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Film VS Digital is surly a thing of the past?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by AJUK, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Film will be a minority interest as long as the materials are available.
    It will exist as an art medium using self coating processes perhaps for ever.
    Digital photography will mutate over time to become an entirely different process and perhaps separate art form.
    A spin off form of Solid photography might well become a reality.
  2. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    Don't forget the printing stage

    and for all those (one or two ready to jump) it is a hobby, something that gives enjoyment like fishing, painting, gardening

    Dscn0901.jpg Dscn0902.jpg
    Mark101, Danno and AJUK like this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Dry darkroom (lightroom) for me. Not going back to the cupboard under the stairs.
  4. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I said it is a hobby each to their own, I have been using Photoshop for years, I still enjoy a darkroom, you may as well say you would never do the gardening when you could get a gardener in, ! We had a gardener before, had two acres, paddock, swimming pool, I still enjoyed cutting the lower grassed areas

    Some people won't drive an auto !!!
  5. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    If he doesn't want to be put back in his cupboard under the stairs , he doesn't have to be !
    His choice , leave him alone . ;):p
    PeteRob likes this.
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I'll drive an auto, but not from choice and I won't buy another one unless I need to.
  7. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    There are several arms of photography which will cease to exist entirely once computer graphics take the small extra step towards complete photo-realism.
  8. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    I have a 5x4 camera, Last time I checked my house is not worth enough to buy a digital sensor that size (apparently one has been made).
    Admittedly the cost of film for my LF camera is also more than I can afford to waste, but digital hasn't completely taken over yet. I strongly suspect there will remain places where film is a better option for a very long time yet - like month long pinhole exposures...

    For most shots digital makes more sense today, but film has factors where sense becomes irrelevant. It can be the process that's important rather than the end result & digital doesn't have the hands on darkroom stage that can be enjoyable to many.

    As a chemist making my own light sensitive medium definitely has an appeal, I'll get round to it someday.
    neilt3 likes this.
  9. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    I've made my own crude pinhole, then brought a few better made ones. Yes they create images on digital cameras but they are far more dependent on sensor size than other lenses.
    At ~f/128 diffraction softening is a major issue on FF, and even worse on APSC & MFT. They're fun for a short while on digital, but capable of real results on a decent size film system provided you don't mind long shutter speeds.
  10. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    You are not alone there!

    In my case it is actually my film Nikon FE2 that managed to get me out.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  11. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    I was definitely using it for better quality until 2015. My Pentax K100d simply couldn't match up to a well scanned Ektar negative. Also the stuff I do tends to be low quantity long exposure night photography. I'd say the same is likely true for those who use 6x7 or large format today. I don't think they necessarily fit any of those categories.
    I also shot a wedding on film in 2017 because I knew I'd get better results out of the camera I had such an old PC at the time it couldn't cope with RAW files from my D5300. :eek:

    When it comes to me shooting fast B&W film at night (often with a VR lens from my D5300) I can't claim it to be a higher quality, although it allows me to get away from the PC and head to the St Paul's Darkrooms in Bristol, I don't think I'll ever do it in my own home again.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  12. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    The ancient K100d may not match up to a well scanned well exposed Ektar neg. but it was superior to a typical home scanned neg. While you may have been using it till 2015 it was a body released in 2006 - hardly current tech. I pretty much stopped using mine in 2011.
  13. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I had a K100D. I thought it was an awful camera, I sold it within a few months.
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I have a Minolta Scan Multi Pro film scanner that does 35mm and medium format, and is one of the best desktop film scanners produced. I still shoot my Pentax 67 for fun, but in all honesty it can't touch my EOS 5DS R for detail. And for my pro conference work, film couldn't possibly touch the quality at high ISO of my EOS R, 5D IV or even 6D.
    I enjoy using film occasionally. I even do Lomography-style stuff with silly cameras. But virtually all my serious photography has been digital since I bought the original 5D.
  15. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    My move from film to digital happened in 2007 because I was no longer able to find Kodachrome 200 in photographic shops, after over 40 years of using K64 and than K200. During the last few years of using Kodachrome, first the UK lab closed, so films were sent to (I think) Switzerland, and then that closed and my last roll had to be sent to the USA where the last working Kodachrome lab was situated.

    Many years ago I also did some home monochrome film development and printing (with one of the Soviet 35 mm enlargers that lived in its own 'small suitcase'), but the problem was that I never had a permanent darkroom and had to spend aged blacking out windows and door frames in the kitchen. I even dabbled in Cibachrome printing at home, but the cost was high and the success rate low,

    After 13 years of digital, for me the biggest benefit is (once the hardware has been paid for) the ability to experiment without being concerned about the cost of processing, which was about 30p per shot the last time I used Kodachrome.

    Today, if I could have a small permanent darkroom, I would love to experiment with old cameras and monochrome film, and a decent enlarger that would cope with larger format negatives, because for me the best part of the process was watching the images develop in the tray. So I believe that using film solely to create a negative for scanning is missing most of the fun.
    Petrochemist likes this.
  16. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    TBF in order to get the higher quality from Ektar I had to have the film scanned professionally from a lab which is what I did for very big enlargements, I had this enlarged to 24x16" for an exhibition, I didn't even get the scan they used for the print. I didn't even think 35mm could be that sharp at that size. What particularly struck me when I saw it at that size was how much better quality 35mm was enlarged compared to how images from 35mm looked in AP at the time, it made me question AP's scanning at the time. DSLR images were always noticeably sharper and even 645 photos didn't look that great.
    So the weak link could still be scanning. Of course for most people that will for all intents mean digital will produce better quality.
  17. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Not read all the replies, but for me it’s the whole palaver that using film brings.
    Ensuring you loaded the correct film speed, would be a massive shock for me as I rely heavily on Auto ISO also checking shots via the rear screen - what a lifesaver! That’s before we touch on the limited exposures (36!!...sniggers), cost of buying, processing and printing !!!
    It’s not for me.
    I was reluctant to go digital as I had a few perfectly good canon film bodies and looked at ways in which I could digitise my film output. But the costs involved....well, let’s just say I surrendered there and then.

    I cannot ever imagine even contemplating using film again. My canon EOS600 and Rollei 2.8F TLR will just remain as keepsakes. May sell the Rollei tho’....!! I’m sure someone, somewhere would appreciate it more than I.
    ChrisNewman likes this.
  18. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Many, many tears ago (c. 1975) I was once asked to photograph the exterior of an old building for use in an exhibition by a local arts centre. I used the 50 mm Zeiss 'Pancolor' lens that was the standard lens on the Exakta I had at the time, probably F 11, a borrowed tripod, a cable release and Ilford PanF 50 ASA monochrome film. The print was done by a specialist lab at 60 x 40 inches and it looked amazing, because the film was very fine grain and had a very good dynamic range. Apart from that, the largest prints I have had from 35 mm have been Cibachrome prints from Kodachrome 200 done by the Jessops labs in Leicester in the 1990s and early 2000s. I still have some of these - two 24 x 36 inch, one 20 x 30 inch and a few 10 x 15 inch, all taken with an Tamron 28-200 at focal length ranging from 28 to about 70 mm. At a sensible viewing distances l look fine, but if you get too close the grain of the film can be seen. Interestingly, although some have high contract objects at the edges of the images (where a slight softening of the detail can bee seen), none of them have the green/mauve colour fringing that similar shots on digital would have with a lens of similar quality. So the colour fringes problem must be due to the digital sensor being much thicker (or deeper?) than the emulsion on Kodachrome film, yet the problem is always blamed on the lenses.
  19. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    high contract objects at the edges of the images (where a slight softening of the detail can bee seen), none of them have the green/mauve colour fringing that similar shots on digital would have with a lens of similar quality. So the colour fringes problem must be due to the digital sensor being much thicker (or deeper?) than the emulsion on Kodachrome film, yet the problem is always blamed on the lenses.

    I have noticed far more colour fringing on my digital slides than on my film slides.Using the same lens.
  20. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Back when I had a computer, but was still using film, we had a gorgeous view of Buttermere from high ground to the south-east, but I was very disappointed with the photo I took, as much of the left side was lost in deep shadow. I scanned the print hoping to improve the image, but with little success. But the software I had then was primitive.

    I was surprised and delighted by the improvement I saw in image quality when I switched to digital, but that was with new kit, the lenses benefiting from 25 years of development.

    For a time I still took a compact film camera on business trips to Europe, but I found it awkward having my shots split between two media, and eventually we bought a point-and-shoot digital compact primarily for my wife; I now have a Panasonic LX100 for when it isn’t convenient to carry my DSLR outfit.

    With digital I appreciate the negligible cost of capture (the shutter count on my D800 is approaching 80,000; I would have been far more parsimonious with film), the excellent low-light performance, and for static subjects, the ability to check and re-shoot immediately. (But I do fail to spot flaws in my shots all to easily on the LCD, only to notice them on the computer screen. I hope that if I move on to mirrorless, being able to check photos in the viewfinder, without needing my glasses and without extraneous light on the LCD, I’ll do better at checking them.) It’s also so much easier to search for previous photos.

    But I enjoyed photograph when I used film; all the best to anyone who still chooses to use it.


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