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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Digital Zowie, a la Leaf

Speaking of image quality, as we have been lately, here is an example of approximately the best possible quality of which digital is currently capable. Pretty close, anyway. Click on the image and take a quick gander at it a bit larger.

You could make it sharper—this hasn't been mucked about with in Photoshop at all—but it looks pretty good, I think. Although not exaggeratedly sharp out of the camera, the edges are very accurate, very similar to what the eye sees. I can just pick up a bit of noise, though nothing really to speak of, but look at the separation in the dark areas; nice. The "rendering," you might call it, is especially good: you can "feel" the hardness of the steel, the patina of the paint and the weld seams. Detail is quite extraordinary. You can clearly see the hooks holding the red tapey-thingies around the duct, the bolts, the upside-down "87" on the beam on the upper right.

It's an example shot by photographer André Oldani taken from Alpa's website. It was made with a Leaf Aptus 22 digital back and a Schneider-Kreutznach Apo-Digitar XL 35mm ƒ/5.6, held together with an Alpa 12 SWA. It's a 16-bit TIFF (well, the original is, anyway—this is a JPEG, naturally), no shift, no Photoshop as I mentioned, ISO 100, 4 seconds at ƒ/11, on a tripod of course, tunsten light, "developed" in ACR 3.3.

Oh, and I suppose to be totally fair, I should let you see the whole picture....

Here's the link if you want to pixel-peep further.



Anonymous Josh Wand said...

I spend all day with the Leaf backs-- they're quite stunning in their ability to render detail, especially paired with the Digitars.

I did a quick still life of a perfume bottle the other day as a test of the combo, and I could not only resolve the dust on the bottle, but the shadow cast by the dust.

Of course, if you spend all day shooting clothing, like me, your real problem isn't dynamic range-- it's moiré.

Supposedly the Aptus 65 and 75 are much better in this regard, but as far as I can tell, nobody but Michael Reichmann actually has actually seen a unit. I know I can't seem to get my hands on one...

4:50 PM  

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