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Thread: Why do people still shoot with film cameras when digital is a better tool!

  1. #21
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    Background: I used to shoot for over a decade with film before my SLR was stole Now using DSLR

    My two pennies worth:
    The digital can provide instant feedback. This is good, except that this leads many to "chimp" . For me, the instant feedback is to check if the shot has correct exposure, especially if I'm doing long exposures. Other than that, I don't often review it. It is a skill that remained with me during my film SLR days. I too shoot with care; not shooting madly even though each shot is practically free. In the various shoots I go, a 3+ hour shoot only produced 130-160 shots. That comes to about 4-5 rolls. Film users on these shoots used about this amount too. Must be due to my old film habits

    Digital more expensive up front, cheaper during operation: This is self-explanatory. Vice versa for film.

    Size & Weight: The smaller digital cams, eg Optio or Exlim are small too

    Time to turn on: Camera specific; *I* don't have an issue with a DLSR that takes <0.1 sec to powerup

    Battery issue: No problems here. I do agree if the camera is going to places where power is rare or hard to get like Tibet or Mongolia. Otherwise, it is a camera specific issue. My charger, which is light and can take 110-240, with my 500-800 shots per battery per charge is more convenent than 14-20 rolls of films each time . Imagine that for a 3-week vacation, you have about 30 rolls (about 1.5 rolls per day) to bring there and come back, vs the charger + battery...

    Easier to correct errors or make changes: Let's admit it, using Photoshop to make corrections or changes are easier in the dark room. Don't talk about rights or wrongs here: I'm talking about brightness and USM which originally came out from the dark room. Hey, who wants to boil their chemicals instead of using the mouse to solaris an image?

    On the other hand, film gives you a more "personal" touch. With each shot using film costing more $ and time, etc, it is very personal and require a lot more effort.

    I don't mind doing film as well as doing digital at the same time. I don't see it as a mutually exclusive thing.
    Last edited by Watcher; 5th January 2004 at 11:49 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    Basically, film still produce much more vibrant color and contast... (pro film)

    Digital still has not been able to bridge the gap yet... ( i think it is a matter of time but new tech is expensive)

    So it depend on what you shoot.

    Just some simple product shot, you are better off with a Digital camera, you just need the details of the product shown clearly. Simplify the workflow.

    Maybe you are shooting Landscape and you want the lush vibrant color... (diff people use diff terms to express what they want)
    Film can produce better result.

    I did an experiment by comparing the printout of scanned negative into jpeg and a direct download from my fujipix s602z, i find that the scanned negative has better quality in terms of color, detail & sharpness.
    Last edited by DennisLee; 10th January 2004 at 11:07 PM.

  3. #23
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    Until and unless such a day comes where digital sensors and/or software editing tools have "Velvia 50 Mode", "Astia 100F Mode", "Tri-X Mode" and the like, there is just no ways to determine which is better - they are just different.

    See a well-taken Velvia 50 slide projection. See a good print made from a Tri-X negative. See a perfectly corrected digital photo on the computer screen. They are just different.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowstrife
    I was having a conversation with a friend and he ask me why people still shoot with film when you can go digital. I wasn't able to argue in favor of film since I couldn't see what film offered that digital didn't. I personal have a digital camera but I've taken a black and white photography class where I used a film camera and and developed the film by hand. The film camera was cumbersome to use and to maintain. Everytime I took a picture I was worried about the image that would come out unlike my digital camera where every image can be previewed. When i look at a film camera I see something that limiting your art. Why do people still use tools that are out of date what do they have to gain do the film camera do they take a picture of how something realy is rather then what a digital camera does alter it. Film scanners are avaible to convert pictures to digital which realy puzzles me why they even use a film camera. In any case no camera can capture a ture image of how you see.
    back in the 60's the NASA engineers were at a quandry. they didn't know how to solve the problem of taking notes in zero gravity. "we have to invent a new pen which can write in all positions, upsidedown, vertical or horizontal. ink which will flow in zero gravity conditions. corrections to the notes must be allowed as well (i.e. erasable)". teams of engineers spent months cracking their brains to come up with this fantastic writing instrument.

    meanwhile, the russians had sent the first man into space, he took notes, made corrections on his pad, drew sketches while upsidown, vertical, horizontal, all the while in zero gravity. what was their fantastic writing instrument that acheived all this? the pencil.
    Today is a gift; that's why it's called the present.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by patch17
    meanwhile, the russians had sent the first man into space, he took notes, made corrections on his pad, drew sketches while upsidown, vertical, horizontal, all the while in zero gravity. what was their fantastic writing instrument that acheived all this? the pencil.
    patch17, i love your collection of old stuff....especially that Argus C3! have you checked out the Canon VT down at Alex's photo at peninsular...quoted $800 for body and lens, *f1.2*!!!

    anyway...the point is...one of the joy of photography with film is, we can still use, enjoy and appreciate the vintage cameras of the past. with digital...would you use a 'retro' digital camera?

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by showtime
    i dont think that we can say that digital is a better tool... there are pros and cons...
    I agree with you. There ARE pros and cons using film or digital. Somehow, there are certain functions that digital cannot achieve and film produces better results.

    Just my two cents worth entirely, portraits somewhat look better on film. They have a softer look unlike digital. Although I am considered an amateur in photography, but I have seen pictures taken by both film and digital side-by-side and they do look different.

    Regards,
    -Michelle-

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by patch17
    meanwhile, the russians had sent the first man into space, he took notes, made corrections on his pad, drew sketches while upsidown, vertical, horizontal, all the while in zero gravity. what was their fantastic writing instrument that acheived all this? the pencil.
    I don't know if my answer came from USA as a rebuttal, but I think it makes sense. They shouldn't use a pencil because all the dust from the pencil leads could cause a short circuit in space, when there's sufficient quantities.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    I have a 10D, a G3 and an Ixus S400.

    But nowadays I shoot mainly B&W film with my Olympus mju II and Pentax 928 (P&S with 28-90 mm zoom). Alternatively I use EOS 300 with a Tamron 28-200 zoom lens. I use the 10D to "scan" negatives into digital format.

    Why?

    Well, it's not image quality. I get much nicer quality with the 10D.

    Basically it's the fact that an mju II is very small and light (135 grams) and can be carried around everywhere. It starts up in less than one second, and focuses a lot faster than a digicam. I can take the camera out, turn it on, shoot and keep the camera back in the bag faster than it takes any digicam to "boot up". That includes the 10D, by the way. If I need to, I can push to ISO 6400 and still get a useable image.

    Here's what I said about film in an older thread:

    Although I'm a great fan of digital (and can list the many advantages), I'm also beginning to discover the benefits of film.

    1. Shooting with care. Each shot is psychologically PRECIOUS. You don't shoot rubbish, you think before you shoot (usually resulting in a better shot), and there's so much less editing to do at the end of a roll. Sure, you could do that with digital, but will you?

    2. High ISO. Although I have yet to develop my first roll of Ilford Delta 3200 (still exposing this one frame at a time), I believe you can't get the same low-grain equivalent digitally at the moment (maybe in a coupla years). And this can easily be pushed to ISO 6400. That's why the so-called night shots on CS are all of buildings, not people. Buildings don't move. I'm interested in taking pictures of people at night, in low-light conditions.

    3. Size, weight and cost. Film cameras are usually smaller and lighter than their digital equivalents, when comparing similar picture quality. I don't expect to get the same image quality from a digicam the size of my Olympus mju II, which I got for $140 brand new. Even my film SLR, the EOS 50, is much lighter than the D30 (and a heck of a lot cheaper).

    4. Speed of operation. There's almost negligible start-up time with a film camera, as oppposed to what you find in digicams. Just flick a switch (sometimes this is not even necessary) and shoot immediately. You won't believe how many shots I have missed waiting for my digital camera to wake up, even from standby mode.

    5. Batteries. Try taking a trip to a place where you can't recharge batteries, and see how a manual film camera is superior to the best dead digital camera.

    6. Artistic cred. Somehow film users get more boasting rights than a digicam user, don't you think?
    This is a well-written article. Very well said.

    Regards,
    -Michelle-

  9. #29

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    u'll have to like the medium and the film itself... hard to explain when we see ppl get kodak 200 or MAX... nono dunt flame.. nono i not saying its not good... i use them too..

    by its alot more than the film u get at the drugstore... its like videography too... got tape.. why shoot film... =) cos its nice. reallly... and u gotta love the smell of chemicals..

    anywae jokes aside.. i just like the medium.. even with a 1Ds, that is IF i had a 1Ds... i still wont give up flim..

    it really depends.. i enjoy shooting on my IXUS400 wad... and oso on an old pentax spotmatic F... its really what u want..

    err...oh yah original post said its a limiter to the art? well... i disagree lor.. den again... why not have a thread... WHat Is ThE ArT of Photography. loads of different answers... definition to art aint that simple..

    and some is the art of collecting toys.. i oso like that..

    so be happy... have opinions... but be nice in the opinions to know that its not fixed and is subject to others too..






  10. #30

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    Oh yeah, that's the other thing.

    With digital, you only have so many toys to buy. After a while, all the cams are basically the same. After you get the 1Ds, what else is there?

    With film, there's so much retro stuff to get. And it's heck of a lot cheaper, too.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    Oh yeah, that's the other thing.

    With digital, you only have so many toys to buy. After a while, all the cams are basically the same. After you get the 1Ds, what else is there?

    With film, there's so much retro stuff to get. And it's heck of a lot cheaper, too.
    Actually, isn't it suppose to be the other way round? Digital is suppose to be more economical and film is usually darn freaking expensive...

    Sorry ah... just my two cents worth... just asking only.

    Regards,
    -Michelle-

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mich_2103
    Actually, isn't it suppose to be the other way round? Digital is suppose to be more economical and film is usually darn freaking expensive...

    Sorry ah... just my two cents worth... just asking only.

    Regards,
    -Michelle-
    hmm, I think that the start up cost for a DSLR setup is way much higher than a decent SLR, but the film and processing costs are basically nil for DSLR (if you factor in card readers and media as startup costs)

    I personally just started shooting with an SLR a few months ago. I've considered getting a digital cam but decided to go with an SLR. A high end digicam costs about the same as my midrange Nikon F75, and has pretty much similiar creative functions (I've seen some of the pictures taken by digicams in this forum and some of them are really good!) but somehow the lure to digital isn't there..

    Maybe the digital bug will bite later, maybe not, but meanwhile, I'm happily shooting off with my 'baby'

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereobox
    patch17, i love your collection of old stuff....especially that Argus C3! have you checked out the Canon VT down at Alex's photo at peninsular...quoted $800 for body and lens, *f1.2*!!!

    anyway...the point is...one of the joy of photography with film is, we can still use, enjoy and appreciate the vintage cameras of the past. with digital...would you use a 'retro' digital camera?
    thanks for the info... hmmm, i don't have a Canon in my collection, yet. but i just reckon $800 is a LOT of dinero to plonk down on a camera, be it film or digital!

    i just love old junk. $8 for a working, neat looking GTN which just needs a clean of the viewfinder and new light seals..fix'er up, lock and load, and your ready to rock.

    just my 2 cents...
    Today is a gift; that's why it's called the present.
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  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azure

    It's their choice. So long as the one group does not impose their will on the other, its fine with me.

    But I don't have a choice.
    Objection !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninelives
    But I don't have a choice.
    Sure you do. Three choices.

    Film. Digital. Human.

  16. #36
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    I feel that this question is similar to

    "Why learn mental arithmetic when you have an electronic calculator?"

    Learning the basics and fundamentals before we pamper ourselves with tools that take will away certain faculties from us is essential. If one does not use his/her brain often enough, atrophy sets in. If one learns to use a digital camera right from the start, it is possible that he/she may well end up not knowing how a camera works at all.

    Sadly, MOE is in favour of such methodology nowadays. F Maths students now allowed to use graphical calculators, SAT now allowed calculators, and the number of software students get to use to help them "learn" in secondary schools.

    In my opinion, learning things the hard way isn't the worst afterall.

  17. #37
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    I shot slides for the first time using Agfa Vista while in NY. Got a 3X slide viewer and I was absolutely gobsmacked when I saw the incredible colours and the "3D effect" you can never achieve with digital.

    Went to a school reunion...some girls were using film cameras...I guess their idea was "point, shoot, give to lab, receive pics of friends". So simple. No photoshop. No nonsense.
    Last edited by Nikonian Foo; 11th January 2004 at 10:01 PM.

  18. #38

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    I think digital still have not bridged film one yet? Lets talk abt slideshow. I remebered that time i did a presentation with powerpoint. and one with a slides projector. The vibrance of slide is far superior, i was only usuing those normal slides. It is jus the tone.
    No doubt i like digital, but it does not give u the skintone imho?
    And i think ppl still prefer seeing prints.
    maybe by using film, u can do funny things such as cross processing?

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by yaoxing
    Sadly, MOE is in favour of such methodology nowadays. F Maths students now allowed to use graphical calculators, SAT now allowed calculators, and the number of software students get to use to help them "learn" in secondary schools.
    .
    f maths curve sketching now can use electronic aids? wakaoz...not fair ...

    anyway to me it doesnt make a difference actually

  20. #40
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    This is an endless debate..film or digital is better.
    For me, I do not agree with digital is much cheaper..as some of the DSLR which quality can match with Pro-film is very much expensive than Film cameras. The set-up cost for DSLR is much more expensive and the technology will replace even the top model almost every year or so..with better CCD technology and etc...
    Digital do have pros...you can preview picture after you had just taken it (it also means that that person have 0 confidence in his skills in photography).
    Buy a cheap old Nikon camera (F, F2, FM, FM2) and you can be sure that these cameras are going to last you a long time..if you are a technology freak or an equipment freak(always like to buy new things), buy a DSLR. There is always a MILLION of excuse to change your DSLRs when a new 30 million pixels DSLR coming out of the market.

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