Many of the responses you received in this thread described why the members in this forum prefer to shoot a film camera rather than a digital camera. If you were really asking why you should shoot a 35mm SLR over a 5.2mp digicam, then I think that is a decision that you can only make for yourself.
Originally Posted by scottwesterman
Personally, I think you should shoot both.
I agree with most comments here. Grain can be attractive, noise is ugly so in low light film wins everytime.
I find the digital look to be plastic and lifeless. No matter how much it glows on your monitor, when its outputted to an inkjet or other media it lacks something that is there in a fine fiber print.
I'm an art photographer, if I had to classify what I do that would be it.
I don't do PJ, or wedding, very little portraits these days. All of these disciplines in photography demand digital these days to stay competitive. It has to do with speed and little to do with quality.
For B&W there is no question, film is king. Even scanned film is more attractive to eye.
Why? Why should I invest a lot of money in an imaging system that has built in obsolescence, which does not do what I want to do and which holds zero interest for me?
Originally Posted by narsuitus
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
so you can sell stuff on ebay....
Originally Posted by Andy K
art is about managing compromise
I'll reiterate my first post on this thread. Basically, if you're a normal professional in the modern world, you probably are shooting both digital as well as film, at some point. I am currently not really a professional shooter; I shoot for myself, and occasionally for friends or friends of friends. More than once have I been lured by digital because a number of professional applications make digital make a lot of sense to me. It isn't all about prints out there, and, yes exactly, on the computer screen, where a lot of work is based, sometimes exclusively, digital can look VERY good (and why not? Lot of talented people in the world, using all kinds of media). And if you're a working shooter, you probably will feel the crunch of obselescence far less than a personal artist shooter. So I guess what I'm saying is: if you work, shoot whatever. If you DON'T work and you shoot for yourself, you might at least start with 35mm. Your money will go farther and your equipment will remain relevant for longer. Digital just isn't a very good investment (yet?) unless your income corresponds directly to it.
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Really, I don't think you upset anyone. Of course, by asking here, you expected a biased answer toward film fotography, didn't you? That said, You sure understand that - in theory - the answers you got here are insufficient to get a balanced information and take a decision. IN THEORY.
Originally Posted by scottwesterman
Because, IN PRACTICE, there is a lot of people here who have pluri-decennial experience with film photography, and unless we all got blind recently, there MUST be some reason if film photography is still so much loved, and expecially by those who have most experience.
Last, my personal opinion: the more you take care PERSONALLY of the steps involved in traditional photography, the more the difference will pop up. If you do by hand all things from film development to photograph printing, film photography will win HANDS DOWN over digital inkjetting, both in B&W and color, whatever your local salesman may say.
Last edited by Marco Gilardetti; 04-06-2006 at 07:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
(Tristan Tzara, 1922)
Somehow, good-quality digital movie cameras are okay to me, but not digital still cameras! I don't know why I get so critical about that. I really don't.
Always use musical analogy as a photographic touchstone or reality check.
Today, sharpness has become an obsession in imaging. A little neurosis always makes life interesting, but sharpness is only part of the picture. The musical analogue to sharpness is volume. Being able to play extremely loud is exactly the same as being able to make extremely sharp pictures.
Intonation, tempo, rhythm, and emotion are a few of the other qualitites that make music worthwhile, and are essential to photography as well.
Digital imaging has many good qualities, and it has many shortcomings. Tempo, or a sense of time, is easier to manage in a camera that responds as quickly as a Leica and it is NOT possible in a digital minicam that goes off sometime after you push the button.
Most importantly, film offers a musical range of tonality. The problem is that we need to learn how to use it. Like playing a piano, it takes time and commitment. The rewards have traditionally been worth the trouble.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
Interesting. I always thought of an overly bright tonal balance as the musical analogue of photographic sharpness. The "if it's got brittle exaggerated highs, it's a good sounding, high definition recording" school of (non) thought. I've only walked out on one concert in my life, and it was because the sound had such a piercing and loud high frequency balance, not just volume. Kind of like looking at a photo that's printed 4 grades too high in contrast, or an oversharpened jpeg. I also don't think of a monotonic subwoofer, even a very loud one, as "sharp".
Originally Posted by df cardwell
Realizing that 35mm film cameras and digital cameras look and operate close to the same, the reason to use 35mm is because it is film-based rather than based on the virtual image. In other words, in my opinion, digital is synthetic photography. It is designed to produce something that looks similar to a photograph but it's not. With 35mm film, you produce a negative--something that is tactile, a thing. With digital imaging, you produce a file--it doesn't offer any sense of creation or satisfaction in the producing. I enjoy the process of making a real photograph.
I didn't read the other responses--just offering my opinion without getting into a discussion. Everybody has an opinion and I'm sure you've been getting them as well as catching some grief for even asking the question.