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Back to the joy of film photography, but now it is Digital
Old 07-12-2019   #1
kshapero
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Back to the joy of film photography, but now it is Digital

I recently got a Leica but this time it is digital. I got a slightly used M Type 262 with a Zeiss C Sonnar 50/1.5 lens.
I started in earnest back in 1974, when I bought my first "real" camera, a used Nikon F meterless prism. Wow. I learned aperture, Shutter speed, ISO (I think we called it ASA back then). Somewhat fresh out of college and finally living in a house versus to a tent. Worked part time in a photo Co-op in the basement of a church ( something I really miss; six or seven guys developing Tri-X and making prints with old Stones albums playing.)

Then I got a Nikon FE which had aperture preferred exposure. Wow, this was a great fit for me as I nevered really warmed up to using an external meter. Now I was getting really great shots. With centered weight metering, we would set the aperture, compose, focus then set the exposure by just pressing the shutter or if the subject was backlit I learned the trick of half shuttering (a half press of the shutter) then pointing to the ground to lower the shutter speed. Recompose and voila! You do this enough times, you will get good at it.

Why am I saying all this? Because the Leica M 262 allows me to do this with a digital camera with the same ergonomic as the film days. Not trashing film by any means (still have my F and FE). Just film does not work for me anymore.

So there you have it. An ol' timer finally makes peace with Digital cameras.
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Old 07-12-2019   #2
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I’ve pretty much had the same feeling with the M-D (and also to a lesser degree the Monochrom 246). I’ve been using digital for work (all Nikon) since 2000, yet, try as I might, I couldn’t reintegrate film into my personal workflow. Unfortunately (fortunately?) my work has dictated the direction I traveled, and the personal workflow went along with it. Like you, I started in the 1970s and held onto film and my darkroom as long as possible. I’ve made peace with it as well, and like you am just as happy. To me, at the end of the day it’s just the media onto which the image is recorded.

One way I’ve managed to bridge my ‘previous’ world with my current one is by using old lenses with the M-D. I’ve been on a Visoflex kick for a while and just bought a 400mm f/5.6 Telyt lens for it. I always like a good challenge
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Old 07-12-2019   #3
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Well done Akiva. I still recall the miracle of my M9-P bought in 2012, coming home with it and attaching my Summicron and taking pictures which were soon on my computer to look at. It's easy to forget such marvels. Soon I will have the new CFV50 II for my Hasselblad. That will be amazing.
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Old 07-12-2019   #4
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I've come to the realization, Akiva, that I can either have the things I need, or I can do film photography. It's just getting too expensive anymore to get the developing and scanning done, plus the 120 mile round trip to the camera store.


You're getting some good images with that rig. Hope to see many more in the future.


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Old 07-12-2019   #5
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Digital is not film. But M is always M. It doesn't matter which number or letter is after M.
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Old 07-12-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Digital is not film. But M is always M. It doesn't matter which number or letter is after M.
Well put. So often we hear that with Leica/Leitz it's all about the 'glass', but the M ergonomics are so lean and logical and familiar and that's what counts.
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Old 07-12-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
I recently got a Leica but this time it is digital. I got a slightly used M Type 262 with a Zeiss C Sonnar 50/1.5 lens.
I started in earnest back in 1974, when I bought my first "real" camera, a used Nikon F meterless prism. Wow. I learned aperture, Shutter speed, ISO (I think we called it ASA back then). Somewhat fresh out of college and finally living in a house versus to a tent. Worked part time in a photo Co-op in the basement of a church ( something I really miss; six or seven guys developing Tri-X and making prints with old Stones albums playing.)

Then I got a Nikon FE which had aperture preferred exposure. Wow, this was a great fit for me as I nevered really warmed up to using an external meter. Now I was getting really great shots. With centered weight metering, we would set the aperture, compose, focus then set the exposure by just pressing the shutter or if the subject was backlit I learned the trick of half shuttering (a half press of the shutter) then pointing to the ground to lower the shutter speed. Recompose and voila! You do this enough times, you will get good at it.

Why am I saying all this? Because the Leica M 262 allows me to do this with a digital camera with the same ergonomic as the film days. Not trashing film by any means (still have my F and FE). Just film does not work for me anymore.

So there you have it. An ol' timer finally makes peace with Digital cameras.
Congrats on the new (or new to you) camera! I think one of the most important things about any camera is that you enjoy using it. Doesn't matter if it's film or digital, doesn't matter if other people think it's a good enough camera. Only matters that you use it a lot, and use it to take photos that you love.

Just out of curiosity, though, what about film doesn't work for you anymore? I'm not a film old timer like you or many of the other commenters on the thread. If anything, I'm a "middle-timer" that started on digital and went the other way to film.
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Old 07-12-2019   #8
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I also started end of '60s beginning '70s my journey into photography as pure amateur.

I still use film sometimes but the M10 gives me exactly the experience you are describing.
I use digital in a similar way I was using film cameras.

And I 100% agree what Ko.Fe says:

"Digital is not film. But M is always M. It doesn't matter which number or letter is after M"

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Old 07-13-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dourbalistar View Post
Congrats on the new (or new to you) camera! I think one of the most important things about any camera is that you enjoy using it. Doesn't matter if it's film or digital, doesn't matter if other people think it's a good enough camera. Only matters that you use it a lot, and use it to take photos that you love.

Just out of curiosity, though, what about film doesn't work for you anymore? I'm not a film old timer like you or many of the other commenters on the thread. If anything, I'm a "middle-timer" that started on digital and went the other way to film.
Love love film. But sending it off for 2 weeks is not practical for me. DIY developing days are gone for me. And oh it is nice to go from ISO 200 -800 or even 1600.
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Old 07-13-2019   #10
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Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
I also started end of '60s beginning '70s my journey into photography as pure amateur.

I still use film sometimes but the M10 gives me exactly the experience you are describing.
I use digital in a similar way I was using film cameras.

And I 100% agree what Ko.Fe says:

"Digital is not film. But M is always M. It doesn't matter which number or letter is after M"

robert
The M10 sounds awesome but the M 262 is a great fit for me as it fits my budget.
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Old 07-13-2019   #11
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Still only film M`s with me but the cost of film development soon mounts up.
These latest Leica digitals seem a much better proposition than the earlier models.

Enjoy the 262.
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Old 07-13-2019   #12
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Quote:
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The M10 sounds awesome but the M 262 is a great fit for me as it fits my budget.
I am aure youíll be very satisfied with your 262. Itís a Leica :-)
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Old 07-13-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Love love film. But sending it off for 2 weeks is not practical for me. DIY developing days are gone for me. And oh it is nice to go from ISO 200 -800 or even 1600.
Isn't it also nice to go into the back garden, take a photo, then go to your computer, download it and instantly work on it and see the result?

I have tried to get back into film over the last few years, but lost the battle each time. Funny but I've been hankering for a Nikon F recently (there have been a couple of tempting examples in the RFF classifieds), and have been trying to convince myself that 'yes this is the time I'm going to truly get back into film'. But I then look at a pristine Ricoh 500 that a friend gave me last year and its still half-finished roll of Fuji 400 loaded in it, and I put Nikon F fantasies out of my head.
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Old 07-13-2019   #14
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Just imagine how happy you'd be if you had an RD1 ...
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Old 07-13-2019   #15
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Isn't it also nice to go into the back garden, take a photo, then go to your computer, download it and instantly work on it and see the result?

I have tried to get back into film over the last few years, but lost the battle each time. Funny but I've been hankering for a Nikon F recently (there have been a couple of tempting examples in the RFF classifieds), and have been trying to convince myself that 'yes this is the time I'm going to truly get back into film'. But I then look at a pristine Ricoh 500 that a friend gave me last year and its still half-finished roll of Fuji 400 loaded in it, and I put Nikon F fantasies out of my head.

I've also thought about getting back in to shooting film and have lost count of the number of times I've check the prices of M6, M4 and M4P on here and other sights but the question that keeps coming up for me is do I really shoot enough to warrant using both film and digital and the answer is always no. Realize some people might suggest shooting film for a month then going to digital for a few weeks while I wait for the film to comeback from development and scanning. Realize that works for lots of people but I just prefer sticking to one camera works best for and really don't feel like going back and forth so if I went with film, even for a short while say a year or so my M9 would just be sitting around and then what happens when I decide to go back to digital do I just let the film M sit around unused or sell it. Now maybe down the road when my M9 shoots its last frame I may decide that my next camera should be a film M.......
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Old 07-13-2019   #16
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Digital M has not so much functions to be worried about ergonomics.
But many Leica lenses have superior ergonomics to Zeiss with pimple instead of tab and crude 1/3 aperture rings.


Quote:
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Well put. So often we hear that with Leica/Leitz it's all about the 'glass', but the M ergonomics are so lean and logical and familiar and that's what counts.
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Old 07-13-2019   #17
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I've also thought about getting back in to shooting film and have lost count of the number of times I've check the prices of M6, M4 and M4P on here and other sights but the question that keeps coming up for me is do I really shoot enough to warrant using both film and digital and the answer is always no. Realize some people might suggest shooting film for a month then going to digital for a few weeks while I wait for the film to comeback from development and scanning. Realize that works for lots of people but I just prefer sticking to one camera works best for and really don't feel like going back and forth so if I went with film, even for a short while say a year or so my M9 would just be sitting around and then what happens when I decide to go back to digital do I just let the film M sit around unused or sell it. Now maybe down the road when my M9 shoots its last frame I may decide that my next camera should be a film M.......
I would assume that this topic is perennial ... . In my case it's a matter of vision and workflow. If I'm planning a portfolio of film images, then I use the digital camera as a "sketch pad," knowing full-well that this only works if one has continuous access to the worksite. I use an M8.2 because it was the most affordable Leica digital body that I could find that supported my lenses (that I have owned and used since the late 1970's), processed with Capture One. Once I'm confident with the sketches, I put the film on the cameras (old M4Ps) and get the job done. And yes, this means development, scanning and post-processing (Affinity, etc), and finally rendering all files in whatever format the printer requires ... usually JPGs with sRGB or CMYK profiles, etc.

Now, if I'm interested in "digital" or in mixed media delivery, then the M8.2 is used more frequently than the film M's ... again, depending.

I realize that this workflow will not work for everyone, but it's just an observation based upon the last few years.

T
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Old 07-13-2019   #18
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This thread quickly turns into d vs f.

I quit from lab developing and scan in 2007. It was already expensive back then. And obviously not convenient.
Now I develop C-41, E6, ECN2 and bw at home. 35 mm scanner is on sale periodically for under 300 usd.
We have thread about English photographer who still using bw film and darkroom.
Whatever Peter makes some arguments about it, but truth is with this English photographer.
I still use film, because I develop, scan, print like him at home.
But I'm not in need of film often. And then I want picture quick, but still getting pleasure of taking pictures, it is only digital M. The rest of digital cameras are not pleasure, but just regular tools for me.
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Old 07-13-2019   #19
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Quote:
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Then I got a Nikon FE which had aperture preferred exposure. Wow, this was a great fit for me as I nevered really warmed up to using an external meter. Now I was getting really great shots. With centered weight metering, we would set the aperture, compose, focus then set the exposure by just pressing the shutter or if the subject was backlit I learned the trick of half shuttering (a half press of the shutter) then pointing to the ground to lower the shutter speed. Recompose and voila! You do this enough times, you will get good at it.
Just in case you pick up your FE again, half shutter press doesnít lock exposure. Need to press the self timer towards the lens to do that
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Old 07-13-2019   #20
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My only digital camera is in my phone.

I shoot about 60-80 rolls a year. 135 & 120 mixed. I develop BW at home and send out E-6 and C-41 to a local lab.

I scan the images myself, then upload to Flickr/FB/Google Photos for sharing.

I maintain about 100-150 rolls of stock of all kinds of films I have a fancy with in a freezer.

I used to have a makeshift darkroom that I set up in a bathroom over weekends. But after a move I'm still waiting for the right mood to give it another go.

My next step is a 4x5. Still hesitating, because I hate carrying a tripod around.
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Old 07-13-2019   #21
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To each their own, but the development wait time for film always puzzles me when presented as a problem. If you take pictures consistently, you'll always have something new to look at. For argument's sake, today's pictures may take two weeks to see, but what about the photos from two weeks ago that you get to see today? For editing, some separation in time is often healthy, as much for digital photos as film. I actually prefer the surprise element when you see photos you don't even remember taking in a particular way.
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Old 07-13-2019   #22
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I’ve always got a few rolls in the freezer at the ready. I get the itch, drop one into my FM2/T or R8. The discipline of a finite number of shots forces greater deliberateness, more consideration of the framing and light conditions than freewheeling digital. Just finished up rolls of Ektachrome and Ektar and scanned on an Epson. Worth the exercise to remind yourself of the techniques long ago learned and now unlearned with digital. And the ‘look’ is very different.
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Old 07-13-2019   #23
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Never had the desire to go digital. I like the whole process of film, from loading cassettes, shooting, developing, editing ... alright scanning not that fun, but it's a mindless task. Set the scanner and read a book while it chugs away. I love all the variables with film that keep it interesting -- not only different lenses, but different filters, films, developers and techniques, ect. Not sure digital has as many options. The delayed satisfaction I actually enjoy; it extends the process/vacation, ect. I'm not a professional, so I don't need the results yesterday.

We're really blessed to have all the choices today. Many excellent digital cameras out there, producing fine images, and still a wide selection of films. I remember circa 2000 when all the loud mouths on on the old Leica photo.net forum telling us film will be no more in just a matter of years. And maybe that's why I still shoot film, because someday we may not have a choice (although that seems unlikely now).

I only shoot B&W and that's probably significant why I stayed with film too.
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Old 07-13-2019   #24
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Never had the desire to go digital....
I only shoot B&W and that's probably significant why I stayed with film too.
Then get a Leica Monochrom. Essentially an endless roll of B&W film.
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Old 07-13-2019   #25
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Then get a Leica Monochrom. Essentially an endless roll of B&W film.
I generally prefer the B&W image of film over digital. Just like some prefer older lenses or single coating for B&W. Newer is not always better. My opinion only.
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Old 07-13-2019   #26
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Just in case you pick up your FE again, half shutter press doesnít lock exposure. Need to press the self timer towards the lens to do that
Yes, of course, Good point.
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Old 07-13-2019   #27
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I feel the same way about my Fujifilm XT30. I was out today testing my Rolleiflex 2.8F with Delta 400, but the Fuji could deliver colour, black and white, inside and out, with ISOs up to 6400 (I didn't want to go higher) at shutter speeds of 1/15th. This was inside an historic house with exceptionally poor light (to preserve the interior) and handheld film would not have stood a chance - flash entirely impermissable.

I could check the image was sharp and properly exposed, the autofocus removing my poor eyesight from the equation. Much as I love and shoot film I would have come away with no interior photos. A recent visit to the Fleet Air Arm museum with just film was fruitless in very low light.

17th century tapestry detail, Cotehele House, shot at iso6400 f2.8 at 1/15th.

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Old 07-13-2019   #28
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The discipline of a finite number of shots forces greater deliberateness, more consideration of the framing and light conditions than freewheeling digital.
This is nonsense. Unless of course you have absolutely no self-control.
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Old 07-13-2019   #29
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I generally prefer the B&W image of film over digital. Just like some prefer older lenses or single coating for B&W. Newer is not always better. My opinion only.
+1. If I would find camera which does same BW as at least old, cheap ECN2 film in Rodinal, not to mention HP5+ in hcB, I would do it. But Monochrome is not BW film for me.

Dirt cheap, 10+ yo Kodak 50D in Rodinal.
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Old 07-13-2019   #30
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This is nonsense. Unless of course you have absolutely no self-control.
Agreed .
I `ve never understood the hair shirt argument as applied to photography.
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Old 07-13-2019   #31
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This is nonsense. Unless of course you have absolutely no self-control.
Sorry but that didn't seem like a snark to me ... just fact.
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Old 07-13-2019   #32
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Old 07-13-2019   #33
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".....six or seven guys developing Tri-X and making prints with old Stones albums playing."

Sounds like heaven to me, especially if it's the Some Girls album. Great songs and lots of energy on what was their last great album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUdQ...IWWr2g&index=2
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Old 07-13-2019   #34
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+1. But Monochrome is not BW film for me.

Dirt cheap, 10+ yo Kodak 50D in Rodinal.
Beautiful image K.
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Old 07-13-2019   #35
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Wow, nothing like the grouchy, buzzkill curmudgeons here on RFF, eh? The man got a nice new Leica that he enjoys, and as he said in his OP, he's made his peace with digital. Can't we just congratulate him and wish him good light and happy shooting?

Let's argue about chrome or black instead, though I'm pretty sure the Stones settled that long ago: paint it black!
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Old 07-13-2019   #36
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Wow, nothing like the grouchy, buzzkill curmudgeons here on RFF, eh? The man got a nice new Leica that he enjoys, and as he said in his OP, he's made his peace with digital. Can't we just congratulate him and wish him good light and happy shooting?

Let's argue about chrome or black instead, though I'm pretty sure the Stones settled that long ago: paint it black!
I knew I was starting trouble but my story actually has no villains, just snarky old guys.
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enjoy yourself!
Old 07-13-2019   #37
jamin-b
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enjoy yourself!

Akiva,
I always enjoy your posts, and am happy for you. I got an M-8 a few years ago but hardly use it anymore. Buying a Fujifilm X-H1 for different reasons has relieved my Leica M10 itch for a good while if not for ever. With a cheap macro helicoid adapter from M to Fuji X I get my oversized collection of LTM and M lenses back in service with peak focusing, shorter minimum focus (with the Nikkor 5cm F/2 it gets to be almost macro!) and in - camera stabilization to boot!
Not trying to tempt you, just agreeing, digital definitely has its merits and should be celebrated.
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Old 07-14-2019   #38
mlu19
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Staying true with M9 here since an M9 cannot go above iso 800 for colors...just like film. I feel unnatural when a camera can literally see in the dark (iso 3200-6400 and above). To me, first rule to photography is always good light.

With that said, I do enjoy the instant gratification side of my M9, bring able to see/edit/share photos much faster than film. It's always been a battle to pick which cameras to leave the house with. If I'm in the mindset for BW though, film is the answer, always.
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Old 07-14-2019   #39
mconnealy
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I have nothing against digital; plenty of good digital work being done.
The arguments based on economy over film, however, are much exaggerated.

The price of HC-110 developer has increased about three times since I started using it. Still, look at the real cost. With a liter of HC-110 costing $35 you can process 66 rolls of film at 53 cents per roll at dilution B. If you do stand developing with 4mL the cost goes down to about 14 cents. Throw in a couple cents for fixer.

Processing color negatives these days is even quicker and easier than black and white. The packet of Unicolor C-41 powders has everything you need at about $25. I routinely get about 24 rolls of film done with a Unicolor kit. You do the math.

The last film camera I acquired at a flea market was a Retina IIa. It cost me ten bucks. Works fine.
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Old 07-14-2019   #40
robert blu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
I knew I was starting trouble but my story actually has no villains, just snarky old guys.
And now we need or better I desire to see a few pictures from you! Please
robert
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