Film versus DSLR dynamic range

Started Jul 24, 2007 | Discussions
sergey1968 Senior Member • Posts: 1,068
Re: I did!

Nikon 9000. The interesting thing is that actually slide and negative film have approximately the same DR - but very different latitude.

For the record - it's all about technical aspects. I love look of film. While I think I can pull those details from RAW I am not getting good-looking results. When I will go (hopefully) somewhere to Asia in winter I'll take Mamiya 7 with couple lenses for scenics. Iinfrared 6x7 film in Angkor - mmmm. But I'll take 5D too.

mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: I did!

Latitude and Dynamic Range are the same thing.

williams-pics Contributing Member • Posts: 874
mcd3 your wrong.

mcd3 wrote:

Latitude and Dynamic Range are the same thing.

Sorry but that's incorrect, latitude is how much you can over or under expose a film and still get a usable print, dynamic range is how much detail you can retain from the deepest shadows to the brightest highlights.
Transparencies have the smallest exposure latitude.
Colour neg has the next.
B.W film has the next, EG:- FP4 HP5 etc.

Ilford XP2 has the greatest latitude and also has the highest dynamic range potential providing you know how to dodge and shade.

Dslr's have the potential to beat them all providing you are skilled enough in Photoshop.
Regards,
Bruce.

sergey1968 Senior Member • Posts: 1,068
It very well may be -

but I am not sure. Dynamic range is basically signal to noise ratio - and latitude - as I understand it - is usually related to sensitivity to overexposure . Correctly exposed and developed color negative film looks pale (quite transparent) which means that huge overhead of it's sensitivity is reserved for excessive highlights.

But all this is just my understanding and I would not be surprised if real definition is as you say - DR is the same as exposure latitude.
--
Sergey
http://www.pbase.com/sergeyushakov/
http://www.photo.net/photos/SergeyUshakov

smhagger Senior Member • Posts: 1,418
Roman

Alright, we clearly missed each other. I thought you were talking about something along the lines of what Chuck has talked about:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=15657790&q=sekonic+calibration&qf=m

I can tell now (and it makes sense based on the fact that your a landscape photograper--you've got plenty of time) that you're taking mulitple readings in the scene and looking at the results in summary somehow.

Sorry for the confusion.

Sean

mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
No, I am not wrong

A film with a large dynamic range can retain detail in the highlights and shadows when it is exposed to a high contrast scene - a scene with a wide dynamic range. This same film will exhibit a large latitude to exposure errors precisely because of its ability to maintain detail over this range.

Latitude and dynamic range is essentially the same.

(Unless your talking about D max, or the films ability to produce density when developed, which is different and not really applicable to this conversation)

Color negative film has the most latitude, the best ability to record a scene with huge contrast ratio, and still maintain detail. It is superior to chrome film, and far superior to current digital sensors in this regard.

When I was a commercial C-type printer, amateurs often came in with high speed negative film that was overexposed by so many stops that there was no longer the ability to see the clear rebate between the frames. These almost opaque negatives were still able to produce acceptable images with the correct exposure and CC filtration changes to compensate.

There is no way that a digital file can come close to this ability, even when shooting RAW. Once the highlights are blown digitally, all you have is a mess. In fact, shooting digital is exactly the same as shooting chrome, and the inverse of shooting negatives. An underexposed negative where the film is clear, or an overexposed chrome where the film is clear, or a digital file with no detail in the highlights, is not going to be save able, no matter what tricks you have up your sleeve. No detail = no image.

Go shoot some color negative film while you can, because it is an amazing material that is the pinnacle of 100 years of silver based photography.

mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: ..... and when I think about it....

You trust HP and Epson when it comes to archival ability? While I haven't read Whilhem on this matter, I would be concerned about taking manufacturers claims to heart. Dyes are quite fugitive, and the oldest Epson printer is not very old.

PIXSurgeon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Yes, you *ARE*, and *totally*...

...In fact, if your digital-workflowing competences are a reflection of your poorly articulated definitions, I do not blame you at all from not being able to get the best out of Digital.

Case closed.

-- hide signature --

TIP: If you do not like this post, simply press the 'COMPLAINT' button. Mommy/Daddy are just one click away.

mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Yes, you *ARE*, and *totally*...

Poorly articulated? What part did you not understand? Any photographer experienced with the medium will understand everything that I wrote as I put it in layman's term's, not the techno babble that you hide behind.

PIXSurgeon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Look at it this way...

mcd3 wrote:

Poorly articulated? What part did you not understand? Any
photographer experienced with the medium will understand everything
that I wrote as I put it in layman's term's, not the techno babble
that you hide behind.

...If ALL the world around you would just think like you, guess what? We will be still inhaling pseudo-toxic fumes, gases and sticking our hands on chemicals, instead of working in front of high-speed, color-calibrated work-stations and raw-converters, crunching the binary output of fairly sophisticated analag-to-digital imaging systems... and ultimately letting our imagination fly, AT A F-FRACTION of the recurring-cost and, on top of that, with instant-gratification, guaranteed .

Thanks God I do not think like you do.

F-WAKE-UP, dude! In what paleozoic and remote place in time are you living?

8-)

-- hide signature --

TIP: If you do not like this post, simply press the 'COMPLAINT' button. Mommy/Daddy are just one click away.

Jay Turberville Forum Pro • Posts: 12,917
Re: All I was trying to say...

is that 12 bits is not what is limiting the dynamic range.

And that's fine, and that is correct. But what you actually said was, "However this does not map directly to dynamic range" and the reality is that with sensors used in just about every DSLR today, the bits do, in fact, map directly.

So once more, bit depth is not a limiting factor to DR.

It isn't 'necessarily' a limiting factor. But it can, in fact, be a limiting factor depending on how tones are actually mapped. The sensor in the 1DMII can actually record more than 12 stops of DR according to Roger Clark. But because Canon has implemented linear mapping with a 12-bit ADC, we can only get a bit more than 11 stops of total DR out of the sensor. 12 bits is a limiting factor when tones are mapped linearly.

I was not even talking about the acquisition or sensors.

You were responding to the post of someone who clearly was. Most people would assume your comments in response would be within that same context. If they weren't, you should do something to make that clear.

But, the next step is digitalization of that current to create a RAW
data. And this is where some non linearity can be applied. I don't
know if anyone does it or not, but it is certainly possible.

Yes. It is possible. But few, if any seem to be doing it.

My point was and is that Luttman's direct mapping of of bit depth to DR was perfectly appropriate considering that's how sensors are currently implemented.

-- hide signature --
Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 26,337
Re: ..... and when I think about it....

Then you need to read Wilhelm. Who, in their right mind, would EVER take manufacturers word? Cibachrome was rated at 26 years, same as Epson Colorlife - now replaced. Modern ink/paper combinations now go into the 100-200 range under the same testing procedures. Time marches on! And yes, I have some 25 year old Cibachromes I printed that are starting to fade under the mat edges.

mcd3 wrote:

You trust HP and Epson when it comes to archival ability? While I
haven't read Whilhem on this matter, I would be concerned about
taking manufacturers claims to heart. Dyes are quite fugitive, and
the oldest Epson printer is not very old.

 Steve Bingham's gear list:Steve Bingham's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR +20 more
mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: ..... and when I think about it....

Perhaps, but I'm not holding my breath. As for Cibachromes, the plastic based material has a much longer life expectancy than the paper based version (the pearl surface), and if yours are showing discoloration under the mat, I would expect that you matting material is not very archival.

Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 26,337
Re: ..... and when I think about it....

mcd3 wrote:

Perhaps, but I'm not holding my breath. As for Cibachromes, the
plastic based material has a much longer life expectancy than the

I used glossy. Matting is archival. And my findings are consistent with those of Henry Wilhelm's (THE expert in this field). Archival for 26 years. Ilford's Cibachrome, a dye-bleach print material, was first introduced in 1963 and I was using it around 1965. That's 42 years ago. How's that for impirical evidence? :^) I ain't no spring chicken.

paper based version (the pearl surface), and if yours are showing
discoloration under the mat, I would expect that you matting material
is not very archival.

 Steve Bingham's gear list:Steve Bingham's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR +20 more
Slough Senior Member • Posts: 1,809
Re: Look at it this way...

PIXSurgeon wrote:

mcd3 wrote:

Poorly articulated? What part did you not understand? Any
photographer experienced with the medium will understand everything
that I wrote as I put it in layman's term's, not the techno babble
that you hide behind.

...If ALL the world around you would just think like you, guess what?
We will be still inhaling pseudo-toxic fumes, gases and sticking our
hands on chemicals, instead of working in front of high-speed,
color-calibrated work-stations and raw-converters, crunching the
binary output of fairly sophisticated analag-to-digital imaging
systems... and ultimately letting our imagination fly, AT A
F-FRACTION of the recurring-cost and, on top of that, with
instant-gratification, guaranteed .

Thanks God I do not think like you do.

F-WAKE-UP, dude! In what paleozoic and remote place in time are you
living?

I find your postings to others astonishingly rude and egocentric. If you spoke to people like that in real life, you would not last long. Especially in America where people have guns.

mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: ..... and when I think about it....

The azo dyes in cibachrome/ilfochrome are quite stable, specially when coupled with the polyester base of the deluxe glossy material. In my experience printing Cibachromes, the wash time recommended did not fully clear the residual chemistry from the material (the paper supported material, which also was available in a glossy surface), and needed to be increased. Processing is an extremely important variable for long term storage.

Cibachromes archival claims are under dark storage in the proper protected environment. Wilhelm's 29 year accelerated claim for Cibachrome is not under dark storage. Environment is often overlooked when it comes to photo storage by the layperson. Cibachrome, like Kodachrome (the archival champion slide film) do not do well when exposed to light, and Kodachromes are notorious for fading due to projection. Humidity and pollution are also factors that will reduce the life of a color material, as will exposure to light, and specially UV light. Many Cibachromes made for display were mounted behind UV plastic, and needed to be color corrected to compensate for the slight yellow tint of this material.

Dye Transfers or Cibachromes were the preferred materials that museums used for long term storage of acquired color photography. Organizations like Time Inc (Time magazine) keep color photographs in a sealed, temperature and humidity controlled room - a large walk in refrigerator with controlled humidity - and limited light exposure. Color photographs kept under these conditions resist changes quite well, as can be seen in their collection of color slide materials from the 1930's, and autochromes from even earlier, and today look quite good.

While Wilhelm (who I respect) is the standard giver today, one must remember that these tests are not real world conditions, but controlled laboratory simulations, and must be remembered as such when referring to the claims made.

Do you know of another independent lab that is testing for permanence in this manner, in order to compare results?

PIXSurgeon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Yep...

Slough wrote:

PIXSurgeon wrote:

I find your postings to others astonishingly rude and egocentric. If
you spoke to people like that in real life, you would not last long.
Especially in America where people have guns.

...Don't tell me. Look at what happened in Iraq... A DISASTER... Is that the F-P.O.S. mentality you are referring to?

For a second, I though you were supporting the progress and prosperity of this nation, and its childrend...

But your comment can't more hollow, non-sense-filled and f-useless.

-- hide signature --

TIP: If you do not like this post, simply press the 'COMPLAINT' button. Mommy/Daddy are just one click away.

Slough Senior Member • Posts: 1,809
Re: Yep...

PIXSurgeon wrote:

Slough wrote:

PIXSurgeon wrote:

I find your postings to others astonishingly rude and egocentric. If
you spoke to people like that in real life, you would not last long.
Especially in America where people have guns.

...Don't tell me. Look at what happened in Iraq... A DISASTER... Is
that the F-P.O.S. mentality you are referring to?

For a second, I though you were supporting the progress and
prosperity of this nation, and its childrend...

But your comment can't more hollow, non-sense-filled and f-useless.

Would anyone care to translate the above?

Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 26,337
Re: ..... and when I think about it....

mcd3 wrote:

The azo dyes in cibachrome/ilfochrome are quite stable, specially
when coupled with the polyester base of the deluxe glossy material.
In my experience printing Cibachromes, the wash time recommended did
not fully clear the residual chemistry from the material (the paper
supported material, which also was available in a glossy surface),
and needed to be increased. Processing is an extremely important
variable for long term storage.

Cibachromes archival claims are under dark storage in the proper
protected environment. Wilhelm's 29 year accelerated claim for
Cibachrome is not under dark storage. Environment is often overlooked
when it comes to photo storage by the layperson. Cibachrome, like
Kodachrome (the archival champion slide film) do not do well when
exposed to light, and Kodachromes are notorious for fading due to
projection. Humidity and pollution are also factors that will reduce
the life of a color material, as will exposure to light, and
specially UV light. Many Cibachromes made for display were mounted
behind UV plastic, and needed to be color corrected to compensate for
the slight yellow tint of this material.

Dye Transfers or Cibachromes were the preferred materials that
museums used for long term storage of acquired color photography.
Organizations like Time Inc (Time magazine) keep color photographs in
a sealed, temperature and humidity controlled room - a large walk in
refrigerator with controlled humidity - and limited light exposure.
Color photographs kept under these conditions resist changes quite
well, as can be seen in their collection of color slide materials
from the 1930's, and autochromes from even earlier, and today look
quite good.

While Wilhelm (who I respect) is the standard giver today, one must
remember that these tests are not real world conditions, but
controlled laboratory simulations, and must be remembered as such
when referring to the claims made.

Do you know of another independent lab that is testing for permanence
in this manner, in order to compare results?

Sure don't.

I have a "Kodachrome 10" slide taken back around 1947. I think. I was around 11. It was of the Grand Canyon. BOY does the Canyon look different!!!!! Clear as a bell all the way across. Amazing!!! And the slide shows very little if any fading - dark storage in my A/C home in low humidity. My Fuji and Agfa slides are all worthless. Serious, serious fading. Nobody told us that Velvia would fade badly - until it was a little late. Then pretty much every pro figured it out.

 Steve Bingham's gear list:Steve Bingham's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR +20 more
mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: ..... and when I think about it....

Velvia was a shock, as was most early E-6 films. Go over to the TIMEPIX website and search for Hugo Jaeger, and look at his photos from the 1930's and 40's. He documented Hitler and the Nazi rise to power, photographing many rallies and the like. He buried his archive in tin boxes in the hills around Germany when it was apparent that they were going to lose the war. Many years later he went back and dug them up and finally sold them to Time Magazine. I have had the luck to sit with these transparencies and look through all of them on a lightbox at Time. Considering the age of the material, which I believe was Agfachrome, and the storage in the early years, they look fantastic, and are readily correctable after they were scanned.

I hope that todays photographs are so robust - film or digital. Metal or Ink.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads