Which is better digital or analog photography

Difference between analog and digital photography, a comparison

The analog / digital comparison and test setup with identical lenses

“Why test what you can't really compare with each other?” Or maybe you can? I would like to address everyone who deals with digital and analog photography. See perhaps the pros and cons on both sides and be interested in the real difference.

"Is digital photography really better than film?"
"What are the advantages of a film negative or slide compared to digital images"?
"In spite of the latest technology, do digital photos even have disadvantages compared to analog film"?

A direct analog / digital comparison

I mainly work as a business photographer and in the field of image films and videos for companies. Since I have not found an image comparison with the same lens on both cameras, I used analogue with the Canon EOS 650 photographed. It was the first camera with an EF connector. I put one in Agfa-Photo CT Precisa 100 E6 slide film. The digital photos come from Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Both cameras with the same location on the banks of the Rhine with a view of the cathedral and the same lens, one Canon EF 70-200 L 2.8 II at f / 8. The slides were scanned on a Frontier SP3000 from Fuji. This was 6600 pxl and was reduced to the resolution of the 5DIII (5730 pxl). First of all, dynamics, contrast and colors in comparison.


DOWNLOAD: You can download the original of all photos of the test here!


100% view of the possible details

    Digital DSLR vs Analog Film

    That shouldn't come as a surprise today. A 35mm film cannot reproduce the details that a digital DSLR can reproduce today. Although I have to admit that I was impressed by the quality of the scan. When choosing the film, I made a conscious decision in favor of the Precisa with 100 ISO and the slide, but I was surprised by the details.

    The resolution of slide films is very high, unfortunately they have less dynamic range than negative films and must therefore be exposed very carefully.

    The development process in negative chemistry (cross-sections) for slide film is called E-6. This gives color-correct slides. The process of developing negative films is called C-41. Such a film has an even better color rendering and tonal balance. The images are “flatter”, have a larger dynamic range and that is why such a film is easier to expose than the DIA.

    With a slide, light areas break out more quickly. Whether it is due to the constant further development of the films, but you can clearly see that even the sensitive DIA film today “forgives”. Even with an overexposure of 2 f-stops. A digital camera behaves differently despite its larger dynamic range. This is easy to see in this comparison.

    The "Curve" with which film reacts to light and the opposite to it digital "straight line". Analog photography has this course of dynamics. I chose overexposure and underexposure because I think you can do that with this example Difference between analog and digital photography recognize well. Download the images to your PC and look at the respective histogram.

    But with all the romance and surprise, the 5DIII wins against the 35mm film in terms of resolution.

    It still remains more than nostalgia and it is not surprising that there are more and more photographers who even offer analog photography for their customers. At this point I would like to thank the Wolfsburg photographer Marc Beierstedt for his help. In the analog medium format and a good scan it looks different, an almost similar result. If you want more and are really amazed, you should look at a large-format slide and project it onto a screen or digitize the images from an analog large-format camera with a high-quality drum scanner. Many famous nature photographers around the world still take photos today Large format camera and sheet film. Not only for reasons of the reliability of such systems even under the most adverse conditions.

    And that's why you should take analog photos every now and then

    I'm a photographer and in the end it's the result that counts for me. Even though a large-format slide still takes my breath away I work digitally today. Analog photography not only has something special, it also brings you closer to what photography is all about. Be it that you simply want to escape the "world of technology". You will occupy yourself longer with the recording and that alone creates something else. They pay attention to other things and more details. Your point of view and all of your photography will improve as a result.

    Take digital photos and keep an "analog way of working"

    If you take pictures with a film in the camera every now and then, you will keep this type of photography and for that reason alone you should perhaps spend time and take pictures with the old SLR from grandpa or maybe even a medium format camera with a light shaft!

    In conclusion:

    This was a practical test not a scientific study. With this direct comparison I wanted to illustrate the difference between digital photography and analog photography. Finally, if you want, do a little math with me:

    I bought the camera body for 9.90 euros on ebay including shipping. The 5 series from Canon costs 3480.10 euros more. I used to pay for the Fujifilm Precisa 36 recordings 6.89 euros. Development and scanning at MeinFilmLab.de 37 euros for XXL resolution (significantly cheaper with fewer pixels): “How many pictures do you have to take for the 5DIII or even IV to pay off? Not every snapshot, really the pictures that you actually need. Analog photography is not cheap, but digital photography can also be very expensive. That depends on the extent of use.

    It still will over 10 million film rolls sold in Germany each year. Maybe you will buy one again soon.

    At the end with a little bit of image editing

    A little Lightroom (2 minutes). Both images in the same image size as is commonly used on the web.

    A difference at first or second glance? Honestly!

    The location was on the Schäl Sick, below the Kaiser Wilhelm monument. From there you have the classic perspective of Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollern Bridge.

    This article was written by

    Dirk Baumbach, 2016.

    VERA movie.