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BerndReini

The look of film

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My M8 has been in New Jersey for upgrade, so I decided to shoot some film with my MP after a long time. I picked just up a roll of B&W Neopan 400 and a roll of color neg Ektar from processing and the results blew me away. The latitude is so amazing and the shallow depth of field of the lenses with the full frame 35 format is absolutely stunning. I have been using my M8 almost exclusively for the last two years, but I will have to start shooting some more film again.

 

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

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Yes, enjoy shooting with Portra VC160 and Ektar in my MP. The look is different and interesting. But when I look back at how sharp the M8 pictures are I get reminded of how good that is.

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I still utterly enjoy using my M6 with film. My M8 is due to arrive next week thursday, and I actually have no big expectations as to the results being similar, after all film is not digital vv.

I hope to find simplicity in using the M8.2 with a still good overall IQ. I find that film is great but digital would be so much easier to use. I have a 4 month backlog digitalizing even my best film shots, and truthfully I don't think this will ever be done. But I do agree with the statement that film and M's are magnificent.

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I still utterly enjoy using my M6 with film. My M8 is due to arrive next week thursday, and I actually have no big expectations as to the results being similar, after all film is not digital vv.

I hope to find simplicity in using the M8.2 with a still good overall IQ. I find that film is great but digital would be so much easier to use. I have a 4 month backlog digitalizing even my best film shots, and truthfully I don't think this will ever be done. But I do agree with the statement that film and M's are magnificent.

After a few months with your new digital camera you will find a different sort of backlog building up unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time with your computer. <G>

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I agree that shooting film is quite a bit of hassle, but it is honestly not as bad anymore. After taking so many pictures with my M8, I have really gotten to know my own style and I shoot a lot less and spend more time previsualizing.

The sharpness and low grain of the M8 really is wonderful, but in terms of latitude it behaves like slide film. Even though the M8 has more dynamic range than slide film, the toe and shoulder do not have as gradual of a fall-off, i.e. when your highlights go, they clip abruptly. When that happens on someone's skin, it is just ugly and cannot be salvaged, whereas with negative, you can overexpose, and the highlights gradually roll of into white, which is quite beautiful.

 

The other aspect is the depth of field and behavior of the lens around the edges. The 35mm 1.4 wide open really gives you a razor thin depth of field on the larger negative area, and what I was absolutely in love with were the results with my Noctilux at night shooting in the city.

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After a few months with your new digital camera you will find a different sort of backlog building up unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time with your computer. <G>

 

True but it sure goes faster. I'm scanning negs. for an article right now and it is very slow going (for high quality scans with the needed tonal info.). The difference in speed, for my work, is drastic.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Yep...film cuts the mustard ...

 

digital is ok for speed and convenience as sean mentions, but we don't want another film vs digital thread do we, or do we?

 

andy

 

enjoy your film..it tastes better

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The 35mm 1.4 wide open really gives you a razor thin depth of field on the larger negative area, and what I was absolutely in love with were the results with my Noctilux at night shooting in the city.
Bernd, phantastic images esp. Mels drive in, was that the Noctilux on M8 or is it film??? Anyways, you can see the stars (or planets) just next to the Neon sign which is really nice!!

Thanks!!

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It's not necessarily «digital VS film»? Can't it be just «Digital COMPARED to film»? Or «Digital AND film, pros and cons, artistically and technically». Or something like that? I know I'm going back to b&w film these days, and I enjoy it more than ever. This does not mean I dnon't like digital anymore. In fact, I find it fantastic for a lots of applications, and convenient, and beautiful, and at times spectacular. But for b&w? I've tried many, many ways to convert digital color images to b&w, and was never satisfied. So, I guess it is now digital for color, film for b&w. At least for the time being, things change so fast. Who knows, maybe we'll see a Leica M9BW (or a Nikon F3BW, for that matter) dedicated to b&w, with real good emulations of great films like Tri-X or APX 100. Oh, that would be so sweet

In the meantime, I may buy a used M6 to carry along with my M8 and lenses. The best of both worlds, no?

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Thank you, Stephen. I'm sorry to say that what looks like stars is unfortunately only dust on the negative. These were just relatively small preview scans and I just did some auto cleaning with digital ice.

It was the Noctilux on the new Kodak Ektar film, which is beautiful. You can see the vignetting on the corners, which unfortunately gets mostly lost with the cropped M8 sensor, especially if you leave on the lens recognition and correction. I also don't think, the M8, while very good, would have held the range of highlights in the neon sign and the dark sky as well.

 

As far as film vs. digital is concerned, I don't want to open that can of worms again. I shoot almost exclusively digital with the M8 and love the results. I definitely agree that film is a lot of work with scanning etc. However, I was just very surprised at how forgiving it is as far as latitude and how much fun it is to shoot and anticipate the results.

 

I should get my upgraded M8 back on Monday and it will be my work horse again, I am sure. But I promised myself that I will continue shooting some film here and there, even if it's just for fun. I just shoot a couple of rolls, take them to my lab and have them process only for $8 a roll, and enjoy this artistic medium as long as it is around. I also just recently got a Contax 645 package with a full set of Zeiss lenses including the unbelievable 120mm Makro Planar, and I enjoy shooting B&W portraits until the prices for a medium format back come down far enough for me to justify the expense.

 

despite the risk of angering the mods, I shall post a portrait with the incredible 120mm on the Contax 645 with TMAX 400:

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For some reason - and I'm not entirely sure why, other than I'm a fall-guy for blondes - I really love the image of the woman running across the street. It has drama, and I love the double shadow, but most of all the lovely grain and color! Darn I love film!

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James,

 

I don't blame you for laughing, I deserve it. In our defense though, I am not sure whether you own an M8 or not; it is an incredible camera, sharper than negative film, more dynamic range than slide film, and unbelievably flexible and convenient. Once you use one of these bad boys, it is really easy to forget about your film M.

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I really love the image of the woman running across the street. It has drama, and I love the double shadow

 

I have to disagree, a double shadow would be ok, but one that identifies the photographer destroys the mystique IMHO. Feel free to disagree.

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It is actually partially what I like about the picture. Normally, I would agree, but there is some "Marilyn Monroe" paparazzi thing going on in this picture, especially with the motion blur. As plasticman said, he doesn't know why he likes it. I feel the same way. Definitely not a technically great shot and I don't expect to win any photo contests with it, but I like it.

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I also just moved back to film after almost 10 years away from it. The time away has brought some much needed perspective to the look and feel of it. There is a chemical and reactive nature to film. It's almost organic and alive. Digital, while important and extremely precise, does lack the visceral quality of film where light spills over and causes a reaction that is amorphous in nature.

 

After only a few rolls shot with my old Minolta XE-7 I picked up a M7. I have only put a single roll through it but with results like this I am sure to keep shooting film:

 

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I just need a decent and cheap solution for scanning the negs.

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Guest malland
I have to disagree, a double shadow would be ok, but one that identifies the photographer destroys the mystique IMHO. Feel free to disagree.
I do, without the photographer's shadow it's just a humdrum picture; with the double shadow it becomes interesting. However, I think that it would be improved if the color cast were eliminated. Despite the degree to which many people like the shallower depth of field of full frame cameras, for this picture I would prefer a smaller aperture to get more DOF.

 

Generally, for street photography, I prefer looking deeply into the frame and feel that using o-o-f backgrounds to "isolate the subject" is often becomes trite.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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I do, without the photographer's shadow it's just a humdrum picture; with the double shadow it becomes interesting. However, I think that it would be improved if the color cast were eliminated. Despite the degree to which many people like the shallower depth of field of full frame cameras, for this picture I would prefer a smaller aperture to get more DOF.

 

Generally, for street photography, I prefer looking deeply into the frame and feel that using o-o-f backgrounds to "isolate the subject" is often becomes trite.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

 

here we go here we go--love the colour cast!--and the double shadow.

 

its "son" of "women are beautiful"...

 

that is the ektar correct? it seems to scan and not have the grain exacerbated.

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