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Author Topic: a film to digital print comparison  (Read 11600 times)
T_om
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2009, 04:48:54 PM »
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Quote from: felix5616
Can anyone explain the reaction to Ken Rockwell?


Here are just a few of his tidbits of "wisdom".  There are PLENTY of other examples.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to-spot-an-amateur.htm

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/7.htm

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/2-kinds-of-photographers.htm

Tom
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2009, 08:05:13 PM »
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Quote from: felix5616
Can anyone explain the reaction to Ken Rockwell?


Because Ken Rockwell is arguably one of the dumbest people posting drivel on the internet.  He usually makes absolutely no sense, just read some of his garbage.  Equipment doesn't matter is great, he can take a better photograph with a Kodak 110 than you can with a Nikon D3X.  All computers are junk except for Apples, everything and anything made by Apple is the best.  He even does car "reviews" http://www.kenrockwell.com/cars/index.htm  And I have to wonder if equipment doesn't matter with photography why does it matter with anything?  Cars?  http://www.kenrockwell.com/porsche/cayenne-turbo-s/index.htm  Ken is a oxymoron, everything he writes contradicts something else.  
http://www.kenrockwell.com/porsche/cayenne-turbo-s/index.htm  He writes "(note: this is my wife's car. I can't aford this stuff; I haven't bought a new car since I got a new Ford back in 1986.)"  Yet he wants you to donate to his website "because He supports his family doing this"  He says he can't afford his wife's car but then he writes "Sure, I make good money doing this, but I also pay more taxes than I ever have in my life."  I can get from point A to point B faster in a Jeep Cherokee SRT 8, so does the equipment matter?  Why buy a $100,000.00+ SUV when you can buy a $40K SUV that will trash it.  Again a contradiction The 2006 Cayenne Turbo S was only available for part of 2006. It is already a modern classic. We love ours, especially because we got it, brand new, for almost $30,000 below sticker price!  Why Did we Get This?  

The man has no clue how to write a sentence, he is delusional and has visions of grandeur.  

http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/why-pros-use-mac.htm

This article is about the dumbest I've ever read, it's filled with more idiotic statements than I could ever care to count.  Ken got bamboozled by the Apple marketing machine like many others, the facts are rather simple, Apples generally look better (not always) and usually they work and are more expensive.  Well, I guess I wont go there, just telling you why KR is an idiot.

Anyhow, just spend 5 minutes reading his website and it will become quite clear.
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neil snape
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2009, 01:17:20 AM »
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A lot of interesting posts in this thread.

I was more interested in film to digital comparisons before and during  I had my drum scanner. Now , I know Joseph has contacts with Heidelberg in Kiel and I know them as well, but I am going to be cruel and say the Tango is only a good scanner. So for those of you scanning on CCD scanners the quality of your capture are not at their best. Advantage in this case will always be digital as you haven't handicapped the capture. Well then you say wait this is film comparison to digital. Good why not just take a good B&W neg and print it correctly. Compare that to digital. Uh huh now you've got it. What is all that horrible grain blah blocked up shadows in your print blah, > either you get it or you don't. Film is film. It has it's qualities, it has it's beauty, and good luck trying to make digital look the same with all that awful grain etc. Well surprise, that ugly grain is not only character building , but also fetches a lot of money in galleries.


So technically the newer digital cameras are indeed way over powered, but better or worse in image quality is just not a subject that is easy to put  in the same box.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2009, 06:37:04 AM »
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First, I'd like to address all my sincere condolences to Erwin Puts, for being linked by Ken Rockwell...

Interesting thread though - I'm doing only color images since years, and didn't thought the B&W chemical workflow could yield so much resolution.
I did some B&W chemical prints back in the film era, when it was the only affordable solution for home printing - and used Delta100 much, but remember it was a bit grainier though! probably a matter of processing and developer.
I too felt on par with color slides (ekta) with my 6MP 300d.

One remark about the article: in the same time needed for such a fine wet print, the digital side can reach even higher resolution : grab a pano head and a tele lens, and stitch until death (or boredom)...
That's a big advantage of photographing resolution targets, they don't move at all and are a very good subject for stitching!
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2009, 10:16:47 AM »
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Quote from: NikoJorj
First, I'd like to address all my sincere condolences to Erwin Puts, for being linked by Ken Rockwell...

Interesting thread though - I'm doing only color images since years, and didn't thought the B&W chemical workflow could yield so much resolution.
I did some B&W chemical prints back in the film era, when it was the only affordable solution for home printing - and used Delta100 much, but remember it was a bit grainier though! probably a matter of processing and developer.
I too felt on par with color slides (ekta) with my 6MP 300d.

One remark about the article: in the same time needed for such a fine wet print, the digital side can reach even higher resolution : grab a pano head and a tele lens, and stitch until death (or boredom)...
That's a big advantage of photographing resolution targets, they don't move at all and are a very good subject for stitching!


Don't worry about it, the original article / test isn't very well done or written.  Anybody who comes to a conclusion using one camera / lens / printer isn't a very good scientist.  He even used a consumer grade printer in the Canon 9500.  It's just not something that is good for reference.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2009, 10:36:48 AM »
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In my days of 'wet' photography I regularly used 35 mm Tri-X at 200 ASA with my Nikon.  It gave nice negatives that printed well.  Tri-X has moderate grain and one is limited in terms of how large one can print.  I've scanned a number of negatives with a Nikon Coolscan 5000.  I'm quite careful in optimizing the scan but still cannot get digital prints beyond 8x10 because the grain shows through worse than from a difusion enlarger.  I don't know if a drum scanner would get me much further (but that is academic as I don't want to spend that kind of money).  With my Nikon D300 I get digital images that easily print on 13x19 paper with great clarity.  For me this is no contest.  I do recognize that medium format and large format negatives are a totally different story and one that I can't write as I only have experince with 35mm.  I have not tried any of the new fine grain 35mm B&W films as the inconvenience of developing them is outweighed by the ease of digital capture.
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2009, 10:21:12 PM »
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Not only one camera, but one relaively low resolution camera...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2009, 11:47:21 PM »
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Hi,

I'd guess that Mr. Putts is a much better scientist than me. Would you reed his other articles you would know that he is really careful about testing. You may also ask what's wrong with the Canon printer? It' shows all the aliasing we need, so it does clearly not lack in resolution. I know very little about Mr. Putts, but he is the author of the Leica Lens Compendium and it's my impression that he is an optics expert.

If you look at the test images it is very clear that the digital capture is significantly aliased, indicating that the lens is resolving higher than the sensor. The film based image does not have this characteristics. Regarding the camera it is true that it's not a very high resolution sensor but it being an APS-H (1.3 factor) sensor at about 10 MPixels it's essentially in the same league as the Canon 1DsIII with regard to pixel size. In a sense it would be interesting to use a higher resolution sensor like Canon 50D, but that sensor has a AA-filter reducing sharpness. The 50D has larger pixel density than the Canon 1DsIII and would have about 38.4 MPixels on full frame.

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr

Quote from: Gemmtech
Don't worry about it, the original article / test isn't very well done or written.  Anybody who comes to a conclusion using one camera / lens / printer isn't a very good scientist.  He even used a consumer grade printer in the Canon 9500.  It's just not something that is good for reference.
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2009, 09:33:36 AM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
Compared to Velvia 100, here are my experiences with a range of digital cameras I have known. All the film was scanned using Nikon scanners (Super Coolscan 8000 and 9000), except for the 4x5 transparencies, which are scanned on an Epson V700 (definitely a disadvantage). Digital uprezzing was done using either a stepped technique in Photoshop (bicubic in 10% increments), or more recently, Genuine Fractals. The printer driver was never permitted to uprez - files always sent at 360 (Epson) or 600 (Canon iPF) DPI at print size. Digital always at base ISO (100 (Canons, D3x) or 200 in the case of Nikons other than the D3x)

Canon EOS D30 - yes, the OLD 3 mp model, NOT the 30D... - Lower resolution than 35mm scanned Velvia, noise is less than film grain, so can sometimes look as good overall. Don't try to print past 8x12!

Nikon D70 - Equivalent resolution to scanned 35mm Velvia - lower noise means that image is marginally better.  Prints in the 11x16 range at most, makes a really GOOD 8x12.

Nikon D200 - Significantly higher resolution than scanned 35mm Velvia, lower resolution than scanned 6x6 cm (Hasselblad) Velvia. Prints 12x18 much more comfortably than 35mm (color) ever did.

Canon EOS 1DsmkII - medium format film quality - resolution close to scanned 6x6 cm Velvia, although the different aspect ratio makes it difficult to compare. Distinctly higher resolution than a 6x6 cm chrome cropped to 3x2 aspect ratio. Dynamic range exceeds Velvia by a substantial margin. Prints 16x24 quite reasonably, although I wouldn't push much past that.

Nikon D3x - well above conventional medium format film quality, but not large format - resolution easily comparable to or better than scanned 6x9 cm Velvia. Prints 24x36 very easily (I'm more comfortable with the D3x at 24x36 than I am with the 1DsII at 16x24). Extra dynamic range is very noticeable over any film.

4x5 film still exceeds any of these cameras for raw resolution (some of the high-end Phase backs may be in 4x5 territory), although 4x5 resolution versus D3x dynamic range would be an interesting choice. The higher camera resolution gets, the more near-perfect technique becomes important. The D3x produces 6x9 cm results, but ONLY if it is handled as a 6x9 (sturdy tripod, remote release, extremely careful focus). It is tempting to use as a 35mm camera, because it looks like one, and it will produce better than 35mm results used this way, but it isn't a 6x9 unless it is handled as a 6x9! This will be at least as true, if not more so, for any future DSLR with even higher resolution.

The other limit we are reaching is the size printer we're willing to live with. The best current DSLRs are already producing gallery quality 24 inch prints. The next step up requires a 44 inch printer and oversize mat board (a 24x36 inch print barely mats with a standard 32x40 inch board).

Is the next step really a higher resolution DSLR, or is it more choices at the resolutions we have? There is no reason why a 24.6 mp Leica M9 can't exist, or a 24.6 mp Nikon FM3d. If we have a wide range of cameras that can print 24x36 or larger, from models with 4 inch LCDs and tilt/shift sensors (technically possible if you get rid of the mirror) to a classic rangefinder that may even lack the image review LCD, and including SLRs with a wide range of features, is that not ultimately a more satisfying choice of tools than a few SLRs with even higher resolutions that require heavy tripods and 44-inch printers.

How about this range of cameras - all between 20 and 30 mp, optimized for prints up to 24x36 inches? All except the X1 are expected in the next year or two in some form or another.

Nikon D3xs (D3x with sensor cleaning, integrated GPS, integrated WiFi, integrated wireless flash transmitter) - everything anyone can fit into a big, heavy DSLR.

Nikon D700x (D700 body with a D3x inside - includes sensor cleaning and flash transmitter (less sophisticated than D3xs), but not GPS, WiFi)

Canon 1Ds mkIV (Canon's 29.3 mp answer to the D3x - lacks flash transmitter and GPS, but has HD video, which the D3xs lacks)

Canon 1D mkIV (20.1 mp, not quite full frame, but 12 FPS, with a 1080p60 video mode having FULL auto and manual control)

Canon EOS-3D (29.3 mp, no video, but 1D-level autofocus in a weatherproof body only slightly larger than a 5D)

Nikon S5 (Nikon's answer to all the rangefinder clamor - same old 24.6 mp sensor in a rangefinder body - unlike Leica, has AF if you want it)

Leica M9 (Ubiquitous 24.6 MP Sony sensor, although with 16-bit readout,  custom Leica filter pack in an M body)

Sony Alpha 925 (Alpha 900 with 14 bit readout, improvements in AA filter and electronics to catch D3x image quality)

Sony Alpha 1000 (A true hybrid with as much attention paid to beyond-HD video quality as to stills - makes Jim Jannard see red)

RED Scarlet (Similar to the Alpha 1000, but started life as a movie camera, so optimized silghtly differently)

Nikon X1 (D3xs sensor in an EVF only camera with a 4 - inch XGA LCD on the back - sensor has 8 degrees of tilt capability and 18 mm of shift in any direction). The X1 uses its own line of lenses with increased image circle, although a F Mount adapter is available, which, of course, locks the shift.

This is (at least mostly) realistic based on what everybody's been known to do in the past (notice that the four Nikons ALL reuse the same sensor).

                                       -Dan


Hi,

I am of different opinion. Some of you may remember this one http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=20970. Or please take a peek at it... and do look at the drum scans posted....

Post #64 concur with my observation of prints; "While looking at these last 100% crops, I find that I'm really drawn to them and the ZD images that looked so great before look lifeless in comparison."

The ZD has been stated by others to be capable of higher image quality than Canon's 20MP dslrs. I believe it, because I find difficult to see how the many photos I have seen posted from those measure up to the capabilities of MFDBs. I now use Leaf Aptus 65 and it eats the ZD in image qualities. That said, I simply cannot give up on film. Even Velvia 50 in Mamiya 7 result in image with an entire different dimension and detail than my Aptus. Not to mention the COLORS and how slide film renders the extreme towards white and black, while digital cuts it... or even with my Aptus although great DR is plain linear.

Now some of you will say that Mamiya 7 was not fair comparison because it has such sharp lenses, but... those 20MP dslrs require very sharp lenses also.

What scanners did you use for film? Obvious a drum scan is the only way to go to get the max out of film, until - hopefully - Epson announce a V850! Or, perhaps add a soft filter to the dslr for fairness...

D3x exceeding medium format? Absolutely no chance in my opinion, not when scanned proper. Now as always it is likely that some post by someone with a D3x will state that of course it does, because many wish to compare by mine is better than yours...

Lets face it; digital is digital, film is film. They are different medias. Both have pros and cons. I use both.

I am current new to large format 4x5 and use Velvia 50 - aint nothing like Velvia 50 for landscape. It feels such breeze to use 4x5 because so very BASIC, SIMPLE and PHOTOGRAPHIC - and FULL CONTROL. And the results of Velvia 50 in 4x5 slides very much impress me.

Now for last, I am also of different opinion regarding Ken Rockwell. I do enjoy his site, as do many others. He is one who speaks out, and many times rightfully so, although he also speaks of his opinion which I not always agree with. One need to think carefully and judge to ones own opinion. That is fine. As compared to other sites that constant push new and latest gear for advertising, he is someone who do speak sincere of his opinion about gear and photography. That is great! Thanks Ken!!! He has given me very much good info through his site for years. Now, imagine if I would have placed this first in this post..., ah yah, but you all read him, confess!!!  

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 09:39:56 AM by Anders_HK » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2009, 10:19:43 AM »
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Quote from: felix5616
Can anyone explain the reaction to Ken Rockwell?

The guy is kind of nuts. If you read just his opinion of color spaces and sRGB, its clear he's more interested in gathering attention by being controversial rather than correct. Its like the "birthers" or any lunatic fringe mentally we see these days where getting hits on a web page due solely for being outrageous, controversial while being technically wrong is the norm.
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I would suggest you don't waste your time reading Ken Rockwell.
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Of course it is referenced from Ken Rockwell's site, he's the epitome of why the internet is NOT a good place for reference material since 99% of it is false, you have to look for accurate information.

I couldn't agree more!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 10:20:21 AM by digitaldog » Logged

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Gemmtech
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« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2009, 10:54:42 AM »
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"Now for last, I am also of different opinion regarding Ken Rockwell. I do enjoy his site, as do many others."

I agree, I enjoy his site.  Without Ken Rockwell's site we would probably never realize just how good this site is.  I've read a lot of the "information" on Ken's site and have never found anything of use, YMMV. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, even KR.  I can't imagine that you learned anything useful at his site.  His site reminds me of Donald Trump, everything is the best and his wife is the prettiest, the smartest, top woman in her position at her HUGE companty. His great-grandfather invented selling apples in NYC, his grandmother worked for Steinway, his son attends MIT at the age of 2 and will have his Ph.D in  Astro Physics and Applied Mathematics    blah blah blah blah.  Ken is a coholder of a patent, he invented digital photography, oh no, that's right, all his friends are the Ph.Ds who invented everything to do with Digital imaging.  KR has been working with Digital Imaging for 30+ years, actually since he was 5 years old and even at the hospital when he was born all the nurses knew he was a photographer because he lifted his head up and was looking around, he saw the world clearly the day he was born!     "Real men shoot raw"  "This page generates controversy because fact doesn't always agree with old wives' tales circulated by newcomers to digital photography in chat rooms. I'm sharing what works for me gathered across three decades of continuous full-time paid professional experience in digital imaging. In addition I was studying digital imaging for ten years before I got my engineering degree and started as a professional working with the guys with Ph.Ds in mathematics who invented all this."

Ken always speaks in absolutes, "Every pro I know uses a MAC"  How's that possible?  I know a lot of professional photographers and it seems 1/2 use MACs, the total market share for MAC is around 7%.  Maybe he doesn't know that many Pros?  I think Michael Reichman stated that on his last trip approximately 60% of the photographers used MACs, obviously not everybody.  KR will tell you owning Camera A and using Lens B is a waste and shouldn't be done, but he's only looking at situations C-M and not AB & N-Z.  IOW he just doesn't get it; get what?  He doesn't understand other people's needs or wants.  He states shooting RAW is a total waste and it's a blanket statement.  Welllllllllllll, for some maybe it is a waste, but what if, what if the day comes and you develop your skills and now want that old JPEG to be a RAW file (COUGH, ME).  Best analogy, you always shot with a Polaroid and now you want the negative, SOL.  "Film is much better than digital"  If that were true wouldn't all the best photographers still use film?  He just recently posted a workshop for the "Great" photographer Jay Maisel, he has been shooting digital (except maybe 5-6 rolls) since 2001, why?   Yes, KR has opinions, but when people are so insistent that their way is the only possible solution it makes them seem not too bright.  Maybe KR thinks he's a lot smarter than he is and knows everything there is to know about photography, whatever works for him should work for everybody.  Generally speaking there aren't many absolutes in life, and opinions mean nothing, a group of experiences might enable you to solve a problem.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 10:58:16 AM by Gemmtech » Logged
Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2009, 11:50:54 AM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Regarding the camera it is true that it's not a very high resolution sensor but it being an APS-H (1.3 factor) sensor at about 10 MPixels it's essentially in the same league as the Canon 1DsIII with regard to pixel size. In a sense it would be interesting to use a higher resolution sensor like Canon 50D, but that sensor has a AA-filter reducing sharpness. The 50D has larger pixel density than the Canon 1DsIII and would have about 38.4 MPixels on full frame.

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr



Just when you thought the Kodak Pro SLR/C was pointless :-)

(I need to dust that thing off and give it another spin.....Last I looked at it, I have bad memories of strong magenta in the highlights)..
but it is 14MP, no filter, fullframe :-)
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« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2009, 12:02:11 PM »
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Ken is fun to hate, which is why he gets so much attention. Even when there's a grain of truth to what he says it's mixed with so much hyperbole that it's bound to get a rise out of someone.

The problem is that he spreads a lot of confusion and misinformation to folks who take everything he says seriously. He writes just enough common sense tidbits to give himself some credibility, and his everyman attitude and writing style make him an enjoyable read for some, especially since he's often telling users what they want to hear (eg "Real photographers shoot JPEG",  "All you need is a D5000 and a kit lens.", "Tripods are not needed for daytime shooting", etc). But less experienced users who are just starting out with photography or digital photography cannot always separate the truth from the fiction, and parrot everything he says as fact, which only annoys other folks who have been around a bit longer and have grown tired of Ken's antics.
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« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2009, 02:07:18 PM »
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In my comparison of the D3x to medium format, I made clear that I was using a Super Coolscan 9000 to scan the Velvia (I was also using Velvia 100, not 50). A megabuck drum scanner might extract more detail from the film (although the Super Coolscan is already scanning grain), and would certainly bring the film closer to the D3x's dynamic range. Remember that a drum scanner costs substantially more than a D3x, and is a royal pain to use (often run by an operator who has received manufacturer training). Of course, you could have someone else make your drum scans, at 50-100 dollars per scan. With comparable equipment investments, I stand by my statement that the D3x is roughly equivalent to 6x9 cm Velvia 100 scanned on a Super Coolscan 9000. A D3x, a Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 and a couple of flash cards cost about $9000.
      I couldn't find a comparable 6x9 cm film camera, but a Mamiya 7 II outfit with three lenses that cover the range of the Nikkor zoom is about $4000 used (closer to $7000 new), plus a $2000 Super Coolscan 9000. The $3000 left over (assuming you buy the Mamiya outfit used) covers approximately 200 rolls of Velvia with processing. They're pretty comparable in price and performance (with the edge to the D3x over 6x7 if you like wider aspect ratios), with the D3x never needing a further investment in film after the first couple thousand shots (after the Mamiya's included hundred rolls, it's $1.50 per frame). Replace the Super Coolscan with a drum scanner (high resolution models are over $10,000 even used) or even an Imacon and the prices are very different. Remove the scanner from the package and have someone do $2000 worth of drum scans at $50 each, and you only get 40 final images out of the Mamiya. I certainly won't argue with someone who's printing 24 inches wide off their Mamiya - it's a REALLY nice system too. I'm just saying that the 20+MP DSLRs provide another choice that is at least comparable in price and performance, without ongoing film costs. For people who don't do many frames per year (and are willing to ALWAYS use a tripod and perfect technique), 4x5 is another viable choice, with resolution on the film so high that even a cheap Epson scanner can scan it to D3x resolutions or better. A used 4x5 outfit can be assembled quite reasonably, allowing for a $4000 used professional flatbed scanner that will provide outstanding (well beyond D3x resolution) scans from large format transparencies. The drawback to large format (apart from the inflexibility - while you need to shoot a D3x like large format for MAXIMUM quality, you can also handhold it - try that with a Wista!) is, of course, the very high per frame cost ($5.00 or more).
 I completely agree with the point that the 20+MP DSLRs need very sharp lenses (and there are a substantial number of Nikkors that are very sharp, including the 24-70 I used in the example above - I own that lens, have over 5000 frames on it, and would call it sharper than anything I've ever used, including Zeiss glass for Hasselblad V) - using a D3x (or, I'm sure, a 1Ds mkIII or an Alpha 900) with a $200 consumer zoom would lose a LOT of detail!

                                                                          -Dan
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« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2009, 02:46:02 PM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
A megabuck drum scanner might extract more detail from the film (although the Super Coolscan is already scanning grain), and would certainly bring the film closer to the D3x's dynamic range.


There's far more to the quality of a scan from a good drum scanner than just this. You gel mount film on a good PMT drum with good software, you control both properly, you're going to get a much better data set. The Cooscan is OK, its no match for say an Imacon at the same resolution and for that matter, a good drum (prior to using an Imacon, I ran a Scanmate 5000 and  Howtek) is again producing a vastly superior file compared to the Imacon. Its like expecting the same 22mp camera with a wide range of lens quality is going to produce the same quality data. It will not. So in terms of this discussion, one can make a good digital capture look a lot better than a scan depending on how and who scanned the film. IF (and when) I did film versus tests in the old days, I drum scanned them.

Someone could argue a desktop drum isn't as good as a high end prepress drum (some could argue, if you're not scanning for CMYK, that's a good thing).
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« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2009, 03:28:38 PM »
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Drum scanners now are being given away, including the prepress ones. The bigger the scanner the more it costs to get rid of. They are rather inexpensive, but finding supplies is becoming a problem. Scanning is over, no one cares, film is going the way history sets forth.  Scanning film is only going to resolve dye or silver clumps as the grain itself is beyond any scanner.

No need to take it one way or another. The good drum scanners like I had, ICG, Aztek/Howtek, SG 8060MKII, 6250 Fuji all were able to provide for superior quality images, a lot of which has to do with fluid mount. The Nikon with fluid mount is pretty good as are the Scitex Supreme flatbeds.
When I see comparisons of film vs digital unless the film is very carefully scanned as well as the digital capture well done it doesn't say much. Joseph Holmes is one sure bet, a nice Tango, and a photographer who knows everything there is to know about maximising capture.

Joe went digital, Stephen Johnson has been since pioneering with Betterlight, etc, etc etc. I sold my drum as I just like digital for reasons of versatility, environmental issues, speed etc. No regrets, but I can tell you when I see scanned 6x6 pos film it still has a sparkle that my Canon does not. Perhaps with a MF back no AA filter it would look closer. Yet it doesn't matter as I will not be shooting film again outside the very rare 4x5 as I don't have a MF back for the Sinar.
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« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2009, 03:34:26 PM »
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I believe we will need scanners for many years to come.  I still rescan film and slides from years back because scanners are better today than they were 10 years ago.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2009, 03:53:48 PM »
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Quote from: neil snape
No regrets, but I can tell you when I see scanned 6x6 pos film it still has a sparkle that my Canon does not. Perhaps with a MF back no AA filter it would look closer.
I have not any regrets either, but that's just not the same in many aspects.
Recently, I joined the efforts of more experienced guys to emulate the look (color and tonality, grossly said) of a color negative film with digital, for another photographer who was quite attached to that look (his work is remarkable indeed).
We just couldn't! (Discussion in french if it's of any interest)
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2009, 05:48:45 PM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
In my comparison of the D3x to medium format, I made clear that I was using a Super Coolscan 9000 to scan the Velvia (I was also using Velvia 100, not 50). A megabuck drum scanner might extract more detail from the film (although the Super Coolscan is already scanning grain), and would certainly bring the film closer to the D3x's dynamic range. Remember that a drum scanner costs substantially more than a D3x, and is a royal pain to use (often run by an operator who has received manufacturer training). Of course, you could have someone else make your drum scans, at 50-100 dollars per scan. With comparable equipment investments, I stand by my statement that the D3x is roughly equivalent to 6x9 cm Velvia 100 scanned on a Super Coolscan 9000. A D3x, a Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 and a couple of flash cards cost about $9000.

I was going to stay out of this fight. But there's just too much misinformation about drum scanning here. I do a lot of drum scanning for people, I hope I've got a clue about my market.

First, anyone who would pay $9000 USD for a drum scanner these days is a nut case; please introduce me. I would gladly part with one of my scanners for $9000 USD. There are excellent used scanners on the market, full turn-key systems including mounting stations, computers, and software for way less money. As in less than $2000 USD. Used working Howtek 4000/4500s routinely go in this range. I've seen better scanners like Optronics ColorGetters go for less than $1000 USD. I'd explain why but I doubt anyone actually cares.

The only people who say that drum scanners are "a royal pain to use" are people who have never run one. Drum scanning has it's own set of learning curves, just like both film and digital photography have theirs. It's not insurmountably difficult. It does not require factory training. If I can do it anyone can. What it takes is care, precision, and patience. Anyone who's tried to get the most out of their cameras knows about this; it's not unlike doing the tripod, mirror lockup, precision focusing, picking the right taking aperture to maximize sharpness level of care, precision, and patience that most of the participants here know all too well.

While I'm here I might as well dispel another myth about drum scanners that's bound to come up if it hasn't already. That myth is about how wonderful a Tango is. Heidelberg designed the Tangos for advertising work and optimized the hell out of them for big pre-press houses. At this they excel. But unless you only shoot trannies and expect they'll never be printed larger than a magazine page using an offset press, you'll likely do better with another scanner.

There are two main problems that keep the Tangos out of the running for excellent fine art scanners. First, they have large minimum apertures (10 or 11 micros depending on who you talk to). This limits the optical resolution you can obtain with it. The theoretical maximum you'll get from about 10 microns is around 2500 spi. That's all. The "lowly" Howtek 4000 has a smaller aperture (around 6 microns, or around 4000 spi) and is noticeably sharper than a Tango. The Howtek 8000 and Premiers have a minimum aperture of around 3 microns, as do the later model ICGs, all of which can give you a real optical resolution in the range of 7000 spi, and crush Tangos for real optical resolution. Not that you'll produce a lot of film that has that much image information on it.

The second problem is that Heidelberg optimized the hell out of their scanners for tranny work. Operators have told me that working with negatives (color or B&W) is a royal PITA because the Linocolor/Newcolor software makes working with negatives operator-hostile. Heidelberg did this for good reason -- their market was nearly 100% trannies. Think art directors. Think time-is-money, and WYSIWYG, art director making decisions on the light table. Has to be trannies.

I'm not saying that Tangos are bad; they are excellent at what they were designed for. But there are considerably better scanners for fine art work. Especially negatives. So if you are comparing digital capture with Tango scans, don't be surprised when the digital capture comes up with more sharpness. If you want to know what film will really do, go up against an Aztek Premier with DPL software. That's probably the current state of the art in scanning any film. And a Premier almost certainly will cost you more than $9000 USD.  
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2009, 07:28:08 PM »
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Can anybody with experience explain or better yet, show the difference between a Nikon 9000 and a drum scanner?  I've never personally used a drum scanner, so I'm curious what the difference will be using 35mm film?  Anybody?

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