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09-09-2015, 06:37 AM - 1 Like   #46
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Those of us in the late film era (dominant format: 35mm SLR) grew up with certain assumptions and fears; often 'encouraged' by advertisers creating 'needs' for the market place. Things the manufacturers were all too happy to develop a solution for, sell it to you, and then solve the new problems the first solution caused... we became conditioned to ever increasing features and 'performance' at ever better prices. Once DSLRs got to low enough price points our conditioning ensured the upgrade churn kept working. Only thing, now the image itself was a significant up front cost - films also improved over time, and though shooting enough film added up cost wise, but the unit cost was not in the $1K range of the typical chase for better sensors.

The other thing about any currently dominant format is we become aware of any limitations and difficulties with the medium. Part of that is marketing as above, part is our own learning curve, and finally there is a combination of the Peter Principle (we upgrade till we are too incompetent to actually get the most out of the camera) and Murphy's Law (if anything can go wrong, it will) (These two principles I think actually are the major drivers in cultural evolution)... As may have been noted, film as a medium has more things that can go wrong, whether you do the developing or the lab does it. And in the film days, that was damn annoying, especially when the Peter Principle Corollary was in effect (Those who have risen to their level of incompetence invariably blame the equipment)

I read Modern and Popular all through the 70s and into the 80s. I still do, actually, read camera mags of that era. I can identify the biases and fears I picked up along the way... Biases and fears I've happily challenged once I discovered vintage cameras.

I learned there were larger film formats than 35mm. I learned not all lenses had to be 'tack sharp' under all conditions, nor did the equipment need to be adaptable to every conceivable environment and photographic task. I remember the over exposure fear I had to overcome (and still do) when I walked around meterless. I discovered that a focusing device is not always a good thing. I discovered that at ebay prices I am into 6 major interchangeable lens systems...

I learned to loosen up with the digital: the same vintage lens on the same bellows fits my Pentax or Nikon digital... I can guesstimate the exposure etc etc. But like with automated film cams, the anxieties come back: why not try to get exposures within 1/3 stop; why not autofocus on the closest eye; and so on. Matter of fact, having some amount of automation tends to make me a dumber photographer than if I had only the most rudimentary camera.

But: Film. Color negative and positive film I have to send out, which is a pain in the bee-hind. When CVS was on its last legs as a film developer, results were often 'interesting' - scratched, color cast, stained.... And developing and then scanning B&W also takes some momentum for me. These are obstacles that I'm sad to say have me luffing my sails, not getting out to shoot, not digital either.

The photography I enjoy the most is with very vintage equipment 1920's cameras; Graflex SLR and Graphic; TLRs and old style range finders.In the modern 35mm mode the film camera of choice is smaller and more tactile than a dSLR. And the wee near-entry-level Pentaxes are nicer than either the big Nikon D600 or the NEX.... In some ways the K100D with bellows is about ideal for me...



09-09-2015, 08:40 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
I keep returning to my local lab down the street, Moon Photo, one of two remaining in Seattle.
Yes it's important to keep your local processing lab going, they are like "bricks & mortar" camera stores. Yes they may be more expensive, but the personal touch is priceless!

Phil.
09-09-2015, 08:53 AM - 1 Like   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by kxjiru Quote
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.
This has become one of the most interesting and thought provoking discussion threads I have seen. It is very refreshing to see a much younger person also appreciating film and the analog process. Your observations that digital seems sterilized somewhat and that people want the image instantly are highly perceptive. I am certainly enjoying everyone`s input here and the more "experienced" posters reflect much of my own thinking. When my first slides were shot with a Pentax S1a and handheld selenium meter as a teen I marveled at being able to fit the range of tones in a scene to the narrow latitude film. I thought that modern technology was a great tool. Then using manual flash and discovering reflectors seemed almost cheating while focusing macro shots on Kodachrome 25. The processes were slow and intentionally deliberate giving much satisfaction during the shoot and with the results. I agree that today`s modern technology can tend to distance one from decision making and the camera processed image too easily lacks the original vision. And I`m an older gearhead so like Nesster I am into six different SLR systems.
09-09-2015, 10:25 AM - 1 Like   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
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.
I do differ here. Though in the distant past I spent a fair amount of time in the darkroom, I was certainly never proficient at it. Nonetheless even on film, as has been discussed many places elsewhere, the post-production process was a significant part of the equation for the majority of serious photographers, whether they were hands-on themselves or providing input to a skilled technician. The "out-of-the-box" processing that in-camera JPG provides is a pale, very pale (barely can we call it a) reflection of that analog counterpart and even the JPGs require, IMO more often than not, some amount of adjustment at the computer before printing/posting to properly realize the "vision" of the scene. If shooting RAW then the the flat, lifeless (but thoroughly ready for non-destructive adjustment) camera files *require* this post production effort in nearly every case.

And along these lines, I also post-process the majority of my film scans, though (and this is just one reason I have returned to film as my main medium) I invariably find that these scans require a tiny *fraction* of the post-processing that my digital JPGs would, and a much much smaller yet *fraction* of the time I would spend in post with a RAW file. For me this translates to more time behind a camera lens and less time behind a laptop screen to create the image that I originally "saw".

n short, I don't think there is a thing wrong with presenting an photograph that has seen inside of an image editor, quite the opposite in fact; I believe most images require at least a 'touch'. (and I certainly don't mean the heavy-handed, eye-tiring, bordering-on-graphic-design images that I see plastered about photo sites like 500px and ViewBug, etc.... that's another matter entirely).

---------- Post added 09-09-15 at 10:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I learned there were larger film formats than 35mm. I learned not all lenses had to be 'tack sharp' under all conditions, nor did the equipment need to be adaptable to every conceivable environment and photographic task. I remember the over exposure fear I had to overcome (and still do) when I walked around meterless. I discovered that a focusing device is not always a good thing. I discovered that at ebay prices I am into 6 major interchangeable lens systems...

I learned to loosen up with the digital: the same vintage lens on the same bellows fits my Pentax or Nikon digital... I can guesstimate the exposure etc etc. But like with automated film cams, the anxieties come back: why not try to get exposures within 1/3 stop; why not autofocus on the closest eye; and so on. Matter of fact, having some amount of automation tends to make me a dumber photographer than if I had only the most rudimentary camera.
Hear hear!

---------- Post added 09-09-15 at 10:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
But: Film. Color negative and positive film I have to send out, which is a pain in the bee-hind. When CVS was on its last legs as a film developer, results were often 'interesting' - scratched, color cast, stained.... And developing and then scanning B&W also takes some momentum for me. These are obstacles that I'm sad to say have me luffing my sails, not getting out to shoot, not digital either.

Scanning is definitely the part of the film workflow I enjoy least, but doing it myself keeps the cost down to the point that I can afford to keep shooting film the way in which I would like, and I am definitely getting more proficient at it. There are certainly times though that I loose the wind as well to that process.

09-09-2015, 05:32 PM - 1 Like   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by mohb Quote
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.
True, there's not that much difference in film vs digital if you're using both in manual mode with the ISO set to a static figure.


In saying that I personally find the film controls more intuitive, this one for speed, this one for aperture.
Where on my DSLR the one thumbwheel does both aperture and shutter, so I need to find the button that I need to hold to swap between the two.

That and I just prefer how the film ones feel. Which is a 100% subjective thing
09-09-2015, 05:51 PM - 1 Like   #51
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A lot of us that shoot film learned that first. When the first digital cameras came out they were expensive and the results weren't great. Then, by the time they got to be worth buying, you'd find yourself as a great photog with decades of experience getting schooled about menus and computer editing by some chump kid that didn't know what an f stop was. There's only so much of that a guy can take. My grandad never learned to program a vcr. I'll probably never learn to do anything more than point and shoot with a digital camera. But, I shoot film, I develop my own and I enjoy doing it. That's good enough for me.
09-09-2015, 06:27 PM - 2 Likes   #52
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Look - there's nothing inherently wrong with the digital process so long as you go into knowing what all it entails and what you need to do differently to coax a good image onto the printer.

It's sort of like the difference between building a cabin in the woods with sawhorses and a good crosscut saw and with a good circular saw. You can get the job done with either one. But if you spent a lifetime perfecting your stroke with the crosscut saw, sharpen the teeth yourself and come to enjoy the cadence of the song, you just enjoy doing it the old way more than the newer, noisier, faster way.

And you don't need that long, long extension cord.
09-10-2015, 11:23 AM - 1 Like   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by hks_kansei Quote
True, there's not that much difference in film vs digital if you're using both in manual mode with the ISO set to a static figure.


In saying that I personally find the film controls more intuitive, this one for speed, this one for aperture.
Where on my DSLR the one thumbwheel does both aperture and shutter, so I need to find the button that I need to hold to swap between the two.

That and I just prefer how the film ones feel. Which is a 100% subjective thing
That's why I love the Leica M9 - a digital body for all the old manual Leica lenses (and the new, which are also manual). The body feels almost like a film M, shutter speed dial is the same place, lenses with aperture ring and wonderful manual focus. I can switch between it and me (film) M6, and everything works just the same; even the viewfinder meter readout in manual exposure mode.

For my Pentax-M lenses I'd still love a digital LX that works just the same. The Sony A7 is very close to using an LX in auto exposure mode, so it is now my favorite digital SLR equivalent.

09-10-2015, 05:20 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
For my Pentax-M lenses I'd still love a digital LX that works just the same.
Oh dear Lord, yes please. With the same look at dial placement etc. I adore that camera.
09-10-2015, 07:05 PM - 1 Like   #55
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I would jump at the chance for a DLX and sell most of what I have to get it. Just got the feeling, though, that the coming FF is going to look and feel a little different. How about a digital back for our old LX beauties then?
09-12-2015, 05:43 PM - 1 Like   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Just a little op-ed posting here... Probably a year or more ago I posted a little blurb here about much more comfy it is here, tucked away in the Film SLR Discussion threads. Of course I pop over into the other forums as well but I frequently find them quickly tiring. Many here (and elsewhere - it's become a silly sort of "debate" of sorts, e.g. the pro-film or pro-digital which is not what I'm necessarily commenting on here) have voiced a love of film for reasons that have been covered --- 'i like the look', 'it slows me down', 'the process is more organic' and so forth --- and the reciprocal of those for me has been simply opting out of the 'megapixel' race. But it's more than just pixel-flexing on the digital side. Browsing the other forums today something dawned on me, a more concise version of why I love film photography and film cameras - it's a bit simplistic and there are certainly points of contention but nonetheless...

It isn't just a 'zen' thing, it's also of a 'pride' thing. As I look through the hundreds of posts in all the other sections they are all about the best in-camera meters, how fast the AF is, how many focus points, which modes to use for what and when, program mode this and auto-bracketing-so-I-can-auto-blend-exposures-in-post that. It just reiterates the fact that digital cameras more and more become image-capturing computers with advanced algorithms dedicated to all of scenic possibilities a 'photographer' may encounter and those that are considered best are the ones which perform all of these functions the fastest and with the most consistency. In short, it seems that everyone is looking for the camera that, year after year, can take a photograph FOR them. There are countless cameras about now that can take 'accurate' photographs with little or no input from person behind the viewfinder (or LCD)... I find it strange.

I find myself tired and confused by this because I want to take the photograph. Me, using the camera as a tool, not the camera using me as a tripod. I want to choose the emulsion for the look and the available light, meter a scene (either with a meter or with my eye) and select the exposure, make a depth-of-field choice and focus quickly and accurately *myself*. As time goes on all these years that have passed and all that will pass, I want to become a better, simpler, more efficient and proficient photographer. Film photography largely demands this of me. Digital photography largely does not. It requires that I master an entirely different set of mostly-automated tools during a shoot and in post. It asked that I become an "image programmer". But, I just want to be a better photographer. And so here I am.

Hmmmm....
chickentender: "Me, using the camera as a tool, not the camera using me as a tripod."

I think this nicely and succinctly sums up one of the major reasons why I'm shooting film.

I learned on film, and I love the feel of my film K1000 and its manual lenses, they feel solid in a way that newer pieces of equipment usually do not. There is an aesthetic enjoyment in using that equipment. But even if I were using a digital camera, I would still want my decisions guiding that image creation as much as possible, unless I were working for someone else (which I'm not and never have with photography). The only time I've used the 'auto' features on a digital camera were when I was shooting purely for a practical purpose - documenting something, or shooting something for someone else. When I'm shooting for myself, I want my abilities to determine what comes out - good, bad, or indifferent.

Someday I hope to have the time and money and energy for a darkroom at home again, because I still really, really miss the magic of watching images emerge on the paper - because nothing else is really the same, doing the whole process with nothing but 'dumb' equipment, materials, and skill and seeing what you can produce.
09-12-2015, 06:13 PM - 2 Likes   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
I would jump at the chance for a DLX and sell most of what I have to get it. Just got the feeling, though, that the coming FF is going to look and feel a little different. How about a digital back for our old LX beauties then?
I have this recurring fantasy that the new FF has interchangeable viewfinders - Classic manual focus OVF taking advantage of the rumored variable-transparency mirror at 0% transparency (that 67 prism hump on the mock-up); standard autofocus OVF using the rumored mirror in a semi-transparent state; EVF using mirror-up with a MUCH enhanced LiveView transmitted to the OLED EVF. Astonishingly good metering. Interchangeable focusing screens for fast, normal and long lenses. Interchangeable grips (I know, how do you deal with the battery). Buttons for detachavle strap lugs (that wouldn't be too hard would it?); throwback blocky body; full-suite of system accessories.

I know it's a stupid fantasy, but that's the dLX as I imagine.
09-13-2015, 05:21 AM   #58
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I don't get it. With digital, l have control over every aspect of the process. So images look like l want them to look. Unless you were developing your own film, you were trusting parts of the process to the vision and talents of other people. Why would l want to do that? To me, photography doesn't end when l press the shutter release.
09-13-2015, 06:28 PM - 2 Likes   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by wdsbhb Quote
So images look like l want them to look.
It is the journey, not the destination.
09-13-2015, 06:51 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by wdsbhb Quote
So images look like l want them to look.
I'd rather mine look like I remember them.

Chris
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