"Film Camera" Emulation


Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#1
Hi sempais, seniors and fellow clubsnappers!

I recently rediscovered a 256MB SD card in my old PnS.

I inserted it blank into my DSLR (500D). It gave me roughly 30++ shots (almost same as film)

I thought, would it be a good idea to pretend I had a "film" camera, and shoot without deletion (or peeking at completed shots) ?

What do you think? (sorry to emulate our DPM also) Do you think this is a good exercise for skill development (since I obviously need skill development) ? Or is it Futile Exercise :sweat:
 

SkyStrike

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Nov 29, 2010
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#2
You just need to have self discipline to
- NOT review the photos till you reach home
- NOT shoot beyond XX shots (a limit you give to yourself)

With that, any size of SD card will do fine..

Back to the question: It will be even better to set it to full manual mode. (Not sure about the metering). With that, you will learn alot about light/exposure and quality of the light... *Read it from somewhere, but I'm abit lazy to practice this yet*
 

Last edited:
Mar 15, 2006
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#3
I don't see why you would have to use a 256MB SD card. I mean if you follow "SkyStrike's" advice it should be close to "film experience".
Using a 16GB card vs a 256MB card makes no difference. Its like shooting one roll vs shooting 10 rolls? Why limit to 36 photos?

The point of the exercise is to think before you shoot
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#5
What do you think? (sorry to emulate our DPM also) Do you think this is a good exercise for skill development (since I obviously need skill development) ? Or is it Futile Exercise :sweat:
Funny that it needs a DPM to make such a basic question somewhat 'fashionable' or special...
Every limitation is a driver for creativity to either work with the limits or overcome them. Regardless whether you use real film or a small card, it's worth doing. Just don't run into extremes like some self-proclaimed purists tend to do.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#6
Film and Digital are very different in how they render the image in the end. If you want "film" emulation, it is best to use a film camera and real film. They are not very expensive nowadays.
 

shierwin

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2008
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#7
You just need to have self discipline to
- NOT review the photos till you reach home
- NOT shoot beyond XX shots (a limit you give to yourself)

With that, any size of SD card will do fine..

Back to the question: It will be even better to set it to full manual mode. (Not sure about the metering). With that, you will learn alot about light/exposure and quality of the light... *Read it from somewhere, but I'm abit lazy to practice this yet*
For full film emulation, need to lock the ISO too
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#8
Get yourself a nice film camera, load a roll and you will get the best film experience, the anticipation, and you might enjoy photography from a different angle.

This film emulation on digital exercise will be nowhere close.
 

catchlights

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#9
just tape up the LCD monitor,
shoot at jpg only,
fix your WB at daylight,
no changing ISO between the shots,
only using manual exposure mode,
disable auto focus,
tape up the zoom ring as well,

this is the best you can do as if you are shooting with a manual film camera, however, you won't get the real film look from digital images.
 

digitalpimp

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2008
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#10
I say it's a futile exercise. It'll only teach you to get 30++ shots. Nothing else. Technology has been giving us round wheels. I don't understand why people keep trying to make it square. Focus instead on composition, color and light. These are the universal truths in photography.

And yes, just like the others have said: If you want film, get film. Instant mee goreng will never be the same as the home-cooked one. Mixing them will be bad for your bowels. ;)
 

Last edited:

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#11
Crippling yourself deliberately when you have improved technology at your disposal is not skill development. All you are satisfying is some warped notion that embracing the past makes you a better photographer. Going by that logic, using a old 486 (if it can even run photoshop) will make your photoshop skills better since each move will be grueling and you will make wiser choices for editing. Think- does it? All these small SD cards, taping up LCD are artificial barriers. You can easily exercise your own self discipline and learn. One might as well say that you should give away 90% of your money and live like a pauper to appreciate and thus learn to live life better.
 

rain5533

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Apr 14, 2009
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#12
catchlights said:
just tape up the LCD monitor,
shoot at jpg only,
fix your WB at daylight,
no changing ISO between the shots,
only using manual exposure mode,
disable auto focus,
tape up the zoom ring as well,

this is the best you can do as if you are shooting with a manual film camera, however, you won't get the real film look from digital images.
Quite interesting are you do that? He he

Cause anywhere the error photos you still need delete from PC, cause the process is really real like Film after process then know about the film can use or not.
 

lewissac

New Member
Sep 20, 2011
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#13
Film and Digital are very different in how they render the image in the end. If you want "film" emulation, it is best to use a film camera and real film. They are not very expensive nowadays.
I seconded this. Just bought 2nd hand N80 Film SLR from Amazon and waiting their shipment. Hehex
 

rain5533

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Apr 14, 2009
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#14
I got my FE for fews months already and keep for 4 Rows of 36 exp files and still not start using for sometime, also notice the film processing shop nowadays less & less.
 

catchlights

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#15
Quite interesting are you do that? He he

Cause anywhere the error photos you still need delete from PC, cause the process is really real like Film after process then know about the film can use or not.
I don't need to, I start photography where back in the days that all cameras only have one exposure mode, and auto focusing, digital images are something we see in sci-fi movies.
 

Aug 6, 2004
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Sg
#16
>Crippling yourself deliberately when you have improved technology at your disposal is not skill development.

You need discipline to think before you shoot. NOT shoot less and hope for the best after...
You'll learn much much better to take a shot, analyse that and review whats wrong, both technically and artistically. ADJUST AND TAKE ANOTHER SHOT!!

Geez, cannot understand the concept of not reviewing the shots after ala film..
So you go home, develop it, all turn out crappy and bad, so what did you learn?..lol
 

catchlights

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#17
the modern technology simply make use too lazy to think, we let camera decide everything, we can fix everything in photoshop,

the basic ideal is go back to the basic, the very basic,

what is exposure,

what is lighting,

what is focusing,

what is composition,

what is your subject,

what is your message,

etc,


just remember this, no matter how advance the cameras be, the cameras still don't have their own brain, please use your own.
 

Larken

New Member
Jul 24, 2011
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#18
Like others have said, what you need is discipline to think before you shoot.

Not reviewing images can be good or bad - on one hand, you learn to be more confident in the long run that the pictures will turn out fine without having to chimp as you gain experience, probably after screwing up lots of times. On the other hand, there are times where you really don't want to go home only to find that all your pictures can't be used.

If you are able to progress in your photography using modern cameras, I don't see a point restricting yourself. Only when you can't control chimping after every shot and consciously decide to kick the habit and still can't, then consider actually taping up your lcd.

FYI I shoot an Epson RD1 for fun sometimes. The largest card it can take is 2gb (approx. 150 shots on raw). As I wear specs, shooting a 50mm eq means that I have difficulty viewing the full framelines, which makes framing properly a challenge. It has a psuedo film lever which I have to advance after every shot, despite the camera being digital. It has a 6 MP sensor which performs well for its age, and only goes up to iso 1600. Oh, and its only manual focus. Has a LCD thats so crappy that I can't use it for reviewing images cuz even out of focus pictures appear to be sharp on the small LCD.

The result? I don't bother reviewing images for one. I don't actually bother to pick my shots as carefully as if I shot film (its still digital after all). I carry around 2 extra cards when I do shoot with it. The 6MP is fine when I actually get the shot, but it doesn't leave much room for cropping, which means I learn to (actually still learning) to compose properly in order not to waste pixels. Has my photography improved from my use of the RD1? Maybe. It instills a certain discipline on the way I shoot because of the restrictions, and it carries over to how I shoot with my x100. But that wasn't exactly the reason why I got my RD1 for (mainly a fascination with rangefinders actually).

Most of the time I prefer to shoot with the x100 because its much easier. If you can learn all the basics of photography with a modern camera, why bother with film or imitating film? (unless you like it). If you don't have the discipline to achieve what you want without imposing physical restrictions, and think that film-like shooting will help you achieve that goal, go ahead. But the truth is that most of it is basically psychological. You can shoot carefully and deliberately without having to restrict yourself to old technology if you put your mind to it.

If I could have an updated RD1 with a 12mp sensor, larger size sdcard support, with a larger LCD and liveview for composition with all its rangefinder mechanism intact at an affordable price, I would jump on it in an instant.
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#19
Hi, thanks for so many weighing in on this! It's really educational (especially from Catchlight's post)
 

edutilos-

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#20
the modern technology simply make use too lazy to think, we let camera decide everything, we can fix everything in photoshop,
It is still artificial la, actually. In the past, I'm not sure how good the penetration rate of SLR cameras were compared to today (probably not as much?), but I would wager that most people still did not work in a darkroom. So in the end, the camera also decide everything and if a shot didn't work, you just threw it away. And there were people who made the most of their film, and there were also people who wasted their film.

At the end of the day, it is the person, not the tool that determines your approach to photography. You can machine gun SLR or DSLR all you want... Maybe you can get something good out using that strategy, but I for one would know what my preference is. :) Still, it is only personal satisfaction, nothing more. End of the day, what counts is the result, not whether you machine gunned out the shot or thought and meditated before you got it. I'd still like to think that the latter approach yields (logically it should) superior results in the long run overall.
 

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