35mm film's survival - what are it's advantages over digital

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by robert_lai, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. I just returned from the Christmas party that was held for co-workers and their family members. It's become quite evident that I'm only one of two people who still shoot film. Everyone else now uses 3 to 4 MP digicams. I asked the most vociferous advocate of digital photography how many pictures he's actually had printed. He told me he had 30 printed, by Ritz, since he purchased the camera in the summer time. During that same interval, he's shot over 1500 pictures with the camera. Most of those have been classified and stored on his computer. That ubiquitous and truly annoying question was constantly asked of me:
    "When are you going to go digital?"
    My worry is that if everyone goes digital, there won't be any reason to make film anymore. I'm probably not alone in this feeling, as stated by Dante Stella recently:
    Dante Stella's view
    In defending 35mm film, I gave these arguments.
    1)True wide angle views
    2)Shallow depth of field.
    I usually combine 1 and 2 by using a lens such as the 35mm f/1.4 wide open. The resulting pictures usually make the digicam user's eyes pop out, wondering how such a thing can be done.
    3) Ability to change color palette by changing film
    4)Durability of film cameras, and images.
    I am still using a 20 year old Nikon F3. How many people would want to keep using a 4 megapixel digicam 20 years from now?
    B&W photographs last longer than a lifetime. Kodachrome slides also are very long lived. Most inkjet prints that I've seen will fade in a year or two.
    50 years from now, it will still be easier to look at a slide than to figure out what image is on a CD-ROM.
    5) Greater resolution
    6) Greater sharpness.
    Digital cameras use deliberate unsharpening by way of an anti-aliasing filter to prevent moire patterns from forming. This tendency is because of the regular spacing of the photodetector arrays. Mathematically, it has been shown that maximum sharpness is only attained when the photodetector is arranged in completely random patterns. Of course, that's what the random arrangement of silver halide particles in film give you.
    7) Grain. It has a unique beauty to itself, otherwise why do people still use Tri-X? Some degree of grain increases apparent sharpness, due to factor #6 above.
    8) It is still much easier to put together a presentation by sorting slides on a light table than by using power point.
    I try to utilize all these factors by shooting with slow film such as Kodachrome 64. I prefer using wide-angle, fast lenses shot wide open. While it may not ultimately save 35mm film from oblivion, at least those who view the images can understand that 35mm can give a beautiful look that is not easily replicated by digital. Do you have a tip on now to maximize the imaging potential of 35mm film?
     
  2. Robert, before this thread turns degenerates a typical digital vs. film thread -- my quick observations
    Do you have a tip on now to maximize the imaging potential of 35mm film?
    Answer in short: For me, the only way to do it is to take pictures that are interesting enough so that viewers tend to concentrate on the subject rather than tend to ask questions about the kind of capture medium that was used to take the photograph.
    Now, a few quick observations:
    Why I am still shooting only film:
    1. Because I have not started shooting digital alongside film yet.
    2. Because I have spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort in learning film photography. I have run many tests mastering (in a relative way) the films I like most and plan to use. I am in the "return on investment" phase now and it would be stupid for me now to "re-learn" things with a digital camera.
    3. I like looking at slides. I do not shoot for money, I shoot for myself and I like looking at slides.
    4. At least at this point of time it appears to me that film photographs have longer "storage life". 5. I can scan my photos to digitize them.
    Why am I not shooting digital yet:
    1. Because it is unreasonably expensive to get decent equipment that would acceptable results.
    2. I refuse to fund initial R&D in an emerging area of technology. I'll leave that to rich amateurs and professionals.
    3. I'm from a tropical country and dust/humidity is a major problem. I have more productive ways to spend my time than worrying about dust/fungus on CCD, failing electronics etc. 4. I do not need instant gratification/flexibility of in-situ correction. For that matter, I do not need to take a 100 shots to get a couple keepers. For the kind of shooting I do, I get 4-5 keepers off of each 37 exposure roll and for each such keeper there are 4 to 5 in-camera dupes. I do not lose many shots thanks to careful technique and the nature of my subjects.
    5. Because it is too early to buy a digital camera. Remember the early models of mobile phones and how people raved about them? Where are they now? 6. Because the films I like and know well are still available.
    7. I'd rather invest in good glass than in a plastic body DSLR that costs as much as the top-of-the-like pro film SLR and becomes "obsolete" in a couple years.
    What will I shoot with, if film is no longer available?
    I'll switch to what's available instead, and choose something that's affordable for me and produces satisfactory results for my purposes.
    Do I plan to switch to digital?
    I do not plan to, but I will, only when it comes to me as a natural progression. Before the switch, there will likely be a phase when I'll be shooting digital alongside film.
    What will the compelling reasons/scenarios for me to switch to digital?
    1. DSLR prices become affordable, better dust protecttion, better (higher bits) color, around 10MP resolution and a full-frame sensor.
    2. I will not have to be frustrated with the occassional scratches that my beloved E-6 processors Bourne & Shepherd of Calcutta sometimes put on my slides. 3. I might end up liking grain-free results from digital for some of the shots that I take.
    4. I love teaching/sharing whatever knowledge I have with others. If there comes a time when others are better able to understand/appreciate macro-photography in the context of digital, I'm more than open to explore this new medium and apply my existing knowledge and skills to learn further and share with others.
    There are a few things in photography that are eternal no matter what you shoot with. Lighting, technique, composition etc. are some of them. As long as you have a sound grasp on these, you'll take great photos whatever you shoot with.
     
  3. I believe film (35mm or otherwise) simply offers a much better arena for truly learning photographic technique than digital.
     
  4. Here is my responce:

    1) This is only true because small sensors (i.e. it will go away)
    2) See number one
    3) I see this as more of a digital benefit.
    4) With the same care everything is durrable
    5) NOt really with 35mm film (and soon not even with MF)
    6) Debatable
    7) If you like grain I think film is the way to go UNTIL someone comes out with a good photoshop plugin (hint hint)
    8) Not if you are under 40 (i.e. grew up in the computer age).
     
  5. Here's the in-your-face digerati response (written by an MF user sick of scanning and praying for an affordable full-frame dSLR).

    1. Use a 1Ds or one of the two 12-24mm lenses now available on a dSLR.

    2. Use a dSLR and a 24/1.4.

    3. Color films are less accurate (greater hue shifts) than dSLR color, so photoshopping a correct color rendition to something "artistic" is more powerful than being at the mercy of the limited number of emulsions available.

    4. Digital cameras pay for themselves in film savings, and thus are free, so you can afford to throw them away after 5K to 10K images.

    The real answer to points 5 and 6 is that if 35mm is all the resolution you need, a 6MP dSLR will also be all you need. If you really need more resolution than 6MP dSLRs cough up, 35mm won't be enough either: you need MF or LF or a 1Ds.

    5. Buy a 1Ds.

    6. "

    Film's ability to record extremely high contrast high resolution test chart images at extremely low contrast and extremely high noise is an interesting laboratory phenomenon, but meaningless for actual photography. On a per unit area of sensor basis, digital cameras, even with the anti-aliasing filter, record much more useful information than film does. Film does nicely at 20 lp/mm, but the MTF response (when combined with the lens) above 35 lp/mm is so low as to make it useless for actual photography. (Reality check: compare a 13x19 from 35mm and a 13x19 from the 1Ds. The 1Ds resolves 40 lp/mm or so, but renders a lot more visually apparent and photographically useful detail than 35mm.)

    7. Grain is ugly and obscene. 35mm has never been adequate for decent 8x10s. The reason 35mm types use Tri-X is that 8x10s are grainy whatever you use, so they just give up and put up with it. Real men use Plus-X in Microdol in 6x9.

    8. I can keep several years of digital images on a hard disk and get to them instantly. They're backed up on CD-ROM in duplicate, so there's no question of opening a fire-proof safe to get the slides out. You do keep your slides in a fire-proof safe? If you don't, there's a good chance your life's work will be gone the next time you come home. Getting slides out of a vault is a lot slower than clicking through a directory tree.
     
  6. I believe film (35mm or otherwise) simply offers a much better arena for truly learning photographic technique than digital.
    If you have unlimited funds to burn color/b&w film, and time to wait for processing to learn from your shots, and two bodies (and extra stamina) so that you can shoot both b&w and color at the same time, you would be able to learn moderately quickly. But while you're learning technique with film, those with digital cameras will have shot many times more images than you, in b&w and in color, and will have learned faster than you. If they shoot the equivalent of a roll a day they end up more than paying for a 10D compared to an Elan7 (for example). Does film really offer a "much better arena" for someone learning phototechniques? No.
     
  7. I try to utilize all these factors by shooting with slow film such as Kodachrome 64. I prefer using wide-angle, fast lenses shot wide open.
    It's hardly an advantage over a full-frame digital camera whose images don't have to be scanned. (And most color prints today are scanned before printed, for good reason.)
    Besides, Kodachrome is infamous for being difficult to scan, so I suspect that most would actually prefer the results from a 1Ds.
    is still much easier to put together a presentation by sorting slides on a light table than by using power point
    Who'd use a godawful, low-res mess like Powerpoint instead of an app like iPhoto (free on Macs) or iView (Mac/Windows)? Your presentations can be any size, rearranged and resorted quickly, burned to disk for others to see, burned to a DVD presentation (for free via iMovie and iDVD on Macs), or uploaded.
     
  8. With transparency film you have an original. With digital you have code.
    Original data, just like an original slide. Data that can hold the same information a film, have copies saved offsite for protection, don't fade and don't require scanning for printing (as most color prints are today).
     
  9. Robert, you're definitely not alone. I think the present crop of 5-6 MP digital cameras are a big drop down from the quality we're used to getting in our best images shot on film. I would not pay for such a drop, I'm not that nerdy that I "need" instant feedback. Some don't see it, some do. Those of us who like film should just keep shooting it until satisfactory alternatives show up.

    As to your friends, all you need to say is that film gives images that you prefer, and keep your mind. There's no need to give in to mass toy hysteria. Real artists often use arcane methods anyway. You should switch when you see it's advantageous, going to digital while preferring film would be the most insane thing to do artistically.

    I have also many friends who have bought digital cameras, and some of them are teasing me about my arcane methods. They can't wait to see me with a digital camera. BUT: Blind as they are, even they admit that my pictures are better.
     
  10. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I am always somewhat baffled when I see one of the minus points of digital prints being expressed as the lack of grain. Before digital came along, grain was the enemy. MF or LF was used to get better images with less grain. I used to shoot Plus-X instead of Tri-X in my 8×10 camera to get less grain. Even though it didn't show, it was the principle of the thing. Now I suppose I should go back and reshoot all those 8×10's on Tri-X, pushed to 1600 ISO and developed in Diafine so people wouldn't think they are digital images.
     
  11. Come up and see my original data :-{
     
  12. Regarding the "arguments", everybody has different ones and I think yours are pretty valid. I shoot film because I've been doing it since I was 16 years old when I got my first camera, I like film advantages and limitations, I am satisfied with the results I get from it, I shoot all the way from 35mm film up to 4x5 film sheets, I've seen many digital produced images, from "point and shoot 5MP cameras up to large format digital backs", the latter look nice, but I can get same results with 4x5 sheet film without spending $20.000 plus about $1.500 per day of training. So far the only advantage I've seen between a DSLR and a let's say, 35mm frame of the newer Fujichrome Astia 100F is that according to some, if you enlarge the frame 50000 times you'll see ugly grain, that you won't in the digital file...!. Is that enough for me to dump all the wonderful cameras I have to run and buy a Canon EOS 10D?. No, that camera might produce acceptable images comparable to a 35mm frame, which I already have, and I'm satisfied with.

    And regarding availability of film, here is what I got from Fuji Photo Film Co. latest "Online Cable Release Newsletter":

    As Strong as Ever is Fujifilm's Professional Commitment to Film
    Fujifilm Professional has a proud history of product innovations and superior quality in the film category. We are also committed to maintaining our long-standing dedication to producing the finest Professional Films far into the future. Whether it is an innovative technical breakthrough that takes Professional Film performance to new levels or offering an extensive selection of film products to satisfy every shooting requirement, our customers can be confident that Fujifilm will continue its leadership. In our ever-changing industry we believe that film remains a professional photographer's greatest tool, so we will continue to supply the very finest and most reliable product line-up.
     
  13. Just a thought -- whenever someone mentions "film grain", it is perhaps better to point out which film it is. I'm not sure how many of us have really seen the results from E100GX/EVP100F under high magnification. The grain is vastly improved (reduced).

    I for one have never been fond of film grain and do not consider lack of grain to be a -ve aspect of shooting digital.
     
  14. " never been fond of film grain" -- to be specific, I meant "film grain" as in E100 VS.

    Bit of a self-contradication there ... sorry!
     
  15. The most recent roll of Astia 100 I shot was grainless to my eyes
    after scanning with a MF film scanner. I am talking about full size
    image in Photoshop. I can see dusts but no grain. Well, this roll
    was a 220 though, not a 35mm.
     
  16. Real men use Plus-X in Microdol in 6x9.
    Real men use 4x5" or larger :^)
    Ilkka: I know many ardent film shooters at the physics department at the HUT, do you hang with some "digital gang" I've never heard about?-)
     
  17. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    At least for now, I think the best way to "maximize the imaging potential of 35mm film" is to scan it. That way you have the advantages of film along with all the control digital processing provides.

    I don't think this "hybrid workflow" is an optimal long-term solution. For one thing, scanning is inherently a hemorrhoidal pain even with infrared cleaning and other technological assistance to ameliorate the drudgery. Having used this hybrid approach for nearly five years, I am eagerly looking forward to switching to digital. But at current prices, I figure it would cost at least $2000 to buy a digital camera that would duplicate the capability of my Elan II, including a true wide-angle lens. That doesn't include "field storage" for travel, such as a laptop computer or a stand-alone portable hard drive. And at that price I would lose some capability: I use the Elan II's Depth mode quite a bit, and the D10 or D300 have the hobbled "A-Depth" mode instead.

    I'm also not considering that the resolution of a small-sensor SLR is less than a 4000dpi scan. The solution to this problem is a full-frame sensor camera, but that comes at a completely unaffordable price.

    The real problem is that digital camera manufacturers now provide products for two distinct markets. The family snapshooter can buy a point-and-shoot camera at a price comparable to a film point-and-shoot. The resolution is a bit low, but such users typically never enlarge their family and vacation shots bigger than 4x6 and have no problems with minilab image quality. So those cameras serve them perfectly well, to the detriment of film sales.

    The other market is the $4000 professional DSLR, with a full-frame sensor and (reputed) quality comparable to medium format. A professional photographer who earns enough income to pay for one of these beasts will find it worth its weight in some precious metal, also to the detriment of film sales.

    What the digital camera manufacturers aren't currently providing is an SLR suitable for the "serious amateur," who might use an Elan 7 or even a Rebel Ti (or its equivalent in other lines). The digital equivalent of these cameras costs several times more, and has the problems of resolution a cropping that go with a smaller sensor. So anyone in this category will likely find film a very viable choice as long as the price and quality gap persists. That's probably the best answer you can give to those annoying questions about your digital plans. A good 4000dpi scanner now costs $500 (i.e., the possibly-discontinued Canon FS4000US at Adorama), which makes a hybrid approach a sensible, cost-effective way to enjoy the advantages of digital.

    I have some doubts about how quickly the Digital Future will arrive for the "serious amateur." Although manufacturers (particularly Canon) have been working to reduce the price of cameras like the D10 or Digital Rebel, the fact is that they're still expensive. This may be because the marketeers know they can get away with charging a premium price, but I think there are genuine technical impediments to getting the price down to that of an equivalent film SLR. Since they seem to be doing quite well with their current strategy of selling to family snapshooters and professionals, it may be that the "serious amateur" market is a much lower priority that they will continue to serve with film SLRs that provide the best value for money.

    I can predict with reasonable certainty that, sooner rather than later, film will become a niche product. Fewer choices will be available, and it (and processing) may have to be ordered on-line. Some of that niche will be professionals who prize the image characteristics of film, much as there continues to be a market for large-format film and Kodachrome. But I suspect most of the niche will be the "serious amateur" who continues to use film because a digital point-and-shoot isn't good enough, while a digital SLR is too expensive.
     
  18. I have had 35mm gears for too long and had gone digital. I first got a
    film scanner, then a second film scaner then a Kodak 3mp digital
    camera then, guess what, a 5 lens Pentax 67II system.

    I have gone digital but I found I love films more and decide to stay
    with films. I simply love Velvia, Astia, Provia, NPS, Portra, Vericolor,
    Kodakchrome, and many others more than a small pice of CF card that I
    often had to turn my desk upside down to look for.

    On the other hand, I love inkjet prints. Traditional wet prints may
    be more durable but inkjet prints are simply so beautiful. It is
    amazing to see all the colors from an inkjet print that are not
    visible from wet prints came back from a high volume Frontier system.
     
  19. Many amateurs who shoot digital dont print very many frames/images shot; because of the time/expense of printing all of the images. Where I know there are going to be alot of keepers; I prefer to use film; and have the lab make 2 or 3 sets; and throw the few duds away. This saves alot of valubale time for me; whether an amateur job; or a paid pro event. <BR><BR>I prefer to shoot film and digital; and use what is better for the application; and not worry what others think.
     
  20. I see absolutely NO reason to spend $800-$900 on a baseline Digital camera, (i.e. Digital Rebel because I have a Canon EF lens collection) to do the same thing I am getting out of 35mm film.

    If you are an avid amateur shooting 100 rolls or less per year, Digital doesn't make any economic sense. Nor does the brag that they are shooting xx-thousand images. Only when I started shooting less frames, in a more contemplative way did my photography improve.

    People are printing only a few digital images due to cost factor and the fact that very few of their digital images are worth printing. I picked up a prescription last week and the mini-lab in the drug store was advertising prints from digital memory sticks at $0.29 each for up to 100 images. So for $30 you get about the same number of prints as from 3 rolls of 36 exposures. More expensive than developing 3 rolls with double prints, or 3 rolls of slides.

    Grain has never been an issue for me. It is a true rare occasion that I would print 35mm at 8x10. The format is much better suited to enlargement up to 5x7, dispite the common WEB statement that you can make decent 16x20's from 35mm. If you want enlargements 8x10 and larger, and think the average 4-5 mega pixel digi cam will produce satisfactory results, then all I can say is your standards are different from mine.

    Some may be sold, but they haven't sold me on any significant advantage to going digital yet. Even for my 35mm shots.
     
  21. I think in the end the decision really doesn't come down to quality, but rather need and experence. 90% of the public doesn't need super high quality so they have traditionally used C-41 processed 35mm film. If you look at the groups that have fully embraced digital they almost all are C-41 processed 35mm film users. These groups are the P&S crowd and sports/news photographers. There are still people out there that are attached to C-41 in 35mm. I find they tend to use two types of equipment. Small high quality P&S and old manual cameras. The first groups is slowly moving to digital as good digital comes to small cameras, and the second group are essentially using buggy whips and we all know what happens there (and don't get angry at me for saying this since i use a Rollei 35 =).

    Now as to E-6 film in 35mm there is no doubt that digital cameras are not as good quality straight from the camera. However in the hands of a good digital post processer most the limitations go away and in many cases can be improved upon. The issue here is also not quality. In my opinion the E-6 35mm group simply is too much in love with the actual slide to consider digital. Many arguments are made, but in the end it's the slide itself.

    The last group of 35mm film users use traditional B&W. This will be the last group to go digital becase B&W is more like a way of life. Again it is not really quality, but the process (although digital B&W really isn;t all that good).

    Of the three groups in about 10-20 years the only one that will be around in any numbers is traditional B&W since it's so much of an art form. Color users will all go digital by then since other than the shot there isn't that much of an artistic process today involving the photographer.

    Notice I only mention 35mm and keep pointing out that it's not the quality. The reason is simple. If a photographer really cared about quality he wouldn't be using 35mm =)
     
  22. It seems that most of the responses on this forum ASSUME that the question only applies to the USA.

    Digital is definitely an inevitable, but in other parts of the world, folks don't have as much disposable income to drop even a few hundred dollars down on a digital plaything. And even if they could manage the cost of the camera, they don't have the fastest computer, nor a printer.

    Where I live in Israel, for example, which the standard of living is on par with most of Europe, the digital craze is starting to take hold, but is definitely still in its infancy. Of course, we need to distinguish consumers from the pros. The latter, especially PJ's, have embraced digital with open arms. Especially since the cost of developing film is higher here.

    Bottom line - the USA with it's disposable incomers is probably several years ahead of other parts of world such as S. America, Africa, Asia,and E. Europe in the race to digital.

    On a separate note - I still cannot see giving up all the features of my Nikon F100, which costs approx half of the D100, which is inferior in every regard except that it produces a digital image at the end that i could scan from my slides/negs anyways. When the price of a DSLR with the quality of a F100 (and full frame sensor) comes closer the price of its film counterpart, then I'll jump.

    Regards -
     
  23. "I see absolutely NO reason to spend $800-$900 on a baseline Digital camera, (i.e. Digital Rebel because I have a Canon EF lens collection) to do the same thing I am getting out of 35mm film."

    Then you should go to the www.dpreview.com 300D sample shots gallery, download the ISO 1600 shots, and print them at A4 on a decent inkjet printer. You'll be surprised.
     
  24. jbq

    jbq

    What I like is that digital and film aren't in direct confrontation. They complement
    each other pretty well, actually. My film cameras didn't self-destruct the day I bought
    a DSLR. I still have velvia and provia in my freezer.

    Digital just brings you more tools.

    Specifically about your post, Robert, you seem to make some confusion between
    digital technology in general and the capabilities of current digital cameras. The
    capabilities of digital cameras have been expanding very quickly in the last few years,
    and it's reasonable to assume that they will continue to expand in the near future.

    As an example, on the issue of resolution, Canon's $300 A70 has been measured to
    resolve 140 lpmm through its cheap zoom lens. As far as I can tell there are no real
    technical reasons why the same sensor density can't be theoretically achieved on a
    bigger sensor.
     
  25. Jamie Walling:<p>You've hit the nail on the head for me. I'm in love with color slides. I love looking at them, and projecting them. Digital projectors just don't give me the same vividness that my Leica Pradovit projector does. OK, grain is not always good, but the latest films are exceedingly fine grained so as not to be noticable. I'd hate it if digital meant that my favorite slide films are gone forever, as slide film is already a niche product.<p>As for B&W, I do long to return to the days of doing my own developing and printing. I still have Xtol powder sitting in my basement, as well as bulk rolls of Tech pan, Pan F, and Tmax 100. When I moved house 1 year and a half ago, I stopped doing darkroom work, but the itch does come on strongly at times.
     
  26. I can predict with reasonable certainty that, sooner rather than later, film will become a niche product.
    I just came back from B&H. The place was filled as usual for a Sunday. But the shortest line -- by far -- was the film line. (Oh yes, there was no line at the LF counter.) With several million cameraphones alone floating around North america alone, and the explosive growth of moderately priced digital p&s cameras, we're already seeing a realignment of the film sales and processing/printing businesses.
    Next Christmas the standard-bearer advanced amateur digicameras will be 8MP, and we'll start seeing multi-megapixel cameraphones. The tipping point, the camel's straw, the Rubicon -- it's been crossed here already, I think.
     
  27. Oskar, a friend of mine who doesn't work at HUT just got a D100, my professor got a 10D in the summer and he's pushing it down my throat, and a master's student of mine is also complaining that I'm a HIFI person because I shoot film.

    I wish to meet these hardcore film people that you're talking about. We can start building our last defence using the red Otaniemi brick. :)
     
  28. If you are an avid amateur shooting 100 rolls or less per year, Digital doesn't make any economic sense.
    It makes aesthetic sense to be able to learn and grow faster by shooting far more at no additional cost, in b&w or color, while saving you money by letting you print only the shots you want. If you shoot normally shoot 50 rolls of film a year and you go digital, you'll likely shoot far more than 1500 images, and you'll pay for the camera in a little over a year.
     
  29. AZ, please show us the results of this accelerated learning that you've been enjoying by shooting digital. A few uploads, eh?
     
  30. Illka, if you don't believe that shooting 1,000 images offers greater experience to a
    beginner than someone who shoots 200 shots, you are of course free to your
    incorrect opinion.
     
  31. (1) I don't know of any circumstance where I would need ISO 1600. Haven't wished for it, or needed it for the type of photography I do regularly. I've shot one roll of 800 speed film and that was for a shot done on a barn door mount for 5 or 6 min. Not my everyday type of photography. It's great that the 300D and other cameras with this sensor produce lower noise levels at higher ISO settings than Digitals of times gone by, and is step forward, but this isn't something that would sway me towards spending the cash. YMMV

    (2) Banging away shooting hundreds of shots in an afternoon without any forethought is a waste in digital or film. Not an advantage for what I do at all. I'm glad others enjoy this and learn from doing it, but this is not a process that advances my photography. Been there, done that with film. Waste then and now. Applying a slower more contemplative approach has always been recognized as a way to improve what you put in the frame, and when not to press the shutter. So this claim that shooting tons of shots enabled by digital making me a better photographer just doesn’t pass scrutiny, and probably won’t help as many as the digital advocates think.

    Eventually I will add a digital SLR, but the price point is not here for me yet. Cut the current $899 for the 300D in half, and add customer functions back, and I would start to budget for it. 12 - 18 months max and this price point should be here.
     
  32. I did not say that shooting a lot isn't useful. But not having prints made which can be looked at and analyzed at leisure, or seeing the image at full size (projected slide) isn't good. Most digital snappers just use the monitor to view pictures. The ability to adjust all errors afterwards may lead to ignorance towards learning exposure or learning to understand the quality of the light that we're using for taking pictures.
    I'm just thinking about improving my photographic skills, and to tell you the truth, I don't hesitate before taking shots on film. I'm not bothered by a 1-week delay in seeing the results. I can usually tell a good opportunity from a bad one. But above all, what's important is that I'm happy with the way the finished image looks.
    I still would like to see your photography, AZ...
     
  33. Banging away shooting hundreds of shots in an afternoon without any forethought is a waste in digit
    An overarching proclamation that is also a straw man argument.
     
  34. I use a manual focus Minolta body and slide film and it is much more cost effective than digital for me. I buy gray market film in large lots (to save on shipping) from B+H for $2.50/roll and get it developed by Meijer for $5/roll. I use primes and get excellent sharpness. I shoot 2 to 4 rolls a month and don't realy want to shoot any more.

    I photograph for fun and I have fulfulled my objective and have no reason to go digital right now.

    By the time film becomes a niche product I will want to go digital because there will be full frame sensors or special lenses, better resolution than 35mm film and it will be cost effective to replace my body every so often (which I will need to do with all the plastic).

    Until the bugs are worked out of digital and/or film becomes a niche product I won't switch.

    I will neither go digital before the opportune time nor will I become a film wako pay a primium for it once it becomes conter-productive to my photographic goal (to have fun).
     
  35. I did not say that shooting a lot isn't useful
    Your request for evidence implied that you didn't think it was. Moreover, it incorrectly implied that I said I was a beginner who experienced accelerated learning via digital photography. If you read and posted more carefully there would be less semantic indeterminacy.
     
  36. I buy gray market film in large lots (to save on shipping) from B+H for $2.50/roll and get it developed by Meijer for $5/roll. I use primes and get excellent sharpness. I shoot 2 to 4 rolls a month and don't realy want to shoot any more.
    You just want dozens of rolls of developed but unprinted b&w negatives? For your specific needs this might be ideal, but most people want prints, or don't want to shoot in color at least sometimes. Then costs add up.
    People who own digital cameras find that since the marginal cost of additional photos is zero (plus storage), they almost often tend to shoot much more, and easily switch off between color and b&w. If that doesn't interest you, fine.
     
  37. Mason Petersen stated that he buys large lots of SLIDE film. He didn't say B&W film.<p>It is indeed a sad situation when we who love film need to justify the existence of our medium.<p>However, as an amateur, I don't want to spend any more money in this hobby just to get an image, when what I'm getting is already satisfactory for me. When film finally dies, I'll probably take up some other hobby such as piano playing.
     
  38. Mason Petersen stated that he buys large lots of SLIDE film.
    True. So, he shoots an average of 35 or so rolls of slide film a year but doesn't budget printing or scanning anything? If that's what photography is for him, then he may not need a digital camera. I don't quite understand what he's doing with slide film he seems not to be doing anything with, but that's his business. Clearly, his needs are not the same as most people who own cameras.
    On the other hand, if he does scan and upload/share photos, a digital camera would offer the image quality he needs, greater ease and speed of data transfer, and its small size would enable him to kmore easily carry it around ... perhaps lending him to actually shoot more.
     
  39. Some comments...

    Film isn't in any real danger of disappearing, especially with the huge installed base of film bodies. The whole reason that photography started with film is that film is not difficult to produce and support. Film was profitable in the late 1800's. Consider how low industrial technology was back then and how small the potential market was. If film was profitable in that context, surely there will be somebody producing and supporting film, even as a niche product, for decades to come. Film doesn't have to be as large or profitable as digital to survive, it just has to be profitable at some scale of production.

    I can't help but wonder if the "35mm is sharper" crowd has ever actually taken a close look at DSLR output. Every DSLR vs. 35mm article online *that includes sample photos* comes to the conclusion that current DSLRs match or exceed the output of the finest 35mm slide films. There are some articles that come to a different conclusion, but they don't have any photos, just theories. When I ordered my 10D I couldn't wait to do a series of side-by-side test shots with my 35mm equipment. When I saw the first photos from my 10D I decided such a test series really wasn't worth my time. I know what I can do with Provia 100F and my film scanner, and my 10D clearly exceeded that level of performance from the first shots.

    I'm surprised at some of the "ho-hum" comments from film fans regarding the advances digital has made possible. Don't need ISO 1600? Grain has "unique beauty"? Give me a break! If Fuji introduced a Provia 1600F that had as little grain/noise as a Canon 10D at that speed the film world would go INSANE! B&H wouldn't be able to keep the stuff in stock!

    Now imagine if Fuji was giving the film away for free, along with a coupon for free processing, so that you only incurred costs when you printed something. Yeah, that's what digital is like.

    I also find it hard to believe that film fans would complain about dust in the digital world. I don't care how careful you are with your film, dust is a major problem in a film workflow. Much worse than with digital.

    Any way, back to profitable production...film isn't going any where for a while, nobody is going to be forced to switch if they don't want to. Somebody is going to make money filling all those old film bodies with film, whether it's Fuji, Kodak, or even a future small company that hasn't been created yet.
     
  40. for the most part slide is meant to be projected.
    For the most part? I think hardly anyone projects slides outside of school and military settings today. (And the military is putting everthing into Powerpoint, from what I've read.)
    Pros used to use it because (a) clients preferred viewing slides (though not as popular as monitors today) and because slides translate well for 4-color magazine printing. But those uses have fallen out of favor. Even fuddy-duddy camera clubs are giving up on their slide-mania showing requirements.
    Slides occupy a small percentage of film sales, although they have their value. I use slides for desaturating to b&w because of its great, b&w-like density range. But the point is that I actually have mine printed. I hardly know of anyone who shoots solely to shine slides up on a wall. If that's what Mason does, more power to him, but it's a unique pursuit.
     
  41. I thought I might reply to Daniel Taylor's post on film not being in any danger of disapearing. While I agree with you that it will not disapear completly, your example of supply and demand in the late 1800 is flawed. You see, film was super expensive back then. Pretty much only professionals had cameras and film. The reason it was profitable was that the only alternative was to have an artist create a painting of your family ($$$$). If the supply and demand curve for film ever got back to where it was in the 1800's film would indeed die off.

    Here is how I see the near future (10-20 years). Color films of all types will virtually disapear. If you really are hooked on that Velvia look someone will come along with a photoshop plugin to fill the need. By that time digital cameras will be such good quality, and the processing will be so convienant that everyone will use it (eventually large format too).

    I predict that B&W will linger on as an art form, but that should die out within a generation since you will digitally be able to create the look of ANY film stock, and digital sensors will continue to have even greater and greater exposure latitudes killing true B&W's one outstanding technical benifit. The way things are going I also think darkroom supplied might be legislated out of existance because some are toxic.

    Here is digitals strategy to conquering the world:

    1) Kill C-41 print film (In progress and victory in sight)
    2) Kill E-6 silde film (In progress, but those pesky landscape people with the big cameras are trouble)
    3) Kill B&W (It's actually already dead, the Leica people just havn't realized it yet ;)

    Enjoy...
     
  42. I remember there being some mention a while back that the limitations of a CCD/CMOS sensor meant that rangefinder lenses (which are not designed to clear a mirror box) could not be used with digital bodies. Long story short, we all know that the differences between renagefinder and reflex camera lens designs give the finished picture a different look in terms of image distortion, etc. Therefore, since most of the good digital cameras are of the SLR design, some of us who like the "rangefinder look" will have little alternative but to stick to film for now.

    And yep, I agree. Real men shoot large format.
     
  43. Coming from someone who shoots between 25 and 50 rolls a month, let me state my
    reasons for using film:

    1) Digital is cold. Film has an inherent warmth too it. A feel. The colors are richer. In
    B+W, I like the different grayscales that I achieve when shooting PANF as opposed to
    HP5.

    2) Clients like seeing proofsheets. When emailing pictures, somehow the magic is
    taken away. A photographer is not someone who merely presses a button. You hire
    the person for there knowledge of achieving the best image possible given the
    circumstances. When anyone off the street can buy a 20mb SLR, what seperates them
    from the Shooter earning his living off of his pictures?

    3) Shooting film is an ARTFORM as opposed to a TECHNOLOGY. Granted, there is
    some art in technology, and technology plays a part in art, but you see my point. With
    film, experimentation is encouraged. Happy accident's will occur. And you have to
    wait to see the results. I like the anticipation. Patience's is a virtue. Digital, I have the
    subject and an assistant standing over my shoulder, critiqueing the work in their
    minds. With film, most of the time, the only image a person see's is the final print,
    beatufilly toned and printed.

    4) While we on this sight discuss still photography, last time i checked, Hollywood and
    the movie business was still consuming vast amounts of stock despite the emergance
    of 24p camera's from Sony, Panasonic, and Thompson respectivly. Cinematographors
    have built career's learning how to manipulate their favorite films to achieve the look
    the director is looking for.

    5) Reports of the death of film have been greatly exaggerated. And someone made an
    interesting point earlier. They said something to the effects that while people with
    digital camera's snap more pictures, how many of them actually print their shots? I
    like film because the pictures are meant to be viewed, meant to be seen. With digital
    pictures, the consumer may have 3000 pictures on his hard drive that will never see
    anyone else's eyes.

    6) Digital let's you cheat. What I mean is that when shooting digital, you know that it
    costs (virtually) nothing so you can shoot till the cows come home. With film, great(er)
    care is given to actually framing and composing the shot because you know that roll
    of Kodachrome 25 cost you a pretty penny on ebay and you want to make damn sure
    you get the shot you want.

    I'm not opposed to digital. I own a small digicam that I take with me everywhere.
    Great for party picts, documenting my day, etc...But if you are serious about your art,
    well...you know where I stand.

    Hootan.

    PS. I'm from the digital age and am very comfortable around technology.
     
  44. Here is digitals strategy to conquering the world:
    1) Kill C-41 print film (In progress and victory in sight) 2) Kill E-6 silde film (In progress, but those pesky landscape people with the big cameras are trouble) 3) Kill B&W (It's actually already dead, the Leica people just havn't realized it yet ;)

    Not being a sentient being, "digital" doesn't have a strategy, and it's in nobody's particular interest to kill off film. That said, E6 will die much, much sooner than C-41. It's already a small fraction of C-41 sales, and C-41 is guaranteed to exist for a long time to come in the consumer markets of developing countries. This is in fact the one growth film market left.
     
  45. Digital is cold. Film has an inherent warmth too it.
    Digital can have any sort of warm tone applied or taken away. Show me a warm image that couldn't be taken at the same instant with a digital camera that couldn't look the same if you wanted.
    Clients like seeing proofsheets. When emailing pictures, somehow the magic is taken away.
    Clients want to see pictures for their money, not "magic." Digital images can easily be made into proofsheets, as I'm surew you know. Or do you?
    Shooting film is an ARTFORM as opposed to a TECHNOLOGY. Granted, there is some art in technology, and technology plays a part in art, but you see my point. With film, experimentation is encouraged.
    No, I don't see your point. You can experiment to your heart's content with digital.
    While we on this sight discuss still photography, last time i checked, Hollywood and the movie business was still consuming vast amounts of stock
    That's one of your listed reasons for using film?!?!
    Reports of the death of film have been greatly exaggerated.
    Again, that's a reason you use film?
    I like film because the pictures are meant to be viewed
    Who said anything different for digital? You can simply shoot more, more affordably.
    Digital let's you cheat.
    What nonsense. Using that argument you should stick to expensive sheets of 8x10 film. That way you can be even more "honest" by reducing your output even more. Sheesh.
     
  46. To Z: Very easy to hide behind a moniker instead of putting your name behind your
    comments. I stand by what I said. You have a logo for a an identity.
     
  47. I stand by what I said.
    If you are content to assert claims while ignoring the issues raised, and if you want to attempt to place focus on me instead of the points I made, I'll simply note that.
     
  48. To Logo Z:<p>At this point in time, digital is making such inroads that I'm sure it doesn't need your help to carry on. The point of my post was that for those of us who have put in money into a film based system, are there any merits unique to film which would justify its continuing existence?<p>As for use of slides, I use slide film specifically for projection. Most of my "hobby" income (now up to about $20K/year) is from giving lectures with my slides. 99% of my colleagues now use some tiny little In Focus or other SVGA projector and Power Point for their presentations. I have noted, and Ken Rockwell has verified, that digital projectors are very deficient in color saturation. This is especially true in the orange and reds. I usually bring my Leica projector with me, as I can never be sure that a given venue will have a working projector. When the slides hit the screen through the SuperColorplan lens, the audience reacts quite favorably.<p>I really have no use for print film or prints, except to get a scan made for ebay, or for family snapshots (even those I prefer slide film). My primary reason for getting a digital P&S would be only for ebay use - then again, I can usually ask one of my digital friends to shoot the item for me. I may have to get a film scanner, as some meetings now specify Power Point only.<p>Thus, for my purposes, I'm not interested in 3000+ pictures in a few months. My photography has to run on a business-like footing, and my "primitive" setup does bring me a decent sideline income. As a business, it's been a great excuse to purchase new gear as a business expense, I may add. However, I don't have any plans to get an $8000 digital SLR at any time, ever.
     
  49. The point of my post was that for those of us who have put in money into a film based system, are there any merits unique to film which would justify its continuing existence?
    Not a point, really, it's a question. But you weren't really asking a question, you were paraphrasing Dante's article and using the arguments to flesh out your opinions. I and others noted errors or misunderstandings, or contrary opinions. If you really shoot so much slide film, with no interest in printing, you are a distinct minority. So you love the look of viewed and projected slides -- great for you. You've found a single form for your expression. Most people, however, shoot in order to get to a print. You could have told your friends that instead of that longwinded defense. as for the cost of full-frame sensor cameras, they're continuing to go down, and I suspect that, like many people on photo.net, you'll find your way to digital over time.
     
  50. Film allows me to continue using my cameras. I can't afford to pay for the sort of digital which would replace my Pentax Spotmatic, my Canon rangefinder, or any of my assorted M42 mount gear. My ancient computer system can't talk to a digital anyway (Win95 doesn't support usb). And the thought of spending hours fiddling files so I can print them doesn't appeal. So I'll just stick to my bulk loaded monochrome film and darkroom, thanks.
     
  51. Well Robert here's an answer for you.

    Film still makes sense if you do not own a computer =)
     
  52. Re And the military is putting everthing into Powerpoint, from what I've read.)

    This is abit of a fib; because here we converted a hell of alot of digital powerpoint stuff to damn low tech slides; for the current military buildup. They demanded slides; because they what a robust solution that works in low tech areas; ie the damn battlefield. The military uses digital,low tech slides; posters, flash cards; and playing cards.
     
  53. Ilkka: a walk around Otaniemi will give mixed signals. In a period of 18 months Teekkarikamerat acquired two very serious quality enlargers, one from VTT, the other from the Media Lab, for very nominal sums of money. OTOH, many people still use film, either exclusively or for their serious projects, check out www.lapland.pp.fi or www.hut.fi/~kar/NewExhibitions/Flashback/Flashback.html for work of photographers who, to my knowledge do 100% film (I don't know Luukkola personally, but those who know him says he doesn't compromise one bit on quality, but of course now he works manily in LF). Seems to me that here hobbyists and people that are a bit more interested but not determined enough to use MF are switching to digital (pros whose work requires volume but not quality have obviously switched long ago), but many of those who are pressing for quality are still using film. Just don't let anyone tell you what to use, I use both film and digital, but can't go all-digital for many years.
     
  54. Film ain't going away.
    Most enthusiasts still use film.
    Have a look at the results from your average digi cam user, they are probably even worse than they were getting with the film and minilab combination. But then again they are easy to e-mail etc..

    Digital will take a big step forward when you have say 8mega pixel cameras, with the pixels set alternately to something like 400asa and 100asa. This will give snappers some latittude which is why most peoples digital shots are currently crap. They don't know how to set exposure. With colour neg film you don't need to know about exposure to get a shot.

    When Digital SLR's are affordable I'll get one, but I'll still use my film bodies for b&w. I dread the day when digital can produce b&w prints like darkroom hand prints. I hope it never comes.
     
  55. You know why I dislike digital "imaging"? It's consumerist driven. It's the new big thing. It's cotton candy. It's a MacFormat.

    Photographs are meant to be held, hung and passed around (preferably to the next generations). Digigraphs are meant for immediate consumption and then flushed away like empty calories. Photography is a process that invites craftsmanship. Imaging is a process that invites button pushing.

    Merry Christmas.
     
  56. 1) Extreme speed--while the 10D looks pretty good at 1600, it's still no competition to Delta 3200 at 12,500, or even TMY @ 4000. And most digitals aren't even close to the 10D in high-speed performance. For low light work the 10D is also crippled by an autofocus system that just isn't good enough for wide-open shooting, and a screen that doesn't make manual focus in poor light that much fun either. My $20 Zorki is better low-light camera.

    2) Hazardous locations--Even if I had a 1Ds, I'd still use my 35mm or MF gear for the beach, Tijuana, the "hood" after dark--why risk a $7000 body when a $150 body+film can offer very nearly the same quality?

    3) Extreme contrast subjects--digital currently handles excess scene contrast badly. If you're in conditions where the Zone system would want N-1, you're just hosed.

    4) Light sources in-scene--extremely blown highlights leave weird artifacts in all the digitals I've tried; maybe the 1Ds is better. My E-10 is particulary bad--bright light sources at night create sharp vertical blown-out lines.

    5) Durability--O.K., I confess, I'm not a person who's easy on equipment. I've dropped cameras onto concrete. When it's a Mamiya Universal, you worry that you're going to crack the concrete. When it's a E-10 it's very nearly time for fresh underwear. I shiver to imagine the feeling of dropping a 1Ds.
     
  57. "I thought I might reply to Daniel Taylor's post on film not being in any danger of disapearing. While I agree with you that it will not disapear completly, your example of supply and demand in the late 1800 is flawed. You see, film was super expensive back then. Pretty much only professionals had cameras and film."

    I was under the impression that Kodak had made photography accessible to the masses by the 1890's...is that incorrect?

    At any rate, the fact that film was profitable for production AT ALL in that context leads me to believe it will continue to be profitable in our society for decades. Consider that manufacturing technology has vastly improved making everything cheaper to produce. Also consider the massive installed base of existing film cameras, many times larger than the entire potential world market at that time. These aren't just going to disappear. TLR's from the 60's still command $100-$200 on ebay! Those people are buying to shoot. And consider that people have much more disposable income, such that film prices could rise without driving away serious amateurs dedicated to film or their film equipment.

    I don't know how much more R&D we will see in the improvement of film. But what's developed is easy enough to produce. The world has 6 billion people and hundreds of millions of film cameras. There's got to be a profitable niche in there for decades to come.
     
  58. Logo Z:<p>I didn't want to turn this into a post that was entirely specific for me, that is why I went into a long winded general discussion on the potential merits of film. In my particular case, I shoot to project slides, so slide film is naturally the most useful. However, as you noted, this probably only pertains to my situation.<p>As for paraphrasing Dante Stella, I had worked out some of my points already, but did a Google search (as requested by photo.net) to see if anyone else had come up with a similar topic. I got his page and put in the links. I did skim it to see what the gist of his argument was. It was after I posted, that I read his piece in its entirety.<p>Regarding the military, sometimes it takes something primitive to do the job when the fancy gear doesn't work. Didn't Private Jessica Lynch say that her M-16 rifle jammed on her when the Iraqis attacked? This has been a complaint about the M-16 since Vietnam. I work at the Syracuse VA, and I hear the veterans' flashbacks when they visit me for their health care. If she had a bayonet with her, she could have given her rapist a nice belly ache for his trouble. I gave a talk to the health care providers at Fort Drum last year. They pulled out an ancient Kodak projector that was essentially non-functional. I had to rotate the carousel manually, and drop each slide into place with the slide select lever. That experience taught me to always bring my own gear to a venue. Even slides may not be primitive enough for the military.
     
  59. My .$02 on this issue:
    Ability to change color palette by changing film
    Yeah, I'd certainly give high artistic credo to the ability to rotate between the bleached out, grainy tonality of Kodak Max 400 vs the Eboloa virus/radioactive Easter Egg rendition of Fuji Superia 400. With all those film options on the rack at the grocery store it's a wonder more people don't take advantage of it, ya think? I'm being a bit cynical here, but I find it shallow, cruel, self centered, and basically ignorant to continue the curse of film on the general picture taking public who have no desire to shoot slides, work in a darkroom, or scan film. Which leaves of course leaves them to the mercy of lousy consumer photofiishing, which will not get better, and your generic $200 3-4mp digicam yields far better pictures than any 4x6 made on amatuer RA-4 paper from Walgreens. To claim otherwise is like justifying VHS over progressive scan DVD.
    How many people would want to keep using a 4 megapixel digicam 20 years from now?
    Twenty or even a thousand years from now, that 4 megapixel digicam will *still* take better pictures than your F3 loaded with amatuer film and printed on amatuer color paper, which is the route that the vast majority of photgraphed images take.
    I try to utilize all these factors by shooting with slow film such as Kodachrome 64.
    In that case, Superia 400 probably scans better. Your co-workers shooting digital also have the immediate option of doing something with those images, via the web, or printing them out, while you get to wait a week or two and pray the K-14 lab running your "superior" Kodachrome doesn't mess up their control chart that week. You then get those slides back, and then what? Do you honestly stand there and defend your position with lectures about LPM charts while your co-workers are likely sending candids and short .MPG files back forth when they get home? Photography, as I've always understood it, is about communicating images, not filling shoe boxes with film. I'll take the 3-4mp images printed on a local Frontier over the Kodachrome prints as well.
    I like looking at slides. I do not shoot for money, I shoot for myself
    Light table worship is the lowest intellectual denominator in terms of appreciating the photographic art form, which is perhaps it's own justification since photographers I've met who indulge in such behaviour don't have much worthy to express anyways. We'd be better off getting a pair of VR goggles and simply walking around while displaying color enhanced, real time images emulating the fake industrial dyes in slide film. Same thing, and we don't have to squint through loupes.
    I love teaching/sharing whatever knowledge I have with others
    You just said you preferred looking at slides. Which is it??? How do you globally communicate a slide on a light table?
    Film's ability to record extremely high contrast high resolution test chart images at extremely low contrast and extremely high noise is an interesting laboratory phenomenon, but meaningless for actual photography
    You also forgot that film's maximum resolution ability is also only optimum when shooting monochrome, high contrast test charts. That's why we have high resolution color slide films; to reference them with monochrome test charts of course.
    Actually the recording capability of conventional, low speed color emulsions is pretty decent compared to 5-6mp capture, but film's fidelity is pretty much destroyed when it's optically projected for printing, or recording subjects with high color saturation. Scanning is of course the ideal option, especially for dealing with transparencies, but anybody who has done high quality scanning and printing knows that the reproduction chain for film scans is about 10X more awkward than dealing with a straight digital capture in the first place. Except for Keith L., and myself, I'm not aware of anybody else in this thread who does their own slide film scanning and *actually* sells fine art level work. Most have their images scanned by somebody else, have some teenager at the mall print their images for them, or never print them at all. I rest my case.
    I think the present crop of 5-6 MP digital cameras are a big drop down from the quality we're used to getting in our best images shot on film.
    I just spent a few hours this weekend visiting a lab owner who was testing out his in-house Fuji Frontier with a new 6mp digicam he bought. The 8x10's he was cranking off his Frontier off hours directly from the camera port would *destroy* most of the 8x10's I have him make from my 6x7 using any film type, and light years beyond conventional 35mm photo finishing. I guess your 35mm is better quality than my 6x7 work I would assume.
    In my opinion the E-6 35mm group simply is too much in love with the actual slide to consider digital
    My thoughts exactly. To justify the continued development and sale of 35mm film will involve justifying it's reproduction capability, which right now can only be made via scanning. Right now this holds for professional color neg and large format transparency, but not much else. The demand for film from a sales point of view is also irrelevant since Kodak and Fuji can produce all the film they want, but with no labs running caustic E-6 and C-41 chemistry because they can't make a profit, it's a moot point.
     
  60. Scott:<p>Slide projector.
     
  61. "If that's what photography is for him, then he may not need a digital camera. I don't quite understand what he's doing with slide film he seems not to be doing anything with, but that's his business. Clearly, his needs are not the same as most people who own cameras."

    No. My needs are the same as every amatuer photographer.

    Amatuers photograph for fun. This is the goal of their photography.

    Many can't justify droping 1000s of dolars on a digital body when they can get results that are good enough or better for a lot cheaper from film.

    I'm not saying digital dosen't have it's uses. It is (if not now it will become) better than film for the folowing people.

    A: Pros especialy PJs. They need to shoot a ton and print a ton FAST. They also buy pro film at $9+/roll and get it developed at a prolab for $25+/roll. Digital is by far cheaper for them.

    B: Anyone who shoots a TON.

    C: Anyone who converts to digital anyway.

    For me though (and I think I speak for many others) when I can get pictures that are just as good from a camera that sells for under $100 on ebay and prime lenses that compete with many new AF lenses but sell for under under $100 and many times under $50 on ebay. Even if you use EOS or Nikon AF you can get better quality for the money.

    I use slides because that way I can get it developed at minilab prices without any lab techs messing with my image.

    I do think I will end up going digital though but not now. If I wait anywere from 2 to 15 years I will get a better and cheaper DSLR.

    I'm glad I didn't buy a bag phone 10 yars ago, aren't you.
     
  62. Scott, image quality is subjective. I'm not implying my 35 mm slides produce better 8x10 than your 6x7's, but I like them better than equivalent prints made from 6 MP digital SLRs. There are exceptions, for example I think the D2H's 4 MP files seem to be better.
     
  63. Daniel.

    While Kodak may have brought "photography to the masses" in the sence that given the financial and educational commitment, it was avaliable to anyone, it was still a tiny percent of the population. The masses (i.e. just about everyone) really didn't get into photography until the advent of the transister in the 1970's. AF and auto exposure is what brought people in.

    That being said, I still do agree with the fact that film will be avaliable, I just think people will eventually stop caring and it will die due to lack of demand. Digital will get that good.
     
  64. Oh yeah.. and the comment on developing and 3rd world countries if very valid. Due to the cost and avaliability of digital they will use film for some time. But what percent of people in these countries use professional grade C-41 and E-6? Again I go back to no one will want to use Color film in the future. It'll be like CHOOSING to shoot 110 film =)
     
  65. "An overarching proclamation that is also a straw man argument."

    Actually it is a fact based on my experience, and many well recognized pros selling workshop time would advise the same. It never ceases to amaze me how something of common knowledge and a generally accepted means of improving one's photography, now is a drag on one's photographic development just because you can shoot unlimited frames. Practice leads to improvement, but without careful consideration of what you did and why, as well as a critical examination of the results will yield nothing but more of the same crap. No way anyone can devote the time required to do that while shooting hundreds of frames in an afternoon.

    This thread, as with most like it, has accomplished nothing, but to get many in an uproar, me included. Never should have let myself get sucked in. Enjoy the bickering, but I'm out.
     
  66. Well said Jonathan. I agree. Shouldn't get upset about this. Photography is a personal
    thing that is unique to the individual. Let them decide.
     
  67. it is a fact based on my experience
    No it is one person's opinion. And it is a straw man argument because you attacked something that no one posited in the discussion.
    I'm out.
    Goody.
     
  68. "While Kodak may have brought "photography to the masses" in the sence that given the financial and educational commitment, it was avaliable to anyone, it was still a tiny percent of the population. The masses (i.e. just about everyone) really didn't get into photography until the advent of the transister in the 1970's. AF and auto exposure is what brought people in."

    That's sort of my point though. B&H Photo by itself probably serves more customers today than Kodak had in 1890. But film was still profitable, even with that tiny market, even with 1800's level industrial technology.

    With modern technology, and such a large base of film users, there's got to be a profitable market there. And it will remain large for a while. Nobody is throwing away all those old film bodies, they're selling them on ebay. When 35mm SLR's and MF bodies sell for next to nothing on ebay (i.e. $5) then I would say film is in trouble, because the buyers have no intent on shooting with them, just collecting them. But the people paying hundreds of dollars for used bodies today intend to shoot. For whatever reason, they're sticking to film for now. They're a profitable market.
     
  69. Logo Z and Scott Eaton have raised some points which I didn't have time to address earlier. They seem to have it in their heads that a print is the only way to communicate with people. I have to inform you that projection on a screen is the easiest way to communicate with a group of people. Remember Hollywood? They seem to make good money communicating with people that way.<p>I shoot slides for presentations which are then projected in front of an audience. Furthermore, I get good money for doing it, so that's my business model. If I can get my 20 year old equipment to deliver the goods, why should I plunge more and more money into expenses for digital stuff? Especially when digital projectors are definitely inferior to a 35mm slide projector. The purpose of business is to get money, not spend more and more.<p>For my own purposes, I do still view my slides with family and friends. The usual work flow is shoot, get it developed, EDIT on a light table, then project only the best. That's where the light table comes in. I don't like looking at the slides only through a loupe. It serves a purpose only in terms of EDITING. My editing is basically this: decent slide -> stays in the pack; bad slide -> trash can. Then I can sort the decent slides around into a coherent story. This is time consuming enough with 36 images. I can't see how anyone can take 2000 pictures of an event and have the ability to see them all at once to pick out the best ones.<p>If images are meant to be seen, then what's the purpose of 1470/1500 of the images sitting on a hard drive? Why only make 30 prints if prints are such a holy grail of communication? If you don't actually print the remaining 1470, do your friends really want to see 1470 of your pictures on their monitors? So a 4MP digital image on a SVGA monitor screen is vastly superior to a slide projected on a large screen is it? Give me a break! Let's see that 4MP digital image blown up to 6x9 feet in front of an audience and then we'll see how great it looks.
     
  70. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    May I interject a thought? How many of the average people at a Christmas party are aware of true wide angle views, shallow depth of field, sharpness, ability to change color palette by changing film etc? Most were very happy with disposable cardboard cameras or a roll of Kodak Max 400/800 from the supermarket. Taking film shots requires a commitment - buying film ahead of time taking the shots and having the film developed afterwards. With digital, they only have to remember to bring the camera. I'm sure one sees a lot more people taking pictures with digital cameras or cameraphones than one used to see taking pictures with film cameras at the same parties. Any arguement that film will get better quality photos is spurious to them. They don't care or don't really know if that is true. They just want to take some pictures with the least amount of hassle or commitment. <BR>
    Actually, I'm pretty sure they are getting better results with their 3 meg digital cameras and auto white balance than they were getting with Kodak Max 800 in their Canon Rebels under tungsten or fluorescent lighting. <BR>
    30 prints out of 1500 images is not that much out of line with the "I'm happy if I get one or two keepers per roll of film" that one often sees posted.
     
  71. I am going to add some notes, two in response to things that "Logo-Z" wrote and one in general.
    1. Speed of Learning
    If you have unlimited funds to burn color/b&w film, and time to wait for processing to learn from your shots, and two bodies (and extra stamina) so that you can shoot both b&w and color at the same time, you would be able to learn moderately quickly. But while you're learning technique with film, those with digital cameras will have shot many times more images than you, in b&w and in color, and will have learned faster than you. If they shoot the equivalent of a roll a day they end up more than paying for a 10D compared to an Elan7 (for example). Does film really offer a "much better arena" for someone learning phototechniques? No.
    It makes aesthetic sense to be able to learn and grow faster by shooting far more at no additional cost, in b&w or color, while saving you money by letting you print only the shots you want. If you shoot normally shoot 50 rolls of film a year and you go digital, you'll likely shoot far more than 1500 images, and you'll pay for the camera in a little over a year...
    Illka, if you don't believe that shooting 1,000 images offers greater experience to a beginner than someone who shoots 200 shots, you are of course free to your incorrect opinion.

    I don't think that the sheer number of exposures has anything to do with developing aesthetic judgment and creating something with visual appeal. The next article I am working on is entitled "Pathways to Mediocrity" (a play on Kodak's "Pathways to Color" booklet) - and I think that digital is a great way for some good photographers to do good work - but for the most part is an easier way for those who aren't good photographers to make lots of marginal images to choke the internet and their computers' hard drives.
    Traditional materials have a very important didactic role - because they put the brakes on making photographs sufficiently to force students to learn technique. Shooting more is not the solution. Shooting better is. Photography is not an art learned by trial and error on a massive scale, by making thousands of images. Your statement that you need two bodies, two films and unlimited funds to learn color is itself a strawman argument.
    And where does speed come into it? I have seen people who are professionals shooting thousands of frames a month still turning out nothing but garbage.
    2. Wideangle Lenses
    [Film with wideangle] is hardly an advantage over a full-frame digital camera whose images don't have to be scanned. (And most color prints today are scanned before printed, for good reason.)
    Price. Have you priced film SLRs versus "full-frame digital cameras" lately? A Kodak 14N is $3,500 and a Canon 1Ds is $7,000. While the price difference doesn't give you "unlimited funds to burn film," at any normal price for film, prints, and CD, the difference is more than most people shoot in their entire lives.
    Quality. One of the issues with digital is that every wideangle digital SLR lens is retrofocus. This type of lens -- in addition to being a lot bigger -- is harder to make without distortion. The resolution of SLR wideangles is nowhere near what it is in rangefinder lenses.
    3. Film and paper availability
    Someone said, "when film becomes unavailable." Speaking only of black and white materials, I think that people act as if film will disappear tomorrow. Even if Kodak and Fuji folded, it wouldn't. If you think about it, there are a lot of niche players already - Luminos/Kentmere, Efke, Foma, Bergger, etc. who produce film and paper in quantities that don't even show up on the map. They operate largely out of former Kodak plants abroad, and they don't need Kodak's economies of scale to do a good business in niche-quantity materials at reasonable prices. I'm sure that the smaller producers look forward to the bigger players getting out of the market - since most of the smaller companies don't run their machines at full tilt.
     
  72. I don't think that the sheer number of exposures has anything to do with developing aesthetic judgment and creating something with visual appeal
    Experience shooting, and shooting regularly, are the surest ways to learn and improve one's photography. Again, f you don't believe that shooting 1,000 images offers greater experience to a beginner than someone who shoots 200 shots, you are of course free to your incorrect opinion.
    Price.
    There are expensive and inexpensive digital cameras an accessories, just as there are for film cameras. And prices for digital are dropping rapidly while price/ performance is increasing steadily. Top DSLRs were only introduced to discuss someone's desire for llimited DOF (and we're sure to see more and more affordable full-fram DSLRs very soon). To compare the most expensive, high-end digital camera prices to the limited film use of a typical amateur (who doesn't own a high- end film camera) loads your argument a bit. No one's saying that there aren't some cost or technical advantages to film cameras, but they are often outweighed by digital (and those advantages are ignored or minimized by film fanatics).
    Yes, for low-volume shooters the best digital gear is propably not appropriate. The same can be said for film cameras. But the concommitant ease of digital picture- taking, evaluating, printing -- and greater shooting -- makes digital compelling, as is evidenced by the number of newbies, amateurs and pros who use digital or who have switched.
    Someone said, "when film becomes unavailable."
    Sure you aren't hearing voices? No one said it in this thread, did they? It appears that this is a straw man argument you can get to knock down.
     
  73. Editing and review -- this is where 35mm film still has it over digital. I find it much faster to lay out my slides on a lightbox and examine them through a loupe then to retrieve them one by one and display them on my computer monitor. Also, it's much easier (for me) to compare a bracket of 3 or 4 slides on a light table than it is to do it on a monitor where I can only look at one image at a time. And, when I look at a full image on my computer monitor, the limited resolution of the monitor still introduces artifacts/conceals defects that impact the evaluation of that image.
     
  74. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Les,
    "The ability to take hundreds, if not thousands of pics without background, intentions or planning does not make a better photographer."
    Precisely. My point is, the vast majority of people do not want to be photographers, better or otherwise. They just want to take pictures at a party with the least amount of cost, effort, time and knowledge needed. They would be just as happy with their "bad" digital shots as with their a "bad" film shots as long as the scene is there, badly composed, off color or not. Digital is right up their alley. For them, there is no advantage of film over digital (what this thread is all about) quite the contrary.
     
  75. That's funny Thomas. I find for editing and review going through my digital pictures is one hell of a lot easier than going though my slides. What software, and technique, are you using on the computer?

    I also do not agree that the monitor resolution is a limitation since 99% of editing is dumping bad photos based on focus and composition, not resolution. Those are easy to see on a good monitor.
     
  76. To answer the original question, at the moment for me using 35 mm film is cheaper than digital and more convenient. I shoot for my own gratification, from 30 to 60 rolls per year, a mixture of slide and colour negative. I bought a perfectly functional $90 Elan off ebay, my first auto-focus camera and I have a couple of moderate quality 2nd hand zooms. I used to use K-mount manual focus Pentax till last year.

    Were I to buy the cheapest DSLR available to me, Digital Rebel, it would cost me $1500 Cdn or so. I can buy and process a lot of film for that money.

    I also find traditional labs more convenient. I read all about the colour management issues, sRGB vs Adobe RGB knowing that there will be yet some other choice next year, and I have to stop and ask myself, do I want to spend my free time doing that? So far, the answer is no. It's intriguing stuff, mind, and I have nothing against knowing it, but it's not how I want to spend my evenings.

    For decades now, I and others have been able to find decent labs that produced very satisfying pictures to frame and hang on my walls. That didn't end when they started selling digital cameras. I am certain, as I read on various sites, that if I bought a Canon 10D, say, and did all that they say I should do with regards to workflow, etc, that I would be able to produce equally good pictures myself. Others can so there's no reason I couldn't. In the end though, would my walls looks significantly better? It's not clear. And certainly not clear enough to me that it makes me go out and spend thousands of dollars. I would have to keep upgrading computers, software, inkjets, and keep buying a lot of ink cartidges to boot. I like the idea that a lab is doing all that equipment calibrating and supply purchasing for me. I trust my ability to find a lab that gives me nice results.

    Obviously this is a purely personal point of view. It seems to me that at the present time I would have to spend a lot of time and energy on digital equipment and knowledge to get the equivalent results that I get now with stuff I already own. It is obvious though that were I taking 1000's of photos per month, then the issue would be dramatically different. It would then be worth my while to invest in the equipment and knowledge since it would allow me to control costs directly.
     
  77. Were I to buy the cheapest DSLR available to me
    You bought a used film camera, but compare the price to a new DSLR? And why a DSLR?
    Look, no one's saying that digital is cheaper for low-volume shooters, or that it's an ideal replacement for someone who prefers to shoot slides and never print them. But digital engenders more shooting, easier editing, better printing (especially compared to crappy 1-hour photo joints), faster turnaround, and quality at various print sizes (at various price points).
     
  78. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I'll say it. Digital is cheaper for low volume shooters. It doesn't cost anything to shoot. As to the initial cost, there are a lot of 3 MP cameras that cost less than $200, much less than Canon Rebels. From the original post:
    "It's become quite evident that I'm only one of two people who still shoot film. Everyone else now uses 3 to 4 MP digicams"
    I bet not one of them was using a DSLR. Photojournalists have gone over en masse to digital and many wedding photographers also, but it is the millions of casual shooters with their compact digital cameras and cameraphones that will bring about the demise or reduction of film usage.
     
  79. You're correct. When I said "digicams", I meant the digital P&S cameras. The "vociferous" 1500 shot person had a Nikon Coolpix 4300, another had a no-name Korean made 4MP P&S. A few others had 3.2 MP P&S cameras. Mr. Coolpix was complaining about the lack of an ability to mount a filter on his Coolpix. I did counter that I am able to mount one on my 17 year old Canon Sure Shot Tele, which is what I brought to the party (I keep a 40.5mm yellow-green filter on it for B&W, which is it's usual food these days). The other film shooter used another P&S. Nobody brings an SLR to a party these days - too BIG and unchic compared to those tiny little digital P&S cameras.<p>I can forsee that in a year's time, people will be taking party pictures with their cellphones. They really can't tell the difference in image quality compared to film, even with a 1.5 or 2MP image. As long as they can recognize something that resembles what they took a picture of, they're happy. Most don't ever get beyond looking at the image on the LCD monitor, it seems to me.<p>This is the general public. The general public doesn't care about photography. As Dante Stella says, where the general public is headed is where we're forced to be headed. When everyone is using a cellphone for photography, 35mm film will be dead. But then, DSLRs will be a niche market item too, as they are today. The cellphone is the future of digital photography.
     
  80. Digital Rebel, it would cost me $1500 Cdn or so. I can buy and process a lot of film for that money.
    Depends on how much you shoot, and if you shoot any color. Buy, process and print 100 rolls of color film and there's your Digital Rebel and a lens or two, at least NYC custome lab prices.
    I also find traditional labs more convenient.
    Labs also do digital, and they're more convenient because you can deliver or upload images ... and you can have selected images printed.
     
  81. Regarding cellphone digital cameras, I recall that this past summer, CNN had a photojournalist in Monrovia, Liberia during the time of dictator Charles Taylor's exodus from the capital. The "live" coverage was provided by the reporter's cellphone camera. The resulting video images on a TV screen looked pixellated, but at least one could see this historic event occuring in real time. I think that with the PJ's need for speed and light gear, the cellphone video/still camera may be the wave of the future.
     
  82. Digital smigital!! Digital fotography is yet in its infantcy. Proof of that would be in the Sigma SD-9 technology. Even that is just a babe. Given five or ten years digital may be up to snuff compared to film. Like most everyone else I started when I was young with film, and probably my best results were with film. Digital is what I shoot most because it has instant results and is more forgiving. Post processing with PS has its rewards, but where is the challenge? My kids are pros with digital!. All truths told film is here to stay at least until something better comes along, and for sure it is not digital.

    What I like best is my 4x5 system. Here is where the rubber meets the road. Here is where you become rewarded. Life teaches that good things come with patience and endurance, and that is what it takes with large format photography.
     
  83. where is the challenge?
    So you'd value the same image more if it was harder to get? Okay. Wear an eye patch. Hike around with a backpack full of rocks.
     
  84. Few days ago I loaded a roll of 27 exposures of Agfa Vista 100 in my wife's Nikon N70 camera. She shot the whole roll with a 35-105 f/3.5~4.5 AF-D IF Zoom Nikkor and the camera's built-in flash. I took that roll to the nearest Wal-Mart for processing, using their "second day" service, and requested double 4x6 prints and "Pictures on CD".
    The price for the whole thing was about $9.63, the prints look very good, and the images on the CD look great. They give you a set of low resolution, and a set of what I would call medium resolution images on the CD. I printed one of the medium resolution files in my home printer and looks much better than the ones made with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 that a friend has at the "finer resolution" setting. That's all I have to say.
     
  85. Antonio; Hi buddy, long time no hear. Happy Holidays! You yet shooting the pretty girls I see! Not persuaded to go digital yet I see also! Well I was once dedicated digital, but I find myself leaning severely back to film. I am even developing own film (BW) and printing. Silver is so much more pleasant to look at. Granted I send my images to an online service for printing. I guess that is the biggest drawback to digital is the prints. I suppose it could be a matter of perception! Digital vs. film.
    It makes the world go round, doesn't it?
     
  86. Hey, Ron... I'm glad to see you are still around, I emailed you once or twice but you never replied, or at least, I never received any answer... Good to hear that you are also using film, again I don't have anything against digital, the only thing that bothers me is how some people is telling others that the only way to make a decent image is through a digital camera, and that is so far from the truth specially now that film emulsions are so good... Please email me when you get a chance.
     
  87. "I don't care how careful you are with your film, dust is a major problem in a film workflow." --Daniel Taylor

    I have to disagree with this statement. I can and have gone into a dusty darkroom with a damp towel or two. Cleaned an area for my feet, an area on the dry side and the baseboard of my enlarger and produced spot free prints needed for publication in just hours. In a case like this time to properly clean the darkroom before starting was simply not an option. I did not say this is an optimum situation but I do say it can be done if necessary.

    When I ran a processing business I sometimes threw out wet prints with spots rather than spotting them when dry. The cost was about fifty to sixty cents per discarded print. The reason I did this was I often printed over night and spotting cost me sleep.

    Spot free prints from 35mm negatives are not only possible but from my darkroom they are the norm.
     
  88. where is the challenge? So you'd value the same image more if it was harder to get? Okay. Wear an eye patch. Hike around with a backpack full of rocks. hahahahaha..LOL.. by the time i have children, there will be a super camera. They can take beautiful pics even in trickiest lighting condition in just single click. They are surely poorer photographer than me but beautiful pic is beautiful pic. It doesn't matter.
     
  89. Here is an a review worth reading...

    Nikon D2H Digital Camera Reviewed by Bjørn Rørslett

    This camera isn&#146;t all that I want but it&#146;s enough of what I want that I&#146;d have one were it not for the steep price and the deprecation on DSLR(s). If money were no object I would have one now.

    Some here know I just bought a Nikon F3HP and MD-4. Considering the accessories I&#146;ve bought since, I could have bought a D100. My logic was simple: the depreciation on the D100 in 12 to 18 months would equal the cost of the F3HP and MD-4 and the D100 is quite a bit less than what I want.

    It&#146;s been a long, slow road as I see it. Ansel Adams who has been blamed by digital types for all the worlds ills made comments about what digital imaging would bring in an interview in the late &#145;70s or very early &#145;80s. It was almost like the story of Moses looking into the promised land.

    I expect to be shooting Tri-X and HP5 Plus for as long as I can get the stuff in 35mm and 120 because I like it.

    For those who have not read Dante Stella&#146;s article I&#146;m providing the link again...

    35mm Color vs. The Tyranny Of The Masses

    Hang loose and carry a lot of cash,

    Dave.
     
  90. ky2

    ky2

    I got to confess this all made me smile.
    I didn't smile though on the day I came back from a short field trip, with my Fuji S2/Pro and my Fm3a. The reason being, that although I had shot over 450 shots on my Fuji, I KNEW I had a single keeper. I had no idea at that moment my Fm3a had 7 out of the 20 or so I shot (on Provia 100F).

    Film, Digital, what the hell. The emulsion makes no difference to me. My best scanned 35mm slides bested my best 12mpixel shots on my Fuji, this I could tell you; I could also tell you that the Fuji screwed up much less on exposure, and much MORE on focusing. It's the process that counts the most to me-- I LOVE the feel of my manual Nikon bodies (Fm3a, F3hp). I enjoy the focusing part (split prism, big bright viewfinder, long focusing throw), and yes, I prefer the durability of film, and the fact that I haven't charged my fm3a since I purchased it 10 months ago. =).

    But that is not why I prefer film. I prefer film because I like the process of using film. Yes, I advanced much while owning my S2/Pro, but once I knew the techs of shooting, its the manual-everything camera with a single prime that took me much, much further. DSLRs may make you a photographer. It's the manual-process that makes you a good one. If Nikon would offer me a digital back to complement my fm3a, I would certainly buy one-- but only if it would let me "Advance" to the next frame by pulling on that delicious film-advance lever.

    I sold my Fuji, 2 months after I purchased my Fm3a-- if this does not persuade you, DSLR fans, then perhaps this will: I shoot film, because it's still there. In 10 years, it would probably be gone.

    Robert Lai, if you need more support or ideas of how to exploit NAS to its fullest, send me an email ;) I've got magical ideas.
     
  91. David -

    Re: dust in work flow
    "I have to disagree with this statement. I can and have gone into a dusty darkroom with a damp towel or two. Cleaned an area for my feet, an area on the dry side and the baseboard of my enlarger and produced spot free prints needed for publication in just hours."

    The very fact that you had to clean things verifies my statement that dust is a major problem in a film workflow. I don't have to clean anything to get spot free images from my 10D. Film fans complain because they've heard that occasionally a spot of dust gets on the sensor and that has to be cleaned. Big deal. Compared to cleaning darkroom equipment, cleaning film, keeping scanners dust free, and STILL having to spot prints and/or clean up in Photoshop, it's heaven.

    "Spot free prints from 35mm negatives are not only possible but from my darkroom they are the norm."

    At what print sizes? No matter what I do to keep my film clean, including very generous use of compressed air prior to loading into a scanner, dust is involved. It may not show up at 4x6, but must be Photoshop corrected prior to printing an 8x10 or larger. It's a pain in the a**. In over a thousand 10D images I haven't had to clean a thing, and haven't seen one speck in my files. I don't have to get any where near the clone tool in Photoshop when working with my 10D files. When working with my film scans, it consumes most of my time.

    Of the labs I've used over the years, even the best would have occasional problems with dust showing up on prints. The worst (i.e. 1-hour mega-mart crap) would have dust spots on every 4x6 print.

    On dust digital wins hands down.
     
  92. I went Digital in 1981. Working for the Optical Sciences Division for the Naval Research Lab, we designed and built our own. I spent most of the '80s and early '90s doing image processing etc. We have always had the "bleeding Edge" equipment, today that is a 100MPixel camera.

    Of course, if I want to use a fine instrument to produce an image that I will enjoy, I use a Nikon F2, Leica M3, Nikon F, Canon 7, Retina IIIS, or Retina Reflex S.
     
  93. "The very fact that you had to clean things verifies my statement that dust is a major problem in a film workflow. I don't have to clean anything to get spot free images from my 10D." --Daniel Taylor

    Daniel, you are entitled to your opinion but I&#146;ve made spot free prints buy the thousands and without much thought. You have a Digital v. Film mind set, I don&#146;t. I&#146;m disagree with your assessment that dust is a major problem in a film workflow given my business and personal experience in a wet darkroom. I can make spot free prints in a filthy darkroom if necessary and under the clock. The example I gave was a worst case scenario.

    "No matter what I do to keep my film clean, including very generous use of compressed air prior to loading into a scanner, dust is involved." --TD

    Now you are talking about a hybrid workflow. My experience with thee Nikon LS-1000 scanners was the same as yours with whatever scanner you are using. I see this as design defect of the scanner and the scanner&#146;s light source and not inherent vice.

    I&#146;ll have to wait to see about dust as a problem in a DSLR. I live in a semi-arid region and may or may not find dust a problem with a DSLR. I know the cost of cleaning supplies for both film and digital SLR(s).

    "At what print sizes?" --DT

    8x10, 11x14, 16x20 from 35mm, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 and 4x5. If customers had order 5x7 in preference to 8x10 I&#146;d have increased the price of 5x7 prints as they are more trouble to make than 8x10s. I charged the same price for all print 8x10 and smaller. Most customers shot 35mm. My preferred print size for personal prints from all formats is 11x14.

    I owned three EPSON 1280(s) though I only had experience with two. I gave the third as a donation to a school (unopened). So far I have not met an Inkjet printer I can love. If I had not given the third 1280 to a school I likely have taken it out to the desert and worked it over with a little help from John Browning.

    I&#146;ve often been accused of being anti-digital. As treasurer of my camera club I immediately setup a reserve for depreciation and funded it so when the time came to buy a digital projector the money would be available. I quit the job about nine months ago. I hope the new board and treasurer haven&#146;t blow the money.

    "On dust digital wins hands down." --DT

    Regarding dust in camera. I&#146;ll tell you want I think later, perhaps in a year.

    Cheers!

    Dave.
    006tiL-15874284.jpg
     
  94. your comments are spot-on!
     
  95. Regarding the question and first response from Robert Lai and Arnab Pratim Das respectively. I find a great deal of agreement.

    ---

    Three products that I liked very well that are casualties of modern times: Super-XX Pan in 4x5, Verichrome Pan in 120 and Kodachrome 25.

    ---

    I find the glee of the "film is dead" crowd disgusting. Do those who prefer digital need the destruction of another&#146;s joy to verify their preference?

    ---

    When I called Nikon to order manuals for my new F3HP and MD-4 the lady asked if there was anything else she could help me with. I said, "Could you spare thirty two thousand dimes?" the price of a Nikon D2H.

    ---

    Rather than "Thinking" Film v. Digital why not Film & Digital.

    Best,

    Dave.
     
  96. I still shoot film and will continue to shoot film until they just don't make it anymore. Why? Becuase it's FUN. We can argue about flm v digital all day and both have merits, but film is FUN for me. I still get joy from pulling a roll of black and white off the reel and seeing what I got. It's also still fun to watch the image come up as I rock the print back and forth in the developing tray. It's also fun to set up my slide projector, put on classical music and look at the scenic photos I've taken over the years. For me, there is no joy in clicking a mouse!
     
  97. "Experience shooting, and shooting regularly, are the surest ways to learn and improve one's photography. Again, f you don't believe that shooting 1,000 images offers greater experience to a beginner than someone who shoots 200 shots, you are of course free to your incorrect opinion."

    I'd suggest that learning to see the photograph before taking it is far more beneficial than snapping 1,000 images for quick evaluation after-the-fact.

    The best learning experience I ever had was being forced to use a 4x5 view camera for most of my freshman year at RIT. You rapidly learn to see the potential photographs BEFORE you even setup the camera. Learning to see the subject prior to photographing it is a far more valuable skill than developing post exposure evaluation ability. You have to learn to relate to the subject prior to the moment of exposure not afterwards. The 4x5 was used purposely to make us slow down and consider all of the possibilities prior to using the camera.

    Everything from camera position, lens focal length, to filter type becomes a consideration when you slow down and interact with the subject instead of dashing off 100 quick shots in hopes that "one of them works." "Dang." "Would have been a great shot if I'd have done XXX!" Yeah, okay post exposure angst - or learning that doesn't get carried over to the next photo session.

    Lastly, what makes your OPINION more correct than someone elses? It's just your opinion - not a fact. What's your proof that more somehow more equals better? The 10,000 monkey's at a typwriter paradigm?

    Unless, of course, you're advocating that quantity has a quality all its own...
     
  98. "Experience shooting, and shooting regularly, are the surest ways to learn and improve one's photography. Again, f you don't believe that shooting 1,000 images offers greater experience to a beginner than someone who shoots 200 shots, you are of course free to your incorrect opinion."
    I'd suggest that learning to see the photograph before taking it is far more beneficial than snapping 1,000 images for quick evaluation after-the-fact.​

    Except that "1,000 images for quick evaluation after-the-fact" isn't what was suggested. Setting up a straw-man argument -- and knocking down something that wasn't claimed -- is a poor substitute for a valid agument.
     
  99. One point I haven't seen mentioned: at least in the Nikon world, anyone who has a sizeable investment in, and enjoys using, MF lenses, must step all the way up to a pro- level DSLR, if they want a body that will even meter with their old glass. All the prosumer DSLRs require AF lenses, and the pro bodies are beyond the reach of my budget. I admit that this argument would not persuade a PJ with no problem affording a D2, but I believe I'm far from alone on this conservation issue.
    Quick aside: Robert, you and I share what may be a quaint quirk to some: fondness for a tool (the F3) others consider obsolete, in part because it works so well and feels so good, within its (admitted) design limitations. Cheers.
     
  100. Don... i am with you in my love of older Nikon Cameras (in my case the fe2). The problem is I hate film so much. I wish Nikon would come out with the digital equilvilent of the Fe3. That would be my perfect camera.
     
  101. You got it. As Yaron Kidron said, earlier here, "If Nikon would offer me a digital back to complement my fm3a, I would certainly buy one-- but only if it would let me "Advance" to the next frame by pulling on that delicious film-advance lever." I once saw a manipulation showing, as I recall, a hypothetical F3D - all the existing controls, plus an LCD and image control keys on the back. Response was strongly in favor of this "alternate reality."
     
  102. Don... I am not quite as commited to the exact match of an old manual focus camera. Some differences I would welcome...

    Auto Focus - There is no reason to give up the benifits of AF for a good MF body. Opinions differ on the F4 but it handeled the MF/AF situation great. The only item I would not saccrifice for this would be the split image screen.. but other have done it so can Nikon.

    "motor drive" functionality built into the body. Since no actual motor drive is needed with digital, this is a given. Personally I say good riddance to the wind crank.
     
  103. You can't use a wind crank? Do you dress yourself in the morning? Why not go for the gusto and make a camera the requires nothing of you but for you to hold it & point it in the general desired direction, auto focusing, auto metering, auto compositon, maybe it could have legs or wheels on it so you won't even have to carry it. Then you can lay on the couch and eat potato chips all day long while your camera is off taking snaps, because, why should you have to do anything?
     
  104. Talk about cranks!
     

Share This Page