Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/12/15

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Subject: [Leica] Sensor Size visual chart
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Sat Dec 15 10:28:50 2007

> The question should not be, "what are the dimensions of the sensor?" 
> Rather,
> it should be "what is the qualilty of the image?"
> Somehow there seems to be general amnesia about the literally decades of
> scoffing at the 'tiny,' 'toy' 35 mm negative.
> Now, in an era when there are 35 mm digital sensors matching higher speed 2
> 1/4 films, the only important question is whether a particular sensor size 
> can
> produce the image quality YOU - or your client - requires.
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Yes 35 seemed impossibly small in the days of the Speed Graphic 4x5 and
Rolleiflex square medium format.
But proved to be the format which could.
Against all odds.
Speed Graphic and Rolleiflex odds.
Brownie film and sheet film odds.

But in those  terms of film what I had in mind was what people a  little
bit further down the road than that could get with the new Minox and half
frame camera formats.
If like most serious or pro photographers they had an 11x14 portfolio those
shots stood out in the stack as being a step or two down.
Mush! I say Mush!
Hence perhaps the history of those formats.
If you were into snapshot output; which were smaller than 4x6's those days I
forgot what they were: you'd  not see or care.
But even 8x10s are a strain for Minox format.
A "blow up" from that format was a mighty 5x7".
So it could but  a strain on  your serious photography endeavour.

They're selling a lot of inkjet paper nowadays.
First thing you see when you walk into Calumet or Adorama or  K&M and lots
of other cameras stores. Stacked up to the ceiling.
Mostly letter sized sheets.
How well do prints look like from those point and shoots with a sensor
smaller than the size of your pinky fingernail?
They make GREAT Uploads to web galleries or websites!
But your short stack of prints had better be pocket sized.

When these cameras are marketed they don't come with a normal lens.
Its always some outlandish zoom.
If there was cute little normal 7 millimeter lens on the camera it might
make one or two people who used to work in the darkroom pause before the
bought the thing. They are realizing just how small a format they are
getting themselves into.

All they look it is the megapixels. Which is funnily called "resolution".

Which is like saying "This Minox can make 16x20 prints!"
Does not say what they look like.
-its like a comparison between shooting regular TRI X WITH your Rolleiflex
and Pan F ISO 50 with your half frame or Minox then matching up your  16x20
prints side to side.
And there IS NO comparison.

The results from the tiny neg even with information packed tightly together
with slow  high rez film does not even come close to what you get from the
breathing room of the 2.25 cubed inch large neg on regular 400 rez film.

But they BOTH MAKE 16x20 prints. So you could say they had the same

Cramming your pixies together tightly on a small service does not true high
rez output make just like with film.
The pixels on MY head of a pin need to BREATH!

I'm a wishing and a wanting 24x36 format digital in my stocking this year.
Trouble is I have a radiator instead of a fireplace!

I wonder if there are any people who spent 5 grand on an m8 but which they'd
spent it on a D3. I have no idea how I'd feel about it.

Mark William Rabiner

Replies: Reply from jayanand at (Jayanand Govindaraj) ([Leica] Sensor Size visual chart)
In reply to: Message from bd at ( ([Leica] Sensor Size visual chart)