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Thread: The comeback of film?

  1. #11

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    Re: The comeback of film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Film look is only important to those who value it's unique visual offering.
    Let me add that we can talk about the looks of films, because every film has a particular native look: Portra vs Velvia vs TX vs HP vs Vision 3. Then digital has mostly a single native look.

    It is true that later we can use Photoshop to transform the original native look, but what film or sensor does at exposure time has a remarkable footprint.

  2. #12
    Marco Fantin
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    Re: The comeback of film?

    Thank you all for the contributions, it's been great fun reading all these insights. I hope to find some more tomorrow night after work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Let me add that we can talk about the looks of films, because every film has a particular native look: Portra vs Velvia vs TX vs HP vs Vision 3. Then digital has mostly a single native look.

    It is true that later we can use Photoshop to transform the original native look, but what film or sensor does at exposure time has a remarkable footprint.

    This last point I think is particularly important to me. I discovered that each film type has its own characteristics, palette... these were selected by technicians and scientists in the lab, and the process of using and shaping these characteristics continues when I choose and expose the film in the field or for a certain project.
    I found digital problematic because for some reasons it was like talking to a computer. A digital file has no inherent characteristics, and you have to introduce them. This might seem like a positive aspect, but somehow it takes away from the craft and the humanity.
    For me, this translates into poorer results when I use digital.

    Ok, sorry, this was not meant to be a film vs digital issue, but the last post made me reason about it--I use digital and make digital videos every other day.
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  3. #13

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    Re: The comeback of film?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcookie View Post
    I discovered that each film type has its own characteristics, palette...
    Well, let me add that a key issue is spectral footprint. In the scene each spot emits an spectrum, but the medium records the values for 3 colors. Because that what happens at the shooting time is critical, we reduce the spectral information of the scene to 3 colors, as we have a severe information loss in the capture... what we do in the recording determines what we have.

    The resulting palette can be transformed in post processing, of course, but the native footprint of the capture determines what options we have.

    If we make a portrait with Velvia 50 then the model will look like if he/she had been inside a microwave oven, throwing Photoshop skills on the problem won't end in a nice portrait. But Velvia 50 is, as 2018, the timeless gold standard for landscape, and nothing on the earth may beat Portra/Fuji 160 in color portraiture.

    One may say that this is about personal preferences, but the underlying reality is that Velvia and Portra are refined tools dedicated to special jobs and, gentlemen, we are privileged to have it.




    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Ok, sorry, this was not meant to be a film vs digital issue
    oh... the analog vs digital debate is over... this is something that was solved time ago...

    but we have to understand what was that debate... it was about 35mm film vs DSLR and it was won by the digital side, this was 10 years ago.

    It is true that in practice a DSLR sports more resolving power than a 35mm camera with color negative films, dot.

    It is also evident that commercial photography is 99.99% digital, for a lot of good reasons.

    But we may also have a lot of good reasons to shot film...

    Nobody can challenge that film is a way superior spectral recording medium (because dedicated flavours), we can shot way larger formats with high impact aesthetics (the +600MPix we obtain with a 8x10 are only a bonus) and that film allows to depict volumes/depth much easier than with digital because highlight/shading handling.

    This last point is crucial in cinematography (volumes from actors faces), and one of the reasons that explain that in this digital world still some selected movies are shot on film this 2018.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 7-Sep-2018 at 04:15.

  4. #14
    Marco Fantin
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    Re: The comeback of film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Well, let me...
    Thank you for the thorough answer. True, true, true! I especially liked that you brought up the highlight handling of color negative film, due to the "self limiting" process of silver (or dyes) sensitization.

    There only one minor point that I partially disagree with: I think that the information obtained from three colors is sufficient. The human eye also has three different cone cells for three different colors, so in a way we work like film.


    Regarding the original topic of this thread, I hope someone has some other stories to share about the comeback of film!
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  5. #15

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    Re: The comeback of film?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcookie View Post
    the highlight handling of color negative film, due to the "self limiting" process of silver (or dyes) sensitization.
    Yes... the emulsions have a share of very small silver halide crystals of very low ISO (depending on grain formulation/layers), and this allows to design a sound highlight handling of the film. Sensors have a linear nature that is not natively suitable for presentation when scene DR is wide, but technology (partially) solves that with extended DR combined with necessary transformations in the curves and in the LUTs.

    The evolution that digital sensors experiemented it's amazing, not only in the high ISO, and one day sensors+software will match what film can do.

    In this 2018, if we review key scenes (for example) in Star Wars 7 (2015)... it's clear that this cannot be obtained with today's digital cinematography, do what you want, there is a too wide technical gap and no $1 million digital camera will do it. I'm not speaking about aesthetics, but about technical excellence.

    Well, also it has to be said that Disney (owning LucasFilm) sports world class masterliness in exploiting film core capabilities, the cinematographers and directors working for Disney are supported by a rock solid technical/aesthetical corporate structure, I guess.

    But IMHO a shot is not better or worse because it's analog or digital, in reality it's about a lot of things. If we choose film for our work then we have an amazing set of resources we may want to understand and exploit, like in the digital case.

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