Why Do You Use Film Today

Discussion in 'Talk About Anything Photography Related' started by Ian-Barber, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Joanna Carter

    Joanna Carter Member Registered User

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    We tend to use an Epson SC-P600 for up to A3+ and send off files from scans to Ilford for larger silver prints.

    Having had the pleasure of knowing a professional, traditional master printer, and the benefit of some very critical photographers here in France, we have been thrilled with the results Ilford produce.

    I use "traditional" dodge and burn techniques in Photoshop, using layer masks to emulate card masks and contrast filters.

    I have never had anyone think the silver prints were digitally mastered.

    I think, even if I had the room and facilities for an enlarger, as much as I would love to play with an enlarger again, being able to know that the image is "perfect" before spending money on paper and chemistry is a lot easier on the purse strings :)
     
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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    I've used film for over 50 years, I had my first film camera about 61 years ago :D

    [​IMG]

    I did some processing aged 9 -11 but really only got serious aged about 14 and haven't looked back, 35mm up to about 1976 then MF and LF within a year the LF mostly for work.

    Definitely not anti digital I had my first scanner over 20 years ago when they were around £2,000, and digital cameras by 2,00, not really from choice rather necessity as I've worked with people in the music industry since 1997 and images need to be in a digital format and as specialist films disappeared DSLR's improved.

    If I could afford a high end digital back and a camera with full movements then that might change things, but I enjoy shooting film and making darkroom prints, I can match those prints going down a hybrid route (I have the scanner/printer etc and have done it) but there's something very satisfying printing in a darkroom.

    All my colour work is usually digital but tends to be for commercial use, I am going back to 35mm C41 colour film and printing, I've been shooting and yet to process (I do my own).

    For me film is far more economic.

    Ian
     
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  3. KenS

    KenS Active Member Registered User

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    David,
    You may not have noticed that I did NOT... and probably never will consider myself "Luddite" just because after some 60+ years under the dark-cloth, I still much prefer analogue large format photographic 'hardware' over the current hand-holdable digital hardware... not because I may have the 'shakes'.... but on tripod mounted LF allows time for 'thinking' and re-thinking about the proposed image.. as observed on the ground glass

    Ken
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    Ken, I find it ironic that we LF users are thought to be Lluddites but there's a hidden twist.

    When I was last in Greece visiting Olympia (no tripods permitted or pro cameras) I had a Super Graphic, Yashicamat, DSLR possibly my 6x17 camera all in a small backpack, the tour guide on the coach said it was illegal but my pack was small enough to be permitted. I was shooting LF hand held.

    Hang on what is a pro DSLR most look identical to low end consumer DSLR and so their rules don't really work for the reasons they intended, many have image stabilisation.

    I tried to sneak a small tripod into Prienne an ancient Greek city (first in the world with a grid pattern of parallel streets) this summer but an of duty Turkish policeman spotted it so it went back in the car. I got the shots I wanted easily luckily hand held.

    S we are still seen as a threat making great images :D

    Ian
     
  5. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    Ken,
    No, indeed, and I'm not calling you a Luddite. You said "considered...a Luddite" and it's the ones doing the considering that I'm aiming at.
    Strictly speaking, Luddites wanted to smash the new steam-powered looms and make everybody return to the drudgery and expense of the hand-loom. (Incidentally, the supply of cheap, easily washed machine-made cotton clothing helped to improve the health of ordinary people, like weavers.) Hand-loom weavers are not extinct, but it is now a creative craft, not unlike some other activities.
    I haven't come across any LF photographers who want to smash all digital cameras. If there are any, then their distaste for the modern world must be keeping them off the internet.
    I do wonder why anyone, other than specialists, bother with a DSLR when there's a first-class camera in their phone.
     
  6. Joanna Carter

    Joanna Carter Member Registered User

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    First class? Hmmm.

    I never thought I could be enchanted by a a DSLR, until I yielded to the temptation of a Nikon D810. With 36 megapixels it has virtually the same pixel size as a 6x7 MF negative scanned at 2400ppi. With 14 stops of dynamic range, I can make coulour images where I could only make them in B&W using the zone system (or I can convert them to B&W).

    Yes I use a tripod, sometimes using "live view" to give me an image on the back of the camera (although not inverted) and I also even have the option of a 5x4 framing.

    Would I fall for a 5"x4" digital camera? More than likely.

    But I would still be left with the angst of ensuring all my images were backed up several times over. With film, I can always rescan the original should all my disks crash at the same time, which has happened.

    If I dare post a non-LF image, https://scontent-frx5-1.xx.fbcdn.ne...ff4d83e2e1e9a30e999466232f78&oe=5AD10EED&dl=1
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    Well that's the exact reason Nikon are closing a factory in China making DSLRs, I see it first hand my wife hasn't used her DSLR once since getting her iPhone. It's a backward step at one time people moved from Instamatics, 110 (not the original 5x4 frame roll film) & Disc camera to higher end point and shoot or SLR's. It's no longer about image quality it's how quickly they can share their images with their friends.

    Ian
     
  8. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    Joanna,
    I agree entirely about storage. Aha. And but. I have a friend whose carefully filed and listed negatives have had the gelatin nibbled by tiny beasties of some kind. He is scanning and re-touching the significant ones. Nothing is entirely safe. Another advantage of the negative is being able to re-scan a neg if your tastes change, or you have a different purpose. Or if you get a better scanner, I suppose.
    From your posts so far, I'd class you as a specialist for the purposes of this discussion.
    What convinced me about my iPhone was casually demonstrating the panorama function to a group of friends. (A bunch of photographers around a table.) I made a print about three feet wide and you can read the titles of the books on the shelves. That phone is now two generations behind the latest version.
    I presume that the actual camera in the phone is about the size of my finger-tip, which compares very well with the weight and bulk of a modern DSLR. If we take Joanna's figures of 36mp for a 6x7 negative, then the 12mp of my finger-tip camera-phone is astonishing. I'd be very surprised if either of her cameras can tell her when the next bus is coming.
    Historically, ordinary people used a camera with a fixed lens and seemed happy with that. Zoom lenses have scuttled the joke about saying "Back a bit, back a bit..." to the mother-in-law on the edge of a cliff. Perhaps not a great loss.
    Ian,
    If only Nikon would use their spare capacity to make some LF lenses... Intrepid have shown that there is an unsatisfied demand for large format.
     
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  9. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

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    If they brought back a scanner same as the 9000ED which could scan 5x4, they would also be on a winner
     
  10. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    Now that would be something!
    I have the 8000. What's the difference between that and the 9000? It looks as if they merely re-styled the front.
     

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