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Old 09-01-2011   #11
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

Having been a "film shooter" for about 65+ years, I would certainly not wish to discourage you from going this route. I did acquire a digital camera about 4 years ago, and now use it for about 75% of my photography.

With that in mind, I can state categorically that your principal reasons for wishing to take up film are really invalid.

Quote:
The most important reason is to get some real hold on photography principles and techniques which i think i wasn't able to get with my digital arsenal.
Nonesense! Put your digital camera in full manual mode. Learn the basics of exposure so that you can choose the settings yourself. Give up the shotgun technique and concentrate on the exposure and composition of each shot. Knowledge of the basics is required for good results regardless if you are shooting film or digital.

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By going the film photography route, i believe, i'll be forced to put that extra effort to think about the composition, exposure and other aspects that will make a good picture.
Your mindset and determination are the factors which will force you to put in the extra effort, not what type of camera you are using.

So in summary, the process of shooting film, from choosing the film type through developing, scanning and printing, is a unique experience that differs from using a digital camera. It is fun and challenging in a different way, and I enjoy it immensely. But if your reasons for doing so really boil down to what you have stated, I suggest you give it another think. The money you would spend on film equipment, development, etc. would be much better spent on acquiring better glass for your digital outfit.
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Old 09-01-2011   #12
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

Don't have to spend a lot of money on a film body. There's no 'sensor' to speak of. You press the shutter release, mirror goes up, shutter opens, and light hits the film. You can buy an awesome camera like a Nikon F6, but put the same lens on a Nikon FE, set up the same shot, with the same aperture, same lighting, in the same spot, same everything, and there won't be any difference between the two shots.

When you pay a lot for a film camera, what you get is some really sweet autofocus, more versatility in terms of shutter speeds, higher FPS, no need to wind your film, etcetera. Different animals. But put a Nikkor 50mm 1.8 on an F6 and an FE, same pictures. I'm not saying it isn't worth it, but if you don't mind manual focus, having a smaller set of shutter speeds, winding your film, and don't need to fire off 7 shots in a second, you don't have to spend a lot of cash.
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Old 09-02-2011   #13
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

Blumesan gave fine advice. I've used film for about as long, and still prefer it for quality black & white photography. Many year's accumulation of film gear makes it a more logical choice than for anyone having to buy film cameras. For someone with the OP's goals, digital seems the way to go. Lights and props might be a more useful investment than a film camera. Quality film cameras and lenses are selling for a small fraction of their price just a few years ago. This is a tempting bargain in some respects, but not if a digital camera produces equally satisfactory photographs.
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Old 09-05-2011   #14
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

The only real reason to shoot film these days are:

1. You really like old cameras.

2. You like the results from film better than those from digital.

3. You like to see the, so called, experts hunch up, stick their hands in their pockets, and walk off sheepishly when you try to hand them your Speed Graphic. Non-experts have no problem with handling the old camera and find it fascinating.
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Old 09-05-2011   #15
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

4. You like to see the created when people who try to find the LCD to review the images taken.
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Old 09-07-2011   #16
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

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Originally Posted by ahpaquin View Post
I don't know anything about film photography, but curious why you would want to go and use film? vs continuing to invest in digital? what draws you to film?
there is nothing wrong with exploring the Film universe it has thing's to offer you that digital will never offer you, that's understanding film and understanding its use and controls to get what you want in the photograph , It requires you think before even you take the photo,
It gives you better insight to film and its results, those of use that learned on the film system have better results when doing digital, but there are those that never used film and get good results also in digital . What the film does do for you is it Makes you think of what your going to do and how to do it:

this is not a flame just my thoughts on this matter:
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Old 09-09-2011   #17
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

Actually to my mind it is sort of like using charcoal pencils rather than acrylic paints to make a picture. They take some of the same skills, but the results are far different. They also require a lot of different skills too.

Digital does have the advantage that you can take a half way decent shot without thinking at all. If you consider that an advantage, it does seem like a lot of people do.

If you try that with film, the least that is going to happen is it is going to get expensive real fast. You will either learn to think about what you are doing or you are going to waste a lot of film and processing.
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Old 09-15-2011   #18
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

Yeah, I'd say go for it if you wish to use older equipment, or perhaps wish to check out film if you missed it the first time around. Both of those reasons are why I did it. But I have to warn you, if you are wanting to look into HDR, IR, and other digital stuff, you might be better off spending your money on an HDR program, a second digital body and an IR filter from a vendor like Lifepixel, or Lightroom if you want to tweak your images a bit.

I think film will be around a long time, especially if you buyonline from freestyle photo or the like. If you settle for primairly BW film, you'll be able to do it yourself very easily. BW is not hard and if you are not a perfectionist, you can handle huge temperature variations of several degrees without completely ruining your film. Simple procedures will allow you to get very close though. You could probably get the entire development kit, possibly even some chemicals used on craiglist for cheap, even free, or buy new from Freestyle. I think I saw a kit or two for $50 on Freestylephoto.biz.

I also am a Nikon guy, and own 12 film bodies spanning 20 years. I'd suggest the FG, FG-20, or N2000. These are all cheap on ebay but pretty decent. They are all manual focus, but have aperture priority modes for faster photo taking. They also frequently come bundled with one or more lenses, either zooms or primes. Plus, you can sell them back for close to what you paid if you bid carefully and buy a reasonably priced one. I find the budget AF Nikons to be a tad too slow for my tastes. They hunt a lot. Might as well go MF, somtimes it is faster anyway. Later,if you find you like film alot, then you can really knock yourself out with Nikon since there is so much back and forth compatibilty. Other brands switched mounts during their history, so buy an old camera, and you have to use old lenses. With Nikon, I can buy old MF lenses and use them with modern digital stuff, or more modern film cameras. Still, buy what you like. You can find all sorts of good stuff in any brand.

Scanners are a wildcard. I tried a basic office scanner and it sucked, so you might need to get a photo scanner. I think used ones might be around $50 for the more budget ones. If you really get into film, then maybe get a better one. I've got an Epson V500 and like it alot. Additionally, with Nikon, I'd second the recommendation of the F4 if you get really serious and enjoy film and want to buy a pro body from Nikon. However, with film bodies, lenses are much more important than the cameras, compared to digital, where the bodies and lenses are often equal in importance. You can also spend a lot on film. There are probably a couple of dozen, maybe much more different BW films, many color films, and you can also get slide films. These films range from $1 a roll to 7+ a roll for the more specialized films." For BW, just try the cheap 400 speed, maybe 100 speed films. Then you can always get the pricier ones to try them out. For me, I notice a difference, but can't say I prefer the more expensive ones. Each film has its own look through.

I find digital to be much more versatile, but film has its positives. I have several digital bodies but I like using the different film cameras so much, I shoot almost entirely BW film. One thing I've noticed is that I toss 90% of my digital shots, but with film the keeper rates are usually much, much higher, often 30-40% are keepers. I think I am more careful about what I shoot. You might find the same, but you can do that with digital as well, so don't feel you have to get a film camera to improve. Just improve your thinking and be more careful with digital.

Good luck.
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Old 09-26-2011   #19
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

LOTS of good advice here, Id add you might pick up some used books on the subject at Amazon.com or elsewhere. Especially Ansel Adams 5 books.
The Negative and The Print would be really helpful.
Some may assume his methods are difficult, but found after years of working in a Darkroom, they really helped a lot, and made many things a lot easier. Figure when learning, may as well learn from one of the best, instead of the trial and error method that I had to use when learning.
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Old 10-08-2011   #20
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Default Re: Considering doing film photography as a hobby. Can i succeed?

A lot been said here, but how about a simple body, and lens, a 2.00 roll of film, and go enjoy yourself?

I have all the best in digital equipment. Yet, I recently purchased a Nikon Fe2 with 35, 50, and 75-150 for less than a dinner for 2.

On many days, I take the FE2 with 35mm, and snap away. In my case, I have a film scanner, so I just get negatives developed for a couple dollars and go from there.
However, there were a few instances, where I preferred to get the roll developed and printed, and for 8.00 I had 36 real nice prints, that went into an old fashioned photo album.

On another note..... when my time passes, I now my photo albums will be stacked in my closet, and my children and grandchildren will always have my pictures at their fingertips.
I don't think anyone will try to convert a RAW file.


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