waltere is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
From Digital to Film, But Not Really
I was 'dragged' into digital photography in my job around 1991, or so. The job was Medical Photography, where I shot tons of film in all flavors, mostly transparency types(both B&W & color). I began working this job in 1976. We had a full lab, with 4 darkrooms-one for B&W film developing, one for printing the negs, and a color film (E-6 & C-41), and a color printing darkroom with a 20" Kreonite Processor which landed the prints after drying in the light area. Very fancy and a photographer's dream land! My interest in my personal work was B & W before I got this job, and I continued it while I worked there...I was shooting mostly 120 in my Kowa or 124G and was loving the smoothness of the pictures, and finally got a 4 X 5 camera and spent much time shooting and developing and reading Ansel's books. Making enlargements with a D5 and a cold light head...then I bought a 5 x 7 camera, then an 8 X 10. With the 810 I discovered contact printing and Azo, et al....then, the last big one was an 8 X 20 Korona. More contact printing and very satisfying photographs as my craft was getting pretty good and comfortable as well. Even tried a bit of Pt/Pd here and there, but didn't get close to any command of it. Along comes digital and 1992 and the darkrooms are going to be removed! Crap, I had never used a computer and here this is what I am facing in my job...So, out with film and in with a stinking Kodak (NikonD-90 body) 4 megapixel camera and a freaking Kodak dye-sub printer which made pictures like RC paper...the lowest point of my photographic career! I mean my department had a Pos-1 camera contraption at one time, and I liked it better! Fast forward to 2004, when digital did my job in and I changed departments to the PR department of the University...first year was with film,and then with a Sony digital, which made pics on a disk...it was still better than that Kodak! But it was awfully slow and, really embaressing to be making pics of events where the press photogs had these big camera's with those big white lenses hanging off of them! LOL The next year I got a D-100 and was in hot style and frankly, it worked really well. Most of my work is web based and everyone needs it like the same day, so I got comfortable with it and learned lots! Finally got a real feel for PS and even got LightRoom to manage those files and files of pics.
Started shooting raw, getting comfortable with the job and its many types of pictures needed, even started getting downloads, different programs or tweaks for programs, wow HDR was looking pretty exciting. In 2007 I got a D 300, and what a great camera it was! Big files, great focusing, everything auto if you wanted it and it worked really welll at all auto. Especially for my personal pics of my doggies! Raw files, NX2, PS, blah blah blah.
I look at pics on the web, various photogs web sites, and saw a site where the photographer was shooting such and such camera cause the files kinda looked like film...hmmm, I thought, the images are kinda nice, lets look into this. Ahhh, he used a D2H, which I read had files that had a film look...oh, KEH has one for only $500, and I ordered it. I started using it for personal work.
I don't have a darkroom still at this point, I have a room to convert, but other things were in the way of this, so I started shooting with it and finding I enjoyed the freedom of movement as opposed to my tripoded big cam pics...and I was liking the idea of color! It was fun and I was intrigued by a "new" way of seeing!
I retired in April of 2010, and bought a nice set up for digital printing, 27" Imac, nice 3880 printer and made some nice 12 X 16" prints from those little 4 meg files from the D2H....then another urge came along to get a rangefinder camera, which I have never had....got a Contax G2, suppressing the urge for you know what. Oh, along with the stuff I bought, I (we, my wife and I) had inherited a Coolscan V from her Dad), and it set up without a hitch and I was scanning away with color negatives from the G2. Darn, they were looking too good, and the camera with the Zeiss lenses was super. I couldn't not ever have a Leica(my 810 is a Deardorff), I was thinking. I have had my M4 for 3 weeks and have put 4 rollls of Ektar 100 through it, gosh why didn't I see the little "crimp the film end" part of the utube loading vids before I went out into the Mardi Gras crowd as I struggled a bit with it.....
the film scans are so much better than original digital files! I feel somewhat baffled by all the hype of these digital sites that abound and promote the latest! No upgrades here, no batteries. No batteries either in my Weston Master V that I got for $30 on ebay. The color is so much richer, the files need no sharpening....
I am so happy to be back to film...its very exciting to pick up your film after a wait. I have been surfing the C-41 chemistry for when I get my darkroom finsihed...I used to love Rodinal, who knows...maybe some TX looms in my future!