B&W: Comparing X100 to Ilford HP5 film

Discussion in 'Fuji X100 Forum' started by KillRamsey, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Incredibly un-scientific, and done for a goof. I was in VT camping a few weeks back and took pictures with both cameras in the same spot (more or less, as you can see), then cropped the images together. LOTS less detail on the film scan, of course, but I love the contrast compared to the un-tweaked Fuji file. I don't have the software to do much better than this.

    8139181276_f94ed4804e_c.
    BWComparo by gordopuggy, on Flickr
     
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  2. northernsouluk

    northernsouluk SC Regular

    27
    Nov 4, 2012
    Scotland
    I must say I like the B/W from the Minolta
     
  3. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    My experience is similar to yours. There is something about the B&W tones you get from film that is difficult to recreate digitally. As to the detail, a lot depends on the scanning. I have also found that scanned negatives require, and can take, a fair amount of sharpening.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  4. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    539
    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    I think if you worked on the fuji file with silver effects then it would be a lovely photo! I guess all photos need some work these days
     
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  5. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I'd imagine that the scanning software you've employed adds contrast / sharpening as part of the process.

    Film is nice and I miss the wonder of viewing newly developed negs or watching a print in the tray come to life. But I don't miss scanning or dust or storing negatives or dust or reloading every 12 exposures or sending colour neg and slide film out to someone else or dust ...

    Thought I'd miss it, but I don't.
     
  6. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    toss up the raws n let us play! :D
     
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  7. addieleman

    addieleman SC Rookie

    20
    Oct 20, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    +1! Film is nice, but digital is so much more convenient. And I never got used to waiting for results, up to the point where I developed a workflow to get my film developed and ready for printing within 1.5 hours. How nice is it to just slide the card into your computer and see the picture just seconds after having taken it.
     
  8. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    God I wish.

    So the film scan is by the developer, a local Hunt's chain. I get roughly 2meg files back on a disc, and my developed negs, for about $13 for a 36 roll.

    Meanwhile on the X100 front, I work on a work-owned laptop that's locked down so I cannot install ANY software. That means I can't edit RAW files, so I don't bother to create them at the moment.... I am a jpg-only shooter for now. I would love to see what people could do with some of mine, though. I like the look of a little editing, though usualy I don't like a heavy hand.
     
  9. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle

    As to this, I really enjoy having both options now that I got the old minolta. As most of you know by long experience (and as I vaguely remember from the 90's when I shot film for fun), the process of film shooting - especially on a budget - forces certain discipline and heavy thinking that digital doesn't. That lag time and cost come with interesting benefits along with the bad baggage. "Is this shot worth $50 cents? Do I wanna wait a week to see -this-?"
     
  10. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    I find myself with the X100 around my neck, and the Minolta in an open bag over my shoulder, and as I walk around somewhere nice I flipflop back and forth on which to use, based on the focal length I want, the light (what ISO is loaded in that Minolta), and the colors (is the minolta loaded with black and white?)
     
  11. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Aha, so no wonder the film scans have more contrast - it's a turn key service. That makes sense - they would not want to send flat looking images to clients.

    One day when you have the ability to work with raw files you may find you like digital B+W a lot more. What I appreciate most is the ability to tune colour sensitivity after the fact - we can go way beyond the effect of putting on in the field a medium orange or dark red filter for dramatic skies or green or other filters for other effects. Granted this ability may at times result in images that would hardly be possible using film, but that's up to the photographer.
     
  12. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    There's so much I would like to do...
     
  13. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I came home and developed the film; not much of a wait there. Basic, normal developement of roll film is pretty straight-forward. And it's pretty easy to get to a point where you can read a negative, at least a black and white negative. I just never felt anxious about my results except at the beginning when I wasn't sure I was even metering properly.

    As for scanners adding contrast and sharpening: if you have decent software, it lets you customize those parameters. I've found many scanners add too much contrast by default and yield a compromised gray scale.

    To fairly compare film to digital, you need to get a high resolution scan, preferably 16 bits a channel. I scan 35mm negs at 4000dpi at the original size. Doing that in color at 16 bits gives you a file over 100MBs, but it's a file that can fairly be compared to native digital. (Though comparing analog to digital within an all-digital framework is by its nature going to give the prize to the native digital file.)