View Single Post

Old 03-27-2019   #85
Registered User
retinax is online now
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,156
Originally Posted by olifaunt View Post
This is all speculation:

I think bad scanning complicates things. The Capitol film picture posted here seems like a bad scan so it is not helpful. At that size you really shouldn't see any visible grain in a good scan of hp5-400 film, which I assume it is. My normally exposed and developed trix 400 or portra 400 don't show grain viewed at that size.
Yes, that's grain aliasing. Happens when the scanner doesn't resolve the grain, but it does throw densities of individual pixels off. Then it's often compounded by sharpening. I wonder why people try to make a point with film scans that don't show what the negative holds at all. What I've been trying to say is: If the aim is making an image like this, with a lot of essentially digital artifacts, that's easy to make from a digital capture as well.

Originally Posted by olifaunt View Post
One big difference with digital I find is that, for example, in negative film there is always detail present in whites and you can see it in a good scan as slight tonality variation even in "blown-out" areas. If you magnify a good scan you can usually see some grain even in the whitest whites (meaning they are not "blown" as in digital), but I am not talking about this grain itself but rather slight variations on a larger scale in the grain density, which gives slight tonal variation. One doesn't usually pick up these variations consciously (it might just look like even white) but I tend to notice when it is not there, most obviously in blown areas of digital photos, but also in other smoothed areas of many digital photos. Not all digital photos...
True, I also much prefer that. But I don't see why it couldn't be faked in digital. Don't some plugins use actual images of grain as an overlay nowadays? Adjusting for how grain should look in dark/bright parts of the image shouldn't be too hard? Getting this grain pattern on paper in the darkroom consistently is hard work, too, especially when there are highlights if different densities on the negative.
Originally Posted by olifaunt View Post
Even the clearest blue sky, for example, is not smooth in real life - there are slight random local tonal variations. Some of it is the actual sky - after all, stars flicker at night because of constant random fluctuations in optical properties of air - and some is randomness in the visual system. I think film either reproduces this or has very slight random variations in texture that looks like this. Most digital photos I see have this NR-ed out of existence.
Here on this planet the sky is definitely very very continuous in color when/where devoid of clouds, and I don't see why digital wouldn't capture it if it were otherwise. But film grain/dye clouds does look nice on a sky. If it is actually resolved, like on a good scan or a sharp wet print.
  Reply With Quote