Olympus 11-22mm vs. 7-14mm and some questions regarding digital vs. Medium Format film

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Progressiveabsolution, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. I have see the tests on the two Olympus zooms, both that go into wide
    lens territory. The 11-22mm tests better than the 7-14mm, but not by
    much. Which lens is sharper at its best performing apertures?

    A question about digital and medium format. If one has a solid
    8mp-10mp DSLR, what will be the primary differences seen in the photo
    when printed up to 12X18", but "typically" at largest, 8X12"? I do
    have a very discriminating eye, but at the same time, I don't care to
    count the blades of grass in a picture. I am more into the ability for
    the image to be rendered sharp with color how I like it to look, and
    being able to hold its sharpness levels when blown up. For example,
    architecture and shots of bridges/various buildings from around the
    world/etc. where you see a LOT of fine lines and information...the goal
    is "impression" and whether the digital can render a blowup with the
    same "integrity/power" where lines stay sharp and give off a great
    impression or a sense of effortlessness of that which has been
    captured. I have read a lot about people saying it takes an 8X10" to
    see differences, but then I read that it takes a 12X18" to see the
    differences. Trying to gain a better sense of when/where you see the
    differences (coming from an analytical eye that can clearly see
    differences). I ask this question simply because I do not feel there
    is any point to having an MF setup if I do not enlarge past 12X18".
    Progressiveabsolution, Sep 16, 2006
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  2. http://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

    I love this look here. Can anyone tell me what lens he looks to be
    using and how he is post-processing these shots??? It looks like a
    rangefinder with a lighter provia (not so dense/dark look that provia
    can have).

    Thanks all and happy weekend!!!
    Progressiveabsolution, Sep 16, 2006
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  3. Progressiveabsolution

    Alfred Molon Guest

    I heard that the 7-14 is very good. Where did you see the test?
    10MP at 12x18 is approx. 200 dpi. That's not 300dpi, but should be sharp
    enough. If you want more resolution, there are 22 and 39MP Hasselblad
    medium format DLSRs (pricey and bulky however). The other option would
    be to do panorama stitching, for instance assembling an image out of
    four individual images.

    By the way, you'll need a sharp lens if you are planning to make huge
    enlargements. Not every DSLR lens will be good enough.
    Alfred Molon, Sep 16, 2006

  4. Hi Alfred,

    What is the largest you can do blowups with the E330 and still have
    excellent sharpness throughout the photo? Are you using good enough
    lenses like the 11-22mm/50mm macro/50-200mm? I don't consider the
    14-54mm on the same level as these others.

    Just as a side note, I can blow up 16X20's with a Contax G system and
    4000dpi Nikon V scanner with no problem on the 300dpi Frontier.
    Actually, the larger I seem to enlarge these using this scanner the
    better they look whereas the larger the enlargement from the same place
    using their 1000-1500dpi scanner produces much less clear/sharp images
    at 8X12 vs. the 4X6. I just don't see how I can get a sharp/clear
    image with film that enlarges as much as I can do with the G
    system/Nikon scanner than I would be able to do with say the E330 with
    a 11-22mm or 50mm macro lens on it.
    Progressiveabsolution, Sep 16, 2006
  5. Progressiveabsolution

    Roy G Guest


    You seem to be trying to compare chalk to cheese.

    It should go without saying, that a 4000 DPI Scanner can produce better
    results than a 1500 DPI Scanner.

    I am assuming that both these scans were from 35mm Film, but your quaint
    grammar does not quite make that clear. If the 1500 DPI Scan was from a 6x4
    print, then that would make its poor quality even poorer.

    What you really seem to be asking is, "Can a 7.5 Mp DSLR produce as good a
    result as you can get by scanning a 35mm frame at 4000 DPI?"

    The answer to that is generally held to be "Yes it can".

    It may not produce the same PPI figures, but the resulting print can be as
    good, while some would say better.

    There is a lot more to Quality in Digital than just the PPI figures for the
    final file.

    You will note that I have said "Can" quite often, a lot depends on the
    quality of the equipment used and the skill of the user, in both the Film
    and the Digital workflows.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Sep 16, 2006
  6. Progressiveabsolution

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Haven't tried the E330, but I made once a 40x57cm (= 16x23 inches) print
    of a photo taken with an Olympus 8080 (8 MP, this camera has a very
    sharp lens). The print came out sharp without noticeable blur.

    A double page spread print done with photo taken with an Olympus 5050
    (5MP, lens is less sharp than the one of the 8080) came out surprisingly
    well, with no noticeable unsharpness despite the relatively big

    But obviously a medium format camera will most likely deliver even more
    detail and a trained eye will probably spot the difference.
    Alfred Molon, Sep 16, 2006
  7. Hi Roy,

    You got it right. Both film scanned at 1500 and then 4000, the 1500
    printing up to 5X7 and still looking good, but starts degrading at
    8X10ish size. The 4000 can give me a 16X20 and look as sharp as the
    4X6 with the lower 1500dip setting...can actually look better since I
    can post-process the image compared to getting it straight from the
    machine but that's a mute point.

    The question you answered was what I was asking regarding the
    camera/lens setup of the digital vs. film and enlargements. I have
    seen figures/tests by photozone who rate the Zuiko digital lenses much
    better than the Canon 17-40L and 10-22L, but about equal to the 70-200L
    with the Zuiko 50-200mm actually edging out the 70-200L series.

    So I guess since there is much more familiarity with those that use
    Canon stuff...the comparison can be:

    1) Will the Canon 30D with the 70-200mm L series (their best 70-200mm
    version) be able produce 16X20" prints that are clear/sharp/etc.?

    2) More importantly, at what size of an enlargement can the Canon 30D
    with 70-200mm L lens be printed to where one could not see a difference
    between say a 6X6 Hassy or Rollei with Rollei or Schneider lenses?

    Thanks Roy!
    Progressiveabsolution, Sep 17, 2006
  8. So it will take a "trained" eye to spot the differences. We're talking
    about people that have been looking at photos all their lives and make
    it a business/living/hobby to speculate the differences seen on
    print...or if one of the same scene is taken with the digital and the
    MF, will anyone that is good at seeing
    information/color/detail/sharpness be able to "easily" say which was
    taken by which (say the digital's colors and everything else matched
    that of the "film look" to leave things up to other aspects of the
    photo for the viewer to determine which was produced by which
    setup)...at a certain enlargement of course.

    The reason I ask this question is because I plan to do enlargements
    only to 16X20" and MAYBE a very best one in a blue moon shot to 18X24",
    with the "majority" of enlargements around the 8X10"/12X16" range. I
    know MF and LF are based on the ability to enlarge to massive sizes,
    but I don't need poster sized images, yet at the same time, I don't
    want to see my 12X16's being blown away by MF images which would make
    having a digital system that cannot rival MF at 12X16" useless.

    Just to give a decent idea...My images from the Contax SLR were not
    nearly as sharp as those with the G system. They had a lack of
    transparency and a lack of absolute sharpness. The difference is so
    apparent it makes no sense to use Contax SLR stuff as something like
    Nikon/Minolta/etc. for a lot cheaper can do about the same if I was to
    shoot the film SLR.
    Progressiveabsolution, Sep 17, 2006
  9. Progressiveabsolution

    Roy G Guest

    1) Will the Canon 30D with the 70-200mm L series (their best 70-200mm
    version) be able produce 16X20" prints that are clear/sharp/etc.?

    2) More importantly, at what size of an enlargement can the Canon 30D
    with 70-200mm L lens be printed to where one could not see a difference
    between say a 6X6 Hassy or Rollei with Rollei or Schneider lenses?


    I am not a Canon user, so I don't know, but I would estimate.

    Question 1. 30D, Probably Yes for 20x16, but Yes for16x12. Canon 5D,
    Yes to 20 x 16 and larger.

    Question 2. Probably at nothing above 10x8, but again you are comparing
    chalk to cheese. Just look at the price differences.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Sep 17, 2006
  10. Hmm. All the comparisons I've seen point to the 8MP dSLRs being very close
    to 35mm in terms of detail captured and what the prints look like.

    But for 16x20, I'd use 6x7. My experience with (ISO 100 and 160) film is
    that it looks very nice at 7x or 8x, and really mushy and/or grainy at 13x.
    Since 16x20 is a 17x enlargement, I'd not even think about making a 16x20
    from 35mm. That's not a photograph, that's a poster. You can make nice
    posters of any size you like from any film size (or pixel count) you happen
    to have. But they're not photographs.

    If you use an Epson R800, R1800, or 2400 to print (and you drum scan your
    Rollei/Hassy shots), you will be able to see the difference at A4. Those
    printers can easily render up to 360 ppi of detail, and the 30D only
    provides 290 ppi at A4.

    This is under the assumption that people will put their noses on your
    prints. Which is what happens when I hand A4 prints to people. (In
    comparison, the 5D is 350 ppi at A4, and you won't see any difference. In
    Epson inkjet prints, anyway.)

    (Also parenthetically, at 13x19 on the wall, people may walk up to your
    prints, but I'd think that nose prints would be rare. But I have heard of
    people getting prints back from galleries with nose prints.)

    From experience, and various pages on the web, 645 (or 6x6 cropped to
    rectangular) and 12.7MP are also quite similar in terms of detail captured
    and quality of prints.

    Life is a bit more complicated with the 10MP cameras, since they are clearly
    edging out 35mm, but not quite coming up to 645 quality.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 17, 2006
  11. Progressiveabsolution

    Rich Guest

    Even in lowly magazine shots, medium format film reproduced there
    "looks" better than
    any DSLR shots I've seen. Part of it is how film treats light/dark
    interfaces, they are clear and sharp while digital shots are either
    oversharpened or look "tattered" due to
    the pixel-bleeding effect in the light areas. Tree branches against a
    bright sky are a dead giveaway when looking at a shot, you can tell
    it's digital or not.
    Rich, Sep 17, 2006
  12. I think that used to be true, back in the bad old 6MP days<g>, but with
    12.7MP, things have changed. Also, some of it is experience and taste in

    With the bimonthly landscape magazine here, I used to be able to tell 35mm
    from MF, and MF from LF at a glance. Some of that was that the photographers
    are competent, so each would be targeting images with levels of detail
    appropriate for the format. But they've begun to print some digital images,
    and they're looking very good. It's an A4 magazine, so the largest images
    are A3 double-page spreads.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 17, 2006
  13. Progressiveabsolution

    wilt Guest

    1. Even a non-trained eye can appreciate the impact of Medium Format
    slide projected at the same size vs. a 35mm slide! I have taken photo
    workshops at the local community college, and each of us had
    opportunity to show 3 slides after an outting. I distinctly remember
    the Oooh's and Aaaah' that came from my fellow workshop attendees
    mouths when the first of my slides were shown on the projector screen!

    2. MedFormat is not merely about resolution per se, it is about the
    fact that the larger film area permits the same portion of the subject
    to be captured with many many more 'color dye clouds' (or B&W film
    grains) than smaller format film, so it can capture far better tonality
    than the smaller film. While the ll/mm resolution might not differ at
    all, the tonality is better, aparting more impact to the photo.

    As I pointed out above, even getting FF 35mm to rival MedFormat is not
    achieveable especially when enlargement is high. At 12x16, you are at
    the hairy edge with 35mm in terms of grain being evident.

    Let's analyze this...I have an 8Mpixel (not Olympus) camera with 3500
    pixels across. I have a 1280 x 1024 19" LCD (15" across). When I
    display using Corel Paintshop Pro at 150% (850 pixels across 15", or
    56ppi) there is some pixellation. At 100% (1280 pixels across 15", or
    85ppi), things look fine on LCD.

    If you are trying to take 3500 pixels and span 20" length, that is 175
    ppi. Depending upon viewing distance, and the individual observer's
    visual acuity, that may not be enough in the print! So use of bicubic
    interpolation (to bump up pixel count in 10% increments) could be quite
    advantageous in getting your pixel-per-inch count higher. It won't, of
    course, improve resolution of the image, with it will reduce evidence
    of pixellation.
    wilt, Sep 17, 2006
  14. Progressiveabsolution

    wilt Guest

    Have another look at photozone.de! In MTF...

    for the Zuiko:
    at 11mm f/4 center 1744, edge 1580
    at 22mm f/5.6 center 1659, edge 1510

    for the Canon 10-22:
    at 10mm f/5.6 center 2003, edge 1527
    at 22mm f/5.6 center 2011, edge 1595

    Notice the very dramatic difference in the center, although slight
    difference at the edge. Even the Nikon advocate, Ken Rockwell, is
    saying he would buy a Canon body merely to be able to use the Canon
    wilt, Sep 17, 2006
  15. Progressiveabsolution

    Rich Guest

    Unless they do a direct comparison, it's hard to know for sure, but my
    gut reaction to most med format images in mags is "Wow, is that good."
    Tonality, sharpness (without a hint of "halo") resolution and in some
    cases colour seem to really indicate medium format. But, I'll have to
    keep looking too.
    Rich, Sep 17, 2006
  16. Progressiveabsolution

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Ehmm... MTF (=modulation transfer function) is a number between 0% and
    100%, not an integer in the 1500-2000 range. It gives you an idea by how
    much a specific spatial frequency is attenuated. "1527" means nothing.
    Alfred Molon, Sep 17, 2006
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