Comparing a DSLR file with a 35mm scan

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by [email protected], Jun 20, 2005.

  1. How do you compare digital to film? Do you make a negative from a digital
    file and them print it or do you scan a negative and compare it to a digital

    Sadly there is no way to compare the two other than with final prints, each
    produced in the most favourable way for the medium it represents. Certainly
    comparisons made for the Internet are biased. Either they are biased towards
    film or the digital file.

    Not long ago I carried out some experiments with film to see what I could
    achieve, given that my digital enlargement algorithm can blow up a digital
    file to proportions not previously considered practical from a sub 35mm size
    source. I used a new Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED scanner to scan the film.
    What do you think?

    [email protected], Jun 20, 2005
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  2. Any chance that the film was left in the trunk of a black car in Houston,
    Texas over the entire summer before processing?
    Charles Schuler, Jun 20, 2005
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  3. Actually at 8"x10" the film image looks OK.
    No the one from the trunk has a hole in the middle of it!

    [email protected], Jun 20, 2005
  4. Douglas, I am nevertheless suspicious of your test image. I no longer own a
    decent film camera but if I did, I'd be compelled to run my own tests.
    Don't get me wrong as I love digital but personally do not believe that they
    (such as 20Ds) are that much better than good 35 mm film cameras using good
    film (in terms of ENLARGED print quality). I have a 20D and just love the
    darned thing. Here is one of mine:
    Charles Schuler, Jun 20, 2005
  5. What formats are you talking about. As I've said elsewhere it's hard
    to beat a 8x10 Velvia slide.

    I don't compare digital to film they are two different media and have
    to be treated and evaluated differently.

    How do you compare a Horishge print to Duer etching?


    "Anarchism is both a religious faith and a rational philosophy;
    and many of its anomalies are the product of the clash between
    the two, and of the tensions between the different kinds of
    temperament which they represent."

    _The Anarchists_
    James Joll - 1964
    John A. Stovall, Jun 21, 2005
  6. Ryadia@home

    Stacey Guest

    What's wrong with doing that? I find it silly people scan film as IMHO
    that's just comparing that scanner to digital capture. What's even stranger
    is scanning an optical print on one flatbed scanner and comparing it to
    film scanned in a different film scanner and using that as a "test" of film
    scans vs optical prints? Unless you're only objective is to publish the
    image on the web (which a digital file IS the final product), I'd sugest
    you use the best techique to make prints from the two things you want to
    compare, then scan both on the same flatbed scanner to present the results.

    I'm fixing to do this with a medium format 6X9 color negative shot with a
    fuji 6X9GSW. Already scaned the neg on a LS8000 (did several scans at
    various test focus points to find the best setting) and am having an 8X10
    print made from the file on the latest agfa machine on RA4 paper. My tests
    of having prints made from the same sample file on several local machines
    shows this machine to provide the sharpest/best looking print at least
    around here. Then I'm going to ask these same people to make an optical
    print from this same negative, printed on the same paper and match it as
    close as they can to see which looks best. Then scan both final prints to
    present which path produces the best results.

    To "cripple" either version by presenting anything other than flatbed scans
    of the same size prints with no difference as far as up or down sampling,
    paper it's printed on, contrast, desinty, color cast etc is silly IMHO and
    is normally done to fit someone's preformed bias. I have no love for
    optical prints or scanned film, I just want to see which provides the best
    quality. I hope the scan is close enough to a -good- optical print (not a
    wlamart one) as I like being able to edit the files as needed.
    Stacey, Jun 21, 2005
  7. Ryadia@home

    doug Guest

    Why do you rename threads Stacey?
    doug, Jun 21, 2005
  8. Ryadia@home

    MarkH Guest

    Have you printed the digital image and compared it to the print from the
    film? Could you tell us how you think the detail compares?

    If your required output is a computer image then your test shows clearly
    that the digital camera produces better results than film + scanning.

    If your required output is a print at a certain size then what counts is
    how the print at that size compares from film and from digital.

    Of course if both types produce good enough results for your desired output
    then you are free to choose whichever you find most convenient. I would
    suspect that this would be the case for most people.
    MarkH, Jun 21, 2005
  9. Ryadia@home

    Stacey Guest

    Why not? It's done on other forums to show the topic of a responce to see if
    you're even interested in reading the responce ro to signal it's shifting
    from the original topic. Any good newsreader keeps it threaded in the
    opriginal thread anyway.
    Stacey, Jun 21, 2005
  10. Ryadia@home

    doug Guest

    If I make a print from the film of (say) 8"x11" with my Durst enlarger
    and process it in RA chemicals and then make a print on a good inkjet or
    dye-sub from the digital file, the only difference is the brightness of
    the colours. In particular, reds although some blues also get a boost
    from digital. Otherwise, anyone would happily agree that film has many
    advantages over digital. Unfortunately Digital has more advantages over
    film so digital will eventually rule if for no other reason than

    Oddly enough if I scan the continuous tone print (from film) and
    Interpolate it to 24"x 36" or there abouts, all the grain and noise
    evident in the film scan is mysteriously missing.

    I think that example probably does more to harm Nikon's reputation for
    film scanners than it does for film in general. I recently re-purchased
    some Mamiya cameras and lenses because I still believe there is a market
    for traditional portraits, shot on film.

    Douglas (Ryadia)
    doug, Jun 21, 2005
  11. Remember that he shows the film image at a resolution that corresponds to
    a 6000 dpi scan. If you take the cheapest consumer film you can find
    (optionally underexpose it a bit), use cheap processing, then there is
    good chance that you may arrive at just like this.

    On the other hand, Gold 100 has ugly grain. The following is a 4000 dpi scan
    of a Gold 100 frame, resized to 6000 dpi:


    It is very ugly, but somehow not as bad as the example from OP.
    Philip Homburg, Jun 21, 2005
  12. It is/was common practice in cut price labs to push the temperature of film
    processing up a few degrees and pull the processing time back a few minutes
    and get 15% more film processed in a day than was the capacity of the lab. I
    have seen a 100 film a day lab pushed to extremes and process 250 films in a
    day. All semblance of quality control went out the window but the lab made
    money because the cut the price and punters flocked in.

    I know from the increased contrast of these films that this was most
    probably the case and responsible for the horrible grain. Some films behave
    well enough when you manipulate the processing. I used to use ISO 200 film
    exposed at 100 ISO and pulled in the processing to produce internegs from
    slides to get the print cost down but it took a lot of experimenting to
    discover the particular film to do it with.

    [email protected], Jun 22, 2005
  13. In that case, it would be nice if you could add scans of properly processed
    professional films.
    Philip Homburg, Jun 22, 2005
  14. Extremely unlikely that will happen Philip.
    I have given up on posting any photos of value on the Internet and all my
    Pro film has value of one sort or another.

    Once was Ryadia, Jun 22, 2005
  15. It would be nice, if you can also give up posting junk on the Internet.

    But maybe I should try to see if my kill file can keep up with your morphing
    Philip Homburg, Jun 22, 2005
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