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Thread: Wondering why I still shoot film

  1. #121

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    Quote Originally Posted by Thalmees View Post
    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.
    Attachment 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)

  2. #122
    Thalmees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    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.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.

  3. #123

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Westport Island, Maine

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    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!
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"

  4. #124

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    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.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by GG12; 28-Jan-2017 at 21:11. Reason: clarity

  5. #125

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Bellingham, WA (displaced Canadian)

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    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.

  6. #126
    SE Penna. chassis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Pennsylvania, USA

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    Geoff, great post and stunning image.

  7. #127
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Baltimore MD

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    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.

  8. #128

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    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.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format:
    Mostly 35mm:
    You want digital, color, etc?:

  9. #129

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: Wondering why I still shoot film

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    -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:

    If properly scanned (or printed) even here sun disc appears:

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