Film vs. digital cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aniramca@gmail.com, May 20, 2007.

  1. Guest

    I went back and look at old photos in my attic and surprised to see
    that some of photos that I took years ago using a cheap Nikon One
    touch range finder camera were extremely sharp and good quality. I
    used that camera for a number of years, outdoor photos in rain or
    shine conditions, has some tree gooey sap all over at one time. It is
    now resting and not used, but I think it is still working.
    My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    performance. I do not use dark room anymore as it can end up expensive
    (I used to in the old days), so photo qualities in those days mostly
    were dependent on where I sent the film for printing in the lab. I
    never realize looking of photos taken by my digital cameras until I
    compare them against old regular cameras. Is it the camera, the
    condition when the photo taken, the technology or all of the above?
    Thanks for comment/discussion
    , May 20, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. On May 20, 10:35 am, wrote:
    > I went back and look at old photos in my attic and surprised to see
    > that some of photos that I took years ago using a cheap Nikon One
    > touch range finder camera were extremely sharp and good quality. I
    > used that camera for a number of years, outdoor photos in rain or
    > shine conditions, has some tree gooey sap all over at one time. It is
    > now resting and not used, but I think it is still working.
    > My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    > at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    > performance. I do not use dark room anymore as it can end up expensive
    > (I used to in the old days), so photo qualities in those days mostly
    > were dependent on where I sent the film for printing in the lab. I
    > never realize looking of photos taken by my digital cameras until I
    > compare them against old regular cameras. Is it the camera, the
    > condition when the photo taken, the technology or all of the above?
    > Thanks for comment/discussion


    Depends on exactly what you mean by quality and performance, and most
    important, what FILM you are using. Modern 10MP digitals are about at
    the performance of many film cameras with color film and moderate
    speed. They do not have the dynamic range of good B&W film, nor
    resolution of something like Plus X in dilute developer.

    They have an edge in linearity over some of the faster films if you
    shoot in RAW.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, May 20, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Stan Beck Guest

    The most important thing is the person tripping the shutter. Both film and
    digital can give good results.

    --
    I really hate to eat on an empty stomach.

    Stan Beck > From New Orleans to Brandon MS
    To reply, remove 101 from address.
    ***

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I went back and look at old photos in my attic and surprised to see
    > that some of photos that I took years ago using a cheap Nikon One
    > touch range finder camera were extremely sharp and good quality. I
    > used that camera for a number of years, outdoor photos in rain or
    > shine conditions, has some tree gooey sap all over at one time. It is
    > now resting and not used, but I think it is still working.
    > My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    > at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    > performance. I do not use dark room anymore as it can end up expensive
    > (I used to in the old days), so photo qualities in those days mostly
    > were dependent on where I sent the film for printing in the lab. I
    > never realize looking of photos taken by my digital cameras until I
    > compare them against old regular cameras. Is it the camera, the
    > condition when the photo taken, the technology or all of the above?
    > Thanks for comment/discussion
    >
    Stan Beck, May 20, 2007
    #3
  4. Matt Ion Guest

    wrote:
    > I went back and look at old photos in my attic and surprised to see
    > that some of photos that I took years ago using a cheap Nikon One
    > touch range finder camera were extremely sharp and good quality. I
    > used that camera for a number of years, outdoor photos in rain or
    > shine conditions, has some tree gooey sap all over at one time. It is
    > now resting and not used, but I think it is still working.
    > My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    > at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    > performance. I do not use dark room anymore as it can end up expensive
    > (I used to in the old days), so photo qualities in those days mostly
    > were dependent on where I sent the film for printing in the lab. I
    > never realize looking of photos taken by my digital cameras until I
    > compare them against old regular cameras. Is it the camera, the
    > condition when the photo taken, the technology or all of the above?
    > Thanks for comment/discussion


    Don't leave the lens out of the equation. I used to get some great
    shots from my ancient Argus C-3 "brick", but Argus were renowned back
    then for their optics. Similarly my old Minolta X-700 got great, sharp
    shots with a sweet little Tamron 70-210 zoom, while both the lenses I
    have for my Rebel G - the kit 28-90 and the EF 75-300 - are painfully
    soft when compared side-by-side with those old Minolta/Tamron shots.
    Pics taken with the same 75-300 on my Digital Rebel are no better or
    worse than with the Rebel G.
    Matt Ion, May 20, 2007
    #4
  5. Charles Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I went back and look at old photos in my attic and surprised to see
    > that some of photos that I took years ago using a cheap Nikon One
    > touch range finder camera were extremely sharp and good quality. I
    > used that camera for a number of years, outdoor photos in rain or
    > shine conditions, has some tree gooey sap all over at one time. It is
    > now resting and not used, but I think it is still working.
    > My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    > at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    > performance. I do not use dark room anymore as it can end up expensive
    > (I used to in the old days), so photo qualities in those days mostly
    > were dependent on where I sent the film for printing in the lab. I
    > never realize looking of photos taken by my digital cameras until I
    > compare them against old regular cameras. Is it the camera, the
    > condition when the photo taken, the technology or all of the above?
    > Thanks for comment/discussion


    Depends on the cameras. One must compare high-end to high end and so on.
    Many feel that the best current DSLRs have surpassed 35 mm film cameras.
    Google and you will find sites such as
    http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF7.html
    http://www.clarkvision.com/index.html
    and many others.
    Charles, May 20, 2007
    #5
  6. wrote:
    > I went back and look at old photos in my attic and surprised to see
    > that some of photos that I took years ago using a cheap Nikon One
    > touch range finder camera were extremely sharp and good quality. I
    > used that camera for a number of years, outdoor photos in rain or
    > shine conditions, has some tree gooey sap all over at one time. It is
    > now resting and not used, but I think it is still working.
    > My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    > at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    > performance. I do not use dark room anymore as it can end up expensive
    > (I used to in the old days), so photo qualities in those days mostly
    > were dependent on where I sent the film for printing in the lab. I
    > never realize looking of photos taken by my digital cameras until I
    > compare them against old regular cameras. Is it the camera, the
    > condition when the photo taken, the technology or all of the above?
    > Thanks for comment/discussion
    >


    If you mean build quality, then it's simply the way of the world: once
    upon a time it was viable to make things out of metal, especially where
    the workings are all mechanical: the solid build helps accuracy.

    With the advent of electronic control, manufacturers could get away with
    less solidly built bodies, and plastic moulding became the norm, being a
    LOT cheaper.

    Everything is shoddily made from flimsy plastic these days, at least at
    the consumer end. At the pro end of the photography market things are
    better, but nothing, except maybe a Leica, has that solid tough metal
    feel of old cameras.

    With regard to picture quality. Well I can't see that any real advances
    have been made in glass quality or lens design, except to make them
    lighter, smaller, cheaper and the proliferation of very wide range
    zooms. Use a brand new prime lens rather than the kit zoom, and you'll
    find a world of quality away, much like it was when your older kit was made.

    So I think where modern kit falls down is that we all supposedly want a
    6xkit zoom instead of a good prime or two. A 6x zoom is still going to
    be thrashed on quality by a prime of any age and price.
    Richard Polhill, May 20, 2007
    #6
  7. wrote:
    ...
    > My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    > at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    > performance.


    Personally I prefer a good cherry pie, but I also love a great apple
    pie. They are both high quality and both are high performance in my
    opinion. Some days I may prefer apple pie or even a dish of good ice cream.

    That's about it. Both systems produce great images, but not exactly the
    same images. Remember Kodachrome and Ectacrome (sp). They were both great
    films. both different films. While both had religious followings in reality
    no one could really say one was better than the other. Same thing with your
    question.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia 's Muire duit
    Joseph Meehan, May 20, 2007
    #7
  8. Mike Russell Guest

    > wrote:
    > ..
    >> My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    >> at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    >> performance.


    With cameras, and any other long standing commodity with moving parts, the
    quality in general is decreasing, and the performance is improving.
    --
    Mike Russell
    www.curvemeister.com/forum/
    Mike Russell, May 21, 2007
    #8
  9. Robert Coe Guest

    On Sun, 20 May 2007 23:17:18 GMT, "Mike Russell"
    <-MOVE> wrote:
    : > wrote:
    : > ..
    : >> My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    : >> at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    : >> performance.
    :
    : With cameras, and any other long standing commodity with moving parts, the
    : quality in general is decreasing, and the performance is improving.

    We all know what you mean, but objectively that statement is almost an
    oxymoron, since performance is an inseparable component of quality. Would you
    go back to your (or your father's or your grandfather's) old Nikon S-2 because
    it was so well made?

    Bob
    Robert Coe, May 21, 2007
    #9
  10. In article <>,
    wrote:

    > My question is whether the digital cameras made nowadays is better or
    > at least the same as the old cameras, in term of its quality and
    > performance. I do not use dark room anymore as it can end up expensive
    > (I used to in the old days), so photo qualities in those days mostly
    > were dependent on where I sent the film for printing in the lab.


    I don't think digital is up to the range of 35mm film yet. However, I
    much prefer digital over negative film for color work. I could never
    quite get color to come out right from film, but digital seems to do it
    with no problem. OTOH, B&W still seems to be better on film (although
    digital is catching up fast) and 4x5 color slides are quite remarkable.
    Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    slides.

    A related issue is what you can get in the print. My old rule-of-thumb
    was not to go over 8x10 with 35mm film, although many did with good
    results. With inkjet printers, the rule-of-thumb seems to be to go
    around 300dpi, although many go less with good results. If you want an
    8x10 at 300 dpi without upresing, you need 3000x2400, which is 7.2Mb.
    However, I have produced some decent 12x16 prints from a 4Mb camera.
    The point is you can probably do better color work on the print in
    digital.

    Possibly an even more important point is that color prints from negative
    film seemed to fade before your eyes. Color inkjet prints from pigment
    inks may last as long as silver B&W prints.

    Film is relatively more expensive than digital. Some people don't print
    digital at all and when they do they can choose one or two images out of
    hundreds.

    So, for everyday use I prefer digital. For critical color work I would
    use 4x5 slides, which can be scanned and printed if desired.

    --
    Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    bob AT peirce-family.com [Mac]
    rbp AT cooksonpeirce.com [Office]
    Robert Peirce, May 21, 2007
    #10
  11. Robert Peirce wrote:

    > Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    > slides.


    I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    I've replaced it with digital mosaics.

    http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics

    and I've pushed my own ability for large pixel count
    mosaics into new areas could never get with 4x5, e.g.
    these hand held mosaics from a vehicle:

    http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...bra.sunrise.c01.23.2007.JZ3F0891-6c-1200.html

    http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.africa/web/zebras.c01.23.2007.JZ3F0584-91d-800.html

    http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...nyara.sunset.c01.17.2007.JZ3F7144-9b-800.html

    Roger
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), May 21, 2007
    #11
  12. On May 20, 8:30 pm, Robert Peirce <>
    wrote:

    >
    > I don't think digital is up to the range of 35mm film yet. However, I
    > much prefer digital over negative film for color work. I could never
    > quite get color to come out right from film, but digital seems to do it
    > with no problem. OTOH, B&W still seems to be better on film (although
    > digital is catching up fast) and 4x5 color slides are quite remarkable.
    > Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    > slides.
    >


    I think it IS up to medium or high speed color neg film, but not up to
    slow transparency or slow B & W film yet. A good 8 to 10 Mp camera
    has about the same resolution as the color films, and most all have
    good dynamic range.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, May 21, 2007
    #12
  13. "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Robert Peirce wrote:


    >> Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color slides.


    > I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    > I've replaced it with digital mosaics.
    >
    > http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics


    This is amazing!

    > and I've pushed my own ability for large pixel count
    > mosaics into new areas could never get with 4x5, e.g.
    > these hand held mosaics from a vehicle:
    >
    > http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...bra.sunrise.c01.23.2007.JZ3F0891-6c-1200.html
    >
    > http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.africa/web/zebras.c01.23.2007.JZ3F0584-91d-800.html


    Huh??? A four-frame mosaic hand-held, of two ***ANIMALS***?!?!?!
    NEAT!

    > http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...nyara.sunset.c01.17.2007.JZ3F7144-9b-800.html
    >
    > Roger


    Interesting work, to say the least...! ;-)
    --
    David Ruether

    http://www.donferrario.com/ruether
    David Ruether, May 21, 2007
    #13
  14. Cats Guest

    On May 21, 2:29 pm, Don Stauffer in Minnesota <>
    wrote:
    > On May 20, 8:30 pm, Robert Peirce <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > I don't think digital is up to the range of 35mm film yet. However, I
    > > much prefer digital over negative film for color work. I could never
    > > quite get color to come out right from film, but digital seems to do it
    > > with no problem. OTOH, B&W still seems to be better on film (although
    > > digital is catching up fast) and 4x5 color slides are quite remarkable.
    > > Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    > > slides.

    >
    > I think it IS up to medium or high speed color neg film, but not up to
    > slow transparency or slow B & W film yet. A good 8 to 10 Mp camera
    > has about the same resolution as the color films, and most all have
    > good dynamic range.


    I scan Fujichrome in a Nikon scanner at 2,000dpi as I get quite good
    enough results at that resolution. However the scanner will scan at
    4,000dpi - since a 35mm negative or slide is (approx) 1" x 1.5", that
    gives a 24mega-pixel file with the grain beautifully resolved.... I
    can crop away at that kind of image and still be able to produce a
    good A3 print. However I'm sorely tempted by one of the new Pentax D-
    SLRs as it's on offer for £300....
    Cats, May 21, 2007
    #14
  15. David Ruether wrote:
    > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <> wrote in message news:...
    >> Robert Peirce wrote:

    >
    >>> Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color slides.

    >
    >> I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    >> I've replaced it with digital mosaics.
    >>
    >> http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics

    >
    > This is amazing!
    >
    >> and I've pushed my own ability for large pixel count
    >> mosaics into new areas could never get with 4x5, e.g.
    >> these hand held mosaics from a vehicle:
    >>
    >> http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...bra.sunrise.c01.23.2007.JZ3F0891-6c-1200.html
    >>
    >> http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.africa/web/zebras.c01.23.2007.JZ3F0584-91d-800.html

    >
    > Huh??? A four-frame mosaic hand-held, of two ***ANIMALS***?!?!?!
    > NEAT!


    Oops. The zebra sunrise was done hand held, but the two zebras
    (mother and colt) where on a Wimberly mount on a safari vehicle.
    I have many mosaics of animals I'm working on, some dozens
    of frames.
    >
    >> http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...nyara.sunset.c01.17.2007.JZ3F7144-9b-800.html
    >>
    >> Roger

    >
    > Interesting work, to say the least...! ;-)


    Thanks. Digital has opened up new worlds for me.
    The other area where digital shines is low light,
    high ISO, e.g.:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...eb/m45-700MM-8534-8561_C16B-add27-v3-800.html
    which was done from a light polluted city. Such
    an image is impossible on film from a city and to get such an
    image would require dark skies (no light pollution),
    larger lens and longer exposure times.

    Digital has higher signal-to-noise ratios than film,
    and in higher ISOs much higher resolution. Here are
    summary pages:

    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/film.vs.digital.summary1.html

    and

    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/index.html#sensor_analysis

    Roger
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), May 22, 2007
    #15
  16. In article <>,
    "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    wrote:

    > Robert Peirce wrote:
    >
    > > Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    > > slides.

    >
    > I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    > I've replaced it with digital mosaics.
    >
    > http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics


    Impressive but probably beyond my ability. I have trouble stitching
    panoramas together.

    --
    Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    bob AT peirce-family.com [Mac]
    rbp AT cooksonpeirce.com [Office]
    Robert Peirce, May 24, 2007
    #16
  17. DBLEXPOSURE Guest

    "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Robert Peirce wrote:
    >>
    >> > Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    >> > slides.

    >>
    >> I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    >> I've replaced it with digital mosaics.
    >>
    >> http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics

    >
    > Impressive but probably beyond my ability. I have trouble stitching
    > panoramas together.
    >
    > --
    > Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    > bob AT peirce-family.com [Mac]
    > rbp AT cooksonpeirce.com [Office]
    >



    Impressive indeed. From time to time one finds a jewel amongst all the NG
    noise. Off to research Panoramic tripod heads, great, more gear to spend
    $$ on.

    Patrick Ziegler
    www.imagequest.ifp3.com
    DBLEXPOSURE, May 24, 2007
    #17
  18. Scott W Guest

    On May 24, 9:43 am, Robert Peirce <>
    wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    >
    > wrote:
    > > Robert Peirce wrote:

    >
    > > > Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    > > > slides.

    >
    > > I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    > > I've replaced it with digital mosaics.

    >
    > >http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics

    >
    > Impressive but probably beyond my ability. I have trouble stitching
    > panoramas together.


    I would say more that the program you are using has trouble stitching
    panoramas together,
    no so much you. You might give PTGui a try, you can down load a free
    trial version, I find this
    program works very well.

    A good panoramic head also does wonders.

    It is more a matter of the right gear and software rather then a
    matter of skill.

    Scott
    Scott W, May 24, 2007
    #18
  19. frederick Guest

    DBLEXPOSURE wrote:
    > "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> In article <>,
    >> "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Robert Peirce wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    >>>> slides.
    >>> I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    >>> I've replaced it with digital mosaics.
    >>>
    >>> http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics

    >> Impressive but probably beyond my ability. I have trouble stitching
    >> panoramas together.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    >> bob AT peirce-family.com [Mac]
    >> rbp AT cooksonpeirce.com [Office]
    >>

    >
    >
    > Impressive indeed. From time to time one finds a jewel amongst all the NG
    > noise. Off to research Panoramic tripod heads, great, more gear to spend
    > $$ on.
    >
    > Patrick Ziegler
    > www.imagequest.ifp3.com
    >
    >

    To potentially save some $$, then consider whether just positional
    accuracy (ie rotating the camera around the entrance pupil of the lens),
    or whether you need stability to prevent camera shake for longer
    exposures as well as positional accuracy.
    Something like the panosaurus head (google for it online) is quite
    inexpensive, or it's not so hard to make your own.
    Something to provide good stability as well, will be expensive and may
    not be what you really need.
    frederick, May 25, 2007
    #19
  20. Cats Guest

    On May 24, 8:43 pm, Robert Peirce <>
    wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    >
    > wrote:
    > > Robert Peirce wrote:

    >
    > > > Digital would have a very long way to go to come close to 4x5 color
    > > > slides.

    >
    > > I haven't taken a 4x5 film image in over a year now.
    > > I've replaced it with digital mosaics.

    >
    > >http://www.clarkvision.com/photoinfo/large_mosaics

    >
    > Impressive but probably beyond my ability. I have trouble stitching
    > panoramas together.


    My Canon A70 came with PhotoSttich software which does an excellent
    job of stitching panoramas. Got 2nd with a print at the camera club
    I'd made with it & the judge couldn't tell - when he found out what
    the origins were he said he'd have given it 1st if he'd known, in
    effect the software did too good a job! The originals were hand-held.

    Suspect PhotoStitch comes with most Canon cameras - if panoramas are
    something you are keen on, you could consider buying an old Canon on
    ebay for the software! Of course check first that model comes with it
    and the one you are buying comes with the original CDs.... :)
    Cats, May 25, 2007
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. brian
    Replies:
    108
    Views:
    8,209
  2. zxcvar
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    879
    (Pete Cresswell)
    Jan 4, 2004
  3. Steven C \(Doktersteve\)

    Which is better? digital cameras or older crappy cameras that use film?

    Steven C \(Doktersteve\), Jan 23, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    22
    Views:
    916
  4. Replies:
    5
    Views:
    528
    Dave Martindale
    Nov 5, 2005
  5. Turning film cameras into digital cameras

    , Apr 7, 2007, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    112
    Views:
    2,488
    Bill Funk
    May 8, 2007
Loading...

Share This Page