DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Film Snobbery
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 63, (reverse)
AuthorThread
05/06/2003 06:37:22 PM · #1
I was admiring some photos for sale at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, USA, yesterday when a woman looking at the photos asked the photographer "these are film, not digital, right?" He abruptly told her, "absolutely, see the sign"? And the sign read, "Absolutely No Digital Photography". I started to ask the question as to why it was so important that the photographs were taken on film but I let my manners (or lack of ammo) get the better of me and I said nothing.

How do you defend your use of digital?

Message edited by author 2003-05-07 16:35:50.
05/06/2003 07:00:27 PM · #2
"Film snobbery" is the right phrase. I've had several conversations with people in my local photo club who have that "disease" - ha!

The final statement is in the results: I got an "honorable mention" for one of my digital photos in a recent Inter-Club competition -- they did not.

However, it's my understanding that you can make much larger (poster size) prints from certain films than digital allows yet.
05/06/2003 07:04:56 PM · #3
B&W photography -- film still have a huge edge over digital.

Originally posted by cykhansen:

"Film snobbery" is the right phrase. I've had several conversations with people in my local photo club who have that "disease" - ha!

The final statement is in the results: I got an "honorable mention" for one of my digital photos in a recent Inter-Club competition -- they did not.

However, it's my understanding that you can make much larger (poster size) prints from certain films than digital allows yet.
05/06/2003 07:32:30 PM · #4
Originally posted by paganini:

B&W photography -- film still have a huge edge over digital.


Tony,
I really wonder if there's that much advantage, if any to B+W film anymore, when compared to the best that digital can do. Certainly B+W film has great resolving power, but if we compare to, say, Can EOS 1Ds (11 megapixel) I don't know if there is much if any resolution advantage, after taking into account limiting factors of glass.
Dynamic range is also a question, and again, 8 bits doesn't cut it, but 12 bits/channel is another matter. I'm not sure if this is yet up to the level of the best B+W films though.
Where digital really shines is flexibility. Shoot in color and you're free to merge color channels in any way you like, duplicating almost any film sensitivity characteristics. No need to change film to change characteristics, do it later. Also can change ISO on the fly.
Thoughts?
05/06/2003 08:23:00 PM · #5
I have tried to win the war over film snobbery, but now I just ignore it. Usually it is people who really don't have their facts that say this. The problem is that the lay person thinks of "point and shoot" when you refer to digital, and they think the only application for this is for the internet and email. Also, because they think of point and shoot, they do not understand that higher end cameras have the resolution to print poster size. What they also do not understand is that more and more processing plants are going digital.. right under their noses! The company I work for has decided to do digital enhancements to their film. Because this is new for them, there have been a few complaints about the quality. One fellow associate brought an example to my attention. She complained the colors were all wrong due to the enhancement (special border). I examined it, and pointed out that it is not the colors directly.. it was obviously oversharpened in the post processing causing the colors to be too contrasty, and causing artifacts. We sent it back to the lab to be redone. The problem is that kind of experience leaves people with a bad taste in their mouth about "digital".

paganini: you are probably right on the b&w issue, however, I find it interesting that the company I work for uses digital to create b&w and sepia to their film portraits. Those enhancements come out quite nice too.

05/06/2003 08:24:55 PM · #6
One point is, that Cannon EOS 1D costs $8000, and doesn't even come with a lens I don't think. You can buy a lot 35mm camera equipment (and film) for $8000. :)

However the point is what is best for you. Since I'm not a professional photographer and don't make a living selling poster sized prints, I don't need the absolute best solution. Personally I would never be into photography as much as I am if I had to constantly buy film, pop it in the camera, have it developed (or do it my self), etc. It would just be too much hassle and expense.

I guess some photographers enjoy using the chemicals and developing their own prints which is fine for them, but NOT for me. :) I'd rather use Photoshop. I think the benefits and flexibity of digital photography are so huge, I'm surprised anyone would use film (unless the enjoy it, like developing, etc.) or need it because they are pros and make their living at it. Personally I think digital is catching up quickly to the quality of film, and in a few years nobody will use film any more.
05/06/2003 08:45:14 PM · #7
I have encountered this "snobbery" in my own family. Each year, we get all the "grandkids" together for pictures. This year, my sister wanted to make sure we had at least one film camera in addition to my 707. Hehehe. It was really funny after the prints came back, and she didn't know which were mine, and which were hers!!! (and this was before dpcprints!) I also encountered it when I offered to do prom pictures for a small high school. I had to take them examples in to show them. I think some of it comes from trying to print pictures on home printers that are not suited for that. Thus, another "bad taste."

Film has its advantages, and uses, but for me, digital is a lot more practical!
05/06/2003 09:09:35 PM · #8
You should ask why. It may be a problem with the way it is printed. Maybe they are worried about the longevity of the prints?

Also, it may have to do with manipulation of the images.

Why would it be bad manners to ask?

Originally posted by joanns:

I was admiring some photos for sale at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, USA, yesterday when a woman looking at the photos asked the photographer "these are film, not digital, right?" He abruptly told her, "absolutely not, see the sign"? And the sign read, "Absolutely No Digital Photography". I started to ask the question as to why it was so important that the photographs were taken on film but I let my manners (or lack of ammo) get the better of me and I said nothing.

How do you defend your use of digital?


Message edited by author 2003-05-06 21:10:11.
05/06/2003 09:22:38 PM · #9
i think the fear of digital cameras is the fact that the "common man" doesn't even know you can get prints from digital pics, or even how clear they are these days. I think most are still stuck on "webcam-type" digital cameras.. They're get the recognition they deserve in time... but beleive it or not, a guy i work with didn't even know you needed a computer to view the pics.. (well, granted you can look at them on your tv.. but ugh.. you're really not seeing the quality of a shot on a tv :P).. and you can just get all the prints printed at a local store without even looking at them, or post-processing them.. but you're not really taking advantage of digital photos at that point :)

ya know, i'm not really sure where i'm going with this.. but lets give digital some time :) even if it has the same quality, or better customisaility, things take time to become widely known.

on a brighter side.. i posted a pic to my friend online, and when i told him i took it with my new digital camera, he was supprised it was from a digital camera, and thought i had scanned a print.. that made my day :)

05/06/2003 10:53:12 PM · #10
Gray scale is still limited to 8 bits if you converted it to JPEG. I agree you can get higher dynamic range say at 12 bits, but it doesn't compare with film. Color though is more like film dynamically as you do get 36 bits per color with some sensors, though some could argue that because of the Bayes layout of the chips, you really only get 12 bits per sensor anyway, the rest are interpolated. Can you tell the difference other than color rendition between slide films and digicams at 4x6? I doubt it.

Resolution is not really an issue unless you're talking about blowing up huge. However, dynamic range is and noise issue is also a big factor. Most DSLR's suffer from noises in the SHADOWS of one color channel or another. Photograph a guy in black pants with the 10D and see what happens :) The problem gets a lot more noticeable at say ISO 400 (it doesn't affect the highlights as much as the shadows).



Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by paganini:

B&W photography -- film still have a huge edge over digital.


Tony,
I really wonder if there's that much advantage, if any to B+W film anymore, when compared to the best that digital can do. Certainly B+W film has great resolving power, but if we compare to, say, Can EOS 1Ds (11 megapixel) I don't know if there is much if any resolution advantage, after taking into account limiting factors of glass.
Dynamic range is also a question, and again, 8 bits doesn't cut it, but 12 bits/channel is another matter. I'm not sure if this is yet up to the level of the best B+W films though.
Where digital really shines is flexibility. Shoot in color and you're free to merge color channels in any way you like, duplicating almost any film sensitivity characteristics. No need to change film to change characteristics, do it later. Also can change ISO on the fly.
Thoughts?
05/07/2003 12:47:30 AM · #11
oh my goodness, i had my own moment of film snobbery. My friends and I were in line for Mr Toads Wild Ride at Disneyland, and it's getting dusky, and so I'm taking photos while waiting in line... this photo to be exact..

' . substr('//www.pbase.com/image/14997439/small.jpg', strrpos('//www.pbase.com/image/14997439/small.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

There is a family behind me.. I hear the husband say "Is that the kind of camera you want?"

The wife immediately states how digital cameras are "no good" and they print "horrible photos that fade". I wanted.. SO BADLY .. to turn around and inform her of just how wrong she was. So instead i was just as snobby.. turned to my friend and in a rather loud voice stated that "its too bad some people think they know everything without really doing the research.."
Ooh go me. Yeah i'm a chicken. But still ;) Anyway.. that was my film snobbery moment.

05/07/2003 01:38:43 AM · #12
99.9999% of the newspaper photos are digital now :) that's including college newspapers too.

In fact, 100% of the photos on CNN and major networks during the Iraq war was digital. You can tell because some of them has that digital "look" to it and film would look different. Most them are taken and uploaded via satellite link the same day, as networks are competing against each other for the photo of the day sort of thing.

Oh yeah, Sepia is at least TRI-TONED, so you get more dynamic range, so that'll be closer to film. I am talking about straight B&W with say a camera lens yellow or red filter for outdoor shots. With digital you have to select the channel (say red) and then convert to B&W, and immediately loses 24 bits because it's just single color.


Originally posted by KarenB:

I have tried to win the war over film snobbery, but now I just ignore it. Usually it is people who really don't have their facts that say this. The problem is that the lay person thinks of "point and shoot" when you refer to digital, and they think the only application for this is for the internet and email. Also, because they think of point and shoot, they do not understand that higher end cameras have the resolution to print poster size. What they also do not understand is that more and more processing plants are going digital.. right under their noses! The company I work for has decided to do digital enhancements to their film. Because this is new for them, there have been a few complaints about the quality. One fellow associate brought an example to my attention. She complained the colors were all wrong due to the enhancement (special border). I examined it, and pointed out that it is not the colors directly.. it was obviously oversharpened in the post processing causing the colors to be too contrasty, and causing artifacts. We sent it back to the lab to be redone. The problem is that kind of experience leaves people with a bad taste in their mouth about "digital".

paganini: you are probably right on the b&w issue, however, I find it interesting that the company I work for uses digital to create b&w and sepia to their film portraits. Those enhancements come out quite nice too.
05/07/2003 02:07:00 AM · #13
Wouldn't any traditional print, once scanned and transmitted by satellite uplink, suffer the same "digital look" as one originating on a sensor with no intervening print. Also, I don't think TV news (remote) has used film for a long time...I think they usually use Betamax or DV.
05/07/2003 02:07:18 AM · #14
I took a roll of film in my old Pentax K1000 just for old times sake a while back. I was so impatient that I ran to the one-hour photo store to get them developed. I couldn't wait to pick them up but when I did I realized that all I had was a stack of 4X6 prints. I couldn't crop them, spot edit them, adjust the color, adjust the contrast, adjust the levels, sharpen them, rotate them, resize them, convert them to B&W, email them, burn them to a CD for safe keeping, make copies of them, print them out at 8 X10 on my trusty Canon S820 and most of all I couldn't enter them in DPChallenge. Man was I ever disappointed.

I would like to try shooting some medium format landscapes someday but other than that I'll never look back.
05/07/2003 02:11:25 AM · #15
Originally posted by paganini:

99.9999% of the newspaper photos are digital now :) that's including college newspapers too.

For example, here is S.F. Chronicle photographer Carlos G.(taking a picture of me):
Carlos at Work ' . substr('//www.pbase.com/image/2979358/small.jpg', strrpos('//www.pbase.com/image/2979358/small.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
05/07/2003 03:20:48 AM · #16
I think there is a distinct "film" look to photos that are taken with film versus most digicams. I think it's the difference between how film records color (chemical emulsions) versus digital sensors. This is not to say that you can't emulate film with digicams, not at all, but if they want quick results, they typically just get what came from the camera and send it to their editors to be published next morning.

(I thinkit's pretty hard to DEVELOP film in the middle of the desert in Iraq... :) that's why I said 100% of the photos that you see on a daily basis during the war are digital. You take the compact flash out and you put it in the laptop, upload it and let the people in the office do the post processing...)

As far as i am concerned, digital cameras are in a different "medium" than film, as they record colors differently though the colors can be adjusted later. I think our eyes have been trained with film prints, at least anyone who has shot film before and seeing digital prints WITHOUT post adjustment you can always tell the difference. (though some cameras have pretty good in-camera processing that get them close to film, for example Fuji S2 on skin tones are quite natural looking from prints that i have seen from my friend's camera) I have albums of film prints and compared it with the albums of digital prints, tehy look different colorwise. Similar scenes, looks quite a bit different. Some I prefer digital and some I prefer film....


Originally posted by GeneralE:

Wouldn't any traditional print, once scanned and transmitted by satellite uplink, suffer the same "digital look" as one originating on a sensor with no intervening print. Also, I don't think TV news (remote) has used film for a long time...I think they usually use Betamax or DV.


Message edited by author 2003-05-07 03:27:25.
05/07/2003 04:20:45 AM · #17
All hugely reminiscent of the CD vs vinyl arguments from a few years back (and still carried on by some people who live in caves ...)

I don't think there's a better ... there's just a different - and the differences are very similar ones to those between CD and vinyl.

Pag - completely agree with you re B&W though.

Ed
05/07/2003 10:19:31 AM · #18
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Wouldn't any traditional print, once scanned and transmitted by satellite uplink, suffer the same "digital look" as one originating on a sensor with no intervening print. Also, I don't think TV news (remote) has used film for a long time...I think they usually use Betamax or DV.


I don't think so - I think there is an obvious, different quality to how film captures a scene, compared to digital. This comes through even in scans. This is not to say one is better than the other but there is a pretty obvious difference.

As you mentioned the film / video/ digital formats, I think this is similar. There are pretty distinct differences between the subjective look and feel of film, video and digital video output. Still film and digital is similar.

Message edited by author 2003-05-07 10:31:06.
05/07/2003 10:42:38 AM · #19
Originally posted by paganini:

I am talking about straight B&W with say a camera lens yellow or red filter for outdoor shots. With digital you have to select the channel (say red) and then convert to B&W, and immediately loses 24 bits because it's just single color.


Yup. I understood that.
05/07/2003 10:55:38 AM · #20
As has been noted here and there throughout this thread, I have the feeling that snobbery at film versus digital isn't based so much on the means of taking the picture as it is the method of output -- people saying one thing when they really mean something else.

Simple fact, we really don't know how long a print made digitally (and I'm talking from something like an Epson printer) will last. It may say in the specs that a print made on Printer X will last for 50 years, but that's just an estimate based on stress tests. It may only last 10 years before fading, or it may last the expected 50, or it may last for 100.

Compare that to traditional chemical printing. It's been around. We can say with authority that a print will last a given number of years. (For instance, dpcprints, with normal care should last at least 50 years.)

So, if you're in the market to buy a print, and are going to shell out a decent amount of cash, what do you want? A print whose lifespan you can't be certain of, or one that you can have a lot more faith in?

Until relatively recently, the means of printing a digital image traditionally (ie photo-paper chemically processed) hasn't been in the reach of most (any?) people. Thus, a digital image was pretty much synonymous with digital (ie "normal" paper printed on with some sort of ink) output.

Ultimately, I guess I'm talking guilt by association.
05/07/2003 11:05:18 AM · #21
Originally posted by Patella:

As has been noted here and there throughout this thread, I have the feeling that snobbery at film versus digital isn't based so much on the means of taking the picture as it is the method of output -- people saying one thing when they really mean something else.

Simple fact, we really don't know how long a print made digitally (and I'm talking from something like an Epson printer) will last. It may say in the specs that a print made on Printer X will last for 50 years, but that's just an estimate based on stress tests. It may only last 10 years before fading, or it may last the expected 50, or it may last for 100.

Compare that to traditional chemical printing. It's been around. We can say with authority that a print will last a given number of years. (For instance, dpcprints, with normal care should last at least 50 years.)

So, if you're in the market to buy a print, and are going to shell out a decent amount of cash, what do you want? A print whose lifespan you can't be certain of, or one that you can have a lot more faith in?

Until relatively recently, the means of printing a digital image traditionally (ie photo-paper chemically processed) hasn't been in the reach of most (any?) people. Thus, a digital image was pretty much synonymous with digital (ie "normal" paper printed on with some sort of ink) output.

Ultimately, I guess I'm talking guilt by association.


The problem with this is that the film processes haven't 'been around' either. They've changed a lot over the years too. It is all based on accelerated stress tests.

The other issue is that most digital prints are made in the same way as commercial film prints. Most film developing systems scan and print the negative anyway. This isn't the case for some of the more traditional film processes, but they certainly haven't been around for the 100 years or so people claim they will last for.
05/07/2003 11:19:35 AM · #22
What does DPCPrints use? Because I thought that unless you use ARCHIVAL INK with ARCHIVAL PAPER, you are basically getting the same inkjet ink that typically last for about 5 years, shorter if you have exposure to the sun. Given the prices of DPCPrints are pretty cheap, i wonder if they are using archival ink? (You need both the paper + the ink)
05/07/2003 11:22:07 AM · #23
Its a chemical print.

Printed on Fujicolor Crystal Archive professional photographic paper, processed through Kodak RA-4 chemistry. The archival qualities of this process is 50+ years, before fading may occur. This is the same process that you would find at your better pro-labs.

05/07/2003 11:25:19 AM · #24
Is there a color profile for proofing that we can download somewhere for the printers they use?

Originally posted by Gordon:

Its a chemical print.

Printed on Fujicolor Crystal Archive professional photographic paper, processed through Kodak RA-4 chemistry. The archival qualities of this process is 50+ years, before fading may occur. This is the same process that you would find at your better pro-labs.
05/07/2003 11:26:36 AM · #25
Originally posted by paganini:

Is there a color profile for proofing that we can download somewhere for the printers they use?


They'll send you one if you ask nicely. It isn't publically available, mainly to avoid support issues from people who aren't using profiled hardware or don't do colour management properly.
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 07/19/2019 06:39:04 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2019 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 07/19/2019 06:39:04 AM EDT.