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How long before digital overtakes 35mm?


This topic is locked.

Reason : This topic was started an awful long time ago and has generated a lot of discussion. Many good points have been raised, but I feel we can now draw things to a close, so have locked this topic. Will.

redsnappa 15 2.0k United Kingdom
8 Oct 2002 6:01PM
Kodak has just its new digital SLR which will be in the shops from December acording to my copy of Amateur Photographer.

DSC pro14n as it is called will have an amazing 14 MEGAPIXELS using a FULL FRAME CMOS sensor !!

I hope I haven't ended this brilliant forum topic with this news.

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Will 16 1.8k United Kingdom
8 Oct 2002 6:12PM
We put up a story on this new Kodak over two weeks ago here. Smile
Pressman 16 88
8 Oct 2002 7:12PM
Here's some input from an 'oldun. I agree absolutely with Barry's views. I am a 75 year old long retired press photographer who went digital two years ago.I am now on my fourth digital camera and slowly getting to grips with Photoshop.After decades of darkroom work,its wonderful to come out into the light!. My present camera the Canon G2, gives me everything I want quality wise,with half the effort.
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
9 Oct 2002 9:39AM
redsnappa - yes, the new breed of digital SLRs has reached 35mm quality - at a price.
I would dearly love an EOS 1Ds (had a play with one at Photokina) but as a keen amateur I can't afford the 6 grand price tag.
I don't want to give up using SLRs, and until I can get film quality from a digital SLR sub 500 quid I will stick to film.
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
9 Oct 2002 9:40AM
addition to above:
I was considering the D60 (poor substitute) but I can't find one for less than 1700 quid, which is still way out of my range.
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
10 Oct 2002 5:19PM
Hope I'm not hogging this thread now.

I just read a review of the D60 in this months Practical Photography and I have changed my mind. It is obviously not the poor substitute.
I will wait for the review here, but if it's good, then I'll find the money somewhere.
Just gotta convince the wife.
Dabber 16 211 England
14 Oct 2002 10:48PM
There will never be a definitive answer to this question because of the almost infinite uses of photography or image making.

In the final analysis it is the appeal of the photo (image) to the viewer that matters.

I am, and have been for many years, an avid photographer, I take photos for both profit and pleasure and I am acutely aware of customer needs (even if it is only me who is the customer!)

When I cover a wedding my first line equipment is a tripod-mounted 6cm x 6cm camera, manual everything. This enables me to take technically superb photos. I also shoot liberal amounts of 35mm; this is basically the belts and braces approach. I generally duplicate all the 6 x 6 shots on 35mm plus candids that can only be achieved using the flexibility of a hand held, auto everything, SLR.

The customer has access to all of the images for inclusion in the album. So we know that the image quality from the 6 x 6 is technically superior to 35mm, but now it also has to stand up to the moment in time element of what makes s good photo.

I have a nice portrait of a bride on the 6 x 6 but her eyes have been caught mid-blink, it is not acceptable, but if I have caught her with a lovely expression on 35mm that will be the one which selected for the album. Album size prints are generally 8 x 6 therefore all top branded SLRs will produce more than adequate quality.

So I believe the overriding need is to capture the moment.

For about a year now I have been shooting as previously described but with the addition of digital, on a basic non-zoom Olympus 1.3 Megapixal. My main reason for this is to evaluate the pros and cons of going digital. Based on my experiences over that period I now firmly believe that in the overall task of providing the best album, digital is the way to go.

Film, good as it is, leaves the camera and goes to the processors for development and print production. Although these processors are very reliable and generally consistent the photographer has little or no control of the result.

I believe that there are very few photos that would not benefit from some sort of creative intervention, it may just be tighter cropping, there may be some distraction now obvious on the print that was not evident during the take that should be removed or toned down. Then there is the tweaking of the image quality, levels etc. All of these elements go to improve the appeal of the finished photo. Basically what Im saying is that the photographer now has complete control of the final result.

Then there is the cost of film, and processing, all of which has to be paid for. The cost of a print destined for the bin will cost exactly the same as one destined for the album.

I have now reached the stage where I am confident enough to cover a wedding 100% digitally. My new camera a Canon G2 is superb, one of the very few non-SLR that will utilise a proper flashgun. Plus loads of available settings from fully auto to fully manual, my only minor disappointment is the way that manual focus works! Ive still not weighed it up. I can shoot all day and save to micro-drive, no more fiddling changing film. I can do a quick visual as I take and erase anything not wanted as I go along. When Im finished I can run low res thumbnails on cheap office paper that will show content, rather like the old fashioned black and white proofing.

The camera resolution of 4million pixels is more than enough to produce superb photographs. Images chosen for the album, and re-prints will be made from these original images, and, using all the skills, tweaks etc. in the image manipulation software will delight the customer.

So to summarise the final image is a result of what is captured at the instant the shutter fires, combined with the technical expertise of printing techniques.
If this is film based then the photographer looses control when he hands the film over. The digital user, however, has complete control and in the hands of a competent digital operator will produce photos with more appeal.

A special word to bbdigital.. I noticed you ended your input with a statement that you have a neg scanner and did anyone want it?

Well, yes please if you dont need it anymore.

At the start of my long and winding thread, I said that I have been an avid snapper forever. During that time I have been documenting my local area (Ill never be a Suttcliffe) most of these negs are black and white and many have never been printed due to time constraints. So I have unseen records of how the place has altered, you know the things, retail developments, ring roads, ever changing shop frontages etc.etc. The most practical way to get these into print is to make them digital, I was going to pursue the idea of some sort of adaptor for my G2, but a dedicated film scanner could be the answer.

If you dont need it and the price is right I may be able to put it to good use. Will you contact me with some more info?
15 Oct 2002 12:46PM
Having moved from film to digital myself over the last year I must say that i believe that digital ha now taken over from 35mm and after seeing the work of Andy Rouse then medium format is about to be consigned to history.
I can make A3 size prints, which equate to double page of most magazines which are totally acceptable. The ability of digital under extreme conditions as well as the post manipulation gives it all the advantages that film now lacks. The ability to have instant confirmation that you have the shot, the nil cost of shooting as many as required to get the shot you want and cutting out the labs and process time are all additional benefits.
Yes I do still carry a film camera for slide use but I shoot all my required material on digital.
The Oly E10 lead the way for me and the D60 and EOS systems have just taken that to new levels.
More and more Pro's are turning to digital to be able to compete and if it did not delier both quality and results then they would not use it as the editors and print buyers would not use them.
Progress should be embraced it's here, use it, make it work for you. I remember this same argument back in the early days of 35mm SLR's when die hardes said that it was rubbish and would never replace 120 roll film. It did to an extent that 35 mm film has a greater variety than 120 currently available but they are basically the same technology. Digital has moved the boundaries. Forget using scanners they are a awaste of time, I have looked and used some of the the so called 'best'. As with any process you produce at every stage slight degredation of the original. All scanning gives you is an ability to store the shot better and play with it in Photoshop. Why does anyone want to have a 300 dpi record of a picture recorded on plastic recorded with a layered grained material?
Each to there own but I will not be returning to film once my needs for slides is gone.
PS I don't scan the slides or store them electronically, just in case anyone was wondering.

J-P 15 396
16 Oct 2002 10:43AM
My apologies if I kill the thread, but isn't this whole discussion just a measure of how 'hardware orientated' we all are ?

As long as we're all happy does it really matter if your lens focuses on a CCD or acetate ?

JP, New Zealand
redsnappa 15 2.0k United Kingdom
16 Oct 2002 12:18PM
To jpdias.

The thread will remain alive & very much kicking purely because even if we don't admit it we are all 'hardware oriented'. If we were not the Box Brownie would still rule as newer better hardware would not sell in sufficient numbers because Box Bwownie image quality would satisfy our need.

Also if it did not matter whether lenses focussed on CCD or film there would not be a forum for you to express your views.
photodoctor 15 101
16 Oct 2002 9:06PM
Leave my Box Brownie out of this lads!
paulowen 16 146
25 Oct 2002 2:11AM
Ok here I go with my 2 pence worth. I am new to photography (3 years now) and I only started as a direct result of a digital camera. I am into computing and it was obvious that I had to take this route at some point.

In 3 years I have become hooked and I am actually now taking a 2 year photography course to further develop my skills.

I asked my lecturer the question about Digital v Film and he said that when they produce a 15MP camera hell consider changing? I asked why and he said it was because of print quality, so I decided to put it to the test and took a picture with a 120 Medium format camera in the studio and the EXACT same picture with my S2 and had them printed (there were 15 images in total all exactly the same) and then asked him to pick his preferred prints. Guess what? 11 out of the 15 were from the S2.

I would never have become hooked on photography had it not been for digital and I know Im not alone. Ive got un-developed film in drawers and cupboards everywhere but Ive not got a single digital image that I dont look at.

Perhaps we should all join together to celebrate what each can achieve and stop this professional back biting.

And so endeth my opinion.
paulowen 16 146
25 Oct 2002 2:35AM
Just as an aside:

At the last Olympic Games the organisers had built 200 photo labs for the 20,000 or so journalists to use and never, not on a single occasion were any one of the labs used.

So this means that for the Purists out there we had 20,000 wage earning professionals who must have been wrong because without exception they were ALL digital.

(LoL) (Im getting cockey now Ive learnt a little) (and I mean a little)
redsnappa 15 2.0k United Kingdom
25 Oct 2002 1:07PM
The fact that the 200 'film labs' were not used is nothing to do with image qualit.

For newspapers, speed is more important than absoolute quality so the photographers would be sending their digital images stored on laptops to their recpective picture desks using a variety on methods mobile & landline 'phones & sattelite etc.

So as well as the 'film labs' the couriers were also not needed.
J-P 15 396
25 Oct 2002 9:31PM
Redsnappa must be a mind reader as I was about to post exactly the same message.

Speed is essential to the picture editor but of little interest to me shooting landscape for a 2005 calendar. Or Joe Average for that matter.