35mm DSLR vs Medium Format scanned

alan

Member
Simon,

I am interested in what you say about Contax and Canon systems. You will remember that I bought your Vario-Sonar 75-300mms lens some 18 months ago. I found it to be a good performer and relatively compact. Unfortunately the autofocus has now failed, so it has gone back to Kyocera. Hopefully it will not be a big job, but it all takes time.

I am tempted to go for the Canon 1Ds. Apart from the weight and size of the body and size of the necessary lenses (for the full frame sensor) I am reluctant to pay £5-6,000 for a camera that will be worth £1,500 in 18 months. Olympus Zuiko lenses look very good and compact and I believe that the E1 body will be much improved within 6 months. Perhaps this might be the answer. One of your favourite camera shops was very scathing about all the current 35 mms digital cameras including the 1Ds yesterday. He seemed to know what he was talking about and tried to dissuade me from leaving the N1 system for the time being, saying that I would not notice improved quality. This certainly made me think again.

What I want is medium format film quality from a 35mms or sub-35mms camera. I thought that we were there with the 1Ds or even D10, but perhaps not. What do you think?

Alan
 

sclamb

Well-Known Member
What camera shop? Anyone who does not rate the 1Ds or 10D shouldn't be running a camera shop. They both represent superb quality at two price points and targeted at two sectors, pro and prosumer repsectively.

The E1 does look interesting but it is a new format, it needs to mature, get more bodies and lenses, more manufacturers coming to market with products and get accepted in the mainstream.

If you want MF quality then the Canon 1Ds delivers that in digital imaging. No, Canon L glass is not better than Zeiss, but it isn't so far away that it will make your toes curl and wish you hadn't bought a Canon lens.

As I said to someone in a private email, it is your money so spend it as you see fit. If it was my money, it would go on Canon. They have digital imaging technology sussed, they have massive R&D, they have market share and they have products out there now, not promises of new systems or new formats.

Simon
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Alan,

just to manage expectations here. 35mm will never achieve the quality of Medium Format, if you use with both system the same technology.

It is the same principle as with film. If you use a cheap film in MF and Fuji Velvia in 35mm, it is easy to outperform or be at least on par with MF. But if you use in both Velvia, MF will win easily.

A digital back is nothing else than a film. It is just the recording material. The size differences are still there, even with the smallest 4x4 digital backs for MF.

Also the price difference will be always there as in the past. You pay a multiple for a similar MF equipment to your 35mm equipment. As long as even a 35mm DSLR is so expensive (compared to film-SLR), with the multiple the MF gear is of course also still more expensive. The chip for Medium Format is not less expensive as the chip for 35mm.

MF Digibacks start at around 7.000.- Euro. Compared to a Canon 1Ds (in Europe) almost a bargain


And do not forget: Each digiback has a certain way of recording colours etc. Same as with film. A Digiback for MF can be exchanged easily with a film-back, if certain results are requested. You simply switch i.e. from Astia to Velvia. Try to do that with a digiback or with a 35mm DSLR. You have to buy a new one for that.

So there is a lot more to be considered before assuming a Canon 1Ds to be the same as Medium Format. But if MF was never your desired equipment in the past, it is unlikely that this will change in the future. But in this case, it is a waste of time to compare results of 35mm SLR with MF - you would not use the better alternative anyway.

Unfortunately you pay currently the price of Medium Format (analogue) equipment for a digital SLR and are stuck still with the smaller format. This will change in the future as prices are coming more down to realistic levels within the next 2 years. But that is true for both digital equipment, 35mm and MF


Just my 2 cents

(We can move this part of the thread into its own section if desired)
 

tessar_man

Active Member
Dirk,

I agree this is getting too much off topic. Partly my fault, when I started asking Simon why he left the N1 System after he had posted very encouraging N1 pictures and test shots with the N4/400. The N4/400 to me is the most interesting and (from a marketing point of view) "boldest" release in the N System (after I had rather unsatisfying results with Novoflex and Sigma 400 mm lenses on Contax/Yashica mount).

BTW, this is a great site! Very well organized. I recently moved here from the Contax List which was notorious for getting WAY off topic. Thanks for managing this site.
Jan
 

sclamb

Well-Known Member
Jan

Don't misundertand, the 400mm is an excellent lens. However, at £4,000 it is expensive for an f/4 lens, but that is Zeiss for you.

Simon
 

alan

Member
Hi Simon and Dirk,

Thank you both very much for the information. I do not think it is a good idea to quote the camera shop in this forum, but it is the one where Simon bough his N1 equipment and it was disheartening to hear their views on digital SLRs especially as they sell a large number.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear when comparing formats. What I should like would be the quality obtained by an MF camera using Fuji Provia which is then scanned and further processed digitally, in a digital SLR. According to several workers this is now possible with the 1Ds and maybe D10. If this is indeed the case, then I may be able to achieve a significant quality increase on the N1. I find that on enlargements above A3 plus, I cannot get critical sharpness. Perhaps I am expecting too much, but I have seen some wonderful 30"x45" prints recently made from film in a Fuji MF camera!

Alan
 

scheberies

Active Member
Hercules,

Not on your life.

A quality drum scan on a 35 mm slide will produce an file of 96 meg. or about 10 times the canon D10.

Mark
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
"Canon D10 will beat ANY mediumformat camera on the best film, Provia 100F. One of the major reasons is grain."

This is obviously a troll, as it is simply a foolish statement.

Austin
 

glarson

Active Member
Hercules,

Your statement is kind of without base, or it is dependent on how you use your 10D, or you are an inexperienced photographer. Image quality is in the eyes of the beholder (Read "The Tao of Photography"). It really depends on what kind of job you are working on. I own a Canon 10D with all Canon's fastest prime lenses (15/2.8, 24/1.4, 35/1.4,50 /1.4, 85/1.2, 100/2.8, 135/2.0, 200/2.8, and 1.4x telecon), a Contax ND with a 50/1.4 and NAM-1, a Contax 645 with all lenses, a Contax G2 with all lenses, a Contaflex S w/50 2.8 and a Contaflex BC w/ 50/2.8. When I need to work fast I use the ND first and the 10D second (for quality) but for superior quality where portability isn't an issue I use the 645 w/220 vaccum backs and for portability/quality film combo I use the G2. The G2 is always over my shoulder film or digital and frankly it is one of the best/most flexible cameras I have ever owned bar none (and if Kyocera would make a digital G2 body I would probably fight to get in line first). I will put my 645 against my 10D any day (for grain and lots of other reasons) and I believe the 645 wins hands down even with NPC 160 or Provia 100F versus the 10D at 100 ISO. But this is based on my judgement based on how I use my photographic tools. I wouldn't need Neat Image and FocalBlade if the 10D had no grain. Image quality is the exact reason many photographers are not completely digital on the front end. We can't manage the front end in a manner that beats film yet. Besides, I have many clients that want my digital images to look like grainy film. It all comes down to the end use and the output the artist wants.
 
Gee, sorry I forgot to mention I read a test. They used Provia 100F and a Canon 10D. The film was scanned but the digital SLR was a clear winner in my eyes and the tester. Can't find that link again.

Resolution was better and grain in Provia 100F was very bothersome when compared. It even had black dots spread all over.

This is not a troll.

I can however agree that digital images look too sharp. After all your eye can't even grab a scenery with that sharpness in one glance but when you put it on screen or print it's "too much". Your eyes can only see a sharp "dot" the rest of your viewfild is unsharp, difficult to understand but true.
 
A quality drum scan on a 35 mm slide will produce an file of 96 meg. or about 10 times the canon D10.

--

So? There is 10 times as much grain. You have to understand what information is. The fact that there is 10 times more information doesn't mean it's meaningful for a human eye and brain.

Unplug your printer when it's printing and plug back.. Will you get a new novel never written on the papers?
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi Herc,

"This is not a troll."

It *really* has to be. It's like saying your VW Beetle with a 20HP engine can outrun my 993 Turbo Porsche...unless something is simply drastically wrong with my car (or the images you've seen), it just isn't physically possible.

I have first hand experience with many digital 35mmDSLRs and none of them beat my MF, especially when your staple of digital comparison is the Canon 10D, which only has a 6M pixel sensor.

The Canon 1Ds and the newer Kodak 14M pixel camera are quite good, but still, don't "beat" ANY MF camera, as you claim.

Austin
 
N

nomed

I agree with Austin's comments. In addition to my Contax gear, I also own a Canon 6.3 megapixel camera and Epson 1280 printer. I am satisfied with the digital camera images when the original files are sufficiently large, properly manipulated and printed on high quality paper at sizes up to about 13 X 19. They do not, however, (in my opinion) rival a good scan from a 35mm slide on my Minolta film scanner. They most certainly do not rival MF, especially when enlarged beyond a certain point. I think the real issue here is how big you intend on making your prints. If you are only printing small sizes, the extra resolution possible with MF will probably not really be visible at smaller sizes. Rob
 
Ok, not the canon 10D I mean the one with 11M pixel. I read the test so... I can't understand how a 645 can remove all that grain. Take a picture of a metallic surface and compare. All that smooth metallic surface is washed away with film. Can't remember the link maybe it was
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albert4321

Well-Known Member
To me, the general potential problem of digital images is skin tone and hi-light. Although One can claims that you can fix everything in Photoshop.

I don't own a 1Ds but ND, N1 and C645. I used the 10D few times and it never impresses me even with the low price point. For quality, my first choice is 645, then N1, then ND. I scan all the images from a pro lab, no dust, no dots, simply beautiful. The ND is quite good in Raw mode if you do it right, but dSLR is lack of the latitude of films. Digital image offers no grain, so what, it has a lot of down side. I am sure one day dSLR will out perform medium format film camera. But not the 10D in any standard.

There are all kind of test results out there, which usually is biased or just prove one point but may miss a lot of other issues of the subject.
What it comes down to is your own requirement, experience and own taste.
 

saspencr

Well-Known Member
Ok, I have to comment on this ...

"Ok, not the canon 10D I mean the one with 11M pixel. I read the test so... "

It is obvious that you have had no personal experience with either camera, nor the possibilities of its files or access to a MF negative to compare. In earlier posts you made it sound like your comments were your own, however, they are other people's observations, not your own and as such, you should make that clear.
 

bjornsor

Member
It's ridiculous to to compare a scanned analog film with a digital taken picture to judge film vs digital. What you do is compare the scanner vs digital camera. The film is of course much better than digital when it comes to resolution and color. If you test film vs digital the scanner should be at least as good as the film. I have not heard of a scanner that good. And it's posible to remove grain effects from scanned film (ICE GEM). I love film and hope I can use film many years to come. What digital is "is good enough" for many situations but no way as good as film. (I wonder how many 100 years old digital pictures there will be 100 years from now if it's not printed analog, but that's another question)
 
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