Medium format photography the old way, is it advisable?

Started Feb 24, 2014 | Questions thread
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,593
Re: Fine art photography
1

ShawnHoke wrote:

Basalite wrote:

ShawnHoke wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Basalite wrote:

If your are comparing the technical meritis and capabilities of digital and film then the only logical way to do that is to compare equal areas of film and sensor.

I would rather compare equal sized prints. What matters is the final image, and until we have 8K or better monitors, that means prints.

You were rightly criticized for simply saying that film was superior to digital by comparing large format film to 35mm digital. The Brooklyners I grew up with would see such a statement for the lie that it is.

Just saw this in the quote; couldn't see Basalite's reply since he's on ignore (just don't have the energy to read or to reply to all of it).

You put me on "ignore" because you had no logical response to what I said so you labeled me as someone not worth addressing anymore, although you obviously have the "energy" to do so indirectly. You could have simply, and graciously, disagreed and moved on, or simply, and quietly, ignored, me. Instead, you'd rather announce to everyone that you put me on "ignore" as a way to discredit me personally, and entirely. That's the only reason why people announce to others that they have put someone on ignore.

Basalite, you are right about one thing. It was not gracious of me say that I had put you on ignore. And for that I apologize. That's a very petty thing to do and I should not have. You and I disagree and that's one thing. But to announce that I had put you on ignore was wrong. I am sorry for that.

The only reason I mentioned LF film in a previous thread is b/c Basalite said "film" (not 35mm or MF film, but film) was irrelevant today and had long ago been surpassed by digital. That is not true. I still use MF and especially LF film b/c it delivers resolution and qualities that digital (even MF digital) can not. So, for many of us film still has relevancy and still outperforms digital. That is not a lie. It is reality.

What is not "true" is what you just said. The question was whether digital has surpassed film in quality. Yes, it has. Just because there are no viable or available digital equivalents (for now) to your 8x10 camera doesn't change that fact. To try and dishonestly distort that argument by comparing someone using an 8x10 to someone using a 35mm DSLR is beyond ridiculous.

Here you and I are at a complete divergence and that's okay. My belief and experience tells me that today's FF DSLRs have surpassed 35mm film. It does not, however tell me that the blanket statement "digital has surpassed film in quality" is true. Some formats/sizes of film? Sure. Other formats/sizes? No. Film is film. And honestly I don't even think that the quality argument has been decided. Resolution? Yes. But quality means a lot of different things.

You can disagree all you want but there is no logical reason to be comparing different sized capture areas when you are comparing the quality of each technology. None at all. It boggles the imagination that someone would do that. Your argument rests simply on availability, or lack of, large format digital cameras or backs.

Let me ask you this, since capture area doesn't matter to you, what would you say to someone using a Gigapan mount with a 35mm DSLR to generate a gigapixel image to surpass your 8x10 in quality? Now you are stuck because your only way out is to talk about *capture area,* as I have been doing.

You may then say that you could scan your 8x10 and stitch those images. Sure, you could say that. Unfortunately, for you, that would end up in a no win situation since you could take pictures and stitch forever with each system.

Once again, you are stuck. You would have to talk about *capture area.* There's no getting around it.

All that said, and just to humor you, I did a quick search to see what is currently available for digital large format and I found this interesting site: www.betterlight.com They are selling 4x5 digital backs that generate up to 384MP. So much for 4x5 film. It would be interesting to compare to 8x10 film.

If film still did not have certain quality advantages over digital, then VSCO, Alien Skin, DxO, Totally Red, Replichrome, and all those other film emulation plugins for LR and Photoshop would not be so popular.

People trying to emulate the look of different films does not logically mean that there are "certainly quality advanatges over digital." In fact, the different look that people are trying to emulate with such plugins has to do with lesser quality characteristics, such as poorer color accuracy, higher grain and lower resolution. If someone wants to do that for artistic reasons then that's another matter, an artistic one as opposed to a technical one.

I'll refrain from mentioning such a "lie" about LF film again though. There is apparently a point in size that film can no longer be considered film. I guess it's the point where Basalite no longer has a valid argument. After all, we never dare to compare different sizes of digital sensors to each other. That would also be a "lie" I suppose.

In the end, I do believe that 35mm film has been surpassed by FF digital.

Very good. Now you are making a fair comparison.

It's why I shoot a lot with my FF DSLR. And with the D800 and Sony 7R, FF DSLRs are seriously challenging MF film in terms of pure resolution. Again, I do believe that. And we should all be happy. BUT, film still has relevancy for many and film (yes, LF film) can still outperform digital in any format. Where's the harm in that? We live in amazing times when a photographer can choose and take advantage of both if he or she chooses.

I never said large format can not "outperform" digital. Since there is no digital large format, that's obvious. I was comparing like for like image capture areas, and you know that.

I only know that you argue that digital has surpassed film. And the answer is, "it depends."

No, it doesn't, as my example above proves. And if you want to take it even further, if you really want to fairly compare each technology, then you would do that with an entirely analog process for film. In that case the resolution differences would be ridiculously much worse for film, as would dynamic range, when you consider all the digital possibilities.

Honestly, it shouldn't even matter. We are grown men passionate about photography, but choosing to argue over it on a message board rather than practice it.

The debate had zero to do with being "passionate about photography" or practicing it.

And again, I am sorry that I called attention to putting you on ignore (and have taken you off of it FWIW). We may disagree and will most likely continue to, but that was a low blow.

Apology accepted.

For whatever it is worth, I would never put anyone on an ignore list, or encourage anyone else to do the same thing. *Everyone has something valuable that they can contribute,* even if they are wrong or know nothing about the subject being discussed (that's not a shot at you), so long as they are simply willing to discuss the subject without getting personal or taking things personal. An argument against what something thinks or feels is not an argument against that person. I am always willing to discuss and debate topics, even with those that have said insulting and vile things against me.

This will be my last post in this thread, as I think I have said enough on the topic.

One last thing, for anyone that is considering shooting film and never has before. Try b/w printing with a cheap enlarger and a bathroom darkroom, if you have to. I believe that is a valuable experience. You don't have to develop the film either. Just print.

That's all.

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