Reichmann D30 prints affirmation

Started Feb 10, 2001 | Discussions thread
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Dale Cotton Regular Member • Posts: 128
Reichmann D30 prints affirmation
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We all remember the firestorm that erupted when Michael Reichmann posted his modest little D30 vs Provia comparison on his Luminous-Landscape site. He left three 12" x 16" (Super B) Epson inkjet prints of D30 images at a camera store in Toronto (Vistek) as objective testimony to his written word. There have been a few reports on-line from people who have seen these for themselves. So far as I know, they all concur with Michael's own assessment.

Since I live fairly close to Toronto I finally got around to taking a look for myself. Boringly, I have to add yet another yea vote to the list. D30 + Genuine Fractals (+ M.R.) is a killer combination indeed. And I certainly don't say this as a digital disciple blindly preaching the new gospel. If any of you recognise my name from past postings, you may recall that I moved from a digital to a film camera + scanner because I also concentrate on landscape and relish all the niggling detail I can get. It's there: quite as much as I can squeeze out of 35mm film with my scanner, and quite enough to do the job.

If you are also seriously concerned about fine detail you may still be trying to get an objective handle on just what you would be seeing if you were to drop in at Vistek. Of course, we're not talking 8" x 10" contact print. Yet you have to hold one of Michael's D30 prints pretty much right under your nose to see a very slight softness. At that distance I even noticed a few traces of pixelation on a wire-thin twig that I'm sure Michael would have smoothed away had he not been bending over backwards to provide something like an "unretouched" sample.

As impressive as the detail turned out to be, the purity and vibrancy of the colour actually made the most immediate grab for my attention. But you can see that for yourself by viewing and/or printing any of the samples on http://www.luminous-landscape.com . (What Michael's on-line images can't do justice to is how stunning his artistry really is -- it takes a goodly sized fine print to do that.)

Now, in a probably useless attempt to forestall further volumes of hot air, let me add that none of the above is meant to imply that digital has surpassed 35mm film. There is a lot of defensiveness on film camera lists and forums. A lot of worry that those little rectangular boxes of film are soon slated to disappear from camera store shelves. With who knows how many hundreds of millions of film cameras already in daily use around the world that won't happen in my life time. Because digital can finally begin to hold its own with film doesn't imply that film can no longer do the job too. It does so quite inexpensively, and remains much easier for Jane and John Tourist to understand. Forget vinyl vs CD or microcomputer vs typewriter. Think AM vs FM or radio vs TV vs motion picture. They were all doing quite well last time I looked. 97% of all camera users want nothing more than a stack of 24 glossies with which to share their vacation or child's birthday with friends. For that huge volume of sales film remains a very hard act to follow. Still skeptical? just try loaning your digicam to your Auntie May and Uncle Charlie to use on their next Hawaiian vacation

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