It depends upon one's requirements. You are obviously interested in the
aesthetics of fine photography and therefore are able to come closer to
your "minds eye" picture with analog equipment. Others are more
interested in convenience and cost to get a "really good" picture that
is easily disseminated to friends and family on the internet.
I once had a conversation with a young girl who lived with us for a
couple years regarding music. She asked me to listen to a CD of the
grunge band Nirvana, which I did. There were a couple of slow numbers
that were melodic but the fast stuff was garbled words and guitar noise.
She told me that composers like Cobain were the poets of her
generation. I guess I can accept that recalling that my parents never
quite understood the existence of Chuck Berry and Hank Williams.
Is this progress or simply movement? I would certainly hang one of your
photos on my wall rather than one of mine. At the same time, I am quite
happy with an inexpensive digital camera and will never buy something
that requires film and chemicals. And yes, I dumped my POS 20 YO
Craftsman CS in favor of a PM66. Progress definitely.
Well put ... proving one man's poi/poet is another man's poision, my father
could never understand my fascination/regard with the songwiters I consider
two of the real poets of my generation - Kris Kristofferson and John Prine.
To this day he sees no value whatsoever in their "poetry".
A poet, writer, painter, sculptor expresses ideas, visions, thoughts,
Picasso didn't use much resolution/detail/colour in this 'sketch'
Prine doesn't use big words to express himself.
A photographer can be a recorder of an image, or he expresses a whole
a lot more using an image.....
How cold he and others were on that rainy day.
You do not have to be able to count the rain drops to get 'the
Fitty Cent has a 49,000 sq/ft home about 20 minutes from me.
Apparenty, being a moron pays very well!
The former owner of the home was Mike Tyson! <G>
** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html **
If you read the complaint it's basically that 35mm doesn't give the
same results as medium format. All the rest is misdirection. If
small format isn't "good enough" for him, then why was he even trying
to use it? Seems to me that he doesn't really understand his
equipment if he expected any different result from the one he got.
I believe you need to reread what I wrote. The comparison was between a
state-of-the art *digital* camera and medium format. The digital came
up short because - in my judgment - it ends up having the same performance
more-or-less as a 35mm film camera - something I long ago realized could
not do what I wanted.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
Why are you comparing these? It makes no sense at all.
Take a 35mm SLR and put a digital back on it, and you've still
fundamentally got the same camera. Take a medium format and put a digital
back on it, and you've got a medium format. Take a 4x5 view camera, put a
digital back on it, and you've got...a really big credit card bill. :-)
Here's a handy comparison chart:
film point/shoot <-> digital point/shoot
35mm SLR <-> digital SLR
medium format film <-> medium format digital (Hasselblad H3D, for instance)
large format film <-> not much. The Sinar eVolution back _might_ be there
Digital wins clearly in the first scenario, without a doubt. It finally
beat out film in the 35mm pro realm a year or two ago. Medium format, it's
a tough fight between them right now. Large format just isn't there,
because the sensors are too expensive today. That'll change.
All this means is that the digital technology (especially from 120 film
upwards) isn't entirely mature. I don't know of anyone who claims it
is--not even the manufacturers.
The best consumer grade digital cameras have about half the
resolution of a Kodachrome 64 35 mm slide and no where near
the dynamic range. I doubt that any even approach the dynamic
range of high contrast consumer print films.
IOW, digital imaging is not yet as good as 35 mm.
OTOH, there is only opne place on Earth that still processes
Kodachrome 64, Dwayne's photo.
The reasons for the changeover to digital photography do NOT
include the quality of the images.
That may be true for the consumer grade stuff, but at the high end
prosumer, and certainly at the full blown pro level of equipment
this is arguably not the case. Subjectively, at least, at 10MP
the Nikon D80 I'm using is the equal of 35mm generally up to
about 11x14 (which is where 35mm fell apart for me anyway) and
is arguably getting pretty close to K64 in range of light and
contrast. I can provide jpegs if you'd like to see for yourself.
But, the issue for be was/is that it cannot yet replace medium-
or large format because the CCDs do not yet capture sufficient
detai. However, for what I wanted it for, the D80 is a fine
instrument. Digital *has* replaced 35mm for all intents and
purposes, and it has done so with a level of convenience and
malleability that far exceeds its film bretheren.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't see how, since a 35 mm Kodachrome 64 slide has
resolution roughly equivalent to a 25 Mp digital image. It is not
finest grained film available either, though Kodachrome 25 (no
longer made) may have been the finest grade _slide_ film made,
I don't the resolution of Kodachrome 25.
Grain in film isn't as evenly distributed as pixels in a digital
so the resolution of film is 'uneven'. But with more than twice as
many grains as a digital image has pixels it is a fair bet that the
former would still capture finer detail.
I don't know what 'prosumer is'. What I call a consumer digital
camera costs less than $2000 and produces images up to 10 -
12 Mp resolution.
Since there aren't any computer monitors that have color
saturation, contrast and especially not dynamic range
even close to pretty much any slide film, even if that much
data were in a jpeg, it couldn't be observed.
Digital imagery has much better potential for color vermisilitude,
The other problem of course is storing that information.
Hence jpeg and other image modeling formats that
essentially smooth away the fine detail, typically producing
an image that looks good to the eye, but actually has much
less information than was captured on the CCD.
Incidentally, if you can set your digital camera to record a
bitmap and then print the bitmap without ever converting
to jpg, you might get better results with your large prints.
But the file sizes for the images may be up to 500 Mb!
GIF is a compressed bitmap format-it faithfully preserves
the pixel values that were downloaded from the chip (not
necessarily the same as the data numbers for those
pixels.). I _think _ that BMP and TIFF are too. FITS
Yes. it is 'good enough' for most consumers and
photojournalism, and much more convenient. I am
surprised at how long it has taken for digital to make
it over the hump to consumer dominance.
How did you arrive at the 25Mp figure? Not arguing, just
K64 was, without doubt, a marvelous (almost perfect) color film. But
slides always had the problem that they had to be projected or printed
to be seen by others. In either case, a *lot* got lost in the
conversion. Yes, if you were a National Geo photographer, shooting K64
and bringing it home to a lab with almost no financial constraints was
practical. For the rest of us it was not so easy. In effect, K64 was
*theoretically* the best color film, it just didn't lead to practical
results ... unless you could afford to do/buy dye transfer prints, now
There's no question that film of a certain size blows away digital.
And that's why digital cannot yet replace even a cheap old $100
Mamiya C-3 negative.
But, as I said, at least subjectively, at 10 Mp, I see no difference
between 4x6 prints and those made from 35mm. If I "enlarge" the
digital image on screen to size it to what would be 11x14", I see
something very close to 35mm quality. I'd have to do a lot more
rigorous testing (not that I intend to) to see how far apart they
You are alone in so defining it. Both Nikon and Canon's pro lines
start well below $2000 (the new Nikon D300 body is about $1800).
Nikon's top-of-the-line pro body, the D3, is a 12.1 Mp camera.
Canon has analogous bodies in their pro line, though they do offer
an EOS body now that has a 22 Mp sensor. By most definitions,
these qualify as pro equipment.
I would suggest that slide film is a poor reference point. You
don't actually ever look at slides - at least not critically.
You have to magnify them or print them, and as I said, either way,
a lot gets lost in the process. More typically, the comparison
is between a traditional print and a digital image. These days,
the output from the newer printers is pretty spectacular. However,
I am old fashioned - I like the look of traditional silver-based prints,
even for my snapshots (which is what I use the D80 for). I have my
digital files printed on traditional color paper (Fuji) and *that*
is what I'm comparing to older, 35mm negative-based prints. In
that comparsion, the 10 Mp images from the D80 are easily the equal
All modern pro digital cameras (the D80 is the boundary
between consumer and pro for Nikon, hence "prosumer") can
save images in either camera "raw" format and/or
Jpegs at various levels of resolution. For absolutely
best results, one edits the raw file - with something
like Photoshop or The Gimp. If I were serious about digital,
this is what I'd be doing. But - since it cannot replace
my medium- and large format film cameras - I use digital
as my "tourist" camera for snapshots and fun and to record
the day-to-day stuff I see. For that, raw is unnecessary.
If you live somewhere where this is practical, try the
1) Rent a prosumer/pro digital camera/body. Nikon
D80/D300/D3 or an equivalent Canon EOS.
2) Save the images as raw files as you shoot.
3) Edit them with The Gimp - it's free and does most everything
Photoshop does, or at least what you're likely to need anytime
soon. You need to do a slight bit of editing on every image:
clean up the levels/histograms for even distribution and
do a small bit of unsharp masking on the image.
4) Have them printed by a good digital->chemical printing house.
To my utter amazement (and delight), it turns out that my
local Sam's Club does this as well as the pro lab I use.
They have great quality control and the prints are very
inexpensive. Best of all, I upload them over the internet
and they're ready an hour later.
I think you may be shocked at how comparable digital is to 35mm.
I say this having worked with digital cameras from 2Mp, then 3Mp,
then 7Mp, and now 10Mp. At 7Mp it was hard to tell the 35mm
from the digital image. At 10Mp, I think it is more-or-less
impossible to tell the difference. And, BTW, over the years
I shot a *lot* of 35mm with Nikon, Leica, Canon, Minolta, Pentax,
etc. - If anyone wants to get rid of their old Leica, don't
throw it away, throw it my way ;)
I still love the smell of hypo in the morning.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
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