Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/05/26

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Subject: [Leica] quality
From: scott at (Scott McLoughlin)
Date: Thu May 26 11:21:24 2005
References: <r02010500-1039-121C4BD67B1E11DA9600001124733AA0@[]>

My buddy shoots artwork up in NYC to help support his fine
art habit.  He shoots chromes, 4x5 for those who can afford it
and 135 for those who can't.  He just got a Mamiya 7II, but
hasn't yet put that to work shooting paintings and such.


George Lottermoser wrote:

>>Whether B. D. or anyone else sees the difference in technical quality
>>or not is irrelevant.  What matters is whether the person buying and 
>>using the camera sees the difference, and how much he/she values this
>>quality vs. the other factors each equipment choice has to offer.
>Doug, You've nailed this topic of "quality." It is far to relative to
>make blanket statements pro or con without actually "looking" at results
>(and certainly not at screen resolution). Below is a piece from another
>list re: relative digital quality:
>i've been hearing the comment a lot lately that the DSLR cameras are so
>good, they're closing the gap on the "medium format" digital backs. i
>also had a guy who needed to know if he could use the Canon (EOS1DsM2)
>to repro paintings instead of coughing up for the 22mp Imacon or Leaf.
>SO, i had to put this to rest by doing some comparisons.
>the first thing i did was to shoot a painting and print it at full size.
>it was 40" x 60", so i shot it and printed a 40" wide strip. i shot it
>with the Canon, the H1 with the Imacon 22mp chip, and then the Imacon in
>Micro-step (16-shot, effective 80mp) mode.
>there's a BIG diffference. the Canon is ok, but doesn't have the
>resolution, color accuracy or dynamic range to capture the nuance in a
>painting (a pretty simple task, considering the dynamic range of paint).
>the 22mp single shot looks good, and the microstep is astounding. we
>used to talk about the difference in a nikon scanner, at 4000 "dpi" and
>an imacon at 8000, and the description i liked was that, at 4000 you can
>see the grain, at 8000 you can see the edges of the grain. it's much the
>same with the painting. in 16-shot you can see the edges of the canvas
>tooth. the range and color are heads over the Canon, too.
>that was pretty much expected. the
>ted-dillard-rule-of-chip-performance-and-high-speed-motosports holds
>up... you want to go fast, you need horsepower and got to pay the money.
>however, i've been hearing that the big-chip DSLRs are "good enough",
>especially since a commercial shooter rarely prints over a double-page
>spread. i've actually said that, too. so i wanted to compare and print
>at 16x20 to see the difference in files, as printed, and well within the
>comfort range of any of the cameras.
>i shot the Nikon D2X, the Canon EOS1Ds, again the Imacon in single- shot
>and microstep. (due respect to the Leaf Valeo 22, it's going to do about
>the same as the imacon in single shot, and my V22 was out on a rental.
>AND, i don't want to hear squawks about not shooting with the Canon
>MARK2. even owners who have replaced their 1Ds with the 1Ds M2 at great
>expense have said, after all, there's not much diff.)
>i processed them as well as i could, trying to show each file in it's
>best light. i printed them on the 4000 at 16x20. the results were VERY
>FIRST, the Nikon and the Canon were VERY similar files, even looking
>close before the print. this was quite an eye-opener... i was not
>greatly impressed at first glance at the Nikon files, but, toe-to toe
>with Canon they hold their own. i even think they have more dynamic
>range and better color, but that ain't science talkin...
>NEXT, there's a BIG difference between the final prints. the best
>description i can make is the difference between an 8x10 print made with
>35mm film, 4x5, and an 8x10 contact print. the big chips give you more
>dynamic range, better color, better resolution, generally a richer, more
>vibrant print. the most interesting thing to me was the comparison
>between single and 16-shot with the 22mp chips... i would have thought
>you couldn't see the difference at 16x20, but it was astounding.
>wheeler... you remember when you were talking about doing some shooting
>with 2 1/4 back in the '90s and panned it? you had said that even at
>8x10, the 4x5 simply has more "data" than 2 1/4, and we laughed because
>it was such a perfect analogy. well, it still holds true.
>i get so carried away trying to find out how big you can push these
>cameras, i forget about what they can do small... it's just like making
>a contact print again. it's funny... all the prints look good, but when
>you put them side-by-side you see the clarity, richness and definition
>of the big chips. sort of like putting a selenium-toned print next to a
>non-toned print. you don't know what you're missing until you see it
>there. i guess its the same reason you and rantoul hump that big-assed
>8x10 all over god's green earth to make ART. (or is it ARTHUR?)
>that's it for me. off to see the PAW-SOX with a dozen 5th grade boys!
>Ted Dillard
>EP Levine, Inc.
>EPL Digital
>23 Drydock Avenue
>Boston, MA.  02210
>Fond regards,
>G  e  o  r g  e    L  o  t  t  e  r  m  o  s  e r, imagist
>Presenting effective messages in beautiful ways
>                                                since 1969
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>                                          Mequon, WI 53092
>Leica Users Group.
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Replies: Reply from isakuhiga at (Higa Isaku) ([Leica] Any Know production problems with 50 Summilux ASPH?)
In reply to: Message from imagist at (George Lottermoser) ([Leica] quality)