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Thread: Film vs Digital

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Film vs Digital

    I recently came across this video comparing medium format film images to the R5. If interested, of course, you can look at it for evaluating how good the R5 is (answer...very good...very very good).

    But, what interested me most was the photographer took the time to really evaluate some of the subtle reasons why "Film" still has a look to it compared to digital (~10:35). While he did not get technical, what he saw makes absolute sense to me. Of course, this is certainly simple but, my understanding is that as digital files are compressed, the algorithm looks for similar pixels and essentially creates regions that are of the same value. So, if you have 100 pixels that the algorithm determines are similar enough, it outputs them as the same value and instead of data for 100 pixels you have data for 1 region (very simplified, I know). But, what is lost is the minor variations in that region.

    But, film, there is no compression, so each grain on film maintains its unique response to the scene.

    I am wondering if he was comparing scanned TIFF files of the film image against the jpg images that are naturally embedded by the R5. I know some software use the embedded jpg image, but others also create a rendering of the image (but I do not know what that rendering entails) Maybe I missed it, but an interesting comparison would be if he could look at the RAW file itself from the R5 against the TIFF film file or export a TIFF from the R5 and compare those. This gets down to my wondering if the data is actually there with the digital camera.

    Anyway, I would be interested if others have thoughts on why some of the ambient tones he is seeing are "neutralized" as he says. Perhaps it is the film that is skewed as film often favored certain colors....
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 09-16-2020 at 06:51 PM.

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    He was comparing a scanned image to the R5.
    He said he was using a Epson 600. I bought a V850Pro last December and have been scanning old family photos.
    He is also using Silverfast which I have heard numerous bad things about. There are a multitude of settings and ways you scan which impact the outcome.
    There is also his developing skills, type of film, processing skills and skill using the digital camera.
    I am not sure how much information you can derive from a comparison with so many variables.

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    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    He said he was using a Epson 600. I bought a V850Pro last December and have been scanning old family photos.
    How do you like that V850? I notice that it's 6 times the price of the 600. Is it worth it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    How do you like that V850? I notice that it's 6 times the price of the 600. Is it worth it?
    The problem I have with answering that is I do not own the 600 so I can not know.

    But it does a really good job. I did quit a bit of research before I bought it. I am archiving my old family photos and wanted to do the best I could do.
    What was impressive is I have quit a few small pictures, like 2" x 2" that were probably contact pictures from the negative.

    I haven't had time to mess with it since April. I have the supplies and equipment to do wet scans and I am going to go back and scan all of the old negatives. I have the negatives from family photos going back to the 30s.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    He was comparing a scanned image to the R5.
    He said he was using a Epson 600. I bought a V850Pro last December and have been scanning old family photos.
    He is also using Silverfast which I have heard numerous bad things about. There are a multitude of settings and ways you scan which impact the outcome.
    There is also his developing skills, type of film, processing skills and skill using the digital camera.
    I am not sure how much information you can derive from a comparison with so many variables.
    All true, but I would say that consistent natural tones like see a bit of the light blue from the mural on the model's nose in the film vs digital image, that seems like a legitimate potential difference. If I was to boil down my thoughts, I was wondering if he was comparing jpg (digital-FF R5) to Tiff (medium format scanned film) and that was the cause of the issue. But, having seen a comparison of FF (R5) vs medium format (Fuji GFX, so both digital) over the weekend that essentially was pointing out the same differences, this may also be, if it is legit, FF vs medium format. And, really, another way of saying this is that you get increased tonality with increasing light captured/sensor size, which has always been my understanding. More light captured, there should be more subtle details.

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    I'm sure in RAW, and a few tweaks with the HLS function, levels and curves on a individual color basis. You could bring out more of the blue that he was pointing out. What I am seeing is just the difference in tone curves and how Canon has a warmer look as a whole. I see that a lot with me shooting portraits on my 1D III. And so far I have quite liked it. I love film. But that clean look definitely has a place for me.

    I was very impressed by both film and digital. Definitely a place for both in my mind.
    Last edited by Fast Glass; 10-26-2020 at 07:04 AM.

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