You are probably thinking why is this even a debate worth discussing, film is dead and digital is better anyway, how could a film photograph possibly be anywhere near as good for using with DStretch compared to a high resolution digital photograph...well so did I so I decided to make an experiment and see. I know I have some old film photographs of rock art somewhere, wouldn't it be cool to scan those in and run DStretch on them?
To make this experiment even more of a challenge, I used a vintage 1937 Zeiss Nettar 6x9 folding camera. I used modern Kodak Potra 160 color film. For the digital camera I used a new Canon S100 digital camera on "P" mode. I had the film developed by a local lab and they scanned it to disk for me in the lowest resolution they have which is 3034x2048(6.2MP). The digital file was 3000x4000(12.0MP) I did not do any post processing on either file other than run DStretch on them. I used the default preset of YRD on both.
Here are the original photos
Here are the DStretched versions
What do you think? Better than you thought I would bet, I have to say I like the film version better. So does this mean I am shooting film from now on for all my rock art? Ummm, no...not at all, that would cost a fortune!! Digital still makes much more sense for rock art and you can take hundreds of photos and it costs nothing. This does make an interesting case for finding some of my old negatives and trying to scan them in to run DStretch on them. Let me know if you have any similar results.
As a bonus, here is photo I accidentally double exposed, those old cameras don't have built in double exposure prevention mechanisms so you gotta remember to wind the film before taking the next shot...ooops!
Star Trails double exposed with rock art