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11MP digital or medium format film?

 
 
Beowulf
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      08-22-2004
Do the 11 megapixel digital cameras approach the resolution of a medium
format film camera? I have a Canon 10D digital, 6.3 megapixels, and a
Canon Rebel Ti film camera. I would like the greater resolution of a
medium format camera for larger finer grained prints-- but perhaps digital
is approaching that with 11+ megapixels?
~Beowulf

--
"It said it needed Windows98 or better installed, so I installed Linux."

 
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Robert Meyers
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      08-22-2004
"Beowulf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
> Do the 11 megapixel digital cameras approach the resolution of a medium
> format film camera? I have a Canon 10D digital, 6.3 megapixels, and a
> Canon Rebel Ti film camera. I would like the greater resolution of a
> medium format camera for larger finer grained prints-- but perhaps digital
> is approaching that with 11+ megapixels?


11 MP? True resolution? Hell, 35mm blows it out of the water. Effective
resolution? Probably. How are you scanning your 35mm film? I use a
Minolta 5400 (41 MP) and a Pacific Image PowerSlide 3600 (17 MP). Either
blows 11 MP out of the water... but are you wanting to totaly get rid of
grain? Then you go with a Digital. That is not however actual resolution.


 
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Annika1980
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      08-22-2004
>From: "Robert Meyers" http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)

>11 MP? True resolution? Hell, 35mm blows it out of the water. Effective
>resolution? Probably. How are you scanning your 35mm film? I use a
>Minolta 5400 (41 MP) and a Pacific Image PowerSlide 3600 (17 MP). Either
>blows 11 MP out of the water... but are you wanting to totaly get rid of
>grain? Then you go with a Digital. That is not however actual resolution.


I also have the Minolta 5400 and I disagree with your analysis. I don't have a
1Ds to compare against, but there isn't that much (if any) more detail in the
huge scans from the 5400 that there is from the 6.3MP Totally Digital D60.

Yes, it creates bigger image sizes, but as you hinted at, the grain is enlarged
as well.
If I take similar shots with each it is hard to spot any ("real", not grain)
detail in the film scan that wasn't in the digital shot.
I would suspect that an 11MP 1Ds shot would drown it.




 
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Bart van der Wolf
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      08-22-2004

"Robert Meyers" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Beowulf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news(E-Mail Removed)...
> > Do the 11 megapixel digital cameras approach the resolution
> > of a medium format film camera?

SNIP
> 11 MP? True resolution? Hell, 35mm blows it out of the water.

Effective
> resolution? Probably.


I agree, that is correct for lower ISO film and quality lenses used to
make the images. A tripod or flash will certainly help as well.
The scanned resolution of 35mm film seems limited to approx. 80-85
cycles/mm, where high end (near) full frame '35mm DSLR' sensors max
out at roughly 50-60 cy/mm, so in absolute resolution they're no
match.

The lack of graininess in the DSLR image allows a fair amount of
postprocessing that will visually bridge the gap a bit. On the other
hand, noise reduction programs like Neat Image can be successfully
applied to film scans, and lose very little resolution, so the final
results can be very close.

Medium format images in general have about twice the linear size of
35mm film, so need only half the magnification, which more than
offsets the slight resolution loss due to non-flattness of the film
and often lower resolution (because they are larger) than top 35mm
lenses. Film graininess is also less of an issue because of the lower
magnification. So MF is potentially about twice (rough estimate) as
high in resolution for the same output size as a DSLR sensor image.

Physically smaller sensors need more magnification for equal sized
output, so they lose more resolution yet.

Bart

 
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Alfred Molon
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      08-22-2004
Robert Meyers <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>11 MP? True resolution? Hell, 35mm blows it out of the water. Effective
>resolution? Probably. How are you scanning your 35mm film? I use a
>Minolta 5400 (41 MP) and a Pacific Image PowerSlide 3600 (17 MP). Either
>blows 11 MP out of the water... but are you wanting to totaly get rid of
>grain? Then you go with a Digital. That is not however actual resolution.


Well... see here for what you get from a Minolta DSLR with a Tamron 28-
200 lens:

http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg

This was scanned with a Nikon LS50 slide scanner at 4000 dpi. We are
(resolutionwise) at the level of 1-2 MPixel. The Tamron 28-200 probably
isn't the best lens around, and I guess that with much better lenses the
resolution you get improves. Perhaps you can make it to 6MP.

In any case I'd also be curious to know what the effective resolution of
a MF frame is.

The area of a MF frame is about four times the area of a 35mm frame,
isn't it ? Then, taking into account that MF lenses are less sharp than
35mm lenses (because they don't need to be so sharp), could we say that
with a MF frame you get three times the resolution of a 35mm from, i.e.
3 x 6 = 18MP ?
--

Alfred Molon
------------------------------
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus_405080/
Olympus 5060 resource - http://www.molon.de/5060.html
Olympus 8080 resource - http://www.molon.de/8080.html
 
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Bart van der Wolf
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      08-22-2004

"Alfred Molon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ...
SNIP
> Well... see here for what you get from a Minolta DSLR with a Tamron

28-
> 200 lens:
>
> http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg


That image is hardly representative of what film has to offer.

The image suffers from camera shake. The zoom lens may have added it's
own limitations. Had the image been good, then 4000 ppi isn't enough
to resolve all detail.

A small (6.35x6.35mm, or 4.7% of the ful frame area) crop from a 5400
ppi scan (un-retouched, no grain reduction, no sharpening) shows a
much more detailed image, and that one was handheld:
<http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/SE5400-Wbd-Crop.jpg> for the
crop, and
<http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/SE5400-Wbd-Overview.jpg> for the
overview.

There are other examples of scans on that site
(http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis) but many suffer from "operator
limitations" that would also impact a Digicam image.

Bart

 
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Allan Wind
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      08-22-2004
On 2004-08-22, Alfred Molon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Well... see here for what you get from a Minolta DSLR with a Tamron 28-
> 200 lens:
>
> http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg


Do you have a larger resolution of this scan online, perhaps the
unprocessed version? I was expecting better results with a slide
scanner.


/Allan
 
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Mark M
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      08-22-2004

"Alfred Molon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ...
> Robert Meyers <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >11 MP? True resolution? Hell, 35mm blows it out of the water. Effective
> >resolution? Probably. How are you scanning your 35mm film? I use a
> >Minolta 5400 (41 MP) and a Pacific Image PowerSlide 3600 (17 MP). Either
> >blows 11 MP out of the water... but are you wanting to totaly get rid of
> >grain? Then you go with a Digital. That is not however actual

resolution.
>
> Well... see here for what you get from a Minolta DSLR with a Tamron 28-
> 200 lens:
>
> http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg


That image is a blurry mess, which is a shame considering the nice scene.
Film can do far better than that example.


 
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David J. Littleboy
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      08-22-2004

"Bart van der Wolf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> "Alfred Molon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


> > http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg

>
> That image is hardly representative of what film has to offer.


Really.

> much more detailed image, and that one was handheld:
> <http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/SE5400-Wbd-Crop.jpg> for the
> crop, and
> <http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/SE5400-Wbd-Overview.jpg> for the
> overview.


But even that is pretty pitiful on a pixel-per-pixel basis comparison with
images straight out of a dSLR. I'm not convinced you've got even than 2700
dpi of usable* resolultion there. (My usual rant: the information in the low
contrast tail of the MTFs curve does't significantly contribute to apparent
image quality.)

*: Usable means when printed at 300 dpi.

> There are other examples of scans on that site
> (http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis) but many suffer from "operator
> limitations" that would also impact a Digicam image.


They all look pretty ugly to me. I really don't see anyone getting over 9MP
of dSLR quality pixels from a 35mm frame. (Where "quality" basically means
the width of sharp transitions. Grain noise even after downsampling 5400 dpi
scans to 2700 dpi is pretty bad.)

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan



 
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Roland Karlsson
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      08-22-2004
Beowulf <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news(E-Mail Removed):

> Do the 11 megapixel digital cameras approach the resolution of a
> medium format film camera? I have a Canon 10D digital, 6.3 megapixels,
> and a Canon Rebel Ti film camera. I would like the greater resolution
> of a medium format camera for larger finer grained prints-- but
> perhaps digital is approaching that with 11+ megapixels?


You will get many kind of answers to this question. The main
reasons for the diverse opinions are (1) it is not really
possble to compare film and digital on equal ground and (2)
there are lots of myths.

Problem one: You can (with very good film and very good scanning)
force very high resolution out of film.

Problem two: What you can get under the absolute best circumstances
(i.e. problem one above) is not typical for film.

Problem three: Film has much larger granularity than it has
resolution. For digital (on the other hand), resolution and
granularity is almost the same.

Problem four: Digital has a regular square grid and film results
in a random pattern.

I think it is fair to say that even with a 6 Mpixel DSLR you get
the same kind of smoothness as you get with a medium format film
camera. So - if smoothness is your aim - you are already there.

I also think it is fair to say that a reasonable film and
scanning technique do not give you much more than 6 Mpixels
of resolution from 35 mm film.

Hmmm .... 11 Mpixels and medium format and resolution. I don't know.
Four times 6 Mpixels is 24 Mpixels. So --- more than that it is not.
I assume that 15 or so would be enough for most cases if you want to
get medium format quality. But that is a guess.

A last remark is that in some cases film grain is beautiful/useful.
This is true at least for B&W prints. In this case, the smoothness
of the digital camera is not an advantage.


/Roland
 
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