Sunday, March 18, 2007

You've Never Had it So Good!

Its a digital world, everywhere you look digital this, digital that;– seems the whole world has gone digital crazy.
So, where in the grand scheme of things does photographic film stand?

There has never been a better time to buy a film camera, some can be found for peanuts, cast aside by their former owners in the rush to 'go digital'
But 'film is dead'! I hear the cry from the unwashed masses; well, not quite.
There are nearly as many film types/manufacturers as there were in films heyday, and furthermore there have been several recent introductions of new/revived emulsions.

One often overlooked advantage of film is that you can buy modern film, put it in a 1954 Leica M3 and get results that would have been impossible when that camera left the factory in other words, film cameras rather than becoming obsolete with respect to image quality are as good as the film of the day.
Furthermore put a modern lens on an old camera, with modern films will give equal results to the most modern cameras; you can't say that about a 10 year old DSLR.

This post was inspired by the cleaning out of my film fridge, I was staggered at the different types of monochrome film alone.
So which films for which subjects? Is Brand X 100 ISO as good as Brand Y? What about the difference between modern (T-grain) and traditional (cubic grain) type emulsions?
Over the coming months I'll endeavour to spotlight several different films, not in a formal USAF resolution chart type of way, but rather in a general 'feel' and comparative manner.
Films that I'll be trying out will include Gigabit, Ilford Pan F, Kodak Tri-x-pan, T-Max 3200 as well as those pictured above.
Should be fun!

All Images and text ©Mark Antony Smith 2007

1 comment:

Charlie Wood said...

What really pleases me is when I use My Voigtlander Brillant which cost £5 on Ebay!, I have a few..... Not having geared focusing but scale focus you have to rely on your judgement and DOF.
But this is made so much easer by a roll of modern 400 asa film. The Skopar lens is very sharp indeed stopped down to f8, dare I say it going on the scans in terms of sharpness it gives my Nikon a run for its money.. and you are shooting on a 6x6 negative.
when this camera was made it must have been hard work with a 12 asa film and your judgement. Just go to retro photographic the choice is endless for B&W film, Fomapan 100 is a great film for so little money...Digital cameras are handy for selling stuff on ebay so you can get more film and chemicals ha ha....