Further, digital lenses cut their resolution much lower down the scale than large format lenses. I just tested my 150 Sironar S and the thing was extremely crisp at f45. Sorry, f22 wasn't any better.
That interesting! Is this the lens? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/43853-USA/Rodenstock_160702_150mm_f_5_6_Apo_Sironar_S_Lens.html
It does mention in the overview that the ideal Working Aperture Range is f/11 -22.
What's this lens like at F11?
My understanding is a manufacturer will optimise a lens to produce best results over a particular range of apertures which are likely to be the most useful in relation to the format of camera the lens is designed for.
As far as I know, we have not yet defeated the laws of diffraction, although we are apparently working on it, constructing artificial materials through processes of nanotechnology.
The essential problem with all such comparisons involving different formats of cameras, using different lenses which may also have different performance characteristics even at the same aperture, is reconciling the test methodology with the principle of "best tool for the job".
It is a given, in the real world, that any good photographer will not only choose the particular format of camera that best suits his purposes, but also use his chosen format, and the selected lens that goes with it, in a way which produces the best results.
In my view, the purpose of these comparisons between different formats and types of cameras, is to learn in what circumstances
one format of camera may produce better results than the other.
Now it seems very clear to me, if the 8x10 format used at F32 cannot even closely match the resolution of the IQ180 used at F16, there's not much point in equalising DoF by using the 8x10 at F64. The differences would be even wider.
I think the results of this test are very clear, that in situations where a reasonably long DoF is desired, the IQ180 without a shadow of a doubt produces better image quality than 8x10 film (at least the film types in the test).
What is missing from this test is a comparison at the shallow end of DoF. For example the IQ180 at F2.8 versus the 8x10 format at F11 or F13. Would this situation favour the 8x10? Somehow, I doubt it, but it would be good to see a comparison, perhaps of a still-life taken in the studio.
I notice that Markus has rescanned the results at a higher resolution which has had the effect of narrowing the differences slightly, but not changing the over all conclusion.