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Author Topic: Can you see a difference in small prints between an MFDB and a DSLR?  (Read 21591 times)
synn
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« Reply #140 on: March 04, 2014, 09:16:25 PM »
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Synn,  I agree my crop looks a bit soft.  Not sure what happened in the transform to jpg.  The original seemed very sharp to me except for the areas that were not in the plane of focus.

Paul C






Hi Paul,

It might be the forum upload engine applying a compression. Perhaps, you could try uploading to Flickr? My observation is that Flickr doesn't degrade image quality in any perceptible way.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #141 on: March 05, 2014, 12:31:08 AM »
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Hi,

Thanks for taking time. I looked a bit at your suggested sharpening and it works better than mine. I have been playing around with Focus Magick, too. Back to sharpening school!

I also looked at the images in Capture One, and I see some clear advantages, worth discussing.

The main question on this thread is still if there is visible difference between a DSLR and an MFDB when printed in relatively small prints, like A2. Reasonably, the same sharpening or even better could be applied to the Sony Alpha 99 image, too.

This is very relevant for anyone printing small and cares about spendings. My test here is done with a 10-25 year old kit (except the back) that costs about 12K$, compared to one that costs something like 4k$, and it is a zoom vs. a prime that is a bit soft but highly regarded. Hartblei.de sells the same optical group for 4595€, something like 6k$. (Stefan says it is same optical group but round aperture and improved internal shielding, and also it works best at f/11 which I think was used here.)

Now, you can get 24MP kit with an excellent lens like the Sony A7 with the Sony 55/18 ZF lens for 2696$, that lens seems to be very good. It may be a better choice for small prints than a 12K used MFD kit if there is little difference at that print size, if economy matters. I guess that economy matters for most readers on these forums. (Regarding the A7r, I would not really consider it right now. I would rather wait a year or so for next generation but the A7 seems attractive). You can of course buy Canons, Nikons too, and Sigma seems to make some very good lenses at attractive prices.

For someone not caring about spendings and wanting the best I guess that a technical camera with Rodenstock HRs is the way to go, or may be even buying a drum scanner and working with 8x10" film.

Best regards
Erik


Eric:

I downloaded one of the P45+ dng files and looked at it Lightroom 5.3.  The dng had your original settings and all I did was decrease the detail slider (I believe you had it on 100%) and backed it off to around 50% and then added a bit more from the sharpening slider.  I exported the image at 300dpi, which is what I do for everything I work with.  (I will print from either PS or LR and most times will select 180 or 240 for the print output),  On the P45+ image I would have picked 240 if I was going to make a print.

After export, I used Focus Magic to give the image a bit more sharpening to my like.  I prefer this method and get very good results when printed with either my 9900 or 7800 Epson.  I did not upgrez this image to anything larger than what the default image was at 300 dpi. 

Net, your P45+ image looks great, the areas that were in the focus plane of the camera/lens are very very sharp.  The growth rings on the cut tree to the left and the lichens on the center rocks all look very good.  The overall image looks very good to me nice shadow detail and no noise to speak of.   With the Hassi Zeiss lenses you are getting some great fine details.  The other thing that caught my eye was the small ferns towards to the top, even though these were a bit past the focus point, they still resolved very well also, with detail extending into the individual fern fronds.  Also the out of focus areas have an excellent transition, note the pine tree trunk on the right of the image. No smearing or increase in noise artifact, which I tended to get with my Mamiya 35mm AF or 28mm AF and the P45+

I attached a crop below from the center. 

Paul C


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tho_mas
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« Reply #142 on: March 05, 2014, 02:30:17 AM »
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The main question on this thread is...
... whether your workflow is really appropriate to show meaningful differences. Paul showed you a much better processing of your capture and you might want to do the print comparison again. And while we're at it ... since you can't safe the very obvious advantage of the P45+ file into the print I doubt that your printing workflow is really appropriate to make generalized statements about the differences.
That said you can of course make great A2 prints out of 24MP files (also 18MP or even 10MP will do... depending on the subject, the desired look and the printing workflow).
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synn
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« Reply #143 on: March 05, 2014, 07:07:47 AM »
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Erik,

As mentioned earlier, I edited your P45+ RAW in C1P 7.2. Did some basic adjustments. Changed color profile to P45+ daylight, curve4 to film high contrast, Custom WB, did some highlight recovery, added a little bit of clarity and increased the sharpness a little.

A 100% crop of this is as below:



I took the file to Photoshop CC as 16 bit profoto RGB TIFFs and added 1 Pixel sharpening in Focus magic.  A 100% crop is as below:




The forum software resizes them. Just right click and choose "View image" to see them properly.

I echo Paul's sentiments. Your file, after being processed properly renders wonderfully. Colors really pop, the in-focus areas have tonnes of detail even before sharpening and the transition from in focus to out of focus is very buttery. Overall, you have a lovely frame there. I am convinced that there's nothing wrong with your hardware and that it's the post production that needs some sharpening. Pun intended.

If you want to get the most out of your P45+ files, I strongly suggest that you rethink your post production workflow, in terms of the tool used and also the steps involved.

The full size files can be downloaded here:

Unsharpened:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3668/12948198543_c255a83ed7_o.jpg

Sharpened in Focus Magic:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3782/12948029025_793088c959_o.jpg


p.s. I downloaded your A99 RAW too and tried to open it in C1P, but C1P won't recognize the file. This is another debate altogether, but I also suggest that you upload IIQs and ARWs and not DNGs on your site if you want other people to try things with your files.

However, judging from my experience with the D800, I can confidently say that you won't be able to sharpen the A99 files as much as the MF files before things start to look too "Digital" and artificial.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #144 on: March 05, 2014, 10:40:12 AM »
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Hi,

Paul suggested a small modification and use of focus magic. I tried his settings and I will look into this.

Still,as I said before the P45+ advantage was very much visible in print using a 5X loupe, but not really visible with the naked eye. Eyesight may play a role here, of course. But I did consult a colleague and his findings were similar.

More work ahead…

Best regards
Erik


... whether your workflow is really appropriate to show meaningful differences. Paul showed you a much better processing of your capture and you might want to do the print comparison again. And while we're at it ... since you can't safe the very obvious advantage of the P45+ file into the print I doubt that your printing workflow is really appropriate to make generalized statements about the differences.
That said you can of course make great A2 prints out of 24MP files (also 18MP or even 10MP will do... depending on the subject, the desired look and the printing workflow).
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #145 on: March 05, 2014, 10:44:12 AM »
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Synn,

Thank you very much for your effort. I realize I get some unexpected learning experience from this which I appreciate very much.

It may take a day or two, until I reevaluate my position.

As a note, my perception of the day was that it was very, very green. A pretty dark winter day with heavy overcast very intensive dark green, no yellow at all.

Why do I always carry a grey card and never use it?!

Best regards
Erik

Erik,

As mentioned earlier, I edited your P45+ RAW in C1P 7.2. Did some basic adjustments. Changed color profile to P45+ daylight, curve4 to film high contrast, Custom WB, did some highlight recovery, added a little bit of clarity and increased the sharpness a little.

A 100% crop of this is as below:



I took the file to Photoshop CC as 16 bit profoto RGB TIFFs and added 1 Pixel sharpening in Focus magic.  A 100% crop is as below:




The forum software resizes them. Just right click and choose "View image" to see them properly.

I echo Paul's sentiments. Your file, after being processed properly renders wonderfully. Colors really pop, the in-focus areas have tonnes of detail even before sharpening and the transition from in focus to out of focus is very buttery. Overall, you have a lovely frame there. I am convinced that there's nothing wrong with your hardware and that it's the post production that needs some sharpening. Pun intended.

If you want to get the most out of your P45+ files, I strongly suggest that you rethink your post production workflow, in terms of the tool used and also the steps involved.

The full size files can be downloaded here:

Unsharpened:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3668/12948198543_c255a83ed7_o.jpg

Sharpened in Focus Magic:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3782/12948029025_793088c959_o.jpg


p.s. I downloaded your A99 RAW too and tried to open it in C1P, but C1P won't recognize the file. This is another debate altogether, but I also suggest that you upload IIQs and ARWs and not DNGs on your site if you want other people to try things with your files.

However, judging from my experience with the D800, I can confidently say that you won't be able to sharpen the A99 files as much as the MF files before things start to look too "Digital" and artificial.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 02:06:11 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #146 on: March 05, 2014, 10:52:43 AM »
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Paul,

Thanks for your effort. Synn has also posted an improved image, I will check out as soon I can.

Synn says the P45+ image can take more sharpening before it breaks up, could explain some things.

I need to repeat the printing experiment to find out the differences show in small prints (like A2), I have little doubts the difference is significant at larger sizes.

Best regards
Erik




Eric:

I downloaded one of the P45+ dng files and looked at it Lightroom 5.3.  The dng had your original settings and all I did was decrease the detail slider (I believe you had it on 100%) and backed it off to around 50% and then added a bit more from the sharpening slider.  I exported the image at 300dpi, which is what I do for everything I work with.  (I will print from either PS or LR and most times will select 180 or 240 for the print output),  On the P45+ image I would have picked 240 if I was going to make a print.

After export, I used Focus Magic to give the image a bit more sharpening to my like.  I prefer this method and get very good results when printed with either my 9900 or 7800 Epson.  I did not upgrez this image to anything larger than what the default image was at 300 dpi. 

Net, your P45+ image looks great, the areas that were in the focus plane of the camera/lens are very very sharp.  The growth rings on the cut tree to the left and the lichens on the center rocks all look very good.  The overall image looks very good to me nice shadow detail and no noise to speak of.   With the Hassi Zeiss lenses you are getting some great fine details.  The other thing that caught my eye was the small ferns towards to the top, even though these were a bit past the focus point, they still resolved very well also, with detail extending into the individual fern fronds.  Also the out of focus areas have an excellent transition, note the pine tree trunk on the right of the image. No smearing or increase in noise artifact, which I tended to get with my Mamiya 35mm AF or 28mm AF and the P45+

I attached a crop below from the center. 

Paul C


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paul ross jones
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« Reply #147 on: March 05, 2014, 12:42:44 PM »
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Heres a test, have a look at my new work page and tell me what was shot on a p65/contax or a canon 5dmk3. theres 4 shots done with the p65 there. i bet you you can't..
http://paulrossjones.com/NEW-WORK/1/thumbs-caption/

I disagree that there is less depth of field with a medium format. i can get a shallower depth of field with my 85 f1.2/50 f1.0 and even the 50 f1.2 than any of my fast contax lenses, including a hassy 110 f2. as my whole style is about shallow depth of field, and i test these things side by side regularly.

paul

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Ken R
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« Reply #148 on: March 05, 2014, 01:18:52 PM »
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Heres a test, have a look at my new work page and tell me what was shot on a p65/contax or a canon 5dmk3. theres 4 shots done with the p65 there. i bet you you can't..
http://paulrossjones.com/NEW-WORK/1/thumbs-caption/

I disagree that there is less depth of field with a medium format. i can get a shallower depth of field with my 85 f1.2/50 f1.0 and even the 50 f1.2 than any of my fast contax lenses, including a hassy 110 f2. as my whole style is about shallow depth of field, and i test these things side by side regularly.

paul



Awesome work! And you are right about shallow DOF. I can get shallower DoF with my 5D3 and 50 1.2L than with My Hasselblad H and 80mm f2.8 Lens. No question about it.

But I can dial down my strobes (w/ a soft box) down to about f2.8 max no problem at 4 feet without having to use ND and with the leaf shutter I can control daylight easier (again without having to use ND) so when using mixed light MF digital is more convenient for me. Obviously with ND filters one can make the 35mm camera work in similar situations.

What matters most to me is the way the OOF areas are rendered (Bokeh) when using a particular lens. That varies a lot. I love the look of cinema lenses in that regard, specially the Cooke S4/S5's and of course the Arri Master Primes. But all those are cost prohibitive for me even to rent. And being PL mount they require adapted bodies.


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jerome_m
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« Reply #149 on: March 05, 2014, 01:47:56 PM »
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Heres a test, have a look at my new work page and tell me what was shot on a p65/contax or a canon 5dmk3. theres 4 shots done with the p65 there. i bet you you can't..
http://paulrossjones.com/NEW-WORK/1/thumbs-caption/

3 (the man showing the leather) and 12, 13, 14 (the middle age scenes)? But I am not sure about 23 (city) and 27 (car circuit) either.


Quote
I disagree that there is less depth of field with a medium format. i can get a shallower depth of field with my 85 f1.2/50 f1.0 and even the 50 f1.2 than any of my fast contax lenses, including a hassy 110 f2. as my whole style is about shallow depth of field, and i test these things side by side regularly.


Indeed. The shallowest depth of field can be had on 24x36 camera, because of the very fast lenses unique to this format.

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #150 on: March 05, 2014, 02:01:53 PM »
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Hi,

I also like the images a lot.

Aside from bokeh, do you have an idea if there is a visible difference between MFD and high end DSLR in print sizes up to A2/17"?

Best regards
Erik

Awesome work! And you are right about shallow DOF. I can get shallower DoF with my 5D3 and 50 1.2L than with My Hasselblad H and 80mm f2.8 Lens. No question about it.

But I can dial down my strobes (w/ a soft box) down to about f2.8 max no problem at 4 feet without having to use ND and with the leaf shutter I can control daylight easier (again without having to use ND) so when using mixed light MF digital is more convenient for me. Obviously with ND filters one can make the 35mm camera work in similar situations.

What matters most to me is the way the OOF areas are rendered (Bokeh) when using a particular lens. That varies a lot. I love the look of cinema lenses in that regard, specially the Cooke S4/S5's and of course the Arri Master Primes. But all those are cost prohibitive for me even to rent. And being PL mount they require adapted bodies.



« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 02:12:03 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

jerome_m
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« Reply #151 on: March 05, 2014, 02:31:39 PM »
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I have been playing with the files as well. I agree that they may need a bit of sharpening, but I think that the problem lies somewhere else.

I think that the problem is the light. This is taken in a forest. The light in forests has a strong green cast. It has been my experience that MF cameras do not react positively to bad light. The effects are unpredictable and can include decreased sharpness. Here, the image does not look real, even when sharpened: the structure of wood, dead leaves and the granite stone look plasticy for example.

May I suggest that we try a different subject, taken under a more standard daylight?

Edit:
I suggest something more simple like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerome_munich/12955758833/sizes/o/ (warning: large image!). That picture is not very interesting, but the plants (nettles) on the front appear real to me and you probably can find nettles where you live for comparison. This is about the default treatment from Phocus, with a tiny bit of sharpening added.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 02:48:26 PM by jerome_m » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #152 on: March 05, 2014, 02:57:20 PM »
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Hi,

I may agree. Synn has posted an image, I still have to "swallow it". For me the subject was very low tone, but very, very saturated green with very little yellow. I am still looking at it, I don't know. In a way I feel that I don't want to sharpen over the edge. Where goes the line between under-sharpened and over-shapened?!

I don't really shoot test shots outdoors. What I do is essentially is to shoot for my pleasure. Some times, like here,  I shoot with both cameras. Comparison stuff, that is something I shoot home.

You also asked about keeper/to shot rate. The way it is, I shoot differently with MF and DSLR. For instance I do some "street shooting" with the DSLR, and many of the images I like best are "street shoots" with the DSLR.

I looked at the "keepers" from July 2013. It was a wide mix of all cameras I have from RX 100 to P45. End of this year I will know more.

Best regards
Erik

Ps. What I find missing right now is long exposures, not very long but say in 1" to 60".  Thinking about building a long exposure box. Two buttons, expose with and without delay and a wheel for exposure time. A solid metal box, permanently mounted to the camera. ;-)





I have been playing with the files as well. I agree that they may need a bit of sharpening, but I think that the problem lies somewhere else.

I think that the problem is the light. This is taken in a forest. The light in forests has a strong green cast. It has been my experience that MF cameras do not react positively to bad light. The effects are unpredictable and can include decreased sharpness. Here, the image does not look real, even when sharpened: the structure of wood, dead leaves and the granite stone look plasticy for example.

May I suggest that we try a different subject, taken under a more standard daylight?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 03:07:02 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

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« Reply #153 on: March 05, 2014, 02:59:20 PM »
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MF can sometime have a painterly look to it all its own.  I dodn't have a DB, but i have a couple of 40mp 645D's. Here is a comparison of sample photos taken with the Leica 35mm Film Camera - Kodak Easy Share 6mp PS -Epson RD1 6mp Rangefinder - Olympus PEN E-PM1 - Sony RX-100 20.2mp - Fuji X100 12mp - Fuji X-E1 16mp - Leica M240 24mp - Leica Monochrom 18mp - Pentax 645D 40mp

http://photographycompared.tumblr.com/

(First section is SFW. Second section has some NSFW images.)

« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 03:01:24 PM by iluvmycam » Logged
Ken R
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« Reply #154 on: March 05, 2014, 03:11:55 PM »
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Hi,

I also like the images a lot.

Aside from bokeh, do you have an idea if there is a visible difference between MFD and high end DSLR in print sizes up to A2/17"?

Best regards
Erik


Again, If I compare almost every wide angle landscape scene that I have made with the Rodenstock 40mm HR and the IQ160 back to the best I have ever done with the Canon 5D3 the Answer is yes. Without a doubt if I look closely at the print. The larger the print the less close I have to be to tell the difference. Anything less than absolutely flawless technique and the best lenses on the DSLR and forget about it. My MFD rig blows it away even if I am not totally perfect using it. Also the MFD file prints are quite "crisp" even with zero sharpening. The DSLR files usually require careful sharpening. But a big difference that I constantly see in favor of the MFD files is the color gradations in skies. DSLR files break up very easily in post processing in that area.

Obviously, with amazing post processing a talented post person can make almost any file look awesome. But they can't make up detail that is not there in the original file unless they actually paint the stuff in.

It is my experience that to see a significant difference in resolution between two cameras, given equally good lenses and technique, you need to just about double the megapixel count. That is just my rule of thumb from using a bunch of digital cameras over the years. Nothing scientific.
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« Reply #155 on: March 05, 2014, 03:13:00 PM »
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I may agree. Synn has posted an image, I still have to "swallow it". For me the subject was very low tone, but very, very saturated green with very little yellow. I am still looking at it, I don't know. In a way I feel that I don't want to sharpen over the edge. Where goes the line between under-sharpened and over-shapened?!

Neither what you have done nor what Synn has done appears natural to me. Synn's result is more pleasing but looks artificial. It would make a nice print, though.

But we are not trying to print here, but to find out whether your camera and lenses work correctly. For that, I suggest trying a more standard subject.
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jerome_m
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« Reply #156 on: March 05, 2014, 03:14:55 PM »
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It is my experience that to see a significant difference in resolution between two cameras, given equally good lenses and technique, you need to just about double the megapixel count. That is just my rule of thumb from using a bunch of digital cameras over the years. Nothing scientific.

This is my experience as well: double the count.
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« Reply #157 on: March 05, 2014, 03:33:14 PM »
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Hi,

The thread is actually about making a decently small print, like A2.

Paul and Synn seems to feel camera, lens and focusing is OK. Paul suggests slightly different sharpening. Both Synn and Paul suggest FocusMagick. I may feel I prefer less sharpening. I do have FocusMagick since a couple of years, but I feel it may go over the edge. Quite possible that less sharpening in LR5/CR/C1 and FocusMagick is better, but I prefer a parametric workflow and I prefer it very strongly.Ideological stuff, sanity not involved!

Best regards
Erik

Neither what you have done nor what Synn has done appears natural to me. Synn's result is more pleasing but looks artificial. It would make a nice print, though.

But we are not trying to print here, but to find out whether your camera and lenses work correctly. For that, I suggest trying a more standard subject.
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« Reply #158 on: March 05, 2014, 04:55:35 PM »
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The point of posting sharpened and non sharpened versions was to show that there's a lot more that can be done with erik's files than his conversions have shown so far. The point is also that when processed properly, prints from 39MP MFD files do look better than with a 24MP DSLR. Sharpness is only one part of the equation and this can be done to taste.

so is WB for that matter. Yellow grass or green, the points still stand.

Erik, all I hope to achieve with that demo is to make you open your eyes a bit and realize that MFD is capable of delivering much better results than what you have managed to get out of the files so far. Perhaps this will make you stop generalizing every possible scenario for comparing MFD and 35mm based on your suboptimal workflow. What I fail to understand is that you are interested in objective analysis, but when shown a better workflow, you stick to personal preferences that most certainly adds bias and user error to the equation. It's absolutely fine for an artist to say "I like to work this way even if it won't deliver the best results". But for someone who is painstakingly testing technical quality, that argument does not fly.

I do agree with Jerome though, the lighting in the scene is suboptimal. The solution is not to shoot a test chart, but just to shoot real life scenes in better light. It helps one develop as a photographer too.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 07:29:08 PM by synn » Logged

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« Reply #159 on: March 05, 2014, 08:53:29 PM »
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+1
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