PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


An Experiment with 35mm Film

I finally received my developed Tahoe films, and made a quick pass at converting them with the Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED. For these rolls I had shot digital and film side-by-side, at the same exposure, using lenses with the same field of view. Not quite a scientific experiment, but decently controlled for an amateur test.

First off: converting film to digital is a world of pain I hadn`t entirely suspected. Using the Coolscan takes skill and patience.

Following this are crops of about this size:

The D80 with Sigma 10-20 (10MP shot @200%):

F80 with Nikkor 18-35 on Velvia 100F (20MP scan @100% approx):

Things of note:

1) The difference in resolution is subtle but I can see it. Here the Velvia slide does have more detail overall.

2) The difference in grain is massive. Here the Velvia slide is more in line with what I would expect from a high-MP point-and-shoot.

As I was doing this I kept thinking “omg the slides are crap, did I screw up!?” but in the end I see they go up against digital and don’t completely disapppoint. It’ll be very tough to decide which tool to bring to bear the next time I’m out – and the $ and time cost of film may keep it in the bag in the end.

There will be a 2nd installment of this experiment report soon, when I get back some black and white film from another photoshoot.

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