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Thread: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

  1. #41

    Join Date
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    Re: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

    Based on my experience and some calculations on MTF models, low ISO slide and BW film in 6x7 or 6x9 format are still a match for 20-24 Megas full frame digital SLRs. Full frame 36 Megas bodies however will best 6x9 most of the times, particularly in low contrast scenarios.
    Color separation is definetely better for film, dynamic range and color accuracy for digital.
    Personally I don't care for accuracy: I miss the Velvia 50 palette every time I shoot digital.
    However dynamic range is a big pro.
    That is for one-shot situations or macro scenarios; a pano head setup with DSLR will allow for much better performance even for single row panos in landscape use.
    Mamiya 7 II body/lenses are capable of stunning performance on 6x7, but it only matters for apertures larger than F11; for most of the other 6x7 or 6x9 brands, film transport precision and consequent film bulge will limit performance.
    Typical 0,2 mm bulge in the film channel will limit performance to 60-70 lp/mm even with the best BW film; excellent lenses like Pentax 45mm F4 or 55mm F4 or Fujinon 65mm F.6 are limited by film positioning precision.
    Mamiya 6/7, Contax and Hasselblad bodies are generally built with better precision and thus produce better results wide open.
    In the F16-F22 range, differences are flattened and performance is still up to 50-70 lp/mm, depending on film and scene contrast.
    Considering the DOF requirements for the 6x7 or 6x9 format, I end up shooting in that range anyway and forget about lens performance.
    3000dpi (effective optical) scans, processed with radius 2 sharpening, will let you recover most of the info from film without delving too much into grain; 4000dpi for the very best BW shots.
    I can have a single 6x9 scan with Flextight X5 @ 3200dpi for 4€ /5$: not cheap but acceptable considering I choose only my best shots to be scanned.
    A drum scan, provided you can still find a skilled and careful operator, is always better for slides; for negs a Nikon Coolscan 9000 (imho considerably better than the 8000) is on par and easier to operate.
    On the long term digital is cheaper and delivers consistently better results in difficult scenarios.
    Still for me, digital does not match the sporadic thrill of that planned, ponderated, slow film shot that turns out to be perfect once in a while.

  2. #42
    Preston Birdwell
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    Re: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

    Is this a Large Format topic?

    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  3. #43
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    Re: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

    I won't say too much for fear of getting some of you mad at me.

    My philosophy, I use film and carry it through with viewing prints made in a darkroom. I have a brand new flatbed scanner I bought from B&H a couple years ago that I've never used. I bought it as I have 45 plus years of film, slides that I plan on scanning someday, when time permits.

    Everything I do with digital starts out with digital capture, process with computer and can be viewed in various ways.

    What resolution is the medium you're using for viewing your scanned negs? What is the resolution of the paper or screen?

    I've got some pretty nice 40x30 prints hanging in my office made with my Canon stuff.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. #44
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

    Don't want to address the scanning issue per se, since I don't print digital at all, but will
    point out one relvant fact not addressed by this otherwise inetersting thread ... Once you
    factor in movements and the ability to control the plane of focus, 6X9 on a reasonbly precise view camera with good lenses can pretty much blow any fixed-back camera out of
    the water for detail, esp at longer focal lengths. But still no substitute for 4X5 or 8x10,
    not even remotely.

  5. #45
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

    Should clarify that a tad more ... like others, I'm not as young as I used to be, so am making some provisions for reducing my load on long backpack trips. So I started with what
    I already have, a 4x5 Ebony - fine-tuned the film plane with a special depth micrometer,
    then located a very clean Horseman 6X9 back, along with various ASA25 films ... having
    printed them I'm fairly shocked at how much better the results are than either my P67
    system (with late lenses) or friends with far more expensive Zeiss lenses. Simply being able
    to control the plane at optimum apertures, rather than having small f-stops as your only
    option for depth of field, becomes a complete game changer for me. It's still a way fussier
    approach than using 4x5, but given how compact and light the lenses are (Fuji A's, Nikkor
    M's etc), it makes even a 35mm system seem comparatively clunky.

  6. #46

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    Re: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Don't want to address the scanning issue per se, since I don't print digital at all, but will
    point out one relvant fact not addressed by this otherwise inetersting thread ... Once you
    factor in movements and the ability to control the plane of focus, 6X9 on a reasonbly precise view camera with good lenses can pretty much blow any fixed-back camera out of
    the water for detail, esp at longer focal lengths. But still no substitute for 4X5 or 8x10,
    not even remotely.
    I just add a tilt-shift lens to my digital camera when I want to control the plane of focus. Works as well for that purpose as the many 4x5 and 8x10 cameras I've owned. And a 21mpx digital camera coupled with an excellent lens and a capable photographer is very close to 4x5 with prints up to about 16x20. Not a match but infinitely closer than "not even remotely." I do print digitally and have for many years.
    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.

  7. #47
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: digital 21 megas shot versus 6x9 cm slide film scanned

    I keep forgetting that when anything digital comes into the discussion, this ultimately devolves into an ANTI-LF forum. But 16X20 is about the limit for really crisp prints with anything smaller than 4x5. I know ... blah blah blah ... to some folks even a Marlboro Man
    billboard looks sharp at "normal viewing distance" (thirty yards away). Not my intent to get
    into that diatribe however, but just to point out how LF might be ahead of the curve all along. Case in point, a 300mm Nikkor M weighs how much? bellows weighs what? And it's
    damn crisp optically. Now compare that to a 300mm lens on a P67 and the heavy tripod
    needed to stabilize it (forget the M7 because you can't even get a 300mm lens). Add up
    several lenses or a big zoom, and compare this even to a DLSR system. Each has its relevant uses, but as far as portability is concerned relative to actual image quality, a
    modern lightwt view camera might easily win the contest. The weak link is the film plane,
    but it's not that difficult to level a few varnish bubbles or whatever.

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