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  1. #21
    SilverGlow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    If you amortize it out, camera, media, computer, software, upgrades, you will find that you are likely saving money, plus it's parsed in bite sized pieces. The biggest fallacy going on by far is that D is cheap. Easy maybe, but not cheap at all.

    I beg to differ Jason.

    You can get a used digital DSLR that provides 98% the same image quality of the latest $8,000 DSLR for about $400 to $1,300. Sure this is more then most used film bodies, but not a lot of money either. As to a computer, well, 9 times out of 10 a person is going to have a computer anyways, regardless of whether he shoots film or digital or both. As to software, you don't have to purchase PhotoShop and there are many cheaper and often free post processing programs out there that are very good. And as to upgrades, no one needs to upgrade their software every time it gets upgrade by the vendor. Skipping 1-3 upgrades is not necessarily a bad thing, and bug patches and fixes are all free too. Memory cards are dirt cheap, as are harddrives, and optical disks.

    I have found in my own personal experience, and looking at countless others set ups, digital is by far cheaper, especially if one shoots a lot. And the cost of a decent DSLR can easily be offset by the amount of money one will save over the purchase of film & processing, and in the first 6-12 months of shooting.

    Still, I prefer film for black & white pictures, and the higher cost of shooting film does not prevent me from doing so, over digital. To point to so called cost savings as a reason to shoot film is a reason that has no basis in reality. I shoot film because I prefer it's look to digital, and costs has nothing to do with it. These days I shoot with film 95% of the time.
    Coming back home to my film roots. Canon EOS-3 SLR, Canon EOS 1V SLR, 580ex flash, and 5D DSLR shooter. Prime lens only shooter.

  2. #22
    Ken N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Hopefully this economy will weed out some the people who call themselves photographers who have been able to fool people simply because they have spent a lot of money on expensive crap. A bad economy is very bad for people without real skills, but gives the truly talented a chance to excel.
    Call me a vulture if you want, but I'm hoping that a lot of people overextended themselves and need to dump their recent purchases for a fraction of the new prices. I could use a new digital camera, but I'm not inclined to pay the full price to get one. Historically, the prices on legacy gear (like our film cameras and lenses) actually stabilize or increase during economic downturns, but the new stuff goes in the dumper in a hurry.

    I know this is sad, but there really isn't much more film gear that I want that I don't already have.

    ken
    http://www.zone-10.com

    When you turn your camera on, does it return the favor?

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverGlow View Post
    I beg to differ Jason.

    You can get a used digital DSLR that provides 98% the same image quality of the latest $8,000 DSLR for about $400 to $1,300. Sure this is more then most used film bodies, but not a lot of money either. As to a computer, well, 9 times out of 10 a person is going to have a computer anyways, regardless of whether he shoots film or digital or both. As to software, you don't have to purchase PhotoShop and there are many cheaper and often free post processing programs out there that are very good. And as to upgrades, no one needs to upgrade their software every time it gets upgrade by the vendor. Skipping 1-3 upgrades is not necessarily a bad thing, and bug patches and fixes are all free too. Memory cards are dirt cheap, as are harddrives, and optical disks.

    I have found in my own personal experience, and looking at countless others set ups, digital is by far cheaper, especially if one shoots a lot. And the cost of a decent DSLR can easily be offset by the amount of money one will save over the purchase of film & processing, and in the first 6-12 months of shooting.

    Still, I prefer film for black & white pictures, and the higher cost of shooting film does not prevent me from doing so, over digital. To point to so called cost savings as a reason to shoot film is a reason that has no basis in reality. I shoot film because I prefer it's look to digital, and costs has nothing to do with it. These days I shoot with film 95% of the time.

    I have to beg to differ. I agree about the second hand DSLR's and in fact that is the point of my original Post...the OEM gains nothing for that...but film companies keep selling regardless of whether you buy a second hand film camera or new.

    On the subject of cost of digital, Hollywood is already facing the crisis of digital storage that is now estimated to be 200 times more expensive than film reels. The main costs reside in issues of back-ups, software long term compatibility...will your Raw file or Tiff be recognisable in 30 yrs? How mcuh will it cost you to convert. How often will you need to find new space to archive back-up in the next 30yrs? The reality is probably alot less than 200 times for a photographic as opposed to move archive (due to file size), but it will be more than film when considered in terms of life cycle costs. I can scan my negs in 20yrs in to any format.....try and open an Amipro file (old Lotus word processing file) today in Windows...K

  4. #24
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverGlow View Post
    I beg to differ Jason.

    You can get a used digital DSLR that provides 98% the same image quality of the latest $8,000 DSLR for about $400 to $1,300. Sure this is more then most used film bodies, but not a lot of money either. As to a computer, well, 9 times out of 10 a person is going to have a computer anyways, regardless of whether he shoots film or digital or both. As to software, you don't have to purchase PhotoShop and there are many cheaper and often free post processing programs out there that are very good. And as to upgrades, no one needs to upgrade their software every time it gets upgrade by the vendor. Skipping 1-3 upgrades is not necessarily a bad thing, and bug patches and fixes are all free too. Memory cards are dirt cheap, as are harddrives, and optical disks.

    I have found in my own personal experience, and looking at countless others set ups, digital is by far cheaper, especially if one shoots a lot. And the cost of a decent DSLR can easily be offset by the amount of money one will save over the purchase of film & processing, and in the first 6-12 months of shooting.

    Still, I prefer film for black & white pictures, and the higher cost of shooting film does not prevent me from doing so, over digital. To point to so called cost savings as a reason to shoot film is a reason that has no basis in reality. I shoot film because I prefer it's look to digital, and costs has nothing to do with it. These days I shoot with film 95% of the time.
    You can't out cheap somebody who is determined. I see your $1300 dollar DSLR and raise it a $35 Pentax K1000. If you bulk load film that leaves you enough money to shoot about 18,000 exposures. No computer, no software, no upgrades.

    It can be made into a circular argument, but the fact is you don't need anything to shoot film but a decent camera, that can be had very cheaply, and some film. Printing costs are a wash, or in the case of B&W, much cheaper.

    You can make anything you want out of it, but I have the bookkeeping that proves D is more expensive to me by leaps and bounds.

  5. #25

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    ...you also only scan the film images you want, at whatever resolution you want (if you want a digital image). With digital you have to keep it all or lose it. If I change my mind...I can always scan a negative I didn't scan before....I get to choose type of print (Analog/inkjet etc)...bottom line is film can be digital...but digital..can't be film? I don't decry digital...the instant feedback helped my photography and commercially has destressed me (I always have digital images as part of any job) in the past....but that does not make it cheaper, and does not mean film is not good business, and definitely does not mean it is better in any way....just a different tool. K

  6. #26
    Uncle Goose's Avatar
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    The same is happening to the digital camera as the thing that happened on the mobile phones, once the market is saturated the sales will drop tremendous. Consumerism on it's best.
    Sure, I could give you a boring explanation who I really am but I rather let the Origami do the talking.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverGlow View Post
    I beg to differ Jason.

    You can get a used digital DSLR that provides 98% the same image quality of the latest $8,000 DSLR for about $400 to $1,300. Sure this is more then most used film bodies, but not a lot of money either. As to a computer, well, 9 times out of 10 a person is going to have a computer anyways, regardless of whether he shoots film or digital or both. As to software, you don't have to purchase PhotoShop and there are many cheaper and often free post processing programs out there that are very good. And as to upgrades, no one needs to upgrade their software every time it gets upgrade by the vendor. Skipping 1-3 upgrades is not necessarily a bad thing, and bug patches and fixes are all free too. Memory cards are dirt cheap, as are harddrives, and optical disks.

    I have found in my own personal experience, and looking at countless others set ups, digital is by far cheaper, especially if one shoots a lot. And the cost of a decent DSLR can easily be offset by the amount of money one will save over the purchase of film & processing, and in the first 6-12 months of shooting.

    Still, I prefer film for black & white pictures, and the higher cost of shooting film does not prevent me from doing so, over digital. To point to so called cost savings as a reason to shoot film is a reason that has no basis in reality. I shoot film because I prefer it's look to digital, and costs has nothing to do with it. These days I shoot with film 95% of the time.

    I know that im new and the same stuff has been repeated hundreds of times...

    But, who shooting digital wants to run free apps???

    and who running digital can run any old computer?

    In the real world you have to upgrade and keep up. My friend has a pentium two 350 running windows 98, which he uses to send email and word process very well... will he enjoy the digital experience? I think not.

    Plus, digital and Photoshop go hand in hand which is why all camera clubs the length and breadth of the UK spend hours and hours pontificating about RAW this and RAW that. They spend so much time discussing photoshop that Im now no longer a member of any club.

    So take your £1200 DSLR + £1000 computer + £800 Photoshop CS34 and add to that the need to print/proof digital at home and how much is spent on monitor £200, printer £200 to £400, calibration tools and software(skys the limit), not to mention ink £30 a pack (for cheap clones) and paper £10 or 10 sheets of anything decent - before you realise that its crap it doesnt archive well and have to get a pro lab to make trannies or prints, because you didnt have a darkroom cause you put all your faith in the RAW file! and that is a cheap set up!

    SLR £30 roll of film £3 chemicals £30 darkroom equipment (enlarger, tanks, trays etc) £200

    simple maths to take and print your first DSLR image at home = £3000+

    To take and print your first film SLR image at home = £300

    ouch!

    P.S. It comes down to this for me!

    Noise is an error of the sensor and CCD, a problem which must be overcome that jolts the viewer out of the image.

    Grain is different, subtle and sometimes welcome and saught after. Not the same thing at all!
    Last edited by jonjameshall; 12-30-2008 at 04:34 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: I can!

  8. #28
    viridari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjameshall View Post
    But, who shooting digital wants to run free apps???
    My entire software stack from operating system to image sorting to post processing is all done with Free Software.

    The only place that I don't use Free Software is when I have to run over to the Mac to scan my negatives, because there is no Free Software that works with my combination of scanner and computer.

    and who running digital can run any old computer?
    Me.

    In the real world you have to upgrade and keep up. My friend has a pentium two 350 running windows 98, which he uses to send email and word process very well... will he enjoy the digital experience? I think not.
    No, but an old Pentium 4 that you can get for $50 will do the job nicely.

    Now with all that said, the digital guy is going to be upgrading all of his hardware every 3 to 5 years, and spend additional money on making backups. The guy who is doing backups to optical disk is in for a real wakeup call when he goes to restore from a 5 year old DVD and finds that it has delaminated or is in some other way unreadable.

    How many digital shooters are still using the same camera body they used 5 years ago? There are some, but they are few in number.

    Now how many film shooters are using a 20+ year old camera? My primary film camera is probably pushing 40 years, and it is a youngster of a camera in this community. I figure with good fine grain film and drum scanning, I'm good for close to 50MP and the images already come out square so I don't need to crop them to make them look right.

    With digital, most of your costs are up front, such that the more you shoot, the smaller the incremental cost per image. If you're a prolific professional or perhaps a retiree that can spend almost every day shooting, digital can begin to make financial sense.

    With film, you can get into it for a few hundred bucks up front, with most of that cost going into film processing chemicals and related dry goods. Your initial investment becomes negligible pretty quickly, but there is still a hard floor on the cost per image set by the cost of the film itself, plus the processing. There are ways to economize this, but there will always be a significant cost here.

    The prolific film shooter will in time rack up film costs that can make digital look like a more economical alternative.

    But wait!

    Five years are up. The likelihood of Mr. Digital's RAID array crashing is becoming very high. It's time to buy a new RAID array and move all the old backups over to the new array. Disk costs are cheap, but these days 15MP cameras are becoming common, and photographers are increasingly starting to back up three or four copies of the same image (RAW file from camera, post processed TIFF or PSD, JPG sized for printing, JPG sized for web).

    The longer a prolific photographer's career last, the more and more they are going to need their own IT department if they are working in digital just to keep up with the archival requirements! It's not so bad now, but just wait. 30 years from now it should be really interesting to hear how digital photographers are staying on top of their archives.

  9. #29
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    The point is, regardless of how you structure, film can and does make business sense, not as in the original OP, or from a pure cost perspective, but in spite of economic considerations if correctly marketed. Businesses that trade and operate on price alone almost always fail, because margins are too slim and competition is too keen among the bottom feeders. I watch the prosumer digi wannabe GWC's in my market wreak havoc as they come and go on a near weekly basis. The killer for many persons starting photography businesses is that they believe that the low end is where to begin building their business. The trouble is they are building on shaky ground, as the GWC's harpoon each other with abandon, and those that operate as such fully deserve the clients they get. I started shunning that market long ago. Could the D part of my business operate as Silverglow suggests? Yes, but not for long, nor would I want to be involved with it. Can I really operate the film side with a $35 dollar camera with a 50mm? Yes, but I would run into the same problems.

    In the real world of photographing for a living, which I do, my books indicate that I run a higher profit margin and command higher prices on the film side, with less investment and near even operating costs. That isn't wishful thinking or blind belief in a dogma, rather the cold hard facts of twenty years of book keeping.

    The real point is that business wise you have to choose what you are going to be, how you are going to become that, and if the profit margin can support it. Right now offering both services seems to make the most sense, but the D side is more of a service for service sake, not the flagship. The D side is always ripe with cost cutters even on the high end, and dealing with that takes time and energy, and that is worth money, part of the hidden expense. I have no such issues on the film side. The jobs seem to sell themselves, and I am getting more and more bluebirds from simple word of mouth. I have such a job this weekend!

    So to the OP, yes film can make as much sense as anything, if you target your market correctly. No camera or media makes a successful photographer.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 12-30-2008 at 08:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by viridari View Post
    My entire software stack from operating system to image sorting to post processing is all done with Free Software.

    The only place that I don't use Free Software is when I have to run over to the Mac to scan my negatives, because there is no Free Software that works with my combination of scanner and computer.
    Agreed, its not impossible :-) but 99.9 percent of users want industry standard so they can follow tips and tutorials in magazines, use thier newly found noise illiminating plug in, get tech support, calibrate thier colourspace, and importantly, maintain the dream of one day being a professional.

    If we just lookat this commercially - do you think the customer expects photoshop and the latest greatest hardwear - or free software running on an old $50 pentium 4? Which service would your $$ buy?

    Dont get me wrong, I love open source, its the model that works best for todays internet age (otherwise folks just steal it in a torrent) but a lot of money is spent making sure that the apples and adobe's of this world maintain status... and 99.9 percent of the time it works! and keeping up with this system costs users 1000's of dollars...

    You are the 0.1 percent who has the inteligence to seek other alternatives, someone who I can relate to :-)

    J



 

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