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Old 22nd April 2019
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An army of clones

A few years ago I had an epiphany, it changed matters for the good.

https://www.thephoblographer.com/201...ers-with-film/
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Old 23rd April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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A few years ago I had an epiphany, it changed matters for the good.

https://www.thephoblographer.com/201...ers-with-film/
Don't blame me, I only pointed out that M6 to you

Thanks for the link Steve, very good work and I totally agree with the photographer.

BTW, even though these days I infrequently 'log in' I still follow the forum and I must say your street photography is impressive.

Personally I am about to add a second FM3a to the one I already have, just love that camera so much , still use the two F6 but there is something rather special about the FM3a that keeps me wanting to shoot with it.

Kind regards,

Simon
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Old 23rd April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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Don't blame me, I only pointed out that M6 to you

Thanks for the link Steve, very good work and I totally agree with the photographer.

BTW, even though these days I infrequently 'log in' I still follow the forum and I must say your street photography is impressive.

Personally I am about to add a second FM3a to the one I already have, just love that camera so much , still use the two F6 but there is something rather special about the FM3a that keeps me wanting to shoot with it.

Kind regards,

Simon
Cheers Simon!
Yes the M6 started my conversion and I thank you for pointing me in the direction of an absolute bargain. It's a keeper for sure and last year I decided to have it CLAd by CameraWorks-UK (Alan and James Starkie) who provide a first class service. Now restored internally it's a camera that will outlast me I'm sure.

About a year or so ago I switched from street photography to photographing things, a sort of sabbatical, but the sirens are calling me to return from where I started back in 2013. I need to have an emotional connection in my work, but objects don't quite do it for me.

I get the GAS attacks now and again like everyone else and lately I've been eyeing the FM2 or possibly the F3 (although the latter has probably too much electronics for my liking). It's like a scratch having not owned a Nikon. Life is short, so why not!
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Old 24th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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Cheers Simon!
Yes the M6 started my conversion and I thank you for pointing me in the direction of an absolute bargain. It's a keeper for sure and last year I decided to have it CLAd by CameraWorks-UK (Alan and James Starkie) who provide a first class service. Now restored internally it's a camera that will outlast me I'm sure.

About a year or so ago I switched from street photography to photographing things, a sort of sabbatical, but the sirens are calling me to return from where I started back in 2013. I need to have an emotional connection in my work, but objects don't quite do it for me.

I get the GAS attacks now and again like everyone else and lately I've been eyeing the FM2 or possibly the F3 (although the latter has probably too much electronics for my liking). It's like a scratch having not owned a Nikon. Life is short, so why not!
I was flattered that you took my advice regarding that M6, after-all whist you know me via the forum we do not 'actually know' each other and whilst a bargain by current prices it wasn't exactly 'loose change' either. I however knew that you had nothing to lose by going for it, it you bonded with the M6 you would fall in love with it, if you didn't you could have sold it on very quickly without a loss, in fact if you were to sell now you would make a healthy profit.

As it happens you bonded with it and it shows in the quality of your street and abstract photography. I believe the M6 has become an extension of your arm and eye and when one becomes 'as one' with their equipment normally the standard of work produced becomes better and this is regardless of brand, its all about familiarity and being able to work without thinking about settings on the camera.

Camera Works are indeed very good, meticulous in their approach to servicing, repairing, repainting. I am sure your M6 will run super smoothly for many decades now. I am tempted to contact them to see if they will repaint brands other than Leica, I quite like the idea of a hammertone finish to my silver FM3a.

Most of us get GAS attacks every now and then. The F3 is a very, very good SLR, so good in fact that demand from pro's meant it stayed in production past the F4 and half way through the F5 cycle! Don't worry about the electronics, they are incredibly robust, I would argue more so than any other electronic camera ever made. It's not without its quirks but then what camera is, it is however super tough, super reliable, super smooth and a super bargain.

If you have an itch to scratch, scratch it I say. It's not as though you will be spending thousands unless you but the brand new one currently at Grays

Cheers,
Simon.
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Old 24th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

I shot film for years and now also have an OM1 which I use very occasionally. When I do there is no epiphany. I find the process clunky and the output disappointing. We all have different needs and I think there's a certain snobbery emerging about film - a sort of "real photographers use film" attitude. I know that Steve and Simon don't fall into this category, but it's an opinion out there.

Like the author says, camera types and brands can become the object of tribalism. We should all judge photographers by their output - nothing else.
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Old 24th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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Like the author says, camera types and brands can become the object of tribalism. We should all judge photographers by their output - nothing else.
Here here, well said. I understand why some will post images taken with a new (to them) camera, or a new (to them) lens showing off the impressive technology. Unfortunately such images rarely show artistic ability and hence the ensuing conversation is more about technology than photographic merit. It often becomes tribal with (sometimes) disparaging comments about other brands, particularly Canon and Nikon for some reason.
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Old 24th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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I was flattered that you took my advice regarding that M6, after-all whist you know me via the forum we do not 'actually know' each other and whilst a bargain by current prices it wasn't exactly 'loose change' either. I however knew that you had nothing to lose by going for it, it you bonded with the M6 you would fall in love with it, if you didn't you could have sold it on very quickly without a loss, in fact if you were to sell now you would make a healthy profit.

As it happens you bonded with it and it shows in the quality of your street and abstract photography. I believe the M6 has become an extension of your arm and eye and when one becomes 'as one' with their equipment normally the standard of work produced becomes better and this is regardless of brand, its all about familiarity and being able to work without thinking about settings on the camera.

Camera Works are indeed very good, meticulous in their approach to servicing, repairing, repainting. I am sure your M6 will run super smoothly for many decades now. I am tempted to contact them to see if they will repaint brands other than Leica, I quite like the idea of a hammertone finish to my silver FM3a.

Most of us get GAS attacks every now and then. The F3 is a very, very good SLR, so good in fact that demand from pro's meant it stayed in production past the F4 and half way through the F5 cycle! Don't worry about the electronics, they are incredibly robust, I would argue more so than any other electronic camera ever made. It's not without its quirks but then what camera is, it is however super tough, super reliable, super smooth and a super bargain.

If you have an itch to scratch, scratch it I say. It's not as though you will be spending thousands unless you but the brand new one currently at Grays

Cheers,
Simon.
As long as you buy a good example of a film camera from any of the major manufacturers, Leica, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and the majority of the medium format cameras, eg Hassleblad, you can't go wrong. You can be almost certain you'll get your money back at least. In the case of my M6, in two years I could double my money if I chose to sell for some odd reason. It's the same with lenses too. (Remember the heads-up you gave me on the Summilux? Well that's worth 1.5x the price I paid )

I've spoken to Alan Starkie on a number of occasions (what other service engineer would phone you up to discuss progress?), and asked about servicing Nikon. He said he doesn't touch anything other than Leica but he recommended another tech. At the time I didn't make a note choosing to rely on memory, and you know what memory is like! I suggest you give Alan a call, he's a really helpful person.

Good to know your (valued) view on the F3. I keep looking from time to time and when the right example crops up I'll probably take the plunge, but at present most of my thinking photographically-wise is about subject matter and composition - training my eye through text books by the greats such as Leiter and Haas.
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Old 24th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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I shot film for years and now also have an OM1 which I use very occasionally. When I do there is no epiphany. I find the process clunky and the output disappointing. We all have different needs and I think there's a certain snobbery emerging about film - a sort of "real photographers use film" attitude. I know that Steve and Simon don't fall into this category, but it's an opinion out there.

Like the author says, camera types and brands can become the object of tribalism. We should all judge photographers by their output - nothing else.
Indeed Paul, there does appear to be a degree of snobbery emerging and the attitude of "only real photographers use film" that seems to come with it is IMO a complete load of bollocks ( excuse my profanity ). As you quite rightly say photographers should be judged by the quality of their work and not the medium used to capture it, be that film or digital or for that matter format size and brand.

Personally I like using both mediums ( as you know ), I am happiest when I shoot on film, especially with the FM3a but also very much enjoy using the PEN-F. I found the latter a delight to use during my recent(ish) trip to Japan and is without doubt my favourite digital camera.

Film doesn't have to be 'clunky' or 'disappointing' but unless you shoot it regularly I can understand why it would appear to be. Likewise digital doesn't have to be overwhelming with it plethora of settings/menus etc, etc. I like to keep things simple so use my PEN-F in a very similar way to my FM3a ...... either Aperture Priority or Manual, Single Centre Focus Point AF ( yes the FM3a is manual focus of course ) locking focus and recomposing, Centre Weighted Metering more often than not.

Kind regards,
Simon
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Old 24th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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Indeed Paul, there does appear to be a degree of snobbery emerging and the attitude of "only real photographers use film" that seems to come with it is IMO a complete load of bollocks ( excuse my profanity ). As you quite rightly say photographers should be judged by the quality of their work and not the medium used to capture it, be that film or digital or for that matter format size and brand.

Personally I like using both mediums ( as you know ), I am happiest when I shoot on film, especially with the FM3a but also very much enjoy using the PEN-F. I found the latter a delight to use during my recent(ish) trip to Japan and is without doubt my favourite digital camera.

Film doesn't have to be 'clunky' or 'disappointing' but unless you shoot it regularly I can understand why it would appear to be. Likewise digital doesn't have to be overwhelming with it plethora of settings/menus etc, etc. I like to keep things simple so use my PEN-F in a very similar way to my FM3a ...... either Aperture Priority or Manual, Single Centre Focus Point AF ( yes the FM3a is manual focus of course ) locking focus and recomposing, Centre Weighted Metering more often than not.

Kind regards,
Simon
Simon, the big differentiator in the digital v film choice is answered by the question, 'do you want to produce an image as close to reality as possible'? If so choose digital (but no HDR please). If false colours or purity of B&W is your choice, choose film. I'm thinking old school colour films such as Kodak Gold or Lomo 400CN, or Lomo XPRO for the unexpected. For B&W it takes a special digital camera to produce the authentic B&W, eg the M246.
Cheers,
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Old 25th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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I shot film for years and now also have an OM1 which I use very occasionally. When I do there is no epiphany. I find the process clunky and the output disappointing. We all have different needs and I think there's a certain snobbery emerging about film - a sort of "real photographers use film" attitude. I know that Steve and Simon don't fall into this category, but it's an opinion out there.

Like the author says, camera types and brands can become the object of tribalism. We should all judge photographers by their output - nothing else.
I'm not so sure about snobbery; I would say that film is gaining something of a cult following amongst those who didn't use it back in the day, and who I suspect don't really understand it very well now either.

This was confirmed to me by one of the lecturers when our son was studying for his photography degree. Most of their first year was spent working with B&W, starting with 5 x 4 then MF and 35 mm, developing and printing their own work. When I asked at an open evening what they taught about the use of colour filters with B&W I was told that 'nobody does that anymore; we do all that in Photoshop'.

I tried to push the point but it was obvious that the lecturer just didn't get it, and couldn't see how coloured filters could ever work when capturing B&W images.

I would agree that 35 mm film cameras are a bit clunky compared with digital, but more to the point, the image quality achievable from 35 mm colour films is poor compared with current digital cameras; although 35 mm black and white is much more acceptable in my experience.

However, medium format is on another level. Not only is the image quality at least as good if not better than digital, but I find the waist level finder so much better for composition and much more enjoyable to use too. In fact I really enjoy the whole process.

By contrast I am frequently disappointed and underwhelmed by the images that I see online taken with medium format cameras; and especially with the RZ67 as it happens.

Now I fully accept that the RZ is a bit of a beast to carry very far, and that strict discipline is required when choosing lenses for an outing; but far too many of the images that I see are of poor quality and totally lacking in imagination. This seems to be nothing more than a way of saying 'look I have got this fantastic camera which cost me a lot of money and here are some pictures from it'.

The RZ is capable of truly stunning results so why else are most of the images posted online of such poor artistic and technical quality?
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Old 25th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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I'm not so sure about snobbery; I would say that film is gaining something of a cult following amongst those who didn't use it back in the day, and who I suspect don't really understand it very well now either.

This was confirmed to me by one of the lecturers when our son was studying for his photography degree. Most of their first year was spent working with B&W, starting with 5 x 4 then MF and 35 mm, developing and printing their own work. When I asked at an open evening what they taught about the use of colour filters with B&W I was told that 'nobody does that anymore; we do all that in Photoshop'.

I tried to push the point but it was obvious that the lecturer just didn't get it, and couldn't see how coloured filters could ever work when capturing B&W images.

I would agree that 35 mm film cameras are a bit clunky compared with digital, but more to the point, the image quality achievable from 35 mm colour films is poor compared with current digital cameras; although 35 mm black and white is much more acceptable in my experience.

However, medium format is on another level. Not only is the image quality at least as good if not better than digital, but I find the waist level finder so much better for composition and much more enjoyable to use too. In fact I really enjoy the whole process.

By contrast I am frequently disappointed and underwhelmed by the images that I see online taken with medium format cameras; and especially with the RZ67 as it happens.

Now I fully accept that the RZ is a bit of a beast to carry very far, and that strict discipline is required when choosing lenses for an outing; but far too many of the images that I see are of poor quality and totally lacking in imagination. This seems to be nothing more than a way of saying 'look I have got this fantastic camera which cost me a lot of money and here are some pictures from it'.

The RZ is capable of truly stunning results so why else are most of the images posted online of such poor artistic and technical quality?
I'm amazed how anyone can teach B&W without discussing and demonstrating the effects of colour filters, then kicking the students out to practice and present the results.

Am I reading what you've said correctly, 'film cameras are clunky compared to digital'. Surely not! Film cameras are pure with simple controls, time, aperture and distance. How un-clunky can a camera be?

Did you really mean to say that 35mm colour film is poor compared to modern digital? I'm staggered if you really meant to say that Nigel. Have you used Kodak Portra, by chance? It's perfection, with minimal bo**o**s required in PP.

As regard to digital B&W, it simply cannot compete with film. The only digital camera that comes close enough to be virtually indistinguishable (apart from the grain of film and the noise of digital) is the M246 when used with colour filters.

Film is a contemplative pastime, it's good for the soul like fly fishing possibly. Digital on the other hand is for individuals who are in a hurry, the click it and share it quickly mentality. Maybe there is a bit of snobbery attached to film, for good reason.
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Old 26th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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Am I reading what you've said correctly, 'film cameras are clunky compared to digital'. Surely not! Film cameras are pure with simple controls, time, aperture and distance. How un-clunky can a camera be?
I don't want to speak for Nigel, but look at it objectively Steve. Modern digital cameras simplify and automate the photography process enormously:

- Fast and accurate AF
- Excellent metering and live view for manual correction
- Fast frame rates for capturing action
- Variable ISO by shot
- Immediate image review
- Image stabilisation
- ...

Need I go on? You seem to be equating simplicity of controls with simplicity of delivering a final image of high quality and the two aren't the same at all. If you want the old camera controls on a modern camera then use a Leica or a Fuji and set them to M mode. But you've still got all the other advantages of modern digital. Personally, I prefer having aperture and shutter at my fingertips on dials, but really these sort of control things are not what makes a camera clunky or not.

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Did you really mean to say that 35mm colour film is poor compared to modern digital? I'm staggered if you really meant to say that Nigel. Have you used Kodak Portra, by chancei? It's perfection, with minimal bo**o**s required in PP.

As regard to digital B&W, it simply cannot compete with film. The only digital camera that comes close enough to be virtually indistinguishable (apart from the grain of film and the noise of digital) is the M246 when used with colour filters.
On a purely objective level (resolution, noise, DR), 35mm film cannot meet the image quality of digital. It's an objective and measurable fact.
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Old 26th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

Thank you Paul. I think you can see where I am coming from.

I seem to have touched a raw nerve with Steve so I will try to qualify what I said.

When I described 35 mm film cameras as 'clunky' I was thinking more of the mechanical action than the process the process of using them. I do love the simplicity of film cameras, the big, bright viewfinders and the lack of clutter. I find that I become totally absorbed in my subject when peering through the waist level finder on my Mamiya MF cameras, but I do also like to remain objective.

A 6x7 transparency can provide detail, resolution and tonal gradation far beyond that attainable with most digital cameras, but 35 mm cannot.

Around 2008 when Nikon were still producing film scanners they maintained that a 35 mm colour negative exposure could yield a maximum of 5 MP of usable information, whilst a colour transparency could yield approximately double that. This is probably why Nikon scanners provide a maximum of 4,000 dpi resolution whilst others claimed much higher figures. (I'm not quite sure how B&W fits into this.)

On that basis my OM-D E-M1 would appear to have a clear advantage over 35 mm colour film in terms of sheer resolution, even though I still prefer the look of film.

To answer Steve's question, I haven't used the new Portra film yet, (I still have plenty of the old Portra 160 which I don't particularly like), but I have used a lot of the new Ektar 100 which is fast becoming my favourite colour film, even ahead of Velvia 50. I don't know whether these new films offer higher resolution than those available in 2008, but I do know that if I scanned 35 mm Ektar 100 at 4,000 DPI, or even 5,400 DPI in our Minolta scanner, the image quality would almost certainly fall short of that attainable with my OM-D E-M1, and would certainly fall short of that provided by the Nikon D750 which my son uses.

Of course digital offers many other 'advantages' such as low cost per image, adjustable ISO and instant gratification, but given the opportunity I still prefer to use film where appropriate and when the opportunity arises.
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Old 26th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

Hi Nigel, no raw nerves touched, truly.
This discussion is in danger of tipping too far towards a digital v analogue debate, if it hasn't crossed the line already!
Odd maybe, but I like using "clunky" mechanical cameras with simple controls, the lack of automation, manual focus etc, oh and loading film and winding-on - just wish I owned one of the Ms having the knurled rewind knobs, eg M2, 3, 4, MP and MA with the tactile feel at your finger tips.
In terms of images, don't you think that digital is just too clinical in detail? (Probably why it's used extensively in medical imaging.) I also wonder why some choose to use digital but then try to emulate the so-called shortcomings of film in PP, eg the old school films such as Kodak Gold. Doesn't it make sense to shoot Gold in the first place, organically! As for B&W, digital is in the wilderness, it simply doesn't offer the results obtainable using film (yes the M246 comes close, but I'm repeating myself in saying this.)
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Old 26th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

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In terms of images, don't you think that digital is just too clinical in detail? (Probably why it's used extensively in medical imaging.) I also wonder why some choose to use digital but then try to emulate the so-called shortcomings of film in PP, eg the old school films such as Kodak Gold. Doesn't it make sense to shoot Gold in the first place, organically! As for B&W, digital is in the wilderness, it simply doesn't offer the results obtainable using film.
Hmmm. I think fifteen years of using digital has probably changed our photographic tastes so that most people now prefer the clinical detail and sharpness of digital, and the lack of film grain, although it obviously depends on the genre of photography.

I am not actually too sure how this works though. Is it the extreme resolution, crystal clarity and sharpness of digital that people crave, the eye popping (and sometimes unrealistic colours), the binary contrast (with little shadow detail), the 'in your face' nature of digital images or something else?

High resolution scans of MF films provide just as much, if not more detail than digital, but without the same clinical sharpness, which somehow looks better than digital to my eyes.

By choice, and in my own time, I much prefer to use my film cameras, but if I was only allowed one camera for all purposes it would have to be digital, and probably FF. If I really wanted the 'film look' I can add something like that in PP, but I cannot get detail out of 35 mm film that doesn't exist.
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