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Analogue to digital conversion headache

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Anonymous
March 18, 2005 6:28:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

As an enthusiastic, but somewhat clueless amateur, I wonder if I could call
upon the great wisdom round these parts?

I am having trouble deciding on a digital camera and lens combination to
replace my fairly ancient but trusty analogue workhorse combination. I own a
Minolta 500si body to which I mated a Sigma 50mm/f2.8/AF/Macro EX lens,
which give me nice undistorted sharp pics! This is used on an RR Beard copy
stand with a couple of 625watt floods diffused and reflection-shielded with
resin
polarisers to remove the reflections from framed artwork behind glass. On
top of that, I use a 55mm Hoya circular polarising filter on the camera
lens. So you can see why I need a fast lens!

Obviously working with RAW images is the way to go, as I can imagine I would
need to do some extensive post-processing work with Photoshop. However, I am
not very savvy with lens matters, and am a bit limited with the old budget.
I am aware of the limitations a digital sensor's field of view (?) has,
compared with the 'full frame' characteristics of the 35mm analogue camera.
As I use a copy stand with pretty restricted vertical height limits, I think
I am going to run into problems with a 1.5 - 1.7 crop factor inherent in
non-full frame sensors of semi-pro cameras, no? I sometimes need to
photograph pretty large paintings, and if they exceed about 30"x24" then I
have to insist that the painting is removed from the frame for shooting
horizontally on a tripod. But that can cause me loss of work, as many
paintings just cannot be removed easily from their frames.

I also need a camera capable of resolving to quite high pixel counts, so
that I can print out at A3 size without additional interpolation. It must
also be very good at achieving commercial levels (not archival quality) of
colour and tonal reproduction. I often have to make post-processing
corrections without the benefit of the original work to refer to, so the
least guesswork involved with colours and tones, the better and more
productive I shall be. :-)

I have in mind the following possibilities:

Would I be able to use my existing lens on say the new Minolta Maxxum/Dynax
7D?

On a bang-per-buck basis, I am also kind of tempted towards the Sigma SD10
with the foveon X3 sensor on the basis of both colour definition; sharpness
and the apparently excellent SPP processing software with the Light-fill
feature. (I downloaded the software and tried it out on a sample image) I
know this camera makes many round these parts look for a sick-bag, but
bearing in mind it will have a pretty dedicated and restricted use in a
studio, I shall not need to invest too heavily in a multitude of lenses and
feel stuck with them. That said, it has one of the most restrictive (for my
purpose) crop factor of most cameras in this range. (@ 1.7 IIRC)

I had better stop there, or I'll end up answering my own questions, God
forbid! Sorry for the ramble but my head hurts with all the trying to get to
grips with this technology. :-(

Kind regards

Nigel
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 6:28:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy wrote:

> Would I be able to use my existing lens on say the new Minolta Maxxum/Dynax
> 7D?

Yes. The following is hastilly done, but should give you a good feel:

(Maxxum 100 f/2.8 macro lens (not at macro closeness); In camera JPG /
Fine, two softboxed strobes @ f/8, ISO 100)

Post processing: Unsharp mask only.

small v.
http://www.aliasimages.com/images/KM7D/ColBill_SM.U.jpg

(100% crop from above, view it at 100%, 800 KB)
http://www.aliasimages.com/images/KM7D/ColBill_FD.U.C.j...

Full detail (large file, 2.5 MB), view it at 100%
http://www.aliasimages.com/images/KM7D/ColBill_FD.U.jpg

Crop issues: I'm sure you can work out an accurate means of shooting
framed works at any distance with them hanging flat against a wall. Or
find means to extend the height of your copy stand.

A3 (297 x 420) should print well at about 180 dpi without interpolation.
You're welcome to print the above FD.U file as a test. (Bear in mind
that the banknote was not perfectly flat for the shot, nor the lens
critically centered and aligned).

The only issue with the SD10 is that it is in fact a 3.4 Mpix
resolution. Some people feel that the colors are off in some areas.

Cheers,
Alan

--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 7:18:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Alan Browne wrote:
<snipped much pearls of wisdom>
>
> The only issue with the SD10 is that it is in fact a 3.4 Mpix
> resolution. Some people feel that the colors are off in some areas.


Wow! What a quick and detailed response. I am humbled indeed. :-)
That is a lot to chew over and digest, but just wanted to say a quick word
of thanks for your kind interest, and will post back any further opinions on
that asap.

Kind regards

Nigel
Related resources
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 7:18:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy wrote:

> Alan Browne wrote:
> <snipped much pearls of wisdom>
>
>>The only issue with the SD10 is that it is in fact a 3.4 Mpix
>>resolution. Some people feel that the colors are off in some areas.
>
>
>
> Wow! What a quick and detailed response. I am humbled indeed. :-)
> That is a lot to chew over and digest, but just wanted to say a quick word
> of thanks for your kind interest, and will post back any further opinions on
> that asap.

I would have hoped that your interest was in fact in the rest of the
post, not the Sigma bit.


--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 8:23:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy <thesignatory@thisblueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> As an enthusiastic, but somewhat clueless amateur, I wonder if I could call
> upon the great wisdom round these parts?

> Obviously working with RAW images is the way to go, as I can imagine
> I would need to do some extensive post-processing work with
> Photoshop. However, I am not very savvy with lens matters, and am a
> bit limited with the old budget. I am aware of the limitations a
> digital sensor's field of view (?) has, compared with the 'full
> frame' characteristics of the 35mm analogue camera. As I use a copy
> stand with pretty restricted vertical height limits, I think I am
> going to run into problems with a 1.5 - 1.7 crop factor inherent in
> non-full frame sensors of semi-pro cameras, no?

Yes. You're only foing to get a 29 degree FOV with that 50mm lens.

> I sometimes need to photograph pretty large paintings, and if they
> exceed about 30"x24" then I have to insist that the painting is
> removed from the frame for shooting horizontally on a tripod. But
> that can cause me loss of work, as many paintings just cannot be
> removed easily from their frames.

> I also need a camera capable of resolving to quite high pixel
> counts, so that I can print out at A3 size without additional
> interpolation.

OK, that's a minimum of about 200 DPI. 3300 x 2338 pixels. About 8
megapixels.

> It must also be very good at achieving commercial levels (not
> archival quality) of colour and tonal reproduction. I often have to
> make post-processing corrections without the benefit of the original
> work to refer to, so the least guesswork involved with colours and
> tones, the better and more productive I shall be. :-)

> I have in mind the following possibilities:

> Would I be able to use my existing lens on say the new Minolta
> Maxxum/Dynax 7D?

> On a bang-per-buck basis, I am also kind of tempted towards the Sigma SD10
> with the foveon X3 sensor on the basis of both colour definition; sharpness

a. It doesn't have the resolution you need at 3 Mpix.
b. It doesn't have the colour rendition you need.

> and the apparently excellent SPP processing software with the
> Light-fill feature.

Which you certainly aren't going to need on a copy camera.

Andrew.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 7:58:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Alan Browne wrote:
> Siggy wrote:
>
>> Alan Browne wrote:
>> <snipped much pearls of wisdom>
>>
>
> I would have hoped that your interest was in fact in the rest of the
> post, not the Sigma bit.

I was indeed. I had hoped my snippage comment further up would have
indicated as much. ;-)

Now to your info.

Firstly then, the Sigma is a non-starter. Ta!

Secondly, you stated "(........... two softboxed strobes @ f/8, ISO 100)"

Now that's interesting because I have the matter of suitable lighting for
digital cameras in my mind, but thought it would be too OT for this group.
However, since you offered advice, can I just clarify that you mean 'strobe'
to be a flash-type light as opposed to the always-on flood-type which I
currently use? If so, why should I change my current lighting setup? (I am
thinking cost consequences here)
Further, I seem to recall a white paper written by Betterlight on this
subject, and their eventual recommendations were to use fluorescent lighting
with a couple of filters (daylight AND tungsten, IIRC) to counter the
metamerism effect on certain colours when using digital sensors. Any
comments?
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 7:58:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy wrote:
>
> Secondly, you stated "(........... two softboxed strobes @ f/8, ISO 100)"
>
> Now that's interesting because I have the matter of suitable lighting for
> digital cameras in my mind, but thought it would be too OT for this group.
> However, since you offered advice, can I just clarify that you mean 'strobe'
> to be a flash-type light as opposed to the always-on flood-type which I
> currently use? If so, why should I change my current lighting setup? (I am
> thinking cost consequences here)

You don't need to at all. For flat work continuous ligthing or flash
can be used equally well.

> Further, I seem to recall a white paper written by Betterlight on this
> subject, and their eventual recommendations were to use fluorescent lighting
> with a couple of filters (daylight AND tungsten, IIRC) to counter the
> metamerism effect on certain colours when using digital sensors. Any
> comments?

I'm not sure why they would say that. Flourescent is non-continuous in
spectrum and will not return the colors of artwork faithfully. ( I'm no
expert in this, but that's the way it would seem to me). Tungsten is
continuous but weaker at the shorter wavelengths, stronger at the longer
wavelengths.

For flat work I would guess that tungesten alone with the digital camera
body set to 2800K would be very good. (I've been shooting a lot of
tungsten photos and the whites look white.

Two flashes, and the camera set to 5500K is probably better than
tungsten for flat work, and softboxing them gives very even illumination
at the subject. Harder to use polarizers, but with digital you can
simply chimp and histo your way to the right exposure. Capture RAW to
really have a working file for post-proc.

Cheers,
Alan




--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 8:18:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

andrew29@littlepinkcloud.invalid wrote:

>
> Yes. You're only foing to get a 29 degree FOV with that 50mm lens.

Hmm. I don't suppose you could also let me have the FOV (in degrees) of the
lens in my existing setup, could you? :-)

>
> OK, that's a minimum of about 200 DPI. 3300 x 2338 pixels. About 8
> megapixels.

Ok. Minolta D7 seems a bit weak in that respect then. Are we looking at the
Canon 350D here, I wonder?

(on Sigma SD10)
> a. It doesn't have the resolution you need at 3 Mpix.
> b. It doesn't have the colour rendition you need.

Yup, gotcha. Thanks.

>> and the apparently excellent SPP processing software with the
>> Light-fill feature.
>
> Which you certainly aren't going to need on a copy camera.

I mentioned that as I have always found (in an image containing significant
dark or shadow areas) it difficult to get the scanner to extract as much
detail from the dark areas of the photographic print without blowing out the
delicate highlights. However, I forgot that I shall be bypassing that stage
with a digital camera, so I stand corrected. Thanks.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 8:18:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy wrote:

> andrew29@littlepinkcloud.invalid wrote:
>
>
>>Yes. You're only foing to get a 29 degree FOV with that 50mm lens.
>
>
> Hmm. I don't suppose you could also let me have the FOV (in degrees) of the
> lens in my existing setup, could you? :-)
>
>
>>OK, that's a minimum of about 200 DPI. 3300 x 2338 pixels. About 8
>>megapixels.
>
>
> Ok. Minolta D7 seems a bit weak in that respect then. Are we looking at the
> Canon 350D here, I wonder?

For A3 the Maxxum 7D will do fine. So will the the 350D and I doubt you
would see much difference in the output images between the two. The
crop factor of the 350D is 1.6 (v. 1.5 for the 7D) and that will make
your larger frame copy work more difficult.

I don't want to sound like a shrill defender of the 7D, but given your
requirements I believe the output will be equally good to the eye as the
350D and less difficult to work with.

> I mentioned that as I have always found (in an image containing significant
> dark or shadow areas) it difficult to get the scanner to extract as much
> detail from the dark areas of the photographic print without blowing out the
> delicate highlights. However, I forgot that I shall be bypassing that stage
> with a digital camera, so I stand corrected. Thanks.

Most particular if you capture RAW.

Cheers,
Alan

--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 9:41:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Alan Browne wrote:
> Siggy wrote:
>
>> Further, I seem to recall a white paper written by Betterlight on
>> this subject, and their eventual recommendations were to use
>> fluorescent lighting with a couple of filters (daylight AND
>> tungsten, IIRC) to counter the metamerism effect on certain colours
>> when using digital sensors. Any comments?
>
> I'm not sure why they would say that. Flourescent is non-continuous
> in spectrum and will not return the colors of artwork faithfully. (
> I'm no expert in this, but that's the way it would seem to me). Tungsten
> is continuous but weaker at the shorter wavelengths,
> stronger at the longer wavelengths.

Two words - 'Cobalt Blue'. :-) It seems that this (often used artists
pigment) is extremely susceptible to turning purple under tungsten light,
and conventional methods to correct this only leads to creation of other
colour changes in other pigments. I have now found the white paper by Robin
Myers and provide the link here, should this interest you.
Website link only:
http://www.rmimaging.com/information/information_index....
and for the pdf itself::
http://www.rmimaging.com/information/color_accurate_pho...

>
> Two flashes, and the camera set to 5500K is probably better than
> tungsten for flat work, and softboxing them gives very even
> illumination at the subject. Harder to use polarizers, but with
> digital you can simply chimp

'chimp'?

> and histo your way to the right
> exposure. Capture RAW to really have a working file for post-proc.

Thanks again.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 9:41:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy wrote:

> Alan Browne wrote:
>
>>Siggy wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Further, I seem to recall a white paper written by Betterlight on
>>>this subject, and their eventual recommendations were to use
>>>fluorescent lighting with a couple of filters (daylight AND
>>>tungsten, IIRC) to counter the metamerism effect on certain colours
>>>when using digital sensors. Any comments?
>>
>>I'm not sure why they would say that. Flourescent is non-continuous
>>in spectrum and will not return the colors of artwork faithfully. (
>>I'm no expert in this, but that's the way it would seem to me). Tungsten
>>is continuous but weaker at the shorter wavelengths,
>>stronger at the longer wavelengths.
>
>
> Two words - 'Cobalt Blue'. :-) It seems that this (often used artists
> pigment) is extremely susceptible to turning purple under tungsten light,
> and conventional methods to correct this only leads to creation of other
> colour changes in other pigments. I have now found the white paper by Robin
> Myers and provide the link here, should this interest you.
> Website link only:
> http://www.rmimaging.com/information/information_index....
> and for the pdf itself::
> http://www.rmimaging.com/information/color_accurate_pho...

Thanks, I'll look. But I would bet that flash would solve all your issues.

>
>
>>Two flashes, and the camera set to 5500K is probably better than
>>tungsten for flat work, and softboxing them gives very even
>> illumination at the subject. Harder to use polarizers, but with
>>digital you can simply chimp
>
>
> 'chimp'?

Particularly for sports photogs. The 'peeking' at the images in the
monitor while at the event to verify exposure and timing. Impossible
with film, a bit of a good/bad habit with digital. (Bad if overdone,
good if used to verify for blown/excessive highlights or dead shaddow
areas).

I just played with shooting and using the PC as monitor and storage
while shooting, that could be addictive. Now if only it could be
wireless... (The supplied USB cable is very short, so not an easy way to
work).

Cheers,
Alan
--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 10:01:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Alan Browne wrote:
>
> For A3 the Maxxum 7D will do fine. So will the the 350D and I doubt
> you would see much difference in the output images between the two. The
> crop factor of the 350D is 1.6 (v. 1.5 for the 7D) and that will
> make your larger frame copy work more difficult.

Aaah, so it will!!

> I don't want to sound like a shrill defender of the 7D, but given your
> requirements I believe the output will be equally good to the eye as
> the 350D and less difficult to work with.

Then there's the cost difference. Minolta has started selling in the UK here
for just a smidgen under £940 (US$1800 approx) body only, but I can use my
existing lens. The Canon 350D body for UK£640 (US$1230) + a suitable lens at
around UK£250 (Sigma) = £900 approx. Not much in it cost wise I guess, so it
seems Minolta wins on FOV ease of use. Ho hum, choices, choices. Now if
Minolta could only produce a version without the expensive anti-shake
implementation, I'd be laughing! Dream on Nigel. :-)

> Most particular if you capture RAW.

Yes, indeed.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 10:01:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy wrote:


> Minolta could only produce a version without the expensive anti-shake
> implementation, I'd be laughing! Dream on Nigel. :-)

I hope your photography extends beyond copy work...

--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 10:14:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy wrote:
> Now if Minolta could only produce a version
> without the expensive anti-shake implementation, I'd be laughing!

I thought that was its main selling point?

Since they already worked out how to do it in the A1, A2 and A200, I would
imagine that the extra costs either for hardware or development of
software were pretty small.

David
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 10:36:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Alan Browne wrote:
> Siggy wrote:
>
>
>> Minolta could only produce a version without the expensive anti-shake
>> implementation, I'd be laughing! Dream on Nigel. :-)
>
> I hope your photography extends beyond copy work...

Actually, I do very little recreational photography, other than occasional
holiday-type snaps for which I use an old and trusty Olympus Camedia C840L
1.3mp complete with a whopping great 4 megabyte storage card! I also use
that for taking shots of general scenes for the art studio's website, and
that is more than adequate for my needs. ;-) I think I was a little put off
by the quality of my film-based experiences in the more distant past, but I
have a nagging suspicion that a good SLR digital is gonna rekindle some
dying embers.............
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 10:37:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Siggy <thesignatory@thisblueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> andrew29@littlepinkcloud.invalid wrote:

>> Yes. You're only foing to get a 29 degree FOV with that 50mm lens.

> Hmm. I don't suppose you could also let me have the FOV (in degrees) of the
> lens in my existing setup, could you? :-)

image size
2 atan ---------------
2 * focal length

= 39.6 deg.

>> OK, that's a minimum of about 200 DPI. 3300 x 2338 pixels. About 8
>> megapixels.

> Ok. Minolta D7 seems a bit weak in that respect then. Are we looking at the
> Canon 350D here, I wonder?

Could be. You might be able to get way with 6 Mpix, though. It all
depends on how much total image detail you really need on that A3
page.

Andrew.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 10:40:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

David J Taylor wrote:
> Siggy wrote:
>> Now if Minolta could only produce a version
>> without the expensive anti-shake implementation, I'd be laughing!
>
> I thought that was its main selling point?

Not for me it ain't. I don't need anti-shake on a sturdy RR Beard copy
stand, you see. ;-)
However, as I have already intimated to Alan a little earlier, a good
digital camera may well rekindle my interest forn recreational photography,
in which case that may prove a boon indeed. And by then, I'll be able to
afford a full-frame sensor camera for the studio work! lol

> Since they already worked out how to do it in the A1, A2 and A200, I
> would imagine that the extra costs either for hardware or development
> of software were pretty small.

Oh, right. Well, every little helps. :-)
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 10:53:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

andrew29@littlepinkcloud.invalid wrote:
> Siggy <thesignatory@thisblueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> andrew29@littlepinkcloud.invalid wrote:
>
>>> Yes. You're only foing to get a 29 degree FOV with that 50mm lens.
>
>> Hmm. I don't suppose you could also let me have the FOV (in degrees)
>> of the lens in my existing setup, could you? :-)
>
> image size
> 2 atan ---------------
> 2 * focal length
>
> = 39.6 deg.


<G U L P> ~10 degrees that's quite a loss.
I'm gonna have to borrow one from somewhere then to see what I'm letting
myself in for, in terms of increasing the distance/height between camera and
subject. This is more serious than I thought, at least at first glance. I am
very grateful to you, Andrew.
!