(mostly) daily photoblog

All right kids – voting time!

I took my Pentax K1000, completely manual, old-school camera and my Pentax K20D, super digital, 14.6 megapixel camera with me to the Oregon coast.  The diptych above shows the difference between the two cameras.  The photo on the left was taken with my K1000.  It was shot on Kodak 400 Ultramax film.  The photo on the right was taken with my K20D.  It was shot on a CMOS digital sensor.  I adjusted the contrast slightly on each in Photoshop (I had the film transferred to a CD); otherwise, these two photos were taken in the same place with Pentax 50mm f1.7 lenses on two separate cameras.

So, which one do you like better?  The one on the left, or the one on the right?  Film, or digital?

If you’re stuck and want to see them bigger, click on the photo for a larger version.

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17 responses

  1. Dianna Lewis

    I like the one on the left….

    August 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    • Yeah? I do too, but maybe because of the grain that’s visible. It seems to me it’s more authentically photographic. Then again, in the age of digital, what’s authentic is relative.

      August 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm

  2. They both look nice, especially since they are in a diptych. Ok, I will stop with the tych jokes already.

    The pics leave me wondering if they were taken at sunset? Because the one on the right looks like the sun is much lower/more yellow light. But it doesn’t necessarily look “warmer” if you know what I mean. I like them both, which is sort of lame of me not to make a decision, but it’s true. I think it’s great that you take so many pictures, no matter what the camera!

    August 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    • Good call on sunset. I try to shoot as often as possible in the morning or evening. There is much better light.

      As for the wishy-washiness, I don’t know that I love one or the other. I like them both for different reasons.

      August 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

  3. elmediat

    They are both very good compositions. They are not identical in camera distance. The light on the left image is harder and the colour seems natural ( time of day ? ) , The image on the right presents the end of the drift wood in closer detail . The light appears softer and more golden, still natural ( later in the day than the first ? ). What it demonstrates is two of the basic Media principles that try to impart to my students: ” All mass media constructs reality. All mass media contain intended & unintended messages.” Both are great shots. I vote we go to the beach and all take some photographs.

    August 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    • Sounds good on the “go to the beach” idea.

      As for the distance, the 50mm lens on the film camera is a true 50mm. This lens is also called the “normal lens”, as it mimics how we see the world. If you were to hold up a 50mm lens to the world, the view would be the same as the view from your eyeball. The 50mm lens on the digital camera, however, acts more like a 75mm lens (a slight zoom) because of the size of the sensor. Because the sensor in a digital camera is smaller than a frame of 35mm film, there is a zoom factor of about 1.5 times. Therefore, even though I was situated in the exact same spot for both photos, the “zoom” on the right one is caused be technology. I guess I could have backed up a bit to factor that in, but I didn’t.

      As for the color of the light, it’s all in the white balance. My DSLR has settings to account for the light; plus, I shoot all photos in RAW format, so I can manipulate the way the camera sees the light in the photo. What we see as white, in a variety of lighting options, is what our brains tell us is white, not the actual color we’re seeing. Thus, the light looks different despite the fact that I took the two photos within minutes of each other.

      Although, I still vote we go to the beach, too.

      August 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

  4. Nothing like a film/digital test on Tue to get the jucies going. For some reason the left. And I love digital exposures… I don’t know if its the color of the digital that brings me back to the film or what… sure its warmer. Definitely left from a right brained photog 🙂

    August 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    • Yeah, I’m liking the one on the left as well. The more I look at it, the more I like it.

      August 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

  5. I have to go with the one on the left. I’ll have to get my old Pentax Spotmatic out and do some experimenting myself! MAYBE I’ll blog about it, too.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

    • You should. I’m amazed at how my photographic habits have changed since moving to digital. I’ll blog about that in the next couple of days.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:54 am

  6. Not sure how this comparison can be done. In this digital era you can’t compare a print or a digital image on a computer (it will be no fair!), like you said: “I adjusted the contrast slightly on each in Photoshop”.
    I think film has some advantages which basically is: you will take more time to compose your picture and make sure you are getting it right. Digital you care about that a lot, but you also know in the back of your mind that you can get home and adjust it.
    So again, I know everyone is saying the one on the left. I will say: its not a fair competition for the digital image.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:55 am

    • Good call. At the same time, film photographers who develop their own film adjust their photos in the development process. Also, I’m pretty sure that the machine that developed the film I took while on this trip measures white balance and makes adjustments. There is a solution to this: everyone comes to my house and we’ll look at the digital version on my laptop and the film version in my photo album. Anyone in?

      August 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      • Not funny -___-
        I suggest you send print copies to anyone who replied to your post 🙂

        August 10, 2011 at 6:44 am

  7. Is this an Ernie and Bert question????

    August 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    • I’m not sure what that means?

      August 10, 2011 at 9:06 pm

  8. I like the one on the left better. The light looks more natural and the colors a bit less harsh. Nice pictures. Where on the Oregon coast?

    August 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    • This was shot at Nehalem Bay State Park, just south of Manzanita. This is all about 20 minutes south of Cannon Beach (North Coast). Just an amazingly beautiful place.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm