Film photography or Digital?

Question by Kris: Film photography or Digital?
Which is a more interestingly artistic hobby to have? Black and white film photography or digital photography? Why?

Best answer:

Answer by TitoBob
Film photography is going the way of the dodo bird (extinct). Film and processing will get more and more expensive as time goes on. Get a good DSLR camera with extra lenses as needed, perhaps some filters too. Get some good software for processing images, and you can still do the B&W route for the final result, but you have so many other options in the editing.

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6 Responses to Film photography or Digital?

  1. Vegas Jimmy says:

    I loved darkroom work. I love the smell of fixer in the morning, and the thrill of seeing a great print coming out of the process is one that you never get over.

    I’ll never smell fixer again, and film-and-wet-processing is for the birds. The dead dodo in particular.

    Digital is so inherently superior to film it would take volumes to detail all the details. Don’t even bother with film. And this is from an old pro who once considered gearing up for dye-transfer printing just for the sheer technical excellence of it. No way now, man!

  2. Tobasco says:

    I rarely play with film anymore. It’s fun in some ways, but at the end of the day, even B&W photography is SO much easier to control and adjust if it’s shot digitally. I’m probably shooting an average of 1 or 2 rolls of 35mm film a year these days.

    Digital wins against film in all of the following competitions:

    -Long term cost
    -Short term cost (kind of)
    -Lens/accessory/etc. availability
    -Print size (unless you buy a massive large format film camera or something)
    -Ease of use

    And the list goes on.

  3. fhotoace says:

    I use both. So do some of my clients.

    Sometimes you have to shoot film if using a view camera for instance

  4. iCan says:

    I shoot with both; but I use color film.

    I prefer my film camera over my digital though; it’s so simple to use yet gives great quality images.

  5. EDWIN says:

    In my opinion everyone should spend at least a year shooting black & white film and using a traditional wet darkroom. Although I haven’t set foot in a darkroom for many years I still use film since I have no delusions of “going pro” and simply enjoy photography as I’ve done it since I started in 1971 except with a lot of improvement.

    Using a manual film camera teaches the beginner that there’s more to photography than just point & shoot, point & shoot, point & shoot, point & shoot and then spend hours trying to find one good picture while deleting all the bad ones. Good photography requires thinking – thinking about the composition, the light, the exposure – and thinking requires time.

    If you have the money and space to set up a traditional darkroom you can set yourself apart by producing traditional silver prints on real fiber-based paper. Look at the work of Jerry Uelsmann – he still uses a traditional darkroom for his work. Would anyone tell him he should switch to digital?

    At the end of the day photography is photography regardless of how you preserve the image. You can use a film camera to make great pictures or you can use it to make lousy pictures and you can do the same with a digital camera.

    “It isn’t the camera its the photographer” and “Get it right in the camera” are both valid statements and in my opinion always will be.

  6. Shelby says:

    film, definitely. the photos come out so much nicer, they’re not all pixely like many digital photographs today, there is no noise (grain, when pictures were taken in low light situations)

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