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Archive 2016 · Could you go back to film?

  
 
retrofocus
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p.20 #1 · p.20 #1 · Could you go back to film?


PhotoMaximum wrote:
You can also create many different looks from custom settings or just manipulating a RAW file with a digital camera.

Over the years (since going digital) I usually skip a generation or two before buying a new body. The older body then becomes a second or third backup camera. The previously last body in the chain then gets sold. I have yet to throw away a digital body. This costs money, but then I am not paying $20 per roll of film. I use the tax deductions on my purchases, which works out nicely.

Look, there is no winner take all
...Show more

From a monetary POV - you can shoot a lot of film, get all necessary accessories like used darkroom and film development setup (a few hundred bucks) for much less than any new (semi-)professional camera costs you. A7RII still going used for $2400? A new A7R III might be even above $3500? Even if you sell your older (not too old!) digital camera, you still need to put > $2K on the table for a new one nowadays. So just from this monetary-based aspect, film is by far less expensive.



Jan 17, 2017 at 08:15 PM
telyt
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p.20 #2 · p.20 #2 · Could you go back to film?


retrofocus wrote:
From a monetary POV - you can shoot a lot of film, get all necessary accessories like used darkroom and film development setup (a few hundred bucks) for much less than any new (semi-)professional camera costs you. A7RII still going used for $2400? A new A7R III might be even above $3500? Even if you sell your older (not too old!) digital camera, you still need to put > $2K on the table for a new one nowadays. So just from this monetary-based aspect, film is by far less expensive.


Depends on how much film you'd use. I was using at least 2 rolls of E6 per week and my 2-year-old a7II cost me about $1500 with a current market value of about $800 so neglecting the time value of money it has cost me $350/year so far. For film to be less costly it would have to be about $3.36/roll including processing (neglecting the cost of my film camera).



Jan 17, 2017 at 08:32 PM
PhotoMaximum
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p.20 #3 · p.20 #3 · Could you go back to film?


It depends on much you shoot and how you go about the workflow.

An example: this weekend I spent half a day traveling to an island to photograph a $4.5M house right on the water. Net production should be around 50 hi res and low res images. I used a Canon 5D mkIV and the a7RII. The heavy lifting was done with multiple shift lenses. Huge wooden house with massive ceilings and windows facing the water and bright sun.

I brought a bunch of lighting as I knew just relying on HDR would be a time consuming nightmare to edit. I shot a ton of images. My digital workflow allowed me use shift lenses (which changes the exposure), custom color settings, on the fly ISO changes, exposure bracketing and six lights. All against the setting sun with a time crunch. Client on site looking over my shoulder. Having that hi res LCD to confirm what I was getting was huge. Lots of bad things can happen when using lights against windows and mirrors, plus tilt-shift issues. There is no more Polaroid proof film anymore so if I was shooting film I would be doing it blind. Not impossible but very risky.

If I shot slides I would be looking at around $20 per roll. I am not going to mess with chemistry kits in my bathtub here. I would then have to drive to a lab or mail the film somewhere. And then wait for it to be processed. All at ISO 100. Next would come scanning all that film: getting the film to stay flat, scratches, dust, etc, etc. If I am using multiple exposures or three image panoramic presentations then I run into film frame registry issues. I could ramble on an on, but what is the point?

Now, if you are taking your Tri-X loaded 4x5 field camera and are going to enjoy a fun afternoon shooting a couple of carefully chosen scenics that you will process without a deadline or a narrow client budget then shooting film is great fun. Been there and done that...



Jan 17, 2017 at 08:43 PM
PhotoMaximum
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p.20 #4 · p.20 #4 · Could you go back to film?


When I was shooting nothing but film I usually went through about 10-20 rolls per day when working.

As has been stated before a photographer doing this for money could charge a client for the film plus a markup. This is really hard to get away with in this ultra competitive climate now that digital has "ruined the party"...



Jan 17, 2017 at 08:56 PM
retrofocus
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p.20 #5 · p.20 #5 · Could you go back to film?


I am not shooting film professionally. But some are going back to film and shooting weddings for example primarily again with film. You shoot less frames but be more selective. All mentioned in posts several pages before in this thread. The workflow clearly is slower than with digital but sometimes differentiation from the mass makes this worthwhile. Again - film is not better than digital or vice-versa, it is just different. It also depends on the situation if film, digital, or both can be used.


Jan 17, 2017 at 09:01 PM
PhotoMaximum
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p.20 #6 · p.20 #6 · Could you go back to film?


The film for weddings IS interesting. I used to shoot weddings with film and then digital. Stopped doing it though. I liked the film workflow then: more pressure on the photography but then the lab did most of the printing.

Most wedding shoots require that you shoot EVERYTHING. A ton of images and a ton of work, regardless of what is in your camera. Weddings can be fun and profitable but you have to deliver a ton of images. I would rather make the same amount of money delivering way fewer images, which is why I grew tired of doing weddings.

I think the film wedding trend is focused on a major benefit to the photographer: presenting really high end work with a limited shot count. It would be fun to work with a digital guy capturing the hundreds of moments while you focus on getting twenty or less stunning black and white photos with some sort of large format film camera.



Jan 17, 2017 at 09:12 PM
MAubrey
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p.20 #7 · p.20 #7 · Could you go back to film?


PhotoMaximum wrote:
The film for weddings IS interesting. I used to shoot weddings with film and then digital. Stopped doing it though. I liked the film workflow then: more pressure on the photography but then the lab did most of the printing.

Most wedding shoots require that you shoot EVERYTHING. A ton of images and a ton of work, regardless of what is in your camera. Weddings can be fun and profitable but you have to deliver a ton of images. I would rather make the same amount of money delivering way fewer images, which is why I grew tired of doing
...Show more
If the venue fits it, I bring out my 5x7 and do some portraits of the bride and groom.



Jan 17, 2017 at 09:18 PM
PhotoMaximum
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p.20 #8 · p.20 #8 · Could you go back to film?


Tons of scope and approaches to shooting weddings. I am a "Swiss Army Knife" photographer in that I never ever focused on any speciality. This has hurt income potential but I have no regrets. But by far and away the most appreciated (and emotional) work any photographer can deliver is a successful wedding shoot...


Edited on Jan 17, 2017 at 09:33 PM · View previous versions



Jan 17, 2017 at 09:28 PM
retrofocus
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p.20 #9 · p.20 #9 · Could you go back to film?


PhotoMaximum wrote:
Tons of scope and approaches to shooting weddings. I am a "Swiss Army Knife" photographer in that I never ever focused on any speciality. This has hurt income potential but I have no rgetrets. But by far and away the most appreciated (and emotional) work any photographer can deliver is a successful wedding shoot...


That's fine - just out of curiosity, looks like your profile picture shows a Leica M series film camera.....a bit misleading here in regard to your points made. Was this a camera which you used in the past before digital to take photos professionally? Or is it a collection item? Again, just curious, nothing wrong with it!



Jan 17, 2017 at 09:33 PM
PhotoMaximum
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p.20 #10 · p.20 #10 · Could you go back to film?


That Leica belonged to my father-in-law. It is a classic IIIF with self timer. He shot a lot of slow Kodachrome while climbing mountains in western Canada with it. He was a logger. He loved that camera but presented it to me years ago, even before I married his only daughter. We are still married and I will keep this camera forever. It is in stunning condition. I had it professionally serviced a number of years ago. Just recently I started a long thread about using the collapsiable lens on my a7RII. Still need to get out there and shoot more images with this lens. But work gets in the way.

Thanks for asking!

One other thing: he mostly used this camera in the 1950s, shooting both Kodachrome and Agfachrome. The last time I went through his slides with him the Agfa slides were seriously faded with a strong magenta color shift. The old Kodachrome looks like it was shot yesterday though...

Edited on Jan 17, 2017 at 09:45 PM · View previous versions



Jan 17, 2017 at 09:40 PM
retrofocus
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p.20 #11 · p.20 #11 · Could you go back to film?


PhotoMaximum wrote:
That Leica belonged to my father-in-law. It is a classic IIIF with self timer. He shot a lot of slow Kodachrome while climbing mountains in western Canada with it. He was a logger. He loved that camera but presented it to me years ago, even before I married his only daughter. We are still married and I will keep this camera forever. It is in stunning condition. I had it professionally serviced a number of years ago. Just recently I started a long thread about using the collapsiable lens on my a7RII. Still need to get out there and shoot
...Show more

Cool story, thanks so much for sharing! Yes, have seen and read your post about the collapsible lens - good one!



Jan 17, 2017 at 09:42 PM
PhotoMaximum
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p.20 #12 · p.20 #12 · Could you go back to film?


If you look at the IIIF or IIIG you will see exactly where Fuji got the design of their very successful line of digital bodies from.




Jan 17, 2017 at 09:51 PM
elkhornsun
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p.20 #13 · p.20 #13 · Could you go back to film?


I took a trip overseas to do underwater photography the week after 9/11 and it was the last time I used film cameras. Dealing with the TSA bullies to get bricks of film hand checked is an exercise in futility and it has only gotten worse, actually much worse over the past 15 years.

I worked in a darkroom to process black and white prints and with digital I can now make similar adjustments with color images. That alone is worth staying with digital.



Jan 18, 2017 at 03:48 PM
chez
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p.20 #14 · p.20 #14 · Could you go back to film?


elkhornsun wrote:
I took a trip overseas to do underwater photography the week after 9/11 and it was the last time I used film cameras. Dealing with the TSA bullies to get bricks of film hand checked is an exercise in futility and it has only gotten worse, actually much worse over the past 15 years.

I worked in a darkroom to process black and white prints and with digital I can now make similar adjustments with color images. That alone is worth staying with digital.


Why did you want to have the film hand checked? Unless is very high ASA, no harm will result in the usual scanning.



Jan 18, 2017 at 06:00 PM
MAubrey
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p.20 #15 · p.20 #15 · Could you go back to film?


elkhornsun wrote:
I took a trip overseas to do underwater photography the week after 9/11 and it was the last time I used film cameras. Dealing with the TSA bullies to get bricks of film hand checked is an exercise in futility and it has only gotten worse, actually much worse over the past 15 years.

I worked in a darkroom to process black and white prints and with digital I can now make similar adjustments with color images. That alone is worth staying with digital.


If I travel with film, I work hard to either figure out away to develop on site (one shot power developers & fixers) in a Patterson or make sure that I can ship film home rather than go through the airport.



Jan 18, 2017 at 07:20 PM
George Orwell
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p.20 #16 · p.20 #16 · Could you go back to film?


mawz wrote:
Actually, completely true. Consumer film is all but dead, consumer digital is dying.





Wrong. Film use IS going up. Kodak says they are making more film than in the past. If you don't want to believe that, that's fine. Kodak says film sales are up. The increase is enough for them to do the unthinkable and bring back Ektachrome. No one even last year would have predicted that.

Film Ferrania is prepping new films and hopefully will be in production before too long.

Film use IS going up. Whether you call it consumer, hobbyist, or Pro, that matters not to me. Film is no longer in decline and that is what matters.




Jan 18, 2017 at 07:24 PM
George Orwell
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p.20 #17 · p.20 #17 · Could you go back to film?


MAubrey wrote:
If I travel with film, I work hard to either figure out away to develop on site (one shot power developers & fixers) in a Patterson or make sure that I can ship film home rather than go through the airport.


Completely unnecessary. I've had film scanned over a dozen times without issue. Your idea of how badly film is affected by airport x-rays is very much misguided.




Jan 18, 2017 at 07:25 PM
George Orwell
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p.20 #18 · p.20 #18 · Could you go back to film?


PhotoMaximum wrote:
Great point on the longevity of film cameras. Especially with a solid tank like a Tachihara!

I will offer this though. A film camera like your Tachihara will never improve. Over the years film emulsion improved but not that dramatically. Digital cameras are going to continuously evolve and improve though. What we have today is so much better than just six years ago. Ten years from now we will all wonder how we stumbled about with a primitive contraption like a a7RII...


Portra and Ektar films scan incredibly well. Why? Because Kodak designed these films with that in mind. That took R & D to accomplish.

It is beyond ridiculous to suggest that films have not improved.

Neopan Acros film has no reciprocity failures for up to a 2 minute exposure! Films could not do that back in the day.






Jan 18, 2017 at 07:29 PM
George Orwell
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p.20 #19 · p.20 #19 · Could you go back to film?


"Film Photography Makes a Stunning Comeback"

https://petapixel.com/2016/08/19/film-photography-making-stunning-comeback/




Jan 18, 2017 at 07:32 PM
George Orwell
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p.20 #20 · p.20 #20 · Could you go back to film?


Fujifilm FILM dominates Amazon.com Holiday sales.....digital cameras nowhere to be found.

https://petapixel.com/2017/01/10/fuji-instax-dominates-holiday-sales-amazon-yet/

"It’s getting harder and harder to justify the idea that film is “dead”… or even “dying.”"

Ain't that the truth.




Jan 18, 2017 at 07:33 PM
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