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02-15-2014, 03:23 PM   #31
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I've come full circle on this-- started off learning on a manual camera, got sucked in to the idea that features make better pictures... then it was off into automated film cameras, then DSLRs. My photography never improved, except without spending the $$$ on film, I was stockpiling lenses. Then I spent too much time deciding whether my 50mm, 55mm, or 58mm would give me the best shot.

Since then, I've gone back to simple manual SLR's, 35mm and mostly MF, and now 4x5.

You have *full* control of everything from start to finish.

You don't have to fight with an AF motor getting it to focus where you want, you just turn a ring and do it yourself.

You don't have to tell the camera it's metering wrong with a difficult scene-- you just know that it'll be off and set it where it needs to be in the first place.

All the while, you spend more time looking through the viewfinder, thinking more about your scene, walking back and forth to get the framing right, wanting to make sure it's perfect, knowing that when you click the shutter, that if you get it wrong, you just wasted $0.75 (35mm Velvia is getting *outrageous*... I think shot for shot E-6 on 645 is close to the same).

Anyways, using an all manual film camera forces you do understand and to not be lazy. It's too easy to not have to worry about hyperfocals, DOF, and the delicate exposure balance using modern gear. I've grown and learned much more using film than I did digital. Yes, you can do almost everything manually on a DSLR, but who does?

02-15-2014, 10:24 PM   #32
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I use manual focus lenses on my K-r. I only have one autofocus lens for it, an 18-55 zoom. My several other lenses are all manual focus (although they do support AE).

Sometimes I set aperture and/or shutter speed manually, because I'm smarter than the EV chip in the camera.
02-16-2014, 11:58 AM   #33
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I shoot about 30-40 rolls a year and do all my developing and scanning at home. This might run me $250 a year, chemicals included. I will be sorely tempted to the darkside if there is a FF I can stick my FA77 on :-)

But it still won't substitute for tri-x shot @1600 or Portra 400 pushed a stop (even thought it didn't need it)

I have two film bodies now (well three if you don't count the crazy weird 1950s rangefinder that I don't shoot with) and really am considering a third with autofocus.

Jamey
02-16-2014, 12:26 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Yes, you can do almost everything manually on a DSLR, but who does?
I do about 99% of the time. I will admit that using AF has become more and more a regular thing with me lately because I'm having major issues with my eyes and I'm finding MF very difficult as a result, but otherwise I don't usually let my DSLR do much of anything for me. I shoot almost entirely on manual all the time. I like to control everything, just as I do with my film cameras. It's true with the film cameras I tend to be slower, more deliberate. That's one of the reasons I still use them. It forces me to slow down a bit and sometimes I like that. I think it's good for my photography but just because I have a DSLR doesn't mean I am just shooting randomly and letting the camera work for me all the time. I have an adapter for my DSLR and I have adapters for my M43 camera so I can use my MF lenses on them. To me it's basically the same thing, the same process. The only difference is there's a memory card instead of film. I've been known to set a camera on auto if I have to pick it up and shoot very quickly, but most of the time I don't like to do that.

I learned photography on an SP and an SPII. The way I see it if I am just going to use my DSLR like a glorified P&S then why bother having one? There are a million little pocket cameras out there that can do it all for me. I have a phone that can take pics and a tablet that can too. The whole reason I have a DSLR vs a P&S is that I like to be totally in control of what I shoot. I actually prefer to manually focus and to set everything up otherwise. I totally ignore the auto/programmed modes on my cameras most of the time. Sometimes my eyes just won't let me do focus, at least not easily, and I'm forced to use the AF lenses. But that's really all the mechanization I want to get accustomed to using. On both cameras my favorite setting is "M" not auto, shrug.

I love my old cameras, and yes they have incredible hand feel compared to plastic DSLR bodies, but I don't think they are superior to my DSLR and my M43 camera, just different. I would never go back to using a film camera exclusively. As much as I like them it would be too expensive for me to do. Film developing costs a lot of money here and there is only one place in town that does it anymore besides. I can't afford to indulge my nostalgia for using a film camera very often these days...

02-16-2014, 11:15 PM - 1 Like   #35
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To me it's simple:

Film for the process.

Digital for the results.


Film photography is a much more relaxing task for me, it's slow, requires forthought, and knowledge.
Digital is a faster oriented medium, more results focussed than process focussed. You can snap away with 8 different settings and see what worked instantly, where film you must know ahead of time.

Going to an unmetred camera adds another dimension to it, having to look around and say "how much light is there, I want X aperture, and I need XX shutter speed"



To me I sort of see it as a wet shave vs an electric razor.
The electric is all about beard removal in as short of a period as possible.
The wet shave is about the process of carefully considering each removal.

The difference is, I enjoy digital photography (not as much as film though), but I won't use an electric razor. (I use the old double edged razors, and have been practicing with a Shavette for the eventual move to a cuthroat)
02-17-2014, 12:50 AM - 1 Like   #36
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I too love putting a roll of film through my P30N. Or my KX. Or my ME Super. Or my SP1000....

Film SLRs are far more pleasurable to use than DSLRs.
02-17-2014, 01:31 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I can understand the OPs comments. I am playing this week with my PZ-1

The thing that really screws me up is that the PZ-1'is so close to a DSLR that I find I am continually looking at the camera back for the check image
Ditto the MZ-S. I love it, but not same as K-1000 that I travelled the world with for over 10 years.
02-17-2014, 02:07 AM - 1 Like   #38
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In late December I started using my 33-year-old K1000 again after a few years of shooting almost entirely digitally. When I finally picked up my DSLR after a six week break, I found it unbearable to use. The DSLR puts far too many technological barriers between me and the photo that I can see in my mind’s eye. Every shot, even with fully manual focus and exposure, feels like a battle against the camera’s electronics. The K1000 hasn’t got any electronics, and so it imposes no barriers at all between me and the photo I want to take. It does exactly what a camera needs to do, and not one damn thing more.

So now the DSLR is relegated to wet weather point-and-shoot, and the K1000 is my main camera again. It feels like having a lost limb reattached.


Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 02-17-2014 at 02:08 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake.
02-17-2014, 03:24 AM   #39
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What I do for money is commerce. What I do for enjoyment is "art."

I embrace digital for the immediacy. It's good for commerce.

For "art," I still prefer film; my favorite 35mm film is Ilford XP2Super, my favorite cameras being, in order, my Konica FS-1, my Canon A-1, my Argus C3, and my Pentax Program Plus.
02-17-2014, 06:18 AM   #40
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For me both media are a hobby done for enjoyment. I enjoy shooting with old cameras (that happens to mean film cameras) more then new ones but digital offers immediate feedback. Both have positive aspects.
02-17-2014, 06:29 AM   #41
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Digital travels at the speed of light to its destination. Film travels at the speed of mail truck. I still have uses for both, but rely more and more on digital, especially for "snapshots" of vacations, family gatherings, Facebook and eBay.
02-17-2014, 07:32 AM - 1 Like   #42
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IMO the complexity of modern DSLR photography helps swell the ranks of the Holga/Lomography crowd.
Fortunately there is a middle path for those of us who prefer sharp, properly exposed photos.

Chris
02-18-2014, 07:10 AM   #43
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Here's a slightly different perspective.

I have never used a film SLR, but I have an old broken ME super, and there is a good camera shop nearby who have said they could refurbish it. I am tempted, just for the novelty.

However, I know that I won't be interested in learning how to develop my own film, and won't be trying to find a dark room where I can do this.

Without having the control over the developing, is it still worth using film?

For those who are singing the praises of film, to what extent is this because you do your own developing?
02-18-2014, 08:13 AM   #44
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I develop my own B&W, but there's a lot of variability in how you can choose to do this, and how different labs will do it. I do it because it's much cheaper, not because it gives me control.

With colour, the development process is always the same and cheap to do in a lab, so that's what I use.

I would recommend all photographers try film, and would be very tempted to say you're not a real photographer unless you can use a film SLR or rangefinder
02-18-2014, 08:59 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by rob_k20d Quote
Here's a slightly different perspective.

I have never used a film SLR, but I have an old broken ME super, and there is a good camera shop nearby who have said they could refurbish it. I am tempted, just for the novelty.

However, I know that I won't be interested in learning how to develop my own film, and won't be trying to find a dark room where I can do this.

Without having the control over the developing, is it still worth using film?

For those who are singing the praises of film, to what extent is this because you do your own developing?
I only shoot film, but do not do my own developing. I never got into the darkroom stuff, mostly as I only shot Kodachrome for the first few decades after I started photography. You had to send Kodachome to a special Kodak authorized lab for processing, so home development was never an option.

I have zero interest in home development, scanning or any kind of digital photography and I’m quite happy to let a professional lab do my film processing and scanning.

Phil.
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