Film Photography Survey

Started Nov 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
skysurfer5
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Re: Film Photography Survey
In reply to The A-Team, Nov 15, 2012
  • Do you shoot film? — My film cameras are now used exclusively for astrophotography with the ocassional daylight shot thrown in to "register" the frames on the roll.  The last time I shot film for the express purpose of "regular" photography was in 2005, when my wife and I went to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary.  I had just bought an Olympus E-1, but I only had one lens for it (14-54), so I also carried my Olympus OM-4T with 15 mm Sigma fisheye, 28 mm, 50 mm, and 135 mm lenses so I could cover a wider range.  The fisheye was especially important because it allowed me to photograph all of the Keck I telescope from the viewing room and allowed me to do some fun stuff with the 16-inch gun barrels on the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor.  With respect to film astrophotography, I mainly shoot star trails (up to 5 hours) and wide-field piggybacked images (up to 45 minutes tracked).  I also shoot the Sun and Moon with my 5" and 8" telescopes using my film cameras and my DSLRs.  The only recent films I have found that will pick up the red emission nebulas are Fuji Provia 200 and 400 and Kodak EliteChrome 200 and 400.  Over the years I have accumulated >7000 slide and >5000 negative/print images.  Of these, all were color except two rolls of B&W and one of IR.  My favorite film of all time was Kodachrome 25.
  • Which film camera(s) do you shoot with? — I have an Olympus OM-1N and an Olympus OM-4T.  Also, my dad gave me his OM-1N several years ago when he switched to a digital P&S, but I haven't used it.
  • Do you shoot film professionally at all? — Except for selling two astrophotos and donating several more for fund raisers, no.
  • How has film changed your photography? — It hasn't, digital has.  However, I do handle things a bit differently with the two technologies.  For example, K25 made it easier to get slow shutter speed for streaking waterfalls than a base ISO of 100 or 200 in the typical DSLR.  On the other hand, once the equipment is paid for, digital frames are free and film frames are not.  Thus, I can experiment in ways and in quantities that I never could with film.  This hasa helped me to improve my photographic eye.  I learned the basics of photography with the fully manual OM-1N, got better with the automatic OM-4T and its wonderful mult-spot meter, but it wasn't until I got into digital that I reached the level I wanted to be at.  I will never have professional skills (partly due to not being particularly artisitc, partly due to lack of formal training, and partly due a really variable schedule with which to pursue photography), but I am now finally satisfied with my results most of the time.
  • How would you describe the difference between film and digital? — Film can be "silkier", but even K25 isn't as good as OOC JPEGs with default settings from my Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-5.  However, part of this due to having better optics for my digital cameras than I ever had with my film camera.
  • Please share a few photos with us! — My dpreview gallery has some astrophotos that were captured with film.
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