Thinking about trying film - Your insight appreciated.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PhotoXopher, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I currently have a Nikon D90 which I love and I've learned about photography on it. I get the basic concepts and how aperture, shutter speed and ISO play together, etc.

    However I always feel as though I missed out on something by never shooting a film SLR (I've had my share of film cameras over the years but never an SLR).

    My line of thought is that it might force me to slow down and think about the shot more while paying attention to the meter and framing of the shot for example. With my digital I get instant gratification (or disappointment) and can re-shoot endlessly until I think I got it right - with film it's more of a surprise when you have it developed.

    I can pick up a Nikon N75 for $40 locally so the initial cost wouldn't be much at all to get started, plus all of my current lenses will work on it.

    Thoughts? Am I on the right train of thought?
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What you want is a Nikon FM-2 or FM.

    Full manual exposure, mechanical shutter and manual film winding.
    No automatics here.

    Yes, film camera's do tend to slow photographers ... as the material costs money and due to the smaller number of exposures per roll.
     
  3. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    want me to hold your D90 for you? ;)
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    :lol:
     
  5. Bravotwofive

    Bravotwofive TPF Noob!

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    I come from film as a lot of others here do. I have even asked the question "is film dead" of several photography organizations. The answer is not quite. Film can provide better images than most digital cameras, but only marginally. I still keep a film back, and if I find something that I think I might want to do a substantial enlargement on, I shoot on film also.

    The digital has done more for developing my knowledge than film. It allows me to use various settings, find the image I want, and then put it on film.

    I have used my film camera only twice in the last 6 years. With the ability to produce quality images post processing on digital that can rival, and in some cases exceed film, I am rethinking if I should keep it or not.

    The only reason I have not got rid of it yet is all things being equal, film can still win out most of the time. Now with 24 megs becoming normal for cameras with no place to go but up I see digital taking over the lead.

    Again we are comparing 35mm to full frame. Not large format.
     
  6. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I still think digital have a way to go before putting the last nail in the coffin on film. Now, consumer film will probably go first. As that is where the most are satisfied with the results of current digital technology.

    As for film I have not stopped. Although digital is taking over more and more. I am getting ready to process about 40 rolls of 35mm and 120 slide film this week.

    For consumer film the price is not so bad. In our area the best developer / printer is not the local photo store, but the Sam's club. They have a newer machine and its auto mode is much better than the local photo store. Now of course you can pay quite a bit more for personalized service at the photo store. But it's over 5x more.

    But I shoot almost exclusivily slide film so I can process it on my own. It works out to about $2 a roll on average for me to do it. I do have some negative film left over when I bought a case of 100 rolls. I use that for my snapshot type stuff and just drop it off at Sam's. I think I paid like $.80 a roll for it. I also bulk roll b&w, but have not used it in a while now. Since I moved I have not set up an area to work with it. Although I now have a coolscan 5000 so I have been thinking of using it and just scanning it now. Not sure how it will come out though.
     
  7. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Found this article "comparing" digital and analog, good read.

    Film vs. Digital

    I shoot 35mm. I have Nikon F501 (first auto focus body by Nikon, means that its auto focus capability is as good as none). I love it! So what if someone with a DSLR can fire 300 shots in one outing vs me exposing two rolls. I put a lot of attention into every of my shot and I can say my "keeper-rate" is pretty good.

    I'd say it's all about commitment. If you want to go into 35mm, then use 35mm. Get your own scanner and go all out on it. If you keep going back to digital, your passion for film will probably not last as long. Shooting with film has a lot of sacrifices and hurdles you have to get through. Beyond that, it's beautiful.

    Another thing you should also consider is the lens. I am not sure if D90 can take fully manual lens. I know the D300 can. So if you buy full manual lens for your 35mm body, it may not be completable with the D90. I am talking about lens with aperture rings on the lens, not just manual focus ones.

    To me, the difference between digital and 35mm is the difference in the tactility in experience. Of course this is very subjective. You do learn harder with film because you cannot delete bad photos. You do remember the lesson better.
     
  8. beala

    beala TPF Noob!

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    I'm very much a noob, but here's my experience after shooting for about a month on a completely manual 35mm film camera and a week with newer Rebel XS.

    1) The digital camera made it very easy for me to snap off 100 pictures in an hour, all of which were awful. It's very true that film makes you slow down and think more about the composition, not only because it costs money, but because you usually only have a roll or two with you.

    2) It's very confusing for a newb like me to have to sort through 100 pictures a day and pick out the best. Often I'd end up with a situation like this: I'd have 5 pictures of the same thing, all with different aparture and shutter combinations. This can get very overwhelming to a newb like me.

    3) For me, the instant feedback of a DSLR isn't always good. I like to keep the photographing and PP/reviewing seperate. I'm not sure why. I think it's because I like taking photographs more than I like reviewing them, so keeping them seperate makes the actual photographing more enjoyable. Also, with the DSLR, photoshoots became 50% staring at the LCD and 50% shooting. For me, it's more enjoyable when it's 100% shooting.

    4) Equipment cost: I just picked up a 55mm 1.8f lense off ebay for $20. You can often get quality used lenses for <$100. Right now, I'm trying to hunt down the legendary SMC Takumar 50mm 1.4f which can be had for, at most, a little more than $100. (Discalimer: My camera has the ancient M42 mount, so I'm not sure how much this applies to newer SLRs).

    5) It's true that getting film developed is exciting. Maybe this is just because I'm a newb, but I hope the excitment never wears off.

    6) A fully manual camera is a joy to use. I love the feel of manually advancing the film, turning smooth lens rings, and pushing that all mechanical shutter button.

    Anyway, that's my 2c. I expect that a lot of the above points can be remedied with a little self discipline. I plan on transitioning to a DSLR in the next few months, and when I do I'm going to have to contantly tell myself to slow down while shooting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009

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your insight appreciated