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filmscanners: what defines this quality?

Okay, I think I've hit on the image quality I'm looking for, but I don't
have the words to express it--so maybe someone here can help.

Do you know the different look between something shot on film vs. videotape?
I remember as a kid refusing to watch any television show that was shot on
videotape (I didn't know what made the difference back then, I only knew
there was one): typically the local news and soap operas.  Then sitcoms
started coming out on video, starting with All in the Family.  60 Minutes
used to be shot on film, and sometime in the 80's they switched over to
video.  To me, the difference was night and day, but no one else in my
family could see it.

That same difference exists (again, for me) in images shot through some
lenses vs. others.  I remember seeing a color print at a friend's house that
was simply amazing: the colors were so rich and deep and glossy that it
looked like the print was _liquid_--and this despite having been produced
back in the early 1970's (and obviously well before digital).  My friend
told me his ex-wife shot it with an Olympus camera (didn't know what lens,
but likely a Zuiko).

I see some of this difference--though a bit more subtly--between color
slides shot through Leica glass vs. Nikkors.  And the same difference seems
to me to show up between the Leafscan 45 and Nikon 4000 images at

So, if anyone knows what I'm talking about (and I have come to appreciate
that many folks do not see a difference between film and video footage),
what makes this difference?  It seems like the film-based images contains
more _light_ somehow, and it makes the images appear richer even than life
(which tends to my weary eyes to look more and more like videotape).  Is it
contrast?  Color saturation?  Sharpness?

I have noticed that some video when shot in bright daylight outdoors can
begin to approach the quality of film footage, but never quite gets there.

In any event, I'm struggling to find an affordable way to get prints that
look like _that_, the way my slides do under a loupe and when projected.



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