[rollei_list] Re: age old digital vs film debate...again...was RE: OT Ancient Computers

  • From: Thor Legvold <tlegvold@xxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 18:28:21 +0100

So basically what you're saying is that with digital you don't have to plan as much. It doesn't require one to be as structured or professional.


People managed to shoot weddings with Hassies and get plenty of great shots (at 12 frames/roll), I wouldn't say that the results have gotten better with 35mm or digital. You just have to organize yourself differently. With digital you don't have to organize yourself much at all it seems. Just fire away and then spend time sorting through the avalanche of data. Instead of spending time on capturing the proper instant, people spend time 'fixing it in the mix' (i.e. PhotoShop). In music (one of my trades) that just means more time spent fixing things, and the result will never be as good as if you recorded it right in the first place.

I was at an amusement park last summer with my son, he was driving a miniature car (one of the rides). I found a nice viewpoint, metered the light and focused at about the point where he would appear (with a manual FM3a), and fired off 2 or 3 shots of him as he came around the bend. Another father came and stood beside me with his prosumer digital rig, his kid came around the bend and it sounded like a machine gun as he fired off I don't know how many gazillion shots. Ugh. For me that's not what photography is about.

Maybe (maybe) I could understand the need in sports (where you absolutely have to get a shot), or a war zone (where you want to keep in safety), but on the other hand it seems that all this new kit requires less and less of the trade, of knowledge, awareness, of making the tools an extension of yourself, and is something "anyone" can do. It makes me appreciate all the more photographers who were able to excel while using (by todays standards) primitive equipment - Capa and the Contax II, Penn and the Rolleiflex spring to mind, I'm sure there are *countless* others.

My experience is that real creativity and excellence appears more often when there are limitations. Today's equipment does 'everything' and removes all limitations, which also (IMHO) removes the photographer from really immersing him/her self in the act itself, of getting 'in the zone' to borrow a phrase from a different discipline.

While I appreciate technology, I don't see it as a solution in many cases. Usually it carries with it it's own problems and challenges (which we have so far conveniently ignored as a society). And I'm a comparatively young guy. Both film and digital have merits, but I know for me at least, I'm a better photographer when working manually, with film, than with a digital wonder box that does everything for me. Even if I can turn off all the bells and whistles.

Just my rant.

Cheers,
Thor



On 15. jan.. 2009, at 00.39, Peter K. wrote:

Austin,

Look all I did was offer an opinion with some numbers. You can look at things several ways and crunch numbers like you want. I have not seen many places that do 35mm film development only for $2-3. It could be cost effective. But now you have to add in scanning and a scanner. And the photos do not magically organize themselves whether you have them in print or scans of negatives. So your $12 an hour comment is meaningless. No matter how you try there are still 10K images from film or digital to organize. And no way around it, so for me it equals out. Plus if I am shooting an event, I do not have to change rolls. Think about it. The bride walks down the aisle. Uh- oh. I am on frame 35. But with digital, I have thousands of available shots. Sure I could have a second camera but again then you would have a limited # of shots with film. Not with digital and a decent size memory card. And I can take 3000 shots and throw away 2000 and have 1000 great shots and guess what, it cost me nothing but the time to look at them. A big benefit for a wedding photographer. I can shoot 3-5 shots of a group, if someone closes there eyes in one I go to the next where they are open.

Austin, somehow I knew you would want to argue this. Not sure why you always do this but I am not looking to start a long thread here. So let's just say, different strokes for different folks. You like film, great. Others like digital. Let's leave it alone.

Respond all you want but I will not answer because it will only lead to more posts.

Peter K

On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 1:45 PM, austin.franklin@xxxxxxxxxxx <austin.franklin@xxxxxxxxxxx > wrote:
Hi Peter,

> So if we take a roll of 36 exp and figure $10 for processing

Simply develop only is a LOT cheaper, like $2-$3.

> ...still a $2100 savings over processing.

Amount of time to deal with (copy, organize, Photoshop, print etc.) 10,000 digital images...worth far more than $2100. Unless you are unemployed, or make just above $12/hour, or simply like spending your spare time dealing
with 10,000 digital images.

In reality, Peter, you're not including a LOT of expenses that, for some strange reason, digital justifiers tend to handily leave out in order to "make their case" for digital offering a "savings" over film. It does for
some, no doubt, but for most people, it's just not the case.

Regards,

Austin


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