First click on the link below and read the article and look at the examples…
Now here are my thoughts…
1. The film looks fantastic! The latitude is much better and I like the feeling of the film file much more.
2. The test was very good. It would have been even better if the film scan was done on a higher resolution scanner like say an Imacon. This would have also leveled the field a bit as the RAW processing done to the digital file corrects a lot (but apparently not enough) and the film image was stuck with a relatively middle of the road scan on a Fuji Frontier SP-2500. It is a shame that the scanned image had to be upsampled (due to the scanner resolution limitation) as this film has a lot of subtle detail that a higher quality scanner could have showed optically.
3. I would also like to hear their thoughts regarding a side by side print analysis say at 2 or 3 different sizes… the proof is in the print!
4. The digital wins in the high speed test but the film is still quite good.
In the end will this article sway any true blooded digital shooter to consider film…? I don’t think so, as there will be a myriad of excuses on the RAW conversion technique or other BS that really does not matter. It is a good solid test and it confirms once again the many strengths that film and the hybrid workflow provide for the working creative photographer
Viva la Revolution- Stephen
11 thoughts on “Article for Consideration”
Thanks for the feature Stephen!
In response to your observations…
Yes… Film rules! 🙂
I prefer the overall “look” of the Frontier scans to that of any other scanner because of the way it consistently renders colors and curves. Fuji did a wondrous job calibrating their software to provide great latitude in every the scan while maintaining great color and contrast. I guess they know film. 😉 Plus when scanning 40 rolls or so at a time it is much much faster and needs less tweaking after the fact than with an Imacon or other hi-end scanner. Though I do agree that the resolution would have looked much better scanned on an Imacon! The Frontier is ideal for scanning images likely not to be printed over 11×14. That’s 99% of what we scan. For a 20×24 I would go with a drum scan. 🙂
The proof is in the print… and prints from the frontier look awesome up to 11×14 and darn good up to 16×20! The 5D MkII looks really bad printed over 11×14 IMO. I would love to make some prints from these files sometime when time allows.
And for the record, we prefer Delta 3200 for high ISO. 🙂 Black and white was meant for low light. And grain is good!
Brandon- I love grain as well… I like the Portra 400 over the Ektar for this very reason… and of course the fact that it has huge latitude!
I really like your analysis Stephen. All very good points, and I’m glad the motive of the test came across. It’s all about the look and versatility under commonly difficult situations (bright light and low light). We tried to be as practical as possible with the processing on both sides, but I would like to see the Imacon scan of the Ektar, especially to print! I’d love to see an Ektar 4×5 scan… One thing the armchair digital photographers can not accept, is that (despite all the whining about noise, proper exposure, raw processing and the like) this test is about the least fair to film we could be. You can’t get a smaller still film capture than 35mm (disposable cameras), and I’d say there isn’t a better digital capture than the 5DmkII. With perfect lighting & processing Canon’s capture can look flawless. But we rarely shoot in the studio or from an armchair. 🙂 Thanks again Stephen!
Here is an example of Ektar is 4×5 on the Imacon…
The Fuji Frontier scan might be middle of the road in terms of resolution for good film scanners, but the color quality straight from the scanner is really good. High-end scanners have more latitude for corrections and and shadow detail but its not easy getting them to look as good the frontier scans.
Kristof- a roll scan never has the ability of hitting the quality of a scan that is tweaked for the individual negative. The color may look good but it would look “better” if it was tweaked for the full range of the specific film/ negative. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when a roll scan is ok but my experience indicates that it should only be when full color and dynamic range are not needed… its a compromise.
On my camera (canon a-1) it’s slightly easier for me to adjust my EV setting then it is to adjust the ISO setting. on an ISO 400 film like Portra, is an EV 1/4 the same as a setting of ISO 100? (EV 2 the same as ISO 1600?).
I love the results from this film and would like to push the latitude even further.
Here is a helpful link…
According to how I read it you are backwards… the 1/4 and 1/2 represent 1 and 2 stops overexposure and the 1 is normal and 2 and 4 are 1 and 2 stops underexposure…
Hope this helps-
PS- Shoot it at 200… give you plenty of room for over and under exposure and with your dials will allow you to hit 50-800 which with a decent fast lens should work for most situations.
Thanks Stephen. Sometimes this makes my head spin! That was super helpful. love the suggestion of shooting the Portra at 200 and using the ev comp.
A fascinating comparison which served to remind me of the reasons why I keep spending my money on film for my own personal projects. Thanks
What’s incredible, to me, is the detail the film is resolving. I mean this is 35mm and a “lab scan.” Pretty amazing.