Why do you love film? opinions needed for article

RedStarRevels

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Hi everyone,

I'm writing an article on the future of film photography, and I need some opinions! If you love film, tell me why. What are the benifits? What aspects are unique? Does film have a long term future? All (constructive) comments are welcome.

Thanks.

RSR
 

Sideburns

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I shoot digital, but I don't see film going anywhere yet. It will always have its purposes until we can build digital sensors with the kind of latitude that C41 has.

Also, it's hard to reproduce true black and white film with digital...

It's gonna be around for a few years (I am even planning on buying a film body some times)...but I can imagine that in the professional world, it will be getting more like (I do the film as a hobby, but work with digital). It's hard working for National Geographic and processing 600+ rolls or film...nevermind just carrying that many...
 

Alpha

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From a post of mine some time ago:

I'm not sure what will happen with color reversal film, but Fuji will make slide film forever. Consider that Fuji produces a once-a-year batch of 30,000 rolls of Fortia, which is specifically designed for photographing cherry blossoms (lol). If they were really worried about their broader market share, they wouldn't bother. Furthermore, so long as they can make enough money off the digital revolution, as they do and will continue to do, they'll have the extra cash to fund film production.

On the black and white side of things, Fuji certainly must have anticipated the digital revolution around the time that they were developing Acros. Additionally, there has been an enormous explosion in recent years of black and white film sales outside the three large houses, mainly due to Fotokemika (which produces the films that become rebranded as Efke/Adox/Maco/Rollei). There has also been a surge in sales of the films produced by Bergger and Foma (French and Czeck, respectively IIRC). Fotokemika reportedly bought the rights to some of Agfa's emulsions as it was dying, which certainly may have cut down on some of their R&D costs. Most notably, the costs of the Fotokemika films are generally lower than those produced by the big three. Ilford will have a large impact in the future, as they have insisted that they are in it for the long haul. But financially speaking, even if film production goes down from the big three, that leaves a greater market share to Fotokemika. While this might put them in a position to be able to raise film prices, it doesn't necessarily provide an impetus to do so.

Additionally, the word on the street is that Kodak has plans to narrow their film line to 5 films, but keep producing those for the foreseeable future. In my humble opinion, I believe that they will be Tri-X 400, TMAX, BW400CN, Portra (probably NC), and E100 (Who knows whether it will be Plus, G, or VS).
 

LaFoto

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Threads merged.
 

domromer

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I love slides because you either got it or you didn't. I didn't spend so much time in photoshop trying to fix or tweak.

Plus I love the rich warm hues of E100vs.

That being said unless someone else was paying for film and development I would never go back. I shoot way too much now to have to pay for film.
 

ann

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i love the look , the feel , and the whole process of developng the film to making prints ; it comes down too, does one want to make home made bread, or use a bread machine.

there is a certain joy and pleasure that comes from the process that is hard to describe.
 

Helen B

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I shoot both film and digital, choosing whichever is most appropriate for the particular job. In general I prefer to use film - that is just a personal preference. The heart has reasons that reason does not know. I use about $10,000 to $12,000 worth of film per year at the moment - significantly less than I used to use.

I find large format film to be more convenient and cost effective for most of the sort of large format work I do. The same applies with medium format. For the ultimate in quality I use large format or medium format film. Negative film also has a greater dynamic range than digital, though you don't always need it. This is not a cut-and-dried issue that can be addressed in a few words.

My use of colour reversal film has fallen the most. I only use it on rare occasions, mostly when projectable slides are required. I'm very happy that the tyrrany of the light box has ended. High-end E-6 processing is also getting rarer than it was, but it still exists, and will do for some time.

For B&W work I still prefer to use silver-image B&W film, but it needs appropriate development and good, high resolution scanning to get the graininess looking right if finishing digitally. It is extremely versatile, and I have over thirty years experience of getting it to look exactly how I want it to look. Dye-image B&W is more scanner-friendly, but there is little, if any, point in shooting it if you are going to scan it - I prefer to use converted colour negative film. Most of the film I use is colour negative, for finishing in colour.

One of the reasons I use film is that there are certain camera types that I wish to use that do not exist in digital versions, or the digital version hasn't quite reached the functionality I want - so I still use my film Leicas for reportage because the M8 doesn't quite do what I want it to do. Similarly, there is no digital camera that matches the quality of medium format rangefinders in such a compact size and low weight. There is no digital TLR available. Camera form and process do influence the relationship between the photographer and the subject.

Though I enjoy the whole film processing thing I look on that as being separate from my purpose as a photographer. I enjoy printing in the darkroom, but I am happy to put significant effort and resources into producing inkjet and hybrid prints that meet my standards.

The fact that Kodak have recently improved one of their best films, and that they are planning to make a second B&W emulsion available in 220 (they are the only manufacturer supplying B&W film in 220) gives me hope that they have not abandoned us just yet.



From a post of mine some time ago:



Additionally, the word on the street is that Kodak has plans to narrow their film line to 5 films, but keep producing those for the foreseeable future. In my humble opinion, I believe that they will be Tri-X 400, TMAX, BW400CN, Portra (probably NC), and E100 (Who knows whether it will be Plus, G, or VS).

That's an unfounded rumour. Why spread it?

Best,
Helen

PS Agfa-Gevaert makes some of the film sold by Maco/Rollei.
 

Mitica100

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I shoot 99% film (LF and MF), it allows me to think more before taking the first shot.
 

JC1220

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That's an unfounded rumour. Why spread it?

He may not be far off, for years Kodak would eliminate the bottom 4% of their products, regardless if they were making a profit from any of them. I am sure some of these films are getting near that mark. However, they made the decision to stop all black and white paper production even though several of them were not in the bottom 4% so it is possible they could all be cut at some point without warning.
 

Helen B

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Anything is possible in the future, with or without warning, but I'm specifically referring to a rumour that Kodak have that plan in existence now, and asking Max why he is spreading it. I don't dispute the idea that there will be further reductions in the range of films that Kodak offer, but they do offer more types of film than any other manufacturer. The '5 film' rumour has been around for a while, in different forms. The first I heard was that it referred to the number of reversal films. That could be about right.

Best,
Helen
 

Alpha

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That's an unfounded rumour. Why spread it?

I bet you said the same thing when the HIE discontinuance rumors first starting spreading.

I'll spread what I like, thank you. You can take your complaints over the APUG Product Availability forum.
 

Helen B

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I bet you said the same thing when the HIE discontinuance rumors first starting spreading.

I'll spread what I like, thank you. You can take your complaints over the APUG Product Availability forum.

Yes Max, you are free to spread whatever baseless rumour you read on the internet, just as I am free to comment, and to ask you why you wish to spread it.

For the record, you are completely wrong in your assumption about my reaction to the story on the discontinuance of HIE. Here is my contribution to the thread on APUG. I entitled my post HIE not not discontinued. I didn't base the title on rumour however, I based it on a conversation I had with a reliable source at Kodak. I thought that Martin Reed was not the sort of person who would spread rumours, and I knew who had told Martin, so I decided to fish around a bit.

Best,
Helen
 

McManniss

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People seem to forget these days how much you can actually do with film and with everything that has been done in the past up until digital came into the world. You can push film, pull film, you can cross process it, you can flash it, you can mix lighting sources, you can double expose it...the list goes on and on. There are so many applications and different things you can do to it, there's a reason its been around so long.
Not to mention that each film has its own characteristics and curves and responds differently. Plus that fact that most films have a wider exposure latitude that digital.
That is why film is great.
 

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