Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Landscape & Nature Photography => Topic started by: SlimE on May 16, 2007, 06:05:39 am

Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: SlimE on May 16, 2007, 06:05:39 am
Hi Guys, this is my first post ever...so here goes
I have three cameras. A Minolta X700 35mm film camera with a 28-70mm lense, a 2.8F Rollieflex medium format and a new D80 with a 18-70mm lense. I am an avid landscape photographer and often hike up mountains to get the best shots. The question is which should I take if I could only take one due to weight constraints.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: wolfnowl on May 16, 2007, 04:33:02 pm
If your question is which one to take, then the answers is that they each have their own pros and cons.  If the question is which one to take due to weight constraints, then the obvious answer is the lightest one...

Mike.

BTW, welcome to the list!
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on May 19, 2007, 12:32:40 am
I would say the D80. Used properly, you should get image quality and detail roughly comparable to medium format with weight closer to 35mm film, assuming the lens you mention is not a consumer-grade coke bottle (I'm not a Nikon shooter, and am not familiar with their lenses). Proper exposure is important; you always want your non-specular highlights to be about 1/3-1/2 stop away from clipping (any of the color channels reaching maximim value). Shoot RAW, and process in 16-bit mode, converting to 8-bit mode only when saving a JPEG copy for web display or something like that.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Aboud on May 19, 2007, 07:34:26 am
I would differ on the format opinion. The Nikon digital will not be equivilant to the scanned negative or transparency of the 6X6 Rollei. I am sure the glass on your Rollei is superior to any Nikon zoom lens be it the "coke bottle" or even a low dispersion glass. Unless you need the longer perspective of the 35MM Minolta or the Nikon digital, I would recommend the Rollei.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on May 19, 2007, 10:29:48 am
Quote
I would differ on the format opinion. The Nikon digital will not be equivilant to the scanned negative or transparency of the 6X6 Rollei. I am sure the glass on your Rollei is superior to any Nikon zoom lens be it the "coke bottle" or even a low dispersion glass.

Not unless you have the 6x6 film drum scanned. If not, the digital is going to have an advantage over the 6x6. And if you stitch, digital can deliver resolution far higher than the 6x6 even with coke bottles.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Neil Hunt on May 19, 2007, 05:03:37 pm
Hi SlimE,

There are any number of different perspectives on the technical strengths and weaknesses of each format - most of which are totally irrelevant. I'm assuming you are shooting for pleasure not profit so the answer is take whichever one you feel comfortable with and enjoy most.

PS Shooting for fun it would be the Rollie for me every time, but thats just me!
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: chez on May 19, 2007, 09:14:16 pm
I have both a medium format system ( pentax 6x7 ) and a digital camera ( canon 20d ). My medium format is with me anytime I'm out doing landscape photography. Resolution and dynamic range in the medium format out performs the digital every time. I scan my slide / negatives using a Nikon 8000.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on May 21, 2007, 12:57:20 am
Quote
Hi Guys, this is my first post ever...so here goes
I have three cameras. A Minolta X700 35mm film camera with a 28-70mm lense, a 2.8F Rollieflex medium format and a new D80 with a 18-70mm lense. I am an avid landscape photographer and often hike up mountains to get the best shots. The question is which should I take if I could only take one due to weight constraints.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117836\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I can offer another perspective. Why don't you buy a nice little digicam like the Ricoh GX100? RAW, 24-72mm nice zoom lens, image stabilization, excellent controls, all in a small package that you can carry in a belt pack while hiking.

I do some hiking in the mountains of Oman, and my EOS 1V stays home quite often; it is the little digicam that I take with me for longer hikes.

In the end, you are the only one that can answer your question! You know how much wieght you are comfortably carrying. Otherwise, you are getting answers that are the typical "pissing contest" from the digital vs. film moot discussions.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: SlimE on May 21, 2007, 08:07:20 am
Guys thanks very much for your opinions.

Neil Hunt - You right about the fun factor with shooting with the Rollie.

Shooting the D80 in raw will probably be the most practical, all things considered.

I was interested to note that nobody suggested shooting with the 35mm with fuji velvia?
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: bjanes on May 21, 2007, 09:32:42 am
Quote
I would say the D80. Used properly, you should get image quality and detail roughly comparable to medium format with weight closer to 35mm film, assuming the lens you mention is not a consumer-grade coke bottle (I'm not a Nikon shooter, and am not familiar with their lenses). Proper exposure is important; you always want your non-specular highlights to be about 1/3-1/2 stop away from clipping (any of the color channels reaching maximim value). Shoot RAW, and process in 16-bit mode, converting to 8-bit mode only when saving a JPEG copy for web display or something like that.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=118483\")

Personally, I would also take the D80. I have two comparable film cameras (the Nikon F100 and the Hasselblad 500C) and a comparable digital (the D200). The medium format with Velvia would probably have the best image quality but you would be stuck with its bulk, fixed focal length lens, no histogram or preview, and the need to scan the film. The 18-70 Nikkor zoom was introduced as the kit lens for the D70 and it is a consumer grade lens, but one that generally gets very good reviews. For example, see [a href=\"http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html]Bjorn[/url]. I have been quite happy with my copy, which I acquired with a D70.

Bill
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: SlimE on May 22, 2007, 04:29:34 am
[The 18-70 Nikkor zoom was introduced as the kit lens for the D70 and it is a consumer grade lens, but one that generally gets very good reviews. For example, see Bjorn (http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html). I have been quite happy with my copy, which I acquired with a D70.

Actually I have the same lense and have been happy so far (I've only had my D80 for two weeks). Eventually I'd like to get the 17-35mm or the 14mm prime.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Paul Kay on May 22, 2007, 06:30:43 am
This may sound silly/obvious but the gear you should take should probably depend on why you are taking it. I have climbed mountains with full medium format outfits and taken images which I am very pleased with, but carrying substantial weight like this is hard work and essentially means that your reason for going is purely photographic and does meant that the actual climb may not be terribly enjoyable (depending on fitness, etc.)!

If, on the other hand you simply want to go out and enjoy taking images then perhaps a smaller, lighter option might be a great deal more enjoyable to carry and use. All the cameras you list are very capable of taking high quality images and their differences will depend very much on the use you wish to put the images to.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: SlimE on May 22, 2007, 07:44:04 am
...also the collector value of the Rollie has to be considered. I should probably resign the Rollie to light duty and safe shooting. The Rollie also has a lot of sentimental value to me being my grandfather's camera. I would like to hand it over to my kids one day. My own interest in photography was very much started due to inheriting this camera. There is just something about a Rollie that really inspires...
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: bjanes on May 22, 2007, 08:24:50 am
Quote
[The 18-70 Nikkor zoom was introduced as the kit lens for the D70 and it is a consumer grade lens, but one that generally gets very good reviews. For example, see Bjorn (http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html). I have been quite happy with my copy, which I acquired with a D70.

Actually I have the same lense and have been happy so far (I've only had my D80 for two weeks). Eventually I'd like to get the 17-35mm or the 14mm prime.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=118956\")

The 18-70 is good wide open, and gives excellent results stopped down a bit. I wouldn't hesitate using it with the D80 if its max aperture meets your needs. In addition it is small and light.

Another lens to consider for available light work is the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. It got a stellar review in [a href=\"http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses/4118/lens-test-sigma-18-50mm-f28-ex-dc-macro.html]Popular Photography[/url]. It is much more compact than the 17-35, but is is a DX lens and it is difficult to predict where Nikon is going with their sensors. At $400 street price, I would consider the risk of it's becoming obsolete with a full frame switch to be acceptable. On the other hand I would be reluctant to spend $1400 on the DX 17-55 f/2.8 Nikkor.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: NashvilleMike on May 22, 2007, 04:25:41 pm
I think it comes down to the Rollei (sigh, wistful thinking of the old days) and the D80.

With the very best drum scanning and printing quite large, yes, the Rollei will likely offer marginally superior image quality.

With careful technique, top glass, and assuming proper knowledge of post processing, the D80 will approach and often equal the Rollei in terms of image quality up to moderately large print sizes (I would roughly say 16x20 is where the line in the sand would be drawn).

The D80 is of course lighter in weight and far more flexible, so that would be my choice. However, if you are not "into" digital photograhy (or have not yet learned the craft of it), you might find the Rollei to give you quicker satisfaction without a lot of work after the fact.

As far as the 18-70 kit lens goes - it's okay stopped down, but it's not the best glass that Nikon offers either, so maybe if that's your lens, we have to "reduce" the max. print size for my "line in the sand" theory stated earlier to about 13x19 or so.

As an aside, I've shot 35mm film, DSLR (D2X, D80, D70, D100), TLR medium format (a few Mamiya C330F's) and 4x5, and for the combination of image quality vs portability and flexibility, I personally prefer the DSLR, but this decision as to which attributes (quality, flexibility, portability) you personally weight stronger than others in the mix is totally up to you and should be secondary to "getting the shot" in the right light and right location.

-m
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: tsjanik on May 22, 2007, 10:29:01 pm
Hi SlimE:

My suggestion is to try the digital and 6x6, see which produces want you want to accomplish.  For me, I use a 6MP DSLR for web, snapshots and anything that will not be enlarged beyond 8x10.  Any work that I hope to print big, I still use a 645, 6x7 or 4x5.
This topic has been discussed ad nauseam and you can find much with a web search; ultimately, it is a subjective, personal preference.  You might enjoy the discussion at http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00LDZX (http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00LDZX)
You might also find the cited links worthwhile.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: RomanJohnston on May 29, 2007, 12:00:05 pm
I am with Jonathan on this one....take the D80 and your tripod. I hike all over the NW with my D2X and regularly get 30"x45" prints for my customers from it from single shots. Your 10MP should do about the same. Use your mirror lockup...quality glass, and a remote cord with your Tripod and you will be amazed with the results.

Keep the F-stop below f/14 if your running 1/3 stop divisions to keep diffraction from blurrig your work. (huge sharpness hurdle with my D2X till I found out about diffraction) Now I stay at f/11 or wider and no more problems (about f/11 for 12mp, f/14ish for 10mp should be fine)....which shouldnt be a problem with wider lenses....longer ones you have to be more creative as DOF issues start to rear their ugly head.

If you cant get solid 20'x30' prints from your D80....your doing somthing wrong.

Plus a tip....consider picking up a Tokina 12-24 to complement your current lens. Its one of my favorites and at $500.00 its a steal.

Roman
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Deep on May 31, 2007, 06:55:31 am
I find this an intriguing topic.  There is so much theory spread over the internet about what is better!  I am right now in the process of doing a very relevant comparison.  I have taken a series of photos using my 3.5 Rollei, my Canon FTb and a range of lenses and my Olympus E300 DSLR (8Mp), also with a range of lenses.  All on a heavy tripod, in good light,  all with comparable focal lengths and apertures adjusted to give equivalent depth of field and chosen to give the cameras the best chance.  I pick up the 35mm slide film tomorrow; the medium format film is still in the camera.  The digitals have been in the computer for a week already.  I am really looking forward to seeing what "the truth" really is.

Despite what nearly everyone says, my experience has been that, when I use digital and film at the same time, I catch a lot more detail with slide film than digital. It also holds together much better in the more exposed areas, losing out to digital in the shade areas - which actually gives a much more pleasing photo for what I do (this depends a lot on what film you use - Agfa RSX was my benchmark when I could get it).  I am convinced that I would need 12-16 Mp and lenses to match my FD lenses to equal the overall quality with digital.  (My tests may prove me wrong!)  I also like shooting film, I like being patient, I like making each photo count instead of taking a whole swag of them and then being tied to a computer for hours.  But I still use the digital all the time.

I just get so sick of scanning slides and then correcting the scans to try to make them close to the original slides.  A more expensive scanner would help, but I doubt I will ever buy one.  Just lazy!  In most cases, certainly up to the 12x8 prints I normally make, digital is indistinguishable from film.  Bigger than that, it's not so simple.  I get stunning 24x16s from 35mm slides - the prices I have got support that.

If picture quality counts most, the Rollei will beat the 35mm simply because of the big film size and decent lens.  So why do I almost never use it?  I find the fixed focal length too limiting and the back-to-front viewfinder frustrates me.  BUT - I have a friend who gels with it.  I went away for nine days with her and she took ten photos in that time.  Every one was amazing (black and white) and would have been hard to acheive with the cheaper digitals.

The point of all this?  All the theory in the world gets in the way of making the right decision as much as it helps it.  Travel with the camera that falls into your hands right and gives the pictures you like.  They will all give you good results.  If you have the Rollei mindset, take that and expect to take your time over your fewer, expensive photos, which will reward you with greater quality if you make big prints.  You might be surprised, if you weigh all your cameras, to find the Rollei is no heavier and may be lighter if you are taking an extra lens with the other cameras.  It's also quiet, inconspicous and can be used with ridiclously slow shutter speeds.  If you don't have the Rollei mindset, you will almost certainly get more "keepers" with your digital than your film camera, but the keepers with your film camera could well be better!

I know this hasn't helped much.  I've taken it as an opportunity to let off steam.  What the heck, I've written it, may as well post it.

One last thing.  When I travelled around Australia a few years ago, I ended up selling a light zoom lens and carried around heavy Canon 24-70/2.8 and Tokina 80-400 zooms instead.  The weight is no penalty when you get the shots that count (you can see some on deeppics.com, under "landscapes, Australia").  Really and truly, you may never get there again and the best lens is the most important thing.

Sorry about the rave,

Don.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: azrussell132 on May 31, 2007, 04:16:28 pm
Quote
Hi Guys, this is my first post ever...so here goes
I have three cameras. A Minolta X700 35mm film camera with a 28-70mm lense, a 2.8F Rollieflex medium format and a new D80 with a 18-70mm lense. I am an avid landscape photographer and often hike up mountains to get the best shots. The question is which should I take if I could only take one due to weight constraints.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117836\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How about buy a photo backpack and take them all? That's what I would do.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: James Godman on May 31, 2007, 05:48:48 pm
I would take the Rolleiflex.

Good luck!
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: RomanJohnston on May 31, 2007, 08:46:35 pm
As a supporting supliment....here are some ideas of how large you can print with your current gear.

(http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/image/79753652/original.jpg)

(http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/image/79755101/original.jpg)

(http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/image/79755103/original.jpg)

I have to admit the D70 shot starts to loose just the smallest part of detail up close....but with the Tulip shot...you can count every empty branch in the trees....and you can see each indivdual piece of moss clinging to the canyon walls in the waterfall shot.

Roman
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Deep on June 01, 2007, 03:20:26 am
Quote
As a supporting supliment....here are some ideas of how large you can print with your current gear.

I have to admit the D70 shot starts to loose just the smallest part of detail up close....but with the Tulip shot...you can count every empty branch in the trees....and you can see each indivdual piece of moss clinging to the canyon walls in the waterfall shot.

Roman
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=120537\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What wonderful photographs!

In case anyone is interested, I have scanned the 35mm slides I mentioned in my earlier post and done the "pixel peeping" comparison with the equivalent 8Mp digital photographs.  A most interesting exercise!  It is actually not a joke to say it is like comparing chalk and cheese.  The digital files (shot RAW and carefully processed in Lightroom) are very smooth and cheese-like, the scans much grainier and chalk-like (partly because I used Kodak EBX, rather than a very fine film).

As expected, the slide scans do hold more detail.  No surprises there.  For example, very fine writing shows up as writing with slide film but a general hint of MAYBE writing with the digital.  However, in any shadowy area, the digital files bring up much more detail (such as tyre tread on a toy car).  It's like watching a boxing fight, moving from one to the other.  In one area, digital is better, in another the film is better.  The clean digital pics are definitely more pleasing on the eye in most cases, yet they can be annoying where they do not differentiate fine detail.  Despite my best efforts, there are tiny differences in focus which account for many of these differences anyway.  It has been pleasing to see the Olympus ZD zoom lenses lose little to the Canon FD primes.  How often can you say that?

The whole process of scanning and correcting the slides still drives me nuts.  Really, with the differences being so small, it would be rare for me to bother with 35mm film without good reason.

Seeing the two formats are so similar, it is logical to expect a big improvement from the Rollei.  Previous scans suggest this is the case.  So, going back to the original post in this topic,  I see little point taking the Minolta.  The decision between the digital and the Rollei will be the trade off of convenience versus those "potential" cracker photos.  I think I'd take the digital.  Which is what I will do when I go to Australia in September.

Don.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on June 01, 2007, 08:49:49 am
Don't forget that with digital it is easier to shoot multiple frames from a tripod and blend them together into a single seamless image that will be better than anything the Rollei can hope to accomplish.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Deep on June 01, 2007, 03:15:27 pm
Quote
Don't forget that with digital it is easier to shoot multiple frames from a tripod and blend them together into a single seamless image that will be better than anything the Rollei can hope to accomplish.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=120598\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, easier, yes.  But you could apply the same theory to the Rollei, if you had the time and space.  If it has the Planar lens, rather than the Tessar, it would be likely that shots would line up more perfectly than with the digital zoom too!  Tongue in cheek though - I would never bother myself.

Don.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: NashvilleMike on June 01, 2007, 05:15:17 pm
Quote
What wonderful photographs!

In case anyone is interested, I have scanned the 35mm slides I mentioned in my earlier post and done the "pixel peeping" comparison with the equivalent 8Mp digital photographs.  A most interesting exercise!  It is actually not a joke to say it is like comparing chalk and cheese.  The digital files (shot RAW and carefully processed in Lightroom) are very smooth and cheese-like, the scans much grainier and chalk-like (partly because I used Kodak EBX, rather than a very fine film).

As expected, the slide scans do hold more detail.

Not trying to start nor add to a "digital vs film" argument here by any means, but I tend to agree with what you're saying to some point. I'll expound:

I shoot mostly two things: primarily people, secondarily landscape, with the former being far more often than the latter.

When I switched to digital (a D100) in 2003, I noticed that with people (where perhaps one is NOT looking for the finest details) that I (and my test model who is a designer and had a very good eye) *vastly* preferred the digital files to the film, which was at the time either Fuji Reala or Fuji Provia 100F (35mm). It was the tonality improvement - the way the whole image just held together as a whole that we noticed, and it was extremely obvious. Within a year or two I had also picked up a D70 and shot both cameras on a trip where I shot a bit of landscape. What I noticed there was that while I preferred the tonality of the digital shots that I also could see, *in certain situations*, that the film could resolve a bit more. My thought at the time was that 6mp digital was equal to or better than 35mm color film for all things except the prototypical "wide angle flowers in the foreground" landscape - that sort of shot just needed a bit more rez than 6mp had to offer.

Fast forward to 2005, when I picked up a D2X. Game over for 35mm film - completely. Even better tonality (that's really the strength of the camera at low ISO, which is where I use it) and the rez improvements were quite noticeable. I've shot many a 11x, 13x, or 16x on film, always with Nikons best lenses, on a tripod, etc, on Velvia, K25, or Provia 100F, and the D2X images at the same sizes look better in every respect - to the point where I compare them with images taken with my TLR's I used several years ago. And this was on finer detail subjects, not just people.

So that got me wondering - where is the point of demarcation where the megapixels are enough to get the resolution we need, and my best (and wild guess) is that it's around 10mp. I've recently picked up a D80 as a backup, and recently shot some landscape with it, and initial thoughts are that 10mp are sufficient for landscape work - maybe not quite as nice as 12 (or more), but at this 'level' of resolution, there simply isn't any real world advantage to film for me, whereas at 6mp, while I generally preferred digital, I could see some shots that Velvia would work better for.

I don't own an 8mp camera but have done some post and retouch work for an Olympus user as well as a Canon 20D user, and in both cases I thought the resolution was obviously a bit better than 6mp, but to my eye, it wasn't quite up to what I have experienced with either the D80 or D2X in terms of what I think is really neccessary to do the higher detail landscape work to a technical level that I prefer. In the Canons case the glass was L glass, not sure of what was on the Olympus.

So at the end this is of course just my opinion - worth little more than spare change, but I do think that every shooter will have their own "personal" line in the sand in terms of how many megapixels is required to "beat" or "meet" film dependent highly on the subject matter they shoot.

And, like the above poster, I hated scanning film - so I'm grateful for the advances in technology and am the happiest I've been at the image quality I get out of a relatively portable camera. No more hauling a 4x5 around with the wind blowing the bellows all over the place....

-m
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Deep on June 05, 2007, 04:40:09 pm
Quote
Not trying to start nor add to a "digital vs film" argument here by any means, but I tend to agree with what you're saying to some point. I'll expound:

...When I switched to digital (a D100) in 2003,... also picked up a D70 ... My thought at the time was that 6mp digital was equal to or better than 35mm color film for all things except the prototypical "wide angle flowers in the foreground" landscape - that sort of shot just needed a bit more rez than 6mp had to offer...

...So that got me wondering - where is the point of demarcation where the megapixels are enough to get the resolution we need, and my best (and wild guess) is that it's around 10mp. I've recently picked up a D80 as a backup, and recently shot some landscape with it, and initial thoughts are that 10mp are sufficient for landscape work - maybe not quite as nice as 12 (or more), but at this 'level' of resolution, there simply isn't any real world advantage to film for me, whereas at 6mp, while I generally preferred digital, I could see some shots that Velvia would work better for...

...So at the end this is of course just my opinion - worth little more than spare change, but I do think that every shooter will have their own "personal" line in the sand in terms of how many megapixels is required to "beat" or "meet" film dependent highly on the subject matter they shoot.

And, like the above poster, I hated scanning film - so I'm grateful for the advances in technology and am the happiest I've been at the image quality I get out of a relatively portable camera. No more hauling a 4x5 around with the wind blowing the bellows all over the place....

-m
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=120701\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I completely agree.  Somewhere around ten to twelve Megapixels, 35mm film loses its advantage in 99.5 percent of cases (the exception would be where the sun is in the photo but behind clouds, such as sunrise sunsets.  Here, less blowout still favours film).

Since I posted previously, I discovered an interesting thing.  Processing my digital files in Lightroom or ACR, then sharpening in various ways in Photoshop (but most effectively using the high pass filter), I thought I had found the Olympus resolution limit.  Not so.  I played with Capture One LE and found I could get another level of detail, very nearly what I found with film and still no grain!  (Another two Mp and I am sure I'd be there.)  I'm not sure why this programme sharpened these photos so well but recommend any Olympus users try this.  It came free with a Sandisk memory card.

Don.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: :Ollivr on June 06, 2007, 01:55:01 am
Hi, I use a medium format camera and a DSLR. However I would suggest you take the DSLR alone or both cameras. My MF camera is one of the Fuji Rangefunders and its not really adding much weight.

The MF camera will have a better quality than the Nikon only if your scans are very good. Other than that, you end up with a somewhat soft image (at 100%) but better(this being subjective of course) color than the Nikon.

Do not get a 35mm film camera. While you can get away with 120 film and an ordinary scanner ( to put on the web, make okay A4's etc) the 35mm is too small. You will either need a very good scanner or have them scanned.

O.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: BJL on June 06, 2007, 11:37:13 am
Mostly I agree with earlier suggestions:
- Shelve the 35mm film gear, and try out the Rollei TLR and D80/18-70 options to see what works best for you.
- Consider stitching with the D80.
- Consider selling the 35mm film gear and using the money to buy a good prime for the D80. For example, maybe a Nikon 24/2.8 (about US$300) as a slightly wider than normal could be nice for landscapes, and should also work well with stitching for wider angle scenes.


P.S. For light weight, stitching even seems to work fairly well with a sequence of hand-held shots avoiding the tripod. Purists may hate the idea, but some stitching software can automatically make adjustments for slight rotation of the camera and such between shots.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: sevenjohn on June 10, 2007, 05:29:17 pm
I have a rollei 3.5  and a D 70, and for quite some time I was torn on what to bring out on a hike,  for me it really boiled down to my options afterwards- I don't have a scanner for medium format and no longer have a darkroom.

     I really found that I wasn't working on images I took with the rollei as the workflow was so slow - In this regard I preferred the digital workflow- the image quality was inferior but if you don't see and work the images often then the advantage is negated.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Deep on June 12, 2007, 12:26:06 am
For what it's worth, I finally got the Rollei photos back from the comparison I described earlier.  It took ages to use the 12 exposures - I just can't get into the square format and odd viewfinder.  However, I was really surprised by how the results stacked up.  I used Agfa Optima 200 print film and the detail and colours were much better than I had expected or remembered.  I had forgotten how well print film holds up in the highlights AND shadows.  It left both the digital and slide film for dead in this respect (the digital beat slide film in shadows, the slide film was much better than digital in highlights).  Still visible grain on the prints, more so than the digital, but the bonus is considerably more detail than an 8Mp sensor can record.

The sheer cost and inconvenience of the Rollei mean I will continue to mostly shoot digital.  However, after this comparison, as others have hinted, it will be the 35mm that gets put into storage and not the Rollei, while I keep trying to make the digital reach its potential.

Don.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Rob C on June 12, 2007, 08:11:27 am
This sort of discussion can go on and on (to prove it, my ten cents) and it comes to the point that the parameters really do have to be set for anything much to make any kind of definitive sense.

You have to have the best (whatīs that?) kind of lens for each camera, you have to have the best available scanner for the film format; you have to have the best printer for the type of paper and that doesnīt even include the question about which topgun digital machine from whom.

The other day I worked on a 35mm Kodachrome 64 Pro tranny that I shot many years ago in Rhodes courtesy of either an F or F2 Nikon, lens was possibly a 3.5/135, the subject a girlīs headīnīshoulders. The film was scanned on my CanoScan FS4000US and printed out on my recently bought HP B1980. What can I say about this, relative to the discusion? Well, the end result on A3 matt is a print whose quality surpasses what I ever managed from Hasselblad via a Durst and Schneider Componon using glossy, glazed papers in my darkroom days. At this point, I have to state that I am a very experienced printer, so I do have a decent basis for making comparisons.

And the best bit? The print is in black/white thus showing the value of shooting something in colour.

I have found digital colour (D200 - only digital camera I have had) to be much more pleasing to my eye than Velvia for scenic stuff; I have yet to shoot people on digital so canīt offer any first-hand opinion on that, other than to say that in the situations where people have been included as secondary subject matter, they seem to have skin tones more like Ektachrome than Kodachrome.

Ideal? Cost no object, I think Iīd go back to Hasselblad and a dedicated roll-film scanner for people. As scenics are a less pressing thing for me, perhaps Iīd stay with film for that too or get myself a digital back. I did say this was a no-limits scenario!

Cheers - Rob C
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: KAP on June 12, 2007, 03:57:16 pm
Quote
I have both a medium format system ( pentax 6x7 ) and a digital camera ( canon 20d ). My medium format is with me anytime I'm out doing landscape photography. Resolution and dynamic range in the medium format out performs the digital every time. I scan my slide / negatives using a Nikon 8000.
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I second that and I'm using a 1DsmkII, even forgetting resolution and grain/noise comparisons, I can't get the colours with the Canon on very bright days I get with film. And that's scanned on a Nikon 8000.
Having said all that the digital will give more variety. Quality MF wins hands down.

Kevin.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: RomanJohnston on June 12, 2007, 04:48:05 pm
Quote
I second that and I'm using a 1DsmkII, even forgetting resolution and grain/noise comparisons, I can't get the colours with the Canon on very bright days I get with film. And that's scanned on a Nikon 8000.
Having said all that the digital will give more variety. Quality MF wins hands down.

Kevin.
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Sorry for the elementary question...but arent colors up to you as you dont have a lab or film type any more and you are essentially the lab now?

Only takes about 10-15 min editing curves in CMYK, LAB, and RGB to get most of my stuff in alignment with my desires.

Roman
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 12, 2007, 08:02:30 pm
Quote
Sorry for the elementary question...but arent colors up to you as you dont have a lab or film type any more and you are essentially the lab now?

Only takes about 10-15 min editing curves in CMYK, LAB, and RGB to get most of my stuff in alignment with my desires.
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Time to spice up this thread a bit...

That's thanks to the fact that you shoot Nikon Roman, don't forget that some guys aren't as lucky and still stuck with inferior Canon color technology.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 12, 2007, 08:06:35 pm
Roman,

By the way, if I may ask, what printer did you output those prints with?

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: NashvilleMike on June 12, 2007, 11:10:34 pm
Quote
Sorry for the elementary question...but arent colors up to you as you dont have a lab or film type any more and you are essentially the lab now?

Only takes about 10-15 min editing curves in CMYK, LAB, and RGB to get most of my stuff in alignment with my desires.

Roman
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I think this brings up the great unknown in the equation... the skill of the post processing. I agree with you (Roman) on the color aspects and have been able to get far more pleasing color with digital than with film scans, or, for that matter, with chromes just as chromes.  I don't think it's really a brand thing either (heck, let's face it, us Nikon shooters are a definite minority over here in these forums, lol) - I think it's just whether someone is comfortable with post to an advanced level or not - some folks are, some aren't, some are in between - it's a wide scale of differing talent levels. I don't say that as an insult to someone who feels film is their preferred choice, but rather as an observation that just by the nature of things with people having differing talents that there is going to be that wide variation in skill levels. And thus it's really hard to judge some of this argument - if there were some "magical god of post processing" who did everyones post work and it were thus rendered as best as it could be rendered for each photographer and their view of things, would some of the opinions in the film vs digital discussions change? I think some of the opinions might. It's tough to seperate out the craft from the underlying technology sometimes.

As an aside, that's actually depressing in some ways, when we talk of digital photography - that the skill of the post has a very direct impact on the final result, and for someone who is not or does not want to become comfortable with advanced post work, that leaves them out of the digital loop a little bit. I'm not sure that's a good thing. Yes, "we" are now the lab, and for some of us, that's awesome (I love being the lab), but for others, that's not where they want to spend the time.

And to make things more complicated - fact of the matter is, everyone has different levels of color perception - get 10 photogs in a room to take the Munsell color test sometime and the results will surprise you (there will be a lot more variance in color perception ability than you'd think... bigtime).
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 13, 2007, 03:24:37 am
My brand comment was obviously tongue in cheek, and I don't know if Nikon is better than Canon or the opposite, but I disagree with the concept that color is not a relevant aspect of digital camera selection, although it is one that is often overlooked by all reviewers.

It is pretty obvious to me that different sensors have different gammuts, and different abilities to capture differences in colors accross the huge spectrum of conditions encountered in the real world.

Raw converters have an impact on how given RAW files values are translated into RGB values, but the best RAW converter will not be able to compensate for a narrow sensor gammut or a high entropy in the file.

One obvious proof of this is the value of true RGB devices vs Bayer interpolated devices. I have not seen a convincing metrics for this yet, but it is obvious to my eyes that there is more than the lack of moire to the quality of the color in the files captured by true RGB devices (Foveon or scanning backs). This is just one example to show that colors have a quality to them that matters.

Regards,
Bernard
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: NashvilleMike on June 13, 2007, 11:00:59 am
Quote
My brand comment was obviously tongue in cheek, and I don't know if Nikon is better than Canon or the opposite, but I disagree with the concept that color is not a relevant aspect of digital camera selection, although it is one that is often overlooked by all reviewers.

It is pretty obvious to me that different sensors have different gammuts, and different abilities to capture differences in colors accross the huge spectrum of conditions encountered in the real world.

Raw converters have an impact on how given RAW files values are translated into RGB values, but the best RAW converter will not be able to compensate for a narrow sensor gammut or a high entropy in the file.

Overall I agree, but I would likely have a different ordering of the importance of the sensor itself in the entire equation.

When I see the usual "I prefer xxxxx color" discussion, I think it comes down to the following:

1) skill/ability of post processing & color perception ability of user
2) choice of raw converter (linked also to item 'a')
3) sensor differences

I've seen images from most of the DSLR contenders and honestly haven't seen vast color differences (although in all honesty, I've been less impressed with those from the Foveon chip) between them. Tonality differences - yes - that's actually why I use the brand I do, but color differences don't stick out to me as being that obviously noticeable. Disclaimer here: I don't shoot fabrics for retail display or other exact color matching scenarios, where quite obviously accurate representation of color would be very critical, and I don't argue that there are not differences - there are, I just happen to think for *most* things in this particular discussion, sensor color differences are further down the list of importance.

What makes it difficult for reviewers is trying to normalize the raw converter. Honestly - one does not work BEST for all. Yes, the use of ACR might be a normalization option, but in my opinion, it is not always the best for some files, and how can you say the camera produces "worse" color than another when you haven't given it the best possible chance at doing so by using the best converter. And then of course, "best converter" is also somewhat subjective. A very, very difficult task for a reviewer for certain.
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: RomanJohnston on June 13, 2007, 11:50:20 am
Playing on a lot of diffrent forums, I often get permission and play with files from many diffrent brands. I always get the colors I want from each brand.

Camera equipment has become SO good in the DSLR arena, that preferance usually comes down to ergonomics. I just happen to like the button and wheel approach to camera controls over the Menu approach....so Nikon appeals to me.

I can walk beside anyone (and have done so) and borrow their camera...and come home with similar shots from what I would get from my own gear...with only things like Megapixel count showing only the diffrence with what I can do with the output.

Once you have exposure nailed...and WB preset properly.....colors are pretty close between all brands.

The rest.....is PP...and your abilitys as a photographer.

And for the person who asked.....The prints were done on a LightJet by a local printing company (TIS Graphics local to Portland Oregon)

Roman
Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Harley on June 27, 2007, 03:41:28 pm
Without trying to be snide, take whichever one you want to shoot with the most. If you take what you like the most, you will get the best results.

quote=SlimE,May 16 2007, 02:05 AM]
Hi Guys, this is my first post ever...so here goes
I have three cameras. A Minolta X700 35mm film camera with a 28-70mm lense, a 2.8F Rollieflex medium format and a new D80 with a 18-70mm lense. I am an avid landscape photographer and often hike up mountains to get the best shots. The question is which should I take if I could only take one due to weight constraints.
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Title: 35mm film vs medium format vs D80
Post by: Dan Wells on July 04, 2007, 12:12:29 am
I've shot all three formats quite a bit, as a landscape photographer, and here's my take:

35 mm film is out of contention against any digital SLR at or above 6 MP. Note that 35mm will outdo any digital COMPACT I've ever seen, due to dynamic range (digital compacts are very poor, while digital SLRs are quite a bit better).

The very wide dynamic range of 35mm (and 120) negative film is tricky to scan, trickier still to print. Slide film scans better, but has no dynamic range advantage over a good digital SLR.

Nikon's 10 mp digital (I've used the D200 extensively, which has basically the same sensor as the D80) falls somewhere between 35mm and 645 image quality, clearly inferior to 6x6 cm well scanned (Nikon 8000 or 9000), but just as clearly superior to 35mm Velvia.

The only digital I've seen that beats 6x6 cm is the 17 megapixel 1Ds mkII (which is equivalent to 6x9, as best as I can figure). I've never used a 5D, so I can't comment on that camera. The 1Ds mk II also has better dynamic range than most other digital SLRs.

While the Rollei has the best image quality of your options, I'd be tempted by the D80 for convenience's sake, depending on where you're going. Also note that you can carry a ton of exposures for your D80 in a few very small memory cards, while 120 film gets bulky!

                                                     -Dan