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Image Processing: Darkroom / Lightroom / Film Discuss Image processing -- traditional darkoom or digital lightroom here. Notice there are subcategories to narrow down subject matter. .

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Old 04-14-2013   #41
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I jumped into black & white photography in 1968, and was immediately smitten. I love it all. The film, the chemicals, the darkroom, the cameras, and most of all, the pictures. I've spent all the intervening years trying to get really good at it. I'm still trying. I even love the trying.
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Old 04-14-2013   #42
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I used to have two Pontiac GTO cars, they were both 2 door coupes, and both had 6 liter engines. But one was made in 1966, the other in 2006.

The old GTO had a bench seat with a 3 speed manual transmission, manual windows, and an AM radio/8-track tape player, 14" wheels with G70 14 tires, and manual drum brakes. It had no air conditioner or other options, it was a bare-bones car, pretty much the minimum you could get.

The new GTO had power leather seats, a 6 speed manual transmission, a multi-speaker stereo with a CD changer and MP3 input. It had 18" wheels and tires, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, and an efficient "climate control" system. The new GTO had every available option, I can't think of anything else which could be added to it.

Despite the comforts and conveniences of the newer car, the old GTO was more of a pleasure to drive. It was rough, simple, and fun.

Last year I bought a new X-Pro when it was released in Japan, I also picked up the three lenses which were available, and have since added the 14mm lens as well. Despite it being a great performer which produces instant results, I don't use it that much. I have shot ten times as many images on film as I have with the X-Pro during the time I have had it.

I find using precision mechanical devices to be a great pleasure, and developing film is a great way for me to relax after a long day. I love to look at the negatives after they are done, and I also love to look at the finished prints.

The more effort you put into something, the more pleasure you can get out of it, regardless of the activity.
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Old 04-14-2013   #43
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Quote:
Experts: Explain WHY you shoot film to NEWBIES
Okay. Here are a few in no particular order:

I enjoy using mechanical film cameras
I don't enjoy using automatic everything cameras
I like the reliability of mechanical cameras
I enjoy the process of using film
I enjoy developing film
I like having physical negatives that I can look at any time in any place
I like not having to worry about hard drive crashes
I like not having to worry about memory media failure
I like not having to drag a laptop around with me
I like the fingerprint that different emulsions impart to the image
I like the image quality of film
I like the visual texture of a print made from a negative
I don't like the homogeneous, smooth, plastic like look of digital images
I like the light and shadow that film captures
I don't like the uniform illumination and no shadows in HDR images
I don't like sitting at a computer working on image files


Other than the above, I like digital photography.

YMMV.
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Old 04-14-2013   #44
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Three main reasons:
- you have an output of 20-25 pictures to manage instead of 200-250
- film photography is a beautiful medium to describe the images you see, in its own right - b+w obviously, but also color.
- film cameras and their feel

I do not work with photography. I feel I need a purpose or a reason to get me to shoot digital images. With film cameras I don't. I can just go out of the door walk around, take 4-5 pictures, maybe 10, maybe one. I would not have any motivation to that with my digital camera. I travel a lot but mostly to the same three-four places. Film shooting suits this, I would have limited interested to walk around known places with a digital SLR.

One more, very important: I do not own a digital rangefinder.
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Because.......
Old 04-14-2013   #45
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Cool Because.......

Because I can process both the film and print paper in:

1) Instant Coffee
2) Vitamin C
3) Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (no, not baking soda)

And that's just a kick.

I added another biz card to my pseudonyms....

"Coffee Break Images"... I have a Latte Shop owner who wants to hang them. He has a full blown establishment with HUGE wall space.

Gimmicks are fun.

It's called Caffenol Processing (sometime called Folgernol)
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Old 04-14-2013   #46
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Absolutely a joy to read these responses. It warms my heart. I love the passion shared.
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Old 04-14-2013   #47
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I think for me that film is more challenging and it keeps me engaged in the process more. I find as much as I like digital/Lightroom I want to keep shooting film because I enjoy the process of it and it is so easy to make mistakes if you aren't on your game and that motivates me to get better. I think my digital also looks better because I still shoot film.
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film for the soul
Old 04-14-2013   #48
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film for the soul

all my color shots are digital now, as i see so many advantages over chromes, which i shot in the last century.

BUT: while my b/w on film is reduced in the number of frames i shoot, the keepers i appreciate much more.

to begin with, the exclusion process is reversed with film: instead of deleting the shots i´m not so convinced of (digital world), i only print the few frames i love, sometimes even zero per roll (film world). that means the film prints are just a few, but much better selected. while i often forget about my digital color shots, i always remember the b/w film shots.

dark room printing is time consuming, allowing me time to connect deeply with the pictures i choose. and my share of a good print is much bigger than in the digital world, instead of relying on a pc program somebody has written i have to rely on the work of my mind and hands and the years of experience (and the fantastic work of the heiland company).
i get so much more pleasure out of my wet prints, moving them through the house to be in their company for a couple of days after printing. pictures for the heart & soul!

b/w is film and film only for me, digital b/w i find just an imitation, an artificial limitation of the power of digital, and i can´t get what is interesting about shooting digital b/w.

ok, the equipment for film costs a few bucks, but is dirt cheap second hand these times, and the chemicals are not so expensive. think of buying a new memory card from time to time, a spare battery, screen protector etc., so it´s about the same costs, film or digital. and any digital camera is old, really old, after 5 years or so.......

the learning is not too tough, you can get good results in an instant and refine your abilities over the years.
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Old 04-15-2013   #49
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I work with digital photography everyday as an Art/Photographic director. It is a really good gig and it does allow for creativity and ingenuity with photographs. But, every image that I create is manipulated in Photoshop. Even when I direct full photoshoots I have to shoot to allow for heavy manipulation. I have to create comps, show multiple options with many different elements, direct Photoshop artists to composite the final image, and then do it all over, sometime more than once. A lot of my time is spent in front of a computer.

For my personal work I shoot an image and that's what I get. I do not shoot 300 frames. I shoot a few frames. I carefully compose, I figure out exposures. I have a decent percentage of successful shots, and I usually get at least a few shots from each roll that I like very much. I do have to spend a little time on the computer scanning and doing a minimal amount of dodging and burning, but it is so nice to work in a more physical process as opposed to completely living in a digital world.

The process of shooting, experimenting with film, cameras, formats, lenses, and developing has been a real joy.
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Old 04-15-2013   #50
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All fun and classy cameras are film cameras.
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Old 04-15-2013   #51
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I actually wrote the whole thing out and it really comes down to this. You can shoot film and digital and get the same satisfaction in the end. The beauty and the fun of it lies in the journey.

You want beer? Go to the store and buy beer. Done -Digital
I want beer. Maybe I'll make my own. I'm going too need some hops, barley.. Ooh I'm going to make a nice lager - Done. Film

I bought my mom a sweater from the GAP. She loved it. -Digital
I knit my mom a sweater from apalaca wool I found at a small local apalaca farm. She really loved it. -Film

I'm hungry. I'm going to the store and buying hummus. -Digital
I'm hungry. I'm going to the store and buying chick peas, fresh lemons, and Tahini to make some hummus - Film

Yeah, digital is faster, but film is more fun. I'm sure there are a million other things you can compare.
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Old 04-15-2013   #52
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Because the developed film lasts 100 years and more. At least i could view our 50 years old negatives stored under the roof.
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Old 04-16-2013   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
From an Art perspective I appreciate using slide film on a personal level because of the thought that each of my slides is not only unique, but that each slide is a portion of film that was physically present at the location of the shot, and that the very light which touched my subjects whatever they may have been - also touched my slide. It is a sort of authenticity that cannot be matched through prints, film or digital. Might not mean anything to some, but it means a lot to me.
This has been on my mind since I read this a few days ago. I agree. Others might see this as trivial, or even just being sentimental, but it is meaningful to me too. A digital image can be exactly, 100%, duplicated. There is nothing that sets the original apart from a copy. A negative or slide is different. It is tangible. It is unique. There is an original source--the slide/neg--that was there the moment the image was made.
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Old 04-17-2013   #54
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Once in a while, someone will catch me reloading one of my cameras and ask "When did you get back into shooting film?" My answer is always the same: "Back? I never left."

Digital capture simply became an adjunct to my film work. By a back-of-the-envelope estimate, it comprises about 10-20% of my photography. It comes in handy at times, and at those times, nothing can beat it. But for the vast bulk of my work, it really has to be on film. A big part of this revolves around the cameras themselves: with the possible exception of Leica's M8/9/MM, every digital camera I've laid hands on has had noticeable shortcomings either in ergonomics (which also involves stuff like screen menus), size-weight, response time, or (much of the time) a combination of the above. When I abandoned my tech-heavy Minolta 9xi FSLRs over a decade ago for the pair of Konica Hexar RFs I still use, the less-is-more dictum hit me like a gale wind: the more-elemental functionality of the cameras was quite liberating. Shooting was simply more direct - I knew the fundamentals of the film I was working with, so the rest was a piece of cake, and I didn't need a phalanx of subsystems assuring me it was so (or worse, those same systems bothering me about how something or other was "suboptimal" in some way). Just because I can easily work my way around your garden-variety pro DSLR doesn't mean that I like to, let alone need to.

Because of the way I deal with film, my post-shoot digital workflow is relatively straightforward as well (which it should be by now, as I've been working this "hybrid" system for some fifteen years). Scanning is fairly painless, and PS working-up is relatively minimal; It's rather rare for me to have to get especially jiggy with levels, curves or layers unless something went seriously awry either while shooting or processing. (Working with chromogenic b/w film in this regard is almost criminally simple.) And while I'd agree that a silver print is simply a thing unto itself, I've made many a b/w (and color) inkjet print that I would be utterly unashamed to present to a critical crowd...I've even sold a few prints to same.

So, put simply: I know the medium, and I know the cameras, to the point that I don't have to obsess over either. I find myself fussing more when working with my little Nikon P6000 (which I happen to love) than with my Contax Tvs (which I happen to love a hell of a lot more). To reluctantly fall into modern cliché, film is simply how I roll.


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Old 05-11-2013   #55
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Film is the slow food of photography - it makes you slow down and think. Coming home with maybe 40 shots instead of 400, as is often the case with digital, and having more keepers out of the 40 than out of the 400 is great!

Also the joy of surprise; I have been shooting and developing B/W film for more than 40 years, so I do have a fair idea of the result, but while developing and scanning a 2 months backlog I find photos that I had forgotten all about.

Also I do prefer the look B/W film compared to the look of B/W digital.
Made a more detailed post about this on my blog:

http://konicaman.wordpress.com/2013/...m-photography/
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Old 11-29-2013   #56
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I won't follow the original track, i.e. "you can achieve better results with film", because I'm not sure this is the real point.
You can achieve great results with both; both have their strong points and their Achille's heels. I prefer the look of film, expecially in the highlights, but this is not my point.

My point is: I shoot film because I like it more. Not simply "I like film results more", but "I like the whole process of shooting with a film camera, developing the film etc. more". I find it more satisfying. I draw a pleasure from it, which I miss when shooting with my 5DmkII.

Why I advice young people to try shooting film: because it's DIFFERENT, really different.
And trying something different is often a real plus.
It surely enriches your experience, and it will probably enhance your creativity.
It's important to try different approaches, expecially in young age.

Ok that's it.

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Old 11-29-2013   #57
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Both can create superb results but to me it's the journey and the magic that counts. Digital offers instant review capabilites which is sometimes great but often a hindrance. Not being able to review the results right away gives me freedom and doesn't stop the flow. Another thing is the fact that film is organic matter (gelatine) and looks that way it is almost human has flaws isn't always 100% percent predictible and last but not least has temperament (sound like my former girlfriend except for the almost human part). The magic for me happens at the printing stage a white paper exposed to light is put into a chemical solution and where once was nothing an image slowly emerges. In this world where everything can or is supposed to be quantified film photography is the last remnant of alchemy (not chemistry).

Reasons to choose film:

1) different flow (not beeing able to review the image 5 sec after you press the shutter gives you and immense amount of freedom and keeps the art directors advice at bay)

2) Closer to human not the perception but the essence

3) Film is magic some other chemical photographic processes even more so e.g. the Bequerel Daguerreotype science still can't explain why it works but it does.

4) Time Time is a luxury and film photography requires time, time to review, time to contemplate, time to get results, and most importantly film photography gives you time for yourself , time to think and time for reflection.

5) Film teaches you to look and see, only 12, 24, 36 shots on a roll of film instead of 6000 on a SD card.

6) Film is a physical object, you can hold it and it has a tactile feel

7) Archiving film is much much cheaper in the long run than archiving digital files

8) Film allows you to use a 100 year old camera and experience the past.

9) Girls dig TLRs that use film (might help with the adolescent newbie photographer)

Final word: Film is not better or worse, film is different both the experience as well as the final image.
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Old 11-29-2013   #58
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Primarily, I shoot film for the darkroom experience. There are no words to describe the excitement one gets from first pulling out a roll of processed film from the tank and seeing those reverse images.
If, for some reason, I did not or could not develop my own film, then I would likely only shoot digital.

Secondarily, I like the RF experience and do not have the werewithal to buy a FF DRF
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Old 11-29-2013   #59
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MF film scanned well cannot be beat for detail..... any film wet printed will still produce more and smother grads in B&W... of course this is why I shoot film and therefore is my opinion.

Oh and what Keith said....darkroom fun cannot be beat!
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Old 12-21-2013   #60
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I shoot film because for me, it's a more dedicated, committed process.
When I shoot, I commit to metering and shooting fully manual, developing, drying, scanning, editing and sharing.

And for me, this dedication not only increases my appreciation of the photograph but also, as said here before, the quality of the image.

Somebody here on the forum said 'it's a labour of love... and love is never waisted on the lover'.
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Old 12-21-2013   #61
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This right here.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...hreadid=138941
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Old 12-21-2013   #62
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I'm 65. Old fart!

Had my first darkroom in the late 1950's! Learned it all on my own. No classes, no mentor or coach. Got to know a gent who helped me around year 2000.

Like the look of film, especially black & white. Can't beat a true black and white print made in the darkroom. Ink jet is getting real close though.

I have to confess I'm kinda of a nerd. When photography changed from analog to digital I fell right into it. Didn't have any problems, so I can use either method, doesn't make any difference to me.

People I have as clients like digital as they can see the image instantly. Many of them are older, executive types who want to look younger. I've told this before, I was making head shot photos of an executive and was showing him on back of the camera. I said, "I can take 10 years off of your face in PS." His eyes started to sparkle as he said to me, "Bill, can you make it twenty?"

When I make photos of some younger adults, they kind of like it when I drag out an old Leica, Rollie or Hassy. I can use that old stuff to get expressions that look like they're relaxed and having fun. My wife has said when I carry, on a strap around my neck, an old Rollie she calls it a chick magnet! Smiles!
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Old 01-28-2014   #63
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I enjoy it, it's fun. The variety of camera equipment is vast so you get to use something that's a different experience to most digital cameras.

I like the colour of Portra for portraits. The integral masking does what it's supposed to do and gives superior relative hues.

I don't need to underxpose my subject to avoid blowing highlights, I can expose normally and decide what to do with highlights later at any stage.

The same goes for blown out colour, where you lose gradation in very strong colours, like in the saturation, when given normal exposure, such as a vivid red dress, which happens to me on the digital shots.

I can choose from extreme grit to extreme detail.

I don't need to keep up in a race of obsolescence
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Old 03-07-2015   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Because the tools you use influence your process. In the same way that writing with a pen, a typewriter, and a computer are all still writing - but totally different experiences. You might be able to type astonishingly fast, but you may also enjoy the sensation of writing with a fine fountain pen, or even practising spencerian script with a flexible steel nib.

I only have one digital camera, a Canon rebel I bought five or six years ago. But I have eight or nine film cameras of various types - folders, RFs, SLRs, even a 1920s Ansco box and they each offer their own distinct enjoyment of use.

A similar idea can be applied to films, developers, papers, and processes. If photography is an experience for you, rather than a clinical craft - it's nice to have some variety in your equipment and technique. See how new tools and materials change your approach and consequently effect.

From an Art perspective I appreciate using slide film on a personal level because of the thought that each of my slides is not only unique, but that each slide is a portion of film that was physically present at the location of the shot, and that the very light which touched my subjects whatever they may have been - also touched my slide. It is a sort of authenticity that cannot be matched through prints, film or digital. Might not mean anything to some, but it means a lot to me.
Well said, thanks.
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Old 03-08-2015   #65
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I think it would actually be shorter to say why I would ever want to shoot digital?
I would shoot digital only if:
- I would not care for the result to be archival
- I would not care for it to be in B&W
- I would not care for it to look the way I think my photos should
- I would not care to derive pleasure from the process
- I would not care to learn improving my photography through a slow feedback loop
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Old 01-20-2016   #66
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Digital has blown away many photo professions...retouchers, hand colorists, film manufacturers...etc. It is simply because of the ease of use. Digital has made the casual amateur a better technical photographer, but it sure doesn't make them better artistically. Having a good eye has not changed and, to me, a mechanical film camera helps. Being able to "shoot" hundreds of pictures and then choose the best two or three has no appeal to me. I honor those people who can wait, watch and "Make" a photograph with one or two exposures. I like to think I am one of them. Film helps push that along. Recently I pulled out my 60 year old Nikon S-2 rangefinder (which still works perfectly), put in a roll of Tri-x and fell in love with it again. Next I am going to get out my 4x5, load 5 holders or so and go out for the day. I won't need more than those 10 exposures and I will come away with better photographs.
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Old 01-20-2016   #67
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1. Why I did after getting a good digital camera in 2004:
- annual January holiday slides of the children, indelible colour, easily storeable, 50 years-plus discoverable. (Yes, appropriately paranoid about the longevity of a particular digital file.)
- and this kept my M6 and M2 in use.

2. Why I used film more after January 2008:
- on the usual beach holiday I took my first roll of Fuji Velvia. There were distinguishing marks of my first morning walk with that roll of film in my M6 with the 35 Summicron a. At the cost of precisely $36 it was a dollar per shot. b. I am sure my concentration was aided by the pain from ribs I broke the day before. I never before set out with such intent to take well-considered, well-framed, carefully exposed photographs. I took 10 shots, four of them keepers. Film will do that to you. Later came the Rolleiflex: just 12 shots on the roll. I say that like it's a good thing.

3. Why I kept shooting film from then:
- there was no serious digital camera that I considered buying until the D3 and that was far too expensive and far too big.
- I was getting some lovely results on film, especially Tri X amd Rollei Retro 100.
- after joining RFF I learnt more about the properties of different films and the character of different lenses and these were all linked to the equipment I already had. I knew what I would get before I raised the camera to my eye.
- colour negative film can take a hell of a lot of overexposure and that's important in the blazing Australian sun, but also with interior shots, exposing for the shadows and still seeing some detail outside through windows.
- the reliability of always-on of a fully manual camera, and the simple mode options of film: I've missed many digital shots on the street from forgetting I'd ramped up the ISO for inside, no longer had the camera on, or slow wake-up from sleep.
- ultra-small full-frame option of the Leica II and its fully collapsible 50mm lens.
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Old 01-20-2016   #68
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Roger's got most of the arguments covered in a single post, as he is known to do more often!

All I can add is my personal choices, and bring in a new reason with that.

The vintage and more modern film camera gear is a joy to use once you have settled on what you like best to handle. Apart from the stuff in my signature I have owned and loved a Leica M2, Leica M6 classic 0.85, Nikkormats, Rolleiflex 2.8F and a Tele-Rolleiflex. The arrival of another joy-to-use camera, the Ricoh GXR, signaled the farewell from those that remained, some had been sold earlier. In medium format, I still own and shoot a Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikonta B and an Ensign.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to develop anything like 'experience' when it comes to creating images with that specific film look, that cannot be created with digital. Sometimes I succeed, often I fail miserably, but the processes of handling film, developing, editing, scanning and post-processing I enjoy greatly.

New reason for shooting film: Occasionally I do a paid assignment. Bringing both a digital and a film camera always inspires awe with at least a number of people present, sparks some interesting conversations and helps to get across that I'm sufficiently professional to actually shoot a fully manual camera and get good results from it. People are interested in taking my business card, keeping in touch and hiring me for a similar assignment. This was specifically true with the Rolleiflexes, I need to add.
Close to three years since I wrote this and while some of my film an digital gear has changed and adding I work as a photographer now, everything else is as spot-on today as it was back then.
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Old 01-20-2016   #69
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Old 01-20-2016   #70
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I hope I'm not breaking rules for this thread. I'm not expert. But I'll dare to whisper.
I like rangefinders. I like Leica rangefinders. I don't have money for digital Leica rangefinders.
I don't like digital bw, I'm so-so with bw film scans, I like darkroom prints.
All photography I like, all names in photography I respect are with film and only.

Cheers, Ko.

Oh! I like made in Canada gear. The only cameras made here at the door steps are Kodak Browne and Leica M4-2, M4P.
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Film is What It Is
Old 01-20-2016   #71
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Film is What It Is

Just like with music, start with analog for the record, digital for reproduction.

What digital can match the tonal/color gradations here? Ektar:

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Old 01-20-2016   #72
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The less technology between me and my subject, the more creative I feel. Manual camera, no meter, any less and I'd be a painter.
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Old 01-21-2016   #73
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No need to upgrade ! I can relax and enjoy my photography, knowing my negatives will stand the test of time.
The output is much more interesting than digital.
Digital cameras are great for commercial work and pay the bills.
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Old 01-21-2016   #74
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Film is above all an aesthetic choice for me. I just prefer how it looks.
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Old 01-21-2016   #75
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I am the guy who woke up one day and discovered the joys of photography in 2009 and then tried film in 2010 and never looked back. In fact, i went back to the future and started doing darkroom printing in 2015.

I work in technology and using film cameras is a relaxing hobby. I aspire to be a master printer some day, this is something really hard and has no monetary value but ultimately very rewarding to do.
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Old 01-21-2016   #76
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I'm not an expert either, but I can identify expert film photographers by their tone, dynamic range, development technique, and the softness or hardness their images have (this might be related to development technique). When I see a modern digital image I can tell nothing except maybe genre or style. In fact I can't remember any digital photographers work just names.
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Old 01-21-2016   #77
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A whole host of reasons. I love the feel of the old film cameras in my hands. I love the simplicity of the controls on old film cameras. It brings me back to when I first fell in love with photography in the early 1970's. I love the tactile feel of unloading a 35mm cassette and loading the film onto a stainless steel reel, in total darkness (closest to ZEN I come to in my day to day life). I like the idea that it takes talent and knowledge to expose and process film properly. And I love the feeling of being more in control of the process of creating an image, from what I've already pre-visualized, to selecting the right film to capture the image, to exposing it properly, to processing it to get the highlights, shadows, contrast, etc. that I've pre-visualized, (and in the old days when I still had a wet darkroom, selecting the paper and exposing and processing it to create the image I pre-visualized).

I think what it comes down to for me is that I've loved to make photographs since I was a kid, and shooting film lets me be much more involved in the process of making photographs than shooting digital does. It's about the process.
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