I've been interested in photography since 1981 and acquired my first SLR back in 1984-a Ricoh XR-S+50mm f2 lens for the sum of £139.90 from Sherwoods-who were located in the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham in those days. I was hooked. Back in 1987 I got a job at Jessops and was like a kid in a sweet shop. Hard work and pay didn't matter-I loved cameras and became a good salesman as a result. Back in the year 2000 divorce came about and having gone through numerous 35mm camera systems I had to call it a day. Then in 2005 I acquired a Leica Minilux and was staggered at the quality of the pictures it was producing. Again I had to sell it and relied on a Samsung compact digital camera. This served me ok but again I wasn't using it enough to keep it. I then had a brainstorm earlier this year and acquired the funds to buy a pristine Nikon F5 and a Nikon 50mm F1.4 AF-D lens c/w a Nikon HS9 hood and for black and white a B+W 52mm Yellow/Green filter. If everything was working and I was using top quality film then I was certain to have been getting results at least as good as my Minilux and potentially an awful lot better. One big problem..I wasn't. In fact the results I was getting using Ilford XP2, Fuji Superia 200,Kodak BW400CN and Kodak Ektar 100 ranged from the barely acceptable to utter rubbish and produced some of the most dreadful pictures I've ever taken. The reasons? The equipment seemed to check out OK, I always used fresh film from either Boots or Jessops (except the Ektar which was bought of an eBay trader), I didn't recall making any mistakes when taking the photos, I held the camera steady, used Aperture Priority at between F2.8-F8 with the majority of shots being taken about F5.6. This was usually done on a bright day but not always. And the majority of pics were taken in Abbey Park, Leicester-probably the most photogenic park in Leicester. So what was the problem. THE PRINTING! I used a range of different labs from Boots to a so-called Pro Lab and the very best results could be described as passable/mediocre. And the very worst were truly AWFUL! I spend £30 getting two rolls of Ektar 100 printed up to 9 x 6 and the results were surreal. It was like using Colour Infra Red film of 20 years ago. And the contrast levels-soot and whitewash would be complimentary. Elsewhere results were equally disappointing but for different reasons. Wishy-washy colours on Fuji Superia, soot and whitewash on Ilford XP2 and similar on Kodak BW400CN. In the six months I owned that F5 I must have spent almost £200 on film and processing and been nothing but appalled by the results. I do know a bit about film photography and can still assess negatives by sight to ascertain whether or not they will print well. In all cases there was sufficient detail in the highlights and shadows to produce good quality prints with normal levels of contrast. The 9 x 6 pictures were the final straw. I put my F5 on eBay and breathed a sigh of relief when it was sold and paid for. Sadly I lost another £200 in the sale, but that was tempered by picking up a bargain for a Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone. My favourite film Fuji Superia Reala film has been discontinued-at least in the UK market and that was the one emulsion which gave me the opposite of what I've been complaining about here. IMHO D+P standards have plunged through the floor. It could be that Digital printing has very different characteristics to printing film and as the printers are understandably set up for Digital then film has a virtually extinct role. I could have tried another couple of pro labs and even changed over to transparencies but the cost was uneconomic. With Kodak having pulled out of light sensitive materials altogether (!) film is all set to become extinct apart from for those who still have their own darkroom and do all their own work. So sadly my Nikon F5 has a new owner. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note in its place which takes perfectly good photos. And if I don't like them I can always delete them. So Film photography is finished with me now forever. Its a shame because I loved that Nikon F5. But if it can't deliver the results I wanted economically irrespective of whose fault it is then its no good to me at all. Goodbye film hello smartphone. A shame but for me it really can't be any other way.