Any reason to shoot film nowadays?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions
bseng
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Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
Apr 12, 2013

What are some reasons why someone would shoot 35mm film over a DSLR. Can you extract higher image quality from 35mm?

looper1234
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

being analog, film does have greater resolution when exposure correctly.

I suppose ppl will enjoy the process of taking photos with film, and developing them in  a dark room. The efficiency of digital photography is what made it mainstream.

so that leaves only only one reason ppl would use film now days, to have fun.

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DenWil
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35mm film? I can't imagine any.
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

bseng wrote:

What are some reasons why someone would shoot 35mm film over a DSLR. Can you extract higher image quality from 35mm?

But then I couldn't imagine any twenty five years ago either. Before there were DSLRs.

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Cailean Gallimore
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

I don't shoot 35mm, but I do shoot Medium Format. The reason? I enjoy it, and the results are excellent.

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Biggs23
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to looper1234, Apr 12, 2013

looper1234 wrote:

being analog, film does have greater resolution when exposure correctly.

Riiight.

so that leaves only only one reason ppl would use film now days, to have fun.

That's about right. Although some professionals are marketing film as a retro option and charging a premium for it, so that's another potential reason for some.

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Joseph S Wisniewski
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Troll living up to his name...
In reply to Biggs23, Apr 12, 2013

Biggs23 wrote:

looper1234 wrote:

being analog, film does have greater resolution when exposure correctly.

Riiight.

Ignore him. He's been going gonzo making the most absurd posts, trying to get a rise out of people. Trying to prove he's a true "looper".

so that leaves only only one reason ppl would use film now days, to have fun.

That's about right. Although some professionals are marketing film as a retro option and charging a premium for it, so that's another potential reason for some.

They have to charge a premium for it. Running costs are much higher, and rising constantly. Apparently, Fuji just announced a 30% hike in film, paper, and chemistry.

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jcharding
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

For the fun of it, which is the reason 95% of people (if not more) take pictures for anyway.  Rarely do we make money off of it, but we do so for the sheer enjoyment of taking pictures and/or creating memories for ourselves.  We do it for the challenge of getting a shot.  If someone wants to use film as part of their own personal challenge, rock on.

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Joseph S Wisniewski
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Only large format...
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

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.

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

"Retro appeal", as has already been mentioned.

Can you extract higher image quality from 35mm?

Only if you're shooting low speed B&W. 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. Focusing cameras that simply weren't meant for that level of resolution is amazingly difficult. Back in the tech pan days, I reshimmed and recalibrated a couple of cameras for better focusing accuracy. Then you have to deal with scanning to realize that potential.

Much easier just to pick up a used 6x7 medium format or 4x5 large format.

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Morris Sullivan
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to looper1234, Apr 12, 2013

looper1234 wrote:

being analog, film does have greater resolution when exposure correctly.

In a technical sense I guess there is no end to how finely you could scan the film grains, but there is a limit to how much of that information is representative of the scene.

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Les Berkley
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

bseng wrote:

What are some reasons why someone would shoot 35mm film over a DSLR. Can you extract higher image quality from 35mm?

Some people don't obsess about 'Image Quality' in the technical sense, although 35mm film was good enough for many fine photographers. When I shoot film, I do it for a particular 'look' that I find easy to get from negative film. I can get this from digital, of course, but it is time-consuming.

In a recent issue of Rangefinder, a few wedding pros indicated that they were either going back to film for some work, still shooting film, or shooting both film and digital. For some, it was the 'send it to the lab' workflow, for others, the 'look', and for others partly a financial reason.

I also love film cameras. No menus. No Fn buttons. No autofocus deciding what the 'subject' is. With DX, no chance of setting the wrong ISO. This is my view, and may not apply to anyone else. No, I don't use my F3 for sports; I have a DSLR for local soccer games, etc. Most of all, there is no pressure to 'upgrade'. Film cameras don't improve Eye-Cue when you buy a new one. No groom would look at my F4 the way they might see my D300. "What, no full-frame?" As though that meant something.

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Les Berkley
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to Les Berkley, Apr 12, 2013

No Post Processing Applied

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scorrpio
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

Same reason people still ride horses.

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69chevy
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to looper1234, Apr 12, 2013

looper1234 wrote:

being analog, film does have greater resolution when exposure correctly.

I suppose ppl will enjoy the process of taking photos with film, and developing them in  a dark room. The efficiency of digital photography is what made it mainstream.

so that leaves only only one reason ppl would use film now days, to have fun.

Being analog, means film resolution can not be measured.

A print can be measured, but the resolution depends on the printer.

A scan can be measured, but the resolution depends on the scanner.

If you mean film produces sharper images with more detail, that depends on the film, the lens, the photographer, the lighting, the exposure, and the person doing the comparison.

It also depends on the digital camera it is being compared to, as well as the other variables that go into making a sharp photo.

This topic will be debated until film is no longer with us, but many people believe that the top-end 35mm film had an equivalent resolving power of 20MP.

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olliess
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to 69chevy, Apr 12, 2013

69chevy wrote:

Being analog, means film resolution can not be measured.

This is not quite correct. The resolution of an analog system can be defined and measured. For example, an optical lens is "analog," and its resolution can be measured (within the limits of the measurement system of course).

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sshoihet
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

bseng wrote:

What are some reasons why someone would shoot 35mm film over a DSLR. Can you extract higher image quality from 35mm?

I shoot B&W still a bit, mostly HP5+.  I like the look, I enjoy the process of developing the film, it's nice for a bit of a change sometimes. It's expensive compared to digital, it's not as practical, it's a pain/expensive to get good scans.

A good digital SLR camera is much more practical and can produce equal or better results with less work now.  There's no reason to do it unless you like film and want to shoot film, it's just another artistic medium.

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Dave Lively
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to 69chevy, Apr 12, 2013

69chevy wrote:

Being analog, means film resolution can not be measured.

Film resolution can be measured in lines/mm just like lens resolution.  Lens resolution is analog and is measured on a regular basis.

To measure film resolution you would use a sharp lens, preferably wide angle so the greater DOF would reduce the effect of the inevitable small focusing errors, stop it down to about f8 and use the same resolution target used to measure lens resolution.  You would only need the center to be sharp.

Back when I was into photography in the 70s I recall photography magazines doing film tests every so often with grain and resolution being part of the test results.

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69chevy
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to olliess, Apr 12, 2013

olliess wrote:

69chevy wrote:

Being analog, means film resolution can not be measured.

This is not quite correct. The resolution of an analog system can be defined and measured. For example, an optical lens is "analog," and its resolution can be measured (within the limits of the measurement system of course).

Good catch. I meant to say cannot be measured in MP.

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69chevy
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to Dave Lively, Apr 12, 2013

Dave Lively wrote:

69chevy wrote:

Being analog, means film resolution can not be measured.

Film resolution can be measured in lines/mm just like lens resolution.  Lens resolution is analog and is measured on a regular basis.

To measure film resolution you would use a sharp lens, preferably wide angle so the greater DOF would reduce the effect of the inevitable small focusing errors, stop it down to about f8 and use the same resolution target used to measure lens resolution.  You would only need the center to be sharp.

Back when I was into photography in the 70s I recall photography magazines doing film tests every so often with grain and resolution being part of the test results.

You caught me too. I meant to say cannot be measured in MP.

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nikkorwatcher
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to bseng, Apr 12, 2013

Second time in one week for the same question, isn't it?

Anyway, film - and I'm assuming print film has the widest dynamic range - might have a high dynamic range, but is this matched by the scanning and printing process? Typical minilab equipment like the Fuji frontier I am led to believe scans the negative before electronically printing. Sounds like to get the most out of film you need a specialist or DIY processor.

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Piginho
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Re: Any reason to shoot film nowadays?
In reply to Dave Lively, Apr 12, 2013

Dave Lively wrote:

69chevy wrote:

Being analog, means film resolution can not be measured.

Film resolution can be measured in lines/mm just like lens resolution.  Lens resolution is analog and is measured on a regular basis.

To measure film resolution you would use a sharp lens, preferably wide angle so the greater DOF would reduce the effect of the inevitable small focusing errors, stop it down to about f8 and use the same resolution target used to measure lens resolution.  You would only need the center to be sharp.

Back when I was into photography in the 70s I recall photography magazines doing film tests every so often with grain and resolution being part of the test results.

And Fuji Velvia (ISO 50), according to their data sheet has 160 lines per mm at 1000:1 contrast ratio.  This gives a potential equivalent to about 22Mpixels.

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