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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Old 09-30-2008   #51
Revolucion Artistico
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I'm 25 and have been shooting film for about 12 years. I have a darkroom, develop my own film, print my own prints. I've owned a couple of digital cameras I.e. D100 and currently an RD1 which are both great cameras in there own way. If I have the option I will always shoot film.
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Old 09-30-2008   #52
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[quote=ElectroWNED;905364]I was in Prague this summer, toting my Yashica Electro 35 and rolls of HP5.

Only recently (i.e. after I got the entire vacation worth of rolls developed) that the camera has a light leak and 95% of my photos were ruined.>>>>>



Not a mistake no one else has not made, and I know several people who shot an entire vacation only to have their camera and single flash card stolen.

After we do this once, then we back up, and if we are not dead sure of a film camera, we shoot a roll of test film.

I took two new Nikons on a 5 week road trip, one with negative color, and the other with slide.

One overexposed (slides) and one underexposed (negative) I lost 30 rolls, and I did have some film developed while I was traveling, but thought it was the camera I gave my friend, so I overexposed her film, which for negative is OK.

I saved the slides with pull processing.

Nikon crawfished on the warranty as I put a scratch on the camera.

It happens.

A thief in Europe will often pass on stealing a film P&S, even one with a Red Dot.

Regards, and it gives you an excuse to go back to Prague, which might just work out for you. ;-) John
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Old 09-30-2008   #53
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I'm 24, started off with film in high school but kinda lost interest in photography in university. In the last two years I've been trying to catch up, and now I'm back to film. Took 3 rangefinders and a F100 on my trip to Europe this summer instead of a D3.
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Old 09-30-2008   #54
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It's entertaining to watch this from a number of places.

I have a local lab I stop at regularly. I bring in a few rolls of C41 120 (usually 6x6) every now and then. The one guy there I get on with and I were ragging on the idiot holga & lomo shooters that make up 90% of that young "film resurgance" that's out there. It's a bunch of young idiots being stupid because, thanks to no real wet darkroom experience, they have no clue how stupid they are. No, there is no reason, yet, to believe that there is any kind of preference for film. Come back in a decade. If I can still buy a roll of Reala (or, I'll grant, an equivalent emulsion) for less than $20 USD for 36 exposures then I'll believe that film has found it's niche.

In the meantime, I'll burn film like there is no tomorrow... because in my mind there isn't any...

William
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Old 09-30-2008   #55
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Yep. Never said I wasn't just as stupid.

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Old 09-30-2008   #56
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I think they mean people who think that grungy, low-image quality shots taken with a plastic lens = artsy.
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Old 09-30-2008   #57
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Its funny... I dont like those holga/urbanoutfitter cameras, but you have to admit, they cant hate on the kids that give them money to do their business.
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Old 09-30-2008   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maelswarm View Post
I think they mean people who think that grungy, low-image quality shots taken with a plastic lens = artsy.
wait...what?!?!? you mean that's not artsy? crapweasel.
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Old 09-30-2008   #59
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I'm 26. used film all through college. And even then when I started working professionally. The only time I use digital is if asked specifically or on a tight deadline. otherwise it's film for me.

I like the quality that film provides me. I like that I can't be bothered while I'm working to show people my pictures on the back of the camera. I like that it requires more skill. Sometimes I get asked "How do you know how the pictures turned out?" And i say I've been doing it for so long, that I just know. I know what the photo looks like when I hit the shutter. I like that it's tangible. I like that it requires working with my hands. I like that I don't have to be afraid of a hard drive failure that will destroy my life's' work.

oh yeah. This is probably a "youngish" thing to do. My tattoo. I got it back during my senior year of college when I became a Teaching Assistant and instructed the photo 1 and 2 classes by myself while my professor was away on assignment. I knew right then that this would be the rest of my life. So I got the tattoo.


Last edited by swoop : 09-30-2008 at 22:05.
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Old 09-30-2008   #60
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Film based photography is still very affordable compared to equivalent digital set ups. On a per use basis they seem expensive but the up front cost is a tenth or even less than a digital set up.

Holgas, c'mon I like them! They're different. Is that a bad thing? I don't have a beef with owners of Noctilux lenses, what is the issue with plastic lens cameras? It's a decision that is all.

Young or new entrants using film is good news. Like Bill Pierce noticed no reason for not using both film and digital. I think that is the way of the future.
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Old 09-30-2008   #61
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Look... you can complain all you want about people who use holgas and take photos, but at least they are getting out there and taking a photograph. Yes they may not necessarily be very good at it, but it beats half the people on here who sit around and take photographs of a flower on their front lawn or of a beer glass with a $4,000 camera. They are no different.

A camera is a camera is a camera. Who the hell cares. The fact is, film is being used in one form or another. So be happy that its being used and let people take whatever photos they want and let them think they are great. At least they are happy.

People with any real knowledge or talent and a photographic eye will be able to tell who has a genuine ability and who does not.
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Old 09-30-2008   #62
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I'm 21 and got interested in photography my freshman year of high school where we had a black and white darkroom. I learned how to develop film and make prints and all. Ive stuck with film to this day for quality. I love going out with my Leica and some Tmax100 and shooting. I get fantastic results for what I do. "Why fix it if it aint broken?"

I do however work digitally.



These shots were taken with my Nikon D50 with the PB5 bellows adapter and a 1945 101mm Wollensak lens. I made an adapter for the lens to Nikon mount. Digital allows me to experament with things such as this.

I feel that its the same idea in that you choose a lens for a specific shot. It depends on the job for what medium. They all serve a purpose in photography, it just depends on what your shooting. But film is still my main format. Oddly enough I just got an 8x10 Deardorff field view camera to do some work with. So I'm still all about film, with some digital on the side.
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Old 09-30-2008   #63
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I'm 34 now.

I started shooting with an SLR when I was 18 and started developing film when I was 21. I continued shooting film until I got my first digital camera in 1998 but I became disenchanted with the lackluster results of early digital, and my interest waned over the years.

Early this year, I rediscovered my love for photography and photographica. I am now shooting film exclusively once again and have restarted collecting, restoring and using vintage and modern film cameras.

This forum has been an invaluable source of information and support for this renewed endeavor. As well as loads of GAS!
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Old 09-30-2008   #64
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haha, i'm getting a kick out of the people being upset over the jesting over holgas. I know my comment was just made in fun...i actually enjoy using a holga from time to time, and a good friend of mine did a documentary project with a holga and the images were absolutely stunning to say the least. I'm pretty sure most comments making fun of the holga were done in similar jest, but you still can't ignore the hilarity of urban outfitters selling them for $70+ USD...it's positively wonderful.
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Old 10-01-2008   #65
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fwiw i'm 20 yo and my entire workflow is analogue.

i could do without the smell of fixer by the way

Last edited by robbert : 10-01-2008 at 03:49.
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Old 10-01-2008   #66
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I'm 19 and really like the idea that with film, each image is a physical object. that and I like the look of black and white film, and enjoy developing.
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Old 10-01-2008   #67
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I am also 24 now, started with digital 3 years ago, discovered film when I bought an old chinese seagull medium format camera at a flea market and my father told me that it uses "120" film,

it was so new to me and such a shock to discover something so big and vast in photography after lingering around with those digital cameras, and inspired by flickr and all those nice pictures by tommy oshima and co, had to dive deeper into 35mm, 120, 4x5, etc

now, about 18 months later, i have 3 leicas and about 10 medium format cameras, and shoot film for myself and digital for paid gigs

i also try to do as much on film as possible in my cinematography work, which is also really really hard in the video world
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Old 10-01-2008   #68
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I started off using a film SLR, and got caught up in the DSLR race. I used one for a year, and later sold off all the digital gear returning to film. I love using B&W film, learning about lens optics, and developer formulation. Oh yeah, I am around 30-ish.
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And speaking of young people, plastic lenses and holgas
Old 10-01-2008   #69
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And speaking of young people, plastic lenses and holgas

It hasn't been very long since young art photography types were intrigued (and still are when they can find the film) with Polaroid plastic lens cameras and Time Zero film. The film had a setting time that allowed manipulation with a variety of home made stylus' including popsicle sticks, other blunt objects, etc. There is a lot of work on the internet using these cameras. Most popular was the Polaroid SX-70.

Wouldn't it be great to rig up a 120 roll film back to one of the old rangefinder Auto 100 to 400+ series cameras, or even the high quality lens models like the 195. These models were even renowned for their excellent and accurate Zeiss Ikon rangefinder assemblies that folded out and sat atop the camera body.
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Old 10-01-2008   #70
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Soon 24... I know many (young too) friends using mostly or only film cameras. Still the percentage idoes not seem very high at all here in Finland.

By following some camera forums in here however, I feel the interest is growing... Who knows.
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Old 10-01-2008   #71
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Oh by the way.. I got my first own camera in about 2004. It was a Polaroid camera using Sx-70 film :-). After that I bought a Holga and then felt I need more control and got an SLR. Now I shoot with M4, Pentax SLR and Mamiya 7, sometimes with Olympus XA... Still have Holga too.
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Old 10-01-2008   #72
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As an official old person here (I'm 42 don't you know) I'm pleased that I am not (as I feared) at the tail of the film using population. From these comments I believe that film usage will continue for a considerable time yet, that old cameras will continue to have value and be repaired, and that great photo's will be made across many different formats, including digital.

My observation is that it's more likely to be members of my own generation who abandon film in favour of digital because we know the difference in terms of convenience. If you don't have such baggage then I think that one approaches something like photography with a more open mind and a willingness to experiment.
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Old 10-01-2008   #73
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A while back when every second thread on every forum was "death of film", I said that artists have always looked for ways to differentiate and individualize their work. In other art-forms there have always been choices of media. For example, painting has charcoal, pencil, water color, oil. Sculpture has granite, bronze, clay, paper mache, and the welding of basically anything metallic. Now photography has film and digital, and with so many going digital, it's natural that individuals might choose film as a means to express their artistic individuality. The problem is, photography developed a completely different infrastructure than other art forms. Photography is a juggernaut industry. Professional (as in, for-hire) photography is virtually completely digital now. So is non-serious amateur party/vacation snapshooting. The question still remains, will the relatively tiny amount of demand for film and processing be enough to sustain the profitable manufacture of consumables with finite storage life, at prices that those artists will be willing to pay. I hope so, even though I shoot maybe two or three rolls of film a year at most these days.
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Gotcha!!! I'm 65 and the youngest film user here
Old 10-01-2008   #74
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Gotcha!!! I'm 65 and the youngest film user here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austerby View Post
As an official old person here (I'm 42 don't you know) I'm pleased that I am not (as I feared) at the tail of the film using population. From these comments I believe that film usage will continue for a considerable time yet, that old cameras will continue to have value and be repaired, and that great photo's will be made across many different formats, including digital.

My observation is that it's more likely to be members of my own generation who abandon film in favour of digital because we know the difference in terms of convenience. If you don't have such baggage then I think that one approaches something like photography with a more open mind and a willingness to experiment.
In terms of maturity.

Been using film since I was 10. I am a computer technician, so I jumped on digital when Logitech put out a simple camera that shot 640x480 max resolution, only in black and white. I have used digital quite a bit and been through a number of P&S, Prosumer and DSLR phases. In fact, I teach digital photography classes and Photoshop Elements at a local community college.

Bottom line... the more I teach, and the more I see the traps laid out by the industry on digital, the more I pick up my film cameras when I go out. The endless stream of newer and better models is in perfect synch with the economic problems that brought us to the current financial crisis. Somehow, these companies are going to have to learn that enough is enough. Give us your best camera and give us enough time to make it through the menu system at least once.

I have many 35mm and Medium Format cameras and dumped all but two of my P&S digitals. I just picked up a very nice used 4X5 monorail camera and 150 packets of QuickLoad and Readyload film (the film for $100 total).

This is the best time that I can recall in 50 years to buy film camera's and I have no fear of not being able to find film. Large format activity is actually growing.

I am encouraged to see so many young people here and otherwise taking up film, whether they shoot digital as well.

Keep it up youngsters!

Last edited by kuzano : 10-01-2008 at 07:00.
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Old 10-01-2008   #75
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This is great! Thanks everyone! Almost unremittimgly upbeat observations (no miserable old farts?); lots of interesting insights; and the important point that it's not so much age as freshness, i.e. you can discover/rediscover film at any age.

Cheers,

R.
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