The film versus digital debate has raged on for over a decade now. Digital cameras are so capable that it seems silly for anyone to go back to an archaic medium like film. Film is slow, expensive (sort of), lacks many game-changing features found in today's digital cameras, and has lower resolution (sort of). But it has some qualities to it that make it an entirely viable medium for working photographers and enthusiasts alike. One of which that I firmly believe in is that it will make you a better photographer.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on my favorite camera, the Mamiya RZ67. Even though such a camera sells for peanuts compared to its original cost decades ago, buying into a new system can be costly. Well, in celebration of May the 4th, KEH, a used camera gear reseller, is having a fantastic sale on Mamiya gear.
Getting into medium format is quite costly. It’s difficult to know if the investment is going to be worth it and if it’s going to match your current workflow. Medium format has a tendency to slow you down, kind of like film. When I tried my first Phase One, I couldn’t afford one. So I went with the cheapest alternative I could find, the Mamiya RB67 Pro-S. Here’s why I’m glad I made that move but also why it doesn’t replace a digital medium-format system.
As one of our site's regular film shooters, I naturally tend to post a lot of articles on the subject. Without fail, I'll get a few comments to the effect of digital being so much better than film or vice-versa. I've always laughed off such remarks, but since they keep on coming I figured I'd address them. Maybe the mediums have more in common than some would like to admit.
One of the beautiful things about film is the variety of cameras out there. You could shoot a different one every day and seemingly never get to the end of them. With that variety, though, comes a lot of quirkiness. A new generation of photographers has embraced one of the quirkiest cameras of all: The Nishika N8000. Although no technical marvel, its resurgence in the photography community is because of one unexpected trick, creating 3D animated GIFs.
Everyone has their baby. You know, that one camera that speaks to them in a way that all other cameras fall short. Of course, saying something like, "best portrait camera ever" is pretty loaded, but I calls it how I sees it! The Mamiya RZ67 is, for a variety of reasons, one of the best cameras ever made. In this article and accompanying video I'll give a birds eye view of the camera and its features, show a little work produced by it, and give you some insight into why this camera is at the top of the heap for me.
Italy's Film Ferrania, whose halting progress toward reopening as the third (or fourth, if Kodak beats them to the punch) manufacturer able to produce color slide film we've been following, has made another step towards their goal. Their online shop is now open and taking pre-orders for the new Ferrania's first product, a re-engineered version of P30 ISO 80 black and white film in 35mm format.
What a tangled, twisted road this has been. When I finally built up the courage to try out large-format photography a little more than half a year ago, I knew that I was in for a bit of a rough ride. But with a healthy serving of ruined film, swear words, and YouTube lessons under my belt, I've come out semi-clean on the other side. Here are the most useful lessons I've learned thus far. Hopefully I can stave off some frustration for those of you who feel like taking the plunge.
It's 2017, which, if you haven't heard the news, means it's back to film (Yes, I admit I would have said the same for any year, but 2017 really is special in this regard. Read on to find out why). Most of us are living the digital photography lifestyle, however, and though every photographer is a gear hound to some degree, we're loath to overpay on stuff we don't need. Solution? Buy a film body for your existing lenses. In the first of a loose series, let's take a look at the first mount in the alphabet and your options for it. Here are some cool cameras for Sony's A-mount.
Last fall I reviewed the Intrepid Camera, a low-cost 4x5 large-format film camera. Although the sentiment behind the camera was admirable, I found it lacking in finish and functionality. Well now Intrepid has come out with their second version which aims to correct many of the flaws of their first generation. Were they successful? In a word: Yes!
Developing your own film might be the cheaper (and more amusing) way to go, but with all the preparation and lab space required, that simply hasn't always the best option. Ars-Imago's Lab-Box hopes to solve these problems in a small, light-proof container that enables you to develop your own film at home or even while traveling – yes, it's that easy and compact. The best part: it's not all that expensive, either.
How did technology make "Planet Earth" so much more cinematic? If we go back to how it was done back in the day and compare it to the technology we have today, it's quite a leap. Back in the day 35mm was the broadcast standard. The 35mm cameras were bulky and heavy, they were perfect for studio and not for the shots that they needed. In the filming circles and the BBC insiders saw 16mm film as being for amateurs. But, thanks to David Attenborough first taking his 16mm camera out to shoot abroad and coming back with footage of animals never filmed before, it changed opinions. This made the program that later became one of the best wildlife documentaries of all time.
A few months ago, I started a passion project of mine: FilmObjektiv.org. Film Objektiv was started with one goal in mind: to get more people shooting film. We do this by renting film cameras at low prices for longer periods of time, by providing prints at a low cost, and also by serving as an online and educational resource to help film shooters find everything they'd ever need. It's this last part that still needs some work, but it's well on its way with this new pricing guide for film labs across the country. Still, I could use your help.