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Author Topic: What influenced you away from Film to Digital  (Read 9486 times)
revaaron
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« on: September 25, 2009, 09:51:10 PM »
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This thread is probably redundant, but I really would like to know.  $10K-$48K on a MFDB is a heck of a lot of film.
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Christopher
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 10:00:11 PM »
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Quote from: revaaron
This thread is probably redundant, but I really would like to know.  $10K-$48K on a MFDB is a heck of a lot of film.

Is it really ? 4x5 film is expensive, 8x10 even more. Than there are more costs coming. for example developing or scanning. Most people couldn't probably afford the same amount they shoot with film. I don't say it is a good thing just a point.
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AlexM
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 10:25:54 PM »
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Try shooting tethered with film
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James R Russell
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 12:25:20 AM »
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Quote from: Christopher
Is it really ? 4x5 film is expensive, 8x10 even more. Than there are more costs coming. for example developing or scanning. Most people couldn't probably afford the same amount they shoot with film. I don't say it is a good thing just a point.

From a professional level, the acceptance to digital is down to one single thing . . . you know you have the shot.  It's not prettier than film, can be as pretty, it's not faster, not with all the post work we do nowdays, but it does allow the assurance that on an important production the shot is in the can.

Now as far as costs, there is no comparison.  Film is a lot cheaper, any size film, because with film you never would scan 1500 images from a day, you deliver the film, then you or the client scans the one, two three, selects.

In fact in the film days, few if any photographer shot 1500 frames a day.

When you factor in computers, computer upgrades, monitors, calibration devices, three types of storage, (always one off site), software, plug ins, training, the fact that the photographer and or their studio has now become the lab, server costs, storage fees, the costs of the cameras, including the constant upgrades of cameras, backs, digital lenses, cf cards, portable storage, multiple backups on everything and a life cycle of around 2 years for most of the major equipment, film cameras and film was cheap and all of the above doesn't include the costs of digital technicians, magliners in the place of a polaroid and portable generators.

Also from a professional level, we now produce twice minimum in a day what we did with film, which means most photographers  are working less, at least on set, more after the shoot.

From an artistic standpoint the one real advantage digital has over film is the ability to shoot in lower light and once again be assured you have the shot.

This doesn't mean I don't shoot digital, I adopted it early, but I knew down the line that someday we would look back at film and think, wow, film only costs $1.45 a frame . . . man that was cheap.

JR
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erick.boileau
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 12:48:29 AM »
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Quote from: revaaron
This thread is probably redundant, but I really would like to know.  $10K-$48K on a MFDB is a heck of a lot of film.
no customers will never pay for films
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shutay
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2009, 01:31:59 AM »
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Really really simple. Really too difficult to get film processed around here, you can hardly even find it and I started to get fed up of scanning and I wanted to keep shooting my MF setup. Getting film printed is also starting to get harder to do.
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2009, 02:29:56 AM »
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Quote from: erick.boileau
no customers will never pay for films
The law used to be that the owner of the picture was the owner of the film at the time of the exposure... so you could argue that if wedding photographers take their fee in advance then the customer owns the pictures? ...of course, many photographers offer the option of photos on CD.
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 02:43:15 AM »
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Quote from: James R Russell
From a professional level, the acceptance to digital is down to one single thing . . . you know you have the shot.
In a standard studio or landscape situation, a seasoned pro might not lose any sleep waiting for film to be developed, but if you ever contemplated spending all day taking several exposures with different light sources and filters on one sheet of film... knowing you have the shot is worth the 30k.

With digital you can take one shot and selectively change each colour, or you can take separate photos and edit each independently and selectively mask and merge... so you can almost always produce an acceptable result.
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 03:27:45 AM »
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Film costs are only of interest to the amateur who by definition uses mimimal quantities of the stuff but suffers the personal cost.

Speaking from the point of view of the pro, all clients paid for the film used on their account, whether by direct charge on low-cost jobs or by inclusion in a contract price for things such as calendars or fashion trips.

That the person who paid for the film owned copyright was ever a bit of a myth. Copyright is vested in the intellectual property, not the bit of film, tape, paper, canvas or marble. To imply otherwise would suggest that if the photographer were to lose his negative or transparency, open season would then be declared on his work? Interesting: burn down his studio and win his rights - better ploy even than the Leibovitz Loan route to ownership! Copyright was sometimes vested with the client and sometimes not - it was ever negotiable.

Later changes with the Copyright Act in the UK made some alterations, but the hard reality is as cloudy as ever it was and its value, today, has shifted to different parts of the equation and depending on client, you can do well or be screwed. I seldom worked for magazines because I expected to make money on every shoot. In fact, the mag work that came my way did so because I was already known to some people for my work in advertising, not the other way around as many photographers dream it will be. In fact, the blanket copyright demands some current magazines make are even more bad news for the photographer than they used to be and a greater disincentive to seeking work with them. But then, photographers seem to be in ever more desperate times and their bargaining position becoming weaker and weaker.

But the points made about the difficulties regarding staying with film are all too true, as is the fact that price has rocketed upwards for both film and E6 - where available.

Of greater importance, at the moment, is the threat of a blocked kitchen drain that I am trying to cure by pouring chemical answers down its throat, without much sign of success, I have to say. Some drains are just too dumb to understand what you are trying to do for them.

Rob C
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evgeny
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 03:57:59 AM »
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Quote from: revaaron
This thread is probably redundant, but I really would like to know.  $10K-$48K on a MFDB is a heck of a lot of film.

what about comfort?
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E_Edwards
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2009, 04:33:09 AM »
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For me (still life photographer) the advantages of digital are too numerous:

-Cost. Digital is cheap if you shoot a lot. I used to spend thousands on Polaroids and 4x5 film, processing, bikes and wasted time waiting.

-Ability to quickly experiment with light, with angles, color etc.

-Ability to combine a series of shots into one.

-Sharper and cleaner results.

-Instant approval of the shots by the client

-Creativity. You push yourself to go against the grain, and you discover things in the process. Because experimenting is free, you are inclined to experiment more.

-Ability to teach my assistant and let her learn from mistakes at no cost (other than time). A good assistant makes you money.

-Flexibility in the process. You can alter the mood of a picture easily, and have various versions from the same raw image.

And zillions more advantages.


Obvious disadvantages:

-Devaluation of the craft of Photography. Now anybody can call themselves a photographer, produce crap and because this happens 'en masse', on a big scale, the whole profession is degraded. Professional fees have come down.

-Clients can become a pain in the butt because they can have so many choices that they often waste your time with demands of the "shall we try this?" kind.

-Clients have become very demanding as to quality, they expect the earth because they know it can be done. This takes time, and time is money. Money that they are not willing to pay.

-Computer time. I spend the majority of my working life sitting in front of a computer. This is unhealthy and sad. I love what you can do with computers, but I hate the fact that my life is more sedentary. We have become slaves to the computer, addicts.

-Other than this, I don't see any major disadvantages that affect me. Probably because I'm not looking.



On balance, I have to ask myself an important question: Am I happier now with digital than I was with film?

Well, I have made considerably more money thanks to digital and I have explored my creativity more with digital...So I have more money and I am more creative, but I have lost a lot of my freedom, I have more responsibilities and little free time. I used to have time to read, to go to the cinema, to go for walks, go on holidays........I could easily cut down now and have fewer clients and more time, but when you are in this business, you mind tends to think you can do more and you can achieve more, have more clients, do better photography, make more money, more connections, more, more, more. And maybe I enjoy the challenge too much.

It's very difficult to pause and think of your own well-being.


Edward
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 02:40:53 AM by E_Edwards » Logged
Professional
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2009, 04:40:52 AM »
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I said that many time before on different websites, i use digital and now i am going to enter film, even it is so late but i like to try and test film joy, so that i will read more about film photography and i will do something when i can.
I will not use film for about 70-90% of what i shoot, but i will be happy that i have film camera when i want to shoot with film that's all.
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ashley
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2009, 05:19:57 AM »
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I agree with everything that Edward said but would add that a certain point arrived when most clients were suddenly unwilling to pay for film or scans, so it became impractical for photographers to shoot film if they would have to absorb all the material costs personally.

In my own case, I used to work in Milan where it was pretty standard for photographers to have film and processing billed directly to the client along with any costs for models, studio and makeup etc. This cut out the chance of additional profits for the photographer, however it did at least protect your cash flow while waiting several months to be paid yourself. Payment can be very slow arriving with some countries.

When I moved over to the UK I was shocked to see that lab charges were often 3-4 times more than they were in Italy but photographers were expected to absorb all the costs of film, processing and scanning before preparing a global invoice that covered everything. This made me anxious about the idea of working for clients that might suddenly decide to close their doors one day leaving me with huge bills to pay for their jobs. The case for a move to digital suddenly became quite compelling on a pure business level.
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cyberean
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2009, 02:37:45 PM »
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Quote from: E_Edwards
...So I have more money and I am more creative, but I have lost a lot of my freedom, I have more responsibilities and little free time. I used to have time to read, to go to the cinema, to go for walks, go on holidays........
sounds like your move to digital was quite costly ...

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E_Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2009, 03:04:08 PM »
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Quote from: cyberean
sounds like your move to digital was quite costly ...



Plenty of people with similar stories. I believe it's called evolution. Besides, I'm not complaining, you can't have it all. And I count myself lucky to have lived right in the middle of this digital revolution, but have also experienced and earned my living with what we used to have before. I've adapted very well.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 03:33:12 PM by E_Edwards » Logged
Eurotographer
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2009, 04:40:35 PM »
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D Y N A M I C    --    R A N G E
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Plekto
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2009, 05:44:16 PM »
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I'm one of those that has gone full-circle. Edward brought up many points which are good, but for myself, the idea of slaving away for hours at a computer is just too much, considering that the output is close to each other if you know what you are doing.  But I also don't shoot on a professional scale, either, so there's that factor as well.

I loved digital for a while but since I find myself shooting a lot of black and white as well as high DR shots, film still works best for me.   My only gripe is that, yes, prices for it have gone up a lot.
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Murray Fredericks
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2009, 05:56:05 PM »
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Couldn't agree more with everything that E_Edward said!

The irony now too is that with the transition of nearly all the printing processes to digital, film must be digitised (scanned) anyway. The amount of time spent cleaning up film scans as opposed to cleaning up a file captured digitally, is exponentially greater - particularly with large pieces of film and large prints.

I am about to get rid of my 8" x 10" for just that reason...


Cheers

Murray
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archivue
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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2009, 06:26:15 AM »
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no more pro lab in my area
i hate scanners, and cleaning scans
but i still think that they are just two differents medium... how can you shoot in the middle of nowhere for one month and plenty of rain or dust with digital ?

in the studio, digital is the way to go, but outside... it depends !
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2009, 08:39:46 AM »
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Scanning  (really hate it) and film cost.

Digital is time consuming though!
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