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What do you use 35mm vs digital




I was curious how many people have gone digital (P&S or SLR-size) 100% or still use the 35mm format?

What is your reason why you currently prefer one over the other. What have been your expectations before you bought a digital and what is your experience afterwards?

I just bought a cheap Olympus camedia with something like 1.3 MB pixel (P&S) last February and realized that I used it a lot more often then I expected it. Of course the image quality is not very good (in Zeiss terms), but the convenience factor is amazing.

Also no developing costs, makes it easier just to try some shots, I would not have done before - and they turned out to be very nice "memory shots"


I shoot both. I lean more toward the digital end for professional work primarily using a Nikon D1X for 35mm SLR fast focus type work, and a Contax 645 with a Kodak 645C Digital Proback for MF needs up to ISO 400
( beyond 400 I go back to film )

I still shoot film with certain cameras like a Leica M & R as well as with a Contax N1. All of which do not offer digital alternatives ( the Contax N Digital is not an alternative until they work out the bugs).

For goofing around snapshots like you use your P&S for, I use a Canon D30 which was my first digital camera 2 years ago. It's quite small and easy to use, so it took on the role of "fun" camera when the bigger guns came on board.

Even the film I now shoot is converted to digital via a 4000 dpi scanner. I haven't been in my wet darkroom for a year or so. Epson has just launched printers that will totally eliminate any need for me to visit a photo processor for prints ever again.

Digital is one of the greatest teaching tools to ever come along. With it you can refine certain techniques instantly, make adjustments accordingly, and reshoot. Once I've expermented with digital, I transfer the learning to the film cameras. This has greatly improved my success rate with film.

PS; the above wedding reception shot was taken with a Contax 645 & AF35mm/3.5 Ziess lens w/ Kodak 645C Digital Proback (96 megabyte file output).

The actual image was printed to 13" square, and featured so much detail that you could zoom in on the distant table and see what people were eating!
> Hi Dirk,

When digital cameras first came out, I bought a Casio in UK, and tried to use it as a P&S. AT that time, the quality of prints I got from such a rudimentary machine left me unsatisfied, so I sold it. I would like a digital P&S, if only for putting pictures on the web for my children overseas. But - right now, I won't buy a digital camera, because : 1. You buy one today and the better one comes out the week after, and you get nothing for yours. 2. The power problem means you must always carry a charging kit when travelling, and I often travel to places without power points. 3. Storage is difficult without some other piece of hi-tech kit (that also keeps changing), and nobody has yet come up with a satisfactory solution for archiving one's work with total security. I still have useable Kodachromes that are over 40 years old and can still be used "as new". 4. While I love the idea of never buying film again, the thought of spending even more time in my computer room appals me. I would rather be out with my film cameras (2 G2s, a T3 and , very soon, the N1 !), shooting. I will let someone else do the processing. It seems to me to be just as expensive with digital, BTW, what with the price of paper and inkjet supplies, as it is for film and processing.

Just my dos centimos worth. Robin
Dirk, Robin,
Robin is right in that not much is saved in processing display prints. However, film and processing is where the savings are realized. Where a roll of 36 pictures cost a total of approx. $6 to $8. digital cost $0.(once your flash card is paid for). Also, you do not pay for
proofs that you do not want . If say 5 images out of 20 warrant printing that's all you pay for.
Yet the real point of digital printing from a camera or film scans is creative control. It isn't called a desk-top darkroom for nothing.
I finally have control of color prints the way I do B&W in the darkroom. That in itself is worth any hassle.


But now...KC film is virtually extinct and lower quality than it used to be anyway... digital technology surpasses the resolution and dynamic range of film...so it makes sense to go digital.

The new double digit megapixel slr's with full size pick-ups and 100% viewfinders seem to be the final dagger in the need for film...even for an eagle-eyed purist like me. I currently shoot CY mount Zeiss primes...100 2.8 macro and 15mm 3.5 being my favorites for almost any shot.

In the other threads, one guy claimed the Nikon 17-35 surpasses the Zeiss N mount 17-35 in tested performance...True? because if it is...There is not much point in sacrificing all of the other factors to wait for a 2nd Ndigitial body to come to market...especially since I can't get a 14 or 15mm for that little extra perspective I love so much in the work I do...(not even considering the lack of PC lense options).

Personally, I could care less about any auto exposure, auto focus, or the likes...I figure that features are something else to break...I would just as soon have a mechanical body/shutter...or as you say...a shoebox and duct tape...
But when going digital, features seem unavoidable, and frankly...many of them just make sense.
The newly announced Canon EOS-1Ds has some really cool exposure control features...ISO bracketing...BONUS!
I love my zeiss lenses...but the image quality advantage seems to be lowering...and every other aspect of choosing a system seems to tilt in the favor of Nikon/Kodak or Canon
2.likelyhood of timely technological advances to market...lack of bugs in current technology
3.Autofocus functionality
5.Image/exposure control features
6.Lens selection
7.weather proofing
8.Ease of service
9.Flash...o.k. contax has no problem here..canon does
10. 95% vs. 100% veiwfinder
12. Storage capacity..(FAT)

My main concern is the final image quality! But there is a definite cost/benefit...diminshing returns situation created by Kyocera's pricing/availability etc....and if final image quality is no better with the ND than a nikon or canon...there is not much point in investing in a Contax ND system

What is Kyocera thinking with their pricing? If they would just adopt a penetration pricing model for the system, they might gain market share, and subsequently erase most of the issues I have with investing in thier system... If more pros shot Contax, then Kyocera could come to market with more tech improvements faster...instead of trying to recapture costs on inferior designs.(body...not lense designs). Technology is moving fast!
I have been defending my system to Nikonies and Canonites for years...but now that images are manipulated digitally...will the color saturation and contrast of the Zeiss lenses still be a relevant factor? Is the sharpness and distortion still noticeably superior...?

Also...filter technology...is the Kyocera filter really that good?...The Kodak dc14 pro claims that they have eliminated the need for the filter...and in my opinion...for most subjects...a good peice of photo art starts with a SHARP original!
Final Image quality...is there still a case for Contax and Zeiss in the digital world?
Dirk, I just bought a Sony F717 that has a Zeiss lens. I cannot believe how good a job the little bugger does for 5 mp. It matches anything I could get out of 35mm (Leica R3 then a Nikon FM2). I still use a Fuji GW670 and scan the chromes for serious enlargements but for 8x10 prints I'm very happy with the Sony. I even took one image to 13x19 and it's not bad. Medium format will blow it away but on its own merits it's a very good print.
I have been using a Sony DSC - 707 for past six months, because I could not find film scanner anywhere in Arabia until last week. It is an excellent machine. But I like to make money with my stock photographs and the Sony TIFFs are not big enough to put substantial money in my account!
And there is nothing like the feeling of creating a photo in my RTSIIs and my mint 137MD. Today I unpacked a Nikon Coolscan IV ED and tried it out.
First I discovered that Kodak Europe had totally destroyed a roll Kodachrome 200 - a dark brownish murky grainy mess. Second I scanned my first negative from a roll of Kodak Ultra 400 processed here in Jeddah. First scan showed scratches from the lab and grain was too strong.
I rescanned using ICE, GEM, and ROC at default settings. Voilá a perfect salable product with a 31 meg file!