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There are a million different angles from which one can argue the merits of digital vs. film based photography. From a commercial standpoint, the war is over and digital has won. Digital camera sales now exceed those of film cameras - end of story. With the exception of the old stereo photos and some scanned prints, every picture in this site is digital. It would be a complete waste of time to have shot film, however, one of the two most important reasons why, always gets lost in the soup. So here, for all the world to consider, are the two primary considerations.

1. Convenience
2. Monitor Resolution

Convenience is a slam dunk, but why are digital originals preferable for monitor display? The answer to that is even "high resolution" computer monitors in fact have incredibly poor resolution. Think about it. If you print something on paper at 72 dpi it looks like hell. Most people don't really understand the relationship of resolution to physical size, but this relationship is all important when delivering image detail. Film images have way more detail information than a monitor can reasonably present.

For the sake of argument, let's say the human eye can distinguish resolution down to 720 dpi, or ten times that of a computer screen. What this means is, the amount of detail our eyes can distinguish in one square inch will require ten square inches on screen to present without losing detail. Assuming our 720 dpi vision, we can see 720 dots in the space of one inch. The monitor, however, can only present 72 dots in an inch. It will therefore have to use ten inches of screen space to present those 720 dots.

Film always captures its maximum resolution. The human eye can be presented a small film image, but still pick out a lot of detail. The monitor can only present this same amount of detail in a much larger space - ten times the space in our theoretical example. In practice, this means I can throw an old stereo image in a small handheld viewer and see gobs of minute detail. To accomplish the same result on screen I have to make the image huge, to a totally impractical extent.

The argument of digital vs. film original only matters in so far as how the result will be presented. Film is superior for off screen viewing because it can present all the detail in a fraction of the space. Digital cameras are superior for computer monitor viewing because they eliminate the scanning process, and quality differences exist, the computer's monitor can't display them in a reasonable amount of space.

I don't know if any of this makes a lick of sense. What got me started is my frustration over the fact film images which are simply awesome to see in a viewer, end up looking like hell on screen. In making them small enough to fit in the visible screen area, or load in a reasonable time, we have to throw away all the subtle detail which makes the image interesting in the first place. Below is an example of an image as posted on the site, and then a full zoot detail which gives an idea of what we are missing on screen.

Film holds even more image detail than the human eye can resolve. Using lenses, we can magnify this detail, while keeping the entire image within our peripheral vision. On the computer screen, we are forced to choose between image area and detail.The result is always a bad compromise.