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View Poll Results: How do you use film (if at all)?

Voters
39. You may not vote on this poll
  • Love it! Use it nearly all of the time.

    4 10.26%
  • Use it nearly equally with digital.

    4 10.26%
  • Use it very occasionally, primarily for special projects.

    12 30.77%
  • Thinking about using it again, havenít got back into it.

    13 33.33%
  • Whatís film? Never heard of it

    6 15.38%
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  1. #26
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    I miss those times.

    Because I also made all my enlargements, I also miss printing the color test sheets, then printing the color exposure test sheets, and then lastly the final print - waiting to pull the paper out from the drum agitator to see the completed work over an hour after I had started.

    Interestingly, the big part holding me back is printing the color test sheets, then printing the color exposure test sheets, and then lastly the final print - waiting to pull the paper out from the drum agitator to see the completed work over an hour after I had started.
    Still have yet to start dabbling much in color film. Soon enough though, soon enough, just ordered a box of Provia 100F and a box of Velvia 50 :thumbsup:
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  2. #27
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Thinking about it but not much

    This weekend has been typical.

    On Friday night I was walking back to the car and I saw two scenes that I would have considered interesting as landscapes in black-and-white on the Hasselblad. Just winter shapes, trees, a path, something I could make an interesting design out of with the square format, that would come out nicely on film. It's the sort of thing I don't do in digital, the frame is rectangular and the camera somehow treats it all so seriously. Difficult to explain.

    This morning I went round an indoor show with the D300 set at 3200 ISO the whole time. Usually I set auto-ISO and the camera adjusts from 400ISO up to 3200ISO without me noticing. Made a quick print of the results and I was aghast. 3200 ISO looks just like 100ISO 24x36 film. No noise/grain. Blast. That is usually a feature of my available-light black and white
    Charles

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  3. #28
    A picture is a present you give yourself shootme's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    I've still got my F4 and F801, used in the past the F4 for colour and the 801 for B&W, can't and don't want to let them go, great cameras. Trouble is I like what I can do with the digital and post processing and yes Charles I finally got the D3, the price was too good to pass up, less than US equiv. 4K out of Geneva, Switzerland. Most likely I'd go back to film just to do B&W and process myself as I did in the good old days. S
    :thumbsup: Shootme...

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  4. #29
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    I've still got a F100, F80, F75, Leica M4P, Konica Hexar RF, Minolta CLE and a Hasselblad 500 C/M. I don't use the bodies but the Nikon lenses carry on their career on digital (the best ones, anyway).

    One day - when I have a lot more time - I will get back to using film for a change. Use Tri-X on the Leica. Right now I am struggling with Paint Shop Pro on 70 photos of one of the most beautiful women in France. I have to do her justice. The things I'm doing in the digital darkroom go far beyond what I ever attempted in the optical one.

    Saw you got the 24-70 f2.8 as well. Now I would be excited about that one.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  5. #30
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Hey Loupey,

    I still use film for astrophotography work. So far, it beats digital, hands down. I have about 30 rolls of Superia Xtra 400 and about 10 rolls of slides (mostly Sensia 100) that were (and still are) my astrophotography mainstays.

    Astrophotograpy is also why I've hung on to my K1000.
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  6. #31
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Film RULES! Enough said... :biggrin5:
    I find it interesting to see that as I post, the category that has the most votes is the Thinking about using it again, havenít got back into it.
    I think people are getting tired of the constant upgrades and all that..
    Just my humble opinion.
    Brian
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  7. #32
    A picture is a present you give yourself shootme's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    ...the category that has the most votes is the Thinking about using it again, havenít got back into it. I think people are getting tired of the constant upgrades and all that..
    Just my humble opinion.
    Brian
    Not far wrong, I'm one of those. For me it's about the post processing seems to me like cheating, I only went digital last year and although I love it film seems more real to me, you need to be near spot on on the first take and it requires a depth of skill and understanding of all facets of photography with no immediate second chance. Digital is very forgiving when it comes to skill requirement, though the ability to take and re-take shots helps improve skill as well? Also just an opinion...
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  8. #33
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by shootme
    Not far wrong, I'm one of those. For me it's about the post processing seems to me like cheating, I only went digital last year and although I love it film seems more real to me, you need to be near spot on on the first take and it requires a depth of skill and understanding of all facets of photography with no immediate second chance. Digital is very forgiving when it comes to skill requirement, though the ability to take and re-take shots helps improve skill as well? Also just an opinion...
    I have always thought there'd be some kind of film renaissance, I also think that photographers, collectors, etc, will have an appreciation for the craft aspect of "traditionally made" prints.
    I just don't think that film will "die" as many have predicted. Yes, film and traditional paper sources are shrinking, but I just don't see that the supplies and manufacturing of it will end in my lifetime.
    Again, just the ramblings of a film loving photographer!
    Brian
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  9. #34
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    ....I find it interesting to see that as I post, the category that has the most votes is the Thinking about using it again, haven’t got back into it.....
    That is an excellent point, Brian.

    HEY PEOPLE! If you're thinking about trying film, what are you waiting for?!

    Go buy a 5 pack of Fuji Superia 200 or 400 for $11.49. Dust off your old camera and go for a walk. You might just decide you like it and instead of getting the itch to upgrade your DSLR in a few months or a year, you might find yourself buying a $30 lens and getting just as excited about it. Wouldn't that be refreshing? You can shoot a lot of film for the price of a DSLR....a LOT of film

    If you want recommendations for a cheap film camera, come to the film forum and ask. I bet every active person on that forum can list several cameras that you can buy for less than the cost of that nifty-fifty, the benchmark of all that is cheap.

    Paul

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  10. #35
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    You can always get a Holga too, from $20 - $30, and Tri-X 120 costs about $4.50 a roll.
    And the Thinking about using it again, haven’t got back into it. vote is still leading, so go on and pull out your film cameras!
    :thumbsup:
    Brian
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  11. #36
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    For whatever reason I seriously consider it about once a year, with always the same conclusion - I'm a digital guy. My own reasoning behind it (which may or may not be valid with anyone else) is that film has these advantages (I'll call it that):

    --Less time in front of a computer. Probably enough said, except spotting dust out of scan is a huge exception (digital ICE doesn't work with silver B&W).

    --More effort put into making the shot. This includes carefully metering and considering DOF, etc to get it right. With a DSLR I'll shoot knowing I'm close, review and maybe make an adjustment. This doesn't really seem like a satisfying process - kind of thoughtless. Sure, I could shoot digital the same way but for some reason I just don't. Technically, it's a lot easier for me to get a good shot on a DSLR than it was on film - with Velvia, you either got it or you didn't.

    --Less emphasis on equipment. Well, not really, but I wouldn't feel like a ten year old large format is any more obselete than a new one. I wouldn't have to learn new software, which isn't really something I enjoy.

    --It's just something different. Some times things are fun to do because they're (relatively)unusual.

    But, like I said I don't see doing anything with film. I know what it's like to spot dust out of a scan. Finding time to do everything is difficult (for everybody). DSLR's are also very flexible cameras for shooting in different situations, and it'd be tough to give that up too.

  12. #37
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    For me, I do photography mostly to get away from the other stressful sides of my life (law school, work, etc). I do some jobs, and for all of those I use digital. But for the rest of things, I'm shooting for my own enjoyment and for the purpose of getting away and slowing down. So manual film cameras fit that bill perfectly.

    I started in digital with the XTi about a year ago, and very quickly realized that film and digital produced different results. Especially to the discriminating eye, film and digital simply cannot replicate each other in certain situations. For example, the richness of Velvia has a different look than digital, and of course true B&W film has a texture to it that digital has yet to readily replicate.

    But for me it's really the experience of using a manual camera. The Ricohflex TLR is by far my favorite. There's simply nothing like framing on a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4" screen. And although I use the Zeiss very rarely, the feeling of using an 80 year old camera is just cool. And the Nikkormat provides an easy way to shoot B&W 35mm - in fact I just shot a whole role of it yesterday, in combination with my off camera flash setup. That should prove to be an interesting combination.

    Anyway, I follow film cameras pretty closely on eBay just for the heck of it. I can tell you for certain, Medium Format and Large Format show no signs of slowing down at all. If anything, I'd say MF prices have actually gone up in the past couple months. I think there is *plenty* of interest left out there. It certainly is a smaller market, but it will be many, many years before it is gone.
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  13. #38
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Life was so easy with film

    Back in the days before digital, life was easy - I used to shut myself away in the darkroom every weekend for 3 months in the depths of winter and bring out my prints from the years negatives. Of course I used to feel like I was a hermit and I hated the smell of fixer on my hands but it was fairly simple. Get expose and contrast more or less right, do some dodging and burning but that was about it. It was straight photography in black-and-white mostly, telling a story.

    Nowadays it seems like all the photographers around here (Paris) are Photoshop kings. You don't just do a straight picture of a model any more. You have to retouch it. In some cases the whole picture is an assembly, a scene that never happened in real life.

    I don't go that far (yet) but I did just spend one week on a single picture of my latest model. Apart from the exposure and contrast adjustment and some burning I changed her red bra to almost black, eliminated blemishes on her skin, smoothed her skin completely, added grain so her skin looks solid, lightened the whites of her eyes to give her a more piercing gaze...

    Umm. Hold on. (Pause to look at the print I left on the floor last night)

    Still not happy with it. I have to put more life into her hair. Tonight. It's 6.30am and I have to go off to my real work..
    Charles

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  14. #39
    Senior Member Jimmy B's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Occasionally was my answer, not for anything special though.
    Last fall I shot 2 rolls of film,enjoyed it.Roll 1 was mainly to just to go out and use my old stuff and see what I could get with it?Roll 2 was used in a canon 1V film camera my Bro. sent to me.I liked being able to use my 17mm lens at 17mm.Currently I have 2 rolls of fuji superia to go in the voightlander I picked up last month( The new owner is chicken to shoot with it with out a meter).
    Jimmy B

  15. #40
    Seasoned Amateur WesternGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    IMHO, film is on its way out. At some point the major producers, Fuji, Kodak, etc., are going to figure out that they are not making any money from film and they will stop making it(?). Not sure when that will happen, but it will happen (my prediction). I mean, we all know that if you can't make a profit from a product, you stop making it.

    WesternGuy

  16. #41
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    I would like to see how the responses to this poll change over the years. I think we should make this an annually occurring poll...start a new one each year to see how people's opinions of film are changing. I'm not sure how I will remember to do that, but hopefully someone else will remember if I forget. There are a lot of people who think film is having, or will have, a resurgence of popularity and I think it would be interesting to collect the data.

    As the poll stands right now, I notice that exactly 1/2 of the voters still use film in some capacity, and exactly 2/3 of the half that doesn't use film are thinking about using it again. Only 1/6 of the voters have absolutely no interest in film. That sounds pretty encouraging to me.

    Paul

  17. #42
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    I would like to see how the responses to this poll change over the years.
    That would be interesting, but I think it would take at least a few years until conclusions could be drawn. Even then - this site tends to draw mostly digital photographers who have at least an appreciation of film, but may no longer use it. Which members are active a year, two or five from now will be as much a part of the results as anything.

    Ask over at APUG and of course you'll get a totally different results...

  18. #43
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    That would be interesting, but I think it would take at least a few years until conclusions could be drawn. Even then - this site tends to draw mostly digital photographers who have at least an appreciation of film, but may no longer use it. Which members are active a year, two or five from now will be as much a part of the results as anything.

    Ask over at APUG and of course you'll get a totally different results...
    It would definitely be a long term project. I thought about the fact that different sites attract different people, but I think the results from this site would be interesting primarily because it is mostly digital shooters. That's also why I think the results from this poll are so encouraging. [Go to APUG or RFF and do the same poll and it will be shifted much more in favor of film.] As I've gone from completely film to completely digital, and then back to mostly film again, I've stayed at PR because of the people. I would like to think most of the members here would do the same thing. It would be interesting to track those shifts among the PR faithful, but no poll would be perfect. I guess data from the film manufacturers would be the most accurate, but I'd like to know how many people are starting to use film or abandon film, not just how much film is being used.

    Paul

  19. #44
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    One encouraging aspect to the 'new' film users seems to be their interest in all phases of this type of photography. Many are getting involved with developing and printing in addition to using film cameras.

    It is a niche market already. There are few manufacturers of film cameras remaining and those 'left' are mostly selling existent stock or assembling from previously manufactured parts.

    The industrial call for film has rapidly diminished. There are still som medical and manufacturing processes that consume a regular quantity of film.

    The 2008 financial reports(or preliminary) from Kodak does not look encouraging as to profitability for their operations. Early reports last year were probably sustainable, but the 4Q looked grim. Kodak is already down to only producing film part of the time in batch lots.

    The very special sheet film, maybe a comeback for instant film (though I doubt it will be affordable for long), industrial supported products or merging of lines, will aid production and supply for the immediate future. Film will survive for a time as long as enough people want the deliberate and exacting process available. There will be a cost factor that eventually will cause a very dramatic change. Meanwhile -

    I keep saying,

    "Use it or lose it".
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  20. #45
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    From what I'm reading here, it sounds like there are three general reasons (apart from the special case of long exposure work like astrophotography/time lapse) why film has retained its allure to those actively using it:

    1) the look provided by film
    2) the enjoyment of processing film
    3) the challenge posed by shooting/developing/printing film

    I'm curious by those who started out shooting digital if #3 was in fact the driving force which piqued their interest in film. Or was it that they could not replicate the look of the images they had seen by the Masters? Or was it something else altogether?

    Another thought to put out there is that the general public seems to accept the look of digital as the current "standard" - for better or worse. Certain publishers want images that "pop" with saturation/contrast/colors difficult to achieve with film with uncontrollable lighting. With these trends in mind, does it disturb you that your work may be dismissed by those who do not share the same appreciation for the craft? A real shame for sure but I think it happens despite the tremendous talent a photographer may possess.

    Am I saying that talent alone is no longer enough (in terms of staying competitive and not just for personal gratification)? I wasn't planning on it - just thinking as I'm going right now. Am I then saying that equipment is becoming a huge "equalizer"? I hope that's not the case. But I think that equipment is a big part of the picture now. With film, the results are far more dependent on the photographer's knowledge, expertise, and execution IMO.

    Any thoughts?
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  21. #46
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Needless to say,

    Needless to say, cleaning up these images has not been very fun - and before I thought the occasional dust speck on the sensor was "inconvenient"

    Since I've never scanned any images or film, please tell me what "cleaning up" the images means.
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  22. #47
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Another thought to put out there is that the general public seems to accept the look of digital as the current "standard" - for better or worse. Certain publishers want images that "pop" with saturation/contrast/colors difficult to achieve with film with uncontrollable lighting. With these trends in mind, does it disturb you that your work may be dismissed by those who do not share the same appreciation for the craft?
    Not at all. I find that people who don't participate in discussions like this one generally don't know and don't care whether a photo is taken with film or digital, and usually when people ask or find out that a particular image was created with film, they seem to be more impressed rather than less. I think that is based more on a false impression of film's inferiority or difficulty rather than anything superior about my prints, but that is what I've experienced.

    Paul

  23. #48
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Needless to say,

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    Since I've never scanned any images or film, please tell me what "cleaning up" the images means.
    Scanned images almost always need to be tweaked or cleaned up in post after scanning. Dust on the film is a huge issue. Basically like having dust on your sensor. Little spots on your image that don't belong. Here are some links to some images that I had scanned, and then had to "clean up" in post. Granted, most images aren't this extreme.

    U.S. Navy July 1961

    2 more Navy restoration photos

    2 more Navy restoration pics
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  24. #49
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    I have had a few of my Holga photographs made in both digital and wet prints, and compared them side by side.
    Granted, the scanner and printer I am using isn't exatly high end, but the wet print was far superior, even from a negative from a Holga.
    The wet prints showed so much more depth and detail, it was amazing! Some of the details I never even saw on the negative.
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  25. #50
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Film: Hello or Goodbye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    From what I'm reading here, it sounds like there are three general reasons (apart from the special case of long exposure work like astrophotography/time lapse) why film has retained its allure to those actively using it:

    1) the look provided by film
    2) the enjoyment of processing film
    3) the challenge posed by shooting/developing/printing film

    I'm curious by those who started out shooting digital if #3 was in fact the driving force which piqued their interest in film. Or was it that they could not replicate the look of the images they had seen by the Masters? Or was it something else altogether?
    Those 3 reasons pretty much sum it up for me. I wanted to try film as it just seemed that digi B&W didn't quite have the same feel to it. After trying it, I fell in love with the process of it and the challenges it presented. This lead me to slow down my work flow and I ended up getting more into my shots rather just firing away as is easy to do with digi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Another thought to put out there is that the general public seems to accept the look of digital as the current "standard" - for better or worse. Certain publishers want images that "pop" with saturation/contrast/colors difficult to achieve with film with uncontrollable lighting. With these trends in mind, does it disturb you that your work may be dismissed by those who do not share the same appreciation for the craft? A real shame for sure but I think it happens despite the tremendous talent a photographer may possess.
    I don't like the trend but, don't really feel like it impacts the type of shooting I do. Seems to be a bigger deal with fashion/editorial/portrait/etc work. Everything has to be so sterile now. By that I mean no blemishes or anything. Got a zit? Not anymore you don't? A touch wide in the hips? We'll just narrow that down. My main problem with this though is more in that it creates completely unrealistic goals of perfection, particularly in girls and young women.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Am I saying that talent alone is no longer enough (in terms of staying competitive and not just for personal gratification)? I wasn't planning on it - just thinking as I'm going right now. Am I then saying that equipment is becoming a huge "equalizer"? I hope that's not the case. But I think that equipment is a big part of the picture now. With film, the results are far more dependent on the photographer's knowledge, expertise, and execution IMO.
    I would say yes, equipment is now a very big equalizer, technically speaking that is. You still need to be able to compose a shot but, now you no longer need to spend time learning the technical aspects of photography. Or at least the average person doesn't. Anyone now can get a camera, keep it in auto, and go out and get decent shots. Now auto will only get you so far in camera but, whatever you don't like about a shot you just edit in photoshop. You don't even need to touch aperture settings now as even that can be replicated in photoshop.
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
    Please do not edit my photos, thank you.

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