Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/07

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Subject: [Leica] How digital noise is different from film grain (my bestdescription)
From: rangefinder at (Didier Ludwig)
Date: Tue Sep 7 14:18:33 2004
References: <> <015401c49519$1e8db160$>

Yes, there's a HUGE difference between dealing digital noise and analog 
grain. Digital noise has ALWAYS BEEN ANNOYING for me, while I HAVE NEVER 
MINDED about grain (maybe except in a handful of shots). And photoshop 
noise-cleaning filters are not a solution for me. Could as well add a grain 
imitation filter... Why tinker around with software for something that was 
not a problem before. I know what I talk about, I work with photoshop, 
daily, since ten years (as graphic- and webdesigner, not as photog).

This, and the fact of having used and driven mad four digicams in six 
years, were the main reasons for me to step "back" to analog photography 
last year, with a M6. As it's my hobby "only", and not my job, I don't 
really need the indisputably faster workflow of the digital.

>B.D. Colen wrote:
>Absolutely - And that then requires either using one of the noise-removal 
>programs, which can to quite a good job, or burning in those shadow areas. 
>But either way, it's quite different from dealing with grain in a film 
>>Adam Bridge wrote:
>>Today I was spotting some black and white scans and the difference 
>>between digital noise and film's grain leaped out at me. In film, as you 
>>move into the blacks, they become denser and denser as the grains 
>>converge. So blacks are black. But in digital the noise happens IN the 
>>blacks - adding speckles of light where there should be black or at least 
>>very dark. The worse the noise the higher up the luminance values the 
>>effect becomes. So at 100 you see nothing in the very dark areas but by, 
>>say 400 there are subtle flecks of brightness creeping while while at 
>>1600 these effects are moving well up into the mid-tones. So when you 
>>look at a digital image or a film image there is a definite quality 
>>difference between the way noise and grain operate in the dark tones.

In reply to: Message from abridge at (Adam Bridge) ([Leica] How digital noise is different from film grain (my best description))
Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] How digital noise is different from film grain (my bestdescription))