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Loss of film IQ or character when converting to digital for viewing or printing?
Old 09-19-2019   #1
awilder
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Loss of film IQ or character when converting to digital for viewing or printing?

For film users, is there a loss of it's unique character when scanned to digital for viewing on a screen or for printing purposes? Is it less of a problem for B&W film than color negative or reversal film? To me the advantage of shooting digital is the ability to adjust highlights, shadows, color, etc. but I'm willing to give film a second look if I know what advantages it provides.
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Old 09-21-2019   #2
JohnBeeching
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Hi,
I scan B&W film and work on them in LightRoom or Photoshop before printing them at A3 or even A2. I find the results excellent; but, as with anything, there is a learning curve.
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Old 09-22-2019   #3
JohnBeeching
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A couple of examples for you:

Barcelona.
Couple. Barcelona, 2003. by John Beeching, on Flickr

Sahagún
Sahagún by John Beeching, on Flickr
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Old 10-06-2019   #4
George Mann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awilder View Post
For film users, is there a loss of it's unique character when scanned to digital for viewing on a screen or for printing purposes? Is it less of a problem for B&W film than color negative or reversal film?
As no digital scanner can capture the true look, feel or resolution of film, there will always be a significant difference between the scan, and what it looks like when viewed directly with a high quality loop.

However, film scans do have unique qualities that make look it different (which many of us prefer) than images produced by digital cameras.

This is true regardless of the type of film used.
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Old 12-06-2019   #5
bjolester
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awilder View Post
For film users, is there a loss of it's unique character when scanned to digital for viewing on a screen or for printing purposes? Is it less of a problem for B&W film than color negative or reversal film? To me the advantage of shooting digital is the ability to adjust highlights, shadows, color, etc. but I'm willing to give film a second look if I know what advantages it provides.
I find your question very interesting, because this aspect of scanning film oftentimes is not discussed. Especially with DSLR scanning, most practioneers are IMO preoccupied with resolution more than striving for producing a scan with an "analogue character ".

Drum scanning uses a different technology than CCD film scanners or CMOS "dslr scanners", and proper drum scans are able to preserve the unique analogue character of film when scanned. Take a look at his thread with many fine examples of drum scanned film:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=134187
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Old 12-06-2019   #6
olifaunt
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My experience comparing B&W scans versus prints.

The scans look nice and certainly capture the look of the film for screen display. But the scans never look as good as wet prints.
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Old 12-06-2019   #7
Godfrey
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Scanned correctly, and rendered/printed correctly, the images look even better than wet lab results ... unless you happen to be John Sexton or some other famous darkroom printer with a half a century of experience in darkroom printing, and the equipment to make it shine.

The trick, of course, is in the word "correctly" ...

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