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Author Topic: Going backwards...  (Read 116813 times)
Digiteyesed
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« on: December 26, 2005, 10:56:32 AM »
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While everyone seems to be moving forward to digital, I'm going backwards. I've accumulated no less than five complete darkrooms from photographers who are making the transition to digital and have been giving all of their toys away. Some more stuff showed up yesterday:

- Seal Inc. 16x20 dry mounting press
- Arkay's Loadmaster Print Washer, model 1620-A (almost in mint condition)
- Arkay's Photo Drier - Print Drier, model A-25 (mint condition)

Needless to say, yesterday was a good day for me. :-)

It was digital technology that made me go nuts over photography, but the more I play with film -- especially B&W -- the more I love it. Go figure.

Anyone else around here feel the same way?
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mikeseb
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2005, 02:11:30 PM »
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Did you notice the echoes of your keyboard banging around these empty halls here in "The Wet Darkroom"? Glad to know someone other than me pops in here from time to time. A wet darkroom person is like the Maytag repairman on LL.

I got my first "serious" digital camera in 2004 and was heading to an all-digital future. Sold the Beseler 45MXT, put the 4x5 Sinar in mothballs and prepared to sell my Nikon film gear. Then on a lark I bought a Contax 645 and rediscovered medium format. THose gorgeous negatives and slides....There is a "something" to film--maybe it's only foolish nostalgia--that I don't get from digital. I am also an inveterate tinkerer, and the alchemy of B&W processing always presents something new to try.

That said, if I could afford a Phase P45 or P25 or even find a decent DCS Pro 645 C for the right price, I'd go MF digital just to avoid the hassle factor of processing, cataloging, and storing film. Maybe I should have sunk the contax cash into a D2X with all the trimmings....(If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, it'd be Christmas every day....) But there is something, also, about that Contax that I dearly love. It fits my hand like it was molded for it, and all the controls are just where they are supposed to be. And did I mention those fabulous images?

THis is entirely un-rational, but it seems "wrong" to me to have to toss the entire camera whenever you upgrade a digital SLR. With the Contax, you keep the same camera and lenses and can shoot digital or film. Makes no sense, "feels" right. I might also be rationalizing my now-considerable investment in Contax gear.

I'm going home today to mix up some PC-TEA to try out on my B&W film; I have a few Christmas rolls to process. The grandparents get mad because they only get to see my kids in beautiful black and white.

Let's see if we can't get this forum humming again. Check out my website (see signature) for some of the B&W work.
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michael sebastian
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2005, 10:10:12 AM »
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THis is entirely un-rational, but it seems "wrong" to me to have to toss the entire camera whenever you upgrade a digital SLR. With the Contax, you keep the same camera and lenses and can shoot digital or film. Makes no sense, "feels" right. I might also be rationalizing my now-considerable investment in Contax gear.

I don't see why creating art has to be an entirely rational undertaking. Surely there's some room allowed for emotion in the creative process? I've always thought that the best camera is the one that inspires you to get out and make images.

Have you seen Wanda Scott's work?

http://www.wandascott.com/

Absolutely outstanding, and all of it done using pinhole cameras. Some of the cameras were consructed from throwaway items. I make a point of visiting Wanda's site whenever I start feeling sorry for myself because I can't afford another L-Series lens.

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Let's see if we can't get this forum humming again.

I'll try, but I have to admit to being a relative newbie at processing. I've reached the point where I can process and print, but anything beyond that (dodging, burning, contrast masks, etc.) is beyond me right now.
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David White
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2005, 12:44:10 PM »
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I've also noticed that posts in this forum are pretty rare.

My darkroom is down to a sink that holds my JOBO CPP-2 for developing film from my Mamiya 645 AFD.  Nothing like a 645 chrome on a light table.
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David White
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2005, 04:55:59 PM »
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I know the feeling. I built up a 7 lens Hasselblad system that I always wanted and had several years use making big chromes and negs. I processed all my work on a Jobo ATL-2 automated processor including E-6. Then one day I added a Canon D1s II to my Canon arsenal and suddenly the Blad became a nice paper weight. At almost the same time the Jobo died from years of use and is too costly to repair.

One absolute from my perspective, the results from scanning on a Coolscan 9000 and printing on a 7600, (soon to be a 7800), blow away any color I was able to conventionally print in the wet darkroom. I have been quite happy with the B&W output too. I would never go back to wet printing but I still like scanning film and printing it on the Epson. I also really like my Canon Ds II and the incredible output it can do. Sometimes the digital output dose give funny artifacts, (types of noise), but I can usually get rid of it with noise reduction or selective noise reduction without introducing a plastic feel. I love the dynamic range of the Canon compared to chromes but not to negs.

In practical terms, for reasons of image quality, exposure check, speed over scanning, etc, the digital has been a quantum leap. In terms of feel and nostalgia, I still like to get out the Blad.

I hope that a full frame affordable digital back for the blad may come at some point so I can continue to enjoy medium format in the years to come--it has a certain feel.
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2005, 02:13:24 PM »
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While everyone seems to be moving forward to digital, I'm going backwards.
I wouldn't call it going backwards. I'd call it maturing!

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It was digital technology that made me go nuts over photography, but the more I play with film -- especially B&W -- the more I love it. Go figure.
This really should not be surprising. There are elements and qualities of film that cannot be reproduced with digital. Wait until you try platinum, cyanotype, albumen, etc... printing. Better yet, wait 'till you get a 4x5.

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Anyone else around here feel the same way?
I have a D2X and it has rarely seen the light of day. I was going to get a Hassey H2 as well, but I think I'll get a 4x5 instead. And another lens for my Hassey. And maybe another toy camera. And...there are so many possibilities with film.

Goto www.APUG.org to meet thousands of film enthusiasts.

Regards, Art.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 05:26:25 PM by gr82bart » Logged

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gr82bart
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2005, 02:15:30 PM »
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Did you notice the echoes of your keyboard banging around these empty halls here in "The Wet Darkroom"?
Well, this site is owned and operated by a widely known anti-film guy.

regards, Art.
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 02:51:32 PM »
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Well, this site is owned and operated by a widely known anti-film guy.

You honestly think so? I've never gotten that impression from reading Mr. Reichmann's writing. YES, his personal preference is digital for the creative control and turnaround it gives him, and YES, he is quite honest when he assesses the limitations of both film and digital, but I don't see this as making him anti-film. He is also quite fair about giving film lovers a chance to say their own piece, too.

He strikes me as an artist who is more concerned with the message than with the medium it is communicated through.

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This really should not be surprising. There are elements and qualities of film that cannot be reproduced with digital. Wait until you try platinum, cyanotype, albumen, etc... printing. Better yet, wait 'till you get a 4x5.

Got myself a Shen Hoa 4x5 field camera. Haven't been doing a lot with it yet, I'm afraid. I guess I need to get off my butt, huh?

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I have a D2X and it has rarely seen the light of day. I was going to get an H2 as well, but I think I'll get another 4x5 instead. And another lens for my Hassey. And maybe another toy camera. And...there are so many possibilities with film.

I've become enamored with pinhole photography as of late. I guess I need to put some of my recent work into my portfolio.

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Goto www.APUG.org to meet thousands of film enthusiasts.

I will, and thank you! :-)
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michael
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 03:18:39 PM »
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Anti-film guy?

Humm. I've been called many things, but never that.

I no longer shoot much film but being anti-film? Of course not. I shoot film when and where film will do a better job, and digital when and where its advantages are manifest. Who wouldn't?

And, since I've been shooting film for more than 50 years, most of these professionally, I figure that I've shot something over a half million frames of film. The only thing that I'm "anti" is the hundreds of thousands of dollars that I've spent on film stock and processing over that period.

I love the web. So much insightful commentary.

Michael
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DavidRees
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2005, 03:58:02 PM »
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I've bought two new cameras this year -- a Canon 350D (my first excursion into digital), and a Wista DX (wooden 5x4 camera).

I like the 350D, and have made some fine images with it. However, for me, the Wista has won hands down in terms of sheer fun. I've built up a set of 5 lenses for it (a bit O.T.T., but they were ALL bargains! Honestly!). I've started processing B&W at home again, after a gap of more than a decade. Takes me back to my youth, and I find myself having more fun with my hobby/obsession than I have in a long time.

I accept that digital capture is the mainstream future -- but film, in 35mm, 120 and 5x4, is going to be with us (if we want it) for a long time yet. May no longer be the professional's choice - but since I do photography for the love of it, I'll choose the tools I like -- and I *like* film.
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Just one more frame, dear...
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2005, 04:47:37 PM »
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Film shooters are no different than people who ride horses. There's nothing wrong with riding a horse to get somewhere instead of hopping in a Honda Civic, but few rational people would argue that equestrian transportation is faster, more efficient, and cheaper than the Civic, all things considered. There are some film buffs who would do well to keep that in mind.
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gr82bart
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2005, 05:29:39 PM »
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Film shooters are no different than people who ride horses. There's nothing wrong with riding a horse to get somewhere instead of hopping in a Honda Civic, but few rational people would argue that equestrian transportation is faster, more efficient, and cheaper than the Civic, all things considered. There are some film buffs who would do well to keep that in mind.
Interesting. This is the exact argument, albeit with a different 'focus', to outsource North American jobs to India and China. Anyway, I wasn't looking for a fight, but I've lurked long enough to know what buttons to push and which ones will respond...

Happy New Year, Art.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 05:30:31 PM by gr82bart » Logged

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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2005, 06:22:41 PM »
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Film shooters are no different than people who ride horses. There's nothing wrong with riding a horse to get somewhere instead of hopping in a Honda Civic, but few rational people would argue that equestrian transportation is faster, more efficient, and cheaper than the Civic, all things considered. There are some film buffs who would do well to keep that in mind.

Interesting analogy! I live in the middle of cattle country here in Alberta, and the fact remains that there are certain jobs out here that more easily done with a horse. You can try and work cattle riding a quad or a dirt bike, but nothing beats using a horse for efficiency (with a well trained hound, of course).

We have people out here who can still rope and ride with the best of them even though their skills are not so much in demand as they would have been one hundred years ago. Still, they're keeping part of our heritage alive and passing it along to the next generation. That's important too.
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2005, 06:53:31 PM »
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I'll grant you that herding cattle with a well-trained horse works better than an ATV, especially in rough country where wheeled vehicles are likely to get stuck. A good horse can apply its intelligence to the task, which is something a vehicle cannot do. When making my analogy, I was thinking more along the lines of general travel, say taking the family to visit relatives for the holidays, going to work, etc.

I have no issue with someone who shoots film for historical reasons, or because they like the smell of developer, or prefer working with an optical enlarger, or anything along those lines. The people I take issue with are the ones that tell me that if I don't use film to shoot the 75 college students waiting in line to have their yearbook photos taken, that I'm short-changing my customers with regard to the quality of the final product and the timeliness of delivery. Those folks are not very well grounded in reality, IMHSHO.
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gr82bart
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2005, 07:40:32 PM »
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I have no issue with someone who shoots digital for efficiency reasons, or because they like spraying and praying, or prefer working with a computer for hours on end, or anything along those lines. The people I take issue with are the ones that tell me that if I don't use digital to shoot what I like to shoot, that I'm a luddite, a technophobe, wasting my money, or tangentially a whole host of other condescending remarks. Those folks are not very well grounded in reality, IMHSHO.

Regards, Art.
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2005, 08:25:15 PM »
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I just love hearing how archival the digital stuff is.  That is until it accidently gets wet.

I too am tired of the same old rhetoric that I get "giclee'd" with everytime I mention I shoot film.

Oh well, at least my prints will be around in 100 years.
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michael
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2005, 08:38:52 PM »
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I'm sorry but when did this become a DPReview forum?

Let's keep a somewhat more mature level of discourse, please.

One and only warning.

Michael
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davidr805
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2005, 08:56:12 PM »
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Well . I am not a professional .. (for that I mean .. that I don't know how to use my camera 100% )

And that's one reason I like digital .. I can play with settings and experiment till I capture something good.

But  one thing that I don't like about digital  is that  when I capture a nice picture and what a make a big print I am not able to (have the 10D) .

And in order to make them I would have to spend good money on equipment .
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2005, 09:35:57 PM »
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I have no issue with someone who shoots film for historical reasons, or because they like the smell of developer, or prefer working with an optical enlarger, or anything along those lines.

I think part of the reason that I'm falling in love with film is that the journey (making the image) is as enjoyable for me as arriving at the destination (the final image). I find that using film slows me down and makes me appreciate each discrete step in the image making process that much more. I'm hoping that my adventures in my new darkroom will only add to my enjoyment of each image I create.

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The people I take issue with are the ones that tell me that if I don't use film to shoot the 75 college students waiting in line to have their yearbook photos taken, that I'm short-changing my customers with regard to the quality of the final product and the timeliness of delivery.

I make no claims of superiority when it comes to film versus digital. The plain truth is that I don't care. I certainly wouldn't be playing with Holgas, Lubitels, Kievs, and pinhole cameras if LPM was my primary consideration.

I use film and I use digital and I'm equally proud of my work with both. I guess I've just developed a fascination with film and darkrooms in the way that some people have a thing for classic vehicles. I was hoping to connect with others who feel the same way. Starting a film vs. digital debate was certainly not my intention.
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2005, 09:44:31 PM »
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I make no claims of superiority when it comes to film versus digital.
I never meant to imply that you were one of the people I was referring to. There's absolutely nothing wrong with riding horses just because you like to. Nor is there anything wrong with shooting film for the same reason.
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