buying new camera - film or digital?????

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Dave Campana, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Dave Campana

    Dave Campana TPF Noob!

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    Hi from a new guy,
    My current experience involves underwater photography using a Nikonos V. Most often I use a 20mm lens, closeups W/35mm or macro w/extenders. I am satisfied with the results but hate using framers as they scare subjects.
    The real question, tho, is what SLR should I buy for surface photography. I would like a frank discussion or a reference to difinitive published articles on film vs. digital SLRs; say Nikon N80 vs. D80.
    I really want to get into surface photography, especially closeup & macro using an SLR. Later, I may wish to buy a housing for underwater shots but will stick to the Nikonos due to the expense of upgrading.
    I know you guys are probably tired of the film vs. digital arguments but bear with a novice.
    Dave
     
  2. Peacemaker636

    Peacemaker636 TPF Noob!

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    That depends on what you need. If you are going to be taking lots of pictures, want instant gratification, want to be able to quickly and easily share photos, and want to easily do lots and lots of things with your photos, then go digital.

    If you like taking your time, setting the shot up perfectly, getting the composition right on the first try, want overall more control, and don't mind waiting to develop your shots, go with film.

    To me, digital is just too convenient. Prints can be ordered easily and printers are so good now that the final product can look just as good as film. I have to admit though, there is something about film that just feels good. Maybe it's the physicality of the image embedded on the film/print, maybe it's the way that it makes you get everything right, maybe it's the anticipation of waiting to get your film back, but something just feels really nice about film (which is why I use it from time to time).
     
  3. df3photo

    df3photo TPF Noob!

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    what are you using it for? Id probably go digital if your just gonna shoot around a bit... or if your doing jobs for people... I wish film was still the choice of all... but digital is getting a lot better, plus in the long run... its cheaper... no developing costs... thats nice... also, instant gratification... if you want to see your image now... you can...
     
  4. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Film. No question about it.
     
  5. ashfordphoto

    ashfordphoto TPF Noob!

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    why? digital seems quicker/cheaper to me... I'd love to hear your thoughts
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Haha. I knew you were gonna ask that.:lol: I always say film from a philosophical point of view--I don't believe that digital images are "real;" that is, they haven't actually been captured as a physical object like a negative has. That is, of course, open to debate and I hope I haven't sparked a firestorm here. *keeps eyes peeled for Terri's blessing, or, barring that, her not locking the thread*

    That aside, I think you can do a lot more with film cameras then you can do with digital for less money. Check out eBay. You can get a good used Pentax K1000 with a great lens for less than $50. There's a lot you can do with that camera. I have no idea what a comprable dSLR is going for these days, but I bet it's a heckuvalot more. Sure, you may waste film at first but if you take notes or remember what you did when you took the picture, you can avoid the same mistake the next time.

    Sure, digital is faster, but photography isn't about being fast. And this is coming from a guy that loves instant gratification, by the way :mrgreen:. However, at least to me, I feel a certain magic (or whatever you wanna call it) when I drop off a roll of Kodachrome at the lab and get back a box of brightly colored slides. Waiting for them is part of the whole deal. Or locking myself in the bathroom with my developing tank and a few rolls of film and processing my own black and white negatives.

    That's just my two cents, though. I'm sure someone else'll weigh in here PDQ.
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For true macro work, it's hard to beat a dedicated 35mm body, a good 50mm [or thereabouts] prime, a set of extension tubes and a lens reversing ring. Throw in a copy stand [easy to improvise -- mine was originally a height-adjustable bedside table] and the all-up cost should be under $150.

    It's a slow and cumbersome rig to use, but the sharpness of the final prints can make the puff-'n-grunt worth the while.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Dave, this kind of question simply initiates long winded squabbles. Your best bet is to use the search function. Film vs. digital has been argued to death in the forum.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It has indeed, Fred. ;) Not only that, but my antenna goes up when the first post someone makes is to spark a film vs. digital discussion, and then the OP never returns to the conversation. Spamming a forum isn't always about selling cheap cellulars.

    But I like to give the benefit of the doubt.

    If you're mainly interested in shooting color, then go with digital. If you aren't interested in learning film - to handle, develop, enlarge, and experience a healthy appreciation for the art and science that film photography blends so seamlessly - then maybe a film cam isn't for you.

    Regarding getting that end product, I like Dr. Tim Rudman's comments here:

    [there is] “…considerable satisfaction that is to be had from the craft aspect of printmaking. The thrill of watching the image slowly emerge never completely disappears. The sense of creation that is to be had by physically handling a sheet of photographic paper through all the stages of exposing, developing….is very real. It is a tactile process involving a ‘real’ and evolving product, quite unlike the rather abstract computer image that has no physical substance throughout its embryonic development until the ‘print’ command is given.”

    For those folks who feel a fellowship and sense of recognition when reading those words, no other reason is necessary for them to explain or defend their use of a film camera. If it does not speak to you, then use digital - why hesitate?

    It's not all that hard, really. Good luck.

    PS If you do come back, Dave, please read the forum's FAQ's. Thanks!
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I can't really add anything except to say it is a choice of medium and workflow - it wouldn't really be possible or helpful to directly compare specific cameras like the N80 and F80. That's why no-one's really bothered to publish such a comparison.
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This answer seems as silly as the question this can only be answered by you needs.
     
  12. Weaving Wax

    Weaving Wax TPF Noob!

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    Thats why I love film! Not to mention the grain in the film...the "analog" look. I LOVE FILM! :heart: :mrgreen:
     

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