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Thread: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyone???

  1. #81

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    Re: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyon

    Marko,

    We call rotation when you rotate through multiple backups or copies, primarily for off site backup. Refresh is when you move data from one generation to the next generation of storage media. Of course we all have our own terms.

    One of the points I contend is that short of fire (which a fire safe can solve), analog is not susceptible to the same problems as digital. Dyes on optical media just deteriorate in time which can leave not one image, but thousands lost. Magnetic media is susceptible to not just magnetism, but ESD, brownouts, etc. And of course, a negative processed 50 years ago is still just as viable today as it was then, unlike digital.

    Now don't get me wrong, I am not bashing digital, they both have pros and cons. I just get frustrated when people show all the pros of digital storage and fail to show all the cons (and there are a bunch!).

    Allan

  2. #82

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    Re: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyon

    Quote Originally Posted by Flea77 View Post
    Marko,

    We call rotation when you rotate through multiple backups or copies, primarily for off site backup. Refresh is when you move data from one generation to the next generation of storage media. Of course we all have our own terms.

    One of the points I contend is that short of fire (which a fire safe can solve), analog is not susceptible to the same problems as digital. Dyes on optical media just deteriorate in time which can leave not one image, but thousands lost. Magnetic media is susceptible to not just magnetism, but ESD, brownouts, etc. And of course, a negative processed 50 years ago is still just as viable today as it was then, unlike digital.

    Now don't get me wrong, I am not bashing digital, they both have pros and cons. I just get frustrated when people show all the pros of digital storage and fail to show all the cons (and there are a bunch!).

    Allan
    I agree, there are definite archival issues that must be addressed in the digital realm... however, film has it's own problems in this area. With the exception of B/W, the dyes in both color negative and slide film fade with age.. and quickly. Those browsing this forum are a minority in the film (and digital) world. Most images are on color negative film. Since Kodak came out with color film, the majority of photographs taken in the world are color, not B/W

    If you've looked at images from the 60's, 70's and 80's.. you'll see that at a minimum, a full 3 decades of color images have been lost to most of the photographers (we are not 'most'.. 'most' have thrown their negatives into a shoebox, put their prints in non-archival albums, etc ). If we, as photographers, are interested in archiving our color images, then we need to be making 3 color separations of all of our negatives.

  3. #83
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyon

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    Many people just ignore the issue of resolution whenever it comes up but detail is one of the major reasons many people became interested in LF photography and remains a important issue for most photographers. That is not to suggest that detail is the only importnat consideration in a photograph, but it is a major one for many people.
    The issue of resolution needs to be understood with some perspective. How much resolution you need (or more specifically, how high a resolution you need to render at a high modulation) depends 100% on the size of the enlargement.

    Our perception of sharpness and clarity depends almost entirely on the level of modulation of detail at frequencies between 1 lp/mm and 5 lp/mm, when looking closely at a print. Resolution up to 11 lp/mm can be detected--in certain prints, under good lighting, by people with excellent vision. But detail this fine has a surprisingly small impact on our subjective sense of image quality. Detail up to 17 lp/mm can be detected by people with perfect vision who are looking at laboratory test targets. But it has nothing to do with how a print looks, unless you look at your prints with a loupe.

    So it comes down how big your'e going to print. My biggest black and white prints that I've made digitally are 11.5 x 9", from 4x5 negatives. My desktop scanner's optical resolution is somewhere between 2200 and 2300 dpi. This gives me more than enough resolution to create files at the final pixel resolution of the printer, which is 720 ppi. This allows a theoretical print resolution of 14 lp/mm on the final print, although in reality, the surface texture of the paper obscures most of the difference between 14 lp/mm and 7 lp/mm final resolution. Either setting makes prints that look like the sharpest contact prints I've ever seen; the lower one is succeptible to aliasing under some circumstances, so I use the higher one.

    I belive that with the best black and white negatives, it would be worthwhile using a higher resolution scanner than this if you were going to make significantly bigger prints. But I don't think there will be any meaningful image information available above 4000 dpi.

  4. #84

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    Re: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyon

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    I belive that with the best black and white negatives, it would be worthwhile using a higher resolution scanner than this if you were going to make significantly bigger prints. But I don't think there will be any meaningful image information available above 4000 dpi.
    If you are looking at this only from the perspective of 4X5 and larger film I think you are probably correct in that there is no meaningful information in the film with a scan where the effective resolution is 4000 spi. That would not be true, however, of high quality MF and 35mm equipment with high resolution B&W film. I scan my 6X7 cm Mamiya 7II negatives with a professional quality scanner at 5080 spi (effective resolution of about 4500 spi) and examination of the film with a microscope shows that there is some detail that the scanner is not picking up. I believe that for these negatives I need a drum scan of at least 6500 spi to get it all. And some of the Leitz aspheric glass is capable of recording *more* than 150 lp/mm on high resolution B&W film, and even an Aztek Premier drum at 8000 spi might not get it all.

    Sure, ultimately it depends on how large you print, but that is different from what is needed in a scan to capture all (or most) of the detail.


    Sandy King

  5. #85

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    Re: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyon

    Quote Originally Posted by Flea77 View Post
    . . . One of the points I contend is that short of fire (which a fire safe can solve), analog is not susceptible to the same problems as digital. Dyes on optical media just deteriorate in time which can leave not one image, but thousands lost. Magnetic media is susceptible to not just magnetism, but ESD, brownouts, etc. And of course, a negative processed 50 years ago is still just as viable today as it was then, unlike digital.
    I have hundreds of old family photographs dating from the late 19th century through the 1960s. But I don't have a single negative. The family members didn't care about the negatives once they had the prints (or, in cases where a professional photographer made the photographs, they probably never had the negatives in the first place).

    The historical society of a city in which I used to live has thousands of prints made by professional photographers in the early part of the 20th century, documenting what the city looked like back then. But they don't have a single negative. Somewhere along the line the negatives were lost or destroyed.

    Those are just two situations I happen to be familiar with. I don't think they're unusual. In fact I'd guess that keeping the print and not worrying about the negative is the norm rather the exception for most photographs. The point being that just as someone needs to take care to copy digital photographs periodically as technology changes, so a similar degree of care must be taken to preserve negatives. If the negative wasn't preserved and maintained in a place where it can be accessed it doesn't matter how archival it is.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  6. #86
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyon

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    If you are looking at this only from the perspective of 4X5 and larger film I think you are probably correct in that there is no meaningful information in the film with a scan where the effective resolution is 4000 spi. That would not be true, however, of high quality MF and 35mm equipment with high resolution B&W film. I scan my 6X7 cm Mamiya 7II negatives with a professional quality scanner at 5080 spi (effective resolution of about 4500 spi) and exam
    That makes sense, sure. I was definitely talking about LF. Some of the smaller format lenses have pretty amazing MTF capabilities.

  7. #87

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    Re: Film vs. Digital "Prints"=Ken Rockwell/Erwin Puts Stance on it...Discussion Anyon

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    I have hundreds of old family photographs dating from the late 19th century through the 1960s. But I don't have a single negative. The family members didn't care about the negatives once they had the prints (or, in cases where a professional photographer made the photographs, they probably never had the negatives in the first place).

    The historical society of a city in which I used to live has thousands of prints made by professional photographers in the early part of the 20th century, documenting what the city looked like back then. But they don't have a single negative. Somewhere along the line the negatives were lost or destroyed.

    Those are just two situations I happen to be familiar with. I don't think they're unusual. In fact I'd guess that keeping the print and not worrying about the negative is the norm rather the exception for most photographs. The point being that just as someone needs to take care to copy digital photographs periodically as technology changes, so a similar degree of care must be taken to preserve negatives. If the negative wasn't preserved and maintained in a place where it can be accessed it doesn't matter how archival it is.
    But we are talking about two different things. Losing the negative is like losing the original digital capture. Either one is bad. The discussion I was having was concerning the preservation of the original image, analog negatives, and digital files. I am quite sure a lot of home photographers lose or delete images off their hard drives after they make their prints too, so the point of losing negatives is moot.

    As for care being needed, this is true with a big BUT.... the negatives will not suddenly fail because the head of the hard drive got a piece of grit in it, it will not fail to make a print because no machines have 8 bit ISA slots anymore so I can not put the SCSI card in. Digital takes more constant care over time than negatives to ensure reliability and accessibility, period. I deal with this every single day (not necessarily images, but data in general) and can not tell you how often people bring in old data on some ancient storage medium wanting us to retrieve it for them. Fortunately, they pay large amounts of money for me to play with the old technology, it is fun and quite profitable for me

    Allan

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