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Film vs. Digital

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  • Film vs. Digital

    We did this a year or so ago, I thought it would be interesting to try it again.
    Film exclusively
    Digital exclusively
    Both, but mostly film
    Both, but mostly digital
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    Re: Film vs. Digital

    Digital all the way. I hate the hassle and expense of dealing with having to get my slides processed then having to scan them. I'm shooting almost everything for print in Camera Raw now and I have so much control over the final product.


    • #3
      Re: Film vs. Digital

      I would have to agree. Digital is the way to go. I can take ten photos, and keep the best one, and delete the rest. This gets expensive with film, I can also get my pictures as fast as I can download them.


      • #4
        Re: Film vs. Digital

        When you take photos as badly as I do, then its got to be digital. At least with digital I've got a chance of getting a couple of good shots without spending a fortune developing worthless tat.


        • #5
          Re: Film vs. Digital

          Depends on the job, but mostly just has a look to it that lacks in digital...pushing film, cross processing, shooting high speed film for grain...just things that add to the image that digital just can't quite get yet.


          • #6
            Re: Film vs. Digital

            Film exclusively.

            I'm cheap! That's basically what it boils down to. With pros jumping off the film ship and swimming over to digital in droves I can pick up all kinds of deals on film and film bodies. I picked up a Canon EOS 3 with PB-E2 for $350CAD in June. Immaculate condition! I really don't think I could get the same amount of camera in a dSLR for much under $5000. Honestly now, check the specs of an EOS 3 with PB-E2 and compare that to most dSLRs out there on the market. How much would I have to spend to get the equivalent body in digital?

            As far as film goes, I buy pro film, recently expired and in large lots. I generally don't pay more than $2-3/roll before processing (pro film, remember) and I have a lab near by that does my processing (to negs only) for around $2/roll. I do my own scanning and I'm off to the races.

            Time is not an issue for me. I don't have deadlines and I don't need to see my shots right away. I shoot carefully, bracket, check exposures, compose each shot and go.

            Good clean fun either way, though, you have to admit!


            • #7
              Re: Film vs. Digital

              Digital! I love being able to check my last shot and re-doing it while I have the chance (instead of waiting for processing to find out that I missed the shot/missed the exposure and realize that I "missed the boat"). I can change ISO speed if necessary instead of missing a shot or having to have two camera bodies (one slow film/one fast film), I can work with my images instantly and process raw or jpeg files to tweak exposure/contrast/saturation/sharpness/color/etc. I still scan a few old slides/film strips, but just because those subjects aren't alive now to re-shoot in digital. Digital gives me flexibility, quality, immediacy, control, and cheap "film".


              • #8
                Re: Film vs. Digital


                I have many years of experience using film in formats ranging from 35mm to 6x7cm to 4x5in --both in the camera and in the darkroom. But, I haven't shot a single frame of film in the last couple of years. Frankly, I don't miss it.

                While there is still a place for film today, current digital technology is quite good and getting better all the time. In my opinion, digital is now as good as or better than film for the majority of common tasks. Yes, there are differences. But, I feel there are many more positive aspects than negative ones and digital provides me far more flexibility and control.


                • #9
                  Re: Film vs. Digital

                  While I love film, I'm impatient and want to see what I've shot NOW, right NOW.

                  There are still some issues with digital that I'm learning to deal with. One is that no matter what digital I shoot with there seems to be a contrast issue. Digital just doesn't seem to treat the darker areas of the photo fairly. Two is the bulb setting for star trails, etc. Digital can't yet compete with very long exposures.

                  That said, digital is getting better all the time. I've progressed from a tiny, 3mp, point and shoot to a nice DSLR with sophisticated lenses. I haven't looked backward; and I'm enjoying the view.


                  P.S. I recently donated my old film camera and lenses to the local community college for use in their beginning photography classes. Now for sure, I'm digital all the way.


                  • #10
                    Re: Film vs. Digital

                    Haven't shot film since I got my Nikon D70 in 10/2005.

                    Haven't had one complaint about digital print quality from my most vocal photo critic and fan: My wife.


                    • #11
                      Re: Film vs. Digital

                      We all determine the quality of our digital cameras largely by the number of megapixels the imaging CCD has. Because, as we all know, the more pixels that can sample the light the more detailed and high resolution the images will be.

                      Now, in a giant backward leap forward they're looking into creating single pixel cameras. One single pixel on the CCD (not millions) to sample the light and capture all the data.

                      Check it out:



                      • #12
                        Re: Film vs. Digital

                        i used to be a snob and i always thought digtal was a cheaters way. i bought my first digital used from a photographer...the canon d60. loved it! my dark room became storage immediately.


                        • #13
                          Re: Film vs. Digital

                          Digital all the way! Here's my story:

                          I shot my first film photos back in 1974. Just prior to that I played with blue sun prints made from my grandfather's old box camera negs. From that same time I learned to develop my own B&W film and prints (while also trying to develop color slide film and Cibachrome prints).

                          I continued the same Tri-X film/RC paper combo straight through high school (while also working as a photographer for the local paper) and college (MANY yearbook-related shoot and print jobs). My last use of my own darkroom was in 1997, even though I worked in education afterward and had a nice one available to me for several years after that. Never used it!

                          My first experience with digital was about 1992, with the Sony Pro-Mavica and little Canon discs ($10 each). I went full-time digital about 5 years ago, and have only shot film for the rare family portrait assignment (medium format).

                          After all those years in the darkroom, I have no desire to ever set foot in one again! Hot, dark, smelly, expensive, environmentally unfriendly. It's great to shoot digital like a wild man with no concern for cost, pop the disc into the computer, and instantly be looking at and experimenting with the day's shots.

                          I use to shoot a lot of weddings in 35mm, and half of the stress (after the effort of physically taking the shots and sweating out the exposure, etc.) was hoping the lab didn't trash the shots in the soup.

                          And it's been stated several years ago (by Jeff Schewe) that digital has surpassed film in resolving quality, so it's only gotten better since.

                          Speaking of digital's ease-of-use, here's a shot I took yesterday at The Grove/Farmer's Market in Hollywood. Had I shot this on film, chances are the half-finished roll would still be in the camera, and you would never see the image until I got around to processing/scanning it.

                          I did not alter the content of the shot (a cool building roof with reflection from another building and surprise chemtrail plane --I was working the shot before he arrived!) except to enhance the detail with LucisArt and reduce the resulting grittiness with Noiseware. I further treated the shot with Kubota Artistic Actions' Hollywood Glow (fittingly enough!).

                          I should also add that there are several plug-ins and actions that offer film grain, color effects, etc., should you miss the old stock ;-).
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by plugsnpixels; 01-03-2007, 11:38 PM.


                          • #14
                            Interesting thread at DPReview

                            Lots of opinions, pros/cons on film and digital here:



                            • #15
                              Re: Film vs. Digital

                              Film still - I think that while its obvious that digital is taking over I think the cost of moving to digital and being able to do the same things as Film is never mentioned .....
                              1. Projecting slides-what can beat looking at projected slides for impact etc. has everyone forgoten this? you can only do similar with a digital projector which has a very high cost both to buy and with spare lamps and the quality is not anywhere near as good. (TV is an option but only if you have a large and very expensive HD TV will you get near slide projection)
                              2. Having to take a large storage method when going on a long trip ie: lots of cards (expensive) A laptop (expensive and heavy) or a portable drive (expensive) - I know these are one off costs and it can be argued that you would also need a film scanner for film but you can also get you best shots scanned at shop etc. which gets around the costs of a scanner.
                              3. The future? what will happen to our images when say in 50 years time a grandson unearths some funny shiny disc and has nothing to put it in to see whats on it coupled with Jpegs and Tiffs being long dead, all these things will become obsolete weather you like it or not, Film will only die out because we let it.
                              I think that digitals bigest drawback is the very high cost of all the other bits needed to run it and the fact that you are limiting yourself to one format - The Print! I prefer to keep my options open which I can do with film.


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