An Amateur Photo Blog, Featuring Various Pictures Of The Best Dog Ever, Plus Other Stuff.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Film still rocks!

See that? I did that with an el cheapo Nikon N80 behind an even more el cheapo 28-80 f3.3-5.6 G lens. You could get the whole kit from for far less than you would pay for a Nikon D3. KEH has so many good old used film cameras they're practically giving them away, at least compared to the prices of digitals. For that matter, they have great prices on used digital cameras, lenses, flashes, you name it, if it has to do with photography, they probably have it cheap. And the local pros I talk to say that KEH's rating system is better and more accurate than other big names like Adorama.

The film was even cheap, Fuji Superia 400, $7.99 for 6 rolls at Costco. That's a buck thirty something a roll of 24, and the camera manages to give me at least 25 on every roll! $3.98 for developing and printing, plus $2.99 for a 300 year archival grade gold CD, and we're home and dropping the 2400 x 3600 images on the hard drive.

YMMV on that last, I understand some other, lesser Costco locations use Noritsu printers, which only scan film at 2000 x 3000. I'm lucky to be near a Costco with a really excellent Fuji printer. The folks there don't do a lot of film, and from what they say, the rest of the processor automatically runs behind the the film scan interface, so they just scan all film to CD orders at "Premium" to give their members better value.

On the other hand, some of the Costco locations have the latest Noritsu's that can print 12 x 36 panorama's, so win some, lose some.

You can't have everything, where would you put it?

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. If you want full frame quality with all it's wonderful advantages, such as better subject isolation at wide apertures and better depth of field due to being able to use tighter apertures before running into diffraction limiting, shoot film and have it scanned by a good lab. Or go to and buy your own film scanner.

Here's Ken Rockwell's original post that encouraged me to continue looking for a decent film camera back when I thought that even a compact digital stomped film, silly me.

John Sevigny agrees.

Bruce Percy weighs in.

If you're going this route, you might consider some filters. I use Hoya's myself, but then, if I find some Tiffens at a decent price, I might have to buy them from now on.

If you're going to get really crazy (and I can feel it coming, like a bad cold), you might consider shooting slide film. Of course, then you might need someone to develop it, as most labs no longer keep the chemistry around. Chrome Digital still does, but you might also find a local pro lab (as opposed to a 1 Hour Lab, they charge more but offer broader and usually better trained services) that will do it for you.

Keep those shutters firing!
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