Awhile ago, I was running a photography course on the isle of Lewis in the outer Hebrides of Scotland.
During the composition of this picture, one of my participants asked me if I was going to use a neutral density graduate filter; no, I replied.
The next question was why not? The top of the log is much brighter than the part of the log in the shade (it was obvious in the viewfinder I must admit). The shade will be far too dark unless you balance the exposure with a graduate filter.
I did a quick spot metering and the difference was almost 5 stops (4.6 if I remember correctly).
Of course, I understood exactly what he was going on about and if I was using my 5D mkII, I would definitely use a soft graduate filter. However, I was trying to explain negative film had a much higher dynamic range, in comparison with digital (and even with transparency film) but sadly, I could not convince him.
Eventually, we had to agree that we will wait until we see the results of the scanned image.
Well, here it is. The only thing I did was to underexpose the whole image by 1/3 of a stop, add some contrast and vibrancy. The film was the Kodak Ektar 100 and the camera the Mamiya RZ67 pro II.
In general, I find the DR of 35mm digital and transparency film is around 4-5 stops where the neg film can deliver between 8 - 12 stops. Now, this is a huge difference.
You never know, one day, maybe? Canon? Nikon? Anyone?