Shoot film and convert to digital?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jim_long|5, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. I am thinking of shooting some film with my beautiful LTM's and old lenses. How many of you request digital conversion of images immediately when having film processes? I am getting lazy and don't want to have to catalog pictures.
    Jim
     
  2. Good question! Aren't there different levels of quality in scan?
     
  3. SCL

    SCL

    I always have a CD made when I have film processed...even though the scan is only 1-2 megabytes, I use it as a video catalog. When I'm not too lazy, I also import the images into PS and do a contact sheet. If I want to print out a picture, I then scan the actual negative at much higher resolution on my scanner.
     
  4. I shoot (mostly) film & scan my slides/negs using a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro & a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000, so not much help if you're truly lazy.
     
  5. I sometimes request a CD when I drop off film. Drugstore scans are good enough for email. When I send transparencies to Dwayne's I also some times ask for a CD because I know they do a good job. Otherwise I scan my own.
     
  6. Develop and low-res scans on CD (no prints) at Sam's Club (in USA) costs only $2.25. If I happen to get a really good shot I'll rescan the frame myself at high res. Cheap!
     
  7. I have film scans done with developing all the time. For casual stuff, the CVS near me does a pretty decent (though low res) job but if I shot something I care about I probably used Portra film and I go to a local shop that does 20MB TIFF files on DVD and is very good at not scratching negatives. (Cameras Inc. if you happen to live near Somerville or Arlington, MA - and they also do B&W and 120/220)
    Note of caution: there is no industry standard for color balance, contrast, etc. for film scanning. Some shops have the saturation and sharpening cranked up so high the photos end up looking like I used my DSLR in Vivid++ mode.
     
  8. So far all the CD I've had from shops are awful. I do my own scanning. For batch scanning use a good flatbed scanner. For the best results use a dedicated scanner.
    I do my stealth street work exclusively with film. Much less obtrusive.
     
  9. I starting shooting K64 again. I figure I might as well enjoy it until Dwayne's gives up the ghost next year. I order a CD at the time of processing. The quality is pretty good. I know Dale Labs does CD scans for their E-6 work and negative stock, but I have not tried it yet. I just can't bring myself to buy a scanner and add yet another level of post-production work.
     
  10. Jim, from your wording it seems like you think the process of scanning your films, and that's what it is, will be automatic and absolute, ie: film in, digital out.
    In fact there are many variables to consider: the DPI you want the film scanned at, the amount of histogram stretching (how "punchy" do you want), color balance, the cleanliness (do you want the scanner to "spot" your scans, and how thoroughly?), how much are you willing to pay, what recourse if you're not happy, how fast do you want your scans, and so on.
    For quick, low resolution, unspotted, non-picky results it's likely worthwhile to have someone do it. OTOH, as your expectations and preferences rise so does expense, and the likelyhood of hassles when the scanner doesn't accomplish those expectations, to the point that you'd be better off plunging in and doing it yourself.
    If you've already gone digital, say shooting with a dslr, I'd say stick with it. I started out scanning film, this last time around, then went to a dslr. Didn't take me long to decide not to shoot any further film, just not worth the hassle.
     
  11. I do this all the time. "Develop Only, and Scan-to-Disk". But I have had to move labs a couple of times to get the quality I want, and I have to specify hi-res and filesize. Ultimately the cost will go up and one will have to go to a pro lab to get the film done, but that's the way it goes. I expect one will pay for it, but one will also be able to be very specific about requirements and will get good quality.
    I do like film, though. I shoot about 60% digital and 40% film, though I go for spells where I shoot a lot more of one than the other. I find digital and film have very different "textures". Grain makes the film image, and "noise" ... ??? There are times I get to loving digital images, then I shoot a roll of film and get a real sense of pleasure when I see the film result.
    I also admit I like using my film machines too. Digital cameras feel big in my hands. Just handle a big Nikon DSLR hand-canon and then pick up a Nikon F, F2, or Canon F1. Those are big, heavy film cameras and they are slim and very ergonomic compared to a DSLR. I handle my RD-1s all day, then pick up a Leica M or Bessa R series and the ergonomic difference is immediately apparent. I will continue to shoot film just for the pleasure of using my film machines.
     
  12. Buy a M8.2 and forget film. It is deader by the day. Just like glass plates, for example. Sorry, but times change and new technology becomes dominant and common sense.
     
  13. Sounds like you want to work out with your LTM's. Until they make a digital Barnack, shoot film. If you want to shoot film, shoot film. Shooting film and scanning is a viable work flow.
     
  14. Brilliant. Forget film, you'd have to pay a good $6 per roll for film, processing and scanning. Instead, you can have an M8.2 for only $6,000! (Plus lenses.)
    Just find a halfway decent shop and have some new school fun with your old school camera.
     
  15. Well, I figure my RD-1s has paid for itself a couple of times over by now. But what is important is that enough people think film still gives results different enough from digital that they don't diss the medium. I know a guy who still lugs around an 8x10 view camera in the back of his Volvo station wagon on holiday! I have no idea where he gets his materials.
     
  16. If you care anything about quality, if you care anything about ease of work flow, go DIGITAL. If you can't afford the Leica price, settle for some Nikon or Canon in your range and trade in your Leica film stuff. Film is getting deader every day. And good processing will become almost impossible to find, and the cost of prints made by labs outrageous. Get with the program. But if all you want is to play with your dear old equipment, for fondling perhaps, go for that and forget making any gorgeous long scale super sharp prints from your scans. If, perchance, you still do your own processing and printing, and enjoy long tedious hours in the darkroom, then stay with that by all means.
     
  17. Minilab scans tend to be pretty horrid.
    For color, I ask for development only and uncut film strip. Cost around my area is about $3 for C41 and $6 for E6. For B&W, I develop myself; development consumables is pennies per roll.
    I scan using a Nikon 5000 with a whole roll adapter. Feed in the entire strip of 36+ exposures and come back to digitized images in about an hour. I always scan at 4000dpi which gives roughly 20MP files.
     
  18. All great and thought provoking comments.
    I do have a Lumix G1 with Leica LTM and M adapters, so I can use old lenses and go directly to digital. It makes me sick that there are fewer and fewer reasons to pull out the LTM film bodies.
     
  19. "If you care anything about quality... GO DIGITAL."
    Gad. It never ends.
    Just use what you like.
    "Get with the program."
    Yeah, gotta follow that program. If others are doing it, then it's gotta be what I do, too.
    Sheesh.
     
  20. I've tried and have been dissappointed with digital scans of negative film, both from my own scans and those I've requested from photo labs. And I use 120mm negative film. I just went digital, but I kept my negative film backs as a backup.
     
  21. jbm

    jbm

    If you find someone willing to take a little time at a local lab, you can get decent scans. Thefellow across the street from
    me gives solid 6mp equivalent scans from 35mm. With all setiings neutral, the film images are perfectly sharp without
    looking oversharp, a la dslr. This is all via a Noritsu scanner. If I want them to look even better I use a coolscan 5000,
    which gives great scans of lower ISO films suitable for medium size (10 x 15 inches) that have the texture and via
    scanning more continuous tones and better shadow detail than most dslr photos. The scans really look great.

    In some ways film is more time consuming as the results are not immediate but I have found the return to film
    has brought back a great deal of satisfaction.

    You can ignore Mr. Mann's comments, which are ignorant and do not answer your question.
     
  22. For negs, I have the lab make contacts, for slide I look at the slides. I then scan the most promising pictures on a Minolta Dimage Elite.
     
  23. man i can't stand it when amatuer or hobbyist talk about 'workflow' or 'convenience' of digital. If you find the actual art of photography a chore, then find another hobby. are you that busy that you have to have your images available to you immediately, or is it that you just aren't competant in making successful images so you need an lcd for reassurance? do you have clients looking over your shoulder wanting to see the images as they are taken? if not, then you have been had by the marketing departments of nikon, canon, kodak et al. Jim don't let these 'digital imagers' distract you from actual photography. why not get your film developed by a pro lab like Richards, and get some beautiful high res scans that will make you wonder why you just spent so much money on the latest digicam. you want to shoot film for the same reason that big budget hollywood movies are still shot on film, it has "the look".
     
  24. man i can't stand it when amatuer or hobbyist talk about 'workflow' or 'convenience' of digital. If you find the actual art of photography a chore, then find another hobby.​
    Well said. I agree entirely and say similar things myself.
     
  25. If you care anything about quality, if you care anything about ease of work flow, go DIGITAL.​
    Ha ha ha.

    Get with the program.​
    And ha again.

    If, perchance, you still do your own processing and printing, and enjoy long tedious hours in the darkroom​
    If people enjoy their hours in the darkroom then they are not tedious. Everyone is different. you should stay out of darkrooms if you don't like them, I will keep using mine.
     
  26. " you want to shoot film for the same reason that big budget hollywood movies are still shot on film, it has "the look"."
    I like to study movies for both composition and technique. The late John Frankenheimer, for example, made extremely effective use of ultrawides in his films. Just look at some of the shots he set up in "Seven Days in May" or "The Manchurian Candidate". Anyway, despite the increased use of digital enhancement, one of the biggest choices film directors and DPs make well before they make the film is their choice of film stock (sound familiar?). They choose film stock with an eye to color saturation, temperature, and so on, with the mood of the film in mind.
     
  27. you want to shoot film for the same reason that big budget hollywood movies are still shot on film, it has "the look".
    That's not why. Any look you want can be achieved digitally. But movies intended for theater projection can't be shot at HD resolutions, they have to be shot at DSLR equivalent resolutions. Shooting video at a resolution equivalent to DSLR still imaging results in a massive amount of data. Managing and editing that much data is prohibitive even with today's computer technology.
    A few more years worth of Moore's law and computers will handle those video streams as easily as today's computers handle stills. At that point you will see the same thing happen in movies that happened in still photography. Digital will become dominant, film will become a niche, and optical projection will die out.
     
  28. In the early 1970's I delivered some equipment backstage to a Philharmonic Orchestra hall. A gentleman was placing his magnificent cello in it's case.
    I asked him about his cello and his work, then mentioned Dr. Robert Moog and his new (at the time) synthesizer. Would the world of music be replaced by electronics, I asked. He suggested it would certainly be changed. Could the sound of the cello be replicated by electronics...like me, he guessed; why not.
    Would his cello be replaced by electronics, I asked. At this point he smiled gently, as one would to a child, pulled the cello out of it's case, sat at a chair with this beautiful polished wood and ebony thing and played a few chords of something. The sight and sound of the two of them; Oh boy!
    "Not too likely." he said.
     
  29. Actually, quite a number of films have been shot with professional HD equipment and a large number of commercial cinemas are presently screening films in essentially an HD format (2048x1080). 4K format (4096x2160) venues are starting to replace 2K venues. But it will likely be 2012 or later before most theaters are changed out to the higher resolution format. Even so, 4K does not even come close to requiring the amount of data produced by current cropped frame DSLRs much less full frame cameras.
     
  30. Hello
    as has been suggested it varies. If the minilab uses a Noritsu scanner you can get quite reasonable results. I found this page once that has a good compairson with a Nikon Film scanner. It seems you need to persuade the operator to do the right type of capture to CD.
     
  31. I am myself considering the same approach of shooting film and converting to digital. I will plan to have normal scan from lab and scan high resolution myself for those specific pictures that I may want to enlarge!
    Mallik
     
  32. "Any look you want can achieved digitally."
    No way. Some can be achieved digitally. Any look you want can be simulated digitally.
    But simulating the look of film is not achieving the look of film.
     
  33. Thisis very interesting. Can someone provide an example of a recent movie shot entirely with digital equipment? That is, no film?
     
  34. Some times I wish I could just put a thumbs down next to some one's comment. I use my local pharmacy and ask for negatives and CD, no prints, thus far very acceptable work. For paid or serious stuff I take it to AZ in Houston.
     
  35. I'm with you in spirt and in practice. I shoot Fuji Velvia or Astia in my Leica M6 or Canon Elan, get local pro-shop E6 processing and mounted slides, weed out the not-so-hot shots on a light box and scan the remainder on my Epson V500. I'm indebted to your previous responder three or four slots up the thread, Mallik Kovuri, for suggesting re-scanning best slides at considerably higher DPI. Gonna try some today. Thanks to both of you.
     
  36. Tom M. and Steve S. and Frederick M. --- BRAVO !
    Peter M. states: If you care anything about quality, if you care anything about ease of work flow, go DIGITAL.​
    Yeah Peter, you can lug your "ease of work flow"; laptops, terabyte hard drive, batteries, chargers, cords, memory cards, backpacks, and AC adapters. I'll just haul around my Leica M film camera with 4 tiny jewel lenses and a film 6pack in a Speed Demon fanny pack...
    "Quality"? I've stated this before on PNET; Buy a Canon 5DmkII or a Nikon D3x or a Leica M8.2, and you'll be stuck with the fake RAW files in 2009 technology. With the true RAW film image, you can re-scan them 20 years from now with whatever has been invented then. Good luck finding the software to support your "old & cruddy" 2009 files. (Do you have any 5 inch floppy discs kicking around?)
    Film still has the original, un-quantized, un-sampled image. For example, in 1939 "The Wizard of Oz", filmed in Technicolor. It's been continuously copied (with the technology of the day) over the years, with it's quality at an all time high...
     
  37. No way. Some can be achieved digitally. Any look you want can be simulated digitally.
    But simulating the look of film is not achieving the look of film.

    Difference without distinction. Let me put it another way: show me a film print (optical or digital scan), and I will show you a photographer who could produce a print of the same style from a digital original such that you could never tell the difference in a double blind study. That may be hard to accept, but it is true.
     
  38. Gus, sorry to bust your bubble but Wizard of Oz has been updated in recent years digitally. The original quality of the Technicolor transfer would look like crap by standards of today if not enhanced digitally.
     
  39. For a list of films shot in HD...check here. Note that recent Star Wars films were shot with HD video cams. Virtually all animated films of the last few years have been digitally created.
    http://hd24.com/who_is_shooting_hd.htm
     
  40. i started off in digital and went up the canon route and enjoy it a lot. Got various flavours of PS and have Gigs of shots. I then picked up an old canon film slr and shot a roll. the difference was great - i got into a darkroom course, bought a hasselblad 500 CM, have just bought a scanner (epson v750 pro) and am starting to go back the other way so i can archive and share my shots and do my darkroom stuff at home when i haven't got the time to get there or it is booked out.
    I now take the 4 cameras out with me most of the time: my dslr for most shots, my slr, my hassey and a cheapy holga for yet another flavour. They all fit nicely in a bag, and I'm not inconvenienced luggging them about. I found the film great for giving me more appreciation and slowing the process down to make me think a bit more rather than just taking 30 shots and hoping for a good one.
    Not much of a point so far, so here it is... I just enjoy it. It has nothing to do with ease or quality or workflows or clinging to the past. One day it may well all be gone with no films, papers or chemicals for me to waste my money on, but I see no reason I should help encourage that day to arrive.
    It's your interest mate, go shoot the film.

    In answer to your initial question - if I don't get a chance to develope the film myself then i usually get a lowres CD but I always get some small prints cos I like handling them and flicking through them and they are so shiny. I then whack them all on to computer myself.
     
  41. Quality of mini-lab scanning varies by location, operator and device. I don't really like the look that comes out of Fuji Frontiers -- they seem oversharpened, contrasty and have blown highlights and shadows. I prefer the look of Noritsu scanners. But they still require careful operators.
    After trying a bunch of processors (including a couple of high-end labs) I settled on a middle of the road lab that uses Noritsu and has consistently good processing and scanning. By simply asking for a High-Res CD, I get the equivalent of a 6-megapixel digital camera file. The texture is notably different than the equivalent size digital shot (say from a 6-megapixel DSLR) and I find that I can actually enlarge it MORE than a DSLR file. The grain structure gives the image an apparent sharpness even when enlarged.
    Even though the Noritsu is outputting a JPEG, I find there is still a bit more image information in the file than I can see. So you still have a little bit of leeway to play in the digital darkroom (Lightroom, Picassa, or whatever) and pull out highlight or shadow detail.
    My lab used to charge a small premium for the high-res scans - they now have made the 6 megapixel scans the standard, and it costs me all of $5 to have a roll scanned.
    If I ever create a shot so brilliant that I have to have it scanned at higher quality, I will know what I got because the Noritsu scans are more than adequate for proofing. In that eventuality, I will take the single frame in to a shop with an Imacon scanner and have it scanned.
     
  42. Difference without distinction. Let me put it another way: show me a film print (optical or digital scan), and I will show you a photographer who could produce a print of the same style from a digital original such that you could never tell the difference in a double blind study. That may be hard to accept, but it is true.

    It's false. It's not false for every print - or even for most prints - but it's false for some.
    As I type this I've got a 4x5 Provia transparency I shot on Monday sitting next to my keyboard. The subject is a beaded tapestry. The original tapestry is about 6 feet high and 2 feet wide, and the beads are about a millimeter in diameter. This means that there are about 4800 beads along the long dimension, and the beads are in a perfectly square grid. A 21MP Canon EOS 1DsMkIII has 5616 pixels on the long dimension - WAY less than 2 pixels per bead even assuming the subject entirely fills the frame. The Phase One P65+ (which costs $40,000 without the camera or lens) still has only about 8,500 pixels on the long dimension - still fewer than two per bead with a full-frame subject.
    Even if these cameras could resolve the subject, which they can't, you'd have to deal with the issue of photographing a finely detailed square grid using a square grid sensor at almost exactly the same frequency. In this case, for most cameras, the solution is as bad as the problem; an anti-alias filter suppresses some of the moire but at the expense of the detail which is critical to a good picture of the subject.
    The artist who created the tapestry has lots of prints of this work from digital originals, and you'd have to be legally blind not to tell the difference between the 4x5 film transparency and the prints from digital at a glance. I've made a print of a smaller work of his from a medium-format slide and it's head and shoulders above any of his large collection of prints from photographers who've attempted to photograph the same subject digitally.
    If you care about seeing the beads (and if you're submitting your work to gallery owners, you care about them seeing the beads), you simply can't create an acceptable print of this subject from a single digital capture, and if you went to the trouble of creating a stitched capture (which would be hard!) it would generate a file so big that most computers wouldn't have enough memory to load it into whatever program you wanted to use to print it.
    I took the 4x5 slide using a Burke & James Pressman-D camera I got for $125 including lens; the two sheets of transparency film I used cost about $3 each to buy and another $3 each to process. For production prints I may switch to Portra print film (for color fidelity in pinks and purples - another issue with a lot of digital cameras); an excellent and fairly large print will cost another $20 or so.
    Sometimes shooting film is still the right thing to do - or the only thing.
     
  43. I suspect in the near future that film scanners with high resolution and dynamic range will be rarer and rarer to find. But you can still use a close-up lens on your DSLR and light box to get decent film scans; sometimes better than what consumer-grade scanners can do, especially on silver gelatin film, where penetrating the dense highlights of a negative are difficult with scanners.
    So, at least we know the DSLR will not be completely obsoleted in the future; it'll still have a useful function as a film scanner. ;)
    ~Joe
     
  44. Bob, thanks for the detailed example. Clear analysis of that sort is extremely illuminating.
     
  45. Difference without distinction. Let me put it another way: show me a film print (optical or digital scan), and I will show you a photographer who could produce a print of the same style from a digital original such that you could never tell the difference in a double blind study. That may be hard to accept, but it is true.​
    That's just not true, and anyway, it's an oversimplification and doesn't address all the issues.
    If you want to shoot on a 36x24mm medium, your digital options start at $2000 plus the cost of lenses. Sony just announced the A850 and it's a big deal that a 36x24mm digital is under $2000!
    I got a perfectly working Minolta XG-M a couple weeks ago with a perfectly working 50/1.7 lens, a bag and 3 rolls of film for $15. That shoots 36x24mm frames.
    Suppose you want a larger format. I have a Mamiya RZ67 with 2 lenses, 4 backs, 2 finders and a motor that I got for less than the price of a D40 kit. It takes 56x70mm frames. A P65+ takes 54x40mm frames and costs $43,000 - 100x what I paid, and that's just for the back.
    Large format 4x5 and 8x10, as Bob suggested, have no comparables in digital. Ever seen these shots? That super-realistic feel has nothing to do with resolution or DR or anything, it's the large film and the long focal length lens.
    Suppose you want to shoot a roll of photos of people and get a set of prints and have better things to do with your time than dick around with them on your computer. Shoot some Portra, hand it to any decent lab, come back after lunch and you have your prints. If you don't want to spring for Portra, I got a 6-pack of Kodak consumer film for $10 at BJ's.
    So of course there are some things you can do well and more conveniently than digital, but it's not the best thing for every scenario.
     
  46. Mr. Mueller: It is not necessary to call me ignorant to say you differ in opinion from me. Perhaps you prefer to be uncouth in the absence of the sense of good will that makes this forum exciting as an airing of our personal opinions and experience.
     
  47. I have the luxury of being a complete amateur (today anyway) with easily 50 years experience using film. I have tried digital and I must say I quite like it and now am a proud owner of a nifty little canon G10. (someone just told me that the G10 has been replaced by the G11, I should have waited.)
    After all these years I am just more comfortable using film, scanning color negs on my CS 9000 and working with the files from that process. It works very well. Far better than I ever imagined it would and I get to keep my film cameras and not feel obligated to upgrade every year or so. When your main interest is in the image, how you get it becomes unimportant.
    Automation is great, for those who want it, (and more power to those who do) but I and obviously a growing number want the control ourselves to create in our own way. The simplicity of older film cameras, like the Leica Ms etc. gives us that control.
     
  48. Bob,
    You shooting the piece on 4x5 transparency film and claiming it's much better than the digital examples is funny. No one who shoots 4x5 tranny film for a living -- myself included -- would ever attempt to correctly render a subject of that detail and complexity by exposing only TWO SHEETS of film!
    Where's your margin for processing error? How can you tell you've nailed the exposure in such a finicky medium with only two examples to go by? No extra sheets for a push processing test?
    I'm sorry, but in your example, a properly executed digital image of that work would smoke your two trannies.
     
  49. "No one who shoots 4x5 tranny film for a living -- myself included -- would ever attempt to correctly render a subject of that detail and complexity by exposing only TWO SHEETS of film!"
    Except perhaps a true professional completely confident in his/her medium.
     
  50. Perhaps Bob has developed some skills that others lack.
     
  51. I shoot digital for work - I am a writer an editor and often have to illustrate stories. Digital is the way to go when you need to produce a large number of quality images very quickly.
    For pleasure, I shoot 35 mm and medium format film. I like 35 mm because I would rather carry my Leica M6 than my far heavier Canon 5D, and because the images it produces are sharp and lovely. I like medium format, because the quality and character of the images is something special. Digital images may be smoother, but film images are far richer.
    I develop my own b&w and am fortunate to have a good lab to do the color. Then I look at the negatives, select the ones of interest, and do quick low-res scans on a Nikon 8000. Finally, I come back and do high-res scans of the few I want to print. The process is it's own reward.
    I find that Portra scans very well, yielding realistic color. I have had problems with Ektar, which has fine grain, but always needs color correction after the scan. Scanning b&w is harder because you can't use digital ICE and so you have to do a lot of spotting in Photoshop.
    But I am no longer interested in producing dozens or hundreds of images a week -- I have hard drives full of images I never look at. I am happy if any single roll yields one image a really care about. For me, it is about slowing down and thinking about the process. And I don't believe that film is going away, because more and more people are going back to it for some of the reasons you have heard cited in this thread.
    Hope this helps.
    Bill Poole
     
  52. stp

    stp

    Difference without distinction. Let me put it another way: show me a film print (optical or digital scan), and I will show you a photographer who could produce a print of the same style from a digital original such that you could never tell the difference in a double blind study. That may be hard to accept, but it is true.
    I can still spot a photo from across the room if it was taken with a digital camera and the photo includes the sun. Maybe a digital original can emulate a film shot that includes the sun, but it seems to be exceedingly rare or exceedingly difficult, and perhaps both.
     
  53. I'm sorry, but in your example, a properly executed digital image of that work would smoke your two trannies.​
    That didn't make sense. Bob gave a fine example of something you can do with 4x5 film that you can't do with a current digital camera. Crazy high res.
     
  54. Charles Wood stated: Gus, sorry to bust your bubble but Wizard of Oz has been updated in recent years digitally. The original quality of the Technicolor transfer would look like crap by standards of today if not enhanced digitally.​
    Charles, I feel that you made my point much stronger. Try that with a 1950's Kinescope... Pop !
     
  55. Dan wrote

    You shooting the piece on 4x5 transparency film and claiming it's much better than the digital examples is funny. No one who shoots 4x5 tranny film for a living -- myself included -- would ever attempt to correctly render a subject of that detail and complexity by exposing only TWO SHEETS of film!
    Where's your margin for processing error? How can you tell you've nailed the exposure in such a finicky medium with only two examples to go by? No extra sheets for a push processing test?
    I'm sorry, but in your example, a properly executed digital image of that work would smoke your two trannies.



    I don't do push processing tests, or clip tests, or any nonsense of that sort. It's expensive, and there are much better ways to get the exposure right. I meter carefully with an accurate and calibrated incident meter, and I shoot tests I can review on the spot without having to have the lab adjust.
    I didn't shoot just two sheets of film. After I metered the exposure I shot a number of digital frames to judge exposure, framing, color, and so on (knowing that they would be useless from a resolution point of view) - just as I would have shot several Polaroids back before the advent of digital. Then, after I knew everything was in order, I shot two sheets of 4x5. And in fact this was just a test shoot - I'll go back and shoot the final exposures with a new backdrop, probably on print film, based on the results of this test, in a week or two, after I get detailed information about what form the final product needs to take.
    The reason to shoot more than two sheets would not be exposure, which is easy to get right in-camera under controlled lighting conditions if you know how to meter. The reason to shoot more than two sheets would be because air movement might make a textile subject move during a half-second exposure, or because my fifty-year-old eyes might not nail the focus with an f/4.7 lens on ground glass, or because I might fail to seat the film holder correctly in the somewhat finicky Pressman back. But I double- and triple-check all those things at the time.
    In the case I described, I'd love to hear your description of how to "properly execute" a digital image of the subject. Lots of professional photographers (which I'm not) have tried and failed.
     
  56. By the way, to avoid giving the wrong impression, I do most of my shooting with an M8 (digital, of course) and I love it. It's very good at lots of things. But for this job it's completely inadequate - even moreso than the Canon 1DsMkIII or a Leaf back. For this job, film's the thing, and it's got to be BIG film. I'd rather have a passionate attachment to results than to tools.
     
  57. I shoot film and digital. Each has its place. For film, I usually hoard it for awhile and then send off to a lab for processing and hi res [translated: 8x10 at 300 dpi] scanning. Lately, I've used a couple of labs in California, NCPS near San Diego and Photoworks in San Francisco, but there are many labs that offer this combination. I'd suggest try two or three and then just send your film there. This works great for me with c-41, with B&W film its ok - I just think I could get better results processing my own b&w film but then you must factor in the scanning time. If I really like an image, I will then scan it on a Nikon scanner. I can't even fathom a guess at the percentage I shoot with film and digital but with film, I'd say its 90% 120 [Holga, Mamiya, Ikonta) and 10% 35mm [Leica]. One aspect about having a lab scan your film right after processing is that the film is usually clean, it has not been paged or subjected to storage. The scans are cleaner and this does cut down on the post-processing digital clean-up time. I know several photographers that have this film/digital workflow and each simply enjoys using film, for the sake of craftsmanship in using the equipment (even the Holga) and for the aesthetics in creating a film image. Finally, in a similar vein as the cello anecdote, I'm not sure digital created images would sing the same as 30 x 40 inch prints from a sharp, properly exposed 6x7 negative.
     
  58. Read this article for the best reason of all to use film and then transfer it to digital with a high quality scanner = www.vividlight.com/Articles/1513.htm Remember,you now have the film original as a backup. By the way,how does Hollywood back up it's digital films? It transfers them to real film stock. HA!
     
  59. I stopped getting the scans, they are
    just too fuzzy.
    I get the little contact sheet thing.
     
  60. I have 18MB Noritsu scans made from transparencies at my local lab, and have found them mostly excellent -- certainly good enough for publication in a book last year. I have thought about DIY scanning but finding time gets to be a problem. Usually, I pick and choose which ones to have scanned later to save on costs, although will have them done at the same time if I am in a rush.
    I use a digital compact from time to time but still love slide film; there's nothing to compare. Also, factor in the joy of using a film, Leica -- its simplicity, high quality results, craftsmanship, and robustness, the facto that it just keeps on keeping on.
     
  61. khi

    khi

    Digital, Schmigital...
     
  62. I've been using the wife's Lumix with
    Leica lens. On a tripod, it is unbelievably sharp.
    Helps to pre-visualize a shot and besides you
    get a decent image to photoshop.
    It's like using a polaroid in a way.
    Then shoot some film.
    Just got a scanner IV ED, so
    I'm very anxious to get it hooked up !
     
  63. Peter Mann - I find your posts a little self serving. If I were to quote a digital camera, an M8 would not be one of my first choices.
    As far as film goes, like the poster a few up the thread named "Rob" as well, I too am going back to the "dead" medium known as film.
    Just a thought - digital is often compared to the quality of film but never the other way around.
    And for all of us here - we have to compare apples with apples:
    When someone says that a photoshop jockey can replicate an image to look no better or worse than film in a "double blind test", is he referring to the relatively low res optics of our computer/laptop screens viewing relatively low res images or his he referring to actual prints, optical old school for film and digital/Epson for digital.
    The proof is in the print - not what we collectively see on our computer screens viewing millions of pictures across the world.
    The problem is getting a forum like this one together in the same building looking at real live prints - then for sure I will happily take on a "double blind test" and probably point out the difference between the two mediums 90% of the time.
    And I'm not saying on is better than the other - I do love digital and what can be done in post - but we can't dumb down our comparisons using the LCD screen of our computers as the arbiters.
     
  64. Rob Oresteen wrote: "When someone says that a photoshop jockey can replicate an image to look no better or worse than film in a "double blind test", is he referring to the relatively low res optics of our computer/laptop screens viewing relatively low res images or his he referring to actual prints, optical old school for film and digital/Epson for digital.
    The proof is in the print
    "
    The owner of Appel Gallery here in Sacramento - representing many photographers including one of Canon's Explorers of Light - was struck by the color quality and detail of some of the larger prints I brought to our meeting a couple of weeks ago. Among the prints I brought were some made with Nikons and Nikkors on film, Leicaflex SL on film, and the R8 with DMR. Regardless of the camera used to make the photo the prints were all made with laser printers (LightJet, Durst Lamda) on light-sensitive photographic paper. The prints from the film cameras were made from 4000 dpi scans and IMHO were far better than the darkroom prints I formerly made. At the end of our meeting he selected several prints for the gallery, all (unknown to him) made with the DMR. YMMV, but I have enough proof.
     
  65. Not many good films available. For me, convert to digital only applies to film shot before 2007. Now shooting digital is far more direct and simple
     
  66. Not many good films available.​
    Are you sure?
    Now shooting digital is far more direct and simple.​
    Possibly but so what?
     
  67. I agree with those who say the proof is in the print. One topic that seems to get little attention on this forum, but that has been discussed elsewhere, is differences in the calibration of monitors. Once a print has been made, everyone who views it in a given setting is looking at a common subject. Sharing photos on the forum is enjoyable, but different viewers with different monitors see different images. I get this all the time when friends see different renditions of an image I've made (different from my view and even different from each other) simply because they have different monitors.
     
  68. I some times shot six thousand pictures in a month long trip, that is equivalent to 250 rolls of film. Carry 250 rolls of film thru eight or nine airports ?? No way.
     
  69. My favourite film used to be Kodak Technical Pan, it has ultra fine grain. Discontinued
    You may be able to buy a roll of 150' bulk film for over 200 bucks on ebay. Crazy
    I still have one 150' roll in fridge, which I bought for less then $60, when TP was till on the market.
    My favourite color side film was Kodachrome 25, long discontinue.
    I occasionally shoot Ilford PanF+ in my 3 Tessinas, just to excercise the springs
     
  70. Not many good films available
    ??
    Portra 160NC is probably the best color print film ever made in terms of grain, exposure latitude, and color accuracy. Provia 100F and Velvia 50 have finer grain than any previous color slide film, and all the Kodak and Fuji slide films are better than anything (except perhaps Kodachrome) which has gone before. Ilford Pan-F is fantastically fine-grained and smooth-toned. Delta 100 and Delta 400 are also wonderful new-technology B&W, and Tri-X is still available if you prefer it. ADOX ORT 25 is perhaps not quite as good as Tech Pan, but it's very, very good. Scala is gone, but you can get better (IMO) results with a variety of films using .dr5 processing.
    The only films which haven't been replaced by something better in my opinion are Polaroid, Kodachrome, and HIE and EIR.
     
  71. Another good film I liked was Agfa 25, I still have one bulk roll in fridge.
     
  72. Scanning film using a film scanner is extremely slow and tedious.
     
  73. I have requested a CD of my film on occassion. if it's free with the deal, absolutely....if it's not, it depends on what I shot. The scans are horrible...unless of course you ask for high rez scans, and those you pay dearly for. But, I just use the cheapo scans like I use to use contact sheets.....just a way to see the pics without having to print (or now....personally scan) them all.
     
  74. Scanning on a dedicated scanner at 5400 dpi is slow. But tedious? Well, if you have nothing better to do than watch the screen, yes. If you have other things to do you do them and come back to the scan. It's the first scan that's the pain if I have nothing else to do (rare). After that I'm photoshopping that first scan while doing the next scan. There are worse things in life.
    The good thing about film is that I can quickly look at the 36 frames in the lightbox and I know what to scan. Editing tons of digital images is very time-consuming, even with the help of Bridge.
    But it's fun. Just like fishing, if that's your bag, though it more time consuming and expensive than getting your fish at the supermarket.
    For my occasional photo work at school I use digital. For my creative work its digital and film. I'd like to expand my digital darkroom to include MF. RF MF cameras are cheaper and lighter than their digital brethren.
     
  75. I reserve precious Technical Pan for my Platinium Minox LX, and Minox CLX. Scan negative slowly like fishing
     
  76. "The good thing about film is that I can quickly look at the 36 frames in the lightbox and I know what to scan. Editing tons of digital images is very time-consuming, even with the help of Bridge."
    I must be doing something wrong.
    For slides I put them in clear archival pages. I then view the pages on my large Just Normlicht light table.
    For RAW files I load them into the computer, fire up Bridge, and view them on a virtual light table.
    It seems pretty much the same except for the fact with Bridge I am able to categorize them, sort them, move them into new folders, rate them, label them, make notes, and have access to all the shooting information. I can view a hundred images at once and can choose one and zoom in.
    I still love slides but getting them into the computer does take me more effort.
     

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