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Thread: How sharp can I expect from 4X5

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: How sharp can I expect from 4X5

    An old hat test with plenty of flaws of its own. Once most of the variables get pinned down it's still a Godzilla vs Bambi contest. But I'll go with my own set of eyes looking at actual prints over hypothetical talk any day of the week. Regardless, digital capture is bottlenecked by digital print output limitations; film is not - you can directly optically print it.
    But even if this wasn't the case, there are still strong arguments for view cameras, including bigger viewing and focus size and full movements, plus you don't have to stand on your head to imagine the world upside-down!

  2. #22

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    Re: How sharp can I expect from 4X5

    I would strongly suggest getting a dedicated film scanner capable of scanning 4x5 before you try to make any comparisons to your D5500. You can find used V700s and V750s for reasonable prices these days. Once you have that, shoot the same scene with both your D5500 and Calumet camera and scan the 4x5 negative at 3200 or 6400 dpi. Then you'll appreciate the difference.

  3. #23
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: How sharp can I expect from 4X5

    Or he might be surprised at how little detail is pulled from the film .
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  4. #24

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    Re: How sharp can I expect from 4X5

    There are many ways to consider the resolution question. Here's yet another one, based on my having shot both crop-sensor and large format extensively.

    For the sake of simplicity, let's imagine perfect taking lenses and no digital noise or film grain: we are limited by "sensor' size. And let's presume we're shooting a target with extremely fine details, on a tripod, etc. so that no other variables exist except for the "sensors".

    Given a 24MP camera whose sensor is 4000x6000 pixels, in landscape orientation we are limited to an image 4000 pixels high. A 300dpi print can be made at 4000/300 or 13.3 inches high. That's the limit in this scenario.

    The tricky part comes when evaluating the film image as a sensor because we either need to scan it or enlarge it, and in either case further resolution is lost.

    Given an imaginary high-end scanner which can scan 5000 dpi, our 4x5 image is 20,000 x 25,000 pixels: much bigger than the crop-sensor, and therefore a much larger print can be made.

    Given a scanner which can only deliver 1500 dpi, our 4x5 image is 6000 x 7500 pixels. 6000 is 50% more pixels than the crop-sensor's 4000.

    If we leave imagination aside and consider additional variables like cropping, lens quality, film grain, depth of field, etc. the Large Format advantage begins to diminish. Just how much we can tolerate, is an individual choice.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 22-Jan-2020 at 19:30. Reason: Correction

  5. #25
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: How sharp can I expect from 4X5

    You've already artificially diminished it by speaking about dpi. That doesn't tell you what the film is actually doing, but the bottleneck during non-optical printing.

  6. #26
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How sharp can I expect from 4X5

    'Tack Sharp' as so many declare

    I agree with Ken Lee

    and I agree with Sandy King's choice of camera

    However I most 'like' processing my own negs, then contact printing or enlarging however imperfect

    life is short, do what you like

    NOW!
    sin eater

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