Common Sense Take on Digital Versus Film

They say when sensor size reached 16mp that digital cameras out resolved 35mm film. You can now make images with more informational density than you ever could with film. I’m now shooting with a 24mp cropped sensor Fujifilm X-T2 which has great resolution when paired with the right lenses. I’m pretty happy with that.

Tree Of Life (with kangaroos) Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-150

I’m not sure I understand why some people insist on shooting film. Some say this is because they feel that shooting film is a more real experience. I’m not one of those people. I did do film back when film was all there was. Other than the moment you take the film out of the final rinse and see that there are actual images negatives, the whole process takes a lot of time with, in my case, not that much success. I have to admit that working out of a bathroom was not the most complete setup for developing film.

On the film side they say that having the limit of 36 images in a roll makes each image more precious and forces you to take your time getting the intended shot. That there is something about the silver grain that makes film images special. I have seen some wonderfully processed analog film images. I’ve also seen a lot of digital images that have been wonderfully processed. And that most of the wonderful analog images I’ve seen have only been viewed digitally.

I guess the real difference is that some people like to explore the craftsmanship of mixing chemicals and keeping to time and temperature regimes. That may be the difference between analog and digital processing.  A different set of craftsman skills needed. Because when it comes down to it making the image is the artistic part of the process, developing it is the craft part of it.

Shooting film is, as it has been since the first long ago exposure, determine the exposure, click the shutter,  capture the image. Which is just like the digital process, exposure then click.

The post processing part is what is different. While analog printing is still being done, a lot of  processed film negatives are being digitized, imported into Lightroom or Photoshop and then turned to positives for output to the web or a digital printer.

So the real difference between the two is just the chemical processing of film. Everything else pretty much comes out even.

As to the forced slowing down of the process when shooting film, you can do the same thing with digital. You can force yourself into slowing down your digital shooting. Give yourself a limit of the number of frames you can shoot in an hour. Say it takes an hour to shoot 36 exposures on film, which, by the way, works out to one image about every two minutes. Give yourself the same challenge with your digital camera. Expose no more than 36 frames on your digital camera in one hours. Process and work to getting the good shots in the 36 frames.

Still at some point the digital image will succeed where the film image might not. Here is a 100% detail of the Tree Of Life image. The detail retained by an camera sensor and lens from 75 yards is truly amazing.

Tree of Life (with kangaroos) 100% detail

I think I’ll stick to the digital images and spend the saved development time to expand my skills as a photographic artist.

Images shot with Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujinon XF50-140mm F2.i R LM OIS WR at Amazon