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  1. #21
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Mark, my Endocrinologist would like me to be a vegetarian! But if I did that on a regular basis I wouldn't have had the Buffalo burgers at Goldfield.
    I think I heard somewhere that some organization said Buffalo Burgers hold the status of "Honorary Vegetables".

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    The problem I see is how invasive digital is in my life, I start with an iPhone then get software and buy songs and more software and look at a new computer and scanner and printer and more conversion software so I can convert movies of my favorite photo DVDs to MP4 so I can waste more time reviewing them on my little phone window. But there are some good apps like lightmeter and the massive dev. chart and GPS and flicker and Utube and Mobile photoshop, and back to the printer and software, it's so invasive.

    My Kodak 2D and Seneca cameras and the Calumet's and RB's and Nikon's don't ask for more software, they just want a good supply of good old fashion film. There is no question about it digital is here to stay, this site and all of the interaction I do here is a result of the movement. Film is crying to stay in my life, I never regret having to buy film and I hope it doesn't come down the antique car that sits in the garage and is taken out rarely just for kicks. I haven't bought a digital camera since the Sony Mavica 500 disk camera came out. I'm making plenty of room for how film fits into my life and learning to cope with digital.

    Curt
    We are all coping.

    My hope here is to find ways to make film photography fun and social.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #22
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I think I heard somewhere that some organization said Buffalo Burgers hold the status of "Honorary Vegetables".

    We are all coping.

    My hope here is to find ways to make film photography fun and social.
    In general, I find photography to be fun and social.

    For me, the preferred flavour is the still film variety, complete with darkroom printing and/or transparency projection.

    Like just about any other potentially fun and social endeavour, many will approach it in a different manner than I do, but the interaction with them can add to the enjoyment.

    Just be confident in what you enjoy and experience, and willing to share it with others, and film will fit well in your world, and may move (back?) into the world of others.

    Matt

  3. #23
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    Film fits my world because I am generally a patient man. IMO, film requires patience, a willingness to wait through the process from exposure to development to printing. Of course the other side of the coin is the got to have it now crowd----------------not that there's anything wrong with that, just saying.

  4. #24

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    Any husband that would take his wife out to a lengthy dinner at a slow pace is a good husband. The time spent sharing with you wife is an investment in your relationship. Good job. My own wife is many things to me but she is also my best friend and I like and want to spend as much time with her as possible. As far as film goes I shoot E-6 but I do not think it is particularly green. I have no idea if film is greener then digital or the other way around. It probably varies depending on the person and how they use the various systems with consideration to the waste ie, electronic waste, chemical waste, ink, paper etc, etc.. But since we are on the green agenda I figure it is the responsibility of us all to live as green as possible. It's the smart thing to do.

  5. #25
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    You could put a pile of $hit in a box, stamp the word "digital" on it and people would buy it because digital $hit is better than analog $hit.

    What people don't realize is that 35mm film has the equivalent of something like 40 megapixels of resolution. Film, in general can capture a dynamic range of something like ±20 stops. (Correct me if this is wrong.) There is no digital technology that can come close to that. The best digital cameras which cost thousands of dollars are producing just over 20 megapixels right now. Correct? The dynamic range of a digital camera is an order of magnitude smaller.

    Digital photography does have its benefits. It is easier to do because you don't have to master the darkroom. It is more convenient because you don't have to wait for development. You never have to worry about running out of film. Due to vast economies of scale, prices are falling all the time.

    We have photographs which are more than 100 to 150 years old. The vast majority of our digital pictures are less than 1/10 that. There is just no way to say that digital photographs have anywhere near that level of permanence unless they are printed on archival media. You can not count on hard disks and digital memory chips to store photographs for long term. Not only are they just not reliable enough, they become obsolete very quickly. It would be a challenge to retrieve a photograph stored on a floppy disk just a few years ago. If you happen to have a 5-1/4 inch floppy dis, I DARE you to retrieve the data from it today. It would be a challenge! There is just no guarantee that even the best storage medium we come up with in the next few years will be able to match the permanence and longevity that we have been able to achieve with film.

    I'm sorry but nothing digital can ever hold a candle to what can be done with film.

    Yes, the masses will gravitate toward the convenience and economy of digital photography but I do not think film will ever go away completely.
    200 years ago, people who wanted portraits of their family had to hire an artist to paint their portrait. Well, photography has largely supplanted that market but it has not disappeared completely. People who want artistic, life-size renderings of their family and friends STILL turn to portrait painters. (They often work from photographs! ) It is more expensive. It is more time consuming and good artists are harder to come by but you can STILL hire a portrait painter.

    I think there will still be photography in 100 years. It will be more expensive. Fewer people will know how to do it. But people who want the quality, permanence and emotional realism that film photography can provide will still be able to do it.

    In a nutshell, it will go back to being exclusively a rich-man's game.

  6. #26

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    [I'm sorry but nothing digital can ever hold a candle to what can be done with film.]

    How does going out to dinner with your wife become a film vs digital thing? I wonder if that poor horse will ever finally get beaten to death?

  7. #27

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    Perhaps the Stewart brand link above has me thinking about heresies....

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    What people don't realize is that 35mm film has the equivalent of something like 40 megapixels of resolution.
    Which begs the question of which film and what definition of resolution. What (B&W) film can do very well is to render very high contrast, high frequency inputs (like a test chart) and record differences as very low contrast fine lines. Is this a practical definition of resolution for pictorial purposes? Or is MTF50 better? Depending on your definition of "resolve" and the rest of your assumptions, you can use almost any number you like from 2MP to 40MP.

    In the real world, it's very difficult and somewhat expensive to realize a significant portion of that theoretical resolution in useful artistic expressions. Most photographers over the age of 40 have more years experience with film than digital and the vast majority will choose digital. Why? Because even if the theoretical limits are lower, the useful limits that you can realize without extreme discipline is typically higher with digital.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    Film, in general can capture a dynamic range of something like ±20 stops. (Correct me if this is wrong.)
    Again, it does not matter. You cannot represent 20 stops in print or projected without extreme and artificial tonal remapping. If this were routinely possible, the split ND filter would not have been invented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    There is no digital technology that can come close to that.
    Of course there is. It simply requires multiple shots and is typically called HDR. But there is a reason many deride HDR as artificial or fake looking and the same applies to extensive analog tonal compression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    The best digital cameras which cost thousands of dollars are producing just over 20 megapixels right now. Correct? The dynamic range of a digital camera is an order of magnitude smaller.
    Order of magnitude usually means log10. I doubt you are suggesting digital has only 2 stops of DR. Perhaps you mean binary or of magnitude or 1/2. But that seems awfully digital of you. Again, the actual numbers will depend on your definitions as to what is distinguishable or even photographically useful. (What film does have that is difficult to replicate is the shoulders and toes of the tone curve.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    We have photographs which are more than 100 to 150 years old.
    We also have prints and slides from the 50's through the early 80's that have faded into uselessness. Preserving images is a process not a destination. In both cases, it typically takes care and work to make something last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    There is just no way to say that digital photographs have anywhere near that level of permanence unless they are printed on archival media.
    In theory, digital images can be preserved perfectly forever by continual media migration. But like that theoretical 40 megapixels, the reality is typically quite different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    I'm sorry but nothing digital can ever hold a candle to what can be done with film.
    Don't hold that candle too close - film can be rather flammable! (Nitrate film bases: another counter example to film's natural archival properties.)

    Film and digital are different media but most of photography is not about the media or even the craft of making a technically excellent print. Art is about having something to say. If you really want your work to be preserved, you need to get it collected by people with the money and interest for long term preservation, namely museums. Most of the work currently preserved that way would probably not meet the technical standards of the average apug poster!

    While I'm spouting heresies, I'll take on a common one: that grain is supposed to be there. Not really: we only started seeing grain in images when we started enlarging smaller negatives in larger prints. There is no visible grain in a daguerreotype or contact printed wet plate image. If grain was uniformly good, then why have people spent so many years and research dollars in making it smaller and less obvious? Grain is simply an artifact of the process that we have come to accept and sometimes even use for expression. But if you have no tradition of grain, the idiom is meaningless and it will look artificial and ugly. What would all those photographers from the late 1800s think of our modern grainy images?

  8. #28
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    We can start with the differences between a random grain image and a Cartesian arrangement of pixels. The human eye responds to each of them in a different way. Most people will tolerate much more grain in a photographic film image than they will tolerate pixelation or macroblocking in a digital image. In fact, in movies some directors or producers will purposely use a bleach-bypass process to enhance graininess (and decrease saturation, etc.) You would very rarely, if at all, find a director/producer who would intentionally increase pixelation or macroblocking in a digital movie to gain some kind of visual effect unless digital artifacting was part of the plot. (Such as in a Sci-Fi movie where a digital message transmission is experiencing interference.)

    In comparing resolution and dynamic range, one has a greater continuum of possibilities with a single frame of film than with digital. One frame of film can capture more than a multiple exposure HDR can capture. Even the "Red One" digital cinema camera can only produce 4096 horizontal by 2304 vertical pixels with 11 stops of total dynamic range. It is probably possible to produce a digital image that looks as good as a frame of film but you would have to either use multiple exposures of the same scene or use extremely expensive technology. (A "Red One" digital cinema camera costs $17,000 just for the body, not including lenses, accessories and storage equipment.) Even if you equalize all that out, the ability of film to capture the dynamic range that you want in a single exposure still trumps digital. Engineers are just now working on digital sensors that have three or more groups of light sensing elements for each pixel of output. Until that gets perfected enough for wide release to consumers you'll have to use a tripod and take multiple shots of the same scene with your digital camera. That eliminates a lot of action shots or even shots of real people. We're stuck with landscapes and still life pictures until that sensor technology becomes more available. Even then, consider the cost. It will take a long time before those prices come down.

    (P.S. I was thinking in powers of two. I appreciate being corrected. )

    You can preserve almost anything if you are willing to spend the time and money. Even nitrate film can be preserved. Luckily, we don't have to worry about nitrate stock very much anymore. (I am a projectionist in a movie theater. I have to be on guard for nitrate. It is illegal to use nitrate film in a projection booth that is not specially outfitted for its use.) Regardless of the stock, improperly preserved images will not last very long at all. If you take care of your photos they will last longer than your lifetime and, likely your grand children's lifetimes. First off, we don't even know how long a digital image can be preserved. Second, the medium on which we store digital images is very likely NOT up to the task of long-term preservation. At this point, a home-burned CD-R is estimated to last 25 to 50 years under ideal storage conditions. The organic dyes break down. Maybe, a factory made disk that uses a glass master can last 100 years or more but how accessible is that technology? And, at what price? But, let's just assume that it is possible to burn a CD-R at home that will last more than 100 years under average conditions. In 50 years, will I still be able to retrieve those images? Will storage technology have changed in that time? Will CD-Rs be obsolete? Will you even be able to find a disk drive that will play it? Will you be able to find a computer that will be able to access that drive? However, I can still view a 100+ year old film photograph. Even if it has degraded, I can duplicate it, print it, project it and repair it. I, personally, have rescued photographs that have been through a house fire. The DVDs, video tapes and computer disks were all, pretty much, destroyed. I simply cut off the charred edges of the prints and rewashed the negatives and they were almost all saved.

    Furthermore, the viewing, of photos can be done while sitting around one's living room table. It is very easy to share them among a group of people. (Printing of digital images notwithstanding.) Printing and preservation of 100 year old film images can be done in one's basement. We don't even know what it would take to resurrect a 100 year old image stored on a hard drive. It will probably be very expensive and time consuming. Don't forget, those 100 year old photos were likely made without electricity. If the electrical grid ever goes down, it will become very difficult, indeed ,to retrieve digital photos.

    Do, I like digital photography? Yes! I do it all the time. I took a bunch of digital pictures last night. But I also like film. I even developed a roll of film the night before last. I view them both as tools to produce images. And, just as one would not use a screw gun to drive a nail, I think film and digital media have optimal uses. For internet and television, digital media excels where film can not but, for quality, longevity and artistic expression I still don't think you can beat film.

    This would be like comparing McDonald's to a fine dining restaurant. If you want a quick snack, fast food is all right but don't even consider it if you want to take your wife out to dinner on Valentine's day!

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    We can start with the differences between a random grain image and a Cartesian arrangement of pixels.
    Let's not. As has been pointed out, this particular horse is nothing but bones by now. A lot people have weighed the pros and cons of both and some have chosen to work in digital, some in film, and some in both. My point is that most have made a rational decision based on what works for them.

    The human eye responds to each of them in a different way. Most people will tolerate much more grain in a photographic film image than they will tolerate pixelation or macroblocking in a digital image.
    I was proposing the theory that this is a current cultural preference as grain has been a part of photography for the last 70 or so years. We'd need to study what humans who have no history of mechanical imaging think looks more natural. I don't know of such a study, do you?

    One frame of film can capture more than a multiple exposure HDR can capture. [...] It is probably possible to produce a digital image that looks as good as a frame of film but you would have to either use multiple exposures of the same scene.
    You are contradicting yourself here and multiple exposures is exactly what I was referring to as a common still digital photography technique. Yes the technique has it's limitations, but representing significant DR realistically on printed or projected media is a bigger problem.

    Luckily, we don't have to worry about nitrate stock very much anymore.
    We don't have to worry about obscure hard-sector disk formats anymore either. Certainly the art and science of silver-based media preservation is much more mature than digital preservation. But the state of silver-based media preservation is mature precisely because we've leaned from all of the failures. Only time can really tell what stands the test of time.

    If you take care of your photos they will last longer than your lifetime and, likely your grand children's lifetimes.
    Some film technologies were inherently unstable, so this is not always true.

    First off, we don't even know how long a digital image can be preserved.
    We don't know how long a silver image can be preserved. However, we know that some have lasted over 150 years and we can measure the rate of decay to come up with an estimate. You can do the same with digital - what's the oldest digital image? The oldest I have is from 1987 and the amount of degradation is exactly 0. It started out as a gif file on CompuServe and has been migrated from perhaps a dozen different storage devices and/or media over the past 23 years.

    Second, the medium on which we store digital images is very likely NOT up to the task of long-term preservation.
    So by definition, you do not depend on a single medium lasting long-term. See above.

    It is very easy to share them among a group of people.
    Sharing is something digital does much better. Possibly a billion people can access any of my images online. Your living room table is not that big.

    If the electrical grid ever goes down, it will become very difficult, indeed ,to retrieve digital photos.
    If the society collapses that far, recovering images will be rather low priority. But the one technology that has more proven lasting power than silver-based media is carbon-ink on paper. What is the most common physical expression of a digital image?

    for quality, longevity and artistic expression I still don't think you can beat film.
    This is a statement that I think many would agree with regardless of what they prefer to work in today. I replied to your original post because it contained a number of exaggerated statements. If you are going to start being more moderate, then perhaps we'll be in violent agreement.

  10. #30
    SilverGlow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    You could put a pile of $hit in a box, stamp the word "digital" on it and people would buy it because digital $hit is better than analog $hit.

    What people don't realize is that 35mm film has the equivalent of something like 40 megapixels of resolution. Film, in general can capture a dynamic range of something like ±20 stops. (Correct me if this is wrong.) There is no digital technology that can come close to that. The best digital cameras which cost thousands of dollars are producing just over 20 megapixels right now. Correct? The dynamic range of a digital camera is an order of magnitude smaller.

    Digital photography does have its benefits. It is easier to do because you don't have to master the darkroom. It is more convenient because you don't have to wait for development. You never have to worry about running out of film. Due to vast economies of scale, prices are falling all the time.

    We have photographs which are more than 100 to 150 years old. The vast majority of our digital pictures are less than 1/10 that. There is just no way to say that digital photographs have anywhere near that level of permanence unless they are printed on archival media. You can not count on hard disks and digital memory chips to store photographs for long term. Not only are they just not reliable enough, they become obsolete very quickly. It would be a challenge to retrieve a photograph stored on a floppy disk just a few years ago. If you happen to have a 5-1/4 inch floppy dis, I DARE you to retrieve the data from it today. It would be a challenge! There is just no guarantee that even the best storage medium we come up with in the next few years will be able to match the permanence and longevity that we have been able to achieve with film.

    I'm sorry but nothing digital can ever hold a candle to what can be done with film.

    Yes, the masses will gravitate toward the convenience and economy of digital photography but I do not think film will ever go away completely.
    200 years ago, people who wanted portraits of their family had to hire an artist to paint their portrait. Well, photography has largely supplanted that market but it has not disappeared completely. People who want artistic, life-size renderings of their family and friends STILL turn to portrait painters. (They often work from photographs! ) It is more expensive. It is more time consuming and good artists are harder to come by but you can STILL hire a portrait painter.

    I think there will still be photography in 100 years. It will be more expensive. Fewer people will know how to do it. But people who want the quality, permanence and emotional realism that film photography can provide will still be able to do it.

    In a nutshell, it will go back to being exclusively a rich-man's game.
    I love and use film as much or more then the next guy, but worker, your post has so many flaws, untruths, and subjective bias and outright lies that I am overwhelmed on how to respond.

    I love and prefer film but this fact will not compel me to lie, make up stories and exaggerate the qualities of film and digital mediums; I want to stay objective, factual and fair.

    Film and digital are not competitors, nor does one replace the other. Surely you tire from fighting this old battle, with all this religion, emotion, and subjectivity, yea?

    1. Film does NOT have 20+ stops of DR. How ridiculous to claim this!
    2. There are digital cameras that nearly match B&W film in DR.
    3. Like digital photography, a film shooter does not have to master the darkroom. You very conveniently didn't mention this. Film and digital shooters can master the darkroom, taking the process slow and following complex workflows, or the opposite.
    4. Film cannot, has never been able, and will never better digital in archival permanence. You don't know computers, how they work, how data is stored because if you did, you would not think film to be a better archival medium. That ridiculous example about pulling data off a 20+ year old floppy disk is very lame because all one has to do is copy that file to newer better medium every 5-7 years, and the cost is extremely cheap, and the amount of "hassle" is less then making a cup of coffee in the morning. Of course the film snobs will drastically exaggerate the cost and hassle of moving files to higher capacity and more dependable, and far cheap media. They think this is "so hard and complex"....lol x 1,000!
    5. There are awesome master digital shooters that can create awesome digital pictures, and no less stunning then film shooter results.

    Film and digital provide the means to make great awesome art.

    I really tire of the tedious lies coming from film and digital snobs equally! Both extremists/fundamentalists are terribly wrong xenophobic, and insecure.
    Last edited by SilverGlow; 02-22-2010 at 11:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    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.

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