Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

Started Jan 11, 2017 | Questions
samtheman2014
samtheman2014 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,571
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

MLP120 wrote:

I still after 50 years get excited when they deliver my package with my slides and prints. It's a feeling that only someone who shot film years ago would understand. Nothing wrong with film or digital. Shoot what works for you and be happy.

I  agree the wee yellow Kodachrome box popping through the letter box is a treasured memory from my younger days. I see rumours that Kodachrome may be making a come back I hope it does I would love to give it a go for old time’s sake.

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Jim I am Sam I am not

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,935
My Trip died on my trip ;)

OzRay wrote:

I went on a trip and took my Trip:

Took it to Japan and alas the meter died... On the other hand, the last photo it took was a great (technically it was bad but from a memory standpoint, golden, I think the meter was already dying at that point) photo of my wife's grandmother.

That photo was also the last photo we have of her before she passed and it was a photo of her when we were saying good bye when leaving her house in Japan.

Incidentally it was also the last photo of her house before it was struck by the tsunami in the Tohoku earthquake of 2011 that took out the Fukushima nuclear power plant. And no, she wasn't present when that happened and had passed away a few years later.

Too bad I can't fix the meter. And yes, I can always buy another Trip for dirt cheap but I would rather fix it if I can.

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Hubert
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Terry Breedlove
Terry Breedlove Senior Member • Posts: 1,215
shooting film is cheaper than Digital
3

I do shoot film and shoot it every week. Mostly medium format but plenty of 35mm. Cost is not a problem for me.  Shooting ten thousand worthless shots because I can load a memory card for free is a waste of time. I shoot what I think I can get a good print from. Doesn't always turn out that way but I try to make every shot count. That one fact alone will slow you down immensely. Cost drops along with that.

Same goes with my digital camera nowadays. I have been shooting for decades and I just don't feel like wasting my time shooting what has no meaning to me. What I shoot has to have something with in it that says to me I want a print.

So where are you in your craft ? Are you still loading cards because you can. Or are you trying for something better ? That will mean everything. What Camera film or digital not so much.

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Terry Breedlove
Terry Breedlove Senior Member • Posts: 1,215
master your craft
4

Yes you will have to practice and master your craft when shooting film. When you do then you don't waste so many shots. When I walk up to a scene I already am asking myself what lens I want . Wether I want to over exposure my film a stop or not etc. I know what to do long before taking the shot because I have been there and done that so many times it is second nature by now.  However I still like to test and practice because I love this craft so much.  

Took this one the day before yesterday. 68 second exposure Hasselblad 503 150mm lens. A red filter and a 10 stop ND filter killing 12 stops of light. I am actually far above this scene and that rock is large. Testing long exposures with the Fuji Acros 100 film I was shooting and calculating times.

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,935
Oddly...
1

Tom Caldwell wrote:

OzRay wrote:

After picking up a couple of old film cameras in mint condition from a garage sale, I tried film once again, but was very disappointed.

What's worse, is trying to find film and then have it processed, which is becoming almost impossible nowadays.

The cameras make nice ornaments as a reminder of yesteryear.

I mentioned this on another post recently.

A while ago I bought a couple of rolls of B&W film to use on my EOS 620 which I still have.

Maybe five shots into the roll I gave up - the film shooting experience was not there compared to digital. I immediately missed the ability to review, delete and try again.

Maybe if I were a more patient soul?

Difficulty in getting such film processed and memories of the expense of 36 exposures and only a few of them worthwhile. Digital has allowed me to experiment and improve my skills with effectively "no" cost in "film". I don't need to return to the dark ages - my nostalgia is quickly overcome by my heartfelt lack of need to subscribe to what was the Kodak licence to print money.

The whole process of slowing down and making each shot count makes taking photos with a film camera even more fun to me. The simplicity of photographing with film is very enjoyable to me. And no, this is certainly not nostalgia talking because I first got really into photography with digital (Panasonic TZ3).

As for licence to print money...is it really that expensive? Sure, if you are taking thousands of shots a month it would be but unless you are doing this professionally, you certainly wouldn't be taking 'that' many shots with film. Specially if you have an all manual camera like I generally do.

And in general, the cameras are dirt cheap as is the lenses (well, if you bargain hunt anyhow) which makes developing film, even at $10 a pop, not that expensive comparably with todays digital.

Get a top of the line E-M1 MKII, with a Oly 25mm f1.2 for $3200 USD

or a then, top of the line Contax RX with a Contax Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 for about ~$300-400USD.

Sure, sure, can't compare the tech between yesterdays manual focus, pro mister fantastic but still, getting and shooting film cameras and lenses can be very cheap in comparison. Now, if you are crazy enough to process the films yourself (like me...or rather, I'm just cheap), gets even more cheaper The only real sink is the time sink.

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Hubert
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zuikowesty
OP zuikowesty Veteran Member • Posts: 4,111
Re: shooting film is cheaper than Digital
1

Terry Breedlove wrote:

I do shoot film and shoot it every week. Mostly medium format but plenty of 35mm. Cost is not a problem for me. Shooting ten thousand worthless shots because I can load a memory card for free is a waste of time. I shoot what I think I can get a good print from. Doesn't always turn out that way but I try to make every shot count. That one fact alone will slow you down immensely. Cost drops along with that.

Same goes with my digital camera nowadays. I have been shooting for decades and I just don't feel like wasting my time shooting what has no meaning to me. What I shoot has to have something with in it that says to me I want a print.

So where are you in your craft ? Are you still loading cards because you can. Or are you trying for something better ? That will mean everything. What Camera film or digital not so much.

You have some good points here. Had I not gone digital, no doubt my OM-4Ti and collection of lenses would still be working just fine, and capable of producing the results they always could when new. However, in my case, film use dropped off soon after the children were born, and I found that I could no longer manual focus quickly enough (actually never could) to catch them in action, and then did not have the time to spend in the darkroom to process the shots I did take. That said, the most memorable shots of our kids were shot on film, and I remember taking every one of them.

Here is one of my favourites, which I have framed at home. Although it looks posed, it was actually a bit rushed, as I spotted my wife and daughter outside through the patio door and ran to get my camera. I wish I'd taken the time to get the white plastic chair out of the background. Scanned from a print:

OM-4Ti, Zuiko 85/2, FP4+

Depending on how my packing goes for my trip to the desert next week, I may try to stuff my OM-1 and 35/2.8 in the bag, just in case. No idea if I have any batteries that still work for it, but I can always use a meter from another camera...

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,935
Trash? Should have sent it to me ;)

greyghost59 wrote:

yep i agree with most on here ..why would you bother with film , mine all went in the trash years ago after it had been sitting on the shelfs for years.

Even if i could shoot film again i wouldnt no where to get it processed..

If you just like to play around with it great enjoy it but as far as convienence goes and IQ you cant beat digital now.

Such a wast to trash film equipment, I would have easily paid to have it delivered to me (well, unless all you had were autoeverything compact cameras...lol)

(on the other hand, already have too much film stuff, my better half would kill me if I obtain too much more stuff )

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Hubert
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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,935
Would have done the same...

ChicagoMike wrote:

I eventually gave in and shipped my old photos, negatives and slides out for scanning. I did some minimal winnowing first. My "someday" approach of scanning everything myself with care and love never panned out.

if I was in your shoes, luckily I only really got into photography after digital came around.

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Hubert
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Terry Breedlove
Terry Breedlove Senior Member • Posts: 1,215
Re: shooting film is cheaper than Digital

Love that amazing photo. Take the OM-1 oh and I have an OMG that i love shooting.

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,935
Get a batch scanner...

Jim Salvas wrote:

I have years worth of work on film which I want to scan and get on digital. I know hardly anyone will care about my "artistic" work on film, but there is a ton of family stuff I'd like to scan and share widely. BOXES and BOXES of chromes and negs. I don't need to shoot more.

even those really expensive ones as they seem to hold their value so you can easily sell it as soon as you are done. The only real problem with those old pro ones is building a computer that will work with such old scsi devices.

Otherwise, just like the other guy said, send it off to get it professionally scanned for you.

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Hubert
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Hiphopapotamus Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Yes, and it's DIRT cheap!...

The biggest problem with labs isn't that they don't exist, it's that you're probably going to have to develop a relationship (no pun intended) with a lab that is much further afield than what you were previously used to doing so.

There are good labs out there, the thing is most of them are hiding away, in small street corners, on the outer suburbs, of major cities where the rent is cheap and where they don't have to worry about their overheads so much due to the smaller client base that occurred over the last 15 years.

The good news is film is coming back. It will never be what it was, but there will always be someone who can develop it properly now. You just have to go looking further afield. My C41 developer is 90miles away and my E6 developer of choice is 1000miles away. The good news is I can express post and get it there the day afterwards.

The biggest difference between shooting film in the 90s and shooting film today is that 1hour processing is not a thing anymore and thats OK also. You will find that when you find a good lab the people are friendly and passionate about what they do.

I took my Mamiya Universal in last time I was in the city and everyone couldn't believe I was still shooting with it! But then... if they knew the whole story about what that lens is worth on that camera to replace with something in today's money it would make more sense in that I'm shooting with the equivalent of a $2000 lens, if you can find yourself a Schneider 75mm and if you saw the level of sharpness that can come out the back of that camera it would literally knock your socks off.

The biggest problem with film in the 90s as compared to now is that people were still using crappy analogue development methods or low resolution scanners. If you take your film to a proper digital developer now and have it drum scanned in 24bit ProPhoto RGB, you will be utterly amazed at what the difference is even with old slides and negatives. The colour space is still roughly twice as big as what you can get out of any digital back.

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Hiphopapotamus Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: My Trip died on my trip ;)

peppermonkey wrote:

OzRay wrote:

I went on a trip and took my Trip:

Took it to Japan and alas the meter died... On the other hand, the last photo it took was a great (technically it was bad but from a memory standpoint, golden, I think the meter was already dying at that point) photo of my wife's grandmother.

That photo was also the last photo we have of her before she passed and it was a photo of her when we were saying good bye when leaving her house in Japan.

Incidentally it was also the last photo of her house before it was struck by the tsunami in the Tohoku earthquake of 2011 that took out the Fukushima nuclear power plant. And no, she wasn't present when that happened and had passed away a few years later.

Too bad I can't fix the meter. And yes, I can always buy another Trip for dirt cheap but I would rather fix it if I can.

You can get it repaired, it's about finding the people who can do it, and whether it's something mechanical that's fixable by today's standards where parts are hard to come by. My repairer of choice is a former Zeiss technician, trained in Germany, who knows mechanical cameras and lenses inside and out.

They will take your repairs from wherever you're at its just a matter of whether you think its cost effective or prohibitive.

http://mainlinephoto.com.au/

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Bassam Guy Contributing Member • Posts: 822
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

I just realized that I've only shot three rolls of film in the last ten years!

Yeah, the cost is a lot higher than digital so, if you can't afford it, don't do it. You can never beat the near-zero cost of a digital photo.

I scanned a bunch of old negatives last year. When I see some that were shot with newly expired slow pro films (bought refrigerated & cheap at a nearby pro-level camera store), I'm amazed how good they look.

With good processing and good scanning, I prefer the look of film. Not by much but it's in how the out-of-focus areas render. Here's a crop of an old portrait I took of my wife with my trusty OM-4T. Can anyone say that, short of medium format, that digital would look better? Maybe as good but not better.

Crop of a portrait of my wife, Grand Bassam Beach, Ivory Coast (hence my nickname)

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zuikowesty
OP zuikowesty Veteran Member • Posts: 4,111
Re: Yes, both

John Brawley wrote:

I shoot a couple of rolls a week alongside digital. I have both mFT and Leica. In leica I have both film and digital. I also have a Mamiya 7II which I occasionally use as well.

I love Portra 400, mostly because what I shoot is interior and it handles mixed lighting really well.

The biggest biggest challenge is finding somewhere to get the film not only processed, but scanned well.

I travel a lot. Mid last year I was in Vancouver and it was a total debacle trying to find a lab to get my film scanned and processed. The lab I went to (had good reviews) kept screwing up the black and white. Even their "high end scanner" was terrible.

I'm currently in Dallas and haven't yet found a lab...

That's the biggest problem. I wouldn't be surprised if many of those being disappointed in shooting film again are really just disappointed by their lab.

I know the resolution is on the film.

I know the colour fidelity is on the film.

I know this because I have a decent scanner at home. It's just that it takes so long to get a good scan going. I wish wish wish I could just pay someone for a half decent bulk scan. But I've found it can't be done.

So I keep shooting film, try to find an OK lab with a preview scan and then spend a weekend scanning every now and then. WHich I hate. But I find the end results are wonderful.

JB

Good to know. If I find a good lab in Vancouver, or Canada for that matter, I'll let you know.

I was given 6-8 rolls of Kodak Gold 200, but I'm not sure if it's worth my time to even try it. My old film scanner is SCSI, and I'm not really interested in building a machine to get it going again, but we'll see.

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zuikowesty
OP zuikowesty Veteran Member • Posts: 4,111
Re: Yes, and it's DIRT cheap!...

Hiphopapotamus wrote:

The biggest problem with labs isn't that they don't exist, it's that you're probably going to have to develop a relationship (no pun intended) with a lab that is much further afield than what you were previously used to doing so.

There are good labs out there, the thing is most of them are hiding away, in small street corners, on the outer suburbs, of major cities where the rent is cheap and where they don't have to worry about their overheads so much due to the smaller client base that occurred over the last 15 years.

The good news is film is coming back. It will never be what it was, but there will always be someone who can develop it properly now. You just have to go looking further afield. My C41 developer is 90miles away and my E6 developer of choice is 1000miles away. The good news is I can express post and get it there the day afterwards.

The biggest difference between shooting film in the 90s and shooting film today is that 1hour processing is not a thing anymore and thats OK also. You will find that when you find a good lab the people are friendly and passionate about what they do.

Fortunately in Canada, London Drugs (national chain) still does C41, although I don't know if they will do 1hr prints. They have regular and high quality scans, the latter is about $24CDN per roll/36. In the 90s, they were considered one of the best mass market labs for processing, but I don't know what they're like now.

I took my Mamiya Universal in last time I was in the city and everyone couldn't believe I was still shooting with it! But then... if they knew the whole story about what that lens is worth on that camera to replace with something in today's money it would make more sense in that I'm shooting with the equivalent of a $2000 lens, if you can find yourself a Schneider 75mm and if you saw the level of sharpness that can come out the back of that camera it would literally knock your socks off.

The biggest problem with film in the 90s as compared to now is that people were still using crappy analogue development methods or low resolution scanners. If you take your film to a proper digital developer now and have it drum scanned in 24bit ProPhoto RGB, you will be utterly amazed at what the difference is even with old slides and negatives. The colour space is still roughly twice as big as what you can get out of any digital back.

I believe it - I have seen some amazing film scans done at work. I had a few Velvia slides that I shot drum scanned around 2000 for a publication, and the quality was excellent even then.

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zuikowesty
OP zuikowesty Veteran Member • Posts: 4,111
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

samtheman2014 wrote:

MLP120 wrote:

I still after 50 years get excited when they deliver my package with my slides and prints. It's a feeling that only someone who shot film years ago would understand. Nothing wrong with film or digital. Shoot what works for you and be happy.

I agree the wee yellow Kodachrome box popping through the letter box is a treasured memory from my younger days. I see rumours that Kodachrome may be making a come back I hope it does I would love to give it a go for old time’s sake.

Yes, I'll be buying a roll of K64 for sure if that happens!

My parents had about 40 carousels of slides from the 60s and 70s, mostly shot on K25 and K64 that they tossed out a few years ago, after picking out the best and having them scanned. I was so choked that they tossed them - I would have at least had one more slide show... (ok, about 10-20 slideshows, as 2-3 carousels is my limit). It would be cool to see Banff and Jasper, and the West Coast as it was back in the 60s, in Kodachrome glory!

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Hiphopapotamus Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

Bassam Guy wrote:

I just realized that I've only shot three rolls of film in the last ten years!

Yeah, the cost is a lot higher than digital so, if you can't afford it, don't do it. You can never beat the near-zero cost of a digital photo.

I scanned a bunch of old negatives last year. When I see some that were shot with newly expired slow pro films (bought refrigerated & cheap at a nearby pro-level camera store), I'm amazed how good they look.

With good processing and good scanning, I prefer the look of film. Not by much but it's in how the out-of-focus areas render. Here's a crop of an old portrait I took of my wife with my trusty OM-4T. Can anyone say that, short of medium format, that digital would look better? Maybe as good but not better.

It really depends. 35mm is fine up to a certain point, I'd be happy to do 16x12s with 35mm but if you want to go further and not see a whole bunch of grain then you really need a larger format camera.

On getting prints done, drug stores/chemists used to do prints and processing here in Australia, but most of them have gone the way of the dinosaur. If I want something printed I'll try to use a specialist lab first that does nothing but developments over a drug store.

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Hiphopapotamus Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

zuikowesty wrote:

samtheman2014 wrote:

MLP120 wrote:

I still after 50 years get excited when they deliver my package with my slides and prints. It's a feeling that only someone who shot film years ago would understand. Nothing wrong with film or digital. Shoot what works for you and be happy.

I agree the wee yellow Kodachrome box popping through the letter box is a treasured memory from my younger days. I see rumours that Kodachrome may be making a come back I hope it does I would love to give it a go for old time’s sake.

Yes, I'll be buying a roll of K64 for sure if that happens!

My parents had about 40 carousels of slides from the 60s and 70s, mostly shot on K25 and K64 that they tossed out a few years ago, after picking out the best and having them scanned. I was so choked that they tossed them - I would have at least had one more slide show... (ok, about 10-20 slideshows, as 2-3 carousels is my limit). It would be cool to see Banff and Jasper, and the West Coast as it was back in the 60s, in Kodachrome glory!

I'm not sure if K64 will come back as a thing any time soon, the chemical process was different to E6 and I'm sure some of the chemicals they used were seriously not environmentally friendly so it may be a long while or even if they do it may be for specific uses such as cinema film. The good news is that after a 10 year hiatus they're bringing back Ektachrome, which is the best film stock they made after K64 went out of production.

With the way Fuji is trying to get out of peel apart film and E6 it wouldn't surprise me if E100 is all that's left for slide film in a few years, which is why I've got a couple of rolls of Velvia ready to go at the moment.

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zuikowesty
OP zuikowesty Veteran Member • Posts: 4,111
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

Hiphopapotamus wrote:

Bassam Guy wrote:

I just realized that I've only shot three rolls of film in the last ten years!

Yeah, the cost is a lot higher than digital so, if you can't afford it, don't do it. You can never beat the near-zero cost of a digital photo.

I scanned a bunch of old negatives last year. When I see some that were shot with newly expired slow pro films (bought refrigerated & cheap at a nearby pro-level camera store), I'm amazed how good they look.

With good processing and good scanning, I prefer the look of film. Not by much but it's in how the out-of-focus areas render. Here's a crop of an old portrait I took of my wife with my trusty OM-4T. Can anyone say that, short of medium format, that digital would look better? Maybe as good but not better.

It really depends. 35mm is fine up to a certain point, I'd be happy to do 16x12s with 35mm but if you want to go further and not see a whole bunch of grain then you really need a larger format camera.

I've got a 20x30" print from 35mm print film shot in the 80s hanging above my desk that has very little grain - I can't see it until I get within 24-30" of it, which is too close for viewing at this size. It's not critically sharp, but it was shot with an old single coated Zuiko 135/3.5 (or it might have been the 200/5). I don't recall who did the printing, but it still looks great. I haven't printed anything beyond 16x20 myself, and mostly b/w, where grain is real, but with films like PanF, it's still pretty fine.

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Hiphopapotamus Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

I've kind of spoiled myself by shooting with a Super Angulon, on 6x9 though so my opinion will be tainted by the fact that I shoot on medium format now. People specifically pull apart these Mamiya cameras for the particular lens I have and use them on Linhof 6x12s and such. It covers the frame of both 6x9 and 6x12 because it was a lens specifically designed for Fuji's peel apart film and so needed the extra lens coverage.

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