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Author Topic: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?  (Read 7668 times)

mjbehnke

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How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« on: December 03, 2011, 06:03:59 PM »
I would like to know how many MP's does a FF sensor need to be equal to a 35mm Film Camera? I had an AE1 and I thought the photo's I shot with it were very nice.

Thanks,
Matthew
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How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« on: December 03, 2011, 06:03:59 PM »

Zo0m

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 07:16:23 PM »
I think the average lab will give you 2mp files when they process film to jpeg... Guess that shows megapixels arent everything  :)
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TexPhoto

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 08:35:18 AM »
How many megapixels are in 35mm film?  This has been debated for a long time, and there is no easy answer.  I've seen estimates that said 4MP, and estimates that said 24MP, and everything in between. 

Here is a great article: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_megapixels_would_it_take_to_equal_a_35mm_film_maximum_quality

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 02:17:35 PM »
About 4-6mp, depending on the film type and processing.  B&W will have a higher resolution than color, which is higher than color slides.

Six MP is really enough, the higher MP gives you room to crop, but is only noticible in very large prints, or viewing at 1:1 on your computer screen.  I do this like most everyone else, of course.

bchernicoff

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 02:58:11 PM »
I feel like it's not a straight forward question. Also, what speed film and which brand and product? I would believe that grain size matters, but haven't compared. It would be interesting to compare Ektar 100 (billed as world's finest grain) to Porta 160.
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K-amps

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 03:17:48 PM »
Funny thing is last night I was up-rezzing my 5D shot (12.8mp) to print a 24" x 20" for framing.

When I upped the print area (canvas size = 24x20 with smooth gradients algorithm), the issue I saw was not blurring of details, rather ugly noise (Pic was taken at 50 ISO ) : I had to use topaz/Nik define to get rid of the noise then unsharp mask in Photoshop, but it turned out pretty good.  Nik define fixed one noise pattern and Topaz the other. Both work a little differently so modest amounts of both fixed my issue without much loss of detail.

The limitation was not the sharpness/ detail, rather noise artifacts. Assuming 12.8mp was good enough for a 24" x 20" print, I'd say 2mp is enough for 4x6, 3mp for 5x7, and 8-12 mp more than ok for 8x10 prints.
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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 03:56:42 PM »
I used a Nikon Coolscan IV ED for a few years to scan negatives and some slides, before I purchased a 10D in 2004. The resulting files have about 12MP, but can be pretty noisy, depending on the film used. That scanner has an infrared sensor channel to reduce dust spots significantly. I used it again last year but had to download Vuescan, since Nikon no longer supports that scanner with software.

If you have a lot of slides and/or negatives to scan, expect to spend years doing it. It can be pretty tedious. You don't have to sit at the computer constantly, but you do have to swap strips of six negatives every twenty minutes or so.

Hope that helps.

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 03:56:42 PM »

Hillsilly

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 04:30:36 PM »
I think there are two answers.

My 8mp 30D produces images that contain as much detail as my best scanned 35mm files. (Although, a better scanner might extract better results.)

But my scanned files contain nowhere near as much detail as projected transparencies.  I've often heard that fine grain film has similar resolution to a mid 20mp camera.  I'd agee with that.
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dtaylor

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 05:16:24 PM »
I would like to know how many MP's does a FF sensor need to be equal to a 35mm Film Camera?

I did some pretty extensive comparisons when I picked up my 7D. The 7D matches Imacon scanned, 35mm Velvia 50 on high contrast detail and beats it on low contrast and color detail. (Film's ability to resolve detail varies based on detail contrast to a greater degree than digital.) I would put 35mm Velvia 50 at 12-18 MP depending on target contrast. For most photographic scenes I would put it at around 12 MP.

Velvia 50 is the highest resolution color film in production, and it pretty much matches the highest resolution B&W films available for general photography. (Special purpose B&W films can go higher, but they make lousy picture films.) So any other film, or any lesser scanner, and the number for film goes down considerably. Most films don't break 10 MP. Most scanners are even worse regardless of their reported dpi.

I don't believe there's any detail that can be recovered by projection that is not recovered by an Imacon.

kennykodak

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2011, 05:48:37 PM »
I don't believe there's any detail that can be recovered by projection that is not recovered by an Imacon.

i agree.

awinphoto

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2011, 06:08:13 PM »
From what i recall, a 6-8 MP camera can pump out a nice 8x10, which most 35mm negative B&w and color film were printed at... I've heard/seen arguments that depending on the best color slide ISO 50 film had enough detail to equate up to 24MP give or take... You should get great 8x10 prints or smaller with 6-8MP but if you got slides, you could even try upping the MP to 24 if you really want to print large, but that's your call... Digital 300 DPI vs film printing are kinda 2 separate animals but in a jumbled mess, there you go...

PS... the only reason why a lab would scan 2MP is because of speed and lack of corrections needed on the labs part to make good files.  Scanning lends to a lot of messy dust and scratches if not done with the most pristine conditions and it makes the lab look bad sending back files with white specs everywhere and retouchers time are precious unless they are billing specifically for that job, so yeah...
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mjbehnke

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2011, 09:26:56 PM »
Thanks for the replies! The main reason I asked was to things: 1) I have alot of negatives and a bunch of slides that I want to scan with my Canon image scanner. It has a slot in the lid for negatives and if I take out the negative holder, I can insert slides in it to scan. I just am not sure what resolution to choose 15dpi, 300dpi,????

The second part is kind of along the lines of getting a full frame digital camera. I have had some of the negatives blown up to poster size and they look excellent (B&W's as that is what I mainly shoot). If a 35mm film camera is about equal to 8-15mega pixels, than the 5dMark II should be just fine as it should perform better than my film camera???

I read so mny comments about more MP's and I just wanted to know why you would want more? How many MP's do you need to make a 20x30 poster if you only need equally 8-12 with film?

Thanks,

Matthew
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gmrza

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 09:56:21 PM »

The second part is kind of along the lines of getting a full frame digital camera. I have had some of the negatives blown up to poster size and they look excellent (B&W's as that is what I mainly shoot). If a 35mm film camera is about equal to 8-15mega pixels, than the 5dMark II should be just fine as it should perform better than my film camera???


Thanks,

Matthew

Earlier this year I did a comparison using the following:

film: EOS650, 50mm f/1.4, Speedlite 430EZ, Kodak TMAX 100
digital: EOS 5DmkII, 50mm f/1.4, Speedlite 580EXII.

Shooting roughly the same composition, the 5DII gave much better resolution (at ISO640) than the TMAX 100 black and white film did.

This was not a scientifically conducted test, but rather a subjective evaluation to satisfy my curiosity.

My feeling now is that you need to be really dedicated to want to shoot film.

Bear in mind that, as has been pointed out, film grain and digital noise are different in nature, which makes a direct comparison difficult.

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 09:56:21 PM »

Hillsilly

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 10:23:48 PM »
I'd agree with the above comment 100%.  I was late moving to digital thinking that film was better than some of the lower resolution cameras.  I was rather surprised to find that an 8mp camera was consistently better than my scanning efforts (admittedly, I'm just using a Canon 9950F).  Plus you save a lot of time.  There's no quality benefit in 35mm film.

Of course, medium format and large format are a different story.  And B & W has a fun craft aspect.

Normally, a scanning resolution would be a lot higher (eg 2400dpi).  But your software might be asking this in a round about way based on your intended print size.  All I can say is give it a try.  If you end up with a file that is at least several MB in size, you are probably on the right track.  When I scan at 2400dpi, I end up with a TIFF image just over 20mb.  This is more than enough reolution to produce a good 8x10 print (or bigger).
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motorhead

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 03:49:13 AM »
Digital is certainly still behind film in available dynamic range. Its not all about noise, in fact I often think that there is far too much fuss made about noise these days. I actually add noise to monochrome images in an attempt to recreate that gritty texture that fast black & white films would give me.

So as others have already said, the answer to the original question has no simple answer. It can vary from "6MP" up to "Digital cannot match that" depending on what is being asked. 

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Re: How Many MP's On A FF Equals a 35mm Canon AE1 Film Camera?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 03:49:13 AM »