Interesting timing - I spent part of yesterday and this morning reading about and checking out my Leica M3 from the 1950’s. I also read all the things Ken Rockwell wrote about it. Someone in the forum recently posted two black-and-white photos from an old Rollei, and Joanna just posted the following - hope I can copy it here:
In addition to the other things I’m doing, I’m thinking about buying some 35mm b&w film, and seeing how much quality I can get in my images if I do things correctly.
The first question, before asking anything else, is whether PL4 is appropriate for working on scanned images from film (35mm, 2 1/4", 4x5, or whatever)? All the color controls in PL4 would be meaningless, but so many other controls would be awesome!
I know how well Deep Prime does on digital noise - how does it react with film grain? The better people working in b&w way back when, said when you’re in the darkroom, using your enlarger, maybe with a magnifying device, to focus specifically on the film grain - as that “grain” (unlike digital noise) actually WAS the picture. Anything that degraded film grain would make the resulting print less sharp. Does this apply when the image, grain and all, has been scanned, digitizing it?
Then there is “quality”. Ansel Adams used many cameras, including an 8x10 view camera shooting on 8" x 10" film. This was what, 70 years ago? How closely can a 35mm film camera come to approaching that quality? Is 4" x 5" film (which I think Joanna uses) better in today’s world, than the gear Ansel used?
I’m aware that Ansel Adams was a genius, and created such awe inspiring prints - could someone with the same talent create similar quality with the hardware available today?
As a test, I plan to buy a few rolls of 35mm film, hopefully 24 exposure fine grain b&w film, put my Leica M3 on a tripod, and see if I can match the quality of one of Ken Rockwell’s photos:
If so, I’m wondering how close I can come to this (or beyond this) with one of my digital cameras.
…but I’m getting ahead of myself. The first question I want to ask here, is whether PL4 is “as good as it gets” for editing digital images shot as black-and-white (film or digital)?