Any reason to shoot film nowadays?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Piginho
Regular MemberPosts: 305
Like?
Don't entirely agree
In reply to Joseph S Wisniewski, Apr 12, 2013

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

bseng wrote:

What are some reasons why someone would shoot 35mm film over a DSLR.

Low entry cost, which might offset the higher running cost, if you don't shoot much.

Agreed.  Quality SLRs can be bought insanely cheaply.  e.g. Nikon F100, F5, F6 and many more, Minolta Dynax 7 and 9, Contax N1 and older RTS, AX, RX and many more.  I still have three Contax N1s and a Minolta Dynax 9 and I honestly can't say which I prefer.

Higher risk, which appeals to some people, I guess.

This is a confidence issue.  If you've been shooting film for long enough it's not that much of a risk.  In tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of slides and negs, I've probably got less than 1% that are unusable.  That's not to say that 99% are masterpieces, just that less than 1% were lost to a technical problem that would represent this so called higher risk.

"Retro appeal", as has already been mentioned.

Yes, it's fun.  Mainly the gear is so nice to use.

Can you extract higher image quality from 35mm?

Only if you're shooting low speed B&W.

This depends on your sensor.  Theoretically, in ideal conditions, Fuji Velvia colour slide film can give you about 22 Mpixels, based on it's 160 lines per mm rating.  (Check Fuji data sheet for confirmation)

Some of the 25 speed B&W emulsions, like bluefire, can outresolve anything but a D800, but the level of care you have to take is insane.

Depends what you call insane, but according to the little research I've done on this film, it will resolve up to 800 lines per mm in ideal lab conditions, when exposed and developed properly in their recommended chemicals.  From my simple calculations, that's around 550 Mpixels on a 35mm frame.  Now that's insane and by my reckoning more than 10 times as good as D800!

Focusing cameras that simply weren't meant for that level of resolution is amazingly difficult.

Cameras back then had good quality split screen focusing, spherical acute matte screens (in the case of Minolta) and all sorts of magnifying attachments to help focusing, so I can't see why, if you set the lens at a sweet spot aperture of around f5.6-f8, that you couldn't realise most of the available quality from these emulsions.  Not that difficult to focus, especially older manual focus lenses.  It's one of the joys of using older gear.

Back in the tech pan days, I reshimmed and recalibrated a couple of cameras for better focusing accuracy.

I assume you're talking about autofocus?  Well I guess everyone trusts it now, but back in the day I always preferred manual focus, but when using autofocus my Contax N1s have focus bracketing, though I never felt the need to use it.

Then you have to deal with scanning to realize that potential.

Well my scanner (Minolta DiMage Scan Elite 5400) won't get the very best out of Bluefire, but with a 5400 dpi resolution, it's well capable of doing a good job with Velvia.

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