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Author Topic: Film simulation software...  (Read 4791 times)

donbga

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2016, 04:45:28 PM »

I've used DxO and Silver FX and a few others. I think none of really give a good film simulation and it's probably a waste of time trying.
On the other hand, they all can give some useful digital effects if you want to change the "look" of your files.
To get closer to film you could try buying a Fujifilm camera. The files from the X series really have a different appearance.
Better still, buy a film camera and scan the negatives. I'm serious. I took a couple or 100 year old cameras to the Antarctic along with the usual digital gear.
B&W 120 film is still available, a developing tank is easy to get and use, and a reasonable scanner cheap to buy. Be aware that the scanning process can lift the shadow detail and give the files a digital look, so you may need to apply a curves adjustment afterwards to restore the tone response of film.
David

Edit: Or buy an older lens and adapter:
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/helios-44-2-58mm
http://www.ebay.com/itm/INDUSTAR-22-3-5-50-Russian-Lens-M39-Fed-Leica-Zorki-/331824842235
I have a good copy of the Helios. Unlike some Russian lenses the glass is not radioactive.
+1!
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Schewe

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2016, 12:26:31 AM »

Readers can see both of you have no interest in this topic...so buzz off. :-\

Not a particularly useful post with your 12th ever post. Ya might want to spend some time here in the forums before you take on traffic control duties...
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Schewe

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2016, 12:40:52 AM »

I am lately thinking that digital files are a bit too "sterile" for my taste.  This may pass (may I need to drink more eggnog), but I am exploring tweaking my files to give more of a film quality to them.

Exactly what is looking too "sterile"? Tonal range? Lack of texture? Noise reduction making images look plastic? I don't think 3rd party software is necessarily going to offer anything you can't accomplish in Photoshop if you know what you want to accomplish. The 3rd party solutions do offer you the easier chance to try a lot of things if you don't know what you want, but it's kinda a crapshoot. So, what is it you really want?
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hogloff

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2016, 09:40:34 AM »

Not a particularly useful post with your 12th ever post. Ya might want to spend some time here in the forums before you take on traffic control duties...

I've actually been here for years under user chez. I guess you like the personal attack banter that was polluting this thread?
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Schewe

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2016, 01:26:19 PM »

I've actually been here for years under user chez. I guess you like the personal attack banter that was polluting this thread?

And your post helped how?
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hogloff

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2016, 03:31:41 PM »

And your post helped how?

By not accepting this type of garbage on the board. If we just let things go...we will be no better than most of the other sites where personal attacks are rampant. If we as a community are vocal...maybe we can keep personal issues out of this site and keep it productive as it is.
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2016, 04:40:04 PM »


Exactly what is looking too "sterile"? Tonal range? Lack of texture? Noise reduction making images look plastic? I don't think 3rd party software is necessarily going to offer anything you can't accomplish in Photoshop if you know what you want to accomplish. The 3rd party solutions do offer you the easier chance to try a lot of things if you don't know what you want, but it's kinda a crapshoot. So, what is it you really want?

Back in the 70s and 80s I was captured by Francesco Scavullo's BW photographs of people.  His book "Scavullo Women" in particular was beautiful to look at. What I liked about those images was the texture created by the look of the film he was using.  Peter Lindbergh is another more contemporary photographer that achieves a similar look.  (Lindberg shoots digitally these days often using a Nikon D810).

Thank you for chiming in Jeff!  So for me it is lack of texture in digital files that give them a "sterile" and "plastic-y" look.  The tonal range is fine.  Good grain gives a very pleasing look in a print.  Maybe that is because I grew up looking at small and med format prints?  I am sure this is achievable in PS and I am sure that YOU can achieve this Jeff!  ; )  However, I don't know that I can so I am looking for a good starting point and yes Silver Efex is a good place to experiment.  I also like DXO and Alien Skin's "Exposure".

In the old days of film I would buy the film that had a look that I wanted to achieve.  We had a large palette of options to choose from…  Tech Pan, to Tri-X, to Portra, Poloroid etc... each giving us their individual characteristics.  I didn't have to make the film every time I wanted a different look.  Now we shoot RAW and then apply our various options including “grain”.  LightRoom has “grain sliders” for a reason… I am just trying to find what works best for my style.

That is why I posted this.  To see if adding grain to images was in any way pleasing to any of you.  I should have been more thorough in my post!  Lots of opinions here!

 By the way, True Grain is not available for sale any more.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2016, 05:41:25 PM »

By the way, True Grain is not available for sale any more.

I assume that it will be, once they resolve the issues with their payment processor.

Cheers,
Bart
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Schewe

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2016, 05:58:12 PM »

LightRoom has “grain sliders” for a reason… I am just trying to find what works best for my style.

And why do you think there _IS_ a grain slider in ACR/LR? Because "some people" wanted to add grain back into an image after doing noise reduction...it may seem odd that adding grain helps in the effort of noise reduction but it does after smoothing the noise out.

The problem with adding grain to an image is it's resolution dependent which means you really need to do it after you've set your image size and output resolution. It would be great of ACR/LR allowed one to add grain AFTER spewing the print size and rez (hum, maybe something to ask for) but the only way to do it in Photoshop is AFTER you have your final size/rez set–and that holds true for any 3rd party grain maker. Any resampling kills the grain structure :~(

In the old film days, I tended to shoot 35mm with Tri-X and develop in Accufine...I loved the acceptance of the grain structure. But that's before I got into large format film...now I'm perfectly happy with images with no grain :~)
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Schewe

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2016, 05:59:51 PM »

By not accepting this type of garbage on the board.

Then report it to the moderator and move on...posting on adds additional "noise". If you want to vollenteer to be a moderator, go right ahead.
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2016, 06:53:46 PM »

Wow, we have mentioned everything from Obama, to buying a film camera, to how much a waste of money it is to add grain to a digital image!  This is not the Group f/64 club is it?  :o

lol

So, I am not sure what Obama has to do with my post.  And I don't have any desire to buy a film camera for many reasons.  And it's not a waste of money if I can express my photographic vision by adding a film-type look to my photographs.

I am certainly not alone in feeling that digital can be too sterile looking.  And it's not because I am doing anything "the wrong way".  To me sometimes digital is just too sterile looking!  And yes I have done a LOT of BW printing back in the day.

One of the beautiful things about digital RAW files is that you have one amazing file that you can tweak into what you envisioned your photograph to look like!  In the old days for the most part we had to choose a certain film to get certain looks. Or use specific developers, filters,  etc... etc...

Some of you have been very helpful and I want to say thank you!  You know who you are.  ; )

Happy New Year!
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chez

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2016, 06:58:08 PM »

Then report it to the moderator and move on...posting on adds additional "noise". If you want to vollenteer to be a moderator, go right ahead.

Ummm...you seem to be doing a great job moderating here. Just keep going with it. Done...
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john beardsworth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2017, 05:11:43 AM »

Wow, we have mentioned everything from Obama, to buying a film camera, to how much a waste of money it is to add grain to a digital image!  This is not the Group f/64 club is it?  :o

Well, is my "waste of money" view not clearly stated in terms of "just personal preference" and software vendors' using film brand names for grain patterns that supposedly resemble some typical look? Is that not a legitimate comment? No, I don't get how someone thinks Obama is relevant, but it's what happens when posters are allowed to hide behind a series of pseudonyms.

It seems you are most concerned about "sterility". On another forum I recall someone expressing similar feelings but they were centred around the level of Lightroom/ACR clarity he applied. I usually add clarity locally with radial/grad filters, but it made me try defaulting global clarity to +10. Although I did revert to 0 after a while, just a little extra punch made a nice difference, as if I'd changed my agitation method or whatever. So in other words, is "sterility" not a wider concern than just adding grain patterns?

John
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 05:43:58 AM by john beardsworth »
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keithcooper

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2017, 12:05:57 PM »

I've tried a few of these software packages and quickly realised that many of the reasons people might want to use them (or hate them) were pretty opaque to me ;-) I've never even seen many of the films you get in collections

Now that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes like using them to give a particular 'feel' to an image, but I regard it as an add-on effect, rather than any attempt at accurately reproducing what the shot would have looked like had I fished one of my old film cameras out of the drawer (before I even consider the vagaries of exposure and development)

I like DxO's filmPack mainly because it has a less regular feel to it - that's just a feeling rather than any rigorous analysis, since I've not actually shot film this century...  The other day someone asked for a B&W crop from an 11MP 1Ds image - but for a 60" wide display print. A good hefty dose of Tri-X produced a rather pleasing looking view - enough for a happy client and paycheque :-)

One area I did find it quite useful was when I needed to do some repair work on a scanned negative and used it to make a good cloning source.  Looking again at a large print, I can't see the join.

DavidPalermo

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2017, 11:11:28 AM »

Well, is my "waste of money" view not clearly stated in terms of "just personal preference" and software vendors' using film brand names for grain patterns that supposedly resemble some typical look? Is that not a legitimate comment? No, I don't get how someone thinks Obama is relevant, but it's what happens when posters are allowed to hide behind a series of pseudonyms.

John,

Your comments were helpful.  I was being a little sarcastic.  ; )
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unesco

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2017, 07:39:01 AM »

Just my 2 cents.

I have over 25 years of experience with B&W photography, including pure analogue, BW analogue film scanning ->FA printing and pure digital. I worked a lot on Kodak T-MAX P3200, BW400CN and some others, mostly 35 mm, sometimes 6x6 (usually ISO400). Now mostly Canon full frame, a few times Leica Monochrome.

When it came to digital age and BW conversion I was very excited with possibility to mimic analogue look using digital workflow. It turned out not to be so easy, sometimes very difficult to get desired results, not only in grain area but also contrast and tonality.

I play a lot with Silver Effex Pro and I have made <10 (single digit) photographs in the last 2 years that I am really happy with simulation of analogue print look when ink jet printed (I use QTR and Epson K3 Inks). As a rule of thumb, Silver somehow simulates into direction of both Kodak films I have used, but is far from ideal. This is not only about grain, but also other aspects. The final output requires a lot of tweaking, try and error, also number of sample prints.

As for the grain, I always use 2 passes of Silver. First, to make BW conversion from color with NO grain added. Then additional processing in PS or other software, also scaling in correspondence to the final print size. The second pass, just to add grain - with parameters dependent on print size.

Interesting, very often I haven't used the 2nd pass results for the final print - I usually liked "no grain" version on print more, even when my initial target was to simulate grain and although the picture with grain looked good on screen, I didn't like it after print. Maybe it is specificity of ink jet reproduction technique...?

As a summary, simulation of analogue films is not a trivial task, requires a lot of time not to make the picture even more artificial than synthetic digital. Even when you have a lot of good quality tools.
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