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06-15-2009, 09:21 AM   #16
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I'd say that if shooting film is what makes you feel happy, then stick with it. I only use a DSLR as a wildlife shooter (since it thinks for me, lol), but when I want something shot that is special, I use film.

06-15-2009, 09:24 AM   #17
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I started with film but would never have gotten into photography in a big way were it not for mature digital technology. Film costs too much to develop where I am, plus I have an aversion to the whole idea of toxic chemicals. Finding a lab that will do things right means a massive ongoing expense. I'd rather buy another lens than a scanner. All the issues I remember from the eighties, when I developed my own B&W have simply disappeared. No more scratches; no more dust. Sensor cleaning is many times simpler and less intrusive.

Creatively, digital has put me in touch with photography in a way film never did. Every aspect of the image is under my control before and after taking the shot. The ability to check settings and results instantly is brilliant. I think it's perverse some see this as a crutch. Especially as those same people will credit great photographers with having to react quickly to changing circumstances.

Quite often I use a manual lens in M mode. If I have auto-aperture I choose aperture priority. I'd say that accounts for 99% of my shooting, but sometimes it's nice to have sensitivity priority and other innovations. I also use multiple exposure, bracketing etc. when required. I think in terms of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, just like I always did. The technical practice of photography has not disappeared with digital. If anything, one needs to know more to get the most out of it. On the other hand, it's a lot easier to get by with knowing less. What is so cool is that the self-same tool, a digital SLR, can be used by people on both ends of the technical spectrum.

If I needed massive detail and someone was footing the bill I'd use large format film. If I needed extreme depth of field and was shooting static subjects I'd want a proper bellows tilt/shift setup. If I wanted to play around with photograms I'd need film. Those are three things I cannot do with APS-C digital.

(EDIT: Two out of three of these could be accomplished with a digital Hasselblad. So maybe film is only special for photograms?)

There are indeed certain looks you can get easily with certain 35mm films. If you want one of those out-of-the-box aesthetics then by all means do it the easy way... with film. I enjoy seeing the photos in the film thread here on the forum, but I have never seen anything that demonstrates any superiority film might have. It's simply a different look. One you could get with a bit of work by processing digital, if you wanted to.

I am uninterested in the sort of fetishism that privileges film over digital, vinyl over CD etc. etc. But I am very interested in the particular aesthetics different media bring to art.
06-15-2009, 11:12 AM   #18
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"I have never seen anything that demonstrates any superiority film might have."

Until you get into medium and large format. Which a digital system will do, but you need a medium format digital system. At $10,000-$50,000, They're out of most people's price range. Even then, you don't have the aesthetic of film, which some people just like.

"I am uninterested in the sort of fetishism that privileges film over digital, vinyl over CD etc."

The nerd in me can't help responding to this. I'm an audio engineer by trade. Vinyl carries more information than CD resolution digital audio, and our ears interpret analog waves more readily, therefor it is better. No debate about it. On a good listening system, vinyl kills CD. CD sampling rate is pretty limited actually. Time for a new format.

Thanks for all the responses, everyone. I realize that buying a digital camera doesn't mean I have to abandon my methodology. I'm just afraid that I'd get lazy. That, and medium format is beautiful. I'd have to spend some serious $ to come close to the quality I am able to achieve now.
06-15-2009, 12:10 PM   #19
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I only use digital for macros and close ups where I have 1 keeper in 50 photos. I also use digital for snapshots.

I use film ( mostly Velvia ) for everything else. I love slides shot with my 55mm F/1.2

If it wasnt for macros , I would only use film

06-15-2009, 02:09 PM   #20
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Hello all! I'm new on this forum. I justed wanted to tell you the story of my photographic "evolution" (?).

So, I jumped into photography 2 years ago with a P&S Canon 720 IS. Actually, that's a very good body, but it's still a P&S. So after some 6 months I upgraded to a Pentax K200D and started collecting lenses for it. Some 3 months ago I received my first film camera, a used Pentax MX from EBay. You can have a look at my B&W images - not a big deal - shot on cheap Ilford film, rather underexposed, rather grainy etc. Unfortunately, there's some problem with the MX: about the third of the photos in the film came out completely black, it seems that the shutter, on unpredictable occasions, just doesn't work.

So I decided to acquire a replacement body that I just received today: a Pentax 67

So now I'm saving up for 6x7 lenses - not for K-7.
06-15-2009, 04:46 PM   #21
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off-top defence against audio wishful thinking

QuoteOriginally posted by Jake67 Quote
I'm an audio engineer by trade. Vinyl carries more information than CD resolution digital audio, and our ears interpret analog waves more readily, therefor it is better. No debate about it. On a good listening system, vinyl kills CD.
I'm an audio engineer too. I read many of the papers as CDs were being developed. I heard the first, second and third generation systems. I bought into a decent Hifi setup and heard others I could not even begin to afford. They likely had lots of fancy names and clever technologies. One had $40,000 interconnects. And that's all snake oil, y'know? Because not only is there no science behind that stuff, there is no actual improvement to the listening experience either. But people will convince themselves of just about anything to feel superior to those who don't have 40 grand to spend on a bunch of cables.

The myths of analogue superiority largely comes from those who heard the earlier generation CD systems, which were rubbish. The mastering was poor (using poor masters designed for vinyl) and the playback systems quite crude (bad low-pass filters, bad clocks, essentially 10-bit audio path). These beliefs have been perpetuated from there on down.

The argument about our ears interpreting digital/analog music differently is not substantiated in the literature. We know so little about how our hearing actually works that such niceties are way off the radar. If anything, our ears operate on a basically digital system, which would tend to undermine any appeal to essentialism analog supporters might make.

As for vinyl carrying "more information" -- that would depend on how you define your terms. Personally I prefer a listening experience free of the "additional information" added by intermodulation distortion, harmonic distortion, etc. All of these (and other) documented limitations of vinyl do not exist on CD.

Yes, it would be great to have a delivery system with even greater sampling rates. But that project seems to have failed. And it's a different argument anyway.
06-15-2009, 04:51 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jake67 Quote
I realize that buying a digital camera doesn't mean I have to abandon my methodology. I'm just afraid that I'd get lazy.
So long as you keep this in mind and stay true to what you already know about photography, I doubt you would have a problem. I take fewer shots in an outing than I did a year ago. I have learned to slow down and make each shot count... to some extent anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by h734790 Quote
So I decided to acquire a replacement body that I just received today: a Pentax 67

So now I'm saving up for 6x7 lenses - not for K-7.
Very cool indeed! "Six By Seven -- Not K Seven" could be some sort of slogan.

I would do this to supplement digital -- if I lived in a major city where I could get the development done without going bankrupt.
06-15-2009, 05:25 PM   #23
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I shot film exclusively up untill a few months ago. I finally gave up on using film for pro work when the last pro lab in my area closed down. Sure, I could go to one of the big boys in LA, but I really don't feel like paying $1 a frame for processing.

So I bought a K10. You know what happened? I found my trusty film bodies collecting dust. I don't even use them for my personal stuff.

06-15-2009, 06:59 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I
Yes, it would be great to have a delivery system with even greater sampling rates. But that project seems to have failed. And it's a different argument anyway.
Well, you and I are lucky because we know what 24/96 sounds like through good converters.

As far as the digital/analog debate goes, that's something I'm not really interested in. It's true that digital has the edge on higher dynamic range, but have you ever heard playback from 2" through a Neve console? Oh, god. Tell me 44/16 sounds better. It's 2009 though. I rarely deal with tape anymore.

Analog audio on the high end of things produces frequencies on the top and bottom that a CD doesn't, and that makes the difference. Don't think anyone who knows the difference would argue with that. A little (or a lot of) harmonic distortion can be a good thing, IMO too. At least if we're talking recording.

Glad to know there's another sound geek lurking around here. What do you do?

Sorry to derail the thread. Carry on.
06-16-2009, 01:53 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jake67 Quote
Who else is holding off on joining the 21st century?

I'm still shooting only film for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost the viewfinder, as long as Pentax doesn't make a FF digital the viewfinder will be inferior to almost any film camera. Now some might say that you get used to it but frankly I don't want to get used to a small viewfinder, why would I?

Secondly both I and my wallet like old lenses, and they work best on older bodies. Don't fancy that whole "green button and still wrong exposure" business. I also like wide angles and I would like my lenses to show the same field of view on film and digital so we're back to FF.

So what about the high ISO advantage of digital? Well I shoot almost nothing but low ISO film and if I shoot high ISO it's at concerts where grain does not disturb me.

Conclusion. A digital FF Pentax that is fully compatible with older lenses and has a viewfinder a pair with the MX would probably make me take in digital also. Still I don't think it would make me give up film because it's working so good for me, and I enjoy working with it.
06-16-2009, 03:57 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jake67 Quote
It's true that digital has the edge on higher dynamic range, but have you ever heard playback from 2" through a Neve console? Oh, god. Tell me 44/16 sounds better.
Yeah, I have recorded to Studer 2". But comparing studio playback to consumer distribution systems is not really fair. You've shifted the debate from vinyl versus CD to analogue versus digital, which is not really the same thing. That said, I find 24/96 digital to be more accurate than 2" tape. Which I prefer is another matter, and would depend on the source material.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jake67 Quote
Glad to know there's another sound geek lurking around here. What do you do?
I do everything, practically. Currently I am getting my masters in music technology. I am a sound artist and composer. I wouldn't say I'm an audio engineer because though I have the training, I never did much big studio work. I did work in community radio for a decade.
06-16-2009, 04:22 AM   #27
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I want to add to this talk. In 2004, I changed over to digital and stopped using film. It was much cheaper get the images I wanted. The look of the digital image is very clean looking while film has a look it's own nice feel to it. In the past 6 mouths, I pulled out a number of cameras that use film and have shoot some frames. I found that you had to really think about the shot more due to the limited number of frames. It was nice not to have a preview of the image and wanting to see the image after it is developed. Given limited money, at least in my case, you can only do so much of this. That is the thing about digital. It allows greater freedom to make mistakes and hopefully with instant feedback allows one to learn to and experiment more with ways of shooting while improving at the same time. Shooting film is a great way to do some special shots. I see no reason why one should pick one method over the other. Both have there charms.
06-19-2009, 12:53 PM   #28
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I shot 200 photos the other day with a D200 for a band. Long story short: I will not be buying a digital camera any time soon. MF film suits my needs better.
06-19-2009, 04:01 PM   #29
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More frames, faster and erasable isn't better.
If it was we'd all be shooting video.

Sometimes more isn't better, it's just more.
And sometimes less is really more...

Chris
06-20-2009, 07:19 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote

Sometimes more isn't better, it's just more.
And sometimes less is really more...

Chris
True, more or less.
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