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Thread started 20 Aug 2013 (Tuesday) 13:58
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How many went back to film and liked it?

 
oaktree
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Aug 20, 2013 13:58 |  #1

I thought of buying a Zeiss rangefinder to "go back to film". Then I looked at my 1980's Pentax Super Program and thought, "All I need is a good 50mm lens!" I also have a very good 1990's Rollei film P&S with a sharp Schneider lens.

All these thoughts were coming back because I started reading about the "mystic,nostalgia, and advantages" of shooting with film. But then I thought, "Wait...is it (or was it) really that good shooting with film?" I started remembering slow ISO, same white balance for the whole roll, waiting to see if the slides/prints were OK, etc.

For those who have gone (partially) back to film from digital, what did you like about it? You see any advantage in shooting both digital and film? Or is it just a passing mental derangement that will soon pass?


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gjl711
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Aug 20, 2013 14:01 |  #2

I shot film for years and I do not regret the move to digital one bit. It's still fun to break out my old Canon A-1 or one of the older cameras (Leica, Agfa) and play for a bit, but no way would I want to go back to the film workflow on a daily basis. Maybe if I could get my hands on a decent Speed Grafix, but 35mm format, no way.


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professorman
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Aug 20, 2013 14:15 |  #3

Film is a novelty. Its like booting up that old dial up internet computer, and try using it. Sure, it was great then, but today, why bother? Its nice to play with. Its fun to 'see if you got it' and push yourself, but at the end of the day, is it anything more than a toy in this modern age?


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solepatch
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Aug 20, 2013 14:32 |  #4

I am one of the youngsters experiencing film for the first time. I love shooting the Contax RTS and Zeiss 50 that I just bought, it really does change the way you shoot.

That being said I love it only for my own personal photography. Unless it was a very special circumstance I would never attempt to shoot film for a client. Digital just has too many advantages to it.


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sjones
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Aug 20, 2013 14:43 |  #5

professorman wrote in post #16224989 (external link)
Film is a novelty. Its like booting up that old dial up internet computer, and try using it. Sure, it was great then, but today, why bother? Its nice to play with. Its fun to 'see if you got it' and push yourself, but at the end of the day, is it anything more than a toy in this modern age?

Well, it's true, why play the piano or use your hands to sculpt pottery when there are digital solutions to all of this. And why would anyone enjoy the process of cooking, when there are much more efficient options.

Wow, that painting by Rembrandt, a mere novelty; that composition by Mozart, a mere novelty, and of course, that photo by Ansel Adams, a mere novelty…only that which is new can be worthwhile (thus ensuring that anything I use or create today will effectively be trivial "tomorrow").

Or…

Film is a medium, not a technological statement, and to flippantly reduce it to some anachronistic "toy" is to flippantly write off all of the exceptional photographers who used film to create equally exceptional photographs that, to this day, remain unsurpassed. Art does not need the ever evolving output of modernity to flourish, and any suggestion otherwise is staggeringly ignorant.

Anyway, for the OP, yes, I switched from digital to film and I couldn't be happier: for more details, please see my verbosely posited viewpoints:
http://27-303.tumblr.com/post/31​017936386/film (external link) (Why Film)

Need not say more, so I'm out, but if the OP or others want to PM, please feel free. Really, people who argue against choice, particularly in the arts, are the useless dullards of the world.


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kf095
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Aug 20, 2013 16:13 |  #6

oaktree wrote in post #16224938 (external link)
I thought of buying a Zeiss rangefinder to "go back to film". Then I looked at my 1980's Pentax Super Program and thought, "All I need is a good 50mm lens!" I also have a very good 1990's Rollei film P&S with a sharp Schneider lens.

All these thoughts were coming back because I started reading about the "mystic,nostalgia, and advantages" of shooting with film. But then I thought, "Wait...is it (or was it) really that good shooting with film?" I started remembering slow ISO, same white balance for the whole roll, waiting to see if the slides/prints were OK, etc.

For those who have gone (partially) back to film from digital, what did you like about it? You see any advantage in shooting both digital and film? Or is it just a passing mental derangement that will soon pass?

One here. Partially back to film.
One of the reasons, actually, due to rangefinders. RF gives clear view, no blackout in viewfinder. Plus it has no dust problems, which is annoying with (D)SLRs.
It also seems to give less distortions with WA lens.
Purchased EOS3 to have it with my 50L, but sold it quickly to get IIf with collapsible lens.

Color film, yes, something expensive and difficult. But B/W gives me cheap, easy to process media, which is very different from digital b/w.
I'm checking new digital cameras for b/w, not the same yet.

It is fun and something pleasing to the eye in result for street photography where film RF is the best media for me. I like film look and retro rendering of old glass. I like low shutter, wrong exposure results too. It looks like art with film often, with digital it goes to garbage bin.

With b/w film and old RFs, like mechanical only Leicas, it is easy to take it under Sunny 16 rule. B/W film has huge exposure latitude, very forgiving compare to digital.
And one strange thing with b/w film is - it is perfect for middle of the bright day photography. Don't know why, but it is not working for me with digital.

Also like MF, which is only on film for now. The digital is crop in MF world, compare to 6x9 film. Gives very different look for b/w images. Even 645 is amazing on film.
Like my $70, made in 1937, Zeiss. How much is the digital one?


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iamascientist
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Aug 20, 2013 17:08 |  #7

professorman wrote in post #16224989 (external link)
Film is a novelty. Its like booting up that old dial up internet computer, and try using it. Sure, it was great then, but today, why bother? Its nice to play with. Its fun to 'see if you got it' and push yourself, but at the end of the day, is it anything more than a toy in this modern age?

Such a blind statement, tell that to the art world where film remains king. If you look at today's emerging artists, and established artists, the majority are using film.




  
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Snafoo
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Aug 20, 2013 18:22 |  #8

professorman wrote in post #16224989 (external link)
Film is a novelty. Its like booting up that old dial up internet computer, and try using it. Sure, it was great then, but today, why bother? Its nice to play with. Its fun to 'see if you got it' and push yourself, but at the end of the day, is it anything more than a toy in this modern age?

Professorman? Really? My profs were more open minded.

You've been beaten up pretty badly already, but I'll throw my two cents worth in too. It was already mentioned that film has much more latitude than digital, but it also beats digital in dynamic range (depending on the film used). You might want to ponder the difference between novelty and niche. The former has no lasting value; the latter has much value when used in capable hands.

Just curious: have you ever used film? And by that, I mean for serious photography, not disposable camera playing around?


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gjl711
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Aug 20, 2013 18:45 |  #9

You guys are making the wrong assumption that all photography is art based, that simply is not true. There are times where an image is created simply for artistic pursuit, but many, if not most images captured today are working images. Weddings, events, sports, product, portraits, journalistic, fashion, real estate, simple snapshot, micrography, documentary photography, and many more. Few if any still use film in these types of activities. In the art world I have no doubt that film has it's niche but even there, many artists prefer the digital workflow.

Film will be around for a long time to come I'm sure and i would not dismiss it as a novelty or toy as there are certain applications where it still shines, but those areas are getting smaller with each camera release and I can easily see a day where shooting with film will be relegated to novelty activities, sort of like blacksmiths or steam powered lumber mills or manual typewriters.


Not sure why, but call me JJ.
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iamascientist
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Aug 20, 2013 18:57 |  #10

gjl711 wrote in post #16225782 (external link)
You guys are making the wrong assumption that all photography is art based, that simply is not true. There are times where an image is created simply for artistic pursuit, but many, if not most images captured today are working images. Weddings, events, sports, product, portraits, journalistic, fashion, real estate, simple snapshot, micrography, documentary photography, and many more. Few if any still use film in these types of activities. In the art world I have no doubt that film has it's niche but even there, many artists prefer the digital workflow.

Film will be around for a long time to come I'm sure and i would not dismiss it as a novelty or toy as there are certain applications where it still shines, but those areas are getting smaller with each camera release and I can easily see a day where shooting with film will be relegated to novelty activities, sort of like blacksmiths or steam powered lumber mills or manual typewriters.

I don't think anyone here said all photography was art based, so I don't know where you got that from. I don't think anyone would argue that digital makes more sense for commercial purposes, and still, there are people doing commercial photography with film (obviously the minority, they are doing it for aesthetic reasons) in the catagories you listed.

And what areas where film shines are getting smaller with each camera release? I don't understand that one.

As long as film exists, even as a small niche, it will be used seriously as an artistic medium, not a novelty. Sjones explained it nicely.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Aug 20, 2013 19:21 |  #11

namtot wrote in post #16225466 (external link)
Such a blind statement, tell that to the art world where film remains king. If you look at today's emerging artists, and established artists, the majority are using film.

The reality is silver gelatin prints get on average 10 times more than inkjet prints in galleries. Many of the greats still shoot film like Michael Johnson. He shoots large format and is a zone system photographer and has work in many of the major art museums like the Art Institute.

There are still many very good photographers like sjones that are doing killer work with silver and 35mm to so you just don't have to be shooting medium and large format. If I still had a darkroom I would still be shooting film. But having said that I love my Leica MM.

Heres a link to Michael Johnson. Give it a few seconds to load.
http://www.michaeljohn​sonphotography.com/ (external link)

And see if you can see all the film Leica Ms in this trailer for an upcoming film.
http://vimeo.com/70639​661 (external link)

I still have a couple of unopened bottles of rodinal and several bricks of film in my freezer.




  
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Tony-S
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Aug 20, 2013 20:05 |  #12

professorman wrote in post #16224989 (external link)
Film is a novelty. Its like booting up that old dial up internet computer, and try using it. Sure, it was great then, but today, why bother? Its nice to play with. Its fun to 'see if you got it' and push yourself, but at the end of the day, is it anything more than a toy in this modern age?

Just bought some Silvermax film today. 14 stops of dynamic range, which is 4 stops more than my 5D Mark II.


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Snafoo
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Aug 20, 2013 21:20 |  #13

gjl711 wrote in post #16225782 (external link)
Film will be around for a long time to come I'm sure and i would not dismiss it as a novelty or toy as there are certain applications where it still shines...

It was the comment about film being a novelty and toy that got the rise, not that it should be used for all occasions. Of course you're right that it has very limited appeal outside fine art photography.

Almost off topic, but I still get a thrill when I open a package of negatives that I've just picked up from the photo developer (I gave up developing my own film decades ago). I usually don't make it out of the parking lot before I look at them to see how they turned out. Small pleasures!


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 20, 2013 22:20 |  #14

Snafoo wrote in post #16226150 (external link)
It was the comment about film being a novelty and toy that got the rise, not that it should be used for all occasions. Of course you're right that it has very limited appeal outside fine art photography.

Almost off topic, but I still get a thrill when I open a package of negatives that I've just picked up from the photo developer (I gave up developing my own film decades ago). I usually don't make it out of the parking lot before I look at them to see how they turned out. Small pleasures!

As of last year two of New York's biggest ad agencies still insisted on film.




  
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KirkS518
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Aug 20, 2013 23:04 |  #15

I occasionally shoot film. I find Ishoot a higher percentage of keepers with film then digital, of course that's most likely due to the ease of just firing off another one just to see how it looks. I slow way down with film, and that's probably the other reason why a higher percentage. It makes you think, and study what you're about to shoot. I also enjoy the wait of seeing what I captured. I also think I feel more in control of what's going on. It is/was a very difficult transformation for me going from film to digital, and really more difficult going from an all manual camera (Canon TX) to ones with the automatic features (AE-1, 620, etc.) because of the control I was giving up.
I haven't gone back, and I probably won't, but I'll keep shooting film until I don't have anymore.


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How many went back to film and liked it?
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