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Thread: the digital vs film debate

  1. #21

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    its about efficiency, period.

  2. #22

    Re: the digital vs film debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    but I still find it very surprising. Rodney and a lot of other people have sure peed away a lot of money on those P65s.
    Rodney spent nothing for his P65+ according to the Pier 39 gallery management, he was given the camera on loan by Phase One for six months.The subject matter was different in the prints I saw, but I can't say one looked sharper than the other, and I was wearing my +1.75 readers the whole time.There WAS a visible difference with the prints made from 4x5 though.

  3. #23

    Re: the digital vs film debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Marko View Post


    Isn't it funny how none of those trashing digital backs can actually afford one?

    You'd think anybody smart enough to earn that sort of money wouldn't be stupid enough to actually buy those backs unless there just was something about them not readily obvious to the peanut gallery...
    Actually, I know people who can afford them, and do "trash" them. I can afford one, though I only rent on rare occasions, but then again I don't "trash" them. Honestly, nearly anyone involved in photography could simply rent one, and then see first hand what all the fuss is about.

    I think the bigger issue, as discussed here several years ago, is that endeavors in fine art photography seem to eat up vast sums of money even for the most notable out there. So a bigger issue for the art photographers is that when some are already operating at negative cash flow, then why throw more money at it ... basically the poorest of business choices.

    I am happy to be involved in commercial photography, though I do exhibit some of my images in galleries. Maybe I do not enjoy the name recognition and notoriety of someone in the art photographer crowd, but then again I am not trying to sell over-priced workshops to the wannabes.

  4. #24

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Moat View Post
    I think the bigger issue, as discussed here several years ago, is that endeavors in fine art photography seem to eat up vast sums of money even for the most notable out there. So a bigger issue for the art photographers is that when some are already operating at negative cash flow, then why throw more money at it ... basically the poorest of business choices.
    All true, but in the context of this particular topic, the biggest issue - and the most futile one from the business perspective - is the tendency by some of those affected to blame the tools for their poor business choices. Other people's choice of tools in particular.

    Fighting the future has never really done much, if anything, to preserve the past. These kinds of "debates" won't do much either, except maybe make the participants look silly.

  5. #25

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    please, don't be snooty. no one is blaming tools. and the comment "these kinds of debates won't do much, except maybe make the participants look silly" is the only silly post i've read so far on this thread. i've read some very interesting posts on this topic at luminous landscape, here and other places and always enjoy hearing people's experiences and preferences. this isn't a dated topic. my students, not to mention most artists who use the camera, are very interested in the differences in look and feel of film vs digital. and of course many, including myself, cross back and forth continually between these processes.

    for commercial work i use a p45+ and am very happy with it. the time it saves vs my old film workflow (8 years ago) is the single most important reason i switched. but for personal work, i prefer the colors, tonality, grain variance of sheet film, particularly in prints enlarged beyond 30x40. i recently took several shots of the same image from the same POV with my phase one (with mamiya lens), old deardorff 8x10 and a junky 4x5 (using very old dagor lenses). it required several hours to pick between and modify the p45+ files prior to printing and over a week to develop, drum scan and spot the negatives but the end prints (both color and bw versions) from film had a tactile feel to them that i cannot obtain from digital back files (and i'm good with PS). originally i planned to upload these but very quickly i realized that the end print differences i'm referencing really should only be seen in person. so, if you have the time, rent a p45+ and compare it with your film process. try printing at ~40x50 inches and remember to use unsharp mask for the film scans. you may also want to toy with white and black point, depending on your printer profile.

    like many of you, i've seen rodney lough jr's work and talked with him several times about his process...most recently at his san francisco gallery. given the fact he is such a good printer i am always amazed to look at prints from both digital and film. and, as rodney attests, the prints from film are clearly more beautiful.

    the thing that keeps me coming back to digital is the efficiency of the process and the incredibly clean files. in 15 minutes, i can take several portrait shots, upload to my computer, make minor changes and have them sent to the epson. bang. nothing like that with film is possible!

    cheers. dm

    Quote Originally Posted by Marko View Post
    All true, but in the context of this particular topic, the biggest issue - and the most futile one from the business perspective - is the tendency by some of those affected to blame the tools for their poor business choices. Other people's choice of tools in particular.

    Fighting the future has never really done much, if anything, to preserve the past. These kinds of "debates" won't do much either, except maybe make the participants look silly.

  6. #26

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    I'm looking forward to the time when I can get a 400 megapixel 8x10" back for my view camera for under $5000.

    Until then, I'll keep shooting film. It still has the edge.

  7. #27

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    I like digital because it almost always turns out just fine.
    I like film because there's still an element of chance to it. And I like the smell of chemicals.

  8. #28

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    if sensor real estate is only what matters for you, you might try one of the newer betterlight scanning backs which work well for "still" subject matter. maybe you have? i agree it would be nice to have a 400mp "fast" scanning back. speaking about film, have you ever tried gigabit film? rich, fat files can be obtained from 35mm when scanned properly.

    i'm convinced the 39 megapixel mark about equates to the "sensor area" of 4x5 film, considering the way in which epson large format printers automatically adjust resolution in-printer. i have a friend who feels his p65+ is very close to 8x10, in the same terms.

    what i'm referencing, which is why i'll likely never use digital for my personal work, are the other qualities of film which i find more compelling (grain structure, the way the depth of the negative yields fantastic smoothness). even 35mm film, at large apertures, exhibits this. for example, check out edward burtynsky's works in person. large 5+ feet wide prints from 4x5 color negative film. get close and you can barely make out the grain in the out of focus areas. stunningly gorgeous c-prints.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Syverson View Post
    I'm looking forward to the time when I can get a 400 megapixel 8x10" back for my view camera for under $5000.

    Until then, I'll keep shooting film. It still has the edge.

  9. #29

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    Quote Originally Posted by don mills View Post
    please, don't be snooty. no one is blaming tools. and the comment "these kinds of debates won't do much, except maybe make the participants look silly" is the only silly post i've read so far on this thread. i've read some very interesting posts on this topic at luminous landscape, here and other places and always enjoy hearing people's experiences and preferences. this isn't a dated topic. my students, not to mention most artists who use the camera, are very interested in the differences in look and feel of film vs digital. and of course many, including myself, cross back and forth continually between these processes.
    Well, we all have our opinions, I suppose...

  10. #30

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    Re: the digital vs film debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Strobel View Post
    Rodney spent nothing for his P65+ according to the Pier 39 gallery management, he was given the camera on loan by Phase One for six months.The subject matter was different in the prints I saw, but I can't say one looked sharper than the other, and I was wearing my +1.75 readers the whole time.There WAS a visible difference with the prints made from 4x5 though.
    I was being facetious when I mentioned peeing away a lot of money on P65s, I have no way of knowing how Rodney or anyone else acquired them.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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