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Author Topic: If all digital cams died, would you continue with film?  (Read 10539 times)
jsch
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« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2009, 04:19:54 PM »
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Funny question,

two or three years ago I dug out the good old Sinar (sleeping beauty since 1999), put it on a tripod in the corner of the studio. Now and then I played around with it and looked at the world the way it was shown by the screen. Sometimes I tried to impress others with this huge camera.

For a personal project I wanted that special fall of of sharpness I remembered. I tried the Canon 85L@1.2, the Canon 50L@1.2 and tilted the TS-E 45 for the effect; I even tried the Hasselblad 100@2.2. The results were good but not honey for the eyes. This year in early summer I bought a box of 8x10 inch BW film and put a Schneider Symmar S 360/5.6 on - wonderful results. Now I use film again if I want that effect. There will never be a 8x10 inch sensor (I think) but there is still 8x10 inch film - and I hope in the future too.

To be clear: sharpness, resolution is not the point, but the way the sharpness fades out is not possible with smaller formats - not even 4x5 inch.

Googling around lead me to the article about Douglas Kirkland (http://www.digitalphotopro.com/profiles/do...-and-back.html) and the Blog of Mark Tucker   (http://marktucker.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/deardorff/). I learned that I'm not alone.

Best,
Johannes
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 04:25:03 PM by jsch » Logged
N Walker
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« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2009, 05:48:49 PM »
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Quote Rob C

In that case you will never get it 'right' without additional lighting or the sacrifice of one end of the scale or the other. Black and white film is limited too, but not nearly as badly.


Rob,

You will get it right (slide film) with gorgeous low light and without the need for additional lighting. Velvia was stunning in low light with careful subject planning in relation to the direction and angle of light and careful choice of backgrounds. With high contrast scenes and lighting that was not in your favour you had to think out of the box to make something out of very little (rim lighting, etc). All of the attached Velvia images were captured during pro golf tournament conditions, my specialist area. Only one image has had curves applied at minus one stop (approx), the other images are as seen on a light table and pre-photoshopped courtesy of Fuji.

I am glad that many famous artists (Rembrant for example) 'painted out' fill light bouncing off nearby surfaces onto their subjects - I am not comparing art with photography re this reference.

Additional lighting is not always necessary. Shadows reveal not hide.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 05:06:43 PM by Nick Walker » Logged

SecondFocus
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« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2009, 10:14:31 PM »
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WONDERFUL PHOTOS!

Quote from: Nick Walker
Quote Rob C

In that case you will never get it 'right' without additional lighting or the sacrifice of one end of the scale or the other. Black and white film is limited too, but not nearly as badly.


Rob,

You will get it right (slide film) with gorgeous low light and without the need for additional lighting. Velvia was stunning in low light with careful subject planning in relation to the direction and angle of light and careful choice of backgrounds. With high contrast scenes and lighting that was not in your favour you had to think out of the box to make something out of very little (rim lighting, etc). All of the attached Velvia images were captured during pro golf tournament conditions, my specialist area. Only one image has had curves applied at minus one stop (approx), the other images are as seen on a light table and pre-photoshopped courtesy of Fuji.

I am glad that many famous artists (Rembrant for example) 'painted out' fill light bouncing off nearby surfaces onto their subjects - I am not comparing art with photography re this reference.

Additional lighting is not always necessary. Shadows reveal not hide.
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Ian L. Sitren
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« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2009, 10:17:53 PM »
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I would! Very comfortable on horseback!

I also actually write, and with a pencil

Quote from: Harold Clark
For over 25 years I used film, so it is an old friend. Now, if cars disappeared, would I get horse.
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Ian L. Sitren
SecondFocus
DanielStone
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« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2009, 10:55:58 PM »
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Quote from: SecondFocus
I would! Very comfortable on horseback!

I also actually write, and with a pencil


funny thing, I decided to break out my dad's typewriter he got when he graduated from med. school. he hasn't used it in years(like, before I was born was the last time honestly).

just finished writing my report on it the other day. it felt good to do that. you really feel that you're doing something permanent, cause editing causes you to have to re-write the entire page, not just click-edit like in word.

my teach asked me if I did, since the typewriter left indentations where the letterhead struck the paper. he was mystified as to why I did. told him I just felt like it.

sometimes life takes some wackiness and 'backwardness' to make it fun, and livable at times...

I've found that actually WRITING a letter to someone lets you convey more than if you were to type it. more personal, not neat and composed like a word document on a screen. raw, fresh and they see what YOU ACTUALLY WROTE.

-Dan
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 10:56:40 PM by DanielStone » Logged
cyberean
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« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2009, 11:35:47 PM »
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Quote from: SecondFocus
I also actually write, and with a pencil
perhaps when you feel more confident,
you'll switch to ink ... eh  
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cyberean
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« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2009, 11:44:02 PM »
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Quote from: DanielStone
my teach asked me if I did, since the typewriter left indentations where the letterhead struck the paper. he was mystified as to why I did. told him I just felt like it.

sometimes life takes some wackiness and 'backwardness' to make it fun, and livable at times...
as an encore ... for your next report, whip out a quill pen,
an inkwell, and some parchment paper ... and fill us in on
the ensuing conversation with the teach.    
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TMARK
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« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2009, 12:45:50 AM »
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Quote from: jsch
For a personal project I wanted that special fall of of sharpness I remembered. I tried the Canon 85L@1.2, the Canon 50L@1.2 and tilted the TS-E 45 for the effect; I even tried the Hasselblad 100@2.2. The results were good but not honey for the eyes. This year in early summer I bought a box of 8x10 inch BW film and put a Schneider Symmar S 360/5.6 on - wonderful results. Now I use film again if I want that effect. There will never be a 8x10 inch sensor (I think) but there is still 8x10 inch film - and I hope in the future too.

To be clear: sharpness, resolution is not the point, but the way the sharpness fades out is not possible with smaller formats - not even 4x5 inch.

Googling around lead me to the article about Douglas Kirkland (http://www.digitalphotopro.com/profiles/do...-and-back.html) and the Blog of Mark Tucker   (http://marktucker.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/deardorff/). I learned that I'm not alone.

Best,
Johannes

My experience exactly.  I shoot editorials on film almost exclusively.  Now that my commercial work is mainly motion I mainly shoot stills adjunct to the motion shoot.  I really only need a few hero shots, so generally I can use whatever format I want, so long as the style of the stills complements and supports the style/mood of the film/video/commercial, etc.  I find that Portra 800 through the RZ is fantastic for HMI lit sets.

To the OP, please take this as just another opinion, and I mean it with no disrespect: keep your film stuff and shoot it, but make sure its not a fetish, like using the old typewriter.  I have an assistant who makes music boxes that play the sadest most discordant maudlin lilluibys I've ever heard, uses a Selectric, and otherwise only shoots cameras made prior to 1985.  He's a Romantic who is busy mourning the past, busy fetishizing, like a Wes Anderson charachter.  I love the guy, but he is standing in his own way.  I don't like the digital much either, I much prefer the final product from LF and 6x7 film, but film is dead commercially, although its alive and well in art and editorial.  My advice would be to get a D3x instead of the Leaf Aptus II and rent a back if and when you need it.  Meanwhile, shoot your book on film and love the look.

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Rob C
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« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2009, 02:54:38 AM »
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Quote from: Nick Walker
Quote Rob C

In that case you will never get it 'right' without additional lighting or the sacrifice of one end of the scale or the other. Black and white film is limited too, but not nearly as badly.


Rob,

You will get it right (slide film) with gorgeous low light and without the need for additional lighting. Velvia was stunning in low light with careful subject planning in relation to the direction and angle of light and careful choice of backgrounds. With high contrast scenes and lighting that was not in your favour you had to think out of the box to make something out of very little (rim lighting, etc). All of the attached Velvia images were captured during pro golf tournament conditions, my specialist area. Only one image has had curves applied at minus one stop (approx), the other images are as seen on a light table and pre-photoshopped courtesy of Fuji.

I




Nick

I have no argument with you: the advice wasn't meant for an experienced pro at all - it was for someone who is starting out with film and has all those tricks yet to learn. Contre-jour etc. isn't quite as easy a falling off a log, and it all has to be learned. Turning the shortcomings of dynamic range into visual fireworks takes skill and understanding of the materials. As you may remember from earlier posts, most of my own later pro work was done on Kodachrome and Velvia too, with the Kodachrome, in retirement, turning out - quite unexpectedly -  to be a wonderful source of fresh/old images when converted to b/w!

But I do believe in walking before trying to learn how to run. Simply put, once the poster is confident and competent enough with the materials to be able to get reasonably good results of relatively 'straight' subjects with equally 'straight' technique, then will be the time to experiment.

Rob C
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N Walker
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« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2009, 03:54:43 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Nick

I have no argument with you: the advice wasn't meant for an experienced pro at all - it was for someone who is starting out with film and has all those tricks yet to learn. Contre-jour etc. isn't quite as easy a falling off a log, and it all has to be learned. Turning the shortcomings of dynamic range into visual fireworks takes skill and understanding of the materials. As you may remember from earlier posts, most of my own later pro work was done on Kodachrome and Velvia too, with the Kodachrome, in retirement, turning out - quite unexpectedly -  to be a wonderful source of fresh/old images when converted to b/w!

But I do believe in walking before trying to learn how to run. Simply put, once the poster is confident and competent enough with the materials to be able to get reasonably good results of relatively 'straight' subjects with equally 'straight' technique, then will be the time to experiment.

Rob C

Rob,

The advice that you provided was excellent - my only concern was - "never get it right." During the last decade I have heard ever more cries, mainly from camera enthusiasts, for camera manufacturers to improve the dynamic range of their cameras. To start off with flat images is a good thing (apart from the brutal processing time). The problem is that many novices demonstrate a desire to hold onto every pennies worth of dynamic range and often don't impart their own style on their images.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2009, 03:32:32 PM »
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thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate it!

I've been looking more at the D3x, and a friend has one, so I might see if I can borrow it for a while when he's not using it. He likes to use my H2 anyhow, so maybe we could trade for a week so I can get the hang of the D3x.

I don't print big, but having shot 6x7 for a while now, the quality is kind of hard to leave behind. But taking nice large film scans, and down-sizing them to make 11x17 and 13x19 prints makes me wonder as to "How much quality do I need RIGHT NOW"?

the Aptus II 5 is a wonderful tool IMO, but in the end I think that the D3x is the more versatile tool. and in addition to my F100(soon to trade up to an F5), might make a nice addition. lenses can be traded between the two as well.  So I can have 2 full-frame bodies in my bag

but yes, renting the back, when I need the UTMOST quality, will most likely be my route. Art Center(where I hope to transfer to soon) supposedly has some digi-backs, not sure of what vintage and make(I think older Imacon Ixpress backs). also, not sure if they can be taken off-campus or not.


blessings to you all!

lets keep this thread going, never know where it might end up

-Dan
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Fritzer
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« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2009, 03:17:01 PM »
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Quote from: DanielStone
If for some reason, all digital cameras, including scan backs, point and shoots, dslr's, m/f backs, etc were to die and not turn on with no chance of repair, and new stock didn't work either,

would you continue with photography, but ONLY with film?

Since photography is my profession, not some hobby, would I become a plumber if there was no digital equipment ?
Hardly.

Isn't there a beginner's section for this sort of topic ?
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DanielStone
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« Reply #52 on: November 23, 2009, 08:07:17 PM »
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Quote from: Fritzer
Since photography is my profession, not some hobby, would I become a plumber if there was no digital equipment ?
Hardly.

Isn't there a beginner's section for this sort of topic ?


Thanks for the support Tom! Yes, you could call me a 'beginner', I'm a student. I threw this question out here to see what people would say.

everyone's a beginner, even you were. remember that

and I wouldn't consider this a "beginners question", just an honest one, from an inquisitive person(ME).

obviously film isn't for everyone, just as digital isn't for everyone. different strokes for different folks....

I'd be shooting digital primarily if I were in a professional job, if that was the tool that would get me(and my client) what we wanted.

otherwise, please read through the post, there's some interesting replies here.

-Dan


p.s.  there's a good amount of money in plumbing too . so if I felt that was where I was being called, I would be as serious about pursuing that as I am about photography.
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Fritzer
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« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2009, 05:46:12 PM »
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Quote from: DanielStone
everyone's a beginner, even you were. remember that

and I wouldn't consider this a "beginners question", just an honest one, from an inquisitive person(ME).

Sure I was a beginner once, actually before there was the Internet, and I asked lots of honest and inquisitive questions.
But I never crossed my mind to ask a photographer if he went back to drawing if all film was gone for good .
It'd make myself look really stupid.

Quote
otherwise, please read through the post, there's some interesting replies here.

No, there aren't. The whole film vs. digital discussion has been done over and over and over again, with always the same predictable replies.
Just like the 35mm vs. MFDB debate, it's a dead horse beaten to shreds .
I've been more analog than most posters here, processing my films, making prints by myself, only recently sold my lab equipment (thank god...) .

Digital Backs & Large Sensor Photography is the forum title , what's so hard to understand ?
Maybe there should be a forum section labeled 'How film can still be superior, and why MFDB is for pompous posers only ' .
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uaiomex
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« Reply #54 on: November 24, 2009, 05:57:22 PM »
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Daniel, this is now 3 complete pages of responses. So, you did stirr things quite good. I was watching Tv last night and saw this program about the possible effects of gigantic solar flares that are supossed to happen soon. (coincidentally with Nostradamus and Mayan prophecies).
If these flares can completely wipe out all satellites, certainly they will do harm to digital cameras. So, I'm stocking up film for 2012.  
Seriously again, it is possible, don't you think so? There was this new device to scramble digital captures from paparazzi. Did it come to the market or was it banned?
Eduardo
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DanielStone
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« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2009, 06:20:55 PM »
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Quote from: Fritzer
Sure I was a beginner once, actually before there was the Internet, and I asked lots of honest and inquisitive questions.
But I never crossed my mind to ask a photographer if he went back to drawing if all film was gone for good .
It'd make myself look really stupid.



No, there aren't. The whole film vs. digital discussion has been done over and over and over again, with always the same predictable replies.
Just like the 35mm vs. MFDB debate, it's a dead horse beaten to shreds .
I've been more analog than most posters here, processing my films, making prints by myself, only recently sold my lab equipment (thank god...) .

Digital Backs & Large Sensor Photography is the forum title , what's so hard to understand ?
Maybe there should be a forum section labeled 'How film can still be superior, and why MFDB is for pompous posers only ' .


Thanks Fritz,

you're totally right.... you really are! I'm not trying to make a comparison between film vs. digital. That horse really has been beaten to death.

But being that most professionals ARE using digital cameras for the majority of their work these days, I thought it plausible to ask HERE, where most of the PRO'S talk about various technologies. In the end, I should have posted this on a different section of the forum, just to make YOU happy. But I didn't think to consult you, and I'm deeply sorry for that.

please remind me if I forget to gain your approval on further postings, I wouldn't want to offend you. that would be the last thing I'd want to do.


________________________________________________________________________________
________________________

Quote from: uaiomex
Daniel, this is now 3 complete pages of responses. So, you did stirr things quite good. I was watching Tv last night and saw this program about the possible effects of gigantic solar flares that are supossed to happen soon. (coincidentally with Nostradamus and Mayan prophecies).
If these flares can completely wipe out all satellites, certainly they will do harm to digital cameras. So, I'm stocking up film for 2012.  
Seriously again, it is possible, don't you think so? There was this new device to scramble digital captures from paparazzi. Did it come to the market or was it banned?
Eduardo

thanks. I've been noticing an upswing in this issue lately. Personally I don't believe in it, but that's another matter. Besides, I wouldn't want to make anyone mad by talking about something other than digi backs and large sensors here.

good to stock up on film though, lets the companies know you use it .



-Dan

Dan
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revaaron
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« Reply #56 on: November 24, 2009, 10:05:23 PM »
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I shoot film all the time.
I actually just submitted 3 images to a work photo contest.
all film.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 10:09:20 PM by revaaron » Logged

Juanito
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« Reply #57 on: November 25, 2009, 06:47:27 AM »
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I shot film for ten plus years as a pro before finally succumbing to digital. I love the work I'm producing now and the capabilities of the technology. The technology really has opened the doors to the type of work that I'm currently creating. If I had to go back to film, life would be very difficult and my work would suffer.

Case in point, I did a shoot over the weekend where I composited about 15-20 shots to create the look that I wanted. I did the shoot and did the post production all in the same day. Processing and scanning all those images on film would have taken a full day at least. Combine that with the lack of real-time feedback and I doubt I would have had my shot.

So would I continue shooting? Absolutely. Would I be doing work at the same level? I'd still be doing good work, but it would look much different. And this has nothing to do with the look of film verses digital nor the quality of one verses the other. It's more a function of process. Digital has spoiled me in that department.

John
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Fritzer
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« Reply #58 on: November 25, 2009, 06:21:52 PM »
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Quote from: DanielStone
But being that most professionals ARE using digital cameras for the majority of their work these days, I thought it plausible to ask HERE, where most of the PRO'S talk about various technologies. In the end, I should have posted this on a different section of the forum, just to make YOU happy.


No worries, I've been ignorant once, too.
As this section unfortunately is being frequented by lots of hobbyists, you got enough replies to please you.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2009, 08:08:41 PM »
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Fritzer,

i'm not ignorant. I'm just going to stop.

I posted this yes, to scratch an itch that I've had for a while, but yes, there are a lot of hobbyists that frequent this forum. I'm not one of them though, so please don't think me one. I'm a photo major, in school right now, getting ready to transfer to Art Center soon, so I'm serious about photography as a career. Otherwise, I wouldn't be researching grants to come up with enough money to cover $150k in education money for the next 3.5 years.  

but we, YOU AND ME, have to remember, that WITHOUT the hobbyists, photography would be DEAD. without hobbyists and rich guys buying digi backs and hi-end DSLRS, R&D would be nil in those departments, just as if we were all still shooting film.

if there ain't money, no one gets paid .


Kodak would cease to exist, same with Fuji, Phase, Leaf, Sinar, etc....


amateurs and hobbyists are needed to keep business alive. so WE can't put them down for asking questions, no matter how trivial and 'beginner' they may seem to us. But since WE do this as a living(I'm assuming here that you derive the majority of your income from photography), we need to be open to helping them. Even as pro's, or eventual pro's(in my case), we've all been beginners.

I'd rather ask a dumb question and get the right answer, then not asking and F*cking something up royally. Obviously this doesn't count in this case(thread).


best regards, and happy thanksgiving btw (if you're from the states )

-Dan
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 08:09:03 PM by DanielStone » Logged
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