G2 Newbies Observations

keoj

Active Member
Excuse the indulgence of this thread but I just received my G2 in the mail last night and wanted to do a quick thread on initial early user observations. Hopefully, this will help those others that are thinking about getting a G2. I encourage other relatively fresh users to join in.

Quick backround: I have been a Contax SLR owner for 20+ years. I am NOT a professional photographer but can identify one by his/her work when I see one. My own work is lacking in many dimensions which is the reason that I find this forum excellent. People seem (for the most part) to go out of their way to offer solid help and confirmation to problems that others are observing. I also have a digital camera (a much loved Sony for those instant feedback needs.....yup, I bought it because it had a Zeiss lens and it has not disappointed me).

I purchased the G2 for several reasons: 1)I wanted a new challenge. I've heard that this camera is a different animal with a learning curve. I want to learn a new tool. To be blunt, G2 owners seem to be a pretty passionate bunch and that stands on its own to me. 2)I want to spend less time thinking about a pile of gear and how to get it from point A to B without sacrificing negative quality that I've come to expect. 3) Value for the money. Just to be crass, the rebates that Contax are offering are too good to pass up. The value proposition (I hate using that term but its accurate in this case) of this camera relative to other rangefinders/P&S's is too good.

I am a manual focus fan so getting this camera was quite the departure for me. Mid-life crisis (my rebellious nature) or maturity about being open mindeded....not sure yet.

Onto the thread:
- Received the G2/45/200 last night.
- The camera drips quality. I'm an engineer and understand the subtle aspects of exhaustive design. This camera team did an excellent job. The fit,finish and form are a cut above what you see these days. Control layout looks okay but more comments after a roll or two. First impressions substantiate what others have said about camera being solid. The RX/RTSIII are built like small tanks, the design team for the G2 built what looks to be a different type of tank. Again first impressions.

The lens (and I'm sure that I'll get the 90 next) is what I was expecting. Excellent design. Again, after a roll or two, I'll offer more substantial comments. One observation about how stupid I am....open the lens and the f stop positioning was all off until I mated it onto the camera. It through me for a loop for a moment.

The manual is where I'm at right now. All the talk that I've seen about going through the manual carefully is right on target. A couple of the sequences or when focus occurs and what happens after a shot has occurred are very important. I'm starting to see where the learning curve exists on this camera. It seems that the CH/CL and AF options are all key to understand. Also, the suggestions and limits of the AF (such as repeating patterns, not using a horizontal horizon for AF, or beware of high glare points) are really key as well. These limits look okay (limitations exist for any camera). The quality of the manual is pretty good but again, I'm reading it very carefully before I start. This is pretty atypical for me....I usually one of those guys who gets a motherboard, puts a computer together, and spends a couple of hours (or more) trying to trace the subtlety of where I went wrong. READ THE MANUAL.

Okay, slide film is in the camera. Off to take a couple of shots to understand this AF thing. I'll be taking a lot of pics of walls, sticks in fields, bracketing, etc. I'm quite interested in learning what the weighting is on the meter.

keoj
 
C

charlesh

Enjoy the camera. Provia 100F is a delight to use with this camera. I have the 45/2 and 90/2.8 lenses for my street photography and couldn't be happier.
 
F

fastfashn

I just bought a "almost NIB" 167MT on Ebay for $215! I want to thank the digital camera buyers in the world for driving down prices on film cameras. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

I've been looking at one of these things for years, and since my FR II died (and I still have several lenses) I've been looking for this body at a good price.

So, now I've got my G1 with 35, 45 and 90mm lenses, and a Contax body (assuming it arrives in good shape) for my Yashica 28mm, 50mm and telephoto lens.

Wooo hoo! Bounce bounce bounce.

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4 8550&rd=1
 

erichard44

Active Member
> It looks like I made the mistake this time.

Anyway, are we G2, etc., film users just stubborn or misguided? I intend to buy a digital camera at some point, but I am puzzled at the way amateurs and the camera companies have abandoned film.

Film yields perfectly acceptable images.

My wife has actually decided that she prefers her film p&s camera for general use, compared to the digital, which she saves for pictures she knows in advance that she intends to email. She is very up to date on computers, and spends a good deal of time working on one, and I know that among other reasons is her lack of desire to spend her spare time in front of a monitor.

Some time ago I bought a Canon A-1 to have as a basis SLR for when I wanted one. At the time used Contaxes seemed expensive.

The 167 looks like a very handsome (almost new) machine. Congratulations

Richard >
 

gjames52

Well-Known Member
<Anyway, are we G2, etc., film users just stubborn or misguided? I intend to buy a digital camera at some point, but I am puzzled at the way amateurs and the camera companies have abandoned film.>

No, film is excellent format for making photographs. The method I prefer. Others have chosen digital. I hope it doesn’t become an either or proposition. Or worse yet overtake film as VCR did Betamax another favorite of mine. I do fear that digital is here to stay as it offers many diverse applications e.g. business, (film industry) movie making, industry, government, commercial, and personal. I hope there will be enough film users to keep the film companies in business and keep film at an affordable cost. So please do your part and follow the Kodak adage shoot shoot shoot! (I believe it is theirs)

Regards

Gilbert
 

robgo2

Active Member
In the face of a virtual hurricane of marketing hype about digital photography, it takes a person who is secure in himself to stand firm and continue using a familiar format that he knows can produce outstanding results. There are fewer such people everyday, but most G users fit that mold. Although digital photography has many wonderful features, its ability to surpass the image quality of high quality film behind Zeiss glass is questionable at this time.
 
F

fastfashn

I'm sure I can take good pix with a digicam (and I bought a digicam), it just feels, I dunno, uncomfortable.

I love my film cameras, the digicams are just trying too hard.

-Dana
 

brian304

Member
> Funny timing this thread. I had a Canon 10D with nice L glass. I > also had a Fuji 645ZI. I took both on a trip to Sedona, AZ. The 4x6 > 645 shots are of course very nice, smooth and sharp. I used Kodak 160 > Portra UC IIRC. The biggest problem with the 10D was blowing out the > white clouds all the time. For grabbing a shot of the kids or a macro > shot the 10D was great. ok next chapter. I sell the 10D to get a > nicer digital camera. BUT get derailed by this Contax G2 and its > lenses. While I wait for Contax days next week at the store in town, > I decide to buy a dig point and shoot, dunno why I guess I thought it > would produce a nice image and be convenient. I have an old 50mm > Nikon and f3, I loaded it with Fuji 800 press and shot the exact same > shots with the point and shoot as Fuji press. WOW. The point and > shoot at iso 50 maybe is as nice as the 800 fuji. And all I did was > drop the film off, pick it up all scanned and printed. Import the > ones I want to see on my computer for later viewing. Oh yeah and I > have rich smooth sharp prints to look at right away. Anyway why am I > writing this? I think it will take an 8-10 megapixel Foveon type full > 35mm frame sensor with large pixels and low noise to get close to > film. If you check out the Sigma cameras on the net and what they > produce noise wise at iso 400 I think it will be a while. just my 2 > centavos.... ;-] thanks for listening. Brian
 

derekstanton

Well-Known Member
This has become another digital versus film discussion, hasn't it?

It's peculiar the recent sentiments being expressed here, that film results are better than digital. My experience has been the opposite. I have achieved 'sharper' and more accurate images with digital than with film. Those experiences are relative to a D60 and various 35mm and MF systems, including Pentax 67, Mamiya 67, Rolleiflex and Hasselblad.

Haven't you guys seen the Luminous Landscape shootout?

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Seems, on almost every front, the 1Ds image is 'superiour.' And, this is against a 6x7 neg, not a puny 35mm neg. Based on this kind of 'evidence,' i would find it very difficult to justify shooting colour images on film. My problem with digital so far is that there has been no satisfactory means of emulating classic b+w film emulsions/grain patterns. Simply, i still love Tri-X. Which is why i'll be buying a Pentax 67II. But, if Canon comes up with a DSLR with a full-frame sensor for under 5 grand, i'll be there....
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi Derek,

> I have achieved 'sharper' and more accurate images with digital than > with film.

I agree with sharper (and sharpness does NOT mean accuracy, BTW), but more accurate...what exactly do you mean by "accurate"? A two pixel digital camera is sharp...but has little information, so sharpness is an erroneous measure of "accuracy".

> Haven't you guys seen the Luminous Landscape shootout? > >
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Well, those tests are fraught with "issues", as is quite a bit of the information on that web site. I have attempted to correct some of it, but the owner of it appears to have an agenda, and a very biased agenda at that...I could explain more, but would prefer not to here...but suffice to say, take anything you read on that web site with a large grain of salt.

Regards,

Austin
 

brian304

Member
> No not a film digital but for me it was a realization that they both > have their place. For instance, under low light grade school or high > school indoor sports, you can get away without using a flash. I like > that, less for something to go wrong. Me thinks like with many other > facets of life the instant gratification of digital is winning over > lots of consumers.
 
M

mikel

Derek,

It's my personal opinion that a lot of Reichmann's reviews and "tests" are very biased and scientifically flawed. Do you realize the guy worked as a salesman in photo industry?

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Quote:
"In the mid-70's he shifted to the business side of photography and worked for several major Canadian equipment distributors. He was a product and sales manager for several brands of professional photographic and video products. During that time he also taught view-camera technique at community colleges in the Toronto area."

"In the early 1980's Reichmann left behind an active role in professional photography and worked as a senior executive and entrepreneur in the computer software and telecommunication industries."

Also, I commented on a similar issue earlier, but to make it short and easy, the whole idea of comparing quality of digital vs. quality of film by SCANNING film is totally flawed! You want to judge the real resolution of film? Take microscope. Not a scanner. Not even a $10,000 "drum" desktop scanner (no, Imacon is not a drum scanner. Their marketing reps can get blue in their face, but it won't make their scanner a DRUM scanner). Technically, not even any scanner is a right way to judge true resolving power of film.

Besides, I really love this part:
"The most obvious difference (other than the overall colour balance — which we ignored), is that the 1Ds print shows more detail. In other words it has higher resolution"

Yeah, right, colour is not important. Not at all. Who cares if the skin of your bride shows green? The important part is - there is more detail as evident by the flawed comparison!
))

And then the resolution again! How about microscope, for crying out loud?

Another problem is "test" itself. He is shooting modern buildings! Lots of straight lines, perfect target for camera's firmware to work on improving the lines - good job Canon, your anti-aliasing algorithm works!

Besides, how can you judge the quality of image by looking at it on your monitor?

So, you must take his word on its face value, right? WOuld you do that when buying a used car?
Or suppose you did have a chance to look at the actual inkjet prints. Then, oops, INKJET prints! Not even traditional print vs. inkjet print!

Another few lovely snippets:
"So I contacted one of the best drum scanning experts in the U.S.A. and had him produce the highest quality drum scan possible. This one frame scan alone costs $300."
"The scan was done by a high-end scanning lab on an optically modified Isomet 405HR at RES 210"

Who is that mysterious anonymous expert? And what's this "optically modified" super-duper Isomet scanner that is not even available and purportedly *could* go up to 12500dpi, while being actually used at 5334PPI

( Check this one out -
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)

Besides, as a side comment. You want a truly good drum or hi-res flatbed scan? Heidelberg, Fuji and Scitex are your ONLY good options.

Last one, typical sales pitch:
"Goodbye film. Goodbye medium format."


Goodbye Luminous-Landscape


Mike.
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi Mike,

> It's my personal opinion that a lot of Reichmann's reviews and "tests" > are very biased and scientifically flawed. Do you realize the guy > worked as a salesman in photo industry?

My understanding is, he's a guy who made some money as a programmer (which does not make him an engineer, BTW), and has now become a self proclaimed digital expert... That's it. He has no credentials to be an expert in digital photography, much less photography. His photography isn't that good, IMO, and he clearly isn't a scientist, as his testing has no basis in science...and he apparently doesn't even understand science/engineering.

Whenever challenged, he pouts and takes his marbles and goes home. That is why he doesn't participate in any forums, and when he did, he was "eaten alive" because he couldn't answer to legitimate challenges.

Regards,

Austin
 
M

mikel

Austin,

Well, his "biography" says he was "senior executive", which usually means pencil pusher. I don't think he was ever a programmer. He doesn't seem to be cut for coding work.

With the rest of what you say I agree.

And I really like this expression:

> Whenever challenged, he pouts and takes his
> marbles and goes home

That's a cool one, didn't hear it before. Made me smile.

Mike.
 

derekstanton

Well-Known Member
Mike,
I'm not here to argue the merits of Reichman's article. Obviously, one can find/make dispute with any 'technical' findings, by anyone. But, simply put, his report does 'jive' with my own experience. And, the foundation of my post WAS my experience, as limited as that may be.

Either way, Reichman still does shoot film, so the statement "goodbye film" should probably just be considered journalistic editorialism/dramatic whatsit. I don't take every word of anything i read as gospel - anything written is written with some manner of bias. I read, and i take what i want from material. The reference to that "shootout" was just that - a reference, for further discussion, since what had been written here had been without visual representation.

Austin asked for clarification of my comments. My response was not relative to 2mp cameras. If we're talking about film versus digital, the playing field should be evened as best possible. I would only compare 'full-sized' sensors, of DSLRs or digital backs to drum scans of 35mm/MF film. And, to backtrack, i'm not saying i have done any tests that might be considered 'clinical.' All that i am saying is that images i have made with a D60 are 'sharper' than any i made with the 6x4.5, 6x6, or 6x7 equipment i had. Granted, i never made prints larger than 13x19 with either. But, i have seen these images at high magnification on screen, which is where i edit. To be specific, the pictures i was making are fashion and portraiture, and nothing i ever shoot gets printed 'straight.'

Austin, when i said that i felt digital is more accurate colour-wise, i was specifically speaking of the white-balance issue, versus trying to achieve accurate colour temperature matches with various film emulsions.

I'm not saying digital is 'better' than film. I think it is cleaner than film, both visually, and as a process. Problems i encounter with film are due to process. Film flatness issues with MF, developing, and then scanning (with its own flatness concerns).... Whereas digital is a direct, pure process. That said, what i often prefer in film is the 'dirt' and analog noise. Tri-X is a 'dirty' aesthetic, and therein lies most of its character. I would have no problems shooting digital for colour, but can't see using it for b+w. But, that's only me. If you want evidence that it can be done, look at
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. Mark used to shoot Hasselblad, but has (completely?) switched to the 1Ds. If you'd like further evidence that digital works for commercial purposes, look at the top names in fashion. Steven Meisel, Melvin Sokolsky and Annie Leibovitz are shooting digital, and you can be assured that they are convinced that there is no deficiency in the output.

Mike, i don't really care about how Reichman qualifies his reviews. In fact, i didn't even read the parts that you seem to doubt (who is the scanning expert / which scanner / subject matter: buildings / etc.). That's the kind of stuff i ignore, because they aren't relevant to me, and i have no way of verifying any of it. That, though, doesn't disqualify any of what's written. I also don't care if the man was employed by the photographic industry. I'm still not sure how that disqualifies him as a 'reviewer.' Who devotes so much time to reviewing gear and ISN'T in the industry in some capacity? Everyone has a 'spin,' including you and me.

Lastly, it should certainly be said: I am no expert. I only know why i have made the decisions i have made.

Regards to all,
Derek
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M

mikel

Derek,

You make your own decisions. That's your G-d given right. However, since you referenced a certain article (that happens to be full of hype and no real value), I thought it necessary to point that out. Not only for you, but also to other readers of this forum that may take that "test" review at its face value and thus being misled into reaching a wrong conclusion.

It's like prescribing rejuvenating foot cream to someone suffering from myopia based on some "research" of luminous-landscape's quality! Junk science, that's what it is!

Knowing a phony "test" or "research" from a real one is very important.

And, you're mentioning the drum scanner again!
Use MICROSCOPE to judge film's sharpness!


"Knowledge is power".

Mike.

P.S. By the way, I disagree about the spin. I don't remember a single instance when Reichmann has agreed that he is wrong on anything. The man is always right you see! That was the point that Austin made as well.
 

derekstanton

Well-Known Member
Mike,
You've turned this into a crusade against Reichman, and in doing so have missed the point. Luminous Landscape is hardly my guide or bible, and the link reference only echoed what i have seen from my own images and those of others who have embraced digital. As i said before, i barely skimmed any of the 'hype,' as you assert, and primarily focused on the s&le image enlargements. Without regard to your (or my own) objections to any of the other claims, those enlargements are perfectly in keeping with what i have seen/done myself. THIS is what i was pointing at. If you have issue with those s&les and are claiming that M.R. manipulated/contrived the results toward his own biases, well, you're welcome to make such accusations, but then you might want to be prepared to demonstrate how those results are false. ["Show your work," as they said in math class.] The so-called "junk science," at least the part i was paying attention to, isn't so much junk after all.

And, no, you're the one who brought up drum scanning initially. If i do make reference to it, it's because that is the real-world test in imaging, when published images are the requirement. A microscope has no relevance except perhaps an academic one. Besides, you'd have a difficult time even getting two people to agree on a definition - or, more relevant, perception - of sharpness. And what's a microscope going to tell you if you can only use it on one half of media under consideration?

I'm not interested in how Reichman disagrees with you, and how you can't convince him to see your side. [Who else online DOES "agree that he is wrong on anything?"] If you are interested in proclaiming yourself an authority, or feel the need to challenge others, publish your own site/results.

But, back to the point, and away from name-calling.... How do your results differ? Aside from your obvious distaste for Luminous Landscape, what's eating you about my comments that: 1. My digital pictures are sharper than my film images, and; 2. I still prefer film.
 
P

paul_drouillard

>Me thinks like with many other facets of life the instant gratification >of digital is winning over > lots of consumers.

One of my gut fears stems from instant gratification. As human nature would have it I believe that instant gratification breeds boredom and lack of respect for any subject. Why else would our parents tell us to keep our pants on, play hard to get etc. :) I suspect the life long loves and passions for photography will dwindle in our modern day "instant gratification" world because instant gratification robs us of the anxiety and surprise of seeing our results. This along with the chemical process fuels the feeling of photography as being magical. I own and operate a commercial lab and still thrill at seeing my latest results for the first time. I have an expensive digital printer, but chances are, you'll find me in the B&W darkroom on the weekend.

There is no doubt that digital has it's time, place and use but it lacks a certain spiritual connection that's hard to put into words. Without the feeling of magic, photography seems to lose the allure that is capable of captivating our sense of attention and imagination for so many years.

I consider myself fortunate that I pick up my camera for love and not for a living. If the opposite were the case, then I'd probably see it differently.

What can I say, I'm still in love and still feel the magic.

Just my 2 cents

Paul
 

derekstanton

Well-Known Member
Hi, Paul.

I'm usually with you, with regard to the "instant gratification" thing, but methinks such a broad generalization is automatically invalid, especially when discussing the many different types of people and work that can utilize digital.

While it can spurn a lot of "just shoot and figure it out later" images, i don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. In fact, the whole Lomo thing is about just that: Just Shoot. Experimentation is a good thing.

Secondly, in the hands of someone who DOES know what he/she's doing, seeing the shot image on the LCD immediately following the capture is really no different than utilizing Polaroid backs for proofing/testing. That is something commercial photographers have done routinely for years, yet no one can claim that those photographers have cheated or shortcut their way to achieving what is desired on the 'real' filmstock.

It's just another tool, and although i know digital democratizes the process and provides a great deal more people the opportunity to make good images, i don't begrudge them. I only begrudge those who want to keep people out and maintain that bit of exclusivity....

I used to like the darkroom. I would actually love to get back into printing b+w, but NYC space concerns prevent that. But, i don't want to do it for the "thrill at seeing my latest results for the first time." Even at 36, i have long lost patience for 'processes.' I'd really love to just be able to imagine it and then have it realized. My only reason for wanting to use the darkroom are to be able to achieve control in producing "classic" results. I haven't yet seen inkjet prints that match silver, but i'm told they exist. I do, however, cherish the ability to work digitally on scans and then output things as i see them. For me, the "feeling of magic" is strictly related to the results. I rather envy, though, those who get and keep that sense of wonder and magic DURING the analog processes. You are lucky.
 
M

mikel

Derek,

> You've turned this into a crusade against
> Reichman, and in doing so have missed the point.

Crusade? Hardly so.

> Luminous Landscape is hardly my guide or bible,
> and the link reference only echoed what i have
> seen from my own images and those of others who

You said "Haven't you guys seen the Luminous Landscape shootout?" and then proceeded to say that it seems that 1Ds images are "superior on every front". If your idea of proving your point was referencing that article on luminous-landscape, then that idea is wrong.

> have embraced digital. As i said before, i
> barely skimmed any of the 'hype,' as you assert,
> and primarily focused on the s&le image
> enlargements.

The other day, I was sitting in a bar and saw GMC commercial advertising one of their trucks. Among things they wanted to highlight was how fast it is and how much horse power it has compared to F150. What they "forgot" to tell you is that F150 has much more torque power, and that's what truly makes a difference in a truck.

So, what M.R. "forgot" to tell you, is that by using his methods you can always achieve the results that will "prove" how superiour 1Ds is.

> Without regard to your (or my own) objections to
> any of the other claims, those enlargements are
> perfectly in keeping with what i have seen/done
> myself. THIS is what i was pointing at. If you

Seeing where? On the 72dpi screen? Or on optically made print? Or on inkjet? Or on projector? What exactly is being compared?

If the purpose of his article was comparing resolving power of his scanner and his digital camera - mission partially accomplished. If his purpose was to compare resolving power of FILM based system and resolving power of digital system - the mission is a total failure.


> have issue with those s&les and are claiming
> that M.R. manipulated/contrived the results
> toward his own biases, well, you're welcome to

Of course! The methodology itself plays into it. He doesn't need to even manipulate anything! He was ought to get these results from the very beginning. The purpose of the entire article was to lead you to believe that digital is what you MUST have. It's like pseudo scientists that introduce something into experiment to spoil it and achieve the results that fit their agenda. It's that simple.

> make such accusations, but then you might want
> to be prepared to demonstrate how those results
> are false.

I have already described why his methods are wrong. Microscopes are designed to show you the smallest detail of inspected object. Scanners are designed to allow you to get a digital version of image you have. Not to judge resolving power or detail.

> And, no, you're the one who brought up drum
> scanning initially.

Where did I bring it up in this thread with the intention to show it's the appropriate way to go? Quite the opposite, I said that using drum scanner to judge resolving power of film is wrongheaded.

That's why, in response to what you said:
"I would only compare 'full-sized' sensors, of DSLRs or digital backs to drum scans of 35mm/MF film".

I have said that:
"And, you're mentioning the drum scanner again!
Use MICROSCOPE to judge film's sharpness! "

> If i do make reference to it, it's because that
> is the real-world test in imaging, when

Wrong! It's the "real-world test in imaging" according to M.R.

> published images are the requirement.
> A microscope has no relevance except perhaps an
> academic one.

Academic one? Aren't we ought to see whether film has more detail or digital? If you can't extract that detail because you have terrible enlarger lens - it has nothing to do with film itself! The details are THERE.

> Besides, you'd have a difficult time even
> getting two people to agree on a definition -
> or, more relevant, perception - of sharpness.
> And what's a microscope going to tell you if you
> can only use it on one half of media under
> consideration?

It's going to tell you a true resolving power of film. If you're going to use scanner that CAN'T see all the details on film and say "okay, that's the true measure of detail the film can capture", then you're fooling yourself. Pretty simple.

Just think about it for one second. If 1Ds is truly so great, and we assume it can resolve at Nyquist frequency (which is never the case), that would mean 2704/24/2 ~= 56lp/mm. Under no circumstances 1Ds will be able to resolve more than that. In contrast, Velvia 50, even in lowest contrast (1.6:1) can deliver 80 lp/mm. On highest contrast (1000:1) it goes to 160 lp/mm.

And this isn't theory! Check the CLN19 from Zeiss, their practical tests confirm it.

[snip]

> If you are interested in proclaiming yourself an
> authority, or feel the need to challenge others,
> publish your own site/results.

Is Zeiss enough authority to you? Then check their CLN19.

> But, back to the point, and away from
> name-calling.... How do your results differ?
> Aside from your obvious distaste for Luminous
> Landscape, what's eating you about my comments
> that: 1. My digital pictures are sharper than my
> film images, and;
> 2. I still prefer film.

Your film pictures are probably sharper than digital. Most likely you simply don't have adequate equipment to get all that detail out.

All the people that shoot slides and then project it on their screen will tell you that digital isn't there yet. Not even if we compare carefully done prints on good enlarger. If we compare the prints obtained by M.R's method - then hey, we have to sell all our equipment and go get ourselves much hyped up 1Ds. The question is - do we want that? Obviously not all of us.

Mike.
 
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