Can one achieve the same quality in using a medium format when using a digital camera and imaging so

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by apkesh, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. apkesh

    apkesh Guest

    I am a great fan of b&w photography and considering purchasing a camera to
    just do that. I am torn between going for a medium format or just going for
    a high pixel digital camera. I know most of you here would argue you could
    never replicate the quality of what you'll get on a negative in a digital
    picture, but isn't that what the future is going to be as far as newer model
    cameras are concerned?
    apkesh, Mar 3, 2004
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  2. apkesh

    Frank Pittel Guest

    I would get the MF camera. Of course 4x5 gives an order of magnitude improvemet
    over MF. :)

    I know a number of people that use film (MF & LF) for image capture and then
    scan, process and print digitally.

    : HI,
    : I am a great fan of b&w photography and considering purchasing a camera to
    : just do that. I am torn between going for a medium format or just going for
    : a high pixel digital camera. I know most of you here would argue you could
    : never replicate the quality of what you'll get on a negative in a digital
    : picture, but isn't that what the future is going to be as far as newer model
    : cameras are concerned?
    : Apkesh


    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    Frank Pittel, Mar 3, 2004
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  3. apkesh

    ---leecher Guest

    I disagree I was sworn to my Canon 35mm. I recently baught a Minolta
    Dimage A1. 5 megapixal with the software I'm using I can either blow
    up a small portion of the picture and still have great detail or use
    the actual picture and go up to about 24 x 36. That is the size listed
    on the software. Also the retouching features are blowing me away the
    more I learn. As far as the B&W goes I can shot in color then with the
    click of one menu button change it to gray scale then select was part
    of the picture is black and/or white, for the seven zones.

    Wed, 03 Mar 2004 04:07:48 GMT, "apkesh"
    ---leecher, Mar 3, 2004
  4. apkesh

    nicholas Guest

    Seven zones?? I thought there were more than that... :)You do realise that no-one will answer your questions here or involve
    you in discussions from now on if you go digital. ;-) That's a very big
    *wink* just in case some of you missed it...
    FWIW I find alot of the pleasure (and pain) in b&w in working in the
    darkroom and mucking around there. I find the pain is in dealing with
    the nature of analogue processes (read fickle (not to say digital isn't
    fickle, but a different kind of fickle - if that makes sense)). In some
    ways the manual nature of the process imbues itself in the actual
    article (read print). What I am trying to say is that, even though you
    might be able to dial in B&W mode into you digicam you might find
    yourself left wanting... Perhaps an essential aspect of B&W, which many
    of us enjoy aesthetically, does lie in it's process and an artificial
    version, even though it might superficially look the same, will not--in
    fact--be the same.
    Sorry to cross post, not sure of the etiquette here?
    nicholas, Mar 3, 2004
  5. apkesh

    ---leecher Guest

    Your right, I had to go find my light meter it has nine zones. :)
    ---leecher, Mar 3, 2004
  6. apkesh

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Medium format will provide the higher image quality, by a large margin,
    and without question. This is especially true for black and white,
    since you can shoot films with practically no grain and sky-high
    resolution, such as Technical Pan.
    The future, perhaps, but we are in the present for now, and 35mm digital
    is not a competitor to medium-format film.
    Mxsmanic, Mar 3, 2004
  7. apkesh

    Tom Phillips Guest

    One assumes you mean 24x36 cm, not inches, which would be ludicrous in 5 mp.

    (1) Pixel data as captured (that is the pictorial data represented by a
    pixel) cannot be "blown up" or enlarged. A pixel is a static,
    discontinuous piece of digital information. The pixel resolution you
    have is the maximum image size you get. (2) the only way you could
    possibly enlarge any given resolution-image size as captured is via
    software interpolation (upsampling.) In that case, what you have is data
    artificially added via software to the image that the lens never saw,
    not real "detail." 5 megapixels isn't a great deal of resolution to
    begin with (a typical MF film frame equals about 80 to 100 million
    equivalent picture elements...), it is actually 5 million / 4, since in
    reality it takes 4 mosaically captured pixels on a typical prosumer
    digital CFA (bayer pattern) to create one actual full color pixel. If
    the OP wants a digital capture that approaches true MF film abilities
    he'll have to invest in a high end system that can deliver a 3-shot or
    trilinear scan that at minimum delivers more than 25 million pixels.
    Sinar, Better Light, possibly Hassleblad, etc, but not nikon, kodak, or
    minolta digital cameras.

    BTW, your average digital prosumer cameras simple cannot ever capture
    the real, high frequency scene detail silver halides are capable of
    capturing on a *molecular* level. It's called the Nyquist Theorem and is
    the cause of most digital artifacting and why digital lenses either have
    to be dumbed down or software fixes are necessary.

    "24x36" (I assume inchesAlso the retouching features are blowing me
    away the
    Better to get a digital camera system that can be used for b&w captures,
    bypassing the CFA or interpolation of a bayer pattern. All silicon
    sensors are inherently black and white to begin with.
    The future is what you make it. If people keep buying film, film
    manufacturers will keep making it and vice versa.
    Tom Phillips, Mar 3, 2004
  8. It depends on the camera and how one is utilizing it. For scenic, products and other
    detail oriented applications your correct. For soft, portraiture head shots etc, I tend to
    disagree as I have seen images in this size range of quite acceptable quality, done
    with small format digital. Recently,.... like Monday !
    Gregory W Blank, Mar 3, 2004
  9. apkesh

    Tom Phillips Guest

    5mp isn't really even high enough res to match typical 35mm quality in
    4x6 machine prints (6mp is the standard threshold comparison, I
    believe.) Certainly nowhere near MF.

    If you are seeing what appears to be good or acceptable quality likely
    it's due to interpolation/software enhancements, not straight pixels.
    Also depends on what you mean by "soft." Some never notice the fuzziness
    in a typical 8x10, 35mm head portrait. But compare it with the same shot
    in MF...
    Tom Phillips, Mar 3, 2004
  10. You may be correct about the file threshold, in terms of raw data of course
    film is going to transend a capture in fine detail, in terms of turn around and
    ability to record the tonality of color film, the digital is here.... provided, the
    system is calibrated. Like I stated if one is shooting soft portraiture there
    really is not a big difference even at 24 x 30" from other prints I have seen.

    Besides what the difference between a MF camera and a digital if you have to
    retouch the MF image to soften it down for those old ladies you shoot ;-)
    Gregory W Blank, Mar 3, 2004
  11. apkesh

    Dan Quinn Guest

    Consider the focal length of the normal lens used on a digital
    camera. When that normal equals that of a 35mm camera's normal then
    the sensor is equall in size to the frame of a 35mm camera.
    At my last look sensor sizes on under a few thousand doller cameras
    were running apx. 2/3 of 35mm. Optics can only be so good. Lines
    per/milimeter are just that.
    At normal setting of the zoom on my Oly. 2040, coverage is about
    that of an 8mm movie camera and I think a little less than a Minox.
    Sensor sizes and resulting focal lengths are incredibly small
    with under one thousand dollor cameras.
    Makers of digitals are packing on the pixels but are not doing
    much for the focal lengths, the size of the sensors. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Mar 3, 2004
  12. apkesh

    John Guest

    So you have traded quality for convenience. A tradition in
    many cultures.


    John S. Douglas, Photographer -
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Mar 4, 2004
  13. apkesh

    John Guest

    Also note that the more pixels in the CCD/CMOS, the greater
    the noise and therefore the lower the SNR.


    John S. Douglas, Photographer -
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Mar 4, 2004
  14. apkesh

    Tom Phillips Guest

    True there's not such great detail to worry about and commercial
    portrait photographers like the convenience of instant digital capture
    and output, but at the expense of tangible and permanent images on film.
    If they don't like seeing their wrinkles, they'd better not come to me
    for a portrait. I shoot in 4x5 ;-)
    Tom Phillips, Mar 4, 2004
  15. apkesh

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Not to mention photodetector sites can only get so small, since as you
    say noise becomes a problem and at minimum you need enough electrons to
    actually produce a usable signal.
    Tom Phillips, Mar 4, 2004
  16. apkesh

    Tom Phillips Guest

    BTW, re-reading this I'm not sure what is meant by digital ability to
    "record the tonality of color film." Digital color space cannot
    match/equal the color gamut of photochemical color. Digital may be 'good
    enough' for soft focus subjects, but color-wise and detail-wise (whether
    you "enlarge" output by changing image size or reducing lpi resolution,
    you lose information.
    Tom Phillips, Mar 4, 2004
  17. I disagree completely.
    Gregory W Blank, Mar 4, 2004
  18. apkesh

    Tom Phillips Guest

    But there is nothing to disagree with, Gregory. Fact: digital color
    spaces do not and cannot represent a full natural color gamut. Read your
    Photoshop manual. Photographic dye layers are much more representative
    of the wide variety of natural colors as seen by the human eye.
    Calibration has nothing to do with it, since all calibration does is
    address the issue of device color space differences (scanner, monitor,
    printer.) Calibration does not affect color gamut, but how images are
    converted between gamuts. Also, there is really no such thing as "color
    tonality." Colors are defined by saturation, hue, and brightness. Each
    component plays a role in the color as seen.
    Tom Phillips, Mar 5, 2004
  19. apkesh

    Norman Worth Guest

    I don't think so. I've been very impressed with the advances in digital
    photography. My 5 megapixel Canon is certainly competitive with my 35mm
    film cameras, but I don't think the images are quite as good. The color is
    easier to handle and at least as good as with film, but the sharp edges of
    the pixels give a quality to the images that I do not find as pleasing as
    the smoothness of film. We are talking here about effects that are beyond
    what is normally considered to be viewable resolution, but you can
    definitely see it. With medium format, film resolution (in relative terms)
    is even greater, and the results even finer. It would take about a 16
    megapixel image to be competitive with a 645 film image - and a lens to
    match it. Such things exist, if you have the money. That said, digital has
    some handling and production advantages that may outweigh any slight
    decrease in absolute quality for any given application.
    Norman Worth, Mar 8, 2004
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