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Thread: A film slr b4 a dslr?

  1. #41

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    Originally posted by tomshen

    erwinx: I am trying to say DSLR offers convenience for learning, but others might think it makes photographers lazy. Sometimes if u run out of film, carry/load wrong speed film, and dun have certain filters, u won't be able to achieve the shots. We all know photography is a matter of shooting the right light at the right time. So dun tell me one can come back and shoot again.


    Your arguments above - running out of film, wrong speed film, wrong filters as an argument for choosing digital over film - suggest that we have different approaches to photography.

    You can 'learn' photography even if you don't have any film loaded in the camera. Pressing the shutter release is simply the last part of a process of visualisation.

    Even if you decide not to press the shutter release (something more often done with film cameras), you learn something from the photo not taken.

    You seem to equate the 'learning' with an increased hit-rate of good shots - made possible by the conveniences of digital - eg: changing iso, changing white balance.

    I would say that this would be true only if all your good shots were something that you actually pre-visualised before taking the photo rather than something that turned out well and you're not very sure while and maybe I'll just memorise the aperture and shutter settings for this successful shot sort of thing....

    To me, the skill in photography is in the previsualisation of the shot rather than the capturing of the actual shot (rather much easier with all the technological advances...)

    yes, you're definitely improving, but as Ian pointed out, one may hit a barrier or plateau very soon... shots all technically ok (comments from other clubsnappers 'Wow! so sharp!) ... but you'll realise theres something missing....
    Last edited by erwinx; 18th September 2002 at 12:41 AM.

  2. #42
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    The same thing happens if the photographer just snaps without learning with a film body (actually i have seen many). The point is not which format is necessarily better than the other, but how the photographer learns. I see no point why we should not utilize what the advantages brought by digital imaging. Anyway, a photographer should always read->think-> practise->learn->...

    To me, this is a start of my photography hobby, deserving my life to learn.
    Last edited by tomshen; 18th September 2002 at 12:58 AM.

  3. #43
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    Originally posted by tomshen

    Ian, u should know even a newbie has his own thought. And everyone starts from a newbie. Honestly, I am truely impressive about your 80% keeper rate, especially u r talking about spots/nature stuff. For a person like me who is only able to shoot in JBP/zoo so far, seems have no right to talk at here. I'd better shut myself up and listen to more pro opinions.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Tom, well you started it making baseless comments regarding 75% keepers applying to still life photography. The fact is that I have a high success rate is directly attributable to a couple of decades of shooting sport and wildlife with manual gear, which forces you to work harder and anticipate events more accurately than those who've not gone through the manual learning curve.

    Moreover when I started shooting as a kid back in the 60s film was damn expensive as was processing, so one was forced to be economical, a fact that has stood me in good stead all these years.

    Your comments and views have merit and just because you got jumped on by me and others doesn't mean your arguements aren't valid and don't take it personally either, as in most of these happenings no one's right or wrong.

    The fact is that any amateur or professional can achieve very high success rates providing they are dedicated enough and are prepared to do a lot of study and contemplation of their shots before pressing the shutter.

    Don't get me wrong here, I'm not slagging off digital for novices, it has it's advantages and is the way of the future and inside 5-10 years at most there will be little professional colour 35mm work done on film. That's a fact and one I fully embrace and look forward to.

    enough said.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  4. #44

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    Thank you for all the views/opinions. It has been great hearing from all sides and I am sure will help me make a better decision. If anyone has more to say, pls feel free to do so.

  5. #45
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    Woah, how can I miss this?

    Well, here we are at another form of the film vs digital debate.

    tom, while DSLRs have their own advantages, I still think a beginner should begin with film. The reasons you've suggested can be easily overcome.

    When you shoot film, especially slide film, your exposure has to be more or less spot on. Mistakes are easy to spot, and mostly cannot be corrected. With digital and print film, you either don't see these mistakes (and learn from it), or with such easy access to PhotoShop or the like, easily correct it. Or worse, shoot with the notion that "never mind, I can correct later".

    Like YS mentioned, digital does encourage the "shoot till you drop" syndrome, and I also realize people who went from digital to film carries forward the syndrome. If you know what you are doing, there's really no need to shoot so many of the same thing. And even without instant feedback, you KNOW you got the shot and when you don't.

    The thing is, when you are on location, and exploring angles, you don't have to shoot. Explore your subject, look through your viewfinder. If you don't like what you see, don't shoot. Simple as that. There's no need to shoot that many and then go to the PC to delete all of them.

    On this regard, most film shooters will be mentally limited by cost of film and will normally automatically limit themselves. Of coz, this also means they don't really "explore all angles" but then again, don't shoot if you don't like what you see.

    EXIF data, exposure information, data backs, etc - the real usefulness all these has been beaten to death. EOS 1V, F5, F100 users have access to these via a very expensive software and cable, F80S users can have it imprinted, digital camera users have them in EXIF data, but how often do you look at them? And does it really matter if a shot is done at 1/125 @ f/16 or 1/250 @ f/11 or other combinations? I never had a need to know what I shot at. If I want, a $2 pen + paper does the job. And I do remember what settings I use if I paid attention when I shoot something.

    I always believe that one should always know the basics and fundamentals of photography, and film is really the way to go. Better still if you even learn about B&W processing as well. And better still if you start off with 1 lens and 1 manual camera. Once you get the hang of it, you can then move on to a DSLR.

    Do bear in mind that going digital has its hidden costs as well, other than the initial heavy investment in equipment that's obsolete the moment you buy them. You would also have to grapple with colour spaces, colour calibration, correction, etc, and for a beginner, the time and effort spent on these might as well be spent on burning more film.

    Digital is still an evolving technology, and it does not really make sense to invest so much into it when it gets obsolete that fast. Unless you seriously need a digital system, or will shoot an incredible amount, stick with a good film camera for now.

    Just my 2 frames worth.

    Regards
    CK

  6. #46
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    Originally posted by Ian


    Tom, well you started it making baseless comments regarding 75% keepers applying to still life photography. The fact is that I have a high success rate is directly attributable to a couple of decades of shooting sport and wildlife with manual gear, which forces you to work harder and anticipate events more accurately than those who've not gone through the manual learning curve.

    Moreover when I started shooting as a kid back in the 60s film was damn expensive as was processing, so one was forced to be economical, a fact that has stood me in good stead all these years.

    Your comments and views have merit and just because you got jumped on by me and others doesn't mean your arguements aren't valid and don't take it personally either, as in most of these happenings no one's right or wrong.

    The fact is that any amateur or professional can achieve very high success rates providing they are dedicated enough and are prepared to do a lot of study and contemplation of their shots before pressing the shutter.

    Don't get me wrong here, I'm not slagging off digital for novices, it has it's advantages and is the way of the future and inside 5-10 years at most there will be little professional colour 35mm work done on film. That's a fact and one I fully embrace and look forward to.

    enough said.
    Ian, glad to see that u put it this way, u made yourself more balanced. Points taken

    I treat myself as one of the new generation photographers who start mainly from digital format. For this reason I am more or less in favor of digital, but this has nothing to say which format is better than the other. Each has its own advantages and takes certain share in the market. Actually the more I run into photography business, the more I appreciate film format in many aspects. However, I certainly dun think shooting digital is as mad as a snapshooter, firing blindly in hope of getting one or two good shots. I can tell u how I have been impressed by Megaweb's Pro90 insect shots, Streetshooter and Red Dawn's D30 shots in a long story. ppl like Eadwine, wolfgang, and SBS99 etc, they shoot a lot yet I found they have particular talent to become better photographers in the future, given time and equipment. No need to say about a large number of digital phtograhers on photosig.com. pple may understand my feeling if they also see how a fine photographer can do with a P&S digital camera. Yes, nothing could stop a phtographer from learning, whatever equipment is used. It's only a preference. I am not sure whether or not film will be obsolete so fast but it really doesn't matter to me at all. What we want and evaluate is the end results, as long as they can please our eyes.

    I respect every working pro, for their knowledge and skills. It is never a shame for me to learn from them (and actually anyone who knows better than me). Meanwhile I would like to say dun underestimate newbies, they could be as good as pros years later, given time and encouragement. I always hope seniors can help me out in this aspect. And our ultimate goals are all for the perfection of photos, though the perfection never exists in reality.

    Best regards,
    Tom
    Last edited by tomshen; 18th September 2002 at 12:42 PM.

  7. #47
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    CK, thx for your input

    To me what u have mentioned is not necessarily true. I could not fire many digital shots, I could not go back to adjust but do it better on the spot, I could not crop but try to compose better... Anything can be learnt on a film SLR could be learnt from a DSLR as well. Here we really go again: it is the man behind the camera makes the difference. The reasoning logic about shooting digital equals to blindly shooting is really unfounded to me. I always hope to get perfect shots right out of camera. And u know Megaweb seldom wants to crop his D60 shots... I have mentioned somewhere else: I have shot fewer and fewer these days, but achieve higher and higher hit rate instead. I dun even want to waste my time on processing digital film. The real advantages digital brings is the ability for photographers to try out more situation and get more practice. Dun u think practice is extremely important after reading?

    Bottom line: ok for me if anyone starts from a film body, but this will never be a valid reason why one cannot start better with a DSLR

    Regards,
    Tom
    Last edited by tomshen; 18th September 2002 at 10:44 AM.

  8. #48
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    Originally posted by tomshen
    CK, thx for your input

    To me what u have mentioned is not necessarily true. I could not fire many digital shots, I could not go back to adjust but do it better on the spot, I could not crop but try to compose better... Anything can be learnt on a film SLR could be learnt from a DSLR as well. Here we really go again: it is the man behind the camera makes the difference. The reasoning logic about shooting digital equals to blindly shooting is really unfounded to me. I always hope to get perfect shots right out of camera. And u know Megaweb seldom wants to crop his D60 shots... I have mentioned somewhere else: I have shot fewer and fewer these days, but achieve higher and higher hit rate instead. I dun even want to waste my time on processing digital film. The real advantages digital brings is the ability for photographers to try out more situation and get more practice. Dun u think practice is extremely important after reading?

    Bottom line: ok for me if anyone starts from a film body, but this will never be a valid reason why one cannot start better with a DSLR

    Regards,
    Tom
    Ah, then you're missing something. For a proper digital workflow, image processing is a must, as is understanding all the colour spaces, profiling, etc. Straight out of camera, you are probably not getting the best out of your camera.

    Looking at the number of snapshots here, well, one can see that digital does promote the "any how shoot" mentality. You can do that with film as well, but like I said, there's the cost barrier to stop you from doing so.

    With digital, you never quite learn proper exposure unless you have a well calibrated system. Underexposed pics on a bright monitor looks okay. Vice versa. Picture a bit dark? No problem, there's PhotoShop. Or even your humble BreezeBrowser, Nikon Capture, whatever.

    If you learn by shooting slides, you learn exposure much better. Processing fees are rather minimal. $4.80 per roll at RGB. If you are a member of any photographic society, you get 15% off, that makes it $4.08. Cheaper than a McDonald's meal.

    Processing fees is a rather moot point considering you do have to take TIME to process your images (especially if you shoot RAW) and time is a cost too.

    Regards
    CK

  9. #49
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    CK, i think i have made myself clear already, no points to add. Do input more as I always want to see the other side of the moon

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