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Poll: Do you still use a film camera?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / November 9, 2007 4:19 AM PST

Since going to a digital camera, do you still use a film camera?

- No. (Why not?)
- Yes. (For what?)
- Very rarely. (When do you use it?)
- I use them both equally. (For what?)
- I haven't gone digital yet. (Why not?)
- I don't own a film camera anymore. (Have you ever?)

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Film Camera
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 9, 2007 6:39 AM PST

I have a faithful 30 year old 35mm Canon AE1 SLR, and a much older Kodak Reflex II (twin-lens reflex), it uses 620 film.

They have been gathering dust since I first picked up an early Epson digital camera with no LCD screen.

The handwriting was on the wall.
Film has lived a full life, but its time is history.


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Film vs digital
by bigduke / November 9, 2007 9:58 AM PST
In reply to: Film Camera

Everything is now digital. Both motion and still. There are things I can't do
with digital still that were easy on film. I shot a lot of sports in college a half century ago.
Basket ball with four players off the floor fighting for a ball for example. Before that I
was stationed in Germany and got to Nurburgring for both motorcycle and car races. Lots of action.
It would be difficult to overcome the lag of picture in digital. Same for a trip to Le Mans 24 hours
race. I got shots of many cars at speed. All on ASA 10 Kodachrome!

Now most of our pictures are not fast action, and the ability to take hundreds of images on one chip
is great! Editing is so much easier on a screen rather than enlarging in a darkroom. (I still remember
the smell of hypo!) Sharing is now nearly instantaneous between computers.

I still have four film cameras on the shelf, and they still work.

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Film Camera
by jbaviera / November 9, 2007 11:24 AM PST
In reply to: Film Camera

I too have a 25 year old AE-1P and about $1500 worth of accessories, and love it dearly, just picked up a Yashica-Mat 124G and I've been having a great time with it too. I've decided NOT to go digital for two reasons,

1st, is cost to replace everything. I'd be looking at four to five times my original purchase prices.

2nd, I can do things within my Canon that I'd have to learn another program to do on my pc then get the third degree when I go to have prints made.

When was the last time anyone purposfully made a double or triple exposure with their digital camera? Best of my knowledge, it can't be done!

Are you interested in selling your AE-1? I could use a second body!

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Film Cameras
by taboma / November 9, 2007 5:16 PM PST
In reply to: Film Camera

Ansel Adams had film and a very old camera back in the '40s. Never stopped him from producing the greatest nature photography we may ever see in our lifetime.
I do like film. I also like the ease of digital.

My wife and I visited a fishing port in the Western part of Turkey in 2005.
My wife had an Olympus Stylist 35mm pocket camera. I had a Canon S400 digital pocket camera.
We both took shots of the harbor. And guess what?
My shot was good and I like it. (Snap Shot on Vacation)

My wife's 35mm film shot came out superior!!! It was wonderful to view. (Snap Shot also on vacation)

Nice photo by an executive secretary don?t you think?

I have a Nikon 6006 35mm with a nice Nikor 1.3.3 lens. I still think that my 35mm film shots are superior to my SD500 Canon. I have better control of the film camera than my Canon.
On the other side of the coin is the fact that I have not mastered all that a digital camera can do.
I am better at it after two years, yet the learning curve is high with digital.

jbaviera, I can produce a double and trippple exposure with digital imaging using Adobe Photoshot. :

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Film Cameras
by jbaviera / November 9, 2007 10:12 PM PST
In reply to: Film Cameras

I have a 25 year old AE-1 Program which uses FD/FL style lenses. Auto focus is NOT an option. The newer Canons (EOS, etc) use a larger diameter lens and mine are not compatable without an adaptor (I'd still have to set the aperature and focus the image...). The last lens I purchased was around 1990, abut the same time Canon was phasing out the FD and starting up with the EOS series.

"Nice photo by an executive secretary don?t you think?" Absolutly!

I don't have the time to go through another learnig curve for digital cameras, or the related software (i.e.: Photoshop). Cost for me to upgrade is very prohibitive.

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No doubt,
by jump1127 / November 10, 2007 12:31 PM PST
In reply to: Film Cameras

Nikon SLR cameras were legendary. Previously, the film camera provides the better dynamic range than the old-day DSLR cameras. But, recently, I could hardly tell the different when comparing pictures shooting in RAW and that of film shooting. The better sensor, improved engine, and light sensitivity have put DSLR camera a great deal of improvement. However, not every old-day lenses are good for new DSLR, since the sensitivity of sensor has somewhat shifted. I'd say that it has much to do with the lense's coating and design. Just a precaution. Good luck with your new DSLR soon, Kevin. Life will be so much easier, I guarantee you.

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No doubt,
by taboma / November 10, 2007 2:43 PM PST
In reply to: No doubt,

jump1127, Thanks for your asurance into digital.
Your digital photos are out of this world by the way. Fabulous!!

I do like Nikon film and look forward to Nikon digital.
Right now I have a Canon S400 & SD500. Both pocket cameras for travel.
Nice to use for travel and great snap shots.

Another good Canon camera that fits in-between is the Canon G7.
That camera is just great with a price tag of $570.
I bought on for my son and have seen his photo results. Really nice quality images.

Canon D40 looks interesting also as a choice for a top digital camera.

Shooting in RAW is the best choice except for sports shots. There is a lag-time with certain cameras shooting in RAW.
A lot of information is recorded with RAW.



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Shooting sports in raw works just fine with
by Kiddpeat / November 11, 2007 10:41 PM PST
In reply to: No doubt,

higher end Canons like the 20, 30, or 40D. Two things are important. The size of the camera's internal buffer, and the speed of the memory card. The larger size of raw fills the buffer faster, but you can shoot for about 3-5 seconds at a time.

The 1D Mark III has two parallel processors, so it can handle the data stream even better.

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Shooting sports in raw works just fine with
by taboma / November 12, 2007 11:58 AM PST

kiddpeat, High-end cameras that you mentioned can handle a burst. Something that is older cannot handle RAW and bursts it seems. One of my co-workers that does sports with an older camera told me that there is a lag-time shooting in RAW. He does not have the high-end Canon D20, 30 or the new D40.
He shoots with an older Pentex.
The press release from Nikon quotes a burst of 6 in RAW and 8 with a battery pack added. Pretty impressive stats for RAW.
I have never used RAW, so I cannot back you up. You do and that is good enough for me!


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Film camera vs. digital
by pshaver / November 9, 2007 8:01 AM PST

I own a 35mm camera and a digital. I love my film camera because my pictures of plants and wildlife are so much better for color and detail. My digital is used for everyday use but my film camera is used more for pictures to be framed and used as notecards.
My digital was bought many years ago and therefore it is heavy when I go out to explore nature. My printer is supposed to be one of the best but my pictures do not turn out with proper lighting or clarity.

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Do you still use a film camera
by RolliePJ / November 9, 2007 8:06 AM PST

I have both an SLR and a 4 meg digital. I use the SLR for fast action pictures and for scenic ones. I do not feel the digital can compare to the film. I can blow up prints or the negative from the SLR to any size I want and do not lose clarity. The digital one will start to de-degitize the pixels after you get over a 5x7. The color is far better with a film camera then a digital. In order to get the same results in a digital camera I would have to spend a whole lot of money for a DSLR. I don't feel that they have improved enough to make me want to change completly to a digital.

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Do you still use a film camera?
by taboma / November 10, 2007 3:23 PM PST

You have to shoot your kind of photography in RAW only. Not in JPEG at all. Jpg is compression and in RAW, nothing is lost.
Take a look at digital shooting in raw.

Here is an example: I take an image in jpg and save it in Adobe Photoshop, or any imaging software, every time you do that the imaging gets compressed even more.

Make sure you set your digital camera on Superfine and large.
That way, you can start with a huge image, say a 36x24. Not a 5x7.

Try a Canon G7. The cost is about $560. That camera is the next best camera to a DSR. Super lens also.

As to color resolution. Digital really is accurate. So is film.
Depends on the lens and your camera settings.
Want to really improve your photos? Go to Adobe Photoshop.
Not cheap, yet a great darkroom!!!


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Digital cameras
by mittens / November 9, 2007 8:14 AM PST

I grew up with a Kodak Brownie, inherited my husband's old 35mm and yes took some great photos with it--but when he bought his first digital camera seven years ago, I borrowed it once, and then he bought another camera for himself!
I never looked back. No more f-stops, no more focusing, no more waiting for film to be developed, no more 'I only have two shots left on this roll", no more running out of film, or paying for shots that were less than good.

Digital allows you to make mistakes and correct them in the next shot, and your darkroom is right in your computer, isnt it.

In a way its like going from a manual typewriter to a keyboard. Once you get the hang of it you wonder how you ever managed without it.

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by mwooge / November 9, 2007 8:18 AM PST

I mostly use a digital, but sometimes use one of my antiques. You can still get film and processing for many of these, it's professional-size medium and large format.

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I perfer a film camera
by thebug / November 9, 2007 8:26 AM PST

I have a digital and am forever putting batteries in it and their always
dead or very low when I go to use the camera! Tried the best batteries I could find 2500ma NiMetal and they just don't last very long. At least with a film camera there's no batteries to go dead and it works when I need it to. A digital camera also has a delay when you take a pic and so you have to hold it still for a few seconds and then if it's something thats moving , well forget it, you'll miss the action you want. I would like to know of a digital that is as fast as a film camera?

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problems with digitals
by betheloise / November 9, 2007 9:04 AM PST
In reply to: I perfer a film camera

I know what you mean! I shopped long and hard for a digital camera that didn't have the problems you noted. One of my 35 mm cameras requires batteries, the other is completely mechanical. The digital I have (Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W55) does not have a noticeable time difference from the time I pull it out of my bag until I have taken the picture. Messing with the lens cap and all that always slowed me down on a 35 mm anyway, not to mention realizing too late I was out of film. And I had to try about 20 cameras before I found on that had minimal lag time and was not outrageously priced (about $160 for mine, plus about $35 for a 2Gb memory card; extra memory is required if you plan on taking more than about 8 pictures. With my current setup I have space for ~3000 photos or a video ~1.5 hours long). I found the best bet on batteries is to go with a camera that has a battery included. If you are using something like AA or AAA batteries cameras seem to kill them pretty fast, even lithium batteries that are supposed to last longer in electronics. One of my friends has the same problem with her camera, and it was the principle reason I steered away from Kodak Easy Share. However, my sister really likes her Kodak, so ya never know...

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(NT) Solution for the dead digital battery problem?
by WHlanteigne / November 9, 2007 11:51 AM PST
In reply to: problems with digitals
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Solution for the dead battery problem? (disregard 1st)
by WHlanteigne / November 9, 2007 12:50 PM PST

(My puter doesn't like this forum, it freezes, then it send messages before they're done).

I solved the dead battery problem by removing batteries as soon as I've finished shooting (not a good idea to store batteries inside any camera, anyway). I put the batteries in a "snack size" zipper bag (or put batteries and camera inside a larger bag). Batteries stay fresh, and if in a larger bag the camera is protected from dust.

And buy those AA and AAA cells in the 24-packs...

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This digital camera is great!
by nancycollier / November 10, 2007 11:43 AM PST
In reply to: I perfer a film camera

Hi there,

I bought an 8.1 megapixel Casio Exilim a year ago and bought two batteries in case the first one lost power. I have yet to use the second battery! I've taken this puppy to Hawaii and Europe and it's fantastic! Fits in my pocket, no shudder lag (virtually instant) and never a battery problem. Just in case, I charge it each night in the charger and it goes and goes and goes, but even when using it while not on vacation the battery lasts a very long time. With my 2Gig memory card I can fit hundreds of photos or an hour of video. With 8 megapixels I can take any photo from far away and still have enough resolution to zoom and crop in Photoshop. BTW, ignore the digital zoom, the real zoom power is in the optical zoom. This is my second dig camera and it's fantastic, I'd buy it again in a second.

Nancy Collier

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This digital camera is great!
by taboma / November 10, 2007 3:50 PM PST

Your tip of charging the batteries every night is right on!!!
The only thing worse than loosing power is running out of film!

With a good lithium battery and a good 2GBSD memory card, one can shoot about 750 images set on large and superfine with JPG.
Not sure about shooting in RAW and how many images you can take on a 2GB card.
Nancy, I like your post. It is interesting that you cited that that your camera fits into your pocket while on vacation. I love that feature also. Out of sight?out of the theives and pick-pockets vision.
That's how I carry my Canon camera also in Europe and Turkey. Right in my right-hand pocket jeans. Out of sight?out of mimd!

Nancy, Good thinking on your part! :

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Put away my film
by khammerberg / November 9, 2007 8:28 AM PST

I have several Digital Cameras, a Nikon D200, Nikon D100, Pentex Optio WP (for those nasty Kansas Days), Nikon point and shoot and an Olympus 750 (older but a great workhorse with 5x optical zoom).

I love the digital workflow and use Lightroom and CS3 for my photo work. A lot of what I do is semi-professional (read: don't make enough money on it)

Digital gives me high quality pictures and with a 7-10 megapixal camera I can enlarge or crop as much as I need. I do a lot of 16x20 prints and you can not find a difference from film to digital. With digital I can post process to get exactly the picture I want. Don't miss the chemicals, having to wait for results from a printer and hoping that they send back what I pictured in my mind.

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Digital vs Film
by betheloise / November 9, 2007 8:33 AM PST

I occasionally use my old 35mm. There's something about it that I really like, something like nostalgia. However I've been using it less and less as the cost of film and processing continues to climb. Plus I admit I just love the instant gratification of taking a digital picture and seeing immediately how it turned out. I know if it worked, if I should take it again, if there was something on the subject's face or a tree appearing to grow out of their ear.

I can put my photos on my computer or online that very day so no worries about losing a roll of film or double-exposing it, and if my friends are interested they can drop in and see how my trip is going.

Only about 5-1/2 years ago I studied in Europe for a summer and the most tech-savvy and well-moneyed member of my group had a 35mm camera. Now it is getting progressively more difficult to find a film camera. How time flies!

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Do Fish Swim???
by bluesky12102 / November 9, 2007 9:53 PM PST
In reply to: Digital vs Film

Now that I own a car, I no longer need a buggy-whip.

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Yes, Still Using Film
by sunwatcher / November 9, 2007 8:34 AM PST

The main reason I'm still shooting film is because I like the freedom of control and versatility of my Canon SLR. We have several digital point-and-shoots around the house which are fine for everyday use, but I'll use the SLR for my own creative shooting. I really do like the quality of images I get with my 35mm.

Digital will be the way to go for me in the future, but I think the current technology in today's DSLRs is still in its early stages. I'm waiting for DSLRs that are lighter and have better battery life. I'd also like to see a better crop of cameras with full-frame sensors, and right now the price for those are a little out of my reach.

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Yes, Still using film
by gabrolena / November 9, 2007 1:14 PM PST
In reply to: Yes, Still Using Film

We still use film for taking pics of our colts for registration purposes. The reason, Have you ever tried to get a month old colt to stand still. Try it sometime. especially since you have to take a pic of each side plus front and back while trying to keep mom out of the pic at the same time. They aren't the most cooperative critters any time, but walk out there with a camera and it turns into total chaos. Digitals just don't have fast enough reaction time, plus they don't work so well after getting knocked out of your hands, and they really don't agree with road apples and sawdust. Believe me, a throw away camera is just the ticket.

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Still in the film world... sort of
by BlueKnight / November 9, 2007 9:05 AM PST

I still own a couple of film cameras: Nikon F-1 35mm SLR and a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Rapid 35mm SLR (full manual) with which I use a Gossen N100 light meter. With my father passing away last December, I'll probably end up with his newer model Zeiss Ikon Contaflex as well as his Nikon F-1 and Rolleiflex 4x4 format cameras. I also inherited an original Kodak box camera (early 1900's), a 2D I believe (8x10 film).

Back when I had time, I used to develop my own film and did my own prints. That was a great deal of fun.

I do not own a digital camera, but I occasionally borrow one. The problem I have is the expense of a digital that equals my F-1 and telephoto lens. I have both an f1.4 50mm and f1.8 70-210mm macro zoom. Duplicating that capability in a digital run big $$$.

That said, I like the Canon S3 IS, but I'd rather have more than 6MP for the price. They do take very nice photos.

If I had my own digital camera, I suspect I'd use it just a little more than my conventional cameras... at least until film disappears.

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Do you still use a film camera?
by Dionesius3 / November 9, 2007 9:27 AM PST

I think film cameras have a place but not for me.
I think pros still use them, and some Luddites, but other than those I can't imagine why anyone would want to use one.
With a digital camera and a 1GB SD card you can shoot several hundred photo's. And if you are like me, not a pro, the chances of getting some good shots go way up.

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Ghosts prefer film
by ekent / November 9, 2007 9:46 AM PST

For almost all my photographic needs, professional and home, I use a high-end Fujifilm digital camera. But in my line of work I run across a lot of 'paranormal investigators' who insist ghosts don't like digital but will appear on film. Real scientific, huh? Anyway, when I research an old site I'll bring my aging Pentax K1000 35mm SLR along and snap a few shots. Needless to say, I've never ended up with a picture of a ghost, film or not.

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Flying pigs?
by TrackStar1682 / November 9, 2007 9:47 AM PST

I'll be taking my first pictures of flying pigs with my professional quality Canon EOS-1v 35mm, and by the time I've hand processed the images, the shutters of the digital cameras used by the others might finally be snapping, even though we all clicked at the same time.

While the concept of digital initially wowed me a lot, I was silenced pretty quickly by the lack of quality, shutter lag, and overall shoddiness of technique used by digital shooters.

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Flying Pigs?
by taboma / November 10, 2007 11:18 PM PST
In reply to: Flying pigs?

TrackStar1682, I enjoy the posts concerning Road Apples & Sawdust, Ghosts and yours?
Flying Pigs? Nice posts. Clever and fun!


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