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Going back to film!


jimthistle73 e2
10 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 1:39AM

Quote:I dont think I have a decent undamaged negative in existence.
User error Smile I have thousands! I must admit I love the whole darkroom experience (and only use the bathroom for washing and drying prints and negs). My darkroom is a lovely, comfortable and comforting space when combined with a glass of red and a spot of Radio 4. Computer for work, darkroom for magic!

As you say though, each to their own!

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thebigyin e2
9 83 6 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 2:37AM
Not used a film camera since 2004, and have no intention of doing so.

Magic can be created on a computer much easier and safer than in any darkroom, it just depends on the imagination and skill of the person behind the mouse..

Besides, don't fancy breathing in all those fixer fumes, not too good for the lungs I think.

Alister
66tricky e2
8 742 Scotland
5 Apr 2012 8:52AM

Quote:I dont think I have a decent undamaged negative in existence. User error Smile I have thousands! I must admit I love the whole darkroom experience (and only use the bathroom for washing and drying prints and negs).
As you say though, each to their own!



Glad I don't live with you soapdodger...and where do you poo? TongueWink
jimthistle73 e2
10 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 10:24AM
Thebigyin - who put sand in yer crack this morning - I did say, "Each to their own"... I spend days on end in front of my computer screen editing and processing work photos, updating websites, doing SEO stuff, backing up docs and images - which is not to say I don't still love it, especially when the photos are of something other than weddings. Just that there will always be something about darkroom work which, for me, is a bit magical. Not trying to convert anyone - just saying what does it for me Smile

And tricky - in your shoes, when I find out where you live. Mwahahaha ha!
zed e2
10 551 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 1:55PM
pentax.jpg



This is my camera...
thefizz e2
10 353
5 Apr 2012 11:02PM

Quote:Not used a film camera since 2004, and have no intention of doing so.

Magic can be created on a computer much easier and safer than in any darkroom, it just depends on the imagination and skill of the person behind the mouse..

Besides, don't fancy breathing in all those fixer fumes, not too good for the lungs I think.

Alister



The whole fumes/smell argument is a bit dated, just buy the odourless chemicals.
keith selmes
11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 11:10PM

Quote:Magic can be created on a computer much easier and safer
The magic to me is what I remember from the first roll I developed.
The whole thing happens in the dark.
I have no darkroom, but with the changing bag, camera and tank, the film goes from box to camera to tank, and then through that arcane sequence of mixing and pouring chemicals, out of sight the whole time, and then open the tank, and out comes a roll of pictures. That's the magic.

That first time was a bit stressful, trying to remember everything in time, so I did mutter a few incantations as well.
It wasn't in the instructions but I think it helped Wink
18 Apr 2012 11:27PM
Zed, did you actually get some film shots done ?
zed e2
10 551 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 10:05PM
Yes, but only half way through the film, every shot counts!! I am taking longer to take one cos I don't want to waste any, all portraits.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
20 Apr 2012 12:40AM

Quote:Yes, but only half way through the film, every shot counts!! I am taking longer to take one cos I don't want to waste any, all portraits.


It's not a bad idea to treat a digital camera in the same way. Smile

I won't pretend I don't take more photos, in a given session, with digital than I did with film, but I am guessing I take vastly fewer than those who 'machine gun' everything - even landscapes! Lol! Wink
thewilliam e2
6 4.9k
20 Apr 2012 3:02PM
One friend runs landscape photography workshops, some for the RPS.

He allows his delegates a limited number of frames because it forces them to think about each shot they take and he checks the frame numbers when they get back to base.
21 Apr 2012 12:01AM
When you use the word 'frame' thewilliam, am I to presume you are referring to film then ?

@ Zed - Looking forward to seeing them Zed.
I've just gone back to using film too and love it. I still use digital and have no intention of giving it up but at the moment I'm finding I'm using film more than I'm using digital.

There are a few reasons for me doing this.

1. I really love vintage cameras (50's, 60's in particular)
Whilst it's true that it is not the camera that takes the photo but the photographer clearly the camera that they use does have an effect on the photo otherwise there would just be one camera on the market. Unquestionably modern cameras are far, far better than cameras from the 1950's etc in that they are far more advanced, faster to use and more accurate but it is the imperfections of older vintage cameras that I find quite appealing. We've all seen the rise in popularity of Lomography and whether this is just a fad or a style that will stand the test of time is immaterial, the fact is that a lot of people like it. I personally now own three 35mm cameras. A Russian made Fed 2 and a Fed 3 which kind of fall into the Lomo style but instead of being made of cheap plastic are built like tanks and are just as capable of capturing very lomoesque images as they are more 'normal' and artistic shots, i.e. the lenses that these use aren't really rubbish plastic ones but not too bad for their age. I also own a Canon EOS 5 which I picked up for silly money and which I use for 'more serious' photography where I want the look and feel of film but with quality optics.

2. I just love a certain film stock.
I really love the look and feel of Kodak Ektar 100. At the moment every scene I see, I see in Ektar. I just don't seem able to shoot enough of it. Could the same effect be captured in digital. Yes. But I don't need to because I already have the camera, stock and the negs need no tweaking straight out of the camera.

3. I've just started carrying a camera around with me every day.
I work in a fairly dodgy part of London and have to travel through even dodgier ones on my way home. However I have often wanted a camera with me to capture some of the scenes I see. I would feel nervous about carrying my DSLR around with me for fear of having it stolen etc. The fact that my film camera cost so little means that if they were stolen, I could replace them for about the price of a round of drinks. Also in regards to the Feds, nobody is going to think they were worth nicking anyway!

4. Full frame suits me better
Yes I admit, if I could afford a Canon EOS 5D I would buy one and possibly, with the exception of the Feds, wouldn't shoot 35mm again. However I can't afford to buy this camera but through shooting film I have realised that full frame suits me better as a format. I like wide angle shots but I've never really liked the extreme wide angle lenses that you tend to have to use on a crop sensor DSLR. Yes of course there are lenses for DSLR's that don't introduce that much barrel distortion or vignetting but these are very pricey. I can use a relatively cheap with a focal range of around 20-24mm lens on a 20 camera and achieve the same field of view that I would achieve if I spend several hundred pounds on a DSLR. Yeah if I had the money I'd go the digital root but I can't so it's film for me.

5. I like grain.
I don't like digital noise but I do like film grain. Yes I could add grain to a digital image or I could just shoot in the format that already has it.

6. It makes me think about each frame.
Because every frame of 35mm costs me money I think about every single shot I take. Yes the same can and should be applied to digital but lets be honest and say that because digital is 'free' everyone will at some stage spray and pray. C'mon we've all done it and sometimes it's for good reasons but other times it just because we feel lazy. It's no different from someone buying a sports car but saying they will always stick to the speed limit. Yeah right! Of course 'now and again' you are going to floor it.

7. It's fun.
Since when did photography have to be so serious? Some people may think of using film as a chore and a right pain in the arse. For others though it's fun. I like the mystery of film. I like the fact that I don't know what I've got until I've got the film processed. I like the fact that it may take me a few weeks to finish a film and that I may have even forgotten what's on the roll. When this doesnt suit the subject or my needs I will use digital.

Is film better than digital? No
Is digital better than film? No

Considering that when a viewer looks at a photo all they should be interested in is the subject, does it engage them, touch them, move them, speak to them. If they are then thinking "I wonder if that was shot on digital or on film" then the shot has failed. It doesn't matter what medium the shot was taken on to the viewer and therefore should only matter to the person that took the photo.

If you think that I or anyone else shouldn't use film or doesn't need to because digital is better or can achieve the same result then that is fine. However you aren't taking my photos, I am and I like using both so I will continue to do so.
28 Apr 2012 6:28PM
you must be nuts ! i went to digital when canon bought out the D60 , i was so impressed i will never will go back to film ! when i look at the images i took with that camera i think they are still better than those on the cameras of today !
An odd statement to make and one that seems to contradict itself. You say you wouldn't go back to film but yet you prefer the look of the photos taken on your D60 compared to those taken on your current DSLR. So that sounds like you are saying that you like the look of the images of the D60 but don't feel that digital technology has improved in the decade since that camera was launched.

I don't for one second dispute that digital is better than film in terms of ease of use, speed of use, and image quality in terms of noise/grain but that's taking a very simplistic look at photography IMHO. Photography is not just about the quality of the image. If you look back at some of the greatest photos ever taken you will find numerous ones that are slightly out of focus, have plenty of grain, aren't perfectly composed etc etc. The simple reason for this, and one that far too many photographers and the photographic press forget IMHO, is that photography is about capturing a moment in time and sometimes those moments aren't perfect.

I won't repeat myself but if you read back through my last post you'll see why I like to still use film and none of it has to do with image quality (in terms of the eternal hunt for optical perfection (and sterilization IMHO)) but with the feel of it, the fact that it suits my style of photography. As I have mentioned, yes I would love to buy a Canon EOS 5D MKIII because full frame suits me so much more than a crop body does but unless I win the lottery it aint gonna happen. If I did have a 5D then I would stop shooting 35mm on my SLR but I wouldn't stop using it on my Fed's or other vintage cameras because they give an image that, whilst possible to recreate digitally, it involves far more work then just shooting in that format and with that camera in the first place.

I fully accept that I'm probably different than many other photographers. I'm not so much involved in the eternal search for perfection but the eternal search for imperfection. For me that is infinitely more interesting and rewarding.

Lets face it, 35mm was good enough for over 80 years. It didn't stop being so when Canon released the D60 or the 5DMK III. It all depends on what you want to achieve. Each to their own and all that.

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