Film vs. 50D

Started Aug 31, 2008 | Discussions thread
Erik Magnuson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,247
Depends on how you define resolution

rwbaron wrote:

To properly evaluate the results I would view the
bare film/transparency under a laboratory microscope at high power.
Yes, I was looking at film grain but also finely delineated line
pairs indicating my best lenses at their best apertures resolving
over 100 line pair per millimeter in the center of the frame.

While that may be useful for lens testing, low-contrast fine detail like that is almost impossible to scan and print. This is why MTF-50 is a better accepted standard for perceptual resolution/sharpness.

I have shot that same chart with my 40D in RAW, ISO 100 and viewed
the results at 200% on screen with the same lens (80~200f2.8L) and
can say the 40D is not even close to resolving the finest detail
visible on film with the scope. We're talking maybe 50 or 60 lp/mm
at best.

Now take a real photo and make your best print. If it's a landscape and there is the slightest breeze that extra detail may be lost. The rest of it will be lost to tiny DOF and diffraction effects unless you only shoot flat objects perpendicular to the lens. With the lack of grain and enhanced edge contrast, the 40D print will look better to most people.

as there is no other way to show the incredible fine detail of those films.

Thus the constant arguments about film vs. digital. It all depends on the output.

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In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice there is.

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