Kodak's Comments on 35mm

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Snapshot, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Just to be clear, this article is about 35mm cine film, and the comparisons to digital are to digital video.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I agree with David, but must add that this information applies to all film to digital comparisons regarding image content and image stability.

    And, BTW, those are some of the WORST photomicrographs and electron micrographs that I have ever seen. C'mon Kodak, you used to do better work than that!

    What happened? Is your microtome dull? What?

    PE
     
  4. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Probably of some relevance to still photography is that 35mm used in a motion picture context is closer to half frame 35mm still photography (depending upon aspect ratio). There is a device called a Vistacam that shoots full 24mm by 36mm images, though I only know of a few people using this, mostly for producing television commercials.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Agreed Ron. 35mm has the capability of storing a lot more data than any digital camera. Unfortunately, the world is convinced otherwise.
     
  6. 3Dfan

    3Dfan Member

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    I recently went to see the Bourne Ultimatum and could see that it was either shot digitally or processed digitally before being written to film. The pixelation was noticeable.
     
  7. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Which makes me wonder if this statement (in answer to the first question):
    "A single frame of color film scanned at 4K by 3K resolution with 10-bit depth contains about 50 megabytes of data. However, there is actually a lot more information than that on each frame of 35mm film. We have conducted tests where we have scanned film at 6K by 4K resolution at 10-bit depth, resulting in about 100 megabytes of data, or twice as much image information."

    ...is in reference to scanning a full frame 24x36 or a half frame?
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That would be the cine 35mm frame, which is about half the still 35mm frame.
     
  9. eddym

    eddym Member

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    That's what I thought. That means... that there is the potential for making a 200mb scan from a 35mm neg!
    Wow!!!
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I often make 200MB scans from transparencies - in fact, I spent the entire day yesterday, doing just that.
     
  11. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    For the last 12 1/2 years, Bill Nordstrom (LaserLight Phtographics and EverColor Fine Art) and I have been making digital scans of my 35mm, Medium Format (Rollei 3.5 F 12/24 Planar and Mamiya 7II) and my 4 X 5 (Linhof and Toho) transparencies. We standardly have made raw files (for storage purpose if we need such large prints) of about 225 to 300 mb. We usually work from much smaller digital files to print my work up to 20" X 30" or 24" X 30" but we have the raw files to print still larger. Originally we printed digitally through a 4 color separation method (4 separate CMYK perfectly registered negatives) which were later changed to 3 color RGB files for printing on the LightJet or Chromira Digital printers.

    Rich
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    And if you look up the patents on the Chromira printer, you will find that our own Jim Browning is one of the inventors.

    PE
     
  13. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Ron,

    Thanks for that information. I was unaware of that.

    Rich
     
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Even though I am an enthusiastic film user, it looks to me as though there is some special pleading going on here. There's a big difference between information (including grain) and useful information. At one extreme, allowing for camera shake, shallow focus, etc., you can probably get equal quality to 35mm full frame from 10 megapixels. At the other, with the camera bolted down, top-quality lenses, optimum aperture and the right subject (as one software designer of my acquaintance said, "A portrait of Art Garfunkel with every hair sharp, no jaggies") you exceed 30 megapixels.

    There are enormous differences of opinion about what consitutes a megapixel equivalent to film. I have spoken to a wide range of people including well-informed people at Ilford and Zeiss, and a great deal depends on your interpretation of 'useful information' and the extent to which you believe that redundancies and randomization in the recording medium contribute to the look of film. This is the very highest figure I have ever seen for an equivalent, and while I would not dream of arguing with such a source, I would point out that it is worth bearing the above in mind.
     
  15. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You are right Roger. Every comparision I have read between film and digital is fundamentally flawed, both in its setup and execution. It seems as if they are all saying "Which makes a better apple? A Red Delicious or a Banana? To determine which, they will take the banana, peel it, roll it into a ball, and paint it red. Then come to the conclusion the Red Delicious is better." That is exactly what all the DvA comparisons amount to. Both are different.
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Robert,

    A beautiful analogy.

    I think there comes a point at the bottom end (somewhere between 3 and 10 megapixels) where digi is Holga: you are best advised to make virtues out of its faults, because it has very few conventional virtues. Most comparisons are based on this 'scramble for the bottom'.

    But after that, it's all a question of what you want to do and how you want to do it. Many, for example, will argue that MF is better than 35mm, or LF better than MF, but their terms of reference are necessarily carefully chosen. To choose such a limited argument, for soft focus colour, I find digital better than silver (Lensbabies on the D70, Thambar on the M8). But soft focus colour is such a small subset of what I shoot, let alone what anyone else shoots, that you can't base much of an argument on it.

    There's also an argument from necessity. Some of the best boxing pictures I jave ever seen were shot on 5x4 inch; some of the best yachting pictures I have ever seen were taken on half-plate. But that's what they had. I strongly suspect that the same photographers could have done as well with 35mm (boxing) or Hasselblad (yachting), if they had had access to, and experience of, those cameras.

    Some film addicts are in the latter category, that of necessity: they can't afford decent digital equipment. Others have good film equipment, and know that no matter what they spent, digi wouldn't give them what they want. Yet others would rather spend as much as possible on taking pictures, and as little as possible on equipment, because every penny spent on kit is money not available for travel and shooting. The whole brew is so complex that a single rather weak and highly disputable argument -- pixel/film equivalents for the smallest commonly used film format -- is not a lot of use.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  17. lonelyboy

    lonelyboy Member

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    In motion picture film, there are type of resolutions - spatial resolution and temporal resolution. Spatial resolutions are those number of pixels per frame you are discussing above. Temporal resolution is the resolution per second that can give to an audience.

    Many video format uses interlace format and employ interlace filter to solve the problem but reduce the sharpness of the image at the same time. 35MM film can shoot slow motion (high temporal resolution) very easy just by speeding up the motor. However, digital is a lot more complicated in doing so that requires a lot of electronics and lower the picture quality.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I believe myself, from some tests, that a very high resolution scan of an analog negative or slide such as described by Bob Teague earlier, which is then digitally printed on the best quality digital printer, can approach or surpass a full analog print. It cannot equal analog in stability, but in pictorial quality it can.

    This hybrid allows one to produce some very high quality prints from 35mm and repair damage to old negatives or slides.

    How did I come to this conclusion?

    I have some very old (50 years or so) slides that have a lot of scratches on them. I have been able to scan them at high resolution and in PS remove the scratches and marks and then make some very nice prints up to 13" x 19" that equal or surpass the direct analog prints in overall quality (even discounting the repairs).

    Sure they won't last long, but they look nice hanging on the wall. Now, this may cause a firestorm here, but remember that I do agree that taking the original on digital would have yielded a vastly inferior product. I'm merely pointing out that analog + restoration -> digital print is a very useful path in producing some high quality prints.

    And, it requires a high resolution scan to achieve any degree of quality as noted above. The data is there!

    PE
     
  19. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You're right Ron. It takes a high resolution scan to bring out all that there is on the original transparency. I generally scan to 5400dpi, but output at 4000dpi. With a 16-bit scan, this creates about a 200 MB file.

    Additionally, I use tools like multiple sampling (for 35mm I use 8X sampling) to bring out the shadow details. I also use Kodak SHO (shadow details, but mine only works in 8-bit mode), Kodak GEM (to clean up the grain), and other tools. Done correctly, and with a bit of hard work, these will create an image, IMO, that surpasses what can come out of any DSLR.
     
  20. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I'd be interested if anyone has experience making B&W, RA-4, or Ilfochrome prints from film, scanned then output using a digital enlarger. Please let me know if this question strays too far in to hybridphoto territory.

    - Justin
     
  21. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I have access to an Imacon, and I have to say that when the focus on that thing is on it is amazing. Nothing like 8000dpi. I have seen prints from 35mm chromes blown up to 6 feet and they still look amazing up close. Can't do that with a digital camera. Very few people can compare like this though. That is why you see all of those reviews on the internet about how film is dead and digital is better. Fundamentally flawed is right. Film contains way more information than digital and its Bayer pattern interpolation.

    For work I shoot digital, but for myself, I shoot film. Years from now I will still have the film and who knows what scanner technology will be available. For black and white, there is nothing like the darkroom and a genuine optical print. Digital still hasn't come close to that.

    Patrick
     
  22. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    I'm not a big fan of digital in any way shape or form, but the lab I work for has produced some truly stunning images in the hybrid way. Film to start, drum scan (huge drum scans, up to 1.5 GB!) and the output on Kodak Endura. We just finished a 30"x40" of the Beatles walking to the stage at Candlestick Park, scanned from a 35mm Tri-X neg (can you name the photographer ;-) ) and it really looked good. All that being said, I have not had the pleasure of seeing the same neg enlarged to the same size and printed analog on fiber paper. My guess is the image would look a lot better via that method.