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19 hours ago, adan said:

I find it - amusing - that anyone would think film type - or even film vs. digital, would somehow imply some "decade." As if a decade had a "look" photographically. I think this mostly amounts to "fantasy nostalgia" - "fantasy" because it is nostalgia from people who possibly didn't even experience those decades.

 

I hope that you are joking! There is a huge difference in character from colour film images vs (un-manipulated) digital, which is particularly large when comparing results from cheaper consumer grade films. Just the grain alone as well as the inherent reduction in resolving power of the film is substantial, not to mention how the film responds to over/under exposure etc.

In my case I was looking to produce contrasting tourist snapshots - explicitly not professional grade images shot with the best quality cameras and film. The 80’s style would come from the combination of rendering and the choice of subject matter, with the aim of visually framing how tourism affects a city. It would use old Minolta consumer lenses either mounted on a film body or adapted to Leica digital. Having just digitised an archive of such images from the 70’s through to the 90’s I want to match the results precisely.

 

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Popping back into the thread to relay another experience.

In the mid 2000s I shot a fair bit of film, especially on interstate and overseas trips. My main cameras were a pocket digital and a pocket film camera, so anything from a Canon S70 to G10, with a Contax T3, Fuji Natura Black or Zeiss Ikon (which brought me to the Leica experience). As much as I enjoy the convenience, cleanness and flexibility of digital, my film days were some of my most photographically enjoyable. I returned from a trip to China with multiple gigabytes of digital images and video, but also with at least one roll of film per day for two weeks. Same with going to Hong Kong - as much as I love the digital images taken with my M9 in later trips, there's something intangibly fun and 'unique' about the film images I took. They are imperfect and organic, which contributes to their sense of being a 'memory' rather than a capture.

But again, I couldn't shoot only film. I shoot way too much for this to be financially viable or logistically convenient. My personal shooting is as much about daily documentation as anything, so there's a lot of dreck which would be wasted on film.

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13 hours ago, Mark II said:

I hope that you are joking! There is a huge difference in character from colour film images vs (un-manipulated) digital, which is particularly large when comparing results from cheaper consumer grade films.

Oh, there is certainly a difference between unmanipulated digital and film.

I  just, quite seriously, question the idea that manipulating digital - especially at the simplistic level of throwing in some grain and maybe some saturation changes - works as some kind of time machine. (Except at the extremes - Ko.Fe. manages to take us back to 1826, more or less ;) )

If that were true, my little quiz would be easy for anyone to answer. (BTW all my quiz-pix are 35mm format, with gear that was generally below the Pro level for its era - and, in keeping with this thread's title - only film (that's a hint) and generally consumer film, available in any drugstore of the era (another hint).)

If you are talking about differences due to skill level or sophistication of seeing, or avoidance thereof (vernacular photography), that hardly depends on any particular emulsion look. There exist millions of vernacular pictures (unsophisticated tourist and family snaps) made with Kodachrome and Leicas, for example. Or with medium-format Rolleis or Yashicas or folding Agfas on a variety of films. Or (virtually grainless) Polaroids. I suffered through quite a few "here I am in front of the Eiffel Tower" grainless-Kodachrome slide-shows, even in the 1980s.

Just seems to me you have a narrow vision about what 1980s (or any other decade's) photography really looked like, and keep trying to call that narrow vision "80s-style" - when it isn't recognizable as such to anyone who was there, or has actually studied the era's photographic habits.

 

 

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4 hours ago, adan said:

f you are talking about differences due to skill level or sophistication of seeing, or avoidance thereof (vernacular photography), that hardly depends on any particular emulsion look. There exist millions of vernacular pictures (unsophisticated tourist and family snaps) made with Kodachrome and Leicas, for example. Or with medium-format Rolleis or Yashicas or folding Agfas on a variety of films. Or (virtually grainless) Polaroids. I suffered through quite a few "here I am in front of the Eiffel Tower" grainless-Kodachrome slide-shows, even in the 1980s

Maybe in the US, but not here in Spain. Most of the cameras and films that you name were luxury items well beyond the means of most people.

4 hours ago, adan said:

Just seems to me you have a narrow vision about what 1980s (or any other decade's) photography really looked like, and keep trying to call that narrow vision "80s-style" - when it isn't recognizable as such to anyone who was there, or has actually studied the era's photographic habits.

As someone who was actively photographing in the 80's I find this rather offensive. The "narrow vision" seems more appropriate for those that lack the vision or will to approach projects differently to others.

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On 1/12/2019 at 9:57 PM, ianman said:

.... deleted... can't be bothered

Quite.

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6 hours ago, Mark II said:

Most of the cameras and films that you name were luxury items well beyond the means of most people.

...and yet you say you are trying to replicate their pictures (or "the look" of their pictures) with a Leica M7 or M10. Or a Minolta X-700 - hardly a "bottom-of-the-barrel" camera. Plus €300+ (three times the price of a consumer P&S, then or now, film or digital) for C1.

Seems like a contradiction, right there.

But anyway, enjoy your project.

 

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I am using adapted lenses and running test films to find the look that I need - trying to get the results I need with the resources that I have available. And surprisingly I have researched what kinds of equipment were common here, in a period where Spain was still emerging from a dictatorship and rapidly opening up towards Europe.

You are as far as I know a good photographer with a lot of experience and knowledge, but I wonder if you realise that your responses in this thread come across as rather arrogant and insulting. This site is generally good at encouraging people to work on their photography and I encourage anyone posting to work towards that aim.

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Well, Mark, you aren't the first to tell me that - and I'm sure you won't be the last. So long as people like my pictures and buy them, whether they like me or not is, frankly, not high on my list of priorities.

The picture below was made with what is reportedly Peter Karbe's "least-favorite Leica lens ever." Nevertheless, I happily put my opinion of a lens above that of Leica's chief optical designer - that's pretty arrogant, right there.

If it makes you feel any better, there's an old newsroom joke that "editors always think everything tastes better if they pee in it." Well, I've been an editor and worked with editors - and maybe that slips out sometimes.

However, one thing I learned long ago in this cosa nostra ("thing of ours") is that the least important component of great photographs is the "stuff" behind the shutter. And in most cases (dare I say this on a Leica forum?) everything between the lens cap and the eyepiece. What is in front of the lens, and what goes on behind the eyepiece, are far more important. Putting style and technique and "stuff" above content is a dead-end road.

You mentioned "authenticity" earlier. I like it. Today's world is too full of "phony" and "fake" as it is. When I decided to makes square 6x6 pictures, I got a Hasselblad (pretty cheap these days) because it produces negs just a little bit smaller than other 6x6 cameras, and so I could scan them with the authentic, natural black borders included, instead of pasting something on in Photoshop. That pretty much extends to everything else: I stick with the "nature of the medium." If that is film, it should look like film - if it is digital, it should look like digital.

Maybe that comes from growing up in the business when photographs still somewhat had to "look like a painting" to be considered Art. Phooey!

And (strictly personal preference here) I don't see a lot of value in photographing in 2019 and pretending it was some other year. Let the past bury its dead. I try to cope with the world as it is today and will be tomorrow. Now perhaps that seems weird from someone using a 1980s lens to photograph 2019. But I don't see the lens's "look" as especially "1980s" one way or the other. It just does a nice job of capturing 2019 as 2019.

M10, 75 Summilux at f/1.4

 

 

 

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I definitely agree that style and technique above content is unwise, however anyone undertaking an extended project inevitably must have some idea of these things if the project is to be coherent.

I am currently finishing off a long term documentary project looking at aspects of populism. Although it is first and foremost a documentary project, it was shot on film with the aim of deliberately recalling historical images connected to the events of today (in this case, history is literally repeating itself). This has been really hard, because it also needed corresponding scenes and framing to back that up - which needs a lot of luck when photographing things outside of your control. There was also a desire to have real negatives as a comment against photoshop and "fake news". But in the final set there are two images that were impossible for me to shoot on film (ISO, extreme focal-length), and which are processed to look as close as possible to the film images. But I have been very tempted to shoot real film images from clean digital prints, not only to match the film rendering exactly, but also so that I have physical "fake" negatives to make the comment on authenticity (and lack thereof) rather more poignant.

Re the colour project, I agree that there is no point in simply re-creating tourist snaps - there are mountains of originals which are much better (a tour of Barcelona's flea markets will give you ancient negatives and plates that would themselves be a fascinating project). However, the intent here is very much not that, but rather to look at the changes mass tourism is causing.

For me, photography is fundamentally about making personal statements about the things that I see or care about, whether in a single image or an extended body of work. Intelligently choosing to use (or not use) film for that is a choice that depends on the intent.

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On 8/7/2018 at 5:20 PM, 250swb said:

More megapixels for some people who've been into a camera shop are the aim itself, but on the other hand photographers can use any camera that suits their style. So it isn't worth starting a war. It has always been thus even in the 35mm vs. large format debates, you'd get some with a large format camera thinking they were God's gift to photography simply because it's large format, and others who used the camera that best fitted what they wanted to say and how they wanted to say it, and without crowing about it.

Yes. Why use a screwdriver to hammer a nail or a hammer to cut a board. One should find the best tool suited for the task, learn how to use it properly and forget the chest pounding. The pursuit should not be reduced to a contest. And did I mention enjoy yourself?

Bob

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Posted (edited)

Never went digital.  Always film.  I like the process.  I generally like the B&W of film better then digital.  I do it for fun; not a professional photographer.  Only shoot about 200 rolls a year, and I roll, develop and scan my own, so not insanely expensive.  After reading threads about the problems with even Leica digitals, I probably saved myself some aggravation.  Glad we still have a choice! 

Edited by SteveYork

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I shot film for years before I was  forced to shoot digital. Most was for money, professional: no money,  just for fun amateur. Starting in the 70's and until retirement in 2003. Along the way I was a forensic photographer, shooting stock, and editorial work for publishers. I moved laterally in the early 1990's after a newspaper photographer introduced me to digital. His paper had made the switch and eliminated the 'wet' darkroom. The manipulations that he could achieve was staggering, when compared to dodging, burning, cropping. Shooting both mediums I found that I preferred film over digital. Each has good and bad points, but I still feel that there was nothing like a Kodak Kodachrome 25 transparency.

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I’m an amateur photographer, for me, it is a medium/cost issue. I lost access to a darkroom in 2008. Up until then I always shot film on a M2 or Nikon FM2. Suddenly the cost to shoot a roll was a bit too much. 

Presently I shoot a Fuji X100f. It’s always set to manual or aperture priority. I’ve stripped the view finders (it has an OVF and an EVF) to the exposure meter only to try and simulate the simplicity I miss of my film cameras. I kept the M2 and shoot a couple rolls a month. 

Honestly, I enjoy shooting in both mediums. Each has their “fun” factor for me. 

Shooting the M2 using sunny 16 or a shoe mounted light meter can be a challenge. I like the anticipation I feel when I send roll off to the developer; the excitement of scanning the image and seeing my results. 

Yet the cost of those adventures, financially and otherwise, (ever forget to take off the lens cap, Doh!) can be a bit of a snag. The instant gratification of shooting digital is addictive. I shoot RAW so there is often a “digital development” of the shot is part of the process I use I enjoy.

Nonetheless, I can see why someone might want to be wed to one or the other medium. My pet peeve if the mechanics involved taking the shot. I hate that my Fuji has all those buttons and the LCD screen. I try to avoid chimping but I’m weak. My M2 is so simple, frame, adjust for exposure, focus and shoot. I love the “click” of the shutter and the little battle in my head two retake the shot or move on. It slows you down and forces you to think about the image you are creating. But can you catch the dog or your nephew doing something on the spur-of-the moment.

Maybe what I need is an M-D. Anyone have a spare they do not need lying around?

 

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It's an interesting topic, thanks to Paul for having started it. 

I would lie if I said that I didn't use both. I have an iPhone for family snaps but use Hipstamatic because I cannot stand the look of digital images, and I like square images. I also have an EOS 5D2 for use mainly as a light meter for flash photography.

But when I "photograph" - be it at family events or on family trips, when out and about with friends or for my own photo projects etc - then it is with 35mm and medium format film. I was recently seen in ski slopes with a M6TTL and 50mm lens around my neck/under my ski jacket and the Hasselblad in my backpack.

As with so many other things film vs digital is a personal choice with which there is nothing wrong. It is simply a preference. I just continually choose to use film because it is what I have always used and what I like. It is my preference. But I did give digital an honest chance, and used it parallel with film for 1,5 years. Then I realised that it is just not for me with respect to my photography.

I enjoy the film process from start to finish, but I don't buy the "it slows you down" mantra that is so often heard. I don't care how much film I shoot. I'd rather shoot too many frames, bracket to hell etc than miss the opportunity. Film is cheap when compared to the costs of having to return later to a location. Certainly I am aware that there are regular expenses involved and that pressing the shutter 'costs' something, but those are costs I gladly pay to be able to enjoy the wonderful results film gives. Putting this in context, and perhaps particularly at a forum dedicated to a premium brand like Leica, for the cost of a digital M body one can buy a very large amount of film and development. 

Scanning is often lambasted as a drag. Personally I like it. I enjoy that it gives me complete control. I'd rather have a cheaper adequate scanner and invest my own time in learning how to get the most of it than pay for a lab scan with which I would be unhappy. Again each to their own. I am lucky to have access to several high quality scanners, including a Flextight X1 which is simply put an amazing machine. But there are many other ways, and digitizing using a DSLR is definitely the way to go for anyone wanting to give film a go. It is what I will do if ever my scanners would all give up the ghost because I know that it gives really excellent results. It may seem a strange thing to say, but in many ways buying a high-end scanner like the X1 will result in a considerable improvement to the quality of one's photos than buying a Noctilux or 50 APO.

Someone mentioned earlier that now is the best time to shoot film. I have said this for years. True, many emulsions have been lost, but there is still a good choice left. And the optical quality of lenses today is fantastic which lets us get every ounce of quality from the films. 

I wanted also to thank Mark for posting the interesting comparison below. It was completely obvious to me that the first one was film. A combination of the the bright life-less red side of the cable car on the digital image and the slightly "dirty-looking" shadows on the film image gave it away. It is virtually always the highlights that give it away. On the 100% crops one can see how unreal the 'grain' looks. Nevertheless it is an interesting comparison and shows well that digital can be made to look quite nice, though - to me, I hasten to add - it begs the question of why not, then, just shoot film.

I hope this is not read as an attempt at bashing digital. It is not intended as such. I fully respect those who prefer and advocate for digital photography. It is only that I don't like it very much.

br

Philip

 

On 1/7/2019 at 4:33 PM, Mark II said:

Here are two colour examples: can you tell which is film and which is digital? And would it really make a difference even if you could?

(please excuse the subject matter/framing!)

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Interesing theme.
I consider myself an amateur with a low level of knowledge, I have almost always used digital. Recently I started using the analog with Leica LTM IIIf and IIIG.

At this moment I am not convinced which is better.

It seems to me successful what some indicate to do the two systems.

The proof that Mark II has done with the 2 photos, the idea is very good, as long as the shots have the same frame.

I think the test would be better using a pattern of still images, the same lens in both cameras and the same frame.

regards

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On 7/8/2018 at 22:24, Paul Verrips said:

Me preguntaba cuántos de ustedes dejaron de disparar en formato digital y solo filmaron.

 

Dejé de grabar digitalmente en 2014 y solo filmé en blanco y negro (incluso en días festivos). Y fue mi mejor elección en fotografía, además de cambiar al telémetro Leica (comencé con un M9).

 

De vez en cuando leo algunas publicaciones en temas no relacionados con películas y todo se trata de megapíxeles, la resolución y la próxima M. digital. Estoy tan feliz de que ya no me interesa.

 

¿Qué hay de tí?

 

Thank you for having opened the thread:

In digital, many cameras are bought to stay up to date.

In analogy do not fall short ..:

In its perfir it appears ..:
Leica / MA / M7 / M4 / M2 products

Unless you're a collector Why so many analog cameras? .. If with M2 or M4, it would be enough ..

a greeting

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On 3/16/2019 at 12:58 PM, Dopaco said:

Thank you for having opened the thread:

In digital, many cameras are bought to stay up to date.

In analogy do not fall short ..:

In its perfir it appears ..:
Leica / MA / M7 / M4 / M2 products

Unless you're a collector Why so many analog cameras? .. If with M2 or M4, it would be enough ..

a greeting

It's an addiction...... I shoot M-A 95% of the time and M7 5%.
 

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13 hours ago, Paul Verrips said:

It's an addiction...... I shoot M-A 95% of the time and M7 5%.
 

Interesting, why so much more with the M-A vs the M7? How long / how many rolls did it take you to become sufficiently adept at manual exposure? This is the issue I have with buying a M-A; I'm so used to automatic exposure with the M9 and M7 that I'm concerned I'd waste a lot of film before achieving dependable skill.

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Posted (edited)

You don’t have to rely on just guessing with the M-A of course.  I happily use one together with a tiny Gossen digiflash2 light meter.  Due to highly variable amounts of light in the tropics I’ve not even started to really learn to guess.  However, it is quite relaxing to take a reading once and then keep the shutter speed and aperture about the same until there is a big change in light.

Another benefit of using a light meter is being extra judicial about the amount of light to let in.  With reflective metering I try to point to what might be representative, while with incident metering I’m sure what I’m getting.

Edited by harmen
Adding a benefit

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