why do digital supporters compare it to digitized film?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Henley, May 29, 2004.

  1. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    I don't mean to start a flame war, but I have seen this very often,
    and to be honest it strikes me as a less-than-entirely-meaningful
    comparison. This is an example...

    "My opinion after doing these comparisons is that the Canon 1Ds 11mp
    DSLR exceeds 4000dpi 35mm film scan quality by a considerable amount.
    In fact, in most photographic situations 1Ds image quality is
    competitive with *medium format film scan output. 4X5 film, when
    properly scanned, makes significantly more detailed images than any of
    the DSLR cameras"

    I mean, seriously, what's the point of comparing digital to digitized
    film? What's the point of comparing a digital camera output to a 35mm
    film *scan*?

    Why *not* compare a digital camera print to a *purely analog* 35mm
    film print? you know, not a 35mm film that is *scanned* and then
    printed, but one printed the regular way 35mm had been printed for
    Mike Henley, May 29, 2004
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  2. Mike Henley

    Robertwgross Guest

    I'll tell you what, Mike. You post your purely analog 35mm film print on the
    net, and then we will find something to compare it to. Think about it, man.

    ---Bob Gross---
    Robertwgross, May 29, 2004
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  3. Because that's how professional photographers largely work these
    days. The film shot is scanned, rather than having darkroom prints
    made. Thus, those are the terms that they're most familiar with, and
    that's the process they need to match the quality of.
    There are two main reasons why professionals have mostly moved to
    digital darkroom.

    One is that for publication work, the result has to be in digital form
    anyway when it goes to the printer; by producing that digital form
    themselves, the photographer keeps more control and also more of the

    The other is that they get better prints that way. There was an
    article by Galen Rowell from a year or two before his death explaining
    how and why he was moving into digital darkroom; dunno if it's still
    available on the web, but if so, he gives quite a good explanation of
    his thought processes and the evidence that convinced him to move.
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 29, 2004
  4. Mike Henley

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that (Mike Henley) stated that:
    Basically, because it's pretty much impossible to compare the two on the
    Internet. I agree with you that it'd be a much fairer comparison, but
    how the hell do you do it? - The only practical way would be to print
    two equally sized, identical shots from each technology & hang them on
    the wall side by side, but then the only people who'll be able to do a
    comparison will be those who can actually see the two prints in person.
    Lionel, May 29, 2004
  5. Basically it's done that way cuz there just ain't no other way to do
    it except on a one to one basis at some ones house, or mail the
    prints. On the web... well... <:))

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger Halstead, May 29, 2004
  6. This is true....Once you have passed your work through a digitization
    process, it's resolution will be reduced to digital from that time on. This
    is why discussing the difference on Usenet is such a waste of time. The only
    way to compare prints on the net is by digitizing them and sending them thru
    cyberspace, and so all resolutions from that time on are digital. The only
    way to really compare is to bring your work down to the local camera store
    or camera club meeting, where you can show others the film product
    completely un-digitized.
    William Graham, May 29, 2004
  7. Mike Henley

    MXP Guest

    I have always asked the same question myself.
    My pure analog prints have more information than my scanned and printed

    I noticed some "color noise" on the 1Ds image ...........

    MXP, May 29, 2004
  8. Just because these comparisons are biased!Everybody thinks that digital
    *must* be better.
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, May 29, 2004
  9. You're biased, too!
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, May 29, 2004
  10. How can resolution be "reduced to digital"? Digitizing a slide or
    negative doesn't "reduce" anything, it merely converts it to a fixed
    size determined by the user. When you scan at a high enough resolution
    to reproduce film grain, you've basically maxed out whatever usable
    detail the film had.
    And it won't make a difference! A good print is a good print, and top-
    end digital SLRs like the 1Ds make prints every bit as good as film
    prints! Of course, they have better color accuracy and are easier to
    manipulate, but hey, if you want to be a Luddite, I'm not going to stop
    Brian C. Baird, May 29, 2004
  11. Maybe it is YOU who are biased!

    I accused you, it must be true.
    Brian C. Baird, May 29, 2004
  12. Mike Henley

    bagal Guest

    Well made points Brian!

    Why should anyone seek to impose a restriction on what and how consumers
    choose to spend their dosh?

    It beats me!

    On the other hand it is good to see someone's view and opinion but in the
    context that it is as valid as anyother contributors view

    FWIW I rate digital imagery - the few shots and prints I have taken convince
    me I could not achieve the same quality at similar price using any other
    media (in fact, digital is marginally less expensive in terms of
    out-of-pocket dosh



    ps - i suppose i did make a comparison but what else could i compare it to?
    A bunch of grapes?

    bagal, May 29, 2004
  13. I think it's safe to say no one here thinks that.

    Digital has certain advantages over film, most notably color accuracy.
    It is already more versatile and convenient to use than film. However,
    it should be noted you need to drop about $5,000-7,000 to match 35mm
    film in terms of raw resolution.

    If these high-end digital SLRs truly didn't deliver the goods, you
    wouldn't see professional photographers adopting them so readily.
    Brian C. Baird, May 29, 2004
  14. Mike Henley

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that "Tzortzakakis Dimitrios"
    <grin> That depends on who you ask. In RPD, people assume that digital
    will be better, in RPE.35mm, people will assume that film is better. ;)
    Lionel, May 29, 2004
  15. Then I would say your scans are not very good. Get a drum scan.
    My experience is that good scans get more information than
    you get from traditional professional enlarger printing. See:

    Roger Clark
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), May 29, 2004
  16. And those of us who inhabit both......?

    As for me, well, I think the one that is better is the one of which I am
    trying to justify a forthcoming purchase to my wife.
    David Littlewood, May 29, 2004
  17. Mike Henley

    Lionel Guest

    Which includes me, too. Personally, I think it depends on what you're
    trying to do, & with which equipment you're doing it.
    You think /you've/ got it bad? - I have to justify my spending to my
    Lionel, May 29, 2004
  18. Mike Henley

    Alan Browne Guest

    This is not new. As prev. mentioned by another poster, the
    tendancy of film-scanners is to compare their scanned digital
    images against digital images from digital cameras... case of
    convenience. Where it really counts is in a print of a given
    size. And BTW, prints from a good film scan are very, very good
    Alan Browne, May 29, 2004
  19. It's the right comparison if you want to end up with a digital image,
    for whatever reason (e.g. to do digital manipulation, to put it in a
    document, put it on a web page).
    That's the right comparison if what you care about is a photographic
    print to hang on your wall.

    Not everyone wants the same final result.

    Dave Martindale, May 29, 2004
  20. Mike Henley

    MXP Guest

    The Analog prints I do is Ilfochrome and the Scanned are done with a Epson
    3200 and
    printed using a Epson 2100 printer. From 6x6 it gives very good quality and
    much faster than
    doing homemade Ilfochromes. A well made Ilfochrome is hard to beat.

    MXP, May 29, 2004
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