experimenting with 35mm film

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by simon, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. simon

    simon Guest

    I have had digital cameras for many years now, however a few months
    back I became interested in 35mm photography having seen some pictures
    taken with a 35mm compact and scanned onto a CD. I have now got my
    self a Nikon F80 and a 28-200 Nikkor lens. The camera was less than 50
    quid, and I guess the lens is not going to loose much of it's value .

    After shooting my first roll ( and getting over the shock of paying
    for the processing !) I have had some nice results. I have also just
    bought a MJU II 35mm compact film camera . Where as my TZ3 digital
    compact is capable of some very nice photos, I am hoping that the MJU
    will offer PQ nearer that of my DSLR ( D40 ) when shot in good light..
    at least it's going to be a cheaper and better alternative to say a
    MJU 760 for the rare occaisions I need to fire off a few shots in the

    I must say that the scans from my F80 do compare rather well to my D40
    pictures, to me they are often more pleasing on the eye and seem to
    have a better depth of field and nicer colours too. Does anyone else
    prefer the 'look of film' ? The D40 pictures do look very clean and
    visually striking though.

    It seems to me that the digital revolution is forging ahead on the
    basis of market demand for a simply/ easy way to take photos. People
    ( myself included ) are quite happy with the noisy pictures from
    there tiny sensors, at least they can take hundreds of shots and get
    the one they want. Is 35mm film still better in certain circumstances ?
    simon, Mar 17, 2008
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  2. simon

    Woody Guest

    I read somewhere recently that you need something like 22Mp to get
    picture quality achieved by 35mm film.

    You can save a bit of money if you take your film to Asda and ask them
    to process it and put it on CD. Their scanning quality is superb and you
    get both hi-res and lo-res copies of each frame for much less than the
    cost of a set of prints.

    Personally I would prefer film every time - digital has a long way to go
    yet - but it costs too much for amateurs and is now getting difficult to
    Woody, Mar 17, 2008
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  3. simon

    Trev Guest

    No, more about 5 mp and you have more saturation and Range than 100 asa Film
    Trev, Mar 17, 2008
  4. simon

    Tony Polson Guest

    Wishful thinking.

    About as far from the truth as it is possible to get.
    Tony Polson, Mar 17, 2008
  5. rotfl
    you must be kidding me or you have never seen a decent scan before
    suddengunfire, Mar 18, 2008
  6. simon

    DB4 Guest

    I think the real appeal for film is the quality of kit that you can now pick
    up incredibly cheap on ebay!!

    Bought myself that mamiya 645 medium format that I'd always fancied just for
    the pleasure of ownership and slowing the whole picture taking experience
    down to a more thoughfull pace. Love my D80 but the concept of a 'latent'
    image, hidden away until you reveal it with chemicals is still very
    appealing to me.

    DB4, Mar 18, 2008
  7. simon

    Woody Guest

    I had one of those - brilliant camera.

    However you will find two problems (1) sourcing the film amd (2) getting
    it processed - not to mention the cost.

    I envy you though.
    Woody, Mar 18, 2008
  8. simon

    simon Guest


    7dayshop sell it don't they ? I have two rolls of 120 format I bought
    by mistake, isn't this the stuff ? From what I have read medium format
    cameras are still the main format for landscapes, digital does not
    come near the resolution yet ( you are talking 100 MP) . Every thing
    seems to be viewed on a computer screen these days but I guess you can
    do what ever the hell you like with a 100MP picture !

    I know what DB4 means about 'Joy of Ownership' My Nikon was only 47
    quid, and there is not a mark on it. If you watch Ebay, film cameras
    turn up all the time, virtually un-used but there are no shortage of
    bidders either, there must be a lot of nostalgia attached to 35mm as
    well .

    I also got a mju-ii film camera. I am going to use this whilst
    walking in the Lakes. If it rains ( as it surely will ) I wont dare
    take the D40 out of the dry sack !

    simon, Mar 19, 2008
  9. simon

    Sarah Brown Guest

    2003 called - it wants its debate back.

    Next we must turn our attention to the vital question on all our tongues:
    VHS or Beta?
    Sarah Brown, Mar 19, 2008
  10. simon

    Tony Polson Guest

    The cost????

    It isn't film that costs money, it's digital.

    By the time I had bought several DSLR bodies, replacing them as better
    ones became available, had the sensors professionally cleaned several
    times, replaced several of my lenses because, while they gave perfect
    results on film, they didn't work well on digital, upgraded my PC and
    bought new monitors, a monitor profiler and some very expensive
    software, plus additional hard disks for storage, burnt a great many
    CDs and DVDs, and spent a fortune on memory cards ...

    .... I could have bought and processed all the film I would need for at
    least the next 20 years.

    There is nothing expensive about film. Digital is a money pit.
    Tony Polson, Mar 19, 2008
  11. simon

    Duncan Guest

    That saved me from writing the exact same thing. Thank you.
    Duncan, Mar 19, 2008
  12. simon

    Tony Polson Guest

    You're very welcome.

    I'm pretty fed up of people making false claims that digital is better
    than film (it is still a long way away, especially in dynamic range)
    and that shooting digital is cheap. Well, I suppose it can be cheap
    if you just buy a cheap digital point and shoot compact camera, but
    not if you want to be serious about photography.

    When I totted up the sums I have spent on digital gear in the last
    five years, I was pretty shocked. Some of my gear gets a lot of hard
    use, shooting on construction sites and on or next to the sea. Cement
    and stone dust and salt water spray are camera/lens killers, so I have
    to replace my equipment surprisingly often. Upgrading cameras and
    lenses when they need replacing means that I cannot take advantage of
    anything getting cheaper.

    Put all this together with regular upgrades to computer hardware and
    software (two PCs at home, one for image editing and the other for the
    business side, plus a laptop) and digital photography is extremely
    expensive. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either using a cheap point
    and shoot compact digicam or deluding themselves.
    Tony Polson, Mar 19, 2008
  13. simon

    simon Guest

    This was part of the reason I became interested in film I think. For
    something which is not more than a hobby I must have spent a suprising
    amount of money on upgrading to the latest and greatest digital camera
    every 18 months.
    Now I use a 'proper' D-slr D40 rather than a 'slr like' compact, it's
    heavier but it's a 'real camera ' ! But I've also got a coolscan 5
    for my F80 ( which is a lovely camera to use !) and a MJU 2 compact
    35mm , I resisted splashing out for a D300, 'cos I just don't need
    it ! More interested in playing with a film camera

    simon, Mar 20, 2008
  14. Not only is digital more expensive than film it is also a lot more
    complicated and it is possible to spend a lot longer on the computer than
    you ever did in the darkroom. Having said that it is very versatile for
    various types of manipulation which are currently the fashion. I've still
    kept some film cameras and lenses just for the time when I want a more
    simple life.

    Roger Blackwell, Mar 20, 2008
  15. simon

    monopix Guest

    Now get yourself over to Filmwasters.com where you'll find a very friendly
    bunch of like-minded people.

    monopix, Mar 20, 2008

  16. You may now pat yourself on the back for that jolly good reasoning.
    G Paleologopoulos, Mar 21, 2008
  17. simon

    Tony Polson Guest

    Tony Polson, Mar 21, 2008
  18. simon

    Duncan Guest

    When I did the sums I came to much the same conclusion. And my investment in
    equipment of the years has paid off not having to buy new more expensive
    kit. In fact the more I do the les I can get away with. Cameras are tools
    and I choose for the job in hand.

    Besides the costs as Tony has illustrated with digital I can put a modern
    film emulsion into any of my age old cameras and get better results than

    The only practical way to buy into digital form a professional perspective
    is to lease the kit. No depreciation and full vat and value that can be
    claimed back against tax.

    I do have a Fuji F2 that recently had to have a new sensor. It was cost
    effective to have it repaired than to buy into new kit. I still use film
    camera lenses with it and even with 1.5x magnification can do most of what I
    need from digital.

    Apart from the silent operation that digital cameras can offer I still use
    my trusty Leica M4 for street photography with hyperfocal focussing.

    I was in a conversation the other day with a digital photographer who has no
    experience of film. She is a natural photographer with excellent vision and
    composition and struggles with technical aspects. But for her she gets the
    results. Alas this is not the case of the majority of digital photographers
    IME whom are no more than glorified sharpshooters with the advantage of
    limitless images subject to battery life and disc capacity.

    These days, as it was with the advent of desk top publishing where everyone
    was suddenly was a graphic designer digital photographer has made
    photographers out of everyone but not always for the good.

    Duncan, Mar 23, 2008
  19. simon

    Hugh Spence Guest

    This is true from some perspectives.

    If you 'machine-gun' shoot to get one good image and then show it on someone
    else's digital projector in a club setting, your cost is entirely contained
    in the initial purchase of the new toy. Film is dearer if you have a high
    wastage and don't do anything with the majority of the images shot.

    If you know that most of your pictures will be usable and you don't need
    them in seconds you can, as you say, buy a lot of film processing for the
    difference in cost.
    Hugh Spence, Mar 23, 2008
  20. Hello folks.

    I used Canon EOS film bodies and lenses until I felt that Canon offered a
    decent (for my needs) digital body. Note that I stayed with film until
    digital bodies met my needs.

    My second-hand digital body cost around £400. On its first outing on a
    week's holiday with me it saved me well over £200 in film purchase and
    processing costs. One great advantage of digital is that I can change ISO
    without having to carry lots of half-exposed films.

    For my needs, digital is better than film.
    Regards, Ian.

    Fred Anonymous, Mar 23, 2008
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