#21  
Old 11-11-2005, 03:09 PM
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One very very important difference re digital v film not mentioned yet - is with film you really need really DARK skies to image from - of course you all know what is achievable from a normal suburban situ with digital with lp gradient removal- and i think that is the Clincher really - and the conveniance factor as well as mentioned - and the sensitivty .. oooo betta shutup now
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  #22  
Old 11-11-2005, 03:19 PM
jdb
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Given ceteris paribus, Film will produce MUCH better results than digital...

That is - same equipment, except for cameras (of course) and without ANY processing...same exposure time, field, etc...

Really, no need to call people "mad", joking or not...

How inconvenient is it to sit around for hours digitally processing your images?

I agree though (as I said before) digital is the way of the future...the point of this thread is to have a debate, not a slanging match.
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  #23  
Old 11-11-2005, 04:04 PM
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as some of you know l am still persisting with film photography and although the frustration level isn't subsiding the results are getting better. for those that want great or at least good pictures straight away then digital is the way to go, l hope he dosen't mind me saying this but l am sure that Striker ( only an example )will agree that his new 20Da is mainly responsible for his great shots along with the mountains of processing software available, ( l'm sure his natural ability will come out in time ),this said l must say that l love his and everybody elses shots in digital format, what l like about film is that if l want to capture a shot as l see it l have to work with the equipment l have to achieve proper focus, work out exposure times etc without the benefit of post shot software, taking nothing away from the guys with digital cameras because l love the images, l just look at film as a bit of a challenge and when l do turn to digital l am sure there will be new challenges there as well.
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  #24  
Old 11-11-2005, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb
Given ceteris paribus, Film will produce MUCH better results than digital...
Is this true? If it is, then I'm not getting a DSLR, and I'll stick with film and my old Praktica. Also, one can always scan the images off a film (or have them scanned at a shop) to do digital post-processing.

I have 0 experience with DSLRs but have been thinking about getting one for a while, so I am keeping a very close eye on this thread.

Keep the real info coming guys and girls.
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  #25  
Old 11-11-2005, 05:10 PM
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That is genuinely a great story Mick Pinner - good to hear that film is not dead and buried.

janoskiss - my point is only valid if you take out the processing that is essential with digital camera images.

I also made the point that film is harder to master than digital with astrophotography...I certainly wouldn't discourage you from buying a DSLR.

Last edited by jdb; 11-11-2005 at 05:21 PM. Reason: typo and redundant point
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  #26  
Old 11-11-2005, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janoskiss
Is this true? If it is, then I'm not getting a DSLR, and I'll stick with film and my old Praktica. Also, one can always scan the images off a film (or have them scanned at a shop) to do digital post-processing.
Just dont get the glossy prints, and or touch the image surface if your going
to scan them. Some shops will do prints as well as give them on CD.

regards,CS
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  #27  
Old 11-11-2005, 06:24 PM
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There seems to be no mention of the superior Ha sensitivity of film over unmodified DSLRs. To me that appears to be an advantage to film for DSO work...
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  #28  
Old 11-11-2005, 08:10 PM
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The debate has stayed on astrophotography - i'd be interested in hearing sides for non-astro work.
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  #29  
Old 11-11-2005, 09:50 PM
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Film has only one advantage that I can think of, other than startup price. The ease of taking long exposure star trails. I used to take 9 hour exposures of the south celestial pole and other trails on slow film and they came out great. Now I know it's possible on digital but last time I checked it was a LOT of mucking about to do it. Not to mention the truck battery to keep the camera running all night. Or has it become easier these days?
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  #30  
Old 11-11-2005, 10:16 PM
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Here is someone, Roger N. Clark,who has carefully looked at the performance of film versus digital quantitatively.It is heavy going.But he has put up two diagrams see fig1 and fig2 on this page.
http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/f....summary1.html
His conclusion is clear.
I started work at Kodak Research Laboratories in 1968 and have used many film cameras since then.I now use a Canon 20D and would really like a modified 20D or even a modified 5D.My Minolta 35mm is gathering dust in drawer.

Bert
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  #31  
Old 11-11-2005, 10:49 PM
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Thanks for that Bert, that's a great site. I've seen these pages before but I couldn't find them when this thread came up. The output vs input intensity graph tells the story really well especially for astrophotographers. The 1D really shines at low light levels, but even the best film is plagued with poor signal-to-noise.

Check out the links too. There are examples with actual photos and extreme close-ups. And the pages on medium and large formats. You'd need 50 and 240 megapixels, respectively, to compete with the best film has to offer in these formats!

Last edited by janoskiss; 11-11-2005 at 10:57 PM. Reason: I saw the example photos on the site
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  #32  
Old 11-11-2005, 11:42 PM
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Here is another very informative page with lots of examples covering the full range from 1 megaixels up (and film equivalents):

http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/scandetail.html

Illustrates how much detail you can see at different resolutions and how the different film formats compare. The "master" picture is a 4x5 (large format) FILM image, equivalent to 200 megapix!
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  #33  
Old 12-11-2005, 07:47 PM
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Hasn't this debate already been done to death all over the internet without any clear "winner"? Well, here are some of my thoughts anyway.....

For astrophotography it seems that digital has obvious advantages.

For most normal photography I use 35mm Fuji Velvia 50, and scan the film at 22MP (with minimal grain showing) and then get any enlargements from there. It costs me 55cents/picture for the film and developing. I don't think that's expensive at all when factoring in the cost of enlargements, framing, the equipment and the time and effort taken to get the shot.

Velvia 50 is a fantastic slide film with great colour and fine grain, but it is not going to be available next year, but it's replacement Velvia 100 is already available (-Fuji still develop new types of film) which is said to be finer grain, more colour accurate and obviously faster. I'd put 35mm Velvia up against any 12MP (and probably more) DSLR with great confidence of producing an image superior in every way.

Just yesterday I was looking at a photo I took in 1997 on Kodak Gold 400 print film. I've since had it blown up to 30" x 20", framed it and sold it. On close inspection there is a bit of grain showing, but not much, and totally invisible from a normal viewing distance. The overall image quality was quite good and Iíve had an offer from someone that wants to buy an identical one. Gold 400 is a bad film that doesn't compare to any pro film, but it still produced acceptable results at this large size. It would take a pretty reasonable DSLR to produce that size image.

From my experience of scanning negatives and slides I think average print films like Kodak Gold 100 and Kodak High Definition 200 will match entry level DSLR's with ease. I've done enlargements from a number of different film types without grain showing.

My next camera will be a Nikon D200 (10MP) when they become available at the end of the year. I don't expect it to out do good film under normal conditions, (itíll be close) but I do expect it to be better than film at high ISO. It's faster focussing than my current camera and does more FPS, that's why I'm getting one for action and low light shots and also for astrophoto's.

One of the main limiting factors on any camera is the quality of lens being used. Lots of people seem to focus more on buying the expensive camera body and then not buying a decent lens for it. Too often I see people with a great camera body only to attach a cheap and nasty zoom lens on the front of it. It doesn't matter whether you've got a film or digital camera then, the pictures will suffer.

Before someone jumps in and says "all the pro's use DSLR's", which is fairly true apart from a few magazine sports photographers etc, I must say that all serious landscape photography is done on at least medium format or bigger. Virtually the only professional use for DSLR's (what 35mm was used for) is for newspapers and magazines where quality and making enlargements isn't a major concern. There isn't any DSLR that rivalís large or even medium format, and if youíre serious that's what you'll use. Some photography magazines accept nothing less than medium format for publishing; no digital camera is up to their standard yet. I'll move on to medium format when my skill level makes it worthwhile.

Film is not about to die, especially medium and large format. The proof in that is totally obsolete movie film such as Kodachrome Super 8 is still being made, so I'd reckon 35mm will be around for many years to come.

This is just my opinion from experience Iíve had from working with film. Iíd suggest everybody make up their own mind on which format suits their needs. Also be careful of some of the so called tests and comparisons on the net, some of them are pretty bad, especially the ones sponsored by digital camera shops!
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  #34  
Old 12-11-2005, 08:13 PM
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Thanks for your very informative post Jonathan. I read it with keen interest.
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  #35  
Old 12-11-2005, 09:13 PM
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Jonathan you are correct!No DSLR or film camera can produce superb images without a very good lens and someone good behind the camera.

Film is dead!

Kodachrome has 24 layers of various sensitised and filter thingos.When I worked at Kodak it took us two passes to produce Kodachrome.The factory in Rochester did it in one pass!

That is why I spend my money on the best lenses.

My Canon 20D beats anything I have ever used!Ok if you want very large format it cannot!But I can stitch many frames together for scenic views.I had a Blad it was junk.Hard to operate bulky,no wonder the Astronauts left theirs on the Moon!
Bert

Thingos: ask me it is a Kodak secret!
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  #36  
Old 13-11-2005, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan
One of the main limiting factors on any camera is the quality of lens being used. Lots of people seem to focus more on buying the expensive camera body and then not buying a decent lens for it. Too often I see people with a great camera body only to attach a cheap and nasty zoom lens on the front of it. It doesn't matter whether you've got a film or digital camera then, the pictures will suffer.
So so true Jonathon - this is what matters the most! not the medium!
I feel that it should be re-mentioned that FUN is the name of the game - and if you have fun with film than whats wrong with that?
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  #37  
Old 13-11-2005, 07:18 PM
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Yep, I have spent 7k on my three lenses for my D70. Good pro lenses make the difference. Even then you still be plenty of ordinary images.

I don't agree with what most people have said here, but each to their own. Incidently I frequently am able to enlarge images made with my D70 to 1200mm x 900mm. In fact some of those images are for my an exhibition (non astro)I am involved in next year. No grain evident. Must be me. You have to shoot in Raw though.

This is a debate that will never be resolved. Fairly pointless. I once used film a lot. Now never, its been a major hobby since I was 14. Now 41, I think digital is a major revolution in photography. Some of the best landscape guys I know use digital. Not many use film now. Only the old timers. Good luck to them.

Like I said each to their own. Do what makes you feel good.
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  #38  
Old 15-11-2005, 05:58 PM
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I still think there has to be a clear winner...!
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  #39  
Old 15-11-2005, 06:03 PM
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I don't believe so. It's a bit like asking for a clear winner between refractors and reflectors.
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  #40  
Old 16-11-2005, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb
I still think there has to be a clear winner...!
They're both winners! It all depends on which one best suits what you want to do.

In my opinion film wins when it comes to absolute quality. A 4x5 large format camera (you can get much bigger!) for landscapes etc will easily produce over 100 flawless mega pixels and is cheaper than many DSLR's.

From an amateur point of view I think 35mm film is a better choice over a DSLR for many people, but it's a fine line. I only say that because the starting prices of DSLR's that match good 35mm film for image quality are so much higher than a 35mm SLR. But if the volume of work being done is high enough it can justify the expense of a DSLR, but the initial cost is still heaps more, but itís getting cheaper all the time.

For the convenience factor, digital wins. Immediate feedback, no film to develop and taking a bad picture costs nothing.

I believe that there is no real overall winner in "film v digital", the real winner is the camera manufacturers, retailers and their marketing teams. They have managed to get almost everybody to drop their 35mm cameras in favour of what is often a less capable digital camera of some sort. My mum is a classic example of this. She has a Pentax 35mm SLR with auto everything, but she only ever used it when she was away on holidays a few times a year. Then she decided getting a digital camera that was less capable than her SLR was a good idea. It gets virtually no use - just like her Pentax. So what she should have done is used the camera she already had and not worried about the digi cam, it would have been the same as taking the next thousand photo's for free! The winner there is the camera retailer; they sold a camera that was never needed.

Above all, use what youíve got and make up your own mind if itís good enough for what you want to do!
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