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[filmscanners] RE: Pixels and Prints

Hi David,

> "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.

That is what "fidelity" means...

> 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.

No, but you seem to be missing that they can each have different abilities
to reproduce color accurately.  A microphone from a telephone and a high end
studio microphone both use the same "concept", but their ability to
accurately reproduce audio is entirely different.

> 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.

Number of places isn't relevant.  A minimum number of components doesn't
insure the least amount of distortion.

> 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.

Why do you claim they are "softer"?  What, specifically, is "softer"?
Anyway, this really has nothing to do with color resolution...and I must
admit, I'm surprised, knowing that you know as much as you do, that you say
this.  Softer or not, that is a detail issue, not a color resolution issue.

> 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.

Now hold on.  Are you talking spatial resolution of color, or ability to
discern tones?  If you are talking the former, yes, our ability to discern
colors spatially is lower than our ability to discern "detail", but as far
as discerning tonality, that is just not true.  We can discern more color
tones than gray tones, by a huge margin...and our ability to discern color
tones is in fact superb.  Something on the order of 16M tones the human eye
can discern.  That's pretty high 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.

I'm not sure what you base that on really, as it's simply wrong.  If 35mm
film only had, as you said I believe, 2700PPI of image data, then all the
people who have high end Imacon/Leaf/Drum scanners have simply wasted their
money...yet all of us can clearly get better images out of scanning using
these higher SPI scanners...

> 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.

Seriously, I really think you need to update your
film/processing/exposure/scanning if you believe what you believe and what
you believe is based on your real experience you have.  Or, perhaps, you
simply like processed images, that lack high detail, but are sharp...and
that's fine, but that doesn't make one "better" than the other, it's simply
your personal preference.

What scanner/film/development/camera etc. do you use to base your statements
on 35mm film on?



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