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Author Topic: IDs MkII vs 22 MP back vs MF film  (Read 10332 times)
didger
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« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2004, 02:31:44 PM »
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Thanks Jose.  Such detailed info from the perspective of a 35 yr. pro is worth maybe even more than $.02, for those that perhaps think that Michael has an axe to grind or just doesn't know what he's talking about.

I have Live Picture, diddled with it a bit some years ago and then never had occasion again.  At this point Photoshop CS is working very comfortably for me with my 1ds files and I'm not eager to tackle the Live Picture learning curve again.  When (if) I get a Mamiya ZD, I'll have to face the choice of G5 or Live Picture.  At any rate, if I can find my Live Picture CD ROM, I'll install it and see how long it takes me to make sense out of it and see if it really matches what I can do with PS CS.
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jeffok
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« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2004, 11:45:49 PM »
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Also, Michael stated earlier in this thread:

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"As a rule of thumb, 6MP cameras (I'm talking DSLRs, not digicams) outperform 35mm film, 11MP+ cameras outperform medium format film, and 22MP MF backs outperform 4X5" film when it comes to overall image quality, including resolution."

I would have agreed with him except for the last two words, "including resolution." The problem is no comparison of digital to film resolutions is complete without also stating the contrast ratio of the detail areas at the same time. Film's resolution limits increase with contrast and I have too many examples where my Imacon-scanned 4x5 Astia outresolves my 1DsII in these areas to be convinced otherwise. Film simply has more resolution capability than a 16MP FF or 22MP MF digital sensor in certain situations, period.

HOWEVER, I do believe that the "normal" 16MP FF or 22MP MF file is capable of producing images that regularly appear more detailed than the "normal" scanned 4x5 file will, up to say 32x40/48 in print size. Mind you, it is not always in fact more detailed -- putting a loupe to the print will confirm this --
Jack:
Thank-you for your cost analysis and excellent illustration of the MF film vs digital issue. Your posting of the crop images between film and digital should clarify for everyone that the issue of comparing these two formats is not so simple as some would have us believe. The comparison you showed echo's similar ones I've seen before demonstrating that resolution is still slightly better with 6x7. This is important IF you want maximum detail in large prints- which is what is important in my work. For anything up to A3 however, I am more than happy with my digital camera.

I also agree that a digital 16 MP or higher digital image will APPEAR the better image. Michael usually points out that it is OVERALL image quality he is talking about and I agree that digital CAN be "better". It also depends on what aspects of visual perception you value. Some photographs look "better" with grain for example (ie: look at Bresson's work). Some people have commented to me that digital photos sometimes look "unreal" or " too real". These are lay persons comments that some might laugh off or blame on poor technique, but perceptions count- especially if you are showing in galleries and selling your work.

So I think we can agree that "better" is a subjective term and for now, MF still has a legitimate place in a photographer's toolkit, especially for those on a budget. I look forward to the point when MF digital cameras are sub $10,000 in price range-the arrival of the Mamiya ZD early next year will be closely watched.
Jeff
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BobMcCarthy
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« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2005, 09:10:07 AM »
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It's pretty clear now that even the 1Ds Mark II can flat-out beat 645, and probably match 6x7: http://photo.nemergut.com/equipment/canon1ds/markii.html .


Looking at the len's that are being used, the canon uses a 50 and the MF an 80, how does the images look at the plane of focus . The tower is clearly behind the house and can its fuzzyness be explained by being far away from the plane of sharp focus

Bob
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BJL
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« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2005, 09:53:10 AM »
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... an MF 90mm lens will behave like any other 90mm lens designed for 35mm ... except the edges should be sharper.
And except that maybe the center of the field might be less sharp than with the 90mm lens designed for 35mm format. Lens designers have to make trade-offs that potentially include improving sharpness at the center of the field at the expense of less sharpness or more vignetting further from the center, or vice verca. An MF design, constrained by the need to maintain good performance over a larger image circle, might have to make compromises that slightly harm central performance.

This does seem to be supported by PhotoDO's measurements of MTF for 35mm and MF lenses, where the 35mm lenses generally do better. Note that they test MF and 35mm lenses at the same 10, 20 and 40 lp/mm, and at the same range of distances from center, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21 mm. Thus their results correspond very directly to an asessment of performance when used with 35mm format and its 21mm image circle radius.


More generally, I am inclined to believe that the designers of high end lenses know their business far better than any of us do, and that a lens designed for a specific purpose (e.g. 35mm image circle) will in general be as good or better for that purpose than one designed with somewhat different goals.
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Quentin
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« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2004, 11:32:14 AM »
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Jeff,

The dynamic range of digital is superior to slide film of any kind in my experience, and if you use a tripod you can considerably further enhance the dynamic range by taking two or three different exposures and then combining them in Photoshop, a trick that's hard to replicate using film because of registration errors.

There are economic reasons why purchasing a 22mp back might not make much sense to many, but you can get 95% of the perfomance at 25% of the cost, so all is not lost.

My workflow with digital is so much more economic and pleasant.  

With film it would be:  buy film (ouch!), take shot(s), take film in for development, wait a day or two (or pay a premium for fast turnaound), pay throught the nose for reliable development (ouch!), carefully mount trannie on drum with oil, overlay, tape etc, scan. spot scan in photoshop, realise I flunked the exposure slightly (it happens), finally get to work on the image several days after I took the shot.

Witb digital its take the shot, check exposure and re-shoot if required, transfer to PC (cold beer) and decode raw files, and begin work - ofter all on the same day.  No cost, no hassle, more focus on the image not the process.

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
drew
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« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2004, 04:08:58 AM »
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Bob's point about doubting Thomas is exactly right. I have another which is you can argue about whether something is a dog or not, but if its furry, barks at you and wags its tail, it almost certainly is.
I do not understand why we need to debate this point. I have looked at the post that started this thread and all I can see are assumptions based on scanner resolution and Dmax. No other facts or valid comparisons. Resolution for example is not just about numbers of megabytes. My only interest in this discussion is, can you take a better picture more easily with a digital camera most of the time than you can with a film one? In my experience, the answer would have to be yes and this is what most people seem to have discovered in the last two or three years.
As for the doubting Thomas, I would suggest to just let him carry on doubting. An example,...I have a respected photographer friend who asked my advice as to whether I thought a monitor calibration tool was worth investing in. I gave what I thought would be standard advice from someone who ought to know, which is that I thought it was close to being essential if you wanted to be certain that you were carrying out meaningful and accurate edits on your softproof images. I then bumped into him again a month later and asked him if he had bought one? No, he had spoken to another friend who had bought one, had not been able to get it to work and had given up on it. Therefore he was not going to buy one. I just smiled and shrugged. Life is too short to be constantly dragging horses to drink when they will not.
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Jose Luis Gonzalez
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« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2004, 04:32:40 PM »
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Didger, if you decide to go Live Picture route, contact me to tell you how configurate the OS9  Classic for a stable running of LP. Try to find a book titled Live Picture Revealed by Josh Karson, it is esssential to learn easily LP. There is also a list group full of professionals that still use LP.  such as Gerald Bybee, Joe Holmes, Lee Varis etc
Regards
Jose
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Paul DeMers
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« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2004, 08:48:07 PM »
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I have just rec'd my P25 for my Hassy H1's.  I have been a Hassy shooter for 30 years and the reason that I still use Hassy is that I can shoot MF Film and Digital on the same platform.  I have 3 H1's.  I have dedicated 1 for the P25 back.  1 has been dedicated to film and 1 is a backup that will probably never see the light of day.  The P25 will never be taken off except to clean it.

I will be taking a couple months to build my custom computer platform and to learn how to use the P25 properly.  Then, I'll go to Colorado to actually take a 2-day course on how to perform with the P25 from shooting and post-processing to printing.  I want to max out my information and skills before I step into the arena with the P25 at my side.  I shoot instinctively.  I know what the exposures for film will be based on the heat from the sun.  I always use the handheld meter for verification but I want to be able to "feel" my shots without being concerned...at all...about whether or not I got the shots.  I do my prep before I do the shots.

I will have a boatload of side-by-side tests under every possible condition, color and activity...all shot with the Hassy H1's, same lenses exactly, different bodies but exact lenses.  All will be tripod mounted and metered with documented histories for comparisons.  The MF film will all go to PCI lab, in Irvine, for custom printing and Crystal Archive matt papers.  If there is a better, more complete comparison available, I'd be surprised.  I'll post everything from data to images and my final critical opinions.

I need to know that I made the right decisions to pick up the H1's and P25, sight unseen.  

Stay tuned.

Paul :cool:
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howard smith
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« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2005, 09:30:02 AM »
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The cost analyses for changing from an existing MF to a new 1ds system neglect the price of the lenses.  I am assuming that the MF lenses will not work with the 1ds, and I will need (or want) a fleet of new Canon lenses.  So the $8K 1ds price a couple years ago would be higher, and there may be more incentive than 3000ish frames to make me want to switch.
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howard smith
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« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2005, 10:33:08 AM »
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"More generally, I am inclined to believe that the designers of high end lenses know their business far better than any of us do, and that a lens designed for a specific purpose (e.g. 35mm image circle) will in general be as good or better for that purpose than one designed with somewhat different goals." Agreed, but with no data. With a high speed computer, it is relatively easy to design an excellant lens for a given purpose. It then becomes a matter of compromising the design for manufacture at the right price.

Knowing that MF lenses are to be used on MF cameras (and likely their own), makers appear to compromise center performance to get better center to edge performance. A 35mm lens maker does not need to compromise as much since the edge isn't as far away. I would guess that for a MF lens maker, having very large edge fall off in sharpness and illumination would be very bad. A reasonably sharp edge will look much better compared to a reasonable sharp center, compared to a fuzzy edge compared to a razor sharp center. It is the entire image that counts, not just the center. I would also guess that the Hasselblad lens market for the Canon 1ds is next to nil, and not a design consideration at all.

"An MF design, constrained by the need to maintain good performance over a larger image circle, might have to make compromises that slightly harm central performance." I think this is generally supported looking at the MTF for, say, Hasselblad and Canon lenses.

Given all this, and the fact that the final image will never be as good as either the lens or sensor can produce, I wonder why one would want to adapt (even though possible) a usually more expensive but lower performing MF lens onto a 35mm digital camera body.
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