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View Poll Results: What % of your shots are digital?
Zero. I'm 100% faithful to film. 106 36.43%
1 to 30%. I'm getting into it. 62 21.31%
31 to 70%. I do both. 75 25.77%
71 to 99%. Mostly digital now. 36 12.37%
100%. No more film for me! 12 4.12%
Voters: 291. You may not vote on this poll

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Film to digital
Old 02-22-2005   #81
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Film to digital

I only shoot digital for money (weddings and wire photojournalalism). For art and street work, I stick with film and hold true to my Edward R. Murrow-HCB values. The other night I shot a music circle with a 20D digital, and those pics still could not compare with what I shot the previous week, at the same place, with my Leica M6. I wasn't surprised, really.

Chris
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Old 02-22-2005   #82
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I am not a lifelong photographer. I don't do it professionally, nor did I study it in any capacity in school. I had a "passing interest" but never pursued it.

I used to just have a P&S for snapshots- friends, events, travel, etc.
Then I bought a Sony Cybershot and used that for a couple years. But what I had was a recorder, not a photographic tool, if that makes sense.

Then last fall, I called up a old friend whom I hadn't seen in years and invited him to Game 7 of the ALCS (I still weep occassionally!). We were at his apartment and he had a couple photos he had taken blown up on his wall. I looked through his portfolio and really liked what he was doing with a camera. It was a Contax T(don't know what number). But he said he really liked the Zeiss optics.

I started to dig up some of the old cameras I had and none really excited me to the point where I wanted to go out and make pictures. (read: they all sucked).

Then at a antique co-op, I spotted an old Exa. It called my name and I bought it. I love the old feel of it, the complete lack of electronics. Then I got a Rollei 35 for an absolute steal on that auction website. It hasn't really been too long since (4 months) but not a day went by that I haven't taken at least one shot.

Then I found this place and all bets are off! I found a IIIc, and a Konica to add to my collection. I have my eyes on another camera too, which I will buy new and it is not a digital. I'll give you a hint- my girlfriend is going to be pissed!
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Old 11-10-2005   #83
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I use digital for auctions/sales and snapshots and film for real photography.
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Old 11-10-2005   #84
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Only use digital for occassional snapshots and web work
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Old 11-10-2005   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
save for a digital SLR to take my M42 and Canon FD lenses
I think that with the necessary adapters any DSLR can use M42 and FD lenses, I have often used an 1.4 super takumar with my 20D
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Old 11-10-2005   #86
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I now divide my photgraphy approx. 50/50 between a film-RF and a DSLR.

Both have their strong and weak points, and they complement each other perfectly.
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Old 11-11-2005   #87
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i voted zero, but just because i'm holding out for new digital rangefinders, higher-end digicams, and the olympus e-3.
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Old 11-11-2005   #88
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Mostly digital now for auctions. But I am using it more for scenic pictures too. Since my good, fast, close by slide processor stopped doing slide work, it forced me to change.
I am amazed at what I can do with just a Nikon Coolpix 2 MP camera. Next one will be
6 or 7 MP but still and advanced point and shoot, dont want to haul all the lenses and gear of a DSLR kit.
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Old 11-11-2005   #89
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I shoot both. I love film because my film cameras are all substantially smaller, lighter and less conspicuous than my digital SLR.

But, once the technology arrives for a digital M (I don't care who makes it), that gives me:

1) about 10-12 mp;
2) full frame sensor, and
3) retains the same size, weight and inconspicuousness of my leicas

I would have no hesitations in going completely digital. Just a pragmatist :-) Film will never completely die, however, too many art and fine art enthusiasts who will sustain a niche market.
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Old 11-11-2005   #90
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I've been "Getting into Digital" since 1981. My oldest Digital camera is from 1992. My favorite Digital camera, the Nikon E3, is from 1998. I use it to take pictures of cameras, and use it to test out lenses. At work I use Nikon D1x's, I bought them when they first came out.

Real pictures on my time are with film.
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Old 11-11-2005   #91
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Amazing how this thread is still alive after more than a year. Is there any way we could freeze it, then start a new one, so a year from now we could compare the stats?
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Old 11-11-2005   #92
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Well, its been over a year since I first replied to this topic. Boy how things changed photography in just a year.

I can no longer tell the difference in print quality between film and digital when digital work is shot on high end cameras and printed with quality paper and printers. I was in a well known fine art gallery in Boston last month, and there were digital images and prints selling for $7K each. Seems that art is because of the persons vision and reputation, and doesn't matter that they shoot with. But we already knew that ! Statements have been announced of photography giants confirming they are dropping many of their paper/film based products due to lack of sales. And on it goes. The technology is upon us no matter what we desire and the future is far more different that we would have thought 5 years ago. 5 years ago I remember saying, "Never! Ain't gonna happen!" And here we are today, and I'm 99% digital at this point.

From a personal standpoint, my medium format and 4x5 large format cameras are sitting basically idle for the last year. Clients don't want film, and prefer the look of a well done digital image. But they aren't talking P&S class or low end SLR, they want 11Mp to 22Mp images shot on high end 35mm digital or medium format platforms. Typically the $8K or so range cameras, because these are more than capable of anything you can produce with 35mm or medium format film. If they want that film look, they do that in Photoshop. It works, and when done right can fool even the film die hards. I've seen that over and over again. Some contrast tweaks, curves, grain, and choosing the right output. As picky as I've always been about the 'digital look' of digital images not looking as good as film, I can no longer tell when a good photographer and Photoshop artist does his thing. I no longer bet on whats been shot on film or digital anymore.

The old school side of my brain still likes the feel of a roll of film, loading 4x5 sheets in the dark, and the exercise of sitting in the dark and watching a image appear on a piece of paper as it soaks in a tray of developer. But I can't dismiss the creativity thats been unlocked by shooting digital and running the images through Photoshop. The speed at which I can create images far surpasses what I could do in the darkroom. The ability to so freely create images has all but pushed the old school stuff aside. I am no longer locked in a slow and tedious medium, but immersed in a sea of liquid creativity. So even my personal photography has now gone the way of digital since even I can now create a very convincing film look at will, and match my favorite film stocks.

Its interesting to look back and see the difference a year made on me!
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Old 11-11-2005   #93
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Stephen, thank you for an elegant posting. It makes me feel optimistic about the future of photography. If more digital RF's appear, and the price gets affordable, I think there will be attractive reasons for a transition to digital RF cameras.

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Old 11-11-2005   #94
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I must estar loco de la cabeza, because I most surely can tell film shots from digital, most definitively mine of course, not only because I know they were taken in either medium, but the look and feel is there.

Many people are still very biased on whether a photograph has merit because it is taken with a digital camera or shot on film; like a world-famous politician once quoted and put it: "poppycock".

Whether you like to draw with pencils, fountain pens, crayons or mud, it's the technique and the end result of how you handled your media.

Like they say in my country: Tan-tán.
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Old 11-11-2005   #95
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I agree with you Gene, too. We're all driven by the joy of photography. OK, love of GAS too, but photography above all. I'm very glad I found RFF.
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Old 11-11-2005   #96
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gabrielma,

Yes, digital does has a look about it that easily separates it from film, and is pretty obvious to most people. But I also think its one of the draws to that medium for commercial work. Its fresh, different, slick, and not something thats been seen day in and day out for the last century. Just like the styles you see in magazines go in and out of fashion. Something new, something different, until it gets old, then it's off to something else. So the very fact that it is different has some appeal all by itself aside from the obvious other advantages.

But its also very easy to manipulate the digital image such that all the clues that tell you its not film are gone, and if printed on good paper with a quality printer its very very deceiving. A photographer friend of mine attended a large photo show aimed at professional photographers. One of the vendors had a display with 10 11x14 prints. 5 shot on digital, and 5 shot on film. They offered $500 to anyone that could correctly pick all the digital vs film shots. The vendor left with their $500 in their pocket at the end of the show which seems to show the technology has indeed arrived. If a conference full of professional photographers can't easily see the difference, most other people aren't going to spot it either.

And you are so totally right on. Pencil, film, watercolors, digital, slinging mud, doesn't matter. If the end results makes you feel something, thats all that counts. The end result.

Gene,

I'm with you on this. A follow on digital RF with higher quality, lower price, and M-mount lenses will definitely hurt my wallet! When it appears, I won't hesitate for an instant to grab one. I've almost bought the R-D1 several times, but always decided to wait and see if either the price drops drastically, or something better comes along.
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My own transition: digital -> film
Old 11-11-2005   #97
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My own transition: digital -> film

This has been a very interesting thread to read.

My own transition has been the other way around: digital -> film. I started with digital photography almost 2 years ago but found myself slowly drifting towards film. I think that was partially due to limitations of consumer-grade P&S digicams which I started out with such shutter lag, noise, poor low-light performance, etc.. As Stephen (Faust) pointed out my initial experiences with digital might have been better had I spent more money upfront on better DSLR gear (such as the then current Canon DRebel and 10D for example).

Over time, however, I've come to prefer the look of film over digital even for colour shots. I find that most of the time my P&S digicams produce images with clinical sharpness and harsh colour and tonal transitions. Or perhaps my digital post-processing skills aren't quite good enough to make my digital images look more like film.

As others have already said, I think that film and digital aren't necessary mutually exclusive. I tend to view them as 2 different mediums and will continue shooting both for as long as I can.

I voted 31 - 70%, as nowadays I shoot approx. 30 - 50% digital.

PS: Stephen, I'd love to hear from you any advice, tips, etc. you might have on how to make digital images look more like film. This is one of continuing struggles with digital...
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Old 11-11-2005   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL
I know there are few real digital RFs as yet, but there are many digital viewfinder "prosumer" cameras, and many, perhaps most, of those who haunt the RF forum also shoot other types of camera. I was wondering how far the transition to digital has gone among us ...
One year after this poll was started I still use 100% film.
There are mainy two levels of probs for me , result and handling, and at the end there is a philosophical question too I would have to find an answer for.
Concerning results:

Skin looks like vinyl
Sky and closed portions of one colour look like airbrush
Highlights are always blown out in bright sunlight
and/or shadow sink in 100% black loosing all structure.
There is no real B&W comaparable to silver negs, desaturated colourshots from a digital camera are not black and white
Ther is still too much colour noise
Poor transitions let objects sometimes look like cut and paste
A crop factor eats my wide lenses and their DOF

Concerning the handling:
I hate picking functions from menus, I want knobs !
I hate lugging power supply for a camera which works on battery only.
I hate in general electronic gadgets with embedded systems, producing unexpected breakdowns, no matter if temporary or final breakdowns.
The only choice are DSLRS at the time, too bulky for many places.
The return on invest I could get from saving film and dev is eaten by an enormous loss of worth, that means digital is expensive but you notice it first id you want to "upgrade". and have to face that you are broke because you gave away your old analog top gear for some few bucks
I would hate a camera which I have to upgrade, it makes me feel somebody takes the piss outta me. What kinda idiocy is the need to upgrade a $1500,- camera after a year or two ?

IF ALL the result probs were solved AND i could buy something like a fullframe RD-1
for about $1200 Maybe I'd try it anyway.

But even then the very last question is not answered: What does it mean for a photog to have not a material source like a neg, into which light burned a slice of reality.
I am not sure at all if for me this neg can ever be replaced by some magnetic dots.
The question of the material source is the essential one which makes the dimension of the change visible.

At the time iirt seems tho got a lot of time left to think about the very last decisive question and how I will answer it one day.

Bertram
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Old 11-11-2005   #99
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When I originally voted on this poll, I was firmly in the "I shoot both" camp. Since my Minolta died, I sold my Nikon, and gave away my Kyocera, I'm back to all film cameras. I can't say I really miss digital other than the convenience of an all-digital workflow.

For me, it has nothing to do with film or digital being "better" than the other; my desired end product more often than not is a digital file for online display or printing by inkjet, as I have not learned darkroom skills... yet. Now that I'm comfortable with the basic technical aspects of taking a photo, having to control anything other than focus, aperture, and shutter speed is just annoying, for lack of a better word. I love the gliding of the lens focus, the snick of the shutter, the smooth ratchet of the film advance. The process just feels right and satisfying.

Maybe someday in the near future I'll be forced by the march of technological progress into readopting digital cameras in order to continue with photography.

Maybe.

But that day isn't today.
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Old 11-11-2005   #100
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A lot of what you are describing Bertram is the failings of the middle and lower end digital cameras. In that sense, I have to agree with most of your comments. But, let me address it from the higher end cameras like the EOS 1D Mark II ($4K new), the EOS 1Ds ($3K used), and the EOS 1DsMarkII ($8K new). These are the cameras that really make images comparable to 35mm film IMO.

Skin looks like vinyl
This is a retouching issue, and not inherent in the digital format. I also hate the vinyl look, and it seems to be prevalent in glamour magazines (Stuff, FHM, Maxim, etc). Yech!!! Pick up a copy of Vogue or Elle magazine and look at the skin tones there. Beautiful, mostly digital, and no vinyl.

Sky and closed portions of one colour look like airbrush Highlights are always blown out in bright sunlight and/or shadow sink in 100% black loosing all structure.
This is a characteristic of the smaller sensors. The larger full frame sensors don't have this issue, as well as some of the higher level prosumer cameras. Its also further made an issue by the manufacturers tweaking those cameras to deliver contrasty highly saturated images that they feel the everyday P&S shooter wants. That blocks up the details in the blacks. And the compression they use doesn't help at all.

Higher end cameras have dynamic range almost exactly the same as E6 film. After shooting E6 for hundreds of years (ok, it just feels that way , shooting digital is very comfortable and similar. Smooth gradations, detail in the highlights and blacks, very similar to E6. Very different than what you describe above.

There is no real B&W comaparable to silver negs, desaturated colourshots from a digital camera are not black and white There is still too much colour noise Poor transitions let objects sometimes look like cut and paste
The color noise is from smaller or cheaper sensors. Once you move up to the more expensive sensors, the noise isn't an issue at all as noted by the 'clinical' or 'sterile' look people talk about. Thats caused by a lack of color noise, grain, etc.

And I disagree that desaturating color isn't real B&W. Its every bit as real as sliver negs. With silver negs you desaturate it when it hits the neg. With digital you desaturate it before you 'develop' the film. They are both images captured sans color. In fact, you can even use your normal filters you use with B&W when you shoot a color digital image. It will look weird in color, but so does it when you looked through the lens when shooting B&W. But when you desaturate the color digital image, you will get the same net results you would have with B&W film and the same filter. The process is different, but the results will be the same. The only difference is where the translation happens from color to B&W. One is between the lens and film, and the other is between the 'film' and final paper.

A crop factor eats my wide lenses and their DOF
There is no crop factor with full frame sensors! 14mm IS 14mm, period. I applaud Cannon for going with the full frames, and switched from Nikon because they decided to stick with a crop factor. To me, once Canon came out with a high quality full frame sensor capable of 35mm film quality, all my disapproval of the digital format went away. Consumer cameras and P&S are all cropped or have very small sensors.

I hate picking functions from menus, I want knobs !
Handling, ergonomics, feel, etc, are all by nature a personal thing. Yea, I like knobs also. The higher end DSLR cameras use the same knobs as a film camera. In fact, the EOS film and digital cameras feature the same controls and feel he same. Cover up the LCD and the differences are less than obvious. The lower end cameras and consumer P&S rely on menus, and poorly laid out ones at that. There is a huge difference between P&S and prosumer cameras, and top of the line professional cameras. The pro cameras are meant to feel just like their film counterparts, and they did an excellent job doing that. Much like Epson is trying to do with the R-D1, and nearly got it right.

I hate lugging power supply for a camera which works on battery only.
Me to. But my Nikon F4 and Nikon F5 film cameras had the same problem, and after switching to Canon, my EOS 1V film camera was the same. Its something we aren't going to get away from unless you turn on the way back machines and want to go retro or old school. Which is fun in and by itself I still have may Canon QL17 GIII, Yashica 35C, Olympus 35RC, and Keiv 4A. Can't seem to part with them. Small, light, easy to use, etc. But none have seem film through them in quite a while But sell them, no way!

I hate in general electronic gadgets with embedded systems, producing unexpected breakdowns, no matter if temporary or final breakdowns.
Unfortunately, you've described most everything in our modern society. But its not really any different from mechanical breakdowns. Nothing, electronic or mechanical is perfect, and cameras on both sides of the fence have their issues.

The only choice are DSLRS at the time, too bulky for many places.
A DLSR is big and bulky. But so is a FM2 compared to a 35mm film P&S. Or a Nikon F5 compared to a FM2. Or a 4x5 compared to a 6x6. There are smaller digital cameras that are not bulky, but then you make a trade off just like you would in film. "Should I take the 4x5 for its quality, or just the FM2 and a 50mm to go light?". There are some good P&S cameras that are very light, but you will sacrifice quality in return. With stuff like the Epson R-D1, you might get both in a small package at some point.

The return on invest I could get from saving film and dev is eaten by an enormous loss of worth, that means digital is expensive but you notice it first id you want to "upgrade". and have to face that you are broke because you gave away your old analog top gear for some few bucks I would hate a camera which I have to upgrade, it makes me feel somebody takes the piss outta me. What kinda idiocy is the need to upgrade a $1500,- camera after a year or two ?

There is no enormous loss of worth unles one chooses to have one!

If the camera takes excellent pictures and serves the need, why would you need to upgrade? Even if the value of the camera declines, does it stop producing images, or the quality degrade to less than what it is today? No. So why the need to upgrade?

Its not like computers where the applications grow in size and function and require more and more horsepower. The requirements of the application for 35mm film have not changed in decades, and if the DSLR meets those requirements today, it will still meet them as long as the requirements don't change. If a 35mm digital or flim camera can make beautiful 8x10s today, it will still be able to make the same quality 8x10's 10 years from now. Unless people want better quality 10 years from now, either a 35mm film or digital camera will suffice. I wouldn't have said this 5 years ago, but only because 5 years ago digital wasn't close to 35mm film quality. But that has changed.

But even then the very last question is not answered: What does it mean for a photog to have not a material source like a neg, into which light burned a slice of reality.
Nothing! As long as the slice of reality is captured, saved, and able to be archived, the medium it resides on isn't important. Its the capture thats important, and the ability to save it for future use. Would Ansel Adams images be any less compelling, or more so, if it was captured on a different media but with the same end results? The media is irrelevant compared to the image captured.

In fact, I should probably say, "Everything!" instead. Having only one material source of the original is far inferior to being able to have as many perfect and exact duplicates of the original source as one feels the need to have. With digital, I can make thousands of exact original duplicates without any quality loss if so desired. I can spread then around at my work, home, sisters, friends, and my studio, or around the world. Chances of me loosing that image are far less than if I had my sole negative at home and my house burned down. I want to safe guard my images, and digital will do that with a good archival backup process that transcends the media and technology it resides on far better than a single physical image.

Now, I am not trying to convince you, or anyone else for that matter, that digital is where you should be. I am just explaining some of the differences between consumer and professional gear in the digital arena that solve the issues you mentioned. So while I have defended digital in relation to your specific issues, I am not in any way trying to say that since those issues are resolved you should consider the switch. Quite the contrary. Just like I may prefer oil, I would never argue that watercolor is dead, or any different than art done in oil. The media is just a tool in the expression of ones vision. If I like an image, I could care less what it was shot with, or captured on.
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Old 11-11-2005   #101
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PS: Stephen, I'd love to hear from you any advice, tips, etc. you might have on how to make digital images look more like film. This is one of continuing struggles with digital...

One of the things you will struggle with are P&S cameras for all the obvious reasons, but also some that people may or may not be aware of. The sensor in the camera is basically your film. P&S sensors can not match the quality of the larger high end sensors. They are smaller, not as sensitive, have more noise issues, etc, all which translate into lower quality. But most P&S cameras are also aimed at the consumer crowd, and much like the super saturated films were, the cameras are tweaked to produce saturated contrasty and sharp images. When you move up to the professional level sensors, the images a cleaner, less noise, and less 'tweaked'. The fact that you can also shoot raw helps a great deal.

To give an image a film like look, first its best if you shoot in RAW. You also need to understand Photoshop levels and curves fairly well. This helps you massage the various layers to fix the contrast and saturation of the image. Adding in some film grain will also remove the tell tale sterile quality of a digital image. And playing with the sharpness to reduce it, but still maintain a sharp image is another step. Usually its done by sharpening and blurring individual channels to achieve a more realistic look. Its beyond this thread to go into all the steps, but the above is basically one of many ways to achieve that look.

If people see very clean, sterile, high contrast, and tack sharp images, they assume its digital. But, if you remove the sterility, match the contrast and saturation of a given film stock, add in some real grain, and reduce the sharpness just enough, it looses that immediate identification with digital and will pass most peoples radar.

But what most people with digital cameras do is quite the opposite. They increase the saturation, over sharpen the images, and add more contrast. And there is no way that will ever look like film.

If you really want to purse the film look with digital, I can dig up some old pointers to good tutorials on the net that if followed in Photoshop will result in an image that will easily pass as film. Just send me a PM.
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Old 11-11-2005   #102
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Bertram, it's not that bad with a dSLR, I still shoot my three year old D60 and up to now there was no Canon SWAT team forcing me to upgrade to a 10d a 20d and a 5d :-)

But one argument against digital is a very valid one, if you don't like it, it will not work for you, and nobody can argue you into using something you don't like and have fun with it.
That is the reason I spent more on my Contax G system then on the Canon D60 and I don't save much on film :-)
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Old 11-12-2005   #103
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[quote=sfaust]A lot of what you are describing Bertram is the failings of the middle and lower end digital cameras. In that sense, I have to agree with most of your comments. But, let me address it from the higher end cameras like the EOS 1D Mark II ($4K new), the EOS 1Ds ($3K used), and the EOS 1DsMarkII ($8K new). These are the cameras that really make images comparable to 35mm film IMO.

Stephen,

I meant cameras like a D70. D350, 20D, or Minolta D7 indeed and I haven't seen enuff results of the above mentioned top cameras to dare any judgements.
Those prosumers are the cameras friend of me own and use, and let me tell you there are some among them who are real champs in film photography, these guys know what they do and they are experienced in postprocessing too. Nonetheless the results suffer from the deficits i mentioned.

What I could see so far tho is that the top cameras you are talking about are undoubtedly better at all points I listed as deficits.

But even if they were good enuff to make the results acceptable for me a price of $ 4000 to $8000 is so far out of everything what I would be willing to spend on a camera body that in principle it does not make sense for me to discuss it.
I always refused to spent such money on gear, not for a Leica M or R and I won't do it for a digital SLR either. MY pics are so mediocre, I am only an amateur and from an amateur's standpoint I cant see what sense it could make to invest such big money.

Desaturation: No problem in principle for me, I meant desaturated pics from a digital camera only. Scanned negs look very different from that, I myself quite often do that and like it tho even with film it's different from silver B&W., a third was so to say.

Concerning the lack of a material source :
You say it means nothing and state it's only a different medium. Maybe a misunderstanding: My prob is that there is NO real "medium" any more, you see?.
One can have different opinions about it.
To make my POV clearer let me compare these pics with kids with no biological parents ?
Thinking about this point since quite a while I realize that there is an essential
thing in photography changing.
Holding an old neg in my hand I feel a direct linkage to the past, to MY past, it is something like a proof that I really existed in those days and that I had been there. Blowing some light through it it proves it with a print
Holding a DVD in my hand I feel nothing.
You will say that's MY prob only and I will answer you maybe, maybe not, that is not THAT important.
Important for me is more to explain my POV, why there are good reasons for not beeing fond of digital cameras and that these reasons earn respect, as much respect as the reasons for using digital cameras earn.

I general the discussion always gets Kindergarten-like because nobody really respects the reasons of the other side.
I would not attack anybody ever because he shoots digital. I do not feel at all I should convince anybody to stay with film. I am not one of those agressive fundamentalistic birdbrains who keep themselves as an elite who is chosen to protect the eternal truth of photography. Some of that breed you can watch at APUG. Scanning negs is enuff sin to get ignored by them for ever.

No, I am far from all that. But I don't want to get attacked either because of saying I don't like it myself. To say that is NOT an attack yet but it is very often taken as an attack. At this point many DC users are too sensitive it seems.
After a while you give up to say anything about digital cameras, because you know it ends with unfriendly words necessarily .

Should not be. A matter of respect, that's all. The simple will NOT to offend anybody makes discussions possible first. Discussions are for explaining standpoints, NOT to find out who is "right" and who is "wrong".
All participants on both sides know they are right anyway, don't they ?


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Old 11-12-2005   #104
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I meant cameras like a D70. D350, 20D, or Minolta D7 indeed and I haven't seen enuff results of the above mentioned top cameras to dare any...

I still believe it is most likely the case of a lack of proper post processing with the D70 and D20, as I have direct experience with both of those and don't see the issues you mention when processing from a raw image. I haven't seem much output for the Minolta or D350 to give you any opinion at all on those, but they are also difference sensors from the D70 and D20. The D70 and D20 have highly regarded sensors with a good reputation.

What I could see so far tho is that the top cameras you are talking about are undoubtedly better at all points I listed as deficits.

Thats really the only point I was trying to make in my last reply. Basically, not to judge the digital format on the failings of some models of digital cameras, and most importantly, those at low end of the spectrum. I still to this day see arguments that there is too much shutter lag, slow processing, auto focus issues, very slow startup times, etc. There have all be addresses in current cameras. In fact, my 1D MarkII can shoot 8 frames a second for 40 frames capturing raw + large JPEG images at the same time. Even for film, thats smokin fast! In fact you can't do that with a film camera, since you would finish a 36 exposure roll before you ever got to the 40th exposure

And yes, price is a huge issue, especially for personal photography. While 3-5 years ago, it was even out of the reach from all but the top photographers in the world, the cost is such that any professional photographer can afford the high end gear. When you factor in that most working professionals send more than the cost of a high end digital camera in film and processing, the savings will pay for a new digital body in less than a year. Add in another chunk of change for a high end computers, etc, and usually their investment will repay itself within a year.

For an amateur, its very different as you point out. $4K is a lot for a camera body, and unless you are spending $4K in film and processing, film makes much more sense. But, if you spend ~$150 a month or more in film and processing, a high end digital camera starts to make sense. It would take three years to break even, but anything after that three years would be free. So it really comes down to how much you shoot, and how long you will keep the camera to find the break even point between film and digital.

I was a die hard film fan, but the advantages finally outweighed the disadvantages for me over the last few years which caused my migration. For a professional, the advantages are very clear, as they are in the low end market as well. But for advanced amateurs, the waters are still muddy and there are barriers that need to be broken before it makes sense for that segment of the market. Higher quality in the prosumer cameras. Full frame sensors in sub $1000 cameras. Better tools for workflow that reduce the workload on the photographer. I think we will see that in the next 3-5 years. And maybe even a 11mp range finder that takes M-mount lenses as well. Yea!

And a side benefit of shooting digital is that you will shoot more. Every single person that I know that bought a digital camera increased the number of exposures they shot each month. Because there is no cost associated with film/processing each time the press the shutter, the did it more often. Mostly to try new ideas, experiment, just to see what would something would look like if photographic at an odd angle, or results of a filter, etc. And I think they learned faster and much more because of it. They old saying the quickest way to learn is to burn film. I agree completely. But with film there is a cost associated with it that limits the photographer. With digital, that barrier is gone and they can freely experiment to their hearts content, and with instant feedback. No waiting for the film to come back from the lab, then trying to remember what you were trying to do.

Even if one doesn't want to 'go digital', having even a cheap camera just to test ideas, play with new techniques and learn with benefit their work with film. The instant feedback associated with digital is a huge advantage in learning. I am surprised basic photography isn't taught with digital camera, and save the film and darkroom for the advanced classes. Learning all about aperture and shutter relations could be done so much faster with digital, so that when they moved on to film, they could concentrate on their art, and not as much on the basics.

I know some photographers that are still shooting film, but using a low end digital camera as their polaroids. They shoot it with the digital to see the results while setting up their shot, then switch to MF or LF for the final images. The digital allows them to work out all the issues that they used to rely on polaroid tests for. And worse case, if their MF or LF images get lost of fail to process properly, they have a 35mm DSLR image to deliver rather than nothing at all. It acts as a backup image, as well as a Polaroid test.

Concerning the lack of a material source :
You say it means nothing and state it's only a different medium. Maybe a misunderstanding: My prob is that there is NO real "medium" any more, you see?.

I'm still not sure I understand you, or just don't feel its an issue for me. I personally don't care if my image is held in my had as a negative or on a DVD. At that point in its life, its just in an intermediate stage and not important how its stored. What is important to me is the final print. Thats what I want to hold in my hand, to use for presentation, and thats whats tangible to me. Either way, if you like the feel of a negative in your hand as a tangible result, than thats what works for you and no one can argue that.


I couldn't agree with you more about discussions turning to arguments, and you said it very well! There are many on both sides of the discussion that take it all to personally. I hope the last paragraph in my last post made it clear that I feel as you do. I am not trying to sway anyones opinion, but just adding what I feel are very valid points regarding the differences between film and digital as I see if from using film for 20 years, using both for 5 years, and not pretty much 99% digital for the last 2 years.

I think Socke said it well. "if you don't like it, it will not work for you,...". In my opinion, that's the only argument one needs to make to validate their decision to use digital or not. I don't like the look, I don't like the cost, I don't like the workflow, or the opposite, I just like film! You just can't argue with that!
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Old 11-12-2005   #105
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When I have decided to re-do some photos 5 year ago, I've bought a P&S digital canon ixus. As I was quite disappointed with quality issues, I went for an Olympus E-10 (35-135 f2.0-2.2) and I am still using it. Little by little I added some extensions and now it ranges from 28 to 620mm plus macro extension.
It is usable at 64 ISO but even there quite noisy. I do like this stuff because it is absolutely silent and using a beam splitter, there is no mirror and the viewfinder is usable-> 1/15 handheld is okay.

Then a year ago, I offered a brand new M6-TTL to my wife + a used 35 'cron for our honeymoon trip to argentina & chile.

What a difference!!!, now we complemented it with some other lenses, I've found a rolleiflex in a very mint condition, and I added a Olympus mju II I always carry with me.

I am going back to film, mainly for high iso usability in low light condition and b&W rendition.

The oly without flash is okay only in a well lit situation. So I still use it for family photos and specific ones (macro, tele), and I have stolen the M of my wife . Fortunately, she's waiting for our two boys birth (planned end of this year) and have little interest to photo these times so I eagerly waiting an MD full frame body to have mine!
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Old 11-13-2005   #106
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Interesting poll but what about those who, like me, started with digital and are now doing the transition to film?
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wow - some heavy posters
Old 11-13-2005   #107
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wow - some heavy posters

some of you are really writers, huh.

I would be, but it is pretty simple in my case. Most of my shots are digital, but that is because I own two 4x5 view cameras a D70, and a little 35mm RF that is currently not working. It would be hard to take more 4x5s than digital shots, for obvious reasons.

Now, the real question IS :

How many of your keepers are digital captures?

For me, about 5%. Or less. None of what I print is ever digital.
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Old 11-13-2005   #108
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i don't get many keepers with film...
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Old 11-13-2005   #109
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Writers, or just verbose? I am certainly not a writer, but I am verbose. I tend to rather enter one long post, then a bunch of smaller ones

If I look at the gallery wall in my studio, I have about 25 images from 8x10 to 20x30. They are mostly digital, and printed to high end printers from a good service lab. There are a couple images that were done on 35mm and medium format film. Those will probably always be on my wall because they are timeless images for me, and I never tire of looking at them. I've got a few similar ones on digital prints as well that will always be there. The rest of the images get rotated with some of my latest work. When one strikes me as a long time keeper, it just never gets swapped out since I never tire of it.

But since I shoot mostly digital today, it makes sense that most of my keepers on the wall are going to be digital. If I shot all film, that would obviously be reversed. More interesting would be the ratio of keepers between film and digital for those that shoot both equally.

pstevenin,

You ran into the dreaded small sensor issue with that noise problem. The images from most low end cameras fall apart around ISO400. The high end cameras do very well at ISO800, and some to ISO1600. For an example of an image shot at ISO1600 on digital, check out this image. There was no special editing done to it other than what I do on all my images, film, digital, regardless of ISO. It was shot at ISO 1600 with a Canon 1D MarkII, handheld at 1/90th with a 85mm f1.2 lens and shot wide open at 1.2.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...a-_J1J0940.jpg

One of the stumbling blocks that kept me from going to digital with a good high ISO. I love to shoot candids at night, and without a high ISO and fast lenses, I just couldn't make the switch. Once I tested out the 1D Mark II I knew I could get excellent night shots. With the 85mm f1.2, the 50mm f1.8, and the 1D Mark II, I'm very comfortable again shooting digital at night. And I like the end result much better since the clinical look of digital works for me in this instance with less grain or noise that I would get with film.
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Old 11-13-2005   #110
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfaust
pstevenin,

You ran into the dreaded small sensor issue with that noise problem. The images from most low end cameras fall apart around ISO400. The high end cameras do very well at ISO800, and some to ISO1600. For an example of an image shot at ISO1600 on digital, check out this image. There was no special editing done to it other than what I do on all my images, film, digital, regardless of ISO. It was shot at ISO 1600 with a Canon 1D MarkII, handheld at 1/90th with a 85mm f1.2 lens and shot wide open at 1.2.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...a-_J1J0940.jpg

One of the stumbling blocks that kept me from going to digital with a good high ISO. I love to shoot candids at night, and without a high ISO and fast lenses, I just couldn't make the switch. Once I tested out the 1D Mark II I knew I could get excellent night shots. With the 85mm f1.2, the 50mm f1.8, and the 1D Mark II, I'm very comfortable again shooting digital at night. And I like the end result much better since the clinical look of digital works for me in this instance with less grain or noise that I would get with film.
Wow, fantastic shot!

I know that noise at high ISO issue is solved more or less now, it was just to share the experience. I am definetely digital oriented, and as I do not own a full gear from either Nikon or Canon, I think the market is still moving too fast to invest 5 or 6 k€ to own it (at least for an amateur like me).
Regarding M Digital, as I own the lenses, it will be more than welcome (plus the environment, and slow handheld speeds, hard to achieve with a mirror)! Anyway, I am still looking for a usable DSLR that will be much better than the E-10 (which is still a good camera adding some noise ninja on it). I wish for x'mas a nikon D200 full frame (at least for the form factor) with a 50 1.4, a 15-35 f2.8 or even 2 a 70-300 f4 plus a X2...a good way to do manual focussing (I mean a real viewfinder) and an MD!!!
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Old 11-14-2005   #111
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Why don't you buy a used 10D. They are very capable DSLR's and dirt cheap now!
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Old 11-19-2005   #112
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I had a few digicams before I got my first DSLR, a 10D, just over 18 months ago, and I now have about 28K clicks on it. That would be almost 800 rolls of film, which would have cost me about $1600, minimum, for film alone, without processing. I already have a computer etc, so for me that was not really an additional investment, although I now spend quite a bit more on print cartridges!

In the 40 years before that (during which I sometimes had little time for photography), I probably took about 500 rolls of film. I think I have learned quite a bit more in the last year-and-a-half than I did in the preceding 40! Photography is something that you need to practise.

I still use film occasionally and intend to continue doing so -- in fact I "went back" to it after a few years of 100% digital -- but it doesn't amount to more than about 10% of the total. I use it mainly for when I want to get full mileage out of wideangle lenses (I don't have a FF DSLR, yet), when I want to experiment with things like multiple exposures, and for dynamic range, using color negative film.

This is just the way things have been going for me. Doesn't mean it's what anyone else should do, of course.
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Old 11-20-2005   #113
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I need the hard copy of film. It will save me troubles down the road.
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Old 11-20-2005   #114
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JohnL,
I have had the opposite experience. Since the birth of my grandson 3 years ago, I have shot over 300 rolls of film and very little digital. Why? My mother shortly after he was borned. I had to go through her possessions and picked out the family albums which she kept for over 70 years. My family's history is in them photographically. She did not keep the negatives and some of the prints need to be reprinted. Yes, I know about digital restoration, but I decided to keep the negatives of my grandson so if he wants to reprint any in 50 years, he will have the option. I still am looking for a K-M 5d. I have a lot of K-M a/f lenses and it uses them.
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Old 12-04-2005   #115
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film - digital - film - digital - FILM! But the D70 stills gets used for unimportant things like selling on auction sites and taking pictures of myself making faces.
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Old 12-25-2005   #116
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well I mainly shoot film, have used a zoom digiPOS for some off road shots where instant gradification was the word of the day [lots of net posting]

now I am looking to become a church photographer.....But honey I NEED this digital SLR so I can down load the pictures right away. the church can't wait for the developing then scaning HONEST!
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Old 12-25-2005   #117
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I will have be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. I am analog and proud of it.

Bill
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Old 12-25-2005   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dostacos
well I mainly shoot film, have used a zoom digiPOS for some off road shots where instant gradification was the word of the day [lots of net posting]

now I am looking to become a church photographer.....But honey I NEED this digital SLR so I can down load the pictures right away. the church can't wait for the developing then scaning HONEST!
Repent! The end is near!

Sorry, couldn't resisit
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Old 01-14-2006   #119
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Its situational. There are just some things that the instant gratification of digital works for. But sometimes when the subject is good, the light is good, and I'm lucky enough to have the R2 with me its still a pleasure to shoot film. Sometimes the instant gratification of digital isn't quite as pleasing as super saturated chromes on the light box and I still can't find a digital camera with a while balance setting labeled "velvia".
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Old 01-14-2006   #120
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I have decided that the day I can't get anymore film, I'm gonna pack down my cameras, because then it's all over - no more photography for my part.

Jacques.
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