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Old Mar 19, 2007, 5:13 PM   #1
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I recentlytalked to a friend of mine, who is aprofessional photographer about buying a new camera.He told me thatyou cant even compare digital and film camerasin terms of color and overall quality, when it comes to professional cameras and thatmost professional photographers herebyprefer film camerato digital ones.

Is this true? And if so, then why are they still coming out with very expensive professional SLR digital camers?

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Old Mar 19, 2007, 7:47 PM   #2
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I think your friend can say what he wants but film will go away. Kodak and Fuji think so and hope to be stillstanding when it does. It may be in your friend's market film is still acceptable or even preferred but that will change. If you look around these forums you will see a number of professional photographers that are working pretty exclusively in digital.
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 7:54 PM   #3
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I'm not going to address which format is the ultimate in picture quality even though that seems to be your question. What I'm going to address is which format will be the best choice for YOU. For me, DSLR offers excellent dynamic range, great contrast, better ISO performance than any film, and very nice color.

I assume the photographer friend is speaking of large or medium format film cameras and unless you are working in a studio, you don't want to lug such an animal around. I'd hesitate to say 35mm film were better than current DSLR offerings, but others may take issue with that too.

Now, the digital advantages. Advantages film can never attain. First is flexability. With film, you tried to anticipate the shooting conditions and loaded a roll of film. Normally I'd choose one step higher ISO than I felt I needed just in case conditions weren't as good as I thought. If I guessed wrong, I was still stuck with a roll in the camera. 12 or 24 or 36 photos that had to be burned up, or trashed. No thank you! Never again! Digital you just switch and keep on going. I remember the film days and wondering if some rolls were even worth processing. With digital you get instant feedback. You don't like it you can adjust and try again right then and there. If you do mess up a bit, digital photos can be post processed and spruced up a bit. Film takes a messy darkroom.

I look at the 8x10s I have on the table right now and they are very very nice. If film can do better, it would take a very decerning eye to notice. There is no way in you know where I'll ever go back to film. NO WAY!
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 8:09 PM   #4
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A good friend of mine, Robert Severi, is a commercial photographer. Since the introduction of 10 & 12MP dSLRs, he uses digital more and more often.

But for important stuff, he still goes to his medium format film camera.
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 8:15 PM   #5
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Many film/digital shootouts have been done to try and prove this point but, like any other test, 1/3 of the photographers will accept the results, 1/3 won't and the last 1/3 won't know the difference. You need to make your own mind up what format meets your creative needs and follow that path.

I'd like to think that digital has improved my photography as I no longer hear a Ka-ching every time I press the shutter so I experiment more. The results I attain with digital look better to my eye than what I what I used to get with film because of instant review and the chance to try again.

Your milage may vary!
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 8:44 PM   #6
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fldspringer wrote:
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Now, the digital advantages. Advantages film can never attain. First is flexability. With film, you tried to anticipate the shooting conditions and loaded a roll of film. Normally I'd choose one step higher ISO than I felt I needed just in case conditions weren't as good as I thought. If I guessed wrong, I was still stuck with a roll in the camera. 12 or 24 or 36 photos that had to be burned up, or trashed. No thank you! Never again! Digital you just switch and keep on going.
Just to get around the issue with film that fldspringer identified many pros of film days carried two or three camera bodies loaded with different speed films so that they would have the right one loaded. No need any more, just dial in the ISO you need for the conditions you find. Need B & W instead of color, switch in camera or Photoshop it.

Gordan Parks once said that if he got 1 in 20 that he like and actually had1 in 36 that was actually published he was hittingaverages. Now the price is the same whether we shoot 20, 36, 72 and because we have instant review we're more likely to get the shot needed.

The professional photographers that shot my nephew's wedding last SEP were using digital. The pros at work who do both publicity and technical work shoot digital. Medical imaging is moving more and more to digital.
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 9:05 PM   #7
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Track wrote:
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... who is aprofessional photographer ...
What kind of photography does he do? If it is producing large (measured in meters/yards - not inches/cm) landscape/arcitectural prints he might be right. Or if he works only in Black/White he could be right.

Can't think of any other specialities where that it is true that film is unarguably better than digital.
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 9:06 PM   #8
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If you have the equipment and skills to develop, process and print withfilm, you may very well get better results. If you are making the initial investment in photography, it really doesn't make much sense to go any way but digital.

Film isn't going to go away any time soon. It is, however a shrinking market, so new development is in the digital arena.

I did too much moving around in my younger days to make investing in the chemicals and equipment for processing my own film a reasonable proposition, which left me at the mercy of processors, with variable results. With digital, I can create what I want without having to build a darkroom every couple years.

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Old Mar 19, 2007, 10:15 PM   #9
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Well Track,

I got rid of My Nikon F4s cameras along with all of my Hasselblad equipment not long after I bought My D100 Nikon Digital SLR.I'm not going to get into which is better between film and digital BUT for myself. Digital is my choice. I do not even own a film camera at all anymore. When shooting a wedding I used to have to lug around over 50 pounds of Hasselblad equipment along with a 35mm F4 and a couple of len's for it along with some studio lights, stands a meter etc.Then if everything went perfect with the photography I still had to worry about the Lab eating my film. I also worried about the UPS or Fed-X losing either my film or the prints. With My Digital I know exactly what I have as I photograph it. I do all of my processing myself and have back-ups of all of my photographs. I can do my prints myself or go to Sam's club and have prints made off of my processedDVD's.

With no film costs andlow printing costs I actually make a lot more in my pocket then I ever did using film now that I have all of my equipment paid for. ( camera, len's, photoshop, computer etc.)

I now have a D200 Nikon with a Nikon 18/200 "VR" lens I use for 99% of everything I shoot. With a Nikon SB-800 and SB-600 flash I don't need to carry around studio lights anymore. I do sometimes use lightweight tripods as light stands for the flash units.

I'll probably never ever go back to using film. Digital is just far superior in every wayas far as I'm concerned.

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Old Mar 19, 2007, 11:00 PM   #10
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Track wrote:
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I recentlytalked to a friend of mine, who is aprofessional photographer about buying a new camera.He told me thatyou cant even compare digital and film camerasin terms of color and overall quality,
And Kodak/Fuji thank them!!!!!! :roll:

The gap since inception of digital has been EVER closing.... no digital still does not have the exposure lattitude of film (especially in high contrast situations).... but again ever closing that gap... it like night and day vs jsut a couple of years ago.

On the other hand film you just hope you got it right or spend lots of money bracketing everything.

Digital.... OK that wasn't quite right (plus INSTANT feed back... no even 1 hour Photo).... erase it and try again.... nothing lost or cost.

Again the gap ever narrowing.... will there for some time be a place for film (COST BE DAMNED) yes..... AS LONG AS YOU CAN PASS IT OFF TO THE CLIENT....

Personal camera/use.... digital is already there... if you aren't an absolutely anal perfectionist.

Film you are talking MIN $1 PER EXPOSURE PROCESSED just to know if you actually even have something..... digital ESSENTIALLY $0 UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY DECIDE TO PRINT IT... and know immediately.

AND then there is white balance.... you are stuck with the film loaded and maybe flters (at exposure f/stop cost) .... again digital easy to fix.


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