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Old Jan 25, 2005, 11:22 AM   #1
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:? After some initial research I thought I knew where I was going ie Canon 20D. I then read that the kit lens was not sharp and the EF-S 17-35 was suggested, I accepted this as it made sense. On looking at review photos I was not really happy in that I could not see any razor sharp edges anywhere. I then read that one would need to go to the 'L' series for better sharpness - say the 17 - 40L or the much more expensive 16-35L. On top of this setback I then saw that several people were returning 20D's and lenses for recalibration because the owners were not getting sharp pictures. A local shop told me that the 20D did not sharpen its own photos but one had to do it in photoshop.

I would call myself an advanced enthusiast as far as photography is concerned, and, my usual way of working would be scanning RB67 negs on a flatbed Epson 3200 - mostly black and white, and enjoying sharp edge detail. So you might appreciate that when I have finally made the decision to go digital I have got very nervous about the quality of the eventual prints.

I have studied a site which compares scanned negs to digital and digital comes our on top - which is good. So should I be nervous about quality or not?

Any comments or reassurance would be appreciated.


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Old Jan 25, 2005, 4:23 PM   #2
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DSLR pictures are generally less sharp out of the camera than those produced by P&S cameras, simply because there's less processing in the camera. Post processing is generally required, though youCAN increase in camerasharpening.
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 9:19 PM   #3
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To be clear, you are nervous that the 20D you buy could have problems? Or are you nervous that its output isn't that sharp?

The first is a real concern. With no hard facts behind this... I think that Canon's quality control has droped some latey and this is partially how they are keeping their prices so low. Of course, it could also be that happy people don't say anything but unhappy ones yell and scream. You decide.

The second is the way that DSLRs are designed. As Wildman said, they do less processing incamera. This is intentional because it is much easier to add more sharpening in than to take it out. Different pictures require different sharpening. And not only that, different output media requires different amounts of sharpening. Even the size of the print requires different handling. you don't always want tac sharp images (in portraits, for example) but other times you do. You can either change the setting in the camera or add it in post processing.

Eric
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 3:56 AM   #4
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Thank you both. The answer is that I am concerned about buying a DSLRwith not enough experience to know if I have picked on a dud because I have no references to judgethe outcomesagainst. Allied to that, if you thought that your camera/lens was underperforming how could you convince your seller of this especially if they are less informed than yourself. I might be wrong here but it seems to me that in the States there is a greater acceptance of returning goods if you are not happy with them (even though the goods themselvesmight bein good order).

I take it from what you say that DSLR's inherently take a softer photo than film with less edge definition - something like 'accutance' in film. I am not enough of a snob or purist to shout about this as long as the post processing does not look artificial. From looking at various sites it seems that digital is at least a match for scanned 6X7's.

Logically I know that as digital has been accepted by the professionals, it should be OK for me, a lowly enthusiast. Although one could wonder whether it is for cost and conveniencerather than quality of outcome. I know this is an old argument but it becomes a bit tense when you are on the verge of making the switch yourself.

I am not a technophobe or a purist film snob. What my problem is knowing whether to ditch medium format scanned film where I knew I achieved acceptable results to buying into a new system, which as you say might be suffering quality control problems.

The answer would be to look at a different manufacturer but I have not Identified yet an affordable camera which would offer the ability of biggish prints, after all I do have an Epson 7600 which needs feeding . Any suggestions wold be welcome.


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Old Jan 26, 2005, 10:13 AM   #5
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*David* wrote:
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Thank you both. The answer is that I am concerned about buying a DSLRwith not enough experience to know if I have picked on a dud because I have no references to judgethe outcomesagainst. Allied to that, if you thought that your camera/lens was underperforming how could you convince your seller of this especially if they are less informed than yourself. I might be wrong here but it seems to me that in the States there is a greater acceptance of returning goods if you are not happy with them (even though the goods themselvesmight bein good order).

I take it from what you say that DSLR's inherently take a softer photo than film with less edge definition - something like 'accutance' in film. I am not enough of a snob or purist to shout about this as long as the post processing does not look artificial. From looking at various sites it seems that digital is at least a match for scanned 6X7's.

Logically I know that as digital has been accepted by the professionals, it should be OK for me, a lowly enthusiast. Although one could wonder whether it is for cost and conveniencerather than quality of outcome. I know this is an old argument but it becomes a bit tense when you are on the verge of making the switch yourself.

I am not a technophobe or a purist film snob. What my problem is knowing whether to ditch medium format scanned film where I knew I achieved acceptable results to buying into a new system, which as you say might be suffering quality control problems.

The answer would be to look at a different manufacturer but I have not Identified yet an affordable camera which would offer the ability of biggish prints, after all I do have an Epson 7600 which needs feeding . Any suggestions wold be welcome.

Hi David:

A few thoughts on this ....

I had been using an Epson 3200 to scan medium format film as well, but in 645 format. This scanner is ok, but it's not nearly as good as a dedicated film scanner. For really large prints, say 16 x 20 and above, I don't think an 8 MP digital file can compete witha 6x7 transparency scanned with a good scanner, especially when using a fine grain film like Fuji Astia. With the Epson 3200, I prefer digital over the scans.

There's an interesting comparision of film vs digital on Roger Clark's website.

http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta....summary1.html

About the actual dSLRcameras, I don't think there are any "duds" produced by the major manufacturers. They all require post processing to get the maximum quality out of them.Properly applied, post-processing will produce excellent results that do not look "artificial" I assume you already know how lens quality will affect the final outcome. Buy the best you can afford, but I wouldn't be overly concerned about the kit lenses being unacceptable.Their price is usually quite reasonable and you can always upgrade later. "L" series lenses are better, but don't forget about the law of diminishing returns....

My local camera store let me test several of their demo models with my own CF card. I then evaluated the images on my monitor and made some test prints up to 16 x 20 before I made a purchase decision. This is another reason why I prefer to puchase my gear from local "bricks and mortar" stores. A lot ofcamera retailers have a limited time return policy in case you're not happy with your purchase.You can do this with mailorder and internet stores, but it's much simplier if you can walk into the store and talk tosomeone in person.

Something you might consider is purchasing a compact prosumer model to test the digital water before ditching your medium format gear. That's what I did starting with a Canon G2 three years ago, and more recently a Canon G6. Keep in mind that none of the compact digitals will equal dSLR quality once you get to ISO 100 or above, and they're all slower in almost every respect. Even if you eventually get a dSLR, the compact digital still makes a good "take anywhere" camera when you don't want to drag the dSLR along.

Sure hope this helps rather than confuses you...

regards....Santos




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Old Jan 26, 2005, 11:14 AM   #6
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Many thanks Santos. I would be happier with continuing to scan my RB67 negs if the camera was more 'hike' friendly. Also, life has got much busier so the time taken in film processing and scanningis hard to come by. If money was no object (which it very much is) I might be considering the forthcoming Mamiya ZD!

What I need to do now is to download some reference images to print as viewing on a monitor is rather artificial.

Wow! your site reference will need much reading - thanks.
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 5:43 PM   #7
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David I can't speak with authority here, but have read from several loacations on the net that the new Canon's and Nikons: ie 20d and D70 have finally reached a point where they are beginning to rival film capabilities.

For that reason I went digital and bought a Canon 20d and I have really been impressed with the output. Additionally, digital can be further improved by more processing, which is becoming more user friendly.

I can speak for my Canon on sizes up to 14x20, as the prints can be dramatically good even with no processing. I have heard and have a program [unused to date] that allows enlarging to very larges sizes with, I am told, very, very good results.

Since you work with black and white scans, you probably have a better eye than I, but, I have been impressed with what I see.
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 7:02 PM   #8
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I hate to say this, but you won't get a properly scanned 6x7 quality out of a Canon 20D or Nikon D70. If you want to get one to try the waters and buy some good lenses for the future, then I'm all for that.

But I don't think anyone will tell you to trade in a 6x7 for anything less than the Canon 1Ds or the 1Ds MkII. The problem is that both of those are way to expensive to just try out digital with.

If you are happy with full frame shots that print well up to around 11x14 or maybe 13x19. Well, ok. but 13x19 will be uncroped and have to be really sharp to get that big. If you are used to looking at a properly done 6x7 negitive you are looking at some of the best.

You might want to read this article, which compares the 1Ds (the older model) to a 645 medium format camera:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...ds-field.shtml

Eric

ps. I agree, that link that Santos gave is really interesting.
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 8:08 PM   #9
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Oh, and there is this link too.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...shootout.shtml

Eric
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Old Jan 27, 2005, 1:29 AM   #10
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:-) I overlooked the comparason with a 6x7 scan vs: 20d. Eric is probably right, a 6x7 scan will be better. Hope I didn't miss lead you.
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