Thursday, May 10. 2018
It is April 2017. The predicted end of film has not occurred and here is one of many serious photographers who still see film's benefits. Tired of being trolled on the issue, Hans Rosemond weighs in with his point of view:
Is film archaic? Yes. Obsolete? Absolutely not. I think a lot of people assume that photography is a zero sum game. Because digital is the 800 pound gorilla, there's no room for film anymore. It's as if there are only X amount of pictures to be taken and film can't possibly compete in a digital realm. We've set up a competition that doesn't exist. There is no Film vs Digital. There are only photographers who take photographs.
There are things that either medium does better than the other. When I'm shooting commercially and I have an art director over my shoulder, [I'm] shooting digitally....If I'm shooting for myself, I'm usually shooting film, mostly for the reasons I mentioned above, but also because I like larger formats and I can't afford a true medium format digital back. And large format? Forget about it. Nothing digital comes close to that feel.
Monday, March 2. 2015
The Glass Cage refutes this claim, not on a technical basis (though that argument can be made) but as a critique of automation generally. It also goes a long way toward integrating the findings of Apples and Oranges with the broader question of automation generally.
Specifically though, digital cameras don't just swap sensors for film: they alter the photographic process. This in turn changes our photographs:
Continue reading "The Glass Cage"
Thursday, October 23. 2014
In this blog post from 2011, Tim Leyton describes some virtues of scanned film of which you may be unaware. The pricing information is now dated, and the blog is not technology-neutral, but still contains valuable insights. (BTW, much of Layton's blog involves the question of film vs. digital.)
If you have a 35mm film SLR camera laying around you may have some options that you have never considered. What if I told you that you could take your old film camera and turn it into a 21 Megapixel Digital SLR for a fraction of the cost of a new DSLR? [No], you canít really convert your film camera into a digital SLR. The digital part comes from the scanning of your film. There is no comparison between film and digital. My intention is to give 35mm SLR owners some new options they may not have previously considered. The latest technology is not always the solution to all things in life or business.
Continue reading "How to Turn Your Old 35mm SLR into a New 21 Megapixel Digital SLR"
Wednesday, May 27. 2009
In a refreshing bit of candor, Calumet Photo's latest Calumet Focus gives professional safari leader Todd Gustafson's opinions about film versus digital:
The two main logistical advantages of shooting with digital media are carrying a few CF cards instead of 300 rolls of film and the cost of CF cards verses the cost of film and processing. From a photographic standpoint, there is a much faster learning curve with digital. There is no substitute for immediately seeing the photographic results when you are in the field. You can also tell when you have the shot and are able to move on to capture new subjects without taking—and paying for—all of those dreaded insurance shots.
Continue reading "Calumet Photo Spills Beans!"
Saturday, April 11. 2009
Going digital implies saying goodbye to the 20th century art of photography and will imply the death of photography as we know it.
- Erwin Puts, Death of Photography
Published author Erwin Puts, probably the world's foremost Leica expert, is a philosopher of photography. His weblog pulls no punches and rambles at times, but is sure to provoke thought. Some of Erwin's views on digital vs film:
Current camera models are very complex tools with an overdose of technology and options. The modern consumer starts to rebel and wants a reduction of the high-tech phalanx. One approach by the industry is to add smarttech to the products: in fact this is a shielding technique where smart filters are used to guess the needs of the user and suppress all options that are not required.
Continue reading "Erwin Puts on Digital vs. Film"
Saturday, July 12. 2008
An oft heard remark about digicams is they give us a "digital darkroom," freeing us from the "wet" darkroom and magnifying our editing capabilities manyfold. Wait - there's another option: film scanners offer the benefits of the digital darkroom, plus the virtues of film! Scanners and scanning software have recently evolved to the point where top quality images from film can be produced easily and economically. In his article, Best film scanner in its class: the Nikon Coolscan V ED, Epinions "Top Reviewer in Electronics" jvandegr writes,
I teach digital photography and I own a compact digital camera. I enjoy both of them thoroughly. The convenience of digital photography is unquestionable, but the image quality has been more than questionable for many years. As with most new technologies (and new media), it is constantly adjusting and updating, and recent years have seen significant improvements in digital image quality. Still, when it came time to invest in either a $3000 - $5000 digital SLR or an $800 film SLR, there was no contest, especially considering the focal length conversion problem of the majority of digital SLRs.
Continue reading "Film Scanners: Bridge to the Digital Darkroom"
Monday, December 5. 2005
Currently there is no universal standard for "raw" digicam data. So if you use raw files to preserve maximum image data, the file will probably become obsolete. In RAW Facts: The short life of today's RAW files, Dean M. Chriss describes the dilemma:
[T]he ability to use RAW files is perhaps the greatest asset of digital photography....Under some circumstances the JPEG files produced by cameras can be almost as good, but only if the exposure and white balance are set perfectly at the moment the photograph is taken. When making prints, especially large ones, it is always possible to exceed the quality of the equivalent JPEG file when working with RAW files.
Continue reading "RAW Facts: The short life of today's RAW files"
Thursday, November 17. 2005
If you read just one article on my blog, let it be this one. In Size Matters, Robert Atkins explains what happens when you shrink the imaging surface to a fingernail-sized sensor, as most digicams do. If you read between the lines this speaks volumes about the design, purpose, and limitations of these cameras. There is a physical limit to how much resolution you can achieve on a small scale, no matter how many megapixels you pack into it and how good a lens you have. The limit is caused by diffraction, the tendency of light to spread out when forced through an aperture. It turns out that beyond a certain limit it makes no sense to increase the resolution of tiny sensors, because no lens can ever deliver this resolution. And in fact, more sensors per millimeter can actually degrade performance:
Continue reading "Effects of physical sensor size on digicam performance"
Friday, September 30. 2005
In his article, Why Is Sharpening Necessary?, writer and photographer Thom Hogan states,
The nasty truth underlying all digital recording techniques is that they turn analog signals into discrete samples of the original....The real world sports an infinite number of shades of blue in the sky and an endless amount of detail, but your digital camera only captures between 1000 and 4500 pixels of horizontal detail in perhaps thousands of shades of possible blues. While that’s pretty darn good, it does cause two resolution-oriented problems:
Continue reading "Why Digital Images must be Sharpened"
Tuesday, September 13. 2005
You might wonder why anyone would doubt the longevity of digital images. After all, being digital they are not subject to heat, moisture, or chemical breakdown. So they are bound to live far longer than conventional film images, which suffer from all of these problems. Right?
Well, there's another aspect to this, now known as "digital death." The problem is not due to the breakdown of the media on which images are stored (although these media do degrade), but to the short lifetimes of the devices used to store and read them.
To quote Stewart Brand in Escaping the Digital Dark Age,
Due to the relentless obsolescence of digital formats and platforms, along with the ten-year life spans of digital storage media such as magnetic tape and CD-ROMs, there has never been a time of such drastic and irretrievable information loss as right now.
Continue reading "Longevity of Film versus Digital Images"
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