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Thread: 35mm SLR - why?

  1. #41
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rippo View Post
    I guess I *have* been overlooking the obvious answer: it's still film. Bells and whistles aside, if you want it to look like film, you shoot film. How the camera feels and operates doesn't make it "almost digital". It just makes it modern.
    Yes, Tri-X is still Tri-X whether it's in an Argus C3 or an F100. But the F100 is going to handle much better if you need speed and flexibility.

    Does someone have the answer to the "bright viewfinder" question? Is there a technological reason that viewfinders are brighter in film SLRs than in dSLRs? Or is it just a quality issue? (high end film SLRs with bright viewfinders can be had for cheaper than the equivalent dSLR).
    As already has been noted, lower end DSLRs tend to have pentamirrors, which don't give you as nice and bright an image as pentaprisms. Higher end DSLRs have prisms.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post

    The EOS 1V, despite being packed to the rafters with technology, is nowhere near digital. Even further from that notion is my beloved workhorse, the EOS 1N. If they appear to you an almost digital experience, why do they "fall short"? And there is the question. If you do not use your Nikon N90S (BTW, is that the F90X otherwise?) then how is it a change of format (if any) will reignite the spark? I see you've already got multiple formats to play with. You really need to sit down and consider the objectives and what you want to do, to achieve, with whatever format you are looking at and not clutch at a fancy piece of expensive, auto-redundant machinery like it is a Chanel tote, which is the way so many digimons appear to be panhandled today: on purchase they are the flavour of the month; before you know it, the latest and greatest is yesterday's hero — now as popular as herpes on a honeymoon. You can take my word for it: you can go a long, long, long way in one format. I'm still going in it after 33 years.
    I am reading everyone's posts with much enthusiasm, and of course can't reply to them all. Gary has prompted a response to his though.

    First, yes the N90s is the same as the F90x.

    When I shoot film, I primarily shoot 35mm rangefinder or medium format SLR or TLR. I intentionally seek an experience and result that is different from when I shoot digitally for commercial purposes (fashion, portraits). I shoot these film formats because of the process, as much as the result. I simply enjoy it. I find the N90s to be not very satisfying to use, because it's "too much like going to work". A similar experience to my dSLRs, but without some of the benefits of digital. So I was failing to see the appeal of that type of camera.

    But I've been enlightened, for sure! I seem to have forgotten that even when it's shot full-auto, film has its uses. My bad.

    No, the spark hasn't gone. If anything, the film spark is brighter than ever in me. I've explored almost all the formats and major categories of cameras, and I know what works for me and what doesn't. My question was not subtitled "how can I find a new love for my N90s". It was a curiosity about how other people use and favor high end 35mm SLRs.

  3. #43

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    Also, I think I was asking from a hypothetical film-newbie's perspective. If someone wanted to make the leap from digital to film, why would he/she choose a high-end 35mm SLR?

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    All 35mm SLRs are full frame. All 35mm cameras have the same quality of recording medium. Film is more fun. I can scan my 35mm negatives and they look like they were taken with a D3, every time. Yet somehow, my N65 didn't cost me 5000 dollars. And I would have to put a hell of a lot of film through it to make it cost that much.

  5. #45
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rippo View Post
    But I've been enlightened, for sure! I seem to have forgotten that even when it's shot full-auto, film has its uses. My bad.
    Of course. The film doesn't care if you shot it full auto or agonized over Sunny 16. Exposure is exposure, regardless of how you got there and focus is no less valid if a phase detect system and motor found it rather than your own hand and eye on a split prism.

    It's fine to enjoy more process, but you have to remember that no matter what sentiments are popular on message board threads, camera automation isn't some kind of plebeian crutch. It was invented and refined for very practical reasons to help the photographer take photographs quickly when they've not the time or inclination to fiddle faddle for every frame.

    If I'm trying to shoot my niece's soccer team and want to use Tri-X for that classic PJ look, I don't need an experience that's different from my workhorse DSLR; in fact, what I need is an experience very much like it if I hope to leave with any photos, which for my gear chest means the F100. The team is going to move at the same speed regardless of what gear I choose, so I'd best choose gear that's going to keep up.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by rippo View Post
    ...I'm just asking: why, in a digital age, would a photographer specifically choose a modern film SLR camera such as those mentioned above?

    -Matt
    (Bronica EC, Bronica ETR-s, Yashica Electro 35 GSN, Yashicaflex, Nikon N90s, Super Ricohflex, Toyo-View C etc etc etc)

    Speaking personally:

    You're a little weird and like to be different, and proud of it?

    You get full-frame cheaply (all your cameras can be full-frame with 50 mp sensors).

    No sensor cleaning required?

    Your'e not in the rat-race and can concentrate on photography instead?

    Your equipment won't date (dated already)?

    You may be living in the digital age, but your mind is still in the steam age (and you like it that way)?

    Your equipment is unlikely to get stolen and, if it should be, its cheap enough to replace (save on insurance)?

    The technology is "mature", therefore stable and unchanging (not having to master new stuff all the time)?

    Anyone can take pictures with digital (even nursery-school kids): film is more challenging and easier to screw up?:rolleyes:

    You just "like old stuff" (made of leather, metal, and glass, with springs and gears, often made by people "who cared", and lasts "forever")

    You can get more of it for the money?

    You don't need to own or know anything about computers, IT, etc/

    What's VR/SR? Who cares?

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by rippo View Post
    Also, I think I was asking from a hypothetical film-newbie's perspective. If someone wanted to make the leap from digital to film, why would he/she choose a high-end 35mm SLR?
    Depends on what they want to do, I suppose. I can think of a number of good reasons, ranging from "I expect to shoot a lot of sports/kids/wildlife" (or other subjects in which automation makes it easier to get time-critical shots) through "the bells and whistles are cheap enough that why not" to "I just like the way this particular camera feels". There are also some reasons that I'd say are, um, not as well thought out ("I gotta have the BEST of everything!").

    But for most people, I think a basic slightly-automated SLR would have all the same virtues in practice---anything with autofocus and that's capable of doing at least aperture-priority and full-manual. Not that those are necessary features for photography, of course, but most people coming from digital will be used to quite a bit of automation.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    A 50 Megapixel Hasselblad back costs costs $50,000.

    For that price, you could set up a very nice gallery to display the best of your analog-produced images and the none-the-wiser digi crowd will crow: "gee, they're beautiful digital images — what camera did you use to take them?". <sigh> It never ceases to bloody amaze me that people associate the type of camera with the end-result quality of the image. Bit like Ma's tasty scones: "Gee, they're lovely scones. You must have a great oven...".

    Sirius, is that the CFV39 Hassy digi back (39MPX) because I've seen it recently. I think it's about $63,000 here in Australia. I believe one wedding snapper locally has one on Novated Lease (wise!), like his company car.

  9. #49
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Because:

    1) even with all the bells and whistles, there are far fewer important options that are only easily accessible 3 levels down in a confusing series of menus;
    2) have you ever tried to get transparencies for projection from a digital file?;
    3) if you like to actually print from a negative, with a DSLR you are out of luck.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by rippo View Post
    ...But what advantages, if any, would one choose to shoot a late-model full-featured film SLR over the d-word equivalent? Seems to me that using an EOS-1V or a Nikon F6 would be an "almost digital" experience, but fall short.... I'm not asking for a D-versus-A discussion. I know better than that! I'm just asking: why, in a digital age, would a photographer specifically choose a modern film SLR camera such as those mentioned above?...
    I'm a bit late to the party, it seems, but thought I might add my bit:

    I shoot with an F5 and chose it for a number of reasons. First, it is one of the most advanced film cameras Nikon has ever produced, combining fast and accurate AF, 100-percent viewfinder image and spot metering all in one package.

    Secondly, it uses film. One of the most wonderful mediums I have found for rendering images. I prefer it over digital (although I do use a DSLR for a significant amount of work).

    Truth be told, I've lusted after the F3HP since I began as a photographer, yet the F3 lacks spot metering. And yes, I could simply use a F100, and have, but there is something very robust about the F5 that simply "fits" for me. Upon seeing mine for the first time, my mother commented that it looked like a Hummer. I think she's very right about that.

    It's a wonderful tool and very, very affordable, as are many advance film cameras. So my question is, if you're going to shoot film, why NOT choose one (F5, F6, 1N, 1V, etc...)??



 

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