Author Topic: who is still using film?  (Read 48367 times)

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Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2011, 05:13 PM »
I still occasionally shoot film. I had some good (fast 2.8) lens for my old Canon ftb that I wanted to use so I bought a used F1.
I shoot print film, send it out for development and then scan it and process it digitally. I think the color looks a bit richer more saturated than photo's from my digital camera but that might be my imagination. I will never forgive Canon for changing the lens mount when they went digital.
I have couple different digital cameras and my favorite for convenience is a Nikon D60 with the 18-55 kit lens.
Tim

Offline andvari

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2011, 06:25 PM »
I gave up up on film when I bought my first DLSR (Canon). At the time I was using a Nikon FE-2. Wonderful camera. Film does nothing for me these days. In my opinion good DLSRs now outmatch the old film SLR image quality unless you go medium/large format. Color profiles are the easiest thing to manipulate with Photoshop.

I still have a couple of Nikon AIS lenses that I use with adapters on my Canon EOS cameras for video stuff. Who would have thought you could shoot HD video in an SLR. There are a few movies out there that were done using this technique. Who would have thought that adapting a Nikon manual lens to a Canon digital camera would be easier than using an older Canon lens on a Canon Digital.

Nowadays I'm doing landscapes with a Canon 5DII and 24mm TS-E lens. While not exactly a Sinar view camera it gives me the same types of perspective and focal plane controls that a view camera would give, just in a smaller package. I love it because you get a lot of the old fashioned creative control combined with modern digital.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 06:41 PM by andvari »
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Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2011, 10:22 PM »
In my opinion good DLSRs now outmatch the old film SLR image quality unless you go medium/large format. Color profiles are the easiest thing to manipulate with Photoshop.

Yes, I agree. If not only on the ISO/resolution scale which blows film completely out of the water.

Nowadays I'm doing landscapes with a Canon 5DII and 24mm TS-E lens. . I love it because you get a lot of the old fashioned creative control combined with modern digital.

I have never used one but I believe the Canon 5D series are perfect for landscapes. Almost makes me believe in Canon again. [big grin]
Tim

Offline quietguy

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2011, 11:25 PM »
Quote
I will never forgive Canon for changing the lens mount when they went digital.

They actually changed the mount when they went to auto focus.  That is the reason I have stuck with Nikon.  I can still use my old manual focus lenses with their pro bodies. 

Offline quietguy

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2011, 11:37 PM »
I have actually been shooting a little more film the last several months.  For color, the flexibility of digital is just hard to match.  The current generations of pro DSLRs are pretty close to replicating the results of slide film, and I never thought that would happen.  I still feel you just can't match the depth and richness of film for black and white.  As long as Ilford keeps making Pan F and FP4, I will keep shooting it.  

I think the best consequence of the "digital revolution" is the depreciation of film equipment (my estate will disagree, but at that point I won't care).  You can pick up Bronica ETRSi outfit for $350 now, and 10 years ago it would have been nearly 4 times that price.  
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 11:44 PM by quietguy »

Online Kev

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2011, 12:10 AM »
I gave my old Canon AE1+Program, with some lenses, flash units, etc, to my dad many years ago (many, many).

Recently my sister and I we're sorting his house out for selling ... dad's very old and moving into care. I was surprised to find the old camera. For the heck of it I'm going to nurse it back into life and give it a go.

I'll be interesting to see if there's anyone nearby that still processes film - though there's a few serious camera shops in Sydney that will.

Online Kev

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #36 on: December 24, 2011, 01:19 AM »
I think the best consequence of the "digital revolution" is the depreciation of film equipment (my estate will disagree, but at that point I won't care).  You can pick up Bronica ETRSi outfit for $350 now, and 10 years ago it would have been nearly 4 times that price.  

You've prompted me to have a bit of an Ebay hunt - cripes you're right ... even compatible lenses for the old film cameras (lenses that would have cost a bomb) are really cheap.

... gawd ... like I need another hoppy  [embarassed]


Offline Tinker

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2011, 02:53 PM »
First, i have to go back to Jerry Works marvelous explanation.  I know it was over 2 years ago, but I read the whole thing.  not being a camera bug, I apologetically say," Huh?"  Oh well, I also now only use my small Cool Pix.  My old Nikon with its many lenses is, i guess, a dinasore.  I tried to sell it a few years ago, but it would bring nothing. I understand that all of the lenses can still be used on some of the newer Nikon digitals.  They just need manual operation.  i used to be able to judge light and exposures quite well, but for so many years now with everything automatic, i cannot come even close on a guess.  (Jerry, that was really a great report.  I am a little dense about such things, but i do understand a lot that i knew nothing about before, even if i am two years late in reading.)

OK; here comes another enlightening story.

I had occasion to take a car (actually my pickup truck) trip across country and back way back in 1963.  I had closed down my business for a 6 month period for reasons unrelated to my own business.  the last four weeks was spent seeing this beautiful country.  Along the way, i had made it a priority to visit Washington state and take one more look at Mt. Rainier at sunset.  I had visited Ft. Lewis in Tacoma for three or four weeks in '52 as I was awaiting a ride to the orient.  Every evening, if no clouds, I had spent the sunset hours watching that mountain disappeaer from the bottom up until there would be just a tiny purple crescent to disappear ever so slowly. For this soldier, it was the most breathtaking sight ever in my life.  Anyhow, back to my more recent travels.

I did manage to get a glimpse of the disappearance of the Mountain one more time.  the next day, my buddy and i took a ride up onto Mt. Rainier and ended up taking a late July hike up into snow.  There was an ice cave that drew our interest and we headed inside.  The sun was bright enough that there was considerable light inside.  I had an old (i guess at that time, it was fairly new) manually controled 35mm camera.  i don't recall the name.  I never see it listed in any camera adds, but in those days, i did get some pretty good pics with it.  Once our eyes had become adjusted to the light, i decided to risk taking some shots.  As I was firing away, another would be prospector saw me and asked what camera I was using.  He wanted to know what film i was using, aperture, shutter speed and whatever else any camera bug would want to know.  He wanted to take some pics, so I gave him all of the info i could.  i wanted to be helpful.

My pal and i finally walked back out into the light and headed back down the slope to get back to the truck to be on our way.  "I didn't know you knew all that stuff about cameras."

"I don't know much." 

"If you don't know much, how do you know if your gave that guy the right information?"

"I don't."

"Don't you think he will be mad if he finds out he did everything wrong?  He will blame it on you."

"Well, I gave him a lot of ideas; but i really don't remember telling him where I live."

When i got back home and had the pics developed, every one came out perfect.  My only problem now is that they are all on slides.  My daughter gave me an adapter (I think it is digital)  for Christmas a year ago so I can put them into my computer.  When i retire in another 100 years or so, I will see what i can do about changing them.  For the purpose of enlightenment, I think that stranger, if he DID follow my advice, had to be real thrilled with his results.  I still was not tempted to look him up to tell him where I live.  One can never be too careful.  ::)
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline fdengel

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2011, 05:29 PM »
In my opinion good DLSRs now outmatch the old film SLR image quality unless you go medium/large format.

Better resolution, but only the top tiny percent of them are even close to the dynamic range of film.

Offline andvari

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2011, 05:48 PM »
In my opinion good DLSRs now outmatch the old film SLR image quality unless you go medium/large format.

Better resolution, but only the top tiny percent of them are even close to the dynamic range of film.


Opinions vary on that.

http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/dynamicrange2/

http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/dslrvsfilm.htm

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Offline mastercabman

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2011, 08:22 PM »
In my opinion good DLSRs now outmatch the old film SLR image quality unless you go medium/large format.

Better resolution, but only the top tiny percent of them are even close to the dynamic range of film.

I think it had been said that when the digital camera got to 5MP it is just as good as 100 asa film
As for the dynamic difference, i just don't see it.
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Reiska

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2011, 06:29 PM »
I still sometimes shoot Velvia 50 on my old Canon AE1 and a slightly newer Canon EOS1000FN, but thanks to Sony for killing Konica-Minolta film scanner business and now Nikon pulling out of it too there just aren't reasonably prised good quality film scanners left on the market. And no, unless you're shooting larger than 35mm a flat bed scanner is just not going to cut it. I'm lucky since I can borrow a mates Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II scanner when I need one, but its a bit of a hassle to get it from the UK to Finland and then back after the scan project.  [embarassed] eBay prices have just sky rocketed since Nikon gave up on scanners - last one I saw was 6500€ for a Nikon LS-9000 - they sold for  2000€ new  [mad]

Mostly I've now moved to digital with a Canon 5D Mark II and gave my old trusty Canon 10D to my daughter to learn with. I've lately been drooling over the Sony Nex-7 for a travel camera, but that has to wait after some green shinies.

I love taking landscape scenery shots and stitched panoramas and I do say that bang for buck with the 5D mark II is just right and at the moment with the "old" current model going out with huge discounts it's forever better... Amazon UK is quoting £1461 body only Canon 5D Mark II Body @ Amazon UK 

Will a DSLR take technically better pictures than a film camera? I'd say a definitive maybe  [tongue] I personally like the sharpness and low noise I get out of my 5D without film grain in my panoramas, but for B&W and retro shots film with visible grain in scans does have it's appeal. Also comparable file sizes for a RAW-file out of the 5D is about 26MB vs. an equivalent scan with the minolta of a 35mm slide at 220MB in linear DNG makes using film all that much more cumbersome and time consuming. Editing the scanned DNG's just plain kills my computer. Even if I run the RAW-file through DxO and output to linear DNG prior to Lightroom it still is only about 70MB per file so with automated preprocessing digital is faster to work with... [scratch chin]
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline andvari

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #42 on: December 25, 2011, 10:23 PM »
Holy moley. I didn't realize the situation with Nikon scanners. I have a Coolscan 5000 ED that is going for 2.5x used what I bought it for.

I need to finish up scanning my old slides and get it up on Ebay!

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Offline Sparktrician

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2011, 08:55 AM »
In my opinion good DLSRs now outmatch the old film SLR image quality unless you go medium/large format.

Better resolution, but only the top tiny percent of them are even close to the dynamic range of film.

I think it had been said that when the digital camera got to 5MP it is just as good as 100 asa film
As for the dynamic difference, i just don't see it.


If dynamic range is a criterion, you might want to try HDR photography.  Some work done using HDR techniques is very obviously done that way, much the way overdone polarization is very evident, but for subtle effects, it's another option.  Digital post-processing from RAW or NEF files allows one to get some pretty great dynamic range back into to a photo, even if the photographer doesn't want to mess with HDR.  I've been using Nikon's Capture NX2 with a few of the Nik Software plug-ins, and am quite pleased with the results.  Some folks like Lightroom.  I'm not fond of Lightroom's workflow, but it does have some features that Capture NX2 lacks, such as digital watermarking. 

 [smile]
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Offline fdengel

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2011, 03:31 PM »
In my opinion good DLSRs now outmatch the old film SLR image quality unless you go medium/large format.

Better resolution, but only the top tiny percent of them are even close to the dynamic range of film.


Opinions vary on that.

http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/dynamicrange2/

http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/dslrvsfilm.htm


Those appear to be testing the dynamic range of the scanner used to scan the film image for the test, rather than of the film itself.  Those scanners have sensors in them just like digital cameras do, with similar limitations.

That being said, it looks like most of the reviews for the 1D mk II are indicating it gets around 11 stops of DR at low ISO settings, which is better than I'd thought (still less than film, but rather close).  Seems the gap is narrowing faster than I'd realized on the lower-end formats... still differences (highlight rolloff which film handles better, etc.), and for occasional shooting in larger formats film is still cheaper, but progress is certainly being made.

(I actually have a 1D mk II, and have been quite pleased with its images...)

Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2012, 04:22 PM »
IMHO digital has matured enough to surpass film from a practical standpoint.

Digital is not always the time saver it is made out to be, on the contrary you often spend far more time working your images than you did before - simply because you can, and because you can do so much nowadays.

Unfortunately only a small percentage of digital users learn the four-five important steps or links in the digital output chain, color profiling, color management, optimizing for web, or print and simply learning how to prepare a digital image. Both when capturing the image and in post processing.

I worked in various labs since 1989 (quit "for real" in 2005 if I remember correctly) and I was brought up with B&W processing (started that prior to 1989), E6 (slide) processing, and C41 (neg) processing. I have worked making slide duplicates, prints from slides, negative duplicates, repro photography, scanning images, negatives and slides as well as operating various printers. I endured (with some teeth grinding) the digital transition, and let me tell you in the beginning digital was crap compared to film. You could hardly work the files and there was very poor latitude in post pro. It was a horror that went on for years. People were convinced digital was perfect and bought a camera with 4MP and a 32MB card (yes, that is MEGA, not GIGA) and set the resolution to the lowest possible AS WELL AS maximum compression rate on Jpeg and could happily fill the card with almost a thousand images on a trip. Looked great on that 1" LCD monitor.

You can imagine the outcries when they ordered prints, small prints, and the digital artefacts were so appaling it looked like LEGO. Then you had to explain to them why they could not even print a small print out of that file. Then they'd say "But, it's digital!" "Can't you just run it in the computer and make it bigger?" Cough.
Sigh.

I worked as a photographer for some years, with Leica, Zeiss, Nikon and Hasselblad, with a brief stint with Mamiya7 and Rollei too. For me the advent of digital made working with photography unbearable for a quality oriented photographer, the customers wanted "a disc" and thought all digital cameras were the same and that anybody could take shots and why isn't it cheaper since you don't have to buy film? Etc etc. I stayed in the photofinishing and printing business for some years though, helping other photographers that were grappling with the new cameras. Progress was slow in the first years I tell ya.

We've come a far way since. Digital is still not perfect, but it is pretty darn good I'd say. I waited until the Canon 5D arrived before letting go of my analog cameras, it was the first "affordable" full frame (24x36mm sensor) digital SLR and still today it is quite a camera. I have moved on since then, to a Sony A900 with some converted Leica and Zeiss lenses, manual focus lenses. Today I prefer smaller cameras and shoot with an oddball camera that accepts Leica M lenses, the Ricoh GXR M mount. Not many have heard of it and most people dismiss the camera based on prejudice, but I can tell you it is one of the best thought out digital cameras ever made. Still waiting on a full frame module for it though...

As for the topic, digital versus film. Digital still can't do all that film does so well. Film has a very nice transition into highlights, it is a gentle roll off where as digital "clips" into the highlights and simply loses all detail. It is the main drawback of digital today and it is very hard to work with files that have clipped highlights.
With (negative) film you "burn in" light on the negative and the more you burn in the denser the negative gets, and you have quite a lot of latitude to work with before it gets oversaturated/overexposed. Digital still can't do this gracefully and you have to expose differently.

Digital has an advantage (at least for the better small cameras with larger sensors) in that you can lift the shadows and bring up detail in them in a way you simply can't do with film. On film, shadows mean that you have not burnt/etched in any information on the negative so when you try to bring out the detail all you get is a murky gray with little to no shadow detail. Digital can often extract a lot of detail from shadows without the expense of losing the highlights. It takes some skill to make it look natural though.

On film (negative) you always err on the plus side (more exposure) if you are not certain.

On digital it is easier in a way, you can watch the histogram and correct exposure and you aim for an exposure where highlights are not blown but "as far right as possible", i.e. weighting it towards the brighter side of the histogram. In very harsh light digital will not be able to capture all steps due to slightly lesser latitude but you can still wring a lot out of it.

Digital is somewhat like Slide film in that sense. With Slide film you had to err on the low side of exposure if you were unsure. Overexposing a slide meant burning out detail and washing out highlights beyond recovery - same as digital. Some people would purposely underexpose slide film slightly to give it a punchier look.
I used to tell slide shooters making the transition to digital to just keep thinking like you are shooting slide film and you'll be just fine. :)

Digital today (the better ones, that is) has the same latitude as slide film, slightly better even. It is not too far off negative film but still not quite there. As for the highlight roll off Sony has made the best sensors, which have a gentle roll off into highlights and this, together with color accuracy, was the main reason I switched to Sony. With Canon I felt I lost track of nuances and had a hard time recreating them in post processing.

When you are shooting RAW instead of Jpeg (I encourage this for important shots) you have not finalized the processing. You have simply dumped an image in limbo in the camera and you will finalize it after the fact. You don't set white balance on a RAW file in camera, or more correctly, it does not matter if you have set it wrong. You set your White Balance when converting the RAW file and choose and tweak it to the best setting manually. Also, you will have a more gracious exposure latitude. Not MORE latitude really, but you can shift the whole latitude which means that you can actually recover clipped highlight (to a certain degree only though - so don't be sloppy with exposure!) and recover shadow detail. Have you or your camera metered properly you can often do both.
During RAW conversion you set a few parameters, then export the result as a .TIFF or .Jpeg for further processing. A .TIFF has the advantage of not being compressed and is best, but most times a Jpeg will suffice, at max resolution (minimum or no compression).
RAW files look a bit dull and grey compared to Jpegs out of the camera, this is because you need to shift the exposure and set white balance. Also, Jpegs are sharpened in camera and RAW files are (usually, and meant to be) unsharpened and you are suppose to sharpen them to suit the intended purpose, which is either print, or web display. Sharpening is not the same for the two. In general sharpening is applied at the very end of post processing, after all else is done.
If making a print one needs a higher resolution image than for web, so the best thing is to save a copy, shrink it down for web and work the larger file later for printing. If you save a Jpeg on a high compression rate and work with it and save it again with high compression it will look like garbage. For reopened Jpegs you should save them at MAX Jpeg settings (no/minimum compression) so they won't deteriorate. You can't recreate that lost detail by means of upressing them later...

Having worked with medium format film I will still say that a well exposed negative on slow speed negative film is very hard to beat. You can get close but there are limiting factors for resolution in digital cameras that aren't there in "analog" cameras. One of these limiting factors is sensor resolution and the AA filter nearly all digital cameras have to avoid a thing called moiré which basically is "false color" in small repetitive details (like window blinds and fences) that are far away and at the limit of what the lens/sensor can reproduce. As a whole most digital cameras have a smaller "system resolution" than the old analog cameras. Todays advances in noise reduction and sensor technology has helped produce much cleaner digital files at high ISO settings.

An ISO 1600 image from a modern dSLR today looks sooooooo much better than what I could get with a small format (full frame) analog camera at the same ISO film speed. ISO 1600 was GRAINY. A base ISO digital shot looks very clean for the most part with a slightly plasticky feel to open skies that creates an illusion of resolution. It looks clean so it holds up well when enlarged if compared to an analog print. But when comparing details outside of the sky portion the difference is less apparent and can sometimes tilt the scale in favor of analog. For me, I'd say a 12MP full frame digital camera is equal to small format film. There is usually little need for more Megapixels and doubling the pixel count does not double the print size. You need to quadruple the pixel count to do that.

The Sony A900 I had produced superb prints at base ISO and up to ISO 640, and is still one of the better cameras with 24MP. From the 12MP of the Canon 5D to the Sony's 24MP (Or Canon's own excellent camera, the 5D mkII) there is a noticeable difference, but not HUGE. Nikon has not played with that many high MP cameras but have chosen (and I applaud them for that) to make lower MP count cameras with excellent dynamic range (mostly Sony sensors) and remarkable high ISO capabilities. Canon has pushed on with the high MP race to some degree but I am not so into Canon cameras myself.

Phew, it was long since I wrote so much on this forum, but I have been nurturing my photographic pastime lately so I thought I'd chime in.

:) Henrik
     
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Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #46 on: January 15, 2012, 05:30 PM »
Thanks Henrik.

A very succinct description of a complex subject.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2012, 08:00 PM »
Today I prefer smaller cameras and shoot with an oddball camera that accepts Leica M lenses, the Ricoh GXR M mount.

Thanks for the info. Very interesting.
Is that the aforementioned ("smaller camera") the Sony A900 or another.
What kind of photo's/subjects do you take, portraits, landscape etc. or anything and everything?

Tim

Offline quietguy

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2012, 11:33 PM »
Henrik R,

I agree with the vast majority of your post, and it was very well written and for the most part mirrors my experience. 

Quote
Digital is somewhat like Slide film in that sense. With Slide film you had to err on the low side of exposure if you were unsure. Overexposing a slide meant burning out detail and washing out highlights beyond recovery - same as digital. Some people would purposely underexpose slide film slightly to give it a punchier look.
I used to tell slide shooters making the transition to digital to just keep thinking like you are shooting slide film and you'll be just fine. Smiley

Digital today (the better ones, that is) has the same latitude as slide film, slightly better even. It is not too far off negative film but still not quite there. As for the highlight roll off Sony has made the best sensors, which have a gentle roll off into highlights and this, together with color accuracy, was the main reason I switched to Sony. With Canon I felt I lost track of nuances and had a hard time recreating them in post processing.

I do think you underplay the similarities between shooting slides and digital.  If you use the same mindset, it will pay huge dividends in your results.   

IMHO, the greatest advantage to digital is that you can extend excellent results further into the ISO spectrum than slide film provided.  Of all of the slide film I have shot, and that is probably tens of thousands of rolls, I was never impressed with anything greater than 100 ISO.  Kodachrome 64, Fuji Astia 100 and Velvia 50 were my favorites.  I still don't think you get the image depth you do with slides (or B&W film), but do think that digital has caught and superseded color film. 

This stumbles into another area where I believe that the digital formats excel.  High MP digital SLRs are meeting or exceeding the resolving power of most lens manufacturers.  When compared to film, digital images only rely on "one lens", where traditional methods utilize both the camera lens as well as optics in the enlarging and/or scanning apparatus. 

Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2012, 03:29 AM »
Thank you guys, I was not sure if anyone was going to read my posting and two thirds down I was actually about to delete it, thinking this is perhaps the wrong forum.

Quietguy: Yes, I've shot my fair share of slides (remember, I had virtually free E6 processing...) and slide film thinking IS the best approach to digital.

I definitely agree that slide film was only really good at low ISO. In a pinch I would enjoy Fuji 400 slide film, but that is, in a pinch. For me personally, pretty much all ISO 100 films were solid - and as you know they all had their character (or lack there of). I almost never shot anything other than ISO 100 slide film. Or Fuji Reala 100 negative film. I was not a Velvia (ISO50) fan, but I did shoot some Kodachrome, both 64 and 200, the considered the latter the "best" "high speed" slide film. ISO 200 = "High speed" haha.

As for the digital sensors outresolving the lenses, it is a very long discussion but I don't quite agree with this. It is a both Yes - and No - answer to that. For practical reasons you need to look at the "system resolution" i.e. sensor size, AA-filter and how much lp/mm (linepairs per mm) of resolution you get at the end. In reality this means that sensors for the most part don't really outresolve anything but quite poor lenses. For better lenses that have high spatial resolution (a great lens can resolve up to and over 240lp/mm center and still over +100lp/mm at the edges- there is no way that resolution makes the transit across the AA-filter and sensor bayer matrix conversion, that much I can guarantee.)

However, digital sensors are easily good enough to reveal decentered and poorly corrected lenses with coma, CA and other abberations - so on that I really agree.
You have to be even more picky with your lenses on digital.

Also, you are absolutely correct that system resolution is applicable in analog printing as well and must be taken into consideration. For professional printing (direct printing) we worked some marvelous machines that would squeeze the last grain out of the prints and were calibrated regularly. The whole printing system was calibrated every morning after warm up by means of a printed evaluation chart that would read the output of a test chart and calibrate colors accordingly. It worked.

Unless you make an obvious mistake, digital is easier to output in printing, provided you don't choke the resolution on the way out on paper.

A bit of a stiff reading on system resolution, not complete, but a good primer:
http://luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml

For me photography is all about the lenses, a high resolving lens will always serve you well and will pose no bottleneck in the digital chain. The best lens I have, the ZM25/2.8 is stated by Carl Zeiss, one of the better lens makers and known for not throwing figures around loosely, to resolve a whopping 400lp/mm in the center at f4 - measured on a special film emulsion! This is actually at the maximum theoretical limit of optical resolution for a camera lens, and the highest ever measured by anyone. No one in the industry has disputed Zeiss claims. Anything around, say 240lp/mm is considered world class and there is no digital sensor that can claim to top out those figures. In order to avoid other digital artefacts there are limiting factors in the sensor array/layout and the Anti Aliasing filter that will reduce actual system resolution.

In short: you can stick the ZM lenses (and other superb glass) on ANY camera, digital and analog, and be amazed by the results. If resolution seems poor, it is the sensor that is maxing out before the lens. This is even more evident on wide angle shots with modern digital cameras where the system resolution is to poor (despite 20+MP) to resolve minute detail in grass/leaves on landscape shots. Sometimes digital photographers refer to lenses as "pixel perfect". These are the well corrected, high resolving lenses that chisel out them details all over the sensor surface and makes you go - wow!

I can tell you that my better lenses - one from 1974 - have stayed with me throughout my career and have never been outresolved by a sensor but of course the benefit of my best lenses (converted or adapted to fit other mounts) have been that they bring out the best of the sensors used. And sometimes reveal the sensor, but not the other way around. Today I have let go of my Sony A900 (resides no more than 10 min away though, so I have visiting rights) and my prime lenses as I have too little time to indulge and peruse said items. The Sony A900 is one of the few digital cameras that have been inspiring to use, and with results that have really impressed me. I will not show any samples here in a film thread though.

For the digital side of the discussion I think it is crucial to talk about sensor size. Smaller digital sensors pay a penalty when it comes to gathering light and the result that the applied "gain" to reach equiv ISO100 is higher in a small sensor camera than in a large sensor camera. When reaching higher ISO with the small sensor cameras (with a few exceptions, the P&S cameras) the applied gain will lead to a lot of image noise, sometimes grain like, very evident in dark areas, and sometimes color blotches, which are the ugliest. Most often both. To combat this heavy noise reduction is applied - to varying effect. Nearly all small cameras will render a perfectly usable image at fairly high ISO settings for web posting, where the artefacts of noise reduction (smear, blotches, color anomalies) are hidden. For print, or when magnified on screen it can look like a water color painting. This is the penalty we have to pay when people scream for high resolution cameras with a small foot print.

Some people argue that better noise processing will eventually make them look as good as bigger sensor cameras. That is false. The same noise reduction advances trickle both ways and today large sensor cameras have pretty amazing high ISO performance - and will always look cleaner and have more latitude than a smaller sensor. Physics still apply here.

Today I think, and most agree, that the APS-C format* has matured into the "new standard" for serious amateurs and many professionals too. The sensor technology is good enough for most applications and the sensor format allows for smaller, yet potent cameras. In this segment there are plenty cameras too chose from. For me, personally, I still prefer "full frame" digital cameras, as it gives a certain look with high speed lenses that you cannot achieve with APS-C or smaller format cameras, i.e. controlling depth of field and creating an image.

Also, all else being equal a larger sensor with larger photo sites will render better images, quality wise. They might still suck though. Nobody can help you or me with that. ;)

Stay tuned: photo to come...

Camera Contax G2 with 28mm lens. Scanned from Kodak Ektar 100 film. A film that was poorly developed and all but ruined at a local lab around Moab, Utah. I had to scan all images at home before printing in order to correct them, totally backwards for analog work flow... Low res scan but with decent tonality given the harsh midday desert light:
 






*name is a remnant from the hideous film based APS "advanced photo system" which was a smaller amateur format with three aspect ratios accomplished by cropping in print, all shots are actually shot at APS-H.  


EDIT: spelling, have yet to proof read properly though.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 04:14 AM by Henrik R / Pingvinlakrits »
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Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2012, 08:24 PM »
Camera Contax G2 with 28mm lens. Scanned from Kodak Ektar 100 film. A film that was poorly developed and all but ruined at a local lab around Moab, Utah.

Nice photo. Love that sky.
tim

Offline fdengel

  • Posts: 849
Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2012, 06:47 AM »
In case anyone is still interested in details, toward the bottom of this page there is a section which determines a "megapixel equivalent" for a specific filmstock mathematically; it reaches the conclusion that in 35mm format, it would be roughly equivalent to 87 megapixels; in square medium format about 313 megapixels; in 4x5" large format, about 1140 megapixels.

Some of the 5-figure digital Hasselblads (medium format digital) can only reach 60 megapixels in a single-shot mode.  Some can reach 200+ megapixels by playing some games with the sensor position, but this would limit their usefulness for capturing anything that moves -- those are more for capturing landscapes and still-life shots where the camera is mounted on a tripod or similar support and the subject doesn't move.

At 60MP for a single-shot, even 35mm film has better resolution... while it is still film, anyway :-)

There are still limits on affordable *scanning* of that film, and a scanned image from the film may not present the kind of resolution that can be obtained by a higher-end digital camera.


EDIT: forgot the link - http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/film-resolution.htm

Offline Reiska

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2012, 07:38 AM »
Well, theoretical maximum resolution is one thing and what you can realistically get out of a scanner is a totally different thing. I've scanned a load of old Kodak slides and a boatload of negatives ranging from no-name market ones to brand name ones with infra-red channel correction, IT8 colour calibrated scanning profiles in VueScan and multiple passes @ 5400dpi on the Konica-Minolta DiMage Scan Elite 5400 II that I have on my table with just increasing film grain with the addition of "image enhancing" scanning techniques.

Seems that the best resolution vs. graininess & artefacts is at 5400 dpi single pass scanning that produces DNG files of the whopping size of 250MB and frankly aren't anywhere near as clear or sharp as the RAW-files coming out of my Canon 5D mark II. Maybe you could get less grainy scans with a drum scanners but not sure even about that.

Yes, there is definitely more mega pixels in the scanned images (21 vs. 35Mpix to be exact) but because the film emulsion & grain is clearly visible at this resolution the pictures seem 'noisy' to borrow a digital photography term. Some graininess can be fixed with Neat Image and similar film grain reduction apps, but they also soften the usually somewhat soft images of days yonder taken with FD-mount lenses in the late 70's and early 80's on my dad's Canon AE-1 from 1976.   

What I would count as a positive aspect of film is that it will most likely outlast every computer media in your house by a good hundred years if stored well, but with how the film scanner market has been all but destroyed lately it might be that you won't be able to digitize them in a hundred years from now just like you probably won't find a DVD-reader anywhere either.

Ofcourse there is the question who realistically will ever be printing house sized enlargements of their pictures to really need more than 12-21Mpix is beyond me  [embarassed]
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1050
Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2012, 10:12 PM »
It's funny (strange) how Hasselblad equipment has somehow managed to hold it's value over the last several years.  I would suppose it was the genius of having the ability to add a digital back to replace the film version but it's only a guess.  Those H4d-200's... crazy at $44,000!  [scared] [scared] [scared] [scared] My cousin was a rep for them in SOCAL for many years but she saw the handwriting on the wall and now reps digital media and is doing very well.  She could barely give the stuff away.   I still have my F100 and it still collects dust.  I'm about thinking about replacing my D200 (it's about 200 years old in camera years) with the D800 or the D4 since they both do video too.  The Sony is interesting but I hate thinking about having to sell all my Nikon gear I've collected over the years including some great primes.  BTW, just a random thought, if you ever have the chance to go to NYC, you have to go to B&H on 9th Ave.  It's the epicenter for photo buff's.  If it's photo related, they have it. 
Howard H
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Online GhostFist

  • Posts: 1548
Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2012, 06:01 AM »
 O.k. a lot to read and catch up on here so i admit i just skimmed through. First off, I'm not a photographer. My personal experience with cameras is very limited. pretty much basic point and shoot. For those types of users i think that digital cameras are great. As far of the art side of things, I much perfer pictures shot with film. There's an organic nature to the colour tones that i find lacking in digital photography. Not to mention a skill set that has been erased in regards to developement of pictures. Movies are now 99% digital and I find the colour palate to be far too clinical, this could be trends in lighting  but really I've noticed this change more with the advent of digitally shot films. Working on set, I know what to look for in a picture to judge the quality of a set. Ideally, you're not supposed to be able to tell it's a set at all. Digital high rez films to me bring out all these little clues to tell you that this world is fake, and i find that disappointing. Again my eye is probably more critical than most in this regard, but i can notice a "loss of movie magic" in more recent films over films even just done in the 90's.

Cutting to the chase, don't let film die! I miss it dearly. A good comparison would be analogue vs digital music, the full sound of a good record, vs the tin can sound of a digitally produced lp.

Offline carlb40

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Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #55 on: March 30, 2014, 10:39 AM »
I use film. Can't say still use it as i was digital then moved over to film.

A few years back i had a Nikon D200 which was sold when i had financial issues. However a chance search on ebay found a spares/repair Mamiya 645 afdii body, i was the only  bidder and won it for £49  [big grin]

A bit of research and then 10 minutes putting loose parts back into place got me a working camera. Now i have a couple of film backs and 5 lenses for it. I wouldn't change it for anything, not even a TS55  [tongue]

I must say i really like the look of velvia and ektar 100 for my landscapes. 
Carl

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Offline DougG

  • Posts: 27
Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2014, 07:42 PM »
I use a digital for day to day stuff, but when I travel or want to take of picture of something I probably want to print and put on the wall, I break out my medium and large format camera.

My Rolleis are easier to pack, and I'm usually shooting Agfa APX 100 (until I run out) or Fuji Velvia or Provia.  I shoot the same on 4x5, though I've got some Ektar 100 I've been meaning to try as well.  I'm not sure what I'll use when my Agfa runs out.  I've only used Ilford FP4 on my 8x10.  When I get the time, and if the images are good, I'll eventually make some palladium prints from them.  I've dabbled in some of the other alternative methods, but I've been meaning to give carbon printing a try.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3260
Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #57 on: March 31, 2014, 08:53 AM »
I must say i really like the look of velvia and ektar 100 for my landscapes. 


Velvia became my favorite when I could no longer get Kodachrome 25, but since I moved to digital, there just ain't no looking back.  Gone are the days of only 36 exposures per roll.  I can now make thousands of shots onto the SDHC cards and swap them in seconds rather than fiddle with changing rolls.  Capture NX2 and Lightroom provide all the darkroom functions I need to make adjustments as needed. 

- Willy -

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Offline andvari

  • Posts: 423
Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2014, 09:27 PM »
I started out with a Pentax 35 some years ago, and then had a Nikon FE2 for a long long time. That FE2 was a great camera.

More recently I've gone digital and now have a Canon 5D2. I found there is a huge difference in the quality of the images that you get with a full size digital sensor vs a smaller sensor so I have no longer miss the look of film any more.

Just this year I sold off the last of old manual lenses. It's surprising how the good ones still have significant value.

I really don't have an issue with bad habits engendered by the ease of not having film. If anything it has helped my photography because the turnaround between taking the picture and seeing the result is so much shorter it's easier to remember what I did that messed up the shot and correct it for next time.

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Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 151
Re: who is still using film?
« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2015, 10:58 PM »
I've had several. Right now I've got an M2 and XE-7. I'd like to switch to Pentax for SLR, but even used the model I want is a fortune. I like Pentax lenses, for whatever reason, with black and white. Someday maybe a Monochrome and some summicrons but.... for now film is fine.