So last night I promised a “digital vs film” post but before we get into that, I want to reiterate that this is not intended to determine which is better than the other but this may help determine which is better for YOU. And of course, I decided to use a model for the test ^_^
In comparing the two mediums, I used three cameras:
Film - Leica M6 TTL with Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 Leica
Digital - Leica M8 with Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit ASPH.
***Film - Rolleiflex 2.8D (Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.8)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Leica M8, the M8 was Leica’s very first digital rangefinder. It uses a 10.3 megapixel CCD sensor from Kodak. The sensor has a crop factor of 1.3 which, to keep things simple, means that on this camera a 28mm lens is equal to a 35mm lens and a 35mm lens is equal to a 50mm on a normal full frame or 35mm camera (which is why I chose to use the lenses that I did). I decided to throw in the Rolleiflex for fun as well. The Rollei uses 120 or medium format film and makes a negative about 3x the size of 35mm film. It’s 80mm lens is equal to that of a 50mm lens on a 35mm or full frame camera.
Alright, so now that we’ve got all of the technical BS out of the way, lets take a look at the photos. The first photo was made with the Rolleiflex. I’m going to go ahead and be bias here- Rollei wins, hands down haha.
As for the rest of the photos, the pictures on the left were made with the M8 and the ones on the right, the M6. Right away, you notice that the M8 gives much more saturated colors and very clean, sharp results. The Leica 28mm Elmarit ASPH. is a phenominally sharp little lens and despite it’s tiny size, renders enormous detail on the M8. If you look closely, you’ll notice an almost 3D look to the photos!
The M6 with 50mm Summicron has a noticeably classic look with slightly muted tones in the Ektar 100 film. To my eye, while the M8 photos are obviously more saturated, the film photographs seem more true to life. I’d also go as far as to say they have much more depth to them. With black and white film (Ilford FP4) The Summicron seems to really shine at f/8 with nice smooth transitions between tones. I’d reach for this combo over digital any day… but that’s just me :-)
What do you all think?