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05-10-2012, 09:28 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I like shooting BW400CN film - I will put that in one of my ME's and shoot with my [ND Filtered] Samyang 85 1.4...
Some people don't like that film but I like it. I have had good luck with it.

05-10-2012, 09:42 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Some people don't like that film but I like it. I have had good luck with it.
I have also had good luck with it...
05-10-2012, 09:46 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I came on the film scene "late" and did not do my own developing at all. So, I was at the mercy of whoever develops my film for me and then whoever scanned it (I usually would do that myself from the negatives). Anyway, after those factors come in to play, I certainly don't see reduction in dynamic range using digital as compared to film.
If you happen to use a one-degree spot meter and meter your own scene, you'd soon learn the typical light range of common conditions. I do and still shoot both film and digital. I flinch at scenes with my digital that I don't even have pause for concern with my film shots.

The thing is film compresses highlights. Digital clips them. Nester touched on that in his post. Take a look at this test shot. It is ISO 400 film, f11 and metered 1/2 second but took at 4 seconds (to compress the highlights). That is a bright sunny day out that window. Low values measured EV2 and EV3 and high values out the window were EV15. You should have a feel for taking a f11 shot at 1/2 second and ISO 400 with your digital and how well outside sun would turn out.
05-10-2012, 01:10 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
The thing is film compresses highlights. Digital clips them.
Bingo. All film has a "response curve" that compresses (tone maps) highlights and shadows into the DR the film is capable of reproducing. This is where the idea of HDR and tonemapping came from - early digital sensors were pretty poor in DR and nearly linear in response, so combining different digital exposures and applying your own "tonemapper" could replicate the look of film. Modern sensors are getting much better at this, but just like their film counterparts, you need to know what you're doing in the processing (or ship it to someone who knows, based on your film, how to process it).

Now then, everyone who shoots film, feel free to mock and deride those people who shoot HDRs with their digicams. Aside from the "acid trip" images, we just want to get what you've already got.

05-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #20
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I am not trying to be argumentative, but what is there a difference in dynamic range between film and digital? I just don't understand why when I shot film I couldn't underexpose a shot and bring it back afterwards without terrible grain showing up.

On the other side, I can take a shot like this on my K5:



And bring up the shadows to get this:



What is the difference and why do I feel like the dynamic range on the K5 is more than it was when I shot film?
05-10-2012, 06:44 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
...
What is the difference and why do I feel like the dynamic range on the K5 is more than it was when I shot film?
But the question is how many stops of light are in that scene? I got one like that on film but the sun is not diffused behind clouds or on the edge of the horizon.
05-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #22
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With film the black on the bottom would have been visible in the first shot in darker shades rather like my barn shot and you wouldn't have had to boost everything till it was blueish white bleached to get the color in the bottom, a much smaller amount would have brought it out.
05-10-2012, 08:18 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I have also had good luck with it...
Me too, and XP2 isn't too bad either.

05-11-2012, 03:45 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
But the question is how many stops of light are in that scene? I got one like that on film but the sun is not diffused behind clouds or on the edge of the horizon.
I don't know. But I boosted the shadows about five stops in lightroom. I guess I'll leave it there. I probably just didn't know what I was doing when I shot film, but I never felt like the results I got were as workable as those from a K20 or K5. Sorry to poke my nose in here...
05-11-2012, 06:30 AM   #25
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To me the very best part of shooting film is the magic that occurs as the print appears in the developing tray. Maybe the reason I do not shoot that much colour film.
05-11-2012, 07:19 AM   #26
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The big difference is that shooting negative film is totally different that shooting positive film (like digital or slides). With normal negative film, you shoot towards over-exposure -- as long as you get good shadow exposure, you can pretty much blow out the highlights as much as you want and you'll find that you can always burn them in later. With negative film, underexposure is the big enemy. You can't recover shadows that you didn't expose in the first place, so your goal is to get what we called a nice dense negative -- more light let in leads to more "information" latent on the film that can be burned in. A dense negative will be visually dense, thick, dark, where an underexposed negative looks flimsy -- there is just nothing there but the film backing.

Shooting positive film (slides, or so-called reversal film) or digital is much harder because now you can't blow out the highlights or you lose them forever, but at the same time you still have to worry about underexposure to make sure you've got shadow detail. Digital is inherently more challenging than film I think. If you think about it, film makes more "digital computer sense" -- you let in light to capture information, and the more you let in, the more information you get that you can work with in processing. Seems like computers should work that way, but nope -- let in too much light and it "fills up" the capacity of the sensor and you are paradoxically left with no information. Maybe future sensors will record the light as a stream and you can decide later how much of that stream you want to use (so all information is gathered and saved).

Last edited by vonBaloney; 05-11-2012 at 11:44 AM.
05-11-2012, 08:17 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Maybe future sensors will record the light as a stream and you can decide later how much of that stream you want to use (so all information is gathered and saved).
I've been following this thread with interest but not contributing because I really never did any serious photography with film at all... But I've thought before that this is what I hope for in future too. If the electronics get fast enough to draw the data down from the sensor 1000 times per second (or even, at minimum, twice for each exposure) and a raw file can contain a rate of light accumulation for each photosite as well as the end value, then I guess it's essentially impossible to overexpose.
Sorry about the digital diversion in the analogue forum.
05-11-2012, 08:28 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Maybe the reason I do not shoot that much colour film.
I always felt the same way. then I tried Portra for the first time and the magic became seeing the most beautiful rendition of colour, that just doesn't exist in my world. when people are your subject, the world becomes a different place with Portra in your camera. I find myself constantly scouring flickr, looking at photos taken with portra. its like a beautiful dream. digital will never be able to replace portra, that I'm sure of. i don't care what kind of pp you may do.
05-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
I've been following this thread with interest but not contributing because I really never did any serious photography with film at all... But I've thought before that this is what I hope for in future too. If the electronics get fast enough to draw the data down from the sensor 1000 times per second (or even, at minimum, twice for each exposure) and a raw file can contain a rate of light accumulation for each photosite as well as the end value, then I guess it's essentially impossible to overexpose.
Yes, and it would also mean that you could start your exposure "early" and then take your actual captured image from mid-stream somewhere -- at some point video and still photography will merge, with stills not just being chosen frames from a video stream, but drilling down further to choose exposures from a stream of light. If that makes sense.

But yeah, shooting positive is simply tougher than shooting negative, and digital is much closer to shooting positive slide film than it is to shooting negative film. You've got to get it right at exposure time. So much easier to be able to exposure for the shadows instead of the highlights.
05-11-2012, 02:33 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I always felt the same way. then I tried Portra for the first time and the magic became seeing the most beautiful rendition of colour, that just doesn't exist in my world. when people are your subject, the world becomes a different place with Portra in your camera. I find myself constantly scouring flickr, looking at photos taken with portra. its like a beautiful dream. digital will never be able to replace portra, that I'm sure of. i don't care what kind of pp you may do.
When I do shoot colour film it is either left over from the pre-digital era, free or else Portra. My wife did a project where she needed 60 by 80 inch prints and shoot the set up with both a D3 (14-24) and a Fuji GX680 with Portra and the digital shoots were great but all the large prints were Portra. It just gave the right feel for that project. I often have one back with Portra and the other with Acros 100 but it is still about 80 to 90 percent black and white because the magic is not just the end result but the process, and especially the emergence of the image in Dektol. Or perhaps I am just a simple mind fascinated by simple things

I have heard podcasts of wedding photographers who had returned to film because they took way to long to try to get their images to look like Portra or the Fuji neg film that it was not financially feasible for them to continue with digital. Scanning is the downside for colour for me as I have no interest in colour printing in the darkroom.
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