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Help me decide- film shooting
  
 
Andrew Welsh
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Help me decide- film shooting


Can't decide between one of several courses of action with respect to film shooting and weddings and senior portraits:
- dump 120 format, shoot 35mm and 4x5 only.
- go whole hog in film buying my own minilab
- just do hand processing of a few rolls (current state)
- pick up an aero ektar + speed graphic (f/2.5 lens but 4x5 = f/0.35 50mm full frame equivalent)
- do nothing

Concerned about long term economics of film - I don't doubt it will exist, I just doubt if it will remain at it's current pricing. All it would take is one major manufacturer like Fuji or Kodak to decide they're out completely, and suddenly it becomes a major expensive boutique item. That would kill any biz justification for the minilab as the chems and film would suddenly become way more expensive.

This is a separate consideration from marketing / branding / business investment.



Apr 04, 2014 at 12:30 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Help me decide- film shooting


It would also make any such equipment you buy more rare and perhaps valuable?


Apr 04, 2014 at 12:40 AM
zalmyb
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Help me decide- film shooting


You want two things: 1. Great results. This is done with two things: A. Equipment that produces said results. Larger formats, faster lenses. This is the main advantage of film. That it's a. Film and b. The ability to use larger and more interesting formats. B. The ability to work quickly enough so that the size and usability issue of larger and slower equipment doesn't counteract the benefits of the larger formats (and of film as a whole).

2. The ability to market and monetize those results to an extent that makes it worth the added headache and cost.

In regards to the long term economics, I think that only applies to color film (which is much harder to produce and is in the hands of blundering larger companies), and instant film. Ilford is very dedicated to BW film and is structured to smaller runs.

Equipment will go down in cost the less it is useful, so every film that disappears makes the cameras worth less. Though they aren't too expensive anyways.



Apr 04, 2014 at 12:57 AM
Andrew Welsh
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Help me decide- film shooting


TTLKurtis wrote:
It would also make any such equipment you buy more rare and perhaps valuable?

.. or obsolete... that's the main concern about the minilab. Otherwise the convenience factor is really appealing. That plus the pakon makes it soo much faster.



Apr 04, 2014 at 01:01 AM
Andrew Welsh
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Help me decide- film shooting


zalmyb wrote:
You want two things: 1. Great results. This is done with two things: A. Equipment that produces said results. Larger formats, faster lenses. This is the main advantage of film. That it's a. Film and b. The ability to use larger and more interesting formats. B. The ability to work quickly enough so that the size and usability issue of larger and slower equipment doesn't counteract the benefits of the larger formats (and of film as a whole).

2. The ability to market and monetize those results to an extent that makes it worth the added headache and cost.

In regards
...Show more

Good points. That's the big attraction to the aero ektar. It's a look that is impossible / difficult to recreate with digital. I can do bokeh / brenizer panos like nobody's business, but time wise they're a wash WRT shooting it 4x5. The client experience is different with the graflex old timey camera vs me snapping 50 shots while they hold still w/my DSLR....



Apr 04, 2014 at 01:03 AM
Scott Clark
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Help me decide- film shooting


Andrew Welsh wrote:
Can't decide between one of several courses of action with respect to film shooting and weddings and senior portraits:
- dump 120 format, shoot 35mm and 4x5 only.
- go whole hog in film buying my own minilab
- just do hand processing of a few rolls (current state)
- pick up an aero ektar + speed graphic (f/2.5 lens but 4x5 = f/0.35 50mm full frame equivalent)
- do nothing

Concerned about long term economics of film - I don't doubt it will exist, I just doubt if it will remain at it's current pricing. All it would take is one major manufacturer like
...Show more

The Aero is almost too fast for it's own good wide open...better get a couple of Grafmatics to go with it, and learn to bracket your focus lol. The old Dallmeyer Pentac is another alternative...almost as fast and not radioactive either . Personally, I kind of like the old 15" Optar on a Speed...relatively cheap, and a lot easier to use than the Aero.
If you ever get serious about getting a Speed, drop me a line and I can hook you up. I've been working on Pacemaker Graphics for about five years now.



Apr 08, 2014 at 03:29 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Help me decide- film shooting


The aero is to fast to be useful. I have a pentac f2.9 and it is nearly impossible to shoot wide open because DOF is so thin it is a joke. I find that if you shoot a regular 4x5 lens (f4.5) the right way you can still get images that jump off the screen.
example:
pentac f2.9 wide open





regular kodak f4.5






The pentac is not even that in focus the image is just so huge that it kind of makes up for it.

I would say shoot whatever you want. If you are going to shoot film exclusively on your senior shoots then figure out which one suits you best. If you are just going to take a few shots then perhaps mix and match.

You know what I decided to do



Apr 08, 2014 at 04:04 PM
 

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Scott Clark
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Help me decide- film shooting


Doug--just out of curiosity, have you ever shot one of the true telephotos Graflex made, like the 210 or 15"?
Agree on a "normal" lens like a 135 @f4.5...they can be outstanding. One of my all time favorite 4x5 shots was taken with a Xenar on my Crown Graphic wide open. I made an 8x10 silver print from it...almost looks like you could reach right in.



Apr 08, 2014 at 04:22 PM
maxwell1295
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Help me decide- film shooting


Although I shoot quite a bit of it, my film usage is pretty much limited to recreational shooting....with some film mixed in for portraits, headshots, engagement sessions, etc.

How much film do you plan on shooting? That would be the first thing to consider. I think volume is a bigger factor than what format(s) you decide to shoot. If you plan to shoot a lot of film for work (including weddings), then maybe the minilab would be something to consider. If you don't anticipate a huge an increase in volume over what you're doing right now, I'd stick to shooting whatever format you like and developing by hand. Either way, the price of film is going to continue to rise and certain film stocks will disappear altogether, at which point you'll have to decide whether it's feasible (financially) to shoot film at all.



Apr 08, 2014 at 04:38 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Help me decide- film shooting


Scott
I have basically retired all my Graflex Super D's and have now switched over to Crown and Speed graphics because they are easier to fix and more reliable for critical shots. With that said no i have not shot one of the telephotos. I agree that it would most likely look amazing. I pretty much like anything 4x5



Apr 08, 2014 at 11:26 PM
Aldo2014
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Help me decide- film shooting


Love the black and white


Apr 09, 2014 at 07:25 AM
Andrew Welsh
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Help me decide- film shooting


Thanks for weighing in folks. I might spend my equipment dollars on some 600EX-RTs haha. This is all good to consider. I actually don't foresee a huge bump in my color film shooting.. although I have over 100 rolls to use up...


Apr 09, 2014 at 02:00 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Help me decide- film shooting


Aldo2014 wrote:
Love the black and white


Yeah, it's lovely. Doug's got some lucky clients.



Apr 10, 2014 at 08:44 AM
MRomine
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Help me decide- film shooting


Andrew Welsh wrote:
That would kill any biz justification for the minilab as the chems and film would suddenly become way more expensive.


Do you have enough volume to keep a mini lab going? Chemistry, especially developer, will go bad pretty quickly. Do you know how to monitor chemistry to make sure it is fresh? That is a whole science into itself. It's a lot easier to keep chemistry stable if you are meeting the minimum number of rolls running through the machine each day, each week. If you are not hitting those minimums your chemistry will be going all over the place and so will your processing results. I would hate to be running a client's wedding film through a professor that is not been active enough, you are inviting major trouble.



Apr 10, 2014 at 01:21 PM





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