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Author Topic: a film to digital print comparison  (Read 11158 times)
Kitty
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« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2009, 10:50:11 PM »
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Bruce, Could you please comment Imacon 949 or Hasselblad X5 scanner?
Is it good for film scanning? What is the micron for this one?
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2009, 11:32:10 PM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
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),-Dan

Lets dispel two more myths;

Myth #1 - Price of Camera

Yes, if live in USA a Mamiya 7 is exepensive both new and used, simply  because Mamiya USA traditionally have priced 2x the price it has been sold here in Asia! (although Mamiya also here increased prices last year... perhaps due pressure from Mamiya USA, although the excuse I was told was more expensive materials   ...).

A few years ago I was looking for a used Mamiya 6 on Ebay, but due to USA new pricing also used are sold for high. Thus I ended buying a NEW Mamiya 7ii here in Hong Kong with a 43mm and 80mm for not much more than used Mamiya 6 sold for on Ebay with 50mm + 80mm.    

Look aside the Mamiya 7 and... there... there is a multitude of used very high level gear for sale for near nothing! - both medium and large format!

Myth #2 - Film expensive. Yes, if you are a professional who shoot large volume, but not as an amateur who shoots selective. And with medium format and large format one is more pushed to shoot selective and to with each press of shutter capture what is a good image. With a DSLR one is instead encouraged to press the shutter... and sort through a large volume on computer... plus the time of digital adjustments of course....

Wait, D3X?? 8,000 usd? Medium format film camera will keep you going for years, or... if only need 10MP, look at Leica M8 which is very excellent and requires little processing in computer.  

Problem - Film and digital are different medias. Using both means carrying and owning more gear.

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 11:35:02 PM by Anders_HK » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2009, 06:22:07 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
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).

While I will not argue the qualities of a good drum scanner used by a skilled and caring operator I do not see the price difference between an Imacon and a Nikon 9000 reflected in the scan qualities. That said I customised my Nikon 8000 with wet mounting film holders, tweaked the overall focusing and use Vuescan as the driver. However the Nikon MF range may no longer be in production according to more sources. So the choices that remain are an Epson V750, the Imacon models or a used drum scanner. I think ICG still makes new drum scanners of a high quality. The step in image quality between an Epson V750 and a good drum scanner is huge but will also be wiser pricewise than buying an Imacon.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2009, 06:31:56 AM »
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Quote from: Phil Indeblanc
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 :-)

Funny you should say that. I revisited some old SLR/n files the other day and was struck by how much sharper and cleaner the D3x pixels where... then I recalled that I had in fact already seen this gap between the SLR/n and the D2x.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Bruce Watson
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« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2009, 07:00:54 AM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
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?
Difficult to compare because they use two very different scanning techniques. The Nikon is a CCD scanner. It moves a bar of CCD elements across the film -- scanning a line at a time.

Drum scanners use PMTs. PMTs are large and expensive so they only use three (or four). The PMTs are held stationary and the film is rotated past an optical pickup. IOW, the film is scanned one pixel at a time.

A large part of the difference in the scans is due to lighting. CCD scanners have to light at least the line across the film if not the entire film during scanning. This contributes a fair amount of light scatter to the scan resulting in a little more softness. Drum scanners light just the pixel in question when they take their measurement of the film so light scatter is minimized, and sharpness is higher as a result.

There's all kinds of theory about how to scan film. The reality is that none of us are likely going to be building scanners to scan film ourselves, so the theory devolves down to what can we buy. And in that case for most 35mm film applications a film scanner like the Nikon mentioned will usually do fine for most applications. In my personal estimation (not an industry standard by a long shot) the Nikon's and Minolta's are pretty good. If you fluid mount and put in the effort you can get results that compare well with drum scanning up to around 7-8x enlargement.
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Bruce Watson
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« Reply #45 on: July 30, 2009, 07:08:54 AM »
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Quote from: Kitty
Bruce, Could you please comment Imacon 949 or Hasselblad X5 scanner?
Is it good for film scanning? What is the micron for this one?
The Imacon scanners are flatbed scanners with a twist. They are CCD scanners that scan the film a line at a time just like flatbed scanners. The twist is that they eliminate the flat bed. Instead they hold the film in a known position by bowing it. Since they aren't drum scanners they don't have an aperture to look through. I have no data with which to make predictions about performance of the Imacon/Hasselblad scanners. Sorry.
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Kitty
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« Reply #46 on: July 30, 2009, 07:14:11 AM »
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Quote from: Ernst Dinkla
While I will not argue the qualities of a good drum scanner used by a skilled and caring operator I do not see the price difference between an Imacon and a Nikon 9000 reflected in the scan qualities. That said I customised my Nikon 8000 with wet mounting film holders, tweaked the overall focusing and use Vuescan as the driver. However the Nikon MF range may no longer be in production according to more sources. So the choices that remain are an Epson V750, the Imacon models or a used drum scanner. I think ICG still makes new drum scanners of a high quality. The step in image quality between an Epson V750 and a good drum scanner is huge but will also be wiser pricewise than buying an Imacon.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

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Files from Imacon is much sharper than Nikon 9000. IMHO.
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Kitty
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« Reply #47 on: July 30, 2009, 07:17:28 AM »
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Quote from: Bruce Watson
The Imacon scanners are flatbed scanners with a twist. They are CCD scanners that scan the film a line at a time just like flatbed scanners. The twist is that they eliminate the flat bed. Instead they hold the film in a known position by bowing it. Since they aren't drum scanners they don't have an aperture to look through. I have no data with which to make predictions about performance of the Imacon/Hasselblad scanners. Sorry.

Thanks Bruce. At least you say only what you know. I like that.
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Doombrain
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« Reply #48 on: July 30, 2009, 07:33:58 AM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
I would suggest you don't waste your time reading Ken Rockwell.

This made me smile
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digitaldog
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« Reply #49 on: July 30, 2009, 08:01:28 AM »
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Quote from: Bruce Watson
Instead they hold the film in a known position by bowing it. Since they aren't drum scanners they don't have an aperture to look through. I have no data with which to make predictions about performance of the Imacon/Hasselblad scanners. Sorry.

Not to be too nickpicky, I'd say an Imacon IS a drum scanner as the film is handled this way, its just not a PMT drum scanner (which is a major distinction). The cool thing about drum scanners (CCD in the case of the Imacon, PMT for others) is as pointed out, the fact that one small area is in sharp focus for whatever sensor is used to scan the film.

I've worked with Howtek and Scanmate drums and several older Imacon's (and prior to that Leaf's which were slow but very good units). Nothing approaches the quality of a PMT drum IMHO. The Imacon's were however very good. If I were doing a lot of scans today, needed a scanner, it would be a hard choice which route to go. For quality, PMT drum no question. Problem is, can you drive them on your current hardware and will the software run? With Imacon, at least you've got something that can be driven FireWire and the software runs under modern OS.
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Andrew Rodney
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #50 on: July 30, 2009, 09:37:13 AM »
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Quote from: Kitty
Files from Imacon is much sharper than Nikon 9000. IMHO.

Not if you take out the default sharpening in the Imacon driver. For that you have to enter a negative number.
Many users are not aware of that "feature". On the Nikon compatible drivers sharpening is an optional choice, not a default one.

The fact that the film is curved during the scan doesn't make it a drum scanner. The reason it is curved in the Imacon is that the film will not pop/deform while mounting and during the scan and the mechanical/optical construction will scan the film along the radius for that curve. The focus should in theory be more consistent that way than in a glassless filmcarrier on a flatbed CCD scanner. A nice solution but not more than that, it still is a CCD scanner. Film wetmounted to glass in a Nikon 8000-9000 and the focusing adjusted for the 4 corners of the frame gives a very sharp scan all over. The wet mounting makes the light transmission uniform, reduces the effect of matte emulsion surfaces and heals damaged film. The drivers for the Nikon, Silverfast, NikonScan and Vuescan, are compatible with the extra Infrared illumination so ICE or ICE alike program features for dust and scratch removal are usable, even with wet mounting. As far as I know wet mounting isn't possible on an Imacon and ICE + hardware infrared wasn't available in older models, but I'm not sure whether the latest versions have it aboard or still not.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

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digitaldog
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« Reply #51 on: July 30, 2009, 09:40:43 AM »
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The cost of the fine lens in an Imacon probably is as much as the cost of the Nikon! Not that a lens is all that important here (not).


You get what you pay for.
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Andrew Rodney
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #52 on: July 30, 2009, 11:08:41 AM »
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Hi,

According to Mr. Rockwell this is (all) what you need:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/minolta/mp.htm

I happen to have it, too. Not having experience with other scanners I have no comment ;-)

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: digitaldog
The cost of the fine lens in an Imacon probably is as much as the cost of the Nikon! Not that a lens is all that important here (not).


You get what you pay for.
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #53 on: July 30, 2009, 01:22:59 PM »
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Someone on here quoted really good 7x-8x enlargements from scanning on the Coolscans. I have pushed a little bit beyond that comfortably - about 10x  (so 10x15 inches from 35mm, and 20 inches from the 6cm dimension on 120 - 16x20 from 645, 20x20 from 6x6, as much as 20x30 from 6x9). How much beyond that (for a really good print of a high detail subject) will an Imacon go? A drum scanner? I can't imagine getting 20x, because that was widely considered impossible in the chemical darkroom (that would be a 20x30 from 35mm, and any print that size from 35mm I've ever seen was a grainy mess, no matter how it was produced). Is 15x realistic? A good darkroom worker could ALMOST do that, IF they started with a really good negative or chrome - that's where the special developers like Acufine and Microdol came in - people trying to make detailed 16x24 prints from 35mm. Of course there are low-detail subjects (or places where grain is acceptable) that print significantly larger, but that's true of digital as well.
        The best digital sensors today will go something like 25x on the physical size of the sensor (I use the D3x as an example, because it's what I use, but I'm sure that there are other sensors that are in the same range). That gives us 24x36 from full-frame 35 (I do that all the time, and it looks great), 33x44 inches from the smaller medium-format systems and 36x48 from the P45+ size sensor. A P65+ with its oversize sensor SHOULD print right around 40x50, which is, coincidentally, also a 10x enlargement from 4x5.
     There are a couple of problems with this... First is depth of field - I find myself REALLY thinking hard about DOF on big prints (using a bigger camera, one often has tilt to help deal with that - of course this is a problem with non-tilting medium format as well). My next lens purchase will certainly be a PC-E Nikkor (I'm trying to decide on focal length now). The second issue is when do you not actually need any more resolution for a bigger print, because of viewing distance? Ansel Adams raised this question in The Print in his chapter on very large prints. My 24x36's look good from a foot away - could I make a 40x60 that held up at 3 or 4 feet?  If so, who'd ever look at a print that size from any closer than that? Prints that big are often displayed in ways where you can't GET closer than that...
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« Reply #54 on: July 30, 2009, 02:30:38 PM »
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Hi,

I made a very impressive image in size 70x100 cm from 6x7 that's about 15 times on the long side. That picture was absolutely sharp but it was a lot of work with enhancing, removing grain and so on. Also, the zone of sharpness was very thin but with a nice "bokeh" so the result was very good and still looked pretty sharp overall.

Pity we cannot share prints on the net!

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: Dan Wells
Someone on here quoted really good 7x-8x enlargements from scanning on the Coolscans. I have pushed a little bit beyond that comfortably - about 10x  (so 10x15 inches from 35mm, and 20 inches from the 6cm dimension on 120 - 16x20 from 645, 20x20 from 6x6, as much as 20x30 from 6x9). How much beyond that (for a really good print of a high detail subject) will an Imacon go? A drum scanner? I can't imagine getting 20x, because that was widely considered impossible in the chemical darkroom (that would be a 20x30 from 35mm, and any print that size from 35mm I've ever seen was a grainy mess, no matter how it was produced). Is 15x realistic? A good darkroom worker could ALMOST do that, IF they started with a really good negative or chrome - that's where the special developers like Acufine and Microdol came in - people trying to make detailed 16x24 prints from 35mm. Of course there are low-detail subjects (or places where grain is acceptable) that print significantly larger, but that's true of digital as well.
        The best digital sensors today will go something like 25x on the physical size of the sensor (I use the D3x as an example, because it's what I use, but I'm sure that there are other sensors that are in the same range). That gives us 24x36 from full-frame 35 (I do that all the time, and it looks great), 33x44 inches from the smaller medium-format systems and 36x48 from the P45+ size sensor. A P65+ with its oversize sensor SHOULD print right around 40x50, which is, coincidentally, also a 10x enlargement from 4x5.
     There are a couple of problems with this... First is depth of field - I find myself REALLY thinking hard about DOF on big prints (using a bigger camera, one often has tilt to help deal with that - of course this is a problem with non-tilting medium format as well). My next lens purchase will certainly be a PC-E Nikkor (I'm trying to decide on focal length now). The second issue is when do you not actually need any more resolution for a bigger print, because of viewing distance? Ansel Adams raised this question in The Print in his chapter on very large prints. My 24x36's look good from a foot away - could I make a 40x60 that held up at 3 or 4 feet?  If so, who'd ever look at a print that size from any closer than that? Prints that big are often displayed in ways where you can't GET closer than that...
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TimG
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« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2009, 02:53:00 PM »
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The comments bashing Mr. Rockwell are humorous, but the immediate dismissal of his site seems unnecessary.  

If I recall, there was a bit of a spat between Michael & Ken awhile back. I don't recall the details other than (I believe) Rockwell took a couple stabs at Michael.  The posts which appeared thereafter on the LL Forum were heated, and of course, Michael's loyal followers hopped on the bandwagon, much as they are now in this thread.

Personally, I like Rockwell's site for his insight on film cameras (remember those?), but his digital camera reviews seem pretty cookie cutter - the reviews here are way more in-depth and useful, plus there's the whole forum component, which is like an additional treasure chest of useful information, on all things photographic, albeit with a bit of a digital slant nowadays.

I guess it's like anything on the Internet; you can't believe everything you read.  But, if you're willing to dig a bit deeper, there's some great stuff you can glean from the site.

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Bruce Watson
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« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2009, 05:02:49 PM »
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How much enlargement is too much enlargement is just a very difficult question to answer. I can give some observations from a "fine art perspective" that might be somewhat illuminating. Or not. IDK.

A few years ago I helped hang an exhibition of prints from George Eastman House. The exhibit was of old Vietnam war photographs. Just about all of the B&W was 35mm Tri-X, most of it developed in the field under very primitive conditions. Needless to say it was all hand held -- no tripods, no mirror lockup, etc. The photographers had more important things to do than optimize for sharpness -- like trying to stay alive in a fire fight. Literally.

There were several prints in the group that GEH had printed 40 x 50 inches. They were soft, grainy, and very sadly beautiful. One image in particular continues to haunt me, so I'd have to say it was quite effective at that size. People at the exhibit would look at it from across the room, from the "proper viewing distance" and they'd walk right up to it. And come back to it over and over. It seemed to work for a lot of people, not just me.

So under some conditions, some images can easily handle 35x enlargement.

That said, very very few images can do that. Very few.

On the other end of the spectrum I've got a few 4x5 negatives, Tri-X, that I pushed a couple of stops. After about 4x they flat out start coming apart. Nice images, but I can't really print them above 16 x 20 inches because the graininess doesn't serve the image well at all.

I've also got a nice image on 4x5 400PortraNC. The lab did a fine job on film processing, and I did a reasonably good job of capture in a strong wind (snow storm). It's nicely detailed, but I can't take it much above 8x because again, the graininess becomes intrusive and draws the viewers' attention away from the image and the detail in the image. It's just the way this particular image works.

So... how much enlargement seems to be one of those things best done on a case-by-case basis. It's just a huge multi-variable equation involving everything from image capture on down the processing line to final print. I wish there were simple rules of thumb that really worked. But if there are I have yet to find them.

Quote from: Dan Wells
Someone on here quoted really good 7x-8x enlargements from scanning on the Coolscans. I have pushed a little bit beyond that comfortably - about 10x  (so 10x15 inches from 35mm, and 20 inches from the 6cm dimension on 120 - 16x20 from 645, 20x20 from 6x6, as much as 20x30 from 6x9). How much beyond that (for a really good print of a high detail subject) will an Imacon go? A drum scanner? I can't imagine getting 20x, because that was widely considered impossible in the chemical darkroom (that would be a 20x30 from 35mm, and any print that size from 35mm I've ever seen was a grainy mess, no matter how it was produced). Is 15x realistic? A good darkroom worker could ALMOST do that, IF they started with a really good negative or chrome - that's where the special developers like Acufine and Microdol came in - people trying to make detailed 16x24 prints from 35mm. Of course there are low-detail subjects (or places where grain is acceptable) that print significantly larger, but that's true of digital as well.
        The best digital sensors today will go something like 25x on the physical size of the sensor (I use the D3x as an example, because it's what I use, but I'm sure that there are other sensors that are in the same range). That gives us 24x36 from full-frame 35 (I do that all the time, and it looks great), 33x44 inches from the smaller medium-format systems and 36x48 from the P45+ size sensor. A P65+ with its oversize sensor SHOULD print right around 40x50, which is, coincidentally, also a 10x enlargement from 4x5.
     There are a couple of problems with this... First is depth of field - I find myself REALLY thinking hard about DOF on big prints (using a bigger camera, one often has tilt to help deal with that - of course this is a problem with non-tilting medium format as well). My next lens purchase will certainly be a PC-E Nikkor (I'm trying to decide on focal length now). The second issue is when do you not actually need any more resolution for a bigger print, because of viewing distance? Ansel Adams raised this question in The Print in his chapter on very large prints. My 24x36's look good from a foot away - could I make a 40x60 that held up at 3 or 4 feet?  If so, who'd ever look at a print that size from any closer than that? Prints that big are often displayed in ways where you can't GET closer than that...
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #57 on: July 30, 2009, 05:49:30 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Funny you should say that. I revisited some old SLR/n files the other day and was struck by how much sharper and cleaner the D3x pixels where... then I recalled that I had in fact already seen this gap between the SLR/n and the D2x.

Cheers,
Bernard


Kinda surprised to hear that Bernard...As much as I had highlight(lighting in the camera's direction) issues with the Kodak SLR/c, It is clearly sharper than my 1Ds, using the same 100macro R lens.  
(of course this is raw vs raw file unprocessed). After processing the 1Ds file was the one I ended up with using.

After processing, I put the SLR/c aside and used the 1Ds as the magenta shift was too much to post edit, besides needing to use Kodak's processor (which actually is very strong in the overall way it handles files), add in the tether shooting, and processing with AdobeRaw, it was just easier to work with the 1Ds.
Also, the difference after processing.  
When you approach to process the Kodak file, it "bleeds" rather fast, the threshhold at which the pixels get muddy was drastic. Hard to explain.  I don't know if the magenta in highlights was just my copy, but I had the new firmware, and the later version, and at the time I couldn't afford to trouble shoot some tool I needed to work with.
If they had cooked that camera's development for maybe another 6months...It had so much to offer as a studio camera.  

I would like to go over the SLR/c again, but with a MF back, and the magenta in the highlight issues, I just feel I am wasting time.  But I would like to take a 1Ds II, or I vs D2xorD3x, and use a universal mount with a leica and see the difference in res.  It would be a interesting test. perhaps we will see no difference? but with both having AA filters, I wonder which one makes a less "blurring" filter? I would think this is already been tested, but?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 05:51:32 PM by Phil Indeblanc » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: July 30, 2009, 08:58:45 PM »
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Quote from: TimG
The comments bashing Mr. Rockwell are humorous, but the immediate dismissal of his site seems unnecessary.  

If I recall, there was a bit of a spat between Michael & Ken awhile back. I don't recall the details other than (I believe) Rockwell took a couple stabs at Michael.  The posts which appeared thereafter on the LL Forum were heated, and of course, Michael's loyal followers hopped on the bandwagon, much as they are now in this thread.

Personally, I like Rockwell's site for his insight on film cameras (remember those?), but his digital camera reviews seem pretty cookie cutter - the reviews here are way more in-depth and useful, plus there's the whole forum component, which is like an additional treasure chest of useful information, on all things photographic, albeit with a bit of a digital slant nowadays.

I guess it's like anything on the Internet; you can't believe everything you read.  But, if you're willing to dig a bit deeper, there's some great stuff you can glean from the site.


I believe you are correct regarding the pot shot KR took at MR and if I remember Michael was 100% right and KR as usual was 100% wrong.  I hate the term "Loyal Followers" because I don't believe most here are "Sheeple" I know I'm certainly not.  This site is filled with very knowledgeable people / photographers and you can learn from the surface on down.  I have read a lot (read; wasted a lot of time) of Ken Rockwell's site and it's 99% garbage, yes GARBAGE, reading it will just lower your IQ    

This site is filled with great information and you can actually learn, Michael doesn't write "Canon cameras are simply the best and there's no alternative"  because it would be a foolish statement.  Michael's reviews are "Real World" which is what a lot of people prefer.

I believe Ken Rockwell plagiarizes and that bothers me.  He's a blowhard who doesn't have much to offer.  I could go on and on and on, but that would be wasting even more time  

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Dan Wells
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« Reply #59 on: July 30, 2009, 09:26:46 PM »
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The point about different images needing different amounts of detail is very important - two famous photographs illustrate this perfectly. Robert Capa's images from D-Day have absoulely no detail - 35mm, fast film, handheld with shaky hand ,lens presumably wet with saltwater, distracting elements like being shot at by Nazi machine-gunners. Ansel Adams' Clearing Winter Storm was made under absolutely perfect conditions in many ways, using an 8x10 camera attached to a fixed mount on top of Adams' car, with nobody shooting at him at the time. Clearing Winter Storm has incredible detail, and it draws the viewer in with its detail. Even if Capa had somehow been able to charge ashore at Normandy with an 8x10 on a fixed stand, would that have represented the tenor of the day anywhere near as well as what he got with his handheld Contax? Conversely, would Clearing Winter Storm have any impact at all out of focus?
      Of course, discussions of maximum enlargement apply only to images where detail is important - Capa's war photos can be, and have been enlarged well beyond what would be prudent for another type of image. The golfball sized grain only adds to the gritty impact of the images, and to the mood he captured.

                 -Dan
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 09:28:15 PM by Dan Wells » Logged
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