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Thread: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    One more point - I don't generally use ACROS in MF because its not fine enough! Had
    a friend using Tech Pan with very expensive Zeiss Rollei lenses (indeed better than my
    Pentax 6X7 lenses), but he converted to Efke 25 once he saw what I was doing. But
    optimized, under the very best of conditons, this allows only a rough approximation of
    what 4x5 film with 400-speed TMY will get, provided you don't waste all the lens potential by stopping down too far due to lack of movements. Anything above 16x20
    and MF is basically mush anyway. Maybe wide-angle lenses to 20X24; but 4X5 blows
    away MF every single day of the week at that scale. Not all of us are carbon printers
    (even if we envy your own abilities in that medium). I switch between color printing
    and silver about 50/50. And in the case of color, it is indeed a Godzilla vs Bambi contest.

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Comparing Tri-X in 4x5 to ACROS in anything is like Consumer Reports pitting
    24-grit sandpaper against a microfiber cloth for polishing your car. I shoot ACROS in
    4X5 and sometimes even in 8x10 - now that is a fair comparison.

  3. #23
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Third, the limited images circles of some of these lenses would restrict their use of larger film and might be inadequate for 4x5 use.
    Oh, yeah, I don't know if any of them will cover 4x5. Most of them have really small image circles. That's one of the tradeoffs the designers made in order to get the crazy high MTFs.

    I'd be surprised if there were any problems using them with med. format film. I don't know what the differences would be.

  4. #24
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Well, as we share information and double-check the specs, the practical results should
    start becoming community knowledge. It might also be the case that, much like graphics lenses, the published image circles are much smaller than what is actually usable on film, due to the stricter constraints of digital receptors themselves.

  5. #25
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ... the published image circles are much smaller than what is actually usable on film, due to the stricter constraints of digital receptors themselves.
    Yeah, I've read that, although I don't know if any will actually cover 4x5. Maybe the longest ones. Here are Rodenstock's specs. Their 90mm lens covers 72x96mm as the "largest recommended format." Maybe you could squeeze a sheet of 4x5 film into the actual image circle, but I suspect the compromises in the corners would undo any advantages at the center. And you'd have no movements. And you'd sure be paying a lot.

  6. #26

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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I have a lot of respect for you Sandy, but you're giving folks a strange impression if you expect ANY kind of MF system to compete with a view camera for detail, with any
    kind of lens. No matter how good the lenses are, size matters.
    Drew,

    You have probably never actually tested this. I have.

    On the long dimension 4X5 is about 125mm in length, compared to 70mm for 6X7 film, about 1.75X larger. But because of greater precision in the film plane, sharper optics, and the fact that you can use a slightly shorter focal length lens lens with 6X7cm than 4X5 for same field of view (and about one stop less for equal DOF = less diffraction), you can usually expect to see about 2X the resolution over the entire frame with 6X7cm Mamiya 7II than with good 4X5" equipment, perhaps 1.5X with the very best 4X5 equipment. So in terms of detail Mamiya 7II 6X7 cm format usually will come out about the same as 4X5" film, or slightly better, since you only have to enlarge 6X7cm 1.7X for the same print size.

    Yes, film area (acreage as some call it) matters, so that if you made the above comparison with the same film, 4X5" would look better because of finer grain. However, drop down one stop in film speed and 6X7cm format pretty much matches 4X5" in terms of grain, and tonal qualities.

    Regarding your comments about Acros, I have compared this film many times to Efke 25. Across is far superior IMHO. Two stops faster in terms of film speed, sharpness equal to Efke 25, grain about equal (Efke 25 wins here by a tad), and no annoying film curve with Acros. Also, Acros has virtually no reciprocity failure. Plus, I can buy Acros for less than what I would pay for Efke 25. No brainer in my book, but your back is obviously stronger than mine at this point in my life!!

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

  7. #27

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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    Drew,

    You have probably never actually tested this. I have.

    On the long dimension 4X5 is about 125mm in length, compared to 70mm for 6X7 film, about 1.75X larger. But because of greater precision in the film plane, sharper optics, and the fact that you can use a slightly shorter focal length lens lens with 6X7cm than 4X5 for same field of view (and about one stop less for equal DOF = less diffraction), you can usually expect to see from about 2X the resolution over the entire frame with 6X7cm Mamiya 7II than with good 4X5" equipment, perhaps 1.5X with the very best 4X5 equipment. So in terms of detail Mamiya 7II 6X7 cm format usually will come out about the same as 4X5" film.

    Yes, film area (acreage as some call it) matters, so that if you made the above comparison with the same film 4X5" would look better because of finer grain. However, drop down one stop in film speed and 6X7cm format pretty much matches 4X5" in terms of grain, and tonal qualities.

    Regarding your comments about Acros, I have compared this film many times to Efke 25. Across is far superior IMHO. Two stops faster in terms of film speed, sharpness equal to Efke 25, grain about equal (Efke 25 wins here by a tad), and no annoying film curve with Acros. Also, Acros has virtually no reciprocity failure. Plus, I can buy Acros for less than what I would pay for Efke 25. No brainer in my book.

    Sandy
    I have to agree with Sandy on this to some extent. As he said if you are comparing say a Mamiya 7 image done with a high acutance fine grain film versus 4x5 done with tri-x, it will be pretty hard to tell them apart. I've film tested hassy lenses, and Rollei 6008i series lenses (which made me sell my hassy system and buy a Rollei system) and the film from the Mamiya 7 under my microscope, and the image quality from the Mamiya 7 lenses is just startling.

    Given that I use T-max 100 for both my 6x12cm and 6x7cm work the larger film has an advantage in less grain and smoother tonality, all related purely to film size. But the Mamiya 7 negs come damn close.

  8. #28

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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    In practice the entire workflow matters, from enlarging lenses to scanning, so unless you're willing to upgrade everything else in the path, blowing the money and sweat to use digital lenses with medium format film is only pissing into the wind.

    But, those guys over at the GetDPI forum, the rich ones with slaves in diamond mines, the ones who buy Alpas and Digitars and do it all uber-kosher... a few of them have shot their perfectly calibrated $5000 Linhof roll film backs with their set-ups, then had scans made with some secret Swiss-CIA-UFO drum scanner and....

    And their pictures still suck.

    Back in reality, I have silver 12x18/16x20s from a Fuji 6x9 on TMX 100 that pass for 4x5 TXP. Fools other experienced photographers but so what?

  9. #29

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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I have a lot of respect for you Sandy, but you're giving folks a strange impression if you expect ANY kind of MF system to compete with a view camera for detail, with any
    kind of lens.
    Sorry Drew but your assumptions are incorrect. I've used the M7II with the 43mm lens to shoot landscapes out west and the B&W negatives made with this camera are just astounding. I suggest you do some testing of your own with the M7 II.

    Don Bryant

  10. #30
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Image quality from digital vs analog lens both shot on film

    Well, the thread is drifting a little toward format wars per se. You're only as good as
    your weakest link, regardless. I don't use Tri-X for anything. I enlarge optically with better gear than you can buy anywhere, unless it too is custom-made. So no intervening issues of scanning and the inherent limitations of digital output (not a knock at that option, just a more direct and acuurate standard of measure). I use precision film holders that hold the film flat. I use the best modern apo lenses. I often use high-resolution print media like Cibachrome, and I defy anyone on the planet to print a significant enlargement from MF by any means that comes up to the detail standard which I routinely get from 4x5, let alone from 8x10 - and this is just one factor to overall print quality!

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