Digital Now as good as LF! : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I just got a new Kodak digital back for my Hassy. I must tell everyone that after two weeks of shooting and printing, my prints from this system exceed the quality of my best 4x5 negative/print combo. Yeah I know, some joker will say that my negs are garbage. Well, you just don't know what you are missing.

Goodby LF, hello digital!


-- Richard B. Silvester (, December 11, 2001


Hi Rich,

Could you give us any details so we know what you're comparing? Which Kodak digital back did you get? How much does it cost? What scanning system does it use (i.e., does it work for street shooting or just studio work)? What kind of file size does it generate? Are you comparing the output to 4x5 conventional prints or to drum-scanned 4x5 chromes?

Thanks, Terry


-- Terry (, December 11, 2001.


Some of the best work I've ever layer my eyes on was done with an inexpensive, all plastic Holga camera. The 20 x 24 prints were wonderful and a pleasure to wander through. Where they tack sharp? No. But they were beautifully composed and conveyed powerful emotions. I am by no means bashing Hi-Tech or "Hassy's". I embrace high tech, welcome the digital technology and see it as another tool at my disposal. As with any other photographic tool, one must learn how to use it in order to get the most out of it. It is by no means a "silver bullet". Good luck on your digital solution my friend!

-- Jim (, December 11, 2001.

A Pauline moment: In a couple of years or so the Kodak digital back will be far surpassed by what is coming. Circuits the size of atoms. Cameras in a shirt pocket. Think of this. Today Microsoft and Apple are trying to bust the 2 GHz chip barrier, but one chip manufacturer just announced that by 2005 they will be producing a 70 GHz chip for personal computers.

-- Dean (, December 11, 2001.

Dear Rich

I am pleased to hear of your success and happiness with your new system. I happen to embrace film and digital. Today, for example, I set off in downtown Chicago with a DCS620 and came back with a hundred or so images of architecture. Tonight, I am viewing, editing and printing some of them. While looking at them, I am worrying about tombstoning of certain buildings, too much foreground, etc. and thinking about certain shots I will go back to with a view camera. I think a good percentage of my shots today were 'killer', but the results are also helping me see where I want to slow down or work for an image. The combination of both worlds hopefully will increase my abilities and vision. As I have said previously, my buying of a digital system has also spurred me to upgrade my view camera system and additionally has caused a reawakening of my taking lots of photos in many format sizes.

Maybe you discovered the magical 'Silvester' bullet!

Good shooting...


-- John Bailey (, December 12, 2001.

I hope it is true. Come on out and we will go out on the North shore of Great Salt Lake & set it up for some really good night images. Basic exposure is 4 hours at f/22 for iso 100 film under the full moon on the salt flats to get detail and realy nice star trails. Night temps are expected to be 0 to 10 degrees farenheit. The old Deardorff does this very well. It will be good to be able to see the images right away so we will know if we have to shoot a second one while it is still dark. With your stuff it should be easy to get 3 in a night rather than the 2 I usually get.

And the back tilt should be really nice with the digital monitor so I don't have to put out mini-mag lights to help with setting my depth of field focus points in the dark.

Look forward to seeing you soon.

-- Dan Smith (, December 12, 2001.

From the Web page The art of trolling:

troll v.,n. To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies"; which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling";, a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. The following extract is from a broader expansion of the defining comments given above:

In Usenet usage, a "troll" is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath a bridge accosting passers-by, but rather a provocative posting to a newsgroup intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses. The content of a "troll" posting generally falls into several areas. It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction of common knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of a newsgroup, or a broad request for trivial follow-up postings.

-- Xavier (, December 12, 2001.

I think Xavier hit the nail on the head. The original poster's continuing silence (and failure to show any evidence to support his silly claims) speaks volumes.

-- Terry (, December 12, 2001.

'The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do'.........Seems like you don't mind bringing the 'dog' out in people yourself(75%serious,25%joke).

-- Jonathan Brewer (, December 12, 2001.

The email address of the poster is also a good hint. Additionally, it's not valid.

-- Xavier C (, December 12, 2001.

Let's get him!

-- Andrew Cole (, December 12, 2001.

repeat after me- it's only the internet, it's only the internet, it's only the internet...

On the other hand I've see nbig prints fro mthe kodak back that fits on the hassleblad (mamiya, et. al., including 4x5 cameras. The quality is stuning. So is the price: around US$21,000 + $1500 for the anti-aliasing filter. I can buy a lot of camera, lenses, tripod, etc, plus film & processing and polaroid and scans for that much money.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, December 12, 2001.

Check out "foveon" on the internet. They display a 8 foot high B & W blowup taken with a 16.8 megapixel CMOS camera that rivals large format.

-- Dean (, December 12, 2001.

Hi Richard

I`m sure you are reading the responses of us! It is a AD for digibacks, but with no evidence! So just like a joke;-))) Tell me how many batteries you have to take with you on a weekly trip? Or how it works with -20 grad Celsius, then I take the joker with my traditionell set and I ;-)))) you out! But no doubt digi has his pros and cons! Good light!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, December 13, 2001.

I can tell you what I'm missing ~ it's that huge hole that used to be a bank account!

As much as I'd love to jump on the digital bandwagon, my wife's not ready to give up her new mini-van so I can have another toy, uh, tool to use.

At the present, for the money, you still can't beat film. Scan & print digital, but it's still cheaper to buy a box of 4x5 sheet film than spring for the digital back (and attendant accessories.)

-- Ted Brownlee (, December 13, 2001.

MMm. I see one of our posters has been reading the Foveon ad copy, endorsed by photographer Greg Corman on a joke of an interview on NPR? Let's see, if you can get 6 megapixels from 35mm - too conservative an estimate, but one the digiphiles just love- and the size of a 4x5 inch sheet of film is equal to .. . hmm. . . 12 pieces of 35mm film (I just did it, actually laying a 35mm neg across the sheet film with a ruler. . it's between 10 and 12), then that makes. .oh. . 78 megapixels for a sheet of 4x5, conservatively? Yep, it sure does. Don't give me any crap about the "proof being in the pudding," either. 16 megapixels doesn't even beat MF, let alone 4x5. It just doesn't make mathematical sense. And yep, I'll bet my next paycheck the visual inspection would bear this out. I don't want to hear about "but there's no grain in digital" either. Vast expanses of one color pixel (often interpolated in camera, or fudged with Genuine Fractals) may not have grain, but they don't have detail either. Kind of what video looks like, eh? And by the way, the last time I looked at my 20x30's from 4x5, I couldn't see any grain anyway. Imagine how good they look at eight feet? Oh, what was that you said. . . I'm crazy because I don't buy into hype?

Biting on the troll, as always:)

-- Joshua Slocum (, December 14, 2001.

Dear Josh

I see you got Greg mixed up with Roger :) Then again, maybe not. Both are exploitative in a sense.

-- Erik X (, December 14, 2001.

Dear Eric, Thank you (honestly) for correcting me. . it's Gorman, then isn't it? It's best to know thine enemy by his right name. . you gave me a chuckle:)

-- Josh Slocum (, December 14, 2001.

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