agree with that statement, or one like it.  

Okay, so if you do not accept the word of me (I don't blame you), or experienced pros (that is harder to figure out), what about proof. Well, I think I gave you some corroboration earlier. But here it is again:

[a href=\"http://www.janrik.net/MiscSubj/2007/FilmVsDSLRTests20070528/A_Comparison_of_Film_and_DSLR_Images.html]http://www.janrik.net/MiscSubj/2007/FilmVs...SLR_Images.html[/url]

This is only an ISO 200 film, but then again the DSLR against which it is compared is only 6MP. This test has the advantage of not using a desktop scanner, hence you cannot argue that the desktop scanner is getting in the way. The fact that he uses a lab microscope to image the film indicates that he is getting all of the detail from the film.

Now here is the Clark view:

http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/fil...l.summary1.html

Notice how he gives a D70 as having the same spatial resolution as an ISO 200 film. And yet the earlier test shows the D70 to be much better. So maybe we can conclude that Clark's chart is biased against the DSLR, and that in fact a DSLR will perform better than he indicates/

Here is another view:

http://www.vildaphoto.net/nikond2x/

The above tests suffer from using a desktop scanner, but FWIW my tests using a lab microscope indicate that a good scanner (Minolta 5400 in my case) does get all the detail from a Fuji Provia 100F slide.

What we really need is a careful test using Velvia 50, 'scanned' using a low power lab microscope, compared with a ~12MP DSLR image, using the same subject and FOV.
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Slough
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« Reply #104 on: July 06, 2008, 04:51:34 AM »
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We're trying to work things out and we are working them out. We're becoming more and more focused on the argument as a whole, although it is taking some time to focus our abilities.

Count me out of the we. I worked it out years ago.
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Slough
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« Reply #105 on: July 06, 2008, 04:53:55 AM »
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I agree we should not bring up the unsupported comment KR makes anymore because those types of rumors never result in anything positive, even when they are proven to be false. It's a lose lose situation.

But the idea behind 4 x 5 scanned vs digital is interesting and worth discussing.
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Digital what? If you are going to make that sort of statement, you should at least be precise, rather than vague. That is Ken's domain.

Ken's test of scanned 4x5 film versus a D200 is crap. Of course 4x5 wins. It is a stuid pointless test. 4x5 slides cost a small fortune to buy and develop, and they are difficult to work with, as is the camera. A D200 is small, light, fairly cheap, and has a huge range of lenses. Ever tried using a 4x5 camera for macro shots of dragonflies? Basically Ken is a first rate self publicist, but a very bad engineer and a mediocre photographer. He is prone to saying very stupid things, and he is very egocentric. When he insults people like Art Morris, putting down their skill, and boasts about his own skill, he makes himself look a fool.
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Slough
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« Reply #106 on: July 06, 2008, 04:58:18 AM »
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I know this stuff. Did you know I conceived the world's first dedicated digital colorspace converter chip, the TMC2272, back in 1990 when I worked at TRW LSI Products? I've been working with the matrix math, hardware and software that does this for decades. I also coined the word "gigacolors," for use with 36-bit and 48-bit color data. I was only kidding, but the word is still used. TRW LSI was a small, ultra-creative division of TRW, and I got away putting the same mirth I use on this website into the datasheets I wrote. The industry copied us and the word lives on. --KR

That's pretty impressive though, the TMC2272. Obviously not a moron.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=205859\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The problem with Ken is that you just do not know how much is truth and how much is fantasy and self aggrandisement. I read his ''essay on MTF and came away confused. Now I happen to understand what an MTF plot is, and frankly I'm not sure Ken does. Having read some of his essays, I simply do not think that he has the analytical skills required to do high level mathematics. He may well have worked in a team on a product, but something tells me we are not being told the whole picture.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #107 on: July 06, 2008, 06:28:18 AM »
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Count me out of the we. I worked it out years ago.
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Then why post?
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dwdallam
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« Reply #108 on: July 06, 2008, 06:33:27 AM »
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Digital what? If you are going to make that sort of statement, you should at least be precise, rather than vague. That is Ken's domain.

Ken's test of scanned 4x5 film versus a D200 is crap. Of course 4x5 wins. It is a stuid pointless test. 4x5 slides cost a small fortune to buy and develop, and they are difficult to work with, as is the camera. A D200 is small, light, fairly cheap, and has a huge range of lenses. Ever tried using a 4x5 camera for macro shots of dragonflies? Basically Ken is a first rate self publicist, but a very bad engineer and a mediocre photographer. He is prone to saying very stupid things, and he is very egocentric. When he insults people like Art Morris, putting down their skill, and boasts about his own skill, he makes himself look a fool.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=205875\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What we have been talking about this entire thread. I truncated it so as not to retype the entire point of the thread. You can't fill in the blanks given the entire thread?
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dwdallam
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« Reply #109 on: July 06, 2008, 06:43:09 AM »
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One thing to note is that just because a 'scientist' has a PhD and publications to his name means not a lot if he/she is commenting on something outside of their narrow field of research.

snip


What we really need is a careful test using Velvia 50, 'scanned' using a low power lab microscope, compared with a ~12MP DSLR image, using the same subject and FOV.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=205872\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And you think I don't know that? If you had read my posts you would have seen that I'd stated that when we take a scientist's research seriously is at the time when and only when he or she publishes his or her findings with all of the evidence in peer reviewed journals, and then only after others have had time to digest the published material.

And if we don't have careful tests using your parameters above then reading other "tests" that do not conform to acceptable criteria is pointless. We either have definitive evidence or we do not. If not, then we need more evidence before we conclude.  You can trow up a million sites with charts done by 100s of "scientists" and if they all differ then none are conclusive. Well, one might be conclusive, but that remains to be seen.

It seems to me at this point that there needs to be a test done with agreed upon control groups, or baselines, from which to start, that all people agree is an equal starting place or foundation. It also seems that respected and non respected people have operated fast and loose in this comparison.

What I'd like to see is something like this:

1. 4x5 negative with everything as correct as can be--exposure, etc. You know, as good as can be captured and turned into a negative for scanning, as well as humanly possible.
2. The above scanned into digital format as best as humanly possible given X scanner--whatever is fair as a comparison goes. I think RWs point is that you can buy a scanner for 1/3 the price of a 1DS3 and have it scan the negative from a 4x5 well enough to get better results compared with X digital camera.
3. A digital camera taking the same image in the same light, yes yes, very scientific because we want to keep the controls exactly the same for both formats, the best the camera can capture that given control image.
3. 100% crops from each file; large format prints judged both on loupe and regular viewing distance; smaller prints, such as 12 x 18s same thing.

Yes, from this perspective RWs "test" is simply anecdotal. The least he could have done was shoot a still life in a studio environment.

Obviously, this sort of test either cannot be done, or it is incredibly difficult to compare both formats equally.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 06:58:27 AM by dwdallam » Logged

Slough
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« Reply #110 on: July 06, 2008, 06:47:47 AM »
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Then why post?
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You comment does not make sense. You made some statements using the term 'we' and I don't like someone telling me what I need to do, or what they think I understand.
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michael
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« Reply #111 on: July 06, 2008, 06:52:48 AM »
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It strikes me as remarkable that people are still debating this topic. This was hot from about 1999 to 2002. I can only imagine that anyone still seriously debating this simply doesn't have real-world experience with it themselves, and hasn't bothered reading the huge amount of print and online material available.

With the exception of some extremely hi-resolution technical (and high contrast) scientific films, there simply isn't any real information beyond about 4000 ppi on film. Yes, you can scan at higher resolutions, but all you are doing is magnifying grain not image information. There's precious little to be gained other than ending up with a larger file size, which can also be accomplished by ressing up.

Why do we see that almost all commercial scanners stop at between 3200 and 4000 ppi. It's not a technical limit. It's because the manufacturers know that this is where resolution stops with typical films.

Are drum scanners better than dedicated CCD scanners. Yes, but a good Imacon scan can get awfully close, and unless one has $20-$30,000 a year to keep a drum maintained properly, the cost benefit ratio becomes astronomical.

People are also forgetting about the question of film flatness. This is an issue when shooting as well as scanning. One of the dirty little secrets of sheet film use in large format cameras is that even the smallest amount of  kinking and curvature of the film in the holder leads to sub-optimal images.

Does anyone remember when Contax put a vacuum mechanism in the RTSIII? They did so because their research showed that even in 35mm cameras, a pressure plate alone isn't enough to ensure optimum film flatness. And, let's not even talk about roll film with paper backing.

The same is true with scanning. Lack of film flatness and the absolutely horrendous carriers that most consumer grade scanners use obviates any other issues. This is one of the reasons for the success of Imacon Flextight scanners. They managed to really keep the film flat. It also explains why fluid mounting with flatbeds is so important, though few people bother because of the hassle and mess.

Needless to say this isn't an issue with digital, where the sensor plane is fixed and accurate (one hopes) to within required tolerances.

So for those that want to tread the rocky Rockwell road of misinformation, fine. Otherwise try catching up on some of the information available from competent photographers who have done research and tests in this area over the past 15 years.

Michael
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Slough
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« Reply #112 on: July 06, 2008, 06:56:55 AM »
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And you think I don't know that?

Sorry, it did seem that you don't. I will explain.

You referred very briefly to a programme you saw on PBS which I assume means Public Broadcasting Service. You gave no details of the background of the 'scientists' or the nature of the film they were analysing. You also said the film contained more 'information' than digital. You gave no details of what that information was. Are we talking resolution, or dynamic range, or both? And your statement referred to digital video recorders, about which you gave no details. So, I don't mean to be rude, but your account is not very helpful, as what you posted is very superficial and poorly defined.  

For example, those 'scientists' might have been experts at archiving old film, and not experts in digital cameras. We don't know, as you did not give details.

You mention digital video recorders. My guess is that these are the bottle neck and that they do not begin to approach the capabilities of a modern DSLR. After all, most digital videos are watched on a TV format, so my guess is that the resolution was low. Of course I might be wrong. But yet again, we just do not know as you did not give details.

So IMO you have taken out of context a statement that you saw on a TV programme, and misapplied it to a different area.

Of course if you can find out more details, then your story might be of interest, but as it stands, it isn't, at least in terms of this discussion.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #113 on: July 06, 2008, 07:02:21 AM »
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Sorry, it did seem that you don't. I will explain.

You referred very briefly to a programme you saw on PBS which I assume means Public Broadcasting Service. You gave no details of the background of the 'scientists' or the nature of the film they were analysing. You also said the film contained more 'information' than digital. You gave no details of what that information was. Are we talking resolution, or dynamic range, or both? And your statement referred to digital video recorders, about which you gave no details. So, I don't mean to be rude, but your account is not very helpful, as what you posted is very superficial and poorly defined. 

For example, those 'scientists' might have been experts at archiving old film, and not experts in digital cameras. We don't know, as you did not give details.

You mention digital video recorders. My guess is that these are the bottle neck and that they do not begin to approach the capabilities of a modern DSLR. After all, most digital videos are watched on a TV format, so my guess is that the resolution was low. Of course I might be wrong. But yet again, we just do not know as you did not give details.

So IMO you have taken out of context a statement that you saw on a TV programme, and misapplied it to a different area.

Of course if you can find out more details, then your story might be of interest, but as it stands, it isn't, at least in terms of this discussion.
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There is a post where I explain when and how we take scientific research seriously, which explains I'm aware of what you say I'm not regarding scientific research. You must have missed it. The PBS broadcast was only a casual observation, which is quite obvious given my post when taken in context, and I admitted in that very post  I could have misunderstood it.

Why the personal attack?
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Slough
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« Reply #114 on: July 06, 2008, 07:02:33 AM »
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What I'd like to see is something like this:

1. 4x5 negative with everything as correct as can be--exposure, etc. You know, as good as can be captured and turned into a negative for scanning, as well as humanly possible.

[snip]

Why? What a stupid comparison to make.

Do we also want to compare a firework with a Saturn 5 rocket? Or a Trabant with a Formula 1 racing car?  
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Slough
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« Reply #115 on: July 06, 2008, 07:03:59 AM »
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There is a post where I explain when and how we take scientific research seriously, which explains I'm aware of what you say I'm not regarding scientific research. You must have missed it. The PBS broadcast was only a casual observation, which is quite obvious given my post when taken in context, and I admitted in that very post  I could have misunderstood it.

Why the personal attack?
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It was not a personal attack. It was a criticism of your post. You cited the PBS programme as support of your views. Hence my post.
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juicy
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« Reply #116 on: July 06, 2008, 07:14:25 AM »
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When the original 1Ds came to the market more than 5 years ago, some very experienced commercial photographers tested the camera head to head with 35mm color films. Their conclusion was very simple: there was more real image detail in the digital file than in the film no matter what kind of film scanner or scanning resolution was used and these guys had acces to several top drum scanners and professional scanning services. (No, there are no links to these tests, this is based on a conversation and "scientifically not valid").

Anyway, comparing the resolution of 4x5 velvia and 35mm (or smaller) digital is as pointless as anything ever anywhere. Btw, in the same amount of time that someone uses taking 3 bracketed exposures with 4x5, you can take enough panoramic shots with your dslr or mfdb to get "enough" resolution, if that's what you are looking for.

This ship is sinking, it might be better to abandon it before someone gets hurt...

J
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dwdallam
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« Reply #117 on: July 06, 2008, 07:28:02 AM »
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It strikes me as remarkable that people are still debating this topic. This was hot from about 1999 to 2002. I can only imagine that anyone still seriously debating this simply doesn't have real-world experience with it themselves, and hasn't bothered reading the huge amount of print and online material available.

With the exception of some extremely hi-resolution technical (and high contrast) scientific films, there simply isn't any real information beyond about 4000 ppi on film. Yes, you can scan at higher resolutions, but all you are doing is magnifying grain not image information. There's precious little to be gained other than ending up with a larger file size, which can also be accomplished by ressing up.

Why do we see that almost all commercial scanners stop at between 3200 and 4000 ppi. It's not a technical limit. It's because the manufacturers know that this is where resolution stops with typical films.

Are drum scanners better than dedicated CCD scanners. Yes, but a good Imacon scan can get awfully close, and unless one has $20-$30,000 a year to keep a drum maintained properly, the cost benefit ratio becomes astronomical.

People are also forgetting about the question of film flatness. This is an issue when shooting as well as scanning. One of the dirty little secrets of sheet film use in large format cameras is that even the smallest amount of kinking and curvature of the film in the holder leads to sub-optimal images.

Does anyone remember when Contax put a vacuum mechanism in the RTSIII? They did so because their research showed that even in 35mm cameras, a pressure plate alone isn't enough to ensure optimum film flatness. And, let's not even talk about roll film with paper backing.

The same is true with scanning. Lack of film flatness and the absolutely horrendous carriers that most consumer grade scanners use obviates any other issues. This is one of the reasons for the success of Imacon Flextight scanners. They managed to really keep the film flat. It also explains why fluid mounting with flatbeds is so important, though few people bother because of the hassle and mess.

Needless to say this isn't an issue with digital, where the sensor plane is fixed and accurate (one hopes) to within required tolerances.

So for those that want to tread the rocky Rockwell road of misinformation, fine. Otherwise try catching up on some of the information available from competent photographers who have done research and tests in this area over the past 15 years.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=205893\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So this means that a correctly scanned and correctly created 4 x 5 negative will not outperform--in any areas we choose, those being DR, contrast, detail, etc., of say a 1DS MKII?

Let me be very careful here to so as to avoid the gas chamber:

Terms:
1. correctly: as good as a professional can do with the 4 x 5 camera.
2. outperform: give more detail, color, DR in prints and when viewed 100% on screen in any film used, be in color, B&W, etc.
3. scanned: using a scanner that cost no more than the digital camera being compared.

Also, even if it is anecdotal, if a vast majority of large names in landscape photography are giving up their view cameras for digital, then I really don't care about the scientific research. If it's good enough for them, good enough for the people who run the art galleries they show their stuff in, and good enough for their customers, then it's more than good enough for me.

The question is, however, are the big landscape photographers happy with digital cameras for landscapes? I really do not know the answer to that, except I would assume that you are, which does say a lot. It would say even more if it were a consensus among LS photographers that they prefer digital over film--mainly because the quality is as close to film so as not to make any finished printing difference, or close enough that lugging around and prepping a view camera is no longer warranted.

And thanks for your post. I feel this thread is coming very close to an end because we've pretty much ran the gamut of things to say on the topic--save some definitive information yet to be posted.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 07:34:08 AM by dwdallam » Logged

christiaan
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« Reply #118 on: July 06, 2008, 07:46:56 AM »
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Do we really need to waste space on this? Rockwell really is beyond the pale.

Michael
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It's like masochism, some people like that  
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Slough
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« Reply #119 on: July 06, 2008, 08:04:18 AM »
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So this means that a correctly scanned and correctly created 4 x 5 negative will not outperform--in any areas we choose, those being DR, contrast, detail, etc., of say a 1DS MKII?

Why do you keep harping back to such a pointless comparison?
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