Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/17

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Subject: [Leica] Is ASA 200 the new 100 ?
From: locke at (Greg Locke)
Date: Sun Oct 17 06:48:40 2004, you see Frank?  This what confuses me about all of this.
To me, the files out of my D100 are no better than a decent 400ASA colour
neg film when scanned to the same resolutions.  ..go figure ...c'est le

What bothers me more is that 200 ASA in the D100 is not the same as 200 ASA
in film.

The meter in the dSLR's do not read the same as the 2 Minolta meters, 2 F4
meters and 2 Leica meters I have tested it against.  I've done it outside,
I've done it in the studio with softboxes.  If I put the camera on manual
and use the reading from the hand meter, the camera meter shows about a stop
over exposed and, indeed, the image file is about a stop over exposed.

I now have one meter for film shoots and one for digital shoots which have
been "dialed up" to reflect "digital photography" 

The only reason (none engineering, that is) is that digital cannot capture
the same dynamic or tonal range or as  film so it just craps out.

Maybe this might resolve itself with 24X36mm sensors.
...and maybe in the new higher megapixel camera.

The final conclusion?  DIGITAL SUCKS!!! 
And I have been giving SERIOUS consideration to going back to film and
scanning because its just not working for me.  ...and its noticeable in my
work. The stuff I shoot with digital lacks the same energy and spontaneity
mostly because I have to spend too much time thinking about the camera and
what it will do in this situation. 

Contrary to those who say its getting better, I say its not.
Why? Because they took a flawed engineering idea (less then full 35mm frame)
Said it was "good enough" and then pushed and pushed until they got
something "acceptable".

If you are going to do this than you can't use standard 35mm format lenses
and form factors because the expectation is that it will perform the same
and with the same principles as 35mm photography.  

...and its clearly not.

The ideal digital camera in the 35mm form factor would perform all
functions, human interfaces and deliver the same image expectations
regardless what was placed behind the lens.

If the Leica R back was a 24X36mm sized sensor it would have achieved this
At least it retained standard photographic control interface.

Greg Locke
St. John's, Newfoundland
Independent journalism from
Newfoundland & Labrador

> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> [] On 
> Behalf Of Frank Dernie
> Sent: Sunday, October 17, 2004 5:29 AM
> To: Leica Users Group
> Subject: Re: [Leica] Is ASA 200 the new 100 ?
> Hi Emanuel,
> I find 200asa on my digi SLR to be comparable grain/noise 
> wise to Kodachrome 64. IME it id MUCH better than the 200asa 
> print films I have used, the difference is not small.
> The noise level on the tiny sensored p&s digicams I have used 
> is unacceptable to me unless at the slowest, 50asa, speed.
> Frank
> On 17 Oct, 2004, at 02:21, Emanuel Lowi wrote:
> > This question is related to the issues which result from 
> the digital 
> > crop factor reality (which I keep getting mixed up with 
> crap factories 
> > and crop circles, but I digress)..
> >
> > I ask it in utter ignorance of digital technology.
> >
> > Are the ASA settings on today's digital cameras really equivalent 
> > quality-wise to their numerical equivalents in film?
> >
> > For example, ASA 100 film is the usual daylight speed for me in my 
> > normal shooting conditions. I'll load a slower film (ASA 
> 50, 25) when 
> > conditions allow and a faster film (200, 400) when 
> conditions demand.
> > Otherwise it's all ASA 100 all the time, because this gives me the 
> > quality I need while allowing me my preferred shutter speeds and 
> > apertures.
> >
> > Would ASA 100 still be my  "normal" setting with today's digital 
> > technology? Or can ASA 200 be used without worry and with quality 
> > equivalent  to what I am used to, due to a kind of 
> sensitivity setting 
> > inflation ?
> >
> > (Please, spare me the Clinton-esque debates over what I mean by 
> > "normal" and "quality."  If you can't proceed to an answer without 
> > getting all tangled up in semantics, please don't bother).
> >
> > See, if a digital M has a crop factor, we've only got the 28/2 and 
> > Cosina 28/1.9 as fast-ish wide-ish lenses. Anything wider 
> is f2.8 or 
> > slower and I cannot see how Leica or Zeiss or Cosina will deliver a 
> > quality 21/2 or 24/2 (never mind f1.4) that won't obstruct our 
> > viewfinders.
> >
> > But if digital ASA 200 is just as good as the "old"
> > film ASA 100,  there's less of a problem with the slower 
> wides and the 
> > crop factor.
> >
> > Be nice to me if I've asked a ridiculously stupid question.
> >
> > Emanuel Lowi
> > Montreal
> >
> > 
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Replies: Reply from vick.ko at (Vick Ko) ([Leica] Is ASA 200 the new 100 ?)
In reply to: Message from Frank.Dernie at (Frank Dernie) ([Leica] Is ASA 200 the new 100 ?)