Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by AJUK, Jul 15, 2005.
I don't think digital has got to LF yet has it?
Manners Nick, yes WHAT.
Yes indeed - it got there yonks ago. Probably the best digital quality around is to be had from LF scanning backs - at the top end around 200MP from a back that costs only US$18000 - less than the price of a lot of much lower resolution MF backs. At the lower end the resolutions are comparable to an MF back, but for less than 1DSII money.
The down side is that they are scanners, and do not capture an image right across the frame simultaneously - in fact in the extreme they can take minutes to complete a scan - and of course you have to be tethered to a laptop. So not much use to me, even if I could afford one. A 5x4 sheet of HP5, for example, costs about 50p, and has superb resolution, and wonderful dynamic range, so I'll be sticking with it for a while yet. ;-)
That boy does not have any manners. No good will come of him . You mark my words.
Oh There scanners
I agree...! I was referring to the image as it exits the camera and first appears on the pc. When an individual asserts their artistic skills, things change considerably. Of course, the same is also true with silver, either mono or to a lesser degree, colour.
I have to say though that I find it impossible to compare a cheap Ixus with a relatively costly SLR. One always has to compare like with like otherwise any comparison is invalid. My comparison of silver to digital is due to the overview at present that digital is superior to film. It is NOT. Also, it is not just subjective and therefore merely different. Silver based imaging produces a far superior range of tones especially in mono. OK, so I'm comparing a sheet of FP4+ with an APS sized imaging sensor but then so are the people who claim digital is so wonderful. It will be one day, of that I have little doubt but it has so far to go. I fear the compact disc route here where everyone accepts it because society has deemed it the norm. If it is so wonderful, why do we now have SACD and DVDA...?
If digital becomes truly wonderful I hope it is sooner rather than later................
Digital really is wonderful, but in different ways. I can get a (to me) perfectly acceptable A4 print from my Ixus, or even my wife's A80 - and I can (and do) take the Ixus anywhere. In all honesty, cheap high street printing from digital files is generally better than the awful standard of cheap C41. The other advantages of immediacy etc go without saying. Now I know I can get better results with my film compacts - Minilux, 35S, XA-1, Mju II etc - but fo everyday use the Ixus is good enough. Similarly, I can get a decent enough A3 print from my EOS 10D for most usage. But I certainly haven't abandoned film - not 35mm, and certainly not medium format - nor have I ever claimed digital is better. Easier, good enough for many things, but not (at least yet) better. IMVHO.
Digital is not superior to film in much the same way as 35mm is not superior to medium format which in turn is not superior to 5x4.......
The long term success of a format has, as far as I can tell, not generally been based on the superiority of the image in terms of resolution, sharpness and other delimiters of quality but on convenience, portability and price - albeit more with the general public than the pros. On this basis digital will supersede film (even allowing for the fact that digiboxes are relatively expensive compared to their film equivalents) particularly as camera phones become the norm.
I still like and use film but the first time I downloaded 60 odd shots from a card in far less time than I could scan a 35mm negative I began to realise why digital is taking over.
I was lead to belive that because there are already films out there that have a higher resolution than a lens can deliver to it then Digital can Catch up with film but not superceed it in quility at LOW ISOs, is this true?
Must be a man thing
A little offtopic but a few months ago A friend of mine who lives under my aunty went to Jessops to get a Digital Compact, and he came back with a Dynax 40, LOL He basicly told me that, He saw that he could get a big pro like camera for less than the cost of a Digital Compact, I would of thought that that would happen often but it probably doesn't.
Reading through these posts I am delighted to see that there are still people out there who appreciate that film is still the higher quality medium. I also believe that in time some enthusiasts who have bought into digital may find themselves moving back to film, because it will become a more bespoke, crafted and artisan method of creating images. With regard to Fuji and Ilford, yes they are the great hope. I think we can forget the Yellow God.
All the best — Garry Coward-Williams, Editor
Indeed Gary, having moved from film to digital myself I can confirm that film is indeed the superior medium quality wise. I doubt than anyone who has tried both mediums would give you any argument there. Only two points worry me about your suggested belief that in time many enthusiasts will move back to film:
1. Will there be any substantial film media for them to return to in this digital obsessed age? The photographic market is very much led by the "happy snapper" compact/disposable/mobile phone using public and although the "enthusiast" market is a significant "niche" within that market it is by no means the determining force by which the market is led.
2. Speaking for myself, I still think that the sheer convenience of digital outweighs any quality issues and though it may be inferior quality wise, for me.....................and I suspect many other "digital converts" it is "plenty good enough". Good enough I suspect to prevent any significant return to film as the media of choice for the enthusiast photographer.
I think film will become more and more marginalized to the point that it becomes an insignificant speck on the mainstream photographic scene.
I may be wrong of course and time will tell but these are my gut feelings coming from one of those very "potential film returnees" you refer to.
That's the sort of thing I find depressing; its nearly on a par with saying one can't be arsed to cook, a Big Mac is "good enough".
Yes, I understand your feelings Tim and it really is a bit pathetic.......................but for me at least it makes that vital difference between taking photographs and not taking photographs at all. I wish I had a pound for the number of rolls of film that have lain undeveloped or simply gone past their sell by date simply because I found it too tiresome to complete the tedious task of "traditional" development and printing. Now I realize I may not be typical of the average photographer in my "laziness" but I suspect the "convenience" factor is a major element in the success of digital and one which film cannot ever compete with and in a dog eat dog world it's often the survival of the "strongest" and not the "best" that prevails.
I like using film, I like using digital, what I don't like is that quality E6 processing, without using the post, means a trip to Metro behind Oxford Street at £8 return plus around £8 per film processing. This is acceptable for 10 or more rolls of film but hopless for one or two. So it is Digital day to day and, hopefully, a bit of both on holidays. I don't use print film mainly because processing is too variable and would result in another trip to Metro for consistent results, see above.
If it is a choice between a digital photo and no photo I will choose digital over no photo. If I need the results NOW or to e-mail it will be digital but, time and weight permitting, I still take film away on holiday.
I regret that film will, in time, take the same place in the overall market that Medium format has today, it is there but you need a specialist shop and you may have to place a special order for some types of film if you aren't in a major town. I have no idea how far away this might be but for most people, not AP readers fortunately, digital has replaced film and they will NEVER return. Still if the days of christmas on each end of the film and the summer hoilday in the middle are over it may not be such a bad thing for Mr or Mrs Average.
I'm right with BigWill here, I have been into photography for 40+ years and about 15 or so ago I lost the ability to have a darkroom, this put a severe cramp on my photography.
I bought into Digital almost as soon as it became available at what I called reasonable prices. The first one was 0.3Mp and dire it was too. Gradually I moved up the quality scales as it rose and the price fell, still only doing a fraction of what I was with 35mm. I decided that I would not get serious about photography again until the artificial barrier (quality, functionallity & price all in one package) I had set was reached.
That was reached by by the Nikon 8800 which I purchased, All of a sudden I could produce photos of comparable quality to my 35mm kit and use my Computer as my darkroom.
I still have my Olympus 35mm kit because although the 8800 was good it still was not as versatile as the Oly. Now I have a E-300 and I think the majority of the 35mm kit is going to eBay, I will keep some of the legacy glass to go with the e-300.
I can now do far more with my photograpy than I could with 35mm and I find the quality comparable. It is most unlikly I will ever go back to "Chemical".
As Digital quality rises and prices fall I think for the mainstream amateur who is more interestend the result than the means, Digital will force out Chemical almost exclusivly. leaving Chemical marginalised.
I wonder how long it will be before Digital is so good (technically) that you have to use Medium Format to see a quality differential. I think at that time 35mm will become as dead as the Box Brownie is now.
As been said many times these items are only tools to produce photographs. When you can't tell by looking at a photograph what medium was used to produce it, will it matter?
Obviously the answer to that is no, and perhaps Dixons customers can't tell the difference between a film print and a digital one. For me though, and I realise this is an entirely personal view, there is a difference that it doesn't take much to spot - digital just has a different "look" to it, and its one I find all too often to be clinical. And that's not even mentioning the artifacting!
Separate names with a comma.