Monday, 11 January 2010

G1 and large format

I was out photographing in the park with my 4x5 (felt inclined for a variety of reasons) and I took this image on ADOX CHS sheet with a Fujinon 90mm f8 @ f16


now, as it happened I was also taking images with my G1 and the kit 14-45 lens. In the case of the G1, I focused on the ice covered tree in the right hand foreground

... Dam it if the G1 isn't nearly as detailed as the 4x5

I took 2 sheets (as it happens) and confirmed focus with my x7 loupe each time I loaded a holder into the camera (nothing had moved). Stopping down to f16 from wide open can only make things sharper.

In these screen snapshots I've left the film at 50% view and taken 100% from the RAW file. My experience is that the film needs to have more pixels than a digital capture to equal it and 100% view of film scans is seldom (if ever) as good as a digital capture.

You'll see however that the 4x5 on the left maintains its shallow depth of field near the foreground object relying on tilt to get the background in focus. It results however in a foreground separation which is nicer than on the G1

and off in the distance ..

Now I've felt that my Fujinon 90mm isn't up to the sharpness I'd like (the Nikkor SW90 looms in my view every time ...) but you know I'm really impressed with how well the G1 went.

I am now even more keen to get a tilt adapter because on the case of the G1 images the f5.6 image was way and ahead sharper than the 4x5 was but I could not control the Depth Of Field needed to get foreground and background in focus in one shot with the G1 as I could with the 4x5 film camera. A tilt lens would do this nicely ... now all I need is a nice sharp 24mm and the ability to tilt and my stitched sets from the G1 will be fantastic!

I've had my 4x5 for some years now and it is only more or less now that the Digital (I've been able to afford) matches it.

Of course the 2400dpi scans of the film yielded more pixels than the G1, but the G1 file (TIFF from RAW) had as much detail so upscale would be quite ok. The 4x5 is ahead by a nose on other details but, I think that for many sorts of images I think the G1 (and many modern good large sensor cameras) can do nearly as well. Heck for the effort required to ensure a good 4x5 shot the large sensor digital does at least 90% as good.

I think I'll compare my FD 28 to the Fujinon 180mm tomorrow!

Worth mentioning here is that while it is possible to probably get better out of my 4x5 with a better scanner than my Epson 4990 (and trust me I do know how to drive it) and a better lens, it will absolutely require much more effort than the G1 took. Also its well worth noting that the capture range of black and white film exceeds the G1 by such a wide margin that HDRI is needed to match the film. But these may be do able assuming still conditions (which would be needed for the 4x5 to be sharp anyway...)

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