DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> who still uses film cameras?
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 26, (reverse)
AuthorThread
04/22/2011 03:27:54 AM · #1
Ive always thought about getting my hands on an old film camera, I think it would be a good learning experience, and make me a better photographer in the long run. Im just curious how expensive it is. The advantages of DSLR's is obviously not having to buy film etc. What might be a good 'starter' slr?
04/22/2011 03:40:16 AM · #2
I use a Nikon F100, and for some reason I enjoy photography more when I'm using that than the digital.

I develop my own film so it's not too costly, the chemicals are film are relatively cheap if you find a good supplier and order them online.

I use Calumet photo here in the UK, I believe they are is the US as well, don't know about Canada though. They always deliver fast, have good prices and are reliable.
04/22/2011 07:25:04 AM · #3
Originally posted by kawana:

Ive always thought about getting my hands on an old film camera, I think it would be a good learning experience, and make me a better photographer in the long run. Im just curious how expensive it is. The advantages of DSLR's is obviously not having to buy film etc. What might be a good 'starter' slr?


Ignoring darkroom skills, which are obsolete, how exactly will using film make you a better photographer? Yes, it makes you think about your shot a bit more - no spray and pray, but the feedback comes so far down the line that it's hard to remember what you did or didn't do. You could replicate the experience by turning off the screen review on your dslr and limiting yourself to one shot in each situation - except when you upload the images to a computer - the facts (metadata) are all there.
04/22/2011 07:34:57 AM · #4
Originally posted by photodude:

Originally posted by kawana:

Ive always thought about getting my hands on an old film camera, I think it would be a good learning experience, and make me a better photographer in the long run. Im just curious how expensive it is. The advantages of DSLR's is obviously not having to buy film etc. What might be a good 'starter' slr?


Ignoring darkroom skills, which are obsolete, how exactly will using film make you a better photographer? Yes, it makes you think about your shot a bit more - no spray and pray, but the feedback comes so far down the line that it's hard to remember what you did or didn't do. You could replicate the experience by turning off the screen review on your dslr and limiting yourself to one shot in each situation - except when you upload the images to a computer - the facts (metadata) are all there.


Indeed-
Why look at music of the past, as we can synthesize every sound? Why do we listen to music from decades past? Why do we have nostalgia, a longing for that which was? Why appreciate classic cars, they're old and silly; relics of the past.
Why study art history, or history, for it's already been done.

Why...indeed.
04/22/2011 07:56:27 AM · #5
Just this week an acquaintance was asking me about disposing of some old film cameras left by her ex. I suggested craigslist or a pawn shop, telling her not to expect much money. One was a Canon AE-1, the other also a Canon, and I believe she had a short zoom plus standard lenses. I will be happy put anyone into contact with Becky if interested... drop me a PM.
04/22/2011 08:03:21 AM · #6
As far as the OP-
Check Craigslist. They're allllll over the place, and you can get a good one for low prices. You can buy an F5, a several thousand dollar body, with tons and tons of life left, for $600.
I don't know much about Canon mounts and all that jazz, and what lenses are use-able, but I'd recommend looking into that and making your decision. Nikons have used the same mount for ages, as have a couple other manufacturers, so you can pick up glass cheap if you need to. Often you'll find them packaged together "Buy this body, get 3 lenses." Couple hundred will likely put you in business with a quality body and several lenses, without even looking much.

$10, two Canon SLR bodies (Denver) This was just one of the first posts in the photo section, to give you an idea. It's nuts how cheap they are.

Personally, I've got an old Pentax ME Super SE that's fun stuff. I've considered getting a Nikon to use my lenses, but this was my deceased grandfather's, so there's some history to it, for me.

DPChallenge- Film Search
And, of course, the ongoing film thread.
04/22/2011 08:06:54 AM · #7
I still shoot film and have a nice EOS 50e film body that has some B&W in it right now. All my L series lenses fit right on there and its a great feeling, seems, to me, to be a lot more 'real' I love it!
If I had the room then I would develop my own shots too because that is so much fun. I think when you do the whole film experience the level of respect for the actual frame goes up.

However, don't listen to me because I'm a looney!
04/22/2011 08:10:54 AM · #8
Film is real. Developing film is a magic that never diminishes. Film cameras are beautiful, durable objects that are never superseded. Using film changes your approach to photography (including digital photography), and heightens your appreciation of the great photographs of history.

My latest film camera is a Bronica SQ-Ai. The 'sensor' is about 4 times larger than a Canon 5D MkII sensor, and it makes no decisions at all. It cost just $400 which is about a tenth of its true value.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_947494.jpg

But for advice from a real expert on film cameras, get in touch with 21.gif tph1.
04/22/2011 08:20:02 AM · #9
Well practically every iconic, idolized and brilliant photo and photographer that I prefer has come from the film environment. There are many from digital too. Film is time consuming and messy but so are antique collection, painting, children, relationships and walking the dog. But it's fun and fulfilling. I could use photoshop to create graphics, be on an internet social network, be an avatar in doom 3 or shoot em up with me 22 megapixel, all fun and super convenient, and do enjoy it. But film is creative, inspiring, emotive, frustrating... If you shoot for money, digital pays. If you shoot for love, film is priceless. Check out here Good ol film thread for film on dpc.
04/22/2011 08:21:33 AM · #10
cripes, you gotta be quick round here !
04/22/2011 08:22:48 AM · #11
I have a Canon EOS 5 but have not used it for a while now. I love using it and it feels good in the hand. It has eye focus control - you calibrate using your eye to focus, however when I used it the results were a bit hit and miss, some in focus but most were not so I dont use it now.
I picked it up of e-bay a couple of years ago for a really good price. As people have mentioned, there are a lot of high quality film slr's out there at very good prices.
04/22/2011 08:52:09 AM · #12
I am no expert, 21.gif ubique. But I really enjoy film. I'll never argue that it is better, more pure, etc. For me, I just like old cameras. And the darkroom. And mixing chemicals or creating developers. And the suspense between the taking and viewing of the final image. The satisfaction I get from being deeply immersed in the process. I love the sound of the motor wind on an F100 when you press the shutter. And large format... the cameras are works of art in themselves sometimes. Then there are alternative processes like cyanotype or gum bichromate. So many paths to take.

But at the end of the day it is just like any other hobby... providing relaxation, a challenge and some intellectual stimulation.

Cost? Get a Canon AE-1 for $50 bucks with a nice lens. Film at $4 - $5 per roll. Developing (no prints) at a one hour lab for $2-$3 and scan at home. You can do ALOT of images for the cost of a good DSLR. Or develop at home... color or b&w. Both are easy.

Film makes me a better photographer (in my own mind anyway). But that's because it is what I shoot. If you are at all inclined to give it a go, jump right in! I always have a disposable film camera with me in an effort to create something interesting with such a low tech piece of plastic.
04/22/2011 08:56:24 AM · #13
I haven't touched my film camera in eons, but I'm running a photography camp for kids (14-17) in June, and my first demonstration is going to be B&W film processing. I want the kids to see how it was done in the old days, since so much of what we do now evolved from film.

I'm looking forward to digging out the enlarger, and possibly getting fixer stains on my shirt :)
04/22/2011 09:02:59 AM · #14
Originally posted by tph1:

I am no expert, 21.gif ubique.


OK we're agreed then: 21.gif tph1 pretty much sucks. You could try 21.gif Bear_Music instead; he's used 'em all and has the added advantage of being so fabulously ancient that he was an alpha-tester for Louis Daguerre's first kit.
04/22/2011 09:05:43 AM · #15
Originally posted by ubique:

Originally posted by tph1:

I am no expert, 21.gif ubique.


OK we're agreed then: 21.gif tph1 pretty much sucks. You could try 21.gif Bear_Music instead; he's used 'em all and has the added advantage of being so fabulously ancient that he was an alpha-tester for Louis Daguerre's first kit.

Ha!
04/22/2011 10:06:45 AM · #16
I have to tell ya...my old Canon AE1 made me a better pphotographer. Here's how: I took the lens off, filled the body with cement, replaced lens. I then used it as a weight to keep my tripod steady.

...kidding of course....

....I use my AE1 every once in a while but not much !

Originally posted by kawana:

Ive always thought about getting my hands on an old film camera, I think it would be a good learning experience, and make me a better photographer in the long run. Im just curious how expensive it is. The advantages of DSLR's is obviously not having to buy film etc. What might be a good 'starter' slr?
04/22/2011 10:33:06 AM · #17
for me the magic of films starts with medium format cameras. the larger the format the slower the process the more satisfaction in the darkroom. :)
04/22/2011 12:02:23 PM · #18
Truth be told... IMHO... Film does not make you a better photographer; anymore than a top of the line Digital camera makes you a better photographer.

That being said, you can get a better image with the best film cameras than you can get with the best digital. This is because film has a wider dynamic range, and in the larger formats much more resolution than currently available digital sensors. On the other hand, you miss fewer opportunities to catch the image you want with digital. The immediate feedback of digital is great for learning, and cheaper too. If you have 3600 clicks on the shutter of your digital camera, that is 100 rolls of film. 100 rolls of color film plus processing, is around $1,600 in these parts. Pays for a pretty decent digital camera.

I recently purchased an EOS Elan 7e, for dirt cheap money on eBay. Even came with a EF lens! I still like the look of film, and there is something about the whole process that speaks to me. But then I'm old. If you cut your teeth on digial cameras and ipods, you will likely not feel the same way. After shooting digital almost exclusively for 13 years now, I hear film calling my name.
04/22/2011 12:21:11 PM · #19
I have a love/hate relationship with my Minolta SR-T 101. I love the way it feels in my hand. I hate that I never use it. Now, if someone would come out with a digital back for it, even if it employed an APS-C sensor, it'd never leave my hands.

Film has just become to cost prohibitive to merge into my workflow.

Message edited by author 2011-04-22 12:21:43.
04/22/2011 03:31:26 PM · #20
Mmmm, I have a Pentax Spotmatic and a Spotmatic II that I recently got new batteries for and am about to buy film for. I don't do my own developing at the moment, but I am looking forward to seeing what I can produce. While cleaning out my grandmother's home, I acquired three old film cameras and I can still get film for all (at a price, lol), but I've been playing a bit with the Duaflex this past week and am excited to see the results. The lens on this is a fixed 72mm, but the aperture can be changed using f8, f11 or f16. The richness of the shots from these cameras is amazing and I've never been able to capture that richness from digital. The other two are old bellows cameras and I want to try using those as well, but need to check for pinholes in the bellows first. Being able to view what these cameras can do and having film for them has pushed me to film even more than the Good Ol' Film thread which started the ball rolling again. (Thanks, Tom!) :P

Guess this is a very long way of saying, there is something exciting about using a tool and pushing yourself to try and achieve the best quality possible based on what that tool can produce. Film doesn't give you instant gratification until you're in the darkroom, so I'm charged with knowing my camera and it's capabilities better. There is something to be said for the anticipation of the result and then there is just the look that can be produced with a film camera that is rare in a digital shot. As previously said, the depth is unmatched with some of the medium format and larger cameras. Film seems to push me a bit more than digital does, so there ya go! :)

(Film is cheap to shoot, still rather inexpensive to have commercially developed and almost all film can still be obtained, no matter how obscure, with the exception of older color as the developing process is no longer readily available commercially.) (Edited for omitted letters.....)

Message edited by author 2011-04-27 12:12:21.
04/24/2011 05:50:34 AM · #21
Some comments on film, from Zack Arias
04/24/2011 06:04:15 AM · #22
try B&H
04/24/2011 02:06:59 PM · #23
I shot and developed 126, 35mm, medium and large format film for over 20 years (beginning in the mid-70s) and still have bad dreams about being out shooting where something goes wrong (not that this actually happened with any frequency, but in my dreams I have very short rolls of film, or no more film, no batteries, left my camera across town and don't have a car, etc. etc.).

Surely there's something to be said for shooting more deliberately with film and having to work harder for the results in the darkroom, but darkrooms are environmentally unfriendly (at least the way I used to dispose of used chemicals as a youth!), inconvenient, expensive, etc.

It's nice to be able to apply traditional film characteristics to digital shots via various plug-ins (grain, discontinued emulsions, surface defects and such), so you may never feel the loss of film in your own work. And working in color is so easy with digital! Not so with film, at least if you're developing it yourself, so you usually end up shooting B&W.

I think film and darkroom technology are most attractive to younger photographers who never had the experience, ha! Those who did usually don't want to go back (at least I don't).
04/24/2011 04:57:18 PM · #24
Originally posted by MargaretN:

Originally posted by ubique:

Originally posted by tph1:

I am no expert, 21.gif ubique.


OK we're agreed then: 21.gif tph1 pretty much sucks. You could try 21.gif Bear_Music instead; he's used 'em all and has the added advantage of being so fabulously ancient that he was an alpha-tester for Louis Daguerre's first kit.

Ha!


Double hah!

I would, however, comment that it's not "film" that makes you a better photographer, today: it's the mindset that drives you into film, in the digital age, that leads you towards "better photography", whatever that may be.

R.
04/24/2011 08:49:51 PM · #25
I got out of photography for a LONG period other than snapshooting whatever avocation I was involved in through the years. I kept many of my film cameras, though. A Linhof 5x7 (grandfather's from the 40's), Canon IVsb (mid-1950s 35mm RF with Leica mount), Kowa 6 (~1972, 6x6 SLR) and Nikon FE (~1978). A few years ago I bought an Olympus 2.1 mp P&S digital, then replaced it with a Canon A590IS. These got me interested in photography again, and last year I bought a Canon G11--something light enough to take on my bike. When I can honestly say the G11 is holding me back from shooting what I want to shoot, I'll probably upgrade to a modern DSLR. In the mean time, the G11 is more capable than I can fully exploit, and for variety, I dusted off the Nikon FE. I have to say, the DSLRs I've handled in camera stores feel like a new Acura. My FE feels more like a vintage Ferrari.

Interesting to read about so many doing work with film on here. Are there any comparable "challenge" sites devoted to film?
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 09/23/2017 11:19:04 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2017 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 09/23/2017 11:19:04 AM EDT.