The Digital Guy Goes Back to Film

JEazy

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Alright so I've been shooting with the Nikon D50 for over a year now. Just a few days ago I realized that trying to learn photography on a digital camera was not the right thing for me to do. It's too easy to be able to check your exposure right away then fix it. It's like guess then check and I don't really learn anything from that. So last night I ordered a Nikon N90s w/vertical grip off of bhphotovideo.com. Do you think this is a good move to go back to film and learn how to properly expose a photo or would it be the same as using my digital to learn, and is the N90s a good camera? I've been reading up on it, and it seems pretty good.
 

Digital Matt

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:thumbup:

It's a great idea. Take a class as well. I don't have any first hand info on that camera, because I use Canon, but I'm sure it's a good camera, and as long as it has the features you are looking for, you'll be happy.
 

terri

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^^ What Matt said. (And he's too modest to say it, but he's a digital guy who did some beautiful B&W film work while he was in his film photography class.) :thumbup:

I can't comment specifically on that camera, either, I use Mamiya and Pentax - but it has a great reputation and it's unlikely to do anything but give you beautiful shots.

Congrats on the decision! :) Who knows, you may want to try developing and printing next, and become a real film geek. ;)
 
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JEazy

JEazy

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Well, I have done printing and developing work before, but it was just black and white. I want to eventually set up a darkroom and learn how to develope color. I want to learn everything! :lol:
 

JDP

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Congrats! That's exactly what I'm doing as well. Though I was shooting film and developing for 4-5 years, it was so long ago i've forgotten almost everything I knew. Welcome to the club :)
 

Digital Matt

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JEazy said:
Well, I have done printing and developing work before, but it was just black and white. I want to eventually set up a darkroom and learn how to develope color. I want to learn everything! :lol:

If I were you I wouldn't worry about developing color. Pros don't develop their own color films. It's too costly, and exacting.
 

Tiberius

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JEazy said:
It's too easy to be able to check your exposure right away then fix it. It's like guess then check and I don't really learn anything from that.
And writing down settings, screwing up an entire shooting session, and then finding out later is beneficial to learning HOW?

If you want to try film, try film. But saying that Digital's instant response is a negative for learning is just plain wrong. No way around it.
 

Digital Matt

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Tiberius said:
And writing down settings, screwing up an entire shooting session, and then finding out later is beneficial to learning HOW?

If you want to try film, try film. But saying that Digital's instant response is a negative for learning is just plain wrong. No way around it.

He didn't say that it is negative for learning. It can however become a crutch that someone might rely on, which would prevent him/her from growing. It's up to the individual.

Screwing up an entire photo session is a real fast way to learn what you did wrong. You won't let it happen again. I think it is absolutely beneficial.

I'm a digital advocate all the way, but nothing looks as good as a slide, imho.
 

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If you only have one shot at a picture, and you use digital without knowing what does what, your odds are going to be much lower than if you bother to learn what does what. Film forces you to know in advance, not lean on the hundred shots of the sunset.

Doesn't matter which format you use. If you are shooting a hundred shots to pick the best one, you are most likely screwed. if the naked girl only runs by one time, especially if she is fast...

Learn what causes what, then shoot all the different safety shots you want.
 

markc

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What Matt said: It really does come down to how you learn. I learned on film, but I would have learned faster on digital. I'm not a patient person, and I don't write things down. By the time I got the prints back, I wasn't sure what I was doing where. With digital, I can try something and see how it turns out right then and there. I learn by experimenting, but I'm also a very quick study, so I don't use the scattershot approach once I understand what's going on. I could definitely see how digital could be a negative for some people. I think it's crazy for people to say one is better than the other as an absolute. gnothi seauton
 

Christie Photo

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Ya know... making digital images PROPERLY is a lot harder in many ways than shooting film.

I saw a LOT of this. It seemed to me that only those who shot a lot of transparency film made a smooth transition to digital. Those who shot only negative film were (sometimes unwittingly) relying on the lab to save their ass. They never concerened themselves with critical exposure or color balance.

Sure, digital allows compensation, but a cost to image quality. I find there's less latitude when shooting digital compared to negative film.

Pete
 

mysteryscribe

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Pete is right...

the first thing I noticed about digital is that it shoots like slides.

If you couldn't shoot slides well, you couldnt shoot out of the camera digital. It was quite a shock to my son in law who had never shot a slide. He went from negative to digital and had a real learning curve to handle. I would venture a guess that digital is a hair more forgiving than slides.
 

fightheheathens

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a side note...
I believe inorder to print color, you have to do it in complete darkness because obviously color paper will be sensitive to the orange/red safe light...
I can just imagine what a pain in the ass that would be....
 
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JEazy

JEazy

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Thanks guys. Yeah, I've pondered whether I should shoot slide film or print film, and I think I'm just going to go for the slide film since I already have somewhat of an idea how to properly expose a photo. This will force me to make dead-on exposures in one shot. I think it's really going to help. One question though, can one-hour photo labs develop slide film or do I have to send it into Kodak or something everytime?
 

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