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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?

 
edge100
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Aug 22, 2013 20:00 |  #31

ELT_Photo wrote in post #16231539 (external link)
Went back? Some of us never left!! Some of my clients request film for part of rhe shoot.:D

I've seen this, too. It helps that I sell my clients on the benefits of film (and my love for the medium). It's not for everyone, but a certain clientele will appreciate the obvious benefits of film.


Street and editorial photography in Toronto, Canada (external link)
Mirrorless: Fujifilm X-Pro1
Film: Leica MP | Leica M2 | CV Nokton 35/1.4 | CV Nokton 40 f/1.4 | Leitz Summitar 50 f/2 | Canon 50 f/1.2 LTM | Mamiya 7 | Mamiya 80 f/4.0 | Mamiya 150 f/4.5 | Mamiya 43 f/4.5
How to get good colour from C-41 film scans (external link)

Digitizing film with a digital camera (external link)

  
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kfreels
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Aug 22, 2013 20:34 |  #32

I shoot film on the rare occasion that I'm really pushing the highlights. The falloff on digital is way too fast and is far too finicky. When I do, I generally go for my Elan 7e with the eye control AF which Canon still has yet to put into a digital camera and I miss it terribly.


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
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Luckless
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Aug 23, 2013 06:34 |  #33

KirkS518 wrote in post #16226347 (external link)
...I find Ishoot a higher percentage of keepers with film then digital...

A question that one of my friends raised of another friend (who is a film fanatic) was that are the photos on film really more likely to be 'keepers' because it slows you down and forces you to 'work harder', or are they more likely to be kept simply because they were on film?

The film fanatic (Described as such because he sticks his nose in the air and constantly talks down about digital, and describes film as the only way real photography should ever be done) claims he has a 'keeper rate' of nearly 90%, but frequently 'explains away' technical flaws as 'art'. The flaws a minor, bits of motion blur or ever so slightly soft focus and the like. All the kinds of things that had I been shooting with my 7D in the usual burst mode would make me look at the photo or two before and after to see if I had failed badly enough to screw them all up or if another was a proper keeper.

I've processed sports photos while other people watched, and at times it has been kind of awkward. I'll hear over my shoulder "That's a great photo!" or some variant every third or fourth image, all the while binning the image in question because it had more motion blur than I wanted, or less, or one player was looking too far off camera/had their eyes closed. Since I've easily come back from a game with 400-600 or more photos it means that I generally have lots of photos of the people I am looking for. Individual value of each image is far lower, and I easily view them in a far more critical light than what my friend who shoots exclusively film appears able to do. Usually I have five or six nearly identical photos, each individually acceptable to my visual standards, but still only one is accepted and allowed to continue to exist.


So, to other people who are already shooting film currently: After an honest evaluation of your past and current work with both digital and film, do you feel that you are more or less tolerant of the work you produce with one or the other? Can you detect any subconscious bias going on after a good amount of consideration on the topic?


Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500
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edge100
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Aug 23, 2013 08:01 |  #34

Luckless wrote in post #16232852 (external link)
A question that one of my friends raised of another friend (who is a film fanatic) was that are the photos on film really more likely to be 'keepers' because it slows you down and forces you to 'work harder', or are they more likely to be kept simply because they were on film?

So, to other people who are already shooting film currently: After an honest evaluation of your past and current work with both digital and film, do you feel that you are more or less tolerant of the work you produce with one or the other? Can you detect any subconscious bias going on after a good amount of consideration on the topic?

Good questions.

I certainly see an improved *rate* of good photos on film, but of course a rate is a fraction, and can be higher simply because the denominator is lower (i.e. you took fewer shots).

However, I believe I also see a much higher *number* of good photos on film. I put this down to two things:

1. Film really does make you slow down and be more considerate about your shots. You're not chimping, so you're never quite sure if you've got the shot. Getting a roll of film back and seeing that you've either underexposed (with negative film) or overexposed (with reversal film) is not fun, and you'll quickly rectify the situation, lest you continue to pay for crummy shots.

2. Film cameras are (often) less intrusive and far, far more enjoyable to use. My Leica M6 is a model of simplicity; it does everything I want and nothing I don't, and because of that I thoroughly enjoy using it. That in itself helps me shoot better photographs.

With respect to passing off technical flaws as art, I'm not quite sure what you mean. 35mm film will never have the crisp detail of 16+MP digital, but that's not why I shoot film. Moreover, in the genre I work in (street), absolute sharpness and even a bit of motion blur are secondary or tertiary to good composition and lighting; so perhaps film just suits my particular genre more than any other. Heck, I'm shooting rangefinders (sometimes a MF rangefinder, to boot!) while zone focusing; absolutely dead on focusing is not what that game is all about.

That said, I still toss film images that don't meet my own personal standard of technical excellence. I'm not interested in the faux-film Instagram look; that's not what draws me to film. But a bit of film grain is not nearly as objectionable as digital noise. It's part of the warmth and subtlety of film. That's not to say that digital has to be cold and in your face, but film images often have a quality that I prefer, whether it be for street photography, portrait photography, or whatever.


Street and editorial photography in Toronto, Canada (external link)
Mirrorless: Fujifilm X-Pro1
Film: Leica MP | Leica M2 | CV Nokton 35/1.4 | CV Nokton 40 f/1.4 | Leitz Summitar 50 f/2 | Canon 50 f/1.2 LTM | Mamiya 7 | Mamiya 80 f/4.0 | Mamiya 150 f/4.5 | Mamiya 43 f/4.5
How to get good colour from C-41 film scans (external link)

Digitizing film with a digital camera (external link)

  
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airfrogusmc
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Aug 23, 2013 08:02 |  #35

Luckless wrote in post #16232852 (external link)
A question that one of my friends raised of another friend (who is a film fanatic) was that are the photos on film really more likely to be 'keepers' because it slows you down and forces you to 'work harder', or are they more likely to be kept simply because they were on film?

The film fanatic (Described as such because he sticks his nose in the air and constantly talks down about digital, and describes film as the only way real photography should ever be done) claims he has a 'keeper rate' of nearly 90%, but frequently 'explains away' technical flaws as 'art'. The flaws a minor, bits of motion blur or ever so slightly soft focus and the like. All the kinds of things that had I been shooting with my 7D in the usual burst mode would make me look at the photo or two before and after to see if I had failed badly enough to screw them all up or if another was a proper keeper.

I've processed sports photos while other people watched, and at times it has been kind of awkward. I'll hear over my shoulder "That's a great photo!" or some variant every third or fourth image, all the while binning the image in question because it had more motion blur than I wanted, or less, or one player was looking too far off camera/had their eyes closed. Since I've easily come back from a game with 400-600 or more photos it means that I generally have lots of photos of the people I am looking for. Individual value of each image is far lower, and I easily view them in a far more critical light than what my friend who shoots exclusively film appears able to do. Usually I have five or six nearly identical photos, each individually acceptable to my visual standards, but still only one is accepted and allowed to continue to exist.


So, to other people who are already shooting film currently: After an honest evaluation of your past and current work with both digital and film, do you feel that you are more or less tolerant of the work you produce with one or the other? Can you detect any subconscious bias going on after a good amount of consideration on the topic?


An interesting piece by Ralph Gibson.
http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=NzMQcE2E-1o (external link)

Working with a large format view camera will slow you down even more. You find yourself really paying attention to everything in the frame. When you are under the dark cloth, looking at the ground glass on the back of the camera, everything is upside down. You know have all these rise, fall, tilt and shift decisions to make. Then if you are using the zone system, you have important exposure decisions to make that will also effect development time of the negative. You also have time to make sure the composition is right and everything in the frame is important. Even at the edges and the background.

All of this will can you more aware of elements in the background and at the edges of the frame when you go back to shooting a smaller format.

Read up on what Adams and even Bresson had to say about the machine gun approach to photography.




  
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oaktree
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Aug 23, 2013 08:12 as a reply to  @ Luckless's post |  #36

I shot with film from about 1950 to 2007. Lots of keepers.

Then came the Rebel XTi. I got tickets to our local NBA team and set the Rebel to burst mode and left it there. Whether shooting sports, landscapes, preople, I can fire off 3,4,5 shots without thinking anything of it. My excuses are: 1) Sports...the athletes are moving fast; 2) Landscape...since I'm hand holding the camera the first shot might have some shake but the 2nd or 3rd could be OK; 3) People...somebody might blink.

Waste lots of shots!!! With me, it's not film versus digtal. If I took my time, my keeper rate with digital would probably be the same as with film.


Too much stuff, not enough shooting time.

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airfrogusmc
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Aug 23, 2013 08:20 |  #37

It's rare that anyone now or then was as visual or technically proficient as Adams and heres what he had to say about keepers.

"Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." - Ansel Adams

The more visually aware and the more technically proficient you become the lower you keeper rate also becomes.




  
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Ryan0751
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Aug 23, 2013 08:33 |  #38

I started with a Pentax K1000, I don't know, I can't imagine going back to that. I have thought about trying out an old Hasselblad film camera for fun, but it wouldn't be my main camera by any means.

Extra steps to get the images to where I'd use them (on the computer)...


Canon 5D III, Fuji X100s, Sigma 15mm (Fisheye), 16-35 F2.8 L II, 24-70 F2.8 L II, 70-200 F2.8 IS II L, 100 2.8 Macro L, 1.4X TC, 3 x 600 EX-RT, ST-E3, Nodal Ninja Ultimate M2 with EZ Leveler
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edge100
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Aug 23, 2013 09:34 |  #39

Ryan0751 wrote in post #16233096 (external link)
I started with a Pentax K1000, I don't know, I can't imagine going back to that. I have thought about trying out an old Hasselblad film camera for fun, but it wouldn't be my main camera by any means.

Extra steps to get the images to where I'd use them (on the computer)...

Honestly, I think that this is a key point. Part of the reason I shoot film (mainly) is that I enjoy the process as much or more than the product.

If you're primarily after the image, then I understand why film would seem a chore (despite the very real image quality benefits, particularly in 120 and larger formats). On the other hand, if the process is part of why you enjoy photography, then film makes a lot more sense.

As I describe here (external link), I shoot film because I like shooting film and I like shooting with film cameras. It's no more or less complicated than that.

If it weren't for the 3-4 occasions per year that I want images quickly AND where I want better quality than my iPhone can provide, I'd sell off all of my digital gear (only the X-Pro1 at this point) and focus 100% on film. Except for it's admittedly faster workflow, digital does absolutely nothing for me that I can't already do with film.


Street and editorial photography in Toronto, Canada (external link)
Mirrorless: Fujifilm X-Pro1
Film: Leica MP | Leica M2 | CV Nokton 35/1.4 | CV Nokton 40 f/1.4 | Leitz Summitar 50 f/2 | Canon 50 f/1.2 LTM | Mamiya 7 | Mamiya 80 f/4.0 | Mamiya 150 f/4.5 | Mamiya 43 f/4.5
How to get good colour from C-41 film scans (external link)

Digitizing film with a digital camera (external link)

  
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iamascientist
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Aug 23, 2013 10:11 |  #40

Luckless wrote in post #16232852 (external link)
A question that one of my friends raised of another friend (who is a film fanatic) was that are the photos on film really more likely to be 'keepers' because it slows you down and forces you to 'work harder', or are they more likely to be kept simply because they were on film?

The film fanatic (Described as such because he sticks his nose in the air and constantly talks down about digital, and describes film as the only way real photography should ever be done) claims he has a 'keeper rate' of nearly 90%, but frequently 'explains away' technical flaws as 'art'. The flaws a minor, bits of motion blur or ever so slightly soft focus and the like. All the kinds of things that had I been shooting with my 7D in the usual burst mode would make me look at the photo or two before and after to see if I had failed badly enough to screw them all up or if another was a proper keeper.

I've processed sports photos while other people watched, and at times it has been kind of awkward. I'll hear over my shoulder "That's a great photo!" or some variant every third or fourth image, all the while binning the image in question because it had more motion blur than I wanted, or less, or one player was looking too far off camera/had their eyes closed. Since I've easily come back from a game with 400-600 or more photos it means that I generally have lots of photos of the people I am looking for. Individual value of each image is far lower, and I easily view them in a far more critical light than what my friend who shoots exclusively film appears able to do. Usually I have five or six nearly identical photos, each individually acceptable to my visual standards, but still only one is accepted and allowed to continue to exist.


So, to other people who are already shooting film currently: After an honest evaluation of your past and current work with both digital and film, do you feel that you are more or less tolerant of the work you produce with one or the other? Can you detect any subconscious bias going on after a good amount of consideration on the topic?

I truly prefer the aesthetic of film and its probably the biggest reason I almost exclusively use it, but the keeper rate going up has more to do with pressing the shutter button way less with film then digital.




  
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Aug 23, 2013 11:22 |  #41

Does anyone who shoot film, photograph people as a large segment of their film shooting?

I am primarily a 'people' photographer.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 23, 2013 11:28 |  #42

professorman wrote in post #16233511 (external link)
Does anyone who shoot film, photograph people as a large segment of their film shooting?

I am primarily a 'people' photographer.

I used to shoot film and if I still had a darkroom I still would be. In my opinion nothing like medium or large format for portraits. I especially like the square format of Hasselblad.

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kfreels
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Aug 23, 2013 14:00 |  #43

professorman wrote in post #16233511 (external link)
Does anyone who shoot film, photograph people as a large segment of their film shooting?

I am primarily a 'people' photographer.

It's the only reason I go to film and only when I'm doing high key work.


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
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rxjohn
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Aug 24, 2013 18:43 |  #44

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?

You have to decide what it is you want.

If your goal is to immerse yourself in the "process" and also enjoy the time spent in the darkroom developing and printing, then by all means you should pursue film.

If you're results driven to produce photographs and couldn't careless about the darkroom process, then film may not be the best venue for you.

I went back to film about 3 years ago.. set up a darkroom.

Then decided spending all day shooting then trying to develop and print 5 rolls of medium format in the dark breathing chemicals weren't my thing.

Nostalgia is there..and to see the image appear on paper is like magic.

But no more. I'd rather spend more time shooting and sorting and PP through computer is time better spent for me.

Your experience may vary.




  
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Luckless
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Aug 25, 2013 09:01 |  #45

rxjohn wrote in post #16236739 (external link)
Then decided spending all day shooting then trying to develop and print 5 rolls of medium format in the dark breathing chemicals weren't my thing.

Still have your dark room? Try adding a forced air respirator and see if you enjoy it more without the breathing of chemicals all evening?


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