Friday, May 08, 2009

Why do I shoot film

A friend asked me this question today on flickr why do I still shoot using film? This is a good question and I often ask myself the same thing. This is pretty relevant topic since I actually had just purchased 20 rolls from Adorama for an up coming trip.

Personally I'm still torn between ditching film totally or sticking with it. Back in 2004 I purchased Canon Elan 7NE which is a great camera and there is nothing wrong with it, so why throw it away. Another part me also feels that something would be lost if I switched to digital. Digital media can be very liquid if you don't do regular back ups or save things to CD then all would be lost if something happened to the hard drive. Where currently I have the negatives to fall back on if something failed this is one way that I still justify it.

Economically it doesn't make sense to shoot film, I currently dropped having prints made and just have them burnt to a CD to save on developing cost. This takes $10 off the cost, before developing, prints and a CD will cost around $20 a roll. To make the switch to a comprable Canon's digital camera the 50D (body only) would cost around $1200, which I currently can not afford. I don't want to put it on a credit card, I'm trying to pay those down.

As far as quality is concerned the really is a difference between the two when you compared to current models that are out there. When I had purchased my current camera 5 years ago digital was still playing catch up. Now that the Megapixels are up and the CMOS chips have gotten better noise is not a problem. Hell there are now camera phones that produce some damn good shots. Digital is also instantaneous, you can see if the shot right after you take it, there is no wondering about lighting was correct or if the lab will loose or mess up the developing. If you don't like it you can just retake before you move on to the next subject.

So you can see it's a bit of a conundrum to making the switch, I'm sure if my camera was 10 years old a beat up it would make my decision easier. Granted I could take the money I use for developing and film put that away for a new camera. But this is a hobby and one of the things I uses as a distraction from reality. It helps me relax and think in an artistic way. If you are a photographer I'd love to hear you opinion on this or if you want to solve this problem for me I can send you a link to my Amazon wishlist, LOL :-)

1 comment:

Jake said...

I have never shot film, so I don't have much to contribute to your conundrum. Digital photography isn't always fool proof. I'm an obsessed amateur and find that no matter how hard I try, white balance and exposure and all that aren't fool proof on a digital camera screen. I still end up taking 10 to 20 pictures of things, just to be absolutely sure that the WB and everything is correct.

Then, it sucks that I have to go and delete all those pictures that weren't correct. Perhaps you'd be better at doing that though if you're used to getting the right settings the first couple times.

The biggest benefit of digital, although, is the lack of developing and cost thereafter. Once you buy the camera, the only real cost you have is either a computer to do all the editing, or the memory and stuff to store everything.

For me, since I have a computer and photoshop and stuff already, that cost isn't a factor. With negatives, you have the backup, but it is subject to environment hazards.

Me, I have a copy of all my pictures on my computer and update it frequently. I have one backup that I backup regularly, and an additional back up that I only backup once in a blue moon.

Obssessive? Maybe.

The only other thing I don't like is your choice of Canon :P But that's typical. Nikon users don't always like Canon and vice-versa. It may as well be a law.

But even though I've never shot film, I won't ever be able to provide you with real pros and cons of each.

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