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Can digital still not match film?

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MichaelMelb_AU
3 May 2013 - 12:40 PM


Quote: ...
On the other hand:
- I really wanted to take a picture of the cat giving a piggy back to a mongoose but I had run out of film
- I was gong to take a really good picture of the sun bursting through the cloud but gambled that a better moment might come along so I waited instead. But it never happened.

LOL... You could do it with a film video camera Tongue, but I cannot advocate it for I don't like it's small frame formatBlush Thanks for giving me a reason to love my 8-specimen strong digital camera collectionWink

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 3 May 2013 - 12:41 PM
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3 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

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lemmy
lemmy  71869 forum posts United Kingdom
3 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

Let's not forget that apart from showing prints physically to someone, most pictures end up being scanned anyway. A neighbour of mine shoots on his Leica then send the film off to the lab where they put his results on CD....which he emails to me. Any film photographer wanting to show his results to ePZ must digitize them, must he not? MichaelLeb_AU's images in his portfolio look digitized to me, if not, how are they there? If they are the result of a sensor anyway, all that making the original on a sensor does is save intermediary steps. But I'd wager that a good camera sensor provided better results than a scanner. The professional scanners I used were very good but a scanned neg or tranny does not have the tonal range or crispness of a modern sensor. And the scanners cost a lot more than a FF DSLR.

I can have superb prints made from my digital output, just as I did (and still have) from my training days with plate cameras. An integral part of photographic training always was a year in the darkroom learning how to do it properly. Having printed both colour and black and white all my life I can't see the magic in it. It's a process to produce an image.

Is there anyone who can genuinely say that if they see two prints side by side, one exposed on a digital sensor and the other on film, they will reliably tell them apart?

It's nice that people use cameras as films for the process rather than the picture but it's essentially a blind alley. Who would have invented photography if its point was to use a camera? It was always an applied science.

There's no reason not to use film but to argue whether it is better or worse is to ask an unanswerable question. For someone whose pleasure is in handling the equipment and smelling the hypo and the ferri, digital won't do that. But nor can prints or transparencies be shared easily and cheaply with thousand or millions of others as people like to do nowadays. Film and print won't do that.

Since most cameras are capable of producing results far better than most photographers ever need - my old plate cameras could do that that, even my 35mm Leicas and Nikons, these are matters of choice.

Some of MichaelMelb_AU's comments like 'less trash in my photo archive and others' sound more the result of a failure in self-discipline to me. As is looking at the result after every shot. I turn off auto-review in all my cameras because I know what the picture will look like as soon as I take it. I probably have more experience of plate, film and darkroom work than most here. When digital came along in good enough quality to replace film for image making I felt a huge sense of relief and freedom.

I like Michael hurn's remark on this kind of thing "These are the two basic controls at the photographer's command - position and timing - all others are extensions, peripheral ones, compared to them."

MichaelMelb_AU


Quote: Thatīs a good point, actually, longevity. Although in the case of digital files it can be solved by periodically copying the files to a new storage medium.

What is it that keeps you not convinced in digital superiority?

keith selmes
3 May 2013 - 1:03 PM


Quote: Every new frame comes on exposure table of the camera pristine and dust free ( a good cassette seal takes care of it)

In 35 mm cameras it might be true that the dust gets there after development. But think bellows, and see the problem, especially with sheet film and/or interchangeable lenses.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139430 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
3 May 2013 - 1:06 PM


Quote: I turn off auto-review in all my cameras because I know what the picture will look like as soon as I take it.

Me too. I'm not one for "chimping". Wink

MichaelMelb_AU


Quote: ...
Some of MichaelMelb_AU's comments like 'less trash in my photo archive and others' sound more the result of a failure in self-discipline to me.

the same lemmy:

Quote: ...To me, that's akin to just shooting a movie and picking out the best frames. No thought, no time or consideration, just hose everything down and make the decisions later. That's the way I see it as an old timer....The moment when your picture suddenly sparkles in the viewfinder, when it suddenly takes on its own life, that's the time to press the shutter. It takes confidence and experience but it's immensely more satisfying than firing away and hoping for the best.

Returning the favour, I find your shape-shifting exercise quite impeccable. Thanks for the pleasure watching it.

MichaelMelb_AU


Quote: But think bellows, and see the problem, especially with sheet film and/or interchangeable lenses.

Cannot think bellows, it takes me back to sheet film, glass plate, contact print... TongueBlush

MichaelMelb_AU


Quote: I turn off auto-review in all my cameras because I know what the picture will look like as soon as I take it.

Me too. I'm not one for "chimping". Wink

I see some pictures your collection taken with compacts...

conrad
conrad  1010874 forum posts116 Constructive Critique Points
3 May 2013 - 2:18 PM


Quote: What is it that keeps you not convinced in digital superiority?

Initially it was especially things like film grain and the way colour is captured that made me doubt it, especially after reading that article I mentioned, that digital really could do anything film can, but having read all the replies in this thread, having done some more online research, and having thought about it more, I've come to the conclusion that I have to disagree with Mr. Scholz - I think it's just his personal preference. And, having re-read the article, I even think that for him it has more to do with the way a film camera works as opposed to a digital camera, than with film photography in general.

I myself am very happy with digital photography, and I can compare - when I was in my teens, I had my own darkroom, and I experimented with black and white photography, and later I used transparency film.

What I especially like about digital, is that I can take as many images as I like without spending a lot of money on more film, more developer, etc.

Although I do see Scholz's point in one respect: I've only discovered just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the options in the menus, submenus and sub-submenus of my camera! But that's not a film versus digital kind of thing for me, I could have chosen a simpler model, so it's my own fault.

Last Modified By conrad at 3 May 2013 - 2:18 PM
MichaelMelb_AU

Come on Conrad, I don't see any of your fault here. I wrote enough here about how different digital is to film. Not better or worse - different. Taking it seriously needs some re-learning of common truths and skills. Digital gives more control over image at every stage , but takes it's price in terms of complexity and time spent while sorting the things out. Does one need to keep going with film when doing with digital? Probably not, if they are happy with the result. While I believe that film will never be completely replicated by in-and out of camera processing, digital imaging has more than enough creative instruments at it's own disposal. Take your time to get comfortable with your camera, and then judge the difference yourself - if you still need to do so. The biggest authority to an artist is himself, and the practice makes it perfect. Keep going, and...
Have Fun!

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 3 May 2013 - 3:27 PM
conrad
conrad  1010874 forum posts116 Constructive Critique Points
3 May 2013 - 3:33 PM

That probably about sums it up, Michael, I should think, thanks.

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