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06-20-2009, 09:26 AM   #31
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Film has taught me alot on when NOT to shoot, and this is actually really important to minimize processing times

I'd say digital is better to teach people photoraphy though.

06-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #32
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Digital has a far more forgiving learning curve, as you're not paying for your mistakes. However, it does tend to make shutterbugs of people; my roomate is a good example. He'll take twelve shots of everything he sees with his XTi, and when he gets home, he can't decide which one he likes more. Myself, I take two of anything truly astounding or important, one of everything else. Also two if I'm unsure how to expose, based on weird lighting, etc.

Digital can make a clean, sharp, clear picture of just about anything, but that doesn't mean the shooter knows what he/she's doing. Picture composition, timing, focus, and proper use of camera settings can make all the difference, and this is true for both mediums.

The primary drawback to film is it's ongoing cost. However, be aware that, especially with professionals, digital cameras don't eat for free. You need to keep double or triple backups of everything you shoot, and then another double of triple backups of each modified version in addition to the original. The storage requirements are tremendous, and the larger your library gets, your maintenance bill will climb exponentially, and eventually surpass any expenses you would incur working with film.

I actually started with digital and moved to film, after inheriting a few cameras, most notably my father's Spotmatic.
06-20-2009, 11:19 AM   #33
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I stopped using film (for the most part) just for my needs - no other reason

Hi Jake,

For my needs, I believe there is one definite advantage with digital over film (in terms of cost) in a specific instance: wildlife photography. This type of photography is almost always less expensive with digital since with tougher subjects (ie. black and white or mixed dark/light) can be difficult to expose correctly and sometimes you have to bracket the shots.

Birding photographer Arthur Morris even stated that he had to use 20 shots to correctly expose a single bird - a Willet (alternating dark and white plumage). Here is a link to the image: Shorebirds: Beautiful Beachcombers - Google Books. I noted that this image is darker than in his Bird Photography field guide. He even advocates not skimping on shooting film: "Do not attempt to conserve film when shooting action and behavior." Arthur Morris is considered one of the masters of birding imagery during the film era.

Initially I shot a great deal with digital. Now that I've come to understand it's characteristics in low light and high dynamic range situations, I generally shoot much less overall. Why? My keeper rate has gone up quite a bit - usually it's a missed AF lock or outside the DOF due to a sudden movement, not anticipating the moment, etc. of the subject correctly. That's assuming the camera does the job and I didn't mess up on my settings in some way or lost the moment.

Nowadays I still tend to treat digital like film, because I want to use my skill to get the shot - normally only a couple of images in a series is really a keeper and worthy of printing.
Besides, I hate wading through a lot of photos only to discard them. Only birding tends to be the exception to this... That's the nature of this kind of photography.

Otherwise enjoy using film and nothing wrong with your train of thought. It's what works for you.

Regards,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 06-20-2009 at 11:27 AM. Reason: clarification on Art Morris image exposure
06-20-2009, 12:01 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
The primary drawback to film is it's ongoing cost. However, be aware that, especially with professionals, digital cameras don't eat for free. You need to keep double or triple backups of everything you shoot, and then another double of triple backups of each modified version in addition to the original. The storage requirements are tremendous, and the larger your library gets, your maintenance bill will climb exponentially, and eventually surpass any expenses you would incur working with film.
The necessity to buy a new digital camera every two years must also be considered when comparing long-term cost.

Chris

06-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
You need to keep double or triple backups of everything you shoot, and then another double of triple backups of each modified version in addition to the original.
But surely this is an advantage, in that you have the choice. With only one negative of a shot the chance of losing it to fire, theft, etc. is increased. One can avoid the worst of this by not being anal about keeping every shot.

I routinely delete the junk files immediately, keeping only decent images, plus some marginal ones if I know I have no better take of that shot.

Of course, many film pros need to scan in their negatives for retouching, archiving, transmission and printing... which means it's back to the same storage requirements as digital.

QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
The storage requirements are tremendous, and the larger your library gets, your maintenance bill will climb exponentially, and eventually surpass any expenses you would incur working with film.
At 100 euros per terabyte, and decreasing every month, I don't think you can reasonably say that the storage costs are more expensive than film. Let's see, just for fun.

1GB allows me 60 PEF shots from the K20D. If I process one in ten of them I end up with 6 PSD files which fill a further 1GB. Say I need two copies of each (plus a third on DVD, but I'll assume that would be similar to film archiving costs). That means 15 shots use up 1 GB. A 1TB drive allows me to store (conservatively) 15,000 shots. So I get 150 shots per euro.

It costs me 10 euros to develop a 24 exposure roll of 35mm film. That's only for a small print that won't show much detail. Sometimes I'll need larger than 6x4". Scanning is more. B&W is more. The film costs more. So a euro gets me only one or two shots.

Thus the operating costs of digital will run 75 to 150 times cheaper than film.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The necessity to buy a new digital camera every two years must also be considered when comparing long-term cost.
There is no necessity to do this, just like there is no necessity to collect film cameras, upgrade to a 645NII, then a Rollei, Mamiya 7-II, Shen-Hao large format...

...but some like to. It's part of the fun.
06-20-2009, 04:47 PM   #36
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QuoteQuote:

You need to keep double or triple backups of everything you shoot, and then another double of triple backups of each modified version in addition to the original. The storage requirements are tremendous, and the larger your library gets, your maintenance bill will climb exponentially, and eventually surpass any expenses you would incur working with film.
Digital storage is cheap.
06-20-2009, 04:49 PM   #37
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QuoteQuote:
The necessity to buy a new digital camera every two years must also be considered when comparing long-term cost.
It is not necessary. The old one does not stop working when a new one is released.
06-20-2009, 05:00 PM   #38
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Digital media and file formats change every couple of years, yet the standard 35mm film cartridge remains unchanged in 75 years.

Chris

06-20-2009, 05:08 PM   #39
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Jake67, I was in the same boat until a few years ago when I got my *ist DL. (I now shot a K10D).

I have found that I have rekindled my passion for film and analog photography. The film cameras get at least as much time as the K10D. In fact, for a few months I felt guilty because my relatively expensive ($365 used) K10D was sitting while I used a range of much older film cameras.

When I started to get serious about photography, I really pushed myself to take more photos (on film as well as digital.) It was obvious when watching professional (film) photographers work, that part of their secret to success was making sure they shot a lot of frames. I think I was a typical amateur photographer, in that I would see a shot, raise the camera and take ONE snap, and then put the camera away. The DSLR was a good tool to re-teach myself to take more shots. Yes, there is a risk of going too far -- if the picture isn't quite working, taking 13 shots of it won't make it work any better. But the increase in shooting volume is mostly a benefit, and it does carry over into my film photography.

The hesitation you mention about not taking as much time with each shot is, for me, a question of the camera as opposed to the medium. For example, I find my experience shooting the K10D very similar to shooting my (film) Nikon F80. Because of their design, I find myself trusting the matrix metering, and paying less attention to choosing an aperture/shutter speed combo. Whereas with my Spotmatic F, choosing aperture and shutter speed is a very CONSCIOUS process because the meter demands that you interact directly with those controls. It makes me think that the ultimate DSLR would be the K7 fitted with a shutter speed knob like that on the MZ-M or MZ-5.

Good luck -- I think the decision to expand your photography with the K20D would be a rewarding one, and unlikely to have you abandoning film.
06-21-2009, 12:28 PM   #40
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Film and digital is all good. It is more about what you can afford and what you want to do. Sometimes I take the digital out but leave the film in the car because the weather here can be so hard for light that film is not worth the effort, but - we have to be ready for that special occasion so I take it all.

If the light is not so good, or you want t take a lot of pictures, like at a wedding, then digital has advantages and gives instant feedback. But if you want to think about it, take your time with that special landscape, or portrait, then film is the way to go. So I do both and use what seems appropriate at the time.

But I DO love that 67 II MF film camera. There's something about that Velvia film that wins me every time in the right light. And for others times, the K20D is tops so far.

Cheers
06-21-2009, 04:16 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Digital media and file formats change every couple of years, yet the standard 35mm film cartridge remains unchanged in 75 years.
I'm not sure what your point is. JPEG and TIFF have been around for 15 years or more and hard disk drives (commercially) for 50. But even if some perfect new file format or storage medium was to come along and render all others obsolete, you could automatically convert every file you own in your sleep. It's a complete non-issue.
06-21-2009, 04:34 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
It's a complete non-issue.
Maybe not to you. But the time, hardware and expense required might make it an issue to others.

Chris
06-21-2009, 04:59 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Maybe not to you. But the time, hardware and expense required might make it an issue to others.
You say digital is expensive; I show it is not. You claim digital has some file format longevity problem; I show that issue is a no-brainer. So now you go back to claiming digital is expensive.

To compare... how many "formats" can you quickly convert your negatives to? How quickly can you duplicate them for friends, colleagues, clients? How cheap is this process?

Analogue formats might have advantages, but ease and price of storage, duplication and transmission are not among them.
06-21-2009, 05:31 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bloggs Quote
There's something about that Velvia film that wins me every time in the right light.
Couldn't agree more.
06-21-2009, 10:19 PM   #45
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iPod vs. Linn

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?
I just find it to be a real hassle to haul my turntable and tube amps down to the park on a sunny day. Or, to the store so I'm not subjected to Michael Bolton while buying supper ingredients.
If I you spend less than $10 in film and processing a week, with a 3 year life of a digital body, shooting film can be alot cheaper.
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