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December 31, 2003



Thanks for the new page - it should be fascinating.

I find myself using my not-very-good 3 megapixel digital camera these days as it is so convenient. I find myself taking at least an order of magnitude more images and having a camera that is nearly always at hand wins in most cases.

I still use and love my Nikon 35mm system (where there is a serious investment in lenses) and my medium format Mamiya 67 - I just can't afford to use them at the level I use the cheap digital.

There are two concerns I have are the "feel" of the camera and ultimate resolution.

The feel includes things like responsiveness. I was always jealous of Leica owners as a Leica doesn't get in the way of your imaging. The analog layout of the camera with wonderful manual controls and the immediate connection between your finger and the shutter are the best in the business. I have high hopes that the Leica digital cameras will evolve in that direction (although the first effort isn't that good).

Resolution is the other concern. A poor focused and printed film camera may not be as good as a digital camera, but the ultimate resolution of film is still superior. There are many elements that go into final resolution ... sensor, optics, printing material, etc etc. The formula for determining the ultimate resolution of a system is simple:

1/R = 1/r1 + /r2 + 1/r3 + ...

where R is total resolving power and the small rs are the resolving power of each component in the system

So assuming a system dominated by two elements - the lens and the film. A poor quality 35mm film may resolve only 50 lines/mm and a great film about 200 lines/mm. A very sharp lens might resolve 200 lines/mm.

The good film + good lens is 1/R = 1/200 + 1/200 or 100 lines/mm

The bad flim + good lens os 1/R = 1/50 + 1/200 or 40 lines/mm

(this assumes everything else, including focus, is perfect)

It is very difficult making direct comparisons as pixels don't directly overlap with the chemistry in the film, but the important thing to note is that any element in the system can really bring down resolution ...

So I continue on with my cheap digital taking images that I'm really happy with because I could take them. I would imagine a $1000 Nikon body that could take my lenses and give me 8 to 10 megapixels would make me very happy.


By the way .. a great place to get you thinking about images is 26 things


joi film is the way to go! i know you trying out digital but i believe there is no substitute... unless you are a sports photographer on the sideline of the world cup that needs to take his shots whack out the card into the pc and send to the newspaper.

have you tried the Nikon D100? jim has that! nice camera. i myself also have the nikon cool scan though i found a wonderful place to develop film. its done in an hour (negative film only) and put onto CD rom. i only use the cool scan now for slide film or black and white which takes days to develop.


oh and while iam at it i truly recommend the Lomo LC-A camera. Just do a google search for Lomo!

Best 20,000 yen I ever spent on a film camera. some example shots can bee seen on;

http://japan.box.sk (check the gallery for Lomo LCA)

and my friends site;

http://www.myprivatetokyo.com (click lomo under heading.)

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