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slicktop

Anybody Use Film?

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Just wondering.

I made a living with film for 16yrs. I quit with the digital age. Sad.

I'm tempted to get into 4x5" and hand process.

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Hi slicktop,

 

I am in a similar boat to yourself - but I have made the transition to digital and actually never regretted it.

 

About three years back, whilst I still had some of my film cameras i decided to do some comparison experiments in order to determine where the quality determinant fell in my case.  In addition to photographing motorcycle sport I also enjoy serious landscape and wildlife work, so I bought some fresh film stock, loaded up my 645 medium format cameras and spent a few days roaming my local Scottish highlands taking comparison shots, film versus my Sigma SD15 digital.

 

The prime result was to see my film cameras disappear to an eBay buyer.  The digital camera won hands down not only on ease of use but heavily in terms of quality, particularly when I wanted to manipulate the eventual print in Adobe Lightroom.

 

Like so many of my colleagues the real pleasure was getting away from the photographic droop caused by lugging heavy bags of photographic kit - and the cost of film these days is genuine daylight robbery.......

 

Whatever, enjoy - but do remember, point and shoot is for the general masses - even my favourite Leica now boasts a digital model as their flagship.......

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A very similar story for me.  Landscape photography on 6 x 9 was my thing but  the digital wins hands down.  I tried a halfway house with scanned film and printing in Photoshop but found it impossible to buy in sufficiently high quality scans of the film. Also the cost of the (inadequate)  scans was just silly.

 

As Laird says the degree of manipulation and adjustability in the image and print making is joyous.  Deeply frustrating wet processes like lith printing can be painlessly simulated in PS.  I have always fancied getting back to some alternative processes but setting up a wet darkroom just isn't going to happen.

 

A slight word of warning is that Photoshop is deeply addictive .............

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I've started building a darkroom in the shed but haven't had much time to work on it lately.

 

I think you should keep your hobbies private, lol :hyper:

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A very similar story for me.  Landscape photography on 6 x 9 was my thing but  the digital wins hands down.  I tried a halfway house with scanned film and printing in Photoshop but found it impossible to buy in sufficiently high quality scans of the film. Also the cost of the (inadequate)  scans was just silly.

 

As Laird says the degree of manipulation and adjustability in the image and print making is joyous.  Deeply frustrating wet processes like lith printing can be painlessly simulated in PS.  I have always fancied getting back to some alternative processes but setting up a wet darkroom just isn't going to happen.

 

A slight word of warning is that Photoshop is deeply addictive .............

Hi,

 

I'm busy scanning thousands of negatives for use in the digital magazine, ORRe, and soon found that I had to resort to very expensive professional scanning equipment before I could eliminate optical faults caused by the poor quality of the average scanning systems.

 

On digital I now use images in RAW format and achieve detail, particularly in shadow areas, that I would not have believed possible only fifteen years ago......

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Ah yes, the fun with scans.  I recall one company that was recommended by a photo magazine that was so bad it was hilarious!  I guess they must have chucked my negs on the office carpet before scanning to achieve such levels of dirt and dust.

 

Another advantage of the digital age is the ability to print onto a vast range of beautiful fine art papers rather than being stuck with the very limited range of darkroom papers.  That said, printing images is I suppose becoming old school ............ 

 

 

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Thanks for the perspectives. I guess i just miss the good ol days.

What I really miss is the whole process, My first camera was a Graphic Reflex Press 4x5. From there I moved to Sinar 4x5 View, and then to a Pentax 6x7. Finally getting into Mamiyas for portrait and group work. I have always loved large and med formats.

 

I also miss labwork. especially working in small darkrooms with pretty girls... (before I was married)

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I would be very wary of showing an appreciation of older technology on this forum. Danger you could be called a Luddite or an old duffer.

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Life can go in a strange way...

 

I'm from a bit younger generation who started with digital. Got bored at one point some few years ago, and ironically beating the same old drum "how good the digital" was and "how crappy the film" is, aka the endless film bashing by digital guys, me used to being one of them. Till I tried film myself one day out of awkward curiosity... And guess what - I was blown away how much more depth there was, how artistic and "real" my shots suddenly looked. Now after a couple of years almost 95% of my shots using film for my personal (art-) work, that 5% I make some extra income using digital to pay off all of my film needs (with very low standards the clients have these days). 

 

Shooting mostly 6x7, with two Pentax 67 bodies - the main one of them is as around old as myself and with me it has been in over 80 countries, 6 continents and endured some close to 300 000 kilometers of motorcycle vibrations, from -35C Himalayan to +45C Arab dessert, still runs like new! Also 6x6, a little 6x4.5 and occasionally I also shoot 5x7" (13x18cm large format) and lately I've had lots of fun with 35mm panoramic on old Soviet Horizon 202 :) I do my own scanning and use very little post processing, I also recently started to do my own darkroom B&W printing, mostly using alternative methods such as Lith-process - true and real hand made prints that as a ex-digital guy myself I've now started to apreciate as a real hands-on art form (vs digital prints I used to do).

 

Hard to put the reasons into words actually. It's not about quantity or quality you get enjoyments and rewards in life, I just love the film rendering, tonality, grain and love also how it visually differs from all the mostly sterile and lifeless digital I was getting too used to, always hunting for that "ideal" image and shooting way too many images from many angles and settings and never really thinking about doing just one single image and doing it really good. Film taught me how to do this. And later when I was into digital I've tried hard to "emulate" analog with advanced digital post-processing but never could get anywhere the real film. So I've ended up "if you want the film-look you just have to shoot film", the easiest way. That being said I wouldn't recommend film photography to everybody though, it's a lot more work and dedication and that's not for most people IMHO. So I'd only recommend it for those who look that speciefic "film" or "analogue" feel in their photography and willing to put in some more time and handwork (developing and scanning which I do myself).

 

Just some very random uncropped raw scans from my film work:

 

8717201478_b9c48d0c0f_o.jpg

The Ride by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

20536697278_d0a46419b9_o.jpg

Explore by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

10436856713_926d3155bc_o.jpg

if I could only fly... by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

8968058200_39f374717f_o.jpg

Within Space by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

10064994023_05aeae2549_o.jpg

Indian Threesome by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

19782150321_f9a45526ae_o.jpg

Beneath by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

8567007861_feee4f86b5_o.jpg

Gamelan man by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

 

11502309254_cfdefc40a5_o.jpg

Dogwalk by Margus Sootla, on Flickr

 

 

Cheers,

Margus

Edited by tsiklonaut
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Did photos a long time on 35mm with my OM-1 as it's so handy but all the objective's.

 

I began in 2004 with a F828 the digital age. Now I still using it and (of course) some other's which were added quickly too using now even my smart phone!

 

At first the processing was an issue, also digital b/w photos were not as qood in quality I also had issues with the chromatic aberrations with colour pictures and barrel distortion in general.

 

Now with Lightroom and Photoshop you can produce likewise good photos, the labwork is now just digital which is a gain in time and much less effort too.

 

So I' am not looking back again, still have my "analog" equipment it's collecting dust now.

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Just got a Lumix FZ72, Unbelievably easy to use and capable for the price, even takes photos in Sepia. Having said that when on holiday my sister likes to carry an old 35mm film camera (in addition to her digital). Reason is she can leave it hung on her neck with lens cap off and take a photo without having to wait for the camera to turn on and focus. Means she gets photos she would miss with a digital.

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Fantastic photos - the riders eye view one nearly made me grab the desk !

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Saw where a company had come out with a 100,000 megapixil digital camera for $10,000.

Can that be compared to an asa/iso value?

Edited by slicktop

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