Film not as expensive as people think.

ahelg

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I was out taking photographs yesterday using slide film and I realised that I'm not actually loosing all that much money on using film instead of digital. Heres what I figure.

I want good quality photographs, so I have two choices.

A) The Digital Kit:
Nikon D70s with 18-70 mm lens: £669
Nikon 35 - 300 mm lens: £300
1 GB Memory Card: £50
Total: Aprox £1000

B) Analog Kit:
Nikon F75 with 28 - 100 mm lens: £200
Nikon 35 - 300 mm lens: £300
Total: Aprox £500
Money left for film and processing: Aprox £500

Now if you shoot fujifilm Sensia 100 and purchase your film from www.fujilab.co.uk you can get a roll of film and processing, and digitizing to cd for £10.5. That means that for £500 you can shoot about 47 rolls of film which equals 1692 photographs (when i load my camera I usually get 37 photographs on one roll but I've used 36 in my calculation since that's what the box says). You will have both a slide and a digital copy of your photograph.

Now take into account that you will probably buy a new digital camera about twice as often as you would buy a film slr and you'll see that digital photography is not much cheaper than film photography. If you replace your dSLR every 3 years that 233 pounds a year (presuming that you spend £700 pounds each time). Now a film SLR you can get for about £200 pounds and I doubt I will replace that for another 6 years. That's £33 a year. Now If we look at a period of ten years thats £2330 for digital gear and £330 for analog gear. The price difference is £2000 pounds which means that you can develop 190 rolls of film which is 19 rolls a year.

Now my conclution is that digital probably is cheaper in the long run, but it varies very much from person to person. It all depends on how many photographs you take. I'm not saying that one is cheaper and/or better than the other. I'm just trying to defend us film users by saying that digital is not as cheap compared to film as many would want you to think, but of course it all depends on choice of gear and how much film you plan to develop.
 

Torus34

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I've never found film to be expensive at all. I work in B&W, bulk-loading my 35mm cassettes and processing both the 35mm and the 6x6cm film.
 

Don Simon

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Good points, and of course it works out even cheaper if you have a darkroom. The only thing I'd really take issue with is the bit about replacing cameras... I never replace them; I just buy more. :mrgreen:
 
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ahelg

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Yes the replacing camera thing doesn't really apply to me either. I just thought I should take "an avarage users view" on the subject. I to buy cameras all the time. I love collecting them. So far I have a total of 12 cameras in my collection and I intend to buy a lot more when I go to england this summer.
 

mysteryscribe

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My wife bought me a camera yesterday to butcher for father's day. She paid 3.50 american.

I have a house full of them. Every camera I own and all the film I own does not equal what my son in law has invested in two nikons.

If I shoot two pieces of cut film and process it everyday for the rest of my life, I wont have the price of his one small camera bag full of nikon stuff.

Plus I love my cameras, he still admits wet processed prints from a 6x6 look better but they aren't modern. Digital makes sense in a professional setting, but not in a personal one at least not for me.

I make and now have started to market retro photographs. You cant show up for a retro shoot with a plastic camera. It just isn't done

Anybody know where I can get an authentic panama hat.
 

Don Simon

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I'm rethinking my plan of getting a digital for convenience, in favour of getting into MF more while the prices are low. Sure I may have to reload every 12 shots instead of endlessly snapping, but it's satisfying to know I can get a massive metal monster and a few lenses for the price of one plastic body.

mysteryscribe said:
Anybody know where I can get an authentic panama hat.
.............................................
.......................................................
.................................................................. Panama?

Sorry, I'll go sit in the corner :mrgreen:
 
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ahelg

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I know what you mean. I would gladly buy a Mamiya 7 + 80mm F4 lens for £1350 instead of some expensive Nikon camera like the D2H.
 

DocFrankenstein

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And why didn't I read this thread BEFORE I wasted 3 grand on didital equipment? Huh? huh?

This is so true. Digital only makes sense if you're selling your pictures. If not... then film is IMO superior.
 

markc

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I definitely did not go to digital to save money. It's a huge up-front cost. I did it for control and ease of workflow, since I wasn't going to be spending any more time in the darkroom.
 
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ahelg

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markc said:
I definitely did not go to digital to save money. It's a huge up-front cost. I did it for control and ease of workflow, since I wasn't going to be spending any more time in the darkroom.

Then digital totally makes sense. I was just pointing out that if you prefer film, your not loosing conciderable amounts of money compared to going digital.
 

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My only comment would be is. As a Professional Photographer, I used to spend a minimum of $1500 per month on film and processing chemistry, not counting the extra time for processing. Now I spend nothing apart from the time downloading, which is much less than the time processing. I must admit I spend more on camera changeovers, but nowhere near $1500 per month. I would advise you to purchase a top of the range digital camera which will last you for years.
 

markc

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ahelg said:
Then digital totally makes sense. I was just pointing out that if you prefer film, your not loosing conciderable amounts of money compared to going digital.
Yeah, I was agreeing with you, though I guess it could sound like I wan't.

Phillip brings up a good point, though: There is definitely a cutover point to when digital becomes cheaper. If you shoot casually, it can take quite a while, but if you shoot several hundred shots a week, you get there pretty quick, espcially if you factor in time costs.
 
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ahelg

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Philip Weir said:
My only comment would be is. As a Professional Photographer, I used to spend a minimum of $1500 per month on film and processing chemistry, not counting the extra time for processing. Now I spend nothing apart from the time downloading, which is much less than the time processing. I must admit I spend more on camera changeovers, but nowhere near $1500 per month. I would advise you to purchase a top of the range digital camera which will last you for years.

Also I wasn't taking into account pro photographers. It was more aimed at avarage users like me.
 

bigfatbadger

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I think, all things considered, fair point. We're always being told how expensive film photography is compared to digital, well done on beginning to set the record straight!

Mystery scribe, go here
 

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