Film vs D800E

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
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bigpigbig
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Film vs D800E
Jan 28, 2013

I know, I know.

I hear you ask silently, "why post a thread about film in a Digital Photography -- Nikon FF Forum?"

I answer you, equally silently, "because I own a D800E and love its dynamic range"

But...

I had my mind blown today.

I teach photography. Half film students / Half digital students.

One of my film students came in to develop a roll of Ilford HP5+ ISO400 film. After developing, she opened the film canister and to her horror, found that the film had not been advancing. She had a long clear strip of plastic and one black 35mm rectangle. Every one of her 36 exposures had be taken on the same 35mm strip of emulsion. Talk about over exposed!

I thought it was a long, long shot but asked her to put it in an enlarger and try to make a print from it. With enlarger lens wide open and the head as low as it could be for an 8x10 print we started making test strips. The first few were just snow white. Nothing. How could any light possibly get through?! But with persistence we started to see something, not much, but there was some detail there. Once we got to an exposure approaching 12 minutes we were stunned. All 36 exposures were clearly visible. With a high contrast filter we made the final print.

As her photo assignment was a day in Bangkok, there are tops of temples, street signs, Thai letters, and activities she had done layered on top of each other. It is amazing!

Now THAT is dynamic range. (Highlight recovery anyway)

I won't be ditching my D800E for film any time soon, but in the words of The Exploited, "FILMS NOT DEAD"

(If you have an interest in other ways in which film can be used that are impossible for digital, check this out: SUNBURN )

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