Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-08-2015, 04:09 PM   #31
Pentaxian
c.a.m's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1,066
This thread resonates with me, but perhaps for a different reason than introduced by the OP. At one time, I owned an Olympus OM-10 and a couple of lenses (50mm, 135), and used my modest gear to the best of my modest abilities. It was not a top-end camera, but it was fairly easy to use, and served my purpose. I've used Pentax DSLRs since only several years ago (K-7, K-5, K-5 II). Although I have several modern AF lenses, I also often use older Pentax and Takumar MF lenses.

IMO, the issue extends beyond the simplicity or complexity of the camera per se. While it takes some effort to become familiar and adept with a modern digital SLR, what I find more distracting and tedious is the 'overhead' necessary with running the gear and - especially - maintaining digital libraries/archives and post processing.

Consider the essence of making a photo with a traditional SLR or any analogue camera: select your film; mount the chosen lens; set the exposure for each shot; compose; take your pictures; etc. Develop and print your own photos (which entails another level of dedication) or have them developed commercially.

In the digital world, the lenses, exposures, and composing can be similarly simple and straightforward, and we can decide to just ignore many of the features on our camera. However, there are all sorts of other complications to distract the photographer from the pure essence and joy of photography. For example:

- focus calibration
- batteries (oh yes, must remember to charge them again)
- digital storage space (dang, my hard drive is almost full, need to buy another external drive)
- computer (with its own set of problems)
- firmware updates (will it 'brick' the camera?)
- user manual woes (now where in the manual do I find info on this question...)
- post processing (software choices, market research, complicated/bloated software)
- etc.

I don't necessarily think it's a film-vs-digital problem. It's just that the digital world brings the consequential overhead, and a distraction from the basic joy of photography.

- Craig


Last edited by c.a.m; 09-08-2015 at 05:45 PM.
09-08-2015, 04:13 PM   #32
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 102
As a child of the digital age (under 23) I started out just wanting to take the picture. I dropped into film by chance because I bought camera lots for pentax lenses and the process captured me. Film to me is great because each shot will be different because yet not perfect, whereas digital to me seems sterilized to a point. I am a gearhead, so the tactile feedback appeals to me and the process of developing your own film is great. It's hard to convert my friends because they want the image now but when they see the results the tune changes.
09-08-2015, 04:21 PM   #33
Veteran Member
hks_kansei's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 795
QuoteOriginally posted by mohb Quote
It's not as if film cameras weren't automated or does that not count?
I think what is insinuated is that when people talk film cameras they tend to mainly mean early ones that were mainly manual, or half manual like aperture priority etc.

Another way to look at it is that with film cameras you have a choice, you can go out an purchase one (talking SLRs here) that's completely manual and mechanical, or one that's fully automated and does everything for you.

With a Digital SLR, you can purchase the fully automated one, but I don't think there are any available that are manual AND have physical controls.



I shoot both, but prefer film.
Digital is certainly better if you want the end result, the photo. It's faster, more flexible, and you can machine gun 100 shots if you really want or need to.

Film just can't compete there, but I just find that my shots on film always tend to be better than my shots on digital. Purely because with film cameras I can focus purely on the photograph, and not the camera. (yes I can set the digital to manual, but it's not as instinctive to me to have to twiddle a thumbwheel for aperture, then hold a button and twiddle it again for shutter)


Another part is that when I show people one of the rare good images I take, the digital ones often get the "wow, that's great, what kind of camera did you use?" Where the film ones tend to just get the "wow, that's great"
09-08-2015, 05:36 PM - 1 Like   #34
Pentaxian
ChrisPlatt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queens NYC
Posts: 4,865
It's been a very long time since I was required to meet a deadline, delivering images to please someone else.
Any photography I do now is strictly for me, and my pleasure. I've tried several times, and digital is just no fun.

I guess for me it's all about the journey. In my photography the process is more important than the result...

Chris

09-08-2015, 05:57 PM - 2 Likes   #35
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirkwood (St. Louis) MO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,450
QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I don't necessarily think it's a film-vs-digital problem. It's just that the digital world brings the consequential overhead, and a distraction from the basic joy of photography.
In the analog world the product was created by a group of skillful people - those who manufactured the film, those who exposed the film and those who processed the film and printed the image.

As in nearly everything else digital, what we have really done is cast aside all the other people in the process (because people are expensive) and substituted algorithms and silicon - because they are cheap. But algorithms have no soul. They lack insight, intuition, creativity, judgement, experience - in short, they have no wisdom. If permitted to, a digital camera with an autofcous lens will suck the soul out of the user

The overhead to which c.a.m. refers is the work formerly done by others which we, the hardware consumers, were falsely promised would be 'free' when we converted to digital. The falsehood - the lie of digital - is, they never told us the value of our time. All the pre-processing and post-processing time was invisible to us - we learned a mechanical camera once and probably kept it for years rather than upgrading to a new set of menus and controls every 18-36 months. We dropped our rolls of film off at a lab - whether a professional, artistic lab tech or 1-Hour Insty Print - and waited, of course, but our images were presented in a yellow box or envelope without our needing to lift a finger.

Especially in the case of the advanced print lab, how much skill was simply discarded like old lens tissue between 2005 and 2015? And how much time is wasted by the combined learning curve of EVERY USER OF post-processing software, and then more time wasted processing digital images.

I have thousands of RAW files in folders I've never even opened becasue I hate PP so much (especially Lightroom). And I'm convnced if I account for my time, computer and software, digital is more expensive than film.
09-08-2015, 07:23 PM   #36
Veteran Member
hks_kansei's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 795
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Especially in the case of the advanced print lab, how much skill was simply discarded like old lens tissue between 2005 and 2015?

I've seen this first hand.

There was a lab I used to go to, it was fairly new but one of the girls who owned it had worked in labs for years, the other was an avid film photographer who was her business partner.
Their work was good, their service brilliant, and their knowledge great. It was always a pleasure to drop in with a few rolls and have a chat.

Unfortunately business was a bit too slow and eventually the one with the lab experience left, the remaining lady stayed running the shop but unfortunately I dont think was able to keep up on her own so she closed the doors.

I have no idea what either of them are doing these days, but I'm pretty sure it's not photography related
09-08-2015, 07:23 PM   #37
Pentaxian
chickentender's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,993
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
In the analog world the product was created by a group of skillful people - those who manufactured the film, those who exposed the film and those who processed the film and printed the image.

As in nearly everything else digital, what we have really done is cast aside all the other people in the process (because people are expensive) and substituted algorithms and silicon - because they are cheap. But algorithms have no soul. They lack insight, intuition, creativity, judgement, experience - in short, they have no wisdom. If permitted to, a digital camera with an autofcous lens will suck the soul out of the user

The overhead to which c.a.m. refers is the work formerly done by others which we, the hardware consumers, were falsely promised would be 'free' when we converted to digital. The falsehood - the lie of digital - is, they never told us the value of our time. All the pre-processing and post-processing time was invisible to us - we learned a mechanical camera once and probably kept it for years rather than upgrading to a new set of menus and controls every 18-36 months. We dropped our rolls of film off at a lab - whether a professional, artistic lab tech or 1-Hour Insty Print - and waited, of course, but our images were presented in a yellow box or envelope without our needing to lift a finger.

Especially in the case of the advanced print lab, how much skill was simply discarded like old lens tissue between 2005 and 2015? And how much time is wasted by the combined learning curve of EVERY USER OF post-processing software, and then more time wasted processing digital images.

I have thousands of RAW files in folders I've never even opened becasue I hate PP so much (especially Lightroom). And I'm convnced if I account for my time, computer and software, digital is more expensive than film.
This.

And many of the other thoughts posted above from C.A.M., ChrisPlatt and kansei echo my own as well.

In terms of process, I also return to the not just 'zen' but also 'pride'. It's been mentioned that 'can't you do all these things with a digital camera as well?' and certainly you can if you choose to in many cases but then there's all the other overhead Monochrome mentions and to put in even plainer terms I liken it to this: say that the end photo that you love and others may admire is the peak of a mountain... with a breathtaking view.

The first mountain's peak has a steep series of trails with a number of routes to the top, some more difficult than other but all of them challenging. There many maps and stories about which routes offer what to your ascent.
The second mountains peak has a couple well tended trail routes to to the top with a few rope ladders and, some a bit more difficult than others. To the top of the second peak there is also a gondola.

If I tell someone I scaled the first peak and took in the view their reply might be "wow. i've never been up there." or "congrats. nice hike isn't it?"
If I tell someone I scaled up the second peak and took in the view, the person that's up there next to me might say "wow! weird. why didn't you take the gondola?"

(here ends my ridiculous allegory)
09-08-2015, 07:35 PM - 1 Like   #38
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,796
I regularly cross the bridge between digital and film, I still have clients that I do commercial work for request that I use film for certain projects. When using film in the studio you can light your subjects with harder light sources than you would dare to use with digital. I suppose it is the inherently diffuse nature of film, that fact that light rays striking it at a oblique angles doesn't bother it and the multi layered structure allows for a more rounded rendering of a subject, and the exposure S curve - which digital tries to emulate, and fails at miserably. There is one Professional lab still working here in Adelaide, they handle film as well as digital. For B&W I develop my own film, for C-41 the lab handles it...It has been YEARS since the last time I shot on E6 film commercially.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
how much skill was simply discarded like old lens tissue between 2005 and 2015?
I would say a lot, there are a number of skills and techniques that have already been lost.

Operationally there is little difference between my DSLRs and film cameras. Sure there are a few extra steps that need to be taken when setting up an 8X10 camera, or a Multishot digital back. I use my cameras in manual 95% of the time, I never bothered with any of the scene modes ( what do you take me for?) The only other mode I really bother with is TaV* mode for wildlife.

*And its equivalent on other camera systems, though I like Pentax and their TaV mode, I don't have to flip through menus to change ISO to Auto in manual mode, only to switch it off later.


Last edited by Digitalis; 09-16-2015 at 10:58 PM.
09-08-2015, 07:58 PM   #39
Pentaxian
chickentender's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,993
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote

I would say a lot, there are a number of skills and techniques that have already been lost.
This is why (with the exception of a few batches in the past couple years) I keep returning to my local lab down the street, Moon Photo, one of two remaining in Seattle. Bob is great though they don't do any E6 any longer among a few other things he used to do (he sends it to the other lab in town as a matter of fact) he still does quite a bit in-house and is a pleasure to work with, and he's been doing it since the year of my birth in '74. A number of the mailorder labs are cheaper, and I would not have to pay the local sales tax I do with my local lab, but I keep forbidding myself to send it elsewhere until I'm forced to, and I hope that day doesn't come. He raised his prices across the board this year as well and I support it.

I recently returned to E6 just a bit before getting into the medium format for first time early this year, and now I can't stop. I've never seen anything more lovely than a well exposed 6x6 or 6x7 Provia slide. Just a thing of beauty, and scanning them is cake compared to anything else.
09-08-2015, 08:05 PM - 1 Like   #40
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2014
Location: Pugetopolis, WA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 280
QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
But that is perhaps self-contradictory (as I happened to read it - YMMV).

"At the end of the day it's the product, not the process." conflicts with "The process is for the artist, not the viewer.", UNLESS one denies that the photographer could have his/her own process-related satisfaction as the prime purpose for what he/she is doing. Doesn't the photographer have the intellectual right to enjoy the process, even if the end result is merely secondary to him/her

Even a "gear-head", perhaps interested more in the tools of the process than in pleasing a viewer of his interest, has a right to say, "At the end of the day it's the process, not the product.".

Just my 2 cents worth...
There was something that you saw that made you press the shutter release and capture the image, if you saw it, and interested you then, you wanted to preserve that moment, and potentially share it.
When you share, you are communicating, The receiver (except for this crowd) does not care how or what it took to get that image. In someways the "secrets" of our craft are part of the process.

Anyone can push a button and record an image these days, the ability is in too many devices that are not cameras. But to make a photograph that stands by it self and needs no context or caption, that takes skill, artistry and some practice.

Those secrets and mysteries of f/stop, shutter speed & ISO (ASA or DIN?) are learned and applied by those of us that have taken the time to practice the craft.
Most of us tend to be technically inclined and tend to crawl ever deeper into our caves of arcane technique, equipment and lingo.

We get into these silly debates about film or digital, full frame or APSc, Nikon or Pentax, etc. , ad nauseum. What it really boils down to is the ability to make an image that speaks to others.

I'm guilty of all of everything I've pointed out above, I can talk technique and equipment until I'm blue in the face, but it does not mean anything unless my images make an impression on someone else. I need to remind myself of that often.

I do get satisfaction and enjoy the photographic process, It is a kind of therapy for me now (used to be daily work) but I find it's far more satisfying to get reactions from viewers of the final work. Most of us on this forum are amateurs, doing this for a hobby, It is something done not because we have to, but because we want to. If many are like me, they don't display much of their work to other non-photographers. I know I need to change that in my own work and process.

my 2₵
09-08-2015, 11:16 PM   #41
Pentaxian
chickentender's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,993
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote
When you share, you are communicating, The receiver (except for this crowd) does not care how or what it took to get that image. In someways the "secrets" of our craft are part of the process.
Everything you wrote above is well put and I agree, with some reservations about this bit, and leads me back around. I have had many, many people how I created a given image and in the past year many of them have been with much older cameras. What is interesting to me is the conversation that results in more interesting lately, and it's two fold. Last night for instance I had the old folder camera with me that I've been using daily for the past several weeks and someone asked about an image I'd posted. I told them it was taken with camera I had sitting on the table and they reacted with "you made that with *that*?" and they were immediately interested, along with two others at the table. It's a tangible thing with these cameras and explaining how they work sparks interest in the process and the result... That same scenario would not have been possible with "one of those fancy DSLR cameras" as the focal point of the conversation, at least not in most cases. I know this because of the number of times I've tried to explain anything DSLR related to someone... or more to the point - am I the only one that has met with utter befuzzlement when explaining ISO in terms film speed to sensitivity of a digital sensor?

It's true, to an extent it does not matter, and I have certainly sold plenty of prints to folks that never asked a single question or cared beyond the fact that they loved the image, but again... That's not really what I'm talking about. Sure it's a huge part of the equation that works out to why we all do this, but if I could *only* get those images to folks using digital means at this point, I'd bow out. So it is important, the process - it's the largest part of the "how" and "why" to the "what".
09-09-2015, 03:05 AM   #42
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,466
QuoteOriginally posted by hks_kansei Quote
Purely because with film cameras I can focus purely on the photograph, and not the camera.
This seems to be a motif that runs through all 'I prefer film' threads with the implication that digital cameras are somehow difficult or complicated to use. Surely this is only true if you want to do something that isn't possible on a purely manual film camera, it's not as though turning a wheel is any different from turning an aperture ring or shutter dial.
Romanticizing the film era is all well and good but there is no need to distort the digital era.
09-09-2015, 03:42 AM   #43
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,806
QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
While it takes some effort to become familiar and adept with a modern digital SLR, what I find more distracting and tedious is the 'overhead' necessary with running the gear and - especially - maintaining digital libraries/archives and post processing.
You perhaps, but having a personal computer anyway, I don't find there's any significant additional overhead. The cost of buying backup drives is, in the long term, trifling compared to the cost of having film developed and pictures printed, and the physical volume required for storage is far less per image. That film has better very-long-term storage potential is something I don't doubt.

With the exception of working out how to use pre-KA-mount lenses, I don't think I've ever needed the instruction books that came with my Pentax DSLRs; if one wished simply to take pictures, using them was instinctive.
09-09-2015, 03:53 AM   #44
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirkwood (St. Louis) MO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,450
QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
You perhaps, but having a personal computer anyway, I don't find there's any significant additional overhead.
The overhead to which he refers isn't monetary, it's time. Learning post processing software and post-processing image files.

The entire 'computer is there anyway so it's free' is a ruse - the digital industry destroyed the analog industry with this idea. It isn't really true. We're constantly upgrading collateral hardware to process the files our upgraded cameras produce. We're constantly upgrading software for a fee - or just subscribing to usage rights. Digital shifted the capital costs burden onto users, who believed they could be independent of core capitalists. What do you suppose is the sum of money the entire universe of people have spent on computers since 1986?*

My K10D is, I would say, fully amortized. One of the reasons I didn't upgrade until the K-3 was the upgrades of peripheral hardware and software my K-3 required.


* Same thing with smartphones, BTW.
09-09-2015, 05:08 AM   #45
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,806
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The overhead to which he refers isn't monetary, it's time. Learning post processing software and post-processing image files.
Back in the film days, I shot almost exclusively colour and it went through the C41 process at the local lab. No deliberate tweaking or adjustment on my part was available, and it showed up any flaws in my technique very clearly.

I apply the same philosophy to my digital photography. I shoot jpegs straight out of my camera on factory default settings, and if I don't get a good shot then the problem is mine. I will rarely crop (particularly with macro shots, or to eliminate extraneous pixels for limited-storage online shots).

Once or twice I've played around with brightness and contrast in the Windows software that came with my laptop, but that's purely for my own amusement and I would never publicly present any photograph that I had altered with it unless I specified exactly what had been done. And that would constitute an admission of my failure as a photographer to take a decent image in the first place.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
amount, camera, cameras, equipment, features, film, film cameras, forums, image, images, k1000, lens, look, love, matter, meter, mode, pentax, photograph, photographer, photography, pinhole, post, results, scans, structure, time, user, users
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My K-5 is "clunking", but it's not turned on. Link to video inside. Nomadic Zen Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 06-11-2015 07:37 AM
"Let's Just Say It" jsherman999 General Talk 26 06-05-2012 01:09 PM
Help - Spots "They" Say it's not on the Sensor daacon Pentax DSLR Discussion 36 09-17-2009 08:32 PM
"It's not the camera"... except when it is shuttervox General Talk 45 02-24-2009 04:40 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:21 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top