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    Film photography

    Tom (tesarver) was saying in a recent post that he hasn’t been on here for a while as he has gone back to film cameras. To a certain extent I can see the fascination, like driving a vintage car or owning a split cane fishing rod. But surely after a while the inconvenience of having to develop film & all that paraphernalia that goes with it must show you that digital can 1/ give you better results. 2/ is so much easier & 3/ can more or less guarantee success rather than a lot of failures with film. Maybe it is the challenge, but I can just harp back to my teenage years with my brother taking over the only bathroom in the house for hours, stinking it out with chemicals for days & swearing at terrible results. Do modern development techniques take these things away I don’t know, but give me digital everyday.
    Dave

    #2
    Dave, I’m doing BW. There are only 2 chemicals involved. The developer & the fixer. 35mm takes a total of 25min and 120mm takes about 20min. There is no need for a darkroom as I use a dark bag to load the film onto the spool. So in 20 min after finishing a role, I have images. My cameras are all manual, so it then slows me down to look at a scene, focus, and set the exposure. So instead of spraying and chipping, I take just one image. So the imageI get on the negative is totally depended upon me and not the camera. So when you see the images form on the negatives you get that same sense of satisfaction as if you took a brush and painted the scene. Film is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it does force you to go back to the basic triangle of exposure for you to be able to paint the image on the negative with the light you a seeing. It will also make you a better digital photographer.

    Tom

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      #3
      Must be my deep & distant past Tom of the days of my brother literally taking hours etc. But it certainly put me off of doing any such thing. Maybe I should have read up on modern technology compared with those times before offering an opinion.
      Dave

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        #4
        I also had the urge to return to film photography a couple of years back as, back in the 70s and 80s, I had my own B&W darkroom, developing and also printing my own 35mm and 120 negs. I went from a hobbyist to pro, working for a national wedding photography company for many years. Did having my own darkroom and becoming competent with the process help with my transition to becoming a pro wedding snapper? No. Wedding photography is all about knowing your gear inside out, having two preferably three of everything and, more importantly, knowing how to manage people. But I digress. Having decided to return to film, alongside digital I hasten to add, off I popped to my local camera emporium where I came away with a mint Nikon {sorry} F3HP, MD4 and three Nikors, a 24 WA, a 55 macro and a 85 portrait. To cut to the chase, was the experience all I hoped it would be. Absolutely not. Not having access to my own darkroom this time around it meant a trip back to the shop to get my negs developed, back home to scan them, did I not mention that, another 250 or 1600 if you want a dual format one. Scanning a 36 exposure roll took upwards of two hours, only to find some of them were duds for one reason or another. I soon realised that, compared to digital, film just does not cut it today for the reasons stated. Thankfully the shop took back the Nikon stuff, for a small fee of course, and I am back where I was, a happy 5D Mk 3 user, albeit a few quid lighter. As for Tom and all his fancy prose in respect of film, and also his final final statement that it will make you a better photographer. BS. It will help, but then so will starting from scratch today with digital and taking the time to learn the whole process. Regards, Ian W.

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          #5
          Here we go !!!
          Trev

          Equipment - According to the wife more than a Camera Shop got

          Flickr:
          https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevb2639/

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            #6
            Have fond memories of visiting Orkney with umpteen rolls of film to do bird photography. Was a challange with manual everything and 36 shots. I did miss shots whilst changing rolls and it was just one of those things.

            Keep having the urge to shoot some film again, still have all by darkroom kit, but the cost keeps putting me off. As mainly a wildlife photographer digital is the way to go, exposure flexibility, number of shots, etc.

            Now if I happened to have something like a Mamiya 645 then I don't think I could resist and do some landscape work.
            Canon 5D3, 7D2, 60D, Canon 70-200L f2.8 IS II, Canon 300 f4L IS, Canon 16-35 f4 L, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, Canon 1.4 MkIII extender, Sigma AF 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Canon EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/16830751@N03/

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              #7
              That using film makes you more careful is a very valid point.
              ....any thing that restores the discipline of the ‘taking’ part of the process....like switching to manual, using a tripod etc will I think improve you as a photographer I totally agree.

              in a commercial environment I can understand that making the most of the automation that digital provides is the way to go....time is money
              Brian Vickers LRPS

              brianvickersphotography.com

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                #8
                Well all I can say is that since the start of this pandemic, I have shot 13 rolls of film on my Bronica S2A, 2 rolls on the Yashica MAT, 5 rolls on the Widelux and 4 rolls on the Pentax K1000. Doing all BW, I spend the 20 minutes and the thrill of seeing images on the film after developing still amazes me.

                Tom

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                  #9
                  There's no question that digital is far more convenient than film. But coming from a film background I like to think that I still strive to get it right in camera. Watching people firing off loads of images in the hope of getting a good one is not in my opinion what photography is about.

                  However, there is another issue that really bothers me and that is digital has now made everyone a photographer. I used to enjoy going to the Farne Islands but my last visit put me off for good. People with their camera phones barging others out of the way to take their snaps while having total disregard for the birds around them has put me off going back to the Farne Islands or any other popular location for that matter.
                  http://www.cbnatureimages.co.uk

                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/101212171@N02/

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Brian Sugden View Post
                    There's no question that digital is far more convenient than film. But coming from a film background I like to think that I still strive to get it right in camera. Watching people firing off loads of images in the hope of getting a good one is not in my opinion what photography is about.

                    However, there is another issue that really bothers me and that is digital has now made everyone a photographer. I used to enjoy going to the Farne Islands but my last visit put me off for good. People with their camera phones barging others out of the way to take their snaps while having total disregard for the birds around them has put me off going back to the Farne Islands or any other popular location for that matter.
                    I can't agree with you more Brian. I've not been to the Farne Islands for years, like you on my last visit I was completely put off by just that - get the shot at any price, sod the birds welfare. People trampling everywhere no concern for the birds whatsoever. I think the Warden's should be more strict, and control numbers more, but there it's NT - money money money!!!. I remember standing watching a chap photographing a Puffin, The puffin was motionless just sitting on a grass bank sunning itself., and there he was on 'rapid fire'. He must have went home with a hundred or so identical pictures of that puffin - I remember thinking at the time Kodachrome at eight quid a time, he would have went through a dozen rolls on that puffin alone.
                    Trev

                    Equipment - According to the wife more than a Camera Shop got

                    Flickr:
                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevb2639/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I dabbled in film when I was a teenager and the world was young.

                      I wouldn't go back.
                      John Liddle

                      Backwell, North Somerset - "Where the cider apples grow"

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