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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.

brian1208 Plus
12 10.9k 12 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2003 3:05PM
I was mulling this over this morning having seen a comment about "Real Photographs".

If you look at the root of the word you see that it means "Writing or drawing with Light".

Surely that is what we are all doing when we take photos? We can, I suggest, all agree that at present 35mm slide or print technology will give more image information than normal digital CCD or CMOS devices.

But - is this really the point - surely the real objective of photography by whatever means is to capture images that have meaning to those who view them, whether it be to inform, entertain excite or whatever.

If this is case - it is the quality of the image and its impact on the beholder that matters - not the technology by which it has been achieved?

Or have I missed something important?

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alexruiz 13 30
21 Jun 2003 3:41PM
I think if you look in terms of print quality, Digital has probably overtaken 35mm. Why I am still shooting film? Well it's because I can use my film SLR for the next 50 years and it'll do the same thing as today.

I really do want to break into digital photography, but price constraints for the time being don't warrant it for me. Digital is very convenient, but also expensive when you add up the body, memory cards or drives etc... I can shoot hundreds of rolls of film in comparison. Without the huge investment up front.

I think also that the camera companies realize that they now have a new cash cow. Because just like computers, cameras will to get better and you brand new DSLR will be obsolete before you can take it out of the box.

I am at some point going to go digital, but I think it will be when an affordable DSLR has the ability that a medium format film camera does. I thought about getting a DSLR when I purchased my Canon EOS Elan 7E(30E). Then I realized that I could invest in a nice medium format kit like a Mamiya RZ67. That camera with velvia film, still can't be touched by digital in my opinion. I'm sure you could get a digi-back for it, but then comes price constraints again.

I also think that the less expensive digicams should incorporate the 35mm sized CCD or CMOS senor like the more expensive ones do. 1.6 magnification sounds nice until you try to shoot a landscape, and realize you have to buy a $2000 lens to do what the standard 28mm lens does on a 35mm camera.

Finally the general populus probably believes that the digital camera is too clinical. You take a picture and there it is no film, no development. That's my opinion. I felt the same way about photography while pursuing Fine Art. It was just TOO easy to take a picture, when I was spending hours and hours creating my "masterpiece" Wink. I then realized that with Fine Art I could create what I wanted. With Photography you had to find the composition and have the ability to capture it. I think those people who love to shoot in B+W will never stop because most of them love the art of developing and printing the picture, and photography doesn't stop when you press the shutter button.
mitchellhatpeg 12 205 1
21 Jun 2003 3:57PM
I've just been reading about a new 22 million pixel sensor made by Creo which comes in a back designed for 645 format cameras. The sensor also matches 645 film dimensions. The price wasn't mentioned (!) but I dare say the images from this baby could be blown up bigger with less quality loss than the equivalent format with a film in it. I doubt that I shall be able to afford one soon though!
macroman 12 15.3k England
21 Jun 2003 7:43PM
Another thing that is ignored by the electronic artists, is that as quickly as digital is developed, the film manufacturers are developing newer and better films, for instance the new Kodak HD knocks spots off of earlier film.
Once you have bought a reasonable film camera all you need is film, a few dishes/tanks a basic enlarger and you're set up for years/decades.

With DI the camera is only the start of your problems, you need an expensive PC, software, printer, etc. and your equipment either becomes obsolete within months/weeks or your costs rise exponentially to keep up with the latest advances.

I'm not knocking digital as a medium, it's just that it's so high tech to do a simple job, a bit like using an F1 Mclaren to nip down to Tesco's for a six pack!

MMmmm, beer. :o)
Carabosse Plus
12 39.9k 269 England
21 Jun 2003 11:33PM
Digital already has overtaken 35mm. Professional photographers who are unwilling to move over to the new medium are going to be left behind. Pros I have met recently are all using digital even for glossy mag work.

The 'race' is won. Get digital or get left behind!! Wink

Film will soon be analogous to vinyl records. For the nostalgia market and with fierce defenders who 95% of the rest don't even listen to!!

And oh yes, I used film for years and years and was a total digital sceptic!! Not any more!
stan walker 12 578
22 Jun 2003 7:25PM
Please please do not start WW3. Both systems have their followers. Stupid claims like excellent prints at 20*16 from 3mpixels. Red toned darkrooms for printing. Obviously this man has never done color prints. I admit there is far more work in producing color prints. But thats the fun of any hobby. I used to mix my own color chemicals. Got the scales to prove it and a PH meter. Lets all be pals and be nice to the O.A.P members.
macroman 12 15.3k England
22 Jun 2003 8:05PM
You are at it again Stan!

Better watch your back, as there's a contract out on you.
And Hell's Grannies are after you!

Carabosse Plus
12 39.9k 269 England
22 Jun 2003 8:58PM
Extreme claims on either side certainly don't help! The idea that "a few chemicals and a darkroom" is all you need is frankly laughable. What percentage of film users on this forum do their own D&P. Very, very low indeed I would guess. What percentage of digital users do at least some of their own printing. Pretty high I would guess.

With digital you can see the whole process through from clicking the shutter to printing out the print. With no need for stumbling around in the dark with trays full of dodgy chemicals!!!

I think digital will lead to more creativity. That can only be a good thing.
stan walker 12 578
22 Jun 2003 10:14PM
I never stumbled around. I have a fantastic sense of balance in complete darkness. if hell is like this , I can`t wait.Please grow up and try to see the other sides point.
Carabosse Plus
12 39.9k 269 England
22 Jun 2003 10:20PM
Abuse does not help the argument, Stan baby!! Maybe you need to grow up a bit? (Whatever your age).

My point is that only a tiny percentage of users of colour film will ever see through the whole process from taking the pic to printing it. That percentage has increased hugely with the advent of digital photography.

In my view that is a GOOD thing. Does anyone want to claim it is not?
Sepia 13 140
22 Jun 2003 10:58PM
Just like to say that I P+D both Black and white and colour so do two more on this forum, I know because they use my darkroom. I also have a fully equipped digital darkroom. Now, I know I am not a spring chicken, one of the people who uses my equipment is. At 28 she has her A.R.P.S in traditional prints. My daughter is 14 and also uses both darkrooms, prefering the magic of traditional. I use digital for my art work, which is a mixture of photography, 3D and conventional art.
I do know that I will never give up my traditional equipment, in fact I will expand as things become a little less expensive.
Tomorrow I will try to develop a hundred year old glass print, I know it will be possible to do with my enlarger, can I scan that glass into my computer, not at the moment. I can clean the finished print up but it has to be done the old way first. I will let you all see it if I can get a print.
Sepia, teaches PhotoShop and has a job as a web designer.
alexruiz 13 30
23 Jun 2003 1:26AM
I was just thinking I drive a new sports car, but my friend drives an truck that he likes very much. Now I could never see myself driving a truck. Last night we agree to meet at the movies at a certain time. We both arrived and saw the movie.

The point of this story is how you get there isn't important as long as you reach you destination.

I post on several photo sites and every one has this argument going on. Now I agree that discussion is good, as long as there is tolerance. It is ridiculous to argue about something so purportless.

You shoot on digital I shoot on film. I'm happy with my results.

Saying that the intorduction of digital, means the end of film is
Carabosse Plus
12 39.9k 269 England
23 Jun 2003 2:19AM
Heard all these sort of arguments before... manual focus v. autofocus etc etc.

I went to a christening yesterday. Cameras were out in force...I counted 12 all together. 9 were digital and the other 3 were 35mm disposables. Not one camera was a conventional 35mm model!! Sign of the times maybe?

This is a slightly silly thread and it is even sillier to see it as competition between film and digital. Why not just accept that digital is a natural development in the scheme of things and will gradually take over the role that film has had for so long.

We should rejoice that something has come along which has the potential to make us (a) do more photography and (b) be more creative (honing our Photoshop skills etc!)

You don't even have to put your Hasselblad in the bin - just get a digital back for it!! Smile

stan walker 12 578
23 Jun 2003 6:39AM
Hey caraboose
Tell me, where on this thread have I been abusive. I seem to have been trying to calm things down. Reading your posts you think everybody is wrong but you. Both sides have their pro`s and con`s. Digital is how long do you think your prints will last?. Oh yes I know makers of ink and paper give rubbish times like 25 years. All I can say is Don`t do wedding photographs professionally or you will be sued. "oh" but you say "we can store them on CD`s for future printing". The makers of printers have you by the short hairs. Buy a few of our ink cartridges and you will pay more for the ink than the printer. It`s like buying a car and after a few fill ups, paying more for the petrol than the car. I bet you wince when you see the price of the makers cartridges. I have 25 year old prints of weddings taken on 35mm cameras and they are as good as ever. Same go`s for transparencies. I use both systems and am happy to do so.
bbdigital 14 21
23 Jun 2003 6:59AM

What has caused all the activity in this debate. Wasn't it all started by a wet photographer anyway. I have never had any problem existing alongside film Photographers or digital, but have been faced with some quite ridiculous arguments from those who want to keep digital away from clubs and competitions.

I gave a talk the other day to a club, where one guy left because they allowed digital prints in their competitions. Of course both ways of working can co-exist and this discussion was probably born from the old cry of the wets.....Digital is not up to the standard of 35mm.

Oh yes and who said you can't get big prints from 3million pixel cameras. I have 20*16 prints from a CP 990, althought a part of that size is a printed border. If I could have got that quality in my darkroom days I would have been a happy bunny.

Last thought...you can get crap 35mm images and crap digital images.