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Thread: 35mm film in a digital age

  1. #1
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    35mm film in a digital age

    Good evening all

    I shoot a digital and I am very happy with that for what I do. That being said I am currently lusting over Pentax manual cameras such as the K1000 and the spotmatic. I have been considering buying one off of ebay but where my concerns are is once I have taken my photos and the film is finished what do I do then.

    My current "work flow" in digital is SD cards into laptop, import to lightroom, cull photos then process the "keepers". I can then send the ones I want to print to my favourite online printers.

    Having never shot film before im not sure what I would do with my film.

    Do I send it off to an internet processor and get just the film processed?
    Do i do the same but at bricks and mortar store?
    Do I get the film processed and then burnt to disk?
    Do i get the film processed with 6x4 images as proofs?

    ]I'm rambling a bit but I would be interested in peoples opinons on what you do with your film?

    Thanks

    Darren

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Where you get the film developed depends alot on the quality of the images. If you are doing test shots with no particular long term plans for the image use whatever is most convenient. If you think you have some keepers either the brick and mortar or internet processor should do, both are becoming dying breeds. Get the images put on disk if possible otherwise you'll have to scan the images. I have a film camera and usually I'll drop them off at a local pharmacy as all the images are trial and error. I have a friend who is planning to setup a darkroom and once he is setup i will either have him develop them or even learn the process myself, however i have no real desire to undertake this task on a long term basis. About twelve years ago I was still shooting with film and I did a list of pros and cons on why I should go digital, as prices began to become equal I felt digital was the way to go.

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    Downrigger's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    I still shoot with my Nikon 8008s even though my D600 is first team. But I still love the old girl. I get my film processed at a local "conventional and digital professional photo lab" where a 36 roll of slides with miniproof positives, and 15 megabyte jpegs costs me a little over $20. Thus, not cheap. (With the cost of film we're up to about a USD a frame). But different and adds variety to what I have to work with. "Trees, shadows" in minicontest 760 is from a film image.

    I hope someone more expert might add some genuine pros and cons... from a technical perspective. I guess I just like a little dose of real grain now and then.

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    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Thank you both for your comments.


    Just to clarify I'm not thinking about ditching digital for film I just think it would be nice to have a film camera and use it occasionally. So I wonder if the best process would be to get the film developed and scanned to disc then review the images when I get them back. If any of the images are great and worthy of printing I could send them off again for printing.


    Presumably I would be better printing from the negative rather than the disc as the source quality would be superior?

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by gredawarha View Post
    Thank you both for your comments.


    Just to clarify I'm not thinking about ditching digital for film I just think it would be nice to have a film camera and use it occasionally. So I wonder if the best process would be to get the film developed and scanned to disc then review the images when I get them back. If any of the images are great and worthy of printing I could send them off again for printing.


    Presumably I would be better printing from the negative rather than the disc as the source quality would be superior?
    The negative would be the best source. You can also scan negatives into a scanner. I've only tried it a few times, didn't really like the contrast of the scanned images.

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    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    The negative would be the best source. You can also scan negatives into a scanner. I've only tried it a few times, didn't really like the contrast of the scanned images.
    Thanks, I assumed the negative would be the best source. I have a basic scanner but not sure how good the results would be.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by gredawarha View Post
    I'm rambling a bit but I would be interested in peoples opinons on what you do with your film?
    You have NO film cameras and you want to buy one?
    I see little sense in buying a Film Camera which does not fit your DSLR kit – so you already have a Pentax DSLR?

    I also see little sense in shooting 135 format film and then scanning it – if you already have a DSLR.
    Buy a 6cm x 7 cm; 6cm x 9cm – and scan - maybe,
    Buy a 5” x 4” or 10” x 8” with movements, sure, I see the potential and the advantages.

    ***

    If you want to play with film: then develop it and print it from neg, yourself, which in most situations means exclusively B&W.
    OR
    Use transparency – and really test your skill sets.

    ***

    What do I do with film?

    I still have my full kit of 135 Format (Minolta) and also my full kit of 645 Format (Mamiya).

    I sold my 6x7 format (Pentax) kit really early after cutting over to digital.

    Recently, I sold my 5x4 (Linhoff) as I hardly used it, but I loved it and thus I kept it for too long.

    I shoot only B&W and hand print from neg.

    I loan my 135 Minolta gear to Students.

    I got a Canon SLR body recently (really cheap). It fits all my Canon Lenses I have bought for my DSLRs and I use that Film body mostly always now, even though I love my Rokkor Prime Lenses . . .

    35mm film in a digital age

    and I still love my Minolta Kit . . .
    35mm film in a digital age

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 8th March 2013 at 11:58 AM. Reason: corrected typo

  8. #8
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Just about anybody who can develop the kind of film you're using should be able to produce a CD or DVD of the roll. Customarily, they'll only put one roll on each disk. So, you get the 4x6 (or whatever) plus a digital (usually JPEG) of the image.

    For doing the scanning yourself, Plustek has a pretty good reputation. But, my personal most favorite would be a Nikon Coolpix 35mm slide scanner, if I could find one on ebay or some such. Why I liked the Coolpix was because I could set the scanning resolution and then load 50 MOUNTED slides into the stacker and let them run overnight. At the time, I needed to scan approximately 11000 slides for a professor that he'd been using in his lectures since he got his first job.

    With them scanned in, we worked out a gallery program and hooked a database to it for him so he could line up the 30-45 pictures he'd want for a given lecture, instruct the program to line up those images in a separate directory which he'd come in and load into the lecture room's podium and start talking (not that he'd not been talking during the entire loading process, it just wasn't to his students). One extra feature (or feachure) it had was that, if the slide had a paragraph or two describing the content in the actual database, he could also get a printout of those paragraphs in the same order as the slides, so almost a set of lecture notes. It was a very tedious process to get the whole business typed in.

    Hope this helps.

    virginia
    Last edited by drjuice; 8th March 2013 at 11:02 PM.

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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Thought I'd add my own ramblings.

    Until a few weeks ago I was a store manager at Jessops so had a film processor and digital printing lab at my beck and call. I shot the odd roll of film as I quite liked to challenge, I rather enjoyed going back in time and as I had limitless access to both the film itself and processing options afterwards it was just about convenient. It was still an odd experience to get home after a day out with the camera and not have any images to look at. It shouldn't be as I shot with film for a lot longer than I've shot on digital...how times have changed eh?
    The thing is Jessops doesn't exist any longer (well it will in limited form later this month but thats a different story) so I don't have the access I once enjoyed. I still have bags full of film and rather too many film bodies to put them in but what will I do with them once I've shot a few. Do I take them to the local supermarket and let some disinterested teenager maul them for an hour, do I send them by post and let the Royal Mail try its very best to loose them or do I hunt the high street for a photography shop that still has a film processor in the back? It been on my mind of late as the 'look' you get with film is still interesting and fun but I have an inkling that I may not get to experience it again.

  10. #10
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    Thought I'd add my own ramblings.

    Until a few weeks ago I was a store manager at Jessops so had a film processor and digital printing lab at my beck and call. I shot the odd roll of film as I quite liked to challenge, I rather enjoyed going back in time and as I had limitless access to both the film itself and processing options afterwards it was just about convenient. It was still an odd experience to get home after a day out with the camera and not have any images to look at. It shouldn't be as I shot with film for a lot longer than I've shot on digital...how times have changed eh?
    The thing is Jessops doesn't exist any longer (well it will in limited form later this month but thats a different story) so I don't have the access I once enjoyed. I still have bags full of film and rather too many film bodies to put them in but what will I do with them once I've shot a few. Do I take them to the local supermarket and let some disinterested teenager maul them for an hour, do I send them by post and let the Royal Mail try its very best to loose them or do I hunt the high street for a photography shop that still has a film processor in the back? It been on my mind of late as the 'look' you get with film is still interesting and fun but I have an inkling that I may not get to experience it again.
    Sad to hear about that. My Uncle works for HMV so he is in a similar position although so far his store has remained open.

    I know what you mean about the supermarkets some people have found them to be okay but like you say it is entirely dependent on the operator

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    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    Just about anybody who can develop the kind of film you're using should be able to produce a CD or DVD of the roll. Customarily, they'll only put one roll on each disk. So, you get the 4x6 (or whatever) plus a digital (usually JPEG) of the image.

    For doing the scanning yourself, Plustek has a pretty good reputation. But, my personal most favorite would be a Nikon Coolpix 35mm slide scanner, if I could find one on ebay or some such. Why I liked the Coolpix was because I could set the scanning resolution and then load 50 MOUNTED slides into the stacker and let them run overnight. At the time, I needed to scan approximately 11000 slides for a professor that he'd been using in his lectures since he got his first job.

    With them scanned in, we worked out a gallery program and hooked a database to it for him so he could line up the 30-45 pictures he'd want for a given lecture, instruct the program to line up those images in a separate directory which he'd come in and load into the lecture room's podium and start talking (not that he'd not been talking during the entire loading process, it just wasn't to his students). One extra feature (or feachure) it had was that, if the slide had a paragraph or two describing the content in the actual database, he could also get a printout of those paragraphs in the same order as the slides, so almost a set of lecture notes. It was a very tedious process to get the whole business typed in.

    Hope this helps.

    virginia
    Hi Virginia thank you for your comments. I dont think I will go the route of investing in a scanner but I appreciate the comments

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    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    You have NO film cameras and you want to buy one?
    I see little sense in buying a Film Camera which does not fit your DSLR kit – so you already have a Pentax DSLR?

    I also see little sense in shooting 135 format film and then scanning it – if you already have a DSLR.
    Buy a 6cm x 7 cm; 6cm x 9cm – and scan - maybe,
    Buy a 5” x 4” or 10” x 8” with movements, sure, I see the potential and the advantages.

    ***

    If you want to play with film: then develop it and print it from neg, yourself, which in most situations means exclusively B&W.
    OR
    Use transparency – and really test your skill sets.

    ***

    What do I do with film?

    I still have my full kit of 135 Format (Minolta) and also my full kit of 645 Format (Mamiya).

    I sold my 6x7 format (Pentax) kit really early after cutting over to digital.

    Recently, I sold my 5x4 (Linhoff) as I hardly used it, but I loved it and thus I kept it for too long.

    I shoot only B&W and hand print from neg.

    I loan my 135 Minolta gear to Students.

    I got a Canon SLR body recently (really cheap). It fits all my Canon Lenses I have bought for my DSLRs and I use that Film body mostly always now, even though I love my Rokkor Prime Lenses . . .

    35mm film in a digital age

    and I still love my Minolta Kit . . .
    35mm film in a digital age

    WW

    Hi Bill

    I have a Nikon D3100 with 35mm 18-55mm and 50-200mm lenses. I just like the look of the old pentax k1000 and spotmatics, just saw a video on youtube of the olympus OM2 which was equally gorgeous.

    That is a lovely minolta kit you have there, gorgeous!

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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    I am getting the Canon AE-1 kit that I learned photography on back from my Dad, who does not want it anymore.
    As much as I love digital photography, I find film photography to be greatly underrated.
    Not sure about a source for buying unexpired film.
    As for processing, not sure if setting up a darkroom in my house is a good idea or if I should find a place to develop my pics.

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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by gredawarha View Post
    I have a Nikon D3100 with 35mm 18-55mm and 50-200mm lenses. I just like the look of the old pentax k1000 and spotmatics, just saw a video on youtube of the olympus OM2 which was equally gorgeous. That is a lovely minolta kit you have there, gorgeous!
    Hi Darren,

    Thank you about my Minolta Kit.

    I understand the allure of the Spotmatic: I really do.

    But, if I were you, I would look at Nikon SLR - they made one or two very spunky cameras also.

    I'd also look at what (old) Nikkor lenses might fit the Nikon SLR and also fit (easily) your DSLR - the stable of their famous 105's comes to my mind, immediately.

    I understand that the two smaller Image Circle Lenses you have for your D3100 will not be useful on a Nikon Film SLR, but any older lenses you might buy for a Nikon Film SLR, should be looked at for use with your Digital Kit, also - best of both worlds.

    WW

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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by Gospelflier View Post
    As much as I love digital photography, I find film photography to be greatly underrated.
    Not sure about a source for buying unexpired film.
    I was at an outdoor art show recently in Palm Springs CA (down for a visit), and there was a very good landscape photographer exhibiting her prints. She uses Fuji Velvia.

    I mentioned that I could emulate the "Velvia look" with digital and she replied, "why not just use Velvia then"?

    I didn't have the heart to say that with one digital image, I could emulate Velvia, Ektachrome, Kodachrome, Tri-X, and all the others - and make copies for virtually no cost at all - and only develop/print good images. And cross-processing (split-toning in Lightroom) is also very simple - without destroying the original.

    Anyone tried Daguerreotypes lately?

    Glenn

  16. #16
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    My first camera was a range finder hold your hand out look at the shadow to determine exposure manual everything 35mm. Now I can bracket up down and sideways, delete and motor drive my way to a good shoot...

    Perhaps the greatest advantage to film is that it forced you to focus (sorry) on the shot because you only had 36 and it cost real $$ and several hours at the photolab to see what you had captured. It taught discipline and patience as opposed to the instant quick review self gratification of digital...

  17. #17
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by CP140 View Post
    My first camera was a range finder hold your hand out look at the shadow to determine exposure manual everything 35mm. Now I can bracket up down and sideways, delete and motor drive my way to a good shoot...

    Perhaps the greatest advantage to film is that it forced you to focus (sorry) on the shot because you only had 36 and it cost real $$ and several hours at the photolab to see what you had captured. It taught discipline and patience as opposed to the instant quick review self gratification of digital...
    If i recall the costs of film was pretty reasonable (pharmacy prices), it was the cost of development that created frugal artists. I don't mind buying a roll or two if working on a particular project but I rarely reach for the film camera these days. Too easy to stay digital.

  18. #18
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Hi Darren,

    Thank you about my Minolta Kit.

    I understand the allure of the Spotmatic: I really do.

    But, if I were you, I would look at Nikon SLR - they made one or two very spunky cameras also.

    I'd also look at what (old) Nikkor lenses might fit the Nikon SLR and also fit (easily) your DSLR - the stable of their famous 105's comes to my mind, immediately.

    I understand that the two smaller Image Circle Lenses you have for your D3100 will not be useful on a Nikon Film SLR, but any older lenses you might buy for a Nikon Film SLR, should be looked at for use with your Digital Kit, also - best of both worlds.

    WW
    Hi Bill

    I will certainly look at Nikon film SLR's I can certainly see the logic in your vaild and reasoned argument. WOuld you care to name the "spunky cameras" that you were thinking of?

  19. #19
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Quote Originally Posted by CP140 View Post
    Perhaps the greatest advantage to film is that it forced you to focus (sorry) on the shot because you only had 36 and it cost real $$ and several hours at the photolab to see what you had captured. It taught discipline and patience as opposed to the instant quick review self gratification of digital...
    I certainly agree with that - I'm still using the same approach - it really does save on shutter life.

    Glenn

  20. #20
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm film in a digital age

    Okay I have bitten the bullet and bought a 35mm film camera. I have just bought on ebay a Pentax ME Super fingers crossed it is a good example. The photos looked good as did the description. Seems that it was owned by an elderly lady a relation to the seller.

    It comes with a Kiron 28-70mm f/3.5 - 4.5 which I know little about but I have my eye on some fast 50mm primes.

    Nexy thing to do is think about what film to buy and where from in the UK so if anybody has any comments I would be keen to hear from you.

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