Film vs D800E

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 6,709
Re: The final irony

bigpigbig wrote:

Is this a valid study?

The author provides some good examples of film dynamic range, but is clearly trying to fight hype with hype.  No one would use a digital camera in the manner he has, if they both intended to keep, and knew how to keep, those highlights.

The notion that film is a "continuous tone" medium is a complete myth.  Film images are composites of variable-size grains, each of which may be "on" or "off;" you cannot make metallic silver semi-transparent.  Film, like newsprint, relies on dithering to achieve its tonal range, and this is the reason why the resolution of films is best at high contrast, but suffers in mid-tones.  In the case of fine-grain monochrome films, dithering can work quite well.  Color films are much more restricted, due to the relatively large size of the dye clouds which produce colors in developed film.

His examples do demonstrate the nonlinearity of film as I mentioned earlier.  Compare the +4 stops overexposed example to the +7 stops overexposed example:  There is much less highlight contrast in the latter (also less detail, since so few unexposed grains remain to record it).

The fact that digital and film work in fundamentally different ways, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, means that there will always be some applications for the older medium where it excels.

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Qualities possessed by God in infinite proportion: Love, Grace, Power, Righteousness, Wisdom, . . .
Qualities possessed by humans in infinite proportion: Ignorance.
- Marianne

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