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brouwerkent
18-Oct-2016, 20:57
I know this has probably been discussed over and over again...but the advantages of large format strike me to be questionable at this point. I have used digital since the beginning and have been impressed with the ease, but always took pride in shooting film for serious work. I have been photographing for 50 years and have in the past earned a fine living as a commercial photographer. I love the avocation and am committed to making photographs until I breathe my last breath.

Perhaps it is due to some life changes...getting older... I am currently finding film (4x5 and 5x7) to offer diminishing returns. I would love to hear some response to my thinking...as follows.

• Though I like to think of my work as artistic, photographs are all about information or content. Clarity is something I have always valued. I am currently torn as to why I continue to shoot film because the digital stuff is cleaner, clearer and has loads more information and tonality. Despite the claims I read about film is superior...I have to question this thinking as of 2016.

• I have been shocked how amazing some of the digital output can be and how easy it is too achieve very acceptable results. It strikes me that all the tools like Photoshop are optimized for digital images... When I make a fine film image and take the time ( a lot of time) to scan and carefully edit...when compared to digital....the film scans are ok but not a clean or informational as digital.

Are we film addicts delusional??? Are the results any better than digital...I have my doubts now. Certainly not from a technical perspective. Film cannot resolve what a quality dslr can resolve at this point. So what is the point...other than the pleasure of craft and a different way of working???

Here are some points that should be considered for digital.

• Because it is faster to shoot, the results can be more fluid and dynamic. Frankly, some of my view camera stuff looks stiff, static and clunky. Even though I shoot most of my digital on a tripod, I find I make many more variations and frequently find the results more engaging.

I suppose I am looking for justification to leave my film days behind me. I appreciate those who love the craft...I do as well. But on the assumption that the "print" is the goal...I cannot find much justification in film anymore. As an aside...I left analogue printing behind over 10 years ago and have not looked back. I have been reluctant to abandon film...but I now have doubts. Perhaps the technology has finally exceeded my wildest expectations???

I would appreciate any input on this. I love this stuff...and would happily keep all my film stuff if I felt I was making superior photographs. I cannot see that anymore.

Wondering why I still shoot film in 2016.

Cheers

Phil
Los Gatos, CA

Peter De Smidt
18-Oct-2016, 21:06
If you have to be talked into something, then your heart's not in it.

Corran
18-Oct-2016, 22:01
You are correct, digital sensors even in mid-tier DSLR cameras have eclipsed 4x5 in actual usable resolution in most typical situations. I have advocated for this here before - but that makes no difference to me in actual use. Why does it matter to you? That's not a rhetorical question - do you really need exceedingly high resolution per square inch of sensor?

From the technical side, I personally don't think any digital sensor, due to physics and the way the work at the moment, can have the kind of highlight retention and "look" as negative film, especially b&w when developed to taste. Aesthetically, I absolutely love color film and the way the colors render, as compared to any digital sensor, and the myriad number of "film emulation" software just can't even come close to mimicking it IMO.

But anyway, Peter is right. I can't imagine shooting digital seriously for my own work. I hate it - it's boring, sterile, and gives me little real joy. I shoot plenty of it for commercial work, for obvious reasons. I even sometimes bring my Leica digital out with my film gear and 99.9% of the time I toss those images on my HDD and look at them once, and never again. Film's where it's at for me. Your situation, aesthetics, needs, and opinion may be different.

LabRat
18-Oct-2016, 23:34
Having something that is a hands-on process, that you guide through the steps with experience/knowledge/passion/tactile sense, a little alchemy, and finding the relationship between you, the process, and subject..., And the camera will record more than you can see, so the entire cycle is a process of discovery...

Or you can experience the image mostly on the other side of the looking glass (monitor)...

Steve K

Willie
18-Oct-2016, 23:35
If you aren't finding the whole process enjoyable you have most likely answered your own question.

I and some others I have asked still use film in Large Format because we still do darkroom work. Part of it is the hands'on aspect of making the print. One at a time with the small variations that come from the process. Much of what I photograph with film is 5x7 or 8x10 and contact printed, whether silver, Pt/Pd or Carbon. I don't scan the negatives or go digital with these prints. I have the digital camera gear for that and really enjoy using it.

Still have not started doing enlarged negatives from digital images so I can contact print them. I see others who I highly admire doing this with beautiful results and figure I'll do it before long. A nice marriage of the technologies. I've been telling myself I'll do it before long for a few years now. We'll see. Meanwhile I still enjoy the process of setting up, composing on the big glass, exposing and processing the film and making the print. For me - that is reason enough to use film for a number of images. I could easily use it for everything but that would preclude much of the world I live in. Using both gives me options for quality and freedom as you state in your post. As long as it remains enjoyable I'll continue.

Halford
19-Oct-2016, 00:31
I shoot film because it makes me happy to do so. If it's not making you happy, do something else.

Pere Casals
19-Oct-2016, 01:54
I suppose I am looking for justification to leave my film days behind me.


Hello Phil,

You are in California, just (IMHO) look at your neighborhood: Hollywood !!!

Spielberg, Tarantino, JJ Abrams, Hoyte van Hoytema...

Tell Spielberg that he has to shot a fantastic, top gear, Alexa 65... tell it to Janusz Kamiński, in this face... one can get injured :)

https://stephenfollows.com/film-vs-digital/

Today, 2016 still 20% of movies are still shot in film, in competition with even some $500k digital bugs. Then see aesthetic results, and resulting viewer inmersion.


Case 1

Bond 23, Skyfall (2012): they moved to digital, see the Alexas at job: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcvA0deKDs

Bond 24, Spectre(2015): they returned to film, see the Planafex gear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vckN4SwCasI


Case 2

StarWars 7 (Dec 2015), $2 Billion Box Office, +200 million production, see the panaflex/IMAX armor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-8N4CQzdGM

StarWars 8, (Dec 2017), First they show is a panaflex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQQMLE4FuIQ

But: Rogue One (Dec 2016), this StarWars (say lesser) spin off is shot digital with the superb Alexa 65: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdTog2OA-4A






Can an Alexa capture the beauty Daisy Ridley has?

How Schindler's List would had been looking without plus-x/double-x?

Can imagine Save Private Ryan without genuine bleach bypass?






Film is not obsolete at all, even in most demanding and critical challenges it can provide a great edge over digital, or the counter, depending on situation and on what we want. Ultra-high budget operators know it.


An strong imaging culture is there, forged in a century+, this is a vault of jewels... It is there. Then we can talk on how AA, Karshy, Avedon, Mann, etc, etc used those tools...

We are privileged because we can use those tools of that people, and also those incredible digital cameras, and also the powerful hybrid workflow.

Is there any need to choose one and discard the other?


There is an intense, (and hystoric), cross feedback between top influential still photofraphers and top influential cinematographers. Our imaging culture comes out from there.

Today the top notch imaging technology is film+digital hybridation. Also there is a problem, digital projection at movie theaters throw little light, they project shadows but no light, 47 cd/m2, a shame.


¿Then, what happens to us?

We can load Cinestill (Kodak Vision 3, wo/Remjet) for our Nikon F5 machinegun, so we have same medium than Spielberg and Disney. We can also load Portra or Fuji 160 and have same medium than José Villa (http://josevilla.com/)


We can also use any format, from 135 signature to beyond 8"x10". Digital is 24x36 in practice, one inch. It is possible to use Photoshop stitching to simulate a larger format with Brenizer method (http://www.camerastupid.com/brenizer-method/)


I agree that for a lot of shots there it won't be much difference if it was digital or analog, and digital is the efficient thing, not surpising at all that digital took the whole market.

In some situations (ISO 30000) digital has an overhelming advantage. While negative film has highlight advantage... Also each film has an spectral signature, with digital we are tied to sensor on pixel dyes that manufacturer used.

And then there is the analog crafting pleasure, the grain (mostly in smaller formarts, including MF),


So film still (2016) allows a very, very,powerful set of unique artistic tools. We can value those tools or not, and this is a personal choice.


My suggestion is use both, if you appreciate the film/format signature and the analog crafting. If you don't value that...then there is no way for analog, of course.


Michelangello made the Pietà with a bare hammer, so the nature of the tool it is not that critical, but it's for sure that he selected an special boulder before start hitting it.


That's IMHO, I can be wrong...


Regards,
Pere

Michael E
19-Oct-2016, 02:13
I suppose I am looking for justification to leave my film days behind me.

No need. It's 2016, the discussion of absolute quality of film or digital is behind us. Digital is phantastic. Film is phantastic. Use whatever suits your needs and/or workflow and feel free to switch back and forth. You don't have to abandon film forever, but right now it sounds like it's not making you happy anymore.

Pere Casals
19-Oct-2016, 04:19
Lets go point by point, IMHO






• Though I like to think of my work as artistic, photographs are all about information or content. Clarity is something I have always valued. I am currently torn as to why I continue to shoot film because the digital stuff is cleaner, clearer and has loads more information and tonality. Despite the claims I read about film is superior...I have to question this thinking as of 2016.



Resolving Power is not the same than sharpness. A 8x10" can deliver 500 to 800 perceptual Mpix, a 4x5 can deliver 200 Mpix. No digital stuff is near form that. Of course a Nikon D810 with a fine lens can fulfill what a 4k monitor can deliver. But technical image quality of LF is still unbeaten, by a very large margin. You may loss "sharpness" when downsize the scanned image in PS, make sure you set the right binning algorithm in the Image Size dialog: "Bicubic, ideal for reductions", this is not the default one.

Tonality: If BW, film can record way more scene dynamic range if you need it, using compression techniques, etc Normally we compress scene dynamic range that can be even 1:100000, or just 1:30 to the output display that can reach 1:100 static contrast on paper or a monitor. TVs 1:1000000 "dynamic contrast" is missleading, a lie.

Displaying film nice DR is easy with scan+PS, and a challenging art in the darkroom.






• I have been shocked how amazing some of the digital output can be and how easy it is too achieve very acceptable results. It strikes me that all the tools like Photoshop are optimized for digital images... When I make a fine film image and take the time ( a lot of time) to scan and carefully edit...when compared to digital....the film scans are ok but not a clean or informational as digital.

Are we film addicts delusional??? Are the results any better than digital...I have my doubts now. Certainly not from a technical perspective. Film cannot resolve what a quality dslr can resolve at this point. So what is the point...other than the pleasure of craft and a different way of working???

Here are some points that should be considered for digital.


Digital cameras have a number of hidden sharpenning work, you can apply also to your scans from film, you can also adulterate microcontrast of your film like digital, by adaptative contrast plugins, or the "structure" control from instagram. Digital workflow is optimized to display "sharpness" in a 2 MPix environement, Full HD 1920x1080. Not many pixels for our eye, if you come from a 200 Mpixels 4x5" image you have to tune the reduced 2MPix of your picture in order it looks sharp in a 2 MPix monitor/Tv.





• Because it is faster to shoot, the results can be more fluid and dynamic. Frankly, some of my view camera stuff looks stiff, static and clunky. Even though I shoot most of my digital on a tripod, I find I make many more variations and frequently find the results more engaging.

I suppose I am looking for justification to leave my film days behind me. I appreciate those who love the craft...I do as well. But on the assumption that the "print" is the goal...I cannot find much justification in film anymore. As an aside...I left analogue printing behind over 10 years ago and have not looked back. I have been reluctant to abandon film...but I now have doubts. Perhaps the technology has finally exceeded my wildest expectations???




Digital gear allows photographers to bring home some 2000 pictures every day. ¿Do you need that? ¿Have you any picture of those 2000 that you are to see again in the future? ¿Are it all to be lost in next computer crash? ¿Will it remain hidden in the cloud?

Masters proved that a single shot from a wood camera is enough, and "pixel counters" proved that 14 frames/second with 200 full frame buffer (D5) is mostly sterile.


Film offers little today to commercial and news photographers.


But... ¿what do film offer to artists? (I include those that makes photographs for personal joy)


I'd suggest you review Karsh, for example, how he used toe, the smooth highlight roll off, the chiaroscuro. There is an ¡ncredible aesthetic/imaging culture there. Also the usage of grain structure is an entire world.

This look can be simulated digitally to some extend.

So it is a matter of love. One can love using those tools to get that aesthetic, or one can not give value to it.

Today we also have the hybrid process. We can scan film, then adjust, and then print it with a Lightjet on silver paper, even fiber paper, and then do selenium.

And also we can make powerful BW slides, from (TMax, TXP) reversal, or a contact print on film. Cook it a bit dense. Then take a 5000cd/m2 light table. This can make a hard man cry.

Then there is Velvia 8x10" on a powerful light table... if you take a 8x magnifier you can be a full day exploring it.

Bruce Watson
19-Oct-2016, 05:30
Perhaps it is due to some life changes...getting older... I am currently finding film (4x5 and 5x7) to offer diminishing returns.

If that's true, you probably aren't using camera movements much, or at all. In that case, finding that film is offering diminished returns is expected.

But if you need camera movements to do what you need to do, film is still the only game in town. There (still) aren't any 5x4 (or larger) digital sensors, and if you aren't working at least as big as 5x4, movements are difficult to use because they are difficult to see on the GG.

Jim Jones
19-Oct-2016, 06:34
It is logical for someone starting out in photography to go digital. However, I have the film equipment I used decades ago. With experience it does even better today than long ago. It is paid for, while the ever evolving digital world can be expensive. On my wall is a digital print of the White House Ruins in the Canyon de Chelly shot by Timothy O'Sullivan in 1873 with the relatively primitive equipment of the day. Ansel Adams photographed the same subject from the same position almost 70 decades later. I prefer O'Sullivan's capture. With the labor involved in wet plate photography, O'Sullivan made the best of his opportunity. It is the photographer, not his tools, that makes the photograph.

Alan Klein
19-Oct-2016, 08:57
• Though I like to think of my work as artistic, photographs are all about information or content. Clarity is something I have always valued. I am currently torn as to why I continue to shoot film because the digital stuff is cleaner, clearer and has loads more information and tonality. Despite the claims I read about film is superior...I have to question this thinking as of 2016.

I think you answered your own question. If you want information and content, clarity is very important. But art isn't about that necessarily. I shoot medium format not LF so I lose the ability of camera movements. Yet the process of MF shooting is slow, deliberate and provides a really different look from digital which appears too sharp, too clear, too clinical. In the end it really doesn't matter as long as you enjoy what you're doing.

Peter Lewin
19-Oct-2016, 11:08
My answer, and the one espoused by about half of the preceding posts, is "process." Few still argue that on a purely technical basis, film is "better" (whatever that means) than digital. Yes, view cameras let one shift the plane of focus, but tilt lenses for digital, and Photoshop, let you achieve many of the benefits of tilts or swings in digital form. What I think it always comes back to is our enjoyment of the process: the somewhat analytical approach which goes with the use of a view camera, enjoyment or satisfaction with the choice of film, developer, and the "mechanics" of development, and often the physical aspects of print making. It is tactile, and has elements of "craft" absent from the digital approach. When these things stop being fun and stop yielding satisfaction, we will switch to digital. (Many here are quite competent with digital, but continue to use film for their personal work for all the reasons mentioned.)

Mark Sawyer
19-Oct-2016, 11:12
Wondering why I still shoot film in 2016...

For the same reason everyone does everything. Because we want to.

Randy
19-Oct-2016, 12:17
When I got into digital in the mid 90's I was thrilled with it (I had been an experienced film shooter/processor/printer since the very early 70's). But after spending so many hours looking at a computer monitor, adjusting picture files that probably didn't need adjusting, or did need adjusting because I didn't take the care when I pushed the shutter release button, and after constantly being bombarded by ads telling me that the camera I just spent a grand on less than a year ago can't capture the quality of images that the one now replacing it in the line-up, I grew frustrated.
I grew frustrated with constantly spending hundreds on inkjet printers and hundreds more on ink only to have the darn thing fail after a couple years.
I grew frustrated seeing images on line by middle aged women or men in their late teens, who had never owned a camera before their first 6 megapixel consumer grade digital camera, yet they were capturing such wonderfully creative images - but - they hadn't paid their dues like I had, by processing thousands of sheets of 4X5, thousands of rolls of 35mm and 120.
Lastly, I found myself no longer desiring the kind of images that can be made with digital. I guess a sign should have been that when I shot my personal work I always mounted my old manual focus Nikon AI lenses onto my Canon 5D via adapter, and then explored ways (software) to make some of my digital images have that "vintage" look.
When I made my first darkroom print last year, first in probably 15 years, it brought tears to my eyes.
Anyway, I still use digital for the occasional snap of a butterfly or close up of a wild flower, and I still like the results. I may eventually, with age, decide I no longer enjoy the process of shooting film, but for now...

Jim Noel
19-Oct-2016, 12:50
After 80 years with film, I do it because I like the craft. I tried digital a few years ago and quickly decided it was not for me. Too sedentary, too much button pushing, no craft, and the cost of equipment is outlandish. My cameras, many of which are 80 - 100 years old, still do a magnificent job and no upgrading is necessary.

DrTang
19-Oct-2016, 13:49
EZ: DoF and 'look'... some of which is all those cool old lenses

Drew Wiley
19-Oct-2016, 15:05
What is digital ?

Greg
19-Oct-2016, 15:24
Roughly 10 years ago I scanned and digitized a collection of 1,033 mostly 5x7 glass plates taken by a local photographer Charles Harrington between 1890-1905 for our town's museum. It amazed me that I could hold up the images taken more than 100 years ago and see what the images were of. The glass plates are archivally stored and I'm sure 100 years from now someone else will be able to hold them up and look at the images. I kept on thinking that 100 years from now someone will be given the gold DVDs and probably nopt be able to view the digital files.

Recently I came across a couple of SyQuest drives of digital images that I had worked on probably in the 1990s. I have no reader so I have no idea of what the images are. Last year I made Platinum/Palladium prints from negatives I shot in the 1970s via digital negatives since those negatives were not shot for printing with Platinum/Palladium.

JChrome
19-Oct-2016, 15:35
What is film?


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JChrome
19-Oct-2016, 15:36
But seriously this is the endless debate. Some might call it a "master-debate"...


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Toyo
19-Oct-2016, 15:40
:)

156422

Tebbiebear
19-Oct-2016, 15:54
"I want to paint realist paintings with oils. Talk me into continuing to paint impressionist watercolors." Use the tools you want to use to create the art that you want to create, don't let momentum or peer pressure dictate style or tool choice.

goamules
19-Oct-2016, 16:42
Horses and mules versus automobiles. Yet some of us, sometimes, still use the four footed animals. Those that gave up on them don't know what they're missing.

Ken Lee
19-Oct-2016, 17:11
:)

156422

Bravo !

brad martin
19-Oct-2016, 17:22
Some digital shooters seem awefully intolerant to the continued presence of film.

I suppose it's because of the digital shooters tendencies to spray and pray, the shallow Photoshop learning curve, and the push a button create a hundred identical prints beauty of modern printers.

I don't know, I love the smell of fixer, a negative on a light table, and the CRAFT of an analog print.

Of late I've found myself missing turntables and LP' s.

Ron789
19-Oct-2016, 17:27
A 8x10" can deliver 500 to 800 perceptual Mpix, a 4x5 can deliver 200 Mpix. No digital stuff is near form that.

Keep on dreaming.... look at this test, back in 2011 (!), comparing 8x10 film with professional digital cameras.... digital is the obvious winner. And that was 5 years ago!
https://luminous-landscape.com/iq180-vs-8x10/

I love shooting film because I enjoy the end-to-end process, especially the darkroom work. It's tangible, it forces me to spend time and thoughts on every single image. Sure, good digital processing requires lots of time and thoughfulness too; I much rather spend hours in the darkroom rather than hours looking at a computer monitor. But if I were a commercial photographer the choice would be obvious... digital.

Two23
19-Oct-2016, 17:45
I shoot film because:

(1) I love old cameras and lenses. (Just bought a Voigtlander Vitessa.) The hundred-plus year old gear gives me a feel of connection with the photograhers of the past, and their life & times.

(2) I shoot 4x5 & 5x7 because I can use lenses from any age on them, and they work just fine. I have a small collection of pre-Civil War lenses and another small collection of lenses 1905-1925 that I just love the image quality they give.

(3) I like the challenge of film, especially 100 yr. old gear. You really have to know what you are doing.

(4) Other photographers see me using a camera from the 1890s and think I'm a genius!


Kent in SD

Corran
19-Oct-2016, 17:48
Not to mention time favors digital, as capabilities increase. I recommend Pere test it himself - and publish his results, if he thinks otherwise.

George Pappas
19-Oct-2016, 19:46
We have such a wealth of options today...I do shoot both film and digital. The OP asked a question why to shoot film and he implied Large Format film in the face of digitals growing image quality. Why do I still shoot large format?

1) Movements - an earlier poster touched on this. View camera movements - both shift and tilt - are best done on a view camera. The tilt/shift lenses for DSLR's are good (I use Canon's) but their range and flexibility are severely limited compared to how much you can do with a view camera. Furthermore, the small range of movements required with small image format DSLR are very hard to control (tilt especially) compared to a 4x5 or 5x7 view camera. How important this is will depend on the kind of subject matter you shoot. I came age learning with the view camera integrated movements into the kind of images I make on a regular basis.

2) Ground Glass. I believe that learning and shooting with a view camera helps improve composition for many types of images. the size of the image on a ground glass (especially a 5x7) helps you see image flaws and compositional weakness much better than a small viewfinder. Additionally, the inverted image helps you better see image architecture better as it separates the "content" of the image from the arrangement of the image. It helps me make stronger pictures.

While digital is great for many things, I find photographing with a view camera to be the perfect kind of setup for many images.

Bernice Loui
19-Oct-2016, 20:27
Film / Digital will always remain different in their image results. Neither is better over the other. To believe one has absolutely superior image quality over the other is pure folly.

This discussion is similar to what is happening in the digital video-film industry. Due to the availability of low cost digital video cameras, there has been a SURGE of interest in vintage optics originally intended for film cameras. These optics have a very different look over their state of the art modern optic designs. Comments from long time film makers and image making folks consistently uphold the differences in image quality between film -vs- digital.

My recent experiences of mirror less digital cameras have been mixed. Digital image sensor are subject to pixel overloading, IR filtering problems, reflections due to light intensity problems (purple fringe-No, this is not due to lens chromatic aberrations alone) , filter stack thickness problems (loss of resolution) and more. Digital is far from being problem free and the ideal image creation tool.

Consider why many cinema rental houses are now offering re-housed vintage lenses (Speed Pancro, Super Baltar, Canon K35 and many others) for rental that has never been available before. These rehoused Kinoptik cine optics. Watch the short film produced on Fuji cinema film using these Kinoptik optics then post process to digital.
https://www.vantagefilm.com/en/news/re-housed-kinoptik-glass-10507

The results are quite different than if the same short film were produced using an ARRI, Panavision, RED, Sony, Canon or similar serious digital video camera using modern uber sharp-uber contrast optics such as offered by Zeiss, Angénieux Optima and others.

Software correction for lens problems add to what is the actual image quality produced by a given modern optic. How will these data-centric image solutions stand the test of time for future generations image historians.

It is interesting to note, many major digital cinema releases are being archived on film as digital is not considered long term archival enough. This was a hard lesson learned after the folks who produced "Toy Story" discovered the image data became corrupt and completely un-retrievable.

Film specially sheet film on a view camera remains special in many ways and it is NOT about "sharpness-contrast" which is IMO beyond overly valued by too many image makers pixel peeping as the final criteria of judgement.

I'll continue producing images on sheet film with vintage and state of the art view camera optics and some on digital, but the passion will always remain with sheet film from a view camera.



Bernice

Bernice Loui
19-Oct-2016, 20:44
8x10 is NOT the definitive film format for image quality. There are a HUGE number of problems with 8x10 sheet film. From film flatness, optics performance, camera precision, aperture required (diffraction limited) and more. The simple minded belief that bigger is always better simply does not apply to reality and the ways of Nature.

SR-71 aero recon film was 5x5 roll film for a host of reasons and the resolution is stunning. What was done to achieve this was technologically amazing.


Bernice



Keep on dreaming.... look at this test, back in 2011 (!), comparing 8x10 film with professional digital cameras.... digital is the obvious winner. And that was 5 years ago!
https://luminous-landscape.com/iq180-vs-8x10/

I love shooting film because I enjoy the end-to-end process, especially the darkroom work. It's tangible, it forces me to spend time and thoughts on every single image. Sure, good digital processing requires lots of time and thoughfulness too; I much rather spend hours in the darkroom rather than hours looking at a computer monitor. But if I were a commercial photographer the choice would be obvious... digital.

brouwerkent
19-Oct-2016, 20:56
Thanks to All of you for the Responses

I like all of you love the Craft. In response to your replies, I have a couple thoughts.

• I do believe the argument for the superiority of film is over. IMHO film is no longer superior...it is noisier, less sharp and is frankly a nuisance to avoid dust and other little imperfections. That said, I do experience a very different experience shooting film ( View Camera on a Tripod). I have to shoot slower...and I have to be really committed to making the exposure because I know I will have lot of work ahead of me to finish the photograph to print stage. But there is certain funky charm to the tonality and noise of film. And shooting film today is so vastly more delightful than 30 years ago...I cannot imagine going back in a darkroom to print....photoshop is my Friend....and the Inkjet Carbon printer is my savior. But shooting Film is something I still love doing...despite the fact I have been questioning WHY.

• I personally have enjoyed the transition over the last couple decades immensely. But if the end result is what matters, I cannot honestly say my view camera shots are superior to some of the digital stuff.

• I must also give full disclosure..I have been shooting digital the same way I might shoot large format film. I am stitching shots done on a tripod...and the end results made digitally make large format film ok but not clearly superior. Yes, I can scan a 4x5 negative at high res...but fact is film is noisy. A quality DSLR with stitched images blows the film out of the water for information and lack of noise and smoothness of tonal transitions.

• The most troubling thing for me is how easily I am able to make visually exciting images with a digital camera. Fluid is the word...or as Cartier Bresson used to say...yes! yes! yes!

• Another acknowledgement...I am kind of a 19th century guy...I love photographers like Watkins and Muybridge. That said, I find that despite my years of experience and abilities...I have been increasing saying more often about my digital stuff when compared to film....yes! yes! yes!

Instead of talking further about the superiority or inferiority of certain media...I suppose I would be more interested in hearing about making exciting photographs.

• There is no doubt that extraordinary photographs are being made in both digital and analogue. The reason I raised this question was not to perpetuate a tired argument about technology...I would like to talk more about the ease and fluidity that digital allows experimentations...leading to a larger quantity of quality photographs. And to the contrary...how and why many film photographs look static and clunky.

• Regarding a comment made about movements of rise and fall as justification of view camera photography....that has changed since Photoshop. Perspective correction is child's play in Photoshop. Sure...if I am using a field camera...I use rise and tilt as appropriate...but I have come to rely on Photoshop...be it film or digital. So IMHO...Rise and Fall of Large Format cameras are not necessary anymore....particularly if the digital image is very high rez.

My post was intended a musing about the process of making great photographs...I presume that is our mutual interest. I find this direction of conversation more interesting...how and why certain photographs work. I unfortunately find more and more of my recent film images stiff and static. In retrospect, I happen to believe the slowness is the issue...I am not taking the chances or risking enough when I shoot film. Digital...no problem...take ten alternatives vs one...etc. Photographers like Cartier Bresson did not instantly know they had THE DECISIVE MOMENT....they made hundreds or thousands of images for the ONE.

So please do not take my question as a criticism of large format....I love it. My stitched digital photographs look like Ultra Large Format contact prints without the back pain. I personally have changed my perspective...where I am struggling to make the film work to look as good as the digital.

I simply long to make a continuing legacy of quality photographs...and I was commenting on my surprise about the significantly more regular successes with digital.

All the best to all on this wonderful forum of Fellow Large Format Adventurers.

Cheers

Phi

Bernice Loui
19-Oct-2016, 22:33
Does stitched digital images impose a significant limitation on the types of images that can be produced?

Noise is a by product of pixel peeping, what actually occurs when a print is made? Yes, there are differences is light sensitivity between film and image sensors. Digital imagers have allowed image making with available light that would not have been possible using film. That is a rather specific case. For images that does not require this specific digital imager's capabilities, it is no longer that simple to believe digital imaging is in every case superior to film.

Cooled digital imagers are the standard for astronomical observation, film has been tossed for that application long ago.


To believe digital is inherent better than films due to perceived resolution, contrast and ... is simply not true as the complexities of all involved is never going to be binary, yes or no specially when artistic expression is involved. Both are excellent creative image making tools, choose them well, apply them well and as needed.



Bernice




Thanks to All of you for the Responses

• I must also give full disclosure..I have been shooting digital the same way I might shoot large format film. I am stitching shots done on a tripod...and the end results made digitally make large format film ok but not clearly superior. Yes, I can scan a 4x5 negative at high res...but fact is film is noisy. A quality DSLR with stitched images blows the film out of the water for information and lack of noise and smoothness of tonal transitions.

Phi

Jody_S
19-Oct-2016, 22:45
Easy. I shoot digital when I know I have to get it right, need to produce actual images of the best possible quality, need to produce a large number of images in a short time, have to work with difficult conditions where I need the instant feedback, want to experiment with lighting or some other factor without worrying about cost per shot, need to share the images quickly, basically whenever I need to produce quality photographs with time or other constraints. Digital is a tool for producing photographs with however much or little care and technique as I wish to invest in the process.

I shoot large format or other film cameras when I feel like having fun, want to put on a show (I consider lf with antique gear to be performance art), want to de-stress and spend a pleasant afternoon in my swamp, want to justify buying yet another antique lens, etc. LF with film is a craft, a process, a hobby.

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 03:09
8x10 is NOT the definitive film format for image quality. There are a HUGE number of problems with 8x10 sheet film. From film flatness, optics performance, camera precision, aperture required (diffraction limited) and more. The simple minded belief that bigger is always better simply does not apply to reality and the ways of Nature.

SR-71 aero recon film was 5x5 roll film for a host of reasons and the resolution is stunning. What was done to achieve this was technologically amazing.


Bernice

Hello Bernice

A lens SR-71 used is the 200 pounds PERKIN ELMER 36" F/4.0... so that's another war.

It depends on film/sensor resolution, focal, and particular lens performance. With say TMX and Sironar-S, same framing, say for example 150mm for 4x5" and 300mm for 8x10" it hapens than the 8x10" has way more resolving power, as by far the 150mm has not twice the lp/mm that the 300mm has. Perhaps it can be some 65 vs 55 lp/mm.

If we shot 4x5" with 360mm probably we won't have a 720mm glass with same performance level for 8x10. Perhaps it can ve 55 vs 38, so technical resolving power improvement will be lower.

If one has problems with flatness there are easy solutions. One I've used is to cut off 4mm of the sheet, then it is adhered to the holder with plain 3M Re Mount Spray. I used also that trick to shot 9x12cm sheets in 4x5" holders.

With aerial film and no limit in glass cost... yes... Bar cameras, long focal, were 5" for SR-71, U-2, and Apollo moon maps, still 9" were also used with aerial cameras, perhaps for lower altitude/focal it was better.

http://ambivalentengineer.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/optical-bar-cameras.html

Anyway I guess that 4x5 captures way beyond than a human eye can see, if we shot 5x7 and up it is because defocus is different for the same framing, because contact print, or because we enjoy it.

An 8x10 slide is also "nice"...

Regards,
Pere

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 03:35
Thanks to All of you for the Responses


• I do believe the argument for the superiority of film is over. IMHO film is no longer superior...it is noisier, less sharp and is frankly a nuisance to avoid


It depends on conditions, format, and what you want.

Of course 135 film was obsolete vs DSLRs by 2005, in practical resolution power terms vs convenience. Still one can use special ADOX CMS 20 that resolves 700 Lp/mm (microfilm monodisperse) and it exceeds any glass, and any sensor. Nikon D810 has 7360 pix / 36mm / 2 = 102 line pairs per mm. And pixels are of different colors. Anyway not many shots are as mechanically static enough to see a difference. Even TMX resolves beyond 100 lp/mm...


But nothing we can buy will resolve more than a 8x10 film camera, even it beats down $40k digital MF backs. But well, our Full HD monitors/TVs have 2 Megapixels, 4k gear has 8...

Today shooting film is not a matter of image quality. Still film and digital have different aesthetic capabilities, that can be valued or not.

But technically the thing is not easy. Right now Disney/Lucasfilm are shooting StarWars 8 with film, Kodak Vision 3. This is a 200 million production, expected with $2 billion box office income, plus some $3 billion in merchandising, total $5Bn.

¿Why?

aluncrockford
20-Oct-2016, 03:38
Having worked only with 10x8 E6 film commercially until the advent of the phase one P45, I am somewhat surprised to be told that 10x8 is a little bit rubbish, this has come as a surprise not only to me but I suspect to all the other misguided individuals who continue with this less than good format. As a matter of interest only yesterday I shot my first studio job on 10x8 for years, and goodness me the quality is utterly sublime, how on earth the photographic community allowed itself to be talked into the commercial superiority of digital escapes me, at times it feels like we allowed cost and time to trump quality and craft .



8x10 is NOT the definitive film format for image quality. There are a HUGE number of problems with 8x10 sheet film. From film flatness, optics performance, camera precision, aperture required (diffraction limited) and more. The simple minded belief that bigger is always better simply does not apply to reality and the ways of Nature.

SR-71 aero recon film was 5x5 roll film for a host of reasons and the resolution is stunning. What was done to achieve this was technologically amazing.


Bernice

Randy
20-Oct-2016, 04:35
...Instead of talking further about the superiority or inferiority of certain media...I suppose I would be more interested in hearing about making exciting photographs.
• There is no doubt that extraordinary photographs are being made in both digital and analogue.In my small local photography club of about 6-8 active members, I am the only one still shooting film. Many of the members entered some of our work in two recent local art exhibitions. Again, mine were the only film images entered in the photography category. The rest were large (8X10 or much larger), obviously manipulated inkjet prints. In the first exhibition I won 2nd place in the photography category, in the second exhibition I won 1st place in the photography category. Both of my winning entries were hand-coated cyanotypes contact printed from 4X5 negatives made with a mid 1940's Graflex RB Series D - one with a meniscus lens, the other with (the original to the camera) 7.5" Kodak Anastigmat.

I admit there were some stunning digital prints on display. There were a few that were "exciting" to me. I know in my early days as a photographer I loved looking at large prints. I made many 11X14 prints in the darkroom, and the occasional 16X20. But now I am excited over a 2 1/4" square cyanotype print displayed on a 5" miniature easel. I can't really explain it.

Bruce Watson
20-Oct-2016, 04:52
In retrospect, I happen to believe the slowness is the issue...I am not taking the chances or risking enough when I shoot film. Digital...no problem...take ten alternatives vs one...etc. Photographers like Cartier Bresson did not instantly know they had THE DECISIVE MOMENT....they made hundreds or thousands of images for the ONE.

Craft vs. spray-'n-pray.

Personally, I think working an image to the point of a single exposure is way more risky than spray-'n-pray. And way more rewarding. There's something about working with purpose toward a goal, vs. seeing a bit of action, reacting to it, then analyzing afterword, that I find rewarding. Knowing what you want is a better plan than just hoping for the best.

Where you see a problem in the slowness and deliberateness of LF, I see the entire point of LF. The point is to get away from the spray-'n-pray mindset. The point is to think before you shoot. Not after. Not during. Before.

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 04:53
Keep on dreaming.... look at this test, back in 2011 (!), comparing 8x10 film with professional digital cameras.... digital is the obvious winner. And that was 5 years ago!
https://luminous-landscape.com/iq180-vs-8x10/

I love shooting film because I enjoy the end-to-end process, especially the darkroom work. It's tangible, it forces me to spend time and thoughts on every single image. Sure, good digital processing requires lots of time and thoughfulness too; I much rather spend hours in the darkroom rather than hours looking at a computer monitor. But if I were a commercial photographer the choice would be obvious... digital.


Hello Ron,

That test is way wrong.

IQ180 is 80 MPix, and only 53.9x40.4 mm format, it has 2,5x the surface of 135, while the 8x10" is some x36 the 135 (36x24mm) surface.

This is a 8x10" image I've personally shot with HP5+, that may render less than half of "pixels" than TMX is able.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/24852468435/in/dateposted-public/

Now I invite you to see that crop, scanned at 1200dpi only, and jpeg compressed:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/24534566679/in/dateposted-public/

So when I saw that test, time ago, it made me laugh a lot.


And more, a contact copy of that 8x10 sheet on RC paper shows way more detail when inspected with a 30x magnifier than it was in the scan. In the negative, with a 60x microscope even the threads of the bolts of the bell are perceived.

I was a not bad lens,nor a bad film, but it could be a Sironar-S with TMX, or CMS 20.

The clock was at 8 stops from the stairs, that I artistically obscured in PS.


You can do that with digital also: take a D810/300mm_prime with an astro-track, make some overlaping 36 shots, each shot with HDR combination of 3 shots, stitch all in PS.


A 40k digital back with multi-shot may match some 4x5 setups, if the 4x5 has a very good lens, and/or a low res film, then 4x5 is way better than the MF back.

Anyway one can use a scanning back in the view camera, this is another game...


Resolution power is overstated, as soon as 1910 optical engineers were designing soft focus lenses because those wooden cameras had too much sharpness for portrait.
I sexually desire an Universal Heliar 36cm :)


So LF comunity talk little about resolution power (and this is too much) because what wooden cameras do is another thing: magic.


To me a MF digital back has the only difference over FF-DSLRs that it uses longer lenses for same framing, giving a different look. A Nikon D810 (or 5D Mk IV) has pixels in excess for any commercial application one can imagine, and it has killer zooms, and all at fraction of the cost. Color rendering is mostly the same, nothing one cannot match with Perfectly Clear paste.

Regards
Pere

Corran
20-Oct-2016, 05:46
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/24852468435/in/dateposted-public/

Now I invite you to see that crop, scanned at 1200dpi only, and jpeg compressed:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/24534566679/in/dateposted-public/


What you've proven here is mostly how poor the Epson V700 is for scanning (as you also admit).

Rather than mention square inches of film vs. sensors (irrelevant), I still would suggest actually shooting a 4x5 or 8x10 and digital high-megapixel camera side-by-side and getting a good scan of the film and then actually compare, rather than showing one shot from one camera and saying it "has so much resolution" but which is not illustrated at all.

Randy Moe
20-Oct-2016, 06:51
Why not compare print to print?

8x10 film contact to maximum DSLR 8x10 print.

Then scan those 2 and post here.

I can't do that, so I won't.

DrTang
20-Oct-2016, 07:07
Horses and mules versus automobiles. Yet some of us, sometimes, still use the four footed animals. Those that gave up on them don't know what they're missing.

flies?

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 07:22
What you've proven here is mostly how poor the Epson V700 is for scanning (as you also admit).

Rather than mention square inches of film vs. sensors (irrelevant), I still would suggest actually shooting a 4x5 or 8x10 and digital high-megapixel camera side-by-side and getting a good scan of the film and then actually compare, rather than showing one shot from one camera and saying it "has so much resolution" but which is not illustrated at all.

Epson V750 renders true 2300 to 2800 dpi, depending to the axis, and format, this can be checked with a USAF 1951 glass slide. Here you can see tests made by a museum http://archivehistory.jeksite.org/chapters/appendixc.htm


Sensor size Irrelevant ?? No at all!!! Why Phase One uses an oversize sensor ?? To make it more expensive ??

Obviously sensor size has critical importance in resolving power, as optics have physical limits related to the light wave length, lens design and manufacturing.

Let me compare a bit:

Just imagine than we have a LF lens that resolves 65 Lp/mm on film over 10" wide, then it can resolve 65*10*25.4 = 16510 line pairs


Then we have an IQ280 back, today this is $23000. It has 10280 pixels wide, this is 5140 line pairs, (and this is of all colors, half will be green in the row (bayer)).


Then... how good a lens has to be to match the IQ280 sensor? 5140pairs/53.9mm = 95.3 LP/mm at least, but if the lens and sensor has same Lp/mm final result is lower, so the the lens perhaps should deliver some 150 Lp/mm to deliver 1/9 of the resolving power (perceptual pixels) a 8x10 wood camera can deliver with TMX and an Apo-Sironar-S. Still with a very bad lens/film a 8x10 can deliver 2x more "pixels" than a Phase One.

Then it happens that the Phase One has little ISO performance VS D810 / 5D Mark IV. It lacks fine 2.8 killer zooms and nice VR. In practice, worse... because lower technology related to lower production run.


Anyway LF photography is not about resolution power, this is something way irrelevant because LF enjoys exceeding "pixels" since half a century ago, at least.

LF has other capabilities related to movements, format size and film, this delivers a unique look. One may value it or not...

And then there is the analog crafting joy... also we can value it or not.

Thad Gerheim
20-Oct-2016, 07:30
Last spring I was in a gallery on main street in Park City UT that had about twenty large photos, around 40x50, some taken with the IQ180 and some were from drum scans of 4x5 film. They were labeled which camera was used. While standing back about ten feet from each photo, I guessed which camera was used and was right on all of them, except one. There is a different look that is hard to explain - a sharp, but smooth tonal gradation that I find pleasing in my mind.
Even if there wasn't a difference, I'd still shoot film. Having built two of my own homes, I like the process, challenge and satisfaction involved in creating custom work.

Maybe, someone in Utah could give us more information on that gallery. I forgot the name.

Corran
20-Oct-2016, 07:38
Epson V750 renders true 2300 to 2800 dpi, depending to the axis, and format, this can be checked with a USAF 1951 glass slide. Here you can see tests made by a museum http://archivehistory.jeksite.org/chapters/appendixc.htm

Yes, and a good scanner will resolve triple that. You even admit to the Epson not being sharp on your Flickr photo, as scanned on the glass.


Sensor size Irrelevant ?? No at all!!! Why Phase One uses an oversize sensor ?? To make it more expensive ??

I didn't say that. I said sensor size vs. film size is irrelevant. Just because the 8x10 film is much larger than any digital sensor available doesn't mean it's better in resolution.

Anyway, I find your technical summaries to be largely pointless (and flawed) as I can just look at the explicit test I did, 4x5 chrome vs. Nikon D800, and they look virtually identical at maximum view size (36mp image rezzed up to match a 3000 DPI scan of the 4x5, done on a better scanner than the Epson). Extrapolating from there, 8x10 will be better but the high rez MF backs will match or best it. So that's why I say, do a test, and see for yourself. Or do what Randy says above. I don't have the darkroom setup now, nor do I have time to bother when I've already satisfied my curiosity.

LF resolution is great. Digital can still easily beat it, but who cares? Pretty much no one in this thread is specifically holding up LF as their tool of choice due to resolution requirements. Not to mention typical working apertures of f/22-64 automatically equalize things quite a bit.

bob carnie
20-Oct-2016, 07:46
After the last week of my Drobo drive failures I am very happy with my storage capabilities of large format film.

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 07:53
Last spring I was in a gallery on main street in Park City UT that had about twenty large photos, around 40x50, some taken with the IQ180 and some were from drum scans of 4x5 film. They were labeled which camera was used. While standing back about ten feet from each photo, I guessed which camera was used and was right on all of them, except one. There is a different look that is hard to explain - a sharp, but smooth tonal gradation that I find pleasing in my mind.
Even if there wasn't a difference, I'd still shoot film. Having built two of my own homes, I like the process, challenge and satisfaction involved in creating custom work.

Maybe, someone in Utah could give us more information on that gallery. I forgot the name.


Both IQ180 and 4x5 are able to record more optical information than a human eye can see, even a good today's prosumer DSLR is at the edge of that.

But defocus do not work the same, and film works organic like, I think this is because grain size formulation and the way developer acts. In the eye also chemicals are depleted sometimes as with stand film development. After a century industrial-commercial feedback has evolved film factors to what we love.

Why the hell is Disney/Lucasfilm shooting StarWars 8 (Dec 2017) with film ? Can't they afford the best digital camera in the market ?

This is an interesting debate !

Randy Moe
20-Oct-2016, 08:02
After the last week of my Drobo drive failures I am very happy with my storage capabilities of large format film.

Exactly!

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 08:23
Yes, and a good scanner will resolve triple that. You even admit to the Epson not being sharp on your Flickr photo, as scanned on the glass.

With that bad scan I just wanted to point that this test
https://luminous-landscape.com/iq180-vs-8x10/
is way flawed, because the crop of the bell and its bolts, being a bad scan, makes evident what 8x10 can actually deliver.





I didn't say that. I said sensor size vs. film size is irrelevant. Just because the 8x10 film is much larger than any digital sensor available doesn't mean it's better in resolution.


Sensor size vs film size is completely relevant.

As I calculated in #45 IQ 280 has 5140 line pairs wide, (pixel pairs), in practice combined with lens it may depict some 3800 line pairs in a row.

It is very well stated that a TMX sheet can depict 65 Lp/mm on film with a good glass (http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html) and this is 16510 line pairs in a 8x10" row.

If we go to the pixels, take the ratio and calculate the square.


So it's math, pure clean math.


I received 2 weeks ago a cheap USAF 1951 glass slide, from china, not highest quality but perfect for my tests.

Now I'm evaluating my LF lenses, films, paper, contact print of the slide, enlarging the slide, and DLSRs.

I know very well that resolving power is not the most important by far, but I want to evaluate my gear.

Corran
20-Oct-2016, 08:29
Sorry but your image doesn't negate the other test. It just doesn't.

And yes I know how to calculate lp/mm and I also know that isn't the "whole picture" so to speak. Digital is perfectly clean and with proper resampling (uprezzing) and processing can look as good, or better, than film equaling the same number of "lp/mm" or having more lp/mm.

Math is great. But you are looking at one side of the multi-faceted issue that is resolution. You can talk about math till the cows come home but until you have a reasonable test and comparison that explicitly disproves the LL article you are just talking, and missing the forest for the trees. Speaking of which, I'm going to bow out of this discussion as I think I'm talking to a wall and go climb a mountain.

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 09:05
Sorry but your image doesn't negate the other test. It just doesn't.

And yes I know how to calculate lp/mm and I also know that isn't the "whole picture" so to speak. Digital is perfectly clean and with proper resampling (uprezzing) and processing can look as good, or better, than film equaling the same number of "lp/mm" or having more lp/mm.

Math is great. But you are looking at one side of the multi-faceted issue that is resolution. You can talk about math till the cows come home but until you have a reasonable test and comparison that explicitly disproves the LL article you are just talking, and missing the forest for the trees. Speaking of which, I'm going to bow out of this discussion as I think I'm talking to a wall and go climb a mountain.


Photography has a lot of interpretations, but reading traffic plate numbers is something close to what a USAF 1951 glass slide is. :)

There are a lot of tests there of cameras, scanners, etc some are sponsored by manufacturers or representatives. I trust what I measure, and technical facts.

By now I now the fact that my own lenses (not the best, 300 Sironar-N, not S) are able to record 52 LP/mm (f/11) and this is 13208 line pairs in a row. To me this is a fact.

Also I know from datasheet that IQ 280 has 5140 line pairs wide. This is another fact. So I don't tink it can go beyond 3800 pairs with a very expensive lens

I'll never be able to test an IQ280, out of budget... but knowing the facts, I don't feel such a need.

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 09:10
Sorry but your image doesn't negate the other test. It just doesn't.




Here there is a serious test, in direct response to the test you mention:

https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12/big-camera-comparison/

So it is made clear how flawed this test is: http://luminous-landscape.com/iq180-vs-8x10/


I guess that Mr Michael Reichmann may had a problem in his camera, perhaps GG to film plane had a missmatch :)

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 09:18
100% crop

Provia 8x10

156443

http://static.timparkin.co.uk/static/tmp/cameratest-2/studio-nikonlens/studio-nikonlens_0000_8x10%20Provia.jpg


IQ 180


156444

http://static.timparkin.co.uk/static/tmp/cameratest-2/studio-nikonlens/studio-nikonlens_0001_IQ180%20Alpa%201s.jpg




This is the Provia reality, with TMX or CMS the thing can go way further.


Anyway that resolving power debate has little importance, and no importance at all to move from film to digital or the counter, IMHO.

At painful $23000 current IQ280 works nice. I guess some proffessionals may appreciate it.


PD: Randy, I hope now it can be seen...

Randy Moe
20-Oct-2016, 09:44
Photos not accessable

adelorenzo
20-Oct-2016, 10:07
I'm not going to wade into the technical debates but I know that MY photos would be of way higher quality if I shot with a digital camera. Sharper, better color, way fewer constraints on shooting, not to mention that I'd shoot a lot more so I'd have more to choose from when editing.

I shoot film because I enjoy the process and the results, inferior as they are, make me happy. Not to mention that I'm stubborn. :D

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 10:56
I'm not going to wade into the technical debates but I know that MY photos would be of way higher quality if I shot with a digital camera. Sharper, better color, way fewer constraints on shooting, not to mention that I'd shoot a lot more so I'd have more to choose from when editing.

I shoot film because I enjoy the process and the results, inferior as they are, make me happy. Not to mention that I'm stubborn. :D

Let me I disagree, completely. The quality of the photos of any photograper do not depends on if he shots film or digital, IMHO it depends on how he uses digital or film. Today both mediums allow for extreme technical quality, and artistic quality it is not constrained by the tool.

I've been curious about the reason why in 2016 Disney/Lucasfilm is favouring film shooting over top notch digital gear... It is an interesting matter. And this is not about religion, it is about big money, really big money. There are strong technical facts related to photographic results there... Don't doubt it !!! ;)

Drew Wiley
20-Oct-2016, 11:10
I not only love the whole process or darkroom workflow of film, but have yet to encounter a digital print that can even technically match a seriously done large
format optical print - and I do know some exceptional good and superbly equipped digital printmakers, with multi-million-dollars investments in their gear. If that path appeals to you, fine. In many cases it is easier, in some ways harder. For example, I personally enjoy sitting on my butt manipuating computerized images,
so find it a tedious chore. I prefer tactile craft, relaxing to me. Either way, whatever you are most proficient at is what counts. Mere number crunching can be
counterproductive. There are just so, so many variables either way, and unless you're ironed out each of them, step by step, you don't even have a level playing
field to begin with... as if all these mere stats meant anything anyway. I judge the pudding by the taste.

Alan Gales
20-Oct-2016, 11:51
I used to shoot a lot of sports with Nikon DSLR's. My daughter pitched fast pitch softball at the select level plus high school and a little college. I also helped manage a select team for three years and was also the unofficial team photographer. Digital rules for sports photography and yes I have shot sports with 35mm film before digital.

I mostly shoot digital. I now own a Fujifilm X100s. It's great for family snap shots and Ebay auctions. I have also used it for group portraits outdoors. That little flash works great for fill with the leaf shutter lens. I love the thing.

That said, for pure fun I shoot film. I really enjoy my 8x10 camera. It puts a smile on my face just pulling it out of the bag. I also recently purchased a Mamiya C220f because I missed medium format film. Then I have my 35mm Stereo Realist which is just enjoyable to shoot and then see my images in a Stereo Realist viewer. It reminds me of my Viewmaster when I was a kid except now I take the photos. :)

My advice is to shoot whatever you like. It's all good to me.

Drew Wiley
20-Oct-2016, 12:20
Yup. These alleged number-crunching contests attempting to make it all objective do just the opposite. Reminds me of Medieval Scholastics arguing about how many angels can stand on the head of a pin.

Peter De Smidt
20-Oct-2016, 13:14
Yup. These alleged number-crunching contests attempting to make it all objective do just the opposite. Reminds me of Medieval Scholastics arguing about how many angels can stand on the head of a pin.

Oh no! I agree with Drew. I must be coming down with something....;)

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 13:23
Yup. These alleged number-crunching contests attempting to make it all objective do just the opposite. Reminds me of Medieval Scholastics arguing about how many angels can stand on the head of a pin.

You are right, when information is used in religious terms debate is sterile.

Anyway knowing the technical facts of things is good, if it does not steal too much time to creation.

Anyway, I reiterate, I find really interesting what are the true technical differences of digital vs film. I'm not speaking at all about that nasty debate it happened a couple of years ago... this was another debate...

Specially I like to compare it to what happens in cinematography, because that is a powerful business, with incredible proffessionals that have no budged limit

What I try to learn (or figure) is why Michael Bay shot some scenes digital and some with film for the same movie, or why James Bond returned to film when production moved to digital the previous time, or what advantage find Disney in shooting the star wars saga in film again... What Speilberg (Jusrasic World) and Tarantino value of film shooting, what Mission Impossible 5 found with it...

I thing this is a very interesting arena... this is not LF, but perhaps it can give us a clue about it happens that we still shot film :)

Or at least it can help to explain others what is this...

Drew Wiley
20-Oct-2016, 15:42
I frequently drive past the new quarter-billion-dollar Pacific Film Archive building up by the UC campus, which also houses their equivalent of an art museum now, plus serves wine instead of soda, and maybe Brie cheese instead of popcorn. I haven't taken membership, but it is interesting to note what they're showing. An awful lot of alternative choices - everything from DLSR videos to lots of vintage as well as current true film. In the latter category there's a dilapidated theater around the corner that shows the same kind of thing, and probably still serves true popcorn. UC students gravitate toward weird geeky films, as well as to vintage black and white Hollywood classics. And creative people always have and always will want their own special look. Once you do mandate the correct way to do it, it just becomes another conspicuous law to be broken, in the eyes of aspiring artists. There will always be watercolor, and there will always be oil painting, so to speak.

unityofsaints
20-Oct-2016, 17:16
Last spring I was in a gallery on main street in Park City UT that had about twenty large photos, around 40x50, some taken with the IQ180 and some were from drum scans of 4x5 film. They were labeled which camera was used. While standing back about ten feet from each photo, I guessed which camera was used and was right on all of them, except one. There is a different look that is hard to explain - a sharp, but smooth tonal gradation that I find pleasing in my mind.
Even if there wasn't a difference, I'd still shoot film. Having built two of my own homes, I like the process, challenge and satisfaction involved in creating custom work.

Maybe, someone in Utah could give us more information on that gallery. I forgot the name.

Out of curiosity, did you mistake an IQ180 print for 4x5" or vice-versa?

Corran
20-Oct-2016, 17:59
https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12/big-camera-comparison/)

Just one final comment - it's just as likely this test is flawed in some way, giving an advantage to film, compared to the LL article. I skimmed over things but one thing that jumped out at me is that the sharpest 8x10 shot was at f/16 or so. Well yeah, of course 8x10 will have more resolution at wider apertures when not fighting diffraction. This is why theoretical lp/mm is irrelevant - at common shooting apertures 3-5 stops lower due to DOF concerns in many situations, your resolution suffers. I can't comment on the LL test as it's behind a paywall these days, apparently.

Not to mention the 8x10 system is pretty much immutable - likely no new, improved films are going to get made, or new lenses, etc., while digital will keep improving. Since there's already a new IQ model out apparently, this test is already out of date and now irrelevant no matter how you slice it. Digital in the last few years has really exploded in terms of resolution and abilities, and it just keeps getting better. Which brings us right 'round to the original point I made way back in post #3 I think - does it matter?

I've done the appropriate testing for myself in terms of my 36mp DSLR and 4x5. I still recommend you do the same and see what you get.


I'll never be able to test an IQ280, out of budget... but knowing the facts, I don't feel such a need.

Rent it.

Now off to develop a bunch of film I shot today.

Steve Sherman
20-Oct-2016, 18:06
I know this has probably been discussed over and over again...but the advantages of large format strike me to be questionable at this point. I have used digital since the beginning and have been impressed with the ease, but always took pride in shooting film for serious work. I have been photographing for 50 years and have in the past earned a fine living as a commercial photographer. I love the avocation and am committed to making photographs until I breathe my last breath.

Perhaps it is due to some life changes...getting older... I am currently finding film (4x5 and 5x7) to offer diminishing returns. I would love to hear some response to my thinking...as follows.

• Though I like to think of my work as artistic, photographs are all about information or content. Clarity is something I have always valued. I am currently torn as to why I continue to shoot film because the digital stuff is cleaner, clearer and has loads more information and tonality. Despite the claims I read about film is superior...I have to question this thinking as of 2016.

• I have been shocked how amazing some of the digital output can be and how easy it is too achieve very acceptable results. It strikes me that all the tools like Photoshop are optimized for digital images... When I make a fine film image and take the time ( a lot of time) to scan and carefully edit...when compared to digital....the film scans are ok but not a clean or informational as digital.

Are we film addicts delusional??? Are the results any better than digital...I have my doubts now. Certainly not from a technical perspective. Film cannot resolve what a quality dslr can resolve at this point. So what is the point...other than the pleasure of craft and a different way of working???

Here are some points that should be considered for digital.

• Because it is faster to shoot, the results can be more fluid and dynamic. Frankly, some of my view camera stuff looks stiff, static and clunky. Even though I shoot most of my digital on a tripod, I find I make many more variations and frequently find the results more engaging.

I suppose I am looking for justification to leave my film days behind me. I appreciate those who love the craft...I do as well. But on the assumption that the "print" is the goal...I cannot find much justification in film anymore. As an aside...I left analogue printing behind over 10 years ago and have not looked back. I have been reluctant to abandon film...but I now have doubts. Perhaps the technology has finally exceeded my wildest expectations???

I would appreciate any input on this. I love this stuff...and would happily keep all my film stuff if I felt I was making superior photographs. I cannot see that anymore.

Wondering why I still shoot film in 2016.

Cheers

Phil
Los Gatos, CA


I would offer, if you have to ask that question I doubt very much you've seen well designed negatives and well crafted Silver Gelatin prints from the latest MC papers.

2 cents

Greg Y
20-Oct-2016, 18:54
It is logical for someone starting out in photography to go digital. However, I have the film equipment I used decades ago. With experience it does even better today than long ago. It is paid for, while the ever evolving digital world can be expensive. On my wall is a digital print of the White House Ruins in the Canyon de Chelly shot by Timothy O'Sullivan in 1873 with the relatively primitive equipment of the day. Ansel Adams photographed the same subject from the same position almost 70 decades later. I prefer O'Sullivan's capture. With the labor involved in wet plate photography, O'Sullivan made the best of his opportunity. It is the photographer, not his tools, that makes the photograph.

70 x10 = 700 yrs....?

Bernice Loui
20-Oct-2016, 20:49
"My resolution numbers up there are slightly inflated. The film used could only eke out 130 lp/mm when given the maximum possible amount of contrast, such as would be seen at a shadow line. For finding something like paint on a road they were about half that. Pixellated sensors have a much more drastic cliff, of course. So the e.g. KH-9 resolution above might be compared to anything like a 20 to 30 gigapixel camera today. I'll note that I don't have any of those to suggest."

As quoted from that blog page. Except that is not the only aero recon optic capable of over 100 LPM.

156466

156465


This Paxar 3" f4.5 wide angle made by Pacific Optical was used with 5x5 aero recon roll film. Several manufactures made these including Goerz, Zeiss and Viewlex.

The over grown Perkin Elmer 36" f4 used in the bar camera was not only one, it just happened to be one of the many cameras used on the SR71.

Don't start a "war" with me, you really really do not want to do or attempt this, Pete. Any war would be totally and utterly un-productive and bad in every way.


Bernice




Hello Bernice

A lens SR-71 used is the 200 pounds PERKIN ELMER 36" F/4.0... so that's another war.

It depends on film/sensor resolution, focal, and particular lens performance. With say TMX and Sironar-S, same framing, say for example 150mm for 4x5" and 300mm for 8x10" it hapens than the 8x10" has way more resolving power, as by far the 150mm has not twice the lp/mm that the 300mm has. Perhaps it can be some 65 vs 55 lp/mm.

If we shot 4x5" with 360mm probably we won't have a 720mm glass with same performance level for 8x10. Perhaps it can ve 55 vs 38, so technical resolving power improvement will be lower.

If one has problems with flatness there are easy solutions. One I've used is to cut off 4mm of the sheet, then it is adhered to the holder with plain 3M Re Mount Spray. I used also that trick to shot 9x12cm sheets in 4x5" holders.

With aerial film and no limit in glass cost... yes... Bar cameras, long focal, were 5" for SR-71, U-2, and Apollo moon maps, still 9" were also used with aerial cameras, perhaps for lower altitude/focal it was better.

http://ambivalentengineer.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/optical-bar-cameras.html

Anyway I guess that 4x5 captures way beyond than a human eye can see, if we shot 5x7 and up it is because defocus is different for the same framing, because contact print, or because we enjoy it.

An 8x10 slide is also "nice"...

Regards,
Pere

Bill Burk
20-Oct-2016, 21:42
Pere Casals,

I appreciate your enthusiasm for film.

These random thoughts of what it means to me went through my mind this afternoon as I reflected on your thoughts...

Photography is a relatively new medium in the grand scheme of things. When first introduced, we had mostly black and white, then later came color and now digital.

Each new media generally did not make the predecessor invalid. (Kodachrome is a special case. If you have some, shoot three frames through successive color separation filters, develop as black and white and recombine in Photoshop then brag that you can shoot and develop Kodachrome in color).

So black and white film photography, and optical printing onto silver gelatin paper... this is what I like doing. I consider it my medium of choice.

For me, film photography is about constant quality. When I define photography this way, photography rewards me for the attention I pay to film selection and testing, camera maintenance, exposure technique, processing controls, paper selection, printing controls and print processing and finishing.

Somewhere in there is taking the picture... but that can be done with any kind of camera.

Thad Gerheim
20-Oct-2016, 21:44
Out of curiosity, did you mistake an IQ180 print for 4x5" or vice-versa?

I mistook an IQ 180 for a 4"x5" film shot. It was a shot of redwood trees, and it had very good intricate detail and sharpness. I wondered if that one was mistakingly labeled:)

Pere Casals
20-Oct-2016, 21:53
Just one final comment - it's just as likely this test is flawed in some way, giving an advantage to film, compared to the LL article. I skimmed over things but one thing that jumped out at me is that the sharpest 8x10 shot was at f/16 or so. Well yeah, of course 8x10 will have more resolution at wider apertures when not fighting diffraction. This is why theoretical lp/mm is irrelevant - at common shooting apertures 3-5 stops lower due to DOF concerns in many situations, your resolution suffers. I can't comment on the LL test as it's behind a paywall these days, apparently.


At f/22 not much is lost from /16 as tests indicate, a viewer observes some image quality only percetual if pixels are 2x, and beyond 60 perceptual MPix viewer cannot see more, just we have a limited number of sensor in our retina.

Then a 4k Tv/monitor has 8MPix. Even my Sony Xperia Z2 mobile fulfills that. And the D610 I'm using exceeds that by a wide margin. Even enlarging 2m a DSLR shot still renders decently.

If you look those tests you need to enlarge 4m and see it at reading distance to observe that detail.

What I say is that such resolutions are an overkill, no need to compare, but if we are curious and anyway we want to compare still a 60 years old CAMBO with a 1978 lens beats down a $23k top notch digital system in terms of optical performance. Of course Digital is convenient, you can shot 1000 shots in an afternoon for free... after investing in that gear.

I do not shot LF because resolution power. I shot it because movements vs narrow DOF 8x10 delivers for portrait, if I want more DOF I shot 4x5 or MF... Also to me is very important spectral signature, Portra, Ektar, Provia, Velvia have unique spectral signatures (conversion from a continous SPD to 3 rgb values) that cannot be matched later with PS. With digital I feel tied to the on pixel dyes, that are generalist, not good for portrait, not good for landscape.

Not much people use film today, these is good because I can peek excelent glass with my limited amateur budged. Not only inmutable, every year some film disapears and little is new, no problem, if all disapears we'll shot dry plate...



Just one final comment - it's just as likely this test is flawed in some way, giving an advantage to film, compared to the LL article. I skimmed over things but one thing that
Not to mention the 8x10 system is pretty much immutable - likely no new, improved films are going to get made, or new lenses, etc., while digital will keep improving. Since there's already a new IQ model out apparently, this test is already out of date and now irrelevant no matter how you slice it. Digital in the last few years has really exploded in terms of resolution and abilities, and it just keeps getting better. Which brings us right 'round to the original point I made way back in post #3 I think - does it matter?


With a bare consumer DSLR I can beat 8x10 (and IQ 180) in landscape, I can stitch 100 shots in PS, no viewer will realize it. Film MF exceeds the needs about resolving power (IMHO), LF offers a lot of additional aesthetical tools, first if the particular DOF look. The 800 "MPix" overkill of a 8x10 comes as a bonus...

But.... what about a 8x10 velvia in a light box ? underexposed, with some 5000 cd/m2 under... what about that !





Rent it.

Now off to develop a bunch of film I shot today.

I would be a nice experience, but I think in my remote location is not easy...

IQ280 is an amazing device, also it has some image quality advantage in front of a D810, not much, but this is irrelevant for most of practical applications, simply because today's devices have resolving power in excess.

The edge I see for IQ280 is not "sharpness" but just the counter: defocus. Larger sensor uses a longer focal for the same framming, so DOF has the nature of MF cameras. Then we can use sweet ancient glasses, like Pentax-Takumar 105mm 2.8, with incredible Bokeh that most or today's perfect lp/mm based glasses lack.

Drew Wiley
21-Oct-2016, 12:05
Big deal. Someone could just come along, take 100 shots on real 8x10 film, then scan and stitch them all together. Or if you have the budget, you can precisely
synchronize a whole array of giant telescopes over a square mile and stitch that, like they do in the Atacacma Desert. Now that's what I call large format! As
far as I'm concerned, stitching has always been a job for sweatshops. I'd rather spend that time outdoors taking shots that don't need to be stitched. Hypothetical -this/hypothetical-that. Nobody on the planet can beat even 4x5 film with any kind of 35mm DLSR, maybe not even 6x9. That's marketing make-believe. But you have hit a sensitive nerve of accurate hue reproduction, esp warm neutrals - it might be hell with film if you're as fussy as I am, but damn near impossible digitally. Easy with a basic assortment of watercolor pigments and a little brush. So technology seems to be going the wrong direction. But if you actually enjoy crunching numbers, that's fine. I don't. Reminds me of all these MBA bean-counters who drive companies out of business.

tgtaylor
21-Oct-2016, 13:21
From a May, 2007 study:

How much information can be captured on one frame of 35mm color negative film? How does
that compare with the best digital image capture systems? We put those and other related
questions to Nestor Rodriguez, senior principal scientist for the Kodak Entertainment Imaging
division.
Question: How much image information can be captured and stored on a single frame of 35mm
color negative film and how does that compare to today’s best digital cameras?
Color negative layers before development
Answer: A single frame of color film scanned at 4K by 3K resolution with
10-bit depth contains about 50 megabytes of data. However, there is
actually a lot more information than that on each frame of 35mm film.
We have conducted tests where we have scanned film at 6K by 4K
resolution at 10-bit depth, resulting in about 100 megabytes of data,
or twice as much image information. In comparison, a typical CCD or
CMOS RGB three-sensor 1920 by 1080 electronic camera with 10-bit
depth records 8 megabytes per frame, assuming that there is no subsampling
or data compression. A single CFA sensor 4096 by 2048
camera records about 10 megabytes of data. So the simple answer is that
today’s best film technology enables you to record 5 to 10 times
more picture information on a single frame than the best
contemporary digital cameras.

For the full study see http://motion.kodak.com/KodakGCG/uploadedfiles/motion/US_plugins_acrobat_en_motion_education_film_info.pdf

Thomas

Drew Wiley
21-Oct-2016, 13:27
I should have qualified those remarks, lest I seem like merely a curmudgeon once again. Here's how I approach the whole subject. I go up town to see a friend who has it all, who's done it all, and done it superbly on a commercial basis, even become a multimillionaire as a studio photographer, and has absolutely no problem hauling six hundred thousand dollars worth of studio gear to the dump and spending a million more if he thinks its going to improve his workflow. But he's getting old and no longer wants to pay the hazmat expense of maintaining a full chemical lab. So he's gone full digital, even though he doesn't like the look of it himself. So I look at output, the final product itself. Neither of us give a damn about the math. It's pretty remarkable, but with a Phase One on a Sinar he can damn near arrive at the store window display quality he used get printing 4x5 film optically, with an enlarger. Certainly not to the same level of sheer detail, or overall "gallery" quality, and nowhere near the league of 8x10 film. Same goes for people I know who now serve as guru preachers or hired guns for the
inkjet industry. Good stuff; but they did better back in their darkroom days. So what do you mean by "better". If you can make more money firing a bunch of
assistants because you can streamline the workflow right from the point of capture to prepress, that is unquestionably better in terms of cost efficiency. But if
your goal is optimal print quality, the subject is a lot more involved and decidedly more subjective. For me, the apex of photographic quality might just as easily
be something taken with a box camera in the 1860's.

unityofsaints
21-Oct-2016, 21:47
I don't mind much if I scan or print optically - it mostly depends on my mood and whether it's night or day as my "darkroom" isn't dark enough when there's daylight outside. I wouldn't dream of using digital for capture though - it's just not in the same (highly subjective) league as film in my opinion.

John W. Browning
21-Oct-2016, 22:06
Oddly enough I have just had a resurgence in the use of film. All of those coveted medium and large format cameras that were out of reach before the advent of digital are now finding their way into my possession onto my tripod and being put to use in my business. Film still has something about it. I love shooting E-6 stuff and displaying it on wall mounted light tables. I do wet plate portraits and clients love them. The old has put the fire back in my passion for my work. I do shoot mostly digital for a living but I truly believe that film will no more totally disappear than oil paints will.
But if you have lost interest in film you probably should abandon it.

Peter Collins
22-Oct-2016, 04:09
I am 71 years old and do not want to learn digital, if I could learn it. Brain not what it used to be.

John W. Browning
22-Oct-2016, 17:10
I am 71 years old and do not want to learn digital, if I could learn it. Brain not what it used to be.

I felt the same way. All of the same principals apply and we get to cheat with the ISO (ASA) by moving it around. I have learned to live in both worlds and am loving it all over again.

Pere Casals
22-Oct-2016, 17:17
Big deal. Someone could just come along, take 100 shots on real 8x10 film, then scan and stitch them all together. Or if you have the budget, you can precisely
synchronize a whole array of giant telescopes over a square mile and stitch that, like they do in the Atacacma Desert. Now that's what I call large format! As
far as I'm concerned, stitching has always been a job for sweatshops. I'd rather spend that time outdoors taking shots that don't need to be stitched. Hypothetical -this/hypothetical-that. Nobody on the planet can beat even 4x5 film with any kind of 35mm DLSR, maybe not even 6x9. That's marketing make-believe. But you have hit a sensitive nerve of accurate hue reproduction, esp warm neutrals - it might be hell with film if you're as fussy as I am, but damn near impossible digitally. Easy with a basic assortment of watercolor pigments and a little brush. So technology seems to be going the wrong direction. But if you actually enjoy crunching numbers, that's fine. I don't. Reminds me of all these MBA bean-counters who drive companies out of business.


Hello Drew,

:) Of course... stitching LF pictures... don't think that something like this has not been done !!! NASA had "weird" ideas :) Moon was mapped by stitching a lot of 5" film images, by Apollo program (15-17 missions), and using a KA-80A aerial camera...

https://www.google.com/moon/


No Full Format 36x24mm DSLR comes close to 4x5", but a very good shot from a MF digital camera (Hassy HD5), with multishot and a very good lens... this comes close or surpasses a bad 4x5" shot,taken with a not best film or glass. Still a good 4x5" shot can have more information than the HD5. And also it's a very different type of result.

I guess that looking those numbers it can be interesting, but not much useful... at the end an LF optical print can deliver a clearly superior output, as long one has the knowledge to do it well... (I'm trying... )

Ed Richards
22-Oct-2016, 18:11
I would like to address the movements issue. When I shoot 4x5, I use wide lenses and lots of movements. I am good at it and have found it pretty much impossible to really duplicate that with single shot digital and a ts lens because I cannot see well enough to set up the shot. What drove me to digital was that no amount of zone processing and other manipulations could capture the dynamic range posed by an church interior with stained glass windows. With an indexed pano-head, I can fairly quickly shoot a 6x6 matrix of shots, with three bracketed exposure at each point. I use an old Nikon 55mm Micro lens, which is about as distortion free and sharp as it gets. When I am done, I have an image with 20k x 20k or better good pixels and with enough dynamic range to balance the stained glass with the interior. If I remember to shoot a Color Checker as well, I can balance the color quite accurately. I do not need movements because I have so many extra pixels that I can fix the distortions and still have plenty left. Plus there is nothing magic about shift - you still get a distorted point of view. I always to try to get in the choir loft so I shoot dead on with ether film or digital.

This does not work if things are moving, but then neither does LF in a dim church at f32 or f45. I am also weighting the pleasure of film against the results. I got into 4x5 because of the quality, and the quality is still there for things that move when there is enough light to capture them with one shot but it has to be one shot. Outdoor shots with wind blown clouds or people, for example.

So, for this use, LF cannot compete with even pretty low end digital - 24MP is more than enough on the sensor, and it also does not need huge dynamic range. Just careful work on a tripod and on the computer when you are done. Even if i was stitching 4x5 - which I have done - trying to shoot bracketed exposures with film and stack them digitally is a nightmare.

What I am trying to work out for myself is whether it more trouble than joy to keep using 4x5 in the places where it is better than digital? Is the hassle keeping me from shooting when I would have with digital? As several have pointed out, does asking the question imply the answer? Is it just that LF gear is so much more satisfying than digital gear? The feel of leather bellows on a wooden camera sure beats slightly sticky rubber on a DSLR.

Bernice Loui
22-Oct-2016, 21:22
Core to this issue, image quality is subjective and dependent on the individual viewer's idealized vision of what the "best" image must be.

What appears to have happened, digital imaging has won over many, many image makers due to ease, simplicity, control of images produced. These basic digital offerings is more than enough to sway the vast majority of image makers to go-all-in for digital.

*Then there are "Smart Phone" digital cameras...and their mass appeal, including software altered images via Instagram and much more.

For those who's point of reference has been digital imaging from their very beginning of how images should appear, this will become their point of reference with an deviation from then on. Much the same applies to folks who use film based images as their point of reference.

It is most if not all relative to an individual's point of reference and personalized preferences folks... No matter what the numbers, data, theory and all that techno stuff is.


Bernice

Pere Casals
23-Oct-2016, 05:06
I would like to address the movements issue.

Hello Richard,


Still film has some technical advantages that make some recent big money productions use film to just scan it inmediatelly. Let me mention those: StarWars 7, StarWars 8 (Dec 2017). Mission Impossible 5, Batman vs Superman, Interstallar, Brige os Spies, The Hateful Eight, Jurassic World, 007 Spectre. A couple of box office $ billions...

We can discuss why...



You are right, technical need to shot LF film is not there in most of cases if resolution is the concern. Image stitching is very powerful, and movements can also be used with digital, for example by using a P3 with a digital back, this is a very common setup with product photography...


I'm making the way back... as an amateur. I found that film photography is a big vault of imaging culture of inmense importance, the materials and crafting evolved to deliver unique results, and unique interpretation of reality (if that exists...)

It is a bit like Wagner or Verdi... Today one can generate that with a PC or a tablet. But violins still play today. Masters and amateurs play such a wood box with wires, to deliver a kind of "music".

Of course practical photography is in the digital paradise.

What I find in film photography is some weaknesses (workload, ISO), some strengths (can select spectral response from velvia or from portra), and unique footprint (TXP, HP5+).

Then there is the joy of playing with the same medium AA and Karsh had... or Sally Mann...

Then there are results. ¿What about of an underexposed 8x10 Velvia slide over 5000cd/m2? Or a BW slide... What about a contact copy that took 3 weeks with SCIM, SCR... This can be compared to adjusting a DSLR image with PS during 3 weeks... yes... in some cases...

I feel that film/LF also offers a unique way of expression, one can go to it or not, it's not only about how many pixels.

Of course, making art or good photography do not depends of it is film or digital... !!!!


Regards

Ed Richards
23-Oct-2016, 06:23
I think the key question in today's world is whether your interest is in the images or in the process. You can pretty much get to any image with digital that you can do with LF, and some that you cannot. (Probably 8x10 portraits with old lenses have the most unique LF look, which would be hard to duplicate.)

If you have the time and the room, I can see a real attraction in a purely analog process, especially if you have to spend your working life on a computer. (Or if you try to not use computers at all.) You can also generate a print that is a unique object, especially with alt processes. For someone interested in selling fine art, handmade objects have a special status.

I do not have the time to do an all analog workflow at this point in my life. I scan and work digitally once I have processed my film. Once you are in the digital realm, with all of its costs and learning curve, it probably undermines the attraction of film. You lose the break from modern life, except for the time shooting.

Maybe I should grab a 4x5 enlarger before they are gone and put it away toward retirement.:-)

Pere Casals
23-Oct-2016, 07:36
Maybe I should grab a 4x5 enlarger before they are gone and put it away toward retirement.:-)


There is a nice direct option I like: Graflarger !!

Now I'm hacking a RGB light bulb to get variable contrast, I use a Norma as the (difussion) enlarger. Camera lenses work nice for that !

stawastawa
24-Oct-2016, 11:37
( Ugh, I wish this thread had ZERO Resolution discussion. )

The OP's Query regarding why shoot film has the potential for many interesting insights (outside of the oft debated resolution question).

As mentioned in some of the posts quoted Below - Make images the way that is most enjoyable for you.

Film -
I personally Got into LF because I wanted to contact print images and wanted bigger images than 35mm allowed. Right now I wonder if I should be settling for medium format negs. Results with 4x5 have been nice, but the photographing part has not been my favorite.
I am enchanted by the thought of movements, I think people use them to very great effect. But I don't particularly enjoy using movements myself.
Glass! I love looking through an SLR and looking at the world, exploring details. (Digital and quality glass is too expensive)
Chromes, I don't personally know about longevity, but talk about beautiful rendition, quality, vibrance, detail, softness - Yum!
For making prints, I prefer crafting by hand. Digital editing and computer interface is not my thing. Fiddling with printers feels like annoying maintenance, not craft or interesting/fun.
Digital -
I like to see the world and make images, digital allows me to have that at my fingertips. There are great cell phones for quickly documenting!
compactness - I like my Point and shoot for also documenting, but for creating print quality work it is laking.

For sharing my experience, I feel I can get good results with digital that don't require much manipulation and can quickly be shared digitally.
For sharing my insight I find I prefer crafting prints and using my hands more. For that I like to start with film and making images from there, taking notes and changing variables. Pulling sliders and pushing a mouse around sending files to an inkjet doesn't satisfy. When I hold a print I like knowing the path I took and feeling the quality paper - flaws and all.




...
Anyway LF photography is not about resolution power, ...

LF has other capabilities related to movements, format size and film, this delivers a unique look. One may value it or not...

And then there is the analog crafting joy... also we can value it or not.


...
LF resolution is great. Digital can still easily beat it, but who cares? Pretty much no one in this thread is specifically holding up LF as their tool of choice due to resolution requirements. Not to mention typical working apertures of f/22-64 automatically equalize things quite a bit.


Oddly enough I have just had a resurgence in the use of film. All of those coveted medium and large format cameras that were out of reach before the advent of digital are now finding their way into my possession onto my tripod and being put to use in my business. Film still has something about it. I love shooting E-6 stuff and displaying it on wall mounted light tables. I do wet plate portraits and clients love them. The old has put the fire back in my passion for my work. I do shoot mostly digital for a living but I truly believe that film will no more totally disappear than oil paints will.
But if you have lost interest in film you probably should abandon it.


Core to this issue, image quality is subjective and dependent on the individual viewer's idealized vision of what the "best" image must be. ...
It is most if not all relative to an individual's point of reference and personalized preferences folks... No matter what the numbers, data, theory and all that techno stuff is. ...



... You are right, technical need to shot LF film is not there in most of cases if resolution is the concern. Image stitching is very powerful, and movements can also be used with digital, for example by using a P3 with a digital back, this is a very common setup with product photography...
...
I'm making the way back... as an amateur. I found that film photography is a big vault of imaging culture of inmense importance, the materials and crafting evolved to deliver unique results, and unique interpretation of reality (if that exists...)
...
I feel that film/LF also offers a unique way of expression, one can go to it or not, it's not only about how many pixels.
... Of course, making art or good photography do not depends of it is film or digital... !!!! ...



I think the key question in today's world is whether your interest is in the images or in the process. ...
If you have the time and the room, I can see a real attraction in a purely analog process, especially if you have to spend your working life on a computer. (Or if you try to not use computers at all.) You can also generate a print that is a unique object, especially with alt processes. For someone interested in selling fine art, handmade objects have a special status.

Drew Wiley
24-Oct-2016, 12:12
Hi Pere... It was my own nephew who stitched a lot of those moon shots, at least of the back side, up at LBL when he was a student at UCB. The workstation had
a screen that must have been six feet wide, and obviously back when such things were still extremely expensive. But he was also along on a number of my more strenuous backpacking into the mountains with large format gear. I wouldn't have it any other way, even if lightweight high-resolution DLSR's existed back then. It's not the same kind of experience. Probably why some of my recent hiking companions have ditched their DLSR's and turned to at least MF film cameras. There's a lot to be said for being forced to slow down and look at things more intently. Perhaps someone could install a timer in a DLSR that allows only one shot a day; that might help.

Pere Casals
25-Oct-2016, 12:38
Perhaps someone could install a timer in a DLSR that allows only one shot a day; that might help.

:) Yes ! this can improve the photography the skills of many !!!

Since I've started learning LF I discovered that if thing can be done with a single shot it is better done !

Cameron Cornell
6-Nov-2016, 08:52
Analog camera equipment and analog processes appeal to us I think because there is something distinctly human about them, something with which we connect at a primitive level. That 8x10 studio camera that sees and functions just like my eye, the ground glass as optic nerve, and me as the brain- there is something pure and comprehensible and clean about this setup. I can explain it to a child.

How does a digital camera really work? Well, I don't know, nor do I care because I doubt that the knowledge would feel important nor beautiful.

The human race was so ecstatic to finally be able to capture light and permanently put it on an object back in '39. A print is an object that exists in three-dimensional space. We have mostly lost this image-object that consists of captured light on film and paper. Now we have electronic images on screens that solely exist as light. When the screen is off, the image is lost. Images are once again ephemeral. We asked for and received the possibility of an infinite set of images, but the price was that the new images would be ineffable. We have them all, but we also HAVE nothing because the images only appear and only exist for the time that the light pours forth from our screens, whereas an emulsion holds its image indefinitely, even in the dark.

Yes, we can print digital images, but there is another problem with digital imagery that isn't resolved by printing. The lure of digital is the promise of perfection: perfect resolution, no aberrations, no dust, nor scratches, nor flare, nor distortions of any kind. That for me is the path to anxiety-ridden madness. The results, we say, feel sterile. Why? Because we are human beings: physical, complex, and imperfect.

I am reminded here of spotting prints. I turn on a bright lamp and post it just above a print and I lean in really close (these are 8x10 contact prints) and AACK! all of the imperfections jump out at me, raising my pulse. There are little specks of dust or tiny scratches or maybe Newton rings or God-knows-what going on when I look that closely. I spot and spot, then looking that closely under that bright light I can still see my handiwork, I'm probably just making things worse. But the magic happens when I carry the print into the natural light of the living room and look at it at arms-length under the cloudy bright light of the day: it is beautiful, it is perfect, but perfect in a very human, imperfect way. I can't see any of the imperfections when I just look at a natural distance under natural light, but they are there, and the imperfections of the image-object inform the way it makes me feel. If it were truly perfect, it would be alien.

It is a print for a woman named Maria. I give it to her, and she hangs it on the wall and sees it there.

chassis
6-Nov-2016, 17:24
I like the music analogy.

Listen to baroque music played with period instruments, and with modern instruments. For example:

- lute vs. guitar
- baroque vs. modern violin
- harpsichord vs. piano

Setting aside that scoring for modern instruments can be different than period instruments, the sound and feel of the music is completely different. I prefer baroque music played on period instruments. Examples include pieces by Vivaldi and Bach.

In a similar way, I like film for the look and feel it gives me. Modern equipment has different characteristics that I choose not to employ, for no other reason than I prefer film for its aesthetics.

Jim Andrada
6-Nov-2016, 19:11
+1!

F- resolution! If anybody says "resolution" to me again I think I'll throw up. There's a reason the Hollywood studios are keeping what's left of Kodak in business. And it isn't resolution.

stawastawa
6-Nov-2016, 22:49
Analog camera equipment and analog processes appeal to us I think because there is something distinctly human about them, something with which we connect at a primitive level. That 8x10 studio camera that sees and functions just like my eye, the ground glass as optic nerve, and me as the brain- there is something pure and comprehensible and clean about this setup. I can explain it to a child. (emphasis added)

I love it! Eye nerve and brain! beautiful!

Pfsor
7-Nov-2016, 06:50
That 8x10 studio camera that sees and functions just like my eye, the ground glass as optic nerve, and me as the brain- there is something pure and comprehensible and clean about this setup. I can explain it to a child.


Ehmm, before you get too exited by comparisons - maybe it's a time you brushed up on your anatomical studies of the human eye? The optical nerve in an eye doesn't function as ground glass - that function is the property of the retina in the eye.

Cameron Cornell
7-Nov-2016, 10:12
Ehmm, before you get too exited by comparisons - maybe it's a time you brushed up on your anatomical studies of the human eye? The optical nerve in an eye doesn't function as ground glass - that function is the property of the retina in the eye.

Well, ok. Sorry if I offended you with my ignorance. I wrote "optic nerve" just in the sense that the ground glass is conveying the image to me, which is what the optic nerve does. But you're probably right, the retina collects the image so it is a better analogy. But perhaps this is missing the point?

DrTang
7-Nov-2016, 10:21
I like the music analogy.

Listen to baroque music played with period instruments, and with modern instruments. For example:

- lute vs. guitar
- baroque vs. modern violin
- harpsichord vs. piano

Setting aside that scoring for modern instruments can be different than period instruments, the sound and feel of the music is completely different. I prefer baroque music played on period instruments. Examples include pieces by Vivaldi and Bach.

In a similar way, I like film for the look and feel it gives me. Modern equipment has different characteristics that I choose not to employ, for no other reason than I prefer film for its aesthetics.

but it's still music...maybe it's best not to compare the two, and enjoy (or not) them as separate and different things... like vegetarian 'garden burgers' should not be compared to beef burgers.. but should be judged on their own - something like that

Drew Wiley
7-Nov-2016, 10:31
That might be a more informative analogy than you realize. We used to hold big trade fairs here with BBQ's. Still do on smaller scale. For awhile we had a politically correct gal in charge of the food. So she insisted that 30% of the meat be vegi-burgers. Of course, at the end of the day 30% of the burgers would be
left over, uneaten, and all of the same description. Just ain't the same. And there's nothing quite like beholding an opalescent upside-down image on a big groundglass. Contemplative composition. It's not the only kind of camera I use by any means; but it is a big juicy steak.

Cameron Cornell
7-Nov-2016, 10:38
That might be a more informative analogy than you realize. We used to hold big trade fairs here with BBQ's. Still do on smaller scale. For awhile we had a politically correct gal in charge of the food. So she insisted that 30% of the meat be vegi-burgers. Of course, at the end of the day 30% of the burgers would be
left over, uneaten, and all of the same description. Just ain't the same. And there's nothing quite like beholding an opalescent upside-down image on a big groundglass. Contemplative composition. It's not the only kind of camera I use by any means; but it is a big juicy steak.

Bravo!

Pere Casals
12-Nov-2016, 08:50
+1!

F- resolution! If anybody says "resolution" to me again I think I'll throw up. There's a reason the Hollywood studios are keeping what's left of Kodak in business. And it isn't resolution.


Of course Kodak Vision 3 is a superb imaging solution that Hollywood enjoys. IMHO Vision 3 provides a unique set of aesthetical capabilities that not the best cameras/post can emulate well.



Resolution ?

IMAX film cameras deliver a 64k uncompressed equivalent. Best digital movie cameras are doing 3.2k, 4k, and are starting talking about 8k, more or less compressed...

Is that film advantage useful ? Well, it allows cropping in post, it will fulfill technical requirements of future editions/broadcasting, and it fulfills the demanding requirements of IMAX theaters.

Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-8N4CQzdGMat at 2:33 2 IMAX cameras are used to portray superstar Daisy Ridley.


And, of course, not all scenes need a lot of resolution...

Cinematographers know when 35mm, 65mm, of IMAX make a difference. Even Super-8 can be an option. Michael Bay recorded some action scenes of Pearl Harbour in Super-8.


Kodak Vision 3 film delivers atonishing techno/aesthetical features that are highly desired by may top directors/cinematographers, Spielberg to say one. But when they need resolution, film is also the answer.

Gary Tarbert
17-Jan-2017, 03:57
Just stumbled acros this thread ,I shoot both Digital and film i do not have a phase one iq180 , Just a D800E , The 800E is a great camera , But in a recent art show i was invited to show some work in , I showed 2 digital shots and 2 large format shots (5x4 original and 5x8 slightly cropped), 3 were the same size 20x30 inches and the 5x8 one was slightly bigger,
The sales and general interest were mainly the film shots , Just for the record i am a photographer who strives for technically perfect prints , I don't get into the grainy grungy look that some photographers like film for .The public just preferred the film ones and so did i!! The film shots were drum scanned BTW and looked superior to 800E ones

Ken Lee
17-Jan-2017, 05:54
Perhaps a more telling experiment would be to take the same photograph - using both sets of gear - and see if the public can distinguish between the two or prefer one over the other.

Gary Tarbert
17-Jan-2017, 06:17
Hi Ken , It was not really an experiment from my point of view , Just an observation from this showing , i have done a shot on 5x4 and d800e and experienced the disappearing flowers you knew were there due to the fact they were there on the 5x4 , Wish i had not binned the digital ones , To be honest ken i think both Digital and Film are fantastic , my thing is landscape and Architecture are Film everything else Digital, I find most large format portraiture not spontaneous enough with subjects looking too camera conscious , But that is just me , And some Lf guys do portraiture well , But very few IMHO

Fred L
17-Jan-2017, 06:42
were they both b/w or a mix ? also same subjects or different ?

Gary Tarbert
17-Jan-2017, 07:12
Different subjects one colour one B&W the digitals were totally different subjects to the LF , one of the shots was a favourite location close to home which i have shot on several formats , the best one being the first (funny that )5x4 velvia.

Willie
17-Jan-2017, 09:22
Other than Xtol developer we don't see sudden catastrophic failure in the chemistry with film. We do see sudden catastrophic failure in computers and software way too often.

Why worry about which you shoot? If you like it, use it. If you don't, move on.

Alan Gales
17-Jan-2017, 13:06
Perhaps a more telling experiment would be to take the same photograph - using both sets of gear - and see if the public can distinguish between the two or prefer one over the other.

Ken, five years ago I shot my daughter and her old boyfriend dressed up for prom. We went to a local park and I shot them on the deck with the small lake behind them. Some of the shots I used a Nikon D300 and some I used a Hasselblad 500 cm.

When I had the 120 film developed I also had a disc made. I down loaded the disc and the D300 memory card (shot on Jpeg) to Lightroom and made no adjustments. We viewed the images on the computer screen and both my daughter and I preferred the Hasselblad images. My step-daughter stopped by and she preferred the digital images. There was definitely a difference in the "look" of the images. Which is better is of course personal preference.

John Kasaian
17-Jan-2017, 13:27
I shoot film because I enjoy it. I shoot 8x10 format because I enjoy it more. My rewards likely aren't as comprehensible to most people, but it matters to me and that's good enough. I do have a digi, 135, 120, 4x5, 5x7 and 12x20 and can't fault any of them---especially the digi which definitely has it's uses, but when I'm messing about with 8x10, I'm in my "Zone." If there were a digi with the resolution of an 8x10, I'd still be shooting an 8x10 because the journey is part of the story which every print whispers.
No film? Ha! I've got plate holders:)

Alan Gales
17-Jan-2017, 13:54
If there were a digi with the resolution of an 8x10, I'd still be shooting an 8x10 because the journey is part of the story which every print whispers.
[/I]:)

I saw a test (on my computer) with a Phase One 80 megapixel back and an 8x10. Under optimal conditions the 8x10 was sharper. Now there is a Phase One 100 megapixel back so digital may finally be as sharp as 8x10. You know how we buy used 8x10 film holders because they run $200 for new ones? Well the 100 megapixel back is like $40,000.

Ya also have to squint to see that there digital back unlike the huge view on the 8x10 ground glass! ;)

Randy Moe
17-Jan-2017, 14:06
I shoot film because it is so damn difficult. For me.

But when I make a good print, in my darkroom and I feel it is good, I always print 3, because magic is working.

I may be wrong and not like the print after dry down, but I will end that printing session with a very Zen-like equanimity. A feeling and mood I seek, even more than I seek the print.

The Art is in my head.

Tobias Key
17-Jan-2017, 16:18
I flicked through my copy of Josef Koudelka's Exiles recently. I first saw most of these pictures in the 90's, and we have gone through several iterations of megapixel growth and dynamic range improvements since I was shooting with T90 and Tri-X then. What struck me is a master like Koudelka was able to turn the limitations of fast 35mm black and white film and use them to his advantage. Blocked out shadows make this shot

https://robinlam.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/josef-koudelka-france-1987.jpg

and this shot

https://robinlam.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/koudelka_rocket.jpg

Now here is the rub. If Koudelka had better equipment, and could drag a slider to bring out shadows or reduce grain would he have made these photographs? Furthermore would anyone brought up in the DSLR age of photography been able to visualise such a picture when they had never suffered a blocked out shadow?

Film's trump card is that it is an interpretative medium, it sees the world differently from how we do, and sometimes expresses things beyond what we see. Although it is just as likely to yield disappointment! Digital seems to be moving toward idealising reality, blue skies can be made bluer, skin can be made perfect, and we can take almost infinite exposures.

Digital remind me of the scene in The Matrix where Agent Smith explains that the early iterations of the matrix were rejected because the computers created a perfect world and the human mind couldn't accept it. We need the stench and pain of an imperfect reality. Digital has the same problem, past a certain point of retouched perfection I reject it as a photograph, and no matter how much technical skill is involved in an image's production, my mind seems to reject it and it just doesn't talk to me.

To be blunt I just don't believe it, and the unspoken contract between photographer and viewer is broken.

jp
17-Jan-2017, 18:21
Bonus points for a Matrix analogy! It's a thinking film perhaps more than an action film.

chassis
19-Jan-2017, 17:48
Tobias I'm with you.

Fr. Mark
19-Jan-2017, 22:29
I shoot film because I like film cameras, I like physical objects as data storage and as prints. I like being able reprint old (40 years) negatives if I learn more, I used to be a chemist and like chemicals in moderation, film equipment need not cost too much nor does it depreciate like digital, I like being able to build and restore LF cameras. I like alt process prints. I've made them via digital negatives too. Simplicity, maybe? I'm tickled to have equipment where I kind of understand how it works, can make it myself, I coat my own cyanotype paper and figure tonslmeday coat my own films. Maybe even combine loose lenses into "primitive" lenses like a rapid rectilinear some day. So, maybe also total control of her process. And, I mostly enjoy the crowd a big old camera draws. I do use digital for things like people, and documentation, but less for fun. I will probably pull it out again to learn off camera flash. I saw a book of photos made with TriX, xtol, &Leica gear and was surprised because I liked the photos and some were enlarged pretty big and I've never liked my own TriX work 35mm so much.

Roger Cole
20-Jan-2017, 00:26
Everyone else has covered my reasons and some more.

Bottom line, 1) do you LIKE shooting film? Or 2) do you have a business or artistic reason why film is better suited for some work you do?

If the answer to EITHER of those two questions is "yes" then shoot film!

koraks
20-Jan-2017, 04:22
Blah blah blah resolution lpm film format blah blah diffraction dpi blah dribble dribble.
Sorry guys, all in good cheer! How many megapixels/lpm do you really need for 99% of your printing? I rarely print large enough to justify using anything over medium format (digital or film). All the resolution talk is totally irrelevant to me.

When I shoot digital, I can see immediately what I've done and do it again if I feel the need to. I can process 100 files into 10 acceptable images within two hours or so. Image quality from my EOS 7D with non-L lenses is plenty good enough for me.
When I shoot film, I focus on what happens around me instead of my camera screen, I have a blast when I'm making images, I have a blast when I'm seeing them come out of the developer and I have a blast when I print or scan/process them. Enjoying every image at least 3 times and having pleasure in going through the motions of shooting and processing a tangible material.

I choose whatever yields the quality I need and, more importantly, allows me to have the fun I'm looking for in practicing my hobby. Comparison of the same handful of utterly boring scenes shot on whatever equipment over and over again for years and years fortunately has absolutely nothing to do with that choice.

uphereinmytree
20-Jan-2017, 06:15
I shoot film because staring at a computer screen is bad for your eyes (and for the soul)

Fr. Mark
20-Jan-2017, 21:45
Another reason, is that I like negatives I can revisit later. I did this a year or two ago with some I made in 1977 at age 9. I tried to print through the paper base and in 2015 I printed them emulsion to emulsion and was amazed at what I saw. I have several generations of computer files I can't access (and that's ok, I guess, because I don't really want anyone to read those old papers written in Jr. Hi, Hiskool, and college anyway...). I know you can revisit digital negatives (files) but it seems more ephemeral.

Thalmees
21-Jan-2017, 13:31
Hello all.
Thanks brouwerkent for opening this thread.
Several days ago, lost a full post due to bad internet. Actually two.
Could not repeat that.
My 2 cents, and I do not know if I have to apologies or not,
but for those who do not like or agree with the contents of the table,
please accept my apology.
This is the way I decided more than a decade ago. It's simple and clear.
Thanks.
http://s.pictub.club/2017/01/19/swhlS8.jpg
160108

Alan Gales
21-Jan-2017, 19:07
Hello all.
Thanks brouwerkent for opening this thread.
Several days ago, lost a full post due to bad internet. Actually two.
Could not repeat that.
My 2 cents, and I do not know if I have to apologies or not,
but for those who do not like or agree with the contents of the table,
please accept my apology.
This is the way I decided more than a decade ago. It's simple and clear.
Thanks.
http://s.pictub.club/2017/01/19/swhlS8.jpg
160108

It's your opinion. You don't need to apologize. You are not trying to offend anyone. You are just stating how you feel.

I know where you are coming from though. Today, some people are offended by other's opinions. Of course those same people feel they have a right to their own opinions. It's crazy!

Fr. Mark
21-Jan-2017, 22:34
That list is congruent with much of my thinking/experience except cost. Film cameras aren't expensive and last a long time. I have one that's over 100 years old and works great. It cost $50 (and some time cleaning and repairing). Excepting may be bellows it should still be working in 100 more years. It's so much fun I bought another one for $20 and still only have another $20 in parts (brass hardware) in it. That's way under $1/year camera cost. Even if I put my Sinar P and all it's trimmings into the equation and figure I can only use it 25 years, I think I'm still well under $100/year. Fully home built cameras can be made out of scrap materials at no cost. Film: what's 100 sheets of Ilford 8x10 cost? $500? $600?? Can I use that much in a year? Probably not, this is a hobby. Test prints/proofs I do on cotton typing paper as cyanotypes for next to nothing and carbon transfer, if I ever get to it will be very inexpensive. The paper substrate will be the costly part.
Compare this to a "prosumer" camera and lens set, modern computer, good monitor, calibration software and equipment, good printer (and ink and possibly custom ink set and driver) and how long does all that (several thousand dollars)last? 5 years (except lenses). I can't yet afford to do digital the way I'd want to. Not even hybrid work where I scan film. I have printed some inkjet negatives for making cyanotypes but it only works when the cartridges are fresh and they dry out between sessions. If I made my own film I bet I could drive the down the cost of film to nearly X-ray film prices. So, chemical photography is still the low cost way to permanent photographic images at least the way I want to do it. But, as they say in car advertisements: "your mileage may vary."

Corran
21-Jan-2017, 23:07
Well, most of that is superfluous. The average amateur or hobbyist doesn't need a calibration tool (heck I make most of my money these days from photography and I don't have one). Definitely don't need a printer, send it out to a lab (most will even color-correct things fairly well).

These days for $300-400 one can buy a very nice DSLR with 18-24mp which has phenomenal image quality rivaling medium format with decent technique, and everyone already owns a computer. A cheap simpler version of Photoshop and you're off to the races. Seriously, those kit lenses these days are crazy good, especially with stabilization.

You may of course want to do digital differently but I don't think you need all of that myself. I probably spend more money per year on film/chemistry than the cheap DSLR costs. Yes (most) film cameras are really cheap though.

Pere Casals
22-Jan-2017, 06:01
Hello all.
Thanks brouwerkent for opening this thread.
Several days ago, lost a full post due to bad internet. Actually two.
Could not repeat that.
My 2 cents, and I do not know if I have to apologies or not,
but for those who do not like or agree with the contents of the table,
please accept my apology.
This is the way I decided more than a decade ago. It's simple and clear.
Thanks.
http://s.pictub.club/2017/01/19/swhlS8.jpg
160108


A photographer may have personal and economic reasons to use a particular medium...

Then... IMHO a photographer may have a technical reason to use film if he knows and wants to exploit a capacity film has and digital lacks in some extend.

This there is my list of major technical reasons that may lead a photographer to use film:


> Extended highlight latitude, for natural glare depiction.

> Each film (specially for color) has its particular spectral sensitivity curve. A face catured with Velvia will not look like if it was captured with Portra, even if you spend a month with Photoshop. Digital has fixed dyes on pixels.

> Very big formats made easy

> BW grain structure (MF and SF)

Thalmees
24-Jan-2017, 06:19
It's your opinion. You don't need to apologize. You are not trying to offend anyone. You are just stating how you feel.

I know where you are coming from though. Today, some people are offended by other's opinions. Of course those same people feel they have a right to their own opinions. It's crazy!

Hello Alan,
Thanks so much, appreciate your words.
It's anyway just a small apologies to keep this big and important/useful thread,
to continue as calm as it started.
Thanks so much Alan.

Bruce Barlow
24-Jan-2017, 06:35
I shoot film because it is so damn difficult. For me.

But when I make a good print, in my darkroom and I feel it is good, I always print 3, because magic is working.

I may be wrong and not like the print after dry down, but I will end that printing session with a very Zen-like equanimity. A feeling and mood I seek, even more than I seek the print.

The Art is in my head.

Oh, my, Randy. You can easily fix the dry-down problem. Make the best print you can, and then make prints -5% base exposure, -10% and minus 12%. Keep the first one wet, and let the others dry. Compare dry ones to still-wet one. One of your dried-down prints will match close enough. You can interpolate if you want, but I'm willing to wager one of those percentages will be spot-on. Dry down percentage varies with the paper you're using, sometimes. I even did this test for PT/PD.

Then, forever, make the best print you can wet, then your final prints minus the dry-down percentage. You'll never be disappointed from then on, unless you find you're unsatisfied with the original print. More joy, less equanimity required.

Hope this helps. Film rocks!

GG12
28-Jan-2017, 07:20
Note of caution - this is a slightly odd post.

I grew up with film, love film, and respect all film shooters. Much serious work is done with film. But I shoot digitally.

A bit of explanation: photography is a serious interest, and has been for more than 45 years. But time is a challenge, as there are many demands on it. Having been trained in film seriously, there was always respect for the slower more methodical process, and also for care taken in LF composition. The mark of a good shot is in uncropped work, with movements in the camera.

About 25 years ago, medium format became my main vehicle along with some limited LF work. The quickness of 35mm and its small negatives were not attractive. Later, I moved into a medium format digital back, a lucky break with an expensive back languishing in the market. The company was sold, the distributor didn't want demos back, offering cents on the dollar. (Leaf was Israeli made, bought by Kodak, then sold to Phase One. Kodak didn't want the Leaf backs.... nor did Phase. And luckily Leaf files are the most film-like.)

That back has done service on a traditional medium format camera and a view camera. IMHO its great. But the beliefs are unchanged - nothing replaces movements on a camera, better yet when combined with ground glass viewing. GG viewing is also important for medium format cameras, as it gives a moment of separation from "gee I got it" to "does it look right?", an essential step often overlooked.

The proof is still in the print. While I use inkjet, its carefully controlled through RIPs to get the quality of a fine 4x5, with smooth tonal transitions. One could call this "a foot in two camps", or in a better cast, a disciplined hybrid.

Analog still teaches a lot - its our roots and it is still needed. Without years of working with film, and studying the masters, there is no way I could get my images. Film and darkroom work still give new generations an understanding of how photography works. Quick run-and-gun shooters with DSLRs miss this and its easy to see that in their work. Some get brilliant results; many flounder.

In short, then, film is important as it provides discipline from an older school. My current tools are new, for a more current lifestyle. But all in all, the gear is not any lighter, the process is not much faster, and it certainly isn't easier. Somehow it works. And yes, there is still a 4x5 camera and film in the refrigerator.

Geoff

160484

MAubrey
28-Jan-2017, 08:57
Time Magazine has two article about shooting film in 2017:

They're worth a read. There are some good reasons listed here for why we'd bother.

http://time.com/4649188/film-photography-industry-comeback/

http://time.com/4646116/film-photography-inspiration/

chassis
28-Jan-2017, 20:35
Geoff, great post and stunning image.

David Lobato
29-Jan-2017, 08:43
For a purely film process down to the wet print finish, each result is one of a kind. Especially with alt processes. I find that intriguing.

Digital has its share of beautiful work. However, hitting the "Print" button again for another exact copy does not have same effect on me as an individually crafted object. Several years ago a well known blogger said he trashes the prints he doesn't sell at art shows. Didn't care to transport them home, it was easy enough to print more later. Digital is too often a commodity.

mdarnton
29-Jan-2017, 10:40
I still shoot a lot of film for a couple of specific reasons. One is that I like the quality. I have seen a couple of digital photos that have the film feel, but not too many, so I get the idea that plugins, etc, that do that come pretty close but don't quite do the job all the time. I could be wrong about that. The second reason is the dynamic range of film isn't currently matched by digital. Forget Ansel Adams--the real range of film is on the order of 20 stops, and this can be captured by scanning. . . and I use it. Another reason is for the lack of depth of field offered by large lenses on large film, since mostly I shoot around f5.6 or so on 8x10. But one of the biggest reasons I like LF film is that when I shoot portraits, which is about all I do with it, the whole atmosphere of the shoot changes and picks up gravity that doesn't come from my tiny Nikon DSLR, and the photos are different.

I do wish someone would come up with a digital 5x7 back that worked at 1000ppi or so, at a low price. That would probably cure my LF film attachment.

Pere Casals
30-Jan-2017, 03:32
-the real range of film is on the order of 20 stops

This can be obtained with POTA developer combined with certain films. POTA was designed to record nuclear detonations.

I guess that highlight latitude depends (on T-Max for example) of the layer of small cubic chrystals that is under the Tabular grain layer. And beyond that there is the solarization effect that works in the counter direction.

I was atonished when I discovered detain the sun disc in the negatives: https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/16820196745/in/dateposted-public/


If properly scanned (or printed) even here sun disc appears: https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/16612909497/in/dateposted-public/