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01-04-2016, 05:14 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
Fair enough. But if you think about it, shooting digitally would give better results, technically speaking. I seem to think it's the process that we manual film shooters like. The limitations inherent in old camera technology make us approach the craft in a completely different manner than a modern, digital camera. What do you think?
"Better" is a subjective term. I understand you mean it from a technical perspective, but film has a look that is difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate with digital. Even if you could, it would take far more time to achieve. To some folks, better has nothing to do with technical--it's all about the final result that they envision.

The "limitations" of film cameras is precisely what some of us want. Anyone can take a $500 camera and produce a very nice picture. But it takes real work to produce a beautiful work of art with some film cameras. What's more soul satisfying? Same is true of folks who climb Everest--would you want a helicopter drop you at the top or would you want to climb it and endure the struggle? People thrive on struggle because overcoming it empowers us.

Personally, I prefer shooting film cameras of all types because of the "feel," for lack of a better term. Shooting with an old, solid, all metal camera has a certain tactile nature that no digital camera will ever achieve. And the sounds those old camera makes are so sweet. And I should add that manual focus lenses (especially Takumars) have a wonderful feel, as well.

I shoot a variety of film cameras, all 35mm at the moment. I have some early 20th century medium format folding cameras I hope to start using this year. Some of my favorites are the Pentax MZ-S and Super Program, Nikon F100, Minolta SRT series, Rollei 35, Ricoh 500 (which is older than me and works beautifully), Petri Compact (half-frame), Yashica Electro 35.

I'm not at all against digital--it's a great tool for certain situations. The immediate feedback and ease of post processing are great, too. I have no intention of ever giving up my K-5 IIs. And I hope to get the upcoming K-1 at some point this year. Each camera is suited to a particular task. The joy is finding out what those tasks are.


Last edited by foto guy; 01-04-2016 at 05:22 AM.
01-04-2016, 05:26 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by foto guy Quote
People thrive on struggle because overcoming it empowers us.
Great point, but not everyone sees it that way. Ask many of today's youths and they'll tell you precisely where to shove your limitations!

But I certainly agree with you. Constraints and art go hand-in-hand. To quote the great Orson Welles, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."
01-04-2016, 05:37 AM   #18
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My current signature answers the question.

Aspirational photography is about the journey, whatever road you take.
01-04-2016, 06:20 AM - 2 Likes   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
In an age where photography has become so automated and convenient, why do you still choose to shoot fully manual vs AE, AF cameras? Is it nostalgia, an unwillingness to adapt to newer technologies, or perhaps something deeper than that?
QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
Fair enough. But if you think about it, shooting digitally would give better results, technically speaking. I seem to think it's the process that we manual film shooters like. The limitations inherent in old camera technology make us approach the craft in a completely different manner than a modern, digital camera. What do you think?
Because it is automated and technically speaking better . . .

Pic taken using my Moto X not-so-smart phone.



Same scene taken on Kodak Portra 800 with my Pentax LX aperture priority >15minutes



I see it as going back to the future . . .

01-04-2016, 06:39 AM - 1 Like   #20
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I suppose one could also ask, "Why would you surrender all control of exposure and focus to technology that is imperfect at best, and will still require a major time investment in post-processing to get the image the camera decided you want?"

That would probably be rude, though, so I won't ask.
01-04-2016, 06:46 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lenscap Quote
That would probably be rude, though, so I won't ask.
That's not rude at all, it's very true. Manual cameras allow for more 'human input', if you will. And that's not a bad thing, unless you're terrible at taking photos.
01-04-2016, 06:55 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
I also think having a limited number of shots per roll forced us to be accountable for each time we press that shutter button.
I don't shoot film any more but wish I did sometimes. I use to love hand colouring B&W with Kodak Dry Dyes ( Hough & Puff}
I use to envy the professionals that shot dozens & dozens of rolls and only hoped for 1 or 2 keepers per dozen. I felt obligated to get 1 keeper per roll on my budget.
Today its obscene how many shots before I get a Keeper and just digitally delete the rest ; no pile of rejected prints.
01-04-2016, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #23
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I still shoot (or rather returned to shooting) film because some of the cameras just feel better. Mind you, I also do the other kind of shooting, and although I could own self-loading rifles if I wanted to, my preference for a relaxed day at the range is for the bolt action. There's just that something about actuating the mechanism to prepare for every shot manually, and knowing you don't have an essentially unlimited number of shots before you must "reload".

That is how I shoot for fun, to relax. The bells and whistles come off, and it's back to a more basic style (even more basic would be to shoot black powder muzzle-loaders and wet-plate bellows cameras, but I'm not interested in going back quite that far).

All that being said, at the end of the day, if the Zombie Apocalypse ever happened I would prefer to have a reliable, powerful automatic rifle with plenty of full high-capacity magazines and a good telescope sight; and if I am taking pictures of something where I can't afford to miss a good shot, I will take my K-5, an empty SD card and full battery, an external flash and a superzoom lens (or ring flash and macro lens at work), and will happily let off a hundred shutter clicks to get that one perfect image and keep on checking the back LCD till I'm sure I've got it.

That is how I shoot when the results matter (though I hope the ballistic kind never comes to that - and for legal hunting, the bolt action will serve me quite adequately, thank you).

Occasionally I mix my styles - that's when the Takumars or the manual-focus K mount lenses go on the K-5.

I currently have the capability, should I wish it, to shoot macro up to quite impressive levels of magnification with a film camera BUT because the work I do is medical-in-confidence, I would have to either print the pics myself (I haven't even developed my first roll yet) or find a certified and authorised service that would do the work while maintaining the required level of confidentiality to keep my employers happy. It's nice to know, however, that the capability is there if I need it.

01-04-2016, 08:08 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I do appreciate the quiet serene feeling I get from taking a picture in quiet with no beeps, no lcd glow, no auto-focus motors whirring, just me and the camera. I appreciate the look film gives, and I like the feeling of capturing an image with the film taking color control away from me and giving me an interesting result depending on the type of film. I would rather do that than spending hours at my computer to replicate that look.
QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
Absolutely. I also think having a limited number of shots per roll forced us to be accountable for each time we press that shutter button. On the other hand, having terabytes of data at your disposal tends to promote a 'shotgun approach' to photography which doesn't necessarily require you to be in the moment.
Pretty well sums up my own opinion also. In addition, I see no digital equivalent to shooting slide film and projecting the result on a large screen in a darkened room especially from 120 Fuji in a P645.
Besides, slide film shooting seems like a purer experience when you do get the processing back since no additional darkroom or lightroom work is necessary prior to viewing and the image being looked at is actually the medium from the camera.

Last edited by From1980; 01-04-2016 at 08:15 AM. Reason: for addition
01-04-2016, 09:44 AM   #25
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Why do you still shoot manual film SLR?

I started with digital but film made me a better shooter. I also like different emulsions and have a love hate relationship with Lightroom.

My favorite pentax is my Super A because of size but I end up using a Minolta X-570 a lot as well.
01-04-2016, 09:57 AM   #26
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when I was in film school in the early 90s, I remember a rather particular answer to the question "why use film when there is video?" A: "because film is made of silver, and video is made of rust." I wish I could remember who said that. I suppose in the current discussion, that would be "sand..."

In the film days, when there were "auto-everything" cameras, I only shot manually. Nikon FM2n. I didn't want the camera making the decisions. I suppose that is analogous to the question you're presently asking. Now that I mostly shoot digital, I still try to replicate that experience, but I will admit to usually shooting Aperture Priority with AF (but not always). I still shoot film, but it is rare. Perhaps that film experience gets you back to basics, making the process less simple, but oddly simpler in the end. It's hard to put into words.
01-04-2016, 10:30 AM   #27
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With my Pentax film cameras I generally shoot in aperature priority unless I do not agree with the camera. I have a MZ5n and a MZ7. With my Hasselblad and large format cameras I shoot only in manual as there are no other choices. With the Holga and Diana cameras even manual would mean there is a choice

About the only camera I would like to add to my fleet is a MX and a 50M lens but for now the MZ series are what I use when I am shooting 135 film.
01-04-2016, 11:08 AM   #28
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I shoot a Pentax 6x7 still as well as two other medium format film cameras. With a decent scanner, the resulting images are still competitive next to my FF digital camera as much as the you can compare the two different mediums. I've had the P6x7 since new nearly 30 years ago. I still shoot it because I like BW film better than digital color converted to gray scale. I have the gear, it's paid for, I still have my developing stuff so why not still shoot it. I like the challenge of manual cameras and shooting without a light meter. It's all part of my photography hobby.
01-04-2016, 12:56 PM   #29
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I still shoot B&W film for two reasons:

1. No one has created a full frame camera that can use my Olympus OM WIDE ANGEL lenses with full meter coupling and auto diaphragm control. I have 16mm, 17mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm OM mount lenses. DItto for my Pentax 20mm, 28mm, & 35mm SMC Takumar M42 lenses.

2. I have yet to see a digital B&W print that matches a fiber-based B&W print made from a negative. Subjective? Perhaps. I've done side by side tests and the fiber based print wins every time.


I do not shoot color 35mm film anymore. I try to shoot color in 120 medium format and scan it. I use 645,6x6,6x7, and 6x9 medium format cameras.
01-04-2016, 02:41 PM - 1 Like   #30
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I shoot film with an MX. There are several reasons. A big one is that I like using the MX which precludes digital (I have a digital Canon as well). In a previous post someone mentioned that digital is technically better - I do not agree. Some aspects might be technically better but focus is not. Noise levels are worse with digital (non-existent with film). Given that I am producing art, film is technically more artistic.
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