DSLR v Consumer Image quality

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by oink, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. oink

    rafeb Guest

    Keep me posted on your travails... by
    private email if you like.

    I'm all over the map with my camera gear,
    it mostly depends on how much schlepping
    I'm willing to do at any given moment.

    LF is definitely max-schlepping.

    rafe b.
    rafeb, Feb 23, 2005
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  2. oink

    rafeb Guest

    Owamanga wrote:

    For 4x6" prints, most definitely a waste of time.
    Maybe even for 8x10".

    At this point I've sold a good number large-ish
    prints (20x30", 24x36") that formerly I'd only
    done at 8x10 or 12x18". I'm getting enough $
    from these to where I think my on-screen viewing
    time is well justified and properly compensated.

    rafe b
    rafeb, Feb 23, 2005
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  3. oink

    Owamanga Guest

    As far as I know, as yet, no CRT or LCD has a 6Mpix resolution. I
    guess it won't be long, but right now that's a pipe-dream.

    At 100%, on an average screen at 1280x1024, you can see about 1/5th of
    a 6Mpix image. This is what they are striving for?


    Or is it more realistic to presume they want the entire frame to *fit*
    within the resolution of the display device (would make sense wouldn't
    it). In which case we need no more than 1.3Mpix.

    Again, especially for these people, it comes back to the fact that
    it's *pointless* critiquing this stuff at even 100%.
    Okay, I'm coming down harder on this than my real opinion, (which is
    somewhere in the middle) to demonstrate a point in black & white.
    ...which I believe, realistically describes the dreams and aspirations
    for 99% of the photos the current user base prints.
    Okay, I've been doing it for about 10 years, with the help of Kodak's
    Photo-CDs, but only started scanning my own slides about 3 years ago
    and then gained the ability to go fully digital about 6 months ago.
    My 10 year old Photo-CD images are still of high enough resolution for
    an 8x10 on the best of today's commercial printers.

    Anyway, *then*, when you finally have this superb printer that can do
    5ft by 3ft prints, and you've got some damn big walls to hang the
    stuff on, and you've found a framer who can put it behind glass for
    less than $200 a throw, I'd say sure, go ahead, critique anything you
    plan on sending it at 100% or more - it'll be time well spent. But
    today, this just isn't realistic.

    Even then, I'd question the need for the image to be good enough to
    stand up to inspection from 15" away (as you do your screen today).
    When I look at paintings or photos that size in exhibitions, I would
    usually to maintain a distance of at least 5ft. So, critique your
    screen work at a distance of 5ft and now you are being realistic.
    Owamanga, Feb 23, 2005
  4. Graham Holden wrote:
    This is only true, though, if you are prepared to accept the penalties of
    interchangeable lenses, dust, size, cost, bulk, weight etc. of the
    multi-lens DSLR solution. It depends on many factors including your
    photographic needs and aims. One solution doesn't fit all.

    David J Taylor, Feb 23, 2005
  5. Owamanga wrote:
    9MP monitors are already available...


    David J Taylor, Feb 23, 2005
  6. oink

    rafeb Guest

    Maybe someday it will... by waving the
    sensor around under the lens. But
    prints-on-paper or images-on-screen are
    a qualitatively different thing from
    human vision (as if that even needed

    Not sure why you're making this argument.

    These are the reasons why photography is
    different in a hundred ways from human vision.

    They've been written about and documented
    extensively, not only by physiologists but
    by any number of photographic experts.
    Fascinating topics, for sure, but far
    beyond what I've got time for.

    rafe b.
    rafeb, Feb 23, 2005
  7. oink

    Scott W Guest

    So here is an interesting test look at the linked photo, on screen, and
    then print out the photo, at 300 dpi. On screen the bottom image has
    much more detail but when printed the top looks sharper. Show the
    printed photo to a number of people as ask which is sharper.

    If there were printed at say 150 dpi then which looks sharper depends
    on how far away you are. Step back about 10 feet and you will see the
    same effect.


    The point is looking on screen can fool you, there is nothing wrong
    with looking at the photo at 100% on the screen as long as you don't
    use this as the only judgement for the quality of the photo.


    Scott W, Feb 23, 2005
  8. oink

    bob Guest

    Be sure to take the bellows extention into consideration when doing
    macro work or everything will be underexposed (been there done that).

    Check with your labs. I have a box of E6 unopened. (The owner of) the
    only lab I found locally that knew what 4x5 was said, Oh, our JOBO has a
    tank that can accept 4x5. I'm not sure how it works.

    You can wrap it up and mail it off though.

    If you buy a Polaroid back off of ebay, you can shoot Polaroid positives
    right off, and you can also use it has a holder for ready load. If I
    ever really decide to do chrome, I'm headed in that direction.

    bob, Feb 23, 2005
  9. oink

    Owamanga Guest

    Right, then in principle, we agree.
    Although there is nothing wrong with the strive for perfection, I'd
    add, that in my experience of what people have been able to sell in
    the past, work that is now hanging in homes and work places, the
    expectation of a high resolution print from 35mm format at these
    dimensions just isn't there. I have a 48" by 36" B&W print of Paris
    that hangs in the bathroom, possibly from a 35mm camera, definitely
    film. Up close it's as grainy as hell, but realistically what would
    you expect?

    It's "atmospheric." :)
    Owamanga, Feb 23, 2005
  10. oink

    Owamanga Guest

    Ah yes. At $7,000 every household will have one by the end of the


    That thing makes HD standards look positively shabby.
    Owamanga, Feb 23, 2005
  11. oink

    Scott W Guest

    It is not so much that a print will reveal flaws that you can not see
    on the screen as the other way around, flaws that you see on the screen
    will often not be visible on the final print. The other part of this
    is detail that you can see on the screen my not be visible on the
    print. As I posted earlier a shot that looks better on the screen can
    look worse when printed, again check out the link to the photo and see
    which half looks better on the screen and then print at 300 dpi and see
    which looks better printed.


    Scott W, Feb 23, 2005
  12. oink

    rafeb Guest

    I don't want to represent myself as a pro
    photographer -- I'm definitely not. On the
    other hand, in recent years, I've made a
    nice chunk of change selling prints. And
    I've learned this much -- it's not my own
    judgment of the print that matters, but
    what my customer thinks. Customer being
    defined as he or she who hands me the cash.
    (Most often she than he, by the way.)

    Were it entirely up to me, I'd be a bit
    leery of making 24x26" prints from 35 mm
    negatives, or 20x30" prints from 10D
    captures. But I'm not going to tell a
    paying customer that I won't do that,
    nor will I feel the least bit guilty
    when I do.

    rafe b.
    rafeb, Feb 23, 2005
  13. oink

    bob Guest

    At what distance, and do you assume that viewing distances for monitors
    and prints are proportional?
    I follow the logic, but in practice I almost always find things in the
    print that were not obvious on the monitor, and not the other way round.
    For instance, if I use the clone tool to remove a neon orange "for sale"
    sign on a dock, I might work at 300% or even 1000%.

    At 200% on the monitor it looks nearly flawless, but in the print it's
    not quite that good.

    bob, Feb 23, 2005
  14. oink

    Scott W Guest

    It depends of the size and resolution of your monitor, for mine I
    figure I need to be back about 4 to 6 feet. It also depends on how
    close you view your prints. BTW I am assuming 8 x 10 prints when I say
    4 to 6 feet.
    The eye has can see the lowest contrast detail at at about 0.1 line
    pairs per minute (or about 30 line pairs per inch when viewed at 12
    inches). If you have a low contrast defect that is blown up large
    enough it will be less visible then when it is seen smaller. My guess
    is that something like this is going on.

    Scott W, Feb 23, 2005
  15. oink

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    I think this says more for the FZ20 than about DSLR models.
    Most consumer digicams have lots of image problems, including
    purple fringing at wide angle, bothersome sharpening/JPEG artifacting,
    and washed-out highlights. The FZ20 and Minolta A2 seem to transcend
    most of these problems.

    All(?) DSLR models perform better than the FZ20 at 800-6400 ISO,
    but that might not be terribly important to you.

    On the downside, lens selection for DSLR is much worse than
    what you've got already on your FZ20. It's a pathetic situation
    when Sigma makes is the best cost/performance DSLR lens (18-125).
    Bill Tuthill, Feb 23, 2005
  16. oink

    bob Guest

    There's either something wrong with your equipment or with mine. On my
    screen the top photo is clearer. On my printer, the top photo remains
    clearer at both 150 and 300 pixels per inch (as set in Photoshop).

    At roughly 400% it becomes evident that the top photo is a blurred
    (Gaussian?) version of the bottom, and that the blurring masks the
    hideous .jpg artifacts that make the bottom image appear hazy. Zooming
    in on the tower at 1600% you can see that this is clearly the case --
    The artifacts in the bottom image spray the highlights over everything.
    Perhaps the top photo was sharpened after it was blurred.

    bob, Feb 23, 2005
  17. oink

    oink Guest

    Yes Bill, I should get out there and take some pictures, and not get
    hung up on technology!
    oink, Feb 23, 2005
  18. oink

    bob Guest

    That's a good point: very low contrast changes will only be visable at
    relatively larger sizes. Maybe my monitor doesn't have as much tonal
    separation in whatever colors were involved as the print did.

    bob, Feb 23, 2005
  19. oink

    Scott W Guest

    The bottom photo does not suffer from jpg artifacts. The two photos
    have been filtered to have different MTF curves, the top photo has no
    detail past a certain point but has high contrast below that, the
    bottom photo has a longer tail on the MTF curve but has lower contrast
    at lower spatial frequencies.

    Scott W, Feb 23, 2005
  20. #1: The sensor of the human eye isn't that small when you take the area
    encompassed by the retina into account. It's over a curved surface
    instead of a flat surface, so it can appear to have a smaller area than
    it does. The area is about 1000mm. Most people have two eyes, so that
    gives a total imaging area of about 2000 mm.


    Now, a typical APS-C sensor is about 23 x 15 mm for an area of 345 sq
    mm. A 35 mm full-frame sensor is about 36 x 24 mm for an area of 864 sq

    #2: Your eyes have good resolution because they only have to focus on
    one area at a time. Thus, the highest concentration of light-detecting
    cells is at the fovea - roughly in the center of your retina.

    #3: Your brain. Remember, you're not viewing a static image interpreted
    by your eyes - you're viewing the average of a lot of signals. Your
    brain can interpolate a lot of data much faster than any computer.
    Brian C. Baird, Feb 23, 2005
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