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Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?
  
 
Evan Baines
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Depth of Feel wrote:
Joshua, it's been your posts that have inspired me the most in this thread. Not to mention the beautiful work on your site.



He is also a really nice guy!


Enjoy the 3!



Nov 14, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Evan Baines wrote:
He is also a really nice guy!

Enjoy the 3!


Yes he absolutely is!

I'm really looking forward to learning all over again! Can't wait to burn through different stocks and start taking notes etc. I bet I'll be buying an MF body by spring even, if not sooner.



Nov 14, 2013 at 03:00 PM
cineski
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


You're probably going to find the eye control useless. I shot with 2 EOS 3's when I first got into pro photography for several years. They're nice cameras, but I highly recommend putting the split image focus screen in it as soon as you get it. You can still do auto focus, but you get a very nice visual confirmation that you achieved proper focus. I have those in all 3 of my 1V's and couldn't be without it, especially when shooting extremely narrow dof field with my primes. I'm not going to get into the virtues of each camera anymore since you made your purchase except to say Canon does not support any film camera aside from the 1V (and I just got word from CPS that they don't know how much longer that will be the case, either). Regardless, you can buy 3 EOS 3's for the price of 1 1V so that doesn't really matter. But regarding the sound of the 3, it's arguably one of the coolest sounding cameras ever made. It's just really bad for being invisible.

As for film, as Joshua states the sky's the limit to a point with film stocks, but I'll add to that you'll get quite different results from every lab you send it to, so aside from using film you like, it is a necessity to have a good lab. I've done tests at a lot of different labs and the results are astoundingly different, especially because I know film stock so well after scanning my own for 2 years. For color film I highly recommend you try Portra 400. It's probably the most versatile color film stock ever made and can take a lot of abuse from slight underexposure without pushing to overexposure by 8-9 stops and you'll get a perfectly usable image. Fuji 400H is also nice but far less forgiving. For throw away films Kodak Gold 200 and 400 are great. B&W is highly subjective and stocks are being eroded but each one gives quite different looks. It's hard to beat Tri-X or P3200.

Depth of Feel wrote:
Joshua, it's been your posts that have inspired me the most in this thread. Not to mention the beautiful work on your site.

But, the internet in general disagrees with you about the 1n over the 3. 1n's are going for about $150+ depending on condition. So I pulled the trigger on an eos 3 which I found on ebay for $159 shipped in "excellent" condition. I know I'm going to hate that shutter sound, but I'm kind of excited to play with the eye control. After being spoiled by my 5d3 AF, I think I want the
...Show more



Nov 14, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


cineski wrote:
You're probably going to find the eye control useless. I shot with 2 EOS 3's when I first got into pro photography for several years. They're nice cameras, but I highly recommend putting the split image focus screen in it as soon as you get it. You can still do auto focus, but you get a very nice visual confirmation that you achieved proper focus. I have those in all 3 of my 1V's and couldn't be without it, especially when shooting extremely narrow dof field with my primes. I'm not going to get into the virtues of each camera
...Show more

Wow, thanks for that input! Looks like I should get an ec-l. Maybe I will get lucky and it will have one in it already. I was looking forward to trying fuji 400H and Portra 400. Thanks for the other tips though. I can't believe how excited I'm getting.



Nov 14, 2013 at 07:06 PM
cineski
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


I use and highly suggest the EC-B focus screen. 1 split in the image is a lot easier to read in chaotic situations than a cross split.


Nov 14, 2013 at 07:57 PM
whtrbt7
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Personally for film, I prefer MF to 35mm. The only 35mm film body I would purchase would be a Leica rangefinder body and then I would just use Leica glass for the quality. I figure if you're taking less frames and with specific film, it's better to use something that can really impart personality to the finished product such as Leica. Film really gives photos a different sense of view. You can kind of re-create film looks on digital but it really isn't the same as shooting full analog.


Nov 14, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


I wish I could find a place to order variety packs of expired film.


Nov 14, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Micky Bill
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Joshua Gull wrote:
Regarding film stocks, that to me is one of the most beautiful and fun things about film. You don't have to endlessly tweak stuff in LR for a different look. If you want more or less saturated colors or more or less contrasty B&Ws you're just a film stock swap away. So many more options to fine tune your results over a single digital sensor.
What look do you like for color (bolder saturated colors, middle of the road colors or more pastel colors) and for B&W (high, medium or low contrast and a lot, an average amount or
...Show more


Well there certainly are not as many outlier/interesting film stocks as there used to be and the recommendations of Porta 400 and Fuji 400H and tri-x are pretty middle of the road. "you're just a film stock swap away" is only true if you carry all the different stocks you want or are willing to carry multi bodies or backs loaded with different stocks. Annie L used to rent 10 or so film backs with each of the 5 or 6 cameras she'd get when doing work in LA. Each back would be loaded with different films for different looks...not sure how she handles it digitally.

The reality is that shooting digital give you limitless options regarding the look of the final image, Canon, Sony, Nikon or Phase sensor makes no difference as you work in your desktop darkroom (PS, LR C1...) to create the look you want. I don't know of anyone who uses any digital image SOOC, why would you? It would be like getting prints from Walgreens.

a tip I remember from the film days is to overexpose color neg by about a stop...


Edited on Nov 15, 2013 at 05:56 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Joshua Gull
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


There are plenty of dead film stocks but there are also plenty of great film stocks still out there.

For 35mm I tend to really like Portra 400. It's great for a wide range of uses and mostly neutral in color. Portra 160 is great too. 400H is okay in 35mm but not a favorite of mine (it is a favorite in medium format). If you can find some Fuji 160S it's really nice in 35mm (out of production film). And as was said Kodak Gold 200 or Ektar 100 are great for more bold colors.

For B&W and a more classic look Kodak Tri-X is good for more contrast or Ilford HP5+ for lower contrast (generally speaking). If you want minimal grain then I highly recommend Fuji Acros 100 or Ilford Delta 400.

How are you planning on metering? Will you simply be using the in-camera spot meter? Spot metering in camera vs incident reading via a handheld meter are two different animals that have to be treated differently to achieve the best results.



Nov 15, 2013 at 05:10 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Joshua Gull wrote:
There are plenty of dead film stocks but there are also plenty of great film stocks still out there.

For 35mm I tend to really like Portra 400. It's great for a wide range of uses and mostly neutral in color. Portra 160 is great too. 400H is okay in 35mm but not a favorite of mine (it is a favorite in medium format). If you can find some Fuji 160S it's really nice in 35mm (out of production film). And as was said Kodak Gold 200 or Ektar 100 are great for more bold colors.

For B&W and
...Show more

I have not even received my eos 3 and I'm already researching which camera will be my first MF. What'e happening to me?!

I plan to use the in camera spot meter until I learn it's ways. I'll probably bracket exposures in a few settings taking notes on my meter to get a feel for how it's looking at the scene.

So, I plan to do my own scanning of negatives. There is a walgreens down the street and I know no one wants me to go there get my film processed but I am not sure there are too many options that don't involve mailing out my rolls. How bad is local processing at walgreens? Whether I take it to my local camera dealer or the pharmacy are not they both just tossing the film in a machine anyway?

The only reason I'm considering walgreens an option is I saw one wedding photographer from hawaii whose worked I enjoyed. At the bottom of her blog posts listed her film and lab. I was surprised she processed most of her stuff walgreens.

If anyone knows a good lab in the Twin Cities area I've got an open ear.



Nov 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM
 

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cineski
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Costco does pretty good work if the techs care. Check this out:

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/Profiles/Minnesota_profiles.htm#MN

There's Costco with a Frontier SP3000 scanner in Maplewood. I'd start there. Do lots of testing before you do anything of importance.



Nov 15, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


cineski wrote:
Do lots of testing before you do anything of importance.


Absolutely! I would not send paid work to walgreens.



Nov 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM
hardlyboring
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Film bodies I shoot...
Graflex 4x5 (Super D and Crown/Speed Graphic)
Mamiya 6 with 75mm
Leica M6
Nikon F100 (not much anymore because the focus accuracy was just not there)

Film bodies I have shot with in the past
Mamiya RB 67
Mamiya 645 Pro TL with 80 1.9

FWIW shooting MF is way different than shooting 35mm. I love each of them.

Why exactly do you want to shoot film? Is it just because you want to try something different? If that is the case I would not spend a ton on a film body. I have a Yashica Electro 35 which is a rangefinder with a fixed 45mm lens. It is almost completely auto except for aperture and ISO control. It is am amazingly fun camera to shoot with and cost me like 45$ in great working condition. It does not take the greatest photos because the lens is not great etc. but for 45$ and the cost of film processing it is a TON of fun.

The look of film is also somewhat of a misconception. I adjust all my film shots in some way in LR. I have never gotten a scan back that was so good that it did not need adjustment. Same goes for the stuff I process and scan myself.

Get a cheap body and shoot away. If you go MF get acquainted with a light meter and how to use one. It will make things easier until you can judge exposures off of your digital camera. Film responds to light a little bit different than your DSLR.

have fun!



Nov 16, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Micky Bill
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


hardlyboring wrote:
The look of film is also somewhat of a misconception. I adjust all my film shots in some way in LR. I have never gotten a scan back that was so good that it did not need adjustment. Same goes for the stuff I process and scan myself.



A good scan will look a little flat before you adjust it in PS there will be detail in both ends, light and dark. Unless you are going to make multiple scans (like bracketing or HDR) for highlights shadows and mid tones you will want to have a scan with as much information as possible in order to get the best results. That means the scan won;t look as nice as the final image.

And the Walgreens thing is that for the most part there is no input by a person, which is fine for many purposes. If they include a disc then you can tweek (or twerk) the color or density to how you like it.



Nov 16, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Joshua Gull
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Walgreens developing is hit and miss. It is all automated but the chemicals need daily upkeep to be right or your film could be ruined. There are a series of steps they're supposed to take to ensure the chemistry is right every day but if they neglect that then you're screwed. I've never had issues with their chemistry FWIW. Where I have had issues is with them regularly scratching and sometimes tearing my negatives. That's what spurred me to start doing all my own developing and scanning for personal work. Having my negatives get jacked up was a deal breaker.

Can I ask what your aversion to mailing film out is? I'm lucky to have a killer local lab now but mailed it out for years and it was always fine if I took the proper precautions.

Regarding metering, one thing to keep in mind with film is that it reacts differently to light than digital. Especially color negative film. Your digital sensor is recording a "positive" image much like slide film does, so you want to be close on exposure and err on the side of under exposure to avoid blowing highlights. Negative film soaks up light like nobody's business so you generally want to err on the side of overexposure with color negative film.

Most people who shoot film use a handheld meter to take an incident reading of the actual light falling on their subject. If you're using the in-camera meter it's taking a spot reading for 18% gray which is usually one stop below an incident reading. With that said, with color negative film you want to set your in-camera meter to one stop over right off the bat by decreasing the ISO one stop, then adding in more overexposure from there if you want (for Kodak film I shoot it one stop over and for Fuji film I shoot it two stops over, so when using an in-camera meter I'd set it at ISO 100 for Portra 400 or ISO 50 for Fuji 400H).

For B&W film it's a little different. You're already getting an 18% gray reading which is Zone V, and generally you want darker skin in that Zone so no adjustment beyond box speed is necessary. If you're shooting more fair or Caucasian skin you generally want it in Zone VI so you usually want to dial in one stop of overexposure for B&W film if you're shooting light-skinned people.



Nov 16, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Joshua Gull
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Bracketing and taking notes is the best approach for sure though. It'll show you both how film reacts to light and your exposure AND it'll show you how your lab handles the varying exposures too. If you use a lab.

If you plan to self-scan, what are you planning on using? Self-scanning in most situations is a pain at best and an absolute nightmare most of the time (B&W is a lot easier than color, dust sucks, it's time consuming with most scanners, etc).



Nov 16, 2013 at 04:58 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


You should be charging me for this info Joshua. I count myself very fortunate!


Nov 16, 2013 at 06:38 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


I want to be clear. I'm at a point where it's mostly just going to be fun for me to start. Taking risks at the walgreens which is 5 mins from my house doesn't seem to be big issue for play time photography. The costcos mentioned earlier are also not to far from where I live so that is an option also. I'll send some rolls out to a lab that handles more pro work just to compare. And if I do bring it along to some paid shoots I won't be charging the client for that at first. If I do add it to my work it will be as fun addition to supplement digital coverage. Maybe more then that as my experience increases. I will not take risks with my clients nor set unrealistic expectations about it though.

A couple years ago I pulled some negatives out of a walgreens envelope that had been sitting in a box in the basement for a while. The negatives were from a disposable camera. I scanned them and then some others that were about 10 years old I think. They were not high fidelity images of exacting precision. They had a little bit faded grainy effect to them. The colors were definitely off. I loved them. They were cozy, personal, warm representations of good memories. They were so much more interesting and precious to me then the thousands of digital pictures I have of my family and travel that I RARELY look at because I have so many aimed at perfection to strictly. When I see my digital work all I see are the decisions I made in processing. Oh I could have done this or that. With film I hope to let go of a lot of that internal attachment.

Because the photos will be fewer, the process more "organic", and the work handled with more care, and the chance to screw up much higher, these photos will probably be more interesting to me in 10 years then the library of crap I have on my computer. Now every film shot I see on flickr clearly does not look like digital to me. Most digital shots I see made to look like film are bloody obvious. I don't really think of the two mediums as comparable directly. When someone says digital can't touch film or the reverse, I think that's ridiculous. I consider them different tools for different objectives.

About scanning. I have a canoscan 5600F. When I scanned those negatives I mentioned earlier I just did a single pass and some tone curve adjustments. I hear talk of expensive scanners and doing HDR three pass scans. What is this all about? Is it unrealistic to use my scanner? It said it had the ability to scan negatives on the box. What am I missing?




Nov 16, 2013 at 07:41 AM
wuxiekeji
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Although I used to shoot film when I was in high school and earlier, the one big thing that keeps me from film nowadays is my lack of a development lab where I can control all the variables. Shooting on film is great but if you have to give it to the Walmart to develop, IMO it's not worth it since you have no clue what artistic talent those people have at controlling the myriad variables in the darkroom.


Nov 16, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


wuxiekeji wrote:
Although I used to shoot film when I was in high school and earlier, the one big thing that keeps me from film nowadays is my lack of a development lab where I can control all the variables. Shooting on film is great but if you have to give it to the Walmart to develop, IMO it's not worth it since you have no clue what artistic talent those people have at controlling the myriad variables in the darkroom.


At this point this is a appealing point. I don't want more control. I want less. But not Diana less.



Nov 16, 2013 at 08:14 AM
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