Why Film?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by urufan56, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. urufan56

    urufan56 TPF Noob!

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    Hey! I was just wondering why you guys use film. I have nothing against it! I was just wondering if there is anything about film that is keeping it alive. For instance, Walmart and other stores still sell film and develop it and many people say it is a dead medium. I've used film before and I like it (But don't know why...lol). Just wanting your input! Thanks! :D :D :D
     
  2. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I like the dynamic range and the fact that it usually doesn't look "perfect" like digital seems to. Plus I just like to use my old cameras and you have to put film in them or they won't make pictures.
     
  3. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I suspect that a lot of it is because of personal preference and circumstance. People can argue endlessly (and pointlessly) about the supposed advantages of one medium over the other in various respects but what is a valid reason for one person in one situation may not be valid for another person in the same situation, or the same person in another situation. More simply: We do what we feel is right for us, and hopefully we let others do what is right for them.

    One of the reasons I still use a lot of film is that there is a wide variety of film cameras available, and I can use the camera that is most appropriate for the job. There is no digital equivalent of a TLR like the Rolleiflex, or of a folding medium format camera like the Plaubel Makina W67, to give two examples.

    I do find that I can get better resolution and dynamic range from 35 mm film than I can from my Nikon D3 at low ISOs, but the D3 outperforms film at ISO/EI 1600 and above (it's a very close race at ISO 800, not least because modern ISO 800 film has remarkably low graininess and enormous dynamic range).

    Best,
    Helen
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  4. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    Why oil paint? WHy water color? Why sculpt? Why does any artist choose the medium they love to use?

    I just like the chemicals n playing in the dark, man!
     
  5. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Because I like the smell of fixer ;)

    Also because film makes up for my lack of exposure ability.
     
  6. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Because -

    - the simpler tools of traditional photography allow me to get more involved
    with the art and craft of making photographs.

    - I prefer photographic prints made of silver and other precious metals.

    - I enjoy making photos with vintage cameras, in some cases costing very
    little, that challenge my knowledge and skill as a photographer.

    - And, I enjoy the art and craft of darkroom work.
     
  7. urufan56

    urufan56 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys! You all have good points! Anyone else have a comment?

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I shoot negative film, I am excited when I get the prints from the lab. I get even more excited when I get MF slides and look at them on a lightbox. I don't get the same excitement when I look at the screen on the back of a dSLR or when I download pictures to a computer. Instant gratification does not to it for me.
     
  9. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Basically because when I started it was all there was. Then because it was all I had. Then because I could afford it. Then it kinda grows on you. I have devoted more than twenty years to film photography so far and I think a little of my soul would print out well on RC paper. But my favorite answer by far . . .

    Because it's there . . .
     
  10. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

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    I prefer black & white film over digital. I like to develop the film myself, and master it in the darkroom, print it, and I embrace the fruit from my work. I like the flexability of the wet darkroom in regard to B&W. The smell of the chemicals is part of the experience too ;-)

    As to color, I prefer digital, as I think digital color is better, but this is subjective of course.
     
  11. RebelTasha

    RebelTasha TPF Noob!

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    I've recently gone back to film at least to use once every month or two because digital images can be gone in a flash, even when I have most all mine printed out you still loose the originals if you loose your hard drive or your CD's let you down.
    Negatives will be with you forever, you can still scan them, print them store them just like digital but you still have the negative which you can do SO much with.
    JMO
     
  12. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

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    Losing digital images doesn't have to be a foregone conclusion, as you seem to suggest.

    I've had 3-4 hard disk crashes over the years, and have never lost even one image. It's about backing up, making several copies, storing in different locations, and these strategies can be done fast and very cheaply.

    When archived properly, digital files can be saved centuries after the best kept negatives have deteriorated.

    As to making prints for purposes of archival...this is a great way to present pictures, and is perhaps the worse way to archive pictures. Scanning can degrade the image quality of the original. Ever see a scan of a scan of a scan? Why trust your picture to one original copy? Digital means the 1 millionth copy of a file is exactly the same as the original, so in effect you can have several top quality "originals".

    But I do share you love for film...I just don't want anyone to think that digital files are a matter of when they'll get lost, because they don't ever have to get lost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008

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