Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Rangefinder Forum > Optics Theory -

Optics Theory - This forum is aimed towards the TECHNICAL side of photographic OPTICS THEORY. There will be some overlap by camera/manufacturer, but this forum is for the heavy duty tech discussions. This is NOT the place to discuss a specific lens or lens line, do that in the appropriate forum. This is the forum to discuss optics or lenses in general, to learn about the tech behind the lenses and images. IF you have a question about a specific lens, post it in the forum about that type of camera, NOT HERE.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Film and digital resolution compared
Old 11-18-2013   #1
RichC
Registered User
 
RichC is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 1,349
Film and digital resolution compared

It is commonly stated on the internet that a good 35 mm frame of ISO 100 film has a resolution equivalent to 20-25 MP. However, although this figure has some truth to it, it does not reflect what we find when film and digital are compared in real life. Unfortunately, every test I’ve encountered on the web has serious flaws – the fact that the comparisons contradict each other in every detail bears witness to this. So, the answer was to do my own investigation...


I'd be interested if anyone can find any major flaws in my argument.These calculations are of course somewhat crude, but suffice to give ballpark figures.


What none of these web comparisons addresses is the need to consider bottlenecks in equipment that impact the theoretical resolution of film – i.e. lens resolution and scanner resolution (assuming images will be scanned). Consider a typical scan of 35 mm film at a scanner resolution of 2700 ppi: the resulting file has dimensions of about 3800 × 2400 pixels = 9 MP – but this is not equivalent to a 9 MP image from a digital camera because both are theoretical values based solely on the number of pixels, and fail to account for differences in resolving power between the two mediums. Comparing, say, a 20 MP film scan with a 20 MP digital camera image is thus comparing apples with oranges. What we actually need to compare is the resolving power of frame of film and a digital sensor.


Basically, the ad men and marketing executives have co-opted the term "resolution" to mean something far removed from its true meaning, thus sowing confusion. "Resolution" has little directly to do with pixels and file size, and is correctly "the ability of an optical instrument or type of film to separate or distinguish small or closely adjacent objects".


Resolution (in its correct sense of "resolving power") lis governed by the Nyquist–Shannon theorem. This states that the maximum frequency (the Nyquist frequency) that can be resolved without loss of information is half the sampling frequency. Applied to digital photography (both digital cameras and scanned film), the sampling frequency is the resolution of the sensor or film (measured in line pairs per millimetre, lp/mm), and the Nyquist frequency is the resolution in megapixels (MP) needed to resolve all the information recorded by the sensor or film. Thus,

R = (2rh × 2rw)/10^6 = 4r^2hw/10^6

where r is the recorded resolution of the sensor or film (measured by experiment), h is the height of the sensor or film, w is the width of sensor or film, and R is the sensor or scanner resolution in MP needed to resolve the recorded detail.

(Note: I can't type superscripts, so ^ denotes that the following number is a superscript, e.g. 10^6 = 10 to the power 6.)



The real-world resolution of a digital sensor

We need to know how much a typical 35 mm full-frame dSLR can resolve. Rather than consider a top-line camera, let’s consider something more affordable – the Canon 5D Mark II. It’s a 21 MP camera, but this is not a direct measure of its resolution – it’s simply the number of pixels it records. Tests (see DPReview) show that this dSLR has a resolution of about 58 lp/mm. From our equation,

R = (4 × 58^2 × 24× 36)/10^6 ~12 MP



35 mm film

Typical professional 100 ISO colour negative film (Kodak Extar, etc.) has a resolution of about 70 lp/mm (as measured in tests – see film manufacturers’ websites), which is about the same as a dedicated film scanner (not a flat-bed scanner – which destroys resolution – even the best like the Epson V750 cuts this by half, to ~35 lp/mm). The formula gives

R = (4 × 70^2 × 24× 36)/10^6 ~ 17 MP

35 mm colour film thus records a little more detail than most 35mm full frame dSLRs. However, 35 mm colour film has a lot of ‘noise’ (i.e. grain), so that, visually, the smoother-looking dSLR image is preferred by most people, despite having slightly less visible detail overall. (Low-ISO B&W film has much higher resolution and less grain, and can show more detail than medium-format digital backs.)



Medium-format film

The formula gives the following for 645-format film, if we assume medium-format lenses resolve equally to 35 mm lenses:

R = (4 × 70^2 × 45× 60)/10^6 ~ 53 MP

And, for the 6×7 format:

R = (4 × 70^2 × 60 × 70)/10^6 ~ 82 MP

A typical digital back such as the 65 MP Phase One P65+ will resolve about 45 MP.

Large-format film


Turning to 4×5 film, the formula gives a resolution of

R = (4 × 70^2 × 100 × 125)/10^6 ~ 245 MP



Not the whole story...

Lens diffraction and depth of field
We need our photographs from the various formats to appear identical if we are to compare them: this means the same view and the same depth of field. A ‘standard’ (i.e. equivalent to the 50 mm lens used with the 35 mm format) medium-format lens is 80 mm – call it twice the focal length, for convenience. The 150 mm ‘standard’ lens used for large format is three times longer. The depth of field for medium and large format to match that of a 50 mm lens is obtained by multiplying the aperture by the relative increase in the focal length. If we assume the optimum aperture for resolution of f/5.6 for 35 mm film, then the medium- and large-format apertures giving an equivalent depth of field are

2 × f5.6 = f/11 (medium format)
3 × f/5.6 = f/16 (large format)

How does this affect resolution? Lens resolution changes with aperture, being at its optimum at f/5.6 for many lenses. The resolution will fall by 25% at f/11, 35% at f/16 and 50% at f/22 (e.g. see the lens reviews at DPReview). So, the resolution of 4×5 film used at a real-world aperture can thus be as low as ~ 175 MP.

Taking depth of field into account, our film resolutions become

R = 17 MP (35 mm)
R = 53 × 0.75 = 40 MP (645)
R = 82 × 0.75 = 62 MP (6×7)
R = 245 × 0.65 = 160 MP (4×5)

Scanning
Scanning film will reduce the resolution further, from manufacturers’ data. A good drum scan will result in a degradation of about 80%, so the above resolution are now


R = 14 MP (35 mm)
R = 42 × 0.75 = 32 MP (645)
R = 66 × 0.75 = 49 MP (6×7)
R = 196 × 0.65 = 127 MP (4×5)

As mentioned above, flat-bed scanners are awful for scanning film, reducing these resolution by half.

Contrast and grain
Digital photographs look sharper than photographic prints because of their greater edge contrast (which is what you enhance when ‘sharpening’ a digital image) and lack of grain. Let’s knock off an arbitrary 5 MP for ISO 100 digital and film images, to account for the ‘cleaner’ look of digital photographs. So, our final resolutions are now

R = 9 MP (35 mm)
R = 27 MP (645)
R = 44 MP (6×7)
R = 122 MP (4×5)


Note: these values should not be compared with manufacturers' sensor resolutions – those simply tell us how many pixels a sensor has, not how much information is recorded, i.e. the true resolution. They need to be compared with sensor resolutions obtained using the Nyquist–Shannon formula. Here are the "true" resolutions of a few digital cameras (the recorded resolution r is obtained from measurements of test charts by DPReview):

21 MP Canon 5D Mk II and Mk III
r = 58 lp/mm
R = 4r^2hw/10^6
R = (4 × 58^2 × 24× 36)/10^6 ~12 MP

18 MP Leica M9
r = 62 lp/mm
R = (4 × 62^2 × 24× 36)/10^6 ~13 MP

36 MP Nikon D800E
r = 102 lp/mm
R = (4 × 102^2 × 24× 36)/10^6 ~36 MP

(The measured resolution of the Nikon D800E is astonishing, matching the quoted (pixel) resolution of 36 MP, and outresolving DPeview's test chart, which tops out at 83 lp/mm.)

__________________________________________________ _

In summary, full-frame digital cameras of about 20 MP match the resolution of professional 100 ISO 35 mm colour film scanned on a dedicated film scanner, while cameras using Sony's 36 MP sensor such as the Nikon D800E match the resolution of 645 medium-format film. A 50 MP digital can match 6×7 film, but large-format film still outperforms the best digital camera by a wide margin.
__________________________________________________ _

Printing
Traditional darkroom prints made from film in an enlarger appear significantly less sharp than digital prints from scanned film: first, limitations from the apparatus – the enlarger and paper must be perfectly parallel, and this becomes more critical the larger the print, and that the lens itself degrades the image; secondly, scans can be made ‘sharper’ by adjusting the edge contrast – which cannot of course be done when printing directly from film.

The sharpest film print is thus digital, despite the loss in resolution from scanning: for best quality, we should scan the film and obtain a C-type or inkjet print – not use an enlarger.

Inkjet prints are slightly sharper and more expensive than C-type prints, but C-types are more robust and are a traditional silver-based photographic medium (if that’s important to you). Also, C-types have a different look to inkjet prints (that's different not better!) – the pigment in C-types sits in the surface, not on the surface, which gives them a subtle depth and three-dimensionality.

So, sharpness vs subtleness of depth – you can only have one!
__________________

-=Rich=-


Portfolio: www.richcutler.co.uk

Last edited by RichC : 11-20-2013 at 03:06. Reason: Various typos corrected - as per the posts below. Thanks
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2013   #2
JRG
Registered User
 
JRG is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 395
A very careful analysis; thank you. Gonna have to go chew on this one for a while ...
__________________
Cat herder by trade, now partly retired
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #3
RichC
Registered User
 
RichC is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 1,349
So, no replies - presumably, then, you all agree with me!
__________________

-=Rich=-


Portfolio: www.richcutler.co.uk
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-28-2016   #4
JOneZero
Registered User
 
JOneZero is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichC View Post
So, no replies - presumably, then, you all agree with me!

No, it's just that we're all out here trying to remember when was the last time we saw algebraic formulas and level 2 section headings in a forum post.

Nice post, you obviously put some good work into it.

I'll tell you what, though: While you guys are in here pondering this stuff, I'm going to put some hot coffee in a spillproof mug and go make some photos. D810 in one hand, M7 in the other.

Good luck.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-28-2016   #5
giganova
Registered User
 
giganova is offline
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,434
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOneZero View Post
D810 in one hand, M7 in the other.
How do you hold your coffee mug?
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #6
lam
Dave
 
lam's Avatar
 
lam is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 945
Wow, I just had a read and thank you for your careful analysis and breakdown.
__________________
website twitter
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #7
Margu
Registered User
 
Margu's Avatar
 
Margu is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 169
there is no such a thing as film. film is a generic term used to describe the many types of emulsions with varying characteristics that is used for capturing photos.

whenever you compare film with anything, you have specify, which film you're using for the test.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #8
RichC
Registered User
 
RichC is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 1,349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margu View Post
there is no such a thing as film. film is a generic term used to describe the many types of emulsions with varying characteristics that is used for capturing photos.

whenever you compare film with anything, you have specify, which film you're using for the test.
OK - I could have been more specific. The types of film I am examining are low-grain professional films. Kodak Extar 100 ISO would be typical. For the above calculations, it is unnecessary to be more specific, provided the film has a measured resolution of about 70 lp/mm, as additional information will not affect the calculations.
__________________

-=Rich=-


Portfolio: www.richcutler.co.uk
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #9
L Collins
-
 
L Collins is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 355
Post of the year. Thanks for tackling a hard subject so objectively.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #10
RichC
Registered User
 
RichC is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 1,349
All I need is someone with resolution test charts, cameras and a film scanner to test my theory now!
__________________

-=Rich=-


Portfolio: www.richcutler.co.uk
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #11
zuikologist
.........................
 
zuikologist is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: London
Posts: 1,875
Thank you, interesting reading. I am stuck in the dark ages with a Canon 5D classic for DSLR work, so not even on the map here and not in touch with sensor technology.

Out of interest, does Sony use the 36mp sensor elsewhere and does it match the D800E, or is Nikon doing something magical.
__________________
<a href='http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=867'>My Gallery</a>
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #12
Jason Sprenger
Registered User
 
Jason Sprenger is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: California
Posts: 436
FWIW, here's a link to Norman Koren's thoughts along the same lines from back when the Canon 5D was state of the art.

http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF7.html

For myself, while my film scanner captures 4000dpi, I'm under no delusion that 4000 dpi are actually there.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-20-2013   #13
bohdan
-- Physicist
 
bohdan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Plano, TX
Age: 51
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Sprenger View Post
FWIW, here's a link to Norman Koren's thoughts along the same lines from back when the Canon 5D was state of the art.

http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF7.html

For myself, while my film scanner captures 4000dpi, I'm under no delusion that 4000 dpi are actually there.

So, we have to be specific here.

You can scan all day at 4000 dpi and in the scanned image you will get the appropriate number of dpi^2 in your image from the scan. There will be the 4000dpi there guaranteed.

Now, would this be an interpolated value because the native resolution of the scanner is lower? That's a different story.

Would there be a one to one correlation of scanned pixels to the grain? That's another story.

--bohdan
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #14
philosli
Registered User
 
philosli is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 85
As to film resolution tests, see these done with a high-end Imacon scanner (not yet a drum scanner):

http://www.boeringa.demon.nl/menu_technic_ektar100.htm

Also slide films like Velvia 50/100 have higher resolution than Ektar 100.

After seeing Irving Penn's exhibition a month ago in Pace MacGill Gallery, I would disagree with your statement that darkroom prints are less sharp than digital ones.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #15
mfogiel
Registered User
 
mfogiel's Avatar
 
mfogiel is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Monaco
Posts: 4,658
I would like to note, that the sharpness loss due to diffraction is not proportional to the F stop, but to the physical size of the diaphragm, therefore the I Phone lens will be suffering from diffraction at f 2.0, while a 350mm lens covering 8x10 will probably start feeling diffraction over f 32.
Moreover, as much as your reasoning might be correct, I feel digital cameras have TOO MUCH resolution, and NOT ENOUGH bit depth. I continue to have a revolting feeling in my stomach every time I see an average digital B&W image. If you really care about resolution only, take a 25 ISO repro film developed in one of the SPUR special developers, and then your calculations will have to be redone.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #16
Margu
Registered User
 
Margu's Avatar
 
Margu is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
I would like to note, that the sharpness loss due to diffraction is not proportional to the F stop, but to the physical size of the diaphragm, therefore the I Phone lens will be suffering from diffraction at f 2.0, while a 350mm lens covering 8x10 will probably start feeling diffraction over f 32.
Moreover, as much as your reasoning might be correct, I feel digital cameras have TOO MUCH resolution, and NOT ENOUGH bit depth. I continue to have a revolting feeling in my stomach every time I see an average digital B&W image. If you really care about resolution only, take a 25 ISO repro film developed in one of the SPUR special developers, and then your calculations will have to be redone.
can you tell if an image, especially on the web, is digital or film?

i can't. in fact i saw the book of Daido Moriyama, The World Through My Eyes, and his images looked as if a child was playing with silver efex, although in hindsight it was his prints that inspired silver efex.

anyone who can tell film from digital on the internet and even quality prints has super eye powers.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #17
uhoh7
Registered User
 
uhoh7 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margu View Post
can you tell if an image, especially on the web, is digital or film?

i can't. in fact i saw the book of Daido Moriyama, The World Through My Eyes, and his images looked as if a child was playing with silver efex, although in hindsight it was his prints that inspired silver efex.

anyone who can tell film from digital on the internet and even quality prints has super eye powers.
We need to get some samples in here and test....is it film or is it frigidal?
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #18
JoeV
Thin Air, Bright Sun
 
JoeV's Avatar
 
JoeV is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posts: 1,703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margu View Post
can you tell if an image, especially on the web, is digital or film?

i can't. in fact i saw the book of Daido Moriyama, The World Through My Eyes, and his images looked as if a child was playing with silver efex, although in hindsight it was his prints that inspired silver efex.

anyone who can tell film from digital on the internet and even quality prints has super eye powers.
All photographic images viewed online are digital.

~Joe
__________________
"If your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light"

Inventor of the Light Pipe Array
My Blog
My latest book
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-20-2013   #19
Bille
Registered User
 
Bille's Avatar
 
Bille is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Age: 42
Posts: 761
Not sure if I understand this post correctly...

There is a theoretical advantage in resolution of ISO100 35mm film over a 21MP full frame digital sensor. This will turn into a real world advantage only if the film camera is perfectly calibrated, shot from a tripod with a good lens stopped down, only with access to a high end drum scanner in post processing.

Wouldn´t it be easier to just chose a D800E or Sony A7R if your photography requires max resolution? (Not even talking about medium format digital...)

By the way, what happens at ISO 200?
__________________
Your mom!
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-21-2013   #20
thegman
Registered User
 
thegman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Age: 40
Posts: 3,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bille View Post
Not sure if I understand this post correctly...

There is a theoretical advantage in resolution of ISO100 35mm film over a 21MP full frame digital sensor. This will turn into a real world advantage only if the film camera is perfectly calibrated, shot from a tripod with a good lens stopped down, only with access to a high end drum scanner in post processing.

Wouldn´t it be easier to just chose a D800E or Sony A7R if your photography requires max resolution? (Not even talking about medium format digital...)

By the way, what happens at ISO 200?
I think that's a fair summary of the thread.

However (!)

The thing with film is that you can increase it's size without any great increase in cost, when it comes to cameras. My Leica M3 (sold now), Rolleiflex, and Fotoman 45SPS all cost roughly the same. Cost per shot of course changes, but film is not bound by cost of camera in the way digital is.

So I can shoot 4x5 on a (brand new) camera which costs less than new FF digital, let alone medium format digital.

If you want resolution at any cost, by all means use a Phase One IQ180 (or better it with 8x10 film). But most of us are bound by cost to a point, and for me, medium format film makes a lot more sense than a pricey digital equivalent.
__________________
My Blog
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-21-2013   #21
noisycheese
Normal(ish) Human
 
noisycheese is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,290
While we're at it, no one has yet conclusively answered Descartes' equally worthy query:
Quote:
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
__________________
The Leica M passion: From the inside it's hard to explain; from the outside it's hard to understand.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #22
Texsport
Registered User
 
Texsport's Avatar
 
Texsport is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 521
Thank you for some answers to questions I've had for a while.

Excellent guide for selecting medium to use depending on intended final display to be employed.

Texsport
__________________
"The top selling beer in America is Bud Light, followed by Budweiser, Miller Light and Natural Light. We are officially feminized". Joe Soucheray - Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This discussion is a perfect illustration of what I constantly tell my wife - you can never have enough cameras, lenses, guns, or golf clubs - oh, and diamonds, according to her! - Texsport

"That girl can make a dog break his chain!" - Justified - 2015.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #23
icebear
Registered User
 
icebear's Avatar
 
icebear is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: just west of the big apple
Posts: 3,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
I think the pursuit of sharpness/resolution are a waste of time. A completely pointless pursuit. There is a lot more aesthetically that I am interested in and why I still shoot film.
+1, although I switched to digital.

I did not care to read and try to understand all of the OP's post (sorry RichC) but when I went digital RF I realized, how much of IQ is wasted in a film based system and you won't even recognize it unless you make test shots and real big enlargements.

Just a click 100% view on your digital images will be a revelation on any shortcomings of RF alignment, focus adjustment of your lens on the sensor plane and sloppy technique on the user part.

But basically a boring image remains a boring image even if technically, it might be a field day for pixel peepers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
.... I continue to have a revolting feeling in my stomach every time I see an average digital B&W image. If you really care about resolution only, take a 25 ISO repro film developed in one of the SPUR special developers, and then your calculations will have to be redone.
LOL, the example of lowest ISO BW film developed in Spur is always the last resort also of Mr. Puts .
I totally agree that a lot of images displayed on the web (inheritly ALL of these are digital ) do have a certain digital look to them. Most of the times this involves over sharpened, high contrast treatment.
That mostly is a preference
a) of the person who processed and posted the image and
b) the recipients preferences and his monitor.

There is a lot of flexibility in how you can process an image and the final outcome is not necessarily determined by the type of capturing device.
__________________
Klaus
You have to see the light.
M9, MM & a bunch of glass, Q

my gallery:http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffg...d=6650&showall
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #24
Spanik
Registered User
 
Spanik is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,425
Since almost all semiconductors are still made with lithography you could argue that some film has much higher resolution than digital.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #25
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,947
There's a lot of guessing, estimating and wishful thinking in any of these comparisons, and yours is certainly one of the more rigorous, apart from confusing the M9 (18 MP) and the Typ 240 (24 MP. Like yopu, most of the people I've ever seen doing estimates point out that they rely on a lot of assumptions -- including the contrast of the test chart, and the difference between essentially random arrays (film) and regular arrays (digital). Unsurprisingly, most people's estimates come up with roughly similar figures -- "roughly similar" including, depending on the assumptions, figures differing by a factor of four. Your figures are pretty much in the middle...

Cheers,

R.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #26
mfogiel
Registered User
 
mfogiel's Avatar
 
mfogiel is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Monaco
Posts: 4,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margu View Post
can you tell if an image, especially on the web, is digital or film?

i can't. in fact i saw the book of Daido Moriyama, The World Through My Eyes, and his images looked as if a child was playing with silver efex, although in hindsight it was his prints that inspired silver efex.

anyone who can tell film from digital on the internet and even quality prints has super eye powers.
- It comes easier, if you are accustomed to seeing high quality film prints. BTW for what Moriyama does, it does not matter if he shoots film or digital, because he likes graphic images - his film and digital images suck all the same in the sense, that they exhibit compressed range of tones. I am not saying, this is wrong, but this is not classic B&W photography the same way as paper cutouts or collages stuck on canvas are not the same as a Rembrandt painting.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #27
Range-rover
Registered User
 
Range-rover is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,164
Thank you for the great write up, tis very interesting on the resolution end of it, so I'll
have to work at getting a 20-24 mp digital camera now so at least I'll have a common
resolution that matches ISO 100.

Range
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #28
Ko.Fe.
Kostya Fedot
 
Ko.Fe.'s Avatar
 
Ko.Fe. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MiltON.ONtario
Posts: 7,601
Short budget version.

Colors.
My 16MP 500D and 12MP 5Dc outperforms in terms of resolution (MPs) and noise my 1600 DPI V500 color film scans of 135 format.

But then I look at "Ansel Adams in colors" book...

B/W.
My 120 and 135 B/W then scanned by same V500 and printed at Costco visually outperforms my b/w digital.
Even before printing, just scans...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Margu View Post

...anyone who can tell film from digital on the internet and even quality prints has super eye powers.
Weird. I just wrote at another thread, how I gave film RF for young guy who could clearly see the difference in print.

I stopped watching closely Flickr groups with mixed media content.
Most of digital ones are too obvious and boring.
I personally prefer lomography to photoshop.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #29
rjbuzzclick
Registered User
 
rjbuzzclick's Avatar
 
rjbuzzclick is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 393
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichC View Post
Resolution (in its correct sense of "resolving power") lis governed by the Nyquist–Shannon theorem. This states that the maximum frequency (the Nyquist frequency) that can be resolved without loss of information is twice the sampling frequency.
While I freely admit your math is beyond my capabilities, I did find one typo and thought I would point it out in case it causes any confusion: The Nyquist frequency is HALF the sampling frequency, not twice.
__________________
Reid

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjbuzzclick/

"If I had a nickel for every time I had to replace a camera battery, I'd be able to get the #@%&$ battery cover off!" -Me
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #30
literiter
Registered User
 
literiter's Avatar
 
literiter is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canadian Rockies
Posts: 1,163
Film is a marvelous medium to be sure. Permanence, dynamic range, aesthetic advantages I can't even begin to discuss.....

But the biggest thing, for me, is the ability to put some film in my Leica M2 and be completely confident I can take a picture
with that combination without dithering with menus, batteries, electronics or dust on a sensor.

I can even focus the thing all by myself!......Imagine!
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #31
thegman
Registered User
 
thegman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Age: 40
Posts: 3,819
To be honest, I don't know enough about the technicalities of film or digital to make a meaningful contribution to this thread (but that won't stop me), these are however interesting comparisons:

Ektar 100 in 35mm against the 21MP 5D Mk II:

http://www.twinlenslife.com/2011/01/...ark-ii-vs.html

Ektar seems to have just a touch more resolution looking at the chap's wooly hat, but they are close enough to be considered equivalent I think.

Then we have 4x5 and 8x10 vs. a Phase One IQ180:

http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12...ra-comparison/

4x5 probably has a smidge more resolution, but a lot more grainy of course.
__________________
My Blog
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #32
gnuyork
Registered User
 
gnuyork is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 716
I shoot both digital (5DmkII and leica X1) as well as 35mm film and 4x5 film.

I was able to enlarge scans of 35mm slide film to nearly four feet wide and have a good usable print, albeit not as sharp as smaller prints, but I was surprised how well they held up.

I used the Leica M6 with a Summicron 50 and the Minolta Dimage Elite 5400 scanner.

There's no way I could do this with the 5DmkII images, or even the D800 for that matter.



  Reply With Quote

Old 01-28-2016   #33
Dwig
Registered User
 
Dwig's Avatar
 
Dwig is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Key West, FL, USA
Posts: 1,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnuyork View Post
...
I was able to enlarge scans of 35mm slide film to nearly four feet wide and have a good usable print, albeit not as sharp as smaller prints, but I was surprised how well they held up. ...

There's no way I could do this with the 5DmkII images, or even the D800 for that matter. ...
Perhaps you can't, but I can and do on a daily basis (there's a 29x44" print printing at the moment). I regularly print images this large and larger from both 35mm film scans (typically Velvia and Velvia 50 scanned with an Imacon scanner) and digital images (most from a D800). As a general rule, the D800 images appear a bit sharper* and are always smoother (lower noise, ...).

* sharpness - Sharpness doesn't exist in the real world. It is a figment of the viewer's imagination that is a computer (read: brain) generated impression based on a range of attributes including, but not limited to, resolution, luminance contrast, and color contrast.
__________________
----------
Dwig
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-28-2016   #34
giganova
Registered User
 
giganova is offline
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
* sharpness - Sharpness doesn't exist in the real world. It is a figment of the viewer's imagination that is a computer (read: brain) generated impression based on a range of attributes including, but not limited to, resolution, luminance contrast, and color contrast.
sharp·ness
/ˈSHärpnəs/
noun
the quality or state of being sharp.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #35
thegman
Registered User
 
thegman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Age: 40
Posts: 3,819
Also, for those looking for very high resolution in B&W film, Kodak claim that BW400CN is "The world's finest-grained chromogenic film.", so presumably that includes any other C41 film like Ektar.

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...cn/main2.jhtml
__________________
My Blog
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #36
maddoc
... likes film.
 
maddoc's Avatar
 
maddoc is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: 名古屋
Age: 54
Posts: 7,315
Theoretically very interesting but two things come to mind regarding real world application 1) (lens) sample variation 2) camera shake. While the former might not have such a big impact anymore thanks to improved manufacturing techniques the latter is still limiting achievable sharpness to a large extend in real world photography.
__________________
- Gabor

flickr
pBase
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #37
thegman
Registered User
 
thegman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Age: 40
Posts: 3,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
Theoretically very interesting but two things come to mind regarding real world application 1) (lens) sample variation 2) camera shake. While the former might not have such a big impact anymore thanks to improved manufacturing techniques the latter is still limiting achievable sharpness to a large extend in real world photography.
No question, I've taken handheld shots at 1/250 second with leaf shutter cameras and on full res scans I can sometimes see a touch of shake.
__________________
My Blog
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #38
Scrambler
Registered User
 
Scrambler's Avatar
 
Scrambler is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Toowoomba
Posts: 1,279
Nearly all these discussions end up talking about scans of film. Given the difference in grain structure between digital (including scanning) and film, this will always be to the detriment of film, as information will be lost in the transfer. On the other hand, if the standard was a 35mm slide produced either directly or via reproduction from a digital file, this would be to the detriment of digital.

The only "fair" test, IMHO, would be prints derived from both processes.
  Reply With Quote

Assumptions
Old 11-19-2013   #39
IdealCamera
Registered User
 
IdealCamera is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 88
Assumptions

If you read Isaac Asimov's Foundation you'll come across a certain character whose notion of science is to carefully weigh the existing literature, balance the words of the greats, and write his own opus based on that. One of the Foundation folks asks him if he's considered empirical work.

Have you considered the possibility of one's digitizing the film by taking several 36MP photos of it at whatever desired magnification, using a slide copier, and then stitching the resulting files? I feel that picture would be worth 1k words.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2013   #40
Pioneer
Registered User
 
Pioneer's Avatar
 
Pioneer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Age: 65
Posts: 3,157
I find all these comparisons to be very interesting. I have read some very intelligent comparisons, and yours certainly fits in that category. Though my own grasp of all the technology is nowhere near the level of your own I personally see at least one issue that is always ignored in these comparisons.

First, the two are not the same. One is digital and the other is analogue. As such there is no convenient method of making any form of comparison without converting one to the other. Either the analogue image must be digitized, or the digital image must somehow be turned to analogue. Based on my limited understanding of pixels, the latter is not really possible. And the former always results in loosing some of the information contained in the film.

The second problem I have with this comes from my experience over the years with both technologies. In the early 2000s I was taking pictures with 3 megapixel digital cameras as well as with a Pentax LX and K1000 on film. Even with all the wondrous image manipulation technology available today, my old 3 megapixel images will never get any better. However, the negatives from that old Pentax K1000 can be scanned with the newest scanners and always seem to improve each time.

Everyone says that the newest digital cameras have finally exceeded the quality of film. My question though is this. What will my 2004, K1000 negatives look like when scanned in 10 years? And then how will that compare with the 36 megapixel image being captured today by the new Nikon D800?
__________________
You gotta love a fast lens;

It is almost as good as a fast horse!
Dan
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 16:06.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.