Re: 35mm scan quality Vs Digital

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tony Whitaker, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. "Joseph Brown" <> wrote in
    news:hTc4b.75085$:

    > Some people say that 35mm is better than digital. Some say that digital
    > provides a better "bang for the buck" and it's more flexible. Others
    > say that 35mm film frame is the equivalent of a 25 megapixel digital
    > snapshot.
    >


    I went through a similar process starting last Christmas. Getting
    conflicting information from different people, I decided (like you did) to
    find out for myself. I came up with this:
    http://www.mindspring.com/~focalfire/DigitalvsFilm.html

    More recently, after people told me I shoulda used fine-grained slide film
    for comparison to digital, I came up with this:
    http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflier/Five Megapixels.html

    Then, I thought about viewing the slides through a microscope we have at
    work and got this:
    http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflier/MicroSlide.jpg
    http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflier/MicroSlide2.jpg

    So, what does this all boil down to IMO? IMO, only fine-grained slide films
    like Fuji Velvia ISO 50 can compete with a good high-megapixel digicam.
    After looking at the slides through the microscope, I concluded that the
    slides do contain alot more detail than my 5megapixel digital equivalents.
    HOWEVER - and this is a BIG however - the local labs seem unable to get
    that additional information out of the slide and onto a print. I had 8"x12"
    enlargements made from some of the slides - they cost $6 each - and
    compared them side-by-side with the same image printed on my ink-jet
    printer. The digital images look MUCH better.

    So, it doesn't really matter how much detail might be hiding in you slides
    and negatives if there's nobody out there who can print it for you at a
    reasonable cost.

    Also, I recently found this company: http://www.digitalley.com . I sent
    them 25 slides and negatives this week to get scanned. They use a Nikon
    LS4000ED scanner, and they will scan at up to 4000dpi for only $.99 per
    scan plus some other fees. I paid them $44 to scan my 25 slides and
    negatives, which is the cheapest I could find anywhere. I'll be putting up
    some sample images in the near future that compare Fuji Velvia ISO 50,
    Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra NC ISO 160, Kodak Gold 200, and my Nikon
    Coolpix 5000. I took identical (well - as close as you can get to
    identical) pictures with each film (from the same spot within 5 minutes of
    each other) and my digicam. All shots were bracketed and the best exposure
    selected for scanning.



    --
    To email me, type my 1st name before my last.
    Tony Whitaker, Aug 31, 2003
    #1
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  2. (Tony Whitaker) writes:

    > I went through a similar process starting last Christmas. Getting
    > conflicting information from different people, I decided (like you did) to
    > find out for myself. I came up with this:
    > http://www.mindspring.com/~focalfire/DigitalvsFilm.html


    Interesting. 35mm is certainly sharper, at the expense of more
    graininess. The digital image gave smoother tonal gradation in the
    print, but the highlights washed out quicker.

    Scanning a film image always introduces another layer of data loss that a
    direct digital image does not go through. The reverse process would be
    to have a slide made from a digital photo and compare it to an original
    slide.

    > More recently, after people told me I shoulda used fine-grained slide film
    > for comparison to digital, I came up with this:
    > http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflier/Five Megapixels.html


    OK! Upping the digital camera to a 5mp unit really improved the digital
    detail. It is comparable to the slide film. The slide scan has an
    objectionable magenta cast, probably because some automatic color
    correction software read all the green in the photo. I doubt the
    original slide has that problem, and would chalk it up to operator error.

    The digital camera appears to do as well as 35mm.

    > Then, I thought about viewing the slides through a microscope we have at
    > work and got this:
    > http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflier/MicroSlide.jpg
    > http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflier/MicroSlide2.jpg


    Interesting.

    > So, what does this all boil down to IMO? IMO, only fine-grained slide films
    > like Fuji Velvia ISO 50 can compete with a good high-megapixel digicam.
    > After looking at the slides through the microscope, I concluded that the
    > slides do contain alot more detail than my 5megapixel digital equivalents.
    > HOWEVER - and this is a BIG however - the local labs seem unable to get
    > that additional information out of the slide and onto a print. I had 8"x12"
    > enlargements made from some of the slides - they cost $6 each - and
    > compared them side-by-side with the same image printed on my ink-jet
    > printer. The digital images look MUCH better.


    One of the biggest problems in printing high resolution is the enlarger
    lens. That photo lab in Florida brags that their enlarger lenses cost
    $20,000 apiece. Local photo labs also use diffuse light sources rather
    than a collimated condenser light source, which also reduces definition.

    > So, it doesn't really matter how much detail might be hiding in you slides
    > and negatives if there's nobody out there who can print it for you at a
    > reasonable cost.


    Dale Labs has a real good rep for top quality results.

    http://www.dalelabs.com/

    > Also, I recently found this company: http://www.digitalley.com . I sent
    > them 25 slides and negatives this week to get scanned. They use a Nikon
    > LS4000ED scanner, and they will scan at up to 4000dpi for only $.99 per
    > scan plus some other fees. I paid them $44 to scan my 25 slides and
    > negatives, which is the cheapest I could find anywhere. I'll be putting up
    > some sample images in the near future that compare Fuji Velvia ISO 50,
    > Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra NC ISO 160, Kodak Gold 200, and my Nikon
    > Coolpix 5000. I took identical (well - as close as you can get to
    > identical) pictures with each film (from the same spot within 5 minutes of
    > each other) and my digicam. All shots were bracketed and the best exposure
    > selected for scanning.


    Your Nikon does a good job.

    --
    http://home.teleport.com/~larryc
    Larry Caldwell, Aug 31, 2003
    #2
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  3. Larry Caldwell <> wrote in
    news::

    > One of the biggest problems in printing high resolution is the enlarger
    > lens. That photo lab in Florida brags that their enlarger lenses cost
    > $20,000 apiece. Local photo labs also use diffuse light sources rather
    > than a collimated condenser light source, which also reduces
    > definition.


    I didn't get optically enlarged prints. The lab (Richmond Camera) could
    have made optical enlargements for me on Cibachrome, but the cost would
    have been $20 per enlargement instead of $6. I didn't want to pay that
    much. So, I settled for scanned-and-printed enlargements. I don't know what
    kind of scanner they used, but they advertised the use of Digital Ice.

    > Dale Labs has a real good rep for top quality results.
    > http://www.dalelabs.com/


    Thanks. I'll probably send them some work to do.

    --
    To email me, type my 1st name before my last.
    Tony Whitaker, Aug 31, 2003
    #3
  4. Joseph Brown wrote:

    > Also, does anyone has scanned the *same* 35mm at various sources? like from
    > a home reflective flatbed, from a Nikon LS4000, from a Fuji minilab, Kodak
    > CD, kodak proCD, drum scan and from a Digicam AND put these same pictures
    > side-by- side for comparison.


    Some comparisons of digital, various scanners and film types
    35mm to large format, cheap scanners to drum scans.

    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/scandetail.html

    Summary plots of digital versus film:

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

    Roger Clark
    home page:
    http://www.clarkvision.com
    Roger N. Clark, Sep 1, 2003
    #4
  5. Tony Whitaker wrote:

    > So, what does this all boil down to IMO? IMO, only fine-grained slide films
    > like Fuji Velvia ISO 50 can compete with a good high-megapixel digicam.
    > After looking at the slides through the microscope, I concluded that the
    > slides do contain alot more detail than my 5megapixel digital equivalents.
    > HOWEVER - and this is a BIG however - the local labs seem unable to get
    > that additional information out of the slide and onto a print. I had 8"x12"
    > enlargements made from some of the slides - they cost $6 each - and
    > compared them side-by-side with the same image printed on my ink-jet
    > printer. The digital images look MUCH better.
    >
    > So, it doesn't really matter how much detail might be hiding in you slides
    > and negatives if there's nobody out there who can print it for you at a
    > reasonable cost.
    >
    > Also, I recently found this company: http://www.digitalley.com . I sent
    > them 25 slides and negatives this week to get scanned. They use a Nikon
    > LS4000ED scanner, and they will scan at up to 4000dpi for only $.99 per
    > scan plus some other fees. I paid them $44 to scan my 25 slides and
    > negatives, which is the cheapest I could find anywhere. I'll be putting up
    > some sample images in the near future that compare Fuji Velvia ISO 50,
    > Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra NC ISO 160, Kodak Gold 200, and my Nikon
    > Coolpix 5000. I took identical (well - as close as you can get to
    > identical) pictures with each film (from the same spot within 5 minutes of
    > each other) and my digicam. All shots were bracketed and the best exposure
    > selected for scanning.


    Tony:
    Remember, I offered to do free scans of some slides for
    your tests. Are you going to send them, or have you
    found suitable alternatives?

    Roger
    Roger N. Clark, Sep 1, 2003
    #5
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