Rob, you wrote: In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system?
I simply provided two captures (well three) illustrating the superiority of the digital capture system.
believe that the inferiority of the film was due to a very expensive PMT drum scanner, scanned by a good scan operator (me). We can go there if you wish.
believe that the film scan appears subjectively better to you than the digital captures and we can go there although, I don't believe that's the case by a mile. Maybe you like non image forming noise and a reduced tonal range of the film, I don't. I think I know which would produce a better quality print but a lot of that would boil down to subjectively again.
What I think this is about is looking at an original wet print made from a good film negative by a good printer (not from a copy of a negative via a digital device), and at a digital print from a digital capture of a subject made via a digital camera.
Well a 'wet print
' could be made from the digital capture, preferably on a Lightjet or Lambda and the transparency could be made in the wet lab directly. Based on the captures I've provided, do you really think the print from transparency should eliminate the grain, add the same tonal range we see in the digital capture? I don't. But maybe
. One thing is clear and true, film or digital, printed in any fashion: GIGO:Garbage In Garbage Out! There's a lot more 'garbage
' I see in the film I don't in the digital capture.
Further, do you think film has progressed much in the last 15 years since this test? Do you think digital capture has? It's a rhetorical question.
IMO, that's the only way you can make a truly valid comparison: on, and of, the end product of each medium. That's where you can judge 'look' and any felt advantages or otherwise.
The facts are, the best test would be making a print from each and then I'd fly to your home and everyone else following these posts and let you view them side by side. The facts are, we need to scan film or produce digital files to view in the fashion I've provided here or in print. The facts are, a lot of photographers make a living whereby whatever the shoot, it is digitized and printed on a halftone process; books, magazines, posters, billboards and the film has to be scanned.
I'm not here to start a film vs. digital debate, that war was ended many years ago. Didn't go well for film.
I'm also not here to debate subjectively or religion or politics. All I can do is provide the data I have. Like the data about color gamut. Now if you print B&W day in and day out, the color gamut of even a $300 ink jet greatly exceeds anything you can print in the 'wet lab' isn't pertinent. But it's still a colorimetric fact and it might be important to someone else where color saturation on a print is critical to them. Again subjective, I'm not trying to convince them either way.
Further facts, no subjectively: that $300 ink jet, with pigmented inks is going to be vastly more archival, it's going to provide vastly more options for papers than any wet lab. And the printer itself is going to be far more affordable to a photographer; my first digital printer in 1993, a Kodak XL-7700 cost me $10K used! Nice 10x10 prints on one paper. We've come a long way.
My contention has been that wet prints are intrinsically more appealing, at least to me, than are digital ones, and I think I've made pretty good ones on both mediums.
That's subjective and I'm fine with that. It has nothing really to do with the facts I think I've provided. I have no idea of the GIGO:Garbage In Garbage Out or lack thereof in any process you or anyone else has tested. I'm not here to convince anyone what is subjectively better, no dog in that fight.
Again, you asked: In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system?
I think I illustrated how this worked out 15 years ago between film and a digital capture system.