Digitisation Theory

“Digitalitis” and the Folly of the Pursuit for Perfection

Whenever we use a camera to record a scene, we are transforming  analog signals. Each element introduces yet another error, albeit small.

The perfect is the enemy of the good

It’s an apt saying. The followup is

What is good enough in a complex system?

Errors propagate in complex systems. Redundancy has its benefits. It’s natural. And there are optimal settings to achieve reasonably accurate results.

Peggy's Cove harbor scene

For Quick Film Scans, Try an Olympus C-8080WZ!

An old friend recently asked if I could digitize some 35mm slides of a coastal Maine motel her family once owned. She’d researched the commercial cost of scanning, and before biting that bullet, wanted to see what I could do.

I immediately pulled my Olympus C-8080 WZ (Wide Zoom) bridge camera off the shelf. It takes superb “Super Macros” and my friend only wanted to email the scans to relatives. The camera’s 8-megapixel files would be more than enough for that, and I ran some quick tests. It proved excellent for quickly and easily digitizing film… and my friend loved the results!

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Picking your Color Negative Film Stock – An Alternative Approach – By Matt Wright

The film community is a high point of the internet. Coming back to film after a 20+ year hiatus was facilitated by all of the excellent work that has been done over the last few years. My return home would have been a painful, stressful, and expensive affair without the help everyone (thanklessly) offered me. …

Picking your Color Negative Film Stock – An Alternative Approach – By Matt Wright Read More

Colour Theory for Black and White Photography Part 1: Digital and Analogue Filters – by Sroyon

A black and white photograph “translates” the colours of the original scene into shades of grey. This “translation” or conversion is done by the film (in film photography), or by the sensor and software (in digital).

Some colour-to-B&W conversions seem simple enough. If the original scene has blacks, whites and greys, in a B&W photograph we would expect them to be rendered as blacks, whites and greys respectively. Likewise, we would expect a dark green to be rendered as dark grey, and a light green to be rendered as light grey.

What about a dark green and a dark red? That’s where things get more complicated. In a B&W photograph, we would expect them both to be rendered as shades of grey. But will they be the same shade of grey, or will one be darker than the other? The answer depends not just on the original shades of green and red, but also on the conversion process.

So how does this conversion process work? How can we control it? Why would we even want to? This is the first of two posts in which I try to answer some of these questions.

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