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Film or Digital
Old 03-21-2005, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I need some input.......I will be purchasing a new camera here shortly. I have approx $3000.00 I have looked at a Mamiya 645 brcause i really like the larger format. I had a pentax 67II until it recently became deceased [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] I am also looking at the Cannon EOS 20D wich btw would only use up about half of my funding for a new camera. I have a Cannon EOS film and a couple lenses that if i understand correctly can be used on the digital version. Im kinda leaning toward the digital side because i stll have the 35mm camera, but i also love to use film. I mostly have been shooting b/w because i like to develope my own film and prints, which saves me the cost of going to a lab. What are your opinions on the Cannon 20 D, and if i decide to go digital, is this a camera i should be looking at, or is there a different model that would be "better". If the lenses can be interchanged, i would b=prefer to stay with Cannon so i dont have to by new glass. Need some help from you so i dont drive my wife crazy with my "hmmmm....maybe i should get this one.........no....maybe this one" [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] All coments appreciated.
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 12:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, most people will probably tell you to go digital... most people I've seen here say the Canon 20D is a really nice camera (I don't have any experience with it). I, however, still primarily use film, and medium format is just NICE. Not only for the big negatives you get, but, I dunno, it just FEELS good -- you get a feeling of bigness just looking through the viewfinder, which is really cool. (But since you've already used a medium format camera, you already know that. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img])

I guess it also depends on how you plan on making prints, and how patient you are. Of course, shooting film gives you the option to print both traditionally and digitally, although printing a film shot digitally takes longer (scanning and all) than if it was straight from a digicam.

I really think this is a call you'll have to make based on your own personal wants/needs. I have a Nikon D100 -- it's quite a nice digicam, more features than I'd personally ever need and all that -- but I find myself rarely using it. In fact, until I can afford one that has all the features I want, I mainly end up using my little Nikon N75 35mm camera. But like you, I like developing my own black & white film and prints at home.

Hmm, I dunno if this helped very much. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] But whatever you buy, good luck with your new purchase!

Sam
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 12:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You may try a search for the d20 on the search forum section. If you go back 6 months or so I am sure you will find many posts on the D 20
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 12:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a couple of Mamiya 6.45 for sale?

e-mail me if you are interested

clickin@frontiernet.net
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 12:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, you are right, there is something i really like about holding that big camera [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] So far, the only digital i've used is the cheap hp one that came with my last computer. I do have a scanner that allows me to scan neg's and slides, but i have to use a bit of ingenuity (sp) when scanning the larger neg's as it is meant for 35mm but it seems to only crop off a bit of the side which really hasnt caused me any problems as of yet. I guess im just nervous about entering the digital realm as im not the most computer savvy person around. Most of what i do consists of using my wife as a model to improve my skills. I would love to someday have my own studio and make this a full time job. In that respect, it would seem that digital would be cheaper to use as a learning tool, but I have also read and been told that .........and i might be wrong........ you need to use film to learn correct lighting and composition etc, because it forces you to make sure everything is right before clicking the shutter. Digital on the other hand, if it doesnt look right, you just delete the file and do it again. Not meaning to offend anyone here, i dont know much about the digital world. I know there are alot of photographers that only use digital and produce beautiful results. Anyway, enough of me rambling. I do appreciate the comments and hopefully will come to a decision before long.
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Re: Film or Digital - Get both!
Old 03-22-2005, 02:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Since you already have some Canon lenses, with $3k you should be able to get a new 20D body and a used 645 (with a couple lenses) without much trouble.

Later,
Michael
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 03:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I totally agree that digital makes a nice learning tool. I'll sometimes use mine as a Polaroid back, of sorts, instead of actually using a Polaroid (which, incidentally, has anyone besides me used a Polaroid back on a Holga? It doesn't get much more fun than that! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]). And since you have no film to worry about, it does let you experiment more freely. So digital is good for experimentation, and I do use it for that.

But I also agree with what you said about the technical side of things, as far as lighting, composition, and all that... I have to admit, when I got my D100, I was pretty giddy, playing and shooting everything in sight. However, I also got lazy. I wasn't as careful metering as I was before, and I'd basically "chimp" away 'til it looked okay on the LCD screen. Of course, with most digicams, you can't really trust those screens. Only when you download the images to your computer will you really know how they turned out.

After I realized what I was doing -- how lazy I was getting and how I was content with just making images look "okay" -- I went back to film, slowed myself down, and forced myself to actually look at what I was shooting. When you're using film, you basically have to know how your image will look before you click the shutter (like you said), which takes practice -- something I'm still in the process of doing.

I'm not looking to offend any hardcore digital users either. This has just been my experience.

I guess what I'm saying, to make a long post longer, is that I agree with what you said. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Sam
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 07:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I understand that they go for more than $3,000.00, but there are some used Canon 1Ds cameras available for not too much more than that.
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 08:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Another option you have is to spend the money to get a film scanner capable of handling medium format. Both Nikon and Minolta make such a beast for ~$1700-2000. They scan at 4000 dpi and above, which gives you up to a ~60MP (for 6 x 4.5) scan. Just be prepared to wait a bit. I have the Minolta and I love it.

The best way to learn is to take meticulous notes on every shot you take. I don't think you really learn anything by "chimping". Whether it's digital or slides, you can't learn a thing if you don't correlate the results to your settings. I personally feel that shooting slides is the best way to learn because, unlike digital, the image on the slide IS the final image. With digital, everyone's monitor, camera LCD, and printer are different. You can take a slide to any competent (pro) lab and tell them to make a print look like the slide. There's no misunderstanding between you and the tech whose making your print. With a slide, you've eliminated a whole host of variables that would otherwise affect the final product.

And when I say take notes I mean 1/2 a sheet (or more) of paper. Beyond the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO you need to take notes about how the shot was set up. Where were the lights and what were their power settings? If natural light, what was the time of year, time of day, quality of light, and weather condition? What type, shape, and size reflectors and/or diffusers did you use? What was the lighting ratio between the key light source and the fill. What did your meter tell you and what did you actually do? If you're shooting digital then write down the image size, compression level, sharpness level, color balance, color saturation, and any other settings that have an impact on the image.

With those notes you've got a way to start analyzing shots. You'll start to learn what looks right and what looks off. The notes won't help you much with composition and expression, but it will definately help you with exposure and other technical problems you'll run into. Composition is really about learning how to see. Take a figure drawing class at a local community college or art center. Buy magazines that have the type of imagery you like to make and analyze why you like them. Notice how the model is turned, how the hands are positioned, how the camera was tilted, and how the image was framed (cropped).

At the end of the day, you can learn just as much shooting digitally as you can shooting slides. It is cheaper, but you have more variables to contend with which can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming.

-Chip
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Re: Film or Digital
Old 03-22-2005, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I would say it depends on your goals. I needed to go digital to stay competitive. I have a client that regularly calls me at the last minute, and wants the stuff on disk that day or the next. And, they were worth the investment. I've also gotten jobs just because I can provide the quicker turn around. However, if you have the luxury of shooting film, and the wait time of getting it processed and then scanning the images you want, then that route may work for you. I'll tell you though, my slide scanner has sat idle since I switched.
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