Film Photography: How any could masrer film and darkroom work?

Started Jul 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: Film Photography: How any could masrer film and darkroom work?

Mark Smith wrote:

bford wrote:

Mark Smith wrote:

bford wrote:

Not until the films got good enough to make an 8x10 without grain. I never heard of a serious pro shooting on 35mm 'till the mid 1990's and then only for reportage.

no true, even a little bit. Many wedding photographers used 35mm along with medium.

No not many until the 1990's and even then probably fewer than 20% using it exclusively.

don't agree. Not even slightly.

Well it's pretty much a fact, the only pro's that used 35mm exclusively were sports and journalists photographers, mainly because newsprint didn't require more resolution.

maybe in your country.

The problem with 35mm is you're limited to a maximum 8x12"

no you weren't.

Ok I had a lab, printed up to 4 feet wide from 120 film. You can't do that from 35mm film. In fact grain became visible at 8" with 400 speed films and 11x14 was a real stretch.

Most of my clients had 20x16's which with 35mm was poor.

nothing wrong with grain. Looks great with b/w.

The grainy aesthetic is fine, but back in the day grainy B&W wasn't the mainstay for weddings.

Better films had little grain in normal sized prints. The options for were there. 35mm b/w was an addition to medium format, which typical handled the often boring posed shots.

In fact the love of grainy mono has made a comeback. Your image above kind of proves the point although 'nice' for the atmosphere; it isn't a quality that most wedding photographers strived for,

as I said, there were also finer grained films to choose from. 35mm easily produced good quality at normal print sizes. It wasn't typically meant to replace medium format. The quality judgement is your opinion.

and just proves the point that reportage suits 35mm where people will overlook soft and grainy.

Again, that's your opinion. Magazines like National Geographic did just fine with 35mm. Most readers thought so.

which meant re-prints were a big problem, most of the money i made was from large prints.

you priced your smaller prints wrong then.

You don't 'price' smaller prints, you give packages. So most of the value added was in the larger prints. Sure we gave them 8x8 packages in an album but you needed to compete the money was made on higher priced re-prints and larger framed prints.

you should have considering different pricing strategies then.

Don't be silly, I made a fortune from weddings-I don't need a hobbyist such as yourself to tell me how to make money– my wedding business employed over 30 photographers and I ran three labs.

a truly wise businessman keeps an open mind to all ideas, from anyone.

There is nothing wrong with the policy of packages and up-selling–it gave me a very comfortable living.

was just saying that you could have perhaps considered different pricing strategies so your revenue would not have depended only on the high end.

So amateurs used 35mm pro's rarely at least none that I knew-and I shot weddings for nearly 30 years and owned a lab in that time I probably saw a handful of 35mm weddings.

So no it wasn't 'heavily' used the tool of choice for most Pro's was a 6x6 camera.

that's just not true, and I've known many wedding photographers from back then.

It's a fact, you may not like it but most Pro's used 6x6 cameras. Like I said we worked with about 80 weddings a week from various photographers all over the UK, none of which used 35mm exclusively.

maybe that was a UK thing then. I'm speaking as an American in America.

Certainly not!

The country specific thing I mentioned was regarding possible differences in popularity for using 35mm for weddings specific to each country

Until the mid 1980's 35mm print film was poor.

Yet it was widely used professionally, all throughout magazines for example, with excellent results.

Then Kodak introduced T grain films and by the late 80's early 1990's the dye sets and quality allowed for great 8x10's from 160ASA film.

During the 1980's few used Vericolor for weddings. Fuji had yet to even make a pro film for weddings.

as I said, 35mm was widely used in many professional applications long before the 80s. Don't know how you can deny the suitability it had for weddings. Sounds to me like maybe you were the hardcore medium format shooter that probably would't have considered 35mm anyway, despite its suitability.

I'd say the most people shooting weddings with 35mm were enthusiasts not those earning their living, this was wholly true until the early 1990's when reportage started to become popular.

Not in my country.

Yes even in the good ol' US of A the laws of physics were the same there as here– as were the films.

As i said, the mention of countries was in regards to the possible popularity differences between countries in using 35mm for weddings, not a suggestion that film was better in one country over another.

I travelled widely and knew many photographers stateside some like Monte Zucker were personal friends and did seminars for my employees; so yes even in your country pro's used mainly 120.

That's your claim. I have no way of knowing if you did or didn't. In any case I get the impression you wouldn't have been interested in knowing if wedding photographers were also using 35mm.

You also said "mainly 120” but my claim is not how much of their shooting was 120 and 35mm, only that 35mm was used.

By the way, our country is not called stateside.

I can only think you're coming at it from a hobbyist POV and one that lacks a historical perspective.

why would I lack historical perspective when I lived through the period, as I have obviously indicated?

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