I disagree with some of the points brought up about film being consistent color. As someone that has shot tens of thousands of sheets of film. It's like a great bottle of wine, each one is a little different. With film each emulsion batch has slightly different color, iso and reciprocity. Add in that each E-6 line is slightly different and you got something that can make your heart jump when they pull if off the rack.
I don't recall that anyone has made a statement that film has more consistent color. But then again I make a lotta statements and have a bad memory :-)
What I'm having a hard time understanding is why color is so terrible with DSLR's and MFDB's. And why manufacturers don't offer more options when it comes to color reproductions (styles or color profiles). I find myself doing selective color manipulations, paint with light, painting in shadowskin-tones, etc that I rarely ever do with film.
With film my stuff looks rather natural. With DSLR's and MFDB's my work suddenly looks all digital flat or freaks out. I have a hard time to find a balance in the colors that is pleasing to me while still looking natural. So I tend to go to far. Sure some customers like that and even book me for that look. But I prefer the rich skintones film provides.
I believe this thread is about bad digitally looking color. It's about "why can't we have pleasing color and many styles to choose from".
But as the thread starter I must say this thread has been pretty disappointing.
People just keep telling that you need to run this and that (homebrew) skript from someone on some internet page. Don't just talk about some skript that may or may not support Lightroom, C1, etc. but rather back up your results with pictures. What difference did the script make? Show before/after files.
The point is the manufacturers should do whatever the FORS script or custom calibration is supposed to do. And again... this is not about accurate color. Most people in this thread just talk about getting the color more accurate. I don't need accurate colors - I need PLEASING colors.
Some people are so quick to blame themselves and take over work that the vendor should get done. You expect your operating system to just work. You don't go out and reprogram it yourself to fix bugs.
You expect the brakes to stop your car without a script you find by chance on the internet.
Why would you need any script from the internet to fix your cameras/backs color?
I don't get it. You can get 10 or more well working used cars for the price of one P45+ back. Or 2-3 new cars. It's a lot of money. Should be enough money to get a perfect product in return (and if the FORS skript makes color perfect... why isn't it included with the backs?).
Someone made the very good point that the fine folks at Fujifilm and Kodak used to take decisions on how a film should reproduce colors. What is pleasing... what works as a look... what can the emulsion provide and what not. They had many decades of time to improve and engineers with tons of experience and expertise to do that. Why re-invent the wheel. Let the experts take care of it. At least the starting point.
There are always trade-offs. But film that looks bad/flat/ugly to start with is not getting sold. Simple as that. Nobody would expect you to shoot terrible film stock that needs 5 hours of fixing and retouching to get it to a finished photo.
Some are more saturated, some less. They gave us different starting points that often have been close to the final shot. But all have a use and proposition. Today with digital you have one flat raw file that you have to tweak to hell and back and people just accept it. The consensus is: Digital is flat and sucks to start with but you can make it whatever you want. You can define your own digital film emulsion.
It's not a CAN. It's a MUST.
But why? I waste so much time in the various raw converters and learn new converters all the time. For what? Often the embedded preview in the RAW is better than anything you can pull off after tweaking for 10 minutes. Particularly Lightroom and ACR do something to skin that just annoys me - it makes it all flat, boring and switches colors to mega-ugly. Worse than embedded. Why is it not possible to get the same look as a starting point to beginn with if the back/camera can embed it into the raw as a preview and then optimize from there? Or as said... emulate different existing films.