Film versus DSLR dynamic range

Started Jul 24, 2007 | Discussions
mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: No, I am not wrong

Traditionally, "dynamic range" and "noise" was never used when talking about film. Digital Audio perhaps... But we need not to be hung up on semantics. Tell me how your definition of Latitude is independent from the films "dynamic range". Exposure error is absorbed by the fact that the highlights in film do not saturate like a digital sensor does.

This conversation is quickly paralleling discussions about the merits of tube audio vs solid state amplification.

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: No, I am not wrong

But we need not to be
hung up on semantics.

semantics is study of meaning. if we need not to be hung up on meeaning then there is nothing rest...

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Julia

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

From Webster:

semantics...

3 b : the language used (as in advertising or political propaganda) to achieve a desired effect on an audience especially through the use of words with novel or dual meanings.

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: No, I am not wrong

mcd3 wrote:

From Webster:

semantics...

I stick to Greek and Hebrew roots. English word "significant" can be derived from the root "smn".

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Julia

Harry Lime Regular Member • Posts: 264
Re: Film versus DSLR dynamic range

NikonManFlorida wrote:

DR is not simply a function of emulsion vs. CCD/CMOS ... e.g. Fuji's
S5 sensor has much greater DR than most (if not all) other digital
sensors, albiet with limited resolution.

Its all relative ...

I'm very impressed by the S5 PRO. It's the first DSLR that I have seen that to me generates images that look almost like film. Those two extra stops make a huge difference and if I am not mistaken it is also 16bit. Too bad its only 6MP, but frankly if I had money to burn I would buy one regardless. I've seen some 11x14 prints that a friend made with his S5 and they looked very good. The color is outstanding.

I would be willing to put down some serious money if Nikon made a 10 or 12MP camera that offered similar performance. 10 stops would be great. 12 stops would be perfect.

At a minimum I wish Nikon would implement something like the new 'highlight' mode that Canon introduced on their new 1D MkIII. Apparently they shift the whole capture range up by a stop or two. You lose something on the bottom, but gain one at the top. A Canon rep showed me some examples of snow scenes and brides and it actually works quite well. Using a 14bit A/D also makes a difference.

One of the biggest reasons why I still shoot film is because of the huge exposure range of negative film. For me it's all about a smooth roll off in the highlights. Shadows can go dark as far as I am concerned. I'm guessing that I am getting around 10 or 12 stops out of Tri-X. Certainly nothing less. I normally develop it at 400asa in Ilford DD-X, which produces spectacular, pearly negatives. I'm starting to play around with divided developers, which are excellent for high contrast scenes and really hold onto the high lights.

Good stuff.

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: Film versus DSLR dynamic range

A film has two processes, namely exposure and development. A
pre-developed film has a potential namely the information stored in
the latent image i.e. the chemical reactions caused by light. Once
developed, the negative (or positive) has a DR which can be measured.
Development does not bring out all of the image in the latent
information.

if film is exposed "incorrectly" as referred to the scene and intention of the photographer latent image does not contain the scene as it should be recorded. "incorrectly" here means not within the limits of latitude. no realistically existing amount of dynamic range can correct this problem. for a night scene that includes sources of light and reflections on water and an old castle a shot on a LF B/W film processed to dynamic range of 11 stops will not save my @ss if I miss the exposure even by 1 stop. such a scene allows no margin for exposure error, and hence no latitude. for a dull scene with the same film and processing I have latitude of about 5 to 6 stops. simply put latitude is process DR minus scene range (in f-stops).

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Julia

mcd3 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Film versus DSLR dynamic range

Julia Borg wrote:

A film has two processes, namely exposure and development. A
pre-developed film has a potential namely the information stored in
the latent image i.e. the chemical reactions caused by light. Once
developed, the negative (or positive) has a DR which can be measured.
Development does not bring out all of the image in the latent
information.

if film is exposed "incorrectly" as referred to the scene and
intention of the photographer latent image does not contain the scene
as it should be recorded. "incorrectly" here means not within the
limits of latitude. no realistically existing amount of dynamic range
can correct this problem. for a night scene that includes sources of
light and reflections on water and an old castle a shot on a LF B/W
film processed to dynamic range of 11 stops will not save my @ss if I
miss the exposure even by 1 stop. such a scene allows no margin for
exposure error, and hence no latitude. for a dull scene with the same
film and processing I have latitude of about 5 to 6 stops. simply put
latitude is process DR minus scene range (in f-stops).

"simply put latitude is process DR minus scene range (in f-stops)."

As i originally said. Dynamic range and latitude are the same thing.

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: Film versus DSLR dynamic range

"simply put latitude is process DR minus scene range (in f-stops)."

As i originally said. Dynamic range and latitude are the same thing.

ROTFLMAO. yes, if scene range is zero.

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Julia

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: Film versus DSLR dynamic range

in both

cases latent images are pretty linear.

Film is MOST CERTAINLY NOT linear. I suggest you check out the
response curves of various B&W films....nothing could appear less
linear. If you have ever processed your own B&W film, you'd already
know this!

do you know what latent image is? if so, why you refer to processed image?

I can routinely overexpose
Tri-X and NPS160 by 4 to 6 stops and easily retain highlights.

you "can" or you "routinely"? "highlights" or "details in highlights"? what film processing you use? how you rate the film speed?

Let's
see you drag 6 stops of overexposure in a digital file back into a
useable image.

please define "overexposure" :))

It is just part of the latitude that some film
has over digital capture.

if you can get a usable image from a digital camera underexposing 5 stops, is it latitude?

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Julia

digitall Senior Member • Posts: 2,223
Re: No, I am not wrong

I think the study of meaning, semantics, is a discipline and best not confused with meaning in the general sense. So best not conflate the two. You can ask what someone means, or explain what you mean to someone who misunderstands you, without touching upon theories of meaning; thank God! Having said that, thanks for insights into DR, latitude etc.

By the way, why doesn't the 'output' medium figure more prominently in these discussions? I think the DR of printing paper is very narrow, isn't it?

Julia Borg wrote:

semantics is study of meaning. if we need not to be hung up on
meeaning then there is nothing rest...

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