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Thread: Film versus Pixels

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  1. #11
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    It' the person behind the camera that counts.

    My previous partner is a well known press press photographer. When I met her she was recovering from a serious medical problem, had no money - nothing. We went to cash converters bought a $50 .... camera with a dairy farmers milk bottle (well just about) for a lens and in two weeks she had the front page of the SMH.

    So forget the gear, concentrate on whats behind it.

  2. #12
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce2 View Post
    It' the person behind the camera that counts.

    My previous partner is a well known press press photographer. When I met her she was recovering from a serious medical problem, had no money - nothing. We went to cash converters bought a $50 .... camera with a dairy farmers milk bottle (well just about) for a lens and in two weeks she had the front page of the SMH.

    So forget the gear, concentrate on whats behind it.
    Great post
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" Jim Elliot - Missionary, Martyr

  3. #13
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    Hi -

    Ansel Adams himself developed the Zone System in order to be able to accurately achieve in print what he visualized when he was taking the picture.

    It's not that hard to do it with roll film or 35mm (as opposed to large format), but it does take some rather care in knowing your processes down pat to be able to push or pull development to influence where Zone V lands.

    JohnF
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  5. #14
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    It all depends on what you do...

    For things like studio work and landscapes, I believe film is technically better in the dynamic range and fine detail a low speed film can capture that digital can't quite match yet. Move up to medium or large format and digital can't even come close.
    If you shoot sports or other work in challenging light though, a modern digital camera will far outperform a film camera - the ability to shoot at high ISO with fairly clean images far outperforms an ISO1600 35mm film at even higher ISO settings.

    Alongside that you also have to consider what you are doing with the images - to quickly shoot an image for editing and posting here the benefits of film will be completely lost in a web quality image. Shoot an image to print out as a large canvas for your wall and it will be a lot more apparent...

    Out of the choices the OP mentioned, Leica M7 for the still subjects, Nikon d300s for the moving ones :)

  6. #15
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    I think digital is there or beyond film today in the high end FF bodies.

    An interesting comparison on a Hasselblad vs some Canon FF bodies can be found here

    DSLR's on average with cropped censors are very versatile and deliver great quality whatever brand gets you going. Just remember to use some quality glass to go with it.

    What makes me sad though is the average digi point and shoot. Whilst the 35mm film point and shoot of yesteryear is in effect a full frame only discriminated by the (zoom)lens welded to it, the digital version with the pinky nail size censor is just plain horrible and yet they keep pumping out models after models.

    So will the manufacturers please up the censor size like in the Sigma DP-series and forget about 100 x zoom. Give me a digital version of an Olympus XA, Nikon 35ti or some other equivalent.

    Conclusion: any cropped DSLR will suffice for most mortals. If you are pro or have the cash to burn one can consider FF or medium format.

    On the other hand looking for a good P&S to do other than plaster your facebook with snapshots is kinda waist of time. In this department one might be better of shooting film with a classic SLR in style or some of the better P&S that use original raw just to paraphrase Rockwell.

  7. #16
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    I'm not sure if anyone has seen this before, but the Gadget Show did a comparison between film and digital a year or two ago. Hope this helps you in your decision making process.

    http://fwd.five.tv/gadget-show/video...blow-up-part-3
    Cheers,
    Barry

  8. #17
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    By no means have I been a "great" photographer, but have enjoyed the hobby since I had a photo class in high school in the 1970's. A little background is that selling cameras and films became my vocation after highschool for 6 years while saving for college. I remember the advancing of film products, Kodak's introduction of a 400 ASA (now ISO) speed color print film, and yet the terrible processing of the late 1970's present in the photographs stuffed away in shoeboxes in the back of a closet somewhere.

    The debate and comparisons of film and digital photography are many and are interesting. As interesting is that I have owned a Nikon D200 for 4 years (10.2 mpxl) as well as a Hasselblad 501C for quite some time. While on a vacation from Arizona to Michigan in 2006, I took over 2,500 photographs with the Nikon and the Hasselblad never made it out of the case. That said, FUJI made some very nice professional films that are tough to beat, and that produce great colors.

    Shooting a few weddings in the 1990's, my experience with the HB was a fast learning curve, and then a lesson in lighting and metering. I became proficient at slightly over-exposing the film, taking a light reading at the scene and stopping down 1 to 2 stops to underexpose the background, and then by using a UNI-400 strobe into an umbrella and a Minolta flash meter, properly expose the subject bride and groom (or wedding party, etc). The results were great. That was taught to me by a Tucson-based professional whom I assisted on occasion. It was fun, a lot of work, and I was on my feet for hours at a time. If there was any burning or dodging to do, it was at the lab with my basic instruction.

    Now, it is great to be able to make changes to digital photographs on my own. Although I've turned photography back into a hobby, I must say that digital is a lot of fun and I can have instant results. That is, withouth having to run to the lab, wait 2 days, check the proofs, decide what I like, crop, scan, etc. A good sized card can hold a ton of photographs without changing film, and where film is a little sensitive to heat, digital can combat those kinds of issues. Additionally, ISO (ASA for us elder folk) can be changed from photo to photo, as well as other settings. While digital is certainly flexible with many things, there is still something about running a roll of film through a standard camera.

    Here is one of my favorites with the Nikon D200:

    http://www.pbase.com/azsheldon/image/63445163

    Best regards...

    Jack

  9. #18
    Member waruilewi's Avatar
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by AZJack;
    By no means have I been a "great" photographer, but have enjoyed the hobby since I had a photo class in high school in the 1970's. A little background is that selling cameras and films became my vocation after highschool for 6 years while saving for college. I remember the advancing of film products, Kodak's introduction of a 400 ASA (now ISO) speed color print film, and yet the terrible processing of the late 1970's present in the photographs stuffed away in shoeboxes in the back of a closet somewhere.

    The debate and comparisons of film and digital photography are many and are interesting. As interesting is that I have owned a Nikon D200 for 4 years (10.2 mpxl) as well as a Hasselblad 501C for quite some time. While on a vacation from Arizona to Michigan in 2006, I took over 2,500 photographs with the Nikon and the Hasselblad never made it out of the case. That said, FUJI made some very nice professional films that are tough to beat, and that produce great colors.

    Shooting a few weddings in the 1990's, my experience with the HB was a fast learning curve, and then a lesson in lighting and metering. I became proficient at slightly over-exposing the film, taking a light reading at the scene and stopping down 1 to 2 stops to underexpose the background, and then by using a UNI-400 strobe into an umbrella and a Minolta flash meter, properly expose the subject bride and groom (or wedding party, etc). The results were great. That was taught to me by a Tucson-based professional whom I assisted on occasion. It was fun, a lot of work, and I was on my feet for hours at a time. If there was any burning or dodging to do, it was at the lab with my basic instruction.

    Now, it is great to be able to make changes to digital photographs on my own. Although I've turned photography back into a hobby, I must say that digital is a lot of fun and I can have instant results. That is, withouth having to run to the lab, wait 2 days, check the proofs, decide what I like, crop, scan, etc. A good sized card can hold a ton of photographs without changing film, and where film is a little sensitive to heat, digital can combat those kinds of issues. Additionally, ISO (ASA for us elder folk) can be changed from photo to photo, as well as other settings. While digital is certainly flexible with many things, there is still something about running a roll of film through a standard camera.

    Here is one of my favorites with the Nikon D200:

    http://www.pbase.com/azsheldon/image/63445163

    Best regards...

    Jack
    Great post. Agreed with most of your points here, and the thought that we have instantaneous gratification with digital photography is maybe one reason why it seems there's less 'thinking' involved now when taking pictures compared to years past. The mentality now is hold the button now shotgun approach at 8 fps when back in the day when you only had 24 or 36 chances to get it right, a time and cost to consider before seeing the result, a better assessment of how it's done was needed.

    Don't get me wrong, as I love my digital camera and also do fall prey to snapping more than a few shots to hedge my bets at times, but I still remember how dear it was as a teenager to practice the photographic craft when you had to pay for the film and chemicals and paper to see the end result. You would take multiples of a shot only if it was something truly majestic or wondrous, and bracketing shots would be left for very rare times because hey, that's a lot of film! But after a while you get to train your mind to see how a film would react, and how different films would capture a scene differently, and part of the appeal for me with the film days was seeing the nuances capturing something using Kodachrome versus Ektachrome, how RC paper changes up the look compared to fibre, how pushing and pulling something or using different developers could alter the characteristics of the exposure, etc... Remember how hard it was to solarize an image in the darkroom? I can do it now in five seconds in Photoshop. That's progress for you.

  10. #19
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    waruilewi: Also enjoyed reading your post! Remember when some of the first automatics came out? While I had a Minolta SRT 201, I loved the XE-7 with aperture preferred auto that I bought in about 1978, and its vertical metal-leaf focal plane shutter (I still have it on my book shelf as a reminder)! Although I did not own a Canon, they were also in the "race" and they came out with two very popular models; I believe the Canon AE-1 was shutter preferred... and the Canon A-1 was a great black-body SLR with both. Best regards. Jack

  11. #20
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    Re: Film versus Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by AZJack;
    waruilewi: Also enjoyed reading your post! Remember when some of the first automatics came out? While I had a Minolta SRT 201, I loved the XE-7 with aperture preferred auto that I bought in about 1978, and its vertical metal-leaf focal plane shutter (I still have it on my book shelf as a reminder)! Although I did not own a Canon, they were also in the "race" and they came out with two very popular models; I believe the Canon AE-1 was shutter preferred... and the Canon A-1 was a great black-body SLR with both. Best regards. Jack
    Reminds me of some great old times this thread, before I became so full of photographic entitlements!

    If I had to go back to the first camera I ever had it was prolly a pinhole 126 that we made in the third or fourth grade, but that was more of a science project than real camera. The Holga crowd might not agree, of course... When I turned 9 or 10 my parents got me an Emerson running 110 with a flip-down handle that served as the springboard into 35mm - I had a heck of a fun time with that, so much fun in fact I saved up for a little Minox with the fold-down clamshell cover, totally sexy that little jewel.

    I think that was a Copal shutter IIRC in your Minolta, right? My first 'real' camera that I got just as I entered high school was a Contax 139 quartz which also had a vertical metal shutter. It wasn't just watches that used a quartz movement, LOL! I loved that camera like crazy - versatile and light in the bag, great pentaprism and viewfinder with metered manual and AP as a default, top-notch Teutonic engineering and made by Yashica in Japan so it was still affordable, and had the option of using y/c mounted Zeiss lenses, and we're talking about *real* Zeiss optics here with T* coatings and schott glass made in West Germany, not the rebadged stuff nowadays made by Cosina or Sony's marketing exercise pushing consumer camcorders.

    The Canon A1 was a dream camera all throughout high school for all of us. I only met one guy my age who had one and everybody wanted his snapper. I still remember looking thru the viewfinder and seeing those awesome LEDs in red displaying all the info, that was the best. Not far behind in the lust department was the Olympus OM-3 which was like the pocket rocket of its day, and also the Guigiaro-penned Nikon F3, which started that whole trend of Nikon using a red accent on their camera bodies that survives to this day.

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