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10-28-2009, 07:36 AM   #46
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My enjoyment comes from both the process and the "art". I've gone back to shooting a bit of film lately because I like handling the cameras and thinking a bit differently. I'm a somewhat frugal shooter with a digital camera (except for kid's sports, birthday parties, etc.) so it's not that much different, but just enough to give me some pleasure. Also, having shot film since childhood, it's more of a return to old habits/pleasures than embracing something new, as it would be for those that have only known digital photography.

My darkroom is gone and I will never go back to that again; the "digital darkroom" (in limited doses of time in front of the computer) is a lot more comfortable and I am getting results that I couldn't get in the past. I shoot to print and am getting much better (and repeatable) work with my inkjet printer than I did when working "wet". Scanning sucks as far as I am concerned, but is the tradeoff to be in both worlds.

It's all good. A couple of weeks ago I shot a soccer game with a DSLR (200+ pictures) and a film body with a 16mm fisheye (6 pictures;still in the camera). The week before I shot some old buildings with the DSLR and a 645 Mamiya (a set of equipment that I would not have put together but for the current prices;another fringe benefit of the world moving towards digital). A lot of my work is black and white;some is better from film, some from a digital original.

My take on this, is to use what you enjoy using at the moment and gives you the result that you want. Life is too short to obsess over something that should be fun.

10-28-2009, 09:35 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeterAM Quote
...
My take on this, is to use what you enjoy using at the moment and gives you the result that you want. Life is too short to obsess over something that should be fun.
Well Said!
10-28-2009, 09:57 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by jadedrakerider Quote
As much as I love my ME Super, and shooting Black and White I have to say I'd never take color film into the darkroom ever again if I can possibly avoid it. Say all you want about the artistry and the importance of the endeavor, but none of joy and pleasure I get from working in a B&W darkroom translates into color.

That being said, not every digital photographer chimps every shot. Personally, I like having an alternative to dumping 90$ into a flash meter. I always found the art to be in the vision of what could be, not in what it takes to do it.

And speaking from a customer service standpoint, being able to show your client what they're going to get has got to be a boon. And not exposing the same image to paper over and over again is wonderful. Photoshop is the joy while color darkroom is a misery. (for me, anyway)

That being said, I think a lot of modern photographers, especially students, are a lot lazier. They chimp instead of think.

I shoot B&W film for pleasure, but when something needs to get done I grab my digital.
Just wanted to add that film can have a very similar workflow to digital if you are willing to scan or have it scanned. While I can understand why many people associate film with all analog, it can work just as well in a hybrid setup. While I wouldn't want to do it all the time in large quantities, I can easily turn a film shot to digital print in less than 24 hours. Like I said, I would never want to do this for hundreds of shots, and totally understand why a high volume professional would much prefer a complete digital workflow.
10-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #49
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I come from a pretty big and extensive car community and these types of discussions are very similar to manual vs. automatic:

*Many people (myself included) prefer to drive a car with a manual transmission even though the newest automated transmissions shift faster than any human alive. If performance is your absolute only desire, race car drivers are driving cars without a clutch pedal (F1 etc.)

The reason people still prefer manual (film or transmission) is because of a sentimental attachment and more direct control. Would me having a nissan gtr that did all the shifting and driving for me take away from my driving experience? Absolutely. But it is all subjective. If someone gets more satisfaction from results rather than the process, then there is no such thing to them as a simple film shot. If the process is just as or more important than the result, than a digital camera could take away from their experience.

That's not to say digital has tarnished or shamed photography. It's simply another tool. The only people who are against digital photography are people who are against their craft becoming easier... who are scared of amateurs flooding the industry and devaluing what they do. What does it matter what other people do? I see amateurs driving porches all the time who can't shift and don't even know if their car is turbo/rwd etc... but they don't take away from my experience because I don't focus on them.

I see digital as the great equalizer in photography. It actually celebrates and illuminates the difference between an amateur and an experienced photographer. No matter how automated the process is... it still takes vision and skill to create a good shot, no matter the gear. Digital has just made it more competitive because there are a lot more "photographers" these days. I say bring it on! It's only going to make people become more creative and work harder to get noticed. And in the grand scheme of things... isn't that a good thing for our craft?

10-28-2009, 11:41 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
I understand why you would think this but, I can't agree. Monet, Rembrant, etc. are long gone but far from forgotten. 100 years from now photographers will still know Ansel Adams, Dykinga, etc. Just because a medium is not mainstream does not mean it will be forgotten or entirely replaced. Not to mention that the majority of movies are still shot on negative film. If you compare a modern movie shot on film vs a highend digital such as a red, the differences are quite clear and have nothing to do with nostalgia.
In a way, you've actually supported my point.

The thing is, most folks have only seen photographs of Monet, Rembrandt, etc al. And that's my point exactly.

Famous photographs done on film are now seen primarily on the Internet, or digitally reproduced editions in books. Generally speaking, something gets lost in this translation - just as much of the texture of the brush strokes in a painting get losst when viewed online.
10-28-2009, 12:10 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
In a way, you've actually supported my point.

The thing is, most folks have only seen photographs of Monet, Rembrandt, etc al. And that's my point exactly.

Famous photographs done on film are now seen primarily on the Internet, or digitally reproduced editions in books. Generally speaking, something gets lost in this translation - just as much of the texture of the brush strokes in a painting get losst when viewed online.
And I agree with this if all we are talking about are reproductions on the web or in a book, but if you are a student of photography, art, etc. then you will likely see digital and film side by side in museums, galleries and such for as long as these places exist. If all you see are images on the web then digital suffers the same as film. My issue was with saying the "magic" of film is mostly nostalgia and that future generations will only ever see digital, both of which I believe to be false.

I'd also like to say that I don't believe film to be any more magical than digital, just that the differences can for the most part, be easily seen. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, nostalgia or not, and future generations can just as easily like the look of film as have generations past.
10-28-2009, 05:23 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote

Famous photographs done on film are now seen primarily on the Internet, or digitally reproduced editions in books. Generally speaking, something gets lost in this translation - just as much of the texture of the brush strokes in a painting get losst when viewed online.
This is so true. I still remember the first time I saw an original Ansel Adams print. The depth and richness of the image was astounding.

Steve
10-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #53
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I have a slightly different take on this discussion.

First, shooting with my DS is almost like shooting with film. The LCD is small enough that my old eyes really can't see as much detail as I would like. I only use it to review the histogram (necessary to overcome the limitations of digital) and the general composition.

Second, I don't fill the view finder as tightly in digital as I did with film ("the perfect shot" film chant). I like the option of being able to crop to any crop ratio depending on who gets the prints (My sister likes 5x7s of the kids, my mom 8x10s).

Third, when I do want to try something new like the example below, the quicker feedback from digital is a blessing. I am also no longer afraid to use my flash because the electrons were free when I practice in digital. When I shot film, it was hit and miss (and a few select words).




Just my idle thoughts.

Tim

10-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by jadedrakerider Quote
As much as I love my ME Super, and shooting Black and White I have to say I'd never take color film into the darkroom ever again if I can possibly avoid it. Say all you want about the artistry and the importance of the endeavor, but none of joy and pleasure I get from working in a B&W darkroom translates into color.

That being said, not every digital photographer chimps every shot. Personally, I like having an alternative to dumping 90$ into a flash meter. I always found the art to be in the vision of what could be, not in what it takes to do it.

And speaking from a customer service standpoint, being able to show your client what they're going to get has got to be a boon. And not exposing the same image to paper over and over again is wonderful. Photoshop is the joy while color darkroom is a misery. (for me, anyway)

That being said, I think a lot of modern photographers, especially students, are a lot lazier. They chimp instead of think.

I shoot B&W film for pleasure, but when something needs to get done I grab my digital.
I do have to agree with this. I sold off my darkroom and although I enjoyed it at the time and had it for a lot of years, I would never go back.
I will most likely get another 6x7 in the coming year and never should have sold the one I had a few years ago. But the little colour film I might run though it will be developed at a lab and any prints will be out sourced as well.
B&W is another story. I wouldn't mind developing and printing it, but I don't want to buy another enlarger and do that work.

So I'll get an MF camera next year and shoot mostly B&W. Those films will be sent out for development and printing. I want to add this back into my wedding work. A few B&W MF bridal portraits for the client that is willing to pay for that service. There's nothing even close to B&W film in the digital world.
10-28-2009, 06:03 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This is so true. I still remember the first time I saw an original Ansel Adams print. The depth and richness of the image was astounding.

Steve
I completely agree, I had a chance to see an exhibit of Karsh's work and the quality of those prints (from the original Large format negatives ) was astounding. Bogart looked like he could jump off the paper.
10-29-2009, 10:45 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I do have to agree with this. I sold off my darkroom and although I enjoyed it at the time and had it for a lot of years, I would never go back.
I will most likely get another 6x7 in the coming year and never should have sold the one I had a few years ago. But the little colour film I might run though it will be developed at a lab and any prints will be out sourced as well.
B&W is another story. I wouldn't mind developing and printing it, but I don't want to buy another enlarger and do that work.

So I'll get an MF camera next year and shoot mostly B&W. Those films will be sent out for development and printing. I want to add this back into my wedding work. A few B&W MF bridal portraits for the client that is willing to pay for that service. There's nothing even close to B&W film in the digital world.
I am looking forward to seeing your MF stuff when you get the camera. Too bad you sold your enlarger.

I kept my darkroom stuff and while I have absolutely NO INTEREST in doing color prints again, the idea of regular B&W printing is attractive. It could be that really like and miss using my enlarger (LPL 670 DXL mounted to a Componon-S...a luxury purchase at the time) or it might be that I miss the smell of fixer...

Steve
10-29-2009, 11:10 AM   #57
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Ah. I'm really wanting to get my analog darkroom going again, (Latest idea is to get some of these vertical trays I've seen so I can cram it all into my little office without things being too smelly or messy. My real problem with film lately is completing an output chain, with my scanner all dodgy and the *@*#&#^! plastic negative carriers. Not to mention how getting the results I want is kind of voodoo, especially with my cheesy monitor. (It's coming to be time for us to get a more current computer, here. But this is why I should darn well get this duping rig I was talking about all set up with lighting. Things got kind of busy this past month or so.

Conventional darkroom, I can do in my sleep, and I like how I know what's going on at any given step.
10-29-2009, 03:25 PM   #58
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Going on a bit of a tangent, I’m going to have to say that digital has taken some fun out of a good simple film shot in that the digital revolution has effectively squashed a lot of the film processing labs available. It has become unprofitable for many companies to process film, and further more, it’s becoming more and more expensive to make prints based on negatives (and cheaper and cheaper to make prints from digital). Thus many places in my area have become mainly digital media processing centers – by that, I mean CF cards, SD cards, USB keys and CDs/DVDs… only. My local Costco no longer develops film. One local camera store has to send out my simple roll of film to be developed to their main office, which makes for about a 3 day turn-around. And stocks of film are becoming more and more depleted in local camera stores as well.

So while one can get that awesome feeling of knowing that you’ve got a tangible piece of negative film recording your beautiful shot, digital has taken away some of the enjoyment of a good film shot by making it much more difficult and costly (in time and sometimes money) to get it processed afterwards.

Arguably, I know there are a lot of people who develop their own film and have their own darkrooms, so this wouldn’t really apply. I guess for someone like me who shoots both digital and film, I only have time for one dark-room. With the digital, I lay down all my images in my computer and digital-darkroom my images. Quick edits, store, done. Due to the digital revolution, its takes that much more trouble to get film developed, processed, printed, scanned, etc. before it even enters my regular photo workflow.

But boy… when you get a nice film shot… there’s nothing quite like it, regardless of hurdles and hoops you have to jump through.
10-30-2009, 09:01 PM   #59
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For me digital has not taken the fun out of a good simple film shot, it has re-awakened an old love. Over the past few years my 35mm cameras were sitting ignored more and more until I decided to take the leap and buy my K200D. In the beginning it was great fun and I was taking pictures of everything in sight. I pulled out my old lenses and tried them out on my new camera. Then I began to realize that I had literally hundreds of photos sitting on my computer and I had neither the time or the inclination to spend the hours necessary to edit them. So I became a little more selective. I started to look a little more before I pulled the trigger. I quit taking 13 shots of the same thing from a slightly different angle. Then one day I pulled my old KX off the shelf, loaded some film and went out and had more fun then I can remember having in a very long time. It took me most of the afternoon to shoot that roll of 24.

Personally I like film better, but I use, and enjoy, both. If I'm taking pictures that I need right away, or someone else wants copies, I use my digital. If I'm shooting pictures for the joy of doing it, I use film. They both have a place in my life and I use them both. When I am traveling it is so nice not to have to worry anymore about pulling that bag of film out of my bag and trying to talk someone into hand inspecting it rather then just running it through the XRay machine. On the other hand, when I'm out hiking in the hills, my KX is a constant companion again.

I think what saddens me is that film seems to be slowly, but surely, fading away. Technology marches on and the new technology is great, but there is something deeply satisfying when I pull that packet of prints or slides out of the mailbox and find that one shot that turned out exactly how I saw it in the viewfinder. And for those that I really like I can get it professionally scanned as a digital shot and share it with everyone I want.

When I'm using film I subconsciously begin to slow down. I know it is mental and there should be no difference between my KX or my K200D, but there is. I find myself thinking more about the shot I want, what settings are right for what I want to achieve. Is the composure right, is there a better position. These things just naturally seem to happen. Occasionally I feel this way with digital, but not as often. On the other hand, this can be frustrating when I'm trying to capture a shot when I have very limited time and that is when digital is so great.

And I still love that old equipment. The cameras and the lenses are a pleasure to handle and work with. They feel as if they were made to last for a lifetime. The viewfinders on the old cameras are beautiful. Even with my aging eyes I can easily focus my old 50 when its mounted on my KX or LX. But when its mounted on the K200D it is a chore because the viewfinder was never designed for those lenses. I know that I can fix that with a split screen but it doesn't seem so important when the film camera is so close at hand.

I guess for me digital has only enhanced the fun of that good simple film shot. What I am trying to do now is to awaken that love in my grandkids. Maybe if I can awaken the enjoyment of that good film shot in them then the art of film won't completely go away.
10-31-2009, 09:42 AM   #60
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Since i am from the digital generation, i dont have all those memories and feelings about film. But i photograph almost completely with film camera's.

For me personaly the difference lays in the equipment, not the medium.
I let my film develop in a local camera shop, and most of the time its finished in 30minutes.
Then i scan my negatives at home.
And then my workflow becomes the same as i would do with digital.


So why would i use film gear? It only takes more time you would say..


Film camera's and lenses are a lot cheaper then their digital counterparts.
A digital rangefinder would cost me roughly 10 times more then the ones i have now.
My medium format set would cost me roughly 50!! times more then my film mf set.

The difference in 35mm slr's is a lot smaller but i don't like dslr's.
First of all, i dont want an aps-c sized sensor.
It must be full format. Simply because i want a 50mm and a 35mm lens with the same fov. And because i want a decent sized viewfinder ofcourse.
Second, dslr's are too big and unless you have a lot of money to spend, the build quality sucks.
And at last, digital slr's let me work slower.
Yes thats right, slower.
All the fiddling with iso settings, wb, autofocus and more of these things takes way to much time. With my pentax lx i just pop in the film and im ready to go.

So you see, using film allows me to use proffesional grade equipment for a small price. And it alsow lets me use all kinds of different camera's that have no real digital counterparts.


All i need is a pentax lx with a fullframe sensor, a little screen at the back and a button for wb and iso. Thats about it.
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