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[filmscanners] Re: Pixels and Prints

"Austin Franklin" <austin@darkroom.com> writes:
> Because that's a different question. Someone argued that "scanners produce
> better quality pixels because they measure all RGB", and I'm pointing out
> that this is wrong because scanned pixels are, in fact, worse than digital
> camera pixels.

It's not wrong.  If you are talking image fidelity, then it depends on what
aspect of image fidelity is more important to you.  CLEARLY the scanned
pixel has higher color fidelity...and it may in fact have higher image
detail fidelity as well...  Even if the digicam image is "sharper",
sharpness may not mean higher image fidelity.

You seem to have a conflation of concepts here. To my ear "color fidelity"
should mean something on the order of the ability to accurately reproduce
colors. Scanners, the film itself, and direct digital capture all use the
same concept for color reproduction (three measurements to approximate an
infinite distribution), and so there isn't a conceptual difference between
RGB from a scanner and RGB from a digital camera. If anything, the scanner
is going to be worse, because you have the scanner's spectral response
interpreting the film's spectral response. Two places for things to go wrong
as opposed to one.

The other issue is color resolution. Since 4000dpi and higher scanned images
are so much softer than digital images, they have, if anything, lower color
resolution per pixel.

Of course, color resolution is largely irrelevant. The human eye has
abysmally poor color resolution, and Bayer sensors have an appropriate ratio
of luminance to color resolution.

So it seems to me that the sense of unhappiness with Bayer color that many
people have is completely unjustified/misplaced. The only question is what
pixel density do you need to print at to get the image quality you want.

> There are lots of people who come up with 9MP or so as
> the "digital equivalent" of 35.

And there's a lot who come up with 16M, and 24M and 96M etc.

People who see a 35mm frame as having "24MP" of information are seriously
dizzy. A file with a full 24 MP of dSLR quality pixels would be a thing of
amazing beauty. Stitch together four 6MP dSLR images and print it at 16x24,
and you'll have a print that 35mm can never dream of, whatever printing
technology you use.

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan

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