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medium format film vs digital

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #2130
    Curious
    Participant

    so you folks shoot some film now and then so what’s your thinking on the detail in medium format film (2 1/4 square and 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 {6×6 or 6×9} ) compared to 10MP and larger sensors? also detail in FX and DX sensors?

    i have a rollieflex that i’m tempted to use again but if the net result of shooting 120 roll film, getting it processed and then scanning it is going to be less than just shooting with my 10MP D3000 why bother. my scanner is pretty good so i should be able to get a good scan.

    #35065
    Uranus
    Participant

    6×6 has given me superb results. I used an Agfa Isolette I with a sticky shutter, and was absolutely blown away by the quality. Comparitively, I’d judge them as good or better than what I’ve done with the D40 and the D60. I’ll see if I can track down the prints and post them here. (Scanner is crappy, but should do the trick)

    #35066
    Curious
    Participant

    i have a lot of old b/w 6×6 and 6×9 negatives (and some 4×5 too) and like you was always happy with them detail wise. some of the shots were crap but that’s a different story. anyway i’m thinking of doing more b/w work soon. my canon iP4700 seems to print b/w well and i may be getting a wide format printer soon as a gift.

    it seems to me that even with the new camera the fine detail isn’t there. perhaps that’s me and i just don’t know how to use it. really should look into the “sharpen” feature in both the camera and photoshop. however it seems that if the detail isn’t there sharpen isn’t gong to help all that much.

    #35067
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    really should look into the “sharpen” feature in both the camera and photoshop. however it seems that if the detail isn’t there sharpen isn’t gong to help all that much.

    I think it likely is there, though, Curious.

    Being a Canon guy, I can’t speak to the tool that Nikon supplies to convert raw to jpg, but on the Canon tool (called Digital Photo Professional) there’s a default level of sharpness automatically applied when viewing raw images and that level is set pretty low. I’d guess the reason for that is so that portraits look better (you definitely don’t want a lot of sharpness in most portraits as it brings out skin flaws, as I’m sure you know).

    So, here’s an example of what the sharpness control will do for you. This is a full-resolution crop from the same shot. In the middle is the camera’s default level of sharpness (3). On the left is sharpness 0 and on the right is sharpness 10.

    Using the unsharp mask can give you even finer control over the level of sharpness.

    #35068
    Curious
    Participant

    So, here’s an example of what the sharpness control will do for you. This is a full-resolution crop from the same shot. In the middle is the camera’s default level of sharpness (3). On the left is sharpness 0 and on the right is sharpness 10.

    guess i need to spend some time messing with settings. it’s the grass detail that i miss right now. the fender being sharp is certainly important but it’s the fine detail that strikes me when i print one. also does that mean i’ll have to shot just RAW? because every time i do that the coin toss between file size and write time vs ease of use …… well let’s just say that i don’t have the patience i was did. i guess i could go the RAW+jpg route and if i want to use the photo do the work then. the vast majority of what i shoot is only seen by me.

    oh and this Using the unsharp mask can give you even finer control over the level of sharpness. is greek. i’ve see the words arranged like that but .. well PS7 has tools i’ve never used. which is part of why i don’t have CS3, 4 or 5 🙂

    also nikon doesn’t provide a free RAW converter at the level my camera is. the nikon viewer will display NEF/RAW but there is no control. you can buy one but i haven’t bothered to. i did get an open source plugin for gimp that will let me do some stuff to the photo but a quick check right now didn’t find a sharpen tool. and PS7 won’t handle NEF.

    #35069
    Curious
    Participant

    ok test complete, results in and sharpen to the max certainly helps. since i seldom shoot (photos of) people i’ll leave the setting on extra sharp and see what happens. did both jpeg and NEF and IMO for what i do fine jpeg should work. at a minimum i need to shoot NEF+jpeg since i use the jpeg to organize my photos.

    #35070
    sleeping
    Participant

    I think the answer on MF vs digital really depends on what you’re doing with the film after processing. Theoretically, the quality of a decent MF transparency or negative should be up in the 30-40 megapixel range, but I definitely can’t get that sort of detail with my scanner. And professional drum scanning is horribly expensive…

    #35071
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    Curious, the sharpness setting only applies during the conversion from RAW to JPEG, either in the camera (when shooting JPEG or RAW+JPEG) or in the software when converting from RAW to JPEG (which BTW I can’t believe that Nikon doesn’t supply. I’m pretty sure Canon provides that utility for every camera that can shoot in RAW.) RAW files are just that – right as they come out of the sensor, so there’s no sharpness or color correction or anything else applied.

    In Canon cameras, you can set the sharpness in the camera and the camera then uses this setting when creating JPEGs. I’m not sure, but it sounds like you may have found the same setting in your Nikon. If so, that’s the alternative of doing it in the post-processing step.

    The advantage of shooting in RAW is that you can change all of that at a later time if you decide you want a different look. Also, I’ve been able to pull out from RAW files what would’ve been unsalvagable pics in JPEG only. There’s a wider dynamic range stored in the RAW file (which is why you can theoretically adjust the exposure +/- 2 stops). Up until recently, I shot both RAW and JPEG for exactly the reason you propose – to have the option to edit later but still be able to view immediately. I’ve sinced switch to RAW only as I’ve found it pretty easy to just do a batch conversion to JPEG.

    And the unsharp filter is just a seemingly misnamed equivalent to the “sharpness” setting but with finer control over the results. I’m not a PS user, but I’m pretty sure it has this filter, too. I don’t profess to know what exactly it does or what the individual settings for it do, but it’s easy enough to see just by playing with it.

    Oh, and watch out for max sharpen – it can be overdone in complex pictures (scenes with a lot of jagged edges or high-contrast areas). It also accentuates graininess in low-light photos. But again, that might be a reason to shoot in RAW – for those few where too much sharpness is bad, you can edit later but for the others, you’re good to go.

    #35072
    sleeping
    Participant

    The reason for the odd name is that the unsharp mask filter is based on an actual darkroom printing technique that was used sometimes to boost edge contrast (and apparent sharpness) using a slightly out of focus positive image superimposed on an in focus negative.

    In Photoshop try starting from something like Amount = 150, Radius = 0.8 Threshold = 4. The defaults are something awful that give people a bad idea about how useful it is…

    #35073
    Curious
    Participant

    Oh, and watch out for max sharpen – it can be overdone in complex pictures (scenes with a lot of jagged edges or high-contrast areas). It also accentuates graininess in low-light photos. But again, that might be a reason to shoot in RAW – for those few where too much sharpness is bad, you can edit later but for the others, you’re good to go.

    i knew there would be those trade offs. re RAW converters, the D3000 is an “entry” level DSLR where the konica/minolta maxxum 7D was a “prosumer” level camera. i made the trade because the D3000 is 10MP to the 7Ds 5MP. but the downside is since i’m a prosumer the lower levels of controls and software don’t necessarily suit me. i can do all the things with the D3000 that the 7D did but the controls are through software instead of knobs. the lack of post processing software is another story. haven’t tried it but i doubt the software for the 7D will handle NEF. nikon has a program called “Capture NX2” which will probably do what you are talking about but it has to be bought. the google results produce both NX2 viewer and Capture NX2 but they aren’t the same.

    In Photoshop try starting from something like Amount = 150, Radius = 0.8 Threshold = 4. The defaults are something awful that give people a bad idea about how useful it is…

    i took one of today’s jpeg test shots where the sharpness was at mid point and opened it with PS7. then i used the settings you suggested and compared the results to the original. damn that works great. thanks. and if IRC your scanner is just one step above mine so what you said about the effective MP of film vs being able to get all that detail in a scan is worth thinking about. anything i shot on film isn’t going to the printer for 4 color separation 🙂

    i’m still of two minds about shooting just NEF/RAW or NEF/RAW + jpeg. i’m running XP Pro and as you know windows just ignores NEF files. so just NEF means a whole new way of organizing and viewing my photos and that’s really not a good option. OTOH the basic jpeg you get along with your NEF files isn’t good for much but organizing the photos. and then i need some sort of cross reference to the NEF files.

    this stands out I’ve sinced switch to RAW only as I’ve found it pretty easy to just do a batch conversion to JPEG. if that is as easy as you make it sound and i could do the conversion to the equivalent of “jpeg fine” that might be a good choice. means an extra step of two rather than just download from the camera but worth it — maybe.

    and on a personal note this sites use of BBCode instead of HTML is driving me nuts. my HTML isn’t great but i find it intruding and getting mixed in with the BBCode that i struggle to remember to use here. yeah i know the little info thing says HTML is on but, unless i’m doing it wrong, which is always possible, it ain’t working for me. but i’ll get over it 🙂

    #35074
    olavf
    Participant

    Curious you’ll be wanting this for your nef files:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=d48e808e-b10d-4ce4-a141-5866fd4a3286&DisplayLang=en

    When I got my 20D, I was doing RAW+JPG for a while, until I realized that I wasn’t doing anything with the JPGs at all. I’m fairly sure that anything I publish gets tweaked a little.

    #35075
    Curious
    Participant

    Curious you’ll be wanting this for your nef files:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=d48e808e-b10d-4ce4-a141-5866fd4a3286&DisplayLang=en

    When I got my 20D, I was doing RAW+JPG for a while, until I realized that I wasn’t doing anything with the JPGs at all. I’m fairly sure that anything I publish gets tweaked a little.

    had to download and install the .net framework separately because i was getting a “not valid cert” thing. and a AV scan was running which i paused and that somehow hung the installation of the viewer but it’s installed now. and working. since i also had it associate files with .png and .jpg i can use it instead of the windows picture and fax viewer. or have so far. i have a few pictures on my desktop and it changed the icons but that’s a minor problem since they are just there temporarily.

    if i can find a wizard like the camera and scanner one that will download the photos into my preexisting folders i’m golden.

    thanks

    #35076
    Curious
    Participant

    Curious you’ll be wanting this for your nef files:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=d48e808e-b10d-4ce4-a141-5866fd4a3286&DisplayLang=en

    When I got my 20D, I was doing RAW+JPG for a while, until I realized that I wasn’t doing anything with the JPGs at all. I’m fairly sure that anything I publish gets tweaked a little.

    if i can find a wizard like the camera and scanner one that will download the photos into my preexisting folders i’m golden.

    shot some more tests this morning in just NEF and the camera and scanner wizard didn’t see them. but i did find an ok workaround using the NXviewer. it’s more time consuming but when i got done i had NEF files in a folder along with their jpeg counter parts. one odd thing is that as of this morning hovering over a jpeg image no longer brings up the little data box (the one with the image size, date taken, etc.) but hovering over a NEF image brings up a data box with much more info than the earlier one. it adds EXIF info. and speaking of odd, copying the NEF files into my organization folder added .01% to the width and height but didn’t change the file size in MB. i’m not happy about losing the data box on jpeg images and rebooting didn’t fix it.

    #35077
    orionid
    Participant

    Just came to echo some of what’s already been said.

    I shoot a good bit of 6×6 and 6×9. (As well as some non standard sizes). I usually scan at 3200 dpi, which means on 6×9, I’m getting roughly 91.4 megapixels. In some of the older cameras, it’s not terribly noticeable, but in any of the post-ww2 stuff with multi-element glass lenses, the sharpness is amazing. That’s actually why I’m leaning towards getting into large format film. I’m salivating over the potential of 150+ megapixel and what I might-could do with that.

    #35078
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    this stands out I’ve sinced switch to RAW only as I’ve found it pretty easy to just do a batch conversion to JPEG. if that is as easy as you make it sound and i could do the conversion to the equivalent of “jpeg fine” that might be a good choice. means an extra step of two rather than just download from the camera but worth it — maybe.

    Sorry to get your hopes up on that. 🙁 What makes it easy is the Canon DPP software. You just select the raw files you want to convert and click the batch convert button and voila. It’ll even resize them during conversion if you want.

    and on a personal note this sites use of BBCode instead of HTML is driving me nuts.

    This might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bbcode It’s where I go when I have a brainfart and can’t remember the specific bbcode peculiarities.

    I’m salivating over the potential of 150+ megapixel and what I might-could do with that.

    Aside from printing billboards, what would you do with that many pixels?

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