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Film vs Digital Discussions about the relative advantages and disadvantages of Film vs Digital are important as they can help us understand our choices as photographers. Each medium has strengths and weaknesses which can best be used in a given circumstance. While this makes for an interesting and useful discussion, DO NOT attack others who disagree with you. Forum rules are explained in the RFF FAQ linked at the top of each page.

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Why didn't you use the digital camera in the first place?
Old 12-20-2019   #1
madNbad
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Why didn't you use the digital camera in the first place?

Earlier this week I found a Sony A5100 for a bargain price and added it to my camera scanning set up. I had been using my spouses' A6000 but had to be cognizant to reset the camera to her preferences when I was finished scanning. The A5100 allows me to leave it on the copy stand and all of the settings are ready for the next session. Earlier this year after a parade of cameras, I decided on an M4 and T-Max 400 as the go to film. I greatly appreciate all of the information Huss and others have provided on the subject of scanning with a digital camera. The information has been valuable and a tremendous help in getting started. Most months I'll exposes a couple of rolls, have a dark tent for loading the developing tank, use the kitchen sink. Prior to moving to camera scanning I had been using a Plustek 7600i and Silverfast. The results were good but slow. The Sony with a 55 2.8 Micro-Nikkor Ai-S gives results that a both much sharper than the scanner plus a much faster work flow.
If asked, presumably by someone without a great interest in photography, I wondered how to answer the question of why didn't you just use a digital camera in the first place?
Just tossing it out to the group for discussion. Have fun with it.
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Old 12-21-2019   #2
Larry Cloetta
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Film vs. digital, then, at the end. Possibly this has been discussed before, somewhere on some forum or another. Some see the difference, some care about the difference, some don’t. Everyone staked out their ground and planted their flags long ago, though many relish the opportunity to do it all again, like Civil War re-enactors.
So, yes, have fun indeed.
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Old 12-21-2019   #3
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Reasons to still use film will of course be personal, depending on preferences. For myself the answer is, “because the cameras I like the most, all take film.”
I still have never handled a digital that had a viewfinder anywhere near as gorgeous as my OM1 with a 1-10 screen. Or that has the simple, basic exposure controls that can be adjusted intuitively. Or has the simple tactile pleasure of a metal, manual, mechanical camera.
I could go on....and thats the problem.
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Old 12-21-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
....though many relish the opportunity to do it all again, like Civil War re-enactors.
So, yes, have fun indeed.
Jebediah! Fetch me my musket!
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Old 12-21-2019   #5
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zuiko85 said it nicely. I'll say it this way: I like film gear.
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Old 12-21-2019   #6
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My scanner (also a plustek 7600) almost made me stop using film because of the tedious process. I'm currently procuring the parts for starting to scan my film with a digital camera also, hoping to make it more fun.
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Old 12-21-2019   #7
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Applet: Scanning is the most unlovable part of film. I've acquired some Negative Solutions hardware to speed the process up with DSLR scans. For me, DSLR's have a purpose here in scanning, but also for events, family and anywhere the fastest focus (new tech) is the key to capturing a grand daughter's smile. But for "art" that's to be printed, there's something handy about a film camera and a negative orignal that prints the way I like best - especially for B&W. At least that's the way it is currently... but circumstances are fluid.
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Old 12-21-2019   #8
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Film use is not ‘the way’, it is ‘a way’. And someone still shooting, or just starting to use film, is not a condemnation or even a casual comment on folks that choose to go all digital. Just as I don’t want to shoot wet plate or tintype is no denigration of those who do.
My little 110 sensor size E10 (funny how us old guys still think of sensor sizes in relation to old film formats) is kinda fun to use sometimes and opens up possibilities that film is not as well suited for.
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Old 12-21-2019   #9
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No brainier, actually. Cameras have no "i ".
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Old 12-21-2019   #10
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I mostly use the flatbed scanner for film scanning because none of my digital cameras will reverse C41 color negatives, but Silverfast AI Studio does a pretty good job.
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Old 12-21-2019   #11
madNbad
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Thanks for the replies! Occasionally someone will ask why do I still use film. My answer is, I like the challenge of exposing film and having to wait for the results. Almost like a little gift for your efforts.
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Old 12-21-2019   #12
Saul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Reasons to still use film will of course be personal, depending on preferences. For myself the answer is, “because the cameras I like the most, all take film.”
I still have never handled a digital that had a viewfinder anywhere near as gorgeous as my OM1 with a 1-10 screen. Or that has the simple, basic exposure controls that can be adjusted intuitively. Or has the simple tactile pleasure of a metal, manual, mechanical camera.
I could go on....and thats the problem.
Great summation
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Old 12-21-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffS7444 View Post
I mostly use the flatbed scanner for film scanning because none of my digital cameras will reverse C41 color negatives, but Silverfast AI Studio does a pretty good job.
Can't you use the same software (or similar software) to reverse a digital camera file? Many people do it.
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Old 12-21-2019   #14
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I did the opposite: I first scanned with my digital camera and went to a scanner. There is no doubt that the digital produces a sharper scan, but I have a little more control with a scanner.

This is my old (which I still have) digital 'scanner' made from plexiglass:

Untitled by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 12-21-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
...
This is my old (which I still have) digital 'scanner' made from plexiglass:
...
Nicely done. How do you affix the negatives to that white surface?
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Old 12-21-2019   #16
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The 35mm are put into the bellows slide copier (it takes both slides and negatives). And I made a dedicated white surface for 120.

This is a P&S with Tmax100 shot from the above 'scanner:'

Sardis by John Carter, on Flickr

And this is a blowup:

Crop by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 12-21-2019   #17
Bill Clark
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If you don’t use digital capture why scan film? Do you have an answer for your qustion?

When I use film, now rarely, I have an analog darkroom to develop.

My wife and I recently spent a couple of weeks in Egypt. Every time we entered our hotel things were scanned, similar to the airport. Airports plenty of scanners. I didn’t take any film cameras and I’m glad I didn’t. I used my iPhone 6s most of the time.

Just asking.

Whatever.
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Old 12-21-2019   #18
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I always shot slides, with the idea that I could have a custom print done when I wanted it.


This works even better today with digital scanning technology than with the old internegatives and direct-printing papers (other than Cibachrome, of course). I can send the slide out for a professional drum scan and print.


So, I can really just keep doing what I've always done, and, as others have noted, I like using old film cameras with simple, straight-forward controls.


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Old 12-21-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
The 35mm are put into the bellows slide copier (it takes both slides and negatives). And I made a dedicated white surface for 120.
...
Ah, now I understand! I happen to have a PB-4 bellows and it came with a slide copier I had no use for (I rarely shoot slides). But now I can use it - thank you.
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Old 12-22-2019   #20
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How come this got moved to film vs digital? I see a thread about scanning with a digital camera.
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Old 12-22-2019   #21
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Ah, now I understand! I happen to have a PB-4 bellows and it came with a slide copier I had no use for (I rarely shoot slides). But now I can use it - thank you.
Something called 'light piping' is a real problem that is why I used a closed system(bellows) for 35mm. 120 was a different story; 'light piping' sent me to a scanner.
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Old 12-22-2019   #22
madNbad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Something called 'light piping' is a real problem that is why I used a closed system(bellows) for 35mm. 120 was a different story; 'light piping' sent me to a scanner.
Would you give us a description of how to identify the problem? Is there a way to mimimize the effects of extranious light without moving to a closed system or should I move to an Nikon ES-1 slide copier and a couple of extension rings to make up for the Sonys' APS-C sensor?
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