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Author Topic: Do you miss film?  (Read 17916 times)
geotzo
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« on: May 11, 2009, 07:08:24 AM »
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Having gone 100% digital more than 10 years now, I was asked to shoot a friend's wedding on film! I then started to think of all my claims the latest years, that I would never shoot film again, found no reason for it etc.
So, over just one day's thinking I finally admited to myself, that I do miss shooting film on a pure manual camera every now and then, for some personal projects. Inspired by many recent discussions about the beauty of the non-linear behaviour of emulsion vs sensor and above all the romance of the process, I ve made up my mind and started looking for an old med format camera... I used to have a Rollei, an RZ etc but there all gone for a few $ back then. Thought to myself why didn't I keep just one body for some occations. Felt stupid. I now only have a 645 with Phase1 back and lots of Canon gear... I miss that 6X6 format for its simplicity and the sense of vintage photography, so I ll soon find one that suits me, on ebay. Probably a Hassie, cause I never had one.
I wonder how many of you out there feel the same?
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 07:52:55 AM »
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An interesting question, because I recently sold off the last of my film cameras after going through much the same quandary every few months for several years.

What it comes down to in the end, I believe, is whether one is interested in the process or the results. If one is enamoured of the process, then go for it. But, do the whole thing, from shooting to processing to printing in the chemical darkroom.

If you're just going to shoot film, but then scan and print digitally, I'd have to ask - what's the point? The hassles of purchasing, storing, exposing and then getting film processed isn't terribly romantic or fun. The results will not be as good as current digital capture, so what's the point? And, of course, there's always the expense.

If you are going to do the whole darkroom thing, then it's another story. I can see the pleasure in that for some, but not for me. One of the happiest days in my life was the day that I closed my darkroom (after having one for more than 30 years).

I'd just rather be out shooting with todays fantastic tools than waxing romatic over "the good old days".
Michael

Ps: An friend teaches historic photographic processes at a local university and is one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. He is also one of the few people left in the world still making daguerreotypes the same way that they were 150 years ago. (Talk about nostalgia). But when it comes to doing photography his camera is a Nikon D700 and he prints with an Epson 4800.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 07:55:21 AM by michael » Logged
geotzo
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 08:28:22 AM »
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Quote from: michael
If you're just going to shoot film, but then scan and print digitally, I'd have to ask - what's the point? The hassles of purchasing, storing, exposing and then getting film processed isn't terribly romantic or fun. The results will not be as good as current digital capture, so what's the point? And, of course, there's always the expense.

You definitely got a point there Michael, and I do plan to use my old enlarger in the future. At the moment all I have in mind, is shooting monochrome and developing it myself every now and then. Yes I also plan to do some scanning, and the only point is to have some fun doing things in a different way than shooting digital and then applying a mimic grain I like etc
For sure I don't plan to go analogue or use a darkroom dailly, neither do my all my pro work on film. No way.
I agree, it can get pointless in a way, but right now I find it really inspiring shooting some film for some projects whenever I feel like it. Then again, I might regret the entire idea next year...
Saying that, I ll probably never feel like upgrading a 40 year old Hasselblad, cause there no real upgrade in terms of picture quality apart from film choices (if any). I wish I could feel the same about my P30, which already feels old, but there is no way my earnings allow any upgrades in the near future, but that's another story
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 09:08:28 AM »
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Quote from: michael
]If you're just going to shoot film, but then scan and print digitally, I'd have to ask - what's the point? The hassles of purchasing, storing, exposing and then getting film processed isn't terribly romantic or fun. The results will not be as good as current digital capture, so what's the point? And, of course, there's always the expense.

Dear All,

The nature of the problem nowadays is that the world is sold on digital, is it not???

... and because of that, a good lab for developing is scarce to come by, lets not dare mention that a quality scan of film can be complete jaw dropping compared to digital, even more so if you stare down with a quality Schneider loupe on the original SLIDE. Film and digital simply are different. There is a another dimension there in film in its colors and drop off at brights and dark, not to mention that it comes complete pre-programmed with what is already a pleasent rendering, if exposed correct at a good condition. In that way, I would say that film is still superior to digiral today, but... the problem is that it must be made digital today, because... ehhh... the world is (oversold) on digital??? Often that is made on not top grade scanners, because that is what is available, and often also affordable. That to me is downside of film. Else, to be frank film is simpler. I should not say superior, since it might be incorrect word, but film is different to digital. Also... film should not merely be viewed on pixel level, but as an image. I still shoot slides; FUJI VELVIA 50 + FUJI PROVIA   , but... I hate to say... not as much as I should... because they made film more difficult, simply selling the world on that digital and advanced auto all camera is made sold to be better than a simple one when you capture the magic moment, and to instead using a dslr snap the trigger hoping you get the magic shot as one of the captures....    - or am I being sarcastic, or... in seriousness do I actually have a good point?? I prefer the slow because yield better images, yet that is me.

I made this post the other year;-  The MFDB vs Slide Film Challenge!, Mamiya ZD vs. 7II - http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=20970

In it I posted RAW files from Mamiya ZD 22MP digital back and asked people to do their own processing. I also stated that I was going to get film scans of Mamiya 7 Velvia 50 6x7 film scans of same scenes made, both on flat bed and drum scanners. To be frank, I believe both scanners were a tad too old technologies... nevertheless... one poster stated towards end "the film scans have a real wonderful quality to them. While looking at these last 100% crops, I find that I'm really drawn to them and the ZD images that looked so great before look lifeless in comparison."

Now any of you might wish to argue that a D3X or 1Ds3 beats the crap out of 6x7 slides and ZD. Sorry, I will disagree. There are qualities to the ZD files when shot at optimum conditions that beats that out of those two, albeit ZD is limited and is a problem camera (search my post ZD has problem).

Digital does not beat FILM. Film is different. Yet, I miss the simplicity of film... and to point the finding of a lab that with ease could process quality slide FILM, and make quality scans for cheap. This is in fact what turned me to digital in the first place, and claims that crummy D200 was superior to film Utter nonsense! As an amateur I have found that digital is MUCH more $$$ than film ever was, and I mean considerably many times more if you look for quality results and are not sold on new high tech technology and upgrading all time to latest incremental advancement in camera rather than image.

Years ago it was stated that a DSLR of 6MP beat 35mm film. Did it? Really, really? Utter nonsense. What experience has the reviewer? What year is viewer? What sensitivity of eye? Does a 20MP beat 35mm film? I dare say no, because film is different. That is not only in pixels, digital look different. One is better than the other, depending on subjects and situations. And... Yes!! I for sure miss the simplicity of using film. Actually, I have recent added 4x5 FILM and I am not please with my DP1 which is supposedly best capable image quality compact.... Well... I do not miss film scanning of 35mm scans.... many, slow.

Film was simple. Also in small camera you could have quality image capture, simply by plugging in that cheap sensor as was called FILM....

I miss that simplicity, and indeed low $. I now shoot Leaf, before I had F100 + Velvia 50, but to be honest... I also wanted larger format... which with digital translates to BIG $. B.t.w. my Aptus 65 is the first digital product I have found pleasing. 6MP rivaled 35mm film?? Nah....

Above is my view and observation.

Regards
Anders
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 10:16:37 AM »
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No.

A. They don't make my film any more.
B. Trying to get decent scans of film that the lab had clearly folded, spindled, mutilated and, I suspect, raped is a non trivial PITA.  In the end I had more vouchers for free development, not to mention excuses for murder, than I would ever need.

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TimG
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 10:29:08 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
No.

A. They don't make my film any more.
B. Trying to get decent scans of film that the lab had clearly folded, spindled, mutilated and, I suspect, raped is a non trivial PITA.  In the end I had more vouchers for free development, not to mention excuses for murder, than I would ever need.

A. They don't?  Hmmm....somebody better call Ilford, Kodak, Fuji, etc. and tell them.
B. Please don't equate your lackluster lab experience with a horrific act like rape.

When did Luminous Landscape become MySpace?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 10:29:44 AM »
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Hi,

The short answer is no.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: geotzo
Having gone 100% digital more than 10 years now, I was asked to shoot a friend's wedding on film! I then started to think of all my claims the latest years, that I would never shoot film again, found no reason for it etc.
So, over just one day's thinking I finally admited to myself, that I do miss shooting film on a pure manual camera every now and then, for some personal projects. Inspired by many recent discussions about the beauty of the non-linear behaviour of emulsion vs sensor and above all the romance of the process, I ve made up my mind and started looking for an old med format camera... I used to have a Rollei, an RZ etc but there all gone for a few $ back then. Thought to myself why didn't I keep just one body for some occations. Felt stupid. I now only have a 645 with Phase1 back and lots of Canon gear... I miss that 6X6 format for its simplicity and the sense of vintage photography, so I ll soon find one that suits me, on ebay. Probably a Hassie, cause I never had one.
I wonder how many of you out there feel the same?
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francois
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 10:31:45 AM »
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No and I don't regret it.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 10:32:06 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 10:40:13 AM »
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Do I miss film? NO

What's to miss? In my opinion the people that continually pine for the good old days have severe memory problems.

The photographers that still swear by film are only using it as a marketing ploy, to show what "arteests" they are because they still cling to an antiqainted media.

Just my opinion.


Michael
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 10:41:24 AM »
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Quote from: TimG
A. They don't?  Hmmm....somebody better call Ilford, Kodak, Fuji, etc. and tell them.
B. Please don't equate your lackluster lab experience with a horrific act like rape.

When did Luminous Landscape become MySpace?

A. They don't.
B. The reference to murder is fine, tho?
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dalethorn
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 11:17:16 AM »
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The point about analog photography (film) that many people miss here, that Michael alluded to but didn't make an issue of, is that almost everyone who is using film today is doing it halfway - shooting the film, then scanning the negatives or transparencies.

If you do it analog all the way, including printing the negatives with an enlarger, you'll discover a different look to your prints that won't be the same as scanning and inkjet printing.  In color, that may not be much of an issue for most people, but for me, it really makes a difference in black and white.  I could hide grain in black and white very effectively with enlargers, but hiding noise etc. in digital hasn't been nearly as effective.
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2009, 11:21:10 AM »
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I do not miss film at all ...

I like 1,000 shot rolls of film and a darkroom that fits on my coffee table and lets me watch baseball while I develop images.

Never, ever going back.
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TimG
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 11:58:23 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
A. They don't.
B. The reference to murder is fine, tho?

DarkPenguin, they are still producing film - color, black & white, negative and slide.

And no, the reference to murder isn't fine.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2009, 11:59:48 AM »
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Quote from: geotzo
Having gone 100% digital more than 10 years now, I was asked to shoot a friend's wedding on film! I then started to think of all my claims the latest years, that I would never shoot film again, found no reason for it etc.
So, over just one day's thinking I finally admited to myself, that I do miss shooting film on a pure manual camera every now and then, for some personal projects. Inspired by many recent discussions about the beauty of the non-linear behaviour of emulsion vs sensor and above all the romance of the process, I ve made up my mind and started looking for an old med format camera... I used to have a Rollei, an RZ etc but there all gone for a few $ back then. Thought to myself why didn't I keep just one body for some occations. Felt stupid. I now only have a 645 with Phase1 back and lots of Canon gear... I miss that 6X6 format for its simplicity and the sense of vintage photography, so I ll soon find one that suits me, on ebay. Probably a Hassie, cause I never had one.
I wonder how many of you out there feel the same?

I do miss a few things about the film 'experience'. I shot almost exclusively slide film. Probably the best was the anticipation, tearing open the mailers and spreading out those jewel-like slides on a light-table, and seeing that, yes, I nailed a perfect exposure on the best frame of the roll. And there's nothing quite like the neon saturation of a backlit velvia slide on a light table.

But then I remember getting back slides with lots of dirt on them, or parallel scratches across the emulsion on the best shots of the week. And trying to coax a bit of life out of those inky black shadows from the scanner, then spending tedious hours cloning out the myriad dust spots. On rare occasion I still fire up the scanner when I get a request for an old image, and it's just as much a pain as it ever was.

Then I'm happier than ever to be shooting digital.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2009, 12:17:10 PM »
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Quote from: TimG
DarkPenguin, they are still producing film - color, black & white, negative and slide.
And one film is the same as the next?  I didn't say they don't make film.  They distinctly do not make the film I was using.

Quote from: TimG
And no, the reference to murder isn't fine.
Obviously I think context makes a difference.

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gr82bart
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2009, 01:15:12 PM »
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I don't miss it because I still use it.

Regards, Art.
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TimG
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2009, 01:47:40 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
And one film is the same as the next?  I didn't say they don't make film.  They distinctly do not make the film I was using.

I never claimed one film was the same as the next.  Of course they are different.  Every film is different.  It's one of the nice things about film.

What I don't get is why people are so eager to toss aside a couple hundred years of color chemistry aside so they can mix their own.  If film was so terrible the film companies would have been long gone.

And I really don't get the argument that digital is somehow easier than film, be it traditional or hybrid.  Sure, you no longer have to mix chemicals, stumble about in the dark, scan, or deal with crummy labs.

That's all been replaced by.....

- lightroom trashing your library
- hard drive failures (wave goodbye to your previous memories, digitron)
- crummy manufacturer ICC profiles
- expensive third party software and hardware solutions



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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2009, 02:09:39 PM »
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Quote from: TimG
I never claimed one film was the same as the next.  Of course they are different.  Every film is different.  It's one of the nice things about film.

What I don't get is why people are so eager to toss aside a couple hundred years of color chemistry aside so they can mix their own.  If film was so terrible the film companies would have been long gone.

And I really don't get the argument that digital is somehow easier than film, be it traditional or hybrid.  Sure, you no longer have to mix chemicals, stumble about in the dark, scan, or deal with crummy labs.

That's all been replaced by.....

- lightroom trashing your library
- hard drive failures (wave goodbye to your previous memories, digitron)
- crummy manufacturer ICC profiles
- expensive third party software and hardware solutions

All good points.

I never did traditional darkroom printing.  (Either paid a lab or scanned and printed on an inkjet.)  So I already had to deal with the ICC profiles, trashed hard drives, etc.  With digital I lose the scanning step and gain flexibility at capture.  Throw in the fact that there was only 1 film I really liked (in part because it scanned so wonderfully) and there is just no reason to go back.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2009, 03:33:10 PM »
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I don't use my 35mm film cameras any more and haven't for years, but I still have an old Yashica Mat 124G double lens reflex camera that uses 120/220 film, and I like working with that camera because of the way it operates and the way it makes me think about each shot I make (only 12 exposures on 120 film).

Mike.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 03:33:26 PM by wolfnowl » Logged

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sergio
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2009, 03:45:38 PM »
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I don't miss film, but I'm having the hell of a good time walking around with and old Leica M2. I wouldn't even dream of shooting colour. just plain old grainy b&w. I stick with f11 or f16 @ hyperfocal and it is VERY fast to shoot this way. But then I'm not on the quest for uber IQ when walking around.
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