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Archive 2016 · Is film coming back?
  
 
rattymouse
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Is film coming back?


retrofocus wrote:
Great discussion so far, guys! I like all the different point of views - again, there is no "false" or "right", just personal opinion! I agree that for color digital post processing is advantageous even I admit that the colors of the Fujichrome Provia film are something hard/impossible to get with digital.

I am also using the tank daylight development for film. Agree with the point above that good film based rangefinder cameras are something special!


I've never seen a digital photo that accurate replicated Portra 160, 400H, Astia 100F, or Reala 100.

My preferences are for colors that are produced by film. Perhaps someone can do this on the computer but I have neither the time nor inclination to do that digitally. I prefer the look of film and so that is why I shoot it.





Jan 07, 2016 at 05:27 PM
rattymouse
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Is film coming back?


grog13 wrote:

I'm not saying film isn't worthwhile if you like the look of it and like working with it, but most of the current wave of interest, as with vinyl, is purely hipster-driven.



This is speculation on your part and nothing more. It is certainly not a fact.





Jan 07, 2016 at 05:28 PM
retrofocus
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Is film coming back?


molson wrote:
As for scanning 35mm film, either a Nikon D810 or Sony A7R II with a slide copier and macro lens will deliver much better "scans" than the best film scanner you can buy. I sold my Imacon and Nikon scanners after I got my first D810.


That's the way I am doing it, too. I use my A7R and a 100 mm macro lens with the camera's sensor plane parallel to a LED light panel with the negative taped on it.



Jan 07, 2016 at 05:41 PM
grog13
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Is film coming back?


molson wrote:
I sold my slide projector and screen a long time ago, so if the film doesn't get scanned, there's not much point in shooting it in the first place.

As for scanning 35mm film, either a Nikon D810 or Sony A7R II with a slide copier and macro lens will deliver much better "scans" than the best film scanner you can buy. I sold my Imacon and Nikon scanners after I got my first D810.


I guess that's what I'm asking. What do you have when you scan (or shoot with your D810 & copy stand) a slide or negative that you wouldn't have by shooting with the D810 to begin with? Not being argumentative here, I really don't know.




Jan 07, 2016 at 05:47 PM
grog13
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Is film coming back?




I'm not saying film isn't worthwhile if you like the look of it and like working with it, but most of the current wave of interest, as with vinyl, is purely hipster-driven.



This is speculation on your part and nothing more. It is certainly not a fact.



True, I guess I should have said that it appears to be so in the cases I've seen.




Jan 07, 2016 at 05:50 PM
retrofocus
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Is film coming back?


chez wrote:
I would think people making prints in their dark rooms is a small minority of people shooting film. Scanning is most likely the most prominent way of processing the film.

People in the camera club I attend that shoot film all scan the negatives. Not one makes prints directly from the negatives.


As I pointed out in the original post, I also use "digital negatives" in my darkroom with enlarger to make excellent B&W prints up to 11x14". Those prints based on the traditional chemical development process are more impressive than printed as digital files with my inkjet printer.

I learned a lot by figuring out and experimenting with darkroom printing. It is certainly not useful for somebody who needs the fast output. You are right that only a minority still prints - and even less with enlarger and darkroom. But IMO a good part in the photographic process is lost by not doing it. The print in the end decides for me how good a photo really is - at least for B&W or infrared photos.



Jan 07, 2016 at 05:51 PM
rattymouse
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Is film coming back?


grog13 wrote:
I guess that's what I'm asking. What do you have when you scan (or shoot with your D810 & copy stand) a slide or negative that you wouldn't have by shooting with the D810 to begin with? Not being argumentative here, I really don't know.



You have to make 100% sure that the film is perpendicular to the sensor. You have to provide lighting that is even across the entire negative. You have to have your film in a negative holder and your camera mounted on a tripod. You have to have the proper focus distance that allows for the ideal magnification size.

It's a pretty technical set up and I considered this a lot before I bought my scanner. Ultimately I declined to go this route and instead bought the Plustek scanner. IMO, it's much easier and quicker to scan especially when it comes to color film as SilverFast software converts color negative into positive images very easily.




Jan 07, 2016 at 05:52 PM
retrofocus
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Is film coming back?


grog13 wrote:
I guess that's what I'm asking. What do you have when you scan (or shoot with your D810 & copy stand) a slide or negative that you wouldn't have by shooting with the D810 to begin with? Not being argumentative here, I really don't know.



This is a valid question which I asked also a while ago. A retired photographer at the time challenged me by trying film and comparing it with digital - so I did both. I used my old film camera next to my full frame digital camera and took photos with the same lens and from the same locations. I expected to see minimal differences or differences I could easily change by post processing of the negative / slide photos. By far I was wrong! Color range was extremely different with the Provia 100 film, also B&W converted digital photos needed quite a bit of post processing work to get close to B&W film ones. Some effects - for example reflected light effects - I was unable to reproduce in digital.



Jan 07, 2016 at 06:01 PM
chez
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Is film coming back?




retrofocus wrote:
As I pointed out in the original post, I also use "digital negatives" in my darkroom with enlarger to make excellent B&W prints up to 11x14". Those prints based on the traditional chemical development process are more impressive than printed as digital files with my inkjet printer.

I learned a lot by figuring out and experimenting with darkroom printing. It is certainly not useful for somebody who needs the fast output. You are right that only a minority still prints - and even less with enlarger and darkroom. But IMO a good part in the photographic process is lost by
...Show more

Personally I don't feel any of my photographic process is lost by printing digitally. On the contrary, you are limited, quite often by space, to smaller prints in the darkroom. I typically print 24x36 and sometimes larger with my digital printer. Photos when printed large add a totally new dimension to the photo.

Repeatability is big for me. Sometimes it takes me days of post processing a single image. Being able to print out many prints of various sizes is important as people that view a print expect the exact same print to be delivered. I could never do this repeatability during my darkroom days.



Jan 07, 2016 at 06:02 PM
rattymouse
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Is film coming back?


retrofocus wrote:
This is a valid question which I asked also a while ago. A retired photographer at the time challenged me by trying film and comparing it with digital - so I did both. I used my old film camera next to my full frame digital camera and took photos with the same lens and from the same locations. I expected to see minimal differences or differences I could easily change by post processing of the negative / slide photos. By far I was wrong! Color range was extremely different with the Provia 100 film, also B&W converted digital photos needed
...Show more

I totally agree. Even scanned film has a different look. A look that I greatly value and that is what convinced me to shoot film over digital.

The process of shooting is also very different which again for me made me favor film over digital.







Jan 07, 2016 at 06:09 PM
 

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retrofocus
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Is film coming back?


chez wrote:
Personally I don't feel any of my photographic process is lost by printing digitally. On the contrary, you are limited, quite often by space, to smaller prints in the darkroom. I typically print 24x36 and sometimes larger with my digital printer. Photos when printed large add a totally new dimension to the photo.

Repeatability is big for me. Sometimes it takes me days of post processing a single image. Being able to print out many prints of various sizes is important as people that view a print expect the exact same print to be delivered. I could never do this repeatability
...Show more

I agree with you that print size is a practical limitation for me currently with the enlarger and paper easel. But I normally don't need to print larger than 11x14". If I frame a photo to hang it on my wall, this or even 8x10" is my preferred choice.

I also printed several photos on photosensitive paper in a very reproducible way (3-4 prints at most). It takes longer than just having them printed with an inkjet printer and yes, there is also less certainty in it.



Jan 07, 2016 at 06:10 PM
retrofocus
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Is film coming back?


My personal challenge is to experiment with film based infrared film. So far I only shot infrared with digital cameras, but I am curious how IR film will look in comparison. Some of the photos taken with IR film and shown online look fantastic. Since it is my hobby, I can spend the time to explore and have fun with it


Jan 07, 2016 at 06:22 PM
Alpha_Geist
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Is film coming back?


I recently got back into film again after cleaning my closet out and finding my father's old Canon AE-1 that he used to document me growing up from an infant to a pain-in-the-ass squirt. lol I believed he even used it at air shows as well. When I picked the camera back up as I was about to put everything back into my now cleaned closet, I really noticed the build and the weight of the camera as it was in my hand. I figured I'd toss a roll of film in it, if I could still find any, and give the camera a spin.

Well, with a Nikon FM3A, Nikon F2A and a Leica M6 TTL later, I've become attached with film in a way that digital never really has. It may be more emotional as I'm now recording both my sons growing up on film (digital too...) as my father once did. I don't see myself as a hipster, but someone who is appreciating the connection between film and a bit of family history.

Since I've recently started shooting film again (I use to shoot the old point and shoot film cameras back in the 90's), I've never developed my own film. I remember dropping rolls of film off at those tiny One Hour Photo huts in the middle of some strip mall parking lot or the closest Costco. Now it's hard to find places that will develop film locally. There's only two that will develop C-41 and one that does B&W only, but the $$$ is pretty significant and the C-41 scans weren't turning out as I has expected/hoped.

I purchased a Plustek 8200i Ai scanner, but it only does 35mm negs/slides. I've been pretty happy with the software (SilverFast & VueScan & ColorPerfect Plugin) and the output I'm getting compared to the local camera shop C-41 (pixelated) scans. I recently enrolled in a community college beginners photo class just to learn the darkroom process as well as have access when I want to develop and perform some darkroom printing. The community college is roughly a 45 minute commute, but I feel it will be worth it to learn film development and potentially meet other people who are interested/passionate about photography. Not one of my friends is in to photography, so any bit of personal interaction on the topic, film or otherwise, is appreciated!

I think I went off the rails there. Sorry bout that!

Uh, yeah, film is fun!



Jan 07, 2016 at 06:28 PM
rattymouse
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Is film coming back?


Alpha_Geist wrote:
I recently got back into film again after cleaning my closet out and finding my father's old Canon AE-1 that he used to document me growing up from an infant to a pain-in-the-ass squirt. lol I believed he even used it at air shows as well. When I picked the camera back up as I was about to put everything back into my now cleaned closet, I really noticed the build and the weight of the camera as it was in my hand. I figured I'd toss a roll of film in it, if I could still find any, and
...Show more

An excellent commentary Alpha, thank you for sharing.

Good luck with your course! I am sure that it will be very fun, especially meeting people who also have an interest in film.

I MUST get out shooting this weekend. Good or bad weather!!





Jan 07, 2016 at 06:46 PM
rattymouse
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Is film coming back?


Alpha_Geist wrote:
I don't see myself as a hipster, but someone who is appreciating the connection between film and a bit of family history.



Do not underestimate this. I love putting my family history down on film. I bought a Fuji INSTAX camera for my kids but I end up using it just as much because I love making one-of-a-kind photos that document family life.




Jan 07, 2016 at 06:47 PM
Alpha_Geist
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Is film coming back?


rattymouse wrote:
Do not underestimate this. I love putting my family history down on film. I bought a Fuji INSTAX camera for my kids but I end up using it just as much because I love making one-of-a-kind photos that document family life.



I've heard stories from coworkers who've showed their children (young and teenagers) Polaroid cameras and their kids were awestruck that the "picture" physically came to life in their hands. Haha!

I too have thought about picking up one of those INSTAX cameras for fun. Did you get the "small" or "medium" format INSTAX? I've seen two different sizes of their "film".



Jan 07, 2016 at 06:54 PM
rattymouse
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Is film coming back?


Alpha_Geist wrote:
I've heard stories from coworkers who've showed their children (young and teenagers) Polaroid cameras and their kids were awestruck that the "picture" physically came to life in their hands. Haha!

I too have thought about picking up one of those INSTAX cameras for fun. Did you get the "small" or "medium" format INSTAX? I've seen two different sizes of their "film".


I got the small one. It works great for family photos. The Neo 90 version looks really cool and I might get that one for myself one day soon.

I NEVER tire of watching instant film develop. There's nothing like that in the digital world, aside from using Fuji's INSTAX printer for digital cameras.




Jan 07, 2016 at 07:14 PM
rattymouse
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Is film coming back?


By the way, I Just bought *60* pieces of INSTAX film for $40 from Amazon. That's a pretty amazing deal. I'd jump on offers like that if you shoot instant film.




Jan 07, 2016 at 07:19 PM
molson
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Is film coming back?


grog13 wrote:
I guess that's what I'm asking. What do you have when you scan (or shoot with your D810 & copy stand) a slide or negative that you wouldn't have by shooting with the D810 to begin with? Not being argumentative here, I really don't know.



You have a digital file that is less sharp and has less color depth or dynamic range than you would have obtained by shooting with your D810 to begin with... but to each, his own.

I was merely pointing out that for those who choose to shoot film, there are better options than expensive dedicated film scanners.



Jan 07, 2016 at 07:36 PM
molson
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Is film coming back?


rattymouse wrote:
You have to make 100% sure that the film is perpendicular to the sensor. You have to provide lighting that is even across the entire negative. You have to have your film in a negative holder and your camera mounted on a tripod. You have to have the proper focus distance that allows for the ideal magnification size.

It's a pretty technical set up and I considered this a lot before I bought my scanner. Ultimately I declined to go this route and instead bought the Plustek scanner. IMO, it's much easier and quicker to scan especially when it comes to
...Show more

This is trivially easy with a $60 Nikon ES-1 slide copier (plus a 55-60mm macro lens of your choice).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/37453-REG/Nikon_3213_ES_1_Slide_Copying_Adapter.html

I've compared the results to files from scanners significantly better than the Plustek units, and the results from the cheap Nikon option are much better.



Jan 07, 2016 at 07:43 PM
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