35mm film?!

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IronLionZion
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35mm film?!

Post by IronLionZion » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:11 am

Does anyone out there still shoot 35mm? I bought a Nikon 35mm f2D lens on craigslist and it happened to include a Nikon F100 35mm SLR. I guess this was a ~$1500 film camera in its day. These are a few of the reasons I have decided to experiment with film (its been since a darkroom photography class in high school 7 years ago):
1) the 35mm camera is worth a lot less than my DSLR and I won't be as worried if it gets rained on/beat up while hiking
2) film supposedly has better dynamic range and the resolution part is debatable
3) I will shoot B&W and I really like the vintage and timeless feel that film grain can add
4) my 35mm lens will actually be a wide angle instead of a "normal" type 50mm equivalent
5) I think not having the instant gratification of the LCD screen will keep my focus on hiking and enjoying the moment

But… theres processing costs and the scanning cost/inability to go directly to flickr/insta/fb. I would love to hear other's opinions on this and whether you shoot or have considered shooting film. Also what film do you shoot? I got some ilford HP5+ 400 in there right now.
Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. Psalm 17:5
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Dave B
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by Dave B » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:51 am

Steve House does (towards the end...yes it's from 2007, I still like the logic)

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TravelingMatt
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by TravelingMatt » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:44 am

I shot Velvia until a couple years ago. And I didn't replace it with digital as much as quit shooting altogether. Wasn't worth the added weight, and I don't go cheap when it comes to photo gear.

People are certainly taking more pictures with digital, but I don't see any evidence they're taking better pictures. Most people standing in the mirror and shooting their selfies have little regard for composition, lighting, focus and so on.

Another obvious benefit with film is that properly stored, film should last decades, and can be rescanned with whatever state-of-the art technology is available. (The oldest Velvia slides from the early 1990s show no signs of degradation.) Whether JPEG/BMP/PNG will be the predominant file format, Flickr will still be in business, magnetic pole reversal won't wipe out all our hard drives and cloud storage, and so on 20 years from now is anyone's guess. The observation that film can be damaged by fire or other elements applies equally to digital as files still have to be stored somewhere.
You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough. -- William Blake
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vusteph
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by vusteph » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:21 pm

i only had film on my month long trip to Patagonia (a couple of b&w rolls and a whole bunch of fujifilm superia 200). i like the organic feel from my pictures and it definitely made me conscious of every shot I took.

the processing cost does get expensive especially since i took all 20 of my rolls to a professional lab (too many bad experiences with walgreens ruining my film) but i scan them by myself which saves a lot.

sometimes its hard for me to get a good shot with b&w film, but when i do man it feels like christmas.
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IronLionZion
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by IronLionZion » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:34 pm

Yea i've been looking at film scanners on craigslist the scanning at mikes camera is pretty outrageous. I agree that when each exposure costs ~20 cents it makes you a bit more conscious when you squeeze the shutter. I've heard costco does a good processing job for cheap but I'm still trying to get in touch with their photo lab to see if they still offer processing in Superior. Until I can afford a full frame DSLR I can definitely see myself using both my D7000 and the F100 they seem to compliment each other in the pros and cons. And if I someday have a d800 I might still play with film, it feels more organic (yes I'm from Boulder).
Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. Psalm 17:5
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Alpine Guy
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by Alpine Guy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:45 pm

IronLionZion wrote:Yea i've been looking at film scanners on craigslist the scanning at mikes camera is pretty outrageous. I agree that when each exposure costs ~20 cents it makes you a bit more conscious when you squeeze the shutter. I've heard costco does a good processing job for cheap but I'm still trying to get in touch with their photo lab to see if they still offer processing in Superior. Until I can afford a full frame DSLR I can definitely see myself using both my D7000 and the F100 they seem to compliment each other in the pros and cons. And if I someday have a d800 I might still play with film, it feels more organic (yes I'm from Boulder).
If this turns into something you do regularly, one processing option would be to let the labs develop the negatives (that step is pretty much automated no matter where you go) then get those scanned by Scancafe. You can scan whole rolls but only pay for the ones you want (there is a minimum qty). Their claim to fame is they are in India where labor cost is low so they are able to tweak each photo manually, or so they say.
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by Mindy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:57 pm

I have been thinking about resurrecting my Nikon N80 for “special occasions” (which weighs less than the Nikon D90 I want to carry). There is a B&W darkroom you can rent by the hour here in Boulder that I have my eye on… http://www.boulderphoto.com/darkrooms/bw/

If you end up scanning – post a few. Have fun.
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by flyingmagpie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:01 pm

I still shoot film. Not like I used to shoot film, though. I still have my high-end Pentax 35mm with a bunch of lenses. I used to shoot Fuji premium slide films on this camera with good results, processed by a professional photo shop. But like TravelingMatt, when things switched to digital, I just didn't switch. I mostly stopped shooting artsy shots. Instead of taking pictures with my good Pentax, I now use my little Pentax point-and-shoot zoom camera (this is my 4th little Pentax--three others I ruined in rain storms or by dropping them, etc.) to mostly record my trips and climbs. That's all I'm doing. I'm not trying to be Galen Rowell anymore. The little Pentax is small and lightweight. The autofocus sometimes doesn't do a good job, but because I can't look at my results instantaneously, like with a digital camera, I take multiple shots of the same subject anyway, and at least one of the multiple is usually satisfactory. The thing I like about a film camera is looking through the viewfinder. Viewfinders WORK in the bright outdoor light on mountain summits. Images on the viewscreens of digital cameras are often hard to see. I used to develop my film at Walmart, but got dissatisfied with the quality of their prints. Walmart also stopped returning negatives. Now they just give you the prints and a CD. Walgreens has been where I go lately. Walgreens returns negatives. If I were shooting with my big, good Pentax, I would for sure take the film to a professional photo shop to be developed. With each roll that they develop, I request a CD. That way I can upload digital images onto a computer and have both worlds--digital images, and old-style negatives/prints. So many digital images are going to be lost as media and methods of picture-taking evolve--just as music recorded on 8-track audio tapes and audio cassettes can no longer be listened to in newer cars.
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sleepdeprivation
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by sleepdeprivation » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:37 am

I love film!
Once you get back a roll of slides, there is no going back :)
My rule of thumb is that film is more artsy than digital. So its best when doing landscape photography, which is why is great for hiking.

As you said, the whole "its cheap so I don't care if it gets broken" idealogy is great for film cameras.
Then again, I had a 1940's camera fall 30ft down a hill and it still works. (They don't make them like they used to...)
Another advantage is that many film cameras don't need batteries. Which is especially important in the cold.

Honestly I'm not very satisfied w/ 35mm film, so I usually do medium format. (Large format being way too heavy.)
It has better resolution that even full frame digital, and still has that film feel.
The best are folding cameras because they're so small (pocketable!), but TLR's aren't too big either. Of coarse, either is bigger than a point and shoot, but the results are incompareable.

As to processing, yes film is a pain compared to digital. Scanning takes a lot of time, and then you always have to post process.
Developing is fairly easy for black and white. I rather enjoy working with chemicals to make art.

As to what film I shoot, usually Ilford FP4+ or HP5+. I've come to prefer 100ISO film for 35mm because I think 400ISO is at the limit for an 8x10.
These films are also "traditional emulsion" so there's a bit more lattitude is exposure. (Which I need as I usually shoot via Sunny 16.)
Since your camera has a great exposure meter, you might look into the T-grain films (Fuji Neopan Arcos100, Koday TMax, Ilford Delta) as they have better resolution, but require more accurate exposure. They also don't have the grain of traditional emulsion, so if you like grain, go with the traditional emulsion.
For colour I prefer Provia 100f. Most people like Velvia (50 or 100, not 100f) for more vivid colours tho.
Really tho, you should try Provia or Velvia. Its a near spiritual experience.
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Re: 35mm film?!

Post by voxnihili » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:21 pm

sleepdeprivation wrote:I had a 1940's camera fall 30ft down a hill and it still works. (They don't make them like they used to...)
I agree with the sentiment but was reminded of something that happened to me a couple years ago. After taking a couple roadside pictures, I left my Canon DSLR on top of my car and drove down the highway. I realized my mistake after nearing highway speeds and hearing the sound of the camera skidding across my roof. I then watched in my rear-view mirror as the camera fell off, hit the pavement and bounced down the road. In the end, I had to replace the lens that was on it at the time of the fall and the camera still works as good as new.

Sorry for the off-topic digression, your comment just reminded me of my experience and the hope that all hope is not lost for quality for newer items.
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