slides; worth reverting to 35mm over digital?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Bernard Arnest, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Dear Group,

    I'm a student in sculpture. Mostly friends pose for me, but
    favors would run short after the first 20 hrs of posing :) A
    sculpture takes a lot of time... Models are prohibitively expensive.
    Thus, photography is a natural answer. Thus far when I do a portrait
    head of a friend, I take 24 photos all the way around, set up my laptop
    with its 14" screen, and that works. But larger? This screen is too
    small for a 1/2-scale figure.

    I have a digital camera. I just browsed digital projectors, for
    which I'd be looking at around $650.

    I investigated old kodak slide projectors. They sell for
    $50-$100, almost disposable-- I could just upgrade to digital in a
    couple years when I'm wealthier; and the bulbs are reasonably
    affordable (if it burns out on a digital projector, it is not; the bulb
    is half the price of the projector, like ink to printers or blades to

    Digital film to slides costs $2.50/slide, and I'm told the
    quality is lacking. This setup is impossible; Just 10 sculptures, and
    I have my digital projector!!

    Regular film to slide is much cheaper. So are regular cameras.
    But then instead of one digital projector, now I'm getting a used slide
    projector, replacement bulbs, a camera, and learning to use it from
    scratch (never used a traditional film camera before). Is it worth it?
    I'd spend I suppose $200 instead of $600, but ultimately will likely
    upgrade anyway. Will the quality of film be greater than XGA digital
    resolution, projected onto an ~80" screen?

    Oh, about projectors, a quick question: the carousel goes around,
    from 1-80. I have 24 photos, no need for 80, that's so close as to be
    redundant. However, I want to go from 1 to 24 and then circle right
    back to 1 again. Does the carousel lock in one position, such that
    this is impossible, or can I just quickly release the carousel, rotate
    it back to one, and start clicking through again?

    thanks for the advice!
    -Bernard Arnest
    Bernard Arnest, Aug 28, 2006
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  2. For sculpture work, I would think an ideal tool would be a stereo
    camera.....consider finding an old Stereo Realist.....Take a half dozen or
    so shots of your model with one of these, and you should never have to look
    at him/her again.......
    William Graham, Aug 28, 2006
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  3. Bernard Arnest

    Mxsmanic Guest


    The advantage of film is better bang for the buck; the disadvantage is
    greater overhead in order to get nice photos, and the continuing cost
    of film and development (although you have to shoot a lot of film to
    reach the initial cost of a digital system).
    Mxsmanic, Aug 28, 2006
  4. sculpture? Oh, you must mean decorative civil engineering.
    I have seen projectors for $5 in yard sales, looked OK, but
    caveat emptor. You don't necessarily need a Carousel -- though
    they are the standard, other types did exist. Autofocus _is_ a
    nice thing to have on a projector unless you mount your slides
    in glass.

    A used autofocus plastic body SLR w/ lens can be had for
    $100, I don't know much about the low end of Nikon,
    Minolta, Pentax and Canon, others can comment.

    If you don't mind a 'classic' manual camera $20 will get you a
    Mamiya 1000 DTL or equivelant. Ask a photographer at your
    end to help you pick one from ebay. If it needs a PX625
    Mercury battery [no longer made] come back here for advice
    [most of it conflicting] on a work-around -- it is no
    big deal. Again, caveat emptor: if the listing says "I
    don't have time to test it," "the original owner said it
    worked," "the last time it was used," "beautiful, rare,
    fine addition to, proud to own ... ," "I don't know
    anything about cameras", don't buy.

    A projection screen is a nice thing to have, common
    garage sale item.

    If the market has hit bottom (???) you can probably
    sell the stuff for what you bought it for.
    Push down the button on the side by the 'gate' and the tray
    can be spun. It needs to be spun back to '0' to be removed.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Aug 28, 2006
  5. Bernard Arnest

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    Another thought; if you have a laptop or PC with a TV Out connector, you
    could redirect the video to a large screen TV, which may be a better and
    cheaper long term solution than moving back to film, processing, and
    projector bulbs.
    Kinon O'Cann, Aug 28, 2006
  6. Hi,

    Hmm.... tell me if this is sound logic.
    My photo is 2952 X 1944 pixels. Going digital, projectors in
    my price range are limited to ~1200 X 800. That sucks; no matter how
    big I blow it up on the wall. My color printer will do 600 X 600 dpi.
    So in an 8 X 10 transparency, assuming 1 "dot" = 1 pixel? If so, then
    there are far more than enough dots to capture the full detail of the
    digital photo, which 1200X800 will not? Then, will a cheap overhead
    projector reflect almost the full detail of the 600X600dpi
    transparency? If so, then I think I have my answer; dirt cheap,
    without investing in a new film camera as well as a slide projector and
    paying for each development.

    Let me know,
    -Bernard Arnest
    Bernard Arnest, Aug 28, 2006
  7. Not quite safe to assume. Color printers are making thousands of
    "colors" (hues, if you will) out of four, or maybe six color inks, so what
    they do is cluster different colors together (in those tiny dots) to
    achieve what looks like a particular hue. So, technically, you can't change
    dpi to ppi when talking printing.

    However, you may also be close enough for what you're doing.

    Color register may be a problem. Getting accurate color from a
    printer is difficult in the best of times, far more so when counting on the
    inks to act as a color gel or filter. It won't hurt to try a couple - you
    may have to create a set of standard alterations to the original to make a
    decent transparency.

    You may also see some distortion from an overhead projector.
    Definitely, if you cannot adjust the lens head to be perfectly parallel to
    the projection surface. Slide projectors are slightly less prone to this,
    but still something to be aware of.

    Slides, taken properly, will probably surprise you with their
    sharpness and clarity. Use a decent film for people like Fuji Astia/Sensia
    (virtually the same thing) and remember that your contrast will be
    increased slightly, so aim for lowered contrast from your lighting

    Then, there's also the option of a much larger external monitor for
    the laptop.

    Check your school's surplus options - you can sometimes find items
    for a song. Ours (UNC-CH) has slide projectors for $10-15, monitors for
    $25-35, and plenty of other fun things disgustingly cheap.

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Aug 29, 2006
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