why do you guys still use film?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Mike Henley, May 20, 2004.

  1. I use film because I can buy nice holiday film cameras at rummage sales
    for $1. My current favourite to take paddling is a mid-80's compact model
    (retracting lens) I bought last fall complete with carry bag, instuction
    manual, original sales receipt, and customs declaration.

    When I start seeing digital cameras at rummage sales for $1 I'll try one.
    But for now the cost of used film camera, film, and processing is a lot
    less than a digital camera.
    William R. Watt, May 20, 2004
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  2. Mike Henley

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Mostly to save money. To achieve the quality I want (and get from film
    with already-paid-for equipment) I'd have to spend $1000 on DSLR and lens,
    $200 on memory, and perhaps more for a laptop.

    I have a digicam but I hate it. When it's bright enough to autofocus,
    the LCD display is overwhelmed by glare, and when it's dark enough
    to see the LCD, it takes many seconds to autofocus. Supposedly digicams
    allow the photographer to delete bad pictures, but I can't really tell
    from the LCD which pictures are bad and which are good. After zoom-in
    all I see is JPEG artifacting.
    Bill Tuthill, May 20, 2004
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  3. Mike Henley

    Dallas Guest

    Mike Henley said:
    Film is real.

    Digital is virtual.

    I'm shooting more film now than I did before I first went digital 30
    months ago.

    I get more satisfaction with my film cameras than I do with my D60.
    Shooting film slows me down, makes me think about what I am doing, whereas
    with the D60 in my hands I just go bonkers, pressing the shutter button,
    hoping to get something decent on my Microdrive.

    Film is more convenient for me than digital. I spend less time on the
    computer, downloading, adjusting, fixing, etc. With film I just drop off
    the roll at the lab, ask them to print me an index (or scan 2 CD) from
    which I decide what I want to have prints made of. They do all the work. I
    enjoy the prints.

    If you do some Google searches for posts I made on the same subject a year
    or more ago, you would find some completely opposite views from me.
    Experience changes your opinions sometimes. Problem is, it takes time to
    obtain experience.
    Dallas, May 20, 2004
  4. Mike Henley

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Alan Browne
    Couldn't say, I've never used a digital projector and a year ago I donated my
    rarely used 35 mm projector to a local charity. Film projector sales are so
    dead that Kodak quit making them.

    But looking at Velvia trannies on a lightbox is similar to looking at RAW
    thumbs in Capture One on my computer, except with C1 I can do many more things
    with them (enlarge them without a loupe, change contrast or saturation to see
    what it would look like if I shot the scene with Provia or Astia or even
    black/white, or delete them with a keystroke) and see the results right away
    before converting to tiffs.

    Score another for the digital workflow.
    One day (October? November? the tenth of never?) you Minolta SLR users will
    actually have a digital camera that uses your lenses. Then you'll see the
    light :)

    Bill Hilton, May 20, 2004
  5. The Nikon/Kodak doesn't meter with my lenses. And the reviews are not that

    The Canon 1Ds is expensive enough that (just for a hobby) the choice
    between the Canon and analog is a no brainer.

    But that gets to another point. For general outdoors photography I tend
    to use a Nikon F3, which can be had second hand for about 300 euro.
    And then I have a whole collection of other bodies.

    For me dSLRs, are expensive enough that I don't want to drop them, lose them,
    etc. I don't think I would buy two dSLRs just in case one breaks. In that
    respect, film is much more pleasant.
    Philip Homburg, May 20, 2004
  6. Mike Henley

    Gordon Moat Guest

    While they are good, and getting better (throw in Kodak DCS as well), I
    have been spoiled from using even better still. A medium format digital
    back meets my quality needs, and makes 35 mm sized direct digital SLRs
    look like substandard results. However, the digital backs are expensive,
    and the colour quality is still better with film.

    I think once direct digital cameras get away from the Bayer pattern. The
    restrictions of filtering through RGB and the layout of the pattern are
    potential problem areas that should be addressed. A side issue is that
    most of the imaging chips are made by Kodak, Sony, and Phillips, similar
    to restricting the user to only three films, though filtering and
    software can alter the response.

    <http://www.peter-cockerell.net:8080/Bayer/bayer2.html> interesting
    technical article about Bayer patterning.

    Scanning technology continues to improve, and the costs keep going down.
    I suppose if scanner development stopped, or they became unavailable,
    then the only choice would be a direct digital SLR. I don't see this
    happening any time in the near future.

    A separate issue is ergonomics. I just don't like the user interface of
    any of the current direct digital cameras. Digital backs for medium
    format are less intrusive, but they are also heavy, slow, and expensive
    (even rented).
    If you like the camera, you might be more willing to carry it with you,
    and maybe more likely to use it. Definitely, these are valid reasons to
    use any camera.
    The colour quality mostly. Also, I really like true B/W, especially true
    B/W prints. Since I photograph for a living, another aspect is that I can
    edit images very quickly on a light table; it is a very non-linear method
    of organizing and selecting images. I should point out that almost all my
    work gets scanned, and then publication printed (or similar). I rarely
    produce prints (except fine art and a couple clients who want prints),
    and I always bill out my film expenses.

    I also am a manual focus non-zoom lens whore, and need cameras that work
    with my lens choices. It helps greatly if the cameras are ergonomic too.
    It might slow you down enough to make you think more about each picture.
    That aspect could actually improve the quality of your results.
    As I understand that Minox, there is little shutter delay, and it is
    fairly quiet. However, there are some excellent fixed focal length (not
    zoom) cameras that may compare, or even work better. Take a look at the
    Rollei AFM35, Contax T3, older Yashica T4 Super, and Leica CM for
    comparison. While those are likely more expensive, any of those would be
    a good comparison.

    I have only used a really tiny Minox, so I do not know how their larger
    35 mm camera works, or if it is very good. I have read praise for the
    lens on the one you want, and judging Minox based on their mini cameras,
    I would expect decent construction.
    Gordon Moat, May 20, 2004
  7. Mike Henley

    Alan Browne Guest

    Yes...OTOH I'll let the maddening crowd run for them before I leap. Let
    others discover the early s/w flaws, etc...
    Alan Browne, May 20, 2004
  8. Mike Henley

    Jay Guest

    I'm a technical consultant for a large company that makes a lot of
    money around digital imaging. I am not tech averse. I do application
    integration for multi-million dollar projects. I used to use digital
    all the time. I spring for a decent 1.3 migapixel camera way back when
    that was huge. That camera sits in my glove compartment in case of an
    accident (No film to go bad). Now I use film.

    I spend 40-70 hours a week banging around on a computer. Sure, digital
    gives me the ability to edit away on the computer to my hearts
    content. Sure, it can cost less because you only print what you want.
    Sure, there are a lot of upsides.

    Digital = More time of my life on a computer.

    I have a Nikon N75 SLR (I know, no ISO setting. I don't care). It
    serves me as a kick-ass P&S that I can fool around with and do a
    little more if I want to. I got a Nikkor 28-105 lens to go with it. I
    can play around with different film types for different looking shots
    without having to access a "Menu". I like HD400 for general use, Potra
    160N for special use, C41 B&W, 800-1600 for when I'm in a "No Flash
    Photography, please" situation.

    I drop off the film at wolf. They know me. They smile and say "Have a
    nice day" I look through the prints. Hand them to my wife. She cuts
    them to bits and makes scrapbooks.

    People marvel at our scrapbooks while I'm over at thier house "Fixing
    thier printer/network/virus/internet/camera problem" I get finished.
    We click "Next, next, next" on thier "Scrapbook" application.

    They ask me "Isn't film and developing expensive?" I always reply "Not
    as expensive as my time"

    For me, digital is work.
    Jay, May 20, 2004
  9. Mike Henley

    James Cloud Guest

    Initial cost is obviously a concern. But call me wierd, (ok, that's
    enough!) I'm really into the trappings of film cameras. Go out
    shopping for films, look for used lenses in camera stores, the
    anticipation of not knowing how the film's going to come out when I go
    to pick it up. Lack of instant grafication can be satisfying at the
    same time. Photography is a hobby to me, not a drug. I like my
    hobbies to actually calm me down mentally.
    James Cloud, May 20, 2004
  10. Mike Henley wrote:

    Because that's the image recording medium that my camera's use.

    Ummm... Did you know that some people record images by reproducing them
    with an opaque medium manipulating instrument on a suitable planar surface?
    In fact, there is quite a variety of such media, instruments and surfaces.

    For some people, the reproduction of an image involves a choice of how the
    image is presented for viewing. Is that a consideration for you?

    For some people, the process of capturing and reproducing an image is the
    object of the exercise, in which the medium used is not of primary
    importance. This includes the equipment used, and the experience of using
    (and presumably enjoying) said equipment.

    In general, the choice of reproduction medium is heavily influenced by
    commercial marketing. The specific suitability of any given image
    recording medium can be determined by the knowledgeable user. Between that
    influence and the user's knowledge, choices can be made, though it must be
    observed that the former is intended only to exploit the latter.

    Thus, it is recommended that a user acquire personal knowledge and
    experience regarding these matters. The opinions of others are, in the
    main, applicable only to the holder of said opinion.
    Cameras don't take pictures, photographers do.

    From this last paragraph, I suspect we can assume that you are not a
    photographer, though apparently you fancy snapshootery. Maybe you should
    learn something of the craft of photography, and perhaps that would enable
    you to answer these questions for yourself.

    Minox cameras are subminiatures, I believe. The images they reproduce are
    no doubt adequate for their size. Only you can determine the usefulness of
    their quality.

    Good luck!

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 20, 2004
  11. Mike Henley

    Dick R. Guest

    Hi James,
    I'm still using film because I have lots of Canon FD bodies and glass.
    Manual focus still works for me in most cases but I would like to get a
    auto-focus camera to capture fast-moving grandkids. Let's see, a Canon
    digital Rebel for $1000 or a 35mm Rebel for $200+. Maybe when prices for
    35mm and digital cameras equalize, it will be an easier decision. For now,
    I'll stick with 35mm.

    Dick R., May 20, 2004
  12. Because i'm a young, British photography student, and I must automatically
    rebel against something- in this case, following a herd.

    Because digital feels wrong.

    Because I am a firm believer in learning from mistakes and accepting my own
    culpability when things go wrong.

    Because I still walk when I could learn to drive.

    Because sometime soon I will have a beard.

    Because I hate the faddy nature of all things digital.

    Because slides are truly beautiful things.

    Because five years ago I vowed to spend less time in fron tof a computer
    screen and more in the great outdoors.

    Because I still rather naively believe that something as fundamentally
    important to everyone and everything shouldn't be left in the hands of
    people whose first love was a mobile phone.

    Because digital is for people who can't make a good exposure on film, or for
    people who have huge workloads. I am neither.

    Because each press of the delete button will fill me with regret a few years
    down the line.

    And because I can.
    Martin Francis, May 20, 2004
  13. Mike Henley

    Dick R. Guest

    Well said - good post!
    BTW - I've used some of those "bad" photos (glad I saved them) for things
    like birthday cards, etc. Sometimes embarrassing for the recipient. :)

    Dick in the USA
    Dick R., May 20, 2004
  14. Mike Henley

    Nick C Guest

    Thank you, but I do believe in this instance, media is the proper word to

    Nick C, May 20, 2004
  15. Mike Henley

    David Starr Guest

    Three Minolta bodies and 12 lenses
    Two RB-67 bodies and 4 lenses
    Complete darkroom - process & print color & B&W.

    I'm a do it yourself kind of guy, so to go digital and be able to make
    20 x 30 prints at home like I can now would require a second mortgage.

    Film works fine for me; why switch?

    I won't even get started on the quality issue.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Professional Shop Rat: 14,328 days in a GM plant.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    David Starr, May 20, 2004
  16. I don't know about weddings, but I hate that part of analog printing.
    I don't want some unknown person in a lab to decide how my pictures are
    to be printed.

    With digital printing, I control what is going where. Of all the digital
    stuff, digital labs like the Frontier are one of the best things that ever
    Philip Homburg, May 20, 2004
  17. Mike Henley

    Alan Browne Guest

    Love it. "Rebel, Rebel, put on your dress..."
    Alan Browne, May 20, 2004
  18. Not really, but you're forgiven under the Millenium clause*.

    Note: I am not agreeing with Scarpitti (heaven fobid)- merely my view
    happens to coincide with his ;-)

    * "Everyone else says it!"
    Martin Francis, May 20, 2004
  19. Been there, done that.
    Martin Francis, May 20, 2004
  20. Mike Henley

    James Cloud Guest

    Digital camera is like Internet Porn. It's fun and instanctly

    Film camera is like going out with a girl. You know what she looks
    like with clothes on, but has to wait to find out what she looks like

    I need a life ;)
    James Cloud, May 20, 2004
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