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Film

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by OzRay, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Ilford recently conducted a survey regarding film use and came up with some interesting results: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/pressroom/article.asp?n=198:

    The last two quotes are interesting, as coming from being a long time film photographer, I still take photographs like I was using a film camera, even though I gave up film many years ago.
     
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  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    me too ... often I only have 5 images on my SD card when I go out with a goal in mind. Often I only take one. I find that just by looking at it I know what I want and how to get there. So I do that and pack up.

    I only use film when I need a format size that isn't available in digital.

    Also when I want some tolerance of washouts. I shot a wedding on negative film a while ago because there was no way I could do outdoor in daylight under the gum trees and have whites with details and black suits.
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    That's pretty much a mirror image of the way I work. I usually have in my mind's eye what I want and, at most, I'll take a few shots from different angles to give me different perspectives. When I shot large format in the field, I'd take maybe five 4x5 film holders with me (10 shots total) and often agonise over each shot.
     
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  4. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    The cost of 4x5 film and processing was the killer. Of course, humping the camera, big tripod, 2nd lens and film holders didn't help either. I'd love to use a view camera again - so much control, even if it is slow to work with. A 4x5 with digital back would be seriously fun.
     
  5. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    Hi Ray,

    I shoot both and enjoy both for different reasons. Overall I actually prefer digital - although it's not really fashionable to say that ;)

    My local film club operates with the rule that you have to shoot your own film, develop your own film and print your own film - largely to keep the art of film development and printing alive.

    Overall I actually prefer digital as a shooting experience and love the digital dark room - the capacity to walk away from an image while it is still 'in development' and come back to it again with a fresh set of eyes is super appealing. With respect to both film and digital I don't like being limited to a single 'roll' when I go out. When I shoot 35mm or 120mm I often stuff a number of rolls into each pocked!
    Limiting myself to 5 shots when I go out or even a single roll of film (for my type of personality) probably stifles my creativity - I'm afraid to take the shot in case I miss out on a better shot later on. I don't like admitting it, but it's true so there you have it!
    I found that by removing the 5 or even 36 shot constraint I'd take more risks on interesting angles / lighting with the hope that a particular shot would turn out good in print. That's not to say that I shoot a full 36 shots each time I go out. I'm actually fairly picky about what I shoot. What I am getting at is that the reassurance of lots of rolls of film in my pocket, or memory card space on a sdcard removes creative inhibitions should I need it. Again I think it's a personality type thing. Whatever works for each of us is all that matters.

    Large format I don't really enjoy or appreciate - some of the most technically impressive film prints that I have seen have come from large format. Conversely some of the most sterile and boring composition shots that I have taken have also come from large format because I got tired carrying a boat load of equipment and set out for a single type of shot. I respect this format and the results can be technically fantastic from a film perspective but perhaps 'only' being able to carry 4-5 shots with you for a days shoot ... makes the photographer tend towards the more 'obvious' composition. I also tend to enjoy shots based on people or human interaction with a human element where 35mm and 120mm is more versatile. I guess what it boils down to, is that large format film doesn't suit my personality type or shooting habits. Especially when you can buy modern digital cameras and get massive high res prints wtih huge tonality and beyond from existing digital megapixel monsters should you need to print obscenely large from a single frame. If you want stitched landscapes and get large format resolution you have the option of stitching....

    For me the biggest lure to film and why I keep coming back to it is for the print making aspect. It forces me to print and I love the physical involvement with the process. There is something magical about seeing an image slowly appear on the page. Digital printing can be very complex with color profiling, paper profiling, doing a sample print etc.... configuring your printer for the paper type etc... The end result can be equally enjoyable from both, but for the actual print making process itself, I prefer film.
    For capture and development I prefer digital - although I find myself adding grain to many digital images ;)

    Just my 0.02.

    Thanks,

    Tom.
     
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    commonly said, but to me it pales into nothingness when considering all the costs of getting there. So when I am thinking of a waterfall shot somewhere in Lamington or a shot on a lake in the middle of Finland I know that $5 for the sheet of film and $5 for processing that is tiddly winks.

    right click it and open this full screen
    snowyJarviRuoko90mm6x12-2.

    can't do that with a smaller format I'm afraid. Look also at the disc of the sun in relief in the sky ... can't do that without NEG either.

    then there is DoF control that you just can't get any other way ...

    334966424_75b163b69d_o.


    Of course I also have a digital camera with me, that's my light meter ;-)
     
  7. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm loving 645 because I get a decent number of shots per roll yet it's a large enough negative to show good detail (an Imacon scan is around a meter tall at native DPI), it's also really easy to process as you can use small tank development. I've been loving shooting to scan as the digital workflow is far easier as it doesn't cost anything to hit undo or try something different.

    I still have all the dip and dunk processing equipment for 4x5 however it hasn't been used in a long time.
     
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'm a totally digital photographer nowadays. I love it and would never go seriously back to film. However, I'm contemplating shooting a bit of B&W film since I bought a Retina fold-out camera and Olympus Trip 35 at a garage sale recently (just for old time sake) and processing the film and then doing some digital copying of the processed negatives. I won't do darkroom printing again, as that's just not worth it and the chemicals give me dermatitis (one reason for giving up printing).

    In a way, I see film as a bit like restoring classic cars and getting to drive them under a special license (as it applies in Australia). You get to re-live the old days, but your daily driver is realistically better in so many ways.
     
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi
    we each find our expression reached in different ways ... none is right or wrong, only what we like or don't like :)

    I hope I have not seemed to imply one is better than another.
     
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    I've had a lot of fun with a Folder too ... bought a few, gone back to my simplest 6x9 Voightlander with a vaskar lens ... develop in Jobo drum and never get chemistry on my hands. Scan well on Epson flatbed and look great :)

    Actually even a Holga Pinhole 6x12 is fun

    3652741505_f89696fb2e_o.
     
  11. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013

    Not at all my friend. Totally agree it's what we like and don't like in the end.
    One of the guys in my club shoots wet plate ... now THAT is a tricky thing to do ;)
     
  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Wet plate? That is serious stuff (and I can only shudder at the chemicals he uses). But it might produce some nice contact prints.
     
  13. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    Yup! I don't have the patience for it myself. The results are really interesting though. In it's own way learning about it has given me an insight into the life and era of my own grandfather in that we have family photo's going right back to 1911 (and even before) of people looking like stoic planks. I had never given thought that the slower exposure force the subject remain motionless.
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Yes indeedy! They even had things such as head braces to help subjects keep still back in those days. Thank goodness for flash powder when it arrived, apart from it's foibles. ;)
     
  15. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    441
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    For me, the worst part of shooting film is the film. (Sorry, Ilford.) It's expensive, inconvenient, and since I don't process my own, I have much less control over the result than I get from a RAW file and software. The best part of shooting film is the cameras. For the price of a tank or two of gas, or a trip to the grocery store, I can get a camera that originally cost 10 or 20 times as much (adjusted for inflation) and is a showpiece of ingenious engineering, durable materials, and painstaking workmanship. Like old cars, these old cameras are mechanical, understandable, appreciable.

    When I was using my first digital camera, a 3MP point-and-shoot, I used to wish for digital film or a digital back for my Nikon SLRs so I could get SLR image quality with digital film-free convenience. I bought my first Micro Four Thirds camera specifically so I could use my old SLR lenses on it, and I promptly sold all my film cameras. Then I bought more old lenses to adapt to my PEN, and some of the old lenses came with old SLRs attached, and I tried them out. Pretty soon I was buying film cameras for themselves, not just their lenses, and now I have SLRs of several brands, rangefinders, TLRs, and I just got a 6x9 folder from Germany. Heaven help me, I may be devolving from photographer to collector, but I guess that's what happens to someone who likes film cameras more than film.