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05-09-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
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Film is freaking AMAZING!

Sorry this isn't a new revelation to me and I'm really preaching to the choir here, but I just can't get over such simple things as the impossibly wide dynamic range of film, the pics are both crap, and are unedited, but both of them would have been blown out so bad the camera would have exploded in my hands if I had used my K20D. This is all K1000 SE using my A35-105 F3.5 with regular Kodak 200 color film. The pic of the father and son fishing was so bright I couldn't see to even focus correctly and I had no idea that cloud of bugs was even there (dammit bugs you're in my shot!), I was expecting the background to wash out the whole pic in white, but instead somehow the bounce lighting off of the darkest dingiest concrete retaining wall ever (the color on top of it is accurate) was enough to front light him and the solid wall of glare on the water turned to sparkles. The second pic was just the sun behind some trees but the K20D would have turned it into a close up of a zebra and not a whole hell of a lot else.
I suppose for not much over a decade in real development so far the DSLR world is doing pretty good but its still got a LOOOONG way to go.
(sorry for file size, forgot to resize)




05-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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I'm not denying the benefits of film, but a competent photographer could get these images with a modern DSLR.

I really like the 1st shot, you framed it nicely with the foliage.
05-09-2012, 10:06 PM   #3
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Ok found another one in my pile, this time a sunrise, same equipment, also unedited, every time I try this with the digital its either white sky or black foreground, never both at any exposure combo.
EDIT: funny pic this, it was supposed to be the most amazing violet blue rainbow in the clouds ever but it took so F'ing long to find a place to take the pic that the sun popped up literally 30 seconds before i snapped the pic, I was a tad pissed but it turned out ok.
05-10-2012, 02:53 AM - 1 Like   #4
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indeed, film is amazing

I got some shots ike this one, impossible to get with digital


MZ-5n, DA(L) 35/2.4 @f8, Fuji Superia 200.

05-10-2012, 03:35 AM   #5
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The funny thing is, the scanner for the film probably has less range than the sensor in the SLR... so there are a couple of alternate explanations, like in the audio LP/CD controversy: 1) we delude ourselves, straight digital is demonstrably better technically if the operator knows what they are doing. 2) the analog character of the film, the way it saturates and goes non-linear, is ideally suited to human perception, and these qualities once captured up front are difficult to squash by sub optimal digital conversion.

Me, I think both arguments have their merit...

(hey, here's another audio to photography parallel: despite analog's greater sympathy, when feeling lazy there's nothing like digital. No need to stop to flip the LP or reload film.)
05-10-2012, 04:40 AM - 1 Like   #6
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There is no denying the obviously quantifiable reach of most film . . .



Larger version -> http://www.fototime.com/3EDD4D13204247B/orig.jpg
05-10-2012, 04:47 AM   #7
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I hate to disagree, but I don't really see anything that a K20 (or kx or K5) wouldn't do. The biggest difference between digital and film is the rendering that certain films give, but as far as dynamic range, digital has surpassed it. It's just that with digital, you need to expose for the highlights (when shooting at low isos anyway) and with film you should expose more for the shadows.
05-10-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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I still prefer film myself; and have quite the complete darkroom.

I see only a very few advantages to digital, such as...

1. During portrait photography if one happens to blink; but that is still frequently able to be compensated for by more than one shot; I usually bracket with any camera - and that would usually cover it.

2. Being able to see the results immediately, but... I've had Hasselblad cameras that are able to do this (the polaroid backs) for years. Kodak even used to have a P&S with a visual screen on a film camera.

3. Not having as much need to have two film camera; and quickly switching settings on digital.


To conclude for now; digital makes it more convenient, but unfortunately doesn't make one a better photographer - generally. It does also get more people interested in photography - especially higher end levels of photography - as most people would not have purchased such an expensive system before digital.

One major drawback about digital; think about how much it costs to have an intermediate level system or perhaps even a true professional one now. Back a bit over ten years ago it used to be quite possible to get a professional level system for under 5k. Good luck on finding that now. Plus a true photographer has to master many mediums; such as knowledge of computers in general, etc...

05-10-2012, 06:34 AM   #9
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It's quite commonly agreed that film can give a 12-13 EV dynamic range easily @400 iso. today, according to DxO (and considering all the negatives things that can be said about this) the D800 (which got, for now, the best sensor on the market) got a DR :
@100 iso : 14.33
@200 iso : 13.65
@400 iso : 12.83
@800 iso : 12.02
@1600 iso : 11.12

as you can see, you have to buy very expensive camera to get close (but not equivalent) result.

And film is far more forgiving about miss-exposure than digital !
05-10-2012, 06:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
It's quite commonly agreed that film can give a 12-13 EV dynamic range easily @400 iso. today, according to DxO (and considering all the negatives things that can be said about this) the D800 (which got, for now, the best sensor on the market) got a DR :
@100 iso : 14.33
@200 iso : 13.65
@400 iso : 12.83
@800 iso : 12.02
@1600 iso : 11.12

as you can see, you have to buy very expensive camera to get close (but not equivalent) result.

And film is far more forgiving about miss-exposure than digital !
Those DXO DR numbers are known as Engineering DR and that's defined as from highlight saturation (255) to Signal-to-Noise Ratio of 1:1. Pragmatically, however, we never actually use SN 1:1 because data is indistinguishable from noise. So subtract 3 or so stops from those DXO DR values to get what you'll produce in your end results.

Last edited by tuco; 05-10-2012 at 07:18 AM.
05-10-2012, 07:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
...
but as far as dynamic range, digital has surpassed it. It's just that with digital, you need to expose for the highlights (when shooting at low isos anyway) and with film you should expose more for the shadows.
You must have only shot positive film to come to that conclusion. Develop your own film and employ compression techniques and you'll see that is not the case.
05-10-2012, 08:14 AM   #12
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Here's an example of my photo on a cheap Paradies 200 film, were the dynamic range really amazed me. I haven't ran any tests, but I really don't think digital sensor would have captured the shadow and sky detail simultainiously.

Construction | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
05-10-2012, 08:27 AM   #13
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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...
05-10-2012, 09:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
You must have only shot positive film to come to that conclusion. Develop your own film and employ compression techniques and you'll see that is not the case.
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.
05-10-2012, 09:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I hate to disagree, but I don't really see anything that a K20 (or kx or K5) wouldn't do. The biggest difference between digital and film is the rendering that certain films give, but as far as dynamic range, digital has surpassed it. It's just that with digital, you need to expose for the highlights (when shooting at low isos anyway) and with film you should expose more for the shadows.
That is because you are looking at a monitor rather than the film. Monitor quality is also something that should be taken into account whether looking at a digital image, scanned image etc. However, looking at a bona fide film image whether it is actually projecting a Kodachrome 64 slide or looking at a Portra color print is a different experience. I won't even drag the 67 into this.

Edit: Can the K-5 shoot at ISO 64? drool
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