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Manual Focus: Should we forget the 35mm film legacy?

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  • Manual Focus: Should we forget the 35mm film legacy?

    This week's Manual Focus column at DPNow.com puts the legacy of 35mm into digital perspective. Do we want to preserve too much from the past? DPNow editor, Ian Burley, thinks so and explains why the dream of truly affordable full frame digital cameras will always remain just a dream.

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  • #2
    Re: Manual Focus: Should we forget the 35mm film legacy?

    I'm glad that I'm not the only one that thinks full frame Digital will fall by the wayside. I've seen this argument that size matters (and we all know the answer to that statement) ever since I started in photography. First it was 2 1/4 sq. against plate cameras, then 35mm against 2 1/4 sq. and as things progressed digital against film. For some reason we all seem to oppose change and will argue that the modern equipment is inferior to our old gear. If we were totally honest it's just not true. I've said it time and time again that I wish now that I'd had digital when I was actively earning a crust at photography. How much easier life would have been. Armchair photography is how I describe digital. And you can't beat a bit of comfort can you. Results is the B all and end all and as long as the quality is there it don't matter a dam what size produces it.

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    • #3
      Re: Manual Focus: Should we forget the 35mm film legacy?

      Originally posted by DPNow View Post
      This week's Manual Focus column at DPNow.com puts the legacy of 35mm into digital perspective. Do we want to preserve too much from the past? DPNow editor, Ian Burley, thinks so and explains why the dream of truly affordable full frame digital cameras will always remain just a dream.

      More...
      Interesting article, it's a pity that not all could enjoy FF digital photography, as I was clearing out my garage, I've come across a collection of 16" x12" traditional prints, they were shot on a variety of film SLR's and compacts, stock range from Kodak Technical Pan to Tmax 3200. Some of the grainier prints (on highspeed film) could only be describe to have only approx.3-4MP equivalent quality, whilst the Technical pan images is free of grain and as clean as images from a 25MP digital camera (5X4 quality in film terms). On average, 35mm film quality (IMO) equates to about 6MP (quality of imaging chip dependent - that is another issue altogether, as some of the newer 10MP compacts is actually worst than some of the old 4/5 MP digital cameras, in terms of clarity, over processing is to blame for this), anything above this is now moving towards medium format quality, we can not and should not compare too much with the old.

      Now, the focal length, depth of field, circle of confusion in 35mm is different to the medium format, but we are getting medium format quality with FF digital 35mm, this is a totally new horizon and I must say I couldn't be happier, carrying less weight and product better quality images. We may as well to embrace this new frontier, it is not going to go away, this is the same at the turn of the century, portrait artist have gradually been killed off by photographers, film then replaces glass plates, so it goes on.

      Lately also hear of a strong film resurgence, it could well be true, but the fact remains, that time and cost is just not on the films side, with enough know how, we can product film grain effect of the old, but not in reverse.

      Danny

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      • #4
        Re: Manual Focus: Should we forget the 35mm film legacy?

        Narrow depth of field creativity is a limitation of compact digital cameras and even smaller format DSLRS to a degree, but you can of course post-process and blur backgrounds selectively.

        I find reports of a resurgence in film a bit curious - show me the evidence

        Ian
        Founder/editor
        Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
        Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
        Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
        Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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