1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Film photography- still valid?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by roobarb, May 23, 2011.

  1. roobarb

    roobarb Well-Known Member

    Pretty clear that i'm a noob to the forum, so yet again apologies for my potential naivete.

    However, despite being a complete luddite ( I came to both AF technology and then digital technology dragging my feet through the mud) I'm wondering how relevant (beyond nostalgia) 35 mm film photography is given the high res currently available on even medium spec digital cameras. Similarly so with lens technology and electronics. I'd like to think there were good reasons to keep my eos5 and would never get rid of the OM10, but I can't really think of a situation where I would use them apart from nostalgia for film. The current specs of mid range digitals seem to have similar resolutions to medium format cameras I was drooling over but couldn't afford 15 years ago. So what do I do with my eos 5 and eos 30 35mm bodies? Are they just for the bin?
  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    For me 35mm is best represented with colour transparency but I find myself using it less and less. 120 rollfilm and 5x4 on the other hand I am using more of these days. 35mm is every bit as 'valid' if it meets your needs and allows you to achieve the results you want. If not, use something that does. There's no point in handicapping your potential.
  3. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Simple answer , yes.

    Photography is a artist creative medium. If the style or the way you are happy working is film. Then surely it is still valid for you.

    Top reason I suspect people switch to digital is cost. You can shoot 100s of images with very very small cost.
    You save money of cause on processing either yourself or at the lab. I was in a situation where I could have just carried on shooting film (camera still working) but the cost was becoming a problem. So I switched.

    If I had more money would I switch back. No because my favourite film was Kodachrome now dead.

    There are still quite a few pros out there still shooting film because it gets them the result they like.

    You maybe the type of photographer who does not want to download your work onto a PC/MAC to back them up onto CD/DVD etc.
  4. roobarb

    roobarb Well-Known Member

    "Validity" probably not the best term to use, and was aware that I was at risk of offending a large tranche of the forum. Agree wrt transparencies best representing 35 mm but with my personal lack of means to display such properly (finances remember) and with the lack of available developing/printing for a non-enthusiastic amateur it becomes a problem. Digital photgraphy rather transcends these problems for mine, I get better shots, but then maybe I think less- not about composition but certainly about exposure.
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's entirely valid if you want to use it, but personally, I only use it now for the fun of using old cameras.
  6. roobarb

    roobarb Well-Known Member

    Yup. Great reply.

    I'm a snapper/long term learner with a lot of other stuff aside from photography so am no expert. Not dissing film with which I have worked for many years but find the negs that i'm scanning from film cameras from my film years are really not that great compared to the stuff I'm getting now. So what to to with the 35mm bodies? Museum?
  7. roobarb

    roobarb Well-Known Member

    What do you call an "old camera"? I'd take a roll on my OM10 for nostalgia's sake but the eos5 35mm?????
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yeah, the 5, why not - it is a classic, after all, the AF SLR in longest continuous production. Any of my film EOSs, for sure - I enjoy using them, always have. Not currently got an OM10, but yes, my OM1n or 2n. Anything I feel like using, actually. I'm strongly thinking of doing a "52 in 52" to get through using some, although that would include my digital cameras.
  9. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Well, if you believe you are not going to use them because your digital result give you more pleasure. Then you could sell them off. There are I believe photography students out there who have to shoot film as part of their courses.

    You could clean them up put them on display as souvenir of your personal photography history. :)

    Part of me now looks back and regrets not hanging on to my old beat up MTL3 with it's scratched viewfinder or even my old Zenit EM.
  10. roobarb

    roobarb Well-Known Member

    Funny that I started with a Zenit as well as I'm sure many did. My main issue is that i'm a bit of a hoarder of all things. How many eos5s, OM 1s (10=-iconic) etc are going into the photographic museums of the future??
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  11. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I think it was the first affordable SLR :)

    Well have a good think. If you suspect you might have a go with film once in a while for fun then keep them. But I believe they will sit in a draw and you will go out and shoot digital.

    I had to sell my Pentax MZ-5 and lenses to get a digital camera. I am sure if I still owned it would be collecting dust. :)

    I get cleaner results now than I ever got with that kit. As shown here:


    The second shot was with 2007 digital kit, moved on since then. :)
  12. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    Love film...don't do enough of it. Simple
  13. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I still shoot film because I like the hands-on element of developing it in the bath. Nuts? Yep! But I'd much rather use a physical process than the computer, and you can't beat that Fox Talbot moment when you take the finished film out of the tank... Currently I have two box cameras loaded, and I'm going to an outdoor portrait class this evening so I might take them both for a laff.

    Of course, if film is no longer valid, what are these guys up to?
    (hope the vids work - I'm going by the descriptions on YouBend, as this crutty old PC won't play them)



    Both are processes I'd love to try for the hands-on-ness, and I love the idea that every wet-collodion neg is marked by the photographer, that little nick in the corner where his thumb was when he dipped it.

    OK, I'm weird.

  14. sandyfyfe

    sandyfyfe Well-Known Member

    1/ Budget - how much does "full frame" digital photography cost? Add in the cost of the computer, the anti-virus software, back-up hard drive and the photography software you need too. You've probably spent £2000 and you haven't bought a decent lens yet. A decent second hand film SLR comes in at less than £300 with a good piece of glass at £200 again. Yes, film is more expensive to process, but the initial lay-out is much much less.

    With compact cameras the benefits are greater - sensor size is not an issue - pocketable "full frame" camera for less than £50? What's not to love about that?

    2/ Survivability. I got prints off twenty year old negatives three months ago. I can't open documents I wrote twenty years ago because the format does not exist anymore.

    3/ Dynamic range. Maybe this is less of an issue now than when I last looked, but the pictures taken using ISO100 film had more depth and range of colour than the digital ones.

    4/ It's not the method that counts - it's what you do with it. Reading about photography has improved my photography much more than buying new kit. My friends and family look at the pictures. They don't care or know what it was shot on.

    5/ Digital photography is fun. I'm not writing this to say film is "better", just that there are good reasons for using film. If I had the cash, I'd love to get my hands on a digital SLR, but replacing the bodies and the lenses to get the equivalent SLR kit is just too much. I find the more I use the kit I have, the more I can predict the result before I take the shot and adjust the settings if I need to.
  15. Nod

    Nod Well-Known Member

    For ages, I stuck with 35mm so I could get wide (and super wide) angle shots without springing for a D700. Then, I realised that I really could afford to take the plunge and since then, I have barely touched the film bodies apart from to remove the batteries to avoid leakage and the resulting damage.. Now, I'm far too used to the immediacy of the digital photos when compared to the wait for the processed slides to come back then get scanned...
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Depends if you're going to make a fair comparison or not. If you're prepared to buy s/h, then you can get an EOS 5D for under £600, which rather changes your equation - especially as you'll almost certainly already have a good enough PC, a free virus checker, and either existing software or you can get the software for free . If you absolutely have to buy a PC, well the laptop I use can be picked up s/h for about £100. It just doesn't have to be really expensive. If, of course, you're not prepared to buy s/h, then the only respectable 35mm film cameras I can find new cost about £3,000 (Leica MP or M7), which makes digital a veritable bargain.

    The dismal quality of print films from most processers out of most compacts?

    Well it's not quite 20 years since my first digital imaging - a mere 18 - but those files are JPEGs and TIFFs, so opening 'em ain't an issue.

    My film of choice was always Velvia. Dynamic range? What dynamic range?


    There are good reasons for using film, but you've not really made any of them, in all honesty.
  17. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Don't know how you make out that all the computer gumph is an on-cost to photography? Surely it is a basic cost for anything these days? Now if you'd mentioned a photo standard A3 printer.....mint copy of the latest Photoshop....plugins to do all those panoramas and HDRs.....
  18. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    £2,000 / £10.55 = 190 films * 36 = 6825 shots on process paid reversal film.

    (all rounded and film is PP Fuji Velvia 50 from Jessops)

    So a few months (?) shooting digital and the camera is paid for. :confused:

    'course if you print your digital shots it's a different matter ..... :)
  19. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    This type of question comes up every now and again, doesn't it, and the same old arguments are put forward - this is cheaper than that, oh! no it isn't, that is cheaper than this, and so on.

    At the end of the day it is all a matter of choice.

    I have an EOS 30 SLR and Canon digital cameras; I must admit to very rarely using the film camera, but have just put a roll of Sensia through it. The slides were very good by the prints that I had made from them were atrocious. I find the same with print film processing - it is not such good quality as it used to be, mainly, I believe, because they don't print though the negatives anymore, rather they scan the negatives and print from the scans. The resulting CD that you can buy at the same time is also atrocious.

    I used to be a member of the old school, which said that it was as good to scan the negatives or the prints from my film cameras, rather than splash out on a lot of new equipment. I have changed my mind - I get better results from my digital cameras nowadays, and really only hold on to the EOS 30 out of nostalgia, because it is a brilliant camera (and only worth about £50 now!).

    Unless film processing and printing improves in the future, which I doubt because I cannot see the processors going back to the old way of printing, I believe colour print and slide film will die, apart from single use cameras, but that black and white will survive.

    What will replace the single use cameras? You may have to look backwards to be able to see forwards - remember the Kodak motto from the early 20th Century "You press the button, we will do the rest" - perhaps when sensors get cheap enough, we will see single use digital cameras, where you take your pictures, send the camera back to Fuji or Kodak, and they will send you a new camera (or a reformatted refurbished one) and a CD with your pictures. As they say......simples!
  20. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member


    I would add that the "we will do the rest" will probably take the form of auto printing via wireless ie where ever your are you can go into the menus and select upload print. The whole camera contents will be sent upto the "cloud" as they call it and your prints will be posted out to you for your door mat. This is why the memory slot and USB plug will die out. Memory getting cheaper and the wireless access.

Share This Page