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Author Topic : Image qiality 
mannybash

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Views : 5120  Jan 31, 2011 1:07pm

I was wondering how many of the really good fine art nude photographers
do actually use film perhaps five by four to get the extra quality or do they all use digital now anyone know?

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PHOTOJOE99

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 1:09pm

Film.... Whats that!!! Ok I am older than that but don't use any more....

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Circles_of_Confusion

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 1:25pm

You know what, I have a picture that I took of my Les Paul using natural light at a jaunty angle and very shallow depth of field. I took it years ago with a 35 mm film, forget which type now, ask Steevee7 I probably bought it off him.
Anyway, as I was going through my invoices in my attempt to make my next years tax self assessment less painful, I found this old picture.

Now it had been lost for years but I could remember taking it and I remember liking it very much. As I could no longer find it I decided to reshoot it which I did digitally and I saw that it was good. So I stuck it in a frame and put it on a wall.
Now, after many years, I have finally got the original film print and the digital print, and I looked upon them, from one to the other and back again and it came to pass, that a voice spaketh to me and said unto me that the film was the true image and the digital copy was an imposter. The film print is going in the frame.....


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paulcoxphotography

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 1:49pm

I believe this guy uses film and there is certainly a 'quality' to black and white film that goes beyond resolving power.

That said I see little evidence that folks are exploiting the full quality potential of digital so it doesn't necessarily follow that they would exploit film more effectively if they were to swap media.

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 Razoir



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Posts: 5028
RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 2:16pm

Think of it as a tool shed.

You have hammers and chisels and screwdrivers etc.

You use hammers for banging things, planes for planing things, chisels for cutting things, screwdrivers for screwing things (!!). saws for playing cajun music.

Yee-ha.

Along comes Black and Decker. You have electric thingamies for er, um, thingumying. Keep the old tools though, as occasionaly you will find that the ONLY way to get that particular doo-da doo-da'ed is with a chisel.

Lids off paint tins, for example.

I very strongly agree with the sentiment that people are not fully exploiting digital. I think we have a lot further to go as the technology slows down and people spend more time exploring and less time upgrading.

It is possibly true that there is now nothing that we could do with film that can not be done digitaly BUT I find a lot of the old film results take a lot more work to achieve than it did with film.

The reverse is also true, of course.

In the old days some photographers would spend hours getting a single print precisely right. When they did it showed. I suspect that very few digital workers make the same effort. A good photographer more than doubled the quality of his/her output by becoming a good darkroom worker.

I believe the same potential is there for PS and printing skills.

Still not going to throw away my film cameras though and am in fact drooling over a new two or three. Pressies to me for being a good boy!

Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy

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Circles_of_Confusion

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 2:22pm

quoting post from  Razoir:

Think of it as a tool shed.

You have hammers and chisels and screwdrivers etc.

You use hammers for banging things, planes for planing things, chisels for cutting things, screwdrivers for screwing things (!!). saws for playing cajun music.

Yee-ha.

Along comes Black and Decker. You have electric thingamies for er, um, thingumying. Keep the old tools though, as occasionaly you will find that the ONLY way to get that particular doo-da doo-da'ed is with a chisel.

Lids off paint tins, for example.

I very strongly agree with the sentiment that people are not fully exploiting digital. I think we have a lot further to go as the technology slows down and people spend more time exploring and less time upgrading.

It is possibly true that there is now nothing that we could do with film that can not be done digitaly BUT I find a lot of the old film results take a lot more work to achieve than it did with film.

The reverse is also true, of course.

In the old days some photographers would spend hours getting a single print precisely right. When they did it showed. I suspect that very few digital workers make the same effort. A good photographer more than doubled the quality of his/her output by becoming a good darkroom worker.

I believe the same potential is there for PS and printing skills.

Still not going to throw away my film cameras though and am in fact drooling over a new two or three. Pressies to me for being a good boy!

Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy


Ah yes I forgot about that Jezza......

In the case of my Les Paul, I spent a lot of time dodging and burning and general messing about until I was happy and wasted an awful lot of photographic paper in the process.....So even if I had found the neg it would still have been quite different.

I only do digital now, but I still find myself spending a lot of time on one picture if I like it a lot.

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mannybash

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 2:30pm

So if you wanted high quality qould a full frame DSLR do or would you go medium format digital or large format film?

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paulcoxphotography

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 2:54pm

quoting post from mannybash:

So if you wanted high quality qould a full frame DSLR do or would you go medium format digital or large format film?

A full frame DSLR will 'do' for 99% of users, thereby explaining why film is on the decline. Film is only needed where you are looking to fill a need which digital cannot yet provide. Most of us (me included) go through a stage of wanting to use film, to be honest it's a bit of a faff unless you want to spend plenty of time learning a new skill set (and another new skill set to scan it).

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mattharper

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 3:02pm

In all honesty, the amount of photographers that NEED that extra quality is very low.

How many punters will know the difference between a ten minute edit on a raw file and a hand crafted print from a medium format film? Not many.

How many will be able to tell the difference on a web site? Not many, only the real pro with an eye only matched by years of experience.

So, who is the audience for the extra quality, assuming it is there? Other photographers who ain't paying you a bean. So, is that extra mile worth the hassle, outlay etc just to have some smoke blown up your bottom?

I doubt there are any more than fingers on one hand on Net Model producing large enough and high enough quality images and printing to an equally high quality for customers willing to pay the sort of money they would have to.



--------------------------------------------------------
Matt Harper. Does exactly what it says on the tin
--------------------------------------------------------

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mannybash

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 3:06pm

This is getting closer to what i mean. If you wanted to buy an exhibition print would you want the feel of film or would the fact that you can do so many things with digital easily that you cannot do with film be enough? My photoshopping ability is no good but i am able to experiment with different looks in a way that i can't easily on film. I have been toying with the idea of buying a second hand inexpensive hassleblad film that is what do people think of that?

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Andy_B

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 3:11pm

If you're going to do film, then go big.

The great thing about film cameras was that it cost pretty well the same for the camera whether you went for a decent 35mm SLR, a 645, 6x6 or 6x7... but the 6x7 quality was so much better.

For anyone wanting to dip into film for quality reasons (or even just for fun) I recommend the 6x7 format - particularly the Mamiya RZ line. I really don't think 645 film would give any appreciable difference in quality to a decent modern SLR (and 6x6 IS 645 once you've cropped it to a rectangle).

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mannybash

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 3:14pm

quoting post from Andy_B:

If you're going to do film, then go big.

The great thing about film cameras was that it cost pretty well the same for the camera whether you went for a decent 35mm SLR, a 645, 6x6 or 6x7... but the 6x7 quality was so much better.

For anyone wanting to dip into film for quality reasons (or even just for fun) I recommend the 6x7 format - particularly the Mamiya RZ line. I really don't think 645 film would give any appreciable difference in quality to a decent modern SLR (and 6x6 IS 645 once you've cropped it to a rectangle).


Would have to agree on that although it's fairly heavy!

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Andy_B

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 3:25pm

quoting post from mannybash:

Would have to agree on that although it's fairly heavy!

Back in the 90s I had one as my main camera.

I took it on safari a couple of times. Took it around Asia (I shot 60 rolls of film over a couple of weeks... not a great deal of shots by todays standard, but at £1/shot it concentrates the mind).

It's worthwhile pointing out that to get the best out of film you need to scan it on a decent scanner... and by that I mean a drum scanner or an Imacon. Budget £10 per scan at the very least.

So you're talking at least £1/shot just for E6 film and processing (10 shots per film). Then £10/shot that you want to keep.

Not wanting to burn hundreds of pounds per shoot is the reason my RZ has been sitting in the cupboard for the last few years as I use my 5DII.

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 Razoir



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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 3:26pm

quoting post from mannybash:

This is getting closer to what i mean. If you wanted to buy an exhibition print would you want the feel of film or would the fact that you can do so many things with digital easily that you cannot do with film be enough? My photoshopping ability is no good but i am able to experiment with different looks in a way that i can't easily on film. I have been toying with the idea of buying a second hand inexpensive hassleblad film that is what do people think of that?

I think this gets us closer to the important bit.

"If I was buying an exhibition print..." If I am, I am doing so on the strength of what is in front of me. In so far as it is possible to 'see' the history of the print in it's imediate presentation I am not interested in how it was made, just how it is.

I think there is a common neurosis amongst many of us. I know it exists in me, that we want the 'best' kit because logic (and our neurosese) tell us that if we have the best gear, we will produce the best photograhs.

This is only true up to a point.

Think about when we see posts on here asking if some one should by lens X or lens Y. The decision is often based on which lens is 'better' but what is 'better' in this case? For some photographers it is genuinely vital that they produce images that are pin sharp edge to edge and have a lot of depth of field. To another photographer it is vital that colour reproduction is incredibly accurate. If you are photographing a red dress so the client can use the shot in a mail-order catalogue then the final print (in the catalogue) needs to be as close to the real thing as possible. The further away it is, the more returns they will have.

For most of us though that kind of accuracy is just not needed. When getting any bit of kit or software or printer or paper we need to think of the end product and reverse engineer the need from there.

Then we may often find that a 1.8 is fine over the much more costly 1.4 etc.

So it is with film. There are times when you just do not seem to be able to get the depth of tone or the tonal range from any other medium.

If you are keen on Victorian printing processes, then the darkroom is the only way to go to get the visible flakes of silver and gold into your print.

What I do not miss, is the migraines and the nasty fumes. The hours spent making a 16" x 12" that I then throw away as soon as it has dried.

Realy it is down to choice. Would I go back to the days of wet collodian glass plates and bopiling mercury in a fume cupboard etc.? No, I would not but I rejoice in the fact that a tool cupboard that used to hold 100 tools, now holds 500 and will not throw away the few that are duplicated.

Lets hear it for asphalt. Now THERE was a printing medium!!!!

Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy

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Andy_B

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 3:35pm

quoting post from mannybash:

This is getting closer to what i mean. If you wanted to buy an exhibition print would you want the feel of film or would the fact that you can do so many things with digital easily that you cannot do with film be enough? My photoshopping ability is no good but i am able to experiment with different looks in a way that i can't easily on film. I have been toying with the idea of buying a second hand inexpensive hassleblad film that is what do people think of that?

It IS possible to get the film look with digital.

A (very good and successful) pro fashion photographer I know showed me the work they'd done to scan multiple film emulsions in order to capture grain characteristics, which they then had photoshopped into their final (Hasselblad digital back) images. The results were stunning.

About the only thing I would use film for nowadays would be to get the unique low depth of field effects that only the larger formats can give you.

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mannybash

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 4:02pm

All i can say is that on one occasion i bought about 10 rolls of sensia 100 because someone else at my club was getting good blacks and whites from it. When i finished i tried kodachrome 64 again and realized what i had been missing. Had the prices of sony equipment not been about to rise i would probably have stuck with film and my A100 digital SLR as it is i have gone to the most part digital but do wish to take film occasionally and wonder what the difference would be

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Kenp

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RE: Image qiality Jan 31, 2011 4:10pm

As Felicity said, your definition of 'quality' is questionable. Do you mean ability to enlarge? Technical quality is largerly down to the lens on your camera (Nikon and Canon are first and foremost lens manufacturers. Camera bodies are a sideline).
The example below was taken on full frame Nikon D3. The image was cropped to a square, but the canvas was then enlarged to a width of 5846 pixels.
ISO 1000, f/5, 1/125s on a f/1.8 85mm lens.
From left to right- full image- partial enlargement-100% image.
For most people this would suffice. There is no pixelation or break up of the image and definition is quite good.



I have owned a 5x4 Linhof Technika for the past 35 years and these days I would only use it as a prop.


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Endeavour to Persevere!
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Matts_Brabus

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RE: Image qiality Feb 1, 2011 2:13pm

I have done a lot of test work with this..

Part of that is regular attendance at gallery launches. Most have been digital photographers, but one was pure 35mm film.

The guy in question has not made the move to digital, primarily because at 70 odd, he cant afford to. Where film is superior, is not always in the quality of the print, but moreso in the quality of the photographer. His landscapes were probably the best I have seen ( I bought two ), not because of the print quality, but because the knowledge that when he took the shot, he had to have virtually everything set up before hand. Its all too easy, especially with raw, to cock things up slightly then recover in LR/PS. Yes you can do that in the dark room but its

a) expensive to keep printing till it comes right

b) you cant see the image on the back of the camera and re take.

The technical side of my investigations have been done using 300mm lens and a pano head, then stitching the images together. Forgeting that any dSLR over 5mp will actually produce good poster sized prints if you take care when processing, the use of a good long range lens ( Zeiss in my case ) and stitched images will resolve far better than anything film wise, even if you manually stitch ( which can anyone do properly with film / paper? )

So quality wise, purely on the print level, I would say is dependent on how YOU process the image, then how you get it printed.

Not going to blow my own trumpet, as last time I did, I got shot down in a right fireball, but my landscapes are sold as 1 of 1, and sell they do. Not because they are of standard images, such as the Tyne Bridges, but because I take the time to ensure the processing is as close to perfect as it can be, and that I use a print house I trust implicitly not to cock up all my hard work. Given I spend probably 6 hours on working on a print, then I think they payback justifies that work.

Film? I love it, love the smell, love the darkroom magic, but no, I dont miss it, because with the camera, the Mac, the right software and the right print shop, I can get far better results than I ever could with film.



Matt

Striving for consistency

"In the words of the great E.C Cochran - Early to bed, early to rise , no jolly good if you don't advertise". G. Mainwaring, Cpt.

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eltigre

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RE: Image qiality Feb 1, 2011 4:31pm

None of the fine art photographers i work with film anymore. The last of the good old film users have moved over to the dark side.
Quite a few are pulling out the polaroids.

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 Razoir



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RE: Image qiality Feb 2, 2011 6:28am

quoting post from Matts_Brabus:

I can get far better results than I ever could with film.



Matt

Striving for consistency

"In the words of the great E.C Cochran - Early to bed, early to rise , no jolly good if you don't advertise". G. Mainwaring, Cpt.


Which is fine in isolation, Matt but does not address the fundamental issue as that might be that you are more skilled with digital than you were with film.

How we would resolve that question neutraly for any individual worker or group of workers is the crux of the problem.

I have banged on for years about the futility of shooting lens test charts and how irelevant getting "THE BEST" bit of kit is unless there is a real NEED for that gizmo because you can not achieve the desired result without it. Reverse engineer from the final product.... etc. ....

This question though might be the one that shows the value of lens test charts because it is the closest we will come to an objective comparison.

I think the important thing here is exemplified by the old chap using 35mm film coupled with Matt's sales experience.

People buy photographs because they like the picture. End off.

Sorry, folks, I do not have either the time or the patience for it.

Anyone out there with Asperger's Syndrome or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who can help out?

Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy

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Hansfpaul

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RE: Image qiality Dec 2, 2011 4:38am

Hi
For your pictures is not film camera necessery.
It's much more difficult to control film than chip.
Push pull-process, scaning, postproces. Both color and BW.
Not sure if you have money to buy digital back like ''phese one'' x 1000£
Well tha qaulity is still on film side
Rolleiflex 6006
Pentax 6x7MKII
Nikon Coolscan 9000 ED
And
good film processing.
And you are still couple of years ahead from digichip
x10 inch prints,depth, total control, better quality than street lab.






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Matts_Brabus

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RE: Image qiality Dec 2, 2011 4:50am

Here's one for you to ponder.

I shoot on a Full Frame A900. The biggest image I have sold was just over 3m wide.

Resolution of that image was good enough to read a car number plate at over a mile from me.

Print was done professionally, from a composite of 42 images created from shooting a generated panoramic image. Took a days worth of editing to create, but the client wanted the detail.

So, whats important? quality of the image or detail of the image? Is the natural grain you get with film more important than the ability to render an image with jaw dropping detail?

The argument for using medium / large format cameras just for printing BIG images is kind of a spurious one, as it all depends on how close the viewer is going to be to the final print. Look at a billboard, HUGE images that look great from the distance you view them at. Are they created with a large format film camera? No, in all probability not.

So take a look at the tools you already have, and look at what tools are out there you can work with with your current kit. You will be surprised what you can do if you think a little laterally.

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MattMiller

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RE: Image qiality Dec 2, 2011 5:05am

quoting post from  Razoir:

People buy photographs because they like the picture. End off.



Bingo! ... that exactly encapsulates the entire debate ... I dont think digital or film are superior to each other, they are just different, (mostly in the method) however when it comes to selling a print of a naked lady to the proles, from experiance quite frankly a compact digital camera or even a phone will produce the quality required.




Matt Miller Photography


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mannybash

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RE: Image qiality Dec 2, 2011 8:00am

Not quite sure the argument for digital was convenience, consistency and now better quality yet quite a number of years ago there was a technology for introducing formate ions into film. It was not proved at the time but if it worked would leav digital standing increasing the sensitivity 20 times. It was proved for B&W but not colour or maybe they didn't try wanting to sell more digital cameras? Who knows i don't know enough about chemistry to argue the case but it was mentioned in camera magazines

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mannybash

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RE: Image qiality Dec 2, 2011 8:02am

quoting post from Matts_Brabus:

Here's one for you to ponder.

I shoot on a Full Frame A900. The biggest image I have sold was just over 3m wide.

Resolution of that image was good enough to read a car number plate at over a mile from me.

Print was done professionally, from a composite of 42 images created from shooting a generated panoramic image. Took a days worth of editing to create, but the client wanted the detail.

So, whats important? quality of the image or detail of the image? Is the natural grain you get with film more important than the ability to render an image with jaw dropping detail?

The argument for using medium / large format cameras just for printing BIG images is kind of a spurious one, as it all depends on how close the viewer is going to be to the final print. Look at a billboard, HUGE images that look great from the distance you view them at. Are they created with a large format film camera? No, in all probability not.

So take a look at the tools you already have, and look at what tools are out there you can work with with your current kit. You will be surprised what you can do if you think a little laterally.


I also use a Sony A900 would be interested in knowing the size of the largestimage you sold from a single shot

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