PDA

View Full Version : Transition to digital ?


JohnL
10-28-2004, 09:58
I know there are few real digital RFs as yet, but there are many digital viewfinder "prosumer" cameras, and many, perhaps most, of those who haunt the RF forum also shoot other types of camera. I was wondering how far the transition to digital has gone among us ...

digitalox
10-28-2004, 10:10
My only digital is broke, so I have no choice. film only. wasn't a great cam anyway. I'll try to wait until the price comes down and the quality goes up before i buy another.

Pherdinand
10-28-2004, 10:43
well, something like 1 to 2 % :) but it's not really a matter of faithfulness to film. (To me.)

Kin Lau
10-28-2004, 10:46
My poll answer is a little misleading. I'm mostly an SLR shooter to begin with, and since getting the dslr, and the fact that there are very few keepers when shooting birds, means most of my shots are digital.

I'll go out at times and just shoot with the RF's, but it's bird migration session right now, so I'm burning thru a lot of shots w/ the dreb.

bmattock
10-28-2004, 10:48
I went from 100% film decades ago to NOTHING for the past twenty years to 100% digital about five years ago and now back to 100% film. Nothing against digital, just lost my digital camera and not happy with the replacement and now I wait and save for a digital SLR to take my M42 and Canon FD lenses. But having gotten back 'into' film, I doubt I'll ever abandon it again. Hey, I like both!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

Designer
10-28-2004, 10:54
For taking photos w/. my baby daughter, I always shoot digital. Otherwise, almost all using film.

lars
10-28-2004, 10:56
Another tired post from me, saying how I have embraced digital, although I still shoot film every now and then just 'cuz I don't (YET) have a digital camera with the same handling / performance qualities as my rangefinder and film SLR.

I'm going on a 4-day trip down to the Oregon coast and am torn btwn bringing my film SLR or my digital prosumer (Minolta A1). A big consideration (literally) is our 25 lb, 14 mos. old son whom I will be hauling on my back on hikes along the beach. The A1 is very small but capable where as my Maxxum 7 produces gorgeous results with Reala 100...but the 70-210/4 lens is heavy. And my wife is small, so getting her to carry the baby or my film gear is going to be a painful experience for me. The A1 might be the right choice, and the Max 7 a few years from now when he can walk on his own.

I suppose I could also bring my Bessa R and take a couple of film shots.

Larry

rover
10-28-2004, 11:02
Just for the stuff I am selling.

Rich Silfver
10-28-2004, 11:56
My answer was 1-30% (closer to 1 than 30..) but I'm not 'getting into it' as the poll answer states but rather quite happy with just using it for quick snaps of stuff once in a while.

Love film.

MP Guy
10-28-2004, 12:08
I'm in the market for a digital contax N. However, as always, looking for the best deal.

GeneW
10-28-2004, 12:10
I shoot both. Rather than do an image count, I voted on the basis of how often I take out one or the other. It's about 50-50, but the digital results in a higher number of images.

Love my RF's, Love my DSLR ...

Gene

Doug
10-28-2004, 12:46
Looks like I'm in the same position as Rich. Very low digital use, and content with that. I got the digital mostly to document property-manangement issues and also for quick snaps to illustrate some point in online discussions. :)

sfaust
10-28-2004, 14:08
I shot a little digital, but was very unhappy with the focus, shutter lag, and blown highlights and bad exposures. So I shot mostly film. Then my clients (editorial/Corporate) starting asking for digital, so I got a high quality digital SLR. I immediately starting shooting more and more digital as all the issues I had with digital were now gone. Very fast AF, no shutter lag, excellent optics, highlights well under control. And printing 11x14's that were indistinguishable from film, I swithed all most all of my work to digital. The last year, I started shooting more and more black and white film, and am now about 80% digital and 20% film. But I do see that changing even more toward digital as time goes on. Especially with the high quality MF digitals that blow away 35mm, but the price has to come down first.

lars
10-28-2004, 14:30
sfaust made the exact point I was about to post. It looks to me like a lot of digital dissatisfaction is the result of a bad experience with a low end or jurassic-era digital camera. Once you move up into the expensive stuff with real dials, knobs, and dedicated buttons, and better AF and reduced lag, you enjoy digital much, much more.

I started with an Epson 850Z and I *KNEW* it would suck greatly compared to a film camera of half the price. But that didn't stop me from buying an A1 a few years later. The 850Z is still used for its original purpose (taking static pics for web content) where as the A1 was bought for my photography hobby and therefore it had to have performance and an interface similar to what I'm used to using.

Larry

wierdcollector
10-28-2004, 16:11
I have a foolishly cheap Vivitar digital but no idea if it even works as my 'puter won't recognise it. I didn't buy it, my wife got it with points from a credit card. I'm still so computer challenged I can't figure my scanner out, so it's gathered dust for over a year. No great interest on my part I'm afraid. When I need a photo to post, I have Walmart put my shots on disk. I enjoy viewing others' work, but most of mine isn't worth judging or posting.

SolaresLarrave
10-28-2004, 17:34
I don't even have a cheap digital... So, I'm all for film use! :)

hinius
10-28-2004, 18:00
I would literally sell my soul for a digital Konica Hexar/Canonet/Yashica Electro. The technology is definitely available for a digital fixed-lens rangefinder with classic handling and super low-light performance.

Unfortunately, it would appear that it is only the law of supply and demand that prevents such a camera from existence. As a result, I am bypassing capitalism and appealing directly to the higher (or lower) divine powers! I repeat, I will sell my soul.

vladhed
10-28-2004, 19:17
it doesn't cost anything, so I tend to just shoot shoot shoot. But I usually get crap, crap, crap. So in terms of "good" shots, it is about 50 - 50 digital to analog.

LionFlyer
10-28-2004, 21:29
I mostly shoot with film. I have 1 Nikon MF body and 2 Nikon AF bodies and a modest collection of Nikkor glass plus 4 Range Finder cameras. I also have an Olympus 2020 and a Sony S75 for digital. The olympus is used mostly for IR images or for photos I plan to only need for the computer. The S75 is a snap shot camera. When I want the images to be around for a long time I put them on film. Real life story about film. My brother found some negatives at our Mom's place going back to when I was a kid. He asked me what the words Safety Film on the negatives ment. He has been scanning them and emailing them to me. After 40 years the images on the film are still usuable and all that was done was to put their enevelopes in a box. My floppies from 1982 are so long obsolete I don't think they can be read today by any working computer. If the data on them is even still viable. So I use film when ever it matters. Digital when it does not.

matu
12-02-2004, 11:56
I dont like the way the Digital Images are made.
Cheap lenses, Digital Zoom? Auto exposure.... are far away of the romantic, heavy and old trash Im used to carry.
I think its not the format what does it matter, It is the way you shoot the photo, I like to see the speed, the F-stop, play with the wheels, knobs, with the light meter....
Maybe when Im Old Ill buy a Leica Digulux 2 on flea market.

Bill Clark
12-02-2004, 12:18
Hi!

Happy Holidays!

I never thought digital would catch my fancy. It has. I made my first purchase in May as recommended by my friend Monte Zucker.

It has been a wonderful experience for me. I simply love using digital photography for the work. I primarily operate my camera in manual mode because of the way I want to paint images of people with light.

For me, the transition has been quick because of the fact that I took pictures a long time ago with primarily transperancy (slide) film. Slide film has many of the same requirements for exposure as digital.

I just purchased a Canon 20D and a EF "L" 24-70 f2,8 lens. I'm going to use it at my last wedding for the year on December 18. I'm really looking forward to it!

Cheers!

Solinar
12-02-2004, 12:22
I've broken three digital cameras since 1999. There wasn't much romantic appeal for me either until I discovered the macro mode on pro-sumer digicams.

Those small CCD sensors and 7mm focal lengths really are good for some things, especially if they are small and you want to get really, really close in.

peter_n
12-02-2004, 16:45
Hi Bill and welcome to the forum!! :)

I have had a Casio digital camera for many years but never use it, so I voted 0%. I think the combo of film camera and scanner works pretty well.

GeneW
12-02-2004, 17:25
Originally posted by Bill Clark
Hi!

Happy Holidays!

I never thought digital would catch my fancy. It has. I made my first purchase in May as recommended by my friend Monte Zucker.

It has been a wonderful experience for me. I simply love using digital photography for the work. I primarily operate my camera in manual mode because of the way I want to paint images of people with light.

For me, the transition has been quick because of the fact that I took pictures a long time ago with primarily transperancy (slide) film. Slide film has many of the same requirements for exposure as digital.

I just purchased a Canon 20D and a EF "L" 24-70 f2,8 lens. I'm going to use it at my last wedding for the year on December 18. I'm really looking forward to it!

Cheers!
Sweet camera and lens, Bill! I have a Digital Rebel and love it. My main walkabout lens is the EF 28-135mm IS. Image Stabilization is great stuff.

Enjoy the 20D!

Gene

berci
12-03-2004, 00:42
Hi Rangefinders!

I'll stick to film (or the film will stick to me), because it's easy to archive it. It will be very hard to store digital images on any medium for decades.

berci

chenick
12-03-2004, 02:25
I voted "1 to 30%. I'm getting into it."

Should really read "I'm getting out of it!"

From 2000 to early 2004 I was completely digital, but never happy with shutter lag or resolution etc...

Now digital seems to have reached an acceptable quality/usability level; however this is in very expensive high end cameras... and I have since discovered the joys of of old RFs, and the look of film, which I much prefer! :D

So no new digital cameras for me (unless they're gifts!)

-Nick

oftheherd
12-03-2004, 03:42
Originally posted by Honu-Hugger
Digital was invented for our "Camera and Coffee" thread.

D2

LOL, works for me. I voted >31% but that is probably too high unless you count scanning. And perhaps we should. I get a kick out of seeing people in forums stating they are film only and yet post photos which they have scanned and tweaked digitally. I guess they don't see it that way, but to me, that is using digital. Not a digital camera of course, but still digital use.

Currently my only digital camera is a Toshiba 4300 which has everything I want except interchangable lenses, and in camera b/w mode. I have been experimenting with it a lot lately and taking a lot of snap shots with it. It is a fun camera to use.

I'm with Bill on wanting to be able to use my screw mount lenses (especially the Fujinons) and I think I read there is an adapter for one or more of the Canon cameras to do so. What is holding me back besides a love of film's look and capabilities is cost.

Biber
12-03-2004, 03:45
100% film. I used to have a digital camera but I got rid of it a while ago since I never used it for anything beyond snapshots.

sfaust
12-03-2004, 04:28
Originally posted by chenick Now digital seems to have reached an acceptable quality/usability level; however this is in very expensive high end cameras...

Thats the key right there. Unless you purchase one of the high end digital SLR's, you have to put up with all the compromises they make to keep the consumer cameras reasonably priced.

I would compare the consumer vs professional digitals like I would an advanced P&S film camera to a professional level film SLR.

But once you get into the professional level DSLR's, the whole world changes and those issues just go away. But the expense stays :(

Originally posted by BersiIt will be very hard to store digital images on any medium for decades.

I find the archival end of digital head and shoulders above film. I have boxes full of binders with 35mm slides and negatives in them. Most even organized and labeled. But I'll be damned if I could find those shots I took in 1987 with that blonde model I remember so well. I'd have to go through quite a few binders to find it. Then again, it could have been 1988, in which case its a couple more binders to search. Oh shoot, what if it was 1986? Damn...

With the last few years worth of digitally archived images, I can find anything I want within a matter of minutes. My image management software even tells me which disk its one, and I just go get it and plop it in. Searching is a dream, and you can drill down and down looking for obscure images easily. And browsing thousands of images looking for something interesting to play with in PS is a joy, where going through the binders is much more work. When I travel, I don't take my binders, but the image management software with all the thumbnails is always on my laptop. So I always have access to any image I've taken digitally and archived.

The media has never been an issue. I've got images (and text, documents, etc) on disk that were created on the original IBM PC-XT (what, 20 years now).! They just were copied every 5 years or so from one media to another as technology progressed. Going from 5.50 floppies to 3.25 floppies, later moved to a Zip Drive, then CD-ROM, and now reside on a fresh brand new DVD. The transition was effortless, cost very little, and now the images are just as good as they were 20 years ago, and sitting on fresh media good for much longer than it will take to move it onto new media as the technology changes. I don't see any issues with doing this for the next 200 years. Migrating to current technology is easy, costs very little, and secure for the long run. Also having multiples copies of them makes me feel better where as knowing if my house burns down I've lost all my film images :( At least I'll have my digital images on the dupes left at my mothers house!

Also consider that all the major newspapers, magazines, periodicals, corporate media departments, sports departments, etc, are all using digital imaging. With the importance of all those images, billions of images, and the dollar value they represent, the technology will always be there to access this media. We are not going to wake up one day and find that we can't read our images anymore. As technology moves on, the images get migrated to the new technology. They will be current, fresh, 100% as the original, and the older stuff becomes backups, probably still readable for many years and a couple migration cycles. I can still find a 5.25 floppy disk drive to read my images from 20 years ago if I wanted. But there is no need, since they are now on DVD, and will be on the next technology wave when it comes.

Solinar
12-03-2004, 05:02
That's easy for you to say.

I've been using a digital for 5 years. I find the migration from one generation to the next generation of computers or media to be a less than pleasant task. It's a chore.

I will say it is imperative to at least put your most important image files on a UNIX server and purchasing jewel cases for your CD-R files is money well spent.

I find it is commendable that you are able to find all your previous raw files, as well as your finished and manipulated files as easily as you say.

In regard to storing negs and prints with a Print-File system, it too is a chore, but once it's done it's done.

EsaS
12-03-2004, 05:19
Digital has been really a different experience. I bought my first digital in may. It was Nikon D70. I had a Nikon film system.

To me, main advantages of digital are speed of post processing when pictures are needed fast and immediate feedback, pure colors and "clean", grain-free results.
But I still use film. I regard also slides as a final product and nothing has yet come close to projected slides in digital world.
And B&W films, it is really relaxing to work with them.

Yet, I am eagerly waiting digital RF:s, after Epson did open the game.
Esa

Socke
12-03-2004, 05:51
Originally posted by berci
Hi Rangefinders!

I'll stick to film (or the film will stick to me), because it's easy to archive it. It will be very hard to store digital images on any medium for decades.

berci

This must be the reason why banks don't use computers

sfaust
12-03-2004, 05:55
Originally posted by Solinar

>> I've been using a digital for 5 years. I find the migration from one

I'm surprised that you've migrated at all if you've only been shooting digital for 5 years. I've just finished a migration from my last one about 7 years ago. Yes, it is a chore, but only took a day. 1 day in 7 years isn't an issue for me. I could always farm it out for around $200. And $200 over 7 years again isn't that much in the long run.

>>> I will say it is imperative to at least put your most important image files on a UNIX server and purchasing jewel cases for your CD-R files is money well spent.

A server would be nice but overkill in my opinion. I keep all my important images also on a external 260GB disk for easier access. All the other images are only stored on the discs, and only access rarely. Almost as good as a server.

>>> I find it is commendable that you are able to find all your previous raw files, as well as your finished and manipulated files as easily as you say.

Its not that hard at all if you put it in your workflow. Files get batch renamed, written to disk, and I use IMatch as my image database. They get general categories and keywords assigned to them, and easily retrieved. I don't go nuts with keywords, but I can drill down enough to limit my search to say a couple pages of 50 images each. I can usually find that farily easily on screen in a few minutes.
It probably adds about 5 minutes to my workflow when archiving. A pittance considering the time it takes me to seach for images if I don't do that.

For example, I drill down by entering the following;
Model
Boston
Samantha M

I will get all the iamges I've taken of Samantha M done in boston and filed under model portfolios. Out of all the records, there are about 100 images all taken on two occasions.

Same with Aviation;

Aviation
In-Flight
Turbines
L39

And I get about 200 images. I can find the one I am looking for very easily since I've just eliminated all the other images in the database that are not L39 aircraft.

When I archive the images, I just select the group of images, which is almost always from the same shoot or generic category, and assign three or four keyworks, and I'm done. Burn the disk, file it, and move on. Not as hard as one might think.

It also automatically indexs all the EXIF information, so I can search by camera type, model, exposure, date taken, date modified, date filed, media id, file size, shutter speed, etc. Much of it useless, but none the less, another way to drill down to a smaller subset. T

It keeps all this data in a database, and attaches a 640x480 low res thumbnail to it. I have easy access to search the keywords and data, and it gives me a visual represenation of the image via the thumbnail.

>>> In regard to storing negs and prints with a Print-File system, it too is a chore, but once it's done it's done.

With Print-File system or Clear-File, Its easy to file the images, but extremely hard to find stuff in the future. I know this well since I am scanning a lot of my choice slides and negs now from all my binders. With the digtal archives, its a bit harder to file it, but easier to find it later, just the opposite. But with either system, once its done its done.

I spend more time looking at my images in the archives, than I do filing them. So I prefer to take the hit on time filing, then to take the hit every time I want to find an image, or just browse looking for images to use in photoshop creations.

Basically, I archinve and file every few weeks, and it takes about an hour of my time. but I use the archives about 20 minutes each day looking for materials for use in photoshop, on-line forums and gallerys, selecting and printing images, etc. So not having a digital database would cost me far more time in browsing in the long run.
If I didn't go back and access my files much, I'd just burn the disks and not worry about it. But I do, and it would be very time consuming by not having them organized in some fashion.

In my situation, it works for me. In others, it may not. But I am an active shooter, both personally and professionally, and I have a lot of images which I deal with daily. Organization actually saves me time in the long run, and digital is a godsend in that regard.

Even when I use use film, I get low res photo lab scans done for $2.99 a disk, and catalog the images and file the negatives. I even have a catageory called Rangefinders, since I don't get the EXIF info with the camera type :)

Socke
12-03-2004, 06:28
Indexing and all.

This weekend I'll finish scanning and ACDsee creates photo discs and keeps thumnails and information in it's database so I can find the disk easyly.

oftheherd
12-03-2004, 06:49
For Billl Clark and any others interested in using screw mount lenses and Olympus lenses, here is a thread on Popular Photography and Imaging that might be of interest.

http://www.popphoto.com/idealbb/view.asp?topicID=33129

Marc Jutras
12-04-2004, 05:31
At work, it's digital all the way and it's not really fun. At least, it gets me to work full time in PS salvaging every single shot. AF gone wild, way off exposure, unexplainable color cast and all those nice little things digital provides are my daily bread. BTW, we have almost all the top DSLRs from the last 4 years and it still doesn't cut it.

Note that we never shoot in controlled environments. We never have time to measure light color temperature and do a complete zone measuring. We shoot events and we do it in a "machine gun" way. So we're asking a bit much from digital. When I do the same work with film and my good old 283, every frame is dead on, no matter what the conditions.

For my personal work, I went back to film about 6 months ago (from a Canon 10D that got stolen). I also went for my first RF. WOW! What have I been doing without this all those years?

My next digital camera will have to be a M mount RF with a 36x24mm sensor and the consistency of film but without the price tag of a car. 'Till then, I'll be shooting film with my trusty R2.

So, at work it's 100% digital (with AF, TTL flash, zooms and everything that can ruin your shot) and on my own time: 100% film (fully manual RF with real glass).

Brian Sweeney
12-04-2004, 05:35
I use Digital or Polaroid for work, 35mm and Polaroid for home. I use a Kodak DC50 (circa 1996) for the camera and coffee thread and for posting "for sale" stuff. I have no intention of shooting for fun with digital. At work, I have used Digital since 1981.

Socke
12-04-2004, 05:43
Marc, what is it I'm doing wrong?

Canon D60, Tamron 20-35/3.5-4.5, 420EX. All parameters +1, fine JPEG. No postprecessing except resizing

Socke
12-04-2004, 05:48
Or this, at a Techno Parade.
Again D60 this time with EF 28-70

Socke
12-04-2004, 05:59
And for events, again D60 with el cheapo 20-35

Socke
12-04-2004, 06:01
Or this one?

Solinar
12-04-2004, 06:32
Interesting photos, they definitely weren't taken in George Bush's home state of Texas, which is where I live.:bang:

sfaust
12-04-2004, 07:01
Marc,

If running on manual with film gets you the shots you need, there is no reason you can't do the same with a high end digital SLR. When I machine gun anything, I run the digital cameras on fully manual as appropriate, and I get consistent excellent results.

Turn off the AF and run manual if you are having problems with it. There is a learning curve with AF since the sensors are not exactly where they show on the viewfinder. Thus, once you understand where they are, and how best to use them, you can get very consistent results with it. If you are not aware of the actual placement, it can run haywire on you. But luckily, there is manual focus!!

You can pre-set the auto white balance to whatever file type you would normally use (ie, daylight, tungsten, etc) If the conditions change on you, use a color correction filter just as you would on the film camera. Once you preset the color balance, it is extremely consistent. Its neat that you can look into the files and see the actual numerical values, as it does show the consistency in pre-set modes. I've never had a problem with inconsistent white balance on the S2, S1, D1x, or D100. I haven't really noticed on the consumer cameras, since I never looked closely. The S2 cameras get high praise from the wedding photographers who are deadly concerned with white balance and color casts due to the brides white dress. And they shoot in event situations with varied and mixed lighting.

If you are getting exposure errors, turn off AE. However, I've found the Nikon matrix meter to be so good, I use it all the time. However, I am acutely aware of whats going to fool the meter, and under those circumstances I adjust it as needed. But 95% of the time, I find it doing exactly what I would do manually, so I don't mind delegating that task at all, so I can concentrate on my subject and composition.

You use top level digital SLRs, so they are all able to run under complete manual control. You might want to try that, just as you would with your manual cameras. Then any issues will be you, and not the camera, and thats easier to fix than the other way around. Once the digital camera is under manual focus, manual exposure, manual color correction, etc, the sensor will act just like a piece of film would, and I can not understand how you wouldn't get consistently excellent results because you have completely eliminated all the issues you brought up.

But I also have a hard time thinking the digital camera is the problem since the majority of amateurs I've met are getting consistently better results than they ever did with film cameras. And they don't know photography. They don't know how to read a scene. They just point and shoot, and get nicely exposed images, balanced flash, etc. Even my mother improved 500% when se got a digital consumer camera. And they suck compared to a prof SLR.

If the opposite is happening, there is something wrong! Especially if you are using top quality digitals. I don't know of one professional I work with that has the issues you are running into. They all praise the speed, consistency, and accuracy of the top end stuff, and are delighted that most images need no post processing at all. The pros are changing in droves to digital, so I find it hard to believe such a picky bunch of people are moving in that direction if their consistency and results are diminished. Its their lively hood, and if they weren't getting better results, they wouldn't be going digital

Check out my Photo.net gallery.
http://www.photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=584167&include=all
90% of the images are digital. Few were processed other than to resize and compress for the web. A few were sharpened or levels adjusted, but most are direct from the camera, resized, compressed, and uploaded. Most of the stuff I do post process are B&Ws for conversion, toning, dodging and burning, and artistic reasons.

Pherdinand
12-04-2004, 07:06
Socke - she has great breasts, but still it's the last one which I like most;)

peter_n
12-04-2004, 07:16
Originally posted by oftheherd
I get a kick out of seeing people in forums stating they are film only and yet post photos which they have scanned and tweaked digitally. I guess they don't see it that way, but to me, that is using digital. Not a digital camera of course, but still digital use.
Good point. I'm about to get a scanner so maybe I should have added a percentage for that. Up to now I've had my film scanned by a lab when I've needed it.
Originally posted by sfaust
I find the archival end of digital head and shoulders above film.
Total agreement. There is no comparison. For those who are interested in archiving to CD, I recommend BurnQuick (http://www.burnquick.com/) as a simple extension to the file Explorer in Windows that does a great job writing files to a CD. And since people are already finding some CDs unreadable after only a few years, only use Mitsui Gold (http://www.mam-a.com/products/Gold/Gold%20CD-R%2010_10_03.pdf) CD-R disks for archival purposes.

jlw
12-04-2004, 07:45
I've migrated probably 90% to digital (Olympus C2020, then C4040, then Nikon D100, now supplemented by Epson R-D1.)

It's okay, but I often wish there were a way to migrate back.

As others have noted, moving up to a high-end camera gets you past a lot of the digicam nuisances such as shutter lag, slow AF, etc., so the shooting experience is not a problem.

And I like the convenient distribution: putting images on a web server so my friends and subjects can see them (eliminates the need for a lot of "courtesy prints"), being able to burn "slide shows" on a DVD and show them anywhere there's a TV, etc. Eventually I'll probably buy an iPod Photo and be able to carry around hundreds of slide shows in the space of a deck of cards. That'll be cool.

(Yes, you can do all this from film by scannning it; but if you shoot a lot - scanning gets very time-intensive.)

So why aren't I perfectly happy in the digital world? Simple: When I pull out my old b&w prints that I shot with a Canon VI-T and printed in my own darkroom, and compare them to my spiffy new prints shot with the D100 and printed on my state-of-the-art Epson printer... the new images just aren't as good. Not even close. They're OK as images and people like them. But they just don't have the aesthetic beauty of the old ones.

I'm very self-critical about my photos right after I've shot them, but after a year or so has gone by the picture loses the quality of "something I made" and starts to take on a life of its own. That's when I can start to see the difference between the good ones and the merely-OK ones. I've got framed black-and-white prints on practically every wall of my apartment. I've been looking at some of them every day for 20 years and never get tired of them. I have yet to make a digital image that makes that cut.

At this point somebody is probably saying, "Why not do both?" but that doesn't work for me. My theory is that you've got a certain commitment level to photography -- let's call it X -- and also a certain amount of time and creative energy that you're willing and able to devote to photography. If X fully utilizes that time and energy, you'll be satisfied.

So my problem is -- it may be bad math, but for me, devoting X/2 to digital and X/2 to film just doesn't add up to X. I don't feel like I'm fully committed.

So for now, I'm snapping busily away with my digital cameras and spending all the rest of my photography time in front of a computer, and people tell me they like the photos. And then I look up at the b&w prints on the wall and think, "Damn, I'm never going to be able to do anything that good again."

So if you're happy with your photography now and haven't yet gone digital, don't do it. You may find that you can't go home again, and it's a bummer.

sfaust
12-04-2004, 07:49
Originally posted by peter_n
And since people are already finding some CDs unreadable after only a few years, only use Mitsui Gold (http://www.mam-a.com/products/Gold/Gold%20CD-R%2010_10_03.pdf) CD-R disks for archival purposes.

Good point Peter. There are some very cheap blank CD's on the market, with a poor lifespan. You get what you pay for. I hate how that works :)

(is there a pool on how long the breasts will stay online?)

JLW, I understand what you are saying. I have a medium format camera for shooting B&W (or even C41, and E6) that I'd like to blow up to anything over 11x14. I find the MF far exceeds anything I can do with 35mm (film or digital) so thats why I went that route. I wish I still had my 4x5, but I know I wouldn't use it as much as I would the MF equipment. So MF is a great compromise.

I guess I'm saying that I compare 35mm and MF prints like you are comparing 35mm flim and a digital. After shooing B&W in 4x5, MF is the only other option for me going down the format chain. So 35mm B&W is a moot point for me.

Once the printing process comes of age, I may dump the MF stuff and just shoot 35mm digital for color or B&W prints. But thats not going to be for a couple more years. B&W printing just isn't close yet, but it will be in the near future with all the advances they are making.

And for those that truely cant' make up either minds, just go all MF and shoot both with interchangable backs. You can then setup your shot, put on a 120 back with E6 film, then the back with B&W film, then the C41 film, and finally put on the digital back and grab a 25mp image. That is the ideal world in my opinion, and available today. Its just expensive, but its getting 30% cheaper each year. A used medium format back currently costs no more than the top level digital SLR's! In 3 years, it will be half that, and still take awesome images.

Hang on, the next 5-10 years will be very interesting!! I'm glad I don't own any stock in film companies. Nikon is evern considering dropping all their PS& film cameras. From 1.9million units to a total of 50K last year. Ouch!! Film SLR sales are declining as well, with digital SLR's climbing.

Pherdinand
12-04-2004, 07:52
Stephen - you better download it now:) you never know!

Solinar
12-04-2004, 08:10
"Why not do both?" In my case, I have to. The expectation at work is to have results within a couple of hours rather than a couple of days.

For personal use, I'll stick with a mechanical film camera from the 1950's for no other reason than I like the slow, comptemplative mode of a manual camera.

This doesn't mean with digital, that you can switch off your brain. With the above soccer ball shot, I would have switched off the auto-flash, opened the aperture, selected the fluorescent setting for the light balance and prepared for the ensuing slow shutter, hoping to catch the soccer ball as it was moving upward.

There is room for creativity in both media.

I have a darkroom and love the traditional look of B&W, but believe me some folks really do prerer the look of digital capture and digital printing.

sfaust
12-04-2004, 08:14
I've got more breast shots that I already know what to do with. I don't need more. Models have to be the least timid people I know!

But then again, I don't hae any waving at me with a black fishnet shirt on :)

Socke
12-04-2004, 08:30
Originally posted by sfaust

But then again, I don't hae any waving at me with a black fishnet shirt on :)

Standing on a trailer towed by a 450HP Mercedes Truck in front of speakers powered by a 15,000 Watt PA playing a techno mix :-)

And she is no modell.

sfaust
12-04-2004, 08:42
I was actually talking about models I work with, not so much in reference to your photo specifically. I didn't assume she was a model. I've had many of them just change right there between takes. Not timid at all. I guess it is efficient and quick, and some are used to modeling nude, so why not I guess.

Socke
12-04-2004, 08:51
Stephen, nudity is nothing special in germany, not to far from here is a lake with a nude only beach. The problem is, most nude don't look that, hm, pleasing :-)

If the weather permits, you'll see barebreasted women sunbathing at the river. May be it's connected to the usual bad weather around here

sfaust
12-04-2004, 08:58
I know. Been to Europe a few times, and its a common thing. I think it should be less of a deal here in the states, but society dictates whats acceptable. So we just save it for the movies!

But as you say, there is pleasing, and there is, well, not :) I would not want to subject ANYONE to seeing me in a speedo !!!! Even my worst enemies!

Richard Black
02-06-2005, 15:41
I use Minolta Z2 for pictures to post to Ebay and for some grandkids' photos, but 98% of the time it is film. TriX, Ilford HP5 and some C-41 B&W in 35mm and mainly B&W in medium format with a small amount of color. Digital is fine but the storage problems concern me. I have pictures my mother took with a Brownie Hawkeye that are clear and sharp even after 50+ years. Digital is a necessity, it is not my passion.

Socke
02-06-2005, 16:08
Richard, digital storage is not a problem! Realy! Ask your bank how they store your account.

I have CD-Rs which are perfectly readable after 11 years and Kodak Color negatives which are falling apart after 5 years. The CD-Rs are high quality media and the Kodak negs developed in a mass production lab and a Kodak Minilab.
If one takes care with the choice of media and storage it will last a very long time and in 50 years it'll be easier to find a device to read old CDs than a light bulb for an enlarger. At least I can't find one for a 1957 Leitz projector today!

You can hook up a 1982 Comodore C64 "Datasette" or a cassetteplayer to your Windows XP PC's soundcard and read the files but how do you do that with your double 8 films?

pukupi
02-06-2005, 16:37
I moved from digital to film with my first RF in December 2004. Before that, along with the usual offsite hard disk backup, my favourite digital shots were printed "just in case".

Now, all my film is scanned and stored digitally as I've spent so many years with Photoshop I prefer to work this way.

sfaust
02-06-2005, 16:52
Photoshop is the best thing since sliced bread. The creativity is endless and far exceeds what a traditional darkroom offered. Its done for print work what digital effects have done for the cinema.

Bertram2
02-06-2005, 17:01
As long as digital outdoor B&W photos look as they do look I won't waste money for a consumer DSLR which is after 3 years nothing but a demonstration what innovation circles mean in digital technologies tho it has costed 3 times more than it's analog sister.

If I want blown out highlights and closed black shadows I can have the same effect with sloppily exposed C41 B&W film for much less money :-))

Emulsionly,
Bertram :D

wblanchard
02-06-2005, 17:17
I'm about 99% digital and 1% film. I'm just loving my Leica D2. I still have a Canon EOS 3 which is my backup for weddings. Once I start burning some film through my R3A I think the percentage will even out more.

Richard Black
02-06-2005, 17:31
I can't argue with those who have adapted to digital. I don't have the technical background nor do I wish to engage in which is better. Glass plates from bygone years are printable today. Project 100 years from now and without considerable effort to save in the newest format, can you say that your digital files will be readable. If the great photographers of yesterday used digital that was available at the time but did not keep up with the latest technology would their work be readable. My position is that I prefer the traditional format of film to digital. There is plans to create a new storage medium. I don't know enough about it but we will see it within the next few years. But beyond that what will be next? The old phrase "the bird in the hand..." still is true today. New computers don't include 3.5" floppy drives, MP3 players are taking over the recording business, what is next? Can you keep up? If so, will this become the photographer's mission? We have a technology that has proven itself and has improved. I use digital and scan my shots I want to share and work on. It is my preference to use film and keep the negatives and that is all I can say. The arguments for digital are not convincing to me, but to those who prefer it, I am pleased that they have that option.

jon_flanders
02-06-2005, 17:32
I bought my first digital camera, a cheapo, a few years ago, after a year or two I bought another, an Olympus D 230 which is not bad. I had used an OM-1 since the mid-70's.

Now I am back to mostly film, after discovering the joys of range-finders.

The digital pictures that my wife brought back from Peru last summer taken by other members of her tour(her digital was stolen in Puno), illuminated for me the difference that I see between film and digital.

Many of the shots, particularly those taken by a real journalist, were spectacular, brilliant, bright and full of color. As is Peru.

But I feel that there is still a kind of clinical coldness to digital. I see this most in pictures of people. The lack of grain in digital can make human skin, and other surfaces look plastic(in the vinyl sense). Analog film has a more painterly quality that I prefer.

Having said that, I of course do plenty of negative scanning these days. Even so, I feel that the scans render that analog quality of film in a pleasing way.

I can understand that professionals have to do digital. It's a matter of time and money. For me, as an amateur, that is not a concern.

I'm going a one week tour of Italy this month. I'll be taking film cameras with me.

DougK
02-06-2005, 17:39
Bertram2, my 5MP Dimage 7i consumer digicam does just fine converting to B&W. You really have to watch what you're doing with the tone curves and the levels in Photoshop or you do wind up with the effects you describe, not to mention getting it right in-camera in the first place, but I certainly wouldn't rule out digital shooting on that basis. That said, when I choose to work in B&W I always reach for one of my TLRs in order to get that old-fashioned look I like.

Richard Black
02-06-2005, 17:41
Jon,
You may have pointed out the best reason to not convert to digital. The "old film" cameras are not the object of lust as it the "newest" digital cameras. Leaving your Yashica laying around my not put it at risk. Leave a new digital camera and it may be stolen. Just pointing out that somethings change. We may have a generation of imagers that don't know a Leica from a Contax. Those who fear traveling with their expensive Leica kits may soon not have to worry. What? its not digital? Just joking, maybe.
I agree that digital images may with digital cameras appear to my 58 year old eyes to be "cold". The camera shop here in Enid is owned by a 81 year old fellow that sells more digital that film cameras, but he told me that he sees digitlal photographs lacking in depth. He just doesn't see the charm that is film. The fellow that prints the b&w for him is 82 and does fantastic work in a darkroom. He even taught the Leica workshop folks in the 50's some new trick. He says the same that digital leaves him wanting. :bang:

DougK
02-06-2005, 17:47
I also have to admit, I'm strongly divided within myself as to the film vs. digital realm. The one argument I don't think is relevant anymore is "which is better" They both have their strengths and I pretty much shoot whichever I feel like at the moment. While I would dearly love to switch completely over to MF and I really enjoy shooting 35mm slide film, I think the reality is that I will shoot more and more digital simply because it's easier for me to process the images and I can share them with friends and familiy much more easily.

Richard Black
02-06-2005, 17:53
My solution to this dilemma is to have the lab make a CD of the film. I get the negatives, prints, and cd for about $10. I can sent the images via email from the CD. I can scan the negatives and work them in PS, and I can put the prints in frames or photobooks I keep for myself. If you shoot C-41 black and white they can do the same as above. I have become a devotee of Ilford XP2 Super and am trying Kodak's new BW400CN. My Epson 3170 makes acceptable scans of negatives as well as the prints. I just don't print much at home. Burn a CD and take it to Walgreens or Walmart to use their equipment.

DougK
02-06-2005, 18:04
Richard, I tried what you suggested and I was so disappointed by the quality of the scans from this particular lab that I basically said to hell with it - I can do better from my flatbed for a lot less money, although it does take a lot more effort. Granted, I should probably try a different lab but since most of my output stays online, digital does make a certain amount of sense for me no matter how much I love medium format.

sfaust
02-06-2005, 18:15
Project 100 years from now and without considerable effort to save in the newest format, can you say that your digital files will be readable.

Yes, and without considerable effort. I can right now take a 25yr old mag tape, and have it read and converted and delivered on a brand new shinny DVD. Heck, you could even find a hobbyist that could read punch cards and convert it onto cd-rom for you. The data is 100% as it was back then, only the media would have changed.

For me, its been about a days work every 7 years to migrate. A drop in the bucket, and much less effort than paying my taxes and keeping all my vehicles inspected. And I could easily just send it out and have it done for me for a few hundred dollars. Very convenient, insignificant amount of work, and a few hundred dollars spread over 7 years is nothing.

With all the digital images and business data stored on digital media, you can believe the government and corporate sectors are not going to let it fall by the wayside. Where billions of dollars are at stake, there are companies that will want their piece of the pie and will design, build, and market whatever the industry needs to migrate the data into the future.

So yes, after being in the computer industry for decades and watching the changes over the years, I have no doubt in the safety of my images.

I think it comes down more to a personal preference. Some like the razor sharp images that digital creates. Other like the different palette of film. Digital can easily be made to look exactly like film, but film can never be made to look like digital. I love the look of a sharp digital image, but only after its been given some grain and contrast adjustments in post processing. Otherwise I too feel the straight out of the camera images are cold and flat.

When it comes to printing, film has a definite advantage. However, its getting to the point that a high end digital camera, a good workflow, and a properly calibrated pro level printer can make prints that keep people scratching their heads. In the next 5-7 years, I think even those firmly entrenched in film will have a hard time telling the different in a 11x14 print. In fact, most have a hard time now when medium format digital cameras are used and the prints done on the high end $5k printers. I'm blown away by the quality, but the file sizes are huge (150MB and up), and the cost of the equipment is just as bad. But as time marches on, the quality will rise, and the prices will be within the reach of advanced amateurs.

But in the end, art is art. Some will choose pastels. Others oil. Some still will choose charcoal. And another watercolor. However, they are all an interpertation of ones artistic vision, and that of the viewers.

MP Guy
02-06-2005, 18:22
I dont know Bertram. I have been getting som einteresting results with a DSLR.

check these out:

http://www.dslrexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?p=597

http://www.dslrexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73

sfaust
02-06-2005, 18:45
Thats an unfair comparison Jorge :) We all know the high end SLR's are quite capable of excellent results. But I don't think Bertrams experience was with a $10K camera and lens setup! Consumer grade cameras are known for low quality sensors and inadequate internal processing algorithms which cause just those kinds of problems. Add in B&W conversions without post processing, and its like going into a film darkroom and trying to make a masterpiece with a single sheet of paper and 3 day old chemicals in one try.

To be fair to Bertran, this isn't an apples to apples comparison. Its more like rasins to grapes :)

Richard Black
02-06-2005, 18:50
I won't argue that digital is not a valid and challenging medium. It is! I have expressed my concerns and have made peace with the processes I choose to use. I have access to three nice photo labs in my area and make use of all of them. I do print digital photos of my grandsons as well as digitalized scanned photos. I prefer the look of a wet darkroom. Will I always, that like digital storage is subject to change. Film saves me time. Drop off the film and pick up the prints when I want them. Have those enlarged I want and file the rest. Film fits my life better than digital and I am conforted by the negatives I can hold. I will share this that the process of working with the software I have is not very rewarding.

pukupi
02-06-2005, 19:06
I moved back to film when I moved to RF photography because a full-frame digital RF doesn't exist (yet). Now that I'm using it, I'm seeing the advantages of film although I still get frustrated with the fixed ISO.

Kin Lau
02-06-2005, 19:51
For all the people comparing digital to film and keep bring up this "plastic, cold" look stuff. Why are you comparing digital p&s's to rangefinders which in many cases were the best of class camera's in their day? Try shooting people with Velvia and see if you don't get some real interesting skin tones :)

For people who dislike technology, it's okay, no one's forcing you... RFF is where we get to enjoy our camera's and mostly film and the images we create. I still enjoy using film. It's just a different medium, as a RF is different from an SLR. Some of the objections about digital sound very funny tho.

DougK
02-06-2005, 20:02
It's just a different medium, as a RF is different from an SLR..

Well said :) I'm glad there's still room for both film and digital - I'll shoot both as long as I'm able to.

jlw
02-06-2005, 20:10
And may I add that despite having voted in the 71-99% category, I am still not happy about that?

The R-D 1 has helped a lot, because it lets me use the type of camera I prefer (interchangeable-lens optical rangefinder) to make the type of image I usually need (digital.)

But the pictures I care about the most, and that give me the most satisfaction, are still the selenium-toned b&w prints I have hanging on my walls and filling up boxes in my file cabinets. And when I compare those prints to the ones that come out of my state-of-the-art Epson R800 printer... well, I can see that the R800 prints still have a long way to go, both in terms of image quality and aesthetic quality.

(I know others will disagree, and it's strictly my subjective opinion, of course... but that subjective opinion is that the results aren't even close. I should point out that, in all modesty, I used to be a really, really experienced b&w printer -- so even though I know a lot about Photoshop and the theory of digital imaging, it's hard for me to get the same level of craft and control out of the digital process.)

I shouldn't really kick -- nowadays, the vast majority of my pictures wind up on a web server, or being given to people on CDs or DVDs. And that's great -- I can give someone 100 photos that they can enjoy on a computer monitor or TV set, and that look great on those devices, and all it costs me is less than a dollar for a blank disc.

But I still feel guilty looking at those framed 11x14s on the walls -- they seem to be saying "Neener, neener, can't catch me..."

jlw
02-06-2005, 20:31
For me, its been about a days work every 7 years to migrate. A drop in the bucket, and much less effort than paying my taxes and keeping all my vehicles inspected.

Lucky you! It hasn't worked out that way for me. My first digital images were made on a $150,000 DuPont Vaster Design System, which is now extinct; I still have some old tape cartridges from it, and they can still be loaded into an antique tape drive, but there's nothing available now that can read or translate the Vaster's proprietary file format. Back in the day, I imaged some of those files onto what was then the state-of-the art digital printer -- a DuPont 4Cast, a 300ppi unit that was the first publicly-available dye-sublimation printer -- but by now all of those prints have deteriorated via the dye sublimating out again. The only records I have of those images are transparencies I imaged on a 35mm film recorder.

Today we don't have to worry so much about proprietary file formats, but keeping up with media changes is still labor-intensive. My digital-camera shots from 1997 onward have been stored as stacks and stacks of CD-R discs. Last year, when I bought a DVD-R drive, I swore that I'd consolidate all those discs onto DVD discs. Ya know what? Never happened... there's never enough spare time. Just as well I didn't, because now the next big thing is dual-layer DVD-R discs (if they ever get the device compatibility issues worked out.) So when I get around to buying a DVD-R D/L drive, I can tell myself I'll move all the CD-Rs onto that. And I probably still won't have enough time! (Even if I do, there's still "CD rot" to worry about...)


With all the digital images and business data stored on digital media, you can believe the government and corporate sectors are not going to let it fall by the wayside. Where billions of dollars are at stake, there are companies that will want their piece of the pie and will design, build, and market whatever the industry needs to migrate the data into the future.

I'd like to believe that's true, but the government and corporate sectors' track record in the foresight department isn't exactly encouraging! This is a huge issue among academic librarians (my sister is one of these) and one of the stories they tell is of the 1960 US Census. This was the first census ever to be fully tabulated by computer, using what were then the industry's best and most standardized practices, and the computerization made it possible to break down and analyze the census data more precisely and more usefully than ever before. It was considered a huge breakthrough, and everyone recognized the value of it.

Today, historians would love to be able to analyze and cross-tabulate that data in new ways, to help validate new academic theories and apply new statistical techniques. But they can't! The media are still there, locked in a Census Bureau vault -- but despite the acknowledged value of the data, the machines needed to read it were long since allowed to become extinct.

Sure, in theory it would be possible to custom-build a device that would read the records and translate them into modern data formats -- but in practice, nobody on a history-department research budget is ever going to be able to afford it!

Socke
02-07-2005, 03:32
Another thing to longevity of film.

I doubt modern emulsions last as long as those from the 1930's and 40's did! I have real problems with my color negs from the 80's. Some stick to the sleves, some lost color and on others the emulsion is very brittle.

I had to give my fathers and grandfathers B&W negs away as they are on celluloid which burns very well and may be explosive.

I just stored my slides and negs from Cuba together with CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. One CD-R per roll and all copied to two DVD-Rs stored in a binder with the films. We will see :-)

sfaust
02-07-2005, 06:34
My first digital images were made on a $150,000 DuPont Vaster Design System, which is now extinct; I still have some old tape cartridges from it, and they can still be loaded into an antique tape drive, but there's nothing available now that can read or translate the Vaster's proprietary file format. Back in the day, I imaged some of those files onto what was then the state-of-the art digital printer -- a DuPont 4Cast, a 300ppi unit that was the first publicly....

What you are describing is a failing of the people, and not of the technology. The people that owned the data choose not to migrate, thus the data is no longer available. Its not because the technology didn't allow them to copy and move the data to non-proprietary formats and current media. That is a significant difference from the technology preventing you from doing so!

If you wanted to preserve the images on the Vaeter system, you could have. You could have moved them to new media and converted them out of the proprietary format as recommended for any migration strategy. Further, if you had, and you reprinted the images today, the quality of those images would he far greater than it was 20 years ago. Technology have moved on, and the printing quality is head and shoulders above what it was even 10 years ago, let alone more. Yes, you could still have had those image resting on a shinny new DVD, with prints that far exceed the originals, had you wanted to.

The census data issue is exactly the same. It was a decision by the government not to keep the data for future use. They could have migrated the data if it was important to them. It was not, thus, they never migrated. Could they have. Absolutely, as evidenced by the amount of data from the 60's that is still available and properly archived. Because the government didn't see the value in preserving the data, doesn't mean the technology failed, and the data we compile today won't be accessible 30 years from now.

If you choose not to migrate all the images you have on CDs from 1997 on, is it a failing of the technology that in 20 years you will not be able to read them? I know I will be able to read mine, but I do migrate since I find value in doing so.

20 years ago, you could store your .bmp files on a 3.5" floppy disk. You can still read those today with machines bought of the shelf today in Best Buy. Many machines still come with floppies, and the .bmp format is still current. In 20 years from now, I am more than confident you will still be able to read .TIFF files, and most computers will come with CD-ROMs installed or easily available. However, my images would have long been converted over to whatever is current at the time, in both media and file formats. So whether or not I can read my old CDs with images stored in .TIFF files will be a moot point. If you choose not to migrate, it might not be moot point for you, but you won't have a leg to stand on if you want to argue the failing of digital imaging by citing old you let your data expire by leaving it on old media and file formats that were phased out over a long 15 year period. You will get the, 'Well dude, you didn't migrate? What do you expect LOL".

All this is akin to complaining about your Kodachrome negatives that have deteriorated and can no longer be printed because you had them stored in a dark, damp, basement. The problems would not a failing of film technology, it was a failing of proper storage. For digital, proper storage is having a migration strategy to move to new technologies before the current technologies are phased out. Currently, that means migrating every 10-15 years to whats current in both media and formats. To be absolutely safe, do it every 7 years and make two copies, since the actual longevity of CD and DVD media can't be guaranteed past 10yrs.

If I could somehow renew my 4x5 Fujichrome transparencies with new emulsion and base every 5-7 years, I might use that as an archival format instead :)

Socke
02-07-2005, 14:59
All the anti digital arguments could be summed up like this
B&W and Glass negatives last indefinately
Velvia has at least 20 Mpixel and no grain
Film has the best colors

digital cameras have cheap zoom lenses
too much noise at high ISOs
shutter lag
bad colors
plastic look


Ok, so where can I get that fabulous glass based, no grain, natural color and high resolution slide film as ISO 400 in 35mm format?

Sean Reid
02-07-2005, 15:41
Over the past four years I've gradually moved to working only with digital cameras. Two things had to be in place for that to happen. 1) The file quality needed to be sufficient 2) The cameras needed to be *cameras* not gadgets. The Canon DSLRs made the switch possible for me and the R-D1 brought me back to the kind of camera I most like to use. Now that many manufacturers have made digital cameras that really work like cameras, I find that I can more or less ignore, while making pictures, what the capture medium inside is. For me, that brings the process of photographing back to a kind of simplicity (with respect to the cameras). It makes me think then of what Kertesz said: "I see the thing, I feel the thing, I make the thing".

Cheers,

Sean

canonetc
02-22-2005, 09:22
I only shoot digital for money (weddings and wire photojournalalism). For art and street work, I stick with film and hold true to my Edward R. Murrow-HCB values. The other night I shot a music circle with a 20D digital, and those pics still could not compare with what I shot the previous week, at the same place, with my Leica M6. I wasn't surprised, really.

Chris
canonetc

the lobster
02-22-2005, 10:19
I am not a lifelong photographer. I don't do it professionally, nor did I study it in any capacity in school. I had a "passing interest" but never pursued it.

I used to just have a P&S for snapshots- friends, events, travel, etc.
Then I bought a Sony Cybershot and used that for a couple years. But what I had was a recorder, not a photographic tool, if that makes sense.

Then last fall, I called up a old friend whom I hadn't seen in years and invited him to Game 7 of the ALCS (I still weep occassionally!). We were at his apartment and he had a couple photos he had taken blown up on his wall. I looked through his portfolio and really liked what he was doing with a camera. It was a Contax T(don't know what number). But he said he really liked the Zeiss optics.

I started to dig up some of the old cameras I had and none really excited me to the point where I wanted to go out and make pictures. (read: they all sucked).

Then at a antique co-op, I spotted an old Exa. It called my name and I bought it. I love the old feel of it, the complete lack of electronics. Then I got a Rollei 35 for an absolute steal on that auction website. It hasn't really been too long since (4 months) but not a day went by that I haven't taken at least one shot.

Then I found this place and all bets are off! I found a IIIc, and a Konica to add to my collection. I have my eyes on another camera too, which I will buy new and it is not a digital. I'll give you a hint- my girlfriend is going to be pissed!

elcud35rc
11-10-2005, 06:45
I use digital for auctions/sales and snapshots and film for real photography.

kiev4a
11-10-2005, 06:48
Only use digital for occassional snapshots and web work

fgianni
11-10-2005, 06:51
save for a digital SLR to take my M42 and Canon FD lenses

I think that with the necessary adapters any DSLR can use M42 and FD lenses, I have often used an 1.4 super takumar with my 20D

pvdhaar
11-10-2005, 22:52
I now divide my photgraphy approx. 50/50 between a film-RF and a DSLR.

Both have their strong and weak points, and they complement each other perfectly.

aizan
11-11-2005, 01:03
i voted zero, but just because i'm holding out for new digital rangefinders, higher-end digicams, and the olympus e-3.

Rob
11-11-2005, 03:19
Mostly digital now for auctions. But I am using it more for scenic pictures too. Since my good, fast, close by slide processor stopped doing slide work, it forced me to change.
I am amazed at what I can do with just a Nikon Coolpix 2 MP camera. Next one will be
6 or 7 MP but still and advanced point and shoot, dont want to haul all the lenses and gear of a DSLR kit.

Flyfisher Tom
11-11-2005, 03:40
I shoot both. I love film because my film cameras are all substantially smaller, lighter and less conspicuous than my digital SLR.

But, once the technology arrives for a digital M (I don't care who makes it), that gives me:

1) about 10-12 mp;
2) full frame sensor, and
3) retains the same size, weight and inconspicuousness of my leicas

I would have no hesitations in going completely digital. Just a pragmatist :-) Film will never completely die, however, too many art and fine art enthusiasts who will sustain a niche market.

Brian Sweeney
11-11-2005, 04:00
I've been "Getting into Digital" since 1981. My oldest Digital camera is from 1992. My favorite Digital camera, the Nikon E3, is from 1998. I use it to take pictures of cameras, and use it to test out lenses. At work I use Nikon D1x's, I bought them when they first came out.

Real pictures on my time are with film.

JohnL
11-11-2005, 05:25
Amazing how this thread is still alive after more than a year. Is there any way we could freeze it, then start a new one, so a year from now we could compare the stats?

sfaust
11-11-2005, 08:33
Well, its been over a year since I first replied to this topic. Boy how things changed photography in just a year.

I can no longer tell the difference in print quality between film and digital when digital work is shot on high end cameras and printed with quality paper and printers. I was in a well known fine art gallery in Boston last month, and there were digital images and prints selling for $7K each. Seems that art is because of the persons vision and reputation, and doesn't matter that they shoot with. But we already knew that :) ! Statements have been announced of photography giants confirming they are dropping many of their paper/film based products due to lack of sales. And on it goes. The technology is upon us no matter what we desire and the future is far more different that we would have thought 5 years ago. 5 years ago I remember saying, "Never! Ain't gonna happen!" And here we are today, and I'm 99% digital at this point.

From a personal standpoint, my medium format and 4x5 large format cameras are sitting basically idle for the last year. Clients don't want film, and prefer the look of a well done digital image. But they aren't talking P&S class or low end SLR, they want 11Mp to 22Mp images shot on high end 35mm digital or medium format platforms. Typically the $8K or so range cameras, because these are more than capable of anything you can produce with 35mm or medium format film. If they want that film look, they do that in Photoshop. It works, and when done right can fool even the film die hards. I've seen that over and over again. Some contrast tweaks, curves, grain, and choosing the right output. As picky as I've always been about the 'digital look' of digital images not looking as good as film, I can no longer tell when a good photographer and Photoshop artist does his thing. I no longer bet on whats been shot on film or digital anymore.

The old school side of my brain still likes the feel of a roll of film, loading 4x5 sheets in the dark, and the exercise of sitting in the dark and watching a image appear on a piece of paper as it soaks in a tray of developer. But I can't dismiss the creativity thats been unlocked by shooting digital and running the images through Photoshop. The speed at which I can create images far surpasses what I could do in the darkroom. The ability to so freely create images has all but pushed the old school stuff aside. I am no longer locked in a slow and tedious medium, but immersed in a sea of liquid creativity. So even my personal photography has now gone the way of digital since even I can now create a very convincing film look at will, and match my favorite film stocks.

Its interesting to look back and see the difference a year made on me!

GeneW
11-11-2005, 09:11
Stephen, thank you for an elegant posting. It makes me feel optimistic about the future of photography. If more digital RF's appear, and the price gets affordable, I think there will be attractive reasons for a transition to digital RF cameras.

Gene

Gabriel M.A.
11-11-2005, 10:12
I must estar loco de la cabeza, because I most surely can tell film shots from digital, most definitively mine of course, not only because I know they were taken in either medium, but the look and feel is there.

Many people are still very biased on whether a photograph has merit because it is taken with a digital camera or shot on film; like a world-famous politician once quoted and put it: "poppycock".

Whether you like to draw with pencils, fountain pens, crayons or mud, it's the technique and the end result of how you handled your media.

Like they say in my country: Tan-tn.

Gabriel M.A.
11-11-2005, 10:16
I agree with you Gene, too. We're all driven by the joy of photography. OK, love of GAS too, but photography above all. I'm very glad I found RFF.

sfaust
11-11-2005, 10:52
gabrielma,

Yes, digital does has a look about it that easily separates it from film, and is pretty obvious to most people. But I also think its one of the draws to that medium for commercial work. Its fresh, different, slick, and not something thats been seen day in and day out for the last century. Just like the styles you see in magazines go in and out of fashion. Something new, something different, until it gets old, then it's off to something else. So the very fact that it is different has some appeal all by itself aside from the obvious other advantages.

But its also very easy to manipulate the digital image such that all the clues that tell you its not film are gone, and if printed on good paper with a quality printer its very very deceiving. A photographer friend of mine attended a large photo show aimed at professional photographers. One of the vendors had a display with 10 11x14 prints. 5 shot on digital, and 5 shot on film. They offered $500 to anyone that could correctly pick all the digital vs film shots. The vendor left with their $500 in their pocket at the end of the show which seems to show the technology has indeed arrived. If a conference full of professional photographers can't easily see the difference, most other people aren't going to spot it either.

And you are so totally right on. Pencil, film, watercolors, digital, slinging mud, doesn't matter. If the end results makes you feel something, thats all that counts. The end result.

Gene,

I'm with you on this. A follow on digital RF with higher quality, lower price, and M-mount lenses will definitely hurt my wallet! When it appears, I won't hesitate for an instant to grab one. I've almost bought the R-D1 several times, but always decided to wait and see if either the price drops drastically, or something better comes along.

SalmanA
11-11-2005, 11:13
This has been a very interesting thread to read. :)

My own transition has been the other way around: digital -> film. I started with digital photography almost 2 years ago but found myself slowly drifting towards film. I think that was partially due to limitations of consumer-grade P&S digicams which I started out with such shutter lag, noise, poor low-light performance, etc.. As Stephen (Faust) pointed out my initial experiences with digital might have been better had I spent more money upfront on better DSLR gear (such as the then current Canon DRebel and 10D for example).

Over time, however, I've come to prefer the look of film over digital even for colour shots. I find that most of the time my P&S digicams produce images with clinical sharpness and harsh colour and tonal transitions. Or perhaps my digital post-processing skills aren't quite good enough to make my digital images look more like film.

As others have already said, I think that film and digital aren't necessary mutually exclusive. I tend to view them as 2 different mediums and will continue shooting both for as long as I can.

I voted 31 - 70%, as nowadays I shoot approx. 30 - 50% digital.

PS: Stephen, I'd love to hear from you any advice, tips, etc. you might have on how to make digital images look more like film. This is one of continuing struggles with digital...

Bertram2
11-11-2005, 16:38
I know there are few real digital RFs as yet, but there are many digital viewfinder "prosumer" cameras, and many, perhaps most, of those who haunt the RF forum also shoot other types of camera. I was wondering how far the transition to digital has gone among us ...

One year after this poll was started I still use 100% film.
There are mainy two levels of probs for me , result and handling, and at the end there is a philosophical question too I would have to find an answer for.
Concerning results:

Skin looks like vinyl
Sky and closed portions of one colour look like airbrush
Highlights are always blown out in bright sunlight
and/or shadow sink in 100% black loosing all structure.
There is no real B&W comaparable to silver negs, desaturated colourshots from a digital camera are not black and white
Ther is still too much colour noise
Poor transitions let objects sometimes look like cut and paste
A crop factor eats my wide lenses and their DOF

Concerning the handling:
I hate picking functions from menus, I want knobs !
I hate lugging power supply for a camera which works on battery only.
I hate in general electronic gadgets with embedded systems, producing unexpected breakdowns, no matter if temporary or final breakdowns.
The only choice are DSLRS at the time, too bulky for many places.
The return on invest I could get from saving film and dev is eaten by an enormous loss of worth, that means digital is expensive but you notice it first id you want to "upgrade". and have to face that you are broke because you gave away your old analog top gear for some few bucks
I would hate a camera which I have to upgrade, it makes me feel somebody takes the piss outta me. What kinda idiocy is the need to upgrade a $1500,- camera after a year or two ?

IF ALL the result probs were solved AND i could buy something like a fullframe RD-1
for about $1200 Maybe I'd try it anyway.

But even then the very last question is not answered: What does it mean for a photog to have not a material source like a neg, into which light burned a slice of reality.
I am not sure at all if for me this neg can ever be replaced by some magnetic dots.
The question of the material source is the essential one which makes the dimension of the change visible.

At the time iirt seems tho got a lot of time left to think about the very last decisive question and how I will answer it one day.

Bertram

DougK
11-11-2005, 19:18
When I originally voted on this poll, I was firmly in the "I shoot both" camp. Since my Minolta died, I sold my Nikon, and gave away my Kyocera, I'm back to all film cameras. I can't say I really miss digital other than the convenience of an all-digital workflow.

For me, it has nothing to do with film or digital being "better" than the other; my desired end product more often than not is a digital file for online display or printing by inkjet, as I have not learned darkroom skills... yet. Now that I'm comfortable with the basic technical aspects of taking a photo, having to control anything other than focus, aperture, and shutter speed is just annoying, for lack of a better word. I love the gliding of the lens focus, the snick of the shutter, the smooth ratchet of the film advance. The process just feels right and satisfying.

Maybe someday in the near future I'll be forced by the march of technological progress into readopting digital cameras in order to continue with photography.

Maybe.

But that day isn't today.

sfaust
11-11-2005, 20:57
A lot of what you are describing Bertram is the failings of the middle and lower end digital cameras. In that sense, I have to agree with most of your comments. But, let me address it from the higher end cameras like the EOS 1D Mark II ($4K new), the EOS 1Ds ($3K used), and the EOS 1DsMarkII ($8K new). These are the cameras that really make images comparable to 35mm film IMO.

Skin looks like vinyl
This is a retouching issue, and not inherent in the digital format. I also hate the vinyl look, and it seems to be prevalent in glamour magazines (Stuff, FHM, Maxim, etc). Yech!!! Pick up a copy of Vogue or Elle magazine and look at the skin tones there. Beautiful, mostly digital, and no vinyl.

Sky and closed portions of one colour look like airbrush Highlights are always blown out in bright sunlight and/or shadow sink in 100% black loosing all structure.
This is a characteristic of the smaller sensors. The larger full frame sensors don't have this issue, as well as some of the higher level prosumer cameras. Its also further made an issue by the manufacturers tweaking those cameras to deliver contrasty highly saturated images that they feel the everyday P&S shooter wants. That blocks up the details in the blacks. And the compression they use doesn't help at all.

Higher end cameras have dynamic range almost exactly the same as E6 film. After shooting E6 for hundreds of years (ok, it just feels that way :), shooting digital is very comfortable and similar. Smooth gradations, detail in the highlights and blacks, very similar to E6. Very different than what you describe above.

There is no real B&W comaparable to silver negs, desaturated colourshots from a digital camera are not black and white There is still too much colour noise Poor transitions let objects sometimes look like cut and paste
The color noise is from smaller or cheaper sensors. Once you move up to the more expensive sensors, the noise isn't an issue at all as noted by the 'clinical' or 'sterile' look people talk about. Thats caused by a lack of color noise, grain, etc.

And I disagree that desaturating color isn't real B&W. Its every bit as real as sliver negs. With silver negs you desaturate it when it hits the neg. With digital you desaturate it before you 'develop' the film. They are both images captured sans color. In fact, you can even use your normal filters you use with B&W when you shoot a color digital image. It will look weird in color, but so does it when you looked through the lens when shooting B&W. But when you desaturate the color digital image, you will get the same net results you would have with B&W film and the same filter. The process is different, but the results will be the same. The only difference is where the translation happens from color to B&W. One is between the lens and film, and the other is between the 'film' and final paper.

A crop factor eats my wide lenses and their DOF
There is no crop factor with full frame sensors! 14mm IS 14mm, period. I applaud Cannon for going with the full frames, and switched from Nikon because they decided to stick with a crop factor. To me, once Canon came out with a high quality full frame sensor capable of 35mm film quality, all my disapproval of the digital format went away. Consumer cameras and P&S are all cropped or have very small sensors.

I hate picking functions from menus, I want knobs !
Handling, ergonomics, feel, etc, are all by nature a personal thing. Yea, I like knobs also. The higher end DSLR cameras use the same knobs as a film camera. In fact, the EOS film and digital cameras feature the same controls and feel he same. Cover up the LCD and the differences are less than obvious. The lower end cameras and consumer P&S rely on menus, and poorly laid out ones at that. There is a huge difference between P&S and prosumer cameras, and top of the line professional cameras. The pro cameras are meant to feel just like their film counterparts, and they did an excellent job doing that. Much like Epson is trying to do with the R-D1, and nearly got it right.

I hate lugging power supply for a camera which works on battery only.
Me to. But my Nikon F4 and Nikon F5 film cameras had the same problem, and after switching to Canon, my EOS 1V film camera was the same. Its something we aren't going to get away from unless you turn on the way back machines and want to go retro or old school. Which is fun in and by itself :) I still have may Canon QL17 GIII, Yashica 35C, Olympus 35RC, and Keiv 4A. Can't seem to part with them. Small, light, easy to use, etc. But none have seem film through them in quite a while :( But sell them, no way!

I hate in general electronic gadgets with embedded systems, producing unexpected breakdowns, no matter if temporary or final breakdowns.
Unfortunately, you've described most everything in our modern society. But its not really any different from mechanical breakdowns. Nothing, electronic or mechanical is perfect, and cameras on both sides of the fence have their issues.

The only choice are DSLRS at the time, too bulky for many places.
A DLSR is big and bulky. But so is a FM2 compared to a 35mm film P&S. Or a Nikon F5 compared to a FM2. Or a 4x5 compared to a 6x6. There are smaller digital cameras that are not bulky, but then you make a trade off just like you would in film. "Should I take the 4x5 for its quality, or just the FM2 and a 50mm to go light?". There are some good P&S cameras that are very light, but you will sacrifice quality in return. With stuff like the Epson R-D1, you might get both in a small package at some point.

The return on invest I could get from saving film and dev is eaten by an enormous loss of worth, that means digital is expensive but you notice it first id you want to "upgrade". and have to face that you are broke because you gave away your old analog top gear for some few bucks I would hate a camera which I have to upgrade, it makes me feel somebody takes the piss outta me. What kinda idiocy is the need to upgrade a $1500,- camera after a year or two ?

There is no enormous loss of worth unles one chooses to have one!

If the camera takes excellent pictures and serves the need, why would you need to upgrade? Even if the value of the camera declines, does it stop producing images, or the quality degrade to less than what it is today? No. So why the need to upgrade?

Its not like computers where the applications grow in size and function and require more and more horsepower. The requirements of the application for 35mm film have not changed in decades, and if the DSLR meets those requirements today, it will still meet them as long as the requirements don't change. If a 35mm digital or flim camera can make beautiful 8x10s today, it will still be able to make the same quality 8x10's 10 years from now. Unless people want better quality 10 years from now, either a 35mm film or digital camera will suffice. I wouldn't have said this 5 years ago, but only because 5 years ago digital wasn't close to 35mm film quality. But that has changed.

But even then the very last question is not answered: What does it mean for a photog to have not a material source like a neg, into which light burned a slice of reality.
Nothing! As long as the slice of reality is captured, saved, and able to be archived, the medium it resides on isn't important. Its the capture thats important, and the ability to save it for future use. Would Ansel Adams images be any less compelling, or more so, if it was captured on a different media but with the same end results? The media is irrelevant compared to the image captured.

In fact, I should probably say, "Everything!" instead. Having only one material source of the original is far inferior to being able to have as many perfect and exact duplicates of the original source as one feels the need to have. With digital, I can make thousands of exact original duplicates without any quality loss if so desired. I can spread then around at my work, home, sisters, friends, and my studio, or around the world. Chances of me loosing that image are far less than if I had my sole negative at home and my house burned down. I want to safe guard my images, and digital will do that with a good archival backup process that transcends the media and technology it resides on far better than a single physical image.

Now, I am not trying to convince you, or anyone else for that matter, that digital is where you should be. I am just explaining some of the differences between consumer and professional gear in the digital arena that solve the issues you mentioned. So while I have defended digital in relation to your specific issues, I am not in any way trying to say that since those issues are resolved you should consider the switch. Quite the contrary. Just like I may prefer oil, I would never argue that watercolor is dead, or any different than art done in oil. The media is just a tool in the expression of ones vision. If I like an image, I could care less what it was shot with, or captured on.

sfaust
11-11-2005, 21:03
PS: Stephen, I'd love to hear from you any advice, tips, etc. you might have on how to make digital images look more like film. This is one of continuing struggles with digital...

One of the things you will struggle with are P&S cameras for all the obvious reasons, but also some that people may or may not be aware of. The sensor in the camera is basically your film. P&S sensors can not match the quality of the larger high end sensors. They are smaller, not as sensitive, have more noise issues, etc, all which translate into lower quality. But most P&S cameras are also aimed at the consumer crowd, and much like the super saturated films were, the cameras are tweaked to produce saturated contrasty and sharp images. When you move up to the professional level sensors, the images a cleaner, less noise, and less 'tweaked'. The fact that you can also shoot raw helps a great deal.

To give an image a film like look, first its best if you shoot in RAW. You also need to understand Photoshop levels and curves fairly well. This helps you massage the various layers to fix the contrast and saturation of the image. Adding in some film grain will also remove the tell tale sterile quality of a digital image. And playing with the sharpness to reduce it, but still maintain a sharp image is another step. Usually its done by sharpening and blurring individual channels to achieve a more realistic look. Its beyond this thread to go into all the steps, but the above is basically one of many ways to achieve that look.

If people see very clean, sterile, high contrast, and tack sharp images, they assume its digital. But, if you remove the sterility, match the contrast and saturation of a given film stock, add in some real grain, and reduce the sharpness just enough, it looses that immediate identification with digital and will pass most peoples radar.

But what most people with digital cameras do is quite the opposite. They increase the saturation, over sharpen the images, and add more contrast. And there is no way that will ever look like film.

If you really want to purse the film look with digital, I can dig up some old pointers to good tutorials on the net that if followed in Photoshop will result in an image that will easily pass as film. Just send me a PM.

Socke
11-11-2005, 23:06
Bertram, it's not that bad with a dSLR, I still shoot my three year old D60 and up to now there was no Canon SWAT team forcing me to upgrade to a 10d a 20d and a 5d :-)

But one argument against digital is a very valid one, if you don't like it, it will not work for you, and nobody can argue you into using something you don't like and have fun with it.
That is the reason I spent more on my Contax G system then on the Canon D60 and I don't save much on film :-)

Bertram2
11-12-2005, 05:52
[QUOTE=sfaust]A lot of what you are describing Bertram is the failings of the middle and lower end digital cameras. In that sense, I have to agree with most of your comments. But, let me address it from the higher end cameras like the EOS 1D Mark II ($4K new), the EOS 1Ds ($3K used), and the EOS 1DsMarkII ($8K new). These are the cameras that really make images comparable to 35mm film IMO.

Stephen,

I meant cameras like a D70. D350, 20D, or Minolta D7 indeed and I haven't seen enuff results of the above mentioned top cameras to dare any judgements.
Those prosumers are the cameras friend of me own and use, and let me tell you there are some among them who are real champs in film photography, these guys know what they do and they are experienced in postprocessing too. Nonetheless the results suffer from the deficits i mentioned.

What I could see so far tho is that the top cameras you are talking about are undoubtedly better at all points I listed as deficits.

But even if they were good enuff to make the results acceptable for me a price of $ 4000 to $8000 is so far out of everything what I would be willing to spend on a camera body that in principle it does not make sense for me to discuss it.
I always refused to spent such money on gear, not for a Leica M or R and I won't do it for a digital SLR either. MY pics are so mediocre, I am only an amateur and from an amateur's standpoint I cant see what sense it could make to invest such big money.

Desaturation: No problem in principle for me, I meant desaturated pics from a digital camera only. Scanned negs look very different from that, I myself quite often do that and like it tho even with film it's different from silver B&W., a third was so to say.

Concerning the lack of a material source :
You say it means nothing and state it's only a different medium. Maybe a misunderstanding: My prob is that there is NO real "medium" any more, you see?.
One can have different opinions about it.
To make my POV clearer let me compare these pics with kids with no biological parents ?
Thinking about this point since quite a while I realize that there is an essential
thing in photography changing.
Holding an old neg in my hand I feel a direct linkage to the past, to MY past, it is something like a proof that I really existed in those days and that I had been there. Blowing some light through it it proves it with a print
Holding a DVD in my hand I feel nothing.
You will say that's MY prob only and I will answer you maybe, maybe not, that is not THAT important.
Important for me is more to explain my POV, why there are good reasons for not beeing fond of digital cameras and that these reasons earn respect, as much respect as the reasons for using digital cameras earn.

I general the discussion always gets Kindergarten-like because nobody really respects the reasons of the other side.
I would not attack anybody ever because he shoots digital. I do not feel at all I should convince anybody to stay with film. I am not one of those agressive fundamentalistic birdbrains who keep themselves as an elite who is chosen to protect the eternal truth of photography. Some of that breed you can watch at APUG. Scanning negs is enuff sin to get ignored by them for ever.

No, I am far from all that. But I don't want to get attacked either because of saying I don't like it myself. To say that is NOT an attack yet but it is very often taken as an attack. At this point many DC users are too sensitive it seems.
After a while you give up to say anything about digital cameras, because you know it ends with unfriendly words necessarily .

Should not be. A matter of respect, that's all. The simple will NOT to offend anybody makes discussions possible first. Discussions are for explaining standpoints, NOT to find out who is "right" and who is "wrong".
All participants on both sides know they are right anyway, don't they ? :D :D :D


Regards,
Bertram

sfaust
11-12-2005, 07:13
I meant cameras like a D70. D350, 20D, or Minolta D7 indeed and I haven't seen enuff results of the above mentioned top cameras to dare any...

I still believe it is most likely the case of a lack of proper post processing with the D70 and D20, as I have direct experience with both of those and don't see the issues you mention when processing from a raw image. I haven't seem much output for the Minolta or D350 to give you any opinion at all on those, but they are also difference sensors from the D70 and D20. The D70 and D20 have highly regarded sensors with a good reputation.

What I could see so far tho is that the top cameras you are talking about are undoubtedly better at all points I listed as deficits.

Thats really the only point I was trying to make in my last reply. Basically, not to judge the digital format on the failings of some models of digital cameras, and most importantly, those at low end of the spectrum. I still to this day see arguments that there is too much shutter lag, slow processing, auto focus issues, very slow startup times, etc. There have all be addresses in current cameras. In fact, my 1D MarkII can shoot 8 frames a second for 40 frames capturing raw + large JPEG images at the same time. Even for film, thats smokin fast! In fact you can't do that with a film camera, since you would finish a 36 exposure roll before you ever got to the 40th exposure :)

And yes, price is a huge issue, especially for personal photography. While 3-5 years ago, it was even out of the reach from all but the top photographers in the world, the cost is such that any professional photographer can afford the high end gear. When you factor in that most working professionals send more than the cost of a high end digital camera in film and processing, the savings will pay for a new digital body in less than a year. Add in another chunk of change for a high end computers, etc, and usually their investment will repay itself within a year.

For an amateur, its very different as you point out. $4K is a lot for a camera body, and unless you are spending $4K in film and processing, film makes much more sense. But, if you spend ~$150 a month or more in film and processing, a high end digital camera starts to make sense. It would take three years to break even, but anything after that three years would be free. So it really comes down to how much you shoot, and how long you will keep the camera to find the break even point between film and digital.

I was a die hard film fan, but the advantages finally outweighed the disadvantages for me over the last few years which caused my migration. For a professional, the advantages are very clear, as they are in the low end market as well. But for advanced amateurs, the waters are still muddy and there are barriers that need to be broken before it makes sense for that segment of the market. Higher quality in the prosumer cameras. Full frame sensors in sub $1000 cameras. Better tools for workflow that reduce the workload on the photographer. I think we will see that in the next 3-5 years. And maybe even a 11mp range finder that takes M-mount lenses as well. Yea!

And a side benefit of shooting digital is that you will shoot more. Every single person that I know that bought a digital camera increased the number of exposures they shot each month. Because there is no cost associated with film/processing each time the press the shutter, the did it more often. Mostly to try new ideas, experiment, just to see what would something would look like if photographic at an odd angle, or results of a filter, etc. And I think they learned faster and much more because of it. They old saying the quickest way to learn is to burn film. I agree completely. But with film there is a cost associated with it that limits the photographer. With digital, that barrier is gone and they can freely experiment to their hearts content, and with instant feedback. No waiting for the film to come back from the lab, then trying to remember what you were trying to do.

Even if one doesn't want to 'go digital', having even a cheap camera just to test ideas, play with new techniques and learn with benefit their work with film. The instant feedback associated with digital is a huge advantage in learning. I am surprised basic photography isn't taught with digital camera, and save the film and darkroom for the advanced classes. Learning all about aperture and shutter relations could be done so much faster with digital, so that when they moved on to film, they could concentrate on their art, and not as much on the basics.

I know some photographers that are still shooting film, but using a low end digital camera as their polaroids. They shoot it with the digital to see the results while setting up their shot, then switch to MF or LF for the final images. The digital allows them to work out all the issues that they used to rely on polaroid tests for. And worse case, if their MF or LF images get lost of fail to process properly, they have a 35mm DSLR image to deliver rather than nothing at all. It acts as a backup image, as well as a Polaroid test.

Concerning the lack of a material source :
You say it means nothing and state it's only a different medium. Maybe a misunderstanding: My prob is that there is NO real "medium" any more, you see?.
I'm still not sure I understand you, or just don't feel its an issue for me. I personally don't care if my image is held in my had as a negative or on a DVD. At that point in its life, its just in an intermediate stage and not important how its stored. What is important to me is the final print. Thats what I want to hold in my hand, to use for presentation, and thats whats tangible to me. Either way, if you like the feel of a negative in your hand as a tangible result, than thats what works for you and no one can argue that.


I couldn't agree with you more about discussions turning to arguments, and you said it very well! There are many on both sides of the discussion that take it all to personally. I hope the last paragraph in my last post made it clear that I feel as you do. I am not trying to sway anyones opinion, but just adding what I feel are very valid points regarding the differences between film and digital as I see if from using film for 20 years, using both for 5 years, and not pretty much 99% digital for the last 2 years.

I think Socke said it well. "if you don't like it, it will not work for you,...". In my opinion, that's the only argument one needs to make to validate their decision to use digital or not. I don't like the look, I don't like the cost, I don't like the workflow, or the opposite, I just like film! You just can't argue with that!

pstevenin
11-12-2005, 23:12
When I have decided to re-do some photos 5 year ago, I've bought a P&S digital canon ixus. As I was quite disappointed with quality issues, I went for an Olympus E-10 (35-135 f2.0-2.2) and I am still using it. Little by little I added some extensions and now it ranges from 28 to 620mm plus macro extension.
It is usable at 64 ISO but even there quite noisy. I do like this stuff because it is absolutely silent and using a beam splitter, there is no mirror and the viewfinder is usable-> 1/15 handheld is okay.

Then a year ago, I offered a brand new M6-TTL to my wife + a used 35 'cron for our honeymoon trip to argentina & chile.

What a difference!!!, now we complemented it with some other lenses, I've found a rolleiflex in a very mint condition, and I added a Olympus mju II I always carry with me.

I am going back to film, mainly for high iso usability in low light condition and b&W rendition.

The oly without flash is okay only in a well lit situation. So I still use it for family photos and specific ones (macro, tele), and I have stolen the M of my wife . Fortunately, she's waiting for our two boys birth (planned end of this year) and have little interest to photo these times so I eagerly waiting an MD full frame body to have mine!

yarinkel
11-13-2005, 00:21
Interesting poll but what about those who, like me, started with digital and are now doing the transition to film?

sf
11-13-2005, 00:28
some of you are really writers, huh.

I would be, but it is pretty simple in my case. Most of my shots are digital, but that is because I own two 4x5 view cameras a D70, and a little 35mm RF that is currently not working. It would be hard to take more 4x5s than digital shots, for obvious reasons.

Now, the real question IS :

How many of your keepers are digital captures?

For me, about 5%. Or less. None of what I print is ever digital.

aizan
11-13-2005, 01:15
i don't get many keepers with film...

sfaust
11-13-2005, 05:59
Writers, or just verbose? :) I am certainly not a writer, but I am verbose. I tend to rather enter one long post, then a bunch of smaller ones :)

If I look at the gallery wall in my studio, I have about 25 images from 8x10 to 20x30. They are mostly digital, and printed to high end printers from a good service lab. There are a couple images that were done on 35mm and medium format film. Those will probably always be on my wall because they are timeless images for me, and I never tire of looking at them. I've got a few similar ones on digital prints as well that will always be there. The rest of the images get rotated with some of my latest work. When one strikes me as a long time keeper, it just never gets swapped out since I never tire of it.

But since I shoot mostly digital today, it makes sense that most of my keepers on the wall are going to be digital. If I shot all film, that would obviously be reversed. More interesting would be the ratio of keepers between film and digital for those that shoot both equally.

pstevenin,

You ran into the dreaded small sensor issue with that noise problem. The images from most low end cameras fall apart around ISO400. The high end cameras do very well at ISO800, and some to ISO1600. For an example of an image shot at ISO1600 on digital, check out this image. There was no special editing done to it other than what I do on all my images, film, digital, regardless of ISO. It was shot at ISO 1600 with a Canon 1D MarkII, handheld at 1/90th with a 85mm f1.2 lens and shot wide open at 1.2.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/data/5454/051101-Erica-_J1J0940.jpg

One of the stumbling blocks that kept me from going to digital with a good high ISO. I love to shoot candids at night, and without a high ISO and fast lenses, I just couldn't make the switch. Once I tested out the 1D Mark II I knew I could get excellent night shots. With the 85mm f1.2, the 50mm f1.8, and the 1D Mark II, I'm very comfortable again shooting digital at night. And I like the end result much better since the clinical look of digital works for me in this instance with less grain or noise that I would get with film.

pstevenin
11-13-2005, 06:35
pstevenin,

You ran into the dreaded small sensor issue with that noise problem. The images from most low end cameras fall apart around ISO400. The high end cameras do very well at ISO800, and some to ISO1600. For an example of an image shot at ISO1600 on digital, check out this image. There was no special editing done to it other than what I do on all my images, film, digital, regardless of ISO. It was shot at ISO 1600 with a Canon 1D MarkII, handheld at 1/90th with a 85mm f1.2 lens and shot wide open at 1.2.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/data/5454/051101-Erica-_J1J0940.jpg

One of the stumbling blocks that kept me from going to digital with a good high ISO. I love to shoot candids at night, and without a high ISO and fast lenses, I just couldn't make the switch. Once I tested out the 1D Mark II I knew I could get excellent night shots. With the 85mm f1.2, the 50mm f1.8, and the 1D Mark II, I'm very comfortable again shooting digital at night. And I like the end result much better since the clinical look of digital works for me in this instance with less grain or noise that I would get with film.

Wow, fantastic shot!

I know that noise at high ISO issue is solved more or less now, it was just to share the experience. I am definetely digital oriented, and as I do not own a full gear from either Nikon or Canon, I think the market is still moving too fast to invest 5 or 6 k to own it (at least for an amateur like me).
Regarding M Digital, as I own the lenses, it will be more than welcome (plus the environment, and slow handheld speeds, hard to achieve with a mirror)! Anyway, I am still looking for a usable DSLR that will be much better than the E-10 (which is still a good camera adding some noise ninja on it). I wish for x'mas a nikon D200 full frame (at least for the form factor) with a 50 1.4, a 15-35 f2.8 or even 2 a 70-300 f4 plus a X2...a good way to do manual focussing (I mean a real viewfinder) and an MD!!!

jaapv
11-14-2005, 05:27
Why don't you buy a used 10D. They are very capable DSLR's and dirt cheap now!

JohnL
11-19-2005, 17:09
I had a few digicams before I got my first DSLR, a 10D, just over 18 months ago, and I now have about 28K clicks on it. That would be almost 800 rolls of film, which would have cost me about $1600, minimum, for film alone, without processing. I already have a computer etc, so for me that was not really an additional investment, although I now spend quite a bit more on print cartridges!

In the 40 years before that (during which I sometimes had little time for photography), I probably took about 500 rolls of film. I think I have learned quite a bit more in the last year-and-a-half than I did in the preceding 40! Photography is something that you need to practise.

I still use film occasionally and intend to continue doing so -- in fact I "went back" to it after a few years of 100% digital -- but it doesn't amount to more than about 10% of the total. I use it mainly for when I want to get full mileage out of wideangle lenses (I don't have a FF DSLR, yet), when I want to experiment with things like multiple exposures, and for dynamic range, using color negative film.

This is just the way things have been going for me. Doesn't mean it's what anyone else should do, of course.

Kevin
11-20-2005, 00:53
I need the hard copy of film. It will save me troubles down the road.

Richard Black
11-20-2005, 03:55
JohnL,
I have had the opposite experience. Since the birth of my grandson 3 years ago, I have shot over 300 rolls of film and very little digital. Why? My mother shortly after he was borned. I had to go through her possessions and picked out the family albums which she kept for over 70 years. My family's history is in them photographically. She did not keep the negatives and some of the prints need to be reprinted. Yes, I know about digital restoration, but I decided to keep the negatives of my grandson so if he wants to reprint any in 50 years, he will have the option. I still am looking for a K-M 5d. I have a lot of K-M a/f lenses and it uses them.

sf
12-04-2005, 23:21
film - digital - film - digital - FILM! But the D70 stills gets used for unimportant things like selling on auction sites and taking pictures of myself making faces.

dostacos
12-25-2005, 07:31
well I mainly shoot film, have used a zoom digiPOS for some off road shots where instant gradification was the word of the day [lots of net posting]

now I am looking to become a church photographer.....But honey I NEED this digital SLR so I can down load the pictures right away. the church can't wait for the developing then scaning HONEST!

Uncle Bill
12-25-2005, 08:01
I will have be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. I am analog and proud of it.

Bill

Socke
12-25-2005, 14:13
well I mainly shoot film, have used a zoom digiPOS for some off road shots where instant gradification was the word of the day [lots of net posting]

now I am looking to become a church photographer.....But honey I NEED this digital SLR so I can down load the pictures right away. the church can't wait for the developing then scaning HONEST!

Repent! The end is near!

Sorry, couldn't resisit ;)

Steve B
01-14-2006, 20:42
Its situational. There are just some things that the instant gratification of digital works for. But sometimes when the subject is good, the light is good, and I'm lucky enough to have the R2 with me its still a pleasure to shoot film. Sometimes the instant gratification of digital isn't quite as pleasing as super saturated chromes on the light box and I still can't find a digital camera with a while balance setting labeled "velvia".

jacema
01-14-2006, 21:10
I have decided that the day I can't get anymore film, I'm gonna pack down my cameras, because then it's all over - no more photography for my part.

Jacques.

ch1
01-14-2006, 21:55
I won't answer this poll because of the "reasons" attached to each response.

Like "30% = I'm getting into it"

Into what? Part-time digital is about what level "I'm getting into it" is for me!

Why the hell do these kinds of posts always suggest that these kinds of choices are "either/or"? As if life only gives you one choice and you HAVE to make it to the exclusion of alternatives?

Can't I "do digital" 30% of the time but not be "getting into it" as if I am now on a "slippery slope" and must ultimately give up film?

I shoot digital sometimes - film more often. The more I work at both - the more I no longer think of the two activites as very related to each other at all:

My take is this:

Film is photography; Digital is image making. Separate them in your mind and there is no longer an either/or "conflict" between them.

OOOH, very ZEN!!! :eek:

Stephanie Brim
01-14-2006, 22:14
I don't shoot digital. I'll shoot digital when I can afford a digital rangefinder. At the moment, though, it seems that those days are a ways off.

sf
01-14-2006, 23:11
I don't shoot digital because my digital camera is sick, and I don't want to pay it doctors' bills. I think I'll just bury it when it dies, in the cold, wet earth in my back yard - but not too close to the house. I'd rather buy film for my REAL camera than pay to have that evil little machine hanging around my room, giving nasty looks to its eternal superiors and making darkroom jokes.

Andy K
01-14-2006, 23:56
I don't shoot digital because my digital camera is sick, and I don't want to pay it doctors' bills. I think I'll just bury it when it dies, in the cold, wet earth in my back yard - but not too close to the house. I'd rather buy film for my REAL camera than pay to have that evil little machine hanging around my room, giving nasty looks to its eternal superiors and making darkroom jokes.


:D :D :D

aizan
01-15-2006, 00:26
looks like this will be the year for me to buy a serious digital camera. if leica and olympus don't pull through, which i doubt, there's always the nikon d200 to fall back on.

and until someone makes a digital p&s with fast, interchangeable primes, i'll have to make do with the 35mm image stabilized lens on the panasonic fx-9. i've already got some keepers on flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/raizans/

Gid
01-15-2006, 01:10
I've shot digital only for the last 5 years. Why? It gives me complete control over the whole process. I never developed stuff myself, so didn't have that control over the analogue process.

Ultimately it doesn't matter a jot what you shoot unless you are into very serious large fine art prints IMHO. I imagine most amateurs would be happy with reasonable quality prints up to A3 for most of the time and you can get that from a consumer P&S. If you only want 6x4s then you can probably get away with some of the more recent camera phones. Will they be as sharp, well saturated and as detailed as a "hand crafted" shot from 35mm, MF or LF? Most likely not unless you're shooting a 1DS MkII and up (and even then debateable). However, I doubt that most people (non photographers) care as long as the print they have gives them what they want. Now if you gave them the choice of two prints that were identical apart from one being digital and one being from film you might get a very different result. But, nobody does that.

Just enjoy your medium and its inherent processes.

My two pennies worth. :)

Regards

Gid

AsahiPentax
01-15-2006, 05:34
To be honest, I'm too poor for digital :P

David Goldfarb
01-15-2006, 06:49
I checked 1-30%, and it's probably more like 5-10%.

I have a Coolpix 990 that I purchased new for archiving documents (like a scanner, but much faster and more portable for library research), and I also use it occasionally for advertising items for sale on the internet, or for digitizing images for the web.

I do very little digital printing, except for the occasional Frontier print or Chromira/LightJet print from color transparencies. I don't own any photo quality printer.

Maybe in the next few years I'll get a DSLR for bird photography, but for now I still shoot 35mm slides for that.

If anything, I'm going "backward," devoting more and more time to large format, and I'm starting to do some alt-process work.

darkkavenger
01-15-2006, 07:20
I switched from digital to film in 2005. I saw the Light!

DougK
01-15-2006, 08:04
I posted a long time ago on this thread and I've really been thinking about this question since then. For me it isn't so much a transition as becoming comfortable with both media. I started getting serious about photography on digital and switched back to film. I've flip-flopped back and forth ever since, but I don't see that as a bad thing, I just use what's appropriate for the situation.

lushd
01-15-2006, 08:23
Going the other way - I'm doing a lot more film these days. The issue for me is two fold - one is the quality, which ain't there yet (my 20 Zorki 4k and Jupiter 8 can knock spots off most digital cameras for detail, tone etc) but probably will be in the near future. The other is the sheer unecessary complication of electronic cameras. I don't like having to figure out how to defeat a computers idea of a correct exposure so I can have the image I want. I am really keen on the idea of an Epson R-D1 or the forever promised digital Leica M (and the Voigtlander version that will follow) because it really does seem to be a decent stab at overcoming my objections. Keep waiting, keep saving up I guess.

ch1
01-15-2006, 13:26
....I don't like having to figure out how to defeat a computers idea of a correct exposure so I can have the image I want....

Actually, if you shoot digital using manual mode in RAW format you are very much "on your own". You don't have to use the AUTO function if you don't want to.

Digital has many advantages - but I just won my third (and I swear, last) F3 on eBay because I still like film and manual control (and I have three residences to populate with cameras!) :eek:

Steve B
01-15-2006, 14:28
I think the above is a very good point. Is the M7 any less of a camera because of the addition of auto exposure? No, one can still use the manual mode. Its just another tool for the photographer to choose from. Digital cameras do have an awful lot of tools but its still up to the photographer to choose the right one. I find I mostly use the same tools on my digital SLR as I do on my F3, aperture priority. You really don't have to "defeat" anything. Just choose the right tool for the job. People have been saying the same thing ever sense auto exposure and auto focus came along. Hell people said the same thing when dry plates came out and you didn't have to coat your own. People said the same thing when roll film came out. "Its not REAL photography".

Andy K
01-15-2006, 14:34
The only digital I've ever used is built into my phone. It's good for ebay pics, but that's all I'd ever use digital for. When a digital camera works without batteries and gives me a roll of negatives every 36 frames I might think about getting one.

Finder
01-15-2006, 14:39
Not an issue of film or digital for me. I have an extensive film system and it gives me what I need. I have no reason to go digital. It could have been the other way around if I was born twenty years later.

TimF
01-15-2006, 23:58
I have decided that the day I can't get anymore film, I'm gonna pack down my cameras, because then it's all over - no more photography for my part.

Must admit to a lot of sympathy with Jacques' position here.

I've been there (with a Canon 1Ds), and after a brief infatuation (though without giving up shooting film at any time), decided I didn't like the process of digital photography (by which I mean, for me there's no buzz from looking at images on a monitor compared to viewing a tranny etc etc) and returned to 100% film.

Only a few years ago, you didn't hear people saying "I must upgrade my camera, blah, blah, blah". Rather, they'd use what they had until it either wore out (and a decent camera might last them 10 years or longer), or until they had 'outgrown' its capabilities. Now it seems cameras are just another consumer item, with a short term lifespan.

Would I ever buy another digital camera? Never say never, but if so, for me it would only be for unimportant pictures, and stuff where I didn't wish to fire off a whole roll of film. Digicams are out, as I loathe the menu systems, the elctronic viewfinders etc etc, and any DSLR must work completely with my old manual focus Nikon-mount glass (ie have metering) - the D200 fits that particular bill, but its far too much money over that which I'd be prepared to hand over for such a limited use item.

So come on Nikon, make a D70 price range camera with full lens compatibility, and maybe, just maybe I'll take a look someday.

RML
01-16-2006, 00:48
Must admit to a lot of sympathy with Jacques' position here.

I've been there (with a Canon 1Ds), and after a brief infatuation (though without giving up shooting film at any time), decided I didn't like the process of digital photography (by which I mean, for me there's no buzz from looking at images on a monitor compared to viewing a tranny etc etc) and returned to 100% film.

Only a few years ago, you didn't hear people saying "I must upgrade my camera, blah, blah, blah". Rather, they'd use what they had until it either wore out (and a decent camera might last them 10 years or longer), or until they had 'outgrown' its capabilities. Now it seems cameras are just another consumer item, with a short term lifespan.

Would I ever buy another digital camera? Never say never, but if so, for me it would only be for unimportant pictures, and stuff where I didn't wish to fire off a whole roll of film. Digicams are out, as I loathe the menu systems, the elctronic viewfinders etc etc, and any DSLR must work completely with my old manual focus Nikon-mount glass (ie have metering) - the D200 fits that particular bill, but its far too much money over that which I'd be prepared to hand over for such a limited use item.

So come on Nikon, make a D70 price range camera with full lens compatibility, and maybe, just maybe I'll take a look someday.

Though I can understand your position, I think your experience is only with dSLRs and dP&S. I too can't get used to them. They never feel right somehow. The R-D1, though expensive to say the least, is an entirely different beast. It's an RF with digital innards. Yes, the crop factor could be an issue but for me it's not. Yes, it does have some QC problems but the latest batch seems to be top notch. If I were you I wouldn't give up on photography and digital too soon. :)

Bertram2
01-16-2006, 02:12
I have decided that the day I can't get anymore film, I'm gonna pack down my cameras, because then it's all over - no more photography for my part.

Jacques.

Jacques,
I've thought about it too , but I am not sure if THIS will be my solution then.
Leaving aside that this is a hypothetic situation anyway related to the next 25 years I am not sure if I could give up photography completely.

Much more than price,finders, menues, crop factor and handling ( I la hate it all !)the look of the fotos is the decisive thing for me. As long as they don't get more dynamic range into the imaging computers and as long as they do not manage to produce B&W photos which look like silver based B&W film it does not make sense for me to think about a digital camera.

First when bad transitions, vinyl look , blown out highlights and closed shadows are gone i will look if they have invented a more intelligent (like RD-1) operation. too. If so, who knows, maybe I'd try it if there is no film available.
"In der Not frisst der Teufel Fliegen" :D
(If the there is nothing else available the devil eats flies too)

bertram

TimF
01-16-2006, 02:25
Though I can understand your position, I think your experience is only with dSLRs and dP&S. I too can't get used to them. They never feel right somehow. The R-D1, though expensive to say the least, is an entirely different beast. It's an RF with digital innards.

Ah, I should have mentioned that I'd briefly owned the R-D1 as well. In fact I think I was one of the earliest purchasers in the UK FWIW (which is very little!) ;) My feelings for that camera were pretty much the same as for the DSLR in the end - the relative lack of weight was definitely a blessing, but I was not overwhelmed by the image quality, which is in the end what the thing should be about.

My copy was one of those with a misaligned rangefinder (and the frames were slightly slanted IIRC), so it went back to be fixed. When, after three weeks the camera was returned with no repair carried out, that was it for me. No way was I prepared to spend 2,000 UKP on a camera on which the most basic repairs could (or would) not be done.

matti
01-16-2006, 04:26
When my Bessa R2 was smashed and I got some money from the insurance company I seriously thought about buying a Nikon d70 and use my old Nikon manual lenses on it. But then I thought about why I photograph. And this digital cameras are not fun to use. And if it is not fun, I won't take good pictures.

My main problems with digital are these:

- I don't think before I press the shutter. The more features the camera have the less I think and the more boring the pictures. A digital camera is relly a disadvantage here.

- I take too many pictures. Just click click, without thinking (again). The digital camera doesn't have anything that say: Hay! stop snapping! You have only five left!

- I think too slow. And with a camera with autofocus and advanced exposure meeters you have to reverse the process of how the camera came to this or that conclusion on where to focus or what the exposure should be. (Of cource, I could turn these features off, but did I tell you that I am lazy too?)

- I get distracted by looking at the pictures in the display to check if it is ok, instead of thinking about taking photos. With a digital camera, I don't need to be confident in my skills. So (I'm lazy remember) I don't really try to learn stuff, I just snap away...

So, I replaced the Bessa with a Leica M6 and are really happy! Keep it in my bag or pocket every day. (I wouldn't have done that with a dSLR.) I just use a Sony p&s for family snapshots that relatives demand. So I should say that 1-30%, I am getting OUT of it, would be correct for me.

/matti

herb10660
02-18-2006, 18:01
This is an interesting debate but I feel the arguments from the pro film side seem to miss the point. Still photography for me is a hobby, a passion but nothing more. The definition of hobby is "An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure." So for me, photography is a way for me to feel good about myself. But this means that there has to be at least some difficulty to overcome. When I'm at work and we need to take stills for promotion etc we use Mamiya 645's with Leaf 22mp digital backs. Superb quality, easily manipulated and instantly emailed to clients. No difficulty at all, the Rb67's have been sat unused on the shelf for over a year and quite rightly. However, when I'm shooting for myself for pleasure, it has to be film all the way. There's nothing better than to leave the world of gamuts, channels and colorspace behind and get my hands dirty. It makes me feel like an artist and the results, although undeniably inferior to high end digital work, give me immense satisfaction as I feel I am personally involved in the creative process. Digital feels like a manufacturing process by comparison.

yossarian
02-18-2006, 18:49
I bought a Panasonic FZ15, because how could I resist an effective FL of over 400mm
and f/2.8? Of course, what I don't get is shallow depth of field. The other thing is, I
don't use digital "properly". I shoot it just like I shoot slide film, and I take my little
SD cards to the same lab which prints my neg stuff. I know this isn't what I'm
"supposed" to do, but I do it.
All current DSLRs are hogs. Give me a system the size of a Pen F, and I'm there.
BTW I actually prefer the smaller sensors, because I like that a 50/1.4 can behave
like a 75/1.4.
At $699, the two lens E300 kit is tempting, but it's still bigger than I want to lug.
But I've become highly dependent on image stabilization, so I may have to snag a
Maxxum 5 before they dribble away. I've got an M42 adapter for Maxxum, so I'm
set for interesting lenses, except for very wide, and there's a new one debuting
every month--I'm not gonna sweat it.
But I am curious to see who'll be the first to crack the magic $500 price barrier. Canon could do it right now with whatever remains of the first generation Rebel,
but why should they. It's looking like it could be Pentax. Hey, I got K-mount lenses
too.
One thing's for sure--I would never buy anything high end, and I really don't want less than 8mp--but it's doubtful I need any more than 8. And if these boneheads
can't get it right I'll just keep buying Panasonic FZs--they're fun.

ch1
02-23-2006, 11:37
Just answered this poll. I'm certainly not "just film" or "just digital". I opted for the middle (31-70%) but I'm at the lower end of that one.

Cannot see why one would either just do digital or just do film - even for personal use, each has its strengths and weaknesses.

For example, I just returned from a short trip to our place in Tucson. While there we visited the Botanical Gardens. I only shoot SLR in Tucson right now because I only have SLR cameras there at present (I don't carry cameras b/w our homes).

For the Garden visit I took both my F100 and D100 . I used the F100 almost exclusively for the general tour of the plantings. Afterall, plants and rocks don't move and "pose" very nicely.

However, they had a special live butterfly exhibit (you walk in the bugs fly around and maybe even land on you). In there I preferred the D100 because the immediate image feedback let me know if I had a clear or blurry image (those damned little guys move around alot! :D )

So I believe I had almost the best of both worlds that day by carrying both a film and digital camera and using each one for its strengths. What would have been perfect is if I had also been able to bring along a RF. Which is were the "new" Nikon S is going once I get it CLA'ed. :cool:

Andy K
02-23-2006, 12:39
Cannot see why one would either just do digital or just do film - even for personal use, each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Maybe they do. But many people prefer only film because digital just doesn't 'do it' for them. I am one. I have a digital camera built into my phone, to me it is just a toy. If I want a photograph I don't even consider the camera phone, I use my QL17 GIII or Voigtlander Vito CLR or Olympus OM-1. Pictures on my phone don't even get downloaded, they just get erased.
I am sure there are digital users who feel the exact opposite.

Socke
02-23-2006, 13:27
I don't use the camera built into my phone, I wish I could get a 3G cell phone without a camera :-(

But differing from Andy I don't compare my dSLR output to 8x10 inch prints from pushed Minox 8x11 mm film and deduce that film is crap.

So I am very happy that I have both and shot with whatever does the job.

ch1
02-23-2006, 13:32
Hey Socke,

We're going to another Cuban restaurant here in NYC tonight before a jazz concert. This one is called "Azucar" and guess what - after every meal they give you a free cigar that is hand-rolled in the place!

Of course you're not allowed to smoke it in the restaurant - but quite a gimmick!

Andy K
02-23-2006, 13:34
I don't use the camera built into my phone, I wish I could get a 3G cell phone without a camera :-(

But differing from Andy I don't compare my dSLR output to 8x10 inch prints from pushed Minox 8x11 mm film and deduce that film is crap.

So I am very happy that I have both and shot with whatever does the job.


Where in my post did I say digital is crap? Do not claim I said something when I plainly did not.
I do not use digital because it has zero interest for me, none, nothing, nada, zilch. Got it? I also do not eat squid, drive three wheeled cars or pierce my body because I have no interest in those things either.

Sorry if that hurts your delicate sensibilities. :rolleyes:

ch1
02-23-2006, 13:38
Where in my post did I say digital is crap? Do not claim I said something when I plainly did not.
I do not use digital because it has zero interest for me, none, nothing, nada, zilch. Got it? I also do not eat squid, drive three wheeled cars or pierce my body because I have no interest in those things either.

Sorry if that hurts your delicate sensibilities. :rolleyes:

Andy,

Perhaps it was your use of the example of a camera phone that Socke found a bit "over the top"? I know I did - but chose not to respond.

A high-end DSLR is the tool of choice for many (most) pros these days. That you prefer film is fine - but it would be fairer to compare apples to apples - rather than do as you did.

Oh, I like squid but have no use for three-wheeled cars and am way to old to want to consider body piercing!

Andy K
02-23-2006, 13:42
I was not comparing a camera phone to a film camera. I was saying that I do not consider using it for any photographs. I automatically use my film cameras.

Socke's problem, like many digital users, is he thinks that because he uses digital then everyone should use digital. He doesn't understand that digital holds absolutely no interest whatsoever for a great many photographers.

Socke
02-23-2006, 13:45
Hey Socke,

We're going to another Cuban restaurant here in NYC tonight before a jazz concert. This one is called "Azucar" and guess what - after every meal they give you a free cigar that is hand-rolled in the place!

Of course you're not allowed to smoke it in the restaurant - but quite a gimmick!


Believe it or not, smoking is forbidden in public buildings in Cuba! They had an exception for the Cigar and Tobaco tradeshow in La Havana last year, but smoking is not allowed in resturants and bars anymore.
The "juventud rebelde" is getting old and stopped smoking, so everybody else has to, too :-)

ch1
02-23-2006, 13:50
Believe it or not, smoking is forbidden in public buildings in Cuba! They had an exception for the Cigar and Tobaco tradeshow in La Havana last year, but smoking is not allowed in resturants and bars anymore.
The "juventud rebelde" is getting old and stopped smoking, so everybody else has to, too :-)

Kind of ironic - hard to imagine Fidel w/o a cigar. Wonder how Churchill would cope if he lived in these "healthier" times? Didn't UK just outlaw smoking in most public building too.

It's been that way here in NYC for a long time now - and since I'm a non-smoker anyway - not sure what I'll do with the cigar.

Oh well, time to go. Hasta la vista! And please play nice with Andy while I'm gone. ;)

Fedzilla_Bob
03-04-2006, 18:17
I also do not eat squid, drive three wheeled cars orpierce my body because I have no interest in those things either.

My god man... how can you live without fried calimari?

Come on, you know you wanna try it with a side of Lumix and a Vario Elmar. ;)

Brian Sweeney
03-04-2006, 18:28
The S3-2000 is probably my last new film camera. I'll wait out the SP-2005 for a while. I shoot film on my time.

But at work, it's the D1x's, Micro-Nikkor's, and wides. Mostly scientific documentation work. Vu-graphs, reports, etc. The E3 would be better than the D1x's as it works with the SB29 ringlight. And it is full-frame, so the wide-angle lenses would be more effective. I can't justify using film at work; too much time involved digitizing it.

But on my time, its film. It's just more fun, and you can hold the results.

ch1
03-04-2006, 18:36
I mostly agree with Brian - except for getting one more R2S from Stephen.

Otherwise, there are so much good used film gear available that I don't see a demand for more new stuff - much less anyone making something innovative or commerative.

Hopefully, Mr. Kobyashi will keep a good line of basic RF and SLR gear available for "newbies" - but I'm not a "newbie" and have too many cameras already!

wlewisiii
03-04-2006, 18:38
Like Brian, I shoot film on my own time. Unlike him, I don't have a job where I need to use a digital, although we do have an elderly one now (a Kodak DC3400 2MP from 2000) that does what we need of it - ebay shots, snaps for Grandma, camera & coffee shots :eek:

But my main reason for sticking to film is pragmatic - archivability. There is simply no way that a digitial file from today will be readable with any kind of ease 50 years from now. However those Plus-X & Fomapan negs will certainly be scanable (as well as printable if the papers still exist. I think they will simply because of artists.) then and it's a decent bet for the Reala negs as well although they will die faster. I just have this fantasy that John's children might be as interested in what I've done as I am in the tintype of my Great-great-grandfather that sits on my computer desk.

William

Brian Sweeney
03-04-2006, 18:38
I should add that I have a new, in-the-box Nikon F3HP, SN over 2M. Waiting for the '83 model to wear out.

wlewisiii
03-04-2006, 18:41
And I did forget to mention that my last _new_ film camera will be, somehow, a Canon EOS 1V (HS or not, I'm undecided) as I expect that to be thier last ala the F6.

William

tedwhite
03-04-2006, 19:42
I bought a Pentax *ist DS for several reasons.

1. All my Pentax M42 lens fit it with the simple addition of a Pentax M42/K mount adapter.

2. I have several real estate and home builder clients who will not accept anything but digital images because they need them the same day.

3. None of the internet mags or newspapers (3) that I freelance for will accept other than digital images.

4. It was reasonably priced: $748 from Willoughby's to my door with the 18-55 Pentax lens. By the way, it's small, well-designed ergonomically, and works just fine.

5. Even though I'm retired, I still need a little extra money.

That's it. When I want to do real photography, I use film cameras. I have the new Bessaflex (very good) in M42 so I can use my Pentax lenses. I have four Pentax Spotmatic bodies, all CLA'd. I have, at present, only one RF camera (Yashica GSN) as I've sold off all my Bessa stuff to save toward a Leica. I have also a wonderful Rolleiflex 2.8E. I am negotiating with a guy who has a good user M4 for $895. Seems a reasonable price.

But then I've got to buy a lens! Probably the cheapest would be the Summicron 50/2?

Perhaps my point here is that film works for me, perhaps not for others, and that's just fine. I have 40 year old negs that print as well as they did 40 years ago. Filing system? I file by year. For some reason I am able to recall - within a year or two - when I took the picture. Doesn't take long to find it. For me, a DSLR is basically a high-end point-and-shoot that I use as a particular type of tool that meets my purpose.

However, if I were working in advertising with MF and a digital back, of course. It's what the clients want, and I'd want to keep my job, provide a high quality image, and put my kids through college.

Ted

Brian Sweeney
03-04-2006, 19:54
A older Summicrons can be had for $200~$300 in good user condition. The Summarit also goes on the lower end of the scale. I picked up a Summarit in M-Mount for $125 and had it CLA'd for $80. Works great.

ch1
03-04-2006, 20:13
All in all, I look at it this way.

I'm about to turn 55 y.o.

I have both film and digital gear [and more than I need and should want!].

I prefer film and will mostly shoot it so long as it is available but always stay "current" with digi stuff.

My guess is that film will outlive me and if it doesn't, I'll still be able to take pictures! :D

So tell me again, why we "waste" time with these threads.

Oh, BTW, only had one available pic to upload to the Gallery today.

Taking and posting pics is so much more fun! :cool:

david b
03-04-2006, 20:21
100% film.

Stephanie Brim
03-04-2006, 23:06
I may be buying a digital for school...we'll see. Otherwise, I'm staying 100% film until I can't do it anymore. I love black and white, grain is SUPPOSED to be there, and fixer is a great pick-me-up in the morning. ;)

sf
03-04-2006, 23:10
How about AWAY from digital - for the third time.

Andy K
03-05-2006, 02:39
How about AWAY from digital - for the third time.

Good idea, how about a poll asking how many are moving up to film from digital?

FreddyF
03-05-2006, 02:56
Good idea, how about a poll asking how many are moving up to film from digital?

That will be me then. (Though I did photography at school so I'm not completely new to film.)

sf
04-02-2006, 14:12
I have pretty much cleaned myself of all the digital gear I had, at this point, and shall not return in the near or foreseeable future.

tedwhite
04-02-2006, 17:27
my kinda guy, shutterlfower. I've got 300 feet of b/w in the freezer, and just got a Bessa R mit 35/2.5 . Looking about for some Leica LTM lenses, like maybe a 50/2 Summicron. Question: are they the same lens combo as the M-mount 50/2 Summicron?

Fitz
04-02-2006, 18:31
I hate to say I shoot digital because I only use digital because of the convenience when I travel light, or when the shots don't warrant the use of film.

For example the digital camera works at wedding receptions, business trips over the ocean, and quick shots that must be emailed.

Film is always along with the digital camera.

Film is more fun and I can get a much better print. I do use a digital darkroom far more than the wet darkroom.

Digital camera 25% of the time;
Film camera 75% of the time;
Digital darkroom 80% of the time
Wet processing 20% (this may increase if I get a Jobo processor)

- Fitz

sf
04-03-2006, 00:39
only time i use a digital camera (I don't own one, but might borrow my mother's or friend's):

when I'm taking pictures of a film camera.

I only have one film camera . . well, three really, but two of them are currently on ice.

SO for the same reason that mirrors and back scratchers exist, so exists the digital camera. For the same reason that the backs of our heads look foreign to us, we have digital cameras.

Only we have far less reverence for the digicam than we do for the good old back scratcher. The one with all the milage of honest service. Or that nice magnified mirror. How else would we ever examine our post nasal drip?

Socke
04-22-2006, 18:13
Yesterday I had an experience which shows digital in a desireable light.

First the lab decided to give a {brown smelly matter} on my order and framed my slides and add 4x6 prints, that adds some 16 Euro to each film and thus I should pay 112 Euros insted of 2! Of cause I raised hell in the store until they took the prints back, I had to pay 35 Euro for framing which I didn't want and what makes batch scanning impossible.

When I scanned the first roll I saw not only dust but what I can only describe as debris on my slides. Blotches of dirt which you can feel on the surface and which seem to be burnt into the emulsion and can't be removed short of cutting them out.

In one word, I'm pissed!

erikhaugsby
04-22-2006, 18:15
Funny story:

I bought a EOS 20D a few months back and then happened upon a M2 a few weeks ago.
My 20D hasn't seen an exposed frame since.