>Don't have to buy film
Granted - its a hassle. The x-ray/airport thing is a PITA too. Having said that I love the fun in running with different film types and matching them to a shooting style. A lot of my favourites from the Street Shooting thread appear to be processed to resemble B&W film of varying graininess.
>Can see results immediately
Yup - definitely a plus. However, again, I like not worrying about achieving a perfect shot - I give up control of some factors and enjoy the 'wow' when the images come back and I managed a great shot by manually balancing the various factors (speed, focus, aperture) within my control.
>Can re-take pictures based on immediate results
Yup - definitely.
>On screen histogram, maximize exposure
Not really something I use on digital so I don't miss it.
>The ability to optimize the shot on the fly
>Processing my own photos
You can do this with film. I don't, but other people do.
>Optimizing my own photos
Ditto. Its just a more laborious process with film - people have been dodging/burning/push/pulling exposures way before Photoshop.
>End results better than ANY SHOT I EVER TOOK WITH MY FILM SLR and >consistenly so.
I can only speak for myself, but my favourite pictures are a mix of film and digital. My fave film pictures tend to be more considered (due to some of the limitations you've already mentioned) and my digital ones tend to capture happy moments (no-flash low light celebrations) that more readily lend themselves to spontaneous shooting.
>Pictures that will remain at their present quality (no fading!)
I'd say the risk of data-loss over time means that quality is only preserved while the mechanism to read the data is available. I was *just* able to pull some old digital scans/quickcam pics off a 1998 Mac backup CD - I suspect anything I have left on 5 1/4" or 3.5" floppy is doomed. Actually when IDE and SCSI adaptors disappear I might be in some strife reading old disks too
This can be mitigated by moving your data (all of it) forward and not letting it stagnate (I'd argue backup to the cloud is also not a great place to store data if you need digital longevity).
We'll see if hard-drives of iPhoto and Lightroom libraries will appear in Antique stores and markets of the future the same way as old sepia prints and negs do today. I'm sure digital archeologists will be having fun in 50+ years time (great article on the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project
here demonstrating the difficulties inherent in storage).
>The ability to later crop and alter the existing photos without relying on >someone else to do it and charge me for it.
True. I don't bother with prints - I get my negs scanned straight to CD so I tend to crop as required (tends to be the extent of my film-processing). I'm keeping an eye out for a dedicated film-scanner but they're still a bit pricey.
I always have the negatives so I can get prints or better res scans if required.
>But, I am considering jumping back in time and pulling out the old camera >just for the experience of it. I do appreciate the zen quality of such >experiences.
Its great fun. As a beginner, it has certainly helped me with my digital photography and the instant feedback of digital has helped my understanding of film photography.
As you can see I pretty much agree with everything you say.
On the other hand I recently bought a new stylus for my old record player and pulled out some 7" 45's - maybe I'm just a luddite at heart.