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Thread: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

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    side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    Most of people using MD digital back claim that it's superior than 4x5 scan for their pro uses (ofset...).
    But is there anybody out there that made a comparison between large prints (inkjet or lambda...) that came from MFDB file and 4X5 scan ? same subject (landscapes, architecture, difficult light..) ?

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    Quote Originally Posted by archivue View Post
    Most of people using MD digital back claim that it's superior than 4x5 scan for their pro uses (ofset...).
    But is there anybody out there that made a comparison between large prints (inkjet or lambda...) that came from MFDB file and 4X5 scan ? same subject (landscapes, architecture, difficult light..) ?
    There are a couple. I seem to remember one from Charles Cramer. Might be on the Luminous Landscape website. IIRC it's a fairly flawed comparison because the scanner used on the film was a Tango, so the scans were somewhat soft. This is due to the Tango's 11 micron fixed aperture which limits the Tango to something around 2200-2400 ppi maximum optical resolution (that is, what it can read from something like the 1951 USAF Resolution Test Chart).

    Even at that when I was looking at the images themselves I picked the film images as somewhat better. That was not the conclusion of the article however. If they had found otherwise I doubt they would have published their findings.

    If you find any comparisons that use a better drum scanner (something with a 6 micron aperture more or less, or even a 3 micron aperture) I'd like to see it so post a link.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    Might be on the Luminous Landscape website. IIRC it's a fairly flawed comparison because the scanner used on the film was a Tango, so the scans were somewhat soft.
    The scans were fine, just that the 4x5 shot was clearly out of focus in the area selected for the comparison (or the film had popped). It makes you wonder when people base purchasing decisions on really amateur tests like this.

    There's plenty more to consider than which has the highest resolution. For instance, if you do your sums the working depth-of-focus (namely at the sensor plane) is about a 10th of that for 4x5.

  4. #4

    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    What is the price of a P45 system again? Like that used in the comparisons?
    Tyler

  5. #5

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    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    prices ? difficult to say...

    in the same shop, you have :
    P45+ back only for 26000 euros excluding taxes
    while the P45+ phase one kit (including body and 80) is at 19000 euros excluding taxes
    A simple P45 refurb cost 11000 euros excluding taxes
    and 12000 with a phase one camera and 80... 1 year warranty.

    While the canon 5DII will be around 2300 euros including VAT... but that's an other story !

  6. #6

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    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    P45 refurb kit costs the price of 650 Portra 4x5 (film+C41) and 130 hires scans

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    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Boley View Post
    What is the price of a P45 system again? Like that used in the comparisons?
    Tyler
    I believe it was $39,000. Basically, $1K per megapixel.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  8. #8

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    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    Quote Originally Posted by archivue View Post
    Most of people using MD digital back claim that it's superior than 4x5 scan for their pro uses (ofset...).
    It's 39 megapixels. I get 320 off of a 4x5 piece of film, and 568 megapixels off of 8x10. There's no comparison. The tests are flawed.

    That said, one has to get over 360 dpi to get the top quality in color. Almost any digital camera can do that for an 8x10. All you need is a chip where one side is at least 3600 pixels. Digital cameras are great for many commercial uses... And when one goes to the very limited cmyk offset color space, you can't see much difference.

    Of course, fine art is another matter....

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

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    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    That's about the size of it.

    I just put up a print in a cafe, a 40x50 inch from a 4x5 slide (Velvia 100). My friend, the one who did the printing (did a good job, btw) also scanned and printed one of his own black and white sheets of 4x5 film, and printed it at 40x50 inches.

    The detail in both is incredible; in mine you can walk right up to the print and see the texture in the water, fine detailing in the leafless trees across the bay, and the fine detail in the clouds where the sun's disk isn't overwhelming them. In his, you can see rivets on the bridge, and fine enough detail to separate pairs of cables that look like single cables when you stand back a bit.

    Michael Reichmann's now claiming once again that he was right about his assertion that digital outperforms film... but I have yet to see a digital image from anything short of a BetterLight scanning back come even close.

    Oh, and my friend doesn't have a drum scanner or anything like that; he has the new Microtek.

  10. #10

    Re: side by side comparison... large print digital back VS 4x5 color film

    Don't forget that Reichmann is getting older and his eyesight might not be as good as in the past. Many of the comparisons I read on the internet involve a viewed comparison, which always throws into question the eyesight of the writer.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

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