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Author Topic: Who is still using film and why?  (Read 14189 times)
OleLovold
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2013, 06:51:14 PM »
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I only shoot film nowadays, after starting out on digital. I have a couple of reasons for doing it. Firstly, I feel so much more at ease when working with film. There are no memory cards, or batteries to worry about all the time, and the camera isn't in the way. Its complete simplicity is appealing. It's just a light-tight box with a lens on it, with dials for aperture and shutter speeds. That's it. Manual focusing. The lack of a screen is liberating. It makes me look closer before taking the picture, rather than mindlessly taking a shot and checking it on the screen for improvements, as I would when using digital cameras. It becomes more deliberate.

Secondly, I much prefer how an image draws on film, than on a digital sensor. I like my photos very straight and calm, and I find that the tonality and colour palette of film enables me to work along this aesthetic much better than I ever could on digital. The photographs that I get from larger format film has a presence that I couldn't get before, that suits my environmental portrait and landscape work.

I almost exclusively shoot colour negative film. My favourite is Portra 400 and I develop it at home in a Jobo CPE-2+. I also scan at home on an Epson V600. At my university we have Flextight X1 and X5 and they really make the 6x7 negatives from my GF670 come alive if I decide to make large prints. I chose the GF670 because I wanted a simple 6x7 rangefinder with a normal lens. The simplicity of the camera was appealing, and I am getting along with it very well. The fact that it looks elegant and folds down to the size of a book and weighs only a kilogram is a bonus.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2013, 07:38:35 PM »
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Buy a back brace at the same time Tongue

I had a 11x14 for a while. Fun to work with. Not fun to carry!

Hum... I have a few concerns that have prevented me from moving forward:
- Annoyance of having to load sheets of film,
- Lack of suitable scanner at the moment. The Creo seems to be the only option able to tap into the resolution potential, but their drivers don't work with recent iterations of modern OS,
- Weight indeed,
- Cost of the whole operation.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2013, 07:47:42 PM »
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I wish Astia was still in production.

Me too!
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Jason DiMichele
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TMARK
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« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2013, 08:21:16 PM »
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I shoot medium and large format film when and if I can.  i prefer the look of large and medium format film over digital.  Its sharp without being clinical.  The colors are nice and the B&W tones are in my view unbeatable, just about.  Its also about film size, and the larger the film, the better, all things being equal.

The problem with film today is that the infrastructure supporting film exists only in large cities.  I relied on labs for C41 and E6, and even B&W if I had volume.  Now most of that is gone, which is a shame, as film makes for, in most cases and again, in my very humble opinion, better color and an organic contrast that is hard to match, if at all, with digital.

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design_freak
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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2013, 04:12:14 AM »
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Hum... I have a few concerns that have prevented me from moving forward:
- Annoyance of having to load sheets of film,
- Lack of suitable scanner at the moment. The Creo seems to be the only option able to tap into the resolution potential, but their drivers don't work with recent iterations of modern OS,
- Weight indeed,
- Cost of the whole operation.

Cheers,
Bernard


When it comes to scanners I think that is not the only Creo. Pretty good are Imaon / Hasselblad with certain restrictions as to the size of the scanned material. Heidelberg is very good, also there is no problem with the new systems. (OS)

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Mike Sellers
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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2013, 01:58:07 PM »
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I am going back to film as I found a good deal on a Tango drum scanner. I have a large collection of film to scan.The way I look at it when a potential buyer of one of my film based photos is standing there in the gallery looking they are not thinking "gee, if that was just captured with a digital camera instead of film I would have bought it". I was using a Contax 645 a few years ago so I will probably go back to this camera.
Mike
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2013, 02:24:12 PM »
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I am going back to film as I found a good deal on a Tango drum scanner. I have a large collection of film to scan.The way I look at it when a potential buyer of one of my film based photos is standing there in the gallery looking they are not thinking "gee, if that was just captured with a digital camera instead of film I would have bought it". I was using a Contax 645 a few years ago so I will probably go back to this camera.
Mike

or vice versa......
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Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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KevinA
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2013, 05:50:21 PM »
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I still prefer the look of film, especially Portra, scanned well it's really nice.
I shot some aerials on a Rolleiflex last year. A month or two back a Architect ordered 3 images from my site of over 10,000 online pictures.
I mentioned to them that they had chosen 3 film images. They said they liked the look better, it looked sunnier.
If I could turn the clock back and stop digital from being invented we would all be richer and valued.
I bought a Linhof 5x7 last year, I'm still to give it a real go. I still own 3 Pentax 67 plus lenses, 2 Rolleiflex, 1 Minolta Autocord, 1 Razzledog, 1 Plaubel peco 5x7 and others.Plus lots of Canon digital and L lenses.
Apart from anything else film is actually fun.
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2013, 03:19:18 AM »
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I still prefer the look of film, especially Portra, scanned well it's really nice.
I shot some aerials on a Rolleiflex last year. A month or two back a Architect ordered 3 images from my site of over 10,000 online pictures.
I mentioned to them that they had chosen 3 film images. They said they liked the look better, it looked sunnier.
If I could turn the clock back and stop digital from being invented we would all be richer and valued.
I bought a Linhof 5x7 last year, I'm still to give it a real go. I still own 3 Pentax 67 plus lenses, 2 Rolleiflex, 1 Minolta Autocord, 1 Razzledog, 1 Plaubel peco 5x7 and others.Plus lots of Canon digital and L lenses.
Apart from anything else film is actually fun.



From the point of view of my pro days, I would say that I am with you 100%. But, now out to grass, digital has allowed me to continue playing with photography to an extent that film would have not permitted due to cost.

A very mixed blessing, then.

Rob C
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PeteZ28
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2013, 12:35:28 AM »
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I've really started to fall in love with Portra 400 lately. And of course Velvia 50 is just amazing. Nothing like having Lightroom and Photoshop built right into your camera for $7.99 a roll.
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2013, 10:36:20 AM »
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I've really started to fall in love with Portra 400 lately. And of course Velvia 50 is just amazing. Nothing like having Lightroom and Photoshop built right into your camera for $7.99 a roll.



Thing about Velvia 50, you'll spend more time in PS than you thought.

Rob C
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TMARK
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« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2013, 11:36:04 AM »
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Thing about Velvia 50, you'll spend more time in PS than you thought.

Rob C

I always hated Velvia 50 and its mandatory crushed blacks and magenta cast. 

Now Portra, yeah, that is my favorite film ever made.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2013, 12:02:42 PM »
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I always preferred chrome, not sure why, but I always have. Negatives wet-printed are one thing, but scanned and then printed digitally? Never gave me that "zing" that a well-done transparency did. Especially 4x5 or 8x10. Heck, even a MF one had a wealth of detail and depth that I never could replicate with digital(even MF backs).

Velvia 50 is a PITA to scan IMO, it's "crushed" blacks and magenta(ish) cast most of the time makes for slow(er) going when setting up a drum scan. Sometimes though, it just works. Other times, I want to chuck the roll once I've got it back from the lab Wink

Ektachrome 64 is probably my favorite film emulsion, ever. I was getting into photography as Kodak was phasing out most of its E-6 "traditional" emulsions in favor of the E100(...) line(G, VS, GX). Ektachrome 100(EPN) and Ektachrome 64(EPR) were almost completely color-neutral, and that made it great for being able to judge filters and their strength, by eye.

Alas, E-6 from Kodak is now all gone Sad, so re-learning a new film(in my case, Provia 100F) can be a bit daunting. Its a nice film, but for the majority of what I shoot, Kodak delivered exactly what I wanted on the film, right out of the camera. Fuji takes a bit more work.

-Dan
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David Watson
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« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2013, 12:47:03 PM »
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Thank you everyone for a most interesting and varied set of responses. 

As I said in my original post I was tempted to try film again by the comments of another photographer.  So here is what happened:-

I bought a mint used Fuji 680 with some lenses and accessories.  Bought some Fuji film and took the usual test shots I take when I get a new camera.  Sent the film to a pro lab in London for processing, waited a week with no response and then rang them.  Oh yes we have done that job but for some reason it has not been sent out.  On receipt I had a look at the trannies on a light box.  Exposure looked fine but they were very (and I mean very) contrasty.Put them through my scanner (bought second hand for the test) and confirmed the hard and unattractive look of the images.

Was my exposure wrong?  Was the processing wrong?  No idea as it is more than ten years since I went through this loop and I had not appreciated just how much I had forgotten about the whole process and its frustrations.  In particular the very long (if you didn't take a polaroid) delay in finding out if the shot was successful

Nostalgia is great but just like revisiting the hard hungry streets of 50's Glasgow where I grew up it wasn't fun, it wasn't easy and it wasn't forgiving or comfortable - just like film.  In the nice modern world of MFD with tethered capture, immediate review and the possibility of correcting and improving the shot at the time  I now feel very comfortable.  Film?  That's for the birds and those photographers who have retained the skills and enjoy the process.  Me?  I guess I will put my feet up and open a bottle of a nice dry wine whilst I review my latest digital captures on my lap top.

No disrespect to all those guys who still use and love film.  My hat is well and truly off to you
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2013, 01:40:25 PM »
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Here's my Velvia 50 in MF before digital.  It's not that bad to scan (Epson V600 flat bed) once you get use to it although people shots are hard to color correct. 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/tags/velvia/



I notice that Portra is much easier to scan and flesh tones are better.


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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2013, 03:25:54 PM »
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The film I used most of the time for medium and large format was Fuji Astia 100F (colour transparency). Extremely fine grain (RMS 7) and a wide exposure latitude. It is not a contrasty film and was a dream to scan.

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
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DennisWilliams
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« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2013, 04:13:58 PM »
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I don't have personal projects. I have never bought a stand alone digital camera. The look I get with film-  printed or scanned- is not being duplicated by  sensor based cameras  with or without a whole lot of post.

There is simply no reason to change when there is nothing to fix. Not to say I don't get a  flawed frame once in a while,  but I have never seen the equipment as the answer to a lack of style, vision  or substance. All one has to see is the furniture Amish craftsmen create  without modern technology  to see the fallacy in the quest for next years's camera model. Digital may be expedient, may allow photography to be widely accessible in an egalitarian sense- may be any number of things- but when it comes down to the final product- to me,  it is not better,  so why bother.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2013, 11:22:23 PM »
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It doesn't sound like you make your living from photography. I couldn't make a living these days shooting film. The delays cause by sending film out for processing and then getting it scanned would have me missing every deadline. I tried that juggling act for a few years before switching to digital. I was the last architectural photographer in my area to switch. There are also problems I can fix via layering for example that there is simply no budget anymore to fix in the field and clients would think you were an idiot for even trying. So yes I save the film for my personal work where there are few deadlines and no clients looking over my shoulder.
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Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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ondebanks
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« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2013, 11:11:38 AM »
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Here are the two main reasons why I still shoot (some) medium format film.

Interestingly, none of the other film users have cited these reasons yet:

1) Clean multi-minute long exposures, at any ISO, with no dark-frame delay. No MFD system can deliver this. Smaller formats with CMOS sensors can, more or less.

2) With the right film, broader/different spectral response. Digital cameras (of all types) tend to have IR-block filters which also block deep red and near-UV light. Hacking (modding) the camera can cure this, but it's usually a non-reversible change. It's nice to leave the camera alone, and just pop in a different film (or change the film back).
BTW, spectral response is not to be confused with colour balance corrections and colour accuracy; you can always rebalance or recalibrate what's there, but you cannot rebalance what was never captured in the first place.

So for deep-sky astrophotography, I have a lot of Kodak E200 in my freezer. Since it also has very low reciprocity failure, nothing captures the 656 nm red colour of hydrogen nebulae as well as it. Shame that it was discontinued! My stock 5DII captures far more stars in a given exposure time, and is sharper, but the film wins for colour and nebulosity.

Ray
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G*
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« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2013, 07:27:42 AM »
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I am no pro and I’m on a rather small budget, so my situation differs a lot from other members. I started with 35mm as a kid, mostly Canon & Nikon SLRs. First color negatives, then b&w negatives, then color slides. I went where I could save some money. But besides that I always felt locked in in terms of format: sharpness, depth of field, differentiation of colours. Then enter early digital. Bought a 6MP Casio with Canon lens and was finally free of film costs. Had fun a couple of years and upgraded to a d80 later on with which I could use my Nikon lenses. But still I felt locked in. Finally I bought a Mamiya RZ67 and three lenses on eBay for rather little money. Now, that looked quite different. Shot b&w and slides. What fun! But what a PINTA to get film, development and decent scans! My bank account never could hold up to the costs of film – I realized that hadn’t changed from back then. And what a weight! I had easily 10 kilos of camera, glass, reflex finder, film- and polabacks in my backpack on bike tours, not to mention the tripod. That did not work in the long run. I had a brief encounter with a Mamiya 645AFD then, but that did not change a lot. Then enter the first rumors about the d800. That might be it! I sold all my MF film gear and ordered a d800E when you could still read all those warnings about moiré. But it worked fine. Actually pretty much all my files looked a lot better to me than anything I ever got from the RZ67. Currently I have settled with a workflow with RPP and Photoshop that gives me the "feel" that I was looking for for a long time. All good now? Well … I still feel locked in when it comes to shallow depth of field compared to 4x5 or 8x10 …  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 07:30:38 AM by G* » Logged
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