Medium Format vs. Full Frame Locked

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The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 23,110
Re: Emulating the film look

Velocity of Sound wrote:

Hiphopapotamus wrote:

Film has a painterly quality about it, because it's an organic process, it's like a canvas with brush strokes and a colour palette and that's half reason I use it. That shot was shot on motion picture film (Cinestill 800T/Kodak Vision 3 500T) which is a medium format stock they use in cinemas today.

Digital while it can be crisper, also has the inherent problem of being inorganic and can be cold and uninviting. I particularly like the way that shot renders its colour. It may not be wildly accurate but it has a certain aesthetic of it's own. If you want more accurate colour you would lean towards digital, or you would walk around with a colour swatch like we did in the old days and grade it later for colour, then make a profile in Photoshop for the film stock like we did in the good old days if you wanted more accurate colours and you cared. The art of colour grading is a process in itself though, I prefer to just let the colour fall where it may... mostly because I don't need accurate colour.

That's a medium-sized scan so it's not capturing the full resolution of the film, the first image I uploaded of the Pizzeria is a full sized scan from a different lab to the one I use that has a later model Noritsu, but it's interesting...

That shot would make a nice 8x12 at 300dpi or you could downsample it with the same pixel count to 150dpi and it would still come up nicely at 16x24. Although we printed at 150 in the 90s, I prefer not to do that for fine art prints.

You will either love or hate the grain structure but that comes down to personal taste also. I quite like the grain and texture of film, although it's not for everyone.

When I think about film there's the noise, a white balance that tends to feel a bit off, less contrast, and a softer image. All of those things can be accomplished when you process digitally:

None of these things has anything to do with film.

For starters, film is composed of grain...not noise.  The image is actually made up of the grain as opposed to a layer of noise on the digital image.  As to the rest...again...nothing to do with film and everything to do with the user.

Processed in Capture One: changed profile to Fujifilm Velvia, altered white balance to give it an objectively warmer feel, used one of their preset styles to skew a few more things to a warmer look, decreased sharpness and clarity, maintained digital noise reduction but added "harsh" film grain with minimal impact and high granularity, cut back on contrast and further crushed highlights while lifting shadows even though little to nothing was falling off the curves... the only thing I couldn't accomplish with Capture One alone was further reduction of details. Viewed large, the buildings still show too much detail, which would give this away as being digital. I probably could have done a better job with the noise addition - I had one setting that looked like it matched yours up against the buildings, but seemed a bit too much for the sky, so I went for an in-between. DPreview occasionally gives me problems with uploading the full 50-megapixel file so I exported this at a resolution of 90% of the original, but it's uncropped. If you notice some weird artifacts, it's because this was shot through a double-pane window, which ruined parts of the image (of course) but may have worked to my benefit when trying to make it appear a little more film-like. I'd note that Chris' film images appear pretty digital-like, though.

Granted, there's processing involved here that film does all on its own.

And as we agreed before, the look of the image is really only one part of the equation. Working with film and a film camera is a very different process from a digital camera and the "digital darkroom." I suppose you could modify a digital camera to prevent image playback, and shoot with a 256 MB (yes, megabyte) memory card to force yourself to have an extremely limited number of shots... but it's still not quite the same.

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