A little bit ago I took out the M7 loaded up with some Ilford Delta 3200 film for a night shoot. (Ok, I have to confess, I very nearly wrote “TMZ,” referring to Kodak’s TMAX 3200. It’s been discontinued for years, but I still have to shed a tear for it)

I shot a roll, developed it, then scanned it in. I shared a few shots with the folks in the picture and they wanted a copy of it in hardcopy.

Here’s where it gets stranger.

Looking at the picture on the computer — and this is scanned in at 3200 DPI — it looks rather much like crap.

It’s grainy as all get-out.

I hit my internal “I believe” button as I hit print.

The result was way different.

So, it looks the same at first, but it doesn’t look nearly as grainy. Also, note that this is a picture of the print of the picture.

This gets to the real point.

With digital it’s too easy to zoom into the pixels of the picture. It’s easy to look at something and condemn it to “crap.”

The reality, of course, is that it’s very likely not crap at all. When looking at it in physical form at a typical distance it looks fine. Of course, it’s fine. It’s been fine with shittier equipment for a hundred years now.

When we’re looking at our high-dollar toys it’s infinitely better than the equipment around 50-100 years ago. But those pictures are still great.

They just never had the “pleasure” of looking at the pixels.