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Has anyone tried using modern lenses on old film cameras?


pablophotographer 9 1.7k 388
20 Nov 2019 12:47PM
I have seen LotaLota's colour picture of a fallen tree shot on a Sony a7 III. That (full frame) camera has a 45mp sensor. I stared it a bit and I thought to myself "film can do that too" (never mind the ISO for a second).

Suppose you work on manual mode, set the aperture of the lens on your digital camera. Shutter speed will operate on the camera itself.

Wouldn't the end result rely on the quality of the glass in the lens?

Any Pentax user there who might have tried this? Any Sony folk on MinoltaAF camera body? Any Nikon user with a F3 and above camera?
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
20 Nov 2019 4:10PM
I am sure a modern lens would be OK in that the main difference for digital is the extra coating to reduce internal flare as sensors can be more reflective than film. However, I cannot see how you will get 14.7 stops of dynamic range from film which the Sony has. You have put aside the ISO which would be another big advantage for the Sony. I think you will also need more than 35mm film to compete with the Sony resolution as well.

I am sure for many years after digital cameras were available, the IQ was less that readily achievable with film but that has not been the case for several years.

Dave
pablophotographer 9 1.7k 388
20 Nov 2019 4:26PM
ISO in the picture mentioned is 400. I put aside as a factor because at the time writing the question I couldn't recall it.
Should it be anything like 12,800 I wouldn't attempt to replicate it with film.
thewilliam2 3 1.5k United Kingdom
21 Nov 2019 12:59PM

Quote: However, I cannot see how you will get 14.7 stops of dynamic range from film which the Sony has.




Some films like Tri-X are certainly capable of 15 stops dynamic range. Check out the characteristic curve, which is almost a straight line up to a density of about 3.

In my early days as a full-timer, a couple of decades back, I had a part-time assistant who was all but incapable of getting exposure right. On a couple of occasions, I coaxed an artistically pleasing print from a colour neg that was 5 stops over-exposed.
LenShepherd 12 4.3k United Kingdom
21 Nov 2019 1:43PM
Almost 20 questions.

Image resolution is part contributed to by sensor resolution (where MP is important) and part contributed to by lens resolution.
Without testing it is impossible to predict but a 10-15% image resolution reduction might apply using an old manual focus era lens rather than a current lens..

With older lenses the aperture is set by the aperture ring.

Specifically Nikon Z just about any Nikon lens up to almost 60 years old (including pre AI) can be used on a Z body - though lens focal length may have to set first in the ML camera menus.

Using Nikon pre AF-S lenses on Nikon ML you loose "screwdriver AF" on lenses which AF this way - and gain IBIS in 3 axis on the Z6 & Z7.
LenShepherd 12 4.3k United Kingdom
21 Nov 2019 1:48PM

Quote: I cannot see how you will get 14.7 stops of dynamic range from film which the Sony has.


How much DR Sony actually has depends on the test methodology.
Many well respected sites say well below 14.7 stops.

Colour negative film can easily accommodate 15 stops DR - with the bonus of significantly more ability to record brighter highlights than digital.
thewilliam2 3 1.5k United Kingdom
21 Nov 2019 9:23PM

Quote:
Quote: I cannot see how you will get 14.7 stops of dynamic range from film which the Sony has.


How much DR Sony actually has depends on the test methodology.
Many well respected sites say well below 14.7 stops.

Colour negative film can easily accommodate 15 stops DR - with the bonus of significantly more ability to record brighter highlights than digital.



I was taught to treat digital like tran film, which won't tolerate any over-exposure at all.
LenShepherd 12 4.3k United Kingdom
22 Nov 2019 8:23AM

Quote:
I was taught to treat digital like tran film, which won't tolerate any over-exposure at all.



This was good guidance in the early days of digital - when even 6 stops DR was a rarity.

You are right to say digital does not tolerate any over-exposure, though with recent high end cameras shooting RAW "any" is now about 2 stops more plus exposure compared to 10 years ago.

With colour negative film over-exposure of 5 or 6 stops can still result in a usable image.
With digital once you reach the much lower highlight threshold - all detail is burned out - and no detail is recorded.

Back to transparency film - with wet chemical printing getting dark shadow detail from a slide was challenging to impossible.

Converting a transparency to digital via a D850 or Z7 with the relatively affordable ES-C slide copier and bringing out shadow detail using Lightroom is the way I now easily obtain transparency shadow detail that was recorded but difficult to extract prior to modern digital and good post processing software.

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