Going from Digital to Film

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by ranmyaku, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. ranmyaku

    ranmyaku TPF Noob!

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    After reading reviews of many different film cameras (F100, F4/F5/F6) and contemplating buying a used medium format camera (something like a Mamiya 645 or RB67), I decided on the F100.

    I'm pretty new to photography in general and my entry was with a D50 about 4 years ago. Since then I have accumulated a number of great lenses (right now I have 12-24/f4, 24-70/f2.8, 105/f2.8, 50/f1.8). I decided last year to upgrade to the D300 which I got for a great price used after the D700 was released. I chose to go with the F100 (rather than MF) due to the fact that I already have some good Nikkor glass to use with the full frame film camera. All I need to do is unload the 12-24 and get the 14-24 though.

    Having done digital for a while and having never shot with a film SLR camera, I decided that it would be a fun endeavor. Hope to post some pics in the near future!

    Anyone else have any experiences from only shooting digital and then going back to film?
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    GOOD FOR YOU!!!
    I, with many other people, went the other way :) from film to digital. In the long run, it was a matter of convenience and cost that led me to digital.
    In film, I had a pleasure of working with f100, GREAT CAMERA, and med.format Bronica. In no time, you'll be shooting medium format film. :)~ the big difference b/n the two will be shooting technique - you have to imagine the print size as you frame it. :hug::
     
  3. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    Not I. I just started with film and never bothered to even start with digital.
     
  4. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh, and do get yourself a film/negative scanner. Trust me, it saves a lot of money and you get much better results if you want to digitalize them. If all you want are prints, then of course it's not necessary.

    People always ask me why I shoot with film when they can just shoot much more with less cost. Well, to me, it's not about quantity, but quality. If they shoot 300 frames on one outing, some of them may only have 100 good ones to show for. The experience with film is that it forced me to be very selective about what I shoot, and also forces me to be sure that I am using the setting that I want, getting the correct composition, and if this is a worth taking shot. I'd say that because of that, I shoot less, but have just as many to show for. This experience will be carried over to digital when I get a full frame for myself.

    I opted for F4 myself because the F100 doesn't do matrix metering on older lens. I don't really know how much diff this makes, but I was willing to invest a little more, so F4 was the choice.
     
  5. ranmyaku

    ranmyaku TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I do plan on investing in a film scanner. I was thinking of buying the Epson V700, seems reasonably priced for the quality of scans that I have read about. Would also allow me to scan MF in the future if i go that route.

    I am not a professional photographer and just do it as a very serious hobby. I enjoy the process of taking pictures and editing them in photoshop. So I wanted to experience the same thing...but slightly more traditionally by buying some stuff for a mini darkroom to develop my film, and then scan and edit in photoshop.

    Basically around Christmas every year I buy myself something. Last year was the 24-70/2.8. This year it is gonna be the F100, probably the Epson V700 and some supplies to develop my own film.
     
  6. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes the V700 is a very good choice. It does batch scan and pretty much all the different formats of film for photography. It also uses different lens for different resolution settings. I have it for a year now and it's been just great.

    Editing scanned negative on photoshop is not going to give you the flexibility of RAW files. Still, it's plenty of fun!
     
  7. ranmyaku

    ranmyaku TPF Noob!

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    In your opinion how is editing the scanned negatives different than editing a RAW file?
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    When editing scanned negatives, there are dozens and dozens and dozens of little imperfections than need to be cloned out to make a clean image. If the film is old, like say 10 to 25 years old, or has physical damage, you can spend an hours, to an entire afternoon making ONE, single image perfect. With a high-resolution digital capture, you need to clone out three or four or maybe five or six sensor dust bunnies, and the image itself, is perfectly "clean".

    Scanned film is a ton more work if you want a perfect, "clean" image. I swear, dust can get on a film strip or a slide in the time it takes to insert it into the film holder and make the scan.
     
  9. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I went from film (started in early 90's), to all digital (got my d70 in '04) and back to film when my friend's dad sold me his Nikon FE.. but now I shoot all film.. well, mostly film anyway.. I do still shoot digital when i'm not shooting for myself. Then I somehow accumulated a bunch of other film cameras.. *sigh*..

    Part of my stash is an F100 and I think you're going to love it. The meter is always dead on and it handles just like the modern digital bodies that you're probably already used to, only with full frame and a huge bright viewfinder thrown in the mix.
     
  10. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two things about film scan editing.

    Dust issue as mentioned above:
    There is NO WAY you can avoid dust from getting onto your scans unless you do it in an absolutely dust free environment. That's when you need photoshop to get rid of them.
    The Epson V700 scanner comes with a plugin called 'ICE" that does a pretty damn good job eliminating most of the dusts for you, but it will make the scan a lot longer. Also, if you have a lot of details in your photo, it will over correct and ruin the photo instead. Example will be a photo of a forest full of leaves. The details will look "oversharpened" or something like that. In that case, I will recommend not using the ICE and do the dust removal in photoshop manually.

    Editing:
    A scan is like a jpeg. you won't have all the embedded info like a RAW file. So everything you want to do with a scanned image, you won't have all those adjusters you can slide around easily. Most of the time, you have to spend a lot of time creating selections and deal with areas individually. You still can do things like HDR, but in a traditional way and merge them with photoshop.
    My most used tools are dodge and burn, which was what I learnt from darkroom classes to begin with.

    Over all, it's more challenging, but it's a different type of fun.
     
  11. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    Lose photoshop for your first 20 rolls of film...I know many crappy photographers that shoot any thing they want, then turn them into good to great photo's with PS....Force yourself to compose, etc..without the benefit of a piece of software to fix your goof's.

    Not trying to start a debate here. Many great photographers, shoot digital, and touch them up in PS. Much like people did with traditional darkrooms.

    As an anecdote, the best photo I ever shot was in the late 70's, with a Nikon and B&W film. On the base I was stationed at, I had access to a darkroom. I was a rank amateur. All I really knew how to do was print. Nothing about push/pull, dodging, or anything, nada. Anyway I took a "street photo" of and old gentleman, a wino, or derilict or what ever you might call him. The official base photographer (USAF) Lowery AFB CO, looked at the 8X10 print and talked me into entering it into a photo store contest in Aurora CO. I thought "you've got to be kidding". He was entering serveral, and talked me into it. I won 1st place in my category, and a $100 gift certificate from the camera store that hosted it.. (rightous bucks in those days)...

    Moral of the story, I believe, at least at the hobbiest level, film causes you to work a lot harder and think each shot through, than digital. Professionals and super advanced hobbiests, are usually the exception. They are setting up each shot, and thinking them through, rather than filling up a 4 gig card, and just deleting the non-keepers.

    Granted, my shot was a series of luck, especially at my skill level, but I still find that for me...I work a lot harder, and learn a lot more, shooting film. Other peoples milage will vary..but just my .02's worth.

    Lastly, I must admit that now I have my neg's processed for me, and scan them, and do touch them up with PS, but I think shooting film has made me a better photographer.

    J.:mrgreen:
     
  12. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    If you are going to buy a V700 and use 35mm film, also look to budget a Better Scanning glass insert for it. Most films that I've used have some sort of curl to them which makes them not work very great with the V700's film holders. It has a downside that you need to spend more time swapping out the film (unless you purchase four inserts) but I have seen a big increase in image quality from my scans. See the image at the bottom of this post for an example.
     

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