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| p.3 #5 · D600 refurbs...same spot issue has new D600s? |
I have been shooting B&W film for two months with a Nikon F100. Someone once wondered why DSLR's are so expensive when you can get a nice film body for $200. Good question.
Shooting only black & white is a false argument. To compare apples to apples you need to price quality color slide film. Because even the most rudimentary digital camera can produce nice color images. However, the economic argument no longer exists for film over digital.
Color film photography is more, possibly far more expensive than shooting digital depending on how often you shoot. If you were to shoot and develop two rolls of 36 exposure Velvia color slide film per week, 52 weeks per year (only 72 shots per week) it would cost the following:
Fujifilm RVP 135-36 Fujichrome Velvia 50 Professional Color Slide (Transparency) Film (ISO-50 $8.59 per roll x 2 rolls x 52 weeks = $893.36
Development @ $6.20 per roll x 2 rolls x 52 weeks = $644 (a price I found).
Total $1,538 for film and developing alone, or $ .41 per shot based on 3,744 shots. Of course you still have to scan, or digitize somehow, which is a further expense, or piece of equipment you buy.
You still have to buy lenses, tripods, lighting, travel, etc. regardless of which path you take, which is the real cost in photography. See Thom Hogans, "Tip of the Iceberg" article, it put's it in perspective.
There are plenty of people on this forum that are shooting 100 shots per day or more, several days per week. Just look at Nature & Wildlife. Now start computing that out. In my case, I shoot a minimum of 100 shots each time I'm out doing landscape. At least three days per week. 300 shots per week x 52 x $ .41 = $6,396 per year for film and development.
Nice digital bodies and memory cards aren't that expensive anymore. Not everyone can afford the latest, greatest, D4, D800e, D800, D600, etc. but there's plenty of new or pre-owned bodies available for under that (minimal) $1,538 annual expense. And you're buying an asset with (hopefully) a 3-5 year useful life, not paying a recurring expense (true, the asset depreciates but always has some residual value). Buy a D7000 used, a memory card or two, and you're good to go for $700 to $750 .... Or, apply that $1,538 per year for a couple years and get a D800 or D4 on a payment plan. Digital is one of the greatest bargains out there now, and a huge enabler for budding photographers to shoot and learn without going broke.
I had always been slightly curious about the math and this question forced me to do a very quick computation since I think of getting a film body once in a while, but the economics are just not there.