Monday, September 7, 2009


Welcome to my blog. In the following posts, I would like to share my experience with converting from digital photography to analog medium format (6x6, 120 film). I will try to answer questions like
  • why should you upgrade to 120 film?
  • what are the drawbacks?
  • what do you gain?
But mainly I will share results from scanning medium format photographs and I would like to encourage you to share your thoughts, too.
Ahrenshoop Velvia 50 EV9 IMG004I chose as a URL because this is easy to remember. I will not only cover Velvia film, but Velvia is of course very popular - for me and many other photographers.

The image above shows a 6x6 photo shot with Velvia 50 film. I shot it a couple of months ago at an EV of approx. 9 at f/16 and 1/2 s. I read the sky with a light meter and added two stops (which was a bit too much). Unfortunately, Flickr does not show its original resolution of 8525x8525 pixels. Thus, I show a 100% crop here (click to enlarge):

Not really impressive, is it? But this is film at f/16 and 4000 dpi. Moreover, the subject is backlit. But the highlights look good, altough the overall image is slightly overexposed. Please do not forget that this is only 0.71% of the original image area! For comparison, I rescaled the image to one third in order to simular a typical resolution of a 12 MP DSLR and sharpened it very slightly. The sensor of the simulated digital camera has about 4260 x 2840 pixels. Of those, only 2840 x 2840 pixels are usable with a square!). This in not really fair because a Bayer interpolating DSLR can resolve brightness with 12 million pixels but every pixel can see only either red, green, or blue. It needs four pixels to see the original color! A better way would be to rescale only luminance to 12 MP, but color to 3 or 4 MP. But anyway, we ignore that for now and give digital a little unfair advantage. What does it look like?
Well, this is difficult to compare ... It's much smaller ;-) Let's compare the cropped image with the crop of the blown
up image from a simulated digital camera. The digital image (mouse over) looks sharpened, more grainy and has much less detail and fewer real colors.

Conclusion: This is a very brief comparison but the difference is obvious.

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