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#1 shiva

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:14 AM

Hi All,
Iam Shiva and iam from India. Iam really interested in cinematography and would like to do a course in some film school someday.
righ now iam thinking of starting of with still photography, but the trouble is i cant make up my mind on whether to start with a digital slr or the traditional film camera. I would really like to get some help on this. please give me some advice on this and thanks a lot for your time and help.

shiva
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:19 AM

Digital is quite easy to gain a lot of bad habits from. I learned not only on a film camera, but shooting slides, where you *must* get your shot right.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:28 AM

Reversal slide film is great to learn on, also good if you use a incident light meter, so that you can practise your exposure skills.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 11:55 AM

Definitely 35mm SLR is the way to go. When you're working with 35mm and a limited number of shots per roll plus the cost of developing, it gets you in that mindset that every shot is important. You can't just delete and reshoot.

Plus you can get a really nice used manual 35mm SLR camera for cheap anywhere. I got my Nikon FM on craigslist.org for just over $100 and I love it!
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#5 jan von krogh

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 05:06 PM

Hello,
this is one of the most discussed topics today.
I am in the digital camp - i would recommend to aim at digital cinema aquisition.

However, i support what the pro-film folks above recommended - film is really good training, and would i not have started with film, i wouldn´t have learned several lesseons.
Its not that digital gives bad habits - but film is more complicated and challenging, and a harder training is good.

I however would recommend a digital slr - training is much quicker with digital, as you dont have to wait for the development, and, especially cheaper, as you don´t have to pay it.
and trial and error is a very good training.

I have the position that film will be a minority of the productions for cinema within 5-10 years.
However, many people will have the exact opposite opinion and also some good reason to support that point of view.
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 04:17 AM

However, i support what the pro-film folks above recommended - film is really good training, and would i not have started with film, i wouldn´t have learned several lesseons.
Its not that digital gives bad habits - but film is more complicated and challenging, and a harder training is good.

I however would recommend a digital slr - training is much quicker with digital, as you dont have to wait for the development, and, especially cheaper, as you don´t have to pay it.
and trial and error is a very good training.


You can shoot a lot of film with a second hand 35mm SLR compared to the cost of buying a new DSLR. However, nothing to stop you going either route.
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#7 jan von krogh

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 08:20 AM

You can shoot a lot of film with a second hand 35mm SLR compared to the cost of buying a new DSLR. However, nothing to stop you going either route.


Yeah, 35mm SLR have a good price meanwhile. And generally speaking, buying used equipment is good, if you get consulting from experienced people.
And don´t fall for the "i need the best camera"-trick. Its the indian, not the arrow, who makes the difference.
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#8 shiva

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 12:05 PM

Definitely 35mm SLR is the way to go. When you're working with 35mm and a limited number of shots per roll plus the cost of developing, it gets you in that mindset that every shot is important. You can't just delete and reshoot.

Plus you can get a really nice used manual 35mm SLR camera for cheap anywhere. I got my Nikon FM on craigslist.org for just over $100 and I love it!


Hi All,
Thanks a lot for your valuable suggestions. I have made up my mind to go the film way.
Iam looking at buying a nikon f6 and i cant wait to start shooting as its a big leap for me from a point and shoot cam to a slr.
Will love to get the guidance of the pros here in future as well.

Cheers
Shiva
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#9 Daniel Smith

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 08:54 PM

I've been working in photography retail now for about 3 years.

About the only real advantage to shooting film is that it disciplines you.

Digital's better quality and is a lot more flexible. The only high points about film photography is the signature film look (gives the picture some character) and the latitude.

I'm glad I shot on film first, but I can't say I'd go back to it.

I shoot thousands more photos now that I've got a DSLR and have gained so much more skill and experience because of it.

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 25 August 2007 - 08:59 PM.

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#10 Max Jacoby

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 04:42 AM

Digital's better quality

Daniel, I think you opened a whole can of worms with the statment. Obviously everyone's definition of quality is different, but I have yet to be impressed by printed digital stills. I went to the World Press Photo Exhibition at the Royal Festivla Hall yesterday and there one could see a wide range of film and digital cameras at work.
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#11 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:19 AM

Digital's better quality and is a lot more flexible.


That bits questionable as well!
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#12 David Auner aac

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:38 AM

Iam looking at buying a nikon f6 and i cant wait to start shooting as its a big leap for me from a point and shoot cam to a slr.


Hi Shiva,

I think buying the F6 is overkill. Why would you want to get the most expensive new 35mm SLR out there? I think you're much better off with a Nikon FM or FE and a couple of nice used lenses. You're trying to learn about exposure and the like and there's not much point in buying Nikons flagship just to set it to manual and disable all it's gimmicks and features to have it behave like a FM on manual in the first place.
The F6 (and its predecessor the F5, which I used a lot) is a pro-SLR for photojournalists and the like. If you don't mind spending that amount of money get a FE and one of the cheaper Nikon DSLR and have best of both worlds. There are things you learn more quickly with digital and some you learn much better with film.
Look around Ebay or used camera stores and shop for an old manual SLR, a couple of lenses and maybe a light meter to start with. That will run you a couple of hundred US or EU anyway. You can always buy that top dog camera later on.

Cheers, Dave

PS: Please change your username to first & last name as per forum rules. Thanks.
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#13 Daniel Smith

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:29 PM

Daniel, I think you opened a whole can of worms with the statment. Obviously everyone's definition of quality is different, but I have yet to be impressed by printed digital stills. I went to the World Press Photo Exhibition at the Royal Festivla Hall yesterday and there one could see a wide range of film and digital cameras at work.

Well, that may be your experience. And it's also the experience of many other people that I've spoken to in my shop. But certainly from mine and practically everyone I've worked with in photography retail, aswell as the regular pro's, digital wins. It's sharper, more versatile, less noisy.

I'm kinder to film than anyone in my shop, I still think film looks better in some instances. Sometimes the sharpness isn't what you want.

However, realistically, when you're shooting regularly, digital is just so much more convinient. I know people here probably want to say, 'I don't care about convinience I want the quality', but when it comes down to it, they would find that with a DSLR they will be out shooting so much more. And they will take so many more shots, because they are not afraid to start bracketing, and using up film. They will get so much more into photography and improve their skills much quicker.

I shoot three times as much now with my DSLR than I did with my film camera. And my digital shots have been my best.

That bits questionable as well!

Well unless you've got a pro-lab in your basement, photoshop wins hands down.


I think 35mm is a fantastic format to learn on as it disciplines you. It makes you think a bit more about the shot, forces you to learn about the manual modes etc.

But when I can go out shooting, come back, choose the best out of the 200 photos taken, grade them, upload them onto my personal photography page and photography forum and start receiving feedback automatically, digital just makes life so much more flippin' easier, and encourages me to do more and more photography.

Check this shot out, from my Nikon D40, yesterday:
Posted Image

Beats all of my film shots, and I had it instantly. And it was only because I could see the image straight away on the LCD, that I knew it was exposed correctly.

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 26 August 2007 - 06:33 PM.

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#14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 03:42 AM

That's a very nice picture. The only small give-away is the clipped sun I think, but otherwise very nice.
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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:13 AM

Definitally a great shot. When it comes to the digital v film SLR range, I think that it is most definitely a matter of what you're shooting and when. I use both, often (Nikon D2, FM10, F4s, and a Leica M7). If I'm doing something where I'll be shooting a lot of still, i.e. a friend wants head shots or whatever, or a wedding (or anything else where I don't get comped the price of film), I'll pick up the digital. If, on the other hand, I'm shooting for me, and learning more about shooting, I opt for film.
If anything, a Manual SLR will teach you discipline like nothing else IMHO. Especially because it costs so much for film and processing (though BH sells Fuji for around $2.19/roll). I learned on the FM10 and I'm so glad that when I did learn it was a time before digital stills .

Also, the F6 is surely overkill.
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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:39 AM

I think you'll find that still is bracketed HDR...

Phil
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#17 David Auner aac

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 08:21 AM

I think you'll find that still is bracketed HDR...


Yep I tend to agree. Daniel?

Cheers, Dave
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#18 Daniel Smith

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:53 PM

That's a very nice picture. The only small give-away is the clipped sun I think, but otherwise very nice.

Definitally a great shot. When it comes to the digital v film SLR range, I think that it is most definitely a matter of what you're shooting and when. I use both, often (Nikon D2, FM10, F4s, and a Leica M7). If I'm doing something where I'll be shooting a lot of still, i.e. a friend wants head shots or whatever, or a wedding (or anything else where I don't get comped the price of film), I'll pick up the digital. If, on the other hand, I'm shooting for me, and learning more about shooting, I opt for film.
If anything, a Manual SLR will teach you discipline like nothing else IMHO. Especially because it costs so much for film and processing (though BH sells Fuji for around $2.19/roll). I learned on the FM10 and I'm so glad that when I did learn it was a time before digital stills .

Also, the F6 is surely overkill.

Thanks, yeh the sun didn't look great to be honest. And the Nikon F6 really does seem like overkill...

Shiva, check out the Nikon Fm3a. Spend the extra cash on lenses. They will matter more.

I think you'll find that still is bracketed HDR...

Yep I tend to agree. Daniel?

Cheers, Dave

Well spotted lol, but actually an un-bracketed HDR. Which just shows that the dynamic range on these digital SLR's isn't actually all that bad. Even when zoomed in on the high-res version, there's barely any noise.

HDR is awesome, although it's starting to ruin me. HDR makes all of my other shots look like crap when looking at its face value.

It?s the one thing I slate digital photography for. It makes photography too easy. The shot I took above, isn?t a great shot technically. But at face value it looks good, and looks more stunning than my other shots. (Which took a lot more skill to make)

So many digital photographers come into the shop thinking that f stops, shutter speeds and apertures are ?technical?.

But for 35mm photographers, it is the bread and butter.
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#19 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 11:03 PM

So many digital photographers come into the shop thinking that f stops, shutter speeds and apertures are ?technical?.

But for 35mm photographers, it is the bread and butter.


I respectfully submit that it is the bread and butter of any photographer. Anyone who doesn't have an understanding of those principles is really only a 'point&shooter'.

You have to understand how your camera works before you can get the best out of it.
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#20 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 04:50 AM

Posted Image


That shot reminds me of undergraduate days at the University of Kent at Canterbury wandering round edges of the campus or walking over to the hamlet of Tankleton.

I guess you can't mistake Kent!
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