Is 35mm slide film still better than the the output from a dslr?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by domromer, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. domromer

    domromer TPF Noob!

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    I was flicking through the 2008 photographers market and I was shocked to see how many magazines still just want 35mm slides. Are they that much better?

    I thought digital had surpassed film in quality?

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My opinion is that those magazines must be run by some 'old' folks who just aren't comfortable with the new technology. Or maybe they have a bias for photographers who still use film.

    I read an article a few years ago, where they tested 100 ISO film against the flagship DLSR from Canon...and they were very close, with the digital coming out just ahead in the end. There have been big advancements in digital cameras since then.

    There may be some things, at which film might be better...but for a magazine...I'm not sure what that might be.
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    define better ...

    digital wins when it comes to resolution / sharpness, even compared to fine grain film.

    film clearly wins, when it comes to latitude in exposure. If shooting in complicated light, the results given by film will often win.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not slide film though...
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    even my quite narrow velvia, which is a really contrasty film where you easily lose the shadows ... even that still wins against a Canon 5D in that respect.

    At least this is my experience from using them both in identical situations.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's interesting...I would have though that modern DSLR cameras have more latitude than slide film...but not as much as negative film.

    I guess, once you consider some simple editing to the digital file, you can 'stretch' the dynamic range pretty easily.
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    slide film still wins, but by a narrow margin i have to admit.

    but since you mention editing.... if you start editing you can stretch digital a bit. but if i scan my slides with a good scanner, i can stretch that by an order of magnitude more than digital! been there done that many times ...
     
  8. domromer

    domromer TPF Noob!

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    I shoot a lot of e100vs and it defintiley has more latitude than my D80.

    Last week I went and shot a very contrasty waterfall. I was shocked how much detail I still had in the highlights. Where the d8o had blown them out. Even when I dialed in the exposure I get some detail in the highlights but my shadows would turn really blocky.

    That being said as much as I love to shoot chromes, I just can't afford it. I'm up to 17$ a roll by the time I process it. Couple years ago I could buy it and develop for less than $10 a roll.

    You can get n90s on ebay now for around 100$...oh the humanity!
     
  9. RVP46

    RVP46 TPF Noob!

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    The comment on the N90S..i feel your pain!
    Digital is becoming very interesting but i have yet to see a Digital image that promotes the desire to rank it above RVP slide film.
    For economical reasons i must admit it will be nice when Digital is the clear cut winner over film....assuming that ever takes place?
    Always willing to change for the better, never willing to quit what works. :thumbup:
    Right now I'm on the fence (and it hurts).:lol:
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Good digital sensors have wider latitude than slide film. Negative film is still the latitude king. For studio work, pick your medium. The lighting is tightly controlled either way so latitude is a non-issue in all but the most extreme cases. Go find an average to moderately complex studio lighting setup with a range greater than 10 or 12 stops. Then look out the window. You'll see a pig fly by.

    Resolution? Eh, who knows. All I know is this: In nearly every shot on film slower than ISO 160, exposed and developed normally, that I have ever scanned on a non-drum scanner...I see pixels long before I see grain. That's good enough for me.
     
  11. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Then that would mean I have a crap sensor ;)

    I know if I invest in a digital back, I might getting something better than I currently have, but that would be quite an investment.
     
  12. nicfargo

    nicfargo TPF Noob!

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    Negative film still has the edge on the latitude side. I can use very very weak HDR to close the gap though...which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't depending on the subject.
     

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