Anyone shooting film

(Alan Jurgensen) #1

Thinking of picking up a Nikon film body – theyre so cheap.
and doing some retro-film-shooting. Most processing places will scan negs for little cost.

(Mica) #2

Yes, polaroids or toy cameras when I get the chance. Sometimes the results of the lack of control are thrilling.


Yes mostly medium format or large format (4x5)


I would not rely on “drug store” type of scans (the ones that you get from a minilab, either at a photo store or from a big company such as CEWE in Europe), the quality is not really good, not worth the money.

(Aurélien Pierre) #5

Be careful with cheap scans. Also I had to try 3 photo labs to find one that does not scatch my negatives…

Shooting film is fun, but at the end, it’s more work to get them scanned and you still have to edit them.


That happened to me twice. The scratches were so bad that half of each image was ruined! With the advent of digital photography, people don’t have the incentive to service let alone buy new machines.

(Aurélien Pierre) #7

I think that now that film developement is a less common service, they keep their chemicals longer than before and they get dustier. The scratches may occur when they agitate dusty solutions with the film in them.


What sorts of cameras and films do you currently use? And have used?

(farid) #9

After my Nikon got stolen a couple of years ago I have never done it again. I still have some Ilford negatives in the fridge to remember those great magical days.

(Stefan Schmitz) #10

Yes, me. I still got the 1975 F2 that I bought used in 1981, and on some portrait and nude shootings I expose a roll of Tri-X. Tthis is stricly a “supplement”. It’s not either digital or analog; it’s a 100% digital shooting and only when I see or feel like there might be some time left, I get the old kit out and play around with film and manual-focus lenses.

I know two photo-shops (15 and 27 km from my home) who still do b/w negative-development, and they also offer scans (3000*2000). I might end up buy me one of those screw-on adapters so I can shoot the negative on my camera-sensor. That will be way better quality, but hey - I expose four to six film-rolls per year… keep it simple …

(Pat David) #11

Those F2’s are tanks. I think I’ve still got an OM10 somewhere, and a Minolta A9000 I was thinking about running a roll through to see if she’s still usable.

(Stefan Schmitz) #12

This (plus a 2.5-105) is my present analog kit:


Currently using a Mamiya 645 Pro and a Shen-Hao PTB45 (with a 150mm and 210mm lens) also have a Kiev 88, Minolta SRT-303 and a Pentax Spotmatic.

For most personal use shoot mostly black and white film since it is easy to develop at home so shoot/have shot Ilford delta, Kodak T-max and fomapan (foma mostly for my 4x5 where the large grain doesn’t mater that much but price does), also get myself some color once in a while which I get developed at a photostore in which case I have shot mostly Kodak Portra although also some Fuji Color pro.

Scanning I also do at home either with a Epson V800 or recently got a 100mm macro for the Pentax K-1.


I still shoot a lot of film. I have three Minolta film cameras, a Maxxum 9000 from 1985, two 9’s, one a Maxxum, one an Alpha that I bought from a Japanese 'Bay seller. All are in pristine condition, except that the 9000 has some bleeding on the top LCD panel. All produce great images, and I experiment with several types of negative film. There are still two camera shops in my area that do a good job of processing my film. I do the scanning myself, very happy with the results.

Given the time I spend scanning, I cannot claim that film is less work than digital (or digital less work than film). The work between the two is just different. More time at the scanner for film, more work at the computer for film.

I love both approaches.



These days, I really only use digital for wildlife and “incidental” photography while travelling. Most of the rest is on film.
My favourite camera is the Minolta X500 that I’ve had for over 20 years, and brought back into use about 2 year ago.

(Roger) #16

I recently did some research on film versus digital and came to the following conclusions:

  1. Film likely has or still has higher resolution than digital cameras. So if you have this “OMG great looking girl”, better whip-out the old film camera! Anything of high personal value, old film cameras maybe desirable. These high personal value film negatives can be then scanned or digitized, just ensure you’re using a ~$200+ flatbed scanner or better. The scanned image file will likely balloon in size when scanning in 32bit color. (Canon 9000f MK2 w/ VueScan Pro here.) Also if I’m not mistaken, film has a higher dynamic range, and as such there are a lot of people still using black and white film.

  2. Black and white film is supposedly extremely easy to develope at home. I myself would even feel comfortable developing color film at home. Albeit, time consuming.

  3. Thousands of digital photos/images can be taken easily and further easily viewed, unlike film. Film, there’s some film wasted due to mistakes with exposure and/or focus, nor can the film be readily reviewed verifying a good or bad photograph.

  4. Almost forgot this one, if you’re a student learning photography for a career, might be a good idea to invest some time with the old film cameras.

I think most use a digital camera nowadays, and as somebody already mentioned here, use film when you have a composition requiring preserving the most resolution.


2, 3 and 4 are right but for 1 have run the numbers and for your standard 36x24 mm frame it tops out at arround ~30Mp if you have high quality film (which as far as I can find tops out at arround 60lp/mm) and of course high quality glass. On the scanning part a flatbed is only usefull for medium format and up or if you only care about web publishing.
For the dynamic range B/W and color negative still have a edge in comparison to some digital cameras but for reversal film most digital cameras have surpassed those (now color rendition is another story ofc)

(Mica) #18

I’m not sure we should dive into a film vs digital debate :wink: they’re generally fruitless in my opinion.

However, a skilled craftsman can manipulate his tools to achieve the desired look, be that film or digital.

(Aurélien Pierre) #19

well, no. I shoot medium format and 35 mm film, APS and 35 mm digital, I own 2 film scanners (Epson v600 for 120 mm and Pacific Image XE for 35 mm) and I disagree with most of your comment.

The resolution of film is more or less equivalent to the pro DSLRs, the main limit being the grain. But as film cameras use old glass (with some exceptions, the general case being nowadays mounts are not retro-compatible), actually the optical resolution is more often the limit than the film resolution. And these lenses don’t get much higher than 20 Mpx equivalent when mounted on modern DSLRs (see DXO mark for figures). And scanning film with a flatbed scanner will never reach an high resolution because of the glass. If you want high res, the best scanner available is from Hasselblad and uses a virtual drum (the film is bended), cold lamp (to not scan the scratches and dust), and cost roughly 40000$. But film is highly prone to scratches and dust is your worst enemy when you scan. And the 32 bit color-depth is usually not reached with the included software, you generally have to pay the pro license to get the full package (HDR scan + multiexposure + IR dust removal), so that makes a lot of cash at the end. As of the dynamic range, it’s on par with the 15 EV of modern DSLRs and depends not only on the film, but on the developper you use.

Film is not easy to develop if you want no stains or drops or dust, and a lot can go wrong. The chemicals have an expiration date which makes it hardly worth if you shoot once in a while.

You forgot that color film is a sassy bitch to shoot with, requiring half a stop of exposure precision to not mess up the colors. You also need a good scanner calibration to get the colors right.

Of all the pro photographers I know, only the ones shooting fine art or personal projects still use film sometimes. The film workflow is just too slow and expensive for nowadays standards.

Don’t get me wrong, I love film, sometimes. Its imperfections makes it lovely. But the industry made the switch for good reasons : it’s slow and exigent.


We did the math once for consumer and pro film (24 mm x 36 mm), and came to the conclusion that consumer film (Kodak gold ISO 200) will deliver up to 13 Mp and pro film (Kodak portra ISO 160) a bit more, max 18 Mp. That perfectly matches my experience, it’s indeed more like 10 Mp and 15 Mp in practice, from my observations.