Wake up everybody!

That great image you just shot with your digital camera… it looks fake!

It would have have looked a lot better if you had used film.

Too bad.


19 thoughts on “Wake up everybody!

  1. Hrnry says:

    Well now, Peter, as much as i love and use my m9p and its rendering of skin tones, i’ve been making portraits with my old 500cm and fp4-plus for several months! And you are right: the film’s rendering of skin and other materials is REAL and beautiful. I love those delicate white and gray (u.s. Preference, thank you) tones. And the hint of grain evokes a long history of viewing. Film lives forever for good reason. As your work illustrates. Viva la black and white and Portra too.

  2. Andrew Gemmell says:

    Here here! Film is a bit of a pain in the b#m though I love the imperfections and anticipation.

  3. Steve Verhoef says:

    Family vacation on a beach with film… Cuba never looked so good.

    I think this summer I might try the following film company: http://lomig.fr/products/

  4. G.A. says:

    It would take a long time to discuss about that. Yes, film is lovely

  5. Larry Cloetta says:

    I feel that way myself, most days. Why don’t people wake up? I don’t know. I guess either you see it or you don’t.
    BTW, whatever happened to the new, upcoming CCD sensor camera from a while back? Or was film it? Film=The Carefully Crafted Delight sensor.
    I dunno. Maybe.

    • The new CCD sensor camera?… I don’t recall saying anything about that 😉

      I did, however, say that all you CCD sensor lovers should “keep the faith” and I that “I cannot divulge anything further”.

      Unfortunately, I’m still not at liberty to divulge, but I do ask that you continue to keep the faith.

  6. mewanchuk says:

    “Ah!! He’s at it again!!”

    -Rex the Dinosaur, Toy Story
    (All Copyrights Reserved–The Disney Pixar Company)

  7. Dave Uhlig says:

    Is it ok to be the guy that doesn’t agree… I have never been happier with the versatility of my D750. Sports, weddings, portraits and feels absolutely perfect in the hand. The sensor is giving me some of the best black and white images I have taken. I understand the draw to film, but I wouldn’t want to go back to it.

  8. Ashwin Rao says:

    I too disagree. It would mean that every image that I have taken in 5 year is “fake”. Not true. I would argue that digital files do permit a flexibility and creativity on the fly that represents reality in many ways, tailored specifically to the artist behind the camera. This can be both stifling or limiting, depending on the perspective. I am a digital devotee…love film too, but it’s really apples and oranges.

    • Ashwin, thanks for responding. You know how much I value your perspective, so I’m sincerely asking: do you see a difference between the two media (in the final output)? Because, as you know, I too have shot digital extensively and every one of my digital images looks fake. That’s my sincere assessment. The irony is, digital is better at capturing the details and yet it somehow misses the “forest”, if you know what I mean.

      • By the way, I’m of course still shooting digital, for all of the conveniences that it brings.

        And also: the hyper-sharp, hyper-real eye candy of digital attracts me to the latest gear… but ultimately it’s all so visually unsatisfying.

  9. zeroout says:

    I returned to film a couple of months ago and have not picked up my digital camera since. If I need something quick and easy I just use my phone. Like many who shot film in the old days and then went digital for clients, I just came to the point where I was tired of trying to make my digital images look like film and most always being disappointed. I am a film guy now.

  10. Aivaras says:

    Yes. In 15 minutes I’m going to the store to buy some ilford delta3200. This will free me from digital camera during dark hours.

  11. Mitch Alland says:

    [Note: I tried to post this last night, but my system reacted strangely — I may not have been signed in — and am not sure tat it got through…sorry if it’s a repetition of last night’s posts].

    Peter – two weeks ago I shot three rolls of Tri-X with my M6 that I haven’t used for ten years. Not sure where the impulse came from but, to say the obvious, I’m blown away by how lowlights are rendered in the bright, harsh tropical light that I shoot in in Thailand. With the MM and the M9, I’m always fighting “those great blobs of fire”, to paraphrase the song.

    If I intended to do darkroom printing I would sell my MM and M9, but the real problem is how long scanning takes. Actually, I was in Chiang Mai when I shot the three Tri-X rolls: there is a marvelous film lab there that also has a rental dark room. It’s owned by two young women in their mid-twenties, who fell in love with film at university. They do a great job developing by hand: no dust or scratches on the film. They also scan well, at about US$4 per roll on an Epson 800 at 4800 dpi.

    I thought of getting a Plustek 35mm scanner, but am concerned that the dMax is only 3.6 — you can get to 4.0 dMax using the SilverFast software using mult-ipass scanning, but that takes 30 minutes per frame. Actually, I have an Imacon Precision III that I gave to a friend in December, when I was sure that I would never do film again, but he couldn’t get it going — it has a SCSI interface — and returned it to me on Tuesday. In three 10-hour days, I managed to get the old OS X 10.6.8 installed on an old Mac PowerBook to run the Imacon ColorFlex 4.04 software and got the SCSI-to-FireWire Orange Converter and Granite (power) SCSI Terminator going so that all this works — only to learn today (i.e., the third full day) that this scanner, which does true optical resolution of 6300dpi with a dMAx of 4.2 (two stops better than the Plustek) loses sharpness at the trailing of the 35mm frame (as the negative is fed in portrait orientation). After many hours of searching on the web, I found out that the cause is slippage of the belts that drive the feed of the holder mechanism. I have to replace the belts. Although I can buy the belts in the US or the UK at US$5 each, I’m likely to give up because these canners usually require belt replacement every six months or so. The belt problem also makes the film frame shift in the holder as it goes into the scanner, so that a small portion of the scan is often cut off. I now remember from ten years ago that I often had this problem, but didn’t know there was a solution. BTW, there is noble feed solution — one full res (6300) 35mm takes 15 minutes — ten years ago it took 20-25 minutes.

    As I don’t want to make the care and feeding of this Imacon scanner to be a profession, I’m likely to just dump it. I couldn’t sell it with a good conscience. If I had a good solution for scanning, I’d probably go back to film and sell the digital Leicas. Now I don’t know what I’ll do.

    Sorry to be so long-winded.


  12. Chris says:

    For my purposes, I do not shoot high volume, so a little money spent means less headache and high quality output. I shoot a Leica M7, usually Kodak Portra for color and Ilford B&W. I mail my film to The Darkroom in California. In a few weeks, I get back a jump drive with large files containing detailed high resolution scans of my images. Minimal adjustments are usually needed in Lightroom. Upload to Whitewall in Germany and use Baryta paper for B&W prints and Fujiflex paper for color. They essentially do a digital optical enlargement. The result is rich, colorful prints and deep, high contrast B&Ws of museum quality that look great on your walls. Again, not that cheap, but when enlarging and displaying your work, you have so many walls. (I do NOT have an interest in either company, just a fan of companies that offer superior products) For some reason, the images I have created with film satisfy my soul in a way that digital captures do not. Just my $.02 Peter.

  13. reannring says:

    Agreed! Have been looking into film cameras to start a whole new (older and better) look in photography – Let’s bring film processing back!

  14. reannring says:

    On that note – Peter did you happen to mention anywhere and I have missed what camera you use for this marvelous photos in your portfolio?

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