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Thread: 8x10 vs IQ180

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    8x10 vs IQ180

    This is a commentary on the recent article by Markus Zuber, published on Luminous Landscape. If you haven’t read it yet : http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re..._vs_8x10.shtml




    Markus Zuber’s article raises a number of issues, both technical and philosophical.

    One of the challenges is raising these comparisons is the question of whether one is talking about one as a replacement for the other or simply using one as a benchmark to measure the other against. Markus doesn’t make his approach clear, but most times I have witnessed or participated in this discussion, the underlying implication is one of “Is X good enough to replace Y”.
    I’d suggest that there is another approach that can add a different perspective to the discussion. Asking the question “What are the capabilities of X and what new opportunities/methods does is offer for image making”. One of the problems with the approach of comparing something new with the older thing you have been using is that it focuses your attention on an implied assumption that what you were doing was the “right way”. It’s sometimes helpful to ignore the tried and true and look for new possibilities. For me, the arrival of my IQ180 a few months back has been a revelation.

    Live focus is a huge asset on the IQ series backs. It is particularly valuable when using longer lenses with tech cameras. I mostly use it when shooting interiors with ultra-wides and when using a close foreground element to lead the eye from in my landscapes. I do not understand why anyone would even attempt to use a groundglass to focus an ALPA if you are shooting on a MFDB. For one thing, the image is too small and the groundglass image too coarse to make meaningful judgements. Forget about seeing anything of value outside the centre of image with wider lenses. Even if you do manage to make meaningful focus settings on the groundglass, it is very hard to ensure that your sensor is in the same plane as your groundglass. With and ALPA, the shimming of backs gives you precision to the 100ths of a millimetre, one of this systems major strengths. You risk losing that precision using a GG to focus. As someone who once did more than 90% of his professional work on a view camera, I understand the comfort of relying on the method you have used with great success in the past. However, the precision required by tech cams and MFDB renders GG focusing obsolete. {Of course, if you are shooting film on your ALPA, the n a GG is valuable but not infallible}. Before I shot with my IQ180, I would guestimate or laser the distance, then rely on the accuracy of ALPA’s HPF rings to give me a strike rate on focus approaching 100% with both my P45+ and P65+. For me, the IQ back on my Alpa is the best workflow I have ever had on an tech cam, as far as focus is concerned. Lets not forget that GG focussing meand exposing your sensor to a lot more risk from impact damage and dust ingress….

    Marks statement “ Knowing well that the AF does not really serve well at least with the 55” has me wondering if his generalization means I’ve missed out on some commonly known wisdom. I happen to own the 55, 80 and 110 Schneiders and they focus spot-on in AF. I have a few friends who have no focus problems with their 55’s in AF mode.

    These tests clearly demonstrate what many have known for some time – that the “legendary” status of 8x10 as the image quality champion is just that – a legend. The need to shoot at f32 or smaller has always meant that diffraction significantly degrades image quality. Other problems common to large format sheet film such as the lack of film flatness (resulting in the film plane not being in the same place as your groundglass) further compound the problem. The tonality and creaminess often attributed to 8x10 are really a lack of true resolution masked by the fact that many 8x10 images were printed at relatively modest magnification. I make prints from my P65+, Aptus 12 and my IQ180 at sizes exceeding 1.5meters that a print from an 8x10 image simply cannot come close to matching for absolute resolution and edge-to-edge sharpness. The fact that I can achieve this extraordinary outcome with a package as small as an Alpa STC with an IQ180 and a couple of lenses of the extraordinary quality available from Rodenstock, Schneider, Alpa etc is the truly exciting thing about being a photographer in this day and age. The 8x10 is the champ argument simply does not stand up and has not for some time. Your test prove this yet again.

    A word of caution about diffraction. MF tech cam lenses of recent design are optimised for use at much larger apertures than conventional wisdom suggests. This is compounded by pixel-level diffraction increasing as pixel sizes get smaller. My 23HR digaron for example, is noticeably softer at f16 than at f8 on my IQ180. The difference was not as obvious on my P65+ which has slightly larger pixels. However, this lens is so good, I am happy shooting at f5.6, provided I can focus accurately.

    “The film could easily reveal more details, if they would be projected to it’s surface”. Actually, this is one of the Achilles heels of film, especially colour emulsions. Because film is made by layering several layers of emulsion, each sensitive to different wavelengths of light, on top of each other, light striking the top surface us progressively scattered or diffused as it penetrates the emulsion stack to reach the lower layers. As such, the image on the lower emulsion layer is more diffused (less resolution and contrast) than at the surface. The corrollory of this is that with digital sensors, there is a flat plane and therefore a lot to be gained by precise placement of focus. Hence Alpa’s shimming of backs is of even greater significance with digital backs. The sensor, if properly placed, can utilize the resolution delivered by the lens, where film could not maximize this.

    “Film could easily reveal more details”. How? As you’ve already demonstrated, an IQ180 (and by logical extension, the Aptus12) on a tech cam such as an Alpa can outresolve 8x10 film. Add to this the fact that the IQ180 has not one but several more stops more dynamic range than film (The Kodak and Fuji tranny films I used to use had 6.3 stops range in normal E6 processing) as well.
    IQ 180 files record and reveal much, much more detail than any colour or monochromatic film I have ever used.

    “As we have seen with all Phase One backs, it is very important to get as much to the right as possible (I assume Markus means on the histogram). Underexposed images suffer from noise and bad colours”. Hmmm…. I’m curious, does this mean there is a manufacturer out there with a back for which this is not true?(I want one!!) I’ve owned or shot with backs from Phase, Leaf, Hasselblad, Kodak, Sinar, Canon and Nikon and this is true for all of them. It’s fair to say that all current MF backs are much more tolerant of exposure error than any colour emulsion made. Ever push-processed a colour film more than a stop? You get grainy shadows (read: Noise) and massive colour shifts. In fact not just linear colour shifts but significant colour crossovers. The IQ180 in particular, easily outperforms film in this regard, and all other backs with the possible exception of its stable-mate, the Aptus 12.
    I own both, so I’m speaking from first-hand experience. I’m not sure what Markus’s point is in the context of a comparison between 8x10 film and the IQ180. Yes, if you underexpose significantly with this back, you get noise and colour shifts, but in my view, much less than if you underexposed film the same amount.

    I fail to understand how the screen in the IQ displays an image from a 110mm lens any differently from a 28mm. It’s displaying the same proportion of both images at whatever percentage of magnification you’ve chosen. It’s value as a focus checking device seems to me to be identical whatever lens I attach.

    On the subject of the IQ180’s performance as a B&W device, it is astounding. I shot a lot of large format monochrome in my film days and am well versed with advanced zone system and processing/printing techniques. I have also shot extensively with the Phase One Achromatic back. For panchromatic use (I have not tested IR or UV applications), the IQ180 is simply the best B&W device I have ever shot with. It has much more dynamic range than film, higher resolution than 8x10 film (as Markus has shown us) and with precise use of advanced post-processing techniques, capable of delivering a richness of tone and detail I’ve never seen before.

    The kicker for me is that we now have a back which, combined with our camera of choice (I use mine on Alpa STC, Phase 645DF and Fuji GX680 platforms) is able to realistically deliver quality that exceeds 8x10 on a number of levels, is much more portable, user friendly and incredibly versatile. It has already altered the way I work in a number of ways and opened up imagemaking possibilities I had not imagined possible even a couple of years ago.

    A big thank you to Markus for taking the time not only to run these tests, but also for taking the time to document and share it with us all.
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    I certainly agree with the results of the test. But I don't agree with some of the statements you are making. You don't "need" any specific aperture to shoot any specific format. The "emulsion thickness" and "can't focus MFD on ground glass" are two of the biggest myth being circulated--do you actually know how thick a color emulsion is? (not the base, but the actual emulsion? (while the photosite may be flat, the sensor construction has depth)). And I certainly can get the same DR if not more from negatives films than my MFD. And all the transparency film I shot have more DR than 6.3 stops. I have extensive experience in film format up to 8x10 and MFD.

    I think the film/digital debates are passed their due dates. We have enough myths in photography without the need to create more.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    For me film is long past it's usefulness but it was great learning tool through the years and really all we had. I'm glad I lived in that time frame but also glad it's over. It's been close to maybe 14 years since I shot film and I simply do not miss it. To me any comparison is a moot point since no client of mine would even entertain it's use now.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    For me film is long past it's usefulness but it was great learning tool through the years and really all we had. I'm glad I lived in that time frame but also glad it's over. It's been close to maybe 14 years since I shot film and I simply do not miss it. To me any comparison is a moot point since no client of mine would even entertain it's use now.
    +1

    Amen.
    Siebel
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Ditto

    But I think film still holds a place as a viable "art" medium, and think it should.
    Jack
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    +1

    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    For me film is long past it's usefulness but it was great learning tool through the years and really all we had. I'm glad I lived in that time frame but also glad it's over. It's been close to maybe 14 years since I shot film and I simply do not miss it. To me any comparison is a moot point since no client of mine would even entertain it's use now.
    Thierry Hagenauer
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Bryan,

    I absolutely agree with all you wrote here.
    Well said.

    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    Markus Zuber’s article raises a number of issues, both technical and philosophical.
    ...
    Thierry Hagenauer
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    For fine art I would put it as another medium to work in. For commerce it simply is over like 8 track tapes. Clients are too demanding on time and resources to deal with it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    There are very few uses for film in scientific imaging--something I do. And I am talking very few--0.01%. Film certainly has a place in creative photography. And there are people who enjoy the process--I assume we can have fun with photography.

    I think the film/digital conflict has really soured conversations in photography. Folks were/are taking it far too personally and folks started to overestimate the relevance of certain technical aspects of photography, or they just started to make things up. I do a fair amount of teaching in applied and scientific imaging and the garbage some people come out with is incredible.

    Setting aesthetic/subjective criteria aside, there is no question in terms of resolution sensors are far better. I just hung a 12 foot panorama up today and the quality is not something I could not have achieved with a film area twice or three times the size. And the work that I do in microscopy is just not possible with film.

    On the other hand, I just saw recent work done with a wet plate process. Very beautiful images. A look I cannot duplicate digitally.

    And here is the problem. We have creative photographers attacking each other over how much resolution they have rather than enjoying each others work.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Markus Zuber’s article raises a number of issues, both technical and philosophical.
    It actually does neither. The test is quite clear. Conclusion are easy to make.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180



    Thierry
    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    ...I assume we can have fun with photography...
    ...
    ... And here is the problem. We have creative photographers attacking each other over how much resolution they have rather than enjoying each others work.
    Thierry Hagenauer
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    For me film is long past it's usefulness but it was great learning tool through the years and really all we had. I'm glad I lived in that time frame but also glad it's over. It's been close to maybe 14 years since I shot film and I simply do not miss it. To me any comparison is a moot point since no client of mine would even entertain it's use now.
    +1

    I took the plunge from MF/LF film to MF digital about six years ago and although the learning curve was steep and the plunge expensive , i think this was a very good decision . I will definately not go back but shoot with film from time to time with my vintage HASSELBLADS . Its still some fun .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    I'm joining in because I learnt something today, and Bryan, you articulated your thoughts clearly, and enjoyed the read!

    Thanks
    Po

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    It actually does neither. The test is quite clear. Conclusion are easy to make.
    While I'm no expert in large format film, I've been puzzled by some elements of the test, and I'm not sure what conclusion I'm supposed to arrive at.

    Was it a test of pure resolving power? Then why was there such an amazingly deep scene used where DoF plays such a major role. Or was it to validate better images because of use of a smaller format/wider lens and achieve more acceptable depth of field at the optimal setting of the lens?

    So maybe I missed it, but I didn't see what the plane of focus was. Most of the detail comparisons were at various distances, so couldn't it be some of what is showing is depth of field differences (to me it looks like being out of focus on the 8x10 may be as much a problem as lack of resolution issues)?

    I'm also puzzled at the comparisons. They show identical sized portions of the original image, enlarged to x00% then reduced to xx%. But the 8x10 scans were smaller pixel dimensions. Seems this would require the 8x10 files to be uprezzed at a different level than the IQ180 files to achieve the 1-1 relationship we see in the comparisons, exaggerating difference of the 8x10. Also guessing if you scanned 8x10 film at much higher resolution and then resized it to match the IQ180 the 8x10 might have looked better (which is the workflow one uses with 8x10) (OK, I'll admit I didn't really delve in the fine detail of the article, maybe there's a good explanation and I missed it)

    As I mentioned over on LuLa, my skepticism comes from extremely close examination of Rodney Lough's work which is pretty amazing and certainly appears to be on par or at least much closer than what I'm seeing in the comparisons.

    Of course, the real test is print vs print .. as usual on line pixel peeping rarely gives us a good insight as to what things will look like on paper. So despite what appears to be a substantial advantage of the IQ180, printing a very large print most likely won't reveal nearly as large of difference.

    That being said, I left film in 2001 and have never been happier. Shooting digital rekindled my passion for landscape work (especially since that 1st 16mp digital back Kodak made which is where I started with MF), and like Guy, I'm appreciative of the fact that I lived during the transition ... having a film background certainly gives one a nice perspective on digital ...

    what a great time to be alive ...
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Well the biggest learning experience that the new generation will never know is learning your craft learning it really well before you knock down 20 lights and go home for the day shooting blind and not TRULY knowing if you nailed it or you completely failed at it and lost a client. Some folks have no idea how easy it is today. Than they cry about live view. Hell we barely had meters that worked never mind seeing anything. I'm glad they are memories now.

    I'm actually sitting here going through thousands of images for a presentation and reliving almost every shoot. Kind of enjoying the nostalgia.

    BTW has anyone actually shot 8 X 10 view camera's. I used to use a Horseman 8x10 but I would have killed for a Sinar.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Dunno. I like film. It helps me when digital can not work.
    Shoot Aptus in 42C heat and weep...

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Guy, to be fair, maybe more like vinyl albums, not 8-track (wonder how many even know what an 8 track is.

    my guess is the biggest loose variable for 8x10 is holding the film flat; even if it is not flat, some portion of the image ought to be in focus, unless it is closer than the focal length (beyond Infinity, Buz!)

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Okay John vinyl it is. LOL

    I still have a 14 year old in the house and he has no clue what a cassette is, never mind who the Beatles are. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    still have one, still shoot with one .. although it's an age old Rajah 8x10 wood field

    although the glass i shoot with isn't being used for it's resolution... in fact, i'd say it's anti-resolution

    fp4 & trix in rodinal

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well the biggest learning experience that the new generation will never know is learning your craft learning it really well before you knock down 20 lights and go home for the day shooting blind and not TRULY knowing if you nailed it or you completely failed at it and lost a client. Some folks have no idea how easy it is today. Than they cry about live view. Hell we barely had meters that worked never mind seeing anything. I'm glad they are memories now.

    I'm actually sitting here going through thousands of images for a presentation and reliving almost every shoot. Kind of enjoying the nostalgia.

    BTW has anyone actually shot 8 X 10 view camera's. I used to use a Horseman 8x10 but I would have killed for a Sinar.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Has anybody compared a analog print of film (vs a scan) to a print from digital?

    I sometimes read the LFI magazine and allways try to guess if images are film or digital. Have to say that 90% of the film images have a look that I like. DOnt know if its color and tones or the grain.

    Just looks good to me.

    Comparing large format film to digital - resolution -mmhhh - if digital has more resolution I wonder if anybody would miss any resolution i a print from large format film?

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    BTW has anyone actually shot 8 X 10 view camera's. I used to use a Horseman 8x10 but I would have killed for a Sinar.
    I still do -and 5x7 and 4x5. And 11x14 (a 1890s Sands & Hunter that I use for shooting portraits).

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by micek View Post
    I still do -and 5x7 and 4x5. And 11x14 (a 1890s Sands & Hunter that I use for shooting portraits).
    That's great been a very very long time for me
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    BTW has anyone actually shot 8 X 10 view camera's. I used to use a Horseman 8x10 but I would have killed for a Sinar.
    For over thirty years the majority of my commercial work was large format from 4x5 to 11x14 both in studio and location. At the peak of catalog season I shot over 250 sheets of 8x10 transparency film a week plus 4x5 and 11x14. I shot the majority with a Sinar Norma and Deardorff.

    99.9% of my work is now digital and has been for about thirteen years. As much as I love digital I still love the look of film. There's a depth to film and prints from film that digital just doesn't have. I think there's more to making a beautiful image than everything being pixel sharp.

    True that clients just don't have time and money for those big shoots now. I don't think the majority would even be able to see the difference or even care. I'm afraid those days are gone and the $20-100K shoots are gone at least for the remainder of my career.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    There's something much more rewarding about exposing, printing and processing your own film. To play with recipes using temp and time, to create something that's tangible- tactile!
    Most certainly, the learning curve with digital has ben reduced, but for me, film, with all its wonderful attributes and variables, seems so much more skillful than digital. Shooting digital is a must though, in my area of photography, but when there's not a deadline or client, i'll grab my film gear for the pure enjoyment of art!

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Okay John vinyl it is. LOL

    I still have a 14 year old in the house and he has no clue what a cassette is, never mind who the Beatles are. LOL
    Guy, to be fair, Vinyl holds MUCH more information than CD (and is clearly audible). Unlike digital photography, digital audio doesn't have the duality of smaller and/or better - only smaller.

    I think you need to play some Beatles on vinyl in the house

    One day I hope to be using an uncropped digital MFDB with a tech cam and my new (to me) Hasselblad until that day comes it'll be the M9, Hasselblad with film, and 4x5 with film... I don't really feel hard done by

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    There's something much more rewarding about exposing, printing and processing your own film. To play with recipes using temp and time, to create something that's tangible- tactile!
    I've been into photography since '73, professional and printing my own work since '75 (originally had one of those tubes you floated and spun in a water bath to process a 16x20 sheet of color paper), while I agree that experiencing analog/chemical photography was great, I personally think digital as more rewarding, especially if you do 100% of it yourself, capture, post processing and output.

    Not disputing your point of view ... to each their own ....
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Has anybody compared a analog print of film (vs a scan) to a print from digital?
    to me this seems to be what is usually missing in these types of exercises, so they really don't prove much of anything.

    The real test would be perfectly captured IQ180 (tech camera, expert tech cam user, expert C1 and photoshop user) and perfectly captured 8x10, perfectly scanned and processed and both printed by an expert printer on the highest quality output device.

    then start printing bigger and bigger and see what point one surpasses the other (if one does).

    Yeah, I know. A lot of work and really not much reason. Both produce truly stunning large prints so pick your medium and have fun.
    wayne
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well the biggest learning experience that the new generation will never know is learning your craft learning it really well before you knock down 20 lights and go home for the day shooting blind and not TRULY knowing if you nailed it or you completely failed at it and lost a client. Some folks have no idea how easy it is today. Than they cry about live view. Hell we barely had meters that worked never mind seeing anything. I'm glad they are memories now.

    BTW has anyone actually shot 8 X 10 view camera's. I used to use a Horseman 8x10 but I would have killed for a Sinar.
    You are right. The learning curve can be climbed much faster with digital. Instant, detailed feedback. I hated the "approximation" of polaroids and waiting for E6 clip tests was a real drag too.

    Yes I shot 8x10, though I generally preferred 5x4 and 6x12 rollfilm backs on view cameras. I moved from a Sinar P to a Horseman LX and rate the Horseman the better of the two. The LX was a huge improvement over the earlier Horseman and had in-plane movements in addition to yaw-free tilts. It also avoided that stupid rail-clamp on the Sinar, replacing it with a geared drive that was a godsend for precision work.
    Siebel
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    There's something much more rewarding about exposing, printing and processing your own film. To play with recipes using temp and time, to create something that's tangible- tactile!
    Most certainly, the learning curve with digital has ben reduced, but for me, film, with all its wonderful attributes and variables, seems so much more skillful than digital. Shooting digital is a must though, in my area of photography, but when there's not a deadline or client, i'll grab my film gear for the pure enjoyment of art!
    Hats off to you for saying that you love the process. Finally, someone is honest about this.
    I'm tired of hearing the "but film has that certain quality to it" guff. There is virtually no film made whose look cannot be replicated by a knowledgeable person with the right gear. The colour characteristics can be replicated, the local micro-contrast and tonal transitions too. Even the tonality can be reproduced. The problem is that the average hack does not have this knowledge, but this does not justify a claim that the film "look" cannot be achieved digitally.
    Siebel
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    > The problem is that the average hack does not have this knowledge, but this does not justify a claim that the film "look" cannot be achieved digitally.

    BTW, could you recommend some truly great digital artists working nowadays to see they work?

    I used to saw 15 Karsh's portraits at Fujifilm plaza in Tokyo, right after very nice and big color prints (digital and from film) exposed at the same building. It's fan, but color gallery was crowded, while Karsh exibition was almost empty. I saw this Karsh exibition two times already in Chicago, and now for third time in Tokyo. But in Tokyo it was right after I saw big color prints, and I must say that it was quite something. Color prints were nice, perfect, exceptional details, no noise etc.

    But it was something magical in Karsh prints, they are not big, like 16x20". I stick my nose close to prints (I didn't dare to do this in Chicago) I saw sometimes only sharp eyes on prints, but nose was out of focus. But once I step back, I saw like live person on the print. Prints were completely 3D objects and I can see them without any 3D glasses. We sat at bench and truly enjoy those Prints. Those Prints radiate power, as my lovely wife said after.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Bryan, how can you draw the conclusion from Zuber's flawed (8x10" crops were obviously out of focus) test that a properly focused 80 MP back with tech glass is always outresolving 8x10" film?

    Maybe it has been your personal experience that non of your 8x10" films had image detail that require a larger file than 80 MP to be fully represented.
    But you come off as ignorant if you claim that this has to be the case for every 8x10" shooter out there.
    However, I'm sure for the work you do the IQ180 and your other backs are probably the right tools helping you get exactly what you want at the speed you need it.

    My personal experience has been that it takes significantly more than a 100 MP file to store all the real image information contained in my properly focused 8x10" films. It is very obvious to see when I reduce my image files to only 110 MP that lots of real detail gets lost in the process. Even some of my 4x5" negatives contain finer detail than could be displayed with only 80 MP. As an example I provide a full-resolution landscape shot captured on 4x5" Fuji Acros 100 with the Schneider 110XL at f/16.3. It's a 6000 ppi drum scan with a slight amount of smart sharpening for viewing on screen. After cropping the film rebate the image is about 650 MP. Yes, it's not tack sharp on 1:1 pixel level. Now the question is how well does an IQ180 or Aptus-II 12 file take an enlargement to 650 MP? Any non-stitched samples?

    This is the same shot reduced to about 80 MP.

    With film the effective resolution depends a lot on the object contrast of the detail. As soon as it drops the resolution of film drops with it. This is the analog nature of film. You can say that the films goes soft, but you can also say that it helps to retain a natural depth of contrast. To me it simply looks more natural than the pumped up micro contrast in so many digital images.
    I would agree that the IQ180 shots I've seen at base sensitivity have less noise than what I get as grain texture even from very fine grained 4x5" negative film like Fuji Acros.

    We even made tests with 35mm high-res microfilm like Adox CMS 20. This film needs a special developer to be used photographically. It's only 5-6 ASA but it can resolve high contrast detail below 2 microns, basically the diffraction limit at f5.6.

    Of course with digital stitching it's possible build multi-gigapixel images outresolving any one shot system.

    When it comes to dynamic range I wonder where those super DR images of the IQ180 or any other back are that show something that color neg cannot handle. Could you show an example?

    I never feel limited in DR when using color neg if I expose for the shadows, even in high contrast urban night scenes. On the other hand I see blown highlights with colored halos on similar non HDR digital captures. Why is that if the sensors have so much dynamic range?

    The closest DR to color neg I've seen in digital capture came from the RED Epic in HDRx mode, a sort of on-the-fly double exposure HDR processing. Very clever, but not very useful for long exposures where the scene changes during exposure time.

    -Dominique

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    There is virtually no film made whose look cannot be replicated by a knowledgeable person with the right gear. The colour characteristics can be replicated, the local micro-contrast and tonal transitions too. Even the tonality can be reproduced. The problem is that the average hack does not have this knowledge, but this does not justify a claim that the film "look" cannot be achieved digitally.
    I'd be interested to know what you understand by film look, since you seem to admit its existence, and what exactly sets it apart from a digital look.

    In any case, no sophisticated or arcane digital knowledge is necessary to achieve a film look: just shoot film.

    Finally, someone is honest about this.
    I'm tired of hearing the "but film has that certain quality to it" guff.
    I don't understand this vehemence, why should it bother you that some can perceive a certain quality in work produced via a certain technique?

  33. #33
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    For me film is long past it's usefulness but it was great learning tool through the years and really all we had. I'm glad I lived in that time frame but also glad it's over. It's been close to maybe 14 years since I shot film and I simply do not miss it. To me any comparison is a moot point since no client of mine would even entertain it's use now.
    Alas, Guy, I think far too many people share your sentiment...
    The usefulness of film cannot be understated, as the fundamentals of all photography are steeped in its heritage. Teaching theory, and mastering a light meter - the effects of aperture and shutter. The use of the zone system for exposure, and understanding DOF, make it a very useful medium indeed. The usefulness this provides allows a photographer to look through the frame and think about the importance of composition or the rule of thirds - a technique master painters have been using for hundreds of years! Then when they pick up a digital camera they'll appreciate the difference, and their photographs will show it.
    Just because a stradivarius can be replicated digitally, doesn't mean its usefulness is limited...it teaches us an appreciation, that quite frankly, digital does not. Shooting 200 frames in a few minutes, you'll eventually get something, or you can fix it in the computer or add elements that weren't even there. Digital photographers should reconnect with their heritage, swap your DB with a film back when clients aren't staring over your shoulder and reconnect with it as an art form, if not for just the recognition and enjoyment! I think film should be mandatory for a digital photography class - to use film a a final exam of sorts. To make certain the understanding of photography is firmly fixed, so it becomes habit.

    In 1942, Ansel Adams photographed "The Tetons and The Snake River", it has inspired myself and many other photographers to understand and appreciate the skill involved in capturing the essence of that moment. Something that has compelled me as a digital/film photographer to appreciate film's usefulness.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    Both produce truly stunning large prints so pick your medium and have fun.
    This is T H E most salient point so far, IMHO.

    However, a critical caveat is the "perfectly captured, processed and printed" part. I've done it all with both, and after some basic mastery for each medium, it's geometrically more difficult to achieve and a more time consuming job with the 8x10...
    Jack
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Well I kind of agree having a even small film experience is a great thing for teaching. No anything all based on instinct nothing to preview and no automation . At least one good solid week of shooting and processing , maybe a month would be better. My issue today is the famous phrase Ill fix it in photoshop. What ever happened to the rule of the era that I grew up in. Everything MUST be done in camera. Frankly I still do everything in camera and that comes directly from film and the years I put into it. We had the 8 x 10 cam but I mostly used 4x5 because of costs and speed of operation but I would love to see more use of this for teaching reasons. For commerce film just does not make it anymore but for fine art , personal work and for teaching it's a great medium. Now does it compare equally to a 80 mpx back. Heck does it really matter when your dictated in commerce to shoot digital. So for me it is a moot point and folks will defend film till there grave and I get that no question. I learned the zone system from Fred Pickers number 1 guru and it was a wonderful learning experience and honestly we still use it but we use it
    without realizing it too. Let's face what is a histogram anyway, it's the zone between black and white. So is the zone system. LOL

    Nothing really has changed just done different, the principles are still in place.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Let's even forget Ansels work for a second. I think more importantly he should be given far more credit for inspiring photographers to go down this path. Man I would love to be recognized like that when I kick the bucket. What a tribute.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    I've always seen a difference between film and digital. I love the look and feel of film with its random grain as opposed to regimented pixels ... mostly B&W.

    However, I'm simply too lazy to keep doing it properly ... and as Guy says, not one single client will put up with the cost and time of film.

    -Marc

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    My issue today is the famous phrase Ill fix it in photoshop. What ever happened to the rule of the era that I grew up in. Everything MUST be done in camera.
    It was fixed in the darkroom. Laboriously, but informatively. The same fixes applied manually for each print. Ugh! I miss film cameras (Yashicamat FTW!) but I don't miss film.

    Best,

    Matt

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Economics, speed, convenience, digital wins, but did we learn anything about photography? Comparing a histogram with the zone system is a good idea, it would teach composition using tonal values too. The quality of the IQ180 is not questioned, but are there any lenses to really exploit the DB?
    Digital converts signals to arithmetic, sensors have depth and patterns that have a predictable outcome, and film uses silver halides along with chemistry - whose outcome depends on ratios, temperature, duration, manipulation, and most importantly - technique...what's to compare? Film is boot camp for photography, digital is the video game version that you can reset.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    While I'm no expert in large format film, I've been puzzled by some elements of the test, and I'm not sure what conclusion I'm supposed to arrive at.
    Perhaps I am handicapped because I look at a lot of tests and data.

    First, this is not a quantitative test--there are no measurements that can be made. This is a qualitative test.

    The conditions were stated. So our the conclusions are limited to those.

    The images are the results. The 8x10 image did not have the resolving power of the IQ180.

    Simple.

    Folks say it is because of the scan resolution. I think we can say that is not the reason as the image is clearly not undersampled--the image is soft and more pixels while adding a little more detail will not significantly improve the image--neither will magically look like digital. Undersamplying tend to result in sharper images, not soft ones.

    So could it be the 8x10 camera conditions. Certainly different optics, apertures, film flatness, focus could all impact the image which would improve it. But the image is clearly not a result of bad operator error. So any improvement would be incremental, but also to the point were it will not catch the IQ180. But as a systemic test of an 8x10 system, you can expect these results as at least average. Just as you can expect the IQ180 as average which is a systemic result including image processing.

    So the result shows large sensors can have much better resolving power to proportionally large sheets of film. What is so hard about that?

    Now you can try to ignore the results by pointing out the limits of the test, but that will not change the basic result. This is a simple statement about the ability of these systems to resolve. That is it. It does not ask which system is "better." That will ultimately come down to the individual photographer and the results they want to achieve. There are somethings, at least with photographers that really understand what systems and processes can impart to an image, that cannot be replaced by another system--there is more to photography than just resolving power.

    There is one more result. No matter which system you use, you can come out with some pretty boring images with great clarity.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    It was fixed in the darkroom. Laboriously, but informatively. The same fixes applied manually for each print. Ugh! I miss film cameras (Yashicamat FTW!) but I don't miss film.

    Best,

    Matt
    Boy, ain't that the truth. Every time someone wanted to buy a print, it was pull out the dodge and burn map and start all over.

    -Marc

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    I wonder how big one would have to print and from what distance one would have to look to see a difference-so is resolution the determin factor when comparing lf film and MF digital?

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Boy, ain't that the truth. Every time someone wanted to buy a print, it was pull out the dodge and burn map and start all over.

    -Marc

    So here we come to one of the most important advantages of the digital workflow .
    You can easily print an image at different sizes at any time later with the same
    quality or for example 10 images all absolutely the same look , contrast tonality etc.
    Try that with printing in the darkroom .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Instead of comparing two entirely different mediums, why not compare the lenses instead? It would seem that's the only common thread between them.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post

    So here we come to one of the most important advantages of the digital workflow .
    You can easily print an image at different sizes at any time later with the same
    quality or for example 10 images all absolutely the same look , contrast tonality etc.
    Try that with printing in the darkroom .
    When I had a winner and was printing . I made 5 of them right than and there so would not have to remember what I did. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I wonder how big one would have to print and from what distance one would have to look to see a difference-so is resolution the determin factor when comparing lf film and MF digital?
    I doubt print size would be a factor--never been to an exhibition where the theme was resolution. Advertising companies never publish comparative images either. Besides, viewing distance is a ratio of print size to viewing distance and I have never found print size a determining factor in quality.

    I have alway bought a system for its results. I have chosen systems with less resolving power because of other benefits.
    Last edited by Shashin; 24th September 2011 at 15:18.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    when i was shooting the few 8x10 images i made (B/W), contact printing was my output. I could enlarge 4x5, but the simplicity and directness of the contact print was a gas and the prints were very engaging
    there are more qualities than large printing
    Last edited by jlm; 25th September 2011 at 03:53.

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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I love the look and feel of film with its random grain as opposed to regimented pixels ... mostly B&W.
    And emphasis on B&W I agree, but seriously Marc, the IQ180 file has kicked it up a notch.

    Check your PM box.
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Of course this conversation is a bit like trying to tell a junkie he can live his life just as happily without drugs...

  50. #50
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    Re: 8x10 vs IQ180

    Quote Originally Posted by SCHWARZZEIT View Post
    This is the same shot reduced to about 80 MP.
    Wow... nice!!!

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