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Author Topic: How much quality do you really need?  (Read 42572 times)

myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2016, 02:56:27 am »


So, for proper rendition you would like a high resolution sensor, matching the lens. That is one reason that megapixels (almost) always are good. Another one is that having excess resolution allows for cropping.


While I can certainly see the difference, and the craftsman in me would rather be producing the one with the better rendition, and I can see things like Moire in the lower resolution image, I still wonder whether with a bit of post processing to better match the two images, the differences would go unnoticed.

Of course, I am not in any way arguing against striving to get the best quality you can, but these images are a bit like the ones in camera reviews where you are made to feel your current sensor is inadequate and you must upgrade. I know that isn't what you were doing, and these were to illustrate a specific point relevant to this discussion but of equal interest is how similar the quality is.

Cheers,
Graham

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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2016, 04:06:10 am »

Hi,

There is no way of removing aliasing in post. Color aliasing can be reduced by local desaturation, that is what "moiré-reduction" does.

These are things that anyone familiar with signal processing understands clearly but always stirs controversy when photographers are involved, don't know why.

Best regards
Erik


While I can certainly see the difference, and the craftsman in me would rather be producing the one with the better rendition, and I can see things like Moire in the lower resolution image, I still wonder whether with a bit of post processing to better match the two images, the differences would go unnoticed.

Of course, I am not in any way arguing against striving to get the best quality you can, but these images are a bit like the ones in camera reviews where you are made to feel your current sensor is inadequate and you must upgrade. I know that isn't what you were doing, and these were to illustrate a specific point relevant to this discussion but of equal interest is how similar the quality is.

Cheers,
Graham
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torger

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2016, 04:26:02 am »

It depends on what you shoot, and how you present your images.

Large printed panoramic shots of detailed (but not chaotic) scenes which you can walk up close, then resolution can make a visible difference.

One of the better examples I think is Jimmy Nelson's environmental portraits in this series: http://www.beforethey.com/ where you have a group of people in a landscape printed huge. You're invited to step up close and look at individual person's faces. I've seen the huge prints live, and indeed the 4x5" film is a bit limited, 8x10" had made a difference. But had it made the images better? No. Just higher technical quality.

It's like recording music, how important is it that the sound quality is good? Does the music become better? Grunge rock doesn't gain from good sound quality as much as symphonic music, so it's genre dependent also in this case. But bad music never becomes good by a noise-less recording, and there's also the law of diminishing returns.

However high resolution gives you some advantages in workflow. What if moire never occurs in any condition, that would be comfortable. For that to happen with my gear I need more resolution or an AA-filter on my sensor. It also gives the opportunity to crop heavily if the situation requires.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 04:32:18 am by torger »
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JohnBrew

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2016, 07:36:25 am »

Leica's first digital M, the M8 with only 10 mp and no AA filter will print gorgeous images at 20" so if you're only printing to 17" even it could be considered overkill.

dwswager

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2016, 07:43:32 am »

My take back when digital was just starting was that 6MP was the crossover point between film and digital.  While Kodak maintained that the best films had about 2400ppi of data (8.6MP on 35mm film), I figured you could end up doing more with the digital pixels.  Of course, I had associates maintain that film would always be king and digital really just be for immediacy.  Kind of like my science professor making us learn a slide rule because calculators were just a fad!

Bottom line as to how many pixels you need are base on 3 general factors 1) What type of photography you do, 2) how much skill and effort you put into post processing, 3) output medium and enlargement ratio.  For the vast majority of people 16-20MP is probably more than enough.  Pretty sure that's why both the D500 and D5 are basically in that range.

I've made perfectly fine 11x14 inch prints from 2.1MP, 6MP, 12MP, 24MP and 36MP cameras.  Sure the 2.1MP were somewhat lacking in detail, but since they were outdoor head and should shots with out of focus backgrounds, it really wasn't a problem.  I wasn't looking to resolve the pores on my model's skin!
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #45 on: March 01, 2016, 07:48:52 am »

Hi,

There is no way of removing aliasing in post. Color aliasing can be reduced by local desaturation, that is what "moiré-reduction" does.

These are things that anyone familiar with signal processing understands clearly but always stirs controversy when photographers are involved, don't know why.

Best regards
Erik

I suppose I meant make less noticeable, the immediate difference between these images is contrast, so if you could lift the contrast in the right hand one so it looked more similar, would the differences still be noticeable at normal to a bit closer than normal viewing distances.
Cheers,
Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2016, 07:50:44 am »

It depends on what you shoot, and how you present your images.

Large printed panoramic shots of detailed (but not chaotic) scenes which you can walk up close, then resolution can make a visible difference.


However high resolution gives you some advantages in workflow. What if moire never occurs in any condition, that would be comfortable. For that to happen with my gear I need more resolution or an AA-filter on my sensor. It also gives the opportunity to crop heavily if the situation requires.

I did specify 17" prints, but I agree with all the points you make.

Cheers,

Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #47 on: March 01, 2016, 07:56:11 am »

My take back when digital was just starting was that 6MP was the crossover point between film and digital.  While Kodak maintained that the best films had about 2400ppi of data (8.6MP on 35mm film), I figured you could end up doing more with the digital pixels.  Of course, I had associates maintain that film would always be king and digital really just be for immediacy.  Kind of like my science professor making us learn a slide rule because calculators were just a fad!

Bottom line as to how many pixels you need are base on 3 general factors 1) What type of photography you do, 2) how much skill and effort you put into post processing, 3) output medium and enlargement ratio.  For the vast majority of people 16-20MP is probably more than enough.  Pretty sure that's why both the D500 and D5 are basically in that range.

I've made perfectly fine 11x14 inch prints from 2.1MP, 6MP, 12MP, 24MP and 36MP cameras.  Sure the 2.1MP were somewhat lacking in detail, but since they were outdoor head and should shots with out of focus backgrounds, it really wasn't a problem.  I wasn't looking to resolve the pores on my model's skin!

My Nikon D70 (6mp) vs Kodachrome 25, both with 55mm micro-nikkor, tend to agree more with Kodak. Or that was the conclusion I came to at the time.

But yes, a lot depends on the subject and with the right subject and a "good" print pure resolution becomes less important, but I take on baord the comment that several have made on the security/flexibility that more pixels give.

Cheers,

Graham
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Petrus

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #48 on: March 01, 2016, 08:44:22 am »

My Nikon D70 (6mp) vs Kodachrome 25, both with 55mm micro-nikkor, tend to agree more with Kodak. Or that was the conclusion I came to at the time.

I compared my first 4.7 MPix Canon EOS-1D to Provia 135 (which we used for our editorial work at the time) using the same lens, and to my surprise the detail was about equal. I sincerely believed film would be better, but it was not (slightly more DR, maybe). Much cleaner skies with digital. I stopped worrying and was happy to get rid of film, with all the WB problems, slow speeds (pushed 400 Ektachrome looked like sh**), you name it. It has been heaven for the last 5 years already, and getting better all the time.
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #49 on: March 01, 2016, 09:27:02 am »

I compared my first 4.7 MPix Canon EOS-1D to Provia 135 (which we used for our editorial work at the time) using the same lens, and to my surprise the detail was about equal.

These were close ups of flower detail, and I was confident that the Kodachrome 25 had the edge, BUT looking back on it, I'm not sure how much post processing I did with the D70 files, and I was looking at the K25s with  a loupe.

Cheers,

Graham
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Rob C

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2016, 09:36:45 am »

I wouldn't be too quick to praise early(ish) digital at the expense of 135 Kodachrome.

I almost never used the ultimate, slow one, preferring ASA 64 because I was dealing with live models on windy beaches, and needed a film with the widest latitude I could get, that still travelled well, could deal with lengthy time between exposure and processing, not to mention out-of-control (hot!) temperature situations.

What I did notice, almost as soon as I bought a scanner of my own, was that the detail that I could extract from my 35mm trannies was far better than ever seemed to appear on the printed pages of whatever product for which the things has been shot! I also discovered, to my surprise, that I could make b/white conversions from those same Kodachromes that were quite lovely - in my eyes - and I had a very long history of professional black and white photography, from 4x5 downwards.

In the end, I have come to the conclusion that digital photography is more about how well one can use Photoshop than anything else; the possibilities are vast, and it's then up to us to think about where we want that 'negative' to go. That's the big one!

Rob C

Colorado David

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2016, 09:39:45 am »

I remember at the time being told that 5 mp was equivalent to color negative film and 8 mp was equivalent to chrome. Everything beyond that was new territory. That seems pretty accurate in my experience. I am happy with every quality advancement since then.

dwswager

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2016, 09:59:27 am »

I wouldn't be too quick to praise early(ish) digital at the expense of 135 Kodachrome.

I almost never used the ultimate, slow one, preferring ASA 64 because I was dealing with live models on windy beaches, and needed a film with the widest latitude I could get, that still travelled well, could deal with lengthy time between exposure and processing, not to mention out-of-control (hot!) temperature situations.

Kodachrome 25 was Da Bomb!  I had a Nikon LS-1000 Coolscan for a time and that was just a chore.  God, we have it so good today.  I love pissing an moaning about noise at ISO 6400!
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2016, 11:16:48 am »

I wouldn't be too quick to praise early(ish) digital at the expense of 135 Kodachrome.

In the end, I have come to the conclusion that digital photography is more about how well one can use Photoshop than anything else; the possibilities are vast, and it's then up to us to think about where we want that 'negative' to go. That's the big one!

Rob C

I don't think anyone is, Petrus is saying there wasn't much difference with provia, and I am saying there was a noticeable difference with K25, and you are now saying this also applied to K64.

I agree with you that a tremendous amount of what dictates final quality is PP skills. I get a bit distressed that no matter how hard I try, running my final image through Topaz Clarity will still always improve it. But I am still very much a beginner with digital PP skills.

Cheers,

Graham

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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #54 on: March 01, 2016, 11:22:18 am »

I remember at the time being told that 5 mp was equivalent to color negative film and 8 mp was equivalent to chrome. Everything beyond that was new territory. That seems pretty accurate in my experience. I am happy with every quality advancement since then.

That would also agree with what has been said here, Petrus though 5mp fairly similar to provia and I thought 6mp wasn't as good as K25.

I'm actually astounded at the quality we get now a days. I'm a bit of a fan of Nikon 1s, in spite their rubbish reputation, and I suspect its partly because I can remember what I used to get from 35mm film.

Cheers,

Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2016, 11:26:57 am »

Leica's first digital M, the M8 with only 10 mp and no AA filter will print gorgeous images at 20" so if you're only printing to 17" even it could be considered overkill.

I can remember the poor reviews of the 5mp Leica Digilux, and I think it may well have been LL, who were persuaded by Leica to make prints, and although the images looked poor on the computer, it produced stunning prints.

At least that's how I remember the story.

Cheers,

Graham
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Petrus

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2016, 11:32:14 am »

That would also agree with what has been said here, Petrus though 5mp fairly similar to provia and I thought 6mp wasn't as good as K25.


I compared the EOS-1D to Provia because that is what we used mostly, also Astia. Velvia was just too slow for news type stuff and Kodachrome* even slower and the processing was in Switzerland… Certainly those would have compared well to even 8-10 MPix digital. In winter we had to resort to using Ektachrome 200 which looked awful or even 400, which was worse. Sometimes we shot negative which was smoother and faster, but scans had to made from prints, and hand made 30x40 prints for full spreads (outside lab) were not cheap!

*) I also liked the KodaChrome 64 Pro, shot hundreds of rolls of that on my travels to SAE, Nepal and Tibet in mid-eighties. Now the same number of pictures, with better quality, would fit on one SD card.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 11:35:16 am by Petrus »
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2016, 11:56:52 am »

I compared the EOS-1D to Provia because that is what we used mostly, also Astia. Velvia was just too slow for news type stuff and Kodachrome* even slower and the processing was in Switzerland… Certainly those would have compared well to even 8-10 MPix digital. In winter we had to resort to using Ektachrome 200 which looked awful or even 400, which was worse. Sometimes we shot negative which was smoother and faster, but scans had to made from prints, and hand made 30x40 prints for full spreads (outside lab) were not cheap!

*) I also liked the KodaChrome 64 Pro, shot hundreds of rolls of that on my travels to SAE, Nepal and Tibet in mid-eighties. Now the same number of pictures, with better quality, would fit on one SD card.

You realise we are now talking about ISOs that most digital cameras don't even go down to now a days.  I used to shoot wildlife on Kodachrome 64. How times have changed.

Cheers,

Graham
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razrblck

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2016, 12:57:56 pm »

I have some expired ISO25 film that has to be shot at 12. Let's just say you would need a tripod even ON the Sun. :P
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2016, 01:04:44 pm »

Hi,

My point with the posting was that small pixels may be beneficial even if 16-24 MP are quite enough for a large print.

I printed some crops, by and large corresponding to A2-size. In those prints I would say that the aliasing is clearly visible within the window when viewed at something like 70-80 cm in good light. But, it may not be very obvious if you were not looking for it.

The other point I looked at is the "Centralstationen" sign. Looking at say 40 cm it is quite obvious that it is readable on the 4.5 micron image and it is quite obvious that it is not readable in the 6.8 micron image. Checking with a loupe confirms this.

Would be interesting to see how two systems would work, one with a correct OLP-filter and one without OLP-filter.

My take is really that something like 16-24 MP is enough for excellent A2-size prints and it may be that a smaller sensor like APS-C or even 4/3 may a good choice for those print sizes.

But, a small pixel sensor will not look that great at actual pixels, as micro-contrast will be lower on the smaller pixels.

Best regards
Erik

I suppose I meant make less noticeable, the immediate difference between these images is contrast, so if you could lift the contrast in the right hand one so it looked more similar, would the differences still be noticeable at normal to a bit closer than normal viewing distances.
Cheers,
Graham
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