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sharyrafitari
01-12-2006, 04:31 PM
Digital Versus Film Photography - What do you think?


(http://www.sharyphoto.ca)

Marko
01-12-2006, 05:25 PM
Very interesting post.

I think many photographers seem to be 'forcing' themselves to go digital because this is where the future lies....even though for SOME applications digital cannot touch film for the quality to price ratio. For instance, let's say you are a wedding photographer and your client gets a 16x20 inch or larger print as part of their package. So far, I have not seen a digital print of that size that beats a conventional print when both shots were taken with a 35mm camera. I would be willing to bet though that there IS such a digital camera and that camera costs WAY more (3-4+ times) than a professional 35mm film camera.

I have heard that Hasselblad (medium format) does have a digital back that is supposed to be amazing - but the cost for that back is astronomical and the price per print (especially a custom print) is more than a conventional print as well.

On the other hand - if you keep the enlargements small (up to 8x10) I have seen prints where I could not tell if they were conventional or digital. The only aspect there is the hassle and time to get the digital prints. Well exposed conventional negs are dropped off at the lab and finito. Digital prints are usually tweaked (time=money) before you drop them off at the lab or else results aren't as good...or they custom print each one ($$$)

If we are talking fine art - then darkroom work or Photoshop work seems similar to me in terms of both time and expense.

So I guess there is no easy answer. It really depends on what you are shooting, the SIZE of the reproductions that you intend to make and the budget of the client or the employer. Certainly if money is no object then why not go digital. But for most people that is not realistic when it comes to the price/quality ratio.

Personally I shoot almost exclusively film - but like so many of us I am looking into when to make the switch for certain types of work.

Hope that helps and I'd love to hear what others have to say on this issue.

Marko

BTW Shary, I took a look at your site and there are some cool images. The handcoloured birds http://www.sharyphoto.ca/handcolour/1.html are beautiful!

ohsi
07-26-2006, 12:43 PM
The grainy mood of the film is so deeep in emotions so unique... but I have to admit that the process of digital photography is so easy.

Joshua Hakin
12-23-2006, 02:26 PM
In particular, shades of black and white negative absolutely cannot be reproduced by the best digital camera and printers currently available (believe me I know this from experience). Even 35mm black and white is very hard to beat by digital.


Hmm... I would have agreed with you at one time but not now.
If you shoot digital in jpeg mode you are absolutely right.
You need to shoot RAW and know how to process it properly, the same as you need to know how to process bw film to get the best out of it.
I just upgraded to the new K10D from Pentax and I am blown away but its "film-like qualities" and tonal range. I am able to get the look I always got from Tmax100
I posted some samples here (http://www.photography.ca/Forums/showthread.php?t=155) on this forum a few weeks ago.
Hard to tell in the web versions just how much detail and tonal quality is there.
BUT one thing I still do with all my digital images is use Film Grain in photoshop. I usually use a setting of Grain=1/Highlight=0/Intensity=0
I add this grain BEFORE I do any contrast adjustments.
Adding grain along with the proper processing of RAW images does an incredible job.

Marko
12-23-2006, 03:24 PM
Times have changed so quickly, you're right. Now labs that print the pro stuff are all going digital as well. The whole process has changed, and it's changed my opinion. Recently I purchased a digital camera and I'm amazed by the sharpness and quality. For most applications now I shoot digital.

tegan
01-16-2007, 09:49 PM
My first post, but I use both film and digital extensively.

Film handles colour better than digital, as in more colours, better saturation, and less contrast. Somewhat surprisingly Kodak Gold in Popular Photography tested out as the best print film with more resolution than all digital cameras. On the negative(pun) side, colour slide film does not often print out with a quality close to digital.

Digital cameras have the advantage of instant pre and_or post preview, a lot more in-camera control and considerable postprocessing options. Among the disadvantages are shutter lag, flare and noticeable lens defficiencies such as barrel distortion, the need for a tripod or steadier hand as well as the requirement for considerable skill in postprocessing.

You cannot really talk about which is better because they are quite a bit different. You cannot even talk about which is easier to use, because they require different skills.

Once I discover the size and space restrictions on individual photos on this site, I will post some.

Tegan

Joshua Hakin
01-16-2007, 10:20 PM
Among the disadvantages are shutter lag, flare and noticeable lens defficiencies such as barrel distortion, the need for a tripod or steadier hand

??????????????????????????????
You are really gonna have to explain this one!


P.S.- shutter lag.... only on digi point-n-shoots

tegan
01-16-2007, 10:37 PM
Shutter lag tends to be longer on the point and shoots, but it is also present on the EVFs or Super Zooms and much less noticeable but still present even on many DSLRs. As to flare, with film cameras a lens hood was suggested but often ignored with no problems for almost all shots. With digital I have seen lens flare on even professional work when the photographer did not have a hood on the end. As to barrel distortion, shooting with a film camera and a 28mm wide angle lens very seldom has led to distortion of the sides of buildings for example. Shooting with the same lens on a digital camera has produced some interesting leans on the buildings. Viewing architectural work of others shooting digital and wide angle has shown the same kind of distortion and greater than that with film.

Tegan

tegan
01-18-2007, 10:41 AM
??????????????????????????????
You are really gonna have to explain this one!


P.S.- shutter lag.... only on digi point-n-shoots

Covered the others but forgot that one. I can only talk about personal experience but I did one shot with a film camera handheld from the top of a building on a catwalk at one eighth of a second handheld. From slide, it blew up to a 16 by 20 print with excellent quality. On the other hand, in digital, I have had some handheld soft shots at one sixtieth of a second.

Tegan

Joshua Hakin
01-19-2007, 02:19 PM
With digital I have seen lens flare on even professional work when the photographer did not have a hood on the end. As to barrel distortion, shooting with a film camera and a 28mm wide angle lens very seldom has led to distortion of the sides of buildings for example. Shooting with the same lens on a digital camera has produced some interesting leans on the buildings.
Tegan

I still don't see how a lens optical quality could possibly barrel more on digital than film. If a 28mm produces barreling on a digital that same lens will barrel exactly the same amount on a film body. The optical structure of a lens does not alter when you put it on a digital body. Flare is the same thing... if a lens produces flare it will do so no matter whether there's a sensor behind or film.
And how is digital more susceptible to "non-steady hands" than film?

Marko
01-25-2007, 10:35 PM
And how is digital more susceptible to "non-steady hands" than film? With regard to this factor, I've heard this from several other people that have recently gone digital. If this were to be true for most digital cameras, what do you think would be causing it?

Thanks
Marko

murphyimages
02-13-2007, 03:37 AM
Hello My name is Justin Murphy.
I am a wedding photographer from Calgary Alberta.
My website is http://www.murphyimages.ca

Not many people that the quality of Film still exceeds digital. Even those who do the calculations on Megapixels vs. Film Grain Will say that most of the time there really is no advantage to digital. The real downside to digital to me is the obvious dynamic range issues. There isn't a digital camera that can compare to film.

But the real question is why to I shoot digital. That is because My clients want it. They expect it. They like it. They can't tell the difference between the two. they like the new 21st century products that are now available to digital. And because they want it, I use it. And because I use it now it makes my life easier, faster processing, more flexable product range.

So the real question for yourself is why use digital?

Justin Murphy

tegan
02-16-2007, 08:19 PM
With regard to this factor, I've heard this from several other people that have recently gone digital. If this were to be true for most digital cameras, what do you think would be causing it?

Thanks
Marko

The weight and balance of the digital and film cameras are different. Shutter vibration may be different as well. Shutter lag may also be a factor as well as how hard you need to press the button.

Tegan

tegan
02-16-2007, 08:45 PM
Instant feedback, control, and flexible editing are the main reasons.

With film, high speed film is necessary for low lighting but low ISO film provides better quality for blow-ups. Contrast is higher on low ISO film than on higher. Low ISO film can make shadows too dark and contrasty and high ISO film can blow out highlights if not exposed perfectly. Film is not very editable, for taking out distracting items in the background or at the side of the frame, changing hue, or solving relatively minor visual problems.

The advantages to film are better colour...approximately 46 bit versus 8 bit and possibly sharper blow-ups with a tripod, the right camera, a great lens, perfect lighting, and the right film.

With digital, ISO speed is somewhat irrelevant in that you can change it from photo to photo and film characteristics are equally not an issue either. Although their may seem to be picture noise or grain at high ISOs with digital, unless it is extremely visible on screen, it does not end up in the print. Some experts looking a digital noise have pointed out that on screen noise up to a certain level often results in a sharper print than a camera that reduces the resolution or sharpness to make the on-screen noise disappear.

You can also by the way use pro tricks to enlarge digital prints and maintain a very good level of sharpness and resolution. (Post processing skills in digital are extremely important and make a big difference in quality prints.) Editing in photoshop can either increase picture noise, create banding and artifacts, reduce the number of colours and tones, and mess up gradual changes in colour, or it can result in minimal loss in picture quality. It just depends on how you do it and unfortunately there are a LOT of photographers out there who have not spent the time to learn about digital postprocessing.

Tegan

sharyrafitari
10-24-2008, 09:00 PM
Hello everyone,

This was my question sometime ago, and contrary to what many people thought 7 years ago, film is still alive (especially black and white). So, I still love film based photography, sepia toning, hand colouring with oil paint although I do digital for candids, as digital is more convenient in this case. This is to let everyone know that I am still shooting film in 2008/2009 and will continue to do so for as long as I can purchase b/w film.



Cheers!
Shary

barbiepurl
10-30-2008, 06:31 AM
Film handles color better than digital, as in more colors better saturation, and less contrast. Somewhat surprisingly Kodak Gold in Popular Photography tested out as the best print film with more resolution than all digital cameras. On the negative(pun) side, color slide film does not often print out with a quality close to digital.
-----------------------------
Barbie Purl
Influencer (http://www.drivenwide.com)

sharyrafitari
10-31-2008, 10:34 AM
Indeed, film and digital sensors are two different media. It is not surprising to get two different results. I was told by our pro-store that many fine art photographers have returned to film because of its quality. In particular b/w film. When I want to do a good b/w I do it on film for sure, and print it on Fiber Based paper.

http://SharyPhoto.ca

aophoto
10-31-2008, 07:05 PM
I think that film gives a better quality then digital, specially if you are going to blow up your photos into a very large format at least at the moment, and digital is of course more convenient.
Well this is my opinion.
:)

mnoble
11-20-2008, 10:28 AM
I went digital a little over two years ago and I haven't looked back. Besides the quality of digital images, my main reason for my satisfaction with the digital work flow is the incredible amount of control I have over the images I create. I don't see how you can have the same control and latitude of expression with film. With Photoshop as my digital darkroom, I can be as creative as I want. This piece of software is an incredible tool. I was in the printing industry in the digital pre-press area for 12 years. So I started using Photoshop a long time ago. As a professional, I like to have that complete control.

I still have some film cameras in a closet somewhere but I have no reason to go and find them. For those who still are devoted to film, I say go for it. We all have our preferences and art is subjective.