why shoot 35mm film

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by scottwesterman, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. scottwesterman

    scottwesterman Member

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    i would like everyone opinions as to why i should shoot 35mm (slr) film over a digicam (5.2mp with full manual features).
    as many opinions as possible please !!!!!
    thanks for the help scott.
     
  2. Troy Hamon

    Troy Hamon Member

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    Well...the primary reason to shoot 35 mm instead of the digital alternative is if you like film. People will argue until everybody is blue in the face, but really it is just a question of whether the nature of the work or some characteristic of the image is more satisfactory to the photographer.

    So...do you want to? Do you like film? If the answer to either of these is no, are you expecting somebody here to be able to convince you that you like or want it after all? If digital is calling your name, I don't see how this thread is going to change your mind. If it isn't, why spend any time worrying about it?

    As for me...I shoot 120. But I also shoot 35 mm. In my case I shoot 35 because it fits in my Widelux!...which is absolutely worth the headache of handling 35 mm instead of 120 in the darkroom.
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Scott since this is a forum dedicated to film photography it's not the best place to get unbiased opinions as to the relative merits of the two mediums.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 8x10" camera isn't suited to all subjects, so sometimes it's necessary to use a smaller format, like 35mm.
     
  5. Shawn Mielke

    Shawn Mielke Member

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    Do you gasp with pleasure at the sight of emulsion based imagery more often than you do that of digital?

    Do you think you will find yourself in a professional environment requiring of you to shoot strictly one or the other?
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi scott -

    do you remember the feeling you got
    when you saw gifts and you didn't get
    to open them until it was "time to open them" ?

    that is kind of like film v. digital to me.

    yes, i have a very expensive dslr that i use for work, and i have film based cameras too. i like anticipation of making exposures and then having to wait until i process the film to see if "anything came out" ... i know it sounds weird. its the same kind of feeling when i expose paper and stand there rocking+staring at the tray of developer ... its alchemy. i also like being able to manipulate film and printing a way that it would be hard to manage on a computer.

    not to mention - i had film from the turn of last century i could have still made prints from if i wanted to, unfortunately i have files from less than 20 years ago that i can't even open.

    good luck!

    -john
     
  7. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    The 'gelatin silver print' we make is very different in response and presence than ink jet, etc.

    The tonal range of film is vastly greater than any chip.

    You don't have to sit in a chair and acquire an immense butt when you do film.

    A 35mm 400 speed B&W film is easily capable ( one you believe it IS capable ) of making 10x enlargements of surpassing power, beauty, and grace. Easily. Consistently.
    And compared to the system cost of digital, cheaply.

    It is FUN.
     
  8. scottwesterman

    scottwesterman Member

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    some great responses already i am feeling the same ,i have a digital but keep going back and picking up my slr 35mm camera and it still feels better and when i look through the viewfinder wow !!!!!!!!
     
  9. Shawn Mielke

    Shawn Mielke Member

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    Shoot FILM. Because it's BETTER.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  11. alien

    alien Member

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    I shoot 35 mm because....

    - the cameras are small but sophisticated (compared to digital SLR's especially)
    - I like the feel of these cameras (my favourites: Contax RTS III, Pentax LX)
    - I concentrate much more because I WANT every picture to be great from the start
    - I don't have the possibility to check a back screen, therefore I am under no pressure to do anything silly like that

    - I like to make myself independent of foreign algorithms, having full (manual) control
    - I have a record that I can use in whatever way I want (especially slides - make prints, project, scan for emails etc)

    - I don't have to spend any time at all in front of the computer for results (I work as an IT consultant and administrator, boy, do I want a break in the evening/weekend!!)

    - it is something special now - everybody has a digital camera, taking the same kind of pictures. My film cameras allow me to produce images that are distinctively different from digital pictures (this does NOT mean simply better quality, it has more to do with feeling and impression)

    - I have used 35 mm all my life (over 30 years now), and just now I feel that I start understanding a bit more of what I am doing - I'd rather be a master of analogue than an apprentice amongst thousands of digital apprentices

    - I am not a pro, therefore I have the time to develop films and make prints - in fact, I want to spend more quality time with my hobby than just puttting more frames into an hour (typical quote from new digiusers: I have taken already 2000 pictures since last week!!)


    Just some of my reasons, there are probably more but I am going for a walk now with the Contax....

    Ansgar
     
  12. AeisLugh

    AeisLugh Member

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    There's been some really good responses to this question. I like them all, and agree with so many of them.

    I'd like to take the time to mention something that most people probably don't think of. And I hope this doesn't make people think of me as a newage hippy freak.

    In my opinion there is a very spiritual aspect to using film. You might of Digital cameras as like going camping in a fully decked out RV. You've got all the essentials of home. You've got a generator, a shower, satellite TV, etc. It's great.

    Then think of Film photography as if you are going CAMPING! A sleeping bag, a Tent, and whatever else you can fit into a backpack. Spending the night sleeping under the stars and cooking your food over an open fire.

    Working with film is just so much more of a memorable experience. It sticks to your soul and makes you (in my opinion anyway) look at the world from a different angle than the crowd.

    And, for the newage hippy freak aspect. why the HELL do we want yet ANOTHER source of EMF near our brains? Aren't we bombarded with enough EMF on a daily basis. There is some belief that man made EMF has all sorts of detrimental effects on the brain. It drains your creativity, your get up and go, hell, in large doses it causes cancer. With Film, you don't have that junk in the air interfering with the natural flows of your creative juices!

    Alright, so call me a newage hippy freak, won't bother me :D
     
  13. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    that digital stuff is expensive!
     
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  15. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Because in 20, 30, 50 years, you'll still have the negatives.

    David
     
  16. jeffneedham

    jeffneedham Subscriber

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    use both! there's no reason (except for a shortage of funds) no to. film is good, and digital is here to stay.

    i've heard people say that digital is expensive. yeah it is, but so is using film. i develop my own b&W. to get a bottle of rodinal, i spend 10 bucks (if it is shipped add on 15!!! for shipping), plus the cost of the film and other chemicals. if i shoot color, i send out, and there's 10-20 bucks a roll, plus the cost of film.

    i have a new Leica d lux 2 that outperforms my D70 - maybe because it's easier to take that with me than a DSLR. When it comes down to making a beautiful image, both ways CAN get you there, but it's really up to you to get the result.

    so, if you can, use both. borrow some equipment. see which you like better. it's fun either way.
     
  17. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    FWIW,
    -I like my fully manual cameras which allow me have the film do what I want it to do.
    -I've never used a 'Pro' dSLR, but the lack of instant response from the shutter in my Sony Digicam drives me to distraction.
    -I spend my days in front of a computer screen, I don't want to do it for fun.
    -Developing B&W in my basement is much less environmentally damaging than would be printing digi pics with a printer.
    -35mm is fast, be it with a RF or SLR.
    -The dynamic range of a good film & dev combo is stunning.
    -I can do low-light shots with pushed D-400 or D-3200 that cannot be done in digital w/o a flash.
    -I use a 40 yr old Soviet RF and a 30 yr old Japanese fixed lens RF and a 20 year old Japanese SLR. They give me stunning results...It's the film and developer which get better with time; no need to change the hardware, 'cause film cameras don't become technologically obsolete.

    But all in all, 'cause 35mm is fun and it's what floats my boat; and a man cannot ask for more than that.

    Cheers,
    Kent
     
  18. dolande

    dolande Member

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    I shoot film just because I like it better. But I don’t think my personal preferences matter to you. So decided for yourself what do you want, both mediums are very capable. Do film or do digital or do both one none.

    Thanks

    Rafael
     
  19. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Still shoot 35mm film, because the color palette is better, and IMO, Velvia is still sharper than even the best DSLR.
     
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Member

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    Lots of reasons

    At high ISO's I find grain pleasing, digital noise annoying and ugly.
    The tactile experience, I like handling negatives. Can't do that with a jpeg.
    Shooting 35mm film is much more intuitive (for myself at least). I take better photos. With digital I suffered from system overload, too much information for this gal. It gave me a headache.
    I have all my negatives and slides stored safely away. Last time I checked they were all still there. Plus I have cases of my Father's slides documenting our family for the last 50 years. I have CD's of digital images taken three years ago that are now blank.
    Digital technology is advancing too fast for me to keep up. The digital slr I bought 2 or 3 years ago (and sold last year for half of what I paid) was upgraded within months of my purchase, and once again since then. Good for the camera companies, bad for me. Film on the other hand is already outdated technology (according to some :rolleyes: ) however as long as it's still available it's a non-issue. At least I can keep up with it!
    Film shooters are more fun to hang out with. :cool:
     
  21. Shawn Mielke

    Shawn Mielke Member

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    Film grain is often beautiful and interesting. Digi noise is to be merely tolerated (by me). Yes! Film's artifacts are a part of it's character, in a good way. Maybe because it's what's been around and therefore I am used to it, but I like it!

    And finally, an imaging system whose sensors are removable, replaceable, updateable, by the user, and diverse in character is a stroke of genius as far as I'm concerned.
     
  22. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I shoot a 35 mm SLR, when I do, because of the interchangeable lenses, compact camera, and internal metering. That combination means, for minimum kit, I need nothing that doesn't fit in the everready case (which has carriers for two film cans on the strap; that's over 100 exposures, total, in one package), and have an *excellent* normal lens. If I carry a second bag, I get my filters, wide and long lenses, cable release, macro tubes, and tele extenders. Add a tubular package, and my 400 mm is along as well. So, in a relatively compact package, I have quality lenses from "pretty wide" (28 mm) to "pretty darned long" (400 with 3x tele is about 24x over the 50 mm normal), lots of film, and a few tricks. And with the quality of the M42 lenses I own, I can make images on 35 mm that will stand enlargement to at least 11x14, if not a bit larger (really, a lot larger, since prints bigger than that are less vulnerable to the "print sniffers").

    Yes, I'd often rather be shooting 4x5, but my Spotmatic and lens bag is the next best thing, and a lot more portable (not to mention hand holdable) -- and it'll compete favorably with my 6x9 cm folders, if grain isn't an issue.
     
  23. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    My main reasons for shooting 35mm? I love the look of film, I love using film, I love cameras that don't need a hundredweight of batteries to power them, I love that I have something tangible when each roll is developed, I love that I can view the results without needing a pile of electronics. Digital is too fragile for me. With film I get a brand spanking new 'sensor' with every crank of the film wind.
    I spent last night making 12x16 prints from a couple of 35mm negatives. It was great fun. All needed to make larger prints than my usual 8x10 was bigger trays (£3 each for cat litter trays in a pet shop). How much would it have cost me to get a bigger printer to make bigger digital prints?
     
  24. Cooki

    Cooki Member

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    Keep in mind that the most imortant difference is in the yellow, there is no yellow in RGB, with out yellow you can not get a true representation of the world, you will never shoot a goot portrait, as skin is mostly yellow. It's as simple as that. If you have no yellow you are wasting your time.
    Another thing, If you go to any event where there are photographers, you will invariably hear the roar of digital cameras all firing at a cyclic rate just a little quicker than a Browning M2 machine gun, while over in the corner you will hear the slow but steady click of a true photographer sniping away with her TX or K1000, taking 10 good photos vs the 200+ deleteable images taken by the gunners.
    Cooki
    primis avrilis
     
  25. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Green and red make yellow.
     
  26. scottwesterman

    scottwesterman Member

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    many thanks to all for your wonderful replys i have had great fun reading them keep them coming !!!!
    cheers scott.