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Thread: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

  1. #1

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    Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Researching betterlight backs for primarily art repro (with personal landscape work a distant second, don't know if I can handle the hardware in the field), I am trying to understand what one gains moving from the 6000HS to the super 6000. The super model seems to add the feature of interpolation to produce a larger file. The ccd is the same. Is there really any difference from interpolating in photoshop?

    Also, as far as output is concerned, I am very familiar with what sort of interpolation/upsizing I can do with my dslr. As I understand the BL backs are producing a true rgb per-pixel rather than a bayer array. Does this translate into more enlargability? My output for clients is primarily on canvas (Epson 9800), what sort of maximum print size could I expect for fairly exacting clients. Is 50" on the long side reasonable for a 6000 or do I need to buck up for the 8000?

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    There are many people here who know these answers. They must be out of town. Check with Jim Collum or J Michael Sullivan.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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  3. #3
    J Michael Sullivan MJSfoto1956's Avatar
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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Researching betterlight backs for primarily art repro (with personal landscape work a distant second, don't know if I can handle the hardware in the field), I am trying to understand what one gains moving from the 6000HS to the super 6000. The super model seems to add the feature of interpolation to produce a larger file. The ccd is the same. Is there really any difference from interpolating in photoshop?

    Also, as far as output is concerned, I am very familiar with what sort of interpolation/upsizing I can do with my dslr. As I understand the BL backs are producing a true rgb per-pixel rather than a bayer array. Does this translate into more enlargability? My output for clients is primarily on canvas (Epson 9800), what sort of maximum print size could I expect for fairly exacting clients. Is 50" on the long side reasonable for a 6000 or do I need to buck up for the 8000?

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    Their interpolation model is very similar to the methods used by flatbed scanners: specifically, the use the stepper motor to increment halfway between pixels in one dimension. As such, they can correctly claim an actual increase in detail in one dimension (the long dimension). So the 6000x8000 real pixel scan can be "captured" up to 9000x12000 with the long dimension being mostly real data and the short dimension being mostly guestimate data.

    Notwithstanding, your insight is proved correct with real-world usage: the BetterLight data "scales" significantly better than Bayer data and you will find that it also takes sharpening better as well. I find that 6000x8000 is ideal for 20x30 prints that can scale up to 40x60 and it will look tack sharp at arm's length at this distance.
    J Michael Sullivan
    www.magnachrom.com

  4. #4
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Jim is out for a week, he is welcoming his new grandchild to the family.

  5. #5

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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Why don't you just call Betterlight??..EC

  6. #6

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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Quote Originally Posted by evan clarke View Post
    Why don't you just call Betterlight??..EC
    I plan on it, but getting input from actual users is far more interesting and useful to me than talking to marketing drones.

  7. #7

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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Quote Originally Posted by MJSfoto1956 View Post
    Their interpolation model is very similar to the methods used by flatbed scanners: specifically, the use the stepper motor to increment halfway between pixels in one dimension. As such, they can correctly claim an actual increase in detail in one dimension (the long dimension). So the 6000x8000 real pixel scan can be "captured" up to 9000x12000 with the long dimension being mostly real data and the short dimension being mostly guestimate data.

    Notwithstanding, your insight is proved correct with real-world usage: the BetterLight data "scales" significantly better than Bayer data and you will find that it also takes sharpening better as well. I find that 6000x8000 is ideal for 20x30 prints that can scale up to 40x60 and it will look tack sharp at arm's length at this distance.
    Fantastic information, thank you very much.

  8. #8
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Nick,

    The people at Betterlight are great. Though I have never used their product, I talk to them every year at the VIEW CAMERA CONFERENCE and they are not your usual "marketing drones". It is not a huge company.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
    WEBSITE

    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  9. #9

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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    I have a Betterlight 4000 (the Original entry-level model). I also have a 14mp DSLR. I find the Betterlight files scale up dramatically better than the DSLR files do, and even though this back is only capable of a native file of a little more than 16 inches wide at 300dpi., in reality the quality of the pixels is such that it scales way up in Photoshop. Looks much better than a DSLR file.

  10. #10

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    Re: Betterlight, what's so super about the super models?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Nick,

    The people at Betterlight are great. Though I have never used their product, I talk to them every year at the VIEW CAMERA CONFERENCE and they are not your usual "marketing drones". It is not a huge company.
    Thanks Kirk, too cynical for my own good I guess!
    Last edited by Nick; 11-Apr-2007 at 08:05. Reason: because I can't spell "too"

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