FILM IS CHEAP DIGITAL

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Simon Everett
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have you thought that film is also digital, but the reverse is not so.

Get your films processed at Costco for £5 and come away with a DVD of hi res jpeg scans, a set of prints and sleeved film for £5.99, or less than the cost of ONE scan from film:)

Cheapest digital camera out there - and try and get that quality from a pure electronic camera.:LOL: Archive the film, use the prints as reference shots, throw away the crap, delete the crap off the DVD - and your done. You now have a RAW file that you can always return to (the neg/tranny) but I just make a couple of copies of the jpeg, keep one as a virgin jpeg to make copies from - the quality drop is negligible if you have only opened it once. make another copy and work on that.
 
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Sean
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A negative can't really be compared to a RAW file.
A raw file is a data file, allowing you to change things like colour temperature. You screw that up on film, and it's tough luck.

Film isn't really cheap digital, at all.

I paid £390 for my 40d, £15 for my card.
For an equivalent film camera, it would be about £80.

I could buy, expose, and process around 40 films, and then the costs would be even.
That is, in total, between 960 and 1440 photos for the same cost as the 40d.

I have taken 6000 photos with my 40d.
Therefore, in the long run, the digital was cheaper.
 
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And the file sizes of even 35mm film are about 10x that of a medium format didgital capture. Even the new Hassel and Bled to Death.

A scanned neg can give a 300MB file without the grain showing.

Costs? - I don't pay them, the client does! Comparing the cost of the same quality - not the same size camera.

How big a file will your 40D produce? Now look at the size of file you get from a 35mm film scan - and how much would you have to pay to get a digital camera to produce the same quality. You are not looking at like for like!
 
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Adam Loh
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And the file sizes of even 35mm film are about 10x that of a medium format didgital capture. Even the new Hassel and Bled to Death.

A scanned neg can give a 300MB file without the grain showing.

Costs? - I don't pay them, the client does! Comparing the cost of the same quality - not the same size camera.

How big a file will your 40D produce? Now look at the size of file you get from a 35mm film scan - and how much would you have to pay to get a digital camera to produce the same quality. You are not looking at like for like!
Costco gives you 300mb scans? wowowowowo!!

Where is costco? :)
 
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Sean
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There is no denying that film is better on the quality front.
But your argument was that film was cheaper, when it's not :p

The thing I like about digital?

I can come home and get the photos straight away, and within 10 minutes I can have a fully edited photo printed.
You can't get that with film, and the quality increase between 35mm film and a 10mp 40d at the print sizes I use is unnoticeable.

Just can't justify the extra wait, the extra price, etc etc.
 
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Adam Loh
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Since it's only a hobby for me, waiting is OK (since there are no clients chasing me for photographs etc). And since I can only shoot 24 or 36 shots at a time, I'm happier with each shot, also because I need to wait a while after shooting before I can see it, it's like a surprise present every time the shots appear.

I miss the flexibility of being able to change ISO and white balance on the spot, and also to check whether the shot was OK. Also each wasted shot (when I accidentally hit the shutter button) hurts more, one less shot I can take.

Again, as a hobby, it's part of the fun :)

I shoot both digital and film, depending on who I am shooting for (myself or others), and how much I am planning to shoot.
 

grumpybadger

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Paul Beastall
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And the file sizes of even 35mm film are about 10x that of a medium format didgital capture. Even the new Hassel and Bled to Death.

A scanned neg can give a 300MB file without the grain showing.
I'm sorry but I'm not convinced by that. Yes, you can scan film to make very high resolution scans but I genuinely think you can get a better quality image from a high end digital sensor. Comparing analogue film to a digital sensor is not that straightforward.

Yes you will get a bigger file, but will it contain more useful information?

There's an interesting article at http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/digital-versus-film-resolution.html
 
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I can easily shoot 700-1500 shots in a weekend, by the op's logic that would be about £400 every weekend, which would be the same as buying a new D300 every couple of weeks :thinking:

care to explain how that works out as cheaper?? ;)
 
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Darren
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care to explain how that works out as cheaper??
Can't you see, it's soooooo simple??

As a film user you would, over time, start to adopt less of the numbers game approach to your shooting and more of a skills set game. This in turn would lead to an increase in confidence in your shooting abilities. This increase in confidence would not stop at your weekend shooting but start to pervade to the furthest corners of your existence. You would start to collect more respect, more influence and more of a reputation as a high powered achiever. I know, I know, you're way ahead of me at this point aren't you........ before you know it, you will be working for massively increased amounts compared to where you are now.

Having so much more money in bank as a result of simply moving over to film can only be seen as just one of the many ways that film is still the cheaper medium. ;):D:D
 
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digital backs have 12 stops of dynamic range, something you wont get on film
NPS160 has a good 10 stops, and I think Tri-X has a bit more, maybe 12, processing always has an impact on visible dynamic range though, I guess its the same for digital files.
Fact is, you can shoot 10-12 stops with a £2.50 roll of film and 20 quids worth of film camera, that's something you can't say about digital, which kinda supports this threads ideals.
 
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Digital is so much cheaper! but also theirs no waiting on prints theirs no wondering if they mucked up the developing. The only thing I use film for is medium & large format as you can't beat that!! but 35mm is basicly dead.
FILM IS ALIVE AND KICKING ( ASS )
 
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Adam Loh
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My dslr has lots of dust on the sensor and I left my sensor cleaning brush at home.

So I'll be shooting film tomorrow :D heehaw... a brand new sensor every shot :p
 
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Digital is so much cheaper! but also theirs no waiting on prints theirs no wondering if they mucked up the developing. The only thing I use film for is medium & large format as you can't beat that!! but 35mm is basicly dead.
Maybe but digital also looks like crap out of camera and almost nearly everytime needs pp.I'm a pacient person in both composing my shots and waiting for my film I normally goto the micro brewery pub next door while I wait so its not all wasted.Never had any film mucked up :shrug:(y)I'm just speaking from my own experience though :)
 
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Alistair Vannet
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The thing that I find huge as well is if I'm doing a still life or other things I can use the digital screen and see instantly what the lighting and composition is like. With film you still have to wait on a polaroide and then check it and if it’s not what you want you have to re-load the camera if you’re shooting again.
 
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I must think of another worm to dangle now.......but the cost of film is still the smallest cost of going on a shoot. You stick £50 in the tank and its gone in 250 miles. The biggest cost is not the film and processing - it is the getting there and accommodation. So film cost is more or less irrelevant.

Time scale - for magazines it isn't an issue because generally we are working months ahead. For instant news shots - no comparison. Digital can be there on the designers desktop within seconds of being shot from anywhere in the world. BUT, the quality thing - that still holds true. The same quality as scanned 35mm costs megabucks to shoot on a sensor, about £24,000 last time I checked - and not as fast or portable, and uses batteries as fast as Chernobyl could churn out electrons.
 
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Darren
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NPS160 has a good 10 stops, and I think Tri-X has a bit more, maybe 12, processing always has an impact on visible dynamic range though, I guess its the same for digital files.
Fact is, you can shoot 10-12 stops with a £2.50 roll of film and 20 quids worth of film camera, that's something you can't say about digital, which kinda supports this threads ideals.
You know I love the real deal and when time allows, I'd far rather be looking at a great slab of ground glass than a histogram. I have to disagree with that though, I've worked in commercial darkrooms, processing and printing from all sorts of film and I shoot with a digiback.

There is no film I ever saw that can match the dynamic range of 16 bit capture. Personally, I get more excited by the quality of the tones within the image than it's range but there it is. :)
 
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John
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Ah well, you didn't say anything about transport, board & lodgings, you can't chuck that in, it doesn't change the basic costs of shooting each format.
If you're saying, in the big scheme of things, the cost of materials is a drop in the ocean compared with other associated costs, I'd agree with that.
I think dazzajl has it right, even with tongue in cheek, the savings are made by using less.
That reminds me, I need to make the effort to turn out the lights, shut down the boiler and not drive so far, this will take effort and thought about how I use the fuel I buy....:)

stuff the water, I need gallons for developing:LOL:
 
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Andy Jones
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BUT, the quality thing - that still holds true. The same quality as scanned 35mm costs megabucks to shoot on a sensor, about £24,000 last time I checked - and not as fast or portable, and uses batteries as fast as Chernobyl could churn out electrons.
I'd be interested to see a 100% crop from one of these scans because experience tells me otherwise. DSLR sensors turn out cleaner images with detail the like of which I've never seen from 35mm film and I've seen literally millions of frames through a lupe or enlager over the years.

Touching on a couple of earlier points.

WB adjustment from a scan is about as useful as it is with a DSLR jpg, not even close to what you can do with the raw data digital serves up.

If you are working with scanned jpgs then there's no need to edit from the source file each time, the first time you save the edit change the file to tiff and you're now using a lossless format so there's no need to worry about a drop in quality.
 

AliB

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I read an interesting comment from the printer who printed the late Bob Carlos Clarkes work that is on permanent display at Marco Pierre White's restaurant in this month's Professional Photographer mag.

He said that he still preferred working with film (Carlos Clarke never went digital) and one reason was that he shot in black and white most of the time. Now as we all know black and white is a different ball game to colour when comparing film and digital capture.

The comment that piques my interest though was because they were printing large images and in black and white they preferred film because they found that film produced tones and in the differentiation of tones and in the shadows, film still had detail where digital produced noise.

So film still has the quality on it's side when it comes to detail in black and white. I suppose that until we have sensors where the pixel size is the equivalent to a grain of silver halide at ISO100 it always will, and even then it's a chemical reaction with silver halide not 1's and 0's.

As for cost. Yes I'd have to agree at the outset that digital is probably cheaper than film but then this thread did make me think. I bought a Mamiya 645 with three lenses for under £200. Film costs about £1.50 a roll and I develop and scan myself. Chemical costs £50 (a year) scanner was only £130. Total costs? even if I shot 100 rolls of film it would be under £500.

My 1Ds to get a comparable quality to the Mamiya cost five times that! With no lenses.

With digital however I got through about 6000 shots in a year, that would be hurtful on film so Dazz's point of taking a lot less shots but of higher quality is extremely valid. We have the luxury of being trigger happy with digital.

The Mamiya is still going strong despite being in excess of 20 years old, the 1Ds will need replacing in 5.

Point taken. :)
 
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So film still has the quality on it's side when it comes to detail in black and white. I suppose that until we have sensors where the pixel size is the equivalent to a grain of silver halide at ISO100 it always will, and even then it's a chemical reaction with silver halide not 1's and 0's.
Developed film is, in effect, digital. Either a tiny bit of silver is left behind or dissolved depending on the development time. Tonality comes from the distribution of those bits of silver.

Of course this is a grossly simplifiied version but the point here is that a single pixel in a digital image represents a lot more information than a single silver halide, with current sensors about 16383x more information ;)
 

AliB

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So if current sensors are more sensitive than the silver halide of film, why is B&W digital still crap? :naughty:
 
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So if current sensors are more sensitive than the silver halide of film, why is B&W digital still crap? :naughty:
It's all down to how to sensors work. :) Each pixel has the ability to register one single value for brightness. On a standard digi camera there are something like 5000 values between black and white, not so different to the range you'd expect in b&w film. The difference is that with film this range is equally spread between the hightlights and shadows.

With a sensor, a full half of that 5000 is given to the brightest 5th of the image, half of what's left goes to the next 5th and so on. By the time you get to the bottom section, the shadow detail, you have just 150 odd different values to portray all that detail.

This is why film has that rich creamy quality when it comes to b&w prints. :)
 

AliB

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Thanks Dazz, off to root out the Mamiya again, I need a fix! :D
 
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With a sensor, a full half of that 5000 is given to the brightest 5th of the image, half of what's left goes to the next 5th and so on. By the time you get to the bottom section, the shadow detail, you have just 150 odd different values to portray all that detail.
Remember that film is essential 0s and 1s collected together in some kind pattern (the grain) to represent shades of grey. Take a section of that film the size of a pixel from a digital sensor then break it down into a grid where each cell is the size of a halide clump, typically 4 halides are needed to form a clump during development.

Within the pixel sized grid there are only so many ways the clumps can be on or off to represent a given tone and this works exactly the same as bit distribution in a digital file. Let's say the grid is 16x16 clumps giving a total of 256 squares. All on means black, all off means white. To get mid grey you need half on, 128 squares. A regular pattern of on/off/on/off would do it or alternative rows or columns.

Of course the grid isn't regular cells and the clumps don't fit neatly together but the basic idea is the same, turning cells on or off to give the impression of tones and for a given section you come up against the same limit.

I used 16x16 in the example simply because it added up to 256 and not because it's an accurate representation of the size of the halides compared to a pixel on a digital sensor. But 16(clumps)x4(halides)=64 per cell and 64x64cells=4096 halides needed to represent the same tonality as a pixel in an 8bit jpeg.

The tonality of film wins over because of the grain, especially in subtle gradients such as skies. The lack of grain is what gives digital the advantage when it comes to cleanliness and details.

Of course another way to discount the bit distribution argument is to consider what happens when you scan a neg or print and it ends up turned into 1s and 0s ;)
 
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