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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 03 Nov 2017 (Friday) 19:07
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Analog Analogue...

embdude's Avatar
1,018 posts
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Joined May 2005
Nov 03, 2017 19:07 |  #1

Film is not "Analog" it is a chemical process...

"Full Frame" is marketing speak too the proper designation is miniature...

"Medium Format Sensor" is BS too... these are only slightly larger than 35mm not close to 645-Semi (half-frame) no where near 6x6 the smallest MF frame... (of course I still want one... but must we call it something it is not?)

Lately I have noticed several famous brands Lens and Camera poping up on kickstarter... I suppose with Lomo's petzval success it was to be expected... seems that if you use an old beloved name you are guaranteed to get press...

Not a new phenoman I know but it seems everywhere now IE Hasselblad: "Hand made in Sweden"...

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TeamSpeed's Avatar
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Joined May 2002
Northern Indiana
Nov 03, 2017 19:13 |  #2

I assume you feel better getting all that off your chest? :D

Even though 35mm isn't full frame, it is likely that term will be around for a very long time describing that format.

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Cream of the Crop
Joined Dec 2010
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Nov 05, 2017 00:15 |  #3

Actually film is technically both an analogue and a digital medium. Spatially film is difficult, since it is by nature digital, with an undefined sampling rate. Well for monochrome films it is, colour film is even harder to characterise, since you have to take into consideration the dye couplers, and I've not looked at that closely enough. With the monochrome films though you have the silver halide crystals distributed in the gelatin emulsion layer. Each crystal acts just like a digital sensel, in that it reacts to the total level of light incident upon it. If the emulsion layer was only a single crystal thick, the crystals were all of an exactly uniform size, and they were evenly distributed within the emulsion, the it would be truly spatially digital, just like our electronic sensors. Some high speed films may even have large enough silver halide crystals that they start to approach this situation more closely. The slower "fine grain" films will have much smaller silver halide crystals that will be distributed in depth within the emulsion layer, as well as in the horizontal and vertical axes. Because of this three dimensional distribution the spatial sampling rate becomes far more complex.

Although the physical interactions of the photon is very similar in just about all sensor systems, chemical films, or electronic sensors of various types, it is the processes that happen after exposure that vary widely. Film uses a chemical process to convert the record of the number of photons arriving at any sensing unit, AKA as the silver halide crystal, and this process can result in the crystal having an infinitely variable level of optical density. By definition this is Analogue information, since it is not limited to a restricted set of integer values. remember that you can record more than just two dimensional images using optical films. For example the audio track in many cine formats is actually recorded as a signal of varying optical density, and is also still an analogue signal, just as it would be if recorded on say, 1/4" tape. Don't forget either that the brightness signal from many electronic optical sensors has been recorded directly to a magnetic storage medium, as a truly analogue signal. Oddly enough though you could actually use film as a storage medium for digital signals, which could even include what we consider to be purely digital images, both spatially and for brightness.


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Joined Aug 2012
Southampton Hampshire UK
Nov 05, 2017 02:00 |  #4

Full frame is full frame as the sensors were being described against the classic 35mm format, so a full frame sensor is full frame as it's the same size as a 35mm frame.

Also, I'd easily argue film is analogue, analogue means a continuously changing state relaying data or information, film changes continuously as it's exposed recording visual information until the exposure is stopped, and if you expose it again it does it again, and carries on doing so until it's developed, so yes, it fully fits into the definition of analogue for me.

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Cream of the Crop
kf095's Avatar
Joined Dec 2009
Canada, Ontario, Milton
Nov 05, 2017 08:43 |  #5

Old time hipsters called 135 film format as 35mm film. Not so old time hipsters called film photography as analog. Recent time hipsters calling it as alternative photography. Hipsters (those who are technically illiterate and artistically giftless) needs to be creative on something, like slang. Give them the break, they are cute people. :-)

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3,051 posts
Joined Mar 2012
PEI, Canada
Nov 07, 2017 12:09 |  #6

Medium format sensors might be crop sensors in current offerings, but so were early DSLR, and the bulk of DSLRs sold in the world. And even with those 'pitiful' 'tiny' little medium format crop sensors, they're still twice the sensor area of full frame 35mm, and about 60% the area of what would normally be expected by 645. That is not exactly a difference to sneeze at. At the same time it is not the end all and be all of photography, but they're still a tool to work with if they give you the look you're going for.

Personally I'm looking forward to seeing a full frame 4x5 digital back that can slip in in place of a standard film holder. That would be pretty sweet.

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Analog Analogue...
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