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Film Cameras

Why I shoot film

Posts: 96

Why I shoot film

Post Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:57 pm

Recently had to "justify" my use of film, so here are my reasons. I know why I shoot film, and here are MY reasons:

I can afford, cheaply, some TOP of the line film stuff

Nostalgia - can't discount this. I love photography and to me, that means film.

Digital often looks too perfect, but some of that comes from increased DOF.

Film photography is more of a challenge. I relish the challenge of getting the most from the old pieces of junk (in some folk's eyes) I buy

Printed photos from Reala look gorgeous. Plain and simple.

Hey, I like an occasional slide show.

I will miss film a lot if it ever goes away, in my lifetime. I don't want to look back and miss it as "I wish I'd shot more film", I want to miss it and recall it fondly.

Having the slides or negatives is a "permanent" failsafe against loss. Hard drives do crash. Images do get deleted.

Posts: 92

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:20 pm

couldn't have said it better - i don't know why but i seem to have to justify using film now and then to myself so your little list is a nice reminder that there are others out there with similar, ambivalent feelings
Vince B

Posts: 1247


Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:51 pm

I use film again because it's way easier than digital to get the results I want (meters work better, latitude on film is wider, scanners are better, etc.). I like cameras, so I like film for the results that different cameras give me. For me, imperfection is more interesting in film. The look of film is something digital users are wanting; so I get it "naturally."

I use digital because it's quick and cheap. After several years of straight digital, I grew bored with it (well, except for wildlife and landscapes). Film is quirky.... I like that.

Posts: 1

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:42 pm

I still use film
Ömer Özgün Ulutan

Posts: 4

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:00 am

Well, I got tired of 35mm years ago 'cuz of the lack of resolution, but now that medium format equip is now afforadable (for me) I can finally use it. I have never used digital, so can't say much about that, but it seems to me that using a film camera is something more... thoughtful perhaps? For example, on a Yosemite trip or Catalina Island, or wherever, I will have a fairly limited amout of film to use so a fair amount of thought and consideration go into each shot. However I don't think I would reccomend film to someone new to photography today (unless they have some old guys to learn from and seem interested in eventually getting into large format), seems like climbing the learning curve would be too difficult now... but I sure am glad I have already gone up at least the steepest part!!

Posts: 18
Location: San Francisco, California

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Tue May 06, 2008 12:59 pm

I still use film because it just has a different look. It looks more artestic. Digital sometimes comes across as too harsh. I think it is due to the processing inside the camera.

My photos are at All with film. 35mm even.

Posts: 9

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Wed May 07, 2008 1:00 pm

I guess this has to come up every once in awhile. Much of the above applies to me, but it's also that a manual camera, while simpler, helps me to focus on the subject and composition more easially. Plus, looking at a great scene on velvia in 645 or 6x7 format . :wink: .. just beats the tar out of anything else.

Born again, digitally.

Posts: 1

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Thu May 08, 2008 7:21 am

AMEN! I've shot 35mm FILM since I was in junior high in the 70s. I was sitting at a college football game a couple of years ago and a guy was walking up the steps towards me. I was holding my Nikon FE2 (classic and indestructible!) and he said, "wow, that's an old one." I felt like punching him. Common I bought it NEW in 1983. To me 1983 wasn't that long ago. Is it? I always wondered how all those older photographers got that special "punch" to their chromes and B&W. Then I started reading about medium and large format. THAT'S IT! That's the way Ansel got those wonderful tonal separations. BIG negative, less enlargement. I was hooked and had the opportunity to buy a complete Pentax 6x7 system from a former music professor of mine for $1200. The 75mm shift lens alone is worth that. Since I have purchased a few more pieces on ebay. Luckily I live in a city with a camera club and I have 24/7 access to a fully equipped dark room. Just developed 6 rolls of 120 Monday night. WHAT FUN! I've shown a few prints to the guys at the local pro camera store here in town and they are always amazed at the quality. A big negative or chrome blows digital away. Plus I WANT to be in control of the camera. I don't want a bunch of computerized chips telling me what to do or shutting down because of the weather. I want all MANUAL controls. And I love using my Gossen Luna Pro and Pentax Spot meters. It is now possible to pick up quality medium format equipment and not spend big bucks. My next step is 4x5!....maybe 8x10...who knows?


Posts: 2

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:05 pm

I can get 24 mp equivalent quality from my Olympus trip when I shoot slides and pictures that will fill a wall if I want to with vibrant colours and real light effects you could walk right into :)

Posts: 6

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:54 pm

It is still fun to take a roll of film in, wait a day or two, then have the pleasure of picking up the photos and poring over them. Of course sometimes the results might be bad so there is disappointment, but I am willing to accept that.

2nd reason is that to me using film point-n-shoots like my Olympus XA and my Yashica T4 is so much more fun than digital point-n-shoots. I still haven't found a digital p-n-s that I really, really like.

Last, I find that my medium format TLRs like the Mamiya C220 and Yashicamat 124G produce photos that seem to have a magic about them, being depth, contrast, or whatever. I just love to get these films back from the developer.

See my Yashica T$ Tribute gallery at

Happy shooting!

Posts: 4
Location: Poland

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:09 pm

I've been thinking of switching to digital since Nikon came up with D70. Instead of buying a digital camera that would go obsolete in couple of years, I purchased Nikon Coolscan scanner (for the price of D70 when it was new), and I get high resolution pictures better than the new Nikon D3X or Canon 1D. Here are some reasons I will stay shooting film:
- much better dynamic range
- greater color spectrum (you're not limited to sRGB or Photoshop colors)
- people's faces look better on film (with digital I see some red/green tint to skin's color)
- people who had a picture taken by you don't waste your batteries for previewing what you've just shot
- batteries last longer in film cameras
- no need for your laptop (+chargers, extra hard drives, etc) to take along
- film makes you think how to shoot, with digital you take 30 shots of one object/person and then pick only one
- never bother with dust on the CCD/CMOS sensor
- you can never acciddently erase a good shot with film
- no viruses, bad memory cards, hard drive crashes
- if your film gets wet, you just rinse it with distilled water and dry it. Try that with memory card.
- you can have your negs/slides scanned at the same time as film is developed. It's difficult and more expensive to go the other way.
- never need a computer to see your slides
- you can shoot infrared film. With digital you have to have two cameras: one for normal pictures, the other has to be modified to take infrared pictures.
- viewfinders are bigger and brighter than those found in digital cameras
- film is rated for at least 30 years, and Kodak claims their professional line of films to be rated to 80 years. Are CDs and DVDs going to last that long? Remember what VCR or VHS tape is now? I've got my parents' wedding recorded 31 years ago on 35mm film - looks like it was taken yesterday.

I could go on, and on, but you see the point. Most importantly great, well made film cameras are cheap to buy. I've got a Nikon F90x in mint condition (only 4000 clicks on it) for 100 EUROs, and recently I've got Nikon F70 for free!!! Both are capable of shooting great 24 MP pictures. How cool is that? Check out brand new Canon EOS 300x film camera (body only) that retails for 40 - 60 EUROs.
Bodies: Nikon F90x + MB-10 + MF-26; F70; F65, Zenith 11
Glass: Nikkor 50; 28-80; 70-300; Sigma 24-70
Flash: Nikon SB-28; 2x SB-22s; 2x SU-4
Scanner: Nikon COOLSCAN V LS-50
Mateusz, Matthew or Matt - whichever you prefer.

Posts: 1247

@mlpilot: Re: Why I shoot film

Post Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:21 am

Well.... there may not be sensor dust, but there is always the crap that dirty developing for color film leaves on my negatives.. which is why I'm really on the verge of getting my own chemistry and doing it myself.

Mary in SW Florida

Posts: 311

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:03 pm

mlpilot wrote:- if your film gets wet, you just rinse it with distilled water and dry it. Try that with memory card.

Works just fine. Memory cards can easily survive a full washer/dryer cycle, and there have been several deliberate (and a few not-so-deliberate) tests to prove that point, but I'm too lazy to try to find them again right now.

Posts: 28

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:45 am

Many, if not all of the reasons why I switched from digital to film have been stated. I just love the look of film, even when scanned decently it looks better than digital. The dynamic range gains are the most noticeable. Just last week I picked up a mint Pentax Super Program with 2 lenses; M 28mm f/3.5 and a M 50mm f/1.4. I have a humble start here;

Posts: 63

Re: Why I shoot film

Post Sat May 30, 2009 6:32 am

Hey -

I love the sound the tip of the 35mm film strip makes when it is wound back into the cannister. I love winding the film into the canister. I love the clunk of my Nikkormat's vertical metal film plane shutter. I love handling my old Kodachrome slides and viewing them with a lupe. There's something akin to film photography and fly fishing, can't explain, just feel a connection. Shooting film makes me feel I am doing something very special .. J. R.


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