August 29, 2014, 10:15:36 AM

Author Topic: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me  (Read 7915 times)

CharlieB

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2012, 06:44:41 PM »
I never liked kodachromeod th, Why did it get so much rave?  I never understoat.

Kodachrome could be harsh in a lot of instances.  It had outrageous detail in the shadows, tended to burn highlights easily, more easily than any other transparency film.  But... if you could control the lighting, or you were shooting in good conditions... to me at least, it yielded results were pretty outstanding.  The ultra fine grain of the 25 and even 64 variety was superior, and even the 200 speed had an interesting quality.  You either loved it, and dealt with its shortcomings, or you hated it.  I shot an awful lot of birds and scenery with Kodachrome 200, some of that in 120 size (talk about to die for these days!).   You want to see something?  Project a well exposed Kodachrome 120 size slide on a screen, one taken say... with a Hasselbled and 150 Sonnar.  We just dont have that sort of thing at our disposal today.

Then there were the dye transfer prints from Kodachrome.   Total manipulation.  It was the silver based way of getting HDR prints.  Done right, dye transfer prints were superior in all respects to anything else out there.

And on that note of wistful history... I'm due a bourbon, just because.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2012, 06:44:41 PM »

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2561
    • View Profile
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2012, 07:07:04 PM »
It's the sensor.  Could you buy 25,600 speed film back in 1988 and shoot low-light football at 1/2000s at night?  Of course not.  They didn't do it that way.  DSLR's, namely the 1D X, is truly revolutionary.

Delta 3200 pushed 3 stops.  (You set ISO manually at 6400 and then set exposure compensation at -2).

Don't like grain?  Just shoot medium format or larger.

I never did it.
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

DB

  • Guest
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2012, 09:17:26 PM »
@DB
Quote
Digital is a whole lot better in terms of high initial cost, but then low-cost in consumables.

I can reliably inform you that the last entry level film SLRs (Nikon f65's, EOS 300x's, Dynax 5's) cost only a little less than what folk are paying now for cameras like the D3100 or 1100D, the budget DSLRs are probably cheaper in real terms than the last equivalent film era cameras cost.   

At the top end it is a bit different, however, & decent lenses seem more expensive than ever.

@ Paul

I can well believe it. There is a much greater price range today between entry-level -> mid-range -> top-end. When I lived in London, amateurs/enthusiasts mainly bought second-hand gear. I never bought a new lens until 2011! In 1990, there were dozens of camera shops (The Camera Exchange, Jessops in New Oxford Street, Chancery Lane + quite a few other small independent stores dotted around the City) that sold predominantly 'used' lenses, plus they were happy to take older lenses as trade-ins - a bit like PC game stores nowadays. If you bought a lens on a Friday, used it over the weekend and didn't like it, you just exchanged it for something else the following Monday and it might have cost you a tenner (at the outside). I imagine that Edinburgh & Glasgow were very similar with specialist stores that have probably disappeared. To be replaced by Harvey Norman, Dixons & Argos...where the staff couldn't tell the difference between an 'f-stop' and a 'bus-stop'.

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2012, 09:32:38 PM »
I worked in a Jessops in Glasgow, our mark up was sometimes as low as 5% on new gear (SLRs lenses) but we made it back in filters, batteries bags and D&P.  If we couldn't mark a used item up by at least 100% of buy in we didn't buy it in.

The staff price on used gear was excellent.  I don't think I ever owned a new camera or lens before my 400D, it was stupid not to buy used, especially at the staff prices.  Mitigated the crap wages, but then, when you're a student...

Went vastly downhill now, Jessops is like dixons except they sell less fridges.  Staff have the coolest hair styles but i couldn't vouch how good they are with cameras
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 10:31:36 PM by paul13walnut5 »

7enderbender

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 635
    • View Profile
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2012, 09:35:21 PM »

.
Wow, this is the kind of discussion that could go on for hours -- on bar stools!

Since I'm a teetotaler, I'm going to make one point -- then head for the door.

Back in the film days, the "sensor" was a very mature technology. There are a few people around today who will suggest film chemistry could be dramatically improved, but really that's just picking the fly scat out of the pepper when compared with digital imaging.

Today's optical sensor technology is not mature technology. Over the last 10 years this upstart has evolved so fast (consistent with all new technological applications) that camera makers have had a dicey time keeping up with it well enough to formulate consistent product offerings. Development has slowed a bit now (and manufacturers have also gotten more control over the "development" so their engineering and marketing folks can get some breathing room to establish the kind of baselines that money-making entities like corporations so adore.

Almost overnight we've gone from a mature technology with limited possibilities to a radically new technology with almost unlimited (longterm) possibilities.

It's been a hell of a ride so far!


Excellent points! And back in the days (and for the sake of argument let's stick to 35mm here, all lenses being equal) the distinguishing factors were a) build quality and b) features.

B is somewhat limited in reality once the basics are covered. Meaning, once you had a good metering system for a 3 or 4 different situations (including some kind of spot meter), decent shutter speed and a good viewfinder everything else beyond that is mostly for one-off situations or specific professional purposes.

Leaves us really with build quality and reliability. Example: when I got my first own camera my choices were a brand-new T70 or the AE-1 program used. Yep, already then people had noticed what a hunk of junk the plastic T70 was. Sure, it was all "space-age-80s-Colani-design" and may have had a few advanced features. But it wasn't fun to use and didn't appear to be build for what I ended up doing with my AE-1p...(25 years and two full overhauls later I still have and use it)
The picture quality for all practical purposes would be exactly the same with the superb Kodak and Fuji products available then (and a good lab in town, and later access to a DYI lab at my university). Same can be said when using the more upscale A1 and then the excellent F1 iterations: same pictures in 99% of the cases but a lot more fun to use and even more reliable. The T90 is its own animal and in many ways comparable to Canon's last film-SLR EOS 1-series.

Most else in between and during the early phases or digital has issues in my mind. Why? Because the selling point was "digital (and digital is better!)", silly features, the emerging AF-revolution, etc. Build quality suffered. And I want to say: in large parts it still does. None of the stuff is build to last when you're supposed to "upgrade" every 2-3 years to new "features". Sure, along the way we finally got half-way decent full-frame (meaning 35mm equivalent, which is the smallest usable format really) at a price point that is a little more digestible. So at least we can match 1980s film quality now. Yeah. Small wins. Would I want to compare my 5DII to an F1-n? Naw, not really. But in all fairness, the 5DII is more like a 21st century AE-1 for that matter. Only it won't last 25 years. Neither will any of my ridiculously expensive "L" lenses while I see no reason why any future grand children wouldn't still get a kick out of my FD glass. Just look at how the 24-70L version 1 apparently devolved into the 24-70L version 2. And now perhaps we'll see a brand-new "6D" - which (if any of the rumored features (!) are turning out to be correct would bring me back to my T70-AE1p shootout back in 86 or whenever that was.

Have a great weekend everyone.

5DII - 50L - 135L - 200 2.8L - 24-105 - 580EXII - 430EXII - FD 500/8 - AE1-p - bag full of FD lenses

Rocky

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 592
    • View Profile
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2012, 12:01:08 AM »
Look at the first generation FF camera and the images were garbage compared to well scanned and digitally edited film captures.

Thanks for telling us that the 1DIIIs (first FF by Canon) is garbage.

SiliconVoid

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • Freelance (film days) - Digital Enthusiast
    • View Profile
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2012, 12:26:44 AM »
Look at the first generation FF camera and the images were garbage compared to well scanned and digitally edited film captures.

Thanks for telling us that the 1DIIIs (first FF by Canon) is garbage.

{1Ds}
 ;)
Canon - 5DmkII - 40D - Rebel XSi - AE1 - F1 : 3 Ls
Nikon - D700 - D300s : 2 Ns

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2012, 12:26:44 AM »

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2012, 12:28:17 AM »
+1 SiliconVoid beat me to it.

Rocky

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 592
    • View Profile
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2012, 12:36:57 AM »
Look at the first generation FF camera and the images were garbage compared to well scanned and digitally edited film captures.

Thanks for telling us that the 1DIIIs (first FF by Canon) is garbage.

{1Ds}

Thanks  for the correction. I agree that with 11 MP, It cannot beat the fine  gain film.
 ;)

SiliconVoid

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • Freelance (film days) - Digital Enthusiast
    • View Profile
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2012, 01:12:07 AM »
my first real SLR that I bought was the 450D, so before the age of digital how did Canon differentiate its model line up feature wise?   I mean back say year 1998 the determiner of IQ was the lens and film and the paper that it was printed on.  My point is, why have so many sensors across a brand's line up, with 1DX sensor, 5D3, 5D2 and then the rebel line up of sensors, if all camera's just over a decade ago had the same ability to capture light correct?  So what you pay for then is build quality, FPS, and metering etc.

In short: Different equipment price points to meet different consumer demands.

It is no mystery that larger sensors, sensors with the greatest performance specifications, and bodies providing all the features any photographer could need/want also costs the most to produce, and are not needed by every user. Digital photography technology has allowed manufacturers to actually tailor the operation and output of the cameras to meet different user demands and budgets.


Long version:
At the lowest price point, Rebels for Canon, the manufacturer focuses sensor design and implementation more on the criteria of needed output (jpg) - even if it impacts the cameras base (raw) performance. Features will generally be only those necessary to provide functionality and competitive marketing (albeit gimmicky features sometimes). This is not to covertly produce an inferior product, but because the typical purchaser at this price point will not need or desire post processing to get the results they are looking for.

In the middle price tier (Enthusiasts, and Semi-Pro) where the output demand can go either way, the manufacturer will focus sensor design and internal processing to provide the best aspects of both types of output. In addition features will be greatly expanded providing full control over the camera operation, and with reasonable accessibility such as dedicated buttons instead of diving into menus.

At the top tier you will typically find almost all features provided, and implemented in such a way that use of the cameras menu system may not be needed at all other than relatively permanent, optional, changes in camera operation. In this tier you will typically also find the best unhindered raw performance due to this sectors reliance on post processing - mainly because the images are turned over to production/marketing departments to be culled and processed - although jpg output is not worthless by any means as some professionals are satisfied by that output.

To continue with the film camera analogies; Think of it as if film cameras were made in such a way that they could only use one brand and/or speed of film, and only had certain features dependent on what film version you purchased. That certainly would not satisfy the needs of every photographer and there would have been a need for several versions of every model to appeal to different users. (Fortunately that was not the case..  :D)
Canon - 5DmkII - 40D - Rebel XSi - AE1 - F1 : 3 Ls
Nikon - D700 - D300s : 2 Ns

jrista

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4074
  • POTATO
    • View Profile
    • Nature Photography
Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2012, 06:39:07 PM »
The word "megapixel" was a god send to the camera makers.  It was a way that they could easily show people, 4MP is better than 2MP.  ...and people would buy new cameras solely based on that.

In the film days, I think technology reached a plateau.   Look at the flagship Canon EOS 1v HS.  10FPS and 45 AF points.  ...and that was in the year 2000.   

What has canon really improved in?  Sensors.  We still are around 10FPS and 45 AF points.  in 12 years?

oh and...

...everyone knows that once a new camera is released, the previous model is rendered useless and unable to produce usable images.

The past couple of generations have been trained to consume, consume, consume.

Actually, we are at 12/14fps and 61 AF points. AF sensors are also sensitive to far less light than they used to be, down to EV -2 in Canon 1D and Nikon Dx models. We have far more high precision cross type points, and Canon is the first to offer double cross type points for even more AF precision and speed. Dynamic range has improved from maybe 5-7 stops in 2000 to around 12 stops or more today. Pixel densities have increased with a concurrent improvement in IQ. We've gone from around 4 megapixels in 2001 to 20 megapixels or more today. We've gone from a max native ISO 1600, to a max native ISO 51200 (thats a full FIVE STOPS, or 32 times as much light sensitivity!), with maximum ISO settings of today offering better IQ than the max ISO settings from a decade ago. Today, people are happily asking for fewer megapixels and better IQ from the megapixels they have (hence the 18mp 1D X and 22mp 5D III...both of which maintained the megapixel status quo while improving IQ...in the case of the 1D X by a very considerable degree.)

Its incredibly naive to say we've made no progress in the last 12 years. We've made tremendous progress. The type of images we can capture today outpace anything in history, including film (and yes, even LF film with 300dpi drum scans...you get "large" images with that, but IQ...although excellent, no longer holds up to the likes of what you can get from a modern full-frame sensor, particularly the D800's Exmor sensor...there is a lack of deep contrast and still that grain that is entirely absent from a modern high-res digital sensor). We have made phenomenal progress in the last decade plus.
My Photography
Current Gear: Canon 5D III | Canon 7D | Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS II | EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS | EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L | EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro | 50mm f/1.4
New Gear List: SBIG STT-8300M | Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2012, 06:39:07 PM »