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05-01-2010, 06:14 PM   #16
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There is a certain smug joy to be had when hearing others around you bemoaning the fact that their batteries are running down, that they forgot to charge it, or that they forgot to bring the spare.....while you click away with a camera that doesn't use any batteries at all.

05-02-2010, 09:04 AM   #17
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Film advantages

I shoot quite a few weddings. I always bring a film SLR for special shots, and as a backup.
With my DSLR, I can't get the fine detail in a white wedding dress and the deep black of a tuxedo in the same shot. With film it is easy.
My DSLR is only capable of 2 frames per second, which is not really good enough for those silly group jump shots, but my old Nikon F4S can do 5 frames per second.
Modern AF lenses are very expensive and I only have a few, but I have a much better collection of MF glass for my old film SLR's.
I shot a wedding Friday evening and the reception was at the home of the bride's parents. It started raining so everything moved indoors. No problem, I just got out my Pentax MX with the 50MM 1.4 lens and got some nice shots without having to use flash.
A new $1000 DSLR will likely be obsolete in four years. Invest $100 in a nice MX or Super Program and it will still be going strong in four years and probably hold its value. You can buy a lot of film and processing for the money saved, and the glass is way less expensive.
05-02-2010, 10:47 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The Spotmatic F you chose is an excellent camera, and a good introduction to film photography.

It is the only Spotmatic capable of open or full aperture metering.
This however requires Super Multi Coated or SMC Takumar lenses.
I don't like stopped-down metering so I recommend these instead.

Chris
The ES and ES II are also capable of open metering with the S-M-C Taks and SMC Taks. I tend to favor the F, but the ES and ES II have interesting shutters.
05-02-2010, 05:58 PM   #19
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QuoteQuote:
I shoot quite a few weddings. I always bring a film SLR for special shots, and as a backup.
With my DSLR, I can't get the fine detail in a white wedding dress and the deep black of a tuxedo in the same shot. With film it is easy.
My DSLR is only capable of 2 frames per second, which is not really good enough for those silly group jump shots, but my old Nikon F4S can do 5 frames per second.
Modern AF lenses are very expensive and I only have a few, but I have a much better collection of MF glass for my old film SLR's.
I shot a wedding Friday evening and the reception was at the home of the bride's parents. It started raining so everything moved indoors. No problem, I just got out my Pentax MX with the 50MM 1.4 lens and got some nice shots without having to use flash.
A new $1000 DSLR will likely be obsolete in four years. Invest $100 in a nice MX or Super Program and it will still be going strong in four years and probably hold its value. You can buy a lot of film and processing for the money saved, and the glass is way less expensive.
If you like shooting film, that's great. However, most of the reasoning you gave are limits with your specific equipment, not digital in general.

All the old manual Pentax and other brand screwmount lenses, even the loved-by-many 50mm will work on Pentax digitals - it's one of the selling points.

Many digitals will shoot 5 or more FPS. Pentax finally got there with the K-7.

Digital cameras don't suddenly stop working if they become obsolete.

05-02-2010, 06:59 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by ragamuffin1171 Quote
Is there any reason why someone would use film slr over digital slr? Personally, I've only used p&s film cameras before switching over to digital p&s, then to digital slr. I understand that most of dslr (at least the ones that I can afford) are not full frame, but as far as functions go, dslr can do everything that film slr can do. Am I missing something? What are some good reasons to use film slr other than for nostalgic value?
I think that way too often digital is consider a step-up (as in progress) from film. I've never really felt that way. It's more convenient, but this convenience comes at a price.

The biggest drawback of digital photography for me is the dead-linear response of sensors. Overexpose by one stop and the whole image will be brighter by that one spot. This is not particularly useful. You only get a sliding window of dynamic range which you can shift left and right but this does not allow you to take photos of scenes that have too wide a dynamic range.

Film (B&W film arguably, only) does not have this limitation. You expose for the shadows making sure that you capture all the details you want in those areas. When you now develop the film, you increase development time (by one stop, two stops, whichever amount you need) and this will only affect the highlights therefore allowing you to capture a wider dynamic range. It is this non-linear behavior of film under development that let's you produce results that cannot be obtained digitally without the help of post-processing in software. And this works poorly at best since not even Photoshop will allow you to go beyond the native dynamic range of the sensor. Generally, this range is pretty narrow.

Now, as far as digital versus film body are concerned, I can't help but being quite unimpressed by the new digital models that are coming out each year. There has not been one genuinely new or interesting feature in any of them. In many ways, they are a step backwards. Take the Pentax M lenses which are among the most compact lenses around. You cannot conveniently use them on modern Pentax DSLRs without being subjected to demeaning stop-down metering. 40 year old Pentax bodies can meter wide-open and I wonder why none of today.

One other highly desirable feature notably absent from any modern camera is direct metering off the film (it would have to be off the sensor nowadays). The Pentax LX had it, so did the Olympus OM-2 and its successors. This would allow you to place your camera on a tripod in near darkness, trigger the shutter and let the camera figure out the correct exposure. Even the best of digital cameras nowadays are useless under such conditions.

And of course finally, there is the whole aspect of how much fun film is. It's not just the actual moment of depressing the shutter, it's the whole process that begins with thinking over what film to take for the day and at what speed to shoot it and that ends with developing the negative (or even making prints off the developed negative in a darkroom). I wouldn't want to miss it.

Cheers,
Tassilo
05-02-2010, 07:16 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ragamuffin1171 Quote
Is there any reason why someone would use film slr over digital slr? ... What are some good reasons to use film slr other than for nostalgic value?
Speaking personally:

You're a little weird and like to be different, and proud of it?

You get full-frame cheaply (all your cameras can be full-frame with 50 mb sensors).

No sensor cleaning required?

Your'e not in the rat-race and can concentrate on photography instead?

Your equipment won't date (dated already)?

You may be living in the digital age, but your mind is still in the steam age (and you like it that way)?

Your equipment is unlikely to get stolen and, if it should be, its cheap enough to replace (save on insurance)?

The technology is "mature", therefore stable and unchanging (not having to master new stuff all the time)?

Anyone can take pictures with digital (even nursery-school kids): film is more challenging and easier to screw up?

You just "like old stuff" (made of leather, metal, and glass, with springs and gears, often made by people "who cared", and lasts "forever")

You can get more of it for the money?

You don't need to own or know anything about computers, IT, etc/

What's VR/SR? Who cares?

Last edited by Banjo; 05-02-2010 at 07:34 PM.
05-02-2010, 08:18 PM   #22
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I'm getting ready to take some pictures

Okay. I appreciate all your personal inputs. I'm waiting for a light seal kit I ordered to fix up my "new" spotmatic f camera. mirror damper's keep leaving residue on the mirror. Luckily, meter works fine when I put a new battery in.
I'll probably start off with a B&W film. I went to a walmart the other day and saw a one b&W film called "Kodak B&W professional". Any suggestions on films?
05-02-2010, 08:59 PM   #23
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For me, it is because I learned more shooting 36 exposures thru a Pentax ME with M 50mm 1.7 than I did in the previous year with my K200D.

The previous poster who described shooting film as 'contemplative' was absolutely spot-on. Even now, I keep a SuperProgram and M40 2.8 pancake (a tiny package) in my camera bag along with my K200D and a number of lenses. There is just something special about it, particularly for street photography - nobody notices it, nor me.

05-02-2010, 09:48 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by ragamuffin1171 Quote
Is there any reason why someone would use film slr over digital slr? Personally, I've only used p&s film cameras before switching over to digital p&s, then to digital slr. I understand that most of dslr (at least the ones that I can afford) are not full frame, but as far as functions go, dslr can do everything that film slr can do. Am I missing something? What are some good reasons to use film slr other than for nostalgic value?
For me it’s the other way around, give me a reason to shoot digital? Film gives me everything I want (especially slides) in photography and its a lot of fun. I’ve only shot with film and for me there is no good reason to ever get a DSLR. The thought of being forced to use a computer in the photography process does not interest me or seem like fun. More like work to me, probably because I’m in the IT field and I’ve used a computer for my job ever day for the last 32 years.

Phil.
05-02-2010, 11:23 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by ragamuffin1171 Quote
... my "new" spotmatic f camera. mirror damper's keep leaving residue on the mirror. Luckily, meter works fine when I put a new battery in.
I'll probably start off with a B&W film. I went to a walmart the other day and saw a one b&W film called "Kodak B&W professional". Any suggestions on films?

The Asahi Spotmatic-F: great choice -a great camera (I have two): Readily available Silver Oxide Batteries, fully manual, well built, excellent (if used intelligently) integrative, on-board metering, lots of great lenses etc. Can't miss!

The lenses to get (in order to utilize the Open Aperture metering feature of the SP-F are the Takumar SMC (Super-Multi-Coated) series lenses, which were designed to go with the SP-F, and have a built-in lever to communicate with the SP-F's diaphragm, a feature lacking in the earlier "Super Takumar" and "Auto Takumar" lenses (which are also still useable, albeit in "stop-down-metering" mode.)

Don't worry too much about the actual mirror-damper marks along the edge of the mirror: they won't show in the viewfinder, nor on the negative.

I don't use B&W, but for colour negative day-to-day shots you could do worse than either Kodak (Ultramax) or Fuji (Superia). I find the ISO 400 very good all-rounders.
05-03-2010, 05:47 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by grainbelt Quote
For me, it is because I learned more shooting 36 exposures thru a Pentax ME with M 50mm 1.7 than I did in the previous year with my K200D.

The previous poster who described shooting film as 'contemplative' was absolutely spot-on. Even now, I keep a SuperProgram and M40 2.8 pancake (a tiny package) in my camera bag along with my K200D and a number of lenses. There is just something special about it, particularly for street photography - nobody notices it, nor me.
For a further education, go pick up an old Graflex. They are fairly cheap, and even at their "speediest" there are numerous steps that will require you to think ahead about your shot.

I recently came to a costume party as a 50s reporter, with a '47 (Baby) Speedgraphic as a prop. It blew everyone away when I actually started taking photos with it. I also took numerous digital shots, but the ones I took with the Graflex were the ones everyone talked about and the ones that made it into this group's publication.
05-03-2010, 05:55 AM   #27
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Here's another funny reason to be out and about shooting film. I was at the farmers' market for its opening on Saturday trying out a recently acquired lens. (Shots posted on the "M" lens thread). After I had taken about a dozen shots at various booths, a kind, elderly woman came up to me and said, "you are taking pictures with a REAL camera, aren't you?" Then she asked if I could still get film and why I liked film, etc.

Finally, she said that her late husband, a retired physician, loved photography. She had just been going through a box of his cameras, that no one in the family wanted. She told me he even had a setup of "that really quiet one....the one that starts with an L..." We traded phone numbers, and sometime in the very near future I'm going over to her garage. None of the photographers with digital cameras got this offer.
05-03-2010, 06:26 AM   #28
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Heh heh heh, yes, that's one of the big benefits of shooting with old film cameras...
05-03-2010, 08:13 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ragamuffin1171 Quote
I went to a walmart the other day and saw a one b&W film called "Kodak B&W professional". Any suggestions on films?
If you are not interested in developing your film at home then that stuff is actually a good choice. It is a B&W film that is developed in the same chemicals as color film so you can get it processed pretty much anywhere.

The flip side of that is that if you are planning to set up your own darkroom then it is probably not what you want.
05-03-2010, 08:37 AM   #30
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I shoot film to feel superior to those people that spend $3000 on a camera/lens combo, but still can't get a decent shot! No doubt they just think I'm poor... but I know I have dSLR equipment I choose not to use on a walkabout.

Horses for courses really.... digital cameras are great for flash photography... birding... all of that kind of stuff. I just think that film is best for when you're strolling and relaxing!
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