Film ?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by dudley_eppes, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. New guy here but why is everyone talking about film in black and white section when there is a film pocessing section.
  2. Been using a Fuji x10 and x30 for street and black and white. Would like to hear others views on these cameras or b&w photography.
    Digital if you will. Thinking in about a year of upgrading to a x100 series Fuji for street.

  3. The B&W forum has historically covered "traditional" B&W processes, and you will find a lot more discussion here about printing and other darkroom work than you necessarily will in the film and processing section.

    Fundamentally, a(film) B&W photographer will have interests, concerns and issues very different from a color film photographer, and this has become a natural place to discuss that. Many film photographers do both, but it's still nice to have a dedicated place to do that.

    That's not to say that digital B&W is necessarily unwelcome here, but at the same time I think a digital B&W photographer is more likely to find help in the Digital Darkroom forum than here.
  4. Hi, probably due to the historical origin of the different forums. At one time this website was so busy that new forums were created on an as-needed basis. I no longer remember the details, but probably B&W was a separate forum from color, but a rash of questions about color processing led to creation of a special forum for this, but for some reason "color" was not used in the name. So a certain number of the posters still follow the older "tradition," even though the rules may not be specific on this.

    Perhaps someone remembers the history a little better than I do and will comment.
  5. Thanks guys

    The last time I did bw film was a buddy and I had a darkroom aboard a Navy ship off coast of viet nam .
    Long gone are my old black and whites of the battle ship New Jersey lighting up those 16’s at night.

    Take care and thanks again for the info
  6. No clue about others' forum picking habits. These days it barely matters since the site could be a tad busier at least for my taste.
    Upon digital B&W: There are two approaches; you can indeed start out with a color capturing camera. If you have enough light to use it you gain the advantage that you can alter the looks of the result drastically by messing with the underlaying color channels. A native B&W sensor might in theory or under ideal conditions provide a bit more resolution. You also gain about one to 1.5 f-stops of sensitivity but if your result doesn't "pop" you are either stuck or facing a post processing hell.
    I love B&W, used to shoot film on a hit & miss base, switched to digital and was too lazy to bother with lots of post processing. Desaturating images felt like part of that. I'd do it, when technically needed for 1c printed publications but otherwise I stick to the color stuff I captured. Things changed a bit when I bought my Monochrom. I'm obviously stuck with B&W when I shoot it. For that reason I started to set other cameras carried along to RAW + B&W JPEG and look and see where things will lead me to.
    I can't really comment on the Fujis you have. - I never tried their fixed lens bodies besides the 1998 Leica Digilux rebadged one, which didn't impress me. All I know: In camera image processing could be quite awesome; my first generation of x-mount MILCs do a pretty amazing job in that field. - So I am not surprised if you get decent B&W straight out of camera.
    - I honestly have mixed emotions about the current crop of Fujis. Lenses seem quite decent or optically "you can't go wrong". If in camera image processing matters to you, Fujis seem among the strongest players. I also understand that the X100 series is very likely to take a lot of good pictures, just because those cameras are so cute and compact that they get carried anywhere. - If you asked me to pick a street camera, I'd rather take an EOS 5D IV or maybe even 6D II with 35/2 IS.* I'm simply not at all impressed by Fuji's AF's performance. As much as I liked the JPEGs out of them my X-E1 & X-M1, The AF and electronic view finders vexed me, especially indoors or in low light with flash they felt close to unusable. - I know later models improved in that field but so far only the X-T2 seemed to be there (according to reviews) and not all lenses play well enough with it. Second big issue: Image stabilization. It is nice to have, period. - Fuji offer it in zoom lenses, not in primes, that's why I mentioned Canons above. Right now a rumor about Fuji working on a new APS MILC flagship pretty similar to the X-T2 with IBIS leaked. Depending on the time pressure you are(n't) feeling, it might be worth waiting for that technology to reach the X100 series.
    If you don't mind postprocessing your images, maybe look at Sony's latest offerings too. - Their AF might be pretty awesome, menus and UIs are questionable.
    Some street photographers also fancy Olympus these days.
    FTR: We haven't defined the "street photography" we are talking about. The term covers a huge triangle between:
    • Touristically happy snapping the home town.
    • Assault portraiture
    • Stealthily shooting strangers
    Depending on what you like to do, your demands on a camera vary.
    For me the stealth factor feels at best secondary. I am sure it is possible to be "obnoxious" with a silent matchbox sized camera.
    Since I am not very good at directing strangers so I appreciate being able to shoot fast, before they change their pose.
    I am also tall enough to make my pictures benefit from crouching or shooting from the hip instead of eye level, so yes, articulated rear screens would be nice to have.
    Further on I am rather nocturnal and interested in extremely low light capable gear.

    YMMV. Street photography has been done before AF got invented on film slower than even smart phones and P&S cameras. Setting up shots and awaiting a right random person to walk into them has been practiced for decades.
    Some aspects of street photography maybe only exist because the gear of the old days didn't permit alternatives? - Lens choice seems one of them. - Many folks default to 35 or 50mm for the simple reason that Leica M cameras suck behind everything else. Do you really not use your x30's zoom and are you perfectly happy with the 35mm FOV the X100 will provide? - I like to have a short telephoto on a 2nd body or in my pocket.

    A lot about gear choices boils down into the less rational realm. An AF that I criticize might well still outperform my manual focusing attempts but they feel better than waiting for not really state of the art tech to do it's job.
  7. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    On the previous version of there were three forums dedicated to film:

    B&W Photo - Film & Processing - Includes alternative processes
    B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing - The black and white darkroom
    Film and Processing - B&W, color, slide, negative, commercial and home processing

    Surprisingly, the two B&W forums existed before the Film and Processing forum was added in 2003. Perhaps the "color " thing was merely considered a passing fad up until then.
    Dave Luttmann, bgelfand and Jochen like this.
  8. I thought it was still that way :) .

    BTW, I do have a B&W only digicam, or probably more correctly black, brown, and white. It's a D80 with the normal hot mirror type filter replaced with an R72 equivalent. Straight from the camera shots tend to have brown skies.

    On the Fuji subject-my newest Fuji digital is an Finepix S3 Pro. I've never tried out the straight from the camera B&W JPEGs although I might do so one of these days. It's mostly a clunk and neglected camera, though.

    In general, I much prefer taking a digital RAW and using the channel mixer in Photoshop. I've also used SilverEfex, which is a stand-alone program that does a good job of emulating a bunch of different film stocks and filters.
    Jochen likes this.
  9. Discussions on film can be separate from processing, though there is some connection.

    There is overlap, and some questions might end up in the wrong place.

    I tend to read both, and so might not notice.
  10. I think this is probably about right.:p
  11. Jochen
    When you answer a question you don’t mess around. I do like the fact I have a small zoom in my X30 and wonder if I would be happy with a fixed lens only but use fixed on my Nikon DX,s as well of course telephoto.

    Nice break down on street photography to. I have lots of don,t when doing street as no faces that can be identified and no homeless up close. I try to shoot people from the back or a shadow effect. I may in the future take a face shot but will get permission first.

    I am trying to work on my contrast with structure as buildings etc .
  12. Thanks to all who commented.
  13. I always find lots of overlap between forums, it doesn't bother me. I think of the B&W forum as slanted to the aesthetic discussions of B&W regardless of analog or digital processes. Film & processing is obviously slanted towards pure film discussions, and more technical and less aesthetic. Lots of times I end up in the Classic or Modern Film Camera forums where there is tons of black&white plus some colour discussion, and the slant is towards the cameras and lenses.

    To be honest, as traffic has slowed down on this site, I find the film/analog/classic discussions to be much more active than before. Sometimes I forget that I'm on, and not APUG/Photrio, with the added benefit of people not getting precious about mixing digital into the process.

    Almost all of my favourite work I have done with black and white film, processed myself, and then scanned by a lab. I post-process in Lightroom and send out for digital lightjet prints on real photographic paper. I think it's the best of all worlds -- I love the look, I get to play with both analog and digital tools, and can pick and choose as I see fit. But it makes it tough knowing which forum to post in :)
  14. What's analog photography?
  15. It's using an analog watch to track how long to squeeze the air bulb rather than a digital one. Duh. ;)
  16. That is about right.

    I read B&W and Film & Processing first, and usually Classic Cameras and Leica & Rangefinders.
    I read them, sort of without thinking about which forum things should be in.

    If you have a roll of black and white film, from your Leica or Rangefinder that you have processed,
    where do you write about it?

    Just a little less often, Modern Film Cameras. Some others, but much less often.

    I like the way the Nikon group allows for discussions with Nikon products used anywhere along the way.

    The camera, the lens, the scanner, or I presume the enlarger lens. Just one is enough.
  17. I have to admit that some of the posts in the "modern film camera" forum leave me scratching my head, but I guess everyone's definition is different.

    To me, in the Nikon real, "modern" basically means AF film cameras.

    In general, though, I agree that the Nikon forum is nicely encompassing with folks who can give good answers to questions about most any Nikon product. With that said, I prefer to keep my F discussions on the Classic forum. F2s can go either way, but to me the F3 is definitely a Nikon forum topic(or maybe modern depending on where you want to draw the line).
  18. Just a quick corrective postscript to Jochen's somewhat misinformed post on Fuji cameras and street shooting. I'm guessing he's never touched an X100(S, T, or F)or shot an X-T1-2, either. Just take a look at the mountain of street shots produced by the X100 series cameras. You be the judge to see where and how their supposedly poor AF got in the way. The AF performance of the X-T series improved markedly with steady firmware updates and the arrival of the new f2 "Fujicron" primes. I shoot an X100T and X-T1 with the new 35/2 and 50/2 often in downtown Toronto and never feel let down by their performance. FUJIFILM seems to be making a growing crowd happy with its products. BTW, Jochen, Fuji's EVFs have improved a bit since 2012 and the X-E1.
  19. But only if that analog watch is a Bulova Accutron(tuning fork) or Seiko Spring Drive. A synchronous motor AC clock also works. Even an Accutron might be pushing it since the second hand is at 360 hz.
  20. @c_watson, yes, I think I was open about that? - My last move in the Fuji realm was handling an X-Pro2 with 56/1.2 and going home not really impressed. - I still praised what I could.
    My conclusion would be to put the Nikon with for example a 50mm on one and an X-100 on the other shoulder. I bought Pentax before Fujis and the camera I like to carry least is the one behind a huge Sigma FF 24/1.8. That lens was back then my only chance to get a moderately fast wide for low light but feels a bit insane compared to 35/2s on film bodies or such and I'll avoid taking it on vacation again.
    Life is a huge compromise. - The Fuji 18-55 earned a lot of praise, is stabilized doesn't seem heavy or overly bulky. While you might not gain a significant size benefit compared to Nikon DX, you'd have a versatile single camera. I only have a 16-50 but am quite content. - Pictures hold up quite well on a 4K screen; do I really need more? - I admit wanting more but don't claim to get it by risking less secure shutter speeds cranking up ISO and slightly missing focus.

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