How many still shoot film?

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Fogsville Contributing Member • Posts: 577
Re: How many still shoot film?

4x5 cameras and lenses are relatively cheap these days compared to prices in the past. I can buy quality lenses for 1/3 of what they were when new; same goes for quality studio rail cameras or compact folding metal cameras (e.g., Linhof, Toyo, Horseman, Wista.) While film is still more expensive than other formats, B+W sheet film is very affordable. In addition, one can use roll film backs on view cameras and get a wide choice of frame sizes, like 6x12. Roll film backs can be found really cheap these days.

You can easily develop B+W 4x5 sheets at home (either in tubes, or in the manual inversion Jobo tanks, or in trays.) And for most uses (smaller prints, etc.) the Epson flatbeds such as the one you have work fine for sheet film. You get such a huge area of film that the scan resolution does not need to be very high for even 20x24 print sizes. And if you do decide you need exhibition print quality scans then drum scans are always available. The tonal range of such a large piece of film is really quite wide and smooth, and of course there's the high resolution since enlargement is minimal. And the grain pattern of non-conventional grained film like Ilford's Delta, Fuji's Acros, and Kodak's T-Max products mean there's no visible grain (if that's the look you're desiring.)

I primarily use color reversal film in both 4x5 and 8x10 and yes, the costs are higher for the film itself (processing isn't bad and I luckily have a place with a Refrema dip and dunk processor nearby.) But B+W in 4x5 is a very viable film choice option for anybody.

Ilford HP5 Plus 4x5 sheet

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