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03-17-2019, 04:23 AM - 5 Likes   #1
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The Journey from 'Chimping'

Yesterday I decided to get out and stop fussing over the camera collection and go use at least one of them. Apart from a few shots in each one none of them have ever really seen any action at all. So despite the appalling weather and fear of damage ( which is a bit silly as they were bought to use) I decided to take the AE-1 off the shelf and put a role of HP5 in.

Laughably through the day I found that I had become so 'muscle memoried' from digital I kept messing up - and that was with the AE-1 in auto mode !! Forgot to focus on one shot (so used the cameras doing it !), forgot to pay any attention to the meter (yep - used to a digital in auto which would just get the shot by upping the ASA) and most idiotically of all spending time to make sure that yep I did the focus, yep I have looked at the meter and made any necessary adjustment, yep got myself in a good sturdy position (cos - digital has an anti-shake feature) and then slowly pressed the shutter only to find - yep I had forgotten to wind it on.

I guess 20 years of digital has left its mark but it made me realise that the journey to non-chimping film Nirvana is likely to be hard

Has anyone else more used to film from the 70s/80s/90s transitioned from digital to film and NOT had this sort of stuff happen ?

03-17-2019, 05:10 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astro-Baby Quote
Yesterday I decided to get out and stop fussing over the camera collection and go use at least one of them. Apart from a few shots in each one none of them have ever really seen any action at all. So despite the appalling weather and fear of damage ( which is a bit silly as they were bought to use) I decided to take the AE-1 off the shelf and put a role of HP5 in.

Laughably through the day I found that I had become so 'muscle memoried' from digital I kept messing up - and that was with the AE-1 in auto mode !! Forgot to focus on one shot (so used the cameras doing it !), forgot to pay any attention to the meter (yep - used to a digital in auto which would just get the shot by upping the ASA) and most idiotically of all spending time to make sure that yep I did the focus, yep I have looked at the meter and made any necessary adjustment, yep got myself in a good sturdy position (cos - digital has an anti-shake feature) and then slowly pressed the shutter only to find - yep I had forgotten to wind it on.

I guess 20 years of digital has left its mark but it made me realise that the journey to non-chimping film Nirvana is likely to be hard

Has anyone else more used to film from the 70s/80s/90s transitioned from digital to film and NOT had this sort of stuff happen ?
I recently pulled out my perfectly preserved Canon FTBn that I purchased new in 1975 (I was 14 from my chore $ savings) because I wanted my own SLR. It cost a whopping $290 US then and when I picked it up for the first time in years, I couldn't believe how heavy it was....solidly built like a present-day Leica (or flagship Pentax). To my chagrin the meter match system wasn't working so I was estimating the aperture. By and large since I manually focus a lot (the Leica RF's keep you in practice) I didn't forget to focus. However, film precision will. not match high resolution digital, similarly to the fact that analog TV cannot match 4k.
Yet the certain softness of the images was nostalgic...the purity of form, the patience in the photography itself (no instant review to re shoot). The mystery of development of the photos themselves. Yeah, it was pure fun and more cerebral to a great extent , but it was also simpler. TRI-X Pan pushed to 800 ASA and click until all 36 exposures were done. Focus, aperture match and click...awesome.
03-17-2019, 05:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astro-Baby Quote
Yesterday I decided to get out and stop fussing over the camera collection and go use at least one of them. Apart from a few shots in each one none of them have ever really seen any action at all. So despite the appalling weather and fear of damage ( which is a bit silly as they were bought to use) I decided to take the AE-1 off the shelf and put a role of HP5 in.

Laughably through the day I found that I had become so 'muscle memoried' from digital I kept messing up - and that was with the AE-1 in auto mode !! Forgot to focus on one shot (so used the cameras doing it !), forgot to pay any attention to the meter (yep - used to a digital in auto which would just get the shot by upping the ASA) and most idiotically of all spending time to make sure that yep I did the focus, yep I have looked at the meter and made any necessary adjustment, yep got myself in a good sturdy position (cos - digital has an anti-shake feature) and then slowly pressed the shutter only to find - yep I had forgotten to wind it on.

I guess 20 years of digital has left its mark but it made me realise that the journey to non-chimping film Nirvana is likely to be hard

Has anyone else more used to film from the 70s/80s/90s transitioned from digital to film and NOT had this sort of stuff happen ?
I recently pulled out my perfectly preserved Canon FTBn that I purchased new in 1975 (I was 14 from my chore $ savings) because I wanted my own SLR. It cost a whopping $290 US then and when I picked it up for the first time in years, I couldn't believe how heavy it was....solidly built like a present-day Leica (or flagship Pentax). To my chagrin the meter match system wasn't working so I was estimating the aperture. By and large since I manually focus a lot (the Leica RF's keep you in practice) I didn't forget to focus. However, film precision will. not match high resolution digital, similarly to the fact that analog TV cannot match 4k.
Yet the certain softness of the images was nostalgic...the purity of form, the patience in the photography itself (no instant review to re shoot). The mystery of development of the photos themselves. Yeah, it was pure fun and more cerebral to a great extent , but it was also simpler. TRI-X Pan pushed to 800 ASA and click until all 36 exposures were done. Focus, aperture match and click...awesome.
03-17-2019, 05:48 AM   #4
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I'll proudly admit that I 'Check that Histogram' when shooting film

03-17-2019, 06:49 AM   #5
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I guess I'm fortunate to have never warmed up to digital, and this convenience.

I'm perfectly happy to wait to see my results on a contact proof sheet.
Careful, nearly everything looks good when viewing the still wet negatives!

Not all shots are "must haves". If they are, take several and bracket if in doubt.
If you are disappointed in your results simply go back at a later date and try again...

Chris
03-17-2019, 07:00 AM   #6
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I go back and forth between film and digital and manage to ruin images on both sides pretty regularly.

I usually focus the SLRs, but I often forget on the rangefinders and zone focusers...

I shot all day yesterday with a half-frame, zone-focusing Canon, and Iíll be surprised if there arenít at least half a dozen catastrophic focus failures...

-Eric
03-17-2019, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I shoot both digital and film. I learned to use a manual film camera with stop down metering in high school, but my first own camera was a digital one.
I zone focus often with both types for candid photos because it's faster than any af, and I check my settings instead of chimping just because I can't shoot the same thing twice. But, I have taken quite a few photos on film forgetting that SR isn't there I like auto exposure even with film, just because it's faster and I got used to exposure compensation, but this week I'm using my rangefinder with a broken meter, so it's sunny 16 and manual focus with a tiny yellow patch.

edit: checked the meter again, turns out it was the old battery that was bad. I'll put this on the list of silly mistakes you can make when using an old camera

Last edited by aaacb; 03-17-2019 at 08:49 AM.
03-17-2019, 07:23 AM   #8
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I have been known to either forget to change the shutter speed or adjust the focus, but just on my Baldix 6x6; seem to manage on the Pentax MX (although once I forgot to wind on and wondered why nothing happened when I pressed the button).

Three things! That's all there is to check. And I maffed one of them. Sheesh! It's exacerbated on a 6x6 too as one bum shot is a twelfth of the entire film and you can't do anything about it. Other than to tell yourself not to do it again.

03-17-2019, 10:32 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Chimping

Despite the desire to over ride my brain. I still think in film terms. I first started using digital in my work in 2005 but since the work output was mostly documentary, I did not have to go into the various modes; everything was focus-meter.shoot in M mode. Now, most of what I do is personal, I find that I am leaning more and more dependent on the camera. I do flip back to film with my old M 42 Pentax gear and y Mamiya 330f. I havn't printed recently; I have been scanning my negatives (and positives) and printing electronically but I am thinking about getting the darkroom out of the boxes and doing it the old fashioned way.
03-17-2019, 10:20 PM - 1 Like   #10
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There's a video on youtube where a Canon pro takes Don McCullin around a city to test drive some Canon gear.

Don talks of his concerns about the digital gear and mentions the danger of looking at the screen after every shot and missing the shot.

Cue the city where both Don and the pro are taking shots in the city and something caught Don's eye.
"Did you get that?" Don shouts out.
"What?" The pro replies lifting his gaze from his screen .

Unintentionally funny, and I thought the only seperation between amateur and pro is the pro receives a salary.
However, there is a huge seperation between pro and great photographers.

I had a Canon eos 50e and a Centon DF300. Then an ME, MZ10, and a few more.
The ME still sees action, but only for something special limiting myself to 24 exposure film.
If I could afford it then I would shoot more film.

It's a joy miss: the patience, taking time over framing the shot.
And not knowing what percentage of keepers you have until it is developed.

Photography and the joy of film, cant beat it.
03-18-2019, 02:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astro-Baby Quote
Has anyone else more used to film from the 70s/80s/90s transitioned from digital to film and NOT had this sort of stuff happen ?
I've only begun to use digital in the last five years. 40 years of film camera habits means my method on the K20d is slow and deliberate. I always mean to capture the image first time and only sometimes have to bracket a little just as though I was shooting film. I seldom used a fully programmed auto mode for film and now hardly ever do so on digital either. That also means I seldom fully trust auto focus and if the subject is static I always manual focus.
03-18-2019, 05:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
I've only begun to use digital in the last five years. 40 years of film camera habits means my method on the K20d is slow and deliberate. I always mean to capture the image first time and only sometimes have to bracket a little just as though I was shooting film. I seldom used a fully programmed auto mode for film and now hardly ever do so on digital either. That also means I seldom fully trust auto focus and if the subject is static I always manual focus.
I often do the same.....I rarely 'chimp' on my Leica M9 because it has such a remedial LCD and there is no real way to see how good the image is regardless. On the Pentax recent offerings (K-1/K-3ii/KP), the resolution is good enough to 'chimp' the RAW photo, though I will often look only after I am done with the entire sequence. Many Shooters I see will check after every shot. if you do that then you may miss another photo op by not having the camera at the ready. In fact, I see it all the time.

Growing up with Film cameras we had three or four things to quickly check and that was it. You set your ASA for the film and usually shot the whole role at the same ASA. Focus, aperture to shutter speed and get ready to shoot...Oh yeah, don't forget to advance the role and check your exposure count.
03-18-2019, 06:20 AM   #13
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Reading this thread, you could come to the conclusion..."No chimping=no pictures."
03-18-2019, 07:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Reading this thread, you could come to the conclusion..."No chimping=no pictures."
I think I said the opposite...watching some people chimp every photo means that they are in all likelihood, missing other opportunities while gazing and/or admiring their handiwork...I will only look at any of the photos after I am satisfied with the sequence of pictures taken. I rarely miss the photo op, though I can''t say all of those are 'keepers'....
03-18-2019, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astro-Baby Quote
Has anyone else more used to film from the 70s/80s/90s transitioned from digital to film and NOT had this sort of stuff happen ?
Only minimally. I stopped shooting digital a year ago, and started shooting film. I had shot a film SLR (Nikkormat FTN) up to about 2001, then I shot digital point and shoot cameras and an occasional bridge camera up until about 3 years ago, when I got my first DSLR. That DSLR is now used to digitize the film I shoot. One thing that probably helped me it the transition, is I never picked up some of the bad habits of DSLR shooter--even with my K3ii, I still picked my shot carefully and took a single shot, rather than a hundred shots. I only ever used the central focus point on my K3ii, and I always did focus-and-recompose, so I never trusted the camera to pick the right place to focus, and was always looking to see that my subject was in focus. Where that screwed me up was when I got my first rangefinder--since everything is in focus, its easy to forget to check the rangefinder patch.
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