Film vs. Digital

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by CMan, Feb 4, 2007.

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  1. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    Alright, so I've got a Canon EOS-50E and a 28-80; I figured, why should I let that combo sit unused? So, I've been taking pictures with it for the past month or so, and it struck me; before I press the shutter button, I really think about the composition and how I can make each shot count, to be the best it can be.

    And I realized, this is something I don't do when I shoot digital. I tend to snap, snap, snap because, hey; I've got memory cards. Then, I started examining the other things about the film camera versus my dad's digital SLR. For one thing, the viewfinder is fantastic; it's big, and it's bright. When I switch between SLR and DSLR, it feels like I've gone from, for lack of a better analogy, a Cadillac to a Kia. Also, the camera just feels better in your hands. And, there's a sense of accomplishment with each shot you take; digital just seems so cold and soulless; like the pictures you take are all just a bunch of files. Because they are!

    When I take a shot with film, I feel like I get something real and tangible from it. I can say, hey, I made this shot and it's mine. And I'm still amazed at how composition centered I become when I pick up a film camera.

    Having said all this, there is a place for digital; sports and wildlife photography, and for people who can't wait for their pictures. Lets be honest; I'm not a journalist for National Geographic; I don't have a deadline. I'm a hobbyist, not a professional. Convenience really isn't a concern; I can wait an hour to see my pictures, and if I want to edit them, I'll buy a flatbed scanner for $100.

    So here's to film! Fancy DSLR? No thank you, I'll just stick with my EOS-50E.
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The same thing can be done with digital as with film. It just takes some self control and patience.
     
  3. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    i agree with gryphonslair.

    when i moved from film SLR to digital SLR my photography improved dramatically. Not because i was click click clicking and getting the odd great shot but because the f stop, metering, aperture, exposure etc are all embedded in the image. it allowed me to see immediately what settings had which effect and i could then use that.

    Having a DSLR means i learn more in a shorter time and can still take loads more because i have memory cards.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lately, I've found I make fewer expsures with digital than I did with film. The reason is that I would often make unnecessary exposures on film to finish up a roll. On digital I can finish the roll any time I want by simply removing it from the camera.
     
  5. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's good that you are happy with film. You are right, there is something magical about it. What others say is true also. You have to be more disciplined to make the same quality images. Why? Because if you aren't, you pay for it.

    However, if you REALLY want more of that feeling, try a manual, mechanical SLR. A nice metal one from the 70s. Then, you will think the EOS is a toy. ;)

    fmw - What you mentioned is false economy; and many people do it. Paying to have the extra prints made that you didn't really need costs a LOT more than just wasting the last 12 shots by not even shooting them. For example: going from 24 to 36 exposures on a roll of Tri-X costs something like $0.40. Prints end up being what, $0.20 per shot?

    It just seems like a waste.
     
  6. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    From the forum rules:

    'No digital vs. traditional arguments or debates are allowed. We have separate forums where the virtues of both mediums are discussed. No provoking comments will be tolerated'

    So.... it may be a matter of time before i lock this thread ;)
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is ridiculous; to prevent intelligent, photography-related discussion...

    Most of us are mature enough that we can accept the pros & cons of each medium.

    Otherwise, why don't we have a separate forum for each camera model too? Then, there will never be any debating as to which cameras have which features? Owners of like model cameras can just sit around and pat each other on the backs.

    Too much regulation is not good for the soul.
     
  8. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    thats the problem.... some will, and have in the past, taken offense by other peoples opinions of digital and film cameras... that is why we do not allow it any longer.... these threads often turn into flaming threads, so please understand that we do allow a certain amount of discussion on any thread about film and digital.... but when the thread title is 'film vs digital' thats when we draw the line.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    More power to you. I think it's important to realize though, that every point you make, except for the larger viewfinder, has everything to do with you, and nothing to do with film or digital. Letting your camera decide how you shoot is like letting the mule sit in the cart and steer while the farmer pulls it.

    EDIT: By the way, if you are really into big viewfinders, taking your time, and avoiding "snap, snap, snap" you should look into 4x5 film cameras; you get 4 shots for the amount of film you are used to getting 36 shots. Let's face it, roll film, particularly 35mm, was invented for snapshots. ;)
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Who said anything about prints? Not me.
     
  11. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Long roll was invented for snapshots.... Hell most things in modern photography were invented for snapshots. If not we would all be shooting cut film in cameras that have four speeds and four aperture opening.

    Oh I still am...... never mind....

    As to the no debate on digital vs film... I am probably guilty of upsetting those with weak stomachs... The way to a level playing field isn't to cancel the game, but alas my comment on the avatar says it all.
     
  12. highwoodhiker

    highwoodhiker TPF Noob!

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    And this is exactly what many of us do with digital. It doesn't take a lot of experience to learn that guessing where to point the camera and just clicking is not the way to get keepers. And wading through 400 photos from a day of shooting to find a few keepers, well how many times does a person need to do this before they realize they're doing something wrong?

    This reminds me of people who win the lottery and are broke and have nothing a few years later.
    Oh, I agree completely. Imagine how I feel going from the huge 95% view of my Olympus OM2n to the EVF of a digicam.
    BTW, if I'm interested mainly in gas mileage, should I buy a $10,000 Kia or a $50,000 Cadillac?
    I think that depends on the camera. My OM2n is wonderful to hold and operate. My Nikon SLR is terrible in both regards. My current SLR like digicam is the most comfortable and easy to use camera I have ever held in my hands.
    I don't get that. I can sit for an hour in one location with my digicam on the tripod and find only 6 photos worth taking. I prefer to set every manual control to the very best of my ability before I press the shutter release. This is how I got my best photos with film. Why would I change my methods with a different system?
    And silver embedded plastic is not a storage medium?

    Well, when I see my 8x10 digicam prints on the wall and look to determine the quality between them and my 35mm 8x10's, I really feel good about my accomplishment. My digicam prints do not show the same quality as my 35 mm enlargements. No contest.The fact that I was able to capture a composition that stands on it own as quite presentable despite a lower physical quality of print makes me feel really good about my accomplishment as a photographer. Geez, I did that. (And who cares how I did it) I did that.
    What other way is there to capture a composition? The camera just takes an exposure. It can't pick the composition for you.
    So you're saying that with film, you have to actually look at a scene to find out where the photo is and then adjust the camera to capture it as best as you can but with digital, you can just whip out the camera Quick Draw McGraw style, click the shutter and the camera does all of this automatically? Cool. That's much easier. But why use film then? Digital does all the thinking for you.

    Well good luck with the scanner that costs $900 less than what you really need if your intention is to do large prints.
    I'm not really conerned about convenience either. I don't view digital as a convenience really. It's just that the old way is a pain in the butt. Why would I not choose the easier way if it's available?

    Fancy? I thought you said it was a uncomfortable to use piece of equipment that produces lifeless files and strips away the fundamental attitude that makes for capturing our best photos.
    You want to talk about fancy? Let's compare your 50E to my OM2n. Lot of hight tech gizmos on your 50E that the OM2n doesn't have (or need) Auto focus, auto film advance and rewind, an LCD screen, several kinds of light metering, led lights in the viewfinder instead of a simple needle, won't work without batteries while the ON2n just needs a battery for the light meter, and what's with the plastic body?
    Which way is better? There is no 'better'. No matter the camera the photographer still needs to use their brain a little before they push the shutter release.
    The film vs digital argument is the same as when medium format primarily replaced large format and when 35 mm primarily replaced medium format and when the 50E type cameras replaced the old manuals.
    It's always been the same old thing: Gosh darn, the cameras do everything for ya these days. Heck, ya don't even have to think, it does it all for ya. I remember way back when we actually had to think about what we were doing to get a photo. Now that gave you a sense of accomplishment, I tell ya. None of this click, click, click back then. No sir.

    Ya know, you don't need any reasons whatsoever to justify your use of film instead of digital. It sounds like you're trying to convince us that it's OK to do it a way that not many people are doing but it's your creative outlet and you should do it in the way that makes you happy. My replies here are just to show you we all make different choices for different reasons and comparing our way to someone elses way will never prove right or wrong. We'll never agree. But who's says we need to? Can't you just go out and take some nice photos and show them to us? We don't care how you did it. It's only the end result that ever matters.
     
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