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#658887 - 11/10/2005 23:58 Digital V Film...Which is better?
Volkl_1 Offline
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Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
Firstly, what a great idea to have two seperate photography forums. Whoever thought of this needs a gold medal.
This is a debate i have been wanting to start for a long time but have been worried about starting a new photography thread.

wink wink
Well, for me there both pretty much of a muchness. They both have there advantages and disatvantages.
The most obvious is the ability to view/delete your photos with a digital, and have them on your PC pretty much straight away. Also, the ability to crop the photo before it gets developed/printed.
At the same time, digital photos can appear flat, and oversharp sometimes. Where as with film, the photos tend to have a lot more atmosphere about them.
Things like skintones,late afternoon warm light, etc... can be captured better with film in my opinion.
What are other peoples views?
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#658888 - 12/10/2005 00:03 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Weathernut Offline
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Registered: 24/07/2002
Posts: 5207
Loc: Darwin, Northern Territory
In my opinion digital still has a long way to go before it will beat film. I still like film but the only thing i hate is once you have used the film there is no going back if you think the images may not be great (unless you have a other roll of film). wink

One issue with digital is that it needs battery's were as the old film SLR's (not the newer film SLR's) don't need then (unless you want the flash wink )

I could go on and on.. :p

ooh just about forgot.. With Film camera's and lightning is that you only know if the lightning came out until you get the film developed but with digital you can look at the display to see if you got the image or not without the worrying about wasting money!

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#658889 - 12/10/2005 00:04 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Volkl_1 Offline
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Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
I think i should of put this thread in the other photography forum!!! shocked shocked
Can someone please move it!lol
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#658890 - 12/10/2005 00:06 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
adon Offline
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Registered: 19/08/2004
Posts: 5263
Loc: Not tellin!
Well speaking from a weather photographer novice I love my dig cam. I once tried to take photos of lightning with an advantix cam and wasted an entire film! Worst of all I had to wait until I got it developed to see how I went. With the dig cam at least when you are learning the ropes it's not so expensive and you can use the dollars you were going to spend on film on camera instead! I reckon that not many of the people who are posting images on this forum would be taking storm photos if not for dig cams. They may lack the image quality but they are defly the best for getting into it.
:cheers: adon

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#658891 - 12/10/2005 00:07 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Volkl_1 Offline
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Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
Weathernut, i have three old film SLRs and they all have batteries.
They need the batteries to run the light meter.
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#658892 - 12/10/2005 00:10 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Volkl_1 Offline
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Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
Your certainly right there Adon. Its not that they lack in quality with most things, only certainl things.
Digital cameras can struggle with very long exposures, with things like startrails, and long lightning photos. They get a lot of noise in them, although i have heard that a lot of the more modern digi SLRs (namely the canon20D) have excellent in built noise reduction software.
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#658893 - 12/10/2005 00:11 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Weathernut Offline
Member

Registered: 24/07/2002
Posts: 5207
Loc: Darwin, Northern Territory
Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Alexander:
Weathernut, i have three old film SLRs and they all have batteries.
They need the batteries to run the light meter.
ooh doh Robert! shocked


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#658894 - 12/10/2005 00:22 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Volkl_1 Offline
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Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
Here is an example. This photo was taken last summer with slide film. Its not a fancy photo, but it has atmosphere in my opinion.
If it had been taken with my digital SLR, it would of been very colourful, very sharp and very vibrant. Also very flat and 2 dimensional looking.
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#658895 - 12/10/2005 00:29 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Volkl_1 Offline
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Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
And here is a couple more, these are printfilm film photos, (negatives) taken with 100 ISO fujifilm last week with an old practika camera.



Theyre not sharp, vibrant colours or anything fancy, but once again, they have a better feel to them. Not too flat!
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#658896 - 12/10/2005 00:37 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Volkl_1 Offline
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Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
And then theres digital, i took this on sunday.
Its very pretty. very colourfuL, very vibrant, lots of fun to play with, but to me it lacks that true photo look and feel.
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#658897 - 12/10/2005 07:36 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Jake Offline
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Registered: 26/12/2004
Posts: 798
Loc: Sunshine Coast, SE QLD
Digital without a doubt, it's got to the point where almost everything including resolution has caught up, 8mp+ cameras like the 350D and 20D have no problems competing with 35mm film. The 11+ megapixel Canon EOS-1Ds, EOS-1Ds Mark II and EOS 5D absolutely blow it away with quality bordering on medium format.

Reading digital photography forums you see a lot of long time film users or even new photographers who purchase a DSLR and expect brilliant jpegs straight out of the camera in the auto modes. Digital or not the camera is still an SLR and needs to be used in the creative modes if you want to get good results. Like the old days of darkroom processing, digital images still need both global and local tonal adjustments. Saturation and contrast rather than being introduced by using a different film like Velvia or Provia is processed during RAW conversion. RAW is considered to be the digital negative by imaging professionals, rather than the camera applying set parameters you have total control.

All that has changed is that the photographer no longer just captures the image and sends it off to be processed. Like many colour film users in the 50's and early 60's the photographer must process his own images and possess the necessary skills to do so. This is for the 'best' results, of course point and shoot users can still snap jpegs which would rival what came out of the old 35mm disposable wink

Noise I'd say is definitely on par for exposures up to 10mins, my 350D has built in noise reduction as a custom function and I've used it once, the results are so good after filtering with noise ninja and mapping any hot pixels that it simply isnít needed. Obvious upside is that thereís no more reciprocity law failure to worry about and ISO at the touch of the button. Want clean 40 minute exposures? Easy just shoot 4 x 10mins exposures and combine them in Photoshop or with a program like Imagestack which will average out each frame for you.

Long exposure examples:

Canon 350D F8, 8mins, ISO 100



Canon 350D F8, 9mins, ISO 100




Colour rendition and clarity is absolutely stunning with digital, the ability to change white balance (colour temperature) after the fact is probably the biggest advantage here, unlike film where colour balanced film was a necessity. Like contrast, an experienced digital user has total control.

The only area where digital falls short of film is in the dynamic range, a digital sensor simply can't capture shadow and highlight detail as well as film within a single exposure. Again like the noise this can be overcome by 'exposing to the right' then pulling shadow detail during post process if the need arises. The result is often better than negative film. Or of course you could just purchase a Fuji S3 favourable among the wedding photographers (lots of black and white in wedding scenes) because of its super dynamic range CCD which sports two diodes per pixel, one which records shadow and mid tones and another not so sensitive photodiode which records highlights. Fuji claims 2 stops more dynamic range than any other sensor on the market and is definitely a sign of whatís to come in the next few years.

I agree totally that digital doesnít have the rough around the edges look of film, but personally I donít mind. If I want a film look from digital I can reproduce it in post process. Itís not quite as easy to make film look like digital though wink

eek haha I just wrote a bloody essay, apologies.

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#658898 - 12/10/2005 08:19 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
---- Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 25/11/2002
Posts: 5786
Now Mr Alexander, a can of worms.. wink
My opinion (and only mine) is that film at ordinary P&S levels has long been surpassed by digital.
AT the consumer SLR level 35mm film has been exceeded and this thought has been borne from personal experience.
At the pro level with the 12mp and above cams then 35mm is thrashed and medium format is rivalled. This is NOT my experience bugger it all, but comments by photo pros on photog sites.

As for colour noise - well my nikon has less noise at higher sensitivities than film ever had at the eqivalent ISO.

But by no means is film dead just yet, however its days at the top of the image capture medium are gone.
Film is just not something I play with anymore, if I want the film look it can be done with PP techniques.

Remember beta vs VHS video. Which gave the better quality?! In the same way I feel that we are being lumped against our will with the second best digital format though in the form of the bayer sensor. Something like a foveon true RGB per photosite sensor captures unbelievable images. Sure it has its problems, but so did CCD and especially CMOS in the early days that were soon overcome by R&D. Unfortunatley its economics and money making that are driving the current direction. On the upside the technology is now so cheap and ubiquitous that we can all have digicams laugh

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#658899 - 12/10/2005 09:02 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
bigwilly Offline
Weatherzone Mod and Photog

Registered: 25/09/2002
Posts: 6543
Loc: Junee - just north of the 'Bid...
Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Alexander:
Weathernut, i have three old film SLRs and they all have batteries.
They need the batteries to run the light meter.
Yes but the mechanics will still work without batteris wink , you just need to guess the exposure, or bracket.
For a long time I was strictly a film user and up until the 350D arrived on the scene, for me nothing in the prosumer range could rival a well exposed slide. Now that we have the 350D @ 8MP and the 20D at 8.2MP and both readily available to the average consumer, 35mm film has been surpassed, not in every little factor, like Jake mentioned with the highlights and shadows, but in enough areas to make it worthwhile.
One of the major issues that took me a long time to decide on is the archival ability of digital. What do you mean? I hear you ask...
Well I can take a glass plate negative taken in the 40's and still get it developed, that is I can take a 70 year old negative and provided it was storred properly, still get a decent print from it. Now I doubt that I can burn a copy of an image to a CD or DVD and in 70 years time get it printed off, but I bet I would still be able to get a print from that neg.
Of course all this means, is that you will have to back up your images onto different mediums several times throughout you're life, deffinately not impossible, but I imagine it sure is going to be a pain the @ss laugh

And yes I will still use film as well as my digi.

:cheers: Will

Blue Mountains Photography
_________________________
YTD Rainfall = 281.0mm (Avg to March 117.0mm)
MTD rainfall March = 34.7mm(Avg 41.3mm)
February 2011 total = 203.9mm (Avg 37.8mm)
2010 Rainfall: 759.3mm (Annual Avg: 521.5mm)

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#658900 - 12/10/2005 10:40 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Harry Spotter Offline
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Registered: 14/11/2001
Posts: 1955
Loc: Springwood, Brisbane
The quality of digicams is up there with 35mm film, but the cost is not, so it's not really a fair comparison. Choose a digicam that costs the same as an average film SLR and it won't print half as well.

Also, looking great on a monitor does not equate to a great enlarged print. At the end of the day it depends on what you want to do with the image.

Marty.
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#658901 - 12/10/2005 11:08 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Tim S Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/2003
Posts: 1549
Quote:
The quality of digicams is up there with 35mm film, but the cost is not, so it's not really a fair comparison. Choose a digicam that costs the same as an average film SLR and it won't print half as well.
Yeah thats the main difference I think in my opinion, though digi slr are catching up they still are a much more expensive alternative as far as quality of the final product goes. I use a film slr mainly because I am only a very amatuer photographer and for me 2grand is too much to spend for someone that can get the same results from a camera a quarter of the price.

Though if you take price out of the equation digital would definitely be the way to go these days, with the improvment in not only the technology of the cameras themselves but also the printing technology. You can get a home printer for a few hundred bucks that can print very high quality prints and when you consider the costs of developing film and the film itself it very quickly pays for itself.

Though saying this I still think that film slr will never be replaced, it will always be there as another method of getting image onto paper. Just like now days artists can use computers to create art, although plenty still use the old fashioned paint and canvas or pen and paper method.

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#658902 - 12/10/2005 11:25 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Jake Offline
Member

Registered: 26/12/2004
Posts: 798
Loc: Sunshine Coast, SE QLD
I agree totally about the initial cost of a DSLR but if you shoot more than a few rolls of film a year it's a worthwhile investment. Even if you only shot family gatherings on film a point and shoot for under $300 would even pay for itself in no time, and you're not going to print Auntie Mavis at poster size are you so 4-5mp will be heaps :p

Looking at the Canon SLR range wouldn't a fair comparison be something like the 350D/XT VS a Elan 7N/33V? Both have about the same feature set with the Elan performing a little better for continous shooting (4fps instead of 3fps).

The Elan 7N/33V is about $300-350 used, $800 or so new vs $800 or so for used 300D and $1400 for the 350D. I've shot 7000 frames in the last six months which is equal to approximately 291 rolls of 24exp film. Say we purchased our film in triple packs and used Fuji Superia which is about $12 or so. We end up with $1164 in film alone, no processing costs, no fuel costs for running around pick up and drop off negs.

Agree about resolution too Marty, but as mentioned earlier it's just as good as 35mm film. So unless you're shooting medium format or your output is 1m + on the long side then there's no comparision when it comes to print.

I'm not saying film is totally dead, commercially a lot of professionals still use it. There are ALOT of myths about digital that have to be put to rest though. The same thing happened with the introduction of colour film, black and white purists said that film speed could never rival that of bw and who would want to shoot in something as unemotive as colour. It seems that many did wink

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#658903 - 12/10/2005 12:34 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Harry Spotter Offline
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Registered: 14/11/2001
Posts: 1955
Loc: Springwood, Brisbane
Good point Jake about film/d&p costs but not everyone shoots 7000 frames in 6 months - that equates to about a roll and a half every day. But then without the added cost of film processing, perhaps people would actually shoot more.

I keep meaning to do some proper printing tests to compare the quality of digital with 35mm at larger paper sizes. But then the cost of the digicam does complicate the issue somewhat regarding a fair comparison. I guess it depends on how much an individual shoots... they then need to determine how long it would take for the extra cost of the digi to pay for itself, compared to a film camera, and whether it's worth it for them.

And of course, everyone's needs are different.

Marty.
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#658904 - 12/10/2005 14:17 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
adon Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 19/08/2004
Posts: 5263
Loc: Not tellin!
Well I defly know that I would not have shot nearly as many pic if not for the dig camera. I spent 7 months in Europe and shot 6 rolls of film with my old camera and have shot off 1600+ (pics)since getting my dig cam in March. While heaps of those have been nothing shot with lightning, they all count if you have to get them d/p. My cam is 4 megapixel but if I get more serious I would go for 6-7mp so I could print bigger pics. But I would never go back to film now. I know I would not be taking as many shots if I had to d/p them all.
:cheers: adon

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#658905 - 16/10/2005 09:19 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
bigwilly Offline
Weatherzone Mod and Photog

Registered: 25/09/2002
Posts: 6543
Loc: Junee - just north of the 'Bid...
I agree with you Adon,
In the last two or three days I have taken over 100 pics, the equivalent of just under 5 rolls of film. A lot of those pics I have deleted as they were just muck around shots or experiments that didn't work out. But just going over the figures in my head, you're talking around $60 just for the film and if it were slide film wich I use then another $50 or $60 for developing, so all in all you're looking at $100+.
I love digital...

:cheers: Will

Blue Mountains Photography
_________________________
YTD Rainfall = 281.0mm (Avg to March 117.0mm)
MTD rainfall March = 34.7mm(Avg 41.3mm)
February 2011 total = 203.9mm (Avg 37.8mm)
2010 Rainfall: 759.3mm (Annual Avg: 521.5mm)

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#658906 - 16/10/2005 09:32 Re: Digital V Film...Which is better?
Andy Offline
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Registered: 29/06/2001
Posts: 1017
Loc: Mid-North Coast, NSW
I think there is another aspect which isn't always considered. Because of the immediacy of digital photography people are getting almost instant feedback. You can see whether the shot is good, bad or indifferent and you can just take it again and again until you get the result you are after.

This seems to have had the effect of raising the quality of images ... not just among enthusiasts, but also everyday snappers. It is amazing to look at peoples family snapshots these days and find images that a few years ago would have been attributed to a professional.

Whatever the arguments are about film versus digital, it can't be denied that the appearance of reliable, immediate and low-cost digital photography has raised the standard of the images we see by a significant degree.

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