Back to film or stay digital

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Brian Fairchild, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. Your thoughts would be most welcome (sorry for the long post)...

    When I could first afford a 'proper' camera (Chinon CE4 35mm SLR)
    about 20 years ago, film was the only choice. Over the years I bought
    more gadgets and lenses to go with my camera until I had a bag full.
    The problems was, I got fed up of carrying around so much stuff; it
    distracted from what I wanted to do which was to take pictures. So I
    gradually stopped using it.

    A few years back I bought a digital camera (a Kodak DC280) in an
    attempt to rekindle my interest. I like digital for some things, it's
    immeadiacy is very good. But because of my disappointment with the
    limitations of digital I never really got back into taking pictures
    for pleasure.

    Now I'm feeling the urge again but can't decide which way to go. I
    want a camera for good quality general photography, some landscape,
    some action, some interior. I have set a maximum budget of £350 for
    the whole set-up (I have a good PC and photo-quality printer already).
    I've also decided that if I go film I will start again, disposing of
    any existing kit (Pentax K mount lenses).

    I've been suprised at the current film lenses you can get, 28-200's
    were not an option a few years ago. On the film side I've identified
    the Minolta Dynaxx5 as a good body, coupled to something like a Sigma
    or Tamron 28-200 lens. And it comes within budget. And it will do most
    nearly all I want.

    On the digital side I've yet to find anything at the price which I
    think is anywhere near as good as my film choice.

    I find a number of irritations with digital cameras...

    1. Response time - very few people quote the response time of the
    camera or, more importantly, the cycle time. A few reviews derive
    figures and to be honest they are very uninspring. A couple of frames
    a second for a maximum of a couple of frames seems to be normal
    (ignoring 'film' modes). The Dynaxx5 will do nearly 3 fps for a whole
    36-exp roll by contrast.

    2. Inbuilt flash - given that I want to get away from the 'gadget bag
    stuffed full' approach most digital cameras seem to offer about 2.5m
    at ISO100, fine for a 'snap' but not much else (the dynaxx5 says 12m
    at ISO100).

    3. Lenses - ignoring digital zoom, most digital cameras have a limited
    zoom range. I imagine that a 28-200 will cover 95% of any pictures,
    I'm not aware of any digital cameras with such a coverage.

    4. Battery life - nuff said.

    Re-reading the above, I suspect I've answered my own concerns and will
    go with a 35mm film camera but I'm always open to other peoples

    I also suspect that at the lower (ie less than £1000) end of the
    market there is not much point in asking 'Film or Digital' they are
    two very different tools offering two very different feature sets.

    Thanks for reading this far.

    Brian Fairchild, Jul 7, 2003
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  2. Brian Fairchild

    Phil Guest

    Sounds as if you have. My present compromise is to get a Photo CD
    every time I have my film processed.

    Photo CD costs:
    Kodak (through Tescos) £5
    Klick (Scotland only) £2
    I cannot fault either of these as far as image quality is concerned
    but the Kodak prints that accompany the CDs are better than those
    printed by Klick

    Phil, Jul 7, 2003
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  3. If theyt are genuine Pentax then I'd say why? And if you have a Pentax 24mm
    you don't want, I think we could do a deal...
    Be wary of zooms with big ranges - unless quality is not a concern. If you
    want to avoid a bag full of glass, get a wide-angle zoom (say 28-50) and a
    tele (80-200). And bear in mind that the lenses the big names sell as
    standard on their consumer cameras are cheap and, being polite, are
    unrepresentative of the quality of lenses sold separately.

    One thing you might want to consider is to follow the route I've taken and
    that's to acquire a stack of good-quality used 35mm gear on Ebay. For a
    similar outlay, you could get yourself a really top-notch camera from a few
    years back- if you are prepared to forego things like autofocus and other
    modern conveniences.
    Likewise. And it takes some of the fun away as you don't get the chance to
    experiment with different film types.
    Julian Barkway, Jul 7, 2003
  4. In a flurry of electrons Julian Barkway spake thus:
    Unfortunately they're not genuine Pentax. Also looking around there
    appear to be very few camera bodies which still use Pentax A mount
    Thanks for that idea I must admit I hadn't considered getting a good
    wide-angle zoom and a seperate tele zoom, time to go web-surfing. I've
    decided to buy just the camera body and then pick a good lenses
    seperately whatever I do.
    Brian Fairchild, Jul 8, 2003
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