> I don't think anyone should buy, lease, nor rent a MFDB based upon anything other than meeting your needs;
> Academic analysis is interesting, but .....
It seems all these threads through the years follow a similar pattern. They go something like this.....
1) A question about resolution between film formats, digital, scanners, etc.
2) some math to explain the differences
3) Disputing the math from real world results (of course all the relative details are rarely provided)
4) The math naysayers (artist) jump in..... Photography is not about math, "just go take pictures" !!!
5) Justification of all the options often by personal experience..
Then, usually a final...
6) None of this matters, you have to test everything to see what meets your needs.
To the newbie, and to even some pros who don't obsess over the numbers, these threads have to generate a lot of "head shaking" , i.e. total confusion, and rightfully so.... to that end, I would like to offer the following....
1) Many people use this information to attempt to make "buy" decisions for their photography. It's unfortunate, but most of this equipment is not available to be tested side by side. This specially applies to equipment such as scanners which are no longer made.
2) While math will often NOT give you ever final detail about a given comparison, in certain areas it can define the physical limits of what's possible. In most cases, this will get you in the ballpark, vs. without the math, you will be in "the wrong continent." This is significant, but is often completely dismissed because there is so many variables at play within a comparison, analysis can never be 100% accurate, in which case, many people assume it's better to "throw the baby out with the bath water". IMO, this is a mistake. I rather get "close to" an answer vs. "have no clue".
3) Unfortunately, in these comparisons, "the devil is in the details". And often these details are not available in forum threads. Gordon touched on this above, but I would like to expand on this... by simply altering 3 "user controlled variables" - changing the apt. of a taking lens, film type / format, and the scanner used to scan the film, I can demonstrate:
a) Large Format Film will out resolve a MF back
b) MF back can out resolve LF film.
Both can be true under a given set of variables. Unfortunately, you must dig into the details to get to these variables. Many of these variables surfaced throughout this thread, size of format, film type, lenses used, DOF, f stop, color of subject, MP's, up rez potential, scanner quality, etc.