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Author Topic: D800 hyperbole  (Read 22909 times)
theguywitha645d
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« on: March 15, 2012, 08:13:48 PM »
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Great article Michael.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 09:10:14 PM by theguywitha645d » Logged
michael
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 08:55:18 PM »
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The problem with writing anything on the web is that there's always some smart guy eager to belittle by pointing out an exception.

The 645D is a $10,000 camera. The D800 is a $3,000 camera. What part of it's much more expensive isn't clear?

As it is I find myself adding more caveats and explanations than I'd prefer for clear communication, but apparently not as much as I should. Do I have to start adding footnotes with exceptions and caveats? Sad

Michael
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 09:04:10 PM by michael » Logged
dreed
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 10:23:27 PM »
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Michael, what strikes me most about the D800 is that to get the most out of it, hand held photography needs to be at 1 over either 2 or 3 times the focal length. Given that the pixel density of the NEX 7 is higher and I believe that it lacks sensor based image stabilisation, has this presented any real world problems when using the NEX 7?

And how does the weight of the NEX 7 system add or detract from that?

Whilst there has been a lot written about "We don't need more megapixels than X", in an age of 100% pixel peeping on the Internet, I can't help but wonder if we'll run into a megapixel limit that's lower than we might have expected because the camera becomes too unusable at full resolution. And by that I mean that we'll need to use 1/100 with a 50mm/1.4 (no IS) (for example.)

What's curious about the released images thus far is that whilst the dynamic range at low ISO (100 - 200) seems to have been increased dramatically, there has been a much smaller improvement over ISO 200. With the propensity for image blur due to smaller pixels, it would seem that the faster shutter speeds are going to drive up the need to use higher ISO values.

I'm curious as to where the cutoff points are here. For example, are you better off using a D700 indoors because you can more easily (and reliably) get sharp pictures at ISO 400 with 1/50 with a 50mm than you are using a D800 that requires ISO 800 (or more) so that you can shoot at 1/100 (or faster) with the same lens?

Or is the future is one where either all of the lens/camera combinations that we use involve some sort of stabilisation technology in order to make the camera more usable?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 10:35:45 PM by dreed » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 11:21:18 PM »
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I'm curious as to where the cutoff points are here. For example, are you better off using a D700 indoors because you can more easily (and reliably) get sharp pictures at ISO 400 with 1/50 with a 50mm than you are using a D800 that requires ISO 800 (or more) so that you can shoot at 1/100 (or faster) with the same lens?

All things being equal, more pixels will never deliver less absolute details. In the very worst case, the D800 would not deliver any additional details over the lower resolution D700. In most cases, there will be some advantage. Indeed, individual pixels may look more blurred, but the image will look identical.

Now, all things are not being equal because the high ISO behavior of high density sensors may be worse. In the present case though, it seems that after down res to 12 mp, the D800 is about one stop better than the D700/D3 at high ISOs, which puts it roughly at the level as or slightly below the D3s in terms of high ISO noise capability.

This looks like the closest thing to the universal camera. MF like DR/detail at low ISO, D3s like image quality at high ISOs...

Cheers,
Bernard
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 11:39:01 PM »
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Great article Michael.
Good answer! never be the nail that is standing up you might get hit on the head with a hammer! Smiley
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 11:51:46 PM »
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I know I'll get jumped on for this, but I think removing a well-designed a.a. filter rarely results in much more real detail. Instead, it allows the generation of false detail beyond the nyquist limit, which gives the impression of sharpness. Aliasing looks very sharp. And at the resolutions we use now, nobody can tell the difference in many landscape images. But that "extra" detail just may not be in the original scene at all. This article explains the issue quite well, I think:  http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/20.

Right now, even the highest resolution bayer sensors fail to fully exploit the abilities of decent lenses. Ctein has pointed out that it will take sensors with resolution in the hundreds of megapixels to actually accomplish that. In the meantime, there are two strategies people use to get the look of ultimate sharpness--both of them relying on digital artifacts and processing.

One is to remove the a.a. filter, and accept some aliased edges and false details that look sharp. These artifacts are often indistinguishable from actual detail in, say, landscape photography. The second strategy is to cut off most detail beyond nyquist with an a.a. filter, and use advanced sharpening techniques that try to recreate what the lens saw. If pushed far enough, deconvolution sharpening not only restores sharpness, but introduces a mist of grain and other digital artifacts that make the file look super sharp. (Just being honest, here.)

Personally, I prefer the second strategy. Deconvolution sharpening gets better all the time. And I would rather have control over the process than accept whatever artifacts the sensor gives me. Not just moire, but distorted edges and other inventions of the sensor and camera processing.

Pretty much every digital file made without an a.a. filter has aliasing, baked in. Just check the resolution charts of your favorite lenses. They all show false color and false detail--even those taken on cameras with a weak a.a. filter. It's fine if you like how the file looks, but we shouldn't confuse this aliasing with actual resolution.

I think that in ten years people will look back on the whole a.a. debate as a quaint vestige of digital growing pains. In the meantime, we should keep it real. Digital cameras without a.a. filters record a lot of false data. If we want to incorporate that into the look of our images, fine. But it's still there. For the most part non-a.a. cameras don't reveal more resolution. They create it.

Now I'll go hide in my bunker to wait for the incoming flames...
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 11:59:44 PM »
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Everyone seems to know Michael wrote this article but me.  Am I missing something that's on the screen, or do we just know that if another writer isn't mentioned it's Michael writing?

Nice article, an organized synopsis useful to those who haven't yet made their decision.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 12:20:04 AM »
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I know I'll get jumped on for this, but I think removing a well-designed a.a. filter rarely results in much more real detail. Instead, it allows the generation of false detail beyond the nyquist limit, which gives the impression of sharpness. Aliasing looks very sharp. And at the resolutions we use now, nobody can tell the difference in many landscape images. But that "extra" detail just may not be in the original scene at all. This article explains the issue quite well, I think:  http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/20.

Right now, even the highest resolution bayer sensors fail to fully exploit the abilities of decent lenses. Ctein has pointed out that it will take sensors with resolution in the hundreds of megapixels to actually accomplish that. In the meantime, there are two strategies people use to get the look of ultimate sharpness--both of them relying on digital artifacts and processing.

One is to remove the a.a. filter, and accept some aliased edges and false details that look sharp. These artifacts are often indistinguishable from actual detail in, say, landscape photography. The second strategy is to cut off most detail beyond nyquist with an a.a. filter, and use advanced sharpening techniques that try to recreate what the lens saw. If pushed far enough, deconvolution sharpening not only restores sharpness, but introduces a mist of grain and other digital artifacts that make the file look super sharp. (Just being honest, here.)

Personally, I prefer the second strategy. Deconvolution sharpening gets better all the time. And I would rather have control over the process than accept whatever artifacts the sensor gives me. Not just moire, but distorted edges and other inventions of the sensor and camera processing.

Pretty much every digital file made without an a.a. filter has aliasing, baked in. Just check the resolution charts of your favorite lenses. They all show false color and false detail--even those taken on cameras with a weak a.a. filter. It's fine if you like how the file looks, but we shouldn't confuse this aliasing with actual resolution.

I think that in ten years people will look back on the whole a.a. debate as a quaint vestige of digital growing pains. In the meantime, we should keep it real. Digital cameras without a.a. filters record a lot of false data. If we want to incorporate that into the look of our images, fine. But it's still there. For the most part non-a.a. cameras don't reveal more resolution. They create it.

Now I'll go hide in my bunker to wait for the incoming flames...
I've tried to get my head around this in other threads but my understanding is false information is only present if the subject is a repeating pattern and a high frequency pattern? It is not present all the time  ie random patterns. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Tony Jay
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 12:33:22 AM »
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This is an interesting issue that does need resolution (pardon the pun).

Looking forward to the debate.

Regards

Tony Jay
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dds
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 12:36:15 AM »
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Well, there are people on this forum who know a lot more about the science than I do. But my understanding is that this kind of aliasing is always present. It just becomes more obvious when there are repeating patterns over a large area of the photograph that interact with the sensor to create a large moire pattern. Or hot highlights that stress the sensor into creating obvious false color. In a random landscape scene, we would have to look more closely to see it expressed--say, on the edge of branches or telephone lines, in wood detail, in color speckles and jaggies and thickened details.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 12:44:57 AM »
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Well, there are people on this forum who know a lot more about the science than I do. But my understanding is that this kind of aliasing is always present. It just becomes more obvious when there are repeating patterns over a large area of the photograph that interact with the sensor to create a large moire pattern. Or hot highlights that stress the sensor into creating obvious false color. In a random landscape scene, we would have to look more closely to see it expressed--say, on the edge of branches or telephone lines, in wood detail, in color speckles and jaggies and thickened details.
I'm under the opposite understanding so let me start another thread on this subject in Cameras, lenses etc
let's get the smart guys here to clarify this important issue
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 12:53:43 AM »
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Hi,

No, you always get fake detail and or fake contrast. Repeating patterns just makes this obvious.

Best regards
Erik


I've tried to get my head around this in other threads but my understanding is false information is only present if the subject is a repeating pattern and a high frequency pattern? It is not present all the time  ie random patterns. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Marc
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Ray
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 12:59:12 AM »
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I agree with Bernard here. For same size images or prints, any increase in sensor pixel numbers will never deliver worse results using the same techniques.

However, if a sensor has a significant increase in pixel-count, then to realize the full potential of the increased sharpness and detail that such a sensor is capable of, one may have to use a tripod, or increase shutter speeds for hand-held shots.

The 1/FL rule (or guide) for shutter speed without a tripod, used to apply to 35mm film for a reasonably sharp 8"x10" print. If one considers such a guide useful and valid, then it would also apply to the D800 in the same circumstances, provided the resulting image or print were also 8"x10" (or 8x12).

However, those who buy the D800 will likely want to make prints considerably larger than 8"x12", or will want to use the cropping potential of the high pixel numbers to provide an effectively longer focal length, in which case the 1/FL guide becomes more like 1/3FL or 1/4FL in the absense of VR.

I'm sure glad I have one good Nikkor lens with VR, the 24-120/F4. The 14-24/2.8 lacks VR but that's not really a problem. 1/4FL at 14mm is still only 1/60th, although I've seen it reported that at very short focal lengths the 1/FL guide breaks down. But I'm not sure about this. Maybe I should do some test comparisons  Grin .
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stamper
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 04:19:08 AM »
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Quote

The problem with writing anything on the web is that there's always some smart guy eager to belittle by pointing out an exception.

Unquote

If it is logic they are trying to use to contradict you then that is reasonable and expected. But if they are merely trying to  wind you up then there isn't a chance in hell of winning unless it is face to face. If it is on the internet then, if possible, you ignore them. Ironically all of us have probably indulged in the art of wind ups? Smiley
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 06:42:02 AM »
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I recently got a 24" printer and now am starting to see my images different than before. I now am happy to have used MF film for my serious shooting. I am not totally sure how much real resolution my (now sold  for a Mamiya 7ii) Mamiya Press had - shoots of a sector star sugggested, that I was near the resolution limit of my scanner (with appropriate high res film). That'd be about 100 Megapixels (I guess real resolution is much less, but still great). The corners were not that good. Old glass, cheap.
Now that I have a Mamiya 7ii which much better glass (43, 80 and 150 mm) I hope to get something nearer to the scanner limit.

Cost:
1. A whole shitload of work (shooting, development, scanning, etc).
2. Film and development cost
3. Exchangeable sensor camera with 3 lenses: 3500.- €
4. Scanner: I think it was about 3000.- €

Why do I tell that ?
For an amateur with low production and limited budget constraints who wants to print big MF film still is maybe the best way to get awesome technical quality if one likes the process and is willing to deal with the hassle(sheet film even better, but with even more hassle). For day to day images I use my S95 which lives in the pocket of my trousers.

If you need fast production, less hassle, convenience and more multi purpose applicability, of course digital definitely is the way to go.

But I know pros (architecture) who still shoot 4x5" film for a living and who are happy with that.
Whats this english proverb again - "Horses for courses" or so ....?

I'm curious to see the first shootouts between MF drum scans of a Mamiya 7 and the new Nikons.
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michael
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 08:55:26 AM »
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That ship sailed a long time ago.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/back-testing.shtml

I haven't shot film in a long time but I have a huge library. Occasionally I am asked to teach scanning to someone and so I dust off my Imacon Flextight and do some scans. When I do I am always bowled-over by how poor medium format film performs compared to contemporary digital. 35mm? Not even worth discussing.

Too bad. I sometimes miss the darkroom.

Michael
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2012, 10:54:04 AM »
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If I hadn't infrared dust removal in scanning, I think I'd stop using film, there'd be a borderline of trouble for me. I just looked at the sector star image I took with the old Mamiya Press. 96 sectors = 48 cycles up to a diameter of 57 Pixels from a 4000 DPI LS-9000 scan ... depending how exactly I judge it I come to something like about 25 effective megapixels for a 6x9 cm negative, but these are good pixels then. And this was a camera I had already 20 years ago. All my images from that time will transform to 25 good megapixels today. I'm curious how the 24" printing will go in the next months with this old stuff and I'm looking forward to it.

The Mamiya 7ii I have now is better (sharper):These guys (http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12/big-camera-comparison/) claim something like 50 MP for the Mamiya 7 kit they used with a 4000 DPI scan. They claim 80 MP with a 8000 DPI scan. With a microscope (not really practical for day to day use though) they achive something over 100 MP. Whatever we believe in - If I wanted something near that today (non stitched) in the digital world, I'd have to pay a real lot of money.

If I had some 50-60 k Euro to waste, maybe I'd jump on to the high end digital train, but as a non pro -and this was my constraint- I'll wait a bit more. These 2 professional guys who still use 4x5" film I learned to know the last months (one an architecture photographer, the other doing landscape and calendars) really gave me something to think about.

I'm not against digital at all. Actually I don't have darkroom anymore since the digital processing allows things I could not even dream of in the past.

For me, I think it will not take too much time (maybe some more years - no idea) until the cost/quality ratio for high end digital is at a point where I'll change.

But not yet now.

With all due respect
Cheers
~Chris
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jbgeach
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2012, 12:00:04 PM »
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Great article,
One point of contention:
Quote
Think about it. If there was no noticeable difference would Nikon have gone to the bother of creating a separate product? I think not.

The simple answer is that Nikon would have created a separate product if they believe people will pay more money irregardless of if it actually has better quality.

That being said, I expect the D800E to have better resolution.

We will soon find out.

Jonathan
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douglasf13
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2012, 02:00:44 PM »
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I know I'll get jumped on for this, but I think removing a well-designed a.a. filter rarely results in much more real detail. Instead, it allows the generation of false detail beyond the nyquist limit, which gives the impression of sharpness. Aliasing looks very sharp. And at the resolutions we use now, nobody can tell the difference in many landscape images. But that "extra" detail just may not be in the original scene at all. This article explains the issue quite well, I think:  http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/20.

Right now, even the highest resolution bayer sensors fail to fully exploit the abilities of decent lenses. Ctein has pointed out that it will take sensors with resolution in the hundreds of megapixels to actually accomplish that. In the meantime, there are two strategies people use to get the look of ultimate sharpness--both of them relying on digital artifacts and processing.

One is to remove the a.a. filter, and accept some aliased edges and false details that look sharp. These artifacts are often indistinguishable from actual detail in, say, landscape photography. The second strategy is to cut off most detail beyond nyquist with an a.a. filter, and use advanced sharpening techniques that try to recreate what the lens saw. If pushed far enough, deconvolution sharpening not only restores sharpness, but introduces a mist of grain and other digital artifacts that make the file look super sharp. (Just being honest, here.)

Personally, I prefer the second strategy. Deconvolution sharpening gets better all the time. And I would rather have control over the process than accept whatever artifacts the sensor gives me. Not just moire, but distorted edges and other inventions of the sensor and camera processing.

Pretty much every digital file made without an a.a. filter has aliasing, baked in. Just check the resolution charts of your favorite lenses. They all show false color and false detail--even those taken on cameras with a weak a.a. filter. It's fine if you like how the file looks, but we shouldn't confuse this aliasing with actual resolution.

I think that in ten years people will look back on the whole a.a. debate as a quaint vestige of digital growing pains. In the meantime, we should keep it real. Digital cameras without a.a. filters record a lot of false data. If we want to incorporate that into the look of our images, fine. But it's still there. For the most part non-a.a. cameras don't reveal more resolution. They create it.

Now I'll go hide in my bunker to wait for the incoming flames...

  No reason to hide, you're pretty much right on the money. 
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mhecker*
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 03:10:56 PM »
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 Digital cameras without a.a. filters record a lot of false data. If we want to incorporate that into the look of our images, fine.


When I create a photo, I don't record data, I try to bring into existence an impression of my experience. That's the difference between art and science.

Quite often the artistically challenged forget that, and obsess about the faults of their gear, rather than their own lack of imagination.   Shocked
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