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04-09-2008, 07:20 PM   #1
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A Funny Thing Happened Yesterday...

Well, I started out Tuesday morning with the intent on getting to know my TLR camera. I never really had used it much (or anything MF for that matter and also slide film - which is another story), but I wanted to give it a try. Anyways, I had a blast. I sat down with each shot and adjusted and checked everything before taking the shot. I also had my K10d with me and would take a shot afterwards just for reference. I got to thinking after I left - I really, really enjoyed my morning and had a thought that film is finite and digital really isn't and that alone completely changed my perspective when approaching a shot. I got to talking to the owner of the local camera shop about my experience and he shared a similar view (I personally don't think he likes digital that much, but sells it to make a living). After I left, I got to thinking that shooting film makes me a better, more fulfilled/happier photographer. I felt so convicted about it that I sold my K10d in the marketplace here later that afternoon (I never really liked it anyways). But, am I the only one that feels like I do or do I just lack some discipline? -or- should I have just searched for some small capacity memory cards a la 64Mb/128Mb and kept my digital? -or- am I just crazy?

-Brian

04-09-2008, 07:52 PM   #2
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That would be a personal choice. There is nothing wrong with film. However, I must say, you could have approached your digital camera the same way as you did your film camera. I must confess, as I can't really see how the method of recording light should make a difference on how you would go about taking a photo. To each their own though. The end result should be your enjoyment of photography. If you believe you need to use film to better enjoy this then all the power to you. I know quite a few other people who do not enjoy digital at all. In that respect, you’re not alone.
04-09-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
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I somewhat see where your coming from so don't get me wrong....

I dunno if I'd say crazy, but selling your digital may have been a rash decision. Personally think they both serve purposes and feel the need to shoot both. You may find that you liked being able to shoot frequently and go shoot a wide variety/burn through ideas, without spending a ton of money on processing and printing. (or the time scanning it in and working on it in photoshop)
So unless I'm looking to print large or using a specific film for a specific reason I see no reason to not shoot digital. You can train yourself to slow down and shoot as if you had film in the camera...

Last edited by johnsey; 04-09-2008 at 09:39 PM.
04-10-2008, 04:52 AM   #4
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Well, I'm still not digital-less - I still have my K110d. Really, it's all I need. I think deep down getting rid of the K10d was a long time coming. I'm not going to get into the details why I didn't like the camera and start a whole new thread in this thread, but it just wasn't what I was looking for and I felt like I was compromising when I used it. I do like digital, but I've rediscovered film and my new approach to photography.

-Brian

04-10-2008, 06:52 AM   #5
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I share your experience with old film cameras - in addition to various 35mm SLRs and range finders, I use a Diacord TLR (my daughter's favorite) and some folding medium format cameras.

I see the progression of camera automation and convenience/reliability thus: with the most primitive equipment EVERY parameter is under your control, conversely you have to pay attention to EVERY parameter. You are truly operating the machinery, the relationship is you on the 'outside' of the camera.

But for every parameter there's a chance for a goof or a forgetting. Cocking the shutter? Getting the focus right? Setting both aperture and shutter speed just right? How often do you remeasure the light? What about did you advance the film (remember wrong and you get either a blank frame or a double exposure...)

For each of these the camera makers have produced automations and conveniences, that when first experienced free the photographer to concentrate on other aspects.

Take the focus aids - first guess or ground glass, then external non-coupled range finders, gradually the framing view is integrated with a coupled rf... your eye is drawn 'into' the photographing process... and with SLR (or to an extent, TLR) you are 'inside' the photograph. A greater precision and control is possible, but now the external controls recede from consciousness... so you get match needle metering etc... Finally auto exposure and auto multi segment computation, auto focus, auto 'frame advance', and so on. You're now 'inside' the camera!

Of course you can still remain outside, but now that takes effort. A simple example: even with film SLRs and MF lenses, I'd be aware of the DOF scale but in reality didn't use it much. But using a rangefinder with the DOF scale clearly and prominently engraved on the lens, using this info is much a natural part of the process.

Or another example: recently we went to a dog park and I taught my daughter how to pre focus a mf lens (Yashinon DX 35mm 2.8) on a film camera, depending on DOF and a sense of distance, to take photos of dogs as they came near to her. The idea was to capture dog expressions... With fast enough AF, this would be a simple point and shoot excercise. With the AF approach, we'd get more usable photos, but it wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable.

I appreciate the convenience and reliability (plus instant chimping) my K100D and point n shoots give me. But yes, something in the process is lost.
04-10-2008, 07:12 AM   #6
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I'm a film lover too, and will never give it up. I don't use nearly the amount of film that I used too, but do still use it. For most things, I choose digital. It's quicker for me to get it from capture to my blog (my main outlet for my photography), or to print. Digital work is 99% color for me.

When I'm in a black and white mood, or sometimes for portraits, I choose film. Images from film (I've been shooting MF & LF, no 35mm) feel more real to me. There is a quality that I get from prints I make from film that I can not acheive with digital. When I'm shooting film, I see differently. It's a slower, more methodical approach. It's probably the larger cameras, more than anything, that give me this, but it's different nonetheless. I like this difference and work with it to my advantage.

I will always use both.
04-10-2008, 08:54 AM   #7
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Other than selling off a perfectly good (digital) camera, I'm with you 100%. I enjoy using anachronistic equipment and the greater degree of hands-on personal involvement with settings and the slower pace that the cameras force me into. Sure, you could do the same thing with digital. But I just like going back and using the stuff that not only has no electronics but also quite often has no place to put a battery of any sort. That can range from one of my medium format coupled rangefinder folders (which were pretty darned top-of-the-line in their day) down to a toy 35mm that was actually sold in toy stores rather than camera shops.

If I'm going out with a photographic task in mind, I take digital. If I'm going out to enjoy the outing and just fart about taking pictures into the bargain, I haul along a couple of film cameras.
04-10-2008, 09:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
If I'm going out with a photographic task in mind, I take digital. If I'm going out to enjoy the outing and just fart about taking pictures into the bargain, I haul along a couple of film cameras.
Now that sums it up rather nicely! Not that you can't have fun with digital but for sure film is fun!

04-10-2008, 07:01 PM   #9
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Well, let me tell you guys - I got my slides back today and they are amazing! I bought a cheap light box and loupe(sp?) and got to looking at them and the detail is unreal. Looking through the loupe - I can count some stairs steps goin up a hillside that were at least 400 yards away (something I could never do at 100% in PS with a 10MP image) - even the farthest detail is sharp. Like said above - Film is fun!
04-11-2008, 02:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
Now that sums it up rather nicely! Not that you can't have fun with digital but for sure film is fun!
I've made arrangements via Flickr to hook up with a guy who has just arrived here in my city a week ago. (I put up a notice in a group specific to my area asking if anyone wants to go out and shoot a few). He is bringing along someone else.

From his profile, I notice that he will be bringing a Canon 30D. I have no idea what his friend will bring. I plan to take an old MF folder and my toy 35mm. I may also take my battered-all-to-hell 1951 Aires Reflex TLR as well. I will probably be playing shepherd and tour guide for the most part. I'll probably leave my SLRs and lenses at home. I hate toting around too much crap with me. At any rate, I expect whatever I take along will raise some eyebrows.
04-12-2008, 08:52 AM   #11
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I find that I have total control with film and I don't have a pesky computer in my camera trying to outguess me and my settings, which I find refreshing.

They are two different mediums and I like film better, but I use my digital camera more, go figure!

Tom
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