I too was (and still am) fairly sure when I saw/see video versus film.
I note even today that some TV shows use video while on the set, but
will switch to film for outdoor shooting, and sometimes vice versa.
The way I'd define this difference is in a number of ways. The obvious
one is that film has a texture or grain, and the colors are usually less
saturated, but more to the point film seems to have a wider range of
color within any color breadth. For instance, when I look as video shot
of a face, I do not see nearly the numbers of "steps" of both shadow and
color that make up the tones of "flesh" whatever that is.
With video, the pallet is much compressed. I also find the contrast is
higher with video, almost like it went through some "unsharp masking".
Video also seems to be a cooler range of colors, leaning to the bluer
Dan Honemann wrote:
> 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).
Cibachrome prints of that era (especially the glossy ones), had a
"liquid light" quality to them due to the thickness of the 'paper'
emulsion and the polyester base which in the second generation used
whipped air within the plastic base to create opacity to the paper,
without using a dye in it.
> 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
Some years back I did a double blind test of some Leica and Nikkor
lenses, looking at color rendition, sharpness, etc, shooting the exact
same images on both at the same time on the same film.
I also invited several photographers and we looked at the slides
projected with Navitar Gold lenses. The conclusions were pretty much
split 50-50% depending upon the lenses. With the 28mm lenses the Leica
shots looked great, the "normal lenses" had about 50-50% favor to each
company, and the Nikon 135mm won hands down.