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| p.1 #1 · film vs digital shootout |
So, I've always pretty much always been a digital shooter, I started with the 1st Digital Rebel a number of years ago and have slowly upgraded, always to another digital camera.
But then Zalmy would post his Portra shots and it just killed me, because I loved the tones so much. So I thought, lets see if I can replicate that with digital, because I'm more comfortable shooting digital and lets face it, film is spendy and takes lots of patience :-)
So I bought a couple of rolls and have only burned through one. I'd slap the 35 on one camera and the 24 on the other and basically shoot a couple of the same frame and figured I'd be able to compare them side by side and edit digital to match. I discovered it's not that easy, and still can't quite replicate it. It's been a fun experiment though, but I may just have to throw in the towel for now, because I just can't quite figure it out.
Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my results. I scanned the negatives with a borrowed Coolscan 9000, pretty much using default settings, because I don't know any better. The digital files are simply set to the 'Camera Neutral' profile in LR2. I did adjust exposure and white balance in both to get them to match, but did nothing else other than export and resize.
1 - Here's perfect example of what I like about the Portra. The digital duck is so stinkin' bright and I'm not too keen on how the grass in looks in the digital. If I bring down the yellows and adjust them a bit, then the grass gets even worse, since there's yellow in the grass. So I couldn't figure out a formula to globally adjust the duck *and* make the grass look better without masking and all that garbage.
2 - Here's another conundrum I couldn't figure out. In the film shot, the red on the toy is more subdued and my little girls skin tone is just about perfect for my tastes. But in the digital file, the red on the toy is a bit too much, but at the same time, there's not as much red on my girl's face. So if I reduce the red so the toy looks right, her face is almost gray. Weird.
3 - This one I found sorta odd that the film shot has so much more contrast, when the other examples, the are pretty even as far as that goes.
4 - This one, I think I actually like the colors in the digital version a little better - especially with her face and the sky. However, I still like the grass from the film better. I just like those greens a lot better.
5 - This one, I was under by about 2 stops on film and 3/4 on digital. I was surprised that the film looked at good as it did after bumping it 2 stops.
Anyway, I hope you found that interesting. Maybe some day, I quit being cheap and try out the VSCO stuff or something, but I'd have to upgrade LR, then get the VSCO stuff.