Switched from digital back to film ?
We always hear about folks "going digital." I was wondering how many amateurs have "gone digital" only to return to film later. If you are one who has gone digital and returned to film, let us know about your experience and why you were not satisfied with digital.
#1. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberSat 10-Jul-04 06:46 PM
How many? A few. Hard to answer with any precision.
The most common cases of those who have gone digital are:
a) Gone fully digital (Vast majority)
b) Gone digital and keep on shooting film (A good number, but minority)
c) Gone to digital and back to film entirely. (The fewest)
Have a great time :-)
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Mainly at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story
Please join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members who help this happen; upgrade.
Check our workshops at the Nikonians Academy and the Nikonians Photo Pro Shop
#2. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0JohnCR Registered since 06th Apr 2004Sat 10-Jul-04 06:48 PM
Well not quite....okay not at all, but I am a film user who won't be buying a DSLR in the near future. I just bought a scanner so I can get pics onto the net, but that'll never convince me that current digital cameras are a useful investment.
#3. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 2Paul K Basic MemberSat 10-Jul-04 07:09 PM
Have gone digital, but never left film.
That said, I do shoot most of my picture's digital nowadays, as profesionally speaking the speed with which pictures can be processed and distributed digitally is hard to be matched when shooting film.
But I miss the grain and contrast of Tri-X, and just love the feel of my F2. And I'm absolutely not planning to dump or sell my film bodies, but have to shoot some pics with them to keep them in shape.
My two cents
All in a day's work
#4. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
For the amount of film I shoot and the equipment I have going the DSLR route is not at this time the best economic move for me. I bought a Minolta 5400 film scanner and go digital that way. I also have an Olympus C5050 which proved to me that digital is OK. I may in the future go with a DSLR but have the priviledge of not having to by choice. If you are a pro that is entirely a different matter.
#5. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I bought a Fuji S2 Pro about 12 months ago. I've shot less than 200 "frames" from new. I cant get out of the film habit. I've even stopped using my F5 and F100 and have drifted back to my FA and my newly aquired F3T. Call me old fashioned
FE FA FM FG EM F3T F3P F100 F5 and FUJI S2
#6. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 5phillypete Registered since 12th Jul 2004Tue 13-Jul-04 03:29 AM
I mainly use digital but like to put b&w through my F2 every now and then. I have this strong anamosity torwards labs so I'll probably never pass color film through a camera again.
On the deeper side of things I have to totally and completely different experiences when shooting for fun in the two different formats.
When I shoot film I tend to work shots more carefully. Take my time with composition and metering.
Where as with the digital in hand I have a more free cathartic experience. I can just shoot shoot shoot and not worry about the amount of lab time I am going to have to put in or the expendables i'll be flushing away.
The one thing I absolutely hate about digital is that b&w is a post production change. Once I see a picture in color it is impossible for me to then look at it critically in b&w b/c my mind will insert the colors for me as I toggle. I'll have to switch to b&w look at some other pics or do something else then come back to it with fresh eyes.
#7. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 6JohnCR Registered since 06th Apr 2004Tue 13-Jul-04 12:26 PM
>When I shoot film I tend to work shots more carefully. Take
>my time with composition and metering.
Are you shooting sports photography? If not, isn't taking more time an advantage?
>Where as with the digital in hand I have a more free
>cathartic experience. I can just shoot shoot shoot and not
>worry about the amount of lab time I am going to have to put
>in or the expendables i'll be flushing away.
But you'll be viewing your images on screen...and using all the electricity (which in this country, is very expensive) to do all the manipulation, or post-processing that would otherwise be done in the lab. Everyone seems to forget the cost of running a top-end PC that is required to do image processing. I'd really like to see someone really work out the cost differences of processing 36 pics in digital versus film.
>The one thing I absolutely hate about digital is that b&w is
>a post production change. Once I see a picture in color it
>is impossible for me to then look at it critically in b&w
>b/c my mind will insert the colors for me as I toggle. I'll
>have to switch to b&w look at some other pics or do
>something else then come back to it with fresh eyes.
I think that any view of an image in black & white is purely down to the photographer. If you're using B&W film, you have to see the colour scene as B&W. If you're looking at a digital colour image, you have to do the same thing, but have less to look at. Look at tones, rather than colour, and in an object, you have everything you could possibly need to make a decision. I'm sure whether there's a difference looking at the object, rather than an image of it, and in a conversion you're looking more at the image rather than the object. If taking a pic of an object and deciding to use B&W, there is much more information available to you.
#8. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 7phillypete Registered since 12th Jul 2004Tue 13-Jul-04 01:34 PM
Good points... I guess I might have done a poor job describing my style of shooting in each format.
Today I am walking with my F2 so I might be able to do a better job. I think with film I take more time finding a "worthy" subject to capture. With digital I am more willing to waste 4 shots on something that might not be as cool as I thought. When the Film is in the camera I am more conservative and probably pass up a few good subjects in being less than generous with the film.
With digital I feel more willing to experiement. The digital has definitely advanced my skills because of this.
The thing with b&w is when I am shooting b&w I look for subjects suited to this and I meter for a black and white. With the digital I don't think in b&w... its always an after thought. B&W is an after thought with digital... its a total mental block that I need to find a way around. Maybe if I carry two digitals, paint one and make that my b&w camera...
The one thing I have fallen in love with b/c of digital is sepia... the pics that I do have that translate well to monochromatic usually end up in sepia instead of b&w... I find the brown tones so easy on the eye. I never really played with tones much before digital.
#9. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I have used Digital for about 4 years, and DSLR in the last year, sold it and went back to film, I like composing the shot, taking the shot and wait till later to see how good it is, Also Digital gets really odd results sometimes, not what the Eye sees, with film, I can Photograph what I see, and it comes out that way, and Yes, I like Manual Focus...
-It is not neccessary for Eagles to become Crows.
- Sitting Bull, Lakota Medicine Chief
#10. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I had a really nice (at least I thought so) Maxxum 7 outfit that I sold to go digital because it was the "thing to do". I bought a Coolpix 5700 for me and a Finepix 4900Z for my wife. I used the Coolpix exclusively for awhile but never really did like the results, and I think there's just something not right about all the digital editing that goes on these days. I know I won't get much agreement but I found myself wondering why even bother taking a digital photo when it can be enhanced and altered so much that the final product doesn't resemble the actual image you took. Seems like cheating in a way. So, I now use a FM2n and am enjoying photography more than ever. I'm still no good at it but making progress. My wife uses the Coolpix now and the Finepix went the way of eBay.
#11. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I enjoy using both. I don't have any substantial complaints with digital (I use a D100) and find the quality to be very good. The same is true for film. Which one I use depends on the circumstances involved and the mood I'm in. Fortunately, no one is making me choose one or the other so I'm free to enjoy the best of both.
#12. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I fell victim to the "digital craze" and bought a 3.1 MP P&S about 4 years ago. It was like a new toy -- I played with it constantly. Like a little kid, the novelty soon wore off. I only use it for snapshots and situations where I need results quickly for posting on the web (such as an eBay listing.)
My 35mm SLRs are used about 90% of the time now. I can get much larger files and just as much detail by scanning my small-grained films. Digital has its place and I assume it's in my future, but I would need a D1x style camera with more MP and which costs less than $2000 before I will switch fully to digital.
I know my management of digital files could be a bit better, but it's nice to know that I always have a slide or negative as backup.
M a r k . E
M a r k . E
#13. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 12bill500 Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2002Wed 21-Jul-04 10:39 PM
At the beginning of this year, my dad bought a D100. I was excited and thought I wanted one. But after playing with it and looking at the results on the monitor, I lost interest in a couple of weeks.I went for that F3HP I've wanted for a long time(and recently found a good used N90s). There's nothing wrong with the D100 or digital photography, but it just doesn't fit my style. Looking at slides on the lightbox with a good loupe is what I really enjoy. My Canon flatbed scans slides and does a good enough job to burn to a CD and have 4X6 prints made at the lab.
Nikonian in Houston Texas
D300, D50(never gets used anymore)
#14. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 13RandomRon Registered since 17th Jun 2004Thu 22-Jul-04 01:03 PM
I was beginning to think no one was gonna mention slides! I like to dabble in portraiture and I've shot a couple of weddings but most of my photo's are family oriented. During family get togethers passing around photo albums or prints doesn't compare with putting your work up on a screen. Even showing digital shots on my TV or computer monitor doesn't have the same impact. Maybe that could change if I could afford a large screen hi-def monitor....but that ain't gonna happen soon. My wife and I both have P/S digitals and we enjoy using them, but they can't do slides.
#15. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 14Robert Schonfeld Registered since 19th Jul 2004Tue 27-Jul-04 11:47 AM
I've been struggling with digital vs film for a long while. I've always shot Kodachrome with my F's and F3's. Digital has its attractions, but I would want a high end body, and it strikes me that these are really suitable for working photojournalists and commercial photographers. In addition, I don't know that I'm willing to invest the time in learning enough about post-exposure image manipulation to get the most out of digital. As a result, I'm pretty sure I've decided for now to buy a coolpix 4300 for p&s, and to continue to shoot Kodachrome with my older cameras, all of which are in great shape. The only thing I really miss, having been trained in photojournalism, is autofocus. Otoh, not having it keeps up my eye speed and hand/eye coordination.
#16. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
Since I bought my D100 I have been in a totally weird state of mind. I really like the D100. I have a very good digital darkroom set up and enjoy the computer/PS work.
But, I can't get away from film and I don't know why. I do scan my negatives and perform all the requisite PS post processing and printing so my film work is very similar to what's needed for the D100.
Maybe I simply like my F5 much more than the D100. It may be that simple.
#17. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I switched to digital about five years ago, although not as what would be called a "serious" photographer. I'm now using both digital and film - I've just gone through the first half-dozen rolls of film in more than five years. I certainly prefer many of the attributes of digital - instant gratification, ease of storage and transportation, etc - but there are a couple of things I don't get out of my D100.
First and foremost is the lack of WIDE angle perspectives. I borrowed a friend's 16mm fisheye last weekend and had a ball with it - on my FM2. A 24mm fisheye just isn't the same! I'm well aware that I can buy my way out of this if I want to (10.5mm fisheye Nikkor or Fuji Pro14n), but since I have this nice FM2, I figure I can buy a LOT of film before I pay for either of those.
The other thing that's bugging me is the relative lack of dynamic range in the D100. I know I can recover some of that by using raw images and processing, but I haven't worked that part out yet. For the moment, it's easier for me to just shoot wide-latitude film.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#18. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 17rayonline Registered since 22nd Jul 2003Mon 02-Aug-04 10:38 PM
just preference i think. some use film cos that is the way they know best, some love film how you can buy a new roll each time, some hate the computer editing, some are hooked by manual cameras.
some love PS editing, some care than digital is priceless, some care about gears and keeping up with the jone's. some love the lcd prevew screen.
well i myself have both. and would like to get a fm2n. and perhaps a f100 too. i have a d70 and a canon rebel film from my bro. for casual stuff i use the d70 to learn and so on .. and its free! i like to use a fm2n cos the charm of manual work. but the f100 is neat when you approach wildlife or candids when AF is needed. hence a lot of people, friends, relavies, family prefer negatives. hence having both formats. a 50+yr old family member who is not computer literate at all, would not want digital. even if its a jpeg off a photo cd its difficult that you cannot preview it and who does not know how to really look after them.
#19. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 18rayonline Registered since 22nd Jul 2003Mon 02-Aug-04 10:51 PM
one more thing. i like film cos its sentimental. man my whole childhood was with film.
also can that don't have our lives all runned by electronics.... hey sometimes we even want a break from the old computer and cellphone.
one practical way of film is the fast AF models of digial are blimin expensive. so hence the cheaper F100 meets that. hey the D1 used is not bad. its not all about the best image quality but I suppose if the D1 suited pro's before why can't it suit me now and in the future? its about subject and the moment, not about pixel perfection. and i want my WA back. Kodak DSLR is $$$. I don't want to invest in DX lenses, cos when they do get FF sensors, they be worthless.
but really its just that i feel more comfortable with film. its sentimental. one should take time with photography hence the Fm2n. its only about exposrue and framing. let the lab and film worry abotu colors. sometimes you just don't have the time to store on HDD wallet or edit them all. such as on travel. really each have their pros and cons.
#20. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
This absolutely lovely article http://www.cleanimages.com/ is about 'switching'. And it is written by one of us Nikonians!
Enjoy the reading!
Cogito ergo photographum.
#21. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
After moving to a house where there wasn't really any place to set up a darkroom, I greatly reduced my picture taking.
Digital revived the photography bug about three years ago.
A chance acquiring of a film scanner (nothing fancy, a Nikon LS2000) prompted me to get out the film camera (a Nikon F401x) again.
A few rolls of Ilford XP2 later, I had acquired another body (an N50) and lense (28-80G) and the digital was seeing a lot less use.
I'm a big fam of B&W and hadn't been able to find the right "feel" in digital black and white.
The primary use for the digital camera (a Sony F707) is for macro ... the camera is good at it and when you know the flower will not look the same in an hour, it's nice to know you got the shot.
But a Nikon loaded with XP2 is a lot of fun ... and I can 8x10 prints on a photo printer without all that nasty mucking about with chemicals.
#22. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I went digital a few years ago with a P&S, upgraded a few times but never really got the buzz that I do from using a "real" camera and messing about with chemicals. So now I shoot 99% film, I use the digi for snaps.
Also, I spend too much time in front of a PC as it is, photography gets me away from that.
Saying that, I'd be seriously tempted by a digital fm3a!
#23. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I started in photography back in '84 with an FG, then an FE, plus a Yashica T4. Dropped out of it for a number of years but got back in with digital (Fuji S602 and Olympus E20N) with the birth of my sons.
Recently picked up an N80, with all the rebates it was too hard to resist. I'm now shooting both digital and film and truly enjoying photography again. While I can't see myself ever giving up digital, my film photos are starting to "look" better than those from my digital cameras. Must be that Nikon magic. I think it's the immediacy of film based slrs like the N80 that allows me to better anticipate my shots.
Looking forward to many years of great photos with my N80. Not looking forward to more rebates on the F100, 18-35, or 80-200.
#24. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
Well, I've owned my D70 for about 6 weeks now and the new toy syndrome is starting to wear off. My F80 has been sitting idle with an empty film chamber but I'm getting the urge to load it up again - perhaps NPH this time.
I really can't say at this point that digital is the way of the future for me. The D70 is a wonderful camera and I enjoy using it but I have to remind myself that's it's just a tool to make an end product. Recently I've been comparing my digital images with my film images and I'm beginning to see their subtle differences and recognizing the qualities each has to offer.
So for me, I'll be switching back and forth between tools for the uniqueness each has to offer. Hmmm...maybe I should fire up the EM too.
Happy Shooting :)
#25. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 24SeanFM3A Registered since 24th Nov 2003Wed 25-Aug-04 09:08 AM
This has got me thinking about digital again and I have a query....
I like the dof and field of view of a 105mm f2.5 AIS. But a 105mm lens with the 1.5 crop factor of a d70 would give the dof of the 105mm but with the effective magnification of a 157mm. I would have to step back a long way to get the subject in the picture. To get the same magnification as a 105mm I would need a 75mm lens, but then the dof would be too wide.
Or am I really stupid and missing something obvious.
#26. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 25blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 25-Aug-04 11:02 PM
No, you're neither stupid nor missing something obvious. I don't think you quite got the whole set of calculations, but you're quite close.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#27. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
I am not sure that this counts....
While standing in line waiting for security to handcheck my film for about 20 minutes
But when I go to take pictures, to try and really capture a mood, an emotion, a point of beauty...out comes the NIkons. My only struggle not is whether to replace my little FG-20 with an F4 or an F3HP . I have been leaning to F4 but with the F6 coming out, I don't know what to do.
Incidentally, my problem is not digital or film, my problem is that my skill level is still pretty low.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#28. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
obviously by posting this in the "manual focus" section the results will be biased and pro film.
I did the digital switch unfortunatly not by choice, its the way the photojournalism market went. So that is 90% of my shooting, but the other 10%, when I can go shooting on my own, the d2h always stays at home and the FM3a comes out.
i am not sure whether it because I like the camera better or film specifically, I mean if they came out with a digital FM3a whether or not I would go that route. There is somthing about tri-x and velvia that cannot be replaced.
I dont think my fm3a will ever be replaced.
#29. "RE: Switched from digital back to film ?" | In response to Reply # 0
Eventhough I prefer to shoot in film I still must have digital for many projects I work on. But, to my eye, Velvia, Provia, and Tri-X are a long way from being replaced by any digital technology. And, it may never be replaceable.
The jury is still out on whether or not a "Tri-x"-like image can be made digitally, with the warmth, grain, shadow detail and all being very elusive to capture digitally. It will be interesting to see if technology can eventually take this type of image. On the color side of the equation I think digital is catching up, but is not quite there yet, maybe in another 5 years or so.
I think that right now we live in perhaps the most interesting time ever for taking pictures. So many tools at our disposal, so many ways to capture and produce what we are seeing in our minds. When I first started using digital there was a big learning curve to get over, but now that I have passed that, in terms of what I need to use digital for, I guess that I am using film more now than I was 2 or 3 years ago. I also find myself shooting medium format Velvia and T-Max 100 more now as well.
My only concern with shooting film has been its impact on the environment. My first photography job was as a lab assistant in a comercial lab producing educational materials in the mid 70's. At that time I was not so conscious of all the chemicals being poured down the drain, but now every time I develop a roll of B&W film I feel concerned.