The demise of film cameras - I don't like it

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Dick R., Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Dick R.

    no_name Guest

    No it's not. Every one of Nikon's film greats is readily available at
    reasonable cost on the used market.

    What it really means is the chicken-little idiots are going to be
    dumping more good gear into that used market, driving prices down further.
    And as an "older" gentleman, you'll certainly be able to do whatever
    pleases you to do with film for the rest of your lifetime. I'm not sure
    what qualifies as "older", but I hope to last at least 40 more years,
    and I expect to continue shooting film and digital for the rest of my
    no_name, Jan 21, 2006
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  2. Dick R.

    no_name Guest

    You mispelled whiners. ;-D
    no_name, Jan 21, 2006
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  3. Dick R.

    no_name Guest

    OTOH, I think Greg and Gordon make a valid point that we have both Bach
    and Mozart, Picasso and Ansel Adams; film and digital.

    All change is not necessarily progress, nor is it inevitable that the
    good from the past disappears completely because of the new.

    In this instant internet age, it's still possible to find and buy NEW
    clavichords and harpsichords, although that's another market where the
    seasoned, well used instrument can, in fact, give more utility than the
    brand new.

    It all depends on the performance. Neither the piano nor the clavichord
    makes music by itself. Both require a pair of hands guided by
    experience, talent and a musical vision to produce any sound whatsoever.

    The same is true in photography. Film and digital are merely tools. What
    matters, and what will last, is the image created by the artist. Doesn't
    matter how the image is created; doesn't matter what tools the
    photographer uses to create the image. The image matters. If it's good,
    it will last.

    The tools can't by themselves make an image. No matter what those tools are.
    no_name, Jan 21, 2006
  4. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    But the better tools end up replacing the older tools. Mozart was
    worked to improve the piano. The piano is a better instrument then the
    clavichord, it is more expressive. Imagine how we would loose in the
    world of music if he paino was removed. The point is that just
    because great work has been done in the past with a given tool by no
    means that tool is the best it can be. If one were to try and make
    that argument then

    Even Bach was all for improving the tools, he could not live with the
    current way clavichords were tuned, he felt it limited his music.
    Would you have told Bach that his tools were good enough, that there
    was not need to improve the clavichord? Would you have told him it was
    the musician that made the music not the instrument and to quit messing
    with the tuning of his clavichord?

    Since the time of Mozart how much great music has been written for the
    clavichord? Now since Mozart how much great music has been written for
    the piano?

    It is not that without the paino we would have been lacking great
    music, but with it we have much more.

    Perhaps you would have told Lord Lichfield that film should be good
    enough for him? If it was good enough for the masters in the past who
    did he think he was giving it up for digital?

    Would you have told Lichfield that it was the image that counted and
    not the camera. Would you have told him he was being rude to past
    photographers for advocating digital over film?

    Scott W, Jan 21, 2006
  5. Scott W wrote:

    After this latest output from a leading member of the digital
    intellighensia, I can only conclude the following:

    1) Digital is a great advantage for the photographiacally and
    technically challenged (at least in many cases).

    2) The evidence is now conclusive that using digital cameras severely
    damages the brain.
    Chris Loffredo, Jan 21, 2006
  6. LOL!!!!

    So the current crop of DSLRs are the equivalnt of a grand piano...

    More like the dialtune inputs of portable phones: I'm sure some "great
    artists" will do something exceptional with those.

    BTW: Who is paying you?
    Chris Loffredo, Jan 21, 2006

  7. LOL!!!!

    So the current crop of DSLRs are the equivalnt of a grand piano...

    More like the dialtune inputs of portable phones: I'm sure some "great
    artists" will do something exceptional with those.

    BTW: Who is paying you? They really aren't using their money wisely...
    Chris Loffredo, Jan 21, 2006
  8. Dick R.

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Well stated. The few that were getting those good images were not the
    average consumer. Technical issues are somewhat leaving the P&S market,
    making small compact digital a good match for average wants. People find
    their 4x6 prints are acceptable, and it seems like they are easier for
    many people.

    This also points out another problem. Just like you would not want
    someone showing up with low end gear, the average person with a compact
    digital P&S does not always understand what professionals need to
    achieve. To get quality in professional imaging is not that much easier
    with direct digital imaging. Sure, maybe the bad lab, or bad technique,
    or bad scanning capabilities are no longer variables, but new variables
    can be memory card problems, not understanding CMYK printing and how RGB
    choices fit into that, and the never ending cost of replacing gear.
    Professional photographers do not have it easier, nor are they spending
    less using direct digital; sort of the opposite of the average consumer.
    It would be very difficult to have one D-SLR, or one digital back, one
    computer, one printer, or one monitor . . . and all those things will
    get better . . . and the client will expect that photographer to show up
    with better gear as it becomes available . . . any failure with only one
    of anything would be very bad for a professional. Count up the costs of
    two D-SLRs (Nikon D200 or D2X, Canon 5D or 1Ds Mark II, Kodak DCS), a
    computer, the latest RAW software, PhotoShop, really good stable
    monitor, and ideally a back-up computer or laptop with similar
    capabilities; throw in a few lenses, including some overlap in case one
    jams, gets dropped, or fails, then add several strobes or flash units
    and various support items, like a fist full of memory cards . . . . .
    being a professional photographer as your only income can be very
    expensive, contains numerous recurring expenses, and perhaps the most
    surprising aspect is that what you can charge for this has barely
    changed in the last ten years.

    Cost basis of film is not that much better. Of course, if you have
    clients with impossible deadlines and turnarounds, using film and
    scanning just might be too hectic. Also, in your situation, being on an
    island with no support facilities, film and quality imaging just are too
    much effort. Anyway, a high end scanner can cost what a really good
    D-SLR costs, the computer requirements are similar for film
    professionals doing their own file preparations, and the need for
    back-up gear is still there. What is slightly different is the rate of
    replacement, and that some recurring expenses can be billed out or
    incorporated into the usual fees. In some professional realms, film and
    scanning can be more profitable in the longer run of years with an
    imaging business. When that works poorly is event photography, wedding
    photography, product photography, and photojournalism.

    The consumers have it much easier than professionals. They are the ones
    that truly benefit from all this digital imaging development and
    research. They might emulate professionals, but to be a professional
    usually can mean a much higher commitment in time and financial
    resources than most can even imagine. I think professionals should be
    paid more today than they were five or ten years ago.
    Gordon Moat, Jan 21, 2006
  9. Dick R.

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Olaf Veltman comes to mind for the opposite, and outside of USENET, he
    is a much bigger figure in the world of photography than Roger Clark.
    Last I read, Roger Clark does not make his primary income from
    photography. Don't get me wrong here, he has tested and written some
    very compelling and useful articles, but he is more thought of for those
    articles than for his images.
    Gordon Moat, Jan 21, 2006
  10. Dick R.

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Some (many) photographers would barely reach their limits using film
    cameras. Even if they used something that might be potentially better
    (bigger film, better film, bigger CCD or CMOS, different lenses), quite
    likely many of them will still never reach their limits. Raising
    technical limits does not automatically improve someone's images.

    The Mozart's and Bach's of the film world can still make more
    interesting and compelling images than some random photographer with a
    Canon 1Ds Mark II, or a PhaseOne back on a Hasselblad. When those greats
    of film feel like they are held back, then maybe a change of gear might
    release some other expression of their creativity.

    I hear often amateurs complaining about the quality of their images, and
    imagining that if only something about their gear was better, they would
    no longer reach what they considered a limit. Lots of film gear sold on
    that idea, and lots of current digital gear and lenses still sell on
    that false belief. Anyone who thinks buying something "better" will
    remove the limitations, and suddenly lead to "better" images will often
    be very wrong.

    Even at a professional level of photography, if someone thinks spending
    more will open the path to more work and income, they will often come
    away disappointed. There will always be either amateurs or professionals
    who try to spend their way to great images, or better images . . . many
    will just never make it with such an approach.
    Gordon Moat, Jan 21, 2006
  11. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    But then Olaf Veltman seems not to be satisfied with using 35mm, I
    believe he shoots LF does he not? Which we he choose if he had to
    choose between a 1Ds Mark II or a 35mm film camera?

    Well if you don't like Roger then how about Lord Lichfield, who not
    only used digital but
    actively advocated other to do the same?

    The point I was making is that it is not saying much of anything that
    someone who has spent a lot of time learning to shoot good photos using
    film would capture better photos then an avgerage digital user. To be
    fair you need to look at one skilled in photography who is shooting

    Scott W, Jan 21, 2006
  12. Get a Leicaflex SL or SL2 and some lenses. You'll be so impressed
    you'll throw that FD stuff in the toilet.

    All manual, all the time.
    uraniumcommittee, Jan 21, 2006
  13. Dick R.

    Gordon Moat Guest

    No 35 mm, mostly 8x10. He also does heavy post processing in computers
    and software for many of his images.

    Which we he choose if he had to
    He would likely completely pass up either, perhaps going towards a
    medium format digital back. However, one thing I have read about him is
    that he likes composing on the ground glass. Consider his approach more
    like someone with a sketchpad, except he gets to repeat the sketches
    several times, and in several ways, then he can further "sketch" in post
    processing on his computer.

    Lord Lichfield has never been considered good due to his technical
    abilities. On the contrary, he has been well thought of for the way he
    gets people to respond to him, and I think that shows in his images. I
    cannot state that his images either improved, nor did they get worse, by
    him going to direct digital capture.

    Since we are tossing names around, try Steve McCurry. He has even stated
    in interviews that he has little interest in technology just for the
    sake of technology, basically meaning that results count. I saw an
    exhibit of his at MOPA. The printing quality of his images was very
    high. His photo of the Afghan girl dates from the mid 1980s, was printed
    near 24" by 36", and was quite good . . . certainly no limitation of old
    film technology intruding upon the "quality" of his prints. Since he is
    sponsored by Nikon, I wonder why he has not gone to a D2X. Anyway,
    really nice prints in that exhibit. If I had any technical criticism at
    all of his images, it would be that there were maybe a couple that I
    would have liked to have seen a little more DoF.

    It is about selecting the tools (cameras and lenses) that the
    photographer feels are of no hindrance in realizing their creative
    vision. When the gear is a barrier, for any reason, then it is a good
    idea to change. Perhaps someone likes confidence in when they trip the
    shutter button, so they find that having an LCD on the back of the
    camera allows them to build confidence . . . this is an excellent
    example of the tool (camera) not hindering the photographer. Someone
    else might find that looking through the rangefinder of a Leica M7, and
    the very short shutter lag are exactly the tools to match a creative
    vision. Yet another photographer might find a waist level finder, or
    viewing an upside down image on a large ground glass allow them to
    better concentrate on a scene. Someone might also take incredibly
    compelling images with a compact digital P&S camera, and other people
    might really like the results, despite that better digital gear is
    Gordon Moat, Jan 21, 2006
  14. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    Gordon Moat wrote:
    automatically improve someone's images.
    There are many aspects to photography, for you perhaps the camera is
    not the limit, this does not mean for others it is not.

    As an example like to shot with available light indoors. Using film I
    has a horrible choose to make, did I put a roll of 800 ISO film in the
    camera or did I try and get the photos using ISO 100. Neither of these
    works well, as I assume you know full well. So it is a delight to be
    able to shoot at ISO 800 can get high quality images.

    I think you view photography differently then I do, nothing wrong with
    that but limits you might accept I would not wish to. For me it starts
    out that there is something, someplace or someone I wish to have a
    photograph of. Studio photograph bores me and I have little interest
    in doing set up shots. My goal in photography is not to see how
    artistic of a photo I can get with a given camera. My goal is to be
    able to photograph what interest me, what I think I will value in the
    years to come. As another example, can great photographs be taken with
    say just a 50mm lens? Sure they can. But then you are greatly limited
    in what you can photograph. For me I find I need wide-angle shots to
    capture want I wish to capture.

    My wife is about the opposite, she likes to photograph using a
    telephoto lens. Using the 20D and a 300mm lens she is getting better
    photos then when she was using film and a 200mm lens (remember the 300
    on the 20D is the same as a 480 on a 35mm camera. As an example here
    is a photo she got with the 20D with the 300mm lens, this is a better
    photo then she could have gotten of he same subject using the old film

    Given the subjects she likes to photograph she was very limited by her
    old camera.

    This is true for just about everybody I know, give them a better camera
    and they will get better photos. And for most people get them from
    drop film off at the mini-lab and there will be a huge improvement in
    their prints. I would hope that you would agree that if a preson limits
    their print making to droping a roll of film off at the mini-lab they
    will see a large improvement using a good digital camera.

    Scott W, Jan 21, 2006
  15. A photographer who knows what he is doing can select the appropriate tools.

    I'm a bit worried about people who express opinions that suggest that they
    know what other people are supposed to be doing.

    That works both ways of the digital divide: the people who claim that
    film is obsolete, and the people who claim that digital won't be a good
    as film.

    Such statements are mostly irrelevant because it is the photographer who
    has to use his own judgment and decide which tools he is going to use.
    Philip Homburg, Jan 22, 2006
  16. Dick R.

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I have done quite a bit of low light and night imagery with film, both
    colour and B/W. It is probably one of the few areas when using film and
    getting nice results is very tough. It definitely seems easier in some
    situations, for some individuals, to get low light images using some
    D-SLRs, but not always as simple as it may seem.

    The nature of CCD and CMOS functioning can leave noise in darker areas.
    This becomes more troublesome at high ISO settings, and even more so
    when a scene contains no white point. I have shot in conditions when
    even a bright screen and an f1.4 lens were barely bright enough to
    confirm focus, and projecting an autofocus light pattern onto your
    subjects would have adversely affected and distracted the subjects. Of
    course, all that was ISO 2000, ISO 2500, ISO 3200, or even higher,
    realms where many D-SLRs still struggle, but they are improving.

    Much more of an approach of recording history. This is a very big usage
    for photography that many desire.

    As another example, can great photographs be taken with

    Lens selections are often for convenience, as can be seen by how many
    more zoom lenses sell than fixed focal lenses. My own preference in
    lenses is for fixed focal length, partially because they are mostly fast
    lenses, but also because nearly all the lenses I have are quite good
    quality. A 50 mm on a 35 mm camera, or full frame D-SLR, is often
    thought of as a natural lens; the relationship of foreground to
    background objects can be nearly as seen with the unaided eyes. A wider
    lens can alter the relationship of foreground to background, depending
    upon how it as used; just as valid as a 50 mm, or a telephoto, though a
    different approach.

    If you had not told me what lens was used, I would not have thought it
    was such a long telephoto. She must have been quite a long distance from
    her subject; a little calculation indicates near 300' away . . . the
    subject probably never knew they were being photographed.

    Pretty tough to control quality at many mini labs. If they happen to get
    a good operator or two, chances are that person will eventually leave
    for a better paying job. I wish I could agree with you on the print
    improvement, but I have seen labs pump out bad looking prints from nice
    digital cameras . . . I don't think it was the cameras fault.
    Gordon Moat, Jan 22, 2006
  17. I see the following in the EXIF info:
    Canon EOS 20D 1/800s f/10.0 at 300.0mm iso800 full exif

    So, lets assume a film camera, ISO 100 film and a 300mm lens.

    With ISO film, you would to expose 1/100s instead of 1/800s. However,
    you can easily open up to 7.1, and set the shutter speed to 1/200.

    Now, with just the 300, you have to crop. I think in this case Provia
    would be able to handle to crop.

    A better solution would be to buy 1.4x TC.

    Given that this did not involve a zoom, I guess she was just lucky that
    the framing came out alright (or there was more then enough time for foot
    zooming). In general, you expect to get such a shot even with 200mm (on
    fullframe) if you pay enough attention to what is going on.
    Philip Homburg, Jan 22, 2006
  18. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    With the crop factor it is like a 480 lens, hand holding at 1/200 is
    not easy. Open the lens much more and DOF starts to be a problem.
    In fact what you are looking at is a crop, about 1/2 in both x an y.

    Scott W, Jan 22, 2006
  19. Dick R.

    That_Rich Guest

    Do any digital shooters crop in camera?
    I didn't think so.

    That_Rich, Jan 22, 2006
  20. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    I do it all the time in fact.

    Scott W, Jan 22, 2006
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