A&P digital vs. film ?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by furious_vibes, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. furious_vibes

    furious_vibes New Member

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    i am just starting out in photography although i've been interested in it for a while. I have an old russian manual SLR so thats what i've ever used but i see all these people yammering about digital cameras and digital SLRs in particular. What're the advantages over using film cameras? Since it's digital as opposed to analog film, isn't image quality and clarity an issue? Can you create large prints that are comparable to film?
    what're the advantages/disadvantages? somebody help me out... i'm confused...

    Also how do you create large, professional quality prints with digital (where can you get it done and what kind of equipment would you have to use) ?
     
  2. hay112

    hay112 For every sprinkle I find I shall kill you

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    google.com
     
  3. Kinks

    Kinks Sup. OT Supporter

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  4. FryingPan

    FryingPan Certified Thread Killer

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    How much money do you have to spend on film, chemicals and darkroom supplies (if you do your own developing :noes: ), or processing costs?

    The way I see it, digital has the advantage in price in the long run. Although it does cost much much more to get into initially, I see the obvious advantage is the ability to take thousands of shots in one outing and basically pick and choose the ones you want and not worry about wasted materials.

    I shot film for awhile, but it was just very expensive for me at the time. Shoot a roll of 24-36 shots at a couple bucks a pop and then have them developed at a reputable shop (read: NOT WALMART OR WALGREENS) for another 10-15 bucks, and it adds up rather quickly. That one roll ended up costing me 20 bucks- and not everything turned out the way I wanted it to.

    I'm not saying film is bad- I'd love to shoot it more, especially since I have access to some pretty damn nice 35mm SLRs and lenses here, but I just can't afford the cost inthe long run.
     
  5. Ingen

    Ingen New Member

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    Agreed. Digital can outpreform film now if you have enough money, to be honest. canon eos 1ds mark2 > film, seriously. Also, you can change ISO on the fly (godsend), and telephotos are better.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Guest

    The grain in film makes it comparable to digital when you try to enlarge it too much, it doesn't have infinite resolution. I like digital because I don't have to pay for film and developing, thus I take more pictures. Taking lots of pictures and learning from them = better photography.
     
  7. mucky

    mucky .

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    I like digital just for the cost factor and convenience. But, I still have love for developing my own prints from film and enjoy my work a lot more when its done on film.
     
  8. 4W4K3

    4W4K3 New Member

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    Bought a digi-cam and loving it. The pictures aren't top knotch (it's a $250 cam...cheapy) and it sucks for most anything besides close up and lighted areas...but everything is free besides the actual camera.

    I'm going to be buying a 35mm SLR soon, and i'm really excited about the pics i wil be able to take, and the fact i can inter-change the lenses and manually take pics and all that cool stuff. But i seriously can't afford ~$15 a roll, and i can't develop it myself.

    I wanted to go with DSLR, because i use maybe 10% of the pics i take, so developing them is a waste. But i also can't afford a $800+ camera...I'm stretching it getting a $400 SLR.

    So yah, it kinda sucks if you love taking pics but aren't good enough to make EVERY shot perfect (haha...joke). You either have to have alot of money and can afford a DSLR or SLR and developing, or you need to know how to take perfect pictures lmao and get free developing cash...

    hopefully when i get a decent paying job and a place of my own i can dedicate a place for a dark room or something and start developing myself. that just looks like fun:) also going to get a DSLR later on, when i can afford it. but SLR will stil be more hardcore lol.
     
  9. furious_vibes

    furious_vibes New Member

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    thnx for the responses guys

    i'm applying for an art school that's pretty tough to get into in september and i need my photos to be as impressive as possible... i was thinking of having my best shots blown up to a bit under 8x10 and put them in a portfolio binder for display (in addition to whatever photo collage i might be inclined to do)
    right now i don't have a digital camera to experiment with so i'm thinking to get clear prints that large i'll just try my luck in blowing my pics up (maybe using a higher ISO for less grainyness or even renting a medium format camera for a few days to experiment with).

    But if I want to edit a picture in Photoshop would i have to go digital or could i use a photolab's scanner to scan in prints from film? In anybody's experience with professional scanners, do they still compromize resolution and image quality?
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Guest

    Higher ISO = more grain. A good photolab will scan your pictures at very high resoultion if you request it. Quality will be outstanding as long as you find a good photolab and let them know that quality is a priority over file size, etc. If you plan on scanning them, most pros would tell you to shoot slide film and have them scanned rather than shooting print film and getting the negative scanned. I can't say personally though because I've never done it. If you get them done at a 1 hour photo they'll probably look like garbage.
     
  11. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    I love film. The resolution is comparable to about 25 megapixels (4k) for digital. You can get as much as -3/+3 exposure latitude compared to -1/+1 on digital RAW. But it does cost a hell of a lot. Say one roll costs $10 to buy and process. 100 rolls or 2400 pictures will cost you $1000. I've shot 900 photos in a month on digital. I like film too much to give it up completely, and since I'm not really that into photography, I have a Nikon N75 SLR that I shoot maybe 1 roll every 1 or 2 months with and a 4300 P&S digital for the rest.
     
  12. Fucker

    Fucker out of the fast lane, bitches

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    Hi. Film is dead*. Digital photography, in the commercial world, is the way forward. We are on the verge of a paradigm shift that's as big as the move from B&W to color photography. Film may stay around in the fine art world, much like B&W, but for everything else everyone is going to be using pixels instead of chemicals.

    Digital photography is faster, more accurate and cheaper than film. No pixels = no grain. No labs to wait for. No pushing or pulling chemistry. No negs to ‘read’. No tiny contact sheets. No darkroom chemicals.

    The only ‘problem’ is that until recently, consumer DSLR’s haven’t been able to compete with slow (= or > 100 ISO) chrome film. That is no longer the case, but only in professional applications, read expensive ( 1Ds or Mark II). However, that is also changing.
    My advice to anyone starting out in photography; buy a D10 (ebay or whatever) or D20 if you have a budget (or the Nikon equivalent). Spend your money on the best lenses you can afford. Get Photoshop Elements 3.0 and learn about curves and profiles. Buy an Epson photo printer, 1200 or better. You may be able to enroll in ‘digital photography’ classes at a community college if your not already in school. Use their facilities, printers, equipment to save money.
    Photography is a pricey hobby to get into and an extremely expensive career.
    PM me if you have specific questions.
     
  13. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    Much of what was stated is good generalities, and for your intended purposes, probably good advice. But to state that film is dead or that digital is coparible to film requires a more indepth discussion. There is no color comparrison in digital to a super saturated slide film, like provia or velvia. The contrast is much better and gives you noise and grain free results. Film will almost always be prevelant in architectural photography and many product photography shots, due to large format needs. Large format camera backs or scanners are in the $30-100k range, so shooting film at $2 a shot and $1.89 to develop isn't that bad.

    Film in general is a better way to learn if you keep up with it, but if you just shoot once in a while, than digital will be better. The reason that I say that, as I know a lot of people will argue with it, is because too many people use digital manipulation to acheive the effect or exposure they want, rather than getting it right the first time in camera. Photoshop is a crutch for way to many people.

    For your intennded purposes, digital will be a better way of going, but rememebr that the bodies decrease in value like a car, while lenses hold their value like jewlery, and can be used on future equipment, and most imortantly, they make a bigger difference in image quality.
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Guest

    good lenses > *
     
  15. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    One of the first things I learned in photography school (many years ago) is that film is your cheapest commodity if you're a professional photographer. When you figure the cost of cameras, lenses, lights, etc. film is pretty cheap. Professionals don't think twice about shooting 50 rolls of film on an assignment. Granted, film costs are expensive for a student but the way I see it, if a student is spending $20 for a roll of film and processing, he's more likely to learn how to take good pictures because he'll want every frame to be correct. The student will take more time and effort in lighting, reading the exposure and composition before snapping the shutter.

    I think that while digital cameras are truely the next thing in photography, it's far too easy to simply shoot a 1000 pics in the hopes that a few will turn out well. If I was in charge of teaching photography, I would ban all digital cameras for beginning students.
     
  16. mucky

    mucky .

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    :werd:

    As marveling as digital photography is, I think it has diluted the art and challenge of it. Half the fun was working in the dark room and seeing your picture come out like 'magic' on the chemical trays.
     
  17. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    definitely. I got sloppy when I went to digital. It was mostly learning the camera but I got bored of doing all that work in PS. It takes a lot more time to do PS stuff than developing. Plus you can't shoot true B&W on digital. It must be converted from color.
     
  18. Fucker

    Fucker out of the fast lane, bitches

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    I do not agree that getting into a Film v. Digital discussion here is pointless. This is a forum. I do agree that there is no color, contrast or grain (noise) comparison between a chrome and and a digital file, digital files are superior.

    Film will not always be prevalent in any specialty niche of commercial photography. There is a myth about the need for large format chrome to get quality images. The myth is perpetuated by prepress houses, film labs and the uninformed. It is, I assure you, completely false. Professional digital equipment produces professional results superior to large format chrome. Cheap consumer cameras produce good 4x6 images of birthdays and kittens. You get what you pay for.

    Top commercial (especially product and food) studios have already made (or are making) the switch to digital. They have to because their competition is already exploiting the technology. Scanning backs are, by and large, outdated and useless in most cases except for lower quality catalog work. 'Capture' backs are the way forward and cost no where near $100K. They produce images so superior to chrome it's almost laughable to compare them.

    Every piece of chrome used in commercial photography has to be scanned. There is no other way to get chrome images into layouts. Scans introduce noise, all scanners do regardless of quality or cost. Digital files do not. They are cleaner because they have no grain and no 'noise' due to scanning.

    I agree that shooting film is a better way to learn.... to shoot film. Shooting digital is the best way to learn about future of photography. I also agree that photoshop can be a crutch. However, no amount of unsharp mask will fix poor focus. Nor can boosting levels and curves make a poor exposure perfect. The manipulation argument is specious. Darkroom manipulation is no different than photoshop, except photoshop is easier, faster and cheaper.

    Proper exposure and composition are the key regardless of technology.

    Finally, the issue of decreasing value. Depreciation is a fact of life for all photo equipment. When the Canon 1n was announced the Canon 1 value dropped. My 1n bodies w/ boosters cost $1800.00 each new, now they are worth about $400-500 dollars, and they aren't that old! I could sell both of them and maybe pay for part of a D20. The glass does hold it's value, though only until the new model is announced.

    I stand by my statements. Digital imaging is the future. If you’re considering a career in commercial photography you need to embrace the technology or get left behind by those that do.
     
  19. SpiderOnTheFloor

    SpiderOnTheFloor New Member

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    fucker...haha...seriously though that was a good post....you must be some kind of pro considering you said you have canon 1n bodies, what do you shoot?
     
  20. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    The 1n is not exactly new. The newest film body is the 1V (what I now have, and it was from 2000-01), with the 3 before it, etc. The 1 was from 1984. The D30 was from 2001, and has gone from $3k to 300, while 1V's still sell are market value new and used at just under that. F5's are still valuable aswell despite the F6 being out.

    Large format has many traits besides image quality that make it an essential tool. First off, it does and always will have better image quality. A Canon 1Ds Mark II is still just a 35mm size, versus 4x5' being the smallest from a large format. Theres a reson why digital large format backs and scanners are so expensive.

    But the y also allow to to manipulate the image incamera in ways you never could with 35mm. Yes there are tilt shift lenses available, but only in 3 focal lengths and also they don't allow any where near the amount of movement a large format does.

    35mm digital will never take over architectural and food photography, among others industries.

    I'm not advocating anyone use film unless theres a specialized purpose, but there are time and places for them. If I had the choice I would shoot more digital than film, but at the moment its reversed. I would put any of my film images up against an edited digital file any day of the week though. Theres an inherent quality, color etc that just can't be touched, despite hours in the digital darkroom. Too mayn people use digital manipulation as a crutch to fix improperly taken photos rather than just fine tuning them.

    There is a big difference between medium and large format backs. A large format scanning back can't be touched. Medium format digital backs are great for portriture and other areas where medium format makes a difference. But with 35mm digital offering everything and more than medium format digital backs, they will slowly desipate.
     
  21. Ingen

    Ingen New Member

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    The H1D and whatever sinar-bron calls it's sexy digital back (M something, maybe? I can't afford one, so it simply doesn't concern me so much) both have absolutely mind blowing quality, just as fast as medium format film. Except there's no film cost and no memory concern, because the h1d comes with removable 40 gigabyte hard drives.

    The technology is coming. Will you be ready when there are large-format digital backs? Or when medium format backs are better quality? 35mm digital can already beat 35mm film, and the technology is only getting better. As much as I hate it, film is standing in the gallows with the rope around it's neck. While the engineers haven't quite taught digital to pull the lever and hang film yet, they're working pretty damn hard. I'd give it 5 years more, tops.
     
  22. Fucker

    Fucker out of the fast lane, bitches

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    Here we go again....
    I think you missed my point. 1n, 1v, 1, F5, etc. Film bodies have depreciated much more rapidly because professionals have switched to digital bodies. Good used 1v’s and F5’s are selling in the $500 - $600 range. Check ebay, Calumet and B&H for yourself. If you want pro film equipment it’s available at bargain basement prices, for a reason.

    If you’re argument is that large format film, i.e. 4x5, 8x10, cameras produce better quality images than 35mm film cameras, I don’t disagree. No one would. However, your assertion that an 35mm size chip can not compete with 8x10 film you are completely and utterly wrong.

    Take Sinar for example, the SinarCam 23. The smallest, least expensive digital back they make. The chip is 35mm, a mere 6 magapixels. In single shot mode it can produce poster size prints (30”x40”) with contrast, clarity, color fidelity (even in skin tones) unrivaled by any 4x5 sheet film. I know because I’ve seen it with my own critical eyes. In 4 shot mode it’s blows 8x10 Chrome away. There simply is no comparison, period.

    Every person that has seen it; layman, photographer, art director or client, is impressed. None of the creative professionals that have seen what digital cameras are capable of would ever go back to film. I’ve heard them say it with my own ears, over and over again.

    35mm digital is already taking over food photography. Digital backs are everywhere. The 1Ds with a T/S lens can do everything a Hassleblad (or RZ , Mamiya, etc.) can do, only better and faster. Adopting a Phase One or Sinar back to a 4x5 camera for architectural photography is easy, and it’s already happening. Who in there right mind wants to stare at a soft, color shifted image on a muddy polaroid when you can look at it on a calibrated 15” laptop? No one.

    I stated, clearly I thought, that scanning backs are garbage. I wouldn’t have one, I wouldn’t use one, I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy one (regardless of price).

    There is a lot of wrong ‘information’ out there about digital imaging. The person that started this thread asked about the difference. I’m posting from my personal experience in the professional world. The advice is meant for any ‘noob’ that want’s to be a professional photographer. IMHO, I’m %100 correct, take it or leave it.

    Cliffs: Digtial>Film.
     
  23. SpiderOnTheFloor

    SpiderOnTheFloor New Member

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    this is like argument between cd's and old mono records...cds obviously are better quality, but some people just like to hold on to the past so they make excuses why the new technology isnt as good :rolleyes:
     
  24. Ingen

    Ingen New Member

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    Indeed to all. It's subjective. If you positively suck at digital, then film is better for you. If film takes longer than you want and you need the utmost quality, digital recently became the best choice. It's about you, not science, because some people simply don't care to have the best, but what makes them happiest. There's nothing wrong with being happy, now is there?
     
  25. Nick

    Nick Guest

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