Film vs. Digital

Just recently Kodak announced that their film segment will be divided into other 2 other segments. When I watch movies, geek myself like to stay to the end of the end-rolls, and I check the movie used Kodak or Fuji film. But I have found movies which do not show either Kodak or Fuji’s company logo in the end-rolls. I guess “Avator” speeds up the invention of the  digital processing and distribution in movie entertainment business.  Although James Cameron may say digital is more environment friendly, film is like Na’vi now to me, under attack by  digital.

In the spring of the last year, I found unused Fuji Provia 100F in my fridge. I bought this film in the end of 2008 when I started digital, in order to check how the newly purchased Zeiss lenses behaved with film. So I tried comparison the film and digital from same lenses. I used a tripod for all images and the same exposures between film and digital. Only the difference is camera body. The film was scanned by Nikon Coolscan 5000 and  the digital images (row files) are adjusted by only “Auto Tone” function of Adobe Lightroom 3.6. Fuji Provia is designed to achieve neutral color balance compared to Velvia.

Left is film, and right is the digital. Obviously white balance is different between the 2 images. To me film has more tonality, on the other hand, digital has more contrast and a punch in the image. I would not be surprised if someone picks the digital image over film in this case.

Looking at sky, exposure of the 2 images are pretty close. But film has more contrast this time. Hmmm? Anyway film shows desireble mood, dont; you think?

It is obviously impossible that film will expel digital, like Na’vi ousted humans from Pandora, but I am hoping film won’t be eradicated entirely. Next time I can show you the same attempt I tried for pin-hole photography.

6 thoughts on “Film vs. Digital

    1. Hiro Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I am now scanning my friend’s b&w film and I realized again film has a certain taste.

  1. Rob

    I did some testing with black and white film vs black and white digital, and the film ruled in dynamic range big time!
    Nice job Hiro

  2. Frank King Photos

    Very interesting piece with great photo examples, Hiro. The thing that immediately struck me is with digital, you can easily adjust contrast and white balance – often right in the camera. Can’t do that with standard film, unless you scan the picture and use Photoshop on the result. So digital is the obvious winner for me. In fact, if I hadn’t switched to digital, I likely would have stopped doing photography altogether.

    1. Hiro Post author

      Thank you, Frank, for your comment. I got to used to convenience of the digital. As you mentioned, I can adjust so many things on a computer. On the other hand, I miss charactristics of each film as well. When I load velvia, I start to plan to take photos which fit the charctaristics of Velvia. My creative process start when I load film to a camera.


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