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Messages - Policar

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Film is still hard to beat
« on: May 20, 2012, 02:34:10 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this "digital vs film" quality issue doesn't really kick until you start printing at large size (beyond 4x6in and magazine spreads).

I'm guessing that the majority of photographs are consumed (by the public) at small sizes (magazine size or smaller), and often on digital devices. At those sizes, is there a technical difference between digital and film?

Smaller than 8''x10'' anything, including 135, is more than good enough.  APS-C digital will hold up almost flawlessly at 11''x17'' (and probably acceptably at any size) unless you're super picky.  The 8x10 film prints I saw were 80''x100'' and at that point you do get a distinct advantage from large format, however.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Film is still hard to beat
« on: May 20, 2012, 01:19:18 PM »
That's more of a condemnation of your slide projector (or eyes) than anything...  And it's just not true; my 1080p projector is much softer than the slides I've shot.  Also, I've yet to find a digital camera that's even close to "per-pixel" sharp.  Bayer interpolation and the olpf knock resolution down by at least 30% linearly (and in theory should knock it down by 50% to satisfy nyquist, but of course no one does this).

In terms of extinction resolution 135 and FX are really pretty similar.  I have 25 megapixel scans of Velvia that have detail almost down to the pixel level.  The only issue?  Contrast is quite poor there and it's very grainy.  Subjectively, 135 looks closer to 4 or 6 megapixels than it does to less than one...  You can print up to 8x10 with 135 no problem; you can't from a web cam.

Large format, while no more detailed than any other given medium at normal apertures (due to diffraction), still has the best "look" by a very large margin (excepting maybe those 80 megapixel MFDB backs) just because the lenses are so darned good.  But it takes maybe 20 minutes and six dollars to shoot a photo and $150+ for a high quality scan, so you get what you pay for.  But 4x5, and particularly 8x10 (which I've never shot, only seen prints from) is still a worthy format, even if 135 and 120 are on the way out.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Film is still hard to beat
« on: May 19, 2012, 10:50:38 PM »
Modern SLRs (even the F4, which I briefly owned and quite liked) behave a lot like dSLRs except the ISO isn't adjustable on a per-shot basis, of course.

In terms of user interface, I prefer manual focus SLRs (135 and 6x7) to dSLRs and even to modern SLRs because the interface is so much simpler and you don't need to replace batteries.  Set your stop, meter your scene externally (spot or incident as appropriate) and decide on an exposure, set your shutter speed appropriately, focus, take a photo.  There are only three variables:  focus, f-stop, and shutter speed.  With a dSLR it's like using a computer, so complicated and there are so many modes for everything.  I still have no idea how to change focus setting appropriately with my 5D III and no idea what P mode does.

Large format is difficult enough to shoot that it's materially more painful than shooting digital, but 135 (either on a modern SLR or an older one) is nothing to be afraid of except that there's no longer any real reason to shoot it except nostalgia or fun.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Film is still hard to beat
« on: May 19, 2012, 08:36:28 PM »
You're surprised to find tech geeks on a camera forum?

I guess I shouldn't be, but it seems so simple to look at the results from two cameras and decide which is better and so complicated to try and interpret the science of human perception and the science of image recording (neither of which any of us here really understand to a significant extent) and then apply that. 

But in the sciences everything has switched to digital...and so for scientific purposes...yeah, it's by far the best.  And FX digital probably trounces 135 in general.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Film is still hard to beat
« on: May 19, 2012, 08:25:45 PM »
I'm just genuinely curious about the scientific difference. I'm not tyring to figure out which is better from a Whitmanesque "mystical" point of view. It should go without saying that amazing beautiful pics can be taken with BOTH. That isn't really the core question, imo.

Why would you care about the scientific difference?  Isn't the point entirely how it looks?  How do you even measure that scientifically?  Color gamut?  Acutance?  Resolution?  At how many lp/mm?  Zeiss lenses were designed for good micro contrast but worse that better or worse and in what contexts?  Is grain good or bad?  What colors (if any) do you like?  How do you feel about false detail (aliasing), is it nice and sharp and crunchy or disgusting to you?  Is a lack of DR good or bad?  (This is a tricky question--printed images only have four or five stops of contrast at best so a capture with more DR than that looks flat when printed, but one without enough loses detail--the answer is of course subjective and it's based on the subject and light and how the image is developed.)

As a scientific instrument, digital is way better.  Astronomers (appropriately enough) switched from film to CCDs in the 1970s and have not looked back.  The simple answer here is that digital is WAY better in general.

In terms of signal/noise ratio, digital is just way better.  Way, way better.  No argument from anyone.  But some people like film grain because it looks more random and smooth.  The 5D Mark III I have found has pretty ugly noise, imo, while some digital cameras have amazing beautiful noise with a great texture--so that's a whole other subjective discussion.

In terms of resolution it's complicated.  Velvia (a very sharp color film) has mtf curves that resolve without aliasing to about 60 or 80 cycles/mm (at like 30% mtf).  The D800 has about 200 pixels per mm or 100 cycles/mm.  As per the nyquist sampling theorem that means 50 cycles/mm without aliasing and that's not even taking into account bayer interpolation.  So it sounds like digital is much worse here, but it's not!  Velvia drops off from >100% mtf to <100mtf around 20 cycles/mm but bayer sensors resolve to about 100% mtf until almost 70% of their stated resolution.  I think.  Without an antialiasing filter, the D800E might resolve 100% mtf (>100% mtf once sharpened) until 70 or 80 cycles/mm.  Of course there might be aliasing, which is a problem....except that aliasing looks subjectively like detail, so you might get the appearance of >100% mtf until or extinction with the D800E.  The best measure of subjective sharpness is the area under the mtf curve, which in that case would be dramatically larger for the D800E than for a slide of Velvia.  Even though, in theory, the Velvia can resolve to a higher resolution without aliasing.  Of course you need to scan film and even a drum scanner will knock off quite a bit of mtf from the system.

Imo, the combination of reduced noise/grain and increased mtf puts state of the art digital at twice the linear resolution of film.  Digital printing's vast superiority to darkroom color printing tips the tables even way further.  APS-C looks like 645 to me.  Full frame looks like 6x7.  But I prefer how 6x7 Velvia looks to how the images from my 5D III look by a pretty enormous margin.  Even though I can't explain why and even though others don't.

In terms of DR, it depends on which film (black and white negative can have easily way in excess of 10 stops, all of which are usable if you dodge and burn; Velvia has five stops maybe) and how you measure it (how much noise/grain is too much and if a soft highlight rolloff that doesn't contain recoverable detail but still looks nice counts as real DR).

In terms of color gamut, digital is more accurate but film can have a wider gamut in theory.  Once scanner...doesn't matter as much, the gamut is squished.  And some films have more vivid colors because the spectral sensitivity curves reject more colors than the weak bayer filters on digital SLRs.

But yeah, digital wins for a given sensor size by far.  Large format film (Velvia 50, specifically) is by far my favorite in terms of aesthetics, but the price is high and you need to be very careful about light due to the limited DR and how easy it is to blow an exposure.

It's just amazing that a 135 format sensor, now, can outresolve and outproduce in some situations formats such as medium and in your case, large format film...  Film was great but film was noisy... Wanted to shoot above 2000 ISO, forget about it... it would be so grainy you could barely make out what you were shooting, plus the cost of getting such a delicate film would not be worth the outcome.  I understand people are comparing the D800 to digital medium format now... but then again digital medium format now is out-resolving large format back then...  Looking at that perspective, it's mind-blowing to see where we have come from.

Absolutely, it really puts a lot of today's complaints in perspective.  Too noisy at high isos?  Not enough resolution?  Try shooting on film...  (That said, black and white film has a nice texture to it so you can get away with big enlargements.)

All the same, the photos I take with my Nikon F, which has a broken meter and broken slow shutter speeds, are consistently much better than those I take with my 5D Mark III, even if they're worse technically and I wouldn't print them past 8X10.  So sometimes a surplus of riches isn't exactly what you need.  I'd love to get one of those MFDB tech cameras but the prices are so ridiculous.  View camera lenses have a certain magic to them.

Not to complain too much.  The 5D Mark III is amazing.  At low ISOs, I would treat it like slow 6x7 film in terms of estimating print size.  I've seen much larger prints that look okay, but not up close.  The D800 is probably somewhat better, but that's pretty trivial compared with how completely amazing both are.

There's a lot of comparisons of the D800 and medium format, but to me, 135 cameras were pushing medium format with the intro of the 5d2.

5DII digital prints and 6x7 cibachromes (off Velvia 50) looks surprisingly similar in terms of sharpness.  I would give the advantage to the 5DII print, but a good scan of 6x7 printed digitally might still look a bit better (more detail but also much more grain).

I think people are comparing the D800 with MFDBs, not 6x7 film.  Most large format landscape photography doesn't really exceed 20-40 megapixel sharpness because the stops at which you're shooting (f32-f64) knock resolution down due to diffraction.  With a good tilt/shift lens, I could see the D800 resolving as much detail as large format, easily.  That said I wouldn't expect the tonality to be quite as smooth as 8x10 and view camera lenses have their own advantages.

It should be stutter, not flicker, that bugs you at 24fps....most theaters project with three or four blade shutters, so the flicker itself is above the flicker fusion threshold (72/96hz).

This comparison is useless since we don't know the lenses or other settings.  The Scarlet should have done better.  The Red MX and Epic look fine at 1200+ ISO.  That said, the 5DIII is a true low light monster.  If you turn highlight tone priority off (which results in clippy highlights), you can shoot 10000 ISO and it looks fine.  With f1.4 lenses, it's pretty incredible.  The availability of affordable 24mm f1.4 primes (≤17mm f1.4 primes for APS-C are harder to find) make the 5DIII an incredible camera for low light narrative.

if the data is binned before readout by low level sensor circuits as some have suggested, I doubt a firmware induced process change on the post binned data will help resolution.

The resolution isn't really that bad, though, if you look at resolution charts.  Something like 800-900 lines, which isn't terrible.  It's the apparent softness that's an issue, and that's compounded by the bad sharpening algorithm that you can't turn up at all or you get halos.  It's not an elegant solution, but sharpening in post really does help.  But sharpening also brings out compression artifacts.  If Canon or ML could improve the camera's sharpening algorithm (and add focus peaking and zebras) I would be thrilled with this camera for video.

There's little chance of more resolution out of the camera, but either less sharpening or a higher bitrate (though 90Mbps seems pretty high as is in terms of SD card buffer) would make a big difference.  Clean HDMI out would be fine, but at that point, just buy an FS100 instead.  The point of dSLRs is their size and ease of use; external capture can be a pain.

Canon's market cap is much bigger than Sony's if I remember correctly....  Furthermore, Sony has patents on a lot of the technologies that are making their chips better.  And there are no other sensors with the same pixel density as the D800--so how could Nikon be paying Sony for the best of each run?  They're paying for all of these sensors that exist, at least for now.

This just isn't true...Canon has issues with their sensors and they have more read noise.  The 5DIII has a three-year life cycle.  Canon won't disrupt that prematurely.  The 7D may have surpassed the 5DII in terms of monitoring and frame rates, but the 5DII remained the flagship prosumer HDSR in Canon's arsenal through its product cycle.  If you buy a 5DIII, it will have a three-year lifespan as top of its market segment.  Don't wait on something that doesn't exist and won't.  It's also an awesome camera and the video quality is very underrated (it is soft, however).

I really like the Nikon 9000, but it's fairly expensive ($4000-$5000 used).  I am having some weird software issues with Silverfast and my Nikon 5000, and I wonder if compatibility might be an issue with the 9000, too, when using the newest software (on OSX).  You need to scan using multi-pass or else there is a lot of noise, but the results are great otherwise.  The glass carriers are a must; they sometimes give you Newton's rings but not so bad and they make flatness way better.

Just a warning...this will be a very slow process, especially if you use multi-pass.  If you don't want to make big prints but are doing this for archival purposes instead, an Epson flatbed is way cheaper and, from what I've seen, not bad.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 5D Mark III Magic Lantern wish list poll
« on: April 27, 2012, 12:57:43 PM »
If they can improve the in-camera sharpening algorithm so it looks closer to post-sharpened footage but without the compression artifacts and/or increase the bitrate for ALL-I that would be incredible.  Beyond that, focus peaking and zebras would be really nice.  I don't think I'd use any of the other features.

Lenses / Re: Why buy Canon when third party are this good?
« on: April 27, 2012, 12:52:39 PM »
The flip side of bad resale is you can get used lenses affordably.  I couldn't afford the zoom I wanted, but I picked up a used 70-300mm Tamron VC for about half the cost of the Canon version (used) and it's not bad at all!  Fast AF and great stabilization, acceptably sharp, too.  And then there are the unique third party lenses (11-16mm Tokina, which is pretty good, and the 20mm f1.8 Sigma, which is not so good) that seem to hold their value...

Canon's more expensive lenses usually seem really refined, whereas the competition comes close but misses a bit.  The 17-55mm IS f2.8 isn't much sharper than the Tamron or Sigma equivalents, but it's more consistent across focal lengths at the edges and manages acceptable bokeh and low distortion and is a bit longer.  This 24-70mm VC looks good in terms of performance, but the bokeh looks terrible.  But the price of the 24-70mm II will probably make this a popular lens.

EOS Bodies / Re: More colors
« on: April 20, 2012, 02:25:23 PM »
Now, today's sensors still have a bayer filter with a basic R,G,B pattern....These two colors are weak on DSLRs, something I miss after switching from slide films like Velvia.

Velvia only has three layers....RGB.

The weak colors have very little to do with the RGB sensor, they have a lot more to do with the strength of the color filters over the photosites.  Increasingly, manufacturers are using weaker and weaker color filters to get better low light, but at the cost of "pure" colors.  DXOmark measures something similar with their "portrait" measurement and some MBDB do quite well here but dSLRs are worse.  Look at the spectral sensitivity curves on Velvia 50--super narrow.  No matter how much you process, you won't get Velvia colors from dSLRs.  You can probably fake it well enough through processing, but film is still magic.

Did you shoot LF?  If so, lenses are another actor.  Modern dSLR lenses (particularly zooms and fast wide angles) have a lot of longitudinal chromatic abberation so colors are not very pure.  Look at photos taken with a true aprochromatic lens (the Coastal optics 60mm f4).  Colors are incredible, bokeh is flawless.

« on: April 19, 2012, 08:12:15 PM »
If this had better resolution video, focus peaking, zebras, and a slightly higher bitrate codec I would sell my 5D III and pay a disturbing amount more money for it.  And its sad I'm admitting this since I think the 5D III is pretty nice as is, but there is something frustrating about a product being so close to being awesome but not quite nailing it.

I wonder if there's a way to see how long this page has been online for.  It's so weird that it exists at all.

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