How do you make digital look like film ????

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richard
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Well as one gets older and eyesight no longer 20/20 then film and digital start to look the same - particularly if you don’t clean your glasses very often. We have nice big 4k tvs but leave them on SD most of the time - can’t tell the difference.

Seriously though, I haven’t really seen a film sim (sooc or post ) than convinces me.
I thing using old lenses can help like the helios mentioned or sonnars.

I am not a purest and my last go at wet processing was about 5 decades ago and my results them ranged from adequate to dire.

Just as a consumer film user, I am happy shooting the odd c41 roll and getting it processed in a lab and scanning it in at home. The only difference I see from sending off to get prints done in the old days is that the results are far better - they retain all of that film look ( shot on 35mm on contax/ zeiss glass ) without the naff print quality.

No doubt a good photographer can get stunning results from modern film stock - and preferably a medium format film camera.

As an aside, for monochrome ( which I still develop ), I prefer images from my nikon v1 at 800 iso or more. Partly because of the low mpx, the sensor behaviour and the way the noise comes in - it can mimic film,even pushed triX, fairly well.
 
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Alan
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Mr Badger has really good thoughts and his analogy (vegan food vs. top-quality bacon) makes perfect sense. You can use various effects or grainy photo filters but they won't make your digital look like you want them to. You can't fully replace sugar with sweeteners and claim that's the same because it's not.
It's the wrong analogy IMO.

IMO more apt would be how do I make my modern reliable hatchback more like the tatty old rattling heap grandad owned and spent his evenings and weekend fettling with grease and ironmongering tools.

I do understand why people see digital as sterile but I think that's the wrong word, clinical may be more accurate but with enough investment in processing power and time you can perhaps get digital to look something like film with grain and scratches and hairs and vignetting and off colours and soft corners and splodges and busy bokeh and everything else just as you could loosen a few nuts and bolts and get that reliable hatchback to break down twice a day and handle like a drunken cow being Tazered but you'll perhaps have real problems getting film to look as consistent and accurate as digital just as you'll face real problems getting that 1950's nightmare rust bucket to handle as well and be as reliable as a modern car.

I'd start with the free version of Nik filters.
 
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BADGER.BRAD
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Brad
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more apt would be how do I make my modern reliable hatchback more like the tatty old rattling heap grandad owned and spent his evenings and weekend fettling with grease and ironmongering tools.
you could loosen a few nuts and bolts and get that reliable hatchback to break down twice a day and handle like a drunken cow being Tazered
You have just described my 20 year old £200 banger to a tee ! The only thing is it's a £200 banger to go and spend £15,000 and then convert it to a banger would be some what more expensive to achieve and would take more effort ! :):):)
 
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119
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I am about to get slaughtered by the purists but darktable has a filmic RGB module which might be worth trying.........?
 
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David
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Does it matter. I visited an international B&W Salon that still had a separate Analogue sections. While they had some good entries given that those who won awards etc. were probably very experienced photographers anyway. I could not readily see the difference between the analogue and digital work and could certainly not suggest that one was better than the other. I then got a group of the analogue workers together and asked them to explain how the images are different. They all claimed that they could tell if the image was sourced from film bearing in mind that many of the film workers were scanning and printing on an ink jet. However, they were not claiming that one or the other was better but just different. When asked to show me what the difference was they did then suggest the the film based images were a little softer.

It is true that many digital images are over sharpened which may be giving them a bad name but to achieve anywhere near the dynamic range of a modern digital camera you would have to work very hard with film/processing to achieve that. I recall that we had a well know wildlife photographer to the club about 5 years ago who came with conventional slides. We had not seen slides at the club since 2005 so many older members were reminded just how bad 35mm slides were and many of the newer club member were seeing slides for the first time. We had lots of complaints about the poor quality images which was a pity as what the photographer had captured was very good but it was difficult for them to see past the poor quality.

Dave
 
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18,162
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Toni
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Does it matter. I visited an international B&W Salon that still had a separate Analogue sections. While they had some good entries given that those who won awards etc. were probably very experienced photographers anyway. I could not readily see the difference between the analogue and digital work and could certainly not suggest that one was better than the other. I then got a group of the analogue workers together and asked them to explain how the images are different. They all claimed that they could tell if the image was sourced from film bearing in mind that many of the film workers were scanning and printing on an ink jet. However, they were not claiming that one or the other was better but just different. When asked to show me what the difference was they did then suggest the the film based images were a little softer.

It is true that many digital images are over sharpened which may be giving them a bad name but to achieve anywhere near the dynamic range of a modern digital camera you would have to work very hard with film/processing to achieve that. I recall that we had a well know wildlife photographer to the club about 5 years ago who came with conventional slides. We had not seen slides at the club since 2005 so many older members were reminded just how bad 35mm slides were and many of the newer club member were seeing slides for the first time. We had lots of complaints about the poor quality images which was a pity as what the photographer had captured was very good but it was difficult for them to see past the poor quality.

Dave
I suspect most of the difference is in the head of the user, and that's not necessarily bad, but it doesn't help when perception is NOT reality.

Slides always were the most difficult to get right, with not even 1/3 stop leeway and almost every camera had a sucky metering system. I'm not sure I could even produce good slides anymore, even with a modern cameras metering.
 
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droj
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members were reminded just how bad 35mm slides were
Or maybe it was the camera users who were at fault ...? Given that 35mm slide film was a mainstay for many commercial purposes, and certainly capable of producing decent A3 prints (on Ciba or via scans). But yes, its exposure was a good discipline and one that is translatable to the realm of digital. Protecting the highlights was key.
 
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droj
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I'm biased heavily towards a root attitude that you shouldn't be trying to make something look like something else. Which might be a difficult argument to maintain, since all photography is artifice, no?
 
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Toni
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I'm biased heavily towards a root attitude that you shouldn't be trying to make something look like something else. Which might be a difficult argument to maintain, since all photography is artifice, no?
Like for the artifice comment.
 
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David
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Or maybe it was the camera users who were at fault ...? Given that 35mm slide film was a mainstay for many commercial purposes, and certainly capable of producing decent A3 prints (on Ciba or via scans). But yes, its exposure was a good discipline and one that is translatable to the realm of digital. Protecting the highlights was key.
The particular photographer was a professional with an international reputation but that is irrelevant. The fact is that typical 35mm slides were limited to 6-7 stops DR. As now, we tried to avoid burnt out areas so adjusted the exposure to just avoid this. Given that almost all scenes we photographed have a DR much greater than this, one had no choice but to accept blocked shadows. Of course this was why many preferred to use negative which were not so limited. For studio photography this did not need to be a problem as you could control the lighting. The size of any prints is irrelevant as I was not referring to resolution.

I recall using mainly B&W and Colour negative film at that time to avoid these limitations. In my Camera Club competitions in the 1980's, I was the only one processing and printing from colour negatives which gave me a huge advantage for prints.

Dave
 
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Garry
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I've spent a few years trying to emulate film but, since the last film I remember shooting (and developing in my Dad's darkroom) was from an old Brownie box camera, I don't really know what I'm doing. However, having spent some time today playing with a Sunagor 24mm Nikon-mount lens on my Fuji X-E2 set to the Velvia film simulation, I produced this SOOC jpeg. Can someone who knows film let me know how close I'm getting? Thanks.

 
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