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Old Feb 17, 2008, 1:23 AM   #1
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I was flipping through the February issue of Outdoor Photographer and noticed an ad for software (called Exposure 2) from www.alienskin.com that allows you to simulate the look of various brands of film (e.g. Kodachrome 200, Kodak's Tri-x b/w film, Fuji's Velvia 50...etc.). My question to those who are still shooting film (as well as digital) and might have played around with such software is this...

Would using such software give you similar results as actually shooting with a SLR and using the said film type/brands? Or would it be impossible to duplicate?

I mean in the audio world there is no comparison between the sound you would get llistening to a LP on a good turntable/tube amp setup (analogue) and a CD. Sure you get the "pops" but the sound IMHO is so much more real and sweet.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 8:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Would using such software give you similar results as actually shooting with a SLR and using the said film type/brands? Or would it be impossible to duplicate?
I think you've answered your own question. The results would be similiar but not exact. From what I understand, digital still does not have the dynamic range of film, so you cannot really exactly duplicate the effects, but you can get real close. The advantage of such software is that you can mimic the effects of whatever film emulsion you want, whereas with film you are stuck with whatever you have in the camera at the time of the shoot.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 9:25 AM   #3
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I haven't used that particular software, but have played around with the Virtual Photographer plugin, which is quite flexible. It has a number of preset looks to simulate slides, prints, magazine or newspaper pics, etc, and various ISO settings and grain amounts. When printed on appropriate paper, it can be dificult to distinguish from a wet process print from film. I haven't found a real use for it yet, though, other than my own entertainment.

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Old Feb 17, 2008, 10:55 AM   #4
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rjseeney wrote:
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Would using such software give you similar results as actually shooting with a SLR and using the said film type/brands? Or would it be impossible to duplicate?
I think you've answered your own question. The results would be similiar but not exact. From what I understand, digital still does not have the dynamic range of film, so you cannot really exactly duplicate the effects, but you can get real close. The advantage of such software is that you can mimic the effects of whatever film emulsion you want, whereas with film you are stuck with whatever you have in the camera at the time of the shoot.
Could that be why some people still prefer to shoot in film? For the belief in more dynamic range? Do you still shoot in film or do you shot solely in digital now?

For those that still shoot in film....Why? Do you find a digital print too "processed"? Just as how digitized music sounds in comparison to analogue (LP).

I also read in that same issue of OP that digital is said to offer better "quantity and quality" of data. Does that mean that digital cameras can now get more dynamic range?

Thanks for your comment VT.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 11:20 AM   #5
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We should bear in mind that an image captured on film is a standard finished product only if presented as a projected colour slide after standard processing. Otherwise the end-product depends very much on scanning or printing as well, both of which can have innumerable variations in both hardware & software.

Film has got to a very fine degree of development, just in time to die out for many purposes on grounds of digital convenience. Modern colour negative film can contain an enormous dynamic range and fine grain even with ISO400 sensitivity, enormously surpassing ordinary digital performance, in principle. However, it's impossible to view it directly because of the orange mask.

So postprocessing, be it via filmscanning plus its software, or via photographic printing with or without 'dodging' and other artforms, is essential. HDR twiddling of the tones is the modern digital equivalent of clever darkroom work at the printing stage.

So 'film simulation' software has two stages to simulate, not one, and the printing methods they are simulating need to be defined for anything like a'standard' result.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 11:39 AM   #6
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Alan T wrote:
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Film has got to a very fine degree of development, just in time to die out for many purposes on grounds of digital convenience. Modern colour negative film can contain an enormous dynamic range and fine grain even with ISO400 sensitivity, enormously surpassing ordinary digital performance, in principle. However, it's impossible to view it directly because of the orange mask.

"Orange mask"? Could you explain?

And do you still shoot in film? If so...why?

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Old Feb 17, 2008, 3:09 PM   #7
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Colour negative film that uses the C-41 process has an orange cast to it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-41_process

The negative The resulting film is a negative, meaning that the darkest spots on the film are those areas that were brightest in the source. Nearly all C-41 films also include an additional orange mask to offset the optical inadequacies of the dyes in the film. These C-41 negatives appear orange when viewed directly, though the orange base is compensated for in the formulation of color print materials. Some C-41 films, intended for scanning, do not have this orange base. The finished negative is printed using color paper to yield a positive image.

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Old Feb 17, 2008, 5:48 PM   #8
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Could that be why some people still prefer to shoot in film? For the belief in more dynamic range? Do you still shoot in film or do you shot solely in digital now?
Yes, I think that's one reason why people still shoot film. I still own a film camera (actually 2, a N80 and F100), but I haven't put any film through it in over a year now. Digital is just much easier with instant feedback, and I really enjoy the post processing part. I have never been in a darkroom, or done my own film developing, and would have loved to have the control over my film processing that I have over digital. With pro labs slowly disappearing, and the lack of local availability of pro film emulsions, I don't know that I'll ever seriously shoot film again. I've got many rolls of film in the freezer should the need arise, so I'm set if I ever do it again. Although I did enjoy shooting different types of film (I really liked Agfa portrait), I don't find myself longing for a specific emulsion.

I don't find digital too processed, and I really don't see any difference from digital prints vs film prints.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 5:50 PM   #9
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Bob Nichol wrote:
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Colour negative film that uses the C-41 process has an orange cast to it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-41_process

The negative The resulting film is a negative, meaning that the darkest spots on the film are those areas that were brightest in the source. Nearly all C-41 films also include an additional orange mask to offset the optical inadequacies of the dyes in the film. These C-41 negatives appear orange when viewed directly, though the orange base is compensated for in the formulation of color print materials. Some C-41 films, intended for scanning, do not have this orange base. The finished negative is printed using color paper to yield a positive image.
Ahhh ok THAT "orange mask".

Do you shoot in film still? If so why?

Thanks for the explaination.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 5:57 PM   #10
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I sold off my Minolta X570 and darkroom equipment in 2003 when I went digital.
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