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Craig

Is there still a place for film photography?

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Craig

Is there still room for film photography?

 

Today I'd imagine that, in the end, most photography ends up in some printed format, CDs, DVD covers, posters, packaging etc.

 

With that in mind, I've been wondering. With the advances of digital technology and the ability to take in loads of information in RAW format, is there still a place for film photography?

 

If so, where?

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RISadler

Advantages of film over digital...

  1. In certain lighting conditions, film is the only medium currently capable of capturing the full range... digital equals slide which equals about 6 to 8 stops of dynamic range, whereas negative and B&W is about 8 to 10 stops.
  2. You cannot photograph laser displays with digital, as it destroys the sensor cells.
  3. Film cameras and lenses are cheaper than digital cameras, they need not be "upgraded" every few years (or is than months) and for low volume photography works out heaps cheaper.
  4. A fully manual film camera requires no extra batteries, no chargers, no laptops and no other accoutrements to weigh you down or make you a target for muggers and bushwackers.
  5. But the best advantage over digital is 120 film.

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BumbleBee

Film photography definitely still has its place with the die hard photography gurus, serious hobbyists and professional photographers....oh, and the technologically challenged :rolleyes:

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Craig
....oh, and the technologically challenged :rolleyes:

 

Oh dear.. you may not be too popular for that one :P

 

For me though, I'd find it easier to deal with the digital side of things. (i.e. historically challenged :P)

 

What about post-production work though? Obviously there will have to be some level of decent picture-taking, but isn't there some unrivalled magic in what you can do with the editing?

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RISadler

Most decent 1-Hour Labs will scan your negatives for a small fee, because they do it anyway in order to print them. (They don't use optical machines anymore.)

 

A good flatbed scanner capable of scanning films at 4800dpi (that's 30 megapixel resolution for 35mm film) will cost you about R3000,00.

 

Consumer-grade colour negative film cost about R25 for a roll of 36 exposures and professional-grade color negatives, B&W and slide film about R65 for a roll. Development of colour negative film and Ilford XP2 B&W film (both C-41 process) is about R25. If you don't have the negatives printed and do the scanning yourself, then total outlay is R50 per roll of film.

 

For ordinary B&W films, you do the development yourself, as that is what B&W photography is about - pushing the film for better contrast. After the initial outlay of a development tank (they're less than a hundred Rand used on BoB), the cost is a fraction of C-41 development, as the chemicals are really dirt cheap.

 

Once scanned, post-processing is roughly the same as RAW.

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RISadler

Update: Ignore what I've posted above. Digital is better. Film is dead.

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BumbleBee
Update: Ignore what I've posted above. Digital is better. Film is dead.

 

Agreed :D

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jphotography

Black and white photography in Film is still the best quality. Saw some work from a film photographer the other day and boy oh boy the B&W was just unbelievable!!!! I agree film is dead but if I ever have a customer that needs that kind of quality B&W I will get this spesific guy to do it in film.

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RISadler

I found that I can do some real spectacular (IMHO) B&W by using the "channels" functions in monochrome mode.

 

D003803.jpg

Canon PowerShot A620, with channels set to: red = 100%, green = 20% & blue = 20%.

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jphotography

Lovely image, but I wish I can get a copy of this guy's work, you will see what I mean by B&W :)

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RISadler

Thanks!

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Rstormfire

Each to his/her own, Lego cowboy, film ain't dead it just smells funny;). Proclaiming the death of film I find slighty insulting and ignorant. Besides it's like compairing a synth to a piano. Nuff said PS: Just because you used a crappy Chromogenic B&W film, processed that film at the corner 1 Hour photo and got bad results doesn't mean "d****** is better, film is dead" I'll stop now before you burn me at the stake...

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RISadler

Whoa there, Pard'ner!

 

Howdy, Rstormfire!

 

Here's some back-pedalling on my part... I recently bought a Canon EOS Rebel XS (aka 1000D) as a second, lighter camera - basically as an "upgrade" to my PowerShot A620 - to complement my EOS 30D. Anyway... it definitely doesn't compare to film.

 

The images from the 30D have the same contrast, deep colours and wow as film, in my opinion.

 

But the 1000D produces rather flattish colours. Although more dynamic range, it lacks punchy contrast. Setting contrast and saturation at +1, and you have a real mess. Only with serious post-processing can the images be made acceptable.

 

So, if I only had the 1000D, then I'd definitely go back to my film gear.

 

Only I still say that the current colour negative films are the pits.

 

Add the fact that nobody in my region commercially processes slide films, that option has also died.

 

Honestly, I am constantly toying with the idea of going back to my Ilford-roots, but the 30D does get it right, in my opinion. Why then bother, unless you have an EOS 33v for me?

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Rstormfire

 

Only I still say that the current colour negative films are the pits.

 

Add the fact that nobody in my region commercially processes slide films, that option has also died.

 

 

Hi RISadler:)

 

I do agree with you one the first point, though I've heard some good things about Kodak Ektar, BUT

A. I don't shoot colour

B. The local labs are BAD when it comes to quality processing (as most consumer labs these days)

 

point two: same here in Potch, see also "A" above

 

another point why I still prefer film over digital is simply that I don't shoot 35mm film only Medium Format (120). and enjoy darkroom work over computer work anyday.

 

In short, I don't hate digital, I just prefer film. One isn't "superior" to the other, both have pros & cons.

 

Sorry I sold ALL my Canon kit back then so no 33v

 

all of the best

your friend from the North West

RStormfire

 

PS: Get some HP5+ and take your Yashica for a spin (mail me the film and I'll process it for you...)

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RISadler

RStormfire, personally I do not think that Medium Format should even be mentioned in a film vs digital debate. MF is so superior to anything digital can do at this stage, that it is like the Springboks playing against the local primary school.

 

I never liked the darkroom. I also don't like the digital darkroom.

 

I like taking pictures.

 

After some fiddling, the EOS 30D takes pictures like I want them to look. I shoot straight to JPEG with it. It reflects my style of photography.

 

The EOS 1000D I am trying to sort out, and must therefore temporarily shoot in RAW with it. Currently it reflects the style of everybody else's photography.

 

 

On another note, I had a conversation the other day regarding the use of colour negative film as a consumer film today. I mean, nobody has any optical "labs" anymore. All the machines first scan the negatives and then print them digitally. Wouldn't it be better if they switched to positive film for consumer labs?

 

 

Offer also valid for 135 FP4 ?

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Rstormfire

Ha good point about the optical printing vs scanning. and yes sure 135 is fine.

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RISadler

Bought a Canon EOS 3 the other day and ordered some Kodak Ektar 100 film ... cost analysis ... R3,75 per photo taken (includes developing) ... play this against the R30K for a new Canon EOS 5DIII ... 8000 photos or 222 rolls of film ... estimate the "life" of a DSLR at 3 years, this gives 6 rolls per month. As I'll be only using film for the situations where I'd really need a "full frame" camera, i.e. wide angles, I estimate running through a roll every month or two. Bottom-line ... for full frame film is still cheaper.

 

Keep y'all posted ...

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