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Archive 2012 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...
  
 
satybhat
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p.1 #1 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


Hi folks,
I currently own a Ricoh A12 mount with 35 cron and 50 ZM for family shots. I also shoot BIF with D4-500f4 combo. However, the two systems are essentially mutually exclusive, i.e. when i take one, i don't bring along the other.
A few weeks ago, I saw the photos printed out on the michaels gallery in Melbourne ( living in Melbourne and loving it)... and I was blown away by the quality of the prints and the look of the photos. The chap said they were made from a film camera .... and the devil got me. Moments later, I was handling a used MP downstairs, the sales chap said it was already sold, but was good enough to let me play with it.
So a few questions have been racing in my mind... ANY pointers to previous threads discussing these would be helpful as well..

1. Is film really dead ? or going to be ?
2. In Melbourne, how convenient is it to get a few rolls processed and the good images scanned into digital ? Any recommended labs to buy and process ?
3. Would you recommend a film scanner ?
4. What do you gain in terms of convenience compared to digital? what do you lose ?
5. Do airport scanners destroy film ? how do you protect it ?
6. Does fuji make rolls > 36 exposures ?
7. Best recommended film for colour ? for b/w ?
8. Thinking about a Leica MP (used) - is it worthwhile for the next 10 yrs ? or would any other RF suffice ?
9. How do you backup / archive the keepers ?
10. AM I silly changing / indulging and will this pass ?

THANKS for your comments folks. Have been thinking about this topic for quite a while.
This is a great forum.
Saty



Aug 04, 2012 at 10:22 PM
jcw1982
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p.1 #2 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


Hi Saty,

Interesting questions. I don't think film is dead. Will it be one day? I don't think so. Like many artistic processes there will always be people who enjoy working with it. My take is that film shooters will be people that have at one time gone the digital route and want to experiment or learn a different aspect of photography.

I honestly can not think of any real conveniences of film over digital. I started out with film decades ago and never thought I would ever give it up. Now it is hard for me to imagine going back-even though I enjoyed photography back then as much as I do today. The conveniences of digital over film-many.

Back in the day, fillm bags were available for protecting your film when going through airport scanners. I usually ask for a hand check rather than risking my film through the scanner.

The last I checked Fuji was still making film in 36 exposure rolls-transpaency film anyway.

I always liked Fuji Velvia and Provia for color, when I use to shoot B&W I used Kodak Pan-X. Back when itwas being made I shot Kodachrome 25 and 64 (tripods were popular accessories back then too).

Archiving-I shot slide film most of the time. My slides are stored in archivable pages that hold @ 20 slides to a page. I also used archivable negative sleeves for storing negs. I have slides and negs over 30 years old that still can be scanned and printed with satisfactory results.


#10 is up to you. Maybe try both film and digital for a while before comitting to one exclusively?



Aug 04, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Keith B.
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p.1 #3 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


The choices of types and sizes of film available will continuously dwindle forevermore.
And I was unhappy when they took away Kodachrome 25.
I'm way happier trusting Adobe to develop my digital "film" right inside my own computer under my control than I was with the labs that didn't care about the scratches they added to my shots.



Aug 04, 2012 at 11:25 PM
JohnJ
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p.1 #4 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


satybhat wrote:
...
2. In Melbourne, how convenient is it to get a few rolls processed and the good images scanned into digital ? Any recommended labs to buy and process ?
...


Depends on which side of Melb you are in but I've always used Prism in Nth Melb and they have always been great (been using them since the early 90's). Having said that I haven't had film processed/scanned there for years, but I suspect nothing has changed there and it's worth looking into if they are on your side of town.

satybhat wrote:
...
...10. AM I silly changing / indulging and will this pass ?
...


Yes, and probably.

Although, shooting in a larger format is another matter, film or digital, as it gives you a different image. Shooting in 35mm is just silly, IMHO.



Aug 04, 2012 at 11:30 PM
rattymouse
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p.1 #5 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


satybhat wrote:
Hi folks,
I currently own a Ricoh A12 mount with 35 cron and 50 ZM for family shots. I also shoot BIF with D4-500f4 combo. However, the two systems are essentially mutually exclusive, i.e. when i take one, i don't bring along the other.
A few weeks ago, I saw the photos printed out on the michaels gallery in Melbourne ( living in Melbourne and loving it)... and I was blown away by the quality of the prints and the look of the photos. The chap said they were made from a film camera .... and the devil got me.
...Show more

I suggest you spend some time at www.apug.org as well as here.



Aug 04, 2012 at 11:49 PM
redisburning
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p.1 #6 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


1. not yet. yes
2. no idea, from the states
3. absolutely, I scanned all of the images here myself except for the MF shot
4. if you care about convenience, don't bother
5. check-in does. carry-on doesnt really. you get hand inspection if you want it though
6. no. if you want more, get a half frame
7. portra 400. fuji acros 100
8. nice camera. I own an M2, costs a lot less but has no meter and no warranty. the MP is a nice camera. I like Leica M bodies a lot more than any other 35mm film bodies I've used
9. um, I just store them. negatives last a long time
10. no. maybe.

as far as formats go, pick your poison:

ZM50/2:

delta 100:

Untitled by redisburning, on Flickr

portra 400:

Untitled by redisburning, on Flickr

bronica on velvia 50 (ps I hated this camera and got rid of it as soon as I could):

Untitled by redisburning, on Flickr

4x5 hp5+

rescan by redisburning, on Flickr



Aug 05, 2012 at 12:08 AM
satybhat
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p.1 #7 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


great images redis,
thanks for the replies guys.... unable to make up my mind over the last few weeks...
not sure whether i should splash another few thousand on this yet.



Aug 05, 2012 at 01:07 AM
jctriguy
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p.1 #8 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


satybhat wrote:
great images redis,
thanks for the replies guys.... unable to make up my mind over the last few weeks...
not sure whether i should splash another few thousand on this yet.


Why not look at a different system instead of the Leica? I picked up a Mamiya 645 kit for around $500, seems to be lots of those around. You get the benefits of film and a larger format to work with. I found a decent used scanner for $45 and so far I'm got the film developed at a local photo lab and then I scan and edit as normal. You can also develop your own BW film quite cheaply at home with just a tank and some chemicals.



Aug 05, 2012 at 01:34 AM
marko1953
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p.1 #9 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


Using film is more of a craft than using digital. If you are prepared to invest the time and effort the rewards can be great. It becomes more of a philosophical attitude than a practical consideration as digital is faster, more convenient and the quality is great. I have gone through canon 10d, 20d, 40d, 7d and 5d. At the moment I am experimenting with a Bronica Etrsi 645. I have use of a wet darkroom at the school where I teach. I was almost ready to give up mainly due to my eye problems and difficulty with manual focusing until I developed a recent film. It is only my 2nd or 3rd film with this camera but when I saw those beautiful black and white negatives, sharp, clear, beautiful contrast end detail I instantly resolved to keep persevering with film. I am looking forward to printing them in the darkroom like I used to do years ago. It requires patience and practice but I believe it is worth the effort. I hope to have some great large prints made by me in the darkroom. I could have easily taken similar photos with my 5d and got them printed out but somehow I will get more satisfaction when I hold those large prints in my hand. Then there is the "look" of film which has been talked about extensively on forums like this. I don,t expect film to become obsolete in the near future maybe harder to get. At the moment I have no trouble ordering film and paper and chemicals for about 15 students each year in my school courses. The cost has only gone up a bit in recent years. Ilford still seems to be a good supplier. I can get any film I want just my searching on eBay.


Aug 05, 2012 at 01:56 AM
redisburning
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p.1 #10 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


jctriguy wrote:
Why not look at a different system instead of the Leica?


If you can afford it, and you want it, you might as well. You're unlikely to lose a lot of money trying it out, plus RF focusing is really stellar if it's your sort of thing.

It's a small, well made camera with a great viewfinder that uses small, well made lenses of excellent optical quality. there's nothing not to like,



Aug 05, 2012 at 04:16 AM
 

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JohnJ
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p.1 #11 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


redisburning wrote:
.... there's nothing not to like,


Well, there's lots not to like about range finders specifically but that's a whole different issue.



Aug 05, 2012 at 04:48 AM
zalmyb
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p.1 #12 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


satybhat wrote:
Hi folks,
I currently own a Ricoh A12 mount with 35 cron and 50 ZM for family shots. I also shoot BIF with D4-500f4 combo. However, the two systems are essentially mutually exclusive, i.e. when i take one, i don't bring along the other.
A few weeks ago, I saw the photos printed out on the michaels gallery in Melbourne ( living in Melbourne and loving it)... and I was blown away by the quality of the prints and the look of the photos. The chap said they were made from a film camera .... and the devil got me.
...Show more

1st of all, do you know what format the prints you saw at Michales were from? If they were from say 6x7 mf or larger than your Leica won't even come close.

Saying that, go for it man. As was mentioned used prices of Leica gear don't fluctuate too much, so if you could afford the initial layout, you could always recoup any gear cost later if you decide film, rangefinders, or 35mm isn't for you.

1. I don't think b/w film will ever die, it's too easy to make. Color, maybe, but that's way down the road, why worry about it?
2. No clue.
3. Depends how much you are going to shoot. B/w is much easier to scan than color. And unless you have a dedicated film scanner (say the nikon coolscan or such) 35mm is a real pain.
4. You end up shooting much less, which translates into less culling and less clutter. Other than that not much. Holes a lot. Having to constantly keep inventory in film, deciding which film to take along/shoot on any given day. Having to send everything out or develop plus scan yourself. Needing a place to archive everything. Keeping track of negatives....
5. Fast film yes, slow, no. Officially. I haven't done any tests, but I get everything hand checked.
6. You could probably get long rolls, but you have to cut and load them into canisters yourself. Honestly 36 exposures lasts longer than you think,
7. Ha! good luck with this one. The portras are really nice as are the fuji 400h and 160s (though they don't have nearly the leeway with under/over exposure the new portras do). B/w are all nice depends what you like. Can't go wrong with trix.
8. Yes. I'm currently looking at an m4-p I'd like to buy. If you want a meter though get an m6.
9. Good question, I haven't figured that out yet.
10. No. Maybe. Who cares?

What do you mainly shoot?




Aug 05, 2012 at 05:06 AM
AhamB
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p.1 #13 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


zalmyb wrote:
Can't go wrong with trix.


I thought you were talking about the breakfast cereal for a moment.
Kodak Tri-X would have been clearer to the OP.



Aug 05, 2012 at 08:28 AM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #14 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...



  1. Is film really dead ? or going to be ?
    It's half dead. I bet in another 10 or 15 years it'll be almost all gone.

  2. In Melbourne, how convenient is it to get a few rolls processed and the good images scanned into digital ? Any recommended labs to buy and process ?
    Beats me I live in Japan. There are still 1-hour photo shops all over the place here. Most still print with light too!

  3. Would you recommend a film scanner ?
    Yes! The V700 is supposed to be good. (It's the most recommended by film users I've seen) Drum scanner is better tho. I use a digital camera to "scan it" myself - super easy, super fast, great results!!!

  4. What do you gain in terms of convenience compared to digital? what do you lose ?
    You lose everything! Some people say that it paces them but to me that's pretty lame. No self control? Don't want to use the advantages of digital?

  5. Do airport scanners destroy film ? how do you protect it ?
    Yes, Led film bags. I assume they're still readily available anyway.

  6. Does fuji make rolls > 36 exposures ?
    Some companies sell bulk and you can load your own canisters. Dunno bout fuji in specific. Otherwise no AFAIK. 35mm film is movie camera film... hint hint.

  7. Best recommended film for colour ? for b/w ?
    Depends on the look you want:
    http://www.consumersearch.com/35mm-film-reviews
    http://japan.shop.lomography.com/films/35mm-film?limit=all
    http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2010/12/a-colour-film-comparison/
    http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/02/colour-film-comparison-pt-two/
    http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/06/colour-film-comparison-pt-3/
    http://www.jackandsuedrafahl.com/magazines/web_articles/Photographic/Guide%20to%2035%20films.pdf
    etc.
    But if you're really interested in hi-res, HQ, then you might think about medium format. It's actually good. Most 35mm isn't very good IMO.

  8. Thinking about a Leica MP (used) - is it worthwhile for the next 10 yrs ? or would any other RF suffice ?
    Why RF? But yeah IMO the Leica is waaaaaay overpriced. I like SLR myself so I dunno. Excellent SLRs with way more features than any RF I know of can be had for $25 to $100 USD - in mint condition! And again you might wanna consider a MF camera... Maybe something like this?

  9. How do you backup / archive the keepers ?
    I shot almost exclusively slide film so for me the slides were (are) stored in 3-ring slide pages in notebooks. Scanned files in off-line HDD.

  10. AM I silly changing / indulging and will this pass ?
    Yes, probably. But all the best people are. / I think if a person ever learns to like shooting film they never recover. I still like it even though I only shoot about 3 rolls per year and usually all on the same day.




Aug 05, 2012 at 08:52 AM
satybhat
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p.1 #15 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


wow,
really informative, bifurcator, thanks for that..
having said, is it possible to get sharp images at A2 size, if observed from say 2 metres using 35mm?
otherwise i'll be looking at 6x7...
more confusion



Aug 05, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #16 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


You're welcome. Those aren't my web pages tho - I just linked'em.

You mean A2 Prints? I'll let the experts respond on that because I'm of a totally different mind than almost everyone about print-sizes. IMO I think every print-size has a viewing distance range and the human imaging system (HIS) is so limited it's pretty pathetic. IMO a decent 8pmx image can be blown up to any size - including the size of the Empire State building. And when the viewer stands in a position where he or she can actually see the image it will look perfect - same as a 5x7 in the hand.

So I'm not really the one to ask about that. But I think i would go ahead and say that most 135 film & lens combinations are pretty maxed out at A4 (8x10).

Just from discussions here I've learned (or think I've learned) that 6x7 transparency film (even scanned in with a cheap-o FB scanner) looks better than FF DSLRs in terms of DR, Micro Contrast, sharpness when scaled or printed, global contrast, and, errr, ummm... yeah, like that. With all things optimized I see no reason that A2 couldn't be done. One guy here says " With a Tango Drum Scan you can do a 40x30 print from a 6x7 neg" and that's close to A0. For average home processing and printing ya wanna think about 10x from the film stock before it starts coming apart. Or so I read.

Other people may know better/more but about once a year I prove to myself just how bad 135 film is even compared to most modern P&S camera models. It's usually fine for web sized images tho.




Aug 05, 2012 at 01:22 PM
carlitos
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p.1 #17 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


I think I would take a deep breath and pause...

I've been shooting film for years, not committed to digital, yet. Not a pro, either. But I can't see any reason to remain committed to film, except for the initial cost of digital. I can go out and shoot film for minimal cost, and get wonderful results. Film may have a certain look (my favorite is Astia slide film), but I can't believe with higher resolution sensors and better software that digital images won't be able to better those results. I mean offering results that draw you away from film - like offering extaordinary available light capabilities with, for example ISO 12800.


Because of the process, shooting film can cause you to be more "contemplative and deliberate", but once you have learned that discipline, it can only be a benefit to your digital images.



Aug 05, 2012 at 02:20 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #18 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


Bifurcator wrote:
*What do you gain in terms of convenience compared to digital? what do you lose ?
You lose everything! Some people say that it paces them but to me that's pretty lame. No self control? Don't want to use the advantages of digital?


Losing all convience is debatable. Film gives different results from digital and if you really prefer the former, the convenience of digital does not make up for it.

I don't think it's lame that people take more time for a film shot than for a digital shot. You lose nothing if you mess up a digital shot (presuming you can reshoot), but you're also not left with anything tangible if it's a good shot. If you have a good shot, you'll treat the negative or slide with care, but digital files are all the same.



Aug 05, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Two23
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p.1 #19 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


Bifurcator wrote:

    [1]Is film really dead ? or going to be ?
    It's half dead. I bet in another 10 or 15 years it'll be almost all gone.

    [2]What do you gain in terms of convenience compared to digital? what do you lose ?
    You lose everything! Some people say that it paces them but to me that's pretty lame. No self control? Don't want to use the advantages of digital?

    [3]Do airport scanners destroy film ? how do you protect it ?
    Yes, Led film bags. I assume they're still readily available anyway.





    When Nikon became unable to produce new products over the past year or two, I began buying historical film gear. It's a LOT of fun, and I've learned a lot using it. I have a number of premium film cameras but four of them are a 1914 Kodak Special No.1, 1937 Voigtlander Bessa RF 6x9, 1942 Lecia IIIc, and 1951 Rolleiflex MX-EVS. I love all of these! Three of them are 120/medium format, and the Leica is of course 35mm. The Leica is special--very sexy and has a very high "cool factor." I have half way gone back to shooting film, including 4x5. The Leica is just plain cool, but for the same amount of effort you could shoot something like the 645 rangefinders and get a negative nearly three times bigger. Film is ultimately more archivable than digital--that's its main advantage.

    Now to address points above:
    1. I don't see film being "gone". Slide film, yes. Color, no. B&W, certainly not.

    2. I don't shoot film for convenience. I shoot it for the classic look I can't get from
    my Nikon DSLR, and because of its cachet. You pull out a Rollei or a Leica,
    and everyone around immediately ignores the guys with the D4 and start hang-
    ing around you.

    3. Up to ISO 400, the security scanners are OK. Do NOT NOT NOT put film into
    checked baggage. I usually hand the airport guards my film, in a clear plastic
    bag, and ask for a hand check. They have obliged me, including in England &
    Iceland. If you put film in a lead bag, they just dial up the power of the scanner
    to see what's in the bag and destroy the film.

    I shoot film because (1) It is cool (2) I got burned out on the digital look (3) I wanted to do something different from the rest of the herd (4) I love the aesthetics of using a camera from another time. I often wonder who the original owner was, what they photo'd, and what happened to them. I especially wonder about this when using that 1942 Leica.........


    Kent in SD



    Edited on Aug 06, 2012 at 02:54 AM · View previous versions


Aug 05, 2012 at 03:04 PM
redisburning
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p.1 #20 · PLEASE Convince me about film ...


Bifurcator wrote:
Other people may know better/more but about once a year I prove to myself just how bad 135 film is even compared to most modern P&S camera models. It's usually fine for web sized images tho.


well, speaking from personal experience my Dual Scan 3 will pull a scan that has as much detail as my 40D. the thing is, I know my film has a lot more to give. on the other hand, the S95 we have around is like a bad joke in comparison.

if you don't mind that it's in b&w (and I don't, others may), 35mm film is still capable of lot more resolution than digital with the very slow films like Adox CMS 20, Rollei Ortho 25, Tech Pan, etc. Getting that digitized is an issue, I'll grant you, and if you handed it off to your local drug store it would probably look worse than a high end p&s.

and as far as Leica goes, if it was overpriced, why doesn't the used market represent a bargain? prices have remained high for the better part of 6 decades which means that to an awful lot of people it is not overpriced. can you get better quality from MF? of course. but honestly getting a 120 scanner that can get close to a 200 dollar 35mm film scanner is a very, very expensive proposition. and frankly my scanner for larger formats (E4990) isn't even close and I believe it's very nearly as good as a v700. Of course my 4x5 scans are 90 megapixels even leaving tons and tons on the film so it's not such a big deal.



Aug 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM
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