Thinking "film" vs digital.

simon ess

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#41
There's no way I'll bracket with film.

Much cheaper to learn how to read values and properly expose a scene.

Loads of leeway with neg. film anyway.
 
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droj
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#42
Not saying I'm right and spray-and-pray is wrong. Just what works for me.
Well, actually ... I know that we're talking about photography, but I can relate it to other activities. Imagine a craftsperson - never mind what sort - a seasoned craftsperson, well-versed in their chosen medium and the techniques of working it. When engaged on a project, no matter how elaborate, even a groundbreaking one, I bet that you'll find that they cultivate an economy of means to arrive at the chosen end. And there's an elegance in that. A layperson or even a client of that craftsperson might not recognise this, but a fellow craftsperson certainly should have the insight that this is how it works.

But back to photography, you don't have to spray and pray to take a toadstool or a sunset, but birds in flight or fast-moving sports might reward a 'motordrive' approach.

We've all seen this, haven't we? https://www.beyondwords.co.uk/magnum-contact-sheets
 
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#44
Film v digital? Well, I prefer both! When I take photographs for work I'm glad of the instant and 'checkable before you leave site' convenience that digital cameras give. In fact, digital cameras are one of the best inventions in recent years in my opinion. I also love the low light performance of modern DSLRs, and their ability to produce great looking photos in mediocre lighting conditions.

However, I love the harsh honesty of film... get the exposure a bit out and you'll know all about it, but get it right and it's a great feeling looking at a perfectly exposed black and white photo, or the gorgeous tones of a colour shot. I also like the discipline that having as few as 8 shots per roll of 120 film instils in me, not much room for trial and error there!

For me, it's horses for courses when it comes to which type of camera I pick up. If I want to do some leisurely photography and the light is conducive to what I want to achieve then I'll take one (or more) of my old film cameras out with me. If I want to take some photos for work, or want to do a bit of social documentary type photography where speed and the ability to check the exposure (particularly if using fill-in flash) and make sure I've got the shots before I go home, then I'll use digital.

I see digital v film as being something akin to having a classic car. You'll most likely use your modern car for everyday motoring and work, but if the sun is shining and you're not in a rush, then burbling down some quite country lanes in classic car can be a real joy. The end result is similar in that you'll eventually arrive at your destination, but sometimes it's nice to savour the journey itself.
 
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#45
Well both formats are capable of the same results it’s the methodology that changes and some will prefer one and some the other. I’m glad my days in the dark room are long behind me but I don’t enjoy spending hours at a pc either.

For me the biggest focus shift that has to take place in digital is the idea to ‘get it right in camera’. Of course we should get it as right as we can and I’m not advocating sloppy camera work but in digital photography the second pc you use is just as important as the first pc you use. The first pc being the camera!!
 
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#46
Well both formats are capable of the same results it’s the methodology that changes and some will prefer one and some the other. I’m glad my days in the dark room are long behind me but I don’t enjoy spending hours at a pc either.

For me the biggest focus shift that has to take place in digital is the idea to ‘get it right in camera’. Of course we should get it as right as we can and I’m not advocating sloppy camera work but in digital photography the second pc you use is just as important as the first pc you use. The first pc being the camera!!
Yes, the "Oh I like to get it right in camera" crowd do annoy me (a bit). From a film background "getting it right in camera" is a given and it didn't need to be stated.
 
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#47
The more photos you take the more crap photos you take but also the more good photos. If you don't then you're doing it wrong.
Why not ditch your digital camera altogether and buy a high resolution GoPro or similar videocamera then? Just sit down at then end of the day and select the frames that worked!
 
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#48
Why not ditch your digital camera altogether and buy a high resolution GoPro or similar videocamera then? Just sit down at then end of the day and select the frames that worked!
That's exactly what I do! (y)
 
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#49
Yes, the "Oh I like to get it right in camera" crowd do annoy me (a bit). From a film background "getting it right in camera" is a given and it didn't need to be stated.
Yes it’s viewing digital photography through the eyes of film and that’s very very limiting.
 
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#50
Why not ditch your digital camera altogether and buy a high resolution GoPro or similar videocamera then? Just sit down at then end of the day and select the frames that worked!
Again don’t limit yourself by what new tech can offer, ok it might not be for you or me but many great images have been grabbed from video frames.
 
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#51
How do you define a "keeper".
I'm going through my negs right now to see which I want to print this winter.
They're just sleeved, no dates, locations or anything, its turning in to a bit of a mare.
I've split the b/w's up by format just to make the job appear manageable, I can't even get my head around what to do with the slide.
Anyway, within the next few days I should have a count on total b/w 6x6 frames shot, from which I can decide what are worth the effort of printing, I guess that will indicate my "keeper" ratio.....:rolleyes:
Forget the slide, I want to print them all, they're just so damn beautiful off the bat but that just isn't sensible...
 
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#53
How do you define a "keeper".
A subjective matter, but I'd definitely recommend a good A3-sized lightbox. If you haven't one, and want to make your own, the stuff to get is 40% transmission opal acrylic (aka Perspex). Bang a light source under it and though the illumination will be uneven you're good enough to go. For mono or colour neg the colour temp is irrelevant. For colour positives, your eyes will make the necessary adjustments. An 8x loupe is a handy counterpart.
 

West Camera

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#54
I originally did film beginning back in 1970. Then cameras were completely manual with nothing electronic but the light meter. Shooting was laborious with some shots taking 10 or more minutes to do when in the field if not longer. But, I very much enjoyed the physical darkroom. Today, I enjoy shooting most and the digital darkroom the least. I think shooting film teaches one very important quality - patience; patience no so much with the equipment but, more with oneself. In digital I think we expect everything to go fast. Maybe it is the times we live in - instant gratification. Or maybe it is simply a lost art such as making wagon wheels. The idea of shooting lots of photos to get a few good ones is not lost on me either. I do the same. And, I think it is simply a lack of patience on my part. Am so glad, sometimes, there is burst mode.
 
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#55
In Y2K I bought a dedicated film scanner and a bulk length of E6 and chems..... I did not apreciate the price/quality ratio of anything widgetal at the time, and TBH, that now twenty year old film scanner still chucks out digi-pics with as many mega-pixies and better colour depth than anything I could afford wigitally until perhaps five years ago.....

Meanwhile I had acquired a P&S digi-pact, which 'Grandad' raved about, vaunting the WYSIWYG postage stamp LCD screen on the back, being like an SLR; 3x optical and however much digi zoom, being to him 'every lens you'll ever want'...... which didn't quite pan out, especially since I like/want Fishe-eyes!! But still....

When, err number four wigi-pact pact-up... Oh-Kay, two of them were helped by childs, but still, they DONT make'rm like they used to! I found out that actually they DONT make them at all, any more! And I bought an entry level Nikon D3200 Entry level DSLR cos it was as cheap as any compact, and I could fit a fish-eye! And promiced to be a tad more durable than the digi-pacts....

After oooh.. 3 years, and buying a 55-300 zoom, buying the 4.5mm fish I wanted, an 8-18UWA to 'sort' of get the lens coverage I had for film SLR's... adding a couplr more batteries, a travel charger, couple of half fast SD cards etc etc etc.... you know..... I could have bought a HECK of a lot of film for what I've spent, AND a ne scanner, AND had change, and probably as many or more decent photos for it..... A-N-D souping film in the kitchen, PROBABLY has pictures to look at as fast and certainly for more 'fun' than the supposedly cost-less and 'instant' Digital....

As said film is NOT dead, and IF anything, the loss of the pocket widgetal has seen me stick the Oly XA2 back in my pocket, to back up the digi in the gadget back in the boot of the car..... and from that leave the Digi at home and take the old all-prime M42 sxrew 'set' out and get that bit more involved persevering with the antique film SLR....

THAT is how I have handled the transition......

DSLR has replaced the winder equipped 'fast-foto' kit; the trusty old film compact that was supplanted by the digi-pact has come full circle and re-repl;aced the digi-pact, DSLR has encouraged me to get out the 'slo-photo' film SLR more/again to get precious with..... And its all cost me a lot more than it EVER did when I bought E6 in bulk lengths to home process".. take whatever moral suits from it!
 
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#57
My transition wasn't so much a transition as a break. I started taking photos in the mid 1960s and continued until the mid/late 1990s. Even though I still had (and continue to have my 35mm camera) I just took fewer and fewer shots. About 10 years ago I started photgraphy again and this time with a digital.

The imposed disciple of taking only a few shots from the days of film has stayed with me. However, as I take more landscapes than anything else taking loads of shots is not so much of an issue, though there are times (sitting a few feet from a family of pine martens, for example) when I'll fire off loads; and being able to take a shot ans instantly see the outcome is really useful.

Dave
 
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#58
I'm a bit late to this party but -

For those that used to use film before there was digital could it be that IF film had been as easy and as cheap to process as digital that you would have taken more? The medium forced you to take less and take more care (not a bad thing don't get me wrong) but it wasn't a free choice as such.

Comparing film photography from 'back in the day' before digital was even a twinkle in your fathers eye to modern day digital photography isn't really a straight comparison, it's like comparing bananas with pineapples, they're both fruits but they're completely different.
 
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#59
Thanks for the replies. It would seem there is a broad range between our members from strong deliberation before firing to "machine gun" or video.
I suppose it depends on the subject matter. For landscape I think long and hard. For sport its burst burst!
My biggest miss is the Nikon trap focus. Thats really lazy, but great. May have to go back to nikon just for that.
 
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#60
The medium forced you to take less and take more care (not a bad thing don't get me wrong) but it wasn't a free choice as such.
Yes. It was less problematic with 35mm (especially if you used half-frame) but quite harsh if using 120 film and were limited to 12 or even 8 shots before the fun of reloading. I don't buy that it made for better pictures but it certainly meant that the better the viewfinder the more chance of getting a keeper if you were recording something involving rapid change.
 

Asha

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#61
As a one time film guy I've come back to photography via digital.
In my film days I was relatively fussy with my shooting. Only 36 on a roll plus the expense of processing/printing focused the mind.

Digital seems to be a different methodology. Though we want to get it right in camera we know we have raw/LR/PS to fall back on and shooting is "free". A lot of guys/gals on youtube seem to shoot 500 shots a day, more in the hope of getting a keeper.
Have you made the transition and how have you handled it?
Digital photography for me personally offers very little if any self satisfaction.
I play about taking snapshots usually to share with my mother who lives in the UK especially now with a suitable mobile phone but it is extremely rare that I venture out with with my dslr .
Tbh I could quiet easily be tempted to sell it. As it is I have my old dlsr for sale atm which iirc was purchased new in 2007.......it has a shutter count of less than 5000
I think that speaks for itself!
 
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#62
For those that used to use film before there was digital could it be that IF film had been as easy and as cheap to process as digital that you would have taken more?
Pros where certainly shooting as much in the film days as they are shooting now in digital. Digital removed the cost barrier so amateurs could shoot as much as the pros (and thus get more keepers).

This contact sheet from Richard Kalvar shows it best, he's shot the best part of a roll to get one photo. If he had a digital camera I'd image he'd of shot the same number of photos.
https://www.magnumphotos.com/theory-and-practice/contact-sheet-richard-kalvar-woman-window/

 
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#63
Pros where certainly shooting as much in the film days as they are shooting now in digital.
That would depend a very great deal on who you're talking about. Take press photography which I know a bit about as my early life was in the newspaper industry.

During the 1960s staff men would commonly use a 6x6 TLR or a 35mm rangefinder. It was typical for them to draw film once a day and enter the number of rolls in a stock book. Film being the sort of thing that might easily "shrink" the general manager or someone in his office would check the book regularly against the stock. Typically an operator would manage half a dozen jobs on one 35mm film and 3 to 4 on a 120. I worked on 6 different local or regional newspapers and that was how it worked at all of them.

There were probably 50 or more local newspaper photographers for each of the people shooting high volumes of film at that time. The average number of operators at the newspapers I worked for was 3 though when I worked at a regional there 5 permanent photographers plus a variable number of frequently used freelances who were entitled to draw film from stock.

This job involved a Mamiya TLR and 1 roll of HP5. God help me if I'd come back without a usable shot!

LundyIslandFirstDayCover.jpeg
 
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#64
Pros where certainly shooting as much in the film days as they are shooting now in digital. Digital removed the cost barrier so amateurs could shoot as much as the pros (and thus get more keepers).

This contact sheet from Richard Kalvar shows it best, he's shot the best part of a roll to get one photo. If he had a digital camera I'd image he'd of shot the same number of photos.
https://www.magnumphotos.com/theory-and-practice/contact-sheet-richard-kalvar-woman-window/
...

This job involved a Mamiya TLR and 1 roll of HP5. God help me if I'd come back without a usable shot!
Which backs up my hypothesis I guess. Those that could afford to, either through work or their own finances, would shoot more photos, and those that couldn't, wouldn't.

So it isn't necessarily a given that people just shoot off hundreds now and it never happened pre-digital, but there was a time and cost consideration to take into account that forced a choice. That cost and time barrier is now gone but like most have said, me included, I can't think of anything worse than coming back from a shoot to have to go through 500 shoots of 3 different subjects.

The 'fun' of easily rattling off shots is soon lost after 3 hours in front of LR just pressing x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,p,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x

You get my point :ROFLMAO:
 
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#65
I love the freedom to experiemnet that digital brings - I don't have to "get my monies worth" from every image, so I'm free to create and then drop the result in the bin if it didn't work without a care in the world. 'See' an image as you walk past? Just grab it and move on. For some, images require careful, cautious crafting, each element placed just so, and I can do that but it's more likely to result in an image without life as I over-think and over-work the process.

The 'fun' of easily rattling off shots is soon lost after 3 hours in front of LR just pressing x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,p,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x,x
TBH it's a lot less painful than either scrutinising a contact sheet with a loupe, trannies on a lightbox or dropping 6x4s in the bin. :)
 
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#66
There's room for both digital and film and each to their own. Why does it have to be one or the other? I came to photography when there was only film, I went over to digital when I thought it gave as good results as film but I have now come back to film very recently and intend to shoot both going forward. I like both for different reasons. As for the earlier divergence into which is most important subject light etc, my view is the subject is first because without a subject you don't have a picture then composition of that subject to best show it then the best light to show it in but it's a 3 legged stool which whatever leg fails means the whole stool fails. They are all 3 inextricable IMO.
 
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#68
Because by polarising, we can form tribes that provide a tighter-knit peer group who we hope will support us and our beliefs against those on the outside - who are WRONG. ;)
...because I am a sad fat git who sits here in his underwear stuffing his face and pretending I'm cleverer than everyone else. :dummy:
 
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#69
In my film days I rarely could be arsed to take photos, partly due to the expense and mostly as I never had the control I'd like

As soon as I switched to digital my love of photography finally found its home, and I couldn't love it more in both the shooting and the PP :)

Dave
 
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#70
In my film days I rarely could be arsed to take photos, partly due to the expense and mostly as I never had the control I'd like

As soon as I switched to digital my love of photography finally found its home, and I couldn't love it more in both the shooting and the PP :)

Dave
So do I but even with digital I am still very stingy in what I photograph. Which I put down to my "film" past.
I know its my problem. I need to get over it. At present though if I dont know what shutter action got my best shot, I was lucky. Sad but true.
 
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#72
I know its my problem. I need to get over it.
or perhaps embrace it. All I know is that in general the more images I bring back the lower the percentage I'm happy with. However: like all rules there are exceptions. :thinking:
 

West Camera

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#73
I'm a bit late to this party but -

For those that used to use film before there was digital could it be that IF film had been as easy and as cheap to process as digital that you would have taken more? The medium forced you to take less and take more care (not a bad thing don't get me wrong) but it wasn't a free choice as such.

Comparing film photography from 'back in the day' before digital was even a twinkle in your fathers eye to modern day digital photography isn't really a straight comparison, it's like comparing bananas with pineapples, they're both fruits but they're completely different.
You bring up a thoughtful point here in the first part of your remarks. There is a very fundamental mistaken assumption throughout this conversation. Not all film photography was the same. The assumption is that the break point between film photography and digital photography is when celluloid was replaced by a sensor. Among film photographers there are other distinguishing differences as well. I used a Nikkormat SLR in 1969 which was entirely manual in every respect but the light meter. In approximately 1972 Konica was the first camera company (as I recall) to develop an SLR camera that employed some aspects of electronic exposure. Thereafter as the years passed SLR's became ever more electronic. This is an important point to make because it poses an interesting question. Does digital begin when the sensor replaces the celluloid or is digital simply an extension of the trend of applying electronics more and more to the camera's operation as begun by Konica?

Why is this important? Simple. The fully manual camera was a very demanding tool to use that took a great deal of time to learn to use properly. As more and more electronics were applied to the camera's operation the easier to use it became. Thus more and more people became photographers rather than brownie snap shooters as they had been before. It seems to me that when the manufacturers figured out how to replace the celluloid with a sensor that is not what others seem to think it was - the point where digital began. Rather it was simply a developmental step in the development of the electronic camera as first started by Konica in 1972.

Thus to your question of what digital looked like in your father's eye I would say he probably was not all that surprised. It was just another extension of the process of using an electronic camera over a fully manual one. And, the fully manual one he probably never had used himself. You grand father had been the user of that camera.

Which all brings us up to the next step - the smart phone camera. A completely electronic camera with no moving parts whatsoever. Convenience (ease of use) is what produces more photos shot. Not film vs digital. So, we have come full circle. The smart phone becomes the brownie camera of the digital age. And, would be photographers resume being snap shooters once again. We have come full circle.

So to answer the question of which is preferred - film or sensor - to shoot with, the answer really is which ever is most convenient. It is not cost. Convenience is the determinant. Which of course means that maybe there is something else still not yet developed that awaits in the future that may supplant the sensor.
 
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#74
Irrespective of the medium being film or sensor, I can't see the advantage of a pray and spray approach for static subjects. The craft is to assess the lighting, visualise the shot, decide what settings are appropriate and frame it in the viewfinder. Remember "One shot is what it's all about. A deer's gotta be taken with one shot." - Michael (Robert De Niro) in The Deer Hunter?

But if a photographic subject's in motion, position and framing are harder to assess, so more shots will give scope for selection.

I wouldn't use full auto (program) exposure on a film camera possessing it any more than I would on (for instance) a dslr. We can embrace accidents but control is normally the aim. True in any era, never mind the nature of the technology.

Film, though, has a different texture, a different look, and to me this is the separator.
 
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Andysnap

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#75
Amidst all the philosophy (and let's be honest, waffle) in this thread there lies a simple truth, EACH TO THEIR OWN. It matters not a jot what anyone else thinks, as in all things it is merely a matter of what you enjoy, what floats your boat.
Obviously there are some who found digital a freeing development that allowed their creativity to come out and there are others for whom film is the way forward, some like both, it's all good, do what you want with whatever tools suit your phsyche. Turns out that when your an adult it's ok to make your own decisions and sod the rest of them.
End of, move on :D:snaphappy:(y)
 

Asha

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#76
The fully manual camera was a very demanding tool to use that took a great deal of time to learn to use properly. .
To anyone who understands the fundamental basics of photography (think box brownie), learning how to operate a film camera is a doddle.
The menus in menus with all the bells and whistles of digital can make the learning curve of some kit much more severe.
This however could also be said for a few of the later slr cameras such as the Nikon F70 with its “space age”, as it seemed back then, lcd readout.

By contrast if computers and similar devices are your “thing” then the chances are that a dslr will pose little ,if any difficulty.
.
Give me ANY film camera and I’ll figure it out almost immediately, hand me a digital and I feel totally confused.
 
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#77
To anyone who understands the fundamental basics of photography (think box brownie), learning how to operate a film camera is a doddle.
The menus in menus with all the bells and whistles of digital can make the learning curve of some kit much more severe.
This however could also be said for a few of the later slr cameras such as the Nikon F70 with its “space age”, as it seemed back then, lcd readout.

By contrast if computers and similar devices are your “thing” then the chances are that a dslr will pose little ,if any difficulty.
.
Give me ANY film camera and I’ll figure it out almost immediately, hand me a digital and I feel totally confused.
Agree with you there! I lone the simplicity of my Rollei, and previously Leica and Nikon film when you just take off a lens cap, set exposure, focus and click! With new cameras there are so many choices with focus zones and the like.
 
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#78
Agree with you there! I lone the simplicity of my Rollei, and previously Leica and Nikon film when you just take off a lens cap, set exposure, focus and click! With new cameras there are so many choices with focus zones and the like.
On my Lumix cameras the focus zones are a nightmare. I keep resetting them but any contact with the screen will move it. Even though i constantly try to "fix"it.
 

Nod

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#79
the fundamental basics of photography (think box brownie)

Surely the Box Brownies were the most basic thing available - literally point, press, wind on, repeat? (Hell, the very first ones had a sight rather than a viewfinder!)
 
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