What makes you go with film in this day of age?

BradUF

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I really feel like the odd man out as a n00b by not going with digital. Everyone was saying to me why do you want a camera that takes film over digital? The biggest reason was that I felt that to get a good digital camera that is as good as a old Nikon I would have to spend a ton of money on a D80.. So I picked up the body of a Nikon N80 for 86 bucks came with box and only used twice.

The second reason is I dunno why but I have always wanted to work with film for some reason. To me it is about the film..

However, after picking up my camera I didn't notice how big digital had become. I remember a few years ago they were saying it would be a while before digital qauilty caught up to film. I can't beleive that companies have stop making cameras that take film.
 

Big Mike

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The problem is that making and selling film cameras just isn't profitable like it used to be. The technology was basically the same for many years and getting people to buy new cameras isn't easy.

Along comes digital, now people are buying new cameras, and then upgrading them every few years. 4 or 5 years ago, the sales of digital cameras surpassed that of film cameras...and the gap has been widening since. There might always be a small market for film cameras...but the companies won't put any R&D into it.

The quality of DSLR cameras has, for the most part, caught up to 35mm film and surpassed it. Especially as it pertains to the average consumer, who is more likely a soccer mom than a 'photographer'.

They said that B&W film would die when color became prominent...but it's still around. I'm guessing that film will be around for a long time yet...but it will get harder to find places that develope it.
 

Sideburns

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While it is true that they have surpassed image quality of film using digital (at least I know they have in 35mm...not sure about medium and large format)...anyways.

They may have done that...but they still have not overcome the narrow latitude of a digital sensor. Sometimes I wish I shot film, for some of the great shots I would have had...had I exposed 2 stops better in my super noob state.

I want a film body, as well as black and white chemicals...but I just can't afford it right now. I'm sure soon enough I'll have a whole film setup to play with...it looks like lots of fun.
 
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BradUF

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The problem is that making and selling film cameras just isn't profitable like it used to be. The technology was basically the same for many years and getting people to buy new cameras isn't easy.

Along comes digital, now people are buying new cameras, and then upgrading them every few years. 4 or 5 years ago, the sales of digital cameras surpassed that of film cameras...and the gap has been widening since. There might always be a small market for film cameras...but the companies won't put any R&D into it.

The quality of DSLR cameras has, for the most part, caught up to 35mm film and surpassed it. Especially as it pertains to the average consumer, who is more likely a soccer mom than a 'photographer'.

They said that B&W film would die when color became prominent...but it's still around. I'm guessing that film will be around for a long time yet...but it will get harder to find places that develope it.

How many mp does it take to equal film?

Yeah thats another thing I don't like is spending a ton of money on a Camera and a year later it is out of date.
 

Coldow91

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I might be completely wrong, but I don't think that there is the direct correlation between megapixels and quality of film. I you can even make the comparison it would depend on the sensor and the type of film
 

jstuedle

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The resolution of a film/lens combo is measured in "line pairs per millimeter" or lp/mm and sometimes written as lpmm. The better Nikkor lenses could always exceed the best film in there ability to project a higher number of line pairs that the film could resolve. On a cropped chip, 1/1.5 ratio, 10 MP is about equal to the best film. The D2X at 12 MP when it was released had the smallest pixels of any sensor on the market, it was stretching the best lenses ability to resolve what the sensor could capture. To surpass that pixel count in a APS format chip would require a new line of ultra fine glass at an outrageous cost. To get a higher resolution in that size chip would do nothing to enhance image quality, and would only disappoint buyers.

So the quick answer would be in the neighborhood or 8 to 10 MP to equal or surpass most films quality in 35mm.

You will also find the 39 MP backs in 4X6 format equaling or surpassing fime in med. format.
 

Alpha

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For black and white, film absolutely cannot be beat. That isn't nostaliga. It's fact. I just developed a shot with a full 9-stop exposure range. Light years ahead of digital. I'm aiming to break the 10-stop barrier some time soon.
 

Alpha

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On a cropped chip, 1/1.5 ratio, 10 MP is about equal to the best film.

Eh. Maybe. I'd say this is true for almost any black and white or color neg film faster than ISO 125, except for Portra 160NC. Provia 400 I believe will still beat out an APS-C sensor at ISO 400.
 

Helen B

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80 lp/mm is a realistic practical resolution figure for pictorial film (high contrast copy films can achieve higher resolution). That is very roughly equivalent to 22 megapixels for full frame 35 mm, though it is very difficult to make accurate comparisons between the two different media.

I generally scan 35 mm film at between 20 and 30 megapixels (true resolution, higher nominal resolution) because that is roughly what it takes to get the most out of modern film. Some films keep improving up to about 70 megapixels for a frame of 35 mm.


Best,
Helen
 

Alpha

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80 lp/mm is a realistic practical resolution figure for pictorial film (high contrast copy films can achieve higher resolution). That is very roughly equivalent to 22 megapixels for full frame 35 mm, though it is very difficult to make accurate comparisons between the two different media.

I generally scan 35 mm film at between 20 and 30 megapixels (true resolution, higher nominal resolution) because that is roughly what it takes to get the most out of modern film.

Best,
Helen

What are you scanning with? What LPI/DPI are you scanning at?

I scanned a 6x9 chrome at 4000dpi on the Super CoolScan and it pixelated before I could ever see any grain. Boy do I love slide film.
 

Helen B

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I use an Imacon 949 for the good 35 mm stuff (at up to 8000 ppi) and 4x5 (at 2040 ppi); a Coolscan 9000 for medium format at 4000 ppi (that's all the Coolscans go up to); and a Coolscan 5000 at 4000 ppi and a Minolta Elite 5400 at 5400 ppi for normal 35 mm.

Remember folks, one scanner pixel has three colour channels; all normal still cameras with the exception of those with Foveon-type sensors or scanning backs only sample one colour per pixel.

After the holidays one of my little jobs will be doing a careful comparison between my D3 and various films. How will Nikon lenses on the D3 stack up against the same lenses on a film body, and against Leica lenses on a Leica body?

Best,
Helen
 

Alpha

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a Coolscan 9000 for medium format at 4000 ppi (that's all the Coolscans go up to)

You know what? You are absolutely right. And I am absolutely smashed at the moment. I apologize for that factual error. I shall go edit it.
 

EZzing

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Greetings Helen! That sounds like a truly enjoyable experiment.

Have you decided which films you will use yet? I am looking forward to seeing the results!

Will you use photoshop on the digital photographs and "enhance" the films with your darkroom expertise?

I'm not trying to entrap you here. I believe all is fair in LOVE and Photography and anything to enhance them only makes it better!!!!!!!!!

The end result of what the photographer wants to see as the finished photograph is what matters, not how it got there.

Take care,

Bill


ps, I read your post about the Polaroid films. I'm glad they still make the typical consumer ones. I inherited my dad's cameras a couple weeks ago and one was a Polaroid automatic 100.
I always loved that camera
 

Alpha

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Could be a tough comparison as most of the highest resolution black and white films are made in speeds that don't exist on most of today's digital cameras.
 

Helen B

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I'll be comparing it with films like Tech Pan, T-Max 100, Portra 160 NC, Astia, Portra 800 etc.

I'll be more interested in the post-processed results than in the straight-from-camera comparisons - it is the final image that matters, so I'll be doing some comparisons with noise reduction applied to the film images. There's no such thing as an unprocessed digital image, of course. That prompts me to try different Raw converters as well. It's growing like Topsy*.

My purpose will not really be to decide which is overall 'better', just which is most suitable for the sorts of things I do, and the sort of qualities I look for in the final image. It's an obvious statement, but film cameras can use all sorts of film while the D3 only has one sensor.

If my aim is the highest quality landscape camera in the smallest, lightest unit, how will the D3 stack up against the film cameras I have available? The film/sensor speed will not matter.

How will the D3 perform against pushed Portra 800 in low light according to my requirements?

I think I know the answer to some of these questions already, and I don't expect to be abandoning film anytime soon.

If any of you have suggestions or requests about method, materials or whatever, feel free to offer them.

Best,
Helen

* Like Topsy - growing of its own accord The original Topsy was the little slave-girl in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852): 'Do you know who made you?' 'Nobody, as I knows on,' said the child, with a short laugh ... 'I 'spect I grow'd'.
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