Film versus DSLR dynamic range

Started Jul 24, 2007 | Discussions thread
mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
No, I am not wrong

A film with a large dynamic range can retain detail in the highlights and shadows when it is exposed to a high contrast scene - a scene with a wide dynamic range. This same film will exhibit a large latitude to exposure errors precisely because of its ability to maintain detail over this range.

Latitude and dynamic range is essentially the same.

(Unless your talking about D max, or the films ability to produce density when developed, which is different and not really applicable to this conversation)

Color negative film has the most latitude, the best ability to record a scene with huge contrast ratio, and still maintain detail. It is superior to chrome film, and far superior to current digital sensors in this regard.

When I was a commercial C-type printer, amateurs often came in with high speed negative film that was overexposed by so many stops that there was no longer the ability to see the clear rebate between the frames. These almost opaque negatives were still able to produce acceptable images with the correct exposure and CC filtration changes to compensate.

There is no way that a digital file can come close to this ability, even when shooting RAW. Once the highlights are blown digitally, all you have is a mess. In fact, shooting digital is exactly the same as shooting chrome, and the inverse of shooting negatives. An underexposed negative where the film is clear, or an overexposed chrome where the film is clear, or a digital file with no detail in the highlights, is not going to be save able, no matter what tricks you have up your sleeve. No detail = no image.

Go shoot some color negative film while you can, because it is an amazing material that is the pinnacle of 100 years of silver based photography.

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