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  1. #1
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Shootout comparison

    Here's an article I came across that depresses me...http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...shootout.shtml

    Well, maybe depresses is not the correct word, since I still love my Hassey. Actually, after reading this article, I gave it a hug!

    Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  2. #2
    Timothy's Avatar
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    Shootout..sorta

    It seems to me, that for all the apparant attention to detail the guy did, to provide a "fair" comparison, he was still comparing a Digital scan of a film image to a Digital image . I do not care what anyone says, a fiber based hand made print from an "old fashioned" darkroom still has a life of its own that should not be judged on mere "resolution numbers".
    Lens quality differences between the two systems should also be a factor.
    Anyway, good for you Art, for keeping your faith, you know what you like and yourown subjective judgement is not influenced by this guy's number show.

    Tim

  3. #3

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    You have nothing to be depressed about. This guy has been a digital proponent for a long while and his bias shows in the article. There are many things wrong with it. For one a second generation scan from a slide is being compared to a straight digital image. Unless your purpose is to see pictures on a screen, I would have said how about they make a slide of their digital negative and see how it fares? Or how about prints.....I could go on, but lets just say next time you read something like this, write them back and say, ok, lets put my prints next to yours and we will make a judgement...whatch them shut up right away....

  4. #4
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Oy, Vey...

    Anyone who has ben a student of Sociology might recognize tell-tale indicators suggesting "propaganda".
    Interesting opinions. He seems to shield them fairly well in one of his last statements (cracked me up):

    ""Ps: If you would like to write to me about this test and my conclusions, that's fine. But please don't write to me and simply say that you disagree."

    He requires that you perform similar "tests" - and not confuse the issues with "numbers or anything - because they don't count.

    What if I simply disagree with the parameters/ format of the tests?

    Anyway, there is one really significant passage:

    "What else is there to say? someone will inevitably ask - Why didn't you do a comparison with a traditional wet darkroom print? The reason is because I no longer do them and because current inkjet prints surpass them - No contest."

    To him, no contest - maybe. To me, SIGNIFICANT "contest."

    What logic - "Digital is superior, because I don't do wet darkroom prints any more."

    And .... and ... Oh, the h*ll with it...

    Anyone think we should all look to Shutterbug Magazine as the ultimate source of unbiased truth?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    To him, no contest - maybe. To me, SIGNIFICANT "contest."

    What logic - "Digital is superior, because I don't do wet darkroom prints any more."

    And .... and ... Oh, the h*ll with it...

    Anyone think we should all look to Shutterbug Magazine as the ultimate source of unbiased truth?
    LOL....I specially like the last question....

  6. #6
    jd callow's Avatar
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    So what he is saying is that a digital camera is arguably better than a mf slr when the film is scanned by a scanner that has a resolution of between 30% and 50% of the film and is known for its ability to over emphasize film grain ( see imacon's latest model which tries to correct this).

    This is not a shoot out, but a joke. I use an Imacon everyday -- it is a great scanner, but not the equal to the task it has been put to in this test. I have 'played' with enough digital images created by pro photographers, ad agencies (one would assume these were produced by pro's) and consumers made from most every DSLr and digital back.

    The digital images are often great and can (but not always) exceed their film peers when comparing similar sizes and both are producing digital output. When the image is drum scanned and the output is digital the drum scanned film will almost always be better.

    In their native environments film to paper via an enlarger, digital to inkjet or digital RA4 paper, the output from film will generally win in my opinion for a variety of subjective and objective reasons. I am sure this will change eventually.

    Digital offers and will continue to offer a unique image, an efficient work flow and ever increasing resolutions, latitude etc... Film at this moment, from my experience is inch for inch higher res, and has a wider colour gamut.

    I have yet to see a DSLR beat MF regardless of the work flow. Digital is only going to get better and will on its unique strengths and the shear brute force of technological advancements exceed film in most objective areas, but at present claims that the dslr's are better than MF is pretty much bovine intestinal scrap.

    *

  7. #7
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    As a very satisfied user of a P67 and three lenses, I can attest to absolutely incredible resolution, sharpness, and contrast when brought to bear on a print I've made myself. I've seen scores of very fine digiprints which (as noted here quite often) have a look of their own, but never one I'd prefer to my own prints using the criteria in this stupid article. Actually, it's the limitation of the digital equipment itself that fails to represent the film based image particularly well. Reading this, I actually got angry...and I hate getting angry. (I'm also not ready to concede 35mm's inferiority to digicams either btw.)

    What never fails to amuse me is that the 'reviewer' who lauds the latest megapixel wonder toy in January owns up the following December, in whatever magazine's 'Year End Roundup!!' he writes for, that next year's wonder toy will knock the socks off the thing that's now obsolete. In fact his whole piece will undertake to explain what major flaws are now significantly improved. And the suckers will run out to buy it. Pathetic!
    John Voss

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  8. #8

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    Don't worry about it. I ran across Michael's site several years ago. A Google search for Cibachrome printing led me there. His articles were very helpful. He did mention, however, that he was giving up analogue and concentrating on digital. If you work with digital, his articles are helpful. He was also the first site to post Mike Johnson's "Sunday Morning Photographer" so net net, his site is definitely "value added".

    The article you reference is at least 18 months old. When it first came out there was an uproar on photo.net and elsewhere. I wrote to him saying that unless he compared a totally analogue print from the 6x7 to a totally digital print, that it wasn't a meaningful comparison. I never received a reply.

    I've mentioned before that I print my wife's pictures from her Canon 10D using an Epson 2200 for output. I also print my own color negatives. I much prefer my analogue output to hers, especially for people pictures. The transition in skintones from light to shadow in digital is really ugly.

    People have talked themselves into digital, mostly for the instant gratification/security a la Polaroid. The irony is that an 80 dollar Olympus, loaded with kodak porta 400 UC, and processed in a drugstore, would blow away anything they're getting now, with digital.

    There was also a comment when his article came out, from someone who had seen an exhibit of Michael's, that his prints seems very oversharpened. I think there's a different aesthetic at work here. I prefer mine.

    Final note, compare the picture of the Canon vs. the 6x7 Pentax in terms of size. Which would you rather carry? A Hassey should be child's play!
    Take care,
    Tom

  9. #9

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    Just to chime in a bit her it goes. I come from a background of printing negatives and chromes from 35mm up to 8x10 as I use to work in a pro lab where the person that trained me was considered a master printer. I learned a lot from this guy.

    I have made enlargements on all sizes and I can assure you that there is no way that a digital camera in the 35mm size can touch any MF or LF prints when enlarged above 16x20. The quality is just lacking in digital. For a one page or two page spread digital is hard to beat but when you want to exhibit your image in a gallery an enlarged 24 inch prints (cibichrome/fiber-bw) or greater blows away any digital file. Now a 4x5 scan back image blow me away with the quality but they are very expensive and not very practical.

    I am really getting tired of the digital hype. Like I said earlier it is all about marketing.

    I have personally taken a MF chrome and BW Neg had it drummed scanned and printed the image on a 7600 then taken a 1DS file and printed on a 7600 and the film print still looked better as it much crisper and sharper when enlarged above the 16x20 point.

    I wouldn’t worry about it to much. No matter how you look at it, right now film in LF and MF is still better in terms of quality than any 35mm digital camera. Also with digital, when photographing a scene with a lot of detail you just cannot enlarge the image as big as a scene with a single subject as the file doesn’t have enough information in the file and started to break up.

    Film on the other hand does not have this limitation.

    Anyway I am done and really tired of digital is better. It isn’t but the marketer will have you believe it. The only thing about digital that I believe it that most people use it because it is convenient. Also many need to realize that it is very expensive as well.
    For example a high end 35mm DSLR is $2K and up then depending on the MP count with current bodies you will have to guy a 1gig memory card, another $200 then you will have to upgrade you computer system to work on the larger files and lastly you will have to buy larger drives to hold the images as well as backup drives and DVD which get expensive. Also DVD and CD are not a long-term solution either. I archived 1 1/2 years ago a bunch of my journalism file and I made two copies of everything. They were stored in a cool dry place and 50% the discs were unreadable. If it weren’t for making two copies I would have lost my images.

    I still have slides and negs from years back.

    Digital is much more expensive then they have you believe and the only people who really win with digital are the companies that push their technology down your throat. Now this just came from a person who shoots both digital and film and lately I have been going back to film even for the assignment work I do.

    I can keep going on and on but I think I am done for now.

    Kev

  10. #10
    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Whether or not digital is better than analogue is a moot point, if it isn't yet it soon will be! Who'd bet against a gigapixel camera being available before the end of the decade, with 64 bit or more colour depth and a huge dynamic range! Manufactuers are aware of the current shortcomings and will be working hard to overcome them, meanwhile joe public happily keeps buying "prototypes" to fund research. This technology is still in nappies (diapers!) and has a lot of growing up to do. This technology is accelerating quickly.

    Putting that to one side, my reasons for sticking with analogue are basically that I like doing it, I enjoy trying to make good prints and who knows maybe one day I'll manage it. The other is one of percieved value, an inkjet print has no intrinsic value to me, if I want another one all I have to do is open the file and press print, whereas with a traditional one it will have taken some effort from me to produce, however imperfect it may be. I've played around with photoshop, PSP and the gimp quite a lot and can do most things that I would require in them. It leaves me feeling cold though.

    It's no coincidence that ps sounds like bs!

    Also, from joe publics point of view analogue isn't as good as digital. Most high street labs give at best variable results with most being poor. Out of focus with poor colour being the norm rather than the exception. Take a memory card from almost any digital to a lab that supports printing from them and the results are far superior, regardless of the potential of film it simply isn't being taken advantage of. When it comes to snaps digital rules! and if someone can't have the big enlargment they wanted then I doubt it would break their heart, photography just doesn't mean enough to them.

    I believe that film will survive, but it will become marginalised. To do a comparison to the music business, lets hope this is the 80's of photography, with digital and electronic being experimented with by everyone, hopefully once the novelty wears off it will be back to real drums, guitars and pianos, not synthesisers.

    Cheers

    Martin

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