Who uses both (yes, film AND digital) & why?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Cheesehead, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Guest

    1. 135 film for b&w.

    2. 135 c-41 for when I know something needs to be kept.
    Negs are a good thing.

    3. 4x5 film when I really want all the information.
    Acros, NPH, NC. Tough to beat 'em.
    Really best for portraits.

    4. Digital when it's
    a) temporary
    b) for sale
    c) I'll think of some others.

    So quit fighting & use both. If you so choose, that is.

    Cheesehead, Jun 29, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. Cheesehead

    Justin Thyme Guest

    Anything that is likely to be a "keeper" - 35mm - either B&W, C41 or E6
    depending on the type of shot.
    Digital for those times when I just want to carry a compact camera - digital
    compacts are a mile ahead of film compacts for convenience and image quality
    (try finding a fairly fast zoom lens in a film compact - they don't exist).
    I have borrowed DSLR's a couple of times,and while I still think the quality
    is a little behind film, it is definitely good enough for pretty much
    anything (except for my love of long exposure night-time shots) - despite
    this I see no reason to purchase one. If I start doing more paid work I may
    consider one, but 95% of the photography I do now is for my own enjoyment. I
    probably won't switch to digital for my personal photography, even if
    digital became better in every way to any film and cheaper. The reason is
    that I process all my own film these days - and that contributes just as
    much enjoyment as actually taking the photo. Irrespective of any virtues
    digital may have, I find it soul-less in this regard. Digital loses the
    magic feeling obtained when opening a dev tank and seeing for the first time
    if a) I took the photo right in the first place, and b) if I developed it
    right. If and when I do enough paid work to justify the expense of a DSLR I
    may get one, but I would expect I would still primarily use film for my
    personal photos.
    Justin Thyme, Jun 29, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. Pretty similar:

    1) Film for "serious" photography.

    2) MF film for "super-serious" photography

    Digital when
    3) The main purpose is posting to internet
    4) Auction photos
    5) I need it right away
    6) Snapshots to give to others (GF's niece's birthday, etc.)
    7) As a notebook
    8) I'm trying very difficult lighting situations and I need a preview

    Chris Loffredo, Jun 29, 2005
  4. Cheesehead

    emeizhi Guest

    to that list I add:
    - digital for ligtmeter replacement. I see the result instead of a pair
    of f/shutter value pair (calibration required of course).
    - shooting log for cameras that doesn't do data imprinting (all 4x5
    emeizhi, Jun 29, 2005
  5. Cheesehead

    emeizhi Guest

    to that list I add:
    - digital for ligtmeter replacement. I see the result instead of a pair
    of f/shutter value pair (calibration required of course).
    - shooting log for cameras that doesn't do data imprinting (all 4x5
    emeizhi, Jun 29, 2005
  6. Cheesehead

    Scott W Guest

    It would be nice to know what digital cameras you all are using when
    shooting digital, I get the feeling very few DSLRs.

    Scott W, Jun 29, 2005
  7. Cheesehead

    Chris Brown Guest

    I use a 10D for stuff that needs to be done fast, or when I want to do
    extreme telephoto or extreme wideangle (thanks to Mr Fisheye).

    I has a Bessa-R 35mm rangefinder with a couple of lenses which I keep in the
    car. Mostly use E6 film in it.

    Then I have a couple of Rolleiflexes and a Mamiya 7 which I use for serious
    film stuff, together with an Ikoflex II and a few folders, which are for
    fun. Mostly use E6 film in the Rolleis and Mamiya, and a mixture of E6 and
    B&W in the others.

    And finally, I have two 4x5 view cameras - an MPP, and an Ikeda Anba, which
    I haven't had for that long, and am still getting used to.
    Chris Brown, Jun 29, 2005
  8. As several have posted in recent threads, cameras are tools and people
    are best off using the tool they feel most comfortable with or like the

    I have some of the best cameras & lenses ever made and enjoy using them.
    Some of the lenses have signatures that most lenses compatible with
    digital cameras just don't have. Shooting digital only wouldn't save me
    that much, since my volume isn't that high, and using a soulless piece
    of plastic would take a great deal of enjoyment out of the process, with
    no real advantage for me (I don't have deadlines to meet) and several
    major disadvantages.

    For my own tastes, I find silicone as unattractive in cameras as it is
    in women. Others have different tastes, which accounts for the apparent
    popularity of enhancements.

    It's a bit like saying: "How can you like your attractive, intelligent,
    witty, nice & loving wife who you've had a great relationship with for
    years, if you haven't tried a silicone EEE model?"
    Chris Loffredo, Jun 29, 2005
  9. Cheesehead

    Tony Polson Guest

    Except that, in cameras, it is **silicon**.

    No terminal "e". Completely different substance.
    Tony Polson, Jun 29, 2005
  10. Very serious landscape or other pictorial: E6 on either my Pentax 6x7
    or Rolleicord

    Most serious "keeper" stuff on my Olympus OM2 with either B&W or E6

    Vacation pictures: can't beat the Minolta Vectis S1 SLR (yes it IS APS)
    because the camera, flash and 3 lenses go in the smallest camera case,
    the film is limited to 3 ISOs of C41 but with midroll exchange I can
    use whatever I want, and it makes excellent 4x6 or 4x7 for vacation
    pix. A cheap CD at the time of development makes for Email sharing, and
    some reasonable creative cropping or revising in Photochop and printed
    on my dye-sub Canon CP220 for 4x6.

    Grab shots with the grab digital. Quick and dirty and that's about all.
    Michael Weinstein, Jun 29, 2005
  11. Cheesehead

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Film only for me. The digital B/W just doesn't behave the way I want it
    I rarely use C-41 films, unless I need something for cross processing
    (just shot a roll yesterday like that). My last client who wanted C-41,
    since the images were going mostly to chemical prints, was over a year

    Kodak recently gave me some of the new formulation of Portra 800. This
    is to try out pushing it for low light imaging. I will be comparing it
    to heavily pushed (4 2/3 stops) Ektachrome E200. If it works out, this
    might be a film I use more in the future.
    I have been using the Polaroid P/N films more than traditional 4x5
    films. Just not shooting much large format lately, though I hope to do
    more in the future.
    .. . . . . . at the request of a client. Of course, then I rent, and
    still shoot film. The client gets to choose from images off a CD-R,
    either direct digital, or scanned film. I can see this happening more in
    the future.
    I think someone else mentioned a good reason why the either/or
    comparison happens, many people don't have the money to afford both.
    Rather than belittle someone for not affording both, I think some
    respect should be given to peoples choices. Ideally both imaging systems
    could be used, but few of us get to do that.
    Gordon Moat, Jun 29, 2005
  12. Cheesehead

    Scott W Guest

    One of the reason that there is a constant comparison between digital
    can 35mm film cameras is that so many people have shot 35mm that in
    many ways it is a bit of a standard. Of course there is a huge
    variation in 35mm so it is hard to use as a standard but it is what
    people know. I have seen more then once a person talking to the sales
    person about what digital camera to buy and one of the often asked
    questions is what do they need to be as good as 35mm. A better
    question is what do they need to make good 8 x 10 prints, and that gets
    asked as well. I think a lot of people see it as an attack on film
    when comparison are done between film and digital cameras, in some
    cases this may be true but I think more often it is using film as the
    bench mark. I shot film for over 20 years almost all of it 35mm , I
    have been scanning it for over 4 years. It is natural that I would
    compare my digital cameras to it.

    I used both film and digital for a while, then I went all digital and
    my wife kept shooting film and how we both shoot digital. As you go
    through our photos you see a interesting change. When I was using
    early digital cameras she got better photos but I got more. Then the
    digital camera got to be just about the same as the film camera (as
    long as I did not use fast film), during this time she had a long zoom
    lens then I had on my camera and so still got shots I could not. Then
    we got the 20D, now the zoom range is not a problem. Now we both shoot
    a lot of shots, I tend to go for the more wide angle shots and she goes
    more for the telephotos shots, this works well for us, saves on
    changing lenses.

    A 35mm camera is not bad and you can get good photos with one and at a
    cost that is hard to beat if you are not taking a lot of photos in a
    year. But if you are taking a lot of photos the time to scan them gets
    way out of control. I do have an issue with some of the hard core
    film users who feel the need to paint digital cameras as producing poor
    quality photos. The statement is often made that digital cameras are
    ok if you are taking a photo to post on the web, those days are long
    gone. Digital cameras, even fairly inexpensive ones can produce
    fantastic looking 8 x 10 prints. To be fair I have also heard some
    pretty wild claims about a 2 MP digital camera producing better looking
    prints then a 35mm film camera.

    I do think Gordon is right, that a bit of respect on both sides is
    called for, both types of cameras can take good photos.

    Scott W, Jun 29, 2005
  13. Cheesehead

    Dick R. Guest

    Hi Scott,
    I think you summed it up nicely. It so depends on what kind of results
    you want - 8x10s, 3x5s, whatever, and if you shoot 100 or 10,000
    photos/year. Cameras are tools, and a person seeks the tool that's
    required for his/her needs.

    Good post and take care (and lots of photos),
    Dick R.
    Dick R., Jun 29, 2005
  14. Cheesehead

    Jeremy Guest

    The New York Times article below reflect your take on the subject.

    ''Everyone is using the same couple of Canon and Nikon digital cameras and
    the same three or four lenses,'' Mr. Burnett said. ''And it isn't that
    everyone is using them in exactly the same way, but I started to notice a
    sameness in the look of most things I was seeing."


    THE PHOTOJOURNALIST; Which Camera Does This Pro Use? It Depends on the

    Published: June 8, 2005

    DAVID BURNETT spent the dog days of 1963 prowling the drag strips of Salt
    Lake City with his Yashica-Mat while he waited for his senior year at
    Olympus High School. He has been taking pictures for money ever since.
    So with four decades of war, sports and politics at hand, it was easy for
    Mr. Burnett, one of his generation's top photojournalists, to engage the
    dozens of photo experts who packed the back room of a Manhattan restaurant
    last month for one of his guided slideshows.

    Yet through the first 20 minutes of Mr. Burnett's presentation, the
    cognoscenti seemed less deeply moved by his work and more entertained by his
    banter (''These are some of the farmers,'' he said drolly about a picture of
    Secret Service agents in a pasture during the 1988 campaign).

    With one transition on the screen, that changed. In an instant, the chatter
    stopped, replaced by gasps and a collective groan of appreciation.

    Mr. Burnett was explaining why in this age of ever more plentiful
    megapixels, at this moment when the concept of ''film'' seems as
    old-fashioned as a rotary telephone, he has spent most of the last two years
    lugging around a 55-year-old 4-by-5-inch Graflex Speed Graphic camera,
    complete with tripod.

    On the screen was a wide overhead picture of a John Kerry rally last fall in
    Madison, Wis., which Mr. Burnett shot with a Canon 20D digital camera, the
    same camera used by thousands of other professionals around the world. Not
    surprisingly, the picture looks like thousands of others that were shipped
    around the globe during the campaign.

    The colors are bright. Every part of the image is crisp, so crisp that just
    picking the minuscule figure of Mr. Kerry out of the huge crowd takes a
    ''Where's Waldo?'' moment.

    And then Mr. Burnett flipped to a photograph taken seconds later with the
    ancient Speed Graphic. Suddenly, the image took on a luminescent depth. The
    center of the image, with Mr. Kerry, was clear. Yet soon the crowd along the
    edges began to float into softer focus on translucent planes of color.

    The effect is to direct the viewer's eye to Mr. Kerry while also conveying
    the scale and intensity of the crowd. In accomplishing both at the same
    time, the old-fashioned photograph communicates a rich sense of meaning that
    the digital file does not.

    The digital picture pretends to display raw reality. The analog picture is a
    visualization of human memory.

    ''Most people follow the crowd in terms of approach and equipment,''
    Francisco P. Bernasconi, director of photography at Getty Images, said over
    the hubbub after Mr. Burnett's presentation last month. ''David feels
    comfortable exploring other types of photography that are out there.''

    That may be why a black-and-white portfolio of Mr. Burnett's Speed Graphic
    work from the Athens Olympics for ESPN magazine won the top prize for sports
    stories at the World Press Photo Contest in Amsterdam this spring. A tableau
    of field-hockey players looks like miniature dolls individually placed on a
    felt playmat. Beach volleyball players seem suspended by invisible string on
    a puppeteer's stage.

    ''It got to the point a few years ago that everyone in the press was using
    essentially the same tools,'' Mr. Burnett, 58, said the morning after his
    talk, drinking coffee around the corner from the Manhattan headquarters of
    Contact Press Images, the photo agency that Mr. Burnett helped found in
    1976. (The agency's roster now includes Annie Leibovitz and Sebastião

    ''Everyone is using the same couple of Canon and Nikon digital cameras and
    the same three or four lenses,'' Mr. Burnett said. ''And it isn't that
    everyone is using them in exactly the same way, but I started to notice a
    sameness in the look of most things I was seeing. Don't get me wrong: I
    think digital is incredible in a lot of ways. For me, digital has pretty
    much totally replaced shooting 35-millimeter slides. But as a
    photojournalist, you're just trying to get someone turning the pages of the
    magazine to stop for that extra second before they go on to the jeans ad or
    whatever. So I started thinking about different looks.''

    Naturally, Mr. Burnett found his new look in the closet. He hasn't gotten
    rid of a camera since 1978 (when he traded in all his Nikons for Canon gear)
    and he has around 50 cameras and 50 lenses at his home near Washington. So
    by the time he hit the campaign trail last year for Time magazine, he was
    packing not only the Speed Graphic and the digital Canon, but also a 2
    1/4-by-2 1/4-inch Mamiya or Rolleiflex and a $15 plastic camera called a
    Holga. In fact, a photo of Al Gore on the stump that Mr. Burnett took with a
    Holga won a top prize at the 2001 White House News Photographers'
    Association's Eyes of History contest.

    Michele Stephenson, now the director of photography at Time, first met Mr.
    Burnett when he arrived at the magazine as an intern in 1967. (Mr. Burnett
    is currently one of the magazine's contract photographers.) ''David has
    always been a curious person and has always tried new and fresh
    approaches,'' she said. ''I worry about his back, carrying all of this
    stuff, but never about his eye. He is always looking for something new, even
    if that means going back to something old.''

    Mr. Burnett is certainly no Luddite; he has been using Macintosh computers
    for his photo work since the 1980's. And he said that digital photography
    remained his medium of choice when he must file pictures quickly to an
    editor or when he wants to shoot dozens or hundreds of photos at once. He
    added that the instant feedback offered by a digital camera was a major help
    in fast-moving situations.

    ''Digital is fantastic in its flexibility, not only in being able to get the
    image and then transmit it around the world in minutes, but in difficult
    situations where something like the Speed Graphic is just impractical,'' he
    said. ''Like if you're in the jungle and you know the tiger is going to come
    along this one spot and you don't want to have to change film, a big memory
    card really helps.

    ''And also, with film you had to wait hours or days to see what you had come
    up with,'' he added. ''With digital you can see instantly what you've
    missed, so it can really help you fine-tune your composition. That's a big

    Nonetheless, when listening to Mr. Burnett talk about the evolution of photo
    technology, you hear a bit of the priest whose temple has been invaded by

    ''The change really started with autofocus,'' he said. ''That opened up much
    of what used to be a more craft-based part of the business to almost
    anybody. I mean, if you can hold it steady and aim it and push that button,
    you can get an in-focus sharp picture a great degree of the time. And
    digital, I mean, now anyone with a camera can shoot one, see how bad they
    screwed up, try and fix it, shoot another one.''

    Average consumers, of course, often have enough trouble even with that.
    Pressed for a tip for the birthday-party photographer, Mr. Burnett said:
    ''The thing that bugs me the most when I see people taking pictures of their
    family or the Grand Canyon or whatever, is that they spend so much time
    fumbling with the controls that whatever real moment there might have been
    is inevitably lost.''

    ''Ultimately, the technology is just a tool,'' he said. ''It's a tool that
    lets your eye become the picture. It's easy to get caught up with all of the
    gadgets and all of the technology, but the most important thing is just to
    get comfortable with the tools you have.''
    Jeremy, Jun 30, 2005
  15. Cheesehead

    Scott W Guest

    No it is more like saying "have you got any experience with a good
    digital camera so that you are able to give your own first hand
    experience or are you just going by what you have heard others say?"

    I hear a lot of people saying that digital cameras are great for web
    shot but not much else, I have to wonder what digital cameras they have

    Scott W, Jun 30, 2005

  16. You really don't get it, do you?

    O.K., I'll try a different approach.

    I'm a good cook and enjoy cooking. One of my favourite dishes is Lamb
    You argue that Frozen Pizza is much faster, more convenient, makes less
    of a mess and is even cheaper.
    I answer that I don't dislike Frozen Pizza, but consider it something to
    eat when I am in a hurry or don't feel like cooking.
    You get all stirred up, show me all kinds of charts proving that Frozen
    Pizza is just a nourishing as Lamb Biryani, even has more synthetic
    vitamins, and if only I tried Frozen Pizza brand X, I'd throw my Lamb
    Biryani onto the compost heap.

    I like music and I have a good hi-fi set-up (self-made transmission line
    speakers, ect.).
    You argue that Mp3 files on a portable player are much more convenient,
    take up less space, are faster to access, etc. etc.
    I answer that, Mp3 players are great for jogging, but their sound
    doesn't convince me at all for home listening.
    You go into a tizz and start posting charts showing that Mp3s have the
    same frequency response and dynamic range as uncompressed music sources.
    I answer, what about ambience, scenic reconstruction, higher level
    harmonics (as well as general pleasantness)?
    You answer that if I listened to techno, I wouldn't miss those things…
    Well, I hate techno!

    Are you beginning to notice a pattern here?

    I don't like auto-everything and autofocus cameras, digital or not. Period.
    I also don't like zoom lenses. Period.
    You can show me all the MTF charts you want "proving" that zooms are
    "better" than primes, they just don't have many of the more subtle
    characteristics and signatures of the better primes.
    You obviously don't miss them or just can't tell the difference, but I'm
    not trying to stuff Zeiss prime lenses, Lamb Biryani or transmission
    line speakers down your throat!

    Don't expect everyone to have the same tastes as you do.
    Chris Loffredo, Jun 30, 2005
  17. Very nicely put. There are two kinds of photographers, those who do it
    strictly for fun, and those who use their cameras to make their livings
    (admittedly some who are a bit of both). For people like me who do it
    just for fun, what matters is what we like using -- what we feel a
    connection with. For me that's old cameras and prime lenses (and mostly
    rangefinders). There are costs associated with that choice, but
    benefits too. I have a cheap, long lasting archive of my pictures (we
    call them negatives). Assuming there is 35mm film in 20 years, my
    cameras will still be able to use it to create effective images. My
    first electronic cameras (20 or so years old) are just starting to
    become unrepairable while my older Leicas are going strong. Digital
    SLRs are 4-5 times the price of a film camera and will go obsolete a
    heck of a lot faster. Now for a pro, the situation is totally different
    I know.

    I just want to say too that I'm not adverse to technology. I'm a
    software engineer so I'm used to the idea of computers needing
    replacement. I am just not eager to adopt this mindset with my cameras.
    carbon_dragon, Jun 30, 2005
  18. Cheesehead

    Don Stauffer Guest

    I primarily use digital when I need quick response, say to email a
    picture of something to a buddy, or put something quick on my web page.

    I specifically use film when I do macro photography. I need control of
    the plane of best focus. Sure, I could by a DSLR, but I can't afford
    one yet. So I use my film SLR and digitize the print.

    Again, for affordability I use my film SLR if I need to shoot something
    with very long focal length lens.

    When DSLRs become affordable I will get one, and probably shoot much
    more with it, but even then probably will not sell or scrap my film cameras.
    Don Stauffer, Jun 30, 2005
  19. Cheesehead

    Scott W Guest

    I don't find fault with people who enjoy going through the process of
    film photography, I did so my self for years. What I object to is the
    condescending attitude that the equates digital photography as being
    convenient but of course not as good as film. I see the attitude that
    digital is ok when you are in a hurry but for real photography you need
    film, but then it turns out that the people saying this mostly have a
    cheap P&S digital camera if even that.

    If you were to say you enjoyed the process of film and left it at that
    I would have no problem, but then you equate digital cameras to fast
    food, quick and easy but not all that good.

    A better analogy, if you want to use analogies, is that film is like
    doing the cooking yourself whereas digital is like gong to a fine
    restaurant. The food can be great at either, some people will be
    missing the skills to cook a great meal but still and enjoy one by
    going out.

    For me it in the image that matters, it always has been, for you it is
    the process and not so much the image.

    Scott W, Jun 30, 2005
  20. Cheesehead

    Scott W Guest

    I still have my film SLRs, can't bear to part with them even though it
    has been over a year since they have had film in them. I will likely
    never use them again, but still they are hard to give up.

    Scott W, Jun 30, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.