• Digital V Film: Something to Consider

  • Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.
Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.

Moderators: nomis, keeper1616

  by RetiredLIRRConductor
Thanks for the info Phil :-D

Hey Paul, someone cut and pasted that "How about a nice cup of shut the ****up" and posted it by the coffee maker in the bablyon yardmasters office :wink: I was wondering, is that an actual poster from WWII in the vein of "Lose Lips sink ships"? Or is it a put on?

  by Nasadowsk
Kodak only dropped B&W papers. They still make color ones.

IMHO, the digital thing is going to eventually peak and lose some popularity. When hard drives crash and the backup CD is lost, people are going to be UPSET that their photos are gone forever, too.

Hey, Polaroid was going to kill regular photography too. Remember?

Digital has a place. IMHO, it won't push film out entirely.

For photo supplies around NY, 'You go to B&H!!" Or Adorama, but B&H is bigger and can get you more (I buy 16mm roll film there, I need to get some color film and shot the M-1s, but my most recent camera (Bolex H-16!) needs an overhaul first :( )

I'm more peveed that Kodak's trying hard to kill Kodachrome (by far the best reversal film out there), but the EPA's a big reason why (they killed Kodachrome II)

  by Dave Keller
I would occasionally purchase my stuff from B&H via mail order as I could only get bare minimum items here in Orlando.

With the photo store stocking less and less, I may just go back to purchasing mail order through them again!


P.S. I owned a Canon AE-1 Program until it got stolen when my house got robbed around 1994. I miss it. It was my most favorite camera and It fit me like a glove. I made the mistake of letting the insurance company replace it with a brand-new EOS rebel. Not a bad camera in itself, but NO AE-1!!!
I find myself using it in manual mode all the time with shutter priorty when taking train action shots . . . . very similar to the AE1 setting.
If I knew film would be around for a while, I might go an buy and AE-1 Program used from a camera place that specializes in used equipment. There are a number of them on line. DK

  by timz
Paul wrote:I have yet to see any digital camera even come close to the resolution that a good 35mm can go to, much less a 4X5.
I've never taken a digital pic, but I gather from www.luminous-landscape.com that the better digitals do match 35 mm at least.
Paul wrote: Do anyone here besides myself and a few others know how to manipulate depth of field, or perspective by using rise, tilt and swing, or, how to even control contrast BEFORE the picture is taken?
When Baldwin was shooting builders pics of their engines they no doubt used Scheimpflug and stopped down to f/90 on their 8 x 10 cameras. But you'll have a hard time finding a railfan pic that would have been improved by use of Scheimpflug. After all, you're usually trying to increase your for-lack-of-a-better-word "depth of field", right? And a digital usually has all the depth of field you could want.

The rising front of a press/view is of course useful, but no particular expertise involved. Nothing to lose there. (How well do digitals straighten converging verticals, anyway?)

Controlling contrast before the pic is taken-- you mean by underexposing/overdeveloping or vv, or what?

  by jayrmli
Another reason to go to B&H is their prices are hard to beat. That's who I usually buy my Ektachrome from.

I have a digital camera that I use for everyday picture taking and for selling stuff on eBay. Any serious rail photography though I still use film.


  by Nasadowsk
IMHO, that's where digital's niche will ultimately be - a Polaroid replacement. People will still buy film for 'serious' pics, but they'll go use the digital to sell crap on ebay or get that quick 'tossaway' photo.

Anyone here do 16mm motion pictures? I'm finding it interesting though I've not shot many feet yet :( I've currently got a little Keystone windup to experiment with, but just got a Bolex H-16 that's decent enough, though it's not a reflex and it's older, so it doesn't have the 1:1 drive plus the nicer pulldown and pressure plate. It needs an overhaul, too.

  by Long Island 7285
Does anyone shoot Video also?

  by Srnumber9
Not 16mm, but I do Super-8!

I was just recently down in Strassburg and shot their wonderful Baldwin 4-8-0 pulling a long string of coaches in the snow on Plus-X black and white. The footage is awesome!

Why movies in these days of camcorders? I love cutting and splicing film by hand (in other words: real filmmaking!)

I also love collecting Commercial Super-8 releases and projecting them on the 52" by 92" screen in my living room. I have films of railroads from pretty much every decade of the 20th century.

Yes, I have a digital camcorder, but don't enjoy using it as much. It's just not the same watching the footage on a TV set. It's also way too automatic to either be challenging or get creative.

Comes the day I get a digital projector, I have a feeling the lower resolution of consumer digital video is going to keep these images off the screen anyway. I'll use that for HD DVDs.

On the still front, I recently tried a Black and White slide film (AGFA Scala), and was really pleased with the results. I've just done scenic stuff to date, but it should be great for railfan work.

I like digital too, I just wish so many people weren't so quick to brush film into the dust heap. More alternatives are always better than less!

  by Long Island 7285
For video I shoot mini DV. and it does not have that "film" look to it. You can how ever create the look in any of the video editing computer programs out there. I never was around to shoot genuine film, but I do understand where your someing from in that respect.

As for HD. most of what we do is out side and in daylight. Thats is all HD is good for at this time, useing it for weddings and what not is out of the question, it's not yet mature enough. Also, if you shoot in HD you need a deck to play HD and a HD monitor to view the footage in "HD" so the cost are astronomical for thoese in the hobby with out thousands hanging out in the bank. After a down convert from HD to SD it's not as good as shooting in SD from the start.

Thoese in the know are saying by 2010 everything will be HD. but there is billions of motion pictures that are already SD that cannot be up converted. so before it hits the consumer market they need to make the machines able to play both SD and HD video .

I have some MiniDV footage that I converted to B&W/Film. It looks kick ass. :-D Not even film look makes a DE30 look better :-D

  by RetiredLIRRConductor
Another reason to go to B&H is that they are only a short walk from Penn station, or west side yard. :wink:

  by Brad Smith
In a past life I was a photo technician using a motion control animation camera to create visual effects for multi-image presentations at Eastman Kodak, but my job was replaced by Adobe's Photoshop program.
I left the field rather than switch to digital. My main argument has been solidly advanced here, that is, lack of archival longevity. Joe Consumer thinks that burning those 1's and 0's on a disc will make them last forever. When they find out they don't, will they really care?
Earlier, someone mentioned that the two technologies should exist in a relationship like Polaroid and traditional photography did. The trouble I see is that there will be no film manufactures left when the digital drawbacks become apparent to the masses. Kodak management in the recent past has been amazingly inept. They assumed that even though U.S. film sales were declining, free trade in China would open huge markets for film products. Last month they announced that they were surprised to find the Chinese embracing digital as fast as the rest of the world and thrown a wrench into their long term forecasts. The most secure job at Kodak right now is the guy who co-ordinates the building demolition process at Kodak Park. The digital revolution will do to film what it did to vinyl records.

  by Long Island 7285
In the not so far future finding film and a devloper is going a job in it's self what can be done locally in an hour for 8 bucks will me 50 bucks plus shipping plus any othere charges. it's a shame. I will always say that digital is good for them spur of the moment things, but for the real deal and for something to last a lifetime, you use film. what will happen when the 1's and 0's vanaish and fade off a CD or the only CD you have get's damaged, your' done. there will be a "lost era" where many images will be gone except for those on old computers (todays maching 20 yrs from now) if they still exist.

Digital and film need to coexist one way or another, there is not a single one or zero that will replace the uniqueness of film and the actual image caught in time on a negative. I'm beginning to hate the digital age more and more. One day, just one day, it will come back and bite us all in our hacks.

  by kevikens
As a longtime photographer-I took my first pictures circa early 50's, first 35 mm, Argus C-4, mid 60's- I have following this debate for some time. I certainly grew comfortable with film technology and accumulated quite a collection of working cameras. most of which have plummeted in value the last few years. I have prints from my railfan father going back to the 1920's, still as crisp as when they came back from the drug store but like others on this forum I have witnessed a concerted effort by the camera industry to make film users seem like hopelessy doomed ante-deluvian troglodytes. Look at the photo magazines. The implications are patent. Digital is now, film is sooo 90's. Well seeing that film may become totally onsolete I mad the plunge last year to digital, first a 3.0mp Olympus point and shoot. The prints were not bad but it was annoying to wait for the image to form to capture it and I missed a lot of shots. Last Fall I spurged and brought two digital SLR's, Nikon D70s and D50 so I could use my Nikkor lenses. They are certainly easy to use and the instant feed back feels good. The memory cards are earier to use than film and it's a rush to see your pictures on the computer screen, but yet I am not totally happy with the results. Under a glass the digital images just do not look quite right. I use the fine designation and set the ISO at 200 to get the sharpest image but still, something is not quite right with the resulting paper prints. I intend to take my N90s and 200 speed film the next time I go out and shoot identical scenes with film and digital using the same lenses and compare the results. The camera industry may force us to go digital only in a few years so I guess we need to adopt the technology but I just don't have the same comfort level with digital that I have had with film.

  by Srnumber9
My attitude on going to digital is to keep enjoying Film as long as I can, and go to digital when the time is right. I'm in no rush.

As I noted above, I expect to buy a digital projector someday to watch DVDs on my big screen. What's available right now is certainly interesting, but if I figure waiting gives me the benefit of the industry improving the technology for a couple of years. This translates to better and cheaper.

I have a Yashica 35mm viewfinder that my Dad taught me to take my first pictures with when I was a teenager (seems like about 1,000 years ago, but really only about 30) When I whip this one out to snap some stills I get all sorts of delighted chuckles from my digitally equipped pals, but I get better pictures too!.

In memory of Dad this camera stays with me whether or not I can get film.

My wife has a digital point and shoot that eats batteries too fast and I find is too small to hold steady. Couldn't they use C cells instead of AAs and make it big enough to hold steady?

  by Paul
Well, i guess I will enjoy the two formats. I suspect the I will learn how to make my own glass plate negatives and adapt the 4X5s to that media. Maybe I won't have to. One thing for sure, you can't do that with a 33mm!