Are they the same? Who cares?
We have another piece by guest writer Jerome Arfouche for you. This piece is the first in a four part series that wil be spread out over the next week or so. I would really like to hear comments on this. Share your thoughts with us.
The Medium Part 1 – Why film and digital are the same
What, yet another film vs digital post ? Yes, I’ve decided to share my own take on this internet classic, but with a twist. I’m not here to tell you which is
better, but to try and prove that today there is no difference between film and digital. Film and digital are the same? Heresy !
Let’s jump into a conversation between our friends Trip Xavier, a hardcore film loyalist and Henry David Rogers a modern digital fanatic.
Henry David Rogers: Oh man, you still carrying around that old film camera ? Didn’t you hear Kodak is going bankrupt ?
Trip Xavier: Hello Henry, and I see you’re still lugging around your monstrous DSLR of yours
HDR: I don’t know how you do it, all that film you have to buy…
TriX: Ever heard of the internet? If you know where to buy you can get them quite cheap, or buy in bulk.
HDR: …and then you have to send them to the lab and get them developed. And what if the lab ruins your negatives ?
TX: What if your hard drive crashes or you forget to update ? I develop them myself actually, much much cheaper. I have a big tank so I can develop 8 rolls at a time.
HDR: Still, it’s time consuming !
TX: If you think you don’t ‘develop’ your pictures either, all that time spent post processing your files….Besides I’m sure with what you spend changing gear every year you could buy me a boatload of film
HDR: Actually recent Canikon models pretty much all do the same thing, I haven’t bought anything new in a while
TX: But it’s so big a bulky, how do you carry it all the time?
HDR: I was going to tell you about that small X100 I got, smaller than your Leica and even quieter ! The files are amazing, do you still have to scan your
TX: if you’re so hung up on resolution, shoot 4×5 and have them drum scanned ! Listen to me my friend, film is beautiful
HDR: You do know a scanner is essentially just a digital camera right ? Look, you should see some of the tools that are coming out now, like the new Silver
Efex, you almost can’t tell the difference. You may hate the smooth look but…
TX: If you like smooth shoot ISO 25 film or choose a different developer. Are you one of those people who print their files to a physical negative ? Why bother, I mean just get a film camera. Besides, film has more dynamic range, the look is so much more organic and nicer. And what of blown highlights ?
HDR: I think you haven’t yet seen what a well developed RAW file can give you, some of the new sensors have 14 stop dynamic ranges. So what, I expose for highlights, with film you expose for shadow right ?
TX: Shooting film slows you down and makes you a better photographer
HDR: Big deal, I can just pop in a 64MB memory card and shoot less. I’ve seen some contact sheets from photojournalists in the field, some of them used to
shoot entire rolls on one scene, you call that slowing down ? By the way, good luck collecting binders full of negatives, what do you do with that stuff ? what
happens if you lose your films, how do you even travel ?
TX: As if you’ve never lost memory cards either, go collect your hard drives and backups.
HDR: come on, even you can’t deny the convenience of digital
TX: There is nothing convenient about having to read an entire manual before knowing how to use your camera, even a kid could operate my Leica !
HDR: As if they never made complicated film cameras !
TX: White balance, color space, AF algorithms…too many options for me. All the legendary photographers use film
HDR: and all the professionals use digital. you’re a dinosaur
TX: you’re a poser !
At this point Bellamy and I had to intervene and break up the fight….to save the cameras ! Obviously this isn’t a very serious post as I was just trying to
make fun of the most common stereotypes about both digital and film, I’m sure most of us recognized ourselves in a few of these statements. For a more
opinionated and serious post, stay tuned for part 2 of The Medium.