I'm done with film.

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by michael_radika, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Silent Street

    Silent Street Silent Street Photography AUS

    It is very plain to see. Not entirely the fault of film, my friend.
    Prepping, colourimetrics, profiling, inter-image profile and corrections... you are missing a heap, and this is in my view the reason for your persistent poor results. Very high quality prints are not achievable with simple desktop scanners, nor if done cheaply, or by an operator with limited or next to no experience or knowledge of what he/she is doing, at the scanner and/or at the print step. It is not an overnight, one-hit-and-I'm-there job. Never was and never will be.

    RA-4 and inkjet prints, either and both have their own followers, provide undeniably excellent quality print results from analogue and digital (especially analogue). Both require their own, individual metrics set up to achieve the best results for printing. What would have thought of that?

    To a large degree, the quality of the input image — the photograph you took, also plays a big role: think of the things that are obviously wrong, or "might" be wrong: images high or low in contrast, poorly exposed, casted, excessively grains, poorly processed... all manner of things, can impart their own problems that no scanner nor skilled and experienced operator will fix, not least the home hobbyist battling demons of frustration and angst.

    For many, the to digital results in tears. For me, it results in passing so many Fail scores at adjudications that, really, there should be mandatory film-to-digital transition courses to teach people how to be a photographer, and not a blind and imprecise spectator holding a fancy camera. Remember also that a good photograph is always created in the mind's eye, first. If you don't get what you want with any camera, analogue or digital, where do you think the problem might lie...?
  2. Been awhile since I have frequented these forums...nice to be back.

    Film versus Digital is only one half of your conundrum...there is also the question of mechanical versus electronic.

    Anyone who is into photography should be doing both film and digital by now...digital simply makes the learning process much easier since you get immediate results.

    However, taking the lessons I have learned from wristwatches, one should not make the decision about mechanical cameras lightly.

    Twisting a quote I have used many times on wristwatch forums "If you leave an electronic camera and a mechanical camera in a drawer for 100 years, which one will have a better chance of being operational when it gets picked up?"

    With 3d printing systems still in their infancy it is possible that mechanical systems may be serviceable "forever" while electronic systems are not as simple to replicate. Not to mention the realities of cameras getting left somewhere with the batteries still in them.

    In general, the inception of mechanical systems came before modern engineering techniques and thus don't suffer from built in obsolescence. In other words, electronic systems are meant to remain energized and used were as mechanical systems often do not have this requirement.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. my point exactly most desktop scanners are not worth a crap there for you have to get things drum scanned or whatever that Hasselblad scanner is. I'm not going to Fork out 30 or $40 every time I take a good picture to have it scanned so I can make a print.

    I can achieve damn close to the same look using Nik software and Adobe Lightroom and the prints look good on my Canon Pixma pro-100.

    I don't see the point in spending money on film and scanning to achieve what I can achieve in other means for much less money. I'm over the Nostalgia that I'm a film shooter and I shoot medium format film I'm over it.
  4. With my Sony a7r II and my 85 mm Batis lens stuff looks pretty damn impressive loads and loads of detail I love it.

    I take my images I run them through Nik software and Adobe Lightroom andand then on to my Canon Pixma pro-100. I'm using ilford galerie prestige mono silk paper it's made for black and white prints, they look pretty damn amazing couldn't be happier.
    Moving On likes this.

  5. Well. There you go. Case closed.
  6. Indeed-I certainly can't fault someone for finding an equipment/workflow combo that gives results they like.

    Of course, that doesn't mean it's the answer for everyone. I love my D800(and D600), but they complement rather than replace my 500C and RB67.

    Funny enough, I went a family wedding a few weeks ago. It was a bit of a "low budget" affair and they had an unpaid volunteer photographer. I packed my little LowePro Nova 4 with my D600, 24-85 f/3.5-4.5, and then my 500C with an 80mm, a 12 back loaded with Astia, an A24 back with TXP320, and some Plus-X and Portra 400 in the front pocket. I ended up only shooting the roll of Astia(which turned out great) and a few frames of TXP. I don't particularly enjoy wedding photography, and also am conscious of staying out of the way of the paid photographer. Still, though, it's often one of my sources of enjoyment at a reception since I don't drink :) . Not getting paid or having any official lets me do stuff that no sane paid pro would do, like shoot expired slide film :)

    As it turned out, though, I was glad I had it. When I first got there, I saw one of the "official" photographers walking around with a Digital Rebel and 24-70 f/2.8L. I got to hear him brag to anyone who would listen about his $1200 lens, but then complain about how he was having trouble getting wide enough-it seems he didn't want to carry other lenses and risk damaging the finish on the 24-70. I also hear him laughing about the "the guy walking around with the old box camera." Fortunately, I was able to give my cousin some photos-both from my "old box camera" and my D600 that "official photographer" couldn't get...
    OMG and Stephen_Prunier like this.
  7. There's considerable truth in that

    Electronics need to be free of moisture, extreme temperatures and significant physical injuries to function for longevity. Even then, soldered joints can deteriorate. Firmware can need updating. Images can become corrupted.

    There's one thing Michael is doing right though, he's printing his images, not just leaving them in the camera card or in the computer where accidents can happen. Printing transfers the electronic images to paper and if good quality archival materials are used, the prints should last a very long time, perhaps longer than his a7r11. Personally I only use pigment ink on archival paper formulated for my printer, which is an Epson R2400, it's getting old but still prints beautifully. Every image I print I feel a sense of relief that finally it's free of all the electronic gadgets and on paper at last

    100 year old mechanical camers ? A recent purchase was a VPK Kodak, in excellent condition and still working fine. I won't let it sit on the shelf, I'll be out shooting some Efke 127 and try to impart a WW1 theme by photographing memorials related to the era

    Update on the custom Mamiya Press, quite a bit more to do yet to finish it off and it's getting a Graflex film back

    Net image.jpg
  8. I'm going to be moving up to the prograf 1000 from Canon which will print 17 by 22 images with pigmented ink.

    I agree things can happen inside the computer and leaving stuff on memory cards it's nice to take the image from the computer and bring it to life in a print there's something special about when that print is slowly coming out of that printer in your digital image is coming to life.
  9. Silent Street

    Silent Street Silent Street Photography AUS

    Don't kid yourself with that stuff. None of my work is meddled with in Lightroom, but that's because everything is completed precisely, in-camera at the moment of exposure. It's called experience. No fiddling in computers necessary.
    Vincent Peri likes this.
  10. I hear you. I'm done with scanning MF. If I shoot MF, i just do slides, and then put them in Gepe holders. Then I just occasionally look at them over a special magnifying light box. More and more though, I'm going back to 35mm, and then getting the photo store to scan me a CD with 1,000 dpi images. If something is special -- and quite often with Rollei RPX 25 film, there is something special -- I can quickly scan at 5,000 dpi with a cheap plustek scanner. On top of that, I always have my Sony A7s with me that can take up the slack and make videos and stereo photos with (also a Fuji W3 to help out with the latter).
    michael_radika likes this.

  11. So what you're trying to tell me is you don't use Lightroom you're so good at exposure that your stuff just comes out darn near perfect in the camera I don't buy it, I would have to see that to believe it.
  12. When I have my wits about me and pay attention to what I'm doing, I can take 50 photos and not touch the levels or curves adjustment on a single one of them. Most of the time, when I do tweak the exposure the difference is so subtle that a non-photographer looking over my shoulder won't notice. It's not hard for me to believe, especially from someone who has years of experience with slide film.

    I still run everything through LR as its my preferred RAW converter and also a way for me to sort out the "duds." I crop as well from LR to export to a specific aspect ratio. Depending on the "mood" of the photo, I may adjust the the hue/saturation and also the WB isn't always "right" in camera. Of course, there are cases where I mess with exposure-particularly if I want to pull out a shadow.

    Of course, there are exceptions. The first day I took my D600 out, I found that it habitually overexposed by 1/3 stop or so. I had to adjust every photo taken with it that day. Now that I've done that, I keep the exposure compensation dialed in to -1/3 and rarely do I need to work on it.

    It can be done, and as I said someone coming from slide film won't make that big of a leap.

    I recall a rather heated(in a good natured way) discussion from the local camera store about RAW vs. JPEG about a year ago. The contents of the discussion are not fit to be published here, but the owner had a rather poignant opinion about RAW, the amount of storage space it took up, and the masculinity of people who chose to use it :)
  13. Michael I hate to break it to you but yes, nearly all of mine are exposed correctly, composed as I want them and don't need to be worked over in some software package. It isn't that difficult. If you really have to see it to believe it let me know, happy to accommodate.

    Rick H.
    Moving On and Bill C like this.
  14. Are we talkin jpeg or we talkin Raw?

    What kind of Photography are you doing you can't tell me you're taking portraits of people and you don't have to retouch the skin and remove blemishes on the face it comes out perfect I'd love to see that.
  15. In the studio and even in post portraits, lighting can do a lot to eliminate the need to do any kind of retouching. Lighting a subject appropriately is a fundamental skill that one needs to master, and it eliminates the need to do significant retouching.

    With that said, here's a photo my uncle has framed and hanging in his living room. This was shot as a RAW on my D600, and "bit" me with the 1/3 stop over problem I mentioned. I pulled the exposure a bit(I wouldn't need to do that if I'd actually looked at the RAWs before going to this wedding-fortunately I was just along as a guest).

    Aside from that, I did pull the contrast and saturation a bit, cropped it to a 4:5 a/r, and did automatic lens correction(distortion and vignetting).

    I'm happy to post SOOC JPEGs I've taken also-I put a studio photo from a Fuji S5 up earlier in this thread. I do typically only do JPEG from that camera and my Kodak DCS 14/n(also a studio camera for me) as I have a tough time with the RAW files from those. Still, my RAWs get minimal adjustment.

    Moving On likes this.
  16. Looks very nice nice shot.
  17. Silent Street

    Silent Street Silent Street Photography AUS

    My only use for Lightroom is management post-scan: inter- and post-profiling, scan-step USM replacement, printer illumination metrics and then sizing output as .tif. If you are relying on Lightroom or Fauxtoshoppe to correct or somehow "improve" or "make better" images, then you have failed at the first critical step: conceptualisation of the image and exposure. It is completely unnecessary and a major problem.

    There should be no difficulty accepting that exposure in-camera can be technically perfect based on experience and judgement and knowledge of media (e.g. film) and not having a computer to tell you how things should be done, as is the case with digital cameras where automation is a hindrance. This is not rocket science. Never was and never will be.

    Images posted online are pointless because of the huge variety of profiled and unprofiled monitors, both old and new. Come to the gallery and see the images on the walls dating back four decades. No, I didn't come down in the last downpour...
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  18. I do come from a time where I shot lots of Ektachrome and lots of Tri-X, dozens of rolls a week. High Speed Ektachrome and then 100 & 200 when it became a little more civilized. We were forced to get it right or it was useless. All my early digital was jpeg and you will see that here but the shuttle was Ektachrome. The rest were shot with a D2H or D1X. Nowadays of course I can shoot it all in both RAW and jpeg so I do. RIC_0190.JPG RIC_0271.JPG Scan0006.jpg


    floor seats.jpg
  19. I think this one looks better without the yellow cast

  20. For me the whole object is to get what I want from the camera, digital or film.
    The software is a salvage operation.
    Sandy Vongries likes this.

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