Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Oct 25, 2011.
More and more; it's just a shame that film is so expensive.
Recently I bought an old medium-format camera (a Mamiya Six Automat from the 1950s) with the idea that it might be interesting to shoot a bit of film again.
Sadly, I've discovered that while the camera is a lot of fun to use, film itself is just a nuisance. I used to be able to get same-day, professional-grade processing at any of a half-dozen places around town; now, I have to drive 20 miles and wait a week. Organizing and filing are barely worth the bother considering how few rolls I'm likely to shoot per year. If I want to put the images online, I either have to tolerate mediocre mass-market scans, or invest in a rather expensive medium-format scanner.
And as for the vaunted ”film look," I honestly can't see anything I can't simulate in a few moments with an image-processing filter.
As someone who used to spend hours every week in the darkroom (although not always enthusiastically!) the realization that film no longer fits into my life as a photographer makes me a little sad. I'm sure that for people who enjoy photography as a craft and a lifestyle, it still can be important.
But I've come to realize that all I care about in photography is the images... not how I get the images. Today, digital is the most direct path to those images, so that's the path I'll be taking. My return to film, it turns out, was just a detour.
When Digital cameras started making an impact back in about 1997, the results in comparison to film were a joke.
That has all changed now and as far as quality is concerned they are now much closer
However, after a bit of wheeling and dealing earlier in the year I purchased a Nikon F5 c/w a 50mm F1.4 AF-D lens.
Biggest problem with this is not the camera+lens combination. Its the fell through the floor standard of High St D+P.
I've been into photography since 1981, owned several camera systems, worked for Jessops for 13 years from 1987 to 2000 and know a little bit about D+P.
So when I had a roll of XP2 processed at Boots in Nottingham,they had produced the most dreadful rubbish I'd ever seen (very dark and extreme contrast prints-and YES the detail was on the negatives) they talked down to me as I didn't know what I was on about for complaining. Jessops in Granby St Leicester blotted their copybook for trashing a film and moaning when I wanted a roll of XP2 as goodwill. Max Spielmann in Market St perfectly good service but producing mediocre results.
So my next two rolls of film are off to Lab 35, the people I had process my wedding pics back in 1991 and did an OUTSTANDING job.
Fingers crossed they'll be as good 21 years later.
Any problems here and I'll think I might go back to Digital photography after all.
I'll let you know how I get on.
For the price of a changing bag and a tank you can better and more reliable results
Since I kept my old developed film, I still look at it and scan in and digitise some shots. I may well resurrect old cameras still in my possession. I'm not sure about buying a new camera but I wouldn't rule it out.
Same with me. But I can't get the images I want other than with film. Which is why I don't use digital cameras. And I have tried them.
I've noticed this too I believe a part of the issue is that we now have people who have never shot film trusted to do the development and processing.
I had one set of 120 negative scans to disc mess up purely because the young chap doing it hadn't experienced celluloid film in a line before, he'd only ever dealt with non-physical computer files and didn't have the guts to admit it so just went ahead and botched the job - he'd not lined the negs up properly and had put two halves of each picture per frame. Instead of redoing it, he burnt them to disc and sold them to me! I only discovered it when i put the disk into the computer. This did nothing but waste both our time as i had to come back and get him to do it again under supervision of somebody older and wiser. :-/
Sufficed to say, it put me off wanting to use 120 when over half of the process is in the hands of people who seem to have as much an idea about how to process it as I do. Not worth over a £15 a roll (including processing) for 8 shots, when putting it like that.
Photography began as people tinkering in sheds and darkrooms... I truly believe that is how film will end, anyone with an interest taking the process into their own hands and doing it at home. And then, finally, as the generations roll over, it will vanish almost all together just s roof thatching, threshing, and sytheing the lawn have in the face of more modern techniques.
Way to go
Here's one I did yesterday - honestly! From the 1980s - taken in Finland at a Photographic meet up and competition. Hubby won (sigh) - twas ever thus!
.....cool works for me!
For most of my life I used film - but I only took snaps (holidays etc) and had the film developed in the local pharmacy with varying results.
About 3 years ago our company went on short time for a while and I decided to spend the extra time "getting into" photography. I got a Nikon D80 and fell in love with digital photography - I've worked with computers for nearly 40 years so it was within my "comfort zone".
A few months ago I decided to try film again and bought an old Nikon F5 for the princely sum of approx £120 ! It takes almost all of my lenses (I try to buy FF when I can). The intention is to learn how to develop myself in the camera club darkroom - they will run a darkroom course soon (the course has been cancelled twice). I am saving for a scanner - haven't decided on a 7200dpi 35mm plustek scanner or an Epson V700 flatbed which will also take medium format.
Yes, it is more expensive. Yes, it is slower. And I love it. It takes me a few weeks to finish a roll. I think about every frame. If its not right, I don't press the shutter - I wait.
And I think this has helped my photography - its certainly helped me enjoy it more.
I get the film processed and scanned in a small independant photography shop in Dublin called Gunnes. They do a great job. Its a family run business - the dad (John) is in his seventies and an absolute gentelman. His two daughters help him run the shop. They are all keen (and good) photographers. It is a joy to go into their shop - skill, courtesy, advice and a warm greeting are always available - for digital and film shooters.
I hope I will always have the time (or make the time) to have film in my photography life.
I hope so too Adrian .............Yes it will slow you down and make you think, but you will get quicker.......I shot 5 rolls 36 exposure Sunday in London on a current project I am working on ...........I know nothing about the plustex but do use the Epsom because of its medium format capability, its been great so far.....good luck with the darkroom course and above all enjoy!
Well a bit of Phiggying has got this thread flying again...
No NEVER EVER....!
I've posted the reasons as a whole new thread.
And its all very sad but true.
Yes use it all the time i have no problem buying it nor do i have a problem proccessing it where i live medium format is much better then digital better colour better depht its got life
Why on earth not? And sliced up printing paper too in large format cameras! There's much too much fun to be had out of the older technologies to abandon them. As someone said up-thread, changing bags and tanks are all you need. And now that flatbed scanners have lights in their lids, life without an enlarger is at least possible.
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