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10-15-2009, 12:07 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Why I'm shooting film, rather than digital these days.

Although I still like digital better for somethings I've hardly touched my Sigma SD14 since I bought my up my PZ-20.

Since I can achieve the same, and often better results with the Sigma it isn't the Image Quality that's converted me.

It's the time I get to spend taking photographs, and not siting in front of the computer processing the RAW files.

After a days shooting it would usually take me a couple of hours processing the photographs, or up to a week of computer work after an event.
This is of course time that I'll never get back, and has ruined a good relationship with one good woman for me.

Now instead I just buy a roll of film for $8.00 - $15.00 Canadian, load it up and choose my subjects wisely.
A 36 exposure roll usually lasts me 2 or 3 photo shoots, and would cost the average person $12.00 for same day service at the lab I work in. (my costs are less, however my work only gets developed when the other work is done for the day)

Then I get to sit back, and enjoy the other thing I love. Sharing my work with others.

I'm even seriously thinking of buying a couple of PZ-1P bodies, and only shooting film at events, knowing that my time is more valuable than the price of film and developing.

The one place I still prefer digital is while experimenting with a new technique, which I rarely do now. It's always nice being able to check your results out right after the shoot.

10-15-2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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I understand what you said here, and agree w/ you on the time to process photos part. I kinda like to shoot film for street photos nowadays, but still prefer shooting digital when I'm w/ my little kids or in the Zoo. When shooting digital, we intend to shoot before we think (well, most of us anyway), but when shooting film, we have to think before we shoot 'cause every frame counts (here in Singapore it'd cost around 50 cents for each frame). I've told may newbies that the best way to learn photography is to get a manual film camera and start to shoot some film, or at least get a full manual lens (not A lens) for the digial body, so you can't just let the camera do everything for you. Well, I'm sure some of them benefited a bit from doing so

I took a whole week off last week, took quite some photos both in digital and film. My film keeper ratio is higher than 70%, while I dumped over 90% of my digital ones even before I processed any of them yet.
10-15-2009, 05:48 AM   #3
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I gave my K100D to my daughter - and she makes good use of it.

Yeah, at times I pine for the quick turnaround of digital, and feel disappointed when film does one of its periodic unreliabilities... But overall, I don't miss digital too much.

However, I'm not entirely certain the time I end up post processing film is that much less than with digital - and add the time to develop and scan b&w film, digital comes out ahead. But then, once in photoshop I don't really treat film any different than digital, and vice versa.
10-15-2009, 08:49 AM   #4
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I do agree with you Nesster, I was thinking of developing my own B&W however I decided that it'd be no different than working at the computer.
so if I decide to shoot a roll I just sneak it into the next batch the boss is working on
(I hope that he doesn't read this )

10-15-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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I recently picked up a couple of 1990's era Pentax film bodies (I used to shoot older Minolta equipment in those days). It's been an experience to remember how it was after shooting only digital for the past 6 years. First thing is that after each shot, I try to chimp the image on the blank back of the camera! Weird, where's the LCD? Second film / processing really doesn't cost that much, what a surprize. Did you know you can't change the ISO on film? Can't wait to get my latest photos back and scan them in so I can do some real images processing...

Don't know what that all means but while I'm sticking with digital, it's nice to shoot some film too.
10-15-2009, 10:54 AM   #6
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In terms of workflow, there is really no reason a person can't shoot digital in the same manner as film. I've now been shooting both for a little over four years and I've only recently been shooting RAW because I didn't have the software I wanted for converting my image files. Shooting JPG and performing only very minor edits to the files for printing is quite similar to shooting film.

There is much more to the experience of shooting film than just the contemplative nature of framing and metering each shot. If you think of digital capture as just another type of film and then limit yourself to small groups of shots the rewards are there.

I do tend to take sample shots with my DSLR to check metering and DOF. Discounting those, I try to spend more time thinking about my photographs and setting up for them than actually taking my photos. That's very similar to my traditional approach for using film.
10-15-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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For me, it's about the anticipation of getting your end results after maybe a few weeks of shooting.... yes a roll of 24 exposures will last me the same amount of time as a 4GB memory card on my dSLR!

It's about boundaries; some people need them, some people don't. I don't shoot fully manual with my film body, prefering Av, but I view full program mode to be cheating. The thing is, that it forces you to think of what you're doing. Your ISO is fixed, you set your aperture and you can see if your shutter speed is too low, or too high for the camera (I can only go up to 1/1000!).

Yes, you can mimic this on a dSLR... fix your ISO... select Av... but it feels like the camera was never designed for this. The camera wants you to give it the control and its all too easy to give in to that. If you do, you lose what you were trying to achieve in the first place. The picture then comes up on the back of the camera showing you what it did... like the camera took the picture, not me!

I liken it to going into a burger bar and ordering a salad. You may have the self control to do that, but I sadly do not!

Besides, there's something aboutthe look of film that you just can't replicate in software.
10-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #8
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I have five K series film bodies that I use in rotation, or when I shoot different film types at the same time.

It's great dropping of the slides over the weekend at the film lab I use, they are closed but have a drop-off box. The slides are processed/mounted and ready for pickup by Monday at 16:00. It doesn't get much easier than that, with no PC time involved. I can also get scans done at the time of processing if I want.

Phil

10-15-2009, 05:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
...I was thinking of developing my own B&W however I decided that it'd be no different than working at the computer.
I'm weird... I like developing film! It's a straight forward procedure with minimal room for self interpretation (you can do a jig/half-shuffle while agitating if you desire!). In between agitation cycles I do other stuff in my darkroom, cleaning and organising mostly, checking supplies, I might run out to check the TV, and also preparing for the next step in the process. All in 50sec bites. Everyone who does darkroom printing enjoys watching prints appear in the developer, extracting negs and having that 1st glimpse is also exciting and rewarding. I hold them up to the light and immediately start imagining the print they will produce!

I use film and digital for totally different things. The digi is for holidays, kids and their sport, family occasions. Mostly recording our 'history'. Film (99% B&W) is different for me, I'm looking at textures, shapes and scenes. I'm trying to see and make photo's that will stand as a photo. I usually will use a Mamiya 645 (15 shots per film) or a 4x5" field camera (will only take a couple of shots per outing). I've long decided the volume of shots no way relates to the enjoyment. A little while ago I took a 35mm with only a 50mm out (ohh I love a decent viewfinder!). Must do that more often.

Cheers, Nige
10-15-2009, 08:23 PM   #10
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Thanks for this thread! I recently picked up a K1000 SE (the brown version!) and some lenses. I was going to sell it to KEH to fuel my never ending LBA but now I think I'll pick up a roll of film tomorrow and give it a spin.
10-16-2009, 02:34 PM   #11
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For the time-being, I shoot only with film. I have little against the digital medium itself. In fact, I scan my negatives and do all my post-processing and printing digitally. I shoot film primarily because I don't like digital cameras as they all seem to have been designed by Batman. I like fully manual cameras - shutter speed on the top, focus and aperture on the lens and that's it. The only digital camera that I like is the new Leica M9. I'm saving up for one at the moment. If Pentax came out with body JUST LIKE a manual MX or Spotmatic but with a digital sensor, I'd be all over it.

There are other reasons but they are minor in comparison to the issues I have with the general poor designs of the cameras themselves. For example, I'm also concerned with the high costs and high maintenance involved in the long-term storage of digital files, the rapid depreciation in value and poor resale value of digital equipment, the environmental issues in the disposal of digital equipment and there are other things.
10-16-2009, 05:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nando Quote
If Pentax came out with body JUST LIKE a manual MX or Spotmatic but with a digital sensor, I'd be all over it.
Me too. For me it would have to have an optical viewfinder and no LCD screen.

Chris
10-16-2009, 06:05 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
Originally Posted by Nando

If Pentax came out with body JUST LIKE a manual MX or Spotmatic but with a digital sensor, I'd be all over it.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Me too. For me it would have to have an optical viewfinder and no LCD screen.

Chris
Funny how many people share this desire! I don't expect Pentax to develop anything like this, but keep hoping that someone like Cosina/Voigtländer might step up to the plate and build a bare-bones manual dSLR with a high-end sensor. We can always wish...

Steve
10-16-2009, 06:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Me too. For me it would have to have an optical viewfinder and no LCD screen.

Chris
I keep hearing this, but I don't know WHY you would want a camera without a screen. Having a histogram handy is a huge help and none of us are so good as to make a perfect exposure every time. Just because your camera has an LCD doesn't mean you are forced to chimp every shot; but not wanting something so useful really has me wondering.
10-16-2009, 07:14 PM   #15
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when it comes to digital the exposure is just so fussy I don't think I'd want to go without a review
Once your dialed in you can always turn the screen off, but with important shots I want to know that I'm not blowing the highlights.

In several years, after they improve upon digital technology then I agree... they can remove the screen. At least with advanced models.

I wonder if that'd drive away sales, from Want To Be Photographers.
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