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So why not just shoot film?
Old 11-29-2017   #1
Huss
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So why not just shoot film?

I've seen so many comments on digital images to the effect of:
"that is so beautiful, so film like in the way it looks"

Ever noticed no-one ever says "that is so beautiful, it looks so digital?"

I thought so.

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Old 11-29-2017   #2
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I ended up in around 2012 playing with digital for B&W conversions after a long time of shooting film. I then found myself in a situation for a number of years where I just didn't have access to or the ability to develop and scan film so digital became what I shot with. The ease of processing becomes alluring and I've now lost count how many times I've reworked images "trying" to get them to look like B&W film.

In the middle of all my digital shooting I did, however, shoot a few rolls of B&W, which I intended to process when I had the chance. They did get processed and scanned a few years back but I did nothing with them until the last couple of weeks. I shocked myself at how much I had convinced myself that digital B&W was anything like film. The off one or two might come close but in the main they are as far apart as night.

Considering how much and what I've shot over the last 5 years, I now regret my time with digital. I'm now going back to film for B&W as of immediately...
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Old 11-29-2017   #3
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Believe it or not I used to spend a lot of time looking for digital conversion programs that professed to take your image and make it "look" like a given film type. Of course none of them ever worked and when you give it some thought there is no way they could work. Each film depends as much on the development process for its look as it depends on the emulsion itself.

I have actually started going the other way now. I still shoot a lot of film, and enjoy the process immensely though I wish I were a better printer. But I have started to enjoy the digital look as well. Clean, beautiful prints are possible with no noise or "grain" to get in the way. It is possible to use digital to get that clean, clear look that comes to a landscape when the sun is beaming down immediately following a rainstorm.

An example of one camera that I am exploring right now is my Sigma DP3 Quattro. I am getting huge, grain free prints without the necessity of packing a big, large format, camera around.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel people are really cheating themselves a lot of the time by wishing their digital images looked more like film. Enjoy film for what it is, and enjoy digital just as much for what it can produce for you.
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Old 11-29-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I've seen so many comments on digital images to the effect of:
"that is so beautiful, so film like in the way it looks"

Ever noticed no-one ever says "that is so beautiful, it looks so digital?"

I thought so.

No one but a photographer who loves film ever says that, in my experience.
Photographers who don't care just say, "That is so beautiful!"

I personally don't give a damn one way or another whether something "looks like film". I just care whether it's a good photograph and looks the way I want.

G
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Old 11-30-2017   #5
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But which film? There have been hundreds of type of film over the years. In my time shooting film, I've tried dozens of types and brands. Some of them were great...outstanding...beautiful, even. But some of them were outright trash...frustrating...ugly, even.

Personally, I like the way digital looks. I even prefer it to film. Since I spent the first 30+ years of my picture-taking life shooting nothing but film, it's not that I don't know how films look.

But, also personally, I really don't care what medium was used to make the photograph if I like the photograph.
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Old 11-30-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
...I really don't care what medium was used to make the photograph if I like the photograph.
+1.

A while back I purchased a beautiful 8x10 print from a gentleman who had been featured in a magazine I used to subscribe to. It was a gorgeous shot of a blacksmith's hands and I loved the contrast and the tones in the black and white print I seen in the magazine. When the print arrived I was even more blown away by the quality of the work.

At the time I purchased the print I had a thought in the back of my mind that it was from a large format negative, but this was based entirely on the magazine where I seen the print featured, and in the clean, grain free image.

I now know the gentleman in question uses Canon digital cameras for his work, but it really doesn't matter at all. Regardless of the medium used he does stunning work in my opinion and that print still hangs in a prominent place in my office.

I'll have to see if I can find the paperwork to locate the photographer's name.
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Old 11-30-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I've seen so many comments on digital images to the effect of:
"that is so beautiful, so film like in the way it looks"

Ever noticed no-one ever says "that is so beautiful, it looks so digital?"

I thought so.

People say an image "looks so film like" because they don't know what they are talking about and want to sound hip and knowledgeable. I've never had either comment made about any of my film or digital images. The comments from ordinary people are usually about the images themselves. Photographers usually ask technical questions like what camera or what lens, like that is going to tell them anything.
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Old 12-04-2017   #8
David Hughes
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Hi,

I can think of several colour films that died a horrible death because no one cared and the results were so-so to bad...

Nowadays, pictures out of the camera are as good as pictures out of the lab, imo: both have improved a lot over the years.

Regards, David
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Old 07-11-2018   #9
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If you want it to look like film, use film.
If you want it to look like something else, use something else.


http://filmisadelight.com
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Old 07-11-2018   #10
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Why not shoot glass plates?
I've never understood the desire to make digital look like film. I've never understood vegetarian substitutes for meat which call themselves what they imitate. Vegan buffalo chicken wings are still chunks of spicy seitan. Then again, the cooks of those wings don't try to pass off their creations as chicken.

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Old 12-04-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Ever noticed no-one ever says "that is so beautiful, it looks so digital?"
For a short period of some years at the end of the 90s you could hear that. Some photographers looked for the clean, grainless look of digital in film. Even film manufacturers tried to offer films looking like digital. Read film tests from the era, they often give + points for this aspect.
Ofcourse the countercurrent appeared fast and some photographers insisted that film has to be grainy. De gustibus.
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Old 12-05-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I've seen so many comments on digital images to the effect of:
"that is so beautiful, so film like in the way it looks"
I have heard that as well.

Quote:
Ever noticed no-one ever says "that is so beautiful, it looks so digital?"

I thought so.

Also true.

So what is your point?

Is it that film is somehow better than digital, because it (at times) draws laudatory statements as to the nature of the image betraying from whence it came?

I'd rather have someone tell me a photograph of mine was beautiful because of the subject, or the lighting, or my composition, or the exposure, or the any number of things *other* than because it somehow signals to the viewer that it was shot on film, as if that were the point I was trying to convey with my photo. "Oh, look another boring photo of a barn. But at least it was shot with film! It must be art. Let's admire it."

Tell me this. What famous musician was liked for the sole reason that he or she played a given brand or type of instrument, rather than for the music they played? What artist was known for their brushes and paints rather than their artwork? What architect was known for whether or not they drew their blueprints by hand rather than with a computer, instead of the beauty and function of the buildings they created?

I like film, I shoot film. I like digital, I shoot digital. For various reasons and at various times, I choose one brush over another brush. But if my work was merely liked because of the brush I chose, rather than the photograph I produced, I'd open a vein.
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Old 12-05-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugen Mezei View Post
For a short period of some years at the end of the 90s you could hear that. Some photographers looked for the clean, grainless look of digital in film. Even film manufacturers tried to offer films looking like digital. Read film tests from the era, they often give + points for this aspect.
Ofcourse the countercurrent appeared fast and some photographers insisted that film has to be grainy. De gustibus.
Indeed.

There has been a subset of the music industry that has intentionally introduced skip, pop, and crackle into digital recordings, to attempt to mimic the 'sound' of vinyl records.

I love vinyl records, but not because they have imperfections. I strive to keep my records clean and without distracting imperfections. I like vinyl for the intrinsic value of the sound itself, minus such distractions, and I like it for the ritual, the deliberation, the pace, the album artwork and liner notes, the camaraderie with fellow enthusiasts, and the saudade of it all.

I love my digital music for its clean sound, ease of storage, ready accessibility, and wide range of musical genres. It provides me with music; which is not the same thing at all as saying it provides me with a full musical enjoyment experience.
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Old 12-05-2018   #14
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Because film is a time consuming pain in the neck and much less capable than digital?

Because film is nearly impossible for the masses to use these days?

I shoot plenty of film, even in 8x10. But there is no reason that film is better any longer beyond the potential archival original, which actually may not be any better any more either.

Why bother thinking about this anymore?
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Old 12-05-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
Why bother thinking about this anymore?
I shoot film and digital. I am just so tired of the holier than thou attitude of those that shoot film.
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Old 12-05-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I shoot film and digital. I am just so tired of the holier than thou attitude of those that shoot film.
It is indeed tiresome. But I suppose thatís what forums are mostly for.
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Old 12-05-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I shoot film and digital. I am just so tired of the holier than thou attitude of those that shoot film.
The term you used is apt - it is religion.

Same with lawn care. Don't ever argue with a person who has strong opinions about reel mowers versus standard power mowers if you value your sanity.
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Old 12-05-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I shoot film and digital. I am just so tired of the holier than thou attitude of those that shoot film.
Agreed. But I had the same attitude for a long time. Then I started using digital and my attitude changed. It's all good now.
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So why not just shoot film?
Old 12-05-2018   #19
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So why not just shoot film?

From the debares on some online forums i was half expecting the digital equivalent of "looks like film" to be something like
"looks like it was shot with a foveon"
"they must have used an x trans"
"surely that was taken with a ccd sensor"
"look at the reds, must have been a canon/nikon"
Etc.

But seriously, there's nothing very surprising about referring to the outputs of a current technology resembling the previous high water mark attained by a largely outmooded technology. But those references will become fewer as time passes, and there wont be many the other way roune, why woukd thete be?
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Old 12-05-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I shoot film and digital. I am just so tired of the holier than thou attitude of those that shoot film.
I've heard the Holier Than Thou attitude from those who are oh-so-stuck-on their latest and greatest digicam as well!

I've been shooting more digital lately mainly because of the convenience.

What was my stumbling block was that stupid {expetive}-ing cable that I thought you had to use to get your photos from the camera to the computer. When I was clued-in to the plug-in card reader, it was a whole different thing!

I'm comfortable and confident shooting digital as long as I have a real eye-level viewfinder (I **HATE** trying to compose on a tiny screen held out in front of me!) and I can easily tweak things exposure-wise. Knobs instead of teeny-tiny buttons.

Oh, and batteries that last a while.

I still enjoy shooting film and I'm getting itchy to try out some new E100 I just got. Just need the setting or subject.
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Old 12-06-2018   #21
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even though 'Film' is a complete pain in the A**... I still Love it, Imperfections and All

when I shoot digital the 'Resolution' and 'Instant Viewing' make it Supreme
but I never feel satisfied, Can't get no

The process of Shooting film and home processing gives me a sense of fulfillment ...
A Reward~ Rewarding

That's the Difference for Me
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Old 12-07-2018   #22
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I went back to film because the images look just so much better to my eye, richer and realer, no contest at all. I freely admit that I don’t have the PP skills and eye to make digital images look as good - I know there are a small minority of photographers who have that talent because I have seen their work, but my life is too short, so film.

As for the original question, I think “digital-looking” has over the years come to mean digital artifacts, a bad thing, so that is probably why.
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Old 06-24-2019   #23
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For me at least, it just got a little bit harder. META35 will not be updated to work with 64bit OS's. I learned that after having contacted its author. So, it looks like back to carrying around a notepad for EXIF data.

Nevertheless, Negative Lab Pro has sure simplified the conversion process. So, while I still shoot digital, NLP has streamlined my workflow. I just now have to take better pictures. LOL
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Old 07-22-2019   #24
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Offering another angle for film vs. digital:

I have a Nikon SP 2005 with beautiful, post year-2000 made 50mm and 35mm lenses, and a Rollei 35 Classic.

These cameras give me everything I could ever want in making a photograph, for what I like to shoot.

I'll never feel like they are made obsolete by a newer model with upgraded technology, because there's nothing intrinsically upgradeable about their designs. They expose light on film, with beautiful construction, ergonomics, and results. That's it.

And somewhat of a more personal reason:

I'm a software engineer working in finance with long hours. I have enough backlit screens and electronics in my life. Walking around the city with only a mechanical camera and an extra roll of film, totally unplugged, is a supremely meditative and wonderful feeling.
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Old 07-22-2019   #25
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I sometimes try to get my film and digital shots to look the same just to see if I can do it. I get pretty close sometimes.
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Old 07-22-2019   #26
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"So why not just shoot film?"

Why should I limit myself that way when I can use both film and digital capture to get the results I want, at my own discretion? Sure they're different: it's up to me to know how to get what I want from both capture mediums.
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Old 07-23-2019   #27
rhl-oregon
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Which tree do you prefer?












This is a take-home essay question. When you are finished, please mail your answer to:

Santa Claus
North Pole

Maybe he will send you the camera of your dreams! Or maybe he will send you GPS coordinates to a tree worth seeing, and just maybe photographing with the camera you happen to have with you.
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Old 07-23-2019   #28
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haha, LOVE Tree #2 Robert ...

Santa please send me a digi camera...
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Old 07-23-2019   #29
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haha on ME, new post 6 MONTHS LATER...I shoot Film, I shoot DIGI

Does it really matter anymore what You shoot with
It's the Photo that really counts, whether it draws the Viewer in , makes the viewer react

This is one of my favorite digi shots, leica T.... nothing to do with trying to be filmlike ...who cares about that
just LOVE it's grit and Resolution, blows my mind





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Old 07-23-2019   #30
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when I look at my photo below which is Film, to my Eye it looks like digi,,lol
Go figure




dealing hands ..,
by Helen Hill, on Flickr
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Old 07-23-2019   #31
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Helen, for giggles, guess which tree is the iPhonetree.
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Old 07-23-2019   #32
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Not sure Robert
Could be any of them
Is it my Fav #2
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Old 07-23-2019   #33
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Why yes, indeedy! (I haven’t yet developed what I shot side-by-side with the MD-262 that day).
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Old 07-23-2019   #34
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Helen...Robert. I like.
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