Film is not dead yet
This is another video that has the same title of another video.
“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”
― Tom Waits
I like that. Thanks!
I'm not sure I agree with the arguments in these videos. The first 5 minutes are spent praising the "experience" of shooting with film; that is, he argues that we should use film because it is enjoyable to use. Sure, we're all trying to have aesthetic experiences (even while we're trying to make aesthetic experiences for others), but I'm not sure that I can recommend film photography for the aesthetic experience the photographer gets.
He does get into the other merits, but I think he could've been more rigorous about it. He spent most of his time repeating himself about digital clipping. There are lots of things he could've talked about: he could've said something about the interpolation effects that come from using Bayer filter; he could've said how and why digital noise comes about; he could've said something about the anti-aliasing (and other) filters that permanently cover most digital sensors; etc.
I do like how he gives us an idea of what kind of choices we get when we shoot film—for example, "every roll of film is a new sensor."
Most newbies only decide to shoot film because they can buy second hand 'professional' analog cameras very cheaply. We all know this, but nobody ever admits it because it kills the enjoyable argument. Entering the digital market, there are two options - sell your car/s or house and go MF or... accept that you're an amateur and buy a Canon/Nikon DSLR. One choice is hard on the wallet and the other on the ego. Shooting film provides a person with the ego boosting illusion of professionalism with just a little cash here and there.
When this hobby/profession gets serious, finances define our every move. I said it on another thread - some people are of the 'pay as you go' mentality - film, others prefer '18 month contracts' - digital. One suits the artist better and one suits the professional.
But of course, people feel more comfortable talking about aesthetics than the real issue - money. If the Hasselblad H4D was £1000, this forum would become very quiet, very quick.
Although I don't disagree with the rest of your post, I do disagree with the quotation above. Besides the quality issues of digital on certain circumstances, I think that this forum shows very well that many photographers have an emotional link to film, and that IMO will survive the Hasselblad H4D at £1000.
Originally Posted by batwister
Besides, the sensor of a H4D only has a few tenths megapixels (something like 40, 50 depending on the version) and its size is about half of a 6x4.5 so the quality comparison between H4D and let's say a film 4.5x6 will be the same there is between a film SLR and a DSLR with an APS-C sensor, those are fairly affordable but did not cause the users of this site to stop using 135 film cameras and talking about it.
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As much as I would love to see Hasselblad H4D for £1000, I am quite certain I would be happily using film and my field 4x5, or the 6x6 Hassy, as long as I have access to film. I am trying to avoid digital incursions into the process as much as I can, I just enjoy the holistic nature of analogue much more. Sadly, that's one reason why I have been tardy scanning my work to place it online, a dilemma.
I am one of those young amateurs who chose film because of the cheap high end cameras.
Got an OM1 for the price of a cheap digi P&S and it's great for the learning. Learning manual is much better than going from auto to less auto modes. In my experience, it's handing is much better and simpler than entry level DSLRs.
As of film, some of it is emotional linking. Aesthetically, avoiding the digital artifacts (clipping on highlights, compression, noise, Bayer interpolation, etc) gives it a very elegant look.
One of the qualities of film I like is it's physical presence. A few days ago my old computer didn't boot. I have a backup, but not a proper one. But see, from a day to the next, the thing might not want to work; Bringing your files to the grave.
I despise doing the boring job of backing up files, too lazy and boring. After I finish my trimester I have the job of doing maintenance and backing up my computers...
Well, I picked up a m43 digital camera (was a bargain that had to be snatched) and the thing does it's work nicely; Great for snapshots, but, it's boring. I want to go MF someday.
I agree with you, Prest_400, that the physicality of film, and in that sense of photographic paper, is a wonderful quality, which I like very much, too.
Sadly, that also means that when I die, there will be a bit more work involved in disposing what I would leave behind. With digital, it is just a brief click on "delete", and all I've struggled for is gone, conveniently, in a few milliseconds...
Again, I think this comes back to the ego and immortality. Much more responsible to shoot digital and keep all your work on a database... maybe. But perhaps melting all our negatives down and creating a giant sculpture and keeping the prints (paper) would be the best solution for the planet and the future of mankind?
Originally Posted by Rafal Lukawiecki
I'm only half serious about this. I do like to think I shoot film for other reasons - at least, I certainly tell other people that I do. But part of me thinks the overriding reason people turn to and stick with film today, has to do with status and posterity. Prolonging our status indefinitely, should I say.
Last edited by batwister; 12-15-2012 at 09:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I use film in large part because I do my best work on it. For one reason or another, I mostly cannot replicate the work I do on my Mamiya 7 with a digital camera. My 7 was not cheap, but it has allowed me to do work that I wasn't doing before I got it. It fundamentally changed how I work. I'll keep on using it for as long as I can.