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Old 25th April 2019
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Re: An army of clones

Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
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.

on flickr
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