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Thread: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

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    Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    I just bought a new scanner, a Screen Cezanne, that is capable of near 6000dpi results and so I thought I'd take a look at the film shot from my 'Big Camera Comparison' on Portra 400 taken with the Mamiya 7.

    I have to say I was suitably impressed for a flatbed scanner. Here's the IQ180 against the Mamiya 7 and Portra 400



    Bear in mind that you're looking at this sample on a computer screen and the equivalent print size would be about 100"x80" so the bit of grain would be nigh invisible in a 30x40 print (or even a 40x50).

    And if you compare the results with a D800E it shows just how much detail the Mamiya 7 can render.



    The Mamiya 7 and Adox CMS would out resolve the IQ180 with room to spare - I reckon it's about 120 megapixels, more detail than 5x4 T-Max. The Velvia is somewhere between the D800E and IQ180. I think if I'd used Velvia 100F or Provia 100F the Mamiya 7 would have been equivalent to an IQ140 or IQ160.

    The only problem with the screen cezanne, and for that matter all flatbeds, is that they flare from highlights to shadow when scanning transparencies so the only critical solution to get the most of the dynamic range is a drum scan. However for neg scanning an less contrasty chromes the Cezanne is stunning.

    Tim

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Tim, thank you very much for these findings.

    I dont remember the detailed takeaways from your test back then. Could you please explain where - in a ranking of resolution - you put the Mamiya 7 compared to LF and analog MF systems?

    If I gather it correctly, you're findings imply that the Mamiya 7 has the most superiour optics in MF due to its rangefinder construction and outresolves both 4x5 and all other MF systems?

    This being said, is this the hierarchy: ?

    8x10 > M7 > 4x5 = IQ180 > MF systems (Haddy, Contax, etc) ?

    I remember this article on Lula where some Swiss photographer made a point that 8x10 = IQ180. What was your take on this again?

    Thank you for making a quick summary, this is interesting indeed!

    Kind regards

    Paul

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    This cheers me up since I just dropped a boatload on an imacon x1, essentially to use an overworked phrase, I "doubled down" on film

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Which reminds me: It's time to try out CMS 20

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Tim - which lens are you using on the M7 to make these comparisons?

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Would be nice to compare the new IQ260 Achromatic to film.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by corposant View Post
    Tim - which lens are you using on the M7 to make these comparisons?
    This was the 50mm on a Mamiya 7 I

    Tim

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Tim, thank you very much for these findings.

    I dont remember the detailed takeaways from your test back then. Could you please explain where - in a ranking of resolution - you put the Mamiya 7 compared to LF and analog MF systems?
    Well in terms of using a film such as Adox CMS20 I'd say it's on a par with 4x5 but for normal black and white and colour I'd say that the Mamiya 7 is probably about IQ140 ish with the right scanner. That said there are few scanners that will get the most out of the film. A well configured Opticfilm 120 with custom AN glass holders might.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post

    If I gather it correctly, you're findings imply that the Mamiya 7 has the most superiour optics in MF due to its rangefinder construction and outresolves both 4x5 and all other MF systems?
    Absolutely - I'd say they were diffraction limited lenses and from the research I've found they probably class as the sharpest 35mm lenses too
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post

    This being said, is this the hierarchy: ?

    8x10 > M7 > 4x5 = IQ180 > MF systems (Haddy, Contax, etc) ?
    Only for that Adox CMS20 black and white film. For most films it's

    8x10 > 4x5~=IQ180 > M7 > H3D39/P45 > D800E

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    I remember this article on Lula where some Swiss photographer made a point that 8x10 = IQ180. What was your take on this again?
    We did the research on this here.

    Big Camera Comparison - On Landscape

    and in short the 8x10 film was possibly 320 megapixels, 4x5 about 80-140 depending on whether you judge visual sharpness or actual resolution, M7 about 40-80 megapixels depending on how you judge it again.

    The dependency is basically that the film resolves a lot more but people don't judge by resolution, they judge by detail contrast and digital excels at this. If you print really really big then film starts to get the advantage back wherea digital starts to fall apart because it hits a hard resolution limit.

    Tim

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Hi Tim:

    Thank you for posting this. I did my own, more modest tests, when considering a Pentax 645D to replace my 67II. I compared images from a 645N, 645D and 67II; I used a 67 45mm lens on each camera, so no lens variability in the tests. Provia film scanned on a Nikon 9000 with a glass holder. The 645D was clearly better in every way to the 645N scans; however, the 67II held its own and I would give it a slight edge over the 645D.
    Here are some examples:
    1. The overall scene as seen on the 67II/45mm scan.
    2. 645N crop
    3. 645D crop
    4. 67II crop.
    The crops from the 645D and 67II are comparable, but keep in mind the 67II image is a much heavier crop of the whole image. The 45mm is equivalent to about 22mm on the 67 and 35mm on the 645D (in 35mm equivalents).

    Tom
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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    The 67II crop really stands out. Provia 100F or 400X?

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Hi Jorgen:

    100F. Although I mostly use the 645D now, it's for ease of use, not that it yields better files than the 67. I still think a well-shot and scanned 67 file beats out 40 MP. As Tim noted above, at some point of enlargement of a digital file it falls off a cliff, whereas film enlarges to a fuzzy randomness that I find pleasing. I also much prefer the way film handles the sun in an image; I've found that I have to combine exposures with the 645D files to achieve what can be done with a single exposure on film.

    Tom

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Which reminds me: It's time to try out CMS 20
    Hi Jorgen, watch out with the CMS20. It's a "document film" and not designed for imaging. In order to get useful results (like shadows with texture) you need to expose it like a 6 ASA film or even less. Even when doing so it won't handle certein contrasts.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    The dependency is basically that the film resolves a lot more but people don't judge by resolution, they judge by detail contrast and digital excels at this.
    Many also dislike grain heavily and want "grain-free" resolution, and as film resolves detail far past the grain the results are much different if the goal is to have grain-free image. In that case I'd say that a P45+ with its 39 megapixel matches or even exceeds 4x5", which seemed to be the general consensus when 4x5" photographers started to move over to digital.

    In the first IQ180 vs M7 crop one can see that indeed the M7 resolves more details in the small text, but the IQ180 is virtually noise free. If you dislike grain the IQ180 would be considered far superior, if all you want is maximum resolving power the M7 has a little edge.
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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    The dependency is basically that the film resolves a lot more but people don't judge by resolution, they judge by detail contrast and digital excels at this. If you print really really big then film starts to get the advantage back wherea digital starts to fall apart because it hits a hard resolution limit.

    Tim
    And here is the problem in a nutshell--people are more interested in a "pleasing" image. And the problems of perception and aesthetics are never factored into these kinds of test. Resolution is overrated.

    Don't get me wrong. I really am not interested in which medium wins. I love film photography--I could never sell my Mamiya 6. I love digital photography too. Perhaps I just love photography. But it seems to me we get caught up in this minutia and forget to look at a bigger picture--no pun intended. I am a firm believer in using a process for its strength, not to emulate another.

    But thanks for posting this, as a bit of a geek, it is very interesting.
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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Hi Jorgen:

    100F. Although I mostly use the 645D now, it's for ease of use, not that it yields better files than the 67. I still think a well-shot and scanned 67 file beats out 40 MP. As Tim noted above, at some point of enlargement of a digital file it falls off a cliff, whereas film enlarges to a fuzzy randomness that I find pleasing. I also much prefer the way film handles the sun in an image; I've found that I have to combine exposures with the 645D files to achieve what can be done with a single exposure on film.

    Tom
    Thanks. Yes, I know about the "falling off the cliff". I did a printing job last year, several photos around 2 meters longest side. None of the images coming from DSLRs survived the enlargement, while a 35mm Provia 100 slide survived and was accepted by the client.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    ...The only problem with the screen cezanne, and for that matter all flatbeds, is that they flare from highlights to shadow when scanning transparencies so the only critical solution to get the most of the dynamic range is a drum scan. However for neg scanning an less contrasty chromes the Cezanne is stunning...
    Tim perhaps scanning twice at different exposure levels and doing a tonemap/HDR merge of the two images solve the flare problem?

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    I have to agree about the practicality arguments. Film enlarges very well, mostly because the grain and fuzziness masks some of the uglier lens problems and because it does not suffer from the plastic "too smooth" look that digital can get when it is over-enlarged (or other nasty artifacts like color noise, aliasing and moiré) That said, it is pretty easy to add convincing grain to digital files as well so that it enlarges similarly to film. Similarly, it is quite easy to remove color noise and moiré (at least the rainbow aspect of it). In my general experience, I would say that very few clients use good enough technique to get the most out of either digital or film, but people seem to fare better with digital. Film is being processed so poorly now in most places, that it is hard to get clean, non-scratched, properly exposed and processed film to work with. Most of my clients, even professionals (but especially artists!) give me better files to work with when they are shooting digital unless they have particularly good technique and let me process the film myself or have it done at a highly reputable lab.

    At the truly large print sizes (70cm and above), 6x7 or 6x6 will look great as will 18mp or greater digital, assuming both are captured with good technique, great lenses and post-processed and printed with care and skill. Which is "better" will be more of a question of the particular aesthetics of the photographer and viewer, as well as the demands of the particular image.
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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I have to agree about the practicality arguments. Film enlarges very well, mostly because the grain and fuzziness masks some of the uglier lens problems and because it does not suffer from the plastic "too smooth" look that digital can get when it is over-enlarged (or other nasty artifacts like color noise, aliasing and moiré) That said, it is pretty easy to add convincing grain to digital files as well so that it enlarges similarly to film.
    The "fine grain" feature in Capture One is awesome for that. It adds a really pleasing grain to the image.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    The "fine grain" feature in Capture One is awesome for that. It adds a really pleasing grain to the image.
    But does it help for extreme enlargements? It's still digital grain and probably uniform in shape. What makes film grain special is that it's not uniform so that each grain will behave differently when stretched, making for a more pleasant result and probably easier to maintain detail as well.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    But does it help for extreme enlargements? It's still digital grain and probably uniform in shape. What makes film grain special is that it's not uniform so that each grain will behave differently when stretched, making for a more pleasant result and probably easier to maintain detail as well.
    It looks really good. I mean, film grain is really much more random in shape and size than anything digital probably but I have not looked at it in great detail.

    Check out this link HERE that shows film grain from different films. (using a high power microscope) You can see how "random" the size and shape of the grain is. That takes away from the ultimate sharpness but helps with enlargement ironically because it "smoothes" out imperfections like it was mentioned.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Jorgen -- It's not as uniform as you might think...the programs are more sophisticated than just adding completely uniform grain. But you are right...it is not always perfectly convincing. I just mentioned it as a possibility...it works at times. There is also something more like True Grain, but this particular program only works for black and white. TrueGrain Download
    It is the most convincing grain I have seen, but you really need to keep it subtle or it completely overwhelms the image. I have never used it below 6x7 or 6x8 simulation...
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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    Thank you, Stuart. I might try that.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    I hope my Mamiya can work, since i bought it it doesn't work, because i bought a lens that stated as "NEW" from ebay and i only have that lens, would like to try another lens and see if it is the body, i bought the body fully "NEW" from B&H not used, so i can't judge where is the issue yet.

    I really don't know where you people finding those scanner such as Cezanne or a drum scanner.
    Tareq

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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    What's wrong with the Mamiya Tareq? Just to make sure you know, they will not test fire with the back closed or the shutter blind closed (the dark cloth shutter in the rear that allows you to change lenses without fogging the film). In order to test fire, you need the camera back open. It will also not fire if there is a little red light lit in the lower left corner.
    If that does not solve the problem, I would try cleaning the contacts on both the lens and the camera body. Even if you bought them new, these have probably been sitting on the shelf for a long time, so there might be some oxidation...you can try cleaning it with some sort of rubbing alcohol or other cleaning fluid. Also, make sure to check the really simple stuff, like having the right batteries and having them inserted properly. I think most of these Mamiyas are pretty well made and there is generally not so much to make them go wrong since they are pretty simple electrically.

    As for the Cezanne and drum scanners, be very careful about buying them...most are very old by now and need a dedicated computer to run them. Many cannot be easily serviced anymore and the drum scanners in particular require a lot of effort to use. If you want a scanner for personal use, it is generally much better to use a dedicated film scanner like the ones from Nikon, Minolta, Epson or Hasselblad/Imacon. Then if you still feel you need a drum scan, you can send it out to someone else to deal with. In terms of where people get them, I would assume most get them from eBay, labs and printing studios that are closing or no longer need them, or from one of the clearing houses that service these industries (Genesis Equipment Marketing, Footprints Equipment, etc).
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    Re: Mamiya 7 and IQ180 (again)

    I will post soon, not here first, a review of a new method I developed to scan 6x7 films. Just be patient. Exciting times coming !
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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