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Thread: switching from digital to film

  1. #1

    Default switching from digital to film

    hi guys!

    i'm planning to switch from a consumer digicam (canon powershot a75) to a film SLR, hoping to get my hands on a 2nd hand Canon EOS 5.

    i'm still trying to read as much about film, but are there any important things i should look out for? or anything that a beginner has to know?

    i'm very much of a total noob when it comes to film, i know about zilch. but i'm drawn to a film slr because its rather cheap, in a sense, dslrs are out of my affordability range right now.

    well, please give some advice, anything will do, cos i'm still a beginner to film photography!

    cheers!

  2. #2

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by antitrust
    hi guys!

    i'm planning to switch from a consumer digicam (canon powershot a75) to a film SLR, hoping to get my hands on a 2nd hand Canon EOS 5.

    i'm still trying to read as much about film, but are there any important things i should look out for? or anything that a beginner has to know?

    i'm very much of a total noob when it comes to film, i know about zilch. but i'm drawn to a film slr because its rather cheap, in a sense, dslrs are out of my affordability range right now.

    well, please give some advice, anything will do, cos i'm still a beginner to film photography!

    cheers!
    as of now, film gives colour and tones in a way DSLRs cannot provide without massive time and expertise in photoshop.

    you could try starting out in B&W photography? since it allows you to do self developing too. another interesting forray to step into.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Digital side has a very high starting cost, but remember for film you have to develop, print or scan, unless you're doing black and white film and you have your own scanner.

    Film is basically the same as digital in terms of jargon and stuff like ISO (International Standard Organisation), shutter speed, aperture. Except for the part where you can't preview your pictures immediately after you snap a shot.

    You might like to read up on the different type of films (chromes vs negatives), how and SLR works, cross processing, etc.

  4. #4

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by antitrust
    hi guys!

    i'm planning to switch from a consumer digicam (canon powershot a75) to a film SLR, hoping to get my hands on a 2nd hand Canon EOS 5.

    i'm still trying to read as much about film, but are there any important things i should look out for? or anything that a beginner has to know?

    i'm very much of a total noob when it comes to film, i know about zilch. but i'm drawn to a film slr because its rather cheap, in a sense, dslrs are out of my affordability range right now.

    well, please give some advice, anything will do, cos i'm still a beginner to film photography!

    cheers!

    Fos 5 is a good choice my friend. But since its launch was way back in 1992, you may want to look at some newer models thou. Becareful of the mode dial of Eos 5 as there is a tendency of it snapping under improper or heavy usage. (I am a Eos 5 owner myself)
    But that said, Eos 5 gives you lovely picture too.
    Last edited by NE clicks clicks; 10th December 2005 at 03:31 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    cost per roll is about $3.50 plus develop and scan $9 total $12.50

    easier on ur wallet and u dun feel the pinch.

    But..u lose out on instant preview and the waiting time for developing.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by antitrust
    i'm still trying to read as much about film, but are there any important things i should look out for?
    I would like to warn that exposing negative film is only one half of the process. The other half is printing. If you don't have access to a darkroom and don't want to get your own (for colour, it would probably cost much more than what you pay for the camera), you lose much of the control over your picture. When you revert to an inexpensive commercial lab, you may end up with great negatives, but lousy printed pictures. I don't think you can expect individual service/adjustments according to your instructions at normal minilab prices. (With digital, you can adjust everything yourself and ask the lab to print without any adjustments.)

    Of course, this doesn't affect slides. Slides are IMHO the way to go for film because you stay more in control. The downside is that slide films & processing are getting more expensive and difficult to find. I had some problems getting slide film in the rural US back in 1998; by now things are probably much worse.

    but i'm drawn to a film slr because its rather cheap, in a sense, dslrs are out of my affordability range right now.
    You could consider scanning the negatives (or getting them scanned). I don't have enough experience to comment on this option.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by antitrust
    i'm still trying to read as much about film, but are there any important things i should look out for? or anything that a beginner has to know?
    film and digital photography is more or less the same. the techniques are the same. if u really need to pick up some basics like wat is aperature, shutter speed, ISO and how they are related to each other when shooting, suggest u drop by Riceball books over at adelphi to pick up 2 books by bryan peterson - "understanding exposure" and "learning to see creatively".

    i'm very much of a total noob when it comes to film, i know about zilch. but i'm drawn to a film slr because its rather cheap, in a sense, dslrs are out of my affordability range right now.
    cheap??!! u're sadly mistaken... if u wanna talk abt cam bodies, then yeah. SLR bodies are slightly cheaper than DSLRs ... if u are talking abt consumer bodies. try buying a pro-body SLR like a nikon F5 or canon 1V, and u're talking abt 1K...

    even then, u'll still have to spend a decent (some say obscene) amt of money of lenses. since u're going into film, think abt buying a decent 35mm scanner for ur negs and good quality colour negatives or slides. since u wanna experience the 'power' of film photgraphy, using run-of-the-mill colour negs on a good SLR camera is a waste of time and $, IMO. then, think abt development costs (same as DSLR, if u consider printing them).

    dat said, if u wanna go into film photography, nowadays the entry costs are much lower compared to 10yrs ago. the mkt is filled with good quality 2nd-hand SLRs, and if u are lucky and/or patient, u can pick up a decent middle-grade or pro-bodied SLRs for a very good price. IMO, its also a better way to learn the basics of photography cos u are forced to take things slow as there's no instant review - tho it means a more expensive way! nowadays, think its safe to say with instant gratification of DSLRs, more and more noobies are not spending enuf time nor have the inclination to learn abt the steps to nailing the pic prior to pressing the shutter, cos they think all can be saved in photoshop if they messed up. dats where we are always getting questions like, 'wat is f-stop?', or 'why my pic underexpose/over-expose ah?', or 'how to get dat blur-blur background ah?' etc.. etc...
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  8. #8
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    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    shoot a roll of Velvia slides, mount them.
    borrow a friend's projector
    project the picture in a darkened room to 6 feet x 9 feet
    or just fill the projection screen.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    You should start with Slides (Transparency or Chromes as we know them also as) first. This is to learn the fundamentals of right exposure. What you see is what you get.

    I wrote an article about slide films on my personal website, just for my interest. You might want to read it to have an idea how it is like.

    http://www.capturethat.com/article/2...efilm_p01.html


    In my opinion, Digital or Analog is not a problem. Digital exists because it provides new businesses for companies and more time efficient ways from production to final printouts. It is successful because of the ease it provides to learners.

    To truely learn from mistakes, a price must be paid, that is the lost of opportunities with film, which is good in a sense that one appreciates the fundamentals skills being practised instead of relying on the LCD feedback of the Digital camera.

  10. #10

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by kex
    cost per roll is about $3.50 plus develop and scan $9 total $12.50

    easier on ur wallet and u dun feel the pinch.

    But..u lose out on instant preview and the waiting time for developing.
    ah. most minilabs provide scanning of negatives?

    anyway, the instant preview thing is definitely something i have to sacrifice and i've thought it through.

    the purpose of me switching to film other than the fact that it is more affordable in the short term, it will also discipline me to compose a shot properly before pressing the shutter. with a digicam i don't really put much thought and time into framing, i just keep clicking. so i guess a film slr will train my eye as well.

  11. #11

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    ...IMO, its also a better way to learn the basics of photography cos u are forced to take things slow as there's no instant review - tho it means a more expensive way! nowadays, think its safe to say with instant gratification of DSLRs, more and more noobies are not spending enuf time nor have the inclination to learn abt the steps to nailing the pic prior to pressing the shutter, cos they think all can be saved in photoshop if they messed up. dats where we are always getting questions like, 'wat is f-stop?', or 'why my pic underexpose/over-expose ah?', or 'how to get dat blur-blur background ah?' etc.. etc...
    agreed! in fact, like what my earlier post says, i wanna switch to analog because i wanna force myself to take a picture properly and not just adjust them later on in photoshop. i find myself photoshopping rather heavily on my works. thus i guess this would be good training cos i'd really feel the pinch when i get shitty negatives.

  12. #12

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Yes, I enjoy phototaking and have little interest spending never ending time tweaking my image yet never knowing what is right and worst, lost it's originity.

    As to cost, depending whether you take phototaking as an expenses or investment. Humm... hardly even able to group it in investment actually. So, it would be a small thing spending $8 for 36 exposure which mean hours or days of serious pleasure. Just like we might spends thousands of dollars eating junk food for pleasure and never think that it will ever be an investment while enjoying all these eating moments.

    Some people call buying "car" an investment too. After getting your first car or used car, soon you will start thinking of a larger car. Soon you will need to buy another one or scrap it while many people cannot live without car. Same "investment" theory.

  13. #13

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    You can save a lot of $ by not scanning.

    Even if you have your own scanner, you can save a lot of time by not scanning.

    Is every frame a shot to die for? Do you need to share every frame via email/web? If not, why waste $9?

    In the old days (ie before scanners) people were just content to develop their negs and do index prints. The good shots would get printed or enlarged, the lousy ones would get ignored.

    Film saves you time.

    1. You shoot your roll.

    2. You give your roll to the lab for development. You can go out for a dinner and/or movie.

    3. You inspect your negs/index prints, choose what you like to print and give them to the lab to do. You can go out for another movie, or do more shooting.

    4. You collect your prints and enlargements. The lab does everything for you, incl. dust removal, colour adjustment, cropping, etc. and gives you the prints you ordered. You can bitch about the quality until they do it the way you want.

    5. No need to worry about colour management, printer profiling, white balance adjustment, USM, raw workflow, etc. You spend more time shooting or going for movies or dinner.

    And if you don't scan, you save $9!

    Of course, eventually you may want to scan the good negs (to put on your website, etc). For email/web purposes, you can scan the print at 300 dpi on a cheap flatbed and no one could tell the difference. But if you want good hi-res scans, you can pay someone like kex to do it, and go have coffee or more shooting.

    Isn't life great with film?

    Wai Leong
    ===

    Quote Originally Posted by kex
    cost per roll is about $3.50 plus develop and scan $9 total $12.50

    easier on ur wallet and u dun feel the pinch.

    But..u lose out on instant preview and the waiting time for developing.
    Last edited by waileong; 15th December 2005 at 04:14 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    I use both film and digital cameras. I do not do "professional" work. Hence, speed of processing and datelines are irrelevant to me.

    When I switch on my "serious" mode, my film camera cames out. But it will be accompanied by my digital camera mainly for purposes of showing images on the net.

    I do not do scanning, because my output from my film camera is the fibre based print.

    I still use film, despite the great strides made in inkjet technology, is the fact that, to me, the best of inkjet technology do not produce a print to rival the silver print. But inkjet is so good that to one who have never been seduced by the silver print, you may not miss it. But I was seduced by the silver print. And therefore film remains.

    With my current equipment, I have no need to uprade my cameras and lenses. My equipment will remain after all the Nikon and Canon and Olympus DSLRs (I have an E1) etc, are confined to the digital graveyard. My recurring expenditures are my chemicals, films, and papers.

    It was said, ad nauseum, that megapixels counts are not the most important. And correctly so. But take a look in the equipment forums, and you see the incessant "upgrading". You WILL want to upgrade, if you are latched on to the digital bandwagon. You will not be in control of your faculties. Since I own a DSLR, I am also in that category. I am waiting for the uprade for my E1. I have been afflicted with the upgrading disease. Even if one have the mental fortitude to resist upgrading, you still will be forced to upgrade because like all digital stuff, the support for your DSLR will soon cease.

  15. #15

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    I still like film because you don't have to preview your shots immediately after you shoot...

    taking with film pushes your confidence of taking pictures to a new level, as you know that the exposure is based on your own estimation. I find that cropping, exposure, shutter speeds improve when you are forced to take pictures without instant feedback.

    welcome to the analog world

  16. #16

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefen
    I still like film because you don't have to preview your shots immediately after you shoot...

    taking with film pushes your confidence of taking pictures to a new level, as you know that the exposure is based on your own estimation. I find that cropping, exposure, shutter speeds improve when you are forced to take pictures without instant feedback.

    welcome to the analog world
    Actually that is very true. I started with film 5 years ago, and digital less than a year.

    With films, I do not have an instant preview. Therefore I concentrate on the subject. And my exposures were (later) mostly OK.

    But with my E1, I just had to look at the LCD every now and then. Blame it on human failings. Somehow, with my DSLR, I behave differently.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jnet6's Avatar
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    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Actually that is very true. I started with film 5 years ago, and digital less than a year.

    With films, I do not have an instant preview. Therefore I concentrate on the subject. And my exposures were (later) mostly OK.

    But with my E1, I just had to look at the LCD every now and then. Blame it on human failings. Somehow, with my DSLR, I behave differently.
    i just tried film, not much worries on the colours...(no more PP)
    but tends to find where is the *play* button.

  18. #18

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    I'm planning so too...
    Film lets you think more critically and discover more.

  19. #19

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    Wait till you get addicted to the smell. Its so much better than Armani or Calvin Klein

    Don't think negative just shoot negative
    Last edited by Bobman; 15th December 2005 at 12:07 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: switching from digital to film

    smell? you smell your slides? that is dark room techiniques right?

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