Going back to film...?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by keith204, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have started out with digital, and a few people have told me that to appreciate photography, I should shoot with film for a little while. What do you guys think? How will this help me?
     
  2. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    The only way that it will help you is in exposure. When your shooting film you don't have that instant feedback, so you have to think about your shots more. Film cost money and so does developing, so your more careful.

    So as it may be good for someone to begin photography with film, i don't think it will help much for you. But if you want to get an appreciation for photography, go out and make a pinhole camera, and take a few images with it :)
     
  3. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    Yes the only way i can think it might make you appreciate it more is if you were to develop the pictures yourself, that could be different, but just getting them done at the store i think you get just as much the appreciation from digital than from film.
     
  4. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I started out with a Nikon Photomic FTn, 50mm f/1.4 and B&W film in the sixties. The only lens I owned for about 5 years was that 50. This rig taught me to "see" what the camera saw in my minds eye before ever putting it up to my face. I think a lot of younger shooters have missed out on a lot of fundamentals by never shooting film manually. The cost and time burns into your brain certain elements of photography that we mostly take for granted in the digital world. Composition, looking around the frame to make sure no "stray" elements are in the shot, taking your time to get it right in the camera the first time. The last one is something I think a lot of shooters never learned or seldom practice with digital. Just for kicks, go out and shoot a card full of different compositions and don't post process any of them. How many keepers would you have? A film shooter might have 50 - 75 %, I think most of us digital would be lost without photoshop, and our percentages would be much lower. And if you really want the full film experience, try shooting a 4 X 5 or larger view camera. That will make your keepers near 100%, but you might only shoot a half a dozen "frames" in a day. If your lucky that is.
     
  5. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    If you are just shooting static scenes like landscapes or architectural subjects, you could benefit from getting an old fashioned film camera. The cost of processing forces you to slow down and think differently before taking that "dollar-a-shot-frame".

    Shooting action sports is much more difficult from that point of view.
     
  6. Shooting film is fine. I did that for 20 years.

    Developing it, making prints, and/or waiting for a lab to do it for you sucks.
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I learned on film, and developed some pretty darned good darkroom skills over the years... I have only recently seriously switched to digital.

    Coming from a film background, I personally see absolutely no reason to switch from digital over to film to "learn" anything. None. Film is more expensive, harder on the environment and unless you are souping it yourself I think you learn LESS with film than digital, at least partially because of the time it takes to get it developed (as opposed to instant feedback/histograms).

    To me, the whole concept of "I need to make every shot count" is valid, but you can do this with digital by just taking out a tiny memory card that will limit you to 30 shots. Poof, problem solved without having to buy a lot of equipment.

    There are MANY reasons to shoot film... for example, medium and large format offer quality that is far, far beyond the ability of digital... as long as you stay in a completely analog format.

    That's my 2 cents.
     
  8. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sabbath, I like the way you think :thumbup:
     
  9. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am still of the opinion that film burns in lessons that are often lost or not noticed with digital. Having said that, IF a newbie digital shooter has the discipline to stick with the bacics. Shoot with a small card, dump or avoid the kit zoom, and use only 35mm lens ( for the APS size sensor ) or 50mm lens for full frame to learn to see the shot. And it wouldn't hurt to have a mentor from the old school of film, then maybe digital will be a good teaching ground. The fact of the matter is most newbie shooters jump in with both feet using the kit zoom and bad habits are almost automatic. But then again, if you are serious about your craft, want to learn and improve, then even I can see where these obstacle's can be overcome. I guess this is where the casual shotgun style shooter is still just a snap shooter and those serious can become gifted artists. It's just I have seen my work become a little sloppy since going digital in '99. My film work was more deliberate. I find myself shooting a lot of frames without any more really good results. Discipline, it's all about discipline. But at my age, who's going to scold me and have me give a darn?
     
  10. Joxby

    Joxby TPF Noob!

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    I'm a noob to this board, I try not to be too forthright, this is just my thoughts on Film v Digital
    I think there is quite a bit to be learned going through the process of shooting film, after the digital experience.
    Many good reasons have allready been mentioned.
    Speaking from experience as a digital starter, now shooting more film than digital, I find it more rewarding, taxing on the mind and generally a more interesting process than digital, and in some aspects...easier.
    Its not for everyone, I think after processing your first roll of FP5 or whatever and being able to actually hold something physically that you created, can tip the balance one way or the other.
    You can print digital, but I bet there are a thousand un-printed for every one that is, hiding on a hardrive that no one will ever see.
    A negative will actually exist physically outside pixel world, it has no choice by nature.
    Digital or film, I absolutely shoot more now with purpose, thought and direction, through the experience of using film.
    For me, pulling negs off a reel is a bigger rush than "open with Nikon Capture", maybe I had to work harder to achieve = greater satisfaction, I dont know, I do know 6x6 transparencies are gobsmackingly beautifull.
    :wink:
     
  11. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    But, developing film is processing it. Its not really a fair comparison.
    I think process but dont crop anything is a better comparison.
    I do get what your saying...

    Theres 2 types of shooters , you know what you want when you set out, or you dont. neither is better or worse to me. sometimes you need to just expirament, other times you need to nail something down.
     
  12. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sabbath999,
    I agree with most of what you said. The one problem I see with the tiny memory card idea is it is easy to work around. The only difference between a 2 gig card and 8, 256meg card is the number of cards. The "cost: of film in time and money is not there. Human nature being what it is, you just change cards more and forget making every shot count. On the other hand if you gave your wife $10.00 every time you changed cards or for every card change you had to spend 1 hour doing some chore the wife wants then "Making every shot count" would sink in. My wife loves clothes and has some really nasty chores she would like to get me to do.:wink:
     

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