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Author Topic: Do you miss film?  (Read 17500 times)
MichaelAlanBielat
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2009, 04:32:35 PM »
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I just put my film camera on eBay and will finally be 100% digital. I found myself not developing my film and it was a big chore to go to my lab and drop it off. On top of that, I always ask for a digital scan of the images for my website and blog so why not just bypass the middle man.

Not dogging film but it is just getting too much for me with my digital workflow.
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bill t.
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2009, 05:58:02 PM »
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Quote from: sergio
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.
Got one of those with the obligatory 35 f2 Summicron.  Carried it around for 2 decades starting in 1964. Now I prefer my cute little Fuji F31 for that role, it's much sharper.

Yeah I miss film.  As long I don't remember too much, same way I miss my '59 VW.  Bit OTOH I did just looked at the Steichen Conde Nast book, now there's an argument for film.  But couldn't even come close to that with the M2, or F31.
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stevescorpio
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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2009, 08:42:20 AM »
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I don't miss film itself.

Had a place in the late 90s for about a year where my roommate and I converted a small room into our darkroom.  Our friends would come over to use it.  It became a social thing.  We'd help each other out, critique each others prints, have a few drinks.  I miss that.

The final print is still what excites me the most regardless of how it got there.  The digital workflow is an absolute joy for me now (now that I know what I'm doing--thanks mostly to Michael).  I would never work with anything else on a day-to-day basis.  The only digital aspect of photography I am reluctant to pursue is sharing photos over the web, just doesn't have the same effect for me when compared to the physical print.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2009, 07:10:26 PM »
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Quote from: TimG
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.

Hmmm.
Have you seen Kodak lately? I live about an hour away from their headquarters. They've gone from an industrial powerhouse with >50,000 employees in Rochester alone to a rapidly cooling corpse with fewer than 12,000 terrified employees and a rapidly shrinking product line. They lost $353 million (!?!?!) in Q1 2009. Sales of film continue to fall like a stone, more than 29% since last year alone.

Film as a consumer product is doomed; most folks under the age of 25 will never shoot a roll in their lifetime, and digital is triumphant. There are still (rapidly shrinking) niche markets for large format and rollfilm, but they won't be enough to support more than a handful of boutique manufacturers within a few more years.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2009, 12:04:18 AM »
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Hi,

I just would add that all those chemicals we used to have in the darkroom were not actually very good for our health. Although I enjoyed working in the dark room I developed some bad cough while doing military service and working in the dark room got less attractive. I never have been anything like Ansel Adams, either. To me digital was a relevation. I was thinking about a development machine for my dark room but I also started looking at printing photographs. When the Epson Stylus Photo arrived I was thinking about it, seriously. One of my friends had one on order, and it arrived at our office and my friend wanted to test but had no pictures. I supplied him with a scan from a Kodak Photo CD. After seeing half the print coming out of his printer I was on the phone to order my own Stylus Photo EX.

At that time I was mostly shooting Pentax 67 on Velvia (and I actually have a projector for those slides :-), so I got a scanner so I could scan medium format and started to use a Minolta Dimage 7i as walk around camera. Than in December 2005 I bought my first DSLR so my old lenses would be put to some use. Now I'm hooked on DSLR, have new lenses and still carry 15 kg/30 lb of equipment. The 67 stuff sees little use.

That said, I have a 70x100cm print made from a scanned 67 Velvia. It was a lot of effort but the result is very impressive. I also have a 100x50 cm from a stitched (semi) panorama taken with my Sony Alpha 100,  that one is impressive, too. You can pixel peep at 25 cm, it's an immersive experience. The panoramic picture covers almost 180 in cylindrical perspective. From normal viewing distance it is just nice, but when I look at close distance it is almost as being there!

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: michael
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 13, 2009, 12:06:15 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

geotzo
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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2009, 05:08:18 AM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Hi,

I just would add that all those chemicals we used to have in the darkroom were not actually very good for our health.

I ve heard that before, but there are chemical engineers, whose research shows that inhaling modern Inks vapours from printers (and they don't always smell), is very bad for us too. Just to keep in mind.
But like I said before, I would not plan going back to film for profit, only shooting some 120 B/Wrolls on some lazy afternoons every now and then, that's what I miss. This entire argument has turned into what's better: Film or Digital, once again. There is no point in that I think. On a purelly 'having fun' basis, I like every process that involves hands and less sofisticated equipment. Have you ever made ice cream without modern ice cream makers? I consider the process as 'fun' and self rewarding for any strange reasons. Others may claim its easier to buy it ready made at some local-store and that it will taste much better. I won't blame those who don't want to use film ever again, but there is a reason balck and white films never stoped being made after color films where introduced and there is a reason film will never stop being made, aside the digital era and evolution. Sure it will become limited, but it will not cease to exist.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2009, 10:16:58 AM »
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Film is to digital what the horse is to the automobile, or vinyl LPs are to CDs. People ride horses for recreation; it's fun to do, but hardly the most economical or efficient means of transport available. If you want to shoot film because you enjoy the darkroom experience, that's fine. But if you are a working professional who needs to deliver a high-quality image to the client in the shortest time frame possible, then film is pretty much a non-starter. If you know what you are doing with digital, the client can be reviewing and selecting proofs before the film shooter has the film dropped off at the lab, and in many cases the client can walk away from the shoot with finished prints or files.

And contrary to what some of the film purists claim, digital technology (when used competently) has significantly increased the technical quality of the final delivered product. It's just like people who claim vinyl LPs have better sound quality than CDs. CDs beat vinyl by every measurable criteria, but a small minority still prefer the sound of vinyl. They do so NOT because LPs have better fidelity than CDs in any way (S/N ratio, THD, frequency response, etc.), but because they like the "flavor" that the LP imparts to the recording. But many of these people insist that LPs are higher fidelity than CDs anyway; they confuse their preference for that "flavor" of sound with the actual fidelity of the recording medium. Many film enthusiasts jump to the same confusion; they claim that film is better than digital because digital images are "too clean" and they prefer the grain of film, or they prefer the color rendering of Velvia or Portra or whatever to the color rendering of digital (never mind the fact that the color palette of digital is totally adjustable with profiles...), or film has some undefinable "special" characteristic that makes it superior. What both the LP and film proponents fail to recognize is that theirs is an acquired taste not shared by the majority, and never will be. There's nothing wrong with enjoying film photography any more than riding a horse or listening to an LP is "wrong", but anyone who claims that film is "better" than digital is just as misguided and wrong as someone who claims that horses are superior to cars as a general means of transportation.

Film isn't going to go away completely, but it's becoming a small niche market just like vinyl LP and equestrian enthusiasts. I haven't shot film in years and don't miss it a bit.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2009, 06:48:16 AM »
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Do I miss film?  Yes.
Would I go back to shoot film?  Probably no.

I enjoyed the experience, particularly with monochrome, of shooting, developing the film, then making lovely prints in my nice, snug darkroom.  Sometimes when printing I would crank up the music and be jigging around whilst rocking the trays late into the night.  But ultimately it is the end result that counts, and I am inherently lazy.  Now I can do a shoot, download and see the pictures quickly, have lots of control over the image, then make a print on any one of a wide choice of papers.
So I have fond memories of film, but when it comes to choosing I opt for digital.  My FM2 Nikons, the Mamiya RB67, and my multigrade-head enlarger are in the cupboard.  Perhaps they will come out one day.

Jonathan used the very good analogy of LP records versus CD.  It is not really a question of which is best, more which you prefer or find more convenient. I did not mind the hassle and limitations of film while there was no choice.

I could also use the analogy of the evolution in bicycles.  Some of my best memories are of my old early 1980's racing bikes.  They had six-speed non indexed gears, toe-clips and leather straps, steel frames and forks.  They were very light and really no slower than a modern bike.  However, I now have a titanium frame, carbon forks and seat post, both of which really soak up the vibration from the road.  There are ten sprockets and the  gears are indexed, which makes them east to shift even when under load.  Feet are held on to clipless pedals, which are more secure than clips and straps and also quicker to exit. So while there is nothing wrong with the old bikes, in truth they are just not as nice to ride as the newer types.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2009, 11:05:43 AM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
It's just like people who claim vinyl LPs have better sound quality than CDs. CDs beat vinyl by every measurable criteria, but a small minority still prefer the sound of vinyl. They do so NOT because LPs have better fidelity than CDs in any way (S/N ratio, THD, frequency response, etc.), but because they like the "flavor" that the LP imparts to the recording.

This is a good analogy to film, but not like you think.  LP's were preferred in the early days of digital because digital had some terrible distortions, mostly due to the lousy DAC's used by the studios.  Neil Young's comments about analogue sound being "continuous" and digital discrete were off the mark, and distracted many people from the root problems.  Modern CD's are very good due to improvements on the recording end, but they are still stuck in the 44 khz standard, so it's an unfortunate limit that LP's do not suffer from.  The very serious problem with LP's is the needle in the groove, and the transducer between it and the electronics.  Digital cameras have their own limitations, but not (yet) because of adherence to standards of resolution.

What's missing in most discussions of film is comparisons based on the whole process from capture to printing with an enlarger. When you scan the film and then print digitally, the comparison isn't valid.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2009, 03:02:49 AM »
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There's an article here on shooting film with large format cameras and the pleasures it brings.  To each his own, or her own as the case may be.

Mike.

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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2009, 04:56:13 PM »
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The end of film might not be due to quality but, I fear, price. I recently looked at a pro catalogue and prices are horrific. Considering the usual way one uses 35mm film - used 35mm film - it would be a very expensive medium with which to continue working. I suppose the less thatīs sold then the higher the price until the market simply implodes and thatīs it: finis!

Thinking about this recently -  still have an F3 in mint condition and a freezer bursting with transparency stock and some b/w - I was tempted to use this material up before the labs stop E6 altogether (given up hope of using the last of my Kodachrome...) until I reasoned that at about 8€ (more or less eight quid UK) a pop to process it would cost a hell of a lot of money for dubious return.

Then it struck me: for me, the charm of film wasnīt really all to do with film - much was to do with the cameras. Mention has been made of the Nikon FM ranges - I had both an FM and an FM2n at one time simply for the high synch. and would NOT classify them in the same league as the F, F2 and F3 or even that awful F4s which refused to load, ever, quicker than on the third attempt. The good Nikons just felt right.

It was the same with the 500C and CM - they just felt better than anything else I ever handled. That the old Rollei TLR was a far better tool hand-held because there was no bouncing mirror is neither here nor there. It is a matter of feel. Which is where I think film finds much of its romance. But, all that aside, if price were still right I would certainly enjoy walking the F3 more than the D200! Also, were dedicated 120 film scanners meant for mere mortals, then 120 film would be a most attractive alternative for me.

But the darkroom beyond simply developing b/w film? Never again, regardless of how good one thought one was.

Rob C
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Dansk
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« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2009, 08:56:11 PM »
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 I miss the prices we could charge for simple shots in the days of film  

Other than that I dont miss it one bit
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Robert Budding
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« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2009, 11:18:22 AM »
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Quote from: Geoff Wittig
Hmmm.
Have you seen Kodak lately? I live about an hour away from their headquarters. They've gone from an industrial powerhouse with >50,000 employees in Rochester alone to a rapidly cooling corpse with fewer than 12,000 terrified employees and a rapidly shrinking product line. They lost $353 million (!?!?!) in Q1 2009. Sales of film continue to fall like a stone, more than 29% since last year alone.

Film as a consumer product is doomed; most folks under the age of 25 will never shoot a roll in their lifetime, and digital is triumphant. There are still (rapidly shrinking) niche markets for large format and rollfilm, but they won't be enough to support more than a handful of boutique manufacturers within a few more years.

Kodak's film division is profitable, it's the digital side of the house that's bleeding.

And, yes, I do miss film because:

  • Digital makes it too easy for people to share bad images
  • Office cubes are now covered with images printed on color laser printers
  • It now takes 4 hours for my neighbor to show me his vacation pics
  • I'm convinced that, in spite of my backups, that I'll lose digital images
  • I spend too much time processing digital photos on the computer
  • Darkroom work is really fun
  • I can easily afford 4x5 film; I can't afford a scanning back
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 11:20:20 AM by Robert Budding » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2009, 12:07:12 PM »
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Hi,

Here in Sweden horseback riding is very popular among young ladies, i guess that at least half of them are riding horses, although only a few can afford to own a horse, but I have seen very few ladies shooting film.

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
Film is to digital what the horse is to the automobile, or vinyl LPs are to CDs. People ride horses for recreation; it's fun to do, but hardly the most economical or efficient means of transport available. If you want to shoot film because you enjoy the darkroom experience, that's fine. But if you are a working professional who needs to deliver a high-quality image to the client in the shortest time frame possible, then film is pretty much a non-starter. If you know what you are doing with digital, the client can be reviewing and selecting proofs before the film shooter has the film dropped off at the lab, and in many cases the client can walk away from the shoot with finished prints or files.

And contrary to what some of the film purists claim, digital technology (when used competently) has significantly increased the technical quality of the final delivered product. It's just like people who claim vinyl LPs have better sound quality than CDs. CDs beat vinyl by every measurable criteria, but a small minority still prefer the sound of vinyl. They do so NOT because LPs have better fidelity than CDs in any way (S/N ratio, THD, frequency response, etc.), but because they like the "flavor" that the LP imparts to the recording. But many of these people insist that LPs are higher fidelity than CDs anyway; they confuse their preference for that "flavor" of sound with the actual fidelity of the recording medium. Many film enthusiasts jump to the same confusion; they claim that film is better than digital because digital images are "too clean" and they prefer the grain of film, or they prefer the color rendering of Velvia or Portra or whatever to the color rendering of digital (never mind the fact that the color palette of digital is totally adjustable with profiles...), or film has some undefinable "special" characteristic that makes it superior. What both the LP and film proponents fail to recognize is that theirs is an acquired taste not shared by the majority, and never will be. There's nothing wrong with enjoying film photography any more than riding a horse or listening to an LP is "wrong", but anyone who claims that film is "better" than digital is just as misguided and wrong as someone who claims that horses are superior to cars as a general means of transportation.

Film isn't going to go away completely, but it's becoming a small niche market just like vinyl LP and equestrian enthusiasts. I haven't shot film in years and don't miss it a bit.
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Misirlou
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« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2009, 02:47:05 PM »
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Quote from: Robert Budding
I can easily afford 4x5 film; I can't afford a scanning back

Robert is right. Much discussion here about the price of film and processing. Of course, for large-volume work, that's a consideration. But for the occasional amateur shooter, it's still dramatically cheaper to shoot film for anything you want to print really large. I could buy a nice used 4X5 camera, a couple of good lenses, and a serviceable scanner for a small fraction of the cost of a new MF digital back. Sure, I don't like the idea of spending $5 every time I trip the shutter either, but if I only do that a dozen or so times in a year, it's still way less pain than a $25,000 back.

And then there's the obsolescence factor. Any digital back I get today will be superseded with a better model in a couple of years, while my 1950's 4X5 stuff keeps chugging right along. Sure, there are some sharper Digitars and so forth available now, but my 70's vintage Super Angulon can still do some nice shooting on 4X5.

I know many are very enthusiastic about stitching, and I've had some success with it myself. That's great for static subjects, but I don't see it working too well for, say, a balloon ascension. (I realize this means someone will now post a balloon shot they compiled from 25 Sony Alpha exposures.)

I'm sure that the whole film industry will collapse at some point soon. We just won't be able to get any MF or 4X5 film when that happens. There hasn't been any movement at all towards affordable scanning backs, that I've seen anyway. Which leaves...what? Maybe mix-your-own wet plate formulas from the dinosaur days?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2009, 05:25:47 PM »
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Quote from: Misirlou
Robert is right. Much discussion here about the price of film and processing. Of course, for large-volume work, that's a consideration. But for the occasional amateur shooter, it's still dramatically cheaper to shoot film for anything you want to print really large. I could buy a nice used 4X5 camera, a couple of good lenses, and a serviceable scanner for a small fraction of the cost of a new MF digital back. Sure, I don't like the idea of spending $5 every time I trip the shutter either, but if I only do that a dozen or so times in a year, it's still way less pain than a $25,000 back.

Of course, in the consumer arena, the economics is completely opposite. For the price of a 35mm film body, not too many rolls of film, processing, and single 4x6 prints, you can buy a digital point-and-shoot that delivers greater convenience and measurably better image quality by any criteria you may choose to measure.
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« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2009, 09:09:36 PM »
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I used to love my Leicas. I used to love rolling my own 35mm cassettes from hundred foot rolls of Tri X. I used to love my Rollei. I used to love my 4 x 5. I used to love loading film holders in the dark. I used to love developing a stack of 35mm film rolls in a stainless steel tank at the kitchen sink after loading them in a big dark bag. I used to love my darkroom. I used to love making big prints in my darkroom.

I wouldn't go back to any of it on a bet. Digital images -- at least at the 35mm level -- are far, far superior to anything film ever gave me. The color's far better. The only time film could come close to the same color quality was when I was in a studio and could match the lighting precisely to the film. I have thousands of deteriorating negatives and transparencies. The Ektachromes I shot in the fifties are now almost complete blank. The Kodachromes still hold up, but their scans need a lot of color adjustment in Photoshop. The Tri X has deteriorated noticeably. With digital I have a world of control possibilities I could only dream about in film days and I haven't yet had to spot a digital print because of dust. I'm not worried about losing my digital files. I have several levels of backups. The stuff that's on DVDs should last for somewhere around seventy years. Within that period of time our technology will have come up with storage that'll last seven hundred years or seven thousand years.

Film is dead! Long live digital!
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DanielStone
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« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2009, 12:29:39 AM »
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for me, it boils down to this:

"different strokes for different folks"

"different tools for different people"

I don't poo-poo digital, even though my friends ask me why I just don't use their P&S to take the picture. I have started taking pictures, well more, portraits, of those same friends, on film.

so far, they've really liked what they've seen. now they don't question my methods, only ask how long it'll take for me to get them a contact sheet so they can see what I shot. that makes me excited to shoot film more. just that sense of anticipation, not really knowing EXACTLY what you got. maybe, maybe, you got the shot you were hoping for, sometimes not. But when that happens, another shot shows itself to you, and you decide sometimes that you prefer that one.

I like the sense of mystery. And for me, I KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO GET, EVEN BEFORE I TRIP THE SHUTTER.

this comes from testing, and analyzing of my methods and equipment, maximizing the most of it I can to get what I want.

I also prefer the 'look' of film grain vs digital noise. For me, pictures can't be made of squares, pixels, whatever you call them.

Now, I am using the hybrid method (shooting film, generally 4x5 or 6x7cm --> then scanning and doing minor corrections in PS)

even though I'm 21, and having grown up with the rise of the computer to what it is capable of today, I cannot sit in front of one, I'm actually writing this reply in 3 segments stretched so far over a 25 minute period, shows how I can't sit in front of a screen for long )

Well, now that I'm coming up on 45 minutes to complete this somehow simple reply, one that many may snicker at, but think where I'm coming from, not from the standpoint of a "snapshooter", but of an aspiring artist.

have people given up oil or watercolor painting even though the computer may be able to produce "superior" results? NO...

in the end, its the image that matters. Whether you're being paid thousands of dollars to shoot a campaign for a fashion company, using the best lighting and camera equipment; or taking a picture on your vacation. in the end, if you can't get the image, You're not worth a damn. and you've just wasted your time. I don't care to waste time anymore, just enjoy the time I have left here. Maximizing what I have available to me.

so, I'll be using film for as long as I can. At least for my personal work. Professional(in the future, after finishing school), I can't be as sure. But none of us can tell the future. We can only speculate. I love the ease of curves adjustment with PS though. Its absolutely tremendous. Much easier than having to make multiple contrast masks and having to worry about pin registration and all that, I've done it. But for now, my little P&S Nikon will suffice for ebay photos, but for my work I want to remember, it will be on film.

oh... cost is another reason for me too. I got 24 10sht boxes of 4x5 Portra 400nc a few months back, and so far have gone through 2 boxes, working on the 3rd now. I paid $10 per box. 240 shots for 240 dollars. 95% will be keepers. To me, this is cheaper than digital. I have lenses that are older than me by 3x, and even if I don't use them every day, sometimes I don't use them for months, they still wait for me to use them, and to create pictures in a wonderful way that they only can. Scanning is the hard part financially. $40-100 per drum scan(that's with a bulk discount) adds up really fast, and I have to be really choosy about which ones I want scanned at the moment. My entire 4x5 kit I accrued over the last 2 years totaled less than 2 grand. And I have some great glass, schneider's, fuji's, and a caltar. All are top-notch, and when used properly, produce stellar results. Pricing a 5d II(is that what its called?) on B&h, sheesh, body only is $2700 + lenses, say, another 2-3 grand. I could buy a Mac pro and a nice used scanner for that, and still have some left over

phew.... that took almost an hour. Off to bed now, shooting in the am tomorrow.


Night everyone, blessings


Dan
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2009, 01:07:47 PM »
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Quote from: DanielStone
I like the sense of mystery.

You won't when your client has expectations and it's your butt getting fired if you don't meet them. Mystery bad, knowing seconds after capture you got the shot, good.

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I also prefer the 'look' of film grain vs digital noise. For me, pictures can't be made of squares, pixels, whatever you call them.

Now, I am using the hybrid method (shooting film, generally 4x5 or 6x7cm --> then scanning and doing minor corrections in PS)

I love the cognitive dissonance here. You are turning all of your images into little colored squares called pixels, even if you captured them with film initially. And if you're shooting digital with something other than a P&S, noise really isn't noticeable unless you're shooting at ISO settings much higher than 400.

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in the end, its the image that matters. Whether you're being paid thousands of dollars to shoot a campaign for a fashion company, using the best lighting and camera equipment; or taking a picture on your vacation. in the end, if you can't get the image, You're not worth a damn. and you've just wasted your time. I don't care to waste time anymore, just enjoy the time I have left here. Maximizing what I have available to me.

Which is why most people shoot digital rather than film. You can get an image that is objectively better by any criteria you may choose to define, and know whether or not you got exactly what you want within seconds of shutter release, as opposed to days later when you get the negatives back from processing. If something isn't quite right, being able to see it immediately, make the correction, and reshoot on the spot is a lot while everything is set up is way less hassle than having to do a reshoot days later.

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so, I'll be using film for as long as I can. At least for my personal work. Professional(in the future, after finishing school), I can't be as sure.

Don't count on using film professionally. Most pros went digital years ago, for reasons of cost, quality, and convenience. Digital beats film on all three.

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oh... cost is another reason for me too. I got 24 10sht boxes of 4x5 Portra 400nc a few months back, and so far have gone through 2 boxes, working on the 3rd now. I paid $10 per box. 240 shots for 240 dollars. 95% will be keepers. To me, this is cheaper than digital. I have lenses that are older than me by 3x, and even if I don't use them every day, sometimes I don't use them for months, they still wait for me to use them, and to create pictures in a wonderful way that they only can. Scanning is the hard part financially. $40-100 per drum scan(that's with a bulk discount) adds up really fast, and I have to be really choosy about which ones I want scanned at the moment. My entire 4x5 kit I accrued over the last 2 years totaled less than 2 grand. And I have some great glass, schneider's, fuji's, and a caltar. All are top-notch, and when used properly, produce stellar results. Pricing a 5d II(is that what its called?) on B&h, sheesh, body only is $2700 + lenses, say, another 2-3 grand. I could buy a Mac pro and a nice used scanner for that, and still have some left over

  You obviously failed accounting. If 95% of your shots are keepers (a claim I strongly suspect is bullshit, unless you have a pathetically low standard for a "keeper"), you need to factor in the cost of processing and scanning. $40/scan x 216 keepers = $8640. At $100/scan, you're out $21,600 for those 216 keepers. And then there's processing; the going rate seems to be a little over $3.00 per sheet, plus shipping & handling in both directions.

Now let's say you're a working pro and shoot 250 images per month. You're spending over $1000/month just on film and processing. Now you've got to scan your film. You can either pay $40-100 per keeper to have them scanned, or you can buy your own scanner and figure a minimum of 30 minutes of your time per scan to clean the film as best you can, scan it, and then retouch out the dust spots, hairs, and other crap that was missed by the cleaning process. If your time working is worth $100/hour, that's $50/scan, plus the cost of wear and tear on your equipment. In three years, you'll have spent more than you would have if you'd bought a top-of-the-line medium-format digital kit with all the bells and whistles. This is how working pros can justify spending $40,000 on a digital back; as outrageous as that price may be, it's still way cheaper than shooting an equivalent amount of film when you figure the service life of the back.

If you want to use film for low-volume personal artistic work because you enjoy the process of working with film, great. There's nothing at all wrong with that. But trying to justify it on the basis of cost and "pictures can't be made of squares, pixels, whatever" is just plain silly.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 01:09:28 PM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

John Collins
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« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2009, 03:11:47 PM »
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I just sold my last film (5X8) camera and have some lens boards and a few lenses to go. I'm looking forward to the results that a medium format digital back will provide. If I had not come across this thread I wouldn't have thought of film.
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